Locale 1:  The street near BELISA's house, at night 
                    LUCINDO and HERNANDO enter 
LUCINDO:  My father told them she was his wife,
          not mine?
HERNANDO:           Why should I tell a lie?
          Wasn't I Estefania?
LUCINDO:                      His sister's name!
          So that fool thinks I'm to blame.
HERNANDO: Your father is so mad he's almost blind;
          he's about to disown you.  Their minds
          are made up; they're out looking for you.
          They're absolutely sure, those two,
          that you told that story out of fear,
          as a way of escaping the trouble that's near.
          Why did you say Fenisa?
LUCINDO:                           To reassure  the man.
          How he knew the name I didn't understand.
HERNANDO: Are you that ready to go to Portugal?
LUCINDO:  But Fenisa tells me it's possible  
          her mother Belisa will be able to help.
HERNANDO: You went to her window?
LUCINDO:                          I did.
HERNANDO:                                And then?
          You found the note?
LUCINDO:                      It was there.
          I found it between the bars, just where
          she told my father it would be
          when she tricked him into telling me.
          I read it quickly.  It says that I
          should pretend to love her mother, and why...
HERNANDO: The old lady?
LUCINDO:                 Exactly!
HERNANDO:                          That's odd.
LUCINDO:                                    There's more
          she said I must do.
HERNANDO:                     What?
LUCINDO:                             Ask for...   
          ...her hand as my wife.
HERNANDO:                         Your wife!
LUCINDO:                                    Calm down!
          She's almost certain to come out now.
          She'll hear you.
HERNANDO:                    It was a way to impede
          your departure.  The woman is discreet!
LUCINDO:  Notably so!
HERNANDO:                So you'll talk to her?
LUCINDO:  You go in my place; you be the master.
          While you are talking of love with Belisa,
          as the note says, I'll be with Fenisa.
HERNANDO: What will I talk about?
LUCINDO:                           Life and love.
HERNANDO: She knows too much!  Good heaven above! 
          Sometimes I wonder.  Could she be...
LUCINDO:                                      Who?
HERNANDO: ...the witch of Endor?
LUCINDO:                           Today will try you.
          We'll soon see if you know how to speak.
HERNANDO: After today you can call me unique.1
LUCINDO:  I'll admit you are smarter than I
          if you manage to succeed in this lie.
HERNANDO: My clothes are really nothing but rags.
          What's the use of being a man
          if you can't dress for the role?
LUCINDO:                                   So?
HERNANDO: Give me your cape.  It's edged with gold.
LUCINDO:  Hernando, I'd give you a treasure.
          Take my hat too.
HERNANDO:                You can have the pleasure
          of my hat and cape.
LUCINDO:                      Don't I look great?
HERNANDO: See how clothes make for worth and shape!
LUCINDO:  They're on the balcony.  Quiet now, please.
                        FENISA and BELISA come out 
BELISA:    Fenisa, I want Lucindo to feel free
          to speak his mind, so leave us alone.
FENISA:   What has he done to let you know
          he's here?
BELISA:                I see two men who've stopped
          to look our way.
FENISA:                     Yes, they've paused   
          to make a sign.  Now, I'll go,
          with your permission.  You know I hope     
          you get your wish.  If it's all right,
          I'd like to talk with Hernando a mite.
BELISA:   You know he's crazy.
FENISA:                          That may be,
          but his silliness pleases me.
          I want to give him a message for the Captain.
BELISA:   You go to your window.
                             FENISA exits 
HERNANDO:                         They can listen
          from where they are standing.
LUCINDO:                               Fenisa's not here.
HERNANDO: Belisa sent her off.
BELISA:                       Lucindo, my dear?
HERNANDO: I don't know who I am, since I made you mine.
          But I have adored you for a very long time.
          Madam, the love you've showered upon me
          has had the effect, as you can see,
          of lifting me above my humble station.
          (How am I doing so far?)
LUCINDO:                             (Damnation!
          I do believe you speak with discretion!)
HERNANDO: (A Cicero reborn, a great rhetorician.)
BELISA:   I must admit it doesn't seem right,
          as Fenisa's mother to make you mine.    
          She's to marry your father; I love you.
          If you love me as you say you do,
          I'll confess an attraction to your youth.
          Can you want me?  Please tell me the truth.
               FENISA appears at the street-level window 
FENISA:   Psst!  Lucindo.
LUCINDO:                   Who's that?
FENISA:                                 You know.
          The one who gave you her heart and soul.
          You come closer, let Hernando entertain
          that silly mother of mine.
HERNANDO:                            If indeed,
          my elderly father can be pleased
          by Fenisa's tender years and levity,    
          I can certainly adore your gravity,
          your seriosity...
FENISA:                     (My sides will split.
          I'll die of laughing just thinking of this!)
HERNANDO: That reverend manner of dress;2
          those stupendous widow's weeds;
          those virile, manly breasts
          whose form is proof of their deeds;
          those clogs whose darkened depths
          know the size of the feet
          whose greatness is only compared   
          with those of a Belgian mare;
          that voice, composed and fine;
          that breath, a spur to love,
          whose odor is sugar and spice
          to the rice of the weeds3 above;
          those glasses shading the eyes
          covering what they will become:
          a home to passions reign
          once love has set them aflame;
          that manto within whose folds 
          Cupid consents to be stilled;
          that ruddy, incarnate nose
          through which love distills
          amber, pitch, and pills,4
          the Arabian myrrh that flows:
          weeds, feet, nose and dress,
          voice, clogs, manto and breast
          I have --as you might say--
          collected in a literary way.
