Reference > Fiction > Nonfiction > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Epilogue of Mariana
By José Echegaray (1832–1916)
Translation of James Graham
        DON PABLO.
        DON JOAQUIN.
        DON CASTULO.
        FELIPE, a male servant front Galicia.
        CLAUDIA, a female servant from Andalusia.
  The scene is in a country seat belonging to Mariana, in La Granja, or near it.
  The stage represents a drawing-room on the ground floor of a country seat of Mariana in La Granja.  In the back-centre a large door looking on to a terrace: on either side of the door are great windows with transparent panes of glass.  Beyond these are visible the terrace, its flowers, and the trees in the garden.  At the first wing, to right and left are two little doors which lead to two private rooms.  In the second wing there are two other and larger doors—that on the left of the spectator being supposed to lead to the suite of apartments of Mariana, the corresponding one to the right leading to the apartments of Don Pablo.  The drawing-room is adorned with great luxuriance and elegance.  It is night: candelabra are upon the tables: the sky is blue and clear: the moon shines at opportune moments, inundating with its clear radiance all the background; at other times the light becomes obscure, as though concealed by some cloud.
[Enter Claudia and Felipe.  They go about the room, arranging it, fixing flowers, etc.]

FELIPE—Is everything in order?
  Claudia—Everything.  2
  Felipe—The bride and bridegroom will soon be here, and the bridegroom must have everything in perfect readiness. It is a fact.  3
  Claudia—Well, let them come. But they won’t be bride and bridegroom now: they’ll be husband and wife.  4
  Felipe—I say that they’ll be bride and bridegroom.  5
  Claudia—They would have been married in Madrid at eight o’clock: they will have afterwards taken the special train which Doña Mariana ordered to be at her disposal, and from there they must have come on at full speed; it is half-past eleven or twelve, so that they bear the weight of three hours of marriage.  6
  Felipe—Three hours longer of the part of bride and bridegroom; it is a fact.  7
  Claudia—How pig-headed you are!  8
  Felipe—I am a reflecting man, that’s what I am: it’s a fact.  9
  Claudia—You are a dull man—that’s what you are: it’s a fact.  [Mocking him.]  10
  Felipe—Have you put flowers in the señora’s room?  11
  Claudia—I have put them there, and made a garden of it. And also in the señor’s room, and it is turned into another garden.  12
  Felipe—Flowers in the señor’s room! Now, do you see how thoughtless you are?  13
  Claudia—In what way?  14
  Felipe—What, my dear girl? Bits of flowers for a soldier like Don Pablo, who, as they say, is more warlike than Sant Iago! With more scars and more glittering decorations, and who must have killed more people!…  15
  Claudia—Kill! kill! Many people kill—with the result that no one dies. He may kill…; but before the marriage he fought a duel—do you hear? And he was pinked! He was pinked by Don Daniel, who is a fine fellow … he is the one to pink, and slay with those great Malaga eyes of his. I know him—do you understand? Well, he pinked Don Pablo.  16
  Felipe—Indeed?  17
  Claudia—As I tell you: I heard it in Madrid.  18
  Felipe—My dear girl, such are the events of life. He who places himself before the point of a sword must be pinked—if God brings no remedy. It’s a fact. And what was it about?  19
  Claudia—I don’t know: Don Pablo and Don Daniel were having hot words together, and as they are both fierce fellows…. You now understand. But Don Daniel is the fiercer of the two.  20
  Felipe—It must have been about our young lady.  21
  Claudia—It may be, for she is so pretty—so wonderfully pretty! What are men good for except to kill one another for sake of the pretty girls?  22
  Felipe—And how rich she is!—so rich! What are men good for except to have an eye on the morrow? It’s a fact.  23
  Claudia—That you may say for the husband. As for Daniel, neither in attitude of body, nor in possession of property, nor in loving, with all his soul, nor in worth of heart, need he be envious of any man.—What are you laughing at, stupid?  24
  Felipe—Because I know more about all this than you: I know how they quarreled, and why, and what was the result.  25
  Claudia—And why did you act the know-nothing, slyboots?  26
  Felipe—To see if you knew anything fresh. But I know more than you.  27
  Claudia—Well, out with it.  28
  Felipe—There was a duel; but Don Daniel did not pink him—that’s not a fact.  29
  Claudia—Yes, yes. It’s true.  30
  Felipe—No! Don Daniel, as he is younger, and as he was in a rage, with one stroke after another, disarmed Don Pablo three times—it’s a fact.  31
  Claudia—Have you seen him? Do you know Don Daniel?  32
  Felipe—By name—nothing more. With my eyes I have never seen him.  33
  Claudia—And what else? Go on.  34
  Felipe—Don Pablo, too, was in a rage. When such an accident befalls a man he’s bound to be in a rage. And he said, “Younger than I am, and with stronger arms!” It seems that Don Daniel has great muscle.  35
  Claudia—Very great. And what then?  36
  Felipe—That the young one said, “Well, let us try shooting.” And they tried shooting. And Don Pablo had a better aim than Don Daniel, and planted a ball in his breast. The young one is more muscular: it’s a fact. But the old fellow aimed better: it’s a fact.  37
  Claudia—And Don Daniel is dead? Ah, poor fellow!  38
