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Juan de Arguijo, the manuscript of which is dated 1619, though there is evidence that the collection was continued until at least 1624.1 Thus, changing "andamio" to "escalera" and "peón de albañil" to "otros," we see that Pedrisco is saying he considers Paulo's words as foolish as those of Soria's hod carrier. 1. Paz y Melia, op. cit., p. xi. More on "The Gracioso Takes the Audience into His Confidence": The Case of Rojas Zorrilla by Raymond R. McCurdy The University of New Mexico In his interesting note "The Gracioso Takes the Audience into His Confidence,"1 Professor Leavitt remarks: "We have no way of knowing whether the actors of the Golden Age ever interrupted the comedia to make some unexpected remark in the Hitchcock manner, but it seems clear that the author sometimes wrote into the play speeches that were intended to have this effect."2 The "Hitchcock manner" means, of course, ad lib. In this connection, there is a speech in Rojas' magnificent and relatively unknown Lucrecia y Tarquino3 which appears to refer to the graciosas practice of addressing offthe -cuff remarks directly to the audience. Let me set the scene: Fabio comes on behalf of his mistress Casimira to invite Lucrecia to a party to be given in celebration of the king's birthday. Lucrecia, however, is too prim and proper to let herself in for the improprieties which attend such festivities (especially in the court of the indecorous Tarquins), but her maid Julia, being less sensitive in such matters, is eager to go. Fabio seeks to whet her appetite by telling her about the play in which he will perform : O qué galán me has de ver quando el papel represente de la Comedia que ordeno, todo de donayres lleno. Julia: ¿Sábesle ya? Fabio:De repente, Vso nuevo y de primor, sin que de estudio se trate, donde el mayor disparate es el donayre mayor. (I, vv. 360-368) In Fabio's speech, de repente does not have its more common meaning "suddenly," but means "without preparation," as is made clear by the line "sin que de estudio se trate.' Covarrubias gives an example of this mean-, ing of de repente in the case of the phrase "trobar de repente," defined as "echar coplas sin tenerlas prevenidas." Fabio's reply to Julia's question "Do you already know your role?" may then be translated: "[I know it] without preparation, a fine new custom which involves no study, whereby the greatest nonsense becomes the greatest witticism." At first glance, this would seem to refer beyond any doubt to the gracioso's "new" practice of addressing impromptu remarks to the audience ; however, as it turns out, the comedia in which Fabio is to participate is a comedia de repente, a type of unrehearsed skit, usually based on an historical or mythological theme, which became popular at the court of Philip IV.4 That this is the type of play which Fabio has arranged is made clear in his following conversation with Lavinia and Casimira: Lav.: ¿De qué es la comedia, Fabio? Feb.: De Paris y las tres Diosas, a quien, igualmente hermosas, negar el premio fué agravio. Lav.: ¿Y qué aya quien de repente ee atreva a representalla? Cas.: Sí, que oy en Roma se halla lo admirable y lo excelente del ingenio. ' (II, vv. 973-981) And later, when Acronte and his companions arrive at the palace, he has this dialogue with Fabio: Acronte: Si. falta quien represente, aquí ay personas bastantes. Fab:Pues famosamente viene, que es desparate la farça, 14 y ay figuras de repente. (II, vv. 1074-1078) Thus, what at first appeared to be a promising answer to the question raised by Professor Leavitt turns out to be wholly inconclusive . At best we can only conjecture that, because of the prestige enjoyed by those who handled their impromptu rôles ingeniously, the graciosos in regular comedias were prompted to exercise their ingenuity at ad lib, "donde el mayor disparate/ es el donayre mayor." Since Professor Leavitt's study is limited to plays contained in the BAE (in the case of Rojas, vol. 54), it may...


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