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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pentecostalism Changes Everything (including apologetics)


I make it a habit of listening to NPR radio on Sunday evenings.  It keeps me better informed on world events than the TV news. One of the programs I monitor is the “TED Radio Hour.”  This program specializes in gathering experts on specific topics such as leadership or the meaning of compassion, etc. Many of these programs are excellent, although naturally they have a secular slant. 



The program that first aired on December 25 (I heard it r on the 27th) was called “Believers and Doubters.”[1]  It featured several intelligent Christians as well as agnostics and atheists. The atheist was particularly interesting.  Rather than rant against religion and belief in God, he showed appreciation for religion’s good points, as in its social benefits and morality, while still insisting that belief in God was “ridiculous.”  

It was good, well-balanced programming. No slamming of Christians or putting up some fundamentalists ignoramus as a modeling the Christian side. But I had heard programs like this at least half dozen times from various media outlets. “Believers and Doubters” and the others all discussed faith from perspective of what goes on in the mind – a version of the subjective “he says-she says” mode. Atheists and Christians showed equal integrity of belief (and non-belief) and reasonableness – although sometimes the Christians lose out on the reasonableness.

These programs have missed the Pentecostal factor which would have taken the program out of the subjective mode, and into the area of experiential and medical evidence for faith. That is, I believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Bible, not only because of inner experiences, but also because I have experienced spiritual-to-earth phenomenon, as a  miraculous healing, an instantaneous healing of serious back problems, or an exorcism which brought about instant behavioral changes for the good, etc. This phenomenon-to-belief pattern is found even in the Old Testament in the story recorded in 1 Kg 17.


Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”  “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”  Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”  The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.” Vs. 17-23)
Notice the last words spoken by the widow, she believed in Elijah’s teaching because it was verified by the power of God in an earthly, miraculous event.  This type of  reason for belief is repeated by the writer of Hebrews as a general principal:

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away ... This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Heb 2:1-4)
I am not excluding the importance of a logic based apologetic, as in demonstrating the veracity of the resurrection accounts, etc., for it is both mandated in scripture and often a very effective tool of evangelization (1 Peter 3:15). Nor are the narratives of subjective conversion experiences unimportant. Rather they all have a role in apologetics and witnessing.
 
But both secular elitists and cessationist Christian ignore the miraculous as impossible or delusional. So naturally, the editors of TED hour missed the importance of the miraculous in belief. It is probably because they have little or no contact with Pentecostals. Although the main-line and liberal denominations, which don’t believe in the miraculous, are imploding in membership, they still have prestige among the elites and represent “real” Christianity to them. More than likely, for instance, an Episcopal or Lutheran clergyman (who often does not believe in the Bible) is interviewed to represent the “Christian” perspective on a given issue.

Furthermore, many Evangelicals still are solidly cessaiontist, and will not readily admit that the basis of their faith is from any sort of miraculous phenomenon. They might witness to a sudden change in attitude, or deliverance from drugs after a conversion experience, but nothing that is overtly miraculous.

We charismatics and Pentecostal Christians shouldn’t get mad about this and give up on the secular media. Things are slowly changing, and we need to pray that they change more rapidly so that the Pentecostal/charismatic witness will be more often called on.

Two years ago, my wife Carolyn has published  a funny, inspirational and wonderfully written work on her transition from a cessationist Baptist to a Spirit-filled Believer,Watching God Work. The book contains many instances in which we have ministered the Holy Spirit's gifts in healing and other miraculous events. This should be, as the Chinese pastor and writer, Watchman Nee, once said, "the normal Christian life."  Carolyn's books are available HERE.  


Watching God Work: The Stuff of Miracles by [DeArteaga, Carolyn Koontz]

Blessings to all...



Announcement:

The noted Pentecostal scholar Dr. Jon Ruthven wrote a very positive review of my latest book, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal. You can access it HERE.



The book may be purchased on Amazon, either print or inexpensive Kindle. You can purchase the print version at a discount from the publisher HERE





[1] Dec 25, 2025  http://www.npr.org/2013/11/18/245949211/believers-and-doubters?showDate=2015-12-25

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Don Quixote’s Dilemma

This play is offered as “shareware.”  That is, it may be performed by church and educational groups for free if they do not charge admission. If admission is charged I expect the normal 10% royalty. Thank you.

Introduction to Don Quixote’s Dilemma

First of all, to all of my Hispanic readers who are offended at my portrayal of Don Quixote and especially of Miguel de Cervantes (as Don Manuel) I repent and apologize - but not enough to change my play. Miguel as villain is too useful to me as a dramatic element. Miguel de Cervantes was a fine, highly ethical person, and he wrote not only the classic novel, Don Quixote, but some of the greatest poetry in the Spanish language in his less famous works such as La Galatea. The novel Don Quixote was originally written to satirize the childishly escapist chivalry and knighthood novels then in vogue. Cervantes succeeded in his satire and ushered in a golden age of Spanish literature as well.
Central message of this play is that creative enterprise is the best way of bringing people out of poverty, and that “heroic” revolutionary ideologies that avoid or disdain honest enterprise do nothing but entrench poverty. This is the sad lesson pf the 20th Century. The communist Chinese found that out, along with other communist countries in the 1990s. However events in Venezuela and other countries show that  the temptation of Marxism – to act heroically and destructively instead of humbly and creatively is very strong and appeals to every new generation regardless of obvious lessons of history.


Don Quixote’s Dilemma

  ©   William De Arteaga 2005

List of characters:

Don Quixote………………………………………………………………………………
Maria………………………………………………………...……..Don Quixote’s niece
Carlota García……………………………………………….....Don Quixote’ neighbor
Don Miguel………………….…………...……..Aristocratic confidant of Don Quixote
Ernesto Panza…………………………………………………………….local peasant 
Father  Ortega…………………..………………..………………………..Parish priest
Father Olivera……………………………………………….…….Dominican Inquisitor

Settings:

Don Quixote’s study and dining area:

The room’s walls are covered with book shelves, which are overflowing with badly arranged books. There is a door leading to the entrance hall and the rest of the house, and one window. There is also a large portrait of Ché Guevara as knight, nicely framed.  A large table in the center of the room with four chairs serves as both Don QUIXOTE’s work table and the dinner table.

Father Olivera’s office:

To the side or another convenient place there is a small table stacked with papers and books. There are two chairs. (This section is kept dark or covered until the action moves to it.)

Act I, scene 1:
Don Quixote’s study/dining area, with Don Quixote at table

QUIXOTE
                                    (Figuring intensely, humming and speaking softly.)
About twenty feet …. Yes..

MARIA
                        (From inside and out of view.)
Good afternoon, please come in.

CARLOTA
How is Don Quixote today?

MARIA
All enthused with the project, he’s in the dinning area.

                        (MARIA stays in the rear part of the house., CARLOTA enters,                                  QUIXOTE rises to greet her, begins to move towards her, but stops                     himself)

QUIXOTE
                                                (Awkwardly)
It is good to see you today.
                        (Motions CARLOTA to take a seat)

CARLOTA
It is good to see you. I can only stay briefly.
           
QUIXOTE
How is Julio today?

CARLOTA
Oh… you can imagine, asking me to bring him here so that you would finish reading him the story of the silver knight.

