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

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


Scene I.Exterior of a Church in Verona.

Enter Teobaldo and Fesenio.


AND Dorotea tarries still within?

Fesenio. She does, and sad at heart enough,
For two Monteses, Donda and Andrea,
Removed her seat aside.

Teobaldo. Was no Castelvin there?

Fesenio. One, of all Castelvin's band
The most of settled purpose and command;
Alone he scarce would care to draw,
And more than that, who dares forget
A church's floor is holy ground?
Some small attempt at parley
Did he make, but many Montes, one by one
Came forth, and then most prudent
He gave way.

Teobaldo. How, gave way?

Fesenio. In silence, still with sullen scorn.

Teobaldo. Such silence did the coward prove
Where tarries Dorotea?

Fesenio. Apart; but she was silent,
And doth desire no fray.

Teobaldo. And so conceded it must ever be,
That all the damsels of Castelvin's kin
Give place to beauteous Montes!

Fesenio. 'Tis hardly wise such bitter sneers
If thou dost hope some steady hand
Shall hold the trembling scales of peace.

Teobaldo (looking in at the door). Seest thou they've cast the seats
Upon the ground?

Fesenio. Carest thou for peace and concord, then
Push not thy revenge so close;
Dost care that brawls and sword-strife shall
Through all Verona's streets be daily trade?
For they that brawl shall fell perdition find;
Wouldst thou breed maddening hate between thy kind?

Teobaldo. Shall I in silence suffer such a slight?
Such 'haviour would disgrace a very Goth,
To jostle noble ladies from their seats.

Enter Otavio, Julia, Celia, and servants.

Julia. Thy sister, is she here?

Otavio. She went abroad some hours since.

Julia. And yet so early!

Otavio. She doubtless thought that thou
Did'st know of this most holy friar's fame,
And so have waited on the sermon more
Early and betimes.

Julia. Hadst thou, good cousin, on last eventide
Declared this to my mother, then I know
We had been long since here,
For she doth love this holy father's counsel.

Otavio. So many going to and fro, the street
Doth seem alive with moving feet.

Julia, Otavio, Celia, and Servants go in.

Teobaldo. Is that my son?

Fesenio. And the lady I suspect's his cousin.

Teobaldo. 'Tis somewhat strange!

Fesenio. Is she not the idol of his heart?
Already they go in.

Teobaldo. Attend Otavio thou, and say,
I do desire some words with him.

Fesenio. My Lord, I do thy bidding. [Exit.

Teobaldo. Disgrace incites, doth urge and tempt,
So much I loathe that hated house.
I did desire a peaceful course,
But then
They had not stung and gall'd me as to-day,
And press'd me hard beyond endurance even,
And yet, thus trusting hasty thought,
Is but
To trim the sail to catch light folly's breath.

Enter Fesenio and Otavio from the church.

Otavio. What would my honour'd sire?

Fesenio. He waits thee here, Señor.

Otavio. Sir, I stay for thy commands.

Teobaldo. How, lacking judgment, dost thou move
In matters which affect thy kin;
For daily dangling at thy cousin's heels,
A witless error 'tis to leave to chance
Thy gentle sister, who doth love thee well:
Playing the loutish lover, thou hast miss'd
Both trust and honour in her cause; ah me!
With Cupid's love-blind eyes, who then can see?

Otavio. What great mishap hath cross'd thy will?

Teobaldo. Thou'lt lack no crosses through thy life, my boy,
But for thine honour's sake hadst thou been here
By Dorotea's side,
Thou couldst have made some show that Castelvine's blood
Doth flow within thy veins,
And I not be humbled thus to brook an insult from
These proud Monteses.

Otavio. What insult then hath fallen out to-day?

Teobaldo. Had I thy years, my son, thy youth
And strength,
Verona should have seen a quick revenge.
But since my love for thee
Can cure no wound, know this
'Tis Castelvine's honour they offend.

