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Title: The Bible in Spain - Vol. 1 [of 2]
Author: Borrow, George Henry, 1803-1881
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bible in Spain - Vol. 1 [of 2]" ***

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Transcribed from the 1896 John Murray edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                            [Picture: Seville]



                           THE BIBLE IN SPAIN;


                      IMPRISONMENTS OF AN ENGLISHMAN
                        IN AN ATTEMPT TO CIRCULATE
                            THE SCRIPTURES IN
                              THE PENINSULA.

                                    BY
                              GEORGE BORROW.

                                * * * * *

              _A NEW EDITION_, _WITH NOTES AND A GLOSSARY_,
                       BY ULICK RALPH BURKE, M.A.,
                   AUTHOR OF “A HISTORY OF SPAIN,” ETC.

                                * * * * *

                            _IN TWO VOLUMES_.
                                 VOL. I.

                                * * * * *

                         WITH MAP AND ENGRAVINGS.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
                      JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
                                  1896.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
               PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
                    STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.



PREFACE.


It is very seldom that the preface of a work is read; indeed, of late
years most books have been sent into the world without any.  I deem it,
however, advisable to write a preface, and to this I humbly call the
attention of the courteous reader, as its perusal will not a little tend
to the proper understanding and appreciation of these volumes.

The work now offered to the public, and which is styled _The Bible in
Spain_, consists of a narrative of what occurred to me during a residence
in that country, to which I was sent by the Bible Society, as its agent,
for the purpose of printing and circulating the Scriptures.  It
comprehends, however, certain journeys and adventures in Portugal, and
leaves me at last in “the land of the _Corahai_,” to which region, after
having undergone considerable buffeting in Spain, I found it expedient to
retire for a season.

It is very probable that had I visited Spain from mere curiosity, or with
a view of passing a year or two agreeably, I should never have attempted
to give any detailed account of my proceedings, or of what I heard and
saw.  I am no tourist, no writer of books of travels; but I went there on
a somewhat remarkable errand, which necessarily led me into strange
situations and positions, involved me in difficulties and perplexities,
and brought me into contact with people of all descriptions and grades;
so that, upon the whole, I flatter myself that a narrative of such a
pilgrimage may not be wholly uninteresting to the public, more especially
as the subject is not trite; for, though various books have been
published about Spain, I believe that the present is the only one in
existence which treats of missionary labour in that country.

Many things, it is true, will be found in the following volume which have
little connexion with religion, or religious enterprise; I offer,
however, no apology for introducing them.  I was, as I may say, from
first to last adrift in Spain, the land of old renown, the land of wonder
and mystery, with better opportunities of becoming acquainted with its
strange secrets and peculiarities than, perhaps, ever yet were afforded
to any individual, certainly to a foreigner; and if in many instances I
have introduced scenes and characters perhaps unprecedented in a work of
this description, I have only to observe, that, during my sojourn in
Spain, I was so unavoidably mixed up with such, that I could scarcely
have given a faithful narrative of what befell me had I not brought them
forward in the manner in which I have done.

It is worthy of remark, that, called suddenly and unexpectedly “to
undertake the adventure of Spain,” I was not altogether unprepared for
such an enterprise.  In the day-dreams of my boyhood, Spain always bore a
considerable share, and I took a particular interest in her, without any
presentiment that I should, at a future time, be called upon to take a
part, however humble, in her strange dramas; which interest, at a very
early period, led me to acquire her noble language, and to make myself
acquainted with her literature (scarcely worthy of the language), her
history, and traditions; so that when I entered Spain for the first time
I felt more at home than I should otherwise have done.

In Spain I passed five years, which, if not the most eventful, were, I
have no hesitation in saying, the most happy years of my existence.  Of
Spain at the present time, now that the day-dream has vanished never,
alas! to return, I entertain the warmest admiration: she is the most
magnificent country in the world, probably the most fertile, and
certainly with the finest climate.  Whether her children are worthy of
their mother, is another question, which I shall not attempt to answer;
but content myself with observing that, amongst much that is lamentable
and reprehensible, I have found much that is noble and to be admired:
much stern heroic virtue; much savage and horrible crime; of low vulgar
vice very little, at least amongst the great body of the Spanish nation,
with which my mission lay; for it will be as well here to observe that I
advance no claim to an intimate acquaintance with the Spanish nobility,
from whom I kept as remote as circumstances would permit me; _en
revanche_, however, I have had the honour to live on familiar terms with
the peasants, shepherds, and muleteers of Spain, whose bread and
_bacallao_ I have eaten; who always treated me with kindness and
courtesy, and to whom I have not unfrequently been indebted for shelter
and protection.

    “The generous bearing of Francisco Gonzales, and the high deeds of
    Ruy Diaz the Cid, are still sung amongst the fastnesses of the Sierra
    Morena.” {0a}

I believe that no stronger argument can be brought forward in proof of
the natural vigour and resources of Spain, and the sterling character of
her population, than the fact that, at the present day, she is still a
powerful and unexhausted country, and her children still, to a certain
extent, a high-minded and great people.  Yes, notwithstanding the misrule
of the brutal and sensual Austrian, the doting Bourbon, and, above all,
the spiritual tyranny of the court of Rome, Spain can still maintain her
own, fight her own combat, and Spaniards are not yet fanatic slaves and
crouching beggars.  This is saying much, very much: she has undergone far
more than Naples had ever to bear, and yet the fate of Naples has not
been hers.  There is still valour in Asturia, generosity in Aragon,
probity in Old Castile, and the peasant women of La Mancha can still
afford to place a silver fork and a snowy napkin beside the plate of
their guest.  Yes, in spite of Austrian, Bourbon, and Rome, there is
still a wide gulf between Spain and Naples.

Strange as it may sound, Spain is not a fanatic country. {0b}  I know
something about her, and declare that she is not, nor has ever been:
Spain never changes.  It is true that, for nearly two centuries, she was
the she-butcher, _La Verduga_, of malignant Rome; the chosen instrument
for carrying into effect the atrocious projects of that power; yet
fanaticism was not the spring which impelled her to the work of butchery:
another feeling, in her the predominant one, was worked upon—her fatal
pride.  It was by humouring her pride that she was induced to waste her
precious blood and treasure in the Low Country wars, to launch the
Armada, and to many other equally insane actions.  Love of Rome had ever
slight influence over her policy; but, flattered by the title of
_Gonfaloniera of the Vicar of Jesus_, and eager to prove herself not
unworthy of the same, she shut her eyes, and rushed upon her own
destruction with the cry of “Charge, Spain!”

But the arms of Spain became powerless abroad, and she retired within
herself.  She ceased to be the tool of the vengeance and cruelty of Rome.
She was not cast aside, however.  No! though she could no longer wield
the sword with success against the Lutherans, she might still be turned
to some account.  She had still gold and silver, and she was still the
land of the vine and olive.  Ceasing to be the butcher, she became the
banker of Rome; and the poor Spaniards, who always esteem it a privilege
to pay another person’s reckoning, were for a long time happy in being
permitted to minister to the grasping cupidity of Rome, who, during the
last century, probably extracted from Spain more treasure than from all
the rest of Christendom.

But wars came into the land.  Napoleon and his fierce Franks invaded
Spain; plunder and devastation ensued, the effects of which will probably
be felt for ages.  Spain could no longer pay pence to Peter so freely as
of yore, and from that period she became contemptible in the eyes of
Rome, who has no respect for a nation, save so far as it can minister to
her cruelty or avarice.  The Spaniard was still willing to pay, as far as
his means would allow, but he was soon given to understand that he was a
degraded being,—a barbarian; nay, a beggar.  Now you may draw the last
_cuarto_ from a Spaniard, provided you will concede to him the title of
cavalier, and rich man, for the old leaven still works as powerfully as
in the time of the first Philip; {0c} but you must never hint that he is
poor, or that his blood is inferior to your own.  And the old peasant, on
being informed in what slight estimation he was held, replied, “If I am a
beast, a barbarian, and a beggar withal, I am sorry for it; but, as there
is no remedy, I shall spend these four bushels of barley, which I had
reserved to alleviate the misery of the holy father, in procuring bull
spectacles, and other convenient diversions, for the queen my wife, and
the young princes my children.  Beggar! _carajo_!  The water of my
village is better than the wine of Rome.”

I see that in a late pastoral letter directed to the Spaniards, the
father of Rome complains bitterly of the treatment which he has received
in Spain at the hands of naughty men.  “My cathedrals are let down,” he
says, “my priests are insulted, and the revenues of my bishops are
curtailed.”  He consoles himself, however, with the idea, that this is
the effect of the malice of a few, and that the generality of the nation
love him, especially the peasantry, the innocent peasantry, who shed
tears when they think of the sufferings of their Pope and their religion.
Undeceive yourself, _Batuschca_, undeceive yourself!  Spain was ready to
fight for you so long as she could increase her own glory by doing so;
but she took no pleasure in losing battle after battle on your account.
She had no objection to pay money into your coffers in the shape of alms,
expecting, however, that the same would be received with the gratitude
and humility which become those who accept charity.  Finding, however,
that you were neither humble nor grateful; suspecting, moreover, that you
held Austria in higher esteem than herself, even as a banker, she
shrugged up her shoulders, and uttered a sentence somewhat similar to
that which I have already put into the mouth of one of her children,
“These four bushels of barley,” etc.

It is truly surprising what little interest the great body of the Spanish
nation took in the late struggle; and yet it has been called by some, who
ought to know better, a war of religion and principle.  It was generally
supposed that Biscay was the stronghold of Carlism, and that the
inhabitants were fanatically attached to their religion, which they
apprehended was in danger.  The truth is, that the Basques cared nothing
for Carlos or Rome, and merely took up arms to defend certain rights and
privileges of their own. {0d}  For the dwarfish brother of Ferdinand they
always exhibited supreme contempt, which his character, a compound of
imbecility, cowardice, and cruelty, well merited.  If they made use of
his name, it was merely as a _cri de guerre_.  Much the same may be said
with respect to his Spanish partisans, at least those who appeared in the
field for him.  These, however, were of a widely different character from
the Basques, who were brave soldiers and honest men.  The Spanish armies
of Don Carlos were composed entirely of thieves and assassins, chiefly
Valencians and Manchegans, who, marshalled under two cutthroats, Cabrera
and Palillos, took advantage of the distracted state of the country to
plunder and massacre the honest part of the community.  With respect to
the Queen Regent Christina, of whom the less said the better, the reins
of government fell into her hands on the decease of her husband, and with
them the command of the soldiery.  The respectable part of the Spanish
nation, and more especially the honourable and toil-worn peasantry,
loathed and execrated both factions.  Oft when I was sharing at nightfall
the frugal fare of the villager of Old or New Castile, on hearing the
distant shot of the _Cristino_ soldier or Carlist bandit, he would invoke
curses on the heads of the two pretenders, not forgetting the holy father
and the goddess of Rome, _Maria Santísima_.  Then, with the tiger energy
of the Spaniard when roused, he would start up and exclaim, “_Vamos_,
_Don Jorge_ to the plain, to the plain!  I wish to enlist with you, and
to learn the law of the English.  To the plain, therefore, to the plain
to-morrow, to circulate the gospel of Inglaterra.”

Amongst the peasantry of Spain I found my sturdiest supporters; and yet
the holy father supposes that the Spanish labourers are friends and
lovers of his.  Undeceive yourself, _Batuschca_!

But to return to the present work: it is devoted to an account of what
befell me in Spain whilst engaged in distributing the Scripture.  With
respect to my poor labours, I wish here to observe that I accomplished
but very little, and that I lay claim to no brilliant successes and
triumphs; indeed, I was sent into Spain more to explore the country, and
to ascertain how far the minds of the people were prepared to receive the
truths of Christianity, than for any other object; I obtained, however,
through the assistance of kind friends, permission from the Spanish
government to print an edition of the sacred volume at Madrid, which I
subsequently circulated in that capital and in the provinces.

During my sojourn in Spain there were others who wrought good service in
the Gospel cause, and of whose efforts it were unjust to be silent in a
work of this description.  Base is the heart which would refuse merit its
meed; and, however insignificant may be the value of any eulogium which
can flow from a pen like mine, I cannot refrain from mentioning with
respect and esteem a few names connected with Gospel enterprise.  A
zealous Irish gentleman, of the name of Graydon, {0e} exerted himself
with indefatigable diligence in diffusing the light of Scripture in the
province of Catalonia, and along the southern shores of Spain; whilst two
missionaries from Gibraltar, Messrs. Rule {0f} and Lyon, {0g} during one
entire year, preached Evangelic truth in a church at Cadiz.  So much
success attended the efforts of these two last, brave disciples of the
immortal Wesley, that there is every reason for supposing that, had they
not been silenced, and eventually banished from the country, by the
pseudo-liberal faction of the _Moderados_, not only Cadiz, but the
greater part of Andalusia, would by this time have confessed the pure
doctrines of the Gospel, and have discarded for ever the last relics of
Popish superstition.

More immediately connected with the Bible Society and myself, I am most
happy to take this opportunity of speaking of Luis de Usoz y Rio, {0h}
the scion of an ancient and honourable family of Old Castile, my
coadjutor whilst editing the Spanish New Testament at Madrid.  Throughout
my residence in Spain I experienced every mark of friendship from this
gentleman, who, during the periods of my absence in the provinces, and my
numerous and long journeys, cheerfully supplied my place at Madrid, and
exerted himself to the utmost in forwarding the views of the Bible
Society, influenced by no other motive than a hope that its efforts would
eventually contribute to the peace, happiness, and civilization of his
native land.

In conclusion, I beg leave to state that I am fully aware of the various
faults and inaccuracies of the present work.  It is founded on certain
journals which I kept during my stay in Spain, and numerous letters
written to my friends in England, which they had subsequently the
kindness to restore; the greater part, however, consisting of
descriptions of scenery, sketches of character, etc., has been supplied
from memory.  In various instances I have omitted the names of places,
which I have either forgotten, or of whose orthography I am uncertain.
The work, as it at present exists, was written in a solitary hamlet in a
remote part of England, where I had neither books to consult, nor friends
of whose opinion or advice I could occasionally avail myself, and under
all the disadvantages which arise from enfeebled health.  I have,
however, on a recent occasion, experienced too much of the lenity and
generosity of the public, both of Britain and America, to shrink from
again exposing myself to its gaze; and trust that, if in the present
volumes it find but little to admire, it will give me credit for good
spirit, and for setting down nought in malice.

_Nov._ 26, 1842.



CONTENTS OF VOL. I.

                INTRODUCTION BY THE EDITORS                        [i]
                                                                  PAGE
                              CHAPTER I.
Man overboard—The Tagus—Foreign                                      1
Languages—Gesticulation—Streets of Lisbon—The
Aqueduct—Bible tolerated in Portugal—Cintra—Don
Sebastian—John de Castro—Conversation with a
Priest—Colhares—Mafra—Its Palace—The Schoolmaster—The
Portuguese—Their Ignorance of Scripture—Rural
Priesthood—The Alemtejo
                             CHAPTER II.
Boatmen of the Tagus—Dangers of the Stream—Aldea                    17
Gallega—The Hostelry—Robbers—Sabocha—Adventure of a
Muleteer—Estalagem de Ladrões—Don Geronimo—Vendas
Novas—Royal Residence—Swine of the Alemtejo—Monte
Moro—Swayne Vonved—Singular Goatherd—Children of the
Fields—Infidels and Sadducees
                             CHAPTER III.
Shopkeeper at Evora—Spanish Contrabandistas—Lion and                33
Unicorn—The Fountain—Trust in the Almighty—Distribution of
Tracts—Library at Evora—Manuscript—The Bible as a
Guide—The Infamous Mary—The Man of Palmella—The Charm—The
Monkish System—Sunday—Volney—An Auto-da-Fé—Men from
Spain—Reading of a Tract—New Arrival—The Herb Rosemary
                             CHAPTER IV.
Vexatious Delays—Drunken Driver—The Murdered Mule—The               48
Lamentation—Adventure on the Heath—Fear of
Darkness—Portuguese Fidalgo—The Escort—Return to Lisbon
                              CHAPTER V.
The College—The Rector—Shibboleth—National                          59
Prejudices—Youthful Sports—Jews of Lisbon—Bad Faith—Crime
and Superstition
                             CHAPTER VI.
Cold of Portugal—Extortion prevented—Sensation of                   71
Loneliness—The Dog—The Convent—Enchanting
Landscape—Moorish Fortresses—Prayer for the Sick
                             CHAPTER VII.
The Druid’s Stone—The Young Spaniard—Ruffianly                      82
Soldiers—Evils of War—Estremoz—The Brawl—Ruined
Watch-tower—Glimpse of Spain—Old Times and New
                            CHAPTER VIII.
Elvas—Extraordinary Longevity—The English                           94
Nation—Portuguese
Ingratitude—Illiberality—Fortifications—Spanish
Beggar—Badajoz—The Custom-House
                             CHAPTER IX.
Badajoz—Antonio the Gypsy—Antonio’s Proposal—The Proposal          105
accepted—Gypsy Breakfast—Departure from Badajoz—The Gypsy
Donkey—Merida—The Ruined Wall—The Crone—The Land of the
Moor—The Black Men—Life in the Desert—The Supper
                              CHAPTER X.
The Gypsy’s Granddaughter—Proposed Marriage—The                    122
Alguazil—The Assault—Speedy Trot—Arrival at Trujillo—Night
and Rain—The Forest—The Bivouac—Mount and
Away!—Jaraicejo—The National—The Cavalier Balmerson—Among
the Thickets—Serious Discourse—What is Truth?—Unexpected
Intelligence
                             CHAPTER XI.
The Pass of Mirabete—Wolves and Shepherds—Female                   145
Subtlety—Death by Wolves—The Mystery solved—The
Mountains—The Dark Hour—The Traveller of the
Night—Abarbenel—Hoarded Treasure—Force of Gold—The
Archbishop—Arrival at Madrid
                             CHAPTER XII.
Lodging at Madrid—My Hostess—British                               162
Ambassador—Mendizabal—Baltasar—Duties of a National—Young
Blood—The Execution—Population of Madrid—The Higher
Orders—The Lower Classes—The Bull-fighter—The Crabbed
Gitano
                            CHAPTER XIII.
Intrigues at Court—Quesada and Galiano—Dissolution of the          179
Cortes—The Secretary—Aragonese Pertinacity—The Council of
Trent—The Asturian—The Three Thieves—Benedict Mol—The Men
of Lucerne—The Treasure
                             CHAPTER XIV.
State of Spain—Isturitz—Revolution of the Granja—The               194
Disturbance—Signs of Mischief—Newspaper
Reporters—Quesada’s Onslaught—The Closing Scene—Flight of
the Moderados—The Coffee Bowl
                             CHAPTER XV.
The Steamer—Cape Finisterre—The Storm—Arrival at Cadiz—The         208
New Testament—Seville—Italica—The Amphitheatre—The
Prisoners—The Encounter—Baron Taylor—The Street and Desert
                             CHAPTER XVI.
Departure for Cordova—Carmona—German Colonies—Language—The         223
Sluggish Horse—Nocturnal Welcome—Carlist Landlord—Good
Advice—Gomez—The Old Genoese—The Two Opinions
                            CHAPTER XVII.
Cordova—Moors of Barbary—The English—An Old Priest—The             233
Roman Breviary—The Dovecote—The Holy
Office—Judaism—Desecration of Dovecotes—The Innkeeper’s
Proposal
                            CHAPTER XVIII.
Departure from Cordova—The Contrabandista—Jewish                   252
Cunning—Arrival at Madrid
                             CHAPTER XIX.
Arrival at Madrid—Maria Diaz—Printing of the Testament—My          256
Project—Andalusian Steed—Servant Wanted—An
Application—Antonio Buchini—General Cordova—Principles of
Honour
                             CHAPTER XX.
Illness—Nocturnal Visit—A Master Mind—The                          270
Whisper—Salamanca—Irish Hospitality—Spanish Soldiers—The
Scriptures advertised
                             CHAPTER XXI.
Departure from Salamanca—Reception at Pitiegua—The                 280
Dilemma—Sudden Inspiration—The Good Presbyter—Combat of
Quadrupeds—Irish Christians—Plains of Spain—The
Catalans—The Fatal Pool—Valladolid—Circulation of the
Scriptures—Philippine Missions—English College—A
Conversation—The Gaoleress
                            CHAPTER XXII.
Dueñas—Children of Egypt—Jockeyism—The Baggage Pony—The            303
Fall—Palencia—Carlist Priests—The Look-out—Priestly
Sincerity—Leon—Antonio alarmed—Heat and Dust
                            CHAPTER XXIII.
Astorga—The Inn—The Maragatos—Habits of the Maragatos—The          319
Statue
                            CHAPTER XXIV.
Departure from Astorga—The Venta—The By-path—Narrow                326
Escape—The Cup of Water—Sun and Shade—Bembibre—Convent of
the Rocks—Sunset—Cacabelos—Midnight Adventure—Villafranca
                             CHAPTER XXV.
Villafranca—The Pass—Gallegan Simplicity—The Frontier              343
Guard—The Horse-shoe—Gallegan Peculiarities—A Word on
Language—The Courier—Wretched Cabins—Host and
Guests—Andalusians
                            CHAPTER XXVI.
Lugo—The Baths—A Family History—Miguelets—The Three                358
Heads—A Farrier—English Squadron—Sale of
Testaments—Corunna—The Recognition—Luigi Piozzi—The
Speculation—A Blank Prospect—John Moore
                            CHAPTER XXVII.
Compostella—Rey Romero—The Treasure-seeker—Hopeful                 377
Project—The Church of Refuge—Hidden Riches—The
Canon—Spirit of Localism—The Leper—Bones of Saint James
                           CHAPTER XXVIII.
Skippers of Padron—Caldas de los Reyes—Pontevedra—The              392
Notary Public—Insane Barber—An Introduction—Gallegan
Language—Afternoon Ride—Vigo—The Stranger—Jews of the
Desert—Bay of Vigo—Sudden Interruption—The Governor



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

                        VOL. I.
                                                   PAGE
SEVILLE                                  _Frontispiece_
INTERIOR OF THE MOSQUE, CORDOVA           _To face_ 238



INTRODUCTION.


PART I.


When George Borrow, in the month of November, 1835, steamed up the Tagus
on his adventurous journey to distribute the Bible in Spain, the
political situation throughout the Peninsula was so complicated and so
extraordinary, that a brief review of the events of the few years
immediately preceding his arrival will be necessary to enable any one but
a specially instructed reader to appreciate, or even to understand, his
position and his adventures.

When Ferdinand VII. was restored to his kingdom by the British arms in
1814, Spain was still governed by the Cortes elected under the Liberal
Constitution of 1812.

Ferdinand, having sworn many oaths to maintain this Constitution and
Parliamentary Institutions in the country, no sooner found himself firmly
seated on the throne, than, encouraged by the clergy within his
dominions, and by the Holy Alliance in Northern Europe, he issued an
edict dissolving the Cortes, and reviving the old absolutism with all the
old abuses in Spain.

The nobles were once again exempted from taxation; the monasteries were
restored; the Jesuits returned to Spain; the Inquisition was formally
re-established; all Liberal politicians were persecuted to the death.
For six years this royalist reign of terror—more dreadful by far than the
_Terreur blanche_ in contemporary France—was continued, until at length,
the great American colonies having asserted their independence, {2} the
standard of revolt was raised in Spain by Riego and Quiroga, two officers
in command of an expedition which was just about to sail from Cadiz to
renew the war against the colonists in South America in January, 1820.
The success of this political revolution was prompt and complete.  In
March the king gave way, and once more accepted the Constitution of 1812;
and an administration of moderate reformers was formed under Martinez de
la Rosa, a well-known man of letters, and was generally acceptable to the
country.

After much intrigue and factious opposition, both on the part of the
extreme Royalists and the extreme Radicals, the election of Riego to the
Presidency of the Cortes in 1822 marked the extreme limit of the triumph
of the Liberal party in Spain.

The Congress of Verona in October, 1822; the growing pretensions of the
Holy Alliance; the mission of the Duke of Wellington, with George
Canning’s protest against the armed intervention of any of the Powers in
the domestic affairs of the Peninsula; and the ultimate invasion of Spain
by a French army of 100,000 men under the Duc d’Angoulême, eldest son of
the Comte d’Artois, afterwards Charles X., in April, 1823;—these things
belong as much to European as to Spanish history, and need only be
referred to in passing.

The French army, as may be supposed, met with no serious opposition.
Madrid was easily occupied before the end of May.  Cadiz, maintaining a
brief but honourable resistance, yielded to a bombardment in September;
and Ferdinand VII., reinvested with absolute power over his subjects by
foreign artillery and foreign bayonets in October, 1823, immediately
unswore all his oaths, and restored all the old tyranny and abuses in
Spain.  Riego was at once put to death.  All Liberals and even
_moderados_ were exposed to a sanguinary and relentless persecution.  The
leaders and their richer and more important partisans were as a rule able
to make good their flight, in many cases to England; but their humbler
followers paid the penalty of their liberalism with their lives.  The
French army of occupation remained in Spain for four years—1823–1827—and
Cadiz was not evacuated until 1828.

In September, 1824, Charles X. succeeded the more liberal Louis XVIII. on
the throne of France, and George Canning, unable to compel or persuade
the French to leave the Spanish people to themselves in Spain, “called a
new world into existence to restore the balance in the old,” and
recognized the independence of the Spanish American colonies.

In 1829 Ferdinand VII. married, as his fourth wife, Maria Christina of
Naples, a sister of the Duchesse de Berri; {3} and on October 10, 1830,
the queen gave birth to a daughter, who was christened Isabella,
afterwards so well known as Isabel II. of Spain. {4a}  The king, her
father, immediately issued a Pragmatic Sanction, declaring the Salic law
to be of no effect in Spain; and the young princess was accordingly
recognized as heir-apparent to the crown.  A formal protest was made by
King Ferdinand’s younger brother, Don Carlos, who found himself thus
excluded from the succession, against this decree, and who soon
afterwards quitted Spain.

On Michaelmas Day, 1833, Ferdinand VII. died, and his daughter Isabella
was immediately proclaimed queen, as Isabel II., with her mother Doña
Cristina as regent, {4b} of Spain throughout Spain.

Don Carlos, who had taken refuge in Portugal, found himself unable to
cross the frontier, and was constrained to make his way from Lisbon by
sea to London, and thence by way of France into the Basque provinces,
where he arrived in September, 1834.  Thus were founded the Carlist and
the _Cristino_ parties; and on the side of the former were at once ranged
all the Basques, and the representatives of the absolutist and
ultra-clerical party throughout Spain.

Don Carlos himself, unable to cross the frontier, {4c} made his way from
Portugal to England, and thence through France (May, 1834), where his
pretensions were not unfavourably regarded, into Northern Spain
(September, 1834).  Mendizabal, a Cadiz Jew of much financial skill, who
had acquired great experience and some consideration in England during
his exile from 1823 to 1833, became Prime Minister of the Regency.



PART II.


On the outbreak of hostilities in the north-west, the most capable
commander on the side of the Carlists was the Basque, Tomás
Zumalacarregui.  Born at Ormastegui, in Guipuzcoa, in 1788, he had served
in the Spanish army from 1808 to 1831 without finding any special favour
or advancement from king or Cortes.  Dismissed the service in 1831, he
emerged from his retirement on the death of Ferdinand VII. in 1833, and,
openly attaching himself to the Carlist fortunes, he took the field
against the queen’s troops at the head of some eight hundred partisans.
So great was his zeal and energy, and so popular was Zumalacarregui
himself in his native Guipuzcoa, that in less than a year this little
force had grown in his hands into an army of over thirty-five thousand
men, superior not only in fighting qualities, but even in discipline, to
any of the queen’s forces, fairly armed, and well supplied with food and
clothing.

But in spite of his commanding qualities, which made him indispensable to
the Carlist cause, the success of the blunt and robust soldier excited
the jealousy, not only of his subordinate commanders, and of the priests
and women who had so great an influence at the court of Don Carlos, but
even of the Pretender himself.

The only general who may be compared with Zumalacarregui on the Carlist
side was born at Tortosa, at the mouth of the Ebro, as late as December,
1806, and was thus nearly twenty years younger than the Basque commander.

Cabrera was destined for the priesthood, and actually received the
_tonsura_ in 1825, but in 1833 he quitted the convent of the
_Trinitarios_ at Tortosa and joined the Carlist army near the historic
mountain fortress of Morella in November, 1833; and in less than twelve
months he had been appointed a colonel in the Carlist army in Aragon.

On the side of the Constitutionalists there was no display of military
talent, or even of capacity.  Rodil, Amildez, Mina, Valdez, followed each
other without advantage to the queen’s cause, and in spite of all the
advantages incident to a regular government, with command of the capital
and all the departments, little or no advantage was gained by the
Constitutional forces for long after the first outbreak of hostilities.
The war, however, was carried on by both _Cristinos_ and Carlists with
the utmost savagery.

The wholesale massacre of wounded and prisoners by both the _Cristino_
and Carlist generals aroused the indignation of every civilized
community, and especially in England, where an uneasy sense of
responsibility for the atrocities which were committed was natural in
view of the fact that the government had taken to some extent an official
part in the war, and that English regiments were soon to be exposed to
the cruelties against which the whole of Europe was protesting.  The
pressure of public opinion in England, indeed, was so strong that at
length Lord Eliot was despatched to Spain to negotiate a convention
between the belligerents which would ensure the ordinary laws of
civilized warfare being obeyed.  It was a difficult task. {7a}

But by the exertions of Lord Eliot and Colonel Wylde of the Royal
Artillery, who was serving as a kind of military _attaché_ at the
head-quarters of the queen’s forces, a convention, known as the “Eliot
Convention,” was at length signed by Zumalacarregui at or near Logroño,
on April 27 and 28, 1835.

The convention, as might have been supposed, was in practice regarded by
neither party, and was evaded when not actually set at nought.  It was
said not to apply to any part of Spain but the Basque provinces, nor to
any troops enlisted after its signature in April; but the massacre of
prisoners was possibly not so systematically carried out after the
agreement as it had been before.  But, strangest of all, as soon as the
news of the signature of this convention became known at Madrid, the
utmost indignation was expressed, not only by the populace of Madrid, but
in the Cortes.  An attempt was made to kill Señor Martinez de la Rosa in
the streets by an armed mob, and the ministry was compelled to resign.
Count Toreno was then called to the supreme power on June 7, with
Mendizabal as finance minister.

Meanwhile the military skill of Zumalacarregui in the Basque provinces,
and of Cabrera in the east of Spain, had alone prolonged the struggle
during 1834 and 1835; but the death of Zumalacarregui from a wound
received in action near Bilbao in June, 1835, was a serious blow to the
hopes of the Pretender, although there are good grounds for supposing
that the bold general’s end was hastened by poison administered by his
own partisans. {8}

In the month of April of this same year, 1835, Lord Palmerston, who,
after a brief retirement from office in 1834, was once more Foreign
Secretary in London, had sanctioned the enlisting of an army of ten
thousand men in England, which, under the command of Colonel, afterwards
Sir de Lacy Evans, landed at San Sebastian in August to assist the
government of the regency to put down the Carlists in the northwest.
There was already a British Auxiliary Contingent attached to the Spanish
army, and the British Naval Squadron, under Lord John Hay, assisted the
_Cristinos_ on the coast between Bilbao and Santander.

But neither the native nor the British supporters of the regent were at
this time successful in the Basque provinces.  Bilbao was for many months
besieged, and was at length relieved only in the month of December, 1836,
by the English forces co-operating with Espartero, who was created, for
his share in the victory, Count of Luchana.

The ministry of Count Toreno had lasted only from June to September
(1835), when Mendizabal assumed the chief direction of affairs; and it
was just two months later (November, 1835) that George Borrow first set
foot on the soil of the Peninsula.

Mendizabal continued to be Prime Minister until May, 1836, when he was
succeeded by a coalition ministry of Isturitz, Galiano and the Duke of
Rivas (see text, p. 181), under whose administration took place the
military riots at Madrid (August 11, 12), which were most bravely
repressed by General Quesada, the commandant of the city, as so
graphically recorded by Borrow (pp. 202–205).  Yet Quesada’s valour was
of no avail.  The decree of La Granja, of August 13 and 14, extorted from
the fears of the queen regent by actual threats of military violence, was
followed by the precipitate flight of Isturitz and Galiano to France, and
of the Duke of Rivas to Gibraltar, and the assumption of power by Señor
Calatrava, with Mendizabal as Minister of Finance.  Quesada was murdered,
as is said and sung on p. 206 of the text.

If the _Cristino_ cause had made but little progress in 1836, there was
even less encouragement to be found in the result of the military
operations in the earlier part of 1837.  General Evans was defeated at
Hernani, near San Sebastian, in March, and although Lord John Hay with
his English mariners took Irun, Don Carlos was allowed to march almost
unopposed upon the capital.  On September 12, he found himself within
four leagues of Madrid, and had it not been for his own poltroonery and
the jealousy and incompetence of those by whom he was surrounded, he
might have ridden into the Puerta del Sol on the next day as King of
Spain.  But, _dis aliter visum_ and all undefeated, he turned his back
upon La Corte, and marched northwards with no apparent reason or policy,
closely pressed by the new commander-in-chief of the _Cristino_ forces, a
man whose name is distinguished above that of any of his fellows in the
contemporary history of his country.

Baldomero Espartero, the son of a village wheelwright in La Mancha, was
born in 1792.  Destined, like Cabrera, for the priesthood, he took up
arms on the French invasion in 1808, and at the conclusion of the War of
Independence in 1814 obtained a military position in Peru, in which he
had an opportunity of distinguishing himself.  After the capitulation of
Ayacucho, when the independence of Peru was finally recognized, Espartero
returned to Spain, and after some ten years of uneventful but honoured
service in the home army he found himself, in 1833, entrusted with an
important command in the queen’s army.  Indolent and yet ambitious,
dilatory and yet vigorous when opportunity offered, loyal and yet
politically untrustworthy, Espartero flourished in the troublous times in
which he found himself, and made a name for himself both in camp and
court; and having, as we have seen, been created Count of Luchana on the
relief of Bilbao, he had taken the place of Señor Calatrava as Prime
Minister in August, 1837, and was succeeded in the following October by
Don José Maria Perez, who in turn gave place to Ofalia on November 30
(see text, vol. ii. pp. 100, 121), when Espartero returned to Madrid as
Minister of War.

Cabrera meanwhile was ravaging Aragon and Valencia, and continued not
only absolutely to disregard the Eliot Convention, and to massacre all
the military prisoners that surrendered to him, but to put to death the
women and even the children that fell into his hands.

But with the war in Aragon and Catalonia, the readers of Borrow’s _Bible
in Spain_ have happily no need further to concern themselves.

The British legion, which, after two years’ evil fortune was at length
becoming a force of some military value, was broken up and sent back to
London at the expense of the British treasury, though a remnant elected
to remain in the Peninsula, which did good service until the close of the
year as the “British Auxiliary Brigade.”

In the spring of 1838 Espartero once more assumed the command of the
queen’s army with the title of captain-general, and gained an indecisive
victory over the Carlists at Peñacerrada, between Logroño and Vitoria, in
June, 1838; while Cabrera was able to repulse the queen’s forces who
sought to drive him from the strong position he had taken up at Aragon.

The ministry resigned in August, and the Duke of Frias presided over a
short-lived cabinet, for in December, 1838, a new ministry was formed
under Señor Perez de Castro; and Espartero, at length assuming the
offensive with some vigour, was enabled, by the treachery of the Carlist
general Maroto, to march unopposed into Orduña, the ancient capital of
Biscay, in May, 1839.

After this practical victory Espartero was hailed as the saviour of his
country, and received the title of Duque de la Victoria.  Dissension soon
completed what treachery had so well begun.

Even among the strong partisan officials of Don Carlos there were three
parties, viz.  _Marotistas_, men whose professed object was to force Don
Carlos to leave Spain, and to bring about a marriage between his son and
the young queen, which, combined with a modified constitution, might
pacify Spain; secondly, a party headed by Villa Real and Marco del Pont,
having for its object the establishment of Don Carlos on the throne, with
powers limited by a permanent Cortes; and thirdly, the bigoted Absolutist
party, headed by Cabrera and Teijeiro.

In all these circumstances it was not surprising that the abandonment of
Orduña in May should have been followed, after a good deal of intrigue
and very little fighting, by the Convention of Vergara on the last day of
August.

Don Carlos immediately fled to France, and was housed by the French
government at Bourges, where he continued to hold his court, and the war
in North-Western Spain was at an end.

Cabrera, however, would have nothing to say to the Convention of Vergara,
and the spring of 1840 saw Espartero at the head of a powerful force
before the celebrated fortress of Morella, which surrendered in May.

Cabrera was finally defeated by Espartero at Lerida in the following
July, and Spain at length enjoyed a desolate peace.



NOTE.


Before Mr. Burke had seen any part of this edition in print, he was
suddenly summoned to South America, as mentioned in his note (i. 190),
and accepted my suggestion that I should revise and correct the proofs.
His death shortly after leaving England has deprived me of a valued
friend, and the book of the advantage of his final revision.  While fully
sensible of the disadvantages which this must involve, I hope that the
errors thus caused will not prove so grave or so numerous as seriously to
detract from the value of the edition.  My best thanks are due to the
many friends who have helped me, especially in the preparation of the
Glossary, which has considerably outgrown the original draft.

                                                        HERBERT W. GREENE.

MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD,
      _November_, 1895.



BORROW’S JOURNEYS IN THE PENINSULA.


1.—Nov. 1835.  [Belem] (11th Nov.), Lisbon (12th), Cintra, [Colhares,
Mafra], Aldea Gallega (6th Dec.), [Pegões], Vendas Novas, Monte Moro,
Evora (9th–17th); returns to Lisbon (19th), where he remains about a
fortnight.

Aldea Gallega, [Pegões], Vendas Novas, Monte Moro, Arroyolos, Estremoz,
Elvas, Badajoz (5th Jan. 1836), where he remains three weeks.  Merida,
where he remains three days.  Trujillo, Jaraicejo, [Mirabete],
Oropesa(?), Talavera, Madrid (about 5th Feb.).

2.—Nov. 1836.  Falmouth (7th Nov.), Finisterre (11th), Lisbon (13th),
Cadiz (starts on 24th), San Lucar, [Bonanza], Seville, where he remains
about a fortnight.  Alcalá de Guadaira, Carmona, [Moncloa, Cuesta del
Espinal], Cordova (on third day from Seville), where he remains some
time.  Andujar, Bailen, Carolina (on third day from Cordova), [Despeña
Perros], Aranjuez (25th Dec.), Madrid (26th).

3.—May, 1837.  Madrid (about 15th), Guadarrama, Peñaranda, Salamanca (on
third day from Madrid), where he remains till 10th June.  [Pitiegua,
Pedroso], Medina del Campo, Valladolid, where he remains about ten days.
Dueñas, Palencia, [Cisneros], Sahagun or [Calzada], Leon (21st), where he
remains about ten days.  Astorga, where he remains three days.  Manzanal,
Bembibre, [Cacabelos], Villafranca, [Fuencebadon], Nogales, Lugo, where
he remains a week. [Castellanos], Betanzos, Corunna, where he remains
about a fortnight.  Santiago (early in Aug.), where he remains about a
fortnight.  Padron, Caldas de Reyes, Pontevedra, Vigo, where he remains a
few days.  Padron, [Los Angeles], Noyo, Corcuvion, [Duyo], Finisterre,
Corcuvion, whence he returns to Santiago and Corunna.  Ferrol, where he
remains about a week.  [Novales], Santa Marta, [Coisa Doiro], Viveiro,
Foz, Rivadeo, Castro Pol, Navias, [Baralla], Luarca, Caneiro, [Soto
Luino, Muros], Veles (?  Aviles), Gijon, Oviedo, where he remains about a
week.  Villa Viciosa, Colunga, Ribida de Sella (= Riba de Sella), Llanes,
[Santo Colombo], San Vicente, Santillana, Santander, where he remains
some days.  [Montaneda], Oñas, Burgos, Valladolid, Guadarrama, Madrid
(some time after 12th Sept.).  Hence visits Toledo, and, in 1838,
[Leganez, Villa Seca, Vargas, Cobeja, Mocejon, Villaluenga, Yuncler],
{14a} Aranjuez, Ocaña, returning to Madrid.  Hence visits La Granja (=
San Ildefonso).  Segovia, [Abades], Labajos, Arevalo, Martin Muñoz,
[Villallos], returning to Madrid.

4.—Dec. 1838.  Cadiz (31st), Seville, where he remains about a fortnight.
Manzanares, Madrid.  Hence visits [Cobeña] and other villages to the east
of Madrid.  Victoriano (see ch. xlvi.) visits [Caramanchel], Alcalá de
Henares, [Fuente la Higuera], Guadalajara.  Borrow visits Naval Carnero
(about the middle of March, 1830).  Leaves Madrid for Seville (about the
middle of April).  Leaves Seville (31st July) for Cadiz, thence by sea to
Gibraltar, whence, on 8th Aug., he sets sail for Tangier, landing next
day.

NOTE.—Places enclosed in square brackets are not marked on the map.

          [Picture: Map of Spain with Borrow’s journeys marked]



CHAPTER I.


Man overboard—The Tagus—Foreign Languages—Gesticulation—Streets of
Lisbon—The Aqueduct—Bible tolerated in Portugal—Cintra—Don Sebastian—John
de Castro—Conversation with a Priest—Colhares—Mafra—Its Palace—The
Schoolmaster—The Portuguese—Their Ignorance of Scripture—Rural
Priesthood—The Alemtejo.

On the morning of November 10, 1835, {1} I found myself off the coast of
Galicia, whose lofty mountains, gilded by the rising sun, presented a
magnificent appearance.  I was bound for Lisbon; we passed Cape
Finisterre, and, standing farther out to sea, speedily lost sight of
land.  On the morning of the 11th the sea was very rough, and a
remarkable circumstance occurred.  I was on the forecastle, discoursing
with two of the sailors: one of them, who had but just left his hammock,
said, “I have had a strange dream, which I do not much like; for,”
continued he, pointing up to the mast, “I dreamt that I fell into the sea
from the cross-trees.”  He was heard to say this by several of the crew
besides myself.  A moment after the captain of the vessel, perceiving
that the squall was increasing, ordered the topsails to be taken in,
whereupon this man, with several others, instantly ran aloft; the yard
was in the act of being hauled down, when a sudden gust of wind whirled
it round with violence, and a man was struck down from the cross-trees
into the sea, which was working like yeast below.  In a short time he
emerged; I saw his head on the crest of a billow, and instantly
recognized in the unfortunate man the sailor who, a few moments before,
had related his dream.  I shall never forget the look of agony he cast
whilst the steamer hurried past him.  The alarm was given, and everything
was in confusion; it was two minutes at least before the vessel was
stopped, by which time the man was a considerable way astern: I still,
however, kept my eye upon him, and could see that he was struggling
gallantly with the waves.  A boat was at length lowered, but the rudder
was unfortunately not at hand, and only two oars could be procured, with
which the men could make but little progress in so rough a sea.  They did
their best, however, and had arrived within ten yards of the man, who
still struggled for his life, when I lost sight of him; and the men, on
their return, said that they saw him below the water, at glimpses,
sinking deeper and deeper, his arms stretched out and his body apparently
stiff, but that they found it impossible to save him.  Presently after,
the sea, as if satisfied with the prey which it had acquired, became
comparatively calm.  The poor fellow who perished in this singular manner
was a fine young man of twenty-seven, the only son of a widowed mother;
he was the best sailor on board, and was beloved by all who were
acquainted with him.  This event occurred on the 11th of November, 1835;
the vessel was the _London Merchant_ steamship.  Truly wonderful are the
ways of Providence!

That same night we entered the Tagus, and dropped anchor before the old
tower of Belem; {3a} early the next morning we weighed, and, proceeding
onward about a league, we again anchored at a short distance from the
_Caesodré_, {3b} or principal quay of Lisbon.  Here we lay for some hours
beside the enormous black hulk of the _Rainha Nao_, a man-of-war which in
old times so captivated the eye of Nelson, that he would fain have
procured it for his native country.  She was, long subsequently, the
admiral’s ship of the Miguelite squadron, and had been captured by the
gallant Napier {3c} about three years previous to the time of which I am
speaking.

The _Rainha Nao_ is said to have caused him more trouble than all the
other vessels of the enemy; and some assert that, had the others defended
themselves with half the fury which the old vixen queen displayed, the
result of the battle which decided the fate of Portugal would have been
widely different.

I found disembarkation at Lisbon to be a matter of considerable vexation;
the custom-house officers were exceedingly uncivil, and examined every
article of my little baggage with most provoking minuteness.

My first impression on landing in the Peninsula was by no means a
favourable one; and I had scarcely pressed the soil one hour before I
heartily wished myself back in Russia, a country which I had quitted
about one month previous, and where I had left cherished friends and warm
affections.

After having submitted to much ill usage and robbery at the custom-house,
I proceeded in quest of a lodging, and at last found one, but dirty and
expensive.  The next day I hired a servant, a Portuguese, it being my
invariable custom, on arriving in a country, to avail myself of the
services of a native, chiefly with the view of perfecting myself in the
language; and, being already acquainted with most of the principal
languages and dialects of the east and the west, I am soon able to make
myself quite intelligible to the inhabitants.  In about a fortnight I
found myself conversing in Portuguese with considerable fluency.

Those who wish to make themselves understood by a foreigner in his own
language should speak with much noise and vociferation, opening their
mouths wide.  Is it surprising that the English are, in general, the
worst linguists in the world, seeing that they pursue a system
diametrically opposite?  For example, when they attempt to speak
Spanish—the most sonorous tongue in existence—they scarcely open their
lips, and, putting their hands in their pockets, fumble lazily, instead
of applying them to the indispensable office of gesticulation.  Well may
the poor Spaniards exclaim, _These English talk so crabbedly_, _that
Satan himself would not be able to understand them_.

Lisbon is a huge ruinous city, still exhibiting, in almost every
direction, the vestiges of that terrific visitation of God, the
earthquake, which shattered it some eighty years ago.  It stands on seven
hills, the loftiest of which is occupied by the castle of Saint George,
which is the boldest and most prominent object to the eye, whilst
surveying the city from the Tagus.  The most frequented and busy parts of
the city are those comprised within the valley to the north of this
elevation.

Here you find the Plaza of the Inquisition, the principal square in
Lisbon, {5} from which run parallel, towards the river, three or four
streets, amongst which are those of the gold and silver, so designated
from being inhabited by smiths cunning in the working of those metals;
they are, upon the whole, very magnificent.  The houses are huge, and as
high as castles.  Immense pillars defend the causeway at intervals,
producing, however, rather a cumbrous effect.  These streets are quite
level, and are well paved, in which respect they differ from all the
others in Lisbon.  The most singular street, however, of all is that of
the _Alecrim_, or Rosemary, which debouches on the _Caesodré_.  It is
very precipitous, and is occupied on either side by the palaces of the
principal Portuguese nobility, massive and frowning, but grand and
picturesque edifices, with here and there a hanging garden, overlooking
the street at a great height.

With all its ruin and desolation, Lisbon is unquestionably the most
remarkable city in the Peninsula, and, perhaps, in the south of Europe.
It is not my intention to enter into minute details concerning it; I
shall content myself with remarking that it is quite as much deserving
the attention of the artist as even Rome itself.  True it is that, though
it abounds with churches, it has no gigantic cathedral, like St. Peter’s,
to attract the eye and fill it with wonder, yet I boldly say that there
is no monument of man’s labour and skill, pertaining either to ancient or
modern Rome, for whatever purpose designed, which can rival the
water-works of Lisbon; I mean the stupendous aqueduct whose principal
arches cross the valley to the north-east of Lisbon, and which discharges
its little runnel of cool and delicious water into the rocky cistern
within that beautiful edifice called the Mother of the Waters, from
whence all Lisbon is supplied with the crystal lymph, though the source
is seven leagues distant.  Let travellers devote one entire morning to
inspecting the _Arcos_ and the _Mai das agoas_, after which they may
repair to the English church and cemetery, Père-la-Chaise in miniature,
where, if they be of England, they may well be excused if they kiss the
cold tomb, as I did, of the author of “Amelia,” {6a} the most singular
genius which their island ever produced, whose works it has long been the
fashion to abuse in public and to read in secret.  In the same cemetery
rest the mortal remains of Doddridge, another English author of a
different stamp, but justly admired and esteemed. {6b}  I had not
intended, on disembarking, to remain long in Lisbon, nor indeed in
Portugal; my destination was Spain, whither I shortly proposed to direct
my steps, it being the intention of the Bible Society to attempt to
commence operations in that country, the object of which should be the
distribution of the word of God, for Spain had hitherto been a region
barred against the admission of the Bible; not so Portugal, where, since
the revolution, the Bible had been permitted both to be introduced and
circulated.  Little, however, had been accomplished; therefore, finding
myself in the country, I determined, if possible, to effect something in
the way of distribution, but first of all to make myself acquainted as to
how far the people were disposed to receive the Bible, and whether the
state of education in general would permit them to turn it to much
account.  I had plenty of Bibles and Testaments at my disposal, but could
the people read them, or would they?  A friend of the Society to whom I
was recommended was absent from Lisbon at the period of my arrival; this
I regretted, as he could have afforded me several useful hints.  In
order, however, that no time might be lost, I determined not to wait for
his arrival, but at once proceed to gather the best information I could
upon those points to which I have already alluded.  I determined to
commence my researches at some slight distance from Lisbon, being well
aware of the erroneous ideas that I must form of the Portuguese in
general, should I judge of their character and opinions from what I saw
and heard in a city so much subjected to foreign intercourse.

My first excursion was to Cintra. {7b}  If there be any place in the
world entitled to the appellation of an enchanted region, it is surely
Cintra; Tivoli {8a} is a beautiful and picturesque place, but it quickly
fades from the mind of those who have seen the Portuguese Paradise.  When
speaking of Cintra, it must not for a moment be supposed that nothing
more is meant than the little town or city; by Cintra must be understood
the entire region, town, palace, _quintas_, forests, crags, Moorish ruin,
which suddenly burst on the view on rounding the side of a bleak, savage,
and sterile-looking mountain.  Nothing is more sullen and uninviting than
the south-western aspect of the stony wall which, on the side of Lisbon,
seems to shield Cintra from the eye of the world, but the other side is a
mingled scene of fairy beauty, artificial elegance, savage grandeur,
domes, turrets, enormous trees, flowers, and waterfalls, such as is met
with nowhere else beneath the sun.  Oh! there are strange and wonderful
objects at Cintra, and strange and wonderful recollections attached to
them.  The ruin on that lofty peak, and which covers part of the side of
that precipitous steep, was once the principal stronghold of the
Lusitanian Moors, and thither, long after they had disappeared, at a
particular moon of every year, were wont to repair wild _santons_ of
Maugrabie, to pray at the tomb of a famous _Sidi_, who slumbers amongst
the rocks.  That grey palace witnessed the assemblage of the last Cortes
held by the boy-king Sebastian, {8b} ere he departed on his romantic
expedition against the Moors, who so well avenged their insulted faith
and country at Alcazar-quibir; {9a} and in that low shady _quinta_,
embowered amongst those tall _alcornoques_, once dwelt John de Castro,
{9b} the strange old viceroy of Goa, who pawned the hairs of his dead
son’s beard to raise money to repair the ruined wall of a fortress
threatened by the heathen of Ind; those crumbling stones which stand
before the portal, deeply graven, not with “runes,” but things equally
dark, Sanscrit rhymes from the Vedas, were brought by him from Goa, the
most brilliant scene of his glory, before Portugal had become a base
kingdom; and down that dingle, on an abrupt rocky promontory, stand the
ruined halls of the English millionaire, {9c} who there nursed the
wayward fancies of a mind as wild, rich, and variegated as the scenes
around.  Yes, wonderful are the objects which meet the eye at Cintra, and
wonderful are the recollections attached to them.

The town of Cintra contains about eight hundred inhabitants.  The morning
subsequent to my arrival, as I was about to ascend the mountain for the
purpose of examining the Moorish ruins, I observed a person advancing
towards me whom I judged by his dress to be an ecclesiastic; he was in
fact one of the three priests of the place.  I instantly accosted him,
and had no reason to regret doing so; I found him affable and
communicative.

After praising the beauty of the surrounding scenery, I made some inquiry
as to the state of education amongst the people under his care.  He
answered that he was sorry to say that they were in a state of great
ignorance, very few of the common people being able either to read or
write; that with respect to schools, there was but one in the place,
where four or five children were taught the alphabet, but that even this
was at present closed.  He informed me, however, that there was a school
at Colhares, about a league distant.  Amongst other things, he said that
nothing more surprised him than to see Englishmen, the most learned and
intelligent people in the world, visiting a place like Cintra, where
there was no literature, science, nor anything of utility (_coisa que
presta_).  I suspect that there was some covert satire in the last speech
of the worthy priest; I was, however, Jesuit enough to appear to receive
it as a high compliment, and, taking off my hat, departed with an
infinity of bows.

That same day I visited Colhares, a romantic village on the side of the
mountain of Cintra, to the northwest.  Seeing some peasants collected
round a smithy, I inquired about the school, whereupon one of the men
instantly conducted me thither.  I went upstairs into a small apartment,
where I found the master with about a dozen pupils standing in a row; I
saw but one stool in the room, and to that, after having embraced me, he
conducted me with great civility.  After some discourse, he showed me the
books which he used for the instruction of the children; they were
spelling-books, much of the same kind as those used in the village
schools in England.  Upon my asking him whether it was his practice to
place the Scriptures in the hands of the children, he informed me that
long before they had acquired sufficient intelligence to understand them
they were removed by their parents, in order that they might assist in
the labours of the field, and that the parents in general were by no
means solicitous that their children should learn anything, as they
considered the time occupied in learning as so much squandered away.  He
said that, though the schools were nominally supported by the government,
it was rarely that the schoolmasters could obtain their salaries, on
which account many had of late resigned their employments.  He told me
that he had a copy of the New Testament in his possession, which I
desired to see; but on examining it I discovered that it was only the
Epistles by Pereira, {11} with copious notes.  I asked him whether he
considered that there was harm in reading the Scriptures without notes:
he replied that there was certainly no harm in it, but that simple
people, without the help of notes, could derive but little benefit from
Scripture, as the greatest part would be unintelligible to them;
whereupon I shook hands with him, and, on departing, said that there was
no part of Scripture so difficult to understand as those very notes which
were intended to elucidate it, and that it would never have been written
if not calculated of itself to illume the minds of all classes of
mankind.

In a day or two I made an excursion to Mafra, distant about three leagues
from Cintra.  The principal part of the way lay over steep hills,
somewhat dangerous for horses; however, I reached the place in safety.

Mafra {12} is a large village in the neighbourhood of an immense
building, intended to serve as a convent and palace, and which is built
somewhat after the fashion of the Escurial.  In this edifice exists the
finest library in Portugal, containing books on all sciences and in all
languages, and well suited to the size and grandeur of the edifice which
contains it.  There were no monks, however, to take care of it, as in
former times; they had been driven forth, some to beg their bread, some
to serve under the banners of Don Carlos, in Spain, and many, as I was
informed, to prowl about as banditti.  I found the place abandoned to two
or three menials, and exhibiting an aspect of solitude and desolation
truly appalling.  Whilst I was viewing the cloisters, a fine
intelligent-looking lad came up and asked (I suppose in the hope of
obtaining a trifle) whether I would permit him to show me the village
church, which he informed me was well worth seeing; I said no, but added,
that if he would show me the village school I should feel much obliged to
him.  He looked at me with astonishment, and assured me that there was
nothing to be seen at the school, which did not contain more than half a
dozen boys, and that he himself was one of the number.  On my telling
him, however, that he should show me no other place, he at length
unwillingly attended me.  On the way I learned from him that the
schoolmaster was one of the friars who had lately been expelled from the
convent, that he was a very learned man, and spoke French and Greek.  We
passed a stone cross, and the boy bent his head and crossed himself with
much devotion.  I mention this circumstance, as it was the first instance
of the kind which I had observed amongst the Portuguese since my arrival.
When near the house where the schoolmaster resided, he pointed it out to
me, and then hid himself behind a wall, where he awaited my return.

On stepping over the threshold I was confronted by a short, stout man,
between sixty and seventy years of age, dressed in a blue jerkin and grey
trousers, without shirt or waistcoat.  He looked at me sternly, and
inquired in the French language what was my pleasure.  I apologized for
intruding upon him, and stated that, being informed he occupied the
situation of schoolmaster, I had come to pay my respects to him and to
beg permission to ask a few questions respecting the seminary.  He
answered, that whoever told me he was a schoolmaster lied, for that he
was a friar of the convent, and nothing else.  “It is not, then, true,”
said I, “that all the convents have been broken up and the monks
dismissed?”  “Yes, yes,” said he with a sigh, “it is true; it is but too
true.”  He then was silent for a minute, and, his better nature
overcoming his angry feelings, he produced a snuff-box and offered it to
me.  The snuff-box is the olive-branch of the Portuguese, and he who
wishes to be on good terms with them must never refuse to dip his finger
and thumb into it when offered.  I took, therefore, a huge pinch, though
I detest the dust, and we were soon on the best possible terms.  He was
eager to obtain news, especially from Lisbon and Spain.  I told him that
the officers of the troops at Lisbon had, the day before I left that
place, gone in a body to the queen, and insisted upon her either
receiving their swords or dismissing her Ministers; whereupon he rubbed
his hands, and said that he was sure matters would not remain tranquil at
Lisbon.  On my saying, however, that I thought the affairs of Don Carlos
were on the decline (this was shortly after the death of Zumalacarregui),
{14b} he frowned, and cried that it could not possibly be, for that God
was too just to suffer it.  I felt for the poor man who had been driven
out of his home in the noble convent close by, and from a state of
affluence and comfort reduced in his old age to indigence and misery, for
his present dwelling scarcely seemed to contain an article of furniture.
I tried twice or thrice to induce him to converse about the school, but
he either avoided the subject or said shortly that he knew nothing about
it.  On my leaving him, the boy came from his hiding-place and rejoined
me; he said that he had hidden himself through fear of his master’s
knowing that he had brought me to him, for that he was unwilling that any
stranger should know that he was a schoolmaster.

I asked the boy whether he or his parents were acquainted with the
Scripture, and ever read it; he did not, however, seem to understand me.
I must here observe that the boy was fifteen years of age, that he was in
many respects very intelligent, and had some knowledge of the Latin
language; nevertheless he knew not the Scripture even by name, and I have
no doubt, from what I subsequently observed, that at least two-thirds of
his countrymen are on that important point no wiser than himself.  At the
doors of village inns, at the hearths of the rustics, in the fields where
they labour, at the stone fountains by the wayside where they water their
cattle, I have questioned the lower class of the children of Portugal
about the Scripture, the Bible, the Old and New Testament, and in no one
instance have they known what I was alluding to, or could return me a
rational answer, though on all other matters their replies were sensible
enough; indeed, nothing surprised me more than the free and unembarrassed
manner in which the Portuguese peasantry sustain a conversation, and the
purity of the language in which they express their thoughts, and yet few
of them can read or write; whereas the peasantry of England, whose
education is in general much superior, are in their conversation coarse
and dull almost to brutality, and absurdly ungrammatical in their
language, though the English tongue is upon the whole more simple in its
structure than the Portuguese.

On my return to Lisbon I found our friend ---, who received me very
kindly.  The next ten days were exceedingly rainy, which prevented me
from making any excursions into the country: during this time I saw our
friend frequently, and had long conversations with him concerning the
best means of distributing the Gospel.  He thought we could do no better
for the present than put part of our stock into the hands of the
booksellers of Lisbon, and at the same time employ colporteurs to hawk
the books about the streets, receiving a certain profit on every copy
they sold.  This plan was agreed upon, and forthwith put in practice, and
with some success.  I had thoughts of sending colporteurs into the
neighbouring villages, but to this our friend objected.  He thought the
attempt dangerous, as it was very possible that the rural priesthood, who
still possessed much influence in their own districts, and who were for
the most part decided enemies to the spread of the Gospel, might cause
the men employed to be assassinated or ill-treated.

I determined, however, ere leaving Portugal, to establish depôts of
Bibles in one or two of the provincial towns.  I wished to visit the
Alemtejo, which I had heard was a very benighted region.  The Alemtejo
{16} means the province beyond the Tagus.  This province is not beautiful
and picturesque, like most other parts of Portugal; there are few hills
and mountains.  The greater part consists of heaths broken by knolls, and
gloomy dingles, and forests of stunted pine; these places are infested
with banditti.  The principal city is Evora, one of the most ancient in
Portugal, and formerly the seat of a branch of the Inquisition yet more
cruel and baneful than the terrible one of Lisbon.  Evora lies about
sixty miles from Lisbon, and to Evora I determined on going with twenty
Testaments and two Bibles.  How I fared there will presently be seen.



CHAPTER II.


Boatmen of the Tagus—Dangers of the Stream—Aldea Gallega—The
Hostelry—Robbers—Sabocha—Adventure of a Muleteer—Estalagem de Ladrões—Don
Geronimo—Vendas Novas—Royal Residence—Swine of the Alemtejo—Monte
Moro—Swayne Vonved—Singular Goatherd—Children of the Fields—Infidels and
Sadducees.

On the afternoon of the 6th of December I set out for Evora, accompanied
by my servant.  I had been informed that the tide would serve for the
regular passage-boats, or felouks, as they are called, at about four
o’clock; but on reaching the side of the Tagus opposite to Aldea Gallega,
between which place and Lisbon the boats ply, I found that the tide would
not permit them to start before eight o’clock.  Had I waited for them I
should have probably landed at Aldea Gallega about midnight, and I felt
little inclination to make my _entrée_ in the Alemtejo at that hour;
therefore, as I saw small boats which can push off at any time lying near
in abundance, I determined upon hiring one of them for the passage,
though the expense would be thus considerably increased.  I soon agreed
with a wild-looking lad, who told me that he was in part owner of one of
the boats, to take me over.  I was not aware of the danger in crossing
the Tagus at its broadest part, which is opposite Aldea Gallega, at any
time, but especially at close of day in the winter season, or I should
certainly not have ventured.  The lad and his comrade, a
miserable-looking object, whose only clothing, notwithstanding the
season, was a tattered jerkin and trousers, rowed until we had advanced
about half a mile from the land; they then set up a large sail, and the
lad, who seemed to direct everything, and to be the principal, took the
helm and steered.  The evening was now setting in; the sun was not far
from its bourne in the horizon; the air was very cold, the wind was
rising, and the waves of the noble Tagus began to be crested with foam.
I told the boy that it was scarcely possible for the boat to carry so
much sail without upsetting, upon which he laughed, and began to gabble
in a most incoherent manner.  He had the most harsh and rapid
articulation that has ever come under my observation in any human being;
it was the scream of the hyena blended with the bark of the terrier,
though it was by no means an index of his disposition, which I soon found
to be light, merry, and anything but malevolent; for when I, in order to
show him that I cared little about him, began to hum “_Eu que sou
contrabandista_,” {18} he laughed heartily, and said, clapping me on the
shoulder, that he would not drown us if he could help it.  The other poor
fellow seemed by no means averse to go to the bottom: he sat at the fore
part of the boat, looking the image of famine, and only smiled when the
waters broke over the weather side and soaked his scanty habiliments.  In
a little time I had made up my mind that our last hour was come; the wind
was getting higher, the short dangerous waves were more foamy, the boat
was frequently on its beam, and the water came over the lee side in
torrents.  But still the wild lad at the helm held on, laughing and
chattering, and occasionally yelling out part of the Miguelite air,
“_Quando el Rey chegou_,” {19} the singing of which in Lisbon is
imprisonment.

The stream was against us, but the wind was in our favour, and we sprang
along at a wonderful rate, and I saw that our only chance of escape was
in speedily passing the farther bank of the Tagus, where the bight or bay
at the extremity of which stands Aldea Gallega commences, for we should
not then have to battle with the waves of the stream, which the adverse
wind lashed into fury.  It was the will of the Almighty to permit us
speedily to gain this shelter, but not before the boat was nearly filled
with water, and we were all wet to the skin.  At about seven o’clock in
the evening we reached Aldea Gallega, shivering with cold and in a most
deplorable plight.

Aldea Gallega, or the Galician Village (for the two words are Spanish,
and have that signification), is a place containing, I should think,
about four thousand inhabitants.  It was pitchy dark when we landed, but
rockets soon began to fly about in all directions, illuming the air far
and wide.  As we passed along the dirty unpaved street which leads to the
_largo_, or square, in which the inn is situated, a horrible uproar of
drums and voices assailed our ears.  On inquiring the cause of all this
bustle, I was informed that it was the eve of the Conception of the
Virgin.

As it was not the custom of the people at the inn to furnish provisions
for the guests, I wandered about in search of food; and at last, seeing
some soldiers eating and drinking in a species of wine-house, I went in
and asked the people to let me have some supper, and in a short time they
furnished me with a tolerable meal, for which, however, they charged
three crowns.

Having engaged with a person for mules to carry us to Evora, which were
to be ready at five next morning, I soon retired to bed, my servant
sleeping in the same apartment, which was the only one in the house
vacant.  I closed not my eyes during the whole night.  Beneath us was a
stable, in which some _almocreves_, or carriers, slept with their mules;
at our back, in the yard, was a pigsty.  How could I sleep?  The hogs
grunted, the mules screamed, and the _almocreves_ snored most horribly.
I heard the village clock strike the hours until midnight, and from
midnight till four in the morning, when I sprang up and began to dress,
and despatched my servant to hasten the man with the mules, for I was
heartily tired of the place and wanted to leave it.  An old man, bony and
hale, accompanied by a bare-footed lad, brought the beasts, which were
tolerably good.  He was the proprietor of them, and intended, with the
lad, who was his nephew, to accompany us to Evora.

When we started the moon was shining brightly, and the morning was
piercingly cold.  We soon entered on a sandy hollow way, emerging from
which we passed by a strange-looking and large edifice, standing on a
high bleak sandhill on our left.  We were speedily overtaken by five or
six men on horseback, riding at a rapid pace, each with a long gun slung
at his saddle, the muzzle depending about two feet below the horse’s
belly.  I inquired of the old man what was the reason of this warlike
array.  He answered, that the roads were very bad (meaning that they
abounded with robbers), and that they went armed in this manner for their
defence; they soon turned off to the right towards Palmella.

We reached a sandy plain studded with stunted pine; the road was little
more than a footpath, and as we proceeded the trees thickened and became
a wood, which extended for two leagues, with clear spaces at intervals,
in which herds of cattle and sheep were feeding; the bells attached to
their necks were ringing lowly and monotonously.  The sun was just
beginning to show itself; but the morning was misty and dreary, which,
together with the aspect of desolation which the country exhibited, had
an unfavourable effect on my spirits.  I got down and walked, entering
into conversation with the old man.  He seemed to have but one theme,
“the robbers,” and the atrocities they were in the habit of practising in
the very spots we were passing.  The tales he told were truly horrible,
and to avoid them I mounted again, and rode on considerably in front.

In about an hour and a half we emerged from the forest, and entered upon
a savage, wild, broken ground, covered with _mato_, or brushwood.  The
mules stopped to drink at a shallow pool, and on looking to the right I
saw a ruined wall.  This, the guide informed me, was the remains of
Vendas Velhas, or the Old Inn, formerly the haunt of the celebrated
robber Sabocha.  This Sabocha, it seems, had, some sixteen years ago, a
band of about forty ruffians at his command, who infested these wilds,
and supported themselves by plunder.  For a considerable time Sabocha
pursued his atrocious trade unsuspected, and many an unfortunate
traveller was murdered in the dead of night at the solitary inn by the
woodside which he kept; indeed, a more fit situation for plunder and
murder I never saw.  The gang were in the habit of watering their horses
at the pool, and perhaps of washing therein their hands stained with the
blood of their victims.  The lieutenant of the troop was the brother of
Sabocha, a fellow of great strength and ferocity, particularly famous for
the skill he possessed in darting a long knife, with which he was in the
habit of transfixing his opponents.  Sabocha’s connexion with the gang at
length became known, and he fled, with the greater part of his
associates, across the Tagus to the northern provinces.  Himself and his
brothers eventually lost their lives on the road to Coimbra, in an
engagement with the military.  His house was razed by order of the
government.

The ruins are still frequently visited by banditti, who eat and drink
amidst them, and look out for prey, as the place commands a view of the
road.  The old man assured me, that about two months previous, on
returning to Aldea Gallega with his mules from accompanying some
travellers, he had been knocked down, stripped naked, and all his money
taken from him, by a fellow who he believed came from this murderers’
nest.  He said that he was an exceedingly powerful young man, with
immense moustaches and whiskers, and was armed with an _espingarda_, or
musket.  About ten days subsequently he saw the robber at Vendas Novas,
where we should pass the night.  The fellow on recognizing him took him
aside, and, with horrid imprecations, threatened that he should never be
permitted to return home if he attempted to discover him; he therefore
held his peace, as there was little to be gained and everything to be
risked in apprehending him, as he would have been speedily set at liberty
for want of evidence to criminate him, and then he would not have failed
to have had his revenge, or would have been anticipated therein by his
comrades.

I dismounted and went up to the place, and saw the vestiges of a fire and
a broken bottle.  The sons of plunder had been there very lately.  I left
a New Testament and some tracts amongst the ruins, and hastened away.

The sun had dispelled the mists and was beaming very hot.  We rode on for
about an hour, when I heard the neighing of a horse in our rear, and our
guide said there was a party of horsemen behind; our mules were good, and
they did not overtake us for at least twenty minutes.  The headmost rider
was a gentleman in a fashionable travelling dress; a little way behind
were an officer, two soldiers, and a boy in livery.  I heard the
principal horseman, on overtaking my servant, inquiring who I was, and
whether French or English.  He was told I was an English gentleman,
travelling.  He then asked whether I understood Portuguese; the man said
I understood it, but he believed that I spoke French and Italian better.
The gentleman then spurred on his horse, and accosted me, not in
Portuguese, nor in French or Italian, but in the purest English that I
ever heard spoken by a foreigner; it had, indeed, nothing of foreign
accent or pronunciation in it; and had I not known, by the countenance of
the speaker, that he was no Englishman (for there is a peculiarity in the
countenance, as everybody knows, which, though it cannot be described, is
sure to betray the Englishman), I should have concluded that I was in
company with a countryman.  We continued discoursing until we arrived at
Pegões.

Pegões consists of about two or three houses and an inn; there is
likewise a species of barrack, where half a dozen soldiers are stationed.
In the whole of Portugal there is no place of worse reputation, and the
inn is nicknamed _Estalagem de Ladrões_, or the hostelry of thieves; for
it is there that the banditti of the wilderness, which extends around it
on every side for leagues, are in the habit of coming and spending the
money, the fruits of their criminal daring; there they dance and sing,
eat fricasseed rabbits and olives, and drink the muddy but strong wine of
the Alemtejo.  An enormous fire, fed by the trunk of a cork-tree, was
blazing in a niche on the left hand on entering the spacious kitchen.
Close by it, seething, were several large jars, which emitted no
disagreeable odour, and reminded me that I had not broken my fast,
although it was now nearly one o’clock, and I had ridden five leagues.
Several wild-looking men, who, if they were not banditti, might easily be
mistaken for such, were seated on logs about the fire.  I asked them some
unimportant questions, to which they replied with readiness and civility,
and one of them, who said he could read, accepted a tract which I offered
him.

My new friend, who had been bespeaking dinner, or rather breakfast, now,
with great civility, invited me to partake of it, and at the same time
introduced me to the officer who accompanied him, and who was his
brother, and also spoke English, though not so well as himself.  I found
I had become acquainted with Don {25a} Geronimo Jozé d’Azveto, secretary
to the government at Evora; his brother belonged to a regiment of
hussars, whose head-quarters were at Evora, but which had outlying
parties along the road,—for example, the place where we were stopping.

[Picture: Roman military monument showing the rabbit as a Spanish device]
Rabbits at Pegões {25b} seem to be a standard article of food, being
produced in abundance on the moors around.  We had one fried, the gravy
of which was delicious, and afterwards a roasted one, which was brought
up on a dish entire; the hostess, having first washed her hands,
proceeded to tear the animal to pieces, which having accomplished, she
poured over the fragments a sweet sauce.  I ate heartily of both dishes,
particularly of the last; owing, perhaps, to the novel and curious manner
in which it was served up.  Excellent figs, from the Algarves, and
apples, concluded our repast, which we ate in a little side room with a
mud floor, which sent such a piercing chill into my system, as prevented
me from deriving that pleasure from my fare and my agreeable companions
that I should have otherwise experienced.

Don Geronimo had been educated in England, in which country he passed his
boyhood, which in a certain degree accounted for his proficiency in the
English language, the idiom and pronunciation of which can only be
acquired by residing in the country at that period of one’s life.  He had
also fled thither shortly after the usurpation of the throne of Portugal
by Don Miguel, and from thence had departed to the Brazils, where he had
devoted himself to the service of Don Pedro, and had followed him in the
expedition which terminated in the downfall of the usurper, and the
establishment of the constitutional government in Portugal.  Our
conversation rolled chiefly on literary and political subjects, and my
acquaintance with the writings of the most celebrated authors of Portugal
was hailed with surprise and delight; for nothing is more gratifying to a
Portuguese than to observe a foreigner taking an interest in the
literature of his nation, of which, in many respects, he is justly proud.

At about two o’clock we were once more in the saddle, and pursued our way
in company, through a country exactly resembling that which we had
previously been traversing, rugged and broken, with here and there a
clump of pines.  The afternoon was exceedingly fine, and the bright rays
of the sun relieved the desolation of the scene.  Having advanced about
two leagues, we caught sight of a large edifice towering majestically in
the distance, which I learnt was a royal palace standing at the farther
extremity of Vendas Novas, the village in which we were to pass the
night; it was considerably more than a league from us, yet, seen through
the clear transparent atmosphere of Portugal, it appeared much nearer.

Before reaching it we passed by a stone cross, on the pedestal of which
was an inscription commemorating a horrible murder of a native of Lisbon,
which had occurred on that spot; it looked ancient, and was covered with
moss, and the greater part of the inscription was illegible—at least it
was to me, who could not bestow much time on its deciphering.  Having
arrived at Vendas Novas, and bespoken supper, my new friend and myself
strolled forth to view the palace.  It was built by the late king of
Portugal, and presents little that is remarkable in its exterior; it is a
long edifice with wings, and is only two stories high, though it can be
seen afar off, from being situated on elevated ground; it has fifteen
windows in the upper, and twelve in the lower story, with a
paltry-looking door, something like that of a barn, to which you ascend
by one single step.  The interior corresponds with the exterior, offering
nothing which can gratify curiosity, if we except the kitchens, which are
indeed magnificent, and so large that food enough might be cooked in
them, at one time, to serve as a repast for all the inhabitants of the
Alemtejo.

I passed the night with great comfort in a clean bed, remote from all
those noises so rife in a Portuguese inn, and the next morning at six we
again set out on our journey, which we hoped to terminate before sunset,
as Evora is but ten leagues from Vendas Novas.  The preceding morning had
been cold, but the present one was far colder—so much so, that just
before sunrise I could no longer support it on horseback, and therefore,
dismounting, ran and walked until we reached a few houses at the
termination of these desolate moors.  It was in one of these houses that
the commissioners of Don Pedro and Miguel met, {28} and it was there
agreed that the latter should resign the crown in favour of Dona Maria,
for Evora was the last stronghold of the usurper, and the moors of the
Alemtejo the last area of the combats which so long agitated unhappy
Portugal.  I therefore gazed on the miserable huts with considerable
interest, and did not fail to scatter in the neighbourhood several of the
precious little tracts with which, together with a small quantity of
Testaments, my carpet-bag was provided.

The country began to improve; the savage heaths were left behind, and we
saw hills and dales, cork-trees, and _azinheiras_, on the last of which
trees grows that kind of sweet acorn called _bolotas_, which is pleasant
as a chestnut, and which supplies in winter the principal food on which
the numerous swine of the Alemtejo subsist.  Gallant swine they are, with
short legs and portly bodies of a black or dark red colour; and for the
excellence of their flesh I can vouch, having frequently luxuriated upon
it in the course of my wanderings in this province; the _lombo_, or loin,
when broiled on the live embers, is delicious, especially when eaten with
olives.

We were now in sight of Monte Moro, which, as the name denotes, was once
a fortress of the Moors.  It is a high steep hill, on the summit and
sides of which are ruined walls and towers.  At its western side is a
deep ravine or valley, through which a small stream rushes, traversed by
a stone bridge; farther down there is a ford, over which we passed and
ascended to the town, which, commencing near the northern base, passes
over the lower ridge towards the north-east.  The town is exceedingly
picturesque, and many of the houses are very ancient, and built in the
Moorish fashion.  I wished much to examine the relics of Moorish sway on
the upper part of the mountain, but time pressed, and the short period of
our stay at this place did not permit me to gratify my inclination.

Monte Moro is the head of a range of hills which cross this part of the
Alemtejo, and from hence they fork east and south-east, towards the
former of which directions lies the direct road to Elvas, Badajoz, and
Madrid; and towards the latter that to Evora.  A beautiful mountain,
covered to the top with cork-trees, is the third of the chain which
skirts the way in the direction of Elvas.  It is called Monte Almo; a
brook brawls at its base, and as I passed it the sun was shining
gloriously on the green herbage, on which flocks of goats were feeding,
with their bells ringing merrily, so that the _tout ensemble_ resembled a
fairy scene; and that nothing might be wanted to complete the picture, I
here met a man, a goatherd, beneath an _azinheira_, whose appearance
recalled to my mind the Brute Carle, mentioned in the Danish ballad of
Swayne Vonved:—{29}

    “A wild swine on his shoulders he kept,
    And upon his bosom a black bear slept;
    And about his fingers, with hair o’erhung,
    The squirrel sported, and weasel clung.”

