October 6, 2022

Don Fernando and Dorotea: True Love Eventually Triumphs

How Don Fernando Seduces Dorotea: When Don Fernando sets eyes on Dorotea in Church for the first time, he falls so deeply in love with her that he demonstrates his affections by not only bribing her household servant’s, so he can see her, but he also gives her relations lavish presents, and generous favors, so they like him. Moreover, Don Fernando expresses his love for Dorotea by giving her complimentary musical performances from the street. These consist of instrumental compositions accompanied by arias and oratorios. What’s more, Don Fernando even writes Dorotea long love-letters, “full of words of passion and promises of fidelity, with more offers and vows than the signs of the alphabet.” But when Dorotea does not reply to Don Fernando with “a single word that can give him even the remotest hope of fulfilling his desire,” her reserve arouses his lust to such a “great height” that he bribes Dorotea’s maid to let him into her lady’s bed chamber one night, where he takes her into his arms and begins to say such things that her resolve begins to weaken. Dorotea’s defenses are further diminished when Don Fernando “produces tears to support his words and sighs to vouch for his passion.” So shocked is Dorotea at Don Fernando’s skill at constructing lies that seem like real truths that she begins to think that his declarations of love are heartfelt and sincere. But when Dorotea vows that her honour will only be secured if Don Fernando marries her, he promises to wed her “when the time comes.” This, he affirms by picking up a holy image that Dorotea has in her room to make it the witness of their wedding. With extraordinary vows and persuasive words, Don Fernando reaffirms his promise to marry Dorotea by adding a few more saints to his list of witnesses. In fact Don Fernando repeats and confirms his marriage oath in front of Dorotea’s maid, so that Dorotea thinks he is obliged to wed her. To make his pledge more convincing, Don Fernando “calls down a thousand curses on himself” if he fails to carry out his promise to marry Dorotea, thus invoking the fear of God to authenticate their connubial union. Thus, with “moist eyes and deep sighs,” Don Fernando presses Dorotea tight in his arms, from which he never releases her. Then, “Dorotea’s maid leaves, and she stops being one.” After they make love, Don Fernando is in a great hurry to leave because “once lust has been satisfied the greatest pleasure is to escape from the scene of the fun.” But before he goes, Don Fernando swears that his marriage oath is firm-and-true, which he confirms by taking a fine ring from his finger and placing it on Dorotea’s hand. When Don Fernando leaves, Dorotea tells him that he “can come to [her] on other nights in the same way,” if he wants, until he makes their marriage public, for “she is now his.” But Don Fernando only satisfies his lust for Dorotea on the following night, and she never sets eyes on him again for over a month—neither Don Quixote Fiction in Church nor on the street—despite all her efforts to find him. In short, since “love in young men is usually not love at all but lust with gratification as its sole aim,” as soon as Don Fernando has his way with Dorotea, his desires abate. This is why he leaves Dorotea’s city forever.

Don Fernando and Dorotea - Don Quixote
Don Quixote Novel

Dorotea Repels Don Fernando By Word and By Action: When Don Fernando writes Dorotea long, gushing, love-letters, packed with offers, and vows, and promises of all sorts, her sense of virtue objects don quixote books to his unjust pretensions. Therefore, to make Don Fernando abandon hope of having her, Dorotea never replies to him with a single word that can give him even the slightest hope of fulfilling his desires. Undaunted by her silence, Don Fernando bursts into Dorotea’s room, clutches her tightly in his arms, and reaffirms his undying love for her by not only “producing tears and sighs to support his declarations” but also by creating words and rhetoric to vouch for his passion. After recovering from the initial shock of his assertions, Dorotea says that it is impossible for her to gain her freedom from his bear-hug, by doing or saying anything to the prejudice of her chastity, since she keeps her soul secure in the purity of her intentions. Furthermore, Dorotea says that though she is his tenant she is not his slave: Therefore, the “nobility of his blood should not and does not give him the authority to despise and dishonor the humility of hers, especially since she holds herself, as a modest farmer’s daughter, in as much esteem as a lord and gentlemen,” like him. This is why Dorotea declares that all of Don Fernando’s violence will have no effect on her, all of his words will not deceive her, and all of his sighs and tears will not move her. What’s more, Dorotea insists that it is “impossible for any man who is not legitimately married to her to gain anything from her” but honest compassion. When Don Fernando promises to give Don Quixote Narrative Dorotea his hand in marriage, she asks him to think about what he is doing and to consider how angry his father will be when he discovers that he married a peasant girl, one of his tenant farmers. Moreover, Dorotea tells Don Fernando to “not be blinded by her beauty, since it isn’t a sufficient reason to rush” into a hasty marriage. To make Don Fernando change his mind, Dorotea tells him that if he wants to do her a kindness he should “allow her life to run a course appropriate to her rank, since uneven matches never retain for long the happiness of their first days.” In short, Dorotea puts all these arguments to Don Fernando to ensure that the love he professes for her lasts longer than it takes for him to have his way.

