Act 5. Scene 1. Inside the convent
Enter Rodrigo and Fernando, carrying the bound Luscinda
Rodrigo. Rest certain, maiden, nothing will betide
But fair and noble usage. Pardon us
When hitherto a course of violence snatched
You from that seat of contemplation which
Some yield their life as if in afterlife.
Luscinda. My lord, where am I?
Rodrigo. Still in the nunnery. No blush or fear:
Your honor has as fair a guard as when
You slept in cradles. Know then what is done,
Which I presume you understand not well,
Has this use: to preserve the life of one
Who dies for love of you, my brother and
Your friend, beneath whose emblem we desire
To rest our hearse one night inside your walls,
Where we surprise you.
Enter Violante, hiding behind a pillar
Luscinda. Are you Rodrigo, virtuously seen
As virtue's son amid a court of vice,
And dare you lose this as the advocate
Of such a sinful brother, treacherous
In best of times and brutal at the worst?
Rodrigo. A fearful charge!
Luscinda. Take heed to bear respect for virtue's name
If not her essence. Should you loosen me
From your Fernando, not push me to him,
I will somehow be happy.
Rodrigo. Come, answer, not amazedly, I hope,
For, as I bear one mind, I am ashamed.
Fernando. Luscinda, you are freed. Thus self-condemned,
At your feet I sue for your gentlest ruth.
True, I have erred, which lovers will impute
With modesty to love, and only love,
The tyrant god who bows us to his sway,
Rebellious to all laws of reasoning,
Who will not have his votaries thrown off,
But calls commanding when he most obeys.
He promulgated what your eyes inspired,
Whose jewelled firebrands, piercing through the gloom,
Enrich my mansion from impure desires,
To kindle in our hearts a restful flame.
Luscinda. Arise, my lord. Dissembled passion gains
True hates. Should I drink wine when seeing lees
That, poison's image, murder my desires?
Rodrigo. I am no agent in your story yet,
But see you suffer wrongs which lack redress,
Though patience must be begged as we advance
To yonder lodge above the abbey walls,
Where your distresses will find due respect,
Till which time sorrow governs me as much
As nearness and affection to my kin.
Call my attendants yours, the freer yours,
For, as a man the hardiest Spaniards love,
No might beside your will prevails with us.
Exeunt Fernando and Luscinda, Violante advancing forward
Violante. Your ear an anxious moment! Scorn my youth
This night, yet listen to a tale of grief.
Rodrigo. What ails you? Why thus singling me for help
When I have need of it so hurriedly?
Violante. The due observance of nobility
Vowed to the mourning virgin makes me bold
To give it more employments than before.
Rodrigo. Ha? Who are you?
Violante. You know your brother's Violante, no?
Rodrigo. Indeed, he speaks of you.
Violante. Most guilty looks! I will already help
Your knowledge of a brother hurting all.
Violante. I am a woman whom your brother loves.
He lies extremely, but me he loves.
Rodrigo. Come, do not whimper, maiden. Must I hear
Day after day throughout each month or year
Of a licentious brother's broken faiths?
How did you enter inside convent walls?
Violante. That, as we trudge away, should it please you,
I will reveal, an open woman still.
This barren place, whom some despise to name,
Gives birth to many wonders of lost love.
Here wanders mad Cardenio, fool of worth,
In love with wrongs more than Luscinda's face.
Rodrigo. Cardenio! Is he here?
Violante. I say, Cardenio. Slumber dulls his eyes,
Oppressed with thinking ill of all the world.
Rodrigo. Thanks to a brother, pits of falsehood I
Can smell in darkness. May the fairest end
Succeed all yet. Should that most loving head,
Laurencia, abbess of religion's den,
But think it best, Cardenio will be served
As fortunately as I hope you may.
Come, you have overjoyed a man who thought
Man's goodness but the hearsay of fool's mouths.
The duke will hear appeals. Until I do
In equal goodness what my brother did
Contrary-wise, I'll swim with you in tears.
Lead me to my Cardenio.
