Monipodio, having made the tour of the courtyard to see his visitors, then asked the newcomers their profession, name, and country. Rincon answered that their profession did not need much explanation; and as to the rest, it was but of little importance, as such information was never expected from those who were to receive orders of distinction.
“You are right, young man,” returned the worthy, “it is always proper to conceal such truths;—for example, if business did not go well, it would not be very agreeable for your parents to see in the public book, that so and so, son of so and so, of such a place, stood in the pillory, or was flogged, on such a day, for such a theft; no, no, you are right; and to prevent such inconveniences, everybody ought to have a designation of his own choosing, therefore we only require your names.”
Benefit of the community
This was complied with by the two candidates, when Monipodio said, r “It is my pleasure, gentlemen, that henceforward you adopt the names I ‘ of Rinconete and Cortadillo, for those which you at present bear, and which, I think, will be quite adapted to your pursuits. It is like- I wise necessary to make a private communication of the names of I your parents, as it is a custom with us once a year to say masses for I the souls of those that are no more, which expense is defrayed from L a common fund, appropriated for the benefit of the community, such as paying the lawyer who defends us, the priest who advises us, and i to reward those our worthy friends who, when a hue and cry is raised after any of our members, appease the losers, by telling them that God f will punish the wicked.”
“These are excellent regulations,” said Rinconete, who had already accommodated himself to his new appel, lation; “I cannot sufficiently admire the sagacity of their compiler; but, Senor, our parents have no need of the pious assistance of the brotherhood, being still in the land of the living. If a change should happily occur, we will not fail to inform you.”
“That is well,” said Monipodio; who then beckoned the boy who had introduced them. “Ganchoso,” said the great man, “are the sentinels placed?” “Yes, sir, there are three placed to prevent any surprise.” “Very good,” returned the professor, “and now let us proceed to business! Rinconete, let me hear what are your attainments.”
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