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Hurrah! Hurrah! [Lazarillo, during the singing of the second verse, mores
guns and returns with them before the end. Soldiers. Don Cæsar de Bazan!
[Drink. (Organ heard.) Don C. (Rising. My wife! [To the Soldiers.] It is the Countess de Bazan.
(Clock now ten minutes to seven.) [The Solaiers rise from table and go off, R.D. Don Jose
enters, leading in MARITANA, closely veiled. Pedro
following. Don J. (Aside to Don Cæsar.] Not a word, not a look.
Don C.: A look would be vain indeed! Twould be a piercing glance that could penetrate that veil.
Don J. Don Cæsar, your bride waits your hand.
Don C. (Takes her hand.] It's tolerably soft, and gives me some curiosity to know if so small a hand belongs to a wrinkled face. [Trics to look through the vcil.] I never saw a woman so muffled in my life. (Don Jose points to clockAside.] True, what matter ? but ten minutes more. (Aloud and gallantly.] Madam, to you I devote the rest of my existence.
[Organ Music. Don Cæsar leads Maritana out, fol
lowed by Lazarillo, R. Don J. [To Pedro.] Admit the Marquis de Rotondo and his wife.
[Exit, R., following Don Cæsar. (Pedro ushers in the Marquis and Marchioness de Ro
tondo, L. S. E., and exits, L. The Marquis and Mar. chioncss look about them with an air of amazement ;
they then meet face to face, and look at each other. Marq. Where on earth can we be ? March. Is it a prison ? Marq. A prison! (Looking round. No, it can't be a pri
son, for this isn't prison fare; a fricandeau, or my nose deceives me.
March. Is it a monastery ?
Marq. Ah! it's more like a monastery ; [Taking up a bottle of wine and looking at it.] Some wine still left! Then it's not a monastery; your true monk wouldn't leave enough to drown a thirsty spider.
M[arch. What place can it be?
Marq. No matter, dearest, we haja done as Don Jose desired us, and that is enough; he told us to get into a carriage, and we did; he said we should be taken some. · where, and we are taken somewhere.
March. That's all very well; but why are you the mere puppet of Don Jose ? You can do nothing without him; all you possess seems to be at the disposal of Don Jose.
Marq. Madam, do not despise that sacred sentiment which goes by the euphonious name of Gratitude! What were we until we knew Don Jose ? I rich, but obscure ; you lovely, but unappreciated; my merits were undiscovered, your beauty nobody could ever see. Was it not Don Jose who got me the appointment of governor-general of his majesty's poultry ?-aviary, I mean.
March. What has a marquis to do with hatching turkeys?
Marq. Marchioness, speak more reverently of incubation. For the honour Don Jose conferred on me, I have sworn to devote myself to the wishes of Don Jose, and to comply with all, however incomprehensible he may appear. March. But this blind obedience might affect your
honour; it might affect mine.
Marq. Your honour! Let any one attack your honour. and this good sword, rusting in honourable repose, will leap from its scabbard. Who has assailed my beautiful,
March. Who would have dared-who would have looked me in the face and spoken of love ?
Marq. Ah! you are ever the best protectress of your beauty. Time treads upon your cheek withont leaving a wrinkle ; that fac can never lose its charms; your beauty's still the theme of all who share my dinners and my wine; how they have praised your youthful air for the last thirty years.
Kisses her. March. Fie! some one is coming : now, perhaps, we shall discover where we are.
Enter Don Jose, leading MARITANA, R. D. Don J. I wish you joy, Marquis. (Marquis bows.) You had better now return to your palace at Saint Fernando, with the Countess de Bazan, your niece.
[Passes her across to R. O Marq. [Aside.) My niece ? March.' [Aside. What does all this mean?
(Clock strikes seven.) Don J. You will return with your niece, whom you have not seen for the last five years.
