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Fazio, a young, ardent scholar, deeply imbued with a belief in the possibility of transmuting base metals into gold, devotes his time to study amid his retorts aud alembics. One evening an old miser, Fazio's neighbor, is set upon by robbers, stabbed and falls dying at the alchemist's door. Fazio carries him into his house, where he dies. Then th · poor scholar is tempted to bury the miser's body in his garden, and enrich hiniself by the almost boundle-s wealth of the dead man. Giving out that he had discovered the secret of making gold, he runs a career of reckless extravagance. One Aldabella, a beautiful but profligate woman, lures him from Bianca's arms. His wife, actuated by frantic jealousy, denounces him as the robber of the miser. Fazio is arrested, and doomed to die. Then the heart-broken wife relents, and would save her erring husband at all risks. Her efforts are futile.
The scenes which follow take place in the interim between the alchemist's condemnation and execution.
COSTUMES. - Fazio, a close fitting dress of dark brown or black cloth or velvet. Bianca, a handsome court dress of any rich material, but worn in a disordered manner.?
FAZIO and BIANCA discovered.
FAZ. (L. C.). Let's talk of joy, Bianca; we'lldeceive
BIAN, (C.). Oh yes, oh yes !—There'll be adawn to-morrow Will steal upon us. Then, oh then
Faz. Oh, think not on't !-
BIAN. Oh yes ! To-morrow evening, if thou close
FAZ. Thou busy, sad remembrancer ot eyil ! How exquisitely happy have we two
Sate in the dusky and discolored light,
BIAN. Quick, my Fazio !
Faz. Oh, what a life must theirs be, those poor innocents!
6 The murderer's children :" Infamy will pin That pestilent label on their backs: the plague-spot Will bloat and blister on them till their death-beds ; And if they beg-for beggars they must beThey'll drive them from their doors with cruel jeers Upon my riches, villainously style them “ The children of Lord Fazio, the philosopher.”
BIAN. To-morrow will the cry begin,-to-morrorIt must not be, and I sit idle here ! Fazio, there must be in this wide, wide city, Piercing and penetrating eyes for truth, Souls not too proud, too cold, too stern for mercy. I'll hunt them out, and swear them to our service. I'll raise up something-oh, I know not whatShall boldly startle the rank air of Florence With proclamation of thy innocence. I'll raise the dead! I'll conjure up the ghost Of that old rotten thing, Bartolo; make it Cry out i' the market place, “Thou didst not slay him !" Farewell, farewell! If in the walls of Florence Be anything like hope or comfort, Fazio, I'll clasp it with such strong and steadfast arms, I'll drag it to thy dungeon,
and make laugh This silence with strange uncouth sounds of joy.
Enter BIANCA, L.,
I'm sick and weary—my feet drag along.
Enter into a back chamber, L. D. F. After a pause she returns.
It will not be, it will not be-they woke
BYRON. (This impassioned lyric is one of the most fiery, fervent and heroio that even the soul of Byron has ever breathed forth.
It is not possible to throw into it too much glowing eloquence, as the speaker recals the days when the antique heroes drew their shining blades for Freedom: Occasionally the voice lowers into sadness when contrasting the present with the past of the country of Leonidas and Plato )
THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho lov'd and sung,
Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Their place of birth, alone, is mute
And Marathon looks on the sea :
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
A king sat on the rocky brow
That looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And men in nations ;-all were his !
And where are they? and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic bosom beats no more!
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face,
Must we but weep o'er days more bless'd ?
Must we but blush ? Our fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead !
What! silent still ? and silent all ?
Ah! no ;-the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, “ Let one living head, But one arise,—we come, we come;" "Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain-in vain : strike other chords,
Fill high the cup of Samian wine! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vinel Hark! rising to the ignoble callHow answers each bold bacchanal!
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone ? Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one ? You have the letters Cadmus gaveThink you he meant them for a slave ?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
We will not think of themes like these! It made Anacreon's song divine;
He serv'd—but serv'd PolycratesA tyrant; but our masters then Were still at least our countrymen.
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend; That tyrant was Miltiades !
Oh! that the present hour would lend Another despot of the kind ! Such chains as his were sure to bind.