LUCINDO:  Did you hear that?
FENISA:                       I'm almost afraid   
          she's smart enough to understand the play.
LUCINDO:  If he makes a mistake, I lose;
          I win if he does it right.  You too.
          But what's to become of our love, sweetheart,
          if my father succeeds in keeping us apart?
          Tell me you won't be careless at least.
          He's really pushing for me to leave.
FENISA:   Don't worry or let your fears upset you.
          My silly, vain mother knows what to do.
          She's so much in love, she'll find a way.
LUCINDO:  Yes, but I'm threatened by your wedding day.
          As you can see, it's coming near
          and if that happens, isn't it clear
          that I'll have to go, to fight and to die?
          Even knowing your discretion and wiles,
          not even you can bring new life
          to a dead man after he's gone.
FENISA:                               You're right.
          But I'm all yours, for you I was born.
          That is true, I'm meant to be yours,
          and you must be mine  We'll find a way out.
          We should elope.5 Have no doubts.
          You've got the money and the friends we'll need.
          I'll go with you wherever you lead.
          She's IN LOVE BUT DISCREET,
          is what I've heard you say about me,
          but a woman determined's all I want to be.
LUCINDO:  If you have decided, it's all right with me.
          I'll arrange things so we can elope,
          my love.  I have what it takes; my hope.
          You pack your clothes and jewels for tonight.
          I could even come in broad daylight
          in spite of how your mother might fume,
          in spite of my father, though it meant my doom.
FENISA:   Lucindo, if first you make me your wife,
          later my mother can have my life.
BELISA:   Has he finally decided to send you away?
HERNANDO: To Portugal he says.  He must be insane.
          The old man won't let up on the theme
          of my love for Fenisa.  He says I scheme,
          and he complains I'm here all the time; 
          to keep him from sleeping.  He says that I
          follow her to church and even write letters.
          He's so jealous he'll have me in fetters.
BELISA:   Do you love her, my sweet?
HERNANDO:                            Fenisa?  My soul!
          May God order the earth to swallow me whole,6
          or get six villagers to hack me to bits.
          --There's no worse death.  Just stop to think!--
          May He have me shot while cleaning my gun
          or fall on my sword (that is if I had one),
          if ever I've had the slightest intention     
          of chasing, loving or paying her attention.
          I've never spoken of love, I swear,
          nor offered her marriage, nor would I dare.  
LUCINDO:  He sure knows how to swear an oath!
BELISA:   I'm satisfied, my love.
HERNANDO:                         Let's drop that bone.
          Is there anything around for me to eat?
          When I swear an oath or anger takes me,
          I suffer a hunger that burns like fire.
          Right now I feel pregnant with rabid desire.
BELISA:   Really, you want to eat?
HERNANDO:                          I'm starved.
BELISA:   There's nothing in the house fit to carve.
          Tomorrow I'll cook you something fine.
          I'm good at making sweets.  What kind
          of conserve or dessert do you like most?
          My cherry preserves yield a fine compote,7
          my pears are tasty and easy to take,
          and the melon is ready.  What shall I make?
HERNANDO: Nothing's as good as a well-cleaned tripe
          served with parsley.
BELISA:                       It's tripe you'd like?
          Why mine's the cleanest and tastiest of all.
HERNANDO: Now that we've agreed on what we want,
          let's have some in the morning.
LUCINDO:                                  How gross!
BELISA:   I'll make some tripe.  You'll like it I hope.
HERNANDO: Something to enjoy that won't make you fat!
BELISA:   You really eat tripe?
HERNANDO:                        (No doubt about that.
          Anyone who loves a widow is obliged,
          since she comes second-hand, to eat tripe.)
LUCINDO:  Psst!  They're coming!
BELISA:                           Who's that?
HERNANDO:                                      Hernando,
          my servant, talking to Fenisa.
BELISA:                                   Ah, so!
          What a rogue!
HERNANDO:              Tremendous!  Someone's here,    
          he says, and so good-bye.
BELISA:                               My dear.
                             BELISA exits 
LUCINDO:  People are coming and it's getting late.
FENISA:             Until tonight.  You were great!
          You kept her busy.
                             FENISA exits 
HERNANDO:                    It was a good job!
LUCINDO:  Come on.  What did you ask for, you sot?
HERNANDO: A tripe.
LUCINDO:          How gruesome!  But I guess it's all right.
HERNANDO: You got the meat, so I settled for tripe.
                   LUCINDO and HERNANDO exit 
Locale 2:  At GERARDA's house 
                        DORISTEO and GERARDA enter 
GERARDA:  Calm down!  I'll find out if it's true.
          We'll know much more after I do.
DORISTEO: I suspected he was afraid     
          of what we might do; so he said
          he'd invented Estefania by chance.
          His father let the cat out of the bag
          when he told me that Fenisa was to be his.
GERARDA:  Perhaps the Captain was thinking of him,
          thinking you wanted Fenisa for yourself.
GERARDA:       And in order to put you on the shelf,
          to save Lucindo from an open fight,
          he told you she was to be his wife.
DORISTEO: I don't understand.
GERARDA:                      Why not?  If he thought  
          it was a duel with Lucindo you sought,
          how wise it would be for him to claim
          Fenisa as his own.
DORISTEO:                    So that was his game!
          You are right.  But I need some proof.
GERARDA:  And my love demands that we know more too.
DORISTEO: That thought leads me from worry to fear.
