The lady sat down at the table, remained for a few moments with her pen raised

On the opening day of Open Sky , at four in the afternoon, an elegant lady arrived at Antonia’s house. Dona Juanita, who that day was in high tension with nerves and could not sit still anywhere, as soon as she heard the bell she went to open it. Great was his surprise when he heard that this lady asked about her son.

p. 298″He’s at the theater, ma’am.” As today is the premiere … Did you know?

-Yes ma’am. I already have my location for tonight.

“How much I appreciate you … But you come in.”

“One moment only.” Can I write four letters?

-Yes ma’am. Pass you. It would be better if I went to Don Alberto’s room, because my son, with these rehearsal fuss, doesn’t stop at home and he won’t have paper, pen, or anything.

“But Teofilo, is he your son?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Dona Juanita began to soften.

“How lucky to have such a son! …

“Blessed be God!” Dona Juanita was more moved.

The lady seemed to be touched as well.

“And how is he?” The lady asked.

“Well, you will see.” When I came from Valladolid, on the occasion of that infamy of the bomb, you will already know “—the lady nodded—” I found him very poor, very poor; but above all, concentrated and sullen from every point. He made me suffer a lot, because I, madam, could not find the milestone of his bad temper, which most of the time he paid it with me. Until Don Alberto, do you know Don Alberto Díaz de Guzmán? The lady nodded again. I say that this gentleman confessed to me with great mystery that a little bitch had done a lot to my Teofilo, a lost one, with whom he had fallen in love, and she left with a bergante or gulf, as they say around here. Do you see what misfortune, madam? The holy books say well, that the bad woman is like the manure that walks on the roads. Worse than that ma’am

p. 299″And is Teofilo always so sullen … so …?” The lady’s voice trembled a little.

Dona Juanita suddenly understood that this lady was the woman with whom Teófilo had fallen in love.

“So in love do you mean?” Dona Juanita’s eyes sparkled.

-No ma’am. I wanted to say so moody, so sad …

“Blessed be God!” She is completely cured now and she does not think of that vile whore —doña Juanita sometimes used very emphatic rhetorical terms— if it is not to curse her or, rather, to laugh at her. If you are a friend of Teófilo and you are interested in him, as it seems, you will be happy when you know that there in the middle of the summer you will marry your cousin Lucrecia —doña Juanita concocted all those falsehoods, flattering herself with the idea that the lady was going out. furious and offended not to remember Teófilo anymore.

-Yes ma’am; I am very glad that you are happy, and I congratulate you. ”Dona Juanita’s insight was perplexed and she was unable to discern whether the tone with which the lady said these phrases was one of distress or of sincere effusion. Her voice was trembling strangely. The lady continued: “Now, if you will allow me, I am going to write four letters for your son.”

The lady sat down at the table, remained for a few moments with her pen raised, possessed by meditative uncertainty, and at last she drew a very brief note which she put in an envelope, and after gumming it, she handed it to the old woman without having written any address.

As soon as Dona Juanita was left alone, she felt overwhelmed by very justified and plausible forebodings. The lady was sure to allude in thep. 300 Ticket to the presumed wedding, and he would even say how he had received the news, whereby Teófilo had to receive great disappointment from that deception and impertinent interference from his mother, and perhaps his anger was translated into disrespectful, angry and even cruel words. Dona Juanita did not hesitate for long. He opened the envelope and read the letter, which read like this:

« Your mother tells me that you are getting married. (What a poisonous viper! Dona Juanita exclaimed aloud.) The best thing is that we never see each other again. I want to resign myself and give up your love. I don’t know if I can. Your love had been such a rare and precious thing in my life … If you want to see me, as a friend, I live in the Alcázar hotel. I believe in God and accept what happens as a punishment that I have well earned.

Rosina. »

“Believe in God … What blasphemy!” These corrupt women don’t respect anything, ”Dona Juanita exclaimed again. He tore the letter. It was a duty of conscience to destroy the cynical paperwork. But anticipating any eventuality, with the best of intentions, he wanted to recover in health in case Teofilo found out that a letter had been left for him and he had been asking for the feigned letter. Dona Juanita decided to go ahead and tell her son, as soon as he returned, that a woman had come to visit him and, not finding him at home, had written a bill, which was on Mr. Guzmán’s desk; then he would blame Milagritos for the loss. Theophilus was not going to be so suspicious that he bragged about his own mother. With this Dona Juanita seemed to calm down. He sat down in an armchair and insensibly began to nod, dozing. Suddenly he thought he heard a murmur in his ears that raised his brain and made him open his eyes with a start. The murmur clearly stated: “I believe in God and accept what happens as a well-earned punishment.” Why shouldn’t I believe inp. 301God that bad woman? Dona Juanita thought: «Bad woman, but not as bad as I am, without any fear of God and blind to his high justice. A better woman is that I am, because she teaches me resignation and compliance with what is nothing but punishment for our ravings. God! God! This lack of love, and even I would say hatred, that Teófilo has me, what is it but a just sanction of my sins towards him? My son of my soul, my son of my soul, how you make me suffer. » Dona Juanita’s tribulation came to tears. He was struck by the need to pray and he went to Lolita’s room to prostrate himself before Saint Anthony and the Child God. Wonderful not to find the saint in his usual place. He turned his eyes around, and seeing everything dirty, messy, upside down, with that childish volubility, the work of his many years, putting aside his anguish for a moment,

-What head! What a creature! What a mess! What a lioness! Mid afternoon and you have to see this room. Pinions!…

His household habits induced him to put some arrangement in Lolita’s kitchenware. Combs, pots, shaving pots and spreads and balls of hair looked like combs on the table in the center. Doña Juanita took with her thumb and forefinger, like tweezers, like someone picking up a dirty bug, those remains of Lolita’s hair, speaking in a low voice:

-Okay; this is already dirty. The scepter was going to fall for throwing this fur in the bucket.

