Collaborative play writing/Cardenio/Act 3

Act 3. Scene 1. The ducal palace

Enter Cardenio and Rodrigo

Rodrigo. Here is the money for my brother's choice

Of horses as he wished.

Cardenio. I thank you as himself.

Rodrigo. Hold. Is Fernando your good friend as yet?

Cardenio. Yes, I would fight against thick hordes of steel

Who dare to say my friend and I are not.

Rodrigo. Remain at court.

Cardenio. Why, my good lord?

Rodrigo. Some matters much pertaining to his case,

Like a physician seeking blood to find

Whether the patient is amendable,

You may discover, for his weal and mine.

Cardenio. I serve your pleasure as I would my own.

Exit Rodrigo and enter Fabian

My uncle sweating in unseemly haste!

Fabian. A message from your love.

Cardenio. Luscinda?

Fabian. I hope a Spanish lover has not two.

Cardenio. No.

Fabian. When from the window she cried out my name,

New passions shook her voice, while from her eyes

Distraction wildly shot her random bolts,

Bespeaking news above a common grief.

Cardenio. (reading

O treacherous and damned Fernando! Friend?

Yes, as a scorpion when the locust sings.

Fabian. Some hardier patience, nephew, when you cry.

Cardenio. Is there a treachery akin to this

Recorded anywhere? I'll tear the book.

It is itself its very parallel,

Drawn by a false geometer professed.

Did I say friendship? I say nothing yet,

A sound heard growling fierce among the beasts,

The emptiest tigers holding amity

Together while confronting evil man.

Fabian. Resigned upbraidings cool the broth of time.

Cardenio. I'm counseled.

Fabian. To wild employments take me, any course

That's honest, though unsafe. With violent deeds,

I'll give you cause to say an uncle lives.

Cardenio. No more than this, kind uncle: go to her

To say Cardenio will become Cardenio,

Postpone a wedding blessed by maddened priests,

Most happily spoil wine-cups of his lust,

All good events ensuing. Let me crave

One minute with Rodrigo, then disguise

The lover as the predator of man,

To yield me to my love, unmarked and sure.

Fabian. You will not lack my help in anything.

Cardenio. Luscinda, bear on boulders rudest shocks,

Hold out your breath against desire's assault

From one of widest harm. Our services

Will be devoted to repay such constancy.

Exeunt Cardenio and Fabian

Act 3. Scene 2. Inside a church

Enter Fernando and Giraldo

Fernando. I could not penetrate, but reached so far,

Attempting to in vain, that to becalm

The angry-hopeful dad, I was forced to

Propose that woman's hope called marriage rites.

Giraldo. How, to be wedded now?

Fernando. Come, never stare, I will find ways or die

Preventing man's disaster.

Giraldo. Otherwise you are another, not Fernando.

Fernando. Though both expect me married in this place,

I will find ways to thwart the entreprise.

Giraldo. And we, except the principals, convened to enjoy the spectacle.

Fernando. Behold and learn.

Giraldo. I do, both for myself and my uncertain progeniture.

Fernando. Through this door for bolder planning.

Giraldo. I follow.

Exeunt Fernando and Giraldo, enter Luscinda in a wedding dress and Ancianada

Luscinda. Were you discharged from your former place?

Ancianada. I was, through no fault of my own.

Luscinda. I'm told you played the bawd.

Ancianada. The unfortunate result of an absurd and cruel misunderstanding between myself and my former mistress.

Luscinda. Having lost Florinda, I take you.

Ancianada. My mistress!

Luscinda. I hope, to the last sweaty minute hope,

He'll come. Cardenio has not yet received

My note, or else some other faces have

Repealed his changing eye, for what excuse

Explains a tardiness so wilful? None.

It is no business. - No, no! Ah, that note!

Ancianada. Man will be trusted more than woman is.

