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Title: Excursions in the mountains of Ronda and Granada, with characteristic sketches of the inhabitants of southern Spain, v 2-2
Author: Scott, Charles Rochfort, 1790-1872
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 "Excursions in the mountains of Ronda and Granada, with characteristic sketches of the inhabitants of southern Spain, v 2-2" ***

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(a list follows the etext); the spellings of several words currently
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been corrected or normalized.


_On Stone by T. J. Rawlins from a Sketch by Capt C. R. Scott_

_R. Martin lithog 26, Long Acre_

_Published by Henry Colburn, 13 Great Marlborough St._]


                                 IN THE



                           RONDA AND GRANADA,



                       CAPTAIN C. ROCHFORT SCOTT,


             "_Aqui hermano Sancho, podemos meter las manos
            hasta los codos, en esto que llaman aventuras._"
                                              DON QUIJOTE.

                            IN TWO VOLUMES.

                                VOL. II.

                       HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER,
                       GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.









Departure from Cordoba--Post Road to
Cadiz--Carlota--Ecija--Carmona--Road from Ecija to
Gibraltar--Locusts--Osuna--Saucejo--An Olla in
perfection--Ronda--Splendid Scenery on the road to Grazalema--Distant
View of Zahara--Grazalema--Extensive Prospect from the Pass of
Bozal--Secluded Orchards of Benamajama--Pajarete--El
Broque--Ubrique--Difficult Road across the Mountains to Ximena--Our
Guide in a rage--Fine Scenery--Ximena--Strength of its Castle--Road to
Gibraltar                                                              1


Departure for Cadiz--Road round the Bay of Gibraltar--Algeciras--Sandy
Bay--Gualmesi--Tarifa--Its Foundation--Error of Mariana in supposing it
to be Carteia--Battle of El Salado--Mistake of La Martiniere concerning
it--Itinerary of Antoninus from Carteia to Gades verified--Continuation
of Journey--Ventas of Tavilla and Retin--Vejer--Conil--Spanish Method of
Extracting Good from Evil--Tunny Fishery--Barrosa--Field of
Battle--Chiclana--Road to Cadiz--Puente Zuazo--San Fernando--Temple of
Hercules--Castle of Santi Petri--Its Importance to Cadiz              33


Cadiz--Its Foundation--Various Names--Past Prosperity--Made a Free Port
in the hope of ruining the trade of Gibraltar--Unjust Restrictions on
the Commerce of the British Fortress--Description of Cadiz--Its vaunted
Agremens--Society--Monotonous Life--Cathedral--Admirably built Sea
Wall--Naval Arsenal of La Carraca--Road to Xeres--Puerto Real--Puerto de
Santa Maria--Xeres--Its Filth--Wine Stores--Method of Preparing
Wine--Doubts of the Ancient and Derivation of the Present Name of
Xeres--Carthusian Convent--Guadalete--Battle of Xeres                 64


Choice of Roads to Seville--By Lebrija--Mirage--The Marisma--Post
Road--Cross Road by Los Cabezas and Los Palacios--Difficulty of
Reconciling any of these Routes with that of the Roman
Itinerary--Seville--General Description of the City--The
Alameda--Display of Carriages--Elevation of the Host--Public
Buildings--The Cathedral--Lonja--American Archives--Alcazar--Casa
Pilata--Royal Snuff Manufactory--Cannon Foundry--Capuchin
Convent--Murillo--Theatre of Seville--Observations on the State of the
National Drama--Moratin--The Bolero--Spanish Dancing--The Spaniards not
a Musical People                                                      90


Society of Seville--Spanish Women--Faults of Education--Evils of Early
Marriages, and Marriages de Convenance--Environs of Seville--Triana--San
Juan De Alfarache Santi Ponce--Ruins of Italica--Italica not so ancient
a City as Hispalis--Young Pigs and the Muses--Departure from
Seville--The Marques De Las Amarillas--Weakness, Deceit, and Injustice
of the Late King of Spain--Alcala De Guadiara--Utrera--Observations on
the Strategical Importance of this Town--Moron--Military operations of
Riego--Apathy of the Serranos during the Civil War--Olbera--Remarks on
the Itinerary of Antoninus                                           123


Ronda to Gaucin--Road to Casares--Difficulty in Procuring
Lodgings--Finally Overcome--The Cura's House--View of the Town from the
Ruins of the Castle--Its Great Strength--Ancient Name--Ideas of the
Spaniards regarding Protestants--Scramble to the Summit of the Sierra
Cristellina--Splendid View--Jealousy of the Natives in the matter of
Sketching--The Cura and his Barometer--Departure for the Baths of
Manilba--Romantic Scenery--Accommodation for Visiters--The Master of the
Ceremonies--Roads to San Roque and Gibraltar--River Guadiaro and
Venta                                                                154


The Baths of Manilba--A Specimen of Fabulous History--Properties of the
Hedionda--Society of the Bathing Village--Remarkable Mountain--An
English Botanist--Town of Manilba--An Intrusive Visiter--Ride to
Estepona--Return by way of Casares                                   179


A Shooting Party to the Mountains--Our Italian Piqueur, Damien
Berrio--Some Account of his Previous Life--Los Barrios--The Beautiful
Maid, and the Maiden's Levelling Sire--Road to Sanona--Reparation
against Bandits--Arrival at the Caseria--Description of its Owner and
Accommodations--Fine Scenery--A Batida                               202


Luis de Castro                                                       226


Don Luis's Narrative is interrupted by a Boar--The Batida
resumed--Departure from Sanona--Road to Casa Vieja--The Priest's
House--Adventure with Itinerant Wine-Merchants--Departure from Casa
Vieja--Alcala De Los Gazules--Road to Ximena--Return to
Gibraltar                                                            249


Departure for Madrid--Cordon drawn round the Cholera--Ronda--Road to
Cordoba--Teba--Erroneous Position of the Place on the Spanish Maps--Its
Locality agrees with that of Ategua, as described by Hirtius, and the
Course of the River Guadaljorce with that of the Salsus--Road to
Campillos--The English-loving Innkeeper and his Wife--An Alcalde's
Dinner spoilt--Fuente De Piedra--Astapa--Puente Don
Gonzalo--Rambla--Cordoba--Meeting with an old Acquaintance           267


History of Blas El Guerrillero--_continued_                          294


Unforeseen Difficulties in Proceeding to Madrid--Death of King
Ferdinand--Change in our Plans--Road to
Ximeno--Difficulty of Gaining Admission--Success of a
Stratagem--Consternation of the Authorities--Spanish Adherence to
Forms--Contrasts--Jaen--Description of the Castle, City, and
Cathedral--La Santa Faz--Road to Granada--Our Knightly
Attendant--Parador de San Rafael--Hospitable Farmer--Astonishment of the
Natives--Granada--El Soto de Roma--Loja--Venta de
Dornejo--Colmenar--Fine Scenery--Road from Malaga to Antequera, and
Description of that City                                             325


Malaga--Excursion of Marbella and
Monda--Churriana--Benalmania--Fuengirola--Discrepancy of Opinion
respecting the Site of Suel--Scale to be adopted, in order to make the
measurements given in the Itinerary of Antoninus agree with the Actual
Distance from Malaga to Carteia--Errors of Carter--Castle of
Fuengirola--Road to Marbella--Tower and Casa Fuertes--Disputed Site of
Salduba--Description of Marbella--Abandoned Mines--Distance to
Gibraltar                                                            363


A Proverb not to be lost sight of whilst travelling in Spain--Road to
Monda--Secluded Valley of Ojen--Monda--Discrepancy of Opinion respecting
the Site of the Roman City of Munda--Ideas of Mr. Carter on the
Subject--Reasons adduced for concluding that Modern Monda occupies the
Site of the Ancient City--Assumed Positions of the Contending Armies of
Cneius Pompey and Cæsar, in the Vicinity of the Town--Road to
Malaga--Towns of Coin and Alhaurin--Bridge over the Guadaljorce--Return
to Gibraltar--Notable Instance of the Absurdity of Quarantine
Regulations                                                          382


The Knight of San Fernando                                           410

APPENDIX                                                             439








On leaving Cordoba, we turned our horses' heads homewards, taking the
_arrecife_, or high road, to Seville and Cadiz. This appears to follow
the _direct_ Roman military way given in detail in the Itinerary of
Antoninus; the distances from station to station, on the modern road,
agreeing perfectly with those specified in the Itinerary, which, as it
runs very straight as far as Ecija, would not be the case if the Roman
road had diverged either to the right or left, as some are disposed to
make it, placing _Adaras_ (one of the intermediate stations) on the
margin of the Guadalquivír.

Several monuments, bearing inscriptions alluding to this military way,
are preserved at Cordoba. They all describe it as being from the temple
of Janus _to_ the Boetis, (meaning, it must be presumed, the _mouth_
of the river) and to the ocean.

The road is no longer paved, as it is described to have been in those
days; but, nevertheless, it is good enough to enable a lumbering
diligence to pulverize the gravel daily on its tedious way between
Madrid and Seville. It is also furnished with relays of post horses,[1]
but the posting establishments being, as in most other countries of
Europe, under the direction of the government, is a satire upon the term
_post haste_.

From Cordoba to Ecija is ten leagues.[2] The road, on reaching the river
_Badajocillo_, or Guadajoz, which is crossed by a lofty stone bridge,
commanding a fine view of Cordoba, leaves the rich alluvial valley of
the Guadalquivír, and enters upon an undulated tract of country, that
extends nearly all the way to Ecija. At three leagues is the scattered
village and post-house of Mango-negro, and three leagues beyond that
again, the settlement of Carlota. The ride is most uninteresting; as,
besides being tamely outlined and thinly peopled, the country is nearly
destitute of wood, and, in the summer season, of water; though, judging
from the extraordinary number of bridges, especially on drawing near
Carlota, there must be a superabundance in winter. Carlota is one of the
numerous villages which Charles the Third colonized from the Tyrol. It
consists principally of isolated cottages, standing some hundred yards
apart, and the same distance from the road; but there is a small
congregation of houses round the chapel, post-house, and _Casa del
Ayuntamiento_,[3] and a _Gasthof_, which I can say, from personal
experience, would do no discredit to Innsbruck itself.

