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Escena:  En Bolonia y en Parma y sus cercanías





criado de D. Luis, capigorrón (gorrón), gracioso


Príncipe de Parma, italiano


noble italiana, hija del Marqués de Monferrato, cásase con Marco Antonio

D. Diego de Mendoza

estudiante,  caballero, ¿noble?, cásase con la hermana de Carlos

Da. Elena de Luna

¿noble?, cásase con D. Luis


criada (de Margarita), italiana


labradora italiana, nombre fingido de Margarita

Ferrara, Duque de

noble italiano, nombre fingido de Carlos

Filipo Gonzaga

noble italiano, padre de Margarita


camarero de Carlos, italiano

D. Luis de Toledo

estudiante, noble

Marco Antonio Gonzaga

noble italiano, hermano de Margarita

Margarita Gonzaga

noble, dama italiana, madre, ¿loca?, cásase con Carlos


niño italiano, hijo de Margarita

Monferrato, Marqués de

noble italiano, viejo


italiana, esposa de Peynado


paje (sirve a D. Diego), nombre fingido de Da. Elena


jardinero viejo (sirve a Marco Antonio), ¿preso?, italiano

Parma, Príncipe de

noble italiano, viejo, padre de Carlos

P. anón.:  una criatura (*551b, acot.; R II, *310b, acot.; no habla; Calvete la llama Margarito); el Marqués (habla 563a; 329b; es el Marqués de Monferrato); otros (con el Marqués, el Príncipe y Claudia), (*563a,  acot.  2;  *329b,  acot.  2;  no hablan);  dos  labradores  (*566b, acot. 3; *336a, acot 3; hablan los dos 566b; 336a).


Don Luis, a Spaniard, is posing as a student in Bologna, where he has fallen in love with a pretty, young, Italian woman named Margarita.  He confides to her that he left Spain with a friend, intending to see the world, but that he loves her and cannot leave Bologna because of her.  She parries his advances by telling him that she is to become a nun, although in fact she is having an affair with Carlos, who is posing as a gardener but has told her that he is really the Duque de Ferrara.  Now he informs her, however, that he is not the Duque but rather the Príncipe de Parma, the son of her mortal enemy.  His father killed her father and took his estate during the wars between the Guelfs and the Ghibellines, but the Marqués de Monferrato in turn took Parma's lands.  Finally Carlos' father and the Marqués have resolved their differences, but they plan to have Carlos marry the daughter of the Marqués. Carlos and Margarita, who is expecting a child, agree to dress as gardeners and to go to Parma.

Meanwhile, Margarita's brother, Marco Antonio, who passionately hates the Parma family, has learned Carlos' true identity and blames Peynado, who used to be Parma's gardener, for protecting Carlos. Mario vows to kill both Carlos and Margarita in order to restore his honor.  Elsewhere, Don Diego, Luis' friend, has met Doña Elena, who is dressed as a student.  Luis had to leave Toledo because of Elena.  She is following him and has become jealous of Margarita.  In order to continue her pursuit of Luis, Elena poses as Diego's page, "Pacheco."

Luis and Calvete are outside the palace to which Margarita has gone when a servant comes out with a newborn baby.  She asks Luis if he is the Prince, to which he replies affirmatively, and she then gives him the baby, telling him that Margarita has borne him a son.  Now Luis is determined to find the Prince who has caused him so much pain.


Diego and Elena ("Pacheco") are still looking for Luis, when they meet Margarita, who is wondering where to go.  Diego offers to help her, taking her to his home.  Elena, in the meantime remains at the place where they encountered Margarita, and soon Calvete and Luis appear.  Upon hearing them talking, Elena mistakes Luis for the prince whom Margarita mentioned, and Luis, upon seeing "Pacheco," likewise thinks that "he" is the prince.  At this point they recognize each other, and Elena tells Luis of Diego's having taken a woman home.  Luis suspects that the woman is Margarita, although Calvete says that it is not.  Diego then returns and explains to Luis that the woman is Margarita and Diego learns all about Carlos; he therefore resolves to give up Margarita.  Elena is still upset because Luis loves Margarita, and she has to admit to Calvete that she is Carlos in order to ease is suspicions of her.

Peynado narrates to Carlos the events of the past few hours.  Having heard Margarita in labor, he mistakenly concluded that Marco Antonio was killing her and that by now she must be dead.  Carlos swears to get revenge on Marco Antonio.

Carlos and Marco Antonio meet and they begin to fight.  The timely arrival of Diego and Luis puts an end to their fighting, however, and they hear from Luis and Diego the news of the baby's birth and that Margarita is safe at Diego's.  Carlos begs forgiveness from Marco Antonio as well as permission to marry Margarita, both of which the latter concedes to him, and they all go see Margarita and the baby.


Before Carlos and the others arrive, "Pacheco" tells Margarita to flee because Luis wants her and Carlos has gone to marry Claudia, the daughter of the Marqués de Monferrato.  Margarita is desperate, thinking that she would just as soon die, but Elena suggests disguising herself as a shepherdess near Carlos' estate in order to stop the marriage and win Carlos for herself.

Carlos, meanwhile, having been summoned by Julio, assures Marco Antonio that he will marry Margarita and departs to meet his father and the Marqués.  Calvete, having seen "Pacheco" and Margarita leaving and still believing that "Pacheco" is Carlos, tells Luis that Carlos has carried off Margarita.  Upon hearing this news from Luis, Marco Antonio fears that Carlos plans to kill Margarita and marry Claudia.

Claudia, the Príncipe and the Marqués are awaiting the arrival of Carlos, when "Pacheco" and Calvete come and Claudia hears Calvete call his companion "Príncipe," thus leading Claudia to conclude that "Pacheco" is Carlos.  Claudia is very much enamored of "Carlos" and promises not to tell the others that Carlos has arrived.  Peynado recognizes Margarita dressed as a peasant and thinks that it is her soul wandering, looking for a resting place.  Calvete reports that Carlos and Claudia are to marry, news that causes Margarita to go mad. She says that they are in hell and all those present there are devils.

Julio announces Carlos' arrival causing Calvete to think that Claudia and Elena ("Carlos") have decided to reveal his presence.  The real Carlos has come, however, planning to ask his father to let him marry Margarita.  They call Claudia, who denies that this is the "real" Carlos.  At this moment, Luis, Diego and Marco Antonio arrive.  They are angry with Carlos because they think he has gone back on his promise to marry Margarita.

Margarita has been restrained by some villagers who bring her to the Príncipe and the others.  Things now begin to be resolved, as Marco Antonio, Carlos and Margarita all ask the Príncipe and the Marqués to forgive them and let Carlos and Margarita marry.  Carlos says, "Quien da luego, da dos veces."  The Príncipe and the Marqués, seeing no other way, finally relent.  Claudia returns with the "real" Carlos, who is, of course, Elena, whose true identity is revealed by Diego.  Luis and Elena are to marry, and the Marqués decides to make Marco Antonio his heir and that he and Claudia will marry.  Diego is to marry Carlos's sister, while Calvete will wed the baby's nurse.  All these weddings will take place in Bologna.


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