What would not be his amazement and horror when he saw the blessed Saint Anthony, floating belly down in the murky waters of that miserable container.

“God help me!” What sacrilege! The old woman sighed, crossing herself. But he quickly calmed down attributing the misdeed to Milagritos. He extracted the saint from the bucket, cleaned him up, and returned to the corner; butp. 302He could not return the Child God, whom he could not find for more laps than he gave. Then he went in search of the girl in order to reprimand her and admonish her for the future. Milagritos was sitting on the ground behind the ironwork of a balcony, watching the people passing by on the street. The girl’s eyes, myosotic color, sifted by large circles of violet, turned to look at the people with bitter and immobile intensity. She was a girl who never laughed and rarely spoke. She denied having made San Antonio take a bath, and as much as Dona Juanita urged her to be a good girl, sincere, and to confess her crime, the girl did not deign to answer another word. In view of this, Dona Juanita gave in to her inquiring ardor, and having nothing better to do, she also sat down to contemplate what was happening in the street.

“What’s wrong with you, Dona Juanita?”

—Look at the squalor, how nosy.

“What’s wrong with you, Dona Juanita, that you can’t be still?”

Without knowing why, Dona Juanita felt with Milagritos more accompanied than not with the elderly.

“Well, I’m nervous, Dona Marisabidilla.”

“Why are you nervous?”

“Miss Tadpole does not want to know little.” Well, I’m nervous because tonight I’m going to the theater, and until the time comes, I’m nervous. ”Dona Juanita was not right with expressions as clear as she wanted.

“And is that why you are nervous?” Milagritos got up, left, and returned little by little with a table clock in his hands. He was a precocious creature. In the short time she had attended school, which she had to leave due to poor health, she hadp. 303learned to count and read. How many hours left? -I ask.

-What time is it?

-Five o’clock.

“Well, it’s four hours.”

Milagritos opened the cover of the clock and with his finger put the hands at nine. He said firmly, staring at Dona Juanita.

“Now you can go to the theater.”

Dona Juanita was stunned, like an idiot. He stammered:

-My daughter…

“Now you can go to the theater,” Milagritos repeated, without taking her eyes off Dona Juanita’s face and presenting her watch, as incontrovertible proof that it was time to go to the theater.

—My daughter, the clock tells time, but it is not time. Time is God’s thing; rather, it is not a matter of God, because God is eternal. I do not know how to explain myself.

“If you don’t want to go to the theater, you’ll miss it,” Milagritos said with a disdainful gesture. He sat down on the ground and turned to look at a mutilated man with both legs, mid-thigh high, advancing on his stumps through the middle of the street, honking a piston horn with singular boldness.

The old woman and the girl sat silent until after dark.

That night Teófilo did not come to dinner. After dinner, all the residents of the house, with the exception of Blanca and Milagritos, went to the Infantes Theater to witness the premiere of A cielo Abierto . They occupied a second box. Díaz de Guzmán was in seats. In the light-colored, bright and luxuriously decorated room, there were many richly dressed ladies and not a few gentlemen in tails and tuxedos .

The curtain rose. The scene representedp. 304Courts of Love, in Provence. An unmistakable whisper of admiration came from the audience. Indeed, the painting was dazzling and pleasing to the eye, like a tapestry from the East. At the back of the stage, seated on a purple throne with flowery garlands, one could see Roldán, prescient and patrician, her head raised with a graceful continent of majesty, her face oval in sweet proportion, her Arabic eyes, deep, sedentary, in the air. the neat and flattering smile of a rice white. It incorporated in the drama the princess Liliana de Rousillon. At the foot of the throne, two rows of beautiful ladies or hostesses, in jeweled silk robes, made courtship of the princess, who, like the ladies stirring from time to time, moved the gentle noise of forest or water between pebbles. Alongados respectful stretch of the throne, They had on their feet a group of knights and gallants, warriors, minstrels, poets and even half a dozen buffoons; who with stretched Florentine tights, who with brief dalmatics in the Parisian style, of them with capes and hoods, here with armor and chain mail, there with the histrionic botarga. In short, that from that picturesque and beautiful contest could not help but gush poetry to gush. This is how the public smelled it, getting ready to enjoy the lyrical feast.

A king of arms, or something like that, stood out from the group of men and prostrated himself, declaiming:

May the Happiness fairy

spill, noble princess,

his golden cornucopia,

full of goods and roses,

on your gentle shoulders,

on your gentle head.

Crowd of gallants

for your love quarrel contention

of rhymed homage

to use the Gay Science,

and your cravings peek

before your lips move,

like the spy who listens

with an ear to the ground.

p. 305

This opening romancil made a very good impression. The metaphor of the cornucopia, which most of the audience understood to allude to a certain lineage of ancient mirrors, and that of the listener with the ear glued to the ground, appealed for their originality.

