Castelvines y Monteses (Cosens)/Act 1/Scene 2

Castelvines y Monteses  (1869)  by Lope de Vega, translated by F. W. Cosens
Act I, Scene II

Scene II.—Garden of the house of Antonio.

Antonio, Teobaldo, Julia, Dorotea, Celia, Otavio, Cavaliers, Ladies, and Musicians.

Antonio. The heat within oppresses much;
Here 'twere better that we rest.

Otavio to Julia. I, sweet cousin, find oppression here
As great as that within.

Julia. Wanting a pert lover, thou, good coz,
Would'st favour me.

Otavio. More need have I of favours, coz.

Julia. Of all these gay and joyous maids,
Hath none a smile or dance for thee, Otavio?

Otavio. I seek them not.

Julia. Why leave their smiles unsought, good coz?

Otavio. I have no wish to seek, for where I seek,
My seeking is but hopeless search.

Teobaldo. Come, come, Antonio, let us rest awhile.

Antonio. Where stay our children?

Teobaldo. Ah me! 'twould be a happy day for us,
That sees fair Julia wed Otavio.

Antonio. They're cousins, true; but if concerted well
'Twould be most easy.

Enter Celio and Fabio, two maskers.

Celio. Have we the licence here to dance?

Antonio. Why not, if you so wish it, sir?

Fabio. What measure will you please to dance?

Celio. But one, a measure in a certain lady's sight,
A single glance, a flash from whose soft eyes,
Would echo in my heart, and seek at once
Fruition on her rosy lip.

Enter Roselo, Anselmo, and Marin, masked.

Anselmo. Here do the maskers seek the air,
And ever here.

Marin. Yes, ever here is language of the dance.

Roselo. Hush, fellow, moderate thy voice!

Anselmo. Already have they danced some rounds,
And now for converse calm seek the cool air.

Roselo. Oh, wondrous beauty! in deed and truth
Thou a Castelvine's heavenly seraph art;
And I since birth have ever schooled been
To hate and curse thee.

Anselmo. Now which of beauty beareth off the palm?

Roselo. She in whose ear yon fellow whispers,
And by her side as 'twere enchanted stands.

Anselmo. Speak, man: enchain her ear thyself.

Roselo. How ugly has Otavio grown!

Anselmo. Roselo, see, thou hast removed thy mask.

Roselo. I heed it not, nor care who sees my face.

Anselmo. Replace it, man, at once, or we—

Roselo. 'Tis most treacherous thus to steal
Within this good man's house, and masked;
I'll face them boldly, as I am.

Anselmo. Come hence; e'en now thou courtest observation.

Roselo. I am, and ever have been from my birth
A careless, wild, and silly fool, a stupid clod of earth.

Anselmo. What misadventures may your folly breed!

Antonio aside to Teobaldo. What! Bearded thus within the sacred walls of home?
Roselo Montes in my house!

Teobaldo. Hush, listen!

Antonio. To what? to whom? I—

Teobaldo. To one now cooler than thyself.
This youth a noble nature doth unfold,
Though but of thoughtless age he is;
He knows no venom of that cursed hate
So madly cherish'd by our rival kin,
And seeing that we joyous revels hold,
He boldly comes to share them.

Antonio. Some false intent he hath.
If he be arm’d, methinks he aims at treachery.

Teobaldo. Thy reason prompted not those words.
He comes in boyish confidence and truth,
And as for swords, our kinsmen here
Do fill the garden now on every side.

Antonio. Base outrage on our name and blood!

Teobaldo. Antonio, as an honour treat it.

Antonio. I judge not thus this most unseemly deed;
He dies a traitor's death.

Teobaldo. Then will I not aid thee
In such a coward deed; he comes
As gallant goshawk to the quarry flies,
To see what pretty flutterers, taking wing,
Do sigh and wish for mates.
Keep thine own counsel, and no tumult raise;
Nor fire the heated blood of kinsfolk here.

Antonio. My blood is hot, and yet
Some prudence doth thy counsel entertain.

Teobaldo. Give my grey hairs full credit, then;
And if thy daughter be in presence here,
Is not also mine?

Antonio. For all sakes, then, I will be calm.

Teobaldo. I do but counsel as cool prudence guides.

Anselmo. What moves you thus—why gaze with such intent?

Roselo. Methinks dark death doth yonder point.