Exeunt Rodrigo and Violante
Act 5. Scene 2. Inside the lodge
Enter the duke of Osuna, Camillo, and Bernardo
Camillo. Yes, your grace would then have had a son, Bernardo a daughter, and I an heir. But let the physician escape with his money when the disease cannot be cured. I'll rub fate cleanly for my grave, and there an end.
Osuna. Sorrows never help us, sirs.
Camillo. Hang me, my lord, if I shed another tear. I weep so long that I am blind, even for my hawks, toys next to my son, should they fly house-high, aiming at the sun.
Osuna. You mourn like April. Bernardo is not so downcast yet.
Bernardo. Let all go.
Osuna. Ha? So woebegone?
Bernardo. I kiss imagined daughters on my knee.
Osuna. Disobedient children dig a father's grave.
Bernardo. And disobedient fathers, too.
Camillo. The young are wanton. The next storm we have because of that, we'll gallop homeward, whining like pigs in the wind.
Bernardo. My daughter in any fashion, any day!
Osuna. Will you kiss her unmarried with bairns?
Bernardo. All ten of them.
Camillo. You might have had that with my son. Find another fool to mend her gap with.
Osuna. Rodrigo charged you to wait here, but
Has overslipped the time, at which his notes
In haste request that I should be. Some bad
Event is ushered in by this delay.-
Giraldo. Should comforts please your grace, Fernando comes.
Osuna. Giraldo, I should thank you heartily
For your so timely news. Is he alone?
Giraldo. Attended well, perhaps too well, my lord,
For in his train we see a hearse approach
With all due rites of mourning.
Bernardo. A hearse?
Camillo. Destruction's end: a hearse, a hearse! More woes,
The final one, thank Christ. It is my son's.
Osuna. Bid them all enter ceremoniously.
Giraldo. At once and faster still, your eminence.
Osuna. May my Fernando live, though sinning half
The day and more each night until I die.
Camillo. Cardenio, dead! I was alive but now.
Osuna. O, welcome, sound Rodrigo! Quickly, news!
Camillo. Do you bring joy or grief, my lord? For me,
Whatever comes, I'll live a month or two,
Curse my physician should my health be good,
And then beneath a stone lies seventy.
Rodrigo. A manly patience!- Noble father, I
Bring ease to sorrows. My endeavors are
Never so barren as a needless fear.
Osuna. In heavy clouds of seeding overspread.
Enter Fernando and Luscinda
Rodrigo. The company I bring bear witness to
The busiest of our times engaged in good.
Bernardo finds a daughter here, and you
A wandering heir seeking pardon most.
Bernardo. A daughter! A daughter! A daughter! In joyful miraculously plentuous floods I weep. (striking her
Bernardo. My daughter! My daughter! My daughter! Joyfully my lips tremble in everlasting thankfulness. (kissing her
Luscinda. So do mine.
Rodrigo. How first I met with them, how brought them here
More leisure will retell with circumstance.
Fernando. Confusion! Is this pleasure's only den
You promised lust, my brother? Tricked, undone!
As low as earth, I bow resistlessly
To ask your pardon, honorable lord.
Osuna. You drag a damaged waggon to the barn,
Restoring usefulness in what I was.
One comfort I have most been missing long;
Your whore-manned follies will be left abroad.
Camillo. Joys everywhere except for me. I'm ruined
Without one hope of hope forever, should
My son be dead.
Rodrigo. Time guides my hand to work your happiness
As well as that of others, newest friend.
Enter Violante and Fabian, re-enter Giraldo, the latter two carrying a hearse
Camillo. I thank your lordship for unlikely news.
Rodrigo. Ha? Fabian and unhappy?
Violante. Your ear once more, Rodrigo!
Rodrigo. Ha? Why these serious faces? Are my eyes
Now different or is the coffin so?
Camillo. Should this black hearse forever hold my son,
I'll ask death to make me a grandfather,
And like a lucky fellow disappear.
Though full of pleasing business, it would be
Most wondrous should he not do all the good
He can accomplish when a man has done.