QUIXOTE
He is a very attentive lad. Perhaps tomorrow evening. I am so busy with our project
CARLOTA
Yes of course.
(Pause, as CARLOTA looks longingly at  QUIXOTE)
You know even though he is a young, but he is very anxious to help in this project in some way.

QUIXOTE
I have been thinking the same thing lately. I believe I have just the right job for him.

CARLOTA
Oh he will be so happy to learn that you are considering him to help.

MARIA
                        (MARIA shouts from the back area)
Don MIGUEL, has come again to see you, Tio.

(MIGUEL enters. He has limp and walks with a cane, with discomfort in his face. His clothing full of lace and gold trim is that of a rich gentleman of the 18th Century)

QUIXOTE
Oh what a pleasure, please sit down Don Miguel.
                                                (Loudly)
 Maria, bring us that bottle of port that I opened yesterday.  Its in…ah..

MARIA
                        (From back.)
I saw it in the kitchen. 

QUIXOTE
So good to see you again, Don Miguel. I hope everything is well with you?

MIGUEL
Fair.
                                                (Looking at CARLOTA)
My old war wound is causing some difficulty, particularly when it rains, but that is a small price for the honor of having served our King.

QUIXOTE
Let me introduce you to my good neighbor, Senora Carlota Garcia.

MIGUEL
                                                (Bowing slightly).
A great pleasure senora

CARLOTA
The honor is mine. Oh but I have so little time. Dona Cristina is coming in an hour to pick up her dress, and I am sure you gentlemen have much to discuss with this new project. I came only for a moment. I beg your leave
                        (Exiting)

MIGUEL
                                                (Bowing again.)
I have been honored.

                        (CARLOTA leaves with a last smile at Don QUIXOTE)

MIGUEL
My friend, this lady has her eye on you. You have to be careful of your commitments.

QUIXOTE
You know I find her to be very attractive, and she has this boy of ten who loves hearing about knights. A young disciple to our studies.

MIGUEL
What is this about this sewing dresses? Does she make a living with that?

QUIXOTE
Yes, since her husband died. She has had a difficult time providing for her last child. The older one is off to America seeing his fortune, like so many around here.

MIGUEL
Well, she is attractive, but as one gentleman to another I suspect you are trawling, shall we say, lower than you should. 

QUIXOTE
Perhaps so. Father FRANCISCO seems to think it might be a good match.

Manuel
Who?

QUIXOTE
Father FRANCISCO Ortega. He has come to us from the University, just a little over two months now. He is in poor health and the Bishop believed he would be better in a small parish than the rigors of daily classes, and examining students and all that.  Actually, his preaching is so good that people are coming from other villages, and soon our parish church will not be so small.

Manuel
So he thinks you and this Carlota woman would be a proper match?

QUIXOTE
He is not pushing anything, but he gave an opinion when I asked.

Manuel
What is this project she mentioned?  The one we discussed?

QUIXOTE
Actually no. I was going to write you a letter about a delay of plans. I am still very enthusiastic about our project.

MIGUEL
Delay?

QUIXOTE
Yes. It is a new project – which in no way is contrary to ours. A most interesting project Fr. FRANCISCO and I have been working on it now for a few weeks.  I feel God’s hand in it, directing me, like I have never felt before.  And it will be of great benefit to some of our townsfolk. Perhaps even you would be interested in joining it.
MIGUEL
Sounds you are taking somewhat of a mystic turn, a good base for a knight, actually.

QUIXOTE
Well, not exactly. It has a more practical and local aspect.

MIGUEL
Come now, what could be of more practical, and of more benefit to all of our beloved Spain than the reestablishment of a roving knighthood.  Honor and justice and glory again in the land. We sorely need all three.

QUIXOTE
I agree, but, it’s a matter of timing…

MIGUEL
I hope a very brief delay.  We are not in the prime of our youth, in spite of your good health. Now tell me about this brief project that you have?

QUIXOTE
It is something that came of conversations I have had with Father FRANCISCO. He is a wonderful preacher, knows the scriptures marvelously. Have you ever heard him preach?

MIGUEL
I prefer to attend at the cathedral, where I know the doctrine is solid and under the eye of Fr. Olivero.  But perhaps some Sunday I will accompany you. But what is this project?

QUIXOTE
Well, we were talking about the poor here in la Mancha, how many there are, and what the Bible says about our need to help the poor and our need to work.

MIGUEL
I see, yes, good preparation. A knight must always look to help the poor, the orphaned, and women in need. I give alms once a week.

QUIXOTE
Father Fancisco, he showed me in the Bible, the Apostle Paul wrote about everyone working and being able to give more to the poor.

MIGUEL
What is this about working? A gentleman working? You mean in the noble professions, law, medicine and the King’s service?

QUIXOTE
But not limited to those. Actually, we were thinking of a business that would help the local people.

MIGUEL
Surely this Father FRANCISCO is misunderstanding the Apostle.  A gentleman doesn’t enter into mammon like a Jew. Don’t your tenants provide you with sufficient income to give alms?

QUIXOTE
Yes, but barely. I could given much more to the poor if I had more income, and besides, this project would give work to four or six, or perhaps more persons, who now are unemployed, and they would cease being poor, a sort of permanent alms, better than alms.

MIGUEL
                                                (Incredulous)
A gentleman in business? What a ridiculous idea? The whole social order… I’ll need to talk to your Father FRANCISCO to see where he came up with this innovation. Just what type of work would he have you do?

QUIXOTE
                                                (Somewhat embarrassed)
It is something that came to walking through the market. I was unhappy that there were few eggs for sale. And … the idea came to us at the same time, to do a chicken farm, and sell the eggs, and the chickens too. Steady fresh eggs regularly for our town. Employment for some of the poor.

MIGUEL
(Astounded and agitated, he stands to release his agitation)
He wants you, a gentleman, from one of the most distinguished families of la Mancha
                                                (pointing to portrait of Ché)
 to be a chicken farmer! A chicken farmer! A peddler of eggs!

QUIXOTE
Wait, yes, listen, be calm Don Miguel.

MIGUEL
                                                (Still very agitated and pacing the floor)
A chicken farmer! An egg peddler! For this you give up the high and glorious calling of knighthood. That which we had planned together with such intensity? To again ignite an era of honor, glory and justice for the very poor you are concerned about.  A model for the whole world to celebrate and imitate!
                                                (Sitting)
I can’t believe my ears. He wants you to be up to your elbows in chicken droppings! I hope Maria would have the good sense to keep you in the barn with your horse. If the horse can stand the smell!


MARIA
(Enter MARIA with three glasses and bottle of Port, places items on table)
I brought an extra glass. I saw Fr. FRANCISCO coming up the walk.

QUIXOTE
Oh how providential. I am sure he will explain better than I can to Don Miguel all the deep religious issues involved.

MIGUEL
Maria, what do you think of this chicken farming madness of your uncle?

MARIA
                                                (Shyly)
I think it has some good Don Miguel. I have been talking to the husband of our laundry lady, and he wants to work in this.  He has had no good work for two years.  Excuse me I need to let Father FRANCISCO in.
                        (Exits)

MIGUEL
Pore me a full glass, I need something to clear my head of what I am hearing.                               (QUIXOTE pours out three glass of port)
Don Quixote, my friend and companion We had spent so many wonderful hours talking of this renewed knighthood. What a model for the world! You are the person who can do this.  No one else is as well read about knighthood, no one else. You are still in good physical shape. The union of knowledge and ability…And our providential meeting. I your historian, and the apologist of the resorted knighthood.