Anselmo. But gazing thus
With tender look and contemplation keen
Doth give occasion to Castelvin's kin
To draw their swords upon us.

Roselo. Their swords, their looks, or hate
To me are naught. O Love! sweet Love!

Anselmo. Love? they'll call thy rashness
By another name.

Roselo. Stand thee aside, Anselmo; let me gaze
On that pure heavenly maid 'till eyesight fails;
Then let all evils hap that may
Such as this hated house doth crave,
And if it is that life itself be forfeit
For such a glorious heaven as this, Anselmo,
Who cares to breathe the air of this dull earth?
I'd welcome death a thousand times;
For if these Castelvines' daughters slay
Like basilisk with fatal blighting gaze,
Who would not joy to look and end his days?

Anselmo. I marvel not to find thy fancy touch'd,
Such beauty lacks but halo of the saint,
So softly doth it steal upon the sight.

Roselo. Is she not lovely?

Dorotea to Julia. What a handsome youth is that? look;
Mark you his presence, Julia?

Roselo. When fear should fast my tongue in silence bind
Then is my love all kindled and ablaze.
Anselmo, speaking for myself.
How dare I whisper sweet discourse in ear
Of one who hates all Montes and their kin?

Anselmo. Wise words, Roselo: and may thou
Think ever thus!

Julia. If ever Love in masquerade should come
And so disguise himself and yet peep forth,
Methinks 'twould be with such a form and face
As that of yonder gentle youth, all grace.
Ah me! methinks 'tis Love himself,
Who, craving thus a silly maiden's heart to wound,
Seeks in such guise to slay.

Roselo. Great Heaven, why a Montes I?
Why not Castelvin born as yon sweet maid?
For such a birthright would I barter heaven's joy,
And name, and kin. Ah, Cupid, ruthless boy!

Julia. Amid the flowers of this fertile earth
Methinks the welcome showers of spring have wept
This bright Narcissus into life.

Roselo. If this indeed be Paradise, who cares
For hostile houses' hatred or revenge?
Mayhap 'tis Hades, and 'tween love and hate
Yon seraph shape angelic holds her state.
Fool, dullard that I am! so rash, so weak;
And yet I'd even venture more, and speak.

Julia. Oh, that he would but deign a whisper'd word,
I'd be so gentle, staid, and courteous; seek
To please him so. Back, hot blush, from cheek!

Dorotea. In conversation now doth Julia hold Otavio
While yonder mask approaches.

Roselo. 'Tis love that blinds me, bids me hope and fear;
And yet 'tis love that makes me bold while here.

Julia. Ah, fond youth, were I that happy maid
Whose only life and hope might be
To bask in sunshine from those tender eyes!

Dorotea. He comes; and, I am sure, intends
To seat himself beside me, yet I fear.

Julia. I would he cared to rest beside me here.

Roselo sits on one side of Julia, Otavio on the other, Anselmo sits by Dorotea on another bench.

Otavio to Julia. It must have been most fit to love,
That I should know what joy it is to love,
And so a rival moth-like braves the flame;
But all his tender looks are vain, she's mine.
The garden may be trimm'd and fresh,
But not for him this flower; he seeks but shall not find,
While I must be alert, though Cupid may be blind.

Roselo to Julia. Lady, it seems great boldness of my part
To seat me here beside Verona's Queen—
Yet may you well forgive the deed,
For all the fascinating fault's thine own.
So, sweetest lady, blame me not, I pray,
But rather that rare beauty which enchants
And bids me thus be venturesome and rude;
For the bright pure light which laughs
Within those heavenly eyes and curls around thy lip
Hath lured me, like the moth, to flaming fire.
Enchanted thus I die, fluttering i' th' flame;
Yet am I bold like Phaethon, daring suns
Which lighten on to drifting death.
Sweet lady, daring thus I'd die,
Rather than live unloved by thee;
For if thine eyes dare deign to slay,
I'll e'en gladly brave cold death to-day;
But first, oh, let me tell how much I love,
In that I feel, alas! I can but mortal be,
And ere I die would whisper 'tis for thee.

Julia aside. What tender words this masker speaks.

To Otavio. I fear thy reasons are all feign'd.

Otavio. Who speaks of reason? mine
Was long since hushed to sleep by love.

