Scene One:A Room in Don Sancho's House.

CAMINO comes in with a note; he gives it to LUCRECIA
CAMINO: This note for you was given me By Tristán the trusty, a man who serves García well and well deserves His trust--as I deserve to be Trusted by you--a man whom fate Has rudely placed in service though He was nobly born. His master so Insists upon immediate Reply, he says, that he would swear The boy is crazy. LUCRECIA: It's strange to me! What man would woo so stubbornly Who only counterfeits to care? The strongest love's not strong enough Unless it is returned again. Can passion be pretended when It's so undaunted by rebuff? CAMINO: Well, I will swear to this at least-- If what's inside the heart may be known By what outside the heart is shown, The man is definitely diseased. Someone, let's say, who wears a rut In your street, pacing night and day? Someone who never looks away From your shutters, even when they're shut? Someone who gets to your balcony Just in time to see you go, And yet remains there rooted so, Unseen, unseeing, unceasingly? Someone who weeps, who even despairs, And who because I serve his love Pays me--the surest symptom of This illness in today's affairs? So--cross my palm and hope to die, If he's a liar, I'm insane. LUCRECIA: Alas, Camino, it's very plain That you have never heard him lie. If only I knew he had expressed His feelings truly, for my own part I swear to you, his storm-tossed heart Would find safe harbor in my breast. Of course I know it would be best Not to believe his equivocation, But I'll say this--his imagination Has certainly piqued my interest. And though it would be madness to Give credit to a man who lies, All things are possible for him who tries, There's no compulsion not to be true. Since this is so, I still have just Enough hope and self-esteem to believe That he could learn not to deceive With me, and change his ways. I must, Of course, protect my honor still; He may be lying, or he may Be true in love, so either way I'll keep in mind both good and ill; And since he may be worthy of My hand, I never will respect him If he lies, nor ever will reject him If he truly speaks to me of love. CAMINO: Well, that seems fair enough to me. LUCRECIA: Then tell him how I cruelly tore His letter all to pieces before I could read it. That's what my reply will be. But then tell him not to despair-- On your own account--and that if he Still wishes to converse with me Then he should come to evening prayer At Mary Magdalen's. CAMINO: I go. LUCRECIA: And all my hopes go with you today. CAMINO: They'll never get lost if they go my way, I'm the best Camino in town, you know.
They go off
Scene Two: A room in Don Beltrán's house.
Enter Don BELTRÁN, Don GARCÍA, and TRISTÁN. Don BELTRÁN takes out an unsealed letter and hands it to Don GARCÍA
BELTRÁN: Have you written yet, my son? GARCÍA: This evening I was going to. BELTRÁN: Then here's what I would like you to do-- I'll give you mine right now un- sealed; you can read it and make sure Your father-in-law receives the same Message from both of us now--name- ly that you'll be coming soon to your New wife, to bring her back to her New home yourself. I want you to, And it's the proper thing to do; Sending for her would be discour- teous when you are free to go. GARCÍA: That's true, but the trip would be in vain. BELTRÁN: Why? GARCÍA: She's expecting, and the strain Of making such a trip, you know, At least until she gives you what You're hoping for, a grandson, might be A risk. BELTRÁN: It'd be insanity To travel now. Sweet Jesus! But Tell me, why did you wait till now To give me the happy news, García? GARCÍA: Till yesterday I had no idea-- It came in the mail. They wrote me how They knew for sure my darling bride, My Sancha, was with child. BELTRÁN: What joy To my old age a little boy Would bring! What comfort and what pride! I want to add a word or two About how pleased I am. Give me My note.
Don BELTRÁN takes the letter back
Your father-in-law, let's see-- What was the name again? GARCÍA: Of who? BELTRÁN: Your father-in-law. GARCÍA: (What did I tell Aside Him?) Don Diego. BELTRÁN: No, that's not so-- You called him Pedro a while ago, Unless I'm wrong. GARCÍA: No, that as well. Yes, I remember now--he still Uses them both. BELTRÁN: Don Pedro and Don Diego? GARCÍA: I'm sure you'll understand! Because of a certain codicil, All the heirs of the family estate And fortune have to take the name Diego. He was Pedro before he became The head of the family. But since that date He has to be called Diego, because Of the codicil in the will, you see, So now he's Diego, but he still might be Pedro sometimes, which is who he was. BELTRÁN: Well, it's a common codicil-- In certain Spanish families. I'm going to write him.
