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Lara.

And does that prove
That Preciosa is above suspicion?

Don C. It proves a nobleman may be repulsed
When he thinks conquest easy. I believe
That woman, in her deepest degradation,
Holds something sacred, something undefiled,
Some pledge and keepsake of her higher nature,
And, like the diamond in the dark, retains
Some quenchless gleam of the celestial light!

Lard. Yet Preciosa would have taken the gold.
Don C. (rising). I do not think so.
Lara.

I am sure of it.
But why this haste? Stay yet a little longer,
And fight the battles of your Dulcinea.

Don C. 'Tis late. I must begone, for if I stay
You will not be persuaded.
Lara.

Yes; persuade me.
Don C. No one so deaf as he who will not hear!
Lara. No one so blind as he who will not see!

Don C. And so good night. I wish you pleasant dreams, And greater faith in woman.

[Exit. Lara.

Greater faith!
I have the greatest faith; for I believe
Victorian is her lover. I believe
That I shall be to-morrow; and thereafter
Another, and another, and another,
Chasing each other through her zodiac,
As Taurus chases Aries.
(Enter FRANCISCO with a caskct.)

Well, Francisco,
What speed with Preciosa?
Fran.

None, my lord.
She sends your jewels back, and bids me tell you
She not to be purchased by your gold.

Lara. Then I will try some other way to win her.
Pray dost thou know Victorian?
Iran.

Yes, my lordd;
I saw him at the jeweller's to-day.

Lara. What was he doing there?
Fran.

I saw him buy
A golden ring, that had a ruby in it.

Lara. Was there another like it?
Fran.

One so like it
I could not choose between them.
Lara.

It is well.
To-morrow morning bring that ring to me.
Do not forget. Now light me to my bed.

[Excunt.

cease.

SCENE II. -A street in Madrid. Enter. CHISPA, followed by Musi

cians, with a bagpipe, guitars, and other instruments. Chispa. Abernuncio Satanas !* and a plague on all lovers who ranıble about at night, drinking the elements, instead of sleeping quietly in their beds. Every dead man to his cemetery, say I; and every friar to his monastery. Now, here's my master, Victorian, yesterday a cow-keeper, and to-day a gentleman; yesterday a student, and to-daya lover; and I must be up later than the nightingale, for as the abbot sings so must the sacristan respond. God grant he may soon be married, for then shall all this serenading

Ay, marry! marry! marry! Mother, what does marry mean? It means to spin, to bear children, and to weep, my daughter! And, of a truth, there is something more in matrimony than the wedding-ring. (To the Musicians.) And now, gentlemen, Pax vobiscum! as the ass said to the cabbages. Pray walk this way; and don't hang down your heads. It is no disgrace to have an old father and a ragged shirt. Now look you, you are gentlemen who lead the life of crickets; you enjoy hunger by day and noise by night. Yet, I beseech you, for this once be not loud, but pathetic; for it is a serenade to a damsel in bed, and not to the Man in the Moon. Your object is not to arouse and terrify, but to soothe and bring lulling dreams. Therefore, each shall not play upon his instrument as if it were the only one in the universe, but gently, and with a certain modesty, according with the others. Pray how may I call thy name, friend?

First Mus. Gerónimo Gil, at your service.

Chispa. Every tub smells of the wine that is in it. Pray, Geró. nimo, is not Saturday an unpleasant day with thee?

First Mus. Why so?

Chispa. Because I have heard it said that Saturday is an unpleasant day with those who have but one shirt. Moreover, I have seen thee at the tavern, and if thou canst run as fast as thou canst drink, I should like to hunt hares with thee. What instrument is that?

First Mus. An Aragonese bagpipe. Chispa. Pray art thou related to the bagpiper of Bujalance, who asked a maravedí for playing, and ten for leaving off?

First Mus. No, your honour. Chispa. I am glad of it. What other instruments have we? Second and Third Mus. We play the bandurria. Chispa. A pleasing instrument. And thou? Fourth Mus. The fife. Chispa. I like it; it has a cheerful, soul-stirring sound, that soars up to my lady's window like the song of a swallow. And you others? Other Mus. We are the singers, please your honour. ". Digo, Señora, respondió

Sancho, lo que tengo dicho, que de los azotes abernuncio. Abrenuncio, habeis de decir, Sancho, y no como decis, dijo el Duque." - Don Quixote, Part II., ch. 35.

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Chispa. You are too many. Do you think we are going to sing mass in the cathedral of Cordova ? Four men can make but little use of 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 llevil climbs into the belfry. Come, follow me, and make no noise.

[Exeunt. SCENE III.-PRECIOSA's chamber. She stands at the open window.

Prec. 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!

SERENADE.
Stars of the summer night !

Far in yon azure deeps,
Hide, hide your golden light !

She sleeps !
My lady sleeps !

Sleeps !
Moon of the summer night!

Far down yon western steeps,
Sink, sink in silver light !

She sleeps!
My lady sleeps !

Sleeps!
Wind of the summer night!

Where yonder woodbine creeps,
Fold, fold thy pinions light!

she sleeps!
My lady sleeps!

Sleeps !
Dreams of the summer night!

Tell her her lover keeps
Watch ! while in slumbers light

She sleeps!
My lady sleeps!

Sleeps!

(Enter VICTORIAN by the balcony.)
Vict. Poor little dove! Thou tremblest like a leaf!
Proc. I am so frightened ! 'Tis for thee I tremble !
I hate to have thee climb that wall by night!
Did no one see thee?
Vict.

None, my love, but thou.
Prec. 'Tis very dangerous; and when thou art gone
I chide myself for letting thee come here
Thus stealthily by night. Where hast thou been?
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.

Prec. 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.

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

Sweet child of air!
Never did I behold thee so attired
And garmented in beauty as to-night!
What hast thou done to make thee look so fair?

Prec. Am I not always fair?
Vict.

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

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

Vict. Thou comest between me and those books too oftev!
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.
Prec.

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

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

What mad jest
Is this?

Prec. It is no jest; indeed it is not.
Vict. Prithee explain thyself.
Pi'ec.

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.
Prec.

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

That thou mayst dance before them!
Now viva la cachucha! It will breathe

The fire of youth into these gray old men !
'Twill be thy proudest conqtest!
Prec.

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 such beseeching eyes, that when I saw thee
I gave my heart away!
Prec.

Dost thou remember
When first we met?
Vict.

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

Prec. '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 !
Prec.

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!

Prec. 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 sounri.
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.

Prec. 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.

Prec. 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!

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