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El Afrancesado Pedro Antonio de Alarcn

Translacin por Brandi Nicolls

In 1808, Spain was subject to the Napoleon Domination. But, inspired by patriotic love, the Spanish people rose against the French invaders in a bloody struggle that lasted until 1814 (The Independence War). However, some Spanish that belonged to the ruling classes sympathized with the French. These <<afrancesados (people that sympathized with the French) followed the game of Napoleon, or basically, they were his obedient servants. Garcia de Paredes appeared to be Pro-French. This story, written by Pedro Antonio de Alarcon (1833 1891), leaves his charming collection of national stories Parte I In the small town of Padrn, located in Galicia, and there back in 1808, sold toads and snakes and rain water, outside of a legitimate apothecary, a certain Garca de Paredes, misanthropic bachelor, a descendant perhaps, without anything, of that illustrious man who killed a bull in one blow It was a cold and dreary autumn night. The sky was overcast with dense clouds, and the total lack of lighting let the shadows settle in the streets and squares of the population. At about ten o'clock of that fearful night, the grim circumstances of the country were far more sinister, leading to the square which today is called the Constitution, a silent group of shadows, even blacker than the darkness of heaven and earth, advanced to the pharmacy of Garcia de Paredes, which was situated in a corner next to the office of the mayor, closed completely from the ringing of the bells, or from eight-thirty. -What do we do? -Said one of the shadows in very correct Spanish. -Nobody has seen us -Said another. - Break down the door! -Suggested a woman. - And kill them! -Fifteen voices murmured. - I'll take care of the apothecary! - Of that we will take care of them all! - For a Jew! - For Pro-French! - They say that today he will dine with more than twenty French ... - You bet! Knowing that theyre are safe, they have come in a group! - Ah! If it was in my house! I wouldve thrown three of the boarders into the well! - My wife was beheaded by one yesterday... - And I ... (said a friar person with a musical voice) have choked to two captains, leaving coal burning in his cell, that was once mine! - And that infamous apothecary protects them! - What expression was yesterday in being those with those excommuinacated viles.! - Who'd expect this from Garca de Paredes! Just a month ago he was the bravest, most patriotic, the most realistic person of the town! - Takes! As the apothecary selling portraits of Prince Ferdinand! - And now he sells them of Napoleon! -Before, we were excited to defend against the invaders ... -And since they came to Padron, he united himself with their party. - And tonight is dinner with all the heads!

- Listen to the uproar theyre causing! Well do not cry Live the Emperor! -Patience ... (Murmured the friar) It is still early. -Let them get drunk ... (Gave an old woman) Then we will enter ... and no one has to stay alive! - I beg that the apothecary be quartered! - You will make them divided into 8 parts, if you want!. A Pro-French person is more odious than a Frenchman. The French runs over a foreign town; the Pro-French sells and disgraces his country. The French committed a murder: the pro-French parricide (the murder of ones parents)! Parte 2 While the previous scene occurred in front of the pharmacy, Garca de Paredes and his guests were at the most joyous and unbridled revelry that you all would be able to guess. Twenty of them were, in fact, the French had the apothecary table, all commanders and officers. Garca de Paredes was forty-five years: he was high and dry and more yellow than a mummy, saying that his skin was dying long ago reaching the front of the neck, thanks to a clean and shiny bald head, whose brilliance was something like phosphoric eyes, black and dull, sunken in the fleshless, emaciated sockets resembling those gaps enclosed by mountains, which offer only darkness, dizziness and death to the beholder, gaps reflect anything, that muffled roar once, but altered, they devour everything that falls on its surface; nothing returns; that nobody could reach the bottom; that does not feed on any river, whose bottom seeks the imagination in the Antipode seas. The dinner was plentiful, there was good wine, conversation and lively. The French laughed, swore, cursed, sang, smoked, ate and drank at the same time. Someone had told the secret loves of Napoleon, who on the night of May 2 in Madrid; which were the Battle of the Pyramids; also the execution of Louis XVI. Garca de Paredes drank, laughed and chatted as the others, or perhaps more than anyone; and had been so eloquently in favor of the imperial cause, that Caesar's soldiers had embraced him, had claimed him joyously, had improvised hymns for him. - Gentlemen!- said the apothecary-: the war that we, the Spanish, make is as foolish as unmotivated. You all, children of the revolution, come to get Spain out of its traditional despondency, to neglect it, to dispel the dark religions, to improve its outdated customs, to teach these very useful and true truths that there is no God, no another life, that penance, fasting, chastity, and other Catholic virtues are absurd madness, unbecoming of civilized people, and that Napoleon is the true Messiah, the redeemer of the people, the friend of mankind ...." Gentlemen! Long live the Emperor, as much as I desire to live! - Bravo, cheer! Cried the men of May 2. The apothecary bowed his head with inexpressible anguish. He soon returned to pick it up, so firm and calm as before. He drank a glass of wine, and continued: - A grandfather of mine, Garca de Paredes, a barbarian, a Samson, a Hercules, a Milo of Crotona, killed two hundred French in one day... -I think it was in Italy. You see it was not as 'Pro French' like me! He lead them in the battles against the Moorish kingdom of Granada; he armored the horse of Ferdinand I, and mounted more than once a guard at

