Locale 1: At night on the Prado1
   DORISTEO and FINARDO enter with GERARDA, and FABIO and LISEO, 
DORISTEO:    How cool!
FINARDO:             And pleasant!
GERARDA:                          I'm delighted
          by the fountains.
DORISTEO:                  No place more alive 
          in all of Spain.
GERARDA:                   What lovely pools...
DORISTEO: Wonderful!
GERARDA:            ...greeting us with jewels. 
DORISTEO: The water in them is beautifully clear.
          Are you glad you came?
GERARDA:                        It's enough, my dear,
          to be at your side.
DORISTEO:                     Sit here and rest.
FINARDO:  Of all places to be, the Prado's the best.
DORISTEO: So I've heard people say.  You two,
          haven't you tuned up yet?
LISEO:                              I would,  
          but my G-string is loose.
GERARDA:                           Twist the pin.
DORISTEO: That's what I say.
FABIO:                        Ready?
DORISTEO:                                   Begin.
FABIO:    What shall I sing?
DORISTEO:                     Lope's new song.
LISEO:    "I Sigh With Desire?"
FINARDO:                        That's a good one!
                      The MUSICIANS play and sing 
MUSIC:       When your beauty stands before me,
          I sigh with love;
          and when you are no longer seen
          I sigh with desire.
               When I note the warmth of your fire,
          I thrill with love;
          but when icy disdain is in your eyes,
          I sigh and retire.
               When your beauty stands before me, 
          I sigh with love;
          and when you are no longer seen
          I sigh with desire.
           LUCINDO and HERNANDO enter2 
LUCINDO:  They said they were going to hire musicians.
HERNANDO: There's singing over there in that direction.
LUCINDO:  The song's not bad if it's not too long.
HERNANDO: Just like birds, they stop their song    
          when anyone approaches.
LUCINDO:                         Go get a better look.
HERNANDO: I wish you'd stop acting like a fool.
LUCINDO:  What does it matter?  It's only for fun.
          It's not time yet for the other one.
HERNANDO:      "Jealousy laughs when lovers cry."
          I'll play my part and pass them by.
          Wait for me here.
LUCINDO:                      I'll wait.
HERNANDO covers his face with his cape, passes close by the five and returns to LUCINDO
FINARDO: Look there! Why is he coming here to stare? DORISTEO: He must be looking for something he's lost, or someone that got away. GERARDA: A song? LISEO: Another one? GERARDA: Yes, but don't stop to tune. HERNANDO: I know her voice. LUCINDO: Is it Gerarda? HERNANDO: For sure! LUCINDO: Ohhh! HERNANDO: Are you hurt? LUCINDO: And the man? Is it him? HERNANDO: Yes, it is. LUCINDO: Oh, damn! HERNANDO: It hurts like hell to judge from your squeal. LUCINDO: The more distance between us, the closer I feel. HERNANDO: If you keep that up, she'll see you. Calm down. LUCINDO: Is he holding her close? HERNANDO: And how! LUCINDO: I know I'm drinking from Jealousy's cup for inside I feel like I'm burning up. The poison's too bitter! It enters the eyes and attacks the soul where love resides. I wish I'd never come! HERNANDO: Then leave. A better angel's waiting, isn't she? LUCINDO: What angel? HERNANDO: Fenisa. LUCINDO: I'm in no mood to talk to angels. HERNANDO: But she adores you. Isn't it right that you return her love? LUCINDO: There's no danger in putting her off. This must be a first love for her. Like Hero she'll wait alone in her tower, but this one who's in the arms of a lover, if I leave her alone, I'll suffer. She'll rip my soul to shreds. You brought the manto? HERNANDO: I did. LUCINDO: Then put it on. HERNANDO: Something could go wrong. LUCINDO: From your cape, you can make a skirt. HERNANDO: Me, be your date? A woman? LUCINDO: In the bushes over there, disguise yourself in women's wear. HERNANDO: I'm going, but I'm afraid. LUCINDO: You sot, get going! HERNANDO: I'm off, but I'll tell you what: You're my defense. If you don't come, you'll be shocked to smell what I've done.
