En este curioso texto (cuyo original holandés se desconoce y que editamos según la segunda edición inglesa, de 1599) se presenta una caricatura de un hidalgo conquistador a los ojos de la población de los Países Bajos. La caricatura no deja de ser graciosa y demuestra un conocimiento de muchas de las costumbres de los muchos soldados de fortuna españoles y sus desafueros en persecución de gloria y dinero. Laten tras el documento los ya conocidos hechos de Zaragoza (prisión de Antonio Pérez), así como las acusaciones de avaricia y atrocidades contra los indios. También demuestra el documento un conocimiento de la literatura española contemporánea y de la lengua española, por más que el traductor inglés se esfuerce en utilizar grafías y hasta vocabulario italiano para caracterizar lingüísticamente al señor español. Están también presentes varios pasajes bíblicos y la acusación de papistas a los españoles, lo que pone al texto en su contexto de luchas religiosas del momento.

Antonio Cortijo Ocaña
Jorge Pérez
University of California, Santa Barbara

Wherin are naturally de- / scribed and lively portrayed the kinds / and quallities of a signior / of Spaine. /
Translated out of Dutche by H.W. /  Haud curo Inuidiam. / [imagen] / Imprinted at London by [J. Windet for] Iohn Wolfe, and are to be solde at / his shop in Popes-head Alley, neare to / the Exchange 1599.

                                                    The Preface

Truth intending to travel triumphantly the worldes circumference doth by her true recording trumpe blazon the several and sundry naturall humors of a Spanish signior, as the limitation of time will permit her. Now this faire Princesse (all-telling veritie) is landed on our English shore, wherein she is pleased to make a further progresse building upon the sure foundation of Englands gentle sufferance. If her arrival seeme gracious, she will for ever harbor in this isle, explaining the contents (not only of admirations records) but of such effectuall presid as shall profit the hearers and perusers of the same . Her
welcome by this first summon, she may perceiv the issue hereof she hourely expecteth: if fortunate then happie, she if adverse contrary to her expectation, she wil instantly embarque herselfe for some other continent. Therefore as your favourable judgements shall award, yeeld up your pleasing verdits.

[2] The naturall kindes of a signor of Spaine.
I A signor is an angel in the church.
2 A divel [sic] in his lodging.
3 A woolfe at table.
4 A hogge in his chamber.
5 A peacocke on the street.
6 A foxe to deceive women.
7 A lyon in a place of garrison.
8 A hare in a besieged place.
9 A lambe under the gallowes.
10 Avaritious.
11 Bloodthirstie and tyrannous.
13 Greedie of revenge.
14 Faithlesse and periurou.
15 A miserable estate to be under a signor subjection.
16 A happie estate to be free from signor.

[3] A Pageant of Spanish humours, wherein are naturally described and lively portrayed the kindes and qualities of a signior of Spaine.

I. A signior is an angel in the church.
In the sacred temple of the almightie Iehova, a place of residence of his faithfull servants, there is no person on earth more devout than a signor of Spaine, but in the middest of his Contemplations divine, or making shelve of divine, tending to the true service of God, it is his assiduate use (if his sight be guilty of any ladies alluring beintie) to gaze and afterwards to cast amourous glances, yet guarda los oios fuera fuera la temptatie, ther is no [?] for signor1 . His vital powers are all occupied in devotion, what with crouching, kneeling, and millions of crosses he makes an exceeding good outward shelve; after which, with a singular grace, killing his thumbe he endeth, although he have kneeled but on the one knee, be it no scandall, for it is his fashion. Then for the last act of the church matter to confirme the peace, signor bids signoras buenas [sic] dias 2 . In fine, a signor is a saint, there want [sic]  but workes. Under the greenest grasse, the most venemous serpent lurks.

