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[Price Three Shillings.]


Prinua br W. CLOWES, NorthnmberUad-court, Strand, London.




THE Author of Fazio begs leave to state,
that the representation of his pla}^ at Bath,
and in London, is entirely without his con-
currence ; he has not been consulted on the
subject, and totally disclaims the alterations
which, he understands, have been made.


THE following attempt at reviving our old na-
tional drama with greater simplicity of plot, was
written with some view to the stage. Circum-
stances and an opinion of considerable weight
induced me to prefer the less perilous ordeal of
the press : as in the one case, if its merits are
small or moderate, the quiet sleep of oblivion will
be infinitely less grating to an author's feelings,
than a noisy and tumultuous execution in a
public theatre ; if, on the other hand, public
opinion be in its favour, its subsequent appear-
ance on the stage would be at least under favour-
able auspices. I am aware, that there is a pre-
judice at the Theatre against plays which have
first appeared in print ; but whence it originates
I am at a loss to conceive. It being impossible,
on the present scale of our Theatres, for more


than a certain proportion of those present to see
or hear with sufficient distinctness to form a
judgment on a drama, which is independent of
show and hurry ; it surely would be an advan-
tage that a previous familiarity with the language
and incidents should enable the audience to catch
those lighter and fainter touches of character, of
passion, and of poetry, on which dramatic ex-
cellence so mainly depends. I put entirely out
of the question those who go to a play from mere
desire of novelty, whose opinions either way
would be of very slight value.

The Play is founded on a story, which was
quoted in the Annual Register for 1795, from the
"Varieties of Literature ;'* but great liberties
have been taken with it.


Duke of Florence.


> Senators of Florence.
AuRio, J

GiRALDi Fazio.





Theodore,-) /. , ir,

I Captains of the Guard.
Antonio, j


Marchesa Aldabella.






A Room with Crucibles and Apparatus of Alchymy.

Enter Fazio and Bianca.

Faz. Why %vhat a peevish envious fabulist
Was he, that vow'd cold wedlock's atmosphere
Wearies the thin and dainty plumes of love;
That a fond husband's holy appetite,
Like the gross surfeit of intemperate joy,
Grows sickly and fastidious at the sweets
Of its own chosen flow'r ! — My ovm Bianca,
With what delicious scorn we laugh away
Such sorry satire !

BiAN. Which of thy smooth books
Teacheth this harmony of bland deceit ?
Oh, my own Fazio ! if a serpent told me
That it was stingless in a tone like thine,


2 FAZIO. [Act 1

I should believe it. Oh, thou sweetly false !
That at cold midnight quitt'st my side to pore
O'er musty tomes, dark sign'd and charactered,
O'er boiling skellets, crucibles and stills,
Drugs and elixirs.

Faz. Aye, chide on, my love;

The nightingale's complaining is more sweet,
Than half the dull unvarying birds that pipe
Perpetual amorous joy. — Tell me, Bianca,
How long is't since we wedded?

BiAN. Would'st thou know

Thy right and title to thy weariness? —
Beyond two years. /

Faz. Days, days, Bianca! Love

Hath in its calendar no tedious time,
So long as what cold lifeless souls call years. ■
Oh, with my books, my sage philosophy,
My infants, and their mother, time slides on
So smoothly, as 'twere fall'n asleep, forgetting
Its heaven-ordained motion. We are poor ;
But in the wealth of love, in that, Bianca,
In that we are eastern sultans. I have thought.
If that my wondrous alchymy should win
That precious liquor, whose transmuting dew
Makes the black iron start forth brilliant gold,
Were it not wise to cast it back again
Into its native darkness ?

BiAN. Out upon it!

Oh, leave it there, my Fazio ! — Leave it there ! —

I hate it ! — 'Tis my rival, 'tis thy mistre'Ss.

Aye, this it is that makes thee strange and restless,
A truant to thine own Bianca's arms,
This wondrous secret.


Faz. Dost thou know, Bianca,

Our neighbour, old Bartolo?

