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Title: The Spanish Cavalier - A Story of Seville
Author: A. L. O. E., 1821-1893
Language: English
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Page 21.]



By A. L. O. E.


Page 26.]

T. Nelson and Sons




A Story of Seville


A. L. O. E.,

_Author of "Rescued from Egypt," "The Lady of Provence," "Hebrew
Heroes," &c._






I. THE COUNTING-HOUSE              7


III. FADED SPLENDOUR              26


V. ANNOUNCEMENTS                  43




IX. THE BRIEF FAREWELL            78

X. STRUCK DOWN                    83

XI. FAILURE                       93


XIII. NEW LIFE                   108


XV. CONFESSION                   122

XVI. A MIRAGE                    132

XVII. ARRESTED                   147

XVIII. TURNED AWAY               155

XIX. WANDERING ALONE             161


XXI. TWO ANGELS                  181

XXII. STRANGE COMPANY            185


XXIV. A FRIEND                   201

XXV. WARNINGS                    212



XXVIII. WANDERINGS               239

XXIX. THE EARTHQUAKE             247

XXX. PURSUED                     253

XXXI. VENGEANCE                  262

XXXII. A LAST FAREWELL           270

XXXIII. A TREASURE               275

XXXIV. GLAD TIDINGS              284


List of Illustrations.

THE CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE,            _Frontispiece_


THE ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE,             _Facing Page_ 20


BEFORE AND AFTER THE FIGHT,             "         66

THE ENTRANCE TO THE PRISON,             "        184

A STREET IN SEVILLE,                    "        212

INTERIOR OF A SPANISH POSADA,           "        220




"He has not made his appearance in the office to-day!" exclaimed Mr.
Passmore, the working partner in an ironware manufactory in Seville.
"If this Señor Don Alcala de Aguilera think it beneath his dignity to
keep faith with his employer, and stick to his business, I'll find
some one else who will. The high and mighty caballero may smoke his
cigar, or take his siesta, like the rest of his lazy nation; I'll not
disturb him, though his nap should last till the Moors come again!"
Mr. Passmore rubbed his heated face with his spotted handkerchief as
he concluded his speech, for the fiery sun of Andalusia had not yet
sunk, and the small office-room attached to his manufactory glowed
like one of his own furnaces.

"De Aguilera may have been kept away by illness, sir," suggested
Lucius Lepine, a young English clerk in the employ of the
manufacturer. "He appeared to be far from well yesterday, when
translating the letters from Madrid."

"And a pretty hash he made of the business," exclaimed Mr. Passmore in
a tone of irritation, yet unable to refrain from laughing. "The don's
thoughts must have been wandering to the Plaza de Toros,[1] or he
would scarcely have made out that Tasco and Co. sent our firm an order
for twenty dozen bulls instead of knife-blades."

"De Aguilera is not wont to make such blunders," said Lucius, who had
sympathy for his fellow-clerk, partly arising from a belief that their
circumstances were somewhat the same--that the proud Spaniard had
been, like himself, driven by necessity to work under one who, by
birth and education, belonged to a sphere much lower than their own.
"I thought," continued Lepine, "that De Aguilera looked very ill."

"Ill! yes, he always looks ill--as if he fed, or rather starved, on
chestnuts and raisins," interrupted Mr. Passmore, "and had never
tasted a slice of good roast beef in the course of his life! I guess
there's many a one of the whining beggars that beset one in the Calle
de los Sierpes, that fares better than the caballero Don Aguilera. And
yet, forsooth, the señor must keep his horse (a lean one, to be sure),
and carry himself with a lofty air, as if he were, at the least,
Secretary of State to Queen Isabella! I do believe that his worthiness
never made his appearance to-day, because I offended his dignity
yesterday by calling him simply 'Aguilera,' without all the fine
additions to a name already too long, which Spaniards wear as their
mules do tassels and fringes, I suppose, to make one forget the length
of their ears!" Mr. Passmore rubbed his hands in evident enjoyment of
his own joke, and laughed his peculiar, explosive laugh, which
reminded his hearers of the snort of a hippopotamus rapidly repeated.
Lucius was not inclined to appreciate or join in his mirth.

"By-the-by, Lepine," said the manufacturer abruptly, "would you like
to go to the bull-fight to-morrow? for if so, I'll treat you to a
seat, as I'm going myself. As these affairs always come off on a
Sunday, there will be no business time lost."

Had the offer been an acceptable one, the coarse air of patronage with
which it was made would have prevented the young Englishman from
feeling grateful for an invitation so proffered. But Lepine's views of
keeping the day of rest were by no means in harmony with the
sickening horrors of the Plaza de Toros, and he rather coldly replied,
"I thank you; but I have no wish to witness a bull-fight."

"Nor I, nor I; but just for once in a way, one must do at Rome as the
Romans do," observed Mr. Passmore, as he fastened the clasp of the
large ledger-book in which he had been making some entries at the end
of the week. "Barbarous spectacle it is, disgraceful to any civilized
people, but quite in harmony with Spanish character. A century or two
ago," (Mr. Passmore was less accurate in his chronology than in his
accounts,) "these people had their autos-da-fé,[2] in 1868 they must
have their bull-fights; fire or blood, fire or blood, the only means
of rousing them up from their lazy lethargy, and keeping them wide
awake for a couple of hours!" Peter Passmore, himself a sharp trader
and active man of business, regarded idleness as one of the greatest
of sins.

"Bull-fighting causes a waste of human life," began Lucius; but his
employer cut him short.

"I don't think much of that," observed Passmore. "If a fellow choose
to run the chance of getting a horn between his ribs, I'd let him have
his fancy; if he's killed, there's but one fool less in the world.
Ho, ho, ho! But it's a disgraceful waste of horse-flesh. Not but that
the Spaniards, to do them justice, manage the thing in an economical
way. They send blindfold into the circus poor brutes only fit to be
made into dogs' meat, and the bull does the job of the knacker, that's

An expression of disgust crossed the frank features of Lucius Lepine.
He was impatient to leave the counting-house; but as to him belonged
the duty of shutting up the place, he was unable to quit it till his
employer should please to depart. Mr. Passmore was in a conversational
mood; and while his short, thick fingers slowly tied up some bundles
of papers, he went on talking, regardless either of the oppressive
heat of the room or the impatient looks of his hearer.

"Spain will never be much of a country," said Passmore, "until her
people learn to do their own business, manufacture their own wares,
lay down their own lines, instead of making over everything that is
useful to strangers. The dons leave others to cut up their meat for
them, and think it condescension enough if they open their mouths to
eat it! Ho, ho, ho! Idleness is the bane of this land."

"And superstition," added Lucius Lepine.

"Ay, superstition, as you justly observe. The country is eaten up by a
swarm of lazy monks and friars, who tell their beads instead of
tilling their ground, and who make every other day a saint's day, to
give the laity an excuse for being as idle as they are. If I'd the
rule here," continued Mr. Passmore, "I'd make a clean sweep of them
all; turn the convents into parish unions, and clap into them all the
beggars. What Spain wants to make it a fine land, as fine a country as
any in Europe, is a better government, a more vigilant police, brisker
trade, and--"

As the manufacturer paused, as if at a loss for words with which to
wind up his oration, Lucius suggested--"a purer religion."

"Ah, there's one of your Exeter Hall notions," cried Peter Passmore,
tossing down on the table the packet which he had just fastened up
with a bit of red tape; "you young hot-brains are always ready to air
your romantic ideas on subjects which you don't understand." Let it be
observed, in passing, that young Lepine seldom uttered a dozen
consecutive words on any subject whatever in the presence of his
employer; but the manufacturer, probably from liking to monopolize the
talking, was wont to accuse of loquacity every one with whom he
conversed. "But hark'ee, young man," continued the principal of the
firm, in a tone rather more dictatorial than usual, "I'd advise you,
whilst you remain in Seville, to lock up your fanatical notions as
tight as you would your cash-box. The Plaza is not Piccadilly, nor
Isabella our good Queen Victoria. The Inquisition may not be actually
catching and squeezing victims to death, as in the old times; but, as
Joe Millar would say, 'The snake is scotched, not killed.' The
priests, lazy as they are, will be sharp enough, in both senses of the
word, if any one meddle with their profits. Don't you be playing the
Don Quixote against what you are pleased to call superstition. It is
not only in the Plaza de Toros that a fool may wave a red rag, go full
tilt against an enemy too hard for him, and find himself caught on the
horns of a dilemma. You may get yourself into grief," continued the
oracular Passmore; "and I've no mind to spend time or money in fishing
my clerk out of prison, if he manage to stumble into one unawares.
That's no part of the bargain between us; so I give you fair warning,
my lad." Taking up his hat as he ended his oration, Peter Passmore
quitted the place.

Lepine saw the stout figure of his employer disappear through the
doorway, and gave a sigh of relief. It was during conversations like
the preceding that the young English gentleman most keenly realized
the trials of his position. He was isolated from his family and
friends in a foreign land, and forced to endure the companionship of a
low-minded man, who regarded money-making as the great aim and end of
existence. Lucius was obliged to listen with a decent appearance of
respect to the advice which Passmore proffered with an assumption of
superior wisdom, which was in itself offensive. It was somewhat hard
for a youth, who had been one of the cleverest scholars at Rugby, to
receive instruction on all kinds of subjects from a man who had never
construed a line in Horace or opened a page of Cæsar.

"But what could the eldest of a family of nine do, without money,
without interest, but take advantage of the first opening that
presented itself to him?" mused Lepine, as, able to leave the
office-room at last, he locked the heavy door behind him, and went
forth into the street. "I knew that to accept the clerkship was like
plunging into a river in December, and that he who would make his way
thus must throw off, as a swimmer does his clothes, all consideration
of personal inclination and family pride before making the plunge. But
what matters it!"--thus flowed on the current of thought--"I am
thankful to have the means of swimming, thankful to be no drag on a
widowed mother--nay, to be able already to hold out a helping hand to
the young ones. Anything is better than standing idly on the brink of
the icy stream, waiting till some boat should chance to appear and
ferry me across. The struggle is strengthening, the cold is bracing,
and the feeling of independence is worth all that I have given up for
awhile. Yes, my northern constitution may bear it; but the strain
comes much harder, I fear, on poor Alcala de Aguilera. He has
doubtless been brought up from childhood to regard labour as
degradation, and clerk-work under a despised foreigner as but a degree
better than the galleys. He has not the buoyancy of spirit with which
I am blessed, and the cold which is bracing to an Englishman may bring
deadly chill to a Spaniard. I must find out De Aguilera's house, and
ascertain the cause of his absence to-day. Though there may be no
foundation for that extraordinary report which I heard this morning,
and which I cannot believe to be true, I shall not rest easy until I
learn its falsehood from himself. I trust that the cavalier's Spanish
courtesy will forgive my intrusion, if intrusion it be. I long to
penetrate through the reserve which De Aguilera wraps around him like
his mantero, and speak to him freely as man to man, in a place where
we can be secure from perpetual interruptions, and unfettered by the
trammels of business. The address given me was the Calle de San José,
in the suburb of Triana, somewhere at the other side of the river. As
I am now pretty well up in my Spanish, I think that I shall have no
great difficulty in finding my way."


[1] Circus for bull fights.

[2] Public burning of those convicted of heresy, or what the Church of
Rome regarded as such.



Lucius Lepine was the son of an officer of the royal navy. The youth
had been eagerly and successfully pursuing a course of education in
one of the public schools of England, when the sudden death of his
father had deprived him of the means of completing it, and of leaving
Rugby, as he had hoped to do, at the head of the school. The widowed
mother of Lucius was left to support, on very slender means, a
numerous family, of which he was the first-born. The youth's ambition
had been to enter one of the universities, with a desire--as yet
mentioned to no one--of preparing himself for the ministry of the
Church. He now saw that the desire must be suppressed, the ambition
relinquished. Lepine's first earthly object must be to become, not a
burden, but a stay to his mother. Lucius had for some time exerted
himself unsuccessfully to discover some means of earning
independence, when a situation was offered to him in the firm of
Messrs. Passmore and Perkins, which conducted an ironware factory in
Seville. A boyish fancy, which had induced Lucius to acquire the
Spanish language that he might read Don Quixote in the original, great
intelligence, and a talent for keeping accounts, made the admiral's
son peculiarly qualified to fill such a situation with credit to
himself and advantage to his employers. Mr. Passmore's terms were
liberal: he was at least good as a paymaster, whatever he might be as
a man. Lucius did not hesitate long ere accepting the offer made to
him. He took the "plunge" so bravely, and apparently cheerfully, that
none, save perhaps his mother, guessed with what an inward shudder of
repugnance it was made.

When thus separated from his family and all the companions of his
youth, Lucius, who was of a genial temperament, looked around him for
friends in what was to him a land of exile. He had had no letters of
introduction, and the society of Mr. Passmore, the working head of the
firm, and of a few merchants and manufacturers occasionally met with
at his table, by no means satisfied the yearning of the young man's
heart for intercourse with congenial spirits. The only person in
Seville towards whom Lucius felt drawn by a feeling of sympathy was
the stately young Spaniard, De Aguilera,--who had, like himself, been
induced by liberal offers to accept a situation in the firm of Messrs.
Passmore and Perkins. The aristocratic bearing of Don Alcala de
Aguilera, his refined manners, his lofty courtesy, gave to him an
interest in the mind of Lucius--an interest made up of mingled
admiration, curiosity, and pity. The Spanish clerk, compared to his
English employer, appeared to Lucius like a polished Toledo blade
compared to a kitchen utensil. Lucius was occasionally reminded by the
mien of his companion of other qualities of the rapier besides its
exquisite polish. Insult, or what he deemed such, would make the
Spaniard's dark eyes flash with an expression which told that his
pride was not subdued, and that his anger might be dangerous. It was
perhaps well that Mr. Passmore's inability to speak Spanish with
anything approaching to fluency made him generally employ Lepine as
the channel of communication between himself and De Aguilera. Many a
dictatorial command or coarse reproof, uttered by Passmore, came
softened from the lips of the English gentleman,--words which, if
repeated in the tone in which they had first been spoken, would have
made the haughty Spaniard lay his hand on his stiletto.


Page 20]

"Inglesito!" (Englishman!) muttered a gitána (gipsy), looking after
Lucius as, after courteously inquiring his way, he passed down one of
the narrow winding lanes which give to a great part of Seville the
character of a labyrinth. It would have needed no gipsy skill to have
detected the nationality of the stranger, even had the gitána but seen
him with his back turned towards her. The quick, firm step of Lepine
could not be mistaken for the step of a Spaniard. But the woman had
seen the face, bronzed, indeed, by the southern sun, yet of complexion
naturally fair; the bright gray eye; the auburn hair, clustering at
the temples, and shading the upper lip. Lucius might have been singled
out as an Englishman amongst crowds of the cigar-puffing idlers who
were enjoying their _dolce far niente_ at the corner of every street.
And at that hour of gorgeous sunset, under the most brilliant of
skies, there was indeed in Seville a luxury in mere existence which
might form some excuse for the indolence of its people. As Lucius
emerged from a lane into one of the open plazas, he was strongly
sensible of the charm which enwraps the queen-city of Andalusia.

Bathed in golden glory rose the Alcazar, that splendid monument of
Moorish art which has been compared to a palace of fairies, with its
gorgeous colouring, its profusion of ornament, its gilded arches and
marble columns. At some distance, in strong relief against the sky,
appeared the glorious Cathedral, a rival in beauty, but a contrast in
style, being the most magnificent Gothic building to be found in all
Spain. The square tower of the Saracenic Giralda--grand relic of the
past when the Moors bore sway in Andalusia, but now used as belfry to
the Cathedral--glowed rosy red in the beams. Lucius paused for several
minutes to admire the exquisite beauty of the buildings around
him,--that beauty which to a poetic mind is heightened by the charm of
antiquity, the colouring of romance. The Englishman seemed to have
left every care behind him in the counting-house in the Calle San
Francisco,--cares can be readily thrown aside at the age of nineteen.

The eye was not the only sense that drank in delight. The air was
fragrant with the perfume from orange-trees, and musical with the peal
of bells from the summit of the Giralda, blending softly with the
nearer sound of a Spanish song, sung in rich tones to the
accompaniment of a guitar.


Page 22.]

"What a glorious city is this Seville!" said Lucius to himself as he
went on his way. "There is not an object on which the eye rests in
which an artist would not find a subject for a sketch. What a picture
might be made of yonder donnas, with their mantillas and graceful lace
veils, as, accompanied by their duenna, they ascend the steps of that
magnificent church! No women are lovelier than those of Seville,--long
may they keep their graceful costume! How picturesque is yon group of
gipsies by the fountain--the man in his striped mantle of many hues
leaning over the back of his ass, as he talks to the dark-eyed girl
with scarlet blossoms wreathed in her raven-black hair! The very
beggars wear their rags with grace! And what thoughts of the past
crowd upon the mind in this old city of the Moors! Yes, what thoughts
of the past!" repeated Lucius to himself, while a sterner expression
marked his features; for he had now reached a spot associated with
memories of the Inquisition, which had held its headquarters at
Seville. Again Lucius paused, but it was not now to admire, and it was
before the mind's eye that a picture of thrilling interest arose.

"Do I indeed stand on the very spot where, a few centuries ago,
thousands of martyrs yielded their bodies to the flames, their souls
to their God?"[3] mused Lepine. "Was it here that--clad in their
yellow san-benitos,[4] and surrounded by curious crowds to whom their
pangs were a pastime, and fanatical priests to whom their torments
were a triumph--men and tender women endured the most painful of
deaths! Yes; this pure balmy air was once polluted with the smoke from
human sacrifices--this sunshine darkened with the clouds rising from
stakes to which living victims were bound! What deeds of heroism--what
unblenching courage--what unshaken faith displayed in the hour of
nature's agony, have made this spot holy ground! Here--a spectacle to
angels and to men--martyrs showed what the sons of Spain could dare
and her daughters endure! Are the idle, self-indulgent inhabitants of
Seville in the nineteenth century descendants or representatives of
heroes who counted not their lives dear to them, but who, having
embraced evangelical truth, grasped it firmly even unto death? Or can
it be that martyrs have suffered in vain--that the light which they
kindled is quenched for ever in Spain? Is the cry, 'How long, Lord,
how long?' never to meet an answer as regards this benighted though
beautiful land? I cannot believe it;" and Lucius resumed his rapid
walk. "The seed sown amidst tears and blood must spring up one day,
and ripen to a harvest of light! Happy--thrice happy--the reapers!
Spaniards will show themselves worthy of their martyrs, and no longer
appear to the world as a degenerate race, indifferent to their highest
interests, or cold in the holiest cause. But what right have I to
upbraid them either with indifference or coldness? Here am I, proud of
the name of Englishman, thankful for having been brought up in the
clearness of gospel light. I have been for a year in Seville, and I
have never so much as shown to a Spaniard the New Testament in his own
language, which I carry now on my person. Nay, the only man in this
country for whom I have a feeling of friendship--the man whom I meet
almost every day of my life--he knows nothing of the faith which I
hold, save that he probably deems me a heretic, simply because I was
reared in England. Of Alcala's inner life, his views, his hopes, I,
his friend, am as ignorant as if we had never met till to-day! I
cannot tell--I have never inquired--whether De Aguilera be a bigoted
son of that Church which is drunken with the blood of the saints, or
whether, like many of his countrymen, he has adopted sceptical views,
the pendulum swinging from superstition into infidelity--from
believing that which is false, into denying that which is true.

"And the Spaniard may now be on the eve of meeting a violent
death--of having the martyr's agonies without the martyr's crown! I
have been made uneasy by the bare rumour of the danger to which his
person may be exposed. How little have I thought of the perils which
surround the soul of one brought up under the dark shadow of Romish
error! I must see De Aguilera, and speak to my friend as I have not
ventured to speak before. God help me to break through a reserve which
I have often suspected to be cowardly, but which I now feel to be


[3] It is said that in the year 1461, when the Inquisition was
established in Seville, it sacrificed _two thousand_ victims; and that
from the same date to 1517, _twelve thousand_ were burned alive.

[4] A garment, covered with representations of demons, worn by the



"Is this a prison or a palace?" was the mental inquiry of Lucius, as,
after again asking his way to the house of Don Alcala de Aguilera, he
reached the stately building, which was one of the numerous relics
which the Moors have left behind them in Seville. The high, dead,
fortress-like wall, suggested the former term; a glimpse through the
open archway of the dwelling, the latter. From this archway a
vestibule led into an inner court, from which it was divided by an
ornamental grating; this grating also being open at the time, nothing
impeded the view into the marble-paved patio beyond. This patio, or
court, was surrounded by clustering columns of the most graceful
proportions; while in the centre of it orange-trees and broad-leaved
bananas, the oleander and the myrtle, bordered a fountain of exquisite
design. The vestibule itself was paved with Moorish tiles, of hue the
most brilliant; and the exterior of the archway was gracefully
sculptured. The first impression made by a glance through the opening
was, that a scene of Oriental beauty and splendour lay beyond it. Had
Lucius had time for closer observation, he must have noticed also
marks of poverty and decay. Every here and there a bright tile in the
passage, and marble square in the patio, had been broken or
displaced--the carving on the fountain had in many places been
injured, and no water fell into its basin; but the plants in the
little central garden looked fresh and green in the softened light, as
if tended by a woman's hand. The aspect of the place, so unlike that
of any mansion in a northern clime, was calculated to raise admiration
and excite curiosity in the mind of a stranger, and waken a desire to
explore the interior, and make acquaintance with the dwellers in so
picturesque and romantic a home.

The appearance of the one whom Lucius saw at the entrance, however,
contrasted with the stately elegance of the mansion of which she was
an inmate. Chaffering with an itinerant vendor of fish stood an old
woman, wrinkled and bent. From her coarse dress, arms bare to the
elbow, and the strong scent of garlic which hung about her, the dame
might rather have been deemed a denizen of one of the low purlieus of
Seville, than the servant of an aristocrat. The old crone, who used
much gesticulation in speaking, was so eager about her bargaining that
she did not notice the approach of Lucius Lepine. The colloquy between
her and the hawker had probably lasted for some time, as both parties
looked heated and angry.

"Five cuartos a piece! why, I would not give twenty for the whole lot
of them; they're not fresh--not fit to set before the señora!" were
the first words heard by Lucius as he came up to the archway.

"I tell you again, they were alive and swimming this morning,"
interrupted the man.

"Don't you think I know good fish when I see them?" cried the
shrill-voiced dame. "I who have been for nigh sixty years in the
service of the illustrious caballero Don Pedro de Aguilera, his son,
and his grandson besides!"

"It's not the fish, but the price, that don't suit you," retorted the
hawker. "Come, you shall have them a bargain,--let's say nine cuartos
a pair."

"I'll give eight, and no more," cried the dame, eying the fish with a
hungry look, but clinching hard the coppers which she held in her

The hawker shook his head, and shouldered his basket.

"You'll lose the custom of the house," threatened the woman.

"No great loss," laughed the hawker, as he turned from the arch; "the
barber round the corner will buy all this fish, and he earns enough
with his razor to pay a fair price for his dinner!"

The torrent of abuse which the old dame launched after the retreating
hawker, was suddenly stopped by the question of Lucius,----

"Is Don Alcala de Aguilera within?"

Old Teresa was startled and annoyed at the preceding colloquy having
been overheard by a stranger. It was also wounding to her vanity as a
woman, and her pride as a retainer of a noble family, that she should
be seen in the deshabille in which she had emerged from the kitchen,
instead of the black silk dress in which she was wont to attend Donna
Inez to mass. In a tone of irritation Teresa replied that the
illustrious caballero was not in the house.

"Is he likely soon to come in?" inquired Lucius Lepine.

The servant did not know, or chose not to tell. The caballero came in
and out at his pleasure: he might be spending the evening at the
governor's palace, he might not be home till midnight. Teresa stood in
the middle of the archway like a jealous guardian of the place, who
would suffer the entrance of no stranger to disturb its dignified
seclusion. But the sound of Lepine's question had reached other ears
than those of Teresa.

"Alcala, is it you at last?" exclaimed a sweet, eager voice from
within; and Lucius caught a glimpse of a youthful form hurrying across
the patio with a rapidity very unusual in the movements of a lady of
Spain. It was indeed but a glimpse, for the donna, seeing that he at
the entrance was a stranger and not her expected brother, instantly
retreated, disappearing behind the foliage of the shrubs that
surrounded the fountain.

The young Englishman would fain have sent in his card, and presented
himself to the lady or ladies within, but shyness prevented his thus
making an attempt to enter the house without a formal introduction.
Lucius had seen little or nothing of society in the higher circles of
Seville, and feared to give offence by some unintentional breach of
its rules. The manner of Teresa would have shown a less intelligent
observer than Lucius, that she at least would have resented and
resisted as an intrusion any attempt on his part to venture within the
archway. A little disappointed at his failure in procuring an
interview with his friend, Lucius placed his card in the soiled,
wrinkled hand of Teresa, to be given to her master on his return. With
a lingering look through the vestibule into the beautiful patio
beyond, the Englishman quitted the place.

In a state of high irritation, Teresa hurried through the passage into
the court, taking care to close and lock the grating between them.
With the air of a duenna who, having grown gray in service, thinks
that she is privileged to say what she pleases, the old woman
approached her young lady.

Donna Inez, on a low marble seat, was bending over the work on which
she had been engaged when roused by hearing the voice of Lucius.
The work was that of decorating some garment of the gayest
description,--of bright green richly embroidered with silver, into
which Inez was fastening spangles of the same brilliant metal. A scarf
of the most vivid scarlet lay carelessly thrown across her knees. The
gay colouring of the work on which she was employed contrasted with
the black dress of the Spanish maiden; and she was pursuing her
occupation with anything but pleasure, if one might judge from the
gushing tears which ever and anon fell on her beautiful work.

"Donna Inez, Donna Inez! how could you do anything so unseemly?"
exclaimed old Teresa, giving vent to her irritation. "What would the
hidalgo Don Pedro de Aguilera have said, could he have seen his
grand-daughter, without so much as a veil on her head, rushing towards
an English stranger--a heretic, too!--with no more dignity than if she
were some wandering gitána?"

Inez raised her tear-swollen eyes, and there was no lack of dignity in
the tone of her gentle reply, "Methinks you forget your place,

"Forget!" repeated the old woman angrily; "I should remember well
enough, if I knew what is, or rather what is _not_, my place in this
house. Am I not doctor, sick-nurse, and attendant to the old señora,
and duenna to the young one; purveyor, keeper of stores, preparer of
meals, anything and everything here,--helped by no one but
bandy-legged Chico, who only serves the señor because no one else
thinks him worth the puchero[5] which he eats? Ah! it was very
different, child, in your grandfather's days, before the hated French
soldiers swarmed like wasps into Seville!"

Inez knew that poor old Teresa had entered on an inexhaustible theme
when she began to speak of the good old days before the occupation of
the city by the French in 1810. Teresa had been little more than a
child when she had entered the service of Donna Benita de Aguilera,
then a happy young wife and mother, but soon to be left a widow with
wrecked fortune and shattered mind. Her husband, Don Pedro, a wealthy
nobleman, and of the bluest blood in Spain, had joined the army raised
to repel the invader. The tidings of De Aguilera's death in fight had
reached his young wife at a time when French soldiers were quartered
in her house. The shock had weakened the lady's intellect; and though
she had lived on, was living on still in extreme old age, her
subsequent life had been but as a lengthened childhood.

The family fortune had also at that time received a blow from which it
had never recovered. Teresa was never weary of telling of the
treasures which Don Pedro once had possessed, services of silver
plate, and a splendid goblet of gold, and of the jewels of his
bride,--which, by her account, might have purchased half Andalusia.
Bitter were Teresa's invectives against the foreign robbers, who had
not only killed her master, but plundered his helpless widow and
orphan. Teresa had clung to the De Aguilera family in weal and in woe;
but age and adversity had rendered more irritable a temper not
naturally sweet; and having once dandled in her arms the father of
Inez, the old duenna always looked on his daughter as a mere child.
Teresa was as ready to chide as to serve the señorita; but the
retainer's long-tried fidelity made Inez tolerate from her what from
another she could not have borne.

Teresa now went rambling on with her reminiscences; but the mind of
Inez was so painfully preoccupied, that she took in the meaning of
nothing, and was only aware of the fact that the old woman was
speaking, by the babble of her voice distressing an ear intently
listening for the step of Alcala. The sun had sunk, and the first
faintly visible star shone over the patio, which was unprovided with
the awning commonly used in the courts of the wealthy to soften the
glare of a southern sky. Inez could no longer see to work; but her
labour was finished--the last silver spangle had been fixed on the
glossy green satin sleeve. The maiden sat listening, waiting, weeping,
till startled again by a sound at the entrance to the house, which
made her spring to her feet with the exclamation, "It is my brother at


[5] A kind of soup, common in Spain



But again Inez was disappointed. Instead of her brother appearing,
Teresa ushered in a visitor, Donna Maria de Rivas, a middle-aged lady
of Seville, well known to the Aguileras, as she had been brought up in
the same convent as the late mother of Alcala and Inez.

The señora entered the patio with the stately grace peculiar to
Spanish ladies. But the expression on her face was that of keen
curiosity; and even before she greeted Inez with a kiss on either
cheek, the visitor's eyes were riveted on the garments of scarlet and

"It is then true!" exclaimed Donna Maria, "and Don Alcala is to appear
in full fico[6] in the Plaza de Toros to-morrow!"

The look of anguish on the pale face of the sister might have been
sufficient reply, but Donna Maria was not one whose curiosity could
be so easily satisfied. She was an old friend of the family, and, as
such, she deemed it her right to know all that concerned them. Perhaps
to the motherless girl at her side it was some relief to pour forth
the tale of her sorrows to one who professed at least to feel a strong
interest in the children of her early companion. In the deepening
twilight, under the clear blue sky of Andalusia, while star after star
twinkled forth, Inez, often interrupting herself to listen, told the
cause of that distress which was blanching her cheek and well-nigh
breaking her heart.

"You know--I need not tell you--that we--my grandmother and brother, I
mean--have no longer the wealth possessed by our fathers."

"They were some of the most distinguished hidalgos of Spain,"
interrupted Donna Maria.

"My brother," continued Inez, "though willing to suffer anything
himself rather than degrade his dignity by doing anything that the
world might deem unbecoming in one of his rank, could not endure to
see our aged grandmother wanting what her infirmities required. Alcala
therefore consented to--to"--Inez was a Spaniard, and may be forgiven
if she had inherited enough of the pride of her race to feel it a deep
humiliation to own that the heir of the Aguileras had stooped to
serve in an ironware factory, and accept the foreigner's gold.

"I know, I know, my poor child," said Donna Maria, pitying her friends
under what she regarded as an almost unbearable misfortune and

Inez went on with her story.

"But Alcala had still, of course, the right to mix in the highest
society of Seville. He spent his evenings often--ah! much too
often--at the palace of the governor, Don Lopez de Rivadeo."

"Ah! the governor has a daughter, and Donna Antonia has beautiful
eyes," observed the visitor with a meaning smile, which it was well
that Inez did not see.

"The evil eye, the evil eye!" exclaimed the poor girl with passionate
emotion; "would that Alcala had never, never met their basilisk
glance! It is not her wealth that he cares for,--that wealth which
draws round Antonia so many idle worshippers, like moths round a

"I have heard that one of these suitors insulted De Aguilera in her
presence," said Donna Maria.

"One whose ancestors would have deemed it an honour to hold the
stirrup of an Aguilera disputed with Alcala the privilege of handing
Donna Antonia into her galley on the Guadalquivir," said Inez. "'The
hand that had accepted payment for clerk's work,' sneered the
courtier, 'has no right to touch a lady's white glove.' Then Alcala
fired up at the taunt; it had stung him to the quick. He was roused to
speak of his fathers, of their triumphs over the Moors, and to tell
how one of our race had gained a chain of gold from Queen Joanna for
spearing a huge bull at a _gran foncion_ held in her presence. 'It is
pity,' said the mocking Don Riaz, 'that in these days caballeros are
content to win money, though their fathers only cared to win fame.'
Alcala was goaded by the taunt into saying that he was as ready as was
ever an Aguilera to ride in the bull-ring, and break a lance for the
smile of a lady."

"And they actually nailed him to a word so hastily spoken?" asked the
visitor eagerly.

"Ay," replied Inez bitterly; "though every one knows that caballeros
never now encounter the bull, that the desperate struggle is left to
picador and matador[7] trained and paid to expose their lives for the
sport of the crowd."

"Did not Donna Antonia forbid her cavalier to attempt so rash an
exploit?" asked Donna Maria.

"Forbid! oh no!" exclaimed the indignant Inez; "for an Aguilera to
risk or to lose his life for her sake would be to her proud nature as
the crowning triumph of her beauty! She will be there--Antonia will
be in the Plaza de Toros, and she will look on with those calm, cruel
eyes, whilst Alcala, my pride--my darling,"--Inez could not finish the
sentence, but buried her face in her hands.

"Do not despair, _cara amiga_," said Donna Maria, laying her hand
caressingly on the shoulder of the sobbing girl; "Donna Antonia de
Rivadeo may see the triumph of your brother. Don Alcala is a good
horseman, and a brave cavalier."

"Brave as a lion, and he rides like the Cid!" exclaimed Inez, raising
her head, and speaking with animation. "But what will that avail him?"
she added sadly. "Alcala has had no training for the bull-ring, as had
knights and gentlemen of old. They had active and powerful steeds;
Alcala has but poor old Campeador, who bore our father ten years
ago--good faithful Campeador, whom I have often fed from my hand!"

"But your brother will not be alone in the arena," suggested Donna
Maria; "there will be the matadors, the picadors, the chulos,[8] to
divert the bull's attention, or to give him the _coup-de-grace_."

"May they come to the rescue! the blessing of all the saints be on
them if they do!" cried Inez with fervour. "But oh! _amiga mia_, I
hope little from those who make this horrible sport a profession. They
are natural enemies of the caballero who dares to do for honour what
they are trained to do for gold. These men are jealous, and they are
cruel; is it not their very trade to torture and to kill? I never saw
a bull-fight but once," continued Inez, speaking rapidly. "My father
took me when I was a child; but he never ventured to take me again.
The sight--the horrible sight of the poor gored horses madly rushing
round the circus in their agony haunted me for weeks,--it brought on a
nervous fever! And how the scene comes back on my memory now in
terrible distinctness! I long lay awake last night trying, but trying
in vain, to drive away thought by repeating _aves_ and _credos_, till
I dropped asleep at last, and then--and then," added Inez with a
shudder, "I was in the dreadful arena! I saw the bull tearing onwards,
the banderillas in his thick strong neck; with bloodshot eye, and head
bent down, he made his furious charge! I shrieked so loud that I awoke
my grandmother, who usually sleeps so soundly! I used to pity and
grieve over her feebleness of mind,--I could almost envy it now; she
is spared the horrors of my dream, and the worse misery of my waking!"

There was an oppressive silence for several seconds and then Donna
Maria said, "Have you attempted to dissuade your brother from
prosecuting this wild adventure?"

"Have I not?" exclaimed Donna Inez; "have I not knelt and clasped his
knees, and implored as if for my life? I pained, but I could not move
him; Alcala said that his honour was pledged."

"You have been preparing the picador costume," observed Donna Maria,
glancing down at the embroidered jacket and scarlet scarf which lay
beside her, faintly visible in the starlight.