Upon the shoulder of the goatherd was a beast, which he told me was a
_lontra_, or otter, which he had lately caught in the neighbouring brook;
it had a string round its neck, which was attached to his arm.  At his
left side was a bag, from the top of which peered the heads of two or
three singular-looking animals; and at his right was squatted the sullen
cub of a wolf, which he was endeavouring to tame.  His whole appearance
was to the last degree savage and wild.  After a little conversation,
such as those who meet on the road frequently hold, I asked him if he
could read, but he made me no answer.  I then inquired if he knew
anything of God or Jesus Christ; he looked me fixedly in the face for a
moment, and then turned his countenance towards the sun, which was
beginning to sink in the west, nodded to it, and then again looked
fixedly upon me.  I believe that I understood the mute reply, which
probably was, that it was God who made that glorious light which illumes
and gladdens all creation; and, gratified with that belief, I left him
and hastened after my companions, who were by this time a considerable
way in advance.

I have always found in the disposition of the children of the fields a
more determined tendency to religion and piety than amongst the
inhabitants of towns and cities, and the reason is obvious—they are less
acquainted with the works of man’s hands than with those of God; their
occupations, too, which are simple, and requiring less of ingenuity and
skill than those which engage the attention of the other portion of their
fellow-creatures, are less favourable to the engendering of self-conceit
and self-sufficiency, so utterly at variance with that lowliness of
spirit which constitutes the best foundation of piety.  The sneerers and
scoffers at religion do not spring from amongst the simple children of
nature, but are the excrescences of over-wrought refinement; and though
their baneful influence has indeed penetrated to the country and
corrupted man there, the source and fountain-head was amongst crowded
houses, where nature is scarcely known.  I am not one of those who look
for perfection amongst the rural population of any country—perfection is
not to be found amongst the children of the fall, wherever their abodes
may happen to be; but, until the heart discredits the existence of a God,
there is still hope for the soul of the possessor, however stained with
crime he may be, for even Simon the magician was converted.  But when the
heart is once steeled with infidelity, infidelity confirmed by carnal
wisdom, an exuberance of the grace of God is required to melt it, which
is seldom manifested; for we read in the blessed book that the Pharisee
and the wizard became receptacles of grace, but where is there mention
made of the conversion of the sneering Sadducee, and is the modern
infidel aught but a Sadducee of later date?

It was dark night before we reached Evora, and having taken leave of my
friends, who kindly requested me to consider their house my home, I and
my servant went to the Largo de San Francisco, in which, the muleteer
informed me, was the best hostelry of the town.  We rode into the
kitchen, at the extreme end of which was the stable, as is customary in
Portugal.  The house was kept by an aged gypsy-like female and her
daughter, a fine blooming girl about eighteen years of age.  The house
was large.  In the upper story was a very long room, like a granary,
which extended nearly the whole length of the house; the farther part was
partitioned off, and formed a chamber tolerably comfortable, but very
cold; and the floor was of tiles, as was also that of the large room, in
which the muleteers were accustomed to sleep on the furniture of the
mules.  After supper I went to bed, and, having offered up my devotions
to Him who had protected me through a dangerous journey, I slept soundly
till the morning.



CHAPTER III.


Shopkeeper at Evora—Spanish Contrabandistas—Lion and Unicorn—The
Fountain—Trust in the Almighty—Distribution of Tracts—Library at
Evora—Manuscript—The Bible as a Guide—The Infamous Mary—The Man of
Palmella—The Charm—The Monkish System—Sunday—Volney—An Auto-da-Fé—Men
from Spain—Reading of a Tract—New Arrival—The Herb Rosemary.

Evora is a small city, walled, but not regularly fortified, and could not
sustain a siege of a day.  It has five gates; before that to the
south-west is the principal promenade of its inhabitants; the fair on St.
John’s Day is likewise held there; the houses are in general very
ancient, and many of them unoccupied.  It contains about five thousand
inhabitants, though twice that number would be by no means
disproportionate to its size.  The two principal edifices are the See, or
cathedral, {33a} and the convent of San Francisco, in the square before
the latter of which was situated the _posada_ where I had taken up my
abode.  A large barrack for cavalry stands on the right-hand side on
entering the south-west gate.  To the southeast, at the distance of six
leagues, is to be seen a blue chain of hills, the highest of which is
called Serra Dorso; {33b} it is picturesquely beautiful, and contains
within its recesses wolves and wild boars in numbers.  About a league and
a half on the other side of this hill is Estremoz.

I passed the day succeeding my arrival principally in examining the town
and its environs, and, as I strolled about, entered into conversation
with various people that I met.  Several of these were of the middle
class, shopkeepers and professional men; they were all
Constitutionalists, or pretended to be so, but had very little to say
except a few commonplace remarks on the way of living of the friars,
their hypocrisy and laziness.  I endeavoured to obtain some information
respecting the state of instruction in the place, and from their answers
was led to believe that it must be at the lowest ebb, for it seemed that
there was neither book-shop nor school.  When I spoke of religion, they
exhibited the utmost apathy for the subject, and, making their bows, left
me as soon as possible.

Having a letter of introduction to a person who kept a shop in the
market-place, I went thither and delivered it to him as he stood behind
his counter.  In the course of conversation I found that he had been much
persecuted whilst the old system was in its vigour, and that he
entertained a hearty aversion for it.  I told him that the ignorance of
the people in religious matters had served to nurse that system, and that
the surest way to prevent its return was to enlighten their minds.  I
added that I had brought a small stock of Bibles and Testaments to Evora,
which I wished to leave for sale in the hands of some respectable
merchant, and that if he were anxious to help to lay the axe to the root
of superstition and tyranny, he could not do so more effectually than by
undertaking the charge of these books.  He declared his willingness to do
so, and I went away determined to entrust to him half of my stock.  I
returned to the hostelry, and sat down on a log of wood on the hearth
within the immense chimney in the common apartment; two surly-looking men
were on their knees on the stones.  Before them was a large heap of
pieces of old iron, brass, and copper; they were assorting it, and
stowing it away in various bags.  They were Spanish contrabandists of the
lowest class, and earned a miserable livelihood by smuggling such rubbish
from Portugal into Spain.  Not a word proceeded from their lips, and when
I addressed them in their native language, they returned no other answer
than a kind of growl.  They looked as dirty and rusty as the iron in
which they trafficked; their four miserable donkeys were in the stable in
the rear.

The woman of the house and her daughter were exceedingly civil to me, and
coming near crouched down, asking various questions about England.  A man
dressed somewhat like an English sailor, who sat on the other side of the
hearth confronting me, said, “I hate the English, for they are not
baptized, and have not the law,” meaning the law of God.  I laughed, and
told him that according to the law of England, no one who was unbaptized
could be buried in consecrated ground; whereupon he said, “Then you are
stricter than we.”  He then said, “What is meant by the lion and the
unicorn which I saw the other day on the coat-of-arms over the door of
the English consul at St. Ubes?” {35}  I said they were the arms of
England!  “Yes,” he replied, “but what do they represent?”  I said I did
not know.  “Then,” said he, “you do not know the secrets of your own
house.”  I said, “Suppose I were to tell you that they represent the Lion
of Bethlehem and the horned monster of the flaming pit in combat, as to
which should obtain the mastery in England, what would you say?”  He
replied, “I should say that you gave a fair answer.”  This man and myself
became great friends.  He came from Palmella, not far from St. Ubes; he
had several mules and horses with him, and dealt in corn and barley.  I
again walked out and roamed in the environs of the town.

About half a mile from the southern wall is a stone fountain, where the
muleteers and other people who visit the town are accustomed to water
their horses.  I sat down by it, and there I remained about two hours,
entering into conversation with every one who halted at the fountain; and
I will here observe, that during the time of my sojourn at Evora, I
repeated my visit every day, and remained there the same time; and by
following this plan, I believe that I spoke to at least two hundred of
the children of Portugal upon matters relating to their eternal welfare.
I found that very few of those whom I addressed had received any species
of literary education, none of them had seen the Bible, and not more than
half a dozen had the slightest inkling of what the holy book consisted.
I found that most of them were bigoted Papists and Miguelites at heart.
I therefore, when they told me they were Christians, denied the
possibility of their being so, as they were ignorant of Christ and his
commandments, and placed their hope of salvation on outward forms and
superstitious observances, which were the invention of Satan, who wished
to keep them in darkness that at last they might stumble into the pit
which he had dug for them.  I said repeatedly that the Pope, whom they
revered, was an arch deceiver, and the head minister of Satan here on
earth, and that the monks and friars, whose absence they so deplored, and
to whom they had been accustomed to confess themselves, were his
subordinate agents.  When called upon for proofs, I invariably cited the
ignorance of my auditors respecting the Scriptures, and said that if
their spiritual guides had been really ministers of Christ, they would
not have permitted their flocks to remain unacquainted with his word.

Since this occurred, I have been frequently surprised that I experienced
no insult and ill-treatment from the people, whose superstitions I was
thus attacking; but I really experienced none, and am inclined to believe
that the utter fearlessness which I displayed, trusting in the protection
of the Almighty, may have been the cause.  When threatened by danger, the
best policy is to fix your eye steadily upon it, and it will in general
vanish like the morning mist before the sun; whereas, if you quail before
it, it is sure to become more imminent.  I have fervent hope that the
words of my mouth sank deep into the hearts of some of my auditors, as I
observed many of them depart musing and pensive.  I occasionally
distributed tracts amongst them; for although they themselves were unable
to turn them to much account, I thought that by their means they might
become of service at some future time, and fall into the hands of others,
to whom they might be of eternal interest.  Many a book which is
abandoned to the waters is wafted to some remote shore, and there proves
a blessing and a comfort to millions, who are ignorant from whence it
came.

The next day, which was Friday, I called at the house of my friend Don
Geronimo Azveto.  I did not find him there, but was directed to the See,
or episcopal palace, in an apartment of which I found him, writing, with
another gentleman, to whom he introduced me; it was the governor of
Evora, who welcomed me with every mark of kindness and affability.  After
some discourse, we went out together to examine an ancient edifice, which
was reported to have served, in bygone times, as a temple to Diana.  Part
of it was evidently of Roman architecture, for there was no mistaking the
beautiful light pillars which supported a dome, under which the
sacrifices to the most captivating and poetical divinity of the heathen
theocracy had probably been made; but the original space between the
pillars had been filled up with rubbish of a modern date, and the rest of
the building was apparently of the architecture of the latter end of the
Middle Ages.  It was situated at one end of the building which had once
been the seat of the Inquisition, and had served, before the erection of
the present See, as the residence of the bishop.

Within the See, where the governor now resides, is a superb library,
occupying an immense vaulted room, like the aisle of a cathedral; and in
a side apartment is a collection of paintings by Portuguese artists,
chiefly portraits, amongst which is that of Don Sebastian. {38}  I
sincerely hope it did not do him justice, for it represents him in the
shape of an awkward lad of about eighteen, with a bloated booby face with
staring eyes, and a ruff round a short apoplectic neck.

I was shown several beautifully illuminated missals and other
manuscripts, but the one which most arrested my attention, I scarcely
need say why, was that which bore the following title:—

    “_Forma sive ordinatio Capelle illustrissimi et xianissimi principis
    Henrici Sexti Regis Anglie et Francie am dm̃ Hibernie descripta
    serenissiō principi Alfonso Regi Portugalie illustri per humilem
    servitorem sm̃ Willm. Sav. Decanū capelle supradicte_.” {39}

It seemed a voice from the olden times of my dear native land!  This
library and picture-gallery had been formed by one of the latter bishops,
a person of much learning and piety.

In the evening I dined with Don Geronimo and his brother; the latter soon
left us to attend to his military duties.  My friend and myself had now
much conversation of considerable interest; he lamented the deplorable
state of ignorance in which his countrymen existed at present.  He said
that his friend the governor and himself were endeavouring to establish a
school in the vicinity, and that they had made application to the
government for the use of an empty convent, called the _Espinheiro_, or
thorn-tree, at about a league’s distance, and that they had little doubt
of their request being complied with.  I had before told him who I was;
and after expressing joy at the plan which he had in contemplation, I now
urged him in the most pressing manner to use all his influence to make
the knowledge of the Scripture the basis of the education which the
children were to receive, and added, that half the Bibles and Testaments
which I had brought with me to Evora were heartily at his service.  He
instantly gave me his hand, said he accepted my offer with the greatest
pleasure, and would do all in his power to forward my views, which were
in many respects his own.  I now told him that I did not come to Portugal
with the view of propagating the dogmas of any particular sect, but with
the hope of introducing the Bible, which is the well-head of all that is
useful and conducive to the happiness of society; that I cared not what
people called themselves, provided they followed the Bible as a guide,
for that where the Scriptures were read, neither priestcraft nor tyranny
could long exist; and instanced the case of my own country, the cause of
whose freedom and prosperity was the Bible, and that only, as the last
persecutor of this book, the bloody and infamous Mary, was the last
tyrant who had sat on the throne of England.  We did not part till the
night was considerably advanced; and the next morning I sent him the
books, in the firm and confident hope that a bright and glorious morning
was about to rise over the night which had so long cast its dreary
shadows over the regions of the Alemtejo.

The day after this interesting event, which was Saturday, I had more
conversation with the man from Palmella.  I asked him if in his journeys
he had never been attacked by robbers; he answered no, for that he
generally travelled in company with others.  “However,” said he, “were I
alone, I should have little fear, for I am well protected.”  I said that
I supposed he carried arms with him.  “No other arms than this,” said he,
pulling out one of those long desperate-looking knives, of English
manufacture, with which every Portuguese peasant is usually furnished.
This knife serves for many purposes, and I should consider it a far more
efficient weapon than a dagger.  “But,” said he, “I do not place much
confidence in the knife.”  I then inquired in what rested his hope of
protection.  “In this,” said he; and, unbuttoning his waistcoat, he
showed me a small bag, attached to his neck by a silken string.  “In this
bag is an _oraçam_, {41} or prayer, written by a person of power, and as
long as I carry it about with me, no ill can befall me.”  Curiosity is
the leading feature of my character, and I instantly said, with
eagerness, that I should feel great pleasure in being permitted to read
the prayer.  “Well,” he replied, “you are my friend, and I would do for
you what I would for few others; I will show it you.”  He then asked for
my penknife, and, having unripped the bag, took out a large piece of
paper closely folded up.  I hurried to my apartment and commenced the
examination of it.  It was scrawled over in a very illegible hand, and
was moreover much stained with perspiration, so that I had considerable
difficulty in making myself master of its contents; but I at last
accomplished the following literal translation of the charm, which was
written in bad Portuguese, but which struck me at the time as being one
of the most remarkable compositions that had ever come to my knowledge.



THE CHARM.


    “Just Judge and divine Son of the Virgin Maria, who wast born in
    Bethlehem, a Nazarene, and wast crucified in the midst of all Jewry,
    I beseech thee, O Lord, by thy sixth day, that the body of me be not
    caught, nor put to death by the hands of justice at all; peace be
    with you, the peace of Christ, may I receive peace, may you receive
    peace, said God to his disciples.  If the accursed justice should
    distrust me, or have its eyes on me, in order to take me or to rob
    me, may its eyes not see me, may its mouth not speak to me, may it
    have ears which may not hear me, may it have hands which may not
    seize me, may it have feet which may not overtake me; for may I be
    armed with the arms of St. George, covered with the cloak of Abraham,
    and shipped in the ark of Noah, so that it can neither see me, nor
    hear me, nor draw the blood from my body.  I also adjure thee, O
    Lord, by those three blessed crosses, by those three blessed
    chalices, by those three blessed clergymen, by those three
    consecrated hosts, that thou give me that sweet company which thou
    gavest to the Virgin Maria, from the gates of Bethlehem to the
    portals of Jerusalem, that I may go and come with pleasure and joy
    with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Virgin Maria, the prolific yet
    nevertheless the eternal virgin.”

The woman of the house and her daughter had similar bags attached to
their necks, containing charms, which, they said, prevented the witches
having power to harm them.  The belief in witchcraft is very prevalent
amongst the peasantry of the Alemtejo, and I believe of other provinces
of Portugal.  This is one of the relics of the monkish system, the aim of
which, in all countries where it has existed, seems to have been to besot
the minds of the people, that they might be more easily misled.  All
these charms were fabrications of the monks, who had sold them to their
infatuated confessants.  The monks of the Greek and Syrian churches
likewise deal in this ware, which they know to be poison, but which they
would rather vend than the wholesome balm of the Gospel, because it
brings them a large price, and fosters the delusion which enables them to
live a life of luxury.

The Sunday morning was fine, and the plain before the church of the
convent of San Francisco was crowded with people hastening to or
returning from the Mass.  After having performed my morning devotion, and
breakfasted, I went down to the kitchen; the girl Geronima was seated by
the fire.  I inquired if she had heard Mass?  She replied in the
negative, and that she did not intend to hear it.  Upon my inquiring her
motive for absenting herself, she replied, that since the friars had been
expelled from their churches and convents she had ceased to attend Mass,
or to confess herself; for that the government priests had no spiritual
power, and consequently she never troubled them.  She said the friars
were holy men and charitable; for that every morning those of the convent
over the way fed forty poor persons with the relics of the meals of the
preceding day, but that now these people were allowed to starve.  I
replied, that the friars, who lived on the fat of the land, could well
afford to bestow a few bones upon their poor, and that their doing so was
merely a part of their policy, by which they hoped to secure to
themselves friends in time of need.  The girl then observed, that, as it
was Sunday, I should perhaps like to see some books, and without waiting
for a reply she produced them.  They consisted principally of popular
stories, with lives and miracles of saints, but amongst them was a
translation of Volney’s _Ruins of Empires_.  I expressed a wish to know
how she came possessed of this book.  She said that a young man, a great
Constitutionalist, had given it to her some months previous, and had
pressed her much to read it, for that it was one of the best books in the
world.  I replied, that the author of it was an emissary of Satan, and an
enemy of Jesus Christ and the souls of mankind; that it was written with
the sole aim of bringing all religion into contempt, and that it
inculcated the doctrine that there was no future state, nor reward for
the righteous, nor punishment for the wicked.  She made no reply, but,
going into another room, returned with her apron full of dry sticks and
brushwood, all which she piled upon the fire, and produced a bright
blaze.  She then took the book from my hand and placed it upon the
flaming pile; then, sitting down, took her rosary out of her pocket, and
told her beads till the volume was consumed.  This was an _auto-da-fé_
{44} in the best sense of the word.

On the Monday and Tuesday I paid my usual visits to the fountain, and
likewise rode about the neighbourhood on a mule, for the purpose of
circulating tracts.  I dropped a great many in the favourite walks of the
people of Evora, as I felt rather dubious of their accepting them had I
proffered them with my own hand, whereas, should they be observed lying
on the ground, I thought that curiosity might cause them to be picked up
and examined.  I likewise, on the Tuesday evening, paid a farewell visit
to my friend Azveto, as it was my intention to leave Evora on the
Thursday following and return to Lisbon; in which view I had engaged a
calash of a man who informed me that he had served as a soldier in the
_grande armée_ of Napoleon, and been present in the Russian campaign.  He
looked the very image of a drunkard.  His face was covered with
carbuncles, and his breath impregnated with the fumes of strong waters.
He wished much to converse with me in French, in the speaking of which
language it seemed he prided himself; but I refused, and told him to
speak the language of the country, or I would hold no discourse with him.

Wednesday was stormy, with occasional rain.  On coming down, I found that
my friend from Palmella had departed; but several _contrabandistas_ had
arrived from Spain.  They were mostly fine fellows, and, unlike the two I
had seen the preceding week, who were of much lower degree, were chatty
and communicative; they spoke their native language, and no other, and
seemed to hold the Portuguese in great contempt.  The magnificent tones
of the Spanish sounded to great advantage amidst the shrill squeaking
dialect of Portugal.  I was soon in deep conversation with them, and was
much pleased to find that all of them could read.  I presented the
eldest, a man of about fifty years of age, with a tract in Spanish.  He
examined it for some time with great attention; he then rose from his
seat, and, going into the middle of the apartment, began reading it
aloud, slowly and emphatically.  His companions gathered around him, and
every now and then expressed their approbation of what they heard.  The
reader occasionally called upon me to explain passages which, as they
referred to particular texts of Scripture, he did not exactly understand,
for not one of the party had ever seen either the Old or New Testament.

He continued reading for upwards of an hour, until he had finished the
tract; and, at its conclusion, the whole party were clamorous for similar
ones, with which I was happy to be able to supply them.

Most of these men spoke of priestcraft and the monkish system with the
utmost abhorrence, and said that they should prefer death to submitting
again to the yoke which had formerly galled their necks.  I questioned
them very particularly respecting the opinion of their neighbours and
acquaintances on this point, and they assured me that in their part of
the Spanish frontier all were of the same mind, and that they cared as
little for the Pope and his monks as they did for Don Carlos; for the
latter was a dwarf, (_chicotito_), and a tyrant, and the others were
plunderers and robbers.  I told them they must beware of confounding
religion with priestcraft, and that in their abhorrence of the latter
they must not forget that there is a God and a Christ to whom they must
look for salvation, and whose word it was incumbent upon them to study on
every occasion; whereupon they all expressed a devout belief in Christ
and the Virgin.

These men, though in many respects more enlightened than the surrounding
peasantry, were in others as much in the dark; they believed in
witchcraft and in the efficacy of particular charms.  The night was very
stormy, and at about nine we heard a galloping towards the door, and then
a loud knocking.  It was opened, and in rushed a wild-looking man,
mounted on a donkey; he wore a ragged jacket of sheepskin, called in
Spanish _zamarra_, with breeches of the same as far down as his knees;
his legs were bare.  Around his _sombrero_, or shadowy hat, was tied a
large quantity of the herb which in English is called rosemary, in
Spanish _romero_, and in the rustic language of Portugal _alecrim_, {47}
which last is a word of Scandinavian origin (_ellegren_), signifying the
elfin plant, and was probably carried into the south by the Vandals.  The
man seemed frantic with terror, and said that the witches had been
pursuing him and hovering over his head for the last two leagues.  He
came from the Spanish frontier with meal and other articles.  He said
that his wife was following him, and would soon arrive, and in about a
quarter of an hour she made her appearance, dripping with rain, and also
mounted on a donkey.

I asked my friends the _contrabandistas_ why he wore the rosemary in his
hat; whereupon they told me that it was good against witches and the
mischances on the road.  I had no time to argue against this
superstition, for, as the chaise was to be ready at five the next
morning, I wished to make the most of the short time which I could devote
to sleep.



CHAPTER IV.


Vexatious Delays—Drunken Driver—The Murdered Mule—The
Lamentation—Adventure on the Heath—Fear of Darkness—Portuguese
Fidalgo—The Escort—Return to Lisbon.

I rose at four, and after having taken some refreshment, I descended and
found the strange man and his wife sleeping in the chimney corner by the
fire, which was still burning.  They soon awoke, and began preparing
their breakfast, which consisted of salt _sardinhas_, broiled upon the
embers.  In the mean time the woman sang snatches of the beautiful hymn,
very common in Spain, which commences thus:—

    “Once of old upon a mountain, shepherds overcome with sleep,
    Near to Bethlehem’s holy tower, kept at dead of night their sheep;
    Round about the trunk they nodded of a huge ignited oak,
    Whence the crackling flame ascending bright and clear the darkness
    broke.”

On hearing that I was about to depart, she said, “You shall have some of
my husband’s rosemary, which will keep you from danger, and prevent any
misfortune occurring.”  I was foolish enough to permit her to put some of
it in my hat; and, the man having by this time arrived with his mules, I
bade farewell to my friendly hostesses, and entered the chaise with my
servant.

I remarked at the time that the mules which drew us were the finest I had
ever seen; the largest could be little short of sixteen hands high; and
the fellow told me in his bad French that he loved them better than his
wife and children.  We turned round the corner of the convent, and
proceeded down the street which leads to the south-western gate.  The
driver now stopped before the door of a large house, and, having
alighted, said that it was yet very early, and that he was afraid to
venture forth, as it was very probable we should be robbed, and himself
murdered, as the robbers who resided in the town would be apprehensive of
his discovering them, but that the family who lived in this house were
going to Lisbon, and would depart in about a quarter of an hour, when we
might avail ourselves of an escort of soldiers which they would take with
them, and in their company we should run no danger.  I told him I had no
fear, and commanded him to drive on; but he said he would not, and left
us in the street.  We waited an hour, when two carriages came to the door
of the house; but it seems the family were not yet ready, whereupon the
coachman likewise got down, and went away.  At the expiration of about
half an hour the family came out, and when their luggage had been
arranged they called for the coachman, but he was nowhere to be found.
Search was made for him, but ineffectually, and an hour more was spent
before another driver could be procured; but the escort had not yet made
its appearance, and it was not before a servant had been twice despatched
to the barracks that it arrived.  At last everything was ready, and they
drove off.

All this time I had seen nothing of our own coachman, and I fully
expected that he had abandoned us altogether.  In a few minutes I saw him
staggering up the street in a state of intoxication, attempting to sing
the _Marseillois_ hymn. {50}  I said nothing to him, but sat observing
him.  He stood for some time staring at the mules, and talking incoherent
nonsense in French.  At last he said, “I am not so drunk but I can ride,”
and proceeded to lead his mules towards the gate.  When out of the town
he made several ineffectual attempts to mount the smallest mule, which
bore the saddle; he at length succeeded, and instantly commenced spurring
at a furious rate down the road.  We arrived at a place where a narrow
rocky path branched off, by taking which we should avoid a considerable
circuit round the city wall, which otherwise it would be necessary to
make before we could reach the road to Lisbon, which lay at the
north-east.  He now said, “I shall take this path, for by so doing we
shall overtake the family in a minute;” so into the path we went.  It was
scarcely wide enough to admit the carriage, and exceedingly steep and
broken.  We proceeded, ascending and descending; the wheels cracked, and
the motion was so violent that we were in danger of being cast out as
from a sling.  I saw that if we remained in the carriage it must be
broken in pieces, as our weight must ensure its destruction.  I called to
him in Portuguese to stop, but he flogged and spurred the beasts the
more.  My man now entreated me for God’s sake to speak to him in French,
for if anything would pacify him that would.  I did so, and entreated him
to let us dismount and walk till we had cleared this dangerous way.  The
result justified Antonio’s anticipation.  He instantly stopped, and said,
“Sir, you are master; you have only to command, and I shall obey.”  We
dismounted, and walked on till we reached the great road, when we once
more seated ourselves.

The family were about a quarter of a mile in advance, and we were no
sooner reseated than he lashed the mules into full gallop, for the
purpose of overtaking it.  His cloak had fallen from his shoulder, and,
in endeavouring to readjust it, he dropped the string from his hand by
which he guided the large mule: it became entangled in the legs of the
poor animal, which fell heavily on its neck; it struggled for a moment,
and then lay stretched across the way, the shafts over its body.  I was
pitched forward into the dirt, and the drunken driver fell upon the
murdered mule.

I was in a great rage, and cried, “You drunken renegade, who are ashamed
to speak the language of your own country, you have broken the staff of
your existence, and may now starve.”  “_Paciencia_” said he, and began
kicking the head of the mule, in order to make it rise; but I pushed him
down, and taking his knife, which had fallen from his pocket, cut the
bands by which it was attached to the carriage, but life had fled, and
the film of death had begun to cover its eyes.

The fellow, in the recklessness of intoxication, seemed at first disposed
to make light of his loss, saying, “The mule is dead; it was God’s will
that she should die; what more can be said?  _Paciencia_.”  Meanwhile, I
despatched Antonio to the town, for the purpose of hiring mules, and,
having taken my baggage from the chaise, waited on the road-side until he
should arrive.

The fumes of the liquor began now to depart from the fellow’s brain; he
clasped his hands, and exclaimed, “Blessed Virgin, what is to become of
me?  How am I to support myself?  Where am I to get another mule?  For my
mule—my best mule—is dead: she fell upon the road, and died of a sudden!
I have been in France, and in other countries, and have seen beasts of
all kinds, but such a mule as that I have never seen; but she is dead—my
mule is dead: she fell upon the road, and died of a sudden!”  He
continued in this strain for a considerable time; and the burden of his
lamentation was always, “My mule is dead: she fell upon the road, and
died of a sudden.”  At length he took the collar from the creature’s
neck, and put it upon the other, which, with some difficulty, he placed
in the shafts.

A beautiful boy of about thirteen now came from the direction of the
town, running along the road with the velocity of a hare: he stopped
before the dead mule, and burst into tears.  It was the man’s son, who
had heard of the accident from Antonio.  This was too much for the poor
fellow; he ran up to the boy, and said, “Don’t cry.  Our bread is gone,
but it is God’s will; the mule is dead!”  He then flung himself on the
ground, uttering fearful cries.  “I could have borne my loss,” said he,
“but when I saw my child cry, I became a fool.”  I gave him two or three
crowns, and added some words of comfort; assuring him I had no doubt
that, if he abandoned drink, the Almighty God would take compassion on
him and repair his loss.  At length he became more composed, and, placing
my baggage in the chaise, we returned to the town, where I found two
excellent riding mules awaiting my arrival at the inn.  I did not see the
Spanish woman, or I should have told her of the little efficacy of
rosemary in this instance.

I have known several drunkards amongst the Portuguese, but, without one
exception, they have been individuals who, having travelled abroad, like
this fellow, have returned with a contempt for their own country, and
polluted with the worst vices of the lands which they have visited.

I would strongly advise any of my countrymen who may chance to read these
lines, that, if their fate lead them into Spain or Portugal, they avoid
hiring as domestics, or being connected with, individuals of the lower
classes who speak any other language than their own, as the probability
is that they are heartless thieves and drunkards.  These gentry are
invariably saying all they can in dispraise of their native land; and it
is my opinion, grounded upon experience, that an individual who is
capable of such baseness would not hesitate at the perpetration of any
villany, for next to the love of God, the love of country is the best
preventive of crime.  He who is proud of his country will be particularly
cautious not to do anything which is calculated to disgrace it.

We now journeyed towards Lisbon, and reached Monte Moro about two
o’clock.  After taking such refreshment as the place afforded, we pursued
our way till we were within a quarter of a league of the huts which stand
on the edge of the savage wilderness we had before crossed.  Here we were
overtaken by a horseman; he was a powerful, middle-sized man, and was
mounted on a noble Spanish horse.  He had a broad, slouching _sombrero_
on his head, and wore a jerkin of blue cloth, with large bosses of silver
for buttons, and clasps of the same metal; he had breeches of yellow
leather, and immense jack-boots: at his saddle was slung a formidable
gun.  He inquired if I intended to pass the night at Vendas Novas, and on
my replying in the affirmative, he said that he would avail himself of
our company.  He now looked towards the sun, whose disk was rapidly
sinking beneath the horizon, and entreated us to spur on and make the
most of its light, for that the moor was a horrible place in the dusk.
He placed himself at our head, and we trotted briskly on, the boy, or
muleteer, who attended us running behind without exhibiting the slightest
symptom of fatigue.

We entered upon the moor, and had advanced about a mile when dark night
fell around us.  We were in a wild path, with high brushwood on either
side, when the rider said that he could not confront the darkness, and
begged me to ride on before, and he would follow after: I could hear him
trembling.  I asked the reason of his terror, and he replied, that at one
time darkness was the same thing to him as day, but that of late years he
dreaded it, especially in wild places.  I complied with his request, but
I was ignorant of the way, and, as I could scarcely see my hand, was
continually going wrong.  This made the man impatient, and he again
placed himself at our head.  We proceeded so for a considerable way, when
he again stopped, and said that the power of the darkness was too much
for him.  His horse seemed to be infected with the same panic, for it
shook in every limb.  I now told him to call on the name of the Lord
Jesus, who was able to turn the darkness into light; but he gave a
terrible shout, and, brandishing his gun aloft, discharged it in the air.
His horse sprang forward at full speed, and my mule, which was one of the
swiftest of its kind, took fright and followed at the heels of the
charger.  Antonio and the boy were left behind.  On we flew like a
whirlwind, the hoofs of the animals illuming the path with the sparks of
fire they struck from the stones.  I knew not whither we were going, but
the dumb creatures were acquainted with the way, and soon brought us to
Vendas Novas, where we were rejoined by our companions.

I thought this man was a coward, but I did him injustice, for during the
day he was as brave as a lion, and feared no one.  About five years since
he had overcome two robbers who had attacked him on the moors, and, after
tying their hands behind them, had delivered them up to justice; but at
night the rustling of a leaf filled him with terror.  I have known
similar instances of the kind in persons of otherwise extraordinary
resolution.  For myself, I confess I am not a person of extraordinary
resolution, but the dangers of the night daunt me no more than those of
midday.  The man in question was a farmer from Evora, and a person of
considerable wealth.

I found the inn at Vendas Novas thronged with people, and had some
difficulty in obtaining accommodation and refreshment.  It was occupied
by the family of a certain _fidalgo_ {55} from Estremoz; he was on the
way to Lisbon, conveying a large sum of money, as was said—probably the
rents of his estates.  He had with him a body-guard of four and twenty of
his dependants, each armed with a rifle; they consisted of his shepherds,
swineherds, cowherds, and hunters, and were commanded by two youths, his
son and nephew, the latter of whom was in regimentals.  Nevertheless,
notwithstanding the number of his troop, it appeared that the _fidalgo_
laboured under considerable apprehension of being despoiled upon the
waste which lay between Vendas Novas and Pegões, as he had just requested
a guard of four soldiers from the officer who commanded a detachment
stationed here.  There were many females in his company, who, I was told,
were his illegitimate daughters—for he bore an infamous moral character,
and was represented to me as a staunch friend of Don Miguel.  It was not
long before he came up to me and my new acquaintance, as we sat by the
kitchen fire: he was a tall man of about sixty, but stooped much.  His
countenance was by no means pleasing: he had a long hooked nose, small,
twinkling, cunning eyes, and, what I liked worst of all, a continual
sneering smile, which I firmly believe to be the index of a treacherous
and malignant heart.  He addressed me in Spanish, which, as he resided
not far from the frontier, he spoke with fluency; but, contrary to my
usual practice, I was reserved and silent.

On the following morning I rose at seven, and found that the party from
Estremoz had started several hours previously.  I breakfasted with my
acquaintance of the preceding night, and we set out to accomplish what
remained of our journey.  The sun had now arisen, and all his fears had
left him—he breathed defiance against all the robbers of the Alemtejo.
When we had advanced about a league, the boy who attended us said he saw
heads of men amongst the brushwood.  Our cavalier instantly seized his
gun, and, causing his horse to make two or three lofty bounds, held it in
one hand, the muzzle pointed in the direction indicated; but the heads
did not again make their appearance, and it was probably but a false
alarm.

We resumed our way, and the conversation turned, as might be expected,
upon robbers.  My companion, who seemed to be acquainted with every inch
of ground over which we passed, had a legend to tell of every dingle and
every pine-clump.  We reached a slight eminence, on the top of which grew
three stately pines: about half a league farther on was another similar
one.  These two eminences commanded a view of the road from Pegões and
Vendas Novas, so that all people going and coming could be descried
whilst yet at a distance.  My friend told me that these heights were
favourite stations of robbers.  Some two years since, a band of six
mounted banditti remained there three days, and plundered whomsoever
approached from either quarter.  Their horses, saddled and bridled, stood
picqueted at the foot of the trees, and two scouts, one for each
eminence, continually sat in the topmost branches, and gave notice of the
approach of travellers.  When at a proper distance, the robbers below
sprung upon their horses, and putting them to full gallop, made at their
prey, shouting, “_Rendete_, _Picaro_!  _Rendete_, _Picaro_!” {57}  We,
however, passed unmolested, and, about a quarter of a mile before we
reached Pegões, overtook the family of the _fidalgo_.

Had they been conveying the wealth of Ind through the deserts of Arabia,
they could not have travelled with more precaution.  The nephew, with
drawn sabre, rode in front; pistols in his holsters, and the usual
Spanish gun slung at his saddle.  Behind him tramped six men in a rank,
with muskets shouldered, and each of them wore at his girdle a hatchet,
which was probably intended to cleave the thieves to the brisket should
they venture to come to close quarters.  There were six vehicles, two of
them calashes, in which latter rode the _fidalgo_ and his daughters; the
others were covered carts, and seemed to be filled with household
furniture.  Each of these vehicles had an armed rustic on either side;
and the son, a lad about sixteen, brought up the rear with a squad equal
to that of his cousin in the van.  The soldiers, who, by good fortune,
were light horse, and admirably mounted, were galloping about in all
directions, for the purpose of driving the enemy from cover, should they
happen to be lurking in the neighbourhood.

I could not help thinking, as I passed by, that this martial array was
very injudicious, for though it was calculated to awe plunderers, it was
likewise calculated to allure them, as it seemed to hint that immense
wealth was passing through their territories.  I do not know how the
soldiers and rustics would have behaved in case of an attack, but am
inclined to believe that if three such men as Richard Turpin had suddenly
galloped forth from behind one of the bush-covered knolls, neither the
numbers nor resistance opposed to them would have prevented them from
bearing away the contents of the strong box jingling in their
saddle-bags.

From this moment nothing worthy of relating occurred till our arrival at
Aldea Gallega, where we passed the night, and next morning at three
o’clock embarked in the passage-boat for Lisbon, where we arrived at
eight: and thus terminates my first wandering in the Alemtejo.



CHAPTER V.


The College—The Rector—Shibboleth—National Prejudices—Youthful
Sports—Jews of Lisbon—Bad Faith—Crime and Superstition.

One afternoon Antonio said to me, “It has struck me, _Senhor_, {59a} that
your worship would like to see the college of the English . . .” {59b}
“By all means,” I replied, “pray conduct me thither.”  So he led me
through various streets until we stopped before the gate of a large
building, in one of the most elevated situations in Lisbon.  Upon our
ringing, a kind of porter presently made his appearance, and demanded our
business.  Antonio explained it to him.  He hesitated for a moment; but,
presently bidding us enter, conducted us to a large gloomy-looking stone
hall, where, begging us to be seated, he left us.  We were soon joined by
a venerable personage, seemingly about seventy, in a kind of flowing robe
or surplice, with a collegiate cap upon his head.  Notwithstanding his
age there was a ruddy tinge upon his features, which were perfectly
English.  Coming slowly up he addressed me in the English tongue,
requesting to know how he could serve me.  I informed him that I was an
English traveller, and should be happy to be permitted to inspect the
college, provided it were customary to show it to strangers.  He informed
me that there could be no objection to accede to my request, but that I
came at rather an unfortunate moment, it being the hour of refection.  I
apologized, and was preparing to retire, but he begged me to remain, as
in a few minutes the refection would be over, when the principals of the
college would do themselves the pleasure of waiting on me.

We sat down on the stone bench, when he commenced surveying me
attentively for some time, and then cast his eyes on Antonio.  “Whom have
we here?” said he to the latter; “surely your features are not unknown to
me.”  “Probably not, your reverence,” replied Antonio, getting up, and
bowing most profoundly.  “I lived in the family of the Countess ---, at
Cintra, when your venerability was her spiritual guide.”  “True, true,”
said the old gentleman, sighing, “I remember you now.  Ah, Antonio,
things are strangely changed since then.  A new government—a new system—a
new religion, I may say.”  Then, looking again at me, he demanded whither
I was journeying.  “I am going to Spain,” said I, “and have stopped at
Lisbon by the way.”  “Spain, Spain!” said the old man.  “Surely you have
chosen a strange time to visit Spain; there is much blood-shedding in
Spain at present, and violent wars and tumults.”  “I consider the cause
of Don Carlos as already crushed,” I replied; “he has lost the only
general capable of leading his armies to Madrid.  Zumalacarregui, his
Cid, has fallen.”  “Do not flatter yourself; I beg your pardon, but do
not think, young man, that the Lord will permit the powers of darkness to
triumph so easily.  The cause of Don Carlos is not lost: its success did
not depend on the life of a frail worm like him whom you have mentioned.”
We continued in discourse some little time, when he arose, saying that by
this time he believed the refection was concluded.

He had scarcely left me five minutes when three individuals entered the
stone hall, and advanced slowly towards me.  The principals of the
college, said I to myself; and so indeed they were.  The first of these
gentlemen, and to whom the other two appeared to pay considerable
deference, was a thin, spare person, somewhat above the middle height;
his complexion was very pale, his features emaciated but fine, his eyes
dark and sparkling; he might be about fifty.  The other two were men in
the prime of life.  One was of rather low stature; his features were
dark, and wore that pinched and mortified expression so frequently to be
observed in the countenance of the English . . .: the other was a bluff,
ruddy, and rather good-looking young man.  All three were dressed alike
in the usual college cap and silk gown.  Coming up, the eldest of the
three took me by the hand, and thus addressed me in clear silvery tones:—

“Welcome, sir, to our poor house.  We are always happy to see in it a
countryman from our beloved native land; it will afford us extreme
satisfaction to show you over it; it is true that satisfaction is
considerably diminished by the reflection that it possesses nothing
worthy of the attention of a traveller; there is nothing curious
pertaining to it save, perhaps, its economy, and that, as we walk about,
we will explain to you.  Permit us, first of all, to introduce ourselves
to you.  I am rector of this poor English house of refuge; this gentleman
is our professor of humanity; and this” (pointing to the ruddy personage)
“is our professor of polite learning, Hebrew, and Syriac.”

_Myself_.—I humbly salute you all.  Excuse me if I inquire who was the
venerable gentleman who put himself to the inconvenience of staying with
me whilst I was awaiting your leisure.

_Rector_.—Oh, a most admirable personage, our almoner, our chaplain; he
came into this country before any of us were born, and here he has
continued ever since.  Now let us ascend that we may show you our poor
house.  But how is this, my dear sir, how is it that I see you standing
uncovered in our cold, damp hall?

_Myself_.—I can easily explain that to you; it is a custom which has
become quite natural to me.  I am just arrived from Russia, where I have
spent some years.  A Russian invariably takes off his hat whenever he
enters beneath a roof, whether it pertain to hut, shop, or palace.  To
omit doing so would be considered as a mark of brutality and barbarism,
and for the following reason: in every apartment of a Russian house there
is a small picture of the Virgin stuck up in a corner, just below the
ceiling—the hat is taken off out of respect to her.

Quick glances of intelligence were exchanged by the three gentlemen.  I
had stumbled upon their shibboleth, and proclaimed myself an Ephraimite,
and not of Gilead.  I have no doubt that up to that moment they had
considered me as one of themselves—a member, and perhaps a priest, of
their own ancient, grand, and imposing religion, for such it is, I must
confess—an error into which it was natural that they should fall.  What
motives could a Protestant have for intruding upon their privacy?  What
interest could he take in inspecting the economy of their establishment?
So far, however, from relaxing in their attention after this discovery,
their politeness visibly increased, though, perhaps, a scrutinizing
observer might have detected a shade of less cordiality in their manner.

_Rector_.—Beneath the ceiling in every apartment?  I think I understood
you so.  How delightful—how truly interesting; a picture of the Blessed
Virgin beneath the ceiling in every apartment of a Russian house!  Truly,
this intelligence is as unexpected as it is delightful.  I shall from
this moment entertain a much higher opinion of the Russians than
hitherto—most truly an example worthy of imitation.  I wish sincerely
that it was our own practice to place an image of the Blessed Virgin
beneath the ceiling in every corner of our houses.  What say you, our
professor of humanity?  What say you to the information so obligingly
communicated to us by this excellent gentleman?

_Humanity Professor_.—It is indeed most delightful, most cheering, I may
say; but I confess that I was not altogether unprepared for it.  The
adoration of the Blessed Virgin is becoming every day more extended in
countries where it has hitherto been unknown or forgotten.  Dr. W---,
when he passed through Lisbon, gave me some most interesting details with
respect to the labours of the propaganda in India.  Even England, our own
beloved country. . . .

My obliging friends showed me all over their “poor house.”  It certainly
did not appear a very rich one; it was spacious, but rather dilapidated.
The library was small, and possessed nothing remarkable; the view,
however, from the roof, over the greater part of Lisbon and the Tagus,
was very grand and noble.  But I did not visit this place in the hope of
seeing busts, or books, or fine prospects,—I visited this strange old
house to converse with its inmates; for my favourite, I might say my
only, study is man.  I found these gentlemen much what I had anticipated;
for this was not the first time that I had visited an English . . .
establishment in a foreign land.  They were full of amiability and
courtesy to their heretic countryman, and though the advancement of their
religion was with them an object of paramount importance, I soon found
that, with ludicrous inconsistency, they cherished, to a wonderful
degree, national prejudices almost extinct in the mother land, even to
the disparagement of those of their own darling faith.  I spoke of the
English . . ., of their high respectability, and of the loyalty which
they had uniformly displayed to their sovereign, though of a different
religion, and by whom they had been not unfrequently subjected to much
oppression and injustice.

_Rector_.—My dear sir, I am rejoiced to hear you; I see that you are well
acquainted with the great body of those of our faith in England.  They
are, as you have well described them, a most respectable and loyal body;
from loyalty, indeed, they never swerved, and though they have been
accused of plots and conspiracies, it is now well known that such had no
real existence, but were merely calumnies invented by their religious
enemies.  During the civil wars the English . . . cheerfully shed their
blood and squandered their fortunes in the cause of the unfortunate
martyr, notwithstanding that he never favoured them, and invariably
looked upon them with suspicion.  At present the English . . . are the
most devoted subjects of our gracious sovereign.  I should be happy if I
could say as much for our Irish brethren; but their conduct has been—oh,
detestable!  Yet what can you expect?  The true . . . blush for them.  A
certain person is a disgrace to the church of which he pretends to be the
servant.  Where does he find in our canons sanction for his proceedings,
his undutiful expressions towards one who is his sovereign by divine
right, and who can do no wrong?  And above all, where does he find
authority for inflaming the passions of a vile mob against a nation
intended by nature and by position to command them?

_Myself_.—I believe there is an Irish college in this city?

_Rector_.—I believe there is; but it does not flourish; there are few or
no pupils.  Oh!

I looked through a window, at a great height, and saw about twenty or
thirty fine lads sporting in a court below.  “This is as it should be,”
said I; “those boys will not make worse priests from a little early
devotion to trap-ball and cudgel playing.  I dislike a staid, serious,
puritanic education, as I firmly believe that it encourages vice and
hypocrisy.”

We then went into the Rector’s room, where, above a crucifix, was hanging
a small portrait.

_Myself_.—That was a great and portentous man, honest withal.  I believe
the body of which he was the founder, and which has been so much decried,
has effected infinitely more good than it has caused harm.

_Rector_.—What do I hear?  You, an Englishman, and a Protestant, and yet
an admirer of Ignatius Loyola?

_Myself_.—I will say nothing with respect to the doctrine of the Jesuits,
for, as you have observed, I am a Protestant; but I am ready to assert
that there are no people in the world better qualified, upon the whole,
to be entrusted with the education of youth.  Their moral system and
discipline are truly admirable.  Their pupils, in after-life, are seldom
vicious and licentious characters, and are in general men of learning,
science, and possessed of every elegant accomplishment.  I execrate the
conduct of the liberals of Madrid in murdering last year the helpless
fathers, by whose care and instruction two of the finest minds of Spain
have been evolved—the two ornaments of the liberal cause and modern
literature of Spain, for such are Toreno and Martinez de la Rosa. {66} .
. .

Gathered in small clusters about the pillars at the lower extremities of
the gold and silver streets in Lisbon, may be observed, about noon in
every day, certain strange-looking men whose appearance is neither
Portuguese nor European.  Their dress generally consists of a red cap,
with a blue silken tassel at the top of it, a blue tunic girded at the
waist with a red sash, and wide linen pantaloons or trousers.  He who
passes by these groups generally hears them conversing in broken Spanish
or Portuguese, and occasionally in a harsh guttural language, which the
oriental traveller knows to be the Arabic, or a dialect thereof.  These
people are the Jews of Lisbon. {67a}  Into the midst of one of these
groups I one day introduced myself, and pronounced a _beraka_, or
blessing.  I have lived in different parts of the world, much amongst the
Hebrew race, and am well acquainted with their ways and phraseology.  I
was rather anxious to become acquainted with the state of the Portuguese
Jews, and I had now an opportunity.  “The man is a powerful rabbi,” said
a voice in Arabic; “it behoves us to treat him kindly.”  They welcomed
me.  I favoured their mistake, and in a few days I knew all that related
to them and their traffic in Lisbon. {67b}

The Jews of Europe at the present time are divided into two
classes—synagogues, as some call them—the Portuguese and German.  Of
these the most celebrated is the Portuguese.  Jews of this class are
generally considered as more polished than the others, better educated,
and more deeply versed both in the language of Scripture and the
traditions of their forefathers.  In London there is a stately edifice
which is termed the synagogue of the Portuguese Jews, where the rites of
the Hebrew religion are performed with all possible splendour and
magnificence.  Knowing all this, one would naturally expect, on arriving
in Portugal, to find one’s self in the head-quarters of that Judaism with
which the mind has been accustomed to associate so much that is
respectable and imposing.  It was, therefore, with feelings of
considerable surprise that I heard from the beings, whom I have attempted
to describe above, the following account of themselves:—“We are not of
Portugal,” said they; “we come from Barbary, some from Algier, some from
the Levant, but mostly from Barbary, yonder-away!”  And they pointed to
the south-west.

“And where are the Jews of Portugal,” I demanded: “the proper children of
the country?”

“We know of none but ourselves,” replied the Barbaresques, “though we
have heard say that there are others: if so, they do not come near us,
and they do right, for we are an evil people, O thou _Tsadik_, and
thieves to a man.  A ship comes every year from Swirah; {68} it brings a
cargo of thieves, for it brings Jews.”

“And your wives and families,” said I, “where are they?”

“In Swirah, or Salee, or other places from whence we come.  We bring not
our wives with us, nor our families: many of us have escaped hither
barely with life, flying from the punishment due to our crimes.  Some
live in sin with the daughters of the Nazarene: for we are an evil race,
O _Tsadik_, and do not observe the precepts of the law.”

“And have you synagogues and teachers?”

“Both, O thou righteous one, yet little can be said of either: our
_chenourain_ are vile places, and our teachers are like ourselves, bound
in the _galoot_ of sin.  One of them keeps in his house a daughter of the
Nazarene; he is from Swirah, and what good ever came from that shore?”

“You say your teachers are evil: do ye hearken unto their words?”

“Of course we hearken unto them: how could we do else and live?  Our
teachers are evil men, and live by fraud, like ourselves; yet still are
they masters, men to be dreaded and obeyed.  Have they not witchcraft at
their command, and angels?  Have they not words of power, and the _Shem
Hamphorash_? {69}  Were we not to hearken to them, could they not consign
our souls to horror, to mist and vapour, to mire and clay?  Even as thou
couldst, O righteous one!”

Such was the extraordinary language in connexion with themselves which
they held to me, and which I have no reason to doubt, as it was
subsequently corroborated in more ways than one.  How well do
superstition and crime go hand in hand!  These wretched beings break the
eternal commandments of their Maker without scruple; but they will not
partake of the beast of the uncloven foot, and the fish which has no
scales.  They pay slight regard to the denunciations of holy prophets
against the children of sin, but they quake at the sound of a dark
cabalistic word pronounced by one perhaps their equal or superior in
villany; as if, as has been well observed, God would delegate the
exercise of his power to the workers of iniquity.

It is quite certain that at one period the Jews of Portugal were
deservedly celebrated for wealth, learning, and polished manners; the
Inquisition, however, played sad havoc with them.  Those who escaped the
_auto da fé_, without becoming converts to Popish idolatry, took refuge
in foreign lands, particularly in England, where they still retain their
original designation.  At present, notwithstanding all religions are
tolerated in Portugal, the genuine Jews of the country do not show
themselves; {70} in their stead are seen the rabble of Barbary, and these
only in the streets of Lisbon—outcasts who make no secret of their own
degradation.



CHAPTER VI.


Cold of Portugal—Extortion prevented—Sensation of Loneliness—The Dog—The
Convent—Enchanting Landscape—Moorish Fortresses—Prayer for the Sick.

About a fortnight after my return from Evora, having made the necessary
preparations, I set out on my journey for Badajoz, from which town I
intended to take the diligence to Madrid.  Badajoz lies about a hundred
miles distant from Lisbon, and is the principal frontier town of Spain in
the direction of the Alemtejo.  To reach this place, it was necessary to
re-travel the road as far as Monte Moro, which I had already passed in my
excursion to Evora; I had therefore very little pleasure to anticipate
from novelty of scenery.  Moreover, in this journey I should be a
solitary traveller, with no other companion than the muleteer, as it was
my intention to take my servant no farther than Aldea Gallega, for which
place I started at four in the afternoon.  Warned by former experience, I
did not now embark in a small boat, but in one of the regular passage
felouks, in which we reached Aldea Gallega, after a voyage of six hours;
for the boat was heavy, there was no wind to propel it, and the crew were
obliged to ply their huge oars the whole way.  In a word, this passage
was the reverse of the first—safe in every respect, but so sluggish and
tiresome, that I a hundred times wished myself again under the guidance
of the wild lad, galloping before the hurricane over the foaming billows.
From eight till ten the cold was truly terrible, and though I was closely
wrapped in an excellent fur _shoob_, with which I had braved the frosts
of Russian winters, I shivered in every limb, and was far more rejoiced
when I again set my foot on the Alemtejo, than when I landed for the
first time, after having escaped the horrors of the tempest.

I took up my quarters for the night at a house to which my friend who
feared the darkness had introduced me on my return from Evora, and where,
though I paid mercilessly dear for everything, the accommodation was
superior to that of the common inn in the square.  My first care now was
to inquire for mules to convey myself and baggage to Elvas, from whence
there are but three short leagues to the Spanish town of Badajoz.  The
people of the house informed me that they had an excellent pair at my
disposal, but when I inquired the price, they were not ashamed to demand
four _moidores_.  I offered them three, which was too much, but which,
however, they did not accept; for, knowing me to be an Englishman, they
thought they had an excellent opportunity to practise imposition, not
imagining that a person so rich as an Englishman _must_ be, would go out
in a cold night for the sake of obtaining a reasonable bargain.  They
were, however, much mistaken, as I told them that rather than encourage
them in their knavery I should be content to return to Lisbon; whereupon
they dropped their demand to three and a half; but I made them no answer,
and, going out with Antonio, proceeded to the house of the old man who
had accompanied us to Evora.  We knocked a considerable time, for he was
in bed; at length he arose and admitted us, but on hearing our object, he
said that his mules were again gone to Evora, under the charge of the
boy, for the purpose of transporting some articles of merchandize.  He,
however, recommended us to a person in the neighbourhood who kept mules
for hire, and there Antonio engaged two fine beasts for two _moidores_
and a half.  I say _he_ engaged them, for I stood aloof and spoke not,
and the proprietor, who exhibited them, and who stood half dressed, with
a lamp in his hand, and shivering with cold, was not aware that they were
intended for a foreigner till the agreement was made, and he had received
a part of the sum in earnest.  I returned to the inn well pleased, and
having taken some refreshment, went to rest, paying little attention to
the people, who glanced daggers at me from their small Jewish eyes.

At five the next morning the mules were at the door.  A lad of some
nineteen or twenty years of age attended them.  He was short, but
exceedingly strong built, and possessed the largest head which I ever
beheld upon mortal shoulders; neck he had none, at least I could discern
nothing which could be entitled to that name.  His features were
hideously ugly, and upon addressing him I discovered that he was an
idiot.  Such was my intended companion in a journey of nearly a hundred
miles, which would occupy four days, and which lay over the most savage
and ill-noted track in the whole kingdom.  I took leave of my servant
almost with tears, for he had always served me with the greatest
fidelity, and had exhibited an assiduity and a wish to please which
afforded me the utmost satisfaction.

We started, my uncouth guide sitting tailor-fashion on the sumpter mule,
upon the baggage.  The moon had just gone down, and the morning was
pitchy dark, and, as usual, piercingly cold.  We soon entered the dismal
wood, which I had already traversed, and through which we wended our way
for some time, slowly and mournfully.  Not a sound was to be heard save
the trampling of the animals, not a breath of air moved the leafless
branches, no animal stirred in the thickets, no bird, not even the owl,
flew over our heads, all seemed desolate and dead; and during my many and
far wanderings, I never experienced a greater sensation of loneliness,
and a greater desire for conversation and an exchange of ideas than then.
To speak to the idiot was useless, for though competent to show the road,
with which he was well acquainted, he had no other answer than an uncouth
laugh to any question put to him.  Thus situated, like many other persons
when human comfort is not at hand, I turned my heart to God, and began to
commune with Him, the result of which was that my mind soon became
quieted and comforted.

We passed on our way uninterrupted; no thieves showed themselves, nor
indeed did we see a single individual until we arrived at Pegões, and
from thence to Vendas Novas our fortune was the same.  I was welcomed
with great kindness by the people of the hostelry of the latter place,
who were well acquainted with me on account of my having twice passed the
night under their roof.  The name of the keeper of this inn is, or was,
Jozé Dias Azido, and, unlike the generality of those of the same
profession as himself in Portugal, he is an honest man; and a stranger
and foreigner who takes up his quarters at his inn may rest assured that
he will not be most unmercifully pillaged and cheated when the hour of
reckoning shall arrive, as he will not be charged a single _ré_ {75} more
than a native Portuguese on a similar occasion.  I paid at this place
exactly one-half of the sum which was demanded from me at Arroyolos,
where I passed the ensuing night, and where the accommodation was in
every respect inferior.

At twelve next day we arrived at Monte Moro, and, as I was not pressed
for time, I determined upon viewing the ruins which cover the top and
middle part of the stately hill which towers above the town.  Having
ordered some refreshment at the inn where we dismounted, I ascended till
I arrived at a large wall or rampart, which, at a certain altitude,
embraces the whole hill.  I crossed a rude bridge of stones, which
bestrides a small hollow or trench; and passing by a large tower, entered
through a portal into the enclosed part of the hill.  On the left hand
stood a church, in good preservation, and still devoted to the purposes
of religion, but which I could not enter, as the door was locked, and I
saw no one at hand to open it.

I soon found that my curiosity had led me to a most extraordinary place,
which quite beggars the scanty powers of description with which I am
gifted.  I stumbled on amongst ruined walls, and at one time found I was
treading over vaults, as I suddenly started back from a yawning orifice
into which my next step, as I strolled musing along, would have
precipitated me.  I proceeded for a considerable way by the eastern wall,
till I heard a tremendous bark, and presently an immense dog, such as
those which guard the flocks in the neighbourhood against the wolves,
came bounding to attack me “with eyes that glowed, and fangs that
grinned.”  Had I retreated, or had recourse to any other mode of defence
than that which I invariably practise under such circumstances, he would
probably have worried me; but I stooped till my chin nearly touched my
knee, and looked him full in the eyes, and, as John Leyden says, in the
noblest ballad which the Land of Heather has produced:—

    “The hound he yowled, and back he fled,
       As struck with fairy charm.” {76}

It is a fact known to many people, and I believe it has been frequently
stated, that no large and fierce dog or animal of any kind, with the
exception of the bull, which shuts its eyes and rushes blindly forward,
will venture to attack an individual who confronts it with a firm and
motionless countenance.  I say large and fierce, for it is much easier to
repel a bloodhound or bear of Finland in this manner than a dung-hill cur
or a terrier, against which a stick or a stone is a much more certain
defence.  This will astonish no one who considers that the calm reproving
glance of reason, which allays the excesses of the mighty and courageous
in our own species, has seldom any other effect than to add to the
insolence of the feeble and foolish, who become placid as doves upon the
infliction of chastisements, which, if attempted to be applied to the
former, would only serve to render them more terrible, and, like
gunpowder cast on a flame, cause them, in mad desperation, to scatter
destruction around them.

The barking of the dog brought out from a kind of alley an elderly man,
whom I supposed to be his master, and of whom I made some inquiries
respecting the place.  The man was civil, and informed me that he served
as a soldier in the British army, under the “great lord,” during the
Peninsula war.  He said that there was a convent of nuns a little farther
on, which he would show me, and thereupon led the way to the south-east
part of the wall, where stood a large dilapidated edifice.

We entered a dark stone apartment, at one corner of which was a kind of
window occupied by a turning table, at which articles were received into
the convent or delivered out.  He rang the bell, and, without saying a
word, retired, leaving me rather perplexed; but presently I heard, though
the speaker was invisible, a soft feminine voice demanding who I was, and
what I wanted.  I replied, that I was an Englishman travelling into
Spain; and that, passing through Monte Moro, I had ascended the hill for
the purpose of seeing the ruins.  The voice then said, “I suppose you are
a military man going to fight against the king, like the rest of your
countrymen?”  “No,” said I, “I am not a military man, but a Christian;
and I go not to shed blood, but to endeavour to introduce the gospel of
Christ into a country where it is not known;” whereupon there was a
stifled titter.  I then inquired if there were any copies of the Holy
Scriptures in the convent; but the friendly voice could give me no
information on that point, and I scarcely believe that its possessor
understood the purport of my question.  It informed me, that the office
of lady abbess of the house was an annual one, and that every year there
was a fresh superior.  On my inquiring whether the nuns did not
frequently find the time exceedingly heavy on their hands, it stated
that, when they had nothing better to do, they employed themselves in
making cheesecakes, which were disposed of in the neighbourhood.  I
thanked the voice for its communications, and walked away.  Whilst
proceeding under the wall of the house towards the south-west, I heard a
fresh and louder tittering above my head, and, looking up, saw three or
four windows crowded with dusky faces, and black waving hair; these
belonged to the nuns, anxious to obtain a view of the stranger.  After
kissing my hand repeatedly, I moved on, and soon arrived at the
south-west end of this mountain of curiosities.  There I found the
remains of a large building, which seemed to have been originally erected
in the shape of a cross.  A tower at its eastern entrance was still
entire; the western side was quite in ruins, and stood on the verge of
the hill overlooking the valley, at the bottom of which ran the stream I
have spoken of on a former occasion.

The day was intensely hot, notwithstanding the coldness of the preceding
nights; and the brilliant sun of Portugal now illumined a landscape of
entrancing beauty.  Groves of cork-trees covered the farther side of the
valley and the distant acclivities, exhibiting here and there charming
vistas, where various flocks of cattle were feeding; the soft murmur of
the stream, which was at intervals chafed and broken by huge stones,
ascended to my ears and filled my mind with delicious feelings.  I sat
down on the broken wall and remained gazing, and listening, and shedding
tears of rapture; for of all the pleasures which a bountiful God
permitteth his children to enjoy, none are so dear to some hearts as the
music of forests and streams, and the view of the beauties of his
glorious creation.  An hour elapsed, and I still maintained my seat on
the wall; the past scenes of my life flitting before my eyes in airy and
fantastic array, through which every now and then peeped trees and hills,
and other patches of the real landscape which I was confronting.  The sun
burnt my visage, but I heeded it not; and I believe that I should have
remained till night, buried in these reveries, which, I confess, only
serve to enervate the mind and steal many a minute which might be more
profitably employed, had not the report of the gun of a fowler in the
valley, which awakened the echoes of the woods, hills, and ruins, caused
me to start on my feet, and remember that I had to proceed three leagues
before I could reach the hostelry where I intended to pass the night.

I bent my steps to the inn, passing along a kind of rampart.  Shortly
before I reached the portal, which I have already mentioned, I observed a
kind of vault on my right hand, scooped out of the side of the hill; its
roof was supported by three pillars, though part of it had given way
towards the farther end, so that the light was admitted through a chasm
in the top.  It might have been intended for a chapel, a dungeon, or a
cemetery, but I should rather think for the latter.  One thing I am
certain of, that it was not the work of Moorish hands; and indeed
throughout my wandering in this place I saw nothing which reminded me of
that most singular people.  The hill on which the ruins stand was
doubtless originally a strong fortress of the Moors, who, upon their
first irruption into the peninsula, seized and fortified most of the
lofty and naturally strong positions, but they had probably lost it at an
early period, so that the broken walls and edifices, which at present
cover the hill, are probably remains of the labours of the Christians
after the place had been rescued from the hands of the terrible enemies
of their faith.  Monte Moro will perhaps recall Cintra to the mind of the
traveller, as it exhibits a distant resemblance to that place;
nevertheless, there is something in Cintra wild and savage, to which
Monte Moro has no pretension.  Its scathed and gigantic crags are piled
upon each other in a manner which seems to menace headlong destruction to
whatever is in the neighbourhood; and the ruins which still cling to
those crags seem more like eagles’ nests than the remains of the
habitations even of Moors; whereas those of Monte Moro stand
comparatively at their ease on the broad back of a hill, which, though
stately and commanding, has no crags nor precipices, and which can be
ascended on every side without much difficulty.  Yet I was much gratified
by my visit, and I shall wander far indeed before I forget the voice in
the dilapidated convent, the ruined walls amongst which I strayed, and
the rampart, where, sunk in dreamy rapture, I sat during a bright sunny
hour at Monte Moro.

I returned to the inn, where I refreshed myself with tea and very sweet
and delicious cheesecakes, the handiwork of the nuns in the convent
above.  Observing gloom and unhappiness on the countenances of the people
of the house, I inquired the reason of the hostess, who sat almost
motionless on the hearth by the fire; whereupon she informed me that her
husband was deadly sick with a disorder which, from her description, I
supposed to be a species of cholera; she added, that the surgeon who
attended him entertained no hopes of his recovery.  I replied that it was
quite in the power of God to restore her husband in a few hours from the
verge of the grave to health and vigour, and that it was her duty to pray
to that Omnipotent Being with all fervency.  I added, that if she did not
know how to pray upon such an occasion, I was ready to pray for her,
provided she would join in the spirit of the supplication.  I then
offered up a short prayer in Portuguese, in which I entreated the Lord to
remove, if he thought proper, the burden of affliction under which the
family was labouring.

The woman listened attentively, with her hands devoutly clasped, until
the prayer was finished, and then gazed at me seemingly with
astonishment, but uttered no word by which I could gather that she was
pleased or displeased with what I had said.  I now bade the family
farewell, and having mounted my mule, set forward to Arroyolos. {81}



CHAPTER VII.


The Druid’s Stone—The Young Spaniard—Ruffianly Soldiers—Evils of
War—Estremoz—The Brawl—Ruined Watch-tower—Glimpse of Spain—Old Times and
New.

After proceeding about a league and a half, a blast came booming from the
north, rolling before it immense clouds of dust; happily it did not blow
in our faces, or it would have been difficult to proceed, so great was
its violence.  We had left the road in order to take advantage of one of
those short cuts, which, though passable for a horse or a mule, are far
too rough to permit any species of carriage to travel along them.  We
were in the midst of sands, brushwood, and huge pieces of rock, which
thickly studded the ground.  These are the stones which form the
_sierras_ of Spain and Portugal; those singular mountains which rise in
naked horridness, like the ribs of some mighty carcass from which the
flesh has been torn.  Many of these stones, or rocks, grew out of the
earth, and many lay on its surface unattached, perhaps wrested from their
beds by the waters of the deluge.  Whilst toiling along these wild
wastes, I observed, a little way to my left, a pile of stones of rather a
singular appearance, and rode up to it.  It was a Druidical altar, and
the most perfect and beautiful one of the kind which I had ever seen.  It
was circular, and consisted of stones immensely large and heavy at the
bottom, which towards the top became thinner and thinner, having been
fashioned by the hand of art to something of the shape of scollop shells.
These were surmounted by a very large flat stone, which slanted down
towards the south, where was a door.  Three or four individuals might
have taken shelter within the interior, in which was growing a small
thorn-tree.

I gazed with reverence and awe upon the pile where the first colonies of
Europe offered their worship to the unknown God. {83}  The temples of the
mighty and skilful Roman, comparatively of modern date, have crumbled to
dust in its neighbourhood.  The churches of the Arian Goth, his successor
in power, have sunk beneath the earth, and are not to be found; and the
mosques of the Moor, the conqueror of the Goth, where and what are they?
Upon the rock, masses of hoary and vanishing ruin.  Not so the Druid’s
stone; there it stands on the hill of winds, as strong and as freshly new
as the day, perhaps thirty centuries back, when it was first raised, by
means which are a mystery.  Earthquakes have heaved it, but its
cope-stone has not fallen; rain floods have deluged it, but failed to
sweep it from its station; the burning sun has flashed upon it, but
neither split nor crumbled it; and time, stern old time, has rubbed it
with his iron tooth, and with what effect let those who view it declare.
There it stands, and he who wishes to study the literature, the learning,
and the history of the ancient Celt and Cymbrian, may gaze on its broad
covering, and glean from that blank stone the whole known amount.  The
Roman has left behind him his deathless writings, his history, and his
songs; the Goth his liturgy, his traditions, and the germs of noble
institutions; the Moor his chivalry, his discoveries in medicine, and the
foundations of modern commerce; and where is the memorial of the Druidic
races?  Yonder: that pile of eternal stone!

We arrived at Arroyolos about seven at night.  I took possession of a
large two-bedded room, and, as I was preparing to sit down to supper, the
hostess came to inquire whether I had any objection to receive a young
Spaniard for the night.  She said he had just arrived with a train of
muleteers, and that she had no other room in which she could lodge him.
I replied that I was willing, and in about half an hour he made his
appearance, having first supped with his companions.  He was a very
gentlemanly, good-looking lad of seventeen.  He addressed me in his
native language, and, finding that I understood him, he commenced talking
with astonishing volubility.  In the space of five minutes he informed me
that, having a desire to see the world, he had run away from his friends,
who were people of opulence at Madrid, and that he did not intend to
return until he had travelled through various countries.  I told him that
if what he said was true, he had done a very wicked and foolish action;
wicked, because he must have overwhelmed those with grief whom he was
bound to honour and love, and foolish, inasmuch as he was going to expose
himself to inconceivable miseries and hardships, which would shortly
cause him to rue the step he had taken; that he would be only welcome in
foreign countries so long as he had money to spend, and when he had none,
he would be repulsed as a vagabond, and would perhaps be allowed to
perish of hunger.  He replied that he had a considerable sum of money
with him, no less than a hundred dollars, which would last him a long
time, and that when it was spent he should perhaps be able to obtain
more.  “Your hundred dollars,” said I, “will scarcely last you three
months in the country in which you are, even if it be not stolen from
you; and you may as well hope to gather money on the tops of the
mountains as expect to procure more by honourable means.”  But he had not
yet sufficiently drank of the cup of experience to attend much to what I
said, and I soon after changed the subject.  About five next morning he
came to my bedside to take leave, as his muleteers were preparing to
depart.  I gave him the usual Spanish valediction, _Vaya usted con Dios_,
{85} and saw no more of him.

At nine, after having paid a most exorbitant sum for slight
accommodation, I started from Arroyolos, which is a town or large village
situated on very elevated ground, and discernible afar off.  It can boast
of the remains of a large ancient and seemingly Moorish castle, which
stands on a hill on the left as you take the road to Estremoz.

About a mile from Arroyolos I overtook a train of carts, escorted by a
number of Portuguese soldiers conveying stores and ammunition into Spain.
Six or seven of these soldiers marched a considerable way in front; they
were villanous-looking ruffians, upon whose livid and ghastly
countenances were written murder, and all the other crimes which the
Decalogue forbids.  As I passed by, one of them, with a harsh, croaking
voice, commenced cursing all foreigners.  “There,” said he, “is this
Frenchman riding on horseback” (I was on a mule), “with a man” (the
idiot) “to take care of him, and all because he is rich; whilst I, who am
a poor soldier, am obliged to tramp on foot.  I could find it in my heart
to shoot him dead, for in what respect is he better than I?  But he is a
foreigner, and the devil helps foreigners and hates the Portuguese.”  He
continued shouting his remarks until I got about forty yards in advance,
when I commenced laughing; but it would have been more prudent in me to
have held my peace, for the next moment, with bang—bang, two bullets,
well aimed, came whizzing past my ears.  A small river lay just before
me, though the bridge was a considerable way on my left.  I spurred my
animal through it, closely followed by the terrified guide, and commenced
galloping along a sandy plain on the other side, and so escaped with my
life.

These fellows, with the look of banditti, were in no respect better; and
the traveller who should meet them in a solitary place would have little
reason to bless his good fortune.  One of the carriers (all of whom were
Spaniards from the neighbourhood of Badajoz, and had been despatched into
Portugal for the purpose of conveying the stores), whom I afterwards met
in the aforesaid town, informed me that the whole party were equally bad,
and that he and his companions had been plundered by them of various
articles, and threatened with death if they attempted to complain.  How
frightful to figure to one’s self an army of such beings in a foreign
land, sent thither either to invade or defend; and yet Spain at the time
I am writing this is looking forward to armed assistance from Portugal!
May the Lord in his mercy grant that the soldiers who proceed to her
assistance may be of a different stamp: and yet, from the lax state of
discipline which exists in the Portuguese army, in comparison with that
of England and France, I am afraid that the inoffensive population of the
disturbed provinces will say that wolves have been summoned to chase away
foxes from the sheep-fold.  Oh, may I live to see the day when soldiery
will no longer be tolerated in any civilized, or at least Christian
country!

I pursued my route to Estremoz, passing by Monte Moro Novo, which is a
tall dusky hill, surmounted by an ancient edifice, probably Moorish.  The
country was dreary and deserted, but offering here and there a valley
studded with cork-trees and _azinheiras_.  After midday the wind, which
during the night and morning had much abated, again blew with such
violence as nearly to deprive me of my senses, though it was still in our
rear.

I was heartily glad when, on ascending a rising ground, at about four
o’clock, I saw Estremoz on its hill at something less than a league’s
distance.  Here the view became wildly interesting; the sun was sinking
in the midst of red and stormy clouds, and its rays were reflected on the
dun walls of the lofty town to which we were wending.  Not far distant to
the south-west rose Serra Dorso, which I had seen from Evora, and which
is the most beautiful mountain in the Alemtejo.  My idiot guide turned
his uncouth visage towards it, and, becoming suddenly inspired, opened
his mouth for the first time during the day, I might almost say since we
had left Aldea Gallega, and began to tell me what rare hunting was to be
obtained in that mountain.  He likewise described with great minuteness a
wonderful dog, which was kept in the neighbourhood for the purpose of
catching the wolves and wild boars, and for which the proprietor had
refused twenty _moidores_.

At length we reached Estremoz, and took up our quarters at the principal
inn, which looks upon a large plain or market-place occupying the centre
of the town, and which is so extensive that I should think ten thousand
soldiers at least might perform their evolutions there with ease.

The cold was far too terrible to permit me to remain in the chamber to
which I had been conducted; I therefore went down to a kind of kitchen on
one side of the arched passage, which led under the house to the yard and
stables.  A tremendous withering blast poured through this passage, like
the water through the flush of a mill.  A large cork-tree was blazing in
the kitchen beneath a spacious chimney; and around it were gathered a
noisy crew of peasants and farmers from the neighbourhood, and three or
four Spanish smugglers from the frontier.  I with difficulty obtained a
place amongst them, as a Portuguese or a Spaniard will seldom make way
for a stranger, till called upon or pushed aside, but prefers gazing upon
him with an expression which seems to say, “I know what you want, but I
prefer remaining where I am.”

I now first began to observe an alteration in the language spoken; it had
become less sibilant, and more guttural; and, when addressing each other,
the speakers used the Spanish title of courtesy _usted_, or your
worthiness, instead of the Portuguese high-flowing _vossem se_, {89} or
your lordship.  This is the result of constant communication with the
natives of Spain, who never condescend to speak Portuguese, even when in
Portugal, but persist in the use of their own beautiful language, which,
perhaps, at some future period, the Portuguese will generally adopt.
This would greatly facilitate the union of the two countries, hitherto
kept asunder by the natural waywardness of mankind.

I had not been seated long before the blazing pile, when a fellow,
mounted on a fine spirited horse, dashed from the stables through the
passage into the kitchen, where he commenced displaying his horsemanship,
by causing the animal to wheel about with the velocity of a mill-stone,
to the great danger of everybody in the apartment.  He then galloped out
upon the plain, and after half an hour’s absence returned, and having
placed his horse once more in the stable, came and seated himself next to
me, to whom he commenced talking in a gibberish of which I understood
very little, but which he intended for French.  He was half intoxicated,
and soon became three parts so, by swallowing glass after glass of
_aguardiente_.  Finding that I made him no answer, he directed his
discourse to one of the _contrabandistas_, to whom he talked in bad
Spanish.  The latter either did not or would not understand him; but at
last, losing patience, called him a drunkard, and told him to hold his
tongue.  The fellow, enraged at this contempt, flung the glass out of
which he was drinking at the Spaniard’s head, who sprang up like a tiger,
and unsheathing instantly a “snick and snee” knife, made an upward cut at
the fellow’s cheek, and would have infallibly laid it open, had I not
pulled his arm down just in time to prevent worse effects than a scratch
above the lower jaw-bone, which, however, drew blood.

The smuggler’s companions interfered, and with much difficulty led him
off to a small apartment in the rear of the house, where they slept, and
kept the furniture of their mules.  The drunkard then commenced singing,
or rather yelling, the _Marseillois_ hymn; and after having annoyed every
one for nearly an hour, was persuaded to mount his horse and depart,
accompanied by one of his neighbours.  He was a pig merchant of the
vicinity, but had formerly been a trooper in the army of Napoleon, where,
I suppose, like the drunken coachman of Evora, he had picked up his
French and his habits of intoxication. {90}

From Estremoz to Elvas the distance is six leagues.  I started at nine
next morning; the first part of the way lay through an inclosed country,
but we soon emerged upon wild bleak downs, over which the wind, which
still pursued us, howled most mournfully.  We met no one on the route;
and the scene was desolate in the extreme; the heaven was of a dark grey,
through which no glimpse of the sun was to be perceived.  Before us, at a
great distance, on an elevated ground, rose a tower—the only object which
broke the monotony of the waste.  In about two hours from the time when
we first discovered it, we reached a fountain, at the foot of the hill on
which it stood; the water, which gushed into a long stone trough, was
beautifully clear and transparent, and we stopped here to water the
animals.