  Felipe—When you say dying—he did not die. But he was very bad—very bad, and he is still in bed, suffering greatly.  39
  Claudia—But he has escaped with life?  40
  Felipe—He has escaped, woman; he has escaped.  41
  Claudia—And Don Pablo?—Don Pablo … got away with nothing?  42
  Felipe—No: he, too, had his little crumb of a bullet. Only it struck against a rib and bounded off: old men’s bones are very hard: it’s a fact.  43
  Claudia—So, then, he is an old piece of goods?  44
  Felipe—No, he is not a cripple:—well preserved, erect, robust, and brave. But come, he is not in his first youth.  45
  Claudia—What will he be?  46
  Felipe—I don’t know what he will be:—it’s a fact.  47
  Claudia—I speak of his years.  48
  Felipe—Oh! somewhere about fifty.  49
  Claudia—Ave Maria Purissima! And the señorita deserts Don Daniel and gets married to that stalking statue! A fine taste the ladies of the present day have! Bah!—I must deprive Don Pablo of his flowers: flowers for him! I shall have to send to the druggist’s for barley-water and put it in his room, with a basin of broth, a glass of sherry, and a foot-warmer.  50
  Felipe—He will have brought a foot-warmer with him: because, as you know, when traveling … it’s a fact.  51
  Claudia—I am dying to see him: does he throw his money about?  52
  Felipe—I don’t know if he scatters money about, for although I asked that from the servants who arrived this morning from Madrid—and it was from them I got the news I have given you—they did not tell me. But as for knowing him, you’ll soon know him, because the carriages went some time ago to the station to fetch them all, and they cannot be long.  53
  Claudia—Do you mean that a great many people are coming?  54
  Felipe—Some people are coming, but not many are coming.  55
  Claudia—And are they all to sleep here? Ah, my God, when nothing has been said to me!  56
  Felipe—Don’t be frightened, for as to sleeping, none but the bride and bridegroom will sleep. As the others are not brides and bridegrooms, Don Joaquin will take them all away to his country seat.  57
  Claudia—I know, I know already: he built it hereabouts to have Doña Mariana within view.  58
  Felipe—The very same. And talking about viewing…. Look, I think they are here already. Don’t you hear a noise of carriages?  59
  Claudia—Yes.  [Goes to the door of the private room to the left.]  60
  Felipe—Where are you going?  61
  Claudia—To look through the window of the study and see if the carriages are coming.  62
  Felipe—You can’t go in.  63
  Claudia—I can’t go into the señora’s little private room?  64
  Felipe—No, señora.  65
  Claudia—Why, you drone?  66
  Felipe—Because the key has been lost.  67
  Claudia—It has been lost?  68
  Felipe—Someone has taken it away.  69
  Claudia—Who?  70
  Felipe—The devil—the same who takes away all keys.  71
  Claudia—What are you talking about?  72
  Felipe—This evening there came a gentleman—a young man; he was young and of good appearance. He said he belonged to the press—to those people who see everything so as to relate everything in the newspapers: it’s a fact. As our señora’s wedding was so much talked about, and the palace is so lovely …  73
  Claudia—He wished to see it?  74
  Felipe—And he saw it—I should think so: and everything that he saw will be put down in the newspapers: there’s an honor for the señora and for all of us. But …  75
  Claudia—What?  76
  Felipe—On leaving that private room—through absence of mind—I say it must have been through absence of mind—he took away the key.  77
  Claudia—But—gracious!… And if the señora wishes to enter?  78
  Felipe—I can get through the window, which is on a level with the ground, and open the door.  79
  Claudia—You will really have to do something.  80
  Felipe—Silence!… They are knocking for attendance, and now you have them here.  81
[Enter Don Castulo and Luciano by the back-centre.]

  Servant  [preceding them]—Walk in.
  Felipe—Walk in, señores; walk in.  83
  Luciano—This must be a handsome property.  84
  Castulo—They say so: it has a reputation. Great luxury! Modern industry: modern art: everything modern; but it has a reputation in spite of being modern.  85
  Felipe—Pardon me, señores:… are not the other señores coming?  86
  Luciano—They will be here within five minutes.  87
  Felipe—Well, if you, señores, do not require anything, we shall go and wait for the other señores—with your permission.  88
  Luciano—You may go.  [Exeunt Claudia and Felipe.]  89
  Castulo  [looking at everything in leisurely fashion]—Nothing: just what I told you. Great splendor, much ostentation. A veritable palace: almost a royal palace. But not an object that’s worth the trouble of men like ourselves fixing our attention upon.  [Contemptuously.]  Modernism: pure modernism. There is nothing here stamped by the seal of individuality: there is nothing here which can be, say, sixty years old, say fifty.  90
  Luciano—Well, you are already fifty: and you are here.  91
  Castulo—Don’t speak to me of persons: neither do they go beyond a hundred years. In the class of persons, the only ones acceptable are mummies. “Pick 1 up the most despicable object, throw it back to a distance of two thousand years, and it becomes changed into an object of incomparable value by the work and favor of that marvelous artificer who is called time. I laugh at Apollo when he is compared with Saturn. Put in a bottle a fool of our own days, preserve him for six thousand years, and see if, when he is unbottled at the proper time in the coming ages, the wisest man of the seventy-ninth century can compare with him.  92
