THE PAINTER OF HIS OWN DISHONOUR Essay

Published: 2021-06-29 01:28:44
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A monologue from the play by Pedro Calderon de la Barca
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Eight Dramas of Calderon. Trans. Edward Fitzgerald. London: Macmillan & Co., 1906.
SERAFINA: Poor argument! I rather draw that heWho ventures on such desperate acts can haveNo true respect for her he outrages,And therefore no true love. No, daring traitor–But I’ll not strive to break the heart of flint,But wear it with my tears. Hear me, Alvaro,In pity–in mercy–hear me.This thing is done, there is no remedy,Let us not waste the time in arguingWhat better had been done; the stars so ruled it–Yea, providence that rules the stars. Well then,What next? Alvaro, I would speak of this;And if’t be right I owe you any thing,Be it for this one boon, a patient hearing.Listen to me–I never draw a breath but ’tis on fireWith Juan’s vengeance; never move a stepBut think I see his fierce eyes glaring at meFrom some dark corner of this desolate houseIn which my youth is buried. And what gain youBy all this crime and misery? My body,But not my soul; without possessing which,Beauty itself is but a breathing corpse,But a cold marble statue, unsuffusedWith the responsive hue of sympathy,Possess’d but not enjoy’d.Oh, ill betide that villain love, not love,That all its object and affection findsIn the mere contact of encircling arms!But if this move you not–consider, Alvaro–Don Juan is a nobleman–as suchBound to avenge his honour; he must know‘Twas you who did this monstrous act, for FloraWould tell him all. There is one remedy:‘Tis this, that you, despairing of my love,Which you can never gain–forego me quite,And give me up to some cold convent’s cloister,Where buried I may wear away–

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