(La verdad sospechosa)
Juan Ruiz de Alarcón

translated by Kenneth Stackhouse

This text is based on LA VERDAD SOSPECHOSA (LOVE'S TRUE LIES) as translated for performance at El Chamizal National Memorial by Kenneth Stackhouse in 1994. The text was generously provided to this facility by the translator and was transcribed into HTML by Vern Williamsen in the summer of 1997.

Dramatis Personnae:     

The play takes place at various places in seventeenth-century Madrid: in the living room of Don Beltrán's house, on the street in front of a jewelry store, in the living room with an estrado of Don Sancho's house, outdoors in a park, in the street under the balcony of Lucretia's house, in the patio of Lucretia's house, and in the cloisters of a convent with access through a window to a chapel of the cathedral.


Scene i
A room in Don Beltrán's house. Don García, dressed as a student, enters, accompanied by an older man, an attorney. Both are wearing large riding capes and riding boots. Through another door Don Beltrán and Tristán enter.
Don Beltrán: It's good to see you home again, my son. Don García: (García embraces him.) It's good to see you, dad. Don Beltrán: And your journey? Don García: The heat and lack of rain were awful, sir. If I had not been coming home, I think I never could have made so long a ride. Don Beltrán: Well! Then you must go in and rest a while. Good Lord! Just look how you have grown! You left Here just a child....! Tristan!! Come here! Tristán: Yes, sir! Don Beltrán: I want you to look out for him, alright? You know Madrid, and he has just arrived. So show him everything he needs to see. Tristán: Don't worry. He will see the things he should. Don Beltrán: But you are not his guardian, just his guide. Don García: And friend...that is how it's got to be.
Tristán: Whatever you may want is fine with me.
Scene ii
Don Beltrán and his attorney.
Don Beltrán Now let me greet you as I should have done. (He moves to embrace him.) Attorney: I really do not understand why you... (He starts to kneel.) Don Beltrán: Oh, please. Stand up. Tell me about your trip. Attorney: The journey went just fine. And I am pleased With your son, García. I enjoyed travelling With him and I will miss his company. Don Beltrán: I'm just glad he saw the need to come. And thank you! You know, you never fail to show Your gratitude and your advice is good. So let me show my gratitude to you. I managed to obtain your nomination To the board of regents. I also tried to get You a seat on city council but I failed. Attorney: I always knew that you could make it happen. Don Beltrán: You knew I would do everything I could. But I've only helped you take the first step up: On your own you will achieve your final goal. Attorney: I am most grateful. Thank you, very much. Don Beltrán: Dont' go. Since I am now responsible For García, there is something I must know. Attorney: And what is that? Don Beltrán: Tell me, truthfully. I used to say, "García, study law." He is my youngest son, and law can be The best way to succeed here in Madrid. But since my oldest son, Gabriel, has died, Everything has changed. García must Live here. He cannot enter a profession. Instead, he must meet other men his age. Our customs dictate we must give the king Trustworthy men to serve him in his court. García is, I think, just such a man And needs no one to tell him what to do. He is my responsibility for now. He is my son and though he has not yet Achieved his place in other men's eyes, No one can say that he is not as good As any man his age. But you are his tutor. So tell me what you think of him. Don't lie. What kind of man is he? What does he like To do? Who are his friends? How do they spend Their time? What are his weaknesses? Tell me. Has he developed habits he must change? (In response to the attorney's uncomfortable silence:) Oh, do not think that you will make me mad By telling me his weaknesses. There must Be something in him that is not perfect. Let's just say I won't be pleased to learn His faults, but knowing them will be of use To me. Nothing could please me more, I swear. Just show me that you care about García. You must disappoint me, for his sake. It is better that I know now than be surprised When some problem comes up which I cannot resolve. Attorney: There is no need to justify yourself. My duty is to tell you everything. If a trainer brought the owner's horse and failed To tell him how the horse behaved or how It holds the bit, or runs, its stride or gait, The trainer would cheat the man and hurt the horse. It is always right to tell a man the truth. We take our medicine. And damn the taste! Your son, García, is a