Why am I such a poor speller

Charles de Coster
Uilenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak
Charles de Coster

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One day the girl came in tears and said to Lamme and Uilenspiegel:

“Spelle lets the murderers and thieves get away in Meulestede for money. He sends the innocent to death. Among them is my brother Michielken. Oh, let me tell you: if you are men, you will avenge him. A mean and shameless goat, Pieter de Roose, a habitual molester of children and girls, has everything on his conscience. Oh! My poor brother Michielken and Pieter de Roose met one evening, not at the same table, but in the same pub, in the Falken, where everybody avoided Pieter de Roose like the plague. My brother, who did not want to be in the same room with him, called him an unnatural lecher and ordered him to get out of the room. Pieter de Roose replied: 'The brother of a common prostitute is not allowed to sit on a high horse.' He lied; because I am not mean, I only give myself to whoever I like. Now Michielken has thrown his beer can at his nose and explained to him that he had lied for the stinking goat he was and threatened that he would let him swallow his fist up to his elbow if he did not get out of the dust immediately make. The other did not want to be quiet, but Michielken did as he said: he gave him two good blows in the jaw and pulled him by the teeth, with which he bit, into the street; there he left it mercilessly in the blood.

When Pieter de Roose was cured, because he did not want to live alone, he went to the Vagevier, a veritable purgatory and miserable tavern, where no one else can go but poor people. There, too, he was left alone, even all the rags. And nobody spoke to him, at most a few peasants who did not know him and a number of crooks and runaway soldiers. Even there he was beaten several times for being a nag.

When Profoss Spelle came to Meulestede with two henchmen, Pieter de Roose approached them like a dog and paid them wine and meat and many other pleasures that one buys for money. So he has become her companion and comrade and now took all his wickedness to the aid to destroy those whom he hated: and they were all the inhabitants of Meulestede, but especially my poor brother.

He started with Michielken. False witnesses, greedy gallows, have declared that Michielken was a heretic, that he had made shameful speeches about Our Lady in the pub to the falcon and that he sometimes blasphemed the name of God and the saints and that he was also keeping a good three hundred guilders in a chest.

Irrespective of the fact that the witnesses were by no means of an impeccable way of life, Michielken was seized; Spelle and his captors found the grounds for suspicion to be sufficient to subject the accused to torture. Michielken was hung by his arms from a clamp in the ceiling, and a weight of fifty pounds was attached to each foot. He denied everything and said that if there was a villain, sodomite, blasphemer and libertine in Meulestede, it was Pieter de Roose and not him. But Spelle did not want to hear anything and ordered his captors to pull Michielken up to the ceiling and let him fall down with force, including the weights on his feet. They did it and so cruelly that the skin and muscles of his ankles tore and his feet barely clung to his legs. Michielken stuck to his assertion that he was innocent; Spelle had him tortured again, but gave him to understand that he would let him go free and single if he paid him a hundred guilders. Michielken said he'd rather die.

When the von Meulestede heard of the arrest and the torture, they offered the heap of testimony that all innocent residents of a community file. They unanimously said that Michielken was in no way a heretic and went to the Lord's table every Sunday for mass and at the great festivals, that he had never put Our Lady's name in his mouth except to ask her help in difficult circumstances, and it is quite impossible that he ever spoke nastily about the heavenly Mother of God when he had not even done such a thing about an earthly woman; As for the blasphemy which the false witnesses in the falcon claimed to have heard, it was all wrong and a lie.

Michielken was released, the false witnesses were punished, and Spelle took Pieter de Roose to court; but for a hundred guilders, which were immediately paid to him, he released him without interrogation or torture.

Pieter de Roose fled Meulestede for fear that the money he had left could draw Spelle's attention to him again, while Michielken, my poor brother, died of the fire that had struck his feet.

He, who had no longer wanted to see me, called me before his death to tell me to watch out for the fire of my body, which would lead me into the fire of hell. And all I could do was cry; because the fire is in me. And he breathed his soul out in my arms.

Oh, the one who avenged the death of my dear, sweet Michielken on Spelle, he would be my master for eternity, and I obeyed him like a bitch! "

As she spoke, Klaasen's ashes struck Uilenspiegel's chest. And he decided that Spelle, the murderer, must hang.

Boelkin - that was the girl's name - returned to Meulestede, where she now felt safe in her little house from Pieters de Roose's revenge; for an ox driver who had come through Destelbergen had told her that the pastor and the citizens had declared that they would bring Spelle to the Duke if he touched Michielken's sister. Uilenspiegel, who had followed her to Meulestede, went into a low room in Michielken's house. There he saw the portrait of a pastry maker; but he assumed it was the dead man's. And Boelkin said to him: "This is my brother."

