Tales_Warrior_Maidens

Tales_Warrior_Maidens - ,."-~-.,.,-~,>-,.,. 5 90 T...

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16 53 . The Adventures of the Warrior Maidens ON Juan Pasquier-in his History of Potosi, which he wrote with such elegance of style -gives an eyewitness account of the exploits of twO noble Peruvian maidens of this city. In this chapter I will follow his account, along with those of three venerable old men who are still alive today and who knew those ladies by both sight and speech. This is the manner in which it all happened. In this imperial city of Potosi there lived Captain Antonio de Souza, a noble Ponuguese, and his wife, Dona Leonor de Meneses, a native of this city; their children were Don Juan, the elder, and Dona Eustaquia, a singularly beautiful little girl. Their home was near Munaypata; and in the same quarter of the town lived Don Pedro U rinza, an Andalusian gentleman, and his wife, Dona Placida Lezama; they had a daughter, Dona Ana, who was their only child and an unusually beautiful little girl. Dona Placida died when the child was very small, and . within the space of twO years her father, Don Pedro, died also, leaving the child in the care of Don Anto{lio de Souza so that she might be reared with Dona Eustaquia, who at the time was also four years old. As soon as Don Juan de Souza, Eustaquia's elder brother, reached a sufficient age, his father had him taught to handle and make use of arms, both steel and fire, for he had all sons of such weapons in his home. Eustaquia and Ana greatly enjoyed watching that sport and were even sorry they were not men so as to be able to use them. (~ Those who do not think that it is easy for a woman to suc- ceed in whatever she attempts are mistaken, for many women have surpassed men in valor, in the use of arms, and in knowl- edge. In the use of arms there have been three Corinnes, two Aspasias, a Honensia, a Sappho, a Zenobia,a Cornelia, and a PraxiIla, not to mention others such as Arete, Proba, Eudocia, Istrina, and Cassandra; and in valor a Pantasilea, a Zenobia, an Artemisia, a Cleopatra, and the Castilian queen Isabella the <D ,."--~-.,. ..,-~,,>--,. .,. .... -,. .~~ 590 The Warrior Maidens Catholic, heroic among famous women and a singular miracle of strength and prudence in the worlq. No one need be as- tonished to see such excellence in women, for neither are they of a~different nature from men nor are their souls less perfect (insofar as essential perfection is concerned). With such examples of women before me I think it is no less than fitting to state that those whose story I tell in this chapter had the same qualities, and I am sure that no one will be surprised by the events I shall recount concerning them. The uncenainty and misery of this life are always great and the proof of this is always with us; thus, it happened that just as Don Antonio de Souza had relied upon a particular means to advance his son in life the same means brought about his greatest grief. For it happened that one day when Don Juan de Souza was fencing with a fencing-master and sweating from his exenions, h~.~sked
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Tales_Warrior_Maidens - ,.&quot;-~-.,.,-~,&gt;-,.,. 5 90 T...

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