Then fierce warriors and gallant courtiers began to fight each other , as the king of arms had said, for a kiss on Liliana’s hand. They advanced one by one to wield their weapons, which if they hurt it was very sweet, since such weapons consisted of ballads, tensions, rondeles and other different species of poetic attacks and skirmishes. The meters were very varied and sonorous, extremely musical, as some critics rightly observed, and with accents so well distributed that they invited to dance a zapateado due to the resounding and energetic rhythm or singsong they had. These are verses, and anyone can feel that they are verses, the enthusiasts thought. A warrior, who though rude and rough as the mane of the desert lion, aspired, like a fool, to anoint his bravery with that tiny osculatory tribute in Liliana’s hand, he went out to recite a song that, due to the strength of the verses, very appropriately mimicked the din and roar of weapons colliding or a full closet of junk that falls to the ground. And not content with collecting for himself the osculatory enjoyment, he began to plague Alexandrians against effeminate courtiers, parasites of the magnates ‘table and ladies’ moths , which the terrible warrior described in this way, and in particular against the poets, who force the hearts of the beautiful with fallacious and insidious verses , not otherwise than the thief opens the doors at night with a pick. This image was highly commended. But the barbarian warrior would never have done such a thing, because Raymond de Ventadour, a troubadour, came out of the stampede, whom Liliana, according top. 306it was easy to observe, he looked with zaragateros eyes, and in a rapture of inspiration poured into the Hellenic amphorae of the hendecasyllables and the muslimic incense of the heptasyllables(unusual qualifications, excusable in terms of poetic license) he emphasized the divine role of poetry in the world, and how the voice of poets was the voice of God himself put into well-married words that sound one with the other, and abhorred war and all physical exercise, predicting, as it was, that there with the rolling of the ages the letters would triumph over the weapons and the lives of men would become in that distant end of time so peaceful, rhythmic and smooth as a golden rondel. At this point the first ovation in the room sounded. After the high came the burlesque or satirical, and it was that Raymond de Ventadour improvised an apologue in which he established a comparison between the peacock or Juno bird, with the hundred eyes of Argos on the tail, and the common turkey brat, or Christmas turkey. I was the first for the purposes of satire, the poet; the second, the warrior, and more generically the gross and vulgar man. The apologue had a refrain that the six buffoons said in chorus: this industry was very popular with the public. In view of which, the beautiful Liliana gave her hand to kiss Raymond de Ventadour, whereby the rest of the many deferred gallants received a painful wound in their self-esteem and came out muttering bitter words; but more than all the terrible warrior, who, with a strange voice that could be heard from the public and not from those who were closest to him on the stage, swore to his lion’s mane that he would take revenge, and with this he started the dramatic conflict. In a flash, Liliana and Raymond were left alone; they told each other that they loved each other until no more; but Liliana, woman at last, He was a little complacent and suspicious. The Troubadour asked himp. 307what this nonsense was about, although he used other more galan and mellifluous terms, and Liliana replied that she was not quite sure yet of her Ventadour’s love and that she demanded conclusive proof from him. Not one, a thousand proofs was willing to give the passionate Raymond, and so he begged his lady to pour out of that mouth as soon as possible whatever she wanted to send. Then Liliana, very flattering and with the greatest naturalness in the world, said that it was a very simple thing, that is, to take a walk to the Holy Land, kiss the holy sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ and then return to collect the prize . The prize, what a prize! Consisted in enjoying whatever he pleased with the beautiful Madame de Rousillon. It was true that Liliana was married; but, apart from the fact that M. de Rousillon was an impossible old man (Teófilo wanted to paint Don Sabas), in the Provence of those times it is a known fact that the sacred rights of the husband were completely ignored. Hence, the ladies who were in the theater described the environment that the author had chosen for his drama as poetic. Hearing the sympathetic Raymond the wish of his beloved and setting off for Palestine was all at once. He was seen getting lost along a garden that behind a break, in the depths of the stage, there was, and Liliana, melancholyly reclined on a marble column, followed him with her eyes. It was a touching silent scene. Some ladies shed tears considering the bitter trance in which the princess was, with an old husband and a lover who is going for a walk on foot on the way to the Holy Land, and they longed with all their souls for the princess to return from her resolution,p. 308never to dance. But Liliana remained silent and motionless until Raymond disappeared, and at that point, with a superhuman, melodious and nocturnal voice, because more than her voice seemed like a piece of the velvety blue of a serene night that had been transmuted into sound, she began to wail a ballad. The audience experienced a chill of excitement. The first stanza of the ballad had the consonant in ía :

After your air I would go,

after your chant-sorcery

that turns night into day,

and the shadow in harmony,

and the desert in bloom

of roses of Alexandria.