  Luciano—Don Castulo, you have a profundity which fills one with terror.  93
  Castulo  [modestly]—I am a man with a partiality for universal life.”  94
  Luciano  [looking toward the background]—But are they not coming?  95
  Castulo—I think not: but they’ll soon come.  96
  Luciano—One of the horses of the other carriage cast his shoe, and it appears that the loss of it must have been rather painful to him still. That must have been the cause of the delay.  97
  Castulo  [giving him a slap on the back and laughing]—Now … now I understand you.  98
  Luciano—Me?  99
  Castulo—You are getting over me in a roundabout way.  100
  Luciano—I … you, Don Castulo!… Do you believe …  101
  Castulo—That’s your way of putting it. Since I intimated to you that I had in reserve for you a certain surprise, you have not known how to live. All your ways have been indirect, circumlocutory, artful; I understand you.  102
  Luciano—I assure you …  103
  Castulo—Don’t assure me of anything. “You know, assuredly, all the precious relics of my house: all its secrets and corners….  104
  Luciano  [modestly]—Not all.  105
  Castulo—Not all—there I believe you. There is something which you have not yet seen, and which I have reserved as a reward of your constancy and your love of archæology. What do you think of that?  106
  Luciano—I don’t understand you.  107
  Castulo—You understand me. If not, why do I find you at all hours in my house? Eh? Don’t blush, don’t be uneasy: your partialities delight me—for they are the same as my own.  108
  Luciano—So I think.  109
  Castulo—Very well, then: learn it and give a place in your breast to hope. As soon as we have ended this expedition and have returned to Madrid I shall withdraw from before your astonished gaze the last veil over my august habitation: shall we call it august?  110
  Luciano—Call it what you please, but draw it aside.  111
  Castulo—Oh! how natural is such impatience.” What a collection, friend Luciano! The most humble, the most prosaic, and, in the profoundest sense, the most sublime! I would not say this except to one who, like yourself, could understand me: from the Egyptian until our own days … a complete collection of horseshoes! What do you think of that?  112
  Luciano—The devil! Horseshoes!  113
  Castulo—Horseshoes. The iron hoof-protectors of that generous brute which is called the horse. Equus in Latin: [Greek] in Greek!… Yes, you had guessed it: you are worthy indeed of having guessed it.  114
  Luciano—Many thanks.  115
  Castulo—You do well, Luciano: you do well to interest yourself in the archæology of so modest a type. “No one will tax me with vanity when I say that I have horseshoes from as far back as those of Pegasus down to those of Rosinante; from the Pharaonic, Persian, and Tartarean horseshoes down to those of the Cossack cavalry; from the horseshoes of Attila, that annihilated all grass, down to the horseshoes of Napoleon, which, as the seal of revolutionary conquest, move along stamping with blood all the continents. When I say the horseshoes of Attila and Napoleon, I mean those of their respective hippogriffs.  116
  Luciano—That’s understood.”  117
  Castulo—All civilizations and all horseshoes have constantly clashed together along the path of history. You have an example of this now. Thus, my cabinet of horseshoes—what else is it but a collection of irons and of tortuous annals? What horseshoes, friend Luciano. I shall put them to you….  118
  Luciano—Good God, Don Castulo!  119
  Castulo—Let me finish. I shall put them before you, and you shall read fluently, as you might read in the pages of Tacitus, Titus Livius, or Cesare Cantu. 2 It is, indeed, appalling, Luciano. It is, indeed, appalling. Catch an Arab horse, throw his four hoofs in the air, and you have all the Arabic architecture: the arch of the horseshoe. Without ironing all is erring. Without that marvelous and humble iron all is error, and dullness, and confusion.  120
  Luciano—“And talking of errors  [wishing to change the conversation],  don’t you think the recently married couple have committed a capital one in uniting themselves with an indissoluble tie for the whole of their lives?  121
  Castulo—I don’t know. I don’t concern myself much with those things.  122
  Luciano—Haven’t you observed Mariana? What cadaverous paleness! What a forced smile! What nervous excitement!  123
  Castulo—I have observed nothing. My imagination was hurrying onward in the footsteps of other imaginations.  124
  Luciano—On the termination of the ceremony there came over her something like a fainting fit, and along the whole way … sepulchral silence!  125
  Castulo—Emotions appropriate to the wedding-day. Look you, I too was rather moved when I was married to Clarita.  126
  Luciano—I believe it.  127
  Castulo—Yes señor. So moved was I that day that I stupidly broke an Etruscan amphora. An irreparable loss, friend Luciano.”  128
  Luciano—Well, I think they are now here.  129
  Castulo—No doubt they will be. To arrive at a place, there’s nothing like proceeding towards it. Sooner or later you get there.  130
[Enter Mariana, Don Pablo, and Don Joaquin by the back-centre.  Mariana pale and gloomy.  She walks with some difficulty, leaning on the arm of Don Joaquin, and sinks upon a sofa or cushioned chair after having taken off her hat.]

  Joaquin—Sit down and rest. You are not well.
