Escena:  Madrid y Illescas


D. Antonio

caballero, hijo de D. Gómez, hermano de Marta y Lucía


estudiante, dómine, licenciado, nombre fingido de Felipe

D. Diego de Silva

noble, caballero

D. Felipe de Ayala

caballero, ¿noble?

D. Gómez

¿noble?, viejo, padre de Marta y Lucía

Da. Inés

dama, prima de Marta y Lucía, cásase con Pastrana



D. Juan Florín

noble, caballero

D. Juan Hurtado

caballero, nombre fingido de Pastrana


criado (de D. Diego de Silva)

Da. Lucía

¿noble?, dama, cásase con el Alférez

Da. Marta

¿noble?, dama, hermana de Da. Lucía, cásase con D. Felipe

Da. Mencía



apellido español




criado (de D. Felipe), gracioso

D. Pedro Gómez de Ayala

¿noble?, caballero


capitán viejo, noble, indiano, tío del Alférez

P. anón.:  el Alférez (habla 445b, R II, 362b); voces dentro (*446a, b; *364b, *365a, b).


Don Gómez has two daughters, Marta, who is extremely beautiful but feared by many because she is so dazzling, and Lucía, who is colder but not so overwhelming.  As the play opens the two sisters are mourning the death of their brother at the hands of Don Felipe.  Lucía loves Felipe and unbeknownst to Lucía, Marta loves him too and he prefers Marta.  In order to trick Lucía into revealing her love for Felipe, Marta tells her that their father is holding him (Felipe) as a prisoner in Seville and is going to have him beheaded.  Don Gómez, meanwhile, receives a letter from Captain Urbina, an old friend of his own age, who has just returned from the Indies, where he made a fortune.  Urbina invites them all to Illescas for a fiesta and bull fight the next day, and he also expresses his desire to marry Marta.  Gómez tells the girls they are going to the fiesta, but makes no mention of the marriage.  Marta is apprehensive about going to Illescas, however, because she knows that Felipe is there.  When, during their conversation, Lucía makes a reference to Felipe’s being held in Seville, her father shows surprise and hurries off to check the story.  Marta continues to mislead her sister by telling her that their father is taking them to Illescas, but that he there plans to go on to Seville to have Felipe killed.

In Illescas, Felipe, with his friend Pastrana, meets López, who tells them that Don Diego and Don Juan want to marry Marta and Lucía and that the girls are on their way to Illescas with their father.  Captain Urbina and his nephew, the Alférez, meet Gómez and the two girls upon their arrival in Illescas, and later at the bullfight Felipe heroically gets the bull away from a fallen picador.  The Alférez recognizes him and tells him that his Uncle, Urbina, is to marry Marta and that he (the Alférez) likes Lucía a great deal.  Felipe asks the Alférez not to reveal that he has see him in Illescas, and Felipe makes a plan to go to Urbina's house to talk to Marta.

That night Juan and Diego are near the door of Urbina's house, as are Felipe and Pastrana. They hear Gómez tell Marta that she is to marry, and she assumes her intended to be the Alférez, not Urbina.  When Urbina says it is he she is to wed, she is greatly surprised.  Just at that moment she spies Felipe, whom she recognizes even though he is muffled, and quickly escapes the situation by informing her astounded father that she cannot marry anyone because she has taken a vow of chastity.  Gómez decides that they will return to Madrid, where he can check out her story.


Some time has elapsed, and Urbina has come to Madrid to see Gómez.  Marta insists on her vow of not marrying, but she refuses to join a convent or become a beata, although she does not indulge herself in clothes and other worldly goods as she did previously.  Gómez and Urbina decide to let the Alférez and Lucía marry, thinking that perhaps this will cause Marta to change her mind.  The Alférez has just returned from Mamora, telling of the great victory of Don Luis Fajardo over the Moorish pirates there.

