KING. How clumsy! Hide it in your
breast; but nay,
If there, it would be warmed by other’s glow!
Give ’t here, myself will take it; follow me—We’ll
overtake them yet! But I surmise,
Since now suspicion’s rife, there may some harm,
Some accident befall them unawares.
My royal escort were the safest guide.
Thou, follow me!
[He has looked at the picture, then has put it in his bosom.]
Stands there not,
at the side,
The Castle Retiro, where, all concealed,
My forebear, Sancho, with a Moorish maid—!
SERVANT. Your Majesty, ’tis true!
Our forebears in their bravery, their worth,
Not when they stumble in their weaker hours.
The task is, first of all to conquer self—And
then against the foreign conqueror!
Retiro hight the castle?—Let me see!
Oh yes, away! And be discreet! But then—Thou
knowest nothing! All the better. Come!
[Exit with servant.]
Garden in the royal villa. In the background flows the Tagus. A roomy arbor toward the front at the right. At the left, several suppliants in a row, with petitions in their hands. ISAAC stands near them.
ISAAC. You were already told to linger
My daughter soon will come to take the air.
And he is with her—he; I say not who.
So tremble and depart, and your requests
Take to the King’s advisers in Toledo.
[He takes the petition from one of them.]
Let’s see! ’Twon’t do.
PETITIONER. You hold it upside down.
ISAAC. Because the whole request is topsy-turvy
you are, too. Disturb no more—depart.
2D PETIT. Sir Isaac, in Toledo me you knew.
ISAAC. I know you not. In these last
days my eyes
Have suddenly grown very, very weak.
2D PETIT. But I know you! Here is the
purse of gold
You lost, which I herewith restore to you.
ISAAC. The purse I lost? I recognize
’Twas greenish silk—with ten piasters in’t!
2D PETIT. Nay, twenty.
ISAAC. Twenty? Well, my
eye is good;
My mem’ry fails me, though, from time to time!
This sheet, no doubt, explains the circumstance—Just
where you found the purse, perhaps, and how.
There is no further need that this report
Should go on file. And yet, just let me have’t!
We will convey it to the proper place,
That every one may know your honesty!