The Little Doll

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ISBN paperback: 9788498163292

SKU: 9788498979541 Category: Tags: ,

The Little Doll (La muñequita). Juan Valera

The little doll

Centuries ago, in a great city, capital of a kingdom, whose name is not important to know, there lived a poor and honest widow who had a daughter of fifteen years old, beautiful as a sun and candid as a dove.
The excellent mother looked at her as in a mirror, and in her innocence and beauty she thought she possessed a very rich jewel that she would not have exchanged for all the treasures of the world.
Many gentlemen, young and libertine, seeing these two women so destitute, barely earning enough to feed themselves, had the audacity to make interested and unworthy propositions to the mother about her beautiful girl; but she always rejected them with that calm composure that convinces and retracts a thousand times more than an exaggerated and vehement indignation. What is to the girl no one dared to say what are often rightly called bold thoughts. Her candor and angelic innocence kept the most insolent and heartless at bay. The good widow was also always like an Argos, watching over her.
It happened, then, that the fame of the girl’s very rare and high qualities reached the ears of the king, who, being young and passionate, wanted to see her, and, having seen her, fell madly in love. His majesty made use, according to custom, of his first chamberlain or gentleman, a very discreet, stealthy and insinuating person, to intervene in this business and smooth out obstacles; but all the skill of that experienced paraninfo and all the sea of money in which he promised to make the widow and her daughter swim came crashing down against the unheard-of virtue of both, steadier than a rock. The ultimatum that ended such important negotiations was conceived and expressed in these terms by the good widow: “If His Majesty wants to come to my house with the priest, let him come whenever he likes; my daughter will be honored to be the queen, his wife; but if His Majesty thinks that he has to achieve something by any other means, he is very much mistaken”.
In a time of severe virtues, and not severe virtues, of democratic sentiments, that reply would have been applauded; But then there was such corruption in the customs and such was the aristocratic spirit and of subordination to the high social hierarchies, that the king, the courtiers, the ladies and all the people, in order not to be indignant at the humiliations of the widow and her daughter, determined to laugh and declare them fools, calling them the hungry fucks, the ragged queens, the perishing for their taste and other dictates and titles of scorn. The sad women could not even touch the door of the house in which they lived without seeing themselves whistled at and embarrassed. When they went to mass on Sundays, the comadres said when they saw them passing by:
-There goes the queen; look at her majesty and intonation. How can she go so stiff on an empty stomach?
With which and with other phrases of the same kind they hurried and made the girl cry, who was more blessed than bread, and who did not know how to loosen her tongue and give them their due.
She and her mother had patience and gentleness to spare, and never became exacerbated by bad treatment, nor did they regret having despised such a good opportunity to become rich.
The girl, not content with being long-suffering and forgiving of injuries, was extremely loving towards everyone. His charity extended to the same inanimate or apparently inanimate beings. He loved the flowers, the trees, the stars, the clouds, and even the little bugs in the river. I did no harm to anyone, I used to try to do as much good as possible. But this did not improve, but rather worsened his luck. No longer having anyone to provide for her, she had to go to work in the fields in the company of her mother, where either picking olives, or gleaning, or in other more difficult tasks, her pretty face was toasted by the sun’s rays, her white and delicate hands became calloused and her soul was saddened, hearing her continually called by mockery the queen.

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