GERARDA:  Don't you agree that the two of us here
          should find out which is to be her spouse?
GERARDA:         Let's go together to her house.
DORISTEO: Won't the two of us look like fools     
          if we come right out and ask for the truth?
GERARDA:  Did I say we'd do that?
DORISTEO:                          What did you say?
GERARDA:  I'll rush in like I'm running away.
DORISTEO: From whom?
GERARDA:            From you, who are after my life
          as a jealous husband.  You pull your knife...
DORISTEO: All right!
GERARDA:            They'll try to calm things down.
          I'll stay behind and tell her how
          I fell in love with Lucindo; that's why
          you're out to kill me.  And then I'll try
          to get her to help me.
DORISTEO:                          What a plot!   
          Only a woman could pull it off.
GERARDA:  That's high praise of what women can do.
DORISTEO: You women really are like demons.
GERARDA:  That you can say about Spanish women.
DORISTEO: Let's go.
GERARDA:            I know she'll tell me the truth.
DORISTEO:    "A woman who wants to get something done,
             is as constant in motion as waves on an ocean".
                       DORISTEO and GERARDA exit 
Locale 3:  A room in BELISA's house 
                    The CAPTAIN, FENISA, and BELISA enter 
CAPTAIN:   If I had known why he was hanging around,
          I wouldn't have sent him away.
BELISA:                                  But now,
          I've told you about it.
CAPTAIN:                           I'm very pleased    
          about the marriage.  Can't you see?
          I'd like to offer congratulations.
BELISA:   Instead, you'll offer consolation
          if he's already gone.  What did you do?
CAPTAIN:  If I'd only known that he loved you,
          --I didn't dream he was ready yet
          to settle down-- I'd have tried myself
          to arrange the marriage.  Such an exchange
          is welcome, Belisa, as is plain,
          since it would most surely bring   
          our families closer by increasing our holdings.
          If my son is to marry the mother of my wife,
          as you've told me he would like,
          my son will become my father-in-law;8
          stepfather and stepson, if I'm not wrong,
          to your daughter Fenisa.  The world will treasure
          the happy exchange of ages and pleasures.
BELISA:   I'm truly upset that you sent him away.
          Get word to him now.  Please don't delay.
          Bring him back home.
FENISA:                       You've been too severe.
CAPTAIN:  I couldn't help myself.
FENISA:                            What did you fear?
      	  What was behind it?  Jealousy?  Good Lord!
CAPTAIN:  Worry for his life.  I give you my word.
          Two men were after him with blood in their eyes.
          A girl, Estefania,9 has him so blind
          he didn't see them.  It's lucky I was there.
BELISA:   He loves another woman?
FENISA:                           (He wouldn't dare!)
	  What did I hear?
CAPTAIN:                     That's what I heard.
          It must be a lie.  It's too absurd.
          I forgot you love him, Belisa.     
          Pardon me.  Excuse me now, Fenisa,
          and I'll go get him.
                           The CAPTAIN exits 
BELISA:                       I'm all confused.
FENISA:   You're thinking the same thing I am too.
BELISA:   If, already, he's showing interest
          in a woman for a little love nest,
          we've let ourselves in for a lot of trouble.
FENISA:   (You don't know the half.  My problem is double.
          If he tricked you, he had me fooled,
          pretending to love me and tell me the truth.)10

BELISA:   What was that you said?
FENISA:                           We shouldn't believe 
          what the old man said, he's so jealous of me
          that he'd make up a thousand such tales.
BELISA:   Wouldn't that be a very strange way
          for Lucindo to give offense?  But how...
          Someone is coming into our house!
FENISA:   The Captain must not have shut the door.
BELISA:   Another woman!  And after he swore...
    GERARDA enters fleeing from DORISTEO who has his dagger in hand 
GERARDA:  Help me!  Ladies, help me please!
          That wild man is trying to kill me.
DORISTEO: Who'd want to help you, you cheating whore?
BELISA:   Stop!  Don't kill her.  No blood, I implore...
FENISA:   Why are you after her?  Calm down, sir.
GERARDA:  Me?  A whore?
BELISA:                  Don't kill her.
          Please show respect for these widow's weeds.
DORISTEO: If your noble presence weren't here to see...
          To reclaim my honor, if only in part,
          I'd already have put this through her heart.
GERARDA:  And you'd be killing a part of yourself.
DORISTEO: Now you talk of love, but then...
          you vile, false, foresworn witch...     
          God in heaven!...
FENISA:                       Please, just quit!
          You're obviously out of control, and it seems
          a green-eyed monster, a real fiend
          has taken charge of your tongue and hands.
BELISA:   You can't stay here and be a man.
          Come to my room and you can speak
          about it and put your mind at ease.
DORISTEO: I do want to obey you and even to talk
          about it to ease my troubled thoughts.
BELISA:   This lady will stay here with my daughter.   
          What is her name?
DORISTEO:                    She's called Estefania.11

                       BELISA and DORISTEO exit 
FENISA:   Heaven delivered you from a very great danger.
GERARDA:  I'm still shivering, I'm trembling all over.
          Where can I go?
FENISA:                       Don't be afraid.
          Tell me what's wrong.
GERARDA:                          I will if I may.
          Dear lady, I am an unfortunate souls,
          but that is something you already know.
          I was born in the noble city of Burgos.
          My parents, may they rest as suits God's purpose,
          brought me to Madrid while still a babe 
          in my nurse's arms.  Once here they raised
          me well and took care of all my needs
          until that man whom you have seen,
          taken by my looks and carriage
          insistently asked for my hand in marriage.
