José Echegaray.

The son of Don Juan; an original drama in 3 acts inspired by the reading of Ibsen's work entitled Gengangere online

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man speaks to another man for I still am a man
you are about to do great mischief. Because if you
don't say to me, " Renounce," I shall not renounce
Carmen ; I shall embrace her and drag her down
with me to the abyss.

BERM. You see that I can do no more.

LAZ. You see that love is life the oil of life which
propagates itself. And what will be our posterity ?
Come, say it, boldly. A swarm of neurotics, of idiots,


of lunatics, perhaps of criminals. A common sewer
hurrying on to death the wrecks of humanity. In
candour, in honesty, say it.

BERM. Oh ! what a head ! Indeed, if you continue
thus, I assure you that you will go mad.

LAZ. By the memory of your mother, by the honour
of your family, by the happiness of your children, by
the sacred duty of your profession, by your conscience
as an upright man, by your God, by piety, by com-
passion , if you had a daughter would you allow

her to marry me ?

BERM. To-day ? No ! ( Wishes to continue.)

LAZ. Enough ! nor to-morrow either. Enough
never thank you. My sentence ! Carmen, Carmen !
(Falls on the sofa.)

BERM. Lazarus for God's sake you did not allow
me to finish. Lazarus ! What a creature ! Listen to
me. I must call. (Pulls the bell.) He is losing his
wits Lazarus ! (The bell.) Eh ! Here ! (going to
the door.)


BERM. Senora !

DOL. (running to him). Bermudez !

JUAN (to BERMUDEZ). My Lazarus !

DOL. (to BERMUDEZ). My boy !

JUAN. But what is this ? Lord, what is this ?

LAZ. (rising). Nothing. We called they did not
appear. We continued to call and you have come.
And I called because I wished to introduce you to my
kind friend, Doctor Bermudez. My mother (intro-
ducing her) ; you already know each other. Is it not
true that you know each other ?

DOL. My son !


She and LAZARUS embrace.

LAZ. (to BERMUDEZ). Don't be surprised. As I
was hunting a whole week and as we did not see
each other on my return we were embracing.

BERM. It's natural.

LAZ. My father (introducing him). I have already
seen my father this morning, that's why I don't
embrace him. (JUAN looks at him imploringly.)
However, that you may not imagine I love him less
than my mother, I shall embrace him likewise.
Father !

JUAN. Lazarus ! (Embracing him.) Closer to me 1
closer ! so ! (To DOLORES, aside.) You see,
Dolores, you see ? He has such strength ; he has
nearly squeezed the breath out of me. It's all folly
what you have been telling me.

DOL. Yes quite true folly.

JUAN (to BERMUDEZ). What's this boy suffering
from ?

BERM. Nothing : in substance, nothing.

JUAN (to DOL.). Are you listening ? What a head
you have !

LAZ. Make your minds easy. Delicate slightly
delicate. Don't be cast down, mother.

DOL. (caressing him). Lazarus, -my son, my Lazarus !

JUAN (approaching LAZARUS with envy). And
must I be cast down or not ? Oh, it matters little
whether or not I be cast down.

LAZ. Neither must you be down-hearted, father.
There is no cause. I am perfectly well ; let Ber-
mudez tell you. And I am going to work for a while
(with anguish), because I can do no more (restraining
himself) I can do no more with this idleness, eh ?
And with the regimen that you have prescribed for me


and by following your advice within a short time
you shall see the resurrection of Lazarus ! Good-bye,
Bermudez ; my own mother, father and sefior illus-
trious doctor note that phrase that phrase the
resurrection of Lazarus. Ah ! for this Lazarus there
is no resurrection. [Exit.

JUAN (to BERMUDEZ). Speak, by Christ crucified !
I know that it is nothing but I wish you to speak.
Come, my Lazarus what ? Why does this woman
say such things ? Jesus, Jesus, what a woman ! You
have always been the same. ( To BERMUDEZ.) Don't
speak lightly these are very important matters.
However, come ! let me know, let me know !