Rodrigo. I'll introduce a woman some should know.
Do you know her, Fernando?
Fernando. I think I do.
Violante. I think he does.
Bernardo. Be known for wisdom. Tears distract our joys.
Violante. I do not weep for my own self tonight.
Rodrigo. What do you mean?
Luscinda. Not Violante?
Violante. Yes, Violante.
Luscinda. I once heard of Fernando's hated love.
Rodrigo. Why is my Fabian sad?
Fabian. I will be so all day most of the year.
Bernardo. My daughter, never heed Fernando's love.
Osuna. Hear a repentant father.
Luscinda. More willingly than fish a fisherman.
Osuna. The voice of parents is the voice of God,
To children heaven's first lieutenants. God
Made fathers not for common usages
Of procreation, or else beasts would be
As noble as we are, but to block up
At custom houses of security
The wanton freight of youth's quick passages,
With which most sail at random, straightening
The moral line they bend so dismally.
For this are we made fathers and for this
We challenge duty on our children's part.
Obedience is the sacrifice of truths,
Too necessary in a lying world,
Whose form we carry, though we sometimes lie
Obligingly for their own sake or ours.
Bernardo. Heed your duke's words, unheeding eighteen.
Luscinda. I wish I had ten ears to gobble them.
Osuna. Your are Fernando's dearest love, I hear.
Luscinda. My gracious lord, let me unmannerly
Request no further pressing of worn suits,
Persuasions on his subject wheezing out
To grave-sites, reverently holding hands
With patience as a friend to bury them,
Till I shake hands with smiling-grieving mien
In parting from old sorrows veiled for show.
Camillo. That snuff never begot this candle. No,
He was some rarer fellow. Thank with tears
Of joy your mother's whoring, no harm done.
Were I but young again, and had but you,
A good horse under me with a straight sword,
Thus much for money or inheritance.
Osuna. Ha? Are you satisfied with such an answer, son?
Fernando. Enthusiasm wakes my ear at last.
I knew her fainting was pretended, thus
Revealing truths with falseness of her love
To true Cardenio, whom I almost tricked,
Regretting bitterly I could not do.
Camillo. Why look at me? I'll look on coffins still.
Remove the cover, so that I can see
Who died, and whether I should grieve today.
Fernando. Giraldo, lift the cover for the man
Who has most need to see some stranger there.
Giraldo. I do.
(The cover is lifted
Camillo. Is it my son? Ah, no, ah, no, ah, no!
Ten thousand years do not suffice to hold
The passions throttling the old man in me.
Osuna. Ha? Ha? He falls.
Camillo. How did I fail to crush my head? Drown me
With tears, eyes, stifle me in my son's box.
Should I not sleep? A father by a son
Is gladly buried, not as it should be.
Fabian. I should say something to console, but can
Find nothing to this nothing. When he first
Came in the world, we knew he would end so.
Luscinda. Cardenio, I have come to bury you,
Not marry. A farewell to hopeful dreams
Of happiness, at once by Atropos
Unwillingly cut off.
Camillo. More blessings on his ghost, wherever it
May go, if anywhere. His mother will
Perhaps die, too. Why not? More sorrows, more,
Until we gagging die from and for them.
Luscinda. Too many rites must be performed again
Before I woo again. A woman loved
By a corpse now! If some dare doubt
My cheerless testimony, wear your love
Where mine is, here, within the grieving heart,
Deep, deep within, not in an eye or tongue,
For there it wears away, or with two tears
Washed out from old remembrance. Mine's like lead.
No doctor's pill, but time or death cures it.
Bernardo. I'm a bad friend, worse father, but can strive
Henceforth to merit your all-grieving loves.
Exeunt Camillo, Bernardo, Luscinda, and Giraldo carrying the hearse
Osuna. Though marriage in these sorrows seems like wives
Pretending love, I will sift out my son's
Deceits. If not Luscinda, Violante!
