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SCENES AND STORIES FROM THE SPANISH STAGE.NO. II.
TO LOVE AFTER DEATH,*
From the time that Spain had been 1568, the insurrection burst out in the liberated from the Moorish yoke by Alpujarra.t At first the insurgents Ferdinand and Isabella, the descend. had the advantage, but, towards the ants of the Arabs had continued to end of 1570, divisions having arisen live upon the same soil as their con- amongst them, they were defeated, querors, and in its most favoured
and a general amnesty being then ofportion, until the 1st of January, fered by the conquerors, the insurrec1567, when the edict of Philip II., tion was finally put down. which had for its object the extirpa- It is on a very affecting incident, to tion of all Moorish customs, was pub- which this struggle gave rise, that Callished at Grenada. This edict, which deron has founded the play, a few was strenuously opposed by the Duke scenes of which we are about presentof Alva himself, was quite in keeping ing to the reader. This incident is rewith the absolute spirit and violent lated at some length, and with much character of the king. It contained, feeling, in the “ History of the Civil against the Moors, conditions of the Wars of Grenada, by Gines Perez utmost severity ; not only those which de Hyta ; "I and what renders the narCalderon has particularised in the rative still more interesting is the fact, first act of this play, such as the pro- that the historian received it from the hibition of the Moorish language, the lips of the hero himself. It may be preventing the Moors from entering curious to compare the dramatic with the public baths, and from using silk the historical version of the story, and in their dresses; but others, which we therefore give Gines Perez's ac. were still more intolerable to the feel. count with some abridgment. After ings of that people, namely, the pre- describing the taking and destruction venting the Moorish women from ap- of Galera, which took place in the Japearing veiled in the public streets, nuary of 1570, he continues :and the compelling their houses to re- The news of this event flew rapidly main open during the celebration of over the entire of Spain, and reached their religious festivals. On the pro- Algiers at the very moment when mulgation of the edict, the principal Ochali, the king of that place, was Moors of Grenada, and of the king about despatching an army of 2,000 dom, sent addresses and petitions to men to the assistance of the insurgents the president, to the captain-general, in the Alpujarra. But so disheartenand to the king; but all in vain. Every ed was he by the capture of so strong day they saw themselves exposed to a fortress as Galera, that he abandonevery species of insulting and vexa- ed his project altogether. No one tious annoyance; until at length trembled more at the intelligence than they resolved to have recourse to arms did the Captain Malec ;|| for at that -an extreme step, on which, however, time his young and beautiful sister their brethren of the humbler classes Maleca was residing at Galera, on a had already decided. They employed visit with some of her relatives, and it nearly two years in preparations, and was rumoured that she, with many at length, in the month of December, other women, had been slain in the
“Amar despues de la Muerte." By Calderon. † The Alpujarra is a chain of mountains situated in the kingdom of Grenada.
$ “ Guerras Civiles de Granada." Por Gines Perez de Hyta. Paris : Baudry, 1847.
§ Page 432. ន
In Perez de Hyta, the name is Maleh, and that of his sister is Maleha. In Cal. deron, they are Malec and Maleca. Calderon also makes Maleca the daughter and not the sister of Malec.
assault. It was stated that her beauty his mistress had lived. Upon enterwas of the highest order, so much so, ing the court-yard he found many that it was celebrated, and universally Moorish men lying dead, and a little praised, all through the kingdom of further on, many Moorish women also Grenada.
dead, among whom he soon discovered It was in Purchena that the Cap- the beautiful and lost Maleca, whose tain Malec learned intelligence of these image was stamped upon his heart. events. He was greatly afflicted, and Although she was dead three days, commenced seeking some
one who she was still as beautiful as when she would go secretly to Galera to learn was living, except for the extreme the fate of his sister—to discover her paleness of her face, which was occabody among the corses of those who sioned by the loss of so much blood. were slain, if she were dead, or the The beautiful Maleca was in her cheplace of her captivity, if she had been mise, which indicated that the Chrismade a prisoner.
tian who had slain her possessed at A Moorish youth, who loved her least some little nobility of soul, since, much, who had been her suitor for although he had deprived her of her many years, and who wished to be the outer dress, he had left her this, brother-in-law of Malec, said that he which was very rich, and worked with would go to Galera, and bring back in- green silk, after the custom of the telligence of the certain fate of Maleca. Moors. After the taking of the city His intention was, in case of the the victors had retired at nightfall, beautiful Moor being a captive, to go and the rain and snow had been so in. and throw himself at the feet of Don cessant during the following day, that John of Austria, to implore of him to they had not returned to destroy the receive ransom for his beloved, and fortifications, according to the orders then, having married her, to settle at of Don John. It was for this reason Huescar, or to depart with her into that the body of Maleca remained Murcia, where they would live to- thus in her bloody garment. She had gether. With this design he took his received two wounds, both in the leave of Malec, and having mounted breast, and it was a spectacle worthy a mettlesome steed, took the road to of the greatest compassion, to see so Galera. Having arrived at Orca, he much beauty treated with so much found it completely deserted; but, barbarity. When the Moor saw and nevertheless, he entered a house which recognised his lady, oppressed with he knew, and where he secured his great grief of heart, he took her in his horse.