  Pablo—How do you feel?  132
  Mariana—Well, very well. There’s nothing the matter with me. Good God, what a child I am!  133
  Joaquin—You are very pale.  134
  Pablo—Very pale.  135
  Mariana—So many people speak … and the salutations, the good wishes, the social impertinences!… To have to answer everybody. The smiles, the courteous phrases, the commonplaces, become exhausted,… and the nerves can hold out no longer. The commonplace, which is self-imposed, is that which is most wearisome and most exciting … and nothing else ails me.  [Endeavoring to smile.]  136
  Pablo—So that you are better?  137
  Mariana—I should hope so.  [With ill controlled impatience.]  I really say that it is nothing.  138
  Joaquin—Nevertheless, in coming from Madrid to La Granja you were not well. Two or three times I thought you were becoming insensible.  139
  Luciano—I, too, remarked that.  140
  Castulo—I did not.  141
  Mariana—The train rushed on with such dizzying velocity that I felt … I don’t know what,… and I closed my eyes and allowed myself to be whirled along. Do we not enter the train voluntarily? Well, we must close our eyes and let ourselves be borne helplessly away.  [With a forced laugh.]  Such is life.  [To Pablo.]  Don’t be alarmed: I am very well. And I am pleased to find myself in my home … in our home … free from prying people and from friends. Oh! I don’t mean that for you  [To Don Castulo and Luciano]  … nor for you  [To Don Joaquin],  my own father.  142
  Castulo—We, too, shall withdraw, that discretion may not clash with friendship.  143
  Luciano—Nor with archæology.  144
  Castulo—Archæology is discretion itself: it says everything in the form of silence.  145
  Mariana—That’s why I am fond of it. Silence! What eloquence there is in silence!  [To Don Pablo.]  Is it not true?  146
  Pablo—It is my only eloquence.  147
  Castulo—And so we shall withdraw.  148
  Luciano—We are expected at Don Joaquin’s villa.  149
  Mariana—Not yet; for God’s sake!  [Attempting to smile.]  You have to see the house. The common people, in their emphatic style, call it “the palace.” It is not quite that. But from the drawing-room above, the view on a clear moonlit night such as we have now is delicious. Go upstairs: for persons of imagination, like yourselves, it will be an admirable spectacle.  150
  Luciano—However, if we are giving trouble …  151
  Mariana—By no means: we’ll say ten minutes. I shall detain you ten minutes—no more. Pablo, do me the favor to accompany them; it is fitting that you should do the honors … as lord of the manor … meanwhile I shall rest.  [She says all this and goes through all the scene with ease, with propriety, with something of irony, and, above all, with profound melancholy.  She is always the great lady who knows how to control herself and to pay the debt due to social requirements.]  152
  Pablo—Shall we go there?  153
  Castulo—We are at your orders.  154
  Mariana  [To Don Joaquin]—You know the house: you remain.  155
  Joaquin—As you please.  156
  Pablo—I shall go on in front to show you the way.  157
  Luciano—It’s all really enchanting.  158
  Castulo—It is not bad, it is not bad: but in five hundred years’ time it will look better.

[Exeunt, by the second wing to the right, Pablo, Castulo, and Luciano.]
  Joaquin—What’s the matter with you, Mariana?  160
  Mariana—The matter is that the whole universe is formed of lead, and is weighing down upon me. I can no more, Don Joaquin. I can no more, my own father.  161
  Joaquin—Oh! temper of iron! You now repent  [approaching her, and speaking in a low voice],  when the time is gone forever.  162
  Mariana—Repent! No. What I did was well done. Unless I wished to be the most miserable woman on earth, I could not have done otherwise. It was not madness: it was not giddiness; it was honorable foresight and just chastisement.  163
  Joaquin—Ah! blind and headstrong woman!  164
  Mariana—No, Don Joaquin: it was not blindness, it was not stubbornness. I wished to raise a barrier between Daniel and myself; I wished to set at my side a man who shall subdue my madness with a hand of iron, an implacable man, who, when I find myself going towards Daniel … for I know myself: if he does not come to me, I shall go to him…. Well, then; when that event takes place, that Don Pablo shall kill me and kill him:—and perhaps, to save my Daniel, I shall have the strength to withstand the impulses of my delirium.  165
  Joaquin—You are not convincing me … but, in short, it is now done….  166
  Mariana—I don’t convince you! But can you not guess all that I thought, all that I suffered on that day? Insomuch, that I was saying to myself—the only man for whom I have ever felt love was the son of Alvarado! I in love with the son of that wretch who dishonored, who martyred, who murdered my mother!… Then … what sort of a conscience is mine? What kind of a woman can I be? Of what infamous and degraded substance must I be formed?  167
  Joaquin—These are exaggerations: when you were in love with Daniel you were ignorant of all that.  168
  Mariana—But I learned it since, and I continued to love him: now I know it, and my heart goes out of me towards my own Daniel.  169
  Joaquin—Silence!… silence!… Don’t say such things…. No more, no more!  170
  Mariana—Is it not true that all this is monstrous? That accursed race has brought about the damnation of mine. His father disgraced my mother: and Daniel disgraces me…. What infamy!… what infamy!… Jesus!… Jesus!  171
  Joaquin—My daughter, it is the commandment of God: the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children.  172
  Mariana—But if he is innocent—why must he pay for the infamies of his father?  173
  Joaquin—Don’t make me mad. You should have thought of all this before, and been married to Daniel.  174
  Mariana—That—never. You are too pure and too noble to mean what you say. I his wife! I united forever to the son of Alvarado! and the two of us on the day of the wedding to go and receive the blessing and the kiss of that man! Those lips which defiled the mother, deposing themselves with a burlesque sanctification upon the brow of the daughter! and then, when Daniel would speak to me of his love—to be always thinking, always having it in my mind,—that that was what his father said to turn the brain of that poor martyr!—with the same serious voice, the same tenderness, the same transports of passion! Thus, thus that man dishonored my mother, the mother of my heart! The blood of Daniel, his smile, the light of his eyes, the burning warmth of his hands, his sweet words!… All comes from that source! The daughter wallowing in the dregs of those impurities! No, no, no—anything rather than that eternal and revolting infliction. The woman who while thinking all this yet loves—for she does love—the son of Alvarado—ought to be the wife of Don Pablo: for her impurity, the ice-cold curb; for her madness, the strait-waistcoat; for the wild beast without a heart, the merciless tamer!  175
  Joaquin—Then you have found what you were looking for. When Don Pablo had suspicions of his first wife …  176
  Mariana—What?  177
  Joaquin—Coldly, impassibly, implacably, without a cry, without a recrimination … without a menace …  178
  Mariana—What, then?  179
  Joaquin—There are those who say, or at least suspect, that he found means to kill her with a single blow.  180
  Mariana—And can he have forgotten it?  181
  Joaquin—I think not.  182
  Mariana—Would to God…!  183
  Joaquin—Silence: they are coming back.  [Going to the door.]  184
  Mariana—Let us pretend to be speaking of indifferent matters.  185
[Re-enter Pablo, Castulo, and Luciano.]