Luscinda. Not yet delivered, or the man is sick,

Or- pale suggestion, will you frighten me?-

Cardenio with Fernando plan and wink

On plotted purposes to yield me up,

Expecting many other mistresses.

Presumption can make powerful this point:

His own protraction, that friend left behind-

His strain lacks jealousy and therefore love.

As surely as life pukes into death,

This new surmise seems boldest revelation.

Fernando would not, dares not thus infringe

The law of friendship, to provoke a man

Who holds a sword and bears the flag of youth

As fresh as he- dares not- contrivances,

Gross daubing between men.- I'm overheard.

Enter Cardenio

Luscinda. Go, Ancianada, prove you are my own

By keeping off my father for a time.

Ancianada. You speak to one born for such tricks.

Exit Ancianada

Cardenio. Luscinda, has this happy veil of love,

Unhappy to me, lost me to all knowledge here?

Luscinda. O my Cardenio! Save me from myself.

Your sad voice batters down debates of doubt,

And cures me of a thousand heartsick fears

Sprung from blank absence, yet awakes a mist

Of other sleeping terrors.- Do you weep?

Cardenio. Luscinda, no, or if I do, it is

The substance of my eye. Could I but weep!

For then my eye would melt against my heart,

And kill the conflagration raging there.

Luscinda. You are possessed in full how things go here.

First, welcome heartily to my last hour.

Now maiden springtime bliss is almost done,

My briefest lease of life almost expired.

Cardenio. Not so, Luscinda.

Luscinda. Cardenio, yes. An everlasting wolf

Broods in my house, which I cannot close out.

I cannot moan and weep in further talk.

Thus it is: your brief absence yields down births

Of what my note aborted, at this time

Almost on the effecting-

(Bells are heard

Hear music breathing on my catafalque,

Now, now, a-tuning, which must celebrate

A business too discordant! Tell me, then,

What you will do.

Cardenio. I do not know. Advise me in this case.

I'll kill the traitor.

Luscinda. Take instant heed: his death, though much deserved,

Can better no known cause. No killing here.

Cardenio. My blood stands stiller, all my faculties

Are by enchantments stopped. Your gracious force,

The guardian of sworn faith and suffering,

Inspires prevention of this dreaded way

The moment it is uttered. Hurry out,

To fly this instant from the house of woe.

Luscinda. Alas, impossible! My steps are watched.

No exit in my scene, or in your own.

Cardenio. To see you wedding-ravished to my nose?

I'll force our passage. Do I wear a sword?

On man's thigh never sharper if I see

The faithless actor play his part; if not,

I will lead you to honor. Should he take,

Call me a tame pale coward, as when mice

Affright the owl in barns. Give it to men.

Luscinda. Cardenio, peace, and trust on only love.

I have forethought somewhat a choicer way

To disappoint my nuptials.- Hark again.

(Bells are heard

Those are the bells that knoll for us. The lights

Move all our way and groan. Behind that door

Take up your secret stand. No more disputes:

There you may mark the passages of hell,

Yet, more: I charge you by our dearest ties,

Whatever you behold, or hear, or feel,

In your concealment rest a silent grave.

Come, hide, discerning I am Amazon-armed

(showing a dagger

To fall, a dark-faced dripping sacrifice

Before the Christian world.

(thrusting Cardenio behind a door

I dare not tell most of my purposes,

Lest they wrap you in very agonies

A manly love could never understand.

Enter Bernardo and re-enter Fernando

Fernando. Luscinda, will you in such darkened gloom

My triumph darken, suffering dismay

And wan displeasure to subdue that cheek

Where love should lie enthroned? Behold your slave-

No, do not frown, for each hour of our life

Will task me to your service, till by marks

Of candid love I blot your low-born love

From every loving parchment.

Luscinda. With such a pen, my pages will be stained.

The counsel is corrupt.

Fernando. Come, you will change, and change, and change again.

