Escena: A una jornada de Oviedo y en León.


Alvar Pérez

noble, padre de Da. Elvira y D. Melendo


criado (de D. Lope), gracioso

Da. Blanca

Infanta de León, hermana de Ordoņo, prima de D. Lope, cásase con D. Sancho Abarca

Da. Elvira Osorio

noble, dama-criada (sirve a Da. Blanca), hermana de D. Melendo, prima de D. Lope, cásase con D. Lope

Enrique de Fox (Enrico)

conde francés, esposo de Isabela

D. García


Isabela (Isabel)



Infanta, hermana de D. Sancho, cásase con D. Ordoņo II 

D. Lope Iņiguez

noble, primo de D. Sancho Abarca, preso, mayordomo mayor (del rey Ordoņo), privado

D. Melendo


D. Ordoņo II

Rey de León, primo de D. Sancho

Da. Sancha


D. Sancho Abarca

Rey de Navarra

D. Tello


Vizcaya, Duque de

duque vizcaíno

P. anón.: acompaņamiento (424a, acot. 2, R III, 1169a, acot. 2; no habla; 411a, acot.; 1209a, acot. 2; no habla).


Don Tello has come to Don. Melendo's estate near Oviedo to tell him that Ordoņo, King of León, is looking for Don Lope and to warm Melendo, who is a relative and friend of Lope, not to protect him. Ordoņo is pursuing Lope at the request of King Sancho of Navarra, who has reason to believe that Lope is in Asturias. Sancho's wrath against Lope, who is his cousin, stems from events that centered around Isabela, who was loved by both Sancho and Lope, although Isabela preferred Lope. Sancho told Lope to leave Isabela alone, however, and Sancho agreed, which greatly offended Isabela, who accused Lope of yielding to power over beauty. Her complaints, together with the fact that obstacles only serve to increase love, prompted Lope to go to her one night, and seeing the rope ladder leading up to Isabela's room, cut it down and had Lope arrested. Isabela fled to France, and several nobles (urged on by Sancho) brought false accusations against Lope, who was condemned to death by Sancho. However, Lope's friends helped him escape, and now Sancho has seized his property and asked Ordoņo to help find him.

In the meantime, Ordoņo's sister, Da. Blanca, accompanied by Da. Sancha, has come to a wood near Melendo's estate. Ordoņo wants Blanca to marry the Duque de Vizcaya, who is on his way to León, but she wants to be free to choose her own love. She has come to Asturias to talk to Ordoņo as her brother, not as the King as he would be in León. Blanca overhears Lope and Bermudo discussing the fact that Lope no longer cares for Isabela, but instead loves Elvira, who is Melendo's sister. Elvira and Melendo have been hiding Lope and protecting him. Bermudo urges Lope to leave and sail to England, where they will be safe. Lope decides to do so, and after throwing away a picture of Isabela as a sign that their love is over, goes off to say goodbye to Elvira. Blanca, upon seeing how easily Isabela is forgotten, feels outraged and jealous of her and retrieves the discarded picture.

Also in the wood are Elvira and Ordoņo, each of whom claims to have shot the same partridge. They both seize the bird, and he, impressed by her beauty, promises to give it to her if she will give him back his soul. At this point Melendo, Tello and García come, and Elvira learns Ordoņo's true identity. Although he is to be their guest, Elvira tells Ordoņo that her soul is already occupied and that there is no room in it for him. Later Lope, who has overheard the conversation between Ordoņo and Elvira, expresses to Elvira his jealousy of the King and his feeling that he has no chance against royalty. Upon hearing this, she becomes indignant, asserting that she is royal enough without the King. As he is about to leave, she calls him, gives him a chain, and tells him to hide while the King is there. They again confess their love for each other.


Lope is now a prisoner of the King, who has brought Elvira to León to serve Blanca in order to have her nearby. Because of the jealousy, Elvira is pretending to hate Lope, and she urges the King to have him killed. Blanca, though, hopes that he will be freed. Ordoņo then frees Lope on the condition that he pretend to love Elvira and speak to her of their past love with Ordoņo watching, so that he can see whether she really loves Lope. Elvira, meanwhile, has told Bermudo that she really loves Lope but is pretending to hate him because of Ordoņo's jealousy.

