Castelvines y Monteses (Cosens)/Act 3/Scene 4

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

Scene IV.

Sepulchral Vault beneath the Church of Verona.

Julia. Oh! where hath frowning Fortune led me?
If I be dead, how sense of thought remain?
So chill, so black, all murky night around;
No door, no air. Heaven denies me sight
Of his bright, pure, and glorious light.
Can I be sleeping 'mid the mighty dead,
And feel the chill of fading life upon my brain,
While yet stern will remains? I know no pain.
Have I not flesh to feel, tongue, lips, and voice?
What place is this, so dark, so foul,
So chill, so dank? My very flesh doth creep.
Who, then, inhabit its dread silence? Sin—
Sickening corses seem to hem me in.
O heaven! how I love sweet life! Who, then,
Hath placed me living 'mid the dead, and when?
Why gape these murky caves to gulf my soul?
Stay; mem'ry dawns! the deadly draught
Aurelio sent hath work'd this chill, how then
Hold I still mysterious mortal ken,
How move, and feel, and think, and touch?
Why shudder thus at chill of death?
Yonder's the flicker of a flame, there yawns
The dark abyss, where mortal souls do mourn
Life's chances lost, that sad unfathomed bourn.
Hath Lethe's stream been bridged, and do I know
The pinching penalty of love and woe?
The light approaches: if I be not lifeless now
I die of fear.

Enter Roselo with a lantern, Marin following. Julia retires.

Marin. Pray leave me here, 'tis more discreet,
I'll guard the door that's nearest to the street.

Roselo. Anselmo's there; he will do all need.
Come thou with me. Why stand aghast, and look
So pale and tremble?

Marin. 'Twere better that the Bishop and his train
Should come with holy water first.

Roselo. Ascend this step with care.

Marin. This step! oh, dear!——

Roselo. Dost fear the silent air will eat thee?

Marin. Ah! I feel a touch upon mine arm!

(Overturns the lantern, and extinguishes the light.)

Roselo. Accursed be thy clumsy hand and foot!

Marin. Assist me, Holy Mother, all the saints give aid.
I feel I'm dead and buried, with mouldy corpses laid.

Roselo. Silence! some one speaks.

Marin. Oh! did you hear a corpse's voice?

Julia (aside). No doubt Aurelio's potion did contain
Some sweet confection wooing without pain,
Death's counterfeit, soft slumber.
And in this house of death they've laid me.

Roselo. Again the whisper of a human voice.

Marin. Oh, good San Pablo and San Lucas,
Et ne nos inducas.

Roselo. Here, trembling fool, this lantern take,
And in the chapel of the church above
Thou'lt find a light.

Marin. What say you, noble sir?

Roselo. That thou hast heard me say.

Marin. How can I venture there alone, for note you not
How unnerved I am? I feel both cold and hot.

Roselo. Cease thy coward words, and go at once.

Marin. Good gracious! who again hath touch'd mine arm?

Roselo. Stay thou here; I'll go alone.

Marin. What! I stay here alone. Oh, no!

Roselo. What folly's this? alone I go,

(Here some lines are wanting.)

Julia (aside). Methought that where I saw the dancing light,
I heard the sound of voices murmur near.
What! do the dead speak, and do I living hear?

Roselo. Hush! hear you not a voice again?

Marin. They say the blood doth course toward the heart;
Mine through the girdle, seems ready to depart.

Roselo. The voice doth issue from that corner vault.

Marin. Think you that chattering bony jaws can speak
Fair words? No mouldy corpse would suffer such, I trow.

Roselo. What can be done?

Marin. How should I know?

Roselo. Canst touch the wall?

Marin. Ugh! In the nape of the neck I've touch'd
A cold and clammy corpse, oh dear!
San Blas, Antonio, all the saints, oh, hear!

Roselo. How now?

Marin. Ugh! I touched it now; so fat and soft,
A friar's paunch, I'll swear. Ah, here's a skull!
It seems an ass's, 'tis so big: I feel
As if his teeth were fix'd upon my heel.

