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Scene 1. The Island of Lesbos. Enter Oranteo, Lucindo, and Lauro.

Oranteo: So it is quiet in Lesbos as it is in Crete.

Lauro: It is never quiet to someone who is in love; passion is an avocation that subjects the soul and heart to a blind appetite.

Oranteo: Revenge sears and disquiets me: They have left for Athens, Lucindo; they leave, and challenge the barbarian Teseo. Paris the Trojan be my pledge: Tell him his weapons offend the Prince of Lesbos, Oranteo, dare him, the betrayer and malborn, that I do not believe it to be of Jupiter; Tell him that he was a coward ,and not the audacious victor over the ugly Minotaur; but rather deceitful Ulysses, who importunately killed the son of Poseidon. And tell him that if he fears war because he suspects danger, that I do not challenge him to fight in my land, nor in his land, but on the undulating field of the sea. The theatre that these islands enclose will serve as a place of war, where a ship has a free and secure place to meet the challenge.

Lucindo: I will go to complete your desire in full: but I do not know if you guess the outcome of the battle aright, because in Athens they tell much of the great deeds of Teseo.

Oranteo: All of them are dubious. The tale they tell of his deed with Hercules I do not believe, nor the one where he broke the doors of hell; yes, I believe that he went to Colchis, but it is known that he was with Jason on the first ship. Anyway, I find in the robbery of Medea, the Golden Fleece and the Golden Apples and all that, that he employs theft in all he does; I pledge on the soul that I adore.

Lucindo: Anyway, you want the sea as the field of battle?

Oranteo: Well, who can better give us with due decorum a place of challenge in the first deck of a ship? On board with our own men, and raising the two for the ladders,[1] our skill will have the battle to ourselves, where the cowards have no wings.

Lucindo: And who do you name to judge between you?

Oranteo: The gods of the sea, who will clear crystal halls upon the surf; and from heaven the deities alone. They beautiful nymphs will crown the happy victor with bouquets of coral, and I will be, no doubt, that jealous one equal to the sighs of the stars.

Lucindo: I go to obey you.

Oranteo: And I, spirited Lucindo, wait for my favour from them.

Lucindo: The heavens give you righteous victory!

He goes.          

Oranteo: And should I die, what greater glory? Lauro, I send you to take my word to the people, because the confused noise of the cities offends me. My love aims to live amid the silent solitudes, there I wish to entrust myself to the hunt, and the forests would tell me their truths; because there soft streams murmur there, and not servants of my mad jealousy.

Lauro: In short, you want to live your life in the countryside, wallowing in your sad love for beautiful Ariadna?

Oranteo: I want to spend my loneliness in it: I will follow the wild beasts of the mountain. Also war, because it is her image. For to one who has said goodbye to his joy, loneliness is sweet company.


Scene 2. Enter Ariadna, dressed as a (male) shepherd, and Diana,[2] a peasant.

Ariadna: Would you like me to leave, Diana?

Diana: I have conquered the hard rocks, due to having seen such a beast in human beauty. Were you born of tigers?

Ariadna: If I was born of them, I would not have fled from you, but would have gone to you looking ruthless.

Diana: Well, Montano, you have paid me well with your hospitality, in faith, when I found myself lost in the gullies of that meadow. Would to God that the sea had eaten you before you saw the hovels on this shore, because you came to kill me! If I were to fall here as a woman to be buried, would you just laugh at me?

Ariadna: Diana, what can I do, if I do not love?

Diana: Try it and you will know, you traitor.

Ariadna: How is it possible to know? Teach me?

Diana: I don’t believe that it is possible to give instruction in love. But it possible for hope and desire to guide you.

Ariadna: What are hope and desire?

Diana: Desire is for any good, and hope, that is for those who live while they have not reached it.

Ariadna: I do not know rhetoric; speak to me in my own language, that is the philomosophy[3] that the devil taught you.