Uilenspiegel took the portrait and said as he walked away: "Spelle will be hanged!"

"How are you going to do that?" She said. "If you knew," he said, "you would have no pleasure in seeing it happen." Boelkin shook his head and said in a sad voice: "You don't trust me."

“Doesn't that mean to you,” he said, “to show extraordinary confidence when I tell you: 'Spelle is going to be hanged!' With just one word you can bring me to the gallows, in front of him. "

"That is true," said she. “So go,” said Uilenspiegel, “and get me good manners, a double pot of brown beer, clear water and a couple of cuts of beef. But don't mess it up. The meat is for me, the brown beer for the meat, the water for the clay and the clay for the likeness. "

Uilenspiegel kneaded the clay while eating and drinking; several times he swallowed a bit of it, but he ignored it and looked at Michielken's picture with constant attention. When the clay was kneaded, he made a mask out of it, the nose, mouth, eyes and ears of which were so similar to the likeness of the dead man that Boelkin was amazed. Then he put the mask in the oven. When it was dry, he painted it with the paint of the corpses; he put an uncanny look in his eyes and the various twitches of a dying person on his painful face. The girl was no longer astonished, but looked at the mask without being able to look at it, turned discolored and pale, covered her face and said with a shudder: "It's him, my poor Michielken!" And he also made two bloody feet.

When she had overcome the initial shock, she said: "Good luck to the one who murders the murderer."

Uilenspiegel took the mask and his feet and said: “I need a helper.” Boelkin replied: “Go to the Blauwe Gans to Joost Lansaem von Ypres, who runs the inn. He was my brother's best comrade and friend. Tell him that Boelkin has sent you. "

Uilenspiegel did what she told him to do.

When Profoss Spelle had done enough death labor, he went to the Valk to drink hot Dobbelen Klauwaart, seasoned with cinnamon and Madeira sugar. They dared not refuse him anything in this inn for fear of the rope. Pieter de Roose, who had regained his courage, had returned to Meulestede. Everywhere he followed Spelle and his captors to be protected by them. Sometimes Spelle paid for a drink. And merrily they drowned the victims' money together.

The Falken Inn was no longer as crowded as it was in the fine days when the little village, serving God well as Catholics, had lived happily and no one had yet been persecuted for religion's sake. Now it was as if in grief with the numerous empty or locked houses in the deserted streets, where only a number of skinny dogs prowled around looking for their rotten food in the dung.

There was no more room in Meulestede for anyone than for the two villains. The timid inhabitants of the village saw them defiantly walking through the streets during the day to mark the houses of the future victims and to make lists of the dead; and in the evening they saw her returning home from the hawk, singing dirty songs, while two drunken captors like her, armed to the teeth, followed them as a guard.

Uilenspiegel went to the Blauwe Gans to see Joost Lansaem, who was standing at his bar. Uilenspiegel took a bottle of brandy out of his pocket and said to him: "Boelkin has two barrels for sale."

"Come to my kitchen," said the baas. There he closed the door and looked at him carefully: “You are not a liquor dealer; what does your wink mean? Who are you?"

Uilenspiegel replied: “I am the son of Klaas, who was burned in Damme; the ashes of the dead strike my breast: I want to kill Spelle, the murderer. "

"Is it Boelkin who sent you?" Asked the landlord. "Boelkin sent me," replied Uilenspiegel. “I will kill Spelle; you will help me. "

"I want it," said the baas; “What does it mean to do?” Uilenspiegel replied: “You are going to the pastor, to the good shepherd, Spelle's enemy. You gather your friends and go with them tomorrow after the celebration bell in Evergemische Strasse, past Spelle's house, and stand with them between the falcon and the house. You will all keep yourselves in the shade and not wear light clothing. At ten o'clock you will see how Spelle leaves the inn and how a cart comes from the other side. Don't notify your friends tonight; they sleep too close to their wives ear. Don't go see her until tomorrow. Come on, listen to everything and keep it in your mind. "

"We'll keep everything," said Joost. And he raised his mug: "I'll drink to the rope for Spelle."

"On the rope," said Uilenspiegel. Then he stepped back with the baas into the tavern, where some Ghent junk dealers who had returned from the Saturday market in Bruges are drinking; There they had sold gold-embroidered coats and vests for heavy money, which they had bought for a few groschen from chopped noblemen who had tried to imitate the Spaniards with their efforts. And now they feasted and humbled because of the good business.

