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And words of true love pass from tongue to tongue, As singing birds from one bough to another. PRECIOSA.—That were a life indeed to make time envious ! I knew that thou wouldst visit me to-night. I saw thee at the play. VICTORIAN.— Sweet child of airl Never did I behold thee so attired And garmented in beauty, as to-night! What hast thou done to make thee look so fair? PRECIOSA.—Am I not always fair? VICTORIAN.— Ay, and so fair That I am jealous of all eyes that see thee, And wish that they were blind. PRECIOSA.— I heed them not ; When thou art present, I see none but thee! VICTORIAN.—There's nothing fair nor beautiful, but takes Something from thee, that makes it beautiful. PRECIOSA.—And yet thou leavest me for those ~ dusty books. VICTORIAN.—Thou comest between me and those books too often I I see thy face in everything I see! The paintings in the chapel wear thy looks, The canticles are changed to sarabands, And with the learned doctors of the schools I see thee dance cachuchas. PRECIOSA.— In good sooth, I dance with learned doctors of the schools To-morrow morning.

VICTORIAN.— And with whom, I pray ?
PRECIosA.—A grave and reverend Cardinal, and
his Grace
The Archbishop of Toledo.
VICTORIAN.— What madjest
Is this P

PRECIOSA.—It is no jest; indeed it is not.
VictoriaN.—Prithee, explain thyself.

PRECIOSA.— Why, simply thus.
Thou knowest the Pope has sent here into Spain
To put a stop to dances on the stage.
VICTORIAN.—I have heard it whispered.
PRECIOSA.— Now the Cardinal,
Who for this purpose comes, would fain behold
With his own eyes these dances; and the Arch-
bishop
Has sent for me —
VICTORIAN.— That thou may’st dance before
them l
Now viva la cachucha! It will breathe
The fire of youth into these gray old men!
"Twill be thy proudest conquest!
PRECIOSA.— Saving one.
And yet I fear these dances will be stopped,
And Preciosa be once more a beggar.
VICTORIAN.—The sweetest beggar that e'er asked

for alms; With such beseeching eyes, that when I saw thee I gave my heart away! PRECIoSA.— Dost thou remember When first we met 2 VICTORIAN.— It was at Córdova,

In the cathedral garden. Thou wast sitting Under the orange trees beside a fountain, PRECIOSA.—"Twas Easter Sunday. The full-blossomed trees Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy. The priests were singing, and the organ sounded, And then anon the great cathedral bell. It was the elevation of the Host. We both of us fell down upon our knees, Under the orange boughs, and prayed together. I never had been happy till that moment. VICTORIAN.—Thou blessed angel ! PRECIOSA.— And when thou wast gone I felt an aching here. I did not speak

To any one that day. But from that day Bartolomé grew hateful unto me. * VICTORIAN.—Remember him no more. Let not his shadow Come between thee and me. Sweet Preciosal I loved thee even then, though I was silent 1 Preciosa—I thought I ne'er should see thy face

again. Thy farewell had a sound of sorrow in it. VICTORIAN.—That was the first sound in the song of love! Scarce more than silence is, and yet a sound. Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings Of that mysterious instrument, the soul, And play the prelude of our fate. We hear The voice prophetic, and are not alone. PRECIos A.—That is my faith. Dost thou believe these warnings? VICTORIAN.—So far as this. Our feelings and our thoughts Tend ever on, and rest not in the Present. As drops of rain fall into some dark well, And from below comes a scarce audible sound, So fall our thoughts into the dark Hereafter, And their mysterious echo reaches us. Pl:ECros A.—I have felt it so, but found no words to say it! I cannot reason; I can only feel ! But thou hast language for all thoughts and feelings. Thou art a scholar; and sometimes I think We cannot walk together in this world ! The distance that divides us is too great I Henceforth thy pathway lies among the stars; I must not hold thee back.

VICTORIAN.— Thou little sceptic!
Dost thou still doubt? What I most prize in
Woman

Is her affection, not her intellect:
The intellect is finite; but the affections

Are infinite, and cannot be exhausted.
Compare me with the great men of the earth;
What am I? Why, a pigmy among giants
But if thou lovest,-mark me ! I say lovest,--
The greatest of thy sex excels thee not!
The world of the affections is thy world,
Not that of man's ambition. In that stillness
Which most becomes a woman, calm and holy,
Thou sittest by the fireside of the heart,
Feeding its flame. The element of fire
Is pure. It cannot change nor hide its nature,
But burns as brightly in a Gipsy camp
As in a palace hall. Art thou convinced?

PRECIOSA.—Yes, that I love thee, as the good love

heaven,

But not that I am worthy of that heaven.
How shall I more deserve it?

VICTORIAN.— Loving more.

PRECIOSA.—I cannot love thee more; my heart is

ull. VICTORIAN.—Thenletitoverflow, and I will drinkit, As in the summer-time the thirsty sands Drink the swift waters of a mountain torrent, And still do thirst for more. A WATCHMAN (in the street).- Ave Maria Purissimal 'Tis milmight, and serenel VICTORIAN.—Hearst t.ou that cry?

PRECIOSA.— It is a hateful sound,
To scare thee from me!
VICTORIAN.— As the hunter's horn

Doth scare the timid stag, or bark of hounds The moor-fowl from his mate. PRECIOSA.— Pray, do not go! VICTORIAN.—I must away to Alcalá to-night. Think of me when I am away. PRECIOSA.— Fear not I have no thoughts that do not think of thee. VICTORIAN (giving her a ring). —And to remind thee of my love, take this; A serpent, emblem of Eternity; A ruby, -say, a drop of my heart's blood.

** PRECIOSA.—It is an ancient saying, that the ruby Brings gladness to the wearer, and preserves The heart pure, and, if laid beneath the pillow, Drives away evil dreams. But then, alas! It was a serpent tempted Eve to sin. VICTORIAN.—What convent of barefooted Carmelites Taught thee so much theology? Precio”,o her hand upon his mouth).-Hush | h

us Goot and may all holy angels guard thee VICTORIAN.—Good-night! good-night! Thou art my guardian angel I have no other saint than thou to pray to

(He descends by the balcony.)

PRECIOSA.—Take care, and do not hurt thee. Art
thou safe 2
VICTORIAN (from the garden).-Safe as my love for
thee! But art thou safe?
Others can climb a balcony by moonlight
As well as I. Pray, shut thy window close ;
I am jealous of the perfumed air of night
That from this garden climbs to kiss thy lips.
PRECIOSA (throwing down her handkerchief).-Thou
silly child ! Take this to blind thine eyes.
It is my benison 1
VICTORIAN.— And brings to me
Sweet fragrance from thy lips, as the soft wind
Wafts to the outbound mariner the breath
Of the beloved land he leaves behind.
PRECIosA.—Make not thy voyage long.
VICTORIAN.— To-morrow night
Shall see me safe returned. Thou art the star
To guide me to an anchorage. Good-night!
My beauteous star! My stor of love, good-
night !
Preciosood night !
WATCLIMAN (at a distance).-Ave Maria Purissimal

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