BERM. Sefior Don Juan, you understand

DOL. Have you changed your opinion ?

BERM. Substantially it remains unchanged.

DOL. My God ! my God ! (Throws herself sobbing
on a chair.)

BERM. But we must have a little calmness ; Senora,
for God's sake.

JUAN. Calm ? I should think so ; since what you
two say is impossible : then nothing else was required.
As if this could do no more than come down upon a
genius like Lazarus and all in a moment. If it were
I good, because I Sefior de Bermudez I may be
puffed off any day ; but Lazarus, Lazarus, consider
well what you say, for these things are very important.
And they must be thought over deliberately. Very
important very important indeed.

BERM. You are right, Don Juan. And now, you'll
both excuse me, I am deeply affected and I could
not co-ordinate two ideas.

JUAN (aside, to his wife). Are you listening ? He
could not co-ordinate two ideas. I say, I say, why
did I trust to him !


BERM. Later on to-morrow some other day I
shall have the pleasure of paying my compliments to
you and of seeing Lazarus. Now, permit me to retire.

DOL. (rising and hurrying towards hint). But you
are not yet going back to Madrid ? No, for God's

BERM. No, senora. I shall remain here fifteen or
twenty days longer.

DOL. Then, come again ; come again, I implore
you !

JUAN. Yes ; come again.

BERM. Yes, senor, I shall come again.

DOL. To-morrow ?

JUAN. If you gave a little look in to-night eh ?
You could take coffee with us. I have some

BERM. To-night I cannot. I shall come to-morrow.

DOL. To-morrow, then, Bermudez. (Accompany-
ing him.) Save my son !

JUAN. See you to-morrow, Senor de Bermudez. And
have a care what you do with my Lazarus !

BERM. Till to-morrow, then, Senora. (Pressing
her hand.) And my dear senor.
DOLORES falls on a chair : JUAN walks about with
difficulty, but with an air of great vigour.

JUAN. This man does not know what he's talking
about. You have now heard him ; he can't co-ordi-
nate two ideas. How simple we are ! What, and do
people lose their talents and lose their heads as one
might lose a hat ? Here, I got rid of my hat, and
thus got rid of my head ? Bah, bah / Idiots are
what they are from infancy. Nor do I say idiots only
fools have been fools all through life ; there is
nobody more consistent than a fool. jf But as to a man
of genius ! Oh ! Genius ! Tut, absurdities of doctors !


X '

He to pronounce judgment on my Lazarus ! He who
can't co-ordinate two ideas on Lazarus, who is as
familiar with the " finality without end " as he is with
the Our Father ! Come, answer. Am I right ?

DOL. Would to God it might be so !

JUAN. But don't you think it is false all that that
buffoon has told us ?

DOL. (with desperation). And if it were true ? If it
were true ? What then ? Then, why was I born ?
(Advancing upon DON JUAN, who retreats.} My
illusions lost through you ! My youth blighted
through you ! My dignity sneered at through you !
After twenty years of sacrifices in order to be deserv-
ing of my Lazarus good for him ! loyal for him !
honourable for him ! And to-day ? No. You have
always been a wretch : but this time you are right.
Impossible ! Impossible ! God could not let it be

JUAN. Well, I have been a wretch there's no
getting over it. But do not call to mind all that
and above all, don't speak of it. Say that you forgive
me forgive me, Dolores.

DOL. What does it matter to you my forgive-

JUAN. It matters to us both. If you don't pardon
me, and at the same time God purposes to chastise
me, and chastises me in my Lazarus *' He might
have been a genius, here you have in him an idiot."
These things are very serious. Come come, don't say

DOL.- What things you do say ! You, too, talk at
random. No matter under such circumstances. I
pardon you with all my heart.

JUAN. Thank you, Dolores. Thus we are more


DOL. (clinging to htm). But help me to save

JUAN. With my whole soul. Though I had to give
up for him all the life that remains to me.