Don BELTRÁN goes out
TRISTÁN: No more of these Mix-ups of yours--they make me ill. GARCÍA: Oh, then you heard my explanation? TRISTÁN: I heard more than I understood. I see a liar needs as good A memory as imagination. GARCÍA: I thought I was finished. TRISTÁN: You made a good start And it's how you'll end up if you don't watch out. GARCÍA: But meanwhile all I care about Is how things are going in affairs of the heart-- For better or worse--any news? TRISTÁN: Well she's Not nearly as tough as she'd like to be; I don't think you'll need the brutality Of a Tarquin to ravish this Lucrece. GARCÍA: You mean she read my note? TRISTÁN: Oh, yes. Although she told Camino to Report she tore it up. It's true-- It's what I heard the man confess. And based on that, I'd have to say This could be going a whole lot worse, If one believes the little verse That Martial wrote his girl one day. "I sent my love a little note, She never answered. Pretty tough. But she'll soften soon enough, Since she read the words I wrote." GARCÍA: I don't trust him--d'you think it's true? TRISTÁN: I'm sure Camino's on your side, And vows--whatever she tries to hide In her secret heart, he'll reveal to you. Once he gives his word, he won't take it back-- As long as you keep giving as well, When it comes to making a sinner tell, Money's much better than the rack. And a gift or two for her, I'm told, Might help to make a conquest of The girl's reserve. For the God of Love Makes killing arrows out of gold. GARCÍA: I never heard you talk before So grossly! What's got into you? She's not the kind of woman who Would give herself for gold like-- TRISTÁN: Book Four Of the Aeneid, as you know, Says Dido was consumed with love For Aeneas, as much the victim of The Trojan's gifts as Cupid's bow. And she was a queen! So don't look so Amazed if what I say sounds rough; Only a diamond's strong enough To cut a diamond, you know. GARCÍA: But didn't you see how she was so Offended by my offer to her On Silver Street? TRISTÁN: The offer, sir, She found offensive--the jewelry, no. In these affairs, let custom be Your guide. As far as I know, around here They don't cut off a hand or an ear For the crime of generosity. GARCÍA: I think I'd give her the earth and sky If I thought she'd want them. TRISTÁN: There can be no More direct way to her than Camino-- He's a polestar you can navigate by. And just to let you know how well The whole affair is going, sir, There's this: Lucrecia ordered her Servant--the same Camino--to tell You something, on his own--that his Sweet mistress would be going to pray At Mary Magdalen's today. GARCÍA: What sweet relief from pain this is! So were you trying to drive me mad By telling me so slowly? TRISTÁN: No! The news was better delivered slow; The longer it took, the more pleasure you had.
They go out
Scene Three: The cloisters of the convent of Mary Magdalen, with a door leading into the church.
Enter Doña JACINTA and Doña LUCRECIA in mantillas
JACINTA: Is Don García still after you? LUCRECIA: He won't let up. And even though I know his lying ways, he's so Relentless, stubborn, and so true That I'm not sure what I should do. JACINTA: No law prevents a lying lip From making the occasional slip And telling the truth. It may be you Are not deceived. It may be true-- His love. Why not? A girl whose youth And loveliness might draw the truth From any man who looks at you? LUCRECIA: You're always flattering me; but I Could never hope to be loved by him; Your beauty makes the sun grow dim, And you've already caught his eye. JACINTA: You know your worth as well as I, And in our little rivalry There's never been a victory, Because the vote is always a tie. But beauty's not the only thing You need to get the fire lit; Love also needs a little bit Of luck to keep it sizzling. If I can step aside for you, My friend, then all my happiness Would be in seeing you possess A love I'm not entitled to. García has no real claim On me, and this could never be Your fault. Just do it cautiously, Or you'll end up being to blame For rushing headlong into love And being foolish for believing Him, after being warned that deceiving Was all that he was capable of. LUCRECIA: Thank you so much, but let me just Help you to ease your suspicious mind; I never said I was inclined To give him love, only my trust. JACINTA: You'll start by feeling bound to believe, And end up loving boundlessly; The trip from trust to love can be So short, you're there before you leave. LUCRECIA: I wonder, then, what you'd make of This note from him I just received. JACINTA: I'd say that you already believed; I might even say you were in love. LUCRECIA: Then you'd be wrong; the power of The will, you know, is often free To do for curiosity What it would never do for love. You liked it when he talked with us On Silver Street? JACINTA: I liked it, yes. LUCRECIA: You let him talk to you; confess, Were you in love or curious? JACINTA: Just curious. LUCRECIA: Well, I'm like that-- Just curious to know what's here Inside his note, as you once were To carry on your little chat. JACINTA: But don't you see you're obvious- ly wrong? To take a note he sent Is nothing less than encouragement; To listen, merely courteous. LUCRECIA: If he thought that I read the note, He might find that encouraging; But he thinks I tore up the thing Before I read a word he wrote. JACINTA: Well, clearly then, if that's all you meant, It was simple curiosity. LUCRECIA: It's been a lifelong joy for me, You know, my curious temperament. But listen to this, my dear, will you, And see if you can recognize His falsehoods? Tell me, are these lies? Can they be lies, that sound so true?