gentleman. In every way, he manifests those traits Which earn respect for all your family: He is generous, brave, and will be wise, someday. He believes in God and yet is tolerant. He is a little quick to act, and impatient. And the passions which at times overpower most men Need not concern you greatly. I'm sure time Will help him bring them under his control. I only find one flaw in him, just one; Believe me, I have tried to set it right. Don Beltrán: Will it hurt his reputation in Madrid? Attorney: It could. Don Beltrán: What is it? Attorney: He doesn't always tell The truth. Don Beltrán: Good Lord! What an ugly flaw In a man whose whole career depends on trust! Attorney: I do believe that, whether it's his nature Or just a habit he acquired, in time, Since your approval means so much to him, He will overcome this one bad trait. Don Beltrán: Well, I think a tree that does not grow up straight Will never change when it is fully grown. Attorney: But there at school, in Salamanca, sir, They are just boys who want to have some fun. They play all kinds of tricks. They do whatever They want. They think the maddest pranks are best. Youth has a lot to learn, and a lot to teach. But here, in Madrid, where honor is the rule, I am very sure that he will change his ways. Don Beltrán: It almost makes me laugh to see how little You know about the life we lead at court. You think that here no one will tell you lies? Although García's tales may be extreme, He will meet people here who everyday Will tell a thousand lies far worse than his. There are many here, well-respected men Whose lies empoverish and ruin us. And lies are even worse in those whom we Depend upon to give us good advice. (The attorney reacts to the insult.) I'm sorry. Do not think that I am angry. I attacked as though it were your fault. What you said about García hurts. If he were blind with love or with desire, If he spent the night out gambling, If he were quarrelsome, always in a fight, If he had married badly, or even died, It would not matter half as much as knowing That he lies!! What an ugly trait!! I cannot stand a man who tells me lies! How could he be so different from me? Well, there is only one thing I can do: Get him married before they find him out. ...I am most grateful for your help. I am! So when do you begin your journey home? Attorney: As soon as I can leave. Don Beltrán: Why don't you stay And rest a while and see what life is like Here in Madrid? Attorney: That would be wonderful, But I have work to do. Don Beltrán: I understand: Men hungry for power wish that they could fly. Good-luck!
Attorney: God bless you, sir.... I never thought The things I said would give him such a shock. It seems the truth brings pain to the wise; And for them, the pain always multiplies.
Scene iii
Don García enters, very formally dressed, accompanied by Tristán.
Don García: You really think these clothes look good on me? Tristán: You look absolutely great! The man who styled These Dutch lace ruffs deserves to win a prize. No face looks unattractive framed in collars Of starched lace! I know a man whose girl Found him long as he wore one. But she lost all interest when he took it off. Evidently, she saw his neck was scarred, His nose looked larger than it did before, And his ears looked huge, while his jaw looked weak. Without his ruff, his mother wouldn't know him. Don García: For those and other reasons these pinwheels ought To be against the law. They have to be Imported from abroad. They've become so popular, They've upset the balance in foreign trade! A simple Walloon collar, once in style, Would look as good, would be more comfortable And would cost a great deal less. Besides, a man Would not have to walk around like a stick, Afraid he might unravel all these laces. Tristán: I know someone whose girl gave him the go And he turned her down, because he did not want To have to take his collar off! Ha! But you're right. I think a Walloon collar is best. But no one wants to be the first to wear them. Don García: Let's not discuss the politics of style. Tell me about the women of Madrid. Tristán: You escaped the sin of vanity and fall Prey to the flesh?! You really think that someone Not up on world affairs should dive into A love affair, as if it were that easy? Don García: Not easy, just a lot more fun, I guess. Tristán: Are you that young and inexperienced? Don García: Just another guy like all the rest. Tristán: Then you have come to the right place, my friend. Madrid never rests because of love. The stars that shine at night are fewer than The pretty girls you'll see here every day. And like the stars, the women here at court Have many