Roselo. As a masker and a guest I'm here,
Otavio, and if too bold to take this seat,
The heat within doth drive me hence,
If thou carest here to sit, I'll rise.

Otavio. As it may please you, sir.

Julia. Sit one on each hand, as now;
And if it be the heat ye fear, why then,
As thou, Otavio, this side chills,
So can I coldly chill again, until
Our masking friend be ice.

Otavio. Cousin, what unseemly words are these!

Julia. Be kind and gentle to a stranger, coz;
To thee, such matters matter not, I know.

Otavio. Thus ever wilt thou cross my love;


I dare not lose my treasure, or
I would some words provoke

I'd have thee speak as Lady Julia should.

Roselo. An the fault be mine, sweet Lady, I
Will hence at once.

Julia. And, prithee, whither?

Roselo. Within to join the dance.

Julia. Here, then, the pastime's poor?

Roselo. Nay, lady, 'tis heaven by thy side;
But if I be uncourteous—

Julia. No discourtesy can rest with one
Who pleading finds such gentle words as thine.

(Aside to Roselo.) He on my right I hope grows weary,
And mayhap will leave us.

(To Otavio.) Sit closer to my side.

Otavio. Ever when I nearer come—why then
Thou turn'st thy face away again.

Julia. You soon turn choleric, uncourteous coz,
But I would speak in serious mood.

Otavio. Ah, then indeed I am repaid,
The anger which I felt is gone, sweet maid.

Julia gives her hand to Roselo, but turns her face to Otavio—Roselo understanding that her conversation is addressed to him.

Roselo. Oh! sweet, soft hand, to clasp so close in mine.

Julia. I hope to please thee, gentle coz,
And yet I fear my boldness doth do more
Than much outstep all maiden modesty.
I can show thee no greater favour than
To say thou hast my most enduring love.

Roselo. He who is primed to drink a toast
To Love, needs little invitation to the deed.

Julia. He who doth turn a shoulder to the foe
Surrenders at discretion.

Otavio. Yet when thou turned'st from me
And left mine enemy to gaze upon thy face,
Think'st thou 'twas strange to doubt?

Julia. And so I show my hate and doubt,
By leaving all for thee.

Otavio. Sweet lady Julia, now no longer
I complain nor doubt.

Roselo. Dare I give credence to mine ear
That these sweet words are all for me?

Julia. Lack I not some courtesy, good coz?
And yet I see no help for't.

Otavio. Nay, Julia, thou wouldst never err
Though placed by Love in greatest strait.

Julia. And thanks you owe so much to me,
And yet thou think'st so little due to be.

Otavio. Julia, would'st thou drive me mad?

Roselo. She favours me beyond compare.

Julia. Did opportunity permit, you'd see
How bold and saucy I would be.

Otavio. Good Fortune smiles upon my hopes.

Roselo. Her words fall on my ravished ear
As murmuring waters flowing near.

Otavio. Thus joy doth follow small mishap.

Roselo. She speaks to me alone while yonder fool
Doth think each whispered word's for him.

Julia. Oh, never in these sweet sunny hours of life
Knew I so much to charm me.

Otavio. Sweet love consumes me
With his thousand fires.

Roselo. Each honied word her lip distils
Creeps in mine ear as most melodious music thrills.

Julia. Think ye not, sirs, such free and open speech
Doth savour of some licence.

Otavio. Love like ours, sweet coz, doth know
Full liberty of word and thought.

Roselo. Deem me not rashly bold nor rude;
But as I saw and madly loved, so thou
Dost heal the wound with charmèd words.

Julia. To see thee was to love. I blush,
For art thou not so handsome, bold,
So young and gallant too?

Otavio. Having thy love, I breathe, sweet coz,
The air with angels.

Julia. I'll say thou art a mirror, where
Though I am far distant from the sun,
His glorious rays shall fall on thee,
And by reflexion glance on me;
And so thy light and heat remain as part of mine.

Roselo. The sun's great brightness burns apace
Because I feel him at the full;
And yet undazzled still I see my sun of love,
No shadows now I fear from clouds above.

Julia. A question, who doth love me best?

Otavio. I!

Roselo. I!

Julia. Whose then am I?

Otavio. Mine!

Roselo. Mine!

Julia. Wilt thou be mine only?

Otavio. Yes!

Roselo. Yes!

Julia. And wilt ne'er forswear me?