Otavio. What words are these I hear?

Teobaldo. Let not thy hot blood too quickly course,
But listen.

Otavio. Parley not, for having call'd me coward, fool;
Say, who is't thine honour doth offend?
Speak, speak, I pray!

Teobaldo. The scats prepared for thy kindred in the church
These craven Montes dared to misplace.

Otavio. When? where shall I find the coward crew?

Teobaldo. Thou'lt see them yonder, boy, within.

Otavio. I will return anon.

Teobaldo. I did not move thy quick-pulsed blood
That I might play the craven coward here;
I will go with thee.

Otavio. Father, thou shalt not.

Teobaldo. I will go in. [Exeunt into the church.

Fesenio. That he so madly urge his fiery son
Methinks doth lack a parent's prudence.

Enter Anselmo and Roselo.

Rosele. This way she pass'd, and by her side
Otavio walk'd.

Anselmo. So, so, methought it was summer dream
To be forgotten on the morrow,
For thou in all thy letters nothing wrote
Of Julia Castelvine.

Roselo. Who cares to trust on paper thoughts
That burn; or weary patient friends
With words they would not care to read.

Fesenio (aside). And so these are of Montes' house;
Sad fate should anger bear her bitter fruit!
I will within, and young Otavio seek.

Fesenio enters the church.

Anselmo. And has Roselo secrets in his love?

Roselo. In good time thou comest to hear my tale;
'Tis needful I advise you of my love;
And truly I have much to tell which hath fallen out
Since thou didst journey to Ferrara.

Anselmo. All apprehension now I am,
And tremble while I listen.

Roselo. That night when thou didst bear
Me company, and I in gladness held
Sweet converse with my love, Beneath the cedars by the orchard wall
We did agree, upon a certain day
That she, evading all, should come
Alone to church, while I prepared
Should hold Aurelio to our cause,
And that good friar join our hands,
And bless our wedded hopes.
I used such prudence in mine act
As to induce Aurelio to agree;
Though with strong words he did oppose,
And even begg'd with tears.
Julia with her maid did come
To yonder chapel, with pretence of shrift;
Aurelio with myself were there;
And having learn'd our wondrous love,
Did join our hands, and bless us.

Anselmo. What moonstruck madness hast thou caught?

Roselo. Denying us, he saw much chance
Of feeding feuds and nursing noxious hate,
Destruction to Verona's peace. For had we fled,
Or had I held by force, her name and rights
And mine had been in danger of a thousand ills.
And so we wedded were.

Anselmo. Better hadst thou said, Roselo,
That death had been thy bride;
I see no chance of less, when all be known.

Roselo. With heaven's good help it shall not be.

Anselmo. 'Tis folly to speak thus, for when
Thou passest down the street by day,
Or seekest thy lady's lattice in the dark,
Or e'en within those holy walls do kneel,
Thou temptest death at every step from Castelvines' steel.

Roselo. Anselmo, here I with due caution move,
And use most sound discretion.

Anselmo. Show me the man who, loving,
Knows or holds discretion worth a thought.

Roselo. I walk but seldom in the street,
And rarely go to mass.

Anselmo. How then see thy wife?

Roselo. Often and without danger too.

Anselmo. How?

Roselo. In the soft silence of the dreamy night,
Beneath the orange tree that shades
Her lattice; and by the cedars dark, I place
A corded ladder strong; Celia doth wait
While we sweet converse hold.
When day shakes loose her golden locks,
I bid adieu, and by the cords descend,
Where Marin on the watch doth join me;
And, as the sunlight flashes o'er the hills,
I seek my bed and dream.

Anselmo. In this, then, dost no hazard see?

Roselo. No, for 'tis done when all Verona sleeps.

Anselmo. Otavio will awake.

Roselo. Otavio loves her, that I know;
Yet doth her wit delude with outward show.

Anselmo. But how?

