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Chispa. Ay, robbed and murdered; and good evening to you, My worthy masters. Vict.
Speak; what brings thee here?
Chispa (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!
And we have all
Been drinking at the tavern to your health,
As wells drink in November, when it rains.
Vict. Where is the gentleman?
As the old song says,
His body is in Segovia,
His soul is in Madrid.
Prec. Is this a dream? O, if it be a dream,
Let me sleep on, and do not wake me yet!
Repeat thy story! Say I'm not deceived !
Say that I do not dream! I am awake;
This is the Gipsy camp; this is Victorian,
And this his friend, Hypolito! Speak! speak !
Let me not wake and find it all a dream!
Vict. It is a dream, sweet child! a waking dream,
A blissful certainty, a vision bright
Of that rare happiness, which even on earth
Heaven gives to those it loves. Now art thou rich,
As thou wast ever beautiful and good;
And I am now the beggar.
Prec. (giving him her hand). I have still
A hand to give.
Chispa (aside). And I have two to take.
I've heard my grandmother say, that Heaven gives almonds
To those who have no teeth. That's nuts to crack.
I've teeth to spare, but where shall I find almonds ?
Vict. What more of this strange story?
Your friend, Don Carlos, is now at the village,
Showing to Pedro Crespo, the Alcalde,
The proofs of what I tell you. The old hag,
in your childhood, has confessed;
And probably they'll hang her for the crime,
To make the celebration more complete.
Vict. No; let it bé a day of general joy ;
Fortune comes well to all, that comes not late.
Now let us join Don Carlos.
The student's wandering life! Sweet serenades
Sung under ladies' windows in the night,
And all that makes vacation beautiful!
To you, ye cloistered shades of Alcalá,
To you, ye radiant visions of romance,
Written in books, but here surpassed by truth,
The Bachelor Hypolito returns,
And leaves the Gipsy with the Spanish Student.
SCENE VI.-A pass in the Guadarrama mountains. Early morning.
A Muleteer crosses the stage, sitting sideways on his mule, and lighting a paper cigar with flint and steel.
If thou art sleeping, maiden,
Awake, and open thy door,
'Tis the break of day, and we must away,
O'er meadow, and mount, and moor.
Wait not to find thy slippers,
But come with thy naked feet ;
We shall have to pass through the dewy grass,
And waters wide and fleet.
(Disappcars down the pass. Enter a Monk. A Shepherd appears on
the rocks above.)
Monk. Ave Maria, gratia plera. Olá! good man
Monk. Is this the road to Segovia?
Shep. It is, your reverence.
Monk. How far is it?
Shep. I do not know.
Monk. What is that yonder in the valley ?
Shep. San Ildefonso.
Monk. A long way to breakfast.
Shep. Ay, marry.
Monk. Are there robbers in these mountains ?
Shep. Yes, and worse than that.
Monk. Santa Maria! Come with me to San Ildefonso, and thou shalt be well rewarded.
Shep. What wilt thou give me?
Monk. An Agnus Dei and my benediction. (They disappear. A mounted Contrabandista passes, wrapped in his
cloak, and a gun at his saddle-bow. He goes down the pass singing.)
Worn with speed is my good steed,
And I march me hurried, worried ;
Onward, caballito mio,
With the white star in thy forehead !
* From the Spanish ; as is likewise the song of the Contrabandista,
Onward, for here comes the Ronda,
And I hear their rifles crack!
Ay, jaléo! Ay, ay, jaléo !
Ay, jaléo! They cross our track. (Song dies away. Enter PRECIOSA, on horseback, attended by
VICTORIAN, HYPOLITO, Don Carlos, and CHISPA, on foot and armed.)
Vict. This is the highest point. Here let us rest.
See, Preciosa, see how all about us
Kneeling, like hooded friars, the misty mountains
Receive the benediction of the sun!
O glorious sight!
Most beautiful indeed !
Hyp. Most wonderful!
And in the vale below,-
Where yonder steeples flash like lifted halberds,
San Ildefonso, from its noisy belfries,
Sends up a salutation to the morn,
As if an army smote their brazen shields,
And shouted victory!
And which way lies
Vict. At a great distance yonder.
Dost thou not see it?
No. I do not see it.
Vict. The merest flaw that dents the horizon's edge.
'Tis a notable old town,
Boasting an ancient Roman aqueduct,
And an Alcázar, builded by the Moors,
Wherein, you may remember, poor Gil Blas
Was fed on Pan del Rey. Oh, many a time
Out of its grated windows have I looked
Hundreds of feet plumb down to the Eresma,
That, like a serpent thi the valley creeping,
Glides at its foot.
Oh yes! I see it now,
Yet rather with my heart than with mine eyes,
So faint it is. And all my thoughts sail thither,
Freighted with prayers and hopes, and forward urged
Against all stress of accident, as in
The Eastern Tale, against the wind and tide,
Great ships were drawn to the Magnetic Mountains,
And there were wrecked, and perished in the sea !
Vict. O gentle spirit! Thou didst bear unmoved
Blasts of adversity and frosts of fate!
But the first ray of sunshine that falls on thee
Melts thee to tears! Oh, let thy weary heart
Lean upon mine! and it shall faint no more,
Nor thirst, nor hunger; but be comforted
And filled with my affection.
Stay no longer!
My father waits. Methinks I see him there,
Now looking from the window, and now watching
Each sound of wheels or footfall in the street,
And saying, “Hark! she comes !” O father! father!
(They descend the pass.
CHISPA remains behind.) Chispa. I have a father, too, but he is a dead one. Alas and alack-a-day! Poor was I born, and poor do I remain. I neither win nor lose. Thus I wag through the world, half the time on foot, and the other half walking; and always as merry as a thunder-storm in the night. And so we plough along, as the fly said to the ox. Who knows what may happen? Patience, and shuffle the cards! I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains; and perhaps, after all, I shall some day go to Rome, and come back Saint Peter. Benedicite!
Exit. (A pause. Then enter BARTOLOME wildly, as if in pursuit, with a
carbine in his hand.)
Bart. They passed this way! I hear their horses' hoofs !
Yonder I see them! Come, sweet caramillo,
This serenade shall be the Gipsy's last !
(Fires down the pass.)
Ha! ha! Well whistled, my sweet caramillo !
Well whistled !--I have missed her!-Oh, my God!
(The shot is returned. BARTOLOME falls.)
WHEN descends on the Atlantic
Storm-wind of the equinox,
Landward in his wrath he scourges
The toiling surges,
Laden with sea-weed from the rocks:
From Bermuda's reefs; from edges
Of sunken ledges,
In some far-off, bright Azore;
From Bahama, and the dashing,
Surges of San Salvador;
From the tumbling surf, that buries
The Orkneyan skerries,
Answering the hoarse Hebrides;
And from wrecks of ships, and drifting
On the desolate, rainy seas;-
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
On the shifting
Currents of the restless main;
Till in sheltered coves, and reaches
Of sandy beaches,
All have found repose again.
So when storms of wild emotion
Strike the ocean
Of the poet's soul, ere long
From each cave and rocky fastness,
In its vastness,
Floats some fragment of a song:
From the far-off isles enchanted,
Heaven has planted
With the golden fruit of Truth;
From the flashing surf, whose vision
In the tropic clime of Youth;
From the strong Will, and the Endeavour
Wrestle with the tides of Fate;