Violante. Make your conditions quickly. I seal them
Thus on a traitor's mouth. (kissing Fernando
Rodrigo. A girl whose equal is not found in haste.
You are the ripe one every inch, I swear.
Fernando. What violent courtship is this?
Rodrigo. Will she become your harlot, brother, one
But lately so already, to her grief?
Fernando. My harlot!
Rodrigo. A flowing maiden strumpeted by you,
But more and worse, you stole her from her friends,
And promised her a dukedom.
Fernando. I? Never.
Rodrigo. On deadly light occasions let her by
High on these hills, where she was nearly starved,
Had not Laurencia found her straying ill.
A rape's not handsome, brother.
Fernando. Sir, you are merry.
Rodrigo. You'll find both death and marriage sober truths.
Osuna. If so, I hate you, son.
Fernando. A fiction all. My brother, you must please
To look at other fools to prick with fears.
Permit the angry woman to say whore,
Whom I refused. If so, know me no more.
Rodrigo. Here is the injured woman. If denied,
I wrong a brother's honor overmuch.
Osuna. A pretty piece of damage, I can swear!
Where were you born?
Violante. On the other side of the mountain.
Osuna. Where are your friends?
Violante. I only know a father, best of lords.
Osuna. How could you leave a worried father thus?
Violante. That noble lord once pleased to like my face,
And, without lying, doting so on me
That with his promises he won my love,
Cohered with duty from a father's choice.
I follow where he goes, my own no more.
Rodrigo. What do you say now, brother?
Osuna. What can he say?
Fernando. As I have breath for truth, a lying trick.
I never saw the woman in a bed.
Violante. Do not take up a witness to a wrong.
It is not noble of you to despise
What you have made, for if I cog for gold,
Let justice use her bloodiest rods on me.
Osuna. Fernando, fie! I am the more ashamed.
These are no tears of cunning on her face.
Rodrigo. Impartial nature meant this woman as
A bride, for otherwise we will abhor
And marvel to see virtue bob and cursed.
Osuna. Once more, why did you leave your father thus?
Violante. Ah, that to me? I see I'm still unknown,
For, by my faith in man, now almost gone,
I'll never live until I use my wits
To capture what I lost in honor's cause.
What youth is able to achieve, I'll do,
With or without a father's approbation.
My will I'll put in act, to please my man.
I cannot steal, therefore to all the world
I am but stolen till I get him back
To where I was, unmounted but for me.
Osuna. As deeply honest as her poverty.
Violante. To my undoing.
Rodrigo. Never say so again. Fernando, swear
You'll marry, otherwise no brother here.
Osuna. This son abuses men and women's hopes
Already. Are there further plots he thinks
Of? We can guess.
Fernando. Unless retrieving witnesses to wrongs,
It is injustice to believe a whore,
I having sworn against it. You will have-
I bind it with my honor- satisfaction
To all your wishes if you prove the rape.
Violante. I wish no more, my lord. I say tonight
I have a thousand noble witnesses
For honesty and trust. Look up above.
Rodrigo. She speaks the truth.
Fernando. The modern woman takes men to her heels,
To gain advantage of her sex, then to
Snatch up advantages meant for our own.
Rodrigo. I'll be her voucher.
Fernando. A very plain confederacy of fools
To slander a duke's son!
Rodrigo. That she has been the agent of your couch
Appears in your own letter, here produced
To make her credits mine, the writing, yours,
The matter, love, for so it is expressed.
Osuna. Perhaps the forgery of a he-bawd.
Fernando. Mere forgery cannot confound me yet.
Osuna. Read it, Rodrigo.
"Prudence should teach what indiscretion commits. I have already stepped towards this show of wisdom by prevailing on myself to bid you forever farewell."
Fernando. This can mean everything or nothing, sir.
Osuna. I think you lie.
Fernando. My gracious father, I confess I whored
With her, but what of that? I coddled her,
The purport all too trivial for your ear,
She wishing to avenge her honor lost,
But why I must be married when we erred
I cannot solve as yet, for, to my mind,
And by the honors of my birth and house,
The minion's face I never wish to see.
