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SENESCHAL (as the song ceases). 'Tis the crippled beggar-maid. Why comes she hither to sing her song morn after morn? Get ye within the town, foolish wench, where thy piping will not be lost in air.

From the left, SAIDA and SIMON enter. An angry frown is upon her face, but, lover-like,
he follows her patiently and wistfully.
SIMON is now apparelled richly, in a habit
becoming a young man. The
SENESCHAL, eyeing them under his brows, bows and
prepares to depart.

SAIDA (to the SENESCHAL). Stay. Some bustle is toward in the town. Seek ye the cause.

SENES. I will, madam. (He goes out, on the left.)

SAIDA (sitting wearily). The air is heavy, is it not?

SIMON. To me 'tis pleasing, save when you look harshly upon me.

SAIDA (impatiently). Tsch! thou know'st I regard thee with some liking.

SIMON. With some liking! Yesterday 'twas with some love; this morn 'tis with some liking; to-morrow, perchance, 'twill be with a little loathing. (Sitting beside her.) Alack, you alter with each hour!

SAIDA (softly). Tell me thy secret, Simon, and I will be steadfast evermore.

SIMON. I cannot!

SAIDA. Pah! how oft have I besought thee to trust me, and how oft hast thou replied, "I cannot, I cannot"!

SIMON. You would I trust, dared I trust mortal. (Rising apprehensively.) But there is the holy friar's warning against it.

SAIDA. He recked not of one loving thee as I do. For, indeed, I find I do love thee, Simon.

SIMON (throwing himself upon his knees before her). Oh, lady, lady!

SAIDA (bending over him). Therefore give me, for trust, the lightest inkling of thy secret. Trust me, or go.

SIMON. Pity me!

SAIDA (thrusting him from her). Nay then, go!

SIMON (clinging to her). Sweet madam, this much will I tell —

SAIDA. Ah!

SIMON. The miracle is wrought by the possession of a sacred relic that will advantage only its owner.

SAIDA (her arms about him). Yea! Say on, dear love.

SIMON. No more.

SAIDA. Lo, I stoop to kiss thine hands! Where lieth this relic?

SIMON. That will I ne'er reveal.

SAIDA. Takest thou me for a thief!

SIMON. I do fear even the rush of the wind, lest it strip me of my holy treasure.

SAIDA. What! dost thou bear it upon thee?

SIMON. Nay!

SAIDA. Thou dost!

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