Lope de Rueda, Spain's 16th Century Comedian - The Pasos: translated and staged as living history
El Deleitoso
“The Delightful
Seven short comedies, “pasos”,  from the repertoire of the great Spanish Farcist and comedian
Lope de Rueda
 The Servants,  The Mask,
The Contented Cuckold,The Guest,
The Land of HaHa,
To Pay or Not to Pay, and The Olives
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine, Florida
1983 to 1992
Translated from the Spanish by
Joan Bucks Hansen
 © Joan B. Hansen and Steven J. Hansen
(The following represent only the first page of each  Paso)
[Review Translator's notes click here.]
Paso I
Los Criados
“The Servants”
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine,  FL 1983-1992
Translated from the Spanish by
Joan Bucks Hansen
CHARACTERS: Luquitas,  a page  Alameda,  a simple servant
Salcedo, their master
[Scene:  The street in front of a tavern]
Luquitas: Hurry along, Alameda.
Alameda: Pardiez, I was done in.
Luquitas: When you go into a tavern, you must keep to yourself.
Alameda:  I certainly did put the stick in my eye!  Do you even want to be seen with such a malacreanza?
Luquitas:  Stop that.  Let’s go.  We’ll walk fast, so that the señor won’t be angry and won’t think we ran away with the money.
Alameda: What?  How long do you think we tarried?
Luquitas: If we don’t delay any more, it could be that the señor will receive us without a fuss.
Alameda: Pardiez, if you hadn’t delayed yourself so long in the shop---May the one who taught her that trade live a good century!  You took me there and then my own free will was tied up with a woolen cord, just as surely as if I were locked up in the dungeon of the grove house at Valencia.
Luquitas: You mean the bunmaker’s house
Alameda: “A bunmaker” they call her?  Oh, what a respectable name, God bless us.
Luquitas: Well, you saw the sign.
Alameda:  Pardiez, brother Lucas, you won’t cure me of knowing that sign.  It is enough if God or my good fortune can carry me again to town and allow me to miss that house, even if I go crawling on all fours with my eyes turned backward in a bucket.
Luquitas:  Have you ever had better food to eat since you were born?
Alameda:  Pardiez, not even since before I was born.  It was so fine, served out on the tray with the fish stew on top—I don’t know how you did them justice, for I wanted to spend an hour and a half on each one—and since you had such an acquaintance with them, they should be old friends to you but you picked over them like a chicken pecks a handful of wheat.
Luquitas: Yes, yes.  You lacked endurance.
Alameda: That was it.  When I saw that mean fellow watching me accusingly—and you made me swallow without even chewing?
Luquitas: Oh, those pastries were badly done and as tough as shoe soles.  They must have been pure bran....
Paso II
La Caratula
“The Mask”
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine FL (1983-1992)
Translated by Joan Bucks Hansen
CHARACTERS: Alameda, simple servant. Salcedo,  his master.
Alameda: Are you here, Señor Master?
Salcedo:   Here I am, can’t you see?
Alameda: Pardiez, señor, if I hadn’t bumped into you, I couldn’t have found you even if I had turned around as many times as a hound getting ready to lie down.
Salcedo:   For certain, Alameda.  I can easily believe it.
Alameda: If you didn’t believe me, I would have to say that you were not of sound mind.  Well, in faith, I bring to you a business that is too much on my conscience for me to remain salient.
Salcedo: Silent, you mean.        
Alameda:  Yes, silent, it must be;  I think that….
Salcedo: Well, say what you want to say, for this place is well enough out of the way if it is silence you must have for something secret.
Alameda: Is there anyone around here who might hear us?  Look well, for this is a big secret and if someone were to happen upon it as I did, then they would know that you know as surely as if I had told them in their ear.
Salcedo: I believe you perfectly.
Alameda:  Well, wouldn’t you have to believe me?....since I am the grandson of a pastry cook.
Salcedo:  What IS it?  Have done with this.
Alameda:  Speak softly.
Salcedo:  What are you hiding?
Alameda:  More softly.
Salcedo:  [Whispering] Say what you have to say.
