He denies it at all; but this is no less true. Yes, back in the years from 1840 to 50 he wrote verses, imitated Zorrilla like a condemned man and put his hand to the reckless work (carried out happily later by a Mr. Albornoz), of continuing and giving a settlement to the Devil World of Espronceda .
But the children of Pastrana and Rodríguez, who is our hero, should know nothing of this. He was a poet, it’s true; but the world does not know, should not know.
At the age of seventeen, this administrative favorite of luck actually begins his glorious career. In that age of illusions he was appointed temporary clerk in the City Hall of his native valley, as La Correspondencia says when it talks about poets and the place of their birth.
Pastrana’s vocation was then revealed as a prophecy.
The first serious work that that public official brought to a glorious auction was the writing of an office in which the mayor of Villaconducho asked the governor of the province for a couple from the Civil Guard to help him make the elections. Pastrana’s office was in the hands and in the languages of all the notable people of the place. The school teacher had nothing to oppose the dashing italicized letter that the document displayed; The apothecary was the one who dared to maintain that grammatical philosophy required that yesterday be written with h , because with h it is written today; but Pastrana defeated him, warning that, according to that philosophy, it should also be written tomorrow with h .
The apothecary did not raise his head again, and Perico Pastrana did not take a year to be appointed secretary of the City Council with a salary. With such a plausible motive he made himself a black frock coat; but it was done in the capital. Mr. Pespunte, a local tailor and mayor of the town hall, was not offended: he understood that the secretary’s frock coat was a garment that was far above his scissors; When, at the feast of the Sacrament, Pespunte saw Pedro Pastrana wearing the glittering frock coat near the mayor, who was wearing the lantern, it is true, but he was not wearing a frock coat, he exclaimed in a prophetic tone:
“That boy will climb a lot!” And he pointed to the clouds.
Pastrana thought the same thing, but his thought went far beyond what that bailiff could suspect, who could not read or write and was therefore ignorant of what books and newspapers teach the ambition of a City Council secretary.
All the poetry that had once filled his chest and made him smudge so much paper with beards, had become an unquenchable thirst for command and honors and fees. Pastrana loved everything, like Espronceda; but he loved him for his own account and reason, for the benefit of inventory. As he was secretary of the City Council, he knew all the Council’s land property by heart and was aware of the concealments of real estate. Just as the divine Homer in song II of his Iliad enumerates and describes the contingent, origin and qualities of the armies of Greeks and Trojans, Pastrana could have sung the debit and credit of each and every one of Villaconducho’s neighbors.
It was a moving cadastre. His fantasy was full of forums and subforums, leases, and emphyteusis, liens, liens, and extra pennies. He was a friend of the property registrar, whom he assisted as a subordinate, and he knew the registry books by heart. Perico would go out to the fields to commune with Mother Nature. But my readers will see how Pastrana communed with Nature: he did not see the silver ribbon that divided the fertile green plain in two, fringed by the fresh shade of large chestnut trees that climbed the slopes of the neighboring mountains; In their eyes, the river was not a crystal palace of nymphs and sylphs, but a farm that left pennies (penguins was Pastrana’s favorite adjective), great products for the Marquis of Pozos-hondos, who had the privilege, who didn’t pay from those rocks and cliffs they sought false peace and deceptive shelter in caves and backwaters. As the crystalline lymphs run, he fixes his gaze on the waves, Pastrana meditated, thinking, not that our lives are the rivers that go to the sea, which is dying, but in the sale value of the salmon that in one year with another the Marquis de Pozos-hondos fished. It’s an abuse! He exclaimed, leaving the auras with an eminently municipal sigh; and the apprentice aedile matured a Machiavellian project that he later put into practice, as anyone who reads will know.
The paths and paths that descended in capricious turns through mountains and meadows were not before Pastrana’s fantasy but right-of-way: the hedges of blackberry, honeysuckle and sweet-smelling hawthorn, where numerous tribes of songbirds lived, joy of dawn, and sad music of the melancholic afternoon at sunset, Pastrana had them on the edge of the respective farms, and nothing else; and he smiled maliciously contemplating that headquarters of Paco Antúnez, which once was in a fist away from the priest’s meek a long way, and that home, since the liberals were in command, he walked, walked as if he had feet, up meadow, up meadow , threatening to enter the field of the Church and even the garden of the rectory. Each mountain, each meadow, each orchard saw them, Perico, more than where they were, on the ideal plane of the cadastre of your dreams; And thus, a little house surrounded by a garden and orchard with an orchard, hidden there at the bottom of the valley, the secretary was looking at it, overwhelmed under the enormous weight of a mortgage and close to being the pasture of voracious creditors; the grove of the Marquis (always the Marquis!) where thousands of wooden giants grew in immense space, between whose feet ran, not the gnomes of the fable, but very well-bred rabbits, Pastrana felt like a mysterious character who traveled incognito: because such a soto had no civil existence, they did not know about him in the state offices.
