Tirso de Molina (Gabriel Téllez)

Translated by Kenneth A. Stackhouse

This translation is based on the text of the edition of LOS BALCONES DE MADRID by Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch in the BAE, Vol. 5.

Dramatis personae:


A sitting room in Don Alonso's house. Elisa enters carrying a letter, accompanied by Coral
ELISA:    I just cannot believe how our Don Juan
          Has gone to such extremes to write a note!
          He really does not lack for wit or  style!
          Why do you think he takes such chances? Well?
          Coral, this  time he really goes too far.
CORAL:    He goes this far to please and that is all,
          For his desire to please you has no match.
          His pleasure, if he were, let's say, in Burgos,
          Would be a corner stone--for convents, yes!
          You might first guess the meaning of his words
          By looking at one line, as you judge wool
          By testing just one thread from off the skein,
          Or as you might assess an entire hotel
          By asking them to bring their list of wines.
          Now read what he has written. Your reward 
          Will be fine ballads, sonnets, quatrains, too,
          As tithes upon his love, ...he is no priest...
          As taxes on affection never sold.
          But hush!  I hear them coming in this way!
ALONSO:   Elisa!  The new year promises to be
          An excellent one for us, because today,
          A man has come to court who brings with him
          My new lease on life.  His servant must be here,
          Since he was not there waiting at the door.
          But you!  Tell me why you are here?
CORAL:                                           Oh, shoe!!
ALONSO:   Speak up!  Who are you?  What do you want here?
CORAL:    (Saint Michael! Help me speak!)         Aside
                                     I am, good sir,
          A certain person who...person, but uncertain...
          Because I have not been here very long...
          And not a real person, as such, to tell the truth,
          Because there are so few of them today...
          I distill the quinessentials...the essences...
          And polish teeth, remove corns, style hair;
          A noble lady called me from her rooms...
          They say it's true, when they wear signet rings...
          I think they lie, don't you?  I must leave now...
He tries to leave
ALONSO: What is all this? Now, wait a moment here. CORAL: To hear... to judge, and that Is not for me. I never studied law Nor learned to speak in rhetoric, although There are some well-read melon heads whose names Are carved on bookstore rinds yet turn out green Or over ripe, or just plain bunk when tested. ALONSO: (The man lacks something between his ears.) Aside Now wait right there! CORAL: To wait means losing hope. ALONSO: Has there ever been such wit? What do you want? CORAL: Who? Me? The stairs! They must be invisible. They must be like the gallows steps: the climb Is easy "up" but "down" is only for The executioner. ALONSO: (Without a doubt Aside Don Pedro sent him here to say he arrived.) Do not be so upset I found you here, In my house; the man you serve will soon become Its owner, too. CORAL: The man I serve? ALONSO: My sweet Elisa owes as much to his good faith, As I owe him for his many gifts to me. I asked him to come and make our family strong. I recognized him near our house and then Complained about his lack of courtesy In waiting for so long to visit us. Of course, I welcomed him with open arms. He asked me to forgive his oversight And said that he had left a servant here: "I did not want to bother anyone Arriving unannounced at night," he said, "In spite of love's impatience it seemed best To wait for dawn and miss another day." And so, as you can see, I saw the man You serve and welcomed him. Since you have come To announce that he is here, you should not fear But rather hope I give a big reward! CORAL: (This man has taken me for someone else! Aside It seems to me they switched our bags! Since he has welcomed whom he thinks I am, I have no choice. I must become the one He wants to see.) Good Sir! I feared I might Offend your reverential ancientness But since the winter of your days is spring To me, let me kiss your sacred shoes And then implore your kindly venue to think Your vindication apologize For that foul smell which you, without a doubt, Like me, perceive now rising from my pants.
ALONSO: Elisa, I could not but note how hushed You always are and how your eyes are cold. You take this news quite badly, or so I fear. You know, Elisa, that my years require Someone to take control of my affairs And care for you, to lighten my load, someone Whose name deserves to be allied with yours. Don Pedro is that man; his family name, His pleasant ways; I know him as do you. He has a good income, as well, it seems. But most of all, I like him. No matter how You feel, he will be here to see you soon-- Tomorrow, if I can arrange it. Then The papers will be written right away, Or else you leave Madrid by coach tonight For Lerma where a convent waits for you.
