Beware Of Smooth Water Monologue
|Beware Of Smooth Water Monologue by Pedro Calderón de la Barca|
- DONNA CLARA: Not to spare
- Your father even, Eugenia! For shame!
- 'Tis time to tie your roving tongue indeed.
- Consider, too, we are not in the country,
- Where tongue and eyes, Eugenia, may run wild
- Without offence to uncensorious woods;
- But in a city, with its myriad eyes
- Inquisitively turn'd to watch, and tongues
- As free and more malicious than yours
- To tell--where honour's monument is wax,
- And shame's of brass. I know, Eugenia,
- High spirits are not in themselves a crime;
- But if to men they seem so?--that's the question.
- For it is almost better to do ill
- With a good outward grace than well without;
- Especially a woman; most of all
- One not yet married; whose reputation
- One breath of scandal, like a flake of snow,
- May melt away; one of those tenderest flowers
- Whose leaves ev'n the warm breath of flattery
- Withers as fast as envy's bitterest wind,
- That surely follows short-lived summer praise.
- Ev'n those who praise your beauty, grace, or wit,
- Will be the first, if you presume on them,
- To pull the idol down themselves set up,
- Beginning with malicious whispers first,
- Until they join the storm themselves have raised.
- And most if one be given oneself to laugh
- And to make laugh: the world will doubly yearn
- To turn one's idle giggle into tears.
- I say this all by way of warning, sister,
- Now we are launched upon this dangerous sea.
- Consider of it.
Credits: Reprinted from Eight Dramas of Calderon. Trans. Edward Fitzgerald. London: Macmillan & Co., 1906.