Uilenspiegel and Joost Lansaem were sitting in a corner drinking; Without being heard, they discussed that Joost should first go to the pastor, to the good shepherd, who was angry with Spelle, the murderer of the innocent; only then should he see his friends.

The next day Joost Lansaem and the friends of Michielkens whom he had informed left the Blauwe Gans at the sound of the celebration bell, where, as usual and in order not to arouse suspicion, they had scooped. they took different routes and came to Evermix Street. They were seventeen of her.

At ten o'clock Spelle left the falcon, behind him his two captors and Pieter de Roose. Lansaem and his people were hidden in the barn of Samson Boone, a friend of Michielken. The gate of the barn was open. Spelle did not see her. They heard him pass, wiggling from the drink, as did Pieter de Roose and his two captors; and he said in a doughy voice that was often interrupted by belches: "Profoss, Profosse! Your life is beautiful in this world! Support me, you gallows birds who live on my garbage. "

Suddenly on the road from the side of the open field one heard the roar of a donkey and the clap of a whip. "Aha," said Spelle, "an unruly gray who refuses to move forward despite this pretty encouragement."

Suddenly there was a loud creak of wheels and the cracks of a cart coming down the street. "Stop him!" Shouted Spelle.

When the cart passed them, Spelle and his two captors threw themselves into the reins of the donkey. "The cart is empty," said one of the hunters. “Fool,” said Spelle, “since when have the empty carts been running around in the night, all alone? In the cart there is one who is hiding; light the lanterns, lift them, I will see. 'The lanterns were lit and Spelle climbed onto the cart, his in hand; but scarcely had he looked inside when he uttered a mighty scream and knocked backwards: “Michielken! Michielken! Jesus, have mercy on me! "

Now a man got up in the cart, clad in white like the pastry bakers, with bloody feet in both hands.

When Pieter de Roose saw the man rise, lit by the lanterns, he shouted, as did the two captors: “Michielken! Michielken, the deceased! Lord, have mercy on us! "

At the din the seventeen came over to watch the spectacle; and they were horrified to see by the moonlight how similar the picture of Michielken, the poor dead man, was. And the ghost moved its bloody feet. It was all his full and round face, only deathly pale, threatening, turned blue and eaten away by worms under his chin. And the ghost, which kept moving its bloody feet, said to Spelle, who lay on his back whimpering: "Spelle, Profoß Spelle, get up!" But Spelle did not move.

"Spelle," said the ghost again, "Profoß Spelle, get up, or you'll have to go down with me into the yawning mouth of hell."

Spelle got up and screamed, her hair bristling with fear: “Michielken, Michielken! Have mercy! "

The citizens had come closer, but Spelle saw nothing but the lanterns, which seemed to be the eyes of devils. So he later confessed.

"Spelle," said Michielken's ghost, "are you prepared for death?"

"No," replied Profoss, "no, Herr Michielken, I am not prepared and do not want to appear before God with my sin-black soul."

"Do you recognize me?" Said the ghost.

"God have mercy on me," answered Spelle; "Yes, I recognize you: you are the ghost of Michielken, the pastry-maker who died innocently in his bed as a result of the torture, and the two bloody feet are those on each of which I left a weight of fifty pounds hanging . Ha, Michielken, forgive me, this Pieter de Roose was the seducer; he offered me fifty guilders to put your name in the register, and I took it. "

"You want to go to confession?" Said the ghost.

“Yes, Lord, I will confess, say everything, and repent. But have the grace, remove these devils that want to devour me. I want to say everything. Take away those eyes of fire! I did the same thing in Tournai with five citizens; also in Bruges with four. I don't remember their names, but I'll tell you if you ask. I have sinned elsewhere too, Lord, and it is my work that sixty-nine innocents lie in the pit. Michielken, the king's money was broken. They let me know, but it broke me too. It's in Ghent, in the cellar, under the tiles, with old Grovels, my right mother. I have said everything, everything, grace and mercy! Take away the devils! Lord God, Virgin Mary, Jesus, speak for me; removes the hellfires: I want to sell everything and give everything to the poor and repent. "

When Uilenspiegel saw that the crowd of citizens was ready to stand by him, he jumped down from the car, Spelle by the throat, and tried to strangle him. But the pastor added: 'Let him live; it is better that he should die by the hangman's rope than under the fingers of a ghost. "

"What do you want to do with him?" Asked Uilenspiegel."Accuse him before the duke and have him hanged," answered the pastor. "But who are you?"

"I am," replied Uilenspiegel, "Michielken's mask and play the poor Flemish fox who retreats into his den before the Spanish hunters." In the meantime, Pieter de Roose had fled headlong.

And Spelle was hanged; his estate was confiscated.

And the king inherited.

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