DOL. Give your life ! Ha ! what life have you ? All
the life that God first granted you, you should give him.

JUAN. Dolores!

DOL. Ah ! it's true. I had pardoned you. I shall
not recall my word. But what are we to do ?

JUAN. Take him to Madrid, that the best known
physicians may see him.

DOL. Well thought of !

JUAN. AndjhgnjtQL^Paris. We shall consult _all
the eminent men.

DOL. Quite so. Then to Germany.

JUAN. And to England. The English know a
great deal. Bah ! there is plenty of science dispersed
throughout the world.

DOL. Then we shall collect it all for Lazarus.

JUAN. Without fail ! All for him ! Whatever
remains of my fortune for him !
much, but I am still rich.

DOL. I have never called you to a reckoning. You
have squandered your own.

JUAN. No, senora : no, sefiora. It was not mine.
I see it now. It belonged to Lazarus. But Lord ! I
did not know I was going to have Lazarus. Dolores,
we must save him.

DOL. We hang on to his reason like two creatures
in despair, that it may not fly away. Is it not true ?
(Clinging to him.)

JUAN. Like two of the desperate, and like two
parents. Is it not so ? (Pressing her to him.) And
we shall save him, eh ? Don't say no ; don't say no !
(Falls weeping on a sofa,) I have been bad, but with-


out bad intention. I did not know this. Would that
I had been told ! Lazarus, my Lazarus !

DOL. Don't be distressed. Don't you see that you
will not have energy to struggle ?

JUAN. I'll not have energy ? Ah ! you'll see. Ho !
ho ! I have no energy !

DOL. I love to see you thus. And believe me that
Bermudez exaggerates.

JUAN. He is a fanatic a buffoon a madman that
can't co-ordinate two ideas. Ah, blockhead. (Shaking
his fist.) I don't know how I keep my head. My
breast is burning. My throat is dry. (Pulls the bell.)
Teresa ! eh ! Teresa !

DOL. (calling). Teresa ! (Turning to JUAN.)
What's the matter?

JUAN. Nothing nothing.

TERESA entering.
TER. Senor?

JUAN. Bring me a glass of sherry. No, a glass of
water water only.
___T_ER. Yes, senor. [Exit.

JUAN (walking about). From this day I have to
mortify myself on bread and water, like an anchorite
all for Lazarus. Come, is not this to be put to my
credit ?

DOL. Yes ; but much prudence. Let nobody know

JUAN. Nothing. Our journeys will be journeys of
pleasure ; artistic voyages, that Lazarus may see the
world and gain instruction. If all these were false
terrors !

DOL. Not a word to anybody.

JUAN. Not to Carmen*-say nothing to Carmen.

DOL. Poor Carmen, my poor angel ! But you are
right. The first is Lazarus.


JUAN. The first that's clear. But that girl does
not come, and I am choking.


TER. (announcing, and with the glass of water).
Here is Don Timoteo.

JUAN. Let him come in.

TER. He is already in.

JUAN (to DOLORES). Silence, and let us affect in-

DOL. (aside). Indifference and gaiety. ( Wiping her
eyes. DON JUAN drinks a glass of water.)

JUAN (to DOLORES). Will you take some ? Drink,
dear. Be calm ! [Exit TERESA.

DOL. Thank you ; I am calm now.

TIM. Dona Dolores !

DOL. Friend Don Timoteo !

JUAN. My dear Timoteo ! (Wishing to embrace

TIM. Don't embrace me. Don't you see thai I
have come according to etiquette ? All in black !

DOL. In black! Why?

JUAN. Why?

TIM. Don't be alarmed ; it is not mourning, but
etiquette. I come in all solemnity. Now you shall
see. Isn't Carmen here ?

DOL. We went together to hear Mass. She came
back with me and she is now in my sitting-room
with Don Nemesio and with Javier so merry !

TIM. Then let everybody come here ! (DOLORES
rings the bell.) Everybody except Lazarus ; he
must come afterwards. Ah ! solemnity ! solemnity !

