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A small troop
rusty rowel to the shoulder of his beast, and at the same time, adroitly tucking his blue cloth capa under his right arm, and flinging the skirt over the left shoulder en cavalier, began to lay about him with a stout ashen sapling upon the ears, pole and cheeks of the recreant mule. The fire now flashed: from a pair of Andalusian eyes, as black as charcoal and not less inflammable, and taking the segara from his mouth, with which he had vainly hoped to have regaled his nostrils in a sharp winter's evening by the way, raised such a thundering troop'of angels, saints and martyrs, from St. Michael downwards, not forgetting his own namesake Saint Nicolas de Tolentino
that if curses could have made the mule to go, the dispute would have been soon ended, but not a saint could make her stir any other ways than upwards and downwards at a stand. of mendicant friars were at this moment conducting the host to a dying man.— Nicolas Pedrosa," says an old friar sobe patient with your beast and spare
your blasphemies; remember Balaam.”_56 Ah fa. ther," replied Pedrosa, " Balaam cudgelled his beast
till she spoke, so will I mine till she roars.”— 6 Fie, fie, prophane fellow,” cries another of the
fraternity. " Go about your work, friend,” quoth : Nicolas, “and let me go about mine; I warrant it
s is the more pressing of the two; your patient is go"ing out of the world, mine is coming into it.”
Hear him," cries a third, “hear the vile wretch, " how he blasphemes the body of God." And then the troop passed slowly on to the tinkling of the bell.
A man must know nothing of a mule's ears, who does not know what a passion they have for the tinkling of a bell, and no sooner had ihe jingling chords vibrated in the sympathetic organs of Pedrosa's beast, than boulting forward with a sudden spring she ran roaring into the throng of friars, trampling on some and shouldering others at a most prophane rate; when
Nicolas availing himself of the impetus, and perhaps not able to controul it, broke away and was out of sight in a moment. 6 All the devils in hell blow fire « into thy tail, thou beast of Babylon," muttered Nicolas to himself, as he scampered along never once looking behind him or stopping to apologize for the mischief he had done to the bare feet and shirtless ribs of the holy brotherhood. Whether Nicolas saved his distance, as likewise, if he did, wheth. er it was a male or female Castalian he ushered into the world, we shall not just now enquire, contented to await his return in the first of the morning next day, when he had no sooner dismounted at his shop and delivered his mule to a sturdy Arragonese wench, when Don Ignacio de Santos Aparicio, alguazil mayor of the supreme and general inquisition, put an order into his hand, signed and sealed by the inquisidor general, for the conveyance of his body to the Casa, whose formidable door presents itself in the street adjoining to the square, in which Nicolas's brazen basin hung forth the emblem of his trade. The poor little fellow, trembling in every joint and with a face as yellow as saffron, dropt a knee to the altar, which fronts the entrance, and crossed himself most devoutly; as soon as he had ascended the first flight of stairs, a porter habited in back opened the tree mendous barricade and Nicolas with horror heard the grating of the heavy bolts that shut him in. He was led through passages and vaults and melancholy cells, till he was delivered into the dungeon, where he was finally left to his solitary meditations. Hapless being! what a scene of horror.-Nicolas felt all the terrors of his condition, but being an Andalusian and like his countrymen of a lively imagination, he began to turn over all the resources of his invention for some happy fetch, if any such might occur, for helping him out of the dismal limbo he was in: He was not long to seek for the cause of his misfortune; his adventure with the barefooted friars was a ready solution of all difficulties of that nature, had there been any: There was however another thing, which might have troubled a stouter heart than Nicolas'sHe was a Jew.-This of a certain would have been a staggering item in a poor devil's confession, but then it was a secret to all the world but Nicolas, and Nicolas's conscience did not just then urge him to reveal it: He now began to overhaul the inventory of his personals about him, and with some satisfaction counted three little medals of the blessed virgin, two Agnus Deis, a Saint Nicolas de Tolentino and a for. midable string of beads all pendant from his neck and within his shirt; in his pockets he had had a paper of dried figs, a small bundle of segaras, a case of lancets, squirt and forceps, and two old razors in a leathern envelope; these he had delivered one by one to the alguazil, who first arrested him,~"and let w him make the most of them," said he to himself,
they can never prove me an Israelite by a case of 66 razors.