virtues, many vices, and live In different spheres, depending on their size, Their influence, their brilliance and their hue. Now, I have nothing bad to say about a lady. Like the angels, no one would even dare To think of coming close to them in thought In word or deed. But I will tell you what I know about the ones like fallen stars, Who live on earth and are human and divine. First, there are those pretty married women Whom you could speak to, if they were discreet. I call them planets because they shine the most. These women like the generosity Of foreigners. Their husbands know it, too. Their men are always gone on some assignment Leaving Spain for Italy or America. But these women often tell you lies. Some pretend that they have husbands just To live their lives completely free from men's Control. There are also some just passing through Whose lovely daughters have always just arrived. The daughters are like fixed stars; the mothers Always wander freely. And women now Are wearing wigs! Their friends would like to, too. I would never speak to them, if I were you. Others are chasing men without much luck. I call these last the dullest stars, but in A pinch you might turn to one to find Your way. The chasers are not stars, of course. They are like comets and have the strangest light And no one ever knows just where they live! They seem to appear at dawn, demanding money, And promising disaster, disappear. The young girls go out, often as they can. They are like star dust and never stay for long. If you decide to try to catch a star, Remember: they are terribly unfaithful, Even when you promise them great gifts. You know, Virgo is the only sign for love, While the signs for infidelity are three: Aries, Capricorn, and Taurus. And they Are governed not by love, by faith or trust, But by two pointed horns: money and money. Don García: So you think you know the meaning of the stars? Tristán: While I was working for some politicians, I did, in fact, employ astrology. Don García: You have been at court before? Tristán: Yes, I have. Don García: Then tell me. How did your career progress? Tristán: I made no money and had no luck at all.... But one could not expect a better life Than to serve the man I now am honored to.... Don García: Well, that is quite enough. But look how soft Those hands are! Over there! What light shines in Those eyes! Her glances are two arrows, love And death. Tristán: That lady in the carriage, there? Don García: Who else could I be looking at? Look. There. Tristán: Those fantasies about the chariot Of Phaeton, with its fiery, burning rays Of gold turned blinding pink at break of day Would suit her perfectly, don't you think? Don García: That is the first Phaeton I have ever seen. Tristán: You act as if you've never seen a girl. Don García: Well, she is the first one I have seen from heaven. She has to be an angel come to earth. Tristán: Oh, you will see so many lovely girls That you will not be able to decide. At least...I could never concentrate on Only one. I leave the girl I have To chase a different pretty face. Don García: Have you ever seen such eyes? Look how they shine! Tristán: Your eyes make things look bigger than they are. Don García: Is there a chance you know her name? Tristán: What?! How could you even think a girl like that Would talk to a serving man they call Tristán. Don García: Well, I will meet that girl no matter what. Tristán, go follow her and tell me where She lives. Tristán: No need. She has decided to Stop here and go into this store. Don García: Then I Will go in, too. They do these things at court, Don't they? Tristán: Of course. But just remember what I said, that money opens every door. Don García: I have some here... at least I think I do. Tristán: Then, attack! Since you have money on your side! Now you will see if I have lied to you! But would you look at that! The girl who just Got out behind her, sir, looks like the sun, If your girl is the dawn, the morning star. Don García: She's pretty, too. Tristán: Wow! Look at their maid!! Don García: Their carriage is like Cupid's bow and shoots A string of arrows, each more lovely than The last. That does it! I am going in. Tristán: Remember what I said. Don García: What did you say? Tristán: That when you like a girl, just spend, spend, spend! Don García: I hope I get the chance! Tristán: While you're inside I'll have the driver tell me who they are. Don García: You really think that he would tell you that. Tristán: Have you ever known a chauffeur who would not talk?
Scene iv
Jacinta, Lucretia, Isabel, wearing lace mantillas. Jacinta slips and García gives her his hand to help her stand up.
