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The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 549 pages of information about The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes.
revival; and Dona Estafania having no further need of stratagem, requested the priest to marry her son to Leocadia on the spot.  This was done; for the event took place at a time when the consent of the parties was sufficient for the celebration of a marriage, without any of the preliminary formalities which are now so properly required.  I leave it to a more ingenious pen than mine to describe the gladness of all present; the embraces bestowed on Rodolfo by Leocadia’s parents; the thanks they offered to Heaven, and to his father and mother; the congratulations on both sides; the astonishment of Rodolfo’s companions who saw him so unexpectedly married to so charming a bride on the very night of his arrival; and above all, when they learned from the statement openly made by Dona Estafania, that Leocadia was the very person whose abduction her son had effected with their aid.  Nor was Rodolfo less surprised than they; and the better to assure himself of so wonderful a fact, he begged Leocadia to give him some token which should make perfectly clear to him that which indeed he did not doubt, since it was authenticated by his parents.

“Once when I recovered from a swoon,” replied Leocadia, “I found myself, senor, in your arms without honour; but for that I have had full compensation, since on my recovery from my this day’s swoon I found myself in the same arms, but honoured.  If this is not enough for you, let it suffice to mention a crucifix which no one could have purloined from you but myself, if it be true that you missed it in the morning, and that it is the same that is now in the hands of your mother, my lady.”

“You are mine, the lady of my soul, and shall be so as long as God grants me life,” cried Rodolfo; embracing her again, amidst a fresh shower of benedictions and congratulations from the rest of the party.

At last they sat down to a merry supper to the sound of music, for the performers, who had been previously engaged, were now arrived.  Rodolfo saw his own likeness in his son’s face as in a mirror.  The four grandparents wept for joy:  there was not a corner of the house but was full of gladness; and though night was hurrying on with her swift black wings, it seemed to Rodolfo that she did not fly, but hobble on crutches, so great was his impatience to be alone with his beloved bride.  The longed-for hour came at last:  every one retired to rest:  the whole house was buried in silence; but not so shall be the truth of this story, which will be kept alive in the memory of men by the many children and descendants of that illustrious house in Toledo, where that happy pair still live, and have, for many prosperous years, enjoyed the society of each other, their children, and their grandchildren, by the blessing of Heaven, and through the force of that blood which was seen shed on the ground by the valorous, illustrious, and Christian grandfather of the little Luis.

THE JEALOUS ESTRAMADURAN.

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