The Devil upon Crutches

The Devil upon Crutches

Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    The Devil upon Crutches
    Book Description:

    This is the first reprinting since the eighteenth century--and the first scholarly edition--of Tobias Smollett's translation ofThe Devil upon Crutches. First published in France in 1707 asLe Diable boiteux, Alain René Le Sage's novel relates the picaresque wanderings of Asmodeus, a refined, likable but decrepit devil, and Zambullo, his newfound mortal companion.After Zambullo releases Asmodeus from a bottle, the two embark on a flight above the rooftops of Madrid. Peeking into houses, prisons, palaces, and even tombs, Zambullo witnesses one incident of treachery and self-delusion after another. Smollett's superior wit and sense of irony suited him well as translator for this novel, with its juxtaposition of realism with romance, satire with sentiment, and sexual intrigue with moral admonition.

    This authoritative textual edition is based on the 1759 second edition of Smollett's translation. The extensive introduction covers such topics as the original French edition; the composition, printing, and reception of Smollett'sThe Devil upon Crutches; and Smollett's career as a translator. Also included are a complete textual apparatus and a guide to the now-exotic pharmaceuticals and remedies one encounters in the novel.

    eISBN: 978-0-8203-4644-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xxviii)

    TheGeneral Advertiserfor 1 February 1750 and theWhitehall Evening Postfor 1–3 February announced the forthcoming publication of a new translation of Alain René Le Sage’sLe Diable boiteux(1707; revised edition 1726); it was published, according to these same newspapers, on 27 February. This new translation of the 1726 version, titledThe Devil upon Crutches, appeared one year after a successful translation of Le Sage’s greatest work,L’Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane(1715–35). Neither work carried the name of its translator, Tobias Smollett; this was not unusual in the eighteenth century, when the book...

  7. The Devil upon Crutches: VOLUME ONE
    • Middle Matter
      (pp. 1-4)
      (pp. 5-6)
      (pp. 7-12)
    • CHAPTER I. Which shews what sort of a devil this same devil upon crutches was; where and by what accident Don Cleofas Leandro Perez de Zambullo became acquainted with him.
      (pp. 13-17)

      It was in the month of October, one dark and cloudy night, at a time when the people being retired to their respective homes, had left the streets of Madrid free for the serenades of lovers, some of whom sung their success, while others, to the soft airs of the guittar, tuned their mournful plaints, alarming the jealous husband and anxious parent.—It was now almost the hour of midnight, when Don Cleofas Leandro Perez Zambullo, a student of Alcala, sallied suddenly through the window of a house where a love-affair had engaged him, to get clear of a set...

    • CHAPTER II. Continuation of the deliverance of Asmodeus.
      (pp. 17-18)

      This demon easily perceiving that his outward mein was no great recommendation in his favour, said, with a smile, Well, Signior Don Cleofas Leandro Perez Zambullo, you see the charming god of love, this sovereign master of hearts. What do you think of my air and beauty? Are you not of opinion the poets are excellent painters? Why, upon my soul, I think, to speak freely, they rather flatter a little, (replied Cleofas). I fancy you did not chuse this form when you appeared before Psyche. No, thank you, Sir, (replied he) I knew better; I appeared before her in...

    • CHAPTER III. To what place the demon carried Don Cleofas, and what scenes he first presented to his view.
      (pp. 19-26)

      It was not without reason Asmodeus boasted of his agility. He cut the air swift as the flight of an arrow, and perched on the pinnacle of the church of St. Salvador.¹ When he had fixed himself there, he said to his companion, Well, (Signior Leandro) what do you think? when people meet with a bad coachman, they say he is the devil of a driver, are they not in the wrong? Very much so, (answers Leandro) and I can bear witness to it. I assure you, Sir, your vehicle is smoother than a litter, and makes so much speed...

    • CHAPTER IV. The history of the amours of the Count de Belflor and Leonora de Cespides.
      (pp. 26-38)

      Count Belflor, one of the greatest lords about court, was passionately in love with a young lady, Leonora de Cespides; but he had no intention to make her his wife: the daughter of a private gentleman did not seem to him a match of sufficient dignity: he wanted only to make her his mistress.

      With this view and no other, he embraced every opportunity of making her sensible of his passion, but never was able to come to an interview, or convey her a billet, so narrowly was she watched by a strict and vigilant governante, whose name was Marcella....

    • CHAPTER V. Continuation and conclusion of the amours of Count Belflor.
      (pp. 38-50)

      Don Lewis went out betimes in the morning to meet Count Belflor, who, not imagining his intrigue had been discovered, was surprized at such a visit. He came out of his chamber to meet the old gentleman, and after a number of bows and salutations, How rejoiced I am, said he, to see Don Lewis de Cespides! I hope, Sir, you come to give me some opportunity of serving you. My lord, answered Don Lewis, I desire you will order us to be left alone.