[4]  2. A signior is a divel in his lodging.
A signior is an angell in the church, so to the contrary in his lodging he is a raging divel or furie, seemeth rather the hoaste then the guest; what his signor desires must be the hoastes liking; the fairest chamber, the best bed and all else, is his to commaund; he thinkes it but the dutie of the Flemings which he esteems as beggars, and the Wallons, as theeves, a la horca ladrones. But signor is a cavalliero, he must be reverenced, guarda su signoria, he must be soothed and flattered. You need not any way to mistrust him, for he will neither ffich nor steale, but you must indeed prevent him with giving. Moreover, you ought to know he is a hidalgo, although he have no patents thereof, even whose name and race,  doth terrifie the Moores, honorada sta la casa, which alodgeth such persons, all mandado de su signoria 3  45  6  7 . Every one must be be readie if he will live at ease, for he that lodgeth a divel must seeke him to please.

3 A signior is a woolfe at table.

Signior at his dyet is as a ravenous woolfe, with the one elbow leaning on the table, openeth his mawe like a Judas putse. He layeth his tallants on the meat like a woolfe that gripeth a lambe: he esteemes it no shame to ruyne the dith and tumble the eates topsies turvie [sic], to seeke de buena gana los buenas boccades, the which ell ventro del uno he purposeth to send; what a signior doeth not eate, he heaeth, or unseemly myngleth. Amore lickorish wretch earth doth not produce, his fare must daily be fresh, both roasted and sod, besides this, he is a wonderfull devourer of  olia podridos and carbonadoes, togither with an infinit quantitie of fruites, comfites, and boccados yet it is a hard matter if a man hath not one good qualitie, no es barachono, you must not thinke so, except it [5]were a chance 8  910 . This is a signiosr dyet at anothers cost, but alas if you finde him at his owne table, you may see it stately furnished  with a sardinia, or a crust of bread, a pot of agua, and perhaps a bone, yet abroad, if there be a woolfe at the table, signior is one.

4 A signior is a hogge in his chamber.

Signior in his chamber is as a hogge in his stye: with filth and filthie savour he payeth his hoaste, even the same which proceedeth from his pockey selfe. Las donas use him so kindly that he is wholy  infected de los boubes. La mala canera sticks in his buttocks. It is a diavolos life alwaies to be troubled with those clisters and pilles, sirropes and conserves, how is it possible signiors daintie bodie can endure? But indeed the apothecaries drugges are to ease the belly, signior being stopped like a bottomlesse barrell. Although he were honoured with the fairest and nearest chamber in the house, he will without respect file it with his head or tushe. what matter is that?, the messima must convey it fuera. How then can the hoaste in quiet sleepe who a divel, a woolfe, and a hogge doth keepe 1112 13  14 .

5 A signior is a peacocke in the streete.

Signior being in the streete, or any other publicke place, his first gestures are to bend the head, turne the eye, and peacocke like to behold himselfe if nothing be amisse, his gate is like one who treades the measures, he scarce takes three steppes, but the fourth he againe contemplateth su signoria, sometime he wil cast a leering eie a side to espie if the beholders admire him not, his minde still gives him that every speculator saith ah mira ell canalioro [caballero?], then he rowseth himselfe and expedeth a reverence of every one that passeth, he twisteth his moustachoes and strokes his beard. His trade in Spaine [6] perhaps was to sowe hand-baskets, or to blow glasses in the furnaces, scarce trusted to guard a flocke of cabritoes. And here we wil beare the name of a hidalgo or don, yet the asse is knowne though he weare a lyons skinne 15 16 .

6 A signior is a foxe to deceive women.

Signior is stuffed with all maner of subtil devices to deceive women, which is his continuall studie. As the foxe often (not by force but by subtiltie) catcheth a praie, to signor where he can espye one to his liking presently his head is filled with a common wealth of subtil stratagems, although he see no likelihood, yet like a valiant champion he stands to his sute very importunately, whereby he shewes them what mettal is in him, for he trieth in loves scorching flames like a firie furnace; si la dona eschoucha he intices her further to come, fuera bowing his knees, conquingentos [sic] suspiros, and other fained adulations he protesteth to be a devoted servidor de las donas, and with a besa los manos de vostra signoria, los civeros con  cortesia y buena compagnia, he intices her to his entent, if so be for all this the continue obstinate, and will not pittie this amorous squire, he betaketh his farther suite to a cunning bawde and both in such sort that many a lambe must voyd his lodge 17 18  19  20 .

