Leonora remained a mourning though wealthy widow; and whilst Loaysa expected that she would fulfil the desire which he knew her husband had expressed in his will, he learned that within a week she had become a nun in one of the most austere and rigid convents in all Seville. Mortified by this disappointment, he left the country and went to the Indies. Leonora’s father and mother were deeply grieved, but found consolation in the wealth which their son-in-law had bequeathed them. The two damsels likewise consoled themselves, as did the negro and the female slaves, the former being well provided for, and the latter having obtained their freedom; the wicked duena alone was left to digest, in poverty, the frustration of her base schemes. For my part I was long possessed with the desire to complete this story, which so signally exemplifies the little reliance that can be put in locks, turning-boxes, and walls, whilst the will remains free; and the still less reason there is to trust the innocence and simplicity of youth, if its ear be exposed to the suggestions of your demure duenas, whose virtue consists in their long black gowns and their formal white hoods. Only I know not why it was that Leonora did not persist in exculpating herself, and explaining to her jealous husband how guiltless she had been in the whole of that unhappy business. But her extreme agitation paralysed her tongue at the moment, and the haste which her husband made to die, left her without another opportunity to complete her justification.
THE ILLUSTRIOUS SCULLERY-MAID.
In the famous city of Burgos there lived two wealthy cavaliers, one of whom was called Don Diego de Carriazo, and the other Don Juan de Avendano. Don Diego had a son called after himself, and Don Juan another, whose name was Don Tomas de Avendano. These two young gentlemen being the principal persons of the following tale, we shall for the sake of brevity call them Carriazo and Avendano.
Carriazo might be about thirteen or little more, when, prompted by a scampish disposition, without having had any cause to complain of bad treatment at home, he ran away from his father’s house, and cast himself upon the wide world. So much did he enjoy a life of unrestricted freedom, that amidst all the wants and discomforts attendant upon it, he never missed the plenty of his father’s house. He neither tired of trudging on foot, nor cared for cold or heat. For him all seasons of the year were genial spring. His sleep was as sound on a heap of straw as on soft mattresses, and he made himself as snug in a hayloft as between two Holland sheets. In short, he made such way in the profession he had chosen, that he could have given lessons to the famous Guzman de Alfarache.