Primer Amor / First Love (Part 2)

“Primer Amor” (“First Love”) is taken from Emilia Pardo-Bazan’s “Cuentos de Amor” (1898).
The translation is from “First Love & Other Fascinating Stories of Spanish Live”, brought out by Haldeman-Julius Company some time aft.
This is part 3 of 3
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Primer Amor (Part 2)

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Entró mi tía sonándose recio, porque el frío de la iglesia le había encrudecido el catarro ya crónico.
My aunt entered noisily, for the cold of the church had exasperated her catarrh, now chronic.
Al verme se animaron sus ribeteados ojillos, y, dándome un amistoso bofetoncito con la seca palma,
Upon seeing me, her wrinkled eyes brightened, and giving me a friendly tap with her withered hand,
me preguntó si le había revuelto los cajones, según costumbre.
she asked me if I had been turning over her drawers as usual.

Después, sonriéndose con picardía:
Then, with a chuckle:

—Aguarda, aguarda—añadió—voy á darte algo, que te chuparás los dedos.
“Wait a bit, wait a bit,” she added, “I have something for you, something you will like.”

Y sacó de su vasta faltriquera un cucurucho,
And she pulled out of her vast pocket a paper bag,
y del cucurucho tres ó cuatro bolitas de goma adheridas entre sí, como aplastadas, que me infundieron asco.
and out of the bag three or four gum lozenges, sticking together in a cake, which gave me a feeling of nausea.

La estampa de mi tía no convidaba á que uno abriese la boca y se zampase el confite:
My aunt’s appearance did not invite one to open one’s mouth and devour these sweets:
muchos años, la dentadura traspillada, los ojos enternecidos más de lo justo,
the course of years, her loss of teeth, her eyes dimmed to an unusual degree,
unos asomos de bigote ó cerdas sobre la hundida boca, tres dedos de ancho,
the sprouting of a mustache or bristles on her sunken-in mouth, which was three inches wide,
la raya de unas canas sucias revoloteando sobre las sienes amarillas,
dull gray locks fluttering above her sallow temples,
un pescuezo flácido y lívido como el moco del pavo cuando está de buen humor…
a neck flaccid and livid as the crest of the turkey when in a good temper.—
Vamos, que yo no tomaba las bolitas, ¡ea!
In short, I did not take the lozenges. Ugh!
Un sentimiento de indignación: una protesta varonil se alzó en mí, y declaré con energía:
A feeling of indignation, a manly protest rose in me, and I said forcibly:

—No quiero, no quiero.
“I do not want it, I don’t want it.”

—¿No quieres? ¡Gran milagro! ¡Tú que eres más goloso que la gata!
“You don’t want it? What a wonder! You who are greedier than a cat!”

—Ya no soy ningún chiquillo—exclamé creciéndome, empinándome en la punta de los pies—y no quiero dulces.
“I am not a little boy,” I exclaimed, drawing myself up, and standing on tiptoes; “I don’t care for sweets.”

La tía me miró entre bondadosa é irónica, y al fin, cediendo á la gracia que le hice,
My aunt looked at me half good-humoredly and half ironically, and at last, giving way to the feeling of amusement I caused her,
soltó el trapo, con lo cual se desfiguró y puso patente la espantable anatomía de sus quijadas.
burst out laughing, by which she disfigured herself, and exposed the horrible anatomy of her jaws.
Reíase de tan buena gana, que se besaban barba y nariz, ocultando los labios, y se le señalaban dos arrugas,
She laughed so heartily that her chin and nose met, hiding her lips, and emphasizing two wrinkles,
ó mejor, dos zanjas hondas, y más de una docena de pliegues en mejillas y párpados;
or rather two deep furrows, and more than a dozen lines on her cheeks and eyelids;
al mismo tiempo, la cabeza y el vientre se le columpiaban con las sacudidas de la risa, hasta que al fin vino la tos á interrumpir las carcajadas,
at the same time her head and body shook with the laughter, until at last her cough began to interrupt the bursts,
y entre risas y tos, involuntariamente, la vieja me regó la cara con un rocío de saliva…
and between laughing and coughing the old lady involuntarily spluttered all over my face.
Humillado y lleno de repugnancia, huí á escape y no paré hasta el cuarto de mi madre,
Humiliated, and full of disgust, I escaped rapidly thence to my mother’s room,
donde me lavé con agua y jabón, y me dí á pensar en la dama del retrato.
where I washed myself with soap and water, and began to muse on the lady of the portrait.