"Yes; if Alcala must appear in the arena before all those gazing eyes,
he shall appear as becomes an Aguilera," replied the Spanish maiden.
She did not dwell on the theme, or tell how much of her brother's
hardly-earned gains had been frittered away on that gaudy costume; nor
how she had not only given the labour of her hands, but sacrificed
every little silver ornament which she possessed to add to its value
and beauty. Bitterly had the poor girl felt, as she plied her needle,
that she was but, as it were, decking out a victim for slaughter.

"Don Alcala will look a goodly cavalier," observed Donna Maria in an
encouraging tone. "We will pray the Madonna to give him success."

"I have wearied every saint with my prayers," sighed Inez de Aguilera,
"and yet--hark! surely there is the sound of a ring!" and again she
eagerly sprang to her feet.

"Your brother would not ring, but enter," suggested Donna Maria. "Poor
child! how you are trembling!"

Inez was indeed trembling violently; she had to lean against a column
for support, as the grating of the vestibule was unclosed, and not
Alcala but Teresa appeared. The old servant bore in one hand a letter,
in the other a lantern borrowed from Donna Maria's attendant, who was
waiting with her mule-carriage in the street. Inez had a presentiment
that the missive was from her brother, and that his sending it was a
sign that he was not coming himself. She took the letter from Teresa,
and eagerly tore it open; for by the lantern's light Inez recognized
the handwriting of Alcala.

The brief note was as follows:--

"It is better, dearest, that we meet not again till all is over. Send
Chico at dawn with Campeador and my dress to the Posada[9] de Quesada;
he knows the place well. Kiss for me the hand of our venerable parent.
Farewell! a brother's blessing be with you! Inez, you have been more
than a sister to Alcala."


[6] The full costume of a picador.

[7] The picador is he who encounters the bull on horse-back. The
matador meets him on foot, and gives the last stroke.

[8] Those who irritate the bull by sticking into him small darts with
flags attached, called banderillas.

[9] An inn



It has been seen that rumours of Alcala's proposed venture had reached
the ears of Lucius Lepine, but he had not been disposed to give full
credence to such reports. Lucius had been long enough in Spain to be
aware that in the nineteenth century it is as unusual for a Spanish
nobleman to take an active part in the bull-circus, as it would be for
an English one to show off his strength in the prize-ring. The strange
report was, however, painfully confirmed in the mind of Lucius when on
that Saturday evening he was proceeding on his way to the house of Mr.
Passmore, where he was engaged to take dinner.

A large lamp burning before an image of the Virgin Mary, at the corner
of one of the narrow lanes through which Lucius was passing, threw
light on the opposite side, where a large space of boarding had been
taken advantage of by the bill-posters of Seville. It would have
required less light to have deciphered the large red capital letters
in which appeared the following announcement:--


     "To-morrow, August --, 1868, the most noble and illustrious
     caballero, Don Alcala de Aguilera, mounted on his superb
     charger, will encounter a bull of unequalled size and
     fierceness in the circus of the Coliseo."

The red letters seemed to swim before the eyes of Lucius Lepine. He
stood as if rooted to the ground, till roused by a light touch on the
shoulder. Turning round, he saw a stout personage, who from his black
robe, huge hat with flaps turned up at the sides, and rosary with
crucifix suspended from his neck, he knew to be one of the Spanish

"Inglesito, mark _that_ well!" said the priest emphatically, pointing,
ere he passed on, to another placard which, printed in black and in
smaller type, and therefore not so conspicuous, appeared close to the
announcement of the bull-fight in the Plaza de Toros. The attention of
Lucius being thus directed towards it, he read with surprise the
following extraordinary charge from the Lord Bishop of Cadiz:--[10]

"The Enemy of mankind desists not from his infernal task of sowing
tares in the field of the Great Husbandman, and to us it belongs, as
sentinels of the advanced post of the house of Israel, to sound the
alarm, lest his frauds and machinations should prevail. We say this,
because we have read with profound grief, in a periodical lately
published, that the Protestant Bible Societies and Associations for
the distribution of bad books are redoubling their efforts for
inoculating our Catholic Spain with the venom of their errors and
destructive doctrines, selecting, in particular, our religious
Andalusia as the field of their operations," &c. &c.

At another time such a placard as this would have been read by Lucius
with intense interest, and would have wholly engrossed his thoughts
for the time. Even under present circumstances, with his mind
painfully preoccupied by anxiety for his friend, the charge of the
Bishop of Cadiz left a deep impression on Lucius. Others then were
actually doing the work from which he had shrunk. Others were coming
forward, like Gideon's three hundred heroes moving bravely on through
the darkness. Already the lights which they bore must be flashing here
and there; for Rome would not sound such a cry of alarm had she not
heard the tramp of an enemy's feet in her camp, and caught sight of
gleams of evangelical truth carried into the midst of her hosts.

"There must be a movement going on, even in Seville," thought Lucius,
"of which I never knew till this moment. Not all of my countrymen have
been cold-hearted laggards like me."

Lucius, for once, arrived late for dinner, found the company already
seated at table, and forgot to make an apology. Mr. Passmore, at the
head of a board loaded with a repast more profuse than elegant, was
too much engaged with his double occupation of eating and talking even
to notice the entrance of his clerk. The familiar sound of the
snorting laugh of his employer reached Lucius before he came into the

"Ho, ho, ho! it was a shabby trick in the cavalier to engage himself
as a butcher, without giving due notice that he intended to leave the
ironware business! And I paid the fine gentleman his quarter's salary
only last week! Don Alcala de Aguilera is no great loss to the firm,
for he took his very pay with an air which seemed to say, 'I'm a
hidalgo, a gentleman born; I honour you too much by soiling my fingers
with an Englishman's dirty cash.'"

"Aguilera has not a bad headpiece, though," observed one of the party.

"Oh, for a Spaniard he's clever enough," replied Passmore, speaking
with his mouth full; "had it not been for his ridiculous Spanish
pride, the don would have made a fair man of business. Save in that
matter of the translation yesterday;--I told you that capital story!
ho, ho, ho! I see now how twenty dozen bulls came to be running in the
poor fellow's head; no wonder that he looked pale at the idea of such
an awful squad of the beasts!" Peter Passmore leant back in his chair,
and laughed till he seemed to be in danger of suffocation.

"Aguilera will find one of them enough, and too much, I'm afraid,"
said the former speaker.

"Perhaps the don thought that he'd do a sharp bit of business,"
resumed Mr. Passmore, as soon as his explosive mirth had sufficiently
subsided; "he'd contrive to get double pay for double work, by writing
on week-days and fighting on Sundays. I wonder now what he'll receive
for sticking his bull!"

"Nothing but honour," said an onion-merchant who was one of the
guests. "Folk say that there is some fair donna of Seville mixed up
with the business."

"Then Don Alcala de Aguilera is a greater idiot than I took him for!"
exclaimed the ironware manufacturer. "I can imagine a man's selling
his blood to support himself and his family; every soldier does that,
and if he get a cannon-ball instead of promotion, one can only say
that the poor fellow has had the worst of the bargain. But a man who
is willing to run the chance of being gored or tossed for the sake of
the prettiest girl that ever danced a bolero, is madder, in my
opinion, than Molière's far-famed knight of La Mancha. Ah! Lepine, so
you're here at last. You are Aguilera's friend; did you know anything
beforehand of this freak of romantic folly?"

Lucius only shook his head; he could not trust himself to make other

"They say," observed the merchant who had spoken before, "that Don
Aguilera's family, of whom he is the chief if not the only support,
are mightily distressed at his venturing as a picador into the Plaza
de Toros. I hear that he has a poor old grandmother, who lost her
husband in the war with the first Napoleon; and a young sister who, it
is said, is breaking her heart with grief."

Lucius remembered the light graceful form which he had seen springing
across the patio, and the tones of the sweet eager voice which had
exclaimed, "Alcala, is it you at last?" The young Englishman thought
of his own favourite sister, and felt for the Spanish girl, though the
reality of her misery exceeded the picture drawn by his fancy.

The conversation now turned on other subjects, but the mind of Lepine
was full of but one. He could not join in discussions on Spanish
politics, or the current business of the day. The untasted viands lay
before him; he cared not to touch food, though he had fasted since the
morning. Lucius took the earliest opportunity of quitting the party
and returning to a small lodging which he had taken in one of the
humbler streets of Seville.


[10] This is taken verbatim from a translation of the charge, given in
"Daybreak In Spain," by the Rev. J. Wylie, D.D.



It is the dawn of a sweet Sabbath morn, peaceful and calm. The last
lingering star is trembling still in the sky, but the fleecy clouds
have caught a tint of rose from the not yet risen sun.

By the archway of the dwelling of the Aguileras stands a bay horse,
gaily caparisoned. His saddlecloth has been made out of a Moorish
mantle striped with gold, a relic of happier days. Deep fringes of
scarlet girdle his chest and encircle his haunches, and tassels of the
same bright hue hang from the band above his eyes. The noble animal
looks conscious of his dignity; he has been generously fed for the
last few days, and the unwonted luxury of corn has restored to the old
war-horse some of his former spirit. But "with arched neck, and
drooping head, and glancing eye, and quivering ear," Campeador gently
receives the caresses of the young mistress whose hand has helped to
deck and to feed him, and who with tears and sighs is bidding him now

Inez is no striking specimen of Spanish beauty, though her appearance
on this morning must have awakened sympathy and interest even in a
stranger. Her graceful form is rather below the middle size; she has
the clear brunette complexion and the large almond-shaped eyes, shaded
with long dark lashes, which are characteristic of the Andalusian
race. The cheek is very pale, and the eyes are heavy with weeping, and
the slender hand trembles as it strokes Campeador's long flowing mane.

Inez has passed a restless, miserable night, devising all kinds of
wild schemes for keeping her brother from the perilous encounter;
schemes which melted away with the first gleam of morning light. If
she kept back his horse, if she detained his accoutrements, Alcala,
his sister well knew, would but provide himself with others. He would
rather ride into the circus on one of the wretched hacks destined for
slaughter, than fail at the hour of appointment. Inez could now but
send, both by letter and word, entreaties to her brother that he would
at least come and see her before going to the Plaza de Toros. The
letter and messages were intrusted to Chico, a dark-browed,
bandy-legged, ill-favoured groom, who was to lead the horse about a
mile beyond the boundaries of Seville, to the Posada de Quesada, where
Alcala had chosen to pass the preceding night. Chico's stunted form
was half hidden under the burden of finery which he carried; he did
not, however, bear with him the picador's spear, for that needful
weapon Alcala had selected for himself, not trusting the choice of it
to a servant.

A little in the rear of the group appeared Teresa; but Lucius, had he
been present, would scarcely have recognized in her the work-soiled,
poorly-dressed old drudge whom he had seen bargaining with the hawker.
Teresa was now attired in her best Sunday apparel; and the look of
complacent pride on her wrinkled face was in strong contrast to that
of despairing sorrow on that of her youthful lady. Teresa allowed
herself the one annual treat of going to a bull-fight, to her Spanish
mind the greatest of pleasures. She had a cousin to whom belonged the
office of cleansing the blood-stained arena, and who always contrived
to smuggle Teresa into a good seat, she being content to go early and
wait for hours before the entertainment began. Nothing would have
bribed the ancient Andalusian to have been absent from the Plaza de
Toros on the present occasion; her strong desire to go overcame her
reluctance to leaving for the greater part of the day her infirm old
mistress and the sorrowing Inez. To Teresa, blinded by pride even
greater than that which usually characterizes the Spaniard, the coming
struggle in the Plaza de Toros appeared in a very different light from
that in which it was viewed by Alcala's more clear-minded and
tender-hearted sister. Full of the glories of the race of heroes from
whom her master was descended, Teresa felt not a doubt that she was
going to be a witness to his triumph. It had been a bitter humiliation
to the old domestic to know that Alcala was earning his bread by
honest industry. Had he consulted Teresa, the family might have
starved before the caballero had so demeaned himself as to work for
the firm of Messrs. Passmore and Perkins. But it was a very different
thing to behold Don Alcala de Aguilera ride in magnificent array into
the Coliseo, to confront danger with all the courage of his race, and
win the plaudits of assembled thousands. Teresa felt as an old
retainer of some knight might have done in days of chivalry, when his
master rode forth, with gilded spurs and waving plume, to win honour
in the lists at some brilliant tourney. To Teresa's partial eyes
Campeador was the noblest of steeds, worthy to carry the bravest of
masters. The arm of an Aguilera, once raised to strike, must hurl to
the dust whatever opposed it. Teresa would not have feared the result
had Alcala had, like Hercules, to slay the Nemean lion.

And the hopes of Teresa extended far beyond the triumph of a day.
Donna Antonia de Rivadeo, the wealthiest as well as the most beautiful
heiress in Seville, was to be present at the _gran foncion_ in the
Coliseo. The lady would look on Alcala no longer as the drudging
clerk, serving a foreign heretic, but as the chivalrous caballero of
Andalusia, valiant as ever was knight who couched lance against the
Moors in the time of Queen Isabella. The days of pinching poverty and
humiliation would be ended at last; Alcala would spear his bull, and
win his beautiful bride, and Teresa would receive at last the reward
of her long faithful service. In imagination Teresa, in the richest
and stiffest of silks, already presided over a numerous household in a
sumptuous palace, instead of toiling from morning till night, ill paid
and scantily fed, with no one to abuse and order about but
bandy-legged Chico, who always disputed her commands. Such bright
visions seemed to take ten years of age from the ambitious Teresa, and
she saw with impatience and indignation the grief which showed how
little Inez shared in such hopes.

"Shame on those tears, Donna Inez!" exclaimed old Teresa. "It is well
that your illustrious brother is not here to see your weakness; it
would make the caballero blush for his sister! Are you a daughter of
the house of De Aguilera, and yet tremble with cowardly fear?" The
spirit of Inez was too much broken for the insolent taunt to raise
even a flush on her cheek.

They were gone. Campeador had been led away by Chico, and Teresa had
hobbled off with what energy hope and pride could lend towards the
Plaza de Toros. Inez returned into the house to perform a homely duty
which sorrow did not make her forget. There was no one but herself to
prepare her grandmother's early cup of chocolate; Inez made it ready,
and then carried it to the bedside of Donna Benita.

There were fewer signs of poverty in the old lady's apartment than
perhaps in any other in the house. The draperies, though very ancient,
had yet an effect picturesque and rich. The coverlet over the bed was
delicately white, and had been embroidered with small bunches of
flowers in coloured silks by Inez. There was fine old lace on the cap
which covered Donna Benita's scanty gray hairs; very thin and aged was
the face which appeared beneath it.

"Where's Alcala? where's my boy?" murmured the widowed lady. The cloud
on her intellect did not prevent Donna Benita from loving her
grandson, or missing his presence, as a child might do that of an
accustomed companion. "He was not here yesterday, was he? tell him to
come to me quickly."

Inez silently kissed the thin wasted hand extended towards her. She
stood with her back to the light as she first beat up the pillows and
then proffered the cup, that the old lady might not see the traces of
tears on her face. When Donna Benita, in a fretful tone, repeated her
question, Inez tried to speak cheerfully, as she replied that Alcala
had been specially engaged. Inez had to say the words thrice over
before the aged lady could take in their meaning.

"And where's Teresa? why does she leave me?" asked the invalid, in
feeble complaining accents.

"Teresa has gone to the Plaza de Toros," replied poor Inez with an

"Ah! I used to go there with my Pedro--long, long ago," murmured Donna
Benita. The feeble mind was trying to recall images once traced on the
memory, but gradually fading away into one dull blank of oblivion.
Even that slight mental effort wearied the aged lady, and having
finished her chocolate, she soon fell into that dozing state in which
she now passed by far the greater part of her time.

As soon as Inez saw that her grandmother slept, she glided away to the
patio, and from thence through the vestibule to the archway, to watch
for the coming of her brother. Could he resist her entreaties? could
he refuse her the one poor boon which she had asked, the sad luxury of
bidding him--perhaps a last--farewell?

While she was gloomily gazing forth into the now silent street, a
sudden thought occurred to the mind of the sister. Inez would make one
effort more to move the resolution of Aguilera, or to bribe her patron
saint to protect him. The maiden hastened back into the patio without
giving herself time for reflection. There, in a recess between two
columns, Inez had left the writing materials which she had used when
penning the note intrusted to Chico. She sank down on her knees at the
place, and resting her blotting-book on the base of one of the
columns, hastily, and with trembling fingers, wrote the following

"I have vowed a solemn vow to Santa Anna. If you, brother of my heart,
venture to-day into the arena, and the blessed saint bear you unharmed
out of the terrible encounter, I will take the veil, and devote myself
to her service for the rest of my life in the nunnery of Cordova.
Judge what you risk, Alcala, before you ride into the Plaza de Toros.
If, regardless of my prayers and my tears, you keep your fatal
appointment, you lose either your sister or your life. You may return
unharmed and victorious, but it will be but to see your only sister
offer herself up as a thank-offering for your preservation. If you
would miss your Inez, if you have ever loved her, break your dreadful
engagement. I know too well what it will cost you to do so, but
anything is better than the misery--the ruin which is before us all if
you keep it!"

With this missive in her hand Inez returned to the archway. If Alcala
were coming at all before going to the circus, by this time he would
surely have come. The poor girl glanced up and down the street; there
was not a single person to be seen, save a muleteer who chanced to be
passing, and who turned in some surprise to see a señora standing
alone at the entrance of a mansion. Teresa and Chico both being
absent, Inez had no messenger to send with her letter, unless she
employed the stranger whom chance had brought into her way. The lady
beckoned to the muleteer to approach her, drew off her rosary--the
only ornament which she wore--for money she had none, and gave the
coral beads, with the letter, into the hand of the man.

"For the love of mercy," she cried, "hasten with this letter to Don
Alcala de Aguilera, at the Posada de Quesada. Oh, delay not; go as
for your life!"

"I know the illustrious caballero, señora," said the muleteer, with an
air of respectful pity. "The lady shall have no cause to complain of
my slackness; ere an hour be passed I will bring a reply."

Was it a satisfaction or a terror to Inez when that letter was
despatched? Perhaps it was both. Various feelings struggled in her
breast, and it would have been difficult, even to herself, to have
decided which was uppermost there. Inez, though pious, according to
her superstitious views of religion, had no inclination whatever for
the prison life of a convent. It was only her intense, unselfish love
for her brother which induced her to threaten him and herself with a
separation which would be, she felt, to her a living death. Inez had,
from infancy, clung with the fondest affection to Alcala, her only
brother. He had been to her companion, tutor, friend; and since the
death of their last surviving parent, had almost taken towards the
orphan girl the place of a father. With Alcala, Inez had shared
poverty, and had scarcely felt its burden. What luxury that wealth
might have procured would have been to Inez like that of sitting
beside or at the feet of Alcala, in the cool of the evening, enjoying
the music of his guitar, or blending her voice with his own? Often
too had Alcala read aloud to his sister, while her fingers plied the
needle. Inez had specially loved to work for her brother, that so
poverty should not oblige him to dress in a way unbefitting his birth.
The library of the Aguileras was but a small one; it consisted of a
few books which had belonged to their wealthy grandfather,--it need
scarcely be said that a Bible was not amongst them; but from reading,
and listening to reading, the mind of Inez had received more
cultivation than is usually found amongst women in Andalusia, though
in England her education would have been considered very incomplete.
It had been no small advantage to Inez that she had been almost
entirely secluded from the frivolous society of Seville. The pride of
poverty had had much to do with the maiden's seclusion; for Alcala had
been unwilling that his sister should accept hospitality which he had
not the means of returning. Inez had never complained of want of
amusement; she had scarcely even regretted the quietness in which she
was passing the spring-time of youth, her hours divided between
attendance on her grandmother and other duties, and the sweet
employment of making her brother happy. Inez had her little garden in
the patio to tend, and the maiden delighted in flowers. It seemed to
her now, as she stood in that court, leaning against a pillar, with
her eyes gloomily fixed on the broken fountain, that the past had been
a bright dream, which was passing from her for ever. Unless Alcala
should yield to her entreaties (and then his life would be clouded
over by a sense of disgrace), there seemed to Inez to be no
alternative between weeping over a sepulchre or in a convent cell. In
either case Alcala, the joy, the sunshine of her life, would be lost
to his only sister.

Slowly, very slowly to Inez passed the minutes. Alcala had not come,
and his absence was in itself a reply. But before the hour was over,
Inez, who had gone back to her watch at the entrance, saw the muleteer
returning. The young lady could not refrain from running forth into
the street to meet the messenger, who might be the bearer of a letter.
The man held out to the eager girl a fragment of paper, crumpled and
dusty, which had evidently been torn from a book. A few scarcely
legible words were written in pencil on the margin of the page,--"_It
is too late! Forgive, and pray for Alcala!_"



During the reign of Queen Isabella there was no church in Seville in
which Protestants could assemble for worship.[11] Deprived thus of
outward means of grace, Lucius had formed a habit of walking on
Sundays as far as he could into the country, and there, under the
shade of some cork-tree, or clump of stone-pines, reading his Spanish
Testament, and, in perfect solitude, lifting up his heart in prayer
and in praise. On this Sunday he started on his walk rather more early
than usual, glad to leave behind him the jarring sounds of the city.
Already, however, Seville was all astir. Groups of people were passing
to the different churches, but these groups consisted almost entirely
of priests or women; by far the larger portion of the male population
of Seville were drawn towards a centre of stronger attraction,--that
centre was, as Lucius well knew, the Plaza de Toros. Thither, in an
hour or two, gay carriages would be bearing their smiling occupants to
gaze on scenes at which the bravest Briton might shudder. Already
little streams of people were flowing forth from winding street and
narrow lane, clad in holiday attire, eager to secure good places. Many
a ragged beggar, many a barefooted urchin, who could not hope to be
admitted into El Coliseo (as the Spaniards proudly name their circus),
went to swell the crowd round the entrance. They would at least enjoy
a sight of the gay procession of picadors, matadors, and chulos; they
would be able to join in the shout when a slaughtered bull should be
dragged out by a team of gaudily caparisoned mules.

At almost every street corner Lucius saw flaming placards from which
glared on his view the name of his hapless friend. When he reached the
bridge which spans the Guadalquivir, Lucius found the river dotted
with boats bringing gaily-dressed sight-seers from villages and
hamlets situated near its banks. Well pleased was the Englishman to
turn his back upon the city, and pursue his walk along the wild
Dehesa, as that tract of broken country is called which intervenes
between the towns of Seville and Xeres. The mind of Lucius on this
Sabbath-day was not attuned to enjoy the beauties of nature. He
noticed not the glades carpeted with yellow lotus, or fragrant with
the alhuçena, the purple lavender of Andalusia. Unobserved by him,
brilliant butterflies fluttered over the blossoms of the gum-cistus,
or lizards of green and gold basked in the glowing sunshine. The
spirit of Lucius was not only oppressed by anxiety, but saddened by

"Had Aguilera known the Word of Truth," was the young man's
reflection, "he might have learned from its pages that his life is not
his own, to be hazarded like the stake of a gambler on the cast of the
dice! He might have learned that a nobler object is offered for the
aspirations of the soul than the plaudits of a Seville mob, or even
the favour of a woman! I have feared to offend the prejudices and lose
the friendship of Aguilera,--and all opportunity of doing him good may
now be passed away. Buried talent--buried talent--taken from me for

Lucius had not proceeded far on his way, when he was roused from his
bitter reflections by the loud voice of some one in front of him
warning him to stand aside. Raising his eyes, which had been fixed on
the ground, the Englishman observed a cloud of dust before him, and
heard the trampling of hoofs. The road in this place had been a
cutting through a hill, and was somewhat narrow in breadth; high rough
banks rose on either side. Advancing along this road were now seen two
Spaniards on horse-back, armed with long spears. Behind them came a
troop of Andalusian bulls, driven by men on foot, who were clad in
sheep-skin, and armed with slings. Warned as he had been to get out of
the way, Lucius took a few steps up the right bank of the cutting,
less to place himself beyond reach of possible danger, than to obtain
a better view of the troop. Formidable animals appeared the bulls,
with their thick, powerful necks and large horns, as they moved
onwards towards the city, snorting and pawing the ground in the pride
of their mighty strength. As they passed the spot where Lucius stood,
the largest of the herd raised his dilated nostrils in the air, and
gave a bellow of defiance, which from that deep chest sounded terrible
as the roar of an angry lion.

The savage beasts passed on, but one of their drivers lingered for a
few minutes behind them, in order to repair his sandal, of which one
of the fastenings had given way on the road. Lucius descended from his
higher position, and joined the herdsman, who had seated himself on a
small projecting knoll, to effect his work with more ease. Lucius
courteously wished the man good-morning, and the roughly-clad peasant
returned the stranger's greeting with Spanish politeness.

[Illustration: BEFORE THE FIGHT.]

[Illustration: AFTER THE FIGHT.

Page 66]

"Are these bulls bound for the circus?" inquired the Englishman with

The driver nodded his head. "Ay, not one of them will be alive this
evening," observed the peasant. "The poor brutes would not go on so
proudly towards Seville if they knew what is before them."

"Danger awaits others besides them," muttered Lucius Lepine.

"Ay, señor," observed the herdsman, misunderstanding the drift of the
words; "other folk may go as blindfold as these bulls to their death,
strong and gay in the morning, dragged in the dust before night.
There's my own brother, for instance, he who lives in our village
under the sierra yonder. Poor Carlos was dancing the fandango one day
at a bridal, the merriest of the company there; on his way home he but
slipped his foot on a steep, rocky path, and down falls the strong,
active man, to be picked up with a broken back, and carried to our
cottage to lie, as he has done for months, groaning with pain, and
helpless as a child."

It occurred to Lucius that here might be an opportunity given to him
of introducing into an abode of suffering the comfort of God's holy
Word. "Can your brother read?" he inquired.

"Read!--ay, almost as well as the priest. Carlos always took to the
learning, whilst most of our folk know no more of letters than one of
the beasts that they drive." The man rose from his seat as he spoke,
for he had finished repairing his sandal with a morsel of string.

"Will you give your brother this from me?" said the Englishman, taking
from his breast-pocket the Spanish Testament, and offering it to the
hind with an effort to overcome the shyness which had hitherto
prevented his attempting to spread gospel-knowledge in Spain.

The man took the little volume with a blank stare of surprise at the
stranger who had made so extraordinary a present. The peasant then
opened and glanced at the contents of the book, and the expression on
his face changed to that of fanatical fierceness.

"Bad book--heretical--_muera a los Protestantes_!" (death to the
Protestants!) exclaimed the peasant, tearing out several pages from
the sacred volume, and then flinging it back at the face of the giver.
The fanatic would probably have added insults and imprecations, had
not the necessity of making up for lost time, by rejoining the herd
with all speed, obliged the driver to run on quickly in the direction
of Seville.

Lucius with a sigh--for failure in an attempt to do good is always
painful--picked up first the Testament, and then the scattered
leaves,--all save one which escaped his notice, for a light wind had
whirled it away.


[11] I have been informed, since writing the above, that there was an
English chaplain; but we may suppose him to have been absent at this



Not long after Lucius had quitted that spot, there came to it a single
horseman, slowly riding towards the city of Seville. The cavalier was
richly attired in green and silver; a broad scarlet scarf was wound
round his waist, and its fringed end hung gracefully over his
shoulder. His feet, cased in high boots, rested on stirrups of
peculiar shape, designed from their size and strength to act as a
protection to the rider. A Spanish sombrero shaded the cavalier's
brow, and his hand grasped a sharp spear. The horseman was Alcala de
Aguilera, in full fico as a picador, bound for the Plaza de Toros.

But, save in costume, the young Spaniard had nothing in common with
the bull-fighter by profession; Alcala's face and form were both in
strong contrast to those of the low-bred favourite of the Coliseo. The
form was tall and slight, and conveyed no impression of possessing
great physical strength. The pale intellectual countenance, with its
delicately-formed features, suggested the idea of a student or poet,
rather than that of a bold picador as dead to fear as to mercy. The
expression on those features was that of intense melancholy, and
formed but too faithful an index to the feelings of the heart which
beat beneath the folds of that brilliant scarf.

Alcala was sensible that he had committed an act of the greatest
folly. He had ventured all--his sister's peace of mind, his family's
comfort, his own life--for a bubble that was not worth the grasping,
even were it within his reach. Alcala was not one to care for the
applause of a mob; nay, his proud, reserved nature shrank sensitively
from the idea of appearing to court it. The greatest success in the
common circus would be rather a disgrace than an honour to an
Aguilera; he could not raise but degrade himself by competing for
popular favour with professional picadors.

Nor had Alcala the incitement of passion to impel him onwards in his
perilous career. His admiration of the governor's daughter had been
but a passing fancy, a homage paid to mere beauty; it had no strong
hold on his soul. The discovery of Antonia's heartlessness and selfish
pride had changed that admiration into something almost resembling
contempt. Alcala contrasted Antonia with Inez, the vain selfish beauty
with the loving, self-forgetting woman, and felt much as did the
knight of old who scornfully flung at the feet of his lady the glove
which she had bidden him bring from the arena in which wild beasts
were contending.

"Were I offered the hand of Antonia de Rivadeo," mused Aguilera, "I
would not now accept it, though she should bring as her dowry all

Thus even in success there was nothing to attract the young Spaniard.
But Alcala had scarcely any hope of success; and if the brighter side
of the picture was but dull, the darker was gloomy indeed. Alcala had
not frequented bull-fights; the sport was little to his taste, though
he did not regard it with all the horror and disgust which he would
have felt had he been brought up in England. But though the cavalier
had not been frequently seen at the Plaza de Toros, he had often
enough been a spectator of the scenes acted in the circus to know well
what dangers attend the contest with a furious bull, and how
absolutely essential to the safety of a picador is skill in the use of
his weapon. Such skill could only be acquired by practice, and until
this time Alcala had never handled a spear. In the grasp of the young
cavalier it felt unwieldy and cumbrous. He was as little likely to use
it effectually, as he would have been to climb to the mast-head of a
vessel in the midst of a storm, having never had nautical training.

Superstition, from which Alcala was not perfectly free, although far
more enlightened than most of his countrymen, tended to deepen the
impression on his mind that he was riding to his destruction. When
Alcala had been very young, his mother had consulted an old Gitana,
famed for her skill in prognostications, as to the future fate of her
boy. The child had never forgotten the weird appearance of the old
wrinkled hag, nor the words of her mumbled reply: "He will die in his
prime a violent death, and many shall look on at his fall." The
warning recurred to Alcala's memory with almost the force of prophecy,
now that he appeared so likely to meet such a fate as had been thus

Then, to think on the position in which his death would leave his
family made Alcala de Aguilera writhe with mental torture. What would
become of his aged parent, widowed and imbecile--what would become of
his gentle loving sister, if their one prop were taken away? They had
already parted with most of the relics left of his grandfather's
wealth; not an acre which had once belonged to the estates of the
Aguileras remained to them now. The mansion in Seville was out of
repair, and situated in a now unfashionable quarter; should the ruined
family be driven to part with their home, the sale of the house would
bring but temporary relief to their need. It was not without a sharp
pang that Alcala thought even of Teresa, with all her faults so loving
and faithful a retainer, and revolved the probability of her ending
her long life of service by becoming a beggar in Seville!

And it was his madness that had done all. He was ruthlessly
sacrificing all who loved him, all whom he loved, to the Moloch of his
own pride! Alcala, when tortured by such reflections, again and again
almost resolved to break his fatal engagement, and make some excuse
for not entering the circus. But the sneers of his acquaintance, the
scoffs of his rivals, the yells of a disappointed mob, were harder to
be encountered than the charge of a savage bull. Alcala had not the
moral courage to face them. He could not endure to live on to be
taunted as the foreign manufacturer's clerk, who with the estates of
his ancestors had also lost all their courage and spirit. There was
but one thing (and that thing the cavalier lacked)--the constraining
power of faith and love--that could have enabled the Spaniard to
throw down and trample under foot that Moloch of pride.

But worse even than fears for his family, worse than the anticipation
of a violent death for himself, was the awful darkness which to Alcala
hung over the future beyond the grave! To die was to him as a leap
into chaos! Alcala was, as has been observed, more enlightened than
many Spaniards: he had used the taper-gleams of man's knowledge; but
of clear light from Heaven he had none. Alcala had read enough to make
him loosen his hold on the vain superstitions of the Church in which
he had been reared, but not enough to make him grasp any firm hope in
their place. The Spaniard did not believe that a priest could absolve
him from sin, therefore he felt that those sins were yet unforgiven.
He could not ease his conscience by repeating Latin prayers or
reciting a given number of penitential psalms, therefore his
conscience remained oppressed. The cavalier had no faith in prescribed
penance, purchased masses, or confessions to man, as means of
propitiating One who was to him indeed an "unknown God"; where then
was he to find peace? What was to assure Alcala that, if he gasped out
his last breath that day in the circus, he might not be but exchanging
the death agony for torments infinitely more terrible, because they
would never be closed by death? The state of mind of the cavalier
might, with little alteration, be described in the words of the

    "Before him tortures which the soul may dare,
    But doubts how well the shrinking flesh may bear,
    Yet deeply feels a single cry would shame
    To valour's praise his last, his dearest claim.
    The life he lost below--denied above.


    A more than doubtful Paradise, his heaven
    Of earthly hope, his loved one from him riven.
    These were the thoughts that [Spaniard] must sustain
    And govern pangs surpassing mortal pain,
    And these sustained he, boots it well or ill,
    Since not to sink beneath is something still."

In the anguish of his spirit the mind of Alcala reverted again and
again to Lucius Lepine. The Spaniard was of course aware that his
English companion held views of religion very different from those
adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. Alcala had secretly wished to
know more of these Protestant views, and now the wish became intense
when it was too late to gratify it. Alcala thought his English friend
the most upright and highminded man with whom he had ever met, and was
acute enough to distinguish that highmindedness from pride. The
Spaniard saw that Lepine had a loftier standard of duty than those
around him, and asked himself whence had that standard been drawn.
Alcala had never indeed heard his friend converse on the topic of
Divinity; but in many things, some of them trifling in themselves,
the observant eye of the cavalier had seen that his companion was
guided by a sense of religion. No profane word ever crossed the lips
of Lepine; he was pure in his life; he reverenced the Sabbath in a way
that appeared novel and strange to Alcala, but which the Spaniard
could not but respect.

And yet this noble-hearted, conscientious Englishman was one whom the
Romish priests would denounce as a heretic doomed to perdition! "How
strange," mused Alcala, "that from the root of error should spring a
tree bearing fruits so fair!" The Spaniard had yearned for a clearer
knowledge of that faith which was branded as worse than infidelity,
and which yet could produce such effects. He would fain have
questioned Lucius on the subject, but pride and reserve kept him

Once only had the ice been slightly broken. Lucius had been led to
allude in conversation to the death of his father, who, when cruising
in the Pacific, had been struck dead by a flash of lightning. It was a
painful subject, and one on which he rarely touched; but the two
friends were together alone under the quiet moonlight, and there had
been more of interchange of thought between them than there had ever
been before.

"It must have embittered your trial," Alcala had observed, "that your
father had no time for preparation for death--no time to receive the
last rites of his Church." Greatly had the Spaniard been struck by his
companion's reply, "No; for my father had made his peace with God long
before." Not a shadow of doubt had darkened the countenance of the
Protestant as he uttered these words; Lepine had looked as fully
assured of the happiness of his parent as if he had himself seen him
carried by angels into the skies. Alcala could not utter the question
which trembled on his lips, "Have you then no fear of the purgatorial
pains which, as our priests tell us, are needed to purify even the
good?" That question was answered, ere it was asked, by the peace--the
more than peace--which shone in the eyes of Lucius.

