Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part IV — Scene IV >> Page 21

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 21

Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription Michael Bonham : or, the Fall of Bexar. 21

'Twere a worse sadness, cousin, unto me,
To have a suitor forced upon my hand,
In presence of the goodly company,
Against the natural feeling of my heart.
Maria. Surely, my cousin, you do wrong Don Pedro ; He seems to me a proper gentleman---
Well formed and brave—a handsome cavalier.
Olivia. No more, dear cousin—not to theme like this Can I give ear. Go you to easy conquest
It. such as he find favor in your sight--
I doubt not you will conquer where you choose: You cannot choose but conquer. You were made For queenly station—brow and eye commanding, Stately and beautiful.
Maria. You do but flatter, cousin.
Olivia. Alas ! I have no heart for flattery
You may believe me. You are beautiful,
And will be sovereign in all eyes to-night.
Maria. It deepens my regret for your own sake, You are not there on mine. I'd have you see
My conquests, dear Olivia. What you say
Fills me with hope. I hasten to secure them,
For you must know that, like Don Esteban,
I too have plots and little stratagems,
And,-but you do not hear me.
Well! I leave you.
Good night. Good night.
[Exeunt Maria and Jacintha. Olivia. Good night. Be prosperous, cousin. Duenna. You wish against yourself, my child! Olivia. How so?
Duenna. Your last words to your cousin.
Olivia. And they ?
Duenna. Still wish'd she might be prosperous to night.
Olivia. Do I not wish it ?
Duenna. At your own expense?
Olivia. What is it that you mean ?
Duenna. Your cousin's not your friend.
Olivia. Fie, mother; Fie.
Duenna. She knows not friendship. Has not, in her heart,
A single feeling for you ; loves herself,
And has her stratagems to help herself;
Why counsel you to give up Amador,
Marry Don Pedro, at your father's bidding,
Without a word of pleading in his ears,
Though well she knows he Loves you in his heart, Above all other objects ? T'is my notion,
She loves Don Amador herself
Oh, avia. no!
Duenna. Yes, but 'tis very probable, my child. The cavalier's a noble gentleman,
None like him in all Bexar—just the man,
That she would like to have. Why should she take This time to tell you of your f'ather's scheme, But just to keep you from the ball to-night,
To have him to herself.
Olivia, [rousing herself.] You half persuade me. Duenna. I am sure of it.
Olivia. Such was my own suspicion, swift and sharp As summer lightning from the cloud unseen, But that my heart repelled it in its fondness, Lest I should wrong my cousin. We have slept On the same couch together fifteen years
Linked in each other's arms ; we've prayed together, Confessed our mutual cares to one another,—Our loves, our fears, our hopes, and still I fancied The early link that knit our hearts in childhood, Time never could have broken. Could I think it—Could I believe ?—but no! I will not wrong her
By any doubt like this.
Duenna. You do not wrong her.
Olivia. I will not, but I'll baffle her, if wrong Lurk in her heart to me. Go, dear Ursula,
Get me the gipsy garb I wore at Rosas ;
She has not seen it, will not know me in it,
I'll habit me in that ;
[Exit Duenna. I'll watch her movement,
And see the joys I have no heart to sham.
Ah ! bitterness, to find the colors fade,
The brightness from the day, the balm from night, Sweet from the evening air, and scent from earth ; The parent heedless—the friend false—the heart, In peril and dependence, needing succor,
Yet with no faith in him that offers it.
Nay, Amador, I wrong thee, thou shall have it, My heart, my faith, my hope, my all of being Unquestioning if thou wilt. Within thy bosom I'll place the trust, by father and by friend
Equally wronged—that never questions love,
And looks to love and heaven for all its succor.
[Exit Olivia.

SCENE IV.

Splendid saloon in Governor's Palace for the Bal Masque.
Individual masques and groups discovered. They en-
gab e in the Spanish dance. Enter Governor as Julius
Caesar, and Don Pedro as the Grand Turk.
Pedro. You make a famous Roman.
Esteban. The famous Roman—I am Julius Caesar. ! Pedro. You look the hero famously! But she,-
Where's your fair daughter—how does she appear? Pedro. You'll find her somewhere, as a nun, in sable. Pedro. I see a dozen such.
Esteban. Then must you try your wits in seeking her. I've nothing more to tell you.
Pedro. This Don Amador,
Does he come here to night?
Esteban. Be sure of it.
Pedro. How habited ?
Esteban. Nay, nay, Don Pedro, you must pardon me, That is a question out of precedent.
Pedro. Save in particular cases ; this is one of them; Knowing your admiration for him, I desire
To show him marked distinction, as a stranger,
During the progress of the festival.
Esteban. Ah! that indeed. He comes, then, as a monk,
There—you will find him in yon group,—dost see him, His head above the others?
[Exit Esteban.
Pedro. [gloomily.] It is he!
The instinct of my hate had taught me truly. Now will I set a blood-hound on his path, Who shall not sleep until his fierce pursuit Avenges my dishonor.
Enter Canales the Bravo, in the garb of a muleteer.
Canales. You see me here.
Pedro. Hist! 'Tis lie! 'I'hou'lt do it? [pointing to Bonham.
Canales. The monk!
Pedro. He is no monk. Ile is mine enemy, The dearest to my hate.
Canales. His grave is dug.
Pedro. To-night.
Canales. Ay ! When he leaves the palace.