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Title: The son of Don Juan - an original drama in 3 acts inspired by the reading of - Ibsen's work entitled 'Gengangere'
Author: Echegaray, José
Language: English
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                          The Son of Don Juan

                            IN SAME SERIES.

                     The Lady from the Sea.
                     A London Plane Tree, and other Poems.
                     Iphigenia in Delphi.
                     A Minor Poet.
                     Concerning Cats.
                     A Chaplet from the Greek Anthology.
                     The Countess Kathleen.
                     The Love Songs of Robert Burns.
                     Love Songs of Ireland.
                     Retrospect, and other Poems.
                     Mariana. By JOSÉ ECHEGARAY.
                               [_In Preparation._

               [Illustration: José Echegaray, portrait]

                          The Son of Don Juan

                          _AN ORIGINAL DRAMA
                              IN 3 ACTS_

                            JOSÉ ECHEGARAY

                      Translated by JAMES GRAHAM

                            _CAMEO SERIES_

                  T. Fisher Unwin     Paternoster Sq.
                      London E.C.      MDCCCXCV.

                      _José Echegaray: a Sketch._

                           BY JAMES GRAHAM.

The author of the plays here done into English was born in Madrid on the
Thursday in Holy Week of sixty-three years ago. In spite of a fair
indication to go by, his friends are responsible for the curious
assertion that he himself does not know, or has not taken the trouble to
verify, the exact date of his birth. A reference to familiar sources of
chronology enables us to make a respectful claim to better information
on the point than the person most concerned. So the day of Señor
Echegaray’s birth maybe fixed precisely as the 19th of April, 1832.

The first three years of the dramatist’s life were passed in the capital
of Spain. In 1835 he was removed from Madrid by his father, who had just
obtained the appointment of Professor of Greek at the Institute of
Murcia. It was in Murcia that José received the rudiments of his
education; and while still a child he entered the institute. Here he
studied Latin under Professor Soriano, Natural History under Angel
Girao, and Greek under his own father. The boy was early seen to be
gifted with brain-power of the first order. And being of a docile and
amiable nature, of active and laborious habits, having the advantage of
excellent tutors, and being under the supervision of a kind and cultured
father, it is hardly to be wondered at that his progress in learning was
great and rapid. From the first he displayed that passion for
mathematics which has never grown cool in him throughout life. His
interest in literature itself was far from absorbing. He showed, indeed,
some liking for novels and romantic dramas. For tragic writers of the
stamp of Corneille and Racine he could not conceal his disrelish, though
the fairness of his mind would never permit him to ignore or deny the
many beauties of the classic drama. When he was fifteen years old he
became Bachelor of Philosophic Science, and proceeded to Madrid in the
month of October, 1847, to prepare for entrance into the Escuela de
Caminos. In this great school the mathematical professor was Angel
Riguelme, under whose able tuition young Echegaray devoted himself with
increased ardour to his favourite study. His affection for literature,
it is true, had been gradually strengthening. In the midst of his graver
studies he had also frequented the theatres. But he never failed to
return with an almost frenzied delight to the branch of knowledge which
afforded such food to his voracious intellect. To use his own language,
he “studied the higher mathematics ferociously, ravenously.” It has been
maintained that in all the records of Spanish scientific history no one
has ever been known to devote more eager and profound study to
mathematics than José Echegaray. His whole spirit seemed to be
inextricably identified with the subject, to be indissolubly enchained
to it. Mathematics became for him the most absolute of necessities, the
supreme of joys. The following is an experience related by a fellow
student of Echegaray when both were at the Escuela de Caminos. “Every
Saturday our professor of mathematics was fond of setting us problems of
the most difficult kind, the solutions of which we were expected to hand
in on the Monday. On a certain occasion the problem given out to us was
of such an excruciatingly intricate nature that the huge majority of the
class had to give up all hope of mastering it. I was among the
unsuccessful ones. I had seen Saturday, Sunday, pass over without
bringing me nearer to a glimpse of light. On the Monday morning I was
all at once inspired with the idea of going to Echegaray to obtain some
hint on a question which could not have failed to occupy his attention
at least as much as mine. It was an hour before the time appointed for
the opening of the Escuela and the delivering up of the answers. I set
out for Echegaray’s lodging. I found my friend in his room. The curtains
were drawn and the shutters were fastened over the windows. On the
chimney-piece was an expiring lamp. On the edge of the bed--the clothes
of which were tossed about in much disorder--sat Echegaray in his
nightshirt. His head was bent, and he was in an attitude of deep
thought. The noise which I made on entrance was as unsuccessful as my
friendly greeting in withdrawing him from his abstraction. He confined
himself to raising his hand with a gentle but expressive motion, and to
saying ‘Hush!’ Suddenly he bounded up, undressed as he was, and, to my
stupefaction, exclaiming, ‘Here it is!’ hurried across to a small board
close at hand. He commenced to draw lines upon lines and circles upon
circles, and dash down figures here and there, till at length he said,
‘The whole night have I been thinking of that problem, and--look there!’
And he drew back to show me the signs all fairly traced, the operation
completed, the problem solved. This rehearsed performance he repeated in
school that morning. He alone did it, to the admiration and almost to
the alarm of the professor himself, who, I think, had really given out
the problem without much serious thought of any one even attempting a

Echegaray had entered the Escuela de Caminos in 1848. He finished his
course of study in 1853, carrying off with him the highest honours that
the institution could bestow, and being placed far and away the first of
all his contemporaries. Meanwhile the literary and dramatic instinct lay
almost entirely asleep in him. It sprang up fitfully now and then in a
curiosity to assist at the initiatory performances of pieces by
first-rate, second-rate, and even third-rate authors. Echegaray was
always held up as an exemplary pupil; he fulfilled his duties at school
with almost exaggerated obedience and scrupulousness; and yet once--only
once--he ran out of the Escuela de Caminos without permission that he
might not be too late to buy tickets for the first night of Ayala’s
drama, “El Hombre de Estado.” On leaving the Escuela, then, in 1853,
Echegaray had already seen many dramas, and had read a vast number of
French, English, Italian, and Portuguese novels, ancient and modern, of
all kinds. But he had not himself essayed anything in literature. He had
not written a verse. The making of verses appeared to him a thing quite
foreign to his nature. In this the enemies of Echegaray are affable
enough, for once, to agree with him; and they remain constant to their
belief when he has long since had ample reason for changing his mind.
The mathematical rigidity and angularity of much of his poetry, say
these enemies, is not compensated for even by the daring originality of
his conceptions, his nobility of sentiment, the richness of his imagery,
the splendour of his language; they deny to him, for instance, the
exquisite ease and melody of Espronceda, the bird-like spontaneity and
perhaps fatal fluency of José Zorilla. In short, during these days of
his dawning manhood, Echegaray had never dreamed of being a poet, still
less a dramatic genius.

The requirements of his profession as tutor of mathematics, to which he
now formally addressed himself, took him to various important
cities--Granada, Almeria, Palencia--thus keeping him away for years from
the capital, where he was destined to shine in whatever he undertook. At
last the moment came for his return to Madrid. He was elected Professor
of Mathematics at the Escuela de Caminos, at the very institution where
he had achieved such triumphs as a boy and a young man, and where he had
left behind him so many pleasing remembrances. And now his professional
engagements, and the extraneous tasks which he voluntarily imposed on
himself, scarcely left him time to breathe. During the thirteen years of
his occupation of the mathematical chair an immense number of classes
had the advantage of his teaching of the Infinitesimal Calculus,
Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Hydrostatics, Curve-tracing,
Descriptive Geometry and its applications, Solid Geometry, and so on
into the dimmest heights of the science. During this time he devoted
himself to Political Economy, to Philosophy, to Geology, and to another
study, entered upon with slight equipment by many men, very seriously
and with all his faculties by this man--Politics. At the Bolsa and the
Free Exchange Propaganda he delivered orations full of subtle thought
and sound doctrine; in the Ateneo he spoke enthusiastically in favour
of pure democracy; in presence of the Society of Political Economy he
pronounced numerous discourses appropriate to their several occasions,
and distinguished by an order of eloquence which was looked upon as
remarkable, even in a capital where almost every one seems endowed with
the gift of picturesque and ready speech. He published different
articles in the _Economista_, _La Razon_, and other periodicals--it
seeming impossible that he should give his attention to multitudinous
labours of this kind, and at the same time devote eight or ten hours of
his days and nights to private lessons in mathematics and to public
lectures on other subjects, among which were Physics and Naval and
Military Engineering. Such excessive work would have paralysed a nature
less vigorous than Echegaray’s, but in the continuance of a portion of
it he was unexpectedly stopped. The private lessons which he had been
giving would have raised an independence for him. They were prohibited.
Echegaray was made a victim of the administrative despotism to which the
authorities of the Escuela de Caminos were compelled to bow. He applied
for a special license; it was refused. In his indignation he was about
to leave the Escuela. But there he was assured that he would be acting
ill-advisedly. If he indeed abandoned his career in defiance, he would
forfeit all his rights as a tutor in the public schools of Spain. The
earnest remonstrances of his friends, joined to the promptings of his
own reason, induced him to relinquish the design. His most powerful
motive against precipitancy was that he had not the heart to break with
the work of his whole life. He was the soul of the Escuela. He had
become indispensable, alike to his fellow professors and to his pupils.
Mathematics consoled him for all his trials, and to them he continued to
consecrate himself with a loving fervour which even he had never
surpassed. The mathematical treatises which he then began to send forth
in rapid succession from the press will not be readily allowed to die by
the scientific world of Spain.

Being about this time commissioned by the Spanish Government to study
the works of tunnel making at Mont Cenis, and having no opportunity of
doing so at leisure on his arrival, a very brief inspection sufficed for
him to understand, or rather to guess, the whole of the internal
mechanical arrangements of the perforators. And, thanks to this, and
without bringing away with him sketches or plans of any sort, he, on his
return to Spain, drew up a memorial with the most detailed
description--a description subsequently proved accurate in all essential
particulars--of the mechanism and procedure employed in the enterprise.

All this while there had been nothing in Echegaray’s tastes or
performances that gave evidence of the poet, the dramatist, or even, in
any distinct form, of the man of letters. His literary works, or rather
such works of his as had even a suspicion of literary flavour about
them, had been thus far confined to certain political orations, to
articles on Political Economy, to publications on Mathematics, and to a
humorous little sketch entitled, “The Comet, or a Carnival Joke,” which
appeared in a Madrid newspaper. Echegaray’s partiality for the reading
of novels and for the frequenting of theatres was the same. Still there
was no awakening within him of any expressed ambition to write in
emulation of those whose productions he admired as a spectator.

Towards the year 1864 it was that José’s brother Miguel, then a mere
lad, wrote a little piece in one act and in verse entitled, “Cara o
Cruz,” which was put on the stage, and was received in a friendly
manner. And José, equally startled and amused at the spectacle of his
boy brother writing smooth and harmonious verse, rapidly acquired the
conviction that, after all, the writing of verses ought to have no
stupendous difficulty about it. He did not long delay an experiment. He
immediately set about putting together an appalling tragic argument,
which he versified with tolerable ease. In this fashion was composed his
first play. He kept it by him for a year. Having in the meanwhile
dedicated himself with serious and characteristically energetic study to
the whole question of dramatic writing, he drew the piece forth and read
it a second time. He found it by no means equal to his first complacent
judgment of its merits. He at once chose a safer hiding-place for it
than previously, and it has never seen the light. Echegaray was becoming
more and more immersed in these new subjects of interest, when an
interruption came in the most notable public episode of his life. The
revolution of 1868, and the flight of Isabella, launched him into the
full tide of politics. His known ability naturally fitted him for the
playing of a prominent part. He was very speedily selected for Cabinet
rank in the newly-formed Government. He was created Minister for the
Colonies. His new duties, entered upon and sustained with vigour and
success, removed him for five years from the concerns of literature and
the drama. Towards 1873, on the dissolution of the Permanent Commission
of the Cortes, Echegaray’s name was proscribed. He was in imminent
danger of death. He escaped to France. Eventually the ban was taken
from his name, and his life was preserved, through the commanding
influence of Emilio Castelar. This has been ever since gratefully
acknowledged in a manner which does credit alike to the great orator and
the great dramatist.

In the meantime, during his comparatively brief exile, Echegaray had
written in Paris his drama, “El Libro Talonario.” It is the first of his
pieces which was put on the stage, and the date of its production is
February 18, 1874--not long after the author’s return to Spain. Nothing
commonplace could come from Echegaray, yet neither in style nor in
argument does the work give any revelation of the future greatness of
the writer. Very little better was the reception accorded by the critics
of Madrid to the second performance of the new poet, “La Esposa del
Vengador,” also produced in 1874. There was not one, however, who failed
to admit the numerous beauties of either play. The third effort, “La
Ultima Noche,” again, was declared to be a chaotic conjunction of graces
and monstrosities: as a work of genius unimpeachable; as a display of
true dramatic quality, absurd.

On the other hand, the public of Madrid, roused to the highest pitch of
interest in the new career marked out for himself by the celebrated
mathematician, the ex-Cabinet Minister, the returned exile, had been
receiving one after the other of his dramas with delight. This was not
enough for a man of such iron will as Echegaray. He was deliberately
bent on subduing his critics. His three first dramas had been
experiments. He had been merely trying his hand.

On the 12th of October, 1875, was produced “En el puño de la Espada.”
The play was welcomed with unanimous and boundless enthusiasm. The
irregular and fiery genius, whose only enemy seemed to be his individual
rashness, had stepped safely aside from down-rushing avalanches and
gaping precipices, had scaled the heights reached by those few alone
whose names will live, and was looking down in security and serenity
alike on admiring critics and acclaiming public. From that night the
severest judges of the Spanish capital recognised that there had come
among them a dramatist of the first rank. Since that night Echegaray’s
career has been one long triumphal march, his path strewn with flowers,
his eyes rejoiced with the smiles of countless friends, his ears greeted
with cries and songs of praise--and envy.

One of the most noted peculiarities in the onward course of Echegaray is
the mixture of patient scorn and fierce energy with which he declines to
look upon difficulties as insurmountable. Not merely in the solution of
a hard problem in mathematics, or in clearing from his path the
impediments which now make him rule the theatre of Spain as a monarch,
does Echegaray show the force of his will. The rough term in which
Ancient Pistol sums up the attributes of the Spaniard of Shakespeare’s
time could not be more ludicrously applied than to such a man as José

In our country it is natural to conceive that we can pay no higher
compliment to a man than by proclaiming him to be even as one of
ourselves. Mr. Swinburne recognises--and with infallible justice--“a
decisive note of the English spirit in Molière,” as well as in Rabelais.
In one way, at least, in the moral if not in the intellectual sense, in
his resolution to ignore defeat, however incongruous be the task he may
undertake, there appears to the observer of Echegaray’s career something
strangely English. Two anecdotes may be given, alike as proofs of his
almost boundless versatility, and of his constancy in breaking through
seemingly impenetrable obstacles. On one occasion, he being in a
drawing-room with several of his friends, among whom was a philosophical
critic of some renown, the conversation fell upon German philosophy.
Echegaray, who knew little of the matter discussed, and less of the
German tongue, deemed it presumptuous to hazard an opinion for or
against the thesis advanced, and maintained an absolute silence.
Gradually, however, the debate resolved itself into a dispute as to the
possibility of making an exhaustive study of a certain school of
philosophy within a relatively short period. There can hardly be a more
modest or amiable man than Echegaray, and yet the mere breathing of the
word “impossibility” has been known at times to rouse him into an
attitude of imperial defiance almost worthy of Cæsar or Napoleon. He
left the house with the secret intention of proving that nothing is
difficult to a man with clear brain and indomitable purpose. From that
hour he devoted himself with patient zeal to no less a task than that of
studying the special school of philosophy just argued about in the very
fountains from which it emanated, in the original text of the German
authors themselves. With such effect did he apply himself that, two
months later, being in almost the same company, and the conversation--as
the narrators will have it, with the usual emphatic pointing to
coincidence--veering round to the same theme, the new student of
philosophy displayed a depth of discernment, an acuteness of independent
thought, a readiness of argumentative resource, a fertility of citation
from the German language itself, which confounded the listeners; and
apart from the congratulations on his new linguistic acquirement, there
was an unanimous admission that Echegaray had expressed himself on the
subject as a master in the midst of novices.

Another time he was in the company of friends who were engaged in a most
exhaustive dissertation on the art of fencing. Innumerable were the
experiences detailed in illustration of practice with the sabre, the
sword, and the foil. Those who were least excited by the discussion
turned now and then to Echegaray with a courteous explanation and a
general air of respectful apology for treating of matters in which he
could take no conceivable interest. Echegaray, in truth, had never held
an offensive weapon in his hand. Next day, however, he appeared at the
rooms of one of the best-known fencing masters of Madrid, enrolled his
name as a pupil, and took his first lesson instantly. There are living
eye-witnesses who tell how, three months afterwards, the grave
mathematician, the coming lord of the Spanish drama, in a desperate
encounter with foils, repeatedly hit, and at length actually disarmed
his fencing master himself, amid the intense amazement and uproarious
enthusiasm of bystanders, who counted among them some of the most expert
fencers in the Spanish capital.

Echegaray’s very career as a dramatist might in a measure be described
as a gigantic experiment in the art of vanquishing difficulties, an
elaborate and prolonged _tour-de-force_. He was a spectator of his
brother Miguel’s boyish and successful entrance into the domain of
dramatic poetry. He saw nothing to prevent himself from following in the
same path. His own prescription for writing verse is concise, and
contains a justification of his new departure. He sums up the full
requirements of a poet in “A little grammar, a little imagination, and
a tolerable ear for music.” This is a matter-of-fact style of putting
things which may seem rather like a ruthless tearing aside of the veil
from a sanctuary that should never be revealed to profane eyes. The
great unpublished poets whose own works are the result of the purest
inspiration will resent it accordingly. Yet there is reason for
suspicion that Shakespeare might have expressed himself on the dread
mystery in some such light-hearted manner as Echegaray. The Spanish
dramatist, however, omits one important condition which he, at least,
has well fulfilled. He has all through life acted up to the letter of
Carlyle’s teaching as to the “perennial nobleness and even sacredness”
of “Work.” With him the main necessity in all the ways of life is hard
labour, untiring drill, constant self-perfection. In his own example he
seems to declare that even poets cannot straightway claim to be in the
charmed circle of Mascarille’s “gens de qualité” qui “savent tout sans
avoir jamais rien appris.”

Perhaps one of the first things calculated to strike a student of
Echegaray is the air of gloom which overhangs many of his graver dramas.
Instances might be given in which a combination of nearly all the
elements of woe and despair, frequently leads to a catastrophe, from the
contemplation of which others besides the mere hysterical reader will
find it difficult to turn away with calmness. Yet this writer may, in a
certain sense, be said to have in him something of classic delicacy and
reserve--with regard, in especial, to scenes of death. The introduction
of death upon the stage seems invariably a matter of concern to him. Not
that it is ever awkwardly shrunk from. Indeed, when used as a last
resort, when “fear has had laid upon it as much as it can bear,” “when
life is weaned and wearied till it is ready to drop,” then death in the
hands of Echegaray comes forward at times with the weight of an almost
overwhelming consummation. The Spanish dramatist, in short, may fairly
claim a portion of that pleasing reverence for the dead which all true
artists have. To adduce illustrations which must appear unfashionable in
days when half a continent may be depopulated, without much protest, in
the course of a single volume. The author of “Guy Mannering” and the
author of “Monte Cristo,” in the very height of the gaiety, the
gallantry, the majesty of their descriptions of their own and former
times; Dickens and Thackeray, in the full flow of their mocking
indignation or their lacerating irony, will be seen all at once to stop
short. Their looks change. Their tones become softened and their eyes
downcast. They uncover their heads and compel us to do the same. For
they have led us into the presence of the dead; and before the lowliest
or the loftiest of their fellows--Meg Merrilies or the Abbé Faria, Betty
Higden or Colonel Newcome--these rare spirits incline themselves in
solemn veneration.

