« PreviousContinue »
they had been deposited. Don Man- Don Manuel's bed, and they retire uel directs him to unpack their con- The confusion which follows when tents; and announces his resolution of Cosme on returning to the room, which still going out to pay a visit of busi. he had left locked, finds the contents ness, and returning to meet Don Juan of the portmanteaus littered about the at supper.
Don Manuel goes out- floor, and Don Manuel, on retiring to Cosme remains ; but thinking it more his couch, finds the billet addressed to advisable to employ the interval in a himself, is given with great liveliness wine-house than in obeying his mas. and effect. The valet is persuaded ter's orders, he, after some delibera- that the whole is the work of the tion, leaves the portmanteaus on the devil. Don Manuel, though at first floor, and makes his exit after his mas- confounded by this unexpected discoter. The cabinet is then pushed aside, very, more justly concludes that some and through the secret door enter one, whom he conjectures to be the Dona Angela and Isabel. An in- lady whom he had assisted, and susspection of the portmanteaus by the pects to be the mistress of Don Luis, two females takes place; and Angela was enabled by some secret passage to discovers, to her mortification, among enter to his chamber. Of the cabinet Don Manuel's effects, a miniature and he has no suspicion : being open in a bundle of letters in a woman's hand- front and apparently quite filled writing. Impelled partly by grati. with glass, it never occurs to him tude, and partly by an incipient feel that it is moveable ; neither can he ing of jealousy, she determines to explain how this lady, who appearleave a billet for Don Manuel, and ed so anxious to escape from Don sits down to write ; while Isabel, in the Luis, should be an inmate in his mean time, amuses herself with empty- house. But while he resolves to ing Cosme's purse of the few copper answer the billet, and to leave the coins it contained, and filling their answer, as directed, in his room, he is place with cinders. Don Angela determined, one way or other, to find leaves her note under the coverlid of a key to the mystery. Cosme asks,
What, then, is your resolution ?
D. Man. Simply this : by day and night
Act II. opens in Dona Angela's apartment. Angela is relating to Beatrice her admiration, and the answer teturned to her billet by Don Manuel. She confesses her intention of having an interview with him, and is about to mention the nature of her plan, when the female consultation is interrupted by the appearance of_Dón Luis. On seeing him, Beatrice attempts to retire.
D. Luis. Wherefore should you fly, fair lady ?
D. Luis. What! the fairest, purest light,
Passion, from your slights, in vain
D. Beat. While you chide in such sweet strain,
D. Luis. Since beneath your scorn I've lain,
D. Beat. Wisely done,
D. Luis. Nay, since chance has will’d it so,
D. Beat. I'll not hear: for mercy's sake,
D. Luis. Sister! what remains for me?
D. Ang. Cast aside this ill-requited
D. Luis. What I forget her? 'midst regret
Don Luis's complaints are inter- setting out that night for the royal rupted by the entrance of Don Man- residence. uel, who announces, that in conse- Cosme is directed to make the nequence of the King's absence at the cessary preparations, and in doing Escurial, he is under the necessity of so happens to enter Don Manuel's chamber with a light just as Isabel street. Mean time, in order to get had entered on the opposite side to quit of the constant presence of her deposit the basket and letter which brothers, both attracted by their pas. Dona Angela had directed her to sion for Beatrice, Angela is to give leave for Don Manuel, Isabel dex. out that a reconciliation had been terously gets behind Cosme, dashes effected between Beatrice and her fathe light out of his hand, extinguishes ther, and that the former had conseit, and is about to make her escape, quently returned to her own house : when she stumbles on Don Manuel while in reality she is to remain conhimself, who unexpectedly enters and cealed in Angela's apartments, and to lays hold of the basket which she is assist the scheme for further mysticarrying. She contrives, however, to fying Don Manuel. This latter part quit her hold of the basket, which she of the conversation is overheard by leaves in Don Manuel's hands, and in Don Luis, who, conceiving that this the darkness escapes through the cabi- pretended removal of Beatrice is a net while Don Manuel is waiting for scheme to deceive him, and to favour his a light.
