Castelvines y Monteses (Cosens)/Act 1/Scene 3

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

Scene III.Gallery in the house of Arnaldo; Arnaldo, off a journey, and Lidio.

Arnaldo. Take off my spurs, good Lidio.

Lidio. Good sir, thou seemest out of breath,
Fatigued, and worn.

Arnaldo. The country tires me not so much.
'Tis household cares that to Verona bring me.
But for family and estate,
I fain would pass my life
'Mid country and its solitude!
Here, take my arquebuse.

Lidio. It grieves me that you ever thus do
Come and go alone.

Arnaldo. Look, Lidio, have a care!

Lidio. Is't loaded, then?

Arnaldo. If that its barrel doth contain
Were housed in heart of Castelvin,
Mine own would know repose enough.
What of my son, Roselo?

Lidio. Well, very well, heaven be thank'd.

Arnaldo. Does he study?

Lidio. A little, and he lacks not
Fancies fitted to his age?

Arnaldo. What?

Lidio. Fencing, horses, and with tennis ball
And dicing now and then.

Arnaldo. And call you dicing virtuous?

Lidio. 'Tis thought so in the case of noble blood,
But dice and cards most ugly vices be
Amongst the common herd.

Arnaldo. By night he sallies forth?

Lidio. I go to bed so early
That in truth I know not, but
His man Marin and he
Do well agree together.

Arnaldo. That rogue Marin, I have my fears
He doth not lead him to the church
The preacher's sermons there to hear.
A fort which hath no barbacan
Is easy entrance for a foe.
My son is yet but young; a boy—
I fear these Castelvines know
That through his eyes I see the light;
And, choosing the black darkness of the night,
Close mine and his with one sharp stroke;
For darkness covers treasons with her cloak.

Lidio. Discharge Marin, the halter
Pulling which they lead him.
Arnaldo. Think'st thou he'll lack
Another rogue, and one as bad as he?
For in the case of serving men
I know but one experience.

Lidio. And that is?

Arnaldo. The worst who always serves you now;
And hath he long time served,
Why, then, the master is the man,
And so much more if any secrets known
And locked within his breast there be.

Lidio. But if the servant be well born, and true
The longer time he serves
The more loyal in his faith he'll grow.

Arnaldo. Lidio, I fain would make a captive of the boy,
And bind him fast in Cupid's silken chains.
No other prison for such tender years—
Nor one so strong as wedlock's iron bars.
'Tis said that, of its many virtues known,
It giveth brains to thoughtless boys.

Lidio. With such an arrant knave as this Marin
Still at his side, wedlock will scarce give brains,
And stretching soon may break such silken chains.

Arnaldo. How, what mean you?

Lidio. Whatever freedom now he hath
Is but the freedom of untutor'd youth.
But this Marin will lead him
Headlong by the downward path,
E'en after wedded. Where then
His honour, and that of Montes house
Whose unsullied name he bears?
The parents of the lady will dispute,
Some clamorous creditors will their quittance press,
And then the young and trusting wife,
All tears and jealous rage, and pale,
Will fear he loves another;
She lacking, 'mid her jewels rare,
That rarer one named prudence.
He often sups or dines abroad;
And when he's served at home
Is out of humour with the food,
And storms at those who cook'd it.
Then, mayhap, when sunrise tips the hills
He'll seek his couch to rest and sleep,
While she, all bitter tears, doth watch and weep.
And then will bickering be rife, and woe;
So should he in his anger lay
But finger on his wife, feuds, floutings,
And dishonours dark arise.
Such matrimony is a perjured life,
And man and wife as chainèd galley-slaves
Do go in pairs, and find unhappy graves.

Arnaldo. Can this Marin such mischief coin?

Lidio. Already have I said too much,
And think my counsels sound amiss.

Arnaldo. Malice is ever found when sought, I know;
So when some servants nod and shrug,
Speaking soft slanders of their craft,
I then suspect that malice leads,
Or envy cankers in the heart, and breeds.

Lidio. Such may be known in palaces.

Arnaldo. Envy a crevice finds in every wall.

Lidio. So telling all I know and think,
I'm like the judge who rated well and flogg'd
The cheat; and when the flogging's o'er,
The cheat has stripes and fame to boot,
Some thinking him an injured man.
To thy taste this rogue Marin, this cheat,
May be both good and most discreet.

Arnaldo. Thy tongue doth wag too fast;
And I am tired and care not now to answer thee.

Lidio. Stern truth no answer doth admit,
I confess, yon rogue, I much distrust;
And I am bound, with loyalty unshaken,

To name the truths I know, however taken. [Exit Arnaldo.

Enter Marin.

Marin. Hah, worthy Lidio, what's the news abroad?
Thou household grunter now at home,
What say you to our noble boy?
What said Arnaldo; did he not
Question with a thousand words?