QUIXOTE
I have said nothing against this project. Let us just say the project is postponed a bit. But look, perhaps with the profits I can buy a better set of armor, and even a better horse.

MIGUEL
No. This chicken farming will ruin you as a knight. You will lose all your respectability and authority. Just imagine, the people will call you the “chicken knight,” or the “egg on your face knight.”  And even more vulgar things I would not want Maria to overhear. The puns are infinitely possible…No one will respect you. You are ruined as a knight if you do this…and me too. All our plans, the glory…

QUIXOTE
At least let the good Father explain.

MIGUEL
                                                (In an emotional voice)
You know I wanted to do this knighthood project myself. But with my wounds from Lepanto, it is, impossible.  But at least  I am a writer of some repute, and, as we agreed, I would follow you, writing down exactly all your glorious deeds of bravery and justice. What a story.  Glory for both of us. Justice for the oppressed. You the knight. I the chronicler and historian, the encourager, the friend and counselor…What a combination, the whole world would know…and be illuminated and inspired.

QUIXOTE
It’s a good plan.

MIGUEL
All this ruined by this chicken feathers and droppings project…

(Enter FRANCISCO with his New Testament and two other books, which he lays on the table.)

FRANCISCO
Blessings to you Don Quixote, and to you sir.

QUIXOTE
Let me present to you, a friend of many years, and a fellow enthusiast for the renewed knighthood, Don Miguel.

FRANCISCO
A pleasure sir.

MIGUEL
                                                (Bowing)
It is an honor and blessing for me. Most distinguished cleric.

FRANCISCO
Thank you sir.

QUIXOTE
A bit of port?

FRANCISCO
Ah yes, for our stomach’s sake. The good counsel from Saint Paul, since mine is giving me all sorts of trouble.

MIGUEL
Indeed, good counsel.

                        (All three take up a cup.)

QUIXOTE
Good health to us all!  And especially to your, Father.
                       
                        (All sip, with FRANCISCO finishing half the cup)

FRANCISCO

Ah good…Quixote, my brother. I had the good fortune of returning to the university last week, and in the library there was a small section on practical husbandry, including these two books on fouls.

QUIXOTE
Wonderful.

FRANCISCO
Yes, what a blessing, surely God is blessing our project. 
                                                (Picking up a book) 
This is by the Roman, Culumella, a classic that has all sorts of wisdom about chicken growing, and even the design of coops. It seems that the Romans knew a lot of things about chickens.

MIGUEL
                                                (Looking on in disgust and in a sarcastic voice)
I am sure they did. I bet they knew all the different types of chicken droppings.

QUIXOTE
I have informed Don Miguel of our project. And I believe you could explain it to him, as he has certain… misgivings.

MIGUEL
Yes please. I really don’t understand this innovative doctrine of a gentleman working in commerce. I understand the duty of a gentleman in the honorable professions of law, medicine or arms, or perhaps entering holy orders in an appropriate setting. But commerce? Peddling chickens and eggs? I mean, without accusation… there are so many strange and new doctrines and ideas coming from Germany and Switzerland and their heretics. Perhaps it is a doctrine you have inadvertently drawn form these heresies that are all over and you may have studied…I am sure to counter them.

FRANCISCO
I assure you, I am a faithful child of our Holy Catholic Church. This has nothing to do with heresy.  As a matter of fact the idea first came to me when I was a teacher of the Church Fathers in university.  I did a study of the Fathers on work, and I feel that we have veered from their original teachings.

MIGUEL
Isn’t that what the heretics say. That we Catholics have veered from early teachings. I had a heated conversation with one of these fanatical heretics when I last visited Antwerp.

FRANCISCO
Don Miguel, this has nothing to do with heresy, but the holy tradition from most ancient Fathers and especially the holy founders of our monastic orders. They all agree that all should work, which is what the Apostle Paul says.

MIGUEL
                                                (Pointing to QUIXOTE)
He is too old to go start at the university, or become a monk. You forget he is a gentleman. As gentleman he must help maintain the social order by modeling heroic actions and sacrifices for it. Certainly to peddle eggs and shovel bird droppings would not be…appropriate. Especially to a gentleman of such noble linage.
                                                (Pointing to the portrait of Che).
This seems to me to be an innovation, and perhaps a dangerous idea.

FRANCISCO
Let me explain more precisely. There is a spiritual principal at stake. Let me show you …
                        (Opening his Bible, which is full of notes, papers, one of which falls out.)
Oops… Ah, the words of Saint Paul from his first letter to the Thessalonians. Paul here says, “Make it a goal to live a .tranquil life, minding your own affairs, working with your very own hands, as we encouraged you, and so that you will need nothing and look respectful among others.

MIGUEL
Saint Paul? I never heard that passage. It is clear to all that if a gentleman works with his hands he has lost respect not gained it. I never heard any of this.

FRANCISCO
There is another passage from Paul….from his letter to the Ephesians, perhaps his most beautiful letter
                         (Going to Ephesians  4:28)
Hum…yes..”Those who are doing stealing must stop, instead must work, doing work with their hands.”  Now notice this phrase “ that they might have something to share with those who do not have.”  You know, I believe we have not preached this enough in our churches.

MIGUEL
That has absolutely no application to Don Quixote. He is a man of honor, not a thief.

FRANCISCO
But the spiritual principal is valid, Working gets income, and with income you can give to the poor.

Michael
                                                (Agitated)
You think God wants even gentlemen of honor to work with their hands? And sweat and stink of chicken droppings? How ridiculous! For this fine gentleman to shovel chicken droppings?…This is contrary to all good social order .

FRANCISCO
I would rather say it is a return to our most ancient traditions.  But perhaps we need not take Paul too literarily.  I believe he was saying that every one should work according to his station.

MIGUEL
Yes, the honorable professions! But this thing of egg peddling?  And selling chickens to servants at the back door. .Imagine that!

FRANCISCO
I don’t believe the Bible indicates we should limit a gentleman’s work to the traditional professions. For instance in the Book of Acts we see a woman merchant Lidia, who deals with purple cloth, helping Paul, becoming a Christian and continuing her profession, then continuing to help Paul and feed the poor. 

QUIXOTE
All of this is in the Bible, Don Miguel..

FRANCISCO
Yes, Don Quixote will administer…will guide this enterprise, not necessarily clean the coop every night. But if he does clean the coop it is still an honorable thing. In fact if I were in good health I would help him.  I think that is the meaning of labor in scripture. Look at Saint Joseph.

MIGUEL
You mean, like a peasant or a Jewish merchant?

FRANCISCO
I know of several good Christian traders and merchants.

MIGUEL
But they are not gentleman of ancient family linage.
                                                (Pointing to portrait of Ché).

FRANCISCO
That is another point we have thought through. I believe that our friend Don Quixote is called by God to model that a Christian gentleman can work with his mind, and sometimes his hands, to produce wages to the poor. Sort of  the permanent alms of honest work. This is the true meaning of what Paul wrote.

QUIXOTE
Yes, we have even talked of plans of establishing a church brotherhood, of gentlemen who begin enterprises with the Christian goal of helping the poor find reliable work. Something like a Third Order of St. Francis that has done so much good.

