Castelvines y Monteses (Cosens)/Act 2/Scene 3

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

Scene III.The open country; road leading to Ferrara.

Count Paris, Roselo, Marin, and attendants.

Paris. Our meeting thus indeed is sad.
No hatred know I for thy kin or thee;
And when hath even busy rumour said
That Paris sided with Castelvin's lords?

Roselo. If I, so desperate in my need, so sad,
Could much discourse enlarge,
Well might I of thy courage speak.
So of bright hopes all hunted from my heart;
But I am forced to doubt all save fast friends;
My reason and my heart have been at war.
I go, Sir Count, my sad and gloomy way—
It seems the way to night, and shames the day:
My only hope to die;
And yet the death I seek I fly,
Yet, craving death, I am but coward clay,
As much as they who seek in hot revenge to slay.

Paris. To aid thee in thy present peril now,
Doth with my anxious wish most firmly hold:
I count it gain that I have met thee here,
To hold thee free from every treacherous aim;
And though my loving friend hath fall'n
Beneath thy deadly steel, yet do I know
'Twas in most fair and open fight; and all
The justice thine, the provocation his.
'Tis true fair Julia I had hoped to woo,
And so my court I paid as Castelvines' friend,
But finding from her lip and eye she loved me not,
To press my suit had been to tempt blind love
To course most counter to my future hopes.
So now I no Castelvin am, for thee alone
Will even be a Montes, urging this feud
To some quick peaceful happy end.
If that thou carest, I to Ferrara's walls
Will go at once; I turn me from Verona's halls.

Roselo. Count Paris, well thy actions show
In my mishaps a noble friend,
True princely blood doth course thy veins;
I hold myself thy debtor much,
And so remain your thankful slave.
From this fierce feud thy goodly sword
May aid to hold me free; I ask no more
'Tween this and famed Ferrara's gates.
No cause have we to fear; indeed,
Verona holds you much in need,
And in thy person hopes to quell these brawls.
I heard that suit of thine was made
To one of Castelvine's loveliest maids;
Yet as a Montes now I hold thee friend,
And these brave deeds of thine commend.

Count. Hush! I hear the feet of strangers near.

Roselo. Who goes there?

Enter Fesenio.

Fesenio. Señor, your name?

Paris. The Count of Paris.

Fesenio. To thee, Sir Count, this letter now is charged.

Paris. Fear naught, Roselo; I am thy friend.—
From whom this letter?

Fesenio. Antonio Castelvin.

Marin (aside to Roselo). Pray stick the bearer, and at once!

Roselo. Unharm'd he shall depart from hence.

Marin. The words, no doubt, are full of peace—
The deed to kill us on the road.

Roselo. For me, I care not what Fate gives;
He dies with cheer who sadly lives.

Marin. (aside to Roselo). He seems much troubled as he reads.

Roselo (aside to Marin). Mayhap they seek his friendly help
To slay both you and me.

Marin (aside to Roselo). I feel we're dead, unless at once
We stick this fellow where he stands.

Roselo. What! would you thus defenceless slay
One who comes with courteous speech?

Marin. A plague upon all courtesies, I say;
I cannot play my life 'gainst treachery to-day.
He who doth love his kin may courteous die,
And yet, being dead, what worth his courtesy?

Paris. The words here written read,
And know the purpose of this messenger.
Read, Roselo. Share my good fortune too,
And wish me joy. Yet though I wed
Castelvin's lovely daughter, still
I shall not cease to hold myself thy friend.

Roselo reads. Hah!

Paris. Read!

Roselo. "If aught can in such cankering grief console,
'Twould be thy presence here, most noble Count;
My house is thine, and waits thy coming to defend
Verona and the cause of Castelvin as well.
Rumour hath whisper'd how Otavio fell,
Slain by Roselo Montes' treacherous steel!
Otavio's blood cries daily for revenge;
All wish you here to succour and to aid;
Julia a husband waits—I a son-in-law elect."
Alas, alas! what words are these! undone!
Julia a husband waits, and I a son!

Paris. What makes thy lip to tremble so?

Roselo. If Julia Castelvin shall wed with thee,
Then in great strait am I, and yet, ah, me!
What need to speak again? Thy letter take,
One Castelvines more but one more foe will make!

Paris. Am I of blood so vile, that thou
Suspect'st this letter shall have work'd in me
Such change, that I should cease to stand thy friend?
What, though fair Julia claim Castelvin blood,
Shall I the vantage take, as man with man,
And quit all courtesies of gentle life,
Because I take this lady for my wedded wife?
Shall I forswear all truth and honour?—nay,
Go, and as thou banish'd art from that
Fair city where my wedded hope doth lie?
I freely speak, and good Fesenio, here,
Hath a most noble heart, I know,
And will report this meeting to his lord
In such judicious guise as may be fit, and see
Naught of disfavour happen unto thee.

