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Then by force to stop pursuit,
Still from him the cause concealing.
Cosm. Some device! Then I'm your man.
One suggests itself already.
See, this note of introduction
From a friend, shall serve our purpose.
[DON Manuel retircs to the background.
Don Luis and his servant Rodrigo enter.
D. Luis. This veil'd fair I must discover,
Were it only that she strives
With such effort to escape me.
Rod. Follow, and you'll soon detect her.
Cosm. - (coming forward and addressing Don Luis.)
Señor, though of this intrusion
I'm ashamed, perhaps your highness
Would be kind enough to read me
How this letter is directed.
D. Luis. Hence :-I have not leisure now.
Cosm. Leisure! If that's all that's wanting,
I have leisure in abundance,
Quite enough to spare for both.
D. Luis. Hence, my patience is exhausted.
Stand aside, I say !
[Drives him to one side.
D. Man. (Aside.) No longer
Can I wait, let courage finish
That which caution had begun.
Cavalier, the man you outrage
Is my servant, and I know not
How he should have so offended
As to merit this misusage
At your hand.
D. Luis. I answer neither
Accusations nor enquiries.
Explanation is a lesson
I have yet to learn. Farewell.
D. Man. Señor, if my honour needed
Explanation for an insult,
Even your arrogance may trust me
I should not depart without it.
When I ask'd how he had injured,
Wrong'd, or troubled you, the question
Merited more courteous answer.
Courtesy in courts should harbour-
Give not yours so poor a name,
That a stranger's tongue must teach you
Lessons ye yourselves should know.
D. Luis. Who shall say I could not better
Teach that lesson ?
D. Man. Let the tongue be
Silent, that the sword may speak.
D. Luis. You
well. [They draw and fight. Cosm.
That men should ever Long for fighting!
Rod. (To Cosm.) Draw your sword too!
Cos. Mine's a maiden blade, and may not
Venture from virgin scabbard !
Till drawn forth by marriage license.
Don Juan appears at the door of one of the houses in the
street. Dona BEATRICE endeavouring to detain him, D. Juan. Beatrice, unhand me! Beat.
D. Juan. With my brother's life in peril ! [He breaks loose. Beat. Woe is me-alas !
[ She retires into the house. D. Juan. (advancing to Don Luis.) Behold me
D. Luis. Stop, Juan. Come not
Nearer, for your coming makes me
Coward rather than courageous.
Stranger! he who single-handed
Shrank not from your sword's encounter,
If he now decline the combat
With another's arm to aid him,
Shuns it not through fear. Adieu !
nobleness permits not
Fight unequal, least of all
With a foe so brave and gallant.
And so, fare you well!
This high-spirit, this refinement;
doubt remaining Prompt you once again to seek me, You will find me where you will.
D. Luis. Be it so, then.
Be it so, then !
D. Juan. What is this I see and hear,
Don Manuel ?
D. Man. Don Juan?
Sways my soul, and undecided
What to do; at once beholding
Here a friend, and there a brother
(Both, indeed, are one) in quarrel ;
And, until I know the cause,
Thus must waver.
Thus it is, then :
This brave knight would interfere
To protect his foolish servant,
Whose presumption had provoked me
To chastise him. Now 'tis over
If it be so,
Let your courtesy excuse me
If I hurry to embrace him.
'Tis our house's long expected,
Noble guest, Don Manuel. Brother,
Come for two who once have measured
Swords together, rest thereafter
Better friends, since by the trial
Each has learn'd the other's valour-
Come, embrace me.
Ere I do so,
Admiration of his courage
Prompts me first to pay my duty
To Don Luis.
D. Luis. I am wholly
Yours : and only must regret
That I did not sooner know you,
Since your valour should have been
Yours has left me
Here behind a parting token.
See! this hand is hurt.
A thousand Times I wish the hurt were mine!
Cos. Bless us, what a courteous quarrel !
D. Juan. Come, and let your wound be look'd to.
You, Don Luis, must remain.
And to Dona Beatrice,
Ere she mount her coach, excuse me
For this seeming show of rudeness.
Come then, señor, to my mansion-
Rather I should say your own
Where your wound-
My wound is nothing.
D. Juan. Nay, come quickly.
D. Man. (aside.)
That Madrid with bloody welcome
Thus receives me !
[Exit with Don Juan into the house.
D. Luis. (aside.) How provoking
That my efforts to discover
This veiled fair are all in vain !
Cos. (aside.) Oh! how richly does my master
Merit what he got, to teach him
Not to play Don Quixote here.
[E.cit, following his Master.
Dona BEATRICE and Clara re-enter from the house.
D. Luis. Lady, now the storm is over,
Let the roses of your beauty
Bloom again, which lay so lately
Chill'd and wither'd by the blighting
Of a swoon.
Beat. But-Don Juan
Where is he?
D. Luis. He prays you, lady,
To excuse him. Pressing duties
Call him hence to tend the safety
Of a wounded friend.
Ah, me! 'Tis himself-Don Juan ?
It is not Don Juan : were it
He that had been hurt, I should not
Stand so patiently beside you.