Towards the middle of the arms, and pouring forth a torrent of night, and in the midst of incessant tears, he kissed her a thousand times rain, he entered Galera, where he was upon her cold mouth, and said, “ My overwhelmed with consternation at delight! hope of my consolation! Í the ruin and the devastation which he did not think, even at the end of the beheld. At every step his feet stum- seven long years that I have served bled against a human body, and his you, to have the glory of joining my eyes were bewildered by the changes lips to yours, cold though they be, and which the city had undergone, and with their beauty triumphed over by thus he was compelled to await the death. Cruel Christian! how had light of day to discover the house in you the courage to snatch her from which his mistress resided, although he the world? Didst thou ever experiknew it well. He spent the night in ence the blessedness of love ?_Hast an entrenchment, but was unable to thou ever known what a beautiful close his eyes even for a moment, as woman was? If you did not, I do not well from the torments of his imagina- wonder at the brutal cruelty of this tion as from the mournful howlings of action; but if you did, why diả the dogs and other animals, which recall to mind the object of your affecseemed to lament his misfortune in the tion? You might have seen her pic. cries which they uttered for the loss ture mirrored in the eyes of this most of their masters. At break of dawn beautiful lady, which would have the courageous Moor sought a position turned your furious hand from inflictfrom which he could descry the entire ing these mortal wounds. If, by camp of Don John, and was astonished chance, a Moor had wounded or of at its immense extent, and then re- fended you, at a favourable opportuturned to search for the house in which nity you might have revenged the
his intention, and determined to bury her where she lay.
And, taking a piece of charcoal, he inscribed, in the Arabic language, upon the white wall that stood near, the fol. lowing
wrong upon him. But how did an angel merit this punishment, she who was made to be but the object of adoration? Do you think, wretch, that the glory of a general, when he triumphs over his enemy, is to murder a beauty, than which none greater was ever seen in the kingdom of Grenada? Ah! badly have you thought, and worse have you acted, since your cruelty has slain her whose eyes gave life and death, and on whose glances a thousand souls hung suspended! Say, villain, instead of killing her, why were you not ambitious of the greater glory of making her a captive, whose beauty has captivated so many ?
I would have gone to seek her_instead of one slave, you would have two, for as such I would have served you, delivering myself into your hands! Badly have you acted, Christian, but I swear to you, by the soul of her who was my happiness, to seek you whereever you may be, and to pay you the guerdon your villanous hand has merited.” The Moor having thus given a free vent to his grief, and having embraced and kissed his dead mistress a thousand times, resolved to await the darkness of the night, in order to convey the body away to the valley of the Almanzora; but seeing the difficulty of executing this project, he changed
“ Here the fair Maleca lies,
Victim of the foulest murder ;
I, her lover, have interred her.
Slew this wonder of the land:
Until he dies beneath my hand." Tuzani, for so was the Moor called, having finished the foregoing epitaph, took his departure from Galera, and returned to Purchena without being discovered. He then related to Malec all that he had seen-of the great slaughter of the Moors of the number of Moorish women and children he had seen lying dead in the streets and houses; and how he had discovered the body of his beautiful sister, and had given it burial. At which Malec was deeply afflicted, weeping bitterly the loss of his beloved Maleca, as is described in the following
“ In Purchena Malec waiteth, gates are closed, portcullis down,
“Much I long to know the tidings from Galera's leagured town,
"If 'tis taken, or not taken—if 'tis hopeful, or appalled,
" Then a Moorish youth advancing, spoke with rapture in his eyes, * I will go upon this journey for so great and fair a prize. Seven long years I've wooed thy sister, with a fond and faithful loveAhl how faithful and how tender, let this hidden picture prove !"
" Then from out his breast the picture forth with trembling hands he drew,
And the fair face of the maiden flashed upon the gazer's view-
" And the Moorish youth retiring, waited for the dawn of day,
" And a firelock hung suspended from his right-hand saddle-bow,
Which the Moor, in fair" Valencia, learned to manage long ago.
