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[Scene 5]

Enter the real Don Silvestre de Almendárez, wearing a big gold chain, or something which resembles one, and Clavijo, his companion 54

Don Silvestre If her beauty does not equal
that of the portrait,
and is somewhat faded,
she can seek her fortune elsewhere.2325

Clavijo Sir, my only advice is
to trust the evidence of your own eyes.
If your cousin is ugly
you will not lack an excuse
for preventing the union2330
that you both fear and desire.
Freeing her to marry someone else
would mean that the great joy
that the first match had not yielded
would be provided by the second one.2335
Attachments entered into lightly
tighten, confine and bind in such a way
that they last until one’s final breath.
The Gordian knot 55 was not as hard to cut
as these ties, which can only be undone by death.2340
You’re a young man, but very sensible,
and therefore I am quite confident
that you’ll act wisely.

Don Silvestre I promise to follow your advice…
What a stroke of good fortune!2345
I think that this may be my cousin!

Clavijo As today is Sunday she‘s going to mass.

Don Silvestre What luck! This is my cousin’s house.
It’s her, there is no doubt.

Clavijo She is walking unveiled:2350
you can see everything!

Enter Marcela and Dorotea, wearing cloaks, followed by Quiñones, with a velvet cushion. Marcela is being led by the hand by Muñoz

Marcela Ocaña was the worse for wear
in the interlude, Muñoz.

Muñoz Did my señora not know that
he’s the biggest drunk in Spain?2355

Marcela Drawing their swords gave me a start.

Muñoz Those apes are too sozzled
to raise any sparks.
Ocaña soaks up wine like a sponge,
and even Torrente drinks like a good ’un,2360
without standing on ceremony.

Marcela Is Don Silvestre still at home?

Dorotea Yes, señora, he’s in bed.

Marcela My cousin is so pampered
it passes the bounds of decency.2365
Do you have my prayerbook, Dorotea?

Dorotea Yes señora.

Muñoz I’ve a feeling the sermon will last three hours today,
As she passes Don Silvestre and Clavijo bow low to Marcela, and she responds in kind
but I will listen to it in a way
that causes me no annoyance2370

Marcela Then you do not intend to listen to it?

Muñoz Some of it, not all.

Exeunt Marcela, Muñoz, Dorotea and Quiñones

Don Silvestre That is Marcela, my cousin.
The portrait is a good likeness.

Clavijo She certainly deserves to be called first cousin,2375
as far as grace and beauty are concerned.
Were her intelligence to equal her beauty
she would be perfect.

Don Silvestre She said 'cousin' and 'Don Silvestre',
and that he was still in bed, and very pampered2380
What do you infer from this Clavijo?

Clavijo What may be inferred
my wit cannot decide,
but the squire is returning—he can tell us.

Enter Muñoz

Muñoz Old legs, a long sermon,2385
shivering with cold,
and an empty stomach
do not lend themselves to devotion
I'm going to stay here in the sun
while this idiot of a friar,2390
whom everyone thinks a saint, drones on.

Clavijo Tell us, good sir, who is that lady
who went in on your hand just now?

Muñoz Went in where?

Clavijo Into the church of San Sebastian.2395

Muñoz She is Marcela de Almendárez,
not only the fairest young lady at court,
but also virtuous and demure.
Her brother is Don Antonio de Almendárez.
He has an uncle in the Indies,2400
rich beyond belief,
whose son is enjoying
a life of leisure at the house,
waiting to see if the Holy Father
sends him a license from Rome2405
to marry his cousin Marcela.

Don Silvestre What is his name?

Muñoz Don Silvestre de Almendárez,
He is from Lima.
He arrived at our house2410
in his shirt, you might say,
because a great storm consigned to the sea
two thousand bags full of pieces of gold,
of the highest quality,
and fine silver;2415
and amongst them was my flannel coat,
heard of but not seen.

Clavijo Heavens preserve us!
A serious business!

Muñoz The person coming will be able2420
to recount the 'serious business' at greater length.
He witnessed everything,
which caused him great distress

Don Silvestre Distress you mean

Muñoz I don't give a fig whether I2425
pronounce it like some clever dick!

Enter Torrente

Torrente Where’s the mass got to, Muñoz?

Muñoz No further than the missal:
it’s just beginning now.

Torrente Did Cristina pass this way?2430

Muñoz You’re skating on thin ice, Torrente
Pick the fruit from your own orchard,
and leave alone the apple of another’s eye.
Ocaña is like a man possessed
and he is an expert swordsman.2435

Torrente As far as that and other matters go,
do I, perchance, clean medlar fruits? 56

Enter a Postman, of the kind who go around the court delivering letters

Postman Good sirs, do you by any chance know
where Don Antonio de Almendárez lives?

Muñoz A man of means, back there, on a corner.2440
Are the letters from Rome?

Postman Yes sir.

Muñoz That will be the dispensation
awaited by the great pilgrim
and she who is of such rare beauty2445
she’s worth a pilgrimage to see.
How much is the postage?

Postman One escudo.

Muñoz Shit and buggery!
Go and tell the major-domo2450
to pay for it and accept delivery.

Exit the Postman

Torrente Now indeed our pleasure will know no bounds,
and there will be great regalement,
unlimited merriment
and opulent and exclusive lunches!2455
We’ll exchange this sackcloth for stable furs. 57

Muñoz Don’t you mean sable,
or are you planning an equestrian display?

[Don Silvestre] You’ll enjoy yourself so much, no doubt.
that you’ll forget the storm2460
that you passed through,
which, to my reckoning,
must have been in Bermuda. 58
there are always nasty hurricanes there.

Torrente So much so that I2465
and my master Don Silvestre
vowed to make a pilgrimage,
but I think anyone who rides white horses
when he has one on dry land
must be a lunatic.2470
We were walking along quite sadly,
without exchanging a word
when we saw the Barbuda Inn,
with its sign of the Bearded Woman, 59
But the doors were shut, if I recall.2475
and no Christian should trust
an old woman with a beard.

Don Silvestre And the channel of the Bahamas
was passed without incurring damage?

Torrente The only channel I know2480
is the one where I pour
the sweet liquid of Bacchus.

Clavijo Where did he jettison?

Torrente My master didn’t get a son—
he resisted adopting2485
because he thought the boy was an imbecile;
and besides, he’s hoping to have children
by his beautiful cousin.

Muñoz [aside] The response, although amusing,
will be the ruin of us.2490

Don Silvestre And were the perils
of the Gulf of Yeguas unforgiving?

Torrente I always steer clear of girls with big arses. 60

Clavijo And where did you strike land?

Torrente On the shore.2495

Don Silvestre Well said!

Muñoz If your good sirs might give us leave…

Don Silvestre In truth, the pilgrim is full of wit.
If he wanted to be a pilot
I would give him my endoresement2500
without any problem,
because he describes the ports
and the gulfs splendidly.

Muñoz Torrente is considered to be
one of the most reliable pilots2505
in Valpolicella, Rioja,
Jerez and Burgundy.

Torrente Having passed through my alimentary canal
Bacchus finds himself in his New World!

Muñoz [aside to Tor.] If I don’t steer the conversation2510
at the appropriate moment
you’ll no doubt find yourself
in troubled waters, Torrente my friend.

Exeunt Torrente and Muñoz [and Don Silvestre and Clavijo] .

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