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Don Jose said, but I think it was my duty nevertheless to echo it.
Marit. What does all this mean } why this mystery ? This marriage, which I was told was the wish of the Queen, my gracious benefactress ? If I ask to see the Queen, I am told to wait. If I inquire where is the husband to whom I was so mysteriously united-whether he is an exile, whether he is alive, when he will return-I am told to wait; always the same reply. Tell me, Marquis, am I deceived ? Has Don Jose been deceiving me ?
Marg. I hope not; for if he has deceived you he is capable of deceiving me, and my hopes with regard to the royal lap-dogs would be blighted forever; but have you never seen your husband since you married him ?
Marit. I did not see him then. Marq. Your love must have been particularly blind. Marit. Not so: it was his generosity that I admired [Enter Don Jose, C.,] that inspired in me the
strongest interest towards him ; for my sake he has suffered much, perhaps suffers now. I will demand of Don Jose when shall I see the Queen ? when shall I see my husband ?
Don J. (Coming down, c.) I am glad I am just in time to answer the question, lady; you shall see your husband to-day.
Marit. To-day? Marq. [Aside to Don Jose.] Isn't he dead, then, after all ?
Don J. Silence!
sign to him to retire; he does so with an air of disap
pointment, bowed up c. by Don Jose. Marit. You wished us to be alone; now let me hear of my husband.
Don J. (R.) He is at hand. [The King enters c. from R. He is compelled to keep himself concealed, being in hour. ly danger from the law; for your sake, and your sako alone, he has ventured here.
[Crosses up, L. Marit, Oh, we will find him a place of refuge! where is he!
Don J. Here! [The King advances, puts his cloak of' on chair, R. C.
Maritara recoils with an exclamation. King. (R.) Lady! Maritana ! Do you not recollect me ?
Marit. [Aside. He! [ To Dor Jose. That is not my hus . band. He to whom I gave my hand was
Don J. (L.) [Aside.] Don Cæsar de Bazan-behold him · there! Marit. No, no! I never felt an interest but for one,
and HE, you told me, was Don Cæsar.
Don J. I did but deceive you for your good. (Gets up, c.
you wherever you moved; one who, of all the multitude around, was alone charmed by the melancholy of your songs?
Marit. I remember you, Signor. [Aside.] For I trembled whilst I sought his bounty.
King. It was because I loved you ; it was because my happiness was centred all in you, that I determined to raise you to the station which you coveted. I resolved that you should share
love and Don J. (c.) (Interrupting.] But being then proscribed, Don Cæsar could offer you nothing but his name.
King. But now we meet again under happier influences ; give me but one word, one look, to bid me hope for your love, and you shall be my sovereign mistress. I will live for you, yes, for you alone.
[Passionately. Don J. Don Cæsar, remember, some one may overhear.
King. Lovely Maritana, my return must be unknown, but my danger need not separate me from you; we can be happy separated from the world. Let us hence together.
King. A few miles from Madrid there is a retreat, where Joze may revel in security ; thither let us fly.
Don J. [Looking off, R.] You must not delay: the guests will soon grow weary of the dance.
King. My Maritana, come! Why this ungenerous hesitation ?
Marit. [Aside.] Oh, heaven! [Aloud. But to leave thus suddenly, without even saying farewell to the Marquis.
Don J. Aside. The guests are returning. (Aloud.] Don Cæsar, the Countess is right. It might awaken suspicion if she were to quit the fête thus suddenly. She will fol
King. A carriage will be waiting at the door of yonder garden. Remember, your lover-Don Jose looks at him, your husband waits for you. Don J. Some one comes, quick, quick, begone! [Music. Tukes King's cloak from chair and puts it on
him. Ladies and gentlemen cross from L. to R. Marit. Oh, I am justly punished ! how I hate these gauds, purchased, as they must be, by days of misery !
Music. The King exits rapidly, c. and off, R. The MARCHIONEss enters, and at a signal from Don Jose,
leads out Maritana, who is in tears, L. C. Don J. How every obstacle that stood between me and my desires melts into air !
Don CÆSAR enters, in the disguise of a monk, C.L. Don C. [Approaching Don Jose with great humility.) Alms for our monastery, son. [Don Jose crosses to L.) So, Don Jose, here I am once more! [Throwing off disguise and discovering himself.]
