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enemies no mercy !_now to your watch, where, out of kindness, I forbid you to fortify your stomachs against the raw air of the night ;--for he who lifts wine to his mouth, my worthy friends, speedily loses his head.--Strike,
GRAND CHORUS of MOORISH SOLDIERS.
END OF ACT I.
Scene I.-The Inside of a Venta or Spanish Inn, in Ano
dalusia. A Stable Door in the background-over it a Hay Loft. A Lamp against the Wall. A Fire in the midst of the Room.MULETEERS discovered, drinking.
Enter Lope Tocho, R. Tocho. Bravely pulled, gallants, and merrily! Of all the worthy tuggers at a bottle, give me your noble gentlemen carriers ! who while away the heavy hours in the amusing exercise of driving mules over the mountains.
1st Mule. Certain, mine host, in respect to deep drinking, we muleteers have hard heads.
Tocho. Nay, that ye have. Ye are a pack of the hardest heads of any in Spain. “Fifteen years have I been “host of this venta, at the foot of the Sierra de Ronda. “ Tocho is my name- -Lope Tocho of the Province of An. "dalusia. I live by the hunger and thirst of the traveller, " and keep a yearly account of my thanks due to stomachs
"and throats; and in striking my balance, gentlemen, I find "the generous maw of a gentleman muleteer calls for five “tinies the food of the best grandee's that journeys the "country.- Worthy signors ! I am your sweet throats and “ stomachs debtor and servant."
[Drinks. 2d Mule. Harkye, Lope Tocho, mine host. Tocho. What say you, signor ?
2d Mule. Methinks, mine host, the kid you gave us at supper,
had somewhat of an unsavoury smell with it. It did, as it were, stink most abominably.
Tocho. I know not well how that could be, signor ! for I have bestowed wondrous pains on it, these three weeks past, to keep it sweet. For delicate eating, and right Malaga, there's not an inn can match me between this and Antequera—no, verily, not one.
3d Mule. 'Tis a wild road thither.
“ Tocho. You will not set eyes on a house till you reach " the town, signor. 'Tis some league and a half over the mountains ;-and affords, truly, but indifferent accommo
dation. Here's to your good entertainment on the way, "signors."
[Drinks. 1st Mule. Hast any news stirring in these parts, honest Lope?
Îocho. War, gentlemen, war with the Moors—we are here on the skirts of their kingdom of Granada-and in the very heart of those skirts, as I may say, King Ferdinand, of Castile and Arragon, does now most closely stick. Saint Iago be his speed, say I! I could never away with these infidels. Their's must be a devil of a religion that forbids the drinking of wine.
2d Mule. One cup to the Christian cause, mine host !
Tocho. Right willingly-confusion to the barbarous Moors !-and may the King of a Christian people never want loving subjects to drink his prosperity, and give the enemies of humanity a drubbing.
(All drink. 4th Mule. I prithee, Perez, as we passed through Cor dova, didst bethink thee to get my pack-saddle mended for the blind mule ?
3d Mule. Truly, brother, I cared not to pay five good reals, when I may never chance to see them again.
4th Mule. (Starting up.] Santa Maria; reflect on the honour of a Spaniard ! death and my mustachios ! thou shalt not live!
(Draws his Stiletto.
Tocho. (Interposing.) Nay, gentlemen! here's good work! sweet signor of the mules! you mistake him. Ho. nour is a delicate matter he could not mean it. Noblo driver of the beast, be pacified.
4th Mule. Wound my integrity! 'tis dearer to a Spa. niard than life. 'Tis an affront cannot be mended.
Tocho. It shall, honourable signor! and your pack-saddle, too.—Good friend, throw the cold water of your repentance on the fire of his anger. Come, 'twas a hasty speech ; say so, and be friends.
3d Mule. Well, 1-I meant not to wound his honour. Tucho. See there, now !
4th Mule. I-I am content:-but remember, in future, brother, what is due to a Spaniard. Insult him, and he will compass the globe for revenge. Your hand : my
how nour is satisfied: we will clean our mules in fellowship, as usual.
Tocho. By our lady, 'tis sensibly said ! many a noble life has been lost upon a point of honour not more difficult to be settled than this! another cup to drown animosity.