After your air I would go,

troubadour of my soul,

wildwing swan … etc, etc.

and it never ended. This acute poetic artifice, similar, saving differences of nature, to that of the clown who successively takes off innumerable vests, or to that of the conjurer who extracts kilometers and kilometers of multicolored ribbons from the crop, although it would be more accurate to compare it to a shell that encloses a a cluster of unanimous pearls, or to an ermine that had as many overlapping skins as there are layers of an onion; This surprising artifice, we say, delighted the public to the extreme. Delight every new ed It increased until it turned into real anguish, albeit tasty, that forced the spectators to rise gradually from their seats, with strokes of consonants, and after the last verse they suddenly sat down again, divinely disturbed and faint, like a fiery woman who has been enjoyed many times in a short time.

p. 309The second stanza was sung in on , and it was the same song:

I would go after your air,

after your song-annunciation,

that pregnant the creation

with vivid illusion light … etc, etc.

The third stanza had the consonant in aba , and it never ended; that is, it seemed to never end, like her twin sisters. But it was over, and with it the act. The ovation was unspeakable. The audience requested the presence of the author on stage, and seeing him appear, the applause approached frenzy.

People came out into the corridors shivering with enthusiasm.

-What a poet! What a barbarian! —Was heard from side to side.

Some still had the triquitraque of the last ballad stuck to their ears, and without being able to restrain themselves they started to clap and declaim: After your airón I would go , imitating, in the measure of their respective faculties, the beautiful voice and velvety inflections of the Roldán .

But there is never a lack of malevolent and unhappy beings. One of these, Don Alberto del Monte-Valdés, loudly, as usual, declared unequivocally that the work was an eyesore and that that now famous ballad of the ías, ones and abas made one think of a donkey walking around a noria. A graying, pot-bellied gentleman who was walking nearby smoking a cigar with the ring on approached Monte-Valdés in a hostile attitude, and said:

“That has to be proved.” His eyes were still clouded with pimple ecstasy.

—First of all, this act that we have seenp. 310 It has no Provençal character: an unforgivable defect, especially if one takes into account that just reading Nostradamus’s book on Provençal poets will acquire as much data as one can desire to reconstruct the time.

—It happens because Paternoster or Nostradamus is not a fool and that the work has no atmosphere, which for me it has and great —as if the atmosphere were to the artistic work what the nose to the human face. What do you say to me with that? The paunchy knight spoke.

“Secondly,” Monte-Valdés continued without paying attention to the questioner and raising his eyebrows a lot, “the dramatic conflict is absurd, according to the customs and sensitivity of that age, which could be called the age of the horn.” The code of love, made up of numerous court of ladies and gentlemen, a code of which André the chaplain informs us, stipulates in its thirty-first and last article that nothing prevents a woman from being loved by two men and a man by two women, unam feminam nihil …

“Camelos, no,” said the paunchy knight.

“It is absurd, I repeat, and ridiculous to suppose that a Provençal gentleman swears revenge on a poet because he has been preferred in the love of a lady.” Fights of this lineage never took place in Provence. Third, all the metaphors and images in the work are rhetorical clichés, words without content or plastic value, such as the mane of the lion, swan of the wild wing , when I know that Pajares has not seen a lion in his life, nor the paralytic from Retiro, not a swan, because in Pisuerga or Esgueva there are swans, but palominos, as Góngora assures us.

—Everything you say is more or less respectable critical appraisals. But what I askedp. 311The only thing you wanted was to make us notice the follies of the work.

“In phalanx.” For now, that grotesque comparison between the peacock and the common turkey. The work is supposed to take place in the 12th or 13th centuries. Well, the common turkey has come to us from America, from the lands of New Spain, which were discovered, as everyone knows, in the year of grace of 1518, and in whose conquest an ancestor of mine took part. In other words, a Provençal poet verses on the common turkey no less than three centuries before this succulent gallinaceous was known in Europe.

“And do you know that,” asked the paunchy knight, sarcastically, “directly from your ancestor?”

“I know it as anyone who is not a half-breed of an idiot and an idiot does.” The first mention that is made of the common turkey is in Oviedo’s book, Natural summary of the history of the Indies , and he calls it turkey, and explains the differences that separate it from the peacock or peacock. In addition, in all the classic books it is called pavigallo: it is a great thing.

As always when Monte-Valdés made a picturesque appointment, the listeners were left in doubt as to whether he invented them himself as the discussion required: with so much grace and opportunity he harnessed them.

“Even so, sir; In every poetic work there are always legal conventions that neither give nor take away from the work’s merit —and the paunchy knight withdrew from the group presided over by Monte-Valdés.

The decoration of the second act represented the deck of a sailing ship. Raymond returns by sea to Marseille, because the return trip was not obligatory on foot; so Liliana had told him before they left. Nothing happens on board, but when ap. 312Sailor, when did the pilot, now the boatswain, then Raymond, have something to say to the sea? Raymond laments the laziness of the winds: he wants the sails to inflate as violently as passion swells his chest . Sailors tell stories of pirates. And as in speaking of the king of Rome then appears, a lookout shouts: Ship in sight! And the public is instantly aware that it is a pirate ship. As if by art of enchantment, the mysterious ship is coming upon the Christians. It is a whip or small boat, famished wolf of the seas. They are piratesroars the pilot. The whip is approaching. Christians lack weapons. Sensation. Approach. Raymond, though a poet, fights bravely. For nothing. The pirates seize the Christian ship. The pirate caid appears, and it turns out to be none other than that knight from the first act, rough as the lion’s mane, who had denied the faith of Christ and gone out on an adventure dominating the seas. This apparition was a bit hard to peel, but, as the pot-bellied gentleman said with great finesse, there are licit conventions in verse dramas regarding action, once a string of ías has been accepted and digested , a string of ones and a bushel of abas. But the tail was still to be flayed. And it was that Liliana herself emerged from the pirate ship. Was she captive? Captive in the love networks of Lotario, that this was the name of the old knight and now pirate. Liliana says with all self-confidence that the world belongs to the strong, and that above the law of Christ, which is a law for slaves, there is the eternal law, the natural law. Raymond punishes these high schools in an exemplary fashion by throwing at the head of the ungrateful woman and Lotario a few pointed hendecasyllables. Second ovation, as warm as the first act. The public agreed that the second ending was somewhatp. 313 gimmicky, but, it was added, theater is always gimmicky.