"What would not I give," thought the unhappy Alcala, as he rode
towards Seville, "to know on what basis rested that assurance of hope
which evidently made the Protestant look upon sudden death but as a
step into glory! Lepine's father had 'made his peace with God long
before!' How had he made his peace; how could he know that his sins
were forgiven, and that he might stand without trembling before the
awful judgment-seat of his God?"



Alcala had now reached the place where the narrow lane in which stood
the posada in which he had passed the night opened into the highway
leading directly to Seville. He was now on the road along which, ten
minutes previously, had passed the herd of fighting-bulls destined for
the arena. Alcala saw the print of their hoofs in the dust; he noticed
at no great distance the gleam of their horns above the cloud raised
by their tramping and that of their mounted conductors. Alcala had
been near enough to hear that defiant roar of the monarch of the herd
that had thrilled on the ear of Lucius. Campeador had raised his
tasselled head, and pricked up his ears at the noise.

Alcala bent down to stroke the neck of his steed. "Ah! Campeador," he
gloomily said as he did so, "does instinct tell you that there is
death in that sound? You too will suffer from my accursed folly and
pride. You deserve a better fate, my poor horse, and a far better

As Alcala slowly rode onwards, following in the track of the bulls, he
saw a muleteer approaching towards him. Lepine, after his brief and
unsatisfactory colloquy with the herdsman, had turned off in a
different direction, or he must have encountered his friend. The
figure of the muleteer was the only one visible at this point upon the
narrow road, which lay through a cutting.

Alcala, buried in his painful reflections, would scarcely have noticed
the muleteer, had not the man, when they had almost met, respectfully
greeted him by his name.

"Señor de Aguilera," said the messenger of Inez, approaching the
cavalier's stirrup, "I bear to you a letter from a señorita." And the
muleteer held up to Alcala the epistle which had been intrusted to his

Alcala stopped his horse, shifted his lance to his bridle-hand, took
the note, and with a little difficulty disengaged it from its
envelope. Only the presence of a stranger made him refrain from
groaning aloud as he read the impassioned words of his sister. Her
threat to bury herself in a convent thrilled his soul with unspeakable
anguish; for gentle and yielding as was the nature of Inez, her
brother had never yet known her fail in keeping her word, even in the
face of opposition. If anything could have added to the misery of the
young Spaniard, it was such a letter as this. For a moment it almost
shook his firm resolution to brave out the consequences of his rash
boast; for a moment Alcala thought of turning his bridle and urging
Campeador to bear him afar from Seville! But it could not be; every
drop of proud Spanish blood in the veins of an Aguilera seemed to
protest against so ignominious a flight. Alcala, whose brain was dizzy
from the violence of his emotions, was recalled to himself by the
muleteer's question,--

"Has the caballero any message for me to take back to the señorita?"

The muleteer was no stranger to Alcala, who knew him to be an honest
but ignorant man, unable even to read. The cavalier would not send a
verbal reply to the note of Inez, but had no time to return to the
posada in order to write what he could not speak. Alcala drew out a
pencil-case which he chanced to have on his person, but he carried
with him no paper, and he would not return to the unhappy Inez her own
epistle; that token of her affection he would bear with him to the
last. The muleteer guessed from his gesture that the cavalier wished
to write, and saw that he had no writing materials save the
pencil-case in his hand. The man supplied the want, in his own rough
way, by stooping and picking up from the road a dusty fragment of
paper which happened to be lying upon it. There was no opportunity of
procuring a more suitable sheet; Alcala scarcely even noticed that the
paper was part of a leaf torn from a printed book. There was room on
the margin for a few words; and resting the paper on his saddle, after
giving the muleteer charge of his spear, Alcala hastily scrawled the
brief note which was soon afterwards received by his sister. How many
bitter tears were to be shed over that leaf!

"It is I who am blighting her young life; it is I who am riveting
chains upon her whose only fault is that of loving an ungrateful
brother too well," muttered Alcala to himself, as he saw his messenger
speed on before him.

The painful task of answering the letter of Inez being over, Alcala
thrust it under his scarf, gently shook his rein, and rode on. No
prisoner condemned to suffer at an auto-da-fé had ever gone to the
stake erected in the Plaza more hopeless of deliverance than Alcala
felt at that moment. His embroidered vestments were to him as the
san-benito worn by the doomed; the horrible ordeal from which nature
shrank was before him, and he had no enthusiasm of zeal, no joy of
hope, to bear him through it.

Some stragglers, bound for the sport at the Coliseo, were overtaken by
Aguilera. They recognized him as a picador by his peculiar dress,
turned eagerly to look at him, and in loud tones made their remarks on
the horseman as he passed them.

"Brave caballero! how splendid he looks!" cried an Andalusian maiden.

"But scarcely strong enough to drive his spear deep into the tough
hide of a bull," remarked her more experienced companion.

"Tush, Tomaso, it's all skill," laughed the girl. "I warrant you the
picador knows how to manage his horse in the ring, and avoid the
thrust of the horns--"

The conclusion of the sentence did not reach the ears of Alcala; he
had urged his steed to a quicker pace, in order to get beyond



Lucius endeavoured so to time the hour of his return to Seville that
he might re-enter the town when the result of the bull-fight might be
known. He proposed calling at the mansion in the Calle de San José on
his way back to his lodging, with the hope, if not of seeing Alcala,
at least of hearing tidings of his safety.

The sun was still some height above the western horizon when Lucius
entered the deserted street. The glare reflected back from the high
dead wall was oppressive.

"I am too early; I have been too impatient," thought the young
Englishman, as he laid his hand on the bell which hung in the shadow
of the archway. He marked that the grating of the patio was ajar. Inez
had forgotten to lock it after receiving from the muleteer the note
from Alcala which crushed her last hope. The unprotected state of the
house mattered, however, little; there was no great danger of thieves
invading a place in which they would find no plunder.

Lucius rang softly, as one who would by no loud summons disturb a
house of mourning; but the bell was instantly answered. The grating at
the end of the vestibule was thrown hastily back, and the trembling
Inez herself hurried through the opening, and along the arched
passage. Her dark eyes were dilated with fear, her pale lips trembled.
She knew not whom she was addressing, but her whole soul appeared to
flow forth in the question, "Bring you tidings from the Plaza de

"I come to ask for them, señorita," began Lucius. But the eyes of Inez
rested on him no longer, they were turned wistfully in another
direction. Her ear, quickened by fear, had caught a sound which Lucius
had heard not, and breathless with expectation she gazed up the
street. In another moment a crowd of persons appeared emerging from
the entrance of a lane which crossed the Calle de San José. They came
not with shout or mirth, as if escorting a victor home, but slowly,
like a throng who follow a funeral procession. There was no noise,
save the tramping of feet, and ever and anon the wail of a woman.
Lucius glanced at Inez, and read despair in her face. An icy numbness
was creeping over her frame; she had no power to go forward to meet
the corpse of her brother. Soon the crowd reached the entrance of the
dwelling of Aguilera; in the midst of the throng was seen a litter
borne by men. On that litter lay stretched a motionless form. Pale and
ghastly, with garments blood-stained and torn, Alcala de Aguilera was
borne back to the home of his fathers.

Lucius intuitively took the place of a brother. "Back--back!" he
exclaimed in a tone of authority to the crowd who pressed round the
litter,--"none but the bearers shall enter. Who will go for a

"I--I," replied several voices, and the crowd dispersed in various
directions, whilst the litter was borne through the arched passage.

"Show the way to his room," said Lucius to Teresa, whom he recognized,
as she followed her master closely, crying and wringing her hands.

The litter was carried across the patio, and through a long spacious
corridor, at the end of which lay the cavalier's apartment. Alcala's
wound had already been roughly bound up at the circus, the flowing
blood had been stanched. He was, with the help of Lucius and Inez,
gently lifted from the litter and placed on his bed, to await the
surgeon's arrival.

"Water--bring water!" cried Lucius. Teresa hurried to obey the
command, but her young mistress had forestalled her. In this emergency
the energy of Inez had returned. But not a word had she uttered, not a
tear had she shed; her anguish had sealed her lips, her terror had
dried up her tears. Kneeling beside her brother's low bed, Inez
sprinkled with water his corpse-like face; Lucius, gently supporting
his head, put a cup to his lips.

"Oh, Heaven be praised!--he drinks! there is life in him still!"
exclaimed Inez.

"He's dying--he's dying--last of his race! Oh, woe's me! woe's me!"
moaned Teresa.

Lucius dismissed the bearers, satisfying their demands with the
coin--it was but little--that he chanced to have on his person. They
had scarcely left the place ere the anxiously expected surgeon

The surgeon removed the bandages from the insensible Alcala, and
examined his ghastly wound. There was a deep gash in the left
shoulder, from which there had been a great effusion of blood. The
full extent of the injury sustained by the unfortunate cavalier could
not be ascertained at once.

"He was crushed up against the barrier,--I saw it with my own
eyes,--oh that I should have lived to see it!" cried Teresa, with
passionate gestures. "The bull charged, and in a moment man and horse
were down in the dust. Campeador never rose again, the horns of the

"Be silent, woman!" said Lucius sternly; "does not your lady already
suffer enough?"

Teresa stared in angry surprise at this unexpected rebuke from the
stranger, who had assumed a post of command in the house of his friend
by the tacit consent of its mistress; for Inez felt as if, in her
sorest need, a helper and supporter had been sent to her by Heaven.
The old woman dared not reply, but muttering something between her
teeth about "insolent heretic," busied herself with the bandages
required for the wound.

When the surgeon had finished his work, Lucius accompanied him out of
the room, that his question, "Do you think that there is hope?" might
not be heard by Inez.

"It is impossible to give any decided opinion as yet, señor," answered
the surgeon. "Fever will probably ensue; let some one sit up with the
caballero during the night."

As the surgeon crossed the patio, it was entered by a priest. In this
stout personage, swathed in long black robe with rosary and crucifix
dependent; with plump, dark, close-shaven face, and tonsured head from
which the huge flapped hat was now removed, Lucius recognized the
priest who had touched him on the shoulder on the previous evening.

There was no word spoken between the two men; the family confessor
needed no guide to the room of Alcala. But the eyes of the Spaniard
and the Englishman met, and each read in the glance of the other, "I
shall find an opponent in you."

From motives of delicacy, Lucius did not follow the priest into
Alcala's apartment, but remained waiting in the lofty corridor. He
would not by his presence disturb the visit of a spiritual director.
The door was closed between them; no ordinary conversation could
therefore be heard by one standing outside, who had no wish or
intention to listen. The priest, however, probably purposely, spoke
loudly enough in the chamber of sickness for a word or two
occasionally to reach the ear of Lucius.

"Not at confession for the last year,--bad
influence--heretic--Protestant," such were the words which the raised
tone in which they were spoken rendered audible,--though an indistinct
murmur was all that was otherwise heard of the voice of the
ecclesiastic through the closed door.

"Would that I had better deserved the priest's suspicions!" thought
Lucius, with some self-reproach.

When the priest left Alcala's apartment he was followed by Inez and
Teresa, though the former went but a few steps beyond the door. Her
hands were clasped; a look of entreaty was on her pale face.

"You will not refuse my brother the last rites of the Church?" she
said faintly.

"I will come again to-morrow, and hear his confession, if Don Alcala
be then able and willing to confess," was the sternly uttered reply.
"I hope that I shall find him a true son of the Church;" the hope was
expressed in a tone that was more suggestive of doubt. Inez bowed low
with submissive reverence, and returned to her post.

As Father Bonifacio--such was the name of the priest--passed Lucius,
again his eyes rested on the young Englishman with an expression of
dislike and suspicion. The glance was calmly returned.

Teresa accompanied the priest to the outer arch, while Lucius went
back to the room of his friend.

"I knew that there was something wrong," muttered Teresa, when
Bonifacio had passed out into the street. "Don Alcala has been too
much with those vile blasphemers of the saints and the blessed Virgin.
If all the bulls that graze on the Sierra Nevada had come against him,
the arm of an Aguilera would have prevailed, had his lance but been
sprinkled with holy water. Had the caballero been to mass and
confession in the morning, he would never have rolled in the dust at
noon. If I had my will, that English heretic should never come near or
look at him again!"

But Teresa had not her will, at least on the night which followed that
anxious day. Lucius shared with Inez the long sad watch by the
sufferer's pillow. As his presence certainly did not seem to be
unwelcome to the sister of his friend, he remained at his post until

How often the scene in that sick-room afterwards returned to the
recollection of Lucius, its most trifling accessories imprinted
indelibly on his mind! The large and lofty but scantily-furnished
apartment, so dimly lighted by one small lamp that its further corners
were left in almost absolute darkness; the walls, on which the plaster
was cracked and peeling; while square-shaped marks and projecting
nails showed that pictures had once been hung where they no longer
remained to bear witness to the wealth and taste of their late
possessors. One family portrait alone was left, evidently painted by
the hand of a master; but it had apparently served as a pistol target
in the time when the French were quartered in Seville, as it was
drilled with several holes. The ceiling had once been richly painted
and gilded; but the gold had long since lost all trace of brightness,
and the faded painting showed in the dull light like mere undefined
stains of various hues. There was no carpet on the floor; this was not
necessarily a sign of poverty in a climate so warm as that of
Andalusia, but the boards themselves were time-worn, and in some
places seemed going to decay.

The part of the scene on which interest centred was that where Alcala
lay, on his bed of pain, with countenance so pale that it looked as if
it belonged to a monumental recumbent figure chiselled out of marble.
Almost as pale and as still, his sister sat watching beside him,
scarcely ever raising her long dark lashes, so fixed was her gaze on
the face of Alcala. Inez seemed scarcely to be aware of the presence
of a stranger, save when Lucius helped her to change the position of
the sufferer, or placed the fever-draught in her hand. Inez would then
thank him by a mute and scarcely perceptible gesture.

Hour after hour passed away, whilst the only sounds that broke the
stillness were the rustle of Teresa's dress, or the crack of one of
the old boards under her heavy tread. The old servant flitted about
uneasily, like a bird whose nest is invaded. It was against all the
duenna's ideas of propriety, as well as the devotee's prejudiced views
of religion, that the English heretic should remain in the sick-room,
which nothing would persuade Donna Inez to quit. But Teresa dared not
speak out her mind in the presence of Lucius Lepine, above all in
that still and solemn apartment. Even Teresa could hardly help seeing,
though she would not have openly acknowledged the fact, that the
services of the young stranger could not, on that night, have been
well dispensed with. No one would ever have introduced Chico into a
sick-room; and before the long night was over, Teresa's own eyelids
were closed in sleep. The old servant was worn out with the fatigue,
excitement, and distress of the day.

Alcala gave few signs of life during the long weary hours of darkness.
Occasionally he clutched his hand, sometimes his lips slightly moved
and his brow was contracted with pain. Once a few scarcely articulate
words escaped him: "Not a convent--no, not a convent!" Towards
morning, however, the wounded man sank into quiet sleep; and Lucius
felt that he could now leave him with a more easy mind.

"It is dawn--you had better depart; thanks, thanks for your kindness
to him," murmured Inez, as a slight sound of movement made her aware
that Lucius had risen from his seat. The Englishman bent his head to
whisper a word of comfort to the poor watcher before he quitted her

"Señorita, trust in the mercy of God, and hope. I believe that your
brother will be spared to you yet."



Lucius was dizzy from want of sleep when he left the mansion of the
Aguileras and went forth into the fresh morning air. But he had no
time for repose. He could but partake of a simple breakfast at his
lodging before beginning the week's work in the Calle San Francisco.
Lepine's presence in the counting-house and factory was now more
indispensable than usual, as he would, at least till a substitute
could be found for Alcala, have to do the young Spaniard's work in
addition to his own.

The mind of Lucius Lepine was very full of his friend. What he had
seen of the interior of the fine old house in the Calle de San José
had made Lucius sure of what he had long suspected, that Alcala de
Aguilera, though of high lineage and aristocratic bearing, was yet
exceedingly poor. Lucius doubted that the wounded man's family would
be able to procure for him even the common comforts which his
exhausted state required. Never had Lepine been more tempted to wish
himself rich. He could give no further pecuniary help; he had cut down
already to a very narrow limit his own personal expenses; his savings
had been lately forwarded to England to pay for a brother's schooling.
Lucius saw no way of supplying the need of Alcala, unless he could
interest his employer in the behalf of his friend. Mr. Passmore had a
well-filled purse, his business profits were large, and the
disbursement of twenty, thirty, or fifty doubloons would not alter his
style of living, or cause the absence of one dainty from his luxurious

But Peter Passmore was not a man from whom it was pleasant to ask a
favour, or easy to draw a donation. Lucius, when he made up his mind
to plead for assistance for Alcala, was doing for his friend a thing
which nothing short of starvation would have induced him to do for

Lepine had been for two hours in the counting-house before he heard
the heavy step and puffing breathing of Mr. Passmore.

"So your friend, the picador, was yesterday carried home dead," was
the first sentence with which the master of the iron-works greeted his

"Not dead, sir, I am thankful to say, but gored and sorely injured,"
was the reply.

"How he escaped with life is a miracle," said the manufacturer; "but
of course the chulos went to his help. It was indeed a sight to make
one hold one's breath! The bull, a magnificent brute, rushed on with
the force of a steam-engine. The horse received the goring thrust full
in his chest, so was put at once out of pain, more lucky than the
wretched hacks usually are. Of all barbarous sports invented by man or
by demon, bull-fighting is to my mind the most atrocious."

"The sufferings which I witnessed last night," said Lucius, "make me
more ready than ever to subscribe to that opinion;" and he gave a
graphic description of what he had seen in the Calle de San José, but
as briefly as possible, for Passmore was never a patient listener, at
least to the tale of other's woe. But the glimpse given by Lucius of
the poverty of Alcala's home made the manufacturer more indignant than

"Not the means of getting comforts!" he exclaimed, striking his flabby
hand on the desk; "then why, in the name of common sense, did the
madman, when in the receipt of a handsome salary--punctually
paid--choose to ruin not only himself but his family, in order to
gratify some fantastic, most incomprehensible whim of his own?"

"I understand that De Aguilera had some mistaken idea of honour,"
began Lucius; but his employer would not suffer him to finish the

"Honour! fiddlestick and nonsense!" exclaimed Mr. Passmore. "What has
a clerk in an ironware factory to do with honour? Nay, you need not
fire up, young man; the blow does not hit you. My notion of true
honour is for a man to pay his way and earn his pay; and I'm satisfied
that you do both. But for this wretched Spanish pride I've no
patience! It is anything but honourable in a man to take the bread
from the mouths of his family by squandering all his money on finery
only fit for the stage; it is anything but honourable to cheat his
employer by spending on bull-sticking the time which should have been
given to book-keeping--a much wiser, safer, and, to any man with an
atom of sense, a far more agreeable employment!"

Lucius saw that it was utterly useless to attempt to draw a single
dollar from Mr. Passmore for the relief of the Aguileras. He was
disappointed, but scarcely surprised. It was impossible to refute what
the manufacturer had said, however unpalatable truth might be,
conveyed in a manner so coarse.

Another disappointment awaited Lucius Lepine. After a day of unusual
toil, rendered more irksome by the heat of the weather acting on a
frame wearied by a long night of watching, Lucius, as soon as his work
was done, set out for the Calle de San José. He was anxious to know
the state of his friend, and again to take his place by his bedside.
Should the improvement in Alcala's state continue--and Lucius, who was
hopeful by nature, regarded recovery as probable--what opportunities
there would be during his convalescence for quiet religious converse!
Lucius felt that he could and would say by the bedside what he could
not say in the counting-house or the Prado. Aguilera would have to
pass many long weary hours of confinement in his apartment, and then
his mind would be free to receive the good seed of the Word.

"Into how rich a soil," thought the young Englishman, "that seed will
be dropped; and who can estimate what may be the result, not only to
Alcala, but to others whom he may influence! The man who dared face a
horrible death for love or honour, must become a Christian hero if
once he embrace evangelical truth."

It was with a feeling of triumph, that made him forget for awhile
personal weariness and anxiety for his friend, that Lucius glanced
again at the placard-covered boarding which had arrested his
attention on the Saturday night preceding the bull-fight. The
invitation to the Plaza de Toros had either been torn down as out of
date, or covered with more recent advertisements; the charge from the
Bishop of Cadiz, in all the clearness of its black type, remained
there still. Lucius smiled at the thought that he himself was about to
join the band of those who were attacking Rome in her stronghold; his
second attempt to strike at superstitious error was, he trusted, not
likely to end like his first.

Lucius soon found himself at the entrance of the Aguilera mansion. The
grating at the end of the arched passage was shut, which it had not
been on the occasions of his two previous visits.

The Englishman rang gently, but his summons remained unanswered. He
rang again rather more loudly, and then walked up to the grating. He
heard a heavy step crossing the patio, and through the perforated iron
screen which divided them saw the bent form of Teresa approaching
towards him.

"How fares the señor?" inquired Lucius.

"Better, thanks to the blessed Santa Veronica, a lock of whose holy
hair has been under the caballero's pillow," was the old woman's

"Pray open the gate; I have come to nurse your master to-night," said

"The caballero wants none of your nursing," exclaimed Teresa, in her
harshest tone; "and if you wait till I open the gate for you, why, you
may stand there till the Guadalquivir runs dry! Away with you and your
white Judaism![12] To have the like of you prowling about sick men's
beds is enough to make the bones of good old Torquemada[13] shake in
the grave!"

Teresa's form vanished from behind the grating, and Lucius, not a
little annoyed at this unexpected obstacle to his intercourse with
Alcala, returned to his cheerless lodging.

Evening after evening the young Englishman renewed his attempt to gain
admission into the mansion of De Aguilera, but always with a similar
result. In vain he hoped for a sight of the señorita; she at least, he
believed, would not shut out the friend of her brother. Lucius saw no
one during repeated visits but the bandy-legged, ill-favoured Chico,
or the fanatic Teresa. The latter as jealously guarded the entrance to
forbidden ground as ever did fabled dragon of old. As regarded Chico,
the case was different. Lucius more than suspected that when this
servant answered his summons, the grating might have been unlocked by
means of a silver key. But Lucius was too poor to give bribes, and
the disappointed Chico became almost as rude as Teresa herself. The
young foreigner only exposed himself to insult and abuse by his
attempts to visit Alcala.

"This is my just punishment for former neglect of a clear duty," said
Lucius to himself one evening, as he turned from the Moorish archway.
"There was a time when an open gate was before me, but now the gate is


[12] "White Judaism, which includes all kinds of heresy, such as
Lutheranism, Freemasonry, and the like." See the Spanish priest's
definition of the term, in the seventeenth chapter of Borrows' "Bible
in Spain."

[13] A celebrated Spanish inquisitor.



It is not the tongue of man alone that can speak to the soul of man;
God's rod hath often a solemn voice, and the conscience cannot but
hear it. Much was passing through the mind of Alcala of which those
around him knew nothing, as he lay with closed eyes and silent lips
upon his couch of pain. He was often supposed to be sleeping, when
thoughts on the deepest subjects were absorbing his mind.

The horror of the bull-fight had been to Alcala what the earthquake
was to the jailer of Philippi; it had startled his soul into uttering
the cry, "What must I do to be saved?" Not that any dark deed of guilt
lay on the young Spaniard's conscience. In a place where the standard
of morality is low, De Aguilera had led a life comparatively
blameless; the picture of maidenly purity ever before him in the
sister whom he tenderly loved, had kept him from many an error.
Alcala had little to reproach himself with as regarded man, but he had
become conscious that he had offended his Maker, and had never yet
made his peace with his God.

Alcala's ideas in regard to the Supreme Being were vague, as might be
expected in a man who had never studied the Scriptures. The Spaniard
did not know God, and therefore did not love Him. Alcala regarded the
Almighty as a Being awful in purity and terrible in justice, who
required an unhesitating obedience, an absorbing devotion, which the
young man knew had never been rendered by himself. If the horn of the
bull had gone a little deeper, if it had sent the sinner to the dread
tribunal above, how would the disembodied soul have endured the
searching scrutiny of an Omniscient Judge, and what would His awful
verdict have been? Such was the question which Alcala asked of his
conscience, and conscience gave no answer of peace.

The wounded man rather submitted to than sought the ministrations of
Bonifacio; they satisfied neither his heart nor his reason. Alcala
heard of the sanctity of the (so-called) Catholic Church, the efficacy
of her sacraments, the power of her priests, the intercession of
martyrs, the wonders to be wrought by fragment of wood or morsel of
bone,--he heard of all these things with weariness and distaste.
Alcala was as a man perishing of thirst to whom is held out an
elaborately chased cup, within which there is not a single drop of
life-giving water.

Bonifacio's rebukes were even more trying to the sufferer than were
the priest's exhortations. The confessor tried to probe his penitent's
conscience, but never laid his finger on the real wound. Alcala's
remorse was not for having read some books that did not increase his
reverence for the hierarchy of Rome, nor for not having more
frequently laid bare his inmost thoughts to a tonsured fellow-sinner.
He could not be argued into believing it to be a crime to have had a
Protestant friend. It was not recollection of such transgressions that
was troubling the cavalier's soul with the yet unanswered question,
"What must I do to be saved?"

Though Alcala never spoke to his sister of his mental struggles, she
perceived, with the quick instinct of affection, that his mind was not
at ease. Inez saw also that Bonifacio was by no means satisfied with
her brother's spiritual state. This was distressing to the gentle
Inez. "The pious father," she said to herself, "cannot know how good
is Alcala; I do not think that there is a cavalier to be compared to
him in all Andalusia."

Inez was, indeed, aware that Alcala was not quite so strict a Catholic
as if he had been brought up in a cloister. She remembered that when
Queen Isabella (whom the most loyal of her subjects could not regard
as a saint) had presented to the black image of our Lady of Atocha a
robe crusted with jewels said to be worth thirty thousand pounds,[14]
Alcala had not admired her devotion. He had even said that the queen
might have pleased Heaven better by feeding her starving people with
the money spent on that gift. Was such a thought very profane? If so,
Inez feared that she shared the sin of her brother.

In the desire to do something that might bring solace to the spirit of
Alcala, Inez, on the following Sabbath morn, softly laid beside him,
while he was sleeping, a Romish manual of devotion, containing prayers
or invocations to half the saints in the calendar of her Church. Inez
had herself made much use of the book in the time of her overwhelming
anxiety, though she had found no great relief from such prayers. The
maiden was alone at the time by her brother's sick-bed, and was so
wearied by nearly a week of nursing, that, now that her worst fears
were removed, exhausted nature claimed her due, and Inez fell fast
asleep on her chair.

Alcala awoke while Inez slumbered, and gazed with grateful affection
on his devoted sister. His eyes then fell on the book which she had
placed near his pillow, and his emaciated hand took it up. Alcala
opened the volume less from expectation of finding comfort in its
contents, than from a wish to please her who had put it beside him, he
guessed with what intention. As Alcala unclosed the book, a small
piece of paper fell out. It was something that Inez had dearly
treasured, for it held what she had feared might be her brother's last
message. She had kept it in her manual of devotion, as the safest and
the holiest place.

Alcala dropped the book, and took up the leaf; he recognized the scrap
of paper on which he had written in the bitterest moment of his life.
Strange and painful associations were connected with the torn, soiled
fragment which had been picked up from the road. Alcala gazed,
read--not his own pencilled words, but the printed part of the
paper--and in a moment all merely personal associations were
forgotten. The Spaniard's whole attention was concentrated on the
first verse of Scripture on which his eyes rested--"_Therefore, being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ_" (Rom. v. 1).

Here was something that might satisfy the soul's deep longings; it was
as if a voice from heaven, in tones that pierced the inmost heart, had
replied to that question to which earth had given no answer. The
first sensation to the Spaniard resembled that of one dazzled by
sudden overpowering light. Then came the thought, "Can this be truth?
Whence comes this torn leaf; of what book has it formed a portion?"

Alcala scarcely doubted that words so sublime in their simplicity, and
so utterly at variance with the teachings of Rome, must be part of the
Book the reading of which his priest had denounced as a crime; that
Book which the Protestants call the WORD OF GOD. This conviction
became stronger in the mind of De Aguilera, as again and again--till
he knew it by heart--he perused that verse from which he was drinking
in life, and hope, and joy.

"_Justified_,--what is that? Is it to be pronounced 'not guilty' at
the very tribunal of Heaven? Is it to have no transgression punished,
no sin imputed; to be saved from all the terrors of the world unknown?
_Justified by faith._ Can it be by simply believing? Not by penance
here, or purgatorial fires hereafter; not by the work of the hands or
the anguish of the soul, the alms or the sacrifice, but _justified by
faith_. Oh! could I but believe this, then indeed should I _have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ_!

"And with what is that _therefore_, that golden link, connected?"
Alcala asked himself, as he eagerly glanced at the context, the verse
which concludes the fourth chapter of Romans--"_Who was delivered for
our offences, and raised again for our justification_." All pointed to
the Redeemer, and to Him _only_, the One Source of Salvation and
Justification. The doctrine was clear as the light of day which was
streaming in at the window; but could it be true? was it not too good
to be true? Dared the poor sinner believe it, and trust the safety of
his soul simply and unreservedly to Him who died to redeem it?

"I must see Lucius Lepine," murmured Alcala; "I must show him this
paper. I marvel that he has never come near me since the first night,
when I have a dim recollection of hearing his voice." The cavalier hid
the precious leaf under his pillow; for he heard the heavy step of
Teresa, and her entrance with some cooling drink for the patient
wakened Inez out of her sleep.


[14] _Vide_ "Daybreak in Spain."



"Has the English señor never called to see me?" was Alcala's abrupt
question to Teresa as she came into his room.

The duenna was taken by surprise, and Alcala read assent in her look
of confusion.

"Why was my friend not admitted at once?" cried the cavalier, in tones
so angry and loud that his astonished hearers could scarcely believe
that they came from lips which, but a day before, had seemed scarcely
able to speak above a whisper.

"The Inglesito was not wanted here," muttered Teresa, who scarcely
knew whether to be pleased at the improvement in her patient, or vexed
at the way in which that improvement was manifested.

"It was for me to judge whether my visitor's presence was wanted or
not," said Alcala de Aguilera. "I will write to him,--no, I have not
strength to write"--(not even the feverish energy which possessed his
spirit could give steadiness to his hand)--"send Chico directly,
without one minute's delay, to pray the señor to come hither. Is it
not Sunday?" added Alcala more gently, turning his head towards Inez;
"Lepine has no business to do upon Sundays, so his time will be free."

Teresa dared not disobey the hest of her master; she saw the
fever-flush rising on his cheek, and could not risk the consequences
of thwarting his will. Wishing in her heart that the vile foreign
heretic were at the bottom of his own British Channel, Teresa went in
search of Chico. There was, however, no need to find him, for the
duenna had scarcely passed through the corridor before she heard the
sound of Lepine's ring at the bell.

As for six successive evenings Lucius had been turned away from the
house of the Aguileras, he had almost resolved to give up for a time
all attempts to visit Alcala. On that very morning the young man had
said to himself, "I will try my chance but once more;" and it was with
very faint expectation of gaining admission that he came up to the
grating which he had never but once been suffered to pass. It was a
pleasant surprise to Lucius when Teresa, slowly and sullenly, drew
back the bolt, and let him enter the patio. The old woman did not
choose to usher the heretic herself into the presence of her master,
but with her wrinkled finger pointed towards the corridor which led to
Alcala's apartment.

Lucius needed no more distinct invitation. He crossed the court, and
entered the corridor with a heart that throbbed with expectation. Here
was the opportunity which he had desired, sought, and prayed for, of
conversing with his wounded friend on the most important of subjects.
Lucius felt that he must not again let such an opportunity slip. But
what should he say,--how should he enter on a topic which might be
unwelcome? Lucius felt that extreme difficulty of entering on
spiritual themes which so often fetters the lips even of experienced

But how often man's whole difficulty lies in forming a firm resolution
to do what conscience commands. No sooner does he begin to put that
resolution into practice than the apprehended difficulty vanishes
away! Such was to be the young Englishman's experience on the present

Lucius found Alcala alone, for Inez had glided out of the room by
another door when she heard the visitor's approach. The wounded
cavalier welcomed his friend with eyes that sparkled with animation,
and an eagerness of manner for which Lucius was by no means prepared.
He had expected to find Alcala in a state of suffering, languor, and
depression, and never before had he seen the Spaniard's usually
melancholy face wear an expression so bright.

"You are welcome; you are the one whom I most desired to see!" cried
Alcala, holding out a thin hand which trembled with excitement as well
as with weakness. "I pray you to take a seat by my side."

Lucius did so, and watched as De Aguilera feebly searched for
something under his pillow, and then drew out carefully from its
hiding-place a little fragment of paper.

"Tell me," said Alcala earnestly, as he held out the leaf to his
companion--"tell me, Lepine, what is this?"

With emotions which cannot be described, Lucius first examined the
little torn scrap, and then met the gaze of the eager dark eyes that
seemed to be reading him through and through.

"This is a leaf that has been torn from a Bible," said Lucius.

"And do you believe its contents--are they truth?" asked Alcala, his
eyes riveted still on the face of his friend.

"This is the Word of the Eternal God of Truth," replied the young man
with reverence. "But," he added in a different tone, "it is to me a
strange, an unaccountable thing, how this paper should ever have come
into your possession, if--as I cannot but think--it belongs to a book
which I have on my person at this moment."

The Englishman drew his New Testament out of his breast-pocket, and
opened it at the Epistle to the Romans, Alcala watching his movements
with lively curiosity. Several leaves from that part of the volume had
evidently been torn out, and afterwards neatly replaced with paper and
gum; but of one leaf there remained but a portion. Lucius fitted the
fragment given to him by Alcala to the torn edge of this leaf, and
smiled to observe that the two portions fitted each other exactly.

The surprise of Alcala was quite as great as his own. "How can this
be?" exclaimed the Spaniard; "when was that fragment torn from that

"Last Sunday morning," replied Lepine. "It was torn by the first of
your countrymen to whom I ever offered a religious book. He was a
peasant, following a herd."

"A herd of fighting bulls--on the way to the Plaza de Toros?" asked
Alcala with interest.

"Yes," replied Lucius Lepine. "The drover was angry; he mutilated and
flung back my book. You must have picked up the leaf by chance."

"Not by chance; no, not by chance!" exclaimed De Aguilera, his lip
quivering as he spoke. "Mark you, Lepine, the pencilling on the
margin?--Perhaps not, the faint lines are almost effaced by the tears
of her who read them. Let them be effaced!" continued the cavalier
with passionate fervour; "let all be effaced that is a record of the
guilt and misery of man,--God's Word is legible still,--and it is the
Word of Life."