HERNANDO exits. LUCINDO is afoot, at a distance from the others who are seated
LUCINDO: Love is never cured with good intentions! The mistake is made in treating the hurt since deep within gray ash, still there burns the amber sign of passions's resurrection. Ardor and Disdain, Anger, Indiscretion, the soul at times retains while yet asleep; but what lethargic spirit does not leap wakened by the force of doubt's inventions? Oh Suspicion! How rightly you've been compared to a swarm of gnats drawn to love, whose flames provide the fumes in which you are conceived. What matter, since whenever I'm relieved by sleep, fatigued by playing love's games, Jealousy's trumpet awakens me with its blare? HERNANDO enters dressed in manto and cape as a woman HERNANDO: How do I look?3 LUCINDO: Good enough I hope for it all to work out. HERNANDO: You think I can cope with this skirt? LUCINDO: Well enough. HERNANDO: And the veil? LUCINDO: That too. HERNANDO: How about appeal? LUCINDO: Let's start the play. HERNANDO: Does my slip show? LUCINDO: Come on! HERNANDO: You're in love, so I must go. LUCINDO and HERNANDO approach the others DORISTEO: A lady and her friend are coming this way. GERARDA: Look at how she moves. What a display! That has to be seen to be believed. DORISTEO: What do you mean? GERARDA: Just what I see, and a nice smell, too. DORISTEO: In leaving the house she must have taken a mint.4 FINARDO: A trip out and to the Prado, with minty breath! That means she's a lady of... DORISTEO: ...of that bent! FINARDO: Professional! DORISTEO: She wants to sit next to you. GERARDA: How heavy! FINARDO: She could be sitting for two. LUCINDO: Beautiful Estefania, what do you think of the breeze out here? HERNANDO speaks in falsetto when he plays the role of ESTEFANIA HERNANDO: It seems a sin to come without Aunty, but I'd do even more if only you'd ask me. It's you I adore. LUCINDO: Please go on singing. HERNANDO: Did you stop for me?
The MUSICIANS repeat their song softly in the background. GERARDA gets up and moves off
GERARDA: (It's Lucindo! Ahh! Now I see. It must have been true --without a doubt--. He was after the lady he asked about. That reaction I thought he was faking turned out to be true. My heart is breaking! "Love often comes in flattering shades; of Treason and Error its clothes are made." He discovered my trick and learned a lesson). HERNANDO: She's disturbed, having tasted the medicine. What do you think? LUCINDO: We might just make it. GERARDA: (What fun to dish it out! How awful to take it). Doristeo, please bring me some water. DORISTEO: And something to go with it. I never falter in trying to please you;. You wait here while I go for refreshments. GERARDA: I wouldn't hear of your going by yourself. FINARDO: Shall I? GERARDA: Yes, do. I'm not alone. DORISTEO: Let's go. FINARDO: Tootle-oo! DORISTEO and FINARDO exit GERARDA: (I can't wait for us to be left alone). LISEO: Shall we sing? GERARDA: I'd rather you go. FABIO: She's up to something. LISEO: She did a good job getting rid of the others. FABIO: Well, I don't want to disturb them, Liseo. LISEO: Fabio, let's leave. The MUSICIANS leave GERARDA: Oh, miss! HERNANDO: Are you talking to me? GERARDA: I would like to see and to talk with you, too. HERNANDO: See and talk to me? Why do you... GERARDA: Because I'm a neighbor!...5 HERNANDO: For pity's sake, what's wrong? GERARDA: Is that all it takes to make you cross? HERNANDO: It's hot around here, Lucindo, let's go. LUCINDO: Calm down, my dear. To get so angry is quite severe. Take off your manto so the lady here can see the beauty, by God endowed, the radiance that's the talk of the town. Uncover those beautiful eyes, my dove, the cause of envy, the cause of love. HERNANDO: I'm not in the mood. My eyes are all tears, a sea of jealousy because it appears you've been seeing Gerarda. I'm told she's generous to a fault. LUCINDO: Oh, no! How could Gerarda make you jealous? I don't know how you could be suspicious. May God never cure the love that's killing me6 if I care for her one whit. May God keep us from joining in love's embrace if I respect her one bit. May God not allow me to taste of your lips if I have loved her ever. May God forbid the two of us to marry if I should even see her... GERARDA: (How can I stand this? Why do I stay?) HERNANDO: Dear Lord! What curses! GERARDA: (May they come my way if I take any more of this, you louse. Such nonsense!) HERNANDO: They say you went to her house and that's what got me all unnerved. LUCINDO: There's really no reason to be concerned, so calm yourself, take heart, my dove. You're the one that has my love. GERARDA: Not as long as I'm alive!7 GERARDA attacks HERNANDO, and LUCINDO steps between them LUCINDO: What do you think you are doing? HERNANDO: Why? Are you attacking me? GERARDA: I don't care if you are Estefania. LUCINDO: Don't you dare. HERNANDO: A lady like me? GERARDA: I'll kill her! LUCINDO: You stay! HERNANDO: She wants to hurt me! LUCINDO: And you, get away! HERNANDO leaves GERARDA: Who was that woman? LUCINDO: One who adores me. You've made a terrible mistake. Let her be. She's a lady with powerful friends. It could cost you plenty in the end. GERARDA: What worse than what she's already done? Get out of my way! LUCINDO: I never let anyone who