Jacinta: My goodness! Don García: Take my hand. Here, let me help. And I will be Atlantis bearing heaven. Jacinta: Atlantis you must be since you have won The chance to touch me. Don García: Winning just a chance Is nothing. But the right to do so is What I would like to have. Could I presume To boast that I have touched the beauty who Has set my soul on fire, when it was chance And not a favor you desired as well? I did hold heaven in my hand, but not Because I rose to it. It fell to me. Jacinta: And why would you desire to have that right? Don García: To win a just reward. Jacinta: To win the prize And not have even played? What else is that But pure beginner's luck? Don García: You're right, of course. Jacinta: Then why should you complain if you have won The prize by luck although you did not try? Don García: Because all favor and disfavor obtain Their worth from one's intentions, nothing else. You must conclude, therefore, that I have won No favor from your hand or from your heart-- But I would have won, had you allowed me to. And so you must permit me to regret That though I touched your arm, a joy in fact, Your heart, your will, have played no part in what Might seem a favor to anothers' eyes. Jacinta: But since I did not know what your will was, Your claim to see some flaw in my desire Is totally unfounded and without cause.
Scene v
Tristán and the others.
Tristán: (Aside) The coachmen did his job, just like he said. I now know who they are and where they live. Don García: You mean you never knew how I have felt, For all this time? Jacinta: How could I, since until Today I've never seen you anywhere Before? Don García: You mean the year or so that I Have spent beside myself with love for you Has been to no avail? Tristán: (Aside) What year? I know He just arrived at court a day ago! Jacinta: Well, really! I can swear I've never seen You in my life before today. Don García: When I Arrived from the Americas, I knew I did the right thing coming here because The first thing that I saw was heaven,... you. I knew that you were all my soul could ask, But you could not have known, because I never Had the chance to tell you what I feel. Jacinta: You say You are American? Don García: And rich, since I Met you, far richer that the silver mines Of Potosí. Tristán: (Aside) He is American??!! Jacinta: Then you must be as stingy as they say. Don García: Well, love makes even stingy men buy gifts. Jacinta: If you are telling me the truth, that means Today will be another birthday for me? Don García: If only money could express how much I care for you, I would spend it all on you. That's something I can do. But gold cannot Express my feelings: Maybe nothing can. So allow me. Let me buy you something to show I care. Jacinta: (Aside) This man is not from here. I know. (To Lucretia) Lucretia, tell me what you think of this American who seems so generous? Lucretia: Jacinta, you appear to like him, and... He is deserving that you should. Don García: If you See anything displayed among these jewels, Please, take it, anything at all you like. Tristán: (To García) But, sir! But, that is going too far! Don García: I'm lost, Tristán. Isabel: (To Lucretia and Jacinta.) Don Juan is coming! There!! Jacinta: Good sir, I thank you for your offer. Don García: You understand I will be quite offended if you refuse. Jacinta: And you are quite mistaken, sir, to think I could accept more than the thought. Don García: But then I will have failed to win your gratitude. Jacinta: You did win my attention. I let you speak To me. Don García: And I am grateful and respect That fact. Jacinta: Good-bye. Don García: Good-bye? Will you accept My love for you? Jacinta: Your feelings are your own.
The young women leave.
Scene vi
Don García: Tristán, go follow them. Tristán: If you are still Upset because you do not know the address Of the girl who "sets your soul on fire with love," Calm down! I found out where she lives. Don García: Then let's Not follow them. If we are too eager, She may just think my motives are not good. Tristán: The coachman said her name is "de Luna," Lucretia de Luna, the prettier of the two, The one he likes. The other girl who came With her...he knows her address, not her name. Don García: If Lucretia is the prettier of the two, That's all I need to know. She is the one I love, the one who, like the sun, leaves all The stars behind, the one who won against The rest and blinds me with her brilliant light. Tristán: I thought the one who did not speak was far The prettiest one. Don García: You have good taste! Tristán: Of course! But my vote doesn't count because I think That any girl who does not talk too much Is pretty, especially if she doesn't speak. But what if we are wrong? What if we ask The coachmen where her friend lives, too, and then He might remember the other girl's name as well. Don García: And where does this Lucretia de Luna live? Tristán: If I remember well, the Victoria quarter Is what he said. Don García: Lucretia's name is perfect: "De Luna".... Her eyes outshine the moon and stars.