FRANCISCO
Yes, perhaps even getting a formal charter from the Pope someday.

MIGUEL
To shovel chicken dropping and peddle eggs? The Holy Order of Chicken Dropping! Oh, but Father Francisco, you will, purely unintentionally, I assure you, create a temptation of filthy lucre, mammon. Jesus himself warns us against this.  What a subtle path to hell. Have you not thought of this my dear Father?

FRANCISCO
Well you know, I have heard confessions for over thirty years of all social classes, the peasants, poor and rich merchants, gentlemen of all different levels, even a few great Lords of the court, they are all sinners. They all sin according to their situation, the same seven deadly sins, but in different social contexts.  But I have not noticed merchants as being more sinful. They confess to me sins of dishonesty, yes, but gentlemen confess great sins of lust and pride, ever seeking greater glory for themselves. It is all sin in God’s eyes.

MIGUEL
But this fantastic scheme of this… avaricious brotherhood…

FRANCISCO
I would love to discuss this further with you. But I must leave now. I was really heading to visit with Dona Josefina, she has been ill, and she has sent for me to hear her confession.

QUIXOTE
She is ill?

FRANCISCO
Yes gravely so, I am afraid. Don Miguel, you are obviously a person of great intelligence and quick mind. A wonderful candidate for our new brotherhood perhaps?

MIGUEL
I… don’t think so…
                                                (With dismissive hand gesture)
The prospect of shoveling chicken droppings, or even administering the shoveling of chicken dropping is something repulsive to me.

QUIXOTE
Father, can you join us for supper tonight and discuss this further?

FRANCISCO
That will be delightful.  But you know I have a delicate stomach. I cannot take anything with grease.

QUIXOTE
What about onion soup and fresh bread that Maria is baking now?

FRANCISCO
Oh that will be wonderful. We will talk further, Don Miguel?

MIGUEL
Yes.
                                                (Sarcastically)
And I appreciate we will not be eating chicken tonight.

FRANCISCO
With God’s blessings until tonight.

QUIXOTE

Until tonight. Nine o’clock?

FRANCSCO
Yes, good
                        (Exits)
QUIXOTE

Ah, isn’t he a brilliant theologian.  And practical. I have been urging him to put his thoughts in writing. This brotherhood thing is a marvelous idea.

MIGUEL
Brilliant? Brilliant? Have you no ear to distinguish  truth and error? Especially in these times when heresy has been loosed all over Christendom, and makes inroads even here in Spain!  Now, I will not assume to be a perfect theologian or have the wisdom of our Fr. OLIVERA of the Inquisition.  But let me say… I hear in Father Francisco… a certain pattern of great danger. For one, a leap to innovative interpretations of scripture.  Also, the avoidance of the sound traditions of doctrine that have kept our Holy Spain free for error. He sounds something like that Protestant wine merchant I met in Antwerp. A most distasteful meeting I assure you. He thrust this scandalous heretical pamphlet into my hands thinking I would read the rubbish. He claimed that his errors were a return to scripture. Something like Father Francisco… All this wild enthusiasm for innovation, nothing of traditional doctrine or virtues. That idea he presented, that this work of shoveling chicken droppings is a return to the scriptures…

QUIXOTE
You are quite mistaken. He is a wonderful priest of the Holy Catholic Church. Our parish has increased its Sunday mass attendance since he has been preaching. His preaching is purely orthodox.

MIGUEL
Ah… so you believe. Heresy is so subtle. You know, Luther was also a good Catholic monk, once upon a time.

                        (Enter MARIA with Ernesto ERNESTO)

MARIA
Dear Tio, Ernesto Panza is here to speak to you of your project. He is the husband of Monica who does our wash.

QUIXOTE
A pleasure Ernesto. This is my friend, the most respectable Don Miguel, a  hero of Lepanta.

ERNESTO
An honor sir.  My uncle José lost his life in that battle. He was a second class seaman aboard the Santa Cristina. Were you on that ship?

MIGUEL
No, I was on a galleass on the other wing of the action.

ERNESTO
I would love to hear of your story of that glorious battle.

MIGUEL
Some day perhaps.

ERNESTO
Don Quixote, about the chicken coop you are planning.

QUIXOTE
Yes?

ERNESTO
Two things.  I know of a person not far from here, Senor Medina, who is building a new room to his home, for his mother-in law, but he had to tear down a lean-to barn that was less than two years old. And that lumber, I saw it yesterday, would be perfect to rework into a good size coop.  I believe I could purchase that lumber for you and deliver it to you for five reales. Also, I could get Senor Lopez, a very good carpenter to help me put it together.

QUIXOTE
I know him, he does very good work.

ERNESTO
He is without work right now. We could have that coop put together very quickly, in two or three days, perhaps.

QUIXOTE
Interesting. I appreciate your investigations

ERNESTO
And another thing.  My brother, Sancho Pansa, he is very interested in your project, and he has an idea, an addition to the basic plan.

QUIXOTE
What?

ERNESTO
He worked for two years in the Kitchen of Don Guijarro of Sevilla, a man of much wealth, and who particularly loved omelets.  He had an omelet every day of his life for his mid day meal, and insisted they be cooked perfectly, served with fresh bread and he always finished with a pastry.  Well, Sancho learned the secret of making wonderful omelets, and he would like you to consider the possibility of helping him establish an omelet shop. It would take only a little money. He saw the other day a vacant place just of the plaza. He would buy your eggs continually. You see… both would benefit. 

QUIXOTE
That sounds like a wonderful idea. A café that specializes in omelets.  Is that the idea?

ERNESTO
Yes. Wouldn’t that be wonderful for our town? And you know my wife has done your wash for years.

QUIXOTE
Yes we appreciate her work.

ERNESTO
But you do not know she does wonderful pastries, especially with almond filling. A very secret receipt. Not that we can afford them more than a few times a year.

QUIXOTE
Ah, the menu is complete.

ERNESTO
Yes. Sancho even has a name for the omelet café, Pansa’s Perfect Omelets.

MIGUEL
                                                (With utterly disgusted look.)
How the avarice spreads…

QUIXOTE
Now Don Miguel. Ernesto, I find your idea very interesting.  When do you need the money for the lumber?

ERNESTO
If we don’t buy the lumber by Thursday it may be sold to Senor Palma as fuel for his bakery.

QUIXOTE
I see. Then we must act quickly.  I will give you my final word by then. Thank you.

ERNESTO
Thank you Don Quixote. And I hope Sir, to hear your story of Lepanto, perhaps some day over coffee and an omelet at Panza’s Perfect Omelets.

MIGUEL
                                                (Waving weakly)
Perhaps.
                        (ERNESTO exits)
Perhaps in hell, Senor Ernesto!
My friend Quixote what kind of avarice you have loosed?  Will you make this town into a den of Jewish merchants and peddlers, counting their change
(Stooping over and counting imaginary coins with his index finger)
and celebrating every centavo of gain?

QUIXOTE
These are poor people. Perhaps it is a dream to escape poverty.

MIGUEL
The poor will always be with us. Non that is what Our Lord said. Your chicken droppings scheme will make them into avaricious Jews.

QUIXOTE
You know, I never thought of it that way. But I believe that Fr. Francisco will be able to give us more information.

