Echo and narcissus




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dedicates himself to my care.

Neither in you nor in you have I gathered

any consolation or compassion;

and since the affections of

one who lauds and one who cries are equals,

as of now the ribbon belongs to neither.
Echo exits.
SILVIO: May it please Love, since in being

offended you employ yourself in insulting me,

that whoever you may love, might see you as

whiny and loathsome.


Silvio exits.
FEBO: This my voice shall not ask of

the heavens. It is better that

you loathe in this way, as it is

here what my fierce sorrows want most,

that in exchange for you loving no one,

you might abhor me.

Oh, Sirene! Tell me, what will I do,

if there is something you have found out

that could give me some relief in this

sea of my misfortunes?

SIRENE: Just one thing.
FEBO: What is it?
SIRENE: Forgetting about it.
FEBO: Without a doubt you have seen

my desires to be hopeless,

since the prescription is forgetting,

which is love’s sepulcher.


SIRENE: I would do wrong if I did not

tell you what I know, since you have

confided your pain to my heart.

Echo cannot love you.

And her disdain has not been

so general that she has not

prostrated herself before…
FEBO: Whom?
SIRENE: …Narcissus.
FEBO: Oh, Sirene! You have done a bad thing…

SIRENE: In doing what?


FEBO: In having told me that.
SIRENE: Haven’t you asked me for it?
FEBO: Yes. But you should not have

told it to me all the same, since

whatever the jealous man wanted

to know, he really did not want to know.

And since it was not in my power to

not ask you, it was in yours not to tell me.


SIRENE: Even though, Febo, you give me

this lesson too late, I propose that I

repay you for it with another.

Never desire to learn what is hidden

from a woman, if you must regret hearing it.
Sirene exits.
FEBO: Flowers of this pleasant valley,

trunks of these tall cliffs,

birds of this gentle wind,

brutes of these haughty woodlands,

shepherds of these fertile shores,

flocks of these ? folds,

beauties of this rolling countryside,

crystals of these flowing rivers,

all of you were witnesses

to my fortunate love,

may you now also be witnesses

to my unfortunate jealousy.


Bato and Narcissus enter.
BATO: Where are you going?

NARCISSUS: I do not know what it is,

but no matter how hard

I resist, I cannot any longer.

I am going back to see that beauty

that I left behind.


BATO: But she is no longer here.
NARCISSUS: Tell me, my shepherd friend,

(to Febo) who rests upon your staff seeming

so arrested and confused,

if you have seen Echo, the honor

of these mountains, anywhere

throughout these valleys?


FEBO: Answer to this staff of holly,

(threatening him dyed in your purple hue.



with his staff) Well, no, I ought not make

you unhappy because your love

makes you glad. Live, arrogant

and vain young man,

as I do not want to take

vengeance on anyone but myself.

You are not to blame for loving

the one who loved you,

and I am for having loved

the one who loathed me.


Febo exits.
NARCISSUS: What is this, Bato?
BATO: What do you expect, if

you inadvertently ask a man

who adores Echo about her?
NARCISSUS: What a cold venom have you given me in

that word running straight from

my ear to my heart,

so varied that at once

I am scorched and I shiver, alternating

between burning ice and freezing fire?


BATO: You gave as much to Febo.
NARCISSUS: And tell me, Bato my friend,

is Febo loved by Echo?


BATO: No, she has always

detested him.


NARCISSUS: You have lifted half the weight

from my senses, so that

though the ice burns, it is made tepid,

and though the fire freezes, it is made warm.


Echo enters.
ECHO: It is better that my pain

be professed at once.

Narcissus, I come in search of you.
NARCISSUS: Seeing that she comes looking for me,

(aside) took away the other half,

since had she not come in search of me,

I would have gone for her.


How can I serve you?
ECHO: By listening to me.
(aside) I will sing it to him,

the better to oblige him with my voice.

BATO: I want

to give Liríope warning

of these extreme expressions of love,

since I am not strong enough to resist them.


Bato exits.
ECHO (singing): Most handsome Narcissus,

who brings harshness to

these pleasant valleys of the

woodlands in which you were born,

listen to my sorrows,

as they should oblige you –

not because they are mine,

but only because they are sorrows.

Love knows with how much shame

I come to speak with you, and

I neither doubt nor fear

that you also know it,

if you pay attention to the color

rising in my cheeks to give me away,

the violet blush and the pale whiteness

alternating moment by moment,

because in each breath,

which are effectively only air,

my face is changed like a

chameleon of love.

Since the very first day

I went looking for you in the wilderness

and I was the first to find you

in its lonely retreats,

my life surrendered its liberties

to your beauty,

your strangeness making a charm

for my arrogance,

so that, even though the diamond

of your heart was so coarsely uncut,

it offered a glimpse of your

many carats.