TER. (entering). Senora . . .

DOL. Let the Senorita Carmen have the goodness to
come here.


TIM. She and all all. And till they come let no
one speak to me.

DOL. (aside to DON JUAN). Don't you guess ?

JUAN (aside). Yes. [A pause.

TIM. Solemn silence! Silence, a precursor of
something very grave. Ha ! ha !


CAR. (to her father). Did you call me ?
TIM. Silence, little one. Don't you see how grave
we all are ?

CAR. But what's the matter ?

TIM. (to his daughter). You stand beside Dolores.

A movement among all: CARMEN embraces

So : that's well.

DOL. My own daughter !

JUAN (aside). God assist me !

NEM. Ah ha !

JAV. (to NEMESIO). We are having a wedding.

TIM. Silence ! Are we ready ? All attention and
every solemnity for I am going to begin. Ah ! you,
Javier, being the youngest man here, shall go out in
haste at the fitting moment to find Lazarus " Lazarus !
Lazarus ! " You understand ? So, so all very quiet :
hanging on my lips. (A pause.) Senor Don Juan
Mejia (with comic solemnity?) My dear sir The
devil, I seem as if I were going to write a letter !
Juanito, you asked me for the hand of Carmen for
Lazarus : I have consulted the girl, she is dying about
the boy, and now I bring the girl to the boy. And I
say before all Let them be married the devil let
them be married ! (with great energy.) The pro-
gramme in these cases gentlemen, the programme.


The blushing, the weeping, the smiling, the em-
bracing !

(All spontaneously go through the instructions.
weeps passionately. NEMESIO and JAVIER laugh
while pointing out the groups. TlMOTEO and
NEMESIO likewise embrace. Then TIMOTEO, as
if recollecting himself, continues}
Javier go and look for Lazarus Away, the situation
is falling flat !
JAV. I am off I am off ! Lazarus ! Lazarus !


CAR. Mother 1

DOL. My own daughter my own daughter !
(Aside.} My God ! My God !
TIM. (to DON JUAN). And you say nothing?
JUAN. Why, nothing more was required.
TIM. But he is not coming.

Re-enter JAVIER and LAZARUS ; the latter pale,
disordered, and materially dragged along by the

LAZ. Where are you taking me ? Where ?

JAV. Come, man, come ... to happiness !

LAZ. What's this ? What do they want with me ?
Why do they call me ?

TIM. Tableau ! Carmen is yours ! I bring her
to you ! You are to be married ! (To DON JUAN.)
Eh ! you father of a cork-tree, say something to them ;
I have gone through all my part !

LAZ. Carmen she is it true ? My Carmen !

DOL. Your Carmen she is yours.

JUAN. What the devil ! She is yours be happy,
and let the world founder ! what do I care for the
world !



LAZ. Mine, mine ! I may go to her ! fold her in
my arms ! embrace her with all my soul ! drink her
in with my eyes ! I may if I like ?

JUAN. Yes ! enough that you say yes !

LAZ. Oh, the infamy of it ! Oh, the treachery !
Carmen !

CAR. (going up to him}. Lazarus !

LAZ. No, keep off! To whom are you coming?
You are not to be mine ! Never never never !

CAR. He casts me off ! He casts me off ! I knew
it ! Mother ! mother ! (Falls into the arms oj

DOL. Daughter of my heart !

TIM. My daughter ! What have you done ? What
have you done ?

NEM. But I don't understand.

JAV. I do.

All hasten to help CARMEN.

JUAN. Lazarus my son !

LAZ. (embracing his father). Father father you
are my father, save me !
" JUAN/Yes, I shall save you I gave you life !

LAZ. You gave me life ! But that's not enough :
give me more life to live, to love, to be happy give
me life for my own Carmen give me more life, or
cursed be the life which you gave me !

[Falls insensible.