ELISA: All know that unforeseen misfortunes lead To a kind of delirium; if lightning fails To kill us, it deprives us of our senses, Don Juan. My father strikes like lightning, fast. But I am safe because I am true to you. Although the lightening bolt is feared by all, It never strikes the bay, a tree whose leaves May tremble but they never, ever fall: His wrath will see me always green and firm. And if they try to force me, love does not Consent to compromise: Don Juan or death.
Exit ELISA. The street on which Don Alonso and Doņa Ana live in neighboring houses. Enter Don CARLOS and Don JUAN
CARLOS: I never saw an evening quite this clear. It seems December turned to May tonight. JUAN: Count Charles, good sir: if youthful love is wild And like a child prefers playthings which fire The passions more, tonight will bring me luck And end my pain. I know 'tis so because The old year ends and the new begins so fair. CARLOS: Well, then, forget your old, sad ways for friends Are always gentle, kind, and that, my friend, Is all I ask of you. Unless you share Your thoughts and trust me with your cares I can not call you "friend." JUAN: If I refuse To tell you, it is not because I doubt Your faith, but simply that the usual path To love is not the path I choose to take. I fear that people will not see me as A lover but instead will think me mad. Come hear the ways of love that do not take The usual paths to joy, a love which now, From habit, is not accidental, no, But has become essential to my being. But understand, good Count, that you are not To know her name. I swore to tell no one. She so respects the silence of my fire That she forbids its glow to reach my eyes. CARLOS: Then tell me. I will never say her name. JUAN: Don Carlos. I adore the pearl more than The shell, the diamond far more than the gold In which it lies, the idea more than its form. I mean by this that I have come to love, With pure intent, her soul, with love so free From all desire that to think it seems a crime. CARLOS: Sometimes, a graceful wit that comes from strength Of mind can win the love of understanding, If understanding is what she has won, The lady you refuse to name must be So ugly that she kills all your desires ...and though you love your host, you stubbornly Refuse to accept her hospitality. What good are eyes, if you refuse to take The spoils which come with every stolen glance? Do you believe that she is beautiful? JUAN: She is the sun in heaven, the rose in May, And since she is as I have painted her, My love for her is so unlike all others That I can only let my eyes enjoy Her sight in passing. They must not remain Too fixed upon her loveliness, their prize. My eyes are sharp; through them I know the host Of the great, noble house that enflames my heart. CARLOS: They are right when they proclaim all love is mad. Love seems to try to go to the extremes In everyone each time. But good Don Juan: Every madman has his day, and I Refuse to love the part and not the whole. But are you sure that she loves you as well? JUAN: I am certain that I have no peer And that my love is met with pure intent, With a willingness to accept the bonds of love. Do not assume that I am much too sure Or careless, either. Look how fortune smiled On me no less than one short hour ago: I took a chance and won my lady's smile, Which issued from her self-congratulations For promising to be my wife. Just read The note which fortune used to favor me. It says, "You probably have made him mad With envy. Your constancy will win the day: Great beauty never easily was won." Now, this note makes me proud. She wrote to me!.
CARLOS: Your overconfidence, Don Juan, will end In disillusionment, for women's ways Are like the sea: their only constancy Is change. What you call proofs of favor, sir, Which you think fortune brought you, are a trick, Duplicity from one who vainly hopes We believe such artfulness is simple truth. Before I met you here, her confidante Had come to me. Before she spoke to me She veiled her news with a caress to hide Her greed behind deceit.... As you can see, Has her reward not cost me dearly, now? Just listen to the note she sent to me... To us...: "You probably have made him mad With envy, but constancy will win the day. Great beauty never easily was won." JUAN: But is not that the note I read to you? CARLOS: The same few lines of verse can often serve Many very different ends. Those lines Which you have read were also sent to me. JUAN: Your proofs have won against my stubborn will. If death delays in coming now, I need Not fear the mythic basilisk. And lightning Has no power, nor serpents deadly venom.
