The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Part 3 out of 31
(She lays aside her mantilla. The music of the cachucha is
played, and the dance begins. The ARCHBISHOP and the CARDINAL
look on with gravity and an occasional frown; then make signs to
each other; and, as the dance continues, become more and more
pleased and excited; and at length rise from their seats, throw
their caps in the air, and applaud vehemently as the scene
SCENE III. -- The Prado. A long avenue of trees leading to the
gate of Atocha. On the right the dome and spires of a convent.
A fountain. Evening, DON CARLOS and HYPOLITO meeting.
Don C. Hola! good evening, Don Hypolito.
Hyp. And a good evening to my friend, Don Carlos.
Some lucky star has led my steps this way.
I was in search of you.
Don. C. Command me always.
Hyp. Do you remember, in Quevedo's Dreams,
The miser, who, upon the Day of Judgment,
Asks if his money-bags would rise?
Don C. I do;
But what of that?
Hyp. I am that wretched man.
Don C. You mean to tell me yours have risen empty?
Hyp. And amen! said my Cid the Campeador.
Don C. Pray, how much need you?
Hyp. Some half-dozen ounces,
Which, with due interest--
Don C. (giving his purse). What, am I a Jew
To put my moneys out at usury?
Here is my purse.
Hyp. Thank you. A pretty purse.
Made by the hand of some fair Madrilena;
Perhaps a keepsake.
Don C. No, 't is at your service.
Hyp. Thank you again. Lie there, good Chrysostom,
And with thy golden mouth remind me often,
I am the debtor of my friend.
Don C. But tell me,
Come you to-day from Alcala?
Hyp. This moment.
Don C. And pray, how fares the brave Victorian?
Hyp. Indifferent well; that is to say, not well.
A damsel has ensnared him with the glances
Of her dark, roving eyes, as herdsmen catch
A steer of Andalusia with a lazo.
He is in love.
Don C. And is it faring ill
To be in love?
Hyp. In his case very ill.
Don C. Why so?
Hyp. For many reasons. First and foremost,
Because he is in love with an ideal;
A creature of his own imagination;
A child of air; an echo of his heart;
And, like a lily on a river floating,
She floats upon the river of his thoughts!
Don C. A common thing with poets. But who is
This floating lily? For, in fine, some woman,
Some living woman,--not a mere ideal,--
Must wear the outward semblance of his thought.
Who is it? Tell me.
Hyp. Well, it is a woman!
But, look you, from the coffer of his heart
He brings forth precious jewels to adorn her,
As pious priests adorn some favorite saint
With gems and gold, until at length she gleams
One blaze of glory. Without these, you know,
And the priest's benediction, 't is a doll.
Don C. Well, well! who is this doll?
Hyp. Why, who do you think?
Don C. His cousin Violante.
Hyp. Guess again.
To ease his laboring heart, in the last storm
He threw her overboard, with all her ingots.
Don C. I cannot guess; so tell me who it is.
Hyp. Not I.
Don. C. Why not?
Hyp. (mysteriously). Why? Because Mari Franca
Was married four leagues out of Salamanca!
Don C. Jesting aside, who is it?
Don C. Impossible! The Count of Lara tells me
She is not virtuous.
Hyp. Did I say she was?
The Roman Emperor Claudius had a wife
Whose name was Messalina, as I think;
Valeria Messalina was her name.
But hist! I see him yonder through the trees,
Walking as in a dream.
Don C. He comes this way.
Hyp. It has been truly said by some wise man,
That money, grief, and love cannot be hidden.
(Enter VICTORIAN in front.)
Vict. Where'er thy step has passed is holy ground!
These groves are sacred! I behold thee walking
Under these shadowy trees, where we have walked
At evening, and I feel thy presence now;
Feel that the place has taken a charm from thee,
And is forever hallowed.
Hyp. Mark him well!
See how he strides away with lordly air,
Like that odd guest of stone, that grim Commander
Who comes to sup with Juan in the play.
Don C. What ho! Victorian!
Hyp. Wilt thou sup with us?
Vict. Hola! amigos! Faith, I did not see you.
How fares Don Carlos?
Don C. At your service ever.
Vict. How is that young and green-eyed Gaditana
That you both wot of?
Don C. Ay, soft, emerald eyes!
She has gone back to Cadiz.
Hyp. Ay de mi!
Vict. You are much to blame for letting her go back.
A pretty girl; and in her tender eyes
Just that soft shade of green we sometimes see
In evening skies.
Hyp. But, speaking of green eyes,
Are thine green?
Vict. Not a whit. Why so?
Hyp. I think
The slightest shade of green would be becoming,
For thou art jealous.
Vid. No, I am not jealous.
Hyp. Thou shouldst be.
Hyp. Because thou art in love.
And they who are in love are always jealous.
Therefore thou shouldst be.
Vict. Marry, is that all?
Farewell; I am in haste. Farewell, Don Carlos.
Thou sayest I should be jealous?
Hyp. Ay, in truth
I fear there is reason. Be upon thy guard.
I hear it whispered that the Count of Lara
Lays siege to the same citadel.
Then he will have his labor for his pains.
Hyp. He does not think so, and Don Carlos tells me
He boasts of his success.
Vict. How's this, Don Carlos?
Don. C. Some hints of it I heard from his own lips.
He spoke but lightly of the lady's virtue,
As a gay man might speak.
Vict. Death and damnation!
I'll cut his lying tongue out of his mouth,
And throw it to my dog! But no, no, no!
This cannot be. You jest, indeed you jest.
Trifle with me no more. For otherwise
We are no longer friends. And so, fare well!
Hyp. Now what a coil is here! The Avenging Child
Hunting the traitor Quadros to his death,
And the Moor Calaynos, when he rode
To Paris for the ears of Oliver,
Were nothing to him! O hot-headed youth!
But come; we will not follow. Let us join
The crowd that pours into the Prado. There
We shall find merrier company; I see
The Marialonzos and the Almavivas,
And fifty fans, that beckon me already.
SCENE IV. -- PRECIOSA'S chamber. She is sitting, with a book in
her hand, near a table, on which are flowers. A bird singing in
its cage. The COUNT OF LARA enters behind unperceived.
All are sleeping, weary heart!
Thou, thou only sleepless art!
Heigho! I wish Victorian were here.
I know not what it is makes me so restless!
(The bird sings.)
Thou little prisoner with thy motley coat,
That from thy vaulted, wiry dungeon singest,
Like thee I am a captive, and, like thee,
I have a gentle jailer. Lack-a-day!
All are sleeping, weary heart!
Thou, thou only sleepless art!
All this throbbing, all this aching,
Evermore shall keep thee waking,
For a heart in sorrow breaking
Thinketh ever of its smart!