Violante. In debt with protestation's false bank-notes.
Rodrigo. Why should a woman do herself such wrong
As to admit she erred in trusting you?
Fernando. Because she lacks my money on her back
And avid cunt.
Rodrigo. Your friendship warrants no abuse of sex.
Fernando. If you provoke me thus, I will forget
What you are to me. These are practices
And mindless villanies to scandal me.
Rodrigo. Where is the witness to prove him untrue?
Fernando. No witness but a hypocrite can come.
Osuna. What do I read on her face, sorrowing?
Fernando. By all my sins, a woman wanting more.
Rodrigo. Whose practice breaks off?
Osuna. Is she a mounting whore? Are you too false?
Rodrigo. A woman having done him services,
And she unpaid for it except in rape!
Violante. My lord, I do not come to bruise your honor.
Your pure affection dead, though first betrayed,
My claim may die with it. But let me not
Shrink meekly to the grave with infamy.
Protect my virtue, though it hurts your faith,
And my last breath will speak Fernando true.
Fernando. In what shamed conflicts wounded honor strives
Inside my breast! But honor overcomes.
She looks as beauteous and as innocent
As when I wronged her. Virtuous Violante,
Too good for me! Dare you still love a man,
So faithless as I am? I know your love.
Thus, thus, and thus, I print repentances.
Let every man read it here. Gracious lord
And father, pardon. Make me richer still
With love. This is no wife, yet honor's truth.
No other will I take until I find for her
A worthier match.
Osuna. Here's a new change, Rodrigo looking glum.
Fernando. Together with Luscinda's, in whose arms
I almost wronged Cardenio. Everyone,
Forgive by taking home my holiest oaths.
Let those be fortunate who has deserved.
I must admit the baseness of my wrongs,
And purpose recompense. Lone Violante,
You must again be widowed, for I vow
A ceaseless pilgrimage not to know joy,
Until, a gracious duke before my time,
I give that to Camelio and to you.
Osuna. O, grief! He will improve after I die.
Rodrigo. I'll stop your voyage, father. Violante,
What do you think now of this honest man?
Violante. Alas, my lord, my thoughts are all employed.
He has a face reminding me of love,
Which I thought too well of. What confidence!
He never weeps.- Ha! Stay. It cannot be:
He has his eye, his gestures, shapes, and love.
I wish he could speak. Ecstasy of love!
I thought I saw that, but beheld a dream.
Rodrigo. I'm almost starved for kisses, while this man
Takes all in all.
Fernando. Stand forty feet off, no man troubling me.
Much good may that do to your envying.
Rodrigo. To him again! I will not hinder love,
But this was never she.
Osuna. His falsest righteousness has crossed your love.
Think, Violante, from the tempest blown,
Though sour afflictions combat hope awhile,
When lovers swear true faith, strange listeners
Stand peeping on the golden battlements,
And waft resources to eternal thrones,
Such were my vows, and so are they repaid.
If you can hope, join hands together soon.
A providence above our power rules,
Ask him forgiveness when the villain sins.
Violante. The fault was love's, not his.
Fernando. Brave, generous, and empty Violante!
I know your nobleness of old, a prize
For men who seize. Mere passion made me blind.
Once more, share in a heart that never will
Wrong you again.
Rodrigo. Embraces cut excuses.
Osuna. I must in part repair my son's offense:
At your best leisure, Violante, know
Our court, and know, our worthiest Violante,
I have another smaller debt to pay.
Once, when I chased the boar, your father saved
My life, for whose deed, and for virtue's sake,
Though your descent be low, call me your pot
Of gold. A match drawn out from honesty
Is pedigree enough. Are you all pleased?
Osuna. And I not least. We'll now return to court,
Where after travels we may yet behold
More loves completed, to restrain at last
Youth's wanderings, and there solemnity
And grace will much improve my joys,
And make those lovers who your story read
Wish lovers' wanderings like mine succeed.
Exeunt Osuna, Rodrigo, Fernando, and Violante