Of Echegaray’s power over the pulses of sorrow and terror, without the
intervention of death, an example may be found in “El Hijo de Don Juan.”
And here, perhaps, a few words may not be out of place, even in view of
Echegaray’s own “Prologue,” as to the true source of this drama. That it
was inspired by the reading of Ibsen’s “Ghosts,” we have the Spaniard’s
own declaration. But were it permissible to put aside the fact that both
works treat of the problem of heredity in its most hideous and harrowing
form, and the minor circumstance of the borrowing of Oswald’s phrase,
“Mother, give me the sun!”--words which, to the mind of Echegaray,
embody such picturesque and profound significance--Mr. William Archer
himself might not be reluctant to admit the essential originality of the
Spanish play. The truth is that “El Hijo de Don Juan” is a sombre and
relentless satire upon the real national hero of Spain, the being
immortalised by Molière and Mozart, and more or less caricatured in the
cruder imagination of José Zorilla. Don Juan, the gamester, the
libertine, the duellist, the bully, has been transported from the
sixteenth century to the nineteenth. He is in entirely new surroundings
and has become in a measure reformed. We find him past the sixtieth year
of his age, with a wife whom he has indeed ill-treated, but with a son
of whom he never tires of boasting. The disorders of his youth have left
him with none the strongest of brains. And now the sins of the parent,
in accordance with Echegaray’s unsparing rule, are visited upon the
child. The father’s own mental weakness is developed in the most grim
and terrible form in the gifted son. And so the flames in which Don Juan
Tenorio was untimely plunged, are rekindled in the hell of misery and
remorse with which the heir to his shameless renown sees the final
overthrow of his boy’s intellect. It is hardly too much to say that the
“Ghosts” is almost bright and frolicsome in comparison with the “Son of
Don Juan.” Echegaray has here deliberately chosen colours of funereal
blackness, and has laid them on with little regard for the feelings of
the sensitive reader. Ibsen leads us to the edge of his own “Inferno,”
and points to the pale faces of those whom his genius has condemned to
immortal suffering; but he hurries us aside before we have time to
become giddy. Echegaray drags us pitilessly down and holds us fast,
while in our very presence his victims are whirled shrieking past
us--borne along on burning winds, or stretched in agony on the rack.
Still with all deductions, the gift of true impressiveness, which has
been so abundantly acknowledged in Ibsen, will scarcely be denied to the
Spaniard who so frankly admits the influence of the Northern master.
This impressiveness may be set down to pathological causes, to the
unwholesomeness of the subject, to the lugubrious moral atmosphere in
which a pessimist like Ibsen, a teacher of Hebraic sternness like
Echegaray, loves at times to fold himself round. But whether the effect
of plays of this kind may or may not be illegitimate, it is, perhaps,
within its peculiar limits, entirely unexampled. Plays of high name,
plays filled with scenes of violence, with the ring and storm of battle,
with midnight murder, with death in its worst forms, might be placed for
comparison beside the “Son of Don Juan.” And though there is not a
death, not a blow struck from beginning to end of the Spanish drama,
such plays, with all their accumulations of misery and ferocity, might
be found to yield in the element of sheer horror to the spectacle of the
brilliant Lazarus, the poet, the dramatist, the coming glory of Spain,
waking from a trance under the anguished eyes of his father, his mother,
his betrothed, and bursting into the ravings of a hopeless madman.

Of Echegaray’s use of dramatic resources when he indeed brings death
upon the stage, a few examples maybe quoted. In “El Gran Galeoto” the
sudden exposure of the body of Julian to his unforgiven wife. In
“Mariana” the bloody sacrifice of the heroine--in presence of her real
lover--by the husband whom she loathes and defies. Lover and husband
stand armed over the corpse; but the stage is not therefore converted
into a shambles; we are merely left to conjecture that the two desperate
men confronting each other will not long survive the woman who has
coloured in such sinister fashion the lives of both. Another example,
more openly verging on the melodramatic, may be encountered in an
earlier drama than these, “En el seno de la Muerte.” Here is one of the
rare instances in which Echegaray has chosen a purely romantic period
for the scene of his play. A husband, treacherously wronged by the
brother and the wife whom he had almost equally loved, contrives his
revenge. He locks himself and the two culprits in the family mausoleum,
of which he alone has the key and he alone knows the secret. He does not
ignore, they do not ignore, the fact that there is no escape for any one
of them. After a painful scene of reproach, at the end of which the
traitor brother kills himself, the husband first throws the key which
had locked them in, then the torch which had illumined the dismal
magnificence of their surrounding’s, down a deep cavity which yawns
between the monuments. Finally, in utter darkness, he stabs himself dead
at his wife’s feet; and the curtain falls amidst an undefinable
impression of haunting dismay at the alternatives of fate before the
lonely survivor.

For obvious reasons Echegaray has been here referred to in connection
with Ibsen. Whether an apology for such a conjunction of names might in
reason be demanded by the most loyal of Ibsenites is doubtful, under the
present conditions of criticism. It cannot but be a source of relief to
any one helping to introduce a new author to the public, that the
process of comparison has been simplified of late; that the
qualifications exacted from competitors are drawn up in a spirit of
charming leniency; that the certificate of immortality is made more than
ever easy of attainment. Some years ago a writer thought fit, not only
without seeming sense of shame, but with the complacent air of one who
sees “a new planet swim into his ken,” to couple the names of Mr.
Rudyard Kipling and Charles Dickens. It must have been under the
inspiration of such criticism as this that Shakespeare was immediately
dethroned--for at least the hundredth time--and once again at the hands
of “our lively neighbour the Gaul.” Corneille, Racine, and Victor Hugo
were allowed to slumber tranquilly in their graves, and it was admitted
on behalf of England--by the Paris _Figaro_--that the author of
“Othello” was surpassed by M. Maurice Maeterlinck. Even under these
encouraging circumstances, however, it will not be here contended that
Señor Echegaray shows in his work anything comparable--“et oserai-je le
dire,” as M. Mirbeau would say--“supérieure en beauté à ce qu’il y a de
plus beau dans Shakespeare.” It might be suggested that “Mariana”--Señor
Echegaray’s masterpiece in female creation--would have been readily
accepted as a companion with Charmian and Iras in attendance on the most
complex of all heroines--Cleopatra. Further than this it will not be
safe to go.

Echegaray may be noted as displaying, even in the following mournful
drama, a genuine and, as a rule, unforced sense of humour. In his comic
passages, however, he has a fault which he shares with Shakespeare--and
the editor of _Punch_. He is a remorseless punster.

This poet’s genius, as may have been remarked, burst into bloom at a
time beyond the midsummer of life. He was forty-two before his first
drama was produced. That is twenty-one years ago. Since then his
activity has never known exhaustion. He is now the author of some fifty
plays. There are particular years among the past twenty-one in the
course of which he has put upon the stage as many as four dramas, not
one of which is carelessly written, though one imitation from the
German, “El Gladiador de Ravena,” was commenced and completed within
three days. During these twenty-one years, indeed, he appears to have
determined on making up for what, in other important respects, had
certainly not been lost time. Civil engineers have found and still find
it to their advantage to consult him on points which are the special
study and occupation of their lives. He has published three formidable
volumes on the “Modern Theories of Physics.” A well-known book of his
has appeared on sub-marine vessels of war. He has lectured on Political
Economy and Geology with equal success. He is admitted by Spaniards to
be the chief of their own mathematicians; they further claim for him the
honour of being one of the first mathematicians in the world. He is an
orator who has won the applause of Castelar himself. There were only
wanting his labours as a poet and a dramatist to set the seal upon a
career of almost universal aptitude. Those labours have earned for him a
renown which will assuredly not be allowed to die in his own country.

Be the praise high or low, in view of the condition of Spanish
literature between the seventeenth century and the nineteenth, Spaniards
declare that for more than two hundred years their drama has not brought
forth a serious rival to this man. And there can hardly be a doubt that,
in any selection of names of the greatest dramatists ever sprung from
Spain, Lope de Vega and Calderon de la Barca will find the place nearest
to themselves occupied by José Echegaray.


In trying to interpret the idea of my last drama, “The Son of Don Juan,”
the critics have said many things. That the idea was the same as that
which inspired Ibsen in his celebrated work entitled “Gengangere.” That
the passions which it sets in movement are more natural to the countries
of the North than to our sunnier climes: that it deals with the problem
of hereditary lunacy. That it discusses the law of heredity. That it is
sombre and lugubrious, with no other object than that of arousing
horror. That it is a purely pathological drama. That it contains nothing
more than the progress of a case of lunacy. That from the moment when it
is perceived that Lazarus will go mad, the interest of the work ceases,
and nothing remains but to follow step by step the shipwreck of the poor
creature--and so forth. I think that all this is but a series of
lamentable equivocations on the part of the great and little judges of
the dramatic art. The idea of my drama was not one of those mentioned.
Its motive is very different, but I shall not explain it. Why should I?
In all the scenes of my work, in all its personages, in nearly all its
phrases it is explained. Moreover, to explain it would be dangerous; it
might be imagined that my proposal was to defend the poor Son of Don
Juan under the pretext of exposing the central idea from which he drew
birth. I never defend my dramas; when I write their last word I leave
them to their fate. I neither defend them materially nor morally. I
finish a drama, I give it to the management of a theatre, it is put on
the stage, it is liked or not liked, according to the favour of God. The
management does what is most suited to its interests, without my
interference: the actors represent it as they can, almost always very
well, the public pronounces its judgment in one sense or another,
according to its feelings, and the critics unbosom themselves to their
satisfaction. I neither wish nor ought, if only from good taste, to
defend my new drama; but it contains one phrase which _is not mine_,
which _is Ibsen’s_; and that phrase I must defend energetically, for I
consider it one of extraordinary beauty: “Mother, give me the sun,” says
Lazarus. And this phrase, simple, infantile, almost comic, enfolds a
world of ideas, an ocean of sentiments, a hell of sorrows, a cruel
lesson, a supreme warning to society and to the family circle. Thus I
look at it. A generation devoured by vice; which bears even in its bones
the virus engendered by impure love; with a corrupted blood which in its
course drags along organisms of corruption mingled with its ruddy
globules, this generation goes on falling and falling into the abysses
of idiocy: the cry of Lazarus is the last twilight of a reason which
founders in the eternal blackness of imbecility. And at the same time
nature awakes and the sun comes forth--another twilight which will very
soon be all light. And the two twilights meet and cross and salute each
other with the salutation of everlasting farewell at the close of the
drama. Reason, which is precipitated downward, impelled by the
corruption of pleasure. The sun, which springs upward with immortal
flames, impelled by the sublime forces of nature. Below, human reason
which has come to an end; above, the sun which begins a new day. “Give
me the sun,” says Lazarus to his mother. Don Juan likewise asked for it
from between the tresses of the woman of Tarifa. On this point there is
much to be said: it gives room for much thought. For, in truth, if our
society.... But what the devil are these philosophical speculations that
I am plunging into? Let every man compose such for himself as best he
may, and let him clamour for the sun or beg for the horns of the moon,
or ask for what suits his appetite. Does nobody understand or take an
interest in these matters? What then? This, at most would prove that the
modern Don Juan continues to bequeath many sons to the world, though
they have not the talent of Lazarus. Let us give a respectful greeting
to the sons of Don Juan.



_First represented March 29, 1892._

[_Rights of adaptation and stage representation reserved._]


     _The scene represents a room for business or study. It is mounted
     in elegant yet severe taste, with something of a worldly style,
     indicated by some artistic object which betrays predilections of
     that kind. On the left of the spectator is a very light and
     charming tea-table to accommodate three or four persons; upon the
     table is a candle or night-light with a bright-coloured shade; and
     surrounding it are three small arm-chairs or cushioned seats and
     smoking chairs. On the right is a desk--not very large, though
     massive and sober in style: behind, a chair or writing stool. At
     the side of the desk a high stool or better still an arm-chair.
     Upon the desk a lighted lamp with a dark shade. Also on the desk,
     in a framed easel, the photograph of_ CARMEN. _On the left first
     wing a balcony, to the right a fireplace with a very bright fire:
     at one side a large portative screen. Over the doors and the
     balcony thick, sober-hued curtains. A door in the background, and a
     door at either side. If it be possible, there should also be in the
     background a small bookcase, dark and rich: at the left forming a
     pendant, a cabinet, dark like the bookcase, and full of objects of
     art. If this be impossible, two equivalent pieces of furniture. In
     short, a room which gives evidence of rich though not opulent
     possessors, and which above all denotes the contrast of two
     tastes:--the one austere, the other gay and worldly. It is night._


     DON JUAN, _and_ DON TIMOTEO, DON NEMESIO _discovered seated round
     the tea-table, drinking strong liqueurs and smoking. The three are
     old, but give token of different types: the three bear the stamp of
     life-long self-indulgence. It is recognised, however, that_ DON
     JUAN _has been a man of gaiety and fashion._

JUAN. Timoteo!

TIM. What?

JUAN. I have a suspicion.

TIM. What about?

JUAN. That we are getting old.

TIM. How have you got to know?

JUAN. I’ll tell you: there are symptoms. When the weather changes all my
joints are sore. When I wish to stretch out this leg merrily, it entails
labour on me, and in the end it is the other leg which moves. Moreover
my sight is failing: when I see a dark girl in the street, she looks
fair to me; and if a girl happens to be fair, she becomes so obscured as
to turn dark before my eyes.

NEM. That’s weakness; you should take a tonic. (_Drinks._)

JUAN. My stomach cannot endure alcohol now: I drink out of compliment;
but I know that it does me harm.

TIM. Because it is not the alcohol of our time.

NEM. This is corrosive sublimate alcoholised.

TIM. It is the alcohol which has grown old. (_Walks about jauntily._) I
feel young still--Ah!

JUAN. What’s the matter?

TIM. While simply moving I seem to have disjointed my whole vertebral
column. The devil, the devil!

NEM. (_drinking calmly_). Something or other will have got dislocated.

JUAN. Let us undeceive ourselves: we are nearing the City of Old Age. By
the life of life, how short is life! (_Strikes the chair with his
fist._) Ah!

TIM. What ails you?

JUAN. A pain in the elbow--and in this shoulder.

NEM. The weather; it’s damp. (_Drinks._)

TIM. Juanito, you have never been very strong.

JUAN. I have not been? I have not been? I have been stronger than you
all. For twenty-four hours running I have played cards: for three days
running I have been shut up with Pacorro and Luis emptying bottles: and
my patron Saint Juan Tenorio, from the heaven where he dwells in company
with Doña Inez, will have seen how I have borne myself in amorous
enterprises. You, on the other hand, have been nothing more than the
braggadocios of vice. Away with such lay-figures.

TIM. We don’t deny that you have been a greater madcap than anybody
else; but strong--what’s called a strong man--that you have not been.

NEM. You have not been that--confess.

JUAN. What have I to confess?

TIM. Something has happened to you which never happened to any one else.

JUAN. What happened to me?

TIM. In order to get your spine straightened you had to be put in a
casing of paste, and they used to hang you up by the neck twice a day.

JUAN. But that was because we were playing at single stick in the Plaza
de Toros, and they broke two of my ribs; that might happen to anybody.

TIM. No, no: you were not like us. Do you remember, Nemesio? “Where is
Juanito?” “In bed.” “Where is Juanito?” “At Panticosa.” “Where is
Juanito?” “At Archena.” “Where is Juanito?” “Shut up in his casing.”
“Where is Juanito?” “At this moment they must be hanging him.” Ha, ha!

TIM. _and_ NEM. _laugh_. DON JUAN _looks at them angrily_.

JUAN. Don’t laugh very loud, or we shall have a general breaking up. I
have been a man and you two have been pitiful fellows. You (_to_ TIM.),
got married at forty: you locked yourself up in a corner of this town
with your wife, and there was an end of Timoteo. You (_to_ NEM.), flying
like a coward from the storms of the world, took refuge in Arganda,
where you drink each year the vintage of the year before. I, on the
other hand (_speaking with proud emphasis_), I--it is true that I also
got married--at forty-two; but that’s no proof of weakness. If Don Juan
Tenorio had been allowed the time, he would have married Doña Inez, and
indeed there is a rumour that they celebrated their mystic wedding in
heaven. But I, the other Don Juan, got married like a man, like a free
citizen; yet I did not thereupon abandon the field of honour. I am
myself at home, myself abroad, at nine in the convent, at ten in this
street. Well, then I had my Lazarus!--Eh!--There’s a lad! That’s what it
is to have a son.

TIM. God help me, with your glorious triumph! Jump into the street, and
you won’t see a neighbour who is not the son of somebody. Each
individual has a father.

NEM. One father at least.

JUAN. Yes, but I was the libertine; I was the man that drained the cup
of pleasure and the cask from the wine-cellar: the invalid of the orgie.
“That fellow is consumptive,” they used to say. “That fellow will die
some morning,” you thought. And suddenly I became restored to life in
Lazarus. Lazarus is my resurrection. And how robust and strong he is.
And what talent he has! A prodigy--a Byron, an Espronceda, an Edgar
Poe--a genius. That’s not what I alone say: you have it written in all
the journals of Madrid.

TIM. Yes, the lad is able.

NEM. He is able.

JUAN. Well, now, frankly--he who has led the life that I have led--he
who while saying: “I must rest for a time,” has a son like Lazarus: that
man--is he not a man, indeed?

TIM. Fine subject of rejoicing for a Tenorio.

JUAN. What subject?

TIM. This of yours. Does it not come to this that you are the father of
a genius?

JUAN. And what then, dotards? Strength is strength, and becomes
transformed: you don’t understand this. I make no doubt that I had all
the genius of Lazarus concealed in some corner of my brain; but as I
gave it neither time nor opportunity it could not exhibit itself. At
last it grew tired of waiting, and it said: “Eh! I am going with the
son, because with the father I can make no headway.” (_Laughing._)

TIM. Don’t delude yourself, Juanito. The talent of Lazarus, for indeed
he seems to have great talent, is not inherited from you: he must have
derived it from his mother. The paternal heritage will have been some
rheumatism, some affection of the nerves.

NEM. The sediments of pleasure and the dregs of alcohol. (_Drinks._)

JUAN. Blockheads! I went through my school-days badly, and I lived
worse; but there was something in me.

TIM. Quite a genius frittered away on a lost soul.

JUAN. It may be so.

NEM. And by what did you recognise this something?

TIM. When was it?

NEM. And where?

JUAN. It was on awaking from a drunken bout.

TIM. Now that you are going to ascend to the sublime don’t say a drunken

JUAN. Well then, on arising from an orgie.

NEM. That’s well. “To Jarifa in an Orgie,” Espronceda. (_Drinks._)

JUAN. Yes, señor, the very thing. I once felt that which neither of you
ever experienced.

NEM. Tell us, tell us. This ought to be curious. Another little glass,

TIM. Come. To the health of the disappointed genius. (_Coughing._)

NEM. Of the unsuccessful genius. (_Drinks._)

DON JUAN _is thoughtful_.

TIM. Begin.

JUAN. You remember the season we passed at my country seat in Sevilla,
in the year--in the year----?

TIM. The year I don’t recollect--but very well do I remember the
country-house, on the banks of the Guadalquivir, with an Oriental
saloon, divans, carpets--those famous carpets.

NEM. True, true! I was always walking on them. Aniceta, the little
gipsy--you remember?--used to cry out, “I am sinking, I am sinking.”

TIM. True, true! and as she was so little she used to sink out of sight,

NEM. Delightful time. Don Juan’s country seat--so we called it.

TIM. What I liked was that running balcony or gallery, or whatever it
was. What a view! The Guadalquivir! And it looked towards the East--you
saw the sun rise--it was enchanting. (_To_ JUAN.) Have you fallen

JUAN. I? I never sleep. That’s what I should like--to sleep. For this is
the way I pass the night--with a wrench of this nerve and a wrench at
the other. The little pain which is in the neighbourhood of my elbow
goes for a walk. My cough appears before it and says, “Good evening,
neighbour.” My head cries out, “I am going to waltz for a while, stand
away there.” And my stomach heaves, “No, for God’s sake; I shall be
sea-sick.” Sleep, indeed! It’s ten years since I have slept.

NEM. But you are not telling us the story.

JUAN. What story?

TIM. Why, man, that about the fiery outbreak of genius. When you learned
that you had something inside here. (_Touching his forehead._) Something
sublime, eh?

NEM. I should think so, corrosive sublimate. Ha, ha! Another little

TIM. Come. However, we are left at where you got to know once upon a
time that you were a larva-like genius--like the pulmonary larvæ.

JUAN. I got to know it. There’s nothing to laugh at.

NEM. In your country seat by the Guadalquivir?

JUAN. The very same.

TIM. In the Oriental saloon--the one with the divans, the balcony
looking towards the East and the Persian carpet?

JUAN. Exactly.

TIM. During a night of orgies?

JUAN. No--next morning--on awaking.

TIM. On awaking from the orgie! “Bring hither, Jarifa, bring hither
thine hand--come and place it upon my brow!” (_Taking the hand of_ DON

NEM. (_withdrawing his hand_). Your brow is all right. Ha, ha! Don’t
make me laugh.

TIM. Then look--thine hand--a pure branch of the vine.

JUAN. Don’t you want to hear me?

NEM. I should think so. Tell your story.

TIM. But you must tell it seriously, solemnly, dramatically. The awaking
of Don Juan--after a night of orgies.

JUAN. Then here goes.

NEM. _and_ TIM. _take convenient positions for listening to him_.

It was a grand night--a grand supper. There were eight of us--each with
a partner. Everybody was drunk--even the Guadalquivir. Aniceta appeared
on the gallery and began to cry out, “Stupid, insipid, waterish river,
drink wine for once!” and she threw a bottle of Manzanilla into it.

TIM. She was very lively, Aniceta. She once threw a bottle of wine at
my head--but it was empty.

NEM. Your head?

