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That passion must the surer seem to me
Were hateful to me if they banish'd love.
Since, while forgetting, I must still remain
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 discovers 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.
Of her eyes.
Cosm. Those eyes are doubtless
Stars that in their day have twinkled
In the devil's own firmament.
D. Man. Every hair is like a sunbeam.
Cosm. Ay, 'twas thence these locks were stolen.
D. Man. Every ringlet seems a star.
Cosm. That may be for when the angels
Fell from heaven, they drew behind them
Of the starry host the third.
D. Man. Rarer charms I ne'er beheld.
Always in the foot are cursed.
D. Man. Beauty's best epitome.
Nay, a very angel she!
D. Man. Guide me, Heaven! What shall I do? Never till this hour before,
Have I felt myself a coward!
Cosm. I have-often.
Seem to hold my feet imprison'd;
Every breath that heaves my bosom
[Approaching, and seizing her by the arm.
Angel, devil, woman-be thou
And he knew too well that I
Cosm. In the name of God-for this
Is the devil's own province-tell us
D. Ang. (aside.) Yet I will dissemble still.
When I wrote to you this evening
That our meeting would be shortly;
Cosm. Now, since she tells us
D. Man. I vow by Heaven I am angry that I ever
Trembled at such idle terrors !
Sift the mystery to the bottom.
Cosm. (aside.) Much the same!
D. Ang. Do not touch me, lest you mar Your good fortune.
Now methinks Even the devil speaks discreetly. Do not touch her, since she is Neither harp, nor lute, nor rebeck.
D. Man. If you be a spirit, now With my sword I'll make the trial; Since, although the steel should pierce you, Spirits feel no injury.
D. Ang. Woe is me! Arrest your weapon, O! arrest your bloody arm;
Pity 'twere with death to visit
An unhappy woman's error:—
Love may be a crime, but surely
Stain not señor, then, nor darken.
D. Man, Speak, then, who art thou?
As I thought, to its conclusion
This attachment, this devotion,
This fidelity and truth.
But we stand even now in danger
(Should they hear us, should they see us)
Of our lives: for I am more
Than you see or can conjecture.
Then 'tis needful to secure us
Señor, you must close that entrance,
That no light may be detected
D. Man. The light here, Cosme,
Till we close the door.
'Tis a woman, and no goblin !—
Cosm. Oh, no doubt-I always said so!
[DON MANUEL and CosME go out to close the door.
D. Ang. (alone.) From that side, then, I'm imprison'd Now, the truth, O Heavens! must out,
Since by Isabel I'm left
In the lurch here, and the stranger
Has me fast.
Isab. (appearing at the secret door.) Hist, hist, señora! Haste, your brother asks for you.
D. Ang. Happy chance! the cabinet
Moves again. O love! I thank thee,
Still unsolved I leave the riddle.
[Exeunt through the secret door-the cabinet is again pushed back into its place.
Re-enter DON MANUEL and COSME with a light.
D. Man. All the doors are closed, señora,
Now you may proceed in safety
With your tale.-But what is this?
Cosm. Why, how should I know?
[Goes into the recess.
By the door she could not vanish.
D. Man. How then did she vanish?-Answer?
Cosm. That I can't. But this is plain,
Just as I have always said,
'Tis the devil, and no woman!
D. Man. (examining the room.) Now, by Heaven! I will
The third act opens in the chamber of Dona Angela. It is night. Isabel enters, leading in Don Manuel in the dark, directing him to await there the arrival of his mistress: and retires, locking the door behind her. Don Manuel, in a short soliloquy, retraces the way in which he had been brought thither. On his return from the Escurial he had found a letter from his secret visiter, directing him to repair at night to St Sebastian's churchyard, and to follow where two men, whom he would find on the spot, should conduct him in a litter. He had obeyed the summons, and, under their escort, had been introduced into the apartment where he now stands, awaiting with intense curiosity, and something of alarm, the issue of the adventure. Of course he has not the
most distant idea that he is in the mansion of Don Juan, and within a few feet of his own apartment—a circumstance which tends most ingeniously to increase the confusion, when, in the course of the next scene, he is introduced in the dark into another room, and finds himself in his own chamber, which he had believed to be far off. After some delay, the door on the right of the room opens. vants bring in lights. Several women enter, bearing napkins and refreshments, and courtesying to Don Manuel as they pass. After them appears Dona Angela, splendidly dressed; and lastly, Beatrice and Isabel. others retire toward the background. Angela, advancing towards Don Manuel, accosts him
He that watches for Aurora,
Knows that his anxiety
Must in shadows buried lie
Till the cold dark night give way;
So the torment of delay,
Turn'd to pleasure, from th' assurance
That, the longer night's endurance,
Still the nearer drew the day.
That your beauty's sun might blind me,