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Title: Don Garcie de Navarre; Ou, le Prince Jaloux. English - Don Garcia of Navarre; Or, the Jealous Prince. A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts.
Author: Molière, 1622-1673
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Don Garcie de Navarre; Ou, le Prince Jaloux. English - Don Garcia of Navarre; Or, the Jealous Prince. A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

original, they are labeled I, II, III, VI, and VII. This has been
retained in the text.]





       *       *       *       *       *







Nothing can be more unlike _The Pretentious Young Ladies_ or
_Sganarelle_ than Molière's _Don Garcia of Navarre_. The Théâtre du
Palais-Royal had opened on the 20th January, 1661, with _The Love-Tiff_
and _Sganarelle_, but as the young wife of Louis XIV., Maria Theresa,
daughter of Philip IV., King of Spain, had only lately arrived, and as a
taste for the Spanish drama appeared to spring up anew in France,
Molière thought perhaps that a heroic comedy in that style might meet
with some success, the more so as a company of Spanish actors had been
performing in Paris the plays of Lope de Vega and Calderon, since the
24th of July, 1660. Therefore, he brought out, on the 4th of February,
1661, his new play of _Don Garcia of Navarre_. It is said that there
exists a Spanish play of the same name, of which the author is unknown;
Molière seems to have partly followed an Italian comedy, written by
Giacinto Andrea Cicognini, under the name of _Le Gelosie fortunata del
principe Rodrigo_; the style, loftiness and delicacy of expression are
peculiar to the French dramatist.

_Don Garcia of Navarre_ met with no favourable reception, though the
author played the part of the hero. He withdrew it after five
representations, but still did not think its condemnation final, for he
played it again before the King on the 29th of September, 1662, in
October, 1663, at Chantilly, and twice at Versailles. He attempted it
anew on the theatre of the Palace-Royal in the month of November, 1663;
but as it was everywhere unfavourably received, he resolved never to
play it more, and even would not print it, for it was only published
after his death in 1682. He inserted some parts of this comedy in the
_Misanthrope_, the _Femmes Savantes_, _Amphitryon_, _Tartuffe_ and _Les
Fâcheux, where they produced great effect.

Though it has not gained a place on the French stage, it nevertheless
possesses some fine passages. Molière wished to create a counterpart of
_Sganarelle_, the type of ridiculous jealousy, and to delineate
passionate jealousy, its doubts, fears, perplexities and anxieties, and
in this he has succeeded admirably. However noble-minded Don Garcia may
be, there rages within his soul a mean passion which tortures and
degrades him incessantly. When at last he is banished from the presence
of the fair object of his love, he resolves to brave death by devoting
himself to the destruction of her foe; but he is forestalled by his
presumed rival, Don Alphonso, who turns out to be the brother of his
mistress, and she receives him once again and for ever in her favour.
The delineation of all these passions is too fine-spun, too
argumentative to please the general public; the style is sometimes
stilted, yet passages of great beauty may be found in it. Moreover the
jealousy expressed by Don Garcia is neither sufficiently terrible to
frighten, nor ridiculous enough to amuse the audience; he always speaks
and acts as a prince, and hence, he sometimes becomes royally

Some scenes of this play have been imitated in _The Masquerade_, a
comedy, acted at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 1719, London, "printed
for Bernard Linton, between the Temple Gate," which was itself partly
borrowed from Shirley's _Lady of Pleasure_. The comedy was written by
Mr. Charles Johnson, who "was originally bred to the law, and was a
member of the Middle Temple; but being a great admirer of the Muses, and
finding in himself a strong propensity to dramatic writing, he quitted
the studious labour of the one, for the more spirited amusements of the
other; and by contracting an intimacy with Mr. Wilks, found means,
through that gentleman's interest, to get his plays on the stage without
much difficulty ... he, by a polite and modest behaviour formed so
extensive an acquaintance and intimacy, as constantly ensured him great
emoluments on his benefit night by which means, being a man of economy,
he was enabled to subsist very genteelly. He at length married a young
widow, with a tolerable fortune; on which he set up a tavern in Bow
Street, Covent Garden, but quitted business at his wife's death, and
lived privately on an easy competence he had saved.... He was born in
1679 ... but he did not die till March 11, 1748." [Footnote: Biographia
Dramatica, by Baker, Reed and Jones, 1812, Vol. I. Part i.]

_The Masquerade_ is a clever comedy, rather free in language and
thought, chiefly about the danger of gambling. Some of the sayings are
very pointed. It has been stated that the author frequented the
principal coffee-houses in town, and picked up many pungent remarks
there; however this may be, the literary men who at the present time
frequent clubs, have, I am afraid, not the same chance. As a specimen of
free and easy--rather too easy--wit, let me mention the remarks of Mr.
Smart (Act I.) on the way he passed the night, and in what manner. "Nine
persons are kept handsomely out of the sober income of one hundred
pounds a year." I also observe the name of an old acquaintance in this
play. Thackeray's hero in the Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush is
"the Honourable Algernon Percy Deuceace, youngest and fifth son of the
Earl of Crabs," and in _The Masquerade_ (Act III. Sc. i) Mr. Ombre says:
"Did you not observe an old decay'd rake that stood next the box-keeper
yonder ... they call him _Sir Timothy Deuxace_; that wretch has play'd
off one of the best families in Europe--he has thrown away all his
posterity, and reduced 20,000 acres of wood-land, arable, meadow, and
pasture within the narrow circumference of an oaken table of eight
foot." _The Masquerade_ as the title of the play is a misnomer, for it
does not conduce at all to the plot. We give the greater part of the
Prologue to _The Masquerade_, spoken by Mr. Wilks:--

  The Poet, who must paint by Nature's Laws,
  If he wou'd merit what he begs, Applause;
  Surveys your changing Pleasures with Surprise,
  Sees each new Day some new Diversion rise;
  Hither, thro' all the Quarters of the Sky,
  Fresh Rooks in Flocks from ev'ry Nation hye,
  To us, the Cullies of the Globe, they fly;
  French, Spaniards, Switzers; This Man dines on Fire
  And swallows Brimstone to your Heart's Desire;
  Another, Handless, Footless, Half a Man,
  Does, Wou'd you think it? what no Whole one can,
  A Spaniard next, taught an Italian Frown,
  Boldly declares he'll stare all Europe down:
  His tortured Muscles pleas'd our English Fools;

[Footnote: In the rival House, Lincoln's-Inn-Fields Theatre, Rich was
bringing out Pantomimes, which, by the fertility of his invention, the
excellency of his own performance, and the introduction of foreign
performers, drew nightly crowded houses--hence the allusion.]

  Why wou'd the Sot engage with English Bulls?
  Our English Bulls are Hereticks uncivil,
  They'd toss the Grand Inquisitor, the Devil:
  'Twas stupidly contrived of Don Grimace,
  To hope to fright 'em with an ugly Face.
  And yet, tho' these Exotick Monsters please,
  We must with humble Gratitude confess,
  To you alone 'tis due, that in this Age,
  Good Sense still triumphs on the British Stage:
  Shakespear beholds with Joy his Sons inherit
  His good old Plays, with good old Bess's Spirit.
  Be wise and merry, while you keep that Tether;
  Nonsense and Slavery must die together.


DON GARCIA, _Prince of Navarre, in love with Elvira_.

[Footnote: In the inventory taken after Molière's death mention is made
of "Spanish dress, breeches, cloth cloak, and a satin doublet, the whole
adorned with silk embroideries." This is probably the dress in which
Molière played _Don Garcia_.]

DON ALPHONSO, _Prince of Leon, thought to be Prince of Castile, under
the name of Don Silvio_.

DON ALVAREZ, _confidant of Don Garcia, in love with Eliza_.

DON LOPEZ, _another confidant of Don Garcia, in love with Eliza_.

DON PEDRO, _gentleman usher to Inez_.


DONNA ELVIRA, _Princess of Leon_.

DONNA INEZ, _a Countess, in love with Don Silvio, beloved by Mauregat,
the usurper of the Kingdom of Leon_.

ELIZA, _confidant to Elvira_.

_Scene_.--ASTORGA, _a city of Spain, in the kingdom of Leon_.




       *       *       *       *       *



ELVIRA. No, the hidden feelings of my heart were not regulated by
choice: whatever the Prince may be, there is nothing in him to make me
prefer his love. Don Silvio shows, as well as he, all the qualities of a
renowned hero. The same noble virtues and the same high birth made me
hesitate whom to prefer. If aught but merit could gain my heart, the
conqueror were yet to be named; but these chains, with which Heaven
keeps our souls enslaved, decide me, and, though I esteem both equally,
my love is given to Don Garcia.

ELIZA. The love which you feel for him, seems to have very little
influenced your actions, since I, myself, madam, could not for a long
time discover which of the two rivals was the favoured one.

ELV. Their noble rivalry in love, Eliza, caused a severe struggle in my
breast. When I looked on the one, I felt no pangs, because I followed my
own tender inclination; but when I thought I sacrificed the other, I
considered I acted very unjustly; and was of opinion, that Don Silvio's
passion, after all, deserved a happier destiny. I also reflected that a
daughter of the late King of Leon owed some obligation to the house of
Castile; that an intimate friendship had long knit together the
interests of his father and mine. Thus, the more the one made progress
in my heart, the more I lamented the ill success of the other. Full of
pity, I listened to his ardent sighs, and received his vows politely;
thus in a slight degree I tried to make amends for the opposition his
love met with in my heart.

EL. But since you have been informed he previously loved another, your
mind ought to be at rest. Before he loved you, Donna Inez had received
the homage of his heart. As she is your most intimate friend, and has
told you this secret, you are free to bestow your love upon whom you
wish, and cover your refusal to listen to him under the guise of
friendship for her.

ELV. It is true, I ought to be pleased with the news of Don Silvio's
faithlessness, because my heart, that was tormented by his love, is now
at liberty to reject it; can justly refuse his addresses, and, without
scruple, grant its favours to another. But what delight can my heart
feel, if it suffers severely from other pangs; if the continual weakness
of a jealous prince receives my tenderness with disdain, compels me
justly to give way to anger, and thus to break off all intercourse
between us?

EL. But as he has never been told that you love him, how can he be
guilty if he disbelieves in his happiness? And does not that which could
flatter his rival's expectations warrant him to suspect your affection?