          They gave me to him against my wish.
          In marrying me to one I couldn't relish,
          they put a burden on me beyond all measure.
          My life was completely lacking in pleasure,
          so terrible that often I was on the verge    
          of suicide.
FENISA:                 How dare you say that word?
GERARDA:  Such things do happen.
FENISA:                          Nothing's that bad.
          A Christian woman, unless she's mad,
          can't even think of it.
GERARDA:                          You lack experience.
          You don't know what it is to feel the offense
          of an enemy at your table in broad daylight,
          a frightening phantom in your bed at night.
          My despair was somewhat tempered
          by the sight of a bright young soldier,
          a gallant lieutenant12
 whose looks were such    
          my eyes burned as if staring at the sun.
          It occurred to me to remedy the trouble
          my husband was giving me, if possible,
          be getting the lieutenant to take his place.
          He liked me and my love was repaid
          in word and deed.  We did as we pleased
          for nearly two years.  But whenever he sees
          Love marching by, Envy beats his drums.
          My husband heard the resulting commotion
          and, afraid of damage to his reputation,     
          he became wary.  To our consternation
          he set up an owl to watch over the house,
          to keep his eyes open and frighten the mouse
          nibbling away at the master's cheese.
          To solve the problem, I searched for a key
          to open the door, or the heart of of neighbor.
          If a couple wants and is willing to labor,
          they manage.  Things can be arranged.
          But to shorten my story, there was no way
          to keep someone from spoiling my hope.  
          The sight of my husband's sword, I was told,
          had made Lucindo --the lieutenant's name--
          change his mind about playing the  game.
          I recently heard he was to wed
          a certain Fenisa whom they have said
          is beautiful, wealthy, and quite discreet.
          I lost control and went out to see
          if I could find the snake.   As you saw,
          my husband found me.  I ran off.
          He followed me here near where she lives.    
          Do you know her house or where she is?
          Is she at the root of my distress?
          I hope you can help get me  out of this mess.
          Now that I've taken refuge with you
          and you've saved my life, what can I do?
FENISA:   You say that Lucindo loved you well?
GERARDA:  You know him?
FENISA:                  I wish we'd never met.
          I wish to God I didn't know him,
          that he didn't know me.  I wish...
GERARDA:  It's you?  How strange, how unexpected  
          to find by chance what I'd only suspected.
FENISA:   You can't know the trouble you've caused.
          I am Fenisa.  It's only because
          I was not aware of what he had done
          that I was deceived and gave him my love.
          That ingrate!  I am the one who agreed,
          in secret, to marry him.  I didn't believe
          he could be so evil.  But I found out,
          in plenty of time.13
Believe me now
          when I say I'm grateful that you have come.  
          I'll marry the Captain and not the son.
          You can have him.  I'll make him feel
          the heat of the fire he set for me.
          He's yours, I hope you enjoy him forever.
GERARDA:  You did this to me?  Well, I never!
          It's you who made me want to die?
          You are Fenisa?
FENISA:                    I'm sure that I...
          Lucindo's all yours!  I want nothing to do...
GERARDA:  Let my example be a warning to you.
          He's the most treacherous man, I believe,    
          the most fickle the world has seen.
FENISA:   I don't need more warnings about his game.
          Farewell to pleasure!  What was your name?
GERARDA:  Estefania.
FENISA:                (The Captain knew!  That's clear!
          He told me that before leaving here.)
          You were right to worry.  Your name I knew.
          Now I know the rest of it too.
GERARDA:  If you're as smart as you seem to be,
          you'll never see him again.  Be discreet.
          He'll ruin your reputation for sure.
FENISA:   Don't worry about that.  I've taken the cure.
GERARDA:  I can escape from my husband now.
          May I leave to go to my sister's house?
FENISA:   Would you like to come back and see me again?
GERARDA:  I hope that we can become good friends.
          Is there another way out?
FENISA:                          If you want to play 
          with Lucindo, there's always a way.
GERARDA:  That's a good one!
FENISA:                      Come back soon.
GERARDA:  (How easy it was to learn what to do!
          How simple to stop his upcoming marriage!    
          Beautiful woman!  What heart and courage!
          I'm dying of envy.  Heaven help Lucindo.
          When I find him, I'll lay him low.)
                             GERARDA exits 
FENISA:      When love's violent flame finally goes,
          quitting my soul, leaving cold ashes behind,
          it will be as if this verdant hope of mine
          were a tall palm tree under mountain snows.
             It was in full bloom when the wind that blows
          bringing northern cold came to shatter its pride;
          a change in the weather takes so little time 
          to turn once glorious hopes to wilted woes.
             No more sweet pleasures.  They are the charm
          with which our hearts and our reason are teased.
          My soul must no longer endure their harm.  
             Give me no goods for which I pay such a fee!
          But how can I refuse love, in spite of my alarm,
          if Cupid's treasure is enriched by such means?
                            LUCINDO enters 
LUCINDO:  Now that we have made up our minds,
          Fenisa, you to become my wife,
          and I your husband --Oh, happy 
          I having given the promised security,
          have come to your room, leaving the coach
          that I ordered in the street below
          where it will soon become a chamber,
          a nest, molded to fit your figure.
          Come to that coach without delay
          because on this my happiest day
          I want you to become Proserpina
          as I play the role of Pluto.  Fenisa,
          what's  wrong?  Why do you hesitate?14

FENISA:   Why shouldn't I?  What do you mean to say?