Marta has been visiting hospitals, but when she and Inés return from one of these visits her father scolds her for doing things unfitting for one of her social rank.  She insists, however, and he gives in, recognizing that she is very pious.  Soon Pastrana arrives and manages to formulate a plan with Marta and Inés.  Disguised as Juan Hurtado, from Seville, Pastrana will bring to Gómez the news that Felipe has been captured in Seville and request from him (Gómez) a warrant for Felipe.  Thus having deceived Gómez, Felipe will be able to enter the house unsuspected.  Diego and Juan, meanwhile, are also still trying to marry the sisters, but Gómez gives them no hope.

Marta tells her father that she has heard that Felipe is a prisoner, but he is doubtful about her source of information.  Soon Pastrana arrives (in disguise) to verify the news, however.  Lucía is confused by all this and is a bit suspicious, but she is not too clever so cannot discover the truth.  Nevertheless, when Felipe appears dressed as a student, she recognizes him and suspects that he and Marta are together in this plot to deceive Gómez.  Although Felipe pretends to be poor and ill, Gómez refuses to take him in at first, but finally Lucía helps Marta to persuade their father to let him stay on the pretext that he can teach them Latin and other subjects.  Lucía's purpose in keeping Felipe at their home is to further her own cause with him.

Left alone for a moment, Felipe and Marta embrace, and upon Gomez's unexpected and hasty return Felipe pretends to have fainted and she, to be aiding him.


Everyone admires Marta's great piety.  Urbina gives her money for a hospital that she wants to build to help poor, sick wayfarers.  Her father wants her to recite some Latin for him, and since she has learned none she and Felipe have to dissimulate in an amusing scene of "fractured" Latin.  Later, after catching Marta and Felipe in an embrace, Lucía accuses Felipe of not being true to her.  She threatens to expose him, but he embraces her, explaining that he only did it to be near her.  At this point Marta returns and finds them and he now must try to allay her suspicions.  As Felipe and Marta are concluding this conversation, Gómez and Urbina arrive, just in time to hear Marta say, "Vive Dios."  They are shocked to hear her use such language, but she excuses herself by saying that she was reproaching Felipe for using that expression, whereupon she orders him to kiss the floor in penance or to leave the house.  He refuses to kiss the floor, saying he prefers to leave.  She flails at him; he starts to leave; she then decides he should stay; and finally Gómez and Urbina tell him to stay, which he agrees to do after Marta kneels and kisses his hand as an apology for having insulted him by threatening to make him leave her house.

The Alférez, meanwhile, recognizes Felipe, who tells him that he (Felipe) really loves Marta and that he will help him (the Alférez) to win Lucía.  Felipe then suggests to Lucía that she pretend to like the Alférez.  Pastrana, too, has a plan, whereby he gives Gómez and Urbina the idea of going to Seville to see Felipe's execution, thus leaving Marta and Felipe with the opportunity to be alone.  Marta now informs Lucía that she really does not want Felipe, but that she will help Lucía get him.  As a part of this plot, however, Lucía is to pretend in public to marry the Alférez, since that is her father's wish, but in reality they will thwart their father's plan.  They are all to go that night to the Duke's garden for the wedding.  Juan, meanwhile, wants to kill the Alférez for taking Lucía away from him, but Diego restrains him.

After the others have gathered that night in the Duke's garden, a carriage arrives with Marta, very beautifully dressed as the madrina for Lucía; Lucía herself; Felipe and Inés.  Diego and Juan, who are unaware of the identities of the others, recognize Lucía, and Diego says the other woman is Marta but Juan says she would not be dressed in that fashion.  When asked, Lucía tells them the other lady is the Countess, and Pastrana answers them in Portuguese when they question him.  Gómez and Urbina then return unexpectedly, having learned of the plot from a friend who had a relative who worked at the Duke's.  Felipe begs Gómez for forgiveness; Juan explains that he has been looking for Felipe to inform him of a large inheritance; Urbina gives Marta a dowry of the money he had planned to give for her hospital; and Gómez yields to the pressure and changes his revenge to love.  Thus Felipe and Marta marry, as do the Alférez and Lucía and Pastrana and Inés.


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