Lidio. A thousand tongues would be too few
For all his words just now: he question'd me
Most closely.

Marin. He spoke of me, how could I doubt it?

Lidio. Many things he said concerning thee,
My answers were, Take thou no heed;
With such a master as a tutor, thou
May'st sleep the sleep of trust,
Confiding in such virtue, truth, and wit.
I told him of the counsel that you gave,
And of temptations from his path removed.

Marin. A lucky day it was for me,
When first I press'd thy honest hand,
And in good wine did toast with thee
The fairest damsels of our hearts;
Whose houses and whose gardens green
We had made our own that day.
And I swear, good Lidio, trusty friend,
That by your caution thou shalt nothing lose.

Lidio. For me enough it is to know
I deal with one of gentle birth,
And one so honest as Marin.

Marin. This very night we'll join a merry crew,
And with guitar and dance will revel at our ease.

Lidio. I'll go see if our old master sleeps,
Meanwhile, get thee in.

Marin. I hold me at your pleasure.

Lidio. From this moment, and for ever,

We are fastest friends. Farewell. [Exit Lidio.

Marin. This fellow is the greatest cheat;
An envious, ill conditioned knave;
With dangling rosary and in cassock neat,
He preaches rankest treasons;
But he who cares to live at peace
Within his neighbour's walls,
Must hear and see, but nothing say;
Flatter with lip and eye, be cheery,
And talk, and laugh, and joke;
Small deeds, and use high sounding words.
And though the devil's tongue be long,
He doth not prick it with his tail.
But how to serve, I comprehend; while he
Who deals alone with truth will gain but poverty.

Enter Roselo and Anselmo.

Roselo. No greater ill could e'er befall a man.

Anselmo. Is such indeed her name
And lineage?

Roselo. Oh! ill assorted beauty, that
Of Antonio Castelvin such seraphim be born.
Oh! fate most cruel and unkind, sad chance,
There's flame-eyed madness in each seraph glance.

Anselmo. Why soughtest thou her house?

Roselo. Marin, Marin.

Marin. Señor, thy father is within.

Roselo. Soon shall he know this maddening love,
Which doth consume my heart.

Marin. Here's crazy nonsense!

Roselo. I feel as if my reason waver'd.

Marin. Know you that the lady is
Of Castelvines' kin?

Roselo. I do, and am undone.

Marin. There is no ill which, taken timely,
But it will yield to cautious cure.

Anselmo. Already are my fears aroused,
Still, if thou wilt but counsel take
All will be well. Fancy 'twas
The limner's art enslaved thine eye.
Or that in a glass reflected, seen
And, having pass'd along,
Thou findest 'twas a mirror'd dream.

Roselo. I bear her beauty mirror'd in mine eyes,
Her sweet self reflected, and her angel-look
Is ever present to my sight.

Anselmo. To think of loving this Castelvin fair;
'Twould mar thy life; the city too
Aroused would cry out nay.
For, look you, should you pass
By door or window of Castelvin kin
His rapier would be quickly out; the
Very stones would topple on your head.

Roselo. How little dost thou know of love, Anselmo!

Anselmo. What need know more than this,
A bitter quenchless hatred doth divide
Your houses?

Roselo. Yet what befell me, and that beauteous maid?
Sweet witching words she spake.

Anselmo. What! could'st thou speak
When eyes did only meet?

Roselo. She placed her trembling hand in mine.

Anselmo. She might do this, and yet her kin would seek
To kill thee.

Roselo. Her rosy fingers placed
This shining ring upon mine hand.

Anselmo. Blind eyes in that may even find deceit.

Roselo. She bade me in the orchard
Await her coming, and to-night.

Anselmo. Then need I say no more
Than this, that orchard green
Will for Roselo Montes be the sward of death.

Roselo. Think'st thou so lightly of my love?
She knew not when she spake
'Twas luring love did beckon.
We saw and loved.
Fear not for me, Anselmo;
I go well arm'd. This very night
We meet to hold sweet converse 'neath the trees,
Despite the hatred of our houses.
Hear me, Anselmo; art thou not my friend?
And thou, Marin, my servant?
I yield me to this fond delight,
Madness, delusion, if ye will,
And with me he who loves me well.


(Some lines are wanting[errata 1]).

Anselmo. Although my heart be heavy as a stone,
I'll aid thee, though I face a thousand deaths.

Marin. Am I not most rashly brave? I'll live
And die with thee, my lord, my aid I'll give.

Roselo. Counting such loving help as this,
Mischances may assail; yet hoping bliss
I count mischances naught,
So little does our prudence weigh
When love the balance trims.
Julia, I swear that thou shalt be mine own,
My truly wedded love, my gentle wife;
And happy then that day will be

When I may live and die for thee. [Exuent.

  1. Original: Here the MS. is illegible for a few lines was amended to Some lines are wanting