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Escena:  En Avero, villa de Portugal, y en las cercanías de ella.


D. Antonio de Barcelo (Barcelos)

Conde de Penela, portugués, primo de Da. Juana

Avero, Duque de

noble viejo portugués


pastor, vaquero (sirve a Lauro), portugués

Bras Llorente

¿pastor?  portugués


dama, cásase con Fabio, nombre fingido de Serafina (en un drama)


categoría desconocida


pastor portugués, regidor (regidero)

D. Dionís de Coimbra

noble portugués, hijo del Duque de Coimbra, = Mireno

D. Dionís de Coimbra

nombre inventado por D. Antonio

D. Dionís

caballero portugués, preso, ¿noble?, secretario de Madalena, nombre fingido de Mireno


alcalde portugués

D. Duarte

Conde de Estremoz, portugués


conde, nombre fingido de Serafina (en un drama)


criado del Duque, camarero portugués


¿pastora? portuguesa

D. Francisco

noble portugués

Gil Bragado

¿pastor? portugués

Gil Mingollo

¿pastor? portugués

Gómez Brito

lacayo portugués, preso, nombre fingido de Tarso

Hernán Alonso

nombre fingido de Serafina (en un drama)

Da. Juana

dama-criada (sirve a Madalena); portuguesa, ¿noble?


pastor portugués


viejo pastor portugués, noble, = Duque de Coimbra


dama portuguesa, hermana de Ruy Lorenzo, cásase con D. Duarte

Da. Madalena

noble portuguesa, cásase con Mireno, hija del Duque de Avero


pastora portuguesa, cásase con Tarso


pastor portugués, villano, noble, hijo de Lauro, = D. Dionís

D. Pedro de Portugal

Duque de Coimbra, portugués, primo del Duque de Avero, hermano del rey D. Duarte, = Lauro

Pero Ménguez

regidor (regidero) portugués

Pero Sastre

viejo, nombre fingido de Serafina (en un drama)


príncipe, nombre fingido de Serafina (en un drama)

Ruy Lorenzo

secretario del Duque de Avero, ¿ganadero? ¿pastor?, portugués, ¿traidor?

Da. Serafina

noble portuguesa, cásase con D. Antonio, hija del Duque de Avero


pastor (sirve a Lauro), criado, villano, ganadero, camarero después, portugués, gracioso


lacayo de Ruy Lorenzo, portugués, gracioso

Vasco Fernández

privado, traidor

P. anón.:  dos cazadores (hablan I, v. 89); pastores (*acot. ant. de I, v. 734; no hablan); un pintor (habla II, 668); un atambor  (tambor, rep.; habla III, v. 1436); gente (*acot. ant de III, v. 1418; no habla).


The Duque de Avero and Don Duarte, Conde de Estremoz, meet out in the country, whereupon the Conde draws his sword and says he should kill the Duque because the latter has signed an order for the Conde's death.  The Duque denies any knowledge of the paper and offers to help Duarte find the traitor who wrote it.  Figueredo, a servant, comes to tell them that Ruy Lorenzo, the Duque's secretary, has planned to have the Conde killed, but the person whom he hired to do it has confessed.  Although he does not tell the others, the Conde knows that the reason Ruy Lorenzo wants him dead is that the Conde dishonored his (Ruy Lorenzo's) sister.  The Duque initiates a search for Ruy Lorenzo.

In the meantime, several shepherds are talking nearby.  Among them is a young man named Mireno, the son of Lauro.  In spite of the fact that Mireno has been brought up as a shepherd, he feels that he is of higher station, more noble than a shepherd, and he has decided to leave, accompanied by Tarso, to seek his fortune elsewhere.  On the road they meet Ruy Lorenzo and Vasco.  Ruy Lorenzo explains that he has to flee the Duque's wrath but at the same time he wants to avenge his sister.  His story moves Mireno, and they all agree to change clothes in order to hide Ruy Lorenzo's identity.  Thus Tarso (with great difficulty) puts on Vasco's lackey clothes, while Mireno dons Ruy Lorenzo's clothing.  Seeing Mireno so attired, Ruy Lorenzo remarks that Mireno looks like a born noble, rather than presenting the awkward appearance that peasants usually have when they wear gentlemen's clothing. Doristo, Lariso, and Denio, shepherds, have started to look for Ruy Lorenzo and Vasco.  They have a description of their clothes, so they capture Mireno and Tarso, believing that they are the culprits.  Mireno and Tarso have taken new names to fit their new clothing and now call themselves Don Dionís and Brito.