Exit Don JUAN
CARLOS: How I envy him! I want to see The beauty he exalts, that work of art, The woman left unnamed, the one I will Pretend loves me. I learned her note by heart. My envy stole it from his lips because Of jealousy without good cause. Forewarned, I will observe his steps, his every act; Their meaning will be clear and I will know If he has told the truth or only dreamed About the perfect beauty found in her.
ELISA and LEONOR come out on the balcony
ELISA: Watch to see if Don Juan comes this way. LEONOR: You seem to want to give him every chance. ELISA: Why not? If he has had every chance Before? Leonor, I hope my love provides More chances than my father tries to kill. But if Don Juan does not see them and fails To take the chance, will he not think that I Have changed my mind and never know the truth? My father wants to keep us both apart. LEONOR: Your cousin is there right next door; she might Be on the balcony where she can hear And what she thought was just her mere suspicion Could burn her now with uncontested truth. ELISA: I wrote to him to come and use his wits To keep such dangers far away from us. He could not think to do it on his own. It seems that I must think for both of us. LEONOR: He did not understand. When men are sure We love them, nothing can disturb their sleep Nor make them see the dangers which are there. If your Don Juan just had a rival, then... ELISA: Well, does he not have one? LEONOR: And you...a father Who will not tolerate the slightest move Against his will.
Doņa ANA comes out on the balcony next door; ELISA and LEONOR are on theirs
ANA: (See how right I was! The cold night air Aside Does not disturb her nor the risk she might Be heard confiding thoughts to her balcony. I want to hear my cousin speak; I bet My doubts will be confirmed by her own words.) LEONOR: The wolf is in the garden! Go inside! I see that Doņa Ana came up for air! Do not create a scene! ELISA: As long as you Will stay to tell Don Juan what happened here. I think that his precautions go too far. No man in love should be so slow to act!
LEONOR: I will.... But what if I am Ana's friend As well? A double spy for the sake of love. Should I deny her chance for happiness? But here comes Don Juan now. I will not get Involved in this. May the best man win!
Exit LEONOR. Enter Don JUAN and CORAL on the plaza below
CORAL: Everything I said about her father And me did happen, and just as I told you. JUAN: And so...Don Pedro did arrive at last? CORAL: They say that he is staying there for now. You know the house; its owner loves you so... JUAN: If this is not a dream, I am going mad! CORAL: The thought of a son-in-law has made her father Waste no time. JUAN: Was Elisa there? CORAL: Her pure white innocence turned rosey red Like the dawn which blooms in joy on holidays. My being there did not deter her smiles. JUAN: She is a woman, after all. Good Lord! CORAL: It seems she could not keep you off her mind. I think that Doņa Ana lives right here. Come back where you belong, lost lamb. Since you, The count...Don Pedro, too...all want to read Elisa's book, her style and substance would be, It seems, a pleasant lesson for anyone.
ELISA and LEONOR return to their balcony
ELISA: I heard him in the street; my father sleeps. If I do nothing now, I will lose him, That is certain. LEONOR: Hurry! Go and speak To him right now. But hurry up! ELISA: Leonor! I am frightened! I am afraid of Doņa Ana. ANA: Is that Don Juan? Why, this is nothing new. (But love is always new for her; to change Is all my cousin understands.) I mean It is nothing new to see Don Juan come here Each day at dawn. ELISA: Doņa Ana, if She sees me speak to him, will know her worst Suspicions are the truth and that her jealousy, Based on doubts, is not so groundless after all. LEONOR: It is best if you go in for now, because If your father wakens, he will catch us here, And well you know how angry he can get! ELISA: Will nothing go my way? It is so unfair!. Tomorrow, promise, you will tell him how We were surprised by someone right next door And if our love can not foresee the way, These interruptions will be the end of us! LEONOR: I will. ELISA: Oh, these delays are much too long, Eternal for those in such a rush to die.
