A 'Price One Penny' Edition

May 3, 1845

Up: The Mysteries of the Inquisition. Previous: April 26, 1845 Next: May 10, 1845

The Midnight Combat

“Three delicate wounds,” said the Master of the Gardunos to his band, “are to be given with the poniard: one to a handsome young gentleman who passes every evening over Triana bridge. He is a tall man, and wears a scarlet cloak. This wound will be recompensed by the payment of fifty reals—and five hundred maravedis more, if inflicted on the face.35 A very handsome lady is our employer; and therefore, Senor Garabato, this business is entrusted to you. Now, in order to make the scar indelible, you must rub into it some soot steeped in vinegar.

Mandamiento handed Garabato a phial filled with a blackish liquor.

“The second wound,” continued the Master, “will only produce us four reals. The victim is the chaplain to the Convent of Grace, who has seduced a young lady who was a penitent of the Provincial Vicar. The Vicar therefore pays the reward; and he will give four doubloons in addition if we can succeed in putting out one of his enemy’s eyes. I therefore entrust this business to Senor Manofina and his well-beloved Culevrina.”

“Ok! I will help Manofina,” exclaimed the damsel who was denominated Culevrina.

“The third wound is to be inflicted upon a priest who is opposed to the election of our employer as Dean. It is for you, Hierro, to perform this service. And now,” continued Mandamiento, “there is one death to be inflicted. This is serious. The victim is young Stephen de Vargas, he is the betrothed of the daughter of the Governor of Seville. We are to receive a hundred doubloons for the job: I have already fingered fifty in advance. Our employer is his lordship the Grand Inquisidor of Seville, our protector and patron.”

“And who knows that he will not be the very first to turn round upon us?” demanded Manofina.

“The person who gave me the instructions, wrote them down and signed them,” answered Mandamiento. “he is well known to me, moreover. If any treachery take place, I immediately hand over the paper to the criminal tribunal of Seville.”

At that moment a brother of the Order of Garduna, who had been stationed to keep watch at the door, rushed into the room, exclaiming,—“Brethren, brethren, here is an officer of the police.”

The Gardunos seized with alarm, placed their hands on their poniards.

“On your knees! on your knees!” cried the Master; and, prostrating himself before an image, he began to recite a prayer aloud, telling his beads with great apparent devotion at the same time.

In a few moments the alguazil36 entered the room. Mandamiento only vociferated more loudly than before; and the men and women of the Order joined in chorus. But suddenly the Master broke off in the midst of a fine Ave Maria, exclaiming, “Oh! it is only Joachim, our excellent friend!”

The whole brotherhood rose; and Mandamiento. drawing Joachim into a corner, said, “What brings you hither, Joachim?”

“I will tell you,” answered the brother of the pretty Graciosa; “you know that in my double capacity of alguazil and familiar of the Holy Inquisition, I am enabled to watch well over your safety, and give you notice of any dangers which menace you.”

“Yes—you are an excellent friend!”

“Well, then—it is now your turn to render me a service,” said Joachim.

“Speak,” returned Mandamiento.

“In the first place you must restore to a friend of mine, the sacristan of the Carmelites,37 a purse which has been stolen from him.”

“We are prepared to please you on that head.”

“And next,” continued Joachim, sinking his voice, “I require a very serious service indeed—nothing more nor less than the death of two or three familiars of the Inquisition.”

“What!” ejaculated Mandamiento in dismay.

“It must be done,” said Joachim coolly.

“But do you not know that the holy Inquisidor of Seville is one of our very best patrons?”

“Never mind that! You must either serve me now, or I withdraw my services from you.”

“What do yon require?” demanded the Master.

“Give me two or three of your most faithful followers,” said Joachim, “and half a dozen of your hangers-on by way of rear-guard; and order them to kill those whom I point out to them,—in a word, to obey me in all respects.”

“You demand too much, Joachim.”

“The Apostle has so instructed me,” returned the Alguazil emphatically.

“Since the Apostle so commands, it must be done,” said Mandamiento. “His will is as powerful with me as that of any mortal breathing; for he saved Manofina from death by a fearful malady; he delivered Hierro from the jaws of the wolf; and he attends all our sick and wounded. Let it be as you say, Joachim. Take my two best men; and they shall obey you in all things.”

At the same moment the Master beckoned Hierro to him, and whispered something in his ear: he then called Manofina aside, and said, “I forgot to tell you that you are charged with the task of putting young Stephen de Vargas out of the way. That operation will restore us to the favour of the Grand Inquisidor, in case of difficulty arising from the business which Joachim is about to entrust to you. Farewell, senors—and, courage!”

The two bravos each chose three faithful, alert, and powerful attendants.