In the palace of the Duque, Doña Juana receives a visit from her cousin, Don Antonio, who is en route to Galicia from Castilla on orders of the king.  Don Antonio has heard of the beauty of the Duque's daughters and wants to see them.  Juana tells him that the Conde de Vasconcelos, the son of the Duque de Berganza, wants to marry Madalena, the elder.  Both young women, she says, are lovely.  The girls come, accompanied by their father and Duarte.  Although Antonio finds both girls to be beautiful, he is captivated by the younger one, Serafina, and decides to stay another day.  The Duque tells Madalena that the king wants her to marry Vasconcelos, and she agrees to do as the father asks.  The Conde (in an aside) asks the Duque for Serafina's hand, to which the Duque consents, with the stipulation that he get the king's agreement before telling her, because she is not anxious to be tied down.  The Conde speaks sweet words softly to Serafina, but she is rather sharp in her replies.

The shepherds bring Mireno and Tarso.  At first the Duque does not understand why they have brought them, but when Mireno says he traded clothes with Ruy Lorenzo, the Duque orders them imprisoned for aiding a traitor.  In the belief that they know Ruy Lorenzo and his whereabouts, the Duque plans to make them reveal this information.  Madalena is impressed by Mireno, who acts very noble.  Later, as Serafina and Madalena talk, the former refers to Mireno's handsome figure and Madalena becomes jealous.  They both want to help him.


Madalena feels disturbed by the affection she feels for Mireno.  She has persuaded her father to set him free, and he wishes to thank her.  When Juana announces his presence, Madalena vacillates and finally has him come in.  She asks all about him and then tells him that she will ask her father to give him the position of secretary.  Mireno realizes that Madalena is attracted to him.  Meanwhile, Antonio has applied through Figueredo for the secretary's job and the Duque gives it to him.  Juana suggests to Antonio that if he wishes to see Serafina he can do so by going to the garden, where the two girls are going to practice a play in which Serafina plays the part of a man.

When Madalena asks her father to appoint Mireno as his secretary, she learns that he has already named Antonio to the position, so she requests that Mireno be made her secretary to help her write to the Duque de Berganza and the Conde de Vasconcelos about her approaching marriage, an arrangement to which her father agrees.

Antonio hires a painter to do a portrait of Serafina while she and Juana are rehearsing their play in the garden.  They act out a drama of jealousy, and Serafina throws herself into her part, even showing signs of love which she had never done before.

The King gives his approval to the marriage of the Conde and Serafina.  The Duque still wishes to delay telling her, but he proceeds with plans for a double wedding for the two sisters.  Mireno is to help Madalena write to Vasconcelos.  He now thinks that Madalena is in love with him, and in order to throw him off the track she says that she loves Vasconcelos.  He believes her, but remains confused.  To keep from discouraging him completely, she pretends to trip and gives him her hand in an affectionate manner.


Ruy Lorenzo is with Lauro and the other shepherds, bemoaning his fate.  Lauro says he should not have falsified a letter with the Duque's signature, so he deserves some punishment.  Lauro then tells his own tale of how he has suffered unjustly.  He is the Duque de Coimbra, brother of King Duarte of Portugal, who died, leaving his kingdom to his widow and his brother, Lauro, because his son (now Alfonso V) was very young.  The widow was the sister of the King of Castilla, who managed to control the young heir to the throne through his mother.  The widow died and caused his own brother, the Duque de Berganza, and the King to turn against him.  He was captured and sentenced to die, but escaped by using sheets as ropes.  His wife joined him and they lived with the peasants near Avero.  His wife died when Mireno, their son, was born, and Mireno has no idea who he really is.

At the palace of the Duque, Tarso advises Mireno to speak out to Madalena, for she has given him plenty of encouragement.  Afraid he will lose what he already has, Mireno is hesitant, and Tarso says to him "I do not know why the bashful man comes to court" ("No sé yo para qué viene / el vergonzoso al palacio").  Mireno finally has resolved to tell Madalena how he feels when Juana calls him because Madalena wants to see him.  Madalena, too, has resolved to express her true feelings to Mireno and does so by pretending to be dreaming and carrying on a clever conversation with him during her "dream," telling him that she loves him.  Then she "awakens" and when he tells her what she said while "dreaming" she replies that Vasconcelos is the man she really loves.  As she leaves the room, she cautions him not to believe in dreams, because "dreams are just dreams" ("que los sueños, sueños son").