MIGUEL
This chicken droppings thing replacing our wonderful plan for the reestablishment of a glorious knighthood? Good God! Justice for the poor, relief for distressed women, honor for the knight replaced by avarice, egg peddling and chicken droppings?

QUIXOTE
I don’t know what to say.  I think both plans are good.

MIGUEL
But only one is possible!

QUIXOTE
Let us see what Father Francisco says tonight.

MIGUEL
Yes let’s be watchful of this pattern of his.  His presumptuous innovations, his lack of sound theology.  Right now I am going to the Cathedral and talk with Fr. Olivera. We met years before. It is time to renew acquaintance.
                        (Taking his last drink of port, rising.)

QUIXOTE
I will see you tonight.

MIGUEL
Yes my good friend.












                                                                                    Act I, Scene 2
                                                                                    (Father OLIVERA’s office)

MIGUEL
Well, I am not formally accusing this Father Francisco of heresy, but I just want you to keep an eye on that man, perhaps hear his Sunday sermon, see if it has…heresies or irregularities.

OLIVERA
Thank you Don Miguel. Vigilance is very necessary to protect our holy faith in these perilous times. And we appreciate your interest.  But from what you have told me I see no reason for serious concern. I took a courses from Father Francisco just three years ago, and he was fully orthodox, a real master of the Church Fathers. Nothing that you have said of his theology smacks me of being heretical.

MIGUEL
This excitation to make money is not dangerous and heretical?

OLIVERA
I can see some problem in the future about this, But …if the men of this planned brotherhood will meet regularly for prayer, like other religious brotherhoods…

MIGUEL
Or counting their reales?

OLIVERA
Listen. Keep me informed if something new comes up.  But you have given me no evidence that is weighty enough to start an official investigation. I remember Father Francisco as a very prayerful man, and very solid. But I thank you again for your vigilance for our holy faith.

MIGUEL
                                                (Rising)
Thank you for your attentiveness, Father.  It has been good to see you after all these years. You know, I never imagined you would turn out to be a monk. 

OLIVERA
The grace of God, Don Miguel, the grace of God.

MIGUEL
I will continue watching and informing you on this matter.









                                                                                    Act II, Scene 1

(Don QUIXOTE’s study. Table is cleared of books and set for dinner with plain white tablecloth, soup bowls, a large bowl with ladle, and a large round loaf of bread. A half full bottle of wine with three cups of wine already served. As the scene opens Don QUIXOTE and CARLOTA are standing, facing each other, trying to restrain their romantic interest.)

CARLOTA.
                        (Holding a few flowers in a small vase)
Maria informed me you were having dinner with Don Manuel and Father Francisco, so I picked these flowers for your table.

QUIXOTE
                                    (Not even looking at the flowers)
Thank you, they are beautiful, just like the bearer… Won’t you stay for supper.

CARLOTA
I would be honored, but I know the value of men having serious conversation. I am but a simple person, and …I need to attend to my son.

QUIXOTE
Yes your son is a wonderful lad, and I am looking forward to finishing the silver knight with him soon.

CARLOTA
He will be delighted to come.

QUIXOTE
You come too?

CARLOTA
Yes, if you wish.

QUIXOTE

I wish.

(Just as CARLOTA and QUIXOTE are inching towards one another. MARIA – from offstage opens the outside door).

MARIA
Come in Don Miguel, good evening to you.

MIGUEL
Good evening MARIA.
                        (MIGUEL entering)
Ah…Good evening to the both of you.

QUIXOTE
Good evening.

MIGUEL
Father Francisco turned the corner just as I entered.

CARLOTA
But I must be going.
                        (Laying the vase in the center of the table.)

Manuel
Oh, we miss the pleasure of your company?

CARLOTA
I am afraid I have family duties, but good night most honored gentleman.

                        (CARLOTA exits)
MARIA
(From offstage) Good evening Father Francisco, go in and enjoy your dinner.

FRANCISCO
Thank you and good evening to you.
                        (Entering dining area). 
Peace and blessings to you most esteemed gentlemen.

QUIXOTE
Good evening

MIGUEL
(At the same time as QUIXOTE)
Good evening to you.

QUIXOTE
Let us take our seats and begin a feast of food for the body and food for the mind.
                         (To Father FRANCISCO)
Would you give us a blessing for the table?

FRANCISCO
(Bowing his head and folding his hands in prayer, other bow their heads)
May Our Savior and His Blessed Mother accompany our conversations tonight. And may this food be a blessing to our bodies, and may the Lord give me the ability to digest it.

QUIXOTE
Thank you. And now gentlemen let us eat before the soup gets cold.
                        (QUIXOTE offers the soup bowl to Father FRANCISCO)

FRANCISCO
I have not been feeling well today, and it would be better for me to have just some bread and a little wine.
                        (QUIXOTE passing the soup bowl to Manuel)

Manuel
What a pity, the soup smells wonderful.

FRANCISCO
Yes, I am sorry. But I want to say about the plan for the reestablished knighthood.

MIGUEL
I am sure our plan meets with your approval. A renewed Christian knighthood, to do good to the oppressed…

FRANCISCO
Really I have great reservation about this.

Manuel
Oh?

FRANCISCO
As a youth I read many of those knighthood books, Adamis de Gaula and others titles which I can’t remember now, and for a while I was quite taken by them. I had fantasies of becoming a knight too.

MIGUEL
Ah.. perhaps Father, God was calling you to be a knight. Perhaps you can join us even now in our noble project, as perhaps chaplain.

QUIXOTE
A trinity for good. Think of it Father!  The knight, the scribe and the chaplain!

FRANCISCO
Oh no. Even as a young man I was weak and sickly, travel has always been difficult for me. But I had my fantasies of youth, like everyone.
                                                (Laughs)
But I always knew God was calling me to become a priest, and so I asked in prayer to have God’s discernment on these books of knighthood.  And one thing God showed me immediately was how impulsive and impetuous these knights were.  I mean, they all act instantly in the face of a situation.

MIGUEL
As a knight really should be: decisive.  It is not impulsive, it is decisiveness.  A knight cannot be a man of doubts.

FRANCISCO
Perhaps. But life is not so easy. The novelist can control the effects of his hero knight so that everything turns out right. But real life, a life not controlled by the novelist’s imagination, things are more difficult.

MIGUEL
Indeed, is that not really the problem? Life should me more like a heroic novel?

FRANCISCO
Many would like it to be. But…Let me tell you what I learned the summer before I entered the university, when I was still reading about knights and their beautiful adventures. I was on the road to visit my aunt who lived in the next town, and I passed an ugly scene. There was this burly big fellow who had tied up a youth to a tree, certainly no more than seventeen, perhaps younger, and was giving him a beating with a leather strap. Wham, wham, wham, I remember the sound to this day, and his screams. The boy was shouting for mercy, and this burly fellow was shouting, “You lazy good for nothing!” or something like that. He was in a real rage. At the moment I wanted to intervene, like a knight, and give this bully a taste of his own medicine. That was my impulse.

MIGUEL
A very noble impulse, the impulse of a knight.

FRANCISCO
Certainly had I been a knight in armor in one of your novels, I would have, and succeeded, and done a just and glorious deed.  But as it was I was a thin young man, no match for the fellow with the strap. Prudence triumphed over fantasy, and I prayed for the lad as I kept walking.

