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[Scene 2]

Enter Marcela and Cristina

Marcela Approach, Cristina,
and tell him what you wish.

Cristina Embarassment shows in my face
and makes me tongue-tied.1840

Marcela How squeamish! You behave
as if you had to approach
an armed man or a bull.
Are you so frightened of my brother? 31

Don Antonio Sister, do you want something?1845
Can I be of some service?
Ask as you please—
this is an occasion for asking favours.

Marcela On behalf of Cristina
I ask you to give permission1850
for an interlude tonight,
prepared by the servants of the house:
Muñoz and Dorotea,
Torrente and Ocaña…

Cristina …and our good neighbour the barber is bound to help,1855
and his wife—a heavenly singer and earthy dancer—
with one of their assistants.
Tell him everything.

Marcela I am telling him everything,
and I must say, brother,1860
that this interlude would please me.

Don Antonio And I say I’m happy,
and give permission
for the heavens to burst with pleasure
in different voices1865
and through diverse entertainments.
Let my joy be made known.

Don Francisco And if called upon even I will play my part…

[Don Antonio] 32 …and I, who am an excellent actor. 33

Cristina May you live a thousand years sir,1870
and your heart rejoice a thousand times!
Tonight I’ll dance myself into a frenzy.

Don Antonio Keep within the limits of propriety, Cristina.

Cristina That you should even mention such a thing!
The dance will be fit to set before a king!1875

Don Antonio Let us go my friend.

Don Francisco Yes let’s, though don Pedro is not now in Madrid.

Don Antonio Then where has he gone?

Don Francisco He has gone to Santa Cruz
and will return tomorrow.1880

Don Antonio Let us give thanks to heaven
for smiling on my good intentions.

Exeunt Don Francisco and Don Antonio

Marcela See to it, Cristina,
that the dance and interlude
are discreet, joyful and polite,1885
with no ugly parts.

Cristina Torrente and Muñoz composed it,
and half of the plot is Ocaña’s,
who is a first-rate poet.
The dance will be as charming1890
and inoffensive as possible—
food for the eyes and ears.
It will be a musical in the modern style,
serious and romantic,
mellifluous and smooth.1895
The interlude is footman-y
and page-y, and, amazingly,
I see something kitchenmaid-ish
running through it

Marcela The interlude will be perfect!1900

Cristina Agreeable will do.

Marcela Does Dorotea know her words?

Cristina No one is ignorant of anything touching their parts.
Excuse me señora, we must rehearse. 34

Marcela Let us go.1905

Cristina I am mad with joy!

Exeunt [Don Antonio, Don Francisco, Marcela and Cristina] .

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