I shall not attempt to give in full length the conversation that
followed. Many were the questions on doctrinal points eagerly asked by
Alcala, questions which showed that the speaker was one thirsting
indeed for the waters of life. The Testament was searched and studied,
Lucius preferring to answer the queries of his friend in God's words
instead of his own. The Englishman turned from gospel to epistle,
comparing this chapter with that, explaining scripture by scripture,
and proving with an ease and clearness which surprised himself the
truth of that grand central doctrine on which the Christian's hope is
rooted, the doctrine of _justification by faith in a crucified

Lucius remained by the bedside of Alcala during the whole of that day;
he was scarcely suffered to quit it even when night was far advanced.
The friends partook together of a simple repast; their spirits were
enjoying together the richest spiritual feast. Lucius, who had been
brought up by pious and enlightened parents, could not remember a time
when he had doubted God's pardoning grace, or been ignorant of the
first principles of evangelical religion. It had not been so with the
Spaniard, and his friend was much struck by the rapturous surprise,
the intense thankfulness with which the glad tidings of great joy were
received by one from whose eyes truth had hitherto been hidden beneath
a mass of vain superstitions. Alcala welcomed that truth as one who
has suddenly found a priceless treasure, and gratefully received the
gift of the New Testament from his friend.

"This shall be my study, my guide, my joy!" said the cavalier,
pressing the book to his lips. "I will never part with it but with
life; it has given me more than life!"

Lucius left Alcala physically much exhausted, but full of joy and
peace in believing. A night of deep sweet sleep followed the day of
excitement. Alcala's soul was at rest; he had found what he long had
sought. God was to him no longer the terrible Judge, but the
reconciled Father; death was regarded no more as the dark angel who
would summon the soul to trial and condemnation, but as the seraph
that would call that soul to the presence of a glorified Saviour.

Has he whose eye now glances over these pages known experimentally
anything of the fears of one conscious of sin,--or the intense joy of
him who has heard in his heart, "_Go in peace, thy sins are forgiven



The visits of Lucius to the house of Alcala were repeated on many
successive evenings, to the great annoyance of Teresa, who both
suspected and feared the stranger. Inez did not share the old
servant's displeasure. She saw that the society of the Englishman made
her brother strangely happy, as they studied together that marvellous
Book, of which Alcala spoke to her so often. Inez rather regretted
when she found that there would be a break in intercourse which was so
greatly enjoyed, Lucius having to go to Madrid on some mercantile
business in the latter part of September.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Here, I have spent all, to the last maravedi,"[15] muttered old
Teresa, as she returned one Friday from market, laden with a basket
heavy with various provisions for the household: some bread, a flask
of oil (indispensable in a Spanish kitchen), a string of onions,
saffron for soup, a melon, chestnuts, oranges, and olives. Meat was a
luxury rarely tasted in the palace of the Aguileras. Wearily the old
woman set down the basket on the kitchen table, on which Inez, with
her delicate hands, was preparing her grandmother's cup of chocolate.

"I have satisfied the surgeon, as you desired, señorita," said Teresa,
"and have bought these things with what remained of the twenty dollars
which you gave me."

"You have laid out the dollars well, Teresa," said the maiden
graciously to her ungracious retainer; "I knew that you would do the
best that you could with the money."

"I wish that I knew where that money came from," said Teresa, her
sharp eyes surveying her young mistress with a keen look of suspicion.
As Inez never quitted the house unescorted by her duenna, and Teresa
had not once been asked to attend the señorita--except to mass--since
Alcala had received his wound, it had been a matter of curious
speculation to the old servant how the lady had suddenly become
possessed of twenty dollars, which seemed to her a very large sum.

Inez made no reply to the observation, but went on with her
occupation. This only served to intensify the curiosity of Teresa.

"I hope that those dollars were not given to the señorita by that
heretic Inglesito," hissed forth the old woman, as she rested her bony
knuckles on the table, and leant forward to peer more closely into the
face of Inez.

"You know well that Spanish ladies accept no money from cavaliers,"
replied Inez, with a heightened colour on her cheek and some
displeasure in her tone. "I had the dollars from Donna Maria de Rivas;
she was here yesterday, as you are perfectly aware."

Teresa did not look by any means satisfied with the reply; perhaps she
was too well acquainted with the family friend to deem her capable of
an act of free liberality. The old woman still sharply surveyed her
mistress as she observed, "I cannot abide that Donna Maria; she speaks
the thing which is false."

"Teresa!" Inez began reprovingly; but the old domestic tyrant would
have out her say.

"I heard this very morning that Donna Maria boasts that she possesses
a silver reliquary holding a lock of the blessed Santa Veronica's
hair" (here Teresa crossed herself devoutly), "a reliquary once
belonging to Philip the Second, our most Catholic king,--the saints
have his soul in their keeping!"

Inez moved from the table; the flush on her cheek had deepened to
crimson. The duenna presumed to lay her hand on her young lady's arm
to detain her.

"You know, señorita, that there is not a lock of that saint's hair to
be found in all Spain, from Navarre to Andalusia, save that one which
King Philip himself gave to your noble ancestor, Señor Don Amadeo de

Inez tried to release her arm, but the pressure of the old woman's
hand had tightened into a gripe as she continued, after a pause: "You
would not have me imagine that a descendant of that illustrious
caballero, that a daughter of the house of Aguilera, has sold the
priceless relic for twenty dollars?" The question could not have been
asked with more pious horror, had it regarded the tombs containing the
bones of all the maiden's noble ancestors.

Inez, in her position of helpless poverty, could not throw off that
most intolerable yoke, the tyranny of an ill-tempered old duenna, who
knew herself to be indispensable, because her place could not be
supplied by another. Teresa considered that years of almost unpaid
service had given her the privilege of being as insolent as she
pleased to her gentle young mistress. On the present occasion Teresa
used--or abused--that privilege to the utmost.

"I would not have exchanged that precious relic," she cried, "for the
Golden Rose which his Holiness the Pope has sent to our queen! I'd
have begged--starved--thrown myself into the river--before I'd have
sold it for money! The glory of the house of De Aguilera is gone for
ever! The curse of the saints is upon us!" And Teresa, relaxing her
hold on Inez, burst into a flood of passionate tears.

Inez was not herself sufficiently free from a superstitious regard for
relics, not to be distressed and even somewhat alarmed at seeing the
light in which her act was viewed by the old duenna.

"We were in debt--in need," she said softly; "I hope that the blessed
saint herself would forgive what I did for the sake of a brother."

"The saint may--but I cannot!" exclaimed Teresa, hastily drying her
eyes, and then bursting out of the kitchen. Her anger, if the truth
must be told, sprang quite as much from her pride as from her
devotion. To have it noised about in the market-place of Seville that
the reliquary of King Philip, the heirloom of the Aguileras, had
actually been sold to purchase food,--this was even worse to the old
retainer of the family than the fear of offending Santa Veronica.

Inez stood for some moments with drooping head and downcast eyes. Had
she indeed, the poor girl asked herself, done something that might
draw down on herself and her family the wrath of the saints?

"Perhaps I should first have consulted my brother," thought Inez;
"though the reliquary was my own, the gift of my father. I should have
done so, had not most of the money which I received been required to
pay the surgeon to whose skill we owe so much. But I should not have
trusted my own judgment; I am but a weak, foolish girl. As soon as I
have carried this chocolate to my grandmother, I will go and confess
the truth to Alcala. He may condemn my act, but I am sure that he at
least will forgive it."


[15] A coin of less than a farthing's value.



There are those who have asserted that the doctrine of Justification
by Faith will lead to neglect of good works; that he who believes that
Christ has done all, will be content himself to do nothing. How false
is the assertion has been constantly proved by the lives of those who
have most simply and unreservedly thrown themselves on the free mercy
of Him who died for sinners! Love for the Saviour and the indulgence
of wilful sin can no more exist together than fire and water unite.
Where the Heavenly Guest enters, a halo of light shines around Him
which reveals impurities which have hitherto, perhaps, altogether
escaped the notice of conscience. Wheresoever the Saviour goes,
holiness is the print left by His footsteps.

Thus was it with Alcala. Having received the gospel with joy, he
intuitively began to consider what return of grateful obedience he
could make for unmerited mercy. Having cheerfully resolved to run the
race set before him, he felt that he must speed towards his glorious
goal disencumbered of the weight of the sin which most easily beset
him. Alcala had little difficulty in discovering what that sin was.
Turning from contemplation of Christian doctrine to that of Christian
duties, the Spaniard was struck by the very first sentence uttered by
Divine lips in the Sermon on the Mount--"_Blessed are the poor in

Alcala paused long, with his finger on that verse. He was a Spaniard,
and a Spaniard of noble birth. He had been, as it were, cradled in
pride; taught to regard pride as a lofty virtue. Was it needful, and
even if needful, was it possible, to overcome what seemed woven into
his very nature? Could the high-spirited cavalier ever become the meek
and lowly believer?

Alcala felt that, in the struggle against pride in its various forms,
he was now entering his spiritual Plaza de Toros; that his own
strength was as weakness compared with that of the mighty enemy before
him. He must ask for strength greater than his own, he must seek for
the aid of that Holy Spirit who could enable him to overthrow and
trample even upon pride. Alcala reflected deeply on the numerous
passages in Scripture which represent humility as essential to the
character of a believer. It was difficult indeed to throw aside
prejudices that had become as a part of himself, to recognize the
truth that nothing is really degrading but sin, and that the highest
and noblest have nothing whereof to boast. Alcala's reflections,
however, brought him to a conviction which was once simply and
beautifully expressed by a believer, whose life proved that she spoke
from the heart:[16]--"What is the position of a Christian? To wash the
disciples' feet, to sit at the Saviour's feet,--this is the position
of a Christian!"

"I shall bear on my person to the end of my days a scar to remind me
that God abhors pride," thought Alcala; "and the lesson will be
enforced by new privations, in which, alas! my family must share. Who
has more reason than I to know that pride is a fiend who, under the
name of high spirit, lures us on to destruction? But for unmerited
grace, I should have sacrificed to him both body and soul. His voice
was more strong in this guilty heart than the appeals of reason,
conscience, and affection. I preferred dying like a madman, to owning
that I had boasted like a fool!"

Alcala was thus pondering over the subject, when his sister entered
his apartment, knelt by his side, and timidly took his hand in her

"Something has grieved my sweet one," said Alcala, reading trouble in
the face of his sister.

"Alcala, I must hide nothing from you," murmured Inez, with the
meekness of a child confessing a fault. "I fear that I may have done
wrong, but you will judge when you know the whole truth. Donna Maria
was here yester-evening, while the English señor was with you. I could
not help speaking to her of my troubles; I could not help telling her
of our--our difficulties," continued Inez, drooping her head. "I
thought that she had the means to help us, and--we are so poor,

"Poverty is no disgrace, my Inez," said Alcala; "except," he added
gravely, "poverty brought on by such an act of criminal folly and
pride as that which has laid me here."

"I told our mother's friend that I had parted with all,--everything
that could be turned into money,--even your guitar, Alcala," continued
Inez with a sigh. "'What, child!' replied Donna Maria, 'even with King
Philip's reliquary, which holds the hair of Santa Veronica, the
heirloom of which your family is so proud? I would give you twenty
dollars for that!'"

"A liberal offer!" cried Alcala, with irony. "Our fathers would not
have sold the relic for twenty thousand!" The cavalier felt that the
little hand which he held was trembling, and reproached himself for
the unguarded exclamation.

"So you let the señora have the reliquary," he said, kindly sparing
the poor girl the pain of continuing her story.

"Did I do very wrong?" murmured Inez. "Must I tell Father Bonifacio,
when next I go to confession, that I have sold Santa Veronica's hair?"

"No; you did right," replied Alcala. And he added cheerfully, "One
verse from the Bible is worth more than all the relics in the
Cathedral of Seville; and as for confession, I would fain that you,
like myself, should resolve never again to confess to a Romish

"Renegade! infidel! apostate!" exclaimed a furious voice. Inez started
in terror to her feet. Bonifacio stood in the doorway, with raised arm
and clenched hand, as if he were launching a thunderbolt of vengeance
at the devoted head of her brother. Teresa, horror-struck, stood
behind the priest, whom she had been on the point of ushering into the
apartment, when he had paused upon the threshold to hear Alcala's
concluding sentence. "Wretch! abandoned by Heaven, lost to every
sentiment of religion!" continued the furious ecclesiastic, "think
not that you can with impunity defy the power of the Church! We have
a pious Queen, who has faithful counsellors in her confessor Claret
and the saintly Patrocinio.[17] The arm of the law is yet mighty
enough to strike--to crush the apostates who renounce their holy faith
to join the enemies of all true religion!" And after a gesture
expressing that he shook from his sandalled feet the polluted dust of
the heretic's dwelling, Bonifacio turned his back on Alcala, and
strode rapidly through the long corridor, followed to the entrance by
Teresa, who was wringing her hands.

"O Alcala! all is lost!" exclaimed Inez.

"Fear nothing, beloved," said Alcala, with a serene composure which
astonished his sister, "mere words have no power to hurt. Though
Bonifacio may have the spirit of old Torquemada, these are not days
when men can be sent to the stake for confessing the truth."

"But there may be persecution,--sharp, dreadful persecution," faltered

"If so, my God will enable me to bear it," said Alcala, with a
countenance that brightened at the thought of enduring suffering and
shame for the sake of his Lord. "Inez, my heart's sister, be not
troubled. Think not of what your brother has lost, but what he has
found;" and Alcala laid his hand on the sacred Volume. "If you knew
more of the contents of this Book, you would fear no longer what man
can do unto those who have grasped the hope of eternal life. But you
shall know more of it, Inez. This evening you and our servants shall
hear me read the words of truth. My wound is almost healed, my
strength is gradually returning, and I would fain devote that strength
to the service of my Heavenly Master. It is meet that my first
audience should be those who form our own household. Lepine would have
explained evangelical doctrines better than I can, to whom they are as
a new revelation; yet I regret not that he is absent at Madrid, since,
if the rumour of even so small a meeting were noised abroad, it might
bring my friend into trouble. Let Teresa and Chico come to my room
after sunset; would that our dear grandmother's mind had power to
receive the glad tidings of free salvation!"

Insolent as Teresa often showed herself to her gentle mistress, the
old retainer stood in awe of her master; and though she might murmur
to herself at his commands, she never dared openly to dispute them.
Both she and Chico were therefore present at the first meeting for
Bible reading and family worship ever held in the stately old
mansion. Alcala, who for the first time since his illness had quitted
his couch, sat propped up with cushions. He looked pale and fragile,
but serenely happy, as he read aloud a portion from one of the
Gospels. The portion was necessarily short, for the reader was still
very weak. Small as was the audience--for no stranger was present--it
yet represented a variety of hearers. Inez, with her hands clasped,
and her soft eyes fixed on the reader, listened to the words of Holy
Writ with reverential attention; Teresa, with scarcely concealed
repugnance; Chico could hardly be said to listen at all. The uncouth
attendant's thoughts were distracted by the strange novelty of his
being permitted, nay, ordered, to be seated in the presence of the
caballero, Don Alcala de Aguilera,--a novelty which disgusted Teresa
more than anything else in the service.

"A low fellow like that to be treated as if his wretched soul were
worth as much as that of a grandee of Spain!" thought Teresa. "My
master's illness must have affected his brain, or he would sooner have
made a footstool of Chico than have bidden him sit down in his
presence!" To her mind such an extraordinary breach of etiquette on
the part of a hidalgo of Andalusia was much more strange and
unaccountable than his late exposure of his life to satisfy a wild
notion of honour.

Alcala was thankful that he had been strengthened to take the first
decided step in the course of service which he hoped through life to
pursue. He closed his Bible reading with a brief extempore prayer, of
which the fervour touched the spirit of Inez, and the humility
astonished that of Teresa. What cavalier had ever before prayed so
earnestly to be delivered from the power of pride!

With gloomy forebodings the duenna retired from Alcala's apartment
after family worship was ended. Often during the following night, as
she uneasily turned on her pallet-bed, Teresa moaned her complaint
that times were evil indeed, when noble pride could be deemed a sin in
the heir of the honours of the Aguileras!

Happy were the slumbers of Alcala. He dreamed that night that he was
again mounted on his steed in the Plaza de Toros, in the centre of the
circus, and surrounded by gazing thousands. But when the door of the
circus was flung open by the black-robed alguazil to whom that service
belongs, it was no fierce animal that rushed forth to encounter the
point of Alcala's lance. There came into the arena a procession of
priests, monks, and devotees, bearing aloft graven images of saints,
and swinging censers of incense, as they slowly approached him. Then,
in his dream, Alcala glanced around, and, lo! instead of the usual
spectators who were wont to throng the seats in the Coliseo of
Seville, the places were filled by thousands of martyrs who, in that
city, had passed through the ordeal of fire. They wore no longer the
yellow san-benito, the garb of shame, but robes compared to whose
whiteness dim were the diamond and dark the new-fallen snow. The
martyrs were "a cloud of witnesses," a cloud sparkling in the light of
the countenance of Him for whom they had suffered,--a cloud reflecting
His ineffable glory.

When the hour of persecution and trial arrived, Alcala drew courage
and hope from the recollection of that glorious dream.


[16] F. Tucker.

[17] Isabella's confessor, and a nun who had great influence with the



Inez de Aguilera always shared the sleeping-room of her grandmother,
and had often to minister during the night to the aged and imbecile
lady. It had never occurred to the Spanish girl to regard this duty as
a hardship, but she had never felt such sweet pleasure in its
performance as she did after listening to the words of her Heavenly
Master which had been read aloud by Alcala. He who had said, "_Love
one another as I have loved you_," would, Inez hoped, be pleased with
her care of the aged relative whom He had intrusted to her charge.

A trial to those who attended on Donna Benita was the poor old lady's
inability to understand the change in the circumstances of her family;
she who had come as a wealthy bride to a wealthy hidalgo, sorely
missed, and never ceased to expect, the luxuries connected with the
possession of riches. If Donna Benita desired to breathe the air in
the Prado, how was it that carriages with splendid horses were not
ready at her command? Where was the train of attendants that should
wait on the lady of a Spanish grandee? What had become of her jewels,
her bracelets of diamonds, her chaplet of pearls? Old Teresa lost
patience when she had to repeat for the hundredth time to her imbecile
mistress that her treasures had all been carried off, nearly fifty
years before, by the infidel French soldiers, who had dared to eat
their puchero and smoke their cigarillos in the patio of the palace of
the Aguileras.

Inez never lost her patience with the feeble invalid, but she was
pained when, on the morning following Alcala's first meeting for
family devotion, Donna Benita more fretfully than usual complained of
the want of the luxuries which her grandchildren had not the means of

"How I am neglected by all of you!" murmured the aged lady. "Have I
not told you these many times to bring me my goblet of chased gold,
filled with good Xeres wine? Where is it--why do you keep it from me?
There is no one to do my bidding,--no one cares to bring me the
delicate panada which is, as you know, my favourite dish. I am tired
of chocolate, and toast, and watery puchero! Every day seems a
fast-day here!"

"You shall have something nice, very nice, to-day, dear grandmother,"
said Inez, respectfully kissing the old lady's hand. "Teresa yesterday
brought home from the market a splendid basketful of good things." And
Inez glided out of the room, asking herself as she did so, "When shall
we find means of so filling that basket again?"

The kitchen, which was situated at the remotest part of the mansion of
the Aguileras, was very spacious, and from its emptiness now appeared
very dreary. There were scarcely as many utensils left in the place as
would have supplied the tent of a wandering Gitano. And yet in that
kitchen, in former days, banquets had been prepared to furnish a table
at which a hundred guests had sat down.

Teresa's bent, withered form was stooping over the fire, which, like
the inmates of the mansion, was very scantily fed. The step of Inez
was so light that the old woman did not hear it, and she was not aware
that the señorita was at her side, when she flung on the fagots a
small bound volume. Inez darted forward, with an exclamation of
indignation, just in time to snatch unharmed from the fire the New
Testament of her brother.

"Why do you presume to burn the treasured book of Don Alcala?"
exclaimed the maiden, pressing the volume to her breast.

"To save Don Alcala's life!" replied Teresa, raising her head with
angry surprise. "Did you not hear the threats of Father Bonifacio;
have you not been told of the warning sent out by our priests against
those who 'infest Catholic Seville with Bibles and _other pernicious
books_'?[18] Are you so ignorant, señorita, as to suppose that
Scripture readings can be safely carried on in a Christian country
like this?" Each question was asked in a tone more loud and shrill
than the last. "Every hour I am expecting the alguazils[19] to search
this house, this house polluted with heresy. Woe to Don Alcala de
Aguilera if that fatal book be found within it! He will be dragged out
of his bed, thrust into some loathsome prison which he will never quit
till his carcass be thrust forth to be flung like carrion into some
ditch! I'll not see it--I'll not see it," continued the old retainer
with a gesture of passionate grief; "Teresa's hand shall not be the
one to open the gate of this palace to those who come to arrest its
master! There's a _gran foncion_ to-day in honour of my patroness,
Santa Teresa; I will go and join the procession, and try if my prayers
cannot move the saint to save Don Alcala from the ruin which he is
bringing on himself and his house!"

Away hurried Teresa, leaving her young lady to do her work and think
over her warning.

The first occupation was easy enough: Inez had often prepared her
grandmother's meals. But while her slender fingers did their office,
the mind of the poor girl was painfully revolving the words of Teresa.
Might they not be only too true--might not Alcala have actually placed
himself within reach of the grasp of the law? Inez was constantly
turning in terror to listen for sounds that might announce the coming
of alguazils to seize on her brother, and search the house. The
horrors of a Spanish prison to a gentleman of refinement, who had not
yet recovered from the effects of a wound, and who was too poor to
bribe his jailers, might actually realize the picture drawn by Teresa.
The heart of Inez sank within her.

While Donna Benita was partaking of food so delicately prepared by her
grand-daughter, that not even the old lady's weak, fretful mind could
find in it subject for complaint, Inez was planning a little scheme
for Alcala's safety, in case a search-warrant should be issued.

"The Book must not be found in this house, at least not in my
brother's possession," thought Inez. "I will not destroy, but I will
conceal it. I will carefully wrap up the volume, and then bury it
deep, very deep, in the earth under the orange-trees which grow round
the fountain; no one will look for it there, and I will take it up
again when the danger is over. Alcala will spare it for a few days
when I tell him why I have buried the Book. He will miss it the less
since he knows, I believe, half of its contents by heart already."

It seemed a long time to Inez before Donna Benita concluded her
tedious repast; a long time before her grand-daughter could beat up
her pillow, shut out the daylight, and leave the old lady to enjoy the
siesta which always followed her morning meal.

Inez then hurriedly proceeded to the patio, and took, from a recess in
which she kept her few garden utensils, a spud with which she was wont
to weed her parterre. She noticed that her plants looked less
flourishing than they had done before her brother's illness; no one
had cared to water or tend them, and many a shrivelled leaf showed the
lack of a mistress's care. "Alcala must not find them thus," thought
Inez; "my chief joy in my garden comes from knowing that it gives
pleasure to him."

In haste to accomplish the work of burying the volume during the
absence of Teresa, Inez knelt down, and with her imperfect instrument
began to dig a hole in the earth which surrounded the fountain. The
maiden found the task more difficult than she had expected. The sod
was dry and hard; Inez had to bring water to saturate the earth before
she could make much impression upon it.

"A little deeper,--it will be safer to make the hole a little deeper,"
said Inez to herself, when she paused to take breath after labour
which the heat of the day made oppressive. The lady took up her garden
utensil again, and struck it, not down into deeper earth, but against
something hard which returned a metallic clink to the stroke.

"What can be here?" exclaimed the maiden. She removed more of the
earth, till a small pile of it was deposited on either side of the
hole which she had been digging. A little more scraping then revealed
to her view, as she bent over the opening, something like a wooden box
with a handle of metal. Stooping yet lower,--she was still on her
knees,--Inez took hold of the handle, and with an effort of her utmost
strength attempted to draw out the box; but she was unable even to
stir it.

"Can I help the señorita?" said Chico, who had been attracted to the
patio by the slight but unusual noise made by Inez when digging out
the earth. Since the death of poor Campeador, the bandy-legged groom
had found more time for idling about.

Inez started at the unexpected voice, threw back the long hair which
had fallen over her brow as she had stooped and laboured, and rose
from her kneeling position. Her first feeling was that of annoyance at
the intrusion of Chico; but as she was unable to accomplish her object
without assistance, she accepted the offer of his aid. The young lady
stood on the marble pavement watching while Chico, with considerable
labour and difficulty, disengaged the box from the earth in which it
had lain embedded, and, lifting it out of the hole, laid it heavily
down at her feet.

The box was not so large as an ordinary desk, but exceedingly heavy in
proportion to its size. It appeared to be made of walnut wood, with
hinges, lock, and handle of steel, and it was clamped with broad bands
of the same metal. But for many, many years that box had lain under
the earth, and now the steel was rusted, the wood was rotten. The
lock, indeed, was a good one still, but the hinges were eaten away
with rust, and had no power to resist the strong wrench with which
Chico, ere Inez could prevent him, tore off the lid of the box.

The sight of its contents, thus laid bare to the view, made Inez open
wide her dark eyes with surprise. The box was a little treasury in
itself, holding wealth packed up in the most portable shape. Rouleaus
of gold pieces, cases of jewels, a golden goblet filled with chains,
coins, snuff-boxes, all of the same precious metal, appeared before
the eyes of the wondering girl.

"Move nothing--touch nothing!" cried Inez to Chico, who, on his knees,
was gloating open-mouthed over the treasure, and about to lift the
goblet out of the box to explore what lay beneath it. "The Señor Don
Alcala must be the first to examine what is within."

Chico took out a piece of parchment and held it up to Inez, who read
on it the following words:--"_I, Don Pedro de Aguilera, before leaving
Seville to join the army, being apprehensive that the French may one
day possibly occupy this city, do bury this casket containing my
wife's most valuable jewels, and a portion of my family plate, 1810._"

"Heaven has sent help to us in our utmost need!" exclaimed Inez,
clasping her hands, and looking upwards with grateful joy.

But wealth is wont to bring care, and Inez had no sooner obtained
possession of the family treasure than she began uneasily to revolve
in her mind how she could best secure it. Her first impulse was to bid
Chico carry it at once to her brother's apartment, and place it under
the care of Alcala. But a moment's reflection made Inez doubt the
expediency of this course.

"Alcala is in peril already," thought Inez; "should I not greatly add
to his danger by placing in his room, which has not even a key to its
lock, a treasure like this? If the discovery of these rich jewels and
pieces of gold were bruited abroad in Seville, it would arouse the
cupidity of all the ruffians with whom this city abounds! My Alcala
might be murdered as well as robbed! Would I not act more wisely if I
buried the treasure again, only taking out, time by time, a few pieces
of money to supply our immediate need?"

Inez glanced down at Chico, who, in spite of her prohibition, seemed
unable to resist the temptation of fingering the gold with his coarse,
dirty hands. "I dare not trust Chico," thought Inez, in sore
perplexity; "if the treasure were buried, he at least would know the
secret, and there would be nothing to hinder him from abstracting
whatever he pleased from the box. I hope, I think that he is honest;
but the temptation might prove too great. The gold must be kept under
lock and key,--where can I place it in safety?" Inez raised her hand
to her brow, and reflected for several moments. It was so new a thing
to the maiden to be burdened with the care of riches! Presently an
expression of satisfaction came to the anxious young face.

"There is the armoury," thought Inez; "the door is strong, and the
lock is good. We will shut up the box within it, and give Alcala the

The place which was called the armoury, from weapons and ammunition
having once been kept there, was little more than a deep recess in the
wall which enclosed the patio, closed in by a low strong door, which
had been so constructed as to attract little notice from without. A
stranger might have resided for months in the house of the Aguileras,
and have spent hours every day in the patio, without ever observing
that there was a door near to the ornamental grating--indeed, under
its shadow whenever the grating was thrown back. The small key of the
armoury had been left in the lock, for there had been no need to use
it, the place had been for many years empty of all but dust and
rubbish. There could be no better place in which to secure the

"Chico," said Inez to her servant, who was still on his knees,
fumbling the gold, "mention to no one--not even to Teresa--the finding
of this box. You shall be well rewarded for your fidelity and your
silence. Now bear the box to the armoury yonder; I will first lock it
up there, and then take the key to Don Alcala, and tell him what I
have done."

Inez glided across the patio, glad that the grating was closed, so
that no stranger from the street could possibly see what was passing
within. Followed by Chico carrying the box, the lady reached the
armoury, opened the door, and tried the lock.

"Place the box there," said the maiden, pointing to the inmost corner
of the recess, close to the door of which she was standing.

Chico, instead of obeying, set down the heavy box on the pavement, and
then, by a movement so sudden that it took Inez completely by
surprise, he pushed the lady into the armoury, shut the door, and
locked it upon her!

Inez cried out aloud in her alarm, when she thus unexpectedly found
herself in darkness, a prisoner in her own home. With mingled threats,
entreaties, and promises she conjured the false Chico to open the
door. The traitor, however, thought time far too precious to wait
either to listen or to reply. He could not, indeed, pass through the
grating, of which Teresa had taken the key; but he easily made his way
out by the same passage as that through which he had entered, one
which communicated with the now empty stable.

Inez now exerted all her strength in the endeavour to force open the
door, but it resisted her utmost efforts. The air in the armoury was
close and confined. Inez could hardly breathe; she was faint with
exhaustion and terror. Her cries for help were not heard, though she
tried to call out loud enough for her voice to reach some passer-by in
the street. Inez at last, finding all her exertions vain, could only
await in discomfort and misery the return of Teresa, who would
liberate her from her prison.

How long, how intolerably wearisome was the time of waiting! What
painful companions to poor Inez in her solitude were her own
reflections! She could not doubt that the family had been robbed by
the worthless Chico,--robbed of their all at the very time when its
possession was most sorely needed. The short-lived hopes which the
sight of the treasure had raised in the mind of Inez, had vanished
from her view like some mirage in the desert before the thirsty
traveller's eyes. Poverty--destitution--appeared all the more dreadful
from contrast with abundance beheld, but not enjoyed.

The minor cares of the moment lent their weight to add to the pressure
of greater. Inez was uneasy at the thought of Donna Benita awaking
from her siesta, and being frightened at finding no one beside her.
Alcala, too, must need his lemonade, and would miss his Book,--the
precious volume which Inez had still in her bosom. Add to all this
the physical distress, the sense of suffocation consequent on
confinement in a place in which there was no circulation of air, and
some idea may be formed of the misery endured by Alcala's sister.

The impatience of Inez had risen to the point of agony long before, to
her intense relief, she heard in the vaulted passage the heavy step of
Teresa, wearily returning from her visit to the shrine of her patron

"Release me--oh, release me!" cried out Inez from her place of

Teresa was so much astonished by hearing the cry for help, muffled as
it came through the closed door of the armoury, that she dropped the
key of the grating, which she was just about to open.

"Make haste--or I die!" gasped poor Inez.

Teresa made what haste her infirmities and her amazement would permit;
but she had to stoop and pick up the key, fit it into the hole, and
then push open the grating, and every moment thus employed was a
moment of torture to Inez. At length, guided by the voice of her
mistress, the old servant entered the patio, and turned round where
the armoury door stood close behind the grating. In another second
Inez, trembling and gasping for breath, was released from her terrible

"In the name of all the saints, how came you to be locked up here?"
exclaimed the wondering duenna.

"Chico has robbed us--I can say no more now!" faltered Inez, scarcely
able to speak. "Go quickly to Donna Benita,--she may want help,--while
I--" The sentence was never ended; for Inez, exhausted and faint as
she felt, was already on her way to her brother's apartment.

"Chico has robbed us!" echoed the bewildered Teresa, lifting up her
hands in amazement. "Robbed the house, and shut up the lady! I know
not what there was in the place that the poorest thief in Seville
would think it worth his while to take!"

Glancing around her, Teresa soon perceived the disordered state of the
patio; the marble round the parterre encumbered with heaps of dust and
earth, and in the ground under the bushes a hole large enough for an
infant's grave. Something had surely been dug out, something had been
carried away. Teresa was puzzling her brain to divine what could have
occurred during her absence, when she was alarmed by sounds,--but the
cause of these sounds must be reserved for the ensuing chapter.


[18] _Vide_ "Daybreak in Spain."

[19] A kind of police.



"Inez!--truant! I have lost you all the morning!" cried Alcala, as he
heard the approach of his sister. Inez was surprised on entering the
room to see that the wounded man had managed to rise and dress himself
without assistance. "I waited for you till I had no patience for
longer waiting," continued Alcala cheerfully; "you have carried away
my Book, and have been so buried in its contents that you have quite
forgotten your brother."

The playful rebuke was given with a smile, which, however, vanished
from the face of Alcala as soon as he turned and looked on that of his

"What has happened?" exclaimed Aguilera, alarmed at the appearance of
Inez, who stood with pale lips apart, as if still gasping for breath;
her hair, usually smooth as satin, disordered, and pushed carelessly
back from a face that bore the impress of terror and suffering.

The poor girl, exhausted both by the strain on her physical endurance
and the alarm which she had undergone, came forward, sank on her knees
at her brother's feet, and burst into tears. Inez did not, however,
long give vent to her emotions. Struggling to speak through her sobs,
she gave an account of all that had happened,--the discovery of the
treasure, the treachery of Chico, and the cruel means which he had
taken to secure his own flight with the gold.

Alcala listened with breathless attention and burning indignation. The
fiery young Spaniard bit his nether lip hard to keep himself from
uttering the vow of deep vengeance which, a few weeks before, would
have been, under lighter provocation, sternly spoken and ruthlessly
kept. It was no easy task to Aguilera to wrestle down and keep under
control the passion which he now felt to be unbecoming a Christian.
Alcala, however, said not a word until Inez had finished her story.
Then he spoke in a tone of suppressed indignation.

"This false--Chico must be tracked at once, and forced to yield up his
ill-gotten spoil. Would that Lepine had not yesterday started for
Madrid,--his intelligence, his English energy, would have been
invaluable now. Give me my writing materials, Inez. If I had but
strength to go myself to the minister of justice,--surely I have
strength," added Alcala, rising and supporting himself by the table,
"I shall be given strength to rescue my family from want, and win back
the property of my grandmother. The alguazils must at once be set on
the scent of the thief."

"The alguazils!" faltered Inez, who was still in her crouching
position at the feet of her brother; "O Alcala, have we no reason to
dread them ourselves?"

A heavy tramping in the corridor without was as an answer to the
question. Inez sprang to her feet with an exclamation of terror, as
the door was opened and the room entered by a body of the Spanish

The flush which indignation had lately brought to Alcala's pale face
passed away. Still leaning on the table for support, he drew himself
up to his full height, and in a calm voice demanded of the alcalde who
headed the party what errand had brought him to the house of a

"I come under a warrant from the corregidor, illustrious señor," said
the alcalde, advancing towards his prisoner, and bowing low with the
punctilious courtesy peculiar to Spaniards. "It is my painful duty to
arrest the noble caballero."

"Upon what charge?" demanded Alcala.

"The charge of having held an unlawful meeting for the purpose of
reading a forbidden Book, señor," was the answer.

"And who has preferred the charge?" asked Alcala.

"Your own servant, señor, by name Tomaso Chico, who was one of the
party assembled at the meeting, and who engages to bring many other
witnesses to support his accusation against you."

"Many witnesses!" murmured Inez.

"This Chico is a false villain, who has just robbed me, and who has
doubtless brought the charge against his injured master to
incapacitate him from pursuing the traitor, and giving him up to
justice," said the indignant Alcala.

"Of that, illustrious señor, it is not my part to judge," replied the
alcalde. "I have but to perform my duty, which is to search this house
for any prohibited writings or books, and to bear you off--pardon me,
señor--to the prison."