During the intermission, Guzmán went up to the parlor to welcome Teófilo. I expected to find him radiant with joy, puffed up with that plenary, jovial, and slightly insolent saturation that satisfied pride gives of itself. Teofilo seemed to be happy, but not in proportion to the triumph he had obtained. The parlor was crowded with a large contingent of writers and literary lovers, who pressed the poet’s hand with simulated effusion and cordiality, contradicted by the involuntary sadness of the eyes. Four or five beardless poets showed signs of sincerely indulging in enthusiasm, without the bastardy of any other depressing and unspeakable sentiment. But by paying attention to them a little, it was apparent that their enthusiasm was part of vanity to a greater degree than disinterested admiration.

Little by little, the admirers left, because they had nothing to say spontaneously in praise of the drama and, although very nebulous, they felt bad at ease and as low in the neighborhood of the triumphant poet. The only friends of Pérez de Toledo, the company’s leading actor and businessman, remained seated on couches that ran around the parlor. This was the chairman of the meeting, standing with his back to a fireless fireplace, dressed as a troubadour, with a very erect skull, a cunning expression of mocking affability, and a cynical upturned nose, as if venting a slight humility of a ridiculous thing that floated in the air. He was a man of great intellectual finesse, who was hindered from being an insurmountable actor, apart from a certain deficiency of faculties, by being almost always superior to the authors andp. 314works he represented, in such a way that he could not take one or the other seriously, although he concealed it with an exceedingly subtle art. He complicated the social deal with a thousand formulas and entertainments of exaggerated courtesy and, at the same time, his sarcastic Diogenes head revealed that he was in the great philosophical secret that the world of fictions does not die where the histrionic stage ends. He was very good at handling irony, or, as they say in the vernacular, he teased people without people knowing.

A critic, who had a reputation and detestable ears (one and the other of definitive asfinity), spoke thus:

—We are in a time of shameful surrender, transactions and corruption.

“Let’s see, Don José, that we know why these times are so faltering and transitory,” said Pérez de Toledo.

“Do you agree, Alfonso?” Haven’t you heard that this cupletist named Antígona makes her debut at the Prince’s Theater, a serious theater, tomorrow? It is a shameful surrender. If Calderón, or Lope, or Tirso were to raise his head …

“This Antigone is such a rich female that she would be quite capable of getting it.” You see with Don Sabas… ”a young journalist commented, inducing the competition to laugh, to the great surprise of the critic, who asked:

“Get what?”

“Whatever you propose, Don José.”

“We are in the age of sicalipsis, it is seen,” concluded the critic.

The conversation about Rosina generalized; Almost everyone had some information or news to communicate, and thus it came to be known that Rosina was one of the most brilliant stars of the tiny genre, spoiled and disp. 315putada by the European public; that the businessman from the Prince’s Theater paid him seven hundred pesetas a day to sing three couplings; that he was that night watching the premiere and was clapping vehemently; that Don Sabas, he must have looked uncool! He had not been shy about going to visit her in his box, and, as it was said, he was trying to resume certain old relationships; But Antigone did not accept the stalemate of the outdated politician, since it was a past nail that had repelled suitors and fabulous proposals, even from Russian princes, because, apparently, she had a fix (she is very involved , she is extremely pimp, were two of the expressions used to define this point) with a truly interesting man. When we got here the conversation turned to the interesting man. He had been a fairground Hercules, very handsome; then comedian in a company with little hair.

“Stop there,” said Don Bernabé Barajas, who was present. The company was not short-lived. I was a businessman. We were going to take a tour of the towns of the province of Teruel. By the way, Fernando (this is his name) showed happy dispositions for art. So what is now to me he owes me, that I taught him the essential principles of performing art.

“And is he as handsome as they say, Don Bernabé?” Perez de Toledo asked.

“That, very handsome!” It doesn’t surprise me that that bitch is crazy about him, ”Don Bernabé answered, with no little aesthetic exaltation.

The collective information continued. In Paris, Fernando had begun to cultivate a new genre of art that might be the art of the future, a mestizo art of performing arts and acrobatics, for which exceptional conditions are required; in short, that he had become a film actor, a filmmaker, and the famous Dick Sterling, whose grimaces showp. 316tees, leaps and strength laughed and admired the whole world, it was none other than Rosina’s lover.

After this a discussion ensued about whether cinematography is art or not. Opinions were divided. Some claimed that in the short term it would absorb the theater. Others maintained that they were two different things, without any concomitance. A Catalan playwright, with a long grizzled hair, stated that to him the cinematograph seemed more dramatic than oral representation, and that a drama that, stripped of garrulous parliaments and reduced to its simple elements of cinematographic action, could not be good. moved the public. At this, the bells for the third act of Open Sky rang and they all ran to occupy their seats, leaving Theophilus with a fateful shadow on his face.

