January 28, 2023

Donna Clara de Viedma and Don Luis: Love Finds a Way

Don Luis Courts Donna Clara Despite Her Father’s Precautions: Although Donna Clara’s father covers her windows with oilcloths in the winter and lattices in the summer to give his daughter a degree of privacy, Don Luis manages to express his love for his daughter by voicing his fondness for her from the windows of his house across the street with “such signs and tears of affection” that Dona Clara ends-up believing him and loving him back. Therefore, when her father is out of the house, Dona Clara lifts the oil cloth, or lattice, (depending on the season) and lets him see her, which delights him to the depths of his soul. Later, when Donna Clara travels with her father to Granada on their way to Mexico City, Don Luis follows them on Spanish highways and byways disguised as a lowly footman. In his role as a servant, Don Luis hides from Donna Clara’s father when they meet on lanes and at inns so he can steal an occasional glance at his daughter when her father is not looking. In sum, whenever Dona Clara sees Don Luis and hears him sing, she is so frightened that her father might recognize him and find out about their feelings for each other that she becomes alarmed and trembles all over.

Donna Clara de Viedma and Don Luis -- Don Quixote
Don Quixote Novel

Don Luis Follows Dona Clara To Granada To Show His Love For Her: When Don Luis finds out that Dona Clara is leaving Spain so that her father can take up a post as a Supreme Court Justice in Mexico City, Don Luis is so ill with grief that he dresses up as a footman and follows her from Seville to Granada.

Donna Clara Recognizes Don Luis Despite His Disguise As A Footman: Two days after Donna Clara and her father leave Seville for Granada, she see’s Don Luis standing outside the door of an Inn, looking so much the part that “if his features had not been engraved in her memory” she could never have recognized him. But she does recognize him and is astonished and delighted to see him.

Donna Clara Is Heartbroken That Don Luis Suffers Great Hardship To Follow Her To Granada: Observing that Don Luis walks several hundred kilometers disguised as a footman out of love for her, Dona Clara is heartbroken at the woe she has caused him.

Don Luis Serenades Donna Clara: A little before dawn, when Dona Clara slumbers with Dorotea at a roadside inn, Dorotea is woken by the voice of a person who she takes is a young footmen singing. From a courtyard below her window, Dorotea hears a ballad comparing the unrequited love Don Luis feels for Donna Clara to “a mariner in search of a strand of land to alight on without hope of ever touching down.” In his love-poem, Don Luis compares Dona Clara’s beauty to “a distant lodestar that guides a mariner to safety in the darkest of nights.” Wishing that Dona Clara hears these passionate verses, Dorotea shakes her awake so that she does not miss Don Luis’s views on her: maidenly bashfulness; undue modesty; and general neglect of him that hides her from his eyes. In another verse, Don Luis vows that despite her coyness towards him he intends to keep a firm and straight line since “no sluggard ever gained the triumphs and laurels of love to adorn his brow.” Finally, Don Luis concludes his Serenade by saying that love will persevere since joy that is hard-earned is appreciated more and will last longer.

Donna Clara Can Not Sleep Because Of The Excitement She Feels At The Knowledge That Her Lover Is Nearby: When Don Luis serenades Donna Clara one night, she does not get a wink of sleep since she excited that her admirer is so near at hand.

Though Donna Clara Has Never Spoken To Don Luis She Falls In Love With His Songs: Donna Clara declares to Dorotea that though she has never spoken to Don Luis she appreciates his poetry, gestures, and persistence so much that she feels that she cannot live without him. Thus, Donna Clara declares that “so long as Don Luis does not give-up the manner of her heart, he’ll never be ejected from it.”

Donna Clara Is Pained By Don Luis’s Serenades: Since Donna Clara believes that Don Luis’s father will not consent to his son marrying a judge’s daughter, and since she doesn’t want to get married behind her father’s back, she wants Don Luis to leave her alone and go back home, since his absence will ease the grief she feels.

Donna Clara Is Concerned That Since Don Luis’s Father Is The Lord Of Many Manners He Will Not Accept Her As Worthy Of Being His Daughter: Donna Clara feels that Don Luis’s father won’t think her “fit to be his son’s servant-girl, let alone his wife, since he is so high-up and so rich.”

Donna Clara Feints When She Hears That Four Of Don Luis’s Father’s Servants Try To Take Him Back Home: When Donna Clara overhears Dorotea and Cardenio talk about how four of Don Luis’s father’s servants have come to forcibly take him home, she is so shocked that she would have “slumped to the floor” if he had not hurried to support her. Eventually, when Donna Clara discovers that three of Don Luis’s servants will report back to his father about how matters stand—while one of his servants will stay with his young master to make sure he is well taken care of, Donna Clara is happy because obstacles inhibiting their union are finally falling to the wayside one-by-one. In fact she is so happy with the prospect of a happy outcome that “nobody could see her face without knowing the joy in her soul.”

Don Luis Reveals All To Judge Juan Viedma: When judge Viedma takes Don Luis by the hand and asks him what had impelled him to come to the inn on foot dressed in such disgraceful clothes, Don Luis, with tears in his eyes, seizes the judge’s hands and replies that “from the very moment [he] set eyes on Donna Clara, he made her the mistress of his heart.” This, Don Luis tells the judge, is why he intends to marry her, if his father doesn’t prevent it. To follow her, Don Luis says he left home dressed as a footman.

What’s more, Don Luis avers that since Judge Viedma knows that he is their only heir, if his parent’s wealth and nobility “are motives enough for the judge to make him a perfectly happy man” by blessing their marriage, he should do so. Bewildered, bemused, and amazed by this revelation, both with the intelligence with which Don Luis expressed his feeling and at finding himself with no idea how to react to such a sudden and unexpected declaration, Judge Viedma makes no reply except to tell Don Luis to “calm down and to procrastinate with his servants so they do not take him back that day,” leaving time to consider what is best for all parties.

Judge Viedma’s Realizes That Dona Clara’s Marriage to Don Luis Is Very Advantageous: When Don Luis seizes judge Viedma’s hand and kisses them with tears of ecstasy, Judge Viedma’s heart is moved to joy, since he realizes how advantageous his daughter’s marriage will be to a wealthy and noble scion.

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Originally posted 2019-12-28 07:24:30.