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HYPOLITO.-And wouldst thou venture?
Victori AN.— Ay, indeed I wouldl
HYPolito. — Thou art courageous. Hast thou
How much lies hidden in that one word, now f
VICTORIAN.—Yes; all the awful mystery of Life!
I oft have thought, my dear Hypolito,
That could we, by some spell of magic, change
The world and its inhabitants to stone,
In the same attitudes they now are in,
What fearful glances downward might we cast
Into the hollow chasms of human lifel
who gour should we behold about the death-
Putting to shame the group of Niobe!
What joyful welcomes, and what sad farewells!
What stony tears in those congealed eyes!
What visible joy or anguish in those cheeks l
What bridal pomps, and what funereal shows!
who, like gladiators, fierce and strug-
What ors with their marble lips together!
HYPolito.—Ay, there it is! and, if I were in love,
That is the very point I most should dread.
This magic glass, these magic spells of thine,
Might tell a tale were better left untold.
For instance they might show us thy fair cousin,
The Lady Violante, bathed in tears
Of love and anger, like the maid of Colchis,
Whom thou, another faithless Argonaut,
Having won that golden fleece, a woman's love,
Desertest for this Glauce.
VICTORIAN.— Hold thy peace!
She cares not for me. She may wed another,
Orgo into a convent, and, thus dying,
Marry Achilles in the Elysian Fields.
HYPOLITó (rising).-And so, good-night! Good.
morning, I should say.
Hark! how the loud and ponderous mace of
Knocks at the golden portals of the day !
And so, once more, good-night! We'll speak
Of Preciosa when we meet again.
Get thee to bed, and the magician, Sleep,
Shall show her to thee, in his magic glass,
In all her loveliness. Good-night! [Erit.
VICTORIAN.— Good-night !
But not to bed; for I must read a while.
(Throws himself into the arm-chair which HYPolito has left, and lays a large book open upon his knees.)
Must read, or sit in reverie and watch
The changing colour of the waves that break
Upon the idle sea-shore of the mind!
Visions of Famel that once did visit me,
Making night glorious with your smile, where
O, who shall give me, now that ye are gone,
Juices of those immortal plants that bloom
Upon Olympus, making us immortal?
Or teach me where that wondrous mandrake
Whose magic root, torn from the earth with
At midnight hour, can scare the fiends away,
And make the mind prolific in its fancies?
I have the wish, but want the will to act!
Souls of great men departed l Ye whose words
Have come to light from the swift river of
Like Roman swords found in the Tagus' bed,
Where is the strength to wield the arms ye
From the barred visor of Antiquity
Reflected shines the eternal light of Truth,
As from a mirror All the means of action, -
The shapeless masses, the materials,
Lie everywhere about us. What we need
Is the celestial fire to change the flint
Into transparent crystal, bright and clear.
That fire is genius ! The rude peasant sits
At evening in his smoky cot, and draws
With charcoal uncouth figures on the wall.
The son of genius comes, footsore with travel,
And begs a shelter from the inclement night.
He takes the charcoal from the peasant's hand,
And, by the magic of his touch at once
Transfigured, all its hidden virtues shine,
And, in the eyes of the astonished clown,
It gleams a diamond l Even thus transformed,
Rude popular traditions and old tales
Shine as immortal poems at the touch
Of some poor, houseless, homeless, wandering
ard, Who had but a night's lodging for his pains. But there are brighter dreams than those of
Fame, Which are the dreams of Love! Out of the heart Rises the bright ideal of these dreams, As from some woodland fount a spirit rises, And sinks again into its silent deeps, Ere the enamoured knight can touch her robel 'Tis this ideal that the soul of man, Like the enamoured knight beside the fountain, Waits for upon the margin of Life's stream ; Waits to behold her rise from the dark waters, Clad in a mortal shapel Alas! how many Must wait in vain The stream flows evermore, But from its silent deeps no spirit rises! Yet I, born under a propitious star, Have found the bright ideal of my dreams. Yes, she is ever with me. I can feel, Here, as I sit at midnight, and alone,
Her gentle breathing ! on my breast can feel
The pressure of her head God's benison
Rest ever on it ! . Close those beauteous eyes,
Sweet Sleep ! and all the flowers that bloom
With balmy lips breathe in her ear my name!
(Gradually sinks asleep.)
SCENE I.--PRECIosa's chamber. Morning. PREciosa and ANGELICA.
PRECIOSA.—Why will you go so soon? Stay yet
The poor too often turn away unheard
From hearts that shut against them with a
That will be heard in heaven. Pray, tell me
Of your adversities. Keep nothing from me.
What is your landlord's name?
ANGELICA.— The Count of Lara. Parcoo Count of Lara? O, beware that man
Mistrust his pity, hold no parley with him And rather die an outcast in the streets Than touch his gold. ANGELICA.— You know him, then 2 PRECIOSA.— As much As any woman may, and yet be pure. As you would keep your name without a blemish, Beware of him ' ANGELICA.— Alas! what can I do? I cannot choose my friends. Each word of kindness, Conle whence it may, is welcome to the poor.
PRECIOSA.—Make me your friend. A girl so young
Should have no friends but those of her own
What is your name?
PRECIOSA.— That name
Was given you, that you m'<ht be an angel
To her who bore you! When your infant
Made her home Paradise, you were her angel.
O, be an angel still ! She needs that smile.
So long as you are innocent, fear nothing.
No one can harm you ! I am a poor girl,
Whom chance has taken from the public
I have no other shield than mine own virtue.
That is the charm which has protected me !
Amid a thousand perils, I have worn it
Here on my heart! It is my guardian angel.
ANGELICA (rising).-I thank you for this counsel,
PRECIosA.—Thank me by following it.
ANGELICA.— Indeed I will.
PRECIosA.—Pray, do not go. I have much more
to say. ANGELICA.- My mother is alone. I dare not leave er. PRECIosa,—Some other time, then, when we meet
You must not go away with words alone.
(Gives her a purse.) Take this. Would it were more. ANGELICA.— I thank you, lady. PRECIOSA.—No thanks. To-morrow come to me again.
I dance to-night, perhaps for the last time.
But what I gain, I promise shall be yours,
If that can save you from the Count of Lara.