Diana: Now well, I want to give you a lesson in love, although the art really only is to see, and be seen to please me. Look at me.

Ariadna: I have already looked at you.

Diana: More, I say.

Ariadna: Another look?

Diana: Imagine that you like me, even though I lack beauty.

Ariadna: I am imagining it.

Diana: Now you want to enjoy imagining it.

Ariadna: How?

Diana: With the performance, that is where love entertains.

Ariadne: What performance is that?

Diana: Is there anything more rustic?

Ariadna: I am a fool!

Diana: Either you despise me because I am tedious, or you are the most ignorant of any man born.

Ariadna: So my woes have made me: I will make amends later.

Diana: If you wait like Narcissus to fall in love with yourself, my eyes will make fountains of anger; when you look at me that will be the warning.

Ariadna: Your warning also annoys me. When I see a woman crying, I find myself falling down laughing in sheer pleasure.

Diana: Well may you despise me, but in faith, you will cry yourselfsome day.

Enter Fineo.

Fineo: The cow-yard looks good, you have looked after it well.

Ariadna: What do you want of me? If Diana will let me be.

Fineo: You are always complaining! You never stop these devilish complaints.

Ariadna: She wants me to love her, and I do not love her, nor do I know how

Phineus: Eh. If it were me, I would love her. Get out of here, you!

Ariadna: I should go?

Diana: Not that.

Ariadna: Well, since you don’t want me to…

She goes.

Diana: Oh, ingrate!

Fineo: Stop, listen to Fineo!

Diana: That my desire bores you!

Fineo: Listen to my complaints for a while, instead.

Diana: What do you want?

Fineo: That you stay here, and listen to me for a thousand words.

Diana: No. Do you see where the goats go?

Fineo: Where do they go?

Diana: Up there.

Fineo: Point out the way to Montano. I believe the climb would kill me.

Diana: Don’t wear yourself out, Fineo.I will not like you anymore, if you do not make it so I can marry Montano.

Fineo: Me?

Diana: Yes, you: he will not say no if you beg him.

Fineo: Should this happen, my love will fall down on the ground in his state!

Diana: If you don’t, you are lighting ice on fire.

Fineo: You’re in an amusing mood; promise me a favour for after the marriage. Arranging this would please me, but I don’t dare do it, because I know that Montano is not for marrying.

Diana: What’s wrong with him?

Fineo: A defect.

Diana: Well, your love comes to delude me in vain!

Fineo: By Jupiter, he is not for woman, that is for certain!

Diana: You have uncovered your jealousy, and your jealous interest. You remain a villain.

She leaves.

Fineo: I have told you the truth, and if he changes his mind, there will not be a man Montano anymore.

Ariadna returns.

Ariadna: What is to stop my life?

Fineo: In this I would be careful.

Ariadna: And I am not that. Where did the fool woman go?

Fineo: She has gone already.

Ariadna: How many woes have come to me since Oranteo left!

Fineo: Teseo carried Fedra off, repaying your love by forgetting it.

Ariadna: Would you not go to the city find out what Oranteo intendsl if he has kindled another new love, or if he feels my loneliness? For the shepherds who have gone there a few times say that he landed a few days ago, and holds court there.

Fineo: I will do this to serve you, and because this inclination is founded on reason.

Ariadna: I will repay in full the crime of absence that I injured Oranteo with. When he looks at the state my misery has brought me, and his desire, then all our past love will return to be brought back to life. Here, in this place where that villainous betrayer left me.

But it was a just punishment for Theseus to leave me, because I forgot Oranteo to make love to my enemy, and to the deities of heaven, few have known love.

Fineo: I will go see if there is a place in your love for his sleeplessness.Trust me, My Lady, I serve you loyally.

Ariadna: I know you do.

Fineo: I was born to serve you.

Fineo leaves.