I am Echo, the most sumptuous

shepherdess of these valleys.

Beautiful my misfortunes

could say, because,

in the worship of the altars

in the temple of Love,

few lamps burn of those

both beautiful and happy.

That entire ocean of fleeces

is mine which, with its woolen waves,

ebbs and flows

from that tall rock to

this green riverbank,

grazing among emeralds and

drinking crystals.

It is all mine.

No shepherds tend to it

who do not live on my wages both

attentively and loyally.

I offer all of it at your feet;

and do not imagine because

my affections come to beg you today

that they are born,

in my practice,

of any habit of frivolity:

knowing, handsome youth,

that nothing can oblige me

except to be your wife,

but rather to declare my love,

so that you have in me someone

always firm and steadfast,

a soul that would adore you,

a heart that would love you,

a faith that would laud you,

a knot that would wrap around you,

attention that would serve you,

love that would shower you with gifts,

desire that would oblige you,

concern that would please you.

And if these submissions

cannot oblige you,

sorrowful, confused, blind,

mute, captivated, cowardly,

unhappy, afflicted

you will see devote myself

to my feelings so much

that my lamenting complaints.

the air mingled with my cries

may boast

because the enamored Echo

has been transformed into air,

NARCISSUS: Your intensity had created

experiences within my heart,

all the more to your advantage.

It is bad, divine Echo, that you have

declared to me your love,

since I so clearly deduce that,

my free will laid before you,

I now would have told you of

my own love for you

if you had kept silent about yours.

In searching for you my vexed sorrow

brings you grief comparable to your own,

with which, the tables already turned,

you may see the distance that exists between

begging and being begged.

Without taking notice of fate,

my love came to you already conquered.

What I see in good favor

is so much more than I used to see despised.

In this way, do not tell me of your love,

nor hope in your lifetime to see that

your light has scorched me, since with

the knowledge that you love me.

I will live happily.
ECHO: Listen, wait, pause, take

a moment.


NARCISSUS: Let go of my hand.
As she grasps his hand, Silvio enters.
SILVIO: What is it that my eyes see here?
ECHO: Listen to me.
NARCISSUS: It will be in vain.
ECHO: Oh, Narcissus, my love, my treasure!
NARCISSUS: I will not hear you.
SILVIO: How is it that I suffer my

offenses in this way?


NARCISSUS: Leave me be.
ECHO: Do you run from me?
NARCISSUS: Yes.
SILVIO: Who ever saw greater misfortune?

ECHO: May the heavens avenge me

on you.
SILVIO: If you ask that the heavens

avenge you, – how cruel! –

my torment can request

with greater sorrow that

they avenge me on both you and him.

I suppose, vixen, that

he offended you here,

and since both of you together offended me,

I will avenge myself on him, since

I cannot avenge myself on you.

Upstart of a young man,

who alone from this eminent

wilderness increases my rage,

son of the wind, you descend,

and even though it is not your fault

that Echo comes to love you

but rather hers, and even though

I have to partly be grateful to you,

seeing how much good fortune

you spurn as your own master,

how far outside the realm of reason it is

that the laws of jealousy must order

that he who is beloved dies and

not the one who loves.

Without any doubt it was a woman

who first introduced those laws,

since they condemn the instrument

and not the one who does the offending.

In this way, having already been accepted,

that the grievances that women cause us

be avenged on men,

I am forced to avenge myself on you

even though it must pain me

that you are such a tender young man

that in vanquishing you I do nothing.

ECHO: Silvio, look…! I am dead!


NARCISSUS: Oh, my unhappiness!
ECHO: I warned you…!
She puts herself in front of him.
SILVIO: However much you defend him,

you irritate me to kill him all the more.


NARCISSUS: Do not defend me anymore.

Leave it so that he meet my arms,

since what valor there is in my arms

that will know, Echo, how to defeat him.


The two men fight, and Narcissus falls.
SILVIO: How is that, since you are already

at my feet? Die happily,

since it is the crime for lovers

to be happy.


He goes to take the dagger in hand and finish him.

Febo enters and intervenes, stopping him.
FEBO: Hold it! Do not kill him!
SILVIO: You will stop it?
FEBO: It is only because you do not

have news of my cause for doing so.

Febo, if you had them,

you would help me kill him.


FEBO: I would not, since I save him

knowing rather than not knowing.

Being loved by someone

does not merit dying.


SILVIO: Oh, what pitiful jealousy you have,

that you do not desire a million deaths

on the man whom your lady loves!
FEBO: On the contrary, my jealousy is noble,

as it today seeks to open

the world’s eyes to the error

suffered on that part.