Having dismounted, I left the guide, and proceeded to ascend the hill on
which the tower stood.  Though the ascent was very gentle, I did not
accomplish it without difficulty; the ground was covered with sharp
stones, which, in two or three instances, cut through my boots and
wounded my feet; and the distance was much greater than I had expected.
I at last arrived at the ruin, for such it was.  I found it had been one
of those watch-towers or small fortresses called in Portuguese
_atalaias_; it was square, and surrounded by a wall, broken down in many
places.  The tower itself had no door, the lower part being of solid
stonework; but on one side were crevices at intervals between the stones,
for the purpose of placing the feet, and up this rude staircase I climbed
to a small apartment, about five feet square, from which the top had
fallen.  It commanded an extensive view from all sides, and had evidently
been built for the accommodation of those whose business it was to keep
watch on the frontier, and at the appearance of an enemy to alarm the
country by signals—probably by a fire.  Resolute men might have defended
themselves in this little fastness against many assailants, who must have
been completely exposed to their arrows or musketry in the ascent.

Being about to leave the place, I heard a strange cry behind a part of
the wall which I had not visited, and hastening thither, I found a
miserable object in rags, seated upon a stone.  It was a maniac—a man
about thirty years of age, and I believe deaf and dumb; there he sat,
gibbering and mowing, and distorting his wild features into various
dreadful appearances.  There wanted nothing but this object to render the
scene complete; banditti amongst such melancholy desolation would have
been by no means so much in keeping.  But the maniac, on his stone, in
the rear of the wind-beaten ruin, overlooking the blasted heath, above
which scowled the leaden heaven, presented such a picture of gloom and
misery as I believe neither painter nor poet ever conceived in the
saddest of their musings.  This is not the first instance in which it has
been my lot to verify the wisdom of the saying, that truth is sometimes
wilder than fiction.

I remounted my mule, and proceeded till, on the top of another hill, my
guide suddenly exclaimed, “There is Elvas!”  I looked in the direction in
which he pointed, and beheld a town perched on the top of a lofty hill.
On the other side of a deep valley towards the left rose another hill,
much higher, on the top of which is the celebrated fort of Elvas,
believed to be the strongest place in Portugal.  Through the opening
between the fort and the town, but in the background and far in Spain, I
discerned the misty sides and cloudy head of a stately mountain, which I
afterwards learned was Albuquerque, one of the loftiest of Estremadura.

We now got into a cultivated country, and following the road, which wound
amongst hedgerows, we arrived at a place where the ground began gradually
to shelve down.  Here, on the right, was the commencement of an aqueduct,
by means of which the town on the opposite hill was supplied; it was at
this point scarcely two feet in altitude, but, as we descended, it became
higher and higher, and its proportions more colossal.

Near the bottom of the valley it took a turn to the left, bestriding the
road with one of its arches.  I looked up, after passing under it; the
water must have been flowing near a hundred feet above my head, and I was
filled with wonder at the immensity of the structure which conveyed it.
There was, however, one feature which was no slight drawback to its
pretensions to grandeur and magnificence: the water was supported not by
gigantic single arches, like those of the aqueduct of Lisbon, which stalk
over the valley like legs of Titans, but by three layers of arches,
which, like three distinct aqueducts, rise above each other.  The expense
and labour necessary for the erection of such a structure must have been
enormous; and when we reflect with what comparative ease modern art would
confer the same advantage, we cannot help congratulating ourselves that
we live in times when it is not necessary to exhaust the wealth of a
province to supply a town on a hill with one of the first necessaries of
existence.



CHAPTER VIII.


Elvas—Extraordinary Longevity—The English Nation—Portuguese
Ingratitude—Illiberality—Fortifications—Spanish Beggar—Badajoz—The
Custom-House.

Arrived at the gate of Elvas, an officer came out of a kind of
guard-house, and, having asked me some questions, despatched a soldier
with me to the police-office, that my passport might be _visé_, as upon
the frontier they are much more particular with respect to passports than
in other parts.  This matter having been settled, I entered an hostelry
near the same gate, which had been recommended to me by my host at Vendas
Novas, and which was kept by a person of the name of Jozé Rosado.  It was
the best in the town, though, for convenience and accommodation, inferior
to a hedge alehouse in England.  The cold still pursued me, and I was
glad to take refuge in an inner kitchen, which, when the door was not
open, was only lighted by a fire burning somewhat dimly on the hearth.
An elderly female sat beside it in her chair, telling her beads: there
was something singular and extraordinary in her look, as well as I could
discern by the imperfect light of the apartment.  I put a few unimportant
questions to her, to which she replied, but seemed to be afflicted to a
slight degree with deafness.  Her hair was becoming grey, and I said that
I believed she was older than myself, but that I was confident she had
less snow on her head.

“How old may you be, cavalier?” said she, giving me that title which in
Spain is generally used when an extraordinary degree of respect is wished
to be exhibited.  I answered that I was near thirty.  “Then,” said she,
“you were right in supposing that I am older than yourself; I am older
than your mother, or your mother’s mother: it is more than a hundred
years since I was a girl, and sported with the daughters of the town on
the hillside.”  “In that case,” said I, “you doubtless remember the
earthquake.”  “Yes,” she replied, “if there is any occurrence in my life
that I remember, it is that: I was in the church of Elvas at the moment,
hearing the Mass of the king, and the priest fell on the ground, and let
fall the Host from his hands.  I shall never forget how the earth shook;
it made us all sick; and the houses and walls reeled like drunkards.
Since that happened I have seen fourscore years pass by me, yet I was
older then than you are now.”

I looked with wonder at this surprising female, and could scarcely
believe her words.  I was, however, assured that she was in fact upwards
of a hundred and ten years of age, and was considered the oldest person
in Portugal.  She still retained the use of her faculties in as full a
degree as the generality of people who have scarcely attained the half of
her age.  She was related to the people of the house.

As the night advanced, several persons entered for the purpose of
enjoying the comfort of the fire, and for the sake of conversation, for
the house was a kind of news-room, where the principal speaker was the
host, a man of some shrewdness and experience, who had served as a
soldier in the British army.  Amongst others was the officer who
commanded at the gate.  After a few observations, this gentleman, who was
a good-looking young man of five and twenty, began to burst forth in
violent declamation against the English nation and government, who, he
said, had at all times proved themselves selfish and deceitful, but that
their present conduct in respect to Spain was particularly infamous, for
though it was in their power to put an end to the war at once, by sending
a large army thither, they preferred sending a handful of troops, in
order that the war might be prolonged, for no other reason than that it
was of advantage to them.  Having paid him an ironical compliment for his
politeness and urbanity, I asked whether he reckoned amongst the selfish
actions of the English government and nation, their having expended
hundreds of millions of pounds sterling, and an ocean of precious blood,
in fighting the battles of Spain and Portugal against Napoleon.
“Surely,” said I, “the fort of Elvas above our heads, and still more the
castle of Badajoz {96} over the water, speak volumes respecting English
selfishness, and must, every time you view them, confirm you in the
opinion which you have just expressed.  And then, with respect to the
present combat in Spain, the gratitude which that country evinced to
England after the French, by means of English armies, had been
expelled,—gratitude evinced by discouraging the trade of England on all
occasions, and by offering up masses in thanksgiving when the English
heretics quitted the Spanish shores, ought now to induce England to
exhaust and ruin herself, for the sake of hunting Don Carlos out of his
mountains.  In deference to your superior judgment,” continued I to the
officer, “I will endeavour to believe that it would be for the advantage
of England were the war prolonged for an indefinite period; nevertheless,
you would do me a particular favour by explaining by what process in
chemistry blood shed in Spain will find its way into the English treasury
in the shape of gold.”

As he was not ready with his answer, I took up a plate of fruit which
stood on the table beside me, and said, “What do you call these fruits?”
“Pomegranates and _bolotas_,” he replied.  “Right,” said I, “a homebred
Englishman could not have given me that answer; yet he is as much
acquainted with pomegranates and _bolotas_ as your lordship is with the
line of conduct which it is incumbent upon England to pursue in her
foreign and domestic policy.”

This answer of mine, I confess, was not that of a Christian, and proved
to me how much of the leaven of the ancient man still pervaded me; yet I
must be permitted to add that I believe no other provocation would have
elicited from me a reply so full of angry feeling: but I could not
command myself when I heard my own glorious land traduced in this
unmerited manner.  By whom?  A Portuguese!  A native of a country which
has been twice liberated from horrid and detestable thraldom by the hands
of Englishmen.  But for Wellington and his heroes, Portugal would have
been French at this day; but for Napier and his marines, Miguel would now
be lording it in Lisbon.  To return, however, to the officer: every one
laughed at him, and he presently went away.

The next day I became acquainted with a respectable tradesman, of the
name of Almeida, a man of talent, though rather rough in his manners.  He
expressed great abhorrence of the papal system, which had so long spread
a darkness, like that of death, over his unfortunate country; and I had
no sooner informed him that I had brought with me a certain quantity of
Testaments, which it was my intention to leave for sale at Elvas, than he
expressed a great desire to undertake the charge, and said that he would
do the utmost in his power to procure a sale for them amongst his
numerous customers.  Upon showing him a copy, I remarked, “Your name is
upon the title-page;” the Portuguese version of the Holy Scriptures, {98}
circulated by the Bible Society, having been executed by a Protestant, of
the name of Almeida, and first published in the year 1712; whereupon he
smiled, and observed that he esteemed it an honour to be connected in
name at least with such a man.  He scoffed at the idea of receiving any
remuneration, and assured me that the feeling of being permitted to
co-operate in so holy and useful a cause as the circulation of the
Scriptures was quite a sufficient reward.

After having accomplished this matter, I proceeded to survey the environs
of the place, and strolled up the hill to the fort on the north side of
the town.  The lower part of the hill is planted with _azinheiras_, which
give it a picturesque appearance, and at the bottom is a small brook,
which I crossed by means of stepping-stones.  Arrived at the gate of the
fort, I was stopped by the sentry, who, however, civilly told me that if
I sent in my name to the commanding officer, he would make no objection
to my visiting the interior.  I accordingly sent in my card by a soldier
who was lounging about, and, sitting down on a stone, waited his return.
He presently appeared, and inquired whether I was an Englishman; to which
having replied in the affirmative, he said, “In that case, sir, you
cannot enter; indeed, it is not the custom to permit any foreigners to
visit the fort.”  I answered that it was perfectly indifferent to me
whether I visited it or not; and, having taken a survey of Badajoz from
the eastern side of the hill, descended by the way I came.

This is one of the beneficial results of protecting a nation, and
squandering blood and treasure in its defence.  The English, who have
never been at war with Portugal, who have fought for its independence on
land and sea, and always with success, who have forced themselves, by a
treaty of commerce, {99} to drink its coarse and filthy wines, which no
other nation cares to taste, are the most unpopular people who visit
Portugal.  The French have ravaged the country with fire and sword, and
shed the blood of its sons like water; the French buy not its fruits, and
loathe its wines, yet there is no bad spirit in Portugal towards the
French.  The reason of this is no mystery; it is the nature not of the
Portuguese only, but of corrupt and unregenerate man, to dislike his
benefactors, who, by conferring benefits upon him, mortify in the most
generous manner his miserable vanity.

There is no country in which the English are so popular as in France;
{100} but, though the French have been frequently roughly handled by the
English, and have seen their capital occupied by an English army, they
have never been subjected to the supposed ignominy of receiving
assistance from them.

The fortifications of Elvas are models of their kind, and, at the first
view, it would seem that the town, if well garrisoned, might bid defiance
to any hostile power; but it has its weak point: the western side is
commanded by a hill, at the distance of half a mile, from which an
experienced general would cannonade it, and probably with success.  It is
the last town in this part of Portugal, the distance to the Spanish
frontier being barely two leagues.  It was evidently built as a rival to
Badajoz, upon which it looks down from its height across a sandy plain
and over the sullen waters of the Guadiana; but, though a strong town, it
can scarcely be called a defence to the frontier, which is open on all
sides, so that there would not be the slightest necessity for an invading
army to approach within a dozen leagues of its walls, should it be
disposed to avoid them.  Its fortifications are so extensive that ten
thousand men at least would be required to man them, who, in the event of
an invasion, might be far better employed in meeting the enemy in the
open field.  The French, during their occupation of Portugal, kept a
small force in this place, who, at the approach of the British, retreated
to the fort, where they shortly after capitulated.

Having nothing farther to detain me at Elvas, I proceeded to cross the
frontier into Spain.  My idiot guide was on his way back to Aldea
Gallega; and, on the fifth of January, I mounted a sorry mule, without
bridle or stirrups, which I guided by a species of halter, and followed
by a lad who was to attend me on another, I spurred down the hill of
Elvas to the plain, eager to arrive in old chivalrous, romantic Spain.
But I soon found that I had no need to quicken the beast which bore me,
for, though covered with sores, wall-eyed, and with a kind of halt in its
gait, it cantered along like the wind.

In little more than half an hour we arrived at a brook, whose waters ran
vigorously between steep banks.  A man who was standing on the side
directed me to the ford in the squeaking dialect of Portugal; but whilst
I was yet splashing through the water, a voice from the other bank hailed
me, in the magnificent language of Spain, in this guise: “_O_! _Señor
Caballero_, _que me dé usted una limosna por amor de Dios_, _una
limosnita para que yo me compre un traguillo __de vino tinto_.” {102a}
In a moment I was on Spanish ground, as the brook, which is called Acaia,
is the boundary here of the two kingdoms, and, having flung the beggar a
small piece of silver, I cried in ecstasy, “_Santiago y cierra España_!”
{102b} and scoured on my way with more speed than before, paying, as Gil
Blas says, little heed to the torrent of blessings which the mendicant
poured forth in my rear: {102c} yet never was charity more unwisely
bestowed, for I was subsequently informed that the fellow was a confirmed
drunkard, who took his station every morning at the ford, where he
remained the whole day for the purpose of extorting money from the
passengers, which he regularly spent every night in the wine-shops of
Badajoz.  To those who gave him money he returned blessings, and to those
who refused, curses; being equally skilled and fluent in the use of
either.

Badajoz was now in view, at the distance of little more than half a
league.  We soon took a turn to the left, towards a bridge of many arches
across the Guadiana, which, though so famed in song and ballad, is a very
unpicturesque stream, shallow and sluggish, though tolerably wide; its
banks were white with linen which the washerwomen had spread out to dry
in the sun, which was shining brightly; I heard their singing at a great
distance, and the theme seemed to be the praises of the river where they
were toiling, for as I approached I could distinguish “Guadiana,
Guadiana,” which reverberated far and wide, pronounced by the clear and
strong voices in chorus of many a dark-cheeked maid and matron.  I
thought there was some analogy between their employment and my own: I was
about to tan my northern complexion by exposing myself to the hot sun of
Spain, in the humble hope of being able to cleanse some of the foul
stains of Popery from the minds of its children, with whom I had little
acquaintance; whilst they were bronzing themselves on the banks of the
river in order to make white the garments of strangers.  The words of an
Eastern poet returned forcibly to my mind—

    “I’ll weary myself each night and each day,
       To aid my unfortunate brothers;
    As the laundress tans her own face in the ray,
       To cleanse the garments of others.”

Having crossed the bridge, {103a} we arrived at the northern gate, when
out rushed from a species of sentry-box a fellow wearing on his head a
high-peaked Andalusian hat, with his figure wrapped up in one of these
immense cloaks {103b} so well known to those who have travelled in Spain,
and which none but a Spaniard can wear in a becoming manner.  Without
saying a word, he laid hold of the halter of the mule, and began to lead
it through the gate up a dirty street, crowded with long-cloaked people
like himself.  I asked him what he meant, but he deigned not to return an
answer; the boy, however, who waited upon me, said that it was one of the
gate-keepers, and that he was conducting us to the custom-house or
_Alfandega_, where the baggage would be examined.  Having arrived there,
the fellow, who still maintained a dogged silence, began to pull the
trunks off the sumpter-mule, and commenced uncording them.  I was about
to give him a severe reproof for his brutality; but before I could open
my mouth a stout elderly personage appeared at the door, who I soon found
was the principal officer.  He looked at me for a moment, and then asked
me, in the English language, if I was an Englishman.  On my replying in
the affirmative, he demanded of the fellow how he dared to have the
insolence to touch the baggage without orders, and sternly bade him cord
up the trunks again and place them on the mule, which he performed
without uttering a word.  The gentleman then asked what the trunks
contained: I answered clothes and linen; when he begged pardon for the
insolence of the subordinate, and informed me that I was at liberty to
proceed where I thought proper.  I thanked him for his exceeding
politeness; and, under guidance of the boy, made the best of my way to
the Inn of the Three Nations, {104} to which I had been recommended at
Elvas.



CHAPTER IX.


Badajoz—Antonio the Gypsy—Antonio’s Proposal—The Proposal accepted—Gypsy
Breakfast—Departure from Badajoz—The Gypsy Donkey—Merida—The Ruined
Wall—The Crone—The Land of the Moor—The Black Men—Life in the Desert—The
Supper.

I was now at Badajoz in Spain, a country which for the next four years
was destined to be the scene of my labours: but I will not anticipate.
The neighbourhood of Badajoz did not prepossess me much in favour of the
country which I had just entered.  It consists chiefly of brown moors,
which bear little but a species of brushwood, called in Spanish
_carrasco_; blue mountains are, however, seen towering up in the far
distance, which relieve the scene from the monotony which would otherwise
pervade it.

It was at this town of Badajoz, the capital of Estremadura, that I first
fell in with those singular people, the _Zincali_, _Gitanos_, or Spanish
gypsies.  It was here I met with the wild Paco, {105a} the man with the
withered arm, who wielded the _cachas_ {105b} with his left hand; his
shrewd wife, Antonia, skilled in _hokkano __baro_, or the great trick
{106a}; the fierce gypsy, Antonio Lopez, their father-in-law; and many
other almost equally singular individuals of the _Errate_, or gypsy
blood.  It was here that I first preached the gospel to the gypsy people,
and commenced that translation of the New Testament in the Spanish gypsy
tongue, a portion of which I subsequently printed at Madrid.

After a stay of three weeks at Badajoz, I prepared to depart for Madrid:
late one afternoon, as I was arranging my scanty baggage, the gypsy
Antonio entered my apartment, dressed in his _zamarra_ and high-peaked
Andalusian hat.

_Antonio_.—Good evening, brother; they tell me that on the _callicaste_
you intend to set out for _Madrilati_.

_Myself_.—Such is my intention; I can stay here no longer.

_Antonio_.—The way is far to _Madrilati_, there are, moreover, wars in
the land, and many _chories_ walk about; are you not afraid to journey?

_Myself_.—I have no fears; every man must accomplish his destiny: what
befalls my body or soul was written in a _gabicote_ a thousand years
before the foundation of the world.

_Antonio_.—I have no fears myself, brother; the dark night is the same to
me as the fair day, and the wild _carrascal_ as the market-place or the
_chardí_; I have got the _bar lachí_ in my bosom, the precious stone to
which sticks the needle. {106b}

_Myself_.—You mean the loadstone, I suppose.  Do you believe that a
lifeless stone can preserve you from the dangers which occasionally
threaten your life?

_Antonio_.—Brother, I am fifty years old, and you see me standing before
you in life and strength; how could that be unless the _bar lachí_ had
power?  I have been soldier and _contrabandista_, and I have likewise
slain and robbed the _Busné_.  The bullets of the _Gabiné_ and of the
_jara canallis_ have hissed about my ears without injuring me, for I
carried the _bar lachí_.  I have twenty times done that which by _Busné_
law should have brought me to the _filimicha_, yet my neck has never yet
been squeezed by the cold _garrote_.  Brother, I trust in the _bar
lachí_, like the _Caloré_ of old: were I in the midst of the gulph of
_Bombardó_ without a plank to float upon, I should feel no fear; for if I
carried the precious stone, it would bring me safe to shore.  The _bar
lachí_ has power, brother.

_Myself_.—I shall not dispute the matter with you, more especially as I
am about to depart from Badajoz: I must speedily bid you farewell, and we
shall see each other no more.

_Antonio_.—Brother, do you know what brings me hither?

_Myself_.—I cannot tell, unless it be to wish me a happy journey: I am
not gypsy enough to interpret the thoughts of other people.

_Antonio_.—All last night I lay awake, thinking of the affairs of Egypt;
and when I arose in the morning I took the _bar lachí_ from my bosom, and
scraping it with a knife, swallowed some of the dust in _aguardiente_, as
I am in the habit of doing when I have made up my mind; and I said to
myself, I am wanted on the frontiers of _Castumba_ on a certain matter.
The strange _Caloró_ is about to proceed to _Madrilati_; the journey is
long, and he may fall into evil hands, peradventure into those of his own
blood; for let me tell you, brother, the _Calés_ are leaving their towns
and villages, and forming themselves into troops to plunder the _Busné_,
for there is now but little law in the land, and now or never is the time
for the _Caloré_ to become once more what they were in former times.  So
I said, the strange _Caloró_ may fall into the hands of his own blood and
be ill-treated by them, which were shame: I will therefore go with him
through the _Chim del Manró_ as far as the frontiers of _Castumba_, and
upon the frontiers of _Castumba_ I will leave the London _Caloró_ to find
his own way to _Madrilati_, for there is less danger in _Castumba_ than
in the _Chim del Manró_, and I will then betake me to the affairs of
Egypt which call me from hence.

_Myself_.—This is a very hopeful plan of yours, my friend; and in what
manner do you propose that we shall travel?

_Antonio_.—I will tell you, brother.  I have a _gras_ in the stall, even
the one which I purchased at Olivenças, as I told you on a former
occasion; {108} it is good and fleet, and cost me, who am a gypsy, fifty
_chulé_; upon that _gras_ you shall ride.  As for myself, I will journey
upon the _macho_.

_Myself_.—Before I answer you, I shall wish you to inform me what
business it is which renders your presence necessary in _Castumba_; your
son-in-law, Paco, told me that it was no longer the custom of the gypsies
to wander.

_Antonio_.—It is an affair of Egypt, brother, and I shall not acquaint
you with it; peradventure it relates to a horse or an ass, or
peradventure it relates to a mule or a _macho_; it does not relate to
yourself, therefore I advise you not to inquire about it—_Dosta_.  With
respect to my offer, you are free to decline it; there is a _drungruje_
between here and _Madrilati_, and you can travel it in the _birdoche_, or
with the _dromális_; but I tell you, as a brother, that there are
_chories_ upon the _drun_, and some of them are of the _Errate_.

Certainly few people in my situation would have accepted the offer of
this singular gypsy.  It was not, however, without its allurements for
me; I was fond of adventure, and what more ready means of gratifying my
love of it than by putting myself under the hands of such a guide?  There
are many who would have been afraid of treachery, but I had no fears on
this point, as I did not believe that the fellow harboured the slightest
ill intention towards me; I saw that he was fully convinced that I was
one of the _Errate_, and his affection for his own race, and his hatred
for the _Busné_, were his strongest characteristics.  I wished, moreover,
to lay hold of every opportunity of making myself acquainted with the
ways of the Spanish gypsies, and an excellent one here presented itself
on my first entrance into Spain.  In a word, I determined to accompany
the gypsy.  “I will go with you,” I exclaimed; “as for my baggage, I will
despatch it to Madrid by the _birdoche_.”  “Do so, brother,” he replied,
“and the _gras_ will go lighter.  Baggage, indeed!—what need of baggage
have you?  How the _Busné_ on the road would laugh if they saw two
_Calés_ with baggage behind them!”

During my stay at Badajoz I had but little intercourse with the
Spaniards, my time being chiefly devoted to the gypsies, with whom, from
long intercourse with various sections of their race in different parts
of the world, I felt myself much more at home than with the silent,
reserved men of Spain, with whom a foreigner might mingle for half a
century without having half a dozen words addressed to him, unless he
himself made the first advances to intimacy, which, after all, might be
rejected with a shrug and a _no entiendo_; {110} for among the many
deeply-rooted prejudices of these people is the strange idea that no
foreigner can speak their language, an idea to which they will still
cling though they hear him conversing with perfect ease; for in that case
the utmost that they will concede to his attainments is, _Habla quatro
palabras y nada mas_ (he can speak four words, and no more).

Early one morning, before sunrise, I found myself at the house of
Antonio; it was a small mean building, situated in a dirty street.  The
morning was quite dark; the street, however, was partially illumined by a
heap of lighted straw, round which two or three men were busily engaged,
apparently holding an object over the flames.  Presently the gypsy’s door
opened, and Antonio made his appearance; and, casting his eye in the
direction of the light, exclaimed, “The swine have killed their brother;
would that every _Busnó_ was served as yonder hog is.  Come in, brother,
and we will eat the heart of that hog.”  I scarcely understood his words,
but following him, he led me into a low room, in which was a _brasero_,
or small pan full of lighted charcoal; beside it was a rude table, spread
with a coarse linen cloth, upon which was bread and a large pipkin full
of a mess which emitted no disagreeable savour.  “The heart of the
_balichó_ is in that _puchera_,” said Antonio; “eat, brother.”  We both
sat down and ate—Antonio voraciously.  When we had concluded he
arose:—“Have you got your _li_?” he demanded.  “Here it is,” said I,
showing him my passport.  “Good,” said he; “you may want it.  I want
none; my passport is the _bar lachí_.  Now for a glass of _repañi_, and
then for the road.”

We left the room, the door of which he locked, hiding the key beneath a
loose brick in a corner of the passage.  “Go into the street, brother,
whilst I fetch the _caballerias_ from the stable.”  I obeyed him.  The
sun had not yet risen, and the air was piercingly cold; the grey light,
however, of dawn enabled me to distinguish objects with tolerable
accuracy; I soon heard the clattering of the animals’ feet, and Antonio
presently stepped forth, leading the horse by the bridle; the _macho_
followed behind.  I looked at the horse, and shrugged my shoulders.  As
far as I could scan it, it appeared the most uncouth animal I had ever
beheld.  It was of a spectral white, short in the body, but with
remarkably long legs.  I observed that it was particularly high in the
_cruz_, or withers.  “You are looking at the _grasti_,” said Antonio; “it
is eighteen years old, but it is the very best in the _Chim del Manró_; I
have long had my eye upon it; I bought it for my own use for the affairs
of Egypt.  Mount, brother, mount, and let us leave the _foros_—the gate
is about being opened.”

He locked the door, and deposited the key in his _faja_.  In less than a
quarter of an hour we had left the town behind us.  “This does not appear
to be a very good horse,” said I to Antonio, as we proceeded over the
plain; “it is with difficulty that I can make him move.”

“He is the swiftest horse in the _Chim del Manró_, brother,” said
Antonio; “at the gallop, and at the speedy trot, there is no one to match
him.  But he is eighteen years old, and his joints are stiff, especially
of a morning; but let him once become heated, and the _genio del viejo_
{112} comes upon him, and there is no holding him in with bit or bridle.
I bought that horse for the affairs of Egypt, brother.”

About noon we arrived at a small village in the neighbourhood of a high
lumpy hill.  “There is no _Caló_ house in this place,” said Antonio; “we
will therefore go to the posada of the _Busné_ and refresh ourselves, man
and beast.”  We entered the kitchen, and sat down at the board, calling
for wine and bread.  There were two ill-looking fellows in the kitchen,
smoking cigars.  I said something to Antonio in the _Caló_ language.

“What is that I hear?” said one of the fellows, who was distinguished by
an immense pair of moustaches.  “What is that I hear?  Is it in _Caló_
that you are speaking before me, and I a _chalan_ and national?  Accursed
gypsy, how dare you enter this posada and speak before me in that speech?
Is it not forbidden by the law of the land in which we are, even as it is
forbidden for a gypsy to enter the _mercado_?  I tell you what, friend,
if I hear another word of _Caló_ come from your mouth, I will cudgel your
bones and send you flying over the house-tops with a kick of my foot.”

“You would do right,” said his companion; “the insolence of these gypsies
is no longer to be borne.  When I am at Merida or Badajoz I go to the
_mercado_, and there in a corner stand the accursed gypsies, jabbering to
each other in a speech which I understand not.  ‘Gypsy gentleman,’ say I
to one of them, ‘what will you have for that donkey?’  ‘I will have ten
dollars for it, _Caballero nacional_,’ says the gypsy; ‘it is the best
donkey in all Spain.’  ‘I should like to see its paces,’ say I.  ‘That
you shall, most valorous!’ says the gypsy, and jumping upon its back, he
puts it to its paces, first of all whispering something into its ear in
_Caló_, and truly the paces of the donkey are most wonderful, such as I
have never seen before.  ‘I think it will just suit me;’ and, after
looking at it awhile, I take out the money and pay for it.  ‘I shall go
to my house,’ says the gypsy; and off he runs.  ‘I shall go to my
village,’ say I, and I mount the donkey.  ‘_Vamonos_,’ say I, but the
donkey won’t move.  I give him a switch, but I don’t get on the better
for that.  ‘How is this?’ say I, and I fall to spurring him.  What
happens then, brother?  The wizard no sooner feels the prick than he
bucks down, and flings me over his head into the mire.  I get up and look
about me; there stands the donkey staring at me, and there stand the
whole gypsy _canaille_ squinting at me with their filmy eyes.  ‘Where is
the scamp who has sold me this piece of furniture?’ I shout.  ‘He is gone
to Granada, valorous,’ says one.  ‘He is gone to see his kindred among
the Moors,’ says another.  ‘I just saw him running over the field, in the
direction of ---, with the devil close behind him,’ says a third.  In a
word I am tricked.  I wish to dispose of the donkey; no one, however,
will buy him; he is a _Caló_ donkey, and every person avoids him.  At
last the gypsies offer thirty _reals_ for him; and after much chaffering
I am glad to get rid of him at two dollars.  It is all a trick, however;
he returns to his master, and the brotherhood share the spoil amongst
them, all which villany would be prevented, in my opinion, were the
_Caló_ language not spoken; for what but the word of _Caló_ could have
induced the donkey to behave in such an unaccountable manner?”

Both seemed perfectly satisfied with the justness of this conclusion, and
continued smoking till their cigars were burnt to stumps, when they
arose, twitched their whiskers, looked at us with fierce disdain, and
dashing the tobacco-ends to the ground, strode out of the apartment.

“Those people seem no friends to the gypsies,” said I to Antonio, when
the two bullies had departed, “nor to the _Caló_ language either.”

“May evil glanders seize their nostrils,” said Antonio; “they have been
_jonjabadoed_ {114a} by our people.  However, brother, you did wrong to
speak to me in _Caló_, in a _posada_ like this; it is a forbidden
language; for, as I have often told you, the king has destroyed the law
of the _Calés_. {114b}  Let us away, brother, or those _juntunes_ may set
the _justicia_ upon us.”

Towards evening we drew near to a large town or village.  “That is
Merida,” said Antonio, “formerly, as the _Busné_ say, a mighty city of
the _Corahai_.  We shall stay here to-night, and perhaps for a day or
two, for I have some business of Egypt to transact in this place.  Now,
brother, step aside with the horse, and wait for me beneath yonder wall.
I must go before and see in what condition matters stand.”

I dismounted from the horse, and sat down on a stone beneath the ruined
wall to which Antonio had motioned me.  The sun went down, and the air
was exceedingly keen; I drew close around me an old tattered gypsy cloak
with which my companion had provided me, and, being somewhat fatigued,
fell into a doze which lasted for nearly an hour.

“Is your worship the London _Caloró_?” said a strange voice close beside
me.

I started, and beheld the face of a woman peering under my hat.
Notwithstanding the dusk, I could see that the features were hideously
ugly and almost black; they belonged, in fact, to a gypsy crone, at least
seventy years of age, leaning upon a staff.

“Is your worship the London _Caloró_?” repeated she.

“I am he whom you seek,” said I; “where is Antonio?”

“_Curelando_, _curelando_; _baribustres curelós terela_,” {115} said the
crone.  “Come with me, _Caloró_ of my _garlochin_, come with me to my
little _ker_; he will be there anon.”

I followed the crone, who led the way into the town, which was ruinous
and seemingly half deserted; we went up the street, from which she turned
into a narrow and dark lane, and presently opened the gate of a large
dilapidated house.  “Come in,” said she.

“And the _gras_?” I demanded.

“Bring the _gras_ in too, my _chabó_, bring the _gras_ in too; there is
room for the _gras_ in my little stable.”  We entered a large court,
across which we proceeded till we came to a wide doorway.  “Go in, my
child of Egypt,” said the hag—“go in; that is my little stable.”

“The place is as dark as pitch,” said I, “and may be a well for what I
know: bring a light, or I will not enter.”

“Give me the _solabarri_,” said the hag, “and I will lead your horse in,
my _chabó_ of Egypt—yes, and tether him to my little manger.”  She led
the horse through the doorway, and I heard her busy in the darkness;
presently the horse shook himself: “_Grasti terelamos_,” {116} said the
hag, who now made her appearance with the bridle in her hand; “the horse
has shaken himself, he is not harmed by his day’s journey; now let us go
in, my _Caloró_, into my little room.”

We entered the house, and found ourselves in a vast room, which would
have been quite dark but for a faint glow which appeared at the farther
end: it proceeded from a _brasero_, beside which were squatted two dusky
figures.

“These are _Callees_,” said the hag; “one is my daughter, and the other
is her _chabí_.  Sit down, my London _Caloró_, and let us hear you
speak.”

I looked about for a chair, but could see none; at a short distance,
however, I perceived the end of a broken pillar lying on the floor; this
I rolled to the _brasero_, and sat down upon it.

“This is a fine house, mother of the gypsies,” said I to the hag, willing
to gratify the desire she had expressed of hearing me speak; “a fine
house is this of yours, rather cold and damp, though; it appears large
enough to be a barrack for _hundunares_.”

“Plenty of houses in this _foros_, plenty of houses in Merida, my London
_Caloró_, some of them just as they were left by the _Corahanós_.  Ah! a
fine people are the _Corahanós_; I often wish myself in their _chim_ once
more.”

“How is this, mother?” said I; “have you been in the land of the Moors?”

“Twice have I been in their country, my _Caloró_—twice have I been in the
land of the _Corahai_.  The first time is more than fifty years ago; I
was then with the _Sesé_, for my husband was a soldier of the _Crallis_
of Spain, and Oran at that time belonged to Spain.”

“You were not then with the real Moors,” said I, “but only with the
Spaniards who occupied part of their country.”

“I have been with the real Moors, my London _Caloró_.  Who knows more of
the real Moors than myself?  About forty years ago I was with my _ro_ in
Ceuta, for he was still a soldier of the king, and he said to me one day,
‘I am tired of this place, where there is no bread and less water; I will
escape and turn _Corahanó_; this night I will kill my sergeant, and flee
to the camp of the Moor.’  ‘Do so,’ said I, ‘my _chabó_, and as soon as
may be I will follow you and become a _Corahaní_.’  That same night he
killed his sergeant, who five years before had called him _Caló_ and
cursed him; then running to the wall he dropped from it, and, amidst many
shots, he escaped to the land of the _Corahai_.  As for myself, I
remained in the _presidio_ of Ceuta as a suttler, selling wine and
_repañi_ to the soldiers.  Two years passed by, and I neither saw nor
heard from my _ro_.  One day there came a strange man to my _cachimani_;
he was dressed like a _Corahanó_, and yet he did not look like one; he
looked more like a _callardó_, and yet he was not a _callardó_ either,
though he was almost black; and as I looked upon him, I thought he looked
something like the _Errate_; and he said to me, ‘_Zincali_; _chachipé_!’
and then he whispered to me in queer language, which I could scarcely
understand, ‘Your _ro_ is waiting; come with me, my little sister, and I
will take you unto him.’  ‘Where is he?’ said I, and he pointed to the
west, to the land of the _Corahai_, and said, ‘He is yonder away; come
with me, little sister, the _ro_ is waiting.’  For a moment I was afraid,
but I bethought me of my husband, and I wished to be amongst the
_Corahai_; so I took the little _parné_ I had, and, locking up the
_cachimani_, went with the strange man.  The sentinel challenged us at
the gate, but I gave him _repañi_, and he let us pass; in a moment we
were in the land of the _Corahai_.  About a league from the town, beneath
a hill, we found four people, men and women, all very black like the
strange man, and we joined ourselves with them, and they all saluted me
and called me little sister.  That was all I understood of their
discourse, which was very crabbed; and they took away my dress, and gave
me other clothes, and I looked like a _Corahaní_, and away we marched for
many days amidst deserts and small villages, and more than once it seemed
to me that I was amongst the _Errate_, for their ways were the same.  The
men would _hokkawar_ with mules and asses, and the women told _baji_,
{118} and after many days we came before a large town, and the black man
said, ‘Go in there, little sister, and there you will find your _ro_;’
and I went to the gate, and an armed _Corahanó_ stood within the gate,
and I looked in his face, and lo! it was my _ro_.

“Oh, what a strange town it was that I found myself in, full of people
who had once been _Candoré_ but had renegaded and become _Corahai_!
There were _Sesé_ and _Laloré_, and men of other nations, and amongst
them were some of the _Errate_ from my own country; all were now soldiers
of the _Crallis_ of the _Corahai_, and followed him to his wars; and in
that town I remained with my _ro_ a long time, occasionally going out
with him to the wars, and I often asked him about the black men who had
brought me thither, and he told me that he had had dealings with them,
and that he believed them to be of the _Errate_.  Well, brother, to be
short, my _ro_ was killed in the wars, before a town to which the king of
the _Corahai_ laid siege, and I became a _piulí_, and I returned to the
village of the renegades, as it was called, and supported myself as well
as I could; and one day, as I was sitting weeping, the black man, whom I
had never seen since the day he brought me to my _ro_, again stood before
me, and he said, ‘Come with me, little sister, come with me, the _ro_ is
at hand,’ and I went with him, and beyond the gate in the desert was the
same party of black men and women which I had seen before.  ‘Where is my
_ro_?’ said I.  ‘Here he is, little sister,’ said the black man, ‘here he
is; from this day I am the _ro_ and you the _romi_.  Come, let us go, for
there is business to be done.’

“And I went with him, and he was my _ro_, and we lived amongst the
deserts, and _hokkawar’d_ and _choried_ and told _baji_; and I said to
myself, ‘This is good; sure I am amongst the _Errate_ in a better _chim_
than my own.’  And I often said that they were of the _Errate_, and then
they would laugh and say that it might be so, and that they were not
_Corahai_, but they could give no account of themselves.

“Well, things went on in this way for years, and I had three _chai_ by
the black man; two of them died, but the youngest, who is the _Callí_ who
sits by the _brasero_, was spared.  So we roamed about and _choried_ and
told _baji_; and it came to pass that once in the winter time our company
attempted to pass a wide and deep river, of which there are many in the
_Chim del Corahai_, and the boat overset with the rapidity of the
current, and all our people were drowned, all but myself and my _chabí_,
whom I bore in my bosom.  I had now no friends amongst the _Corahai_, and
I wandered about the _despoblados_ howling and lamenting till I became
half _lilí_, and in this manner I found my way to the coast, where I made
friends with the captain of a ship, and returned to this land of Spain.
And now I am here, I often wish myself back again amongst the _Corahai_.”

Here she commenced laughing loud and long, and when she had ceased, her
daughter and grandchild took up the laugh, which they continued so long
that I concluded they were all lunatics.

Hour succeeded hour, and still we sat crouching over the _brasero_, from
which, by this time, all warmth had departed; the glow had long since
disappeared, and only a few dying sparks were to be distinguished.  The
room or hall was now involved in utter darkness; the women were
motionless and still; I shivered and began to feel uneasy.  “Will Antonio
be here to-night?” at length I demanded.

“_No tenga usted cuidao_, {120} my London _Caloró_,” said the gypsy
mother, in an unearthly tone; “_Pepindorio_ has been here some time.”

I was about to rise from my seat and attempt to escape from the house,
when I felt a hand laid upon my shoulder, and in a moment I heard the
voice of Antonio.

“Be not afraid; ’tis I, brother.  We will have a light anon, and then
supper.”

The supper was rude enough, consisting of bread, cheese, and olives;
Antonio, however, produced a leathern bottle of excellent wine.  We
despatched these viands by the light of an earthen lamp, which was placed
upon the floor.

“Now,” said Antonio to the youngest female, “bring me the _pajandí_, and
I will sing a _gachapla_.”

The girl brought the guitar, which, with some difficulty, the gypsy
tuned, and then, strumming it vigorously, he sang—

    “I stole a plump and bonny fowl,
       But ere I well had din’d,
    The master came with scowl and growl,
       And me would captive bind.

    “My hat and mantle off I threw,
       And scour’d across the lea;
    Then cried the _beng_ with loud halloo,
       Where does the gypsy flee?”

He continued playing and singing for a considerable time, the two younger
females dancing in the meanwhile with unwearied diligence, whilst the
aged mother occasionally snapped her fingers or beat time on the ground
with her stick.  At last Antonio suddenly laid down the instrument,
exclaiming—

“I see the London _Caloró_ is weary; enough, enough, to-morrow more
thereof.  We will now to the _charipé_.”

“With all my heart,” said I; “where are we to sleep?”

“In the stable,” said he, “in the manger; however cold the stable may be,
we shall be warm enough in the _bufa_.”



CHAPTER X.


The Gypsy’s Granddaughter—Proposed Marriage—The Alguazil—The
Assault—Speedy Trot—Arrival at Trujillo—Night and Rain—The Forest—The
Bivouac—Mount and Away!—Jaraicejo—The National—The Cavalier
Balmerson—Among the Thickets—Serious Discourse—What is Truth?—Unexpected
Intelligence.

We remained three days at the gypsies’ house, Antonio departing early
every morning, on his mule, and returning late at night.  The house was
large and ruinous, the only habitable part of it, with the exception of
the stable, being the hall, where we had supped, and there the gypsy
females slept at night, on some mats and mattresses in a corner.

“A strange house is this,” said I to Antonio, one morning as he was on
the point of saddling his mule and departing, as I supposed, on the
affairs of Egypt; “a strange house and strange people.  That gypsy
grandmother has all the appearance of a _sowanee_.”

“All the appearance of one!” said Antonio; “and is she not really one?
She knows more crabbed things and crabbed words than all the _Errate_
betwixt here and Catalonia.  She has been amongst the wild Moors, and can
make more _draos_, {122} poisons, and philtres than any one alive.  She
once made a kind of paste, and persuaded me to taste, and shortly after I
had done so my soul departed from my body, and wandered through horrid
forests and mountains, amidst monsters and _duendes_, during one entire
night.  She learned many things amidst the _Corahai_ which I should be
glad to know.”

“Have you been long acquainted with her?” said I.  “You appear to be
quite at home in this house.”

“Acquainted with her!” said Antonio.  “Did not my own brother marry the
black _Callí_, her daughter, who bore him the _chabí_, sixteen years ago,
just before he was hanged by the _Busné_?”

In the afternoon I was seated with the gypsy mother in the hall, the two
_Callees_ were absent telling fortunes about the town and neighbourhood,
which was their principal occupation.  “Are you married, my London
_Caloró_?” said the old woman to me.  “Are you a _ro_?”

_Myself_.—Wherefore do you ask, _O Dai de los Calés_? {123a}

_Gypsy Mother_.—It is high time that the _lacha_ {123b} of the _chabi_
were taken from her, and that she had a _ro_.  You can do no better than
take her for _romí_, my London _Caloró_.

_Myself_.—I am a stranger in this land, O mother of the gypsies, and
scarcely know how to provide for myself, much less for a _romí_.

_Gypsy Mother_.—She wants no one to provide for her, my London _Caloró_;
she can at any time provide for herself and her _ro_.  She can
_hokkawar_, tell _baji_, and there are few to equal her at stealing _á
pastesas_. {124}  Were she once at _Madrilati_, where they tell me you
are going, she would make much treasure; therefore take her thither, for
in this _foros_ she is _nahi_, as it were, for there is nothing to be
gained; but in the _foros baro_ it would be another matter; she would go
dressed in _lachipé_ and _sonacai_, whilst you would ride about on your
black-tailed _gra_; and when you had got much treasure, you might return
hither and live like a _Crallis_, and all the _Errate_ of the _Chim del
Manró_ should bow down their heads to you.  What say you, my London
_Caloró_, what say you to my plan?

_Myself_.—Your plan is a plausible one, mother, or at least some people
would think so; but I am, as you are aware, of another _chim_, and have
no inclination to pass my life in this country.

_Gypsy Mother_.—Then return to your own country, my _Caloró_, the _chabí_
can cross the _pañí_.  Would she not do business in London with the rest
of the _Caloré_?  Or why not go to the land of the _Corahai_?  In which
case I would accompany you; I and my daughter, the mother of the _chabí_.

_Myself_.—And what should we do in the land of the _Corahai_?  It is a
poor and wild country, I believe.

_Gypsy Mother_.—The London _Caloró_ asks me what we could do in the land
of the _Corahai_!  _Aromali_! I almost think that I am speaking to a
_lilipendi_.  Are there not horses to _chore_?  Yes, I trow there are,
and better ones than in this land, and asses and mules.  In the land of
the _Corahai_ you must _hokkawar_ and _chore_ even as you must here, or
in your own country, or else you are no _Caloró_.  Can you not join
yourselves with the black people who live in the _despoblados_?  Yes,
surely; and glad they would be to have among them the _Errate_ from Spain
and London.  I am seventy years of age, but I wish not to die in this
_chim_, but yonder, far away, where both my _roms_ are sleeping.  Take
the _chabí_, therefore, and go to _Madrilati_ to win the _parné_, and
when you have got it, return, and we will give a banquet to all the
_Busné_ in Merida, and in their food I will mix _drao_, and they shall
eat and burst like poisoned sheep. . . .  And when they have eaten we
will leave them, and away to the land of the Moor, my London _Caloró_.

During the whole time that I remained at Merida I stirred not once from
the house; following the advice of Antonio, who informed me that it would
not be convenient.  My time lay rather heavily on my hands, my only
source of amusement consisting in the conversation of the women, and in
that of Antonio when he made his appearance at night.  In these
_tertulias_ the grandmother was the principal spokeswoman, and astonished
my ears with wonderful tales of the land of the Moors, prison escapes,
thievish feats, and one or two poisoning adventures, in which she had
been engaged, as she informed me, in her early youth.

There was occasionally something very wild in her gestures and demeanour;
more than once I observed her, in the midst of much declamation, to stop
short, stare in vacancy, and thrust out her palms as if endeavouring to
push away some invisible substance; she goggled frightfully with her
eyes, and once sank back in convulsions, of which her children took no
farther notice than observing that she was only _lilí_, and would soon
come to herself.

Late in the afternoon of the third day, as the three women and myself sat
conversing as usual over the _brasero_, a shabby-looking fellow in an old
rusty cloak walked into the room.  He came straight up to the place where
we were sitting, produced a paper cigar, which he lighted at a coal, and
taking a whiff or two, looked at me: “_Carracho_,” said he, “who is this
companion?”

I saw at once that the fellow was no gypsy: the women said nothing, but I
could hear the grandmother growling to herself, something after the
manner of an old grimalkin when disturbed.

“_Carracho_,” reiterated the fellow, “how came this companion here?”

“_No le penela chi_, _min chaboró_,” said the black _Callee_ to me, in an
undertone; “_sin un balichó de los chineles_;” {126} then looking up to
the interrogator, she said aloud, “He is one of our people from Portugal,
come on the smuggling lay, and to see his poor sisters here.”

“Then let him give me some tobacco,” said the fellow; “I suppose he has
brought some with him.”

“He has no tobacco,” said the black _Callee_; “he has nothing but old
iron.  This cigar is the only tobacco there is in the house; take it,
smoke it, and go away!”

Thereupon she produced a cigar from out her shoe, which she presented to
the _alguazil_.

“This will not do,” said the fellow, taking the cigar; “I must have
something better.  It is now three months since I received anything from
you.  The last present was a handkerchief, which was good for nothing;
therefore hand me over something worth taking, or I will carry you all to
the _Carcel_.”

“The _Busnó_ will take us to prison,” said the black _Callee_; “ha! ha!
ha!”

“The _Chinel_ will take us to prison,” giggled the young girl; “he! he!
he!”

“The _Bengui_ will carry us all to the _estaripel_,” grunted the gypsy
grandmother; “ho! ho! ho!”

The three females arose and walked slowly round the fellow, fixing their
eyes steadfastly on his face; he appeared frightened, and evidently
wished to get away.  Suddenly the two youngest seized his hands, and
whilst he struggled to release himself, the old woman exclaimed, “You
want tobacco, _hijo_—you come to the gypsy house to frighten the
_Callees_ and the strange _Caloró_ out of their _plako_—truly, _hijo_, we
have none for you, and right sorry I am; we have, however, plenty of the
dust _á su servicio_.” {127}

Here, thrusting her hand into her pocket, she discharged a handful of
some kind of dust or snuff into the fellow’s eyes; he stamped and roared,
but was for some time held fast by the two _Callees_.  He extricated
himself, however, and attempted to unsheath a knife which he bore at his
girdle; but the two younger females flung themselves upon him like
furies, while the old woman increased his disorder by thrusting her stick
into his face; he was soon glad to give up the contest, and retreated,
leaving behind him his hat and cloak, which the _chabí_ gathered up and
flung after him into the street.

“This is a bad business,” said I; “the fellow will of course bring the
rest of the _justicia_ upon us, and we shall all be cast into the
_estaripel_.”

“_Ca_!” said the black _Callee_, biting her thumb-nail, “he has more
reason to fear us than we him.  We could bring him to the _filimicha_; we
have, moreover, friends in this town—plenty, plenty.”

“Yes,” mumbled the grandmother, “the daughters of the _baji_ have
friends, my London _Caloró_, friends among the _Busné_, _baributre_,
_baribú_.”

Nothing farther of any account occurred in the gypsy house.  The next
day, Antonio and myself were again in the saddle; we travelled at least
thirteen leagues before we reached the _venta_, where we passed the
night.  We rose early in the morning, my guide informing me that we had a
long day’s journey to make.  “Where are we bound to?” I demanded.  “To
Trujillo,” he replied.

When the sun arose, which it did gloomily, and amidst threatening
rain-clouds, we found ourselves in the neighbourhood of a range of
mountains which lay on our left, and which, Antonio informed me, were
called the Sierra of San Selvan.  Our route, however, lay over wide
plains, scantily clothed with brushwood, with here and there a melancholy
village, with its old and dilapidated church.  Throughout the greater
part of the day, a drizzling rain was falling, which turned the dust of
the roads into mud and mire, considerably impeding our progress.  Towards
evening we reached a moor, a wild place enough, strewn with enormous
stones and rocks.  Before us, at some distance, rose a strange conical
hill, rough and shaggy, which appeared to be neither more nor less than
an immense assemblage of the same kind of rocks which lay upon the moor.
The rain had now ceased, but a strong wind rose and howled at our backs.
Throughout the journey, I had experienced considerable difficulty in
keeping up with the mule of Antonio; the walk of the horse was slow, and
I could discover no vestige of the spirit which the gypsy had assured me
lurked within him.  We were now upon a tolerably clear spot of the moor:
“I am about to see,” I said, “whether this horse has any of the quality
which you have described.”  “Do so,” said Antonio, and spurred his beast
onward, speedily leaving me far behind.  I jerked the horse with the bit,
endeavouring to arouse his dormant spirit, whereupon he stopped, reared,
and refused to proceed.  “Hold the bridle loose, and touch him with your
whip,” shouted Antonio from before.  I obeyed, and forthwith the animal
set off at a trot, which gradually increased in swiftness till it became
a downright furious speedy trot; his limbs were now thoroughly lithy, and
he brandished his fore-legs in a manner perfectly wondrous.  The mule of
Antonio, which was a spirited animal of excellent paces, would fain have
competed with him, but was passed in a twinkling.  This tremendous trot
endured for about a mile, when the animal, becoming yet more heated,
broke suddenly into a gallop.  Hurrah! no hare ever ran so wildly or
blindly; it was, literally, _ventre à terre_; and I had considerable
difficulty in keeping him clear of rocks, against which he would have
rushed in his savage fury, and dashed himself and rider to atoms.

This race brought me to the foot of the hill, where I waited till the
gypsy rejoined me.  We left the hill, which seemed quite inaccessible, on
our right, passing through a small and wretched village.  The sun went
down, and dark night presently came upon us; we proceeded on, however,
for nearly three hours, until we heard the barking of dogs, and perceived
a light or two in the distance.  “That is Trujillo,” said Antonio, who
had not spoken for a long time.  “I am glad of it,” I replied; “I am
thoroughly tired; I shall sleep soundly in Trujillo.”  “That is as it may
be,” said the gypsy, and spurred his mule to a brisker pace.  We soon
entered the town, which appeared dark and gloomy enough; I followed close
behind the gypsy, who led the way I knew not whither, through dismal
streets and dark places, where cats were squalling.  “Here is the house,”
said he at last, dismounting before a low mean hut.  He knocked—no answer
was returned; he knocked again, but still there was no reply; he shook
the door and essayed to open it, but it appeared firmly locked and
bolted.  “_Caramba_!” said he; “they are out—I feared it might be so.
Now, what are we to do?”

“There can be no difficulty,” said I, “with respect to what we have to
do; if your friends are gone out, it is easy enough to go to a _posada_.”

“You know not what you say,” replied the gypsy.  “I dare not go to the
_mesuna_, nor enter any house in Trujillo save this, and this is shut.
Well, there is no remedy; we must move on, and, between ourselves, the
sooner we leave this place the better; my own _planoró_ was garroted at
Trujillo.”

He lighted a cigar, by means of a steel and _yesca_, sprang on his mule,
and proceeded through streets and lanes equally dismal as those which we
had already traversed, till we again found ourselves out of the town.

I confess I did not much like this decision of the gypsy; I felt very
slight inclination to leave the town behind, and to venture into unknown
places in the dark night, amidst rain and mist, for the wind had now
dropped, and the rain began again to fall briskly.  I was, moreover, much
fatigued, and wished for nothing better than to deposit myself in some
comfortable manger, where I might sink to sleep, lulled by the pleasant
sound of horses and mules despatching their provender.  I had, however,
put myself under the direction of the gypsy, and I was too old a
traveller to quarrel with my guide under the present circumstances.  I
therefore followed close at his crupper, our only light being the glow
emitted from the gypsy’s cigar; at last he flung it from his mouth into a
puddle, and we were then in darkness.

We proceeded in this manner for a long time.  The gypsy was silent; I
myself was equally so; the rain descended more and more.  I sometimes
thought I heard doleful noises, something like the hooting of owls.
“This is a strange night to be wandering abroad in,” I at length said to
Antonio.  “It is, brother,” said he; “but I would sooner be abroad in
such a night, and in such places, than in the _estaripel_ of Trujillo.”

We wandered at least a league farther, and appeared now to be near a
wood, for I could occasionally distinguish the trunks of immense trees.
Suddenly Antonio stopped his mule.  “Look, brother,” said he, “to the
left, and tell me if you do not see a light; your eyes are sharper than
mine.”  I did as he commanded me.  At first I could see nothing, but,
moving a little farther on, I plainly saw a large light at some distance,
seemingly amongst the trees.  “Yonder cannot be a lamp or candle,” said
I; “it is more like the blaze of a fire.”  “Very likely,” said Antonio.
“There are no _queres_ in this place; it is doubtless a fire made by
_durotunes_.  Let us go and join them, for, as you say, it is doleful
work wandering about at night amidst rain and mire.”

We dismounted and entered what I now saw was a forest, leading the
animals cautiously amongst the trees and brushwood.  In about five
minutes we reached a small open space, at the farther side of which, at
the foot of a large cork-tree, a fire was burning, and by it stood or sat
two or three figures; they had heard our approach, and one of them now
exclaimed, “_Quien vive_!” {132}  “I know that voice,” said Antonio; and,
leaving the horse with me, rapidly advanced towards the fire.  Presently
I heard an _Ola_! and a laugh, and soon the voice of Antonio summoned me
to advance.  On reaching the fire I found two dark lads, and a still
darker woman of about forty; the latter seated on what appeared to be
horse or mule furniture.  I likewise saw a horse and two donkeys tethered
to the neighbouring trees.  It was, in fact, a gypsy bivouac. . . .
“Come forward, brother, and show yourself,” said Antonio to me; “you are
amongst friends.  These are of the _Errate_, the very people whom I
expected to find at Trujillo, and in whose house we should have slept.”

“And what,” said I, “could have induced them to leave their house in
Trujillo and come into this dark forest, in the midst of wind and rain,
to pass the night?”

“They come on business of Egypt, brother, doubtless,” replied Antonio;
“and that business is none of ours.  _Calla boca_! {133a}  It is lucky we
have found them here, else we should have had no supper, and our horses
no corn.”

“My _ro_ is prisoner at the village yonder,” said the woman, pointing
with her hand in a particular direction; “he is prisoner yonder for
_choring a mailla_. {133b}  We are come to see what we can do in his
behalf; and where can we lodge better than in this forest, where there is
nothing to pay?  It is not the first time, I trow, that _Caloré_ have
slept at the root of a tree.”

One of the striplings now gave us barley for our animals in a large bag,
into which we successively introduced their heads, allowing the famished
creatures to regale themselves till we conceived that they had satisfied
their hunger.  There was a _puchero_ simmering at the fire, half full of
bacon, _garbanzos_, and other provisions; this was emptied into a large
wooden platter, and out of this Antonio and myself supped.  The other
gypsies refused to join us, giving us to understand that they had eaten
before our arrival; they all, however, did justice to the leathern bottle
of Antonio, which, before his departure from Merida, he had the
precaution to fill.

I was by this time completely overcome with fatigue and sleep.  Antonio
flung me an immense horse-cloth, of which he bore more than one beneath
the huge cushion on which he rode; in this I wrapped myself, and placing
my head upon a bundle, and my feet as near as possible to the fire, I lay
down.

Antonio and the other gypsies remained seated by the fire conversing.  I
listened for a moment to what they said, but I did not perfectly
understand it, and what I did understand by no means interested me.  The
rain still drizzled, but I heeded it not, and was soon asleep.

The sun was just appearing as I awoke.  I made several efforts before I
could rise from the ground; my limbs were quite stiff, and my hair was
covered with rime, for the rain had ceased and a rather severe frost set
in.  I looked around me, but could see neither Antonio nor the gypsies.
The animals of the latter had likewise disappeared, so had the horse
which I had hitherto rode; the mule, however, of Antonio still remained
fastened to the tree.  This latter circumstance quieted some
apprehensions which were beginning to arise in my mind.  “They are gone
on some business of Egypt,” I said to myself, “and will return anon.”  I
gathered together the embers of the fire, and heaping upon them sticks
and branches, soon succeeded in calling forth a blaze, beside which I
again placed the _puchero_, with what remained of the provision of last
night.  I waited for a considerable time in expectation of the return of
my companions, but as they did not appear, I sat down and breakfasted.
Before I had well finished I heard the noise of a horse approaching
rapidly, and presently Antonio made his appearance amongst the trees,
with some agitation in his countenance.  He sprang from the horse, and
instantly proceeded to untie the mule.  “Mount, brother, mount!” said he,
pointing to the horse.  “I went with the _Callee_ and her _chabés_ to the
village where the _ro_ is in trouble; the _chinobaró_, however, seized
them at once with their cattle, and would have laid hands also on me, but
I set spurs to the _grasti_, gave him the bridle, and was soon far away.
Mount, brother, mount, or we shall have the whole rustic _canaille_ upon
us in a twinkling.”

I did as he commanded: we were presently in the road which we had left
the night before.  Along this we hurried at a great rate, the horse
displaying his best speedy trot; whilst the mule, with its ears pricked
up, galloped gallantly at his side.  “What place is that on the hill
yonder?” said I to Antonio, at the expiration of an hour, as we prepared
to descend a deep valley.

“That is Jaraicejo,” said Antonio; “a bad place it is, and a bad place it
has ever been for the _Caló_ people.” {135}

“If it is such a bad place,” said I, “I hope we shall not have to pass
through it.”

“We must pass through it,” said Antonio, “for more reasons than one:
first, forasmuch as the road lies through Jaraicejo; and, second,
forasmuch as it will be necessary to purchase provisions there, both for
ourselves and horses.  On the other side of Jaraicejo there is a wild
desert, a _despoblado_, where we shall find nothing.”

We crossed the valley, and ascended the hill, and as we drew near to the
town, the gypsy said, “Brother, we had best pass through that town
singly.  I will go in advance; follow slowly, and when there purchase
bread and barley; you have nothing to fear.  I will await you on the
_despoblado_.”

Without waiting for my answer he hastened forward, and was speedily out
of sight.

I followed slowly behind, and entered the gate of the town, an old
dilapidated place, consisting of little more than one street.  Along this
street I was advancing, when a man with a dirty foraging cap on his head,
and holding a gun in his hand, came running up to me.  “Who are you?”
said he, in rather rough accents; “from whence do you come?”

“From Badajoz and Trujillo,” I replied; “why do you ask?”

“I am one of the national guard,” said the man, “and am placed here to
inspect strangers.  I am told that a gypsy fellow just now rode through
the town; it is well for him that I had stepped into my house.  Do you
come in his company?”

“Do I look a person,” said I, “likely to keep company with gypsies?”

The national measured me from top to toe, and then looked me full in the
face with an expression which seemed to say, “likely enough.”  In fact,
my appearance was by no means calculated to prepossess people in my
favour.  Upon my head I wore an old Andalusian hat, which, from its
condition, appeared to have been trodden underfoot; a rusty cloak, which
had perhaps served half a dozen generations, enwrapped my body.  My
nether garments were by no means of the finest description, and, as far
as could be seen, were covered with mud, with which my face was likewise
plentifully bespattered, and upon my chin was a beard of a week’s growth.

“Have you a passport?” at length demanded the national.

I remembered having read that the best way to win a Spaniard’s heart is
to treat him with ceremonious civility.  I therefore dismounted, and
taking off my hat, made a low bow to the constitutional soldier, saying,
“_Señor nacional_, you must know that I am an English gentleman,
travelling in this country for my pleasure.  I bear a passport, which, on
inspecting, you will find to be perfectly regular; it was given me by the
great Lord Palmerston, minister of England, whom you of course have heard
of here; at the bottom you will see his own handwriting.  Look at it and
rejoice; perhaps you will never have another opportunity.  As I put
unbounded confidence in the honour of every gentleman, I leave the
passport in your hands whilst I repair to the _posada_ to refresh myself.
When you have inspected it, you will perhaps oblige me so far as to bring
it to me.  Cavalier, I kiss your hands.”

I then made him another low bow, which he returned with one still lower,
and leaving him now staring at the passport and now looking at myself, I
went into a posada, to which I was directed by a beggar whom I met.

I fed the horse, and procured some bread and barley, as the gypsy had
directed me; I likewise purchased three fine partridges of a fowler, who
was drinking wine in the _posada_.  He was satisfied with the price I
gave him, and offered to treat me with a _copita_, to which I made no
objection.  As we sat discoursing at the table, the national entered with
the passport in his hand, and sat down by us.

_National_.—_Caballero_!  I return you your passport; it is quite in
form.  I rejoice much to have made your acquaintance; I have no doubt
that you can give me some information respecting the present war.

_Myself_.—I shall be very happy to afford so polite and honourable a
gentleman any information in my power.

_National_.—What is England doing?  Is she about to afford any assistance
to this country?  If she pleased she could put down the war in three
months.

_Myself_.—Be under no apprehension, _Señor nacional_; the war will be put
down, don’t doubt.  You have heard of the English legion, {138a} which my
Lord Palmerston has sent over?  Leave the matter in their hands, and you
will soon see the result.

_National_.—It appears to me that this _Caballero_ Balmerson must be a
very honest man.

_Myself_.—There can be no doubt of it.

_National_.—I have heard that he is a great general.

_Myself_.—There can be no doubt of it.  In some things neither Napoleon
nor the Sawyer {138b} would stand a chance with him for a moment.  _Es
mucho hombre_. {138c}

_National_.—I am glad to hear it.  Does he intend to head the legion
himself?

_Myself_.—I believe not; but he has sent over, to head the fighting men,
a friend of his, who is thought to be nearly as much versed in military
matters as himself.

_National_.—I am rejoiced to hear it.  I see that the war will soon be
over.  _Caballero_, I thank you for your politeness, and for the
information which you have afforded me.  I hope you will have a pleasant
journey.  I confess that I am surprised to see a gentleman of your
country travelling alone, and in this manner, through such regions as
these.  The roads are at present very bad; there have of late been many
accidents, and more than two deaths in this neighbourhood.  The
_despoblado_ out yonder has a particularly evil name; be on your guard,
_Caballero_.  I am sorry that gypsy was permitted to pass; should you
meet him and not like his looks, shoot him at once, stab him, or ride him
down.  He is a well-known thief, _contrabandista_, and murderer, and has
committed more assassinations than he has fingers on his hands.
_Caballero_, if you please, we will allow you a guard to the other side
of the pass.  You do not wish it?  Then, farewell.  Stay, before I go I
should wish to see once more the signature of the _Caballero_ Balmerson.

I showed him the signature, which he looked upon with profound reverence,
uncovering his head for a moment.  We then embraced and parted.

I mounted the horse and rode from the town, at first proceeding very
slowly.  I had no sooner, however, reached the moor, than I put the
animal to his speedy trot, and proceeded at a tremendous rate for some
time, expecting every moment to overtake the gypsy.  I, however, saw
nothing of him, nor did I meet with a single human being.  The road along
which I sped was narrow and sandy, winding amidst thickets of broom and
brushwood, with which the _despoblado_ was overgrown, and which in some
places were as high as a man’s head.  Across the moor, in the direction
in which I was proceeding, rose a lofty eminence, naked and bare.  The
moor extended for at least three leagues; I had nearly crossed it, and
reached the foot of the ascent.  I was becoming very uneasy, conceiving
that I might have passed the gypsy amongst the thickets, when I suddenly
heard his well-known _Ola_! and his black savage head and staring eyes
suddenly appeared from amidst a clump of broom.

“You have tarried long, brother,” said he; “I almost thought you had
played me false.”

He bade me dismount, and then proceeded to lead the horse behind the
thicket, where I found the mule picqueted to the ground.  I gave him the
barley and provisions, and then proceeded to relate to him my adventure
with the national.

“I would I had him here,” said the gypsy, on hearing the epithets which
the former had lavished upon him—“I would I had him here, then should my
_chulí_ and his _carlo_ become better acquainted.”

“And what are you doing here yourself,” I demanded, “in this wild place,
amidst these thickets?”

“I am expecting a messenger down yon pass,” said the gypsy; “and till
that messenger arrive I can neither go forward nor return.  It is on
business of Egypt, brother, that I am here.”

As he invariably used this last expression when he wished to evade my
inquiries, I held my peace, and said no more.  The animals were fed, and
we proceeded to make a frugal repast on bread and wine.

“Why do you not cook the game which I brought?” I demanded; “in this
place there is plenty of materials for a fire.”

“The smoke might discover us, brother,” said Antonio.  “I am desirous of
lying _escondido_ in this place until the arrival of the messenger.”

It was now considerably past noon.  The gypsy lay behind the thicket,
raising himself up occasionally and looking anxiously towards the hill
which lay over against us; at last, with an exclamation of disappointment
and impatience, he flung himself on the ground, where he lay a
considerable time, apparently ruminating; at last he lifted up his head
and looked me in the face.

_Antonio_.—Brother, I cannot imagine what business brought you to this
country.

_Myself_.—Perhaps the same which brings you to this moor—business of
Egypt.

_Antonio_.—Not so, brother; you speak the language of Egypt, it is true,
but your ways and words are neither those of the _Calés_ nor of the
_Busné_.

_Myself_.—Did you not hear me speak in the _foros_ about God and
_Tebleque_?  It was to declare His glory to the _Calés_ and Gentiles that
I came to the land of Spain.

_Antonio_.—And who sent you on this errand?

_Myself_.—You would scarcely understand me were I to inform you.  Know,
however, that there are many in foreign lands who lament the darkness
which envelops Spain, and the scenes of cruelty, robbery, and murder
which deform it.

_Antonio_.—Are they _Caloré_ or _Busné_?

_Myself_.—What matters it?  Both _Caloré_ and _Busné_ are sons of the
same God.

_Antonio_.—You lie, brother; they are not of one father nor of one
_Errate_.  You speak of robbery, cruelty, and murder.  There are too many
_Busné_, brother; if there were no _Busné_ there would be neither robbery
nor murder.  The _Caloré_ neither rob nor murder each other, the _Busné_
do; nor are they cruel to their animals, their law forbids them.  When I
was a child I was beating a _burra_, but my father stopped my hand, and
chided me.  “Hurt not the animal,” said he; “for within it is the soul of
your own sister!”

_Myself_.—And do you believe in this wild doctrine, O Antonio?

_Antonio_.—Sometimes I do, sometimes I do not.  There are some who
believe in nothing; not even that they live!  Long since, I knew an old
_Caloró_—he was old, very old, upwards of a hundred years—and I once
heard him say, that all we thought we saw was a lie; that there was no
world, no men nor women, no horses nor mules, no olive-trees.  But
whither are we straying?  I asked what induced you to come to this
country—you tell me, the glory of God and _Tebleque_.  _Disparate_! tell
that to the _Busné_.  You have good reasons for coming, no doubt, else
you would not be here.  Some say you are a spy of the _Londoné_.  Perhaps
you are; I care not.  Rise, brother, and tell me whether any one is
coming down the pass.

“I see a distant object,” I replied; “like a speck on the side of the
hill.”

The gypsy started up, and we both fixed our eyes on the object: the
distance was so great that it was at first with difficulty that we could
distinguish whether it moved or not.  A quarter of an hour, however,
dispelled all doubts, for within this time it had nearly reached the
bottom of the hill, and we could descry a figure seated on an animal of
some kind.

“It is a woman,” said I, at length, “mounted on a grey donkey.”

“Then it is my messenger,” said Antonio, “for it can be no other.”

The woman and the donkey were now upon the plain, and for some time were
concealed from us by the copse and brushwood which intervened.  They were
not long, however, in making their appearance at the distance of about a
hundred yards.  The donkey was a beautiful creature of a silver grey, and
came frisking along, swinging her tail, and moving her feet so quick that
they scarcely seemed to touch the ground.  The animal no sooner perceived
us than she stopped short, turned round, and attempted to escape by the
way she had come; her rider, however, detained her, whereupon the donkey
kicked violently, and would probably have flung the former, had she not
sprung nimbly to the ground.  The form of the woman was entirely
concealed by the large wrapping man’s cloak which she wore.  I ran to
assist her, when she turned her face full upon me, and I instantly
recognized the sharp, clever features of Antonia, whom I had seen at
Badajoz, the daughter of my guide.  She said nothing to me, but advancing
to her father, addressed something to him in a low voice, which I did not
hear.  He started back, and vociferated “All!”  “Yes,” said she in a
louder tone, probably repeating the words which I had not caught before,
“All are captured.”

The gypsy remained for some time like one astounded, and, unwilling to
listen to their discourse, which I imagined might relate to business of
Egypt, I walked away amidst the thickets.  I was absent for some time,
but could occasionally hear passionate expressions and oaths.  In about
half an hour I returned; they had left the road, but I found them behind
the broom clump, where the animals stood.  Both were seated on the
ground.  The features of the gypsy were peculiarly dark and grim; he held
his unsheathed knife in his hand, which he would occasionally plunge into
the earth, exclaiming, “All!  All!”

“Brother,” said he at last, “I can go no farther with you; the business
which carried me to _Castumba_ is settled.  You must now travel by
yourself and trust to your _baji_.”

“I trust in _Undevel_,” I replied, “who wrote my fortune long ago.  But
how am I to journey?  I have no horse, for you doubtless want your own.”

The gypsy appeared to reflect.  “I want the horse, it is true, brother,”
he said, “and likewise the _macho_; but you shall not go _en pindré_;
{143} you shall purchase the _burra_ of Antonia, which I presented her
when I sent her upon this expedition.”

“The _burra_,” I replied, “appears both savage and vicious.”

“She is both, brother, and on that account I bought her; a savage and
vicious beast has generally four excellent legs.  You are a _Caló_,
brother, and can manage her; you shall therefore purchase the savage
_burra_, giving my daughter Antonia a _baria_ of gold.  If you think fit,
you can sell the beast at Talavera or Madrid, for Estremenian _bestis_
are highly considered in _Castumba_.”

In less than an hour I was on the other side of the pass, mounted on the
savage _burra_.



CHAPTER XI.


The Pass of Mirabete—Wolves and Shepherds—Female Subtlety—Death by
Wolves—The Mystery solved—The Mountains—The Dark Hour—The Traveller of
the Night—Abarbenel—Hoarded Treasure—Force of Gold—The Archbishop—Arrival
at Madrid.

I proceeded down the pass of Mirabete, occasionally ruminating on the
matter which had brought me to Spain, and occasionally admiring one of
the finest prospects in the world.  Before me outstretched lay immense
plains, bounded in the distance by huge mountains, whilst at the foot of
the hill which I was now descending rolled the Tagus, in a deep narrow
stream, between lofty banks; the whole was gilded by the rays of the
setting sun, for the day, though cold and wintry, was bright and clear.
In about an hour I reached the river at a place where stood the remains
of what had once been a magnificent bridge, which had, however, been
blown up in the Peninsular war and never since repaired.

I crossed the river in a ferry-boat; the passage was rather difficult,
the current very rapid and swollen, owing to the latter rains.

“Am I in New Castile?” I demanded of the ferryman, on reaching the
further bank.  “The _raya_ is many leagues from hence,” replied the
ferryman; “you seem a stranger.  Whence do you come?”  “From England,” I
replied, and without waiting for an answer, I sprang on the _burra_, and
proceeded on my way.  The _burra_ plied her feet most nimbly, and shortly
after nightfall, brought me to a village at about two leagues’ distance
from the river’s bank.

I sat down in the _venta_ where I put up; there was a huge fire,
consisting of the greater part of the trunk of an olive-tree.  The
company was rather miscellaneous: a hunter with his _escopeta_; a brace
of shepherds with immense dogs, of that species for which Estremadura
{146} is celebrated; a broken soldier, just returned from the wars; and a
beggar, who, after demanding charity for the seven wounds of _Maria
Santísima_, took a seat amidst us, and made himself quite comfortable.
The hostess was an active, bustling woman, and busied herself in cooking
my supper, which consisted of the game which I had purchased at
Jaraicejo, and which, on my taking leave of the gypsy, he had counselled
me to take with me.  In the mean time, I sat by the fire listening to the
conversation of the company.

“I would I were a wolf,” said one of the shepherds; “or, indeed, anything
rather than what I am.  A pretty life is this of ours, out in the
_campo_, among the _carrascales_, suffering heat and cold for a _peseta_
a day.  I would I were a wolf; he fares better, and is more respected
than the wretch of a shepherd.”

“But he frequently fares scurvily,” said I; “the shepherd and dogs fall
upon him, and then he pays for his temerity with the loss of his head.”

“That is not often the case, _señor_ traveller,” said the shepherd; “he
watches his opportunity, and seldom runs into harm’s way.  And as to
attacking him, it is no very pleasant task; he has both teeth and claws,
and dog or man, who has once felt them, likes not to venture a second
time within his reach.  These dogs of mine will seize a bear singly with
considerable alacrity, though he is a most powerful animal; but I have
seen them run howling away from a wolf, even though there were two or
three of us at hand to encourage them.”

“A dangerous person is the wolf,” said the other shepherd, “and cunning
as dangerous.  Who knows more than he?  He knows the vulnerable point of
every animal; see, for example, how he flies at the neck of a bullock,
tearing open the veins with his grim teeth and claws.  But does he attack
a horse in this manner?  I trow not.”

“Not he,” said the other shepherd, “he is too good a judge; but he
fastens on the haunches, and hamstrings him in a moment.  Oh, the fear of
the horse when he comes near the dwelling of the wolf!  My master was the
other day riding in the _despoblado_, above the pass, on his fine
Andalusian steed, which had cost him five hundred dollars.  Suddenly the
horse stopped, and sweated and trembled like a woman in the act of
fainting.  My master could not conceive the reason, but presently he
heard a squealing and growling in the bushes, whereupon he fired off his
gun and scared the wolves, who scampered away; but he tells me, that the
horse has not yet recovered from his fright.”

“Yet the mares know, occasionally, how to balk him,” replied his
companion.  “There is great craft and malice in mares, as there is in all
females.  See them feeding in the _campo_ with their young _cria_ about
them; presently the alarm is given that the wolf is drawing near; they
start wildly and run about for a moment, but it is only for a
moment—amain they gather together, forming themselves into a circle, in
the centre of which they place the foals.  Onward comes the wolf, hoping
to make his dinner on horseflesh.  He is mistaken, however; the mares
have balked him, and are as cunning as himself.  Not a tail is to be
seen—not a hinder quarter—but there stand the whole troop, their fronts
towards him ready to receive him, and as he runs round them barking and
howling, they rise successively on their hind legs, ready to stamp him to
the earth, should he attempt to hurt their _cria_ or themselves.”

“Worse than the he-wolf,” said the soldier, “is the female; for, as the
_señor pastor_ has well observed, there is more malice in women than in
males.  To see one of these she-demons with a troop of the males at her
heels is truly surprising: where she turns they turn, and what she does
that do they; for they appear bewitched, and have no power but to imitate
her actions.  I was once travelling with a comrade over the hills of
Galicia, when we heard a howl.  ‘Those are wolves,’ said my companion;
‘let us get out of the way.’  So we stepped from the path and ascended
the side of the hill a little way, to a terrace, where grew vines, after
the manner of Galicia.  Presently appeared a large grey she-wolf,
_deshonesta_, snapping and growling at a troop of demons, who followed
close behind, their tails uplifted, and their eyes like firebrands.  What
do you think the perverse brute did?  Instead of keeping to the path, she
turned in the very direction in which we were; there was now no remedy,
so we stood still.  I was the first upon the terrace, and by me she
passed so close that I felt her hair brush against my legs; she, however,
took no notice of me, but pushed on, neither looking to the right nor
left, and all the other wolves trotted by me without offering the
slightest injury, or even so much as looking at me.  Would that I could
say as much for my poor companion, who stood farther on, and was, I
believe, less in the demon’s way than I was; she had nearly passed him,
when suddenly she turned half round and snapped at him.  I shall never
forget what followed: in a moment a dozen wolves were upon him, tearing
him limb from limb, with howlings like nothing in this world.  In a few
moments he was devoured; nothing remained but the skull and a few bones;
and then they passed on in the same manner as they came.  Good reason had
I to be grateful that my lady wolf took less notice of me than my poor
comrade.”

