Enter Don Jose.
He. It is the third time I have discovered him on this spot.
Good signor, havn't you a single maravedi at the bottom of your purse ? it might better requite a poor singer than those forlorn looks. A quadruple of gold I can scarcely believe I am not dreaming again.
You have received a good offering this morning, eh, my little syren?
Yes, a golden quadruple. He must be some very rich man.
Very; Don Rafael d'Arpinas, the most opulent gentleman in Spain. (Aside)
Your Majesty's secret is worth possessing. I shall improve my acpuaintance with this handsome Gitana; her star is in the ascendant. So my little mountain fairy, what song will you sing me for the fellow to that golden piece, which glitters still in that pretty hand ?
Anything, signor. What shall it be ?
Let me recollect ! Ah, the song you sang to the queen yesterday. Her majesty stopped her carriage to listen to you I believe.
It is no more than truth, signor.
J It must have been a very interesting ditty.
A mere romance, popular in Madrid, said to have been heard in the palace of the old Moorish king far over the hills yonder. They call it the "Harp in the Air."
Willingly, signor, but first, I must summon my attendant spirits.
"The Harp in the Air."
I hear it again, 'tis the harp
'Tis the harp in the air,
It hangs on the walls of the old Moorish halls,
It hangs on the walls of the old Moorish halls.
tho' none know its minstrel, or how it came there,
Listen, listen, there, there, 'tis the harp in the air,
'Tis the harp, 'tis the harp in the air.
Which telleth of days that are faded and gone,
It telleth of the brave, of the lovely and fair,
Of warriors grave and of maidens fair.
There, there, there, there,
List, Pilgrim list, 'tis the harp in the air.
Etc., etc., etc.
Bravo ! Take the recompense thy sweet song so richly deserves.
Another golden quadruple. See friends, I shall be affluent indeed. Oh, thanks signor. (Chimes heard.)
Ah, the Angales. Such good fortune should admonish us to be doubly devout.
Angels, that around us hover,
Guard us until the close of day;
Our heads, oh, let your white wings cover,
See us kneel, and hear us pray;
Angels that above us hover,
Guard us through another day.
Why do you sigh in contemplating your gains ?
Because they are still too little, or too much, signor.
Too much for remunerating songs of a poor Gitana and too little to confirm the dreams of splendour which nightly occupy my slumbers.
Ah, a Gitana, then, has her dreams of greatness.
Yes, I fancy myself in a golden coach, glittering with jewels. Oh, I despair of such visionary promises ever coming to pass. I—feathers—diamonds, Ha, ha, ha !
Duett—Maritana and Don Jose.
Of fairy wand had I the power
Some palace bright my home should be
By marble fount in orange bower,
Dancing to music's melody.
Those lovely eyes, those ruby lips,
Might win a brighter home for thee,
Than crystal hall, where fairy trips,
Lightly to echo's minstrelsy,
Of fairy wand, had I command,
At moonlit hour in silken bower,
To music's note, on air I'd float
In golden sheen and jewels gay.
Of pleasure, queen—I'd laugh and sing
And dance and play.
Those sparkling eyes are brighter prized,
Than gems that glow on knightly brow,
Of those avail, ere yet they fade,
For joy will quail, when times o'ershade
Then laugh while love and beauty aid.
He thinks, as others oft have done,
My wild fantastic thoughts are vain;
Are visions all, now here, now gone,
Like dreams that rise and fade again.
Thus woman's heart is ever bought,
If gold but gleam within her eyes,
So by the flame, the moth is caught,
Burneth its giddy wings, and dies.
Think of the splendour—the glory—
The bright career which waiteth the future, stops,
One round of triumph.
Of fairy wand, &c.
Those sparkling eyes, &c.
The little vain coquette.
You laugh at my folly, signor?
Not in the least : what better to command wealth than such a passport of beauty ?
Ah, signor, now indeed, I know you are jesting with me. Listen ! There's the Queen passing through the grand square, if I could only attract her notice again ! Adieu, Signor, ambitious as I am, I can still remember to be grateful.
Au revoir, la belle Maritana! Yes, yes your aspiring dreams will come to pass, since, through your influence over the heart of the King, Don Jose looks to realise his own over that of the neglected Queen. Once persuaded of her husband's infidelity, might not the incensed wife be induced to look even from her throne for an object worthy of assisting her just revenge? then, Don Jose-yes, yes, Maritana, your dreams will
come to pass, and speedily ! Ah, whom have we here?