Ariadna: My repentant love has wanted a bastard love, contrary to the first love. He turned to love, that the true fire would be kindled in the hidden guts. They say truly that absence causes forgetfulness, I did wrong and I want to apologise. But I hope to prove that hope is not forgetten and love returns to be what it has been. When this the fire assists the memory, it does not matter that the absence let forgetfulness take hold. He covered the absence with ashes, but as he inhaled the sweet vision, the flame returned to its first essence.

Of course, if this is an accurate representation of how they dress on the island, I don't see how dressing as a man would really have worked.

Of course, if this is an accurate representation of how they dress on the island, I don’t see how dressing as a man would really have worked.


Scene 3. Enter Oranteo, Lauro, and Hunters.

Lauro: We cannot follow him: the water is straight ahead.

Oranteo: So he would die in it like me, embraced.[4] Lauro,my sad eyes go into the water.

Lauro: The fields do not divert your anger?

Hunter #1: Pierced with a hard arrow, it was to give poison to the first source.

Oranteo: Ah, of that prisoner with a feeling soul!

Hunter #2: If you want to follow him, it is near the river.

Oranteo: My eyes make it to be by the sea.

Lauro: If you wish to rest, a little shepherd has appeared here.

Ariadna: People of the court to offer consolation for my woe.

Oranteo: Hail, happy shepherd, who lives in the fields with a liberty that you have not lost, because you have not seen beauty, and given your will in bondage to love! Would you have a hunter of wild beasts rest in this forest, where a beast he tracks comes alone to die?

Ariadne: Apollo avail me! What is this illusion that puts love in my eyes?

Oranteo: You do not speak?

Ariadna: It was absorbed in your face, and so enamoured in your elegance, as when we do not see these mountains, that I could hardly could hit on a response to you. Poor and humble huts overshadow the valley you look upon, and it is surrounded by gentle streams and sweet trees; if you want to rest, it has no white marbles, golden frames or crystal glasses; it has black walls, beds of straw, roofs of straw and hard corrugated lanes – there is its architecture in brief.[5]

Oranteo: Lauro, I am not myself, because I have come to imagine that this shepherd looks exactly the same as the most beautiful Ariadna.

Lauro: You are not fooled by love, for in my life I have seen things that appeared more strange. Only the skin, browned by the sun, is the difference between their beauties.

Oranteo: Shepherd, do you know who I am?

Ariadna: Someone suspicious.

Oranteo: Would you like to come with me?

Ariadne: I will not leave the simple life in the green fields for the lies of your court, if you made me Prince of Lesbos.

Oranteo: But is it not better to live with such a gift?

Ariadna: Where everyone is dependent on a Lord’s bounty, everything is bad; it is better to stay here by the tree with its fruit in season, than with silver plate; better to drink from one’s own cupped hands, than from the glass of the golden cup; here, without money, is a place familiar with all that nature gives.

Oranteo: Your ingenuity is equal to your beauty. I am going to rest. You, meanwhile, Lauro, have to collect all of these people, and arrange that with this little shepherd I will dwell in these valleys until Lucindo brings news from Athens.

Ariadna: What do you have in Athens?

Oranteo: An ingrate, that the more I miss the more it kills me.

He goes.

Ariadna: Heavens, I know your great mercy, I praise and bless, while deserving punishment, you have given me liberty and a great prize! This is my beloved Oranteo, who I have paid so badly, who is faithfully in the same state of desire. I am stirred within to see to this duty. Come back, come back, heart, to that which the soul once had. How do I speak to him? What will I do? I am afraid: the shepherds are coming: leave me, fears, which aggrieve faith.

Enter Diana and Doriclea, peasants, and Fabio, Florelo, and Liseno, cowherds.

Fabio: All has to be arranged for the day of the festival.

Liseno: Florelo should bring the flowers and cut laurel from the woods; I will make a rich theatre where the king himself could sit.

Florelo: What’s happening, Montano?

