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Justinian, Eastern emperor . . . Bass
Belisarius, commander in chief of the army . . . Baritone
Antonina, wife of Belisarius . . . Soprano
Irene, their daughter . . . Mezzo-Soprano
Alamiro, prisoner of Belisarius . . . Tenor
Eudora, friend of Irene . . . Soprano
Eutropio, captain of the imperial guards . . . Tenor
Eusebio, custodian of the jail . . . Bass
Ottario, leader of the Alans and Bulgarians . . . Tenor
Senatorsi -- People -- Veterans -- Alans and Bulgarians
Maidens -- Shepherdesses of Mount Emo
Imperiali guards -- Goth Prisoners -- Greek Warriors -- Shepherds of Mount Emo
The action takes place partly in Bysantium, partly in the vicinity of Mount Emo.
The time is 580 A.D.
ATRIUM IN THE INTERIOR OF THE IMPERIAL PALACE A throne on the right-hand side; the city of Byzantium is seen through the pillars. Senators coming from the Palace, people from various parts.
Let us adorn with laurel the brow of the valiant, in-
vincible Belisarius, the glory of our age.
Through whom Byzantium became the rival of Rome:
His name will be handed down to the remotest ages.
Enter Irene, Eudora and Ladies
Oh! Come - let us hasten to the banks
And greet the brave warrior on his arrival,
Behold! The people flock from all quarters;
Listen to the shouts of the joyous multitude;
The trumpets and drums unite their sounds
With the song of triumph,
Saluting the august banner
Which has spread terror among the enemy.
On the invincible hand of the conqueror,
I shall impring a fervent kiss
And, pressing my noble parent to my ***,
I shall be the happiest woman that ever lived;
A tender weeping cuts short
The accents on my timid lips;
But these tears - more eloquent
This silence - tells all.
Heaven will grant happy and glorious days
To the inhabitants of the Bosphorus
Enter Antonia and Eutropio
Praise! Joyous voices!
The infatuated people
Hasten to welcome the arrival
Of your husband.
My husband! A parricide!
Oh! What did you say?
Listen, and let my words
Be a pledge of my wrath.
His servant, that wretched man Proclus, dying
Told me that Belisarius ordered him
To kill our son - he took the boy
Far from Byzantium and raised the sword to slay him.
But from his hand it fell,
And struck with horror, he fled,
And left him on the shore
To the wild beasts a prey,
And to the fury of the waves.
What do I hear? Ah, unnatural father!
I pity you.
My grief knows no bounds,
Even the tomb is denied to me -
Even the ashes of my son -
Ah! these eyes with tears
Shall ever as from a living fountain flow!
Oh God! A more miserable mother
The earth does not contain!
Comfort yourself: the cruel man
Shall pay for the excess of his crime;
But, remember, that your hand
Was promised as a reward for my love.
Now tell me: has the plot been contrived?
It has: a faithful and experienced
Hand has forged the writing.
Then I shall be revenged.
I have shed bitter tears,
But others must
Shed the last drop of Blood.
Nevertheless it will be proper
For you to go forward and meet him.
[The imperial Guards range themselves
around the Atrium.]
Antonina and Eutropio exit
Enter Justinian and Guards
O Lord of armies, praised forever, praised
for ever be thy name! Your celestial aid led the
formidable chieftain to the fields of Italy, to the
destruction of the Goths, and added a new jewel
to my crown. [ascends the throne]
[Justinian and Guards. Triumph of Belisarius.
The procession is preceded bya military band, fol-
lowed by the People, Magistrates, and Senate:
the army of Belisarius. Warriors carrying the
trophies and spoils of the enemy, among which are
The crown and mantle of Vitiges, King of the
Let the hymn of victory rend the air,
across the ocean to the Northern shores, and thun-
der these words: `There exists a Belisarius' -
Which name strikes the Barbarians with dismay.
[Belisarius upon a richly ornamented chariot, a wreath of laurel adorns his forehead, and a purple mantle thrown over his golden armor. The Goth prisoners, among whom is Alamiro, surround the chieftain; the veterans close the march.]
Invincible Belisarius, the glory of our age:
Your name shall be everlasting!
Sire, you have conquered:
And Italy, nature's loveliest land,
Is the fruit of victory.
Behold at your feet the rich spoils
And the youthful prisoners,
To whom fortune has been adverse.
If my deeds can claim a reward,
Let me implore mercy for them.
May the conqueror not'sue in vain to you,
In whom mercy is an innate virtue.