Alameda: [Whispering] Can anyone listen?
Salcedo: [Shouts]  Haven’t I just told you NO????
Alameda: Know, then, that I have found a thing that can make me a big man, de Dios en ayuso.
Salcedo:  You found such a thing?  Let me be your companion.
Alameda: No, no.  I found it by myself; I want to enjoy it by myself, if fortune is not against me.
Salcedo:  Well, let’s see what you found.  Show it to me.
Alameda: Has your mercy ever seen a jackass?
Salcedo:  I certainly have.
Alameda: Well, what I have found is worth more. Maybe 25 maravedís more.
Salcedo:   Is that possible?  Let me see.
Alameda: I don’t know if I would sell it.  I don’t even know if I would pawn it.
Salcedo:  Show me!!!!
Alameda: Paso a paso.  Step by step.  Look at it a little bit. [Shows him an actor’s mask.]
Salcedo:   Oh, how unfortunate!  Is that all you found?
Alameda: What?  It is not good?  Well, know, your mercy, that coming back down the mountain from gathering wood, I found this Devil of Hilofomia next to the fence of the corral...........
Paso III
Cornudo y Contento
“The Contented Cuckold”
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine,  FL 1983-1992
Translated from the Spanish by
Joan Bucks Hansen
Characters: Lucio, a physician. Martín de Villalba, simple fellow.
Bárbara, Martín’s wife  Jerónimo: a student
[SCENE:  In front of the house of the physician Lucio.]
Lucio: [Begins grandly in fractured Latin.]   Oh, miserabilis doctor, cuanta pena paciuntur propter miseriam! What fortune is this that in the whole day not one patient has come to me for a prescription!  But look who is coming to relieve my boredom.  This poor brute has been made to believe, by his wife, that she is ill.  This is so that she can have a good time with a certain student who is so eager that two or three visits a day won’t do.  But let this poor husband come home, and as sure as a chicken drops dung in the courtyard, she is not going to be without a fever…..[Martín appears with a basket of chicks.]   Welcome, good Alonzo!
Martín: No, no, señor doctor.  Martín de Villalba is my name for whatever honor it may bear.
Lucio:[Speaking fractured Latin.]  Salus adque vita in qua Nestoreossuperatis dias.  And how are things with you, brother Martín de Villalba?
Martín: Señor, your mercy, I hope you will pardon me for bringing such tiny little chicks, but I promised my wife a gander to fatten to help her get well.
Lucio:  May God give us health.
Martín: My wife first, pray to God, señor.
Lucio:  [Takes the basket of chicks. Calls offstage:] Mochacho!  Take these chicks and close the jalousy!
Martín: No, no, señor, these are not birds of jealousy;  don’t speak carelessly.  Do you know how to prepare them for your dinner?
Lucio:   Certainly not!
Martín: Look, first you must take their lives and their plumes and then pluck them and take out the liver if it is damaged.
Lucio:   And then?
Martín:   And then put them to cook and when they are done, eat them if you like.
Lucio:  That sounds good to me;  but how is your wife?....................
Paso IV
El Convidado
“The Guest”
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine,  FL 1983-1992
Translated from the Spanish by
Joan Bucks Hansen
Characters: El Caminante, a traveler. El Licenciado Xáquima,  lawyer
El Bachiller Brazuelos, a scholar
[SCENE: The balcony of the lawyer’s rooms at an inn and the street below.]
Traveler: [Walking up to the Inn.] One of the greatest hardships that a man can endure in this miserable life is to travel on foot.  And the superlative hardship is to be short of money.  Dinero.  I tell you this because I have been offered a certain business arrangement in this city, but along the road in a heavy rain I lost all my money.  My only remedy is this:  I am informed that a certain lawyer from my native town lives in this city.  I will see whether a certain letter I am carrying will gain me his favor.  This should be the Inn.  I will call out.  IS ANYONE HOME???
Bachiller: Who calls?  Who’s there?
Traveler: It is I.  Come out, your mercy.
Bachiller: What do you want?
Traveler: Do you know a señor lawyer?
Bachiller: No, señor.