Scene vii
Enter Don Juan and Félix. Tristán and García remain.
Don Juan: (To Félix) A dinner and music, too? What luck! Don García: Well, look who's here! My friend Don Juan de Sosa! Tristán: And so it is. Don Juan: (To Félix) Who is the lucky one Who took her out? Don Félix: I am sure you will Soon learn his name. Don Juan: I can not stand to think Another man arranged to have a dinner Outdoors at night and on the river! He had An orchestra to play for them as well? That's not the girl who said I was the only One she really cared about. Don García: Don Juan! Don Juan: And who are you? Don García: How can you say you do Not remember your old friend, Don García. Don Juan: It's just that I had never thought to see you in Madrid ... and dressed so well! Don García: Of course, I must Look very different than I did in class At Salamanca. Don Juan: Much more elegant! You're wearing clothes made for a gentleman! Much better than those robes we students wore! Don García: I agree! Don Juan: Well, welcome, then! Don García: (To Félix) And how are you, My friend? Don Félix: Quite happy, after seeing you. It's really good to see you once again. Don García: As always, count on me as on a friend. Now tell me, what were you discussing when We found you here? And what are you two doing In Madrid these days? Don Juan: We just found out about A dinner someone gave last night down at The river. And, they had an orchestra! Don García: A dinner and with music, good Don Juan? Last night? Don Juan: Why, yes. Don García: Something grand? A feast? Don Juan: Well, that is what they said. Don García: And that the girl Was very beautiful, besides? Don Juan: They say She was. Don García: Well, good!! Don Juan: I don't know what you mean. Don García: I mean, it makes me very glad to know You think the girl I entertained last night Is pretty, and the dinner a success. You were, of course, referring to my girl And to the party I arranged for her? Don Juan: Can I assume there was, let's say, "a wedding"? Don García: We spent the night, doing nothing else. Tristán: (Aside) A girl? What party?! He has just arrived! Don Juan: Well, now, how could you know someone to give A party for? You found a girl that fast?! Don García: I have been here for a while...about A month. Tristán: (Aside) He got here yesterday, I swear. He has something up his sleeve. Don Juan: How could You have, and I know nothing of it. For... I would have come to see you right away. Don García: I kept my presence in Madrid a secret. Don Juan: I guess that makes it clear why I did not Know you were here. The party really was That good? Don García: The best the river ever saw. Don Juan: (Aside) This is really getting me. (Aloud:) You had The dinner at Sotillo grove? Don García: You talk As if you knew the place yourself, Don Juan. Don Juan: I am not completely ignorant of it, Although I really do not know it well At all. They told me things, but I am still Somewhat confused. Perhaps you will explain Something. Call it a gentleman's wish to know The truth, or idle curiosity. (Aside) Or maybe I am just a little jealous. Don Félix: (Aside to Don Juan) Just look how your new rival unknowingly Has come to tell you your own dream of heaven! Don García: Well, listen to me, if you want to know. Don Juan: (Quickly)Anything you have to say is fine. Don García: Among the shadowy, leafy oaks, As darkness starts to fall, A lovely table draped in white Holds plates,...the aromas call.., So well prepared, Neapolitan style, But abundant as in Spain, Napkins starched like little birds Like beasts from Africa's plain. Four serving trays stacked very high Are placed on every side, With silver, gold and porcelains, A noble lady's pride. The lowest limbs of all the trees Are trimmed to build six booths. Four orchestras are hidden inside, Two stalls conceal the food. My lady then arrives by coach, No woman lovelier, As soft as evening breezes, low, The river laughs with her. Her steps turn lawns to emeralds, And change the streams to glass. Her walk transforms the sands to pearls, The fireworks soar and pass. From night to day within the grove, They bring sun fire to earth. Before the sulphur leaves the grove, The torches add their mirth. Some hidden woodwinds play nearby, Joined by a bowed guitar, The flutes provide more harmony, The sweetest sound, by far. The fourth, green leavéd booth conceals Guitars and harps which play, Accompanied by singers,...two, I think, were there, today. The dinner is twelve courses long, Not counting the deserts, With twenty kinds of pastry, since Some chocolate never hurts. The fruits and drinks are served in bowls Sculptured out of ice, There's so much snow, the river thinks We've had winter twice. We slowly savour every flavor, Flowers perfume the night. And the herbal incense makes Madrid Believe it has taken flight To the Sabine fields of Italy. The torso of a man Sculpted in diamonds represents My lady's cruel ban Of every caress I offer her. Golden barbs he hurls Instead