  Luciano—Admirable, Mariana: an enchanted palace.
  Mariana—Really?  187
  Castulo—There is something: yes, there is something. I speak of what I am familiar with. Those carpets are good. And those enamels … they are of value … they are of value … and that beaten silver … we could steal it with a good will—could we not, Luciano?  188
  Luciano—I would not steal anything, Don Castulo.  189
  Castulo—Would you never rob me of anything? Come,… come….  190
  Luciano  [slowly]—Perhaps so.  191
  Castulo—I knew it already.  [Thrusting at him playfully.]  192
  Pablo  [to Mariana]—How are you?  193
  Mariana—The sickness of the journey has not left me; I suspect that I am going to have a very violent megrim.  194
  Joaquin—Then, child, you must have rest.  195
  Luciano—With your permission we shall retire. The coach is waiting for us  [To Mariana]  and Don Joaquin’s country house is waiting for us.  196
  Castulo  [taking leave]—Mariana … I am your sincere friend, and the happiness of my friends, male and female … though it is not an object which can be included in my museum—does nevertheless afford me a most singular pleasure.  197
  Mariana—A thousand thanks, Don Castulo. I preserve remembrances of your museum which will not easily be erased from my mind—believe me.  198
  Castulo—A thousand thanks, Mariana. Adieu, Don Pablo: I am your sincere friend, and the happiness of my friends male and female … though it is not an object …  [Luciano places himself between the two and laughingly separates them.  Don Pablo and Don Castulo walk toward the terrace, murmuring exchanges of compliment.]  199
  Luciano—Good!… Good! Adieu, Mariana; I am always yours.  200
  Mariana—Adieu, Luciano.  [They shake hands.]  201
  Joaquin—Adieu … adieu, my daughter …  [Luciano joins Castulo and Pablo on the terrace.]  202
  Mariana—Farewell, my own father.  [She and Joaquin embrace.]  203
  Joaquin—Courage!…  204
  Mariana—I have too much courage…. It is happiness that I am in want of.  205
  Joaquin—Farewell!  206
  Mariana—Farewell!…  [The four men bid each other good-bye upon the terrace, where they are seen for some moments]—I shall go into my bedroom.  [Stopping.]  No: he would come in. Into my sitting-room.  [Goes to the door of the study, then changes her intention.]—But why?  [Looking whether they are going.]  I shall go to my bedroom and lock myself in. No: I shall remain.  [Sinks upon a sofa.]  They are going now. Now they have gone. He is coming back. What matter?  207
  Pablo  [returning]—Are you better?  208
  Mariana—No, I have a ring of iron around the forehead, of iron made red-hot: it oppresses and burns. Is that pleasant?  209
  Pablo  [softly]—Poor Mariana!  210
  Mariana—Have the others gone?  211
  Pablo  [approaching close to Mariana]—Yes.  212
  Mariana  [as if in the effort to say something]—Come!—so they have gone.  213
  Pablo  [sitting close to her]—And have left us alone.  214
  Mariana—Excuse me … will you shut that door?—[Pointing to the door in the back-centre.]  215
  Pablo—Most certainly.  [Shuts the door.]  The night air was troubling you?  216
  Mariana—When I am as now … everything troubles me.  217
  Pablo—I, too?  218
  Mariana—What a question!  219
  Pablo—Don’t you wish that we should speak?  220
  Mariana—Yes: you may speak; but pardon me if my answers are brief. Each word pronounced by me resounds in my brain like the blow of a hammer upon an empty case.  221
  Pablo—You have said: “your answers.” Do you suppose that my words will take the form of questions?  222
  Mariana—I said it for the sake of speaking, and now you may suppose that if I am not in a condition to speak, I am still less able to enter into discussion.  223
  Pablo—Then I too will refrain from speaking.  224
  Mariana—As you please: silence is the only thing which eases my pain.  225
  Pablo—Silence and solitude—is it not so? Solitude and silence.  226
  Mariana—They are good companions; but I did not mean quite so much.  227
  Pablo  [taking her hand]—Poor Mariana: your hand is like ice.  228
  Mariana—Didn’t I tell you so? I am not well. Let it go … let go…. Excuse me….  [Pulling away her hand.]  I must try to get it warm again.  [Muffling up her hands and sinking further back upon the sofa as if to fly from Pablo.]  229
  Pablo  [on seeing that she closes her eyes and lets fall her head]—Are you sleepy?  230
  Mariana—A little. Do you know, I think that with sleep this trouble would pass away from me.  231
  Pablo—Then sleep for a short time and see if it will refresh you. I’ll watch over you from this couch.  232
  Mariana—No: sleeping for a short time will not be enough. I require a long sleep—very long. For great sorrow we must have sleep that lasts a great while.  233
  Pablo—Poor Mariana! You women are very weak.  234
  Mariana—It’s true; and I am weaker than others.  235
  Pablo—That’s why you, who may be so, require a husband who shall love you from his soul, but who shall guide you with a firm hand. For your sufferings are often pure fantasy. “I am ill: I am ill,” you women say in a soft and plaintive voice, as you said just now; and if a voice, affectionate but energetic, says to you: “You are not ill: you are not ill: I don’t wish you to be ill …”—Miracle of affection! You are well at once. Isn’t that so?  [He says all this as if jestingly, but it is visible that he controls himself with effort, and that in his manner there is an undertone of domineering hardness.]  236
  Mariana  [coldly]—No: it is not so. This night I feel really ill. And even if you should say to me with all the fondness and all the energy imaginable: “Don’t be ill: I will not have it so,” I should continue to be ill—in spite of the command!  [With an ironical smile.]  237