ELV. No, no; nothing can excuse the strange madness of his gloomy and
unmanly jealousy; I have told him but too clearly, by my actions, that
he can indeed flatter himself with the happiness of being beloved. Even
if we do not speak, there are other interpreters which clearly lay bare
our secret feelings. A sigh, a glance, a mere blush, silence itself, is
enough to show the impulses of a heart. In love, everything speaks: in a
case like this, the smallest glimmer ought to throw a great light upon
such a subject, since the honour which sways our sex forbids us ever to
discover all we feel. I have, I own, endeavoured so to guide my conduct,
that I should behold their merits with an unprejudiced eye. But how
vainly do we strive against our inclinations! How easy is it to perceive
the difference between those favours that are bestowed out of mere
politeness, and such as spring from the heart! The first seem always
forced; the latter, alas! are granted without thinking, like those pure
and limpid streams which spontaneously flow from their native sources.
Though the feelings of pity I showed for Don Silvio moved the Prince,
yet I unwittingly betrayed their shallowness, whilst my very looks,
during this torture, always told him more than I desired they should.

EL. Though the suspicions of that illustrious lover have no
foundation--for you tell me so--they at least prove that he is greatly
smitten: some would rejoice at what you complain of. Jealousy may be
odious when it proceeds from a love which displeases us; but when we
return that love, such feelings should delight us. It is the best way in
which a lover can express his passion; the more jealous he is the more
we ought to love him. Therefore since in your soul a magnanimous

ELV. Ah! do not bring forward such a strange maxim. Jealousy is always
odious and monstrous; nothing can soften its injurious attacks; the
dearer the object of our love is to us, the more deeply we feel its
offensive attempts. To see a passionate Prince, losing every moment that
respect with which love inspires its real votaries; to see him, when his
whole mind is a prey to jealousy, finding fault either with what I like
or dislike, and explaining every look of mine in favour of a rival!

[Footnote: Molière has expressed the same thoughts differently in _The
Bores_, Act ii. scene 4.]

No, no! such suspicions are too insulting, and I tell you my thoughts
without disguise. I love Don Garcia; he alone can fascinate a generous
heart; his courage in Leon has nobly proved his passion for me; he dared
on my account the greatest dangers, freed me from the toils of cowardly
tyrants, and protected me against the horrors of an unworthy alliance by
placing me within these strong walls. Nor will I deny but that I should
have regretted that I owed my deliverance to any other; for an enamoured
heart feels an extreme pleasure, Eliza, in being under some obligations
to the object beloved; its faint flame becomes stronger and brighter
when it thinks it can discharge them by granting some favours. Yes, I am
charmed that he assisted me and risked his life for me, for this seems
to give his passion a right of conquest; I rejoice that the danger I was
in threw me into his hands. If common reports be true, and Heaven should
grant my brother's return, I wish fervently, and with all my heart, that
his arm may aid my brother to recover his throne, and punish a traitor;
that his heroic valour may be successful, and thus deserve my brother's
utmost gratitude. But for all this, if he continues to rouse my anger;
if he does not lay aside his jealousy, and obey me in whatever I
command, he in vain aspires to the hand of Donna Elvira. Marriage can
never unite us; for I abhor bonds, which, undoubtedly, would then make a
hell upon earth for both of us.

EL. Although one may hold different opinions, the Prince, Madam, should
conform himself to your desires; they are so clearly set down in your
note that, when he sees them thus explained, he...

ELV. This letter, Eliza, shall not be employed for such a purpose. It
will be better to tell him what I think of his conduct. When we favor a
lover by writing to him, we leave in his hands too flagrant proofs of
our inclination. Therefore take care that that letter is not delivered
to the Prince.

EL. Your will is law; yet I cannot help wondering that Heaven has made
people's minds so unlike, and that what some consider an insult should
be viewed with a different eye by others. As for me I should think
myself very fortunate if I had a lover who could be jealous, for his
uneasiness would give me satisfaction. That which often vexes me is to
see Don Alvarez give himself no concern about me.

ELV. We did not think he was so near us. Here he comes.


ELV. Your return surprises me. What tidings do you bring? Is Don
Alphonso coming, and when may we expect him?

ALV. Yes, Madam; the time has arrived when your brother, brought up in
Castile, will get his own again. Hitherto, the cautious Don Louis, to
whom the late King, on his death-bed, entrusted the care of Don
Alphonso, has concealed his rank from every one, in order to save him
from the fury of the traitor Mauregat. Though the miserable but
successful tyrant has often inquired after him, under pretence of
restoring him to the throne, yet Don Louis, who is full of prudence,
would never trust to Mauregat's pretended feelings for justice, with
which he tried to allure him. But as the people became enraged at the
violence which a usurper would have offered you, generous old Don Louis
thought it time to try what could be done after twenty years'
expectation. He has sounded Leon; his faithful emissaries have sought to
influence the minds of great and small. Whilst Castile was arming ten
thousand men to restore that Prince so wished for by his people, Don
Louis caused a report to be noised abroad that the renowned Don Alphonso
was coming, but that he would not produce him save at the head of an
army, and completely ready to launch the avenging thunderbolts at the
vile usurper's head. Leon is besieged, and Don Silvio himself commands
the auxiliary forces, with which his father aids you.

ELV. We may flatter ourselves that our expectations will be realized,
but I am afraid my brother will owe Don Silvio too heavy a debt.

[Footnote: Donna Elvira is afraid that Don Alphonso will owe Don Silvio
a debt so heavy, that he will only be able to repay it by the gift of
her hand.]

ALV. But, Madam, is it not strange that, notwithstanding the storm which
the usurper of your throne hears growling over his head, all the advices
from Leon agree that he is going to marry the Countess Inez?

ELV. By allying himself to the high-born maiden, he hopes to obtain the
support of her powerful family. I am rather uneasy that of late I have
heard nothing of her. But she has always shown an inveterate dislike to
that tyrant.

EL. Feelings of honour and tenderness will cause her to refuse the
marriage they urge upon her, for...

ALV. The Prince is coming here.


GARC. I come, Madam to rejoice with you in the good tidings you have
just heard. Your brother, who threatens a tyrant stained with crimes,
allows me to hope that my love may one day be returned, and offers to my
arm an opportunity to acquire glory in fresh dangers for the sake of
your lovely eyes. If Heaven proves propitious I will gain amidst these
dangers a victory, which divine justice owes to you, which will lay
treachery at your feet, and restore to your family its former dignity.
But what pleases me still more amidst these cherished expectations is
that Heaven restores you this brother to be King; for now my love may
openly declare itself, without being accused of seeking to gain a crown
whilst striving to obtain your hand. Yes, my heart desires nothing more
than to show before the whole world that in you it values but yourself;
if I may say so without giving offence, a hundred times have I wished
you were of less rank. Loving you as I do I could have desired that your
divine charms had fallen to the lot of some one born in a humbler
station, that I might unselfishly proffer my heart, and thus make amends
to you for Heaven's injustice, so that you might owe to my love the
homage due to your birth.

[Footnote: The sentence from "Yes, my heart," &c., until "your birth" is
nearly the same as the words addressed by Alceste to Celimène in the
_Misanthrope_, Act iv. Sc. 3 (see Vol. II.)]

But since Heaven has forestalled me, and deprives me of the privilege of
proving my love, do not take it amiss that my amorous flames look for
some slight encouragement when I shall have killed the tyrant, whom I am
ready to encounter; suffer me by noble services favourably to dispose
the minds of a brother and of a whole nation towards me.

ELV. I know, Prince, that by avenging our wrongs you can make a hundred
deeds of daring speak for your love. But the favour of a brother and the
gratitude of a nation are not sufficient to reward you; Elvira is not to
be obtained by such efforts; there is yet a stronger obstacle to

GARC. Yes, Madam, I know what you mean. I know very well that my heart
sighs in vain for you; neither do I ignore the powerful obstacle against
my love, though you name it not.

ELV. Often we hear badly when we think we hear well. Too much ardour,
Prince, may lead us into mistakes. But since I must speak, I will. Do
you wish to know how you can please me, and when you may entertain any

GARC. I should consider this, Madam, a very great favour.

ELV. When you know how to love as you ought.

GARC. Alas! Madam, does there exist anything under the canopy of heaven
that yields not to the passion with which your eyes have inspired me?

ELV. When your passion displays nothing at which the object of your love
can feel offended.

GARC. That is its greatest study.

ELV. When you shall cease to harbour mean unworthy sentiments of me.

GARC. I love you to adoration.

ELV. When you have made reparation for your unjust suspicions, and when
you finally banish that hideous monster which poisons your love with its
black venom; that jealous and whimsical temper which mars, by its
outbreaks, the love you offer, prevents it from ever being favourably
listened to, and arms me, each time, with just indignation against it.

GARC. Alas, Madam, it is true, that, notwithstanding my utmost effort,
some trifling jealousy lingers in my heart; that a rival, though distant
from your divine charms, disturbs my equanimity. Whether it be whimsical
or reasonable, I always imagine that you are uneasy when he is absent,
and that in spite of my attentions, your sighs are continually sent in
search of that too happy rival. But if such suspicions displease you,
alas, you may easily cure them; their removal, which I hope for, depends
more on you than on me. Yes, with a couple of love-breathing words you
can arm my soul against jealousy, and disperse all the horrors with
which that monster has enshrouded it, by encouraging me to entertain
some expectation of a successful issue. Deign therefore to remove the
doubt that oppresses me; and, amidst so many trials, let your charming
lips grant me the assurance that you love me,--an assurance, of which, I
know, I am utterly unworthy.

ELV. Prince, your suspicions completely master you. The slightest
intimation of a heart should be understood; it does not reciprocate a
passion that continually adjures the object beloved to explain herself
more clearly. The first agitation displayed by our soul ought to satisfy
a discreet lover; if he wishes to make us declare ourselves more
plainly, he only gives us a reason for breaking our promise. If it
depended on me alone, I know not whether I should choose Don Silvio or
yourself; the very wish I expressed for you not to be jealous, would
have been a sufficient hint to any one but you; I thought this request
was worded agreeably enough without needing anything further. Your love,
however, is not yet satisfied, and requires a more public avowal. In
order to remove any scruples, I must distinctly say that I love you;
perhaps even, to make more sure of it, you will insist that I must swear
it too.

GARC. Well, Madam, I own I am too bold; I ought to be satisfied with
everything that pleases you. I desire no further information. I believe
you feel kindly towards me, that my love inspires you even with a little
compassion; I am happier than I deserve to be. It is over now; I abandon
my jealous suspicions; the sentence which condemns them is very
agreeable; I shall obey the decision you so kindly pronounce, and free
my heart from their unfounded sway.

ELV. You promise a great deal, Prince, but I very much doubt whether you
can restrain yourself sufficiently.

GARC. Ah! Madam, you may believe me; it is enough that what is promised
to you ought always to be kept, because the happiness of obeying the
being one worships ought to render easy the greatest efforts. May Heaven
declare eternal war against me; may its thunder strike me dead at your
feet; or, what would be even worse than death, may your wrath be poured
upon me, if ever my love descends to such weakness as to fail in the
promise I have given, if ever any jealous transport of my soul...!