Doña LUCRECIA takes out the note and reads it quietly to herself. CAMINO, TRISTÁN, and Don GARCÍA come in from the other side
CAMINO: You see right there--the one who's got The paper in her hand? GARCÍA: I do. CAMINO: Well, that's Lucrecia. GARCÍA: (Lucrecia, it's you! Aside The cause of all my pain! But what Is in that note? O, jealousy!) Camino, I am in your debt. TRISTÁN: Which means tomorrow you can get That brand new suit. CAMINO: Happy to be Of service.
CAMINO goes out
GARCÍA: Tristán, here's what I need-- A way of getting over there Without her seeing me, to where I'm close enough to her to read That paper! TRISTÁN: That's easy, sir; you'll find A chapel through this door; just keep Along the inside wall, then creep Out of that other door, behind Their backs. GARCÍA: They're looking! Quick as a bird!
They slip out the first door
JACINTA: You might at least have whispered--you Are very rude! LUCRECIA: Here, read it--I'm too Embarrassed to be overheard.
Doña LUCRECIA hands Doña JACINTA the note
JACINTA: Now this is ever so much better!
TRISTÁN and Don GARCÍA come back in the second door, behind the ladies' backs
TRISTÁN: Well, that was easy enough to do. GARCÍA: Tristán, you've got a better view; So see if you can read the letter.
Doña JACINTA reads aloud
JACINTA: "Now that I see my credit with you Is lost--no matter what I say-- I ask you to trust my deeds, for they Will never lie--deeds never do. Only a husband's word will do To make a lady like you believe, And I can never hope to receive Your favor unless you think me true. Here is my note, then--may it be a Firm assurance; for as I sign Myself, so am I, ever thine, Already your husband, Don Garcia." GARCÍA: Good God above--it's the letter I wrote! TRISTÁN: Why now? She read it at home before. GARCÍA: Well, maybe it's because the more She reads it, the more she enjoys my note. TRISTÁN: Whatever the reason, it's going well. GARCÍA: Whatever the reason, I feel good, too.
JACINTA: It's short and sweet, so either it's true, Or the biggest lie a man can tell.
To Doña JACINTA, from behind
GARCÍA: Turn, O turn those eyes on me, Whose beams are fatal near and far!
Doña LUCRECIA and Doña JACINTA speak to each other
JACINTA: He's still not certain who we are, So veil yourself, and prepare to be Enlightened now. LUCRECIA: Don't mention me!
They veil themselves. Don GARCÍA speaks to Doña JACINTA
GARCÍA: Lift, O lift that veil away, That men may see your heaven today, And heaven itself astonished be! What find I here? O, can it be? My love, my life's sweet murderer? And yet where better look for her, Than in a church, for sanctu'ry? If it's because you murdered me, That you hide here--then fear not so; The laws of love are strange, you know, And so corrupt, they never fail To keep the victim locked in jail And always let the killer go. Would you relieve my suffering then, My love? I hope you will. And is Repentence why you've come to this Old convent of the Magdalen? How just the hand of love is, when It gives my pain this recompense! For though your cruelty torments Me so, I bear it all, my dear, For the joy I feel, right now, right here, The glory of your penitence. Dear mistress? Not a word from her? You owe me nothing for my pain? Or maybe you repent again For having repented earlier? I beg of you, sweet murderer, Before you strike me twice--beware The consequence! If you should glare With killing eyes upon my face-- A murder done in a holy place Can find no sanctuary there.
Doña JACINTA removes her veil
JACINTA: Do you know me? GARCÍA: My God--too well! So well, that ever since that day On Silver Street, I dare not say That I am I! I cannot tell The two of us apart. You dwell In me, more deeply than I do. I am transformed since seeing you-- Transformed to being you! My eyes My self no longer recognize-- Not what I am, or was, or who! JACINTA: It's clear you have no memory of Your former life--of what you were; You had a wife--you've forgotten her-- You're busy courting some new love! GARCÍA: You're back to that! Good Lord above! JACINTA: Why not? GARCÍA: It's just your stubborn pride! I made that up--I swear! I lied To be with you! JACINTA: Or not to be! Mention a wedding, and suddenly You're off to Turkey to find a bride! GARCÍA: I swear again--my love is true! That I'm a married man is what I am to other women, but I'm still a bachelor for you!