“Depart,” said the master, with a gesture of his hand; “and may the Virgin protect you!”

The alguazil Joachim placed himself at their head; and the little band, favoured by the darkness of the night, sallied noiselessly forth from the ruined dwelling of the Brotherhood of Garduna.

The two principal Gardunos, Hierro and Manofina, walked with Joachim; the attendants followed at a little distance.

Culevrina, the mistress of Manofina, also followed the band, for she was alarmed at the secret mission that had been given to her lover; and perhaps she was also urged by that instinct which prompts women in certain cases to prepare themselves to administer succour, or impart comfort to those who are dear to them.

Joachim and his band proceeded in this manner as far as Triana bridge: there they turned off into several dark and filthy alleys, and at length arrived in the neighbourhood of the cathedral on the Esplanade.38 It was very dark in that spot; for all the lights were extinguished in the adjacent dwelling and places of entertainment.

In the blue sky there were a few twinkling stars; but those radiant orbs, too far removed from us, rolled tranquilly onward in their celestial paths, and seemed to love to lend their light to globes peopled with beings more happy and less criminal than those which tenanted this world of ours.

Arrived at the cathedral, Joachim concealed Hierro and Manofina in the deep shade of a portico supported by two vast pillars; he then muttered a few words in a low whisper to the Garduna attendants, who immediately separated and hastened to post themselves at the four corners of the Esplanade; where they threw themselves flat upon their stomachs, and with their ears fixed to the ground awaited the first signal that might demand the raid.

Having thus disposed his band, Joachim repaired to the entrance of the cathedral, and selected in his turn, a hiding-place in a dark and convenient nook.

The serena Culevrina, fearful of being perceived, walked round the Esplanade, beneath the shadows of the houses, with so noiseless a step that she seemed to bear invisible wings: then, gliding amongst the trees, she took her station beneath an immense orange-shrub that overshadowed the fountain.

At that moment the watchman traversed the Esplanade, and cried “midnight,” in a hoarse and monotonous tone.

The serena started.

Midnight!—that was the hour of crimes,—the hour at which the wretched woman had oft been the actress in, or the spectatress, of direful tragedies,—the hour when to her affrighted and superstitious imagination appeared the phantoms of all those whom she had seem perish!

She was afraid! Yes—she was afraid!

The watchman passed; and soon naught more was heard than the imperceptible rustling of the leaves, which were agitated by the breeze. Then the serena fell upon her knees, and prayed:—that woman, stained with so many crimes, prayed— and prayed fervently!

At length a quick airy step was heard upon the pavement, hastening in the direction of the cathedral. One of the Garduna attendants uttered a cry; and this was echoed by the other members of the band.

Joachim, Manofina, and Hierro placed their hands upon their poniards. The serena, on her side, rose from her knees, glanced around, and endeavoured to ascertain whence the danger emanated.

At that moment Dolorez crossed the Esplanade.

When she reached the portico of the cathedral, she looked anxiously around on all sides, and, perceiving no one, called in a low tone, “Stephen! Stephen!” But no reply met her ears.

Again she called—louder than before; and in another moment a young woman rushed from the deep Gothic arch of the cathedral tower, and threw herself in trepidation and alarm, at the feet of the governor’s daughter.

“Who are you? what do you require of me?” demanded Dolorez.

“Fly, lady—Fly!” ejaculated Graciosa, for it was she: “fly—you are betrayed—I have deceived you!”

“But where is Stephen de Vargas?” said Dolorez, terror-stricken, for she had recognised the voice of her who had delivered to her the letter which she had supposed to come from her betrothed.

“I know not—I cannot say,” answered Graciosa, “I do not know him.”

“And yet you assured me that I should meet him here.”

“I deceived you, lady,” exclaimed the young female: “they said to me Go, and I was compelled to go; for I am only a humble instrument—a miserable tool. I cannot refuse to obey those who command me, for fear of being crushed myself. But, Oh! when I saw you, so noble and beautiful as you are, I swore to save you, even though I myself should perish. Fly then, senora,—fly—I implore of you: in another moment, perhaps, it will be too late!”

But Dolorez, overcome with terror, thought not of her own danger: she was occupied only with Stephen, who, pursued by the familiars of the Inquisition, was perhaps exposed to a thousand perils!

Suddenly the sound of a vehicle upon the pavement was heard, coming from the direction of the river. The cries of the Garduna attendants, prolonged and shrill, then echoed over the Esplanade.

“Do you hear? do you hear? They come—they come!” ejaculated Graciosa, in alarm, endeavouring at the same time to tear Dolorez from the spot.

The governor’s daughter repulsed her with a gesture at once energetic and full of contempt, exclaiming “Avaunt39, thou who art full of treachery!”

