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Vict.

Ay, indeed, I would.
Hyp. Thou art courageous. Hast thou e'er retíected
How much lies hidden in that one word, now?

Vict. Yes ; all the awful mystery of Life!
I oft have thought, my dear Hypolito,
That could we, by some spell of magic, change
The world and its inhabitants to stone,
In the same attitudes they now are in,
What fearful glances downward might we cast
Into the hollow chasms of human life!
What groups should we behold about the death-bed,
Putting to shame the group of Niobe !
What joyful welcomes, and what sad farewells !
What stony tears in those congealed eyes!
What visible joy or anguish in those cheeks!
What bridal pomps, and what funereal shows !
What foes, like gladiators, fierce and struggling !
What lovers with their marble lips together!

Hyp. Ay, there it is! and, if I were in love,
That is the very point I most should dread.
This magic glass, these magic spells of thine,
Might tell a tale were better left untold.
For instance, they might show us thy fair cousin,
The Lady Violante, bathed in tears
Of love and anger, like the maid of Colchis,
Whom thou, another faithless Argonaut,
Having won that golden fleece, a woman's love,
Desertest for this Glaucè.
Vict.

Hold thy peace!
She cares not for me. She may wed another,
Or go into a couvent, and, thus dying,
Marry Achilles in the Elysian Fields.
Hyp. (rising). And so, good night! Good morning, I shouldsay.

(Clock strikes three.)
Hark! how the loud and ponderous mace of Time
Knocks at the golden portals of the day!
And so, once more, good night! We'il speak more largely
Of Preciosa when we meet again.
Get thee to bed, and the magician, Sleep,
Shall show her to thee, in his magic glass,
In all her loveliness. Good night!

[Exit. Vict.

Good night! but not to bed; for I must read awhile, (Throws himself into the arm-chair which HYPOLITO has left, and

laus a large book open upon his knees.)
Must read, or sit in reverie and watch
The changing colour of the waves that break
Upon the idle seashore of the mind!

Visions of Fame! that once did visit me,
Making night glorious with your smile, where are ye?
Oh, who shall give me, now that ye are gone,
Juices of those immortal plants that bloom
Upon Olympus, making us immortal?
Or teach me where that wondrous mandrake grows
Whose magic root, torn from the earth with groans,
At midnight hour, can scare the fiends away,
And make the mind prolific in its fancies?
I have the wish, but want the will, to act !
Souls of great men departed ! Ye whose words
Have come to light from the swift river of Time,
Like Roman swords found in the Tagus' bed,
Where is the strength to wield the arms ye bore?
From the barred visor of Antiquity
Reflected shines the eternal light of Truth,
As from a mirror! All the means of action
'The shapeless masses --the materials —
Lie everywhere about us. What we need
Is the celestial fire to change the flint
Into transparent crystal, bright and clear.
That fire is genius! The rude peasant sits
At evening in his smoky cot, and draws
With charcoal uncouth figures on the wall.
The son of genius comes, foot-sore with travel,
And begs a shelter from the inclement night.
He takes the charcoal from the peasant's han,
And by the magic of his touch at once
Transfigured, all its hidden virtues shine,
And, in the eyes of the astonished clown,
It gleams a diamond! Even thus transformed,
Rude popular traditions and old tales
Shine as immortal poems, at the touch
Of some poor houseless, homeless, wandering bard,
Who had but a night's lodging for his pains.
But there are brighter dreams than those of Fame,
Which are the dreams of Love ! Out of the heart
Rises the bright ideal of these dreams,
As from some woodland fount a spirit rises,
And sinks again into its silent deeps,
Ere the enamoured knight can touch her robe!
'Tis this ideal that the soul of man,
Like the enamoured knight beside the fountain,
Waits for upon the margin of Life's stream;
Waits to behold her rise from the dark waters,
Clad in a mortal shape! Alas! how many
Must wait in vain! The stream flows evermore,
But from its silent depths no spirit rises !
Yet I, born under a propitious star,
Have found the bright ideal of my dreams.

Yes, she is ever with me. I can feel,
Here, as I sit at midnight and alone,
Her gentle breathing! on my breast can feel
The pressure of her head! God's benison
Rest ever on it! Close those beauteous eyes,
Sweet Slecp! and all the flowers that bloom at night
With balmy lips breathe in her ears my name!

[Gradually sinks asleep.

ACT II.
SCENE I. -PRECIOSA's chamber. Morning. PRECIOSA and

ANGELICA.
Prec. Why will you go so soon? Stay yet awhile.
The poor too often turn away unheard
From hearts that shut against them with a sound
That will be heard in heaven. Pray, tell me more
Of your adversities. Keep nothing from me.
What is your landlord's name?
Ang.

The Count of Lara.
Prec. The Count of Lara? Oh, beware that man!
Mistrust his pity,-hold no parley with him !
And rather die an outcast in the streets
Than touch his gold.
Ang.

You know him, then!
Prec.