Listening to this and similar conversation, I fell into a doze before the
fire, in which I continued for a considerable time, but was at length
roused by a voice exclaiming in a loud tone, “All are captured!”  These
were the exact words which, when spoken by his daughter, confounded the
gypsy upon the moor.  I looked around me.  The company consisted of the
same individuals to whose conversation I had been listening before I sank
into slumber; but the beggar was now the spokesman, and he was haranguing
with considerable vehemence.

“I beg your pardon, _Caballero_” said I, “but I did not hear the
commencement of your discourse.  Who are those who have been captured?”

“A band of accursed _Gitanos_, _Caballero_,” replied the beggar,
returning the title of courtesy which I had bestowed upon him.  “During
more than a fortnight they have infested the roads on the frontier of
Castile, and many have been the gentlemen travellers like yourself whom
they have robbed and murdered.  It would seem that the gypsy _canaille_
must needs take advantage of these troublous times, and form themselves
into a faction.  It is said that the fellows of whom I am speaking
expected many more of their brethren to join them, which is likely
enough, for all gypsies are thieves: but praised be God, they have been
put down before they became too formidable.  I saw them myself conveyed
to the prison at ---.  Thanks be to God.  _Todos estan presos_.” {150a}

“The mystery is now solved,” said I to myself, and proceeded to despatch
my supper, which was now ready.

The next day’s journey brought me to a considerable town, the name of
which I have forgotten.  It is the first in New Castile, in this
direction. {150b}  I passed the night as usual in the manger of the
stable, close beside the _caballeria_; for, as I travelled upon a donkey,
I deemed it incumbent upon me to be satisfied with a couch in keeping
with my manner of journeying, being averse, by any squeamish and
over-delicate airs, to generate a suspicion amongst the people with whom
I mingled that I was aught higher than what my equipage and outward
appearance might lead them to believe.  Rising before daylight, I again
proceeded on my way, hoping ere night to be able to reach Talavera, which
I was informed was ten leagues distant.  The way lay entirely over an
unbroken level, for the most part covered with olive-trees.  On the left,
however, at the distance of a few leagues, rose the mighty mountains
which I have already mentioned.  They run eastward in a seemingly
interminable range, parallel with the route which I was pursuing; their
tops and sides were covered with dazzling snow, and the blasts which came
sweeping from them across the wide and melancholy plains were of bitter
keenness.

“What mountains are those?” I inquired of a barber-surgeon who, mounted
like myself on a grey _burra_, joined me about noon, and proceeded in my
company for several leagues.  “They have many names, _Caballero_,”
replied the barber; “according to the names of the neighbouring places,
so they are called.  Yon portion of them is styled the Serrania of
Plasencia; and opposite to Madrid they are termed the Mountains of
Guadarrama, from a river of that name, which descends from them.  They
run a vast way, _Caballero_, and separate the two kingdoms, for on the
other side is Old Castile.  They are mighty mountains, and, though they
generate much cold, I take pleasure in looking at them, which is not to
be wondered at, seeing that I was born amongst them, though at present,
for my sins, I live in a village of the plain.  _Caballero_, there is not
another such range in Spain; they have their secrets, too—their
mysteries.  Strange tales are told of those hills, and of what they
contain in their deep recesses, for they are a broad chain, and you may
wander days and days amongst them without coming to any _termino_.  Many
have lost themselves on those hills, and have never again been heard of.
Strange things are told of them: it is said that in certain places there
are deep pools and lakes, in which dwell monsters, huge serpents as long
as a pine-tree, and horses of the flood, which sometimes come out and
commit mighty damage.  One thing is certain, that yonder, far away to the
west, in the heart of those hills, there is a wonderful valley, so narrow
that only at mid-day is the face of the sun to be descried from it.  That
valley lay undiscovered and unknown for thousands of years; no person
dreamed of its existence.  But at last, a long time ago, certain hunters
entered it by chance, and then what do you think they found, _Caballero_?
They found a small nation or tribe of unknown people, speaking an unknown
language, who, perhaps, had lived there since the creation of the world,
without intercourse with the rest of their fellow-creatures, and without
knowing that other beings besides themselves existed!  _Caballero_, did
you never hear of the valley of the Batuecas? {152}  Many books have been
written about that valley and those people.  _Caballero_, I am proud of
yonder hills; and were I independent, and without wife or children, I
would purchase a _burra_ like that of your own—which I see is an
excellent one, and far superior to mine—and travel amongst them till I
knew all their mysteries, and had seen all the wondrous things which they
contain.”

Throughout the day I pressed the _burra_ forward, only stopping once in
order to feed the animal; but, notwithstanding that she played her part
very well, night came on, and I was still about two leagues from
Talavera.  As the sun went down, the cold became intense; I drew the old
gypsy cloak, which I still wore, closer around me, but I found it quite
inadequate to protect me from the inclemency of the atmosphere.  The
road, which lay over a plain, was not very distinctly traced, and became
in the dusk rather difficult to find, more especially as cross-roads
leading to different places were of frequent occurrence.  I, however,
proceeded in the best manner I could, and when I became dubious as to the
course which I should take, I invariably allowed the animal on which I
was mounted to decide.  At length the moon shone out faintly, when
suddenly by its beams I beheld a figure moving before me at a slight
distance.  I quickened the pace of the _burra_, and was soon close at its
side.  It went on, neither altering its pace nor looking round for a
moment.  It was the figure of a man, the tallest and bulkiest that I had
hitherto seen in Spain, dressed in a manner strange and singular for the
country.  On his head was a hat with a low crown and broad brim, very
much resembling that of an English waggoner; about his body was a long
loose tunic or slop, seemingly of coarse ticken, {153} open in front, so
as to allow the interior garments to be occasionally seen.  These
appeared to consist of a jerkin and short velveteen pantaloons.  I have
said that the brim of the hat was broad, but broad as it was, it was
insufficient to cover an immense bush of coal-black hair, which, thick
and curly, projected on either side.  Over the left shoulder was flung a
kind of satchel, and in the right hand was held a long staff or pole.

There was something peculiarly strange about the figure; but what struck
me the most was the tranquillity with which it moved along, taking no
heed of me, though of course aware of my proximity, but looking straight
forward along the road, save when it occasionally raised a huge face and
large eyes towards the moon, which was now shining forth in the eastern
quarter.

“A cold night,” said I at last.  “Is this the way to Talavera?”

“It is the way to Talavera, and the night is cold.”

“I am going to Talavera,” said I, “as I suppose you are yourself.”

“I am going thither, so are you, _bueno_.”

The tones of the voice which delivered these words were in their way
quite as strange and singular as the figure to which the voice belonged.
They were not exactly the tones of a Spanish voice, and yet there was
something in them that could hardly be foreign; the pronunciation also
was correct, and the language, though singular, faultless.  But I was
most struck with the manner in which the last word, _bueno_, was spoken.
I had heard something like it before, but where or when I could by no
means remember. {154}  A pause now ensued, the figure stalking on as
before with the most perfect indifference, and seemingly with no
disposition either to seek or avoid conversation.

“Are you not afraid,” said I at last, “to travel these roads in the dark?
It is said that there are robbers abroad.”

“Are you not rather afraid,” replied the figure, “to travel these roads
in the dark?—you who are ignorant of the country, who are a foreigner, an
Englishman?”

“How is it that you know me to be an Englishman?” demanded I, much
surprised.

“That is no difficult matter,” replied the figure; “the sound of your
voice was enough to tell me that.”

“You speak of voices,” said I; “suppose the tone of your own voice were
to tell me who you are?”

“That it will not do,” replied my companion; “you know nothing about
me—you can know nothing about me.

“Be not sure of that, my friend; I am acquainted with many things of
which you have little idea.”

“_Por exemplo_,” said the figure.

“For example,” said I, “you speak two languages.”

The figure moved on, seemed to consider a moment and then said slowly,
“_Bueno_.”

“You have two names,” I continued; “one for the house, and the other for
the street; both are good, but the one by which you are called at home is
the one which you like best.”

The man walked on about ten paces, in the same manner as he had
previously done; all of a sudden he turned, and taking the bridle of the
_burra_ gently in his hand, stopped her.  I had now a full view of his
face and figure, and those huge features and Herculean form still
occasionally revisit me in my dreams.  I see him standing in the
moonshine, staring me in the face with his deep calm eyes.  At last he
said—

“Are you then _one of us_?”

                                * * * * *

It was late at night when we arrived at Talavera.  We went to a large
gloomy house, which my companion informed me was the principle _posada_
of the town.  We entered the kitchen, at the extremity of which a large
fire was blazing.  “Pepita,” {156a} said my companion to a handsome girl
who advanced smiling towards us, “a _brasero_ and a private apartment.
This cavalier is a friend of mine, and we shall sup together.”  We were
shown to an apartment, in which were two alcoves containing beds.  After
supper, which consisted of the very best, by the order of my companion,
we sat over the _brasero_, and commenced talking.

_Myself_.—Of course you have conversed with Englishmen before, else you
could not have recognized me by the tone of my voice.

_Abarbenel_. {156b}—I was a young lad when the war of the Independence
broke out, and there came to the village in which our family lived an
English officer, in order to teach discipline to the new levies.  He was
quartered in my father’s house, where he conceived a great affection for
me.  On his departure, with the consent of my father, I attended him
through both the Castiles, partly as companion, partly as domestic.  I
was with him nearly a year, when he was suddenly summoned to return to
his own country.  He would fain have taken me with him, but to that my
father would by no means consent.  It is now five and twenty years since
I last saw an Englishman; but you have seen how I recognized you, even in
the dark night.

_Myself_.—And what kind of life do you pursue, and by what means do you
obtain support?

_Abarbenel_.—I experience no difficulty.  I live much in the same way as
I believe my forefathers lived: certainly as my father did, for his
course has been mine.  At his death I took possession of the _herencia_,
for I was his only child.  It was not requisite that I should follow any
business, for my wealth was great; yet, to avoid remark, I followed that
of my father, who was a _longanizero_.  I have occasionally dealt in
wool, but lazily—lazily—as I had no stimulus for exertion.  I was,
however, successful; in many instances strangely so; much more than many
others who toiled day and night, and whose whole soul was in the trade.

_Myself_.—Have you any children?  Are you married?

_Abarbenel_.—I have no children, though I am married.  I have a wife, and
an _amiga_, or I should rather say two wives, for I am wedded to both.
{157a}  I however call one my _amiga_, for appearance sake, for I wish to
live in quiet, and am unwilling to offend the prejudices of the
surrounding people.

_Myself_.—You say you are wealthy.  In what does your wealth consist?

_Abarbenel_.—In gold and silver, and stones of price; for I have
inherited all the hoards of my forefathers.  The greater part is buried
underground; indeed, I have never examined the tenth part of it.  I have
coins of silver and gold older than the times of Ferdinand the Accursed
and Jezebel; {157b} I have also large sums employed in usury.  We keep
ourselves close, however, and pretend to be poor, miserably so; but on
certain occasions, at our festivals, when our gates are barred, and our
savage dogs are let loose in the court, we eat our food off services such
as the Queen of Spain cannot boast of, and wash our feet in ewers of
silver, fashioned and wrought before the Americas were discovered, though
our garments are at all times coarse, and our food for the most part of
the plainest description.

_Myself_.—Are there more of you than yourself and your two wives?

_Abarbenel_.—There are my two servants, who are likewise of us—the one is
a youth, and is about to leave, being betrothed to one at some distance;
the other is old: he is now upon the road, following me with a mule and
car.

_Myself_.—And whither are you bound at present?

_Abarbenel_.—To Toledo, where I ply my trade occasionally of
_longanizero_.  I love to wander about, though I seldom stray far from
home.  Since I left the Englishman my feet have never once stepped beyond
the bounds of New Castile.  I love to visit Toledo, and to think of the
times which have long since departed.  I should establish myself there,
were there not so many accursed ones, who look upon me with an evil eye.

_Myself_.—Are you known for what you are?  Do the authorities molest you?

_Abarbenel_.—People of course suspect me to be what I am; but as I
conform outwardly in most respects to their ways, they do not interfere
with me.  True it is that sometimes, when I enter the church to hear the
mass, they glare at me over the left shoulder, as much as to say—“What do
you here?”  And sometimes they cross themselves as I pass by; but as they
go no further, I do not trouble myself on that account.  With respect to
the authorities, they are not bad friends of mine.  Many of the higher
class have borrowed money from me on usury, so that I have them to a
certain extent in my power; and as for the low _alguazils_ and
_corchetes_, they would do anything to oblige me, in consideration of a
few dollars which I occasionally give them; so that matters upon the
whole go on remarkably well.  Of old, indeed, it was far otherwise; yet,
I know not how it was, though other families suffered much, ours always
enjoyed a tolerable share of tranquillity.  The truth is, that our family
has always known how to guide itself wonderfully.  I may say there is
much of the wisdom of the snake amongst us.  We have always possessed
friends; and with respect to enemies, it is by no means safe to meddle
with us, for it is a rule of our house never to forgive an injury, and to
spare neither trouble nor expense in bringing ruin and destruction upon
the heads of our evil-doers.

_Myself_.—Do the priests interfere with you?

_Abarbenel_.—They let me alone, especially in our own neighbourhood.
Shortly after the death of my father one hot-headed individual
endeavoured to do me an evil turn; but I soon requited him, causing him
to be imprisoned on a charge of blasphemy, and in prison he remained a
long time, till he went mad and died.

_Myself_.—Have you a head in Spain, in whom is vested the chief
authority?

_Abarbenel_.—Not exactly.  There are, however, certain holy families who
enjoy much consideration; my own is one of these—the chiefest, I may say.
My grandsire was a particularly holy man; and I have heard my father say,
that one night an archbishop came to his house secretly, merely to have
the satisfaction of kissing his head.

_Myself_.—How can that be?  What reverence could an archbishop entertain
for one like yourself or your grandsire?

_Abarbenel_.—More than you imagine.  He was one of us, at least his
father was, and he could never forget what he had learned with reverence
in his infancy.  He said he had tried to forget it, but he could not;
that the _ruah_ was continually upon him, and that even from his
childhood he had borne its terrors with a troubled mind, till at last he
could bear himself no longer; so he went to my grandsire, with whom he
remained one whole night; he then returned to his diocese, where he
shortly afterwards died, in much renown for sanctity.

_Myself_.—What you say surprises me.  Have you reason to suppose that
many of you are to be found amongst the priesthood?

_Abarbenel_.—Not to suppose, but to know it.  There are many such as I
amongst the priesthood, and not amongst the inferior priesthood either;
some of the most learned and famed of them in Spain have been of us, or
of our blood at least, and many of them at this day think as I do.  There
is one particular festival of the year at which four dignified
ecclesiastics are sure to visit me; and then, when all is made close and
secure, and the fitting ceremonies have been gone through, they sit down
upon the floor and curse.

_Myself_.—Are you numerous in the large towns?

_Abarbenel_.—By no means; our places of abode are seldom the large towns;
we prefer the villages, and rarely enter the large towns but on business.
Indeed, we are not a numerous people, and there are few provinces of
Spain which contain more than twenty families.  None of us are poor, and
those among us who serve, do so more from choice than necessity, for by
serving each other we acquire different trades.  Not unfrequently the
time of service is that of courtship also, and the servants eventually
marry the daughters of the house.

We continued in discourse the greater part of the night; the next morning
I prepared to depart.  My companion, however, advised me to remain where
I was for that day.  “And if you respect my counsel,” said he, “you will
not proceed farther in this manner.  To-night the diligence will arrive
from Estremadura, on its way to Madrid.  Deposit yourself therein; it is
the safest and most speedy mode of travelling.  As for your animal, I
will myself purchase her.  My servant is here, and has informed me that
she will be of service to us.  Let us, therefore, pass the day together
in communion, like brothers, and then proceed on our separate journeys.”
We did pass the day together; and when the diligence arrived I deposited
myself within, and on the morning of the second day arrived at Madrid.



CHAPTER XII.


Lodging at Madrid—My Hostess—British
Ambassador—Mendizabal—Baltasar—Duties of a National—Young Blood—The
Execution—Population of Madrid—The Higher Orders—The Lower Classes—The
Bull-fighter—The Crabbed Gitano.

It was the commencement of February, 1837, when I reached Madrid.  After
staying a few days at a _posada_, I removed to a lodging which I engaged
at No. 3, in the Calle de la Zarza, {162} a dark dirty street, which,
however, was close to the Puerta del Sol, the most central point of
Madrid, into which four or five of the principal streets debouche, and
which is, at all times of the year, the great place of assemblage for the
idlers of the capital, poor or rich.

It was rather a singular house in which I had taken up my abode.  I
occupied the front part of the first floor; my apartments consisted of an
immense parlour, and a small chamber on one side in which I slept.  The
parlour, notwithstanding its size, contained very little furniture: a few
chairs, a table, and a species of sofa, constituted the whole.  It was
very cold and airy, owing to the draughts which poured in from three
large windows, and from sundry doors.  The mistress of the house,
attended by her two daughters, ushered me in.  “Did you ever see a more
magnificent apartment?” demanded the former; “is it not fit for a king’s
son?  Last winter it was occupied by the great General Espartero.” {163}

The hostess was an exceedingly fat woman, a native of Valladolid, in Old
Castile.  “Have you any other family,” I demanded, “besides these
daughters?”  “Two sons,” she replied; “one of them an officer in the
army, father of this urchin,” pointing to a wicked but clever-looking boy
of about twelve, who at that moment bounded into the room; “the other is
the most celebrated national in Madrid.  He is a tailor by trade, and his
name is Baltasar.  He has much influence with the other nationals, on
account of the liberality of his opinions, and a word from him is
sufficient to bring them all out armed and furious to the Puerta del Sol.
He is, however, at present confined to his bed, for he is very
dissipated, and fond of the company of bullfighters and people still
worse.”

As my principal motive for visiting the Spanish capital was the hope of
obtaining permission from the government to print the New Testament in
the Castilian language, for circulation in Spain, I lost no time, upon my
arrival, in taking what I considered to be the necessary steps.

I was an entire stranger at Madrid, and bore no letters of introduction
to any persons of influence who might have assisted me in this
undertaking, so that, notwithstanding I entertained a hope of success,
relying on the assistance of the Almighty, this hope was not at all times
very vivid, but was frequently overcast with the clouds of despondency.

Mendizabal {164a} was at this time prime minister of Spain, and was
considered as a man of almost unbounded power, in whose hands were placed
the destinies of the country.  I therefore considered that if I could by
any means induce him to favour my views, I should have no reason to fear
interruption from other quarters, and I determined upon applying to him.

Before taking this step, however, I deemed it advisable to wait upon Mr.
Villiers, {164b} the British ambassador at Madrid, and, with the freedom
permitted to a British subject, to ask his advice in this affair.  I was
received with great kindness, and enjoyed a conversation with him on
various subjects before I introduced the matter which I had most at
heart.  He said that if I wished for an interview with Mendizabal he
would endeavour to procure me one, but, at the same time, told me frankly
that he could not hope that any good would arise from it, as he knew him
to be violently prejudiced against the British and Foreign Bible Society,
and was far more likely to discountenance than encourage any efforts
which they might be disposed to make for introducing the Gospel into
Spain.  I, however, remained resolute in my desire to make the trial, and
before I left him obtained a letter of introduction to Mendizabal.

Early one morning I repaired to the palace, in a wing of which was the
office of the prime minister.  It was bitterly cold, and the Guadarrama,
of which there is a noble view from the palace plain, was covered with
snow.  For at least three hours I remained shivering with cold in an
anteroom, with several other aspirants for an interview with the man of
power.  At last his private secretary made his appearance, and after
putting various questions to the others, addressed himself to me, asking
who I was and what I wanted.  I told him that I was an Englishman, and
the bearer of a letter from the British Minister.  “If you have no
objection, I will myself deliver it to his Excellency,” said he;
whereupon I handed it to him, and he withdrew.  Several individuals were
admitted before me; at last, however, my own turn came, and I was ushered
into the presence of Mendizabal.

He stood behind a table covered with papers, on which his eyes were
intently fixed.  He took not the slightest notice when I entered, and I
had leisure enough to survey him.  He was a huge athletic man, somewhat
taller than myself, who measure six feet two without my shoes.  His
complexion was florid, his features fine and regular, his nose quite
aquiline, and his teeth splendidly white; though scarcely fifty years of
age, his hair was remarkably grey.  He was dressed in a rich morning
gown, with a gold chain round his neck, and morocco slippers on his feet.

His secretary, a fine intellectual-looking man, who, as I was
subsequently informed, had acquired a name both in English and Spanish
literature, {166a} stood at one end of the table with papers in his
hands.

After I had been standing about a quarter of an hour, Mendizabal suddenly
lifted up a pair of sharp eyes, and fixed them upon me with a peculiarly
scrutinizing glance.

“I have seen a glance very similar to that amongst the Beni Israel,”
{166b} thought I to myself. . . .

My interview with him lasted nearly an hour.  Some singular discourse
passed between us.  I found him, as I had been informed, a bitter enemy
to the Bible Society, of which he spoke in terms of hatred and contempt;
and by no means a friend to the Christian religion, which I could easily
account for.  I was not discouraged, however, and pressed upon him the
matter which brought me thither, and was eventually so far successful as
to obtain a promise, that at the expiration of a few months, when he
hoped the country would be in a more tranquil state, I should be allowed
to print the Scriptures.

As I was going away he said, “Yours is not the first application I have
had: ever since I have held the reins of government I have been pestered
in this manner by English, calling themselves Evangelical Christians, who
have of late come flocking over into Spain.  Only last week a hunchbacked
fellow found his way into my cabinet whilst I was engaged in important
business, and told me that Christ was coming. . . .  And now you have
made your appearance, and almost persuaded me to embroil myself yet more
with the priesthood, as if they did not abhor me enough already.  What a
strange infatuation is this which drives you over lands and waters with
Bibles in your hands!  My good sir, it is not Bibles we want, but rather
guns and gunpowder to put the rebels down with, and, above all, money,
that we may pay the troops.  Whenever you come with these three things
you shall have a hearty welcome; if not, we really can dispense with your
visits, however great the honour.”

_Myself_.—There will be no end to the troubles of this afflicted country
until the Gospel have free circulation.

_Mendizabal_.—I expected that answer, for I have not lived thirteen years
in England without forming some acquaintance with the phraseology of you
good folks.  Now, now, pray go; you see how engaged I am.  Come again
whenever you please, but let it not be within the next three months.

“_Don Jorge_,” said my hostess, coming into my apartment one morning,
whilst I sat at breakfast, with my feet upon the _brasero_, “here is my
son Baltasarito, the national.  He has risen from his bed, and hearing
that there is an Englishman in the house, he has begged me to introduce
him, for he loves Englishmen on account of the liberality of their
opinions.  There he is; what do you think of him?”

I did not state to his mother what I thought; it appeared to me, however,
that she was quite right in calling him Baltasarito, which is the
diminutive of Baltasar, forasmuch as that ancient and sonorous name had
certainly never been bestowed on a more diminutive personage.  He might
measure about five feet one inch, though he was rather corpulent for his
height; his face looked yellow and sickly; he had, however, a kind of
fanfaronading air, and his eyes, which were of dark brown, were both
sharp and brilliant.  His dress, or rather his undress, was somewhat
shabby: he had a foraging cap on his head, and in lieu of a morning gown
he wore a sentinel’s old great-coat.

“I am glad to make your acquaintance, _señor nacional_,” said I to him,
after his mother had departed and Baltasar had taken his seat, and of
course lighted a paper cigar {168} at the _brasero_.  “I am glad to have
made your acquaintance, more especially as your lady-mother has informed
me that you have great influence with the nationals.  I am a stranger in
Spain, and may want a friend; fortune has been kind to me in procuring me
one who is a member of so powerful a body.”

_Baltasar_.—Yes, I have a great deal to say with the other nationals;
there is none in Madrid better known than Baltasar, or more dreaded by
the Carlists.  You say you may stand in need of a friend; there is no
fear of my failing you in any emergency.  Both myself and any of the
other nationals will be proud to go out with you as _padrinos_, should
you have any affair of honour on your hands.  But why do you not become
one of us?  We would gladly receive you into our body.

_Myself_.—Is the duty of a national particularly hard?

_Baltasar_.—By no means.  We have to do duty about once every fifteen
days, and then there is occasionally a review, which does not last long.
No! the duties of a national are by no means onerous, and the privileges
are great.  I have seen three of my brother nationals walk up and down
the Prado of a Sunday, with sticks in their hands, cudgelling all the
suspicious characters; and it is our common practice to scour the streets
at night, and then if we meet any person who is obnoxious to us, we fall
upon him, and with a knife or a bayonet generally leave him wallowing in
his blood on the pavement.  No one but a national would be permitted to
do that.

_Myself_.—Of course none but persons of liberal opinions are to be found
amongst the nationals?

_Baltasar_.—Would it were so!  There are some amongst us, _Don Jorge_,
who are no better than they should be; they are few, however, and for the
most part well known.  Theirs is no pleasant life, for when they mount
guard with the rest they are scouted, and not unfrequently cudgelled.
The law compels all of a certain age either to serve in the army or to
become national soldiers, on which account some of these _Godos_ are to
be found amongst us.

_Myself_.—Are there many in Madrid of the Carlist opinion?

_Baltasar_.—Not among the young people; the greater part of the
Madrilenian Carlists capable of bearing arms departed long ago to join
the ranks of the factious in the Basque provinces.  Those who remain are
for the most part greybeards and priests, good for nothing but to
assemble in private coffee-houses, and to prate treason together.  Let
them prate, _Don Jorge_; let them prate; the destinies of Spain do not
depend on the wishes of _ojalateros_ and _pasteleros_, {169} but on the
hands of stout, gallant nationals, like myself and friends, _Don Jorge_.

_Myself_.—I am sorry to learn from your lady-mother that you are
strangely dissipated.

_Baltasar_.—Ho, ho, _Don Jorge_, she has told you that, has she?  What
would you have, _Don Jorge_?  I am young, and young blood will have its
course.  I am called Baltasar the gay by all the other nationals, and it
is on account of my gaiety and the liberality of my opinions that I am so
popular among them.  When I mount guard I invariably carry my guitar with
me, and then there is sure to be a _funcion_ at the guard-house.  We send
for wine, _Don Jorge_, and the nationals become wild, _Don Jorge_,
dancing and drinking through the night, whilst Baltasarito strums the
guitar and sings them songs of _Germanía_:— {170a}

    “Una romí sin pachí
    Le penó á su chindomar,” {170b} etc., etc.

That is _Gitano_, _Don Jorge_; I learnt it from the _toreros_ of
Andalusia, who all speak _Gitano_, and are mostly of gypsy blood.  I
learnt it from them; they are all friends of mine, Montes, Sevilla, and
Poquito Pan. {170c}  I never miss a _funcion_ of bulls, _Don Jorge_.
Baltasar is sure to be there with his _amiga_.  _Don Jorge_, there are no
bull-funcions in the winter, or I would carry you to one, but happily
to-morrow there is an execution, a _funcion de la horca_; {171} and there
we will go, _Don Jorge_.

We did go to see this execution, which I shall long remember.  The
criminals were two young men, brothers; they suffered for a most
atrocious murder, having in the dead of night broken open the house of an
aged man, whom they put to death, and whose property they stole.
Criminals in Spain are not hanged as they are in England, or guillotined
as in France, but strangled upon a wooden stage.  They sit down on a kind
of chair with a post behind, to which is affixed an iron collar with a
screw; this iron collar is made to clasp the neck of the prisoner, and on
a certain signal it is drawn tighter and tighter by means of the screw,
until life becomes extinct.  After we had waited amongst the assembled
multitude a considerable time, the first of the culprits appeared; he was
mounted on an ass without saddle or stirrups, his legs being allowed to
dangle nearly to the ground.  He was dressed in yellow, sulphur-coloured
robes, with a high-peaked conical red hat on his head, which was shaven.
Between his hands he held a parchment, on which was written something—I
believe the confession of faith.  Two priests led the animal by the
bridle; two others walked on either side, chanting litanies, amongst
which I distinguished the words of heavenly peace and tranquillity, for
the culprit had been reconciled to the church, had confessed and received
absolution, and had been promised admission to heaven.  He did not
exhibit the least symptom of fear, but dismounted from the animal and was
led, not supported, up the scaffold, where he was placed on the chair,
and the fatal collar put round his neck.  One of the priests then in a
loud voice commenced saying the Belief, and the culprit repeated the
words after him.  On a sudden, the executioner, who stood behind,
commenced turning the screw, which was of prodigious force, and the
wretched man was almost instantly a corpse; but, as the screw went round,
the priest began to shout, “_pax et misericordia et tranquillitas_,”
{172} and still as he shouted, his voice became louder and louder, till
the lofty walls of Madrid rang with it.  Then stooping down, he placed
his mouth close to the culprit’s ear, still shouting, just as if he would
pursue the spirit through its course to eternity, cheering it on its way.
The effect was tremendous.  I myself was so excited that I involuntarily
shouted, “_Misericordia_,” and so did many others.  God was not thought
of; Christ was not thought of; only the priest was thought of, for he
seemed at that moment to be the first being in existence, and to have the
power of opening and shutting the gates of heaven or of hell, just as he
should think proper—a striking instance of the successful working of the
Popish system, whose grand aim has ever been to keep people’s minds as
far as possible from God, and to centre their hopes and fears in the
priesthood.  The execution of the second culprit was precisely similar;
he ascended the scaffold a few minutes after his brother had breathed his
last.

I have visited most of the principal capitals of the world, but upon the
whole none has ever so interested me as this city of Madrid, in which I
now found myself.  I will not dwell upon its streets, its edifices, its
public squares, its fountains, though some of these are remarkable
enough; but Petersburg has finer streets, Paris and Edinburgh more
stately edifices, London far nobler squares, whilst Shiraz can boast of
more costly fountains, though not cooler waters.  But the population!
Within a mud wall scarcely one league and a half in circuit, are
contained two hundred thousand human beings, certainly forming the most
extraordinary vital mass to be found in the entire world; and be it
always remembered that this mass is strictly Spanish.  The population of
Constantinople is extraordinary enough, but to form it twenty nations
have contributed—Greeks, Armenians, Persians, Poles, Jews, the latter,
by-the-by, of Spanish origin, and speaking amongst themselves the old
Spanish language; but the huge population of Madrid, with the exception
of a sprinkling of foreigners, chiefly French tailors, glove-makers, and
_perruquiers_, is strictly Spanish, though a considerable portion are not
natives of the place.  Here are no colonies of Germans, as at Saint
Petersburg; no English factories, as at Lisbon; no multitudes of insolent
Yankees lounging through the streets, as at the Havannah, with an air
which seems to say, “The land is our own whenever we choose to take it;”
but a population which, however strange and wild, and composed of various
elements, is Spanish, and will remain so as long as the city itself shall
exist.  Hail, ye _aguadores_ of Asturia! who, in your dress of coarse
duffel and leathern skull-caps, are seen seated in hundreds by the
fountain sides, upon your empty water-casks, or staggering with them
filled to the topmost stories of lofty houses.  Hail, ye _caleseros_ of
Valencia! who, lolling lazily against your vehicles, rasp tobacco for
your paper cigars whilst waiting for a fare.  Hail to you, beggars of La
Mancha! men and women, who, wrapped in coarse blankets, demand charity
indifferently at the gate of the palace or the prison.  Hail to you,
valets from the mountains, _mayordomos_ and secretaries from Biscay and
Guipuzcoa, _toreros_ from Andalusia, _reposteros_ from Galicia,
shopkeepers from Catalonia!  Hail to ye, Castilians, Estremenians, and
Aragonese, of whatever calling!  And lastly, genuine sons of the capital,
rabble of Madrid, ye twenty thousand _manolos_, {174a} whose terrible
knives, on the second morning of May, {174b} worked such grim havoc
amongst the legions of Murat!

And the higher orders—the ladies and gentlemen, the cavaliers and
_señoras_—shall I pass them by in silence?  The truth is I have little to
say about them; I mingled but little in their society, and what I saw of
them by no means tended to exalt them in my imagination.  I am not one of
those who, wherever they go, make it a constant practice to disparage the
higher orders, and to exalt the populace at their expense.  There are
many capitals in which the high aristocracy, the lords and ladies, the
sons and daughters of nobility, constitute the most remarkable and the
most interesting part of the population.  This is the case at Vienna, and
more especially at London.  Who can rival the English aristocrat in lofty
stature, in dignified bearing, in strength of hand, and valour of heart?
Who rides a nobler horse?  Who has a firmer seat?  And who more lovely
than his wife, or sister, or daughter?  But with respect to the Spanish
aristocracy, the ladies and gentlemen, the cavaliers and _señoras_, I
believe the less that is said of them on the points to which I have just
alluded the better.  I confess, however, that I know little about them;
they have, perhaps, their admirers, and to the pens of such I leave their
panegyric.  Le Sage has described them as they were nearly two centuries
ago.  His description is anything but captivating, and I do not think
that they have improved since the period of the sketches of the immortal
Frenchman.  I would sooner talk of the lower class, not only of Madrid,
but of all Spain.  The Spaniard of the lower class has much more interest
for me, whether _manolo_, labourer, or muleteer.  He is not a common
being; he is an extraordinary man.  He has not, it is true, the
amiability and generosity of the Russian _mujik_, who will give his only
_rouble_ rather than the stranger shall want; nor his placid courage,
which renders him insensible to fear, and, at the command of his Tsar,
sends him singing to certain death. {175}  There is more hardness and
less self-devotion in the disposition of the Spaniard; he possesses,
however, a spirit of proud independence, which it is impossible but to
admire.  He is ignorant, of course; but it is singular, that I have
invariably found amongst the low and slightly educated classes far more
liberality of sentiment than amongst the upper.  It has long been the
fashion to talk of the bigotry of the Spaniards, and their mean jealousy
of foreigners.  This is true to a certain extent; but it chiefly holds
good with respect to the upper classes.  If foreign valour or talent has
never received its proper meed in Spain, the great body of the Spaniards
are certainly not in fault.  I have heard Wellington calumniated in this
proud scene of his triumphs, but never by the old soldiers of Aragon and
the Asturias, who assisted to vanquish the French at Salamanca and the
Pyrenees.  I have heard the manner of riding of an English jockey
criticized, but it was by the idiotic heir of Medina Celi, and not by a
_picador_ of the Madrilenian bull-ring.

Apropos of bull-fighters:—Shortly after my arrival, I one day entered a
low tavern in a neighbourhood notorious for robbery and murder, and in
which for the last two hours I had been wandering on a voyage of
discovery.  I was fatigued, and required refreshment.  I found the place
thronged with people, who had all the appearance of ruffians.  I saluted
them, upon which they made way for me to the bar, taking off their
_sombreros_ with great ceremony.  I emptied a glass of _val de peñas_,
and was about to pay for it and depart, when a horrible-looking fellow,
dressed in a buff jerkin, leather breeches, and jackboots, which came
halfway up his thighs, and having on his head a white hat, the rims of
which were at least a yard and a half in circumference, pushed through
the crowd, and confronting me, roared:—

“_Otra copita_! _vamos Inglesito_: _Otra copita_!” {176}

“Thank you, my good sir, you are very kind.  You appear to know me, but I
have not the honour of knowing you.”

“Not know me!” replied the being.  “I am Sevilla, the _torero_.  I know
you well; you are the friend of Baltasarito, the national, who is a
friend of mine, and a very good subject.”

Then turning to the company, he said in a sonorous tone, laying a strong
emphasis on the last syllable of every word, according to the custom of
the _gente rufianesca_ throughout Spain—

“Cavaliers, and strong men, this cavalier is the friend of a friend of
mine.  _Es mucho hombre_. {177a}  There is none like him in Spain.  He
speaks the crabbed _Gitano_, though he is an _Inglesito_.”

“We do not believe it,” replied several grave voices.  “It is not
possible.”

“It is not possible, say you?  I tell you it is.  Come forward, Balseiro,
you who have been in prison all your life, and are always boasting that
you can speak the crabbed _Gitano_, though I say you know nothing of
it—come forward and speak to his worship in the crabbed _Gitano_.”

A low, slight, but active figure stepped forward.  He was in his
shirt-sleeves, and wore a _montero_ cap; {177b} his features were
handsome, but they were those of a demon.

He spoke a few words in the broken gypsy slang of the prison, inquiring
of me whether I had ever been in the condemned cell, and whether I knew
what a _Gitana_ {177c} was.

“_Vamos Inglesito_,” shouted Sevilla, in a voice of thunder; “answer the
_monró_ in the crabbed _Gitano_.”

I answered the robber, for such he was, and one too whose name will live
for many a year in the ruffian histories of Madrid; I answered him in a
speech of some length, in the dialect of the Estremenian gypsies.

“I believe it is the crabbed _Gitano_,” muttered Balseiro.  “It is either
that or English, for I understand not a word of it.”

“Did I not say to you,” cried the bull-fighter, “that you knew nothing of
the crabbed _Gitano_?  But this _Inglesito_ does.  I understood all he
said.  _Vaya_, there is none like him for the crabbed _Gitano_.  He is a
good _ginete_, too; next to myself, there is none like him, only he rides
with stirrup leathers too short. {178}  _Inglesito_, if you have need of
money, I will lend you my purse.  All I have is at your service, and that
is not a little; I have just gained four thousand _chulés_ by the
lottery.  Courage, Englishman!  Another cup.  I will pay all—I, Sevilla!”

And he clapped his hand repeatedly on his breast, reiterating, “I,
Sevilla!  I—”



CHAPTER XIII.


Intrigues at Court—Quesada and Galiano—Dissolution of the Cortes—The
Secretary—Aragonese Pertinacity—The Council of Trent—The Asturian—The
Three Thieves—Benedict Mol—The Men of Lucerne—The Treasure.

Mendizabal had told me to call upon him again at the end of three months,
giving me hopes that he would not then oppose himself to the publication
of the New Testament; before, however, the three months had elapsed, he
had fallen into disgrace, and had ceased to be prime minister.

An intrigue had been formed against him, at the head of which were two
quondam friends of his, and fellow-townsmen, Gaditanians, Isturitz, and
Alcala Galiano.  Both of them had been egregious liberals in their day,
and indeed principal members of those Cortes which, on the Angoulême
invasion, had hurried Ferdinand from Madrid to Cadiz, and kept him
prisoner there until that impregnable town thought proper to surrender,
and both of them had been subsequently refugees in England, where they
had spent a considerable number of years.

These gentlemen, however, finding themselves about this time exceedingly
poor, and not seeing any immediate prospect of advantage from supporting
Mendizabal—considering themselves, moreover, quite as good men as he, and
as capable of governing Spain in the present emergency—determined to
secede from the party of their friend, whom they had hitherto supported,
and to set up for themselves.

They therefore formed an opposition to Mendizabal in the Cortes; the
members of this opposition assumed the name of _moderados_, in
contradistinction to Mendizabal and his followers, who were
ultra-liberals.  The _moderados_ were encouraged by the Queen Regent
Christina, who aimed at a little more power than the liberals were
disposed to allow her, and who had a personal dislike to the minister.
They were likewise encouraged by Cordova, {180a} who at that time
commanded the army, and was displeased with Mendizabal, inasmuch as the
latter did not supply the pecuniary demands of the general with
sufficient alacrity, though it is said that the greater part of what was
sent for the payment of the troops was not devoted to that purpose, but
was invested in the French funds in the name and for the use and behoof
of the said Cordova.

It is, however, by no means my intention to write an account of the
political events which were passing around me at this period; suffice it
to say that Mendizabal, finding himself thwarted in all his projects by
the Regent and the general, the former of whom would adopt no measure
which he recommended, whilst the latter remained inactive, and refused to
engage the enemy, which by this time had recovered from the check caused
by the death of Zumalacarregui, {180b} and was making considerable
progress, resigned, and left the field, for the time, open to his
adversaries, though he possessed an immense majority in the Cortes, and
had the voice of the nation, at least the liberal part of it, in his
favour.

Thereupon {181a} Isturitz {181b} became head of the cabinet, Galiano
minister of marine, and a certain Duke of Rivas minister of the interior.
These were the heads of the _moderado_ government; but as they were by no
means popular at Madrid, and feared the nationals, they associated with
themselves one who hated the latter body, and feared nothing, a man of
the name of Quesada—a very stupid individual, but a great fighter, who,
at one period of his life, had commanded a legion or body of men called
the Army of the Faith, whose exploits, both on the French and Spanish
side of the Pyrenees, are too well known to require recapitulation.  This
person was made captain-general of Madrid. {181c}

By far the most clever member of this government was Galiano, whose
acquaintance I had formed shortly after my arrival.  He was a man of
considerable literature, and particularly well versed in that of his own
country.  He was, moreover, a fluent, elegant, and forcible speaker, and
was to the _moderado_ party within the Cortes what Quesada was without,
namely, their horses and chariots.  Why he was made minister of marine is
difficult to say, as Spain did not possess any; perhaps, however, from
his knowledge of the English language, which he spoke and wrote nearly as
well as his own tongue, having, indeed, during his sojourn in England,
chiefly supported himself by writing for reviews and journals,—an
honourable occupation, but to which few foreign exiles in England would
be qualified to devote themselves.

He was a very small and irritable man, and a bitter enemy to every person
who stood in the way of his advancement.  He hated Mendizabal with
undisguised rancour, and never spoke of him but in terms of unmeasured
contempt.  “I am afraid that I shall have some difficulty in inducing
Mendizabal to give me permission to print the Testament,” said I to him
one day.  “Mendizabal is a jackass,” replied Galiano.  “Caligula made his
horse consul, which I suppose induced Lord --- to send over this huge
_burro_ of the Stock Exchange to be our minister.”

It would be very ungrateful, on my part, were I not to confess my great
obligations to Galiano, who assisted me to the utmost of his power in the
business which had brought me to Spain.  Shortly after the ministry was
formed, I went to him and said, “that now or never was the time to make
an effort in my behalf.”  “I will do so,” said he, in a waspish tone; for
he always spoke waspishly whether to friend or foe; “but you must have
patience for a few days; we are very much occupied at present.  We have
been out-voted in the Cortes, and this afternoon we intend to dissolve
them.  It is believed that the rascals will refuse to depart, but Quesada
will stand at the door ready to turn them out, should they prove
refractory.  Come along, and you will perhaps see a _funcion_.”

After an hour’s debate, the Cortes were dissolved without it being
necessary to call in the aid of the redoubtable Quesada, and Galiano
forthwith gave me a letter to his colleague, the Duke of Rivas, in whose
department he told me was vested the power either of giving or refusing
the permission to print the book in question.  The duke was a very
handsome young man, of about thirty, an Andalusian by birth, like his two
colleagues.  He had published several works—tragedies, I believe—and
enjoyed a certain kind of literary reputation.  He received me with the
greatest affability; and having heard what I had to say, he replied with
a most captivating bow, and a genuine Andalusian grimace: “Go to my
secretary; go to my secretary—_el hará por usted el gusto_.” {183}  So I
went to the secretary, whose name was Oliban, an Aragonese, who was not
handsome, and whose manners were neither elegant nor affable.  “You want
permission to print the Testament?”  “I do,” said I.  “And you have come
to his Excellency about it?” continued Oliban.  “Very true,” I replied.
“I suppose you intend to print it without notes?”  “Yes.”  “Then his
Excellency cannot give you permission,” said the Aragonese secretary.
“It was determined by the Council of Trent that no part of the Scripture
should be printed in any Christian country without the notes of the
church.”  “How many years was that ago?” I demanded.  “I do not know how
many years ago it was,” said Oliban; “but such was the decree of the
Council of Trent.”  “Is Spain at present governed according to the
decrees of the Council of Trent?” I inquired.  “In some points she is,”
answered the Aragonese, “and this is one.  But tell me, who are you?  Are
you known to the British minister?”  “Oh yes, and he takes a great
interest in the matter.”  “Does he?” said Oliban; “that indeed alters the
case: if you can show me that his Excellency takes an interest in this
business, I certainly shall not oppose myself to it.”

The British minister performed all I could wish, and much more than I
could expect.  He had an interview with the Duke of Rivas, with whom he
had much discourse upon my affair: the duke was all smiles and courtesy.
He moreover wrote a private letter to the duke, which he advised me to
present when I next paid him a visit; and, to crown all, he wrote a
letter directed to myself, in which he did me the honour to say, that he
had a regard for me, and that nothing would afford him greater pleasure
than to hear that I had obtained the permission which I was seeking.  So
I went to the duke, and delivered the letter.  He was ten times more kind
and affable than before: he read the letter, smiled most sweetly, and
then, as if seized with sudden enthusiasm, he extended his arms in a
manner almost theatrical, exclaiming, “_Al secretario_, _el hará por
usted el gusto_.”  Away I hurried to the secretary, who received me with
all the coolness of an icicle.  I related to him the words of his
principal, and then put into his hand the letter of the British minister
to myself.  The secretary read it very deliberately, and then said that
it was evident his Excellency “did take an interest in the matter.”  He
then asked me my name, and, taking a sheet of paper, sat down as if for
the purpose of writing the permission.  I was in ecstasy.  All of a
sudden, however, he stopped, lifted up his head, seemed to consider a
moment, and then, putting his pen behind his ear, he said, “Amongst the
decrees of the Council of Trent is one to the effect . . .”

“Oh dear!” said I.

“A singular person is this Oliban,” said I to Galiano; “you cannot
imagine what trouble he gives me; he is continually talking about the
Council of Trent.”

“I wish he was in the Trent up to the middle,” said Galiano, who, as I
have observed already, spoke excellent English; “I wish he was there for
talking such nonsense.  However,” said he, “we must not offend Oliban—he
is one of us, and has done us much service; he is, moreover, a very
clever man, but he is an Aragonese, and when one of that nation once gets
an idea into his head, it is the most difficult thing in the world to
dislodge it.  However, we will go to him.  He is an old friend of mine,
and I have no doubt but that we shall be able to make him listen to
reason.”

So the next day I called upon Galiano, at his marine or admiralty office
(what shall I call it?), and from thence we proceeded to the bureau of
the interior, a magnificent edifice, which had formerly been the _casa_
of the Inquisition, where we had an interview with Oliban, whom Galiano
took aside to the window, and there held with him a long conversation,
which, as they spoke in whispers, and the room was immensely large, I did
not hear.  At length Galiano came to me, and said, “There is some
difficulty with respect to this business of yours, but I have told Oliban
that you are a friend of mine, and he says that that is sufficient;
remain with him now, and he will do anything to oblige you.  Your affair
is settled—farewell.”  Whereupon he departed, and I remained with Oliban,
who proceeded forthwith to write something, which having concluded, he
took out a box of cigars, and having lighted one and offered me another,
which I declined, as I do not smoke, he placed his feet against the
table, and thus proceeded to address me, speaking in the French language.

“It is with great pleasure that I see you in this capital, and, I may
say, upon this business.  I consider it a disgrace to Spain that there is
no edition of the Gospel in circulation, at least such a one as would be
within the reach of all classes of society, the highest or poorest; one
unencumbered with notes and commentaries, human devices, swelling it to
an unwieldy bulk.  I have no doubt that such an edition as you propose to
print would have a most beneficial influence on the minds of the people,
who, between ourselves, know nothing of pure religion; how should they?
seeing that the Gospel has always been sedulously kept from them, just as
if civilization could exist where the light of the Gospel beameth not.
The moral regeneration of Spain depends upon the free circulation of the
Scriptures; to which alone England, your own happy country, is indebted
for its high state of civilization and the unmatched prosperity which it
at present enjoys.  All this I admit, in fact reason compels me to do so,
but—”

“Now for it,” thought I.

“Bu—”  And then he began to talk once more of the wearisome Council of
Trent and I found that his writing in the paper, the offer of the cigar,
and the long and prosy harangue were—what shall I call it?—mere φλυαρία.
{186}

By this time the spring was far advanced; the sides, though not the tops,
of the Guadarrama hills had long since lost their snows; the trees of the
Prado had donned their full foliage, and all the _campiña_ in the
neighbourhood of Madrid smiled and was happy.  The summer heats had not
commenced, and the weather was truly delicious.

Towards the west, at the foot of the hill on which stands Madrid, is a
canal running parallel with the Manzanares for some leagues, from which
it is separated by pleasant and fertile meadows.  The banks of this
canal, which was begun by Carlos Tercero {187} and has never been
completed, are planted with beautiful trees, and form the most delightful
walk in the neighbourhood of the capital.  Here I would loiter for hours,
looking at the shoals of gold and silver fish which basked on the surface
of the green sunny waters, or listening, not to the warbling of birds—for
Spain is not the land of feathered choristers—but to the prattle of the
_narangero_, or man who sold oranges and water by a little deserted
water-tower just opposite the wooden bridge that crosses the canal, which
situation he had chosen as favourable for his trade, and there had placed
his stall.  He was an Asturian by birth, about fifty years of age, and
about five feet high.  As I purchased freely of his fruit, he soon
conceived a great friendship for me, and told me his history; it
contained, however, nothing very remarkable, the leading incident being
an adventure which had befallen him amidst the mountains of Granada,
where, falling into the hands of certain gypsies, they stripped him
naked, and then dismissed him with a sound cudgelling.  “I have wandered
throughout Spain,” said he, “and I have come to the conclusion that there
are but two places worth living in, Malaga and Madrid.  At Malaga
everything is very cheap, and there is such an abundance of fish, that I
have frequently seen them piled in heaps on the seashore; and as for
Madrid, money is always stirring at the Corte, and I never go supperless
to bed.  My only care is to sell my oranges, and my only hope that when I
die I shall be buried yonder.”  And he pointed across the Manzanares,
where, on the declivity of a gentle hill, at about a league’s distance,
shone brightly in the sunshine the white walls of the _Campo Santo_, or
common burying-ground of Madrid.

He was a fellow of infinite drollery, and, though he could scarcely read
or write, by no means ignorant of the ways of the world: his knowledge of
individuals was curious and extensive, few people passing his stall with
whose names, character, and history he was not acquainted.  “These two
gentry,” said he, pointing to a magnificently dressed cavalier and lady,
who had dismounted from a carriage, and arm-in-arm were coming across the
wooden bridge, followed by two attendants; “those gentry are the
_Infante_ Francisco Paulo, and his wife the _Neapolitana_, sister of our
Christina.  He is a very good subject, but as for his wife—_vaya_—the
veriest scold in Madrid; she can say _carrajo_ with the most
ill-conditioned carrier of La Mancha, giving the true emphasis and
genuine pronunciation.  Don’t take off your hat to her, amigo—she has
neither formality nor politeness; I once saluted her, and she took no
more notice of me than if I had not been what I am, an Asturian and a
gentleman, of better blood than herself.  Good day, _Señor Don_
Francisco.  _Que tal_. {188}  Very fine weather this—_vaya su merced con
Dios_.  Those three fellows, who just stopped to drink water, are great
thieves, true sons of the prison.  I am always civil to them, for it
would not do to be on ill terms; they pay me or not, just as they think
proper.  I have been in some trouble on their account: about a year ago
they robbed a man a little farther on beyond the second bridge.  By the
way, I counsel you, brother, not to go there, as I believe you often do;
it is a dangerous place.  They robbed a gentleman and ill-treated him,
but his brother, who was an _escribano_, was soon upon their trail, and
had them arrested; but he wanted some one to identify them, and it
chanced that they had stopped to drink water at my stall, just as they
did now.  This the _escribano_ heard of, and forthwith had me away to
prison to confront me with them.  I knew them well enough, but I had
learnt in my travels when to close my eyes and when to open them; so I
told the _escribano_ that I could not say that I had ever seen them
before.  He was in a great rage, and threatened to imprison me; I told
him he might, and that I cared not.  _Vaya_, I was not going to expose
myself to the resentment of those three and to that of their friends; I
live too near the Hay Market for that.  Good day, my young masters.
Murcian oranges, as you see; the genuine dragon’s blood.  Water sweet and
cold.  Those two boys are the children of Gabiria, comptroller of the
queen’s household, and the richest man in Madrid; they are nice boys, and
buy much fruit.  It is said their father loves them more than all his
possessions.  The old woman who is lying beneath yon tree is the _Tia_
Lucilla; she has committed murders, and as she owes me money, I hope one
day to see her executed.  This man was of the Walloon guard—_Señor Don_
Benito Mol, how do you do?”

This last-named personage instantly engrossed my attention.  He was a
bulky old man, somewhat above the middle height, with white hair and
ruddy features; his eyes were large and blue, and, whenever he fixed them
on any one’s countenance, were full of an expression of great eagerness,
as if he were expecting the communication of some important tidings.  He
was dressed commonly enough in a jacket and trousers of coarse cloth of a
russet colour; on his head was an immense _sombrero_, the brim of which
had been much cut and mutilated, so as in some places to resemble the
jags or denticles of a saw.  He returned the salutation of the
orange-man, and bowing to me, forthwith produced two scented wash-balls,
which he offered for sale, in a rough dissonant jargon, intended for
Spanish, but which seemed more like the Valencian or Catalan.

Upon my asking him who he was, the following conversation ensued between
us:—

“I am a Swiss of Lucerne, Benedict Mol {190} by name, once a soldier in
the Walloon guard, and now a soap-boiler, at your service.”

“You speak the language of Spain very imperfectly,” said I; “how long
have you been in the country?”

“Forty-five years,” replied Benedict; “but when the guard was broken up,
I went to Minorca, where I lost the Spanish language without acquiring
the Catalan.”

“You have been a soldier of the king of Spain,” said I; “how did you like
the service?”

“Not so well, but that I should have been glad to leave it forty years
ago; the pay was bad, and the treatment worse.  I will now speak Swiss to
you, for, if I am not much mistaken, you are a German man, and understand
the speech of Lucerne.  I should soon have deserted from the service of
Spain, as I did from that of the Pope, whose soldier I was in my early
youth, before I came here; but I had married a woman of Minorca, by whom
I had two children; it was this that detained me in those parts so long;
before, however, I left Minorca my wife died, and as for my children, one
went east, the other west, and I know not what became of them.  I intend
shortly to return to Lucerne, and live there like a duke.”

“Have you, then, realized a large capital in Spain?” said I, glancing at
his hat and the rest of his apparel.

“Not a _cuart_, {191} not a _cuart_; these two wash-balls are all that I
possess.”

“Perhaps you are the son of good parents, and have lands and money in
your own country wherewith to support yourself.”

“Not a _heller_, not a _heller_; my father was hangman of Lucerne, and
when he died, his body was seized to pay his debts.”

“Then, doubtless,” said I, “you intend to ply your trade of soap-boiling
at Lucerne.  You are right, my friend; I know of no occupation more
honourable or useful.”

“I have no thoughts of plying my trade at Lucerne,” replied Benedict;
“and now, as I see you are a German man, _lieber Herr_, and as I like
your countenance and your manner of speaking, I will tell you in
confidence that I know very little of my trade, and have already been
turned out of several fabriques as an evil workman; the two wash-balls
that I carry in my pocket are not of my own making.  _In kurzem_, {192} I
know little more of soap-boiling than I do of tailoring, horse-farriery,
or shoe-making, all of which I have practised.”

“Then I know not how you can hope to live like a _Herzog_ in your native
canton, unless you expect that the men of Lucerne, in consideration of
your services to the Pope and to the King of Spain, will maintain you in
splendour at the public expense.”

“_Lieber Herr_,” said Benedict, “the men of Lucerne are by no means fond
of maintaining the soldiers of the Pope and the King of Spain at their
own expense.  Many of the guard who have returned thither beg their bread
in the streets; but when I go, it shall be in a coach drawn by six mules,
with a treasure, a mighty _Schatz_ which lies in the church of Saint
James of Compostella, in Galicia.”

“I hope you do not intend to rob the church,” said I; “if you do,
however, I believe you will be disappointed.  Mendizabal and the liberals
have been beforehand with you.  I am informed that at present no other
treasure is to be found in the cathedrals of Spain than a few paltry
ornaments and plated utensils.”

“My good German _Herr_,” said Benedict, “it is no church _Schatz_, and no
person living, save myself, knows of its existence: nearly thirty years
ago, amongst the sick soldiers who were brought to Madrid, was one of my
comrades of the Walloon Guard, who had accompanied the French to
Portugal; he was very sick and shortly died.  Before, however, he
breathed his last, he sent for me, and upon his death-bed told me that
himself and two other soldiers, both of whom had since been killed, had
buried in a certain church at Compostella a great booty which they had
made in Portugal; it consisted of gold _moidores_ and of a packet of huge
diamonds from the Brazils; the whole was contained in a large copper
kettle.  I listened with greedy ears, and from that moment, I may say, I
have known no rest, neither by day nor night, thinking of the _Schatz_.
It is very easy to find, for the dying man was so exact in his
description of the place where it lies, that were I once at Compostella,
I should have no difficulty in putting my hand upon it; several times I
have been on the point of setting out on the journey, but something has
always happened to stop me.  When my wife died, I left Minorca with a
determination to go to Saint James; {193a} but on reaching Madrid, I fell
into the hands of a Basque woman, who persuaded me to live with her,
which I have done for several years.  She is a great _Hax_, {193b} and
says that if I desert her she will breathe a spell which shall cling to
me for ever.  _Dem Gottsey Dank_, {193c} she is now in the hospital, and
daily expected to die.  This is my history, _lieber Herr_.”

I have been the more careful in relating the above conversation, as I
shall have frequent occasion to mention the Swiss in the course of these
journals; his subsequent adventures were highly extraordinary, and the
closing one caused a great sensation in Spain.



CHAPTER XIV.


State of Spain—Isturitz—Revolution of the Granja—The Disturbance—Signs of
Mischief—Newspaper Reporters—Quesada’s Onslaught—The closing Scene—Flight
of the Moderados—The Coffee Bowl.

In the mean time the affairs of the _moderados_ did not proceed in a very
satisfactory manner; they were unpopular at Madrid, and still more so in
the other large towns of Spain, in most of which _juntas_ had been
formed, which, taking the local administration into their own hands,
declared themselves independent of the queen and her ministers, and
refused to pay taxes; so that the government was within a short time
reduced to great straits for money.  The army was unpaid, and the war
languished—I mean on the part of the _Cristinos_, for the Carlists were
pushing it on with considerable vigour; parties of their _guerillas_
{194} scouring the country in all directions, whilst a large division,
under the celebrated Gomez, was making the entire circuit of Spain.  To
crown the whole, an insurrection was daily expected at Madrid, to prevent
which the nationals were disarmed, which measure tended greatly to
increase their hatred against the _moderado_ government, and especially
against Quesada, with whom it was supposed to have originated.

With respect to my own matters, I lost no opportunity of pushing forward
my application; the Aragonese secretary, however, still harped upon the
Council of Trent, and succeeded in baffling all my efforts.  He appeared
to have inoculated his principal with his own ideas upon this subject,
for the duke, when he beheld me at his levees, took no farther notice of
me than by a contemptuous glance; and once, when I stepped up for the
purpose of addressing him, disappeared through a side-door, and I never
saw him again, for I was disgusted with the treatment which I had
received, and forbore paying any more visits at the _Casa de la
Inquisicion_.  Poor Galiano still proved himself my unshaken friend, but
candidly informed me that there was no hope of my succeeding in the above
quarter.  “The duke,” said he, “says that your request cannot be granted;
and the other day, when I myself mentioned it in the council, began to
talk of the decision of Trent, and spoke of yourself as a plaguy
pestilent fellow; whereupon I answered him with some acrimony, and there
ensued a bit of a _funcion_ between us, at which Isturitz laughed
heartily.  By-the-by,” continued he, “what need have you of a regular
permission, which it does not appear that any one has authority to grant?
The best thing that you can do under the circumstances is to commit the
work to the press, with an understanding that you shall not be interfered
with when you attempt to distribute it.  I strongly advise you to see
Isturitz himself upon the matter.  I will prepare him for the interview,
and will answer that he receives you civilly.”

In fact, a few days afterwards, I had an interview with Isturitz at the
palace, and for the sake of brevity I shall content myself with saying
that I found him perfectly well disposed to favour my views.  “I have
lived long in England,” said he; “the Bible is free there, and I see no
reason why it should not be free in Spain also.  I am not prepared to say
that England is indebted for her prosperity to the knowledge which all
her children, more or less, possess of the sacred writings; but of one
thing I am sure, namely, that the Bible has done no harm in that country,
nor do I believe that it will effect any in Spain.  Print it, therefore,
by all means, and circulate it as extensively as possible.”  I retired,
highly satisfied with my interview, having obtained, if not a written
permission to print the sacred volume, what, under all circumstances, I
considered as almost equivalent—an understanding that my biblical
pursuits would be tolerated in Spain; and I had fervent hope that,
whatever was the fate of the present ministry, no future one,
particularly a liberal one, would venture to interfere with me, more
especially as the English ambassador was my friend, and was privy to all
the steps I had taken throughout the whole affair. {196}

Two or three things connected with the above interview with Isturitz
struck me as being highly remarkable.  First of all, the extreme facility
with which I obtained admission to the presence of the prime minister of
Spain.  I had not to wait, or indeed to send in my name, but was
introduced at once by the doorkeeper.  Secondly, the air of loneliness
which pervaded the place, so unlike the bustle, noise, and activity which
I observed when I waited on Mendizabal.  In this instance, there were no
eager candidates for an interview with the great man; indeed, I did not
behold a single individual, with the exception of Isturitz and the
official.  But that which made the most profound impression upon me, was
the manner of the minister himself, who, when I entered, sat upon a sofa,
with his arms folded, and his eyes directed to the ground.  When he spoke
there was extreme depression in the tones of his voice, his dark features
wore an air of melancholy, and he exhibited all the appearance of a
person meditating to escape from the miseries of this life by the most
desperate of all acts—suicide.

And a few days showed that he had, indeed, cause for much melancholy
meditation: in less than a week occurred the revolution of La Granja,
{197} as it is called.  La Granja, or the Grange, is a royal country
seat, situated amongst pine forests on the other side of the Guadarrama
hills, about twelve leagues distant from Madrid.  To this place the Queen
Regent Christina had retired, in order to be aloof from the discontent of
the capital, and to enjoy rural air and amusements in this celebrated
retreat, a monument of the taste and magnificence of the first Bourbon
who ascended the throne of Spain.  She was not, however, permitted to
remain long in tranquillity; her own guards were disaffected, and more
inclined to the principles of the constitution of 1823 than to those of
absolute monarchy, which the _moderados_ were attempting to revive again
in the government of Spain.  Early one morning, a party of these
soldiers, headed by a certain Sergeant Garcia, entered her apartment, and
proposed that she should subscribe her hand to this constitution, and
swear solemnly to abide by it.  Christina, however, who was a woman of
considerable spirit, refused to comply with this proposal, and ordered
them to withdraw.  A scene of violence and tumult ensued, but the Regent
still continuing firm, the soldiers at length led her down to one of the
courts of the palace, where stood her well-known paramour, Muñoz, bound
and blindfolded.  “Swear to the constitution, you she-rogue,” vociferated
the swarthy sergeant.  “Never!” said the spirited daughter of the
Neapolitan Bourbons.  “Then your _cortejo_ shall die!” replied the
sergeant.  “Ho! ho! my lads; get ready your arms, and send four bullets
through the fellow’s brain.”  Muñoz was forthwith led to the wall, and
compelled to kneel down, the soldiers levelled their muskets, and another
moment would have consigned the unfortunate wight to eternity, when
Christina, forgetting everything but the feelings of her woman’s heart,
suddenly started forward with a shriek, exclaiming, “Hold, hold!  I sign,
I sign!”

The day after this event {198} I entered the Puerta del Sol at about
noon.  There is always a crowd there about this hour, but it is generally
a very quiet motionless crowd, consisting of listless idlers calmly
smoking their cigars, or listening to or retailing the—in general—very
dull news of the capital; but on the day of which I am speaking, the mass
was no longer inert.  There was much gesticulation and vociferation, and
several people were running about shouting, “_Viva la constitucion_!”—a
cry which, a few days previously, would have been visited on the utterer
with death, the city having for some weeks past been subjected to the
rigour of martial law.  I occasionally heard the words, “_La Granja_!
_La Granja_!” which words were sure to be succeeded by the shout of
“_Viva la constitucion_!”  Opposite the _Casa de Postas_ {199} were drawn
up in a line about a dozen mounted dragoons, some of whom were
continually waving their caps in the air and joining the common cry, in
which they were encouraged by their commander, a handsome young officer,
who flourished his sword, and more than once cried out with great glee,
“Long live the constitutional queen!  Long live the constitution!”

The crowd was rapidly increasing, and several nationals made their
appearance in their uniforms, but without their arms, of which they had
been deprived, as I have already stated.  “What has become of the
_moderado_ government?” said I to Baltasar, whom I suddenly observed
amongst the crowd, dressed as when I had first seen him, in his old
regimental great coat and foraging cap; “have the ministers been deposed
and others put in their place?”

“Not yet, _Don Jorge_,” said the little soldier-tailor; “not yet; the
scoundrels still hold out, relying on the brute bull Quesada and a few
infantry, who still continue true to them.  But there is no fear, _Don
Jorge_; the queen is ours, thanks to the courage of my friend Garcia, and
if the brute bull should make his appearance—ho! ho! _Don Jorge_, you
shall see something—I am prepared for him, ho! ho!” and thereupon he half
opened his great coat, and showed me a small gun which he bore beneath it
in a sling, and then moving away with a wink and a nod, disappeared
amongst the crowd.

Presently I perceived a small body of soldiers advancing up the Calle
Mayor, or principal street which runs from the Puerta del Sol in the
direction of the palace; they might be about twenty in number, and an
officer marched at their head with a drawn sword.  The men appeared to
have been collected in a hurry, many of them being in fatigue dress, with
foraging caps on their heads.  On they came, slowly marching; neither
their officer nor themselves paying the slightest attention to the cries
of the crowd which thronged about them, shouting, “Long live the
constitution!” save and except by an occasional surly side glance: on
they marched with contracted brows and set teeth, till they came in front
of the cavalry, where they halted and drew up in rank.

“Those men mean mischief,” said I to my friend D---, of the _Morning
Chronicle_, who at this moment joined me; “and depend upon it, that if
they are ordered they will commence firing, caring nothing whom they hit.
But what can those cavalry fellows behind them mean, who are evidently of
the other opinion by their shouting?  Why don’t they charge at once this
handful of foot people and overturn them?  Once down, the crowd would
wrest from them their muskets in a moment.  You are a liberal, which I am
not; why do you not go to that silly young man who commands the horse and
give him a word of counsel in time?”

D--- turned upon me his broad red good-humoured English countenance, with
a peculiarly arch look, as much as to say, . . . (whatever you think most
applicable, gentle reader), then taking me by the arm, “Let us get,” said
he, “out of this crowd and mount to some window, where I can write down
what is about to take place, for I agree with you that mischief is
meant.”  Just opposite the post-office was a large house, in the topmost
story of which we beheld a paper displayed, importing that apartments
were to let; whereupon we instantly ascended the common stair, and having
agreed with the mistress of the _étage_ for the use of the front room for
the day, we bolted the door, and the reporter, producing his pocket-book
and pencil, prepared to take notes of the coming events, which were
already casting their shadow before.

What most extraordinary men are these reporters of newspapers in general,
I mean English newspapers!  Surely if there be any class of individuals
who are entitled to the appellation of cosmopolites, it is these; who
pursue their avocation in all countries indifferently, and accommodate
themselves at will to the manners of all classes of society: their
fluency of style as writers is only surpassed by their facility of
language in conversation, and their attainments in classical and polite
literature only by their profound knowledge of the world, acquired by an
early introduction into its bustling scenes.  The activity, energy, and
courage which they occasionally display in the pursuit of information,
are truly remarkable.  I saw them during the three days at Paris, mingled
with _canaille_ and _gamins_ behind the barriers, whilst the _mitraille_
was flying in all directions, and the desperate cuirassiers were dashing
their fierce horses against these seemingly feeble bulwarks.  There stood
they, dotting down their observations in their pocket-books as
unconcernedly as if reporting the proceedings of a reform meeting in
Covent Garden or Finsbury Square; whilst in Spain, several of them
accompanied the Carlist and _Cristino guerillas_ in some of their most
desperate raids and expeditions, exposing themselves to the danger of
hostile bullets, the inclemency of winter, and the fierce heat of the
summer sun.

We had scarcely been five minutes at the window, when we suddenly heard
the clattering of horses’ feet hastening down the street called the Calle
de Carretas.  The house in which we had stationed ourselves was, as I
have already observed, just opposite to the post-office, at the left of
which this street debouches from the north into the Puerta del Sol: as
the sounds became louder and louder, the cries of the crowd below
diminished, and a species of panic seemed to have fallen upon all: once
or twice, however, I could distinguish the words, “Quesada!  Quesada!”
The foot soldiers stood calm and motionless, but I observed that the
cavalry, with the young officer who commanded them, displayed both
confusion and fear, exchanging with each other some hurried words.  All
of a sudden that part of the crowd which stood near the mouth of the
Calle de Carretas fell back in great disorder, leaving a considerable
space unoccupied, and the next moment Quesada, in complete general’s
uniform, and mounted on a bright bay thoroughbred English horse, with a
drawn sword in his hand, dashed at full gallop into the area, in much the
same manner as I have seen a Manchegan bull rush into the amphitheatre
when the gates of his pen are suddenly flung open.

He was closely followed by two mounted officers, and at a short distance
by as many dragoons.  In almost less time than is sufficient to relate
it, several individuals in the crowd were knocked down and lay sprawling
upon the ground, beneath the horses of Quesada and his two friends, for
as to the dragoons, they halted as soon as they had entered the Puerta
del Sol.  It was a fine sight to see three men, by dint of valour and
good horsemanship, strike terror into at least as many thousands: I saw
Quesada spur his horse repeatedly into the dense masses of the crowd, and
then extricate himself in the most masterly manner.  The rabble were
completely awed, and gave way, retiring by the Calle del Comercio and the
Calle del Alcalá.  All at once, Quesada singled out two nationals, who
were attempting to escape, and setting spurs to his horse, turned them in
a moment, and drove them in another direction, striking them in a
contemptuous manner with the flat of his sabre.  He was crying out, “Long
live the absolute queen!” when, just beneath me, amidst a portion of the
crowd which had still maintained its ground, perhaps from not having the
means of escaping, I saw a small gun glitter for a moment; then there was
a sharp report, and a bullet had nearly sent Quesada to his long account,
passing so near to the countenance of the general as to graze his hat.  I
had an indistinct view for a moment of a well-known foraging cap just
about the spot from whence the gun had been discharged, then there was a
rush of the crowd, and the shooter, whoever he was, escaped discovery
amidst the confusion which arose.

As for Quesada, he seemed to treat the danger from which he had escaped
with the utmost contempt.  He glared about him fiercely for a moment,
then leaving the two nationals, who sneaked away like whipped hounds, he
went up to the young officer who commanded the cavalry, and who had been
active in raising the cry of the constitution, and to him he addressed a
few words with an air of stern menace; the youth evidently quailed before
him, and, probably in obedience to his orders, resigned the command of
the party, and rode away with a discomfited air; whereupon Quesada
dismounted and walked slowly backwards and forwards before the _Casa de
Postas_ with a mien which seemed to bid defiance to mankind.

This was the glorious day of Quesada’s existence, his glorious and last
day.  I call it the day of his glory, for he certainly never before
appeared under such brilliant circumstances, and he never lived to see
another sun set.  No action of any conqueror or hero on record is to be
compared with this closing scene of the life of Quesada, for who, by his
single desperate courage and impetuosity, ever stopped a revolution in
full course?  Quesada did: he stopped the revolution at Madrid for one
entire day, and brought back the uproarious and hostile mob of a huge
city to perfect order and quiet.  His burst into the Puerta del Sol was
the most tremendous and successful piece of daring ever witnessed.  I
admired so much the spirit of the “brute bull” that I frequently, during
his wild onset, shouted “_Viva Quesada_!” for I wished him well.  Not
that I am of any political party or system.  No, no!  I have lived too
long with _Romany Chals_ {204a} and _Petulengres_ {204b} to be of any
politics save gypsy politics; and it is well known that, during
elections, the children of Roma side with both parties so long as the
event is doubtful, promising success to each; and then when the fight is
done, and the battle won, invariably range themselves in the ranks of the
victorious.  But I repeat that I wished well to Quesada, witnessing, as I
did, his stout heart and good horsemanship.  Tranquillity was restored to
Madrid throughout the remainder of the day; the handful of infantry
bivouacked in the Puerta del Sol.  No more cries of “long live the
constitution” were heard; and the revolution in the capital seemed to
have been effectually put down.  It is probable, indeed, that had the
chiefs of the _moderado_ party but continued true to themselves for
forty-eight hours longer, their cause would have triumphed, and the
revolutionary soldiers at La Granja would have been glad to restore the
Queen Regent to liberty, and to have come to terms, as it was well known
that several regiments, who still continued loyal, were marching upon
Madrid.  The _moderados_, however, were _not_ true to themselves; that
very night their hearts failed them, and they fled in various
directions—Isturitz and Galiano to France; and the Duke of Rivas to
Gibraltar.  The panic of his colleagues even infected Quesada, who,
disguised as a civilian, took to flight.  He was not, however, so
successful as the rest, but was recognized at a village about three
leagues from Madrid, and cast into the prison by some friends of the
constitution.  Intelligence of his capture was instantly transmitted to
the capital, and a vast mob of the nationals, some on foot, some on
horseback, and others in cabriolets, instantly set out.  “The nationals
are coming,” said a _paisano_ to Quesada.  “Then,” said he, “I am lost,”
and forthwith prepared himself for death.

There is a celebrated coffee-house in the Calle del Alcalá, at Madrid,
capable of holding several hundred individuals.  On the evening of the
day in question, I was seated there, sipping a cup of the brown beverage,
when I heard a prodigious noise and clamour in the street; it proceeded
from the nationals, who were returning from their expedition.  In a few
minutes I saw a body of them enter the coffee-house, marching arm in arm,
two by two, stamping on the ground with their feet in a kind of measure,
and repeating in loud chorus, as they walked round the spacious
apartment, the following grisly stanza:—

    “Que es lo que abaja
    Por aquel cerro?
    Ta ra ra ra ra.
    Son los huesos de Quesada,
    Que los trae un perro—
    Ta ra ra ra ra.” {206}

A huge bowl of coffee was then called for, which was placed upon a table,
around which gathered the national soldiers.  There was silence for a
moment, which was interrupted by a voice roaring out, “_El pañuelo_!”  A
blue kerchief was forthwith produced, which appeared to contain a
substance of some kind; it was untied, and a gory hand and three or four
dissevered fingers made their appearance, and with these the contents of
the bowl were stirred up.  “Cups! cups!” cried the nationals. . . .

“Ho, ho, _Don Jorge_,” cried Baltasarito, coming up to me with a cup of
coffee, “pray do me the favour to drink upon this glorious occasion.
This is a pleasant day for Spain, and for the gallant nationals of
Madrid.  I have seen many a bull _funcion_, but none which has given me
so much pleasure as this.  Yesterday the brute had it all his own way,
but to-day the _toreros_ have prevailed, as you see, _Don Jorge_.  Pray
drink; for I must now run home to fetch my _pajandi_ to play my brethren
a tune, and sing a _copla_.  What shall it be?  Something in _Gitano_?

    ‘Una noche sinava en tucue.’ {207a}

You shake your head, _Don Jorge_.  Ha, ha; I am young, and youth is the
time for pleasure.  Well, well, out of compliment to you, who are an
Englishman and a _monró_, it shall not be that, but something liberal,
something patriotic, the Hymn of Riego. {207b}  _Hasta despues_, _Don
Jorge_!” {207c}



CHAPTER XV.


The Steamer—Cape Finisterre—The Storm—Arrival at Cadiz—The New
Testament—Seville—Italica—The Amphitheatre—The Prisoners—The
Encounter—Baron Taylor—The Street and Desert.

At the commencement of November {208} I again found myself on the salt
water, on my way to Spain.  I had returned to England shortly after the
events which have been narrated in the last chapter, for the purpose of
consulting with my friends, and for planning the opening of a biblical
campaign in Spain.  It was now determined by us to print the New
Testament, with as little delay as possible, at Madrid; and I was to be
entrusted with the somewhat arduous task of its distribution.  My stay in
England was very short, for time was precious, and I was eager to return
to the field of action.

I embarked in the Thames, on board the _M---_ steamer.  We had a most
unpleasant passage to Falmouth.  The ship was crowded with passengers;
most of them were poor consumptive individuals, and other invalids
fleeing from the cold blasts of England’s winter to the sunny shores of
Portugal and Madeira.  In a more uncomfortable vessel, especially
steamship, it has never been my fate to make a voyage.  The berths were
small and insupportably close, and of these wretched holes mine was
amongst the worst, the rest having been bespoken before I arrived on
board; so that, to avoid the suffocation which seemed to threaten me,
should I enter it, I lay upon the floor of one of the cabins throughout
the voyage.  We remained at Falmouth twenty-four hours, taking in coal
and repairing the engine, which had sustained considerable damage.

On Monday, the 7th, we again started, and made for the Bay of Biscay.
The sea was high, and the wind strong and contrary; nevertheless, on the
morning of the fourth day, we were in sight of the rocky coast to the
north of Cape Finisterre.  I must here observe, that this was the first
voyage that the captain who commanded the vessel had ever made on board
of her, and that he knew little or nothing of the coast towards which we
were bearing.  He was a person picked up in a hurry, the former captain
having resigned his command on the ground that the ship was not
seaworthy, and that the engines were frequently unserviceable.  I was not
acquainted with these circumstances at the time, or perhaps I should have
felt more alarmed than I did, when I saw the vessel approaching nearer
and nearer the shore, till at last we were only a few hundred yards
distant.  As it was, however, I felt very much surprised; for having
passed it twice before, both times in steam-vessels, and having seen with
what care the captains endeavoured to maintain a wide offing, I could not
conceive the reason of our being now so near this dangerous region.  The
wind was blowing hard towards the shore, if that can be called a shore
which consists of steep abrupt precipices, on which the surf was breaking
with the noise of thunder, tossing up clouds of spray and foam to the
height of a cathedral.  We coasted slowly along, rounding several tall
forelands, some of them piled up by the hand of nature in the most
fantastic shapes.  About nightfall Cape Finisterre was not far ahead—a
bluff, brown granite mountain, whose frowning head may be seen far away
by those who traverse the ocean.  The stream which poured round its
breast was terrific, and though our engines plied with all their force,
we made little or no way.