At these words Graciosa returned to her hiding-place beneath the mighty tower of the Giralda, and Dolorez, uncertain how to act,—unconscious of what she was doing, so greatly was she a prey to terror, hastened across the Esplanade. But scarcely had she proceeded a dozen steps, when four sbirri, rushing from the four angles of the great square, seized her in their powerful arms ere she could even exert a single effort to release herself.

Having captured their prey, the sbirri proceeded towards the Guadalquiver, where Henriquez and Francis awaited them with the inquisitorial carriage. This vehicle, specially intended for nocturnal expeditions, was a species of chariot, the wheels of which were covered with leather, and thus created but little noise when in motion. Even the feet of the mules that dragged it were enveloped in leathern shoes, or rather stockings.

Meanwhile Joachim and his two Garduna companions, Hierro and Manofina, had left their hiding places, and were upon the track of the familiars.

The serena followed them at a little distance.

The Garduna attendants were also on the alert, and were rapidly advancing towards the vehicle, crawling, like snakes, beneath the shadows of the houses noiselessly and fleetly.

When Henriquez and Francis heard the sbirri approaching, they went forward to meet them; and the Garduna attendants seized this opportunity to glide up to the vehicle, cut the traces, and lead away the horses, the poor animals appearing to be shod in a manner expressly favourable to this robbery. In a word, they constituted a good booty. But as the driver was inclined to utter an alarm, the Garduna attendants very quietly pitched him into the river; and all this was done in far less time than we have taken to describe the proceedings.

“Here they are,” exclaimed Henriquez to Francis, as they beheld the sbirri carrying Dolorez towards them.

“Well and good,” said Francis, in a sulky tone: “hold your tongue, and let us make haste.”

“Now indeed we have succeeded!” cried Henriquez, in a tone of triumph.

“Not quite yet,” said Manofina, striking the familiar on the left arm with his poniard.

Henriquez, taken by surprise, reeled with the sudden pain which he experienced; but, collecting his courage in another moment, he ejaculated, “What—ho sbirri—come hither!”—and two of the sbirri accordingly abandoned the governor’s daughter to their comrades, in order to hasten to the succour of the familiar.

Francis had darted upon Manofina the moment his companion cried out; while Henriquez, furious and unable to distinguish his enemies in the obscurity of the night, rushed on Hierro, with whom he engaged in a desperate conflict.

In the meantime Joachim hastened after the two sbirri who carried Dolorez between them; but these officers having deposited their burthen in the vehicle, fled from the scene of strife as quickly at their legs would carry them.

Joachim, divided between the desire to save the governor’s daughter and the wish to succour the Gardunos, hesitated for a few moments which plan to pursue; but his warlike propensities speedily triumphed; and be accordingly returned to the scene of combat, where he arrived in time to save Hierro, who, in spite of his herculean strength, had great trouble to defend himself against Henriquez and the two sbirri that, as before stated, had hastened to the aid of the familiar. The arrival of the alguazil speedily changed the face of affairs. While they fought, the agents of the Inquisition were only anxious to gain the bridge where the vehicle was standing; and on their side the Gardunos endeavoured to force them thither, confident that when once there, they would be completely in their power. Indeed, scarcely had the two sbirri touched the foot of the Triana bridge, when the Gardunos struck them each a mortal blow, and hurled them into the river. Henriquez, totally exhausted, fell upon the bridge; and Hierro, thinking that he was dead, took him up in his arms and sent him over the parapet after his companions.

Joachim had returned towards the vehicle, believing that Manofina, who was engaged with Francis, would have no trouble in ridding himself of that inquisitorial agent. But Francis, suddenly retreating a few paces, threw around Manofina’s neck one of those silk nooses known as “the strangler’s knot.”

It seemed for a moment to be all over with Manofina, whose courage and address were now rendered useless. Suffocated by the cord, he was rapidly losing all his force and energy, together with his breath. The poniard escaped from his trembling hand; his eyes, swollen and blood-shot, were already overclouded; and the hand of Francis was upraised to deal the last fatal blow with his poniard, when he himself was struck by a glittering blade in a vital part.

It was the Culevrina who dealt that unerring blow!

The young woman hastened to unloose the cord which had been thrown round the neck of Manofina, who, in spite of the tortures which he had endured, had maintained himself upon his legs.

“Bravo, Culevrina,” he exclaimed, wringing the hand of the serena with the most affectionate warmth: “thou art a brave and excellent girl, and the Master will recompense thee.”

“No—it is from you that I require a reward.”

“From me!” ejaculated the Garduno, in a tone of surprise. “What do you require? By the Holy Virgin. I swear to accord thee all that thou dost demand.”

