‘Peribanez’ is a play by Lope de Vega written in the 17th Century. The following speech is from a modernized version of the play, written by Tanya Ronder. In it, Peribanez has just brought his new bride, Casilda, home from their wedding. She tells him that if her love could be measured in gold, he would be as rich as a king, and he responds:
You can’t outweigh my love Casilda. My mouth will speak my heart and meet you anywhere, everywhere. I’d take the whole of Ocana and lay it at your feet. The entire town and every bit of land, field after field till the river’s washed through all Portugal and disappeared into the Spanish sea.
What could be more beautiful than you? I can’t think of anything. A grove of olive trees, heaving with olives, curling down with fruit? A meadow in early May, first light, when tiny flowers burst open, seeing the world for the first time? Or an apple – shiny and ripe? Thick golden oil, rich and clean in its clay pot? Everything pales, Casilda, next to you. I smell your lips, I can’t imagine a better smell. Not even a wine that’s been asleep in a tall dark cellar – white, crisp, perfect to drink. I’d compare you to roses if I were a gentleman, but I’m a worker and wine’s the thing – but nowhere near as good as you. Could mushroom picking in December, the rain in Spring, the miracle of wheat in August or October’s grape juice come near to the treasure I’ll have in my house? Who cares if the summer roasts me or the winter numbs me? I’m complete. I just have to look after this – (indicates his chest.) It’s your home – it needs to be worthy of you.
D’you think a Peasant can become a King through the peace in his heart? I think yes. Which means you’re a Queen, Casilda. My Queen. I want to bring you such happiness. Everybody’ll wonder how did it happen? How did perfect Casilda turn out to have the Devil’s own Luck? That’s how happy Heaven will make you, wife, if I have anything to do with it.