Y desde aquel punto y hora ya no acerté á separar mi pensamiento de ella.
And from that day and hour I could not keep my thoughts from her.
Salir la tía y escurrirme yo hacia su aposento, entreabrir el cajón,
As soon as my aunt went out, to slip into her room, open the drawer,
sacar la miniatura y embobarme contemplándola, todo era uno.
bring out the miniature, and lose myself in contemplation, was the work of a minute.
A fuerza de mirarla, figurábaseme que sus ojos entornados,
By dint of looking at it, I fancied that her languishing eyes,
al través de la voluptuosa penumbra de las pestañas,
through the voluptuous veiling of her eyelashes,
se fijaban en los míos, y que su blanco pecho respiraba afanosamente.
were fixed in mine, and that her white bosom heaved.
Me llegó á dar vergüenza besarla, imaginando que se enojaba de mi osadía, y sólo la apretaba contra el corazón, ó arrimaba á ella el rostro.
I became ashamed to kiss her, imagining she would be annoyed at my audacity, and only pressed her to my heart or held her against my cheek.
Todas mis acciones y pensamientos se referían á la dama;
All my actions and thoughts referred to the lady;
tenía con ella extraños refinamientos y delicadezas nimias.
I behaved towards her with the most extraordinary refinement and super-delicacy.
Antes de entrar en el cuarto de mi tía y abrir el codiciado cajón, me lavaba, me peinaba, me componía,
Before entering my aunt’s room and opening the longed-for drawer, I washed, combed my hair, and tidied myself,
como ví después que suele hacerse para acudir á las citas amorosas.
as I have seen since is usually done before repairing to a love appointment.

Me sucedía á menudo encontrar en la calle á otros niños de mi edad, muy armados ya de su cacho de novia,
I often happened to meet in the street other boys of my age, very proud of their slip of a sweetheart,
que ufanos me enseñaban cartitas, retratos y flores, preguntándome si yo no escogería también mi niña con quien cartearme.
who would exultingly show me love-letters, photographs, and flowers, and who asked me if I hadn’t a sweetheart with whom to correspond.
Un sentimiento de pudor inexplicable me ataba la lengua, y sólo les contestaba con enigmática y orgullosa sonrisa.
A feeling of inexplicable bashfulness tied my tongue, and I only replied with an enigmatic and haughty smile.
Cuando me pedían parecer acerca de la belleza de sus damiselillas,
And when they questioned me as to what I thought of the beauty of their little maidens,
me encogía de hombros y las calificaba desdeñosamente de feas y fachas.
I would shrug my shoulders and disdainfully call them ugly mugs.

Ocurrió cierto domingo que fuí á jugar á casa de unas primitas mías, muy graciosas en verdad, y que la mayor no llegaba á los quince.
One Sunday I went to play in the house of some little girl-cousins, really very pretty, the eldest of whom was not yet fifteen.
Estábamos muy entretenidos en ver un estereóscopo, y de pronto una de las chiquillas, la menor,
We were amusing ourselves looking into a stereoscope, when suddenly one of the little girls, the youngest,
doce primaveras á lo sumo, disimuladamente me cogió la mano, y conmovidísima, colorada como una brasa, me dijo al oído:
who counted twelve summers at most, secretly seized my hand, and in some confusion and blushing as red as a brazier, whispered in my ear:

—Toma.
“Take this.”

Al propio tiempo sentí en la palma de la mano una cosa blanda y fresca, y ví que era un capullo de rosa, con su verde follaje.
At the same time I felt in the palm of my hand something soft and fresh, and saw that it was a rosebud with its green foliage.
La chiquilla se apartaba sonriendo y echándome una mirada de soslayo;
The little girl ran away smiling and casting a side-glance at me;
pero yo, con un puritanismo digno del casto José, grité á mi vez:
but I, with a Puritanism worthy of Joseph, cried out in my turn:

—¡Toma!
“Take this!”

Y le arrojé el capullo á la nariz, desaire que la tuvo toda la tarde llorosa y de monos conmigo,
And I threw the rosebud at her nose, a rebuff which made her tearful and pettish with me the whole afternoon,
y que aún á estas fechas, que se ha casado y tiene tres hijos, no me ha perdonado probablemente.
and for which she has not pardoned me even now, though she is married and has three children.

Continue to Part Three

Return to Story’s Main Page

Our Pure Love Offerings:

Pure Love Clothing Line!

Stories & Essays about the Pure Love Business!

Holiday, Birthday, Etc. Cards.

Autor: Emilia Pardo-Bazan
Translator: ?Haldeman-Julius Company?
Smusher-Togethers: AW/BW
We claim copyright on the smushing!

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