“Manofina,” said the Culevrina, clinging to his arm, and speaking in that coaxing and winning manner which woman alone knows how to assume, “I demand of thee the life of Don Stephen de Vargas.”

“Culevrina!” cried the bravo: “you ask me an impossibility. What import is the life or death of that young man to thee? Speak!”

“You must not kill those who love each other well,” answered, the serena; “and the daughter of the Governor would die of grief if her betrothed lover were snatched away from her—as I should have died this night hadst thou been killed, my dearest Manofina.”

“I cannot promise thee that,” answered the Garduna, embarrassed and softened.

The serena hung down her head and wept.

“Do not cry, Culevrina dearest,” said the bravo, after a moment’s reflection: “we will see what can be done in this matter.”

In the mean time Joachim and Hierro had dragged Dolorez, who was still insensible, from the vehicle.

“What shall we do with this young lady?” demanded Minofina, approaching Joachim.

“Follow us,” said Joachim; and, advancing along with Hierro, he proceeded to the house of the Apostle, which was situate upon the opposite bank of the Guadalquiver.

Manofina and the serena followed them at a distance, ready to defend them against any new onslaught on the part of the familiars of the Inquisition.

The Pavilion Again

The Grand Inquisidor of Seville was once more revelling in the voluptuous pavilion, with the prelates and priests who usually formed the companions of his orgies, when a familiar of the Inquisition entered the room, and whispered in the ear of Peter Arbuez,—“My lord, Henriquez solicits an audience of your Eminence.”

A smile of triumph played upon the countenance of the Grand Inquisidor.

“My lords,” he said, “the devil proposes a new enjoyment for us. You shall now see the daughter of the governor, of whom we were speaking last evening.” Then, turning towards the familiar, he added, “Henriquez may attend upon us.”

The familiar disappeared: and all eyes were directed towards the door of the apartment.

“My lord,” cried Arbuez, turning towards the Archbishop of Toledo, “I demand of you absolution and all possible indulgence in favour of Henriquez, who is about to bring us the lady Dolorez. He is the best servant of the Inquisition.”

As Peter Arbuez uttered these words, the door rolled upon its hinges once more, and the “excellent Henriquez,” pale, bleeding, and dripping with water, dragged himself feebly into the room.

“What is the meaning of this!” demanded the Grand Inquisidor.

“My lord,” replied the familiar, in a weak tone of voice, “all our sbirri have been killed, the governor’s daughter has been rescued from us, and I have saved my life from the dagger and from drowning with the greatest difficulty.”

Every one present in the banquetting hall crowded round Henriquez, who, in a weak and almost dying tone, related the occurrences of the night. During the recital the eyes of the Grand Inquisidor sparkled with rage.

“You have all proved yourselves a vile set of cowards!” he ejaculated, with crushing sarcasm of tone.

“We did all we could to execute the orders of your Eminence,” answered Henriquez, timidly.

“And Francis!” said the Inquisidor.

“Dead, my lord,—dead, as well as the rest,” replied the familiar, who was unaware of the flight of two of the sbirri.

“You are a wretch!” cried the Grand Inquisidor, in a terrible tone of voice. “Depart from my presence, and never appear again before me!”

Henriquez, enfeebled by loss of blood and by the desperate efforts he had been compelled to make to escape from the waters of the Guadalquiver, could not resist this last blow: his emotions were already most painful ere he received it; and the reproach of his master cut him—villain as he was—to the soul. He reeled, and fell—deprived of all consciousness.

Arbuez rang, and two domestics answered the summons.

“Carry off that man,” he exclaimed, with brutal indifference: then, turning towards his companions, he added, “To our seats, my lords, and let us end the night e’en as we began it.”

The prelates and monks resumed their places at the table; and again did goblets flow with rich and racy wines. But Peter Arbuez experienced the tortures of rage and disappointment in his heart, although his lips gave vent to ribald jest, loud laughter, and coarse anecdote.

Joseph, his favourite, surveyed him with imperturbable attention: the novice was paler than usual; and his large black eyes shone with sinister irony.

“Joseph,” said the Grand Inquisidor, in a whisper, “this night shall cost the governor of Seville dear!”

A thought, full of a fearful joy, flashed through the imagination of the young favourite; but the Inquisidor noticed not his emotions.

The conversation between the various revellers was resumed.40

“My lord Arbuez,” exclaimed the bishop of Malaga, “it was but last evening that I mentioned the obligations which I owe to her ladyship Francesca de Lerme, the abbess of the Carmelites.”

“I well remember your lordship’s remark,” said the Grand Inquisidor.

“And therefore you may the more readily conceive the extent of my astonishment and grief,” continued the bishop, “when I learnt this morning that the abbess had disappeared the day before yesterday.”