1st Mule. Content: and then to rest. 'Tis deep midnight, and we must rise betimes, on our way to Ubeda.
Tocho. Mass ! you muleteers, in the way of pleasant travelling, have a wearisome life of it.
4th Mule. The grandee, mine host, that sleeps upon down, dreams little of our hardships. Yet we can be merry, too.
Let us troll a round, and then go stretch on the straw.
Small our gain. great our pain,
O'er the hill, o'er the plain,
Still the muleteer must go !
While to sleep as we creep,
Maritornes may weer,
Then the nulsteer must go.
[A knocking at the door of the Venta-a Voice calls
without, 'Soho! within, there ! ho !' Toche. Travellers, by St. Dominick!-and by the noise, of authority. (Calls off, R.] Perequillo! [Knocking again. 'tis ever thus.--I never knew your great man on the wrong side of the house, that ceased his clamour till he got in!
Enter PEREQUILLO, R. Perequillo, look to the gate. Signors, a good rest. That way to your straw-chamber, gentlemen.
(Pointing to the Stable door. 1st Mule. 'Tis fit we be called betimes, mine host.
Tocho. Perequillo, knock at the gentleman's stable door by day-break. (Knocking still-Muleteers go into the sta. ble.] Out, you gaping rogue, run to the gate!
Per. These travellers rob a good fellow of more sleep than the musquitoes.
[Exit, l. Tocho. I fear me, the tough old cock will never crow • daylight again. Six years has he served me for a dial; and now must I twist his neck, to give these gallants a supper. Truth is, we are marvellously scant of provisions. Enter FLORANTHE, L., dressed as a Cavalier, leaning on
Roque. Roque. So-cheerily, I warrant! come, a seat, now, quickly. Bestir, bestir!
Tocho. Is not his worship well ?
Roque. Cannot your worship see ?—a chair, you~[10cho brings a chair.) So!
Flor. [Sitting down.] I faint, almost, with weariness. Roque. Plague on your dark nights and foul ways!why dost not mend them ?
Tocho. Truly, gentlemen, there be those, in this quaiter, that might better the foul ways—but, for mending the dark nights, we are, I do confess, ill-furnished with work
Roque. Art furnished with a good bed, frier d ?
Tocho. The best in Spair. We are much and nobly frequented here, signor-we have, this night, a company of some twenty.
Roque. A murrain light on 'em! then they have nccu. pieu the bed-chamber.
Tocho. Why, as luck would have it, they repose in the stable. Each traveller, signor, to his fancy.
Flor. I would to rest, friend-We have journeyed far: At sunrise we must needs set forth again. I am nigh sinking with fatigue!
Roque. No wonder, poor heart !--my master's nag, friend, is the roughest pacer in Spain. 'Twould tire a devil.
Tocho. Would not the Signor Cavalier please to refresh ? I have the remains of a kid that is delicious—and we are noted here for chicken.
Flor. Oh, I do loathe the very name of food.
Tocho. [Aside.] Loathe food! this is a mighty simple youth.
Flor. Prepare my chamber, friend, and fear not you, Though I betake me supperless to bed, I will content thee, (for I know the custom,) As I had banqueted.
Tocho. Aside. The youth is not altogether so simple as I thought him.-Signor Hidalgo, your chamber shall be prepared straight. For an excellent supper, if you eat it not, 'tis your loss
, which is hard : if you pay for it not, 'tis mine, which is harder—for I am a poor man, sir, that would willingly grow richer.
Roque. Away, you knave! and obey orders : see to the chamber-look to the horses, and return, anon, with some wine : my master is faint with travel.
Tocho. I shall, friend. (Aside. This, now, must be a desicate bit of smock-faced nobility. Should Providence rain beards, 'twould do no harm to his face if his chin were thrust out in the shower.
[Exit, R. Flor. Now tell me, Roque,-how far is it to the moun
tain ? Roque. We are nigh the foot on't, lady-we had foun .ered by the way else. Heaven rest those tender joints for they must needs ache with jolting thus from Seville. My tough bones, though well-seasoned in camps and marches, are fairly bumped into a rheumatism.
Flor. I care but little for my aching limbs,