Ariadna: While walking the sheep as they shear the ground, chewing young shoots, I have been making songs.

Diana: Will they be of love?

Ariadna: They could be.

Diana: Yes, but you do not have in your life the one who you should.

Ariadna: You mean you?

Diana: I know it.

Ariadna: If I was ungrateful, it weighs upon me; have you seen the big-chinned[6] king, newly returned from Crete?

Diana: Where?

Ariadna: Not far from here: he has gone hunting wild beasts.

Diana: Watch that he would not hunt you.

Ariadna: Am I a wild beast?

Liseno: While we are talking about things related to kings, you know that our festival, each year at April, has a king and a queen.

Ariadna: Well, what is the point of this king?

Fabio: He commands the shepherds of this mountain, and they obey.

Ariadna: He should be so lucky!

Florelo: Well, don’t think it is a new custom in these mountains. No less than a goddess picks out the king and tests his faith.

Ariadna: A goddess?

Florelo: Behind this mountain, where a river exchanges flowers for pearls and kisses its plants with a silver mouth, there is a very ancient temple, which has almost no doors. And there is a beautiful statue of the renowned Minerva, and to herwe shepherds go crowned with ivy, and we ask that she signal who are to be the king and queen, and she tells him to kiss her foot, because the statue puts her hand on the head of those who are to be king and queen.

Ariadna: In faith, I have to go see it, to see if I am the one it choses.

Liseno: Hopefully you are!

Fabio: Let’s go cut laurels.

Florelo: Let’s go, Diana.

Diana: If you are chosen to be king, what will you command me?

Only Doriclea and Ariadna remain.

Ariadna: No more than that you hate me.

Doriclea: Hear a word aside.

Ariadna: What do you want of me, Doriclea?

Doriclea: Know that I wish so very much to be queen, and as women are subtle when they desire something, I have thought of a certain artifice.

Ariadna: Artifice, of what sort?

Doriclea: They dress the statue of the goddess every year, and this task is entrusted to me. I will put her clothes on you, and you will be in her place; for your handsomeness, Montano, is greater than her beauty; and so you can pick me for me to be queen.

Ariadna: So, you want me to dress as a woman?

Doriclea: What do you lose in doing for me what I want?

Ariadna: Well, you want me to have patience, to be made of marble and on the altar?

Doriclea: Just for a little time.

Ariadna: When I am daring to be the Goddess, don’t you see that they’ll know it’s me?

Doriclea: It is impossible for them, because you will be almost covered with branches and flowers.

Ariadna: Well now, I would like to be a goddess, just so you don’t take me as a coward.

Doriclea: There is no danger: for the people of this country are as rustic as the pines.

Ariadna: It is sensible to obey you, because one in love likes to deny nothing to anyone who asks.

Doriclea: So… who do you love?

Ariadna: Am I not a man?

Doriclea: Diana complains of that.

Ariadna: Where I do not like, it is understood; where I do like…

Doriclea: A little hope – you like me!

Ariadna: Possibly not, because you make me the goddess Minerva.

Doriclea: What does it matter if you are a woman on the outside, if you are a man?

Ariadna: Well said: but indeed, the gods and the beautiful goddesses, is it not good that we love the people of the earth?

They leave.

A statue of Minerva somewhere in Germany.

A statue of Minerva somewhere in Germany.


 Scene 4. Teseo and Albante enter.

Teseo: This has given the answer.

Albante: It is very much in agreement with your divine worth.

Teseo: To the necessary point, Albante. As Neptune already knows my exploits with a famous ship for the Golden Fleece. Oranteo, the Prince of Lesbos, has challenged me to a battle, saying neither his land nor mine seems safe. I do not believe this, because I assert that in his own land I might best demonstrate my worth.

Albante: Does he want the sea to be the theatre of this battle?