Thou speakest truly, poet! and methinks
More hearts are breaking in this world of ours
Than one would say. In distant villages
And solitudes remote, where winds have wafted
The barbed seeds of love, or birds of passage
Scattered them in their flight, do they take root,
And grow in silence, and in silence perish.
Who hears the falling of the forest leaf?
Or who takes note of every flower that dies?
Heigho! I wish Victorian would come.
(Turns to lay down her boot and perceives the COUNT.)
Lara. Senora, pardon me.
Prec. How's this? Dolores!
Lara. Pardon me--
Lara. Be not alarmed; I found no one in waiting.
If I have been too bold--
Prec. (turning her back upon him). You are too bold!
Retire! retire, and leave me!
Lara. My dear lady,
First hear me! I beseech you, let me speak!
'T is for your good I come.
Prec. (turning toward him with indignation). Begone! begone!
You are the Count of Lara, but your deeds
Would make the statues of your ancestors
Blush on their tombs! Is it Castilian honor,
Is it Castilian pride, to steal in here
Upon a friendless girl, to do her wrong?
O shame! shame! shame! that you, a nobleman,
Should be so little noble in your thoughts
As to send jewels here to win my love,
And think to buy my honor with your gold!
I have no words to tell you how I scorn you!
Begone! The sight of you is hateful to me!
Begone, I say!
Lara. Be calm; I will not harm you.
Prec. Because you dare not.
Lara. I dare anything!
Therefore beware! You are deceived in me.
In this false world, we do not always know
Who are our friends and who our enemies.
We all have enemies, and all need friends.
Even you, fair Preciosa, here at court
Have foes, who seek to wrong you.
Prec. If to this
I owe the honor of the present visit,
You might have spared the coming. Raving spoken,
Once more I beg you, leave me to myself.
Lara. I thought it but a friendly part to tell you
What strange reports are current here in town.
For my own self, I do not credit them;
But there are many who, not knowing you,
Will lend a readier ear.
Prec. There was no need
That you should take upon yourself the duty
Of telling me these tales.
Lara. Malicious tongues
Are ever busy with your name.
I've no protectors. I am a poor girl,
Exposed to insults and unfeeling jests.
They wound me, yet I cannot shield myself.
I give no cause for these reports. I live
Retired; am visited by none.
Lara. By none?
O, then, indeed, you are much wronged!
Prec. How mean you?
Lara. Nay, nay; I will not wound your gentle soul
By the report of idle tales.
Prec. Speak out!
What are these idle tales? You need not spare me.
Lara. I will deal frankly with you. Pardon me
This window, as I think, looks toward the street,
And this into the Prado, does it not?
In yon high house, beyond the garden wall,--
You see the roof there just above the trees,--
There lives a friend, who told me yesterday,
That on a certain night,--be not offended
If I too plainly speak,--he saw a man
Climb to your chamber window. You are silent!
I would not blame you, being young and fair--
(He tries to embrace her. She starts back, and draws a dagger
from her bosom.)
Prec. Beware! beware! I am a Gypsy girl!
Lay not your hand upon me. One step nearer
And I will strike!
Lara. Pray you, put up that dagger.
Prec. I do not fear. I have a heart
In whose strength I can trust.
Lara. Listen to me
I come here as your friend,--I am your friend,--
And by a single word can put a stop
To all those idle tales, and make your name
Spotless as lilies are. Here on my knees,
Fair Preciosa! on my knees I swear,
I love you even to madness, and that love
Has driven me to break the rules of custom,
And force myself unasked into your presence.
(VICTORIAN enters behind.)
Prec. Rise, Count of Lara! That is not the place
For such as you are. It becomes you not
To kneel before me. I am strangely moved
To see one of your rank thus low and humbled;
For your sake I will put aside all anger,
All unkind feeling, all dislike, and speak
In gentleness, as most becomes a woman,
And as my heart now prompts me. I no more
Will hate you, for all hate is painful to me.
But if, without offending modesty
And that reserve which is a woman's glory,
I may speak freely, I will teach my heart
To love you.
Lara. O sweet angel!
Prec. Ay, in truth,
Far better than you love yourself or me.
Lara. Give me some sign of this,--the slightest token.
Let me but kiss your hand!
Prec. Nay, come no nearer.
The words I utter are its sign and token.
Misunderstand me not! Be not deceived!
The love wherewith I love you is not such
As you would offer me. For you come here
To take from me the only thing I have,
My honor. You are wealthy, you have friends
And kindred, and a thousand pleasant hopes
That fill your heart with happiness; but I
Am poor, and friendless, having but one treasure,
And you would take that from me, and for what?
To flatter your own vanity, and make me
What you would most despise. O sir, such love,
That seeks to harm me, cannot be true love.
Indeed it cannot. But my love for you
Is of a different kind. It seeks your good.
It is a holier feeling. It rebukes
Your earthly passion, your unchaste desires,
And bids you look into your heart, and see
How you do wrong that better nature in you,
And grieve your soul with sin.
Lara. I swear to you,
I would not harm you; I would only love you.
I would not take your honor, but restore it,
And in return I ask but some slight mark
Of your affection. If indeed you love me,
As you confess you do, O let me thus
With this embrace--
Vict. (rushing forward). Hold! hold! This is too much.
What means this outrage?
Lara. First, what right have you
To question thus a nobleman of Spain?
Vict. I too am noble, and you are no more!
Out of my sight!
Lara. Are you the master here?
Vict. Ay, here and elsewhere, when the wrong of others
Gives me the right!
Prec. (to LARA). Go! I beseech you, go!
Vict. I shall have business with you, Count, anon!
Lara. You cannot come too soon!
O, we have been betrayed!
Vict. Ha! ha! betrayed!
'T is I have been betrayed, not we!--not we!
Prec. Dost thou imagine--
Vict. I imagine nothing;
I see how 't is thou whilest the time away
When I am gone!
Prec. O speak not in that tone!
It wounds me deeply.
Vict. 'T was not meant to flatter.
Prec. Too well thou knowest the presence of that man
Is hateful to me!
Vict. Yet I saw thee stand
And listen to him, when he told his love.
Prec. I did not heed his words.
Vict. Indeed thou didst,
And answeredst them with love.
Prec. Hadst thou heard all--
Vict. I heard enough.
Prec. Be not so angry with me.
Vict. I am not angry; I am very calm.
Prec. If thou wilt let me speak--
Vict. Nay, say no more.
I know too much already. Thou art false!
I do not like these Gypsy marriages!
Where is the ring I gave thee?
Prec. In my casket.
Vict. There let it rest! I would not have thee wear it:
I thought thee spotless, and thou art polluted!
Prec. I call the Heavens to witness--
Vict. Nay, nay, nay!
Take not the name of Heaven upon thy lips!
They are forsworn!
Prec. Victorian! dear Victorian!
Vict. I gave up all for thee; myself, my fame,
My hopes of fortune, ay, my very soul!