hates me order me around that way. GERARDA: Me? Hate you? LUCINDO: Do you mean to say that you love me? GERARDA: Oh, sweetheart, everything I told you was only pretend, so was everything you heard me say. You, I love; Doristeo, I hate. Lucindo, I'm yours all over. Take me. LUCINDO: God in heaven! What's this I see? GERARDA: As proof that I love you alone, sweet lover, come with me. Come home. LUCINDO: Punishment gives you the will to go on. Like animals, you women are easily taught. But it's over now, forevermore. Estefania's the woman that I adore. GERARDA: Why are you leaving, light of my life? LUCINDO: Because your day has turned into night.8 GERARDA: Come with me. Come on, to my house. LUCINDO: Not on your life. GERARDA: Why not now? LUCINDO: Doristeo will be here in due time; let him keep you warm if you like. GERARDA: On bended knee I beg you to come. I want to explain why I did what I've done, to clear up the reasons for my disdain. Nothing but jealousy! Let's leave this place. Come, Lucindo, come on. You'll see. LUCINDO: Really and truly? You do love me? GERARDA: I've always loved only you, my dove. LUCINDO: Well, that'll cost you a little blood. LUCINDO draws his dagger just as HERNANDO returns in normal dress HERNANDO: What sacrifice is this being performed? LUCINDO: She made me angry with her scorn. HERNANDO: (If he wants vengeance and is that bold, and Gerarda sits there waiting for the blow, I must have to play the angel's role). What are you doing, sir? LUCINDO: Oh, Hernando, a good thing you came! HERNANDO: I've been in the park, searching the Prado for you in the dark. They found out at home this lady got out, and two hours ago... LUCINDO: Not this one, you lout! HERNANDO: This isn't Estefania? LUCINDO: For a while here we had thunder and lightning. HERNANDO: Gerarda, I fear. LUCINDO: Can't you see that it is? HERNANDO: Leave her alone. If it is she, you'd be the one to catch the blame. LUCINDO: We'll talk about this later, Gerarda. GERARDA: Listen. LUCINDO: Not now. GERARDA: Wait. HERNANDO: Now that was brave of you. LUCINDO: Just knowing she loved me cut me loose. LUCINDO and HERNANDO exit. DORISTEO and FINARDO return DORISTEO: God, what bad luck! A real disgrace! Nothing was open, not one place. FINARDO: We even broke one door down. GERARDA: You two must be all worn out. DORISTEO: Were you here by yourself? GERARDA: All alone. DORISTEO: But the musicians? GERARDA: They left to go home. FINARDO: We couldn't find a thing to eat! And they brag that every street in Madrid, all year round, has places where those who want can get pastries, wines and desserts far into the night. GERARDA: It's getting late and I don't feel right. DORISTEO: I wonder if it's not too cool out here. GERARDA: The trouble was the heat, my dear. DORISTEO: Can you read the stars? FINARDO: I only know: "When the handle of the dipper points its toe, it's nearly morning and time to go." DORISTEO: If what you say is really true, it's almost that time. Take a look. It's already high. Let's go and rest. What poor friends! FINARDO: Not the best! GERARDA: (Lucindo, now that you love me less, I love you more. What a mess!) DORISTEO, FINARDO, and GERARDA exit together Locale 2: The street in front of FENISA'S house LUCINDO and HERNANDO enter HERNANDO: You're so calm now, I presume you've managed to forget that lady loon. LUCINDO: You're not just joking. HERNANDO: What's the cause of such a miracle? What has brought you to your senses? LUCINDO: Knowing she loves me. God bless the idea, the plan, the jealousy, the time, the manto, the Prado, the action, and even her unpleasant reaction. HERNANDO: Why not bless Estefania, too? I still have the marks, to tell the truth, from when Gerarda slapped my face. LUCINDO: They've opened the window. We'll stop and wait. FENISA appears at her window FENISA: Oh, sir... LUCINDO: Who's calling? FENISA: A lady. Be quiet. HERNANDO: (It must be Fenisa who got out of bed). FENISA: Tell me your name and I'll talk to you. LUCINDO: (See? Coming here was a really good move. HERNANDO: Everyone in Madrid is now fast asleep.) LUCINDO: It's Lucindo, dear lady, I came to see about your complaint, not just for fun. You do know I'm Captain Bernardo's son? FENISA: I do. LUCINDO: If I've never been here before, how can you say I came here to court? Me? Did I ever come looking for you? Me? Did I write you a love note or two? Me? At this window, covered with bars, talking of love or causing alarm? Me? Out here to keep you awake? Me? A messenger? For pity's sake! FENISA: Don't resent my tricks of love. You never were here. Heavens above! I never saw you here at my window. My complaints weren't true as you know although I did say that earlier today. Never have you written or given me chase. What this is about you know, all right. I don't need to say it. You came tonight. It's been hard for me to find a way to let you know my feelings, but today you gave me the will, love gave me the plan. Your father came to ask for my hand, but since my birth I've been marked for you. With God's help it may all come true. To use the Captain as my go-between shouldn't be seen as insanity. He's a neighbor, he's old, he's wise. What's more, he loves you as much as I. I've used this means to let you know how much I love you, dear