Wanting what I want,

almost coming to be flattery,

since it proves my good taste.

Being fortunate in being loved

is a boon of good luck.

Why must I make unfortunate

he whom the heavens made more fortunate?

Aside from that, all that is the pleasure

of my lady is always so sacred to me

(although my taste seem strange,

whether I err in this or get it right),

that I have to defend it,

in order to not give her the sorrow

of offending that which she loves.


SILVIO: In love, Febo, there is no

sophistry. And be warned that

in jealousy there is never nobility.

A man feels what he feels.

And so I must kill him

because she favors him,

even though I may have to appreciate

the fact that he scorns Echo.


FEBO: He scorns Echo?
SILVIO: Yes.
FEBO: Now I too will give him his death,

because she whom I love

must not be a man who despises her.
SILVIO: Now I will defend him,

being aware that my love

is thus obliged.
FEBO: Oh, what a despicable love you have,

that you want to kill him who Echo loves,

and save him who despises her!

And thus I am obliged to avenge her

of this rebuff.
SILVIO: I must keep it by him.
FEBO: Let he who wins follow

his own opinion.


Febo and Silvio begin to fight.
ECHO: What great disorder do I see?

Shepherds of this mountain,

come bestow your help on me,

halting the misfortune that

now transpires before my eyes.
Anteo, Sileno, Bato, Liríope, and the others enter.
ANTEO: What is this? Silvio, Febo,

control yourselves now that I am here.

SILENO: Narcissus, you already have a fight

in the valley?


NARCISSUS: I have two, as two enemies here

are trying to kill me.


LIRÍOPE: With what hurry the fates

do declare to us that you have

your risk in a beauty!
BATO: I, without being an astrologer,

said it, because “Who does not

always have his risk in a beauty

a thousand times over, or even

in a hag?
SILENO: What is all this about,

pretty Echo?


ECHO: Only about being unfortunate.
Echo exits.
ANTEO: What is all this about, Silvio?
SILVIO: It’s me being unhappy. Febo,

you tell them about it.


Silvio exits.
LIRÍOPE: What is all this about, Febo?
FEBO: I don’t know. Narcissus can

explain it.


Febo exits.
SILENO: Narcissus, what is all this about?
NARCISSUS: I don’t know what’s

happening to me.


Narcissus exits.
ANTEO: Bato, since you went to call for us,

tell us as clearly as you can

what this is all about.
BATO: Being unfortunate. That’s

what those people will tell you.


Bato exits.
SILENO: Let us follow them, so that they

may not come see each other again

before they are made to be friends.
Sileno exits.
ANTEO: Let us go, even though it appears

to me that it will be impossible

to be friends when a lady intervenes:

friendships that survive jealousies

have rarely been seen.
Anteo exits.
LIRÍOPE: Heavens, since you are already

giving me such clear indications

that the danger that your stars

predicted for Narcisso

lies in Echo’s beauty,

give me the courage to remedy

the threats before the executions begin.

Make useful that which I have learned

so that the harm is corrected:

before it happens, I must put

a thousand obstacles in its path,

if – arrogant, daring, and intense –

I know how to disrupt all of the orbs

of that celestial machine,

my prodigies seeing it

fall from its regular axes.


Liríope exits.


Act III
Febo, Silvio, and Anteo enter.
ANTEO: You all must do this for me,

since you have no reason

not to be friends.
FEBO: Little do you know what it is

to love deeply, since you say

that the two of us have no reason

not to be friends when we both

love the same scornful woman.
SILVIO: How is it possible for a man to

be friends with one who loves

who he loves, his jealousy filled

with rage over it?


ANTEO: Although I understand little of love’s

heartache, it seems to me that when

you see that both of you are equally

detested and neither is preferred,

you can be friends, since that which

obliges such jealous feelings in any lover

is the fact that he wins the hope or desire

that you lose. With neither of you having

more favor or hope than the other,

to want to work out the duel is

more than what the law commands.
FEBO: That is a good enough reason

not to quarrel with him,

but not enough to be his friend.
SILVIO: Febo has answered well

in that friendship is one thing,

but competition is another.
ANTEO: Well, according to that distinction,

I am content with you not being

enemies, if you do not want to be

friends.
FEBO: I regretfully give you my word.


SILVIO: I do as well.

But I warn that the larger

quarrel remains;

just because, Anteo, I give my word

with respect to Febo, who is

equal with me in my sorrows,

I do not with respect to Narcissus.

If Echo loves him, I have to avenge

myself of her on him.