By about eight o’clock at night the wind had increased to a hurricane,
the thunder rolled frightfully, and the only light which we had to guide
us on our way was the red forked lightning, which burst at times from the
bosom of the big black clouds which lowered over our heads.  We were
exerting ourselves to the utmost to weather the cape, which we could
descry by the lightning on our lee, its brow being frequently brilliantly
lighted up by the flashes which quivered around it, when suddenly, with a
great crash, the engine broke, and the paddles, on which depended our
lives, ceased to play.

I will not attempt to depict the scene of horror and confusion which
ensued; it may be imagined, but never described.  The captain, to give
him his due, displayed the utmost coolness and intrepidity: he and the
whole crew made the greatest exertions to repair the engine, and when
they found their labour in vain, endeavoured, by hoisting the sails, and
by practising all possible manœuvres, to preserve the ship from impending
destruction.  But all was of no avail; we were hard on a lee shore, to
which the howling tempest was impelling us.  About this time I was
standing near the helm, and I asked the steersman if there was any hope
of saving the vessel, or our lives.  He replied, “Sir, it is a bad
affair; no boat could live for a minute in this sea, and in less than an
hour the ship will have her broadside on Finisterre, where the strongest
man-of-war ever built must go to shivers instantly.  None of us will see
the morning.”  The captain likewise informed the other passengers in the
cabin to the same effect, telling them to prepare themselves; and having
done so, he ordered the door to be fastened, and none to be permitted to
come on deck.  I however kept my station, though almost drowned with
water, immense waves continually breaking over our windward side and
flooding the ship.  The water-casks broke from their lashings, and one of
them struck me down, and crushed the foot of the unfortunate man at the
helm, whose place was instantly taken by the captain.  We were now close
to the rocks, when a horrid convulsion of the elements took place.  The
lightning enveloped us as with a mantle; the thunders were louder than
the roar of a million cannon; the dregs of the ocean seemed to be cast
up, and in the midst of all this turmoil, the wind, without the slightest
intimation, _veered right about_, and pushed us from the horrible coast
faster than it had previously driven us towards it.

The oldest sailors on board acknowledged that they had never witnessed so
providential an escape.  I said, from the bottom of my heart, “Our
Father—hallowed be Thy name.”

The next day we were near foundering, for the sea was exceedingly high,
and our vessel, which was not intended for sailing, laboured terribly,
and leaked much.  The pumps were continually working.  She likewise took
fire, but the flames were extinguished.  In the evening the steam-engine
was partially repaired, and we reached Lisbon on the thirteenth, where in
a few days we completed our repairs.

I found my excellent friend W--- in good health.  During my absence he
had been doing everything in his power to further the sale of the sacred
volume in Portuguese: his zeal and devotedness were quite admirable.  The
distracted state of the country, however, during the last six months, had
sadly impeded his efforts.  The minds of the people had been so engrossed
with politics, that they found scarcely any time to think of the welfare
of their souls.  The political history of Portugal had of late afforded a
striking parallel to that of the neighbouring country.  In both a
struggle for supremacy had arisen between the court and the democratic
party; in both the latter had triumphed, whilst two distinguished
individuals had fallen a sacrifice to the popular fury—Freire {212a} in
Portugal, and Quesada in Spain.  The news which reached me at Lisbon from
the latter country was rather startling.  The hordes of Gomez {212b} were
ravaging Andalusia, which I was about to visit on my way to Madrid;
Cordova had been sacked and abandoned, after a three days’ occupation by
the Carlists.  I was told that if I persisted in my attempt to enter
Spain in the direction which I proposed, I should probably fall into
their hands at Seville.  I had, however, no fears, and had full
confidence that the Lord would open the path before me to Madrid.

The vessel being repaired, we again embarked, and in two days arrived in
safety at Cadiz.  I found great confusion reigning there; numerous bands
of the factious were reported to be hovering in the neighbourhood.  An
attack was not deemed improbable, and the place had just been declared in
a state of siege.  I took up my abode at the French hotel, in the Calle
de la Niveria, and was allotted a species of cockloft, or garret, to
sleep in, for the house was filled with guests, being a place of much
resort, on account of the excellent _table d’hôte_ which is kept there.
I dressed myself, and walked about the town.  I entered several
coffee-houses: the din of tongues in all was deafening.  In one no less
than six orators were haranguing at the same time on the state of the
country, and the probability of an intervention on the part of England
and France.  As I was listening to one of them, he suddenly called upon
me for my opinion, as I was a foreigner, and seemingly just arrived.  I
replied that I could not venture to guess what steps the two governments
would pursue under the present circumstances, but thought that it would
be as well if the Spaniards would exert themselves more, and call less on
Jupiter.  As I did not wish to engage in any political conversation, I
instantly quitted the house, and sought those parts of the town where the
lower classes principally reside.

I entered into discourse with several individuals, but found them very
ignorant; none could read or write, and their ideas respecting religion
were anything but satisfactory—most professing a perfect indifference.  I
afterwards went into a bookseller’s shop, and made inquiries respecting
the demand for literature, which he informed me was small.  I produced a
London edition of the New Testament, in Spanish, and asked the bookseller
whether he thought a book of that description would sell in Cadiz.  He
said that both the type and paper were exceedingly beautiful, but that it
was a work not sought after and very little known.  I did not pursue my
inquiries in other shops, for I reflected that I was not likely to
receive a very favourable opinion from booksellers respecting a
publication in which they had no interest.  I had, moreover, but two or
three copies of the New Testament with me, and could not have supplied
them, had they even given me an order.

Early on the 24th I embarked for Seville, in the small Spanish steamer
the _Betis_. {214}  The morning was wet, and the aspect of nature was
enveloped in a dense mist, which prevented my observing surrounding
objects.  After proceeding about six leagues, we reached the
north-eastern extremity of the Bay of Cadiz, and passed by San Lucar, an
ancient town near to the spot where the Guadalquivir disembogues itself.
The mist suddenly disappeared, and the sun of Spain burst forth in full
brilliancy, enlivening all round, and particularly myself, who had till
then been lying on the deck in a dull melancholy stupor.  We entered the
mouth of “The Great River,” for that is the English translation of _Wady
al Kebir_, as the Moors designated the ancient Betis.  We came to anchor
for a few minutes at a little village called Bonanza, at the extremity of
the first reach of the river, where we received several passengers, and
again proceeded.  There is not much in the appearance of the Guadalquivir
to interest the traveller: the banks are low and destitute of trees, the
adjacent country is flat, and only in the distance is seen a range of
tall blue sierras.  The water is turbid and muddy, and in colour closely
resembling the contents of a duck-pool; the average width of the stream
is from 150 to 200 yards.  But it is impossible to move along this river
without remembering that it has borne the Roman, the Vandal, and the
Arab, and has been the witness of deeds which have resounded through the
world, and been the themes of immortal songs.  I repeated Latin verses
and fragments of old Spanish ballads till we reached Seville, at about
nine o’clock of a lovely moonlight night.

Seville contains ninety thousand inhabitants, and is situated on the
eastern bank of the Guadalquivir, about eighteen leagues from its mouth;
it is surrounded with high Moorish walls, in a good state of
preservation, and built of such durable materials that it is probable
they will for many centuries still bid defiance to the encroachments of
time.  The most remarkable edifices are the cathedral and _alcazar_, or
palace of the Moorish kings.  The tower of the former, called La Giralda,
{215} belongs to the period of the Moors, and formed part of the grand
mosque of Seville: it is computed to be one hundred ells in height, and
is ascended not by stairs or ladders, but by a vaulted pathway, in the
manner of an inclined plane.  This path is by no means steep, so that a
cavalier might ride up to the top, a feat which Ferdinand the Seventh is
said to have accomplished.  The view from the summit is very extensive,
and on a fine clear day the mountain ridge called the Sierra de Ronda may
be discovered, though upwards of twenty leagues distant.  The cathedral
itself is a noble Gothic structure, {216a} reputed the finest of the kind
in Spain.  In the chapels allotted to the various saints are some of the
most magnificent paintings which Spanish art has produced; indeed, the
cathedral of Seville is at the present time far more rich in splendid
paintings than at any former period, possessing many very recently
removed from some of the suppressed convents, particularly from the
Capuchin and San Francisco.

No one should visit Seville without paying particular attention to the
_alcazar_, that splendid specimen of Moorish architecture.  It contains
many magnificent halls, particularly that of the ambassadors, so called,
which is in every respect more magnificent than the one of the same name
within the Alhambra of Granada.  This palace was a favourite residence of
Peter the Cruel, {216b} who carefully repaired it without altering its
Moorish character and appearance.  It probably remains in much the same
state as at the time of his death.

On the right side of the river is a large suburb, called Triana,
communicating with Seville by means of a bridge of boats; {216c} for
there is no permanent bridge across the Guadalquivir, owing to the
violent inundations to which it is subject.  This suburb is inhabited by
the dregs of the populace, and abounds with _Gitanos_ or gypsies.  About
a league and a half to the north-west stands the village of Santi Ponce:
at the foot and on the side of some elevated ground higher up are to be
seen vestiges of ruined walls and edifices, which once formed part of
Italica, the birthplace of Silius Italicus and Trajan, from which latter
personage Triana derives its name.

One fine morning I walked thither, and, having ascended the hill, I
directed my course northward.  I soon reached what had once been bagnios;
and a little farther on, in a kind of valley, between two gentle
declivities, the amphitheatre.  This latter object is by far the most
considerable relic of ancient Italica; it is oval in its form, with two
gateways fronting the east and west.

On all sides are to be seen the time-worn broken granite benches, from
whence myriads of human beings once gazed down on the area below, where
the gladiator shouted, and the lion and the leopard yelled: all around,
beneath these flights of benches, are vaulted excavations from whence the
combatants, part human, part bestial, darted forth by their several
doors.  I spent many hours in this singular place, forcing my way through
the wild fennel and brushwood into the caverns, now the haunts of adders
and other reptiles, whose hissings I heard.  Having sated my curiosity, I
left the ruins, and, returning by another way, reached a place where lay
the carcass of a horse half devoured; upon it, with lustrous eyes, stood
an enormous vulture, who, as I approached, slowly soared aloft till he
alighted on the eastern gate of the amphitheatre, from whence he uttered
a hoarse cry, as if in anger that I had disturbed him from his feast of
carrion.

Gomez had not hitherto paid a visit to Seville: when I arrived he was
said to be in the neighbourhood of Ronda.  The city was under watch and
ward: several gates had been blocked up with masonry, trenches dug, and
redoubts erected; but I am convinced that the place would not have held
out six hours against a resolute attack.  Gomez had proved himself to be
a most extraordinary man; and with his small army of Aragonese and
Basques had, within the last four months, made the tour of Spain.  He had
very frequently been hemmed in by forces three times the number of his
own, in places whence escape appeared impossible; but he had always
baffled his enemies, whom he seemed to laugh at.  The most absurd
accounts of victories gained over him were continually issuing from the
press at Seville; amongst others, it was stated that his army had been
utterly defeated, himself killed, and that twelve hundred prisoners were
on their way to Seville.  I saw these prisoners: instead of twelve
hundred desperadoes, {218} they consisted of about twenty poor, lame,
ragged wretches, many of them boys from fourteen to sixteen years of age.
They were evidently camp-followers, who, unable to keep up with the army,
had been picked up straggling in the plains and amongst the hills.

It subsequently appeared that no battle had occurred, and that the death
of Gomez was a fiction.  The grand defect of Gomez consisted in not
knowing how to take advantage of circumstances: after defeating Lopez, he
might have marched to Madrid and proclaimed Don Carlos there; and after
sacking Cordova he might have captured Seville.

There were several booksellers’ shops at Seville, in two of which I found
copies of the New Testament in Spanish, which had been obtained from
Gibraltar about two years before, since which time six copies had been
sold in one shop and four in the other.  The person who generally
accompanied me in my walks about the town and the neighbourhood, was an
elderly Genoese, who officiated as a kind of _valet de place_ in the
Posada del Turco, where I had taken up my residence.  On learning from me
that it was my intention to bring out an edition of the New Testament at
Madrid, he observed that copies of the work might be extensively
circulated in Andalusia.  “I have been accustomed to bookselling,” he
continued, “and at one time possessed a small shop of my own in this
place.  Once having occasion to go to Gibraltar, I procured several
copies of the Scriptures: some, it is true, were seized by the officers
of the customs; but the rest I sold at a high price, and with
considerable profit to myself.”

I had returned from a walk in the country, on a glorious sunshiny morning
of the Andalusian winter, and was directing my steps towards my lodging:
as I was passing by the portal of a large gloomy house near the gate of
Xeres, two individuals, dressed in _zamarras_, emerged from the archway,
and were about to cross my path, when one, looking in my face, suddenly
started back, exclaiming in the purest and most melodious French:—“What
do I see?  If my eyes do not deceive me—it is himself.  Yes, the very
same as I saw him first at Bayonne; then long subsequently beneath the
brick wall at Novogorod; then beside the Bosphorus; and last at—at—  Oh,
my respectable and cherished friend, where was it that I had last the
felicity of seeing your well-remembered and most remarkable physiognomy?”

_Myself_.—It was in the south of Ireland, if I mistake not.  Was it not
there that I introduced you to the sorcerer who tamed the savage horses
by a single whisper into their ear?  But tell me what brings you to Spain
and Andalusia, the last place where I should have expected to find you?

_Baron Taylor_.—And wherefore, my most respectable B---?  Is not Spain
the land of the arts; and is not Andalusia of all Spain that portion
which has produced the noblest monuments of artistic excellence and
inspiration?  Surely you know enough of me to be aware that the arts are
my passion; that I am incapable of imagining a more exalted enjoyment
than to gaze in adoration on a noble picture.  Oh, come with me! for you,
too, have a soul capable of appreciating what is lovely and exalted; a
soul delicate and sensitive.  Come with me, and I will show you a
Murillo, such as . . .  But first allow me to introduce you to your
compatriot.  My dear Monsieur W---, turning to his companion (an English
gentleman, from whom and from his family I subsequently experienced
unbounded kindness and hospitality on various occasions, and at different
periods at Seville), allow me to introduce to you my most cherished and
respectable friend, one who is better acquainted with gypsy ways than the
_Chef des Bohémiens à Triana_, {220} one who is an expert whisperer and
horse-sorcerer; and who, to his honour I say it, can wield hammer and
tongs, and handle a horseshoe with the best of the smiths amongst the
Alpujarras of Granada.

In the course of my travels I have formed various friendships and
acquaintances, but no one has more interested me than Baron Taylor, {221}
and there is no one for whom I entertain a greater esteem and regard.  To
personal and mental accomplishments of the highest order he unites a
kindness of heart rarely to be met with, and which is continually
inducing him to seek for opportunities of doing good to his
fellow-creatures, and of contributing to their happiness; perhaps no
person in existence has seen more of the world and life in its various
phases than himself.  His manners are naturally to the highest degree
courtly, yet he nevertheless possesses a disposition so pliable that he
finds no difficulty in accommodating himself to all kinds of company, in
consequence of which he is a universal favourite.  There is a mystery
about him, which, wherever he goes, serves not a little to increase the
sensation naturally created by his appearance and manner.  Who he is, no
one pretends to assert with downright positiveness: it is whispered,
however, that he is a scion of royalty; and who can gaze for a moment
upon that most graceful figure, that most intelligent but singularly
moulded countenance, and those large and expressive eyes, without feeling
as equally convinced that he is of no common lineage, as that he is no
common man?  Though possessed of talents and eloquence which would
speedily have enabled him to attain to an illustrious position in the
state, he has hitherto, and perhaps wisely, contented himself with
comparative obscurity, chiefly devoting himself to the study of the arts
and of literature, of both of which he is a most bounteous patron.

He has, notwithstanding, been employed by the illustrious house to which
he is said to be related in more than one delicate and important mission,
both in the East and the West, in which his efforts have uniformly been
crowned with complete success.  He was now collecting masterpieces of the
Spanish school of painting, which were destined to adorn the saloons of
the Tuileries.

He has visited most portions of the earth; and it is remarkable enough
that we are continually encountering each other in strange places and
under singular circumstances.  Whenever he descries me, whether in the
street or the desert, the brilliant hall or amongst Bedouin _haimas_, at
Novogorod or Stambul, he flings up his arms and exclaims, “_O ciel_!  I
have again the felicity of seeing my cherished and most respectable
B---.”



CHAPTER XVI.


Departure for Cordova—Carmona—German Colonies—Language—The Sluggish
Horse—Nocturnal Welcome—Carlist Landlord—Good Advice—Gomez—The Old
Genoese—The Two Opinions.

After a sojourn of about fourteen days at Seville, I departed for
Cordova.  The diligence had for some time past ceased running, owing to
the disturbed state of the province.  I had therefore no resource but to
proceed thither on horseback.  I hired a couple of horses, and engaged
the old Genoese, of whom I have already had occasion to speak, to attend
me as far as Cordova, and to bring them back.  Notwithstanding we were
now in the depths of winter, the weather was beautiful, the days sunny
and brilliant, though the nights were rather keen.  We passed by the
little town of Alcalá, {223} celebrated for the ruins of an immense
Moorish castle, which stand on a rocky hill, overhanging a picturesque
river.  The first night we slept at Carmona, another Moorish town,
distant about seven leagues from Seville.  Early in the morning we again
mounted and departed.  Perhaps in the whole of Spain there is scarcely a
finer Moorish monument of antiquity than the eastern side of this town of
Carmona, which occupies the brow of a lofty hill, and frowns over an
extensive _vega_ or plain, which extends for leagues unplanted and
uncultivated, producing nothing but brushwood and _carrasco_.  Here rise
tall and dusky walls, with square towers at short distances, of so
massive a structure that they would seem to bid defiance alike to the
tooth of time and the hand of man.  This town, in the time of the Moors,
was considered the key to Seville, and did not submit to the Christian
arms till after a long and desperate siege: the capture of Seville
followed speedily after.  The _vega_ upon which we now entered forms a
part of the grand _despoblado_ or desert of Andalusia, once a smiling
garden, but which became what it now is on the expulsion of the Moors
from Spain, when it was drained almost entirely of its population.  The
towns and villages from hence to the Sierra Morena, which divides
Andalusia from La Mancha, are few and far between, and even of these
several date from the middle of the last century, when an attempt was
made by a Spanish minister to people this wilderness with the children of
a foreign land.

At about midday we arrived at a place called Moncloa, which consisted of
a _venta_, and a desolate-looking edifice which had something of the
appearance of a _château_; a solitary palm tree raised its head over the
outer wall.  We entered the _venta_, tied our horses to the manger, and
having ordered barley for them, we sat down before a large fire, which
burned in the middle of the _venta_.  The host and hostess also came and
sat down beside us.  “They are evil people,” said the old Genoese to me
in Italian, “and this is an evil house; it is a harbouring place for
thieves, and murders have been committed here, if all tales be true.”  I
looked at these two people attentively; they were both young, the man
apparently about twenty-five years of age.  He was a short thick-made
churl, evidently of prodigious strength; his features were rather
handsome, but with a gloomy expression, and his eyes were full of sullen
fire.  His wife somewhat resembled him, but had a countenance more open
and better tempered; but what struck me as most singular in connexion
with these people, was the colour of their hair and complexion.  The
latter was fair and ruddy, and the former of a bright auburn, both in
striking contrast to the black hair and swarthy visages which in general
distinguish the natives of this province.  “Are you an Andalusian?” said
I to the hostess.  “I should almost conclude you to be a German.”

_Hostess_.—And your worship would not be very wrong.  It is true that I
am a Spaniard, being born in Spain; but it is equally true that I am of
German blood, for my grandparents came from Germany even like those of
this gentleman, my lord and husband.

_Myself_.—And what chance brought your grandparents into this country?

_Hostess_.—Did your worship never hear of the German colonies?  There are
many of them in these parts.  In old times the land was nearly deserted,
and it was very dangerous for travellers to journey along the waste,
owing to the robbers.  So a long time ago, nearly a hundred years, as I
am told, some potent lord sent messengers to Germany, to tell the people
there what a goodly land there was in these parts uncultivated for want
of hands, and to promise every labourer who would consent to come and
till it, a house and a yoke of oxen, with food and provision for one
year.  And in consequence of this invitation a great many poor families
left the German land and came hither, and settled down in certain towns
and villages which had been prepared for them, which places were called
German colonies, and this name they still retain.

_Myself_.—And how many of these colonies may there be?

_Hostess_.—There are several, both on this side of Cordova and the other.
The nearest is Luisiana, about two leagues from hence, from which place
both my husband and myself come; the next is Carlota, {226} which is some
ten leagues distant, and these are the only colonies of our people which
I have seen; but there are others farther on, and some, as I have heard
say, in the very heart of the Sierra Morena.

_Myself_.—And do the colonists still retain the language of their
forefathers?

_Hostess_.—We speak Spanish, or rather Andalusian, and no other language.
A few, indeed, amongst the very old people, retain a few words of German,
which they acquired from their fathers, who were born in the other
country; but the last person amongst the colonists who could understand a
conversation in German was the aunt of my mother, who came over when a
girl.  When I was a child I remember her conversing with a foreign
traveller, a countryman of hers, in a language which I was told was
German, and they understood each other, though the old woman confessed
that she had lost many words: she has now been dead several years.

_Myself_.—Of what religion are the colonists?

_Hostess_.—They are Christians, like the Spaniards, and so were their
fathers before them.  Indeed, I have heard that they came from a part of
Germany where the Christian religion is as much practised as in Spain
itself.

_Myself_.—The Germans are the most honest people in the world: being
their legitimate descendants, you have of course no thieves amongst you.

The hostess glanced at me for a moment, then looked at her husband and
smiled: the latter, who had hitherto been smoking without uttering a
word, though with a peculiarly surly and dissatisfied countenance, now
flung the remainder of his cigar amongst the embers, then springing up,
he muttered, “_Disparate_!” and “_Conversacion_!” and went abroad.

“You touched them in the sore place, _Signore_,” said the Genoese, after
we had left Moncloa some way behind us.  “Were they honest people they
would not keep that _venta_; and as for the colonists, I know not what
kind of people they might be when they first came over, but at present
their ways are not a bit better than those of the Andalusians, but rather
worse, if there is any difference at all.”

A short time before sunset of the third day after our departure from
Seville, we found ourselves at the Cuesta del Espinal, or hill of the
thorn tree, at about two leagues from Cordova;—we could just descry the
walls of the city, upon which the last beams of the descending luminary
were resting.  As the neighbourhood in which we were was, according to
the account of my guide, generally infested with robbers, we used our
best endeavours to reach the town before the night should have entirely
closed in.  We did not succeed, however, and before we had proceeded half
the distance, pitchy darkness overtook us.  Throughout the journey we had
been considerably delayed by the badness of our horses, especially that
of my attendant, which appeared to pay no regard to whip or spur: his
rider also was no horseman, it being thirty years, as he at length
confessed to me, since he last mounted in a saddle.  Horses soon become
aware of the powers of their riders, and the brute in question was
disposed to take great advantage of the fears and weakness of the old
man.  There is a remedy, however, for most things in this world.  I
became so wearied at last at the snail’s pace at which we were
proceeding, that I fastened the bridle of the sluggish horse to the
crupper of mine; then sparing neither spur nor cudgel, I soon forced my
own horse into a kind of trot, which compelled the other to make some use
of his legs.  He twice attempted to fling himself down, to the great
terror of his aged rider, who frequently entreated me to stop and permit
him to dismount.  I, however, took no notice of what he said, but
continued spurring and cudgelling with unabated activity, and with such
success, that in less than half an hour we saw lights close before us,
and presently came to a river and a bridge, which crossing, we found
ourselves at the gate of Cordova, without having broken either our
horses’ knees or our own necks.

We passed through the entire length of the town ere we reached the
_posada_: the streets were dark and almost entirely deserted.  The
_posada_ was a large building, the windows of which were well fenced with
_rejas_, or iron grating: no light gleamed from them, and the silence of
death not only seemed to pervade the house, but the street in which it
was situated.  We knocked for a long time at the gate without receiving
any answer; we then raised our voices and shouted.  At last some one from
within inquired what we wanted.  “Open the door and you will see,” we
replied.  “I shall do no such thing,” answered the individual from
within, “until I know who you are.”  “We are travellers,” said I, “from
Seville.”‘ “Travellers, are you?” said the voice; “why did you not tell
me so before?  I am not porter at this house to keep out travellers.
Jesus Maria knows we have not so many of them that we need repulse any.
Enter, cavalier, and welcome, you and your company.”

He opened the gate and admitted us into a spacious courtyard, and then
forthwith again secured the gate with various bolts and bars.  “Are you
afraid that the Carlists should pay you a visit,” I demanded, “that you
take so much precaution?”  “It is not the Carlists we are afraid of,”
replied the porter; “they have been here already, and did us no damage
whatever.  It is certain scoundrels of this town that we are afraid of,
who have a spite against the master of the house, and would murder both
him and his family, could they but find an opportunity.”

I was about to inquire the cause of this enmity, when a thick bulky man,
bearing a light in his hand, came running down a stone staircase, which
led into the interior of the building.  Two or three females, also
bearing lights, followed him.  He stopped on the lowest stair.  “Whom
have we here?” he exclaimed; then advancing the lamp which he bore, the
light fell full upon my face.  “_Ola_!” he exclaimed; “is it you?  Only
think,” said he, turning to the female who stood next him, a
dark-featured person, stout as himself, and about his own age, which
might border upon fifty; “only think, my dear, that at the very moment we
were wishing for a guest, an Englishman should be standing before our
doors, for I should know an Englishman at a mile’s distance, even in the
dark.  Juanito,” cried he to the porter, “open not the gate any more
to-night, whoever may ask for admission.  Should the nationals come to
make any disturbance, tell them that the son of Belington {230} is in the
house ready to attack them sword in hand unless they retire; and should
other travellers arrive, which is not likely, inasmuch as we have seen
none for a month past, say that we have no room, all our apartments being
occupied by an English gentleman and his company.”

I soon found that my friend the _posadero_ was a most egregious Carlist.
Before I had finished supper—during which, both himself and all his
family were present, surrounding the little table at which I sat, and
observing my every motion, particularly the manner in which I handled my
knife and fork and conveyed the food to my mouth—he commenced talking
politics.  “I am of no particular opinion, _Don Jorge_,” said he, for he
had inquired my name in order that he might address me in a suitable
manner; “I am of no particular opinion, and I hold neither for King
Carlos nor for the _chica_ Isabel: nevertheless, I lead the life of a dog
in this accursed _Cristino_ town, which I would have left long ago, had
it not been the place of my birth, and did I but know whither to betake
myself.  Ever since the troubles have commenced, I have been afraid to
stir into the street, for no sooner do the _canaille_ of the town see me
turning round a corner, than they forthwith exclaim, ‘Halloo, the
Carlist!’ and then there is a run and a rush, and stones and cudgels are
in great requisition; so that unless I can escape home, which is no easy
matter, seeing that I weigh eighteen stone, my life is poured out in the
street, which is neither decent nor convenient, as I think you will
acknowledge, _Don Jorge_.  You see that young man,” he continued,
pointing to a tall swarthy youth who stood behind my chair, officiating
as waiter; “he is my fourth son, is married, and does not live in the
house, but about a hundred yards down the street.  He was summoned in a
hurry to wait upon your worship, as is his duty: know, however, that he
has come at the peril of his life.  Before he leaves this house, he must
peep out into the street to see if the coast is clear, and then he must
run like a partridge to his own door.  Carlists! why should they call my
family and myself Carlists?  It is true that my eldest son was a friar,
and when the convents were suppressed, betook himself to the royal ranks,
in which he has been fighting upwards of three years; could I help that?
Nor was it my fault, I trow, that my second son enlisted with Gomez and
the royalists when they entered Cordova.  God prosper him, I say; but I
did not bid him go!  So far from being a Carlist, it was I who persuaded
this very lad who is present to remain here, though he would fain have
gone with his brother, for he is a brave lad and a true Christian.  ‘Stay
at home,’ said I, ‘for what can I do without you?  Who is to wait upon
the guests when it pleases God to send them?  Stay at home, at least till
your brother, my third son, comes back; for, to my shame be it spoken,
Don Jorge, I have a son a soldier and a sergeant in the _Cristino_
armies, sorely against his own inclination, poor fellow, for he likes not
the military life, and I have been soliciting his discharge for years;
indeed, I have counselled him to maim himself, in order that he might
procure his liberty forthwith.  So I said to this lad, ‘Stay at home, my
child, till your brother comes to take your place and prevent our bread
being eaten by strangers, who would perhaps sell me and betray me;’ so my
son staid at home, as you see, _Don Jorge_, at my request, and yet they
call me a Carlist!”

“Gomez and his bands have lately been in Cordova,” {232} said I; “of
course you were present at all that occurred: how did they comport
themselves?”

“Bravely well,” replied the innkeeper, “bravely well, and I wish they
were here still.  I hold with neither side, as I told you before, _Don
Jorge_, but I confess I never felt greater pleasure in my life than when
they entered the gate.  And then to see the dogs of nationals flying
through the streets to save their lives—that was a sight, _Don Jorge_.
Those who met me then at the corner forgot to shout, ‘_Hola_!
_Carlista_!’ and I heard not a word about cudgelling.  Some jumped from
the wall and ran no one knows where, whilst the rest retired to the house
of the Inquisition, which they had fortified, and there they shut
themselves up.  Now you must know, _Don Jorge_, that all the Carlist
chiefs lodged at my house—Gomez, Cabrera, and the Sawyer; and it chanced
that I was talking to my Lord Gomez in this very room in which we are
now, when in came Cabrera in a mighty fury—he is a small man, _Don
Jorge_, but he is as active as a wild cat and as fierce.  ‘The
_canaille_,’ said he, ‘in the _Casa_ of the Inquisition refuse to
surrender; give but the order, general, and I will scale the walls with
my men, and put them all to the sword.’  But Gomez said, ‘No, we must not
spill blood if we can avoid it.  Order a few muskets to be fired at them;
that will be sufficient!’  And so it proved, _Don Jorge_, for after a few
discharges their hearts failed them, and they surrendered at discretion:
whereupon their arms were taken from them, and they were permitted to
return to their own houses.  But as soon as ever the Carlists departed,
these fellows became as bold as ever, and it is now once more, ‘_Hola_!
_Carlista_!’ when they see me turning the corner; and it is for fear of
them that my son must run like a partridge to his own home, now that he
has done waiting on your worship, lest they meet him in the street, and
kill him with their knives!”

“You tell me that you were acquainted with Gomez: what kind of man might
he be?”

“A middle-sized man,” replied the innkeeper; “grave and dark.  But the
most remarkable personage in appearance of them all was the Sawyer: he is
a kind of giant, so tall, that when he entered the doorway he invariably
struck his head against the lintel.  The one I liked least of all was one
Palillos, who is a gloomy savage ruffian, whom I knew when he was a
postilion.  Many is the time that he has been at my house of old; he is
now captain of the Manchegan thieves, for, though he calls himself a
royalist, he is neither more nor less than a thief.  It is a disgrace to
the cause that such as he should be permitted to mix with honourable and
brave men.  I hate that fellow, _Don Jorge_: it is owing to him that I
have so few customers.  Travellers are, at present, afraid to pass
through La Mancha, lest they fall into his hands.  I wish he were hanged,
_Don Jorge_, and whether by _Cristinos_ or Royalists, I care not.”

“You recognized me at once for an Englishman,” said I; “do many of my
countrymen visit Cordova?”

“_Toma_!” said the landlord, “they are my best customers; I have had
Englishmen in this house of all grades, from the son of Belington to a
young _medico_, who cured my daughter, the _chica_ here, of the earache.
How should I not know an Englishman?  There were two with Gomez, serving
as volunteers.  _Vaya_: _que gente_! {234} what noble horses they rode,
and how they scattered their gold about!  They brought with them a
Portuguese, who was much of a gentleman, but very poor; it was said that
he was one of Don Miguel’s people, and that these Englishmen supported
him for the love they bore to royalty.  He was continually singing—

    ‘El Rey chegou—El Rey chegou,
    E en Belem desembarcou!’ {235a}

Those were merry days, _Don Jorge_.  By-the-by, I forgot to ask your
worship of what opinion you are?”

The next morning whilst I was dressing, the old Genoese entered my room:
“_Signore_,” said he, “I am come to bid you farewell.  I am about to
return to Seville forthwith with the horses.”

“Wherefore in such a hurry?” I replied.  “Assuredly you had better tarry
till to-morrow; both the animals and yourself require rest.  Repose
yourselves to-day, and I will defray the expense.”

“Thank you, _Signore_, but we will depart forthwith, for there is no
tarrying in this house.”

“What is the matter with the house?” I inquired.

“I find no fault with the house,” replied the Genoese; “it is the people
who keep it of whom I complain.  About an hour since, I went down to get
my breakfast, and there, in the kitchen, I found the master and all his
family.  Well, I sat down and called for chocolate, which they brought
me, but ere I could despatch it, the master fell to talking politics.  He
commenced by telling me that he held with neither side, but he is as rank
a Carlist as Carlos Quinto: {235b} for no sooner did he find that I was
of the other opinion than he glared at me like a wild beast.  You must
know, _Signore_, that in the time of the old constitution I kept a
coffee-house at Seville, which was frequented by all the principal
liberals, and was, indeed, the cause of my ruin; for, as I admired their
opinions, I gave my customers whatever credit they required, both with
regard to coffee and liqueurs, so that by the time the constitution was
put down and despotism re-established, I had trusted them with all I had.
It is possible that many of them would have paid me, for I believe they
harboured no evil intention; but the persecution came, the liberals took
to flight, and, as was natural enough, thought more of providing for
their own safety than of paying me for my coffee and liqueurs;
nevertheless, I am a friend to their system, and never hesitate to say
so.  So the landlord, as I told your worship before, when he found that I
was of this opinion, glared at me like a wild beast.  ‘Get out of my
house,’ said he, ‘for I will have no spies here;’ and thereupon he spoke
disrespectfully of the young Queen Isabel and of Christina, who,
notwithstanding she is a Neapolitan, {236a} I consider as my
countrywoman.  Hearing this, your worship, I confess that I lost my
temper and returned the compliment, by saying that Carlos was a knave,
and the Princess of Beira {236b} no better than she should be.  I then
prepared to swallow the chocolate, but ere I could bring it to my lips,
the woman of the house, who is a still ranker Carlist than her husband,
if that be possible, coming up to me struck the cup into the air as high
as the ceiling, exclaiming, ‘Begone, dog of a _negro_; you shall taste
nothing more in my house.  May you be hanged even as a swine is hanged!’
So your worship sees that it is impossible for me to remain here any
longer.  I forgot to say that the knave of a landlord told me that you
had confessed yourself to be of the same politics as himself, or he would
not have harboured you.”

“My good man,” said I, “I am invariably of the politics of the people at
whose table I sit, or beneath whose roof I sleep; at least I never say
anything which can lead them to suspect the contrary; by pursuing which
system I have more than once escaped a bloody pillow, and having the wine
I drank spiced with sublimate.”



CHAPTER XVII.


Cordova—Moors of Barbary—The English—An Old Priest—The Roman Breviary—The
Dovecote—The Holy Office—Judaism—Desecration of Dovecotes—The Innkeeper’s
Proposal.

Little can be said with respect to the town of Cordova, which is a mean,
dark, gloomy place, full of narrow streets and alleys, without squares or
public buildings worthy of attention, save and except its far-famed
cathedral; its situation, however, is beautiful and picturesque.  Before
it runs the Guadalquivir, which, though in this part shallow and full of
sandbanks, is still a delightful stream; whilst behind it rise the steep
sides of the Sierra Morena, planted up to the top with olive groves.  The
town or city is surrounded on all sides by lofty Moorish walls, which may
measure about three-quarters of a league in circumference; unlike
Seville, and most other towns in Spain, it has no suburbs.

                       [Picture: Mosque at Cordova]

I have said that Cordova has no remarkable edifices, save its cathedral,
yet this is perhaps the most extraordinary place of worship in the world.
It was originally, as is well known, a mosque, built in the brightest
days of Arabian dominion in Spain.  In shape it was quadrangular, with a
low roof, supported by an infinity of small and delicately rounded marble
pillars, many of which still remain, and present at first sight the
appearance of a marble grove; the greater part, however, were removed
when the Christians, after the expulsion of the Moslems, essayed to
convert the mosque into a cathedral, {239} which they effected in part by
the erection of a dome, and by clearing an open space for a choir.  As it
at present exists, the temple appears to belong partly to Mahomet, and
partly to the Nazarene; and though this jumbling together of massive
Gothic architecture with the light and delicate style of the Arabians
produces an effect somewhat bizarre, it still remains a magnificent and
glorious edifice, and well calculated to excite feelings of awe and
veneration within the bosom of those who enter it.

The Moors of Barbary seem to care but little for the exploits of their
ancestors: their minds are centred in the things of the present day, and
only so far as those things regard themselves individually.
Disinterested enthusiasm, that truly distinguishing mark of a noble mind,
and admiration for what is great, good, and grand, they appear to be
totally incapable of feeling.  It is astonishing with what indifference
they stray amongst the relics of ancient Moorish grandeur in Spain.  No
feelings of exultation seem to be excited by the proof of what the Moor
once was, nor of regret at the consciousness of what he now is.  More
interesting to them are their perfumes, their papouches, their dates, and
their silks of Fez and Maraks, {240a} to dispose of which they visit
Andalusia; and yet the generality of these men are far from being
ignorant, and have both heard and read of what was passing in Spain in
the old time.  I was once conversing with a Moor at Madrid, with whom I
was very intimate, about the Alhambra of Granada, which he had visited.
“Did you not weep,” said I, “when you passed through the courts, and
thought of the Abencerrages?” {240b}  “No,” said he, “I did not weep;
wherefore should I weep?”  “And why did you visit the Alhambra?” I
demanded.  “I visited it,” he replied, “because, being at Granada on my
own affairs, one of your countrymen requested me to accompany him
thither, that I might explain some of the inscriptions.  I should
certainly not have gone of my own accord, for the hill on which it stands
is steep.”  And yet this man could compose verses, and was by no means a
contemptible poet.  Once at Cordova, whilst I was in the cathedral, three
Moors entered it, and proceeded slowly across its floor in the direction
of a gate, which stood at the opposite side.  They took no farther notice
of what was around them than by slightly glancing once or twice at the
pillars, one of them exclaiming, “_Huáje __del Mselmeen_, _hudje del
Mselmeen_” (things of the Moors, things of the Moors), and showed no
other respect for the place where Abderrahman the Magnificent prostrated
himself of old, than facing about on arriving at the farther door and
making their egress backwards; yet these men were _hajis_ and _talibs_,
{241a} men likewise of much gold and silver—men who had read, who had
travelled, who had seen Mecca, and the great city of Negroland. {241b}

I remained in Cordova much longer than I had originally intended, owing
to the accounts which I was continually hearing of the unsafe state of
the roads to Madrid.  I soon ransacked every nook and cranny of this
ancient town, formed various acquaintances amongst the populace, which is
my general practice on arriving at a strange place.  I more than once
ascended the side of the Sierra Morena, in which excursions I was
accompanied by the son of my host, the tall lad of whom I have already
spoken.  The people of the house, who had imbibed the idea that I was of
the same way of thinking as themselves, were exceedingly courteous; it is
true, that in return I was compelled to listen to a vast deal of Carlism,
in other words, high treason against the ruling powers in Spain, to
which, however, I submitted with patience.  “_Don Jorgito_,” said the
landlord to me one day, “I love the English; they are my best customers.
It is a pity that there is not greater union between Spain and England,
and that more English do not visit us.  Why should there not be a
marriage?  The king will speedily be at Madrid.  Why should there not be
_bodas_ between the son of Don Carlos and the heiress of England?”

“It would certainly tend to bring a considerable number of English to
Spain,” said I, “and it would not be the first time that the son of a
Carlos has married a Princess of England.” {242a}

The host mused for a moment, and then exclaimed, “_Carracho_, _Don
Jorgito_, if this marriage could be brought about, both the king and
myself should have cause to fling our caps in the air.”

The house or _posada_ in which I had taken up my abode was exceedingly
spacious, containing an infinity of apartments, both large and small, the
greater part of which were, however, unfurnished.  The chamber in which I
was lodged stood at the end of an immensely long corridor, of the kind so
admirably described in the wondrous tale of Udolfo. {242b}  For a day or
two after my arrival I believed myself to be the only lodger in the
house.  One morning, however, I beheld a strange-looking old man seated
in the corridor, by one of the windows, reading intently in a small thick
volume.  He was clad in garments of coarse blue cloth, and wore a loose
spencer over a waistcoat adorned with various rows of small buttons of
mother of pearl; he had spectacles upon his nose.  I could perceive,
notwithstanding he was seated, that his stature bordered upon the
gigantic.  “Who is that person?” said I to the landlord, whom I presently
met; “is he also a guest of yours?”  “Not exactly, _Don Jorge de mi
alma_,” {243a} replied he.  “I can scarcely call him a guest, inasmuch as
I gain nothing by him, though he is staying at my house.  You must know,
_Don Jorge_, that he is one of two priests who officiate at a large
village {243b} at some slight distance from this place.  So it came to
pass, that when the soldiers of Gomez entered the village, his reverence
went to meet them, dressed in full canonicals, with a book in his hand,
and he, at their bidding, proclaimed Carlos Quinto {243c} in the
market-place.  The other priest, however, was a desperate liberal, a
downright _negro_, and upon him the royalists laid their hands, and were
proceeding to hang him.  His reverence, however, interfered, and obtained
mercy for his colleague, on condition that he should cry _Viva Carlos
Quinto_! which the latter did in order to save his life.  Well, no sooner
had the royalists departed from these parts than the black priest mounts
his mule, comes to Cordova, and informs against his reverence,
notwithstanding that he had saved his life.  So his reverence was seized
and brought hither to Cordova, and would assuredly have been thrown into
the common prison as a Carlist, had I not stepped forward and offered to
be surety that he should not quit the place, but should come forward at
any time to answer whatever charge might be brought against him; and he
is now in my house, though guest I cannot call him, for he is not of the
slightest advantage to me, as his very food is daily brought from the
country, and that consists only of a few eggs and a little milk and
bread.  As for his money, I have never seen the colour of it,
notwithstanding they tell me that he has _buenas pesetas_.  However, he
is a holy man, is continually reading and praying, and is, moreover, of
the right opinion.  I therefore keep him in my house, and would be bail
for him were he twenty times more of a skinflint than he seems to be.”

The next day, as I was again passing through the corridor, I observed the
old man in the same place, and saluted him.  He returned my salutation
with much courtesy, and closing the book, placed it upon his knee, as if
willing to enter into conversation.  After exchanging a word or two, I
took up the book for the purpose of inspecting it.

“You will hardly derive much instruction from that book, _Don Jorge_,”
said the old man; “you cannot understand it, for it is not written in
English.”

“Nor in Spanish,” I replied.  “But with respect to understanding the
book, I cannot see what difficulty there can be in a thing so simple; it
is only the Roman breviary written in the Latin tongue.”

“Do the English understand Latin?” exclaimed he.  “_Vaya_!  Who would
have thought that it was possible for Lutherans to understand the
language of the church?  _Vaya_! the longer one lives the more one
learns.”

“How old may your reverence be?” I inquired.

“I am eighty years, _Don Jorge_; eighty years, and somewhat more.”

Such was the first conversation which passed between his reverence and
myself.  He soon conceived no inconsiderable liking for me, and favoured
me with no little of his company.  Unlike our friend the landlord, I
found him by no means inclined to talk politics, which the more surprised
me, knowing, as I did, the decided and hazardous part which he had taken
on the late Carlist irruption into the neighbourhood.  He took, however,
great delight in discoursing on ecclesiastical subjects and the writings
of the fathers.

“I have got a small library at home, _Don Jorge_, which consists of all
the volumes of the fathers which I have been able to pick up, and I find
the perusal of them a source of great amusement and comfort.  Should
these dark days pass by, _Don Jorge_, and you should be in these parts, I
hope you will look in upon me, and I will show you my little library of
the fathers, and likewise my dovecote, where I rear numerous broods of
pigeons, which are also a source of much solace, and at the same time of
profit.”

“I suppose by your dovecote,” said I, “you mean your parish, and by
rearing broods of pigeons, you allude to the care you take of the souls
of your people, instilling therein the fear of God and obedience to his
revealed law, which occupation must of course afford you much solace and
spiritual profit.”

“I was not speaking metaphorically, _Don Jorge_,” replied my companion;
“and by rearing doves, I mean neither more nor less than that I supply
the market of Cordova with pigeons, and occasionally that of Seville; for
my birds are very celebrated, and plumper or fatter flesh than theirs I
believe cannot be found in the whole kingdom.  Should you come to my
village, you will doubtless taste them, _Don Jorge_, at the _venta_ where
you will put up, for I suffer no dovecotes but my own within my district.
With respect to the souls of my parishioners, I trust I do my duty—I
trust I do, as far as in my power lies.  I always took great pleasure in
these spiritual matters, and it was on that account that I attached
myself to the _Santa Casa_ {246} of Cordova, the duties of which I
assisted to perform for a long period.”

“Your reverence has been an inquisitor?” I exclaimed, somewhat startled.

“From my thirtieth year until the time of the suppression of the holy
office in these afflicted kingdoms.”

“You both surprise and delight me,” I exclaimed.  “Nothing could have
afforded me greater pleasure than to find myself conversing with a father
formerly attached to the holy house of Cordova.”

The old man looked at me steadfastly.  “I understand you, _Don Jorge_.  I
have long seen that you are one of us.  You are a learned and holy man;
and though you think fit to call yourself a Lutheran and an Englishman, I
have dived into your real condition.  No Lutheran would take the interest
in church matters which you do, and with respect to your being an
Englishman, none of that nation can speak Castilian, much less Latin.  I
believe you to be one of us—a missionary priest; and I am especially
confirmed in that idea by your frequent conversation and interviews with
the _Gitanos_; you appear to be labouring among them.  Be, however, on
your guard, _Don Jorge_; trust not to Egyptian faith; they are evil
penitents, whom I like not.  I would not advise you to trust them.”

“I do not intend,” I replied; “especially with money.  But to return to
more important matters:—of what crimes did this holy house of Cordova
take cognizance?”

“You are of course aware of the matters on which the holy office
exercises its functions.  I need scarcely mention sorcery, Judaism, and
certain carnal misdemeanours.”

“With respect to sorcery,” said I, “what is your opinion of it?  Is there
in reality such a crime?”

“_Que sé yo_?” {247} said the old man, shrugging up his shoulders.  “How
should I know?  The church has power, _Don Jorge_, or at least it had
power, to punish for anything, real or unreal; and, as it was necessary
to punish in order to prove that it had the power of punishing, of what
consequence whether it punished for sorcery or any other crime?”

“Did many cases of sorcery occur within your own sphere of knowledge?”

“One or two, _Don Jorge_: they were by no means frequent.  The last that
I remember was a case which occurred in a convent at Seville.  A certain
nun was in the habit of flying through the windows and about the garden
over the tops of the orange-trees.  Declarations of various witnesses
were taken, and the process was arranged with much formality: the fact, I
believe, was satisfactorily proved.  Of one thing I am certain, that the
nun was punished.”

“Were you troubled with much Judaism in these parts?”

“Wooh!  Nothing gave so much trouble to the _Santa Casa_ as this same
Judaism.  Its shoots and ramifications are numerous, not only in these
parts, but in all Spain; and it is singular enough, that, even among the
priesthood, instances of Judaism of both kinds were continually coming to
our knowledge, which it was of course our duty to punish.”

“Is there more than one species of Judaism?” I demanded.

“I have always arranged Judaism under two heads,” said the old man, “the
black and the white: by the black, I mean the observance of the law of
Moses in preference to the precepts of the church; then there is the
white Judaism, which includes all kinds of heresy, such as Lutheranism,
freemasonry, and the like.”

“I can easily conceive,” said I, “that many of the priesthood favoured
the principles of the Reformation, and that the minds of not a few had
been led astray by the deceitful lights of modern philosophy, but it is
almost inconceivable to me that there should be Jews amongst the
priesthood who follow in secret the rites and observances of the old law,
though I confess that I have been assured of the fact ere now.”

“Plenty of Judaism amongst the priesthood, whether of the black or white
species; no lack of it, I assure you, _Don Jorge_.  I remember once
searching the house of an ecclesiastic who was accused of the black
Judaism, and, after much investigation, we discovered beneath the floor a
wooden chest, in which was a small shrine of silver, inclosing three
books in black hog-skin, which, on being opened, were found to be books
of Jewish devotion, written in Hebrew characters, and of great antiquity;
and on being questioned, the culprit made no secret of his guilt, but
rather gloried in it, saying that there was no God but one, and
denouncing the adoration of _Maria Santísima_ as rank idolatry.”

“And between ourselves, what is your own opinion of the adoration of this
same _Maria Santísima_?”

“What is my opinion!  _Que sé yo_?” said the old man, shrugging up his
shoulders still higher than on the former occasion; “but I will tell you.
I think, on consideration, that it is quite right and proper; why not?
Let any one pay a visit to my church, and look at her as she stands
there, _tan bonita_, _tan guapita_ {249a}—so well dressed and so
genteel—with such pretty colours, such red and white, and he would
scarcely ask me why _Maria Santísima_ should not be adored.  Moreover,
_Don Jorgito mio_, this is a church matter, and forms an important part
of the church system.”

“And now, with respect to carnal misdemeanours.  Did you take much
cognizance of them?”

“Amongst the laity, not much; we, however, kept a vigilant eye upon our
own body; but, upon the whole, were rather tolerant in these matters,
knowing that the infirmities of human nature are very great indeed.  We
rarely punished, save in cases where the glory of the church and loyalty
to _Maria Santísima_ made punishment absolutely imperative.”

“And what cases might those be?” I demanded.

“I allude to the desecration of dovecotes, _Don Jorge_, and the
introduction therein of strange flesh, for purposes neither seemly nor
convenient.”

“Your reverence will excuse me for not yet perfectly understanding.”

“I mean, _Don Jorge_, certain acts of flagitiousness practised by the
clergy in lone and remote _palomares_ in olive-grounds and gardens;
actions denounced, I believe, by the holy Pablo in his first letter to
Pope Sixtus. {249b}  You understand me now, _Don Jorge_, for you are
learned in church matters.”

“I think I understand you,” I replied.

After remaining several days more at Cordova, I determined to proceed on
my journey to Madrid, though the roads were still said to be highly
insecure.  I, however, saw but little utility in tarrying and awaiting a
more tranquil state of affairs, which might never arrive.  I therefore
consulted with the landlord respecting the best means of making the
journey.  “_Don Jorgito_,” he replied, “I think I can tell you.  You say
you are anxious to depart, and I never wish to keep guests in my house
longer than is agreeable to them; to do so would not become a Christian
innkeeper.  I leave such conduct to Moors, _Cristinos_, and _Negros_.  I
will further you on your journey, _Don Jorge_: I have a plan in my head
which I had resolved to propose to you before you questioned me.  There
is my wife’s brother, who has two horses which he occasionally lets out
for hire; you shall hire them, _Don Jorge_, and he himself shall attend
you to take care of you and to comfort you, and to talk to you, and you
shall pay him forty dollars for the journey.  Moreover, as there are
thieves upon the route, and _malos sujetos_ {250} such as Palillos and
his family, you shall make an engagement and a covenant, _Don Jorge_,
that provided you are robbed and stripped on the route, and the horses of
my wife’s brother are taken from him by the thieves, you shall, on
arriving at Madrid, make good any losses to which my wife’s brother may
be subject in following you.  This is my plan, _Don Jorge_, which no
doubt will meet with your worship’s approbation, as it is devised solely
for your benefit, and not with any view of lucre or interest either to me
or mine.  You will find my wife’s brother pleasant company on the route;
he is a very respectable man, and one of the right opinion, and has
likewise travelled much; for between ourselves, _Don Jorge_, he is
something of a _contrabandista_, and frequently smuggles diamonds and
precious stones from Portugal, which he disposes of sometimes in Cordova
and sometimes at Madrid.  He is acquainted with all the short cuts, all
the _atajos_, _Don Jorge_, and is much respected in all the _ventas_ and
_posadas_ on the way.  So now give me your hand upon the bargain, and I
will forthwith repair to my wife’s brother to tell him to get ready to
set out with your worship the day after to-morrow.”



CHAPTER XVIII.


Departure from Cordova—The Contrabandista—Jewish Cunning—Arrival at
Madrid.

One fine morning I departed from Cordova, in company with the
_contrabandista_; the latter was mounted on a handsome animal, something
between a horse and a pony, which he called a _jaca_, of that breed for
which Cordova is celebrated.  It was of a bright bay colour, with a star
in its forehead, with strong but elegant limbs, and a long black tail
which swept the ground.  The other animal, which was destined to carry me
to Madrid, was not quite so prepossessing in its appearance.  In more
than one respect it closely resembled a hog, particularly in the curving
of its back, the shortness of its neck, and the manner in which it kept
its head nearly in contact with the ground; it had also the tail of a
hog, and meandered over the ground much like one.  Its coat more
resembled coarse bristles than hair; and with respect to size, I have
seen many a Westphalian hog quite as tall.  I was not altogether
satisfied with the idea of exhibiting myself on the back of this most
extraordinary quadruped, and looked wistfully on the respectable animal
on which my guide had thought proper to place himself.  He interpreted my
glances, and gave me to understand that as he was destined to carry the
baggage, he was entitled to the best horse—a plea too well grounded on
reason for me to make any objection to it.

I found the _contrabandista_ by no means such pleasant company on the
road as I had been led to suppose he would prove from the representation
of my host of Cordova.  Throughout the day he sat sullen and silent, and
rarely replied to my questions, save by a monosyllable; at night,
however, after having eaten well and drunk proportionably at my expense,
he would occasionally become more sociable and communicative.  “I have
given up smuggling,” said he, on one of these occasions, “owing to a
trick which was played upon me the last time that I was at Lisbon: a Jew,
whom I had been long acquainted with, palmed upon me a false brilliant
for a real stone.  He effected it in the most extraordinary manner, for I
am not such a novice as not to know a true diamond when I see one; but
the Jew appears to have had two, with which he played most adroitly,
keeping the valuable one for which I bargained, and substituting therefor
another which, though an excellent imitation, was not worth four dollars.
I did not discover the trick until I was across the border, and upon my
hurrying back, the culprit was not to be found; his priest, however, told
me that he was just dead and buried, which was of course false, as I saw
him laughing in the corners of his eyes.  I renounced the contraband
trade from that moment.”

It is not my intention to describe minutely the various incidents of this
journey.  Leaving at our right the mountains of Jaen, we passed through
Andujar and Bailen, and on the third day reached Carolina, a small but
beautiful town on the skirts of the Sierra Morena, inhabited by the
descendants of German colonists.  Two leagues from this place we entered
the defile of Despeñaperros, which, even in quiet times, has an evil
name, on account of the robberies which are continually being perpetrated
within its recesses, but at the period of which I am speaking, it was
said to be swarming with banditti.  We of course expected to be robbed,
perhaps stripped and otherwise ill treated; but Providence here
manifested itself.  It appeared that the day before our arrival, the
banditti of the pass had committed a dreadful robbery and murder, by
which they gained forty thousand _reals_. {254a}  This booty probably
contented them for a time: certain it is that we were not interrupted.
We did not even see a single individual in the pass, though we
occasionally heard whistles and loud cries.  We entered La Mancha, where
I expected to fall into the hands of Palillos and Orejita. {254b}
Providence again showed itself.  It had been delicious weather; suddenly
the Lord breathed forth a frozen blast, the severity of which was almost
intolerable.  No human being but ourselves ventured forth.  We traversed
snow-covered plains, and passed through villages and towns to all
appearance deserted.  The robbers kept close in their caves and hovels,
but the cold nearly killed us.  We reached Aranjuez late on
Christmas-day, and I got into the house of an Englishman, where I
swallowed nearly a pint of brandy: it affected me no more than warm
water.

On the following day we arrived at Madrid, where we had the good fortune
to find everything tranquil and quiet.  The _contrabandista_ continued
with me for two days, at the end of which time he returned to Cordova
upon the uncouth animal on which I had ridden throughout the journey.  I
had myself purchased the _jaca_, whose capabilities I had seen on the
route, and which I imagined might prove useful in future journeys.  The
_contrabandista_ was so satisfied with the price which I gave him for his
beast, and the general treatment which he had experienced at my hands
during the time of his attendance upon me, that he would fain have
persuaded me to retain him as a servant, assuring me that, in the event
of my compliance, he would forget his wife and children and follow me
through the world.  I declined, however, to accede to his request, though
I was in need of a domestic; I therefore sent him back to Cordova, where,
as I subsequently learned, he died suddenly, about a week after his
return.

The manner of his death was singular: one day he took out his purse, and,
after counting his money, said to his wife, “I have made ninety-five
dollars by this journey with the Englishman and by the sale of the
_jaca_; this I could easily double by one successful venture in the
smuggling lay.  To-morrow I will depart for Lisbon to buy diamonds.  I
wonder if the beast requires to be shod?”  He then started up and made
for the door, with the intention of going to the stable; ere, however,
his foot had crossed the threshold, he fell dead on the floor.  Such is
the course of the world.  Well said the wise king, “Let no one boast of
the morrow.”



CHAPTER XIX.


Arrival at Madrid—Maria Diaz—Printing of the Testament—My
Project—Andalusian Steed—Servant wanted—An Application—Antonio
Buchini—General Cordova—Principles of Honour.

On my arrival at Madrid I did not repair to my former lodgings in the
Calle de la Zarza, but took others in the Calle de Santiago, in the
vicinity of the palace.  The name of the hostess (for there was, properly
speaking, no host) was Maria Diaz, of whom I shall take the present
opportunity of saying something in particular.

She was a woman of about thirty-five years of age, rather good-looking,
and with a physiognomy every lineament of which bespoke intelligence of
no common order.  Her eyes were keen and penetrating, though occasionally
clouded with a somewhat melancholy expression.  There was a particular
calmness and quiet in her general demeanour, beneath which, however,
slumbered a firmness of spirit and an energy of action which were
instantly displayed whenever necessary.  A Spaniard, and, of course, a
Catholic, she was possessed of a spirit of toleration and liberality
which would have done honour to individuals much her superior in station.
In this woman, during the remainder of my sojourn in Spain, I found a
firm and constant friend, and occasionally a most discreet adviser.  She
entered into all my plans, I will not say with enthusiasm, which, indeed,
formed no part of her character, but with cordiality and sincerity,
forwarding them to the utmost of her ability.  She never shrank from me
in the hour of danger and persecution, but stood my friend
notwithstanding the many inducements which were held out to her by my
enemies to desert or betray me.  Her motives were of the noblest
kind—friendship, and a proper feeling of the duties of hospitality: no
prospect, no hope of self-interest, however remote, influenced this
admirable woman in her conduct towards me.  Honour to Maria Diaz, the
quiet, dauntless, clever Castilian female!  I were an ingrate not to
speak well of her, for richly has she deserved an eulogy in the humble
pages of _The Bible in Spain_.

She was a native of Villa Seca, a hamlet of New Castile, situated in what
is called the Sagra, {257} at about three leagues’ distance from Toledo.
Her father was an architect of some celebrity, particularly skilled in
erecting bridges.  At a very early age she married a respectable yeoman
of Villa Seca, Lopez by name, by whom she had three sons.  On the death
of her father, which occurred about five years previous to the time of
which I am speaking, she removed to Madrid, partly for the purpose of
educating her children, and partly in the hope of obtaining from the
government a considerable sum of money for which it stood indebted to her
father at the time of his decease, for various useful and ornamental
works, principally in the neighbourhood of Aranjuez.  The justness of her
claim was at once acknowledged; but, alas! no money was forthcoming, the
royal treasury being empty.  Her hopes of earthly happiness were now
concentrated in her children.  The two youngest were still of a very
tender age; but the eldest, Juan José Lopez, a lad of about sixteen, was
bidding fair to realize the warmest hopes of his affectionate mother.  He
had devoted himself to the arts, in which he had made such progress that
he had already become the favourite pupil of his celebrated namesake
Lopez, {258} the best painter of modern Spain.  Such was Maria Diaz, who,
according to a custom formerly universal in Spain, and still very
prevalent, retained the name of her maidenhood though married.  Such was
Maria Diaz and her family.

One of my first cares was to wait on Mr. Villiers, who received me with
his usual kindness.  I asked him whether he considered that I might
venture to commence printing the Scriptures without any more applications
to government.  His reply was satisfactory: “You obtained the permission
of the government of Isturitz,” said he, “which was a much less liberal
one than the present.  I am a witness to the promise made to you by the
former ministers, which I consider sufficient.  You had best commence and
complete the work as soon as possible, without any fresh application; and
should any one attempt to interrupt you, you have only to come to me,
whom you may command at any time.”  So I went away with a light heart,
and forthwith made preparation for the execution of the object which had
brought me to Spain.

I shall not enter here into unnecessary details, which could possess but
little interest for the reader; suffice it to say that, within three
months from this time, an edition of the New Testament, consisting of
five thousand copies, was published at Madrid.  The work was printed at
the establishment of Mr. Borrego, {259a} a well-known writer on political
economy, and proprietor and editor of an influential newspaper called _El
Español_.  To this gentleman I had been recommended by Isturitz himself,
on the day of my interview with him.  That unfortunate minister had,
indeed, the highest esteem for Borrego, and had intended raising him to
the station of minister of finance, when the revolution of La Granja
occurring, of course rendered abortive this project, with perhaps many
others of a similar kind which he might have formed.

The Spanish version of the New Testament which was thus published had
been made many years before by a certain Padre Filipe Scio, {259b}
confessor of Ferdinand the Seventh, and had even been printed, but so
encumbered by notes and commentaries as to be unfitted for general
circulation, for which, indeed, it was never intended.  In the present
edition the notes were of course omitted, and the inspired word, and that
alone, offered to the public.  It was brought out in a handsome octavo
volume, and presented, upon the whole, a rather favourable specimen of
Spanish typography.  The mere printing, however, of the New Testament at
Madrid could be attended with no utility whatever, unless measures, and
energetic ones, were taken for the circulation of the sacred volume.

In the case of the New Testament it would not do to follow the usual plan
of publication in Spain, namely, to entrust the work to the booksellers
of the capital, and rest content with the sale which they and their
agents in the provincial towns might be able to obtain for it in the
common routine of business; the result generally being the circulation of
a few dozen copies in the course of the year: as the demand for
literature of every kind in Spain was miserably small.

The Christians of England had already made considerable sacrifices in the
hope of disseminating the word of God largely amongst the Spaniards, and
it was now necessary to spare no exertion to prevent that hope becoming
abortive.  Before the book was ready I had begun to make preparations for
putting a plan into execution, which had occupied my thoughts
occasionally during my former visit to Spain, and which I had never
subsequently abandoned.  I had mused on it when off Cape Finisterre in
the tempest, in the cut-throat passes of the Sierra Morena, and on the
plains of La Mancha, as I jogged along a little way ahead of the
_contrabandista_.

I had determined, after depositing a certain number of copies in the
shops of the booksellers of Madrid, to ride forth, Testament in hand, and
endeavour to circulate the word of God amongst the Spaniards, not only of
the towns, but of the villages; amongst the children not only of the
plains, but of the hills and mountains.  I intended to visit Old Castile,
and to traverse the whole of Galicia and the Asturias; to establish
Scripture depôts in the principal towns, and to visit the people in
secret and secluded spots; to talk to them of Christ, to explain to them
the nature of His book, and to place that book in the hands of those whom
I should deem capable of deriving benefit from it.  I was aware that such
a journey would be attended with considerable danger, and very possibly
the fate of St. Stephen might overtake me; but does the man deserve the
name of a follower of Christ who would shrink from danger of any kind in
the cause of Him whom he calls his Master?  “He who loses his life for my
sake shall find it,” are words which the Lord Himself uttered.  These
words were fraught with consolation to me, as they doubtless are to every
one engaged in propagating the Gospel in sincerity of heart, in savage
and barbarian lands. . . .

I now purchased another horse; for these animals, at the time of which I
am speaking, were exceedingly cheap.  A royal requisition was about to be
issued for five thousand, the consequence being that an immense number
were for sale, for, by virtue of this requisition, the horses of any
person not a foreigner could be seized for the benefit of the service.
It was probable that, when the number was made up, the price of horses
would be treble what it then was, which consideration induced me to
purchase this animal before I exactly wanted him.  He was a black
Andalusian stallion {261} of great power and strength, and capable of
performing a journey of a hundred leagues in a week’s time; but he was
unbroke, savage, and furious.  A cargo of Bibles, however, which I hoped
occasionally to put on his back, would, I had no doubt, thoroughly tame
him, especially when labouring up the flinty hills of the north of Spain.
I wished to have purchased a mule, but, though I offered thirty pounds
for a sorry one, I could not obtain her; whereas the cost of both the
horses—tall, powerful, stately animals—scarcely amounted to that sum.

The state of the surrounding country at this time was not very favourable
for venturing forth.  Cabrera {262} was within nine leagues of Madrid,
with an army nearly ten thousand strong; he had beaten several small
detachments of the queen’s troops, and had ravaged La Mancha with fire
and sword, burning several towns.  Bands of affrighted fugitives were
arriving every hour, bringing tidings of woe and disaster; and I was only
surprised that the enemy did not appear, and by taking Madrid, which was
almost at his mercy, put an end to the war at once.  But the truth is,
that the Carlist generals did not wish the war to cease, for as long as
the country was involved in bloodshed and anarchy they could plunder, and
exercise that lawless authority so dear to men of fierce and brutal
passions.  Cabrera, moreover, was a dastardly wretch, whose limited mind
was incapable of harbouring a single conception approaching to
grandeur—whose heroic deeds were confined to cutting down defenceless
men, and to forcing and disembowelling unhappy women; and yet I have seen
this wretched fellow termed by French journals (Carlist, of course) the
young, the heroic general!  Infamy on the cowardly assassin!  The
shabbiest corporal of Napoleon would have laughed at his generalship, and
half a battalion of Austrian grenadiers would have driven him and his
rabble army headlong into the Ebro. {263}

I now made preparations for my journey into the north.  I was already
provided with horses well calculated to support the fatigues of the road
and the burdens which I might deem necessary to impose upon them.  One
thing, however, was still lacking, indispensable to a person about to
engage on an expedition of this description; I mean a servant to attend
me.  Perhaps there is no place in the world where servants more abound
than at Madrid, or at least fellows eager to proffer their services in
the expectation of receiving food and wages, though, with respect to the
actual service which they are capable of performing, not much can be
said; but I was in want of a servant of no common description, a shrewd
active fellow, of whose advice, in cases of emergency, I could
occasionally avail myself; courageous withal, for it certainly required
some degree of courage to follow a master bent on exploring the greater
part of Spain, and who intended to travel, not under the protection of
muleteers and carmen, but on his own _cabalgaduras_.  Such a servant,
perhaps, I might have sought for years without finding; chance, however,
brought one to my hand at the very time I wanted him, without it being
necessary for me to make any laborious perquisitions.  I was one day
mentioning the subject to Mr. Borrego, at whose establishment I had
printed the New Testament, and inquiring whether he thought that such an
individual was to be found in Madrid, adding that I was particularly
anxious to obtain a servant who, besides Spanish, could speak some other
language, that occasionally we might discourse without being understood
by those who might overhear us.  “The very description of person,” he
replied, “that you appear to be in need of, quitted me about half an hour
ago, and, it is singular enough, came to me in the hope that I might be
able to recommend him to a master.  He has been twice in my service: for
his talent and courage I will answer; and I believe him to be
trustworthy, at least to masters who may chime in with his humour, for I
must inform you that he is a most extraordinary fellow, full of strange
likes and antipathies, which he will gratify at any expense, either to
himself or others.  Perhaps he will attach himself to you, in which case
you will find him highly valuable; for, if he please, he can turn his
hand to anything, and is not only acquainted with two, but half a dozen
languages.”

“Is he a Spaniard?” I inquired.

“I will send him to you to-morrow,” said Borrego, “you will best learn
from his own mouth who and what he is.”

The next day, as I had just sat down to my _sopa_, my hostess informed me
that a man wished to speak to me.  “Admit him,” said I, and he almost
instantly made his appearance.  He was dressed respectably in the French
fashion, and had rather a juvenile look, though I subsequently learned
that he was considerably above forty.  He was somewhat above the middle
stature, and might have been called well made, had it not been for his
meagreness, which was rather remarkable.  His arms were long and bony,
and his whole form conveyed an idea of great activity united with no
slight degree of strength.  His hair was wiry, but of jetty blackness;
his forehead low; his eyes small and grey, expressive of much subtlety
and no less malice, strangely relieved by a strong dash of humour; the
nose was handsome, but the mouth was immensely wide, and his under jaw
projected considerably.  A more singular physiognomy I had never seen,
and I continued staring at him for some time in silence.  “Who are you?”
I at last demanded.

“Domestic in search of a master,” answered the man in good French, but in
a strange accent.  “I come recommended to you, my Lor, by _Monsieur_
B---.”

_Myself_.—Of what nation may you be?  Are you French or Spanish?

_Man_.—God forbid that I should be either, _mi Lor_; _j’ai l’honneur
d’être de la nation Grecque_; my name is Antonio Buchini, native of Pera
the Belle, {265a} near to Constantinople.

_Myself_.—And what brought you to Spain?

_Buchini_.—_Mi Lor_, _je vais vous raconter mon histoire du commencement
jusqu’ici_.  My father was a native of Sceira, {265b} in Greece, from
whence at an early age he repaired to Pera, where he served as janitor in
the hotels of various ambassadors, by whom he was much respected for his
fidelity.  Amongst others of these gentlemen, he served him of your own
nation: this occurred at the time that there was war between England and
the Porte. {266a}  _Monsieur_ the ambassador had to escape for his life,
leaving the greater part of his valuables to the care of my father, who
concealed them at his own great risk, and when the dispute was settled,
restored them to monsieur, even to the most inconsiderable trinket.  I
mention this circumstance to show you that I am of a family which
cherishes principles of honour, and in which confidence may be placed.
My father married a daughter of Pera, _et moi je suis l’unique fruit de
ce mariage_.  Of my mother I know nothing, as she died shortly after my
birth.  A family of wealthy Jews took pity on my forlorn condition and
offered to bring me up, to which my father gladly consented; and with
them I continued several years, until I was a _beau garçon_; they were
very fond of me, and at last offered to adopt me, and at their death to
bequeath me all they had, on condition of my becoming a Jew.  _Mais la
circoncision n’étoit guère à mon goût_, especially that of the Jews, for
I am a Greek, am proud, and have principles of honour.  I quitted them,
therefore, saying that if ever I allowed myself to be converted, it
should be to the faith of the Turks, for they are men, are proud, and
have principles of honour like myself.  I then returned to my father, who
procured me various situations, none of which were to my liking, until I
was placed in the house of _Monsieur_ Zea.

_Myself_.—You mean, I suppose, Zea Bermudez, {266b} who chanced to be at
Constantinople.

_Buchini_.—Just so, _mi Lor_, and with him I continued during his stay.
He put great confidence in me, more especially as I spoke the pure
Spanish language, which I acquired amongst the Jews, who, as I have heard
_Monsieur_ Zea say, speak it better than the present natives of Spain.

I shall not follow the Greek step by step throughout his history, which
was rather lengthy: suffice it to say, that he was brought by Zea
Bermudez from Constantinople to Spain, where he continued in his service
for many years, and from whose house he was expelled for marrying a
Guipuzcoan damsel, who was _fille de chambre_ to _Madame_ Zea; since
which time it appeared that he had served an infinity of masters,
sometimes as valet, sometimes as cook, but generally in the last
capacity.  He confessed, however, that he had seldom continued more than
three days in the same service, on account of the disputes which were
sure to arise in the house almost immediately after his admission, and
for which he could assign no other reason than his being a Greek, and
having principles of honour.  Amongst other persons whom he had served
was General Cordova, who he said was a bad paymaster, and was in the
habit of maltreating his domestics.  “But he found his match in me,” said
Antonio, “for I was prepared for him; and once, when he drew his sword
against me, I pulled out a pistol and pointed it in his face.  He grew
pale as death, and from that hour treated me with all kinds of
condescension.  It was only pretence, however, for the affair rankled in
his mind; he had determined upon revenge, and on being appointed to the
command of the army, he was particularly anxious that I should attend him
to the camp.  _Mais je lui ris au nez_, made the sign of the
_cortamanga_, {268} asked for my wages, and left him; and well it was
that I did so, for the very domestic whom he took with him he caused to
be shot upon a charge of mutiny.”

“I am afraid,” said I, “that you are of a turbulent disposition, and that
the disputes to which you have alluded are solely to be attributed to the
badness of your temper.”

“What would you have, _Monsieur_?  _Moi je suis Grec_, _je suis fier_,
_et j’ai des principes d’honneur_.  I expect to be treated with a certain
consideration, though I confess that my temper is none of the best, and
that at times I am tempted to quarrel with the pots and pans in the
kitchen.  I think, upon the whole, that it will be for your advantage to
engage me, and I promise you to be on my guard.  There is one thing that
pleases me relating to you, you are unmarried.  Now, I would rather serve
a young unmarried man for love and friendship, than a Benedick for fifty
dollars per month.  _Madame_ is sure to hate me, and so is her
waiting-woman; and more particularly the latter, because I am a married
man.  I see that _mi Lor_ is willing to engage me.”

“But you say you are a married man,” I replied; “how can you desert your
wife? for I am about to leave Madrid, and to travel into the remote and
mountainous parts of Spain.”

“My wife will receive the moiety of my wages while I am absent, _mi Lor_,
and therefore will have no reason to complain of being deserted.
Complain! did I say; my wife is at present too well instructed to
complain.  She never speaks nor sits in my presence, unless I give her
permission.  Am I not a Greek, and do I not know how to govern my own
house?  Engage me, _mi Lor_; I am a man of many capacities—a discreet
valet, an excellent cook, a good groom and light rider; in a word, I am
Ρωμαϊκός. {269a}  What would you more?”

I asked him his terms, which were extravagant, notwithstanding his
_principes d’honneur_.  I found, however, that he was willing to take
one-half.

I had no sooner engaged him than, seizing the tureen of soup, which had
by this time become quite cold, he placed it on the top of his fore
finger, or rather on the nail thereof, causing it to make various
circumvolutions over his head, to my great astonishment, without spilling
a drop, then springing with it to the door, he vanished, and in another
moment made his appearance with the _puchera_, which, after a similar
bound and flourish, he deposited on the table; then suffering his hands
to sink before him, he put one over the other, and stood at his ease,
with half-shut eyes, for all the world as if he had been in my service
twenty years.

And in this manner Antonio Buchini entered upon his duties.  Many was the
wild spot to which he subsequently accompanied me; many the wild
adventure of which he was the sharer.  His behaviour was frequently in
the highest degree extraordinary, but he served me courageously and
faithfully: such a valet, take him for all in all—

    “His like I ne’er expect to see again.”

_Kosko bakh_, _Anton_. {269b}



CHAPTER XX.


Illness—Nocturnal Visit—A Master Mind—The Whisper—Salamanca—Irish
Hospitality—Spanish Soldiers—The Scriptures advertised.

But I am anxious to enter upon the narrative of my journey, and shall
therefore abstain from relating to my readers a great many circumstances
which occurred previously to my leaving Madrid on this expedition.  About
the middle of May I had got everything in readiness, and I bade farewell
to my friends.  Salamanca was the first place which I intended to visit.

Some days previous to my departure I was very much indisposed, owing to
the state of the weather, for violent and biting winds had long
prevailed.  I had been attacked with a severe cold, which terminated in a
disagreeable cough, which the many remedies I successively tried seemed
unable to subdue.  I had made preparations for departing on a particular
day, but, owing to the state of my health, I was apprehensive that I
should be compelled to defer my journey for a time.  The last day of my
stay in Madrid, finding myself scarcely able to stand, I was fain to
submit to a somewhat desperate experiment, and by the advice of the
barber-surgeon who visited me, I determined to be bled.  Late on the
night of that same day he took from me sixteen ounces of blood, and
having received his fee left me, wishing me a pleasant journey, and
assuring me, upon his reputation, that by noon the next day I should be
perfectly recovered.

A few minutes after his departure, whilst I was sitting alone, meditating
on the journey which I was about to undertake, and on the rickety state
of my health, I heard a loud knock at the street door of the house, on
the third floor of which I was lodged.  In another minute Mr. S---, {271}
of the British embassy, entered my apartment.  After a little
conversation, he informed me that Mr. Villiers had desired him to wait
upon me to communicate a resolution which he had come to.  Being
apprehensive that, alone and unassisted, I should experience great
difficulty in propagating the Gospel of God to any considerable extent in
Spain, he was bent upon exerting to the utmost his own credit and
influence to further my views, which he himself considered, if carried
into proper effect, extremely well calculated to operate beneficially on
the political and moral state of the country.  To this end it was his
intention to purchase a very considerable number of copies of the New
Testament, and to dispatch them forthwith to the various British consuls
established in different parts of Spain, with strict and positive orders
to employ all the means which their official situation should afford them
to circulate the books in question, and to assure their being noticed.
They were, moreover, to be charged to afford me, whenever I should appear
in their respective districts, all the protection, encouragement, and
assistance which I should stand in need of.  I was of course much
rejoiced on receiving this information, for, though I had long been aware
that Mr. Villiers was at all times willing to assist me, he having
frequently given me sufficient proof, I could never expect that he would
come forward in so noble, and, to say the least of it, considering his
high diplomatic situation, so bold and decided a manner.  I believe that
this was the first instance of a British ambassador having made the cause
of the Bible Society a national one, or indeed of having favoured it
directly or indirectly.  What renders the case of Mr. Villiers more
remarkable is that, on my first arrival at Madrid, I found him by no
means well disposed towards the Society.  The Holy Spirit had probably
illumined his mind on this point.  I hoped that by his means our
institution would shortly possess many agents in Spain, who, with far
more power and better opportunities than I myself could ever expect to
possess, would scatter abroad the seed of the Gospel, and make of a
barren and thirsty wilderness a green and smiling corn-field.