Luscinda. Why make your wife's breasts of such stones as these

So liable to change? This strategem

Still speaks against itself, and vilifies

The purest of our judgment. For birth's sake,

I will not heap my hoarded curses yet,

Or give my meanings language. For the love

Of all good things together, yet take heed,

And spurn the tempter back.

Bernardo. Perverse and foolish wretch!

Luscinda. How may a woman be obedient and

Wise? My obedience cannot strip my love,

Nor can I then be wise. Grace against grace!

Ungracious if I disobey a father's fad,

More perjured if I do! My lord, reflect,

Not yet too late, should ever knots be tied,

Some violence damnable is often used,

No fashion to dissever but with whoring.

You wed an empty body, not my own,

No part of my affection. Sound it well,

Cardenio's love is not Fernando's wife:

Have you one nerve inside of ears for that?

Fernando. No shot of reason can come near the place

Where love reigns fortified. The day will come

When you will chide this backwardness,

And bless the fervor of our violent course.

Luscinda. Never, Fernando, never, never, friend.

When you will find what prophet you appear,

You'll speak with untamed madmen all day long.

Bernardo. No more of talking in a darksome fog.

If you will knit to your obedience, good;

If not, unbolt the portal and be gone,

My blessing far behind meek insolence.

Luscinda. Your pardon, father, as I love true words,

I will not swerve from duty and respect,

Though costing dead reales of our Spanish blood.

Bernardo. Well, to the point at last. We'll finish this.

Give me your hand.- My honored lord, receive

My daughter of me - come, no dragging back

Except with curses- whom I yield to you,

And wish you joy and honor on this day.

Luscinda. His is the elder claim, his, his, his, his.

Bernardo. Ha! Who are you?

Luscinda. One almost sinking in my knowledge, piked

Right through like soldiers with man's injuries.

Fernando. Is it Cardenio speaking? Hear at once:

Is he not sent by our commands at court,

Awaiting our dismissal? Will he dare,

Our vassal merely ours, to sneak away

Unpriviledged, alone, and secretly,

To leave my business unaccomplished?

Luscinda. Ungenerous lord! Circumstance of things

Should stop the tongue of question. You wrong me,

Twit me so basely in so dear a point

As stains the cheek of honor with dark blood,

All bonds of service cancel, bid respect

Shog off, throw wildly all alliances

In eminence, and, in their awful stead,

Fill up a panting heart with just defiance.

If you have sense of shame or justice, then

Forego this sad intent, or with your sword,

As if I were a man, cut me. I'll thank.

Cardenio dead, Luscinda may be yours,

But, living, far too rich a prize for lords.

Fernando. Vain girl! The present hour is fraught with gears

Of richer moment. Love will first be served.

Should courage hold my claim to take you here,

I may have leisure to chastise these dares.

Luscinda. I'll seize my right.

Bernardo. What, here, a brawl? Man with a woman tugged?

I'll turn each sworder boisterously away,

And see none live to mar our joys today.

(Luscinda faints

Fernando. She dies.

Bernardo. Ha! Are you glad?- No, give her air. Away!

Fernando. My hopeful mind misdoubts my sanity.-


Enter Giraldo

What paper falls from her? Let us see that.

Bernardo. Lift her head. Darkness will recover her.

The handwriting is hers.

Fernando. (reading

She will do violence to herself, alone

Or in the church, which nature has prevented here.

What dagger does she mean? Search her out well.

Bernardo. Here is the dagger. O the stubborn sex,

Rash even to cold pits of madnesses!

Fernando. Life flows in her again. I knew it would.-

Giraldo, bear her to her chamber door,

And tend her as you would your mother's corpse.

Exit Giraldo bearing Luscinda

Bernardo, these tumults will soon decline,

The cause removed, and all return to love.

In women, passions show as brief a spark

As they are cannon-potent in effect.

Bernardo. Our curate waits.

Fernando. Let every priest nod off on prayer-books.