Roselo. Beneath the orchard's walls, from eventide
Till midnight, she speaks and walks with him;
He then doth bid farewell, and homeward goes
To dream until the morrow sunlight knows.

Anselmo. And this is loving woman's wit!
Hast thou no jealous fear his words
May not be such thy wife should hear?

Roselo. I often in close ambush lie,
And hear each word.

Anselmo. So thou then art her husband,
And she's thy wife?

Roselo. Those names are ours, and with them
All the joys of wooers' bliss.

Anselmo. I tremble for thy fate.

Roselo. I, love's favourite, tremble not
At aught.

Anselmo. Not even at the bitter hate,
Which doth divide your houses?

Roselo. I nothing fear; for doth not love
And marriage laugh at fear?

Anselmo. I know not now what counsel
Best to give.

Roselo. I'm grateful for thy counsel, but
The deed being done good counsel now
Is but a drop to swell the roaring sea.

Anselmo. What wilt thou do?

Roselo. Patiently I'll wait, Anselmo; for doth not
Patience lift the lowly valleys high,
And tumble lofty mountains down the vale.

Antonio (without). Out, out ye cowards all!
Out, out, Monteses!

Arnaldo (without). Give way, ye knaves, give way!
Death to Castelvines, all!

Roselo. What means this noise within?

Teobaldo (without). Hold not thyself so proudly, or—

Antonio (without). Although thou hast the seats
As high as heaven's vault,
I would, as I do now, seize
And cast them to the lowest hell.

Arnaldo (without). Hold, for thy life!

Antonio (without). Out, out I say, ye coward crew!

Roselo. That voice, it is my father's.

Anselmo. Stand thou here, Roselo.

Roselo. To stand here idly is a coward's choice. [Rushes into the church.

Anselmo. 'Tis now for life or death.

Enter from the church (with drawn swords) Antonio, Teobaldo, Otavio, and Fesenio; who place themselves on one side, Arnaldo, Lidio, Marin, and Anselmo on the other; Roselo in the centre.

Roselo (apart to Anselmo). Anselmo, go my father tell,
And say I hold for Julia's sake alone,
Although my blood denies her kin and house.

Anselmo (apart to Roselo). No need of words, I see
That love doth blind thee.

Roselo. Hold, gentlemen, I pray; hold
Each hand, I say; albeit I am a Montes,
And still but young in years,
Yet do I not seek intention'd ill,
And have no care for triumphs
Wrested through revenge.
Touching this hot dispute 'tis well
That reason calmly doth the balance grasp,
And firmly hold thy hands; meanwhile
Let reason regulate thy words and deeds,
So noble, skill'd and strong for war,
As all Verona knows both Montes and Castelvins are;
Is then the subject in dispute so grave?

Otavio. Our wounds are those of honour;
Thy people did offend a daughter of our house.

Roselo. Tell me, Otavio, how these ills fell out?

Otavio (to his followers). They shall die, these proud Monteses.

Roselo. Consider, let us speak apart,
Can justice no amendment make?

Otavio. Let all stand back, and thou and I
Will make amends for all this hate.

Roselo. I have a father here, come let us seek
His counsel, for me, perchance, 'tis love mispent;
For well I know, I hated am of all
Castelvin's house.

Otavio. What care we for thy hate, or hope we from thy love?

Roselo. And yet thou know'st, Otavio, 'tis thy love I crave.

Otavio. Coward!

Roselo. Otavio, stay; remember thou that I
Do guard mine honour, as I would
That thou should'st guard thine own;
Unseemly words—

Otavio. Was't well that one of Montes' house
Should dare displace the seat
Once set for daughter of Castelvin?

Roselo. Sure this may satisfaction seek,
And honour be avenged.

Arnaldo. 'Twas none that Montes' livery wore.

Teobaldo. Of what house then were they?

Arnaldo. Of Andrea's.

Roselo. Come, put up your swords
And let us enter now, and I
Will straightway place the seats, from whence
The Montes did remove them.