Roselo. What teeth?

Marin. I tremble, know not what I say or fear;
I put my finger 'tween the stones all broken here,
And thought 'twas something gnawing at my flesh—
Who touches me again—oh, dear!

Roselo. Where have they laid Otavio's lifeless corse?

Marin. Why speak of that just now, good sir?
Oh, help!

Roselo. What now?

Marin. Oh, mercy, why did I omit to bring
The indulgence snugly in my pouch?

Roselo. For what?

Marin. Did I not eat the missing trout, and all
The pears that lay in sugar, and swear I did not?

Roselo. Have done thy senseless chatter.

Julia (aside). Alas! alas! no hiding-place I see;
They come, alas! and whither shall I go?
Gentlemen, pray, say are ye alive or no?

[Roselo and Marin fall down.

Marin. I'm not alive; in fact, I'm sure I'm dead.

Roselo. Who speaks of death with such melodious voice?

Marin. Indeed I'm dead. Let me 'scape this once,
And ne'er again will I come groping in
Cold, dank, and deathly vaults, on such fool's errand
As this same.

Roselo. Sweet Love, illumine with thy magic fire!

Marin. I wish Love would; these dead men here
Like droning bees go buzzing by your ear,
First right, then left, but give no light to cheer.

Roselo. Courage, we'll shout. Sweet Julia, love!

Marin. We'll suppose Otavio hears you call
He'll wake the drowsy dead both great and small.

Roselo. My Julia, sweetest love and wife!

Julia (aside). That voice!—it brings assurance to my heart;
But if it be Otavio's voice, I'll call,
And solve all doubt. Otavio, speak.

Marin. They call Otavio, and we're dead men now.

Roselo. I'm not Otavio, nor his shadow'd self.

Julia. Who then art thou?

Roselo. Roselo Montes.

Julia. Roselo?

Roselo. Dost doubt?

Julia. Some token give in proof.

Roselo. Anselmo did advise me that, with cunning skill,
Aurelio had prepared some drink,
Which being drunken simulates still death.
He sends me thus to rescue thee,
That all being blinded by thy seeming death,
I may in silence bear thee from this vault.

Julia. What gave I on the night we parted?

Roselo. A precious relic, love and wife!

Julia. And thou to me?

Roselo. Two stones, in shape like hearts, and clasp'd
Tightly 'tween golden links.

Julia. And on the morrow?

Roselo. The diamond jewel which doth clasp my plume.

Julia. These tokens are most certain; still
In my first letter what wrote I?

Marin. More questions in this murky, musty place!

Roselo. To the husband of my soul!

Marin. Oh, handsome Doña Nuña, say
Whether she be dead or nay,
For 'mid the dead I'm often told,
Dwell neutrals, neither young nor old,
Who neither flesh nor bone doth hold.

Roselo. Leave us, Marin.

Marin. What presses now my noble lord?

Julia. Approach, dear husband of my soul!

Roselo. Thy voice within my heart doth fading hope revive.

Marin. All is accomplish'd; now let grief
Again resume her sway, for as I'm dead as thief,
'Tis somewhat late to speak.

Roselo. Out, blockhead! Thinkest thou that I
Am quite as brainless as thyself?

Marin. Come, let us away, lest morning's dawn
Doth change to murky night.

Roselo. Go whither? Say, sweet wife.

Julia. It will be wise we still go well disguised;
So long as these sad ills pursue,
At the farm which my dear father owns,
Two labourers' dresses will be good masquerade.

Roselo. Thy beauty will peep out, and give the lie
To that coarse dress which may enshroud thy charms.

Julia. What, when all do think me dead?

Roselo. Let us forth, sweet Julia.

Marin. Wait!

Roselo. For what?

Marin. I care not to go last—I'll lead the file.

Roselo. O Fortune fair, upon our true love smile. [Exeunt.