Escena:  En Toledo.


D. Antonio

caballero, primo de D. Fadrique

Da. Catalina

dama, hermana de Da. Lucía, cásase con D. Juan


categoría desconocida


criado (de D. Diego), lacayo, graciosos

D. Diego (Ortiz de Fonseca) (de Acebedo)

caballero, caballero de Santiago


dama, esposa de D. Fadrique, nombre fingido de Lucía


categoría desconocida

Da. Dorotea

dama, esposa de D. Fadrique, nombre fingido

Da. Dorotea de Eraso

noble, sobrina de D. Luis


categoría desconocida

D. Fadrique de Ayala

noble, preso, cásase con Da. Dorotea

D. García de Silva (Ponce, Silva y Solís)

viejo, caballero, padre de Da. Lucía y de Da. Catalina

Da. Inés de Santa Fe


Da. Isabel


D. Juan

noble, primo de D. Diego


niño, nombre fingido

Da. Lucía

dama, cásase con D. Diego


categoría desconocida

D. Luis

viejo, caballero, tío de Da. Dorotea


criada (de Da. Lucía), lacayatriz, cásase con Cristal

D. Pedro

caballero, primo de D. Fadrique


escudero (de Da. Lucía)


apellido noble español


apellido noble español

D. Tomate

categoría desconocida


Don Diego and Don Fadrique, old friends, meet outside a church in Toledo.  During the course of their conversation, in which they speak of the political and religious situations of the day, Fadrique learns that Diego has come to Toledo to marry Doña Catalina, the daughter of Don García.  Before making his presence known, however, Diego wants to find out more about his intended.  Fadrique, meanwhile, is to marry Lucía, García's other daughter. After Fadrique leaves, Lucía passes by and notices Diego, and the two of them strike up a conversation.  They are attracted to each other immediately.  Diego's servant, Cristal, learns from Quesada, who is accompanying Lucía, that the young woman is García's daughter, so he and Diego assume that she is the one whom Diego is to marry. In the meantime, Catalina has summoned Fadrique in order to tell him that a rumor is circulating to the effect that Doña Dorotea is having his child and that Lucía is very jealous of Dorotea.  Fadrique denounces this rumor as completely untrue.

Lucía returns home and happily relates to her sister the story of her meeting a handsome man at the church.  Shortly after Lucía’s arrival, Diego appears at García's home and, after addressing Lucía as "Catalina," learns that the girl he met is not the one he is to marry, but her sister.  He thinks that Catalina is very ugly, but she finds him attractive. García explains to Diego that Lucía is to be married on the same day as he and Catalina.  Upon hearing this news, Diego feigns a headache.  Catalina gives him a ring in order to help drive away the pain, while Lucía ties a string of beads around his wrist.  Catalina, aware that Diego is the man Lucía encountered earlier at the church, becomes quite jealous of her sister.


Fadrique tells Diego that although he has had an affair with Dorotea it is all over now and he wants to straighten things out with Lucía.  He asks Diego to support him as witness that he and Dorotea are through.  Fadrique and Catalina have already agreed that she will talk with Dorotea at church and confirm Fadrique's innocence.  Dorotea, of course, has an interest in getting Lucía married to Fadrique.  Cristal, meanwhile, has a letter that he forged in a woman's writing and that he plans to use on Diego's behalf.

García is to accompany Catalina to church to witness the conversation with Dorotea, although Lucía tells him that he cannot trust Catalina because of the latter's jealousy of Diego and Lucía. At this point Diego and Fadrique arrive at García's home where Diego vouches for Fadrique.  Diego talks separately with Lucía in double talk, while Fadrique and Catalina converse, with the latter listening to the other conversation at the same time.  Lucía now dresses with a veil and goes off to carry out a plan she has thought up for discrediting Fadrique.

After talking with Dorotea, García and Catalina are convinced of her innocence, but Lucía appears, completely veiled, and claims to be the real Dorotea, asserting that the other one was a plant of Fadrique.  She tells them that she really has Fadrique's child and gives them letters written to her by Fadrique--letters that were, of course, originally directed to Lucía, not Dorotea.