Dorotea Asks Don Fernando To Be Her True and Lawful Husband: When Dorotea overhears Luscinda plea with Don Fernando that he should let her be with her true husband Cardenio, Dorotea kneels before him, and says, that he cannot be lovely Luscinda’s because he is her’s, while Luscinda cannot be Don Fernando’s because she is Cardenio’s. Moreover, Dorotea tells Don Fernando that it will be easier for him to “force himself to love a woman who adores him, than [to] persuade a woman who hates him to love him.” In addition, Dorotea argues that since Don Fernando raised in her hopes of calling herself his, she abandoned her contented, virtuous life, to hand him the keys to her heart. Thus Dorotea tells Don Fernando that he should “not let gossips huddle together to destroy her honor,” but rather should keep his oath that she is his true and lawful wife. In fact, Dorotea tells Don Fernando that whether he likes it or not she is married to him, which, his own words pledge and avow. Thus, Dorotea tells Don Fernando that if he is as good as his word, his “own words must not and cannot be false ones.” Rather they must be true. Finally, Dorotea appeals to Don Fernando’s obligations as a future grandee of Spain, by telling him that her “parents are good and loyal tenant farmers who have always done [his] parent’s great services.” In Dorotea’s mind her parents should not be worried in their old age by a rake who intentionally destroys the honor of their beloved daughter, by reneging on his promise to marry her.

Dorotea Overcomes Don Fernando’s Objection to Her Lineage: Dorotea insists that comingling his blood with hers will not diminish the quality of his lineage in any way, since true nobility consists in being virtuous, which she definitely is. Furthermore, Dorotea says that since most noble families have travelled down the road of identifying virtuous courtesans, and wedding them, he, too, should wed a rich farmer’s daughter, with agricultural lands and estates of her own. What’s more, Dorotea says that if Don Fernando’s own “conscience does not compel him to stay married to a virtuous and worthy woman, she shall be left with greater claims to nobility than he has.”

Don Fernando Confides to Cardenio That He Love’s Dorotea: Don Fernando tells Cardenio that he loves a wealthy farmer’s daughter, one of his father’s tenants, since she is so beautiful, modest, intelligent, and virtuous that nobody who knows her can decide which of these excellent qualities is most outstanding in her. In fact Dorotea raises Don Fernando’s desires to such a feverish pitch that he decides to conquer her virginity by giving her his 31word of marriage, since, according to him, any other approach is impossible.

To Keep Duke Ricardo From Discovering His Promise to Marry Dorotea Don Fernando Stays With Cardenio At His Father’s House: Fearing that Cardenio will tell his father, Duke Ricardo, about his promise to marry Dorotea, Don Fernando tells Cardenio that he must take his mind off of Dorotea’s beauty for awhile by staying with him at his father’s house for a few months. To ensure that Duke Ricardo does not find out about his folly, Don Fernando tells his father the excuse that he is going to Cardenio’s city to “inspect and buy some excellent horses.”

Dorotea Persuades Don Fernando to Marry Her: When Dorotea says that Don Fernando should marry her because she is virtuous, honorable, and comes from a family of affluent tenant farmers who have “always served his parents well,” Don Fernando listens to hear more. In addition to these arguments, Dorotea says that since it is easier to make a woman who adores him the object of his love, rather than to force a woman, like Luscinda, who despises him to love him, he should do what is right and ally himself with his true and lawful wife. Don Fernando listens in silence to Dorotea’s well reasoned speech, distressed sighs, and doleful sobs, and, “moved to tender compassion,” declares that the lovely Dorotea’s eloquent reasoning has persuaded him to give-in since “nobody could have the heart to deny such an assemblage of truths.” What’s more, when Dorotea kneels at Don Fernando’s feet to beg him not to duel Cardenio, he tells her to rise, since “it isn’t right for the woman that he loves to be kneeling at his feet,” especially since the constancy with which she loves him should make him view her with the esteem that she deserves. Don Fernando even apologizes for his bad behavior and neglect, vowing that he has found in her all that he desires. This, Don Fernando trusts, will ensure that they live secure and contented for many years to come. As Don Fernando says this, he embraces Dorotea tenderly, with “such warmth of feeling that he has to exercise great self control to prevent his tears from giving final proof of his love and repentance.”