Don J. You! Don Cæsar! not dead !
life ? Don C. You did, by rescuing me from the gallows.
Don J. But I saw you led out to execution; I heard the muskets.
Don C. So did I. (Aside.) And here are the bullets ex tracted in good time from the guns by my faithful Lazaril. lo. [Shows bag containing bullets.] Yes, here they are, six in number; they're better in my pocket than in my body. I never expected to receive them with so much satisfaction.
[Crosses, L. Don J. But
fell. Don C. Of course I did ; I could not do less when six gallant soldiers took the trouble to make me their target; I should have wounded their pride if I had made them think they had missed their aim.
Don J. I have been deceived.
Don C. And so have I; the illusion was so perfect, that I really thought I was dead, and, consequently, all my creditors paid, till I found myself among some of my
old companions, with a dice-box in my hand and a flegon before
[Crosses R. Don J. Who can have betrayed mo!
Don C. [Aside. Thank heaven, he does not suspect the dear boy. Sitting down anceremoniously. Aloud.) There seems to be a fête here.
Dor d. There is. You are in danger! Why did you come ?
Don C. I'll tell you, if you'll have a little patience. I happened to see a carriage with my own arms upon it, and on inquiry, I found it belonged to the Countess de Bazan; so here I am. Where's my wife ? for you know I've not much time to lose, if the sentence of that cursed edict is to be respected.
Don J. (Aside.] He is not aware of his pardon. [Aloud, with dignity.) Tell me, Don Cæsar, wliat are your plans?
Don C. To see my wife; she's mine, and I may as well take possession ; you gave her to me, and I have come to you, therefore, to profit by your benevolence.
Don J. [Aside.] Must all my designs be thus o'erthrown? No it shall not be.
Enter Marquis, c. from L. Marq. My guests are merry fellows, they do nothing but drink to the Countess de Bazan.
Dor C. (r.) The deuce they do! the Countess de Bazan! my wife! where is she?
Marq. I beg pardoa, are you Don Cæsar ? Are you the gentleman that is-not dead!
Don J. (L.) (Aside to Marquis. Not a word, not another word; evince no astonishment at anything you hear or see. Do as I wish.
Crosscs, L. Marq. And the lap-dogs ?
Don J. Shall be yours. [Crosses to Don Cæsar. Aloud.] Don Cæsar, your rights are sacred, and they shall be respected; your wife, the Countess de Bazan, is here, and shall join you immediately; wait for her.
Don C. She comes, and I shall see her as I have seen her in my dreams, radiant in youth and beauty! [The Marquis is going.) Stay near me, Sir, and support me, I am sure I shall require it, the rapture will be too much for me; that soft white hand haunts me like a spectre.
Enter Don Jose leading in Marchioness, c. from L. Marq. [To Don Cesar.] Don't agitate yourself, be calm I know what it is to await the coming of a lovely woman I have a marchioness !
Don J. (Looking significantly at Marquis.] Don Cæsar, behold the Countess de Bazan. Presents Marchioness.
Don C. The Countess the devil!
Marq. [.Aside. He's giving him my wife! [The Marchioness smiles. She likes it.
Don C. [Bows formally: Aside.] No wonder she wore a veil; sixty, by the mass !
Marq. He's struck with her!
Don C. (To Marquis.] Will you—will you show me the nearest way to the door?
Don J. Don Cæsar, the Countess de Bazan is prepared to fulfil all the duties of a wife to him—who has right to demand them.
Don C. I trust she will make no sacrifice on my account. Marchioness turns away. To Don Jose.] You can make out another warrant for my execution; I should prefer it to this. [To Marquis.) My good friend, did you ever see such a perfect Gorgon? Frightful, isn't she ?
Marq. (Aside. Frightful, Don Cæsar ? The man's troubles have ruined his eyesight.
Don J. The countess awaits your bidding. She is prepared to share your state and fortunes.
Don C. Madam, I will not take advantage of the accident of fate, charmed as I must be at the generosity of her who would share the lot of so poor, se dunned, so desperate a libertine as myself.
Don J. She knew your position when she consented to the union.
Don C. Did she? Then I will not be outdone in generosity. [Crosses, c.] Madam, I will not take you
from those to whom you are endeared by years, (Looks at her,] long scars of tender association. At your age-I mean—that