In this way our man ran through those hills and byways, inspired by the god Term that the Romans worshiped, measuring everything, weighing everything and calculating the gross product and the liquid product of what God created. Another aspect of Nature that Pastrana also knew how to consider was territorial wealth as taxable matter; He, who handled all the Town Hall papers, knew, in a certain rent-seeking topography that was engraved on his head, what were the ups and downs of the land that extended to his eyes, before the tax authorities considered: that hillock of the plain paid much less to the State than the pradic de la Solana, standing on its feet in the river: for this reason, according to Pastrana, the pradic was much higher above the level of the contribution than the erect hill that belonged to the Marquis de Pozos-hondos, and for that he paid less. By this tenor, Pastrana’s imagination turned the mountain into a plain, and the plain into a mountain; and observed that it was the poor who had their pegujares by the clouds, while the influential rich had their dominions underground, according to the little and evil that they contributed to the burdens of the State.
These observations did not make Pastrana a philanthropist, nor a socialist, nor a demagogue, but they did open his eye to what will be seen in the next chapter.
Pastrana did not stitch without thread. Those walks through the fields and mountains later bore excellent fruit for our hero. It was necessary, it was said, to take advantage(his favorite phrase) of all those administrative irregularities. Salmon was first and foremost the target of their machinations. Several days he was seen working assiduously in the archives of the Town Hall: Backstitch helped him to rummage through files, to tie and untie and to clean of dust, since straw was not possible, the papers of the Municipality. Eight days that council erudition work lasted. Eight others went around registering deeds and copying matrices in the notarial protocols, thanks to the benevolent protection granted him by Mr. Litispendencia, notary public of the town. Later … Pespunte did not see Pedro Pastrana for fifteen days. He had shut himself up in his house-room, as Pespunte said, and there he spent two weeks without raising his head.
In the secretariat he was missed; but the mayor, who also professed profound respect for the plans and works of the secretary, did not understood, and supplied, as he could, the presence of Pastrana. Finally, one Sunday Pedro appeared in public in a frock coat, heard high mass, and went to the mayor’s house: he was going to ask him for a few days’ leave to go to the capital of the province. To what? Neither did the mayor ask, nor did Pespunte dare to try to guess it. Pastrana took a seat in the coupe of the diligence that passed through Villaconducho at four in the afternoon.
The result of that trip was as follows: a 160-page booklet in 4th major, letter 8, entitled Notes for the history of the privilege of salmon fishing in the Sele River, in the Pozos-obscuros of the Villaconducho Town Hall , which is currently enjoyed by the His Excellency the Marquis of Pozos-hondos (First part), by Don Pedro Pastrana Rodríguez, secretary of said Villaconducho City Council .
Yes; This was the name of the first literary work of that Pastrana who, as time went by, was to write them immortal, or a little less, no longer dealing with the finally trivial matter of salmon fishing, but others as interesting as that of Hunting and Hunting. ban , The concealment of territorial wealth , Sources or roots of this abuse , How these sources or roots can be blocked or removed .
But returning to the piscatorio booklet, we will say that it produced a revolution in Villaconducho, a revolution that had to transcend the inhabitants of Pozos-obscuros, we mean the salmon, who from then on decided to allow themselves to be caught with reason and reason, that is, as long as that he The privilege of Wells-hondos will be clear as the water of Wells-obscuros: founded on law. I was? Ah! This was the great question, which Pastrana was very careful to resolve in the first part of his work. In it, terrifying historical-legal doubts were raised about the legitimacy of that fat rent — the text said — that the house in Pozos-hondos enjoyed; in the section of the book entitled Supporting pieces, in which the author had cast the rest of his municipal scholarship, had accumulated powerful arguments for and against privilege; “Impartiality, said a note, compels us, as true historians and according to the well-known advice of Tacitus, to be bold enough not to keep silent about what should be said, but also not to say anything that is not proven. We suspend our trial for now; This is the historical exposition: in the second part, which will be the synthesis, we will finally say our opinion, stating clearly how we understand that this juridical-administrative-historical problem of the privilege of the Sele in Villaconducho , as old writers call it, should be resolved ” .
