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refuses me any thing : I thought you would like to know something more about that affair in the Basilican Monastery; and, as a return for Lady Morgan's Italy,' I asked him to bring me the notes taken in the commission : they are here in my writing-case; but you must not show them to any body,—not even to your ambassador,-nor tell any one that I lent them to you; and you must return them to me to-morrow.”
All this I of course promised. I never mentioned the affair again while I remained in Spain; and returned the notes next day. I made a verbatim translation, and mentioned to Donna H-o that I had done so; and although she at first chid me for an infraction of the treaty, she afterwards said she confided in my discretion, and permitted me to keep the translation; of which the following is a copy :Proceedings in the Commission appointed by the King in Council to
inquire into the circumstances touching the death of the Very Reverend Father Gargolio, Superior of the Monastery of San Basilio.—Don Gaston de Montesa, Chief Commissioner,
Gomez, porter to the Basilican Monastery, interrogated. Q. At what hour on Thursday night last were the convent gates shut ?-A. About half-past nine.
Q. Did you shut and lock the gates ?—A. Yes. Q. After you had locked the gates, did any one apply for admittance ?-A. No one.
Q. Did any strangers enter the convent during the day?-A. Several; but I cannot tell how many. Q. Did
every stranger that entered ?-A. Yes. Q. Could any person have entered the convent without being observed by you ?- A. No one could.
Q. Did every stranger who entered the monastery on that day leave it before the gate was shut ?-A. I believe, yes.
Q. You are not sure, then, but that some one may not have left the convent?-A. I attend more to those who enter than to those who leave the convent.
Q. Might a stranger then have remained within the convent during the night, and left it next morning after the murder was discovered, and after the gate was opened, without your observation ?A. The confusion next morning was so great that this might happen.
Q. You are of opinion, then, that the deed might have been perpetrated by a stranger ? A. Perhaps.
The Probationer Sufrano interrogated. Q. How long have you been in the Basilican Monastery ?—A. Ope year
and four months. Q. At what your on Thursday night last did the Reverend Father Gargolio retire to his dormitory?-X. Some time after nine.
Q. Did you see him retire?-A. I accompanied bim to the door of his sleeping apartment.
Q. When was it discovered that Father Gargolio was murdered ?A. At half-past four the bell rung for matins; the Very Reverend Father Gargolio was not present. Father Azara desired me to go
for the superior ; I found the door of his chamber closed as usual : I entered, and saw the Reverend Father Gargolio lying on his mattress, which was covered with blood. I left the chamber, and called to Father Azara : Father Azara came, and we returned together. When Father Azara entered, he lifted up his hands, and cried," 0 Dios ! o Dios!” Father Gargolio lay upon his back; his throat was cut: there were two stabs in his body—one in the side, and one below the breast; and his hands were tied.
Father Fuenfria interrogated. Q. Was the Very Reverend Father Gargolio respected and loved by the friars of this monastery ?-A. By some he was loved, by others he was hated.
Q. By whom was he hated ?-A. By Father Azara, and by Father Rueda.
Q. What are your reasons for believing that Father Gargolio was hated by Father Azara and Father Rueda ?-A. I have heard both say that the superior was a tyrant, and I have often heard the superior reprove them for the irregularities of which they were guilty.
Q. Can you tell what these irregularities were ?-A. They consisted chiefly in being absent during the night; but if you will interrogate Gomez the porter, and particularly Ramiro, the boy who assists in the kitchen, I believe you will discover the whole truth.
Gomez recalled. Q. Have the friars of this monastery always submitted to the rules of the order, and the commands of the superior ?-A. I cannot tell.
Q. Have any of the friars of this conyent acted contrary to the rules, and disobeyed the injunctions of the superior ?-A. I do not understand the question.
Don Gaston de Montesa, chief commissioner.-Reply to the question. Have you ever, after the gate of the monastery has been shut, opened it at the request of any friar, and seen any friar pass out; or, have you ever, before the bell rung for matins, admitted any
friar within the convent?---A. Yes. Q. Whom have you admitted ? - A. Father Azara, Father Rueda, and Father Gansarzo. Q. Did this frequently happen ?-A. Almost every night.