The scene represents a room in the country seat of DON
JUAN, on the banks of the Guadalquivir , in accor-
dance with the description in the earlier part of the
first act, although with some pieces of furniture^ of
a more recent Pe^da^d^j^j^sobexja^f. There
still remain some divans, the carpet and various
objects of art. Furthermore, a little table and a
low chair. In the background is a balcony or
terrace, which is understood to encircle the building.
There is an ample view of the sky and of the
horizon. If the balcony can be made to slope
somewhat towards the left, so much the better for
the final scene. A door at the right, another to
the left. A lounge to the right : to the left a sofa :
a lighted lamp on some table to the side or at the
back. It is night : the sky blue and starlight ; as
the act proceeds the lights of dawn gradually

covered; the last named walks about the back and
on the terrace as if to arrange something : she is
dressed in a black or very dark costume : mantle '
of black crape and with fringes.

1 The original "panolon" is a sort of cloak or shawl or
blanket-like covering worn by Andalusian women.


TIM. And so Dolores wrote to you ?

JAV. Yes, senor. Lazarus wished to see me : my
company was very much wanted to hasten on his
convalescence : he was talking constantly about me.
Finally, I said : " I must go there," I took the train,
and two hours ago I planted myself at the door of this
country seat, of this delightful country seat ; which
ought to have admirable views, as far as I have been
able to judge by the feeble light of the stars.

TIM. But didn't you know it ? Weren't you
acquainted with Don Juan's country seat ?

JAV. No, senor.

TIM. (waggishly], I was. I have known it for
many years. I knew it ay, when Juan and I were
young men ! When I used to call him Juanito, and
he called me Timoteito. Ah, ah ! (mysteriously?)
What a number of reminiscences these venerable
precincts awaken ! All that you see is impregnated
with love and madness, with alcohol and merriment.
I could tell you : on this divan Juan one day fell
down drunk : in that corner I fell one night in the
same condition : and on that balcony we both fell one
morning in a similar situation. Oh, most sacred
memories ! Oh, beloved images of the past 1 (To
PACA). What are you doing here ?

PACA. I am putting everything in order, senor.

TIM. And now you will see such a panorama. That
balcony looks toward the East, and you see the
Guadalquivir " Sevilla, Guadalquivir, how you do
torment my mind ! " The loveliest girls of the
Sevillian land have breakfasted here, have danced
here, have sung here, and have got drunk here.

JAV. Ah, ha ! you amused yourselves here in fine

PACA sighs.


TIM. (turning round in ih humour). Have you
not done ? Have you not done, Paca.

PACA. Well, I remained to see if you gentlemen
wanted anything, that's all.

TIM. Nothing, you may go to the kitchen.

PACA. Very well, Don Timoteo: to the kitchen.
Ah ! my God ! (She takes a low chair on to the
terrace, sits down and fans herself.)

TIM. I tell you that I can look at nothing which
surrounds me without being moved. The girls from
Sevilla, the girls from Malaga, the girls from Tarifa !
But let us make a full stop. I am perverting you,
young man : and at my age that's a villainous thing.
But the fact is that there were certain girls from
Sevilla and Malaga and Cadiz, and certain girls from

PACA gives a very dig sigh on the balcony.

Who's that sighing ? The devil of a woman, there's
nothing dismal in what we are saying are you here
still ?

PACA (from the balcony and without rising). To
see if Don Timoteo wanted anything.

TIM. I do want something, and this gentleman
wants something. Bring us a few glasses. 1

PACA rises and approaches.

JAV. Many thanks : they gave me supper a short
time ago : it is now very late and I take nothing
at such an hour as this. (To PACA.) Don't trouble
yourself on my account.

PACA. Then.

* " Glasses." The word in the original, throughout this act
is canas or canitas. These are conical-shaped glasses from
which Spaniards drink Manzanilla a lighter wine than sherry.


TIM. Then, trouble yourself on my account Go
go, and bring that.

PACA. Yes, senor, yes ; I am going, Don Timoteo.

[Exit fanning herself.

JAV. Good heavens ! Manzanilla at this hour ?