the Quirinal, being Papa 'our guy' Alejandro Borja! Eh, eh! Dont think that I am boasting of my lineage! "Well, this Diego Garcia de Paredes, this ancestor of mine ... who has had a descendant apothecary, took Cosenza and Manfredonia, entered with assault in Cerinola, and fought as well in the battle of Pavia! There he was made prisoner made by the king of France, whose sword has been in Madrid for nearly three centuries, until we stole it three months ago this son of an innkeeper who comes to your head, and who is called Murat! Here he paused again the apothecary. Some French showed that they wanted to answer him, but he got up, and imposing silence all of his attitude, he convulsively clutched a glass, and exclaimed in a booming voice: - Toast, gentlemen, because damn my grandfather, who was an animal, and because he is right now in the depths of hell! Long live the French of Francisco I and Napoleon Bonaparte! - They Live! Answered the invaders, giving their sastifaction. And they all finished their glasses. They heard about this rumor on the street, or, rather saying, at the door of the pharmacy. - Have you all heard? Asked the French. Garca de Paredes smiled. - They will come to kill me!-He said. - Who? - The citizens of Padron. - Why? - Because Im 'Pro-French'! "A few nights ago they walked around my house .... But what do we care? "Let's continue our party. - Yes .. Continue! cried the guests. We are here to defend you! And crashing bottles and bottles, not glasses to glasses. - Live Napoleon! Fernando Die! Die Galicia!- Shouted a voice. Garca de Paredes waited for the toast and then mournful accents murmured: - Celedonio! The youth of the pharmacy peaked through a small door looking pale and altered in the head, without daring to enter that room. - Celedonio, bring paper and ink-- the apothecary said quietly. The boy returned with writing materials. - Sit! (Continued his master.) Now, enter the amounts that I will be saying. Divide them into two columns. Above the right column, put: 'Debt' and above the other: 'Credit'. - Sir ... (Stammered the boy.)-En the door there is a kind of mutiny .... Shouting 'Death to the apothecary!'... And they want to enter! - Shut up and leave them! Write what I said. The French laughed with wonder at seeing the pharmacist engaging in an account when they are surrounded by death and ruin. Celedonio picked up the pen to write waiting for amounts to record amounts. - Let's see, gentlemen! (Garca de Paredes said then, addressing his guests). Is a summary of our party in a single toast. Let's begin in order of our seats - You, Captain, tell me, you will have killed many Spanish since you passed the Pyrenees? - Bravo! Wonderful idea! Cried the French.

- I .... (Interviewee said, climbing into the chair and twisting his mustache with petulance.) I ... have killed ... personally ... with my sword ... Put about ten or twelve! - Eleven on the right! Cried the apothecary, turning to the boy. The boy repeated, after writing: - 'Debt' ... eleven. - Current! (Continued its host.) - And you? ... "With you I speak, Mr. Julio .... - I ... six. - "And you, my Commander? - I ... twenty. - I ... eight. - I fourteen. - I ... None. - I do not know. Ive shot without taking aim!....-- answered each according to when his turn came. And the young man was scoring right quantities. - Let's see now, Captain! (Continued Garca de Paredes). "We'll start with you. How many Spanish expect to kill in the rest of the war, assuming this last about ... three years? - Hey ... (Said the Captain.) - Who calculates this? - Calculate it ..., I beg of you .... - Put another eleven. - Eleven on the left .... dictated Garca de Paredes. And Celedonio repeated: - 'Credit', eleven. - And you? "Asked the pharmacist in the same order followed above. - I ... fifteen. - I ... twenty. - I ... one hundred. - I ... thousand, responded the French. - Put them all to 'ten', Celedonio! ... (Ironically murmured the apothecary.)-Now, add two columns separately. The poor boy, who had scored the quantities with sweats of death, he was obliged to make the abstract with the fingers, as the old had. This was his terror. After a moment of horrible silence, he exclaimed, turning to his master: - 'Debt'..., 285. 'Credit'..., 200. - This mean ... (Added _Garca of Paredes_), two hundred eighty-five dead, and two hundred sentences! Total, four hundred eighty-five victims! And he pronounced these words with such a deep, sepulchral voice, the French looked alarmed. Meanwhile, the apothecary began a new account. - We are heroes! "Cried the finish. We drank seventy bottles, or about hundred and five pounds and a half of wine, which, divided into twenty-one, would mean we have all drunk with equal bravery five pounds of fluid per head. I repeat that we are heroes! By this time the tables creaked by the door of the pharmacy, and the young man stammered staggering: - Already they entered! ... - What time is it? Asked the apothecary with the utmost tranquility.