O Belisarius, you are formidable in war,
Humane in peace, and ever great!
I deliver them into your hands.
[Pointing to the prisoners and descending from the throne]
Let this be a day
Of universal joy!
[Exit, followed by the Magistrates, Senate, and the Guards. The troops and people leave by the back part of the stage.]
You are free. Farewell. What do I see?
[To the prisoners, who fall on their knees, with the exception of Alamiro. He raises them and they leave.]
Do you reject the boon, Alamiro?
I? I am grateful for it:
And have always told you,
Such strange power binds me to you
That freedom would be irksome far from you.
Remain then Be free. [embracing him]
I feel my heart moved with an unknown affection
And I can hardly guess the cause of
When they dragged you at my feet, loaded
with chains and covered with wounds, on the
Banks of the Trasimerus, your voice found a
response within my breast.
If I can Find a shelter under the rood of
Belisarious, I shall forget the injuries of an ad-
verse fate! I may at last find a tomb where I
Are you a Greek? Have you uttered the truth?
Who were your parents?
It is a mystery to me =96
I was brought up by a barbarian.
Who found me on the
Shores of the Bosphorus.
What induced this man to visit Greece?
A wish for plunder.
You are no longer forsaken and alone upon the earth
A serene day succeeds to a gloomy dawn.
I had a son, and I lost him!
I still lament his death.
Do you replace this child in my affection.
I your son - you, my father!
Ah, my heart overflows with joy!
In your home.
On the field of battle.
Always together. We will always be united ;
We will fight together in the rands of glory:
Let fortune smile or frown, I shall ever be my your side
I will share death or victory with you.
[An apartment in the palace of Belisarius. Irene and
Eudora from the opposite side.]
Have you seen Belisarius?
He has gone elsewhere,
Perhaps to the temple=85
Let us seek him, for with extreme joy
My mother's heart, overpowered,
Remains without feeling.
Now that her mind is quieted,
and love. My soul exults in joy
At length I shall see my beloved father,
After my lengthened sorrows;
Now that, to Greece, has returned
The prince of valiant men =96
To whom the battle might be trusted,
The dread of his enemies,
His trophies, the vanquished proclaim
His prowess and power,
And call him on to triumph.
[Enter Ladies hastily]
Well! What news?
Your father returns towards his house.
Oh happiness! Where is my mother?
What happiness awaits her.
Perhaps in her great impatience
She has gone forth to meet him.
IRENE [to the attendants]
Tender consort, loving mother,
Cease now, cease to weep =96
No more fear, no more danger,
To you are restored husband and son;
Let us all return to joy again..
Let us all return to joy again.
Enter Belisarius, Eudora, Antonina and Ladies.
Father!.. [rushing into his arms]
Irene, Embrace me.
Behold me at last in your arms.
We ran to meet you.
But the heart of your
Consort could not sustain
The violent emotions, weak and faint.
Heavens! If my heart does not deceive me
In your sorrowful countenance I see the marks of grief.
[surprised at Antonina's troubled countenance]
Rather than those of joy?
What vexes you? New misfortunes?
Now =96 be of comfort,
You shall find your home as you left it:
Proclus alone has departed
This valley of tears and guilt.
[in a forcible tone of voice]
(Heaven pardon his faults.)
Enter Eutropio and Guards
The Emperor send me to you: your sword.
Are you serious?
This is no time for bold words!
Bend your haughty forehead
To the will of the Emperor.
And you dare?
Silence! I must needs obey =96 a brave man
Alone shall take the sword of Belisarius.
[he gives it to Alamiro]
Come! [to Eutropius with boldness]
Permit me, sir!
[wishing to follow Belisarius, who bids them to remain,
and exit with Eutropius and Guards.]
EUDORA and LADIES
(My vengeance begins!)
I am struck with horror!. [Leaves] SCENE V The Senate House
[On one side several seats, among which one higher for the Emperor; a table upon which are some papers, the book of laws, and a Sword.]
What can it mean? Why so speedily sum-
moned here? Does any misfortune threaten
Is the emperor's peace disturbed
Or our country in danger?
But the Prince advances in silence, and alone;
A deep grief is written on his countenance, what can it be?
Enter Justinian. [Justinian takes his seat, and by his
desire the Senators do the same.]
Supporters of my throne, a sad event
Has all my joy destroyed - Hither brought
Accused of a horrible crime
Which to hear of - to see - merely to see
Will fill your souls with horror!
Behold, he comes.
[Enter Belisarius escorted by Soldiers, and Eutropio on the
Let the count open its sitting.