TIM. Yes, yes, of course, I know that you are very
steady. Lazarus writes dramas ; you write history ;
but, my friend, a glass is taken at any historical
moment whatever.

JAV. At any historical moment ? But one o'clock
in the morning, although it be an exquisite morning
of summer, is that an historical moment or a moment
to go to sleep ?

TIM. For the pleasure of tasting, eh ? for the
pleasure of tasting a sweet little drop of Manzanilla,
the twenty-four hours of this day, and the twenty-four
of the following, and those of the next, are marked
down in all treatises, young man. Admit that there
are no young men nowadays.

JAV. How can it be helped? There are young
men who are old, and there are old men who die
quite young.

TIM. It's true. Since I came eight days ago to the
country seat, my remembrances have become re-
freshed, and I feel as if I were fifteen years old.

JAV. And in a few more days you'll feel as if you
were fifteen months.

TIM. Halloa ! Halloa ! that figure of speech is
called irony.

JAV. A respectful irony, Don Timoteo. But I
did not think to meet you at the country seat of
Don Juan.

TIM. I had brought poor Carmen to Sevilla. She
is very delicate. With those unfortunate events
with the illness of Lazarus and what you know


already. But when once at Sevilla, Juanito was
anxious that we should come and pass a few days
here. And I, to give that pleasure to Carmen, and
to contribute to the recovery of Lazarus who, they
declared, was going on very well I consented and
here we are.

JAV. Restored to youth.

TIM. Believe me, Javier, in what I told you just
now : there is no longer any youth now : Carmen with
her afflicted little chest : Lazarus with his disordered
nerves ; you with your sedateness and your megrim.
We were of another stamp.

JAV. Perhaps it's because you were of another
stamp, that we are made after this fashion. But let
us change the subject, Don Timoteo. And so there
is a complete reconciliation, and a wedding in per-

TIM. I'll tell you, I'll tell you. But that Paca is
not bringing the Manzanilla. (Looking to see if she
comes.} Really there was no cause to be offended.
Lazarus said what he said in a fever ! You saw him
fall senseless at the feet of Carmen. What the devil
was the meaning of that ? Go and learn that. In
my time when a man fell down thus, it was decided
to be drunkenness or apoplexy, and so medical science
became simplified and was within the reach of every-
body. But in these days, interpret you who can what's
the matter with the man who falls insensible.

JAV. Poor Lazarus was very ill. However, they
say that he is now getting on perfectly : the malady
has passed the critical point.

TIM. So they say and he seems very much restored :
but he is always a very extraordinary person like all
men of talent.

JAV. And so we shall have the wedding.


TIM. Hum wedding that's flour from another
sack. I say nothing so as not to distress Carmen,
not Fo be disagreeable to the parents, and because I
would not give the boy another fainting fit. If
Lazarus recovers completely and comes back to what
he was, and writes something that will bring him con-
siderable fame sufficient to prove that his brain is
quite sound then the way is clear eh ? Because
Carmen, poor Carmen. But this Paca is not coming !

JAV. Carmen is very fond of him, is she not ?

TIM. I don't know I don't know that girl, God
help me ! I am taking her away soon : within four
or five hours we shall set out to catch the train. And
before going away I shall speak to Bermudez.

JAV. I only saw Lazarus for a moment, and he
seemed to me

TIM. How?

JAV. Much better. Youth works miracles. (Aside.}
Poor Lazarus!

TIM. It's true, it's true. I myself had I don't
know what and I was so to say crazy for more
than a year much more ; and it passed off.

JAV. Well nobody would think it I mean nobody
would think that you had ever had anything of
that kind of infirmity eh?

TIM. Well, I had it, I had it they believed that it
had left me an idiot

JAV. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph !

TIM. But that devil of a woman who is not coming !
She knew quite well that the Manzanilla was only for
me, and she delights in mortifying me. She has a
most perverse mind. And she was always the same ;
you don't know what that woman has been !

JAV. Who ? She who was here just now ?

TIM. Exactly ; that was one of the most magnificent


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