It Is Worse than It Was Summary

Summary (Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

When Juan de Aragon, Governor of Gaeta, received a letter from his old friend Alonso Colona of Naples, saying that his daughter had run off with a murderer, Cesar Ursino, that official was so upset and incoherent that his daughter Lisarda was sure that her own guilty secret had been discovered, for she had been going veiled to assignations with a romantic wooer. This gallant, who called himself Fabio, was really Cesar. He was deeply interested in the veiled girl whom he was meeting, much to the dismay of his servant Camacho, who remonstrated with his master and reminded him that he was to marry Flerida.

One day Cesar ran across his old friend, Don Juan, who had returned from Flanders to visit an old soldier friend of his and to pay court to Lisarda. About the same time Flerida Colona arrived in Gaeta from Naples and appealed for help to the governor’s daughter. Calling herself Laura, she explained that her sweetheart was in flight after having killed a man who had molested her, and that she was following him.

During her next meeting with Cesar, Lisarda was persuaded to unveil herself. Her maid Celia, flirting with Camacho, also revealed herself. At that moment they were discovered by the governor, who was searching for Cesar. The fugitive declared: “Things are worse than they were.” The governor sent him a prisoner to the tower, and ordered the veiled girl, whom he took for the daughter of his old friend, to be taken under guard to his own house.

Returning home before her father, Lisarda was able to make him believe on his arrival that his captive had been Flerida, the girl whom Lisarda was already sheltering in the house. Satisfied with the way matters had turned out, the governor dispatched a messenger to his friend in Naples and promised to keep the runaway girl out of mischief...

(The entire section is 746 words.)