TIM. The bottle. Continue, continue--but, seriously--eh?

JUAN. Well, I was lying asleep along the floor, upon the carpet, close
to a divan. And on the divan there had fallen by one of the usual
accidents, the Tarifeña--Paca, the Tarifeña. Nobody noticed it, and on
the divan she lay asleep. Amidst her tossings to and fro, her hair had
become loose--a huge mass! and it fell over me in silky waves--a great

NEM. Not like Timoteo’s. (TIMOTEO _is bald_.)

JUAN. Not like Timoteo’s. But if you interrupt me I shall lose the

TIM. Continue--continue, seriously, Juanito.

JUAN. We leave off at where I was asleep on the carpet, when the
loosened hair of the Tarifeña fell over my head and face, enfolding me
as in a splendid black mantle of perfumed lace. Would you like anything
more serious?

TIM. It goes well so.

NEM. Keep yourself to that height.

TIM. To the height of the carpet?

NEM. Each one mounts to the height of which he is worthy. Go on.

JUAN. The dawn arrived. It was summer.

TIM. And yet it rained.

JUAN. No, my dear fellow, a delightful morning: the balcony open: the
East with splendid curtains of mist and of little red clouds, the sky
blue and stainless, a light more vivid kindling into flame the distant

TIM. So, so--to that height.

NEM. Very poetical, very poetical--don’t fall off.

JUAN. Slowly the crimson globe ascended. I opened my eyes wide, and I
saw the sun. I saw it from between the interwoven tresses of the
Tarifeña--it inundated me with its light, and I stretched forth my hand
instinctively to grasp it. Something of a new kind of love, a new desire
agitated me. Great brightness, much azure, very broad spheres, vague yet
burning aspirations--for something very beautiful. For a minute I
understood that there is something higher than the pleasure of the
senses: for a minute I felt myself another being. I wafted a kiss to the
sun, and pulled aside in anger the girl’s hair. One lock clung about my
lips--it touched my palate and gave me nausea. I flung away the tress--I
awoke the Tarifeña--and vice dawned through the remains of the orgie,
like the sun through the vapours of the night, its mists and its
fire-coloured clouds.

TIM. Good for Juanito. We are moved, profoundly moved.

NEM. Unfathomably moved. (_Drinks._)

TIM. But with what object have you told us all that I don’t remember.

JUAN. To prove to you that there have existed within me noble

TIM. Ah! yes, sublime desires.

NEM. Superhuman longings.

JUAN. Quite so: and that everything which was deprived of the
opportunity of making itself known in me, or which ran to waste through
other channels will revive in my Lazarus in the forms of talent,
inspiration, genius, wing that flutter, creations that spring forth,
applause, glory, immorality. Ah! you’ll see--you’ll see.

TIM. Your posthumous blowing off of steam.

JUAN. My last and most pure illusion--no, the only pure illusion of my
existence. And you ought to be glad that my son is getting on so well,
you scapegrace. (_Giving_ TIM. _a playful slap_.)


NEM. Ah, ah! I understand you. Another glass to the health of the bride
and bridegroom.

JUAN. Eh? What do you say? (_To_ DON T.)

TIM. Ah, yes; no, it is impossible. My poor Carmen is very much in love:
but I don’t know if Lazarus----

JUAN. Lazarus is mad about her. He is reserved enough, but he is mad.

TIM. Well, look; if the son is going to resemble the papa I should be
very sorry to form the relationship, frankly.

JUAN. Much obliged to you, venerable grandfather.

NEM. No, Lazarus is very steady.

TIM. The fact is that my girl is very weak, very delicate, a sensitive
plant. Her poor chest troubles her with least thing; and if Lazarus were
to lead my poor Carmen the life which you have led your wife, I should
renounce the relationship and the honour which you propose to me.

JUAN. Gently, gently; I have been an irreproachable husband.

TIM. Oh!

NEM. Ah!

JUAN. Irreproachable. My wife has always been first in my affections.

TIM. But you have had a second, and a third----

NEM. And a fourth and a fifth.

JUAN. Those are lawful requirements of the system of numeration.

NEM. Peace between the future fathers-in-law. The one is as good as the
other; the one is just as gay as the other; and one is quite as sedate a
father of a family as the other.

JUAN. And of course you must be better than we are! You who have been
steeped in alcohol from your tenderest years.

NEM. Between the bottle and the woman, I cling to the bottle.

TIM. Well, I to the woman.

JUAN. Let us not exaggerate: being between the bottle and the woman one
remains just the same--between the bottle and the woman.

TIM. Not quite: we now remain at home between our own woman and the
bottle of tisan--two tisans.

NEM. Because you are a pair of dotards. I am every night at the theatre,
in my little box: from ten to twelve I consecrate myself to art. Some
dancers have come from Madrid. Sweet zephyrs! Four zephyrs!

JUAN (_in a loud voice and erecting himself like an old cock_). Are they

TIM. Your wife will hear you.

JUAN (_lowering his voice in exaggerated style_). Are they pretty?

NEM. Four flowers, four stars, four goddesses, the four cardinal points
of beauty. What eyes! What waists! What vigour! What cushion-like

JUAN. Cushion-like?

NEM. Nothing artificial.

JUAN. Nothing artificial? And you are going to the theatre now?

NEM. I go there to finish the night as God commands--in admiring the
marvels of creation. (_Rising._)

TIM. Then I’ll accompany you, and we shall both admire them.

JUAN. Well, I’ll not stay at home. I’ll go there with you two and we
shall all three admire them. (_Rising with difficulty._)

NEM. At this time of night, Juanito?

JUAN. You two are going at this time of night.

TIM. And what will your wife say?

JUAN. For twenty-five years my wife has said nothing. Besides, I give
orders here. No one ever calls me to account. Ho, there, I’ll be back in
a moment. Ho, there! [_Exit._

NEM. I think that poor Juan is getting to the end of his tether. Don’t
you see how he walks? What things he says! What pitiful senilities!

TIM. Yet he is not very old.

NEM. What should make him old? He is little more than sixty. Every man
who respects himself is sixty years old. (_Walking about somewhat

TIM. Precisely: you are sixty, I am sixty, every well-conditioned person
is sixty.

NEM. But he has lived! What a life he has lived! This is what I say:
people may be guilty of follies: you have been guilty of them: I have
been guilty of them----

TIM. And every well-behaved person is guilty of them.

NEM. But up to a certain point.

TIM. Up to a certain point.

NEM. But poor Juan was old at forty. And Lazarus is not what his father
says--no, señor.

TIM. Well, talent--he has much talent. All the newspapers of Madrid
assert it; you see it now. That he is a prodigy that he will be a glory
to the nation.

NEM. I don’t deny it. But walk with care before marrying little Carmen
to him.

TIM. Why? The devil! Why? Is he like his father?

NEM. No! Like the father--no. Inclined to gaiety--yes. What would you
have the son of Don Juan to be?

TIM. Everybody is inclined to gaiety. I am so, you are so----

NEM. It is not that. It is that according to my information (_lowering
his voice_) he is not so robust as the papa supposes. Lazarus suffers
from vertigo--nervous attacks--what shall I say?--something of that
sort. At long intervals, it’s true; but that head of his is not strong.
That’s why he does such stupendous things, and that’s why they call him
a genius. Don’t trust men of genius, Timoteo. A genius goes along the
street, and every one says, “The genius! the genius!” He turns round the
corner, and the little boys in the next street run after him shouting:
“The madman! the madman!” Timoteo, it is very dangerous to have much

TIM. God deliver us from it. Oh! as to that I have always been very

NEM. So have I. A man should not be altogether a fool; that’s not well.
But the thing is--don’t be a genius.

TIM. Never. Here’s Juan coming back.

NEM. Say nothing to him of what I have told you. They either don’t know
of the sufferings of Lazarus, or they hide them; it’s natural.

TIM. Not a word! but it’s well to know it.

_Re-enter_ DON JUAN.

JUAN (_dressed for going out_). Are we ready?

TIM. We are.

JUAN. Then let’s march. Listen. (_To_ TIM.) Will you come back for
Carmen, or must we take her?

TIM. Carmen?

JUAN. Yes, Carmen. Have you already forgotten that she is in there with

TIM. It’s true.

JUAN. What a head! Ha, ha! And you say that I----? He forgets his own
daughter! It would have been easy for me to forget my Lazarus. What a
fellow you are! What a fellow you are! Away with you for a pair of
wooden-heads! (_Laughing._)

TIM. You gay young dog, lead us on to glory and to pleasure!

JUAN. I shall lead you on to the cemetery if you annoy me any more.
However, what do you decide? Will you come back to fetch Carmen?

TIM. I shall have to come back to carry you home.

JUAN. You carry me? You’d never be able to carry any one.

NEM. I shall carry you both. Come, give me your arm, Juanito. If not you
can’t go down the staircase. (DON JUAN _takes his arm_.)

JUAN. Teresa--little Teresa.

TERESA _enters from the back centre_.

TER. Señor?

JUAN. Tell Dolores--tell your mistress--that I am going out. Let
Señorita Carmen wait until her father returns to fetch her. March on.
(_To_ TIM.) Take hold of me, for you are not very strong. Take hold of

TIM. March on.

NEM. March on.

JUAN. Military step! One--two----

TIM. (_looking at_ TERESA). This girl’s prettier every day.

NEM. (_the same_). And fresher.

JUAN (_to_ NEM.). You are not looking; you will fall.

TER. Where are you going, señor?

JUAN. To take these two to the lunatic asylum.

[_Exeunt laughing and clutching each other’s arms._

TER. (_looking from the back_). Well, when you get in there, may they
never let you out. Where are those mummies going?

_Enter_ DOÑA DOLORES _and_ CARMEN _from the right_.

CAR. Ah! They are not here. Papa is not here.

DOL. Have they gone out?

TER. Yes, señora. But Don Juan left word that Señorita Carmen’s papa
would come back to take her home.

CARMEN _coughs_.

DOL. Coughing again! You ought not to go out at night; the doctor has
forbidden you. You don’t take care of yourself. You are a little
simpleton. Sick children should be in their little homes.

CAR. When I am alone I am very sad. I had rather cough than be sad.

DOL. Not so; I shall go and bear you company. And I shall bring Lazarus.
I don’t wish my sick child, my darling child to be melancholy.
(_Fondling her._)

CARMEN _coughs_.


CAR. It’s not worth speaking of.

DOL. The fact is that no one can breathe here. What an atmosphere! What
smoke! What a smell of tobacco.

TER. The three ancient gentlemen were all the night drinking and smoking
and laughing. Now you see how they have left everything.

DOL. Yes, I see. (_Looking with disgust at the little table which is
full of ashes and ends of cigars and covered with bottles, glasses, and
waiters’ trays._) Take these things away; clean everything up; open the
balcony. I am not accustomed--yet after twenty-five years I should have
grown accustomed. (_Aside._) The poetry of existence! (_Laughing

CAR. What are you laughing at, Dolores?

DOL. (_changing her tone and feigning merriment_). I feel amused, very
much amused at the frolics of those three venerable old men.

CAR. Papa is not yet an old man.

DOL. He is not: but what a life he has led. (_Recollecting herself._) So
laborious--his business--his commerce--the same as Juan.

CAR. Ah yes. Parents are all alike, killing themselves for their
children. And Papa is very good. He loves me--my God! At night he gets
up I don’t know how many times and listens at the door of my room to
know if I am coughing, so that I, who hear him, stifle the cough with my
handkerchief or with the bed-clothes; but sometimes I am not able--it is
that I am choking. (_Coughs._)

DOL. (_to_ TERESA _who has been meanwhile taking away bottles,
ash-trays, waiters’ trays, and who has entered and gone out several
times_). Open the balcony! Let in the fresh, pure air. No, wait. (_To_
CARMEN.) You could not bear the sensation, my poor little one. Come.
(_Taking her by the hand._)

CAR. Where to?

DOL. While the room is being ventilated you must remain like a quiet
little girl behind this curtain. (_Placing her behind the curtain to the
right._) A quiet little girl, eh? Afterwards you shall enter.

CAR. (_laughing_). Are you leaving me in punishment?

DOL. In punishment! Your father is very indulgent, I am very severe.

CAR. Good; but your punishment does not last long.

DOL. Not very long. (_To_ TERESA.) Go: I shall open it. [_Exit_ TERESA.

DOLORES _opens the balcony_.

So! Air--the air of night--space--freshness--that which is pure--that
which is great--that which does not revolt one--that which dilates the
lungs--that which expands the soul! To have a very broad horizon which
one may fill with hopes, and to run towards those hopes! At least hope!
Hope! Oh! I cannot complain. I have my Lazarus--then I have everything.

CAR. (_putting her head from time to time through the curtain_). May I
come out?

DOL. No, not yet; wait--quiet, my little one. (_Walking from the balcony
to the fireplace._) To have my son! But without him ever having had a
father--above all, that father! Oh, if my Lazarus had sprung
spontaneously from my love! Even as--as the wave of the sea or the light
of the sun springs forth. After all, let me not complain--even if he
resembled--though he does not resemble--his father, Lazarus is mine and
mine only. How good! How noble. What intellect! What a heart! Oh, what
it is to have such a son!

CAR. May I come in?

DOL. Ah, yes--wait though--I shall first shut the balcony. (_Shuts it._)
Come in.

CAR. That’s very different. (_Breathing with pleasure._)

DOL. You feel well?

CAR. Very well.

DOL. What are you looking at?

CAR. The clock--to see what time it is. It is getting late: Lazarus is
not coming. (_Sadly._)

DOL. It is not late, my child. Come and sit by me.

CAR. Yes, it is late, it is late.

DOL. Lazarus will come soon. He knew that you were coming this evening,
and he will not fail.

CAR. (_sorrowfully_). But he would do wrong to inconvenience himself for
me. If he does not see me now, he’ll see me another day.

DOL. You silly child, are you complaining?

CAR. Not at all. My God! He has his engagements, and he must not
sacrifice himself for Carmen.

DOL. Carmen deserves it all; and Carmen knows it; don’t be a little

CAR. No, señora, I speak as I think, and that’s what gives me much pain
and makes me quick at finding fault. You fondle me and love me, as if
you were my own mother, now that I no longer have one. You watch over
our love--the love of Lazarus and myself. I am sure you tell Lazarus
that I am this and that--in short, a prodigy. And you swear to me that
Lazarus is mad for the love of his Carmen. But is all this true? Can it
be so? Am I worthy of Lazarus? Can such a man as he feel the passion
which you describe to me for a poor creature like myself?

DOL. Come, now--I shall get vexed. Don’t say such things. Why, have you
never looked into the glass?

CAR. Yes, many times--every day.

DOL. And what does the glass tell you?

CAR. That I am very pale, that I am very thin, that I have very sad
eyes, and that I rather resemble a mother of sorrows than a girl of
eighteen. That’s what it tells me, and it causes me a rather unpleasant

DOL. There are very malevolent mirrors, and yours is one of them. (_In a
comic tone._) They take the form of boats to give us long faces; they
get blurred to make us pale; they become stained to sow freckles all
over our skins; and they commit every kind of wickedness. Yours is a
criminal looking-glass; I’ll send you one in which you may see what you
are, and you shall see an angel gazing through a tiny window of crystal.

CAR. Yes. (_Laughs._) But even if I were the most beautiful woman in the
world, could I be worthy of Lazarus? A man like him! A future such as
his! A talent which all admire. Nay, a superior being. I love him much;
but it makes me afraid and ashamed that he should know that I love him
so much. I feel as if he were going to say to me: “But who are you, you
little simpleton? Have you imagined that I am meant for an
unsubstantial, ignorant, sickly little thing like you?” (_Sadly and

DOL. Well, Carmen, if you don’t wish to make me angry, you will not talk
such folly. A good woman is worth more than all the learned men of all
the Academies. And if, as well as being good, she is pretty, then--then
there’s an end, there is no man who is worthy of her. Men, with the
exception of Lazarus, are either mean-spirited wretches or heartless
devils. (_In a rancorous tone._)

CAR. Well, papa is very good, and is very fond of me.

DOL. Ah, yes--a very good person. But, if he had been so fond of you, he
would have done better to give you stronger lungs.

CAR. But, poor man, how is he to blame? If God did not wish----

DOL. Ah! yes, that’s true. It is not Don Timoteo’s fault. It was God’s
disposition that Carmen should have no more breathing powers than those
of a little pigeon, and we must be resigned.

CAR. Well, that’s what I say. But Lazarus is not coming. You’ll see that
I shall have to go away before he comes. And, if he comes and sets to
work, I shall be as little likely to see him to-night.

DOL. No; he has not written for some days. The excess of work has
fatigued him. This constant thought is very wasting.

CAR. But is he ill? (_With great anxiety._)

DOL. No, child; fatigue, and nothing more.

CAR. Yes; he is ill. I noticed that he was sad, preoccupied, but I
thought, “There, it is that he does not love me, and he does not know
how to tell me so.”

DOL. What things you imagine! Neither the one nor the other. My Lazarus
ill! Do you think that if he had been so I would not have set in motion
all the first medical faculty here, and in Madrid, and in foreign parts?
In any way, however (_somewhat uneasily_), you are right; he is very

CAR. Did he go to the theatre?

DOL. No, to dine with some friends.

CAR. Did Javier go?

DOL. He went also.

CAR. I am glad; Javier is very sensible.

DOL. So is Lazarus.

CAR. I should think so; but a good friend is never superfluous, and
Javier has admiration, affection, and respect for Lazarus.

DOL. (_walking about impatiently_). Still, it is getting late--very

CARMEN _turns towards the balcony_.

What are you going to do?

CAR. Well, to watch and see if Lazarus is coming.

DOL. (_drawing her away from the balcony_). No, child; you don’t think
of your poor chest, nor of that most obstinate cough of yours. Moreover,
the night is very dark, and you could see nothing. Come away, Carmen,
come away; I’ll watch.

CAR. If I can’t see, neither will you see----

DOL. I shall try.

CAR. Wait; I think he is coming, and with Javier.

DOL. (_listening_). Yes--it’s true.

CAR. Are they not coming in here?

DOL. No; they have gone straight to the room of Lazarus. But don’t be
uneasy; as soon as he knows that you are here, he will come to see you.

CAR. Without doubt he comes back thinking of some great scene for his
drama, or of some chapter of that book which he is writing and which
they say is going to be a miracle of genius, or of some very intricate
problem. Ah! my God, whatever you may say, a man such as he cannot
concern himself very much about an insignificant girl like myself.

DOL. Again!

CAR. I know nothing, I am worth nothing, I am nothing. I? What am I fit
for? Tell me. To stare at him like a blockhead while he is considering
these great matters; to watch at the balcony and see if he is coming,
although it may be cold, and Carmen coughs incessantly; to weep if he
takes no notice of me, or if they tell me that he is ill. There is no
doubt that little Carmen is capable of doing wonders. To look at him, to
wait for him, to weep for him.

DOL. And what more can a woman do for a man? To look at him always, to
wait for him always, to weep for him always.

CAR. And is that enough?

DOL. So much the worse for Lazarus if that should not be enough for him.
But wait; he’s here now; did I not tell you? as soon as he knew you were

CAR. (_joyfully_). It’s true. How good he is.

_Enter_ JAVIER.

JAV. A pleasant evening, Doña Dolores; pleasant evening, Carmen.

DOL. A very good evening.

CAR. And a very pleasant--but--Lazarus----

DOL. Is not Lazarus coming?

CAR. Is he ill?

DOL. Ah! if he is ill, I must go there----

JAV. (_stopping her_). No, for God’s sake! What should make him ill?
Listen to me. We and several friends have been dining with two writers
from Madrid--people of our profession. We spoke of arts, of sciences, of
politics, of philosophy, and of everything divine and human. We drank,
we gave toasts, we made speeches, we read verses. You understand? And
these things excite in an extraordinary way the nervous system of

DOL. And has anything gone wrong with him? My God!

CAR. Go, Dolores--go!

JAV. For the sake of God in heaven, let me conclude. These things, I
say, shake his nerves, and his imagination becomes on fire; it soon
discovers luminous horizons; the ideas rush upon him precipitately.
Could you take upon yourselves the burden of them? No; that which came
with the fever of inspiration he wished to take advantage of, and for
that reason--precisely for that reason--he locked himself up in his
room and sent me away.

CAR. (_sadly to_ DOLORES). Did I not say so? He would come--and to work.

DOL. Does he not know that Carmen is here?

JAV. They told us that on our entrance; but he pays attention to
nothing, to nobody, when inspiration and glory and art cry aloud to him,
“Come, we are waiting for you.”

DOL. However---- (_Wishing to go._)

CAR. No, for God’s sake! (_Stopping her._) He must be allowed to work.
If through me he should lose any of those grand ideas which now hover
fondly about him, what pain and what remorse for me! Disturb him that he
may come and speak to me? No, not so; I am not so selfish. I asked for
nothing better. By no means can I consent. (_Embraces_ DOLORES; _coughs
and almost weeps_.)

