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[Scene 3]

Enter Torrente and Ocaña, each one with a baton protruding from underneath their arm.

Torrente This way, senor Ocaña—
the path is smoother.

Ocaña [aside] This time, treacherous pilgrim,
I don’t intend to honour you1910
by giving you the right-hand side,
because I’m going to take your ground.
[to Tor.] I avoid these tedious ceremonies,
which are of benefit no one.
I will go wherever you like,1915
on the right- or left-hand side,
and, being comfortable with this,
do not care for any other routes
that might perhaps be found fitting.
I know, señor Torrente,1920
that it’s unwise to make an issue of such things.

Torrente Is that the handle of dagger,
señor Ocaña?

Ocaña It is a club I call Velvet,
for softening someone’s bonce.1925
And is yours a knife?

Torrente It’s a tormentor’s whip,
which will crease the back
of the most inveterate slanderer.

Ocaña So you’re going to punish some slanderer?1930

Ocaña Then we need go no further.
I also have to give a dozen blows
to a rogue, scoundrel, traitor and a liar.

Torrente If you are referring to Torrente,1935
I’ll put down this bag,
and in my shirt and breeches,
with or without a stick,
I’ll make you confess to being the liar.

Ocaña Wait, Torrente! Are you mad?1940
Keep your temper,
if you want mine to gradually subside.
Must two Hectors, two Achilles,
perish here to please a lowly wench?

Torrente Let them die! What do I care?1945

Ocaña For God’s sake!
Little Cristina ordered me to beat you up,
or at least to score your cheeks with a sharp knife.
If you’d care to look, you’d see
she’s the most vain and cruel of women.1950
She bid me to do the same as you.

Torrente No doubt that’s true.

Ocaña And will she get her way?

Torrente No, Ocaña my friend.
Let’s live to drink, since to drink we live,1955
and let others with more amorous intent
and less sensitive hides
concern themselves with this bravado and sweet talk,
not us, who are worse than scoundrels
Look she’s coming! Let’s pretend!1960

Ocaña She is the worst woman
I ever saw or courted in my life.

Torrente Let’s humour her. Perhaps she’ll soften.
Perhaps pigs will fly.

Enter Cristina

Cristina [aside] I’ll bet that my two lovers,1965
chests bursting with pride and anger,
have worn themselves out…
but there they are, calmer than if attending mass!
How can this be?
They haven’t even fallen out!1970
They”re very bashful ruffians!

Torrente My señora Cristina…

Cristina Your señora? Ha!

Torrente Then you’re not mine?

Cristina What gives you a claim on me?1975

Torrente Money and persistence.

Cristina What money?

Torrente The money I intend to give you
when the fleet arrives,
if it doesn’t pay the sea its usual tribute,1980
by being shipwrecked.

Cristina Won’t you give me anything Ocaña?

Ocaña Cristina, didn’t I,
an experienced poet,
give you the plot of the interlude?1985
Does a day pass without my giving you
two penn’orth of oats, or even three?

Cristina If the interlude turns out
to my master’s liking
I will deem myself paid1990
and, moreover, satisfied.

Torrente Cristina, won’t you tell us,
if it doesn’t annoy you,
which of us you love the most?

Cristina It’s an unfair request.1995
Women like me don’t have to make such declarations,
but if you want me to give you a sign
I’ll do what your love
most obliges me to do:
do you have a handkerchief Ocaña?2000

Ocaña Yes, I have one—it’s torn,
but I offer it you devotedly,
with a pure and humble heart.

Cristina Take mine, Torrente.
Thus I have virtuously2005
and wisely declared myself.
I’m going—come on,
it’s time to rehearse the interlude. 35

Exit Cristina

Torrente I am now more confused
than before asking the question,2010
unless you can clear things up.

Ocaña I award myself the prize,
since my heart points to the following in my favour:
she gave to you without receiving,
and took from me without giving.2015
She paid you with her gift.
By taking something away
she remains obliged to the payment she received.

Torrente Taking something that someone owns
is a sign of loathing.2020
It’s clear that more love is contained in giving,
since gifts increase love.

Ocaña The settling of this dispute
lies with the groundlings,
in some of whom is bred Platonic wisdom.2025
Most of these commoners are poets—
sometimes they let slip the strangest things!

Exeunt Torrente and Ocaña

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