A word or two about the gentleman who paid me this nocturnal visit.
Though he has probably long since forgotten the humble circulator of the
Bible in Spain, I still bear in mind numerous acts of kindness which I
experienced at his hands.  Endowed with an intellect of the highest
order, master of the lore of all Europe, profoundly versed in the ancient
tongues and speaking most of the modern dialects with remarkable
facility—possessed, moreover, of a thorough knowledge of mankind—he
brought with him into the diplomatic career advantages such as few, even
the most highly gifted, can boast of.  During his sojourn in Spain he
performed many eminent services for the government which employed him;
services which, I believe, it had sufficient discernment to see, and
gratitude to reward.  He had to encounter, however, the full brunt of the
low and stupid malignity of the party who, shortly after the time of
which I am speaking, usurped the management of the affairs of Spain.
This party, whose foolish manœuvres he was continually discomfiting,
feared and hated him as its evil genius, taking every opportunity of
showering on his head calumnies the most improbable and absurd.  Amongst
other things, he was accused of having acted as an agent to the English
government in the affair of La Granja, bringing about that revolution by
bribing the mutinous soldiers, and more particularly the notorious
Sergeant Garcia.  Such an accusation will of course merely extract a
smile from those who are at all acquainted with the English character,
and the general line of conduct pursued by the English government.  It
was a charge, however, universally believed in Spain, and was even
preferred in print by a certain journal, the official organ of the silly
Duke of Frias, one of the many prime ministers of the _moderado_ party
who followed each other in rapid succession towards the latter period of
the Carlist and _Cristino_ struggle.  But when did a calumnious report
ever fall to the ground in Spain by the weight of its own absurdity?
Unhappy land! not until the pure light of the Gospel has illumined thee,
wilt thou learn that the greatest of all gifts is charity!

The next day verified the prediction of the Spanish surgeon; I had to a
considerable degree lost my cough and fever, though, owing to the loss of
blood, I was somewhat feeble.  Precisely at twelve o’clock the horses
were led forth before the door of my lodging in the Calle de Santiago,
and I prepared to mount; but my black _entero_ of Andalusia would not
permit me to approach his side, and, whenever I made the attempt,
commenced wheeling round with great rapidity.

“_C’est un mauvais signe_, _mon maître_,” said Antonio, who, dressed in a
green jerkin, a _montero_ cap, and booted and spurred, stood ready to
attend me, holding by the bridle the horse which I had purchased from the
_contrabandista_.  “It is a bad sign, and in my country they would defer
the journey till to-morrow.”

“Are there whisperers in your country?” I demanded; and taking the horse
by the mane, I performed the ceremony after the most approved fashion.
The animal stood still, and I mounted the saddle, exclaiming—

    “The _Romany chal_ {274a} to his horse did cry,
       As he placed the bit in his horse’s jaw,
    ‘Kosko gry!  Romany gry!
       Muk man kistur tute knaw.’” {274b}

We then rode forth from Madrid by the gate of San Vicente, directing our
course to the lofty mountains which separate Old from New Castile.  That
night we rested at Guadarrama, a large village at their foot, distant
from Madrid about seven leagues.  Rising early on the following morning,
we ascended the pass and entered into Old Castile.

After crossing the mountains, the route to Salamanca lies almost entirely
over sandy and arid plains, interspersed here and there with thin and
scanty groves of pine.  No adventure worth relating occurred during this
journey.  We sold a few Testaments in the villages through which we
passed, more especially at Peñaranda.  About noon of the third day, on
reaching the brow of a hillock, we saw a huge dome before us, upon which
the fierce rays of the sun striking, produced the appearance of burnished
gold.  It belonged to the cathedral of Salamanca, and we flattered
ourselves that we were already at our journey’s end; we were deceived,
however, being still four leagues distant from the town, whose churches
and convents, towering up in gigantic masses, can be distinguished at an
immense distance, flattering the traveller with an idea of propinquity
which does not in reality exist.  It was not till long after nightfall
that we arrived at the city gate, which we found closed and guarded, in
apprehension of a Carlist attack; and having obtained admission with some
difficulty, we led our horses along dark, silent, and deserted streets,
till we found an individual who directed us to a large, gloomy, and
comfortless _posada_, that of the Bull, which we, however, subsequently
found was the best which the town afforded.

A melancholy town is Salamanca; the days of its collegiate glory are long
since past by, never more to return: a circumstance, however, which is
little to be regretted; for what benefit did the world ever derive from
scholastic philosophy?  And for that alone was Salamanca ever famous.
Its halls are now almost silent, and grass is growing in its courts,
which were once daily thronged by at least eight thousand students; a
number to which, at the present day, the entire population of the city
does not amount.  Yet, with all its melancholy, what an interesting, nay,
what a magnificent place is Salamanca!  How glorious are its churches,
how stupendous are its deserted convents, and with what sublime but
sullen grandeur do its huge and crumbling walls, which crown the
precipitous bank of the Tormes, look down upon the lovely river and its
venerable bridge!

What a pity that, of the many rivers of Spain, scarcely one is navigable!
The beautiful but shallow Tormes, instead of proving a source of blessing
and wealth to this part of Castile, is of no further utility than to turn
the wheels of various small water mills, standing upon weirs of stone,
which at certain distances traverse the river.

My sojourn at Salamanca was rendered particularly pleasant by the kind
attentions and continual acts of hospitality which I experienced from the
inmates of the Irish College, to the rector of which I bore a letter of
recommendation from my kind and excellent friend Mr. O’Shea, the
celebrated banker of Madrid.  It will be long before I forget these
Irish, more especially their head, Dr. Gartland, a genuine scion of the
good Hibernian tree, an accomplished scholar, and a courteous and
high-minded gentleman.  Though fully aware who I was, he held out the
hand of friendship to the wandering heretic missionary, although by so
doing he exposed himself to the rancorous remarks of the narrow-minded
native clergy, who, in their ugly shovel hats and long cloaks, glared at
me askance as I passed by their whispering groups beneath the _piazzas_
of the _Plaza_.  But when did the fear of consequences cause an Irishman
to shrink from the exercise of the duties of hospitality?  However
attached to his religion—and who is so attached to the Romish creed as
the Irishman?—I am convinced that not all the authority of the Pope or
the Cardinals would induce him to close his doors on Luther himself, were
that respectable personage at present alive and in need of food and
refuge.

Honour to Ireland and her “hundred thousand welcomes!” {277a}  Her fields
have long been the greenest in the world; her daughters the fairest; her
sons the bravest and most eloquent.  May they never cease to be so!

The _posada_ where I had put up was a good specimen of the old Spanish
inn, being much the same as those described in the time of Philip the
Third or Fourth.  The rooms were many and large, floored with either
brick or stone, generally with an alcove at the end, in which stood a
wretched flock bed.  Behind the house was a court, and in the rear of
this a stable, full of horses, ponies, mules, _machos_, and donkeys, for
there was no lack of guests, who, however, for the most part slept in the
stable with their _caballerias_, being either _arrieros_ or small
peddling merchants who travelled the country with coarse cloth or linen.
Opposite to my room in the corridor lodged a wounded officer, who had
just arrived from San Sebastian on a galled broken-kneed pony: he was an
Estrimenian, {277b} and was returning to his own village to be cured.  He
was attended by three broken soldiers, lame or maimed, and unfit for
service: they told me that they were of the same village as his worship,
and on that account he permitted them to travel with him.  They slept
amongst the litter, and throughout the day lounged about the house
smoking paper cigars.  I never saw them eating, though they frequently
went to a dark cool corner, where stood a _bota_ or kind of water
pitcher, which they held about six inches from their black filmy lips,
permitting the liquid to trickle down their throats.  They said they had
no pay, and were quite destitute of money, that _su merced_ the officer
occasionally gave them a piece of bread, but that he himself was poor and
had only a few dollars.  Brave guests for an inn, thought I; yet, to the
honour of Spain be it spoken, it is one of the few countries in Europe
where poverty is never insulted nor looked upon with contempt.  Even at
an inn, the poor man is never spurned from the door, and if not
harboured, is at least dismissed with fair words, and consigned to the
mercies of God and his mother.  This is as it should be.  I laugh at the
bigotry and prejudices of Spain; I abhor the cruelty and ferocity which
have cast a stain of eternal infamy on her history; but I will say for
the Spaniards, that in their social intercourse no people in the world
exhibit a juster feeling of what is due to the dignity of human nature,
or better understand the behaviour which it behoves a man to adopt
towards his fellow beings.  I have said that it is one of the few
countries in Europe where poverty is not treated with contempt, and I may
add, where the wealthy are not blindly idolized.  In Spain the very
beggar does not feel himself a degraded being, for he kisses no one’s
feet, and knows not what it is to be cuffed or spit upon; and in Spain
the duke or the marquis can scarcely entertain a very overweening opinion
of his own consequence, as he finds no one, with perhaps the exception of
his French valet, to fawn upon or flatter him.

During my stay at Salamanca I took measures that the word of God might
become generally known in his celebrated city.  The principal bookseller
of the town, Blanco, a man of great wealth and respectability, consented
to become my agent here, and I in consequence deposited in his shop a
certain number of New Testaments.  He was the proprietor of a small
printing-press, where the official bulletin of the place was published.
For this bulletin I prepared an advertisement of the work, in which,
amongst other things, I said that the New Testament was the only guide to
salvation; I also spoke of the Bible Society, and the great pecuniary
sacrifices which it was making with the view of proclaiming Christ
crucified, and of making his doctrine known.  This step will perhaps be
considered by some as too bold, but I was not aware that I could take any
more calculated to arouse the attention of the people—a considerable
point.  I also ordered numbers of the same advertisement to be struck off
in the shape of bills, which I caused to be stuck up in various parts of
the town.  I had great hope that by means of these a considerable number
of New Testaments would be sold.  I intended to repeat this experiment in
Valladolid, Leon, St. Jago, {279} and all the principal towns which I
visited, and to distribute them likewise as I rode along.  The children
of Spain would thus be brought to know that such a work as the New
Testament is in existence, a fact of which not five in one hundred were
then aware, notwithstanding their so frequently repeated boasts of their
Catholicity and Christianity.



CHAPTER XXI.


Departure from Salamanca—Reception at Pitiegua—The Dilemma—Sudden
Inspiration—The Good Presbyter—Combat of Quadrupeds—Irish
Christians—Plains of Spain—The Catalans—The Fatal
Pool—Valladolid—Circulation of the Scriptures—Philippine Missions—English
College—A Conversation—The Gaoleress.

On Saturday, June 10, I left Salamanca for Valladolid.  As the village
where we intended to rest was only five leagues distant, we did not sally
forth till midday was past.  There was a haze in the heavens which
overcast the sun, nearly hiding his countenance from our view.  My
friend, Mr. Patrick Cantwell, of the Irish College, {280a} was kind
enough to ride with me part of the way.  He was mounted on a most
sorry-looking hired mule, which I expected would be unable to keep pace
with the spirited horses of myself and man; for he seemed to be
twin-brother of the mule of Gil Perez, on which his nephew made his
celebrated journey from Oviedo to Peñaflor. {280b}  I was, however, very
much mistaken.  The creature, on being mounted, instantly set off at that
rapid walk which I have so often admired in Spanish mules, and which no
horse can emulate.  Our more stately animals were speedily left in the
rear, and we were continually obliged to break into a trot to follow the
singular quadruped, who, ever and anon, would lift his head high in the
air, curl up his lip, and show his yellow teeth, as if he were laughing
at us, as perhaps he was.  It chanced that none of us were well
acquainted with the road; indeed, I could see nothing which was fairly
entitled to that appellation.  The way from Salamanca to Valladolid is
amongst a medley of bridle-paths and drift-ways, where discrimination is
very difficult.  It was not long before we were bewildered, and travelled
over more ground than was strictly necessary.  However, as men and women
frequently passed on donkeys and little ponies, we were not too proud to
be set right by them, and by dint of diligent inquiry we at length
arrived at Pitiegua, four leagues from Salamanca, a small village,
containing about fifty families, consisting of mud huts, and situated in
the midst of dusty plains, where corn was growing in abundance.  We asked
for the house of the _cura_, an old man whom I had seen the day before at
the Irish College, and who, on being informed that I was about to depart
for Valladolid, had exacted from me a promise that I would not pass
through his village without paying him a visit and partaking of his
hospitality.

A woman directed us to a cottage somewhat superior in appearance to those
contiguous.  It had a small portico, which, if I remember well, was
overgrown with a vine.  We knocked loud and long at the door, but
received no answer; the voice of man was silent, and not even a dog
barked.  The truth was, that the old curate {282} was taking his
_siesta_, and so were his whole family, which consisted of one ancient
female and a cat.  The good man was at last disturbed by our noise and
vociferation, for we were hungry, and consequently impatient.  Leaping
from his couch, he came running to the door in great hurry and confusion,
and, perceiving us, he made many apologies for being asleep at a period
when, he said, he ought to have been on the look-out for his invited
guest.  He embraced me very affectionately, and conducted me into his
parlour, an apartment of tolerable size, hung round with shelves, which
were crowded with books.  At one end there was a kind of table or desk
covered with black leather, with a large easy-chair, into which he pushed
me, as I, with the true eagerness of a bibliomaniac, was about to inspect
his shelves; saying, with considerable vehemence, that there was nothing
there worthy of the attention of an Englishman, for that his whole stock
consisted of breviaries and dry Catholic treatises on divinity.

His care now was to furnish us with refreshments.  In a twinkling, with
the assistance of his old attendant, he placed on the table several
plates of cakes and confectionery, and a number of large uncouth glass
bottles, which I thought bore a strong resemblance to those of Schiedam,
and indeed they were the very same.  “There,” said he, rubbing his hands;
“I thank God that it is in my power to treat you in a way which will be
agreeable to you.  In those bottles there is Hollands, thirty years old;”
and producing two large tumblers, he continued, “fill, my friends, and
drink—drink it every drop if you please, for it is of little use to
myself, who seldom drink aught but water.  I know that you islanders love
it, and cannot live without it; therefore, since it does you good, I am
only sorry that there is no more.”

Observing that we contented ourselves with merely tasting it, he looked
at us with astonishment, and inquired the reason of our not drinking.  We
told him that we seldom drank ardent spirits; and I added, that as for
myself, I seldom tasted even wine, but, like himself, was content with
the use of water.  He appeared somewhat incredulous; but told us to do
exactly what we pleased, and to ask for what was agreeable to us.  We
told him that we had not dined, and should be glad of some substantial
refreshment.  “I am afraid,” said he, “that I have nothing in the house
which will suit you; however, we will go and see.”

Thereupon he led us through a small yard at the back part of his house,
which might have been called a garden or orchard if it had displayed
either trees or flowers; but it produced nothing but grass, which was
growing in luxuriance.  At one end was a large pigeon-house, which we all
entered; “for,” said the curate, “if we could find some nice delicate
pigeons they would afford you an excellent dinner.”  We were, however,
disappointed; for, after rummaging the nests, we only found very young
ones, unfitted for our purpose.  The good man became very melancholy, and
said he had some misgivings that we should have to depart dinnerless.
Leaving the pigeon-house, he conducted us to a place where there were
several skeps of bees, round which multitudes of the busy insects were
hovering, filling the air with their music.  “Next to my
fellow-creatures,” said he, “there is nothing which I love so dearly as
these bees; it is one of my delights to sit watching them, and listening
to their murmur.”  We next went to several unfurnished rooms, fronting
the yard, in one of which were hanging several flitches of bacon, beneath
which he stopped, and, looking up, gazed intently upon them.  We told him
that, if he had nothing better to offer, we should be very glad to eat
some slices of his bacon, especially if some eggs were added.  “To tell
the truth,” said he, “I have nothing better, and if you can content
yourselves with such fare I shall be very happy; as for eggs, you can
have as many as you wish, and perfectly fresh, for my hens lay every
day.”

So, after everything was prepared and arranged to our satisfaction, we
sat down to dine on the bacon and eggs, in a small room, not the one to
which he had ushered us at first, but on the other side of the doorway.
The good curate, though he ate nothing, having taken his meal long
before, sat at the head of the table, and the repast was enlivened by his
chat.  “There, my friends,” said he, “where you are now seated once sat
Wellington and Crawford, after they had beat the French at Arapiles,
{284} and rescued us from the thraldom of those wicked people.  I never
respected my house so much as I have done since they honoured it with
their presence.  They were heroes, and one was a demi-god.”  He then
burst into a most eloquent panegyric of _El Gran Lord_, as he termed him,
which I should be very happy to translate, were my pen capable of
rendering into English the robust thundering sentences of his powerful
Castilian.  I had till then considered him a plain, uninformed old man,
almost simple, and as incapable of much emotion as a tortoise within its
shell; but he had become at once inspired: his eyes were replete with a
bright fire, and every muscle of his face was quivering.  The little silk
skull-cap which he wore, according to the custom of the Catholic clergy,
moved up and down with his agitation; and I soon saw that I was in the
presence of one of those remarkable men who so frequently spring up in
the bosom of the Romish church, and who to a child-like simplicity unite
immense energy and power of mind—equally adapted to guide a scanty flock
of ignorant rustics in some obscure village in Italy or Spain, as to
convert millions of heathens on the shores of Japan, China, and Paraguay.

He was a thin spare man, of about sixty-five, and was dressed in a black
cloak of very coarse materials; nor were his other garments of superior
quality.  This plainness, however, in the appearance of his outward man
was by no means the result of poverty; quite the contrary.  The benefice
was a very plentiful one, and placed at his disposal annually a sum of at
least eight hundred dollars, of which the eighth part was more than
sufficient to defray the expenses of his house and himself; the rest was
devoted entirely to the purest acts of charity.  He fed the hungry
wanderer, and despatched him singing on his way, with meat in his wallet
and a _peseta_ in his purse; and his parishioners, when in need of money,
had only to repair to his study, and were sure of an immediate supply.
He was, indeed, the banker of the village, and what he lent he neither
expected nor wished to be returned.  Though under the necessity of making
frequent journeys to Salamanca, he kept no mule, but contented himself
with an ass, borrowed from the neighbouring miller.  “I once kept a
mule,” said he; “but some years since it was removed without my
permission by a traveller whom I had housed for the night: for in that
alcove I keep two clean beds for the use of the wayfaring, and I shall be
very much pleased if yourself and friend will occupy them, and tarry with
me till the morning.”

But I was eager to continue my journey, and my friend was no less anxious
to return to Salamanca.  Upon taking leave of the hospitable curate, I
presented him with a copy of the New Testament.  He received it without
uttering a single word, and placed it on one of the shelves of his study;
but I observed him nodding significantly to the Irish student, perhaps as
much as to say, “Your friend loses no opportunity of propagating his
book;” for he was well aware who I was.  I shall not speedily forget the
truly good presbyter, Antonio Garcia de Aguilar, _cura_ of Pitiegua.

We reached Pedroso shortly before nightfall.  It was a small village,
containing about thirty houses, and intersected by a rivulet, or, as it
is called, a _regata_.  On its banks women and maidens were washing their
linen, and singing couplets; the church stood alone and solitary on the
farther side.  We inquired for the _posada_, and were shown a cottage,
differing nothing from the rest in general appearance.  We called at the
door in vain, as it is not the custom of Castile for the people of these
halting-places to go out to welcome their visitors: at last we dismounted
and entered the house, demanding of a sullen-looking woman where we were
to place the horses.  She said there was a stable within the house, but
we could not put the animals there, as it contained _malos machos_ {287}
belonging to two travellers, who would certainly fight with our horses,
and then there would be a _funcion_, which would tear the house down.
She then pointed to an out-house across the way, saying that we could
stable them there.  We entered this place, which we found full of filth
and swine, with a door without a lock.  I thought of the fate of the
_cura’s_ mule, and was unwilling to trust the horses in such a place,
abandoning them to the mercy of any robber in the neighbourhood.  I
therefore entered the house, and said resolutely that I was determined to
place them in the stable.  Two men were squatted on the ground, with an
immense bowl of stewed hare before them, on which they were supping;
these were the travelling merchants, the masters of the mules.  I passed
on to the stable, one of the men saying softly, “Yes, yes, go in and see
what will befall.”  I had no sooner entered the stable than I heard a
horrid discordant cry, something between a bray and a yell, and the
largest of the _machos_, tearing his head from the manger to which he was
fastened, his eyes shooting flames, and breathing a Whirlwind from his
nostrils, flung himself on my stallion.  The horse, as savage as himself,
reared on his hind legs, and, after the fashion of an English pugilist,
repaid the other with a pat on the forehead, which nearly felled him.  A
combat instantly ensued, and I thought that the words of the sullen woman
would be verified by the house being torn to pieces.  It ended by my
seizing the mule by the halter, at the risk of my limbs, and hanging upon
him with all my weight, whilst Antonio, with much difficulty, removed the
horse.  The man who had been standing at the entrance now came forward,
saying, “This would not have happened if you had taken good advice.”
Upon my stating to him the unreasonableness of expecting that I would
risk horses in a place where they would probably be stolen before the
morning, he replied, “True, true, you have perhaps done right.”  He then
re-fastened his _macho_, adding for additional security a piece of
whipcord, which he said rendered escape impossible.

After supper, I roamed about the village.  I addressed two or three
labourers whom I found standing at their doors; they appeared, however,
exceedingly reserved, and with a gruff “_buenas noches_” turned into
their houses without inviting me to enter.  I at last found my way to the
church porch, where I continued some time in meditation.  At last I
bethought myself of retiring to rest; before departing, however, I took
out and affixed to the porch of the church an advertisement to the effect
that the New Testament was to be purchased at Salamanca.  On returning to
the house, I found the two travelling merchants enjoying profound slumber
on various _mantas_, or mule-cloths, stretched on the floor.  “You are a
French merchant, I suppose, _Caballero_,” said a man, who it seemed was
the master of the house, and whom I had not before seen.  “You are a
French merchant, I suppose, and are on the way to the fair of Medina.”
“I am neither Frenchman nor merchant,” I replied, “and, though I purpose
passing through Medina, it is not with the view of attending the fair.”
“Then you are one of the Irish Christians from Salamanca, _Caballero_,”
said the man; “I hear you come from that town.”  “Why do you call them
_Irish Christians_?” I replied.  “Are there pagans in their country?”
“We call them Christians,” said the man, “to distinguish them from the
Irish English, who are worse than pagans, who are Jews and heretics.”  I
made no answer, but passed on to the room which had been prepared for me,
and from which, the door being ajar, I heard the following short
conversation passing between the innkeeper and his wife:—

_Innkeeper_.—_Muger_, it appears to me that we have evil guests in the
house.

_Wife_.—You mean the last comers, the _Caballero_ and his servant.  Yes,
I never saw worse countenances in my life.

_Innkeeper_.—I do not like the servant, and still less the master.  He
has neither formality nor politeness: he tells me that he is not French,
and when I spoke to him of the Irish Christians, he did not seem to
belong to them.  I more than suspect that he is a heretic, or a Jew at
least.

_Wife_.—Perhaps they are both.  _Maria Santísima_! what shall we do to
purify the house when they are gone?

_Innkeeper_.—Oh, as for that matter, we must of course charge it in the
_cuenta_.

I slept soundly, and rather late in the morning arose and breakfasted,
and paid the bill, in which, by its extravagance, I found the
purification had not been forgotten.  The travelling merchants had
departed at daybreak.  We now led forth the horses, and mounted; there
were several people at the door staring at us.  “What is the meaning of
this?” said I to Antonio.

“It is whispered that we are no Christians,” said Antonio; “they have
come to cross themselves at our departure.”

In effect, the moment that we rode forward a dozen hands at least were
busied in this evil-averting ceremony.  Antonio instantly turned and
crossed himself in the Greek fashion—much more complex and difficult than
the Catholic.

“_Mirad que Santiguo_! _que Santiguo de los demonios_!” {290} exclaimed
many voices, whilst for fear of consequences we hastened away.

The day was exceedingly hot, and we wended our way slowly along the
plains of Old Castile.  With all that pertains to Spain, vastness and
sublimity are associated: grand are its mountains, and no less grand are
its plains, which seem of boundless extent, but which are not tame
unbroken flats, like the steppes of Russia.  Rough and uneven ground is
continually occurring: here a deep ravine and gully worn by the wintry
torrent; yonder an eminence not unfrequently craggy and savage, at whose
top appears the lone solitary village.  There is little that is
blithesome and cheerful, but much that is melancholy.  A few solitary
rustics are occasionally seen toiling in the fields—fields without limit
or boundary, where the green oak, the elm, or the ash are unknown; where
only the sad and desolate pine displays its pyramid-like form, and where
no grass is to be found.  And who are the travellers of these districts?
For the most part _arrieros_, with their long trains of mules hung with
monotonous tinkling bells.  Behold them with their brown faces, brown
dresses, and broad slouched hats;—the _arrieros_, the true lords of the
roads of Spain, and to whom more respect is paid in these dusty ways than
to dukes and _condes_;—the _arrieros_, sullen, proud, and rarely
courteous, whose deep voices may be sometimes heard at the distance of a
mile, either cheering the sluggish animals, or shortening the dreary way
with savage and dissonant songs.

Late in the afternoon we reached Medina del Campo, {291} formerly one of
the principal cities of Spain, though at present an inconsiderable place.
Immense ruins surround it in every direction, attesting the former
grandeur of this “city of the plain.”  The great square or market-place
is a remarkable spot, surrounded by a heavy massive _piazza_, over which
rise black buildings of great antiquity.  We found the town crowded with
people awaiting the fair, which was to be held in a day or two.  We
experienced some difficulty in obtaining admission into the _posada_,
which was chiefly occupied by Catalans from Valladolid.  These people not
only brought with them their merchandise, but their wives and children.
Some of them appeared to be people of the worst description: there was
one in particular, a burly savage-looking fellow, of about forty, whose
conduct was atrocious; he sat with his wife, or perhaps concubine, at the
door of a room which opened upon the court: he was continually venting
horrible and obscene oaths, both in Spanish and Catalan.  The woman was
remarkably handsome, but robust, and seemingly as savage as himself; her
conversation likewise was as frightful as his own.  Both seemed to be
under the influence of an incomprehensible fury.  At last, upon some
observation from the woman, he started up, and drawing a long knife from
his girdle, stabbed at her naked bosom; she, however, interposed the palm
of her hand, which was much cut.  He stood for a moment viewing the blood
trickling upon the ground, whilst she held up her wounded hand; then,
with an astounding oath, he hurried up the court to the _Plaza_.  I went
up to the woman and said, “What is the cause of this?  I hope the ruffian
has not seriously injured you.”  She turned her countenance upon me with
the glance of a demon, and at last with a sneer of contempt exclaimed,
“_Caráls_, _que es eso_? {292}  Cannot a Catalan gentleman be conversing
with his lady upon their own private affairs without being interrupted by
you?”  She then bound up her hand with a handkerchief, and going into the
room brought a small table to the door, on which she placed several
things, as if for the evening’s repast, and then sat down on a stool.
Presently returned the Catalan, and without a word took his seat on the
threshold; then, as if nothing had occurred, the extraordinary couple
commenced eating and drinking, interlarding their meal with oaths and
jests.

We spent the night at Medina, and departing early next morning, passed
through much the same country as the day before, until about noon we
reached a small _venta_, distant half a league from the Duero; {293a}
here we reposed ourselves during the heat of the day, and then,
remounting, crossed the river by a handsome stone bridge, and directed
our course to Valladolid.  The banks of the Duero in this place have much
beauty: they abound with trees and brushwood, amongst which, as we passed
along, various birds were singing melodiously.  A delicious coolness
proceeded from the water, which in some parts brawled over stones or
rippled fleetly over white sand, and in others glided softly over blue
pools of considerable depth.  By the side of one of these last sat a
woman of about thirty, neatly dressed as a peasant; she was gazing upon
the water, into which she occasionally flung flowers and twigs of trees.
I stopped for a moment to ask a question; she, however, neither looked up
nor answered, but continued gazing at the water as if lost to
consciousness of all beside.  “Who is that woman?” said I to a shepherd,
whom I met the moment after.  “She is mad, _la pobrecita_,” said he; “she
lost her child about a month ago in that pool, and she has been mad ever
since.  They are going to send her to Valladolid, to the _Casa de los
Locos_. {293b}  There are many who perish every year in the eddies of the
Duero; it is a bad river; _vaya usted con la Virgen_, _Caballero_.”
{293c}  So I rode on through the _pinares_, or thin scanty pine forests,
which skirt the way to Valladolid {293d} in this direction.

Valladolid is seated in the midst of an immense valley, or rather hollow,
which seems to have been scooped by some mighty convulsion out of the
plain ground of Castile.  The eminences which appear in the neighbourhood
are not properly high grounds, but are rather the sides of this hollow.
They are jagged and precipitous, and exhibit a strange and uncouth
appearance.  Volcanic force seems at some distant period to have been
busy in these districts.  Valladolid abounds with convents, at present
deserted, which afford some of the finest specimens of architecture in
Spain.  The principal church, though rather ancient, is unfinished: it
was intended to be a building of vast size, but the means of the founders
were insufficient to carry out their plan.  It is built of rough granite.
Valladolid is a manufacturing town, but the commerce is chiefly in the
hands of the Catalans, of whom there is a colony of nearly three hundred
established here.  It possesses a beautiful _alameda_, or public walk,
through which flows the river Escueva.  The population is said to amount
to sixty thousand souls.

We put up at the Posada de las Diligencias, a very magnificent edifice.
This _posada_, however, we were glad to quit on the second day after our
arrival, the accommodation being of the most wretched description, and
the incivility of the people great; the master of the house, an immense
tall fellow, with huge moustaches and an assumed military air, being far
too high a cavalier to attend to the wants of his guests, with whom, it
is true, he did not appear to be overburdened, as I saw no one but
Antonio and myself.  He was a leading man amongst the national guards of
Valladolid, and delighted in parading about the city on a clumsy steed,
which he kept in a subterranean stable.

Our next quarters were at the Trojan Horse, an ancient _posada_, kept by
a native of the Basque provinces, who at least was not above his
business.  We found everything in confusion at Valladolid, a visit from
the factious being speedily expected.  All the gates were blockaded, and
various forts had been built to cover the approaches to the city.
Shortly after our departure the Carlists actually did arrive, under the
command of the Biscayan chief, Zariategui. {295}  They experienced no
opposition, the staunchest nationals retiring to the principal fort,
which they, however, speedily surrendered, not a gun being fired
throughout the affair.  As for my friend the hero of the inn, on the
first rumour of the approach of the enemy, he mounted his horse and rode
off, and was never subsequently heard of.  On our return to Valladolid,
we found the inn in other and better hands, those of a Frenchman from
Bayonne, from whom we received as much civility as we had experienced
rudeness from his predecessor.

In a few days I formed the acquaintance of the bookseller of the place, a
kind-hearted, simple man, who willingly undertook the charge of vending
the Testaments which I brought.

I found literature of every description at the lowest ebb at Valladolid.
My newly acquired friend merely carried on bookselling in connection with
other business; it being, as he assured me, in itself quite insufficient
to afford him a livelihood.  During the week, however, that I continued
in this city, a considerable number of copies were disposed of, and a
fair prospect opened that many more would be demanded.  To call attention
to my books, I had recourse to the same plan which I had adopted at
Salamanca, the affixing of advertisements to the walls.  Before leaving
the city I gave orders that these should be renewed every week; from
pursuing which course I expected that much and manifold good would
accrue, as the people would have continual opportunities of learning that
a book which contains the living word was in existence, and within their
reach, which might induce them to secure it, and consult it even unto
salvation. . . .

In Valladolid I found both an English {296a} and Scotch {296b} College.
From my obliging friends, the Irish at Salamanca, I bore a letter of
introduction to the rector of the latter.  I found this college an old
gloomy edifice, situated in a retired street.  The rector was dressed in
the habiliments of a Spanish ecclesiastic, a character which he was
evidently ambitious of assuming.  There was something dry and cold in his
manner, and nothing of that generous warmth and eager hospitality which
had so captivated me in the fine Irish rector of Salamanca; he was,
however, civil and polite, and offered to show me the curiosities of the
place.  He evidently knew who I was, and on that account was, perhaps,
more reserved than he otherwise would have been: not a word passed
between us on religious matters, which we seemed to avoid by common
consent.  Under the auspices of this gentleman, I visited the college of
the Philippine Missions, which stands beyond the gate of the city, where
I was introduced to the superior, a fine old man of seventy, very stout,
in the habiliments of a friar.  There was an air of placid benignity on
his countenance which highly interested me; his words were few and
simple, and he seemed to have bid adieu to all worldly passions.  One
little weakness was, however, still clinging to him.

_Myself_.—This is a noble edifice in which you dwell, father; I should
think it would contain at least two hundred students.

_Rector_.—More, my son: it is intended for more hundreds than it now
contains single individuals.

_Myself_.—I observe that some rude attempts have been made to fortify it;
the walls are pierced with loopholes in every direction.

_Rector_.—The nationals of Valladolid visited us a few days ago, and
committed much useless damage; they were rather rude, and threatened me
with their clubs.  Poor men, poor men!

_Myself_.—I suppose that even these missions, which are certainly
intended for a noble end, experience the sad effects of the present
convulsed state of Spain?

_Rector_.—But too true: we at present receive no assistance from the
government, and are left to the Lord and ourselves.

_Myself._—How many aspirants for the mission are you at present
instructing?

_Rector_.—Not one, my son; not one.  They are all fled.  The flock is
scattered, and the shepherd left alone.

_Myself_.—Your reverence has doubtless taken an active part in the
mission abroad?

_Rector_.—I was forty years in the Philippines, my son, forty years
amongst the Indians.  Ah me! how I love those Indians of the Philippines!

_Myself_.—Can your reverence discourse in the language of the Indians?

_Rector_.—No, my son.  We teach the Indians Castilian.  There is no
better language, I believe.  We teach them Castilian, and the adoration
of the Virgin.  What more need they know?

_Myself_.—And what did your reverence think of the Philippines as a
country?

_Rector_.—I was forty years in the Philippines, but I know little of the
country.  I do not like the country.  I love the Indians.  The country is
not very bad; it is, however, not worth Castile.

_Myself_.—Is your reverence a Castilian?

_Rector_.—I am an _Old_ Castilian, my son. {298}

From the house of the Philippine Missions my friend conducted me to the
English College: this establishment seemed in every respect to be on a
more magnificent scale than its Scottish sister.  In the latter there
were few pupils, scarcely six or seven, I believe, whilst in the English
seminary I was informed that between thirty and forty were receiving
their education.  It is a beautiful building, with a small but splendid
church, and a handsome library.  The situation is light and airy: it
stands by itself in an unfrequented part of the city, and, with genuine
English exclusiveness, is surrounded by a high wall, which incloses a
delicious garden.  This is by far the most remarkable establishment of
the kind in the Peninsula, and I believe the most prosperous.  From the
cursory view which I enjoyed of its interior, I of course cannot be
expected to know much of its economy.  I could not, however, fail to be
struck with the order, neatness, and system which pervaded it.  There
was, however, an air of severe monastic discipline, though I am far from
asserting that such actually existed.  We were attended throughout by the
sub-rector, the principal being absent.  Of all the curiosities of this
college, the most remarkable is the picture-gallery, which contains
neither more nor less than the portraits of a variety of scholars of this
house who eventually suffered martyrdom in England, in the exercise of
their vocation in the angry times of the Sixth Edward and fierce
Elizabeth.  Yes, in this very house were many of those pale, smiling,
half-foreign priests educated, who, like stealthy grimalkins, traversed
green England in all directions; crept into old halls beneath umbrageous
rookeries, fanning the dying embers of Popery, with no other hope nor
perhaps wish than to perish disembowelled by the bloody hands of the
executioner, amongst the yells of a rabble as bigoted as themselves;
priests like Bedingfield and Garnet, {299} and many others who have left
a name in English story.  Doubtless many a history, only the more
wonderful for being true, could be wrought out of the archives of the
English Popish seminary at Valladolid.

There was no lack of guests at the Trojan Horse, where we had taken up
our abode at Valladolid.  Amongst others who arrived during my sojourn
was a robust buxom dame, exceedingly well dressed in black silk, with a
costly _mantilla_.  She was accompanied by a very handsome, but sullen
and malicious-looking urchin of about fifteen, who appeared to be her
son.  She came from Toro, a place about a day’s journey from Valladolid,
and celebrated for its wine. {300a}  One night, as we were seated in the
court of the inn enjoying the _fresco_, the following conversation ensued
between us.

_Lady_.—_Vaya_, _vaya_, what a tiresome place is Valladolid!  How
different from Toro!

_Myself_.—I should have thought that it is at least as agreeable as Toro,
which is not a third part so large.

_Lady_.—As agreeable as Toro!  _Vaya_, _vaya_!  Were you ever in the
prison of Toro, Sir Cavalier?

_Myself_.—I have never had that honour; the prison is generally the last
place which I think of visiting.

_Lady_.—See the difference of tastes: I have been to see the prison of
Valladolid, and it seems as tiresome as the town.

_Myself_.—Of course, if grief and tediousness exist anywhere, you will
find them in the prison.

_Lady_.—Not in that of Toro.

_Myself_.—What does that of Toro possess to distinguish it from all
others?

_Lady_.—What does it possess?  _Vaya_!  Am I not the _carcelera_?  Is not
my husband the _alcayde_? {300b}  Is not that son of mine a child of the
prison?

_Myself_.—I beg your pardon, I was not aware of that circumstance; it of
course makes much difference.

_Lady_.—I believe you.  I am a daughter of that prison: my father was
_alcayde_, and my son might hope to be so, were he not a fool.

_Myself_.—His countenance, then, belies him strangely.  I should be loth
to purchase that youngster for a fool.

_Gaoleress_.—You would have a fine bargain if you did: he has more
_picardias_ than any _calabozero_ in Toro.  What I mean is, that he does
not take to the prison as he ought to do, considering what his fathers
were before him.  He has too much pride—too many fancies; and he has at
length persuaded me to bring him to Valladolid, where I have arranged
with a merchant who lives in the _Plaza_ to take him on trial.  I wish he
may not find his way to the prison: if he do, he will find that being a
prisoner is a very different thing from being a son of the prison.

_Myself_.—As there is so much merriment at Toro, you of course attend to
the comfort of your prisoners.

_Gaoleress_.—Yes, we are very kind to them—I mean to those who are
_caballeros_; but as for those with vermin and _miseria_, what can we do?
It is a merry prison that of Toro; we allow as much wine to enter as the
prisoners can purchase and pay duty for.  This of Valladolid is not half
so gay: there is no prison like Toro.  I learned there to play on the
guitar.  An Andalusian cavalier taught me to touch the guitar and to sing
_à la Gitana_.  Poor fellow, he was my first _novio_.  Juanito, bring me
the guitar, that I may play this gentleman a tune of Andalusia.

The _carcelera_ had a fine voice, and touched the favourite instrument of
the Spaniards in a truly masterly manner.  I remained listening to her
performance for nearly an hour, when I retired to my apartment and my
repose.  I believe that she continued playing and singing during the
greater part of the night, for as I occasionally awoke I could still hear
her; and even in my slumbers the strings were ringing in my ears.



CHAPTER XXII.


Dueñas—Children of Egypt—Jockeyism—The Baggage Pony—The
Fall—Palencia—Carlist Priests—The Look-out—Priestly
Sincerity—Leon—Antonio alarmed—Heat and Dust.

After a sojourn of about ten days at Valladolid, we directed our course
towards Leon.  We arrived about noon at Dueñas, {303} a town at the
distance of six short leagues from Valladolid.  It is in every respect a
singular place: it stands on a rising ground, and directly above it
towers a steep conical mountain of calcareous earth, crowned by a ruined
castle.  Around Dueñas are seen a multitude of caves scooped in the high
banks and secured with strong doors.  These are cellars, in which is
deposited the wine, of which abundance is grown in the neighbourhood, and
which is chiefly sold to the Navarrese and the mountaineers of Santander,
who arrive in cars drawn by oxen, and convey it away in large quantities.
We put up at a mean posada in the suburb for the purpose of refreshing
our horses.  Several cavalry soldiers were quartered there, who instantly
came forth, and began, with the eyes of connoisseurs, to inspect my
Andalusian _entero_.  “A capital horse that would be for our troop,” said
the corporal; “what a chest he has!  By what right do you travel with
that horse, _señor_, when so many are wanted for the queen’s service?  He
belongs to the _requiso_.” {304a}  “I travel with him by right of
purchase, and being an Englishman,” I replied.  “Oh, your worship is an
Englishman,” answered the corporal; “that, indeed, alters the matter.
The English in Spain are allowed to do what they please with their own,
which is more than the Spaniards are.  Cavalier, I have seen your
countrymen {304b} in the Basque provinces; _vaya_, what riders! what
horses!  They do not fight badly either.  But their chief skill is in
riding: I have seen them dash over _barrancos_ to get at the factious,
who thought themselves quite secure, and then they would fall upon them
on a sudden and kill them to a man.  In truth, your worship, this is a
fine horse; I must look at his teeth.”

I looked at the corporal—his nose and eyes were in the horse’s mouth: the
rest of the party, who might amount to six or seven, were not less busily
engaged.  One was examining his fore feet, another his hind; one fellow
was pulling at his tail with all his might, while another pinched the
windpipe, for the purpose of discovering whether the animal was at all
touched there.  At last, perceiving that the corporal was about to remove
the saddle, that he might examine the back of the animal, I exclaimed—

“Stay, ye _chabés_ of Egypt, ye forget that ye are _hundunares_, {304c}
and are no longer _paruguing grastes_ in the _chardí_.”

The corporal at these words turned his face full upon me, and so did all
the rest.  Yes, sure enough, there were the countenances of Egypt, and
the fixed filmy stare of eye.  We continued looking at each other for a
minute at least, when the corporal, a villanous-looking fellow, at last
said, in the richest gypsy whine imaginable, “The _erray_ knows us, the
poor _Caloré_!  And he an Englishman!  _Bullati_!  I should not have
thought that there was e’er a _Busnó_ would know us in these parts, where
_Gitanos_ are never seen.  Yes, your worship is right; we are all here of
the blood of the _Caloré_.  We are from _Melegrana_, your worship; they
took us from thence and sent us to the wars.  Your worship is right; the
sight of that horse made us believe we were at home again in the
_mercado_ of Granada; he is a countryman of ours, a real _Andalou_.  _Por
dios_, your worship, sell us that horse; we are poor _Caloré_, but we can
buy him.”

“You forget that you are soldiers,” said I.  “How should you buy my
horse?”

“We are soldiers, your worship,” said the corporal, “but we are still
_Caloré_.  We buy and sell _bestis_; the captain of our troop is in
league with us.  We have been to the wars, but not to fight; we left that
to the _Busné_.  We have kept together, and, like true _Caloré_, have
stood back to back.  We have made money in the wars, your worship.  _No
tenga usted cuidao_. {305a}  We can buy your horse.”

Here he pulled out a purse, which contained at least ten _ounces_ {305b}
of gold.

“If I were willing to sell,” I replied, “what would you give me for that
horse?”

“Then your worship wishes to sell your horse—that alters the matter.  We
will give ten dollars for your worship’s horse.  He is good for nothing.”

“How is this?” said I.  “You this moment told me he was a fine horse—an
Andalusian, and a countryman of yours.”

“No, _señor_! we did not say that he was an _Andalou_.  We said he was an
_Estremou_, and the worst of his kind.  He is eighteen years old, your
worship, short-winded and galled.”

“I do not wish to sell my horse,” said I; “quite the contrary.  I had
rather buy than sell.”

“Your worship does not wish to sell your horse,” said the gypsy.  “Stay,
your worship; we will give sixty dollars for your worship’s horse.”

“I would not sell him for two hundred and sixty.  _Meclis_! _Meclis_! say
no more.  I know your gypsy tricks.  I will have no dealings with you.”

“Did I not hear your worship say that you wished to buy a horse?” said
the gypsy.

“I do not want to buy a horse,” said I; “if I need anything it is a pony
to carry our baggage.  But it is getting late.  Antonio, pay the
reckoning.”

“Stay, your worship, do not be in a hurry,” said the gypsy; “I have got
the very pony which will suit you.”

Without waiting for my answer, he hurried into the stable, from whence he
presently returned, leading an animal by a halter.  It was a pony of
about thirteen hands high, of a dark red colour; it was very much galled
all over, the marks of ropes and thongs being visible on its hide.  The
figure, however, was good, and there was an extraordinary brightness in
its eye.

“There, your worship,” said the gypsy; “there is the best pony in all
Spain.”

“What do you mean by showing me this wretched creature?” said I.

“This wretched creature,” said the gypsy, “is a better horse than your
_Andalou_!”

“Perhaps you would not exchange,” said I, smiling.

“_Señor_, what I say is, that he shall run with your _Andalou_, and beat
him.”

“He looks feeble,” said I; “his work is well-nigh done.”

“Feeble as he is, _señor_, you could not manage him; no, nor any
Englishman in Spain.”

I looked at the creature again, and was still more struck with its
figure.  I was in need of a pony to relieve occasionally the horse of
Antonio in carrying the baggage which we had brought from Madrid, and
though the condition of this was wretched, I thought that by kind
treatment I might possibly soon bring him round.

“May I mount this animal?” I demanded.

“He is a baggage pony, _señor_, and is ill to mount.  He will suffer none
but myself to mount him, who am his master.  When he once commences
running, nothing will stop him but the sea.  He springs over hills and
mountains, and leaves them behind in a moment.  If you will mount him,
_señor_, suffer me to fetch a bridle, for you can never hold him in with
the halter.”

“This is nonsense,” said I.  “You pretend that he is spirited in order to
enhance the price.  I tell you his work is done.”

I took the halter in my hand and mounted.  I was no sooner on his back
than the creature, who had before stood stone still, without displaying
the slightest inclination to move, and who in fact gave no farther
indication of existence than occasionally rolling his eyes and pricking
up an ear, sprang forward like a racehorse, at a most desperate gallop.
I had expected that he might kick or fling himself down on the ground, in
order to get rid of his burden, but for this escapade I was quite
unprepared.  I had no difficulty, however, in keeping on his back, having
been accustomed from my childhood to ride without a saddle.  To stop him,
however, baffled all my endeavours, and I almost began to pay credit to
the words of the gypsy, who had said that he would run on until he
reached the sea.  I had, however, a strong arm, and I tugged at the
halter until I compelled him to turn slightly his neck, which from its
stiffness might almost have been of wood; he, however, did not abate his
speed for a moment.  On the left side of the road down which he was
dashing was a deep trench, just where the road took a turn towards the
right, and over this he sprang in a sideward direction.  The halter broke
with the effort; the pony shot forward like an arrow, whilst I fell back
into the dust.

“_Señor_,” said the gypsy, coming up with the most serious countenance in
the world, “I told you not to mount that animal unless well bridled and
bitted.  He is a baggage pony, and will suffer none to mount his back,
with the exception of myself who feed him.”  (Here he whistled, and the
animal, who was scurring over the field, and occasionally kicking up his
heels, instantly returned with a gentle neigh.)  “Now, your worship, see
how gentle he is.  He is a capital baggage pony, and will carry all you
have over the hills of Galicia.”

“What do you ask for him?” said I.

“_Señor_, as your worship is an Englishman, and a good _ginete_, and,
moreover, understands the ways of the _Caloré_, and their tricks and
their language also, I will sell him to you a bargain.  I will take two
hundred and sixty dollars for him, and no less.”

“That is a large sum,” said I.

“No, _señor_, not at all, considering that he is a baggage pony, and
belongs to the troop, and is not mine to sell.”

Two hours’ ride brought us to Palencia, {309a} a fine old town,
beautifully situated on the Carrion, and famous for its trade in wool.
We put up at the best _posada_ which the place afforded, and I forthwith
proceeded to visit one of the principal merchants of the town, to whom I
was recommended by my banker in Madrid.  I was told, however, that he was
taking his _siesta_.  “Then I had better take my own,” said I, and
returned to the _posada_.  In the evening I went again, when I saw him.
He was a short bulky man, about thirty, and received me at first with
some degree of bluntness; his manner, however, presently became more
kind, and at last he scarcely appeared to know how to show me sufficient
civility.  His brother had just arrived from Santander, and to him he
introduced me.  This last was a highly intelligent person, and had passed
many years of his life in England.  They both insisted upon showing me
the town, and, indeed, led me all over it, and about the neighbourhood.
I particularly admired the cathedral, a light, elegant, but ancient
Gothic edifice. {309b}  Whilst we walked about the aisles, the evening
sun, pouring its mellow rays through the arched windows, illumined some
beautiful paintings of Murillo, {310a} with which the sacred edifice is
adorned.  From the church my friends conducted me to a fulling mill in
the neighbourhood, by a picturesque walk.  There was no lack either of
trees or water, and I remarked, that the environs of Palencia were
amongst the most pleasant places that I had ever seen.

Tired at last with rambling, we repaired to a coffee-house, where they
regaled me with chocolate and sweetmeats.  Such was their hospitality;
and of hospitality of this simple and agreeable kind there is much in
Spain.

On the next day we pursued our journey, a dreary one, for the most part,
over bleak and barren plains, interspersed with silent and cheerless
towns and villages, which stood at the distance of two or three leagues
from each other.  About midday we obtained a dim and distant view of an
immense range of mountains, {310b} which are in fact those which bound
Castile on the north.  The day, however, became dim and obscure, and we
speedily lost sight of them.  A hollow wind now arose and blew over these
desolate plains with violence, wafting clouds of dust into our faces; the
rays of the sun were few, and those red and angry.  I was tired of my
journey, and when about four we reached ---, {311} a large village,
halfway between Palencia and Leon, I declared my intention of stopping
for the night.  I scarcely ever saw a more desolate place than this same
town or village of ---.  The houses were for the most part large, but the
walls were of mud, like those of barns.  We saw no person in the long
winding street to direct us to the _venta_, or _posada_, till at last, at
the farther end of the place, we descried two black figures standing at a
door, of whom, on making inquiry, we learned that the door at which they
stood was that of the house we were in quest of.  There was something
strange in the appearance of these two beings, who seemed the genii of
the place.  One was a small slim man, about fifty, with sharp ill-natured
features.  He was dressed in coarse black worsted stockings, black
breeches, and an ample black coat with long trailing skirts.  I should at
once have taken him for an ecclesiastic, but for his hat, which had
nothing clerical about it, being a pinched diminutive beaver.  His
companion was of low stature, and a much younger man.  He was dressed in
similar fashion, save that he wore a dark blue cloak.  Both carried
walking-sticks in their hands, and kept hovering about the door, now
within and now without, occasionally looking up the road, as if they
expected some one.

“Trust me, _mon maître_,” said Antonio to me, in French, “those two
fellows are Carlist priests, and are awaiting the arrival of the
Pretender.  _Les imbeciles_!”

We conducted our horses to the stable, to which we were shown by the
woman of the house.  “Who are those men?” said I to her.

“The eldest is head curate to our _pueblo_,” said she; “the other is
brother to my husband.  _Pobrecito_! he was a friar in our convent before
it was shut up and the brethren driven forth.”

We returned to the door.  “I suppose, gentlemen,” said the curate, “that
you are Catalans?  Do you bring any news from that kingdom?”

“Why do you suppose we are Catalans?” I demanded.

“Because I heard you this moment conversing in that language.”

“I bring no news from Catalonia,” {312} said I.  “I believe, however,
that the greater part of that principality is in the hands of the
Carlists.”

“Ahem, brother Pedro!  This gentleman says that the greater part of
Catalonia is in the hands of the royalists.  Pray, sir, where may Don
Carlos be at present with his army?”

“He may be coming down the road this moment,” said I, “for what I know;”
and, stepping out, I looked up the way.

The two figures were at my side in a moment.  Antonio followed, and we
all four looked intently up the road.

“Do you see anything?” said I at last to Antonia.

“Non, _mon maître_.”

“Do you see anything, sir?” said I to the curate.

“I see nothing,” said the curate, stretching out his neck.

“I see nothing,” said Pedro, the ex-friar; “I see nothing but the dust,
which is becoming every moment more blinding.”

“I shall go in, then,” said I.  “Indeed, it is scarcely prudent to be
standing here looking out for the Pretender; should the nationals of the
town hear of it, they might perhaps shoot us.”

“Ahem!” said the curate, following me; “there are no nationals in this
place: I would fain see what inhabitant would dare become a national.
When the inhabitants of this place were ordered to take up arms as
nationals, they refused to a man, and on that account we had to pay a
mulct; therefore, friend, you may speak out if you have anything to
communicate; we are all of your opinion here.”

“I am of no opinion at all,” said I, “save that I want my supper.  I am
neither for _Rey_ nor _Roque_. {313}  You say that I am a Catalan, and
you know that Catalans think only of their own affairs.”

In the evening I strolled by myself about the village, which I found
still more forlorn and melancholy that it at first appeared; perhaps,
however, it had been a place of consequence in its time.  In one corner
of it I found the ruins of a large clumsy castle, chiefly built of flint
stones: into these ruins I attempted to penetrate, but the entrance was
secured by a gate.  From the castle I found my way to the convent, a sad
desolate place, formerly the residence of mendicant brothers of the order
of St. Francis.  I was about to return to the inn, when I heard a loud
buzz of voices, and, following the sound, presently reached a kind of
meadow, where, upon a small knoll, sat a priest in full canonicals,
reading in a loud voice a newspaper, while around him, either erect or
seated on the grass, were assembled about fifty _vecinos_, for the most
part dressed in long cloaks, amongst whom I discovered my two friends the
curate and friar.  A fine knot of Carlist quidnuncs, said I to myself,
and turned away to another part of the meadow, where the cattle of the
village were grazing.  The curate, on observing me, detached himself
instantly from the group, and followed.  “I am told you want a pony,”
said he; “there now is mine feeding amongst those horses, the best in the
kingdom of Leon.”  He then began with all the volubility of a _chalan_ to
descant on the points of the animal.  Presently the friar joined us, who,
observing his opportunity, pulled me by the sleeve and whispered, “Have
nothing to do with the curate, master; he is the greatest thief in the
neighbourhood.  If you want a pony, my brother has a much better, which
he will dispose of cheaper.”  “I shall wait till I arrive at Leon,” I
exclaimed, and walked away, musing on priestly friendship and sincerity.

From --- to Leon, a distance of eight leagues, the country rapidly
improved: we passed over several small streams, and occasionally found
ourselves amongst meadows in which grass was growing in the richest
luxuriance.  The sun shone out brightly, and I hailed his reappearance
with joy, though the heat of his beams was oppressive.  On arriving
within two leagues of Leon, we passed numerous cars and waggons, and
bands of people with horses and mules, all hastening to the celebrated
fair which is held in the city on St. John’s or Midsummer day, and which
took place within three days after our arrival.  This fair, though
principally intended for the sale of horses, is frequented by merchants
from many parts of Spain, who attend with goods of various kinds, and
amongst them I remarked many of the Catalans whom I had previously seen
at Medina and Valladolid.

There is nothing remarkable in Leon, {315} which is an old gloomy town,
with the exception of its cathedral, in many respects a counterpart of
the church of Palencia, exhibiting the same light and elegant
architecture, but, unlike its beautiful sister, unadorned with splendid
paintings.  The situation of Leon is highly pleasant, in the midst of a
blooming country, abounding with trees, and watered by many streams,
which have their source in the mighty mountains in the neighbourhood.  It
is, however, by no means a healthy place, especially in summer, when the
heats raise noxious exhalations from the waters, generating many kinds of
disorders, especially fevers.

I had scarcely been at Leon three days when I was seized with a fever,
against which I thought the strength even of my constitution would have
yielded, for it wore me almost to a skeleton, and when it departed, at
the end of about a week, left me in such a deplorable state of weakness
that I was scarcely able to make the slightest exertion.  I had, however,
previously persuaded a bookseller to undertake the charge of vending the
Testaments, and had published my advertisements as usual, though without
very sanguine hope of success, as Leon is a place where the inhabitants,
with very few exceptions, are furious Carlists, and ignorant and blinded
followers of the old papal church.  It is, moreover, a bishop’s see,
which was once enjoyed by the prime counsellor of Don Carlos, whose
fierce and bigoted spirit still seems to pervade the place.  Scarcely had
the advertisements appeared, when the clergy were in motion.  They went
from house to house, banning and cursing, and denouncing misery to
whomsoever should either purchase or read “the accursed books,” which had
been sent into the country by heretics for the purpose of perverting the
innocent minds of the population.  They did more; they commenced a
process against the bookseller in the ecclesiastical court.  Fortunately
this court is not at present in the possession of much authority; and the
bookseller, a bold and determined man, set them at defiance, and went so
far as to affix an advertisement to the gate of the very cathedral.
Notwithstanding the cry raised against the book, several copies were sold
at Leon: two were purchased by ex-friars, and the same number by
parochial priests from neighbouring villages.  I believe the whole number
disposed of during my stay amounted to fifteen; so that my visit to this
dark corner was not altogether in vain, as the seed of the Gospel has
been sown, though sparingly.  But the palpable darkness which envelops
Leon is truly lamentable, and the ignorance of the people is so great,
that printed charms and incantations against Satan and his host, and
against every kind of misfortune, are publicly sold in the shops, and are
in great demand.  Such are the results of Popery, a delusion which, more
than any other, has tended to debase and brutalize the human mind.

I had scarcely risen from my bed where the fever had cast me, when I
found that Antonio had become alarmed.  He informed me that he had seen
several soldiers in the uniform of Don Carlos lurking at the door of the
_posada_, and that they had been making inquiries concerning me.

It was indeed a singular fact connected with Leon, that upwards of fifty
of these fellows, who had on various accounts left the ranks of the
Pretender, were walking about the streets dressed in his livery, and with
all the confidence which the certainty of protection from the local
authorities could afford them should any one be disposed to interrupt
them.

I learned moreover from Antonio, that the person in whose house we were
living was a notorious _alcahuete_, or spy to the robbers in the
neighbourhood, and that unless we took our departure speedily and
unexpectedly, we should to a certainty be plundered on the road.  I did
not pay much attention to these hints, but my desire to quit Leon was
great, as I was convinced that as long as I continued there I should be
unable to regain my health and vigour.

Accordingly, at three in the morning, we departed for Galicia.  We had
scarcely proceeded half a league when we were overtaken by a thunderstorm
of tremendous violence.  We were at that time in the midst of a wood
which extends to some distance in the direction in which we were going.
The trees were bowed almost to the ground by the wind or torn up by the
roots, whilst the earth was ploughed up by the lightning, which burst all
around and nearly blinded us.  The spirited Andalusian on which I rode
became furious, and bounded into the air as if possessed.  Owing to my
state of weakness, I had the greatest difficulty in maintaining my seat,
and avoiding a fall which might have been fatal.  A tremendous discharge
of rain followed the storm, which swelled the brooks and streams and
flooded the surrounding country, causing much damage amongst the corn.
After riding about five leagues, we began to enter the mountainous
district which surrounds Astorga.  The heat now became almost
suffocating; swarms of flies began to make their appearance, and settling
down upon the horses, stung them almost to madness, whilst the road was
very flinty and trying.  It was with great difficulty that we reached
Astorga, {318} covered with mud and dust, our tongues cleaving to our
palates with thirst.



CHAPTER XXIII.


Astorga—The Inn—The Maragatos—Habits of the Maragatos—The Statue.

We went to a _posada_ in the suburbs, the only one, indeed, which the
place afforded.  The courtyard was full of _arrieros_ and carriers,
brawling loudly; the master of the house was fighting with two of his
customers, and universal confusion reigned around.  As I dismounted I
received the contents of a wine-glass in my face, of which greeting, as
it was probably intended for another, I took no notice.  Antonio,
however, was not so patient, for on being struck with a cudgel, he
instantly returned the salute with his whip, scarifying the countenance
of a carman.  In my endeavours to separate these two antagonists, my
horse broke loose, and rushing amongst the promiscuous crowd, overturned
several individuals, and committed no little damage.  It was a long time
before peace was restored: at last we were shown to a tolerably decent
chamber.  We had, however, no sooner taken possession of it, than the
waggon from Madrid arrived on its way to Corunna, {319} filled with dusty
travellers, consisting of women, children, invalid officers, and the
like.  We were now forthwith dislodged, and our baggage flung into the
yard.  On our complaining of this treatment, we were told that we were
two vagabonds whom nobody knew; who had come without an _arriero_, and
had already set the whole house in confusion.  As a great favour,
however, we were at length permitted to take up our abode in a ruinous
building down the yard, adjoining the stable, and filled with rats and
vermin.  Here there was an old bed with a tester, and with this wretched
accommodation we were glad to content ourselves, for I could proceed no
farther, and was burnt with fever.  The heat of the place was
intolerable, and I sat on the staircase with my head between my hands,
gasping for breath: soon appeared Antonio with vinegar and water, which I
drank, and felt relieved.

We continued in this suburb three days, during the greatest part of which
time I was stretched on the tester-bed.  I once or twice contrived to
make my way into the town, but found no bookseller, nor any person
willing to undertake the charge of disposing of my Testaments.  The
people were brutal, stupid, and uncivil, and I returned to my tester-bed
fatigued and dispirited.  Here I lay listening from time to time to the
sweet chimes which rang from the clock of the old cathedral.  The master
of the house never came near me, nor, indeed, once inquired about me.
Beneath the care of Antonio, however, I speedily waxed stronger.  “_Mon
maître_,” said he to me one evening, “I see you are better; let us quit
this bad town and worse _posada_ to-morrow morning.  _Allons_, _mon
maître_!  _Il est temps de nous mettre en chemin pour Lugo et Galice_.”

Before proceeding, however, to narrate what befell us in this journey to
Lugo and Galicia, it will, perhaps, not be amiss to say a few words
concerning Astorga and its vicinity.  It is a walled town, containing
about five or six thousand inhabitants, with a cathedral and college,
which last is, however, at present deserted.  It is situated on the
confines, and may be called the capital, of a tract of land called the
country of the Maragatos, which occupies about three square leagues, and
has for its north-western boundary a mountain called Telleno, the
loftiest of a chain of hills which have their origin near the mouth of
the river Minho, and are connected with the immense range which
constitutes the frontier of the Asturias and Guipuzcoa.

The land is ungrateful and barren, and niggardly repays the toil of the
cultivator, being for the most part rocky, with a slight sprinkling of
red brick earth.

The Maragatos {321} are perhaps the most singular caste to be found
amongst the chequered population of Spain.  They have their own peculiar
customs and dress, and never intermarry with the Spaniards.  Their name
is a clue to their origin, as it signifies “Moorish Goths,” and at the
present day their garb differs but little from that of the Moors of
Barbary, as it consists of a long tight jacket, secured at the waist by a
broad girdle, loose short trousers which terminate at the knee, and boots
and gaiters.  Their heads are shaven, a slight fringe of hair being only
left at the lower part.  If they wore the turban, or _barret_, {322} they
could scarcely be distinguished from the Moors in dress; but in lieu
thereof they wear the _sombrero_, or broad slouching hat of Spain.  There
can be little doubt that they are a remnant of those Goths who sided with
the Moors on their invasion of Spain, and who adopted their religion,
customs, and manner of dress, which, with the exception of the first, are
still to a considerable degree retained by them.  It is, however, evident
that their blood has at no time mingled with that of the wild children of
the desert, for scarcely amongst the hills of Norway would you find
figures and faces more essentially Gothic than those of the Maragatos.
They are strong athletic men, but loutish and heavy, and their features,
though for the most part well formed, are vacant and devoid of
expression.  They are slow and plain of speech, and those eloquent and
imaginative sallies so common in the conversation of other Spaniards
seldom or never escape them; they have, moreover, a coarse, thick
pronunciation, and when you hear them speak, you almost imagine that it
is some German or English peasant attempting to express himself in the
language of the Peninsula.  They are constitutionally phlegmatic, and it
is very difficult to arouse their anger; but they are dangerous and
desperate when once incensed; and a person who knew them well told me
that he would rather face ten Valencians, people infamous for their
ferocity and blood-thirstiness, than confront one angry Maragato,
sluggish and stupid though he be on other occasions.

The men scarcely ever occupy themselves in husbandry, which they abandon
to the women, who plough the flinty fields and gather in the scanty
harvests.  Their husbands and sons are far differently employed: for they
are a nation of _arrieros_, or carriers, and almost esteem it a disgrace
to follow any other profession.  On every road of Spain, particularly
those north of the mountains which divide the two Castiles, may be seen
gangs of fives and sixes of these people lolling or sleeping beneath the
broiling sun, on gigantic and heavily laden mutes and mules. {323}  In a
word, almost the entire commerce of nearly one-half of Spain passes
through the hands of the Maragatos, whose fidelity to their trust is
such, that no one accustomed to employ them would hesitate to confide to
them the transport of a ton of treasure from the sea of Biscay to Madrid;
knowing well that it would not be their fault were it not delivered safe
and undiminished, even of a grain, and that bold must be the thieves who
would seek to wrest it from the far-feared Maragatos, who would cling to
it whilst they could stand, and would cover it with their bodies when
they fell in the act of loading or discharging their long carbines.

But they are far from being disinterested, and if they are the most
trustworthy of all the _arrieros_ of Spain, they in general demand for
the transport of articles a sum at least double to what others of the
trade would esteem a reasonable recompense.  By this means they
accumulate large sums of money, notwithstanding that they indulge
themselves in far superior fare to that which contents in general the
parsimonious Spaniard—another argument in favour of their pure Gothic
descent; for the Maragatos, like true men of the north, delight in
swilling liquors and battening upon gross and luscious meats, which help
to swell out their tall and goodly figures.  Many of them have died
possessed of considerable riches, part of which they have not
unfrequently bequeathed to the erection or embellishment of religious
houses.

On the east end of the cathedral of Astorga, {324a} which towers over the
lofty and precipitous wall, a colossal figure of lead may be seen on the
roof.  It is the statue of a Maragato carrier, who endowed the cathedral
with a large sum. {324b}  He is in his national dress, but his head is
averted from the land of his fathers, and whilst he waves in his hand a
species of flag, he seems to be summoning his race from their unfruitful
region to other climes, where a richer field is open to their industry
and enterprise.

I spoke to several of these men respecting the all-important subject of
religion; but I found “their hearts gross, and their ears dull of
hearing, and their eyes closed.”  There was one in particular to whom I
showed the New Testament, and whom I addressed for a considerable time.
He listened, or seemed to listen, patiently, taking occasionally copious
draughts from an immense jug of whitish wine which stood between his
knees.  After I had concluded, he said, “To-morrow I set out for Lugo,
whither, I am told, yourself are going.  If you wish to send your chest,
I have no objection to take it at so much” (naming an extravagant price).
“As for what you have told me, I understand little of it, and believe not
a word of it; but in respect to the books which you have shown me, I will
take three or four.  I shall not read them, it is true, but I have no
doubt that I can sell them at a higher price than you demand.”

So much for the Maragatos.



CHAPTER XXIV.


Departure from Astorga—The Venta—The By-path—Narrow Escape—The Cup of
Water—Sun and Shade—Bembibre—Convent of the
Rocks—Sunset—Cacabelos—Midnight Adventure—Villafranca.

It was four o’clock of a beautiful morning when we sallied from Astorga,
or rather from its suburbs, in which we had been lodged: we directed our
course to the north, in the direction of Galicia.  Leaving the mountain
Telleno on our left, we passed along the eastern skirts of the land of
the Maragatos, over broken uneven ground, enlivened here and there by
small green valleys and runnels of water.  Several of the Maragatan
women, mounted on donkeys, passed us on their way to Astorga, whither
they were carrying vegetables.  We saw others in the fields handling
their rude ploughs, drawn by lean oxen.  We likewise passed through a
small village, in which we, however, saw no living soul.  Near this
village we entered the high-road which leads direct from Madrid to
Corunna, and at last, having travelled near four leagues, we came to a
species of pass, formed on our left by a huge lumpish hill (one of those
which descend from the great mountain Telleno), and on our right by one
of much less altitude.  In the middle of this pass, which was of
considerable breadth, a noble view opened itself to us.  Before us, at
the distance of about a league and a half, rose the mighty frontier
chain, of which I have spoken before; its blue sides and broken and
picturesque peaks still wearing a thin veil of the morning mist, which
the fierce rays of the sun were fast dispelling.  It seemed an enormous
barrier, threatening to oppose our further progress, and it reminded me
of the fables respecting the children of Magog, {327a} who are said to
reside in remotest Tartary, behind a gigantic wall of rocks, which can
only be passed by a gate of steel a thousand cubits in height.

We shortly after arrived at Manzanal, {327b} a village consisting of
wretched huts, and exhibiting every sign of poverty and misery.  It was
now time to refresh ourselves and horses, and we accordingly put up at a
_venta_, the last habitation in the village, where, though we found
barley for the animals, we had much difficulty in procuring anything for
ourselves.  I was at length fortunate enough to obtain a large jug of
milk, for there were plenty of cows in the neighbourhood, feeding in a
picturesque valley which we had passed by, where was abundance of grass,
and trees, and a rivulet broken by tiny cascades.  The jug might contain
about half a gallon, but I emptied it in a few minutes, for the thirst of
fever was still burning within me, though I was destitute of appetite.
The _venta_ had something the appearance of a German baiting-house.  It
consisted of an immense stable, from which was partitioned a kind of
kitchen and a place where the family slept.  The master, a robust young
man, lolled on a large solid stone bench, which stood within the door.
He was very inquisitive respecting news, but I could afford him none,
whereupon he became communicative, and gave me the history of his life,
the sum of which was, that he had been a courier in the Basque provinces,
but about a year since had been dispatched to this village, where he kept
the post-house.  He was an enthusiastic liberal, and spoke in bitter
terms of the surrounding population, who, he said, were all Carlists and
friends of the friars.  I paid little attention to his discourse, for I
was looking at a Maragato lad of about fourteen, who served in the house
as a kind of ostler.  I asked the master if we were still in the land of
the Maragatos; but he told me that we had left it behind nearly a league,
and that the lad was an orphan, and was serving until he could rake up
sufficient capital to become an _arriero_.  I addressed several questions
to the boy, but the urchin looked sullenly in my face, and either
answered by monosyllables or was doggedly silent.  I asked him if he
could read.  “Yes,” said he, “as much as that brute of yours which is
tearing down the manger.”

Quitting Manzanal, we continued our course.  We soon arrived at the verge
of a deep valley amongst mountains—not those of the chain which we had
seen before us, and which we now left to the right, but those of the
Telleno range, just before they unite with that chain.  Round the sides
of this valley, which exhibited something of the appearance of a
horse-shoe, wound the road in a circuitous manner; just before us,
however, and diverging from the road, lay a footpath, which seemed, by a
gradual descent, to lead across the valley, and to rejoin the road on the
other side, at the distance of about a furlong, and into this we struck,
in order to avoid the circuit.

We had not gone far before we met two Galicians on their way to cut the
harvests of Castile.  One of them shouted, “Cavalier, {329} turn back: in
a moment you will be amongst precipices, where your horses will break
their necks, for we ourselves could scarcely climb them on foot.”  The
other cried, “Cavalier, proceed, but be careful, and your horses, if
surefooted, will run no great danger: my comrade is a fool.”  A violent
dispute instantly ensued between the two mountaineers, each supporting
his opinion with loud oaths and curses; but without stopping to see the
result, I passed on.  But the path was now filled with stones and huge
slaty rocks, on which my horse was continually slipping.  I likewise
heard the sound of water in a deep gorge, which I had hitherto not
perceived, and I soon saw that it would be worse than madness to proceed.
I turned my horse, and was hastening to regain the path which I had left,
when Antonio, my faithful Greek, pointed out to me a meadow by which, he
said, we might regain the highroad much lower down than if we returned on
our steps.  The meadow was brilliant with short green grass, and in the
middle there was a small rivulet of water.  I spurred my horse on,
expecting to be in the high-road in a moment; the horse, however, snorted
and stared wildly, and was evidently unwilling to cross the seemingly
inviting spot.  I thought that the scent of a wolf or some other wild
animal might have disturbed him, but was soon undeceived by his sinking
up to the knees in a bog.  The animal uttered a shrill sharp neigh, and
exhibited every sign of the greatest terror, making at the same time
great efforts to extricate himself, and plunging forward, but every
moment sinking deeper.  At last he arrived where a small vein of rock
showed itself: on this he placed his fore feet, and with one tremendous
exertion freed himself from the deceitful soil, springing over the
rivulet and alighting on comparatively firm ground, where he stood
panting, his heaving sides covered with a foamy sweat.  Antonio, who had
observed the whole scene, afraid to venture forward, returned by the path
by which we came, and shortly afterwards rejoined me.  This adventure
brought to my recollection the meadow with its footpath which tempted
Christian from the straight road to heaven, and finally conducted him to
the dominions of the giant Despair.

We now began to descend the valley by a broad and excellent _carretera_
or carriage-road, which was cut out of the steep side of the mountain on
our right.  On our left was the gorge, down which tumbled the runnel of
water which I have before mentioned.  The road was tortuous, and at every
turn the scene became more picturesque.  The gorge gradually widened, and
the brook at its bottom, fed by a multitude of springs, increased in
volume and in sound; but it was soon far beneath us, pursuing its
headlong course till it reached level ground, where it flowed in the
midst of a beautiful but confined prairie.  There was something sylvan
and savage in the mountains on the farther side, clad from foot to
pinnacle with trees, so closely growing that the eye was unable to obtain
a glimpse of the hillsides, which were uneven with ravines and gulleys,
the haunts of the wolf, the wild boar, and the _corso_, {331a} or
mountain stag; the latter of which, as I was informed by a peasant who
was driving a car of oxen, frequently descended to feed in the prairie,
and were there shot for the sake of their skins, for the flesh, being
strong and disagreeable, is held in no account.

But notwithstanding the wildness of these regions, the handiworks of man
were visible.  The sides of the gorge, though precipitous, were yellow
with little fields of barley, and we saw a hamlet and church down in the
prairie below, whilst merry songs ascended to our ears from where the
mowers were toiling with their scythes, cutting the luxuriant and
abundant grass.  I could scarcely believe that I was in Spain, in general
so brown, so arid and cheerless, and I almost fancied myself in Greece,
in that land of ancient glory, whose mountain and forest scenery
Theocritus {331b} has so well described.

At the bottom of the valley we entered a small village, washed by the
brook, which had now swelled almost to a stream.  A more romantic
situation I had never witnessed.  It was surrounded, and almost overhung,
by mountains, and embowered in trees of various kinds; waters sounded,
nightingales sang, and the cuckoo’s full note boomed from the distant
branches, but the village was miserable.  The huts were built of slate
stones, of which the neighbouring hills seemed to be principally
composed, and roofed with the same, but not in the neat tidy manner of
English houses, for the slates were of all sizes and seemed to be flung
on in confusion.  We were spent with heat and thirst, and sitting down on
a stone bench, I entreated a woman to give me a little water.  The woman
said she would, but added that she expected to be paid for it.  Antonio,
on hearing this, became highly incensed, and speaking Greek, Turkish, and
Spanish, invoked the vengeance of the _Panhagia_ on the heartless woman,
saying, “If I were to offer a Mahometan gold for a draught of water he
would dash it in my face; and you are a Catholic, with the stream running
at your door.”  I told him to be silent, and giving the woman two
_cuartos_, repeated my request, whereupon she took a pitcher, and going
to the stream, filled it with water.  It tasted muddy and disagreeable,
but it drowned the fever which was devouring me.

We again remounted and proceeded on our way, which, for a considerable
distance, lay along the margin of the stream, which now fell in small
cataracts, now brawled over stones, and at other times ran dark and
silent through deep pools overhung with tall willows,—pools which seemed
to abound with the finny tribe, for large trout frequently sprang from
the water, catching the brilliant fly which skimmed along its deceitful
surface.  The scene was delightful.  The sun was rolling high in the
firmament, casting from its orb of fire the most glorious rays, so that
the atmosphere was flickering with their splendour; but their fierceness
was either warded off by the shadow of the trees, or rendered innocuous
by the refreshing coolness which rose from the waters, or by the gentle
breezes which murmured at intervals over the meadows, “fanning the cheek
or raising the hair” of the wanderer.  The hills gradually receded, till
at last we entered a plain where tall grass was waving, and mighty
chestnut trees, in full blossom, spread out their giant and umbrageous
boughs.  Beneath many stood cars, the tired oxen prostrate on the ground,
the cross-bar of the pole which they support pressing heavily on their
heads, whilst their drivers were either employed in cooking, or were
enjoying a delicious _siesta_ in the grass and shade.  I went up to one
of the largest of these groups and demanded of the individuals whether
they were in need of the Testament of Jesus Christ.  They stared at one
another, and then at me, till at last a young man, who was dangling a
long gun in his hands as he reclined, demanded of me what it was, at the
same time inquiring whether I was a Catalan, “for you speak hoarse,” said
he, “and are tall and fair like that family.”  I sat down amongst them,
and said that I was no Catalan, but that I came from a spot in the
Western Sea, many leagues distant, to sell that book at half the price it
cost; and that their souls’ welfare depended on their being acquainted
with it.  I then explained to them the nature of the New Testament, and
read to them the parable of the Sower.  They stared at each other again,
but said that they were poor, and could not buy books.  I rose, mounted,
and was going away, saying to them, “Peace bide with you.”  Whereupon the
young man with the gun rose, and saying, “_Caspita_! this is odd,”
snatched the book from my hand, and gave me the price I had demanded.