  Pablo—I do not command, Mariana: I entreat.  238
  Mariana—So I suppose, and I am glad of it. It is too soon to command. But, ah, my God! you see, I have spoken a little. The pain has increased, and is now grown intolerable.  [Pressing her forehead.]  239
  Pablo  [on the point of bursting into a rage]—For all that …  240
  Mariana  [with dignity and haughtiness]—What?  241
  Pablo—I don’t insist:—we shall see whether with silence, rest, and sleep your suffering will pass off.  242
  Mariana—Thank you.  243
  Pablo—Do you wish me to accompany you to your bedroom?  244
  Mariana—No: excuse me. I shall be well enough here: the first sleep … here.  245
  Pablo  [after a pause, in which he silently contemplates her]—Adieu, Mariana: sleep, take rest … I am not a tyrant: you wish to be alone and I leave you.  246
  Mariana—I am obliged to you, Pablo. Adieu.  247
  Pablo—Won’t you give me your hand?  248
  Mariana—Why not?…  249
  Pablo—It is burning now.  250
  Mariana—Indeed?… Let me see….  [Withdrawing her hand.]  I think you are right.  251
  Pablo—Good-bye till to-morrow.  [Turning toward his bedroom.]  252
  Mariana  [without looking at him]—Till to-morrow.  253
  Pablo  [at the door of his room, but without entering.  Aside]—She has a will of iron. All the better.  254
  Mariana—I believe he has gone at last. He leaves me alone. To-morrow we shall see. He thinks to subdue me; that’s not so easy.  [Pablo still stops at the door of his room.  From that position he contemplates Mariana.  Mariana turns to see if he has gone.  On noting her movement Pablo comes back.]  255
  Pablo  [in a hard and resolute tone]—Pardon me: one more word.  256
  Mariana  [with an irritation which she does not attempt to conceal]—Again!  257
  Pablo—Oh, it will be very brief…. I know that you have married me without loving me, but I don’t know why you have married me. I knew that you were honorable, and that was enough for me. You don’t love me to-day? It does not matter; love may impress itself upon others: mine will impress itself. I wished that you should be mine: so you at present are: there is now time to make the rest come true. This is the way with me: if I propose to myself to succeed in a thing, I succeed in it. Life! What is life? A means—nothing but a means to bring about the triumph of one’s will. My will has triumphed. The first time I saw you I thought: “That woman shall either be my wife, or she shall be no man’s.” You found me always cold: if you had been able to plunge your hand into my heart, how soon you would have snatched it away from the intensity of the heat. But to-day no more of that. You will have it so, and I wrap myself round in ice once again. To-day no more: sleep, rest: to-morrow you shall answer me.  258
  Mariana—Answer! To what question?  259
  Pablo—To this: “Why have you married me?” I shall wait till to-morrow.  260
  Mariana—I can answer you to-night.  261
  Pablo—Then answer.  262
  Mariana—I have said it already: we women are not strong. I wished to have by my side a strong being who should compel me to walk in the only path possible.  263
  Pablo—The path of honor?  264
  Mariana—Of course.  265
  Pablo—Then you will walk in it, and I suppose without my assistance.  266
  Mariana—And if I should need that assistance.  267
  Pablo—I shall not fail you.  268
  Mariana—Under all its forms?  269
  Pablo—Under all.  270
  Mariana—Even under the form of chastisement and vengeance?  271
  Pablo  [advancing towards her]—Mariana!  272
  Mariana—Reply. It is now my turn to question.  273
  Pablo  [violently]—Then, under that form, too.  274
  Mariana—Indeed?  [Ironically.]  And if you should not have the courage?  275
  Pablo—Don’t put me to the test.  276
  Mariana—If the case should happen I’ll put you to it.  277
  Pablo  [approaches her and takes her hand]—You are feverish; lie down and rest.  278
  Mariana—To-morrow it may be I who shall request a complete explanation.  279
  Pablo—I shall always be at your orders.  280
  Mariana—Adieu.  281
  Pablo—Adieu.  [Stopping.  Aside.]  Ah! Mariana, you don’t know me.  282
  Mariana—To-morrow I shall know what this man is.

[Exit Pablo.]
  Mariana  [listening]—Yes: he has gone into his room. Ah! I can breathe. It seems as if, when he is at my side,… he robs me of the air. To suffer … good: but one requires extension, space, the ambient atmosphere in which the suffering may expand itself. A confined sorrow is unendurable: it becomes condensed here  [Presses her forehead]  … and brings on madness. It becomes condensed here  [Pressing her bosom]—and the heart breaks. Now I am more calm.  [Goes to a window.]  How beautiful and how clear is the night! How the moon shines!  [Touches the bell, and Claudia appears to the left with a lighted candle.]  Tell them to come and take away those lights. That which you are now bringing will be enough for me.  [Takes it from her and puts it on a table.  She afterwards takes off her traveling cloak and throws it upon the sofa.]  284
  Claudia—Yes, señora.  [She goes out for an instant and returns with two male servants.]  285
  Mariana  [walking about nervously]—These people irritate me, and the light and the noise and all things are a trouble to me.  [To Claudia.]  You may retire to rest. I shall go to bed alone.  286
  Claudia—If such is your order, señora….  287
  Mariana—Yes: that is my order: and let my maid also go to bed.  288
  Claudia—A very good night, señora.  289
  Mariana—Good-night.  [Claudia goes to shut the two windows in the back-centre.]  Don’t shut those windows: so: as they are.  290
  Claudia—Yes, señora.