_presenting a letter to Donna Elvira_.

ELV. I was very anxious about this letter, I am very much obliged to
you; let the messenger wait.


ELV. (_Low and aside_). I see already by his looks that this letter
disturbs him. What a wonderfully jealous temper he has! (_Aloud_). What
stops you, Prince, in the midst of your oath.

GARC. I thought you might have some secret together; I was unwilling to
interrupt you.

ELV. It seems to me that you reply in a much altered voice; I see all of
a sudden a certain wildness in your looks; this abrupt change surprises
me. What can be the cause of it? May I know?

GARC. A sudden sickness at heart.

ELV. Such illnesses have often more serious consequences than one
believes; some immediate remedy would be necessary; but, tell me, have
you often such attacks?

GARC. Sometimes.

ELV. Alas, weak-minded Prince! Here, let this writing cure your
distemper; it is nowhere but in the mind.

GARC. That writing, Madam! No, I refuse to take it. I know your thoughts
and what you will accuse me of, if...

ELV. Read it, I tell you, and satisfy yourself.

GARC. That you may afterwards call me weak-minded and jealous? No, no, I
will prove that this letter gave me no umbrage, and though you kindly
allow me to read it, to justify myself, I will not do so.

ELV. If you persist in your refusal, I should be wrong to compel you; it
is sufficient, in short, as I have insisted upon it, to let you see
whose hand it is.

GARC. I ought always to be submissive to you; if it is your pleasure I
should read it for you, I will gladly do so.

ELV. Yes, yes, Prince, here it is; you shall read it for me.

GARC. I only do so, Madam, in obedience to your commands, and I may

ELV. Whatever you please; but pray make haste.

GARC. It comes from Donna Inez, I perceive.

ELV. It does, and I am glad of it, both for your sake and mine.

GARC. (_Reads_). "_In spite of all that I do to show my contempt for the
tyrant, he persists in his love for me; the more effectually to
encompass his designs, he has, since your absence, directed against me
all that violence with which he pursued the alliance between yourself
and his son. Those who perhaps have the right to command me, and who are
inspired by base motives of false honour, all approve this unworthy
proposal. I do not know yet where my persecution will end; but I will
die sooner than give my consent. May you, fair Elvira, be happier in
your fate than I am_. DONNA INEZ." A lofty virtue fortifies her mind.

ELV. I will go and write an answer to this illustrious friend.
Meanwhile, Prince, learn not to give way so readily to what causes you
alarm. I have calmed your emotion by enlightening you, and the whole
affair has passed off quietly; but, to tell you the truth, a time may
come when I might entertain other sentiments.

GARC. What? you believe then...

ELV. I believe what I ought. Farewell, remember what I tell you; if your
love for me be really so great as you pretend, prove it as I wish.

GARC. Henceforth this will be my only desire; and sooner than fail in
it, I will lose my life.



EL. To speak my mind freely to you, I am not much astonished at anything
the Prince may do; for it is very natural, and I cannot disapprove of
it, that a soul inflamed by a noble passion should become exasperated by
jealousy, and that frequent doubts should cross his mind: but what
surprises me, Don Lopez, is to hear that you keep alive his suspicions;
that you are the contriver of them; that he is sad only because you wish
it, jealous only because he looks at everything with your eyes. I repeat
it, Don Lopez, I do not wonder that a man who is greatly in love becomes
suspicious. But, that a man who is not in love should have all the
anxieties of one who is jealous--this is a novelty that belongs to none
but you.

LOP. Let everybody comment on my actions as much as they please. Each
man regulates his conduct according to the goal he wishes to reach;
since my love was rejected by you, I court the favour of the Prince.

EL. But do you not know that no favour will be granted to him if you
continue to maintain him in this disposition?

LOP. Pray, charming Eliza, was it ever known that those about great men
minded anything but their own interest, or that a perfect courtier
wished to increase the retinue of those same grandees by adding to it a
censor of their faults? Did he ever trouble himself if his conversation
harmed them, provided he could but derive some benefit? All the actions
of a courtier only tend to get into their favour, to obtain a place in
as short a time as possible; the quickest way to acquire their good
graces is by always flattering their weaknesses, by blindly applauding
what they have a mind to do, and by never countenancing anything that
displeases them. That is the true secret of standing well with them.
Good advice causes a man to be looked upon as a troublesome fellow, so
that he no longer enjoys that confidence which he had secured by an
artful subservience. In short, we always see that the art of courtiers
aims only at taking advantage of the foibles of the great, at cherishing
their errors, and never advising them to do things which they dislike.

EL. These maxims may do well enough for a time: but reverses of fortune
have to be dreaded. A gleam of light may at last penetrate the minds of
the deceived nobles, who will then justly avenge themselves on all such
flatterers for the length of time their glory has been dimmed. Meanwhile
I must tell you that you have been a little too frank in your
explanations; if a true account of your motives were laid before the
Prince, it would but ill serve you in making your fortune.

LOP. I could deny having told you those truths I have just unfolded, and
that without being gainsaid; but I know very well that Eliza is too
discreet to divulge this private conversation. After all, what I have
said is known by everyone; what actions of mine have I to conceal? A
downfall may be justly dreaded when we employ artifices or treachery.
But what have I to fear? I, who cannot be taxed with anything but
complaisance, who by my useful lessons do but follow up the Prince's
natural inclination for jealousy. His soul seems to live upon
suspicions; and so I do my very best to find him opportunities for his
uneasiness, and to look out on all sides if anything has happened that
may furnish a subject for a secret conversation. When I can go to him,
with a piece of news that may give a deadly blow to his repose, then he
loves me most: I can see him listen eagerly and swallow the poison, and
thank me for it too, as if I had brought him news of some victory which
would make him happy and glorious for all his life. But my rival draws
near, and so I leave you together; though I have renounced all hope of
ever gaining your affection, yet it would pain me not a little to see
you prefer him to me before my face; therefore I will avoid such a
mortification as much as I can.

[Footnote: Don Lopez bears a distant resemblance to "honest Iago" in
Othello, though Molière has only faintly shadowed forth what Shakespeare
has worked out in so masterly a manner.]

EL. All judicious lovers should do the same.


ALV. At last we have received intelligence that the king of Navarre has
this very day declared himself favourable to the Prince's love, and that
a number of fresh troops will reinforce his army, ready to be employed
in the service of her to whom his wishes aspire. As for me, I am
surprised at their quick movements... but...


GARC. What is the Princess doing?

EL. I think, my Lord, she is writing some letters; but I shall let her
know that you are here.

GARC. (_In a low voice and aside_). How well she dissembles.

ELV. We have just now heard that the King, your father, approves your
designs, and consents that his son should restore us to our subjects. I
am extremely rejoiced at this.

GARC. Yes, Madam, and my heart is rejoiced at it too; but....

ELV. The tyrant will doubtless find it difficult to defend himself
against the thunderbolts which from all sides threaten him. I flatter
myself that the same courage which was able to deliver me from the
brutal rage of the usurper, to snatch me out of his hands, and place me
safe within the walls of Astorga, will conquer the whole of Leon, and by
its noble efforts cause the head of the tyrant to fall.

GARC. A few days more will show if I am successful. But pray let us
proceed to some other subject of conversation. If you do not consider me
too bold, will you kindly tell me, Madam, to whom you have written since
fate led us hither?

ELV. Why this question, and whence this anxiety?

GARC. Out of pure curiosity, Madam, that is all.

ELV. Curiosity is the daughter of jealousy.

GARC. No; it is not at all what you imagine; your commands have
sufficiently cured that disease.

ELV. Without endeavouring further to discover what may be the reasons
for your inquiry, I have written twice to the Countess Inez at Leon, and
as often to the Marquis, Don Louis, at Burgos. Does this answer put your
mind at rest?

GARC. Have you written to no one else, Madam?

ELV. No, certainly, and your questions astonish me.

GARC. Pray consider well, before you make such a statement, because
people forget sometimes, and thus perjure themselves.

ELV. I cannot perjure myself in what I have stated.

GARC. You have, however, told a very great falsehood.

ELV. Prince!

GARC. Madam!

ELV. Heavens; what is the meaning of this! Speak! Have you lost your

GARC. Yes, yes, I lost them, when to my misfortune I beheld you, and
thus took the poison which kills me; when I thought to meet with some
sincerity in those treacherous charms that bewitched me.

ELV. What treachery have you to complain of?

GARC. Oh! how double-faced she is! how well she knows to dissimulate!
But all means for escape will fail you. Cast your eyes here, and
recognize your writing.

[Footnote: The lines, "Heavens! what is the meaning of this?" till "and
recognize your writing" have been employed again by Molière in the
_Misanthrope_, Act iv., Scene 3, (see vol. II). The misanthrope Alceste
has also in his hand the written proofs of the faithlessness of the
object of his love: but his suspicions are well founded, whilst those of
Don Garcia are inspired only by jealousy.]

Without having seen the other part of this letter, it is easy enough to
discover for whom you employ this style.

ELV. And this is the cause of your perturbation of spirits?

GARC. Do you not blush on beholding this writing?

ELV. Innocence is not accustomed to blush.

GARC. Here indeed we see it oppressed. You disown this letter because it
is not signed.

ELV. Why should I disown it, since I wrote it?

[Footnote: The words, "And this is the cause" until "since I wrote it,"
are, with a few slight alterations, found also in the _Misanthrope_, Act
iv., Scene 3.]

GARC. It is something that you are frank enough to own your handwriting;
but I will warrant that it was a note written to some indifferent
person, or at least that the tender sentiments it contains were intended
only for some lady friend or relative.

ELV. No, I wrote it to a lover, and, what is more, to one greatly

GARC. And can I, O perfidious woman...?

ELV. Bridle, unworthy Prince, the excess of your base fury. Although you
do not sway my heart, and I am accountable here to none but myself, yet
for your sole punishment I will clear myself from the crime of which you
so insolently accuse me. You shall be undeceived; do not doubt it. I
have my defence at hand. You shall be fully enlightened; my innocence
shall appear complete. You yourself shall be the judge in your own
cause, and pronounce your own sentence.

GARC. I cannot understand such mysterious talk.

ELV. You shall soon comprehend it to your cost. Eliza come hither!


EL. Madam.

ELV. (_to Don Garcia_). At least observe well whether I make use of any
artifice to deceive you; whether by a single glance or by any warning
gesture I seek to ward off this sudden blow. (_To Eliza_). Answer me
quickly, where did you leave the letter I wrote just now?