Resistance or expostulation would have been utterly useless. Alcala,
with quiet dignity, resumed his seat, and motioned to his sister to
take one beside him, while the alguazils commenced their search. It
was more rigid than it probably would have been had the cavalier
slipped a few dollars into the officer's hands. Aguilera might,
perhaps, in that case, have been spared the personal search which made
the wounded hidalgo colour both from a sense of violated dignity and
actual physical pain. But the thought, "O my Lord, this humiliation is
for Thy sake!" took all bitterness from the trial, and Alcala's only
care was to calm and reassure his terrified sister.

The search was continued for some time, and extended all over the
mansion. Even the apartment of the imbecile old lady was invaded, and
Donna Benita was thrown into hysterics by the strange sight of
alguazils throwing open her drawers and presses, and dragging forth
and flinging on the floor even her articles of dress, notwithstanding
the loud indignant remonstrances of Teresa. Every place was explored,
every corner searched for the forbidden Book, which, unsuspected by
the alguazils, lay under the folds of the mantle of the young

Foiled in their search for Bibles, it now only remained for the
alguazils to bear off their prisoner. A close conveyance was waiting
at the entrance, surrounded by a little mob that had gathered to see
the officers of the law bring out their captive. Inez still clung to
her brother, helping to support his feeble steps, as, with guards
before and behind, Alcala traversed the long lofty corridor, and
entered the patio. The cavalier paused when he reached the fountain,
where he wished to bid his sister farewell. He would not expose Inez
to the view of the rabble, the sound of whose voices he now heard
without in the street.

"Allow me a moment, señor," he said, addressing the alcalde, who bowed
assent to the trifling delay. Then bending down, Alcala imprinted one
kiss on the marble-cold brow of his sister.

"Be of good courage, my Inez; all will be well," whispered Alcala.
"You know not the peace and joy that is given to those who suffer for
_Him_." There was no time to speak more, but with a smile which said
more than his words--for it was as the reflection of Heaven's sunshine
upon him--Alcala pressed the hand of Inez, and so they parted. A
prisoner for conscience' sake, the Spaniard quitted the home of his
fathers, and passed over the threshold which he was conscious that he
was not likely ever to cross again.

Inez was almost stunned at first by the suddenness of the blow which
had fallen upon her. She could hardly realize that she was not in a
horrible dream. Was it true--could it be true--that her brother, that
Don Alcala de Aguilera had been arrested as if he were a felon, and
marched off to endure, in his enfeebled state, the miseries of a
Spanish prison? Alcala's danger so entirely absorbed the mind of Inez
that it left no room for a thought of self; in her desolation and
poverty the Spanish girl did not even ask herself, "What will become
of me?"

Inez was roused from her state of half-stupefaction by Teresa, who,
beating her breast, and tearing her gray hair, came up to her young

"Ah, Donna Inez! Donna Inez!" she exclaimed, "all this disgrace and
misery would never have befallen the house of Aguilera had you not
sold the hair of Santa Veronica!"

"Teresa, this is no time for reproaches," said Inez faintly; "we must
act, we must do all in our power to aid my brother. Oh that the
English señor were not absent at Madrid!"

Teresa ground her teeth at the mention of Lucius Lepine, whom she
regarded as the original author of all these calamities, the villain
who had corrupted the faith of her master.

"I can think of no friend to consult save Donna Maria," continued
Inez, after a pause for anxious reflection. "Her husband may have some
little influence with the Governor, Don Rivadeo; and she will at least
give sympathy and advice. Teresa, let us go to Donna Maria at once."

"We cannot both leave the house," said Teresa sharply. "There's Donna
Benita almost in fits. The wretches dared to enter the presence of a
lady of the house of Aguilera, and terrify her out of her senses."

"Hasten to my grandmother,--do not leave her!" cried Inez. "How could
I be so thoughtless as to forget her helpless state for a moment!" And
as Teresa turned away to seek the room of Benita, Inez murmured to
herself, "I will go alone to the friend of my mother."



In an apartment of a dwelling far less spacious and picturesque in
appearance than the home of the Aguileras, but much better furnished
with modern comforts, sits Donna Maria de Rivas. She is engaged in
serious and interesting conversation with a priest, who, as Father
Bonifacio, is already known to the reader.

"I can hardly yet believe it, father!" exclaimed the lady, vibrating
her large black fan as she spoke. "Don Alcala de Aguilera, one of so
ancient and honourable a house, to be arrested, and on so pitiful a
charge! If the caballero had been tempted by need to rob the mail (he
is so desperately poor), or in a fit of passion had stabbed an enemy
to the heart, it would have been quite a different thing,--one could
have understood such acts; but to get himself locked up for holding a
meeting for reading the Bible, such a piece of folly cannot be
accounted for,--such madness exceeds all belief!"

"It is a madness, my daughter, I grieve to say it, that is by no means
confined to this unhappy apostate," observed the priest. "The disease
is infectious, the corruption is spreading. Unless strong and sharp
measures are speedily taken, this cancer of heresy will eat deep into
the very heart of society even in Seville."

"Impossible!" exclaimed Donna Maria. "I have heard, indeed, of
Matamoros, and other misguided fanatics, who have happily been
arrested by justice in their most wicked course; but surely the number
of these wretches is few, and their example is little likely to be
followed by those who see the punishment which it brings."

"Daughter, you little know the strength of this fanaticism, or the
subtilty with which the poison of heresy is diffused throughout the
length and breadth of our Catholic Spain!" exclaimed the ecclesiastic,
warming with his subject. "So long as the vile English heretics hold
Gibraltar,--would that its rock would fall and crush them!--so long
will there be an open door through which all that is evil can enter
our land! Secret agents of I know not how many societies distribute
blasphemous tracts against the worship of the blessed Virgin,
Purgatory, Intercession of Saints, and the reverence due by all the
world to our holy Father the Pope!"

Donna Maria crossed herself in pious horror; and Bonifacio, with
increasing vehemence, went on with his oration.

"Colporteurs hawk Bibles in the by-roads and lanes of Andalusia;
copies are smuggled into rural parishes; English travellers instil the
venom of their heretical doctrines even into the minds of unsuspecting
_curés_! The wild mountaineers of the Sierra Nevada and Morena are, in
their rude huts, poring over portions of the prohibited Book, and
drinking in heresy from every line in its pages!"[20]

"But Claret will not suffer such things to go on. Are not the
authorities on the watch?" asked Donna Maria.

"They are on the watch," said the vehement priest. "Have you not seen
the charge of the Lord Bishop of Cadiz? Does he not piously command
and exhort his clergy to exert vigilance, warning them that 'the
authors and propagators of evil doctrines aim at attacking religion
and society at one and the same time, making use of _books_ as their
artillery for battering down, if it were possible, both of these solid
edifices'? Has he not commanded the faithful to 'detest these bad
books, and collect them that they may be burned'? And does not the
Government of Her Catholic Majesty nobly second the efforts of bishops
and priests? Vessels are watched in our ports, lest Bibles should lie
smuggled in their cargoes; boxes and packages are searched on our
frontiers: but all in vain. If a Spaniard, merely bent on amusement,
visit Paris (the last place in the world, one would think, for
Protestant propagandism), he cannot so much as look round at the
wonders of art in the Great Exhibition, without seeing before him
copies of the Scriptures, in every language spoken under the sun, and
having a portion thrust into his hand, to carry back with him into
this country. The very air that we breathe is tainted with heresy. I
sometimes think," added the priest with a sigh, for he was not of a
cruel nature, "that nothing will clear it unless we could light again
those fires with which Torquemada, the stanch champion of our faith,
burnt out the evil for awhile, consuming bodies in the pious attempt
to rescue perishing souls."

"I should be sorry for such dreadful punishment to overtake poor
Aguilera," said Donna Maria. "He is young, and noble, and brave."

"And therefore the more dangerous, señora," observed the stern
ecclesiastic. "I pity the misguided young man from the bottom of my
heart. I pity both him and his sister. I have known Aguilera from his
youth: I knew his father before him. But were the cavalier my own
brother, I would give him up without a scruple, though not without a
sigh, to the utmost rigour of justice."

A servant now entered the apartment, and announced to his mistress
that Donna Inez de Aguilera was waiting without, and desired to see
the señora.

Donna Maria glanced at her confessor before making any reply. The
priest frowned significantly, and shook slightly his shaven head.

"Tell Donna Inez that I am sorry that I cannot see her to-day; say
that I am particularly engaged," said the lady.

The servant appeared unwilling to bear the ungracious message. "The
señorita seems in trouble," said the kind-hearted Spaniard; "she has
come on foot; she has no attendant with her," he added, in a
hesitating tone.

"On foot--without an attendant! to think of a daughter of the house of
Aguilera sinking so low!" exclaimed Donna Maria, much shocked; and
again she glanced almost appealingly at her confessor.

The sterner frown and more decidedly negative gesture of the head were
the priest's only reply. Donna Maria reluctantly repeated her orders
to the servant, who left the room to obey them.

"May I not even see the poor child?" said the lady, as soon as the man
had departed.

"Better not, far better not, my daughter. You know not into what
difficulties, what errors, nay, into what dangers you might be drawn
by intercourse with any member of the family of the apostate De

The servant soon returned, his looks expressing compassion.

"The señorita entreats to be admitted to enter; she says that her
business is most urgent, and cannot be delayed."

Donna Maria coloured, bit her lip, and looked down at her open fan, as
if she were counting the spangles upon it.

"I cannot see Donna Inez de Aguilera," she replied, with a decision of
manner which cost her an effort. The señora was a selfish, worldly
woman; but she must have been utterly destitute of natural feeling if
she could have unconcernedly driven from her door the friendless,
destitute orphan girl, who, as the señora well knew, had come to plead
the cause of a brother, and seek a friend's counsel and help in the
hour of her deepest distress.


[20] _Vide_ "Daybreak in Spain."



"My mother's friend then deserts me, all earthly help fails me,"
thought Inez, as she turned away from the house of Donna Maria de
Rivas. "And yet I am not forsaken." Inez glanced upwards where the
deep blue sky of Andalusia spread its sapphire dome above the white
glaring buildings around her. Inez marvelled at her own calmness under
circumstances so trying. She had been wandering alone through the
streets of Seville, protected from the stare of passers-by only by the
thick folds of the veil which the maiden drew closely around both form
and face. Inez was painfully aware that she was committing a breach of
Spanish etiquette, amounting almost to impropriety. In her country it
is deemed unseemly, even for a girl of the humble classes, to walk
abroad unaccompanied by a matron; the young sister of De Aguilera
knew, therefore, that she was but too likely to meet with insult; and
her modest, sensitive nature rendered such an ordeal to her peculiarly
distressing. Inez could more boldly have made her way through a
thicket, where the wolf might lurk or the adder coil, than down those
bright, busy streets. But not even the rude Spanish _gamins_ had
uttered a jest as the lady glided timidly along; the beggars, wrapped
in their mantles of rags, had not held out their hats to solicit alms.
Idle cigaretto-smoking loungers had courteously moved aside to let the
maiden go by. It almost appeared to Inez as if she were guarded by
invisible spirits, borne up by a strength not her own.

The maiden was indeed supported by comfort derived from a heavenly
source. Inez, before starting on her walk, had opened the Book which
was so dear to her brother, and which had so happily escaped the
search of the police. The first words which she saw in it were enough
for Inez; she closed the volume, kissed and replaced it in her bosom,
repeating over and over to herself the promise, "_I will never leave
nor forsake thee_." Inez uttered no prayer to Virgin or to saint: had
not Alcala told her that all such prayers were useless? Alcala trusted
in God alone, and so should his sister trust. Inez went forth,
feeding, as it were, on the strong, sustaining nourishment afforded
to her soul by a few sweet words from the Holy Scriptures. She was not
so wretched, not nearly so wretched, as she had been when Alcala had
ridden to the Plaza de Toros. Though Inez had, as yet, only a glimmer
of gospel light, she had a comforting persuasion that Alcala was now
suffering in a cause in which it was an honour to suffer: no selfish
pride, no mere spirit of romance, had brought him to his present
condition of peril. His Lord would be with Alcala, even in his prison,
as with holy martyrs of old. Desolate as she was, as regarded human
help, well might Inez look up to heaven and say, "I am not forsaken."

But where was the maiden now to turn her steps? Must she return to her
home without making any further effort to find some protector for
Aguilera? An almost unconscious prayer for guidance burst from the
pallid lips of Inez. Then came the suggestion to her mind, "Wherefore
should I not seek help from Antonia, the governor's daughter? Her
father is all-powerful in Seville, and she--oh! if she be not harder
than this pavement that I tread on, surely Antonia must interest
herself in the fate of Alcala!"

If there were one being in the world who was an object of aversion to
the gentle Inez, that being was the wealthy beauty of Seville, whose
pride had so nearly cost the life of Aguilera. It had been a subject
of no small thankfulness to Inez, that her brother, since receiving
his wound, had never once mentioned Antonia's name. There was no
misfortune more dreaded by Inez than that of having to embrace as a
sister the heartless Antonia. But when Alcala lay ill of his wound,
inquiries had been made regarding his state by a messenger wearing the
governor's livery. Inez could scarcely believe it possible that
Antonia could reflect without grief and remorse on the pain which she
had caused to one whom, in the judgment of his young sister, no one
could know and not love.

Inez had herself but slight personal acquaintance with Donna Antonia;
they had met at the house of Donna Maria, and had there exchanged a
few words. This slight acquaintance had by no means inclined Inez to
wish for closer intimacy with the governor's daughter. Don Lopez de
Rivadeo was himself a proud insolent upstart, who owed his place to
his relationship to Claret, the confessor of Queen Isabella. No man in
Seville was more unpopular than Don Lopez. The governor only used his
power to fill his coffers. His was the hand to close on the bribe; he
sold offices to the highest bidder; he oppressed the poor, he fleeced
the rich; he was ready at all times, and in all ways, to do the
bidding of one of the most unscrupulous governments that had ever
afflicted even unhappy Spain. It was not willingly that Inez de
Aguilera would ever have sought either mercy or justice from such a
man as Lopez de Rivadeo; she had not the power, even had she the will,
to work on his cupidity; she could only hope to influence him through
the medium of Donna Antonia. The governor's only child was the pride
of her father's heart, as well as the heiress of all his fortune; and
gossip had whispered that the easiest way to climb to the great man's
favour was by a chain of gold or rope of pearl round the neck of his
beautiful daughter.

On, therefore, towards the governor's house went Inez, treading with
weary feet over rough stones, sun-baked pavements, across glaring
plazas. Thankful was the poor wanderer when trees bordering some paseo
(promenade) afforded her temporary shade. Full as was the maiden's
mind of anxiety and sorrow, nature at last would make its wants felt.
Inez had had no refreshment that day since partaking of an early and
slender breakfast, and it was now many hours past noon. Inez had had
much to exhaust a frame not naturally strong, and had never before
walked so far in the heat of the day. The poor girl's mouth was
parched and dry with feverish thirst; weariness oppressed her; she
felt that she could scarcely go further unless she slaked that thirst.

Happily, Seville offers her sparkling fountains to weary wayfarers
like Inez. The maiden, however, shrank from approaching any of the
larger fountains which ornamented the plazas, fearful of being
noticed, perhaps recognized, by some of the gay idlers who congregated
around them. There was a fountain in a more quiet corner of a street,
where a tiny rill of water trickled from the mouth of a stone dolphin
into a basin below. Towards this place Inez now moved her languid

A man in a high-coned Andalusian hat, and wearing the long cloak which
Spaniards think a needful article of dress even in the warmth of
September, was filling for himself a little tin vessel attached to the
fountain. Very near him squatted on the ground a vendor of fruit, the
large basket before him piled with tempting oranges, citrons, melons,
and figs, and bunches of grapes from Malaga vines. The fruit-seller
was conversing with a third person--a peasant--who was making a simple
meal off roasted chestnuts, while he chatted with his companion. Inez
stood a few paces distant from the group, waiting till the man in the
high hat should have quenched his thirst, that she might satisfy her
own. The maiden thus could not avoid hearing some of the conversation
passing between the three.

"But what was the caballero's crime, eh?" were the first words, spoken
by the peasant, which arrested the attention of Inez.

"White Judaism, folk say," was the reply uttered by the vendor of

"White Judaism! what may that be?"

The question was apparently more easily asked than answered, for it
was not till after sundry shrugs, expressive of perplexity, that the
fruit-seller replied: "As far as I can make out, it's plotting to burn
all the churches, knock down the convents, and hang all the friars."

"You've not hit the right mark, my friend," said the man in the
high-peaked hat who was filling the tin. "I should know all about the
matter, for I've travelled as courier to English caballeros; and White
Judaism is their religion, when they've any at all. It's saying that
the holy apostles were Jews, every one of the twelve, and the blessed
Virgin herself only a Jewess!"

The peasant uttered an exclamation of surprise, the fruit-man crossed
himself devoutly. "_Misericordia!_" he cried; "I never knew that White
Judaism was half so bad as that comes to."

"You thought it mere burning and hanging," laughed he in the
Andalusian hat: there was irony in his laughter.

"One don't see many in this Catholic land as hold such notions,"
observed the peasant.

"You don't see the seeds in yon melon; but they are there for all
that," was the significant rejoinder.

"Ay, it only needs the sharp knife to cut open the melon, and there
are the seeds sure enough," said the peasant.

"The governor is ready enough with the knife, and he whets it sharp
enough," gloomily observed the vendor of fruit. "To think of his
ordering off to prison a caballero like Don Alcala de Aguilera!"

"Was it not he who was nearly killed by the bull?" inquired the man
who had just emptied the tin in Spanish fashion--not touching the
vessel with his lips, but throwing back his head, and pouring the
contents into his mouth. The place at the fountain was now left free
for Inez, but she had forgotten her thirst.

"Ay, ay; it's pity for him, I take it, that the bull did not kill him
outright," said the fruit-man.

"Why, what will they do with him, if he is found guilty of Judaism,
black or white?" asked the peasant.

The man who had just left the fountain took on himself to answer the
question, while he made his bargain with the vendor of fruit.

"I'll tell you, friend, what they'll do. (What do you ask now for
those figs?) The judge will find the caballero guilty, of course--for
the folk at the court want such as he out of the way; then he'll be
shipped off to Cuba to work on the plantations. (You may give me a
bunch of those grapes.) At Cuba they chain each Spaniard to a
woolly-headed nigger, two and two; (that's refreshing in weather like
this!) and if the poor convict lag in his work, down comes the whip of
the driver, who lays it smartly on his bare back, till perhaps the
poor wretch drops down dead where he stands!"

The Andalusian went on, enjoying his luscious fruit, quite unconscious
of the keen pang which his idle words had inflicted on a youthful and
tender heart.



In the spacious garden attached to the governor's house were gathered
together some of the gayest and most fashionable of those who moved in
the higher circles of Seville. A party had been invited to celebrate
with dance, song, and feasting, the birthday of the governor's only
daughter. The garden was a little paradise, in which nature and art
seemed to outvie each other in offering attractions to eye, ear, and
taste. Lopez, who, with his daughter, had visited the Great Exhibition
in Paris, had brought back ideas of French magnificence to add new
adornments to a place which, for beauty and elegance, had before been
unrivalled in Seville. Exotics from various countries blended with the
splendid plants indigenous to Andalusia, making the parterres one
flush of brilliant hues. Italian statues adorned gilded fountains that
threw up scented waters to sparkle in the sun. Here, under the shade
of orange-trees, ladies listened to the strains of some manly voice,
accompanied by the tinkling guitar. There the fandango was danced on
the velvet turf, while clattering castanets kept time. Servants in
gorgeous liveries carried about ices shaped into the forms of fruits,
or costly luxuries brought from the most distant parts of the world.
Others followed with wines such as were to be found in no cellars in
Seville save those of the wealthy governor, who was as lavish in
expending his money as he was unscrupulous in acquiring it.

The centre of the brilliant circle, the observed of all observers, the
magnet which drew to itself the admiration of every cavalier
present--Donna Antonia stood like the queen of beauty, surrounded by
satellites that only shone in the light of her smile. Antonia
concentrated in herself the charms for which the women of Andalusia
are famed. Hers were the lustrous almond-shaped eyes, the luxuriant
hair, the exquisite form whose every movement is the perfection of
grace. Perhaps to the eye of an artist Antonia would have appeared
more to advantage in the picturesque long white robe and lace veil of
the Spanish costume, than in the dress of the newest Parisian fashion
with which she had chosen to replace them. But let her wear what she
might, Antonia in any garb must have been acknowledged to be the most
beautiful woman in Seville; and no one was more aware of the fact than
herself. No expense had been spared in showing off her beauty; the
arms and neck of the governor's daughter were loaded with splendid
jewels, and a circlet of brilliants sparkled round her brow.

It was to be expected that such a subject of interest as the arrest of
Don Alcala de Aguilera should afford a topic for gossip amongst
members of fashionable circles, as well as amongst the poorer
inhabitants of Seville. Even the cavalier's late adventure in the
bull-ring had scarcely been a more exciting, and therefore delightful,
theme. There was not a group in the gay garden of Lopez de Rivadeo
where Alcala's imprisonment did not form a thread in the web of light
converse, a thread variously coloured, according to the temper of the
speakers, by disapproval, contempt, or pity. The appearance, at least,
of the noble hidalgo was familiar to all the guests of Antonia, and
every one, more or less, took some interest in his fate.

"I always declared my conviction that De Aguilera would sink lower and
lower after he degraded himself by stooping to serve an English
mechanic," observed a stiff-backed don, who had himself not been above
begging a place in the customs and enforcing his plea by a bribe.

"I'd have blown out my brains before I'd have done that!" exclaimed a
young Spanish officer, twirling the end of his slender mustache.

"De Aguilera took almost as short a method of cutting the life-knot
when he rode spear in hand into the Plaza de Toros," observed a
stately duenna.

"I admired his daring," lisped her pretty young charge. "One likes to
see the knightly spirit flash forth; and if Don Alcala had been slain
in the arena, one could only have said that it was a pity that so
brave and handsome a caballero should come to such an untimely end.
But only think of a Spanish hidalgo being carried off to a common
prison on such a charge as might be preferred against some
book-hawking pedlar!"

"Or a wretched heretic, whom Torquemada--rest his soul!--would have
sent to the stake," joined in her stern-faced duenna.

"Heresy must be put down," observed the don who had first spoken, with
a frown which might have beseemed the Grand Inquisitor himself. This
Spanish gentleman, who so strongly condemned what he termed heresy,
had himself no faith in any religion whatever.

"One pities Don Alcala's sister," said the younger lady. "I rather
liked her looks, though she never carried herself with the dignity of
an Aguilera; and as for her dress, she, for one, seemed to think that
Spanish ladies were born in the frightful mantilla, veil, and high
comb worn by their mothers, and must carry them, as birds do their
feathers, to the end of their lives!" It need scarcely be mentioned
that the fair speaker, like Antonia, had adopted a fashionable
Parisian costume, and wore her hair in the _Impératrice_ style.

A cavalier, with obsequious reverence, such as he might have shown to
Queen Isabella herself, was presenting to Donna Antonia the fan which
she had dropped, when one of her servants approached her, and in a low
tone informed his mistress that a lady who called herself Donna Inez
de Aguilera asked a few minutes of private audience with the señorita.

"Donna Inez de Aguilera!" exclaimed Antonia, in a tone that expressed
curiosity rather than pity; "is she waiting in her carriage without?"

"The señorita is on foot, and unattended," said the lackey, hardly
suppressing a smile.

Antonia laughed--such a light, gay laugh--and the sycophants around
her echoed the tones of her mirth. "Donna Inez doubtless comes to
entreat my intercession for the caballero her brother," said the
governor's daughter. "Would it not be like a scene out of some French
romance, if we were to see this _demoiselle-errante_ humbling herself
to play the supplicant here!" And forgetting, or rather disregarding
Inez's request that the audience might be private, Antonia bade her
servant introduce the señorita into the crowded garden.

Purposely or not, Antonia moved a few steps to a place where a slight
elevation of the ground gave her a raised position, such as might have
been afforded by a dais, and her flatterers formed behind her a
semicircle which might have graced the court of a queen. There was a
smile of conscious triumph on the lips of the governor's daughter. The
house of Aguilera was older by three centuries than that of Rivadeo,
and to see a descendant of one of the conquerors of the Moors reduced
to implore a boon in the presence of so many spectators was a
gratification to the mean ungenerous pride of Antonia.

There mingled also with that pride a spirit of petty revenge. Inez had
once been invited to a party at the governor's house, and the
invitation had not been accepted. There had been various reasons for
the refusal of Inez to appear in the gay assembly,--one of the most
potent amongst them being the lack of a suitable dress,--but Antonia
imagined but one. The heiress of De Rivadeo thought herself slighted
by a proud descendant of heroes, and deeply resented the slight.

"Inez de Aguilera is the only woman in Seville who would not have
thought herself honoured by my invitation," Antonia had observed to
one of her numerous sycophants; and the haughty girl had added the
bitter remark, "She may live to repent her folly." Antonia now deemed
that the time for such repentance had come.

Inez, whose natural timidity had been increased by habits of
seclusion, felt as if she would fain have sunk into the earth, when,
on being conducted into the garden, she saw what an ordeal was before
her. After all that she had suffered during that terrible day, might
she not have been spared the mental torment of facing alone such a
crowd of spectators! But still the weak and weary one felt that
mysterious sustaining power which led her gently on, like the support
of a father's arm. Inez lifted up her heart in that short ejaculatory
prayer which has been beautifully described as the golden link between
earth and heaven. Then Inez remembered her brother, and self was
almost forgotten. With the meek dignity of sorrow the lady followed
the servant, and feelings of compassion for her were awakened even in
worldly hearts. An elderly Castilian cavalier came forward, and with
the profoundest respect offered his escort to the desolate girl.
Antonia was annoyed on witnessing this little act of courtesy, and
more especially so as the Castilian's rank made him one of the stars
of her party.

"We are much flattered by the appearance at our festival of Donna Inez
de Aguilera," said Antonia, with ironical politeness, as Inez
approached the raised place where the governor's daughter stood to
receive her. "To what happy chance may we owe this somewhat unexpected

All the courtly throng kept silence so profound that Inez's low answer
was heard distinctly.

"I come, Donna Antonia, to entreat you to procure some--some
alleviation for the trials of my brother. He has been accused by his
own false servant, a servant who has lately robbed him, and who, by
this cruel means, hopes to shield himself from the pursuit of his

"And what would you have me do in this matter?" interrupted Antonia.
"Would you expect me to hunt out the robber, who was doubtless tempted
by the hoards of wealth possessed, as we all know well, by the family
of De Aguilera? I am neither corregidor nor alguazil, and must beg to
make over the quest to the officers of the law."

Inez resumed her pleading as if the insolent taunt were unnoticed by

"My brother Don Alcala is still very weak from the effects of a wound
received in the Plaza de Toros,"--the cavalier's sister laid an
emphatic stress on the name of the place. "This day my brother was
carried off to a prison; the hardships and sufferings to which he will
there be exposed may cost him his life. I only ask for your
intercession that Don Alcala may be suffered to return to his house,
and remain, if need be, a prisoner there on parole, till the strictest
search be made into his conduct. I am certain"--the sister
unconsciously warmed as she spoke--"I am certain that such search will
only prove that Don Alcala has acted nobly."

"Donna Inez comes to plead rather like one demanding a due than suing
for a favour," said the sarcastic Antonia. "An Aguilera must needs
have a claim to our utmost exertions; even to hint that our
intercession would be acceptable must seem unnecessary to the pride of
his sister."

"Pride!" echoed the wondering Inez, to whom her own position appeared
to exclude such an idea: "pride!" she repeated passionately, "when I
would go on my knees to obtain the liberty of Alcala!"

"Scarcely, I suspect, even to save his life," said the governor's

As if by a sudden impulse Inez sank on her knees; if that humiliation
would win a protectress for Alcala, even to that would she stoop.
Antonia glanced with a proud smile first down at Inez, then round at
her guests. This was a crowning triumph indeed!

"Rise, Donna Inez de Aguilera," said the governor's daughter after a
pause; "I am sorry that I cannot, even in your behalf, break the vow
which I have made, under no circumstances whatever to interfere with
my father's administration of justice."

Some of the spectators could hardly suppress the exclamation of
"Shame!" as Inez rose from her knees, deadly pale, but perfectly calm.
The screen had, as it were, been withdrawn from before the idol they
had worshipped, and they had had a glimpse of the moral hideousness
which may lie under the veil of outward beauty.

"May you, Donna Antonia, never know what it is to ask for mercy in
vain!" murmured Inez; and without uttering another word she turned to
depart. Many of those present would willingly have shown the poor
maiden sympathy and done her service, but dared not come forward to do
so under the eyes of their tyrant. The Castilian alone, with lofty
courtesy, accompanied the young lady to the gate, and beyond it. His
escort was no small comfort to Inez; she had not to pass alone through
the gazing throng of servants who were without the garden enclosure
awaiting the departure of the guests of the governor's daughter.

"May I have the honour of summoning the carriage of the Donna Inez de
Aguilera?" asked her courteous protector, bowing low as he spoke.

"No, señor; I will return as I came," murmured Inez faintly; "and
thanks--thanks!" She could not add more, but turned from her pitying
conductor and went on her lonely way.

But Inez could not walk far. The excitement of hope sustained her no
longer, no strength for further effort remained. Weights of lead
seemed to cling to the poor girl's feet, there was a rushing sound in
her ears as if the ocean were near. Mist gathered before the eyes of
Inez, dimming the brilliant sunshine which yet flooded the city. The
Spanish maiden had painful difficulty in breathing, and to get air
intuitively threw back her veil. As she did so the voice of one who
was about to pass her in the street uttered her name in a tone of
surprise. The fainting girl was only able to recognize the speaker ere
her powers completely gave way, and she would have fallen to the
ground in a swoon but for the supporting arms of Lucius Lepine.



We will now return to Alcala, whom we left on his way to the prison.

Slowly the conveyance in which the cavalier was seated, guarded by
several alguazils, rolled through the streets of Seville. Alcala sat
as far back in the vehicle as he could, to avoid the gaze of curious
eyes; for many of the populace were eager to get a sight of a hidalgo
sent to prison for White Judaism, that mysterious crime. Once only did
Alcala lean forward in his seat, and that was to catch a glimpse of
the outer wall of the huge Coliseo of Seville, the Plaza de Toros.

What a gush of thankfulness came into the breast of Alcala at the
sight of that place, the scene of his rash, ungodly venture! Had he
been left to expire in that arena which it had been a crime to enter,
where would his soul now have been! But the heavenly Father, whom he
had so deeply offended, would not suffer the sinner to perish in his
sin. Mercy had not only snatched him from destruction both of body and
soul, but had made the rebel a son, had granted to the transgressor
the privilege of suffering for the sake of the gospel. The realization
of the freeness of God's grace, the depth of His love, excluded for
the time from the spirit of the Spaniard all less powerful emotions.

It may be said that there are two heaven-sent guides appointed to lead
through life's pilgrimage all those who in faith seek a heritage
above. THE FEAR OF GOD and THE LOVE OF GOD are these two guiding
angels. The former, in somewhat austere beauty, appears in garments of
spotless white; for _the fear of the Lord is clean_, and on his snowy
pinions is inscribed the word "obedience." Blessed are they who are
led by this spirit of reverence, as a poet has nobly expressed the
thought,--"Fearing God, they have no other fear."[21]

It is this angel who is wont to meet pilgrims on the outset of their
career, to guide their first feeble steps in the narrow path of duty;
but oftentimes he yields place to another spirit even more glorious
than he. Not that the fear of God can ever be far removed from the
Christian, but his form is half hidden by the radiance of his
twin-brother, the second guide of the pilgrim. Holy fear is fair
indeed, but who can describe the seraphic beauty of holy love! He
shines with the glory reflected from the smile of a reconciled God;
all the tints of heaven's rainbow glitter in his quivering wings,
their motion is light, and their inscription is "joy." The fear of God
leads us onward, the love of God bears us upward. Blessed, thrice
blessed, those over whom the second angel waves his pinions of joy!

Often, very often, has this spirit been sent on a special mission to
those who suffer for conscience' sake. When he is near, earthly griefs
seem to have lost their power to pain; his soft whisper drowns with
its music the scoff of the persecutor, the yell of the furious mob.
Cheered by that whisper, the martyr has gone with light step and
joyous countenance to meet the king of terrors. He has felt, though
man could not see, the waving of the bright wings, and has, with
cheerful courage, embraced the cross or the stake.

It is this angel of light who has come into many a sick-room, and
turned it into a chamber of peace. He has gently smoothed the pillow,
touched the pain-wrinkled brow, and its furrows have disappeared;
there has been such happiness imparted by the presence of the love of
God that weeping, wondering friends have owned that the last enemy
himself has lost all his sting.


Page 185.]

    "No smile is like the smile of death,
      When all good musings past
    Rise wafted on the parting breath,
      The sweetest thought the last!"

Alcala, on his way to his prison, was accompanied by this invisible
angel, and, in the strength imparted by the love of God, could make an
apostle's words his own. He could say, "_We rejoice in the glory of
God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that
tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and
experience, hope. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God
is shed abroad in our hearts!_"


[21] "Je crains Dieu, cher Abner, et je n'ai d'autre



The vehicle which conveyed Alcala to his destination stopped at the
entrance of a dark and gloomy building, situated in a narrow street.
Through a vaulted passage, dimly lighted, Alcala was conducted to a
door in which was a grating formed of thick iron bars. At this door
one of the alguazils who escorted the prisoner knocked. The face of a
jailer was dimly visible through the grating, and then there was the
sound of withdrawal of bolt and turning of key; the heavy door was
slowly swung back, and Alcala entered the prison.

Through a vestibule the cavalier was then conducted to an office-room,
in which, seated at a high desk, appeared the alcalde of the prison, a
hollow-eyed, melancholy man. He glanced at the warrant which was
formally presented to him by one of the alguazils, then rose, and with
gloomy ceremony welcomed his involuntary guest.

"Señor," said the alcalde, with a low inclination of the head, "may
your residence here be a brief one. Permit me to have the honour of
myself introducing you into your temporary abode. I regret to see that
the health of the illustrious caballero appears to be impaired."

After a ceremonious exchange of courtesy with the alcalde who had
arrested him, and who retired after delivering up his charge to the
prison authorities, Alcala followed his jailer to a huge grated door,
which was guarded by a couple of turnkeys. This barrier also was
passed, and with a heavy, echoing clang the massive door closed on the
prisoner. Alcala and his jailer were now in a corridor, lighted by
narrow barred windows, looking on a patio, in which a number of
prisoners were taking what air and exercise its confined space

"Most noble caballero," said the jailer, who now walked by the side of
Alcala, "in this melancholy abode there is preserved a due distinction
of ranks. We have a few apartments reserved for illustrious señors
like yourself, whom misfortune may have led to visit our retreat for

As Alcala only replied by a slight inclination of the head, the
alcalde thought that his hint had not been understood by his captive.

"Cavaliers are permitted to furnish their apartments according to
their good pleasure, señor; and they are waited on by the attendants
with the distinction becoming their rank. But, of course, this
alleviation of the trial of detention within these walls belongs only
to those who--" The alcalde hesitated, so Alcala relieved him from the
difficulty of further explaining his meaning.

"I suppose that the private apartments are reserved for those who have
the means of paying for them," said Alcala. "This, señor, I have not."

"I regret that on the present occasion every one of these rooms is
occupied, illustrious caballero," observed the jailer, still--though
disappointed of his expected gains--preserving his ceremonious
politeness, as he ushered Alcala into the large vaulted gloomy dungeon
which the cavalier was to share with the fifty or sixty criminals who
crowded the place.

