A classic picaresque novel, Francisco de Quevedo's "The Spanish Sharper" chronicles the adventures of Don Pablos, a buscón or swindler, who aims in life to learn virtue and to become a caballero, or gentleman, both of which he fails miserably at. The work is a notable piece of satire that criticizes not only Spanish society but the protagonist Pablos himself. His ambition to elevate his status to that of a gentleman is, in Quevedo's opinion, unobtainable; as such aspirations from the lower classes would only destabilize the social order. Written around 1604 and first published in Spanish as "El Buscón" in 1626, "The Spanish Sharper" stands as one of the earliest and premier examples of the popular genre of Spanish literature known as the picaresque novel.
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- Title page
- QUEVEDO AND HIS WORKS:
- THE HISTORY OF THE LIFE OF THE SHARPER CALLED DON PABLO
- BOOK I.
- CHAPTER I. Giving an Account of Who he is and Whence he Sprung.
- CHAPTER II. How I went to School, and what Happened to me there.
- CHAPTER III. How I went to a Boarding School in quality of Servant to Don Diego Coronel.
- CHAPTER IV. Of my Convalescence, and Departure for the University of AlcalÃ¡ de Henares.
- CHAPTER V. Of our entrance into AlcalÃ¡, of the Footing we had to pay, and the Tricks they played upon us.
- CHAPTER VI. Of the wicked old Housekeeper, and the first knavish pranks I played at AlcalÃ¡.
- CHAPTER VII. How I received news of my Father's Death, parted from Don Diego, and what Course of Life I resolved on for the future.
- CHAPTER VIII. My Journey from AlcalÃ¡ to Segovia, and what Happened by the way till I came to Rejas, where I lay that Night.
- CHAPTER IX. Of what Happened to me on the road to Madrid with a Poet.
- CHAPTER X. Of what I did at Madrid, and what Happened to me on my way to Cerecedilla, where I passed the Night.
- CHAPTER XI. The kind Entertainment I had at my Uncle's, the Visits I received
- how I recovered my Inheritance and returned to Madrid.
- CHAPTER XII. Of my flight from Segovia, with what Happened to me by the way to Madrid.
- CHAPTER XIII. In which the Gentleman pursues his Journey, and his promised Tale of his Life and Condition.
- BOOK II.
- CHAPTER I. Of what happened to me at my coming to Madrid as soon as I arrived there, until Nightfall.
- CHAPTER II. In which the same Subject is pursued, with other strange Incidents.
- CHAPTER III. The further Proceedings of this Sharping Gang, till they were thrown all together into Gaol.
- CHAPTER IV. In which the Prison is described and what happened therein, until the old Woman was whipped, my Companions exposed to Shame, and myself let out on Bail.
- CHAPTER V. How I took a Lodging, and the Misfortune that befel me therein.
- CHAPTER VI. In which the same Adventure is pursued, with various other Incidents.
- CHAPTER VII. In which the Story is continued, with other Incidents and notable Misfortunes.
- CHAPTER VIII. Of my Cure, and other Strange Things.
- CHAPTER IX. In which I turn Player, Poet, and Gallant of Nuns
- which Characters are Daintily tainted.
- CHAPTER X. Of what happened to me at Seville, till I took Ship for the Indies.