DOL. (_with anxiety_). What’s the matter with you?

CAR. (_affecting merriment_). Nothing; it is only that I had begun to
laugh and cough at the same time. I laughed because I was reminded of a
tale--a very silly tale, which made me laugh, however, and which fits
the case. You shall judge. There was a very sprightly little female
donkey, which became enamoured of a most beautiful genius, who bore on
his forehead a very red little flame, and had very white wings; and the
bright genius, out of pure compassion, fondled the ears of the little
donkey; and she, in accordance with her nature, began to leap for joy,
and it overthrew the genius, clipped his wings, and he could fly no
more. The blue of the firmament was cut off from the genius, and there
was left to him nothing more than a very green meadow, a little female
donkey who was very good, but who was, after all, a donkey. No, mother,
I don’t wish to be _the heroine of the story_. Let us allow the genius
to fly.

DOL. (_to_ JAVIER). See what a creature she is!

JAV. A criminal humility.

DOL. But, indeed, if you persist, we shall let him work.

CAR. Don’t you think we might let him have this room free to himself?
Here he has his books of predilection, and he has more room, and he can
walk about; he has told me many times that he composes verses while
walking about.

DOL. A good idea! Let us go to my sitting-room. (_To_ JAVIER.) Tell him
that we abandoned the field to him, and that he may come without fear.

JAV. (_laughing_). Noble sacrifice!

DOL. But we’ll have to make up the fire; since we opened the balcony a
while ago the room has become very cold. (_Stirring the fire._)

CAR. It’s true. But let him not receive the full heat. We must place the
screen in front--so. (_Places it._)

DOL. It is well--so.

CAR. (_going to the balcony and raising the curtain_). Look--look! The
sky has become a little cleared, and the moon has issued from the
clouds. Very beautiful! Very beautiful! We must draw the curtain back,
that Lazarus may see it all and be the more inspired. I know he likes to
work while gazing towards the heavens from time to time.

DOL. (_running to help_ CARMEN). You are right; you think of everything.

JAV. Well, if after so many precautions and such endearments the
inspiration is not responsive, the inspiration of Lazarus is hard to

CAR. Is everything ready now?

DOL. I think so. Wait--your portrait is hidden in the shade. We must
place it so that the lamp may throw light on it, so that he may be
inspired by it also.

CAR. I inspire him? Yes--yes! Take it away. (_Wishing to remove it._)

DOL. I shall not allow it. Let it remain where I have put it, and let us

CAR. If you insist--well, then let him see it. But there is not much
light. (_Turning up the light of the lamp._)

DOL. (_to_ JAVIER). Call him--let him come.

CAR. Yes, let him come and write something very beautiful. Then I shall
enter for a moment, to bid him good-night.

DOL. Until then--come, Carmen.

CAR. (_to_ JAVIER). And you, too, leave him alone; you must not have any
more privileges than we.

DOL. Are you coming to keep us company?

JAV. Later on.

CAR. Is everything in order? (_Looking round._)

DOL. I think so. Adieu.

CAR. Adieu!

[_Exeunt to left_ CARMEN _and_ DOLORES, _half embracing each other_.

JAV. The field is clear. Poor women! How they love him! It is adoration.
(_Going to right._) Lazarus! Good-for-nothing! Now you can come--come,
if you can!

_Enter_ LAZARUS, _pale, somewhat in disorder, and with unsteady
step; in short, as the actor may think fit_.

LAZ. (_looking about_). Are they not here?

JAV. No; fortunately it occurred to them that you would work better

LAZ. Well, whatever you say, I think that I am presentable. Eh? My head
doesn’t feel bad--a delicious vagueness. I seem to be encircled by a
mist--a very soft mist; and through its texture there shine some little
stars. In short, peaceful sensations, very peaceful.

JAV. That’s to say, you are better?

LAZ. Don’t I tell you so? My legs indeed give way, but without pain. I
walk in the midst of softness. (_Laughing._) My head among the clouds
and the ground of cotton-wool. Divine! So ought the universe to be--that
is, _quilted_. Lord! what a world has been made of it--so rough, so
hard, so inconvenient. At every step you stumble and injure
yourself--rocks, rugged stones, sharp points, peaks, angles, and little
corners and big corners. The world should be round--quite so, and round
it is; roundness is perfection; but it should be an immeasurable sphere
of eider-down, so that, if a citizen falls, he may always fall amid
softness--thus! (_Letting himself fall in the arm-chair, or on one of
the cushioned stools at the side of the table._)

JAV. All very well--but you really are not strong.

LAZ. I am not strong? Stronger than you--stronger than you. Stronger.

JAV. I told you that you should not drink. It does you harm; your health
is broken down.

LAZ. I’m broken down? I?--How? I have not been a saint, but neither have
I been a madman. I am young: I have always thought that I was strong:
and, through drinking two or three glasses, and smoking a puro and
laughing a little--here am I transformed into a stupid being! Because,
now, it is not that I am broken down, as you say, nor that I am drunk,
as you suppose--it is that I feel simply stupid. No; and see, now, it
is not so disagreeable to be stupid: one feels--a sort of merriment, as
it were. That’s why so many people are merry. (_Laughing._) That’s why!
That’s why! Now I am falling into this same stupidity--that’s why, just

JAV. Attend to me, and understand what I say to you, if you are in a
condition to understand me.

LAZ. If I can understand you? I understand everything now. The world is
transparent to me: your head is made of crystal (_laughing_), and
written in very black and tortuous letters I read your thought--you
suppose I am very bad. Poor Javier! (_Laughing._)

JAV. Don’t talk such rubbish: I neither think such a thing, nor are you
really ill. Fatigue, weariness--nothing more. You have lived very fast
in Madrid during the last few years: you have thought much, you have
worked much, you have had a good deal of pleasure, and you need a few
months’ rest--here--in your father’s house, with your mother, with

LAZ. Carmen--yes--look at her. (_Pointing to the photograph._) There she
is. How sad, how poetical, how adorable a countenance. I wish to live
for her. With all the glory that I achieve I shall make a circle of
light for that dear, pretty little head. (_Sends a kiss to the
portrait._) We shall live together, you and I, my sweet little Carmen,
and we shall be very happy. (_As if speaking with her._) For I wish to
live. (_Growing excited and turning to_ JAVIER.) If I had never lived it
would never have suggested itself to me that I should continue to live:
but I have commenced, and I don’t wish to break off so soon. No--no--it
shall not be--as God lives.

JAV. Come, Lazarus.

LAZ. I am strong. Why should I not be so? What right has nature to make
of me a feeble creature when I wish to be strong? My thought burns, my
heart leaps, my veins abound with the exuberance of life, my desires are
aflame! To put steam of a thousand atmospheres into an old and rusty
boiler! Oh! infamous mockery!

JAV. Eh! There you are, started off! What steam, or what boiler? The
little glass of champagne.

LAZ. A man like myself cannot be tormented with impunity. Here you have
the world: it is yours: run merrily through its valleys, mount its
summits in triumph! But you shall not run, you shall not mount, unless
rheumatism is planted in your bones. Here you have the azure firmament:
it is yours: fly among its altitudes, gaze upon its horizons. But you
shall not fly except the plumage of your wings be wrenched away and you
become a worm-eaten carcass. What derision! What satire! What cruelty!
Accursed wine! What extravagant things I see, Javier! Colossal figures
in masks float across the firmament, and, hung from very long strings,
which are suspended from very long canes, they bear suns and splendours
and stars, and they sweep onward crying, “Hurrah! hurrah!”[1] and I wish
to reach all that, and I cannot touch even one little star with my lips.
Grotesque, very grotesque! Cruel! very cruel! Sorrowful, very sorrowful!
My God! My God! (_He hides his face in his hands._)

JAV. Come, Lazarus, come. You see you cannot commit even the slightest

LAZ. I have uttered many follies, have I not? No matter: no one hears
me but you, and it’s a relief to me. See, now I am more composed. I feel
tired, and I even think I am sleepy.

JAV. That would be best for you: sleep, sleep, and let neither your
mother nor Carmen see you thus.

LAZ. As for my mother, it would not matter. (_Smiling._). But,
Carmen--let not Carmen see me looking ridiculous. The poor girl who
imagines that I am a superior being! Poor child, what a joke!
(_Stretches himself on the sofa._)

JAV. Good; now don’t speak. I shall not speak either; and try to sleep.
With half an hour of sleep everything will pass off.

LAZ. Sleep, too, is ridiculous at times. If I am very ridiculous don’t
let Carmen see me.

JAV. No; if you don’t look as beautiful as Endymion she shall not enter.

_Pause._ JAVIER _walks about_. LAZARUS _begins to sleep_.

LAZ. Javier, Javier.

JAV. What?

LAZ. Now I am--almost asleep. How do I look?

JAV. Very poetical.

LAZ. Good--thank--you. Very poetical.

_A pause._

JAV. No, Lazarus is not well. I shall speak to his father--no, not to
Don Juan. To his mother, who is the only person of sense in this house.

LAZ. Javier.

JAV. What do you want?

LAZ. Put Carmen’s picture more to the front.

JAV. So?

LAZ. So. For her--the light; for Lazarus--the gloom.

JAV. (_walking about slowly_). Yes, I shall speak to his mother.
And--happy coincidence! I had not remembered that the celebrated Doctor
Bermudez, a specialist in all that relates to the nervous system, has
arrived within the last few days. Then to him! let them consult with

LAZ. (_now almost asleep_). Javier.

JAV. But are you not going to sleep?

LAZ. Yes--but more in the light--more in the light. (_With a somewhat
sorrowful accent._)

JAV. Come (_placing the portrait close to the light_)--and silence.

LAZ. Yes ... Carmen!...

JAV. (_contemplating him for a while._) Thank God--asleep.

DOLORES, CARMEN, DON JUAN, _and_ TIMOTEO _appear at the threshold
of the door at the back centre_.

CAR. May we come in?

JAV. Silence!

CAR. It was to say good-night.

JAV. He is asleep. He worked a short time, but he was fatigued.

CAR. Then let us not disturb him. Adieu, Javier. The light is in his
eyes--you should lower the shade. Adieu. (_Kissing_ DOLORES.) Adieu, Don

TIM. (_to_ DOL.) Till to-morrow. (_To_ DON J.) Till to-morrow.

JUAN. Nor shall we let to-morrow go by. I shall pay you a solemn
visit--and prepare yourself, little rogue (_to_ CARMEN).


JUAN. Silence, he is asleep.

TIM. Good, good. Ah! it is late. Good-bye.

DOL. Good-bye, my daughter.

_All have spoken in low voices._

DOL. (_approaching_ JAVIER.) Did he work long?

JAV. A short time, but with great ardour. A great effort of intellect.

JUAN (_approaching also and contemplating_ LAZARUS). Lord, to think of
what this boy is going to be! The face foretells it. The aureola of

DOL. He is very pale--very pale.

JUAN. What would you have him to be? Fat as a German, and red as a
beetroot? Then he would not be a genius.

DOL. However--such pallor!

JUAN _and_ DOLORES _are bent over_ LAZARUS _contemplating him with
affectionate care_.

JUAN. I am decidedly the father of a genius, and then (_to_ JAVIER) they
come to me with----

JAV. With what?

JUAN. With nothing. (_Aside._) With moral sermons, and with the law of
heredity, and with all that stale trash. The father a hare-brained
fellow, and the son a wise man.

DOL. But has nothing been amiss with him? Was it nothing more than

JAV. Nothing more. You may withdraw: I shall stay until he awakes.

JUAN. I shall not withdraw. I was wanting nothing better. I shall sit
down here (_sitting at the other side of the table_), and from here I
shall watch the sleep of Lazarus. You remain on foot, in honour of the
genius. Keep away, keep away from before him, that you may not prevent
me from seeing my son.

DOL. Yet the sleep is not very restful.

JUAN. How should it be restful, woman, since he must be busied with
great matters in his dreams?

DOL. My Lazarus.

JAV. (_aside._) Poor Lazarus.

JUAN (_laughing quietly_). Don Juan Tenorio--watching the sleep--of the
son of Don Juan!--silence--silence--let’s see if we shall hear anything
from the son of Don Juan. (_With pride and tenderness._)



     _Same appointments as in first Act. It is day. On the little
     table are flowers._ DON JUAN _discovered seated close to the
     tea-table._ LAZARUS _also discovered. He sometime walks about;
     again he sits down: he tries to write, he throws away the pen. He
     opens a book and reads for a few moments, closes it irritably and
     resumes his walking about. It is evident that he is uneasy and
     nervous. All this in the course of the scene with his father._ DON
     JUAN _follows him with his eyes and smokes a puro._

JUAN. What are you thinking of? Ah! pardon! I must not disturb you.

LAZ. You don’t disturb me, father. I was thinking of nothing important.
My imagination was wandering, and I was wandering after it.

JUAN. If you wish to work--to write--to read--and I trouble you I shall
go. Ha, I shall go. (_Rising._) Do you want me to go? for here I am

LAZ. No, father, good gracious! You disturb me!

JUAN (_sitting down again_). The fact is, as you see, that which I do
can be done anywhere. It is in substance nothing. Well, for the
performance of nothing any point of space is good. (_Laughing._) Of
space! There are your philosophical offshoots taking root in me. The
father in space, the son in the fifth heaven. That’s why I say if I

LAZ. No, father, don’t go away; and let us talk of what you please.

JUAN. Much good you’d get by talking with me. To your great books, to
your papers, to those things which astound by their greatness and are
admired for their beauty! Continue--continue! I shall see you at work.
I, too, shall busy myself with something. (_Pulls the bell._)

LAZ. As you like. [_Sits down and writes fitfully._

_Enter_ TERESA.

JUAN. Little Teresa--(_looking at his son and correcting himself_.)
Teresa, bring me a glass of sherry and a few biscuits; I also have to
busy myself with something. And bring me the French newspapers; no,
nothing but _Figaro_ and _Gil Blas_. (_To his son._) And so we shall
both be at work. (_To_ TERESA.) Listen--by the way, bring me that novel
which is in my room. You can read, can’t you?

TER. Yes, señor.

JUAN. Well, then, a book which says _Nana_--you understand?

TER. Yes, señor. Ná-ná.--For no is ná.

JUAN. It is something, little girl,--(_aside_) something that you will
be in time. [_Exit_ TERESA.

LAZ. (_Rises and walks about--aside_). I have no ideas. To-day I have no
ideas. Yes, I have many; but they come like a flight of birds; they
flutter about--and they go.

JUAN. See now--I cannot bear immoral novels.

LAZ. You said ...?

JUAN. Nothing! I thought that you said something. I said that I cannot
endure immoral novels. (_Assuming airs of austerity._) I read them, I
read “Nana,” out of curiosity, as a study, but I can’t bear them.
Literature is in a lost condition, my son, in a lost condition. Nemesio
lent me that book--and I am anxious to have done with it.

LAZ. Zola is a great writer. (_Aside._) This is the very thing that I
was looking for. (_He sits and writes._)

_Enter_ TERESA _with a tray, a bottle of sherry, a glass and the
biscuits_, “Nana” _and the two newspapers_.

TER. Here is everything. The sherry: the newspapers just come, the
tender little biscuits, and the tender little _Nana_ (baby) as well.
(_She stands looking at the two gentlemen._)

JUAN. Bring the sherry closer, Teresa.--Work, boy, work. Take no notice
of me. Work, for it is thus that men attain success. I also in my youth
have worked much. That’s the reason I look so old. (_Staring at_ TERESA
_who laughs_.) (_Aside._) What’s that stupid girl laughing at?--(_To_
TERESA.) Now, you may go. I don’t want you. The _Gil Blas_! (_Unfolds it
and begins to read it._) Let us have a look at these wretched little
newspapers.... (_affecting contempt._) I told you to go.--(_To_
TERESA.)--Let’s see, let’s see. (_Reads._)

TER. Yes, señor. (_She remains for awhile looking at the two, and turns
towards the door in the back centre._)

LAZ. (_rising_). Teresa--

TER. Señorito--

LAZ. Come here and speak lower: let us not disturb your master, who is
reading. Did you take the letter which I gave you this morning?

TER. Yes, señorito, I took it myself. Whatever you require me to do,

LAZ. Good. It was for Señor Bermudez, eh?

TER. Yes, señorito. That doctor who has such a great name, who has come
from Madrid for a few days to cure Don Luciano Barranco--the same who,
they say, is either mad or not mad. (_Laughing._)

LAZ. (_starting, then restraining himself_). Ah! Yes. Quite so; the
same. And did you see him? Did you hand him the letter? Did he give you
the answer? Where is it? Come, quick!

TER. Eh, señorito--

LAZ. Come--

TER. I gave the letter: he was not in:--they said--

LAZ. Lower--(_Looking at his father who laughs while reading the

TER. They said that as soon as he came back they would give him the
letter. Have no fear, señorito. Whatever little I take charge of! Well,
if I do nothing worse than--

LAZ. It’s well--thanks. (_Dismissing her, then recalling her._) Oh! if
they bring the answer--here on the instant--eh?

TER. On the instant: I should think so! have no fear, señorito.

LAZ. Enough! let us not trouble my father.

JUAN. Ha! ha! ha! Facetious, very facetious! sprightly, very sprightly!
Pungent as a capsicum from the Rioja! It is the only newspaper that one
can read!

LAZ. Some interesting article? What is it? What does it say? Let me see!
(_Approaching and stretching out his hand._)

JUAN (_keeping back the newspaper_). A very shameless little
article--and quite without point. It must be put away. (_Puts it in a
pocket of his dressing-gown, but in such a way that it may be seen._)
May the devil not so contrive things that Carmen may come and find the
newspaper and read it in all innocence.

LAZ. (_withdrawing_). It is true: you do well! (_Walks about

JUAN (_aside_). And I had not finished reading it: I shall read it
afterwards. (_Takes up_ “Nana.”) This also is good. The spring with all
its verdure. (_Aloud._) Work, boy, work!

LAZ. (_aside_). I shall speak to the Doctor this very day, that he may
set my mind at ease. I know that nothing is the matter with me; but I
want a specialist to assure me on the point. And then, with mind at
peace--to my drama, to my critico-historical work, to my æsthetic
theories which are new, completely new--and to Carmen. And with the muse
at one side, recounting marvels in my ear, and with Carmen on the other
side, pressed against my heart--to enjoy life, to inhale the odour of
triumphs, to live for love, to satiate my longings amidst eternal

JUAN. Stupendous! Monumental! Sufficient to make one die of laughing.
Lord, why does a man read? To be amused; then books that are amusing for
me! (_Laughing._)

LAZ. Is that a nice book?

JUAN (_changing his tone_). Pshaw--yes--pretty well. But these frivolous
things are tiresome after all. (_Sees_ LAZARUS _coming towards him, and
puts_ “Nana” _into the other pocket of the dressing-gown_.) Have you
anything solid to read--really substantial?

LAZ. I have many large books. What class do you want?

JUAN. Something serious; something that instructs you, that makes you

LAZ. (_going to the bookcase_). Would you like something of Kant?

JUAN. Of Kant? Do you say of Kant? Quite so! he was my favourite author.
When I was young I went to sleep every night reading Kant. (_Aside._)
What will that be? It sounds like a dog.

LAZ. (_searching out a passage_). If you like, I shall tell you.

JUAN. No, my lad; any part whatever! (_Taking the book._) Yes, this may
be read at any part. You shall see. And don’t concern yourself with me;
write, my son, write.

LAZARUS _sits and attempts to write_. DON JUAN _reads_.

“Under the aspect of relationship, the third consequence of taste, the
beautiful appears to us as the final form of an object, without
representation of end.” The devil! (_holding the book far off, as
long-sighted people do and contemplating it with terror._) The devil!
“or as a finality without end.” Whoever can understand this? “Because
what is called final form is the causality of any conception whatever
with relation to the object.” Let me see--let me see. (_Holding the book
still further off._) “Final form the causality.” I believe I am
perspiring. (_Wipes his forehead._) “The consciousness of this finality
without end is the play of the cognitive forces.” How does he say that?
“The play of the forces--the play.” Well, I ought to understand this
about play. “The consciousness of this internal causality is that which
constitutes the æsthetic pleasure.” If I go on it will give me a
congestion. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! And to think that Lazarus
understands about the finality without end, the causality and the play
of the cognitive forces! God help me! What a boy!--(_continues
reading._) “The principle of the formal convenience of nature is the
transcendental principle of the force of Judgment.” (_Giving a blow on
the table._) I shall be lost if I continue reading. But if that boy
reads these things he will go mad.

LAZ. Does it interest you?

JUAN. Very much! What depth! (_Aside._) For five minutes I have been
falling, and I have not reached the bottom. (_Aloud._) I should think it
does interest me! But, frankly, I prefer--

LAZ. Hegel?

JUAN. Exactly. (_Aside_)--“Nana.” But you, my son, neither read, nor
write: you are fretful. What’s the matter with you? Did the hunting tire
you? Yet the exercise of the chase is very healthy for one who like you
wears himself away over his books. Are you ill?