The sight, the scent of the den in which he was to pass, perhaps, the
remainder of a brief life, were enough to try the fortitude of any one
who had, like Alcala, been gently nurtured. The place was dirty to a
disgusting degree, and utterly unfurnished. The brick floor, on which
some of the inmates were squatting and others reclining, served at
once for chair, table, and bed. Offensive odours poisoned the air; the
aspect of the place was revolting.

To an artist, indeed, the scene, as beheld by light struggling through
grated windows coated with dust, might not have appeared devoid of
picturesque effect. There was no clipped hair to be seen, no
prison-dress common to all the inmates; each criminal wore what he
would, and a curious variety of costumes appeared before the eyes of
Alcala. There were here and there dashes of bright colour from
waistcoats of green or blue silk, worn, uncovered by coat or jacket,
over shirts with large flowing sleeves. These gaudy articles of
costume marked the bandit race, who had probably been committed to
prison for robbery or murder on the highway. On other criminals
appeared the sheep-skin of the peasant, or the mantero of the citizen;
one man was seen in buff jerkin, with jack-boots reaching half-way up
his thigh. Most of the prisoners wore the faja, or waist-belt, so
characteristic a part of Spanish costume,--being a very long piece of
cloth, usually black or red, twisted round the middle of the person,
and forming a receptacle for the purse, and sometimes the dagger.

Of course the entrance of a new companion in misfortune awakened
curiosity, and attracted the attention of all the motley groups. A
murmur of "'Tis a caballero!" was heard from the dark recesses of the
place of confinement.

But though the den was mostly filled with miscreants who had broken
every one of the ten commandments, an Englishman must have been struck
by the absence of brutal coarseness, whether of manner or
conversation, which he would have expected amongst the lowest class of
criminals thus promiscuously thrown together. Men who had preserved no
sense of honour, no scruple of conscience, men who might have robbed a
church or murdered a brother, demeaned themselves as though they
preserved some self-respect still. It is a peculiarity of the Spanish
race that, to a certain extent, even the poorest appear to be
gentlemen born. The beggar has his dignity; the picker of pockets his
grace. Alcala had to encounter no insolent banter, no brutal jests,
when he found himself amongst the scum of Spanish society in the
common prison of Seville.

The cavalier's first feeling was one of utter disgust and repulsion,
and an intense longing for solitude, were it even only to be sought in
the darkest and most narrow of cells. Alcala had been brought up in
aristocratic seclusiveness, and his besetting sin was pride. He
reproached himself now for the selfish haughtiness which would fain
have raised an impenetrable wall between himself and his companions in

"How is it that I, myself rescued from depths of guilt, dare to
despise my fellow-sinners?" mused Alcala. "Who hath made me to differ
from them? Wherefore should I desire to be secluded from all
opportunities of serving my kind, because my pride shrinks from
contact with those whom I deem beneath me? Here is the post which my
Lord has assigned me. May He give me strength to bear witness for Him
even in the prison, and deliver His message to some who, if they had
heard it before, might never have entered this horrible den."

Alcala had scarcely had time for these reflections, when he was
accosted by a lithe, active-looking man of very dark complexion, who
had come from the further end of the dungeon on seeing him enter.

"Most illustrious caballero, Don Alcala de Aguilera, we have met
before," said the man.

"And where, my friend?" asked Alcala.

"In the Plaza de Toros, señor. My name is Diego. I was one of the
chulos who planted a banderilla in the neck of the bull which your
worthiness met so bravely."

"I am engaged in a different contest now," said Alcala, who was
resolved not to let either the weariness of his frame, or the
repugnance of his spirit, prevent his entering into conversation with
the companions whom he hoped to influence for their good. The
cavalier seated himself on the floor, supporting his back against the
wall; and the chulo, who was inclined to be sociable, stretched
himself, resting on his elbow, beside the señor.

"Your worship finds yourself in strange company," observed this
self-constituted cicerone of the prison, lowering his tone so as not
to be overheard by the ruffians around him. "Yonder, jabbering their
Egyptian gibberish, is a party of Zingali: the worst punishment to
them is to have a roof over their heads; the Gitano would rather lie
in a ditch than a palace, boil his kettle under a hedge than feast at
the governor's table. To the left there, señor, are smugglers from
Cadiz; many a contraband bale has galled the backs of their mules as
they moved over the sierra by moonlight. He in the red faja behind
them is a highly respectable man; he merely hacked a rival to death in
a combat with knives: it is strange that the alguazils should have
thought it worth while to arrest the poor fellow for a simple affair
like that. But yon gentleman with the bright blue jacket has earned
his lodging at Her Majesty's expense; he is a brigand from the Sierra
Morena, and has, I trow, cut more throats than he has fingers upon his
two hands."

Alcala wondered silently for what crime his communicative companion
had himself been committed to prison. Diego did not long leave him in
ignorance of the cause.

"It is a shame to put me with such as these," said the talkative
chulo; "I am a political offender," he added, with something like
pride. "Not a Carlist, mind you, señor; I am locked up in this kennel
merely for saying what all the world thinks, though not all have the
courage to speak out their minds. I did but say that it is a disgrace
that such a wretch as he whom the Queen has always at her elbow should
be suffered to ride rough-shod over the necks of the Spanish nation,
and that I wished that the nun Patrocinio would keep to her cell and
leave politics alone. I did add--and I care not who knows it,"
continued the chulo, "that we shall never see good days till we have
our exiled General Prim back again! Prim is the man to make Spain once
more what she was in the glorious old times!"



Diego was not suffered long to monopolize conversation with the
new-comer. One of the smugglers drew near, and addressed himself to

"I trow, caballero, that you've not seen the inside of a prison quite
so often as I have; you are new to this kind of lodging. Maybe you've
been sent hither for some little duelling affair; you've run some
rival through the body, and, to judge by your looks, he has returned
the compliment by giving you a taste of his steel."

There was a general hush in the conversation which had been going on
amongst the various groups of prisoners, all listening to hear
Alcala's reply.

"No," answered De Aguilera, "I have injured no man."

"You're a Carlist?" suggested the brigand, who stood near, with his
brawny arms folded across his broad chest.

"I have taken no part in politics," was the reply.

"What then have you done?" asked Diego; "gentlemen are not given free
quarters for nothing."

"I have been placed under confinement," answered Alcala, "for the
crime of reading a book aloud in my own private dwelling."

This reply excited a good deal of surprise amongst the assemblage of
gipsies, foot-pads, smugglers, and thieves. They were acquainted with
most kinds of crimes; the novelty of this one whetted their curiosity.

"What was the book, señor?" was asked by half-a-dozen voices at once.

"The Bible," replied Alcala.

"Ah! that's what the friars are mad against," said one.

"What the monks want to burn," muttered another.

"What is to Claret and the rest of 'em what the red flag is to the
bull," observed Diego the chulo.

Alcala remarked that not one of the speakers appeared inclined to make
common cause with the priests.

"I wonder what there is in that Bible to make men fear it as if a
stiletto were hidden between its two boards!" said the robber.

"Have you the book with you, caballero?" asked the smuggler who had
before addressed Aguilera.

"Unfortunately I have not," said Alcala; "but I have committed to
memory many portions of its contents. If it would be any gratification
to the gentlemen present,"--Alcala glanced around him as he spoke,--"I
would willingly let them judge for themselves whether or not it is
wise and right in the priests to try to put the Bible beyond the reach
of the people."

"Let's hear, let's hear," resounded from every side, and the groups at
the further end of the dungeon drew nearer to listen. Curiosity, the
love of novelty, and eagerness to hear anything that would break on
the wretched monotony of prison life, were powerful incentives with

That was a strange audience indeed! Villains stained with various
crimes thus brought together to hear for the first time in their lives
the gospel message of mercy. Alcala silently prayed for wisdom and the
bodily strength which he so sorely needed; for what with the heat and
the scent of the place, the fatigue which his weakened frame had
undergone, and the reaction after excitement, the cavalier doubted
whether his physical powers would hold out under the strain. Diego
noticed the deadly pallor of the prisoner's face, and stretching out
his hand where he lay, the chulo drew towards him a jar partly filled
with water, which had been left near the wall.

"Let the señor drink first," said Diego. "Pity 'tis that we cannot
offer him the good wine of Xeres; but water is better than nothing."

"It is the gift of God," thought Alcala, as he first drank eagerly of
the contents of the jar, and then pouring some into his hand,
moistened with it his feverish brow and aching temples. The
refreshment was great, and Alcala's strong will could now for a time
master the weakness of nature. Diego, who seemed to think that the
fact of their having attacked the same bull formed a kind of link
between himself and Alcala, now helped the cavalier to rise to his
feet. It was only in a standing posture that Aguilera could make
himself heard by his numerous auditors, but he still leaned for
support against the friendly wall of the prison.

"I will repeat to you," began Alcala, "the Bible account of the
imprisonment, after severe scourging, of the Apostle Paul and Silas
his friend and companion. You shall hear how they endured their
sufferings, how they prayed and received such an answer from Heaven,
that their jailer himself, struck with terror, came trembling and
fell at their feet."

This preface commanded the silent attention of those who were
themselves inmates of a prison.

Simply, but impressively, Alcala repeated the narrative contained in
the sixteenth chapter of Acts; but when he came to the jailer's
all-important question, "_What must I do to be saved?_" the speaker
made a solemn pause, and gazed earnestly on the wild dark faces before

"_What must I do to be saved?_ is not that question echoed by each one
here?" said Alcala, every word welling up from the depths of a soul
filled with that love to the Saviour which overflows in love to the
souls which His life-blood bought. "Can reason answer that question?"
The speaker paused; no voice made reply. "How does the Church of Rome
try to answer it? She bids us trust the safety of our undying souls to
confession to man, and absolution pronounced by man, to the penance
which man may prescribe, to forms and rites and Latin prayers, and the
intercessions of those who were themselves but men in need of
salvation. In the Romanist Church man comes between the sinner and the
Saviour. But what was the answer to the cry, 'What must I do to be
saved?' given by the holy apostle whom the Spirit of God inspired?"
The prisoner for conscience' sake forgot all but the glorious truth
which he uttered when repeating another prisoner's words, "'_Believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!_'"

"Is that message for us too?" asked Diego, whose voice was the first
to break the silence which ensued.

"It is for all," cried Alcala; "the offer of mercy embraces all. Will
you hear in how singular a manner it was brought home to me?"

The time had not been long past when it would have been impossible to
the proud young Spaniard to have owned a weakness, or confessed an
error, before such an audience as this. The cavalier would sooner have
died than have stooped to place himself on a level with such outcasts
as those now before him. But pride, a strong man armed, had been
overcome by a stronger than he. Alcala told how his own soul had been
darkened by the shadow of death, how the future had seemed a terrible
blank, and how life and light and joy had been brought by a single
verse from that Book which the Church of Rome would shut out from the
people. The cavalier told of the strange coincidence, which to some of
his hearers appeared a miracle, by which the torn leaf once flung to
the dust, then written upon by himself, had reappeared at the moment
when most he needed its message of peace. Then, leaving all personal
themes, Alcala spoke of justification by faith, of free pardon offered
to rebels, but not that they should continue in their rebellion
against a merciful God. Alcala spoke of what that pardon had cost,--of
the cross and passion, the agony and bloody sweat, and of the return
of love which the redeemed must make for such unutterable love!
Scripture truths in Scripture words flowed spontaneously from the lips
of Alcala; and while the fervour of the spirit overcame the weakness
of the suffering flesh, the Spaniard was indeed as "a dying man
preaching to dying men."

The effort could not last long; the address was a brief one, and all
the more forcible because it was brief. When Alcala, faint and
exhausted, stretched himself on the hard floor of his dungeon, and
closed his eyes, he experienced that sweet rest which has been
described as "a sense of duty performed." The captive had borne
witness for his Master, he had glorified God in the fires, he had been
permitted to scatter seeds of life where no sower had ever laboured
before. Alcala left the result in the hand of Him who once from a
cross spoke the word of grace to a thief.

"Is he sleeping--or dead?" said one of the robbers to Diego, who was
nearest to the now prostrate form of Alcala.

"I trow that he sleeps,--but he looks as if the sleep would be his
last," was the softly-uttered reply. The chulo took off his own
mantle, and laid it gently over the young cavalier.

"No marvel that the Bishop of Cadiz calls the Bible contraband,"
observed a smuggler; "if it were carried through Spain by such men as
this caballero, I trow that it would spoil the business of friar and

"And ours too," muttered the robber.



The cause of Lucius Lepine's unexpected reappearance at Seville must
be briefly explained. While on his journey towards Madrid, to which
city Mr. Passmore had sent his clerk to transact some business, Lucius
had accidentally heard that the merchant to whom he was going had
actually passed him on the road, having made up his mind to travel to
Seville in order to have a personal interview with the manufacturer.
As there would consequently be no use in Lepine's prosecuting his
journey, he returned at once to Seville, in time, as we have seen, to
meet Inez a few minutes after she had quitted the governor's gate.

As Inez had almost swooned, the first care of Lucius was to stop an
empty vehicle which chanced to be passing, in order that the young
lady might be at once conveyed to her home. Lucius would not have so
violated Spanish decorum as to have accompanied Inez in the carriage,
had not her state of utter prostration made his presence needful. The
poor girl was scarcely sensible of anything that was passing around
her when Lucius gently lifted her into the carriage. He bade the
driver stop at the nearest fountain, and brought from it water to
revive the fainting maiden. Before the Calle de San José was reached,
Inez had so far recovered herself as to recognize her brother's
friend, and to catch a gleam of hope from his opportune return to the

"You will not desert Alcala? you will at least try to see him?"
faltered Inez de Aguilera.

"You may trust me," was the Englishman's reply.

And Inez did trust young Lepine. It was with the confidence that a
sister might have felt in a brother's protecting care that she leant
on his strong arm to stay her feeble steps when she re-entered her
home. Necessity and a common sorrow had to a great degree broken down
the barrier of reserve between Alcala's sister and his English friend.
Inez found the patio empty; Teresa was in attendance on her mistress
in a different part of the mansion.

Inez and Lepine seated themselves near the fountain, and there, in
trembling tones, Inez gave a full account to her companion of much
that had passed on that, to her, most eventful day. The maiden told of
the discovery of the treasure, and pointed, as she did so, to the spot
whence it had been dug out by herself and Chico. Inez did not dwell
long on her own imprisonment; she did not care to fix the attention of
her indignant hearer on what only concerned herself. Of Alcala's
subsequent arrest his sister could only speak through tears. Inez
lightly glanced at her own unsuccessful efforts to obtain the help of
friends for Alcala, and would hardly have mentioned them at all, had
she not, from maidenly instinct, wished to account for her own
solitary wanderings so far from her home.

"And now that you know all, señor," said Inez, raising for a moment
her dark tearful eyes to the face of Lepine, "can you--will you aid

"If I do not, most assuredly it will not be will but power that is
wanting," replied Lucius, who had been deeply interested both by the
narrative and by the grief of the artless narrator.

"Will you not visit Alcala in his prison? will you not stir up your
English friends to save him?"

Lucius was silent for a few seconds, revolving the difficulties before
him, ere he returned an answer. The young man knew how utterly useless
it would be to attempt to enlist the aid of Mr. Passmore, even were
that aid of any value. It was more than doubtful whether any
interference on the part of Englishmen would avail even to mitigate
punishment inflicted on one who was not a British subject. Spanish
jealousy might even resent a foreigner's intervention. Lucius could
hardly bear to quench the hope which his presence had kindled, but it
would have been more cruel to raise expectations which must end in
keen disappointment. England might reprobate the way in which the
Spanish government dealt with the Spanish people; she might view with
indignation the cruelty of the oppressor; but when his arm was raised
to strike an innocent victim, she had no right to cry, "Hold! hold!"
Lucius felt that he could do nothing to free Alcala from his prison;
it was doubtful whether he would even be permitted to see him there.

"I do not think that any stranger would be suffered to visit your
brother to-day, señorita," said Lucius at last; "the evening is now
coming on, and it is too late for me to obtain an order of admission.
I shall certainly do my utmost to procure one ere long. But it seems
to me," Lucius continued, "that it is of the utmost importance to your
brother that he should be furnished with the means of securing good
legal advice, and that fair play which, I fear, is not always shown to
those whose purses are empty."

There was something almost reproachful in the sad tone of Inez as she
replied, "Think you, señor, that gold would be spared--if we had it to

"There is, as you have told me just now, señorita, a considerable
amount of valuable property of which you have been basely robbed. It
appears to me that our first efforts must be directed to recovering
that property."

"I fear that its recovery is impossible--at least to us, señor,"
replied Inez. "No one cares to take up our cause. I suspect that the
alguazils themselves have been bribed. How can we, poor helpless
ladies, track out a robber, as Alcala, if free, might have done?"

"Think you that this Chico will remain in Seville to bear witness
against your brother?" asked Lucius.

"I should doubt it," replied Inez. "I believe that Chico only accused
Alcala in order to prevent his being able to take any measures to
recover the jewels and gold."

"This is the conclusion to which I also have come," said Lepine.
"Chico is not likely to stop long in Seville, where he could not,
without awaking suspicion, dispose of such gems as you have described.
He will doubtless be leaving this city; but he was in it but a few
hours ago, and cannot as yet be far off. Men cannot travel in Spain
with the railroad speed that they do in my country. Have you any idea,
señorita, whether Chico has any friends or connections in Seville, in
whose house he might be likely to lurk for awhile with his ill-gotten

Inez reflected for a brief space. "A cousin of Chico keeps the Posada
de Quesada," she said; "it is in the entrance of the Dehesa, about a
mile beyond the city."

"I know it--I know it!" cried Lepine, who had often in his Sunday
rambles noticed the lone picturesque little inn; "it is in a lane that
opens on the highroad to Xeres."

"My brother once passed a night there," continued the maiden; "from
that inn he rode forth to the dreadful Plaza de Toros. Chico had
mentioned the posada to Alcala, on account of having a relative there.
But Alcala has told me that he would never set foot in that place
again, for that it had seemed to him like a haunt of robbers."

"Which makes it all the more likely that the villain Chico may at this
moment be lying concealed there!" cried Lucius eagerly. "Señorita, I
will sleep in that posada to-night!"

The face of Inez expressed anxiety and alarm. "There might be danger,
señor, in your doing so; you know not what things happen in Spain,"
she said, lowering her voice.

Lucius smiled, the free joyous smile of a light-hearted youth to whom
anything would be welcome that might come in the shape of adventure.
He was one to whom

    "If a path be dangerous known,
    The danger's self is lure alone."

What an attractive episode in a life given to dull counting-house
drudgery would be some exploit performed in a romantic Spanish posada!
Consideration for his widowed mother, of whom he was the earthly stay,
would have kept Lucius from wantonly risking his safety for mere
amusement; but to run some risk for the sake of a friend was quite a
different thing. Even conscience made no protest, so inclination might
be gratified without violation of duty.

Lucius now rose and took his leave of the young desolate being to whom
he was more than ever anxious to act the part of a brother. It cannot
be denied that the pleasure of serving Inez was a great additional
stimulus to the Englishman's efforts to help his friend. As Lucius
quitted the patio on the one side, it was entered on the other by
Teresa, who caught sight of the visitor's form ere it disappeared
under the archway.

"Donna Inez!" exclaimed the old duenna, almost choking with
indignation, "how dare that Inglesito presume to enter a house of
sorrow like this! How can you--the grand-daughter of Don Pedro de
Aguilera--you, a high-born lady of Andalusia, brought up as becomes
your rank--suffer the shadow of that foreign heretic to darken this
threshold! We have had nothing but misery since that young man came
near us with his deceiving words and his dangerous book! If I'd my
will"--the duenna clenched her hands and stretched forth her skinny
arms as she spoke--"I'd fling both the heretic and his book into the

"Oh! hush! hush!" exclaimed Inez de Aguilera; "would you speak thus of
the only protector whom we have found in Seville, the only being who
comes forward to help us when all the rest of the world stand back?"

Teresa's passion was cooling a little, but her Spanish pride recoiled
from the idea that the family whom she served should need either help
or protection from an English clerk in the employ of Messrs. Passmore
and Perkins.

"The house of De Aguilera has many friends in Seville," said the
ancient retainer.

"Where are these friends?" exclaimed Inez with emotion. "I have been
to Donna Maria--to her who was my mother's playmate in childhood, and
companion in youth. She refused even to see me!"

Teresa lifted up her hands, and uttered an exclamation of indignant

"I went then to Donna Antonia," continued Inez, while Teresa bent
eagerly forward to listen, for the duenna's chief hopes for Alcala lay
in that quarter; "Antonia mocked my misery, rejected my prayer, though
I asked for her aid on my knees!"

"On your knees!" echoed Teresa in the shrillest of tones; "an Aguilera
kneel to a daughter of the upstart, money-making, time-serving,
poor-grinding Lopez de Rivadeo! Donna Inez! Donna Inez! how could you
have stooped so low?"

"I forgot that I was an Aguilera--I only felt that I was a woman,"
said Inez. "O Teresa, what has a broken-hearted girl like me to do
with pride? May it not be our pride that has drawn Heaven's
displeasure upon us? Nay, you must hear me, Teresa. Alcala has shown
to me in his Book the words of our heavenly Master, '_Learn of Me, for
I am meek and lowly._' If He spake thus, He who is Lord of heaven and
earth, shall we, poor children of dust, be proud of title or birth? Is
not such pride a grievous sin in His sight?"

"Do you quote to me out of the Protestant's book?" said Teresa

"It is God's book," returned Inez; "I have felt certain of that since
its blessed words have sounded in my heart as they have sounded
to-day! These words have been my comfort, my strength, my support
under trials which, without them, would have utterly crushed me. And
now it is one who is guided by that book who stands by us when every
other mortal deserts us. Don Lucius has promised to do all in his
power to aid us; he will try his utmost to track out the man who has
robbed us."

"Robbed us!" repeated Teresa, her intense curiosity getting the better
of every other feeling; "you have spoken before of Chico's stealing
property, but you have never fully explained what that property was."

"The treasure which my grandfather had buried under the orange-trees
yonder,--a treasure accidentally discovered by me," answered Inez.

An expression of eager hope and pleasure flashed across the face of
Teresa. "The golden goblet?" she hurriedly asked.

"That, and money, and my grandmother's jewels besides."

Teresa clasped her hands, and uttered a cry of delight.

"But all are gone--Chico has carried all away," said Inez sadly; "our
only hope of recovering anything is through the generous exertions of
my brother's English friend; Don Lucius will try to find out and
restore the lost treasure."

"Ah! if the Inglesito do _that_," exclaimed the duenna, "never again
will Teresa speak a word against him or his book! Restore the
treasure--the pearls which I myself have clasped round the señora's
neck, the brilliants which she wore at her bridal, the goblet out of
which I've seen Don Pedro de Aguilera so often quaff the red wine! Oh!
that goblet of chased gold," continued the old retainer, kindling into
enthusiasm as she recalled the days of wealth and splendour with
thought of which that cup was connected--"I'd rather have that
inestimable treasure restored to the family than--than even the lock
of Santa Veronica's hair!"

[Illustration: A STREET IN SEVILLE.

Page 212.]



"I must report my return to Mr. Passmore, and procure a few
necessaries from my lodgings, before I start for the Posada de
Quesada," said Lucius to himself, as he emerged from the richly
sculptured gateway of the house of the Aguileras.

Making this detour necessarily occupied a considerable time, and took
the young Englishman through some of the most thickly populated parts
of Seville. It seemed to Lucius as if all the world were
abroad,--except, perhaps, the priests and monks, who were rather
conspicuous by their absence. Lucius had sometimes difficulty in
making his way along the narrow crowded streets. In many places knots
of people were collected together, conversing in subdued tones, but
with more animation of gesture than is common with the stately and
solemn Spaniard. The beggar seemed to forget to beg; the muleteer let
the heavily-laden beast on which he was mounted pick his own way,
unguided, over the large rough stones which paved the road, while the
rider eagerly listened to words exchanged between men who to him were
strangers. Had not the mind of Lepine been preoccupied with forming
plans, and revolving his chances of success in his coming adventure,
he must have noticed that on that Saturday afternoon in September one
topic of common interest engaged the attention of the inhabitants of
Seville, whether of high or low degree. It might be a bull-fight
announced for the morrow, or some grand ceremonial of the Romish
Church which was to come off on the following day.

The air was still sultry, though the greatest heat of the afternoon
was over. Lucius, feeling thirsty, stopped to buy a few oranges of an
old woman who sat with her basket before her at the corner of one of
the streets. Another old crone who crouched close to her neighbour,
with a covered basket on her knee, watched the Englishman, as he made
his trifling purchase, with keen black eyes which glittered like beads
from a face bronzed by sun and wind to almost African darkness.

"Will you not buy my wares too, señor?" she said in deep guttural
tones, raising the cover of her basket, in which Lucius saw several
knives. The appearance of the scimitar-shaped clasp-knife, so
commonly used among Spaniards whether for purposes peaceful or
warlike, was of course familiar to Lucius; but the knives in the
basket were of a size which he had never seen before. They were nearly
a foot in length, making allowance for the curve, and such a knife
when unclasped looked a truly formidable weapon.

"Thanks; I need not such wares," said Lucius.

"You will need one, my goodly youth, and that ere twenty-four hours be
over," muttered the dark-visaged woman, whose appearance and voice
reminded Lucius of those of the witches who met Macbeth on the blasted
heath. "Better the sharp than the sweet; better the steel at the side
than the fruit at the lip! There is wild work before thee."

The words of the old crone sounded like a prophecy of evil to come;
but Lucius, who was no Spaniard, and little troubled with
superstition, only smiled and passed on.

"Perhaps, after all, I might as well have taken the old gipsy's
advice," thought Lucius, "and had something sharper and stronger than
a pencil-case upon me before going to pass the night in that lone
Spanish posada." The young man was half disposed to retrace his steps
and make the purchase; he might have done so, had not the state of
his funds been so low that it would have inconvenienced him to expend
even a few dollars on a long Spanish knife.

Lepine found Mr. Passmore at his private residence, his business hours
closing earlier on Saturdays than on other days of the week.

"Glad to see you back, Lepine," said the manufacturer, extending to
Lucius a thick flabby hand, which never closed with a kindly pressure.

"I have returned earlier--"

"Oh, you need not explain; I know why you are at Seville instead of
Madrid," interrupted Mr. Passmore. "Tasco has been with me for an
hour, and all that affair is settled. I have never been so bothered
with business in all my life as during these two days of your absence.
As for that Miguel, whom I've got in place of the bull-fighting don,
what with his bad Spanish" (that was to say, Spanish unintelligible to
his English employer), "his stupidity, and his laziness, he has almost
driven me crazy. I don't know whether Miguel is most ignorant,
superstitious, or idle. I had determined not to have a hidalgo again
as a clerk, so was content to try the son of a barber; but I soon
found out my mistake. Don Alcala de Aguilera, though he might wear his
sombrero with the air of a prince, had at least brains under the brim.
I've half a mind," continued Passmore, lolling back in his
easy-chair, "I've half a mind to ascertain whether the don is likely
soon to get over the effects of his poke from the bull, and would like
to come back to his desk. His fall may have brought down his pride a
bit, and made him more willing to do my work and pocket my pay, like a
sensible man. I'd sooner take Aguilera back to my office than endure
longer this oily-fingered, garlic-scented mule of a Miguel."

"You are not aware then," said Lucius, "that Don Alcala has unhappily
been arrested and taken to prison."

Passmore received the intelligence with a whistle of surprise.
"Arrested for debt?" he inquired.

"No; not for debt," replied Lucius.

"If not for debt, what then?" cried Passmore. "What new prank of folly
has the don managed to play when one thought him safe on a sick-bed? I
bet Aguilera has been meddling with politics and burning his fingers,
as every one must do who tries to fish raisins out of such a seething
caldron as is always fizzing and boiling over in Spain. What was
Aguilera's offence? Was it drinking in physic a health to Prim?"

"No, sir," replied the clerk; "my friend was arrested in his sick-room
for merely reading the Scriptures to his household!"

I will not say that Peter Passmore sprang to his feet, for the
manufacturer's bulky frame was never very quick in its movements, but
he rose from his easy-chair with an exclamation by no means
reverential. "He's insane, utterly insane!" cried the irritated man,
"and may as well be shut up in prison as in a lunatic asylum. Was it
not enough for this Spaniard narrowly to escape throwing away life by
acting the picador, that he must throw away liberty also by acting the

"I hope, sir, that you do not compare the two acts," said Lucius, with

"Both have the same root, I warrant you; both spring out of pride, the
desire to be talked of," said Passmore. "Reading the Scriptures
indeed! Don Alcala may make a fine clerk, he may make a superb picador
(though an unlucky one, by the way), but nothing can persuade me that
he can ever make a quiet, sober, matter-of-fact Protestant, like
myself;" and Passmore subsided into his chair.

No; assuredly nothing could have transformed Alcala into the
self-complacent worshipper of Mammon, who assumed to himself the title
of a Protestant Christian.

"I cannot see why Spaniards should not be again what their fathers
were," said Lepine. "This land has had many martyrs."

"I've no doubt of it, no doubt of it, my lad. Martyrs presuppose
murderers, and Spain has never been lacking in them. I'm a Briton, and
have no fancy to be either murderer or martyr. That reminds me,"
continued Passmore, "of what Tasco has been telling me of the state of
affairs in Madrid. Clouds are gathering there pretty thick, and wise
men will get under shelter when they hear the thunder rumbling. If I
were not tied to a business like this, I'd be off to old England; but
an ironware manufactory is a pretty heavy anchor to drag. It's just as
well to be armed, however; I've to-day bought a brace of revolvers.
The proverb says that an Englishman's house is his castle, so I'll
have artillery for mine. Ho, ho, ho! And while I think of it, Lepine,
you can have my old pistol if you like, as I am provided with others."
Here Passmore opened a drawer in his table, and took out rather a
rusty-looking weapon, with gunpowder-flask, and bag of bullets. "You
go to and fro day and night through these streets of Seville, where
ruffians think no more of sticking a knife into a man than of paring a
turnip; it's just as well to have with you a friend who can speak for
you, if need be, in a language even Spaniards can understand. Take the
pistol; you may need it before twenty-four hours are over."

Lepine could not help noting as a curious coincidence that the warning
of the dark woman should be repeated in almost the same words by his
English employer. The young man, bound on a dangerous mission, gladly
accepted the proffered weapon.

"Now mind that you neither blow out your own brains nor those of any
one else without necessity," said Peter Passmore, as he handed the
pistol to Lepine. "I'd not have made such a present," he added, with
his explosive laugh, "to Don Alcala de Aguilera."


Page 221]



Night had come on before Lucius, on foot, and carrying a small
carpet-bag, entered the lane in which stood the lonely posada. The
night was dark, for the sky was unusually cloudy, and the moon had not
yet risen. Lucius was guided by the lights which gleamed from the
window of the inn to which he was bound.

"What shall be my plan of operations?" thought the young Englishman,
as he groped his way along the dark road, not infrequently stumbling
against the large stones which lay in his path. "I must conceal my
object, or I am likely to defeat it. I must make no inquiries
regarding Chico, but keep both my eyes and ears open to receive
whatever information may come in my way. Heaven speed my efforts, and
keep me from stumbling blindly on the difficult and possibly dangerous
course on which I have entered!"

Lucius reached the posada, of which the entrance, as usual, was open.
There was neither porter nor hostler visible, and the Englishman,
unquestioned, crossed the threshold, and found himself in a large
stone-paved apartment which, from its scent, he judged to be a stable.
This communicated through an open archway with another similarly paved
apartment, which from the same organ of smell was easily recognized as
the kitchen of the posada.

It was a strange and wild-looking place, that Spanish hostelry, as the
interior was seen by the light of a single iron lamp suspended from
the bare rafters, and a fire in the kitchen, round which a group of
dark figures appeared, engaged in smoking. Several other forms,
enwrapped in mantles, and apparently sleeping, encumbered the floor of
the stable. Its recesses were probably occupied by mules,--at least so
thought Lucius, from the occasional sound of a snort, or the click of
a hoof striking the stones; but the place was too dark for him to take
in at a glance all that its depths might contain.

Lucius, taking care not to brush against the sleepers as he passed
them, walked through the stable into the kitchen, the atmosphere of
which was heavy with mingled odours of stale tobacco, puchero, rancid
oil, and garlic.

"I wish you good evening, gentlemen," said Lucius, raising his hat to
the smokers before the fire, who scarcely turned their heads as he
entered. "Where is the landlord of the posada?"

The question was answered by a heavy, dark-featured man slowly rising
from the cane-bottomed chair which he had occupied, and taking a
cigarillo from his mouth. The landlord, for it was he, turned and
surveyed the stranger with a scrutinizing stare which was not
expressive of welcome.

"Can I lodge here to-night?" asked Lepine.

"A caballero and Inglesito," muttered the landlord gruffly, after his
survey of his guest. "He must have a room to himself, I trow."

"Presently," replied young Lepine; "but I should now prefer joining
these gentlemen at the fire." He hoped that something might be dropped
in conversation that might serve as a clue to guide him in his search
for Chico.

No one, not even the surly landlord, gave up his place to the
stranger; the courtesy so natural to Spaniards was not shown on the
present occasion. There being no unoccupied seat, Lucius set down his
bag on the floor, folded his arms, and stood near enough to the huge
fireplace to scrutinize by the red glare the features of those who
formed a semicircle before it. An ill-favoured set they mostly were,
but Chico was not amongst them.

Politics appeared to be the favourite topic of conversation amongst
these Spaniards. Lucius made several not very successful attempts to
turn it into the channel which would have better suited his views. The
Englishman spoke of the arrest of De Aguilera; some of the smokers had
heard of it, but merely shrugged their shoulders and went on puffing
their cigarillos, as if the affair were one in which they felt no deep

"Is reading the Scriptures an offence against the law?" inquired

"The law!" mockingly repeated one of the Spaniards, who wore his
peaked hat with a suspiciously brigand-like air. "The law is a net
that spreads its meshes far and wide to catch the flies and
mosquitoes; but the big wasps, with their rings of gold, break through
it easily enough."

"So the net wants mending," growled a comrade at his side.

"Or tearing to bits," laughed another of the guests; and the laugh was
echoed by his companions.

Lucius perseveringly renewed his inquiries as soon as the rude mirth
had subsided.

"Is the report true," he demanded, "that Don Alcala's own servant is
his accuser?" The Englishman purposely addressed the question to the

"Who knows? I do not trouble myself about the matter," was the
careless reply. There was nothing in the hard, stolid countenance,
though Lucius surveyed it keenly, to betray the slightest intelligence
on the subject. Lucius was unable to draw the smallest information
from either the landlord or his guests.

The conversation reverted to politics. Some of the sentiments of the
speaker were expressed in language so enigmatical as to be almost
unintelligible to a stranger. Lucius noticed that one of the men
sharpened his huge knife against the sole of his boot; and that he who
looked like a brigand examined the priming of his pistol.

After about an hour had been spent in smoking and talking, one after
another the Spaniards rose from their seats; each wrapped himself in
his mantero, and without further toilet stretched himself to rest on
the floor. Lucius then asked the landlord to show him his room.