BiAN. O yes, yes —
That yellow wretch, that looks as he were stain'd
With watching his own gold ; every one knows him
Enough to loathe him. Not a friend hath he,
Nor kindred nor familiar ; not a slave.
Not a lean serving wench : nothing e'er enter'd
But his spare self within his jealous doors,
Except a wand'ring rat ; and that, they say.
Was famine-struck, and died there. What of him ?

Faz. Yet he, Bianca, he is of our rich ones.
There's not a galliot on the sea, but bears
A venture of Bartolo's ; not an acre.
Nay, not a villa of our proudest princes.
But he hath cramp'd it with a mortgage ; he.
He only stocks our prisons with his debtors.
I saw him creeping home last night ; he shudder'd
As he unlock'd his door, and look'd around,
As if he thought that ev'ry breath of wind
Were some keen thief; and when he lock'd him in,
I heard the grating key turn twenty times,
To try if all were safe. I look'd again
From our high window by mere chance, and sa\^
The motion of his scanty moping lantern;
And, where his wind-rent lattice was ill stufFd
With tatter'd remnants of a money bag.
Through cobwebs and thick dust I spied his face,
Like some dry wither-boned anatomy,
Through a huge chestlid, jealously and scantily
Uplifted, peering upon coin and jewels,
Ingots and wedges, and broad bars of gold,
Upon whose lustre the wan light shone muddily,

B 2

4 FAZIO. [Act I.

As though the New World had outrun the Spaniard,

And emptied all its mines in that coarse hovel.

His ferret eyes gloated as wanton o'er them.

As a gross Satyr on a sleeping Nymph ;

And then, as he heard something like a sound.

He clapp'd the lid to, and blew out the lantern.

But I, Bianca, humed to thy arms.

And thank'd my God that I had braver riches.

BiAN. Oh then, let that black furnace burst : dash dowH
Those ugly and mishapen jars and vials.
Nay, nay, most sage philosopher, to night.
At least to night, be only thy Bianca's. [She clings to hinu

Faz. ( Looking fo7idli/ at her.) Why e'en the Prince of
Bards was false and slanderous.
Who girt Jove's bride in that voluptuous zone.
Ere she could win her weary lord to love ;
While my earth-born Bianca bears by nature
An ever-blooming caestus of delight !

BiAN. So courtly and so fanciful, my Fazio ]
Which of our dukes hath lent thee his cast poesies ?
Why, such a musical and learned phrase
Had soften'd the marchesa, Aldabella,
That high signora, that once pamper'd the«
Almost to madness with her rosy smiles ;
And then my lady queen put on her winter.
And froze thee till thou w ert a very icicle.
Had not the lowly and despised Bianca
Shone on it with the summer of her pity.

Faz. Nay, taunt not her, Bianca, taunt not her!
Thy Fazio loved her once. Who, who would blame
Heaven's moon, because a mauiac hath adored it.
And died in his dotage ? E'en a sahit might wear
Proud Aldabella's sconi, nor look less heavenly.

Scene I.] FAZIO.

Oil, it dropt balm upon the wounds it gave,
The soul was pleased to be so sweetly wrong'd,
And misery grew rapturous. Aldabella !
The gracious ! the melodious ! Oh, the words -
Laugh'd on her lips ; the motion of her smiles
Shower'd beauty, as the air-caressed spray
The dews of morning ; and her stately steps
Were light as though a winged angel trod
Over earth's flowers, and fear'd to brush away
Their delicate hues ; aye, e'en her very robes
Were animate and breathing, as they felt
The presence of her loveliness, spread around
Their thin and gauzy clouds, ministering freely
Officious duty on the shrine where Nature
Hath lavish'd all her skill.

BiAN, A proud loose wanton !

Faz. She wanton ! — Aldabella loose ! — Then, then
Are the pure lilies black as soot within.
The stainless virgin snow is hot and rancid.

And chastity aye, it may be in heaven,

But all beneath the moon is wild and haggard.
If she be spotted, oh, unholiness
Hath never been so delicately lodged
Since that bad devil walk'd fair Paradise.

BiAN. Already silent ? Hath your idol quaff d
Enough of your soft incense ? Fazio ! Fazio !
But that her gaudy bark would aye disdain
The quiet stream whereon we glide so smooth^
I should be fearful of ye.