Fesenio. Count Paris, thy wishes are commands—
I do your pleasure gladly, for although
Castelvin born and nurtured, yet
I do respect Roselo Montes much.

Paris. Adieu, Roselo. Heaven have you
In safe keeping 'till we meet again.

Fesenio. Adieu, Marin.

Paris (aside to Fesenio). Mistrust doth hold him in her iron thrall,
So that his tongue scarce motion makes at all.

Fesenio. 'Tis true.

Paris. The bravest of us feel a sudden shock,

When threatening death at heart doth knock— [Exeunt Paris, Fesenio, and attendants.

Marin. Heed you the dangers which surround us now;
We have, I feel, a thousand deaths 'tween this
And fair Ferrara's gates to brave.
Pray kick away these phrenzies you call love;
And as for sighs, pray give them to the air above.
Let Lady Julia wed anew, and if as wife she dares,
She'll wed, methinks, a double sum of cares.

Roselo. Marry. That she should marry!

Marin. Good Heavens, how you shout!

Roselo. Who could have dream'd that in such angel shape
The fickle, faithless woman dwelt?
The angels move like quicken'd thought from pole to pole;
Thou, Julia, like them dost course this sphere,
And flash as lightning down from heaven's vault
To lowest hell. Unhappy me, to trust so much
Those eyes' most sweet discourse, deceitful
In their wondrous light and sheen—
Kindling bright hopes, and fanning fickle love
Which holds high centre in her melting glance,
So women's weeping eyes unstable water drop;
My tears are water too, but cannot quench
The raging fire which doth consume my soul!
No, 'twas not madness thus to love,
For who can love as he who much esteems?
Oh, thou sweet sad cause of all my woe,
Thy wondrous beauty did entrance me so;
And though thy beauty nought can e'er outshine,
Thou didst so match high heaven in thy love,
That truth and beauty equal balance held.
Ungracious Julia! Know'st thou on whom
Thy fickle heart is fix'd anew?
Look that thou knowest him well;
In truth he cannot love as I do love!
Ambition guides thy greedy father's choice,
And truth and honour only second stand:
He'd have thee wed where his ambition points;
He hates the man who in fair variance slew
Otavio. Paris now call'd, doth journey with high hope;
He was despised, but now revenge may grow,
For, not like me, though noble be his blood,
He feels no rushing torrent of love's flood.
And thou wilt be his wife—my wedded wife!
Can I speak thus, and still hold pulse of life?

Marin. What need to shout so loud, good master mine?
Prudence demands you silence keep.

Roselo. Silence! and why keep silence, knave, I pray?
When the moon hath horns, then madmen have their say!

Marin. If, then, thy madness be confess'd, shout on.

Roselo. Oh, Julia! hadst thou been banish'd too,
The world had then esteem'd thee none the less,
For titles are but merchandize, and scutcheons paint.
On mine escutcheon no golden coronet doth blaze,
And yet Italia's early kings did give me breath:
Bright hope remains I know thou wilt repent.
Thou hast no pride in empty blazoned names
But that alone which doth the purest soul uphold.
What value scutcheons in the light of day?
Let night's black darkness round the scutcheons play.
Wedded to Paris, most perfidious maid,
Heaven shall curse, I only dare upbraid;
For he may hate to-day
Who yester even did most madly love!
Why thus so generous with thy love? Oh, say—
Why give a cause to curse our wedding-day,
Why make my hope of bliss a heartless jest!
Oh, Heaven grant the ills I know ne'er be
Such as to tempt my heart to bitter thoughts of thee.

(There are several blanks in this speech, which will account for the want of a proper continuity.

An' this be thy revenge for that ill-fated blow
Which slew Otavio Castelvin. Why not, my love,
Have stabb'd me to the heart? oh! Julia sweet,
Such had been gentle mercy, oh forgive,
Thou shalt not wed Count Paris while I live.

Marin. Oh, pray be silent, for 'tis but silly fools
Who for revenge use lip and tongue as tools.

Roselo. How have revenge in deeds?

Marin. I'll tell thee, when we're safely housed
Beyond Ferrara's gates.

Roselo. How?

Marin. By seeking there new wives.

Roselo. To thee such may some solace bring.

Marin. Here there is danger; come.

Roselo. Ungrateful Julia!—can it be the curse of love
To strike the stricken?—Come, onward move.