“Indeed, my lord!” said the Inquisidor.

“Most assuredly,” exclaimed the bishop, somewhat impatiently. “I need not ask your lordship how she disappeared, nor wither she has gone; but does not your lordship perceive that when the cells of the Holy Office received so lovely a woman, the convent lost a most amiable lady who never threw any obstacle in the way of an interview between the nuns in her care and their reverend confessors.”

“Francesca de Lerme was becoming dangerous,” said the Grand Inquisidor coolly; “and it was necessary to remove her.”

“Dangerous!” ejaculated the Bishop of Malaga; “and yet, my lord, meseems, that she had no favourite confessor save yourself.”

“True,” said Peter Arbuez. “But she was desirous to have another.”

“Ah, ha! jealousy—jealousy!” shouted the Archbishop of Toledo: “the Lord Arbuez is jealous!”

“No such thing,” returned the Grand Inquisidor impatiently. “I am not jealous—but I am prudent.”

“There is some mystery in this,” said the Archbishop of Toledo. “The Lord Arbuez must not keep his amours secret from us, who keep nothing secret from him.”

“Truly spoken!” cried the Bishop of Malaga.

“My lords,” said Arbuez, “since you seem anxious to know my reasons for withdrawing Francesca de Lerme from the world,—and since his Lordship of Malaga is most pressing in that respect—I will not hesitate to gratify your anxiety. You are well aware that the abbess belongs to a family of almost princely rank, and that this consideration, in spite of her youth, raised her to the exalted post of superior of the Carmelites of Seville. Never shall I forget the day when I assisted at her installation eighteen months ago. She was then about twenty-three years old. How nobly did she carry her fine form—how proudly did she elevate her splendid head. And never was seen a more swan-like neck! Her complexion, of a pallor unusual in an Andalusian, had not lost altogether the tints of the rose; and her eyes of a jet black, burned like meteors beneath lashes as dark as ebony. And yet a close observer would have perceived that her ladyship’s countenance possessed no other distinctive type than the pride of her race, and a powerful inclination towards sensuality,—an inclination visibly indicated by two lips of a moist, rich, voluptuous red, and shaded by a delicate down almost as dark as her lashes, and yet fine to a degree. Nevertheless her predominating passion was pride: she clung most tenaciously to the prerogatives of her rank; and in a short time her affections were devoted to those who knew best how to flatter her aristocratic vanity:—I became her confessor and I also became her lover.”

“Then report did not lie,” continued the Bishop of Malaga.

“No—you have heard truly enough in that respect,” answered Arbuez. “I became her confessor, I say; and she one day confided to me that God had given her consuming passions. I answered in the manner in which, my lords, I believe you have all answered on similar occasions, ‘that God permitted the weak one to indulge her desires provided that indulgence was with her confessor himself.’ She listened— she succumbed. From time to time, since that day, she has had fearful intervals of remorse and compunction; and then when I succeeded in appeasing her mind, the infatuated woman plunged into the vortex of pleasure once more. Three days ago, I received notice from Henriquez,—that very man who has failed so signally this night in respect to Dolorez,—that the Abbess of the Carmelites was very ill, and had sent for a Franciscan friar to confess her. I immediately ordered my litter, and proceeded to the convent, upon the threshold of which I encountered John of Avila—the man whom the lower orders call the Apostle.”

“Yes—the Apostle,” said Joseph, in a low tone—but a tone of admiration.

“A meddling priest is he,” observed the Bishop of Malaga.

“And one who has succeeded in obtaining an immense influence over the people,” added the Archbishop of Toledo.

“They even say that he works miracles,” cried a monk.

“When we were thus face to face with each other,” continued Peter Arbuez, “I immediately recognised him; and he knew me, although it was then late in the evening, and quite dark. ‘What are you doing here?’ I demanded of him in a severe tone.—‘I came to save a soul,’ replied the Franciscan meekly. I cast upon him a look of disdain, and hurried immediately into the convent. When I reached the bedside of the Abbess of the Carmelites, I found that, instead of being terribly ill, she was only visited with one of her fits of compunction; and the words of John of Avila had no doubt comforted her soul. She was afraid of death—she trembled at the idea of hell; and that man had administered balm to her wounds. But then she had confessed to him her amours with me! That idea was intolerable. ‘Madam,’ I said, ‘why have you sent for another confessor, since I am always ready to attend upon you?’—She surveyed me from head to foot with an expression of irony and contempt. ‘Did you not know,’ I continued, ‘that I could give you absolution?’—‘Before your Lordship absolves others,’ replied Francesca de Lerme slowly, ‘cover your own head with ashes; bow down your pride to the very dust; and pray with your knees upon the cold marble for God to forgive you your crimes. By what right do you talk of absolving others—you, who have so deeply sinned?’”