EL. Madam, I confess I am to blame. This letter was by accident left on
my table; but I have just been informed that Don Lopez, coming into my
apartment, took, as he usually does, the liberty to pry everywhere, and
found it. As he was unfolding it, Leonora wished to snatch it from him
before he had read anything; and whilst she tried to do this, the letter
in dispute was torn in two pieces, with one of which Don Lopez quickly
went away, in spite of all she could do.

ELV. Have you the other half?

EL. Yes; here it is.

ELV. Give it to me. (_To Don Garcia_). We shall see who is to blame;
join the two parts together, and then read it aloud. I wish to hear it.

GARC. "_To Don Garcia_." Ha!

ELV. Go on! Are you thunderstruck at the first word?

GARC. (_Reads_). "_Though your rival, Prince, disturbs your mind, you
ought still to fear yourself more than him. It is in your power to
destroy now the greatest obstacle your passion has to encounter. I feel
very grateful to Don Garcia for rescuing me from the hands of my bold
ravishers; his love, his homage delights me much; but his jealousy is
odious to me. Remove, therefore, from your love that foul blemish;
deserve the regards that are bestowed upon it; and when one endeavours
to make you happy, do not persist in remaining miserable_."

ELV. Well, what do you say to this?

GARC. Ah! Madam, I say that on reading this I am quite confounded; that
I see the extreme injustice of my complaints, and that no punishment can
be severe enough for me.

ELV. Enough! Know that if I desired that you should read the letter, it
was only to contradict everything I stated in it; to unsay a hundred
times all that you read there in your favour. Farewell, Prince.

GARC. Alas, Madam! whither do you fly?

ELV. To a spot where you shall not be, over-jealous man.

GARC. Ah, Madam, excuse a lover who is wretched because, by a wonderful
turn of fate, he has become guilty towards you, and who, though you are
now very wroth with him, would have deserved greater blame if he had
remained innocent. For, in short, can a heart be truly enamoured which
does not dread as well as hope? And could you believe I loved you if
this ominous letter had not alarmed me; if I had not trembled at the
thunderbolt which I imagined had destroyed all my happiness? I leave it
to yourself to judge if such an accident would not have caused any other
lover to commit the same error; if I could disbelieve, alas, a proof
which seemed to me so clear!

ELV. Yes, you might have done so; my feelings so clearly expressed ought
to have prevented your suspicions. You had nothing to fear; if some
others had had such a pledge they would have laughed to scorn the
testimony of the whole world.

GARC. The less we deserve a happiness which has been promised us, the
greater is the difficulty we feel in believing in it. A destiny too full
of glory seems unstable, and renders us suspicious. As for me, who think
myself so little deserving of your favours, I doubted the success of my

[Footnote: Molière has with a few alterations placed this phrase
beginning with "the less," and ending with "my rashness," in the mouth
of _Tartuffe_ in the play of the same name, Act iv., Sc. 5, (see Vol.

I thought that, finding yourself in a place under my command, you forced
yourself to be somewhat kind to me; that, disguising to me your

ELV. Do you think that I could stoop to so cowardly an action? Am I
capable of feigning so disgracefully; of acting from motives of servile
fear; of betraying my sentiments; and, because I am in your power, of
concealing my contempt for you under a pretence of kindness? Could any
consideration for my own reputation so little influence me? Can you
think so, and dare to tell it me? Know that this heart cannot debase
itself; that nothing under Heaven can compel it to act thus: if it has
committed the great error of showing you some kindness, of which you
were not worthy, know that in spite of your power, it will be able now
to show the hatred it feels for you, to defy your rage, and convince you
that it is not mean, nor ever will be so.

[Footnote: This scene beginning from "Well," until the end, has, with
several alterations rendered necessary by change of metre, been treated
by Molière in his _Amphitryon_, Act ii., Sc. 6, (see Vol. II.).]

GARC. Well, I cannot deny that I am guilty: but I beg pardon of your
heavenly charms, I beg it for the sake of the most ardent love that two
beautiful eyes ever kindled in a human soul. But if your wrath cannot be
appeased; if my crime be beyond forgiveness; if you have no regard for
the love that caused it, nor for my heart-felt repentance, then one
propitious blow shall end my life, and free me from these unbearable
torments. No, think not that having displeased you, I can live for one
moment under your wrath. Even whilst we are speaking, my heart sinks
under gnawing remorse; were a thousand vultures cruelly to wound it,
they could not inflict greater pangs. Tell me, madam, if I may hope for
pardon; if not, then this sword shall instantly, in your sight, by a
well-directed thrust, pierce the heart of a miserable wretch; that
heart, that irresolute heart, whose weakness has so deeply offended your
excessive kindness, too happy if in death this just doom efface from
your memory all remembrance of its crime, and cause you to think of my
affection without dislike. This is the only favour my love begs of you.

ELV. Oh! too cruel Prince!

GARC. Speak, Madam.

ELV. Must I still preserve some kind feelings for you, and suffer myself
to be affronted by so many indignities?

GARC. A heart that is in love can never offend, and finds excuses for
whatever love may do.

ELV. Love is no excuse for such outbursts.

GARC. Love communicates its ardour to all emotions, and the stronger it
is, the more difficulty it finds...

ELV. No, speak to me no more of it; you deserve my hatred.

GARC. You hate me then?

ELV. I will at least endeavour to do so. But alas! I am afraid it will
be in vain, and that all the wrath which your insults have kindled, will
not carry my revenge so far.

GARC. Do not endeavour to punish me so severely, since I offer to kill
myself to avenge you; pronounce but the sentence and I obey immediately.

ELV. One who cannot hate cannot wish anybody to die.

GARC. I cannot live unless you kindly pardon my rash errors; resolve
either to punish or to forgive.

ELV. Alas! I have shown too clearly my resolution; do we not pardon a
criminal when we tell him we cannot hate him?

GARC. Ah! this is too much. Suffer me, adorable Princess...

ELV. Forbear, I am angry with myself for my weakness.

GARC. (_Alone_). At length I am...


LOP. My Lord, I have to communicate to you a secret that may justly
alarm your love.

GARC. Do not talk to me of secrets or alarms, whilst I am in such a
blissful rapture. After what has just taken place, I ought not to listen
to any suspicions. The unequalled kindness of a divine object ought to
shut my ears against all such idle reports. Do not say anything more.

LOP. My Lord, I shall do as you wish; my only care in this business was
for you. I thought that the secret I just discovered ought to be
communicated with all diligence; but since it is your pleasure I should
not mention it, I shall change the conversation, and inform you that
every family in Leon threw off the mask, as soon as the report spread
that the troops of Castile were approaching; the lower classes
especially show openly such an affection for their true King, that the
tyrant trembles for fear.

GARC. Castile, however, shall not gain the victory without our making an
attempt to share in the glory; our troops may also be able to terrify
Mauregat. But what secret would you communicate to me? Let us hear it?

LOP. My Lord, I have nothing to say.

[Footnote: Compare Iago's reticence in Shakespeare's _Othello_ (iii.

GARC. Come, come, speak, I give you leave.

LOP. My Lord, your words have told me differently; and since my news may
displease you, I shall know for the future how to remain silent.

GARC. Without further reply, I wish to know your secret.

LOP. Your commands must be obeyed; but, my Lord, duty forbids me to
explain such a secret in this place. Let us go hence, and I shall
communicate it to you; without taking anything lightly for granted, you
yourself shall judge what you ought to think of it.



ELV. What say you, Eliza, to this unaccountable weakness in the heart of
a Princess? What do you say when you see me so quickly forego my desire
for revenge, and, in spite of so much publicity, weakly and shamefully
pardon so cruel an outrage.

EL. I say, Madam, that an insult from a man we love is doubtless very
difficult to bear; but if there be none which makes us sooner angry, so
there is none which we sooner pardon. If the man we love is guilty, and
throws himself at our feet, he triumphs over the rash outbreak of the
greatest anger; so much the more easily, Madam, if the offence comes
from an excess of love. However great your displeasure may have been, I
am not astonished to see it appeased; I know the power which, in spite
of your threats, will always pardon such crimes.

ELV. But know, Eliza, however great the power of my love may be, I have
blushed for the last time; if henceforth the Prince gives me fresh cause
for anger, he must no longer look for pardon. I swear, that in such a
case, I will never more foster tender feelings for him: for in short, a
mind with ever so little pride is greatly ashamed to go back from its
word, and often struggles gallantly against its own inclinations; it
becomes stubborn for honour's sake, and sacrifices everything to the
noble pride of keeping its word. Though I have pardoned him now, do not
consider this a precedent for the future. Whatever fortune has in store
for me, I cannot think of giving my hand to the Prince of Navarre, until
he has shown that he is completely cured of those gloomy fits which
unsettle his reason, and has convinced me, who am the greatest sufferer
by this disease, that he will never insult me again by a relapse.

EL. But how can the jealousy of a lover be an insult to us?

ELV. Is there one more deserving of our wrath? And since it is with the
utmost difficulty we can resolve to confess our love; since the strict
honour of our sex at all times strongly opposes such a confession, ought
a lover to doubt our avowal, and should he not be punished? Is he not
greatly to blame in disbelieving that which is never said but after a
severe struggle with one's self?

[Footnote: The words "since it is" until "one's self" have been used by
Molière with some slight alteration in the _Misanthrope_, Act iv., Scene
3, (see vol. II.)]

EL. As for me, I think that a little mistrust on such an occasion should
not offend us; and that it is dangerous, Madam, for a lover to be
absolutely persuaded that he is beloved. If...

ELV. Let us argue no more. Every person thinks differently. I am
offended by such suspicions; and, in spite of myself, I am conscious of
something which forebodes an open quarrel between the Prince and me, and
which, notwithstanding his great qualities.... But Heavens! Don Silvio
of Castile in this place!

SCENE II.--DONNA ELVIRA, DON ALPHONSO, _under the name of Don Silvio_,

ELV. Ah! my Lord, what chance has brought you here?

ALPH. I know, Madam, that my arrival must surprise you. To enter quietly
this town, to which the access has become difficult through the orders
of a rival, and to have avoided being seen by the soldiers, is an event
you did not look for. But if, in coming here, I have surmounted some
obstacles, the desire of seeing you is able to effect much greater
miracles. My heart has felt but too severely the blows of merciless fate
which kept me away from you; to allay the pangs which nearly kill me, I
could not refuse myself some moments to behold in secret your
inestimable person. I come, therefore, to tell you that I return thanks
to Heaven, that you are rescued from the hands of an odious tyrant. But,
in the midst of that happiness, I feel that I shall always be tortured
with the thought that envious fate deprived me of the honour of
performing such a noble deed, and has unjustly given to my rival the
chance of venturing his life pleasantly to render you so great a
service. Yes, Madam, my readiness to free you from your chains was
undoubtedly equal to his; I should have gained the victory for you, if
Heaven had not robbed me of that honour.