Perhaps the whole world might be searched in vain for a spot whose
natural charms could rival those of this plain or valley of Bembibre,
{333} as it is called, with its wall of mighty mountains, its spreading
chestnut trees, and its groves of oaks and willows, which clothe the
banks of its stream, a tributary to the Minho.  True it is, that when I
passed through it the candle of heaven was blazing in full splendour, and
everything lighted by its rays looked gay, glad, and blessed.  Whether it
would have filled me with the same feelings of admiration if viewed
beneath another sky, I will not pretend to determine; but it certainly
possesses advantages which at no time could fail to delight, for it
exhibits all the peaceful beauties of an English landscape blended with
something wild and grand, and I thought within myself that he must be a
restless, dissatisfied man, who, born amongst those scenes, would wish to
quit them.  At the time I would have desired no better fate than that of
a shepherd on the prairies, or a hunter on the hills of Bembibre.

Three hours passed away, and we were in another situation.  We had halted
and refreshed ourselves and horses at Bembibre, a village of mud and
slate, and which possessed little to attract attention.  We were now
ascending, for the road was over one of the extreme ledges of those
frontier hills which I have before so often mentioned; but the aspect of
heaven had blackened, clouds were rolling rapidly from the west over the
mountains, and a cold wind was moaning dismally.  “There is a storm
travelling through the air,” said a peasant, whom we overtook mounted on
a wretched mule, “and the Asturians had better be on the look-out, for it
is speeding in their direction.”  He had scarce spoken when a light, so
vivid and dazzling that it seemed as if the whole lustre of the fiery
element were concentrated in it, broke around us, filling the whole
atmosphere, and covering rock, tree, and mountain with a glare not to be
described.  The mule of the peasant tumbled prostrate, while the horse I
rode reared himself perpendicularly, and, turning round, dashed down the
hill at headlong speed, which for some time it was impossible to check.
The lightning was followed by a peal almost as terrible, but distant, for
it sounded hollow and deep; the hills, however, caught up its voice,
seemingly repeating it from summit to summit, till it was lost in
interminable space.  Other flashes and peals succeeded, but slight in
comparison, and a few drops of rain descended.  The body of the tempest
seemed to be over another region.  “A hundred families are weeping where
that bolt fell,” said the peasant when I rejoined him, “for its blaze has
blinded my mule at six leagues’ distance.”  He was leading the animal by
the bridle, as its sight was evidently affected.  “Were the friars still
in their nest above there,” he continued, “I should say that this was
their doing, for they are the cause of all the miseries of the land.”

I raised my eyes in the direction in which he pointed.  Halfway up the
mountain, over whose foot we were wending, jutted forth a black
frightful, crag, which, at an immense altitude, overhung the road, and
seemed to threaten destruction.  It resembled one of those ledges of the
rocky mountains in the picture of the Deluge, up to which the terrified
fugitives have scrambled from the eager pursuit of the savage and
tremendous billows, and from whence they gaze down in horror, whilst
above them rise still higher and giddier heights, to which they seem
unable to climb.  Built on the very edge of this crag stood an edifice,
seemingly devoted to the purposes of religion, as I could discern the
spire of a church rearing itself high over wall and roof.  “That is the
house of the Virgin of the Rocks,” said the peasant, “and it was lately
full of friars, but they have been thrust out, and the only inmates now
are owls and ravens.”  I replied, that their life in such a bleak,
exposed abode could not have been very enviable, as in winter they must
have incurred great risk of perishing with cold.  “By no means,” said he;
“they had the best of wood for their _braseros_ and chimneys, and the
best of wine to warm them at their meals, which were not the most
sparing.  Moreover, they had another convent down in the vale yonder, to
which they could retire at their pleasure.”  On my asking him the reason
of his antipathy to the friars, he replied, that he had been their
vassal, and that they had deprived him every year of the flower of what
he possessed.  Discoursing in this manner, we reached a village just
below the convent, where he left me, having first pointed out to me a
house of stone, with an image over the door, which, he said, once
belonged to the _canalla_ {337a} above.

The sun was setting fast, and, eager to reach Villafranca, {337b} where I
had determined on resting, and which was still distant three leagues and
a half, I made no halt at this place.  The road was now down a rapid and
crooked descent, which terminated in a valley, at the bottom of which was
a long and narrow bridge; beneath it rolled a river, descending from a
wide pass between two mountains, for the chain was here cleft, probably
by some convulsion of nature.  I looked up the pass, and on the hills on
both sides.  Far above on my right, but standing forth bold and clear,
and catching the last rays of the sun, was the Convent of the Precipices,
whilst directly over against it, on the farther side of the valley, rose
the perpendicular side of the rival hill, which, to a considerable extent
intercepting the light, flung its black shadow over the upper end of the
pass, involving it in mysterious darkness.  Emerging from the centre of
this gloom, with thundering sound, dashed a river, white with foam, and
bearing along with it huge stones and branches of trees, for it was the
wild Sil hurrying to the ocean from its cradle in the heart of the
Asturian hills, and probably swollen by the recent rains.

Hours again passed away.  It was now night, and we were in the midst of
woodlands, feeling our way, for the darkness was so great that I could
scarcely see the length of a yard before my horse’s head.  The animal
seemed uneasy, and would frequently stop short, prick up his ears, and
utter a low mournful whine.  Flashes of sheet lightning frequently
illumined the black sky, and flung a momentary glare over our path.  No
sound interrupted the stillness of the night, except the slow tramp of
the horses’ hoofs, and occasionally the croaking of frogs from some pool
or morass.  I now bethought me that I was in Spain, the chosen land of
the two fiends—assassination and plunder—and how easily two tired and
unarmed wanderers might become their victims.

We at last cleared the woodlands, and, after proceeding a short distance,
the horse gave a joyous neigh, and broke into a smart trot.  A barking of
dogs speedily reached my ears, and we seemed to be approaching some town
or village.  In effect we were close to Cacabelos, a town about five
miles distant from Villafranca.

It was near eleven at night, and I reflected that it would be far more
expedient to tarry in this place till the morning than to attempt at
present to reach Villafranca, exposing ourselves to all the horrors of
darkness in a lonely and unknown road.  My mind was soon made up on this
point; but I reckoned without my host, for at the first _posada_ which I
attempted to enter I was told that we could not be accommodated, and
still less our horses, as the stable was full of water.  At the second,
and there were but two, I was answered from the window by a gruff voice,
nearly in the words of Scripture: “Trouble me not: the door is now shut,
and my children are with me in bed; I cannot arise to let you in.”
Indeed, we had no particular desire to enter, as it appeared a wretched
hovel, though the poor horses pawed piteously against the door, and
seemed to crave admittance.

We had now no choice but to resume our doleful way to Villafranca, which
we were told was a short league distant, though it proved a league and a
half.  We found it no easy matter to quit the town, for we were
bewildered amongst its labyrinths, and could not find the outlet.  A lad
about eighteen was, however, persuaded, by the promise of a _peseta_, to
guide us: whereupon he led us by many turnings to a bridge, which he told
us to cross, and to follow the road, which was that of Villafranca; he
then, having received his fee, hastened from us.

We followed his directions, not, however, without a suspicion that he
might be deceiving us.  The night had settled darker down upon us, so
that it was impossible to distinguish any object, however nigh.  The
lightning had become more faint and rare.  We heard the rustling of
trees, and occasionally the barking of dogs, which last sound, however,
soon ceased, and we were in the midst of night and silence.  My horse,
either from weariness or the badness of the road, frequently stumbled;
whereupon I dismounted, and leading him by the bridle, soon left Antonio
far in the rear.

I had proceeded in this manner a considerable way, when a circumstance
occurred of a character well suited to the time and place.

I was again amidst trees and bushes, when the horse, stopping short,
nearly pulled me back.  I know not how it was, but fear suddenly came
over me, which, though in darkness and in solitude, I had not felt
before.  I was about to urge the animal forward, when I heard a noise at
my right hand, and listened attentively.  It seemed to be that of a
person or persons forcing their way through branches and brushwood.  It
soon ceased, and I heard feet on the road.  It was the short staggering
kind of tread of people carrying a very heavy substance, nearly too much
for their strength, and I thought I heard the hurried breathing of men
over-fatigued.  There was a short pause, during which I conceived they
were resting in the middle of the road; then the stamping recommenced,
until it reached the other side, when I again heard a similar rustling
amidst branches; it continued for some time, and died gradually away.

I continued my road, musing on what had just occurred, and forming
conjectures as to the cause.  The lightning resumed its flashing, and I
saw that I was approaching tall black mountains.

This nocturnal journey endured so long that I almost lost all hope of
reaching the town, and had closed my eyes in a doze, though I still
trudged on mechanically, leading the horse.  Suddenly a voice at a slight
distance before me roared out, “_Quien vive_?” for I had at last found my
way to Villafranca.  It proceeded from the sentry in the suburb, one of
those singular half soldiers, half _guerillas_, {340} called Miguelets,
who are in general employed by the Spanish government to clear the roads
of robbers.  I gave the usual answer, “_España_,” and went up to the
place where he stood.  After a little conversation, I sat down on a
stone, awaiting the arrival of Antonio, who was long in making his
appearance.  On his arrival, I asked if any one had passed him on the
road, but he replied that he had seen nothing.  The night, or rather the
morning, was still very dark, though a small corner of the moon was
occasionally visible.  On our inquiring the way to the gate, the Miguelet
directed us down a street to the left, which we followed.  The street was
steep, we could see no gate, and our progress was soon stopped by houses
and wall.  We knocked at the gates of two or three of these houses (in
the upper stories of which lights were burning), for the purpose of being
set right, but we were either disregarded or not heard.  A horrid
squalling of cats, from the tops of the houses and dark corners, saluted
our ears, and I thought of the night arrival of Don Quixote and his
squire at Toboso, and their vain search amongst the deserted streets for
the palace of Dulcinea. {341}  At length we saw light and heard voices in
a cottage at the other side of a kind of ditch.  Leading the horses over,
we called at the door, which was opened by an aged man, who appeared by
his dress to be a baker, as indeed he proved, which accounted for his
being up at so late an hour.  On begging him to show us the way into the
town, he led us up a very narrow alley at the end of his cottage, saying
that he would likewise conduct us to the _posada_.

The alley led directly to what appeared to be the market-place, at a
corner house of which our guide stopped and knocked.  After a long pause
an upper window was opened, and a female voice demanded who we were.  The
old man replied, that two travellers had arrived who were in need of
lodgings.  “I cannot be disturbed at this time of night,” said the woman;
“they will be wanting supper, and there is nothing in the house; they
must go elsewhere.”  She was going to shut the window, but I cried that
we wanted no supper, but merely a resting-place for ourselves and
horses—that we had come that day from Astorga, and were dying with
fatigue.  “Who is that speaking?” cried the woman.  “Surely that is the
voice of Gil, the German clockmaker from Pontevedra.  Welcome, old
companion; you are come at the right time, for my own is out of order.  I
am sorry I have kept you waiting, but I will admit you in a moment.”

The window was slammed to, presently a light shone through the crevices
of the door, a key turned in the lock, and we were admitted.



CHAPTER XXV.


Villafranca—The Pass—Gallegan Simplicity—The Frontier Guard—The
Horse-shoe—Gallegan Peculiarities—A Word on Language—The Courier—Wretched
Cabins—Host and Guests—Andalusians.

“Ave Maria,” said the woman; “whom have we here?  This is not Gil the
clockmaker.”  “Whether it be Gil or Juan,” said I, “we are in need of
your hospitality, and can pay for it.”  Our first care was to stable the
horses, who were much exhausted.  We then went in search of some
accommodation for ourselves.  The house was large and commodious, and,
having tasted a little water, I stretched myself on the floor of one of
the rooms on some mattresses which the woman produced, and in less than a
minute was sound asleep.

The sun was shining bright when I awoke.  I walked forth into the
market-place, which was crowded with people.  I looked up, and could see
the peaks of tall black mountains peeping over the tops of the houses.
The town lay in a deep hollow, and appeared to be surrounded by hills on
almost every side.  “_Quel pays barbare_!” said Antonio, who now joined
me; “the farther we go, my master, the wilder everything looks.  I am
half afraid to venture into Galicia; they tell me that to get to it we
must clamber up those hills: the horses will founder.”  Leaving the
marketplace, I ascended the wall of the town, and endeavoured to discover
the gate by which we should have entered the preceding night; but I was
not more successful in the bright sunshine than in the darkness.  The
town in the direction of Astorga appeared to be hermetically sealed.

I was eager to enter Galicia, and finding that the horses were to a
certain extent recovered from the fatigue of the journey of the preceding
day, we again mounted and proceeded on our way.  Crossing a bridge, we
presently found ourselves in a deep gorge amongst the mountains, down
which rushed an impetuous rivulet, overhung by the high-road which leads
into Galicia.  We were in the far-famed pass of Fuencebadon.

It is impossible to describe this pass or the circumjacent region, which
contains some of the most extraordinary scenery in all Spain; a feeble
and imperfect outline is all that I can hope to effect.  The traveller
who ascends it follows for nearly a league the course of the torrent,
whose banks are in some places precipitous, and in others slope down to
the waters, and are covered with lofty trees, oaks, poplars, and
chestnuts.  Small villages are at first continually seen, with low walls,
and roofs formed of immense slates, the eaves nearly touching the ground;
these hamlets, however, gradually become less frequent as the path grows
more steep and narrow, until they finally cease at a short distance
before the spot is attained where the rivulet is abandoned, and is no
more seen, though its tributaries may yet be heard in many a gully, or
descried in tiny rills dashing down the steeps.  Everything here is wild,
strange, and beautiful: the hill up which winds the path towers above on
the right, whilst on the farther side of a profound ravine rises an
immense mountain, to whose extreme altitudes the eye is scarcely able to
attain; but the most singular feature of this pass are the hanging fields
or meadows which cover its sides.  In these, as I passed, the grass was
growing luxuriantly, and in many the mowers were plying their scythes,
though it seemed scarcely possible that their feet could find support on
ground so precipitous; above and below were driftways, so small as to
seem threads along the mountain side.  A car, drawn by oxen, is creeping
round yon airy eminence; the nearer wheel is actually hanging over the
horrid descent; giddiness seizes the brain, and the eye is rapidly
withdrawn.  A cloud intervenes, and when again you turn to watch their
progress, the objects of your anxiety have disappeared.  Still more
narrow becomes the path along which you yourself are toiling, and its
turns more frequent.  You have already come a distance of two leagues,
and still one-third of the ascent remains unsurmounted.  You are not yet
in Galicia; and you still hear Castilian, coarse and unpolished, it is
true, spoken in the miserable cabins placed in the sequestered nooks
which you pass by in your route.

Shortly before we reached the summit of the pass thick mists began to
envelope the tops of the hills, and a drizzling rain descended.  “These
mists,” said Antonio, “are what the Gallegans call _bretima_; and it is
said there is never any lack of them in their country.”  “Have you ever
visited the country before?” I demanded.  “_Non_, _mon maître_; but I
have frequently lived in houses where the domestics were in part
Gallegans, on which account I know not a little of their ways, and even
something of their language.”  “Is the opinion which you have formed of
them at all in their favour?” I inquired.  “By no means, _mon maître_;
the men in general seem clownish and simple, yet they are capable of
deceiving the most clever _filou_ of Paris; and as for the women, it is
impossible to live in the same house with them, more especially if they
are _camareras_, and wait upon the _señora_; they are continually
breeding dissensions and disputes in the house, and telling tales of the
other domestics.  I have already lost two or three excellent situations
in Madrid, solely owing to these Gallegan chambermaids.  We have now come
to the frontier, _mon maître_, for such I conceive this village to be.”

We entered the village, which stood on the summit of the mountain, and,
as our horses and ourselves were by this time much fatigued, we looked
round for a place in which to obtain refreshment.  Close by the gate
stood a building which, from the circumstance of a mule or two and a
wretched pony standing before it, we concluded was the _posada_, as in
effect it proved to be.  We entered: several soldiers were lolling on
heaps of coarse hay, with which the place, which much resembled a stable,
was half filled.  All were exceedingly ill-looking fellows, and very
dirty.  They were conversing with each other in a strange-sounding
dialect, which I supposed to be Gallegan.  Scarcely did they perceive us
when two or three of them, starting from their couch, ran up to Antonio,
whom they welcomed with much affection, calling him _companheiro_.  “How
came you to know these men?” I demanded in French: “_Ces messieurs sont
presque tous de ma connoissance_,” he replied, “_et_, _entre nous_, _ce
sont de __véritables vauriens_; they are almost all robbers and
assassins.  That fellow with one eye, who is the corporal, escaped a
little time ago from Madrid, more than suspected of being concerned in an
affair of poisoning; but he is safe enough here in his own country, and
is placed to guard the frontier, as you see? but we must treat them
civilly, _man maître_; we must give them wine, or they will be offended.
I know them, _mon maître_—I know them.  Here, hostess, bring an _azumbre_
of wine.”

Whilst Antonio was engaged in treating his friends, I led the horses to
the stable; this was through the house, inn, or whatever it might be
called.  The stable was a wretched shed, in which the horses sank to
their fetlocks in mud and puddle.  On inquiring for barley, I was told
that I was now in Galicia, where barley was not used for provender, and
was very rare.  I was offered in lieu of it Indian corn, which, however,
the horses ate without hesitation.  There was no straw to be had; coarse
hay, half green, being the substitute.  By trampling about in the mud of
the stable my horse soon lost a shoe, for which I searched in vain.  “Is
there a blacksmith in the village?” I demanded of a shock-headed fellow
who officiated as ostler.

_Ostler_.—_Si_, _Senhor_; {347} but I suppose you have brought horseshoes
with you, or that large beast of yours cannot be shod in this village.

_Myself_.—What do you mean?  Is the blacksmith unequal to his trade?
Cannot he put on a horseshoe?

_Ostler_.—_Si_, _Senhor_; he can put on a horseshoe, if you give it him;
but there are no horseshoes in Galicia, at least in these parts.

_Myself_.—Is it not customary, then, to shoe the horses in Galicia?

_Ostler_.—_Senhor_, there are no horses in Galicia, there are only
ponies; and those who bring horses to Galicia—and none but madmen ever
do—must bring shoes to fit them; only shoes of ponies are to be found
here.

_Myself_.—What do you mean by saying that only madmen bring horses to
Galicia?

_Ostler_.—_Senhor_, no horse can stand the food of Galicia and the
mountains of Galicia long, without falling sick; and then, if he does not
die at once, he will cost you in farriers more than he is worth.
Besides, a horse is of no use here, and cannot perform amongst the broken
ground the tenth part of the service which a little pony mare can.
By-the-by, _Senhor_, I perceive that yours is an entire horse; now out of
twenty ponies that you see on the roads of Galicia, nineteen are mares;
the males are sent down into Castile to be sold.  _Senhor_, your horse
will become heated on our roads, and will catch the bad glanders, for
which there is no remedy.  _Senhor_, a man must be mad to bring any horse
to Galicia, but twice mad to bring an _entero_, as you have done.

“A strange country this of Galicia,” said I, and went to consult with
Antonio.

It appeared that the information of the ostler was literally true with
regard to the horseshoe; at least, the blacksmith of the village, to whom
we conducted the animal, confessed his inability to shoe him, having none
that would fit his hoof.  He said it was very probable that we should be
obliged to lead the animal to Lugo, which being a cavalry station, we
might perhaps find there what we wanted.  He added, however, that the
greatest part of the cavalry soldiers were mounted on the ponies of the
country, the mortality amongst the horses brought from the level ground
into Galicia being frightful.  Lugo was ten leagues distant: there
seemed, however, to be no remedy at hand but patience, and, having
refreshed ourselves, we proceeded, leading our horses by the bridle.

We were now on level ground, being upon the very top of one of the
highest mountains in Galicia.  This level continued for about a league,
when we began to descend.  Before we had crossed the plain, which was
overgrown with furze and brushwood, we came suddenly upon half a dozen
fellows, armed with muskets, and wearing a tattered uniform.  We at first
supposed them to be banditti: they were, however, only a party of
soldiers, who had been detached from the station we had just quitted to
escort one of the provincial posts or couriers.  They were clamorous for
cigars, but offered us no further incivility.  Having no cigars to
bestow, I gave them in lieu thereof a small piece of silver.  Two of the
worst looking were very eager to be permitted to escort us to Nogales,
the village where we proposed to spend the night.  “By no means permit
them, _mon maître_,” said Antonio.  “They are two famous assassins of my
acquaintance; I have known them at Madrid.  In the first ravine they will
shoot and plunder us.”  I therefore civilly declined their offer and
departed.  “You seem to be acquainted with all the cut-throats in
Galicia,” said I to Antonio, as we descended the hill.

“With respect to those two fellows,” he replied, “I knew them when I
lived as cook in the family of General Q---, who is a Gallegan: they were
sworn friends of the _repostero_.  All the Gallegans in Madrid know each
other, whether high or low makes no difference; there, at least, they are
all good friends, and assist each other on all imaginable occasions; and
if there be a Gallegan domestic in a house, the kitchen is sure to be
filled with his countrymen, as the cook frequently knows to his cost, for
they generally contrive to eat up any little perquisites which he may
have reserved for himself and family.”

Somewhat less than halfway down the mountain we reached a small village.
On observing a blacksmith’s shop, we stopped, in the faint hope of
finding a shoe for the horse, who, for want of one, was rapidly becoming
lame.  To our great joy we found that the smith was in possession of one
single horseshoe, which some time previously he had found upon the way.
This, after undergoing much hammering and alteration, was pronounced by
the Gallegan Vulcan to be capable of serving in lieu of a better;
whereupon we again mounted, and slowly continued our descent.

Shortly ere sunset we arrived at Nogales, a hamlet situate in a narrow
valley at the foot of the mountain, in traversing which we had spent the
day.  Nothing could be more picturesque than the appearance of this spot:
steep hills, thickly clad with groves and forests of chestnuts,
surrounded it on every side; the village itself was almost embowered in
trees, and close beside it ran a purling brook.  Here we found a
tolerably large and commodious _posada_.

I was languid and fatigued, but felt little desire to sleep.  Antonio
cooked our supper, or rather his own, for I had no appetite.  I sat by
the door, gazing at the wood-covered heights above me, or on the waters
of the rivulet, occasionally listening to the people who lounged about
the house, conversing in the country dialect.  What a strange tongue is
the Gallegan, with its half-singing, half-whining accent, and with its
confused jumble of words from many languages, but chiefly from the
Spanish and Portuguese! {351}  “Can you understand this conversation?” I
demanded of Antonio, who had by this time rejoined me.  “I cannot, _mon
maître_,” he replied; “I have acquired at various times a great many
words amongst the Gallegan domestics in the kitchens where I have
officiated as cook, but am quite unable to understand any long
conversation.  I have heard the Gallegans say that in no two villages is
it spoken in one and the same manner, and that very frequently they do
not understand each other.  The worst of this language is, that everybody
on first hearing it thinks that nothing is more easy than to understand
it, as words are continually occurring which he has heard before; but
these merely serve to bewilder and puzzle him, causing him to
misunderstand everything that is said; whereas, if he were totally
ignorant of the tongue, he would occasionally give a shrewd guess at what
was meant, as I myself frequently do when I hear Basque spoken, though
the only word which I know of that language is _jaunguicoa_.”

As the night closed in I retired to bed, where I remained four or five
hours, restless and tossing about, the fever of Leon still clinging to my
system.  It was considerably past midnight when, just as I was sinking
into a slumber, I was aroused by a confused noise in the village, and the
glare of lights through the lattice of the window of the room where I
lay; presently entered Antonio, half dressed.  “_Mon maître_,” said he,
“the grand post from Madrid to Corunna has just arrived in the village,
attended by a considerable escort, and an immense number of travellers.
The road, they say, between here and Lugo is infested with robbers and
Carlists, who are committing all kinds of atrocities; let us, therefore,
avail ourselves of the opportunity, and by midday to-morrow we shall find
ourselves safe in Lugo.”  On hearing these words, I instantly sprang out
of bed and dressed myself, telling Antonio to prepare the horses with all
speed.

We were soon mounted and in the street, amidst a confused throng of men
and quadrupeds.  The light of a couple of flambeaus, which were borne
before the courier, shone on the arms of several soldiers, seemingly
drawn up on either side of the road; the darkness, however, prevented me
from distinguishing objects very clearly.  The courier himself was
mounted on a little shaggy pony; before and behind him were two immense
portmanteaus, or leather sacks, the ends of which nearly touched the
ground.  For about a quarter of an hour there was much hubbub, shouting,
and trampling, at the end of which period the order was given to proceed.
Scarcely had we left the village when the flambeaus were extinguished,
and we were left in almost total darkness; for some time we were amongst
woods and trees, as was evident from the rustling of leaves on every
side.  My horse was very uneasy and neighed fearfully, occasionally
raising himself bolt upright.  “If your horse is not more quiet,
cavalier, we shall be obliged to shoot him,” said a voice in an
Andalusian accent; “he disturbs the whole cavalcade.”  “That would be a
pity, sergeant,” I replied, “for he is a Cordovese by the four sides; he
is not used to the ways of this barbarous country.”  “Oh, he is a
Cordovese,” said the voice; “_vaya_, I did not know that; I am from
Cordova myself.  _Pobrecito_! let me pat him—yes, I know by his coat that
he is my countryman.  Shoot him, indeed! _vaya_, I would fain see the
Gallegan devil who would dare to harm him.  Barbarous country, _yo lo
creo_: {353} neither oil nor olives, bread nor barley.  You have been at
Cordova.  _Vaya_; oblige me, cavalier, by taking this cigar.”

In this manner we proceeded for several hours, up hill and down dale, but
generally at a very slow pace.  The soldiers who escorted us from time to
time sang patriotic songs, breathing love and attachment to the young
Queen Isabel, and detestation of the grim tyrant Carlos.  One of the
stanzas which reached my ears ran something in the following style:—

    “Don Carlos is a hoary churl,
       Of cruel heart and cold;
    But Isabel’s a harmless girl,
       Of only six years old.”

At last the day began to break, and I found myself amidst a train of two
or three hundred people, some on foot, but the greater part mounted,
either on mules or the pony mares: I could not distinguish a single horse
except my own and Antonio’s.  A few soldiers were thinly scattered along
the road.  The country was hilly, but less mountainous and picturesque
than the one which we had traversed the preceding day; it was for the
most part partitioned into small fields, which were planted with maize.
At the distance of every two or three leagues we changed our escort, at
some village where was stationed a detachment.  The villages were mostly
an assemblage of wretched cabins; the roofs were thatched, dank, and
moist, and not unfrequently covered with rank vegetation.  There were
dung-hills before the doors, and no lack of pools and puddles.  Immense
swine were stalking about, intermingled with naked children.  The
interior of the cabins corresponded with their external appearance: they
were filled with filth and misery.

We reached Lugo about two hours past noon.  During the last two or three
leagues I became so overpowered with weariness, the result of want of
sleep and my late illness, that I was continually dozing in my saddle, so
that I took but little notice of what was passing.  We put up at a large
_posada_ without the wall of the town, built upon a steep bank, and
commanding an extensive view of the country towards the east.  Shortly
after our arrival, the rain began to descend in torrents, and continued
without intermission during the next two days, which was, however, to me
but a slight source of regret, as I passed the entire time in bed, and I
may almost say in slumber.  On the evening of the third day I arose.

There was much bustle in the house, caused by the arrival of a family
from Corunna; they came in a large jaunting car, escorted by four
carabineers.  The family was rather numerous, consisting of a father,
son, and eleven daughters, the eldest of whom might be about eighteen.  A
shabby-looking fellow, dressed in a jerkin and wearing a high-crowned
hat, attended as domestic.  They arrived very wet and shivering, and all
seemed very disconsolate, especially the father, who was a well-looking
middle-aged man.  “Can we be accommodated?” he demanded in a gentle voice
of the man of the house; “can we be accommodated in this _fonda_?”

“Certainly, your worship,” replied the other; “our house is large.  How
many apartments does your worship require for your family?”

“One will be sufficient,” replied the stranger.

The host, who was a gouty personage and leaned upon a stick, looked for a
moment at the traveller, then at every member of his family, not
forgetting the domestic, and, without any farther comment than a slight
shrug, led the way to the door of an apartment containing two or three
flock beds, and which on my arrival I had objected to as being small,
dark, and incommodious; this he flung open, and demanded whether it would
serve.

“It is rather small,” replied the gentleman; “I think, however, that it
will do.”

“I am glad of it,” replied the host.  “Shall we make any preparations for
the supper of your worship and family?”

“No, I thank you,” replied the stranger; “my own domestic will prepare
the slight refreshment we are in need of.”

The key was delivered to the domestic, and the whole family ensconced
themselves in their apartment: before, however, this was effected, the
escort were dismissed, the principal carabineer being presented with a
_peseta_.  The man stood surveying the gratuity for about half a minute,
as it glittered in the palm of his hand; then with an abrupt _Vamos_! he
turned upon his heel, and without a word of salutation to any person,
departed with the men under his command.

“Who can these strangers be?” said I to the host, as we sat together in a
large corridor open on one side, and which occupied the entire front of
the house.

“I know not,” he replied, “but by their escort I suppose they are people
holding some official situation.  They are not of this province, however,
and I more than suspect them to be Andalusians.”

In a few minutes the door of the apartment occupied by the strangers was
opened, and the domestic appeared, bearing a cruise in his hand.  “Pray,
_Señor Patron_,” demanded he, “where can I buy some oil?”

“There is oil in the house,” replied the host, “if you want to purchase
any; but if, as is probable, you suppose that we shall gain a _cuarto_ by
selling it, you will find some over the way.  It is as I suspected,”
continued the host, when the man had departed on his errand; “they are
Andalusians, and are about to make what they call _gazpacho_, on which
they will all sup.  Oh, the meanness of these Andalusians! they are come
here to suck the vitals of Galicia, and yet envy the poor innkeeper the
gain of a _cuarto_ in the oil which they require for their _gazpacho_.  I
tell you one thing, master, when that fellow returns, and demands bread
and garlic to mix with the oil, I will tell him there is none in the
house: as he has bought the oil abroad, so he may the bread and garlic;
ay, and the water too, for that matter.”



CHAPTER XXVI.


Lugo—The Baths—A Family History—Miguelets—The Three Heads—A
Farrier—English Squadron—Sale of Testaments—Corunna—The Recognition—Luigi
Piozzi—The Speculation—A Blank Prospect—John Moore.

At Lugo I found a wealthy bookseller, to whom I brought a letter of
recommendation from Madrid.  He willingly undertook the sale of my books.
The Lord deigned to favour my feeble exertions in his cause at Lugo.  I
brought thither thirty Testaments, all of which were disposed of in one
day; the bishop of the place—for Lugo is an episcopal see—purchasing two
copies for himself, whilst several priests and ex-friars, instead of
following the example of their brethren at Leon, by persecuting the work,
spoke well of it and recommended its perusal.  I was much grieved that my
stock of these holy books was exhausted, there being a great demand; and
had I been able to supply them, quadruple the quantity might have been
sold during the few days that I continued at Lugo.

Lugo contains about six thousand inhabitants.  It is situated on lofty
ground, and is defended by ancient walls.  It possesses no very
remarkable edifice, and the cathedral church itself is a small mean
building.  In the centre of the town is the principal square, a light
cheerful place, not surrounded by those heavy cumbrous buildings with
which the Spaniards both in ancient and modern times have encircled their
plazas.  It is singular enough that Lugo, at present a place of very
little importance, should at one period have been the capital of Spain;
{359} yet such it was in the time of the Romans, who, as they were a
people not much guided by caprice, had doubtless very excellent reasons
for the preference which they gave to the locality.

There are many Roman remains in the vicinity of this place, the most
remarkable of which are the ruins of the ancient medicinal baths, which
stand on the southern side of the river Minho, which creeps through the
valley beneath the town.  The Minho in this place is a dark and sullen
stream, with high, precipitous, and thickly wooded banks.

One evening I visited the baths, accompanied by my friend the bookseller.
They had been built over warm springs which flow into the river.
Notwithstanding their ruinous condition, they were crowded with sick,
hoping to derive benefit from the waters, which are still famed for their
sanative power.  These patients exhibited a strange spectacle as, wrapped
in flannel gowns much resembling shrouds, they lay immersed in the tepid
waters amongst disjointed stones, and overhung with steam and reek.

Three or four days after my arrival I was seated in the corridor, which,
as I have already observed, occupied the entire front of the house.  The
sky was unclouded, and the sun shone most gloriously, enlivening every
object around.  Presently the door of the apartment in which the
strangers were lodged opened, and forth walked the whole family, with the
exception of the father, who, I presumed, was absent on business.  The
shabby domestic brought up the rear, and on leaving the apartment,
carefully locked the door, and secured the key in his pocket.  The one
son and the eleven daughters were all dressed remarkably well: the boy
something after the English fashion, in jacket and trousers, the young
ladies in spotless white.  They were, upon the whole, a very good-looking
family, with dark eyes and olive complexions, but the eldest daughter was
remarkably handsome.  They arranged themselves upon the benches of the
corridor, the shabby domestic sitting down amongst them without any
ceremony whatever.  They continued for some time in silence, gazing with
disconsolate looks upon the houses of the suburb and the dark walls of
the town, until the eldest daughter, or _señorita_ as she was called,
broke silence with an ‘_Ay Dios mio_!’ {360}

_Domestic_.—_Ay Dios mio_! we have found our way to a pretty country.

_Myself_.—I really can see nothing so very bad in the country, which is
by nature the richest in all Spain, and the most abundant.  True it is
that the generality of the inhabitants are wretchedly poor, but they
themselves are to blame, and not the country.

_Domestic_.—Cavalier, the country is a horrible one, say nothing to the
contrary.  We are all frightened, the young ladies, the young gentleman,
and myself; even his worship is frightened, and says that we are come to
this country for our sins.  It rains every day, and this is almost the
first time that we have seen the sun since our arrival.  It rains
continually, and one cannot step out without being up to the ankles in
_fango_; and then, again, there is not a house to be found.

_Myself_.—I scarcely understand you.  There appears to be no lack of
houses in this neighbourhood.

_Domestic_.—Excuse me, sir.  His worship hired yesterday a house, for
which he engaged to pay fourteen-pence daily; but when the _señorita_ saw
it, she wept, and said it was no house, but a hog-stye, so his worship
paid one day’s rent and renounced his bargain.  Fourteen-pence a day!
why, in our country, we can have a palace for that money.

_Myself_.—From what country do you come?

_Domestic_.—Cavalier, you appear to be a decent gentleman, and I will
tell you our history.  We are from Andalusia, and his worship was last
year receiver-general for Granada: his salary was fourteen thousand
_reals_, with which we contrived to live very commodiously—attending the
bull _funcions_ regularly, or if there were no bulls, we went to see the
_novillos_, {361} and now and then to the opera.  In a word, sir, we had
our diversions and felt at our ease; so much so that his worship was
actually thinking of purchasing a pony for the young gentleman, who is
fourteen, and must learn to ride now or never.  Cavalier, the ministry
was changed, and the new-comers, who were no friends to his worship,
deprived him of his situation.  Cavalier, they removed us from that
blessed country of Granada, where our salary was fourteen thousand
_reals_, and sent us to Galicia, to this fatal town of Lugo, where his
worship is compelled to serve for ten thousand, which is quite
insufficient to maintain us in our former comforts.  Good-bye, I trow, to
bull _funcions_, and _novillos_, and the opera.  Good-bye to the hope of
a horse for the young gentleman.  Cavalier, I grow desperate: hold your
tongue, for God’s sake! for I can talk no more.

On hearing this history I no longer wondered that the receiver-general
was eager to save a _cuarto_ in the purchase of the oil for the
_gazpacho_ of himself and family of eleven daughters, one son, and a
domestic.

We staid one week at Lugo, and then directed our steps to Corunna, about
twelve leagues distant.  We arose before daybreak in order to avail
ourselves of the escort of the general post, in whose company we
travelled upwards of six leagues.  There was much talk of robbers, and
flying parties of the factious, on which account our escort was
considerable.  At the distance of five or six leagues from Lugo, our
guard, in lieu of regular soldiers, consisted of a body of about fifty
Miguelets.  They had all the appearance of banditti, but a finer body of
ferocious fellows I never saw.  They were all men in the prime of life,
mostly of tall stature, and of Herculean brawn and limbs.  They wore huge
whiskers, and walked with a fanfaronading air, as if they courted danger,
and despised it.  In every respect they stood in contrast to the soldiers
who had hitherto escorted us, who were mere feeble boys from sixteen to
eighteen years of age, and possessed of neither energy nor activity.  The
proper dress of the Miguelet, if it resembles anything military, is
something akin to that anciently used by the English marines.  They wear
a peculiar kind of hat, and generally leggings, or gaiters, and their
arms are the gun and bayonet.  The colour of their dress is mostly dark
brown.  They observe little or no discipline, whether on a march or in
the field of action.  They are excellent irregular troops, and when on
actual service are particularly useful as skirmishers.  Their proper
duty, however, is to officiate as a species of police, and to clear the
roads of robbers, for which duty they are in one respect admirably
calculated, having been generally robbers themselves at one period of
their lives.  Why these people are called Miguelets {363} it is not easy
to say, but it is probable that they have derived this appellation from
the name of their original leader.  I regret that the paucity of my own
information will not allow me to enter into farther particulars with
respect to this corps, concerning which I have little doubt that many
remarkable things might be said.

Becoming weary of the slow travelling of the post, I determined to brave
all risk, and to push forward.  In this, however, I was guilty of no
slight imprudence, as by so doing I was near falling into the hands of
robbers.  Two fellows suddenly confronted me with presented carbines,
which they probably intended to discharge into my body, but they took
fright at the noise of Antonio’s horse, who was following a little way
behind.  This affair occurred at the bridge of Castellanos, a spot
notorious for robbery and murder, and well adapted for both, for it
stands at the bottom of a deep dell surrounded by wild desolate hills.
Only a quarter of an hour previous, I had passed three ghastly heads
stuck on poles standing by the way-side; they were those of a captain of
banditti and two of his accomplices, who had been seized and executed
about two months before.  Their principal haunt was the vicinity of the
bridge, and it was their practice to cast the bodies of the murdered into
the deep black water which runs rapidly beneath.  Those three heads will
always live in my remembrance, particularly that of the captain, which
stood on a higher pole than the other two: the long hair was waving in
the wind, and the blackened, distorted features were grinning in the sun.
The fellows whom I met were the relics of the band.

We arrived at Betanzos late in the afternoon.  This town stands on a
creek at some distance from the sea, and about three leagues from
Corunna.  It is surrounded on three sides by lofty hills.  The weather
during the greater part of the day had been dull and lowering, and we
found the atmosphere of Betanzos insupportably close and heavy.  Sour and
disagreeable odours assailed our olfactory organs from all sides.  The
streets were filthy—so were the houses, and especially the _posada_.  We
entered the stable; it was strewed with rotten seaweeds and other
rubbish, in which pigs were wallowing; huge and loathsome flies were
buzzing around.  “What a pest-house!” I exclaimed.  But we could find no
other stable, and were therefore obliged to tether the unhappy animals to
the filthy mangers.  The only provender that could be obtained was Indian
corn.  At nightfall I led them to drink at a small river which passes
through Betanzos.  My _entero_ swallowed the water greedily; but as we
returned towards the inn, I observed that he was sad, and that his head
drooped.  He had scarcely reached the stall, when a deep hoarse cough
assailed him.  I remembered the words of the ostler in the mountains.
“The man must be mad who brings a horse to Galicia, and doubly so he who
brings an _entero_.”  During the greater part of the day the animal had
been much heated, walking amidst a throng of at least a hundred pony
mares.  He now began to shiver violently.  I procured a quart of anise
{365} brandy, with which, assisted by Antonio, I rubbed his body for
nearly an hour, till his coat was covered with a white foam; but his
cough increased perceptibly, his eyes were becoming fixed, and his
members rigid.  “There is no remedy but bleeding,” said I.  “Run for a
farrier.”  The farrier came.  “You must bleed the horse,” I shouted;
“take from him an _azumbre_ of blood.”  The farrier looked at the animal,
and made for the door.  “Where are you going?” I demanded.  “Home,” he
replied.  “But we want you here.”  “I know you do,” was his answer; “and
on that account I am going.”  “But you must bleed the horse, or he will
die.”  “I know he will,” said the farrier, “but I will not bleed him.”
“Why?” I demanded.  “I will not bleed him but under one condition.”
“What is that?”  “What is it!—that you pay me an ounce of gold.” {366a}
“Run upstairs for the red morocco case,” said I to Antonio.  The case was
brought; I took out a large fleam, and with the assistance of a stone,
drove it into the principal artery of the horse’s leg.  The blood at
first refused to flow; at last, with much rubbing, it began to trickle,
and then to stream; it continued so for half an hour.  “The horse is
fainting, _mon maître_,” said Antonio.  “Hold him up,” said I, “and in
another ten minutes we will stop the vein.”

I closed the vein, and whilst doing so I looked up into the farrier’s
face, arching my eyebrows.

“_Carracho_! {366b} what an evil wizard!” {366c} muttered the farrier as
he walked away.  “If I had my knife here I would stick him.”  We bled the
horse again during the night, which second bleeding I believe saved him.
Towards morning he began to eat his food.

The next day we departed for Corunna, leading our horses by the bridle.
The day was magnificent, and our walk delightful.  We passed along
beneath tall umbrageous trees, which skirted the road from Betanzos to
within a short distance of Corunna.  Nothing could be more smiling and
cheerful than the appearance of the country around.  Vines were growing
in abundance in the vicinity of the villages through which we passed,
whilst millions of maize plants upreared their tall stalks and displayed
their broad green leaves in the fields.  After walking about three hours,
we obtained a view of the Bay of Corunna, in which, even at the distance
of a league, we could distinguish three or four immense ships riding at
anchor.  “Can these vessels belong to Spain?” I demanded of myself.  In
the very next village, however, we were informed that the preceding
evening an English squadron had arrived, for what reason nobody could
say.  “However,” continued our informant, “they have doubtless some
design upon Galicia.  These foreigners are the ruin of Spain.”

We put up in what is called the Calle Real, in an excellent _fonda_, or
_posada_, kept by a short, thick, comical-looking person, a Genoese by
birth.  He was married to a tall, ugly, but good-tempered Basque woman,
by whom he had been blessed with a son and daughter.  His wife, however,
had it seems of late summoned all her female relations from Guipuzcoa,
who now filled the house to the number of nine, officiating as
chambermaids, cooks, and scullions: they were all very ugly, but good
natured, and of immense volubility of tongue.  Throughout the whole day
the house resounded with their excellent Basque and very bad Castilian.
The Genoese, on the contrary, spoke little, for which he might have
assigned a good reason: he had lived thirty years in Spain, and had
forgotten his own language without acquiring Spanish, which he spoke very
imperfectly.

We found Corunna full of bustle and life, owing to the arrival of the
English squadron.  On the following day, however, it departed, being
bound for the Mediterranean on a short cruise, whereupon matters
instantly returned to their usual course.

I had a depôt of five hundred Testaments at Corunna, from which it was my
intention to supply the principal towns of Galicia.  Immediately on my
arrival I published advertisements, according to my usual practice, and
the book obtained a tolerable sale—seven or eight copies per day on the
average.  Some people, perhaps, on perusing these details, will be
tempted to exclaim, “These are small matters, and scarcely worthy of
being mentioned.”  But let such bethink them that till within a few
months previous to the time of which I am speaking, the very existence of
the Gospel was almost unknown in Spain, that it must necessarily be a
difficult task to induce a people like the Spaniards, who read very
little, to purchase a work like the New Testament, which, though of
paramount importance to the soul, affords but slight prospect of
amusement to the frivolous and carnally-minded.  I hoped that the present
was the dawning of better and more enlightened times, and rejoiced in the
idea that Testaments, though few in number, were being sold in
unfortunate benighted Spain, from Madrid to the furthermost parts of
Galicia, a distance of nearly four hundred miles.

Corunna stands on a peninsula, having on one side the sea, and on the
other the celebrated bay, generally called the Groyne. {368}  It is
divided into the old and new town, the latter of which was at one time
probably a mere suburb.  The old town is a desolate ruinous place,
separated from the new by a wide moat.  The modern town is a much more
agreeable spot, and contains one magnificent street, the Calle Real,
where the principal merchants reside.  One singular feature of this
street is, that it is laid entirely with flags of marble, along which
troop ponies and cars as if it were a common pavement.

It is a saying amongst the inhabitants of Corunna, that in their town
there is a street so clean that _puchera_ {369a} may be eaten off it
without the slightest inconvenience.  This may certainly be the fact
after one of those rains which so frequently drench Galicia, when the
appearance of the pavement of the street is particularly brilliant.
Corunna was at one time a place of considerable commerce, the greater
part of which has lately departed to Santander, a town which stands a
considerable distance down the Bay of Biscay.

“Are you going to St. James, {369b} _Giorgio_?  If so, you will perhaps
convey a message to my poor countryman,” said a voice to me one morning
in broken English, as I was standing at the door of my _posada_, in the
royal street of Corunna.

I looked round and perceived a man standing near me at the door of a shop
contiguous to the inn.  He appeared to be about sixty-five, with a pale
face and remarkably red nose.  He was dressed in a loose green
great-coat, in his mouth was a long clay pipe, in his hand a long painted
stick.

“Who are you, and who is your countryman?” I demanded.  “I do not know
you.”

“I know you, however,” replied the man; “you purchased the first knife
that I ever sold in the market-place of N---.” {370a}

_Myself_.—Ah, I remember you now, Luigi Piozzi {370b}; and well do I
remember also how, when a boy, twenty years ago, I used to repair to your
stall, and listen to you and your countrymen discoursing in Milanese.

_Luigi_.—Ah, those were happy times to me.  Oh, how they rushed back on
my remembrance when I saw you ride up to the door of the _posada_!  I
instantly went in, closed my shop, lay down upon my bed and wept.

_Myself_.—I see no reason why you should so much regret those times.  I
knew you formerly in England as an itinerant pedlar, and occasionally as
master of a stall in the market-place of a country town.  I now find you
in a seaport of Spain, the proprietor, seemingly, of a considerable shop.
I cannot see why you should regret the difference.

_Luigi_ (dashing his pipe on the ground).—Regret the difference!  Do you
know one thing?  England is the heaven of the Piedmontese and Milanese,
and especially those of Como.  We never lie down to rest but we dream of
it, whether we are in our own country or in a foreign land, as I am now.
Regret the difference, _Giorgio_!  Do I hear such words from your lips,
and you an Englishman?  I would rather be the poorest tramper on the
roads of England, than lord of all within ten leagues of the shore of the
lake of Como, and much the same say all my countrymen who have visited
England, wherever they now be.  Regret the difference!  I have ten
letters from as many countrymen in America, who say they are rich and
thriving, and principal men and merchants; but every night, when their
heads are reposing on their pillows, their souls _auslandra_, hurrying
away to England, and its green lanes and farmyards.  And there they are
with their boxes on the ground, displaying their looking-glasses and
other goods to the hones, rustics and their dames and their daughters,
and selling away and chaffering and laughing just as of old.  And there
they are again at nightfall in the hedge alehouses, eating their toasted
cheese and their bread, and drinking the Suffolk ale, and listening to
the roaring song and merry jests of the labourers.  Now, if they regret
England so who are in America, which they own to be a happy country, and
good for those of Piedmont and of Como, how much more must I regret it,
when, after the lapse of so many years, I find myself in Spain, in this
frightful town of Corunna, driving a ruinous trade, and where months pass
by without my seeing a single English face, or hearing a word of the
blessed English tongue!

_Myself_.—With such a predilection for England, what could have induced
you to leave it and come to Spain?

_Luigi_.—I will tell you.  About sixteen years ago a universal desire
seized our people in England to become something more than they had
hitherto been, pedlars and trampers; they wished, moreover—for mankind
are never satisfied—to see other countries: so the greater part forsook
England.  Where formerly there had been ten, at present scarcely lingers
one.  Almost all went to America, which, as I told you before, is a happy
country, and specially good for us men of Como.  Well, all my comrades
and relations passed over the sea to the West.  I too was bent on
travelling, but whither?  Instead of going towards the West with the
rest, to a country where they have all thriven, I must needs come by
myself to this land of Spain; a country in which no foreigner settles
without dying of a broken heart sooner or later.  I had an idea in my
head that I could make a fortune at once, by bringing a cargo of common
English goods, like those which I had been in the habit of selling
amongst the villagers of England.  So I freighted half a ship with such
goods, for I had been successful in England in my little speculations,
and I arrived at Corunna.  Here at once my vexations began:
disappointment followed disappointment.  It was with the utmost
difficulty that I could obtain permission to land my goods, and this only
at a considerable sacrifice in bribes and the like; and when I had
established myself here, I found that the place was one of no trade, and
that my goods went off very slowly, and scarcely at prime cost.  I wished
to remove to another place, but was informed that, in that case, I must
leave my goods behind, unless I offered fresh bribes, which would have
ruined me; and in this way I have gone on for fourteen years, selling
scarcely enough to pay for my shop and to support myself.  And so I shall
doubtless continue till I die, or my goods are exhausted.  In an evil day
I left England and came to Spain.

_Myself_.—Did you not say that you had a countryman at St. James?

_Luigi_.—Yes, a poor honest fellow who, like myself, by some strange
chance found his way to Galicia.  I sometimes contrive to send him a few
goods, which he sells at St. James at a greater profit than I can here.
He is a happy fellow, for he has never been in England, and knows not the
difference between the two countries.  Oh, the green English hedgerows!
and the alehouses! and, what is much more, the fair dealing and security.
I have travelled all over England and never met with ill usage, except
once down in the north amongst the Papists, upon my telling them to leave
all their mummeries and go to the parish church as I did, and as all my
countrymen in England did; for know one thing, _Signor Giorgio_, not one
of us who have lived in England, whether Piedmontese or men of Como, but
wished well to the Protestant religion, if he had not actually become a
member of it.

_Myself_.—What do you propose to do at present, Luigi?  What are your
prospects?

_Luigi_.—My prospects are a blank, _Giorgio_; my prospects are a blank.
I propose nothing but to die in Corunna, perhaps in the hospital, if they
will admit me.  Years ago I thought of fleeing, even if I left all behind
me, and either returning to England, or betaking myself to America; but
it is too late now, _Giorgio_, it is too late.  When I first lost all
hope I took to drinking, to which I was never before inclined, and I am
now what I suppose you see.

“There is hope in the Gospel,” said I, “even for you.  I will send you
one.”

There is a small battery of the old town which fronts the east, and whose
wall is washed by the waters of the bay.  It is a sweet spot, and the
prospect which opens from it is extensive.  The battery itself may be
about eighty yards square; some young trees are springing up about it,
and it is rather a favourite resort of the people of Corunna.

In the centre of this battery stands the tomb of Moore, built by the
chivalrous French, in commemoration of the fall of their heroic
antagonist.  It is oblong, and surmounted by a slab, and on either side
bears one of the simple and sublime epitaphs for which our rivals are
celebrated, and which stand in such powerful contrast with the bloated
and bombastic inscriptions which deform the walls of Westminster Abbey:—

                                 “JOHN MOORE,
                        LEADER OF THE ENGLISH ARMIES,
                               SLAIN IN BATTLE,
                                    1809.”

The tomb itself is of marble, and around it is a quadrangular wall,
breast-high, of rough Gallegan granite; close to each corner rises from
the earth the breech of an immense brass cannon, intended to keep the
wall compact and close.  These outer erections are, however, not the work
of the French, but of the English government.

Yes, there lies the hero, almost within sight of the glorious hill where
he turned upon his pursuers like a lion at bay and terminated his career.
Many acquire immortality without seeking it, and die before its first ray
has gilded their name; of these was Moore.  The harassed general, flying
through Castile with his dispirited troops before a fierce and terrible
enemy, little dreamed that he was on the point of attaining that for
which many a better, greater, though certainly not braver man, had sighed
in vain.  His very misfortunes were the means which secured him immortal
fame; his disastrous route, bloody death, and finally his tomb on a
foreign strand, far from kin and friends.  There is scarcely a Spaniard
but has heard of this tomb, and speaks of it with a strange kind of awe.
Immense treasures are said to have been buried with the heretic general,
though for what purpose no one pretends to guess.  The demons of the
clouds, if we may trust the Gallegans, followed the English in their
flight, and assailed them with water-spouts as they toiled up the steep
winding paths of Fuencebadon, whilst legends the most wild are related of
the manner in which the stout soldier fell.  Yes, even in Spain,
immortality has already crowned the head of Moore;—Spain, the land of
oblivion, where the Guadalete, the ancient Lethe, {375} flows.



CHAPTER XXVII.


Compostella—Rey Romero—The Treasure-seeker—Hopeful Project—The Church of
Refuge—Hidden Riches—The Canon—Spirit of Localism—The Leper—Bones of
Saint James.

At the commencement of August I found myself at Saint James of
Compostella.  To this place I travelled from Corunna with the courier or
weekly post, who was escorted by a strong party of soldiers, in
consequence of the distracted state of the country, which was overrun
with banditti.  From Corunna to Saint James the distance is but ten
leagues; the journey, however, endured for a day and a half.  It was a
pleasant one, through a most beautiful country, with a rich variety of
hill and dale; the road was in many places shaded with various kinds of
trees clad in most luxuriant foliage.  Hundreds of travellers, both on
foot and on horseback, availed themselves of the security which the
escort afforded: the dread of banditti was strong.  During the journey
two or three alarms were given; we, however, reached Saint James without
having been attacked.

Saint James stands on a pleasant level amidst mountains: the most
extraordinary of these is a conical hill, called the Pico Sacro, or
Sacred Peak, connected with which are many wonderful legends.  A
beautiful old town is Saint James, containing about twenty thousand
inhabitants.  Time has been when, with the single exception of Rome, it
was the most celebrated resort of pilgrims in the world; its cathedral
being said to contain the bones of Saint James the elder, the child of
the thunder, {378} who, according to the legend of the Romish church,
first preached the Gospel in Spain.  Its glory, however, as a place of
pilgrimage, is rapidly passing away.

The cathedral, though a work of various periods, and exhibiting various
styles of architecture, is a majestic venerable pile, in every respect
calculated to excite awe and admiration; indeed, it is almost impossible
to walk its long dusk aisles, and hear the solemn music and the noble
chanting, and inhale the incense of the mighty censers, which are at
times swung so high by machinery as to smite the vaulted roof, whilst
gigantic tapers glitter here and there amongst the gloom, from the shrine
of many a saint, before which the worshippers are kneeling, breathing
forth their prayers and petitions for help, love, and mercy, and
entertain a doubt that we are treading the floor of a house where God
delighteth to dwell.  Yet the Lord is distant from that house; He hears
not, He sees not, or if He do, it is with anger.  What availeth that
solemn music, that noble chanting, that incense of sweet savour?  What
availeth kneeling before that grand altar of silver, surmounted by that
figure with its silver hat and breast-plate, the emblem of one who,
though an apostle and confessor, was at best an unprofitable servant?
What availeth hoping for remission of sin by trusting in the merits of
one who possessed none, or by paying homage to others who were born and
nurtured in sin, and who alone, by the exercise of a lively faith granted
from above, could hope to preserve themselves from the wrath of the
Almighty?

Rise from your knees, ye children of Compostella, or, if ye bend, let it
be to the Almighty alone, and no longer on the eve of your patron’s day
address him in the following strain, however sublime it may sound:—

    “Thou shield of that faith which in Spain we revere,
    Thou scourge of each foeman who dares to draw near;
    Whom the Son of that God who the elements tames,
    Called child of the thunder, immortal Saint James!

    “From the blessed asylum of glory intense,
    Upon us thy sovereign influence dispense;
    And list to the praises our gratitude aims
    To offer up worthily, mighty Saint James!

    “To thee fervent thanks Spain shall ever outpour;
    In thy name though she glory, she glories yet more
    In thy thrice hallowed corse, which the sanctuary claims
    Of high Compostella, O blessed Saint James!

    “When heathen impiety, loathsome and dread,
    With a chaos of darkness our Spain overspread,
    Thou wast the first light which dispelled with its flames
    The hell-born obscurity, glorious Saint James!

    “And when terrible wars had nigh wasted our force,
    All bright ’midst the battle we saw thee on horse,
    Fierce scattering the hosts, whom their fury proclaims
    To be warriors of Islam, victorious Saint James!

    “Beneath thy direction, stretched prone at thy feet,
    With hearts low and humble, this day we entreat
    Thou wilt strengthen the hope which enlivens our frames,
    The hope of thy favour and presence, Saint James.

    “Then praise to the Son and the Father above,
    And to that Holy Spirit which springs from their love;
    To that bright emanation whose vividness shames
    The sun’s burst of splendour, and praise to Saint James.”

At Saint James I met with a kind and cordial coadjutor in my biblical
labours in the bookseller of the place, Rey Romero, a man of about sixty.
This excellent individual, who was both wealthy and respected, took up
the matter with an enthusiasm which doubtless emanated from on high,
losing no opportunity of recommending my book to those who entered his
shop, which was in the Azabacheria, {380} and was a very splendid and
commodious establishment.  In many instances, when the peasants of the
neighbourhood came with an intention of purchasing some of the foolish
popular story-books of Spain, he persuaded them to carry home Testaments
instead, assuring them that the sacred volume was a better, more
instructive, and even far more entertaining book than those they came in
quest of.  He speedily conceived a great fancy for me, and regularly came
to visit me every evening at my _posada_, and accompanied me in my walks
about the town and the environs.  He was a man of considerable
information, and though of much simplicity, possessed a kind of
good-natured humour which was frequently highly diverting.

I was walking late one night alone in the _alameda_ of Saint James,
considering in what direction I should next bend my course, for I had
been already ten days in this place; the moon was shining gloriously, and
illumined every object around to a considerable distance.  The _alameda_
was quite deserted; everybody, with the exception of myself, having for
some time retired.  I sat down on a bench and continued my reflections,
which were suddenly interrupted by a heavy stumping sound.  Turning my
eyes in the direction from which it proceeded, I perceived what at first
appeared a shapeless bulk slowly advancing: nearer and nearer it drew,
and I could now distinguish the outline of a man dressed in coarse brown
garments, a kind of Andalusian hat, and using as a staff the long peeled
branch of a tree.  He had now arrived opposite the bench where I was
seated, when, stopping, he took off his hat and demanded charity in
uncouth tones and in a strange jargon, which had some resemblance to the
Catalan.  The moon shone on grey locks and on a ruddy weather-beaten
countenance which I at once recognized.  “Benedict Mol,” said I, “is it
possible that I see you at Compostella?”

“_Och_, _mein Gott_, _es ist der Herr_!” {382a} replied Benedict.
“_Och_, what good fortune, that the Herr is the first person I meet at
Compostella!”

_Myself_.—I can scarcely believe my eyes.  Do you mean to say that you
have just arrived at this place?

_Benedict_.—Ow yes, I am this moment arrived.  I have walked all the long
way from Madrid.

_Myself_.—What motive could possibly bring you such a distance?

_Benedict_.—Ow, I am come for the _Schatz_—the treasure.  I told you at
Madrid that I was coming; and now I have met you here, I have no doubt
that I shall find it, the _Schatz_.

_Myself_.—In what manner did you support yourself by the way?

_Benedict_.—Ow, I begged, I bettled, {382b} and so contrived to pick up
some _cuartos_; and when I reached Toro, I worked at my trade of
soap-making for a time, till the people said I knew nothing about it, and
drove me out of the town.  So I went on and begged and bettled till I
arrived at Orense, which is in this country of Galicia.  Ow, I do not
like this country of Galicia at all.

_Myself_.—Why not?

_Benedict_.—Why! because here they all beg and bettle, and have scarce
anything for themselves, much less for me, whom they know to be a foreign
man.  Oh, the misery of Galicia!  When I arrive at night at one of their
pigsties, which they call _posadas_, and ask for bread to eat in the name
of God, and straw to lie down in, they curse me, and say there is neither
bread nor straw in Galicia: and sure enough, since I have been here I
have seen neither, only something that they call _broa_, and a kind of
reedy rubbish with which they litter the horses: all my bones are sore
since I entered Galicia.

_Myself_.—And yet you have come to this country, which you call so
miserable, in search of treasure?

_Benedict_.—Ow _yaw_, but the _Schatz_ is buried; it is not above ground;
there is no money above ground in Galicia.  I must dig it up; and when I
have dug it up I will purchase a coach with six mules, and ride out of
Galicia to Lucerne; and if the _Herr_ pleases to go with me, he shall be
welcome to go with me and the Schatz.

_Myself_.—I am afraid that you have come on a desperate errand.  What do
you propose to do?  Have you any money?

_Benedict_.—Not a _cuarto_; but I do not care now I have arrived at St.
James.  The _Schatz_ is nigh; and I have, moreover, seen you, which is a
good sign; it tells me that the _Schatz_ is still here.  I shall go to
the best _posada_ in the place, and live like a duke till I have an
opportunity of digging up the _Schatz_, when I will pay all scores.

“Do nothing of the kind,” I replied; “find out some place in which to
sleep, and endeavour to seek some employment.  In the mean time, here is
a trifle with which to support yourself; but as for the treasure which
you have come to seek, I believe it only exists in your own imagination.”
I gave him a dollar and departed.

I have never enjoyed more charming walks than in the neighbourhood of
Saint James.  In these I was almost invariably accompanied by my friend
the good old bookseller.  The streams are numerous, and along their
wooded banks we were in the habit of straying and enjoying the delicious
summer evenings of this part of Spain.  Religion generally formed the
topic of our conversation, but we not unfrequently talked of the foreign
lands which I had visited, and at other times of matters which related
particularly to my companion.  “We booksellers of Spain,” said he, “are
all liberals; we are no friends to the monkish system.  How indeed should
we be friends to it?  It fosters darkness, whilst we live by
disseminating light.  We love our profession, and have all more or less
suffered for it; many of us, in the times of terror, were hanged for
selling an innocent translation from the French or English.  Shortly
after the Constitution was put down by Angoulême and the French bayonets,
{384} I was obliged to flee from Saint James and take refuge in the
wildest part of Galicia, near Corcuvion.  Had I not possessed good
friends, I should not have been alive now; as it was, it cost me a
considerable sum of money to arrange matters.  Whilst I was away, my shop
was in charge of the ecclesiastical officers.  They frequently told my
wife that I ought to be burnt for the books which I had sold.  Thanks be
to God, those times are past, and I hope they will never return.”

Once, as we were walking through the streets of Saint James, he stopped
before a church and looked at it attentively.  As there was nothing
remarkable in the appearance of this edifice, I asked him what motive he
had for taking such notice of it.  “In the days of the friars,” said he,
“this church was one of refuge, to which if the worst criminals escaped,
they were safe.  All were protected there save the _negros_, as they
called us liberals.”  “Even murderers, I suppose?” said I.  “Murderers!”
he answered, “far worse criminals than they.  By-the-by, I have heard
that you English entertain the utmost abhorrence of murder.  Do you in
reality consider it a crime of very great magnitude?”  “How should we
not?” I replied.  “For every other crime some reparation can be made; but
if we take away life, we take away all.  A ray of hope with respect to
this world may occasionally enliven the bosom of any other criminal, but
how can the murderer hope?”  “The friars were of another way of
thinking,” replied the old man; “they always looked upon murder as a
_friolera_; but not so the crime of marrying your first cousin without
dispensation, for which, if we believe them, there is scarcely any
atonement either in this world or the next.”

Two or three days after this, as we were seated in my apartment in the
_posada_, engaged in conversation, the door was opened by Antonio, who,
with a smile on his countenance, said that there was a foreign gentleman
below who desired to speak with me.  “Show him up,” I replied; whereupon
almost instantly appeared Benedict Mol.

“This is a most extraordinary person,” said I to the bookseller.  “You
Galicians, in general, leave your country in quest of money; he, on the
contrary, is come hither to find some.”

_Rey Romero_.—And he is right.  Galicia is by nature the richest province
in Spain, but the inhabitants are very stupid, and know not how to turn
the blessings which surround them to any account; but as a proof of what
may be made out of Galicia, see how rich the Catalans become who have
settled down here and formed establishments.  There are riches all around
us, upon the earth and in the earth.

_Benedict_.—Ow _yaw_, in the earth, that is what I say.  There is much
more treasure below the earth than above it.

_Myself_.—Since I last saw you, have you discovered the place in which
you say the treasure is deposited?

_Benedict_.—Oh yes, I know all about it now.  It is buried ’neath the
sacristy in the church of San Roque.

_Myself_.—How have you been able to make that discovery?

_Benedict_.—I will tell you.  The day after my arrival I walked about all
the city in quest of the church, but could find none which at all
answered to the signs which my comrade who died in the hospital gave me.
I entered several, and looked about, but all in vain; I could not find
the place which I had in my mind’s eye.  At last the people with whom I
lodge, and to whom I told my business, advised me to send for a _meiga_.

_Myself_.—A _meiga_! {386}  What is that?

_Benedict_.—Ow! a _Haxweib_, a witch; the Gallegos call them so in their
jargon, of which I can scarcely understand a word.  So I consented, and
they sent for the _meiga_.  Och! what a _Weib_ is that _meiga_!  I never
saw such a woman; she is as large as myself, and has a face as round and
red as the sun.  She asked me a great many questions in her Gallegan; and
when I had told her all she wanted to know, she pulled out a pack of
cards and laid them on the table in a particular manner, and then she
said that the treasure was in the church of San Roque; and sure enough,
when I went to that church, it answered in every respect to the signs of
my comrade who died in the hospital.  Oh, she is a powerful _Hax_, that
_meiga_; she is well known in the neighbourhood, and has done much harm
to the cattle.  I gave her half the dollar I had from you for her
trouble.

_Myself_.—Then you acted like a simpleton; she has grossly deceived you.
But even suppose that the treasure is really deposited in the church you
mention, it is not probable that you will be permitted to remove the
floor of the sacristy to search for it.

_Benedict_.—Ow, the matter is already well advanced.  Yesterday I went to
one of the canons to confess myself and to receive absolution and
benediction; not that I regard these things much, but I thought this
would be the best means of broaching the matter, so I confessed myself,
and then I spoke of my travels to the canon, and at last I told him of
the treasure, and proposed that if he assisted me we should share it
between us.  Ow, I wish you had seen him; he entered at once into the
affair, and said that it might turn out a very profitable speculation:
and he shook me by the hand, and said that I was an honest Swiss and a
good Catholic.  And I then proposed that he should take me into his house
and keep me there till we had an opportunity of digging up the treasure
together.  This he refused to do.

_Rey Romero_.—Of that I have no doubt: trust one of our canons for not
committing himself so far until he sees very good reason.  These tales of
treasure are at present rather too stale: we have heard of them ever
since the time of the Moors.

_Benedict_.—He advised me to go to the Captain-General and obtain
permission to make excavations, in which case he promised to assist me to
the utmost of his power.

Thereupon the Swiss departed, and I neither saw nor heard anything
further of him during the time that I continued at Saint James.

The bookseller was never weary of showing me about his native town, of
which he was enthusiastically fond.  Indeed, I have never seen the spirit
of localism, which is so prevalent throughout Spain, more strong than at
Saint James.  If their town did but flourish, the Santiagans seemed to
care but little if all others in Galicia perished.  Their antipathy to
the town of Corunna was unbounded, and this feeling had of late been not
a little increased from the circumstance that the seat of the provincial
government had been removed from Saint James to Corunna.  Whether this
change was advisable or not, it is not for me, who am a foreigner, to
say; my private opinion, however, is by no means favourable to the
alteration.  Saint James is one of the most central towns in Galicia,
with large and populous communities on every side of it, whereas Corunna
stands in a corner, at a considerable distance from the rest.  “It is a
pity that the _vecinos_ of Corunna cannot contrive to steal away from us
our cathedral, even as they have done our government,” said a Santiagan;
“then, indeed, they would be able to cut some figure.  As it is, they
have not a church fit to say mass in.”  “A great pity, too, that they
cannot remove our hospital,” would another exclaim; “as it is, they are
obliged to send us their sick poor wretches.  I always think that the
sick of Corunna have more ill-favoured countenances than those from other
places; but what good can come from Corunna?”

Accompanied by the bookseller, I visited this hospital, in which,
however, I did not remain long, the wretchedness and uncleanliness which
I observed speedily driving me away.  Saint James, indeed, is the grand
lazar-house for all the rest of Galicia, which accounts for the
prodigious number of horrible objects to be seen in its streets, who have
for the most part arrived in the hope of procuring medical assistance,
which, from what I could learn, is very scantily and inefficiently
administered.  Amongst these unhappy wretches I occasionally observed the
terrible leper, and instantly fled from him with a “God help thee,” as if
I had been a Jew of old.  Galicia is the only province of Spain where
cases of leprosy are still frequent; a convincing proof this that the
disease is the result of foul feeding, and an inattention to cleanliness,
as the Gallegans, with regard to the comforts of life and civilized
habits, are confessedly far behind all the other natives of Spain.

“Besides a general hospital, we have likewise a leper-house,” said the
bookseller.  “Shall I show it you?  We have everything at Saint James.
There is nothing lacking; the very leper finds an inn here.”  “I have no
objection to your showing me the house,” I replied, “but it must be at a
distance, for enter it I will not.”  Thereupon he conducted me down the
road which leads towards Padron {389} and Vigo, and pointing to two or
three huts, exclaimed, “That is our leper-house.”  “It appears a
miserable place,” I replied.  “What accommodation may there be for the
patients, and who attends to their wants?”  “They are left to
themselves,” answered the bookseller, “and probably sometimes perish from
neglect: the place at one time was endowed, and had rents, which were
appropriated to its support, but even these have been sequestered during
the late troubles.  At present, the least unclean of the lepers generally
takes his station by the road-side, and begs for the rest.  See, there he
is now.”

And sure enough the leper, in his shining scales, and half naked, was
seated beneath a ruined wall.  We dropped money into the hat of the
unhappy being, and passed on.

“A bad disorder that,” said my friend.  “I confess that I, who have seen
so many of them, am by no means fond of the company of lepers.  Indeed, I
wish that they would never enter my shop, as they occasionally do to beg.
Nothing is more infectious, as I have heard, than leprosy.  There is one
very virulent species, however, which is particularly dreaded here—the
elephantine: those who die of it should, according to law, be burnt, and
their ashes scattered to the winds, for if the body of such a leper be
interred in the field of the dead, the disorder is forthwith communicated
to all the corses even below the earth.  Such at least is our idea in
these parts.  Law-suits are at present pending from the circumstance of
elephantides having been buried with the other dead.  Sad is leprosy in
all its forms, but most so when elephantine.”

“Talking of corses,” said I, “do you believe that the bones of Saint
James are veritably interred at Compostella?”

“What can I say?” replied the old man; “you know as much of the matter as
myself.  Beneath the high altar is a large stone slab or lid, which is
said to cover the mouth of a profound well, at the bottom of which it is
believed that the bones of the saint are interred; though why they should
be placed at the bottom of a well is a mystery which I cannot fathom.
One of the officers of the church told me that at one time he and another
kept watch in the church during the night, one of the chapels having
shortly before been broken open and a sacrilege committed.  At the dead
of night, finding the time hang heavy on their hands, they took a crowbar
and removed the slab, and looked down into the abyss below; it was dark
as the grave; whereupon they affixed a weight to the end of a long rope,
and lowered it down.  At a very great depth it seemed to strike against
something dull and solid, like lead: they supposed it might be a coffin;
perhaps it was, but whose? is the question.”



CHAPTER XXVIII.


Skippers of Padron—Caldas de los Reyes—Pontevedra—The Notary
Public—Insane Barber—An Introduction—Gallegan Language—Afternoon
Ride—Vigo—The Stranger—Jews of the Desert—Bay of Vigo—Sudden
Interruption—The Governor.

After a stay of about a fortnight at Saint James, we again mounted our
horses and proceeded in the direction of Vigo.  As we did not leave Saint
James till late in the afternoon, we travelled that day no farther than
Padron, a distance of only three leagues.  This place is a small port,
situate at the extremity of a firth which communicates with the sea.  It
is called, for brevity’s sake, Padron, but its proper appellation is
_Villa del Padron_, or the town of the patron saint; it having been,
according to the legend, the principal residence of Saint James during
his stay in Galicia.  By the Romans it was termed Iria Flavia.  It is a
flourishing little town, and carries on rather an extensive commerce,
some of its tiny barks occasionally finding their way across the Bay of
Biscay, and even so far as the Thames and London.

There is a curious anecdote connected with the skippers of Padron, which
can scarcely be considered as out of place here, as it relates to the
circulation of the Scriptures.  I was one day in the shop of my friend
the bookseller at Saint James, when a stout good-humoured-looking priest
entered.  He took up one of my Testaments, and forthwith burst into a
violent fit of laughter.  “What is the matter?” demanded the bookseller.
“The sight of this book reminds me of a circumstance,” replied the other.
“About twenty years ago, when the English first took it into their heads
to be very zealous in converting us Spaniards to their own way of
thinking, they distributed a great number of books of this kind amongst
the Spaniards who chanced to be in London; some of them fell into the
hands of certain skippers of Padron, and these good folk, on their return
to Galicia, were observed to have become on a sudden exceedingly
opinionated and fond of dispute.  It was scarcely possible to make an
assertion in their hearing without receiving a flat contradiction,
especially when religious subjects were brought on the carpet. {393}  ‘It
is false,’ they would say; ‘Saint Paul, in such a chapter and in such a
verse, says exactly the contrary.’  ‘What can you know concerning what
Saint Paul or any other saint has written?’ the priests would ask them.
‘Much more than you think,’ they replied; ‘we are no longer to be kept in
darkness and ignorance respecting these matters:’ and then they would
produce their books and read paragraphs, making such comments that every
person was scandalized; they cared nothing about the Pope, and even spoke
with irreverence of the bones of Saint James.  However, the matter was
soon bruited about, and a commission was despatched from our see to
collect the books and burn them.  This was effected, and the skippers
were either punished or reprimanded, since which I have heard nothing
more of them.  I could not forbear laughing when I saw these books; they
instantly brought to my mind the skippers of Padron and their religious
disputations.”

Our next day’s journey brought us to Pontevedra.  As there was no talk of
robbers in these parts, we travelled without any escort and alone.  The
road was beautiful and picturesque, though somewhat solitary, especially
after we had left behind us the small town of Caldas.  There is more than
one place of this name in Spain: the one of which I am speaking is
distinguished from the rest by being called Caldas de los Reyes, {394} or
the warm baths of the kings.  It will not be amiss to observe that the
Spanish _Caldas_ is synonymous with the Moorish _Alhama_, a word of
frequent occurrence both in Spanish and African topography.  Caldas
seemed by no means undeserving of its name.  It stands on a confluence of
springs, and the place when we arrived was crowded with people who had
come to enjoy the benefit of the waters.  In the course of my travels I
have observed that wherever warm springs are found, vestiges of volcanoes
are sure to be nigh; the smooth black precipice, the divided mountain, or
huge rocks standing by themselves on the plain or on the hillside, as if
Titans had been playing at bowls.  This last feature occurs near Caldas
de los Reyes, the side of the mountain which overhangs it in the
direction of the south being covered with immense granite stones,
apparently at some ancient period eructed from the bowels of the earth.
From Caldas to Pontevedra the route was hilly and fatiguing, the heat was
intense, and those clouds of flies, which constitute one of the pests of
Galicia, annoyed our horses to such a degree that we were obliged to cut
down branches from the trees to protect their heads and necks from the
tormenting stings of these bloodthirsty insects.  Whilst travelling in
Galicia at this period of the year on horseback, it is always advisable
to carry a fine net for the protection of the animal, a sure and
commodious means of defence, which appears, however, to be utterly
unknown in Galicia, where, perhaps, it is more wanted than in any other
part of the world.

Pontevedra, upon the whole, is certainly entitled to the appellation of a
magnificent town, some of its public edifices, especially the convents,
being such as are nowhere to be found but in Spain and Italy.  It is
surrounded by a wall of hewn stone, and stands at the end of a creek into
which the river Levroz disembogues.  It is said to have been founded by a
colony of Greeks, whose captain was no less a personage than Teucer the
Telamonian.  It was in former times a place of considerable commerce; and
near its port are to be seen the ruins of a _farol_, or lighthouse, said
to be of great antiquity.  The port, however, is at a considerable
distance from the town, and is shallow and incommodious.  The whole
country in the neighbourhood of Pontevedra is inconceivably delicious,
abounding with fruits of every description, especially grapes, which in
the proper season are seen hanging from the _parras_ {395} in luscious
luxuriance.  An old Andalusian author has said that it produces as many
orange and citron trees as the neighbourhood of Cordova.  Its oranges
are, however, by no means good, and cannot compete with those of
Andalusia.  The Pontevedrans boast that their land produces two crops
every year, and that whilst they are gathering in one they may be seen
ploughing and sowing another.  They may well be proud of their country,
which is certainly a highly favoured spot.

The town itself is in a state of great decay, and, notwithstanding the
magnificence of its public edifices, we found more than the usual amount
of Galician filth and misery.  The _posada_ was one of the most wretched
description, and to mend the matter, the hostess was a most intolerable
scold and shrew.  Antonio having found fault with the quality of some
provision which she produced, she cursed him most immoderately in the
country language, which was the only one she spoke, and threatened, if he
attempted to breed any disturbance in her house, to turn the horses,
himself, and his master forthwith out of doors.  Socrates himself,
however, could not have conducted himself on this occasion with greater
forbearance than Antonio, who shrugged his shoulders, muttered something
in Greek, and then was silent.

“Where does the notary public live?” I demanded.  Now the notary public
vended books, and to this personage I was recommended by my friend at
Saint James.  A boy conducted me to the house of _Señor_ Garcia, for such
was his name.  I found him a brisk, active, talkative little man of
forty.  He undertook with great alacrity the sale of my Testaments, and
in a twinkling sold two to a client who was waiting in the office, and
appeared to be from the country.  He was an enthusiastic patriot, but of
course in a local sense, for he cared for no other country than
Pontevedra.

“Those fellows of Vigo,” said he, “say their town is a better one than
ours, and that it is more deserving to be the capital of this part of
Galicia.  Did you ever hear such folly?  I tell you what, friend, I
should not care if Vigo were burnt, and all the fools and rascals within
it.  Would you ever think of comparing Vigo with Pontevedra?”