brother Don Juan, determines to surOn examining the basket, a letter is prise the parties in his sister's apartfound, the important part of which is ment when the intended interview the following sentence:-“As to what
Thus the train is natuyou say of your friend, under the per- rally laid for a series of very interestsuasion that I am the mistress of Don ing scenes in the third act. Luis, I give you the assurance that I Don Juan, who now enters, comneither am, nor can be, such. This municates the intelligence that Don much until we meet, which will be Manuel has departed for the Escurial, shortly." Don Manuel, after giving but is to return the next day. Anspecial directions to Cosme to pack up gela, affecting great annoyance at certain letters which he intended to the idea of his return, secretly detake with him, departs for the Escurial termines to avail herself of his ab-but with his curiosity and impatience sence this evening, to carry into efwound up to the highest point-to fect her resolution of visiting his apartsolve the riddle of this mysterious visi- ment, and getting possession of the tant to his chamber.
letters and the obnoxious miniature. Dona Angela, resuming the con. She retires with Isabel, while a scene versation which had been interrupt of compliment, in the highest style of ed, imparts to Dona Beatrice her Spanish gallantry, takes place between scheme for introducing Don Manuel Beatrice and Don Juan. The followinto her chamber, without his being ing sonnets, which conclude the scene, aware that he is in reality within are characteristic specimens of that a few feet of his own
A carte and tierce of love-logic in which servant is to watch for him in the Calderon deals so largely, and which dusk, and to convey him blindfold in was afterwards copied in the heroic a chair to Dona Angela's apartment, plays of Dryden:by the door leading from the back
So firm my love, so heartfelt my affection,
Against my wish love would triumphant be.
I would forget thee: that with free election
And that be choice which is necessity.
Can never by his forced devotion move,
Since with his love his wishes are at war.
And yet, though dragg'd a captive in thy train,
Necessity upon the stars' decree,
That passion must the surer seem to me
That does not to such fluctuations bend.
My faith-(let me suppose what cannot be,)
That such was not my will would still contend.
First to forget before I loved again,
Since, while forgetting, I must still remain
Deprived of the delight of loving thee. Dona Angela's visit to the chamber of Don Manuel leads to an unexpected consequence. In the course of his route to the Escurial, Don Manuel dis. covers that Cosme had, in his very anxiety carefully to lay the letters aside which were to be packed up for the journey, left them lying on the table in his apartment. This obliges him to return. He enters the house softly, in order to create no disturbance, opens the door of his chamber in the dark, and just as Cosme is beginning to express the wish that the goblin visitant who had made so free with their apartment before, would have the civility on this occasion to provide them with light, Dona Angela, who had entered the apartment from the other side along with Isabel, in the firm belief that, for that night at least, Don Manuel was safe at the Escurial, opens the dark-lantern which she carried, and begins to examine the letters which are lying on the table, while Don Manuel looks on with a mixture of terror, amazement, and admiration.
D. Ang. Here I place the light. And now
D. Man. Oh! how clear, by the reflection
Cosm. Well, the goblin takes her leisure;
Cosm. Ay, such beauty
D. Man. Brighter than the light the sparkle
Of her eyes.
Cosm. Those eyes are doubtless
Cosm. That may be-for when the angels
D. Man. Rarer charms I ne'er beheld.
Cosm. Nay, in faith you would not say so
D. Man. Beauty's best epitome.
Cosm. Yes! a cloven-footed angel !
D. Man. Guide me, Heaven! What shall I do?
Cosm. I have-often.
[Approaching, and seizing her by the arm.
D. Ang. Ahl unhappy! woe is me!
D. Ang. Generous Don Manuel
Go in peace.
Cosm. Now, since she tells us Go in peace—why do we tarry Longer here?
D. Man. I vow by Heaven I am angry that I ever