Teseo: He desires his vile death. Where is the fame that will quieten him: my deeds, my spoils, which would occupy their tongues and eyes? He has sleept, perhaps, through that history with which so many pens are occupied, in which my consecrated name lives in eternal memory, perhaps he has not seen the golden statues, with the defeat of the half-bull monster? I point my arms, and Neptune calms the sea. Aeolus gives me wind, and by the side of the watery element, with this angry arm I stain the crystal saltwater with blood.

Fedra enters, and stops him.

Fedra: What is this, my Lord? Stop: where are you going?

Teseo: My lady, to a crazy challenge. The Prince Oranteo wishes to prove his arms with Teseo, for your sister that the villain adores. I have nothing to hide from you, this journey being such an occasion.

Phaedra: The tears and sighs of a soul in love will make the journey with you. If you die on your journey, your ship will be my grave. My dear, why should an arrogant youth like this make you leave your dearest wife?

Teseo: My Fedra, do not be afraid, for this is an honourable cause; it is not good that a man boasts in proud words, if he cannot do what he claims. Hercules, what would he say? What would Jason and the Thebans say, if it were known in Greece that I did not break up in my strong hands this coward, who just yesterday was recording his first eensy-weensy glimmering of mustache?[7]

Fedra: Well, my sweet, they will say that the remora Fedra stopped you from going to this challenge, because I have embraced you like ivy, like an elm is without arms when they are tied in affectionate knots. Hercules occupies the dais of Iole, that beautiful queen, where they say he is spinning like a timid maid. If they know love, they will see that this is love, not cowardice. Jason left to go to war more than once; and in the same way angry Mars loved, and dropped down to the ground; he put his diamond weapons aside, and the boy Love, naked, played with his helmet and shield. Taken in a steel net, Vulcan showed the conclave of the Gods his fierce appearance, and they mocked his strong hand, although well the most honest would also have been caught in such nets. You have made exploits that can excuse any cowardly suspicions regarding this journey; knowing who you are, hang the sword, for a lion never showed his fangs to tender lambs.

Teseo: Fedra, I cannot leave off going to Lesbos; but I will do a thing which exceeds it in fairness, which is to take you with me, sweet wife, and offer the spoils that I will seize there to your beautiful eyes. Are you agreeable with this prospect? Will you return to the sea?

Fedra: With you my husband, I will happily pass the water of oblivion, and the sandy fields warmed by the sun of sterile Arabia and scorched Libya; I do not want more glory than to accompany you and see you.

Teseo: Come with me, certain of victory, if his name merits this punishment.

Fedra: Now these things show how the heart governs our souls.

They go.


Scene 5. The shepherds come to the temple, crowned, with music and much joy. They dance.

They made Venus of May [8]

Always an interesting goddess

The shepherds of the island

Have more empire here

As the months of May

Are her best months

And because they are all green

And because the goddess is green

Belisa and Antandra

Would walk to the spring

And the people that would pass

Would sing this joyfully:

“Give for the May

What is beautiful and elegant.”

Riselo went by and gave

A doubloon for pins

And Fabio gave for slippers

That feet may perform always.

Bato went by and gave nothing,

And shepherdesses, on seeing him

Such a coward in giving [dativo = neo-Latin methinks]

They sang in this way:

“Pass by, pass by, the skinflint

That doesn’t wear white nor is he crowned”

Love passed, and although naked

He would carry hanging from his neck

A quiver of golden arrows

Fletched in white and green

“Give for the May

A knight

Worthy in honour

Though not in money.”

Love, between the shepherdesses,

Would distribute golden arrows,

They would think it was money

And grab them in fistfuls

They would fall in love,

And Venus would die with laughter

To see how the would sang

And they would say by the way:

“I was going to get honey from the beekeeper,[9]

And he is stung by a bee because he does not return.”


Liseno: It was sung and danced well.

Floreno: Famously, in faith.

Fabio: How good the jokes were!

Fineo: If love is always broke, why would he be given a go on this occasion?

