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Act II

[Scene 5]

Enter Marcela and Dorotea

Marcela I do not like this cousin,
dearest Dorotea.
May it please God1310
that his unexpected arrival
is for the good!

Dorotea He does not seem dashing to you
because you see him badly dressed.

Marcela Expensive clothes and finery1315
do not always lend one grace and vigour.
He seems feeble to me,
although perhaps a little bold.

Dorotea You must judge his case.

Marcela Suffice to say he does not much appeal to me.1320

Dorotea Your brother seems to have tempered his thoughts.

Marcela He is still somewhat impassioned,
from what I sense.
He does not speak my name,
and yet his fantasies still have1325
a touch of lasciviousness,
but I do not give him the chance
to be alone with me.

Dorotea Make sure you keep it so!

Enter Don Antonio, Don Francisco, [ Don Ambrosio ] 24 Cardenio, Torrente and Muñoz

Don Antonio Look señor. Which of these two1330
is the beautiful Marcela
who holds you in her sway?

Don Ambrosio This one looks a little like her,
and yet is not her.
I must be delirious, or going mad.1335
If my senses fail me,
may love and heaven
lead me by the hand.

Marcela Are they buying or selling me?
What is this all about, brother?1340

Don Ambrosio Nothing except the unique
and incomparable beauty
of another who shares your name.
Her elegance and grace,
her virtuous nature,1345
her intelligence and breeding
captivated me.
I loved her with a pure love
surrendered myself adoringly,
and discreetly sought her company,1350
although the eyes always speak volumes.
Her suspicious father,
for some reason of his own,
or to bring about my misfortune,
carried her off, I know not where.1355

Don Antonio [aside] That is my story!

Don Ambrosio Demeter 25 did not more diligently seek
her beloved daughter
in hell’s nooks and crannies
than I have sought her,1360
pensively, solicitously and anxiously,
wherever my suspicions led me.
While thus engaged,
the name of Marcela and her beauty
came to my notice,1365
but not the surname of Almendárez.
I believed that Don Antonio, your dear brother,
by order of Marcela Osorio’s father,
kept her in his house, and, unthinkingly,
and blind with jealousy,1370
committed the foolish acts
that you have witnessed.

Don Francisco [aside to D. Ant.] Are these words not like lance-thrusts piercing your soul?

Don Antonio [aside to D. Fra.] More like thunderbolts that assail,
wound, shatter and destroy me.1375

Dorotea [aside to Mar.] I will wager, señora,
that this is the Marcela,
for whom your brother groans,
sighs and woefully laments.

Torrente [aside to Muñ.] It is like removing the heaviest of stones,1380
a great mountain, an immense machine,
a massive pile of steel from my chest…

Muñoz [aside to Tor.] …and a nagging anxiety from my soul.
May God curse you, foolish lover!
How this imbecile kept us guessing!1385
With what little evidence
did this lamenting lover
mix up the two Marcelas.
I thought that my list was being passed
from hand to hand around the house.1390
What a serious, unforeseen
and sudden predicament.

Don Francisco Since you have patently seen
how you have deluded yourself,
act more cautiously and prudently, señor,1395
the next time that deceit accosts you,
and seek again more diligently
the original cause of your injury.

Don Ambrosio Whoever loves can easily transgress
and should be forgiven with compassion.1400
I erred, but my mistake deserves a pardon.

Cardenio Putting on this poor pilgrim’s sackcloth
would give you the chance to atone.

Don Antonio Jealousy’s fury is so great
that it forces one to commit1405
all kinds of foolishness.
I myself know this too well.
having already acted jealously,
recklessly, impetuously
and maliciously.1410

Don Ambrosio May you enjoy good fortune
for centuries to come, o pilgrim,
and your great grandchildren,
having been chosen for the task,
bear you on their shoulders1415
to an honoured resting place.
May age not wither your Marcela’s beauty,
nor inappropriate jealousy disturb your peace
as long as God gives you breath.
I will resume my former suffering,1420
looking for her whom the heavens conceal,
and until I can establish her hiding-place
I will be a new Sisyphus 26 on earth.
condemned to endless labour
By night, I will be like a shade 1425
doomed to eternal wakefulness,
I will have to be a lynx
or have a hundred eyes like Argus 27
in order to see the end
of my lengthy torment.1430

Exit Don Ambrosio

Marcela He leaves in despair.

Don Antonio I am left without any hope of finding you,
sweet Marcela.

Torrente [aside to Muñ.] I have put my fears behind me.

Muñoz [aside to Tor.] Nor does fear have any place in me,1435
but nonetheless I would like to destroy
the list that I delivered,
written in my hand.
Any alarm, however ill-founded,
triggers my bad conscience.1440

Don Francisco You should realise, my friend,
that this curious lover
is acting as your spy
in seeking the woman you prize,

Don Antonio I am nevertheless fearful.1445
His persistence is heartfelt,
and considerable, which is worse.

Don Francisco I am more optimistic:
this hook will pull from the depths of the sea
the pearl that love has hidden.1450

Exeunt Don Francisco and Don Antonio

Cardenio Was it not a most excellent story,
señora cousin?

Marcela Yes it was, but my brother seemed
to take his leave unhappily,
pensive and depressed1455
because the lady who that man seeks, adores
and loves as the tyrant Love desires,
is the same lady that my brother loves,
seeks, and calls out to.
And I foolishly imagined1460
that I was the lovely Marcela
whose name was on his lips,
and observed his hands, eyes and mouth
with anger and suspicion,
pondering his words, gestures and actions1465
with no little alarm.

Dorotea How foolish! You must have been mad!
Ask his forgiveness.

Marcela I would rather not—
my initial suspicions1470
never really took root within my heart

Cardenio And, what is more,
he has given you full satisfaction.

Muñoz Do we have to visit
my señora doña Ana.1475

Marcela It is still morning,
and the cold takes away my desire
to make visits now.
Come, dear Dorotea,
let us go where the sun can see us.1480

Dorotea Gladly, señora.
Brrr, it is unbearably cold!

Exeunt Marcela and Dorotea

Torrente Your coldness is unbearable!
Why did you come here, Cardenio,
if you must behave like a dumb statue?1485
Do you think good fortune
is going to come knocking at your door
and throw itself into bed with you?

Cardenio There is no means of reconciling
my coldness and my fire.1490
When I am absent from Marcela
for some brief period of time
boldness burns within me,
and I begin to think I am courageous,
but as soon as heaven gives me the chance1495
to be alone with her I turn colder than ice.

Torrente That ice does not give us
the faintest chance of success.

Muñoz I’ve started something that will blow up in my face,
if it does not cost my back a whipping first.1500
What a stupid old man I am!
Having acted like a child
I deserve to give up the ghost
and breathe my last at the slightest alarm.

Cardenio If I fail you Muñoz,1505
if I do not make you rich,
may the treasure I expect
never arrive from Peru.

Muñoz God save me from becoming a Moor,
and grant me the patience1510
to listen to what I am hearing!
Where is the gold,
you half-baked scoundrels?

Torrente Loads of the stuff will arrive, Muñoz.

Muñoz From where? From Peru?1515
From Mexico? From Charcas de la Plata? 28

Torrente Open up four strongboxes
and six chests straightaway,
enough to contain four thousand bars,
and that’s an underestimate.1520

Muñoz Steady on Torrente! You’re losing your grip!
I’d be happy with the tailor and the flannel.

Torrente There’ll be more than a hundred tailors.

Muñoz What I most urgently need is the flannel.

Torrente Leave me here, you two.1525
Cristina’s coming
and I need to speak with her.

Exeunt Muñoz and Cardenio

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