The parish contains 250 houses, and a population of 1500 souls. The
fields round Carlota certainly appear to be better tilled than those in
other parts of the country, and there is a German tidiness about its
white cottages, as well as a platterfacedness about the little
white-headed urchins assembled round the doors, that are quite

We obtained an excellent dinner at the _Tyroler Adler_, and, in the
afternoon, taking a by-road that struck off from the post route to the
right, cantered through plantations of olives nearly all the way to
Ecija,--four leagues. In the whole of the distance we did not see a drop
of running water, until we arrived on the brow of the hill overlooking
the river Genil. From this spot there is a fine view of the city of
Ecija, situated on the opposite bank.

The volume of the Genil increases but little between Granada and Ecija;
for its principal feeders, though falling into it below Granada, are
expended in irrigating the _vega_; and the _salados_, on the western
side of the _Serranía de Ronda_, are mostly dry during the summer. In
winter, however, the Genil is so increased, that the bridge at Ecija (a
solid stone structure of eleven arches,) is carried quite across the
valley, although the bed of the river is not above 100 yards wide.

Ecija is the Astigi of the Romans. It stands on a gentle acclivity, some
little distance from the Genil, and bears evident marks of antiquity.
Almost all traces of its walls have disappeared, however; and what
little remains of its tapia-built castle shows it to have been a work of
the Moors. The principal streets are wide, and contain many good houses;
and the _plaza_ is particularly well worth a visit from the lovers of
the picturesque.

The city contains sixteen convents, and two hospitals, with churches in
proportion. None of them offers much to interest the protestant
traveller; but, I believe, several boast of possessing valuable relics.
The Royal stud-house is fast going to decay.

The population of Ecija is estimated at 30,000 souls; a number that
appears totally disproportioned to the size of the city; particularly,
as it contains but a few tanneries, and trifling manufactories of shoes,
saddlery, &c. But, from the extreme fertility of the soil in its
neighbourhood--considered the most productive and best cultivated in
Andalusia--it is very possible this amount may not be exaggerated; for
in Spain the agriculturalists do not scatter themselves about in small
villages and hamlets over its surface, as in other countries, but
assemble together in large towns; so that those places which are
situated in fertile districts are as densely populated as our
manufacturing towns.

The distance that a Spanish peasant sometimes travels daily, to and from
his work, is truly surprising, in a people that, generally speaking,
like to save themselves trouble. Whilst getting in the harvest, however,
they erect _ranchas_, or rush huts, to shelter them from the midday sun
and night dews, and dwell in these temporary habitations until their
work is completed.

The crops of corn in the neighbourhood of Ecija are remarkably fine,
yielding forty to one, and though not so tall, perhaps, as those of the
_vega_ of Granada, the grains are larger and better ripened.

I must not omit to say a good word for the _Posada_,--the
Post-house,--which I do the more willingly from being so seldom called
upon to speak in terms of commendation of Spanish "houses of
entertainment." Suffice it to observe, that, provided the traveller be
very hungry, and moderately fatigued, he may reckon on getting a supper
that he will be able to eat, and a bed whereon--albeit hard--he may
obtain some hours' unmolested repose.

The remainder of the post road to Seville is so perfectly uninteresting,
that, reserving the Andalusian capital for a future tour, I shall take a
more direct route back to Gibraltar, through the _Serranía_ de Ronda;
merely offering a few remarks on the town of Carmona, which is situated
about two thirds of the way between Ecija and Seville, and referring my
readers to the Itinerary in the Appendix for any further details as to
the distances from place to place along the road.

Carmona is one of the few Roman towns of Boetica of whose identity
there is scarcely a doubt; its name having undergone little or no
change. It is mentioned by most of the ancient writers, and called by
them, indifferently, Carmo and Carmona, and by Julius Cæsar was esteemed
one of the strongest posts in the whole country. Its position,
considered relatively with the adjacent ground, is, indeed, most
commanding; being on the edge of a vast plateau of very elevated land,
which, stretching many miles to the south, falls abruptly along the
course of the river Corbones.

The Roman name for this river is, I think, doubtful. Florez, and most
antiquaries, suppose it to be the _Silicensis_. Some, and, as it appears
to me, with better reason, give that name to the Badajocillo. Be that as
it may, the Corbones is but an inconsiderable stream, and is now crossed
by a stone bridge of three arches.

The ascent to Carmona is very steep and tedious. The city is entered
through a triumphal Roman arch, which was repaired and spoilt by order
of Charles III. Another Roman gateway stands at the southern extremity
of the town, by which the road to Seville leaves it; and various parts
of the walls which yet encompass the place are the work of the same
people. The castle, however, is a relique of the Moors, and in a very
ruinous condition.

This stronghold was wrested from the Moors by San Fernando, after a six
months' investment. It was a favourite place of residence of Peter,
surnamed the Cruel, who, looking upon it as impregnable, left his
children there in fancied security when he took the field for the last
time against his brother. Soon after Peter's death, however, it fell
into the hands of his rival, who, according to some accounts, caused the
children (his nephews) to be put to death in cold blood.

The streets of Carmona are wide, clean, and well-paved; and the alameda
is enchanting, commanding a superb view of the ruined fortress, and over
the rich vales of the Corbones, and more distant Guadalquivír, and
embracing, at the same time, the whole chain of the Ronda mountains to
the eastward.

The population of the place is about 10,000 souls. The inn is execrable.

The post road to Cadiz is directed from Carmona on Alcalà de Guadiara,
where a branch to Seville strikes off, nearly at a right angle, to the
east, thereby making a considerable détour. But in summer, carriages
even may proceed to Seville by a cross road, which not only lessens the
dust, but reduces the distance from six _long_ to the same number of
_short_ leagues; or, in other words, effects a saving of about three

I now return to Ecija, and take the road from that city to Osuna; which
is tolerably good, and practicable for carriages during the greater part
of the year. The distance is five (very long) leagues. The country
presents a slightly undulated surface, and, excepting round the edges of
some basins wherein extensive lakes have been formed, is altogether
under the plough. At a little distance from the road, on the left hand,
a stream, called _El Salado_, flows towards the Genil. It does not
communicate with these lakes, nor has the name it bears been given from
its being impregnated with salt.

During our ride, we observed a number of men advancing in skirmishing
order across the country, and thrashing the ground most savagely with
long flails. Curious to know what could be the motive for this
Xerxes-like treatment of the earth, we turned out of the road to inspect
their operations, and found they were driving a swarm of locusts into a
wide piece of linen spread on the ground at some distance before them,
wherein they were made prisoners. These animals are about three times
the size of an English grasshopper. They migrate from Africa, and their
spring visits are very destructive; for in a single night they will
entirely eat up a field of young corn.

The _Caza de Langostas_[4] is a very profitable business to the
peasantry; as, besides a reward obtained from the proprietor of the soil
in consideration for service done, they sell the produce of their
_chasse_ for manure at so much a sack.

Osuna is generally admitted to be the Urso,[5] Ursao, and Ursaon, of the
Roman historians; though it agrees in no one particular with the
description given of that place by Hirtius; for it is not by any means
"strong by nature;" it is in the vicinity of extensive
forests--rendering it perfectly absurd to suppose that Cæsar's troops
"had to bring wood thither all the way from Munda;"--and, so far from
"there being no rivulet within eight miles of the place,"[6] a fine
stream meanders under its very walls.

The town is situated at the foot of a hill that screens it effectually
to the eastward, and the summit of which is occupied by an old castle of
considerable strength and size, but now fast crumbling to decay. The
streets are wide and well paved, the houses particularly good;--indeed,
some of the palaces of the provincial nobility (with whom it was
formerly a favourite place of residence) are strikingly handsome; in
particular, that of the Duke who takes his title from the city; and
notwithstanding that the streets are overgrown with grass, and the
houses covered with mildew, I am, nevertheless, disposed to call Osuna
the best built and handsomest city in Andalusia, it contains a
university, fourteen convents, for both sexes, and a population of
16,000 souls; but has little or no trade--in fact, though on the
crossing of two high roads, (viz., from Gibraltar to Madrid, and from
Granada to Seville) it has all the dullness of a secluded country

The vicinity is very fruitful in olives and corn; the soil is a whitish
clay. To the S.E. the country is tolerably level all the way to
Antequera, and to the west is nearly flat to Seville; but at about a
mile southward from the city, shoot up the entangled roots of the
mountains of Ronda, presenting on that side a belt of very intricate
country. There are two roads to that place, the distance by the better,
which, I think, is also rather the shorter, of the two, is nine leagues.
It leaves Osuna by the gate of Granada, and, crossing the
before-mentioned stream (which is one of the sources of the Corbones),
advances some distance along a wide olive-planted valley. It then quits
the great road to Granada (which continues along the valley), and
ascends a steep and very long hill, from the crest of which, distant
about three miles from Osuna, there is a splendid view of the city, and
of the spacious plains extending to and bordering the distant
Guadalquivír, studded with the towns of Marchena, Fuentes, Palmar, and

The road continues along the summit of the elevated range of hills which
it has now attained, for about five miles, winding amongst some
singularly mammillated hummocks, that have very much the appearance of
the tumuli left in an exhausted mining country. A succession of strongly
marked and peculiarly rugged ravines present themselves along the
eastern side of the ridge, and the ground falls also very abruptly in
the opposite direction; but to the south, whither the road is directed,
the descent is much more gradual; and from the foot of the hill, which
is bathed by a rivulet wending its way to the Genil, the country is
tolerably level, and the road extremely good the remaining distance to

In former days, this route was practicable for carriages throughout, and
with very little labour it might again be made so; but, though the high
road from the capital to Algeciras and Gibraltar, it is but little
travelled. The other road from Osuna to Ronda joins in here on the

The village of Saucejo is a post station three leagues from Osuna, and
six from Ronda. It contains some eight hundred inhabitants, great
abundance of stabling, but not one decent house. The posada is a
peculiarly unpromising establishment, and the landlady's face such as to
shut out all hope of any sound wine being found within its influence. We
had left Osuna so late in the day, however, that it would have been vain
to attempt reaching Ronda ere nightfall.