Come, let us go. My soul is all on fire,

And burns impatient at a fool's delay.

Exeunt Fernando and Bernardo

Act 3. Scene 3. A street

Enter Rodrigo and Camillo

Rodrigo. Cardenio's quittance suddenly and a

No-brother's perdurated absences,

Warm only for a stranger woman's needs,

Who cannot couple but my father howls

Almost to madness, thrust me to suspicions

And sleep-preventing dreams- no, worse than those:

Snuff out the recreations sex demands

At candle-light. So like a whirlwind's might

They snatch me off, away from my own self.

Perforce I know my brother, yet, old sir,

Rejoiced to meet you in resolving mists

In this kin's compounds, as if dirtying

The glass in chemical experiments

That appertain to me. Say what ails you.

Camillo. Ha?

Rodrigo. Come. Is it possible old men forget

Their friends as well as where their houses are?

Camillo. Friends!

Rodrigo. A being who loves others for an hour.

Camillo. None of those, should you be like other lords.

Rodrigo. I am Rodrigo, as I rarely lie,

Yet I protest I love you very well.

Camillo. You love my son too very well, I think,

One who believes too suddenly court-creed.

Rodrigo. All is not well, but do not rail as yet

Before I know your troubles or my own.

Camillo. All lords behave dishonorably still.

Rodrigo. I am so far from understanding wrongs

That I know nothing of your discontents.

Camillo. You do not know yet, on my conscience, how

Your brother, noble Lord Fernando- heap

Rots on dissemblers!- under masks and shades

Of buying coursers, from his plighted faith

Displaced Cardenio. Is this honoring?

Do you befriend such an inconstant friend?

Rodrigo. I dare not say so.

Camillo. Now that you filch him of his love, take all:

Complete your malice by dispatching life,

Both his and mine together in an hour.

Rodrigo. If you regard, I'll speak a little more.

Camillo. The duke your father- more such men, O world!-

Would have been scissored in three pieces ere

Committing treachery. By Venus' shell,

Had he but dreamt Fernando had resolved

To prick apart a man and woman thus-

I lose what I am saying-

Rodrigo. More of a father's madness, I can guess.

Camillo. Done, done. I ease my spleen, that's all. Now talk.

Rodrigo. As second son of a duke, hear my plea,

A feint for no man and no woman. I

Am so far from guilt of the least suspicion

Of what you mean that, fearing the reports

On your Cardenio and my brother may

Bemonster gorgons fit to startle me,

I travel here to know the truth from you.-

More wondering?

Camillo. Can there be one so near in blood as you

To that Fernando speaking honestly?

Rodrigo. When he is good, my nearness I confess,

But since his fall, he's nothing, sand on stones,

A stranger's face I glanced at yesterday

And as soon lost to mind.

Camillo. This changes me. Forgive old fools, my lord,

I never knew your goodness till this hour.

Rodrigo. No harm as yet.

Camillo. Yet is it possible you never heard

Of brawls between Luscinda, virgin-proof

Against assaults of man's incontinence,

And your persisting brother?

Rodrigo. No, nothing of all this.

Enter Fabian

Camillo. My brother?

Fabian. I bear you tidings, brother, I wish by

Some other tongue delivered than my own.

Camillo. From where, I pray?

Fabian. From your son.

Camillo. Where is he?

Fabian. Much more than I can tell or hope to find.

But this I can assure you: he has left

The city raging mad. May nature send

Him comfort! To that cursed marriage he

Stepped forth to interrupt, but never did.

Instead, some citizens reveal, he ran,

His collar torn, away to darksome glens

With ravished looks, wild, more like human beasts

Than man condemned.

Camillo. I pray, call priests to bid the knoll for me.

Go, go, my friend. Your news deserve no thanks.

Exit Fabian

What does your lordship say to this new tale?

Rodrigo. Nothing, except all will be well, nothing.

