Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lazarillo of Tormes: Chapter 5c About the Pardoner

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His For...Image via Wikipedia
Some of the respectable men there wanted to get up and throw the constable out of church to avoid any scandal. But my master stopped them and told them all not to bother him under penalty of excommunication. He told them to let him say anything he wanted to. So while the constable was saying all that, my master kept quiet, too. When he stopped speaking, my master told him if he wanted to say anything more he should go ahead. And the constable said,
“I could say plenty more about you and your dirty tricks, but I've said enough for now.”

Then the pardoner knelt down in the pulpit, and with his hands folded, and looking up toward heaven, he said:
“Lord God, to whom nothing is hidden and everything is manifest, for whom nothing is impossible and everything is possible, you know the truth of how unjustly I have been accused. As far as I am concerned, I forgive him so that you —Oh Lord!— may forgive me.  Pay no attention to this man who knows not what he says or does. But the harm that has been done to thee, I beg and beseech thee in the name of justice that you do not disregard it.

“Because someone here may have been thinking of taking this holy indulgence, and now, believing that the false words of that man are true, they will not take it. And since that would be so harmful to our fellow men, I beg you, Lord, do not disregard it; instead, grant us a miracle here.  Let it happen in this way: if what that man says is true —that I am full of malice and falseness— let this pulpit collapse with me in it and plunge one hundred feet into the ground, sinking six feet under where neither the pulpit nor I shall ever be seen again. But if what I say is true —and he, who has been won over by the devil, to deprive those who are here present from such a great blessing is saying false things— let him be punished and let his malice be known to all.”

Hardly had he finished his speech when the self-confessed constable fell flat on his face, hitting the floor so hard that it made the whole church echo. Then he began to roar, frothing at the mouth, twisting it, and his whole face, too, kicking and hitting and rolling around all over the floor.

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