Otavio. So far the seats, but what
Of words of malice and contemptuous lips?
The sword alone can wipe out stains like these.

Roselo. Such idle words should give no cause
For senseless scuffles in your streets.

Teobaldo. Hast more advice to give?
How his smooth words do chafe and gall.

Roselo. Wed thou Andrea Montes, while I
Will mate with Julia Castelvin.

Otavio. Rather should my life blood flow
And drop by drop creep over these cold stones than I
Would see thee Julia's husband.

Roselo. By such settled purpose every cause
For strife and broil would cease.

Otavio. Villain, defend thyself; provoked
Beyond endurance, I could clutch thy throat
And stab thee, as cowards do defenceless women.

Roselo. Hear all, bear witness of this deed.

Otavio. No need of witness, draw.

Roselo. Gentlemen, ye will all witness hold,
This provocation sought I not;
But that by words of friendship I had hoped
T'avoid this bloody fray.

Otavio. Draw, coward, draw!

Roselo (aside). Oh, Julia mine own love, forgive, forgive.
Out, villain! know, that no coward's arm I own,
One holds me back, who love my soul hath taught,

Otavio, 'tis thou alone this mighty ill hath wrought. [They fight, Otavio falls.

Otavio. I'm hit.

Teobaldo. Is his wound mortal?

Antonio. Yes.

Roselo. Fly, my father, fly.

[Exeunt Roselo, Arnaldo, Anselmo, Lidio, and Marin.

Antonio. Castelvines here!

Teobaldo. Son—!

Otavio. Confession!

Antonio. He murmurs for confession.

Teobaldo. Oh, misery! oh, woe!

Antonio. Quick, bear him within the church,
Ere his soul doth wing itself above.

Teobaldo. And I the cause of all this woe. [Exeunt Monteses.

Teobaldo and the Castelvines bear the body into the church; the people gradually disperse, murmuring:

Fesenio. Teobaldo 'mid this sullen calm hath raised
This sad and senseless storm,
The fatal error then was his.
Let him hope pardon for the wrong, I saw
Roselo did but in due defence of honour draw.

Enter Duke of Verona, a Captain, soldiers, and people.

Duke. Not one in fault shall 'scape alive.

Captain. Of this event Teobaldo Castelvin alone
Doth bear all blame.

Duke. And the wounded, count they for much?

Captain. Many of each rival house.

Duke. Who slain?

Captain. Otavio, Teobaldo's son.

Duke. Where rests the corse?

Captain. Within the shadow of the sacred cross.
Confess'd, absolved, he meekly died,
His father and his weeping kin beside.

Duke. Who kill'd Otavio?

Captain. Roselo Montes, son
To Arnaldo Montes; all voices say
'Twas Otavio Castelvin provoked the fray
With many bitter words, and so
The deed was one of self-defence, I know.

Duke. Hast thou not some of Montes blood
Flowing in thy veins?

Captain. Of Montes or Castelvin none,
Nor have I aught of fondness or contempt
For one or other of their houses.

Fesenio. I serve the noble Teobaldo, and I loved
Otavio as a son, for in their house
Since earliest youth I've served;
But in my conscience can I not
Speak of Otavio free from blame;
He did Roselo Montes much provoke,
Who calling all to witness that
He would but guard his threaten'd life,
And strive to keep Verona free from strife.

Captain. Most noble Duke, hast aught To question more.

Fesenio. Most gracious Duke,
All present should be question'd close.

Duke. Where is Roselo Montes now?

Captain. In yonder tower he refuge finds,
There with his servant, who defends
His master stoutly, hurling stones on those
Who stay below to speak.

Duke. Roselo Montes, listen!

Roselo. Who is it calls upon that luckless name?

Captain. 'Tis Verona's Duke who speaks to thee.

Roselo. What would our noble Duke?

Duke. Descend in safety; and my plighted word
Thou hast that none shall let or harm thee.