7 A signor is a lyon in a place of garrison.

In a towne where a Spanish signior lies in garrison, he rules like a lyon, posing all under his subiection, a signior alone is wise inough of himself to do and leave what he list, any others (great or small) he maketh no account of, esteeming them all as nada. Signior is the cocke, he will overcrow all. If any one contrary his doings and sayings, then one shal see him swear a swagger, villain tradidor del re, lutheriano, he stands so much on his owne reputation that none (besides himself and his) are servidors del re, he supposeth none gainsay him, [7] for he is maister of the place, guarda la cabecca. If you abuse him, boto a Dios, he wil revenge it with his blood, at least he wil make you believe it. In fine, signior wil be signior, as long while as signior is himselfe 21 22  23  24 25 .

8 A signior is a hare in a besieged place.

In a place of garrison where nothing is to be don but bragging and dominering, there turn a signior loose, he wil play his part, he esteemes his skil far to surpasse all others, but no sooner doth he heare the thundring rumor of los ennemigos or see them plant their tents and standards with any advantage before his residence, he is in a moment wholly metamorphosed, his heart thinkes like a peece of wet leather by the fire, all his lyonlike courage banitheth like smoake, for that from a lyon he becomes a hare, yet he wil seeme to cloake it but never so wel, but you shal see him making of bowes to signior Iago and nostra dona de Lorretto 26 , the one bows a pilgrimage afoote, and the other rich gifts, his braine and fences are so as frighted with the noyse of the artillery that like a hare he feareth every cracke and blast of winde.

9 A signior is a lambe under the gallowes.

Never was there any man more unresolute to die then [sic] a Spaniard, especially if his fortune be to be hanged, no sooner doth  he fal into the  hand of a justice, but signior looseth his teethe, he is a forlorne man, vale mee Dios, from such a lot, for signior standeth more in awe of la horca, as also la stropada, then the divel doth of the crosse; insomuch that in that respect signior non va le nada, he cries misericordia, he utters many greevous laments, but most o dios de materra, o mal aventurado, in this sort to caper above grounde, signior had rather gone to Rome barefoote then to be hanged, [8] it is such a hard morcell and of so bad disgesture, it is as good as stibbium, to make him vomit up at his vilanie to the fryer that confesseth him, which done, he recommends his soule (with a thousand crosses) to some saint and then leapes at a danve [sic], never was a lambe more meeke then a signior under a galloes 27 28  29  30 31 .

10 A signior is avaritious.

In case that signior had but these aforesaid vices, he were to be borne withall, although to many a ones cost, but he is moreover so wrapped and intangled in avarice that for money he would almost fight with the divel, as appeares by the writing of their owne historiographers. The avarice of the late Romanes, lurks and heathens, were but toyes to his, not only for money, but also to scrape to himselfe every thing else, and to tyrannize over all the worlde, the which they also shelve in the Andies, where above the Spanish armies at S. Domingo is written, totb es nuestro totb es mio [sic]. As also thereon standeth a horse, with his hinder feete in the worlde, and seemeth with his fore feete to leape out of the same, and out of his mouth this motto: The world doth not suffice me, whereby they shelve their infatiable covetousnesse. The Indians also say that gold is signiors God, but as he thinks the worlds containes not pillage inough for him, so undoubtedly, one day he shalbe made pilladge to the world 32 .