We, therefore, reluctantly took possession of the _sala_, and,
presenting our sour-faced hostess with a rabbit and some partridges that
we had purchased on the road, asked if she could furnish the other
requisites for the concorporation of an _olla_, and whether it would be
possible to let us have our meal ere midnight; to both of which
questions, with sundry consequential nods of the head, she replied
severally, _en casa llena, presto se guisa la cena_.[7] Notwithstanding
this assurance, our supper was long in making its appearance, for the
operations of an _olla_ cannot be hurried. But, when it did come, it
bespoke our landlady to be a _cordon bleu_ of the first class; the
_pimento_[8] had been administered with judgment; the _berza_[9] had
duly extracted the flavour from the rabbit and partridges; the
_chorizo_[10] had imparted but the desirable smack of garlic to the
other ingredients; and the nutty savour of the _tocino_[11] was beyond
all praise. Nor was her wine such as we had expected; though somewhat
too light to have much influence on the digestion of the unctuous mess
placed before us.

From Saucejo the road again branches into two, one route proceeding by
way of Almargen, the other by the Venta del Granadal. Both are
_reckoned_ six leagues; but the last mentioned is better than the other,
as well as shorter by several miles. It crosses a considerable stream
(here called the Algamitas, but which is, in fact, the main source of
the Corbones) by a ford, about three miles from Saucejo. The descent to
the stream is very bad, and, after keeping along its bank for another
mile, the road mounts to some elevated table land, from which the view
to the westward is obstructed by the rocky peaks of two detached
mountains about a mile off. These may be considered the outposts of the
Serranía in that direction; and, on the rough side of the more
considerable of the two, is the _Hermita de Caños Santos_.

The country becomes very wild as the road advances, and rugged tors,
partially covered with wood, rise on all sides. At nine miles from
Saucejo is the lone venta of Grañadal, and beyond it the mountains rise
to a yet greater height, but their slopes are less abrupt, and are
covered with forests of oak and cork. At twelve miles a track branches
off to the right, proceeding to the little town of Alcalà del Valle,
which, though distant only about half a mile, is not visible from the
road. Soon after, a wide valley opens to the view, at the bottom of
which, encased by steep rocky banks, flows the river _Guadalete_. This
river is by some considered the _Lethe_ of the ancients; but, if it be
so, our long-cherished notions of the beauty of the Elysian fields have
been wofully faulty, for the country is rather tame, and the soil stony
and ungrateful. Thus far, however, it answers the description of Virgil,
that you

    "Breathe in ample fields the soft Elysian air."

The town of Setenil is perched on a crag overhanging the left bank of
the Guadalete, and distant about three miles from the road, which keeps
under the broad summit of the hills forming the northern boundary of
Elysium. The sides of these are partially cultivated, and, from time to
time, a low cottage is met with as the road proceeds; but it soon enters
a cork-forest, and, threading its dark mazes for about four miles,
gradually gains the crest of the chain of hills overlooking the vale of
Ronda to the north, whence a splendid view is obtained of the fertile
basin, its rock-built fortress, and jagged sierras.

The descent on the southern side of the hills is rather rapid, and,
after proceeding downwards about a mile, the road is joined on the left
by the other route from Saucejo. From hence to Ronda is two short
leagues. The road still continues descending for another mile; and, in
the course of the two following, it crosses three deep ravines, watered
by copious streams, and planted with all sorts of fruit-trees.

In the bottom of one of these dells is ensconced the village of Arriate.
The last is a deep and very singular rent that extends, east and west,
quite across the basin of Ronda. Immediately after crossing this
fissure, the road begins to ascend the range of hills whereon Ronda is
situated, and, after winding for three miles amongst vineyards, olive
grounds, and corn-fields, enters the city on its north side.

We were seven hours performing the journey, although the distance is but
six _leguas regulares_.

I have already given so full a description of Ronda, that I will pass on
without further remark.

To vary the scenery, and moved by curiosity to visit some of the scenes
of our acquaintance Blas's exploits, we determined to take a somewhat
circuitous route homewards, by way of Grazalema and Ubrique.

The distance to the first named town is three long leagues. The road
descends gradually to the south-western extremity of the basin of Ronda,
where the Guadiaro, forming its junction with the Rio Verde, enters a
rocky defile, and is lost sight of amidst the roots of the rugged
sierras that spread themselves in all directions towards the

Crossing the last named stream just before its confluence with the
Guadiaro, the road at once begins ascending towards a deeply marked gap,
that breaks the ridge of the mountains which rise along the right bank
of the stream.

The pass is about four miles from Ronda, and commands a splendid view of
the fruitful valley, which lies, like an outspread _cornucopia_, at its
foot. On the other side, too, the scenery is not less fine, though of a
totally different nature. There a singular double-peaked crag rises up
boldly and darkly on the left hand, casting its shadow on the bright
foliage of an oak forest, which, deep sunk below the rest of the
country, spreads its verdant covering as far to the eastward as where
the huge Sierra Endrinal raises its cloud-enveloped head above all the
other mountains of the range. High seated on the side of this, a white
speck is seen which, in the course of time, proves to be the town of
Grazalema, whither we are bending our steps.

Proceeding onwards, from the pass about a mile, the little village of
Montejaque shows itself, peeping from between the two peaks of the
mountain on the left, and, seemingly, quite inaccessible, even to a

It is inhabited by a horde of half-tamed Saracens, who pride themselves
greatly on having foiled all the attempts of the French to make
themselves masters of the place;[12] and, as this elevated little
village is but three quarters of a mile from the high road, (which is
the principal communication between Malaga and Cadiz) it must have
possessed the means of annoying the enemy considerably.

For the next two miles our way lay along the spine of a somewhat
elevated ridge; whence we looked down upon the before-mentioned wooded
country on one side, and on the other into a well cultivated valley.
From the bed of this, but at several leagues' distance, the rock-built
town of Zahara rears its embattled head.

This little fortress is very noted in Moorish history; its capture by
Muley Aben Hassan, during a period of truce, having provoked the renewal
of the war which led to the loss of the crown, not only to himself
first, but to his race afterwards.

One of the sources of the Guadalete flows in this valley, bathing the
walls of Zahara, which stands on the site of the Roman town of
Lastigi.[13] The present name, I should imagine, (considering the
locality) is derived rather from the Arabic word _Zaharat_ (mountain
top) than _Z[=a]hara_, (flowery) as supposed by Mr. Carter; for the
streets are cut out of the live rock on which the place is built.

The road to Grazalema, now mounting another step, enters a dark forest,
and, continuing for five miles along the top of a narrow ridge, descends
into a vine-clad valley, that spreads out at the foot of the rough
sierra on the side of which Grazalema is seated.

The ascent to the town is very bad, and is rendered worse than it
otherwise would be by being paved--for a paved road in Spain is sure to
be neglected. We scrambled up with much difficulty, and alighting at the
posada, remained for an hour or two, to procure some breakfast, and
examine the place.

It is a singularly built town, the streets being heaped one above
another, like steps; and in several instances they are even worked out
of the native rock. There is, nevertheless, a fine open market-place,
which we found well supplied with fruit, vegetables, and game, including
venison and wild boar; and the town possesses several manufactories of
coarse cloths and serges.

From its situation, immediately over the mouth of a deep ravine, by
which alone access can be obtained to one of the principal passes in the
Serranía, Grazalema occupies a very important military position, and may
be considered almost inassailable; for, whilst at its back a perfectly
impracticable mountain covers it from attack, it is protected to the
north and east by the precipitous ravine it overlooks; up the side of
which, even the narrow road from Ronda has not been practised without
much labour. The only side, therefore, on which it has to apprehend
danger, is that fronting the pass above it--i.e. to the westward. But it
has the means of offering an obstinate resistance, even in that

Commanding, as it thus does, so important a passage over the mountains,
there can be but little doubt that Grazalema stands upon, or near, the
site of some Roman fortress; and, for reasons which I shall hereafter
mention, I feel inclined to place here the town of Ilipa.[14]

The inhabitants amount to about 6,000, and are a savage,
ruffianly-looking race. During the "War of Independence," assisted by
their brethren of the neighbouring mountain fastnesses, they frequently
rose against their invaders, driving them out of the place; and on one
occasion they repulsed a French column of several thousand men, which
was sent to dispossess them of their stronghold.

On leaving Grazalema, the road enters the narrow, rock-bound ravine
leading up to the pass, down which a noisy torrent rushes, leaping from
precipice to precipice, and lashing the base of the crag-built town,
whence we had just issued. A newly-built bridge, whose high-crowned arch
places it beyond the anger of the foaming stream, gives a passage to the
road to Zahara, which winds along the eastern face of the Sierra del
Pinar. Our route, however, continues ascending yet a mile and a half
along the right bank of the torrent, ere it reaches the long descried
gap in the mountain chain, the name of which is _El Puerto Bozal_.

This is considered one of the most elevated passes in the whole Serranía
de Ronda, and must be at least 4,000 feet above the level of the sea.
The mountains on either side rise to a far greater elevation; that on
the right, distinguished by the name of _El Pico de San Cristoval_, is
said (as has already been stated) to have been the first land made by
Columbus on his return from the discovery of the "New World."