[A Senator sits by the table, Eutropio places himself by
I charge Belisarius with high treason.
What do I hear?
On the close of this triumphant day,
The rebellious squadrons,
Which he had bribed and seduced,
Destroying the established law, and taking the life of the
These rebellious squadrons were to adorn his brow with
[the imperial crown]
In support of my charge
I produce his own handwriting.
[pointing to the papers on the table.]
Let me see them - it is true, it is my own handwriting.
[after having read] A horrible inexplicable treachery!
These are the papers I sent from the field of battle
to my wife, but an infernal fury
Added other words
To the affectionate ones which love suggested.
My wife can explain the truth
But justice will clear the dark calumny.
The sentiments of love and hatred are known to me.
Let her come.
[Enter Antonina followed by Irene and Alamiro]
Daughter, consort,, you can hardly believe it..
A contrary fate ledb me through
The path of triumph to death.
Behold! On these papers,
Which you must have mislaid:
Some enemy has written in my hand
These traitorus words =96 read!
[gives the letters to Antonina]
Say if you received,
Lady, in this state, from me.
Yes! [encouraged by a look from Eutropio]
[Thunderstruck; Irene, Alamiro, Justinian
and Senators expressing their suprise
Is he guilty?
I have uttered the truth.
Wife,and you dare attest?
Belisarius is a Criminal
[except Antonian and Eutropio]
By whom am I betrayed?
I yield to my excess of grief.
Does not the glorious sun shudder
At such wickedness?
(My maternal grief will give me courage
Let the wretch be punished, and then may I die at once.)
(My tortured heart
Is too overpowered with sorrow,
May the bright sun withdraw it rays
From such a scene of horror!)
(Tis a monstrous unheard of crime =96
It fills me with wrath and grief,
May the bright sun withdraw!)
(May her maternal grief inspire her with courage.)
(Alas! The sun will set dim and dark for us!)
You are a mother and a wife
[leading his daughter before Antonina]
But this infamous accusation robs me at once of life
And honor, and my daughter of a father!
If conjugal affection was silent for me in you breast
Could nature stifle its feeling in your treacherous heart?
[Turning to the Senators] He appeals to nature,
And that impious man trampled it under his feet!
Proclus disclosed the horrible mystery at his death bed.
[He staggers, and covers his face with the expression
of utmost terror.]
He shudders with horror!
He covers his face=85
That monster murdered his own son.
A parricide also!
Irene, Alamiro, Justinian, and Senators
Oh miserable day!
[Justinian and the Senators get up from their seats and
surround Belisarius, expressing their horror of him:
Belisarius is so far overpowered as to be unable to speak:
He entreats, by his gestures, the Emperor and Senators
to repress their feeling of horror, and to hear him:
Then he addresses them with a faltering voice.]
I dreamt of a formidable warrior among the barbarous nations
Threatening to overthrow the foundations of the Grecian
I asked who he was, and I heard the name of my son.
My blood ran cold through my veins, my hair stood on end!
A man endowed with the gift of prophecy, interpreted the
And predicted that my offspring would prove fatal to the east
Danger made me cruel
Nature raised a cry, and my son fell a corpse.
Oh horrible day!
Death to the monster who offended nature =96
Heaven and Earth cry down vengeance on his head!
It is not the consort, but the cruel parricide
Who alone can appease by his death my just fury!
Alas! Wherever I turn my looks, Wherever I direct
I behold the unrevenged shade of my son =96
His voice, his last groans,
Pierce through my heart!
The fatal hour is approaching,
Cruel consort, prepare the axe!
Do you at least, oh my daughter,
Shed a tear over my tomb, throw a flower on your father's grave
If offended nature proclaim me guilty, [to the Senate]
If deemed worthy of death,
Let Greece be silent, the holy love of my native country
Made me a parricide!
(Nature has overthrown its laws
A wife calls him guilty of death!
Alas, my father's star is setting
All is consternation and horror!)
(The rigor of the law
Is now depending over the devoted head:
His crime led him to the grave,
Love and vengeance hurled him into it.)
The tempest is approaching, the sky is lowering!
The clashing of the thunderbolt is heard
And in the midst of the storm, the star of the East grows dim
All is grief, fright, and horror!)
[Belasarius is carried away by the Guards; Irene and Almiro follow him mournfully, Antonina and Eutropio exit on the opposite side. Justinian and the Senators remain in the attitude of the deepest sorrow.]
A REMOTE SPOT OUTSIDE OF BYZANTIUM.