Elisa and Leonor exit from their balcony. Doņa Ana stays on hers. Don Juan and Coral are on the street below
JUAN: Did she go in? CORAL: Elisa did and slammed The window in our face. JUAN: Well, I will look... CORAL: You are mad!
Don JUAN tries to enter the house and CORAL stops him
JUAN: I have to know if they reward... ANA: Well! Here is that Don Juan who thinks he owes Me nothing. By the guest I welcomed in, The one who takes the love which should be yours, By the love I kept so safe for only you, By your ingratitude for all the schemes I tried for you, by how you pay me back, I swear, if disabuse of all false hopes Cures love, let me be your physician when You lie awake.
CORAL: Go ahead! Make Elisa jealous! That's the cure for wimpering faithlessness. Pretend you love our Ana, here. There is No greater motivation than a rival! Just make her suffer; make her mad; just make Her taste the gall! ANA: Sweet Don Juan, is your anger Still so strong--I will beat you in this as well-- That you forget your manners and will not speak? JUAN: In some things you are absolutely right, But not about the reason I am here. If you, in anger, think that I have come Because your neighbor interests me, you are wrong. My love for you has brought me here, ashamed. I feel that I lost favor in your eyes Because of something I have done. My shame Cannot find words to speak, nor should I try. Especially when I might amend the wrong By keeping silent. Since love is but a child, A child whose blindness keeps him ignorant Of scorn, he often feels quite ill at ease In places where in fact they welcome him. ANA: Just how can one be sure about a child Who leaves in favor and returns transformed By customs no one can accept at home? For one must fear a child who brings us pain. Moreover, there is danger in compassion, And I feel great compassion when I see That you have come to love me so completely. My soul responds with sympathy to pain. But the first mistakes a young man makes deserve, Just once, to be forgiven. Getting back To our concern, important things for now: You know, of course, Don Pedro is my guest And he shall wed my cousin, as Don Alonso, My uncle, insists. Besides, Elisa is pleased. She likes what she has heard of him and asks To have him come from Talavera. I know She wrote to tell him that everything she learned Of him from friends has won him favor here. I assure you, Don Juan. I fought on your behalf. She only says that she must always try To please her father. JUAN: That ungrateful girl Is so untrue, not only to the Count, But to Don Pedro, too...,
He tries to go inside and says under his breath me! you!! How could she do this? What is going on? ANA: Don Juan! Tell me where you are going now. No sooner do you ask to be forgiven Than you start to show you are jealous of her! CORAL: (Watch out! Say no to everything the wench Aside Might ask. You really got her worked up now! Don't wait! Tell her that you are sorry now And throw some onions in the stew! More salt! ANA: Am I not standing right in front of you? No more, Don Juan. Just be on your way.
She turns to leave
JUAN: Now Ana, Ana! You who are my life, My soul, my everything! Just how could wrath Approach those lips? Just let its fever pass. Control yourself. Are you not calmer now? I cannot believe those words! CORAL: You lost her there. You both have said what cannot be taken back. She told us to get out. JUAN: Shut up, you fool!
To Ana
Your anger only makes me want you more.
ELISA enters her balcony; the others remain where they were
ELISA: Don Juan...Don Juan...Now get away from here!
She goes back inside
CORAL: (Just listen to her ladyship!) Aside Pretend You did not hear. Go on about your business.
JUAN: So now I see all that I lost because I was a fool to trust you: faith, belief In others' loyalty and self control... You are unique, a rare form of Phoenix: You appear in a different form each time You seem undone. You think that no one can Esteem the prize he has unless he tries To compare it to another. If you persist In anger, after all the trust I put...
ELISA enters the balcony again
ELISA: Don Juan, you still do not quite understand! You do not know who said to go away?
LEONOR, looking through the window
LEONOR: ...who said her father can hear every word You say and is a deadly threat to you? ELISA: What threat? What could happen now? LEONOR: Come in. ELISA: And this to you, you fickle, wretched man!
