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The Cid Monologue

The Cid Monologue by Pierre Corneille
Character: Infanta
Gender: Female
Age (range): ?
Style: Classical
Length: 3 minutes

 

INFANTA: Do I remember whose daughter I am? Of course. I remember it so well, that I would shed my blood rather than degrade my rank. I might assuredly answer to thee, that, in noble souls, worth alone ought to arouse passions; and, if my love sought to excuse itself, a thousand famous examples might sanction it. But I will not follow these--where my honor is concerned, the captivation of my feelings does not abate my courage, and I say to myself always, that, being the daughter of a king, all other than a monarch is unworthy of me. When I saw that my heart could not protect itself, I myself gave away that which I did not dare to take; and I put, in place of myself, Chimène in its fetters, and I kindled their passions in order to extinguish my own. Be then no longer surprised if my troubled soul with impatience awaits their bridal; thou seest that my happiness this day depends on it. If love lives by hope, it perishes with it; it is a fire which becomes extinguished for want of fuel; and, in spite of the severity of my sad lot, if Chimène ever has Rodrigo for a husband, my hope is dead and my spirit is healed. Meanwhile, I endure an incredible torture; even up to this bridal, Rodrigo is dear to me; I strive to lose him, and I lose him with regret, and hence my secret anxiety derives its origin. I see with sorrow that love compels me to utter sighs for that which I must disdain. I feel my spirit divided into two portions; if my courage is high, my heart is inflamed. This bridal is fatal to me, I fear it, and I desire it; I dare not hope from it only an incomplete joy; my honor and my love have for me such attractions, that I die whether it be accomplished, or whether it be not accomplished.

Credits: Reprinted from The Cid. Trans. Roscoe Mongan. New York: Hinds & Noble, 1896.