ON ONE SIDE THE ENTRANCE TO THE PRISONS.
[Many veteran soldiers, and Some of the people forming groups.]
Oh horrible condemnation!
Oh fatal day!
Is this the reward of thy victory! Enter Alamiro
Do you sorrow, oh my friends!
You weep for Belisarius! Ah! then the report was false
That the emperor had commuted into an exile
The sentence of death passed upon Belisarius!
A cruel sentence, suggessted by malice,
And not by justice, to the Senate.
You have heard the truth! But as yet the report
Of the worst has not reached you; listen!
It was ordained by the emperor that Belisarius
Should never more look on him;
Eutropio, inspired by a fiend, through a sanguinary fraud,
Perverted the order.
What did the monster attempt?
He deprived the warrior of his eye-sight.
[Struck with horror, covers his face with both his hands.]
My heart is filled with dismay at this fatal intelligence!
Astonishment and grief dry the sources of my tears!
May daylight vanish from by eyes
And the dark nightwhich surround him,
Envelope me also in its gloom
That I may not witness the painful sight of the brave warrior!
His daughter approaches!
How unhappy she looks~ Enter Irene, Eudora and Ladies.
You grief and despair indicate you
know about the atrocious event.
Alas! But too well!
Who will guide the steps of the wounded
And betrayed man to his exile?
Let it be so!
Another duty devolves on me, and it shall be fulfilled.
(It was not in vain that Belisarius gave me this sword!
I shall revenge the trecherous plot, and his unjust banishment.)
Fatherless daughter, Irene, farewell: speak often of me to your father
(Her sufferings add to my own,
Her tears break my heart.)
Tremble, Byzantium! A war of extermination
Shall level thy walls ot the ground
And torrents of blood shall atone
For every tear of the unfortunate man!
Ah, your very presence, o, wretched father,
Will break my heart!
He must be a tiger, or be destitute of feeling
Who does not pity the forlorn creature.
My friends, we must part! I trust
My mother to your care..
Do not weep: my situation will require courage,
When I shall be far from you!
May the remembrance of my misfortunes
Cause you to shed a tear of affection for me.
[she embraces them]
May heaven prove friendly to you. [to all who depart in tears. She remains
for a moment in mournful silence,
Until the clash of the iron gates of the prison
start her from her reverie.] The mournful gates open.
Who comes? Oh, cruel sight!
[steppiing backward, in dismay.] Enter Belisarius, Eusebio and Guards.
Here I breathe a purer air! Ah I am
Then taken out of my dungeon.
[his eyes are covered with a black band.]
(Ah! I dare not look at him!)
A troop of soldiers is here at hand
To escort you to the northern borders. [Irene give a paper to Eustabio, who reads it with surprise.] Beliasrius, a person has been sent,
by royal command to accompany you to your exile.
(My heart is moved with pity, sorrow and astonishment!
Ah! heaven sent child!)
Oh! You who are to be the guiding star in the dark gloomy night
Which forever closes my eyes.
Where are you?
[Irene gives him her hand.]
Will you then follow me in my exile? Ah!
Know doubt you much likewise be happy
Since you feel for me!
(My supresses tears
Prevent the utterance of speech!)
Hasten to my dwelling;
I shall wait here for your speedy return.
Oh! God to see her!
My lips, my very lips cannot express the harshness of my sentence.
If I am not allowed to see my daughter for the last time.
I wish to listen to the sound of her voice.
Lead her here
That I may press her to my ***!
Let it not be forbidden
For a father to bless his miserable child.
(Ah! who for pity's sake=97who assists=97
Who supports me in this fatal hour?
I faint=97the excess of grief overpowers me
Ah! my life will be
A life of wretchedness.)
Go, guide her to my arms
[She kisses his hand and bathes it with her tears.]
What! Do you weep?
Father! [Falling on her knees.]
Oh God! Her voice
Is it my daughter?
At your feet.
Arise, Irene, embrace your father. Can it be true?
It is I=97
With me! Ah! if I could weep
My tears would not flow from grief; I would shed those of joy!
I am no longer miserable,
Oh my daughter! Near you.
I wish to follow you=97to share your cruel fate,
The sufferings of the exile, the fatigues of the journey,
And sink into the grave with you, oh, my father!
But you will often be exposed to penury,
And destitute of food and home,
If you follow your unfortunate father.
A cavern will shelter me=97
The fruit of the forest will be my food=97
The fountain shall quench my thirst!
But alone through dreary deserts!