          Are you joking?  Who are you talking to?
LUCINDO:  Sweet heart of my soul, isn't it you?
          What are you aiming at?  Who is here
          that needs your help?  I want to hear.
          Isn't it time right now that we go
          as we agreed last night?
FENISA:                            Oh, so?
          Tell me who agreed to what.
          Tell me again.  Can't you talk?
LUCINDO:  Last night, didn't you talk to me?
FENISA:   Yes.
LUCINDO:       Then tell me what we agreed.
FENISA:   That you were to marry my mother
          since I am the wife of your father.
LUCINDO;  Your mother?  But that was just a pretext!
FENISA:   No longer.  There's no such thing as pretend.
          There are witnesses to your marriage offer.
LUCINDO:  Then you were deceiving me about your mother?
FENISA:   You're the one who was practicing deception.
          You can't continue your attentions
          to me since I'm your father's wife;     
          my mother is yours.  For your whole life!
LUCINDO:  How can your mother be my wife?
          You must be a devil in disguise.
          Don't you remember you first loved me?
          You made my father the go-between.
          He brought me the news at your behest
          and I came to talk on your request.
          It was only to achieve our ends
          that we talked of marriage and pretense.
          What are you saying now about your mother?
FENISA:   I am now the wife of your father.
          I'm sorry but that is the real truth.
          If my mother isn't pleasing to you,
          remember, she is more of a lady,
          much more honorable in every way,
          than your mistress Estefania!
          Go look for her and keep on trying.
          Stolen fruit is so much sweeter.
          But keep your eyes open if you meet her,
          her husband is loose and looking for you.
LUCINDO:  You sound as if you're jealous, too. 
          Someone deceived you with that silly name.
          Hernando, my servant, was Estefania.  A fake!
          I took him to the Prado to play that role.
          My love, don't refuse any longer to show
          you return my love.  I swear it's the truth!
          If I've seen Estefania or been under her roof,
          may heaven strike me dead, the sun never shine,
          may day never come, may I be buried alive,
          may I lose all hope of gaining your love.    
          They fooled you.  You see what they've done?
          Hernando in disguise is the Estefania I know.
FENISA:   You're too late.  I know you Lucindo.
          An hour from now, you'll be my stepfather.
          Don't make me lose the respect or honor
          I feel I must hold for my mother's spouse.
          You'll replace my father here in this house.
LUCINDO:  What are you saying?
FENISA:                       Only the truth!
LUCINDO:  Have you lost your mind?
FENISA:                             No more than you.
LUCINDO:  One of us is out of his head.  Dear Lord!
FENISA:   That's it.  Stamp your foot and roar.
          My husband's coming soon.
LUCINDO:                           God help me!
FENISA:   I hope He can.
LUCINDO:                 I'm dead.  Don't you see?
FENISA:   Don't be foolish.
LUCINDO:                     But what'll I do?
FENISA:   Get married.
LUCINDO:               Can't you see that I love you?
          Can't you see how fickle you are?
          Can't you see how I came so far,
          how I did as we had agreed?
          Can't you see how the woman you used to be
          was a real woman, but not for me?  
          Can't you see how right we men must be
          when we say all women are fickle?
          Can't you see that I've been faithful,
          prepared, and compliant in our agreement?
          I hope to God you soon repent,
          and then your anguish will be my revenge.
          Since, when it comes to my defense
          my life is yours, do as you wish.
          Enjoy my father, enjoy and relish.
          He is my father and, therefore, my better.   
          How discreet it is for me to render
          the woman I love to become my mother.
          He's sending me off so I can suffer
          for committing the sin of loving you.
          I'm off to Portugal where, it's true,
          I should regain the freedom I lost.
          I loved you, indeed, but look what it cost!
                             LUCINDO exits 
FENISA:   Oh, God!  Please stop!  But no...  but no...
          He's the traitor, so let him go.
                        HERNANDO enters 
HERNANDO: Psst!  Listen.
FENISA:                  What do you want?
HERNANDO:                                    So cold?  
          On this occasion?  Didn't Lucindo
          come here like he said, to get you?
          Why be that way with me?  You two...
FENISA:   Right now we aren't getting along very well.
HERNANDO: What's that?
FENISA:                 He has a married mistress,
          and that doesn't suit my fancy.
          Who is that Estefania he's been seeing?
HERNANDO: So the plot has come that far?
FENISA:   What plot?
HERNANDO:             I can tell you.  In the park,
          I was that lady for just one day.
FENISA:   A lady?
HERNANDO:           In disguise, in skirt and veil,
          I sat beside a woman in the dark
          to make her jealous...   Don't repeat this part
          since Lucindo can't know I told about her.
          He loved her... before he met you I swear.
          Since then she's like a dog on his trail;
          following, begging, and wagging her tail.
FENISA:   I'm only sure that someone's been deceiving me.
HERNANDO: I know there's no one he cares to see
          but you, Fenisa.  What else can I say?
FENISA:   I don't know.  Here's my mother.  Away
          with you.
HERNANDO:           I'll get out going this way.
                    HERNANDO exits.  BELISA enters 

BELISA:   Finally, Fenisa, I got rid of that man.
FENISA:   How did it go?
BELISA:                  I don't know if I can,
          without laughing, tell you what happened.
FENISA:   Tell me, mother, everything he said.

BELISA:   He saw you and fell in love.
FENISA:                                 And then?