Doña JACINTA and Doña LUCRECIA speak to one side
JACINTA: Are you enlightened yet? LUCRECIA: (Oh, me! Aside How swift a spark of love can start A conflagration, and the heart Erupt with burning jealousy!
GARCÍA: Remember at your balcony That night, when I explained to you My situation? Surely you do! JACINTA: My balcony? LUCRECIA: (Oh, treachery!) Aside JACINTA: You are mistaken--totally! You talked to me? GARCÍA: And you know when! LUCRECIA: (You talk to him at night, and then Aside You dare to give advice to me!) GARCÍA: And what about the letter I wrote-- Do you deny it? JACINTA: Of course I do! LUCRECIA: (You're such a loyal friend, aren't you?) Aside GARCÍA: I'm positive you read my note! JACINTA: Lying can be quite wonderful, As long as there's no injury, But once you cross that boundary, It just becomes intolerable. GARCÍA: But three nights ago, at your balcony, Lucrecia--we talked--we two! JACINTA: (Lucrecia! Me? Oh, good for you! Aside New bull in the ring, new strategy! He saw Lucrecia! Now it's cer- tain that he loves her, since he pretended-- Just so she won't be offended-- That he'd mistaken me for her.) LUCRECIA: (O traitress! I see what you're about! You just informed him, doubtlessly, That the woman in the veil was me, So now he's going to sort it out By claiming that he talked to you Because he thought that you were me!)
TRISTÁN speaks aside to Don GARCÍA
TRISTÁN: She must be pretending not to be Lucrecia, in order to Confuse the woman she's with. GARCÍA: I know! If she were doing it for me, She'd veil her face. But can they be Talking together and still be so Unknown to one another? TRISTÁN: That's true-- But then in church you often see Two people talking who happen to be Unknown to each other, but in the same pew. GARCÍA: You're right! TRISTÁN: So go along with her By claiming to be the victim of Bad eyesight. GARCÍA: Lady, the fire of love So brightly burns, my weak eyes were Bedazzled momentarily; I took you for another, I fear. Forgive me my mistake, my dear; It was this veil that blinded me. For just as fantasy may be Beguiled by love--so may the eyes. Lucrecia's face I recognize In every woman that I see. JACINTA: (I knew he'd try to play that part!) LUCRECIA: (The little bitch informed on me!) JACINTA: (The one he loves is obviously Lucrecia.) GARCÍA: Lady, my poor heart, From the first moment I did see Her face, made her my sovereign queen.
Doña JACINTA and Doña LUCRECIA speak to one side
JACINTA: Well, he's the best I've ever seen! LUCRECIA: (So now she's making fun of me! Aside I won't let on I understand-- The last thing I want is to make a scene.)
JACINTA: I think Lucrecia would have been Delighted, were she listening and Assured of that. GARCÍA: You know my sweet- heart? JACINTA: Know her? She's my dearest friend! So much so I would dare contend That she and I have hearts that beat As one--one heart between us two. GARCÍA: (Well, obviously--if you are she! Aside How carefully and cleverly She teaches me what I'm to do!)
Then be an angel, I beg of you-- Since fortune now has offered me This golden opportunity-- And bear her tidings of my true Devotion and my pain and woe. And pardon me for making you My messenger. TRISTÁN: (Girls love to do Aside That sort of thing these days, you know, At least in Madrid! GARCÍA: And try to make Her see such love deserves to be Returned. JACINTA: If you do that, I'll see That she relents for your love's sake. GARCÍA: Why won't she believe me? I've been head Over heels since first I saw her beau- tiful face. JACINTA: Well, I'll be frank with you- She never believed a word you said! GARCÍA: But it's true--I swear to God, it's true! JACINTA: Look, she's the one you need to convince-- And being true won't matter, since The one who's saying it is you. Liars make people so disgusted, And their credit is so weak, That when they open their mouths to speak, Even the truth can't be trusted! GARCÍA: But lady-- JACINTA: Enough--no more--just be Aware of this. GARCÍA: I must obey.
JACINTA: Are you happy now?
JACINTA goes out
LUCRECIA: (What can I say, Aside Jacinta? Thanks for enlightening me.