Ramiro interrogated. Q. Who are you?-A, I assist in the kitchen, go errands, and do whatever I am desired.
Q. Did Father Azara, Father Rueda, or Father Gansarzo, ever send you errands, or employ you in any private business ?--A. All the three.
Q. What were the errands you were sent, and the business upon which you were employed ? Tell all you know.-A. I was sent three or four times every week with a letter from Father Azara, or Father Rueda, to a house in the Calle de Toledo; there were two ladies in the house ; I delivered the letter to one of them, and brought back
Q. What did you do with the answer?-A. I put it under a large stone in the corner of the garden.
Q. Did you ever execute any other orders for Father Azara, or
Father Rueda ?-A. Yes; I was desired always to be in the privada, half-an-hour after I brought back the answer: Father Azara, or Father Rueda came to me: I received money, and was ordered to buy pigeons, or ducks, or fowls, and wine, and carry these to the house in the Calle de Toledo; and I was told that if any part of the money remained, I might keep it.
Q. Did you ever carry any letter for Father Gansarzo ?-A. No.
Q. Were you ever employed in any private business by Father Gansarzo ?-A. Yes. Father Gansarzo sent me once or twice in the week, before the convent gate closed, to a house in the narrow street that runs from the Calle de Alocha to the convent of Santa Isabella, with a message to the Senhora de Casa, that Father Gansarzo would visit her at eleven. The Very Reverend Father Perez Iriarte, Sacristan Mayor, now
Superior, interrogated. Q. Did you ever hear Father Azara, Father Rueda, and Father Gansarzo reproved by the late superior ?—A. Every day.
Q. Did the remonstrances produce any effect ?-A. None.
Q. Did the late superior endeavour to enforce the rules of the order in any other way than by remonstrance ?-A. A week before his death he kept the key of the gate in his own sleeping room : but having discovered that Father Rueda and Father Gansarzo climbed the garden wall, their dormitories were locked at night; but upon the night when the murder was committed, they were left open, because the keys could not be found.
Don Gaston de Montesa.—It is needless to pursue the inquiry farther.
The commission appointed to inquire into the circumstances attending the death of the Very Reverend Father Gargolio, late superior of the Monastery of San Basilio, reports : - That Father Gargolio was barbarously murdered ; but by whom, does not appear : that no proof exists of any of the holy fathers having been implicated in the deed, because the evidence of Ramiro is not worthy of credit; and because Gomez, the porter of the convent, is of opinion, that a stranger might have secreted himself in the monastery during the night, and might have left the monastery without observation.
And so ended the labours of the commission to inquire into a barbarous murder, which might, no doubt, have been brought distinctly home to the three friars, whose licentiousness was curbed by the unfortunate man who was murdered. But a dreadful picture of monastic depravity is laid open by this inquiry. To an habitual life of hypocrisy and debauchery is added, the cold blooded murder of a man, whose crime was the strict performance of his duty. And these are the men trusted in families; charged with the task of bending the youthful mind to virtue and religion ! confessors of the young and inexperienced !! and depositaries of the inmost thoughts of a female bosom !!!
Ramiro was sent from Madrid, no one knew whither, that his tales might not poison the ears, or weaken the devotion, of good Ca"tholics; and Azara, and Rueda, and Gansarzo, are still holy men, and Very Reverend Fathers.
BLANK LEAF OF LA PEROUSE'S VOYAGES.
BY THOMAS CAMPBELL.
Loved Voyager! whose pages had a zest
Fair were his ships, expert his gallant crews,
Lines written in a blank Leaf of La Perouse's Voyages.
Yet he that led Discovery o'er the wave,
An age elapsed -no wreck told where or when
An age elapsed—when men were dead or grey,
Yet what is all that fires a hero's scorn