And thou hast been my ruin! Now, go on!
Laugh at my folly with thy paramour,
And, sitting on the Count of Lara's knee,
Say what a poor, fond fool Victorian was!
(He casts her from him and rushes out.)
Prec. And this from thee!
SCENE V. -- The COUNT OF LARA'S rooms. Enter the COUNT.
Lara. There's nothing in this world so sweet as love,
And next to love the sweetest thing is hate!
I've learned to hate, and therefore am revenged.
A silly girl to play the prude with me!
The fire that I have kindled--
What tidings from Don Juan?
Fran. Good, my lord;
He will be present.
Lara. And the Duke of Lermos?
Fran. Was not at home.
Lara. How with the rest?
Fran. I've found
The men you wanted. They will all be there,
And at the given signal raise a whirlwind
Of such discordant noises, that the dance
Must cease for lack of music.
Lara. Bravely done.
Ah! little dost thou dream, sweet Preciosa,
What lies in wait for thee. Sleep shall not close
Thine eyes this night! Give me my cloak and sword. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI. -- A retired spot beyond the city gates. Enter
VICTORIAN and HYPOLITO.
Vict. O shame! O shame! Why do I walk abroad
By daylight, when the very sunshine mocks me,
And voices, and familiar sights and sounds
Cry, "Hide thyself!" O what a thin partition
Doth shut out from the curious world the knowledge
Of evil deeds that have been done in darkness!
Disgrace has many tongues. My fears are windows,
Through which all eyes seem gazing. Every face
Expresses some suspicion of my shame,
And in derision seems to smile at me!
Hyp. Did I not caution thee? Did I not tell thee
I was but half persuaded of her virtue?
Vict. And yet, Hypolito, we may be wrong,
We may be over-hasty in condemning!
The Count of Lara is a cursed villain.
Hyp. And therefore is she cursed, loving him.
Vid. She does not love him! 'T is for gold! for gold!
Hyp. Ay, but remember, in the public streets
He shows a golden ring the Gypsy gave him,
A serpent with a ruby in its mouth.
Vict. She had that ring from me! God! she is false!
But I will be revenged! The hour is passed.
Where stays the coward?
Hyp. Nay, he is no coward;
A villain, if thou wilt, but not a coward.
I've seen him play with swords; it is his pastime.
And therefore be not over-confident,
He'll task thy skill anon. Look, here he comes.
(Enter LARA followed by FRNANCISCO)
Lara. Good evening, gentlemen.
Hyp. Good evening, Count.
Lara. I trust I have not kept you long in waiting.
Vict. Not long, and yet too long. Are you prepared?
Lara. I am.
Hyp. It grieves me much to see this quarrel
Between you, gentlemen. Is there no way
Left open to accord this difference,
But you must make one with your swords?
Vict. No! none!
I do entreat thee, dear Hypolito,
Stand not between me an my foe. Too long
Our tongues have spoken. Let these tongues of steel
End our debate. Upon your guard, Sir Count.
(They fight. VICTORIAN disarms the COUNT.)
Your life is mine; and what shall now withhold me
From sending your vile soul to its account?
Lara. Strike! strike!
Vict. You are disarmed. I will not kill you.
I will not murder you. Take up your sword.
(FRANCISCO hands the COUNT his sword, and HYPOLITO interposes.)
Hyp. Enough! Let it end here! The Count of Lara
Has shown himself a brave man, and Victorian
A generous one, as ever. Now be friends.
Put up your swords; for, to speak frankly to you,
Your cause of quarrel is too slight a thing
To move you to extremes.
Lara. I am content,
I sought no quarrel. A few hasty words,
Spoken in the heat of blood, have led to this.
Vict. Nay, something more than that.
Lara. I understand you.
Therein I did not mean to cross your path.
To me the door stood open, as to others.
But, had I known the girl belonged to you,
Never would I have sought to win her from you.
The truth stands now revealed; she has been false
To both of us.
Vict. Ay, false as hell itself!
Lara. In truth, I did not seek her; she sought me;
And told me how to win her, telling me
The hours when she was oftenest left alone.
Vict. Say, can you prove this to me? O, pluck out
These awful doubts, that goad me into madness!
Let me know all! all! all!
Lara. You shall know all.
Here is my page, who was the messenger
Between us. Question him. Was it not so,
Fran. Ay, my lord.
Lara. If further proof
Is needful, I have here a ring she gave me.
Vict. Pray let me see that ring! It is the same!
(Throws it upon the ground, and tramples upon it.)
Thus may she perish who once wore that ring!
Thus do I spurn her from me; do thus trample
Her memory in the dust! O Count of Lara,
We both have been abused, been much abused!
I thank you for your courtesy and frankness.
Though, like the surgeon's hand, yours gave me pain,
Yet it has cured my blindness, and I thank you.
I now can see the folly I have done,
Though 't is, alas! too late. So fare you well!
To-night I leave this hateful town forever.
Regard me as your friend. Once more farewell!
Hyp. Farewell, Sir Count.
[Exeunt VICTORIAN and HYPOLITO.
Lara. Farewell! farewell! farewell!
Thus have I cleared the field of my worst foe!
I have none else to fear; the fight is done,
The citadel is stormed, the victory won!
[Exit with FRANCISCO.
SCENE VII. -- A lane in the suburbs. Night. Enter CRUZADO and
Cruz. And so, Bartolome, the expedition failed. But where
wast thou for the most part?
Bart. In the Guadarrama mountains, near San Ildefonso.
Cruz. And thou bringest nothing back with thee? Didst thou
rob no one?
Bart. There was no one to rob, save a party of students from
Segovia, who looked as if they would rob us; and a jolly little
friar, who had nothing in his pockets but a missal and a loaf of
Cruz. Pray, then, what brings thee back to Madrid?
Bart. First tell me what keeps thee here?
Bart. And she brings me back. Hast thou forgotten thy
Cruz. The two years are not passed yet. Wait patiently. The
girl shall be thine.
Bart. I hear she has a Busne lover.
Cruz. That is nothing.
Bart. I do not like it. I hate him,--the son of a Busne
harlot. He goes in and out, and speaks with her alone, and I
must stand aside, and wait his pleasure.
Cruz. Be patient, I say. Thou shalt have thy revenge. When
the time comes, thou shalt waylay him.
Bart. Meanwhile, show me her house.
Cruz. Come this way. But thou wilt not find her. She dances
at the play to-night.
Bart. No matter. Show me the house.
SCENE VIII. -- The Theatre. The orchestra plays the cachucha.
Sound of castanets behind the scenes. The curtain rises, and
discovers PRECIOSA in the attitude of commencing the dance. The
cachucha. Tumult; hisses; cries of "Brava!" and "Afuera!" She
falters and pauses. The music stops. General confusion.
