The Cid [El Cid] – Monologue (Infanta – 2)

A monologue from the play by Pierre Corneille

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Cid. Trans. Roscoe Mongan. New York: Hinds & Noble, 1896.

Act – 5, Scene – 2


Shall I listen to thee still, pride of my birth, that makest a crime out of my passions?

Shall I listen to thee, love, whose delicious power causes my desires to rebel against this proud tyrant?

Poor princess! to which of the two oughtest thou to yield obedience? Rodrigo, thy valor renders thee worthy of me;

but although thou art valiant, thou art not the son of a king. Pitiless fate, whose severity separates my glory and my desires!

Is it decreed [lit. said], that the choice of [a warrior of] such rare merit should cost my passion such great anguish?

O heaven! for how many sorrows [lit. sighs] must my heart prepare itself, if, after such a long, painful struggle,

it never succeeds in either extinguishing the love, or accepting the lover!

But there are too many scruples, and my reason is alarmed at the contempt of a choice so worthy;

although to monarchs only my [proud] birth may assign me, Rodrigo, with honor I shall live under thy laws.

After having conquered two kings, couldst thou fail in obtaining a crown? And this great name of Cid, which thou hast just now won—

does it not show too clearly over whom thou art destined to reign? He is worthy of me, but he belongs to Chimène; the present which I made of him [to her], injures me.

Between them, the death of a father has interposed so little hatred, that the duty of blood with regret pursues him.

Thus let us hope for no advantage, either from his transgression or from my grief, since, to punish me,

destiny has allowed that love should continue even between two enemies.

Read the play here

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