Antonio declares his love to Serafina, but she scorns him.  Angry and hurt, he throws away the picture of her. The artist had painted her dressed as a man for her role in the play, but changing her black suit to one of color.  Upon picking it up after Antonio leaves, the narcissistic Serafina fails to recognize that she is the person in the portrait and she falls in love with the "man" pictured there.  She confides to Juana that she is curious to know who "he" is, and Juana, of course, pretends not to know, since she does not want to admit that she let Antonio into the garden.  Juana summons Antonio and advises Serafina to pretend to be nice to him so that she can find out who the person in the portrait is.  Antonio identifies the portrait as a picture of the son of Don Pedro, the Duque of Coimbra, who has been in exile for a long time.  Don Pedro, a widower, and his son Don Dionís, have lived as shepherds, but Dionís has seen Serafina and fallen in love with her.  He is afraid to appear at the palace, however, for fear of being apprehended.  Thus Antonio has come on his behalf and pretended to love her himself to see if she is easily moved to love.  Antonio explains that Dionís can come at night without fear of being caught, so he plans to come to the garden that night.  Thus Antonio sets the scene in order to take advantage of Serafina himself.

The Duque observes Mireno as he gives a writing lesson to Madalena, during the course of which Mireno and Madalena speak to each other with double meanings.  Duarte informs them that Vasconcelos is to arrive the next day and that the wedding must be held then because he has to return immediately.  Madalena gives Mireno a letter saying that the fears of the "vergonzoso en palacio" will end that night in the garden.  He now knows for certain that she loves him and he is overjoyed.

Bato, meanwhile, has returned to the village from Avero and told Lauro that Mireno is secretary to Madalena in the Duque's household.  Lauro and Ruy Lorenzo set out for Avero, and Melisa and Vasco go to look for Tarso.

That night Juana and Serafina wait at the window.  Antonio comes and tells them that Dionís is with him.  Disguising his voice, Antonio pretends to be Dionís and asks to come in.  Juana urges Serafina to admit him or she will have to marry Duarte the following day, so she agrees.  Tarso, having witnessed all this, thinks that it is Madalena, not Serafina, at the window and gets quite confused by Antonio's changing his voice and playing two roles.  When Mireno arrives, Tarso tells him that someone called Dionís has already entered, at which Mireno is upset, but Madalena appears at the window and Mireno goes in to her.

Lauro and Ruy Lorenzo arrive at the palace early in the morning and are waiting to enter when Vasco and Melisa come.  To the sound of drums the Duque, Duarte and others arrive, and the Duque announces that he has received news of the pardon of the Duque de Coimbra and the discovery of the treachery of Vasco Fernández.  The Duque de Coimbra is to be honored, alive or dead.  Since the Duque de Coimbra is his cousin, the Duque de Avero is especially happy about this news.  Seeing Lauro and the other peasants, the Duque asks who they are, whereupon Lauro identifies himself as the Duque de Coimbra and they have a joyous reunion.  Madalena and Serafina are summoned so that they can join the celebration.  Madalena tells her father that she will not marry Vasconcelos because she already has a husband, the secretary that he gave her.  The Duque is furious, but Lauro intercedes, saying that Mireno is really his son, Dionís, and is of noble birth; thus the Duque consents to the marriage.  Serafina, however, says that he cannot be Dionís because Dionís is in her room.  Madalena disagrees, asserting that Dionís is in her room.  The Duque orders both "Dioníses" to be brought.  Mireno arrives first, and the Duque de Coimbra identifies him as his son.  They explain what has happened to Mireno, and he and Madalena are to marry.  Serafina, meanwhile, learns from Antonio how he deceived her by pretending to be Dionís.  He asks forgiveness.  She calls out for them to kill him, but Juana saves him by telling that he is really a count, and thus the Duque orders Antonio and Serafina to marry.  Duarte is to return home to wed Leonela (Ruy Lorenzo's sister) and make an honest woman of her, as he had promised.  Lauro explains to the Duque that Ruy Lorenzo was wronged by Duarte, but that he was unwise in his means of revenge.  He asks forgiveness for Ruy Lorenzo and Vasco, and the Duque grants it.  Tarso is to marry Melisa and will become Mireno's (Dionís's) valet.  The Duque promises to Juana a noble husband, and they all go out to meet Vasconcelos to give him condolences for having arrived too late.


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