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Act I

[Scene 4]

Enter Marcela and Dorotea, her servant

Dorotea Tell me my lady,425
what proof has your brother given you
that might indicate some sinister intent.
I cannot bring myself to believe
that he loves you in a lustful way,
although that may be the case.430

Marcela It may indeed! Is it not well known
that Amon loved his sister Tamar, 10
and does not the story of Myrrha and her father 11
give us cause to fear these incestuous liasons?

Dorotea Nevertheless señora,435
I believe his desires
are of a more respectable nature.

Marcela Please God that it may be so,
my dear Dorotea.
May heaven direct his will.440
He continually speaks my name, spies on me,
groans and sighs when by himself,
kisses and touches my hands,
and gives as an excuse for this
that I resemble his lady, who shares my name.445

Dorotea Has he by any chance lost control,
and gone any further than you say?

Marcela Certainly not! Nor did he express a wish to.

Dorotea Well then, señora,
you should not be scandalized by this.450
It could be that his lady does share your name,
and that she does resemble you,
if she is renowned for her beauty.

Enter Don Antonio, Marcela’s brother

Marcela Look how he arrives preoccupied,
so much so that he does not notice us.455
I find him a changed person.
Let us listen to him,
and see what he has to say.

Don Antonio It is your absence that kills,
not the disdain, although that is so fierce.460
Oh hard, untimely, melancholy absence!
He who likened your power and violence
to death’s invincible fury
could not have known you very well.
When you pass sentence with such severity,465
what more can an unfortunate person do
than shuffle off this mortal coil?
Your cruel scimitar extends to cleave my spirit.
Oh miracle of love, which no one understands,
from the place where my soul divides470
bear away the most fragile part.
Oh Marcela, fugitive and deaf to my lament,
Do you wish, by disappearing,
that I should die a living death.
Where are you hiding?475
What inhospitable climate encloses you?
Why does the pain that afflicts me
not wage war on your tranquility?
I see you before me always,
just beyond my reach. 12 480

Marcela Is this not sufficient cause
to set one to think and fear?

Dorotea Yes, absolutely!
Never let yourself alone with him, if possible.
Never give him the chance485
to aspire to what can never be.
Through your purity, care and circumspection,
defend yourself against his evil behaviour,
which is born of idleness.
Let us go—he must not see us.490
Let him give rein to his intentions by himself!

Marcela I share your very sound opinion, Dorotea.

Exeunt Marcela and Dorotea

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