The Spaniard lighted a torch, and with slow deliberate steps led the
way up a rude staircase, which might more properly be termed a ladder.
When he had reached the top, he ushered his guest into an attic-room,
sufficiently spacious, but so low that the head of the Englishman
almost touched the smoke-blackened rafters, for ceiling there was

The landlord stuck the torch into an iron ring which projected from
the wall, but ere he did so, held it near to Lucius, so that the light
might flash on the Englishman's face.

"I take it you're the Inglesito who brought the Book to the house of
Don Alcala," said he.

"How know you that an Englishman ever visited that house?" asked the
young man quickly. He half repented that he had put the question, such
an expression of dark suspicion and threatening insolence passed
across the visage of the Spaniard. That look was the landlord's only
reply; as soon as he had fitted the torch into the iron ring, he left
the chamber without even the common courtesy of bidding his guest

Lucius examined his lodging-place carefully as soon as he found
himself alone. There was scarcely an article of furniture within the
room, save a three-legged stool and a bed. The latter was so
disgustingly filthy, that for a resting-place Lucius would have
preferred even the unswept, dirt-stained floor. There was no ornament
in the apartment, unless a little plaster image of some saint in a
niche could be called by that name. Almost all the panes in the window
had been broken away, and the night-breeze, finding free passage, made
the torch flicker and flare. This dreary guest-chamber in the lonely
posada was just one which imagination might picture as the scene of a
midnight murder.

Lucius was on his guard; he had no intention of sleeping that night;
he made no attempt to undress; ablutions were out of the question, for
the room contained neither basin nor water. The young man looked to
the priming of his pistol, then seated himself near the window, and
gave himself up to reflection.

"I am as certain as I am of my own existence that yon landlord knows
of the robbery committed by Chico, and that he is the villain's
accomplice. The thief is probably at this moment concealed in the
house, for he is scarcely likely, encumbered with his booty, to have
travelled far from Seville by daylight. That Chico should willingly
stay to appeal at the trial of his deeply-wronged master I cannot for
a moment believe. The robber's one object will be to get clear off
with the jewels and plate, for it would be ruin to him were it to be
known that such treasure is in his possession. But how could I--even
should I succeed in discovering the lurking-place of this
Chico--rescue that treasure from his grasp, and restore it to its
rightful owner? I am not in England, where I should have the power of
the law to back me. Unless report do them injustice, some of the
alguazils are as much robbers as are the brigands whom they affect to
pursue; nay, the very magistrates themselves, it is said, can scarcely
be trusted. A foreigner like myself, destitute of interest or money,
would have as much chance of wrenching the property of Aguilera out of
the clutch of thieves, licensed or unlicensed, as of moving the rock
of Gibraltar. I am far more likely to get myself into trouble, than
Aguilera out of it, by any appeal to Spanish justice. It seems
probable enough that I shall never have the opportunity even of making
such appeal; I do not now hold the safest of positions, if I have read
the look of that landlord aright. I may have unwelcome visitors
to-night, and may as well look to the fastenings of the door."

Lucius rose from his seat and went up to the door; there was neither
bolt nor bar on its inner side, nothing but a rusty latch; the
occupant of the room had no means whatever of shutting out an
intruder. This confirmed the suspicions of Lucius: he lifted the
latch, and tried to pull open the door, but it resisted all his
attempts. The door had been locked on the outside, and the young
Englishman started to find himself indeed a prisoner in his attic. To
add to his alarm, at the same moment the flame of the torch suddenly
went out, and the room was left in total darkness, save for a faint
white light through the window which told that the moon was rising.

The position of the young man was one to try the mettle of a hero.
Lucius found himself, for the first time, confronted with serious
danger, and that danger of a kind from which the boldest might shrink.
The idea of possible assassination in a lonely inn, under the cover of
darkness, and in a country where deeds of blood were too common to
make it likely that there would be any strict search for his body,
made a creeping sensation of horror thrill through the Englishman's
frame. But the spirit of Lucius struggled against and overmastered the
feeling of fear. He ejaculated a prayer to One who can see in
darkness, and protect in danger, and braced himself with firm
resolution to encounter the worst that might happen.

"They shall find me no easy victim, if it come to a struggle," said
the young man to himself; "with God and a good cause I will not fear
the villany of man."

There being no means of exit by the door, the captive naturally turned
to the window. Like the rest of the building, the casement had been
very roughly constructed, and had never been made to open. The dry-rot
had, however, got into the wood, and the whole framework was much

"I think that this might give way under the strong wrench of the arm
of a desperate man," muttered Lucius to himself; and he forthwith
made an energetic attempt to force out some of the bars. A few violent
shakes did the work, and the Englishman had soon broken away enough of
the frame to make an aperture sufficiently wide to admit of the
passage of his body. Gasping from the physical effort, Lucius paused
to listen whether the noise which he had made had roused any of the
inmates of the posada. The attic was not over the kitchen; apparently
no one had heard him, for the dead silence was only broken by the wail
of the wind.

Lucius leaned out of the window and glanced down, to judge if escape
were practicable. The room was at the back side of the posada, and the
casement opened on a waste bit of ground which, as far as could be
seen in the dim light, appeared to be a mere receptacle for rubbish,
and not fenced in by any paling or wall. The height of the casement
from the ground was not so considerable that an active man, holding by
the window-sill, might not drop down without any very great risk of
breaking a limb. Had the iron ring fixed in the wall been near enough
to the window to have been available for a fastening, Lucius might
have torn the sheet into strips, and by means of such an improvised
rope have let himself down to the ground. But the ring was at the
further corner of the room, and there were such difficulties in the
way of making such a rope that Lucius dismissed from his mind a scheme
which must have involved considerable delay, when every minute was

The young man was cool enough to take every needful precaution to
avoid crippling himself by a fall. The cloak, which would have impeded
his motions, he flung out at the window, and the bedclothes followed,
to lessen the chance of his spraining an ankle, or breaking a bone.
His pistol the young man replaced in his belt; it must indeed add to
the difficulty of passing through a narrow aperture, but Lucius would
not leave so trusty a friend behind him.

"They will find the bird flown," said Lucius to himself, as, with as
little noise as possible, he passed first one limb, and then another,
through the hole in the broken frame. He had no small trouble in
trying to avoid cutting himself with the fragments of glass which
still, here and there, stuck in the wood. It was a work of time and
difficulty to get his whole body free, while he retained a firm grasp
on the sill. At last this task was effected; for an instant Lucius
hung by his hands--then let go--and with a gasp of relief the late
prisoner found himself safe on the ground.



"Heaven be praised!" was the intuitive expression of thankfulness
which burst from the lips of Lucius Lepine, when he stood, a free man,
beneath the window of that posada which he had scarcely hoped to quit
alive. He resolved at once to return to Seville, grateful for being
permitted to come forth unharmed from an adventure which he now
suspected that it had been folly to undertake. The young man was so
well pleased with his escape, that he was not at first troubled by the
thought that he had failed of success. Chico had not been detected;
the chances were as remote as ever of the stolen property being

Lucius had descended, as the reader is aware, on waste ground at the
back of the lonely posada; he had now to find his way to the road. As
the young man was quietly and cautiously groping along, feeling his
way by the wall of the house, he was arrested in his movements by
sounds which betrayed that some one was moving in front of the
dwelling. Lucius remained perfectly still, and so close to the wall,
which lay in partial shadow, that it was scarcely possible that his
figure should be seen from the lane. The full orb of the moon was now
visible above the broken line of the eastern horizon, and every
intervening object cast long shadows upon the ground whitened with
silvery light. Lucius saw three forms moving as noiselessly as they
could in the direction of the highroad; they had evidently just issued
forth from the wayside inn. One, the tallest, carried a carbine,--his
outline resembled that of the man who, to the eye of Lucius, had
looked like a brigand; the second, who led a loaded mule, was
suspiciously like the landlord himself; the third man was short, and
in his awkward gait Lepine recognized that of the bandy-legged Chico.

"There goes the robber, then, stealing away with his plunder, and
little dreaming that he is detected and watched!" said Lucius to
himself. "But what now is to be done? Were Chico alone I would at once
pursue, and arrest him as soon as he should be far enough from this
inn to prevent his shouts bringing any of his accomplices to his
assistance. But he has a body-guard of two of them already, one
carrying fire-arms, and doubtless all three men have long Spanish
knives under their cloaks. To encounter such odds would be simply to
throw life away, I having no weapon but one old pistol--and I have
never fired one in my life! Shall I return to Seville, and as quickly
as possible set the police on the track of the robbers? To follow this
plan would take time, and during that time the scent might be lost;
the alguazils are not wont to be quick in their movements. Even were
the treasure to be recovered by the police of Seville, it is doubtful
that any of it would reach the hands of its rightful possessors. Shall
I follow these men at a little distance, watch their movements, and be
ready, should opportunity occur, to have them taken up as robbers
caught in the act of carrying away stolen goods? It is all-important
that I should not lose sight of Chico, or of that mule which doubtless
carries his spoils."

The resolution of Lucius was quickly taken. His was a bold adventurous
spirit; and though he had been but a few minutes before congratulating
himself on preservation from one great danger, he was ready to throw
himself into another. If a doubt crossed the young man's mind, he cast
it from him when he thought of the penury of Inez, and the prison of

But Lucius had hardly calculated on the extreme difficulty of
carrying out his plan of tracking the thieves. At first, indeed, it
was comparatively easy to do so, as they pursued a beaten track, and a
kind of hedge of prickly pear, which divided the Englishman from the
robbers, afforded the former an effectual screen. But the Spaniards
soon diverged from the highway and took their course across open
country, so that Lucius could scarcely keep them in sight without
incurring great risk of himself being seen. It was a strange chase,
where the hunter was in greater danger than the quarry whom he was
stalking! The moonlight was now only too bright for the safety of
Lucius, to whom detection would have been almost certain death. It was
well for him that the night was windy, and the sky dotted with many a
cloud that was drifted on by the gale. Lucius followed the rifleman's
practice when secretly approaching a foe: many times, when the
moonlight was clear, the young man lay almost flat on the ground, when
the nature of that ground afforded no cover. Then, if a cloud was
borne across the face of the moon, Lucius took advantage of the
temporary darkness to follow with what speed he might in the direction
which the robbers had taken. Since the pursuer could not then trace
their dark forms against the horizon, he would listen intently for the
slight sound made by the hoofs of their mule. Whenever the
brightening edge of the cloud-veil showed that the moon was emerging
again to bathe the landscape in light, Lucius would resume his
prostrate position, or take advantage of such screen as cactus-bush or
lonely aloe, planted here and there, might afford.

During the frequent pauses which he thus necessarily made, the pursuer
had ample time for reflection.

"How would my poor mother feel could she see me here, creeping onwards
stealthily as the wolf on the track of his prey, myself the more
probable victim! Shall I ever live to tell by an English fireside the
story of my wild moonlight adventure on the Dehesa?" The memories of
home which gushed on the mind of Lucius as he made this reflection
almost changed his resolution to pursue his perilous chase. Life was
so sweet, when viewed in connection with the home delights which he
hoped one day to enjoy, to be lightly parted with, even for the sake
of a friend.

But when the mind of the Englishman recurred to Aguilera, now
suffering affliction for that faith to which Lucius himself had been a
means of converting the Spaniard; when Lepine remembered the tears of
Inez, he resolved that, come what might, he would persevere in his
efforts to redeem his promise, and save a noble family from ruin. Was
not the eye of his heavenly Father upon him? was not danger met in the
path of duty? It was to gratify no idle craving for excitement, no
vain desire for man's applause, that Lucius was acting the part of a
detective under circumstances which rendered that part one of peculiar
difficulty and peril. The young Englishman, as he crouched low on the
ground, prayed for help and protection, firmness not to give up his
chase, and such success that he might not find that he had risked his
life in vain.

Ever and anon the robbers paused and turned to look or to listen, as
if, like deer, they scented the hunter. Ha! have they not caught sight
of him now, as, while resting his chest on the sod, he has
incautiously raised his head a little to gain a clearer view of their
retreating forms? The three men have stopped at the skirt of a wood;
one, the landlord, retraces his steps; the carbine of the bandit seems
to be pointed towards the spot where lies the pursuer. The heart of
Lucius throbs fast; tightly he grasps his pistol, his sole
defence,--his finger is on the trigger! Shall he fire at the nearest
man, then spring from the earth and trust to his speed, and the chance
that the robber's bullet may miss its mark? The landlord approaches
nearer, glancing cautiously from right to left on the ground; he is
now so near that Lucius half closes his eyes, lest their glitter in
the moonlight should betray his lurking-place behind the small bush,
whose shadow affords so poor a screen! Within a few yards of Lucius
the Spaniard stoops and picks up some object, it might be a purse or a
cigar-case, that he had dropped on the ground. Then he turns round,
and, to the great relief of his hidden pursuer, strides back to rejoin
his companions. Then the three, with their mule, enter the covert of
the wood, whose dark mass of shade lies before them.

Lucius now feared that, unless he should lessen the distance between
himself and the robbers, he might, from the intricacies of the wood,
lose trace of them altogether. The Englishman therefore rose, and for
a time exchanging cautious advance for rapidity of motion, made his
way quickly towards the place where the figures of the Spaniards had
disappeared in the shadow of the trees. Chico and his comrades had
hitherto moved forward in silence; or if they conversed together, it
had been in tones too low to reach their pursuer. But the silence was
soon to be fearfully broken. Just as Lucius had gained the edge of the
wood, a fearful cry, as of one in mortal agony or terror, suddenly
thrilled on his ear. The shriek of "Murder!" the cry for help, was
repeated again and again, and then came the sharp report of a
carbine. There was evidently a death-struggle going on in the wood.

Lucius could not hear that cry and stand still. He could not coldly
calculate on the probability that crime was only meeting its due
reward, nor reflect that when thieves fall out and slay one another,
honest men may be gainers. Obeying the generous impulse of his heart,
the young Englishman plunged through the crackling brushwood, shouting
loudly as he did so to give notice that help was at hand, and for the
same purpose firing off the pistol which he held in his grasp. The
latter act was perhaps one of imprudence; yet rash daring oftentimes
commands more success than calculating caution. The report of
fire-arms, the loud crackling of underwood over which Lucius was
forcing his way, his shouts which rang through the wood, alarmed the
murderers into the belief that a body of alguazils was upon them. The
cries suddenly ceased, and were followed by sounds as of men in
flight, pushing through bushes and brambles to make their escape from
pursuers. When Lucius came up to the spot which had been the scene of
a terrible struggle, he only found a dead mule lying on the
blood-stained turf, and a dying man beside it.



"A priest!--for the love of the Virgin, bring a priest!" groaned forth
the wretched Chico, for it was he who had fallen under the murderer's
steel. Lucius knelt beside him, and raised the head of Chico. Ghastly
looked his face in the moonlight, which streamed upon it from an
opening between the trees; the stamp of death already was there, seen
in the livid hue and the glazing eye. The betrayer had been betrayed,
the robber had been robbed, the false servant had been murdered for
the sake of the gold to obtain which he had bartered his soul. Yet
superstition still retained some hold on the dying wretch. Though his
dull ear could not take in the words of Holy Writ uttered by Lucius in
the faint hope that even at the last moment the sinner might find
grace, Chico's dying breath was expended in calling for a priest to
save him from the worst penalty of his crimes! But conscience was not
to be soothed by fatal opiates in the moment of spirit and body's
parting; Chico was not to be given that false comfort which has
deluded so many at the solemn hour of death. Without a priest near him
to hear confession or pronounce absolution, the soul of the murdered
man passed forth to its dread account.

Chico was dead,--no one could look on the face of the corpse and doubt
that all was over. Lucius gently laid down on the turf the head that
he had been supporting, and spread Chico's mantle over his mangled
body. The Englishman then rose from his knees, and went up to the
mule, which lay stiff and dead. Lucius could but conjecture that, in
the struggle between Chico and those who had slain him, the robber's
carbine might accidentally have been discharged and have killed the
beast of burden, as it seemed to have but one wound, and that from a
bullet. Lucius, with a strange sensation, as if he were robbing the
dead, examined the load which was still on the back of the mule. He
removed the sacking in which it was wrapped, and then, even by the
uncertain light of the moon, easily recognized the treasure-box, with
its hinges and bands of metal, by the description of it which he had
received from Inez.

"The treasure is then actually in my possession!" thought Lepine,
scarcely able at first to realize that success in his difficult search
had indeed been obtained. "But my difficulties are by no means over.
The robbers may return to this spot--they will not readily abandon so
rich a booty." Lucius put down the box on the ground, and took the
precaution of reloading his pistol, that, should the murderers come
back to seize the fruit of their crime, they at least should not find
him unarmed. Conquering a strong feeling of repugnance, Lucius also
went to the corpse of Chico, and possessed himself of the large
clasp-knife which was stuck in the dead man's belt. It was unopened
and unstained; the assailants of the miserable man had given him no
time to draw forth his weapon.

Lucius was now at least armed for any encounter; but the more he
thought over his position, the more difficulties appeared to surround

"I cannot carry so heavy a box as this back to Seville on my shoulder;
and even had I the strength to do so, how could I hope to pass
unchallenged through the city at night, bearing so suspicious-looking
a burden? It is likely enough that I should be arrested as guilty of
robbery, perhaps of murder besides, for the blood of that wretched
Chico now stains my garments!" Lucius flushed at the mere thought of
being thrown into prison as a criminal, and under circumstances which
might render it difficult--nay, almost impossible--for him, a
foreigner, to make his innocence clear. He could produce no witnesses
in his defence; he would, he feared, have interested accusers, and
prejudiced judges.

The result of the young man's anxious reflections was a resolve to
bury the treasure which he could not remove. Lucius at once began his
search for some favourable spot in which the box might be thoroughly
hidden from view. It must not be too near the scene of the murder,
lest the robbers, recovering from their alarm, should return and find
it; and it must be in some locality which Lucius himself should be
able to recognize when he should revisit the spot. The young
Englishman searched for some time before he could satisfy himself in
regard to these necessary points.

Lucius fixed at last on a spot just outside the thicket, where in a
rough bank there appeared a hole, probably the burrow of some wild
creature. A neighbouring palm, towering high above the other trees of
the wood, formed a natural landmark. Lucius, with the knife which he
had taken, began to enlarge the hole, that it might be wide and deep
enough to conceal the box of treasure.

Perhaps even the firm nerves of the young man had been somewhat shaken
by the horrors of that night, for never before had Lucius found any
task so tedious, nor felt such fear from the slightest sound. Often
did he interrupt himself to listen, when the wind shook the branches
or rustled the leaves, almost certain that he could detect the noise
of footsteps, and in constant expectation of being assailed from
behind, while his hands were engaged with his work.

"I am ashamed of my weakness. Where is the boasted courage of an
Englishman?--I am like a nervous girl!" muttered Lucius, when for the
twentieth time he had turned his head to look round, that a foe might
not take him unawares. "It is harder to await the approach of danger
alone, and in the dead hours of night, with the brain excited by a
scene of murder such as I have just witnessed, than it would be to
encounter any open danger under the clear light of day.
There!--happily my task is over at last!" exclaimed Lepine, as he
covered in the entrance of the hole in which he had buried the box.
"The plate and jewels of Alcala are safe, and nothing remains for me
to do but to find my way back to the city."

But again difficulties beset the young stranger, who had never before
traversed the cross-country way along which his pursuit of the
robbers had led him. It would perhaps have been easy to Lucius to have
retraced his steps if he had had daylight to guide him, but the beams
of the moon were not sufficient to direct his course through that wild
and desolate tract. Lucius wearied himself in vain attempts to regain
the highroad to Seville. Seen by the uncertain light, one clump of
trees so much resembled another that none could serve as a landmark.
Of dwellings there seemed to be none.

Lucius came at last to a stream, on whose sluggish current the
moonshine faintly glimmered. He was at least certain that he had
crossed no brook when following the track of the thieves, therefore he
must have diverged from the way. The weary wanderer was glad to slake
his thirst by the stream, and he then, by means of its water, removed
as completely as he could the dark red stains from his dress.

"There is no use in my wandering further till day dawn and show me the
way," said the youth to himself. "I will lie down and try to sleep.
There is little hardship in passing a night on the ground in such a
climate as this, and under such a glorious sky."

Before Lucius gave way to the drowsiness which now overpowered him, he
repeated, with the simple faith of a child, the prayer which he had
first learned at his mother's knee, at the close of it returning
fervent thanks for preservation in great danger, and almost
unhoped-for success in a difficult quest. With Lucius and Aguilera
religion showed its power over the soul in somewhat different ways.
Lucius had not the impetuosity of character, the passion which, under
the veil of reserve, animated the Spaniard born under more southern
skies. Alcala's devotion had all the fervour of a first love. Had he
continued to be a Romanist when his deepest feelings were stirred by
religion, he would probably have become a missionary or a monk--have
been a Dominic in asceticism, or a Xavier in active zeal. Alcala's
love for his newly-found Lord was like a glorious stream bursting from
mountain snows, springing over every obstacle, throwing up diamond
spray, and wearing its own bright rainbow as a jewelled tiara. The
religion of Lucius was a current, quiet but deep, which had flowed on
through childhood, so that not even his mother could have told where
it had first risen to light. Lucius would not, like Alcala, have begun
his work of ministering to souls by reading aloud in a sick-room or
preaching in a prison, no more than he would, like Alcala when yet
unconverted, have dared death in the Plaza de Toros from an
overstrained sense of honour. The one man was an Englishman, the
other a Spaniard, and each showed national characteristics; but both
had given themselves heart and soul to the Saviour, sought to live to
His glory, and would have died for His sake.



Alcala, in his noisome prison, might well have envied Lucius his couch
on the earth, and the pure fresh breezes which fanned the slumberer's
brow. Whenever the prisoner awoke, it was with a sensation of stifling
suffocation, which made him doubt how long his physical powers could
hold out.

"Perhaps," thought Alcala, "a messenger more speedy than Spanish
justice may one day come to release me. In the meantime _let patience
have its perfect work_, my heavenly Father will bring a blessing out
of all;" and, composed by such reflections, the cavalier would sink
into slumber again. It was well that Alcala was able thus to snatch
some hours of sleep, for the coming day was to be one of the most
eventful and exciting ones of his life.

It has been said, "Happy is the nation that has no history;" the words
express wisdom condensed into wit; we read its truth in its converse.
In England, during late years, the progress of political events has
produced none of those sudden, violent convulsions which shake society
to its centre; the movement has rather resembled that of the earth in
its orbit, so quiet and regular that the bulk of the people scarcely
know that motion goes on. But in unhappy Spain, instead of calm
progress, there has ever and anon come a violent shock, as of an
earthquake, overturning loftiest houses, throwing down highest
pinnacles into the dust; an upheaving of the earth which, while it
destroys much that is evil, endangers much that is good. We can only
look for settled peace and prosperity in Spain to days when the Bible
shall guide the counsels of her Senate, and control the passions of
her people.

Not many hours had passed since the light of morning, forcing its way
through gratings into the prison of Seville, had aroused its inmates
to commence, as they thought, the dreary monotony of another day, when
even the dungeon's depths were stirred by a consciousness that
exciting scenes were passing outside the walls. A look of expectation
was on every face, every ear was bent to listen.

"Hark to the distant roar! One might deem that we were near the sea!"
cried one of the smugglers.

"It's a sea, I warrant ye, that will send many a proud galley to the
bottom ere the sun go down," observed a thief, whom his previous
conversation had shown to be also a keen politician.

"It's a sea that won't be stilled by Claret's sprinkling drops of holy
oil upon it!" said a gipsy; and what a devout Romanist must have
deemed a profane jest, was received with a burst of laughter.

"Let the sea rage as it will," observed Diego the chulo to Aguilera,
"so that it bear back to old Spain the noblest man that ever drew
breath in her air. I'll drink the health of Prim yet in a bumper of
wine, and down with--"

The chulo had not time to conclude his sentence, when the louder,
nearer noise of _vivas_ from a thousand voices showed that the massive
prison door no longer dulled outer sounds, or obstructed the free
passage of the mob into the building. In surged the rushing human
torrent; in one minute the corridor was, as their voices showed,
filled by an excited rabble; the next minute the dividing door was
burst open! The mob rushed into the dungeon, its walls resounded with
loud _vivas_, re-echoed by most of the prisoners thus suddenly
released from confinement, and let loose to swell the numbers of the
wild crowd. The noise and confusion which prevailed were so great that
it was difficult at the first instant to gain a clear idea of what
had occurred; but it was soon as well known in the prison as it was
already through every corner of Seville, that great and exciting news
had arrived from Madrid during the course of the night. The reins of
power had suddenly been wrenched from the hand of Queen Isabella; the
sovereign of Spain had fled the kingdom; her minions had barely
escaped with their lives; the fabric of government was overthrown, and
no one could tell what would replace it. Like the criminals from the
dungeon, all the fiercer passions of men were let loose, and who would
have power to rule them?

If the prison of Seville had been suddenly filled almost to
suffocation, it was nearly as suddenly emptied. There was nothing in
it to tempt cupidity, nothing to retain the excited mob; and those who
had been inmates of the gloomy abode were the most eager of the throng
to rush forth into the free air. Robbers and murderers remembered that
there might be palaces to plunder, and enemies to pursue. Aguilera
found himself almost alone in the dungeon where, but a few minutes
before, he had hardly had space wherein to breathe. Diego only
remained by him still.

"Shall we follow the rest, señor?" asked the chulo. "There's not a
jailer dare draw a bolt on us now. Methinks your prayer last night,
like that of St. Paul, has been answered by an earthquake."

"I will return to my house, if I have strength to reach it," replied
Alcala, making an effort to walk to the door. The cavalier was very
desirous that at a time when anarchy and confusion prevailed
throughout Seville, he should be in his home to protect the ladies of
his family.

"You will scarcely reach the Calle de San José on foot, illustrious
caballero," observed the chulo. "If it please you to wait in the
corridor for awhile, it will go hard with me if I cannot find a mule,
or some kind of conveyance, to bear you back to your home."

"I am greatly indebted to you, my friend," gratefully answered Alcala,
who felt that without such aid as that proffered by Diego, it would be
hardly possible for him to return to his dwelling.

"The debt is on my side, señor," said the chulo, looking steadily into
the pallid face of the young cavalier. "You gave me such a message
last night as was never brought to me by shaven monk or friar,--a
message that Diego will never forget. Lean on my arm, señor; there's
fresher air and a seat near the entrance. Hark! how the people are
shouting and yelling now in the streets! They are as mad in their
rush after freedom as the bull when the toril is opened, and he bursts
into the circus, ready to tear down everything that stands in his way!
It is to be hoped," added the chulo, uttering the words under his
breath, "that this wild, excited people meet not the same fate as the



We will now return to an English acquaintance.

If there was one thing on which Mr. Passmore prided himself more than
another, it was on being a steady man of business, one "who stuck to
his work, and did not care to take a holiday from the first of January
till the thirty-first of December."

But if Peter Passmore regularly gave his week-days to work, he as
regularly gave his Sundays to amusement. No idea of devotion was
linked with the Sabbath in the mind of the money-making man. Passmore
considered time wasted that was spent on anything that brought no
immediate return of worldly profit or pleasure.

As surely as Sunday came round, unless Seville offered some peculiar
attraction, so surely at Mr. Passmore's door appeared a travelling
carriage drawn by two stout horses. This was to bear the manufacturer
to some agreeable spot several miles out of the city, where he could,
as he expressed it, "get beyond hearing of the din of the bells of
Seville, and the smell of its cigarillos." A picnic basket was always
carefully placed in the carriage,--a basket well filled with bottles
of champagne, _pâtés-de-foie-gras_, or other such portable dainties.
For Passmore was not a man to content himself with such fare as he
might find in a Spanish posada. "I'll not make my Sunday dinner off
puchero or saffron-soup," he would say, "or dishes prepared with oil,
the very smell of which would spoil the appetite of a trooper!"

On this eventful Sunday morning Mr. Passmore, like every one else in
Seville, had received tidings of the revolution which had taken place
in the Spanish capital. But the manufacturer took little interest in
politics, save as they might affect trade, especially trade in
ironware goods. Whether Isabella or Carlos, prince or republican,
Narvaez or Prim bore sway, it mattered nothing to Peter Passmore, so
long as his furnaces blazed undisturbed, and he received a high price
for his wares.

"Not take my Sunday drive!--why on earth should I not take it?" cried
Passmore to the Spanish servant who had come to receive his orders.
"The wheels of government may have come off, but my wheels roll
steadily enough; Claret and his rascally crew have fallen, but my
horses keep on their legs!"

But though Passmore found it easy enough to order his carriage, enter
his carriage, and set out on his journey, he did not find it so easy
on that September forenoon to drive through Seville. The coachman did
his utmost to avoid meeting with obstructions from the excited rabble
of the town, by driving through little frequented streets, but he had
more than once to turn his horses sharply, and hurry them down some
lane where, had another vehicle met that which he was guiding, both
must have come to a stand-still, as there was not breadth enough of
road to admit of their passing each other. More than once Mr. Passmore
thrust his bald head and broad shoulders out of the carriage-window to
demand, in an angry voice, whither the coachman was driving, and
whether he meant to smash the vehicle through a shop-front. The shouts
and _vivas_ heard on turning every corner; the walls chalked over with
political squibs or fierce denunciations against late rulers,--"_muera
Claret_," "_muera Rivadeo_,"--gave the Englishman a more intelligible
answer to his questions than any which he received from his frightened

"Drive over the bridge to Triana, and through it to the open
country!" cried out Passmore to his coachman, in the best Spanish
which he could command.

The driver did his best to obey, but the bridge itself was crowded
with people, and it was no easy matter to make a way through the
throng. There was no special enmity, however, at that time entertained
against the English by the Spanish mob, and the more ferocious of the
population of Seville did not chance to be at the bridge. Bare-legged
boys, indeed, climbed up at the back of the carriage, and dark visages
were thrust in at the windows; but as Passmore was perfectly ready and
willing to shout _viva_ from his stentorian lungs for any one and
every one whom the mob chose to favour, no serious opposition was made
to his onward progress. The bridge was safely although not rapidly
passed over, the rabble were left behind, and the coachman, still
seeking in the suburb, as he had done in the city, the quietest
streets, had soon almost reached the nearer end of the Calle de San

Here the onward course of the carriage was again arrested, but in a
different way. A voice, which was one of mingled command and entreaty,
in tones which could scarcely be resisted, ordered the driver to stop.
A hand on the rein of the nearer horse enforced the command. Before
Passmore had time to shout out "Drive on!" the door of the vehicle
was flung open, and to Peter's amazement a lady, shrouded in a
military cloak, was rather thrust than lifted into the carriage. She
was instantly followed by a Spaniard whose features were so distorted
by fear, so disordered were hair and beard, that Passmore could
scarcely recognize in the fugitive the proud governor of Seville, Don
Lopez de Rivadeo. The lady, who was his daughter, wore neither
mantilla nor veil; she looked as if she had been suddenly dragged away
while in the act of performing her morning toilette. A cloak had been
hastily thrown over the dress of Antonia; one of her feet was
slipperless; her long black tresses streamed down her back; she was
mute with horror and fear, and breathless from the rapid pace at which
she had been hurried along.

"Drive on--drive for your life!" shouted out Rivadeo to the coachman,
and the lash which followed the command made the horses bound forward

The governor was too full of alarm and impatience to get beyond reach
of the vengeful people whom he had fleeced, cheated, and oppressed,
and who would fain pursue him to the death, even to apologize to Mr.
Passmore for so unceremoniously taking possession of his carriage. The
manufacturer was revolving in his mind how he could best explain to
the Spaniard that he was not a man to be made chivalrous or benevolent
against his will, when, with a violent jerk, the coachman again
stopped the horses. The carriage had just been turned into the Calle
de San José, and the driver saw that the further end of the street was
blocked up by a furious mob that, with yells like the howling of
wolves, were demanding the blood of Don Lopez.

Antonia shrieked aloud in the agony of her terror; Rivadeo started up
in the carriage and drew his stiletto, as one to whom no hope was left
but that of selling his life dearly.

"What's to be done?" exclaimed Passmore, who retained his presence of
mind, and a certain bull-dog courage characteristic of his race.
"Here's an opening into a house which looks strong enough to resist
anything short of cannon. Lift out the girl!" he cried, as he pushed
open the carriage door; "be quick, or the ruffians will be upon us
before we can get under cover."

There was no need to urge speed; in the twinkling of an eye the
carriage was vacated by its terrified occupants. Antonia stumbled in
her haste as she rushed under the archway of the house of the
Aguileras, and was lifted up by the arm of a stranger who at the same
moment was entering the dwelling.

"Ha, Lepine, you here!" exclaimed Peter Passmore; there was no time
for another word. The last of the party had barely cleared the
vestibule, and passed through the grating, which was instantly closed
behind them, before the mob, bent on slaughter, swarmed into the

"_Muera Rivadeo! muera Rivadeo!_" How horrible sounded that cry for
blood yelled from the throats of the savage rabble, mingled with the
clash of weapons furiously struck against the iron grating.

Antonia dropped her cloak as she staggered forward into the patio; the
once proud queen of beauty, now disrobed and discrowned, with torn
dress and dishevelled hair, stood in the presence of Alcala and
Inez,--of the admirer whom she had slighted, the woman whom she had
insulted! Rivadeo's daughter, who had shown no mercy, must seek for
mercy from them!

But no feeling of triumph swelled in the breast of the gentle Inez on
beholding the humiliation of one who had treated her with cruelty and
scorn. The maiden's heart had in it now only room for tender
compassion. With such sympathy as she might have shown to a dear
friend in distress, Inez welcomed the fugitive lady, took her by the
trembling hand, and drew her away from the patio into an inner
apartment, that the horrible sound of voices demanding a father's life
might be less audible to the ear of the governor's daughter. Inez made
Antonia rest on her own bed, spoke softly and soothingly to her, and
then left her to give directions to Teresa to bring wine to revive the
spirit of the terrified lady. Inez could not bear to be herself long
absent from her newly-recovered brother; she dreaded lest his
harbouring Don Lopez should bring Alcala into new peril. But even if
it were so, Inez would never regret that her hand had thrown open the
grating to receive the hunted fugitives.

The delicacy and tenderness of Inez were by no means shared by Teresa.
It was very unwillingly indeed that, in obedience to her young lady's
orders, the old servant poured out for Antonia the very last glassful
of wine from the very last bottle left in the once well-filled
cellars. Teresa, her visage looking more grim and ill-tempered than
usual, carried the beverage which she grudged to the daughter of Don
Lopez de Rivadeo.

"There--take it, Donna Antonia," said Teresa bitterly, as she
proffered the glass. "If I were you, it would choke me! Remember Don
Alcala de Aguilera--he of whose love you never were worthy--lying
bleeding, for your pride, under the horn of a bull!"

Antonia's hand shook so violently, that she could scarcely raise the
glass to her lips.

"Remember Donna Inez," continued the tormentor, "the descendant of
countless generations of heroes, stooping to sue for a boon from you,
who were but too much honoured if a lady of the house of Aguilera
deigned to enter your gate. Remember--"

"Oh, those yells! O holy Virgin!" shrieked Antonia, dropping the
glass, as a louder ebullition of popular fury from without made her
start in alarm. "Shut the door, woman! oh, shut it and bolt it! the
wretches may rush in even here!"

Teresa turned, and gloomily obeyed, muttering half-aloud as she did
so, "An Aguilera would have had no thought of self, when a father was
so near to the knives of assassins!"