Roselo. I yield, confiding in thy princely word.
I dare not strivealone, most noble Duke,
'Gainst all my foes. I will descend forthwith
And render up my sword to thee;
Not fairly using which, I would rather die
Of hunger or of fire, than ever yield
To tender mercy of Castelvin's kin.

Duke. Descend, Roselo Montes, I entreat.
Thou hast my plighted word that none shall dare
To stop or harm thee.

Roselo. Enough, I come, most noble Duke.

Marin. Look well you slip not as you go.

Roselo. Be still:
Marin, I'm guiltless and have naught to fear.

Marin. Methinks a good wide space the wisest thing
When plaints from notaries to lawyers swing;
'Tis clanking money or a felon's chain,
The case it may so turn for loss or gain.
Some fellow will most roundly swear
He saw, quite clearly, fifty leagues away;
Another on his oath declares that night is day;
Another, that his fancy grows or coins,

All brimming o'er with saids, aforesaids, and the like. [Exeunt Roselo and Marin.

Enter Julia and Celia, Soldiers and People.

Julia. Having buried all bright hopes, what care or fear
Of self-respect or honour now.

Celia. Hush, yonder stands Verona's Duke.

Julia. What does he here?
Is't to seize Roselo Montes that he comes?

Captain. Whom have we here?

Julia. A woman, Julia Castelvin.

Captain. Thou, then, art daughter to Antonio.

Julia. One who is daily praying for her death.

Enter Roselo and Marin, guarded.

Roselo. Marin, yonder stands my wife,
The gentle Lady Julia, sweetest life!

Marin. She'll swear away thy sweetest life.

Duke. Roselo Montes, didst in hatred slay Otavio Castelvin?

Roselo. If he be dead, then did this arm indeed
Without premeditation deal the blow;
Provoked by bitter words I did but draw
My sword in honest self-defence.

Duke. His gentle cousin in our presence stands,
And one who loved him much.

Roselo. And I in truth dare ask her, if he fell
In fair and open conflict, ay or no?

Julia. Most noble Duke, albeit I have lost
A cousin and protector both, a thousand times
I say but yes and yes again, for truth
Doth force these words from out my hapless lips.

Duke. Saw'st thou the fray, fair lady?

Julia. From yonder holy porch, the fray
Was seen of all Verona. This gentleman
Did almost sue for peace;
Otavio, proud and haughty as Castelvin's son
Should ever be, did seek a cause, alas!

For quarrel with this Montes youth— [Falls on Celia's neck.

Oh, heaven! then my witness is in truth—
I nothing saw through blinding tears.

Duke. What says the damsel
Who with the Lady Julia comes?

Celia. Otavio, sir, since yestermorn did seek
Some cause of quarrel: for, added to his hate,
Some touch of jealousy there dawn'd of late.
Otavio call'd our kinsmen to his side,
Unsheathing then his sword, he raised
The point to this young Montes' heart.
Oh, Duke! oh, lady! I can scarcely speak,
And nothing more I know.

Captain. Those present near the church,
Both friends and foes, do all agree in this.

Julia. No witness then thou hast,
Against Roselo Montes, Duke?

Duke. None. Good captain, what for prudence' sake
Should now mark best our course?

Captain. From out Verona he must banish'd be,
For if he stay a tumult will arise,
And in your streets great danger be
For person and authority.
The Lady Julia is the dead man's kin,
But doth confirm Roselo Montes guiltless
Of this Castelvin's mournful death.
Her servant here affirms the truth of all
The lady hath set forth.

Duke. Thy counsel doth command our thoughts.

Captain. Give me thy edict sign'd and seal'd, that I
On pain of death may quell aught leading to a fray.

Duke. Anon it shall be done.

Captain. And ere thy will be noised abroad,
Let a strong guard attend, and aid
To give this Montes choice of Rome,
Of Milan, or of Venice as a home.

