py in being able to pass her days in that village, in the bosom of peace and friendship, had resolved to bid an eternal adieu to love, when the old alcaid, her master, fell dangerously ill. Marcello attended his last moments with all the affection of a son, and the good old man behaved to him like a grateful father: he died and left all he possessed to the faithful Marcello. But his will was far from being a consolation to his heir.
The whole village lamented the alcaid, and, after his funeral rites were celebrated, the inhabitants assembled to choose a successor. In Spain certain villages have the right of nominating their own alcaid, whose office it is to decide their differences, and take cognizance of greater crimes by arresting and examining the offenders, and delivering them over to the superior judges, who generally confirm the sentence of those rustic magistrates; for good laws are always perfectly consonant to simple reason.
The assembled villagers unanimously agreed, that no one could
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