Cristal, who is carrying several letters, delivers one of them (the one he had earlier forged) to García.  The letter is to Diego from another Dorotea, this one in Madrid, who writes as wife to husband, even mentioning their son "Juanico."  García now believes that Diego is just after Catalina's dowry, and the three "Doroteas" leave him both angry and baffled.  He confronts Fadrique with the second "Dorotea" and tells Diego to go back to "Juanico's" mother in Madrid.  Both Fadrique and Diego are astonished by García's words and by the letters, which he gives them.  García vows that his daughters will marry others now.

Saddened by hearing about Diego's "Dorotea," Catalina weeps, and Lucía, too, is perturbed.  Their father has difficulty in understanding their reactions and their jealous remarks to each other, which are interrupted by the arrival of Fadrique, who has recognized the letters purporting to be from "Dorotea" as those he had written to Lucía.  His claim is dismissed by García, however, and Lucía refuses to support him.

Ordóñez tells them that while they were gone, a lady named "Dorotea" came with a child who looked like Fadrique. Diego, meanwhile, has learned from Cristal of the letter he forged in order to help Diego.  He now appears chasing Cristal and pretending to punish him for mixing up the letters and giving the wrong one to García.  Deeply wounded by the belief that Diego has a wife in Madrid, Lucía admits that she was the second "Dorotea," in order to hurt him in return.  Fadrique, now cleared of all guilt, asks that Lucía marry him.  García orders Diego to return to Madrid.  Diego is secretly happy that Cristal's plan worked so that he does not have to marry Catalina, but somehow he has to devise a way to marry Lucía.


In spite of Lucía's efforts to postpone the wedding (complaining of a headache, for example), her father insists that she must marry Fadrique immediately.  Dorotea has decided to enter a convent.  Catalina and Lucía continue arguing and they are still jealous of each other because of Diego, even though he is supposed to have returned to Madrid.  Cristal comes to tell Lucía that Diego is still in Toledo and that he still loves her.  Cristal explains the forged letter from the "Dorotea" in Madrid, proving that the writing of the letter matches his own, and further adds that he and Diego have a plan.

Before Cristal can leave, García and Catalina come, and Cristal explains his presence by pretending to have been thrown out by Diego.  He asks García for money.  Lucía continues to complain of a headache and a strange noise in one ear.  García agrees to give Cristal some money.  Elsewhere, Juan, Diego's cousin, joins the latter's conspiracy to marry Lucía.

Lucía still feigns illness, and Quesada announces to García, Fadrique, and others who have gathered for the betrothal, that she has become deaf.  García, prompted by the suspicious Catalina, brings Lucía to join them.  Lucía, prompted by the suspicious Catalina, brings Lucía to join them.  Lucía pretends to be deaf and talks in a monotone as she thinks a deaf person might.  She wittily misunderstands what people say to her and makes humorous comments based on her "misunderstandings."  Cristal comes with a letter that he says a messenger gave him for Diego.  García takes the letter, which is from "Dorotea" in Madrid asking Diego to aid Fadrique, who has stolen money in Madrid.  Soon Juan arrives, disguised as a policeman, to take Fadrique prisoner.  The latter, however, denies the charges against him, and he and Juan depart fighting each other with their swords.

Cristal and Diego manage to see Lucía alone, and she and Diego pledge themselves to marry.  Catalina walks in on them, soon followed by her father, who reports that the "policeman" disappeared but the vicar has ordered that Fadrique must marry Dorotea because he had already given her his word that he would marry her.  Juan appears and confesses that he was the "policeman," while Cristal admits to having authored both of the false letters from the "Dorotea" in Madrid.  Diego, now forgiven by García as a result of Cristal's confession, asks that Juan marry Lucía, since Fadrique cannot.  García agrees, but Catalina, in order to prove that Lucía can hear, tells her that García will let her marry Diego.  Upon hearing this, Lucía is immediately "cured" of her "deafness."  Diego and Lucía then ask García's permission to marry, which he gives.  Catalina and Juan will marry, as will Cristal and Ordóñez.  Lucía points out that "no hay peor sordo / que aquel que se finge serlo."


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