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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."
THE ARCHBISHOP OF TOLEDO.
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
SCENE I. - The COUNT OF LARA's chambers. Night. The
Count in his dressing-gown, smoking and conversing with Don
I had engagements elsewhere. Pray who was there?
Why, all the town and court.
Don C. What was the play ?
It was a dull affair ;
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,
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.
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,
And therefore won
Don C. Nay, not to be won at all !
Offered her gold to be what she made others,
And does that prove That Preciosa is above suspicion ?.
Don C. It proves a nobleman may be repulsed
Lara. Yet Preciosa would have taken the gold.
I am sure of it.
. 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.