BELISA:   He said he wanted to marry you.
FENISA:   He's already married!
BELISA:                          A plot by those two.
          The woman planned it.
FENISA:                       She's jealous I fear.
BELISA:   She probably is.  He said they came here
          after they had agreed that he'd pretend
          to be her husband.15
  There was reason to suspect
          a man was after his younger sister,
          the very same man who had tricked her. 
FENISA:   Who were they after?
BELISA:                       Lucindo.
FENISA:                                 Do tell!
          They were jealous of Lucindo?
BELISA:                                 I am as well.
FENISA:   Her jealous feelings were put to rest
          by her truth and by my contempt.
          (I lost that chance for a life of pleasure   
          but I'll plan another inventive measure.
          I'll marry Lucindo with her blessing today,
          right here at home and without delay.)
          Pay attention, mother, to what happened here.
          After that cunning woman appeared,
          running for her life, and jealous of me,
          to ruin our hopes for a chance to be happy,
          Lucindo came to say it's you he adores.
BELISA:   Is that true?
FENISA:             Such things have happened before.
          But, he tells me that talking to his father  
          about you, he felt the Captain was bothered
          by your marriage and so he felt a need
          for a secret wedding.
BELISA:                       I thought that might be!
          The Captain certainly wouldn't want his son
          to marry me.  The gossips would say the one
          he was after had the youth and the beauty,
          and to get you, Lucindo did obnoxious duty.
          Well, Lucindo will be my husband and soon.
FENISA:   He wants to spend the night with you.   
          In your room.
BELISA:                 How do you feel about that?
FENISA:   How do I feel?   Do what you can!
          You will be his wife.
BELISA:                       It's getting dark.
          You work it out.
FENISA:                  You get ready.  (What a lark!)
BELISA:   (My good fortune is driving me mad.
          You'd be envious of the fun I'll have
          if I were t tell you what we'll do.)
          I'll go now and ready the room,
          put on perfume and get done up right.
FENISA:   That's just what you should do.  Good night!
                             BELISA exits 
          Now you'll see how I manage my affairs.
          With a new deception, I'll end my cares.     
                          The CAPTAIN enters 
CAPTAIN:  Is Fenisa in?                     
FENISA:   Yes, I am here, and at your service.  
          Where's Lucindo?  My mother wants to settle 
          the matter of marriage now.   
CAPTAIN:  What marriage?
FENISA:   Yours, mine and theirs.
CAPTAIN   Good!  Let's not wait another minute; life 
          isn't getting any longer.
FENISA:   You should also know, Captain, I've found 
          out that it wasn't Lucindo who was coming        
          to my window at night.
CAPTAIN:  What are you saying?
FENISA:   Today I found out that it was a certain 
          friend of his; and so, I would like you to go 
          find Lucindo and ask him to watch our door 
          tonight along with Hernando.  Last night, at 
          ten, the friend I was telling you about got 
          in through the garden and knocked on the door 
          of my bedroom.  I got up, thinking that it 
          must be my mother coming to talk for a bit.      
          If I hadn't locked the door, something terrible   
          could have happened.
CAPTAIN:  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  By God, 
          I'll be the one waiting outside tonight.
FENISA:   No, my love, because this time I want you to 
          be inside with me.                
CAPTAIN:  Where?                           
FENISA:   In my room, but nobody else must know.
CAPTAIN:  At last!
FENISA:   And I want you to come well prepared.  Put 
          on your best clothes and trim your beard.16
          don't like it when you wear it so long.  You 
          look so much younger when it's properly shaped. 
CAPTAIN:  Anyone with a chance at such glory would,    
          undoubtedly, come properly prepared in every 
          way.  My beard will be trimmed just as you      
          wish.  Every new husband must watch his 
          grooming, and I'll soon enough be yours.
FENISA:   It's getting late already, so talk to your son.
CAPTAIN:  My heaven guard you well.        
                    The CAPTAIN and FENISA exit 
Locale 4:  A room in the CAPTAIN's house 
                     LUCINDO and HERNANDO enter 
LUCINDO:  She's changed her mind.
HERNANDO:                       What's that?
LUCINDO:                                   You heard.
HERNANDO: Don't you believe it.
LUCINDO:                    Look away and she turns.
HERNANDO: In order to hide something good from me
          you're using rhetorical colors, I see.
          By any chance, did you take her to bed?
          You look love-sick.
LUCINDO:                      I'm really dead
          as you can see.
HERNANDO:                Are you telling the truth?
LUCINDO:  I went to get her and entered her room.
          The way she acted I wanted to scream    
          so I came back down letting off steam.
          I dismissed the coach and my friends went home.
HERNANDO: She's really burned up.  Her anger has grown.
          I call on my eyes as credible witness.
LUCINDO:  What about?
LUCINDO:               The woman is savagely jealous.
LUCINDO:  Of whom?
HERNANDO:           Estefania, of course.
LUCINDO:  Is that still going on?  Good Lord!
          Don't keep picking on me as you usually do.
HERNANDO: Your father...
LUCINDO:                 No matter, he's jealous too.
                          The CAPTAIN enters 
CAPTAIN:  You're getting ready to leave?
LUCINDO:                                 Tomorrow 
          I'm on my way, sir.
CAPTAIN:                      That's a good one, Lucindo!
          Marrying Belisa and taking off so soon?
LUCINDO:  That was all a joke, a game for fools.
CAPTAIN:  I know your wedding is set for today,
          but be that as it may, I want you to stay.