Lucindo. In return I ask you to appreciate my belief in you. If my wealth and face --even though you deserve much more-- should lead you to... LUCINDO: So soon, such favor! Don't just throw it on the street. The street is no fertile field. Such seed is wasted when it is sown unless it falls on a loving soul. I have to thank my own good fortune for finding out that I've pleased you. How well I know I've never thought I could ever deserve your love. That day, that glorious jubilee, I first saw you and you saw me, I felt a new desire awaken. I've not been able to sleep since then. My own lack of native wit seemed to prevent my seeing it; what I hear my father saying. But when he stubbornly kept insisting, I finally came to see what you meant. FENISA: Then you know what it is I dreamt. LUCINDO: "A debt acquired is a debt to pay". Once I knew, I looked for a way to pay what I owed. But if they persist in your marriage to my father, can I resist? What will happen to me and to you? FENISA: Don't believe in the power of those two, because it's we, their own two children, whose marriage is clearly destined. You've yet to comprehend the wiles of a woman in love, as decided as I. LUCINDO: I know that you are discreet and vital. That's obvious from your wit and style. FENISA: I've done nothing yet. LUCINDO: I can only repeat: Fenisa's a lady IN LOVE BUT DISCREET. FENISA: May your father forgive me for using him so, sending word through him to let you know what my mother prefers to keep indoors. What I want to say --that I'll be yours--, I'll say by complaining. Whenever we can, we'll see each other. If you hear I can't stand any more, pay attention to the talk. LUCINDO: I say, dear lady, I had the same thought. FENISA: That way you'll know what's going on inside this house. We'll tie the knot while he's making plans to take a spouse. We'll be wed before he finds out. LUCINDO: We need all the help we can get to conceal our reason for worry, and then, can you plan things so that we can meet? After all, you're the one who's discreet. FENISA: I have a plan that'll work. I'll plead with your father to sent you to me so that I can give you my blessing. that way you can come without upsetting my mother. But disillusion me now or tell me I'm standing on solid ground. LUCINDO: I gave you my soul of my own free will. It's yours to command. HERNANDO: Listen! Be still! Hear the larks singing to the morning; there, a quail is whistling its warning. The morning star has risen high. The time for love has passed us by. FENISA: Go now, my love, the dawn is here. I don't want my mother to miss me, dear. LUCINDO: You ask for permission from my father for me to see you. HERNANDO: It's getting brighter! LUCINDO: Give me something, if you please, to take to my bed. FENISA: I wish it were me! HERNANDO: Tell her to wind things up. It's late. FENISA: For this ribbon, what will you trade? LUCINDO: What do you want? FENISA: Your heart. HERNANDO: Enough! LUCINDO: It's already yours. FENISA: Good night, my love. FENISA exits LUCINDO: She left! HERNANDO: At last! LUCINDO: What luck! HERNANDO: I see that you're in love. LUCINDO: Shouldn't I be? HERNANDO: And Gerarda? LUCINDO: That's over. HERNANDO: How come? LUCINDO; You saw. Fenisa's prettier, she's fun, she's noble... HERNANDO: And has hot Spanish blood! LUCINDO: This ribbon alone, now that it's won, is better than Gerarda when all's said and done. HERNANDO and LUCINDO exit Locale 3: In front of GERARDA's house DORISTEO and GERARDA enter DORISTEO: I'm a man and a good one, too. Speak freely to me; tell me the truth. Why do you treat me with such contempt? Do you still love Lucindo? GERARDA: No, but then last night... DORISTEO: Go on. GERARDA: It's my bad luck that his disdain, it seems, was enough to set fire to the snow covering my heart. Did you see that woman, that ugly tart, who sat next to me? DORISTEO: Then it must have been Lucindo who brought her. GERARDA: So it seems. DORISTEO: That's all I need to know from you, Gerarda. See what jealousy can do! GERARDA: Jealousy's stronger than love as you say. It can triumph over disdain. I swear that I'm as good as dead. Everything that Lucindo said seemed to be already prepared. So did her questions. I was snared. But then I did find out the lady's name, Estefania,9 and also that she came from a good family. a footman appeared like greased lightning and I could hear what he said: that there was no doubt, they knew at home that she had gone out. DORISTEO: (How could this happen? Is it all a game?) What's that? What was the woman's name? GERARDA: What reason do you have for being so shaken? DORISTEO: I was wondering about the woman you were denouncing. GERARDA: Estefania, she said. DORISTEO: Estefania! GERARDA: That's right! DORISTEO: It must be! It would be a way to get even, you see, if because I came to visit your house Lucindo got into mine. GERARDA: But how? DORISTEO: A sister of mine --Don't you see?