A 'Price One Penny' Edition

April 26, 1845

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We must now introduce the reader to one of those spacious and commodious Andalusian houses, lighted only by glass doors and windows opening upon a large court perfumed with flowers.

On one side of the upper storeys of this house, which served generally as the winter-residence, and adjacent to a large saloon in which the family partook of their repasts, was a small chamber furnished like the cell of a nun. A bed, white as snow, but of no downy and luxurious material,—two chairs of black wood beautifully sculptured,—a praying-desk in the same style, and surmounted by an ivory crucifix,—and a figure of the Madonna in a niche, with an ever-burning lamp suspended before it,—these were the characteristics of this unpretending little chamber.

The house to which we have alluded was the palace of Count Manuel Argoso, governor of Seville, the little chamber was that of his only daughter, the Donna Dolorez.

This young lady, who had lost her mother at an early age, was the darling of her father’s heart. She was now seventeen years old, and was very far from resembling the other women of Andalusia. Of a loveliness at once simple and noble,—of a firm and elevated disposition, Dolorez had not passed her time in that mysterious indolence which has so baneful an effect upon the naturally ardent imaginations and voluptuous passions of the Spanish women.

Her preceptor was an uncle—a learned and enlightened man, who had travelled much in France and Germany, and had fortified his naturally powerful intellect by the aid of a sound and liberal philosophy. He had not sown in a sterile soil: Dolorez would even at the present day have been deemed a very remarkable woman.

Possessed of the most correct notions of probity,—loving virtue for virtue’s sake,—and enthusiastic in her admiration of everything generous, noble, and good, Dolorez was imbued with the pure faith of the fathers of the church. Her indulgent charity revolted against all the errors, hypocrisies, and crimes of fanaticism. She was pious as was Isabella the catholic—that great queen whose faith taught her to struggle long, though timidly, against the establishment of the Inquisition, and always to counteract its most enormous crimes.21 The governor’s daughter followed the true spirit and morality of the gospel—a most dangerous proceeding at that time, when, in order to live in peace, it was necessary not only to be the disciple of Christ, but the creature of the Inquisition.

Nevertheless, in spite of a philosophy so enlightened for her age and especially for the epoch in which she lived, Dolorez, faithful to the observance of external ceremonials, had endeavoured to avoid the suspicions of the terrible tribunal.

The Grand Inquisidor of Seville, Peter Arbuez,—who was even more dreaded than the Cardinal Archbishop of Seville, the Grand Inquisidor of the province,—22seemed to extend his all-powerful protection over the mansion of the lord governor.

Received at all hours into the family,—in his quality of priest and as the chief of the inquisitorial tribunal of the city,—Arbuez, who was then in the prime of life, and was a prey to all the fiery passions of the tropics, had not beheld that pure and saint-like virgin, without becoming deeply enamoured of her beauty. Nor had he perceived without feelings of horrible jealousy, that the young Stephen de Vargas was the object of that charming creature’s tenderest affections.

Vainly had he endeavoured, beneath the veil of a holy and paternal friendship, to instil into the mind of Dolorez sentiments which should respond to his own: vainly had he endeavoured to fascinate her with his remarkable powers of eloquence, or attract her by his fine and handsome person.

Dolorez had never been able to conceal in his presence a certain sentiment of fear which she believed to result from respect: the glance of the Grand Inquisidor caused her an emotion which made her grow pale and tremble.

It was six o’clock in the morning—one of those lovely Spanish mornings when the cool breeze sweeps through the streets of the crowded cities—those cities which at mid-day are oppressed with a stifling heat.

Dolorez had already risen. She was dressed—but her long raven hair hung dishevelled over her white shoulders. Kneeling at her praying-desk, she fervently implored the protection of heaven!

Thus did she exhale for some moments the sombre despair which oppressed her: then, drawing forth a letter from her bosom, she read its contents with tearful eyes.