The decoration of the third act was the same as that of the second act. The pirates had abandoned the whip to take possession of this other, more comfortable and seaworthy vessel. Lotario amply demonstrates what everyone had suspected of him; that is, he was a bloodthirsty and vengeful savage. He makes Raymond torment, who suffers it with wonderful fortitude, expelling all sorts of meters and rhymes instead of laments. The pirates are overwhelmed by the moral greatness of the troubadour, and the wormwood of remorse begins to gnaw at the light brains of the beautiful renegade. She feels her spirits fought by two conflicting feelings. He no longer knows if he loves Lotario or if he loves Raymond, and in doubt he goes to the murmuring waves asking them to give him the key to the enigma. The public experiences great anxiety and wonders, Which one will triumph in the end? Things get complicated. Pirates presume that a religion that infuses such strong courage into the bosom of its believers must be the true religion. The gracep. 317he is doing his first very delicate touches. There is among them a grim renegade who cannot find peace for his conscience, who, by doing meritorious work in the eyes of Christ, induces the seamen to sedition. The horizon is full of sad omens. The first sparks of sedition explode. Lotario rubs his beard and vomits truculent Alexandrians. Raymond appeases the rebellious, makes an invocation to the sea, comparing it with the bitter turbulence of his own heart and with the infinitude of God; He says that he forgives Liliana, and Lotario begs him to make her happy; he pauses, and without saying oste or moste he throws himself into the sea. This tragic end was rewarded with a new ovation.

The drama had an epilogue. The scene simulated the cloister of a nunnery. Ringing of bells, sweet liturgical gangosities, etc., etc. Liliana has professed under the name of Sister Resignation. He goes out to the cloister. She feels sick and about to die. She informs the public that Lotario was a brute who gave her very bad treatment and left her because of a grimy complexion with a lustrous complexion and devilish eyes. He assures that deep down in his soul he never loved but Raymond. Sister Resignación is picking roses and then throwing them in the streams of the garden; she is thoughtful seeing those corpses of roses in foam coffins. Of his own luck, his soul flees on the way to eternity. Her voice fades and she expires, in verse, slowly, between the tolling of the bell and the nasal chant of the other nuns. Beautiful epilogue. In the audience there were many eyes blurred by tears.

When the drama ended, Travesedo said to Dona Juanita:

“You’ll be happy, ma’am.”

Dona Juanita began to cry.

“Yes, yes, I understand.” The thing is not for less.

p. 318Dona Juanita stammered:

“The most solemn days of my life have been today and the day Teofilo made his first communion.” Dona Juanita was trembling extraordinarily.

The Teuton, who had a soul susceptible to unexpected and fatal romantic impulses, embraced the old woman. He was touched and repeated that Teófilo was a Schiller.

Travesedo drove Teófilo’s mother home in a hansom. At home, as Dona Juanita was shaking more than usual, Travesedo advised her to take linden and go to bed.

“I go to bed today without having kissed my son?” Don’t think crazy.

“Most likely, ma’am, friends will entertain you until fifteen hundred.”

“Even if they entertained him for a thousand and five hundred years.” I don’t go to bed.

Antonia prepared lime for Dona Juanita, and after ingesting the potion she went to shut herself up in Teofilo’s room, and sat down next to a little balcony, to wait. I turn off the light. I was heartbroken. He cried frequently, wrung his hands and murmured: son of my guts. Thus several hours passed. I heard the anguished cry of a woman. Dona Juanita stood up with a start; he opened his eyes and stretched out his ear. In the frame of the balcony, behind the front roofs, a milky, damp mist rose, dulling the starlight. It was dawn. The old woman listened. It was Lolita who was crying, with infinite grief and crying out for Antonia. Dona Juanita came diligently to help Lolita. He knocked on the door of the room and asked:

“What’s wrong with you, Miss Lola?” I can enter?

“Yes, yes, go ahead, Dona Juanita.” Why have you bothered? Lolita wouldn’t stop crying. Isp. 319that I was calling Antonia to take off my boots, which are very tight. They have also given me a monkey — God realized that he had involuntarily expelled a word vitanda, one of those forbidden by Travesedo, and with the shock that this caused him, he forgot to cry.

Doña Juanita was not there to stop her attention on things of such little moment as the emission of the word mico , because she was amazed and absorbed to see Lolita dressed from head to toe, in a street dress, at such times. Great was the daze of the lady; but not so much that it prevented him from hearing a loud manly snore, and, as he turned his head to find out where it came from, he discovered the Teuton sleeping on his stomach and with his mouth open on Lolita’s bed. Lolita, for her part, thought she was losing her mind. The angry shadow of Travesedo was stirring in her brain, denigrating her and planting her on her feet in the street.

—I am inosent, Dona Juanita; believe me, for these. Er, poor me, he comes here every night, because since he squeezed the bed, his bed is curdled with a bed bug and I couldn’t sleep on it. But I swear to you, for the glory of my mother, that he has not touched me, what he does not love or touch me. There you have it all night sleeping like a creature, or better, like a serdito — and that was the truth. Lolita was satisfied with his explanation, which she judged compatible with the narrowest laws of honesty, and Dona Juanita left the bedroom without knowing what to say or think.