“How insolent!” cried the Bishop of Malaga.

“Most impertinent!” exclaimed the Archbishop of Toledo.

“And to my Lord the Grand Inquisidor too!” observed a monk, who sate reeling on his seat in a desperate state of ebriety.

“I was not abashed, my lords,” continued Peter Arbuez: “but I addressed her ladyship in this manner—‘Poor erring soul, are there any limits to my spiritual power? am I not the anointed of the Lord? and is there anything in the world that can deprive me of that sacred character? Have I no longer the right to unloose souls from the bonds of sins? The priest, however unworthy he may be, is not the less the representative of the Saviour; and you—you have grossly compromised the interests of the Church by confessing yourself to a Franciscan, who belongs to an Order that is mortally opposed to the Dominicans41.’—‘That priest is a saint, my lord,’ exclaimed Francesca: ‘he has consoled me, and reconciled me to God. Let me die in peace, and do you no longer disturb yourself relative to the safety of my soul.’ Having said these words, the abbess covered her head with the white sheet, as if she would endeavour to place between herself and me the shroud of the tomb. I saw that her soul had in reality returned to God, and that the empire of this world and its pleasures upon her had ceased for ever. I however withdrew as noiselessly as I had visited her, and without alarming either herself or her subordinates. Now I will appeal to all your lordships,—and, especially to his lordship of Malaga, who seemed chagrined at the disappearance of Francesca de Lerme, whether her conversion was not to be considered fraught with danger to our noble and reverend selves? Whether, in a word, this holy abbess had not paved for herself the way to the dungeons of the Holy Office?”

“Beyond doubt,” cried the Bishop of Malaga. “Pardon me. Lord Arbuez, for the manner in which I ere now spoke in her behalf.”

“We will drink a brimming goblet to her health,” said the Grand Inquisidor with a smile.

The novice Joseph turned a hurried glance of abhorrence upon Peter Arbuez—a glance that was however unperceived by a soul.

The wine flowed plenteously—the toasts circled about the table—and the orgie was prolonged until daylight stole through the lattices of the voluptuous pavilion.

Fresh Sorrows

The house of the Apostle (as the celebrated John of Avila, a real historic character, was called)42 was a small building, situate in the middle of a garden washed by the waters of the Guadalquiver.

He it was who accidentally overheard at the tavern of Graciosa the plot devised against the Donna Dolorez.

He had chosen the humble retreat on the banks of the Guadalquiver, as a spot where he could repose from his apostolic labours, and which, by its distance from the city, and its proximity to the river, had many times served as a refuge for victims pursued by the familiars of the Inquisition.

It was the evening after the one on which Dolorez had escaped from the machinations of Henriquez.

The young lady was alone in the chamber which now served as her asylum.

In spite of the sharpness of the breeze which blew without, Dolorez opened her window; and, throwing back her long shining hair from her pure and innocent brow, the charming girl inhaled that refreshing though chilling air. A deep—a blank despair oppressed her soul: her eyes were swollen with weeping; and the blue veins were clearly traced upon her marble visage—a sad proof that her blood was feverish with sad emotions.43 Vainly, in the profound grief that devoured her, had she recourse to the consolation of prayer:—the angel who bears to heaven the fervent expression of human sorrows, and brings us in return tears which console us, had vainly spread his wing over Dolorez;—the mortal wound of her soul had received no balm. That young girl, of a tender heart, upright intellect, chaste imagination, and correct principle,—whose whole mental support rested on the divine and unadulterated truths of the gospel;—that ingenuous enthusiast who sought to find in the priest a reflection of the divinity;—that devoted admirer of all ideal perfection,—a poetess in love and in religion,—had suddenly beheld, with ineffable horror, the veil removed from the soul of the chief minister of God whom she knew, and all the hideous passions of that dark soul revealed in their true dyes!

As these thoughts flashed across her mind, she glanced towards the entrance of a wide street known at that day as the Chapel Road. At the corner stood a symbol of worship; and several persons were on their knees before it. Others passed in their way, and devoutly crossed themselves. For a moment the spectacle conveyed a sentiment of pleasure to the heart of Dolorez; but in another instant that honied feeling turned to gall, for close by the devout group stood an official of the Holy Office.44

“Oh!” she exclaimed, in a moment of doubt and uncertainty, “are these the representatives of the Saviour? are these the ministers of the divine law? Oh! if Jesus erst chased from the temple the money-changers and venders of doves, can he not now banish the inquisidors from this unhappy land? Why does not the flame of the pyre which they raise for others turn upon and devour them?”