“Yes—this is indeed his writing,” she said. “Poor Stephen! I was not deceived: the Inquisition hates him. And he fears that his visits will compromise me or my father. That journey which he declared to be indispensable, was only a pretext to enable him to remain absent for some days. And yet he cannot live without seeing me!—he conjures me to proceed this evening to the foot of the Giralda bridge,23 where he will meet me. He will die if I refuse him! Oh! yes—he would die without me; and I should also die without him,” she added, the tears flowing like rain from her beautiful eyes: “our love is not of that kind which absence can extinguish. O God! in what wretched times do we live when we are compelled to restrain the best sentiments of our nature! Where are the divine laws of Christ? Are priests nothing but executioners? is the tree of life withered? and do its funereal branches overshadow the world? O Stephen, whither can we fly? where can we seek a clime where this infamy as yet exists not?”

And in a state of despair bordering upon madness, the unhappy young lady clasped her hands together—then wrung them bitterly; and then she threw herself on her knees before the ivory crucifix which stood upon her praying-desk, murmuring in a broken voice, “O thou who didst so much suffer, teach me resignation—imbue me with patience!”

Then, by a sudden reaction, heart-rending sobs forced their way from her parched throat; and she covered with bitter tears the image of Him whom she had invoked.

At that moment the door of her cell was gently opened; and the wretched Dolorez, rising in alarm and astonishment, retreated towards the window of her chamber, before the presence of the Grand Inquisidor himself, who advanced slowly towards her, clad in his long dark tunic.

Dolorez had not strength to utter a cry.

“I am disturbing your devotions, my child,” said Arbuez, in a soft tone.

“My lord,” she exclaimed, scarcely able to give utterance to the words she spoke, “wherefore do you seek my private chamber? Is not the sleeping-room of a young female sacred?”

“The Grand Inquisidor has power to grant dispensations of all kinds,” answered Arbuez; “and you cannot commit a sin by receiving me in this privacy.”

“My lord,” replied Dolorez, blushing with pride and indignation, “I do not comprehend those miserable arguments which thus limit, at the pleasure of those who use them, the immutable laws of innocence, and which render lawful to some that which is illegal or criminal amongst others. Virtue is identical with itself—one, and indivisible. You are a man, my lord; and no man should enter the chamber of a young female—unless he be her husband.”

Arbuez gazed with eager glances upon the beautiful woman who thus taught him his duty. He had not retired to rest during the whole of that night: the fumes of wine still influenced his brain; and his passions were kindled with the reminiscence of the naked charms which he had seen stretched but a few hours previously upon the wooden horse in the terrible chamber of torture.24

“Dolorez,” he said, assuming a severe tone, “do you forget that Christ has given us power over souls and over bodies, teaching us that what we unloose on earth shall be unbound in heaven?”

“Oh! my lord, do not thus pervert the sacred text of scripture—that text which is so clear, and so pure that to the rightly-constituted mind there can be only one means of interpreting it.”

“You are very imprudent, young lady, to speak before me in this manner,” said the Grand Inquisidor. “The Scriptures are a sacred code—a divine map, the interpretation of which is alone confided to us: to you is given the passive accomplishment of its laws. Woe to them who seek to discover the key to those mysteries without our aid; Woe to those who fall into the errors of heresy!”

“There is no heresy in following the dictates of the gospel, my lord.”

“If thou hadst spoken in that manner before any other save the Grand Inquisidor of Seville,” cried Peter Arbuez, with a terrible look, “this evening would not find thee in the dwelling of thy father!”

“I have done nothing to offend the Inquisition,” exclaimed the betrothed of Don Stephen de Vargas, in a tone of voice to which she endeavoured to impart assurance, although an invincible terror made her tremble in spite of herself.

Peter Arbuez observed her secret emotion, and advanced towards her. She could not retreat another step: her feet touched the wall by the window already.

“Dolorez,” he said, “thou knowest not that I am thy friend?”

“Oh! my lord, withdraw, and do not avail yourself of your high authority thus to violate the sanctity of my chamber. Go, my lord—go: I implore your lordship on my knees!”

Arbuez, absorbed in the contemplation of such marvellous beauty, did not appear to hear her prayers. Dolorez was before him—her long black hair flowing over her ivory shoulders, and the rich contours of her form displayed by the dark dress that she wore. Her fine and graceful figure seemed more commanding still; and the lustre of her large black eyes, in which all her life and all her soul seemed concentrated, lent a new charm to the spotless pallor of her countenance.