Roselo. Most noble Duke, no need of guard,
Mine honour doth command that I obey.

Duke. With all this tumult now so hot,
'Twere wise to be discreet. Go, Lady Julia,
And we greet you well; Roselo Montes shall
To our palace hie as honour'd guest.

Julia. Oh that kind heaven now
Would drag my saddened soul from out
This earthly prison where 'tis chain'd.

Duke. Unto our palace then, till all
In order of equipment be.

Roselo. As willing slave, where'er thou wilt.

Julia. Come, Celia, come, and quickly too,
Lest grief and shame shall hold me in such train,
Where modest maiden dare not safely long remain.

Celia. Should but these evils end to-day
All may be well. Come, Lady Julia, let's away.

Roselo. Farewell, sweet Julia, jewel of my soul,
Farewell, sweet sun so bright!

Julia. Go, or I die, mine eyes' sweet light. [Exeunt.

Enter Teobaldo and Dorotea.

Teobaldo. Since mine the sin, I can none other blame
For this dark deed of blood. Oh! misery and shame.

Dorotea. From heaven in my prayers each day
I pray revenge.

Teobaldo, I marvel, weighted with such bitter grief,
I breathe or move; write they of a father, who,
Revenge did higher place than honour true,
Tempting his son to death? Oh! sad revenge,
Oh! passion, grief, and woe.

Dorotea. All say the blame with rash Otavio lay
In tempting thus to hot contentious fray.
This gentle youth did almost sue for peace;
And hoped to give some timely balm to these
Unhappy feuds which stab Verona to the heart;
A thousand furies spur cold tolerance till she fires;
The mischief done, we then must rest content
With that which hath no cure.

Teobaldo. What care I now for rivalry of kin?
In the chill gloom of yonder silent vault
Otavio sleeps with those who've gone before;
A simple stone doth mark the spot; alas! alas!
In the spring of youth and beauty there he lies.
Oh, daughter, if the winged winds shall waft
Yon traitor Montes to another shore, for life,
Already hath the signal sounded deep for strife.
Otavio lies entombed, his cloak around his corse,
Awaiting his revenge, so I'll with speed
Proclaim to all our house the horrors of this deed.

Enter Fesenio.

Fesenio. Already have our band the slayer sought,
They say he posts to Rome in haste,
Our Duke gives escort to Ferrara's walls,
So as to stem our fury of assault.
The common cry, that time shall chill
The boiling blood of Castelvine's kin.
The people shout, young Montes drew
But in his own defence. And being true,
All blame Otavio, who with venom'd haste
Did seek the brawl, and knowing this
Have sheathed their swords in peace.

Teobaldo. No more, I am not marble, nor
My soul of adamant, my grief of heart
Is deep enough without thy stinging blame.
For hug I not my woe both night and day.
Oh, cowards, traitors, shameless rabble, say!
What, shall I die and have not my revenge?
How well cold worldly comfort sounds to one
Who hath just kiss'd the dead cheek of his son!
Why doth hot vengeance sleep? So old, so weak,
I'll to the Duke, and for this outrage seek
Some quick redress. Oh that my soul were free,

Otavio slain and dead, life hath no joy for me. [Exit.

Dorotea. 'Twas barbarous thus to speak
Such words to one so stricken and so sad.

Fesenio. Lady, I wear the humble garb of service, yet
No truth nor honour have I lost;
All blame upon thy brother rests.

Dorotea. I mourn my brother with a sister's grief,
And yet thank heaven that this Montes lives.

Fesenio. A Castelvin, and speak thus of our foe?

Dorotea. The daughters of Verona do esteem
Roselo Montes much, we Castelvines too
Admire his noble presence, and he's brave.
Methinks our Julia's eyes did brighten oft

As he did pass along. [Drums without.

Fesenio. I hear the drums, some edict they proclaim.

Dorotea. Go learn the cause, I fear some evil
Greater than before.