Otavio. No!

Roselo. No!

Julia. Carest thou to see me oft?

Otavio. When can I see thee?

Roselo. When can I see thee?

Julia. Later, then 'tis better.

Otavio. Better!

Roselo. Better!

Julia. Say then who shall guide thee?

Otavio. Love!

Roselo. Love!

Julia. Wilt come alone?

Otavio. I will!

Roselo. I will!

Julia. Shall I wait for thee?

Otavio. Wait!

Roselo. Wait!

Julia. May I come assured?

Otavio. Assured!

Roselo. Assured!

Julia. Where?

Otavio. The orchard!

Roselo. The orchard!

Julia. Be silent, Love.

Otavio. As death.

Roselo. As death.

Otavio. Methought that echo, with her twice-told voice,
Did whisper'd answer give to every utter'd word.

Julia. 'Twas naught but roaming fancy's flight
Or zephyrs whispering to the starry night.

Roselo to Julia. Not one single word mista'en.

Otavio. Thy rashness, sweet, aggrieves me not,
Thy misgivings cause me no surprise;
Echo I'd have repeat the voice I love,
Ever in whispers to the crowd unheard.

Julia. If the whispers be not thine,
Whose then their echo? The words
Thou heard'st perchance were mine.

Otavio. Sweet Julia, I'd have our lives to be
Naught but the echo of thy love for me.

Antonio. Time draws on apace,
Already it is growing late.

Julia, aside, (giving a ring to Roselo). Keep this.

Otavio. Keep this! keep what?

Roselo (aside to Julia). Oh, this indeed is bliss,
What do I not owe thee, sweetest maid?

Julia to Otavio. How dull thou art!
Dost comprehend me yet, or only part?

Otavio. Nay, how should I?

Julia. Didst thou not note that thus
I placed my hand upon my heart
In token that I gave it free to thee,
And so I said, in truth, keep this.

Otavio. So will I, my soul's idol, and for ever
Guard thy precious gift of love.

Roselo (aside). Is she not angelic as discreet?
Amazed I listen to her words so sweet;
She bids me this dear ring to guard,
And so her heart surrenders all to me.
Otavio thinks 'tis his. Oh Love! blind boy,
Her beauty and her wit enslave. Oh joy!

Antonio to Teobaldo. Thy words indeed were wise
And most discreetly turn'd.

Teobaldo. I did but counsel apt discretion now.
Come, it grows late apace, we'll in; Already dance and revel cease.

Antonio. Torches, ho! torches, here.

Teobaldo. Farewell, and heaven guard and keep thee;
To-morrow we will speak of this again.

Dorotea. Good night, my sweet and loving coz.

Julia. Heaven have you in safe keeping, coz,
And so farewell.

Exeunt. Julia and Celia remain; as Roselo passes out he exchanges glances with Julia.

Julia. Stay, Celia, stay, I'd speak with thee anon—

Celia. And I, my lady, too, have much to say.
Julia. Did'st ever see such loving eyes?
Did'st note the one that spake? ah me!
His words indeed were sweet!

Celia. And does my lady Julia know his name?

Julia. No, but I'd tell him 'mid a thousand men,
Those loving eyes did so enslave mine own.
I fear I play'd the wooer,
So bold and blushless, so unmaidenly was I.
But I have heard it said that men
Have eyes for holidays as well as coats;
And, slipping on such saints day garb—
Until the haughty maid droops eyelid down—

Celia. And then—

Julia. This youth he hath so charm'd my heart,
Already it grows sad and restless when apart.

Celia. A rare cast, madcap, hast thou made!
But court not the witching that thy fancy coins
This gentle youth doth charm the men,
And in Verona he is ever known to be
The soul of honour and of manly truth. Ah me!
And all the women love him too.
So take good heed, sweet lady mine,
Lest that thou love thine own perdition;
For this Roselo is Arnaldo's son,
Lord of the house Montesi.

Julia. Oh, Celia! say not so; oh, grief! oh, tears!
Oh, misery and woe!

Celia. Dear lady, moderate thy grief, I pray,
'Twere better to advise thee, knowing all,
That thou may'st guard in time, thy madness see
While yet the power to guard remains to thee.

Julia. How can I guard, for in most wanton haste,
I gave mine hand, and he did take it?
How dared a Montes step within
The home and house of Castelvin?