Faz. Nay, unjust !

Ungenerous Bianca ! who foregoes.
For the gay revel of a golden harp.
Its ecstacies and rich enchanting falls,

6 FAZIO. [Act I,

His own domestic lute's familiar pleasing ?

But thou, thou vain and wanton in thy power,

Thou know'st canst make e'en jealousy look lovely.

And all thy punishment for that bad passion

Be this — [kisses her] — Good night ! — I will but snatch a look

How the great crucible doth its slow work.

And be with thee ; unless thou fanciest, sweet,

That Aldabella lurks behind the furnace ;

And then, Heaven knows how long I may be truant.

[Exit BlANCA.
Faz. (solus.) Oh, what a star of the first magnitude
Were poor young Fazio, if his skill should work
The wondrous secret your deep-closetted sages
Grow grey in dreaming of! Why all our Florence
Would be too narrow for his branching glories ;
It would o'erleap the Alps, and all the north
Troop here to see the great philosopher.
He would be w ealthy too — wealthy in fame ;
And that's more golden than the richest gold.

[A groan without.
Holy St. Francis ! what a groan was there !

Voice without.
Within there I — Oh ! within there, neighbour !— Death,
Murder, and merciless robbery !

Fazio opens the Door.

What! Bartolo!
Bar. Thank ye, my friend ! Ha I ha ! ha I my old limbs !
I did not think them half so tough and sinewy.
St. Dominic ! but their pins prick'd close and keen.
Six of 'em, strong and sturdy, with their daggers.
Tickling the okl man to let loose his ducats.
Faz. Who, neighbour, who ?
Bar. Robbers, black crape-faced robbers.

Scene I.] JPAZIO. 1

Your only blood-suckers, that drain your veins,
And yet their meagre bodies aye grow sparer.
They knew that I had monies from the Duke,
But I o'erreach'd them, neighbour : not a ducat,
Nay, not a doit, to cross themselves withal,

Got they from old Bartolo. Oh, I bleed !

And my old heart beats minutes like a clock.

Faz. a surgeon, friend !

Bar. Aye, one of your kind butchers.

Who cut and slash your flesh fr)r their own pastime.
And then, God bless the mark ! they must have money !
Gold, gold, or nothing ! Silver is grown coarse.
And rings unhandsomely. Have I scaped robbing,
Only to give ?— — Oh there ! there ! there ! Cold, cold.
Cold as December.

Faz. Nay, then, a confessor!

Bar. a confessor ! one of your black smooth talkers.
That drone the name of God incessantly,
Like the drear burthen of a doleful ballad !
That sing to one of bounteous codicils
To the Franciscans or some hospital !
Oh ! there's a shooting ! — Oozing here ! — Aye me !
My ducats and my ingots scarcely cold
From the hot Indies ! Oh ! and I forgot
To seal those jewels from the Milan Duke!
Oh I misery, misery ! — Just this very day,
And that mad spendthrift Angelo hath not sign'd
The mortgage on those meadows by the Amo.
Oh ! misery, misery ! — Yet I scaped them bravely.
And brought my ducats oft' ! [Dies.

Faz. Why e'en lie there, as foul a mass of earih
As ever loaded it. 'Twere sin to charity
To wring one drop of brine upon thy corpse.

8 FAZIO. [Act h

In sooth, Death's not nice-stomach'd, to be cramm'd

With such unsavoury offal. What a God

'Mong men might this dead wither'd thing have beeir.

That now must rot beneath the earth, us once

He rotted on it ! Why his wealth had won

In better hands an atmosphere around him,

Musical ever with the voice of blessing.

Nations around his tomb, like marble mourners.

Vied for their pedestals. — In better hands ?

Methinks these fingers are nor coarse nor clumsy.

Philosophy ! Philosophy ! thou'rt lame

And tortoise-paced to my fleet desires !

I scent a shorter path to fame and riches.

The Hesperian trees nod their rich clusters at me.

Tickling my timorous and withdrawing grasp ; — •

I would, yet dare not : — that's a coward's reckonings

Half of the sin lies in " I would." To-monow,

If that it find me poor, will write me fool.