Dorotea Stops Don Fernando From Challenging Cardenio to a Duel: When Don Fernando pales, and is about to stab Cardenio with his sword, Dorotea stops him from unsheathing his weapon by clasping his legs, kissing them, and holding him in place, saying, all the while, with tears flowing down her cheeks, that since he has, at his feet, his true and lawful wife, he should be content with that and not jeopardize his life out of a mistaken sense of honor. What’s more, Dorotea tells Don Fernando that he should leave Cardenio and Luscinda to love one another in peace and quiet, since the stark revelation of the truth should not increase his wrath but quell his anger, so that he can bring himself to allow these two lovers to enjoy peace together, without any further interference. Dorotea reasons that if Don Fernando does this he will show the “generosity of his illustrious and noble breast” ? and the entire world will see that reason has more power over him than passion.

Dorotea Is Happy That Don Fernando Is Not Properly Married To Luscinda Since She Still Has A Chance To Wed Him: When Dorotea discovers that Don Fernando left Luscinda’s house after reading her note declaring that Cardenio is her true husband, Dorotea is happy, since this knowledge revives her hopes that she may repair her relationship with Don Fernando one day. In other words, since Dorotea finds that Don Fernando and Luscinda are not properly married, she still has a chance, she thinks, to make Don Fernando honor his promise to wed her.

Dorotea Asks Don Fernando To Be Her True and Lawful Husband: When Dorotea overhears Luscinda plea with Don Fernando to let her be with her true husband (Cardenio) Dorotea kneels before him, and says, that he “cannot be lovely Luscinda’s because he is her’s, while Luscinda cannot be Don Fernando’s because she is Cardenio’s.” Moreover, Dorotea tells Don Fernando that it “will be easier for [him] to force himself to love a woman who adores him, than to persuade a woman who hates him to love him.” In addition, Dorotea argues that since Don Fernando raised in her hopes of calling herself his, she abandoned her contended, virtuous life, to hand him the keys to her heart. Moreover, Dorotea tells Don Fernando that out of kindness towards her he should not let gossips huddle to destroy her honor, but should follow through on his oath declaring that she is his true and lawful wife. In fact, Dorotea tells Don Fernando that whether he likes it or not she is married to him, which, his own words pledge and avow. Thus, Dorotea says that if he is true to his word his own declarations “must not and cannot be false ones.” Rather, they must be true. Finally, Dorotea appeals to Don Fernando’s obligations as a future Grandee of Spain, by reasoning that her parents are good and loyal tenant farmers that have always done his parent’s great services. Thus, they should not be worried in their old age by a lord who intentionally destroys the honor of their beloved daughter by reneging on his promises to marry her.

Dorotea Overcomes Don Fernando’s Possible Objection to Her Lineage: To counter Don Fernando’s possible objection to her lineage, Dorotea insists that comingling his blood with hers will not diminish the quality of his lineage in any way, since true nobility consists in being virtuous, which she definitely is. Furthermore, Dorotea says that since most noble families in the world have travelled down the road of identifying virtuous courtesans, and wedding them based on a fitting match, he should be aware that her rank, as a rich farmer’s daughter, with agricultural lands and estates, entitles her to a place in his heart. What’s more, Dorotea says that if Don Fernando’s own conscience does not compel him to make good on his word to stay married to a virtuous and worthy woman, she shall be left with greater claims to nobility than he has.

Don Fernando Yields To Dorotea’s Arguments and Marries Her: Dorotea says that Don Fernando should marry her because she is virtuous, honorable, and comes from a family of affluent tenant farmers who have always served his parents well. Don Fernando listens in silence to Dorotea’s well reasoned speech, distressed sighs, and doleful sobs, and, moved to tender compassion, declares that the lovely Dorotea’s eloquent reasoning has persuaded him to give-in since “nobody could have the heart to deny such an assemblage of truths.” What’s more, when Dorotea kneels at Don Fernando’s feet to beg him not to duel Cardenio, he tells her to rise, since “it isn’t right for the woman he loves to kneel at his feet,” since the constancy with which she loves him should make him view her with the esteem that she deserves. Don Fernando then apologizes for his bad behavior and neglect, vowing that he has found in her all that he desires, which he “trusts [will enable them to] live secure and contented for many years to come.” As Don Fernando says this he embraces Dorotea tenderly, with such warmth of feeling that he has to exercise great self control to prevent his tears from giving final proof of his love and repentance.

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Originally posted 2020-01-18 11:00:26.