Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part III — Scene II >> Page 16

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Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 16 Michael Bonham ; or, the Fall of Bexar.

Will teach you to distinguish me from others In a like habit.
Bonham. 'Twill not need, Olivia ;
That shape, that air; I shall not fail to know you Among a thousand nuns all dress'd in sable. Olivia. Ah!
Bonham. Hark! those voices ?

Enter Esteban and Maria
Maria, [running to Olivia.] My dear Olivia.
Olivia. Dearest cousin, welcome.
Esteban. Don Amador, you see here another damsel who owes her safety to your valour. My niece, Donna Maria do Molina, of the Molivas who came in with the conqueror. The fitfully is as old as your own. An old tree, but with precious fine fruit upon it yet.
Ma-ria, [to Bonham.] My brave deliverer ! Oh. how many thanks
My heart holds for you.
Esteban. Let it empty them. Don Amador is such a modest man, that you cannot say too much to encourage him. He is the person, the sort of man, you know.
[Half aside to Maria.
Maria. Oh, fie, sir. Hush, this is no stratagem.
Esteban. I have half a mind to tell, but I spare you. I leave you with him that our acquaintance may ripen. I have all the world to attend to. The Bal Masque to-night is enough to give me a week's employment. And then ; but mum ! [Looking significantly to Maria and whispering,] not a word. Don Amador, I kiss your hands. Ladies a thousand. [Exit Governor.
Maria, [to Bonham.] So soon your flight after your gallant service,
We had no time for thanks.
Bonham. Good service in the cause of youth and
beauty,
Brings its own tribute, lady.
Maria. But the duty
Is not the less of those, who win the service,
To yield the grateful homage of their hearts :
Senor, pray honor me by wearing this
Poor token of my bosom's gratitude,
Upon the bosom whose impulsive valor,
Deserves a nobler tribute. [Giving a jewel.
Bonham. Dearest lady,
Reward or token of acknowledgment
My service needs not. I will wear this jewel,
Not as the proof of' virtue in my bosom,
But generous worth in thine.
Maria. Senor, nay, Disparage not the gallantry which makes
The woman's heart do homage ; all her pride Forgotten, and no feeling in her soul,
Save as it tends to worship. Do not shame
With much too humble estimate the gift,
'Which heaven makes doubly precious in success. Olivia, [aside] How charmingly she looks ; how
earnestly
Eve, lip and brow according. Should he see
Her loveliness as I do.
Bonham, [to Maria.] To hear more
Were to grow vain of common properties:
The common strength of man, skill in his weapon, And the spontaneous impulses which drive him To use them for the succour of the feeble
By brutal might oppress'd.
Maria, [earnestly and with subdued tones.] How
much I envy
The better fortunes of my Iovely cousin,
'To have known you so much longer. To have seen you, And so much better to have shown the feeling
.[3oth hearts must own forever.
Bonham. You but pain me,
By such too lavish bounty of your praise,
That mocks my service. 'Twas a happy fortune That led me to the humblest deed of manhood. The meanest boor of Mexico had striven,
With heart and hand like mine, were the occasion So dear to him as mine.
Maria. 'Tis all in vain, Don Amador, you undervalue service,
We value not enough. We know too well
The boors of Mexico, to look for succour,
So measureless as thine. The age of valor,
That generous passion, which, in search of glory, Seeks evermore the paths of strife and danger,
Heedless of any recompense, but only
Smiles of the lovely, praises of the good,
Is of rare finding now. We must not lose it
When in the sight it walks. Pray let me know you, When other cares will suffer, and the smiles
Of our dear cousin here, will grant you absence; 1\ly father. Don Fernando de Molina,
Will joy to show, in welcome that he gives you, How much he loves his daughter.
Olivia, [aside.] How well she speaks.
Bonham, [to Maria.] A not unnatural love. Believe me, lady,
'Twill make me proud to know him. [Prepares to, o.
Olivia, [timidly.] You leave us, Senor?
Bonham, [aside to Olivia.] Oh, how unwillingly !
Olivia. [aside to .Bonham.] One word more—
Beware of Don Zavalo. For my sake
Seek him not, Amador.
.Bonham, [aside to Olivia] Fear nothing, my beloved. Maria, [aside.] They whisper ! O, my jealous soul, I tremble
Lest they should love ! I hate her ! How I hate her! Bonham, [approaching Maria.] Thanks, lady, for your kindness. It will gladden
To make me useful in your future service :
Command my sword and honor.
Maria, [in low tones musingly.] Alas! for woman, Senor,
That cannot well believe, yet dare not doubt.
Bonham. Ladies, farewell : we meet again to-night.
[Exit Bonham.
Maria. To-night!
Olivia. To-night!
Maria. You echo me, dear cousin.
Olivia. Methought it was Don Amador that said, To-night.
Maria, [aside.] Even as I feared, she loves him !—Why so he did ; and so did both of us.
You seem bewildered cousin. As you live,
You scarce have bid inc welcome.
Olivia. Sure I have.
I feel a thousand welcomes, my Maria.
Maria. Art sure ?
Olivia. You cannot doubt, but tell me, my Maria, What think you of Don Amador ?
Maria. What think you ?
Olivia. I fear to tell you.
Maria, [quickly.] Tell me not you love him!
Olivia. Wherefore ?
Maria. 'Twere your misfortune, cousin.
Olivia. Wherefore, still ?
.Maria. Come with me to your chamber; I have
someth hug
To pour into your car, of such strong power,
Shall either make you very sad or merry,
Shall lift you into happiness, or sink