The views from this pass are truly grand. At our backs lay the
beautifully wooded country we had travelled over in the morning--Ronda
and its vale, and the distant sierras of El Burgo and Casarabonela.
Before us, a wild mountain country extended for several miles; and
beyond, spreading as far as the eye could reach, were the vast plains of
Arcos, through which the gladdening Guadalete, winding its way past
Xeres, turns to seek the bay of Cadiz, whose glassy surface the white
walls of its proud mistress, and the deep blue ocean, could be seen
distinctly on the left, though at a distance of more than fifty miles.

From the Puerto Bozal, a _trocha_, directed straight upon Ubrique,
strikes off to the left; but the saving in point of distance which this
road offers, is counterbalanced by its extreme ruggedness. We,
therefore, took the more circuitous route to that place by El Broque,
which, for the first five miles, is itself sufficiently bad to satisfy
most people. The views along it, looking to the south, are very fine;
but the lofty barren range of San Cristoval, on the side of which it is
conducted, shuts out the prospect in the opposite direction.

At length, crossing over a narrow tongue that protrudes from the side of
the rugged mountain, we entered a dark, wooded ravine, and began to
descend very rapidly, and, to our astonishment, by a very good road.
After proceeding in this way about a mile, the valley gradually
expanding, we emerged from the wood, and found ourselves in a
sequestered glen of surpassing loveliness. A neat white chapel, with a
picturesque belfry, stood on a sloping green bank on our right hand,
and, scattered in all directions about it, were the trim, vine-clad
cottages of its frequenters, each screened partially from the sun in a
grove of almond, cherry, and orange trees. A crystal stream gurgled
through the fruitful dell, which was bounded at some little distance by
high wooded hills and rocky cliffs.

This secluded retreat is called _La Huerta[15] de Benamajáma_,--the
peculiarly guttural name proving it to have been a little earthly
paradise of the Moors.

The road, which had thus far been nearly west, here, continuing along
the course of the little river Posadas, turns to the south; and, keeping
under a range of wooded hills on the left hand, in about an hour reaches
El Broque. This portion of the road is very good, and from it, looking
over the great plain bordering the Guadalete, may be seen the lofty
tower of _Pajarete_, perched on a conical mound, at about a league's
distance. The justly celebrated sweet wine called by this name was
originally produced from the vineyards in its vicinity, but it is now
made principally at Xeres.

El Broque is a small clean town, abounding in wood and water, and
containing from 1500 to 2000 inhabitants. To the east it is overshadowed
by a range of lofty, wooded hills, which may be considered the last
buttresses of the Serranía; for the road to Cadiz, which here branches
off to the right, crossing the Posadas, traverses an uninterrupted plain
all the way to Arcos.

The route to Ubrique, on the other hand, again strikes into the
mountains; though, for yet two miles further, it follows the course of
the little river and its impending sierra. Arrived, however, at the
mouth of a ravine, which brings down another mountain-torrent to the
plain, it turns to the north, keeping along the margin of the stream,
until the bridge of Tavira offers the means of passage; when, crossing
to the opposite bank, it once more enters the intricate belt of

The name of the stream which is here crossed is the Majaceite; and on
its right bank, close to the bridge, is a solitary venta. The scenery is
extremely beautiful. The mountains of Grazalema, which we had traversed
in the morning, form the background; the ruined tower of Alamada,
perched on an isolated knoll, stands boldly forward in middle distance;
and close at hand are the rough, coppiced banks and crystal current of
the winding Majaceite.

From hence to Ubrique the country is very wild and rugged. The town is
first seen (when about a league off) from the summit of a round-topped
hill, six miles from El Broque. It is nestled in the bottom of a deep
valley, hemmed in by singularly rugged mountains. The first part of the
descent is gradual, but a steep neck of land must be crossed ere
reaching the town; and, as if to render the approach as difficult as
possible, the road over this mound has been paved.

Amongst the rude masses of sierra that encompass Ubrique, numerous
rivulets pierce their way to the lowly valley, where, collected in two
streams, they are conducted to the town, and, fertilizing the ground in
its neighbourhood, cause it to be encircled by a belt of most luxuriant
vegetation. The mountains in the vicinity abound also in lead-mines, but
they are no longer worked. "Where are we to find money? Where are we to
look for security?" were the answers given to _my_ question, "Why not?"

The streets of Ubrique are wide, clean, and well paved; the houses lofty
and good; but the inn, alas! affords the wearied traveller little more
than bare walls and a wooden floor. The population of the place may be
estimated at 8000 souls. It contains some tanneries, water-mills, and
manufactories of hats and coarse cloths. It does not strike me as being
a likely site for a Roman city.

We were on horseback by daybreak, having before us a long ride, and, for
the first five leagues (to Ximena), a very difficult country to
traverse. For about a mile the road is paved, and confined to the vale
in which Ubrique stands by a precipitous mountain. But, the westernmost
point of this ridge turned, the route to Ximena (leaving a road to
Alcalà de los Gazules on the right) takes a more southerly direction
than heretofore, and, entering a hilly country, soon dwindles into a
mere mule-track. Ere proceeding far in this direction, another road
branches off to Cortes, winding up towards some cragged eminences that
serrate the mountain-chain on the left. The path to Ximena, however,
continues yet two miles further across the comparatively undulated
country below, which thus far is under cultivation; but, on gaining the
summit of a hill, distant about four miles from Ubrique, a complete
change takes place in the face of the country; the view opening upon a
wide expanse of forest, furrowed by numerous deep ravines, and studded
with rugged tors.

The road through this overshadowed labyrinth is continually mounting and
descending the slippery banks of the countless torrents that intersect
it, twisting and winding in every direction; and, on gaining the heart
of the forest, the path is crossed and cut up by such numbers of
timber-tracks, and is screened from the sun's cheering rays by so
impervious a covering, that the difficulty of choosing a path amongst
the many which presented themselves was yet further increased by that of
determining the point of the compass towards which they were
respectively directed.

The guide we had brought with us, though pretending to be thoroughly
acquainted with every pathway in the forest, was evidently as much at a
_nonplus_ as we ourselves were; and his muttered _malditos_ and
_carajos_, like the rolling of distant thunder, announced the coming of
a storm. At length it burst forth: the track he had selected, after
various windings, led only to the stump of a venerable oak. Never was
mortal in a more towering passion; he snatched his hat from his head,
threw it on the ground, and stamped upon it, swearing by, or at--for we
could hardly distinguish which--all the saints in the calendar. After
enjoying this scene for some time, we spread ourselves in different
directions in search of the beaten track; and, at last, a swineherd,
attracted by our calls to each other, came to our deliverance; and our
guide, after bestowing sundry _malditos_ upon the wood, the torrents,
the timber-tracks, and those who made them, resumed his wonted state of
composure, assuring us, that there was some accursed hobgoblin in this
_hi-de-puta_ forest, who took delight in leading good Catholics astray;
that during the war an entire regiment, misled by some such
_malhechor_,[16] had been obliged to bivouac there for the night, to the
great detriment of his very Catholic Majesty's service.

Soon after this little adventure we reached a solitary house, called the
_Venta de Montera_, which is something more than half way between
Ubrique and Ximena; _i.e._ eleven miles from the former, and nine from
the latter. A little way beyond this the road reaches an elevated chain
of hills, that separates the rivers Sogarganta and Guadiaro; the summit
of which being rather a succession of peaks than a continuous ridge,
occasions the track to be conducted sometimes along the edge of one
valley, sometimes of the other. The mountain falls very ruggedly to the
first-named river, but in one magnificent sweep to the Guadiaro.

The views on both sides are extremely fine; that on the left hand
embraces Gibraltar's cloud-wrapped peaks, the mirror-like Mediterranean,
Spain's prison-fortress of Ceuta, and the blue mountains of Mauritanía;
the other looks over the silvery current of the Sogarganta, winding
amidst the roots of a peculiarly wild and wooded country, and towards
the rock-built little fortress of Castellar.

The road continues winding along this elevated heather-clad ridge for
four miles, and then descends by rapid zig-zags towards Ximena.

The town lies crouching under the shelter of a rocky ledge, that,
detached from the rest of the sierra, and crowned with the ruined towers
of an ancient castle, forms a bold and very picturesque feature in the
view, looking southward. The town is nearly a mile in length, and
consists principally of two long narrow streets, one extending from
north to south quite through it, the other leading up to the castle. The
rest of the _callejones_[17] are disposed in steps up the steep side of
the impending hill, and can be reached only on foot.

The old castle--in great part Roman, but the superstructure Moorish--is
accessible only on the side of the town (east), and in former days must
have been almost impregnable. The narrow-ridged ledge whereon it stands
has been levelled, as far as was practicable, to give capacity to this
citadel, which is 400 yards in length, and varies in breadth from 50 to
80. It rises gently, so as to form two hummocks at its extremities; and
the narrowest part of the inclosure being towards the centre, it has
very much the form of a calabash.

A strongly built circular tower, mounting artillery, and enclosed by an
irregular loop-holed work of some strength, occupies the southern peak
of the ridge; and a fort of more modern structure, but feeble profile,
covers that in which it terminates to the north. An irregularly indented
wall, or in some places scarped rock, connects these two retrenched
works along the eastern side of the ridge; but, in the opposite
direction, the cliff falls precipitously to the river Sogarganta;
rendering any artificial defences, beyond a slight parapet wall, quite

Numerous vaulted tanks and magazines afforded security to the ammunition
and provisions of the isolated little citadel; but they are now in a
wretched state, as well as the outworks generally; for the fortress was
partially blown up by Ballasteros, (A.D. 1811) upon his abandoning it,
on the approach of the French, to seek a surer protection under the guns
of Gibraltar.