      Count Belflor immediately ordered every body out of the room, and they sat down together:...

    • CHAPTER VI. What other things Don Cleofas saw, and in what manner he was revenged of Donna Thomasa.
      (pp. 50-54)

      Let us now cast our eyes another way, continued Asmodeus, and examine new objects. Look into that hotel which is directly under us, and you will observe what is pretty singular.¹ A man deeply in debt, and who notwithstanding sleeps soundly. He must then be a man of quality, says Leandro. It is even as you say, replies the demon; he is a marquis worth an hundred thousand ducats a year, and yet his expence exceeds his income. His table and the ladies he has in keeping oblige him to run in debt; but that is so far from giving...

    • CHAPTER VII. Of the prisoners.
      (pp. 55-66)

      Before I enter into particulars, you must observe a little the turnkeys, who stand at the entry of these dreadful mansions. The poets of antiquity have placed only one Cerberus at the gates of their hell. You see here a great many. These turnkeys are dead to every sentiment of humanity. The most abandoned of all my brethren would, with difficulty, be able to supply the place of any of them. But I perceive, continued he, that you look with horror on these dismal cells, where a mat is all the furniture; these frightful dungeons appear to you as so...

    • CHAPTER VIII. Asmodeus shews Don Cleofas several people, and informs him what they have been doing throughout the day.
      (pp. 66-75)

      They left the prisoners, and flying away to another quarter of the town, stopt at a great hotel, where Asmodeus said to the student, I have a great mind to inform you of what all these persons about this hotel have been doing to-day: a detail that will probably divert you. I make no doubt of it, replied Leandro, and beg you will begin with that captain whom I see putting on his boots. I suppose he has some affairs of consequence which call him hence. He is, replied the demon, a captain just ready to set out from Madrid;...

    • CHAPTER IX. Of the bedlamites.
      (pp. 75-89)

      Zambullo cast his eyes over all the different apartments; and after he had observed all the mad people, men and women which they contained, Asmodeus said, you see them here of all sorts, one sex as well as the other; merry and sad, young and old. I must now acquaint you with what occasioned their going mad. We will go over the apartments separately, and begin with the men.

      The first man whom you see is of New Castille, born in the very heart of Madrid, a flaming patriot,² more jealous of the honour of his country than an old...

    • CHAPTER X. Of which the subject is inexhaustible.
      (pp. 89-96)

      Let us now go to the other part of the town; and when I observe any that deserve to have places here, I will give you their character. I see one already whom I must take notice of; he is newly married: about eight days ago hearing that a lady of pleasure, whom he was in love with, had taken some liberties he did not approve of, he went to her full of fury, broke some part of her furniture, threw the rest out of the window, and the next day married her.

      Why really, says Zambullo, I think that...

    • CHAPTER XI. An account of the fire, and what Asmodeus did on that occasion.
      (pp. 96-98)

      They immediately heard the confused voices of different people, some crying out, fire, others crying out, water. A moment after, they saw the great stair-case which led to the principal apartments all on fire, and, after that, clouds of smoke and flame bursting thro’ the windows. The fire now rages excessively, continued the demon, and has got to the top of the house, from whence you may see it rising in a vast quantity of smoke and sparks, and is so very violent, that all the people who came to assist in quenching it can do nothing but look at...

  8. The Devil upon Crutches: VOLUME TWO
    • Middle Matter
      (pp. 99-100)
      (pp. 101-102)
    • CHAPTER I. Containing the history of the dead; some tombs, and a parcel of ghosts.
      (pp. 103-110)

      We will for a while, said Asmodeus, suspend our examination of the living, and for some moments interrupt the repose of the dead; let us take a cursory view of the sepulchral monuments in this cathedral, of the persons they contain, and examine into the reasons why they were erected.

      The first that you see on the right hand contains the sorrowful remains of a general officer, who, like Agamemnon*, on his return from the wars, found an Ægisthus in his house. In the second there lies a young gentleman of a noble family, who being minded at a bull-feast...

    • CHAPTER II. The Power of Friendship. A NOVEL.
      (pp. 110-126)

      A young gentleman of Toledo, attended only by his valet de chambre, was making his way, in all haste, from the place of his nativity, to avoid the consequences of a tragical adventure; when being about two leagues from the town of Valencia, at the entrance of a wood, he met with a lady, who was alighting from her coach in great seeming confusion. She had no veil over her most beautiful face, and this charming creature appeared so much in distress, that the gentleman, imagining she might stand in need of assistance, offered her the protection of his sword....