“I don’t know,” I replied; “I have never been at Vigo, but I have heard
say that the bay of Vigo is the finest in the world.”

“Bay! my good sir; bay.  Yes, the rascals have a bay, and it is that bay
of theirs which has robbed us of all our commerce.  But what needs the
capital of a district with a bay?  It is public edifices that it wants,
where the provincial deputies can meet to transact their business; now,
so far from there being a commodious public edifice, there is not a
decent house in all Vigo.  Bay! yes, they have a bay, but have they water
fit to drink?  Have they a fountain?  Yes, they have, and the water is so
brackish that it would burst the stomach of a horse.  I hope, my dear
sir, that you have not come all this distance to take the part of such a
gang of pirates as those of Vigo?”

“I am not come to take their part,” I replied; “indeed, I was not aware
that they wanted my assistance in this dispute.  I am merely carrying to
them the New Testament, of which they evidently stand in much need, if
they are such knaves and scoundrels as you represent them.”

“Represent them, my dear sir!  Does not the matter speak for itself?  Do
they not say that their town is better than ours, more fit to be the
capital of a district? _que disparate_! _que briboneria_!” {397}

“Is there a bookseller’s shop at Vigo?” I inquired.

“There was one,” he replied, “kept by an insane barber.  I am glad, for
your sake, that it is broken up, and the fellow vanished.  He would have
played you one of two tricks; he would either have cut your throat with
his razor, under pretence of shaving you, or have taken your books and
never have accounted to you for the proceeds.  Bay!  I never could see
what right such an owl’s nest as Vigo has to a bay!”

No person could exhibit greater kindness to another than did the notary
public to myself, as soon as I had convinced him that I had no intention
of siding with the men of Vigo against Pontevedra.  It was now six
o’clock in the evening, and he forthwith conducted me to a confectioner’s
shop, where he treated me with an iced cream and a small cup of
chocolate.  From hence we walked about the city, the notary showing the
various edifices, especially the Convent of the Jesuits.  “See that
front,” said he; “what do you think of it?”

I expressed to him the admiration which I really felt, and by so doing
entirely won the good notary’s heart.  “I suppose there is nothing like
that at Vigo?” said I.  He looked at me for a moment, winked, gave a
short triumphant chuckle, and then proceeded on his way, walking at a
tremendous rate.  The _Señor_ Garcia was dressed in all respects as an
English notary might be; he wore a white hat, brown frock coat, drab
breeches buttoned at the knees, white stockings, and well blacked shoes.
But I never saw an English notary walk so fast: it could scarcely be
called walking; it seemed more like a succession of galvanic leaps and
bounds.  I found it impossible to keep up with him.  “Where are you
conducting me?” I at last demanded, quite breathless.

“To the house of the cleverest man in Spain,” he replied, “to whom I
intend to introduce you; for you must not think that Pontevedra has
nothing to boast of but its splendid edifices and its beautiful country;
it produces more illustrious minds than any other town in Spain.  Did you
ever hear of the grand Tamerlane?”

“Oh yes,” said I; “but he did not come from Pontevedra or its
neighbourhood: he came from the steppes of Tartary, near the river Oxus.”

“I know he did,” replied the notary, “but what I mean to say is, that
when Enrique the Third wanted an ambassador to send to that African, the
only man he could find suited to the enterprise was a knight of
Pontevedra, Don --- by name. {399}  Let the men of Vigo contradict that
fact if they can.”

We entered a large portal and ascended a splendid staircase, at the top
of which the notary knocked at a small door.  “Who is the gentleman to
whom you are about to introduce me?” demanded I.

“It is the Advocate ---,” replied Garcia; “he is the cleverest man in
Spain, and understands all languages and sciences.”

We were admitted by a respectable-looking female, to all appearance a
housekeeper, who, on being questioned, informed us that the Advocate was
at home, and forthwith conducted us to an immense room, or rather
library, the walls being covered with books, except in two or three
places where hung some fine pictures of the ancient Spanish school.
There was a rich mellow light in the apartment, streaming through a
window of stained glass, which looked to the west.  Behind the table sat
the Advocate, on whom I looked with no little interest.  His forehead was
high and wrinkled, and there was much gravity on his features, which were
quite Spanish.  He was dressed in a long robe, and might be about sixty.
He sat reading behind a large table, and on our entrance half raised
himself, and bowed slightly.

The notary public saluted him most profoundly, and, in an under-voice,
hoped that he might be permitted to introduce a friend of his, an English
gentleman, who was travelling through Galicia.

“I am very glad to see him,” said the Advocate, “but I hope he speaks
Castilian, else we can have but little communication; for, although I can
read both French and Latin, I cannot speak them.”

“He speaks, sir, almost as good Spanish,” said the notary, “as a native
of Pontevedra.”

“The natives of Pontevedra,” I replied, “appear to be better versed in
Gallegan than in Castilian, for the greater part of the conversation
which I hear in the streets is carried on in the former dialect.”

“The last gentleman whom my friend Garcia introduced to me,” said the
Advocate, “was a Portuguese, who spoke little or no Spanish.  It is said
that the Gallegan and Portuguese are very similar, but when we attempted
to converse in the two languages, we found it impossible.  I understood
little of what he said, whilst my Gallegan was quite unintelligible to
him.  Can you understand our country dialect?” he continued.

“Very little of it,” I replied; “which I believe chiefly proceeds from
the peculiar accent and uncouth enunciation of the Gallegans, for their
language is certainly almost entirely composed of Spanish and Portuguese
words.”

“So you are an Englishman,” said the Advocate.  “Your countrymen have
committed much damage in times past in these regions, if we may trust our
histories.”

“Yes,” said I, “they sank your galleons, and burnt your finest men-of-war
in Vigo Bay, and, under old Cobham, {401a} levied a contribution of forty
thousand pounds sterling on this very town of Pontevedra.”

“Any foreign power,” interrupted the notary public, “has a clear right to
attack Vigo, but I cannot conceive what plea your countrymen could urge
for distressing Pontevedra, which is a respectable town, and could never
have offended them.”

“_Señor_ Cavalier,” said the Advocate, “I will show you my library.  Here
is a curious work, a collection of poems, written mostly in Gallegan, by
the curate of Fruime. {401b}  He is our national poet, and we are very
proud of him.”

We stopped upwards of an hour with the Advocate, whose conversation, if
it did not convince me that he was the cleverest man in Spain, was, upon
the whole, highly interesting, and who certainly possessed an extensive
store of general information, though he was by no means the profound
philologist which the notary had represented him to be.

When I was about to depart from Pontevedra in the afternoon of the next
day, the _Señor_ Garcia stood by the side of my horse, and, having
embraced me, thrust a small pamphlet into my hand.  “This book,” said he,
“contains a description of Pontevedra.  Wherever you go, speak well of
Pontevedra.”  I nodded.  “Stay,” said he, “my dear friend, I have heard
of your society, and will do my best to further its views.  I am quite
disinterested, but if at any future time you should have an opportunity
of speaking in print of _Señor_ Garcia, the notary public of
Pontevedra—you understand me—I wish you would do so.”

“I will,” said I.

It was a pleasant afternoon’s ride from Pontevedra to Vigo, the distance
being only four leagues.  As we approached the latter town, the country
became exceedingly mountainous, though scarcely anything could exceed the
beauty of the surrounding scenery.  The sides of the hills were for the
most part clothed with luxuriant forests, even to the very summits,
though occasionally a flinty and naked peak would present itself, rising
to the clouds.  As the evening came on the route along which we advanced
became very gloomy, the hills and forests enwrapping it in deep shade.
It appeared, however, to be well frequented: numerous cars were creaking
along it, and both horsemen and pedestrians were continually passing us.
The villages were frequent.  Vines, supported on _parras_, were growing,
if possible, in still greater abundance than in the neighbourhood of
Pontevedra.  Life and activity seemed to pervade everything.  The hum of
insects, the cheerful bark of dogs, the rude songs of Galicia, were
blended together in pleasant symphony.  So delicious was my ride that I
almost regretted when we entered the gate of Vigo.

The town occupies the lower part of a lofty hill, which, as it ascends,
becomes extremely steep and precipitous, and the top of which is crowned
with a strong fort or castle.  It is a small compact place, surrounded
with low walls; the streets are narrow, steep, and winding, and in the
middle of the town is a small square.

There is rather an extensive _faubourg_ extending along the shore of the
bay.  We found an excellent _posada_, kept by a man and woman from the
Basque provinces, who were both civil and intelligent.  The town seemed
to be crowded, and resounded with noise and merriment.  The people were
making a wretched attempt at an illumination, in consequence of some
victory lately gained, or pretended to have been gained, over the forces
of the Pretender.  Military uniforms were glancing about in every
direction.  To increase the bustle, a troop of Portuguese players had
lately arrived from Oporto, and their first representation was to take
place this evening.  “Is the play to be performed in Spanish?” I
demanded.  “No,” was the reply; “and on that account every person is so
eager to go, which would not be the case if it were in a language which
they could understand.”

On the morning of the next day I was seated at breakfast in a large
apartment which looked out upon the _Plaza Mayor_, or great square of the
good town of Vigo.  The sun was shining very brilliantly, and all around
looked lively and gay.  Presently a stranger entered, and, bowing
profoundly, stationed himself at the window, where he remained a
considerable time in silence.  He was a man of very remarkable
appearance, of about thirty-five.  His features were of perfect symmetry,
and I may almost say of perfect beauty.  His hair was the darkest I had
ever seen, glossy and shining; his eyes large, black, and melancholy; but
that which most struck me was his complexion.  It might be called olive,
it is true, but it was a livid olive.  He was dressed in the very first
style of French fashion.  Around his neck was a massive gold chain, while
upon his fingers were large rings, in one of which was set a magnificent
ruby.  Who can that man be? thought I—Spaniard or Portuguese; perhaps a
Creole.  I asked him an indifferent question in Spanish, to which he
forthwith replied in that language, but his accent convinced me that he
was neither Spaniard nor Portuguese.

“I presume I am speaking to an Englishman, sir,” said he, in as good
English as it was possible for one not an Englishman to speak.

_Myself_.—You know me to be an Englishman; but I should find some
difficulty in guessing to what country you belong.

_Stranger_.—May I take a seat?

_Myself_.—A singular question.  Have you not as much right to sit in the
public apartment of an inn as myself?

_Stranger_.—I am not certain of that.  The people here are not in general
very gratified at seeing me seated by their side.

_Myself_.—Perhaps owing to your political opinions, or to some crime
which it may have been your misfortune to commit.

_Stranger_.—I have no political opinions, and I am not aware that I ever
committed any particular crime.  I am hated for my country and my
religion.

_Myself_.—Perhaps I am speaking to a Protestant, like myself?

_Stranger_.—I am no Protestant.  If I were, they would be cautious here
of showing their dislike, for I should then have a government and a
consul to protect me.  I am a Jew—a Barbary Jew, a subject of
Abderrahman.

_Myself_.—If that be the case, you can scarcely complain of being looked
upon with dislike in this country, since in Barbary the Jews are slaves.

_Stranger_.—In most parts, I grant you, but not where I was born, which
was far up the country, near the deserts.  There the Jews are free, and
are feared, and are as valiant men as the Moslems themselves; as able to
tame the steed, or to fire the gun.  The Jews of our tribe are not
slaves, and I like not to be treated as a slave either by Christian or
Moor.

_Myself_.—Your history must be a curious one; I would fain hear it.

_Stranger_.—My history I shall tell to no one.  I have travelled much, I
have been in commerce, and have thriven.  I am at present established in
Portugal, but I love not the people of Catholic countries, and least of
all these of Spain.  I have lately experienced the most shameful
injustice in the _Aduana_ of this town, and when I complained, they
laughed at me, and called me Jew.  Wherever he turns, the Jew is reviled,
save in your country, and on that account my blood always warms when I
see an Englishman.  You are a stranger here.  Can I do aught for you?
You may command me.

_Myself_.—I thank you heartily, but I am in need of no assistance.

_Stranger_.—Have you any bills?  I will accept them if you have.

_Myself_.—I have no need of assistance; but you may do me a favour by
accepting of a book.

_Stranger_.—I will receive it with thanks.  I know what it is.  What a
singular people!  The same dress, the same look, the same book.  Pelham
gave me one in Egypt.  Farewell!  Your Jesus was a good man, perhaps a
prophet; but . . . farewell!

Well may the people of Pontevedra envy the natives of Vigo their bay,
with which, in many respects, none other in the world can compare.  On
every side it is defended by steep and sublime hills, save on the part of
the west, where is the outlet to the Atlantic; but in the midst of this
outlet, up towers a huge rocky wall, or island, which breaks the swell,
and prevents the billows of the western sea from pouring through in full
violence.  On either side of this island is a passage, so broad that
navies might pass through at all times in safety.  The bay itself is
oblong, running far into the land, and so capacious that a thousand sail
of the line might ride in it uncrowded.  The waters are dark, still, and
deep, without quicksands or shallows, so that the proudest man-of-war
might lie within a stone’s throw of the town ramparts without any fear of
injuring her keel.

Of many a strange event, and of many a mighty preparation, has this bay
been the scene.  It was here that the bulky dragons of the grand Armada
were mustered; and it was from hence that, fraught with the pomp, power,
and terror of Old Spain, the monster fleet, spreading its enormous sails
to the wind, and bent on the ruin of the Lutheran isle, proudly
steered;—that fleet, to build and man which half the forests of Galicia
had been felled, and all the mariners impressed from the thousand bays
and creeks of the stern Cantabrian shore.  It was here that the united
flags of Holland and England triumphed over the pride of Spain and
France; when the burning timbers of exploded war-ships soared above the
tops of the Gallegan hills, and blazing galleons sank with their
treasure-chests whilst drifting in the direction of Sampayo.  It was on
the shores of this bay that the English guards first emptied Spanish
_bodegas_, whilst the bombs of Cobham were crushing the roofs of the
castle of Castro, and the _vecinos_ of Pontevedra buried their doubloons
in cellars, and flying posts were conveying to Lugo and Orense the news
of the heretic invasion and the disaster of Vigo.  All these events
occurred to my mind as I stood far up the hill, at a short distance from
the fort, surveying the bay.

“What are you doing there, Cavalier?” roared several voices.  “Stay,
_Carracho_! if you attempt to run we will shoot you!”  I looked round and
saw three or four fellows in dirty uniforms, to all appearance soldiers,
just above me, on a winding path, which led up the hill.  Their muskets
were pointed at me.  “What am I doing?  Nothing, as you see,” said I,
“save looking at the bay; and as for running, this is by no means ground
for a course.”  “You are our prisoner,” said they, “and you must come
with us to the fort.”  “I was just thinking of going there,” I replied,
“before you thus kindly invited me.  The fort is the very spot I was
desirous of seeing.”  I thereupon climbed up to the place where they
stood, when they instantly surrounded me, and with this escort I was
marched into the fort, which might have been a strong place in its time,
but was now rather ruinous.  “You are suspected of being a spy,” said the
corporal, who walked in front.  “Indeed?” said I.  “Yes,” replied the
corporal, “and several spies have lately been taken and shot.”

Upon one of the parapets of the fort stood a young man, dressed as a
subaltern officer, and to this personage I was introduced.  “We have been
watching you this half-hour,” said he, “as you were taking observations.”
“Then you gave yourselves much useless trouble,” said I.  “I am an
Englishman, and was merely looking at the bay.  Have the kindness now to
show me the fort.” . . .

After some conversation, he said, “I wish to be civil to people of your
nation; you may therefore consider yourself at liberty.”  I bowed, made
my exit, and proceeded down the hill.  Just before I entered the town,
however, the corporal, who had followed me unperceived, tapped me on the
shoulder.  “You must go with me to the governor,” said he.  “With all my
heart,” I replied.  The governor was shaving when we were shown up to
him.  He was in his shirt-sleeves, and held a razor in his hand.  He
looked very ill-natured, which was perhaps owing to his being thus
interrupted in his toilet.  He asked me two or three questions, and on
learning that I had a passport, and was the bearer of a letter to the
English consul, he told me that I was at liberty to depart.  So I bowed
to the governor of the town, as I had done to the governor of the fort,
and making my exit, proceeded to my inn.

At Vigo I accomplished but little in the way of distribution, and, after
a sojourn of a few days, I returned in the direction of Saint James.



APPENDIX.


THE JEWS IN LISBON.
_Chap. v. p._ 67.


In the early editions this chapter ended as follows:—

I found them a vile, infamous rabble, about two hundred in number.  With
a few exceptions, they consist of _escapados_ from the Barbary shore,
from Tetuan, from Tangier, but principally from Mogadore; fellows who
have fled to a foreign land from the punishment due to their misdeeds.
Their manner of life in Lisbon is worthy of such a goodly assemblage of
_amis réunis_.  The generality of them pretend to work in gold and
silver, and keep small peddling shops; they, however, principally depend
for their livelihood on an extensive traffic in stolen goods which they
carry on.  It is said that there is honour among thieves, but this is
certainly not the case with the Jews of Lisbon, for they are so greedy
and avaricious, that they are constantly quarrelling about their
ill-gotten gain, the result being that they frequently ruin each other.
Their mutual jealousy is truly extraordinary.  If one, by cheating and
roguery, gains a _cruzado_ in the presence of another, the latter
instantly says, “I cry halves,” and if the first refuse he is instantly
threatened with an information.  The manner in which they cheat each
other has, with all its infamy, occasionally something extremely droll
and ludicrous.  I was one day in the shop of a _Swiri_, or Jew of
Mogadore, when a Jew from Gibraltar entered, with a Portuguese female,
who held in her hand a mantle, richly embroidered with gold.

_Gibraltar Jew_ (speaking in broken Arabic).—Good day, O _Swiri_; God has
favoured me this day; here is a bargain by which we shall both gain.  I
have bought this mantle of the woman almost for nothing, for it is
stolen; but I am poor, as you know, I have not a _cruzado_; pay her
therefore the price, that we may then forthwith sell the mantle and
divide the gain.

_Swiri_.—Willingly, brother of Gibraltar; I will pay the woman for the
mantle; it does not appear a bad one.

Thereupon he flung two _cruzados_ to the woman, who forthwith left the
shop.

_Gibraltar Jew_.—Thanks, brother _Swiri_; this is very kind of you.  Now
let us go and sell the mantle, the gold alone is well worth a _moidore_.
But I am poor, and have nothing to eat; give me, therefore, the half of
that sum and keep the mantle; I shall be content.

_Swiri_.—May Allah blot out your name, you thief!  What mean you by
asking me for money?  I bought the mantle of the woman and paid for it.
I know nothing of you.  Go out of my doors, dog of a Nazarene; if not, I
will pay you with a kick.

The dispute was referred to one of the _sabios_, or priests; but the
_sabio_, who was also from Mogadore, at once took the part of the
_Swiri_, and decided that the other should have nothing.  Whereupon the
Gibraltar Jew cursed the _sabio_, his father, mother, and all his family.
The _sabio_ replied, “I put you in _nduis_,”—a kind of purgatory or hell.
“I put you in seven _nduis_,” retorted the incensed Jew, over whom,
however, superstitious fear speedily prevailed; he faltered, became pale,
and dropping his voice, retreated, trembling in every limb.

The Jews have two synagogues in Lisbon, both are small; one is, however,
tolerably well furnished, it has its reading-desk, and in the middle
there is a rather handsome chandelier; the other is little better than a
sty, filthy to a degree, without ornament of any kind.  The congregation
of this last are thieves to a man; no Jew of the slightest respectability
ever enters it.

How well do superstition and crime go hand in hand!  These wretched
beings break the eternal commandments of their Maker without scruple; but
they will not partake of the beast of the uncloven foot, and the fish
which has no scales.  They pay no regard to the denunciations of holy
prophets against the children of sin, but they quake at the sound of a
dark cabalistic word pronounced by one perhaps their equal or superior in
villainy; as if God would delegate the exercise of his power to the
workers of iniquity.

I was one day sauntering along the _Caesodré_, when a Jew, with whom I
had previously exchanged a word or two, came up and addressed me.

_Jew_.—The blessing of God upon you, brother; I know you to be a wise and
powerful man, and I have conceived much regard for you; it is on that
account that I wish to put you in the way of gaining much money.  Come
with me, and I will conduct you to a place where there are forty chests
of tea.  It is a _sereka_, and the thieves are willing to dispose of it
for a trifle; for there is search being made, and they are in much fear.
I can raise one-half of what they demand, do you supply the other, we
will then divide it, each shall go his own way and dispose of his
portion.

_Myself_.—Wherefore, O son of Arbat, do you propose this to me, who am a
stranger?  Surely you are mad.  Have you not your own people about you
whom you know, and in whom you can confide?

_Jew_.—It is because I know our people here that I do not confide in
them; we are in the _galoot_ of sin.  Were I to confide in my brethren
there would be a dispute, and perhaps they would rob me, and few of them
have any money.  Were I to apply to the _sabio_ he might consent, but
when I ask for my portion he would put me in _ndui_.  You I do not fear;
you are good, and would do me no harm, unless I attempted to deceive you,
and that I dare not do, for I know you are powerful.  Come with me,
master, for I wish to gain something, that I may return to Arbat, where I
have children. . . .

Such are Jews in Lisbon.

                                * * * * *

                              END OF VOL. I.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

           LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
                    STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.



Footnotes


{0a}  “Om Frands Gonzales, og Rodrik Cid,
End siunges i Sierra Murene!”

_Krönike Riim_.  By Severin Grundtvig.  Copenhagen, 1829.

{0b}  See Burke’s _History of Spain_, vol. i. p. 182, and vol. ii. pp.
87–95, 105.

{0c}  He reigned July—September, 1506.

{0d}  Known as _los fueros_.  See Duncan, _The English in Spain_, p. 163.

{0e}  Graydon was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, who, finding himself
unemployed at Gibraltar in 1835, undertook the distribution of the
Scriptures, and continued the work until 1840.

{0f}  William Harris Rule, a Wesleyan minister, was born at Penryn,
Cornwall, in November, 1802, educated at first for an artist, was called
to the ministry in 1826, and proceeded as a Wesleyan missionary to Malta,
making afterwards many voyages to the West Indies, until he was ordered
to Gibraltar, where he arrived in February, 1832.  See Rule, _Mission to
Gibraltar and Spain_ (1844); _Recollections of my Life and Work_ (1886).

{0g}  Of Mr. Lyon I can learn nothing of any interest.

{0h}  Don Luis de Usoz y Rio was born at Madrid of noble parents in May,
1805.  A pupil of the well-known Cardinal Mezzofanti, he was appointed,
while yet a very young man, to the Chair of Hebrew at Valladolid.  In
1839 he made the acquaintance in England of Benjamin Wiffen, the Quaker,
so well known in connexion with Protestant literature and the slavery
question in Spain; and after helping Borrow in his endeavour to circulate
the Scriptures, and having accumulated an immense library of religious
books, some of which were bequeathed to Wiffen, some to the British and
Foreign Bible Society, and some to the great library at Madrid, he died
in August, 1865.  See the works of Wiffen and Boehmer; Menendez Pelayo,
_Heterodoxos Españoles_, lib. viii. cap. 2; and finally Mayor, _Spain_,
_Portugal_, _and the Bible_ (London, 1892).

{2}  Chili in 1810–1818; Paraguay in 1811–1814; La Plata in 1810–1816;
Mexico in 1810–1821; Peru and Bolivia not until 1824.

{3}  The Duc de Berri was the second son of the Comte d’Artois, and as
his elder brother, the Duc d’Angoulême, was childless, he was practically
heir to the crown of France, and his assassination in 1820 had a most
disastrous effect upon the royalist fortunes in that country.  The son
that was born to his wife some months after his death was the Duc de
Bordeaux, better known in our own times as the Comte de Chambord, “Henri
V.”

{4a}  She was proclaimed in 1833; again on attaining her majority in
1843; and was formally deposed in 1868.  She still (1895) lives in Paris.

{4b}  Queen Christina soon afterwards married her paramour, Ferdinand
Muñoz, created Duke of Rianzares.

{4c}  It was a curious coincidence that Don Carlos, Pretender in Spain,
and Dom Miguel, Pretender in Portugal, should have left Lisbon on the
same day in an English ship.

{7a}  See Duncan, _The English in Spain_, p. 26.

{8}  In the words of an ancient chronicler, “Tuvose por muy cierto, que
le fueron dadas yerbas” (Zurita, _Anales de Aragon_, lib. xviii. cap. 7).

{14a}  Villages between Madrid and Toledo.

{1}  Mendizabal had become Premier and Minister of Finance in September,
and the new Cortes was opened at Madrid by a speech from the throne on
November 16.

{3a}  _Bethlehem_.  The church was founded on the spot where Vasco da
Gama embarked for his memorable voyage, July 8, 1497.

{3b}  More correctly _Caes do Sodré_, now the _Praça dos Romulares_.

{3c}  Sir Charles Napier (1786–1860) defeated and destroyed the Miguelite
squadron off Cape St. Vincent on July 3, 1833.

{5}  One of the peculiarities of Lisbon is the number and variety of the
names borne by the same street or square.  This noble square, nearly 600
feet long by 500 wide, is, as may be supposed, no longer known by the
name of the detested Inquisition, but is officially designated _Praça do
Commercio_; it is invariably spoken of by the Portuguese inhabitants as
the _Terreiro do Paço_, and by the English as Blackhorse Square, from the
fine equestrian statue of King José I., erected in 1775.

{6a}  Henry Fielding, born 1707, died at Lisbon, 1754.

{6b}  Dr. Philip Doddridge, born 1702, died at Lisbon, 1751.

{7b}  Cintra is an agglomeration of beauties, natural and architectural,
and is full of historic and antiquarian interest.  The greater part of
the buildings are Moorish; but, unlike the Alhambra in Spain, it has been
the abode of Christian kings ever since the expulsion of the Moslems in
the twelfth century, and the palace especially is to-day a singular and
most beautiful mixture of Moorish and Christian architecture.

{8a}  Tivoli (_Tibur_) is eighteen miles north-east of Rome.

{8b}  Born 1554, succeeded to the throne 1557, killed in battle in Africa
in 1578.

{9a}  Alcazar-Kebir al-Araish, near Tangier or Larache, in Morocco.

{9b}  João or John de Castro, the _Castro forte_ of Camoens, second only
to Vasco da Gama, among the great Portuguese discoverers and warriors of
the sixteenth century, was born in 1500, appointed governor-general of
the Portuguese Indies in 1546, and died in 1548.  After a deadly battle
with the Moslems near Goa, in which his son Ferdinand was killed, he
pledged the hairs of the moustache and beard of his dead son to provide
funds, not to defend, but to re-fortify the city of Goa.  The money was
cheerfully provided on this slender security, and punctually repaid by
the borrower.

{9c}  William Beckford of Fonthill, the author of _Vathek_.  His _Quinta
de Montserrat_, with perhaps the most beautiful gardens in Europe, lies
about three miles from the palace at Cintra, and is now in the possession
of Sir Francis Cook, Bart., better known by his Portuguese title of
Visconde de Montserrat.

{11}  A version of the entire Scriptures from the Vulgate was published
in twenty-three volumes 12mo at Lisbon, 1781–83 by Dr. Antonio Pereira de
Figueiredo.  This was re-edited and published at Lisbon, 1794–1819.  An
earlier version was that of Almeida, a Portuguese missionary in Ceylon,
who became a convert to Protestantism at the close of the seventeenth
century.  (See note on p. 98.)

{12}  If Cintra is the Alhambra of Portugal, Mafra is the Escurial.  The
famous convent was, moreover, founded by John V. in fulfilment of a vow.
The building was commenced in 1717, and the church consecrated only in
1730.

{14b}  He was killed in June, 1835.  (See Introduction.)

{16}  _Alem_, “beyond;” _Tejo_, the river Tagus.

{18}  “I, who am a smuggler.”  The Spanish version, “_Yo que soy_,” etc.,
is more familiar, and more harmonious.

{19}  “When the king arrived.”

{25a}  So spelt by Borrow, but the correct Portuguese form is _Dom_.

{25b}  Rabbits were so numerous in the south of the Peninsula in
Carthaginian and Roman times, that they are even said to have given their
name (_Phœn._ “Pahan”) to Hispania.  Strabo certainly speaks of their
number, and of the mode of destroying them with ferrets, and the rabbit
is one of the commonest of the early devices of Spain (see Burke’s
_History of Spain_, chap. ii.).

{28}  May 26, 1834.

{29}  The ballad of Svend Vonved, translated from the original Danish,
was included by Borrow in his collection of _Romantic Ballads_, a thin
demy 8vo volume of 187 pages—now very rare—published by John Taylor in
1826.  The lines there read as follows:—

    “A wild swine sat on his shoulders broad,
    Upon his bosom a black bear snor’d.”

The original ballad may be found in the _Kjæmpe Viser_, and was
translated into German by Grimm, who expressed the greatest admiration
for the poem.  Svend in Danish means “swain” or “youth,” and it is
characteristic of Borrow’s mystification of proper names that he should,
by a quasi-translation and archaic spelling, give the title of the Danish
ballad the appearance of an actual English surname.

{33a}  The Spanish _Seo_ = a cathedral.

{33b}  _Serra_ is the Portuguese form of the Spanish _Sierra_ = a saw.

{35}  The barbarous seaman’s English transliteration of _Setubal_, the
town of Tubal, a word which perpetuates one of the most ancient legends
of Spanish antiquity (see Genesis x. 2, and Burke’s _History of Spain_,
chap. i.).

{38}  1554–1578 (see note on p. 8).

{39}  “The Fashion or ordering of the Chapel of the most illustrious and
Christian prince, Henry VI. King of England and France, and lord of
Ireland, described for the most serene prince, Alfonso the illustrious
King of Portugal [Alfonso V., ‘The African’] by his humble servant
William Sav., Dean of the aforesaid chapel.”  This was William Saye of
New College, Oxford, who was Proctor of the University in 1441, and
afterwards D.D. and Dean of the Cathedral of St. Paul, and of the Chapel
of Henry VI.  (See Gutch, _Appendix to Woods Fasti Oxonienses_, p. 48).

{41}  Portuguese _oração_ or _oraçam_—a prayer.

{44}  This, the correct Portuguese form, is that generally used in
English, though the Spanish _auto-de-fé_ is often referred to.

{47}  _Alecrim_ is usually supposed to be a word of Arab origin.  The
Spanish for rosemary is, however, quite different, _romero_.  The Goths
and Vandals have, it may be noticed in passing, scarcely enriched the
modern vocabulary of the Peninsula by a single word.  (See the Glossary.)

{50}  The modern form of “_Hymne Marseillaise_” is less correct.  Hymns
of the kind are masculine in French; those that are sung in churches only
are feminine!

{55}  Spanish _hidalgo_.

{57}  “Surrender, scoundrel, surrender!”

{59a}  The Portuguese form.

{59b}  The missing word would seem to be “Catholics.”  Borrow was fond of
such, apparently meaningless, mystery.

{66}  Toreno (1786–1843), a statesman and historian, thrice banished on
account of his liberal opinions, died in exile in Paris.  His friend
Martinez de la Rosa (1789–1862), who experienced a somewhat similar fate,
was the author of some dramas and a satire entitled _El Cementerio de
Monco_.  See Kennedy, _Modern Poets and Poetry of Spain_, p. 169.
Toreno’s historical works have been translated into French.

{67a}  When the Jews were banished from Spain by the Catholic sovereign
in 1492, they were received into Portugal by the more liberal John II.,
on payment of a tax or duty of eight _cruzados_.  Armourers and smiths
paid four _cruzados_ only.  Before the marriage of his cousin, King
Emmanuel, with the widowed Princess Isabella in 1497, the Jews were
subject to renewed persecution in Portugal by arrangement between
Isabella the Catholic and her son-in-law (see Burke’s _History of Spain_,
chaps, xlvi., xlix.).

{67b}  See Appendix to this volume.

{68}  A seaport town in North Africa, better known by the name of
Mogadore (see chap. lii.).

{69}  The name that may not be spoken; that is, Jehovah or _Yahweh_ (see
Glossary, _sub verb_.).

{70}  Strange anecdotes, however, are told, tending to prove that Jews of
the ancient race are yet to be found in Portugal: it is said that they
have been discovered under circumstances the most extraordinary.  I am
the more inclined to believe in their existence from certain strange
incidents connected with a certain race, which occurred within the sphere
of my own knowledge, and which will be related further on.—Note by
Borrow.

{75}  Portuguese _real_ = one-twentieth of an English penny.

{76}  The lines, which Borrow, quoting from memory, has not given quite
accurately, occur in the ballad of “The Cout of Keilder.”  They are,
according to the text in the edition of 1858, with “Life by Sir Walter
Scott”—

    “The hounds they howled and backward fled,
       As struck by Fairy charm” (stan. 16).

John Leyden, M.D., was born in 1775, near Hawick, and died in Java in
1811, after an adventurous and varied life.  His ballad of Lord Soulis is
of the same character as that so highly praised by Borrow.

{81}  The place of the brooks, or water-courses.  Sp. _arroyo_ = brook.

{83}  The first Lusitanians of whom we have any record or tradition were
almost certainly Celts.

{85}  May you go with God; _i.e._ God be with you; good-bye.

{89}  The modern Portuguese _vossem_ or _vossé_ has degenerated into a
mode of address to inferiors, and not having any such vocable as the
Spanish Vd nor using the second person plural in ordinary address, as in
French and English, the Portuguese is forced to turn every sentence, “Is
the gentleman’s health good?”  “Will Mr. Continho pass the mustard?”  “If
Mr. Borrow smokes, will he accept this cigar?”  In familiar speech the
second person singular is universally used.

{90}  _Castellano afrancesado Diablo condenado_.  The proverb is of very
general application.

{96}  During the Peninsular war, Badajoz was besieged by the French in
1808 and in 1809, and again in 1811, when it surrendered, March 11, to
Soult.  It was thrice besieged by Wellington; first on April 20, 1811;
next in May and June of the same year; and thirdly, in the spring of
1812, when he captured the city by storm, on the night of April 6, after
a murderous contest, and a loss, during the twenty days’ siege, of 72
officers and 963 men killed, and 306 officers and 3483 men wounded.  The
province of Badajoz has an area of 8687 square miles, and a population of
(1884) 457,365.

{98}  See note on p. 11.  It is uncertain where the missionary Joao
Ferreira d’Almeida made this translation; probably in Ceylon.  The place
and date of his death are equally uncertain.  His translation, revised by
more than one Dutch scholar, was finally printed in 1712 at Amsterdam, at
the cost of the Dutch East India Company.  When the British and Foreign
Bible Society first undertook the publication of the Bible in Portuguese
in the years 1809–1810, this version of Almeida was selected; but the
objections made to its accuracy were so numerous that in 1818, and again
in 1821, a reprint of Pereira’s translation was adopted in its place.

{99}  This was indeed treason, when the “1811’s” were in their prime, and
the “1834’s” were already maturing.  But ordinary port wine, as made up
for the English market, was rather filthy, and as remade up by the grocer
or small wine merchant in England, resembled blacking rather than the
juice of the grape.

{100}  This is certainly not true now.  Perhaps, if Borrow’s explanation
is the true one, in that we have not of late “roughly handled” our
jealous neighbours, Sebastopol and Pekin and excuses for being in Egypt
have dulled the friendly feelings generated by Vitoria and Waterloo!

{102a}  “Charity, Sir Cavalier, for the love of God, bestow an alms upon
me, that I may purchase a mouthful of red wine.”

{102b}  “St. James and close Spain!”  The battle-cry of Castilian
chivalry for a thousand years.

{102c}  Every one who has gone from Portugal into Spain must understand
and sympathize with Borrow’s feelings.  I have even felt something of the
same expansion in South America, when the Brazilian gave place to the
Argentine.  I have no doubt that the language has a great deal to say to
it.

{103a}  In _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. i., the date is given as January
6, 1836.

{103b}  They are as old as the ancient Celtiberian times, and are
mentioned as σάγοι in a treaty, over 150 years B.C., by Appian, in his
_Iberica_.

{104}  I suppose Portugal, Spain, and England.

{105a}  See _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. i.

{105b}  For the meaning of this and other gypsy words, see the Glossary.

{106a}  See _The Zincali_, part i. chap. vii., part ii. chap. vi.,
_Romano Lavo-Lil_, p. 244.

{106b}  See _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. vi.

{108}  _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. i.

{110}  “I do not understand.”

{112}  Spirit of the old man.

{114a}  Deceived.  An English termination added to a Spanish termination
of a Romany word, _jonjabar_, _q.v._ in Glossary.

{114b}  _El crallis ha nicobado la liri de los Calés_.  (See _The
Zincali_ part ii. chap. i.)

{115}  “Doing business, doing business; he has much business to do.”

{116}  “We have the horse.”

{118}  See _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. vi.

{120}  “Don’t trouble yourself,” “Don’t be afraid.”  See vol. ii. p. 2.
_Cuidao_ is Andalusian and Gitano for _cuidado_.

{122}  See _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. vi.

{123a}  Mother of the gypsies.

{123b}  See _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. vii.

{124}  See _The Zincali_, part ii. chap. vi. = _cauring_ in English
Romany.  _Romano Lavo-Lil_, p. 245.

{126}  “Say nothing to him, my lad; he is a hog of an _alguazil_.”

{127}  “At your service.”

{132}  “Who goes there?”  Fr. _Qui vive_?  The proper answer to the
challenge by a Spanish sentry is _España_, “Spain,” or _Piasano_, “a
civilian.”

{133a}  “Shut up;” “Hold your tongue.”

{133b}  Stealing a donkey.

{135}  See _The Zincali_, part i. ch. v.

{138a}  See Introduction.

{138b}  _El Serrador_, a Carlist partisan, who about this period was much
talked of in Spain.  Note by Borrow (see the Glossary, _s.v._).

{138c}  He is a man indeed; _lit._ very much a man.

{143}  On foot.

{146}  Estremadura was for long years a vast winter pasturage whither the
flocks from the Castiles were driven each successive autumn, to return to
their own cooler mountains on the return of summer.  The flocks were
divided into _cabañas_ of about 10,000 sheep, in charge of fifty
shepherds and fifty of their immense dogs.

{150a}  “All are taken.”

{150b}  No doubt Oropesa, where the Duke of Frias has an ancient and
somewhat dilapidated palace.

{152}  Las Batuecas is a valley in the south-west corner of the modern
province of Salamanca, four leagues from the city of that name, eight
leagues from Ciudad Rodrigo, and about six leagues from Bejar.  The
principal town or village in the remote valley itself was Alberca.  The
strange inhabitants of the valley of Batuecas are entirely legendary, as
is the story of their discovery by a page of the Duke of Alva in the
reign of Philip II.  See _Verdadera relacion de las Batuecas_, by Manuel
de Gonzalez (Madrid, 1693), Ponz, _Viaje_ vii. 201; Feijoo, _Teatro
Critico_, iv. 241, where the valley is compared with the equally mythical
island of Atlantis.

{153}  More commonly spelt ticking.

{154}  See _Lavengro_, chap. 1.

{156a}  The conventional diminutive of Pepa, which is itself the
diminutive of Josefa, as is Pepe of Josefe.

{156b}  This is, of course, a fancy name.  Borrow has chosen that of a
Spanish Jew, one of the great Rabbinical commentators.  See _The
Zincali_, part i. chap. ii.

{157a}  This concession to local prejudice is delightful.  But it must be
remembered that _barraganeria_ or recognized concubinage was approved by
Church and State in Spain for many hundred years.  See Burke’s _History
of Spain_, vol. i., Appendix ii.

{157b}  Ferdinand the Catholic and his wife Isabella.  Their systematic
persecution and banishment of the Jews—the edict was dated March 30,
1492—are well known.

{162}  The street of the Bramble.

{163}  See the Introduction, and Duncan, _The English in Spain_,
_passim_.

{164a}  Juan Alvarez y Mendizabal was a more or less Christianized Jew,
who began his career as a commissariat contractor to the national army on
the French invasion in 1808.  Born in 1790, he rendered important
services to Spain, until in 1823 he was compelled, like so many of his
liberal compatriots, to take refuge in England from the tyranny of
Ferdinand VII.  Abroad as well as at home, he displayed his great talent
for finance for the benefit of Spain, and returned in 1835 as Minister of
Finance in the Toreno Administration.  He resigned in 1837, was again
called to power in 1841, and died in 1853.

{164b}  The honourable George Villiers was our Minister at Madrid from
1833 to March, 1838, when, having succeeded to the title of his uncle as
Earl of Clarendon, he returned to England, where in course of time he
became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Foreign Minister.

{166a}  I have been so far unable to discover the name of this gentleman.

{166b}  Mendizabal, as has been said, was a Jew by race.

{168}  The word “cigarette” was not yet naturalized in England.  The
thing itself was practically unknown; even cigar was sometimes spelt
_segar_.

{169}  _Ojalateros_, criers of _ojala_; Arab. _Inshallah_, “if it please
God,” “would to God.”  _Pasteleros_, pastry-cooks, “wishers and dishers.”

{170a}  See the Glossary.

{170b}  “A gypsy matron without honour spoke to her man of blood.”

{170c}  These are not fanciful names.  Francisco Montes, who was born in
1805, was not only a celebrated _matador_, but the author of a work on
Tauromachia; he appeared in the ring for the last time in 1850, and died
in 1851.  _Sevilla_ was the name borne by many less distinguished
_toreadores_; Francisco Sevilla, the _picador_, who appeared for the last
time in 1838, is perhaps the man referred to.  _Poquito Pan_, or Bit of
Bread, was the Tauromachian nickname of Antonio Sanchez, one of the
favourite _picadores_ in the _cuadrilla_ or band of Montes.

{171}  A gallows-show.  Yet, as will be seen in the text, the gallows or
_furca_ itself is no longer used.

{172}  Peace, pity, and tranquillity.

{174a}  _Manolo_ is a somewhat difficult word to translate; it is applied
to the flash or fancy man and his _manola_ in Madrid only, a class fond
of pleasure, of fine clothes, of bull-fights, and of sunshine, with a
code of honour of their own; men and women rather picturesque than
exemplary, and eminently racy of the soil.

{174b}  In 1808.

{175}  At the last attack on Warsaw, when the loss of the Russians
amounted to upwards of twenty thousand men, the soldiery mounted the
breach, repeating, in measured chant, one of their popular songs, “Come,
let us cut the cabbage,” etc.—[Note by Borrow.]  See the Glossary, _s.v.
Mujik_.

{176}  “Another glass; come on, little Englishman, another glass.”

{177a}  See note on chap. x. p. 138.

{177b}  _Montero_ in Spanish means “a hunter;” and a _montero_ cap, which
every reader of Sterne is familiar with at least by name, is a cap,
generally of leather, such as was used by hunters in the Peninsula.

{177c}  Twelve ounces of bread, small pound, as given in the prison.
[Note by Borrow.]

{178}  According to the late Marquis de Santa Coloma, as reported by Mr.
Wentworth Webster (_Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society_, vol. i. p. 151),
“in Madrid Borrow used to ride a fine black Andalusian horse (_v. p_.
261), with a Russian skin for a saddle, and _without stirrups_.”  This
was, however, during his second visit, and _Don Jorge_ may have changed
his practice.  That he could ride without stirrups, or saddle either, is
certain (p. 308, and _Lavengro_, chap. xiii.).

{180a}  General Cordova had been entrusted from the beginning of the war
with high command in the queen’s armies.  He succeeded Valdez as
commander-in-chief immediately after the death of Zumalacarregui, at the
end of June, 1835, to the end of August, 1836, when he was succeeded by
Espartero.  See Duncan, _The English in Spain_, pp. 58, 72.

{180b}  See Introduction, and _Revue des Deux Mondes_, 15 fevrier, 1851.

{181a}  May, 1836.

{181b}  Don Francisco Xavier de Isturitz was born in 1790, and after
taking part in the various liberal governments from 1808 to 1823, was
forced to fly to England on the absolutist counter-revolution in that
year.  He returned to Spain on the amnesty in 1834, and on the fall of
his old friend Mendizabal in 1836, he became minister for foreign
affairs, and lived to negotiate the “Spanish marriages,” and to occupy
many high political and diplomatic posts under Isabella II.

{181c}  See Introduction, p. xxiii.

{183}  “He will do what you want for you: will gratify your fancy.”

{186}  “Stuff and nonsense.”

{187}  Charles III. of Spain (1759–1788).  See _The Zincali_, part i.
chap. xii.

{188}  “How goes it?”

{190}  Whether this episode of Benedict Mol has any foundation in fact I
cannot say.  I was on the point of starting for Compostella, where I
might have investigated the incident detailed, vol. ii. p. 183, and I had
actually paid for my ticket to Irun (May 2, 1895), when I was summoned to
a more distant shrine on the slopes of the Southern Pacific.

{191}  A _cuarto_, a trifle over an English farthing, being almost
exactly 4/34 of 2½_d._

{192}  “In short.”

{193a}  Borrow writes indifferently _Saint James_, _St. Jago_, and
_Santiago_.  The last is the correct Spanish form, while the English
usually speak of the place as Compostella.  It has been thought best to
retain the form used by the author in each case.

{193b}  Witch.  Ger. _Hexe_.—[Note by Borrow.]

{193c}  “Thanks be to God!”

{194}  See note on p. 340.

{196}  Señor Menendez Pelayo remarks that the government was too busy
with Carlists in the country and revolutionaries in the city to care very
much about Borrow or the Bible, and they therefore allowed him for the
moment to do pretty much as he pleased (_Heterodoxos Españoles_, tom.
iii. p. 662).

{197}  Or San Ildefonso.

{198}  This was August 14, 1836.

{199}  The General Post-office.

{204a}  Gypsy fellows.

{204b}  A compound of the modern Greek πέταλον, and the Sanscrit _kara_,
the literal meaning being _Lord_ of the horse-shoe (i.e. _maker_); it is
one of the private cognominations of “The Smiths,” an English gypsy
clan.—[Note by Borrow.]  See _The Zincali_, vol. i. p. 31; _Romano
Lavo-Lil_, p. 226, and the Glossary.

{206}  Of these lines the following translation, in the style of the old
English ballad, will, perhaps, not be unacceptable:—

    “What down the hill comes hurrying there?—
       With a hey, with a ho, a sword and a gun!
    Quesada’s bones, which a hound doth bear.
       Hurrah, brave brothers!—the work is done.”

—[Note by Borrow.]

{207a}  “One night I was with thee.”

{207b}  Don Rafael, son of D. Eugenio Antonio del Riego y Nuñez, whose
poems were published in 1844 by D. Miguel del Riego, Canon of Oviedo, was
born at Oviedo on the 24th October, 1785.  On the 1st January, 1820, he
began the revolt against Ferdinand VII. (see Introduction, p. xvi.), at
Las Cabezas de San Juan.  He was finally hanged at Madrid on the 7th
November, 1823.  _El Himno de Riego_, the Spanish _Marseillaise_, was
composed by Huerta in 1820, the words being written by Evariste
San-Miguel.

{207c}  “_Au revoir_, Sir George!”

{208}  1836.

{212a}  Dom José Agostinho Freire was minister of war to Dom Pedro, and
subsequently minister of the interior under the Duke of Terceira.  In
1836 he was murdered at Lisbon by the National Guard, while driving in
his carriage.

{212b}  The Carlist leader.  See Duncan, _The English in Spain_, p. 88.

{214}  Latin, _Bætis_ = the river afterwards named by the Arabs _Wady al
Kebir_, the _Guadalquivir_.

{215}  The vane, _porque gira_.  The modern tower is about 275 feet high.
See Girault de Prangey, _Essai sur l’Architecture des Maures et Arabes_
(1841), pp. 103–112.

{216a}  The largest and perhaps the grandest of the mediæval cathedrals,
not only of Spain, but of Europe.  It was commenced in 1403, and
completed about 1520.

{216b}  1350–1369.

{216c}  Triana, for long the Whitefriars or Alsatia of Seville, the
resort of thieves, gypsies, and _mala gente_ of every description.  See
_Zincali_, pt. ii. chap. ii.  The Arabic _Tarayana_ is said to perpetuate
the name of the Emperor Trajan, who was certainly born in the
neighbourhood, and who would not be proud of his supposed
_conciudadanos_!  The modern suburb was almost entirely destroyed by the
overflowing of the Guadalquivir in 1876.  There is now (1895) a permanent
bridge across the river.

{218}  This is, I think, a good English word.  The Spanish form would be
_desesperados_.

{220}  King of the gypsies in Triana.

{221}  Isidore Justin Severin, Baron Taylor, was born at Brussels in
1789.  His father was an Englishman, and his mother half Irish, half
Flemish.  Isidore was naturalized as a Frenchman, and after serious
studies and artistic travels throughout Europe, he returned to France on
the Restoration with a commission in the Royal Guard.  His _Bertram_,
written in collaboration with Charles Nodier, had a great success on the
Paris stage in 1821.  In 1823 he accompanied the French army to Spain,
and on his return was made Commissaire Royal du Théâtre Français, in
which capacity he authorized the production of _Hernani_ and the _Mariage
de Figaro_.  In 1833 he arranged for the transport of the two obelisks
from Luxor to Paris, and in 1835 he was commissioned by Louis Philippe
with an artistic mission to Spain to purchase pictures for the Louvre,
and on his return, having transferred the Standish collection of
paintings from London to Paris, he was named Inspecteur-Général des beaux
arts in 1838.  He died in 1879.

{223}  _Alcalá de Guadaira_; Arabic, _Al-Kal’ah_, the fort, or castle.  A
name necessarily often repeated in Spain, where the Goths, who are so
proudly remembered, have left so few records of their three hundred
years’ dominion in the place-names of the Peninsula, and where the Arab,
at all times detested, is yet remembered in the modern names of wellnigh
every town, river, and headland in Southern Spain, and in many places
throughout the entire Peninsula.  The most celebrated of all these
castles is, of course, _Alcalá de Henares_, the birthplace of Cervantes,
the seat of the great university of Ximenes.  This _Alcalá_ is known as
that of Guadaira, _i.e._ the river of Aira, the Arabic _Wady al Aira_.
The town at the present day, though small, is a very important place,
with some eight thousand inhabitants, and over two hundred flour-mills,
and is known as the “oven of Seville,” _El horno de Sevilla_.
Carmona—the Roman Carmo and Arab Karmanah—with double the population, was
the last stronghold of Peter the Cruel, and is full of historic
associations.

{226}  Madoz, in his _Diccionario Geografico-estadistico_, published in
1846, half a dozen years after the date of Borrow’s visit, says nothing
under _Carolina_, _Carlota_, or _Luisiana_ of this supposed German
colonization.  Yet Carolina and eighty-four neighbouring villages form a
most interesting district, known as the _Nuevas poblaciones de Sierra
Morena_, especially exempted from taxation and conscription on their
foundation or incorporation by Olavides, the Minister of Charles III., in
1768.  It is possible that some German colonists were introduced at that
time.  Among the eighty-five _pueblos_ constituting this strange district
is the historic _Navas de Tolosa_, where the Moors were so gloriously
defeated in 1212.

{230}  Wellington.

{232}   Cordova was taken on October 1, 1836.

{234}  “Look you, what men they were!”

{235a}  ‘The king has come, the king has come, and disembarked at
Belem.’—_Miguelite song_.

{235b}  Charles V., or _Carlos Quinto_, is the title all too meekly
accorded even in Spain to their king Charles I., fifth only of German
Karls on the imperial throne, the Holy Roman Emperor.  If Charles himself
was not unpopular in Spain, even though he kept his mother Joanna, the
legitimate queen, under lock and key, that he might reign as Charles the
_First_ in Spain, his Germans and his Germanism were devoutly hated.  The
next Carlos who reigned in Spain, correctly styled the _Second_, was
nearly a fool, but Charles III. was the best and most enlightened of the
sovereigns of Spain until the days of Alfonso XII.  Charles IV. abdicated
under pressure of Napoleon in 1808, and then Don Carlos the Pretender
naturally assumed the style and title of Charles the _Fifth_.

{236a}  See Introduction.

{236b}  The Genoese was presumably referring to the sister-in-law of Don
Carlos, called _La Beira_.  See Ford, _Handbook of Spain_, 1st edit., p.
822.

{239}  This is not strictly accurate.  The Mezquita, as designed by Abdur
Rahmán I. in 786, contained about 1200 pillars; when the mosque was
enlarged by Almanzor at the end of the tenth century, the number was
doubtless increased.  Yet at the present day more than nine hundred are
still standing in the building, which ranks _second_ as regards area
among the churches of Christendom, and in historic interest is surpassed
only by the Mosque of Agia Sofia at Constantinople (see Burke’s _History
of Spain_, vol. i. pp. 130–133).

{240a}  Morocco.

{240b}  The Abencerrages were a family, or perhaps a faction, that held a
prominent position in the Moorish kingdom of Granada for some time before
its fall in 1492.  The name is said to be derived from Yusuf ben Cerrág,
the head or leader of the family in the time of Mohammed VII., but
nothing is known with any certainty of their origin.  In the _Guerras
civiles de Granada_ of Gines Perez de Hita, the feuds of the Abencerrages
with the rival family of the Zegris is an important incident, and
Chateaubriand’s _Les Aventures du dernier Abencerages_ is founded upon
Hita’s work.

{241a}  A _haji_ is a man who has made the _haj_ or pilgrimage to Mecca.
As a title it is prefixed to the name.  The Levantine Greeks who have
made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem are also accustomed to use the same title,
and their “Haji Michaeli” or “Haji Yanco” is as common a mode of address
as “Haji Ali.”  “Haji Stavros” in About’s _Roi des Montagnes_ may be
happily remembered.

{241b}  The great city of Negroland is, I presume, Khartoum, capital of
the Soudan, known to our fathers as _Nigritia_.

{242a}  Philip II., eldest son of Carlos I. of Spain (the Emperor Charles
V.), married Mary of England the 25th of July, 1555.

{242b}  _The Mystery of Udolpho_, the once celebrated but now forgotten
romance of Mrs. Radcliffe (1764–1823).

{243a}  “Sir George of my soul,” _i.e._ “My dear Sir George.”

{243b}  Puente.  See _The Zincali_, part i. chap. ix.

{243c}  See _ante_, note on p. 235.

{246}  The House of the Inquisition, or Holy Office.

{247}  “What do I know?”

{249a}  “So pretty, so smart.”

{249b}  Query, the Epistle to the Romans.—[Note by Borrow.]

{250}  Bad fellows, the French _mauvais sujets_.

{254a}  _Real_, _i.e._ royal, the first coin of Christian Spain, as
opposed to the Moorish _maravedi_.  The first _real_ of which we have any
certain knowledge was struck by Henry II. on May 15, 1369.  The value of
the _real_ is now about 2½_d._  English money, but as a unit of value and
computation it has been officially supplanted since 1870 by the _peseta_
or _franc_ of 9¾_d._  See Burke’s _History of Spain_, vol. ii. pp.
281–286.

{254b}  Carlist leaders.

{257}  There are at least three districts in Spain known as the Sagra:
one in Alicante, one in Orense, and another near Toledo which includes 27
miles by 24 miles of country to the north of the city.  Amongst the
villages included in the district are Yuncler, Yunclillos, and Yuncos,
whose names would seem to tell of some foreign origin.  The origin of the
word Sagra is most uncertain.  It was commonly said to be _Sacra_
_Cereris_, on account of the abundant harvests of the district, and has
also been derived from the Arab _Ṣaḥ_ = a field.

{258}  This was Don Vicente Lopez y Portaña, who was born at Valencia in
1772, and died at Madrid in 1850.  His pictures were as a rule
allegorical in subject, and his son, Don Bernardo Lopez, was also alive
at this time, and died only in 1874.

{259a}  Don Andrés Borrego, author of _La Historia de las Córtes de
España durante el siglo_ XIX. (1885), and other political works.

{259b}  See vol. ii. p. 242.

{261}  _V._ p. 178.

{262}  Not Cabrera himself, but his subordinate Zariategui, an old friend
and comrade of Zumalacarregui.  This was on August 11, 1837.  See Duncan,
_The English in Spain_, p. 152.

{263}  Lord Carnarvon, of course, would not have endorsed these opinions.
See Introduction, and Duncan _ub. sup. passim_.

{265a}  Pera can hardly be said to be near Constantinople.  It is the
_Franc_ quarter of the city, separated no doubt from Stambul by the
Golden Horn, and undoubtedly very beautiful.  Buchini is hardly a Greek
name, and Antonio was no doubt like so many of his kind, of Italian
origin.  My own faithful Spiro Varipati was a Constantinopolitan Greek of
Cerigo.

{265b}  More usually spelt Syra.

{266a}  This was possibly the period when Admiral Duckworth attempted to
force the passage of the Dardanelles.—[Note by Borrow.]

{266b}  Cean Bermudez, the celebrated art critic, traveller, and
dilettante, the author of numerous works on art and architecture, more
especially in the Peninsula, was born in 1749, exiled 1801–8, and died in
1829.  _C_ and _z_ before _e_ have the same sound in Castilian.

{268}  See Glossary.

{269a}  Nowadays he would call himself a Έλλην.

{269b}  “Good luck to thee, Antonio!”

{271}  Mr. Southern.

{274a}  Romany _chal_ = gypsy lad.

{274b}  “Good horse! gypsy horse!
Let me ride thee now.”

{277a}  _Céad mile fáille_!  Pronounce _Kaydh meela faulthia_.

{277b}  _Estremeño_, a native of the province of Estremadura.

{279}  See note on p. 193.

{280a}  The _Colegio de Nobles Irlandeses_, founded in 1792 by Philip
II., is at present housed in a building of the earliest and best period
of the Spanish _cinquecento_, founded in 1521 by Archbishop Fonseca as
the _Colegio Mayor del Apostol Santiago_.  It was built by Pedro de
Ibarra.

{280b}  As is recorded in the second chapter of _Gil Blas_.

{282}  I.e. _el cura_, the parish priest; Fr. _curé_.  Our “curate” is
rather _el vicario_; Fr. _vicaire_.

{284}  _Arapiles_ is the name by which the great English victory of
Salamanca is known to French and Spanish writers.  It was fought on July
22, 1812, and the news reached Napoleon on the banks of the Borodino on
September 7, inducing that strange hesitation and want of alacrity which
distinguished his operations next day.  The village of Arapiles is about
four miles from Salamanca.

{287}  Savage mules.

{290}  “See the crossing! see what devilish crossing!”  _Santiguar_ is to
make the sign of the cross, to cross one’s self.  _Santiguo_ is the
action of crossing one’s self.

{291}  As late as 1521, Medina del Campo was one of the richest towns in
Spain.  Long one of the favourite residences of the Castilian court, it
was an emporium, a granary, a storehouse, a centre of mediæval luxury and
refinement.  But the town declared for the _Comuneros_ of Castile, and
was so pitilessly sacked, burned, and ravaged by the Flemish Cardinal
Adrian, acting for the absent Charles of Hapsburg (in 1521), that it
never recovered anything of its ancient importance.  The name, half Arab,
half Castilian, tells of its great antiquity.  To-day it is known only as
a railway station!

{292}  “_Carajo_, what is this?”

{293a}  We have adopted in English the Portuguese form Douro, which gave
the title of Marquis to our great duke . . . of Ciudad Rodrigo, as the
Spaniards prefer to call him.

{293b}  Madhouse.

{293c}  “May the Virgin protect you, sir:” lit. “May you go with the
Virgin.”

{293d}  Valladolid, like so many place-names, not only in southern, but
in central Spain, is Arabic, _Balad al Walid_, “the land of _Walid_,” the
caliph in whose reign the Peninsula was overrun by the Moslems.  The more
ancient name of _Pincia_ is lost.

{295}  A friend and comrade of Zumalacarregui, who came into notice after
the death of the greater leader in June, 1835.

{296a}  The _Colegio de Ingleses_ was endowed by Sir Francis Englefield,
a partisan of Mary Queen of Scots, who came to Spain after her execution.
Philip II. granted certain privileges to the students in 1590.  The
number of students at the present day is about 45.

{296b}  The _Celegio de Escoceses_ was founded only in 1790.

{298}  _I.e._ uncontaminated with the black blood of Moorish or Jewish
converts; possibly also referring to the use of “New Castilian” for
“Gitano.”  See _The Zincali_, part i. chap. i.

{299}  _Temp_. Elizabeth and James I.

{300a}  Celebrated also for the great victory of Ferdinand of Aragon over
Alfonso the African of Portugal (February, 1476), by which the succession
of Isabella to the crown of Castile was assured, and the pretension of
her niece _Juana la Beltraneja_ for ever put an end to.

{300b}  _Alcayde_, the Arabic governor of a castle, or fortress, is
commonly used in modern Spanish for a jailer, a governor of a prison; the
somewhat similar word, _alcalde_, also an Arabic word, meant, and still
means, the mayor of a town.

{303}  It was at Dueñas that Ferdinand and Isabella held their little
court immediately after their marriage in October, 1469.

{304a}  Government requisition.  See _ante_, p. 261.

{304b}  The officers, no doubt, of the Spanish Legion and Contingent.
See Introduction.

{304c}  “Hold hard, you gypsy fellows! you forget that you are soldiers,
and no longer swapping horses in a fair.”

{305a}  See note on p. 120.

{305b}  That is, gold _onzas_.

{309a}  The Roman Pallantia; the seat of the first university in Castile,
transferred in 1239 to the more celebrated city of Salamanca.

{309b}  The cathedral was commenced in 1321, and finished about two
hundred years later.  As it now stands, the exterior is unsatisfactory;
the interior is most picturesque, and full of remarkable monuments,
including the tomb of the wicked Queen Urraca, who died in 1126.

{310a}  These “paintings of Murillo” are imaginary.  There are some good
pictures now in the _Sala capitular_—one by Ribera, one by Zurbaran, and
a third by Mateo Cerezo.  The paintings in the church itself are
unimportant, and are rather German than Spanish in character.

{310b}  The Sierra de Oca, to the east of Burgos, about sixty miles as
the crow flies to the north-east of Palencia.

{311}  Possibly Cisneros or Calzada.  Sahagun, which lies just halfway
between Palencia and Leon on the high-road, is rather a small town than a
large village, and, though shorn of all its former splendour, would have
afforded the travellers better quarters.

{312}  See Introduction.

{313}  A familiar Spanish locution—of which the meaning is sufficiently
obvious—derived originally, no doubt, from the game of chess, a game of
oriental origin, and no doubt introduced into Spain by the Arabs.  Roque
is the rook or castle; Rey, of course, the king.

{315}  The name of Leon has nothing to do with lions, but is a corruption
of _legionis_, or the city of the 7th Legion, quartered here by Augustus
to defend the Cantabrian frontier.  The city is full of historic
interest, and bears the records of the conquerors of many ages and
nations.

The cathedral referred to by Borrow was finished about 1300, after having
been at least a hundred years a-building, and is in the early pointed
style of what we call Gothic, but the Spaniards Tudesque.  The west front
and the painted glass windows in the aisles are of unrivalled beauty.

The church of San Isidoro, with the tombs of that great metropolitan and
of Alfonso el Batallador, of inferior æsthetic interest, is even more
attractive to the antiquary.

{318}  Astorga is an old Roman town, _Asturica Augusta_, established
after the Cantabrian war (B.C. 25), when the southern _Astures_ first
became subject to Rome.  But a far more ancient origin is claimed for the
city, which was traditionally founded by _Astur_, the son of Memnon (see
Silius Italicus, iii. 334; Martial, xiv. 199).  The surrounding country
of the _Astures_ was celebrated at once for the riches of its gold-mines
and for its breed of horses, whence the Latin _Asturco_ (see Petron.,
_Sat._, 86, and Seneca, _Ep._, 87; Pliny, viii. 42, s. 67).

{319}  Borrow has it Coruña, but it should be either La Coruña, if
written in Spanish, or Corunna, if written in English.  Our ancestors,
who had good reason to know the place, called it The Groyne, but it would
be pedantic to so call it now.

{321}  The origin of the Maragatos has never been ascertained.  Some
consider them to be a remnant of the Celtiberians, others of the
Visigoths; most, however, prefer a Bedouin or caravan descent.  It is in
vain to question these ignorant carriers as to their history or origin,
for, like the gypsies, they have no traditions and know nothing.
_Arrieros_, at all events, they are, and that word, in common with so
many others relating to the barb and carrier-caravan craft, is Arabic,
and proves whence the system and science were derived by Spaniards.
Where George Borrow and Richard Ford are so uncertain, it is assuredly
unbecoming to dogmatize.  Mariana (vol. i. lib. vii. cap. 7), speaking of
King Mauregato, who is supposed, as much from his name as from anything
else, to have been an illegitimate son of Alfonso I. by a _Moorish_ lady,
seeks to trace the origin of the Maragatos as being more especially the
subjects of Mauregato, but it is rather an extravagant fancy than an
explanation.

Monsieur Francisque Michel, in his _Races Maudites de la France et de
l’Espagne_ (Paris, 1847), has nothing to say of these Maragatos, though
he notices (ii. 41–44) a smaller tribe, the _Vaqueros_, of the
neighbouring Asturias, whose origin is also enveloped in mystery.  See De
Rochas, _Les Parias de France et l’Espagne_, p. 120.  [The _Cagots_ were
also found in northwest Spain as well as in France, but not, as far as we
know, to the west of Guipuzcoa.  For an account of these Cagots and the
various etymologies that have been suggested for their names, see De
Rochas and F. Michel, _ubi supra_, tom. i. ch. i.]

{322}  A transliteration of the old Spanish _Barrete_, an old kind of
helmet, then, generally, a cap.

{323}  A mute is the offspring of a stallion and a she-ass, a mule of a
jackass and a mare.

{324a}  Founded in 1471, on the site of one more ancient.

{324b}  The name of this celebrated _arriero_ was Pedro Mato; the statue
is of wood.

{327a}  The word _Gog_ is not Hebrew, and, according to Renan and Kuöbel
(_Volkert_, p. 63), is “mountain,” and Magog is “great mountain.”
_Maha_, Sanskrit, and _Koh_ or _Goh_, Persian.  The legends concerning
Gog and Magog are very numerous, and extend over many parts of Europe,
Asia, and even Africa.

{327b}  “The place of the apples.”

{329}  _Caballero_.  As a mode of address in common life, equivalent
merely to _sir_.

{331a}  A Galician or Portuguese, but not a Spanish word, usually spelt
_corço_.  The Spanish equivalent is _ciervo_.

{331b}  There is a delightful translation of Theocritus, who by the way
described the scenery of Sicily rather than of Greece, into English verse
by C. S. Calverley, published in 1869.

{333}  Bembibre lies on the southern confines of the district of El
Vierzo, one of the most interesting and least explored parts of the
Peninsula, the Switzerland of Leon, a district of Alpine passes, trout
streams, pleasant meadows, and groves of chestnuts and walnuts.
Bembibre, pop. 500, lies with its old castle on the trout-streams Noceda
and Boeza, amid green meadows, gardens, and vineyards, whose wines were
far more fatal to Moore’s soldiers than the French sabres.  So much for
Bembibre—_bene bibere_.  Ponferrada (_Interamnium Flavium_), which is not
entered, rises to the left on the confluence of the Sil and Boeza.  The
bridge (_Pons-ferrata_) was built in the eleventh century, for the
passage of pilgrims to Compostella, who took the direct route along the
Sil by Val de Orras and Orense.  The town afterwards belonged to the
Templars, and was protected by the miraculous image of the Virgin, which
was found in an oak, and hence is called _Nuestra Señora de la Encina_;
it is still the Patroness of the Vierzo (Murray’s _Handbook of Spain_,
1st edit. p. 595).

The Vierzo extends about 10 leagues east and west by 8 north and south.
This amphitheatre is shut out from the world by lofty snow-capped
mountains, raised, as it were, by the hand of some genii to enclose a
simple valley of Rasselas.  The great Asturian chain slopes from
Leitariegos to the south-west, parting into two offshoots; that of El
Puerto de Rabanal, and Fuencebadon (_Fons Sabatonis_) constitute the east
barrier, and the other, running by the Puertos de Cebrero and Aguiar,
forms the frontier; while to the south the chains of the Sierras de
Segundera, Sanabria, and Cabrera complete the base of the triangle.  Thus
hemmed in by a natural circumvallation, the concavity must be descended
into from whatever side it be approached; this crater, no doubt, was once
a large lake, the waters of which have burst a way out, passing through
the narrow gorge of the Sil by Val de Orras, just as the Elbe forms the
only spout or outlet to hill-walled-in Bohemia, the _kettle-land_ of
Germany (_Ibid._, p. 597).

{337a}  Rendered by Borrow _rabble_; the French _canaille_; Ital.
_canaglia_, a pack of dogs—_canes_.

{337b}  Known as Villafranca del Vierzo; said to have been one of the
principal halting-places of the French pilgrims to Santiago, hence _Villa
Francorum_; in any case, the abode of an important colony of monks from
the French abbey of Cluny.  See Burke’s _History of Spain_, vol. ii. p.
69, and App. II.

{340}  Query _Guerrilleros_ (see Glossary).  These _Miguelets_ were
originally the partisans or followers of the Infante Don Miguel, the
absolutist leader in the dreary civil war which ravaged Portugal from
1823–1834.  It was their custom to escape into Spain when attacked by the
Constitutional forces in Portugal, and nothing but Mr. Canning’s bold
action in sending an English army to Lisbon in December, 1826, prevented
their being utilized by both Spain and France for the overthrow of Queen
Maria in Portugal (see Alison, _History of Europe_, vol. iv. ch. xxi. s.
50).  But as “Miguelets,” part refugees, part rebels, part brigands,
these bands of military ruffians were the terror of the frontier
districts of Spain and Portugal for many years after the conclusion of
the civil war in Portugal.

{341}  _Don Quixote_, part ii. chap. ix.

{347}  _Senhor_ is the Portuguese or Galician form.  Borrow has now
crossed the frontier.

{351}  It is possibly an older language than either.  It resembles rather
the Portuguese than the Spanish, and is of great interest in many ways.
The great religious poem of Alfonso X., _Los Loores y Milagros de Nuestra
Señora_, written between 1263 and 1284, when the national language was
hardly formed, was written in Galician, though from the beginning of the
fourteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century little attention was
paid to the literary language.  Within the last few years a species of
provincial revival has taken place, and the following works among others
have been published in and about the language of Galicia: (1) D. Juan
Saco Arce, _Gramatica Gallega_ (Lugo, 1868), with an appendix of proverbs
and popular songs; (2) Fernandez y Morales, _Ensayos poeticos_, edited by
Don Mariano Cubi y Soler; (3) A. G. Besada, _Historia critica de la
literatura gallega_ (La Coruña, 1887); the works of Manuel Murginà, also
published at La Coruña; Don Juan Cuveiro Piñol’s _Diccionario Gallego_
and _El habla_, both published at Barcelona in 1876; and, best of all,
Don Manuel Nuñez Valladares’ _Diccionario Gallego-Castillano_ (Santiago,
1884).

{353}  “I believe it!”

{359}  This is a curious blunder.  _Lucus Augusti_ was not only never
capital of Roman Spain, but the capital only of _Northern Gallaecia_, or
Galicia; as _Bracara Augusta_, or Braga, was the chief town and seat of a
_Conventus Juridicus_ of southern Galicia, the Minho being the boundary
of the northern and southern divisions of the province.

Roman Spain was at no time a province, but included, from B.C. 205 to
A.D. 325, many provinces, each with its own provincial capital.  In the
division of the Roman world by Constantine, Hispania first became an
administrative unit as a diocese in the Prefecture of Gaul, with its
capital at _Hispalis_ or Seville, the residence of the Imperial Vicar
(see Burke’s _History of Spain_, vol. i. pp. 31, 35, 36).

{360}  “Woe is me, O God!”

{361}  Combats with young bulls, usually by amateur fighters.  Although
the animals are immature, and the tips of their horns, moreover, sawn off
to make the sport less dangerous, accidents are far more common than in
the more serious _corridas_, where the professionals take no step without
due deliberation and _secundum artem_.  _Novillo_, of course, means only
a young bull; but in common parlance in Spain _los toros_ means
necessarily a serious bull-fight, and _los novillos_ an amateur
exhibition.

{363}  See note on p. 340.

{365}  Span. _anis_ (see Glossary).

{366a}  An _onza_ (see Glossary).

{366b}  The real word, of which this is a modification, is _Carajo_—a
word which, used as an adjective, represents the English “bloody,” and
used as a substantive, something yet more gross.  In decent society the
first syllable is considered quite strong enough as an expletive, and,
modified as _Caramba_, may even fall from fair lips.

{366c}  At Seville Borrow seems to have been known as _El brujo_ (_v._ p.
178).

{368}  On the north shore of this bay is built the town of El Ferrol (_el
farol_ = the lighthouse), daily growing in importance as the great naval
arsenal of Spain.

{369a}  More commonly written _puchero_ = a glazed earthenware pot.  But
it is the _contents_ rather than the pot that is usually signified, just
as in the case of the _olla_, the round pot, whose savoury contents are
spoken of throughout southern Spain as an _olla_, and in England as _olla
podrida_.

{369b}  Santiago de Compostella (see note on p. 193).  As usual I
preserve the author’s original spelling, though St. James is a purely
fanciful name.  The Holy Place is known in common Spanish parlance as
Santiago, in classical English more usually as Compostella.

{370a}  Probably Norwich.

{370b}  See _Wild Wales_, chap. xxiv.

{375}  For the etymology of Guadalete, and many references to the river
and to the battle that is said to have been fought on its banks between
the invading Arabs and Roderic, “the last of the Goths,” see Burke’s
_History of Spain_, vol. i. pp. 110, 111, and notes.

Borrow, in fact, followed almost exactly the line of the celebrated
retreat of Sir John Moore, as may be seen by referring to the map.
Moore, leaving the plain country, and provoked by the ignorant taunts of
Frere to abandon his own plan of marching in safety south-west into
Portugal, found himself on the 28th of December, 1808, at Benavente; on
the 29th, at Astorga; on the 31st, at Villafranca del Vierzo; and thence,
closely pressed day by day by the superior forces of Soult, he passed
through Bembibre, Cacabelos, Herrerias, Nogales, to Lugo, whence, by way
of Betanzos, he arrived on the 11th of January at Corunna.  The horrors
of that winter march over the frozen mountains will never fully be known;
they are forgotten in the glorious, if bootless, victory on the
sea-coast, and the heroic death of Moore.  The most authoritative account
of Sir John Moore’s retreat, and of the battle of Corunna, is to be found
in the first volume of Napier’s _Peninsular War_; but the raciest is
certainly that in the first edition of Murray’s _Handbook of Spain_, by
Richard Ford.

{378}  A shepherd, we are told, watching his flock in a wild mountain
district in Galicia, was astonished at the appearance of a supernatural
light.  The Bishop of _Iria Flavia_ (Padron) was consulted.  The place so
divinely illuminated was carefully searched, and in a marble sarcophagus,
the body of Saint James the Greater was revealed to the faithful
investigators.  The king, overjoyed at the discovery, at once erected
upon the ground thus consecrated a church or chapel dedicated to the
apostle—the forerunner of the noble cathedral of Santiago de Compostella,
and from the first, the favourite resort of the pilgrims of Christian
Europe.  For it was not only a relic, but a legend that had been
discovered by the pious doctors of the church.

Saint James, it was said, had certainly preached and taught in Spain
during his lifetime.  His body, after his martyrdom at Jerusalem in the
year of Christ 42, had been placed by his disciples on board a ship, by
which it was conveyed to the coast of his beloved Spain, miraculously
landed in Galicia, and forgotten for eight hundred years, until the time
was accomplished when it should be revealed to the devoted subjects of
King Alfonso the Chaste.  The date of the discovery of the precious
remains is given by Ferreras as 808, by Morales as 835.  But as it was
Charlemagne who obtained from Leo III. the necessary permission or
faculty to remove the Episcopal See of _Iria Flavia_ to the new town of
Compostella, the discovery or invention must have taken place at least
before 814, the year of the death of the emperor.  Whatever may have been
the actual date of its first establishment; the mean church with mud
walls soon gave place to a noble cathedral, which was finished by the
year 874, consecrated in 899, and destroyed by the Arabs under Almanzor,
nigh upon a hundred years afterwards, in 997.  See also Murray’s
_Handbook of Spain_, 1st edit., p. 660, Santiago.

{380}  Or Jet-ery.  _Azabache_ is jet or anthracite, of which a great
quantity is found in the Asturias.  The word—of Arabic origin—is also
used figuratively for blackness or darkness generally in modern Spanish.

{382a}  “Oh, my God, it is the gentleman!”

{382b}  From the German _betteln_, to beg.

{384}  May, 1823.

{386}  _Meiga_ is not a substantive either in Spanish or Portuguese
(though it is in Galician), but the feminine of the adjective _meigo_, or
_mego_, signifying “kind,” “gentle.”  _Haxweib_ is a form of the German
_Hexe Weib_, a witch or female wizard.

{389}  Or El Padron (_Iria Flavia_), the ancient seat of the bishopric,
transferred to the more sacred Santiago de Compostella before the year
814.

{393}  French, _sur le tapis_.

{394}  More correctly, _Caldas de Reyes_.

{395}  Branches of vines supported on or festooned from stakes.  Borrow
uses the word for the stakes themselves.  The dictionary of the Spanish
Academy has it, “_La vid que se levanta á lo alto y se extiende mucho en
vástagos_,” and derives the word from the Arabic _par_ = extension or
spreading.

{397}  “What folly! what rascality!”

{399}  The names of the ambassadors or envoys actually sent by King Henry
III. to Tamerlane were, in 1399, Pelayo Gomez de Sotomayor and Herman
Sanchez de Palazuelos, and on the second mission in 1403, Don Alfonso de
Santa Maria and Gonzalez de Clavijo, whose account of the voyage of the
envoys has been published both in Spanish and English, and is one of the
earliest and most interesting books of travel in the world.

{401a}  Lord Cobham’s expedition in 1719; the town was taken on October
21.  Vigo Street, in London, is called after the Spanish port, in memory
of the Duke of Ormond’s capture of the plate ships in the bay in 1702.
Vigo was also captured by the English under Drake in 1585 and in 1589.

{401b}  See the Glossary, _s.v. Cura_.





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