LAZ. No, señor, I am not ill. And I spent these three days in the
country very pleasantly. But this morning broke dull and rainy, and I

JUAN. And you arrived when I was getting up. I told you the great news;
immediately you showed great delight; but then you fell into sublime
preoccupations. Poor Carmen! (_approaching him with an air of secrecy._)
You don’t love her as she loves you.

LAZ. With all my soul! More than you can imagine! I am as I am:
reserved, untamed, unpolished--but I know how to love!

JUAN. Better and better! The poor little thing--come, now--the poor
little thing.

LAZ. And why did not Don Timoteo answer on the spot that he accepted?
When you asked him for his daughter for me, why did he hesitate?

JUAN. What do you mean by hesitation? I do him the honour of requesting
the hand of Carmen for my Lazarus--and he would hesitate! I should
strangle the scarecrow. Marry a man like you! What more could any
daughter or any father desire?

LAZ. Then why did he put off the answer till to-day?

JUAN. The prescriptions of etiquette: social conventionalities: he was
always a great stickler for etiquette. Because he must consult with
Carmen. Imagine him consulting with Carmen! When the poor little thing
is like a soul in purgatory, and you are her heaven.--Ha! ha!

LAZ. You are right.

JUAN. No: you shall have your sweet little wife, your home; you shall
work hard, you shall gain great glory, you shall keep a sound
judgment--and let the whole world say: Don Lazarus Mejia, son of Don
Juan Mejia! Oh!

LAZ. Yes, señor: I shall do what I can--and I shall love my Carmen

JUAN. That’s right--that’s right. But something’s the matter with you.
You seem as it were absent-minded.

LAZ. I am thinking--of my drama.

JUAN. Then I shall go! decidedly I shall go! With my insipid chatter I
prevent you from thinking. Oh! thought! the--the--(_looking at the
book_) “the cognitive forces”--the--the--(_looking again_) “the
finality”--that’s it--“the finality.”--Ah!--Good-bye.

LAZ. But don’t go away on my account.

JUAN. We must show respect to the wise. (_Laughing._) I am going to read
all alone the great book which you have lent me. (_Taking a flower and
putting it in the buttonhole of his dressing-gown._) Consider now,
whether I shall hesitate between Kant and “Nana.” (_Pulls the bell._)

LAZ. As you please.

JUAN. Good-bye, my son. To your drama--to your drama--and put nothing
immoral in it.

_Enter_ TERESA.

TER. Señor.--

JUAN. Listen, Teresa: take all that to my room. Wait--(_Pours himself
out a glass. Touching one pocket._) Here is _Gil Blas_, (_touching_)
here is “Nana”: Kant hauled along by the neck--and to my room. Work, my
boy, work! Do something great. Leave something to the world. I shall
leave you--I think--(_drinking the glass of wine._) Well, this
finality--has an end. To work--to work?--Good-bye. Lord, what a Lazarus
this is! To my room with all that, little Teresa.

[_Exit carrying in one pocket_ Gil Blas, _in the other_ “Nana,” _in
his buttonhole the flower, and gripped very hard the volume of

LAZ. Teresa, they have brought no letter for me?

TER. (_preparing to remove the wine and the biscuits_). No, señor.

LAZ. Patience: you did not tell my mother I had written to that Señor de

TER. No, señor.

LAZ. Has my mother got up?

TER. Got up, indeed! Before you returned this morning from hunting, Doña
Dolores had already gone to call for the Señorita Carmen that they might
go to Mass together.

LAZ. Good.

TER. And I don’t know how she rose so early, nor how she found courage
to go out.

LAZ. Why?

TER. Because last night she was very ill: very ill indeed.

LAZ. (_starting up_). My mother!

TER. Yes, señor. I say that it must have been the nerves. How she cried:
how she twisted her arms! Indeed I wanted to send an express messenger
for you to come back at once.

LAZ. Ah! my God, my poor mother! and why was I not informed? I would
have mounted on horseback; and in one hour--here.

TER. Because the señora would not have it so. “Silence, not a word to
anybody,” so she said, and an order from her is an order.

LAZ. But how is it possible? My father said nothing to me!

TER. He was not informed: he went to the theatre, afterwards to the
Casino with Don Timoteo and Don Nemesio; he returned late, and as the
señora had given orders--“to nobody”--nothing was said to him; and he
knew nothing.

LAZ. But how was it? Why was it? She who is never ill!

TER. I don’t know. The señora dined early and alone. Afterwards she went
out. She came back at ten o’clock: she could scarcely enter her room,
and immediately fell to the ground--just like a tower that falls.

LAZ. My God! my God! And you never informed me!

TER. Well, I am informing you now. And in spite of what she said, “not a
word.” But as to you--for your sake! Oh! when it concerns you, señorito.
(LAZARUS _pays no attention to her._) But don’t be distressed: this
morning already she was so strong and so well: yes, really, very pale
and with such dark circles round the eyes! but so strong. We women are
thus: now we are dying and afterwards we revive: we go back to death and
again we return to life.

LAZ. You mean that now she is well? But entirely well?

TER. Don’t I tell you she is as well as could be? Let your mind rest,

LAZARUS, _very much agitated, has been walking about_.

LAZ. Good, good, if it has already passed off--in short, when my mother
returns, tell me.

TER. You have no other orders?

LAZ. No. (_A bell rings several times._) My father is calling: go, go
quickly. The vibrating of the bell makes me nervous.

TER. I must take away this. (_Takes up the trays._)

LAZ. (_the bell continues ringing_). Take it away quickly for pity’s

TER. On the instant; what a hurry that good gentleman is in!

LAZ. And if they bring the answer from Señor de Bermudez.

TER. Immediately afterwards. (_The bell continues._) I am coming, I am
coming. (_She says this without calling aloud, as if to herself._)

LAZ. (_alone_). What she has told me about my poor mother has unstrung
all my nerves. I am not well. Bah! I am not ill. How Doctor Bermudez
will laugh at me when I consult him. The fact is that I am very
apprehensive; but I feel strong: Javier says to me every moment: “My
boy, don’t strut about on your heels so much.” Steady; so, steady. (_He
walks about, treads with his heels and laughs._) I know now what’s the
matter. I am very happy and I have a horrible dread of losing so much
happiness. Very happy. (_Counting on his fingers._) My father and
mother, so good; Carmen, who adores me; I, who am raving about her;
glory, which calls me; I who answer, “Forward, Lazarus”; my eyes, which
are my own and are never satiated with drinking in light and colours; my
thought, which is mine, and which does not tire of originating wonders;
my life, which is mine, and which desires to live more, to live
more--yes, more! (_A pause._) They say that life is dull, that it is
mournful. Buffoons! Has anything better been discovered? Is it better to
be stone which has no nerves to quiver with delight? Is it better to be
water which always runs in headlong stupidity without knowing where it
goes? Is it better to be air to blow without motive and to fill itself
with the foulest earth and dust? No, it is better to be Lazarus.
(_Resumes the counting on his fingers._) For Lazarus has very good
parents; he has Carmen; he has glory; he has life; and he has, above
all, thought, reason! Ha! I have all this: I have it: what remains to be
done if I have it! (_Sits down in a somewhat cowering manner._) It is
evident--because all this is so good, and because I have it, I am afraid
to lose it. I am as terrified as a little child; at times it seems to me
that I am a little child, and I am seized with impulses to run to my
mother and wrap myself round in her skirt. A man who almost understands
Kant and Hegel; who writes dramas which are very well received, yes,
señor, very well received; who meditates transcendental works. A man, in
every sense a man, who has fought duels in Madrid, and has had a little
love affair or so--(_laughing_)--and very pleasant too: the practical
reason, not of Kant but of Zola, which turns the Pure Reason of Kant
into ridicule and makes even the good matron laugh. Well then, this
formidable Lazarus at times is a child, and he would like his mother to
embrace him and to buy him toys! To be a child, yes; all the same it is
good to be a child. Nay. I should like it. (_Laughing._) But what
absurdities! Lord, what absurdities! (_Remains cowering in his chair,
thinking and laughing very low._)

_Enter_ TERESA.

TER. Señorito, a gentleman has given me this card.

LAZ. (_as if awaking_). A gentleman? Let me see--Doctor Bermudez! But
why has he put himself to inconvenience? I would have gone to him. Let
him come in. Let him come in. Quick, woman, let him come in. (_Exit_
TERESA.) With this man I must have much prudence, much composure, much
calm. If he had heard the nonsense that I was talking! What a terror!

TERESA. (_re-entering and announcing_). Señor de Bermudez. [_Exit_


BERM. Señor Don Lazarus Mejia?

LAZ. Your servant--very much your servant--one who is grieved to the
heart for having troubled a person such as you. A man of eminence--a man
of knowledge. (_With much courtesy, but endeavouring to restrain

BERM. Not so--not so--I received your letter.

LAZ. Indeed, it was not meant that you should give yourself any trouble.
I begged you to be good enough to appoint a time for me and I should
have gone to your house. But take a seat. I cannot allow you to remain
standing an instant longer. Sit down! (_Making him sit down._)
Here--no--here--you will be better here.

BERM. Many thanks. You are very amiable! (_Takes a seat._)

LAZ. I don’t know whether I am entitled to sit down in the presence of a
man like yourself; a national glory! (_Commands himself so that his
accent is natural: perhaps however he errs a little by excess of

BERM. For goodness’ sake!

LAZ. A man of European fame!

BERM. You overwhelm me. I don’t deserve--(_Aside._) He is very engaging,
this young man. They were right in Madrid to say that he has plenty of

LAZ. You don’t deserve it? Ah! in the mouth of a celebrity like Doctor
Bermudez, modesty will always have a voice, but it has no vote.

BERM. Señor de Mejia. (_Aside._) How well he speaks!

LAZ. Don’t treat me ceremoniously. I am not deserving of so much
solemnity. “Señor de Mejia”! (_Laughing._) Call me Lazarus. I really
don’t deserve anything better; treat me as a master might a pupil. I
dare not say as a kind friend would treat a respectful friend.

BERM. As you please. It will be an honour for me! (_Aside._) Very
engaging, very engaging!

LAZ. Well, I repeat that I am sorry at heart for having given you this

BERM. Not at all. I already told your mother last night that if at any
other time she required me, or if she wished by any further suggestions
to make me amplify my opinion, I was unconditionally at her orders. A
card saying to me “Come,” and I should come instantly. And so it is that
on receiving the letter this morning--as you may imagine--I said, “I
must place myself at the feet of that lady, and I must personally become
acquainted with her son, a national glory of the future, one who is
destined to have a European renown.”

LAZ. Señor de Bermudez! (_Repudiating the honour with a gesture.
Aside._) My mother--last night--what does he say? (_Commanding himself,
then aloud._) So my mother went last night--to see you--because----

BERM. Yes, señor, she has already explained everything to me. That you
were out hunting, and that you did not mean to return this week; that
she had been informed that I was going back to Madrid this day, and that
she had been anxious to consult me without the loss of a moment
concerning the illness of that poor young man--a cousin or a nephew, or
a relative--I think he is a nephew of your mother, whose name she said
was--Don Luis--Don Luis----

LAZ. Quite so--_a nephew_. You have it. (_Smiling. Then aside._) What’s
this? What relative is that? Why, it is not true. God of Heaven!
(_Aloud._) A nephew--that’s it. To whom God does not give sons, the
devil,---- (_Laughing._) Yes, but she also has me--her Lazarus, her son!

BERM. And she must be proud.

LAZ. Señor de Bermudez, have compassion on a beginner. But I wish you to
explain to me what you had the kindness to explain to my mother; because
ladles--don’t understand much about medical science--and though I
understand just as little of it, nevertheless----

BERM. Quite so; it is a speciality.

LAZ. A speciality, that’s it; it is a speciality. And moreover, I know
that young man more intimately--poor Luis! And I can supply you with
fresh particulars.

BERM. Oh! those of your mother were very precise. She has a keenly
observant mind.

LAZ. Very much so; don’t you describe it well! A keenly observant mind.
(_Aside._) My God!--my mother--and on her return home--her weeping--what
does this man say?

BERM. Altogether it would be better that I should see the poor young
man; but should that not be possible----

LAZ. I should think it is possible, and that would be the best. You
shall see him. I myself will take him to you--to your house. Yes, señor,
to your house; yes, señor.

BERM. That will do perfectly. That was what I said to your mother, but
she told me in reply that so long as things don’t come to an extremity,
families require to consider. I understand and I impute no blame.

LAZ. Nothing of the kind. Now, at this very moment you shall come with
me to see that--that poor young man. A man like you! Why, there’s no
difficulty about it.

BERM. (_rising_). Then I await your orders.

LAZ. Allow me, my friend, my dear friend: first of all I should like--I
beg of you to tell me what my mother explained to you and what was your
opinion; because, although she related everything to me this morning, I
should be glad to hear it from your lips. One learns everything by
listening to such a man as Doctor Bermudez. (_In a persuasive tone._) I
am so anxious that you should speak, and that I should hear you. Indeed,
it has been the dream of my existence. Speak, speak.

BERM. Dear Lazarus. (_Aside._) I have fascinated him, decidedly.
(_Aloud._) Your mother explained to me with great lucidity all the
antecedents of the patient: his sufferings when a child, his character,
his studies, his excitable imagination, the first symptoms of the
illness, a fainting attack, another more violent.

LAZ. (_somewhat drily_). All that I know already. Go on. (_With extreme
cordiality._) Go on, my dear Bermudez.

BERM. The doctor is rather like a confessor, and your mother did not
object to letting me know of the youthful days of the father--of the
father of the young man.

LAZ. Ah! his youthful days--yes--his youthful days--yes--yes--and what

BERM. His vicious conduct; his unbridled libertinism----

LAZ. (_excitedly_). Libertinism! (_Controlling himself._) Yes. (_With a
forced laugh._) Follies of youth. A lady always exaggerates these
things. I have not been a saint myself; neither have you. Doctor,
doctor, you with all your science and all your gravity. God knows. God
knows! Oh! these doctors! (_Giving him a slap on the back._) And what

BERM. (_laughing_). We are mortals and sinners, friend Lazarus.

LAZ. And we take for fine gold little lenses of talc. Come, come to the

BERM. Thus stands the case--that that good gentleman, the father of the
patient, reached the age of gravity, and he was not a steady man, and he
did not correct his faults. His wife seems to have suffered very much.
Is all this exact which your mother told me? Because if it is exact it
must be taken into account. That’s the reason I ask.

LAZ. (_aside_). My head! Oh my head! (_Succeeds in commanding himself,
and speaks naturally. Aloud._) See, doctor, those are details of which I
know nothing. But if my mother told you so, it will be true. My mother
is a superior spirit, a most pure soul, a mother beyond comparison. But
let us not speak of the mother, only of the son, that’s to say of the
son of the other mother. Therefore let’s see, let’s see. What more did
she tell you?

BERM. That to prevent the son from becoming fully acquainted with the
disorders of the father--because the boy, naturally, was growing up, the
mother had to send him to a college in France.

LAZ. (_aside_). It is I. It is I! Ah! ah! Calm! let me be calm!

BERM. What do you say?

LAZ. Nothing. I laugh at those family tragedies--the father a madcap,
and the son,---- And as you fill me with such respect--and as the
subject is so sad--I should not have presumed to laugh. Ah! Señor de
Bermudez, what a world this is!--what a world this is! Come, come.
(_Growing calm._) Yes, señor, the history, so far as I know, is entirely
correct. Then they sent him to study in Madrid--that unfortunate,
unfortunate youth: but, look you, not so unfortunate--for he went
through his course with distinction.

BERM. Quite so, and the father remained always the same.

LAZ. (_somewhat harshly_). Let us not speak of the father. And why?
Because the son is now launched on the world; then let us leave out of
the question the other. (_Recollecting himself._) Ah! pardon me. I love
my father so much, I respect him so much, that those words which you
have uttered have caused me much pain, much pain. A weakness I confess;
a man of science does not know those weaknesses; but we poets are thus.
You--you raise yourselves above the level of human miseries. The eagle
soars alike--eh? above the peak of granite with its robe of frost--eh?
and over the infected puddle--or the mire--the mire--eh? But we are not
all as Doctor Bermudez? (_Grasping his hand._)

BERM. I respect your delicacy: but science is implacable. A father who
has consumed his life in vice----

LAZARUS _retreats in his chair_.

Who has wallowed with all the energies of his nature in the mire of
riot, who has heated his blood in the embers of all impure fires--runs
the danger of transmitting to his son nothing but the germs of death or
the germs of madness!

LAZARUS _recoils more and more_.

And I tell you, as I told your mother last night, without prejudice to
the rectification of my opinion when I have examined the patient, that
if the description which you have given me is exact--and I conclude that
it is----

LAZ. It is. What then?

BERM. Ah! the springs of life cannot be corrupted with impunity. _The
Son of that father_ will very soon sink into madness or into idiocy. A
madman or an idiot: such is his fate!

(_He says this without looking round, with solemnity,
like one who pronounces a sentence: gazing forward and motioning with his arm
towards_ LAZARUS. _The latter cowers in his chair and looks at_
BERMUDEZ _with horror_.)

LAZ. Ah! No! What? My father! I! A lie! A lie! It is a lie! (_Hides his
face in his hands._)

BERM. What’s this? Lazarus! Señor de Mejia! Are you ill? What do you
say? (_Rising and approaching_ LAZARUS.) I don’t understand! Can it be?

LAZ. That I am the madman? Silence! That I am the idiot? Silence! That I
am such--I? Look at me well: study me well: strengthen your judgment:
meditate, examine, give sentence!

BERMUDEZ _standing_, LAZARUS _seated and clutching
the doctor by the arm_.

BERM. But this is not fair, Señor de Mejia! This is not just! By God--by
the Holy God!

LAZ. Fairness, justice, in a man such as I? Bermudez, Bermudez, I did
wrong, I confess--(_with a mixture of courtesy, sadness, and some
sarcasm_)--An idiot who presents his most humble excuses to a wise man!
Be generous, pardon me.

BERM. You have not understood me. I am sorry for you, Lazarus, because I
have given you--a shock--a bad time of it, without cause--believe me,
without any cause. God help me, these dramatic authors--no, one is not
safe with them! (_Wishing to turn the matter off with a laugh._)

LAZ. Let us be calm, let us be calm. I want the truth; there still
remains to me some glimmer of reason, and I can understand what you say
to me. Ha! the truth--Bermudez, the truth! It is the last truth that I
can understand, and I wish to enjoy it. (_Rising._) Out with it! I still

BERM. Friend Lazarus! By all the saints of the heavenly court!----

LAZ. No, I still keep my senses; I shall explain to you all that has
passed. My mother, pretending to inquire about another, inquired about
me; I, pretending to be interested on another’s account, was interested
on my own, and a poor mother and a lost wretch have between them cajoled
a wise man. Ah! cajoled--no: pardon. We wished to know the
truth--nothing more; but as the truth is treacherous, it is necessary at
times to drag it forth by treason. I humbly beg that you will pardon
us--my mother--and myself.

BERM. I tell you that I cannot recover from my surprise; that I am cut
to the heart for having spoken with such levity. I have already told you
that my opinion was haphazard--quite haphazard--without examination of
the patient. (_Seeking where to go._)

LAZ. Well, here is the patient. Don’t I tell you that I am the man? Oh,
have no fear: I am a man capable of looking face to face upon death, and
of answering the grimace of madness with another grimace even more
grotesque. While a heart remains to me, the head will obey.

BERM. For God’s sake, calm yourself. All this is not serious.

LAZ. I am perfectly calm; I am still master of myself. Sit down. (_Makes
him take a seat._) Let us talk quietly. Tell me all, but in a low voice,
that my mother may not know; that she may not know. And of my father,
not a word! Of my father--no, enough--nothing! I have been a madman in
Madrid, so that the madness is mine. It is all mine! Oh! you deny that
it is all mine? That is not right, Señor de Bermudez. Take to yourself
the accusation that it is not right. You deny me my own reason, and you
even wish to deprive me of my own madness, saying--saying--that my
father--silence! Well, my reason may not belong to me: patience! But my
madness belongs to me; I swear to you that it belongs to me, and I shall
defend it--I shall defend it, Bermudez! (_Advances upon the physician.
Then restrains himself._) And now, let us talk soberly of myself--of my

BERM. Señor de Mejia, dear Lazarus--as for what I told you a while
since, it was purely hypothetical; now that I know you, I modify my
opinion in every point.

LAZ. (_with a mocking smile_). Indeed? By God, Señor de Bermudez, that I
am a madman we’ll let pass; but I am not yet an idiot.

BERM. By God, Señor de Mejia, I am sure that I shall go out of this
house either an idiot or a madman!

