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occasion no scandal) at once the disorder, the patient, and the courier, who had certainly all three chosen the most impertinent time possible. He dismissed the postilion, bidding him make haste to Badajoz, whether he would presently follow him; after wbich he returned to his lesson, as if there were no such things as either uncles or apoplexies.
A few days after he again received news from Badajoz — but this was worth hearing. The principal chanter, and two old canons, came to inform the dean that his uncle, the right reverend bishop, had been taken to heaven to receive the reward of his piety; and that the chapter, canonically assembled, had chosen him to fill the vacant bishopric, and humbly requested that he would console, by his presence, the afflicted church of Badajoz, now become bis spiritual bride.
Don Torribio, who was present at this harangue, endeavoured to derive advantage from what he learned; and taking aside the new bishop, after having paid him a well turned compliment on his promotion, proceeded to inform bim that he had a son, named Benjamin, possessed of much ingenuity, and good inclination, but in whom he had never perceived either taste or talent for the occult sciences. He had, therefore, he said, advised him to turn his thoughts towards the church, and he had now, he thanked heaven, the satisfaction to hear him commended as one of the most deserving divines among all the clergy of Toledo. He therefore took the liberty, most humbly to request his grace to bestow on Don
Benjamin the deanery of Badajoz, which he could not retain together with his bishopric. “I am very unfortunate,” replied the prelate, apparently somewhat embarrassed, “ you will, I hope, do me the justice to believe that nothing could give me so great a pleasure as to oblige you in every request; but the truth is, I have a cousin, to whom I am heir, an old ecclesiastic, who is good for nothing but to be a dean, and if I do not bestow on him this benefice, I must embroil myself with my family, which would be far from agreeable. But,” continued he, in an affectionate manner, “ will you not accompany me to Badajoz? Can you be so cruel as to forsake me at the moment when it is in my power to be of service to you. Be persuaded, my honoured master; we will go together. Think of nothing but the improvement of your pupil, and leave me to provide for Don Benjamin; nor doubt, but sooner or later, I will do more for him than you expect. A paltry deanery in the remotest part of Estremadura is not a benefice suitable to the son of such a man as yourself.”
The canon law would, no doubt, have construed this offer of the prelate's into simony. The proposal, however, was accepted, nor was any scruple made by either of these two intelligent persons. Don Torribio followed his illustrious pupil to Badajoz, where he had an elegant apartment assigned him in the episcopal palace; and was treated with the utmost respect by the diocess as the favourite of his grace, and a kind of grand vicar. Under the tuition of so able a master, the Bishop of Badajoz made a rapid progress in the occult sciences. At first he gave himself up to them, with an ardour which might appear excessive; but this intemperance grew by degrees more moderate, and he pursued them with so much prudence that his magical studies never interfered with the duties of his diocess. He was well convinced of the truth of a maxim, very important to be remembered by ecclesiastics, whether addicted to sorcery, or only philosophers and admirers of literature—that it is not sufficient to assist at learned nocturnal meetings, or adorn the mind with embellishments of human science, but that it is also the duty of divines to point out to others the way to heaven, and plant in the minds of their bearers wholesome doctrine and Christian morality. Regulating his conduct by these commendable principles, this learned prelate was celebrated throughout Christendom for his merit and piety : and, when he least expected such an honour, was promoted to the archbishopric of Compostella. The people and clergy of Badajoz lamented, as may be supposed, an event by which they were deprived of so worthy a pastor; and the canons of the cathedral, to testify their respect, unanimously conferred on him the honour of nominating his suc
Don Torribio did not neglect so alluring an opportunity to provide for his son. He requested the bishopric of the new archbishop, and was refused with all imaginable politeness. He had, he said, the greatest veneration for his old master, and was both sorry and ashamed it was not in his power to grant a thing which appeared so
very a trifle; but, in fact, Don Ferdinand de Lara, constable of Castile, had asked the bishopric for his natural son ; and though he had never seen that nobleman, he had, he said, some secret, important, and what was more, very ancient obligations to him. It was therefore an indispensable duty to prefer an old benefactor to a new
But Don Torribio ought not to be discouraged at this proof of his justice ; as he might learn by that, what he had to expect when his turn arrived, which should certainly be the first opportunity.
This anecdote concerning the ancient obligations of the archbishop, the magician had the goodness to believe, and rejoiced, as much as he was able, that his interests were sacrificed to those of Don Ferdinand. Nothing, therefore, was thought of but preparations for their departure to Compostella, where they were now to reside. Though these were scarcely worth the trouble, considering the short time they were destined to remain there; for the end of a few months one of the pope's chamberlains arrived, who brought the archbishop a cardinal's cap, with an epistle conceived in the most respectful terms, in which his holiness invited him to assist, by his counsel, in the government of the Christian world; permitting him at the same time to dispose of his mitre in favour of whom he pleased.
Don Torribio was not at Compostella when the courier of the holy father arrived. He had been to see his son, who still continued a priest in a small parish at Toledo. But he presently returned, and was not put to the trouble of asking
for the vacant archbishopric. The prelate ran to meet him with open arms,—“My dear master,” said he, “ I have two pieces of good news to relate at once. Your disciple is created a cardinal, and your son shall-shortly—be advanced to the same dignity. I had intended in the meantime to bestow on him the archbishopric of Compostella, but, unfortunately for him and for me, my mother, whom we left at Badajoz, has, during your absence, written me a cruel letter, by which all my measures have been disconcerted. She will not be pacified unless I appoint for my successor the archdeacon of my former church, Don Pablos de Salazar, ber intimate friend and confessor. She tells me it will occasion ber death if she should not be able to obtain preferment for her dear father in God. Shall I be the death of my mother?”
Don Torribio was not a person who would incite or urge his friend to be guilty of parricide, nor did he indulge himself in the least resentment against the mother of the prelate. To say the truth, however, this inother was a good kind of woman, nearly superannuated. She lived quietly with her cat and her maid servant, and scarcely knew the name of her confessor. Was it likely, then, that she had procured Don Pablos his archbishopric ? Was it not more than probable that he was indebted for it to a Gallician lady, his cousin, at once devout and handsome, in whose company his grace the archbishop had frequently been edified during his residence at Compostella ? Be that as it may, Don Torribio followed his eminence to Rome. Scarcely had he arrived at