LUCRECIA goes out
GARCÍA: She's such a smart one, isn't she? How cleverly she made it clear She'd couldn't be Lucrecia here! TRISTÁN: The girl's no fool, that's plain to see. GARCÍA: She made it very clear that she Would be upset if the other girl knew-- The one that she was talking to. TRISTÁN: That's obvious, since there can be No other reason I can see Why she'd refuse to admit what's true; And she never really denied to you That talk you had at her balcony, Since she herself reminded you Of the very things that you discussed When you conversed with her. GARCÍA: That must Be also why she let me view Her face without the veil--so I'd Be sure. TRISTÁN: And said so pointedly, "Mention a wedding, and suddenly You're off to Turkey to find a bride." And just to add to what you've heard Already, here's more proof--that though She says she's not Lucrecia, she'll go And talk about her in the third Person, revealing all her in- most thoughts, suggesting that she knows She would respond to your propos- als and your love, once you begin To make Lucrecia come to see The truth of what you tell her, sir. GARCÍA: But what proof can I give to her To show I love her truthfully? TRISTÁN: You want to marry her? GARCÍA: I do. TRISTÁN: Then ask her, sir. GARCÍA: And if she won't? TRISTÁN: It seems to me, sir, that you don't Quite get what she just said to you: "Make her believe it, and I will see That she relents for your love's sake." What stronger gesture could she make To tell you she desires to be Your wife? Someone who takes your letter? Who talks with you from her balcony? Good indications, sir, that she Adores you! How could she give you better? It's just the thought that you might be Married that holds her back--that's all. And you'll surmount that obstacle The minute you propose--for she Must think a gentleman like you Who offers marriage has to be A real bachelor, you see? And if she needs to know it's true, If she's afraid to trust a man Who's lied to her before, if she Demands some further guarantee, Well--Salamanca's not Japan! GARCÍA: Oh, yes it is--for a young man who Is hopelessly in love! Each mo- ment lasts a century. TRISTÁN: Do you know Of someone here who'd vouch for you? GARCÍA: I might. TRISTÁN: Well, how hard could it be? GARCÍA: I'll go and find one right away. TRISTÁN: I'll give you one right now--today! GARCÍA: Oh? Who? TRISTÁN: Don Juan. GARCÍA: To vouch for me? Don Juan de Sosa? TRISTÁN: Yes--he'd do. GARCÍA: Yes--he would know. TRISTÁN: That's not to say I've seen him lately--not since that day On Silver Street. Has he seen you? Sir--I admit I wondered what It was about that note you got From him that worried you, but not Wanting to anger you, I put My curiosity aside--because The one time that I asked, you went Quite pale and made a violent Denial. Now that the moment does Seem more appropriate, I won- der, sir, if I--the keeper of Your secrets, the counselor of your love-- Might ask. By now, the storm is done. GARCÍA: I want to tell you all--I must! For from experience I know Your secrecy and prudence, so I'm sure that you have earned my trust. In the early evening, at St. Blaise, Promptly at seven o'clock, he wrote, Don Juan de Sosa will wait for me, To discuss a matter of some note. Because it was a duel, I said Nothing. A man would only speak If he wanted to be stopped or helped-- Two things that only a coward would seek! So to the appointed place I came, Where Don Juan de Sosa awaited me; Two weapons he wore that gave him the odds-- They were his sword and his jealousy. His strong resentment he expressed, And I accepted his angry words, And then, at last, to make it right, The two of us drew our naked swords. Quickly measuring out the ground, I made a swift advance, and streak- ing forward, deftly stepped aside, To hit him with the thrust oblique. His life was rescued by the Ag- nus Dei medal he displayed Upon his chest, which caught my point, And snapped in two my thrusting blade. He gave me ground, stung by the blow, Then with a furious rage, he roared Back--and mainly thrust at me; High on the blade I caught his sword, With a crosshand perpendicular Defense. No sooner had he dis- engaged, and found me still so near-- I had nowhere else to go, for his Weapon was now three times the length Of my poor trusty steel, now just A fragment of its former self, Shattered in that initial thrust, And I was forced by this to seek Close quarters--but on he sped, Aiming a furious slashing blow In the direction of my head. I took him at the very top Of his downswing, driving my bold But shortened blade beneath the full Weight of his sword, stopping it cold! Then came the moment of truth! I spun Out with a backhand blow of such Power, the shortness of my sword Didn't count against me much, And opened in his head a gash As wide as my hand, and down he fell, Fainting and senseless upon the ground, And lifeless I presumed as well. And there I left him, secretly Returning here. That's it, that's my Whole story--and if you've missed him, Now you know the reason why. TRISTÁN: What an amazing incident! And was he dead? GARCÍA: He had to be-- I mean, the poor man's brains were spread All over the vicinity. TRISTÁN: O, poor don Juan!