[Exit.  The male servants meanwhile take away the candelabra through the door to the left.]
  Mariana—So: everyone far from me. Alone—and thinking upon him.  [Approaches the table and puts out the light: the apartment remains illuminated by the moon alone; in the first wing it is dark.]  Upon him … my eternal companion.  [Stops.]  Will he be thinking of me? Assuredly. With Daniel there can be no more than one idea—his Mariana, and the horrible treachery of his Mariana. Poor Daniel! Let him suffer, let him suffer, provided that he suffers for my sake: let him never console himself. Oh! that would be treachery indeed!  [Stopping.]  What noise is that? Is Pablo coming back?  [Goes to Pablo’s door and listens.  Meanwhile the door of the private room of Mariana opens, and Daniel appears beyond the curtain: he comes with head uncovered and with dress rather disarranged, since it is understood that he has scrambled through the window.  Meanwhile Mariana listens close to the door of Pablo: Daniel observes her.]  Nothing is heard. He must be thinking of what he has to say to me to-morrow, and how he will make me tame.  [Bursts into suppressed laughter.]  292
  Daniel  [aside]—Wretch! wretch!… And she laughs and is merry!… Now I too shall be merry.  293
  Mariana  [listening once more]—Everything is quiet. He will have locked himself in his room. I shall go to mine.  [Walking slowly.]  And my Daniel will be with me: always with Mariana: always….  [Raises the curtain.]

[Enter Daniel.]

Ah!… A man! What? Who is it?  [Retreating in terror.]
  Daniel  [following her]—Do you not recognize me now?  295
  Mariana—Daniel!… No!… A lie!… Daniel!…
[The stage is illuminated only by the light of the moon, which flows in through the two great windows in the background, the same which, as has been said, were left open.]
  Daniel—Don’t run away … Here!… Be calm!… Silence!…  [Overtakes her and controls her.]  297
  Mariana—Daniel!… Impossible!… It is a dream!… Leave me!… Let me go … Daniel!… My God!  298
  Daniel—Be quiet!… Be quiet!… What,—did you think that on the night of your wedding day I could be far off?  299
  Mariana—But is it you?… Is it you?  300
  Daniel—You did not expect me—eh?  301
  Mariana  [embracing him]—It is my Daniel!… My Daniel!… It seems to me impossible!  302
  Daniel—And does my presence make you glad?  303
  Mariana—Don’t you know it well?  [Passionately.]  Yes—it was right for you to be here!  304
  Daniel—But what kind of woman are you?  305
  Mariana—Mariana!  [Caressingly.]  It is you, now, who don’t know me.  306
  Daniel—I don’t know!… I shall go mad … and she looks upon me with fondness!… and almost strangles me in her arms!… But the world is a crowd of mad-folk!… And this woman—what is she?… Let me see … let me see … Come here … to the light … that I may look at you!  [Takes her to where the moonlight falls upon her.]  307
  Mariana—Yes, look at me … look at me … and let me also look at you…. Now we have seen each other…. Now my heart has gathered up its treasure of joy for a long time to come…. And now go away…. There, go away!  308
  Daniel—Already!… All those outbursts of passion were that I should go away!… I am the little lad to whom a toy is given … and they say to him: “Away with you: don’t be troublesome.” “Take a smile, Daniel: a caress: a fond phrase—and—be off, you disturb me.” Well, I shall not go: that might have been long since. Now  [fiercely]  I shall not go.  309
  Mariana—I wish it: I command it: it is imperative: Go.  310
  Daniel—No: no: I tell you, no. It is I now who shall give orders.  [Shaking her brutally.]  311
  Mariana—Let go! Villain! If you don’t go … I’ll call out.  312
  Daniel—To your husband?  313
  Mariana—To Pablo.  314
  Daniel—Where is he?  315
  Mariana  [pointing to the room]—There.  316
  Daniel—Her husband is tired of her already, and flies from her?  317
  Mariana—You fool!… Don’t you see that I have suffered much to-day—that I thought I should have gone mad!… I arrived here almost insensible…. I arrived ill … I begged him to leave me,… and he went to his room. All men are not cruel like you.  318
  Daniel—You have suffered much to-day!  [With a mixture of terror and joy.]  319
  Mariana—Yes: more than you. You thought that there could not be a sorrow more unbearable than yours: well, yes there is: it is mine.  320
  Daniel—Then you don’t love him!  321
  Mariana—Love him!… That man!… Poor Daniel!  322
  Daniel—Then it is myself whom you love?  323
  Mariana—And if I answer that question will you go?  324
  Daniel—Yes.  325
  Mariana—Swear it.  326
  Daniel—I swear it.  327
  Mariana—Then listen well: I only love one man: yourself: Daniel: the Daniel that has possession of my soul. For you … I’d forfeit everything … life itself!  328
  Daniel—Mariana!… But all this is mockery: you are turning me into ridicule.  329
  Mariana—Making mockery of you! No: I have loved you: I do love you: I shall love you forever: I swear it to you by the memory of my mother. So let that man come and deal out death to us both if I don’t speak the truth. You will not believe me, but God knows it: God believes me! Go, Daniel: go: have pity on me and do not forget me!  330
  Daniel—The explanation of all this!… Quick … quick!…  331
  Mariana—Never. It is my secret.  332
  Daniel—No: I know you: you are deceiving me once more. It would not be the first time: it would not be the second … but the last time has now gone by … Speak!… Speak!…  333