11 A signior is ambitious.

In ambition, signior also is not behinde hand, he reputes himself such as none but he may be reverenced (he witlesse [sic]). [He] hinkes himselfe farre to surmount others manners unskilfull, thinkes his learning and doctrine greater than any others, his clounish and  base discent he extols higher then others do their true mobilitie, and his beastly and sencelesse opinion before any reasonable iudgement. He is so loftie that [9] if any other will shelve his skill and experience in instructing him in any thing, he both scornes the teacher and reiecteth his willing instruction. He will not sticke (in his humor) to revile and defame, with the name of traytors, those which to serve him have left and abandoned God and their countrey, as well appeared by the letters of Spanish commaundor Tepeda, who durst [sic] presume to miscall the states of  the other side traytors, which notwithstanding were of their factions. In sum, where signior both rule he shews his divellish actions 33 .

12 A signior is bloodthirstie and tyrannous.

Signior hath at sundry times through his crueltie without mercy tyranized and suppressed whole countries and kingdomes, whereby many thousands have lost their lives. His crueltie and inhumanitie is so extraordinary that his minde is always in suspense devicing and inventing what new and greater torments he may use unto them which he hateth, cutting and hewing off of armes and legges, killing babes in their mothers armes, yea in the wombes, and such like are common things. Moreover, he wil take the dead bodies of the little infants tearing them by peecemeele, throw them to the dogges to be enterred in their bowels. If he be victorious, all his vallor he shelveth in such like deeds, insomuch that he is never glutted with blood, he farre surpasses Pharaoh in crueltie, Herod in tyrannie, and Antiochus in bloodthirstinesse. It is inough, yea too too much knowne in our Netherlands, and not only in Europe, Asia and Affrica but also in the farthest part of America, whereby he shelveth himselfe to bee sprung from the cruell Goths and  blood-thirstie Wandals 34 .

13 A signior is greedie of revenge.

Any iniury which signor may have received or conceived how small soever, he wil alwaies remember it in minde, [10] (though he shelve never so good semblance) until he finde some fit opportunitie which if he cannot effect to his will, unlesse to his discredit, yet notwithstanding he wil neither respect honour nor oath, and therefore wil execute it after the most rigorous sort possible. He will finde occasions inough  to accuse one, and those commonly such wherof the woolfe accused the lambe, saying that he troubled the water whereof he drunke. The Indians to their cost knew it full well, as also the chiefest of Aragon and our Netherlanders the nobler sort whereof which he could not convict nor accuse, amongst the number of male factors, he hath sought by all subtil meanes (some at one time, some at another) to make them all away by deceitfull stratagems, under the colour of pure love, shadowed with the robes of true friendship, which he defileth 35  36 .

14 A signior is faithlesse and periurous

To effect and execute this his infatiable desire of revenge (in a periurous sort) he abandoneth all faith, the which in any accord or agreement he may have sworn or promised, for although his perverse nature be of it felt too much that way inclined, yet he is strictly bound by the papal doctrine, and by the decrees of the counsel of Constans, that to the hindrance and dammage not only of the offenders of his maiestie but also of los lutherianos, they need to keepe any oath or promise, but with all their might procure their utter ruine and destruction. Such his deeds are not only exempt from sin but are
moreover reputed holy workes, in respect that they are done to the furtherance and in the behalfe of the Komish church. And by Gods helpe when he most trusts theron seeking to rock others asleep through his fraudulent adulations, his deceit and faithlesse intent shall be manifest and be punished for the same, for there is no conveyance of sinne from the knowledge of God. But he that putteth his trust in Him sahll ever be blest 37 .

[11] 15 Amiserable servitude to be under a signior subiection.

Finally, it is a most detestable slavery to be under a Spaniards subiection, worse then death in selfe, being hurtfull not only to the bodie but to the soule. Although he sometimes dissemble his nature, yet is he therefore not to be trusted. Wherfore we beseech his divine maiestie through his goodnesse to be mercifull unto those which are yet stopping under signior his cruell and tyrannicall yoke, giving them patience to endure it until such time as thou o Lord shalt find good to give them a ioyful deliverance, which unto thee is easie, but above al vouchsafe unto those (which by his false doctrine, live in obscuritie from the divine light) more grace and discretion, which a better conscience then to entice those which are at libertie to the like error, therby both (to their repentance) to glut themselves with his tyrannical superioritie, for it is far better to be slaves unto Turkes and Moores then to be molested with the gnawing worme of conscience.