Leonor and Elisa leave the balcony
JUAN: Where have they gone? CORAL: To the dogs. JUAN: Farewell, Doņa Ana. ANA: Now wait! JUAN: All jealousy is foolishness And when it strikes, we all do make mistakes. I do not want you, nor do I love you. I am in love with Elisa, Ana. There.
Exit Don JUAN
ANA: Coral...Coral!..Coral! CORAL: I don't have time. ANA Why don't you call him back? CORAL: But why should I? ANA: Oh Lord, everything I tried to do.... Love, love is not a god but madness! CORAL: The two of you should throw yourselves right off The balcony onto the street: a horse And cart together in a tangled wreck.
Exit CORAL. Enter ELISA and LEONOR at the door to their house
ELISA: Leonor, please let me stay out here a while. There is no chance that he will find us here. LEONOR: Oh, no? In the doorway to the street? ELISA: Oh, me. I do not know what I am going to do. Go see if Juan is still there with that woman. LEONOR: Let me take care of this and I will bring Him back to you. Go inside and rest. ELISA: If you succeed... LEONOR: His jealousy keeps him From thinking clearly. After all, he found A stranger here who almost claimed your house And almost won your beauty; how can you Be so surprised that he now burns with rage? He thinks that you have brought his rival here! But I will make quite sure he knows the truth. ELISA: Well, I suspect that he has gone away. LEONOR: That does not matter since I now know where He lives. Dawn has stretched its wings and soon Will look out from the east and bring you hope With the day. Go inside and I will watch The door. ELISA: Leonor, if you can bring him back, You will have made my sleepless nights worthwhile. LEONOR: Well, jealousy, like the late evening light, Prefers to walk well-cloaked in shifting doubts. The sun will shine for both of you, I am sure. The light that kills deceit is said to be As lovely as the sun. ELISA: Well, I must leave.
LEONOR: My! This is going to be a prosperous year! I always try to make things difficult. And since this is the first day of the year, I must begin to complicate their lives: Not even the sharpest woman will understand Just what I did and what is going on.
Enter Don JUAN and CORAL
CORAL: Must we start the same old tale again? Do you recall the last time that we slept? JUAN: I know impatience got the best of me. Now I must start my search where it began. If here the flame that will not rest caught fire, Then here the peace I search for must be found. LEONOR: Don Juan, two final thoughts and then farewell. JUAN: If you would help me end my suffering Leonor, and speak to her for me, this pain Would be great joy. LEONOR: But I must speak for her; I am not to blame. Do you know that? Young men like you, for whom a change of heart Made quickly ends the pain that will not let You rest, never suffer jealousy--- For long. My lady, then, would have you know That she does not deserve your love. She says Her only duty lies in honoring him Who gave her life. Since her father has chosen The men we are to marry, the papers will Be signed today without delay. She thinks She sees in you the qualities one finds Among those who respect a family's pride. She thinks you can forget the favors she Has shown to you since they were compliments, No more than flowers which in time will fade. She knows that you will understand how pleased She is to give her hand to him, the one They chose for her. Now do you understand? And finally, she says she must obey Her father. His hopes do agree with hers. Now regarding him, the man she is to wed: She begs you, Sir, and hopes that you will swear Never to try to keep her from the joy This opportunity has given her. She hopes you understand that Ana acts According to her will, as it was before. She hopes that you recall how beautiful And how discreet our Doņa Ana is. Do not refuse to do what you now know Is right and make unhappy wives of her And Doņa Ana. This means good-bye. This door Is closed to you. You must accept that fact.
CORAL: She means what she says. She locked the door. JUAN: This news has brought me to my senses, Coral. One time, I felt that I had been defeated. But now I pray to God that if I ever See her, or walk along this street again, Or ever even think of her again, That He will strike me down with lightning, dead. Now I can breathe and live without a care. CORAL: I see that jealousy is not the best Of surgeons, as I thought. He is rather clumsy And his patients breathe through open wounds.
