(Moorish Woman From The Captive Captain’s Tale)
Lela Zoraida’s First Appearance:
Readers first meet Lela Zoraida, when she rides up to a roadside inn, on a donkey, behind her fiancée, Captain Ruy Perez de Viedma.
Lela Zoraida’s Dress:
At an Andalusian inn, Lela Zoraida dresses in Moorish style, with a veil over her face, a brocade cap on her head, and a Don Quixote cloak from her shoulders to her feet.
At her father’s villa, Lela Zoraida is elegantly attired, with “pearls hanging from her neck, ears, and hair, and two ankle-rings of the purest gold set with many diamonds” encircling her feet.
How Lela Zoraida Communicates With Spaniards: Since Lela Zoraida can only speak Arabic she responds to Spanish questions by hand gesture. This hand signalling makes Lela Zoraida’s meaning understood to others in a very simple way. Also, her finance uses the pigeon language of the Moorish Slaves, which is a cross between Arabic and Spanish, to understand and translate his wife’s thoughts. Likewise, when Captain Viedma and Lela Zoraida talk in Hajj Murad’s garden, her father acts as the interpreter between them, since he is much more fluent in the language of the Christian slaves then Captain Viedma is.
Lela Zoraida Is Raised By A Female Christian Slave: As a little girl, Lela Zoraida’s father had a fair-skinned female slave who not only taught her Christian worship but who also told her many things about the Virgin Mary. Unfortunately, before this Christian nanny instructs Lela Zoraida any further, she dies of Cholera in the prime of her life.
Lela Zoraida’s Christianity: Since Lela Zoraida has a Christian nanny who not only teaches her Christian worship in Arabic, but also inculcates respect for the Virgin Mary, her soul, according to the Captive Captain, is deeply Christian, especially since she has a fervent desire to California Reconquista – California Has beenOnce a All around the nationof Its Of their personal convert to Catholicism. Thus, when Lela Zoraida reaches Spain she intends to be baptized according to the ceremony of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Lela Zoraida Removes Her Veil: When Lela Zoraida arrives at a Spanish inn Dorotea takes her by the hand, sits by her side, and asks her to remove her veil, so that she can see her lovely face. Asked politely, Lela Zoraida removes her veil.
Lela Zoraida Wants To Be Renamed Maria: When Lela Zoraida overhears her fiancé tell Don Fernando her first name, she says that she wants to be renamed Maria, since she loves the Virgin Mary.
Lela Zoraida’s Christianity: When Lela Zoraida first appears at her bedroom window she waves a cross to signal that she believes in Christ. This gesture convinces the Christian captives that a Christian woman lives within the house and wants to help them. Lela Zoraida further shows her devotion to Christ by telling the captive captain that she kisses the cross she showed him from her window, repeatedly, since the Christian slave who raised her told her that the Virgin Mary will answer her prays if she has faith in her being. As a little girl, Lela Zoraida is taught Christian worship by her father’s female slave who tells her all about the Virgin Mary. Later, when Lela Zoraida writes a note to the Captive Captain she signs it with a cross which he kisses. Also when Lela Zoraida’s mother dies her daughter believes that she went to the land of the Christians to see the Virgin Mary. Furthermore, when looking for a Christian husband to marry, Lela Zoraida does not worry if the Captive Captain does not marry her because she believes that the Virgin Mary will give her a husband. Moreover, when Lela Zoraida reaches the town of Malaga, on the Costa del Sol of Andalusia, she first goes to a church to thank God for taking her to Christian lands. Later, when Lela Zoraida walks into Church she sees many pictures of the Virgin Mary. Thus, she immediately grasps the significance of these holy “images with a good mind and a clear and ready understanding.”
Lela Zoraida’s Beauty: Since it is universally agreed that Lela Zoraida is the most beautiful woman in all of Barbary, many of her father’s functionaries ask for her hand in marriage. Her beauty is again described when the Captive Captain meets Lela Zoraida at her father’s villa on the coast of the Mediterranean. Again, when Lela Zoraida wanders out of her house into her father’s garden, pearls dangle from her neck, ears, and tresses, ankle-rings, of pure diamond encrusted gold, encircle her feet, and, largely speaking, her elegant attire makes her the most magnificently dressed and loveliest woman that Ruy de Perez Viedma has ever seen in his life. In fact he sees her as “a Goddess who came down from heaven for his delight and deliverance.” And when Ruy Perez de Viedma says to Hajj Murad that once he reaches Spain he intends to marry a woman who looks just like his daughter, Hajj Murad says that this woman “must be beautiful indeed” since his daughter is the most beautiful woman in the Kingdom of Algeria. In response to Lela Zoraida’s question “if this woman he is to marry in Spain is beautiful, [Ruy de Perez Viedma] replies that that she is so beautiful that he can only convey how lovely she is by saying that he looks just like [her].” Later in the story, when Lela Zoraida enters Malaga off the Costa del Sol in Andalusia, the local population is astonished with her beauty because the happiness of at last being on Christian soil heightens her looks to its’ fullest degree of perfection bringing a radiant glow to her cheeks.