And myself be a mock unto myself.

Aye, and the body murder'd in my house !

Your carrion breeds most strange and loathsome insects —

Suspicion 's of the quickest and the keenest —

So, neighbour, by your leave, your keys ! In sooth.

Thou hadst no desperate love for holy church ;

Long-knoUed bell were no sweet music to thee.

A " God be with thee" shall be all thy mass ;

Thou never lovedst those dry and droning priests,

Thou'lt rot most cool and quiet in my garden ;

Your gay and gilded vault would be too costly,

\^Exit with the body of Barfoie.

Scene Il.j FAZIO. 9

A Street.

Enter Fazio with a dark Lantern,

I, wont to roam like a tame household doff,

Caress'd by every hand, and fearing none,

Now prowl e'en like a grey and treasonous wolf.

'Tis a bad deed to rob, and I'll have none on't :

'Tis a bad deed to rob — and whom ? the dead I

Aye, of their winding-sheets and coffin nails.

^Tis but a quit-rent for the land I sold him,

Almost two yards to house him and his worms :

Somewhat usi\rious in the main, but that

Is honest thrift to yovu* keen usurer.

Had he a kinsman, nay a friend, 'twere devilish.

But now whom rob I ? why the state — In sooth

Marvellous little owe I this same state.

That I should be so dainty of its welfare.

Methinks our Duke hath pomp enough ; our senate

Sit in their scarlet robes and ermine tippets.

And live in proud and pillar'd palaces,

Where their Greek wines flow plentiful — Besides,

To scatter it abroad amid so many.

It were to cut the sun out into spangles.

And mar its brilliance by dispersing it.

Away ! away ! his burying is my Rubicon !

Caesar or nothing ! Now, ye close-lock'd treasures^

Put on your gaudiest hues, outshine yourselves !

With a deliverer's, not a tyrant's hand

Invade I thus your dull and peaceful slumbers.

10 FAZIO. [ActL

And give ye light and liberty. Ye shall not
Moulder and rust in pale and pitiful darkness,
But front the sun with light bright as his own.


TJie Street near Fazio's door.

Re-enter Fazio with a sack: he rests it.

My steps were ever to this door, as though

They trod on beds of perfume and of down.

The winged birds were not by half so light.

When through the lazy twilight air they wheel

Home to their brooding mates. But now, methinks,

The heavy earth doth cling around my feet.

I move as every separate limb were gyved

With its particular w eight of manacle.

The moonlight that was wont to seem so soft,

So balmy to the slow respired breath,

Icily, shiveringly cold falls on me.

The marble pillars, that soared stately up.

As though to prop the azure vault of heaven,

Hang o'er me with a dull and dizzy weight.

The stones whereon I tread do grimly speak,

Forbidding echoes, aye, with human voices.

Unbodied arms pluck at me as I pass,

And socketless pale eyes look glaring on me.

But 1 have past them : and methinks this weight

Might strain more sturdy sinews than mine own.

Howbeit, thank God, 'tis safe ! Thank God !— for what?

That a poor honest man 's grow n a rich villain.

Scene IV.] FAZIO. 11


Fazio's House.

Enter Fazio with his sack, which he opens and surveys.

I thank ye, bounteous thieves ! most liberal thieves !
Your daggers are my v^^orship. Have ye leap'd
The broad and shai-p-stak'd trenches of the law,
Mock'd at the deep damnation that attaints
The souls of murderers, for my hands unbloodied,
As delicately, purely white as ever.
To pluck the golden fruitage ? Oh, I thank ye,
Will chronicle ye, my good friends and true.

Enter BiANCA. CFazio conceals the Treasure.)

BiAN. Nay, Fazio, nay : this is too much : nay, Fazio,
I'll not be humour'd like a froward child,
Trick'd into sleep with pretty tuneful tales.

Faz. We feast the Duke to-morrow : shall it be
In the Adomi or Vitelli palace ?
They're both on sale, and each is fair and lofty.

BiAN. Why, Fazio, art thou frantic ? Nay, look not
So strangely, so unmeaningly. I had rather
That thou would'st weep, than look so haggard joyful.