Traveler:  Well, let me tell you: He is a short man, round-shouldered, black beard, from Burbáguena.
Bachiller: I don’t know him.  Tell me his name.
Traveler:  Señor, in Burbáguena they call him Licenciado Xáquima.
Bachiller: Señor, with me, here, is one who calls himself by the very same name.
Traveler: Then that must be him.  Call him.
Bachiller: All right.  Señor Licenciado Xáquima!!!!!
Licenciado: Are you calling me, señor Bachiller Brazuelos?
Bachiller:  Sí, señor.  Come outside, your mercy.
Licenciado: [Speaks from behind curtain.] I beg you excuse me sir, for I go wrapped in the fragrance of study and I am in that which they say “sicus  adversus tempore, et quia bonus tempus est non ponitur Illo.”
Bachiller: Come out, señor, for there is a gentleman  here from your native city..... 
Paso V
La Tierra de Jau Jau
“The Land of Ha Ha”
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine FL (1983-1992)
Translated by Joan Bucks Hansen
CHARACTERS: Honziguera, a thief.  Panarizo, a thief. Mendrugo, a simple fellow
SCENE:  A road at the edge of a small village
Honziguera:  Hurry up, Panarizo,  don’t dawdle behind.  Now is the time to tend our trap.  Our prey is resting quietly and we, the stalkers, are hidden.  Ah, Panarizo, there you are!
Panarizo: [Appears from same direction as Honziguera.Can you yell any louder?
What the devil do you expect?  First you leave me in hock at the tavern, and then you carp at me for lagging behind.
Honziguera: For two crummy dineros to pay for a drink, you were in hock?
Panarizo:  We didn’t have two crummy dineros.
Honziguera: If we didn’t have two crummy dineros, what could we do?
Panarizo:   What could we do but leave them the sword?
Honziguera: The sword?
Panarizo:    The sword.
Honziguera:  You left them the sword.  You know what we are about to do and you leave them the sword??????????
Panarizo:  Listen, brother, you’d better find us something to eat.  I’m turning gray from hunger.
Honziguera: You’re no hungrier than I am.  That’s why I am lying in wait here, watching that simple fellow over there who just happens to be carrying food to his wife.  This is a prize catch: an authentic and respectable cazuela, a stewpot full of great delicacies and choicest morsels.  And by telling him tales of the Land of HaHa…he will partake of our stories….while we partake of his stew.
[They hide—Panarizo to R., Honziguera to L.]
Mendrugo: [Appears from off L. singing and carrying a stewpot.]  [He sings:]
                        You gave me a bad night, Maria de Rion
                        With the bimbilindron….
Panarizo:  [Stepping into view] Hello there, my good fellow!  Was that you we heard singing?
Mendrugo: Yes.  I’m going to finish now.  Wait! [He sings}
                        A bad night you gave me….God gave us even worse
                        ……of the bimbilindron….dron…….dron……
 Honziguera: [stepping into view]   Hello, friend.
Mendrugo: Are you talking to me, or to her? [Indicating stewpot]
Honziguera: Uh….who, her?
Mendrugo:  Her with arms akimbo and open on top! [Describing the pot]........
Paso VI
Pagár y No Pagár
“To Pay or Not To Pay”
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine FL (1983-1992)
Translated by Joan Bucks Hansen
CHARACTERS: Brezano, an hidalgo.  Cebadón, a simple servant.
 Samadél, a simple fellow
[Scene:  In front of the house of Brezano.]
Brezano: Now tell me:  Isn’t it odd that an Hidalgo like myself should suffer such affronts and aggravations from his fellow man!  It happens that the agent of the landlord of this, my house, has sent some 200 times to collect certain rentals that I owe.  I have decided to call my servant and give him the money to deliver.  Hola, Cebadón, come here!
Cebadón:   Señor?  Hah, señor.  Did your mercy call me?
Brezano:   Yes, I called.
Cebadón:   I could see that you were calling me.
Brezano:   You saw that I called?  How so!
Cebadón:    How?  By naming my name.
Brezano:     Listen.  Come here.  Do you know..