“Oh! Dolorez,” cried the priest, “how beautiful art thou, and what an enviable lot is that of Stephen de Vargas!”

“My lord!” ejaculated Dolorez, affrighted by the manner and words of the Grand Inquisidor; “my lord, am I dreaming? Are you no longer the Grand Inquisidor of Seville—the high-priest of heaven—the guardian of the virtue of others?”

“No,” cried the monk, carried away by the impetuous passions which devoured him: “there is no Inquisidor here—there is no priest—there is only Peter Arbuez who loves thee—Peter Arbuez who is dying of love and of despair!”

A cry of terror issued from the lips of the young lady; and her entire form grew suddenly cold like a block of stone.

The Inquisidor was at her feet: the violence of his brutal passion rendered his countenance, naturally regular and handsome, horrible at that moment. He endeavoured to seize hold of the governor’s daughter. Dolorez, influenced by her terror, clung as it were to the wall in order to place herself beyond the reach of the libertine’s arms. Nevertheless, he touched her garment: Dolorez, incapable of stirring another step, maintained herself erect and motionless close by the narrow window.

But as she had retained in her hands, when the unworthy priest thus intruded upon her, the ivory crucifix, which she pressed convulsively to her bosom during the preceding colloquy, she now—at the moment when the Inquisidor, emboldened by her alarms, cast his arms round her waist,— she now, we say, stretched forth the holy image by an energetic and spontaneous movement, exclaiming, “Peter Arbuez, pass this barrier if thou darest! Priest of Christ, wilt thou brave thy Master?”

The licentious Inquisidor cast down his eyes and drew back. He was afraid. Fanatic as he was, he dared not profane that image, although the idea of rape terrified him not!

Rising from his suppliant posture, he cast upon the young girl a look full of hatred, and then left the room without again turning his eyes towards her.

Dolorez pressed the image to her bosom, exclaiming, “Oh! thou that hast saved me, to thee my fervent gratitude is due!”

Meantime the Grand Inquisidor returned to his own abode, discomfited—cast down.

“Thou wilt live to repent thy perverseness, haughty beauty,” he murmured, as he threw himself upon his couch. “Little dost thou suspect the snare that I have set to make thee mine—to remove that odious rival. Even when my eyes were glutting themselves with the spectacle of that lovely young mother stretched upon the instrument of torture,—how willingly did I hasten away from that scene which possessed such charms for me, to hear the plot that Henriquez had devised! Yes, haughty fair one, thou wilt go to the appointment—and then, Henriquez will do the rest!”25

The District of Triana

It was seven o’clock in the evening. The streets of Seville, formerly so noisy and animated, were silent and gloomy, although the carnival was near at hand. At intervals monks of mysterious appearance, and gipseys of wild exterior, passed each other; or else the familiars of the Holy Inquisition—those vigilant spies of a monstrous tyranny—saluted each other with a mystic and masonic sign.26 The inhabitants of the Triana—a quarter thronging with persons of dissolute character, and separated from the city of Seville by the Guadalquiver, across which a rude bridge of boats27 afforded a means of communication,—this quarter of the Andalusian capital was alone agitated by noise, disturbance, and revelry—the invariable characteristics of low neighbourhoods. Amongst the persons who at that hour were passing the Triana bridge, was a tall man attired in the garb of a priest, or rather public preacher. His ample forehead was rather calm than austere; his large black eyes, full of softness, were still expressive of religious enthusiasm and profound thought, and on his mute lips was imprinted the seal of eloquence and poetry. Upon that fine countenance were expressed the energy of St Paul and the meekness of the disciple whom the Saviour loved so tenderly.28

That man walked slowly, as if pre-occupied with deep thought; and, in the profound abstraction from earthly things in which he seemed absorbed, he did not perceive the passers-by who jostled against each other, but who made way respectfully for him.

When he reached the Triana side of the bridge, he hesitated a moment, uncertain which to take of two streets that branched off from that point. But as with that partial indecision commingled thoughts of another nature, the monk, probably absorbed in some dominant idea, remained motionless and pensive on the spot. He seemed much more like a man who had made an appointment with another whom he was then expecting, than a philosopher plunged in thought; and especially at that epoch, few persons, who had seen that priest standing motionless there, would have imagined that he was simply obeying a gap in his thoughts.