- Eleven. But did you not hear them enter? - Leave them! It's time. - Time! ... What? "Murmured the French, trying to get up. But they were so 'drunk', they could not move from their chairs. - They enter! They enter! (They cried, however, winey voice, drawing their swords with great difficulty and without getting on their feet.) They enter! These scoundrels! We will receive them! In it, he sounded down and in the pharmacy, the clatter of jars and bottles that the Padrn neighbors broken in pieces, and the unanimous and terrible cry could be heard echoing in the stairs. - Death to the 'Pro-French! Parte III Getting up Garca de Paredes, as though he had been shot out of the chair by a spring, hearing such a clamor his home, and he pulled back the table to fall back on the chair. He reached around himself with a look of unspeakable joy, he was seen in the immortal lips smile of triumph, and so transfigured and beautiful, with double the fear of death and enthusiasm, making the following statement, broken and solemn as the chimes of the death knell. - French! ... If any of you, or all together, find occasion to avenge the death of two hundred eighty-five countrymen and save the lives of two hundred more, if you sacrifice your life you all can pacify the indignant shade of your ancestors, to punish the perpetrators of two hundred eighty-five heroes, and from death to two hundred companions, two hundred brothers, thereby increasing the ranks of the army with two hundred patriotic champions of national independence, You all repair neither a moment in your miserable life? You all doubt neither a point en arms like Samson, to the pillar of the temple, and die, the price of killing the enemies of God? - What? asked the French. - Sir ..., the murderers are on the run! "Said Celedonio. - Let them enter! ... (Shouted Garca de Paredes)."Open the door of the room .... Come all ... to see how he dies the descendant of a soldier in Pavia! The French, scared, stupid, nailed to their chairs in excruciating lethargy, believing that the death of who spoke Spanish was to go into that room in pursuit of the mutineers, made painstaking efforts to lift the Sabres, who lay on the table; but even getting their fingers loose on handles seemed to them that the irons attached to the table were unsurpassed to pull. In this room flooded more than fifty men and women, armed with sticks, knives and guns, giving tremendous shouting and throwing fire from their eyes. - Death to all!-- Some women cried, throwing the first. - Stop! Garca de Paredes shouted with such a voice, with such an attitude, with such features, which, uniting this scream to the immobility and silence of the twenty French men, imposed cold terror to the mob, which was not expcted to be this peaceful. - You do not have to wield your daggers ....(Continued the apothecary in a faint voice.)-I have done more than you all have done for the independence of this country .... I pretended to be 'afrancesado'!... And you see! ... twenty chiefs and officers invaders ...Twenty! You all have not touched them ... They are poisoned! ...

A cry of terror and admiration simultaneous left the chests of the Spanish. They got a step closer to the guests, and found that most were already dead, with their heads fallen forward, arms outstretched on the table, and their hands clenched gripping their swords. The others were dying silently. - Viva Garca de Paredes! Spanish cried then, surrounding the dying hero. - Celedonio .... (Muttered the pharmacist.) The 'opium' has completed .... He fell to his knees. Only then the citizens of Padron realized that the apothecary was also poisoned. Then you only saw a picture as sublime as frightening. Several women sat on the floor, holding in her lap and their arms to the expiring patriot, being the first to fill it with caresses and blessings, as before were the first in asking his death. The men had set all the lights on the table and lit them kneeling down to the ground, in that showing unification of patriotism and love .... There they were, finally, in the shadow twenty dead or dying, some of which were collapsing to the ground with a heavy thid. And with every breath of death to be heard, every Frenchman who came to earth, a glorious smile illuminated the face of Garca Paredes, which a little his spirit returned to heaven, blessed by a minister of the Lord and wept their brethren in the homeland.