In exploring the ruined tanks of this old Moorish fortress, chance
directed our footsteps to an unfrequented spot where some smugglers were
in treaty with a revenue _guarda_, touching the amount of bribe to be
given for his connivance at the entry of sundry mule loads of contraband
goods into the town on the following night.

We did not pry so curiously into the proceedings of the contracting
parties, as to ascertain the precise sum demanded by this faithful
servant of the crown for the purchase of his acquiescence to the
proposed arrangement, but, from the elevated shoulders, outstretched
arms, and down-stretched mouth, of one of the negociators, it was
evident that the demand was considered unconscionable; and the roguish
countenance of the custom-house shark as clearly expressed in reply,
"But do you count for nothing the sacrifice of principle I make?"

From the ruined ramparts of Fort Ballasteros (the name by which the
northern retrenched work of the fortress is distinguished) the view
looking south is remarkably fine. The keep of the ancient castle,
enclosed by its comparatively modern outworks, and occupying the extreme
point of the narrow rocky ledge whereon we were perched, stands boldly
out from the adjacent mountains; whilst, deep sunk below, the tortuous
Sogarganta may be traced for miles, wending its way towards the
Almoraima forest. Above this rise the two remarkable headlands of
Gibraltar and Ceuta; the glassy waterline between them marking the
separation of Europe and Africa.

That Ximena was once a place of importance there can be no doubt, since
it gave the title of King to Abou Melic, son of the Emperor of Fez; and
that it was a Roman station (though the name is lost,) is likewise
sufficiently proved, as well by the walls of the castle, as by various
inscriptions which have been discovered in the vicinity. At the present
day, it is a poor and inconsiderable town, whose inhabitants, amounting
to about 8000, are chiefly employed in smuggling and agriculture.

On issuing from the town, the road to Gibraltar crosses the Sogarganta,
having on its left bank, and directly under the precipitous southern
cliff of the castle rock, the ruins of an immense building, erected some
sixty years back, for the purpose of casting shot for the siege of

The distance from Ximena to the English fortress is 25 miles. The road
was, in times past, practicable for carriages throughout; and even now
is tolerably good, though the bridges are not in a state to drive over.
It is conducted along the right bank of the Sogarganta; at six miles, is
joined by a road that winds down from the little town of Castellar on
the right; and, at eight, enters the Almoraima forest by the "Lion's
Mouth," of which mention has already been made. The river, repelled by
the steep brakes of the forest, winds away to the eastward to seek the
Guadiaro and Genil.

Here I will take a temporary leave of my readers, to seek a night's
lodging at a cottage in the neighbourhood, which, being frequented by
some friends and myself in the shooting season, we knew could furnish us
with clean beds and a _gazpacho_.



Hoping that the taste of my readers, like my own, leads them to prefer
the motion of a horse to that of a ship, the chance of being robbed to
that of being sea-sick, and the savoury smell of an _olla_ to the greasy
odour of a steam engine, I purpose in my next excursion to conduct them
to Cadiz by the rude pathway practised along the rocky shore of the
Straits of Gibraltar, and thence, "_inter æstuaria Bætis_," to Seville,
instead of proceeding to those places by the more rapid and now
generally adopted means of fire and water. From the last named "fair
city" we will return homewards by another passage through the mountains
of Ronda.

To authorise _me_--a mere scribbler of notes and journals--to assume the
plural _we_, that gives a Delphic importance to one's opinions (but
under whose shelter I gladly seek to avoid the charge of egotism), I
must state that a friend bore me company on this occasion; our two
servants, with well stuffed saddle-bags and _alforjas_, "bringing up the

Proceeding along the margin of the bay of Gibraltar, leaving
successively behind us the ruins of Fort St. Philip, which a few years
since gave security to the right flank of the lines drawn across the
Isthmus in front of the British fortress; the crumbling tower of
_Cartagena_, or _Recadillo_, which, during the seven centuries of Moslem
sway, served as an _atalaya_, or beacon, to convey intelligence along
the coast between Algeciras and Malaga; and, lastly, the scattered
fragments of the yet more ancient city of Carteia, we arrive at the
river Guadaranque.

The stream is so deep as to render a ferry-boat necessary. That in use
is of a most uncouth kind, and so low waisted that "Almanzor," who was
ever prone to gad amongst the Spanish lady Rosinantes, could not be
deterred from showing his gallantry to some that were collected on the
opposite side of the river, by leaping "clean out" of the boat before it
was half way over. Fortunately, we had passed the deepest part of the
stream, so that I escaped with a foot-bath only.

The road keeps close to the shore for about a mile and a half, when it
reaches the river Palmones, which is crossed by a similarly
ill-contrived ferry. From hence to Algeciras is three miles, the first
along the sea-beach, the remainder by a carriage-road, conducted some
little distance inland to avoid the various rugged promontories which
now begin to indent the coast, and to dash back in angry foam the
hitherto gently received caresses of the flowing tide.

The total distance from Gibraltar to Algeciras, following the sea-shore,
is nine English miles; but straight across the bay it is barely five.

Algeciras, supposed to be the Tingentera of the ancients, and by some
the Julia Traducta of the Romans, received its present name from the
Moors--_Al chazira_, the island. In the days of the Moslem domination,
it became a place of great strength and importance; and when the power
of the Moors of Spain began to wane, was one of the towns ceded to the
Emperor of Fez, to form a kingdom for his son, Abou Melic, in the hope
of presenting a barrier that would check the alarming progress of the
Christian arms. From that time it became a constant object of
contention, and endured many sieges. The most memorable was in 1342-4,
during which cannon were first brought into use by its defenders. It,
nevertheless, fell to the irresistible Alfonso XI., after a siege of
twenty months.

At that period, the town stood on the right bank of the little river
Miel (instead of on the left, as at present), where traces of its walls
are yet to be seen; but its fortifications having shortly afterwards
been razed to the ground by the Moors, the place fell to decay, and the
present town was built so late as in 1760. It is unprotected by walls,
but is sheltered from attack on the sea-side by a rocky little island,
distant 800 yards from the shore. This island is crowned with batteries
of heavy ordnance, and has, on more occasions than one, been found an
"ugly customer" to deal with. The anchorage is to the north of the
island, and directly in front of the town.

The streets of Algeciras are wide and regularly built, remarkably well
paved, and lined with good houses; but it is a sun-burnt place, without
a tree to shelter, or a drain to purify it. Being the port of
communication between Spain and her _presidario_, Ceuta, as well as the
military seat of government of the _Campo de Gibraltar_, it is a place
of some bustle, and carries on a thriving trade, by means of _felucas_
and other small craft, with the British fortress. The population may be
reckoned at 8,000 souls, exclusive of a garrison of from twelve to
fifteen hundred men.

The Spaniards call the rock of Gibraltar _el cuerpo muerto_,[18] from
its resemblance to a corpse; and, viewed from Algeciras, it certainly
does look something like a human figure laid upon its back, the
northernmost pinnacle forming the head, the swelling ridge between that
and the signal tower, the chest and belly, and the point occupied by
O'Hara's tower the bend of the knees.

The direct road from Algeciras to Cadiz crosses the most elevated pass
in the wooded mountains that rise at the back of the town, and, from its
excessive asperity, is called "_The Trocha_," the word itself signifying
a _bad_ mountain road. The distance by this route is sixty-two miles; by
Tarifa it is about a league more, and this latter road is not much
better than the other, though over a far lower tract of country.

On quitting the town, the road, having crossed the river Miel, and
passed over the site of "Old Algeciras," situated on its right bank,
edges away from the coast, and, in about a mile, reaches a hill, whence
an old tower is seen standing on a rocky promontory; which, jutting some
considerable distance into the sea, forms the northern boundary of a
deep and well sheltered bay. The Spanish name for this bight is _La
Ensenada de Getares_; but by us, on account of the high beach of white
sand that edges it, it is called "Sandy bay." It strikes me this must be
the _Portus albus_ of Antoninus's Itinerary, since its distance from
Carteia corresponds exactly with that therein specified, and renders the
rest of the route to Gades _intelligible_, which, otherwise, it
certainly is not. But more of this hereafter.

Within two miles of Algeciras the road crosses two mountain torrents,
the latter of which, called _El Rio Picaro_[19] (I presume from its
occasional _treacherous_ rise), discharges itself into the bay of
Getares. Thenceforth, the track becomes more rugged, and ascends towards
a pass, (_El puerto del Cabrito_) which connects the _Sierra Santa Ana_
on the right with a range of hills that, rising to the south, and
closing the view in that direction, shoots its gnarled roots into the
Straits of Gibraltar.

The views from the pass are very fine--that to the eastward, looking
over the lake-like Mediterranean and towards the snowy sierras of
Granada; the other, down upon the rough features of the Spanish shore,
and towards the yet more rugged mountains of Africa; the still distant
Atlantic stretching away to the left. The former view is shut out
immediately on crossing the ridge: but the other, undergoing pleasing
varieties as one proceeds, continues very fine all the way to Tarifa.

The road is now very bad, being conducted across the numerous rough
ramifications of the mountains on the right hand, midway between their
summits and the sea. At about seven miles from Algeciras it reaches the
secluded valley of Gualmesi, or Guadalmesi, celebrated for the
crystaline clearness of its springs, and the high flavour of its
oranges; and, crossing the stream, whence the romantic dell takes its
name, directs itself towards the sea-shore, continuing along it the rest
of the way to Tarifa; which place is distant twelve miles from

The stratification of the rocks along this coast is very remarkable: the
flat shelving ledges that border it running so regularly in parallel
lines, nearly east and west, as to have all the appearance of artificial
moles for sheltering vessels. It is on the contrary, however, an
extremely dangerous shore to approach.