In a few moments, a man, well dressed and of genteel deportment, emerged from the street leading to the right, and which in those days was called Gipsey’s Alley.29 This man stopped near the foot of the bridge, glanced around, as if he were expecting some one; and then, suddenly espying the priest, hastened to accost him.

When only two or three paces distant from the priest, the man said in a low tone, “Silence!”

This was the watch-word30 of the Inquisition.

At the sound of a voice near him, the Franciscan (for of that order was the preacher) raised his head abruptly, scanned the countenance of the man who had accosted him, and replied gravely by another word—“Cap!”

The word, which was also used as a masonic pass by the persons connected with the Inquisition, represented a high and pointed cap which victims were compelled to wear when placed on the fatal pile at the auto-de-fa.31

“God sends me,” said the stranger.

“God has power over all,” replied the priest.

“Your Reverence may follow me,” rejoined the stranger.

It must be here observed that the word God in the sense intended by the stranger, signified the Grand Inquisidor.

The preacher immediately obeyed the invitation of the stranger to follow him, with an air as natural and a manner as calm as if this incident had not been unforeseen; and he suffered himself to be led, like a docile child, by the individual who had accosted him.

These two persons proceeded along Gipsey’s Alley,—a lengthy, dark, and tortuous street, which was lighted only by the lamps of the numerous taverns which swarmed in that scene of misery and crime, and the silence of which was disturbed only by the sounds of discordant and inebriate voices.

The lowest orders of Seville,—thieves, and robbers, prostitutes and receivers of stolen goods, freed or escaped galley-slaves, and men of ruined fortunes, were assembled in those vile public-houses, drinking ardent spirits, and indulging in obscene discourse.

When the two individuals whom we have described, reached the end of the street, the stranger stopped at a tavern better lighted than the rest, and made a sign to the preacher to enter it.

The man of God unhesitatingly crossed the threshold of that horrible den, for it was at that time by no means a rare thing for priests to be seen in taverns. Indeed, it is well-known that they have at all times mingled in disgraceful scenes and frequented forbidden places in Spain.

The preacher accordingly entered the tavern.

It was a low-pitched chamber—long and dark, the walls blackened with smoke, and split here and there into large crevices, the light columns of which contrasting with the sombre hues of the wainscot, formed upon that dark ground a mosaic-work of hieroglyphics.

Rough and unsteady benches were placed around that apartment, together with black and greasy tables, to the surface of which the perpetual contact of elbows had imparted a species of varnish.

Upon the walls—half-way between the floor and the ceiling, were hung numbers of rude pictures representing the various madonnas which Spain worshipped, or else scenes drawn from subjects furnished by the auto-de-fa. Beneath each picture burned two small wax-candles, not thicker than a pen, or a lamp fed with smoky and rancid oil. These lights which were constantly replenished, constituted of an evening the only means of dispelling the darkness of the place.

To the beams of the roof were suspended numerous iron hooks, whence hung hams, bacon, meat, hats, and cloaks.

The aspect of the inmates of that revolting place,—monks, fortune-tellers, gipsies, and familiars of the Inquisition,—would have encouraged the idea that the eye, beheld an assembly of demons seated beneath the gibbet in the midst of a vast catacomb. The earthy floor, muddy and damp, echoed not beneath the steps of those sandalled monks, or the naked feet of the gipsies: the sounds of hoarse voices resembled a mournful psalmody. That filthy den inspired as much disgust as terror: for such, at that period, were even the better kind of taverns in the suburb of Triana.

The preacher proceeded to seat himself at one end of a table, where there was no other guest; and he invited his companion to place himself next to him.

“Presently,” said the stranger: “I must first speak to Graciosa;”—and he pointed to a young girl who was standing at a little distance on the threshold of a sort of shed or back room, which served as a kitchen.

Graciosa, the sister of the tavern-keeper, was a young Andalusian brunette,—half a gipsey by birth, with well-turned legs, which were only veiled to the middle of the calf by the short red petticoat which she wore. Two long, black, and somewhat wavy tresses fell below her slender waist; and a broad orange-coloured riband was fastened by long steel pins to the mass of hair collected in a knot at the back of her well-formed head.