Diana: So as not to insult the May.

Fineo That is your mother-wit, and it’s not sensible. That is ‘the dance of the skinflint’, and it always works out well for love, as it always it does those who are given what they want for free.

Lauro and Oranteo enter.

Oranteo: Now I go to the temple to see the little shepherd.

Lauro: It is well that you have done so, for it puts the heart at rest.

Oranteo: More Lauro, I marvel more the more I look at him.

Lauro: And I, the more I try, the more it appears he is the likeness of she whom you adore.

Oranteo: Stand here so we can see what they want to do.

Lauro: They will want to offer wreathes and bouquets at the temple.

Oranteo: I cannot see Montano there. If he stayed in the village, it is no longer possible for this to be a festival for me, Lauro.

Diana: Uncover the beautiful image.

Liseno: We will know who is to be king.

Doriclea: Now you have to see how curious I am about it.

A curtain is removed to show Ariadna on the altar in a spear and helmet, with loose hair.

Liseno: In faith, that is a famous thing.

Fabio: I have never seen the like.

Oranteo: Is there anything more lifelike? Lauro, how good is this goddess?

Lauro: As you are so passionate, I agree that the view is as you crave it.

Oranteo: I am greatly angered by your neglect of my warning: look at her well; it appears she has the same beauty, transferred.

Lauro: I say it is such an imitation, that it presents the same portrayal, as a crystal mirror shows the face of the one who looks at it.

Oranteo: Is that truth or a lie?

Lauro: Listen awhile to their council.

Florelo: Sovereign goddess, who will you pick from these shepherds?

Liseno: Blessed so much in love that you give your weapons to Paris, I would be king for you.

Fabio: Reach for all the heads.

Diana: Going so strongly, you’ll trip yourself up.

Fineo: Give the sign to me.

Doriclea: And to me.

The hand of Ariadna points to the heads of Fineo and Doriclea.

Phineus: Yay, I am the king!

Doriclea: And I am the queen.

Fineo: I command…

Fabio: What do you command?

Fineo: That you bear me in a twinkling, I say, on your shoulders, for I don’t want to walk, to where I will make you eat.

Diana: And you don’t command another thing?

Fineo: I command, powerful queen, that you be my wife!

Doriclea: I command that it be truly so.

Fineo: I command that it be possible for it to be so true, as to see if it is a good melon or a bad melon.[10]

Liseno: Command good things.

Fineo: I command that all fools should shut up, and that they are given the precious things that they gain by shutting up.

Fabio: This is asking the impossible.

Fineo: I command that envy leaves off, and goes to virtue, and gives good counsel, not terrible outrages. I command that no woman can ask for money.

Doriclea: Well, how will they do the housework?

Fineo: Do not be importunate, queen, or I will break your head!

Doriclea: Oh! To the queen?

Fineo: And to the devil, if I may break through a word when I’m in my greatness: I command finally that all those who play with me lose; I command that no friend has flattering ways; I command that no one be discreet with confidences; I command that a sonnet have thirty lines.

Fabio: Well, what for?

Fineo: Because poets nowadays need lots of lines; but let us leave off these diverting times, my Queen and Lady, these commands and duties: let us go, and give me your hand.

Doriclea: Sing!

Diana: Where is Montano?

Fineo: Do I smell a king?

Doriclea: You smell a bridegroom.

They go. Lauro and Oranteo remain.

Oranteo: Well said; there will not be a thing more discreet than seizing her.

Lauro: It is an easy thing to take this goddess to your palace. And in it you can contemplate Ariadna.

Oranteo: Be there.

Ariadna: Men, what is this?

Oranteo: It spoke!

Lauro: Yes.

Oranteo: Goddess, if you are offended, pardon; but you appeared to be the same as a mortal beauty that once gave…

Lauro: Sovereign goddess, that gave love advice!