Calm these terrors : 'twere unjust,
Since my brother is uninjured,
That your breast with anxious fears-
Mine with grief_should thus be haunted:
Grief, for such it is, to see you
So distress'd, so overmaster'd,
By the imaginary fears
Which so idly cloud your mind.
Beat. Well you know, Señor Don Luis,
That I value your attentions
Justly, both as proofs of love,
And because they come from you ;
But I never can requite them,
For the stars control affection;
And for what the stars deny us,
Who shall call them to account?
If in courts we prize the dearest
What in courts is found the rarest,
Then be grateful for this candid
Undeception ; were it only
That the simple truth's a treasure
Rarely to be met with there.
Don Luis, after Beatrice retires, expresses to his confidant Rodrigo, his surprise at his brother's thoughtlessness in introducing Don Manuel to his house.
Here a sister, youthful, handsome,
Lately widow'd : as you know,
Living there in such retirement,
Searce the sun beholds her presence ;
And but Beatrice alone,
As her near relation, enters.
Rod. Yes, I recollect; her husband,
In some port administrator
Of the crown revenues, dying
Deeply to the king indebted;
While his widow, to the court
Secretly repair'd, awaiting
Till in silence and retirement
She might gain his debt's acquittance.
And this justifies your brother ;
Since, if you reflect maturely
That her widowhood affords her
Neither license nor occasion
For receiving guests or visits,
And that, though Don Manuel dwell
Here, he never need discover
That the house contains a woman :
Where's the harm though here he be ?
All the more so, that your brother,
With such prudence and precaution,
Has assign'd her an apartment
Opening on the street behind us ;
And the passage to the house
(Either to avert suspicion
That it had been closed on purpose,
Or that at a future time
It might be with ease re-open'd)
With a cabinet of glass
Has conceald, so neatly fitted,
That no mortal could discover
There a door had ever been.
D. Luis. This, then, is my sole assurance !
And precisely this it is
Which undoes me; since he places,
As you say, to guard his honour,
Nothing but a screen of glass,
Which the slightest touch may
[Exeunt. The reader, who has the least ac- seclusion to which she is confined; the quaintance with the machinery of the tedium of which had led her on this Spanish stage, will readily anticipate occasion to venture out in disguise, that this cabinet, concealing a door of and to mingle in the crowd which was communication between the apart- witnessing the festivities in the Palace ments of Don Manuel and those as- Square, when she had been suddenly signed to Angela, is destined to make alarmed by the appearance of her a prominent figure in the intrigue of brother, Don Luis; had fled from him,
and had only been enabled to reach The next scene takes place in the her home through the gallant interapartments of Dona Angela, who ference of Don Manuel. Scarcely enters hurriedly along with Isabel, has she completed her change of dress, throwing off the dress she had worn in when her brother Don Luis himself the street, and resuming her mourn- enters, 'and, unconscious that Angela ing attire. She inveighs against the had been the object of his pursuit, re
lates to her his adventure, and com- conscious of a growing attachment tomunicates the unexpected intelligence wards her defender, she resolves to that the cavalier whose interference pay a visit to his apartment during his had arrested his pursuit, is her bro- absence, and to leave behind some ther's expected guest, Don Manuel, token of her gratitude, without reand that he is now an inmate in their vealing how or from what quarter it mansion. Aware, through the information of Isabel, of the existence of the We are next introduced to the door entering into his apartment, and chamber of Don Manuel. concealed by the cabinet, and halfThe principal door is in the background. On the right the secret door, con.
cealed by a large press with glass doors, in which various pieces of glassware are placed on shelves. The cabinet is so contrived as to revolve on its hinges when the door is opened. On the left of the room a recess with curtains. DON MANUEL and Don Juan enter. A Servant follows with a light.
D. Juan. Beseech you, sir! lie down.
D. Man. So slight my hurt, I own
I do already fear,
Don Juan, that I play the weakling here,
Suffering your care to go so far.
D. Juan. Thanks to the lucky fortune of my star!
Wretched I should remain
Were this, my pleasure, purchased with the pain
To see my friend contined
Within my house by sickness, and to find
A brother's hand (although
Unwitting whom it wounded) dealt the blow.
D. Man. He is a noble knight-
I envy him his prowess in the tight,
Admire his courtesy,
And ever shall his friend and servant be.
[Don Luis enters, followed by a servant with a covered
basket, containing a sword.
D. Luis. That I am yours no less,
Let the remorse which I endure express
I offer you my life ;
And that the hapless instrument of strife
No more with me. nain,
Which cannot please me more, nor serve again,
(Even as the servant's driven
Forth, who offence has to nos master given,)
I rid me of it so.
[Presenting the sword to Don MANUEL.
This, señor, is the blade that dealt the blow,
Here at your feet extended,
Imploring pardon where it hath offended ;
Let your just wrath with it,
On me and on itself, take vengeance fit.
D. Man. In all you conquer me!
Brave and discreet: mine let the weapon be,
Which, ever by my side,
Shall teach me to be brave. I feel with pride
My life now bears a charm;
For thought of danger never need alarm
His breast, who feels thine honour'd weapon near,
Before which only he had cause to fear. This scene of mutual compliments portmanteaus, and grumbling at the is interrupted by the entrance of Cos- disasters he had encountered in bringme, bearing his master's trunks and ing them from the Posada, where