Exeunt. Elisa and Leonor enter, opening the door to the street
LEONOR: You did not hear us? ELISA: No, because I stood Too far away. LEONOR: Well, my lady, know Our lover has decided to respect An obligation made some time ago. There is no way to make him change his mind. I know I saw him him leave your cousin's house. I tried to talk to him but nothing worked. I tried to tell him what his duty is, But he says he is Don Pedro's dearest friend. I reminded him how much he owes you, But he said that he asked for Ana's hand With Don Pedro standing there in front of them. I told him that you must obey your father. And that you love the one whom Heaven sent, That the love you two had had was just illusion, A chimaera made by fantasy and dreams. He did not wait for me to say it all But left me with the words still on my lips.
Don JUAN and CORAL arrive very agitated. ELISA and LEONOR leave soon afterwards
CORAL: Again? Back here? JUAN: I might just kill someone. Today we will see if it is right to treat An honest man like this! CORAL: Where are you going? JUAN: I said I am going to kill someone or die. CORAL: You must not go in there! JUAN: Who will stop me? You? Good God! CORAL: Now and forever. JUAN: You are going to make me draw my knife. CORAL: And they will think you simply lost your mind. JUAN: Do not make me do this. Move away. CORAL: It is you who are making trouble.
JUAN: Good evening, Ma'am. ELISA: Good God...! And what are you doing here? I was distracted by so many thoughts Because of something I was told...You must Forgive me. JUAN: It is the soul which rules our senses. Your soul has won that deserving, happy man. Is there any reason I should find it strange Your soul compels you to obey its desire? Or that it will not let me see you again? I am concerned for you since we are neighbors And also family. (Are you surprised? When Doņa Ana and I marry, then We will be joined through her family line.) I come to offer you my congratulations Hoping that what you wish will soon come true, And that when it does your happiness will last For many peaceful years which quickly fly. ELISA: And you, Don Juan, must live eternally In such felicity with cousin Ana That I as well will have the chance to wish You every happiness, again and again... Since as you say we are one family... A thought which gives me nothing less than joy. CORAL: (She has a wicked way of being sweet.) Aside JUAN: The other reason I am here today, Aside from wishing you the best in life, Is just to ask your kindest understanding And forgiveness for the many troubles I know I must have caused you until now. You must still think there are some ashes left, A sign of the fire which smoldered until now. Elisa, there are none. Do not, therefore, Refuse the offer Talavera makes, An offer which has not come just by chance. By willingly surrendering my freedom, I now know what true liberty can be. Once I said good-bye to independence Liberty and freedom found their source: They searched for me last night and found my heart And there your cousin Ana chanced to take them. Since faithful servants leave warm memories With those they served, it was not hard for us To erase hurt feelings nor to reconcile Ourselves to one another once again. Although she has not improved her lot at all, She is quite pleased with me and hopes you know That if you are lacking happiness She has enough for two and will share with you. ELISA: How is it that your very soul can change So easily, the soul that gives you life? Does it grows old and tired in just two days And think it wrong to stay in just one place? A man who changes jobs each month will not Construct a castle even if he works With alabaster and with fine Dutch tiles. CORAL: I think she cornered us with that ELISA: I have no sympathy for you; it is Your nature to be fickle and untrue. I do feel sorry for Doņa Ana, For she must try to reconcile the joy Of hearing people say how glad they are You two are back together with the grief Of losing you. As far as faithfulness And trust are a concern, your coming back Is just as likely as the chance you will leave. JUAN: I understand what you are trying to do: In spite of the peace and calm which occupy My soul, where you believe a hell is seething, You would like to see my patience die Giving birth to anger and to threats, To the madness which jealousy and insults Can cause and which have started killing me. Since I am free, you must accept my word: That if you could see deep into my soul, Where you have never lived and never will, Then you would run away quite mortified. No longer do men think a woman lovely Whose lovers lose all hope and then despair. ELISA: Oh, I believe you. Do not worry there, Although your haste to tell me this at dawn And take back something which you never gave Has made me doubt your words. Just