The stranger accosted her familiarly, and said in a low and almost authoritative tone,—“Is Francis come yet, Graciosa?”

“Not yet,” answered the Andalusian damsel; “but he will not be long. I have sent my brother Joachim to inform him that the Lady Dolorez will leave her house to-night at twelve o’clock. Francis will no doubt come and meet you, and the holy man whom the Grand Inquisidor honors with his confidence.”

As she uttered these words, Graciosa cast an expressive glance upon the fine and imposing countenance of the priest.

“It is he,” said the stranger: “he is the confidant of the most illustrious and very revered Peter Arbuez. I met him at the bottom of the bridge, as his Eminence assured me I should do. We are therefore only waiting for Francis to put our project into execution—that is supposing the Lady Dolorez keeps her promise.”

“She will not fail, senor,” answered the Andalusian girl. “I myself conveyed to her the letter which his Eminence got forged by a scrivener skilful in the art of imitating hand-writing of all kinds.”

“And the young lady immediately consented to the appointment?” demanded the individual whom we have hitherto denominated the stranger, but who was in reality none other than Henriquez, one of the devoted servants of the Lord Arbuez.

“She at first refused,” said Graciosa; “but the letter was so pressing! Its contents alluded to the personal safety of her betrothed lover, Don Stephen de Vargas; and the young lady promised all I asked. She will be at the place of appointment—never fear! You may very well suppose that I did all I could to persuade her.”

“God be thanked!” exclaimed Henriquez: “you are a real sorceress, Graciosa; and, upon my honour, his Eminence could not do better than make choice of you as an instrument of his very holy and immutable pleasure. You must understand, Graciosa, that our holy Inquisidor has no other object in view than to save from the power of the demon the soul of that young lady, by preventing her marriage with Don Stephen de Vargas, who is, they say, the son of a converted Jew and the grandson of a Moor.”

“Oh! that is true enough—no doubt!” ejaculated Graciosa, making the sign of the cross. “My lord the Grand Inquisidor is a saint, and never acts save in the interest of heaven. But do not tell me that I am a sorceress,” she added in a tone of alarm: “such a word ought not to come from the mouth of a familiar of the Holy Inquisition; for that simple word might send me to figure in the first auto-de-fa given to celebrate the victories of our most Catholic monarch Charles;—and my zeal in favour of the Holy Inquisition deserves a better reward than that.”

“Do not be alarmed, Graciosa: you are too good a Catholic, and too faithful a servant of the Holy Inquisition to cause any suspicion.”

Had he attentively regarded the countenance of the beautiful Andalusian girl, he would have seen her red lips grow imperceptibly pale—her bright and brilliant eye express a vague terror, and her glowing bosom palpitate violently beneath her corset of black velvet;—for Graciosa knew well that her ancestors had not been all pure Catholics, and the mere mention of the word “Inquisition”—that very establishment with the intrigues of which she and her brother had leagued themselves in order to purchase their security—filled her with terror.

She endeavoured to restrain her fears; but at that moment she beheld the large black eyes of the Franciscan priest fixed upon her. The monk had not lost one word of the preceding conversation; and he had thus learnt the nature of the trick practised against Senora Dolorez.

“Give us some wine, Graciosa,” said the familiar of the Inquisition.

Graciosa, happy to escape from the piercing looks of the priest, and from that discourse during which she trembled lest she should betray the nature of the fears by which she was influenced, hastened to place an earthen cruise of wine before the priest. Henriquez was just upon the point of drawing a stool towards the table, when another person entered the tavern. The newcomer approached the familiar; and designating the Franciscan preacher with a look, said, “Is this our holy assistant?”

“The same, Senor Francis,” replied Henriquez.

The priest rose and crossed his hands upon his breast. The new-comer imitated the gesticulation. The priest then crossed them in the reverse manner: Francis did the same. They then both bowed, and their foreheads touched. This was the distinctive salutation of the familiars of the Holy Office.

But Francis was not contented with these signs. He opened his jerkin, and beneath his vest displayed a silver plate on which was an inverted portrait of Christ. In the middle of the Saviour’s breast was a brilliant sun—the symbol of light and which was the heraldic device of the Inquisition—the lustre of truth thus used as an emblem of the very incarnation of error and infamy!