Faz. Aye, and a glorious banquet it shall be :
Gay servants in as proud caparisons.
As though they served immortal gods with nectar.
Aye, aye, Bianca! there shall be a princess ;
She shall be lady of the feast. Let's see
Your gold and crimson for your fair-hair'd beauties :— •
It shall be gold and crimson. Dost thou know
The princess that I mean ? Dost thou, Bianca i

12 FAZIO. [Act L

BiAN. Nay, if thou still wilt flout me, I'll not weep :
Thou shalt not have the pitiful bad pleasure
Of wringing me to misery. I'll be cold
And patient as a statue of my wrongs.

Faz. I have just thought, Biauca, these black stills
An ugly and ill-fitling furniture :
We'll try an they are britttle (Dashing them in pieces.) I'll

have gilding,
Nothing but gilding, nothing but wiiat looks glittering :
I'm sick of black and dingy darkness. Here, (Uncovering

the sack.)
Look here, Bianca, here's a light! Take care :
Thine eyesight is too weaLfor such a blaze.
It is not daylight ; nay, it is not mora —
And every one is worth a thousand florins.
Who shall be princess of the feast to-morrow ?

\_She bursts into tears.
Within, within, I'll tell thee all within. [Exeunt-





A Hall in the Palace of Fazio.

Falsetto, Dandolo, Philario, and a Gentleman.

Fal. serve ye lord Fazio ?

Gent. Aye, Sir, he honours me

With his commands.

Fal. 'Tis a brave gentleman !

Tell him Signior Falsetto, and Philario
The most renowned Improvisatore,
And Signior Dandolo, the court fashionist,
Present their duty to him.

Gent. Aye, good sirs.

[^A$ide.'\ My master hath a Midas touch ; these fellows
Will try if he hath ears like that great king. [Exit.

Enter Fazio splendidh/ dressed.

Fal. Most noble lord, most wonderful philosopher !
We come to thank thee, sir, that thou dost honour
Our Florence with the sunlight of your fame.
Thou that hast ravish'd nature of a secret

14 FAZIO. [Act II.

That maketh thee her very paragon :
She can but create gold, and so canst thou :
But she doth bury it in mire and mirk,
Within the unsunn'd bowels of the earth :
But thou dost set it on the face of the world.
Making it shame its old and sullen darkness.

Faz. Fair sir, this cataract of courtesy
O'erwhelms my weak and unhabituate ears.
If I may venture such uncivil ignorance.
Your quality ?

Fal. I, my good lord, am one

Have such keen eyesight for my neighbours* virtues,
And such a doting love for excellence.
That when I see a wise man, or a noble.
Or wealthy, as 1 ever hold it pity
Man should be blind to his own merits, words
Slide from my lips ; and I do mirror him
In the clear glass of my poor eloquence.

Faz. In coarse and honest phraseology
A flatterer.

Fal. Flatterer ! Nay, the word's grown gross.

An apt discourser upon things of honour,
Professor of art panegyrical.
'Twere ill were I a hawk to see such bravery.
And not a thrush to sing of it. Wealth, sir.
Wealth is the robe and outward garb of man.
The setting to the rarer jewelry,
The soul's unseen and inner qualities.
And then, my lord, philosophy ! 'tis that.
The stamp and impress of our divine nature.
By which we know that we are Gods, and are so.
But wealth and wisdom in one spacious breast ^
Who would not hymn so rare and rich a wedding ?

Scene I.] FAZIO. 15

Who would not serve within the gorgeous palace,
Glorified by such strange and admired inmates ?

Faz. (aside). Now the poor honest Fazio had disdain'd
Such scurvy fellowship ; howbeit, Lord Fazio
Must lacquey his new state with these base jackalls.
(To him). Fair sir, you'll honour me with your company.
(To Dandolo). May I make bold, sir, with your state and
title ?

Dan. Oh, my lord, by the falling of your robe,
Your cloth of gold one whole hair's-breadth too low,
'Tis manifest you know not Signior Dandolo.

Faz. a pitiable lack of knowledge, sir.