A generous and fervent indignation swelled in the bosom of the young girl: she beheld above her a heaven that manifested no anger at the turpitude of man; and then, remembering her own utter powerlessness and the terrible domination of the Holy Office, she asked herself, in alarm and agony, whether God cared for his creatures! She already entertained doubts; and from that point to complete infidelity there was but one step!

“O Saviour of Mankind!” she exclaimed, in the bitterness of her mental distress; “thou who didst naught but love and bless—wherefore sufferest thou the crimes of these monsters?”

“To purify the good,” said a mild but solemn voice near her.

She turned, and beheld the Apostle.

“O holy father,” she exclaimed, falling upon her knees before him, “support me—for I totter: confirm me in my faith—for I doubt! Has not Satan possessed himself of the world, in order to displace the true God?”

“Child,” said the Apostle, placing his cool hand upon the burning brow of the young girl, “is not Evil weak, and Good powerful?”

“No—it is Evil that is strong!”

“Christ suffered—and he was powerful, for he was God! Art thou a Christian, and yet doubtest the sufferings of Christ?”

“Pardon—pardon me,” cried the young lady. “I have not the strength of the martyrs; and happiness seems to me a right belonging to man!”

“Happiness is there,” said the Apostle, placing his hand upon his heart.

“No,” exclaimed Dolorez, in a tone of despair, “for even that refuge is not safe against the invasion of Inquisidors.”

“Can they either suppress or accelerate its pulsations?” demanded the Apostle: “can they banish from it a cherished image, or chase from it the faith of our forefathers?”

“Ah! my excellent friend, you console me,” said Dolorez; and conveying the hands of the holy man to her lips, she kissed them, and bathed them with her tears.

The Apostle gently disengaged his hands: his Christian humility would not allow him to accept that token of deference.

“It grows late,” said the Apostle; “and the hour is now come when thou shouldst return to the abode of thy father. Come! I will be thy guide; and if ever thou sufferest more, and hast need of support, remember that this humble dwelling is always open to those who weep.”

Dolorez raised her eyes to heaven, and said, “Holy father, I am prepared to follow thee.”

Enveloping herself in her mantle, she left the dwelling, accompanied by the priest.

They proceeded silently; for vague presentiments agitated the soul of the young lady; that brow, lately so calm and tranquil, now bent beneath the weight of the storm that had swept away her diadem of felicity. The apostle did not disturb her reflections; for he himself was plunged in grave meditation.

It was night when they approached the mansion of the governor. The young lady uttered an exclamation of joy when she recognised the street in which the paternal dwelling stood. She redoubled her pace, saying, “O holy father, I shall soon see him again.”

Dolorez did not dare pronounce the name of Stephen.

She advanced towards the house:—but why was the lamp, which every evening burnt over the door of the mansion—why was it not lighted now? The gate, usually open, resisted her efforts. She knocked: there was no reply. She called the servants by name: none answered her. An appalling silence reigned within that mansion. It seemed as if the plague had stricken it.

Dolorez—overwhelmed with terror, and a prey to the most fearful suspense—continued to knock with her delicate fingers upon the hard panels of the gates.

“Father—father—my dear father!” she exclaimed in a tone of bitter agony.

But her sire answered her not.

The Apostle divined the truth: he approached the hapless girl and endeavoured to console her. Dolorez glanced around her with affrighted eyes.

The doors of several neighbouring houses were now opened, the inmates of those dwellings having been aroused by the knocking at the gate of the governor’s mansion.

“Father—father!” cried the unfortunate Dolorez.

“It is the governor’s daughter,” said one neighbour.

“Yes—the young daughter of Don Manuel Argoso.” said another.

“And he was arrested this morning,” observed a third.

“By order of the Grand Inquisidor,” added a fourth.

Then all the doors closed once more; and the neighbours returned to their warm beds—shunning the miserable Dolorez as if she had been pestiferous.

But Dolorez had heard that one terrible word—“ INQUISIDOR;” and a dread light broke in upon her soul. Her father was in the dungeon of the Inquisition; and, as the horrible tribunal left nothing in the possession of those whom it accused, his goods were confiscated—his house was closed! Nothing remained to the unfortunate damsel but the bread of charity—that charity which none dared give to the daughter of a heretic!

Dolorez did not weep: no complaint issued from her lips: her eyes became dry and burning;—a bitter laugh contracted her discoloured lips. She approached the priest, and seized him by the sleeve, as if she clung to him as a last hope: then, in a voice indicative of the most profound despair, she said, “Holy father, this is my Mount of Olives; pray God to have pity upon me!”