The Marquis of Pozos-hondos, who ate the salmon from the Sele in Madrid, in the company of a dancer from the Real, capable of swallowing the river, the more the salmon, turned into banknotes; the marquis had news of the brochure and the effect it was causing in his district (since in addition to salmon, he had voters in Villaconducho). First, the minister was entitled to demand justice; He wanted the secretary to be removed for daring to put into question a noble privilege of the most addicted of the ministerial deputies; and, in addition, he requested the seizure of the edition of the pamphlet, which he had not read, but which would contain direct or indirect attacks on the institutions.
The Minister wrote to the Governor, the Governor to the Mayor, and the Mayor called the Secretary at his home so that … he could write the letter with which he wanted to reply to the Governor, so that the latter could understand with the Minister. Eight days later, the Minister told the deputy: “My friend, you have seen things as they are not, and it is not possible to satisfy your wishes; The secretary is an excellent man, an excellent civil servant and an excellent ministerial; the brochure is not subversive, not even disrespectful of your salmon; Today you will receive it in the mail, and if you read it, you will be convinced of it. To govern is to compromise, and fishing is like governing; So, it would be best if you share the salmon with that secretary, who is willing to get along with you. As for removing him, there is no need to think about it;
This popularity thing was very true. The residents of Villaconducho saw with very bad eyes that all the salmon in the river fell into the devilish machines of the Marquis; But, as they say, no one dared to play the game. So when Don Pe’s brochure was read and commenteddro Pastrana and Rodríguez, his fame was unrivaled throughout the Council, and he especially acquired friends and sympathies among the exalted . The exalted were the doctor, the albéitar, Cosme, a graduate of the army; Ginés, the retired comedian, and several young men from the town, not all as busy as they should be.
Backstitch, who also had somewhat hot ideas (he called them that), told the Democrats, internally , that the boy was one of their own, and that he had an atrocious intention, and that he would say that, because for the occasions They are men, and “works are loves, and not good reasons”, and that behind the privilege would come other fatter ones, and, finally, that they leave the boy, that God would dawn and we would prosper. Pastrana let the ball roll; did not fade with his triumphs, and wanted nothing more than to take advantage ofof all that. If the exalted smiled and flattered him, he would not respond by kicking them, far from it, but he would not let go of a pledge either; and it was enough for him to maintain his benevolent inclination and officious curiosity, to pretend to be mysterious and reserved, and for this the great lord’s frock coat helped him not a little, which was now like never before. But alas! Despite Pespunte’s optimistic calculations, the water from the mill did not go there; the exalted and their favors were, in Pastrana’s plans, nothing more than bait, and the fish that was to swallow it was not around; it was to be known about him by mail.
And indeed, one morning the secretary received a letter, the envelope of which bore the seal of the ConCongress of the Deputies. It was a letter from the lord of privilege, it was what Pastrana had been waiting for since the first day that he had watched from Puentemayor the waters rush towards that pool where the shadows of the mountain and the chestnut grove obscured the surface of the Sele. The marquis capitulated and offered the active and learned chronicler of his manorial privileges his friendship and influence; It was necessary that in this country, where talent succumbs for lack of protection, the powerful should reach out to men of merit. As a result, the Marquis offered to pay all the publication expenses incurred by the second part of the “History of the Fishing Privilege”, and henceforth he hoped to have a private and political friend in whom he had treated the risky matter of their stately rights. Pastrana answered the Marquis with the finesse of the world, assuring him that he had always believed in the solid titles of his property over the salmon of Pozos-obscuros, which salmon wore in their golden livery, as the fish of the Mediterranean wear the bars of Aragon, the weapons of Deep-Wells, which are scales in a field of gold. In passing, he respectfully stated to Mr. Marqués that the large grove was very poorly managed, that all the neighbors made firewood in it, and that if it was to be avoided, it was necessary to do it so that the Administration would not find out about the lack of economic existence -civil-rentística del soto, an anonymous estate with regard to relations with the Treasury. The Marquis, who had sometimes heard in assuring him that he had always believed in the solid titles of his property over the salmon of Pozos-obscuros, which salmon wore in their golden livery, as the fish of the Mediterranean wear the bars of Aragon, the weapons of Pozos-hondos, which are scales. in field of gold. In passing, he respectfully stated to Mr. Marqués that the large grove was very poorly managed, that all the neighbors made firewood in it, and that if it was to be avoided, it was necessary to do it so that the Administration would not find out about the lack of economic existence -civil-rentística del soto, an anonymous estate with regard to relations with the Treasury. The Marquis, who had