The old Moorish battlements of Tarifa abut against the rocky cliff that
bounds the coast; stretching thence to the westward, along, but about 50
yards from, the sea. It is not necessary, therefore, to enter the
fortress; indeed, one makes a considerable détour in doing so; but
curiosity will naturally lead all Englishmen--who have the
opportunity--to visit the walls so gallantly defended by a handful of
their countrymen during the late war; and those who cannot do so may not
object to read a somewhat minute description of them.

The town closes the mouth of a valley, bound by two long but slightly
marked moles, protruded from a mountain range some miles distant to the
north; the easternmost of which terminates abruptly along the sea-shore.
The walls extend partly up both these hills; but not far enough to save
the town from being looked into, and completely commanded, within a very
short distance. Their general lines form a quadrangular figure, about
600 yards square; but a kind of horn work projects from the N.E. angle,
furnishing the only good flanking fire that the fortress can boast of
along its north front. Every where else the walls, which are only four
feet and a half thick, are flanked by square towers, themselves hardly
solid enough to bear the _weight_ of artillery, much less its blows.

At the S.W. angle, but within the enceinte of the fortress, and looking
seawards, there is a small castle, or citadel, the _alcazar_ of its
Moorish governors; and immediately under its machicoulated battlements
is one of the three gateways of the town. The two others are towards the
centre of its western and northern fronts.

In the attack of 1811, the French made their approaches against the
north front of the town, and effected a breach towards its centre, in
the very lowest part of the bed of the valley; thus most completely
"taking the bull by the horns;" (and Tarifa bulls are not to be trifled
with--as every Spanish _picador_ knows,) since the approach to it was
swept by the fire of the projecting _horn_-work I have before mentioned.

When the breach was repaired, a marble tablet was inserted in the wall,
bearing a modest inscription in Latin, which states that "this part of
the wall, destroyed by the besieging French, was re-built by the British
defenders in November, 1813."

When the French again attacked the fortress, in 1823, profiting by past
experience, they established their breaching batteries in a large
convent, distant about 200 yards from the walls on the west front of the
town; and, favouring their assault by a feigned attack on the gate in
its south wall, they carried the place with scarcely any loss.

The streets of Tarifa are narrow, dark, and crooked; and, excepting that
they are clean, are in every respect Moorish. The inhabitants are rude
in speech and manners, and amount to about 8000.

From the S.E. salient angle of the town, a sandy isthmus juts about a
thousand yards into the sea, and is connected by a narrow artificial
causeway with a rocky peninsula, or island, as it is more generally
termed, that stretches yet 700 or 800 yards further into the Straits of
Gibraltar. This is the most southerly point of Europe, being in latitude
30° 0' 56", which is nearly six miles to the south of Europa Point.

The island is of a circular form, and towards the sea is merely defended
by three open batteries, armed _en barbette_; but to the land side, it
presents a bastioned front, that sweeps the causeway with a most
formidable fire. A lighthouse stands at the extreme point of the island,
which also contains a casemated barrack for troops, and some remarkable
old tanks, perhaps of a date much prior to the arrival of the Saracens.

The foundation of the town of Tarifa is usually ascribed to Tarik Aben
Zaide, the first Mohammedan invader of Spain; who probably, previous to
crossing the Straits, had marked the island as offering a favourable
landing-place, as well as a secure depôt for his stores, and a safe
refuge in the event of a repulse. Mariana, however, imagined, that
Tartessus, or Carteia--which he considered the same place--stood upon
this spot; and, under this persuasion, he speaks of the admiral of the
Pompeian faction retiring there, after his action with Cæsar's fleet,
and drawing a chain across the mouth of the port to protect his
vessels; a circumstance which alone proves that Carteia was not Tarifa;
since it must be evident to any one who has examined the coast
attentively, that no port could possibly have existed there, which could
have afforded shelter to a large fleet, and been closed by drawing a
chain across its mouth.

Others, again, suppose Tarifa to occupy the site of Mellaria. But I
rather incline to the opinion of those who consider it doubtful whether
_any_ Roman town stood upon the spot; an opinion for which I think I
shall hereafter be able to assign sufficient reason.

As Tarifa was the field wherein the Mohammedan invaders of Spain
obtained their first success, so, six centuries after, did it become the
scene of one of their most humiliating defeats; the battle of the
_Salado_, gained A.D. 1340, by Alphonso XI., of Castile, having
inflicted a blow upon them, from the effects of which they never
recovered. Four crowned heads were engaged in that sanguinary
conflict--the King of Portugal, as the ally of the Castillian hero;
Jusuf, King of Granada; and Abu Jacoob, Emperor of Morocco. The
last-named, according to the Spanish historians, had crossed over from
Africa, with an army of nearly half a million of men, to avenge the
death of his son, Abou Melic; killed the preceding year at the battle of

The little river, which gave its name to that important battle gained by
the Christian army on its banks, winds through a plain to the westward
of Tarifa, crossing the road to Cadiz, at about two miles from the
town.[20] The valley is about three miles across, and extends a
considerable distance inland. It is watered by several mountain streams
that fall into the Salado. That rivulet is the last which is met with,
and is crossed by a long wooden bridge on five stone piers.

The term _Salado_ is of very common occurrence amongst the names of the
rivers of the south of Spain; though in most cases it is used rather as
a term signifying a _water-course_, than as the name of the rivulet:
thus _El Salado de Moron_ is a stream issuing from the mountains in the
vicinity of the town of Moron; _El Salado de Porcuna_ is a torrent that
washes the walls of Porcuna; and so with the rest. As, however, the word
in Spanish signifies salt, (used adjectively) it has led to many
mistakes, and occasioned much perplexity in determining the course of
the river _Salsus_, mentioned so frequently by Hirtius; but to which, in
point of fact, the word _Salado_ has no reference whatever, being
applied to numerous streams that are perfectly free from salt.

On the other hand, it might naturally be supposed that the word _Salido_
(the past participle of the verb _Salir_, to issue) would have been used
if intended to signify a source or stream issuing from the mountains.

It seems to me, therefore, that the word _Salado_ must be a derivation
from the Arabic _S[=a]l_, a water-course in a valley; which, differing
so little in sound from _Salido_, continued to be used after the
expulsion of the Moors; until at length, its derivation being lost, it
came to be considered as signifying what the word actually means in
Spanish, viz. impregnated with salt.

At the western extremity of the plain, watered by the _Salado de
Tarifa_, a barren Sierra terminates precipitously along the coast,
leaving but a narrow space between its foot and the sea, for the passage
of the road to Cadiz. Under shelter of the eastern side of this Sierra,
standing in the plain, but closing the little Thermopylæ, I think we may
place the Roman town of Mellaría,[21] eighteen miles from Carteia, and
six from Belone Claudia, according to the Itinerary of Antoninus; and
mentioned by Strabo as a place famous for curing fish.

Tarifa, which, as I have said before, is supposed by some authors to be
on the site of Mellaría, is in the first place rather too near Calpe
Carteia to accord with that supposition; and in the next, it is far too
distant from Belon; the site of which is well established by numerous
ruins visible to this day, at a _despoblado_,[22] called Bolonia.

It may be objected, on the other hand, that the position which I suppose
Mellaría to have occupied, is as much too far removed from Carteia, as
Tarifa is too near it: and following the present road, it certainly is
so. But there is no reason to take for granted that the ancient military
way followed this line; on the contrary, as the Romans rather preferred
straight to circuitous roads, we may suppose that, as soon as the nature
of the country admitted of it, they carried their road away from the
coast, to avoid the promontory running into the sea at Tarifa. Now, an
opportunity for them to do this presented itself on arriving at the
valley of Gualmesi, from whence a road might very well have been carried
direct to the spot that I assign for the position of Mellaría; which
road, by saving two miles of the circuitous route by Tarifa, would fix
Mellaría at the prescribed distance from Carteia, and also bring it
(very nearly) within the number of miles from Belon, specified in the
Roman Itinerary, viz. six; whereas, if Mellaría stood where Tarifa now
does, the distance would be nearly _ten_.

The city of Belon appears to have slipped bodily from the side of the
mountain on which it was built (probably the result of an earthquake),
as its ruins may be distinctly seen when the tide is out and the water
calm, stretching some distance into the Atlantic. Vestiges of an
aqueduct may also be traced for nearly a league along the coast, by
means of which the town was supplied with water from a spring that rises
near Cape Palomo, the southernmost point of the same Sierra under which
Belon was situated.

In following out the Itinerary of Antoninus--according to which the
total distance from Calpe to Gades is made seventy-six miles[23]--the
next place mentioned after Belon Claudia is Besippone, distant twelve
miles. This place, it appears to me, must have stood on the coast a
little way beyond the river Barbate; and not at Vejer, (which is several
miles inland) as some have supposed; for the distance from the ruins of
Bolonia to that town far exceeds that specified in the Itinerary.

Vejer (or Beger, as it is indifferently written) may probably be where a
Roman town called Besaro stood, of which Besippo was the port; the
latter only having been noticed in the Itinerary from it being situated
on the direct military route from Carteia to Gades; the former by
Pliny,[24] as being a place of importance within the _Conventus

From Besippone to Mergablo--the next station of the Itinerary--is six
miles; and at that distance from the spot where I suppose the first of
those places to have stood, there is a very ancient tower on the sea
side, (to the westward of Cape Trafalgar) from which an old, apparently
Roman, paved road, now serving no purpose whatever, leads for several
miles into the country. From this tower to Cadiz--crossing the Santi
Petri river _at its mouth_--the distance exceeds but little twenty-four
miles; the number given in the Itinerary.