MIGUEL
You were not called to be a knight. That vocation comes to special persons,                                              (Looking at Don QUIXOTE)
whom God blesses with good health.

FRANCISCO
Perhaps. Ah, but you see, God was good enough to show me what one might call “the end of the story,” and that which I could not have known that summer day.  Five years later, after my studies and as a priest, I again passed to visit my aunt, and just off the town square was this young lad, now a man, working over his anvil.  He was a blacksmith, now with great big arms, working on an elaborate iron fence, really very good work.  His name was Roberto. I caught a glimpse of his face and knew it was the same person who had been beaten. I started to chat with him, and out comes his beautiful wife, with a babe in arms. They were very courteous to me, and invited me to have coffee and a pastry.

Well, during our conversation I told him about passing by five years earlier, and if really that was him. He laughed and said yes. And here is the twist to all of this, and why life cannot be lived by heroic impulse alone.

He admitted that when he was first apprenticed by his mother to Senor Quisano as a blacksmith’s assistant, he took no interest in his work, and in fact ruined various batches of work.  Senor Quizano was a man and seldom corrected harshly, but all this enraged his senior apprentice, the burly man I had seen that day. On that day that I passed by Senor Quisano was out of town, and the senior apprentice took him out and gave him the beating I saw, and promised to do it again, and worse, unless he get serious about his work. 

Well, it turns out this was a turning point in his young lad’s life, so to speak.  Out of fear he began to work attentively, and within a year he was doing superior work and liking it, a real talent for his work.  So you see, had I been a knight in amour that day when I saw the beating, this man might be shiftless and poor…never discovering his talent.

MIGUEL
So you believe that you should go through life and take no action against injustice.

FRANCISCO
Oh no. I am not saying that.  There are times when we must intervene, as in stopping a robbery or murder if we can.

MIGUEL
                                                (Sarcastically)
Oh what a wonderful concession!

FRANCISCO
Yes, life should be lived as a struggle against injustice. But the impulsive model feeds our desire to be heroic, to take the role of God, and the illusion of our faultless judgment. The very impulse glorified in all the tales of knighthood. This is a very dangerous model with which to achieve justice and good long term results. On the other hand, you see ultimately the boy who was being beaten became the kind of person that the Apostle Paul had told us to do, living a quite life, working with his hands.

MIGUEL
A life without glory?  Without honor? What kind of life is this? Look at the history of our soldiers who have covered themselves with glory and conquered the Americas for the King and the Holy Faith.

FRANCISCO
That just proves my point. Haven’t you heard of the reports of the priest Las Casas, who has shown how cruel the conquest was? how unjustly we treated the Indians? Glory for the soldiers, at the cost of murder and injustice, and real sin I believe.

MIGUEL
                                                (Very excited, and rising, shouting and pacing)
What! You slander our heroic soldiers! The heroic conquest of cruel and pagan empire that tore open the hearts of thousands of their own hapless savages as offerings to their idols. You are…gone crazy from your academic studies?
                        (He begins to draw his sword.)

QUIXOTE
                                                (Standing and motioning)
Don Miguel! Please!  You must be more moderate and respectful to the Reverend Father. Sit down! Let us be gentlemen.

                        (Don MIGUEL returns his sword to its scabbard, taking his seat.)

Father, perhaps you can find a more edifying example.

MIGUEL
I beg your forgiveness for that last remark, reverend Father.

FRANCISCO
I understand your excitement.

QUIXOTE
                                                (To  FRANCISCO)
I am really interested in your view. You suppose that some of what Las Casas said was true?

MIGUEL
                                                (Shouting)
Not a tenth part, not a tenth! It was all lies!

QUIXOTE
Even if what he said was something true, the Catholic faith has been introduced into these pagan lands, the murder of thousands to pagan sacrifice has stopped. How could this have come about by other means rather that conquest?

FRANCISCO
That is a very profound question, Don Quixote. I am saying that the conquests of Pizzaro, Cortez and the others could not have been God’s best will for the Americas. I think the spread of the Faith in the Americas could have been done much more gently, like our Franciscan fryers are doing in California today. Converting the Indians with love, teaching them farming…Perhaps it could have been done with missionaries attached to traders. The Indians in Mexico and Peru would have traded their gold for our steel implements. And the missionaries could have presented the gospel peacefully.

MIGUEL
This Jewish thing again. This obsession with commerce.
                                                (Loud and excited)
And teach them avarice instead of the true Holy Faith!

QUIXOTE
Please Don Miguel!  Perhaps Father Francisco, can you perhaps find a less… ah…less contentious example from all of your knowledge of history? Something that will not upset Don Miguel, so we can keep this most interesting discussion on civil terms?

FRANCISCO
Hum… Ah…I believe so. Well actually… I am reluctant to share this, but I believe it was really from God, and would be useful now to both of you.  I had a moment revelation, actually a vision from God several years ago as I was reading an account of the terrible peasant’s revolt in Germany that came just after Luther began his heresy.  Sort of heresy’s first fruit. At the time I was preparing to teach on the history of Rome, actually. And some of the slave revolts, and I was reading about the revolt in Germany to see similarities.

MIGUEL
The Germans got just what they deserved for following the devil Luther.

FRANCISCO
Well, be that as it may.  Historically the German revolt came about because the peasants were forbidden by the local nobility to pick wild strawberries, one of the few delicacies they could have. This uncharitable act by the nobles sparked the revolt, and of course they had heard that Luther said the Christian man was free of authority.  So they went wild.

MIGUEL
Of course.

FRANCISCO
They murdered noble families wholesale, pure vengeance and hatred. But something strange happened. They began to kill also the local merchants, and looting their stores. Of course they were firmly suppressed, slaughtered really, at Luther’s urging. The knights slaughtered thousands…

MIGUEL
That may be the only intelligent thing Luther did in his life.

FRANCISCO
My point is in a different direction. Like I said, while I was reading about this revolt, and preparing my course, I had a vision that lasted perhaps twenty minuets, perhaps an hour.  I am not sure. Anyway there have been many peasant and slave revolts in history, as in the famous Roman Spartacus, and others. Always one can see that the peasants or slaves have been treated unjustly and harshly. But what I saw in this vision was of the future, of groups, that no longer will believe in God.

MIGUEL
                                                (Interrupting, and with disdain)
Everyone believes in some god or gods, the heretics, even the Aztecs, with their demon ways.

FRANCISCO
Well there were actually Greek philosophers who were atheists and believed in no God at all. God showed me there would be a time coming when many men would be like those Greeks, only believing in themselves, and having illusions of their own goodness.

MIGUEL
Hump…far fetched.

FRANCISCO
The point I want to share is this. I believe that God showed me that in the future when many men do not believe in God, but try to be moral men because that search for justice and goodness is placed by God in our hearts.  Paul calls it “eternity in our hearts.”  But without a knowledge of God this longing can become fiercely distorted by Satan’s beguilement.

MIGUEL
What has this got to do with anything we are talking about?

FRANCISCO
Please be patient. In this vision I saw these godless men would place all their sympathy on the poor and the peasants. Now this is what Saint Francis did, and a good thing.  But because of their ignorance of the scriptures and true doctrine they would believe that the poor were as sinless as Adam before the fall.

MIGUEL
How ridiculous.