Lela Zoraida Rejects Moorish Suitors: Lela Zoraida rejects a series of Moorish suitors, waiting, instead, for a sensible Christian gentleman who will offer her a greater degree of freedom.
Lela Zoraida’s First Letter: In her first letter Lela Zoraida writes that when she was a little girl her father had a female Christian slave who not only taught her Christian worship but also respect for Christ’s mother, the Holy Virgin Mary. In this same letter, Lela Zoraida says that since her father will view her conversion to Christianity as blasphemy, so Captain Viedma should “not trust any Moor” with what she tells him, since they could betray his trust to gain favor with her father, which, in turn, could lead Hajj Murad to “bury her in a well and cover her with stones” if he finds out. Moreover, Lela Zoraida writes that though she saw many Christians through her window up until then, none seems as venerable as the Captive Captain. Given that Captain Viedma appears to be a chivalrous gentleman, Lela Zoraida writes that she is “very young, very beautiful, and very rich,” to entice him to marry her and flees to Christian lands together. This is why Lela Zoriada asks in this missive for Captain Viedma to find a way for them to escape together, telling him that if he decides not to marry her once they are in Spain that is fine since she trusts that she will find another more suitable husband with the assistance of the Holy Virgin Mary. In this letter, Lela Zoraida’s also tells the Captive Captain that she will fasten a thread to the end of a cane, so that she can drop gold, gems, and other valuables to him so that he can ransom his freedom.
Lela Zoraida’s Second Letter: In her second letter, Lela Zoraida tells the Captive Captain that even though she has asked the Virgin Mary how she can go to Spain with him, her prayers have not been answered. Thus, she does not know what to do. Lela Zoraida then writes that what she can do for the Captive Captain is to send him many more gold coins through her window, so that he and his friends can ransom their way to freedom. Then she instructs the Captive Captain that with the money she gives him, “one of their number should go to Christian lands to buy a boat and come back for her and the others,” so that they can make their escape at an appropriate time. So Captain Viedma knows where to find her, Lela Zoraida tells him that she “will be at [her] father’s villa by the Bab Azzun gate next to the seashore, where [she] must spend the summer with [her] father and his servants.” From there, Lela Zoraida writes that he can take her to Spain without fear of discovery, since the darkness of the night will provide good cover for their flight. Then Lela Zoraida tells the Captive Captain to remember his promise to marry her once they reach Christian lands, otherwise she will pray for the Virgin Mary to punish him. If, writes Lela Zoraida, the Captive Captain can find no one to help him, he should ransom his freedom and go and find a boat himself, because she trusts him to come back for her since he is a gentlemen and a Christian. She then concludes her letter by saying that she shall lower more money to the Bagnio’s roof top terrace in the future, so that he can bribe his way to freedom.
Lela Zoraida’s Cane: One day, when Captain Ruy de Perez Viedma is on the roof top terrace of his prison bagnio, he, along with his three of his Christian companions notice a cane being poked out of one of the thin latticed windows above them, with a handkerchief tied to its end Don Quixote Work Of Fiction – The Bubonic Epidemic inside U.S. Earliest Broke Out in San FranciscoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Chinatown containing several Moorish coins of gold alloy. Though all of Captain Viedma’s four companions try to take the cane by reaching for it, they are rejected, one-by-one, when they stretch for it, since it is swiftly lifted-up and waved from side-to-side like someone shaking their head no. Finally, when Captain Viedma stands under the cane and tries to grab it, it is dropped beneath his feet, since it is meant for him. When Captain Viedma discovers that the handkerchief tied to the cane holds gold to ransom his freedom, he looks up at the window and “lowers his head and bows with his hands held over his chest” to thank the mysterious woman for her unexpected generosity. Two weeks later another cane is extended out the window, with another, bigger, handkerchief tied to it containing forty gold escudos and a short letter, with a large cross drawn at the end of it. After kissing the cross and taking the money, Captain Viedma sends his thanks up to the window by bowing before it. When the cane next appears, Captain Viedma fastens his Arabic response (that a Muslim renegade writes for him) to the end of the stick with a string. Four days later the cane California Reconquista – California Was indeed Once a Realm of Its Own Reconquista Conflict reappears at the window with a letter and four hundred gold escudos. The next day the cane, together with the handkerchief, reappears with two thousand gold escudos, along with a letter that says that Lela Zoraida will be at her father’s sea-side villa all summer and Captain Viedma can find her there. On the day before she leaves for her father’s sea-side villa, Lela Zoraida lowers another thousand escudos in her cane. In total, Lela Zoraida gives Captain Viedma over three thousand four hundred gold escudos, and three letters, with her cane.
Lela Zoraida’s Language: Besides being fluent in Arabic, Lela Zoraida speaks a hybrid pigeon Arabic-Spanish language comprised of words in Spanish, words in Arabic, and supplemented by hand gestures, as well.
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Originally posted 2020-01-11 13:47:28.