THE DYNASTS ACT iv
Whilst I have idled here! . . . May brighter times Attend the cause of Europe far in Spain, ^ And British blood flow not, as ours, in vain!
[Exeunt the EMPEROR FRANCIS, ministers, officers, and attendants. The night comes, and the scene is obscured.
THE FIELD OF TALAVERA
It is the same month and weather as in the preceding scene.
Talavera town, on the river Tagus, is at the extreme right of the foreground; a mountain range on the extreme left.
The allied army under SIR ARTHUR WELLESLEY stretches between—the English on the left, the Spanish on the right—part holding a hill to the left-centre of the scene, divided from the mountains by a valley, and part holding a redoubt to the right-centre. This army of more than fifty thousand all told, of which twenty-two thousand only are English, has its back to the spectator.
Beyond, in a wood of olive, oak, and cork, are the fifty to sixty thousand French, facing the spectator and the allies. Their right includes a strong battery upon a hill which fronts the one on the English left.
Behind all, the heights of Salinas close the prospect, the small river Alberche flowing at their foot from left to right into the Tagus, which advances in foreshortened perspective to the town at the right front corner of the scene as aforesaid.
The hot and dusty July afternoon having turned to twilight, shady masses of men start into motion from the French position, come towards the foreground, silently ascend the hill on the left of the English, and assail the latter in a violent outburst of fire and lead. They nearly gain possession of the hill ascended.
CHORUS OF RUMOURS (aerial music)
Knells of night is vext Talavera tonguing: Now come Ruffiris slaughterers surging upward, Backed by bold Vilattes. From the vale Lapisse, too, Darkly outswells there.— 304