The Apostle had not anticipated a grief so resigned as this. In spite of his profound knowledge of the human heart, he could not understand how a terrible and unforeseen blow could so prostrate the soul as to leave it no faculty save the power to suffer! Struck in that point which was nearest and dearest to her,—struck by the Inquisition, that tormentor as implacable as Hell,—borne down by the terrible idea that no hope existed for her, Dolorez had no power to complain: she could only say, like Christ—and with the assurance that her prayer would not be granted,—“My God, let this cup pass from me!”

reals ... maravedis By the mid-sixteenth century, the maravedí had become the smallest coin in Spain, worth one thirty-fourth of a real de vellón.
alguazil ‘Originally the same word as vizier, the meaning of which descended in Spain through that of justiciary or justice, to warrant-officer or serjeant.’ (OED)
sacristan of the Carmelites ‘An official charged with the custody of the sacred vessels, relics, vestments, etc., of a religious house or a church.’ (OED)
Esplanade Probably the Plaza de Palacio which sat between the Alcázar and the Cathedral (and its bell-tower, the Giralda).
Avaunt From the French avant, ‘onward’, ‘Begone! be off! away!’ (OED).
In the second half of the chapter, Reynolds summarises chapter 15 of the French text, ‘L’Abbesse des Carmélites’, as well as the second part of chapter 19, ‘L’Amulette du Grand Inquisiteur Torrequemada’, in the form of a conversation between Arbuez and his guests. Only the action of the scenes, highlighting Arbuez’s depravity, is retained.
Franciscan ... mortally opposed to the Dominicans ‘The everlasting dispute of the Franciscans and Dominicans respecting the immaculate conception of the Holy Virgin is well known. The Dominicans have always affirmed that she was conceived in sin; and in order to prove it, they have burned all the sons of St. Francis who declared the Virgin to be immaculate. These grave disputes which so warmly engaged the doctors of the Council of Trent are far from being ended. In Italy, at Rome especially, they still furnish habitually the text to nearly all the sermons of the two rival orders, but as in all wars, there is an armistice, these theological declamations cease on both sides, on the day of the second festival of Christmas. On that day the two hostile camps unite at a sumptuous banquet, and in the excesses of the table forget the enmities of the whole year. During the repast, which lasts all night, the proud children of St. Dominique are the best friends of the humble sons of St. Francis, although the next morning they recommence their insults, and their inexhaustible argumentations respecting the pious [stupidity] which furnishes the matter of their incessant dispute.’ (p. 121*)
‘St. Jean d’Avila was born in 1504, at Almodovar del campo, a small town in the diocess (sic) of Toledo. His parents were wealthy, and held in great estimation in the country. St. Jean first studied civil and canonical law at the university of Salamanca, in accordance with the wishes of his parents, who designed him for the bar, but his vocation for the priesthood was irresistible. God was calling him to the noble office of a preacher. His parents, not wishing to thwart his desire, sent him to Alcala d’Hénares, where he entered with ardour upon his theological studies.

Immediately after receiving holy orders, Jean d’Avila was desirous of setting out for the West Indies, where he believed an ample harvest might be reaped. From this purpose he was dissuaded by Alphonso Manrique, at that time archbishop of Seville, and subsequently Inquisitor general, who persuaded him to engage in the work of preaching at home. His eloquence and piety soon procured him the title of the apostle of Andalusia. Neither his piety, his eloquence, nor the purity of his doctrines, could save him from the envy of the other monks, who denounced him as a heretic. The mild tolerance of the apostle, who never cursed of anathematized Jews, Moors, or heretics, was regarded by the inquisition as heresy, and he was prosecuted as a schismatic. Notwithstanding the powerful protection of Alphonso Manrique, who had been appointed Inquisitor general, September 10, 1523, Jean d’Avila was imprisoned in the dungeons of the holy office in 1528, and remained there for five years, until in 1534, when, thanks to an informality in the process, he was acquitted. The inquisition had neglected to communicate their proceedings against him to the supreme council. Jean d’Avila died at Montilla, in 1569, at the age of sixty-five years. He left many letters addressed to St. Jean de Dieu, besides written sermons, a volume of which was printed in Holland in 1617. This volume, which I read in Seville in 1817, and which the French respected, is no longer extant. The populace burned it in the Plaza Mayor in 1825, at the instigation of the Dominican monks, who have always stigmatized the apostle of Andalusia as a marrano [convert] and a heretic.’ (p. 300*)

a sad proof that her blood was feverish with sad emotions Reynolds added the phrase.
As these thoughts ... Holy Office Reynolds added the entire paragraph to introduce the woodcut which follows it in the London Journal, one of the four which have not been copied from the French edition.
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Victorine Subervic and Manuel de Cuendías. Date: 1 July 2013