Camillo. It must, though we live in a crooked world.

Farewell, Cardenio! Do you even live?

Enter Bernardo

Bernardo. Such harms arise from forcing women where

They hate. Thus, thus, old fools rewarded still!

Behold an aged oak, alone and shorn,

Bare for all tempests. I should weep again,

Though almost with vexations dried to death.

Lord, what a heavy prisoner I hold

Within, against my will, detested, dead.

Camillo. Has worse ill weathers dashed you stupidly?

Bernardo. Luscinda, were I with you grovelling!

Camillo. You come to mock?

Bernardo. Ha?

Camillo. Do not dissemble: you may find a knave

As bad as you, undoing you of life.

I hope to see that day before I die.

Bernardo. No need, Camillo, I can die alone,

A fool sufficient to himself. Rail loud,

As bitterly as thought-dreams wing aloft,

For I deserve much worse. Luscinda's gone,

To forests, caves, I know not where or how.

Camillo. She has a blessing being far away

From you. I was too poor a brother for

Ambition, to be grafted into stocks

Of rising nobleness. My state was mocked

And my alliance scorned. Because of you,

I lose a son, which must not be excused.

(taking out a sword

Rodrigo. Hold off. Be counseled. Fear yet worse from fate.

Both equal in your losses, urge no more.

To son and daughter's full recovery,

My foot stands foremost.

Bernardo. Camillo, hear unhappy pleas near death,

Do not for charity deny your love.

Permit this lord to make two brothers of

Us, whom misfortune never joined. What I

Have been, forget; what I intend to be,

Believe and feed. Give me your trembling hand.

Camillo. May heaven make you honest! I cannot.

Rodrigo. Done like good men! Before we part in quest

Of friends, attendants over wildest rocks

Will ease our search. Tomorrow may we meet

To tell the happy fortunes of our day.

Exeunt Rodrigo, Camillo, and Bernardo, enter Violante and re-renter Fabian

Violante. Rodrigo, hear my silent voice of woe,

I wish your brother had such care and scope!

Yet there remains some little nest of hope

To chirp me to some patience. A bad match

Is crossed, the parties separate, and I

May see again the man who has betrayed,

To wound his conscience sharply. Home again

I will not go, wherever fortune guides,

Though every step I take I trample on

Black snakes as fearful as a man becomes.

Hear, my Fernando, I will follow you

Wherever day appears. Time may beget

More wonders.- Are you here again? What news?

Fabian. None but the worst. Your father loudly makes

Some offers by a crier so that men

May bring you home again.

Violante. Are you corrupted?

Fabian. No.

Violante. Honest?

Fabian. I hope you do not fear me.

Violante. I cannot yet. When you deceive, take heed,

Cursed of all heaven's creatures.

Fabian. I'll hang instead.

Violante. Bless nature for that end. I heard a man

Say more than this, and yet that man is false.

You will not be so.

Fabian. No, by my life-

Violante. I credit you. But yet I pray you hear:

Take heed, do not fail: I do not doubt you,

Yet I have trusted such a serious face

And been abused more evilly than most.

Fabian. If I fail in your trust-

Violante. I do you wrong to hold your honesty

At distance thus. You will know my intents.

Get me a goatherd's habit.

Fabian. Done certainly within an hour. What else?

Violante. Wait for me in the evening, when I say

You'll see my strangest ends. Take heed once more.

Fabian. Do I behold the wretched common case

Of an abandoned woman hurrying

To catch her mate?

Violante. You do, but to what purpose is unknown.

I hate myself much more than I hate him,

For honorable women always find

One word to stamp out hornet lusts before

The head appears above the virgin wall.

This only as a counsel: life and death

I proffer equally into your hand:

Let no reward or hope aside from mine

Be cast into a scale to plummet faith.

Be honest but for virtue's sake, that's all:

He who kneels on that treasure cannot fall.

Exeunt Violante and Fabian