LAZ. When do you calculate that I shall suffer the decisive attack--the
last: that of eternal night; that which surrounds us with blackness for
ever? How easily it is known that I have been a poet, eh? Eternal night,
eternal blackness! Is it not true? However, say--when? What term do you
allow me? A year? three months? or is it immediately? Candidly. You see,
now, that I still hear, and understand, and even speak poetically.
Eternal blackness, eternal night! However, let me know--let me know. A
year, eh?

BERM. It is readily perceived that you are a poet. You plunge into the
regions of phantasy. You see, your nervous system is shaken, somewhat
shaken. I don’t deny it; but I make myself responsible for your cure;
do you want more?

LAZ. We are coming to the point. As for my cure, I am ready to believe
that. But the decisive attack--when? I have such a feeling these few
days past, that I think it will be very soon.

BERM. Ravings, ravings! these are ravings.

LAZ. Precisely. Ah! you have said it--ravings. Come, an effort. Will it
be to-morrow, will it be to-day?

BERM. Neither to-day, nor to-morrow, nor within twenty years, if you
keep your senses.

LAZ. If I keep my senses! You are ingenious. “I shall not lose my senses
if I keep my senses.” Naturally.

BERM. A good sign: now we are joking.

LAZ. Yes, I am very quiet. At first I felt a wave of blood roll through
my brain; then a wave of ice, which spread through all my being. And
now--well--quiet--tired, a little tired, nothing more.

BERM. Good; then take a rest, put your mind at ease; and before my
setting out for Madrid I shall return. I have to convince you----

LAZ. I am convinced! Oh, my God! I don’t wish to keep you any longer, I
have sufficiently abused your kindness.

BERM. (_making a movement to withdraw_). Then if you will permit me----

LAZ. Yes, señor, assuredly (_accompanying him_). And don’t have any
ill-will towards me.

BERM. Good God--no; however, my friend----

LAZ. (_detaining him_). One moment! (_In his ear._) When?

BERM. Some other time.

LAZ. No; the one thing that I wish you to tell me, is this: “Lazarus,
there is no hope; the attack will be next month, or next week, or
to-morrow, or to-night, or this very hour,” in short, when must it be?
This is the only thing you have to tell me: I ask no more.

BERM. But how can you have me knowingly utter nonsense?

LAZ. (_energetically_). Because you have the inevitable power of telling
me the truth; however sharp, however bitter, however mournful, it may
be, you must tell it to me. It is a question of honour, of life or
death. Now you shall understand me. (_In a low voice in the doctor’s
ear._) I love, I adore Carmen; our wedding has been arranged: it will
take place in a short time--within fifteen days. And now, answer me: Can
I, in conscience, without being guilty of infamy, can I bind the
existence of Carmen to my existence--to the existence of an idiot?

BERM. What a question!

LAZ. If you are a man of honour----. What, go away without answering me?
Well, the way is free to you (_withdrawing from him_). Oh! I’ll not
detain you.

BERM. By God, Lazarus----

LAZ. But reflect, that through the cowardice of a moment, through not
having spoken to me as one man speaks to another man--for I still am a
man--you are about to do great mischief. Because if you don’t say to me,
“Renounce,” I shall not renounce Carmen; I shall embrace her and drag
her down with me to the abyss.

BERM. You see that I can do no more.

LAZ. You see that love is life--the oil of life which propagates itself.
And what will be our posterity? Come, say it, boldly. A swarm of
neurotics, of idiots, of lunatics, perhaps of criminals. A common sewer
hurrying on to death the wrecks of humanity. In candour, in honesty, say

BERM. Oh! what a head! Indeed, if you continue thus, I assure you that
you will go mad.

LAZ. By the memory of your mother, by the honour of your family, by the
happiness of your children, by the sacred duty of your profession, by
your conscience as an upright man, by your God, by piety, by
compassion----, if you had a daughter would you allow her to marry me?

BERM. To-day? No! (_Wishes to continue._)

LAZ. Enough! nor to-morrow either. Enough--never--thank you. My
sentence! Carmen, Carmen! (_Falls on the sofa._)

BERM. Lazarus--for God’s sake--you did not allow me to finish. Lazarus!
What a creature! Listen to me. I must call. (_Pulls the bell._) He is
losing his wits--Lazarus! (_The bell._) Eh! Here! (_going to the door._)

_Enter_ DOLORES _and_ DON JUAN.

BERM. Señora!

DOL. (_running to him_). Bermudez!

JUAN (_to_ BERMUDEZ). My Lazarus!

DOL. (_to_ BERMUDEZ). My boy!

JUAN. But what is this? Lord, what is this?

LAZ. (_rising_). Nothing. We called--they did not appear. We continued
to call--and you have come. And I called because I wished to introduce
you to my kind friend, Doctor Bermudez. My mother (_introducing her_);
you already know each other. Is it not true that you know each other?

DOL. My son!

_She and_ LAZARUS _embrace_.

LAZ. (_to_ BERMUDEZ). Don’t be surprised. As I was hunting a whole
week--and as we did not see each other on my return--we were embracing.

BERM. It’s natural.

LAZ. My father (_introducing him_). I have already seen my father this
morning, that’s why I don’t embrace him. (JUAN _looks at him
imploringly_.) However, that you may not imagine I love him less than my
mother, I shall embrace him likewise. Father!

JUAN. Lazarus! (_Embracing him._) Closer to me! closer! so! (_To_
DOLORES, _aside_.) You see, Dolores, you see? He has such strength; he
has nearly squeezed the breath out of me. It’s all folly what you have
been telling me.

DOL. Yes--quite true--folly.

JUAN (_to_ BERMUDEZ). What’s this boy suffering from?

BERM. Nothing: in substance, nothing.

JUAN (_to_ DOL.). Are you listening? What a head you have!

LAZ. Make your minds easy. Delicate--slightly delicate. Don’t be cast
down, mother.

DOL. (_caressing him_). Lazarus, my son, my Lazarus!

JUAN (_approaching_ LAZARUS _with envy_). And must I be cast down or
not? Oh, it matters little whether or not I be cast down.

LAZ. Neither must you be down-hearted, father. There is no cause. I am
perfectly well; let Bermudez tell you. And I am going to work for a
while (_with anguish_), because I can do no more (_restraining
himself_)--I can do no more with this idleness, eh? And with the regimen
that you have prescribed for me--and by following your advice--within a
short time you shall see--the resurrection of Lazarus! Good-bye,
Bermudez; my own mother, father and señor--illustrious doctor--note that
phrase--that phrase--the resurrection of Lazarus. Ah! for this Lazarus
there is no resurrection. [_Exit._

JUAN (_to_ BERMUDEZ). Speak, by Christ crucified! I know that it is
nothing--but I wish you to speak. Come, my Lazarus--what? Why does this
woman say such things? Jesus, Jesus, what a woman! You have always been
the same. (_To_ BERMUDEZ.) Don’t speak lightly--these are very important
matters. However, come! let me know, let me know!

BERM. Señor Don Juan, you understand----

DOL. Have you changed your opinion?

BERM. Substantially it remains unchanged.

DOL. My God! my God! (_Throws herself sobbing on a chair._)

BERM. But we must have a little calmness; Señora, for God’s sake.

JUAN. Calm? I should think so; since what you two say is impossible:
then nothing else was required. As if this could do no more than come
down upon a genius like Lazarus--and all in a moment. If it were
I--good, because I--Señor de Bermudez--I may be puffed off any day; but
Lazarus, Lazarus, consider well what you say, for these things are very
important. And they must be thought over deliberately. Very
important--very important indeed.

BERM. You are right, Don Juan. And now, you’ll both excuse me, I am
deeply affected--and I could not co-ordinate two ideas.

JUAN (_aside, to his wife_). Are you listening? He could not co-ordinate
two ideas. I say, I say, why did I trust to him!

BERM. Later on--to-morrow--some other day--I shall have the pleasure of
paying my compliments to you and of seeing Lazarus. Now, permit me to

DOL. (_rising and hurrying towards him_). But you are not yet going back
to Madrid? No, for God’s sake!

BERM. No, señora. I shall remain here fifteen or twenty days longer.

DOL. Then, come again; come again, I implore you!

JUAN. Yes; come again.

BERM. Yes, señor, I shall come again.

DOL. To-morrow?

JUAN. If you gave a little look in to-night--eh? You could take coffee
with us. I have some sherry----

BERM. To-night I cannot. I shall come to-morrow.

DOL. To-morrow, then, Bermudez. (_Accompanying him._) Save my son!

JUAN. See you to-morrow, Señor de Bermudez. And have a care what you do
with my Lazarus!

BERM. Till to-morrow, then, Señora. (_Pressing her hand._) And my dear

DOLORES _falls on a chair_: JUAN _walks about with
difficulty, but with an air of great vigour_.

JUAN. This man does not know what he’s talking about. You have now heard
him; he can’t co-ordinate two ideas. How simple we are! What, and do
people lose their talents and lose their heads as one might lose a hat?
Here, I got rid of my hat, and thus got rid of my head? Bah, bah! Idiots
are what they are from infancy. Nor do I say idiots only--fools have
been fools all through life; there is nobody more consistent than a
fool. But as to a man of genius! Oh! Genius! Tut, absurdities of
doctors! He to pronounce judgment on my Lazarus! He who can’t
co-ordinate two ideas--on Lazarus, who is as familiar with the “finality
without end” as he is with the _Our Father_! Come, answer. Am I right?

DOL. Would to God it might be so!

JUAN. But don’t you think it is false--all that that buffoon has told

DOL. (_with desperation_). And if it were true? If it were true? What
then? Then, why was I born? (_Advancing upon_ DON JUAN, _who retreats_.)
My illusions lost through you! My youth blighted through you! My dignity
sneered at through you! After twenty years of sacrifices in order to be
deserving of my Lazarus--good for him! loyal for him! honourable for
him! And to-day? No. You have always been a wretch: but this time you
are right. Impossible! Impossible! God could not let it be so.

JUAN. Well, I have been a wretch--there’s no getting over it. But do not
call to mind all that--and above all, don’t speak of it. Say that you
forgive me--forgive me, Dolores.

DOL. What does it matter to you--my forgiveness?

JUAN. It matters to us both. If you don’t pardon me, and at the same
time God purposes to chastise me, and chastises me in my Lazarus--“He
might have been a genius, here you have in him an idiot.” These things
are very serious. Come come, don’t say that.

DOL. What things you do say! You, too, talk at random. No matter--under
such circumstances. I pardon you with all my heart.

JUAN. Thank you, Dolores. Thus we are more secure.

DOL. (_clinging to him_). But help me to save Lazarus.

JUAN. With my whole soul. Though I had to give up for him all the life
that remains to me.

DOL. Give your life! Ha! what life have you? All the life that God first
granted you, you should give him.

JUAN. Dolores!

DOL. Ah! it’s true. I had pardoned you. I shall not recall my word. But
what are we to do?

JUAN. Take him to Madrid, that the best known physicians may see him.

DOL. Well thought of!

JUAN. And then to Paris. We shall consult all the eminent men.

DOL. Quite so. Then to Germany.

JUAN. And to England. The English know a great deal. Bah! there is
plenty of science dispersed throughout the world.

DOL. Then we shall collect it all for Lazarus.

JUAN. Without fail! All for him! Whatever remains of my fortune for him!
I have squandered much, but I am still rich.

DOL. I have never called you to a reckoning. You have squandered your

JUAN. No, señora: no, señora. It was not mine. I see it now. It belonged
to Lazarus. But Lord! I did not know I was going to have Lazarus.
Dolores, we must save him.

DOL. We hang on to his reason like two creatures in despair, that it may
not fly away. Is it not true? (_Clinging to him._)

JUAN. Like two of the desperate, and like two parents. Is it not so?
(_Pressing her to him._) And we shall save him, eh? Don’t say no; don’t
say no! (_Falls weeping on a sofa._) I have been bad, but without bad
intention. I did not know this. Would that I had been told! Lazarus, my

DOL. Don’t be distressed. Don’t you see that you will not have energy to

JUAN. I’ll not have energy? Ah! you’ll see. Ho! ho! I have no energy!

DOL. I love to see you thus. And believe me that Bermudez exaggerates.

JUAN. He is a fanatic--a buffoon--a madman that can’t co-ordinate two
ideas. Ah, blockhead. (_Shaking his fist._) I don’t know how I keep my
head. My breast is burning. My throat is dry. (_Pulls the bell._)
Teresa! eh! Teresa!

DOL. (_calling_). Teresa! (_Turning to_ JUAN.) What’s the matter?

JUAN. Nothing--nothing.

TERESA _entering_.

TER. Señor?

JUAN. Bring me a glass of sherry. No, a glass of water--water only.

TER. Yes, señor. [_Exit._

JUAN (_walking about_). From this day I have to mortify myself--on bread
and water, like an anchorite--all for Lazarus. Come, is not this to be
put to my credit?

DOL. Yes; but much prudence. Let nobody know anything.

JUAN. Nothing. Our journeys will be journeys of pleasure; artistic
voyages, that Lazarus may see the world and gain instruction. If all
these were false terrors!

DOL. Not a word to anybody.

JUAN. Not to Carmen--say nothing to Carmen.

DOL. Poor Carmen, my poor angel! But you are right. The first is

JUAN. The first--that’s clear. But that girl does not come, and I am


TER. (_announcing, and with the glass of water_). Here is Don Timoteo.

JUAN. Let him come in.

TER. He is already in.

JUAN (_to_ DOLORES). Silence, and let us affect indifference.

DOL. (_aside_). Indifference and gaiety. (_Wiping her eyes._ DON JUAN
_drinks a glass of water_.)

JUAN (_to_ DOLORES). Will you take some? Drink, dear. Be calm! [_Exit_

DOL. Thank you; I am calm now.

TIM. Doña Dolores!

DOL. Friend Don Timoteo!

JUAN. My dear Timoteo! (_Wishing to embrace him._)

TIM. Don’t embrace me. Don’t you see that I have come according to
etiquette? All in black!

DOL. In black! Why?

JUAN. Why?

TIM. Don’t be alarmed; it is not mourning, but etiquette. I come in all
solemnity. Now you shall see. Isn’t Carmen here?

DOL. We went together to hear Mass. She came back with me--and she is
now in my sitting-room with Don Nemesio and with Javier--so merry!

TIM. Then let everybody come here! (DOLORES _rings the bell_.)
Everybody--except Lazarus; he must come afterwards. Ah! solemnity!
solemnity! (_Laughing._)

TER. (_entering_). Señora ...

DOL. Let the Señorita Carmen have the goodness to come here.

TIM. She and all--all. And till they come let no one speak to me.

DOL. (_aside to_ DON JUAN). Don’t you guess?

JUAN (_aside_). Yes. [_A pause._

TIM. Solemn silence! Silence, a precursor of something very grave. Ha!


CAR. (_to her father_). Did you call me?

TIM. Silence, little one. Don’t you see how grave we all are?

CAR. But what’s the matter?

TIM. (_to his daughter_). You stand beside Dolores.

_A movement among all_: CARMEN _embraces_ DOLORES.

So: that’s well.

DOL. My own daughter!

JUAN (_aside_). God assist me!

NEM. Ah--ha!

JAV. (_to_ NEMESIO). We are having a wedding.

TIM. Silence!--Are we ready? All attention--and every solemnity--for I
am going to begin. Ah! you, Javier, being the youngest man here, shall
go out in haste at the fitting moment to find Lazarus--“Lazarus!
Lazarus!” You understand?--So, so--all very quiet: hanging on my lips.
(_A pause._) Señor Don Juan Mejia--(_with comic solemnity._) My dear
sir?--The devil, I seem as if I were going to write a letter!--Juanito,
you asked me for the hand of Carmen for Lazarus: I have consulted the
girl, she is dying about the boy, and now I bring the girl to the boy.
And I say before all--Let them be married--the devil--let them be
married!--(_with great energy._)--The programme in these
cases--gentlemen, the programme.--The blushing, the weeping, the
smiling, the embracing!

(_All spontaneously go through the instructions._ CARMEN _and_
DOLORES _embrace, and_ DOLORES _weeps passionately_. NEMESIO _and_
JAVIER _laugh while pointing out the groups_. TIMOTEO _and_ NEMESIO
_likewise embrace. Then_ TIMOTEO, _as if recollecting himself,

Javier--go and look for Lazarus--Away, the situation is falling flat!

JAV. I am off--I am off! Lazarus! Lazarus! [_Exit._

CAR. Mother!

DOL. My own daughter--my own daughter! (_Aside._) My God! My God!

TIM. (_to_ DON JUAN). And you say nothing?

JUAN. Why, nothing more was required.

TIM. But he is not coming.

_Re-enter_ JAVIER _and_ LAZARUS; _the latter pale, disordered, and
materially dragged along by the former_.

LAZ. Where are you taking me? Where?

JAV. Come, Man, Come ... To Happiness!

LAZ. What’s this? What do they want with me? Why do they call me?

TIM. _Tableau!_ Carmen is yours! I bring her to you! You are to be
married! (_To_ DON JUAN.) Eh! you father of a cork-tree, say something
to them; I have gone through all my part!

LAZ. Carmen--she--is it true? My Carmen!

DOL. Your Carmen--she is yours.

JUAN. What the devil! She is yours--be happy, and let the world founder!
what do I care for the world!

LAZ. Mine, mine! I may go to her! fold her in my arms! embrace her with
all my soul! drink her in with my eyes! I may if I like?

JUAN. Yes! enough that you say--yes!

LAZ. Oh, the infamy of it! Oh, the treachery! Carmen!

CAR. (_going up to him_). Lazarus!

LAZ. No, keep off! To whom are you coming? You are not to be mine!

CAR. He casts me off! He casts me off! I knew it! Mother! mother!
(_Falls into the arms of_ DOLORES.)

DOL. Daughter of my heart!

TIM. My daughter! What have you done? What have you done?

NEM. But I don’t understand.

JAV. I do.

_All hasten to help_ CARMEN.

JUAN. Lazarus--my son!

LAZ. (_embracing his father_). Father--father--you are my father, save

JUAN. Yes, I shall save you--I gave you life!

LAZ. You gave me life! But that’s not enough: give me more life--to
live, to love, to be happy--give me life for my own Carmen--give me more
life, or cursed be the life which you gave me!



     _The scene represents a room in the country seat of_ DON JUAN, _on
     the banks of the Guadalquivir, in accordance with the description
     in the earlier part of the first act, although with some pieces of
     furniture of a more recent period and of more sober taste. There
     still remain some divans, the carpet and various objects of art.
     Furthermore, a little table and a low chair. In the background is a
     balcony or terrace, which is understood to encircle the building.
     There is an ample view of the sky and of the horizon. If the
     balcony can be made to slope somewhat towards the left, so much the
     better for the final scene. A door at the right, another to the
     left. A lounge to the right: to the left a sofa: a lighted lamp on
     some table to the side or at the back. It is night: the sky blue
     and starlight; as the act proceeds the lights of dawn gradually

     DON TIMOTEO, JAVIER _and_ PACA _are discovered; the last named
     walks about the back and on the terrace as if to arrange something:
     she is dressed in a black or very dark costume: mantle[2] of black
     crape and with fringes_.

TIM. And so Dolores wrote to you?

JAV. Yes, señor. Lazarus wished to see me: my company was very much
wanted to hasten on his convalescence: he was talking constantly about
me. Finally, I said: “I must go there,” I took the train, and two hours
ago I planted myself at the door of this country seat, of this
delightful country seat; which ought to have admirable views, as far as
I have been able to judge by the feeble light of the stars.

TIM. But didn’t you know it? Weren’t you acquainted with Don Juan’s
country seat?

JAV. No, señor.

TIM. (_waggishly_). I was. I have known it for many years. I knew
it--ay, when Juan and I were young men! When I used to call him Juanito,
and he called me Timoteito. Ah, ah! (_mysteriously._) What a number of
reminiscences these venerable precincts awaken! All that you see is
impregnated with love and madness, with alcohol and merriment. I could
tell you: on this divan Juan one day fell down drunk: in that corner I
fell one night in the same condition: and on that balcony we both fell
one morning in a similar situation. Oh, most sacred memories! Oh,
beloved images of the past! (_To_ PACA). What are you doing here?

PACA. I am putting everything in order, señor.

TIM. And now you will see such a panorama. That balcony looks toward the
East, and you see the Guadalquivir--“Sevilla, Guadalquivir, how you do
torment my mind!” The loveliest girls of the Sevillian land have
breakfasted here, have danced here, have sung here, and have got drunk

JAV. Ah, ha! you amused yourselves here in fine style.

PACA _sighs_.

TIM. (_turning round in ill humour_). Have you not done? Have you not
done, Paca.

PACA. Well, I remained to see--if you gentlemen wanted anything, that’s

TIM. Nothing, you may go to the kitchen.

PACA. Very well, Don Timoteo: to the kitchen. Ah! my God! (_She takes a
low chair on to the terrace, sits dawn and fans herself._)

TIM. I tell you that I can look at nothing which surrounds me without
being moved. The girls from Sevilla, the girls from Malaga, the girls
from Tarifa! But let us make a full stop. I am perverting you, young
man: and at my age that’s a villainous thing. But the fact is that there
were certain girls from Sevilla and Malaga and Cadiz, and certain girls
from Tarifa.