Cebadón:   Yes, sir.  I know.
Brezano:    What do you know?
Cebadón:   That one…him…the other one…the one your mercy said…
Brezano:    What one did I say?
Cebadón:   I forgot.
Brezano:   Leave off the jokes.  Tell me if you know the agent for the landlord of the house I live in.
Cebadón:  Sí, señor, I know him very well.
Brezano:  Where does he live?
Cebadón:   In his house.
Brezano:     Where is his house?
Cebadón:   Look, your mercy.  You go down this street and turn right at the next street on the left,   and next to that house is another house by the house with the stone seat by the door…
Brezano:  You don’t understand me, ass.  I’m only trying to find out if you know the agent for the landlord of my house.
Cebadón:  Sí, señor,  I know him very well.
Brezano:   Where does he reside?
                                        [Samadél: lurks and listens, L.]
Cebadón: Look, señor,  for you it would be better if you go by the church.  Go in the church and out the other door and take a turn around the building, and take the alley between the next alley and the alley further up and….
Brezano:  I can see that you know the place very well.
Cebadón:  Sí, señor.  All too well.....
Paso VII     
    Las Aceitúnas
“The Olives”
As performed by the St. George Street Players of St. Augustine FL    1983-1992
Translated from the Spanish by
Joan Bucks Hansen
CHARACTERS: Toruvio,  a peasant Agueda, his wife
Menciguela,  their daughter   Aloxa, a neighbor
[Scene:  The street in front of a tavern]
[SCENE:  Yard and interior of the home of Toruvio.  Inside the house, is Menciguela busy in the kitchen.]
Toruvio: [Coming home from gathering wood on the mountain. He is very wet.]
Válame Díos!  Such a storm broke on the mountainside, it seemed the sky would break apart and dump down the clouds.  Well I am home now, and I shall see what my wife has in the alcena for my supper.  If her evil temper hasn’t killed her.  Hello!  Menciquela, daughter!  Menciguela!   Is everyone asleep in Zamora?   Agueda de Toruegano!  Do you hear me?  [Pounds on door]
Menciguela: [Softly]  Jesús, Padre!  Must you smash the door?
Toruvio: What a sharp tongue.  Will you listen to that sharp tongue?  And where is your mother, missy?
Menciguela: She’s at the neighbors’ helping with the spinning.  She’s winding skeins: making madejillas.
Toruvio:   The devil take her madejillas and yours.  Go and fetch her
Agueda: [Approaching the house.]  Ah.  There he is!  Back already with a dismal little load of wood and no one here to notice.
Toruvio: So!  To your perceptive eye this looks like a dismal little load of wood, does it?
I’ll have you know that your Godson and I both tried to lift it and we could not.
Agueda:  That would be an evil hour.  My, how wet you are.
Menciguela: Ay, Papa, how wet this firewood is!
Toruvio: Your mother will say it’s nothing more than dew.
Agueda: Menciguela, girl, go and fix some eggs for your papa’s supper and then, go upstairs and make the beds. [She goes.]  ….And I suppose you forgot to plant the olive shoot I begged you to plant!
Toruvio:  And, what do you suppose took me so long if I forgot to plant the olive shoot you begged me to plant?
Agueda: Hush, then, and tell me where you planted it?
Toruvio: [Softly] Up on the mountainside, next to the early-bearing fig tree where, if you recall, one time I gave you a kiss. [Starts to kiss her but is interrupted.]
Menciguela: Papa, you can come in and eat now.  Your supper is ready for you.
  [He starts into the house.]
Agueda:  Marido mío, do you know what I have been thinking?   [He stops.]
That olive shoot you planted today, in six or seven years should give us five or six bushels of olives.  And if we plant another shoot here, and another shoot there, then in twenty-five or thirty years you would have an honest-to-goodness olive grove.
Toruvio:  That is true, woman, and a fine grove it would be. [Starts to go in.]
Agueda: And do you know what else I thought? [He stops.] I could pick the olives when they are ready to harvest and you can carry them into town on the burro, and Menciguela can sell them in the marketplace.  And, look, Menciguela....
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