As much
As any woman may, and yet be pure.
As you would keep your name without a blemish,
Beware of him.
Ang.

Alas! what can I do?
i cannot choose my friends. Each word of kindness,
Come whence it may, is welcome to the poor.

Prec. Make me your friend. A girl so young and fair
Should have no friends but those of her own sex.
What is your name?
Ang.

Angelica.
Prec.

That name
Was given you, that you might be an angel
To her who bore you! When your infant smile
Made her home Paradise, you were her angel.
Oh, be an angel still! She needs that smile.
So long as you are innocent, fear nothing.
No one can harm you! I am a poor girl,
Whom chance has taken from the public streets.
I have no other shield than mine own virtue.
That is the charm which has protected me!
Amid a thousand perils, I have worn it
Here 3. my heart! It is my guardian angel.

Ang. (rising). I thank you for this counsel, dearest la ly.
Prec. Thank me by following it.

Indeed I will.
Prec. Pray do not go. I have much more to say.

Ang.

Ang.

Ang. My mother is alone. I dare not leave her.

Prec. Some other time, then, when we meet again. You must not go away with words alone.

(Gives her a purse.)
Take this. Would it were more.
Ang.

I thank you, lady.
Prec. No thanks. To-morrow come to me again.
I dance to-night,--perhaps for the last time.
But what I gain, I promise shall be yours,
If that can save you from the Count of Lara.

Ang. Oh, my dear lady! how shall I be grateful
For so much kindness?
Prec.

I deserve no thanks.
Thank Heaven, not me.

Both Heaven and you. Prec.

Farewell! Remember that you come again to-morrow.

Ang. I will. And may the blessed Virgin guard you, And all good angels.

[Exit Prec.

May they guard thee too,
And all the poor; for they have need of angels.
Now bring me, dear Dolores, my basquiña,
My richiest maja dress,-my dancing dress,
And my most precious jewels! Make me look
Fairer than night e’er saw me! I've a prize
To win this day, worthy of Preciosa !

(Enter BELTRAN CRUZADO.)
Cruz. Ave Maria !
Prec.

O God! my evil genius!
What seekest thou here to-day?
Cruz.

Thyself, --my child.
Prec. What is thy will with me?
Cruz.

Gold! gold!
Prec. I gave thee yesterday; I have no more.
Cruz. The gold of the Busné, -give me his gold !
Prec. I gave the last in charity to-day.
Cruz. That is a foolish lie.
Prec.

It is the truth.
Cruz. Curses upon thee! Thou art not my child !
Hast thou given gold away, and not to me?
Not to thy father? To whom, then?
Prec.

To one
Who needs it more.
Cruz.

No one can need it more.
Prec. Thou art not poor.
Cruz.

What, I, who lurk about
In dismal suburbs and unwholesome lanes;
I, who am housed worse than the galley slave;
I, who am fed worse than the kennelled hound;

I, who am clothed in rags, -Beltran Cruzado, --
Not poor!

Prec. Thou hast a stout heart and strong hauds.
Thou canst supply thy wants; what wouldst thou more?

Cruz. The gold of the Busné!* give me his gold !

Prec. Beltran Cruzado! hear me once for all.
I speak the truth. So long as I had gold,
I gave it to thee freely, at all times,
Never denied thee; never had a wish,
But to fulfil thine own. Now go in peace!
Be merciful, be patient, and, ere long,
Thou shalt have more.
Cruz.

And if I have it not,
Thou shalt no longer dwell here in rich chambers,
Wear silken dresses, feed on dainty food,
And live in idleness; but go with me,
Dance the Romalis in the public streets,
And wander wild again o'er field and fell;
For here we stay not long.
Prec.

What! march again?
Cruz. Ay, with all speed. I hate the crowded town!
I cannot breathe shut up within its gates !
Air,-I want air, and sunshine, and blue sky,
The feeling of the breeze upon my face,
The feeling of the turf beneath my feet,
And no walls but the far-off mountain tops ;
Then I am free and strong, -once more myself,
Beltran Cruzado, Count of the Calés ! +

Prec. God speed thee on thy march!- I cannot go.

Cruz. Remember who I am, and who thou art !
Be silent and obey! Yet one thing more.
Bartolomé Román-

Prec. (with emotion.) Oh, I beseech thee!
I my obedience and blameless life,
If my humility and meek submission
In all things hitherto, can move in thee
One feeling of compassion; if thou art
Indeed my father, and canst trace in me
One look of her who lore me, or one tone
That doth remind thee of her, let it plead
In my behalf, who am a feeble girl,
Too feeble to resist, and do not force me
To wed that man! I am afraid of him!
I do not love him! On my knees I beg thee
To use no violence, nor do in haste
What cannot be undone!
Cruz.

( child, child, child ! Thou hast betrayed thy secret, as a bird * Busné is the name given by the Gipsies to all who are not of their race. + The Gipsies call themselves Calés. See Borrow's valuable and extremely interesting work, The Zinculi, or an Account of the Gipsies in Spain. London, i8u.

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