-- is named Estefania. GERARDA: It must be she! DORISTEO: What's to keep me from defending my honor, from seeking revenge on that traitor? GERARDA: He is after her! He said one day he'd get even with you if he found a way.10 DORISTEO: And he did! She told me last night that she'd been out to see the sights on the Prado. Estefania! My honor is lost! Good night, Gerarda. (At what a cost!) GERARDA: That was more than I wanted to know. DORISTEO: He's certainly dishonored my already, so... they'll have to get married. GERARDA: Married! That's not fair. You'll have me buried. DORISTEO: What have I done? GERARDA: You might as well kill me as marry him to another. DORISTEO: How else can it be? (Now that's a case!) GERARDA: My heart is broken! DORISTEO: Get out of my way! GERARDA: I shouldn't have spoken. GERARDA exits DORISTEO: My sister! Who could plan such revenge! I must find Finardo so we can challenge Lucindo to a duel. He'll come to settle the matter. Justice will be done. He'll die or he'll marry to satisfy me. Such a vile sister! How could she? But the law that condemns me is very just; rather than duty I catered to lust. "Home fires must be tended with care before fanning a new flame anywhere." DORISTEO exits Locale 4: A room in BELISA's house BELISA, the CAPTAIN, FENISA and FULMINATO all enter FENISA: Do me a favor and give me great pleasure: bring you son here since I'm his mother. CAPTAIN: I think you're right. FENISA: All will be clear as soon as we exchange our greeting here. BELISA: This house is yours, you should let him come. CAPTAIN: He can come now; he knows what I've done. Fulminato! FULMINATO: Yes sir? CAPTAIN: You go and call my son the lieutenant. FULMINATO: Yes sir. I'm off. FULMINATO exits FENISA: (He has sent for Lucindo. That's good. Heaven help me! Before we are through these walls will witness my true affections.) CAPTAIN: (Although she seems to resent his attentions, her wish to see him has aroused my fears. He's youthful and wise beyond his years. His presence, buy contrast, makes me seem senile. She might think it better to become his wife. Who'd doubt that he's more appealing or that our marriage would be more distressing. Should she be condemned to a man of my age? There's no need for him right away. In the presence of an adult son, I'll appear even older. He must never come here a second time to raise such doubts.) LUCINDO in fine clothes and FULMINATO enter FULMINATO: The Lieutenant is here. LUCINDO: (So this is her house! How could I be so lucky?) You called? CAPTAIN: His appearance offends me.) Where's the ball? LUCINDO: What do you mean? CAPTAIN: To put it simply: you're overdressed and came too quickly. LUCINDO: But sir, didn't you ask me to come? CAPTAIN: To greet your mother. LUCINDO: I came. CAPTAIN: And it's done. LUCINDO: But father... FENISA: (He makes me laugh) LUCINDO: He told me I was to greet you as mother-to-be and to kiss your beautiful, white hand. CAPTAIN: That's too courteous! It's enough to say "hand". You needn't add "beautiful". LUCINDO: My tongue wants to add the epithet. FENISA: It is more gallant. BELISA: Why does that displease you? CAPTAIN: Get up now. LUCINDO remains kneeling before FENISA, holding her hand I won't allow any epithets in this house. BELISA: Don't be so hard. Let him greet her. LUCINDO: There's no harm since you're my father. CAPTAIN: Don't call me father! LUCINDO: But if I'm to speak to a young woman as mother, tell me what's wrong with "father"? CAPTAIN: "Father" sounds fine when one is younger, but it's very unkind to say it to one who is older, unless he's a priest or a hermit. Finish that kiss. FENISA: (I'm happy.) LUCINDO: I kiss the hand that bestows such fortune. (My love, accept this note.) LUCINDO puts a not into her hand FENISA: (I've got it.) LUCINDO: Now give me a blessing as your faithful child. CAPTAIN: (The child is expecting her to buy him a regiment.) FENISA: (What glory I feel.) May God bless you and fill you with cheer.11 May God find you a wife you desire, exactly the kind you mother would like. May God give you what's now in your heart adding his blessing to mine at the start. May God make you so obedient to my will that you never displease me or deny my wish. May God give you peace and understanding so you save your father from ever worrying. May he give you such good sense when it come to love and obedience that I can give you the very same homage I would to a husband... CAPTAIN: What book about marriage, what manual, taught you that tripe? Stop it! FENISA: (He's jealous.) LUCINDO: (I know what it's like.) FENISA takes BELISA to one side. The CAPTAIN talks with LUCINDO FENISA: Mother, may I speak to you alone? BELISA: What do you want? FENISA: Do you see this note? BELISA: Yes, I see it. FENISA: Well, it's a list of the dresses and other things the Captain has ordered for me. I want to read it over, but I don't want the Captain to see me read it because he might think I'm more interested in the presents than in the bridegroom. Please, mother, will you keep him busy for a minute? BELISA: It would make me happy to do so. FENISA: (Good heavens! What I have to go through to read the note that Lucindo gave me as he kissed my hand! It might be important and need an immediate answer.) BELISA: Will you lend me your ear for a minute, Captain? FENISA read the note aside FENISA: "My love, my father, who is jealous because of what you told him about me, plans to send me off to Portugal. See if you can do something about this or I'm as good as dead. I wrote this knowing that I'd see you soon. God be with you and make you my wife." (What else