Celia. I heard them whisper, now without,
God grant they kill him not, rash youth,
As forth he sallies through our portals to the street.

Julia. Hush! hush! methinks I hear—
But no! Great God, protect him!
I'll mount the stair, and from the window look
'Tis nothing! is my brain all fire?—
Ah, there he goes, alone and safe!

Celia. Two others follow, and the one I see is Teobaldo,
And I know
He will protect Roselo Montes well.

Julia. Why came he here—why venture forth?
What madness! and having madly come
Why put aside his mask? that all might see.
Had he not done so, then
My father would have 'scaped offence,
And I,—and I, a hopeless love.

Celia. The greater madness, lady, is
To say thou lovest him.

Julia. I should, I know, respect mine honour much
Before my love; oh, cruel tyrant! yet gentle Montes still
For my mischance once seen—Love conquer will.

Celia. What honour, lady, hast thou chanced?
For when he sat thou turn'dst aside, and spake
But to Otavio.

Julia. I but to Otavio spake; oh, shame!
Oh heaven, rain salt tears! so Montes is his name.

Celia. Sweet lady, why so sad?

Julia. Sad, more than sad; oh shame!
For while I lip converse held,
And on Otavio smiled, how dare I tell,
My words were all Roselo's, and oh! he knew it well.

Celia. The freedom of the revel doth allow
Such speech, and yet no honour be in question.

Julia. I gave, oh shame! I gave a ring.

Celia. E'en that the freedom of the dance permits.

Julia. Worse, I did concert to meet this youth
To-morrow night, beneath the shadow of the trees
Which in the orchard grow.

Celia. Stay thou within, and meet him not.

Julia. Oh! I cannot, Celia, for I love him so.

Celia. Forget him, lady, for thy father would
Wed thee much rather to a tawny Moor
Than one of Montes' kin.

Julia. Had I but known him Montes, how discreet
I would have been; so wrong, so bold,
Unmaidenly; and yet if he should come again
His witching voice would vanquish each resolve.
To-morrow, Celia, go thou and seek him early,
And say from me, I have been thoughtless,
Wild, unmaidenly; and say, and say,
I pray him not to pass this way.

Celia. It shall be done; and yet, my lady, believe
I feel some pang of heart to see thee grieve,
And find thy maiden fancy touch'd so deep.

Julia. Oh, had'st thou whisper'd wiser
Counsel then.

Celia. His servant always linger'd at my side.

Julia. His servant?

Celia. Yes, sweet lady, and I swear,
That if the master be so bold, so true
So gallant and so handsome too,
The servant in his place reflects
His master well.

Julia. Much would it please me now to know
Of this same servant that thou namest
If brave Roselo Montes ever loved another.
Seek, good Celia, seek on, till thou find'st,
And tell me truly, for my poor heart's sake.

Celia. Your duty, lady, is but to forget.

Julia. Ah yes, my memory fail'd me for the time!
Tell him how innocent of deceit I was;
Tell him, oh tell him not to pass this dangerous way:
And yet, I care so much to know
If he doth love another? Go, Celia, go.

Celia. This, lady, is but wanting woman's wit.
Let him go love where fancy leads,
He ne'er can wed with thee.

Julia. Woman, how wondrous wearisome thou art,
For ever seeking thus to cross and fret.
What matter is't to thee, if I should care
To know he loved not one but twenty
Of Verona's fairest daughters?

Celia. To seek to know such secrets is most wrong.

Julia. Again you teaze and vex.

Celia. Come, lady, the hour for bed
The clock hath long since marked.

Julia. I care not yet to rest.

Celia. Shall I Roselo Montes call,
That he may bid thee seek with speed
Those slumbers which thy sleepless eyes so need?

Julia. How sweet to drink his name's sweet syllables.
Place ready for the morrow, Celia, pray,
The dress I yestereven wore,
When I did see my cousin Dorotea.

Celia. Pray heaven, that Roselo Montes be—

Julia. What?

Celia. Thy husband.

Julia. Thou said'st but now that such could never be.

Celia. Love changes never into ever, so
I have heard my grandam say.

Julia. Now thou discoursest sweet and cheering words:
Oh, woman, how discreet!

Celia. I learn this lesson, and do know
No air so fans the ardent lover's flame
As the soft whisper of the loved one's name.