FEBO: And I, but not because she appears to adore him,

which is his good fortune and not his fault;

instead, because he disdains her,

since I have to see that no one treats badly

the one I love the most.
ANTEO: Before talking to the two of you,

I spoke with the same young man you speak of,

and he offered to prevent any further occasions

in which he displeases one of you,

either by scorning her or loving her.

And since the three of you are ageed on

this count, note that your competition

is now my charge, and see that

he who breaks their word will

have to quarrel with me later.


Anteo exits.
SILVIO: Who ever arrived at greater misfortune

than the handsome youth who

came face to face with disappointment?
FEBO: Who ever arrived at greater happiness

than the lover who came to have

a failed love affair?
SILVIO: Well, he who was deceived

lived happily, because

it is one thing to not to know

and another to suffer.


FEBO: Well, as much as the deceived one

loved, he was unfortunate, because

there is no evil like he who kills

in secret without being known.


SILVIO: Oh, he who, being deceived, loved

all his life…


FEBO: Oh, he who had this same disappointment

that he had before…


SILVIO: So that the pain is

never felt…


FEBO: So that the cruel pain had

always been felt…

SILVIO: That in a love…
FEBO: A faith…
SILVIO: There is nothing like not knowing it!
FEBO: There is nothing like knowing it!
Echo enters.
ECHO: Silvio and Febo are here.

How much I regret that I must

hear once more

their tiring competition!


FEBO: Echo is what my eyes see.
SILVIO: Echo is what I see.
FEBO: Give me the courage, feelings,

to stop seeing her.


SILVIO: So as not to talk to her,

moans, make an effort.


FEBO: Echo, may the gods

watch over you.


Febo exits.
SILVIO: May the heavens give you life.
Silvio exits.
ECHO: How is it that the two of them, without

speaking to me, walk away in this fashion?

Who will believe that I regretted finding them

here when I arrived, since

I was just afraid that they would talk to me

of their love, and now afterwards I feel bad that

they absented themselves without mentioning it?

But what a thing, what a thing if in effect

the woman who has forgotten the most suitors

has most loathed them,

even the complaints of that which she disdains

sound good, which is a ceremonious vanity

to see oneself wanted, one that is not appreciated,

annd later, it is missed.


Bato and Narcissus enter.
BATO: Where are you going?
NARCISSUS: I am going hunting in the woodlands,

Bato, since I want to see if with

absence I can better defeat this cruel passion,

because in all my life I am not to

listen to her nor talk to her,

since my danger resided within her.


ECHO: Here he comes. What will I do?
NARCISSUS: She is here. Let us flee before

she comes to speak with me.


ECHO: But what is this? Do I doubt

what I have to do? Do I not here

come to feel that the two I detested

left just now without speaking to me?

Well, that which was venom in them

shall be medicine for him.

Take courage, heart.

Prevail at least once.

Narcissus!
NARCISSUS: What is you want, Echo?
ECHO: That the heavens give you life.
Echo exits.
NARCISSUS: How do you leave without saying

anything more to me?


BATO: By walking on her feet.
NARCISSUS: Does she already not feel the

disappointments I handed her, Bato,

since she gives me no complaints?
BATO: It seems to me that she does not.
NARCISSUS: Who would come to sorry about

the one she came to woo?

BATO: She who courted one who she

was to regret.


ECHO: Is this being in love? Yes.

But, by hiding it and because

Narcissus also judges that I

feel nothing for him, in singing

I want to undo him. If she who sings

scares away all her evils, how is it

that I frighten away what I most want?
Echo exits.
NARCISSUS: But what does it matter

that she leaves like this?


BATO: Nothing, if you look

hard at it.


NARCISSUS: It doesn’t matter,

except it matters very much.


BATO: Mind it, and

(Narcissus control your hand.



hitting him)
ECHO: If all is suffering for

(singing within) those who deeply love,

and if there is no happiness

in loving deeply,

loving be damned!
NARCISSUS: Amen!
BATO: Amen! But what are you

so annoyed by?


NARCISSUS: By the song.
BATO: You speak well,

that singing is very bad form

for a spurned woman.
NARCISSUS: Let us flee from here, Bato,

since if I hear it again

it will carry me to it.
BATO: You speak beautifully.

Let us go to the woodlands.

ECHO (inside): Lovers be damned!
NARCISSUS: Amen!
BATO: Amen!
NARCISSUS: Hold a moment. That voice

is a bugle of love that has

collected all my desires in my ear.

Leaving me behind without paying

attention to me, so ferocious and

so cruel, yet singing so happily and

freely…it is necessary that one feels it.

Come with me, I want to make you

a witness to my protests.
BATO: Well, where must we go?
NARCISSUS: Following her.
BATO: She obliges you now?
NARCISSUS: I don’t know;

but, I am sad to see

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