Don JUAN DE SOSA and Don BELTRÁN come in on the other side
But isn't that Him walking towards us? GARCÍA: How bizarre! TRISTÁN: You even tried to lie to me-- Your secretary and counselor! (Dear God, how could I fall for that-- Aside Who knew how he was predisposed! But then again who wouldn't be fooled By lies so beautifully composed? GARCÍA: They must have used some kind of spell To heal the wound! TRISTÁN: The gash that you Described let all his brains spill out-- It healed in just a day or two? GARCÍA: You think that's something? In Salamanca One time, I know, they used this spell On a man who had his whole arm am- putated, and half his shoulder as well, And once they stuck the thing back on, It was less than a week before he had It working and just as healthy as It was before. TRISTÁN: He's raving mad! GARCÍA: I'm telling you something that I saw-- Not something that I merely heard! TRISTÁN: Please, sir, no more! GARCÍA: By God, it's true! I won't take back a single word. TRISTÁN: (Ah, do we ever know each other!) Aside I'd think my services repaid, If you would teach that spell to me. GARCÍA: The thing's in Hebrew, I'm afraid, So if you don't know that, you won't Know how the incantation's sung. TRISTÁN: And you know Hebrew? GARCÍA: Fluently. Better than the Spanish tongue. I speak ten languages. TRISTÁN: (And I'm Aside Quite sure that you've already lied In every one. And more. The saying "He's full of. . . truth" might be applied To you. Since only lies get out, There's all that truth still trapped inside!)
BELTRÁN: What are you saying? JUAN DE SOSA: That unless my mem- ory is playing tricks, no one In Salamanca has those names-- No lady, nor no gentleman. BELTRÁN: (Another fabrication from Aside My son García, obviously! I'd better keep this to myself.) Sir, may your new commission be A source of joy for many years-- Along with a handsome salary. JUAN DE SOSA: Sir, I shall always be so much The more in your debt, the more I thrive. And now, my duty calls, I fear-- There are some gentlemen that I've Got to go thank. I may not see You to your house--pray, pardon me.
Don JUAN DE SOSA goes out
BELTRÁN: God give me strength! How long must I Be punished for my son's disgrace? Forever? Is it possible? And how could he look me in the face And lie--at the very moment he Was being chided for that sin! And how, in such an important thing, Could he so quickly take me in? Me who already knew too well His reputation for telling lies! But then who would believe that he Could look at me right in the eyes, While I was scolding him--and lie! Who could imagine such a thing-- That a judge could have his pocket picked By the thief that he was sentencing?
TRISTÁN: Are you still resolved to talk to him? GARCÍA: Of course, Tristán. TRISTÁN: Then God go with thee!
GARCÍA: Father? BELTRÁN: Don't you dare call me that! Villain! Call me your enemy! No man has any blood of mine Who bears not even the slightest trace Of a resemblance to me! Away! If I never see your face--
Aside to Don GARCÍA
TRISTÁN: There seems to be a storm on the Horizon. Find a better time. BELTRÁN: God in heaven! What punishment Have I deserved? You know that I'm The kind of man that loves the truth-- How can you give me a son like this, Of just the opposite condition? How can a man like me, who is So careful of his honor, spawn This base, contaminated boy? How can you take my Gabriel, The honor to my blood, the joy Of my grey hairs, and pluck him In the flower of youth? I could say more-- But for my faith! GARCÍA: (What's going on? Aside
Aside to Don GARCÍA
TRISTÁN: Get lost! What are you waiting for? BELTRÁN: Go away, Tristán--leave us alone! No, wait, come back--don't go away; Perhaps the fact that you're aware Of his shame will be humilia- tion enough to have some effect on him-- More than respect for my grey hair! And if this mortification's not Enough to drive him to repair His faults, at least he'll feel the sting Of having his vices publicized! So what did you hope to gain, you wretch? Madman! What joy have you realized From telling lies so recklessly? If you must gallop after your in- clinations with everybody else-- At least with me, rein yourself in! This Salamanca wedding, what Was the point of inventing that? Were you Trying to undermine my credit With everyone I was talking to? How can I face these people again-- These people that I told about Your marriage to Doña Sancha de Herrera? How can I face it out? When once they all discover she's A fiction--your Sancha--then I will be Denounced as well--this noble head Hung with the charge of complicity. And