of willow or wicker picks, At her smile of lovely pearls. The music from the booths flows on. This night will never end, Unless Apollo, in his envy, Brings dawn to break again. Don Juan: That description is so good that I would rather Have heard you tell it than see it for myself. Tristán: (Aside) Good God! How can he make things up so fast? His lies about the dinner are far better Than the truth itself! Don Juan: (To Don Félix) I'm really feeling angry! Don Félix: The things the other people said about Last night are different from what he said. Don Juan: The party was at the same time and place. I don't really think the details count. Don García: And you were saying? Don Juan: Just that the party must Have been the greatest there has ever been... Since Alexander ruled in ancient Greece. Don García: Oh, it was just a childish, little thing I put together in about a day. If there had been the time to really try, I could have thrown a party you would not Forget, a Grecian or a Roman feast, Astonishing to people everywhere. Don Félix: (Aside to Don Juan) Jacinta is the girl you saw today, The one who left Lucretia's coach, then fell. Don Juan: (Aside to Don Félix) I swear García's eyes were watching her. Don Félix: (To Juan) He is quite restless and appears to be Preoccupied as well. Don Juan: (To Félix) I know my worst Suspicions will be confirmed. (Pause) Don Juan and Don García: (In unison) Good- bye; take care! Don Félix: You two are aiming much too high, I swear!
Exeunt Don Juan and Don Félix.
Scene viii
Don García and Tristán.
Tristán: I never saw a woman say good-bye With such conviction and so certain that She was right. Don García: She is my heaven, after all, The cause and end of everything I do. She draws me after her and I cannot Hold back. Tristán: Be patient, then. Do not allow Your feelings to run unchecked! If she finds out You love her, you will never get your way. Pretend you do not care and then you'll win. The devil and most women are the same: They do not care for souls that they have caught, Nor will they try to have or tempt them, no. For once they know they have you, you are through! They only want the ones who might escape. Don García: That, no doubt, is true, but I cannot Control myself. Tristán: Until you know some more About her, do not give yourself away. Appearances can lead a man to throw Himself into the mud. At first, it always Looks as though the swamp is a well-kept lawn. Don García: Then, find out everything you can. Tristán: Do not Concern yourself. Just leave it all to me. How could you tell so many awful lies? If I could understand your thinking, then I might be able to provide some help. To be caught in a lie would mean dishonor! You said you were American. Now, why?! Don García: Tristán, the truth is, foreigners have much More luck with women, Americans the most. The people here think they are all quite rich. Tristán: I understand what you are doing, but... I think you made a big mistake. You know They will find out just who you really are. Don García: Well, by the time they do, I will have made My way through the front door into their house, If not into their hearts. When that occurs, I will explain it all to them... somehow.... Tristán: I suppose that will have to do for now. But how do you explain that other thing? About arriving here a month ago? You came from Salamanca yesterday! Tell me why you told them something else. Don García: You know how people think. Important men Remain secluded for a month or so On their estates outside the city, or In their apartments here in town, to rest. Tristán: Well, I will grant you that. But tell me, then, Why did you make that story up about That dinner "just for two... the river...last night?" Don García: Because I just can't stand it when someone Attempts to make me jealous, bragging of Something they said or did. A gentleman Should never feel impressed or amazed. Astonishment reveals stupidity And envy is a low, vile sentiment. You do not know how great I always feel When some loud, boasting fellow comes along And tries to tell me something that he did, And I can stop him dead, there, in his tracks. I'll always tell some lie to put him down. And then he will not dare to brag to me. He leaves and chokes on news he can't repeat. Tristán: That is a clever trick, but dangerous. You will become a legend in Madrid When people hear what you have learned to do. Don García: Well, is a man who lives unheard, unseen, With no accomplishments except to add Another life to mankind's growing numbers, Much different from the animals? True fame Is no mean trick. Who cares how it is done? I hope they talk about me everywhere... At least...I hope I give them cause to talk. Why, there was once a man who burned Ephesus Because he wanted to be known. That's why I do the things I do; it's what I like, The only reason I know of. So what? Tristán: Ambition, or your idea of it, has lead You to a childish way of thinking, so Be sure you keep your ideas to yourself.