could possibly go wrong? How crazy and jealous! I hope that God will help me succeed in speaking to him right here and now, in front of them). Lucindo, I read your note and I hope that heaven won't mistreat us so as to send you off to Portugal or separate us for even one hour. They say the girls there are made for love, and men who go there have lots of fun; have your fun with me, Lucindo, please. When it comes to love, I'm pure Portuguese. LUCINDO: Oh, God! If only we could talk! If I could hold you in my arms! FENISA: I know how to manage that trick. LUCINDO: How can you do that? FENISA: By pretending to slip. Then you can come to pick me up. While I'm in your arms, we'll manage a hug. LUCINDO: Are you ready? FENISA: Oh, I'm falling! Help! FENISA falls and LUCINDO picks her up in his arms CAPTAIN: What's going on? LUCINDO: My mother tripped and I am helping her back on her feet. CAPTAIN: That's my job as you can see. Get out of here now, get out of my sight! LUCINDO: But she was falling and it's only polite... BELISA: Did you hurt yourself, my dear? CAPTAIN: Clear out of this room, now! Did you hear? LUCINDO: I'm on my way. CAPTAIN: Immediately! Go! LUCINDO; Why are you throwing me out? CAPTAIN: Hit the road! LUCINDO: (Oh divine Fenisa, sweet comprehension! Such extremes of heavenly discretion! You have shown us the marvelous feats performed by a woman IN LOVE BUT DISCREET.) LUCINDO exits FENISA: I'm not at all hurt as you can see. CAPTAIN: Now that I can believe. FENISA: My son has left! CAPTAIN: He's gone at last. FENISA: I'm sorry about that. BELISA: Did you want to see more of him? Beatriz,12 go quickly and call him. FENISA: No, not on your life. CAPTAIN: That clumsy ox must have caused your fall. I won't let him stay around here any longer. He'll never come into this house again as long as I'm alive. BELISA: How little love you must have for your son! I thought he was a very nice young man. If I were as young as I was once, I'd certainly like to have him for a husband. FENISA: (Opportunity, I've got a hold on you!) CAPTAIN: You liked that idiot? FENISA: Mother, listen to me for a minute. BELISA: Since you are a captain, you think everyone's after your hide. To FENISA You're always asking me to listen.
FENISA takes her mother aside to talk with her
FENISA: The note I told you about... It really had nothing to do with dresses and... the Captain didn't give it to me. BELISA: What are you saying? FENISA: It came from Lucindo. BELISA: He has his nerve, writing to you! FENISA: It's enough to make you want to laugh. BELISA: Well, don't keep me in suspense. FENISA: He says that he want to get married. BELISA: To whom? FENISA: To you. BELISA: To me? What do you mean? FENISA: Just what I said. He says that he likes your looks. Your seriousness and wisdom please him more than my qualities do his father. What's more, if you get married. the property will then all stay in the family and your children will both be rich. If only you could read, you'd see that he says even more. But most important of all, he asks you not to let his father send him off to Portugal. He's sure that he'd be killed. BELISA: To Portugal? Never! Child, it's clear you know that good, honorable children find their pleasure in pleasing their parents. You also know that I'm not too old. I would be better off with a husband of my own and you certainly have found one for me! One that nearly pulls my eyes out of my head whenever I look at him. How pleasant! How sweet! How gallant! And,... What a body!) FENISA: (That kind of reaction to the hope for a chance! What would she do if it were for real?) BELISA: What are you saying? FENISA: You have to keep him from leaving. BELISA: Leaving? What leaving? Just you get Lucindo to come talk to me tonight --but secretly now. FENISA: You go and let me talk to my husband-to-be. BELISA: (I wasn't prepared to that, but it doesn't matter. I'll take off these widow's weeds. I'll check myself in the mirror. Oh, Lucindo! If only you do love me, you can have all that I own.) BELISA exits CAPTAIN: A real miracle has happened, Fenisa. We've been left alone by Belisa. Since there's nobody here to see, sweet, generous Fenisa, please let me hold your hand. FENISA: (That'll be the day!) You presume too much for a mere fiance. CAPTAIN: I'm sorry my jealousy got you upset. Won't you give me your hand as a friend? FENISA: Not without witnesses to our vows. CAPTAIN: We have three of them present right now: Jealousy, Love, and Desire are all here. FENISA: The jealousy's truly warranted, I fear. CAPTAIN: Is Lucindo continuing in his pursuit? FENISA: And wearing me out. CAPTAIN: As I presumed. FENISA: Las night, at my window, I hear a noise. I was afraid and lost my poise. I got out of bed as best I could. Without lights I couldn't find my robe, but I finally found my manto all right. I went to the window and there... but why are you trembling so? CAPTAIN: It's anger, dear wife, at my son's indiscretion. FENISA: ...and what did I find in the space between the shutters and bars? A note! CAPTAIN: Now that's really going too far. I'll have to become a rabid beast to deal with him. FENISA: You catch that disease by being a father. Please calm down. CAPTAIN: I can't. I have to go find him now. The CAPTAIN exits FENISA: How