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Down then, Ambition; drop into the grave;
And by thy follies be this maxim shown-
'Tis not the monarch's glory to enslave
His neighbour's empire, but to bless his own.

Come then, sweet Peace! in Britain fix thy reign,
Bid Plenty smile, and Commerce crowd her coast:
And may this ever blessed year remain
Her king's, her people's, and her muse's boast.


NICOLAS PEDROSA, a busy little being, who followed the trades of shaver, surgeon, and man midwife in the town of Madrid, mounted his mule at the door of his shop in the Plazuela de los Affligidos, and pushed through the gate of San Bernardino, being called to a patient in the neighbouring village of Foncarral, upon a pressing occasion. Everybody knows that the ladies in Spain, in certain cases, do not give long warning to practitioners of a certain description, and nobody knew it better than Nicolas, who was resolved not to lose an inch of his way, nor of his mule's best speed, by the way, if cudgelling could beat it out of her. It was plain to Nicolas's conviction, as plain could be, that his road laid straight forward to the little convent in front; the mule was of opinion, that the turning on the left down the hill towards the Prado, was the road of all roads most familiar and agreeable to herself, and accordingly began to dispute the point of topography with Nicolas by fixing her fore feet resolutely in the

ground, dipping her head at the same time between them, and launching heels and crupper furiously into the air, in the way of argument. Little Pedrosa, who was armed at heel with one massy silver spur, of stout though ancient workmanship, resolutely applied the rusty rowel to the shoulder of his beast, driving it with all the good-will in the world to the very butt, 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 segaro 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 by the way, 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. A small troop of mendicant friars were at this moment conducting the host of a dying "Nicolas Pedrosa," says an old friar, "be patient with your beast, and spare your blasphemies; remember Balaam."- Ah, father,” replied Pedrosa, "Balaam cudgelled his beast till she spoke, so will I mine till she roars."- "Fie, fie, profane fellow," cries another of the fraternity."Go about your work, friend," quoth Nicolas, "and let me go about mine; I warrant it is the more pressing of the two; your patient is going 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 past 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 the jingling cords vibrated in the sympathetic organs of Pedrosa's beast, than bolting forward with a sudden spring, she ran roaring into the throng of friars, trampling on some and shouldering others at a most profane rate; when Nicolas, availing himself of the impetus, and perhaps not able to control it, broke away and was out of sight in a moment. "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, whether it was a male or female Castilian he ushered into the world, we shall not just now inquire, contented to wait 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, than 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 conveying 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 black,


opened the tremendous 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 horNicolas 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's He 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 formidable string of beads all pendant from his neck and within his shirt. In his pockets he had a paper of dried figs, a small bundle of segars, a case of lancets, squirt and forceps, and too old razors in a leathern envelop; these he had delivered one by one to the alguazil, who first arrested him, "and let him make the most of them," said he to himself, "they can never prove me an Israelite by a case of razors." Upon a closer rummage, however, he discovered in a secret pocket a letter, which the alguazil had overlooked, and which his patient, Donna Leonora de Casafonda, had given

him in charge to deliver as directed: "Well, well," cried he, "let it pass; there can be no mystery in this harmless scrawl; a letter of advice to some friend or relation, I'll not break the seal; let the fathers read it, if they like, 'twill 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 Nicolas 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 bellowing like Lucifer into the midst of those barefooted 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 wretched master, whom thy jade's tricks have delivered bodily to the tormentors, to be the sport of 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 collar of iron, which he put round the neck of poor Pedrosa, telling him with a truly diabolic grin, whilst he was rivetting it on, that it was a proper cravat for the throat of a blasphemer. "Jesu Maria," quoth Pedrosa, "is all this fallen upon me for only cudgelling a restive mule?" "Ay," cried the demon, "and this is only a taste of what is to come," at the same time slipping his pincers from the screw he was

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