ELV. I know, my Lord, that you possess a heart capable of overcoming the
greatest dangers; I doubt not but this generous zeal which incited you
to espouse my quarrel, would have enabled you, as well as any one else,
to overcome all base attempts; but even if you have not performed this
noble deed--and you could have done it--I am already under sufficient
obligations to the house of Castile. It is well known what a warm and
faithful friend the Count, your father, was of the late King, and what
he did for him. After having assisted him until he died, he gave my
brother a shelter in his states; full twenty years he concealed him, in
spite of the cowardly efforts to discover him, employed by barbarous and
enraged enemies; and now to restore to his brow a crown, in all its
splendour, you are marching in person against our usurpers. Are you not
satisfied, and do not these generous endeavours place me under strong
obligations to you? Would you, my Lord, obstinately persist in swaying
my whole fate? Must I never receive even the slightest kindness unless
from you? Ah! amidst these misfortunes, which seem to be my fate, suffer
me to owe also something to another, and do not complain that another
arm acquired some glory, when you were absent.

ALPH. Yes, Madam, I ought to cease complaining; you are quite right when
you tell me so; we unjustly complain of one misfortune, when a much
greater threatens to afflict us. This succour from a rival is a cruel
mortification to me: but, alas! this is not the greatest of my
misfortunes; the blow, the severe blow which crushes me, is to see that
rival preferred to me. Yes, I but too plainly perceive that his greater
reputation was the reason that his love was preferred to mine; that
opportunity of serving you, the advantage he possessed of signalizing
his prowess, that brilliant exploit which he performed in saving you,
was nothing but the mere effect of being happy enough to please you, the
secret power of a wonderful astral influence which causes the object you
love to become famed. Thus all my efforts will be in vain. I am leading
an army against your haughty tyrants; but I fulfil this noble duty
trembling, because I am sure that your wishes will not be for me, and
that, if they are granted, fortune has in store the most glorious
success for my happy rival. Ah! Madam, must I see myself hurled from
that summit of glory I expected; and may I not know what crimes they
accuse me of, and why I have deserved that dreadful downfall?

ELV. Before you ask me anything, consider what you ought to ask of my
feelings. As for this coldness of mine, which seems to abash you, I
leave it to you, my Lord, to answer for me; for, in short, you cannot be
ignorant that some of your secrets have been told to me. I believe your
mind to be too noble and too generous to desire me to do what is wrong.
Say yourself if it would be just to make me reward faithlessness;
whether you can, without the greatest injustice, offer me a heart
already tendered to another; whether you are justified in complaining,
and in blaming a refusal which would prevent you from staining your
virtues with a crime? Yes, my Lord, it is a crime, for first love has so
sacred a hold on a lofty mind, that it would rather lose greatness and
abandon life itself, than incline to a second love.

[Footnote: The words "Yes my Lord" until "second love" are also, with
some alterations, found in _The Blue Stockings_, Act iv. Scene 2, (see
Vol. III).]

I have that regard for you which is caused by an appreciation of your
lofty courage, your magnanimous heart; but do not require of me more
than I owe you, and maintain the honour of your first choice. In spite
of your new love, consider what tender feelings the amiable Inez still
retains for you; that she has constantly refused to be made happy for
the sake of an ungrateful man; for such you are, my Lord! In her great
love for you, how generously has she scorned the splendour of a diadem!
Consider what attempts she has withstood for your sake, and restore to
her heart what you owe it.

ALPH. Ah, Madam, do not present her merit to my eyes! Though I am an
ungrateful man and abandon her, she is never out of my mind; if my heart
could tell you what it feels for her, I fear it would be guilty towards
you. Yes, that heart dares to pity Inez, and does not, without some
hesitation follow the violent love which leads it on. I never flattered
myself that you would reward my love without at the same time breathing
some sighs for her; in the midst of these pleasant thoughts my memory
still casts some sad looks towards my first love, reproaches itself with
the effect of your divine charms, and mingles some remorse with what I
wish most fervently. And since I must tell you all, I have done more
than this. I have endeavoured to free myself from your sway, to break
your chains, and to place my heart again under the innocent yoke of its
first conqueror. But, after all my endeavours, my fidelity gives way,
and I see only one remedy for the disease that kills me. Were I even to
be forever wretched, I cannot forswear my love, or bear the terrible
idea of seeing you in the arms of another; that same light, which
permits me to behold your charms, will shine on my corpse, before this
marriage takes place. I know that I betray an amiable Princess; but
after all, Madam, is my heart guilty? Does the powerful influence which
your beauty possesses leave the mind any liberty? Alas! I am much more
to be pitied than she; for, by losing me, she loses only a faithless
man. Such a sorrow can easily be soothed; but I, through an unparalleled
misfortune, abandon an amiable lady, whilst I endure all the torments of
a rejected love.

ELV. You have no torments but what you yourself create, for our heart is
always in our own power. It may indeed sometimes show a little weakness;
but, after all, reason sways our passions...

Don Silvio_.

GARC. I perceive. Madam, that my coming is somewhat unseasonable, and
disturbs your conversation. I must needs say I did not expect to find
such good company here.

ELV. Don Silvio's appearance indeed surprised me very much; I no more
expected him than you did.

GARC. Madam, since you say so, I do not believe you were forewarned of
this visit; (_to Don Silvio_) but you, sir, ought at least to have
honoured us with some notice of this rare happiness, so that we should
not have been surprised, but enabled to pay you here those attentions
which we would have liked to render you.

ALPH. My Lord, you are so busy with warlike preparations, that I should
have been wrong had I interrupted you. The sublime thoughts of mighty
conquerors can hardly stoop to the ordinary civilities of the world.

GARC. But those mighty conquerors, whose warlike preparations are thus
praised, far from loving secrecy, prefer to have witnesses of what they
do; their minds trained to glorious deeds from infancy, make them carry
out all their plans openly; being always supported by lofty sentiments,
they never stoop to disguise themselves. Do you not compromise your
heroic merits in coming here secretly, and are you not afraid that
people may look upon this action as unworthy of you?

ALPH. I know not whether any one will blame my conduct because I have
made a visit here in secret; but I know, Prince, that I never courted
obscurity in things which require light. Were I to undertake anything
against you, you should have no cause to remark you were surprised. It
would depend upon yourself to guard against it; I would take care to
warn you beforehand. Meanwhile let us continue upon ordinary terms, and
postpone the settlement of our quarrels until all other affairs are
arranged. Let us suppress the outbursts of our rather excited passions,
and not forget in whose presence we are both speaking.

ELV. (_To Don Garcia_). Prince, you are in the wrong; and his visit is
such that you...

GARC. Ah! Madam, it is too much to espouse his quarrel You ought to
dissemble a little better when you pretend that you were ignorant he was
coming here. You defend him so warmly and so quickly, that it is no very
convincing proof of his visit being unexpected.

ELV. Your suspicions concern me so little, that I should be very sorry
to deny your accusation.

GARC. Why do you not go farther in your lofty pride, and, without
hesitation, lay bare your whole heart? You are too prone to
dissimulation. Do not unsay anything you once said. Be brief, be brief,
lay aside all scruples; say that his passion has kindled yours, that his
presence delights you so much...

ELV. And if I have a mind to love him, can you hinder me? Do you pretend
to sway my heart, and have I to receive your commands whom I must love?
Know that too much pride has deceived you, if you think you have any
authority over me; my mind soars too high to conceal my feelings when I
am asked to declare them. I will not tell you whether the Count is
beloved; but I may inform you that I esteem him highly; his great
merits, which I admire, deserve the love of a Princess better than you;
his passion, the assiduity he displays, impress me very strongly; and if
the stern decree of fate puts it out of my power to reward him with my
hand, I can at least promise him never to become a prey to your love.
Without keeping you any longer in slight suspense, I engage myself to
act thus, and I will keep my word. I have opened my heart to you, as you
desired it, and shown you my real feelings. Are you satisfied, and do
you not think that, as you pressed me, I have sufficiently explained
myself? Consider whether there remains anything else for me to do in
order to clear up your suspicions. (_To Don Silvio_). In the meanwhile,
if you persist in your resolution to please me, do not forget, Count,
that I have need of your arm, and that whatever may be the outbreaks of
temper of an eccentric man, you must do your utmost to punish our
tyrants. In a word, do not listen to what he may say to you in his
wrath, and in order to induce you so to act, remember that I have
entreated you.


GARC. Everything smiles upon you, and you proudly triumph over my
confusion. It is pleasant to hear the glorious confession of that
victory which you obtain over a rival; but it must greatly add to your
joy to have that rival a witness to it. My pretensions, openly set
aside, enhance all the more the triumph of your love. Enjoy this great
happiness fully, but know that you have not yet gained your point; I
have too just cause to be incensed, and many things may perhaps ere then
come to pass. Despair, when it breaks out, goes a great way; everything
is pardonable when one has been deceived. If the ungrateful woman, out
of compliment to your love, has just now pledged her word never to be
mine, my righteous indignation will discover the means of preventing her
ever being yours.

ALPH. I do not trouble myself about your antagonism. We shall see who
will be deceived in his expectations. Each by his valour will be able to
defend the reputation of his love, or avenge his misfortune. But as
between rivals the calmest mind may easily become irate, and as I am
unwilling that such a conversation should exasperate either of us, I
wish, Prince, you would put me in the way of leaving this place, so that
the restraint I put upon myself may be ended.

GARC. No, no, do not fear that you will be compelled to violate the
order you received. Whatever righteous wrath is kindled within me, and
which no doubt delights you, Count, I know when it should break forth.
This place is open to you; you can leave it, proud of the advantages you
have gained. But once more I tell you that my head alone can put your
conquest into your hands.

ALPH. When matters shall have reached that point, fortune and our arms
will soon end our quarrel.



ELV. You can go back, Don Alvarez, but do not expect that you shall
persuade me to forget this offence. The wound which my heart received is
incurable; all endeavours to heal it make it but fester the more. Does
the Prince think I shall listen to some simulated compliments? No, no,
he has made me too angry; and his fruitless repentance, which led you
hither, solicits a pardon which I will not grant.

ALV. Madam, he deserves your pity. Never was any offence expiated with
more stinging remorse; if you were to see his grief, it would touch your
heart, and you would pardon him. It is well known that the Prince is of
an age at which we abandon ourselves to first impressions; that in fiery
youth the passions hardly leave room for reflection. Don Lopez, deceived
by false tidings, was the cause of his master's mistake. An idle report
that the Count was coming, and that you had some understanding with
those who admitted him within these walls, was indiscreetly bruited
about. The Prince believed it; his love, deceived by a false alarm, has
caused all this disturbance. But being now conscious of his error, he is
well aware of your innocence; the dismissal of Don Lopez clearly proves
how great his remorse is for the outburst of which he has been guilty.