nicely I've succeeded in letting him know just where to come and find my note. I'll take this chance to write a letter so he can be warned about my mother, how I've managed to get her to say that he's to be her husband. That way, his planned departure will be delayed. My mother will arrange a trade that'll calm the storm, and impede the anger that's at the root of his departure. Because, if my lover goes away, my happiness also swiftly sets sail. FENISA exits Locale 5: The street HERNANDO and LUCINDO enter HERNANDO: Did all that really happen? LUCINDO: If you had only seen! I was on my knees before Fenisa, and then... You surely would have said it was a pretty sight. HERNANDO: No doubt I would have died from laughing. LUCINDO: Just reflect on Tantalus in chains standing in the water. You should be able to gather how we are the same. He could never reach either fruit or water; the lips for which I hunger were there for me to see but not for me to touch. HERNANDO: But you held her hand! LUCINDO: My love's fiery blast starts to cool somewhat as her snowy hand approaches my eager lips. My soul, from deep within, arises in eager demand of the moisture it needs to quench the flames of desire. Love's volcano sends its fire in search of final peace. What do you think occurred as my lips touched her fingers? HERNANDO: You bit them? LUCINDO: How do you figure? Don't be completely absurd. Ivory from the Indies? Or crystal? I should bite? It's enough --I'm sure I'm right-- since this is all an image, that we should say "a kiss". HERNANDO: Your father is coming here. LUCINDO: Be quiet as he comes near. He mustn't know about this. The CAPTAIN enters CAPTAIN: You ought to hang your head when you see me! As if you didn't know that I was coming. LUCINDO: If I thought that I meant that little to you..., I'd have gone to Japan rather than to Portugal. CAPTAIN: I shouldn't wonder, but worse is yet to come. Didn't I tell you that Fenisa was to be my wife? LUCINDO: Didn't you also tell me to kiss her hand, to greet her as my mother? Are you still upset because I said that her hand was beautiful? CAPTAIN: You said "beautiful and white!" What a sly dandy you've turned out to be! LUCINDO: Such little things get you going! It's as if you were hunting for a shady spot under a twig. Good God! What have I done to offend you? CAPTAIN: Do you think what you've done is nothing? Fenisa told me that you were at her window last night and that you left a note there for her between the bars and the shutters. LUCINDO: Me? CAPTAIN: Yes, you! LUCINDO: Didn't you ask her to let you see it so that you would know if it were in my handwriting or not? CAPTAIN: Just stop and think how much worse it would be if it weren't. HERNANDO and LUCINDO speak aside LUCINDO: Hernando! HERNANDO: Yes sir. LUCINDO: Did you hear that? HERNANDO: I understand. Undoubtedly she wants to write to you and is letting you know to look between the bars and the shutters of her window. CAPTAIN: Come over here and listen to me. Somebody is coming this way and I wouldn't like to have my marriage become the subject of gossip all over Madrid. DORISTEO and FINARDO enter DORISTEO: He's talking to his father. FINARDO: Fine, but this is important. Call him aside. To LUCINDO DORISTEO: I'd like to have a word with you. LUCINDO: I'm with my father now, but look... Tell me what it is that brought you here in anger, why you sought me out as if I were surely to blame. To the CAPTAIN Later we'll have to find a place where we can be alone together and I can furnish you with my answer. LUCINDO goes off to talk with DORISTEO CAPTAIN: Hernando, what do those men want? HERNANDO: They're friends. CAPTAIN : Could it be he's lost at cards? HERNANDO: That's just what I suspect. CAPTAIN: No good ever comes of such a debt. To LUCINDO DORISTEO: I owed you nothing, not even knowing you. You had just arrived and were quite new. So having set foot in Gerarda's place, I felt no need to guard my face. LUCINDO: If Gerarda's your only complaint, she's yours alone after today. DORISTEO: That's not all! LUCINDO: What do you mean? Is there another? DORISTEO: So I believe, one who means the world to me. One thing alone keeps me on my leash: your venerable father standing here. LUCINDO: You've been tricked by that woman, I fear. DORISTEO: You were gored when you thought you saw my love win over yours, and thought to get revenge attacking my honor. Then you thought of using my sister and she, not being overly smart and still somewhat young, played her part by going to the Prado with you last night. LUCINDO: What a strange story you have devised! Your sister and I have never met, nor would I ever make an attempt to ruin your honor, nor do I know where you live. Good God! And so... FINARDO: The source is suspicious. You were deceived, by God! DORISTEO: Deceived! What do you mean? It was my sister Estefania she named, widow of a soldier killed in New Spain. LUCINDO: Now I understand your mistake. That lady, sir, has a different name. She's the one I'm planning to marry and so we wouldn't have to worry about gossip before the wedding is done, I christened her with the first name to come into my mind. To me it made no difference what she was called in Gerarda's presence: Inez, Francesca, Antonio, or Ruth. As