Blanca has had another portrait painted of Isabela in a different dress from that of the picture Lope had torn up and thrown away earlier. She has decided to be a tercera for Isabela, and showing him the new portrait, informs Lope that Isabela has followed him and is staying nearby. She insists that he must be true to Isabela. When Lope protests that he has received a letter from France saying that Isabela's brother had married her off there, Blanca denies that that is true and vows that she herself will right the wrong done to Isabela. Elvira assures Blanca that she does not love Lope, whereupon Blanca tells her that Isabela is nearby and that Lope loves her, confirming all this by showing Elvira the portrait of Isabela. Elvira now disdains Lope because of what Blanca has said. Bermudo observes that Elvira is very changeable.

Lope and Elvira meet, and he warns her that the King is watching and that he is not telling the truth, and further that she must scorn him. When he refers to their past love she denies it aloud and speaks of her love for the King. Lope says under his breath that he really loves her, and she responds that she likewise loves him. Upon witnessing all this the King is happy, thinking that Elvira loves him. Blanca, too, is happy in the belief that Lope still loves Isabela, although she tells him that she hopes that he was not serious about loving Elvira.


Blanca accuses Lope of having visited Isabela the previous night. She shows him pieces of a letter from Isabela and locks of Isabela's hair as proof. Lope recognizes the letter as one he had torn up in Asturias, but he cannot understand how Blanca could have it in León. Blanca asks him to answer Isabela's letter, but in such a way that it will be addressed to Blanca as well. Lope cannot see why Blanca is angry with him, since she has been interceding for Isabela, but she explains that Lope and Isabela wrote and saw each other without going through her, and for that reason she is angry.

Bermudo has talked to Elvira and tells Lope that she will address Ordoņo, but that the things she says are intended for Lope. He is to do the same with Blanca. Elvira also plans to write to Ordoņo and to include a message for Lope, which can be found by removing the first three syllables of each line. He, in turn, will write to Blanca, including a message for Elvira.

Don Tello brings an offer from Sancho that Ordoņo marry Sancho's sister in exchange for Sancho's marrying Blanca. Sancho also will forgive Lope, since Isabela is now married in France. Ordoņo is surprised at this bit of news, because Blanca had told him that Isabela was nearby. Ordoņo rationalizes that Lope loves Elvira and Blanca is helping them, or else that he loves Blanca. He thus accuses Lope of loving a lady in the palace and informs him that Isabela is in France, married. Lope admits that he loves Blanca, and Ordoņo gives them permission to marry. Ordoņo then reads his note from Elvira and is happy because she writes that she loves him. Lope, too, is happy because he has extracted the message directed to him from the note.

Blanca shows Elvira the note that Lope wrote to Isabela and also shows her the message he wrote to her (Blanca) in it. Elvira is unhappy about the message for Blanca until Bermudo comes and points out to her yet another message in the note, one addressed to her, confirming Lope's love for her. Although somewhat consoled, Elvira is still uncertain as to whether Lope loves Blanca or her. In Lope's presence she tells Ordoņo that she loves him but she does not know to whom the paper was really directed. She is, of course, really talking to Lope. Ordoņo is confused as to what paper she is referring to.

Melendo arrives, announcing that Sancho has come to make peace. Lope speaks to Blanca, in Elvira's presence (and really addressing the latter), saying that he loves her, but fears competition from Sancho. Sancho soon arrives and confirms that Isabela has married in France. He tells Ordoņo that Elvira and Lope love each other, which he proves by a letter Elvira wrote to him, and asks him to let them marry. Ordoņo lets Blanca be the judge, and she consents to the marriage of Elvira and Lope and agrees that Ordoņo should marry Leonor, Sancho's sister. Ordoņo gives Blanca to Sancho as his wife, and everyone is satisfied at the end.


List of Plays

Lists of Characters