SCENE IX. -- The COUNT OF LARA'S chambers. LARA and his friends
Lara. So, Caballeros, once more many thanks!
You have stood by me bravely in this matter.
Pray fill your glasses.
Don J. Did you mark, Don Luis,
How pale she looked, when first the noise began,
And then stood still, with her large eyes dilated!
Her nostrils spread! her lips apart! Her bosom
Tumultuous as the sea!
Don L. I pitied her.
Lara. Her pride is humbled; and this very night
I mean to visit her.
Don J. Will you serenade her?
Lara. No music! no more music!
Don L. Why not music?
It softens many hearts.
Lara. Not in the humor
She now is in. Music would madden her.
Don J. Try golden cymbals.
Don L. Yes, try Don Dinero;
A mighty wooer is your Don Dinero.
Lara. To tell the truth, then, I have bribed her maid.
But, Caballeros, you dislike this wine.
A bumper and away; for the night wears.
A health to Preciosa.
(They rise and drink.)
Lara. (holding up his glass).
Thou bright and flaming minister of Love!
Thou wonderful magician! who hast stolen
My secret from me, and mid sighs of passion
Caught from my lips, with red and fiery tongue,
Her precious name! O nevermore henceforth
Shall mortal lips press thine; and nevermore
A mortal name be whispered in thine ear.
Go! keep my secret!
(Drinks and dashes the goblet down.)
Don J. Ite! missa est!
SCENE X. -- Street and garden wall. Night. Enter CRUZADO and
Cruz. This is the garden wall, and above it, yonder, is her
house. The window in which thou seest the light is her window.
But we will not go in now.
Bart. Why not?
Cruz. Because she is not at home.
Bart. No matter; we can wait. But how is this? The gate is
bolted. (Sound of guitars and voices in a neighboring street.)
Hark! There comes her lover with his infernal serenade! Hark!
Good night! Good night, beloved!
I come to watch o'er thee!
To be near thee,--to be near thee,
Alone is peace for me.
Thine eyes are stars of morning,
Thy lips are crimson flowers!
Good night! Good night beloved,
While I count the weary hours.
Cruz. They are not coming this way.
Bart. Wait, they begin again.
SONG (coming nearer).
Ah! thou moon that shinest
All night long enlighten
My sweet lady-love!
Moon that shinest,
All night long enlighten!
Bart. Woe be to him, if he comes this way!
Cruz. Be quiet, they are passing down the street.
SONG (dying away).
The nuns in the cloister
Sang to each other;
For so many sisters
Is there not one brother!
Ay, for the partridge, mother!
The cat has run away with the partridge!
Puss! puss! puss!
Bart. Follow that! follow that!
Come with me. Puss! puss!
(Exeunt. On the opposite side enter the COUNT OF LARA and
gentlemen, with FRANCISCO.)
Lara. The gate is fast. Over the wall, Francisco,
And draw the bolt. There, so, and so, and over.
Now, gentlemen, come in, and help me scale
Yon balcony. How now? Her light still burns.
Move warily. Make fast the gate, Francisco.
(Exeunt. Re-enter CRUZADO and BARTOLOME.)
Bart. They went in at the gate. Hark! I hear them in the
garden. (Tries the gate.) Bolted again! Vive Cristo! Follow me
over the wall.
(They climb the wall.)
SCENE XI. -- PRECIOSA'S bedchamber. Midnight. She is sleeping in
an armchair, in an undress. DOLORES watching her.
Dol. She sleeps at last!
(Opens the window, and listens.)
All silent in the street,
And in the garden. Hark!
Prec. (in her sleep). I must go hence!
Give me my cloak!
Dol. He comes! I hear his footsteps.
Prec. Go tell them that I cannot dance to-night;
I am too ill! Look at me! See the fever
That burns upon my cheek! I must go hence.
I am too weak to dance.
(Signal from the garden.)
Dol. (from the window). Who's there?
Voice (from below). A friend.
Dol. I will undo the door. Wait till I come.
Prec. I must go hence. I pray you do not harm me!
Shame! shame! to treat a feeble woman thus!
Be you but kind, I will do all things for you.
I'm ready now,--give me my castanets.
Where is Victorian? Oh, those hateful lamps!
They glare upon me like an evil eye.
I cannot stay. Hark! how they mock at me!
They hiss at me like serpents! Save me! save me!
How late is it, Dolores?
Dol. It is midnight.
Prec. We must be patient. Smooth this pillow for me.
(She sleeps again. Noise from the garden, and voices.)
Another Voice. O villains! villains!
Lara. So! have at you!
Voice. Take that!
Lara. O, I am wounded!
Dol. (shutting the window). Jesu Maria!
SCENE I. -- A cross-road through a wood. In the background a
distant village spire. VICTORIAN and HYPOLITO, as travelling
students, with guitars, sitting under the trees. HYPOLITO plays
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!
Of all that mankind may not rue!
To him who keeps most faith with thee.
Woe is me!
The falcon has the eyes of the dove.
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!
Vict. Yes, Love is ever busy with his shuttle,
Is ever weaving into life's dull warp
Bright, gorgeous flowers and scenes Arcadian;
Hanging our gloomy prison-house about
With tapestries, that make its walls dilate
In never-ending vistas of delight.
Hyp. Thinking to walk in those Arcadian pastures,
Thou hast run thy noble head against the wall.
Give us clearly to comprehend,
All thy pleasures, all thy sweets!
They are cheats,
Thorns below and flowers above.
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!
Vict. A very pretty song. I thank thee for it.
Hyp. It suits thy case.
Vict. Indeed, I think it does.
What wise man wrote it?
Hyp. Lopez Maldonado.
Vict. In truth, a pretty song.
Hyp. With much truth in it.
I hope thou wilt profit by it; and in earnest
Try to forget this lady of thy love.
Vict. I will forget her! All dear recollections
Pressed in my heart, like flowers within a book,
Shall be torn out, and scattered to the winds!
I will forget her! But perhaps hereafter,
When she shall learn how heartless is the world,
A voice within her will repeat my name,
And she will say, "He was indeed my friend!"
O, would I were a soldier, not a scholar,
That the loud march, the deafening beat of drums,
The shattering blast of the brass-throated trumpet,
The din of arms, the onslaught and the storm,
And a swift death, might make me deaf forever
To the upbraidings of this foolish heart!
Hyp. Then let that foolish heart upbraid no more!
To conquer love, one need but will to conquer.
Vict. Yet, good Hypolito, it is in vain
I throw into Oblivion's sea the sword
That pierces me; for, like Excalibar,
With gemmed and flashing hilt, it will not sink.
There rises from below a hand that grasp it,
And waves it in the air; and wailing voices
Are heard along the shore.
Hyp. And yet at last
Down sank Excalibar to rise no more.
This is not well. In truth, it vexes me.
