Enter Ocaña, a footman, with an apron and sieve, and Cristina, a kitchen maid
Mistress Cristina, let us aim…
Aim at what, master Ocaña?
…at being nice, not unsociable,
nor quite so hostile.
Did your lordship wish me5
to always walk the straight and narrow?
Anyone who did might be tempted to stray.
Sadness is always so morbid
and fancy words befit a happy life:
sayings, stories, jokes, the gift of ideas—10
fine in theory and even better in practice.
I know who you are playing the fool with,
Cristina, and it’s not me.
Do you know what I have to say to you, Ocaña?
Something kind I hope?15
I say you shouldn’t twist things so spitefully!
In truth I’m only scratching the surface
with these stories.
If I were to get to the heart of the matter,
then I’d have some tales to tell!20
Yes lots…but malicious ones!
When my tongue gives voice to my heart
a thousand escape me.
I'm not going to listen any more…
Come back, Cristina!25
Where are you going?
It’s a waste of time listening to you—
your meanness and your way of talking
get on my nerves.
A dying man nearly always tells the truth.30
I am dying and I confess you love Quiñones.
Now I see how wicked your intentions are.
Now I see what's afoot…
Go on, say it in full,
although the ‘man’ is not required.35
I know I’m a footman—
no need to beat around the bush.
You disguise your vengeance badly
by not maintaining the decorum expected
of one of the most beautiful kitchenmaids40
I have ever seen,
standing between Quinoñes and myself,
one moment a lamb and the next a lioness.
All the same, Cristina,
you should be…
You are very sought after,55
and highly visible,
and a flower will be touched
if it is there to be touched.
Flowers in the country
are subject to whatever hand,60
base villain or noble gallant;
and subject to the plough,
and to the heavy foot
of the farmer who guides it.
But a flower that is cultivated65
behind the high wall of modesty
is not damaged by the murmuring North wind,
nor withered by the ardour
of he who would touch it.
A woman must be good and, moreover,70
be seen to be good.
You are a great preacher,
but your doctrine disguises
your lustful intentions.
I swear my thoughts are aimed at marriage.75
You’re very bold!
Give it here, the oats have arrived.
He gives her the sieve.
Take the sieve, you who have taken
as much offence from me as I from you.
Oh pages! You’re like hawks,80
preying on tame, domesticated doves.
You police their wages and
ferret around their nests,
taking half the profits
of their pilfering.85
You enjoy the plunder:
the close-fitting boots,
the shiny slippers,
the fancy collars and cuffs
and gilded clogs.90
With your slippery manner
you practise a deceit,
bartered with those silver heels
that noble ladies step on.
Cristina is back so soon95
with the oats and Quiñones.
My heart sinks, and my blood boils
to see these two together,
so cosy and so lovey-dovey.
Enter Cristina, with the oats, and Quiñones the page
[aside to Quiñones]
Don’t look at him or talk to him,100
but if you do, don’t show the hand of jealousy,
for he will trump you a thousand times.
Though I’m just a lad, I have never been timid.
Look out, he’s here.
[To Ocaña] Here are your oats, Don Juan.105
Did my gallant master measure them?
The only one who measured them was the devil,
roused by your wicked tongue!110
I’m going to my stable,
so as not to have to watch the puppet show
of these two inseparable characters.
You’re so full of malice
that you see it everywhere,115
but I know you’re deceiving yourself.
And I know you would both do well to hold your tongues.
And I know we shouldn’t,
because whoever keeps quiet
concedes the ill that’s spoken of them.120
I neither said nor did
anything bad to you…
Nor is your place to!
And you didn’t have the courage
to respond to him!
I must go back to work
and return to my own affairs.
What should I have replied?135
Do I wear a sword? No!
And what’s more, it’s to my discredit
if I fight with…
Ocaña is an honourable man,140
and excellent with a sword besides.