16 A happie estate to be free from signior.

But to the contrary, to be free from his tyrannie, and in sfeed [sic] of a signior, to have as cullars in our countrey our owne kindred and countrey men, is (according to every ones censure) the happiest estate and the greatest felicitie in this terestiall orbe, yea a preparative and foundation of an ensuing freedom and strong defence against all enemies. God through his clemency and godnesse grant unto them a perpetuall freedome and blesse them with his celestial gifts of wise dome, forefight and discretion, that they may unmoveably as a sturdie rocke, withstand the violent and raging assaults of the Spaniards until the end and for guerdon of their paines remaine in a free and happie estate with continuation. To the honor of God and their soules salvation. Amen.


1 Bridle the fight, banith temptation.

2 Bids the gentlewomen goodmorrow.

3 To the gallowes with these theeves.

4 Respect his worship.

5 A gentleman.

6 The house is honored.

7 At his worships commaund.

8 With a good heart.

9 The good morcels.

10 To the belly of one.

11 The wenches.

12 The pockes.

13 The chamber.

14 The mayd must carry it out.

15 His Signory.

16 Os beheld the knight.

17 If she listen.

18 With 500 sighs.

19 Servant unto women.

20 Kissing his hands and presenting her with al dainties.

21 Nothing.

22 Villain traytor to the king herecticke.

23 The kings servants.

24 Beware thy head.

25 He sweares by God.

26 S. James and our Lady of Loretta.

27 God defend me.

28 The Gallows.

29 Is worth nothing.

30 Mercy.

31 O thou Spanish God.

32 Some faults in particular persons are in some sort to be tollerated and other some not in any wise, especially in case of government. The bishops of Chiapa Pedro de chiefe Francisco Loper and other their writers.

33 Sign of Spaine is so blinded in ambition that he enuies at anothers honor, freting exceedingly to see that any one besides himselfe should bear any sway, and scornes them for his servants, who himselfe is unworthie to serve. The rejected letters of an. 1589.

34 This appeareth most manifestly to be true by the report of their owne bishops and other writers, which say that their bloodiness and tyrannie surpasseth all nations of the world, as also that his discent is from the most barbarous and cruellest people in Europe.

35 If a man be ambitious, it followeth that he is greedie of revenge.

36 This hath the Spaniard shewed in many sorts and places, especially in his owne countrey, and on his owne countrey men, viz. in the citie of Saragossa where he beheaded a Duke, an Earl, the head officer, and many of the chief citizens, only because they defended their priviledges in the cause of an imprisoned man. To execute his revenge he must need and break his oth, for he hath not the heart to do it valiantly and really, for he had not only sworn unto those of Saragossa, as to all the realme to keepe, protect and defend their priviledges, but moreover according to the formal words and articles which were pronounced at his coronation was to loose his right by default thereof, he then that in such sort used his own country men and those which in idolatry are as superstitious as himselfe, what would he, [?] what ought he to do unto those which are plocaimed heretickes rebels and were so long once, by the holy Inquisition, damned to the pit of hell?

37 Those which know not the error wherein they live have not only desired the same above al worldly things, but also preferred the same above their lives, they esteeming it such a felicity that they still seeke and procure al other to be of the like religion, from the which God keepe us all, amen. In stead of a tyrant to be governed and ruled by a true and careful father, to serve God according to his holy institutions, and to continue in his countries libertie are the highest things which a Christian in this worlde may wish, which to attaine and defend no worldly things nor life it selfe is to be spared, besseching God through his mercie to aide and assist us alwaies in the same, to his honor and glory, the aid of the oppressed and our soules.