Scene ix
A room in Don Sancho's house. Jacinta and Isabel with mantillas. Don Beltrán and Don Sancho are present.
Jacinta: (To Beltrán) And to what do we owe the honor of your presence? Don Beltrán: Our families have been friends for many years. You should not be surprised that I am here. Jacinta: Well, I am overwhelmed! You honor us. (To Sancho) Forgive my being late; had I been told That we had such a guest as this, I would Have left the silversmith's immediately, ...where I had taken some jewelry for repair. Don Beltrán: The fact that you have taken jewelry there Should be a sign to you, my dear, which means That I have to come to talk to you of marriage! Your uncle Sancho has agreed that we Should change our friendship into family ties. Your uncle also says it's only fair To ask what you would think of this idea. I trust you have no reason to object? You know my family well, you also know Our income. The only thing we need to know, I think, is whether you would find García A man whom you could love. And even though He arrived in Madrid just yesterday And on the road from Salamanca he Was burned a little by the sun, I'll have To bring him here. Oh, I am almost sure That you will like him, from his head down to His feet. So when may he come talk to you? Jacinta: There is no doubt that I do stand to gain, Marrying him, as you propose. But no. I should say "yes." You know I do respect Your family. And I am truly honored. But it would look to everyone like I Was just another foolish woman who Did not take marriage very seriously. All women should have much more self-respect. Or even worse, they might think that I Was in a hurry to find a husband! But... If you want me to see him..., well, you know That all he has to do is walk along The street. Bring him by and nothing will Be lost. However, what if it should happen, As it often does, that you and I Agree and then the wedding not take place? What good would come of that? What would people Think if I did let him come see me, and I wanted to marry him and he refused? Don Beltrán: I must admit...I think...that you are right. I swear, if you two were to marry, then I would envy his good luck for having found A woman who is as smart as she is lovely. Don Sancho: (Ironically) The girl you see here is a paragon Of prudent understanding! Don Beltrán: Now I see Why you have so much confidence in her! This afternoon, García and myself Will ride on horseback, right along this street. Jacinta: And I will hide upstairs behind the blinds. Don Beltrán: Jacinta, look him over well. Tonight, I will return to hear what you decide. Jacinta: So soon?! Don Beltrán: Do not look so surprised. Though I Have come here with desire, I'm now a man In love. Good-bye, for now. Jacinta: Good-bye?! Don Beltrán: (He leaves and Sancho starts to follow him.) And where Are you off to? Don Sancho: To talk to you, of course. Don Beltrán: For just a moment, then. Don Sancho: Just come with me Into the hall, if you would be so kind.
Don Sancho and Don Beltan exeunt.