;" Upon a closer rummage however he discovered in a secret pocket a letter, which the alguazil had overlooked, and which his patient Donna Leon. ora de Casafonda had given him in charge to deliver as directed- Well, well,” cried he, “let it pass; " there can be po mystery in this harmless scrawl; a
r letter of advice to-soine friend or relation, I'll not 6 break the seal; let the fathers read it, if they like “ 't will prove the truth of my deposition, and help "out my excuse for the hurry of my errand, and the “ unfortunate adventure of my damned refractory “ mule. And now no sooner had the recollection of the wayward mule crossed the brain of poor Nica olas Pedrosa, than he began to blast her at a furious rate. The scratches and the scab to boot confound “thy scurvy hide," quoth he, “thou ass-begotten " bastard, whom Noah never let into his ark! The * vengeance take thee for an uncreated barren beast
" of promiscuous generation! What devil's crotchet
got into thy capricious noddle, that thou shouldst “ fall in love with that Nazaritish bell, and run bel“ lowing like Lucifer into the midst of those bare 6 footed vermin, who are more malicious and more " greedy than the locusts of Egypt? Oh! that I had " the art of Simon Magus to conjure thee into this
dungeon in my stead; but I warrant thou art “ chewing thy barley straw without any pity for thy 6 wretched master, whom thy jade's tricks have de- livered bodily to the tormentors, to be sport of so these uncircumcised sons of Dagon.” And now the cell door opened, when a savage figure entered carrying a huge parcel of clanking fetters, with a collár of iron, which he pui round the neck of poor Pedrosa, telling him with a truly diabolic grin, whilst he was riveiting it on, that it was a proper crayat for the throat of a blasphemer.-—- Jesu-Maria," quoth Pedrosa, " is all this fallen upon me for only cudgel" ling a restive mule?" " Aye,” cried the demon, . 6 and this is only a taste of what is to come,” at the same time slipping his pincers from the screw he was forcing to the head, he caught a piece of flesh in the forceps and wrenched it out of his cheek, laughing at poor Nicolas, whilst he roared aloud with the pain, telling him it was a just reward for the torture he had put him to awhile ago, when he tugged at a tooth till be broke it in his jaw. " Ah, for the love of Heave só en,” cried Pedrosa, “ have more pity on me; for
the sake of Saint Nicolas de Tolentino, my holy * patron, be not so unmerciful to a poor barber-sur
geon and I will shave your worship's beard for * nothing as long as I have life.'' One of the messengers of the auditory now came in, and bade the fellow strike off the prisoner's fetters, for that the hom ly fäthers were in council and demanded him for examination. “ This is something extraordinary, quoth the tormentor, “ I should not have expec.cat
66 it this twelvemonth to come." Pedrosa's fetters were struck off; some brandy was applied to staunch the bleeding of his cheeks; his hands and face were washed, and a short jacket of coarse ticking thrown over him, and the messenger with an assistant taking him cach under an arm led him into a spacious chamber, where at the head of a long table sate his excellency the inquisidor general with six of his assessors, three on each side the chair of state : The alguazil mayor, a secretary and two notories with other officers of the holy council were attending in their places.
The prisoner was placed behind a bar at the foot of the table between the messengers who brought him in, and having made his obeisance to the awful presence in the most supplicating manner, he was called upon according to the usual form of ques. tions by one of the junior judges to declare his name, parentage, profession, age, place of abode, and to answe: arious internogatories of the like trifling nature: His excellency the inquisidor general now opened his reverend lips and in a solemn tone of voice, that penetrated to the heart of the poor trembling prisoner, interrogated him as follows
as Nicolas 66. Pedrosa, we have listened to the account you give « of yourself, your business and connections, now 6 tell' us for what offence or offences, you are here to standing a prisoner before us: examine your own “ heart, and speak the truth from your conscience 56 without prevarication or disguise. “ May it * please your excellency,” replied Pedrosa, “with - all due submission to your holiness and this rever. 46 end assembly, my most equitable judges, I con. 56 ceive I stand here before you for no worse a crime, * than that of cudgelling a refractory mule; an ani. “ mal so restive in its nature, (under correction of “ your holiness be it spoken) that although I were *** blest with the forbearance of holy Job, (for like 56 him too I am married, and my patience hath becn