Instead of whistling to the steeds of Time,
To make them jog on merrily with life's burden,
Like a dead weight thou hangest on the wheels.
Thou art too young, too full of lusty health
To talk of dying.
Vict. Yet I fain would die!
To go through life, unloving and unloved;
To feel that thirst and hunger of the soul
We cannot still; that longing, that wild impulse,
And struggle after something we have not
And cannot have; the effort to be strong
And, like the Spartan boy, to smile, and smile,
While secret wounds do bleed beneath our cloaks
All this the dead feel not,--the dead alone!
Would I were with them!
Hyp. We shall all be soon.
Vict. It cannot be too soon; for I am weary
Of the bewildering masquerade of Life,
Where strangers walk as friends, and friends as strangers;
Where whispers overheard betray false hearts;
And through the mazes of the crowd we chase
Some form of loveliness, that smiles, and beckons,
And cheats us with fair words, only to leave us
A mockery and a jest; maddened,--confused,--
Not knowing friend from foe.
Hyp. Why seek to know?
Enjoy the merry shrove-tide of thy youth!
Take each fair mask for what it gives itself,
Nor strive to look beneath it.
Vict. I confess,
That were the wiser part. But Hope no longer
Comforts my soul. I am a wretched man,
Much like a poor and shipwrecked mariner,
Who, struggling to climb up into the boat,
Has both his bruised and bleeding hands cut off,
And sinks again into the weltering sea,
Helpless and hopeless!
Hyp. Yet thou shalt not perish.
The strength of thine own arm is thy salvation.
Above thy head, through rifted clouds, there shines
A glorious star. Be patient. Trust thy star!
(Sound of a village belt in the distance.)
Vict. Ave Maria! I hear the sacristan
Ringing the chimes from yonder village belfry!
A solemn sound, that echoes far and wide
Over the red roofs of the cottages,
And bids the laboring hind a-field, the shepherd,
Guarding his flock, the lonely muleteer,
And all the crowd in village streets, stand still,
And breathe a prayer unto the blessed Virgin!
Hyp. Amen! amen! Not half a league from hence
The village lies.
Vict. This path will lead us to it,
Over the wheat-fields, where the shadows sail
Across the running sea, now green, now blue,
And, like an idle mariner on the main,
Whistles the quail. Come, let us hasten on.
SCENE II. -- Public square in the village of Guadarrama. The Ave
Maria still tolling. A crowd of villagers, with their hats in
their hands, as if in prayer. In front, a group of Gypsies. The
bell rings a merrier peal. A Gypsy dance. Enter PANCHO,
followed by PEDRO CRESPO.
Pancho. Make room, ye vagabonds and Gypsy thieves!
Make room for the Alcalde and for me!
Pedro C. Keep silence all! I have an edict here
From our most gracious lord, the King of Spain,
Jerusalem, and the Canary Islands,
Which I shall publish in the market-place.
Open your ears and listen!
(Enter the PADRE CURA at the door of his cottage.)
Good day! and, pray you, hear this edict read.
Padre C. Good day, and God be with you! Pray, what is it?
Pedro C. An act of banishment against the Gypsies!
(Agitation and murmurs in the crowd.)
Pedro C. (reads). "I hereby order and command,
That the Egyptian an Chaldean strangers,
Known by the name of Gypsies, shall henceforth
Be banished from the realm, as vagabonds
And beggars; and if, after seventy days,
Any be found within our kingdom's bounds,
They shall receive a hundred lashes each;
The second time, shall have their ears cut off;
The third, be slaves for life to him who takes them,
Or burnt as heretics. Signed, I, the King."
Vile miscreants and creatures unbaptized!
You hear the law! Obey and disappear!
Pancho. And if in seventy days you are not gone,
Dead or alive I make you all my slaves.
(The Gypsies go out in confusion, showing signs of fear and
discontent. PANCHO follows.)
Padre C. A righteous law! A very righteous law!
Pray you, sit down.
Pedro C. I thank you heartily.
(They seat themselves on a bench at the PADRE CURAS door. Sound
of guitars heard at a distance, approaching during the dialogue
A very righteous judgment, as you say.
Now tell me, Padre Cura,--you know all things,
How came these Gypsies into Spain?
Padre C. Why, look you;
They came with Hercules from Palestine,
And hence are thieves and vagrants, Sir Alcalde,
As the Simoniacs from Simon Magus,
And, look you, as Fray Jayme Bleda says,
There are a hundred marks to prove a Moor
Is not a Christian, so 't is with the Gypsies.
They never marry, never go to mass,
Never baptize their children, nor keep Lent,
Nor see the inside of a church,--nor--nor--
Pedro C. Good reasons, good, substantial reasons all!
No matter for the other ninety-five.
They should be burnt, I see it plain enough,
They should be bunt.
(Enter VICTORIAN and HYPOLITO playing.)
Padre C. And pray, whom have we here?
Pedro C. More vagrants! By Saint Lazarus, more vagrants!
Hyp. Good evening, gentlemen! Is this Guadarrama?
Padre C. Yes, Guadarrama, and good evening to you.
Hyp. We seek the Padre Cura of the village;
And, judging from your dress and reverend mien,
You must be he.
Padre C. I am. Pray, what's your pleasure?
Hyp. We are poor students, traveling in vacation.
You know this mark?
(Touching the wooden spoon in his hat-band.
Padre C. (joyfully). Ay, know it, and have worn it.
Pedro C. (aside). Soup-eaters! by the mass! The worst of vagrants!
And there's no law against them. Sir, your servant.
Padre C. Your servant, Pedro Crespo.
Hyp. Padre Cura,
Front the first moment I beheld your face,
I said within myself, "This is the man!"
There is a certain something in your looks,
A certain scholar-like and studious something,--
You understand,--which cannot be mistaken;
Which marks you as a very learned man,
In fine, as one of us.
Vict. (aside). What impudence!
Hyp. As we approached, I said to my companion,
"That is the Padre Cura; mark my words!"
Meaning your Grace. "The other man," said I,
Who sits so awkwardly upon the bench,
Must be the sacristan."
Padre C. Ah! said you so?
Why, that was Pedro Crespo, the alcalde!
Hyp. Indeed! you much astonish me! His air
Was not so full of dignity and grace
As an alcalde's should be.
Padre C. That is true.
He's out of humor with some vagrant Gypsies,
Who have their camp here in the neighborhood.
There's nothing so undignified as anger.
Hyp. The Padre Cura will excuse our boldness,
If, from his well-known hospitality,
We crave a lodging for the night.
Padre C. I pray you!
You do me honor! I am but too happy
To have such guests beneath my humble roof.
It is not often that I have occasion
To speak with scholars; and Emollit mores,
Nec sinit esse feros, Cicero says.
Hyp. 'T is Ovid, is it not?
