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Chis. You are too many. Do you think we are going to sing mass in the cathedral of Córdova ? Four men can make but little use vi one shoe, and I see not how you can all sing in one song. But follow me along the garden wall. That is the way my master climbs to the lady's window. It is by the Vicar's skirts that the devil climbs into the belfry. Come, follow me, and make no noise.

[Exeunt. SCENE III.-Preciosa's Chamber. She stands at the open windoro.

Pre. How slowly through the lilac-scented air
Descends the tranquil moon! Like thistle-down
The vapoury clouds float in the peaceful sky;
And sweetly from yon hollow vaults of shade
The nightingales breathe out their souls in song.
And hark! what songs of love, what soul-like sounds,
Answer them from below!

Stars of the summer night!

Wind of the summer night!
Far in yon azure deeps,

Where yonder woodbine creeps, Hide, hide your golden light!

Fold, fold thy pinions light!
She sleeps!

She sleeps!
My lady sleeps !

My lady sleeps!

Moon of the summer night!

Dreams of the summer night!
Far down yon western steeps,

Tell her, her lover keeps
Sink, sink in silver light!

Watch! while in slumbers light
She sleeps!

Sbe sleeps!
My lady sleeps!

My lady sleeps !

Sleeps !
[Enter VICTORIAN by the balcony.)
Vict. Poor little dove! Thou tremblest like a leaf!

Pre. I am so frightened! 'Tis for thee I tremble !
I hate to have thee climb that wall by night!
Did no one see thee ?

None, my love, but thou.
Pre. 'Tis very dangerous; and when thou art gone
I chide myself for letting thee come here
Thus stealthily by night. Where hast thou been P
Since yesterday I have no news from thee.

Vict. Since yesterday I've been in Alcalá.
Ere long the time will come, sweet Preciosa,
When that dull distance shall no more divide us,
And I no more shall scale thy wall by night
To steal a kiss from thee, as I do now.

Pre. An honest thief to steal but what thou givest.

Vict. And we shall sit together unmolested,
And words of true love pass from tongue to tongue,
As singing birds from one bough to another.

Pre. That were a life indeed to make time envious !
I knew that thou wouldst visit me to-night.
I saw thee at the play.

Sweet child of air!
Never did I bebold thee so attired


And garmented in beauty as to-night!
What hast thou done to make thee look so fair?

Pre. Am not I always fair?

Ay, and so fair
That I am jealous of all eyes that see thee,
And wish that they were blind.

I heed them not;
When thou art present, I see none but thee!

Vict. There's nothing fair nor beautiful, but takes Something from thee, that makes it beautiful.

Pre. And yet thou leavest me for those dusty books.

Vict. Thou comest between me and those books too often! I see thy face in everything I see! The paintings in the chapel wear thy looks, The canticles are changed to sarabands. And with the learned doctors of the schools I see thee dance cachuchas. Pre.

In good sooth,
I dance with learned doctors of the schools
To-morrow morning.

And with whom, I pray ?
Pre. A grave and reverend Cardinal, and his Grace
The Archbishop of Toledo.

What mad jest
Is this?

Pre. It is no jest; indeed it is not.
Vict. Prithee, explain thyself.

Why, simply thus.
Thou knowest the Pope has sent here into Spain
To put a stop to dances on the stage.

Vict. I have heard it whispered.

Now the Cardinal
Who for this purpose comes, would fain behold
With his own eyes these dances; and the Archbishop
Has sent for me-

That thou may’st dance before them!
Now viva la cachucha! It will breathe
The fire of youth into these gray old men !
"Twill be thy proudest conquest !

Saving one.
And yet I fear these dances will be stopped,
And Preciosa be once more a beggar.

Vict. The sweetest beggar that e'er asked for alms;
With snch beseeching eyes, that when I saw thee
I gave my heart away!

Dost thou remember
When first we met ?

It was at Córdova,
In the cathedral garden. Thou wast sitting
Under the orange-trees, beside a fountain.

Pre. 'Twas Easter-Sunday. The full blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.
The priests were singing, and the organ sounded,
And then anon the great cathedral bell.
It was the elevation of the Host.
We both of us fell down upon our knees,
Under the orange boughs, and prayed together.
I never had been happy till that moment.

Vict. Thou blessed angel!

And when thou wast gone
I felt an aching here. I did not speak
To any one that day. But from that day
Bartolomé grew hateful unto me.

Vict. Remember him no more. Let not his shadow
Come between thee and me. Sweet Preciosa !
I loved thee even then, though I was silent!

Pre. I thought I ne'er should see thy face again.
Thy farewell had a sound of sorrow in it.

Vict. That was the first sound in the song of love!
Scarce more than silence is, and yet a sound.
Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate. We hear
The voice prophetic, and are not alone.

Pre. That is my faith. Dost thou believe these warnings ?

Vict. So far as this. Our feelings and our thoughts
Tend ever on, and rest not in the Present.
As drops of rain fall into some dark well,
And from below comes a scarce audible sound,
So fall our thoughts into the dark Hereafter,
And their mysterious echo reaches us.