ELV. Alas! He too readily believes me innocent; he is not yet quite sure
of it. Tell him to weigh all things well, and not to make too much
haste, for fear of being deceived.

ALV. Madam, he knows too well....

ELV. I pray you, Don Alvarez, let us no longer continue a conversation
which vexes me: it revives in me some sadness, at the very moment that a
more important sorrow oppresses me. Yes, I have received unexpectedly
the news of a very great misfortune; the report of the death of the
Countess Inez has filled my heart with so much wretchedness, that there
is no room for any other grief.

ALV. Madam, these tidings may not be true; but when I return, I shall
have to communicate to the Prince a cruel piece of news.

ELV. However great his sufferings may be, they fall short of what he


EL. I waited, Madam until he was gone, to tell you something that will
free you from your anxiety, since this very moment you can be informed
what has become of Donna Inez. A certain person, whom I do not know, has
sent one of his servants to ask an audience of you, in order to tell you

ELV. Eliza, I must see him; let him come quickly.

EL. He does not wish to be seen except by yourself; by this messenger he
requests, Madam that his visit may take place without any one being

ELV. Well, we shall be alone, I will give orders about that, whilst you
bring him here. How great is my impatience just now! Ye fates, shall
these tidings be full of joy or grief?


EL. Where....

PED. If you are looking for me, Madam, here I am.

EL. Where is your master....

PED. He is hard by; shall I fetch him?

EL. Desire him to come; tell him that he is impatiently expected, and
that no one shall see him. (_Alone_). I cannot unravel this mystery; all
the precautions he takes ... But here he is already.

SCENE IV.--DONNA INEZ, _in man's dress_, ELIZA.

EL. My Lord, in order to wait for you, we have prepared.... But what do
I see? Ah! Madam, my eyes....

INEZ. Do not tell any one, Eliza, I am here; allow me to pass my sad
days in peace. I pretended to kill myself. By this feigned death I got
rid of all my tyrants; for this is the name my relatives deserve. Thus I
have avoided a dreadful marriage; rather than have consented, I would
really have killed myself. This dress, and the report of my death, will
keep the secret of my fate from all, and secure me against that unjust
persecution which may even follow me hither.

EL. My surprise might have betrayed you, if I had seen you in public;
but go into this room and put an end to the sorrow of the Princess; her
heart will be filled with joy when she shall behold you. You will find
her there alone; she has taken care to see you by herself, and without
any witnesses.


EL. Is this not Don Alvarez whom I see?

ALV. The Prince sends me to entreat you to use your utmost influence in
his favour. His life is despaired of, unless he obtains by your means,
fair Eliza, one moment's conversation with Donna Elvira; he is beside
himself ... but here he is.


GARC. Alas. Eliza, feel for my great misfortune; take pity on a heart
full of wretchedness, and given up to the bitterest sorrow.

EL. I should look upon your torments, my Lord, with other eyes than the
Princess does; Heaven or our mood is the reason why we judge differently
about everything. But, as she blames you, and fancies your jealousy to
be a frightful monster, if I were in your place I should obey her
wishes, and endeavour to conceal from her eyes what offends them. A
lover undoubtedly acts wisely when he tries to suit his temper to ours;
a hundred acts of politeness have less influence than this unison, which
makes two hearts appear as if stirred by the same feelings. This
similarity firmly unites them; for we love nothing so much as what
resembles ourselves.

GARC. I know it, but alas! merciless fate opposes such a well
intentioned plan; in spite of all my endeavours, it continually lays a
snare for me, which my heart cannot avoid. It is not because the
ungrateful woman, in the presence of my rival, avowed her love for him,
and not for me; and that with such an excess of tenderness, that it is
impossible I can ever forget her cruelty. But as too much ardour led me
to believe erroneously that she had introduced him into this place, I
should be very much annoyed if I left upon her mind the impression that
she has any just cause of complaint against me. Yes, if I am abandoned,
it shall be only through her faithlessness; for as I have come to beg
her pardon for my impetuosity, she shall have no excuse for ingratitude.

EL. Give a little time for her resentment to cool, and do not see her
again so soon, my Lord.

GARC. Ah! if you love me, induce her to see me; she must grant me that
permission; I do not leave this spot until her cruel disdain at

EL. Pray, my Lord, defer this purpose.

GARC. No; make no more idle excuses.

EL. (_Aside_). The Princess herself must find means to send him away, if
she says but one word to him. (_To Don Garcia_). Stay here, my Lord, I
shall go and speak to her.

GARC. Tell her that I instantly dismissed the person whose information
was the cause of my offence, that Don Lopez shall never...


GARC. (_Looking in at the door which Eliza left half open_). What do I
see, righteous Heavens! Can I believe my eyes? Alas! they are,
doubtless, but too faithful witnesses; this is the most terrible of all
my great troubles! This fatal blow completely overwhelms me! When
suspicions raged within me, it was Heaven itself, vaguely but ominously
foretelling me this horrible disgrace.

ALV. What have you seen, my Lord, to disturb you?

GARC. I have seen what I can hardly conceive; the overthrow of all
creation would less astonish me than this accident. It is all over with
me ... Fate ... I cannot speak.

[Footnote: The words from "What have you seen" till "I cannot speak,"
are with some slight alterations, found in the _Misanthrope_, Act iv.,
Scene 2 (see Vol. II).]

ALV. My Lord, endeavour to be composed.

GARC. I have seen... Vengeance! O Heaven!

ALV. What sudden alarm...?

GARC. It will kill me, Don Alvarez, it is but too certain.

ALV. But, my Lord, what can...

GARC. Alas! Everything is undone. I am betrayed, I am murdered!

[Footnote: The last sentences of Don Alvarez and Don Garcia are also
found in the _Misanthrope_, Act iv., Scene 2 (see Vol. II).]

A man, (can I say it and still live) a man in the arms of the faithless

ALV. The Princess, my Lord, is so virtuous...

GARC. Ah, Don Alvarez, do not gainsay what I have seen. It is too much
to defend her reputation, after my eyes have beheld so heinous an

ALV. Our passions, my Lord, often cause us to mistake a deception for a
reality; to believe that a mind nourished by virtue can....

GARC. Prithee leave me, Don Alvarez, a counsellor is in the way upon
such an occasion; I will take counsel only of my wrath.

ALV. (_Aside_). It is better not to answer him when his mind is so

GARC. Oh! how deeply am I wounded! But I shall see who it is, and punish
with my own hand.... But here she comes. Restrain thyself, O rage!


ELV. Well, what do you want? However bold you may be, how can you hope
for pardon, after the way you have behaved? Dare you again present
yourself before me? And what can you say that will become me to hear?

GARC. That all the wickedness of this world is not to be compared to
your perfidy; that neither fate, hell, nor Heaven in its wrath ever
produced anything so wicked as you are.

[Footnote: The above words of Don Garcia are also in the _Misanthrope_,
Act iv., Scene 3 (see Vol. II).]

ELV. How is this? I expected you would excuse your outrage; but I find
you use other words.

GARC. Yes, yes, other words. You did not think that, the door being by
accident left half open, I should discover the caitiff in your arms, and
thus behold your shame, and my doom. Is it the happy lover who has
returned, or some other rival to me unknown? O Heaven! grant me
sufficient strength to bear such tortures. Now, blush, you have cause to
do so; your treachery is laid bare. This is what the agitations of my
mind prognosticated; it was not without cause that my love took alarm;
my continual suspicions were hateful to you, but I was trying to
discover the misfortune my eyes have beheld; in spite of all your care,
and your skill in dissembling, my star foretold me what I had to fear.
But do not imagine that I will bear unavenged the slight of being
insulted! I know that we have no command over our inclinations; that
love will everywhere spring up spontaneously; that there is no entering
a heart by force, and that every soul is free to name its conqueror;
therefore I should have no reason to complain, if you had spoken to me
without dissembling; you would then have sounded the death-knell of my
hope; but my heart could have blamed fortune alone. But to see my love
encouraged by a deceitful avowal on your part, is so treacherous and
perfidious an action, that it cannot meet with too great a punishment; I
can allow my resentment to do anything. No, no, after such an outrage,
hope for nothing. I am no longer myself, I am mad with rage.

[Footnote: The whole of this speech, from "Now blush," until "mad with
rage," has, with few alterations, been used in the _Misanthrope_. Act
iv., Scene 3 (see Vol. II).]

Betrayed on all sides, placed in so sad a situation, my love must avenge
itself to the utmost; I shall sacrifice everything here to my frenzy,
and end my despair with my life.

ELV. I have listened to you patiently; can I, in my turn, speak to you

GARC. And by what eloquent speeches, inspired by cunning....

ELV. If you have still something to say, pray continue; I am ready to
hear you. If not, I hope you will at least listen for a few minutes
quietly to what I have to say.

GARC. Well, then, I am listening. Ye Heavens! what patience is mine!

ELV. I restrain my indignation, and will without any passion reply to
your discourse, so full of fury.

GARC. It is because you see...

ELV. I have listened to you as long as you pleased; pray do the like to
me. I wonder at my destiny, and I believe there was never any thing
under Heaven so marvellous, nothing more strange and incomprehensible,
and nothing more opposed to reason. I have a lover, who incessantly does
nothing else but persecute me; who, amidst all the expressions of his
love, does not entertain for me any feelings of esteem; whose heart, on
which my eyes have made an impression, does not do justice to the lofty
rank granted to me by Heaven; who will not defend the innocence of my
actions against the slightest semblance of false appearances. Yes, I
see ... (_Don Garcia shows some signs of impatience, and wishes to
speak_). Above all, do not interrupt me. I see that my unhappiness is so
great, that one who says he loves me, and who, even if the whole world
were to attack my reputation, ought to claim to defend it against all,
is he who is its greatest foe. In the midst of his love, he lets no
opportunity pass of suspecting me; he not only suspects me, but breaks
out into such violent fits of jealousy that love cannot suffer without
being wounded. Far from acting like a lover who would rather die than
offend her whom he loves, who gently complains and seeks respectfully
to have explained what he thinks suspicious, he proceeds to extremities
as soon as he doubts, and is full of rage, insults, and threats. However,
this day I will shut my eyes to everything that makes him odious to me,
and out of mere kindness afford him an opportunity of being reconciled,
though he insulted me anew. This great rage with which you attacked me
proceeds from what you accidentally saw; I should be wrong to deny what
you have seen; I own you might have some reason to be disturbed at it.