Padre C. No, Cicero.
Hyp. Your Grace is right. You are the better scholar.
Now what a dunce was I to think it Ovid!
But hang me if it is not! (Aside.)
Padre C. Pass this way.
He was a very great man, was Cicero!
Pray you, go in, go in! no ceremony.
SCENE III. -- A room in the PADRE CURA'S house. Enter the PADRE
Padre C. So then, Senor, you come from Alcala.
I am glad to hear it. It was there I studied.
Hyp. And left behind an honored name, no doubt.
How may I call your Grace?
Padre C. Geronimo
De Santillana, at your Honor's service.
Hyp. Descended from the Marquis Santillana?
From the distinguished poet?
Padre C. From the Marquis,
Not from the poet.
Hyp. Why, they were the same.
Let me embrace you! O some lucky star
Has brought me hither! Yet once more!--once more!
Your name is ever green in Alcala,
And our professor, when we are unruly,
Will shake his hoary head, and say, "Alas!
It was not so in Santillana's time!"
Padre C. I did not think my name remembered there.
Hyp. More than remembered; it is idolized.
Padre C. Of what professor speak you?
Padre C. I don't remember any Timoneda.
Hyp. A grave and sombre man, whose beetling brow
O'erhangs the rushing current of his speech
As rocks o'er rivers hang. Have you forgotten?
Padre C. Indeed, I have. O, those were pleasant days,
Those college days! I ne'er shall see the like!
I had not buried then so many hopes!
I had not buried then so many friends!
I've turned my back on what was then before me;
And the bright faces of my young companions
Are wrinkled like my own, or are no more.
Do you remember Cueva?
Hyp. Cueva? Cueva?
Padre C. Fool that I am! He was before your time.
You're a mere boy, and I am an old man.
Hyp. I should not like to try my strength with you.
Padre C. Well, well. But I forget; you must be hungry.
Martina! ho! Martina! 'T is my niece.
Hyp. You may be proud of such a niece as that.
I wish I had a niece. Emollit mores.
He was a very great man, was Cicero!
Your servant, fair Martina.
Mart. Servant, sir.
Padre C. This gentleman is hungry. See thou to it.
Let us have supper.
Mart. 'T will be ready soon.
Padre C. And bring a bottle of my Val-de-Penas
Out of the cellar. Stay; I'll go myself.
Pray you. Senor, excuse me. [Exit.
Hyp. Hist! Martina!
One word with you. Bless me I what handsome eyes!
To-day there have been Gypsies in the village.
Is it not so?
Mart. There have been Gypsies here.
Hyp. Yes, and have told your fortune.
Mart. (embarrassed). Told my fortune?
Hyp. Yes, yes; I know they did. Give me your hand.
I'll tell you what they said. They said,--they said,
The shepherd boy that loved you was a clown,
And him you should not marry. Was it not?
Mart. (surprised). How know you that?
Hyp. O, I know more than that,
What a soft, little hand! And then they said,
A cavalier from court, handsome, and tall
And rich, should come one day to marry you,
And you should be a lady. Was it not!
He has arrived, the handsome cavalier.
(Tries to kiss her. She runs off. Enter VICTORIAN, with a
Vict. The muleteer has come.
Hyp. So soon?
Vict. I found him
Sitting at supper by the tavern door,
And, from a pitcher that he held aloft
His whole arm's length, drinking the blood-red wine.
Hyp. What news from Court?
Vict. He brought this letter only.
O cursed perfidy! Why did I let
That lying tongue deceive me! Preciosa,
Sweet Preciosa! how art thou avenged!
Hyp. What news is this, that makes thy cheek turn pale,
And thy hand tremble?
Vict. O, most infamous!
The Count of Lara is a worthless villain!
Hyp. That is no news, forsooth.
Vict. He strove in vain
To steal from me the jewel of my soul,
The love of Preciosa. Not succeeding,
He swore to be revenged; and set on foot
A plot to ruin her, which has succeeded.
She has been hissed and hooted from the stage,
Her reputation stained by slanderous lies
Too foul to speak of; and, once more a beggar,
She roams a wanderer over God's green earth
Housing with Gypsies!
Hyp. To renew again
The Age of Gold, and make the shepherd swains
Desperate with love, like Gasper Gil's Diana.
Redit et Virgo!
Vict. Dear Hypolito,
How have I wronged that meek, confiding heart!
I will go seek for her; and with my tears
Wash out the wrong I've done her!
Hyp. O beware!
Act not that folly o'er again.
Vict. Ay, folly,
Delusion, madness, call it what thou wilt,
I will confess my weakness,--I still love her!
Still fondly love her!
(Enter the PADRE CURA.)
Hyp. Tell us, Padre Cura,
Who are these Gypsies in the neighborhood?
Padre C. Beltran Cruzado and his crew.
Vict. Kind Heaven,
I thank thee! She is found! is found again!
Hyp. And have they with them a pale, beautiful girl,
Padre C. Ay, a pretty girl.
The gentleman seems moved.
Hyp. Yes, moved with hunger,
He is half famished with this long day's journey.
Padre C. Then, pray you, come this way. The supper waits.
SCENE IV. -- A post-house on the road to Segovia, not far from
the village of Guadarrama. Enter CHISPA, cracking a whip, and
singing the cachucha.
Chispa. Halloo! Don Fulano! Let us have horses, and quickly.
Alas, poor Chispa! what a dog's life dost thou lead! I thought,
when I left my old master Victorian, the student, to serve my
new master Don Carlos, the gentleman, that I, too, should lead the
life of a gentleman; should go to bed early, and get up late.
For when the abbot plays cards, what can you expect of the
friars? But, in running away from the thunder, I have run into
the lightning. Here I am in hot chase after my master and his
Gypsy girl. And a good beginning of the week it is, as he said
who was hanged on Monday morning.
(Enter DON CARLOS)
Don C. Are not the horses ready yet?
Chispa. I should think not, for the hostler seems to be
asleep. Ho! within there! Horses! horses! horses! (He knocks at
the gate with his whip, and enter MOSQUITO, putting on his
Mosq. Pray, have a little patience. I'm not a musket.
Chispa. Health and pistareens! I'm glad to see you come on
dancing, padre! Pray, what's the news?
Mosq. You cannot have fresh horses; because there are none.
Chispa. Cachiporra! Throw that bone to another dog. Do I look
like your aunt?
Mosq. No; she has a beard.
Chispa. Go to! go to!
Mosq. Are you from Madrid?
Chispa. Yes; and going to Estramadura. Get us horses.
Mosq. What's the news at Court?
Chispa. Why, the latest news is, that I am going to set up a
coach, and I have already bought the whip.
(Strikes him round the legs.)
Mosq. Oh! oh! You hurt me!
