Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part V — Scene X >> Page 34

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 34

Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 34 Michael Bonham ; or, the Fall of Bexar.

mows naturalists have gouged out a buzzard's eyes, and plucked off a bird's wings, and, by seeing them eat freely have 'convinced themselves that the poor devils were not a bit conscious of suffering or loss. I confess, however, I'm not exactly satisfied. If the thing be true, it. only proves that God gave the poor things very unnecessary and burdensome appendages.
Crockett. By the powers, Sparrow, before you became a sparrow, you must have been a wolf. What you'll be hereafter, it's hard to guess. You'll be at the supper, I suppose ?
Sparrow. In some shape,-yes. [Ex. Sparrow.
Davis, [to Crockett.] We'll go together Davy. I
have something for your own ear. [Exeunt.

SCENE X.

An apartment in the Alamo, splendidly prepared and lighted brilliantly. The Governor in slate, with Bon-ham, Crockett, Davis, Sparrow. and other Texians, with Mexican officers, Sc. Olivia, with Duenna and Ladies, appears in the back ground.

Esteban, [coming forward.] Senor Don Amador, these are all your friends ;
They know the full conditions made between us Touching the town of Bexar and its people.
You leave us, and, at parting, take from me
My heart's best treasure. You will honor her, Protect her, love her ; be to her what I
Have toiled to be through seventeen happy years,
While I have been her father. You'll find in her, If that you use her rightly, such a treasure,
As man can find in woman's love alone,
In her's not always. Here, my child, Olivia :
Give me your hand. 'Tis yours, Don Amador. Be witness Senores.
Bonham. Sir, I take the gift,
Not ignorant of its value. 'Tis a treasure
Such as I still shall cherish in my heart,
Secure from spoil without, secure from hurt
From erring mood of mine.
In other lands,
Where'er our lot is cast—whether we build
Our cabin here in Texas, or afar,
Among my native hills of Congaree,
Erect our happy roof-tree, in my heart,
As fondly as in yours, her happiness
Shall be the creature of my busy thought,
From sunny dawn of morning until night.
To this, with solemn pledge, iii sight of heaven, I bind my soul forever.
Esteban. She is yours!
Olivia. M v father, O ! my father !
Esteban. Speak, my child.
Olivia. If I have vex'd you, father—If, capricious, I've given unheeding ears
Esteban. Never! Never!
You still have been a child most dutiful ;
Will be a wife. Go to him. Make him yours
By love, by duty, and by gentleness,
As you were mine. My timith is in his pledges; He will not wrong the venerable white
Of this old head, by harming hair of thine.
Kiss me, my child. I bless you ere I yield you!
Crockett, [to Sparrow.] Dang it, Sparrow, he's a sensible old gentleman after all. I can't tell what he said exactly, but I understand what he meant to say.
Sparrow, [to Crockett.] He's giving away his daugh-
ter—that I see, and he behaves well. I'm a little sorry I squeezed him so hard, when I had him down. But stay! Who's this?
Crockett, [to Sparrow.] Dickins! The Princess.
Enter Donna Maria, supported into the midst and laid
upon a sofa.
Bonham, [aside.] She here!
Olivia. My cousin !
Esteban. My poor Maria ! You were wrong to come. You only harm yourself.
Maria. I know it, uncle ; But could not bear, at such a time as this, My childhood's first companion and my friend To lose forever, with no word, no prayer, For pity and forgiveness. You, too, Amador, Ah ! look not thus upon me. Never more
Shall my wild passion, wrought to madness, vex Your generous nature. See the ravage here
Of twelve short hours. A week—another day you will yield that tear upon my grave, .
Your heart denies me now.
Bonham, [aside.] There's mischief in her eye !
Maria. Olivia! Cousin!
Olivia. Dearest Maria!
Bonham, [aside to Olivia.] Stay! Do not go!
iiiaria. Alas! you love me not. My moment madness Has turn'd your heart aside from me. A life Is blasted in a moment. Fifteen years Of childish play and prattle—girlhood's dreams Still nightly interchanged—dear confidence Such as youth only cherishes—all gone—Forgotten, as if never known, or worthless!
Will you not grant forgiveness? I have wrong'd But that was in my madness! See you not I cannot wrong you now. This face no more Shall wear the smiles of conquest—as this heart Must banish all those feeble hopes and feelings That led it once astray. Speak to me, cousin ; But say that you forgive me.
Olivia. Why forgive ? You've never wrong'd me, cousin.
Maria. Ay! but I have; Cruelly wrong'd you. But that time is past. I've wakened from my dream, I loathe myself, Now that 'tis over. Cousin, think of me
With sorrow and with pity, when beneath Your foreign roof. secure in happy love,
You think on me no more.
Olivia. Ah ! speak not so ; Still must you live—still conquer. Maria.
Tell her it cannot be!
Bonham. Wherefore, lady,
So very young--so beautiful as thou ?
Maria. No more! I must not hear you! Blessings, cousin,
Be on you. There! now bear me to my chamber—My work is done—the latest task is ended
Now welcome death.
You Olivia. Oh, cousin, speak not thus!
irrend my heart.
Maria. I would not—yet I must!
Farewell! Be happy ! Yet we should not part Without one fond embrace, one farewell kiss.
Olivia, [approaching Maria.] Sister—cousin! Bonham, [anxiously/--aside.] I like it not—beware ! Olivia, [aside to Bonham.] Oh ! sure we cannot now
deny her this.
I have ever loved you, cousin. In my heart,
Where'er I go, will think of you with fondness,