FRANCISCO
But not much more ridiculous than the view of sinless and faultless damsels that I found in knight’s novels.

MIGUEL
These were women of honor, not sinless. The novelist does not have to show all.

FRANCISCO
Regardless. So these atheists will believe therefore, that the evil of the world, the injustice, the cruelty, must come all from the nobles and especially the merchants.  The French have a new word for the merchant class, the bourgeois.

MIGUEL
What?

FRANCISCO
Bourgeois, bourgeois. It has a melodious sound, bourgeois.

QUIXOTE
Please go on. This is a most fascinating vision.

MIGUEL
A fantastic vision.

FRANCISCO
I saw in this vision that many of these atheists would band together in brotherhoods, a brotherhood of knights, to try to help the poor by riding the world of the source of evil, the nobles and bourgeois.

MIGUEL
How ridiculous. No one could be that stupid! This is ridiculous. Who would be stupid enough to believe you can get along without nobles and merchants? The nobility keeps the social order. Now I don’t like merchants, or bourgeois, as you call them, with their avarice and sweat stained clothing.  But when I want a bottle of fine wine I go to their shops. When I want a new hat I go to the haberdasher. It is stupid to think you can get along without them. No one can be that stupid!

FRANCISCO
It is not a matter of stupidity, but of the intellect darkened by turning away from God. And that which is plainly impossible becomes an all consuming goal.
Well, in the vision, this brotherhood of knights follows its quest for justice by starting wars and revolts, to kill the kings, nobles and bourgeois.

MIGUEL
Ridiculous, impossible.

FRANCISCO
Look at what just happened in Germany?  And they still believed in God. You see Don Miguel, when people no longer know God or their grace in Christ, they try to force their place in history.  With much evil…In this vision God showed me, which was really very horrible. Well, when these knights of the poor win they find that there must be social order, and there must also be a distribution of food and clothing and all the things of material life. So they create a new noble class to rule, and a new bourgeois to distribute things…And because they do not understand that the root of evil is universal in the sin of all men, new cruelties and injustices arise, to be even worse than before. This was the worst part of the vision, countless people killed and tortured for nothing. Nothing was gained, nothing, only great wars fought and poor made even poorer. Great slaughter, countless men woman and children, for nothing…

MIGUEL
What has this fantastic vision to do with us?

FRANCISCO
But you see, while they were fighting these wars to free the peasants, they saw themselves as great heroes. And many other people saw them as heroes and knights in armor. Always acting purely to help the poor. It was all delusion, and a great disaster… more innocent blood and tyranny than in all of history. For nothing…

MIGUEL
This is supposed to be a vision from God? This is ridiculous! Not even atheists can be that stupid.

QUIXOTE
Well it seems improbable, but it might…

FRANCISCO
                                                (Covering his mouth)
Excuse me, I am nor feeling well.

QUIXOTE
Do you think you need to go out back?

FRANCISCO
Perhaps in a moment. But I want to finish.  If God gives me the strength.
I believe the Apostle Paul was saying something very profound when he commanded every Christian to lead a quiet life, working with your hands. This is contrary to our desire for glory and honor, but can actually be very creative, and bring justice, and help the poor, if only at a local level. But if many lived like that…it would profoundly change everything, something like the knights of the poor wanted.

MIGUEL
None of this makes sense to me. Without the ambition for glory and honor life has no savor, no goals.

FRANCISCO
No grandiose goals that are products of fantasy. Only the goals and role that God gives us, that could bear good fruit.

MIGUEL
To peddle eggs and shovel chicken droppings? I have never heard of anything like this from any priest.

FRANCISCO
                                                (Grabbing his stomach)
Oh excuse me…

QUIXOTE
Let me show you to the way. Perhaps you would lie down for a while in the back room.
                                    (Both Quijote and Francisco leave to the inner house)

FRANCISCO
                                    (From the interior)
Thank you for your kindness.

MIGUEL
(Going to the door to make sure they are gone, and speaking to himself)

Go on Father Crazy, bird dropping mystic. Destroyer of glory and honor….  I will have …my vengeance.
(Takes a pamphlet from his pocket and places it carefully in Father FRANCISCO’s Bible., and sits down again).

                        (Outside door opens and closes, CARLOTA peeps timidly in. She has a large napkin full of pastires.)

CARLOTA
Oh, hello Don Miguel

MIGUEL
Good evening.

CARLOTA
I had made some apple pastellios, and I thought that after all that heavy conversation you would enjoy finishing your meal with some dessert.

MIGUEL
That is most gracious of you.

CARLOTA
Where are…

MIGUEL
Out back, the Father is indisposed.

CARLOTA
I am so sorry. I hope he can recover to enjoy the pastellio, Or maybe he can take his home.
                                    (Setting down the pastries)

MIGUEL
We all appreciate your generosity. I hope you have a good evening.

CARLOTA
Yes, thank you. And don’t forget to tell Don Quixote that I made these for him… and for all of you.

MIGUEL
No I won’t forget.

(CARLOTA leaves, closes outside door behind her. A moment later Don QUIXOTE enters)

QUIXOTE
Was that someone at the door?

MIGUEL
Yes, in fact I had ordered a few apple pastellios from the bakery shop for our meal, and they have just arrived.  Will Father Francisco be able to join us?.

QUIXOTE
I don’t think so. He is laying down now, poor man. I don’t see how he gets enough nourishment.

MIGUEL
Yes, a pity. I have to tell you something  that is most unpleasant.  But it is my duty, since there is a possibility that your relation with Senora Carlota will develop into a direction it should not go. When I was a student, and full of a young man’s energies, I … met Carlota… and we had relations.  It was not an affair of romance, it was purely monetary.

QUIXOTE
No! that cannot be. Not Carlota. I assure you she has been an honorable woman, married for over fifteen years, living in this town, and now a widow of the most decent and pious sort. She is in church practically every day.

MIGUEL.
I am glad that she has reformed her life. I was a student a long time ago.

QUIXOTE
Then it is possible your memory fails you, after all those years, what would the other woman look like.

MIGUEL
No I am certain. The voice does not change as much as the face. And her face is that same too. She has ages gracefully, better that I.

QUIXOTE
It can’t be.

MIGUEL
It is. But what I have said must not leave this room under any circumstances. As a woman of the church, she has indeed formed a new life. Let her reputation in La Mancha be spotless. Only, I mention it only for your good.  A man of honor and a gentleman like yourself cannot become serious with a woman of her origins, even if she has reformed. It is against the code of knighthood. When we go on our adventure I am sure Providence will provide you with a pure and appropriate woman, one who would be worthy of a gentleman’s devotion.

QUIXOTE
But this is very difficult to believe, but that perhaps she looks and sounds like the woman you knew.

MIGUEL
I am certain this Carlota is that Carlota I knew carnally as a student. We spent months together. But you may life with illusion if you desire. I have done my gentleman’s duty.

QUIXOTE
(In an anguished tone) Yes I understand, and I am grateful to you.

Manuel
Now as soon as we dispatch a few of these apple pastellios. I need to leave, I need to get up early and attend to important matters at the Cathedral.

QUIXOTE

Are you sure about Carlota?

Manuel
I have said what I have said, and you may delude yourself if you wish.
