Don C. Enough of this folly. Let us have horses. (Gives
money to MOSQUITO.) It is almost dark; and we are in haste. But
tell me, has a band of Gypsies passed this way of late?
Mosq. Yes; and they are still in the neighborhood.
Don C. And where?
Mosq. Across the fields yonder, in the woods near Guadarrama.
Don C. Now this is lucky. We will visit the Gypsy camp.
Chispa. Are you not afraid of the evil eye? Have you a stag's
horn with you?
Don C. Fear not. We will pass the night at the village.
Chispa. And sleep like the Squires of Hernan Daza, nine under
Don C. I hope we may find the Preciosa among them.
Chispa. Among the Squires?
Don C. No; among the Gypsies, blockhead!
Chispa. I hope we may; for we are giving ourselves trouble
enough on her account. Don't you think so? However, there is no
catching trout without wetting one's trousers. Yonder come the
SCENE V. -- The Gypsy camp in the forest. Night. Gypsies
working at a forge. Others playing cards by the firelight.
Gypsies (at the forge sing).
On the top of a mountain I stand,
With a crown of red gold in my hand,
Wild Moors come trooping over the lea
O how from their fury shall I flee, flee, flee?
O how from their fury shall I flee?
First Gypsy (playing). Down with your John-Dorados, my pigeon.
Down with your John-Dorados, and let us make an end.
Gypsies (at the forge sing).
Loud sang the Spanish cavalier,
And thus his ditty ran;
God send the Gypsy lassie here,
And not the Gypsy man.
First Gypsy (playing). There you are in your morocco!
Second Gypsy. One more game. The Alcalde's doves against the
Padre Cura's new moon.
First Gypsy. Have at you, Chirelin.
Gypsies (at the forge sing).
At midnight, when the moon began
To show her silver flame,
There came to him no Gypsy man,
The Gypsy lassie came.
(Enter BELTRAN CRUZADO.)
Cruz. Come hither, Murcigalleros and Rastilleros; leave work,
leave play; listen to your orders for the night. (Speaking to
the right.) You will get you to the village, mark you, by the
Cruz. (to the left). And you, by the pole with the hermit's
head upon it.
Cruz. As soon as you see the planets are out, in with you, and
be busy with the ten commandments, under the sly, and Saint
Martin asleep. D'ye hear?
Cruz. Keep your lanterns open, and, if you see a goblin or a
papagayo, take to your trampers. Vineyards and Dancing John is
the word. Am I comprehended?
Gypsies. Ay! ay!
Cruz. Away, then!
(Exeunt severally. CRUZADO walks up the stage, and disappears
among the trees. Enter PRECIOSA.)
Prec. How strangely gleams through the gigantic trees
The red light of the forge! Wild, beckoning shadows
Stalk through the forest, ever and anon
Rising and bending with the flickering flame,
Then flitting into darkness! So within me
Strange hopes and fears do beckon to each other,
My brightest hopes giving dark fears a being
As the light does the shadow. Woe is me
How still it is about me, and how lonely!
(BARTOLOME rushes in.)
Bart. Ho! Preciosa!
Prec. O Bartolome!
Bart. Lo! I am here.
Prec. Whence comest thou?
Bart. From the rough ridges of the wild Sierra,
From caverns in the rocks, from hunger, thirst,
And fever! Like a wild wolf to the sheepfold.
Come I for thee, my lamb.
Prec. O touch me not!
The Count of Lara's blood is on thy hands!
The Count of Lara's curse is on thy soul!
Do not come near me! Pray, begone from here
Thou art in danger! They have set a price
Upon thy head!
Bart. Ay, and I've wandered long
Among the mountains; and for many days
Have seen no human face, save the rough swineherd's.
The wind and rain have been my sole companions.
I shouted to them from the rocks thy name,
And the loud echo sent it back to me,
Till I grew mad. I could not stay from thee,
And I am here! Betray me, if thou wilt.
Prec. Betray thee? I betray thee?
I come for thee! for thee I thus brave death!
Fly with me o'er the borders of this realm!
Fly with me!
Prec. Speak of that no more. I cannot.
I'm thine no longer.
Bart. O, recall the time
When we were children! how we played together,
How we grew up together; how we plighted
Our hearts unto each other, even in childhood!
Fulfil thy promise, for the hour has come.
I'm hunted from the kingdom, like a wolf!
Fulfil thy promise.
Prec. 'T was my father's promise.
Not mine. I never gave my heart to thee,
Nor promised thee my hand!
Bart. False tongue of woman!
And heart more false!
Prec. Nay, listen unto me.
I will speak frankly. I have never loved thee;
I cannot love thee. This is not my fault,
It is my destiny. Thou art a man
Restless and violent. What wouldst thou with me,
A feeble girl, who have not long to live,
Whose heart is broken? Seek another wife,
Better than I, and fairer; and let not
Thy rash and headlong moods estrange her from thee.
Thou art unhappy in this hopeless passion,
I never sought thy love; never did aught
To make thee love me. Yet I pity thee,
And most of all I pity thy wild heart,
That hurries thee to crimes and deeds of blood,
Beware, beware of that.
Bart. For thy dear sake
I will be gentle. Thou shalt teach me patience.
Prec. Then take this farewell, and depart in peace.
Thou must not linger here.
Bart. Come, come with me.
Prec. Hark! I hear footsteps.
Bart. I entreat thee, come!
Prec. Away! It is in vain.
Bart. Wilt thou not come?
Bart. Then woe, eternal woe, upon thee!
Thou shalt not be another's. Thou shalt die.
Prec. All holy angels keep me in this hour!
Spirit of her who bore me, look upon me!
Mother of God, the glorified, protect me!
Christ and the saints, be merciful unto me!
Yet why should I fear death? What is it to die?
To leave all disappointment, care, and sorrow,
To leave all falsehood, treachery, and unkindness,
All ignominy, suffering, and despair,
And be at rest forever! O dull heart,
Be of good cheer! When thou shalt cease to beat,
Then shalt thou cease to suffer and complain!
(Enter VICTORIAN and HYPOLITO behind.)
Vict. 'T is she! Behold, how beautiful she stands
Under the tent-like trees!
Hyp. A woodland nymph!
Vict. I pray thee, stand aside. Leave me.
Hyp. Be wary.
Do not betray thyself too soon.
Vict. (disguising his voice). Hist! Gypsy!
Prec. (aside, with emotion).
That voice! that voice from heaven! O speak again!
Who is it calls?
Vict. A friend.
Prec. (aside). 'T is he! 'T is he!
I thank thee, Heaven, that thou hast heard my prayer,
And sent me this protector! Now be strong,
Be strong, my heart! I must dissemble here.
False friend or true?
Vict. A true friend to the true;
Fear not; come hither. So; can you tell fortunes?
Prec. Not in the dark. Come nearer to the fire.
Give me your hand. It is not crossed, I see.
