“Do you know that you are sleeping since yesterday morning?” – entering the room to the student Don Cleophas, one of his friends asked.
Cleophas opened his eyes, and his first thought was that the amazing adventures that he had endured last night were nothing more than a dream. However, very soon he was convinced that what had happened to him was a reality, and he actually spent some of the most extraordinary hours in his life in the company of the Lame Devil.
Getting them the same happened as follows. During the meeting with her friend, Don Cleophas was caught by four thugs. They threatened to kill him if he did not marry the lady with whom he was found. However, the student did not have the slightest intention to marry this beauty, and he only spent time
At that moment the student heard a long sigh, soon repeated. It turned out that in one of the flasks a certain spirit is enclosed, more precisely a devil, as he himself explained to the astonished Cleophas. Bes said that the learned magician with the power of his magic has been keeping him locked up for six months, and asked for help. Asked by Cleophas, to which category of devils he belongs, a proud answer followed: “I arrange funny marriages – I connect old men with minors, gentlemen – with servants, homeless girls – with gentle lovers who do not have a penny for soul. luxury, debauchery, gambling and chemistry, I am the inventor of merry-go-rounds, dances, music, comedy and all the newest French fashions… In short, I am Asmodeus, nicknamed the Lame Devil. “
The brave youth, struck by this meeting,
Grateful to his savior, he dragged him from behind him from a cramped room, and soon they were at the top of the tower, from where they could see the whole of Madrid. Asmodeus explained to his companion that he intended to show him what was going on in the city, and that by the power of diabolical power he would raise all the roofs. Indeed, with one movement of the hand, the demon seemed to have taken the roofs off all the houses, and, despite the darkness of the night, the student was presented with everything that happened inside the houses and palaces. An uncountable number of pictures of life opened to him, and his conductor explained the details or drew his attention to the most amazing examples of human stories. A dazzling picture of the customs and passions that the student observed that night made him wiser and more experienced for a thousand years. He discovered the hidden springs, which determined the turns of fate, secret vices, forbidden drives, hidden motives. The most intimate details, the most secret thoughts appeared before Cleophas as in the palm of his hand with the help of his guide. Mocking, skeptical and at the same time indulgent to human weaknesses, the demon turned out to be an excellent commentator to the scenes of the huge human comedy that he showed the young man that night.
And he began with the fact that he had avenged that same donje, whose student was so suddenly overtaken by bandits. Asmodeus assured Cleophas that the beauty herself had arranged this attack, since she intended to marry the student to herself. Cleophas saw that now the cheat sits at the table, along with the very types that chased him and whom she herself hid in her house, and ate along with them a rich treat sent to them. His indignation was no limit, but soon his fury was replaced by laughter. Asmodeus inspired disgust at each other, a bloody scuffle ensued between them, neighbors called the police, and now two surviving fighters along with the mistress of the house were behind bars…
This is one of many examples of how behind the imaginary decency revealed the repulsive worldly truth that night, how the cover of hypocrisy flew from human actions, and tragedies turned into comedies. The demon patiently explained to Cleophas that he had a beautiful woman who admired him, false hair and false teeth. That the three young men sitting mournfully at the dying man’s bedside are nephews who will not wait for the death of a wealthy uncle. That a grandee who reads a note from her beloved before going to bed, does not know that this person ruined him. That another noble gentleman, who is worried about the birth of his precious wife, does not suspect that he owes this event to his servant. Two observers were given nightly troubles of restless conscience, secret visits of lovers, crimes, traps and deceptions. Defects,
As a matter of fact, the whole novel is a night conversation between a student and Asmodeus, during which we are told a lot of stories, then uncomplicated, then freakishly incredible. Often these are stories of lovers who are not allowed to connect the cruelty and suspicion of parents, the inequality of origin. One of these stories, fortunately, ends with a happy wedding, but many others are sad.
In the first case, the count fell in love with the daughter of a simple nobleman and, not intending to marry her, set out to make the girl his mistress. With the help of lies and clever tricks, he convinced the girl of his love, achieved her favor and began to enter the bedroom through the silk staircase. This was assisted by the bribed duenna, which his father had specially attached to his daughter in order to monitor her morality. Once a secret novel was discovered by the father. He wanted to kill the count, and define his daughter in the monastery. However, as already mentioned, the denouement of history turned out to be happy. The Count was grieved by the grief of the girl he had insulted him, offered her and restored family honor. Moreover, he married his brother’s brother to his own sister, deciding that love is more important than titles.
