Author: Alain-René Lesage
First published: Le Diable boiteux, 1707; revised 1720, 1726 (English translation, 1708)
Time: Early eighteenth century
Don Cleophas Leandro Perez Zambullo (KLEH-oh-fahs leh-AHN-droh PEH-rehs sahm-BEW-yoh), a student. At the home of his inamorata, Donna Thomasa, he finds himself worsted in a fight with hired ruffians. He flees to the rooftops and enters a garret, where he finds the demon Asmodeus and frees him from a bottle in which he is imprisoned. In return for this favor, the demon takes Don Cleophas on a flight over Madrid, during which he gives the student glimpses into the varied life of the city. He provides explanations of the sights they see, wreaks vengeance for Don Cleophas on the treacherous Donna Thomasa, rescues the beautiful Donna Seraphina from imminent death, and bequeathes her to the young man as a bride.
Asmodeus (ahs-moh-DEH-uhs), the Devil on Two Sticks, the friend of hapless lovers. Imprisoned in a bottle by a magician, he is freed from his captivity by Don Cleophas Leandro Perez Zambullo, whom he takes on a flying trip over Madrid.
Donna Thomasa (toh-MAH-sah), Don Cleophas' treacherous inamorata.
Donna Seraphina (seh-rah-FEE-nah), a beautiful lady rescued from a fire by Asmodeus disguised as Don Cleophas Leandro Perez Zambullo, whom she later marries.
Don Pedro de Escolano (PEH-droh deh ehs-koh-LAH-noh), Donna Seraphina's father.
The Count de Belflor (BEHL-flohr), a court gallant, Leonora de Cespedes (leh-oh-NOHR-ah deh SEHS-pehdehs), loved by the Count de Belflor, Marcella (mahrSEH-yah), Leonora de Cespedes' treacherous duenna, Don Luis de Cespedes (lew-EES), Leonora's father, Don Pedro, Leonora's brother, in love with Donna Eugenia, and Donna Eugenia (eh-ew-HEH-nee-ah), the Count de Belflor's sister, characters in a story told to Don Cleophas Leandro Perez Zambullo by Asmodeus as they watch a wedding festival through a window.
Don Juan de Zarata (hwahn deh sahr-AH-tah) and Don Fabricio de Mendoza (fah-BREE-see-oh deh mehn-DOHsah), devoted friends in love with Donna Theodora de Cifuentes, Don Alvaro Ponza (AHL-vah-roh POHN-sah), the rejected suitor of Donna Theodora de Cifuentes, Donna Theodora de Cifuentes (teh-oh-DOH-rah deh sihFWEHN-tehs), a beautiful widow in love with Don Juan de Zarata, and The Dey of Algiers, characters in a story of true friendship and love told by Asmodeus.