    • CHAPTER III. A fray that happened between a comic and tragic poet.
      (pp. 126-132)

      Here the demon was interrupted. Signior Asmodeus, says our gentleman, though I have the greatest pleasure imaginable in listening to what you say, I cannot get the better of my curiosity, and must beg you will explain to me the meaning of something I have now before my eyes. I see two strange figures of men in their shirts, holding one another by the hair and the ears, and kicking desperately,¹ with a number of people in night-gowns, endeavouring to part them. I beg you will be so good as to let me know the meaning of this. That I...

    • CHAPTER IV. Continuation and conclusion of the Power of Friendship.
      (pp. 132-150)

      Tho’ Theodora’s servants had not been able to rescue their lady from the ruffians that carried her off, they had, however shewn a deal of courage, and their valour proved fatal to some of Alvaro’s people. Among others, there was one so dangerously wounded, that he could not follow his companions, and was found stretched almost lifeless upon the sand.

      They remembred this unhappy wretch to have been a valet belonging to Alvaro; and as they found he still breathed, had him brought into the castle, and did every thing they could to bring him to his senses, which, at...

    • CHAPTER V. Of Dreams.
      (pp. 151-157)

      When Asmodeus had finished the recital of this story, Don Cleofas said to him, this is indeed a noble picture of friendship; but if it is so rare a thing now a days to find two men love one another with such disinterested friendship as Don Juan and Don Fadrique, I believe it would be still more difficult to find two rival friends of the other sex, who would so generously make a mutual sacrifice to one another of the beloved object.

      You are in the right, answered the demon, that is what never has happened, and what never will;...

    • CHAPTER VI. Where may be seen several originals, that are not without copies.
      (pp. 157-162)

      Let us begin first with the troop of beggars whom you see already in the streets. Most of them are born of creditable parents, but through laziness and debauchery, have taken to this course of life; they live in common like monks, and pass the night in all manner of riot, in a house, belonging to the society, which is well stored with wine and all manner of provision. They are now separating, to act their parts at the doors of the churches. At night they will meet, and drink the health of those charitably disposed Christians who relieve their...

    • CHAPTER VII. What things more the demon shewed Don Cleofas.
      (pp. 162-167)

      I must make you laugh a little, continued Asmodeus, at that man who is just now entering that coffee-house; he is a Biscayan physician, and is going to have a dish of chocolate, after which he will sit and play all day at chess.

      But whilst he is so busy, you need be under no apprehension for his patients, for he has none; and if he had, the time he bestows at play would be no loss to them. Every night he visits a beautiful and rich widow, whom he greatly wants to marry, and with whom he pretends to...

    • CHAPTER VIII. Of the Slaves.
      (pp. 167-174)

      They both stopped short on the top of a house near that monastery, at the gate of which there was gathered an infinite concourse of people of both sexes. What a world of folks are here! said Leandro. What public ceremonial makes them flock together in such numbers? A ceremony you have never yet seen, answered the demon, though it is frequently performed at Madrid. Three hundred slaves, all subjects of Spain, are this moment landed from Algiers, where the fathers of the redemption have been to ransom them; all the streets through which they pass will be crowded with...

    • CHAPTER IX. Containing the last history with which Asmodeus entertained the student of Alcala. How in finishing it, he was all of a sudden interrupted; and in what disagreeable manner the demon was obliged to leave him.
      (pp. 174-181)

      Pablos de Bahabon, the son of a man who was mayor of a town in Old Castile, after having shared with his brother the effects their father had left them (which, though he was extremely covetous, were very small) set out for Salamanca to compleat his studies in that university. He was extremely handsome, had a great deal of wit, and was then twenty three years of age.

      As he had a thousand ducats in his pocket, and was of a most generous disposition, his arrival at Salamanca soon became the subject of conversation. All the young people of the...

    • CHAPTER X. AND LAST. What Don Cleofas did after the Devil upon Crutches had left him; and after what manner the author has thought proper to end this work.
      (pp. 181-184)

      Immediately after Asmodeus was gone, our student finding himself fatigued with having been the night long without once sitting down,¹ and in such extraordinary motion besides, undressed, and went to bed, to enjoy some repose; but the agitation of his spirits was so great, that it was with difficulty he could compose himself for rest. At last, however, paying with usury, that tribute to Morpheus which all mortals do, he fell into such a dead sleep, that he did not wake all that day, nor the following night.

      He had been thus twenty-four hours, when Don Luis de Lujan, a...

  9. DIALOGUES, SERIOUS and COMIC, Between two Chimneys of Madrid.
    (pp. 185-190)
    (pp. 191-206)
    (pp. 207-208)
    (pp. 209-236)
    (pp. 237-242)
    (pp. 243-250)
    (pp. 251-252)
    (pp. 253-254)
    (pp. 255-278)
    (pp. 279-280)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 281-284)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 285-285)