The Love Of The People Of Villagarcía For Their Lord, Don Luis de Quijada

August 24, 2017

Don Juan of Austria Painted by Alonso Sanchez Coello, located at the Art Institute of Chicago

Jeromín [Don John of Austria] had a great fright on the morning of 28th of August, 1556. He was doing his lessons with D. Guillén Prieto, when Doña Elizabeth de Alderete, first lady-in-waiting, appeared suddenly to tell him from Doña Magdalena to come to the parlor.

She considered his lesson time so sacred, and it was so extraordinary that she should send for him during this hour, that the boy, frightened, began hastily to examine himself to see what faults of commission or omission he could have been accused of. Then he saw a courier covered with dust passing through the cloister. He began to imagine that the strange power which governed him and took him from one place to another was claiming him once more, and was going to separate him from Doña Magdalena, which made the child so miserable that he arrived in the presence of the lady very crestfallen, and with eyes full of tears.

Doña Magdalena de Ulloa

Doña Magdalena was standing, an open letter in her hand, and joy in her face, so that, with the discernment of a much-loved child, Jeromín was comforted at once. “My aunt would not look so happy if they were going to take me away,” he said to himself. She came to meet him, holding out her arms.

“Come here, Jeromín, give me a kiss as a reward for good news,” and she gave him one on the forehead with all the tenderness of a mother, and added joyfully, “You shall be the first to know, Jeromín, that in three days Luis Quijada, my lord, will be here.” Everyone present, duennas and maids, exclaimed with delight, and pleased with these demonstrations, Doña Magdalena, more beside herself with joy than Jeromín had ever seen her, then said, “And now, Jeromín, amuse yourself all day and go with Juan Galarza wherever you please.”

Luis Quijada

Meanwhile the news, carried by the courier, had run through the castle and village with many added details. The abdication of the Emperor was already a fact, and despoiled of all his power Charles V had embarked at Flushing for Spain, in order to shut himself up for the rest of his days in the convent of Yuste. For this purpose the Emperor was sending forward his steward Quijada, from whom he was inseparable, that he might await Charles’s arrival in Laredo, after having spent a few weeks in the bosom of his family.

This news convulsed the castle, village, and most of all Jeromín, who had not a moment’s peace during those three days, or passed a night without dreaming of the noble figure of Quijada, whom he knew by hearsay, and imagined to be something gigantic.

Rev. Fr. Luis Coloma, The Story of Don John of Austria, trans. Lady Moreton, (New York: John Lane Company, 1912), 31-2.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 589




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