Am I not with you?
If more oppressed by sorrow than by age,
IThe old man should die?
I shall then emplore the father of orphans
Come then!. You are the angel [moved]
You are the guide of my days!
You admidst the darkness that surround me
Are the light of the betrayed father, and dearer to me than life.
Oh God! Who affords consolation [turning up her eyes to heaven]
To those who suffer unjustly,
Send down a ray of celestial favor upon us;
For my father I implore you,
Oh God of peace and love.
[they depart, under the escort of the Guards.]
IN THE BACKGROUND THE SUMMIT
OF MOUNT EMO. THE FOREGROUND IS
INTERSPERSED WITH TREES AND
[Enter Belisarius, without any bandage over his eyes
and Irene; both advance slowly, like persons
tired from a long journey.]
Here rest yourself, oh father! And repose
Your wearied limbs
After your most painful journey.
[helping him to sit upon a rock; she places
herself at his feet, reclining her head on his knee.]
[with bitterness and patting her head.]
I am sorry for you - Ah! the star
Which shone so bright at your birth,
Has vansihed with my sight!
[a sound of trumpets is heard, which is
repeated by the surrounding rocks.]
I hear the mountains echo, and the valleys
Sound by the clang of barbarous instruments.
[Irene climbs a rock, to reconnoiter.]
Then the report is true, that numbers
of barbarians are hastening from the Emo.
And that the Emperor's armies are
Marching to stop their course?
What do you see?
A large band of armed me is
Rapidly advancing this way. Ah! father [turning to Belisarius]
Let us fly.
Belisarius has hever fled.
Will you please retire to this cavern.
[she leads him to a hollow cavern at the foot
of the rock.]
[A horde of Alans and Bulgarians descend from the
Summit of Mount Emo. Alamiro and Ottario head them.
To the sound of harsh instruments they sing
The following Chorus, which the echo repeats.]
Let the terrible war-cry be raised everywhere:
The earth tremble - Heaven resound.
And let the shock of our strength strike
The hearts of the Greeks with terror.
[Belisarius and Irene appear at the entrance to the cavern]
The cloud we observed at a distance
Conceals the army which draws near
The Greek Emperor;
The hour for battle approaches.
It is Alamiro. [in a whisper to each other.]
And do you think they will be faithful to us?
Yes, no sooner do they hear the name of Belisarius.
Than the brave soldiers who have grown old
Under the banners of the invincible Chieftain,
Will be our companions
And fight to redress our wrongs.
Then let us meet the enemy.
To arms! Raise the war-cry, to arms.
[throwing away his staff and assuming an imposing attitude.]
Ah! do I press your knees?
Away, you are not worthy to touch the dust I walk on:
You make my name the instrument of an unjust war,
FAnd you dared call me a father! And you are a Greek?
Your words inflict a deeper wound that the most deadly weapon
I never uttered a falsehood.
I was found on the shores of Greece
By a Vandalian mariner.
Ah! what do you say?
Why so astonished? Why do you tremble?
[still leaning on Irene's shoulder.]
Oh father, on the day
That my mother left the fatal assembly of senators,
She disclosed to me that your servant did not ***
The young Alexis but that he
abandoned him on the seashore.
What do I hear?
I have uttered the truth.
[he take out of his *** a chain, from which hangs a cross.]
I swear on this noble symbol of faith
Which I have worn from my infancy.
There is a motto on one side:
You will conquer by this sign.
Alexis's mother hung the divine cross round his neck on the
day of his birth
And the pious motto was thereon engraved.
Belisarius, Irene and Alamiro
Could it be! Oh what a moment!
I lack words, My heart overflows with joy!
Say on..What shore di the Barbarian find you?
Where the Pontus joins the waves of the majestic Bosphorus.
There it was!
Cease throbbing, oh my poor heart!
Had you no other pledge of this event
Now I remember the Vandalian
Found this dagger near me.
Oh could I but see!
Show it to me.
Is there a Roman figure engraved on the hilt?
Julius sacrificing his own children.
It is my own! It is my dagger!
There is no doubt.
Am I the son of Belisarius?
Alexis=97here. [Stretching out his arms to embrace him.]
Oh happy day!
Alamiro now Alexis, throws himself into his father's arms,
who lays the right hand on the head of his son; Irene
embraces her brother tenderly. A Similar
movement from the Barbarian]
Son/Brother/ Father I embrace you at last.
All my wisher are fulfulled. I despise your thunders
Oh cruel fate. Heaven unfolds itself in this
My children, let us depart:
Here the air is infected with dark mists,
But the wind will soon disperse them.