GARC. And is it not...

ELV. Listen to me a little longer, and you shall know what I have
resolved. It is necessary that our fates should be decided. You are now
upon the brink of a great precipice; you will either fall over it, or
save yourself, according to the resolution you shall take. If,
notwithstanding what you have seen, Prince, you act towards me as you
ought, and ask no other proof but that I tell you you are wrong; if you
readily comply with my wishes and are willing to believe me innocent
upon my word alone, and no longer yield to every suspicion, but blindly
believe what my heart tells you; then this submission, this proof of
esteem, shall cancel all your offences; I instantly retract what I said
when excited by well-founded anger. And if hereafter I can choose for
myself, without prejudicing what I owe to my birth, then my honour,
being satisfied with the respect you so quickly show, promises to reward
your love with my heart and my hand. But listen now to what I say. If
you care so little for my offer as to refuse completely to abandon your
jealous suspicions; if the assurance which my heart and birth give you
do not suffice; if the mistrust that darkens your mind compels me,
though innocent, to convince you, and to produce a clear proof of my
offended virtue, I am ready to do so, and you shall be satisfied; but
you must then renounce me at once, and for ever give up all pretensions
to my hand. I swear by Him who rules the Heavens, that, whatever fate
may have in store for us, I will rather die than be yours! I trust these
two proposals may satisfy you; now choose which of the two pleases you.

GARC. Righteous Heaven! Was there ever anything more artful and
treacherous? Could hellish malice produce any perfidy so black? Could it
have invented a more severe and merciless way to embarrass a lover? Ah!
ungrateful woman, you know well how to take advantage of my great
weakness, even against myself, and to employ for your own purposes that
excessive, astonishing, and fatal love which you inspired.

[Footnote: The phrase "Ah! ungrateful woman" until "inspired" is also
found in the _Misanthrope_, Act iv., Scene 3 (see Vol. II).]

Because you have been taken by surprise, and cannot find an excuse, you
cunningly offer to forgive me. You pretend to be good-natured, and
invent some trick to divert the consequences of my vengeance; you wish
to ward off the blow that threatens a wretch, by craftily entangling me
with your offer. Yes, your artifices would fain avert an explanation
which must condemn you; pretending to be completely innocent, you will
give convincing proof of it only upon such conditions as you think and
most fervently trust I will never accept; but you are mistaken if you
think to surprise me. Yes, yes, I am resolved to see how you can defend
yourself; by what miracle you can justify the horrible sight I beheld,
and condemn my anger.

ELV. Consider that, by this choice, you engage yourself to abandon all
pretensions to the heart of Donna Elvira.

GARC. Be it so! I consent to everything; besides, in my present
condition, I have no longer any pretensions.

ELV. You will repent the wrath you have displayed.

GARC. No, no, your argument is a mere evasion; I ought rather to tell
you that somebody else may perhaps soon repent. The wretch, whoever he
may be, shall not be fortunate enough to save his life, if I wreak my

ELV. Ha! This can no longer be borne; I am too angry foolishly to
preserve longer my good nature. Let me abandon the wretch to his own
devices, and, since he will undergo his doom, let him--Eliza!... (_To
Don Garcia_). You compel me to act thus; but you shall see that this
outrage will be the last.


ELV. (_To Eliza_). Desire my beloved to come forth ... Go, you
understand me, say that I wish it.

GARC. And can I...

ELV. Patience, you will be satisfied.

EL. (_Aside, going out_). This is doubtless some new trick of our
jealous lover.

ELV. Take care at least that this righteous indignation perseveres in
its ardour to the end; above all, do not henceforth forget what price
you have paid to see your suspicions removed.


ELV. (_To Don Garcia, showing him Donna Inez_). Thanks to Heaven, behold
the cause of the generous suspicions you showed. Look well on that face,
and see if you do not at once recognize the features of Donna Inez.

GARC. O Heavens!

ELV. If the rage which fills your heart prevents you from using your
eyes, you can ask others, and thus leave no room for doubt. It was
necessary to pretend she was dead, so that she might escape from the
tyrant who persecuted her: she disguised herself in this manner the
better to profit by her pretended death. (_To Donna Inez_). You will
pardon me, Madam, for having consented to betray your secrets and to
frustrate your expectations; but I am exposed to Don Garcia's insolence;
I am no longer free to do as I wish; my honour is a prey to his
suspicions, and is every moment compelled to defend itself. This jealous
man accidentally saw us embrace, and then he behaved most disgracefully.
(_To Don Garcia_). Yes, behold the cause of your sudden rage, and the
convincing witness of my disgrace. Now, like a thorough tyrant, enjoy
the explanation you have provoked; but know that I shall never blot from
my memory the heinous outrage done to my reputation. And if ever I
forget my oath, may Heaven shower its severest chastisements upon my
head; may a thunderbolt descend upon me if ever I resolve to listen to
your love. Come, Madam, let us leave this spot, poisoned by the looks of
a furious monster; let us quickly flee from his bitter attacks, let us
avoid the consequences of his mad rage, and animated by just motives,
let us only pray that we may soon be delivered from his hands.

INEZ. (_To Don Garcia_). My Lord, your unjust and violent suspicions
have wronged virtue itself.


GARC. What gleam of light clearly shows me my error, and, at the same
time, involves my senses in such a profound horror that, dejected, I can
see nothing but the dreadful object of a remorse that kills me! Ah! Don
Alvarez, I perceive you were in the right; but hell breathed its poison
into my soul; through a merciless fatality I am my worst enemy. What
does it benefit me to love with the most ardent passion that an amorous
heart ever displayed, if this love continually engenders suspicions
which torment me, and thus renders itself hateful! I must, I must justly
revenge by my death the outrage committed against her divine charms.
What advice can I follow now? Alas! I have lost the only object which
made life dear to me! As I relinquished all hope of ever being beloved
by her, it is much easier to abandon life itself.

ALV. My Lord...

GARC. No, Don Alvarez, my death is necessary. No pains, no arguments
shall turn me from it; yet my approaching end must do some signal
service to the Princess. Animated by this noble desire, I will seek some
glorious means of quitting life; perform some mighty deed worthy of my
love, so that in expiring for her sake she may pity me, and say, it was
excess of love that was my sole offence. Thus she shall see herself
avenged! I must attempt a deed of daring, and with my own hand give to
Mauregat that death he so justly deserves. My boldness will forestall
the blow with which Castile openly threatens him. With my last breath, I
shall have the pleasure of depriving my rival of performing such a
glorious deed.

ALV. So great a service, my Lord, may perhaps obliterate all remembrance
of your offence; but to risk....

GARC. Let me fulfil my duty, and strive to make my despair aid in this
noble attempt.



ALV. No, never was anyone more astonished. He had just planned that
lofty undertaking; inspired by despair, he was all anxiety to kill
Mauregat; eager to show his courage, and to reap the advantage of this
lawful deed; to endeavour to obtain his pardon, and prevent the
mortification of seeing his rival share his glory. As he was leaving
these walls, a too accurate report brought him the sad tidings, that the
very rival whom he wished to forestall had already gained the honour he
hoped to acquire: had anticipated him, in slaying the traitor, and urged
the appearance of Don Alphonso, who will reap the fruits of Don Silvio's
prompt success, and come to fetch the Princess, his sister. It is
publicly said and generally believed, that Don Alphonso intends to give
the hand of his sister as a reward for the great services Don Silvio has
rendered him, by clearing for him a way to the throne.

EL. Yes, Donna Elvira has heard this news, which has been confirmed by
old Don Louis, who has sent her word that Leon is now awaiting her happy
return and that of Don Alphonso, and that there, since fortune smiles
upon her, she shall receive a husband from the hands of her brother. It
is plain enough from these few words that Don Silvio will be her

ALV. This blow to the Prince's heart...

EL. Will certainly be severely felt. I cannot help pitying his distress;
yet, if I judge rightly, he is still dear to the heart he has offended;
it did not appear to me that the Princess was well pleased when she
heard of Don Silvio's success, and of the approaching arrival of her
brother, or with the letter; but...


ELV. Don Alvarez, let the Prince come hither. (_Don Alvarez leaves_).
Give me leave, Madam, to speak to him in your presence concerning this
piece of news, which greatly surprises me; and do not accuse me of
changing my mind too quickly, if I lose all my animosity against him.
His unforeseen misfortune has extinguished it; he is unhappy enough
without the addition of my hatred. Heaven, who treats him with so much
rigour, has but too well executed the oaths I took. When my honour was
outraged, I vowed openly never to be his; but as I see that fate is
against him, I think I have treated his love with too great severity;
the ill success that follows whatever he does for my sake, cancels his
offence, and restores him my love. Yes, I have been too well avenged;
the waywardness of his fate disarms my anger, and now, full of
compassion, I am seeking to console an unhappy lover for his
misfortunes. I believe his love well deserves the compassion I wish to
show him.

INEZ. Madam, it would be wrong to blame the tender sentiments you feel
for him. What he has done for you ... He comes; and his paleness shows
how deeply he is affected by this surprising stroke of fate.


GARC. Madam, you must think me very bold in daring to come here to show
you my hateful presence...

ELV. Prince, let us talk no more of my resentment; your fate has made a
change in my heart. Its severity, and your wretched condition have
extinguished my anger, and our peace is made. Yes, though you have
deserved the misfortunes with which Heaven in its wrath has afflicted
you; though your jealous suspicions have so ignominiously, so almost
incredibly, sullied my fame, yet I must needs confess that I so far
commiserate your misfortune, as to be somewhat displeased with our
success. I hate the famous service Don Silvio has rendered us, because
my heart must be sacrificed to reward it; I would, were it in my power,
bring back the moments when destiny put only my oath in my way. But you
know that it is the doom of such as we are, to be always the slaves of
public interests; that Heaven has ordained that my brother, who disposes
of my hand, is likewise my King. Yield, as I do, Prince, to that
necessity which rank imposes upon those of lofty birth. If you are very
unfortunate in your love, be comforted by the interest I take in you;
and though you have been overwhelmed by fate, do not employ the power
which your valour gives you in this place: it would, doubtless be
unworthy of you to struggle against destiny; whilst it is in vain to
oppose its decrees, a prompt submission shows a lofty courage. Do not
therefore resist its orders; but open the gates of Astorga to my brother
who is coming; allow my sad heart to yield to those rights which he is
entitled to claim from me; perhaps that fatal duty, which I owe him
against my will, may not go so far as you imagine.

