Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part III — Scene I >> Page 14

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 14

Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 14 Michael Bonham ; or, the Fall of Bexar.

I have an engagement, your Excellency, and must beg you to excuse me.
Esteban. By'r Lady! but I take this ill, Senors. Olivia. I see that I must interpose, at last,
To end this struggle. Senor Don Amador,
Give me an arm, I pray you : nay the other
Don Pedro will support me on the right
You must attend me Senors ; I too have
My little stratagem,—to wake the envy
Of all the Plaza. Not a maid that passes,
And sees me thus so gallantly attended,
But sickens with vexation. 'Tis so seldom
That I have chance to move them to this measure, I must not lose it now. You are kind, Senor
Don Amador. [ Takes the reluctant arm of Pedro.
Bonham, [offering.] Cheerfully, I yield me, Dear lady, to the sweetest despotism,
And know not how to murmur.
Esteban. Well managed, Olivia. Ha! ha! You have your stratagems also. It is a gift in the family.
Pedro, [to Bonham, looking behind Olivia.] I trust, Senor, that you will not forget the claims of your friend. If my engagements are thus interrupted, I can assure you they are by no means forgotten.
Bonham. Never doubt me, Senor. My friend will not, and I have usually been found true to friend and foe.
Estaban. Pshaw, gentlemen, your better friends are
here ;
Would you seek truer ? Come with me ; I'll find Friendships enough, and, may be, warmer feelings For any dozen cavaliers. Lead, Senorita,
The day is leaving us.
Olivia. My triumph, Senor,
Must be complete. The woman's stratagem
Must make me without rival on the Plaza,
Though the day leaves us. See, they pass us by, Nor spare the show of inward grief they feel,

At such unwonted conquest. Oh! gentlemen,
You make me proud to-day.
Bonham. It is man's pleasure
That Beauty should be proud.
Olivia, [bowing first to Pedro, then to Bonham, while they are respectively menacing each other, and thus they go,forward.] Don Pedro !
Pedro. Senorita!
Olivia. I am too happy, Senors.
Bonham. That you should be so, with my ministry, Leaves me still happier, lady. At your will
Let friend and enemy wait. As I am true
To Beauty, I will be as true to friendship,
And not less true to hate. Let them both know That truth and valor need no better pica
Than beauty's laws prescribe. Theo take me, lady, And still the time that keeps me in your service, My heart shall hold too short.
Esteban. Well said! Well said!
How dextrous are these Mexican gallants.
What says't Don Pedro ?
Pedro. Why, that I am no Mexican gallant. Fine speeches are not my vocation ; but I can strike hard blows when the time conies for it.
Esteban. Let-the time come before you speak of blows. Bonham. At least my speeches tell not of my blows. They speak for themselves.
Pedro. And mine!
Olivia. Sirs, must I wait you ?
[Exeunt omnes. The Governor leading the way, and the two rivals still supporting Olivia, and preserving an exterior of courtesy in her eyes, pass out, exchanging sinister glances at every opportunity. She turning alternately upon them, and with a smile, watching and striving to discourage their hostility.



An apartment in the palace of the Governor. He appears
busy among numerous masks and dominos.

Esteban, [solus.] This is a matter to employ all a man's gei.ius were it ever so fertile. But I can never doubt for a moment what I should wear myself. There ! Oh ! Bald headed Caesar—laurel-tufted and trophied Roman—there ! let it gratify thy awful shade, that I prefer your semblance to that of any other hero. [Lays aside the war costume of a Roman Captain.] Ha! who's there! What, nnv fair niece, my dove. [Enter Donna Maria de Molina as
from a journey.] My antelope! Welcome! Better late than never. How came you so late ? I had quite given you up for the Bal Masqu.
Maria. Bal Masque, dear uncle, and when ? Esteban. To-night. This very night.
Maria. Then I am still in time. I would not have lost it for the world. And how's my dearest Olivia: and you, how do you sleep now—better ?
Esteban. Famously. Like a Bell bird of Brazil, with a tremendous ringing in all my ears.
Maria. How terrible! A ringing in your ears ?
Esteban. Delightful rather. It is the ringing of the bells of Mexico that I hear, and have heard for the last three nights in honor of my victory.

Maria. Victory! What victory ? Over whom ? Esteban. The rebels,—the Texians ; these runagate
Anglo-Americans—the degenerate sons of Washington. Maria. What, have you beaten them ?
Esteban. Into powder. They are dispersed forever. 'Twas a prodigious affair. I operated upon them in two ways, but chiefly by stratagem.
Maria. How I rejoice.
Esteban. You may well. You may now travel to Santa Fe without an escort.
Maria. You forget the Camanches, uncle, and the scene at the rancho of Loro.
Esteban. No, indeed ; and let me tell you that there is
at this very moment, and in these very walls, the very cav-
alier to whom you owed your rescue on that occasion. Maria, [with curiosity and doubt.] , Ah!
Esteban. So!
Maria. Possible !
Esteban. That very cavalier.
Maria. This very moment !
Esteban. In this very house.
Maria. And
Esteban. With Olivia.
Maria. Dear Olivia, let ma fly and embrace her. Esteban. Stop. Hark a moment before you go. I