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Don Caesar de Bazan, a penniless nobleman of seventeenth century Spain, is in love with Maritana, a dancer who has attracted the attention of King Charles II while performing at court. Don Jose, the prime minister, covets Queen Isabel and her power and thus encourages the King's flirtations with Maritana. Don Caesar rescues Lazarillo, a young boy mistreated by a cruel Captain of the Guards, but is imprisoned for fighting a duel during Holy Week. Seizing upon the opportunity, Don Jose arranges for Maritana to enter the court through marriage to a nobleman, the condemned Don Caesar. Maritana is veiled during the ceremony so that Don Caesar is unaware of the identity of his bride. Immediately after the wedding, Don Caesar seemingly is executed by a firing squad but escapes death because the grateful Lazarillo loaded the gun with blanks. Upon learning of Don Jose's machinations Don Caesar rescues Maritana from the king. After informing Charles of his minister's treachery, Don Caesar is pardoned, appointed prime minister and reunited with his bride.