LUCINDO:  Why is that?
CAPTAIN:              Because I found out now
          who's bothering Fenisa by hanging around
          and I also learned it's a good friend of yours.
LUCINDO:  So they tricked you, too!
CAPTAIN:                           She told me more.
          Fenisa explained it was all her mistake.     
          Last night someone came, climbed over the gate
          and through the garden to get to her room.
          She went to open the door when he knocked,
          and realizing her error, she turned the lock.
LUCINDO:  That was an odd mistake to have made!
CAPTAIN:  She screamed; he ran.  She asked me to say
          that you must guard her house tonight.
          Will you do it?
LUCINDO:                    I will, all right.
          It's enough for you to give the command.
CAPTAIN:  I'm in an awful rush; but you're a man  
          so arm yourself and God keep you well.
                          The CAPTAIN enters 
LUCINDO:  We're getting married tonight!
HERNANDO:                               How can you tell?
LUCINDO:  I understood Fenisa's suggestion:
          I'm to come to her room through the garden.
HERNANDO: You're right!  And she'll be waiting for you.
          Jealousy spurred her on to the deed.
          Today you'll get just what you need.
LUCINDO:  The cure for my troubles has been achieved.  
          But by what strange, roundabout means!
          Let`s go get our arms, you'll come along too,
          to stand in the garden and guard the room.
HERNANDO: (Beatriz,17
 up to now, has been under cover.
          Exactly where I expect to find her.)
                       LUCINDO and HERNANDO exit 
Locale 5:  The street in front of BELISA's house 
                      DORISTEO and FINARDO enter 
FINARDO:  I'm not sure it was worthwhile finding out       
          about your sister, because I see it turned 
          out badly when you fell in love with Fenisa.
DORISTEO: Gerarda planned that plot very well.  I went 
          in after her, pretending to be her husband; 
          but as soon as I saw Fenisa, I was blinded, 
          I was set on fire as if by lightning.  I went 
          off to the other room with her mother and, to 
          tell you the truth, I told her what was going 
          on.  Then I asked for Fenisa's hand in marriage.
FINARDO:  These are their windows, so speak softly now.  
DORISTEO: Oh, divine, fortunate lodging of that tenth 
          muse of Parnassus, the most beautiful woman, 
          the most brilliant Phoenix that Apollo ever 
          saw flying in swiftest flight. 
FINARDO:  What's that?  Are you still thinking of marriage?
DORISTEO: If she'll have me.
FINARDO:  Are they from a good family?      
DORISTEO: So virtuous that the younger one is better 
          than any woman around here and, Finardo, the      
          mother is a real saint.
FINARDO:  Do they have money?
DORISTEO: Be that as it may, a dowry in virtue is better 
          than most.  Their virtue and their carefully      
          guarded reputation is truly the only dowry I 
     The CAPTAIN enters, trimmed and well-dressed, with FULMINATO 
CAPTAIN:  You can go home now.
FINARDO:                      Somebody's coming.
DORISTEO: They don't want to be seen.
FINARDO:                              They're stopping.
          I didn't see them get any closer.
FULMINATO:Shall I wait here, or call the others?
CAPTAIN:  No, my guards are over there in the shadows.
          I'm going in now, so you can go home.   
FULMINATO:Who are they?
CAPTAIN:                 Lucindo and Hernando.
                           The CAPTAIN exits 
FULMINATO:                                           I'll see.
          I'll go over to talk.
FINARDO:                         Who's he?
          The first one went in!
DORISTEO:                         Anything else?
FINARDO:  Such virtue!  A real saint!
FULMINATO:                             Do you need a friend?
FINARDO:  You can leave.
FULMINATO:               Pardon me.
DORISTEO: You're excused.
FULMINATO:                 I thought I knew you, you see.
                            FULMINATO exits 
DORISTEO: Now I'm getting angry.  Good Lord!
FINARDO:  Great dowry!  Virtue is its own reward!
DORISTEO: I really hope God will even the score.
FINARDO:  Get quiet!
DORISTEO:             What now?
FINARDO:                         Here come two more!   
                      LUCINDO and HERNANDO enter 
LUCINDO:  Feet, help me to carry out my intention.
DORISTEO: A ladder?
FINARDO:            They're already climbing.
DORISTEO:                                   Damnation!
          What kind of house is this anyway?
FINARDO:  I don't really know.  A fort you might say
          since it seems that now it's about to fall
          to enemies who've gone over the wall.
DORISTEO: They both went over!
FINARDO:                     On the very first try!
DORISTEO: There must be hordes of women inside.
FINARDO:  More men are coming now; but then,
          the house must not be glutted yet. 
                  GERARDA enters dressed as a man 
GERARDA:  (I've come to see if my enemy is set
          to hang around here.  I've come dressed
          as a man, with love as my only witness.
          I don't believe that I'm in error;
          that must be he and Hernando over there
          on the corner.  I've arrived in time!)
          Is that you, you monster, you unkind...
DORISTEO: Who're you?
GERARDA:            It's me, Lucindo.
DORISTEO:                               Who?
GERARDA:  It's me.
DORISTEO:           Gerarda, my dear!
GERARDA:                               You fool!
          I'm no longer yours.  I love Doristeo.
DORISTEO: But I'm Doristeo.
GERARDA:                     I didn't know.
          Why are you here?
DORISTEO:                   I was looking for you.
GERARDA:  For me?
FINARDO:            You want the same thing, you two.
          You came looking for Lucindo probably,
          and you wanted to see Fenisa.