Ottario e CORO
Stay restore our captain to us!
A mutual oath binds us until Byzanti;um
Be leveled to the ground.
What do I hear?
And we will never infringe
The inviolable condition.
Did you swear? [To Alexis who stands speechless by him.]
Answer me. Did you swear? [with force.]
It is true, I did. Death alone can break the oath
That binds me to him: then let me die.
Stay.. [Stopping his arm]
Do you not stay his arm? [Shaking Belisarius by the arm.]
I am blind.
Live: I release you from the sacred promise.
[Ottario disarms Alexis and pushes him towards Belisarius]
We carry death to our enemies
The doom of Greece is fixed.
Belisarius will not be among them.
Your hopes will be frustrated:
God directs the fate of Greece:
Every Greek will be a Belisarius
When fighting for his country
[The trumpets of the Barbarians sound
And they depart with Ottario, their captain.
Belisarius with his children exit by the same gate
But by a different road.]
THE TENT OF
On drawing the curtain the summit of Mount Emo
Is discovered in the distance.
Justinian and Guards
Go, and acquaint the captain with my arrival here,
And that the next day is fixed for the battle.
Enter Antonina. [Pale and disheveled]
Who do I see?
An impious woman.
To disclose a horrible crime.
And will you ever open your lips to accuse?
Oh, had death but closed them for ever,
When they opened to tell an infamous falshood.
Llisten, oh Sire, and you will be struck with horror
The great man, whom I dare no longer call my consorte is innocent
What say you?
A treacherous hand forged his writing:
Eutropio was the instrument of the treachery.
Ah, you shall die, both of you, wretched creatures!
It is just: I wish for it=97
I am going in quest of him through these rocks:
I wish to die but repentant at his feet:
Could I thus avert the terrible threat
of the eternal punishment!
May the grave and not the infernal regions receive me
I am become hateful to every being:
I hold myself in abhorrence.
Since the day that I plunged the innocent man
Into a gulf of miseries:
Since that fatal day on which I betrayed my husband.
The hope of pardon alone sustaitns me.
[a noise is heard without the tent and cries of victory]
Voices from inside
The air resounds with shouts of joy!
What can it be? Let us see.
[Irene surrounded by Shepherds of Mount Emo, and
the Imperial Guards and the same.]
Happy tidings for both of us.
Your son is not dead!
What do you say?
You can embrace him in Alamiro.
Heavens! Am I in my senses! Do you not decieve me?
The enemy has been put to flight. [to Justinian]
Your surprise will be great when you hear
The name of the conqkueror.
Oh joy! - Oh Belisarius.
Ah! before I die
I may shed a tear of joy!
[a mournful sound of trumpets is heard at a distance.
A presentiment of misfortune prevades everybody's mind.]
The air resounds with cries and lamentations!
The trumpet re-echoes mournful sounds!
An unknown terro fills my heart!
Weep; I bring you sad tidings.
An arrow, shot from the fugitive horde,
Struck him as dead.
What an unexpected misery!
They bring him..
SCENE THE LAST
Belisarius is carried on the shields of the Veterans
And Guards accompanied by the sound of a funeral march
[except Belisarius] Mournful sight.
[running to her father] Alas, miserable creature.
Oh, heaven, spread with darkness the firmament.
[with a stiffled voice, and pressing his hannd]
To you, oh Sire! I entrust the fate of my
Children, remember, in the hour of=97death.
I will be a father to them!
[falling at the feet of Belisarius. Who attempts to raise
himself, but is seized with tremor, and dies.]
He has expired!
[general silence. Antonina is speechless, looking dis-
tractedly at the corpse of Belisarius.]
He is dead, and did not utter a word
of pardon to me: hearing the sound of my voice,
Perhaps he cursed me within his heart, perhaps he accuses me before Heaven!
Ah! take my life,
For death alone can put an end to my sufferings.
Abbhorred by every mortal, accursed by Heaven=97
Live, impious woman, and feel all the evils of Avernus
May heaven prove adverse to you: [upon this earth]
The daylight deprive you of its blessing;
And may every instant of your life prove a cruel death to you.
Angry Heaven! You have let lose your fury!
My remorse has no hope!
My grief is not relieved by tears=97
Despised, spurned and cursed by my own children'
Every moment of my life is a torment to me.
Alexis and Irene
My misfortune is complete!
Heaven has robbed me of everything.
[a general movement of horror.]
END OF THE OPERA