Pre. I have felt it so, but found no words to say it!
I cannot reason; I can only feel!
But thou hast language for all thoughts and feelings.
Thou art a scholar; and sometimes I think
We cannot walk together in this world!
The distance that divides us is too great!
Henceforth thy pathway lies among the stars;
I must not hold thee back.

Thou little sceptic!
Dost thou still doubt? What I most prize in woman
Is her affections, not her intellect!
The intellect is finite; but the affections
Are infinite, and cannot be exhausted.
Compare me with the great men of the earth;
What am I? Why, a pigmy among giants !
But if thou lovest, -mark me! I say lovest,
The greatest of thy sex excels thee not!
The world of the affections is thy world,
Not that of man's ambition. In that stillness


Which most becomes a woman, calm and holy,
Thou sittest by the fireside of the heart,
Feeding its flame. The element of fire
Is pure. It cannot change nor hide its nature,
But burns as brightly in a Gipsy camp
As in a palace hall. . Art thou convinced?

Pre. Yes, that I love thee, as the good love heaven;
But not that I am worthy of that heaven.
How shall I more deserve it?

Loving more.
Pre. I cannot love thee more; my heart is full.

Vict. Then let it overflow, and I will drink it,
As in the summer time the thirsty sands
Drink the swift waters of the Manzanares,
And still do thirst for more.

A Watchman [in the street). Ave Maria
Purissima! 'Tis midnight and serene!

Vict. Hear'st thou that cry?

It is a hateful sound.
To scare thee from me!

As the hunter's horn
Doth scare the timid stag, or bark of hounds
The moor-fowl from his mate.

Pray, do not go!
Vict. I must away to Alcalá to-night.
Think of me when I am away.

Fear not!
I have no thoughts that do not think of thee.
Vict. [giving her a ring]. And to remind thee of my love, take

A serpent, emblem of Eternity;
A ruby,-say, a drop of my heart's blood.

Pre. It is an ancient saying, that the ruby
Brings gladness to the wearer, and preserves
T'he heart pure, and, if laid beneath the pillow,
Drives away evil dreams. But then, alas!
It was a serpent tempted Eve to sin.

Vict. What convent of barefooted Carmelites
Taught thee so much theology ?

Pre. [laying her hand upon his mouth]. Hush ! Hush! Good night! and may all holy angels guard thee!

Vict. Good night! good night! Thou art my guardian angel ! I have no other saint than thou to pray to!

[He descends by the balcony.]

Pre. Take care, and do not hurt thee. Art thou safe?
Vict. [from the garden). Safe as my love for thee! But art

thou safe?
Others can climb a balcony by moonlight

As well as I. Pray shut thy window close ;
I am jealous of the perfumed air of night
That from this garden climbs to kiss thy lips.
Pre. (throwing down her handkerchief]. Thou silly child: take

this to bind thine eyes.
It is my benison !

And brings to me
Sweet fragrance from thy lips, as the soft wind
Wafts to the out-bound mariner the breath
Of the beloved land he leaves behind.

Pre. Make not thy voyage long.

To-morrow night
Shall see me safe returned. Thou art the star
To guide me to an anchorage. Good night!
My beauteous star! My star of love, good night!

Pre. Good night!
Watchman (at a distance]. Ave Maria Purissima!
SCENE IV.-An inn on the road to Alcalá. BALTASAR asleep on a bench.

Enter CHISPA. Chis. And here we are, half-way to Alcalá, between cocks and midnight. Body o' me! what an inn this is ! The lights out, and the landlord asleep. Holá ! ancient Baltasar !

Balt. [waking] Here I am.

Chis. Yes, there you are, like a one-eyed Alcalde in a town without inhabitants. Bring a light, and let me have supper.

Balt. Where is your master ?

Chis. Do not trouble yourself about him. We have stopped a moment to breathe our horses; and, if he chooses to walk up and down in the open air, looking into the sky as one who hears it rain, that does not satisfy my hunger, you know. But be quick, for I am in a hurry, and every man stretches his legs according to the length of his coverlet. What have we here?

Balt. [setting a light on the table). Stewed rabbit.
Chis. [eating]. Conscience of Portalegre! Stewed kitten, you mean!
Balt. And a pitcher of Pedro Ximenes, with a roasted pear in it.

Chis. [drinking]. Ancient Baltasar, amigo! You know how to cry wine and sell vinegar. I tell you this is nothing but Vino Tinto of La Mancha, with a tang of the swine-skin.

Balt. I swear to you by Saint Simon and Judas, it is all as I say.

Chis. And I swear to you by Saint Peter and Saint Paul, that it is no such thing. Moreover, your supper is like the hidalgo's dinner, very little meat, and a great deal of table-cloth.

Balt. Ha! ha! ha!
Chis. And more noise than nuts.

Balt. Ha! ha! ha! You must have your joke, Master Chispa. But shall I not ask Don Victorian in, to take a draught of the Pedro Ximenes ?

Chis. No; you might as well say, “Don't-you-want-some?” to a dead man.

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