PACA _gives a very big sigh on the balcony_.

Who’s that sighing? The devil of a woman, there’s nothing dismal in what
we are saying--are you here still?

PACA (_from the balcony and without rising_). To see if Don Timoteo
wanted anything.

TIM. I do want something, and this gentleman wants something. Bring us a
few glasses.[3]

PACA _rises and approaches_.

JAV. Many thanks: they gave me supper a short time ago: it is now very
late--and I take nothing at such an hour as this. (_To_ PACA.) Don’t
trouble yourself on my account.

PACA. Then.

TIM. Then, trouble yourself on my account. Go go, and bring that.

PACA. Yes, señor, yes; I am going, Don Timoteo.

JAV. Good heavens! Manzanilla at this hour?

TIM. Yes, yes, of course, I know that you are very steady. Lazarus
writes dramas; you write history; but, my friend, a glass is taken at
any historical moment whatever.

JAV. At any historical moment? But one o’clock in the morning, although
it be an exquisite morning of summer, is that an historical moment or a
moment to go to sleep?

TIM. For the pleasure of tasting, eh? for the pleasure of tasting a
sweet little drop of Manzanilla, the twenty-four hours of this day, and
the twenty-four of the following, and those of the next, are marked down
in all treatises, young man. Admit that there are no young men nowadays.

JAV. How can it be helped? There are young men who are old, and there
are old men who die quite young.

TIM. It’s true. Since I came eight days ago to the country seat, my
remembrances have become refreshed, and I feel as if I were fifteen
years old.

JAV. And in a few more days you’ll feel as if you were fifteen months.

TIM. Halloa! Halloa! that figure of speech is called irony.

JAV. A respectful irony, Don Timoteo. But I did not think to meet you at
the country seat of Don Juan.

TIM. I had brought poor Carmen to Sevilla. She is very delicate. With
those unfortunate events--with the illness of Lazarus--and what you
know already. But when once at Sevilla, Juanito was anxious that we
should come and pass a few days here. And I, to give that pleasure to
Carmen, and to contribute to the recovery of Lazarus--who, they
declared, was going on very well--I consented and here we are.

JAV. Restored to youth.

TIM. Believe me, Javier, in what I told you just now: there is no longer
any youth now: Carmen with her afflicted little chest: Lazarus with his
disordered nerves; you with your sedateness and your megrim. We were of
another stamp.

JAV. Perhaps it’s because you were of another stamp, that we are made
after this fashion. But let us change the subject, Don Timoteo. And so
there is a complete reconciliation, and a wedding in perspective?

TIM. I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you. But that Paca is not bringing the
Manzanilla. (_Looking to see if she comes._) Really there was no cause
to be offended. Lazarus said what he said--in a fever! You saw him fall
senseless at the feet of Carmen. What the devil was the meaning of that?
Go and learn that. In my time when a man fell down thus, it was decided
to be drunkenness or apoplexy, and so medical science became simplified
and was within the reach of everybody. But in these days, interpret you
who can what’s the matter with the man who falls insensible.

JAV. Poor Lazarus was very ill. However, they say that he is now getting
on perfectly: the malady has passed the critical point.

TIM. So they say and he seems very much restored: but he is always a
very extraordinary person--like all men of talent.

JAV. And so we shall have the wedding.

TIM. Hum--wedding--that’s flour from another sack. I say nothing so as
not to distress Carmen, not to be disagreeable to the parents, and
because I would not give the boy another fainting fit. If Lazarus
recovers completely and comes back to what he was, and writes something
that will bring him considerable fame--sufficient to prove that his
brain is quite sound--then the way is clear--eh? Because Carmen, poor
Carmen. But this Paca is not coming!

JAV. Carmen is very fond of him, is she not?

TIM. I don’t know--I don’t know that girl, God help me! I am taking her
away soon: within four or five hours we shall set out to catch the
train. And before going away I shall speak to Bermudez.

JAV. I only saw Lazarus for a moment, and he seemed to me----

TIM. How?

JAV. Much better. Youth works miracles. (_Aside._) Poor Lazarus!

TIM. It’s true, it’s true. I myself had--I don’t know what--and I was so
to say--crazy for more than a year--much more; and it passed off.

JAV. Well nobody would think it--I mean nobody would think that you had
ever had--anything--of that kind of infirmity--eh?

TIM. Well, I had it, I had it--they believed that it had left me an

JAV. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

TIM. But that devil of a woman who is not coming! She knew quite well
that the Manzanilla was only for me, and she delights in mortifying me.
She has a most perverse mind. And she was always the same; you don’t
know what that woman has been!

JAV. Who? She who was here just now?

TIM. Exactly; that was one of the most magnificent women in all
Andalusia. She was called Paca the Tarifeña.

JAV. Ah ha! who would have said so!

TIM. I should have said so, Juanito would have said so, Nemesio would
have said so, and everybody would have said so. The Tarifeña! the girl
from Tarifa!--she who acts in this house to-day as a servant or little
better, twenty or thirty years ago commanded like a mistress.
Afterwards, as always happens, she rambled about--rambled about--and
farewell beauty, farewell grace, farewell magnificence. Old age,
ugliness and misery, the three enemies--I’ll not say of the soul, but of
the bodies of pretty girls, fed themselves upon the gay Tarifeña. Five
or six years ago Juan got to know of it; he felt sorry, and he took her
into this country house, as mistress of the keys or something--as a
matter of form. In short, she is in service in the country seat; but she
will not be of much service, for she was always very lively, but very

JAV. Yet, so beautiful?

TIM. A sun! But women break down early. We men preserve ourselves
better. Who would say that I am fifty-eight years old?

JAV. Nobody! Whatever else you may be accused of--(_Aside._)

TIM. I should think so. Halloa! I think Lazarus is coming.

_Enter_ LAZARUS _on the left. Behind comes_ Doctor BERMUDEZ, _but
at a certain distance from_ LAZARUS, _as if observing him and being
on the watch_.

LAZ. (_looking at_ DON TIMOTEO _and_ JAVIER). This night we are all
sitting up, the sitting up of the farewell.

TIM. I am obliged to you, but there was no need for you to trouble
yourself. Let us say farewell now: you go to bed: and Carmen and I at
daybreak, very quietly, without rousing anybody, will set out for the

LAZ. So, so; very quietly, without waking anybody, in the silence of the
night: so you wish to steal Carmen away. And so happiness is stolen
away. Treachery! But I am watching and I shall watch: Lazarus has risen,
and now he will never sleep any more. These eyes are very wide open to
see everything (_tenderly_): the dear little head of my Carmen
(_laughing_), the great, villainous head of Don Timoteo. To see the day
with its splendour and the night with its gloom. (_Going to the
balcony._) How beautiful is the morning star--is it not? It is always
there. We seem to have made an appointment with each other. “I shall
appear in heaven,” she says, “and do you appear at the balcony, and we
shall gaze upon each other.” I cannot gaze upon you, forgive me; Carmen
would be jealous. She not being at my side, I do not wish to gaze on
anybody, I do not care to see anybody. (_Withdraws irritably from the
balcony and sees_ BERMUDEZ.) Halloa, dearest doctor, were you here? Did
you follow me? Did they send you to take charge of me? Well, look you,
it annoys me to have a sentinel always in sight--(_Restraining himself
and changing his tone_) unless he be so kind-hearted as my dear doctor.

_They all advance to the first entrance._

BERM. I came with you to beg you not to sit up. Now go to bed, take some
rest, and at daybreak I shall awaken you that you may bid good-bye to
Carmen and to Don Timoteo.

LAZ. That’s what you want! I am not a child: I am not to be deceived.
How does he who sleeps know what he will see on his awaking? If he does
awake! (_Sits down._)

TIM. However. (_Approaching him._)

JAV. (_approaching still nearer_). I give you my word....

BERM. (_All surround him._) We all promise you solemnly----

LAZ. It is useless--don’t trouble yourselves. Besides I neither believe
anybody, nor trust in anybody. I don’t trust myself, and I am always
observing myself whether perchance--in short, I understand myself: then
how should I trust you? You perceive that that’s asking too much. And
enough, enough--I have said no.

BERM. As you please, Lazarus.

LAZ. Moreover, sitting up is delightful. What a sky! what a night, what
a river! Just now we were downstairs in the drawing-room that looks on
to the garden, my mother, my father, Carmen, the doctor, I--(_counting
on his fingers_) and Paca likewise. All seated, all resting, and
somewhat sleepy, excepting Paca. In an angle a lamp: the doors on a
level with the outside: the sky in the distance: the garden with its
twining plants and its rose trees making itself a portion of the saloon,
as if to bear us company: the penetrating perfumes of the lemon flower,
and the freshness of the river impregnating the atmosphere: little
insects of all colours, a few butterflies among them, as if engendered
by the air, came from without, attracted by the lamp, and fluttered
between the light and the gloom, as ideas revolve within me now; and
Paca too was fluttering amidst us all. (_A pause._) What, you are
laughing? (_To_ JAVIER.)

JAV. I am not laughing.

LAZ. Yes; you laugh because I said that Paca was fluttering between my
father, my mother, Carmen and myself. Well, I maintain it: is it only
butterflies that flutter about? Flies and gad-flies flutter as well. And
so, as I lay there with eyes half closed, Paca, with her black dress and
her black mantle with its fringe, seemed to me an enormous fly. She
fluttered ponderously from my father to my mother--serving my father
with sherry and my mother with iced water--and between Carmen and
myself, to worry me with questions, and to fix a flower in Carmen’s
hair, rustling against us both with her mantle and its fringes, as a fly
rustles with its dark and hairy wings. She is a kind woman but I felt a
repugnance, a loathing, and a chill, and I came up to stand and breathe
on yonder balcony.

JAV. And to contemplate the stars.

LAZ. One, no more than one. And such extravagant ideas! But we
apprentices of poetry are thus. You are right, Bermudez,
extravagant--very--very--. I was thinking of Paca, I was gazing at the
star, and I felt an insane, ridiculous, but unconquerable desire. It was
to seize one of my foils, to run it through the gad-fly with her fringed
mantle, as one runs an insect through with a pin, and to burn her at the
light of that most beautiful star. Like what? The putrescence of
humanity which is consumed and purified in heavenly flames. You don’t
understand me, Don Timoteo?

TIM. Well, I don’t think there is much to understand--and even though a
man may not be a genius----

LAZ. Don’t be vexed: these are jokes: I offend you? The father of
Carmen? when for her sake I am ready to go down on my knees and to
declare that you are young and beautiful and that you have brains, and
to compel the whole world to declare the same. Your arms, Don Timoteo,
your arms. (_They embrace._) You bear no grudge against me, do you?

TIM. Dear me, why should I?

LAZ. Then don’t take away Carmen; don’t separate me from her. A sick man
should have his way in everything--and it would make me worse, let
Bermudez tell you. Is it not true that it would make me ill? Say it--say

TIM. But you are well now?

BERM. Quite well.

LAZ. And you, what do you say?

JAV. My boy, I find you as well as ever.

TIM. And I really must go to Sevilla. But we shall soon come back to be
reunited. You are not a convalescent: you don’t require to stay here.
Away home to work!

LAZ. (_in the ear of_ TIM). Then when shall the wedding be?

TIM. For my part--any day--but that, let the doctor say.

LAZ. Not that man--not that man--ah--I know him--and yet let him say.

BERM. It depends on the state of mind that you are in: if you are in a
sound state of mind, very soon.

LAZ. Well, before you take Carmen away you have to decide it. The
morning approaches--it will be here in less than two or three hours. You
see that brightness? It is beginning to dawn already, and we must sit up
by all means. Therefore you go in there, into that cabinet--and you fix
the date. I shall not be in your way. Now you see that that I can do no
more. But you must say when and let me know; when I know it I shall be
more at ease. With to-day there will be one day less: two less:
three--it is not far off now: very little short of the time: three days
off, two days off, one day off, it is to-morrow, it is to-day--she is my
Carmen for ever--she is mine--(_vehemently_). Now, let who dare force
her from my arms! Oh! Carmen now belongs to Lazarus. (_Changing his
tone._) I am saying what will happen--when you fix the day--because by
the fixing of the day we only want two--now we are only short of
one--now it has arrived--all happy! (_Embracing_ TIM. _and_ JAV.). It’s
true, it’s true! And now, in there.

TIM. For my part, with much pleasure, and it seems to me a good idea.
Will you have it so, Bermudez?

BERM. I am at your orders--and if Lazarus insists----

LAZ. No more--no more--enter--here--and in all freedom. Your little
cabinet--the balcony open--the flowers of that terrace which are
beginning to take colour--the Guadalquivir which commences to waken with
its silver lights. Very good--very good--you are going to be perfectly
comfortable--and all this will incline you to good nature. Don’t be very
cruel--don’t fix too long a term--for in this world, what is not to-day
is never.

TIM. Shall we go in?

BERM. Yes, señor.

_They move slowly and speaking in low tones toward the right._

LAZ. (_in a low, energetic voice to_ JAVIER). And you, too, go. I don’t
trust them. The wretches, they would say never: go, go, with them.

JAV. But I----

LAZ. (BERM. _and_ TIM. _are now at the door_). Eh? wait. Javier is
accompanying you, I have requested him--because I wish to have some one
who may plead for me and for Carmen. This you cannot deny me.

TIM. I should think not--come--come.

JAV. (_to_ LAZ.). If you insist.

LAZ. In there, all three--all three--and afterwards we shall give an
account of all to my mother and my father and Carmen. Quick--quick----

BERM. (_at the door_). You two go in----

TIM. You go in first.

BERM. By no means.

LAZ. Go in any way: I am waiting----

BERM. We shall soon have done. Be calm, Lazarus, be calm.

LAZ. (_alone_). Yes: he is right: I have need of much calm. Outside
there all is calm: then why should I not be calm as well? Without there
is twilight (_pressing his forehead_): within here is another twilight.
But yonder half obscurity will end by filling itself with light. And
this--this? I seem to see beyond the luminous little clouds a great
gloom. There without are worlds and suns and immensity--yet nothing of
that bears the least consequence to me: here within are three
insignificant persons--and it is they who are about to decide my
destiny. To be menaced with the danger of one of those orbs that whirl
through space overwhelming Carmen and myself--there would be grandeur
for us in such a fate. But to be threatened with the possibility of a
doctor and a fool putting me in a cage and leaving Carmen outside, to
fret her pale front against the cold iron bars--this is cruel, this is
humiliating--and nobody shall humiliate me. I am worth more than them
all put together. I am better than them all. (_Interrupting himself._)
Better than Carmen?--no. Neither am I better than my mother. And my
father--my father--he loves me much--more than I--silence! Yet if he is
capable of loving more than I, then he is better than I--the result is
that everybody is better than Lazarus. How is this possible? (_Walks
about in great agitation._)

_Enter_ PACA _with some cups of Manzanilla_.

Who is this? It is Paca. Why the result will be--I see it--that even
that creature is better than myself.

PACA. Is not Don Timoteo here? Then why does he give orders for nothing?
He gives orders and then he goes away.

LAZ. Whom are you looking for?

PACA. For Don Timoteo: he asked me for some cups of Manzanilla, and he
went away without waiting for me.

LAZ. Bring them, bring them. I’ll take them. Leave them here.

PACA (_putting them on a little table_). You, señorito? And if they do
you harm?

LAZ. Harm to me? Poor woman! Look--(_drinks a cup._) I drink and you
flutter about.

PACA. I flutter about, señorito? Ah! what things you say!

LAZ. What do you see out there?

PACA. Nothing.

LAZ. Just so. Nothing: that’s what we all see. And inside here, what do
you see?

PACA. Well, you.

LAZ. That’s it, the son of Don Juan drinking; and Paca whirling around.
(_Drinks another glass._)

PACA. Don’t drink any more, señorito: you are not at all well and it
will do you harm. And Doña Dolores will be grieved and Don Juan will be

LAZ. And I’ll make the Manzanilla grieve. And you, won’t you be

PACA. Why yes: for I am very fond of the señorito.

LAZ. The result is that everybody is fond of me. Everybody is fond of
me, and I am fond of nobody. Ah! of Carmen--yes: and of my mother as
well: and of my father: and of poor Javier--well, then I am fond of
everybody--This (_taking a cup or glass._) must make it clear. (_Giving_
PACA _a glass_.) Let us both make it clear.

PACA (_stopping him_). Señorito, for God’s sake!

LAZ. No; it isn’t for God’s sake, it’s for mine.

PACA. If you insist. (_Drinks._)

LAZ. And now I. (_Takes up another glass._)

PACA (_stopping him_). No; not you.

LAZ. Well then, you.

PACA. Ah! by the most Holy Virgin, you see I have lost the practice.

LAZ. You fool, why this is very healthy. It gives you strength. I now
feel capable of anything. Awhile ago you seemed to me all funereal; now
I perceive your black cloak to be all overspread with spangles of gold,
and fragments of rainbow, like the wings of a butterfly.

PACA. Ah, señorito, I have been that. Ask----

LAZ. Ask whom?

PACA. Nobody--anybody whatever. Ugh, I am stifled. (_Lets fall the black
handkerchief from her head over her shoulders._) Yes, señorito--when
people said--the Tarifeña--there was no need to say more.

LAZ. That was a climax, eh? Well, take another and you shall begin

PACA. You see we shall both be getting upset.

(_They take the glasses._)

LAZ. Listen, Tarifeña, sylph of former times, enchanting siren of our
forefathers, moth-eaten memorial of their joys, will you do me a favour?

PACA. I should think so. I am loyal to the house, and to all that’s in
the house, and to you, señorito, because you are of the house.

LAZ. Good; and to those who are not of the house, no. Well, inside there
are three who are not of the house: Don Timoteo, Bermudez, and Javier.
And those three are working so that I may not be married to Carmen. They
say that I am ill, that I am a bad fellow, that I would cause much
misery to Carmen; in short, they propose to break off my wedding--see
what infamy!

PACA. Old men never wish young people to be married; old men are great
scoundrels. Old women are quite the contrary; we old women would like
everybody to get married. Why, what does the human race exist for? To
get marred; exactly. And you and beautiful little Carmen will make such
a pair!

LAZ. You are very kind, very tender-hearted; you don’t wish any one to
suffer pain. Take this (_gives her another cup_)----

PACA. Ah! yes, señorito, although it doesn’t become me to talk about my
being tender-hearted, I never harmed any one.

LAZ. So ought all women with good hearts to be. Take----

PACA (_refusing it_). I can’t take any more. I can’t take any more.

LAZ. Then listen. That cabinet leads to the terrace, and the terrace
goes round the house--you understand?--and the window which looks on to
the terrace is on a level with it, so that if you go on to the terrace
by here, and approach, you can hear everything; and if they wish to
separate me from my own little Carmen, you come and tell me, and I’ll
know what to do.

PACA (_Laughing_). What good ideas you have, señorito. I should think I
would do this!--the vagabonds! But Don Juan wishes you to be married?

LAZ. Does he not wish it! The one who does not wish it is Don Timoteo.
The one who wishes to carry off little Carmen as soon as daylight comes,
is he! The one who means to strangle them all--is myself. And the one
who has to make fools of them--that’s you.

PACA. With the very greatest pleasure.

LAZ. But first of all go down to the garden, enter the drawing-room--my
father and mother will be sleeping, Carmen will be awake; Carmen does
not sleep, I know that!--and without any one but herself hearing you,
tell her--that I am waiting for her; tell her to come up, that at dawn
her father is taking her away, and that I want to bid her farewell. You

PACA. Yes, señorito----Farewell! Farewells are very sad. I have bidden
farewell many times, and I have always wept.

LAZ. Good. Well now you shall weep again. We shall all weep.

PACA. Don’t say that.

LAZ. Yes, you simpleton, weeping relieves you. Take note: laughing tires
you, and weeping relieves you.

PACA. Well now it’s true. Ah! what you do know, señorito!

LAZ. Take this (_giving her a glass_). You and I are also going to bid
farewell to each other: clink--clink ex-Tarifeña.

PACA. To the health of the Señorita Carmen.

LAZ. To the health of the man whom you have most loved--when you were in

PACA. Then to the health--to the health of all the family!

LAZ. (_reversing the glass_). Look, not a drop!

PACA. The same with me.

LAZ. And now to call Carmen--and afterwards to listen to what those
people say.

PACA. I am going there; give me another to take breath.

LAZ. Drink, my dear, drink.

PACA. You shall see what I am. (_Goes towards the cabinet._)

LAZ. No, not that way; I told you by the terrace. (_Making her go out by
the terrace._)

PACA. Ha, ha! Yes, I shall know it all some day. He wants to show me the
way of the house (_laughing_).

LAZ. Now quick; and first of all let Carmen come.