God is my witness, that's the truth. DORISTEO: You have said it, and that is fine; but I'd be more clearly satisfied, I'd be happier, if the truth were known, to hear the name she calls her own. LUCINDO: We're to be wed soon. Fenisa's her name. I love her. She feels the same. We are neighbors on the Street of the Vines. My father is getting restless. It's time for me to join him. Please excuse me. DORISTEO: The demands of honor, as you must agree, force us to make such investigations. My good wishes and congratulations. LUCINDO exits CAPTAIN: Where's he going? HERNANDO: I don't know. CAPTAIN: Could it be a duel? HERNANDO: You could ask those two. CAPTAIN: Just a minute, gentlemen. If my intuition is telling me the truth, I think you are looking for a fight. You should know that the man who just left here is my son. He's gone off alone and I see that you two are armed and going off after him. I'll join you and we can have at it, two on two. He and I were soldiers together in Flanders. I was Captain and he was my Lieutenant. Let's go. FINARDO: We'd both be happy to serve you, sir, as soldiers who've returned from the field; but from today on we're the best of friends. We did come to see him on a matter of some importance, but he told us that he wasn't after the lady we had thought. We know now who the lady is that he's courting. He told us that her name is Fenisa. CAPTAIN: Fenisa? What's that you say? FINARDO: He said that they love one another and that he wants to marry her. CAPTAIN: (You'll see him dead at my feet first!) DORISTEO: Is there anything else we can do for you? CAPTAIN: That lady is to be my wife, not his. DORISTEO: The coward lied to us! FINARDO: It's your fault if he did. DORISTEO: By heaven above! He is after Estefania. FINARDO: Let's cover this up and then go after him. DORISTEO: To think13 that a soldier could be such a coward! FINARDO: To think he's the son of an honorable father! DORISTEO and FINARDO exit CAPTAIN: To think that the traitor is after my wife! He knew that our marriage had been arranged, and still he's bragging about marrying her himself. HERNANDO: (To think he said that! How strange!) CAPTAIN: Right now! You pack his things. He can't stay here even one more day. He's off to Portugal tonight. HERNANDO: (To think that Lucindo was so indiscreet!) CAPTAIN: To think that he kept on trying! Bothering her by night at her window! Kissing her hand and saying «mother¼ out loud. I'll bet he was whispering «my love¼. I can't take it any more.) Hernando, you tell him he's to leave immediately. Get your traveling boots on. HERNANDO: He can't even stay for your wedding? CAPTAIN: I don't want to give him any reason for delaying his departure. I want him to serve the King (not Fenisa). He's not to return to Madrid as long as I'm alive. HERNANDO: Please calm down, for you own sake. CAPTAIN: Get going or I'll give you a good one. I know how to take care of fools. END OF ACT TWO 1. The Prado, in 1608, was located in the outskirts of Madrid, outside the city walls as it were. It formed a long walk or promenade populated with fountains and was the location not only for many love trysts, but a place to see and be seen. Back to document 2. The darkness in which this scene is performed makes the equivocation at its base more believable. Back to document 3. This scene is one of the not too common appearances of the man in womanly disguise for humorous purposes. In the Spanish theater of the time actresses, not young men, did play the female roles in contrast with English theatrical practice. This added to the humor inherent in the transvestitism involved here. Back to document 4. Rather than exactly referring to a mint, the Spanish indicates a sweet smelling candy that could be used to cover bad breath. Back to document 5. This line is obviously spoken in an impatient tone because of the reaction it arouses. Back to document 6. Note that there is no danger whatsoever of the punishments invoked becoming true. Lucindo is playing with truth and illusion. Back to document 7. The humor resides in the irony of this scene. Nothing is more likely to arouse a public to laughter than the sight of two women in open battle. The humor is increased because the public is quite aware that one of the ladies is a male in disguise who, by convention, cannot fight back. Back to document 8. Lucindo shows that all he wanted was to win the battle, he cared nothing at all for the reward for having won. Back to document 9. Doristeo must react with shock when he first hears this name as is clear from what is said below. Back to document 10. Note the emphasis on the double standard involved: not with my sister! Back to document 11. Note the double meaning and ironic content of each of these "blessings." Back to document 12. Here we find more evidence of the presence on stage of a servant in the household of Belisa and Fenisa. Although this is not a speaking role, Beatriz must be present on stage in several scenes as will be noted below. Back to document 13. The anaphora here should be a source of humor. Back to document

In Love but Discreet, Act III

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

Return to the list of texts

Association for Hispanic Classical Theater, Inc.

Most recent update: 28 Jun 2002