Marq. Five years ! yes, I think it rather longer than that. Shall I have the honour of receiving my nephew the count, the lady's husband ? Don J. The lady's husband is
[A discharge of musquetry without.) Marit. [Starts. What's that? Don J. Hum ! nothing. [Aside.] Farewell, Don Cæsar. Officer. [Entering, R.) My lord, your ordersDon J. Hush !
END OF ACT I.
SCENE I. - Summer Pavilion in the Palace of the Marquis
de Rotondo. [Dancing going on in different parts of Stage. MARI
TANA seated, and a group of Cavaliers are standing round her. Don Jose standing opposite to her, with his eyes fixed on her, L. The MARQUIS and Mar
CHIU. paying attention to their various guests.
away, as they dance up. Ist Cav. (To Marquis.] Upon my honor, Marquis, I ne. ver saw the Marchioness looking so well.
2nd Cav. And so youthful. March. Really, gentlemen, your compliments overpower
Marg. (Asidc.] How unanimous they all are! (Aloud. You must really come and dine with me to-morrow; I want your opinion of some wine of a rare quality, and you
show so much taste in other matters, that I should value your opinion very much. Women and wine, you know-a judge of the one is generally a judge of the other.
Don J. (Still gazing on Maritana.] Thoughtful and musing! Ah! that's well.
Marq. [Going up to him.] Well, my lord, do you admire the féte? The women are lovely, are they not? By the bye, speaking of lovely women, have you seen my marchioness? Your lordship's eyes seem fixed on-hem!
Don J. Yes : how well she sustains her new dignity ! I really think that you and I have only rectified a little error of destiny, in placing her in the position which is evidently the one for which nature intended her; what is your opinion?
Marg. My opinion is, that your lordship's opinion is my opinion, and that you are perfectly right.
Don J. Ah, marquis, you are quite a courtier, your tact is unrivalled. How go on his Majesty's birds, of which you are the governor ?
Marq. I am proud to say, that since I have been at the head of the establishment, the royal birds have reached an unprecedented plumpness.
Don J. By the bye, Don Carlo is seriously ill, and if his appointment should become vacant, pray remind me of
Marg. Oh, this is too much! Don Carlo, grand master of the royal lap-dogs! Oh, could I ever aspire to such a dignity-chief of the precious pets! Can I be worthy of such a position ?
Don J. Your peculiar talents design you for the situation. (Pointing to Marchioness.] But my dear Marquis, do you see those two young tall gallants paying attention to that lovely wife of yours ? Upon my honour, I think she grows younger every day.
[He turns away, and approaches Maritana. Marq. He, too, is struck with the beauty of my wife ; poor young creature, she little knows the havoc she is mak ing with her charms !
Don J. [To Maritana.] You seem thoughtful; are you not pleased with the fète ? There is all that wealth and taste could bring together; nothing is wanting.
Marit. [Partly aside. Nothing is wanting but one whose absence leaves a void within my heart, and makes me loathe the splendor which surrounds me.
A SERVANT comes down and speaks aside to Don Jose.
Ser. The person whom your lordship expected has arrived.
Don J. 'Tis well. (Aside to Marquis.] Get rid of these people at once.
Marq. [Aside.) At once! that's rather unceremonious ; but it must be done. (Aloud.] Gentlemen, pray lead your partners to the adjoining room; there is something pro vided there, which I flatter myself will gratify and astonish you. [Aside.] Sandwiches and wine! [Music. All the guests go off, L. c.] It was necessary to get rid of them, as Don Jose desired it; that wine must do it.
[The Marquis and Marchioness are about to follow
guests, when Don Jose stops them. Don J. The lovely countess had better remain here; will you also oblige me by doing so, my good host?
Marq. Certainly, it is we that are obliged; I am particularly obliged. Don J. Aside to Maritana. This fete shall be complete,
" to his presence whose absence leaves a void, and makes this splendor nothing."
(Exit, leading Marchioness, L. C. Marit. [To Marquis.] Did you hear his lordship's last words ? You are the host—'tis you that invite the guests - will it be as Don Jose has promised ?
Marq. I daresay it will. Aside.) I did not hear what