GARC. Madam, you give me proofs of exquisite goodness in endeavouring to
lighten the blow that is prepared for me, but without such pains you may
let fall upon me all the wrath which your duty demands. In my present
condition, I can say nothing. I have deserved the worst punishments
which fate can inflict; and I know that, whatever evils I may suffer, I
have deprived myself of the right to complain of them. Alas, amidst all
my misfortunes, on what grounds can I be bold enough to utter any
complaint against you? My love has rendered itself a thousand times
odious, and has done nothing but outrage your glorious charms; when by a
just and noble sacrifice, I was endeavouring to render some service to
your family, fortune abandoned me, and made me taste the bitter grief of
being forestalled by a rival. After this, Madam, I have nothing more to
say. I deserve the blow which I expect; and I see it coming, without
daring to call upon your heart to assist me. What remains for me in this
extreme misfortune is to seek a remedy in myself, and, by a death which
I long for, free my heart from all those tribulations. Yes, Don Alphonso
will soon be here; already my rival has made his appearance; he seems to
have hurried hither from Leon, to receive his reward for having killed
the tyrant. Do not fear that I shall use my power within these walls to
offer him any resistance. If you allowed it, there is no being on earth
which I would not defy in order to keep you; but it is not for me, whom
you detest, to expect such an honourable permission. No vain attempts of
mine shall offer the smallest opposition to the execution of your just
designs. No, Madam, your feelings are under no compulsion; you are
perfectly free. I will open the gates of Astorga to the happy conqueror,
and suffer the utmost severity of fate.


ELV. Madam, do not ascribe all my afflictions to the interest which I
take in his unhappy lot. You will do me but justice if you believe that
you have a large share in my heart-felt grief; that I care more for
friendship than for love. If I complain of any dire misfortune, it is
because Heaven in its anger has borrowed from me those shafts which it
hurls against you, and has made my looks guilty of kindling a passion
which treats your kind heart unworthily.

INEZ. This is an accident caused, doubtless, by your looks, for which
you ought not to quarrel with Heaven. If the feeble charms which my
countenance displays have exposed me to the misfortune of my lover
abandoning me, Heaven could not better soften such a blow than by making
use of you to captivate that heart. I ought not to blush for an
inconstancy which indicates the difference between your attractions and
mine. If this change makes me sigh, it is from foreseeing that it will
be fatal to your love; amidst the sorrow caused by friendship, I am
angry for your sake that my few attractions have failed to retain a
heart whose devotion interferes so greatly with the love you feel for

ELV. Rather blame your silence, which, without reason, concealed the
understanding between your hearts. If I had known this secret sooner, it
might perhaps have spared us both some sad trouble; I might then coldly
and justly have refused to listen to the sighs of a fickle lover, and
perhaps have sent back whence they strayed...

INEZ. Madam, he is here.

ELV. You can remain without even looking at him. Do not go away, Madam,
but stay, and, though you suffer, hear what I say to him.

INEZ. I consent, Madam; though I very well know that were another in my
place, she would avoid being present at such a conversation.

ELV. If Heaven seconds my wishes, Madam, you shall have no cause to

SCENE V.--DON ALPHONSO (_believed to be Don Silvio_), DONNA ELVIRA,

ELV. Before you say a word, my Lord, I earnestly beg that you will deign
to hear me for a moment. Fame has already informed us of the marvellous
deeds you have performed. I wonder to see, as all do, how quickly and
successfully you have changed our lot. I know very well that such an
eminent service can never be sufficiently rewarded, and that nothing
ought to be refused to you for that never-to-be-forgotten deed which
replaces my brother on the throne of his ancestors. But whatever his
grateful heart may offer you, make a generous use of your advantages,
and do not employ your glorious action, my Lord, to make me bend under
an imperious yoke; nor let your love--for you know who is the object of
my passion--persist in triumphing over a well-founded refusal; let not
my brother, to whom they are going to present me, begin his reign by an
act of tyranny over his sister. Leon has other rewards which for the
nonce, may do more honour to your lofty valour. A heart which you can
obtain only by compulsion, would be too mean a reward for your courage.
Can a man be ever really satisfied when, by coercion, he obtains what he
loves? It is a melancholy advantage; a generous-minded lover refuses to
be happy upon such conditions. He will not owe anything to that pressure
which relatives think they have a right to employ; he is ever too fond
of the maiden he loves, to suffer her to be sacrificed as a victim, even
to himself. Not that my heart intends to grant to another what it
refuses to you. No, my Lord, I promise you, and pledge you my word of
honour, that no one shall ever obtain my hand, that a convent shall
protect me against every other...

ALPH. Madam, I have listened long enough to your discourse, and might,
by two words, have prevented it all, if you had given less credit to
false tidings. I know that a common report, which is everywhere
believed, attributes to me the glory of having killed the tyrant; but as
we have been informed, the people alone, stirred up by Don Louis to do
their duty, have performed this honourable and heroic act, which public
rumour ascribed to me. The reason of these tidings was that Don Louis,
the better to carry out his lofty purpose, spread a report that I and my
soldiers had made ourselves masters of the town; by this news he so
excited the people, that they hastened to kill the usurper. He has
managed everything by his prudent zeal, and has just sent me notice of
this by one of his servants. At the same time, a secret has been
revealed to me which will astonish you as much as it surprised me. You
expect a brother, and Leon its true master; Heaven now presents him
before you. Yes, I am Don Alphonso; I was brought up and educated under
the name of Prince of Castile; this clearly proves the sincere
friendship that existed between Don Louis and the King, my father. Don
Louis has all the proofs of this secret, and will establish its truth to
the whole world. But now my thoughts are taken up with other cares; I am
clear how to act towards you; not that my passion is opposed to such a
discovery, or that the brother in my heart quarrels with the lover. The
revelation of this secret has, without the least murmur, changed my
ardour into a love commanded by nature; the tie of relationship which
unites us has so entirely freed me from the love which I entertained for
you, that the highest favour I now long for is the sweet delights of my
first chain, and the means of rendering to the adorable Inez that which
her excessive goodness deserves.

[Footnote: Compare the manner in which Andres, in _The Blunderer_ (Act
v., Scene 15), recognises his sister in Celia.]

But the uncertainty of her lot renders mine miserable; if what is
reported be true, then it will be in vain for Leon to invite me, and for
a throne to wait for me; for a crown could not make me happy. I only
wished for its splendour in order to let me taste the joy of placing it
on the head of that maiden for whom Heaven destined me, and by those
means to repair, as far as I could, the wrong I have done to her
extraordinary virtues. It is from you, Madam, I expect tidings as to
what has become of her. Be pleased to communicate them, and by your
words hasten my despair, or the happiness of my life.

ELV. Do not wonder if I delay answering you; for this news, my Lord,
bewilders me. I will not take upon me to tell your loving heart, whether
Donna Inez be dead or alive; but this gentleman here, who is one of her
most intimate friends, will doubtless give you some information about

ALPH. (_Recognising Donna Inez_). Ah, Madam, in this dilemma I am happy
to behold again your heavenly beauty. But with what eye can you look
upon a fickle lover, whose crime...

INEZ. Ah! do not insult me, and venture to state that a heart, which I
hold dear, could be inconstant. I cannot bear the thought, and the
apology pains me. All the love you felt for the Princess could not
offend me, because her great worth is a sufficient excuse. The love you
bore her is no proof of your guilt towards me. Learn that if you had
been culpable, the lofty pride within me would have made you sue in vain
to overcome my contempt, and that neither repentance nor commands could
have induced me to forget such an insult.

ELV. Ah, dear brother,--allow me to call you by this gentle name,--you
render your sister very happy! I love your choice, and bless fortune,
which enables you to crown so pure a friendship! Of the two noble hearts
I so tenderly love...


GARC. For mercy's sake, Madam, hide from me your satisfaction, and let
me die in the belief that a feeling of duty compels you. I know you can
freely dispose of your hand; I do not intend to run counter to your
wishes. I have proved this sufficiently, as well as my obedience to your
commands. But I must confess that this levity surprises me, and shakes
all my resolutions. Such a sight awakens a storm of passion which I fear
I cannot command, though I would punish myself, if this could make me
lose that profound respect I wish to preserve. Yes, you have ordered me
to bear patiently my unfortunate love; your behest has so much influence
over my heart, that I will rather die than disobey you. But still, the
joy you display tries me too severely; the wisest man, upon such an
occasion, can but ill answer for his conduct. Suppress it, I beseech
you, for a few moments, and spare me, Madam, this cruel trial; however
great your love for my rival may be, do not let me be a wretched witness
of his felicity. This is the smallest favour I think a lover may ask,
even when he is disliked as much as I am. I do not seek this favour for
long, Madam; my departure will soon satisfy you. I go where sorrow shall
consume my soul, and shall learn your marriage only by hearsay; I ought
not to hasten to behold such a spectacle; for, without seeing it, it
will kill me.

INEZ. Give me leave, my Lord, to blame you for complaining, because the
Princess has deeply felt your misfortunes; this very joy at which you
murmur, arises solely from the happiness that is in store for you. She
rejoices in a success which has favoured your heart's desire, and has
discovered that your rival is her brother. Yes, Don Alphonso, whose name
has been so bruited about, is her brother; this great secret has just
now been told to her.

ALPH. My heart, thank Heaven, after a long torture, has all that it can
desire, and deprives you of nothing, my Lord. I am so much the happier,
because I am able to forward your love.

GARC. Alas! my Lord, I am overwhelmed by your goodness, which
condescends to respond to my dearest wishes. Heaven has averted the blow
that I feared; any other man but myself would think himself happy. But
the fortunate discovery of this favourable secret, proves me to be
culpable towards her I adore; I have again succumbed to these wretched
suspicions, against which I have been so often warned, and in vain;
through them my love has become hateful, and I ought to despair of ever
being happy. Yes, Donna Elvira has but too good reason to hate me; I
know I am unworthy of pardon; and whatever success fortune may give me,
death, death alone, is all that I can expect.

ELV. No, no, Prince, your submissive attitude brings more tender
feelings into my heart; I feel that the oath I took is no longer binding
on me; your complaints, your respect, your grief has moved me to
compassion; I see an excess of love in all your actions, and your malady
deserves to be pitied. Since Heaven is the cause of your faults, some
indulgence ought to be allowed to them; in one word, jealous or not
jealous, my King will have no compulsion to employ when he gives me to

GARC. Heaven! enable me to bear the excess of joy which this confession

ALPH. I trust, my Lord, that after all our useless dissensions, this
marriage may forever unite our hearts and kingdoms. But time presses,
and Leon expects us; let us go therefore, and, by our presence and
watchfulness give the last blow to the tyrant's party.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Don Garcie de Navarre; Ou, le Prince Jaloux. English - Don Garcia of Navarre; Or, the Jealous Prince. A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts." ***

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