To this last sign the Franciscan preacher gave no reply. Francis cast upon Henriquez a gloomy glance of doubt. Henriquez shrugged his shoulders as much as to say that he thought all was right.

“He is not one of our order,” murmured Francis; and again Henriquez seemed doubtful of the accuracy of his friend’s suspicions. “I tell you that he is not,” proceeded Francis, “and we are betrayed—betrayed, do you hear?” he continued squeezing his associate’s hand violently, while his countenance expressed a species of convulsive rage.

All this passed quietly and rapidly enough; at the same time the inmates of the tavern perceived enough to induce them to believe that a quarrel was upon the tapis32. All eyes were then directed towards the Franciscan preacher, who, calm and tranquil, seemed to be a spectator of, rather than an actor in, this strange proceeding.

Some of the persons present muttered threats against Francis and Henriquez, so imposing was the countenance of the monk, and such respect did he inspire.

Although certain of a deadly vengeance in case of insult, the familiars of the Inquisition did not choose to engage in a quarrel with the bandits of the Triana suburb:—they knew them well enough to be aware that they would suffer themselves to be hacked to pieces in the defence of a priest:—nevertheless, there was something that inspired a greater awe amongst the people than even a priest—and that was the INQUISITION! It was therefore, with diabolical intent, that Francis turned towards the inmates of the tavern, and exclaimed, “Brethren, are you such bad Catholics as to defend an enemy of the Holy Office?”

At the mere mention of that terrible word, every head bent, and a livid pallor overspread every cheek:—it seemed as if a thunderbolt had suddenly fallen in the midst of those rude and turbulent men! None dared utter a word.

Then the preacher,—without paying any attention either to the anger of Francis or the stupor of the guests—rose slowly from his seat and advanced with the same gravity towards the door.

“What! will you allow him to escape thus?” ejaculated Francis. “Will none of you hasten to aquaint the sbirri of the Holy Office with this outrage upon us?”

“Yes—I!” exclaimed Graciosa, in alarm; and, at the same moment, she rushed towards the door, anxious to escape, by means of her zeal, from the danger which she saw ever menacing herself. But as she was about to raise the latch, the Franciscan cast upon her a profound look; and Graciosa fascinated as it were by that glance, clasped her hands together, and fell at the feet of the man of God!

By a simultaneous movement the inmates of the tavern all stretched out their hands towards the Franciscan, as if to implore his protection against a hidden power which they could not brave. Then the monk, turning in a majestic manner towards them, blessed them with a look upraised towards heaven; and immediately afterwards he disappeared from the tavern, not even Francis himself having the courage to rush forward to molest him.

“We are betrayed, imprudent servant that you are!” cried Francis, after a pause, and addressing himself to Henriquez, who, like the vile inmates of the tavern, was plunged in a profound state of stupefaction.

“He knows nothing,” answered Henriquez.

“So much the better, then!” exclaimed Francis, re-assured. “We do not, after all, require a third person to aid us in our work of to-night. Come.”

And the two “soldiers of Christ,” left the tavern together.

The Fraternity of Garduna

At the extremity of the suburb of Triana, there existed, in the times we are writing, the ruins of an old Moorish palace, the facade of which alone remained unhurt by the ravages of time.

Mendicants without an asylum, restless gipseys, and other vagabonds slept upon the stones of those ruins during the summer nights, which, in Andalusia, are so warm that no roof is required;—and, in the winter, old women, grouped together in the sun, sought these ruins as a protection against the bitterness of the breeze.

By the massive proportions of the dismantled walls,—and by certain ornaments of architecture which were still in existence, it was easy to perceive that this had once been a vast and sumptuous palace; for in the midst of those ruins, a long, elegant, and light colonnade sustained a roof covered with arabesques. A wall, almost untouched by the lapse of years, though somewhat weak and slender in appearance, closed on one side this colonnade, which must once have adorned a splendid saloon. A door of remarkable solidity defended the entrance.

Here and there, amongst the ruins, were a few wild plants; and the air was perfumed with flowers of a pale red. Laurels and jessamines also clothed the walls in several parts.

