The Duchess of Padua
A large corridor in the Ducal Palace: a window (L.C.) looks out on a view of Padua by
moonlight: a staircase (R.C.) leads up to a door with a portiere of crimson velvet, with
the Duke's arms embroidered in gold on it: on the lowest step of the staircase a figure
draped in black is sitting: the hall is lit by an iron cresset filled with burning tow:
thunder and lightning outside: the time is night.
[Enter GUIDO through the window.]
The wind is rising: how my ladder shook!
I thought that every gust would break the cords!
[Looks out at the city.]
Christ! What a night:
Great thunder in the heavens, and wild lightnings
Striking from pinnacle to pinnacle
Across the city, till the dim houses seem
To shudder and to shake as each new glare
Dashes adown the street.
[Passes across the stage to foot of staircase.]
Ah! who art thou
That sittest on the stair, like unto Death
Waiting a guilty soul? [A pause.]
Canst thou not speak?
Or has this storm laid palsy on thy tongue,
And chilled thy utterance?
[The figure rises and takes off his mask.]
Thy murdered father laughs for joy to-night.
What, art thou here?
Ay, waiting for your coming.