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Pre. 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!
Pre. Speak of that no more. I cannot.
I am thine no longer.
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 am hunted from the kingdom, like a wolf !
Fulfil thy promise.
'Twas my father's promise,
Not mine. I never gave my heart to thee,
Nor promised thee my hand !
False tongue of woman !
And heart more false !
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.
For thy dear sake,
I will be gentle. Thou shalt teach me patience.
Pre. Then take this farewell, and depart in peace.
Thou must not linger here.
Come, come with me.
Pre. Hark! I hear footsteps.
I entreat thee, come!
Pre. Away! It is in vain.
Wilt thou not come ?
Then woe, eternal woe, upon thee.
Thou shalt not be another's. Thou shalt die.
Pre. 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 for ever! 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. 'Tis she! Behold, how beautiful she stands
Under the tent-like trees !
A woodland nymph!
Vict. I pray thee, stand aside. Leave me.
Do not betray thyself too soon.
Vict. [disquising his voice). Hist! Gipsy !
Pre. (aside, with emotion]. That voice! that voice from heaven!
O speak again!
Who is it calls ?
'Tis he! 'Tis 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?
A true friend to the true.
Fear not; come hither. So; can you tell fortunes ?
Pre. 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 cross. Pre.
Is't silver ?
No, 'tis gold.
Pre. There's a fair lady at the Court, who loves you,
And for yourself alone.
Fie! the old story!
Tell me a better fortune for my money;
Not this old woman's tale!
You are passionate;
And this same passionate humour 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 B
I never loved a maid;
For she I loved was then a maid no more.
Pre. How know you that?
A little bird in the air
Whispered the secret.
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.]
No; never from my hand Shall that be taken!
Why, 'tis but a ring.
I'll give it back to you; or, if I keep it,
Will give you gold to buy you twenty such.
Pre. Why would you have this ring?
A traveller's fancy,
A whim, and nothing more. I would fain keep it
As a memento of the Gipsy camp
In Guadarrama, and the fortune-teller
Who sent me back to wed a widowed maid.
Pray, let me have the ring.
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. "Tis a token
Of a beloved friend, who is no more.
Pre. 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, 'tis the folly of a love-sick girl.
Come, give it me, or I will say 'tis mine,
And that you stole it.
O, you will not dare
To utter such a fiendish lie!
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.)
Pre. 'Tis thou! 'tis 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!
Pre. Hadst thou not come-
I pray thee, do not chide me!
Pre. I should have perished here among these Gipsies.
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?
Pre. I have forgiven thee. Ere those words of anger
Were in the book of Heaven writ down against thee,
I had forgiven thee.
I'm the veriest fool
That walks the earth, to have believed thee false.
It was the Count of Lara-
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 Gipsy lass, fair Preciosa!
Pre. Señor Hypolito! I kiss your hand.
Pray, shall I tell your fortune ?
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 Gipsies, ho! Beltran Cruzado! Halloo! halloo! halloo ! halloo !
[Bnters booted, with a whip and lantern.)
Why such a fearful din? Hast thou been robbed ?
Chis. Ay, robbed and murdered; and good evening to you,
My worthy masters.
Speak; what brings thee here ?
Chis. (to PRECIOSA). Good news from Court; good news!
The Count of the Calés, is not your father;
But your true father has returned to Spain
Laden with wealth. You are no more a Gipsy.
Vict. Strange as a Moorish tale!