DORISTEO:                              Undoubtedly!
GERARDA:  You're right.
DORISTEO:          Today we've been acting as spies.
          But see what happened in front of our eyes:
          they've got three men in there.
GERARDA:                                Three men?
FINARDO:  They could be expecting five or ten.
GERARDA:  That Fenisa is an honorable woman, 
          but what she's done is only human.)
          Let's call them out.  She's gone too far.
          Let's find out just who they are.
FINARDO:  A fire!  We'll yell their house is on fire.
DORISTEO: And not without reason.
FINARDO:                          Fire!  Fire!
GERARDA:          Fire!   Fire!
                         Voices from offstage 
BELISA:                       A fire in the house?
          Somebody, help!
DORISTEO:                A fire!
BELISA:                          Right now!
          Fenisa, get up!  Somebody, help!
          Fenisa, hurry!
FENISA:                  Mother, there's a fire!
DORISTEO: The house is on fire!
LUCINDO:                      Get some light!     
CAPTAIN:   There's a fire in the house?
BELISA:                                 What now?
LUCINDO:  A fire in the house?
FENISA:                       A fire in the house?
HERNANDO: Tell me, sir, where's the fire?
GERARDA:  Look around.  Do you need to inquire?
          Obviously among you, but none can see
          since love is blind.  Will you tell me
          why these two men are in the house
          of such an honorable woman?
DORISTEO:                              Now,
          only two?  There are three!
HERNANDO:                          (What a meat-pie!)
BELISA:   This is my husband.
CAPTAIN:                      She's my wife?
BELISA:   But I thought that you...
CAPTAIN:                           I've been made
          husband to a woman not to my taste.
BELISA:   Fenisa, what is all this you've done?
FENISA:   I've married Lucindo.
BELISA:                          How did you come
          to fool me that way?  Tell me, don't stall.
          But then your smile is telling me all.
CAPTAIN:  Tell me, Lucindo, can this be true?
          Do good children now turn parents into fools?
LUCINDO:  I adore Fenisa, and she loves me.
          What she said to you, as strange as it seems,
          was a ruse she invented to arrange our marriage.
          All those present here can manage,
          though they be enemies, to judge our case.
          Isn't it better he marry, at his age,
          this honorable lady, the mother of my wife?
          She's his equal in quality and in life.
          That we marry, too --souls and bodies entwined?
          Forgive me Gerarda and now, speak your mind.
GERARDA:  Although I was jealous when I got here, Lucindo,
          together with Doristeo and Finardo,     
          who came with me as judges to your trial,
          you're right, your father is properly styled
          for Belisa, I hope that you and your lady
          enjoy many happy years.  Amen.
DORISTEO:                                And I say:
          A well-delivered sentence and I confirm it.
LUCINDO:            Man and wife!
FENISA:                             I so affirm it.
CAPTAIN:  You can give me your hand, too.
BELISA:   It's an honor.  Of course I do.
HERNANDO:    ("One saddle's as good as any other
             for a horse of his age and condition".)
GERARDA:  And you two can come to my house.18

DORISTEO: We'll take you there.
CAPTAIN:                         Hernando, right now,
          warn them at my house we'll eat over there.
HERNANDO: Congratulations to you all!  (But later beware!)
LUCINDO:  I beg you believe, if this farce seems too sweet,
          Fenisa's the one IN LOVE BUT DISCREET.
                           END OF ACT THREE 
1. Is this a reference to the unicorn? Back to document 2. Here Hernando is spouting a parody of a common style of love lyric. Such are usually set in a particular poetic strophe and typified by the use of a series of images or metaphors that are recapitulated in a final stanza. The images he uses are parodic. Back to document 3. A reference to the widow's weeds, a white wimple worn by Spanish widows, that Belisa must affect throughout the play. Back to document 4. The Spanish for pills (píldoras) is the same word as is used for English boogers! Back to document 5. Here Fenisa clearly indicates her intention to elope with Lucindo, an intention that is frustrated when she is temporarily fooled by others including the falsified "Estefania." Back to document 6. Hernando again parodies a commonplace, here the oath taken by Lucindo when he fooled Gerarda in the scene on the Prado. Note that again, there is no danger at all of the punishments being received. Back to document 7. The fruits that Belisa offers are often enough used to refer to parts of the female anatomy. Back to document 8. A modern resonance is found in the country-western song "I'm my own grandpa." Back to document 9. Fenisa learns for the first time of a girl named Estefania. Back to document 10. Fenisa is still willing to give Lucindo the edge of doubt. Back to document 11. Estefania again! Back to document 12. Lucindo is just such a lieutenant. Back to document 13. Fenisa has now made up her mind to delay the elopement. Back to document 14. Lucindo cannot figure out why Fenisa has evidently changed her mind. Back to document 15. Belisa confirms what has been earlier said about Estefania. Back to document 16. Older men wore a fuller beard at the time as opposed to the trimmer Van Dyke of the younger men. Fenisa's advice to come with trimmed beard is in keeping with her intent to get the Captain into bed with her mother. Back to document 17. A further reference to the silent maid, Beatriz. Back to document 18. Note that Gerarda easily makes the best of the situation. It is evident that Gerarda is a happy rather than a tragic character. It is equally evident that Lope, in keeping with his own life and habits, avoids any moral judgment in her case. Back to document

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Additional formatting by Matthew D. Stroud

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Association for Hispanic Classical Theater, Inc.

Most recent update: 28 Jun 2002