sometimes heard in assuring him that he had always believed in the solid titles of his property over the salmon of Pozos-obscuros, which salmon wore in their golden livery, as the fish of the Mediterranean wear the bars of Aragon, the weapons of Pozos-hondos, which are scales. in field of gold. In passing, he respectfully stated to Mr. Marqués that the large grove was very poorly managed, that all the neighbors made firewood in it, and that if it was to be avoided, it was necessary to do it so that the Administration would not find out about the lack of economic existence -civil-rentística del soto, an anonymous estate with regard to relations with the Treasury. The Marquis, who had sometimes heard in the weapons of Deep-Wells, which are scales in a field of gold. In passing, he respectfully stated to Mr. Marqués that the large grove was very poorly managed, that all the neighbors made firewood in it, and that if it was to be avoided, it was necessary to do it so that the Administration would not find out about the lack of economic existence -civil-rentística del soto, an anonymous estate with regard to relations with the Treasury. The Marquis, who had sometimes heard in the weapons of Deep-Wells, which are scales in a field of gold. In passing, he respectfully stated to Mr. Marqués that the large grove was very poorly managed, that all the neighbors made firewood in it, and that if it was to be avoided, it was necessary to do it so that the Administration would not find out about the lack of economic existence -civil-rentística del soto, an anonymous estate with regard to relations with the Treasury. The Marquis, who had sometimes heard in anonymous estate as regards relations with the Treasury. The Marquis, who had sometimes heard in anonymous estate as regards relations with the Treasury. The Marquis, who had sometimes heard in the Congress talking about this gibberish, it was clear that the secretary knew that the soto grande did not pay tax. New letter from the Marquis, new offers, a reply from Pastrana saying that he was a well as deep as Pozos-hondos itself, and that neither the grove nor other estates, which the Marquis possessed in no less anomalous situation, would he say a word that could compromise the sacred interests of such an ancient and privileged home. A few months later, the exalted were saying pests of Pastrana, whom the Marquis de Pozos-hondos made general administrator of his real estate and furniture in Villaconducho, although in the name of his lord father, because Pedro was not old enough to perform without hindrance of formalities legal fees so high.
And in this the Cortes were dissolved and new general elections were announced. By the way, when he read this news in the Gazette, Pastrana was picking pines in La Grandota, another farm that had no relations with the Treasury; useful thinnings, first of all, for the surviving pines, as the manager called them; secondly, for the Marquis, its owner, and lastly, for Pastrana, who from the culled pines he collected more than half morally in payment of taking care for the interests of the master that only a most diligent father of family. And since he voluntarily gave the slightest guilt, he did not want it to go to the smoke of straw. As soon as he read about the elections, he instinctively compared the votes with the pines, and he proposed, to a future perhaps not too distant, to select voters in that electoral pasture of Villaconducho. Pespunte, which had been resealed as Pastrana, because for fans like the tailor, unconditional, ideas are less than idols, Pespunte could not imagine where Don Pedro’s ambitious projects would lead. The only thing that he knew, because this was a matter of a few days, and public and notorious, that the mayor would not hold those elections, because he would be dismissed first. As it was indeed. The elections were made by the administrator of the most excellent Mr. Marquis de Pozos-hondos, president of the Villaconducho City Council, commander of the Order of Carlos III, Mr. Pedro Pastrana y Rodríguez. One day before the general scrutiny, the second part of the “Notes for the history of privilege” was published; In it it was finally demonstrated that already in the time of King Don Pelayo, his next relatives, the Marquises de Pozos-hondos, were in charge of supplying the necessary fish to all the armies of the King of the Reconquista during Lent. The next day the nets were collected and the electoral jug emptied, all under the auspices of Pastrana; The Marquis had never had such a harvest of votes and salmon.
It is necessary, for the regular process of this true story, that the reader, in the wings of his fiery fantasy, accelerates the course of the years and leaves behind many. While the reader jumps through time, Pastrana, by his counted steps, goes through a multitude of public functions, some paid and others not, merely honorary. After the elections, it turned out that the Marquis de Pozos-hondos was five times more popular in Villaconducho than his enemy, the opposition candidate. As a result of this popularity of the Marquis, Pastrana had to be made administrator of National Assets. He was also filed for bribery and was prosecuted in justice for I do not know what minute formalities of the electoral law; The Marquis would well have wanted to leave his administrator of votes, salmon, and hacienda in the lurch; but Don Pedro Pastrana made the magnate understand perfectly the solidarity of his interests, and he emerged free and without costs from all those nets with which the law wanted to catch him. Pastrana did not forgive the Marquis for the little zeal he had shown to save him.