But such harmony of hearts is a rarity. It is not always vice that is disgraced, but virtue is rewarded. Tragically completed, for example, the story of the beautiful Donya Theodora – and in fact just in this case the relationship of the three heroes was an example of generosity, nobility and the ability to sacrifice themselves for the sake of friendship! Donyu Theodore was equally passionately fond of two devoted friends. She also reciprocated one of them. At first her chosen one wanted to retire, so as not to be a rival to a friend, then a friend persuaded him not to give up happiness. Doña Theodora, however, by that time was abducted by a third person, who himself was soon killed in a fight with the bandits. After dizzying adventures, captivity, escape, chase and happy salvation, the lovers finally joined up and got married. Fortunately, there were no borders. However, amid this bliss, a fatal case appeared: during the hunt don Juan fell from his horse, seriously injured his head and died. “Doña Theodora is that lady who, as you see, is in desperation beating in the hands of two women: probably soon she will follow her husband,” the demon concluded imperturbably.
What is it, human nature? What is more in it – pettiness or greatness, meanness or nobility? Trying to figure this out, the inquisitive student tirelessly followed his agile guide. They looked in the prison cells, looked at the columns of the returning prisoners, penetrated into the secrets of dreams, and even the vaults of the tombs did not serve as an obstacle. They discussed the reasons for the insanity of those who are imprisoned in the houses of the insane, as well as those cranks who are obsessed with delusions, although they lead a normal way of life. Who among them was a slave to his stinginess, who is envious, who is swaggering, who are habits of dishonesty. “Wherever you look, everywhere you see people with damaged brains,” the demon rightly remarked, continuing that “all the same people appear in the world, only in different guises.” In other words, human types and vices are extremely tenacious. During their journey through the roofs, they noticed a terrible fire raging in one of the palaces. Before him, the owner, a noble citizen, was mourning and weeping, not because his goods were burning, but because his only daughter was left in the house. Cleophas only once in a night gave the demon an order, to which he had the right as a deliverer: he demanded to save the girl. After thinking for a moment, Asmodeus took on the form of Cleophas, rushed into the fire and, with admiring shouts of the crowd, carried an insensible girl. Soon she opened her eyes and was wrapped in the arms of a happy father. Her deliverer disappeared unnoticed. that his only daughter remained in the house. Cleophas only once in a night gave the demon an order, to which he had the right as a deliverer: he demanded to save the girl. After thinking for a moment, Asmodeus took on the form of Cleophas, rushed into the fire and, with admiring shouts of the crowd, carried an insensible girl. Soon she opened her eyes and was wrapped in the arms of a happy father. Her deliverer disappeared unnoticed. that his only daughter remained in the house. Cleophas only once in a night gave the demon an order, to which he had the right as a deliverer: he demanded to save the girl. After thinking for a moment, Asmodeus took on the form of Cleophas, rushed into the fire and, with admiring shouts of the crowd, carried an insensible girl. Soon she opened her eyes and was wrapped in the arms of a happy father. Her deliverer disappeared unnoticed.
Among the stories, strung on a single thread of the story, we note only two more. Here’s the first one. The son of a village shoemaker became a financier and became very rich. Twenty years later, he returned to his parents, gave his father money and demanded that he quit his job. Three months passed. The son was surprised when one day he saw his father in the city who prayed: “I’m dying from idleness, let me live again with my work” … The second case is like this. One dishonest man in the woods saw a man digging a treasure under a tree. When the owner of the treasure was gone, the swindler dug up the money and appropriated them himself. His life was very successful. But somehow he learned that the owner of the treasure suffers deprivation and want. And the first one felt the irresistible need to help him. And in the end he came with repentance, confessing that he had lived at his expense for many years…
Yes, a person is sinful, weak, pathetic, he is a slave of his passions and habits. But at the same time he is endowed with the freedom to create his destiny, an unknown representative of evil spirit. And this freedom shows itself even in the whimsical, unpredictable form of the novel “Lame Devil”. And the devil himself did not long enjoy in the wild – soon the sorcerer discovered his flight and again returned it. At last Asmodeus gave Cleopas the advice to marry the beautiful seraphine, saved from fire.
Awake in a day, the student hurried to the house of a noble citizen and really saw in his place the ashes. He also learned that the owner everywhere is looking for the savior of his daughter and wants as a token of gratitude to bless his marriage with Seraphina. Cleophas came to this family and was enthusiastically greeted. He fell in love with Serafina at first sight, and she into him. But after that he came to her father and, looking down, explained that he had not been saved by Serafina, but by the devil. The old man, however, said: “Your recognition strengthens me in the intention to give you my daughter: you are her true savior.” If you had not asked the Lame Devil to deliver her from the death that threatened her, he would not have resisted her death. “
These words dispelled all doubts. And in a few days the wedding was celebrated with all the glory of the occasion.