It's Thursday morning and that means it's time for another dose of Monkly insanity!
When we last left the actual monk two weeks ago, he had succumbed to the charms of Matilda. It turns out that she isn't quite cured from snake venom though, and she has to go perform some secret rites down in the crypt that is shared with the nunnery, which for some reason Ambrosio isn't all that worried about. He doesn't think "Gee, secret rites down in the crypt sounds kind of skeevy, maybe that could be a problem?" He does get quite scared--he's worried enough, waiting in the dark on his own, that the sound of somebody crawling around and begging for mercy is only scary and then forgotten. (Who could it be?? It's obviously poor Agnes, left to starve in an oubliette crypt.) Even Matilda doesn't think much of her chicken-livered boyfriend.
Now they can embark on a life of secret lust! Ambrosio is kind of worried about getting caught, but otherwise, as long as he can have a secret girlfriend in the abbey, he's pretty happy. He simply redoubles his public piety and figures he has plenty of time to repent.
He is happy for a week.
Less than a week, actually! It takes Ambrosio less than a week to get tired of Matilda's charms! Pretty soon he's avoiding her and checking out every other lady that comes along. And who should come along for a visit but innocent little Antonia, asking him to pray for her sick mother!
Antonia is awfully pretty, and for a moment Ambrosio feels respect and tenderness toward her because she's so innocent and modest, but before the day is out he's decided a) to break his vow and sneak out of the abbey to visit her, b) that he just has to get Antonia into his clutches. So he starts visiting Elvira every day so he can talk with Antonia and convince her to sleep with him. Antonia is too naive to understand what he's after, but Elvira figures it out and sets him up to get caught manhandling the girl (which seems pretty tough on Antonia!) so she can tell him to hit the road.
Foiled, Ambrosio boils with rage. He's angry enough to listen to Matilda when she explains that she knows how to summon demons and has been spying on him this whole time, so she knows what he wants and is willing to help him get it. Together they conjure up Lucifer himself, who agrees to give Ambrosio the means to sneak into Antonia's bedroom.
I like how Matilda helps him out, and then makes sure to tell Ambrosio that he's too weak and cowardly to summon demons himself.
This was a really short section. Plenty happened, though. Poor Antonia is going to suffer. Agnes is suffering. Even Matilda doesn't get to keep her boyfriend. Being a girl in this novel kind of stinks.