This strange place constituted the abode of the Society of Garduna:—this was the palace of the Master of the Order. The fraternity consisted of robbers and bravos of the most desperate kind, and was regularly organized. The Inquisition protected it tacitly, because its members were ever ready to obey the commands of the Holy Office; and the police abstained from interfering with it, because the favour of that redoubtable tribunal thus shone upon it. At the time of which we write, the chief of the Garduna at Seville was a man of strange habits and extraordinary exterior,—grave and sarcastic,—and perfectly competent to restrain his lawless subjects.

On the same evening in the month of February, 1534, on which occurred the incidents in the preceding chapter, a band of the Garduna repaired to a chapel existing in the ruined palace of which we have just spoken.33 These miscreants were all clad in the sacred garments, and carried the various insignia and symbols of the priesthood. Their rags were concealed by splendid gowns: their ruffian countenances were surmounted by religious caps.

The magnificent chapel, which was kept in a state of repair at the expense of the fraternity, thronged with the vilest characters in Seville. And yet the entire ceremony was conducted with decorum and decency. The Master of the Order ascended the steps of the altar: the members prostrated themselves; a prayer was said—a hymn was sung;—and the Master then administered to each an oath that they would one and all obey the commands which he should that evening issue to them.

It was a strange sight to behold all those ruffians thus engaged in holy ceremony with all the apparent sanctity of real members of the priesthood, and raising to heaven those eyes that loved to gloat on scenes of blood, and those voices that usually were made the vehicles of oaths and execrations. The dark countenances of the bravos gleamed ominously beneath the sacerdotal caps: even the Master himself was a being whose appearance was only calculated to inspire feelings of disgust. Nevertheless, the hymn arose; frankincense perfumed the air; silver bells rang melodiously; and the Gardunos dared to thank the Almighty for the “protection and favour which he vouchsafed to the Order!”

When this ceremony was performed, the members retired to an adjoining apartment, laid aside their sacerdotal decorations, and thence proceeded to a large room in another part of the building. In the midst of this room which was well lighted by torches, was a large table covered with the remnants of a festival. The Master of the Order, whose name was Mandamiento, took his seat at the head of the board. On his right a formidable member of the society, named Manofina, took his stand: on the left was another leader of the band, called Hierro. Several old men, once famous in the fraternity, were ranged next. There were also old women, wearing fantastic garbs, and who exercised out of doors the avocation of fortune-tellers, in order to carry out the schemes of the Order, or acquire information beneath that disguise. Lastly we must notice the young females, who were called serenas, and who were of immense utility to the fraternity of Garduna. By means of their charms,—for they were all beautiful,—they fascinated and wheedled judges, prosecutors, and priests, on whom the lives of the brethren frequently depended when they happened to overstep the bounds of the licence accorded to them. Especially were their attractions powerful when directed against some voluptuous canon34 or lascivious preacher, whose influence was at that time boundless over temporal as well as over spiritual affairs.

Without the circle, and a little apart from the rest, stood a young man—the principal object of that meeting. His name was Garabato. The Master, Mandamiento, cast a glance around him, made a sign of the cross, and bent towards an image of the virgin suspended to the wall. All the other persons present imitated him. Mandamiento then spoke in the following terms:—

“Noble and valiant knights of the poinard, we salute you! May God and the Holy Virgin protect you! I have assembled you this evening, and I have preceded our deliberations by the customary ceremonial in our holy chapel, in order that we may effectually discuss matters of grave interest. Since you have been under my command, success has attended all our proceedings; and whenever I have recommended the introduction of a new member into our Society, no evil has resulted therefrom. Garabato, step forward.”

The young man advanced, and stood in the presence of the Master. Mandamiento took him by the hand, and said, “Brethren! the lords Manofina and Hierro caught this young gentleman in the very identical act of nabbing a handkerchief and a purse from a chevalier’s pocket on the threshold of a cathedral. The young gentleman exhibited marvellous talent in his evocation; but as he does not belong to our fraternity, he has violated our statutes, we alone enjoying the monopoly of plunder in Seville. It therefore remains for you, most potent lords and lovely ladies, to devise whether the said young gentleman now present be denounced to the tribunals, or admitted a member of our honourable order.”