Dan. My lord, thou hast before thee in thy presence
The mirror of the court, the very calendar
That rules the swift revolving round of fashion ;
Doth tell what hues do suit what height o' the sun ;
When your spring pinks should banish from the court
Your sober winter broMns ; when July heat
Doth authorize the gay and flaunting yellows ; —
The court thermometer, that doth command
Your three-piled velvet abdicate its state
For the airy sattins. Oh, my lord, you are too late,
At least three days, with your Venetian tissue.

Faz. I sorrow, sir, to merit your rebuke
On point so weighty.

Dan. Aye, signior, I'm paramount

In all afiairs of boot, and spur, and hose ;
In matters of the robe and cap supreme ;
In ruff disputes, my lord, there's no appeal
From my irrelragability.

Faz. Sweet sir,

I fear me, such despotic rule and sway
Over the persons of our citizens

16 FAZIO. [Act II.

Must be of danger to our state of Florence.

Dan. Good sooth, my lord, I am a very tyrant.
Why, if a senator should presume to wear
A cloak of fur in June, I should indict him
Guilty of leze majeste against my kingship :
They call me, Dandolo, the King of Fashions —
The whole empire of dress is my dominion.
Why, if our Duke should wear an ill-grain'd colour
Against my positive enactment, though
His state might shield him from the palpable shame
Of a rebuke; yet, my good lord, opinion,
Public opinion, would hold Signior Dandolo
Merciful in his silence.

Faz. a Lycurgus.

Dan. Good, my lord ! dignity must be upheld
On the strong pillars of severity.
Your cap, my lord, a little to the north-east,
And your sword — thus, my lord — pointed out this way,

{^Adjusting him.
In an equilateral triangle. Nay,
Nay, on my credit, my good lord, this hose
Is a fair woof. The ladies, sir, the ladies,
(For I foresee you'll be a ruling planet,)
Must not be taught any heretical fancies.
Fantastical infringements of my codes —
Your lordship must give place to Signior Dandolo
About their persons.

Faz. Gentle sir, the ladies

Must be too deeply, irresistibly yours.

Dan. No, signior, no; I'm not one of the gallants.
That pine for a fair lip, or eye, or cheek.
Or that poetical treasure, a true heart.
But, my lord, a fair-order'd head-dress makes me

Scene 1.] FAZIO. 17

As love-sick as a dove at mating time :
A tasteful slipper is my soul's delight :
Oh, I adore a robe that drops and floats
As it were lighter than the air around it ;
I dote upon a stomacher to distraction,
When the gay jewels, gracefully dispos'd,
Make it a zone of stars : and then a fan,
The elegant motion of a fan, is murder.
Positive murder to my poor weak senses.

Faz. (turning to Philario.j But here's a third: the
Gentle Philario, lurks, methinks, behind.

Phil. Most noble lord ! it were his loftiest boast
To wed your honours to his harp. To hymn
The finder of the philosophic stone,
The sovereign prince of alchymists; 'twould make
The cold verse-mechanist, the nice balancer
Of curious words and fair compacted phrases.
Burst to a liquid and melodious flow,
Rapturous and ravishing but in praise of thee!
But I, my lord, that have the fluent vein,
The rapid rush

Faz. Fie, sir! O fie! 'tis fulsome.
Sir, there's a soil fit for that rank weed flattery
To trail its poisonous and obscene clusters:
A poet's soul should bear a richer fruitage—
The aconite grew not in Eden. Thou,
That thou, with lips tipt with the fire of heaven,
Th' excursive eye, that in its earth-wide range
Drinks in the grandeur and the loveliness.
That breathes along this high-wrought world of man ;
That hast within thee apprehensions strong
Of all that's pure and passionless and heavenly —

1 8 FAZIO. [Act II.

That thou, a vapid and a mawkish parasite,
Should'st pipe to that witch Fortune's favourites!
'Tis coarse — 'tis sickly — 'tis as though the eagle
Should spread his sail-broad wings to flap a dunghill ;
As though a pale and withering pestilence
Should ride the golden chariot of the sun;
As one should use the language of the Gods
To chatter loose and ribald brothelry.

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