Antonia might well be excused for the excess of her terror. If in one
European country more than another an infuriated mob is to be dreaded,
that country, perhaps, is Spain. A people accustomed to find delight
in seeing bulls tortured, horses gored to death, and men imperilled
and often wounded or slain, are not likely, when their passions are
roused, to be moved to pity, or to feel horror at deeds of blood.
Religion, degraded into superstition or utterly cast aside, has little
power to control. The commandment, "_Thou shalt not kill_," has been
broken so often, that its breach has almost ceased to be regarded as a
crime. The stoutest heart might have quailed at the sound of the
savage roar of voices, and that of thundering blows on the ornamental
grating which alone divided the mob from their prey.

A little group stood together in the patio, whose marble pavement was
likely so soon to be stained with the blood of at least one victim.
Lucius Lepine, with the generous spirit which makes the Englishman
"strike as soon for a trampled foe as he would for a soul-dear
friend," stood by the side of Aguilera, to protect his endangered
guest. The Briton grasped his loaded pistol, the Spaniard was quite
unarmed. A little behind them appeared Lopez de Rivadeo, a haggard,
desperate man, clutching his dagger and clinching his teeth, as he
watched the grating, which he every moment expected to give way under
the clanging blows which were showered upon it. Near the governor
stood Peter Passmore, flushed and snorting with excitement, and
heartily wishing himself out of a country where an honest man could
not take a morning drive without the risk of being baited like a wild
beast. Diego completed the group; the chulo had attached himself to
Alcala, and was resolved to stand by the cavalier to the last. Once
the pale face of Inez had appeared at a door which led to the interior
part of the dwelling, but she had retired at the urgent desire of her
brother. "This is no place for ladies!" cried he.

"That bit of wrought iron will not hold out long under such
battering," cried Passmore, addressing himself to Lopez; "why do you
not hide yourself in some inner apartment?"

"Because I would rather make my last stand here, under the open sky,
than be killed like a rat in a hole," hoarsely muttered the desperate

Cr--cr--cr--ash! down goes the grating, and over it rush the human
wolves towards their victim.

"Back, back, ye men of Seville!" exclaimed Alcala, coming forward to
meet the mob with that calm dignity which marked one born to command.
"How dare ye thus force your way into the dwelling of a cavalier of
Andalusia?" Alcala's stern eyes were fixed on the leader of the
rioters, in whom he recognized one of the robbers with whom he had
passed the previous night in prison. The bandit was taken aback by the
unexpected meeting with that strange fellow-prisoner whom he had
almost deemed a prophet inspired by Heaven.

"We seek not to harm you or yours, señor, but that wretch--"

"Is my guest, and as such shall be protected with my life!" cried
Alcala. "What, my brave countrymen! will ye celebrate the birthday of
your liberty with deeds of violence which would disgrace the heathen?
When the eyes of Europe are upon them, will Spaniards show themselves
unworthy of their freedom? I have heard in your streets the shout of
'Viva la Constitucion!' I hailed it as a sign that my countrymen
could distinguish liberty from license, and that in Spain at least
revolution meant not robbery and murder!"

Alcala had appealed to the self-respect of his hearers--that quality
which appears to be inherent in Spaniards, and which, as history
proves, can act as a curb even on the rage of their mobs. No one of
the intruders rushed violently forward, although the only barrier
between them and their prey was the firm will and dauntless courage of
one unarmed individual. But a haggard, wild-looking man came a little
in front of the rest, to act as the spokesman of all. Fierceness,
almost resembling that of insanity, flashed from his sunken eyes, as,
glaring on Rivadeo, the Spaniard brandished aloft his huge knife, and
then addressed himself to Alcala.

"We must have justice, we must have revenge on a villain who for years
has trampled the people under foot as the mire in the streets! Did ye
know half his crimes, ye would not protect him. Look at me, señor!" A
terrible tale of suffering was written on the speaker's haggard face
and almost skeleton frame. "You have been for one night in that den of
misery into which robbery, under the mask of justice, thrusts its
victims; I have been there for _seven years_! And my crime was that I
could not bribe yonder tyrant to give me back my birthright of
freedom! _Seven years!_" repeated the man with energy, "rotting in a
dungeon worse than the lair of a beast, whilst my wife and children
were starving outside!"

A deep murmur of indignation rose from the listening crowd. The man
went on with increasing fierceness of tone and gesture.

"Seven years! and every day of those years I breathed a deeper vow of
vengeance. I am but one of many who have made that vow--"

"Yes, yes!" howled forth many threatening voices.

"And shall we not keep it?" exclaimed the deeply-wronged man.

"Yes, yes!" was more loudly repeated. "The tyrant is before us, shall
we not strike! Vengeance is within reach, shall we not grasp it!"

"Hold, men of Seville!" exclaimed Alcala; "hear me but for a moment.
There are those amongst you who listened last night in a dungeon to an
offer of mercy from Heaven. To whom was that offer made? To all, from
the criminal in ermine to the thief on the cross. By whom was that
offer made? By Him who had power to crush His enemies--to annihilate
or hurl them down into fire that shall never be quenched.
Transgressors were before Him; did He strike? Vengeance was within His
reach; did He grasp it? Did not the Deity take man's nature, that as
Man He might die, not for His friends alone, but for His foes? Did He
not purchase, at the price of His own life's blood, the right to
extend free forgiveness even to the guiltiest of all?"

Again words that glowed with the fervour that warmed the heart of the
speaker fell with strange power on men to whom pure and simple gospel
truth was as a new revelation. Alcala felt that he was making some
impression on his wild audience, and thus went on with his appeal to
their nobler feelings:--

"Let me not speak to you in my own words, but in the words of the Lord
of Life, who for our sakes underwent agony, shame, and death! It is He
who says, even to the most deeply injured, the most cruelly oppressed
amongst us all, '_Forgive, as ye have been forgiven_.' The lips of Him
who on the cross breathed a prayer for His own murderers, is now
saying to our souls, '_Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain
mercy_.' Is there one man here who needs not that mercy--is there one
here who without that mercy dare stand before the tribunal of God?"

There was a deep silence amongst the throng. After a brief pause,
Alcala resumed speaking, but in a different tone.

"Return, my brave friends, to your homes, thankful that you have
hands unstained with blood, and consciences not burdened by murder. We
Spaniards have a nobler and more arduous task before us than that of
slaying a defenceless foe. Our glorious land has long groaned under
that worst form of bondage--the bondage which fetters the soul. We
have been robbed of our noblest heritage--the heritage of the Word of
Truth. Let us throw off our chains, and show ourselves men! The Moor
was driven from our Andalusia by the prowess of our brave sires; let
ours be a greater victory, a more glorious conquest than theirs. Let
Spain rise from the dust of ages to be the champion of freedom and
faith. Let us not rest till one of the fairest lands upon which the
light of heaven shines becomes an example to the nations around her,
and a blessing to all the world!"

"_Viva Aguilera! viva la Spagna!_" exclaimed Lucius Lepine, with an
enthusiasm which was contagious. The mob caught up the words, and
re-echoed the shout; the patio resounded with "_Viva la Spagna! viva
Aguilera!_"--Diego's voice heard above all. Alcala was too much
exhausted to speak more to the crowd, but he smiled and bowed his
thanks; and the people, obeying his gesture, slowly and without
confusion defiled again through the arched passage, and made their way
back into the street.

"I never saw anything to equal that!" exclaimed the astonished
Passmore, when he saw the last individual of the rabble disappear from
the court. "Iron at white heat to be cooled down by a few brave

"To God be the glory!" said Alcala.



The agony of suspense which had been suffered by the wretched Don
Lopez whilst his life hung trembling in the balance was now shown by
his vehement impatience to get out of Seville. The governor could
hardly thank his preserver; he would taste no refreshment; he would
not so much as sit down, so restless was he in his eager desire to
escape. De Rivadeo was furious even at the brief delay which took
place ere his daughter obeyed his reiterated call. Lopez would on no
account stop to encounter the chance of a repetition of such an attack
by the mob as that from which he had so narrowly escaped with life.
Mr. Passmore's carriage was still at the entrance, and the
manufacturer consented, though with no good grace, to take the
fugitives to the nearest town, where they would be likely to get
another conveyance to carry them to some port. Lopez de Rivadeo must
follow Queen Isabella into exile, as others, worthless as himself,
already had done.

Diego, who liked adventure, and whose intelligence might further the
governor's escape, volunteered to take his seat beside Mr. Passmore's
coachman, who had been so much frightened by the events of the morning
that he could hardly manage the reins.

Just as these little arrangements had been concluded, Donna Antonia
re-entered the patio, leaning on the arm of Inez, and followed by
Teresa. The governor's daughter now wore a veil and mantilla; these,
to a Spanish lady, needful articles of dress, had been given to
Antonia by Inez, notwithstanding the angry expostulations of the old
duenna. Teresa was indignant to see her mistress robbed, as she called
it, of what she so ill could spare.

"My only comfort," muttered Teresa, as she hobbled after the ladies,
"is that the mantilla has been worn till the silk will hardly hold
together, and that the veil has more of neat darning on it than of the
original lace."

Alcala came forward to hand Donna Antonia to the carriage; oppressed
as he was with weakness and languor, the cavalier of Andalusia would
not suffer another to take his place in doing the honours of his house
to his unfortunate guests. This was the first day on which the proud
beauty of Seville had met Don Alcala de Aguilera since that on which
he had rashly risked his life for her sake. If any touch of womanly
feeling was in Antonia's selfish bosom, that feeling must have been
stirred now into remorse as she beheld her father's preserver.
Alcala's pale features showed the sufferings which he had lately
undergone: he looked like one newly risen from a sick-bed, with sunken
cheek, colourless lip, and languid eye. As with graceful courtesy the
cavalier proffered his wasted hand to the lady, on the minds of both
Alcala and Antonia flashed back memory of the hour when that hand had
been deemed unworthy to touch the white kid glove of the heiress--that
hour when, like an empress, she had stepped into her galley on the
glittering Guadalquivir.

Silently Alcala conducted Antonia through the arched way to the
carriage which was to bear her from Seville. Not till she had placed
her foot on the carriage-step did the cavalier utter a word.

"Farewell, señorita!" said Alcala. Antonia turned towards him, but in
silence; the eyes of the two met--it was the last look that was ever
to pass between them. Soon the motion of the rolling wheels separated
Alcala and Antonia de Rivadeo for ever.

But for the support of Lucius's arm, Alcala could hardly have walked
back to the patio. He sank down wearily on the first seat that he
reached, too much exhausted to do more than extend his hand, with a
faint smile on his lips, to Inez, who knelt by his side.

"Bring wine, Teresa!" cried Inez, looking anxiously at the face of her

"Wine!" exclaimed the old woman, stung into momentary forgetfulness of
the presence of the English stranger--"wine!" she repeated bitterly,
"when the last drop left in this ruined house was poured out for that
proud woman; and there's not a cuarto in the coffer to buy more for
the caballero if his life depended upon it! Woe, woe to the

"Never say so!" cried Lucius Lepine, and the joy of being the bearer
of good news seemed to the young man at that moment to outweigh all
that he had gone through to procure it. "The Aguileras have a casket
of golden plate and rich jewels safely buried near a palm-tree beside
a wood, not two miles from Seville; they have only to dig it out and
possess it. Donna Inez, the Englishman has kept his word."

"A casket of gold plate and jewels!" almost screamed out Teresa, who
scarcely dared to believe her own ears; "you don't say it--you can't
mean it!--what! the box with clamps of steel, the old señora's
jewel-case, which I've handled many a day!" The wrinkled hand laid on
the arm of Lucius was shaking with violent excitement.

"I do say it--I do mean it," replied Lucius, whose countenance was
beaming with pleasure.

"But, my friend, how is this possible?" asked Alcala; "the miserable

"Lies murdered by his own accomplices," said Lucius more gravely;
"fearful retribution has overtaken the servant who robbed his master."

Lucius then recounted to his deeply interested hearers the tale of his
night's adventures, dwelling as lightly as he could on what only
related to himself. No one interrupted the narration, save Teresa, who
could not refrain ever and anon from uttering some ejaculation, now of
indignation, now of delight. When Lucius came to the account of
burying the box near the palm-tree, the old duenna could restrain her
feelings no longer. To the astonishment of the Englishman she suddenly
flung herself at his feet, and clasped his knees in an ecstasy of
gratitude, admiration, and joy!

"The blessing of all the saints be upon you, brave, noble Señor
Inglesito!" exclaimed old Teresa, while tears streamed down her
wrinkled face; "if you were as deep-dyed a heretic as Luther himself,
I would bless you a thousand times over! You have saved a noble family
from ruin!"



Perhaps the proudest and happiest hour of Teresa's life was that in
which she saw the treasure, the family heirlooms, in the hands of
Alcala de Aguilera, as they were on the following day. Teresa clasped
the steel-clamped box as if it had been a living child. Would she not
burnish up the rusted metal till every hinge should shine as brightly
as Aguilera's honour! The duenna handled the contents of the case with
as much reverence as she might have shown to the hair of Santa
Veronica! Every article in that jewel-box had its history for Teresa.
That bracelet was a wedding-gift from a duchess to the mother of
Alcala and Inez; that ring had been worn by a cavalier who had slain
three Moors with his own right hand; that gold snuff-box was a gift
from the Empress Catherine to an Aguilera then ambassador at the
Russian Court; those medals were, every one of them, tokens of some
gallant deed performed by one of the ancestors of Alcala. Teresa
counted each pearl in the chaplet, and every link in the massive gold

Alcala and Inez watched with amusement the old duenna's delight.

"Nay, Teresa, lay not down that chain," said De Aguilera; "you have
well earned some little acknowledgment of your long and faithful
service. The very first use which we make of our newly-recovered
property is to show our gratitude to her who in weal or woe has never
forsaken our house."

"The chain--for me!" exclaimed the astonished duenna; "what could the
like of me do with so costly an ornament as this?"

"Turn it into dollars," said Alcala quietly; but the Spanish cavalier
could not help a flush rising to his cheek as he added, "as I am going
to turn the goblet of gold."

Teresa looked aghast at such an unexpected announcement. She could
scarcely believe that anything could induce Alcala to part with that
splendid relic of family grandeur, embossed with the Aguilera arms--a
goblet which had been touched by the lips of princes--a goblet which
had been the most costly ornament of a table at which a hundred guests
had sat down.

"Better part with anything than with that!" exclaimed the old servant,
making a passionate protest against what seemed to her little short of

"I have talked the subject over with my sister," replied Aguilera;
"neither of us would touch our grandmother's property during her
lifetime, and the greater part of the gems are hers. Nor is this a
time for disposing of jewels; for that we must wait for more quiet
days. Gold always commands its value."

"But that goblet," expostulated Teresa--"that which was the pride of
your house!"

"Teresa, I must have nothing more to do with pride," said Alcala
gravely but kindly. "I have renounced the pride of life as one of
those things which are inconsistent with the character of a

Inez saw that this was an argument incomprehensible to Teresa, and in
her own gentle way the Spanish maiden brought forward others which had
a far greater effect upon the old servant's mind. Donna Benita should
now have the little pleasures which she could yet enjoy, and the
comforts which she required; so many things had long been needed by
the family which could now be procured by the sacrifice of one costly
cup. Surely, suggested Inez, it was better to have food in an
earthenware dish, than to sit hungry at a board laden with empty
plate, albeit of gold.

Teresa drew a deep sigh; she could not gainsay her young lady's words,
but she looked at the doomed goblet with tearful eyes, as a parent
might look at a child from whom she was forced to part.

"Oh, señor," cried Teresa with emotion, "grant to me but one boon; it
is but a small one--it will cost you no effort or loss--it is the
first favour which your old servant ever has asked of her master."

"It will scarcely be denied," said Alcala.

"Before you sell that precious heirloom, bid to a banquet those two
English señors who have seen you in your--your difficulties; the brave
caballero who recovered your treasure, and the elder one
whose"--Teresa could not bring herself to say, "whose salary you have
stooped to earn," so she described Mr. Passmore as he whose head was
bald with age.

Alcala could not altogether disappoint the earnestly expressed wish of
his old retainer, or deny her the gratification of letting his late
employer see some proof of the wealth once enjoyed by the family of
his clerk. Teresa's "banquet" was, however, reduced to a simple
evening collation, to which not a single guest but the two Englishmen
was to be invited. Teresa would fain have had all the great and
wealthy inhabitants of Seville bidden to a grand entertainment, and
have had the goblet of gold pass down the length of a table thronged
with as many guests as had found place at the wedding-feast of Don
Pedro de Aguilera.

"Our poor Teresa thinks our newly-found treasure inexhaustible," said
Inez with a happy smile to her brother, when the duenna had hurried
off to make purchases of some of the innumerable articles which she
had now discovered to be indispensable. "Of what are you thinking, my
Alcala?" continued Inez, laying her hand caressingly on that of her
brother, and looking up lovingly into his face, which wore an
expression of deeper thought than usual.

"I was thinking, dearest, of another to us long-buried and
newly-recovered treasure, even the written Word of God," replied
Alcala. "This in itself is truly inexhaustible wealth. Our country,
our beautiful Spain, basely robbed of that treasure, has for ages been
poor indeed! But Heaven is restoring to us now that which is beyond
all price, even the knowledge of gospel truth. May we Spaniards be
given grace to hold fast to the end that doctrine for which so many
martyrs have perished in the flames,--the doctrine of justification by

The attention of both Alcala and of his friend Lucius being now
earnestly directed to the subject of the evangelization of Spain, they
found, with both pleasure and surprise, how many faithful labourers
had been in the field before them. As in our own city, strangers might
pass through hundreds of streets, marvel at the traffic of London, and
wonder at its wealth, and yet be unaware all the time that,
underground and out of sight, trains are rapidly bearing its merchant
princes from place to place,--so those who had believed themselves
well acquainted with Spain had lived in almost total ignorance of a
great hidden work going on beneath the surface of society. Alcala and
Lucius now heard for the first time of the band of Spanish reformers
who had been receiving instruction from a Scotch minister[22] on the
rock of Gibraltar. They now first heard of the gifted convert from
Romanism, Jean Baptista Cabrera, gathering around him these his
brethren, the hope of the infant Church, and organizing them to form a
band of faithful confessors, who, in the name of the only Saviour,
should bear the banner of the truth into Spain. Alcala found that
arrangements for the revision of the Scriptures, the compilation of an
evangelical creed, and the division of Spain into districts, for the
better diffusion of religious knowledge, had actually been made under
the shadow of the tyranny which had so long darkened the land of his
birth. Cabrera's conference with other Spanish reformers had taken
place in the spring of the same year of which the autumn saw the
flight of Queen Isabella. I will quote from an account of this
conference given in the work[23] to which I have so often referred in
this little volume:--

"In this transaction we see the foundations laid of the Reformed
Church of Spain. That glorious event took place under the flag of
Great Britain. The day is well worthy of being noted; it was the 25th
of April 1868. This was the birthday of that Church, and this day will
long be a memorable one in the annals of Spain and in the annals of

"Yes, the Lord Bishop of Cadiz had some cause to sound his cry of
alarm!" exclaimed Lucius, after he and Alcala had been reading
together a copy of the soul-stirring address of Cabrera. "The grand
struggle between light and darkness has begun already, thank God! my
own dear old country has furnished weapons for the warfare;" and the
Englishman laid his hand on a complete Spanish Bible, which had been
Aguilera's first purchase with the treasure so lately restored.

But though the hopeful Briton looked forward to a speedy and glorious
termination to that warfare, Alcala revolved with some anxiety the
difficulties which were likely to obstruct the progress of the
evangelization of Spain. Isabella, that bigoted votary of Rome, no
longer, indeed, bore sway; a priest-ridden government had fallen, and
the Spanish people had shown little desire to uphold the Papal power;
but all the political horizon was overspread with a dense mist of
uncertainty regarding the future. Who would take the reins of
government that had dropped from the hands of the Queen? Who would
manage obstinate Juntas, control violent mobs, and guide the chariot
of the State into anything resembling an orderly course? The eyes of
Spain were turned towards her banished General Prim, that man who was,
though but for a brief period, to play so important a part in her
history. Prim would return to his country, would rise to be a ruler in
the land from whence he had once been driven. His coming triumph was
the perpetual theme of the exultant Diego, who now filled the place in
Alcala's household which had been occupied by Chico. Alcala, too,
foresaw that General Prim was likely to be the leader of the Spanish
people: but was his accession to power an event to be desired or
dreaded by those whose dearest object in life was the evangelization
of Spain? Would Prim come to sustain the power of the Romish
priesthood with the support of the secular arm? Would he, like his
predecessors, regard Protestantism as a punishable crime? Was the
circulation of the Scriptures to be prohibited, and a dungeon to be
deemed the fittest place for the bold evangelist who should proclaim
its life-giving truths? What was a subject of anxiety to De Aguilera
was also a subject for fervent prayer. Earnestly he besought the Ruler
of all the events of this changing scene to raise up a powerful
protector for the infant Reformed Church of Spain.


[22] The Rev. A. Sutherland. _Vide_ "Daybreak in Spain."

[23] "Daybreak in Spain."



It was with an expression of amusement and surprise on his heavy
features that Mr. Passmore read a note inviting him to pass an evening
at the house of Don Alcala de Aguilera, some little time after the
events related in the preceding chapters. Peter Passmore turned the
paper over with his thick, short fingers, and laughed aloud.

"I shall take care to fortify myself by a good dinner beforehand--ho!
ho! ho!--lest the entertainment prove as unsubstantial as the
Barmecide's feast!" said the manufacturer to himself. "But there is
something extraordinary after all in this Spanish clerk or caballero.
If he's mad, 'there's method in his madness,' as Walter Scott would
have said. It was frantic folly to stand the onslaught of a bull to
please some silly señorita; scarcely better to get thrown into prison
for the sake of reading a book. I thought Aguilera insane when he
went forward to meet a mob that looked ready to dash out the brains of
any man who stood in their way; but somehow or other this Quixote has
contrived to get through all his adventures with credit, if not always
with success. He subdued all those blood-thirsty ruffians with a few
sentences uttered in his sonorous Spanish, better than a squad of
their alguazils could have done with bludgeons and pikes. And
certainly the dwelling of this Aguilera looks more fit to lodge a
grandee of Spain than a clerk of the firm of Passmore and Perkins. A
man has not time to look about him as he would at an exhibition when a
set of howling ragamuffins are battering the door, and he expects soon
to have his throat cut with their horrid long knives, but it seemed to
me as if the place in which I stood was a palace. It might not answer
our notions of English comfort, for we Islanders like to have a roof
over our sitting-rooms, and don't care for gardens in the middle of
'em; and I confess to preferring a well-stuffed arm-chair to the
finest seat carved in marble. But it gave an idea of grandeur. Well,
well, I should like to see more of this Spanish palace, and I will
certainly accept the invitation of Don Alcala de Aguilera, even at the
risk of coming in for another adventure."

So, on the appointed evening, Mr. Passmore, dressed more carefully
than usual, but wearing with indifferent grace his gay neck-tie and
tight-fitting gloves, made his appearance in the patio of the house in
the Calle de San José. Aguilera received his guest with the refined
courtesy natural to Spanish gentlemen, and introduced him to Donna

The patio was lighted up for the occasion, if not with the brilliancy
which Teresa desired, yet sufficiently well to display the beauty of
the delicate Moorish architecture, the graceful columns and horse-shoe
arches, the exquisite carving, and the rich hues of flowers clustering
around the fountain, no longer silent, nor bearing the marks of decay.
Passmore looked around him with admiration, but with something of the
feeling of the boor in the story who found that the stranger to whom
he had shown scant courtesy was a prince in disguise. Aguilera making
up accounts at the desk, and Aguilera doing the honours of his noble
mansion, seemed to the manufacturer to be two different beings. Peter
Passmore was not at his ease, and all the less so because of his
imperfect knowledge of the language of his entertainers. His Spanish
was seldom correct and never fluent, and the manufacturer was not
devoid of that shyness which belongs to our national character, and
which makes the Briton fear to compromise himself by committing some
breach of etiquette in a foreign land, with whose customs he is but
imperfectly acquainted. Passmore greatly missed his usual interpreter

"I thought that I should have met Lepine here," Mr. Passmore observed
to his host.

"I cannot imagine what detains my friend," said Alcala; "I have
expected him here this last hour. Lepine never fails to keep an

"I never knew him late but once," observed Passmore, attempting to
keep up conversation in his broken and most ungrammatical Spanish. "It
was on the evening before you killed--I mean to say, when you were
killed--no, that's not exactly the thing--I beg your pardon, señor,
for bringing up so awkward a subject," stammered forth the clumsy
Briton, seeing the cloud that for an instant passed over the bright
happy face of Alcala's sister.

Diego now appeared with a tray covered with the fruits of Andalusia,
and other elegant but inexpensive dainties. But Teresa would suffer no
hands but her own to have the honour of bearing the goblet of gold,
filled with the wine of Xeres. Proud as if she carried a monarch's orb
and sceptre, the old retainer of the Aguileras brought in the family
heirloom. Teresa was almost satisfied by the manufacturer's look of
surprise, as, after taking a draught of the wine, he retained the
goblet for some seconds in his hold, to examine before he returned it.
Peter Passmore was more puzzled than ever by the late conduct of the
possessor of such a magnificent piece of plate.

"Is that pure gold?" inquired Passmore, curiosity getting the better
of politeness.

Alcala, by a slight movement of the head, gave an affirmative reply.
Teresa was offended by the doubt implied by the question, and muttered
to herself, "Does the Inglesito take it for a bit of his own worthless

"I suppose, Don Alcala de Aguilera," observed Passmore after a pause,
"that you will scarcely care to take service again?" The question
would, we may hope, have been more delicately put, but for the
speaker's difficulty in expressing himself in Spanish.

This was too much for the endurance of Teresa; her indignation and
disgust overcame even her sense of decorum.

"Take service!" she repeated, every wrinkle in her face appearing to
quiver with passion; "is such a word spoken to the illustrious
caballero, Don Alcala de Aguilera?"

Alcala quieted his retainer by a gesture of the hand; and then,
turning to his late employer, thus calmly replied to his question,--

"I am assuredly going to take service, señor, but of a different kind
from that to which you refer. I am preparing myself, with my friend's
kind aid, for work in a sphere where I shall deem it an honour to hold
the lowest place. I hope, ere long, to become a teacher where I have
so lately become a learner, and to give myself to the ministry of the
gospel in my native Andalusia."

Passmore but half understood the reply of the Spaniard, but he asked
for no explanation of what might have been almost equally
incomprehensible to the worldly man had it been spoken in English.

Lucius Lepine, breathless with the speed at which he had come, at this
instant burst into the patio. The eagerness of his manner, the
animation of his look, showed him to be the bearer of tidings, and at
once riveted on the young Englishman the attention of all.

"Pardon me, señorita,----and you, Alcala," gasped forth the guest who
had so unceremoniously rushed into the court; "I have earned
forgiveness for my delay for the sake of the news which I bring. Prim
is in Spain--"

Diego could not suppress a triumphant viva.

"He has met with the evangelist Cabrera at the town of Algeciras----"

With intense interest Alcala bent forward to listen, while the
breathless narrator went on.

"Cabrera had an interview with the chief who is now the foremost man
in the State--"

"What said the general?" asked Alcala, with mingled anxiety and hope.

"Prim said to Cabrera, 'Are you of those who were prosecuted by the
late Government as being bad religionists?'--'We are,' replied our
noble evangelist.--'Then I have to tell you,' said the chief, '_that
you may enter Spain with your Bible under your arm_.'"[24]

There was a louder _viva_ from Diego. But Alcala did not speak; he had
sunk on his knees, and was breathing forth from the depths of his soul
a thanksgiving for the glorious sun of life and light that was rising
upon his beloved Spain.


[24] "Daybreak in Spain."



Here closes my story, but not my work. The information which some
writers might have put into a preface, I have purposely reserved, as
the choicest part of my volume, for its conclusion.

I hope that A. L. O. E. may be pardoned for giving to the hero of her
fiction the name actually borne by a noble Spanish evangelist now a
standard-bearer of the gospel in Seville. Her tale has failed of its
purpose if it has awakened no interest in the good work at this time
going on in Seville, as well as in other cities of Spain. To give an
idea of the nature and success of that work, and to place the true
beside the fictitious Aguilera, she has but to transcribe from an
"Occasional Paper," published in September 1873, by the Spanish
Evangelical Mission.[25] This date is about five years later than
that chosen for the preceding story, and belongs to a period when a
fresh revolution had convulsed the country of Spain.

"Our missionary agents at Seville have been called to pass through a
season of great anxiety and of considerable danger, in consequence of
the insurrections which took place in June and July, and the
subsequent siege of the city. Through the love and tender mercy of our
Heavenly Father, our friends were preserved from all harm, as were
also the churches, mission-houses, and schools."

An extract from a letter written by an English eye-witness of the
alarming insurrection which took place in Seville in that eventful
summer of 1873 then follows.

"A terrible scene took place. The people gathered in many thousands,
and vociferously demanded the heads of the members of the Junta, who
were at this moment prisoners in the Ayuntamiento. The Plaza Nueva,
now Plaza de la Republica Federal, and the Plaza de San Francisco,
were filled with people who savagely shouted, '_Que muera!_' Several
hundred volunteers had already formed a circle, expecting the
prisoners to be shot. The governor tried in vain to appease the
people, who, like so many hungry tigers, yelled for the lives of the
unfortunate men. Then a heart-rending scene took place. The wives and
children of the prisoners, pressing through the crowd, knelt in the
midst of the circle, and begged the people to spare the lives of those
who were so near and dear to them, the children imploring with tiny
outstretched arms; but all in vain. '_Que muera!_' (Let them die!) was
the only response.

"Suddenly Aguilera, our evangelist, accompanied by a few friends,
appeared on one of the balconies facing the Ayuntamiento, and gave a
heart-stirring address to the people. He spoke so loudly that I could
hear him distinctly on the other side of the Plaza. The crowd at first
would not listen. Some said, 'He is a traitor!' others, 'He is a
Protestant!' and many shouted, 'Shoot him!' But by degrees the shouts
subsided, and the crowd soon became thoroughly moved by his earnest
words, and broke forth into hearty cheers and cries of 'Let them
live!' Thus did Señor Aguilera by his courageous conduct save the
lives of the unhappy prisoners, who would otherwise have been
sacrificed to the blood-thirsty mob."

In another letter,[26] written less than a month after the preceding,
a Spanish missionary, the Rev. F. Palomares, gives details which can
scarcely fail to interest those who care for the progress of our
Lord's kingdom in Spain.

"The events at Seville during the last few days have been most
serious. We passed three days of greater anguish than we had ever
before experienced. A barricade was erected in front of the door of
San Basilio Church,[27] and a cannon was placed by the volunteers in
the door of the schoolroom. On seeing these preparations, I had the
English flag, and that of the Red Cross or hospital flag, hoisted on
the church. I invited the neighbours, without distinction of religion
or politics, to contribute bandages, medicines, and other necessaries
for the wounded. This they did most willingly. A committee was formed
to assist me in conveying the wounded, not only to our own hospital,
but also to those that were in the vicinity of the fighting. All this
was done with great risk to our lives, but our Lord Jesus Christ was
with us on all occasions. At the same time I occupied myself in
gathering under the roof of San Basilio the women and children, the
sick and aged. By this means consolation and shelter were offered to
more than fifteen hundred persons during the three days of danger, who
left us with expressions of gratitude."

A few more touches from the pen of an English missionary at Seville
must be added to fill up the picture from real life now placed beside
that which is the mere creation of fancy.

"Thanks be to the Keeper of Israel, and praises to His name, for His
loving-kindness towards us in having kept us from all harm. The
churches, houses, and schools connected with the Mission, although two
of them are very near the scene of destruction, were not injured in
the least. The June insurrection ended, comparatively speaking,
pacifically; but that of July, I am sorry to say, was the cause of
much bloodshed and loss of property. No one knows the precise number
of the dead and wounded. The [Madrid] newspapers announce them to be
about 800, but that is probably an exaggeration. The city had the
appearance of a vast camp. Barricades were erected in all parts of it.
On Sunday, July 27th, the Government troops could be seen advancing
from the top of the Giralda. No one, excepting women and children,
were allowed to leave the city.

"It was uncertain which part of the town the troops would attack, but
the general opinion was they would attack the [Macarena] district in
which San Basilio is situated; consequently many of the inhabitants of
the adjacent quarters emigrated towards the cathedral and the river. I
was at that time at San Basilio, making arrangements with Señor
Palomares for the reception of the wounded. The church was filled with
women and children, who were invited to take shelter under the English
and Red Cross flags. I could not help remarking to Señor Palomares
that God would probably bring good out of this evil, by causing some
of those bigoted Roman Catholic families, who were now sheltering
themselves under the roof of a Protestant church, to take refuge under
the blessings of the gospel, and so save their souls from everlasting

"The bombardment commenced at half-past two on Monday, and continued
till Wednesday, when the troops succeeded in taking possession of the

"Señor Palomares, myself, and several members of the Red Cross went
out on Tuesday evening to bring in some wounded; but we could not get
beyond the barricade of San José, for the balls still rushed by. It
was a sad scene to behold. The whole neighbourhood had been saturated
with petroleum, and the pillars of smoke and fire were terrible: I
have never witnessed in my life such a scene before. The disasters of
Bourbaki's army, of which I was an eye-witness, seem to me less than
what I beheld during the three days of the bombardment of Seville.

"It is most astonishing and worth while mentioning that, whilst the
houses to the right and left, before and behind, our (Garci Perez)
school are more or less damaged, it should have escaped without even a
ball-mark; and that, whilst houses only a few yards distant were
burned, and a large cork manufactory not more than ten yards from it
was almost totally destroyed, it should have escaped without injury.

"Our schools were only discontinued for a few days, and they are now
as well attended as before. May the Lord have mercy on poor Spain, and
cause the light of His gospel to shine in her midst!"

Let the reader of these pages breathe a fervent "amen" to this prayer;
nor let him content himself with this sign of sympathy with those who
maintain so holy a cause. Men and money are needed; the conflict is
going on at this moment, the battle is not yet decided. Such Spaniards
as Cabrera and Aguilera still contend in their nobler Plaza de Toros
with fierce bigotry and superstition: a formidable enemy is before
them; but their weapon is the Word of God, and English friends,
faithful and firm, stand at their side. When in eternity the ancient
martyrs and the modern spiritual heroes of Spain remember in the
mansions of peace and bliss the struggle in which they once bore so
noble a part, may my reader be able with humble joy to exclaim, "I was
no idle spectator of the struggle! Such help as I could give I
willingly gave, and I--even I--may now, while ascribing all glory to
the God of hosts, join in the song of victory and the psalm of
thanksgiving--for the triumphs of the Gospel in Spain!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Occasional Paper, issued by the Spanish Church Mission whilst
this volume was passing through the press, gives a cheering account of
the progress of evangelical work in Seville. The number of children
under religious tuition is a peculiarly encouraging feature of this
work. Portions of Scripture, illuminated by English hands, are hung up
not only in schools, but some of them in private houses, to the great
annoyance of Romish priests. Though Spain is yet convulsed by civil
war, and fierce bigotry has not ceased to oppose the truth, an
Aguilera still holds his glorious post in Seville; and in the city
where so many martyrs once died in flames kindled by the Inquisition,
Spanish lips are now preaching the doctrine of justification by faith.


[25] Office, 6 Duke Street, Adelphi, London.

[26] What follows is a translation.

[27] A large _Protestant_ church in Seville.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Spanish Cavalier - A Story of Seville" ***

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