"When at length the sun had risen o'er the morning vapours damp,
" From the clouds the rain was falling—from the heavens the snow came down,
“Oh! the anguish of that moment! Oh! the bitterness to wait
Till the slow-returning daylight would reveal the dear one's fate.
"When at length the dawn of morning glimmered through the lonely street,
" Like a lily in a garland twined of dusky Autumn flowers-
XIII. "Then the Moor, with tears down pouring for this foulest crime of crimes, Pressed her in his sad embraces, kissed her lips a hundred timesCried aloud, Oh! cruel Christian, thou who quenched this beauteous sun, Dearly, dearly, by Mohammed, shalt thou pay for what thou'st done.'
XIV. "Then he hollowed out the narrow-house, where all that live must dwell, Piled the cold earth on her bosom, took his long, his last farewell, Smoothed the ground around, lest prying eyes the new-made grave might trace, Then inscribed their names together on the white walls of the place.
"From that mournful scene departing, slowly, sadly turned the Moor, Found his steed again at Orca, passed unnoticed and secure, Reached Purchena, when to Malec he revealed his tale of pain,
How he found Galera taken, and his beauteous sister slain.” Tuzani was a native of Cantoria, man, particularly if she be beautiful. and possessed great courage and spirit. Why punish these unfortunate creaBeing from his childhood brought up tures for the crimes that men comin a family of old Christians, he spoke mit? As for me, I have killed but the Spanish language so perfectly that one, and it grieved me to the soul, none would suppose him to have been particularly when I learned from other a Moor. Resolved on seeking revenge women who escaped, that she whom I for the death of his mistress, he quit- had slain was sister to the Captain ted the Valley of the Almanzora in the Malec of Purchena. And, indeed, it dress of a Christian soldier, with his was evident that she was a woman of good sword by his side, and his match- rank from her dress, her bracelets, lock on his shoulder, of which he had and her ear-rings, which I took away learned the use at Valencia and other after her death ; I only left her her places. Leaving Purchena, and car- undergarment, although it was not less rying with him passports from Malec, rich than the others, in order that she lest any of the Moors might interrupt should not remain entirely naked. It him on the journey, he arrived at was broidered with green silk. Other Baza, and went from thence to the soldiers wished to despoil her of it, camp of Don John, where he enlisted but I prevented them.
The regret in the regiment of Naples.
that I felt for having killed her was In this capacity he always preserved very great, because she was one of the in his memory the recollection of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. death of the beautiful Maleca. The All those who saw her loaded me with portrait of his mistress never quitted maledictions, saying, “ A curse on the his bosom, and he never ceased to villanous soldier who did this deed, think of the vengeance he had vowed. and who thus deprived the world of so In order to discover the Christian who much beauty! Many persons, both had killed her, he mingled constantly common soldiers and captains, came among the soldiers, and when he saw purposely to see her, and one would a number of them assembled together, say, 'I would have given five hundred he immediately joined them, and en- ducats for her,' and another would say, deavoured as soon as possible, to turn I would have presented her to the the conversation upon the storming of king as one of the most precious gifts in Galera. « Certainly, comrades,” said the world;' for, indeed, to behold her he, “ there was never a more brilliant thus lying upon the ground in that action than that, nor was there ever a broidered chemise, and with her beaugreater slaughter of Moors. For my teous hair scattered over her breast own part, I confess that I killed more like threads of gold, she seemed more than forty of the most beautiful wo- like a beautiful angel than a woman; men in the place, not to talk of the and the fame of her beauty became so men and the children, who were still extended, that a celebrated painter more numerous." And thereupon, who is here in the camp, in the comthe soldiers, according to their custom, pany of Don Bertrand de la Péna, began to vie with each other in de- spent an entire day in painting her tailing the numbers they had killed, portrait, which is so good a likeness
, and the plunder they had gained. that one is enchanted at beholding it, One day that he had resorted to this and is so prized, that the painter restratagem, for the purpose of obtain. jected an offer of three hundred duing information, a soldier answered cats for it, as if they were three hunhim in these words, “If you, senor dred maravedis. For all which reasons soldier, have killed so many in the I feel the greatest grief and sorrow storming of Galera, without having for what I have done, and always compassion on the women and chil- bear about with me the recollection of dren, you must certainly have a hard this unfortunate Moor." and flinty heart, for, after all, it is a Tuzani had been very attentive to sad and mournful action to kill a wo- the recital of the Christian. He re