then what means is left to me To clear this blot from my good name? Since the only way to manage that-- If I want to rid myself of blame-- Is to put it on my son instead! And then by saying publicly The fault was yours, I make myself The herald of your infamy! If it was some affair of the heart That obligated you to be Untrue to me--what did you think? That I would be your enemy? What weapon would I strike you with, But with the name of father, father To the end? That name alone should tell You how your plight would move me rather Than anger me--an old man who Was young once too, and has to know How high and hot in young men's hearts The flames of love can sometimes grow. GARCÍA: If you know that, and that alone Had been enough for you back then To pardon me, isn't it still Enough to pardon me again? Right now? It seemed a sign of dis- respect to your grey hairs if I Had disobeyed your plans for me, And so I felt I had to lie. It was an error, not a crime; I wasn't guilty, I was mis- informed. The cause is love, and you're My father indeed, to say that this Is all I need to win your pardon. I see my offense. Now listen to The lovely reason why, and she Herself will make amends to you. Doña Lucrecia, the daughter of Don Juan de Luna, is for me The soul of life--this only child And heir of all her family; And all I lack to be most blest With her most beauteous hand is for you To give me your consent, and make A declaration that the ru- mor of my marriage can be traced Back to this cause, and is untrue. BELTRÁN: No, no! In Jesus' name--no more! Don't stick me in another one! I'd have to think you lied to me, If you told me that thing was the sun. GARCÍA: You need not fear. That must be true Which is corroborated by The facts; Tristán, whom you can trust, Is ready, sir, to testify To my desires.
Tell him. TRISTÁN: Yes, sir. He tells it, sir, just as it is. BELTRÁN: Aren't you embarrassed now, to have A servant vouch for you? Is this Not shameful, sir? To make the truth Of what you say depend upon Your servingman? Oh well, all right, I want to talk to old Don Juan; God grant he give you his Lucrecia, And pity the poor deluded thing! But first I need to be sure about This Salamanca marrying Business. I fear in telling me You lied, you're still dissembling. I knew the truth already, you see, Before I came to talk to you; But now I hear you speak of it, I can hardly trust that the truth is true.
Don BELTRÁN goes out
GARCÍA: Well, that went well! TRISTÁN: Oh yes--quite well. I thought perhaps you had used that spell On him, that Hebrew incantation, That reverses amputation.
They go out
Scene Four: A room in the house of Don Juan de Luna, with views of the garden
Don JUAN DE LUNA and Don SANCHO come in
JUAN DE LUNA: It seems the night has turned a little cool. SANCHO: My dear Don Juan de Luna, the river air Is much too cold for these old bones, too cruel. JUAN DE LUNA: Better we stay here in my garden, where We can set up a table for ourselves, and eat A pleasant meal in peace, without a care. SANCHO: You're right, Don Juan, that would be more discrete; We'll sup down by the river some other night, When it's more temperate. These extremes of heat And cold can harm the health.
Calling off stage
JUAN DE LUNA: Lucrecia, you might Invite your lovely friend to come out here Into the garden. SANCHO: God willing, sir, do right By that sweet angel. JUAN DE LUNA: She's no fool, it's clear; And lovely as my daughter is, I know More than her life she holds her virtue dear.
A SERVANT enters, goes to SANCHO
SERVANT: There's someone at the door--Don Juan de So- sa--seeking you; he'd like to be let in. SANCHO: This late? JUAN DE LUNA: It must be of importance. SANCHO: Go, And show him in.
The SERVANT goes out, and then Don JUAN DE SOSA enters, with a paper in his hand
JUAN DE SOSA: Dear sir, I'd never have been So bold to come without this paper. But With it, I have no patience, I must begin! My love can't bear a moment's delay, if what Is in this paper means I may now see My dear beloved's face in all its ut- most glory. My commission's come! Now be Mindful of what you promised me. You may Fulfill your word and crown my victory! SANCHO: My faith in you, you have confirmed today, Don Juan, by bringing me this happy news Without so much as even a moment's delay. I'll go and tell my lovely niece. Excuse Me for not calling her to come. Without Being fully dressed, I know she would refuse.
SANCHO goes out
JUAN DE LUNA: I always knew you'd win. The truth will out! Even the truth most hidden and oppressed. Delay there may be--yes--but never doubt!
