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“ In Spain this subject has been twice handled dramatically; first by Juan Perez de Montalvan, in La Gitanilla, and afterwards by Antonio de Solís y Rivadeneira in La Gitanilla de Madrid.

“ The same subject has also been made use of by Thomas Middleton, an English dramatist of the seventeenth century. His play is called The Spanish Gypsy. The main plot is the same as in the Spanish pieces; but there runs through it a tragic underplot of the loves of Rodrigo and Doña Clara, which is taken from another tale of Cervantes, La Fuerza de la Sangre.

“The reader who is acquainted with La Gitanilla of Cervantes, and the plays of Montalvan, Solís, and Middleton will perceive that my treatment of the subject differs entirely from theirs."

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Count of the Gypsies.

A young Gypsy.



Lara's Servant. CHISPA

Victorian's Servant. BALTASAR

Innkeeper. PRECIOSA .

A Gypsy Girl. ANGELICA

A poor Girl. MARTINA

The Padre Cura's Niece. DOLORES

Preciosa's Maid.
Gypsies, Musicians, etc.

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SCENE I. - The COUNT OF LARA's chambers. Night. The

Count in his dressing-gown, smoking and conversing with Don
Lara. You were not at the play to-night, Don

How happened it?
Don C.

I had engagements elsewhere. Pray who was there?


Why, all the town and court.
The house was crowded ; and the busy fans
Among the gayly dressed and perfumed ladies
Fluttered like butterflies among the flowers.
There was the Countess of Medina Celi;
The Goblin Lady with her Phantom Lover,
Her Lindo Don Diego; Doña Sol,
And Doña Serafina, and her cousins.

Don C. What was the play ?

It was a dull affair ;
One of those comedies in which you see,
As Lope says, the history of the world
Brought down from Genesis to the day of Judg-

ment. There were three duels fought in the first act, Three gentlemen receiving deadly wounds, Laying their hands upon their hearts, and saying, “Oh, I am dead!” a lover in a closet,

An old hidalgo, and a gay Don Juan,
A Doña Inez with a black mantilla,
Followed at twilight by an unknown lover,
Who looks intently where he knows she is not !

Don C. Of course, the Preciosa danced to-night?

Lara. And never better. Every footstep fell As lightly as a sunbeam on the water. I think the girl extremely beautiful.

Don C. Almost beyond the privilege of woman! I saw her in the Prado yesterday. Her step was royal, — queen-like, — and her face

As beautiful as a saint's in Paradise.

Lara. May not a saint fall from her Paradise, And be no more a saint ?

Line 29. As beauteous as a saint's in Paradise.

Don C.

Why do you ask? Lara. Because I have heard it said this angel

fell, And though she is a virgin outwardly, Within she is a sinner; like those panels Of doors and altar-pieces the old monks Painted in convents, with the Virgin Mary On the outside, and on the inside Venus ! Don C. You do her wrong; indeed, you do

her wrong! She is as virtuous as she is fair. Lara. How credulous you are! Why look you,

There's not a virtuous woman in Madrid,
In this whole city! And would you persuade me
That a mere dancing-girl, who shows herself,
Nightly, half naked, on the stage, for money,
And with voluptuous motions fires the blood
Of inconsiderate youth, is to be held
A model for her virtue ?
Don C.

You forget
She is a Gypsy girl.

And therefore won
The easier.

Don C. Nay, not to be won at all !
The only virtue that a Gypsy prizes
Is chastity. That is her only virtue.
Dearer than life she holds it. I remember
A Gypsy woman, a vile, shameless bawd,
Whose craft was to betray the young and fair ;
And yet this woman was above all bribes.
And when a noble lord, touched by her beauty,
The wild and wizard beauty of her race,




Offered her gold to be what she made others,
She turned upon him, with a look of scorn,
And smote him in the face !

And does that prove That Preciosa is above suspicion ?.

Don C. It proves a nobleman may be repulsed
When he thinks conquest easy. I believe
That woman, in her deepest degradation,
Holds something sacred, something undefiled,
Some pledge and keepsake of her higher nature,
And, like the diamond in the dark, retains
Some quenchless gleam of the celestial light!

Lara. Yet Preciosa would have taken the gold.
Don C. (rising). I do not think so.

I am sure of it.
But why this haste? Stay yet a little longer.
And fight the battles of your Dulcinea.

. Don C. 'T is late. I must begone, for if I stay You will not be persuaded. Lara.

Yes; persuade me. Don C. No one so deaf as be who will not

hear! Lara. No one so blind as he who will not see ! Don C. And so good night. I wish you pleas

ant dreams, And greater faith in woman.

[Erit. Lara.

Greater faith!
I have the greatest faith ; for I believe
Victorian is her lover. I believe
That I shall be to-morrow; and thereafter
Another, and another, and another,
Chasing each other through her zodiac,
As Taurus chases Aries.

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