Vict. (putting a piece of gold into her hand). There is the
Prec. Is 't silver?
Vict. No, 't is gold.
Prec. There's a fair lady at the Court, who loves you,
And for yourself alone.
Vict. Fie! the old story!
Tell me a better fortune for my money;
Not this old woman's tale!
Prec. You are passionate;
And this same passionate humor in your blood
Has marred your fortune. Yes; I see it now;
The line of life is crossed by many marks.
Shame! shame! O you have wronged the maid who loved you!
How could you do it?
Vict. I never loved a maid;
For she I loved was then a maid no more.
Prec. How know you that?
Vict. A little bird in the air
Whispered the secret.
Prec. There, take back your gold!
Your hand is cold, like a deceiver's hand!
There is no blessing in its charity!
Make her your wife, for you have been abused;
And you shall mend your fortunes, mending hers.
Vict. (aside). How like an angel's speaks the tongue of woman,
When pleading in another's cause her own!
That is a pretty ring upon your finger.
Pray give it me. (Tries to take the ring.)
Prec. No; never from my hand
Shall that be taken!
Vict. Why, 't is but a ring.
I'll give it back to you; or, if I keep it,
Will give you gold to buy you twenty such.
Prec. Why would you have this ring?
Vict. A traveller's fancy,
A whim, and nothing more. I would fain keep it
As a memento of the Gypsy camp
In Guadarrama, and the fortune-teller
Who sent me back to wed a widowed maid.
Pray, let me have the ring.
Prec. No, never! never!
I will not part with it, even when I die;
But bid my nurse fold my pale fingers thus,
That it may not fall from them. 'T is a token
Of a beloved friend, who is no more.
Vict. How? dead?
Prec. Yes; dead to me; and worse than dead.
He is estranged! And yet I keep this ring.
I will rise with it from my grave hereafter,
To prove to him that I was never false.
Vict. (aside). Be still, my swelling heart! one moment, still!
Why, 't is the folly of a love-sick girl.
Come, give it me, or I will say 't is mine,
And that you stole it.
Prec. O, you will not dare
To utter such a falsehood!
Vict. I not dare?
Look in my face, and say if there is aught
I have not dared, I would not dare for thee!
(She rushes into his arms.)
Prec. 'T is thou! 't is thou! Yes; yes; my heart's elected!
My dearest-dear Victorian! my soul's heaven!
Where hast thou been so long? Why didst thou leave me?
Vict. Ask me not now, my dearest Preciosa.
Let me forget we ever have been parted!
Prec. Hadst thou not come--
Vict. I pray thee, do not chide me!
Prec. I should have perished here among these Gypsies.
Vict. Forgive me, sweet! for what I made thee suffer.
Think'st thou this heart could feel a moment's joy,
Thou being absent? O, believe it not!
Indeed, since that sad hour I have not slept,
For thinking of the wrong I did to thee
Dost thou forgive me? Say, wilt thou forgive me?
Prec. I have forgiven thee. Ere those words of anger
Were in the book of Heaven writ down against thee,
I had forgiven thee.
Vict. I'm the veriest fool
That walks the earth, to have believed thee false.
It was the Count of Lara--
Prec. That bad man
Has worked me harm enough. Hast thou not heard--
Vict. I have heard all. And yet speak on, speak on!
Let me but hear thy voice, and I am happy;
For every tone, like some sweet incantation,
Calls up the buried past to plead for me.
Speak, my beloved, speak into my heart,
Whatever fills and agitates thine own.
(They walk aside.)
Hyp. All gentle quarrels in the pastoral poets,
All passionate love scenes in the best romances,
All chaste embraces on the public stage,
All soft adventures, which the liberal stars
Have winked at, as the natural course of things,
Have been surpassed here by my friend, the student,
And this sweet Gypsy lass, fair Preciosa!
Prec. Senor Hypolito! I kiss your hand.
Pray, shall I tell your fortune?
Hyp. Not to-night;
For, should you treat me as you did Victorian,
And send me back to marry maids forlorn,
My wedding day would last from now till Christmas.
Chispa (within). What ho! the Gypsies, ho! Beltran Cruzado!
Halloo! halloo! halloo! halloo!
(Enters booted, with a whip and lantern.
Vict. What now
Why such a fearful din? Hast thou been robbed?
Chispa. Ay, robbed and murdered; and good evening to you,
My worthy masters.
Vict. Speak; what brings thee here?
CHISPA (to PRECIOSA).
Good news from Court; good news! Beltran Cruzado,
The Count of the Cales, is not your father,
But your true father has returned to Spain
Laden with wealth. You are no more a Gypsy.
Vict. Strange as a Moorish tale!
Chispa. And we have all
Been drinking at the tavern to your health,
As wells drink in November, when it rains.
Vict. Where is the gentlemen?
Chispa. As the old song says,
His body is in Segovia,
His soul is in Madrid,
Prec. Is this a dream? O, if it be a dream,
Let me sleep on, and do not wake me yet!
Repeat thy story! Say I'm not deceived!
Say that I do not dream! I am awake;
This is the Gypsy camp; this is Victorian,
And this his friend, Hypolito! Speak! speak!
Let me not wake and find it all a dream!
Vict. It is a dream, sweet child! a waking dream,
A blissful certainty, a vision bright
Of that rare happiness, which even on earth
Heaven gives to those it loves. Now art thou rich,
As thou wast ever beautiful and good;
And I am now the beggar.
Prec. (giving him her hand). I have still
A hand to give.
Chispa (aside). And I have two to take.
I've heard my grandmother say, that Heaven gives almonds
To those who have no teeth. That's nuts to crack,
I've teeth to spare, but where shall I find almonds?
Vict. What more of this strange story?
Chispa. Nothing more.
Your friend, Don Carlos, is now at the village
Showing to Pedro Crespo, the Alcalde,
The proofs of what I tell you. The old hag,
Who stole you in your childhood, has confessed;
And probably they'll hang her for the crime,
To make the celebration more complete.
Vict. No; let it be a day of general joy;
Fortune comes well to all, that comes not late.
Now let us join Don Carlos.
Hyp. So farewell,
The student's wandering life! Sweet serenades,
Sung under ladies' windows in the night,
And all that makes vacation beautiful!
To you, ye cloistered shades of Alcala,
To you, ye radiant visions of romance,
Written in books, but here surpassed by truth,
The Bachelor Hypolito returns,
And leaves the Gypsy with the Spanish Student.
SCENE VI. -- A pass in the Guadarrama mountains. Early morning.
A muleteer crosses the stage, sitting sideways on his mule and
lighting a paper cigar with flint and steel.
If thou art sleeping, maiden,
Awake and open thy door,
'T is the break of day, and we must away,
O'er meadow, and mount, and moor.
Wait not to find thy slippers,
Back to Full Books