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Corlos. Pray, how much need you ?
Some half-dozen ounces, Which, with due interest
Carlos (giving his purse]. What, am I a Jew,
To put my moneys out at usury?
Here is my purse.
Thank you. A pretty purse,
Made by the hand of some fair Madrileña ;
Perhaps a keepsake ?
No, 'tis 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.
But tell me,
Come you to-day from Alcalá ?
Carlos. 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.
Carlos. And is it faring ill.
To be in love?
Hyp. In his case very ill
Carlos. Why so ?
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 !
Carlos. 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.
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 favourite saint
With gems and gold, until at length she gleams
One blaze of glory. Without these, you know,
And the priest's benediction, 'tis a doll.
Carlos. Well, well! who is this doll ?
Why, who do you think i
Carlos. His cousin Violante.
Guess again. To ease his labouring heart, in the last storm He threw her overboard, with all her ingots.
Carlos. I cannot guess; so tell me who it is.
Hyp. Not I.
Carlos. Why not?
Hyp. [mysteriously). Why? Because Mari Franca
Was married four leagues out of Salamanca !*
Carlos. Jesting aside, who is it?
Carlos. Impossible? The Count of Lara tells me
She is not virtuous.
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.
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 for ever hallowed.
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.
Carlos. What ho! Victorian!
Wilt thou sup with us ?
Vict. Holá! amigos! Faith, I did not see you.
How fares Don Carlos ?
At your service ever.
Vict. How is that young and green-eyed Gaditana
That you both wot of ?
Ay, soft, emerald eyes!
She has gone back to Cadiz.
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.
Нур. But, speaking of green eyes,
Are thine green ?
Not a whit. Why so ? * A common Spanish proverb, used to turn aside a question one does not wish to
The slightest shade of green would be becoming,
For thou art jealous.
No, I am not jealous.
Hyp. Thou shouldst be.
Because thou art in love,
And they who are in love are always jealous.
Therefore thou shouldst be.
Marry, is that all ?
Farewell; I am in haste. Farewell, Don Carlos.
Thou sayest I should be jealous ?
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 labour for his pains.
Hyp. He does not think so, and Don Carlos tells me
He boasts of his success.
How's this, Don Carlos ?
Carlos. Some hints of it I heard from his own lips.
He spoke but lightly of the lady's virtne,
As a gay man might speak.
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, farewell !
Hyp. Now what a coil is here! The Avenging Child
Hunting the traitor Quadros to his death,
And the great 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. Pre. [reads].
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 gaoler. 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 book, and perceives the COUNT.)
Señora, pardon me!
Pre. How's this? Dolores !
Lara. Be not alarmed; I found no one in waiting.
If I have been too bold-
Pre. [turning her back upon him]. You are too bold !
Retire ! retire, and leave me!
My dear lady, First hear me! I beseech you, let me speak. 'Tis for your good I come.
Pro. 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 honour,
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 honour 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!
Be calm; I will not harm you.
Pre. Because you dare not.
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.
If to this
I owe the honour of the present visit,
You might have spared the coming. Having 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.
There was no need
That you should take upon yourself the duty
Of telling me these tales.
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, and visited by none.
By none ? 0, then, indeed, you are much wronged ! Pre.
How mean you ?
Lara. Nay, nay; I will not wound your gentle soul
By the report of idle tales.
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 towards 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.]
Pre. Beware ! beware! I am a Gipsy girl!
Lay not your hand upon me. One step nearer
And I will strike!
Pray you, put up that dagger.