Ariadna: The one you seek, Oranteo, is in these islands; and very soon you will see her. Teseo left her here, because of his wife’s jealousy.

Oranteo: Close, Lauro, the curtain, because the divine goddess has told me what it pleases her to know: she told me Ariadna is here.

Lauro: What great news!

Oranteo: Panchaea , Arabia, and Sabaea give you myrrh and amber. They will kill on your sacred altars oxen, goats and lambs, and even the fiercest bulls, if your fiercnesss required it.

Lucindo enters.

Lucindo: Is the prince here?

Oranteo: Here you hold me, Lucindo my friend.

Lucindo: My lord, all at the palace have witnessed the embassy of the arrogant Teseo, in the person of Albante.

Oranteo: And what does his Arrogance say?

Lucindo: ”Is it possible that Oranteo has such presumption? Tell him that I go to sea, in order to punish his presumptious thoughts.Not in the field of the sea, but in your palace I will enter, and I will kill you, and you will…”

Oranteo: That’s enough. Come with me; we will await him on the beach, I will make your people go on their way with the news of punishment.

Lauro: Absence makes a man daring.

Oranteo: I will have Teseo know that there is valour enough in Oranteo to take his life.


Scene 6. Enter the king Minos, Feniso, and some people.

Minos: As this is the land of my friend, we may land here.

Feniso: A captain sent word of your coming.

Minos: Where is this challenge that we have heard Oranteo intended with Theseus?

Feniso: What arrogant youth thinks to test himself in the field of the sea with the enchanted force that has robbed me of Ariadne, just to give affront; who sends a challenge, and then waits for his opponent to come.

Minos: Oranteo is very gallant.

Feniso: Sure; but the Duke of Athens is the most notable man who has ever taken arms in Greece: He had Hercules as a companion, and went with Jason to Medea in Colchis.

Minos: Arrogance may blind the most valiant, and the humble may humble the proud.

Oranteo, Lauro, and some people enter.

Oranteo: You come to my islands, King Minos?

Minos: Oh, valourous defense of my honor!

Oranteo: How so, my Lord, without telling me?

Minos: While coming with my soldiers to Athens, the fierce fury of the sea has thrown me in the arms of the wind, and puts me on your shores.

Oranteo: I am glad that it has been so. My islands thank the wind and the sea, because today they are honoured.

They touch.

Minos: Hail! What commoners[11] are these?

Feniso: Some fleeing shepherds, forsaking their villages.

Fabio: Flee this way, Liseno.

Doriclea: Diana, do not stop, there are soldiers on the beach.

Diana: I am trembling to go on, Doriclea.

Minos: What is this, friend shepherds?

Fineo: My Lord, they say the furious Duke of Athens has arrived to destroy these islands.

Minos: Already he has disembarked?

Fineo: With some soldiery –this is quite clear.

Minos: What will we do?

Oranteo: To see how the concert of the sea breaks upon the rocks! But alone would not dare.

Enter Teseo, Albante, Fedra, and some people.

Teseo: There is a person I want to speak with.

Albante: There are people here.[12]

Oranteo: Why do you come to my land in this way?

Teseo: I am lazing here that here you may offer yourself, because you know that Teseo has no dread of human strength; that the divines desire him not even to be afraid of the Gods. Here on the sea, in the court, with weapons as you wanted, I’ll give you to understand that I’ve only ever stolen away Fedra, as my proper wife.

Oranteo: I well know that you beautiful Ariadna in these islands; and as you do not have her, there is no longer a reason to make battle or war.

Minos: If that stops your part of the quarrel, do not think, traitor, that it ceases mine. I am Minos who you with such stealth robbed of his beautiful daughters.

Fineo: What devils brought this king Minos or Minus out of Crete?

Teseo: Well, what do you intend now, if Fedra and I are married, and I have brought Fedra with me?

Fedra: My king and Lord, I am here.

