Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681)
The Mayor of Zalamea / El alcalde de Zalamea
Scene: Zalamea and environs
Cast (8 male, 3 female)
D. Alvaro de Ataide gentleman; captain; traitor
La Chispa (Chispilla la Bolichera) whore; traitor
Felipe II King of Spain
Inés farmer
Isabel farmer; villager; cousin of Inés
Juan (Juanico) soldier; villager; brother of Isabel
D. Lope de Figueroa general
D. Mendo hidalgo
Nuño servant of D. Mendo
Pedro Crespo mayor; villager; old; peasant; father of Isabel and Juan
Rebolledo comic; soldier; traitor
Act I:
A detachment of troops under D. Lope de Figueroa stops in Zalamea, where Captain Alvaro de Ataide, a captain, is lodged at the house of Pedro Crespo, a wealthy villager. Crespo has a beautiful daughter, Isabel, of whom D. Alvaro hers in advance; but her father sends her and her cousin, Inés, to an attic room so that the soldiers will not see them. As a ruse, the Captain pretends to fight with Rebolledo, a soldier. Rebolledo flees to the attic, thus giving the pursuing Captain a glimpse of Isabel, whose beauty he praises highly. Summoned by the cries for help. D. Lope appears, sends all the soldiers away until further notice, and orders the Captain to lodge elsewhere. Deciding to stay at Crespo's house himself, he tells Crespo that he would hang anyone who harmed, even slightly, one of his men. Crespo replies that he would do the same to anyone who injured his honor; for honor is the patrimony of the soul, and the soul belongs only to God.
Act II:
On the day set for marching his men out of Zalamea, Alvaro plans to leave them under a sergeant, and return to see Isabel. After joining her father and Inés in taking leave of her brother, Juan, who has joined D. Lope's forces, Isabel sits with her father and cousin at the door of their house. The Captain, a sergeant, and others seize Isabel and carry her off, while Inés and Crespo are kept from helping her. Crespo gets his sword and pursues, but is captured and tied up. Juan, whose horse has fallen near by, hears both Isabel and their father cry out. Without knowing who they are, he rushes toward the woman's voice first, mindful of the advice Crespo gave him as he prepared to leave with D. Lope.
Act III:

Isabel, dishonored, wanders about until she finds her father. She tells him her story, adding that Juan has wounded Alvaro. Then, untying Crespo, she asks him to kill her; but he brings her back to Zalamea, promising to seek justice. On returning, he learns that he has just been elected mayor, and that King Felipe II is about to visit Zalamea. Going to Alvaro, Crespo says aside his staff of office, talks to the Captain as a father, and offers him all his considerable fortune as a dowry if he will marry Isabel. The Captain angrily refuses, insisting that Crespo has no jurisdiction in the case; but Crespo has him arrested, and learns more from Rebolledo and La Chispa, another accomplice, under threat of torture. When Juan returns, he also arrests him, to settle all aspects of the case legally.

D. Lope, on hearing of the Captain's arrest, storms back to Zalamea, and is about to besiege the jail where Alvaro is being held. The King then arrives, and on learning what has happened, says that the due process of law has been followed, but the case must be tried elsewhere. Crespo, however, says that there is only one justice, and that it has already functioned. He then opens a door, showing Alvaro on a chair, strangled, and asks what difference it makes who kills a man who would have died in any case. The King is forced to agree, orders that all soldiers shall leave, and names Crespo perpetual mayor. Juan is pardoned, and this time succeeds in leaving with D. Lope. Isabel, meanwhile, has decided to enter a convent.











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