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Marit. I dare abide the issue. Oli, Don Cæsar! you know not to what a thing of power that love has grown, woich had its birth almost at the altar. The hours of fear and self-reproach which I have passed, have made your image an idol to my heart. Don C. (Embracing her.] I must believe you,
Maritana. Don Cæsar, the adventurer, is no more; the Count Garofa will live worthy of his name, since you must share it with him. (Drum heard.] Ah! soldiers approach the house.
Marit. Then fly; save yourself.
Marit. Fear not for me ; go seek the Queen. She is at Aranguez; tell her that Maritana is in danger. She will rescue me.
Don C. Not whilst I have a sword to second a stout heart.
Marit. Clinging to him. I know how much I ask of you, who would rather trust to your own arm, than seek succour of a woman. But for my sake-for her who will prove how deeply she adores you-go to the Queen. Don C. [Kisses her. To the Queen !
(Erit, c. [She kneels before a Nadonna.
Marit. What is to be done? Do not leave me, Lazarillo.
Laza. He will order me to withdraw.
Marit. True, you must obey him; but at least let me have some protection. [Takes a dagger from his girdle.] At the worst, this will free me from his power.
The King enters, L. King. [To Lazarillo.) Where is the stranger that I left here?
Laza. Gone, Sire.
[Lazurillo looks at Maritana. Muit. Lazarillo, obey the orders of his Majesty.
[Exit Lazarillo, L. D
King. Majesty! who has dared to betray me?
Marit. He that has betrayed you, Sire, is the same who counselled
you to commit a meanness unworthy of a King. King. How, madam!
Marit, He who has made a mockery of the altar-who brought you to me as my husband, the Count de Bazan.
King. Maritana, I am the King. My pride has long revolted at the deceit we practised on you. Now that you know me for what I am, listen to me.
Marit. Leave me, Sire, I implore you— leave me.
King. Leave you! you—the only one I have ever truly loved! Marit. Oh, Sire! in pity, go. Be generous—be merciful.
King. But one embrace-one. “ Marit. (Draws dagger.] One step nearer, and I strike.” King. What, Maritana! am I so loathsome to you ?
Marit. No, Sire; but I am wife of one who must find me worthy of him, or find me no more.
King. Of whom speak you ?
Don CÆSAR enters, L. D. Don C. Not yet, Sire, thanks to your Majesty's gracious pardon.
Marit. Ha! [Crosses to him, and throws dagger down.! My husband will protect me. King. Your husband ! [ Don Cæsar crosses R., locks both doors, and takes 01).
keys. King. What have you done, sir?
Don C. (R. D.) Locked the doors, Sire, that no one ma enter-that no one may hear that to which we alone should listen.
Crosses, c. Marit. (Aside.] What will be the end of this ?
Don C. (Fiercely.) If the persecutor of my wife had Leen a gentleman and soldier like myself, I fear that I should have denied him even the chance of an encounter-I think that at once I should have dispatched him ; for in such a case one does not look for reparation, but revenge ; you, Sire, are my King, [Presents his sword,] and thus d. i disarm my vengeance.
King. You are speaking, sir, to the King of Spain.
Don C. To whom else should I speak? We carmot always subdue the will or restrain the hand. I will render both powerless. [Throws away sword.] But reparation must be made.
King. With effort.] Proceed, sir ; your audacity pleases Marit. Remember, Don Cæsar, it is your King.
Don C. Yes, it is my King. Sire, this poor weak woman, against whom such power has combined, has sought the protection of our beloved Queen.
King. The Queen!
Don C. Yes, Sire, I was her messenger to the Palace of Aranguez.
King. Then you have seen the Queen ?
Don C. You shall hear, Sire. When I arrived at the palace, I was denied admittance; but, regardless of the guns of the sentinels
Marit. Ah! you have been in danger. Don C. No; you forget that I am bullet-proof. King. Well, well. Don C. I climbed the garden wall; under the shadow of some trees, I crept close to a pavilion, whence proceeded two voices—that of a man and a woman's. The woman, though greatly moved, spoke proudly; the voice of the man trembled with passionate emotion. I heard this -"Madam, you are deceived—your husband meets his mistress to-night. Some officers of the King shall follow him to a secluded chateau in the forest, and bring you proof of his infidelity."
King. Who has dared to place a watch upon my actions ?
Don C. The man was Don Jose de Santarem, your favourite minister; the lady-was the Queen. King. 'Tis false ! if it were true
[Crosses up L. towards doors. Don C. Coolly.) Your Majesty forgets that I have lock ed the doors. King. Traitor!
Comes down, L. Don C. I told you, Sire, that reparation must be made; do you understand me now? The minister betrays his King, the subject would dishonor his Queen.
King. Don Cæsar, on your allegiance open that door.
Don C. The wrong you would have inflicted on me, another now practices towards you; yet you cannot leave this room. (The Kin puts his hands to his face, and falls in a chair.] Each moment is an age of agony, and yet you cannot quit this place to satisfy your doubt. All that
you mad me suffer, you are now enduring; and yet you cannot stir but at my will
King. [Points to door.] Don Cæsar, at your peril hesitate a moment longer.
Don C. This retribution is terrible, is it not ?
King. Take up your sword; (Rises,] I am a King no longer; your treason forces me to become your equal. Defend yourself, and save me from becoming an assassin.
Marit. [Crosses c. and is put back by Don Cæsar.] Oh, Sire, for heaven's sake!
King. (L.) Take up your sword, or I will strike
Don C. When did a Spanish gentleman hesitate to revenge an insult to his King ? Think you I have spared the man who would have made my dishonour the stepping-stone to yours ? No, Sire, I have struck. Sire, your honour is preserved. It is now your turn to deal with mine.
[Kneels and points to Maritana. King. (Raises him.) Rise, Don Cæsar. [Drum heard, and cries of " The King! The King !''] The doors are burst open, and Nobles enter. Lazarillo takes
back chair. Officers. It is the King.
King. Yes, gentlemen, we have visited Don Cæsar de Bazan, one of our most faithful servants. [All seem surprised.] Don Cæsar de Bazan, we have appointed you Governor of Valencia.
Don C. The government of Granada is also vacant, Sire. King. Why rather Granada than Valencia ?
Don C. Granada is twice the distance from Madrid, Points to Maritana, and that doubles the obligation; and besides, there I've no creditors.
King. [Smiles.] Be it as you wish. We appoint our
faithful subject, Don Cæsar de Bazan, Governor of Granada.
Let peace be joined to length of days,
DISPOSITION OF THE CHARACTERS AT THE FALL OF