The distances I have thus laid down agree pretty well throughout with
those marked on the Roman military way; which, it may be supposed, were
not _very exactly_ measured, since the fractions of miles have in every
case been omitted. The only objection which can be urged to my
measurements is, that they make the Roman miles too long. Having,
however, taken the Olympic stadium (in this instance) as my standard, of
which there are but 600 to a degree of the Meridian, or seventy-five
Roman miles; and as my measurements, even with it, are still rather
_short_, the reply is very simple, viz. that the adoption of any
_smaller_ scale would but _increase the error_.

From the spot where I suppose Mellaría to have stood--which is marked by
a little chapel standing on a detached pinnacle of the _Sierra de
Enmedio_, overhanging the sea--the distance to the Rio Baqueros is two
miles; the road keeping along a flat and narrow strip of land, between
the foot of the mountain and the sea.

The coast now trends to the south west, a high wooded mountain,
distinguished by the name of the Sierra de _San Mateo_, stretching some
way into the sea, and forming the steep sandy cape of _Paloma_, a league
on the western side of which are the ruins of Belon.

The road to Cadiz, however, leaves the sea-shore to seek a more level
country, and, inclining slightly to the north, keeping up the _Val de
Baqueros_ for five miles, reaches a pass between the mountains of San
Mateo and Enmedio.

The valley is very wild and beautiful. Laurustinus, arbutus, oleander,
and rhododendron are scattered profusely over the bed of the torrent
that rushes down it; and the bounding mountains are richly clothed with
forest trees.

From the pass an extensive view is obtained of the wide plain of Vejer,
and _laguna de la Janda_ in its centre. Descending for two miles and a
half,--the double-peaked Sierra _de la Plata_ being now on the left
hand, and that of _Fachenas_, studded with water-mills, on the
right--the road reaches the eastern extremity of the above-named plain,
where the direct road from Algeciras to Cadiz falls in, and that of
Medina Sidonia branches off to the right. The Cadiz route here inclines
again to the westward, and, in three miles, reaches the _Venta de

From hence two roads present themselves for continuing the journey; one
proceeding along the edge of the plain; the other keeping to the left,
and making a slight détour by the _Sierra de Retin_; and when the plain
is flooded, it is necessary to take this latter route. Let those who
find themselves in this predicament avoid making the solitary hovel,
called the _Venta de Retin_, their resting-place for the night, as I was
once obliged to do; for, unless they are partial to a guard bed, and to
go to it supperless, they will not meet with accommodation and
entertainment to their liking.

We will return, however, to the _Venta de Tabilla_, which is a fraction
of a degree better than that of Retin. From thence the distance to Vejer
is fourteen miles. The first two pass over a gently swelling country,
planted with corn; the next six along the low wooded hills bordering the
_laguna de la Janda_; the remainder over a hilly, and partially wooded
tract, whence the sea is again visible at some miles distance on the

In winter the greater part of the plain of Vejer is covered with water,
there being no outlet for the _Laguna_; which, besides being the
reservoir for all the rain that falls on the surrounding hills, is fed
by several considerable streams.

A project to drain the lake was entertained some years ago; but, like
all other Spanish projects, it failed, after an abortive trial. In its
present state, therefore, the whole surface of the plain is available
only for pasture; and numerous herds are subsisted on it. The gentle
slopes bounding it, being secure from inundation, are planted with corn.

Vejer is situated on the northern extremity of a bare mountain ridge,
that stretches inland from the coast about five miles, and terminates in
a stupendous precipice along the right bank of the river Barbate.
Towards the sea, however, it slopes more gradually, forming the forked
headland, for ever celebrated in history, called Cape Trafalgar.

When arrived within half a mile of the lofty cliff whereon the town
stands, the road enters a narrow gorge, by which the Barbate escapes to
the ocean; this part of its course offering a remarkable contrast to the
rest, which is through an extensive flat.

A stone bridge of three curiously constructed arches, said to be Roman,
gives a passage over the stream; and a venta is situated on the right
bank, immediately under the town; the houses of which may be seen edging
the precipice, at a height of five or six hundred feet above the river.

The road to Cadiz, and consequently all others,--it being the most
southerly,--avoids the ascent to Vejer, which is very steep, and so
circuitous as to occupy fully half an hour. But the place is well worth
a visit, if only for the sake of the view from the church steeple, which
is very extensive and beautiful; and taken altogether, it is a much
better town than could be expected, considering its truly out-of-the-way
situation. That it was a Roman station, its position alone sufficiently
proves; but whether it be the Besaro, or Belippo, or even Besippo of
Pliny, seems doubtful.

It occupies a tolerably level space; though bounded on three sides by
precipices, and is consequently still a very defensible post,
notwithstanding its walls are all destroyed. The streets are narrow, but
clean and well paved; and the place contains many good houses, and
several large convents. The inns, however, are such wretched places,
that on one occasion, when I passed a night there, I had to seek a
resting-place in a private house.

The Barbate is navigable for large barges up to the bridge; but the
difficulty of access to the town prevents its carrying on much trade.
The population amounts to about 6,000 souls.

There is a delightful walk down a wooded ravine on the western side of
the town, by which the road to Cadiz and the valley of the Barbate may
be regained quicker than by retracing our footsteps to the Venta. Of
this latter I feel bound to say--after much experience--that there is
not a better halting-place between Cadiz and Gibraltar; albeit, many
stories are told of robberies committed even within its very walls. Let
the traveller take care, therefore, to show his pistols to mine host,
and to lock his bedroom door.

We resumed our journey with the dawn. The road keeps for nearly a mile
along the narrow, flat strip between the bank of the river, and the high
cliff whereon the town is perched. The gorge then terminates, and an
open country permits the roads to the different neighbouring places to
branch off in their respective directions. From hence to Medina Sidonia
is thirteen miles; to Alcalà de los Gazules, twenty; and to
Chiclana--whither we were bound--fifteen;--but, leaving these three
roads on the right, we proceeded by a rather more circuitous route to
the last mentioned place, by Conil and Barrosa.

The distance from Vejer to Conil is nine miles; the country undulated
and uninteresting. Conil is a large fishing town, containing a swarming
population of 8,000 souls. The smell of the houses where the tunny fish
(here taken in great abundance) are cut up and cured, extends inland for
several miles; but the inhabitants consider it very wholesome; and to my
animadversive remarks on the filth and effluvium of the place itself,
answer was made, "_no hay epidemia aqui_;"[25]--quite a sufficient
excuse, according to their ideas, for submitting to live the life of

We arrived just as the fishermen had enclosed a shoal of Tunny with
their nets; so, putting up our horses, we waited to see the result of
their labours. The whole process is very interesting. The Tunny can be
discovered when at a very considerable distance from the land; as they
arrive in immense shoals, and cause a ripple on the surface of the
water, like that occasioned by a light puff of wind on a calm day. Men
are, therefore, stationed in the different watch towers along the coast,
to look out for them, and, immediately on perceiving a shoal, they make
signals to the fishermen, indicating the direction, distance, &c. Boats
are forthwith put to sea, and the fish are surrounded with a net of
immense size, but very fine texture, which is gradually hauled towards
the shore.

The tunny, coming in contact with this net, become alarmed, and make off
from it in the only direction left open to them. The boats follow, and
draw the net in, until the space in which the fish are confined is
sufficiently small to allow a second net, of great strength, to
circumscribe the first; which is then withdrawn. The tunny, although
very powerful, (being nearly the size and very much the shape of a
porpoise) have thus far been very quiet, seeking only to escape under
the net; and have hardly been perceptible to the spectators on the
beach. But, on drawing in the new net, and getting into shallow water,
their danger gives them the courage of despair, and furious are their
struggles to escape from their hempen prison.

The scene now becomes very animated. When the draught is heavy--as it
was in this instance--and there is a possibility of the net being
injured, and of the fish escaping if it be drawn at once to land, the
fishermen arm themselves with harpoons, or stakes, having iron hooks at
the end, and rush into the sea whilst the net is yet a considerable
distance from the shore, surrounding it, and shouting with all their
might to frighten the fish into shallow water, when they become
comparatively powerless.

In completing the investment of their prey, some of the fishermen are
obliged even to swim to the outer extremity of the net, where, holding
on by the floats with one hand, they strike, with singular dexterity,
such fish as approach the edge, in the hope of effecting their escape,
with a short harpoon held in the other. The men in the boats, at the
same time, keep up a continual splashing with their oars, to deter the
tunny from attempting to leap over the hempen enclosure; which,
nevertheless, many succeed in doing, amidst volleys of "_Carajos!_"

The fish are thus killed in the water, and then drawn in triumph on
shore. They are allowed to bleed very freely; and the entrails, roes,
livers, and eyes, are immediately cut out, being perquisites of
different authorities.

The flesh is salted, and exported in great quantities to Catalonia,
Valencia, and the northern provinces of the kingdom. A small quantity of
oil is extracted from the bones.

Some years since, the Duke of Medina Sidonia enjoyed the monopoly of the
tunny fishery on this part of the coast, which was calculated to have
given him a yearly profit of £4000 sterling. But, at the time of my
visit, he had been deprived of this privilege, much to the regret of the
inhabitants of Conil; for the nets and salting-houses, being the
property of the duke, had to be hired, and as there were no capitalists
in the place able to embark in so expensive a speculation as the
purchase of others, the "company" that engaged in the fishery was,
necessarily, composed of strangers to Conil, whose only object was to
obtain the greatest possible profit during the short period for which
they held the duke's property on lease. They, consequently, drove the
hardest bargain they could with the poor inhabitants, who, accustomed
all their lives to this employment, could not turn their hands to any
other, and were forced to submit.

I do not mean to defend monopolies in general, but what I have stated
shows, that in the present state of Spain they are almost unavoidable
evils. The inhabitants of Conil, at all events, complained most bitterly
of the change.

The fishery lasts from March to July, and the season of which I write
(then drawing to a close,) was considered a very successful one, 1300
tunny having been taken at Conil, and 1600 at Barrosa. Each fish is
worth ten dollars, or two pounds sterling. The falling off has, however,
been most extraordinary, as in former days we read of 70,000 fish having
been taken annually.

