September 27, 2022

Lotario and Camila: Friends Turned Lovers

Camila Is Happy That Lotario Mediates Her Marriage With Anselmo: Camila is so happy to marry Anselmo that she never stops thanking Lotario’s for his mediation, especially since his intervention brings her such joy.

Lotario and Camila - Don Quixote
Don Quixote Novel

Measures Camila Takes to Avoid Lotario: To avoid being seduced by Lotario, Camila avoids places where he might find her alone, seeking always to be attended by her servants, especially a maidservant called Leonela. To minimize the chance of dinning with Lotario alone, Camila instructs Leonela to eat before she does: Then, to never leave her side. Despite this precaution, however, Leonela does not always obey her mistress’s orders, since she needs time for her own amusements.

Their Courtship: At first, when Anselmo travels to a nearby village for over a week, Lotario does not say a word to Camila for three days out of loyalty to his friend. Eventually, however, Camila’s “perfections of goodness, and beauty of appearance,” causes Lotario to fall in love with her. As such, Lotario looks at Camila, when he should have been speaking to her, thinking about how lovely she is. Lotario’s budding love for Camila slowly begins to make “inroads in his consideration for Anselmo” causing him to abandon his loyalty to his friend. After struggling within himself to repress the pleasure that forces him to keep looking at Camila, eventually Lotario is so overwhelmed by Camila’s goodness and beauty that he begins to court her in earnest. Therefore, after three days during which he fights a continuous battle against his desires, Lotario makes a first-pass at Camila with such words of love that Camila does not know what to do. Considering it unsafe and improper to give Lotario any more opportunities to talk to her, Camila sends a letter to Anselmo saying that she will have to go and stay with her parents for a time since Lotario seems more concerned with his own pleasure than his friend’s interest. Instructed to stay at home until he returns, Camila’s steadfastness begins to weaken as she listens to Lotario’s persistent advances. Indeed, Camila’s modesty has to struggle to come to the rescue of her eyes and prevent them from betraying the loving compassion that Lotario’s words and tears awaken in her breast. Inflamed by his passion, Lotario decides to intensify his siege of Camila’s virtue by praising her beauty. To win Camila over, Lotario weeps, begs, insists, and professes his love with such feeling and shows of sincerity, that, eventually, he overcomes Camila’s modesty and “wins the victory he least expects and most desires.”

Camila Excuses Lotario’s Behavior To Her Husband Because She Begins to Fall for Lotario: When Anselmo asks what drove Camila to write a complaint letter about Lotario’s behavior, Camila says that though Lotario seemed to be rather freer with his looks in Anselmo’s absence she covers-up for Lotario by saying that she had been mistaken and that it must have been in her imagination because Lotario always avoided seeing her and being alone with her.

Camila Would Have Been Jealous Of Chloris If She Did Not Know That Lotario’s Love For Chloris Is A Pretence: If Lotario had not warned Camila that his love for a high-born lady of the city named Chloris was a mere pretence to cover-up his time writing in praise of Camila, she would have been jealous. But being forewarned, Camila does not bat an eyelid.

Lotario Recites Sonnets To Camila: When Lotario, Camila, and Anselmo sit down to eat, Lotario recites two sonnets about Chloris’s ingratitude. This thrills Camila because she knows that his verses and his desires are directed at her since she is the real Chloris.

Lotario Thinks That Camila Is Cheating On Him With Leonela’s Lover: When Lotario sees Leonela’s lover leaving at dawn, he thinks that since Camila had been such an easy and rapid conquest for him, it is only logical that he is there for her. It does not even occur to Lotario that the man he sees leaving Anselmo’s house at such an early hour might have gone there for Leonela. Thus, Camila’s reputation for amorous prudence is lost in Lotario’s eyes since he thinks that she will surrender to other men more readily than she did to him. Driven into a blind rage, Lotario tells Anselmo of Camila’s infidelity with him and that he can do with her as he pleases.

Lotario Tells Camila That He Told Anselmo To Hide And Watch Them Unobserved: Lotario tells Camila that it had been agreed that Anselmo would hide in the garderrobe and witness her infidelity with him, since he thought that Camila had cheated on him with Leonela’s lover. Even though Lotario begs forgiveness for his folly and asks advice about how to put things right so he can “extricate himself from the tortuous labyrinth in which his thoughtlessness had left him,” Camila is appalled and infuriated by what Lotario tells her and rebukes him strongly for his stupid act.

Leonela and Her Lover: Love Based Sex

Leonela confesses to Camila that she is seeing a well-born young man from an unnamed city in Tuscany and that her relationship has “already gone beyond words.” Since Leonela is so satisfied at finding her love affair officially approved, she pursues her pleasure, with reckless abandon, safe in the knowledge that her mistress covers up for her, and even advises her, on how she can enjoy herself with little worry of detection.

Thus, Leonela knows—more from experience then from hearsay—that “love has no better ministers to carry out his desires than opportunity.”

 

 

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Originally posted 2020-01-18 01:02:28.