There was a hum of male voices from the stairwell. Doña Juanita recognized her son and Mr. Guzmán. He went out to open the door.

In Pérez de Toledo’s salon, an intimate gathering was held every day until late in the afternoon.p. 320night. On the day of the premiere, Teófilo couldn’t leave the theater until three in the morning. He went out in the company of Guzmán and the beardless poets, his henchmen. One of these proposed to celebrate success with champagne in Los Burgaleses . In the restaurant they went to take shelter in a reserved cabinet. The young poets were very expansive and talkative. Teofilo did not open his lips. Alberto observed that on his friend’s forehead that robust black vein stood out, which according to Mohammedan traditions preceded the angry outbursts of the prophet. The young poets grew weary of the idol’s self-absorption, which they attributed to the conceited drunkenness of triumph. The meeting soon fell apart, not without one of them whispering in Alberto’s ear, as they descended the stairs:

“There is nothing more difficult than choosing a new hat so that it doesn’t go on a ridiculous one or change your face. Well, if this happens with the hats, which we change every three by four, what will it be with the crown or the diadem when one puts it on for the first time? It is also true that there are few headbands tailored to the cholla that has to wear them. Have you seen this poor man, how foolish, how stupid he has become? Well, the thing is not so bad.

While Teófilo and Guzmán were alone, he proposed to take a rental car to go home. Theophilus refused.

“You think your mother will be waiting for you, for sure.”

“I’m not going home, I’m not going home; do not bother yourself. I’m going to walk the streets. If you want, you can accompany me, and if not, you can leave me.

—I accompany you. Where we go?

-At a venture.

“Something serious is happening to Teófilo,” Alberto thought.p. 321 And just as a great pain is sometimes relieved by causing a different one, he believed he distracted his friend from those black musings by hurting his professional self-esteem, his poetic vanity.

“Do you want me to tell you honestly, friend to friend, what I think of your drama?”

Teofilo did not answer.

-Can you hear me? Because if you don’t listen to me I’ll leave you alone.

Teofilo grabbed Guzman’s arm and said in a pleading voice:

-Do not leave me alone. Speak, I hear you.

“Your drama seems stupid to me.” -Pause. Teofilo did not take it for granted. He added, “Words, words, words.” Your verses are not verses or anything like it, but bombastic and scruffy; they sound a lot, but they sound hollow. They give me the effect of eating dry, yellow cakes, without juice, that no one swallows twelve in a row at a dry stick. ”Alberto felt a slight pressure on his arm. He thought, This is going well. Of course, not all the blame can be placed on you, but rather on the Spanish poetic tradition, the tradition of tonic verse, which has never been verse, but corruption born from the songs of the soldiers, the sailors and the women. illiterate people, people with harsh hearing. What is it that the Spanish do not open their mouths except to fall into the emphasis, the bombast, the garrulería? It is an old thing and I presume it will be eternal.aliquid pingue , a somewhat penguinous, inflated. One of the great Spanish preachers, San Dámaso, was called Auriscalpius matronarum , tickler of female ears. The same could be said of your drama. Do not believe that I am reeling from your drama: I do not consider it better or worse than most of the dramas and comedies of our classical theater. And, without emp. 322However, all this that I tell you, with the awareness that it is the pure truth, does not prevent that, looking at it well, in the intricacies of your drama something hidden, deep, like a hangover that overwhelms and worries one is noticed. What is it? It is something that also runs and lows underneath all Spanish literature, even its most arid and tedious works. I remember that one day you told me that the two main inspirations of your drama came from that blind sailor and that unfortunate suicide. The first, and allows me to translate your feelings into a sentence to see if I hit the point, the first, could be called aspiration to infinity; the second, awareness of failure and its consequent bitterness. The first is nothing less than the desire to climb up to God and rub shoulders with him; the second, late discovery that by pretending too much we have neglected what is precise, and that without having reached gods we have not even become men. It is said that all Spanish literature, and even the Spanish character, are embedded in these two sentimental norms. And it must be seen, as regards the first, or disempowered aspiration of the infinite, that if it is very intense it is precisely because of the vagueness of the concept of the infinite, as it happens to you with the concept of the sea, that you have received through a blind man who has nothing of him but the memory. When you see the sea for the first time you are going to suffer a great disappointment. In short, I started fuming about your work and I come to stop in that I do not weak praises of it. It is said that all Spanish literature, and even the Spanish character, are embedded in these two sentimental norms. And it must be seen, as regards the first, or disempowered aspiration of the infinite, that if it is very intense it is precisely because of the vagueness of the concept of the infinite, as it happens to you with the concept of the sea, that you have received through a blind man who has nothing of him but the memory. When you see the sea for the first time you are going to suffer a great disappointment. In short, I started fuming about your work and I come to stop in that I do not weak praises of it. It is said that all Spanish literature, and even the Spanish character, are embedded in these two sentimental norms. And it must be seen, as regards the first, or disempowered aspiration of the infinite, that if it is very intense it is precisely because of the vagueness of the concept of the infinite, as it happens to you with the concept of the sea, that you have received through a blind man who has nothing of him but the memory. When you see the sea for the first time you are going to suffer a great disappointment. In short, I started fuming about your work and I come to stop in that I do not weak praises of it. as it happens to you with that of the sea, that you have received it through a blind man who has nothing of it but the memory. When you see the sea for the first time you are going to suffer a great disappointment. In short, I started fuming about your work and I come to stop in that I do not weak praises of it. as it happens to you with that of the sea, that you have received it through a blind man who has nothing but memory of it. When you see the sea for the first time you are going to suffer a great disappointment. In short, I started fuming about your work and I come to stop in that I do not weak praises of it.