PACA. At once, at once; but don’t make her cry, poor little thing, poor
little thing; men like to make women cry; but she--she--is such a sweet
little thing. Jesus, how warm it is! [_Goes out by the terrace._

LAZ. (_alone_). I feel more confident--I find the strength flowing into
my arms. To defend Carmen I need much strength. Well, I have it now.
Everything is dawning--everything is rising--everything is returning.
Light on the horizon, life to my muscles, and Carmen to me. Lazarus is
Lazarus. The moment has arrived for the struggle--for the supreme
struggle. But here one cannot struggle. Everything is soft and yielding.
The carpet soft, the divans soft, the East filled with gauze and tufts
of cotton wool. I want rock whereon to lean back, a sword to cut, a mace
to crush--hardness, angles, metals that may offer resistance to me--and
let me reduce all to powder (_pressing his forehead_). I feel the blood
whirling round within my temples! (_pressing his bosom_) fire in my
breast! engines of steel in my arms!

(CARMEN _appears on the terrace with_ PACA _who points her out to_
LAZARUS, _then disappears_.)


CAR. Lazarus!

LAZ. (_strains her frantically in his arms_). Carmen, my own Carmen. Now
let them say what they like, those imbeciles, and let them come to seek

CAR. But what’s the matter with you? My God! I don’t understand.

LAZ. You don’t understand that I love you more than my life, and that I
have never told you so?

CAR. Yes, you have many times told me so.

LAZ. But in very poor fashion--coldly, lifelessly. The fact is that
there is no way of saying these things. Commonplace words, commonplace
phrases! “I love you more than my life, more than my soul; you are my
happiness, you are my hope, my dream....” Pshaw! Everybody says that. It
has become profaned on all lips.

CAR. When I heard you speak so, it seemed to me that you were the only
one in the world who said such things.

LAZ. No, you little goose, they all say them. And I don’t wish to say
what everybody says; because you are not like other people, and for you
it is necessary to invent other things. Let me see, what shall I invent?

CAR. What you like. But while you are inventing, you may go on saying
what you used to say, for it sounds well to me--and if it doesn’t
trouble you....

LAZ. You will never have understood how I love you, for I have not
known how to explain myself; I have not understood it myself until now.
I saw surrounding me an immeasurable horizon, and I was lost in the
contemplation of it: worlds and marvels and splendours and sounds and
melodies. But now all is obscured, all has become confined: a sombre
background which folds itself up, something like a stupendous eyeball
which becomes contracted, and in the centre nothing is left but a small
circle of light, and in that circle is an image--it is yours;--now all
has become blotted out, and there remains no more than Carmen, and in
Carmen I reconcentrate all that lies before me of life, of longing, of
thought, of love. Let not the eyeball close up finally, for then I shall
be left in darkness.

CAR. Then you love me more than I thought? What joy for me!

LAZ. There is no reason to be joyful, for they wish to separate us.

CAR. Who?

LAZ. They. (_Pointing to the cabinet._)

CAR. Why?

LAZ. Because I have not known how to explain to them what you are to me,
and neither have you understood; and they believe that we shall console
ourselves, that we shall grow resigned, that there is nothing more to be
said than, “Lock up Lazarus, take away Carmen.” Do you consent?

CAR. I? No, never; no, Lazarus, I am not resigned. I cannot do more than
one thing: die. Well, I shall die. Can I do more?

LAZ. No; that will do well; that’s enough.

CAR. But you can defend me.

LAZ. Defend you? How? Yes, I’ll defend you; but how?

CAR. Why, who threatens us?

LAZ. I don’t know. I can’t well explain. I am now as it were on the
boundaries of a desert; a desert contains much sand, which never ends;
much solitude which is never filled; much thirst which is never
quenched, and a sky which becomes flattened in the centre as if it were
about to fall, and which never falls. At least if it did sink down all
would be at an end.

CAR. Yes, much sadness which never ends. I felt that when I had doubts
of you. It is true, the world was a desert.

LAZ. Well in that desert you gather up a handful of sand and you begin
to count the little grains--one, two, three, hundreds, thousands--and
you never finish counting. Yet there is no more than a handful--and you
gather up another--and you gather up another--and the sand never ends.
And you run and run; but no,--onward to the horizon all is overwhelmed
with sand.

CAR. But what’s the meaning of this? I don’t understand.

LAZ. It means--it is very clear--don’t you see? It seems clear to me,
yet you don’t understand. It means that I, who had wild dreams of
applause, of glory, of gaining still more glory and applause with my
Carmen, I see before me the fate of having to count grains and grains,
handfuls and handfuls of sand, for days and nights and years, until the
end--if there be an end. I don’t know if there be an end.

CAR. Lazarus, Lazarus, don’t talk so; don’t look in that way!

LAZ. Then save me! Why what did I call you for except that you should
save me?

CAR. Yes, I will save you; but how?

LAZ. Consider now whether you love me so much. Suppose that we are about
to say farewell for ever--because we are on the confines of that
desert--both together at a little fountain--the last! It holds fresh
water, the last! On the falling of the tube into the water it forms
flakes of foam--the last--and I wish to drink for the last time and to
cool my face and to sprinkle foam upon my lips that they may become
wreathed in smiles. Help me--look at me--speak--laugh--sing--weep--do
something, Carmen, for I am now being hurried away from you. I am now
going into the desert; do something; throw me at least what your hands
will hold of water, that a few drops may fall upon my face.

CARMEN _folds him in her arms_.

CAR. But why do you say that? I don’t understand. Are you sad? Are you
vexed? Are you ill? These few days past, this very morning, you were so
well, so cheerful, Lazarus.

LAZ. They say--that I am going to forget you--that soon I shall not know
you--that you will be close to me, and I--without suspecting it--like a
child--like an idiot----

CAR. No, not that!

LAZ. But if it should be so?

CAR. It will not be so.

LAZ. Why not? (_His look begins to wander and he scarcely hears what
follows; he assumes the face of an idiot and his arms fall to his

CAR. Because I shall be close to you--and will you not see me? Because I
shall call to you “Lazarus!”--and will you not answer me? Because I
shall weep much, my tears will fall upon you--and will you not feel
them? I am weak as a child, but children too can hold on strongly.
Lazarus, attend to me; are you not attending to what I say? I am Carmen.
Look at me! That pale little head which you used to speak of is touching
your lips. Look, I am smiling at you. Laugh yourself. Answer me.
Lazarus--Lazarus--Awake! Do you hear me? What are you looking at?

LAZ. Yes--I know--I know--but call my mother.

CAR. No--I alone--they would separate us: we two alone. Why do you want
your mother to come?

LAZ. I want to sleep.

CAR. (_looking on all sides_). Then rest on me. Sleep in my arms.

LAZ. You little fool, no. If I sleep it must be in the arms of my
mother. That’s what mothers are for. When I awake I shall call you.

CAR. Lazarus!

LAZ. Call her! Don’t I tell you to call her? Obey, you selfish girl.
Don’t you wish that I should have rest neither?

CAR. Yes. I’ll call her. (_Walking to the door._) My God!

LAZ. Are you going or not? Or must I go myself?

CAR. No; wait; it is that I am not able. (_Standing at the door._)
Dolores! Don Juan!

LAZ. I said my mother--I only want one person; one.

CAR. Well, I was that one.

LAZ. No, she--I can’t say to you--Mother!

CAR. (_calling_). Dolores!

LAZ. (_going towards her and calling_). Mother!

CAR. They are coming now.

LAZ. Several are coming. I did not say so many. I shall have to defend
myself, and, to defend myself I need to have much courage. (_Drinks a

CAR. Quick! Here! Dolores!

_Enter_ DOLORES _and_ DON JUAN.

DOL. Why did you call? Is it that Lazarus----?

JUAN. What’s the matter with Lazarus?

LAZ. Nothing; Carmen was frightened--I don’t know why, and she called.

CAR. He seems better. Lazarus, they are here now. Do you wish me to
remain also?

LAZ. Why not? Yes, everybody about me. As we were downstairs. My mother,
my father, sweet little Carmen, I! There’s one short--ah! Paca. I still
keep my memory. (_Laughing._) Well, yes, we are short of Paca. Ha! Let
us sit down as we were before, and let us wait till the day arrives. It
is now about to dawn. Look, look what brightness there is in the
distance. A great sitting up! And why are we sitting up?

DOL. You wished it----

JUAN. Yes, my son; it was you that insisted upon it; and when you desire
anything, what are we all for but to give you pleasure?

LAZ. We have to bid farewell to Carmen. A farewell is a very sad and
solemn thing, a thing beyond all consolation, and I have need to be
consoled. Come, mother, to this side; come you also (_to his father_) to
the other side; I must be between the two; and you must both tell me
that this separation is a passing one, that we shall soon be all
reunited to Carmen for ever--and, such other things as are said; though
they may not be true they are said.

DOLORES _and_ JUAN _are seated at either side of_ LAZARUS.

DOL. But they are true.

JUAN. Why, nothing else was to happen.

CARMEN _approaches_.

CAR. Yes, Lazarus, we shall be reunited very soon.

LAZ. (_angrily_). You must not come near. You keep off.

CAR. (_withdrawing in pain and anguish_). Lazarus!

DOL. Lazarus, look how poor Carmen is grieved.

JUAN. Nay, come, my daughter, come; Lazarus wishes you to come.

LAZ. It cannot be. It is she who is going away. If she is going away she
must be at a distance. And from a distance I say “Adieu, Carmen, adieu;
I love you deeply.” (_With passion._) Do you see? It is not that I do
not love her; it is that things must be as they are.

CAR. (_restraining her grief, aside_). Impossible! Impossible! My

DOL. (_to her son_). What’s the matter with you?

JUAN. How are you, Lazarus?

LAZ. Very well; between you two, very well, as when I was a child, with
the same calmness, the same peace as then.

DOL. You remember?

LAZ. Yes, for my head is very sound. With what clearness I remember
those times!

JUAN (_to_ DOLORES). You see? he is well, the same as during all those
days. Carmen has alarmed herself without cause.

CAR. That’s true, without cause.

JUAN. His head is far more steady than ours. This way--between the two.

LAZ. No. I remember everything now; between the two, no; I was alone
with my mother; you were not there! Go away, go away. (_Putting his
father away without violence._)

JUAN. You don’t remember that well, Lazarus. (_With humility._) We were
both beside you many times. (_In a tone of anguish._) Is it not true,
Dolores? (_In a supplicating manner._)

DOL. Yes, my dear.

LAZ. No--I must not be contradicted. I was alone with her. (_Embracing

DOL. My son.

JUAN. Why do you put me away? Can I love you more than I do?

LAZ. Ah! yes--well, you are right, father.

JUAN. You see? I was right!

LAZ. Yes, once we were as we are now--ha, ha, ha!

JUAN. The same as now.

CAR. Oh, his look--his look! (_Aside._)

LAZ. Hush--hush. As now--no, not as now. My mother was dishevelled,
weeping, but very beautiful, and you haughty and disdainful, but gay and
elegant. Away! and she weeping, sobbing, and you laughing; and you
quarrelled--how you quarrelled!--it was terrible.


LAZ. Yes. I see it now.

CAR. (_aside_). His look! How he stares on every side!

JUAN. Don’t be angry--but you don’t remember well.

LAZ. (_angrily_). I must not be contradicted. You quarrelled. I know
it--I see it--as I still feel that terror.

JUAN. Lazarus!

DOL. (_to_ JUAN). Be quiet.

JUAN. Well, then we quarrelled--a little dispute.

LAZ. (_laughing_). No--no--it was not a little dispute. It was a
desperate fight; you quarrelled in deadly earnest. And you, father,
wished to take hold of me--and you took hold of me--and gave me a
caress. (_Laughing._) Come, come, you were not so bad.

JUAN. You see, Lazarus, you see?

LAZ. But my mother tore me out of your arms, and she pressed me in her
own, and said to you: “Off with your hold; go away; go and enjoy
yourself; go and get drunk. Leave him to me.”

JUAN. No, Lazarus--I think not--as you were such a child you don’t

DOL. (_to_ JUAN). Silence!

LAZ. And you cried out: “Well, then, remain with him, and much good may
he do you! Much good!” What contempt! and you pushed me away.

JUAN. No, no, that I did not. I never did so.

LAZ. Yes.


LAZ. (_angrily_). I say yes. You pushed me--leave me, father; leave me
alone with my mother. (_Putting him away._) There, there, far off--far
off--with Carmen.

JUAN (_withdraws and embraces_ CARMEN). Oh, my Lazarus, my Lazarus!

LAZ. (_laughing, to his mother_). There are the exiles in their valley
of tears.

CAR. It is not possible--it is not possible! Let them come--let them
come; let them save him!

JUAN. Yes--let them save him.

LAZ. (_to his mother_). Now, with you.

DOL. With me--always with me.

LAZ. Always with you! No, that’s not true neither. Why, Lord, you people
don’t remember anything; here nobody remembers a thing but myself. You
sent me away--very far--to an accursed college. I wished to stay with
you, and you said, “Let them take him away, let them take him away!” He
(_pointing to his father_) said, “Stay with your mother,” and he went
away. You said, “Let them take him away,” and you remained alone. Both,
both of you separated yourselves from me. Oh, I remember all this very
well, and until now I had never called it to mind. Something seems to be
melting within my brain; something goes on sweeping away the ruins of
all ideas of the present; and, as amid soil which the torrent drags
along, there spring to light ancient moulds, so within here there rushes
up the entire world of my childhood. So it is, and I remember
everything. I fell asleep night after night without a kiss from either
of you. Morning after morning I awoke without a caress from any one.
Alone I lived--alone I shall continue to live; go, mother to those
yonder. (_Putting her away gently._)

DOL. (_to_ JUAN). Ah! through you! (_Turning back._) Lazarus!

LAZ. I have said that I wish to be alone. I love you dearly, but take
notice that things have to be precisely as they are.

DOL., CAR., _and_ DON JUAN _are together_; (LAZ. _contemplates them
with a vague smile; then he continues_.)

Thus we are as we should be. Each one in his place--to every one his
own. But I don’t want to be so lonely either. Let Paca come--Paca!

JUAN. Whom is he calling?

LAZ. Her. Paca!

_Enter_ PACA.

PACA. Señorito.

LAZ. Come; here--very close. (_To the others._) Now I am not alone, you
see, father? Now I have company, and merrier company than yours--you
who are sad and gloomy as death. Take a glass, Paca, and give me
another, and let us drink as we did a short time ago.

DOL. Lazarus!

PACA. Señorito, I drank a great deal, and now I don’t know--now, my head

LAZ. Yes, I insist on it--you and I.

JUAN. Good God! No.

LAZ. Why not? Ah, you egoist, that have your own enjoyment and don’t
wish others to enjoy themselves. Well, I too wish to enjoy myself. My
life is drawing to a close, and I must take advantage of that! Drink,
Tarifeña, drink, and laugh, and dance, and twirl about. And tell me of
your merry, youthful days--something that will cheer me, something to
fire my blood, which I now feel turning cold. Laughter, orgies, dances,
loves--something that may shake my nerves, which I now feel to be
growing torpid. Come, Tarifeña, give me life, for I am young, and I wish
to live.

JUAN. No more, no more--I cannot see this. I cannot hear this.

DOL. Oh, God!

JUAN (_rushes away from the others and approaches_ PACA, _seizing her by
an arm_). Go!

LAZ. (_holding her also_). She shall not go.

JUAN. I command it.

LAZ. And I also.

JUAN (_to_ PACA). By the salvation of my soul, if you don’t go, I shall
throw you from that balcony into the river. Look, you don’t know yet
what I am. Quick!

LAZ. (_fiercely_). I have said no! Do you take a delight in tormenting

JUAN (_falling on his knees at the feet of his son_). Lazarus, for the
love of God let this woman go away.

LAZ. Poor man! Ah! those white hairs. (_Fondling them._) And he is
weeping. Poor dear father! Well! you now see how grieved he is. Go away,
woman, go away--since it must be so.

PACA _withdraws_.

JUAN. Oh--my Lazarus--my happiness--my chastisement!

LAZ. I don’t want to chastise you; I don’t want to chastise anybody.
What I desire is that we should all be merry. Come, woman, you now see
that nobody wants you; go away. Have you not heard?

PACA. First of all, I have to tell what those people (_pointing to the
cabinet_) are saying; you ordered me.

LAZ. (_in astonishment_). I?

JUAN (_rises_). What do they say?

_They all surround_ PACA.

PACA. Wicked things. That they won’t let these two be married.

CAR. My God!

JUAN. Why? Speak!

DOL. Quiet!

JUAN. Say it low!

PACA. Because the señorito is about to have his last attack, and all
will be at an end with him; and you--(_to_ CARMEN) your father is now
going to take you away.

DOL. Ah! (_runs to embrace her son, who has followed with his gaze the

CAR. (_desperately_). No! I--with him--for ever.

JUAN (_rushing to the cabinet_). Bermudez! Here!

PACA (_aside_). It’s well that they should know it.


JUAN. Bermudez--save my son and demand of me my life, my soul--all that
you wish--what shall I not give you?--but save my Lazarus.

DOLORES _runs to meet_ BERMUDEZ; CARMEN _alone remains with_

DOL. Bermudez, one hope! One hope!

BERMUDEZ, _followed by_ DOLORES _and_ DON JUAN, _approaches_
LAZARUS. TIMOTEO _advances towards_ CARMEN. JAVIER _stands apart_.

TIM. Come, Carmen; my daughter, come. It is getting late.

CAR. No. With him; I’ll not leave him so.

TIM. It is necessary--for heaven’s sake, girl. (_Separating her from_

CAR. Lazarus, they are separating us.

LAZ. (_gathering himself together with a supreme effort._) Who? That old
man! That scum of the earth! Away, scum, to your heap of refuse! I pass
on to life! I pass on to love! Carmen, to my arms! (_Rushes towards her,
catches her, and takes her to the balcony. The others follow them_).
Look, what an horizon! What splendour! Come, melt your soul in mine,
enfold your body round mine, and let us mingle ourselves among yonder
rays of light. Yes, come, Carmen, come!

_They are separated by force, and_ LAZARUS _is drawn away, and
falls at last on the sofa_.

BERM. The last ray of light!

_The characters are disposed of in the following manner_:--LAZARUS
_on the sofa to the right_, DON JUAN, _staggering, falls on the
sofa to the left, hiding his face in his hands; as if to help
him_, PACA _stations herself at his side. Toward the left_ TIMOTEO
_and_ CARMEN; JAVIER _with_ DOLORES _in the centre_. BERMUDEZ
_stands contemplating_ LAZARUS. _A pause._ LAZARUS _is motionless_.

JAV. (_in a low voice to_ BERMUDEZ). Is he dead?

BERM. Would to God he were!

JUAN. How many mornings have I myself awakened here!

PACA. True!

JUAN. Silence!--And my Lazarus is not awaking.

DOL. (_to_ BERMUDEZ). I have nothing left in life but Lazarus. In God’s
name, Bermudez, think of that.

TIM. Carmen!

CAR. It is useless, father. I shall not leave him.

BERM. Silence--silence! The day breaks--the sun begins to rise--Lazarus
seems to be returning to himself. He lifts his gaze--he fixes it on the
light which springs forth. Let us listen--let us listen!--This is

JUAN. To hear what he will say? Will he call upon me?

DOL. It is on me that he will call.

CAR. He will not call on me!

LAZ. (_with his face towards the rising sun_). Mother!

DOL. (_running to him and embracing him._) Lazarus!

LAZ. (_pointing to the sun_). How beautiful!

JUAN (_falling on his knees by the sofa and raising his arms_: PACA
_holds him_). Lord! Lord!

DOL. Lazarus!

LAZ. Most beautiful! most beautiful! Mother--_give me the sun_!

DOL. Ah!--My God!

LAZ. The sun!--the sun!--I want the sun!

JUAN. (_still on his knees; falls against the sofa_: PACA _holds him_).
My boy!

DOL. (_embracing_ LAZARUS). My darling!

CAR. (_wildly embracing her father, who subdues her_). Lazarus!--My

BERM. For ever!

LAZ. Mother--the sun!--the sun!--give me the sun! (_He says this like a
child, and with the face of an idiot._)

JUAN. I also asked for it. Jesus!--my Lazarus, my Lazarus!

LAZ. Give me the sun! Mother, mother--the sun! For God’s sake--for God’s
sake--for God’s sake, mother--give me the sun!

                               THE END.

                          The Gresham Press,

                            UNWIN BROTHERS,

                         CHILWORTH AND LONDON.


 [1] The original “al higui! al higui!” is a term of rejoicing peculiar
 to children in their games. It is only used in the South of Spain.

 [2] The original “pañolon” is a sort of cloak or shawl or blanket-like
 covering worn by Andalusian women.

 [3] “Glasses.” The word in the original, throughout this act is cañas
 or canitas. These are conical-shaped glasses from which Spaniards
 drink Manzanilla--a lighter wine than sherry.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The son of Don Juan - an original drama in 3 acts inspired by the reading of - Ibsen's work entitled 'Gengangere'" ***

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