Thursday, January 7, 2021

Vade retro

 "Yes, indeed. I will not hide that I love that good man very much, that unfortunate father, even more unfortunate than I realized. How it must be for him! We all have our weaknesses. Mine is compassion. There is always a place for sensitivity and Don Benicio is worthy of mine.”

 "But is Don Benicio the person you are interested in at the Neira house?"

 "Well, who else would it be?"

 “Good fellow! Why there are so many young, pretty, attractive girls, each one in her own special way…

 "Vade retro[1]," I replied, smiling to hide my disgust. “Do not fear that I will dispute Don Baltasar’s conquest.”

 Now I do care about what you are concealing from me,” the gossip replied. “Of course, if you cared about one of the Neira girls, you would not care about the peacock Rosa, or the turkey Constanza, or Argos, the pale spotted hen. Of course, if one of them were to bring you misfortune, it would be the same one that would bring it to me if I weren’t insured against it; the nice one, the original one of the house; the only one who doesn't look like her sisters, or any girl from Marineda, or the world!”

"Stop joking with me, Cova," I replied, greatly irritated. You have no reason to suppose that I have lost my senses. Regarding Feíta, you don't have to pester anyone, least of all me. Feíta bites and scratches. If there were only females like her in the world... Fortunately, they are the exception.”

“Don't try to fool me, you sly fox: Feíta is a delightful creature, and you are as amused by her as I am. At first, I couldn’t fathom her, and I even thought she was mad: now I understand her, and I say that she is worth her weight in gold, and that the only ones who disapprove of her and speak ill of her are the fools.”

[1] Latin, literal meaning ‘go back’, used humorously when someone tries to tempt another. From a text in the Benedictine manuscript of 1415, Vade retro Satana (get back Satan), a Medieval Catholic formula for exorcism.