Minos: Daughter, though my soul rejoices, to see you without your sister gives me reason to be sad. Oh, that the Gods had given Teseo and beautiful Ariadna into my hands, or that I had taken this armada of over a hundred sails to the depths!

Oranteo: I will help you now that you have become less arrogant.

Fineo: I want to stop this war. Do you know me, unconquered Duke?

Teseo: Who are you?

Fineo: Can you not tell Fineo?

Teseo: Oh, my Fineo!

Fineo: I have lived in these forests since you left me.

Teseo: And what of Ariadne?

Fineo: She is dead.

Teseo: Dead?

Fineo: Yes, but here is a shepherd here who watches twenty sheep and is something extraordinary. I will bring him, or should I say, her, out of danger. You will laugh, when you return to sea, of this king Cumin-os, kinsman of Caraway.

Teseo: Go with all speed; we Greeks are notable for our industry in such grave business.

Fineo: Wait, while I go for her.

He goes.

Teseo: King Minos, and you, Oranteo, it is not because I am afraid that I acquiesced to give over Ariadna; but only because in these lands she has turned into a shepherd, cheerful and happy to escape from Feniso.

Feniso: From me, why?

Teseo: Because you know that woman, if she hates, will try any nonsense.

Minos: Should Ariadna come, though it be in this guise she seems to prefer, it will be as if she gives me life.

Enter Fineo and Ariadna.

Phineus: Beautiful Ariadna arrives!

Ariadna: It’s not me, don’t you see?

Minos: The living Gods, that is her!

Oranteo: No it isn’t, my Lord; that is a youth that here watches the sheep of this Fineo, who I have seen a thousand times in these forests.

Fedra: How not? Give me your arms.

Ariadna: I beg you to stop: my master is here watching me.

Teseo: Fineo, what joke is this? By Mars, that is Ariadna!

Fineo: Well it is time to be known; all of you give the hands of friendship.

Oranteo: Then what is she?

Fineo: And I, who should I be? Fineo, the greatest friend of Teseo.

Diana: Aiee, Doriclea! Montano is a woman!

Oranteo: Heavens! Today to your glory I will make Lesbos celebrate my story.

Minos: Daughter, I am sorry to see you in such a state; but finding you has given me significant joy. Take the hand of Oranteo, and we will make peace for the feast.

Fineo: Give Doriclea to me.

Doriclea: I am your slave.

Theseus: Here ends the emnity.

Oranteo: And the play.

In one of the proper versions, Ariadne is married to Dionysus at the end: here they are in a wedding chariot, with lots of cats.

In one of the proper versions, Ariadne is married to Dionysus at the end: here they are in a wedding chariot, with lots of cats.


[1]subiendo los dos por las escalas’. I have no idea what this refers to.

[2] In one version of the myth, the Goddess Artemis (Diana) is angry with Ariadne, and kills her after she is abandoned on the island. So this Diana is Lope de Vega being very silly and postmodern with the original story.

[3]filomocofia’ which doesn’t seem to be a real word anywhere

[4]abrazado’, which is ‘seared’, but ‘abrasado’ seems to make much more sense.

[5] This would have been performed on a bare stage, hence the necessity for the characters to occasionally describe the scenery like this.

[6]mueso’, which is also defined as ‘an adjective to describe a lamb with very small ears’; as a noun it means ‘morsel’, so it might mean something like ‘scrumptious’.

[7] There is one very short word for this in Spanish.

[8] These lines are attributed to Fedra, but that doesn’t make any sense to me.

[9]la colmenera’, which ought to be ‘lady beekeeper’, but it goes with the masculine pronoun in the next line. Also the verb ‘to get’ used here can mean something rude, so I suspect there is some double entendre here that I don’t understand.

[10]melón o si es badea’, where badea is defined as low quality melon.

[11]This is that word caja again whose meaning I haven’t been able to find.

[12] Henceforth Albante will be known as ‘stating-the-obvious-man’.