The serenas regarded Garabato with interest, because he was a very handsome young man; and the men admired his agility. The assembly therefore desired that Garabato should be initiated a member of the Garduna.

Mandamiento then took the young man by the hand, and presented him to every member, male or female, of the brotherhood. This ceremony being terminated, Mandamiento took a dirty piece of paper from his pocket, and said, “Brethren, listen to the order of the day!”

The members sank into a profound silence; and the Master then proceeded to issue, with remarkable coolness, the following sanguinary and diabolical commands.

‘Isabella of Castile, wife of Ferdinand of Arragon, always abhorred the cruelties of the holy office, and for a long time opposed the establishment of the modern inquisition in Castile. Torrequemada, the confessor of Ferdinand, an intriguer as well as a fanatic, under pretence of serving the avaricious policy of the king, extorted rather than obtained the consent of the pious Isabella, whenever as inquisitor general, he attempted to encroach upon the royal authority. The noble queen one day replied to a new exaction of the inquisitor, which he dared to accompany with threats; “Monk! Do not forget that a royal ordinance has established the inquisition, and that a royal ordinance can abolish it.”’ (p. 24*)

Cuendías is quoting an anonymous medieval work of prose, Crónica incompleta de los Reyes Católicos (Incomplete Chronicles of the Catholic Kings), which he attributes to Luis Ponce de León (1527-1591), a lyric poet, Augustinian friar, theologian, and academic active during the Spanish Golden Age. By omitting the word ‘incompleta’ and designating an author, Cuendías is conferring more legitimacy upon his source.

Cardinal Archbishop of Seville Reynolds added the phrase between dashes: there is no ‘Cardinal Archbishop of Seville, the Grand Inquisidor of the province’. He is endeavouring to turn Arbuez into an even more threatening figure than in the French original.
Giralda bridge The Giralda is a Moorish minaret built at the end of the twelfth century, converted into the bell-tower of the Cathedral of Seville and standing a hundred meters above street-level. Reynolds added in the word ‘bridge’, but there is no Giralda bridge. He was probably trying to make sense of the proximity of the Guadalquivir in a later scene.
Arbuez gazed ... chamber of torture Reynolds added this paragraph. See Introduction for discussion.
Meantime the Grand Inquisidor ... the appointment Reynolds changed the narrative in the last two paragraphs. In the French text, Dolorez exits the family mansion. Arbuez follows in her shadow and cryptically says that Henriquez will do the rest. In his rewriting, the translator reaffirms the chronological reordering of the first instalment (see Introduction).
mystic and masonic sign ‘The familiars of the inquisition had signs like the masons and other secret societies, certain touches and words known only to themselves, by means of which they might recognise one another.’ (p. 6)
a rude bridge of boats The Triana bridge was a floating bridge supported by boats built in 1171 by Yusuf I and only replaced in 1852 by a permanent structure, the Isabella II bridge.
the disciple whom the Saviour loved so tenderly A character found only in the Gospel of John. At the Last Supper, ‘leaning back against Jesus, [he] said to him, “Lord, who is it?”’ in reference to whom would betray him (John 13:25). In art, he is often represented as a beardless youth.
Gipsey’s Alley The Cava de los Gitanos, now Calle Pagés del Corro, actually branches out to the left as one exits the Triana bridge.
watch-word password
auto-de-fa An irregular form of auto-da-fé, ‘A religious ceremony demonstrating commitment to Catholicism held by the Spanish or Portuguese Inquisition prior to the punishment of prisoners, esp. heretics’ (OED). Auto refers to a public ceremony or a judicial degree and means ‘faith’.
upon the tapis Under consideration, from the French ‘sur le tapis’ (OED).
chapel Reynolds introduced the chapel, absent from the French text, to explain the woodcut on that London Journal page, one of the four which have not been copied from the French edition.
canon ‘A clergyman (including clerks in minor orders) living with others in a clergy-house (claustrum), or (in later times) in one of the houses within the precinct or close of a cathedral or collegiate church, and ordering his life according to the canons or rules of the church.’ (OED)
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Victorine Subervic and Manuel de Cuendías. Date: 1 July 2013