Don BELTRÁN, Don GARCÍA, and TRISTÁN come in to another area
BELTRÁN: It's not a good time now--he has a guest. We have important business to discuss; To talk to him alone would be the best. GARCÍA: Don Juan de Sosa can be of help to us-- To witness to that thing in Salaman- ca. BELTRÁN: That you should need his help--it's infamous! Till I assure him our proposal's hon- orable, kindly delay all mention of That business. JUAN DE LUNA: Beltrán, my friend! BELTRÁN: My friend, Don Juan! JUAN DE LUNA: Such courtesy so late at night? BELTRÁN: I'd prove By this how constant is my love, and true. JUAN DE LUNA: Blessed is he who could deserve such love! BELTRÁN: You must excuse me; the door was open to Your house--that and our friendship seemed to be Permission enough to come and visit you. JUAN DE LUNA: Now, now--that's quite enough of your flattery! My heart is eager to know why you are here. BELTRÁN: And I will tell you--just as eagerly!
GARCÍA: The truth of such a man as you, my dear Don Juan, some envious soul might for a time Oppress, but never conquer--'tis too clear! Believe me, sir, I swear to God that I'm Happy for your success. JUAN DE SOSA: Believe you? Yes-- As much as I can. GARCÍA: And may you climb As high in rank and have as much success As you deserve and I would wish for you. JUAN DE LUNA: This match will bring Lucrecia such a bless- ing that I feel it is a dream come true! Don Juan de Sosa, if you will pardon me-- Dear Don García--son--a word or two. Your father says that you desire to be Lucrecia's husband. GARCÍA: All that I am or do, My joy, my life, my soul, my honor she Holds in her hand. JUAN DE LUNA: Then here is mine, in lieu Of hers.
They shake hands
I know how much you bring to me; And so does she, I've heard her speak of you. GARCÍA: For this great boon, I thank you heartily.
SANCHO comes in, with LUCRECIA and JACINTA
LUCRECIA After so many obstacles Your dream comes true! Isn't it sweet? JACINTA: When you have yours, my dear Lucrecia, My happiness will be complete. JUAN DE LUNA: She comes, with Jacinta by the hand; How little she suspects what bless- ings wait for her--all shining bright And colorful as a wedding dress! Oh, what shall I get for my reward, Once I have told her the good news?
Don JUAN DE LUNA speaks to LUCRECIA. Don BELTRÁN speaks aside to Don GARCÍA
BELTRÁN: Oh no! Don Sancho! I wish I had Some other face that I could use. GARCÍA: The little sins that love commits, A wise man knows how to excuse.
LUCRECIA: There was no Salamanca bride? JUAN DE LUNA: He made that up just to confuse His father, who was trying to marry Him off to someone else--that's all! LUCRECIA: If that is so, my will is yours; And I am most agreeable. SANCHO: Come on, you bright young gentlemen, Approach your fiancées; they stand Ready, and each confesses herself Content, and awaits her lover's hand. GARCÍA: And now my deeds will finally seal The truth of everything I feel!
Don GARCÍA and Don JUAN DE SOSA both go up to JACINTA
JUAN DE LUNA: Where are you going, Don García? The lovely Lucrecia's over here. GARCÍA: Lucrecia? Since when? BELTRÁN: What's happening?
GARCÍA: You are my mistress, lady dear! BELTRÁN: Oh, not another one! GARCÍA: The names May be wrong, but I know I'm asking for The right person. It's you I seek; You are the lady I adore.
Taking out a paper
LUCRECIA: But what you say in your letter here-- Do you deny it to my face? It's written in your hand, deceiver! BELTRÁN: You did it again--another disgrace! JUAN DE SOSA: Give me your hand, Jacinta dear, And put an end to this foolishness! SANCHO: Jacinta, give Don Juan your hand!
Giving him her hand
JACINTA: I'm yours. GARCÍA: I've lost my happiness. BELTRÁN: By God, if you don't marry that Lucrecia, you'll lose a lot more Than that, my boy! I'll strike you dead! JUAN DE LUNA: I gave you my own hand before In pledge of hers--and you gave yours. If you should change your mind again With this insane inconstancy Of yours, I'll wash away the stain Of my dishonor in your blood! TRISTÁN: I hate to say I told you so, But you're to blame for this. If you Had told the truth at first, you know, Jacinta would be yours right now. I'm sorry, there's no remedy-- Apologize and give her your hand, She's quite a lovely girl, you see. GARCÍA: I have no choice--here is my hand. TRISTÁN: And now at last you understand!
Referring to the audience
And they do too! You can get stung By lying! The sword of truth gets rusted When it isn't used. And on a lying tongue-- Like yours--even The Truth Can't Be Trusted!


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