Scene x
Isabel: Can you believe the hurry he is in? Jacinta: What he proposes is to my advantage, And I am actually more eager than he is. But I love someone else. You know him, too. Don Juan has not been given his commission In the military order he prefers. The delays have made me stop and reconsider. Perhaps I really ought to change my mind. But since I love him very, very much, I've never given up on his success. And yet I'm frightened, Isabel, because I think I'll have to marry someone else! Isabel: And I had come to think that you broke up With your Don Juan! You never refuse to listen When other men stop to talk to you. Jacinta: I told you why, Isabel! I can not Marry Juan unless he gets his post! I think he never will! I have no choice. In order not to die of loneliness I'll have to find some other entertainment. It can't be right to die just to prove That one is true to what can never be. I think I could still find someone to give My heart and soul some rest, without regret. Isabel: I'm sure that time will bring you someone who Deserves that kind of love. I bet you saw Someone today whom you could learn to like. The American, I mean. Jacinta: Do you want me To tell you what I think? Beltrán's good son Had better not be as handsome as that man, Or our wedding will take place immediately! Isabel: This afternoon, you'll have the chance to see Him ride along your street, accompanied By Don Beltrán. Jacinta: But I will only see His face and how he rides a horse! I must... I have to hear him speak, then I can judge His heart, his mind. Isabel: Then, speak to him, of course. Jacinta: Don Juan would be quite angry if he heard I'd spoken to another man. I'd lose My only chance..., unless I knew for sure I'd found another man who'd marry me! Isabel: Then find a way! Time waits for no one, you know. And you must make your choice. The way things are, Don Juan is like the gardner's dog. He will Not let you pick in peace. If you would like, You could just speak to Beltrán's son. And Juan Would never know! A trick like that should be Quite easy for a woman such as you. Any other girl would find it easy! Jacinta: You've made me think about what really counts. Lucretia is my friend. She could invite Don Juan to visit her in secret, and... Then I could be there, too, at her window. That way I'd have a chance to speak to him. Isabel: Who but you could think of such a thing! Jacinta: Go tell Lucretia what I plan to do. Isabel: I will! Jacinta: Tell her delay means certain failure!
Scene xi
Don Juan who meets Isabel on leaving. Jacinta.
Don Juan: Please. Let me see Jacinta, Isabel. Isabel: Well, for just one little minute. Sancho will Be leaving soon for dinner. Don Juan: Jacinta, listen. Since you have left me, I am lost for sure. Jacinta: You must be crazy! Don Juan: Who would not be, when You do the things you do. Jacinta: Control yourself, And speak more softly, please! My uncle is Inside! Don Juan: What do you care about your uncle? I suppose you cared when you went out last night To a party at the river? Jacinta: What do you mean? Just what are you implying? Don Juan: When a girl has spent The night with someone else, she seldom cares What her old uncle might come to think of it. Jacinta: Me? Spend the night with someone else? Look here. If that were even true, you still would have No right to talk to me like that. Besides, I think you are just making up some story. Don Juan: I know the dinner at the river was García's plan: the fireworks when your coach Arrived; the torches lighting up the grove At midnight; silver plated service, and Four salvers with fine crystal and, four tents With singers and musicians. I know it all. And you were still there, at the river, when The sun came up. You said you were my friend. Tell me now that I am crazy, that I have no right to speak to you this way, When your foolishness and insults all demand An explanation. Jacinta: How dare you speak that way! Don Juan: And do not think that you can lie to me. You had best not talk at all, because the truth Is now well known and there is no excuse For what you did. You lied! You really hurt me. Do not deny that I have lost your love. Do not deny you've had a change of heart. Do not insult me by not telling me the truth! (Pause) Although you might deny what I have heard, You can't deny something I have seen! What about his father? He was here! Just tell me what he told you, will you? You Stayed out all night with his son and then You spent the day with his father? You can't Deny something I have seen. Don't lie Just to give me some false hope. I know Your heart has changed and you are holding back The truth. But do not think that you can ever Be happy. You are too cruel for happiness. Jealousy will burn you like hot coals, And the one who won your love will lose you, too. Jacinta: Are you in your right mind? Don Juan: How could I be, Since I have lost your love and still love you.
Don Juan starts to leave.
Jacinta: Come back and listen to the truth. You have To understand that they have lied to you! Don Juan: Your uncle has come in. So I must leave. Jacinta: My uncle is not here. So hear me out. I know that you will completely understand. Don Juan: Only if you say you'll marry me. Jacinta: Uncle!! You're here somewhere.... But where?

End of Act I.

Love's True Lies, Act II

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

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Association for Hispanic Classical Theater, Inc.

Most recent update: 28 Jun 2002