The Spell

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The Spell. Emilia Pardo Bazán

The thinker heard it ringing slowly, falling from the tall English clock crowned by bronze statuettes, twelve o’clock at night on the last day of the year. After each chime, the sound, dry case of the watch was vibrating as if it shuddered with mysterious terror.
The thinker rose from his old leather armchair, burnished by the rubbing of his backs and arms during luengas studious and solitary days, and, as one who adopts definitive resolution, approached the burning fireplace. Either then or never was the favorable occasion for the spell.
He took from a panoply a sword that kept in the groove the rust produced by the blood once drunk in quarrels and battles, and with it he described, in front of the fireplace and moving far enough away from it, a pantaclo, in which it was even. Sparks of fire gushed from the tip of the tizona, and the surface of the floor appeared as charred where the magic fence was inscribed, around the daring who dared to practice the rite of witchcraft, already forgotten almost. As he drew the circle, he muttered the Kabbalistic words.
A tall and gloomy figure seemed to emerge from the fireplace, and was advancing towards the summoner, without noise of footsteps, with the mute advance of the shadows.
The vast, floating, smoke-colored layer in which the figure was coated; The dark, immense hat, whose brim descended to the embozo, did not allow to see the face of the apparition. And the thinker could not approach him. A charm held him within the circle; He would only be freed if he recited the incantation backwards and marked the pantaclo in reverse. But he lacked courage: he felt his veins curling before the silent figure, who perhaps had no body; that perhaps it was a perverse illusion of the senses, a psychic fog.
“Satan, Luzbel, Ashtaroth, Belial, Belphegor, Beelzebub?” He articulated anxiously, questioning. Which of the noble princes of the Abyss honors me by coming to my invocation?
The specter gently unraveled. He had no face. Instead of countenance the thinker saw a kind of changing stain, report. The voice came from the hollow of the chest, as if from a devastated cavern.

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