Teofilo did not answer. They walked for about an hour in silence.

-What’s wrong? Alberto asked.

-I do not know what’s happening to me. I can’t talk, I can’t speak. I’ve got all the blood in my head. ”His voice was hoarse and came out in clots. He was nervously gripping his friend’s arm.

p. 323″Teofilo, tell me what’s wrong with you.” I beg you to entrust yourself to me. You cannot doubt my love. I will try to relieve you of your regrets as best I can. Does that old love still make you suffer? Is that?

-No, is not that. I mean, of course that’s it. But they are other things. How am I going to tell you if I don’t know myself? I have never felt more helpless, belittled and powerless, more useless for life, more frustrated than today, after what they call my triumph. Do you understand it? Well, I don’t understand it either. It’s an irrational, frenzied voice screaming inside my head: “You are lost.” What you said about those two feelings seems to me to have a lot of truth; But there are so many, so many things besides, above, below and around what you have said. And do you know what those two feelings resolve into? They are resolved in another barbarous, excessive, overwhelming feeling … of hatred for my mother. Isn’t it monstrous? Teofilo’s voice broke as if he were going to cry. Alberto did not reply. Theophilus repeated: Isn’t it monstrous? Since she came from Valladolid I began to feel a latent aversion that horrified me. Tonight the adversity has turned to hatred: I can’t help it. The fault is not mine, the fault is not mine. Do you think it’s my fault?

-Of course not. Now calm down.

-We’re going home. It is Sunrising. I need rest.

Guzmán thought: “Doña Juanita will have gotten tired of waiting and by now she will be sleeping like a blessed woman.”

“We’ll take a car, if you like,” Guzmán spoke up.

-Yes; as you want.

Very close to them stood an open simón. The macabre nag, in the pure bones, contemplatedp. 324He planted with sad eyes the dawn of the sky. The coachman slept sitting on the floor of the car with his feet on the stirrup and his head dropped on the seat.

During the journey neither of the two friends opened their lips. A grayish, melancholic and soporific vapor floated in the stairwell like a sensation of convalescence. A bird sang.

“It’s something here, in such a part,” Theophilus murmured, pointing to the base of the rib cage. Something that drowns me, that takes me away, that infuriates me, ”he added, raising his voice and clenching his fists.

-Speak Low.

“It’s something here, like a moldy sword going through me.” I have always felt it, since I was a child; but today stronger than ever. It is something before my life, do you understand? Like the memory of a bad blood that had engendered me, do you understand ?; It is something that has made me unhappy through no fault of my own, do you understand?

“I don’t understand you, because that’s crazy.” Do me the favor of shutting up or lowering your voice.

As they approached the second landing, the door opened, appearing, amid the uncertain light of the matinada and half dissolved in the gloom, the figure of Dona Juanita, who said, in a tired and loving voice:

“Son of my guts.”

Teófilo had to lean on Guzmán to avoid hitting the ground. With a strangled accent of anger or fear, he bellowed:

-Dream? Get away from me, cursed shadow.

The old woman took a step forward, her gloomy body standing out against the chaotic gray.

-Child! Child! The first exclamation was one of stupor, the second one of meek reproach.

“Get away from me, you hateful creature; get away, get away that I do not see you, because I will undo you between my handsp. 325us — and Teófilo struggled to free himself from Alberto’s arms.

Dona Juanita got lost, fleeing, in the bosom of the darkness. Guzmán held Teófilo for a few minutes and then led him to his bedroom. While inside the room, the poet overflowed in manifestations of violent rage. It shattered everything ahead, made muffled sounds and incoherent words, and suddenly began to jump and run madly around the room. Finally, he fell face down on the bed, buried his head on the pillow, and stayed that way for a few minutes. He sat up suddenly, and with wild eyes he stared at Guzman, who was motionless in the center of the room.

-You are a man? Or are you a stone statue? What are you doing? What are you staring at? What you think? What do you say? Do you smile Give me your heart of bronze; show me how to reach your indifference and insensitivity.

“Whoa.” Now lie down and go to sleep. ”Guzmán shook hands with his troubled friend and went in search of the mother, whom he imagined even more troubled.

The lady was in her room, seated, and, according to the external signs, very calm. Before Alberto could open his mouth, Dona Juanita came forward to speak:

“Don’t bother to console me, Senor de Guzmán.” I thank you for your good intention; but in this case I don’t need consolation.

-The thing is…

-Nerd; not a word. Things of the soul are very subtle, Señor de Guzmán, for men to understand. They only concern God, and God knows what to do. Go to sleep because it is late and leave me alone. Don’t you see that I am serene? Thank you very much for your request. Goodnight.

p. 326Guzmán withdrew thinking: “We never know anything about anything.”

The next day Dona Juanita left for Valladolid.