The following year, when there were new elections for Constituents no less, the opposition candidate was five times more popular than the Marquis. It is good to note that the opposition candidateIt was no longer one of opposition, because theirs had triumphed. The Marquis was left without a district; And since the time of the monopoly was over (according to what Pespunte said, that he had thrown himself into the river to destroy the salmon fishing machines with the ax), as there were no more classes, the people were able to fish in a troubled river, and that year the dancer del Marqués did not eat salmon. Another year passed, there were new elections, because I don’t know who dissolved the courts, but, in short, one of the troops, and then neither the Marquis nor his enemy were deputies, but Don Pedro Pastrana himself, who, once channeled the revolution … and channeled the river, took the reins of the government of Villaconducho, and in the name of freedom well understood, and to avoid meek anarchy of which the district and the salmon were being victims, the privilege of fishing and the high and deserved honor of representing the Villaconduchanos before the new Parliament was attributed.
And this was where I wanted to see him.
The Correspondence has the floor :
“Mr. Pedro Pastrana Rodríguez, an addicted deputy for the Villaconducho district, has arrived in Madrid, the winner of the Marquis de Pozos-hondos in a determined electoral battle.”
A few days pass; The word The Correspondence once again :
“It is very remarkable, under many concepts, and highly praised by competent people, the recently published work on The reckoning and inveterate abuses of the concealment of territorial wealth , by the addicted deputy Mr. Pedro Pastrana Rodríguez.”
“The renowned financial publicist Mr. Pedro Pastrana Rodríguez, a deputy addicted by Villaconducho, has been appointed from the *** committee.”
“It is not true that the enlightened individual from the commission, Mr. Pastrana Rodríguez, has presented a private vote on the famous tobacco issue of the Vuelta del Medio.”
“Whatever the malicious say, it is not true that the illustrious writer, Mr. Pastrana, has acquired ownership of the Aliquid chupatur brand , with which the accredited cigars of Vuelta del Medio are distinguished. Mr. Pastrana is not the new owner, but his countryman and friend, the mayor of Villaconducho, Mr. Pespunte. ”
“The bill for the railway from Villaconducho to Los Tuétanos, mountains of the province of ***, very rich in silver ore, has been approved; which Tuétanos will be exploited on a large scale by a great Company, of whose Board of Directors it is not certain that the individual of the Commission is president to whose influence it is said that the concession of said railway is due. ”
“The trip of the Head of State to the province of *** seems to have been decided. He will attend the inauguration of the Los Tuétanos railway, staying at the fifth royal that Mr. Pastrana owns in that picturesque region. ”
“You cannot imagine to what degree the steely patriotism and exquisite kindness that distinguish the great landowner, of whom His Majesty was a guest, our friend and countryman, Mr. Marqués de Pozos-Darcos, president, as our readers know, of the Commission. in charge of managing an important business in the capitals of Europe. ”
“The Marquis de Pozos-Dargos has been appointed chairman of the Commission that is to present a report on the famous tobacco business of Vuelta del Medio, on his return from his trip to foreign courts.”
“To the satisfaction of the parliamentary system and its prestige, yesterday afternoon’s session ended the noisy incident that had arisen between the Marquis de Pozos-Oscos and Mr. Pespunte, deputy for the Vuelta del Medio. Mr. Backstitch, in the heat of the discussion, and somewhat angry at the qualification of ungratefuladdressed to him by the President of the Commission, uttered words that were not very parliamentary, such as’ dirty clothes’, ‘pig hands’,’ troubled river ‘,’ skinny panties’, ‘smoking the island’, ‘black snack’, ‘ imprisoned loose ‘,’ cook and friar ‘,’ big fish ‘, and others no less rude. The worthy deputy of the island had to withdraw them due to the energetic attitude of the Marquis de Pozos-hondos, Minister of Finance, who declared that the honor of the Marquis de Pozos-Oscos was very high. so that certain accusations could stain her We would be glad, due to the prestige of the parliamentary system, that scenes of this nature, so frequent in other Parliaments, but not in ours, a model of temperance, were not repeated ”.
So far The Correspondence .
Now a letter from the prosecution: “I warn you, for the consequent effects, that the first number of the newspaper El Puerto de Arrebata-layers has been denounced by this prosecutor’s office , for its editorial article, which is entitled ‘Neighbors, thieves!’ which begins with the words ‘Dark wells, and very dark’, and ends with the words ‘to jail from Congress’. “