Act II, scene 2
(Fr. Olivera’s office)

OLIVERA
Don Miguel, I find your concern for the preservation of orthodoxy to be very good. But what Fr. Francisco said about the conquest of America is perhaps… unpatriotic, and I don’t like it. but there are some other very good Catholic men of learning who have said the same thing. Even in the court at Madrid, Las Casas’ opinions are sometimes mentioned.

MIGUEL
                                                (Agitated)
But what Las Casa wrote were lies and exaggerations that feeds the Protestant heretics and incites them to slander our faith!

OLIVERA
That is true, but as Inquisitor I must always separate the issue of real heresy from other things that may not be pleasing to our ears. Now, I don’t like what Father Francisco said about our glorious conquest of America, if he said what you report, but you have given me no real evidence of his theological tie to the heretics.

MIGUEL
But isn’t what he says case for at least a preliminary investigation?

OLIVERA
Don Miguel, keep me informed, but we simply cannot confuse our likes with an accusation of heresy. Now, please keep me informed, but do not lose your peace. If there is real heresy here God will show us the evidence.

MIGUEL
But what if I were to say that Father Francisco reads the heretics. That he keeps a copy of their hellish writings right in his Bible.

OLIVERA
How do you know that?

MIGUEL
Yesterday evening I caught a glimpse of his Bible while he was …ah.. indisposed. I saw a most wicked thing.  Something that had the title “Babylonian Captivity something or other,” but I am sure the author was Luther. Martin Luther, very clear.

OLIVERA
In his Bible? This is something important….

MIGUEL
Yes, he is a real heretic.

OLIVERA
But on the other hand, he may well have the Bishop’s permission to read that work.  Perhaps he is doing a sermon on heresy and preparing a defense.  But I will look into this.  I will ask the Bishop about this.

MIGUEL
Thank you. Your reverence. I trust that your balance of prudence and zeal will bring out the truth in this matter.
                                                (Rising to leave)

OLIVERA
I thank you again for your concern for the Holy Faith.

MIGUEL
It is but my humble duty.









Act 2, scene iii
(Don QUIXOTE’s study. Don QUIXOTE sitting, don MIGUEL enters with a happy expression on his face)

QUIXOTE
Welcome again my most esteemed colleague.

MIGUEL
Greetings to you.

                        (Don QUIXOTE motions him to sit, and he does)

Have you heard the latest about Father Francisco?

QUIXOTE
Maria told me he was taken in for questioning by Father Olivera. But I’m sure it is nothing.

MIGUEL
In fact it is a great deal. He was caught red handed in possession of heretical literature of the most serious kind.

QUIXOTE
What? No!

MIGUEL
Yes, some hideous pamphlet from Luther, one that particularly slanders our Holy Father. Father Francisco made the ridiculous claim that he did not know where the pamphlet came from.  But after some… ah… questioning he confessed it all.

QUIXOTE
But he was in such ill health.
MIGUEL
Quite so. And that actually has saved the Church some money. He died this morning in his cell.  The Church doesn’t have to go to the expense of an execution, the cost of the wood and all that.

QUIXOTE
No! Father Francisco a heretic. Such a good man!

MIGUEL
An apparently good man - a deceiver and a heretic. I’m glad he was caught before he could do more harm in this parish with his innovations. I told you not to listen to him.  Everything he has convinced you about this chicken-droppings-egg- peddling brotherhood, it is all heresy. The product of a twisted, heretical and anti-Spanish mind.

QUIXOTE
God have mercy on his soul.

MIGUEL
Perhaps there will be mercy in God’s judgment on him, but I doubt it.  But all of this is…ah ..providential.  That he was discovered before you cast your lot with him, lest you be tainted with the smell of heresy.

QUIXOTE
Do you think Fr. Olivero will question me?

MIGUEL
Let me assure you, you are perfectly safe. I have just come from his office and I made sure to pass that you are perfectly innocent in this case. I even had a little time to describe our knighthood project.  He seemed very impressed with that as solidly orthodox.

                        (Sound of outter door opening)

QUIXOTE
Thank you Don Miguel, you are a true friend.

            (Enter MARIA with CARLOTA,)

CARLOTA
Good morning sirs. Have you heard of the terrible news about Father Francisco.

QUIXOTE
Don Miguel has explained the whole matter to me.

CARLOTA
I was going to church to pray for his soul.

MIGUEL
A prayer for a heretic is a wasted prayer I would think.

CARLOTA
I have trouble believing it. There must have been some mistake.

MIGUEL
No mistake, they caught him with the evidence.

CARLOTA
Don Quijote, will you accompany me to church to pray for Father Francisco’s soul?

QUIXOTE
No I don’t think so, as Don Miguel says.  It may not be prudent to publicly pray for a heretic in any case. And one more thing. I don’t think it would be proper for us to see each other.
MARIA
What? Uncle!

QUIXOTE
                                                (To Maria)
Stop.

CARLOTA
                        (Leaves immediately sobbing softly)
Oh…oh…

MIGUEL
Your uncle is not being cruel. There are things going on here that cannot be told to a woman of your innocence.

QUIXOTE
Yes

MARIA
                                                (Distressed)
I am going to comfort her.
                        (Exits)

MIGUEL
Well, after all these unpleasant things let us turn our attention to the really pleasant. I mean our original project.

QUIXOTE
Yes. Our plans for the renewed knighthood!

MIGUEL
What could be more pleasant or uplifting?  As you now prepared to ride into your destiny?

QUIXOTE
Oh…Why…
                                                (Pause, as he considers)
Yes, of course.

                        (Enter ERNESTO)


ERNESTO
Good day sirs. The door was wide open and I have suCh good news, I presumed to let myself in.

MIGUEL
That is evident.

ERNESTO
Oh Don QUIXOTE, how wonderfully things are proceeding. Senor Medina has agreed to sell her lumber for only four reales.  And I even found a cousin of mine, a good and honest man who would be willing to clean the chicken coops every night. 
QUIXOTE
                        (Motioning no with his head and hand)

ERNESTO
You see, he had a falling three years ago on an icy road and struck his head, totally unconscious for an hour. When he got up he had lost his sense of taste and of smell.
                        (Don QUIXOTE again motioning no)

A perfect man for the job... He is willing to come over…

QUIXOTE
No my friend, that project is over.

ERNESTO
Over? What? But… I though it was all set, only the buying of the lumber and the chickens from Senor Baltazar.

QUIXOTE
Things have taken an unexpected turn, and it will be impossible to proceed with the chicken business.

ERNESTO
But what will I do? It’s a wonderful plan.

MIGUEL
My good man, as we proceed with our original project, God will bless us and we will be generous with alms.

ERNESTO
But …the plans for Panza’s Perfect Omelets?

MIGUEL
                                                (With obvious relish)
That too has also flown the coop, so to speak.

ERNESTO
Oh… … if on your adventures you find someone in need of a good worker please commend me to them.

MIGUEL
Most assuredly. Now please excuse us, we have much to prepare.  The armor needs to be polished, and we have many other details to attend to. Come brother Quixote, let us prepare for this adventure in honor, glory and justice.

                        (Don MIGUEL and Don QUIXOTE exit, arm in arm exit)

ERNESTO
                        (To the audience, looking desperate)
God and the Virgin help me. Where will I find work and feed my little ones?  I pray that God will be with him.  But… I think this chicken farm was a better idea.