think if what You say were so, how things would really be. For I have seen great books in parchment bound Proclaim divinity and then reveal They had disguised their plain humanity. JUAN: Well let us, you and I, make this pact So you will know that I have learned my lesson And never will make the same mistake again. May I be taken for a liar whose word Will have no standing among men, whose truth Be taken for a lie, whose place in others Eyes be naught, a nobleman, that is, Whose nobility is false. You swear the same. ELISA: I swear, and gladly, too, with the same desire That asks you to depart and leave me here Alone. And so that you will see how much I mean what I have said, I want to add One more thing so that you will have no doubts. JUAN: And what is that? ELISA: That you will let me be The maid of honor when you and Ana wed. JUAN: Providing you comply with my request And honor me, Elisa, as your man When you come to church on your wedding day. ELISA: Good God! I cannot think of anything Which could please me more. My happiness Is quite complete! CORAL: (God's fire! Just see how they Aside Are scorching everyone! But once the storm Begins, there is no stopping it. JUAN: Then we Are quite agreed in this? ELISA: Of course we are. JUAN: Whoever even thinks about the other... ELISA: ...Will lose their credibility and name. JUAN: You realize that this is a lot to swear? ELISA: For me? I swear by the life of the man I love. And you, swear by my cousin's life. If you do, You will have sworn by everything you have. JUAN: And I see how that must be a torment to you. Don Pedro's life does not mean much to you. ELISA: Oh, no? Since he will be my husband soon... JUAN: Until today you were completely free. I know your soul conceals another man Who matters more to you. If you would swear By him, I might believe all you have said. ELISA: And who is that? I really want to know. JUAN: Swear by the life of him they call Don Juan. ELISA: In the name of God. I now know you are mad. I have not thought of him in such a while! But don't you see that if I swear by him That I would have to say his name and thus Would lose the very wager we have made? May God forgive him and show him all His Grace. JUAN: Then swear by the life of all you hold most dear. And by everything which you have ever valued. ELISA: you are referring to Don Pedro. JUAN: If you must swear by him, then so be it. ELISA: Should I repeat what I already swore? JUAN: How deceitful to refuse to swear again! Then swear by Carlos's life, if you dare. ELISA: What Carlos are you referring to? Martel Of the "Song of Roland"? Or Charles of Spain? JUAN: Well, that is right, Elisa, deny it all: Refuse a count who risked it all for you To get you where you are, who took my place In your soul where at one and the same time You kept three men hidden from the world: Don Pedro, Carlos, me, and among us all My liberty, which suffered most because I loved you most of all. ELISA: What Carlos? The count? What risks? To get me where? Just where am I Supposed to be, do you think? Are you in your Right mind? Be sensible! I swear to God... JUAN: You cannot stand to hear the truth, which since It is the truth, and you a faithless liar, It must be signed in blood, in mine...!
He tries to pull a knife but Elisa grabs his arm
ELISA: So you want Your little knife? Do you not think that that Is a little melodramatic and out of date? It might just work, in some old Spanish play. LEONOR: Your father, cousin, and Don Pedro are here. ELISA: Don Juan. I do adore and love you so. Stop playing childish games which cause real pain. Let anger lead to peace. Go in that room And hear what love will do for you. Now hide in there and listen 'til you are called. JUAN: An hour to me will seem to last forever. If you forget...and agree to marry him... ELISA: I swear by sunlight, father of us all By the life your love has given me, I swear. When I see your love expressed in jealous passion I swear by you, who are so much, much more: To die if I do not become your wife. LEONOR: Sir! And Ma'am! They are already here! ELISA: If Ana takes you from me, what will I do? JUAN: Can the night outshine the splendor of the day? ELISA: Well, aren't you two ever going to hide? JUAN: You promise that you will keep your word.
Exeunt all but LEONOR and CORAL
CORAL: Leonor, burn a little oil for me. If you leave me here alone and in the dark, I'll cry all night like a cat caught in the walls. LEONOR: There are no candles left. CORAL: You would be a sweet But mad young thing if you had not taken some. LEONOR: And what are you? CORAL: A splash of hot, red wax.


The Balconies of Madrid, Act II

Electronic text by Vern G. Williamsen and J T Abraham
Additional formatting by Matthew D. Stroud

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Latest update: 28 Jun 2002