  Mariana—Go away.  334
  Daniel—No!  335
  Mariana—You swore you would….  336
  Daniel—What do oaths matter to me—any more than they do to you?  337
  Mariana—Don’t drive me mad. Go away … or I shall call.  338
  Daniel—Well, then, I shall go.  [Runs to the back and opens the door.]  339
  Mariana—What are you doing?  340
  Daniel—Seeing that the way is clear.  341
  Mariana—What for?  342
  Daniel—That I may go out of this house. I shall fulfill my word: I shall go out; but not alone; I mean to go with you.  343
  Mariana—No!… That shall not be.  344
  Daniel—We two together: forever! I have forced the little door of the outer wall: a carriage is waiting for me: and in it we two …  345
  Mariana  [retreating]—To where?  346
  Daniel—How do I know! Anywhere: where you please: where in all tranquillity you may love me, hate me, deceive me … but both together!  347
  Mariana  [flying from him]—No: I say no.  348
  Daniel—Yes; I say yes.  [Seizing her.]  349
  Mariana—Let go, wretch!… You have in you the blood of that wretched creature.  350
  Daniel  [raising her forcibly]—Well if you are obstinate, so shall I be….  351
  Mariana—Let go … keep off…. I despise you … I hate you!… monster … villain … No … no … You shall not do with me what Alvarado did with my mother!  [Beside herself: maddened by the struggle: not knowing what she says.]  352
  Daniel—What?… What does this woman say?…  [Setting her down: she flies from him, stands apart, and gazes at him triumphantly.]  353
  Mariana—That!… That!… What I have told you!… You now see that you shall not bear me away!  354
  Daniel—Alvarado!… Who is Alvarado?… Was it my father?  355
  Mariana—Yes!…  [In another tone: a tone of supreme sorrow.]  356
  Daniel  [with horrible anguish]—And your mother?… Is that what I am to understand?  357
  Mariana—Yes!…  358
  Daniel—And he?… And she?… Then it was for that?  359
  Mariana—For that!  360
  Daniel—For that you have hated me?  361
  Mariana—I ought to have hated you…. Yes…. Hate you!… And I love you with all my soul: what more can you ask?…  [At a distance, in anguish, with weeping, in a low voice.  A solemn but not too prolonged pause.]  362
  Daniel—My God!… My God!… Mariana!… Mariana!… one-word—no more … may I ask you to forgive me?…  363
  Mariana—Forgive you, poor Daniel? For what?  364
  Daniel—And will you continue to love me?  [Approaching her.]  365
  Mariana—Forever!…  366
  Daniel  [still closer]—And you will forget all?  367
  Mariana—All.—But forget you?—No: not that. You I shall never forget.  [Approaching him as if magnetized.]  368
  Daniel—And when all that’s forgotten, you have no past, neither have I.  [Close to her; in a sweet and tempting voice.]  We are two beings who meet, who become united, who shall not now be separated.  [Clasping her round the waist.]  And we two shall go alone thus through the world! We shall see before us a most beautiful garden…. Then … we have but to cross it … Mariana!… Mariana!… My only possession!… My life!… Am I not the being whom you most love in creation? Then what does the rest of creation matter to you? You are with me! Are not you all that exists in my eyes? Then what does anything else matter to me? I am with you. Poor woman, poor Mariana, poor little sufferer in imagination! Make a sacrifice of illusions, phantoms, remembrances; come to a living, present, palpitating happiness. Do you love me? Do I love you? Then let all the rest vanish and pass away like a ridiculous masquerade. Look around you and you will see nothing more than your Daniel, and your moving shadow commingled with mine, and a very bright moon which paints in white for our sake a pathway of that garden which conducts to liberty, to happiness, to love, to delirium, to heaven! Because for us alone, if you have courage, God has created heaven.—Come, Mariana.  369
  Mariana—Daniel!… I can no more … my strength is failing me … my head whirls round … my heart leaps from me … there run through my body cold shudderings that shake me to pieces!… My God!… My God!… Have compassion on me! I love you, I love you, Daniel, most dearly!  [Now conquered.]  370
  Daniel—Poor Mariana, you are trembling with cold. It is the faint breeze of the coming morn…. When inside my carriage I shall wrap you up well…. Look … look … here you have left your traveling cloak.  [Picking up the one which was left on a chair.]  I shall help you … my Mariana….  [Putting the cloak on her.]  Quick … make haste … let us go…. Am I not helping you?… My Mariana…. My own Mariana…. You now see whether I love you…. I am helping you as if you were a little child…. The little child of my soul!… My own little child!  371
  Mariana—It was in this way my mother dressed me that night!… No … let go … Pablo!…  [Dashing herself against the door of her husband’s room.]  Pablo!… Pablo!… Come—for I am an infamous woman!…  372
  Daniel—Mad woman, what are you doing?  373
  Mariana—Now you shall see!… Pablo, help!… Your honor calls you!…  374
  Daniel—Do you then hate me? Do you not love your Daniel?  375
  Mariana—You shall now see whether I love you…. Pablo!… Come to me!… to your vile wife!… To me!…  376
Note 1. AUTHOR’S NOTE.—In order to lighten this scene in the representation, whatever is within inverted commas may be omitted. [back]
Note 2. The author of the ‘Storia Universale,’ etc. [back]

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.