Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
On a dark October night in Madrid, Don Cleophas Leandro Perez Zambullo, a student of Alcala, is in dreadful trouble. While visiting Donna Thomasa, his beloved, three or four hired bravos set upon him in her apartment, and when he loses his sword in the struggle, he is forced to take flight over the rooftops of the neighboring houses. Spying a light in a garret, he enters through a window and discovers an empty room furnished with the strange gear of a magician. As he is taking stock of the place, he hears a sigh and soon realizes that he is being addressed by a demon in a bottle. To the student’s questionings, the spirit replies that he is not Lucifer, Uriel, Beelzebub, Leviathan, Belphegor, or Ashtaroth, but Asmodeus, the Devil on Two Sticks, who always befriends hapless lovers. Cleophas thereupon breaks the vial and out tumbles a monstrous dwarf, with the legs of a goat, a stature of less than three feet, and a grotesque and grimacing face. Half concealed by extraordinary clothing and a curiously embroidered white satin cloak are the two crutches on which the dwarf hobbles about.
Because Cleophas is eager to escape his pursuers and Asmodeus wishes to avoid his captor, the magician, the two do not linger in the attic. Cleophas grasps the edge of the demon’s cloak, and off they fly into the sky over Madrid. For the remainder of their association together, Asmodeus entertains his companion with views of all that is happening in the city, explaining the...
(The entire section is 1841 words.)
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