From Conil the road keeps along the coast for twelve miles, to Barrosa,
a spot occupying a distinguished place in the pages of history, but
marked only by an old tower on the coast, and a small building, called a
_vigia_, or watch-house, situated on a knoll that rises slightly above
the general level of the country. This was the great object of
contention on the celebrated 5th March, 1811.

Never, perhaps, were British soldiers placed under greater disadvantages
than on this glorious day, through the incapacity or pusillanimity, or
both, of the Spanish general who commanded in chief. And though far more
important victories have been gained by them, yet the cool bearing and
determined courage that shone forth so conspicuously on this occasion,
by completely removing the erroneous impression under which their
opponents laboured, as to the fitness of Englishmen for soldiers,
produced, perhaps, better effects than might have attended a victory
gained on a larger scale, under _more favourable_ circumstances.

I have met with Spaniards who absolutely shed tears when speaking of
this battle, in which they considered our troops had been so shamefully
abandoned by their countrymen, or rather by the general who led them.
Nor is it surprising that the English character should stand so high as
it does in this part of the Peninsula, when, within the short space of a
day's ride, three such names as Tarifa, Trafalgar, and Barrosa, are
successively brought to recollection.

The walls of the watch-house of Barrosa still bear the marks of mortal
strife, and the hill on which it stands is even yet strewed with the
bleached bones of the horses which fell there; but so slight is the
command the knoll possesses--indeed in so unimportant, pinched-up a
corner of the coast is it situated--that those who are not aware of the
unaccountable events which led to the battle, may well be surprised at
its having been chosen as a military position.

Striking into the pine-forest, which bounds the field of battle to the
west, we arrived in about half an hour at the bridge and mill of
Almanza, and proceeding onwards, in four miles reached Chiclana; first
winding round the base of a conical knoll, surmounted by a chapel
dedicated to _Santa Ana_.

Chiclana is the Highgate of the good citizens of Cadiz, and contains
many "genteel family residences," adapted for summer visiters; but the
place is disgracefully dirty, so that little benefit can be expected
from _change of air_. The gardens in its vicinage offer agreeable
promenades, however; and there is a fine view from the chapel of _Santa
Ana_, whence may be seen

    "Fair Cadiz, rising o'er the dark blue sea."

Chiclana contains a population of about 6000 souls, and boasts of
possessing a tolerably good _posada_, whereat _calesas_, and other
vehicles, may be hired to proceed to the neighbouring towns; the roads
to all, even the direct one to Vejer, being open to wheel carriages.

A rivulet bathes the north side of the town, dividing it from a large
suburb, and flowing on to the Santi Petri river. The Cadiz road,
crossing this stream by a long wooden bridge, proceeds for three miles
and a half (in company with the routes to _Puerto Santa Maria_, _Puerto
Real_, and _Xeres_,)[26] along a raised causeway, which keeps it above
the saltpans and marshes that render the _Isla de Leon_ so difficult of
approach. Arrived at a wide stream, a ferry-boat affords the means of
passage; and, on gaining the southern bank, the great road from Cadiz to
Madrid (passing through the towns above mentioned) presents itself.

Taking the direction of Cadiz, our passports were immediately demanded
at the entrance of a fortified post, called the _Portazgo_,[27] the
first advanced redoubt of the multiplied defences of the _Isla de Leon_.
From thence the road is conducted, for nearly a mile, through bogs and
saltpans, as before, to the _Puente Zuazo_, a bridge over the river
_Santi Petri_, or _San Pedro_. This, by the way, is rather an arm of the
sea than a river, since it communicates between the bay of Cadiz and the
ocean, and forms the _Isla_ (island) _de Leon_, which otherwise would be
an isthmus. The channel is very wide, deep, and muddy; the bridge has
five arches, and was built by a Doctor _Juan Sanchez de Zuazo_ (whence
its name), on the foundation of one that existed in the days of the
Romans, and is supposed to have served as an aqueduct to supply Cadiz
with water from the _Sierra de Xeres_. It is protected by a double tête
de pont; and has one arch cut, and its parapets pierced with embrasures,
to enable artillery to fire down the stream.

Soon after reaching the right bank of the San Pedro, the long straggling
town of the Isla, or, more properly, _San Fernando_, commences. The main
street is upwards of a mile in length, wide, and rather handsome. The
population of this place is estimated at 30,000 souls; but it varies
considerably, according to the date of the last visitation of yellow

At the southern extremity of the city a low range of hills begins, which
stretches for a mile and a half towards the sea. The causeway to Cadiz,
however, is directed straight upon the _Torre Gorda_, standing upon the
shore more to the westward, and three miles distant from the town of
_San Fernando_.

Here commences the narrow sandy isthmus that connects the point of land
on which Cadiz is built with the _Isla_. It is five miles long, and in
some places so narrow, that the waves of the Atlantic on one side, and
those of the bay of Cadiz on the other, reach the walls of the causeway.
About half way between the _Torre Gorda_ and Cadiz, the isthmus is cut
across by a fort called the _Cortadura_, beyond which it becomes much

At five miles to the eastward of the _Torre Gorda_, or Tower of
Hercules, as it is also called, is the mouth of the Santi Petri river,
and four miles only beyond it is the _Vigia de Barrosa_; so that the
distance from thence to Cadiz is almost doubled by making the détour by
Chiclana. It is more than probable, therefore, that the Romans had a
military post, commanding a _flying bridge_, at the mouth of the river;
for, in the Itinerary of Antoninus, the coast-road from _Calpe_ to
_Gades_ was not directed from _Mergablo_ "_ad pontem_," as in the route
laid down from _Gades_ to _Hispalis_ (Seville), but "_ad
Herculem_;"--that is, it may be presumed, to the temple of Hercules,[28]
situated, according to common tradition, on a part of the coast near the
mouth of the Santi Petri river, over which the waves of the Atlantic now
roll unobstructed; and the supposed site of which temple is the same
distance from Cadiz as the bridge of Zuazo, thereby agreeing with the
Roman Itineraries.

At the distance of 1200 yards from the river's mouth a rocky islet rises
from the sea, bearing on its scarped sides the inapproachable little
castle of _Santi Petri_, the bleached walls of which are said to have
been built from the ruins of the famed temple of Hercules.

Contemptible as this isolated fortress appears to be, as well from its
size as from any thing that art has done for it, the fate of Cadiz,
nevertheless, depends in a great measure upon its preservation; since,
from the command the castle possesses of the entrance of the river, an
enemy, who may gain possession of it, is enabled to force the passage of
the stream under its protecting fire, and take in reverse all the
defenses of the _Isla de Leon_. Cadiz would thereby be reduced to its
own resources; and strong as Cadiz is, yet, like all fortresses defended
only by art, it must eventually fall.

The surrender of the castle of _Santi Petri_ to the French, in the siege
of 1823, occasioned the immediate fall of Cadiz, its defenders seeing
that further resistance would be unavailing; whereas, the capture of the
_Trocadero_, about which so much was thought, did little towards the
reduction of the place. Indeed, the _Trocadero_ was in possession of the
enemy during the whole period of the former siege, 1810-12.



The date of the foundation of Cadiz is lost in the impenetrable chaos of
heathen mythology. One of the numerous conquerors, distinguished by the
general name of Hercules, who, in early ages, carried their victorious
arms to the remotest extremities of Europe, appears to have erected a
temple at the westernmost point of the rocky ledge on which Cadiz now
stands; and round this temple, doubtless, a town gradually sprung up.
But the place came only to be known and distinguished by the name
_Gadira_, when the commercial enterprise of the Phoenicians led them
to make a settlement on this defensible island; and the foundation of
the temple dedicated to Hercules, which Strabo describes as situated at
the eastern extremity of the same island, "where it is separated from
the continent by a strait only about a stadium in width," is ascribed to
Pygmalion, nearly nine centuries before the Christian era.

Gadira, or Gades, to which the name now became corrupted, was the first
town of Spain forcibly occupied by the Carthagenians, who, throwing off
the mask of friendship, took possession of it about the year B.C. 240.
It was the last place that afforded them a refuge in the war which
shortly followed with the Romans, into whose hands it fell, B.C. 203.
From the Romans it afterwards received the name of Augusta Julia,
probably from its adherence to the cause of Cæsar, who restored to the
temple of Hercules the treasures of which it had been plundered during
the civil wars that had previously distracted the country. But its old
name, altered apparently to its present orthography by the Moors, seems
always to have prevailed.

Under the Moslems, Cadiz does not appear to have enjoyed any very great
consideration; and it was wrested from them without difficulty by San
Fernando, soon after the capture of Seville.

On the discovery of America, Cadiz became, next to Seville (which was
endowed with peculiar privileges), the richest city of Spain. Its
imports at that time amounted annually to eleven millions sterling. But
since the loss of the American colonies, its prosperity has been rapidly
declining; and some years back, when the intestine troubles of Spain
rendered it impossible for her to afford protection to her commerce, the
trade of Cadiz may be said to have ceased.

A _fillip_ was, however, given to its commerce, for it would be absurd
to call it an attempt to restore it--about nine years since, by making
it a free port. But this apparently liberal act, not having been
accompanied by any reduction of the duties imposed on foreign produce
introduced for consumption into the country, was merely a disgraceful
contrivance on the part of the king and his ministers to obtain money.

On the promulgation of the edict constituting Cadiz a free port, it
became at once an entrepôt for the produce of all nations; the goods
brought to it being subjected only to a trifling charge for landing, &c.
The proceeds of this pitiful tax went to the coffers of the
municipality, which had paid the king handsomely for the "act of grace"
bestowed upon the city; and no source of revenue was opened to the
public treasury by the grant of this special privilege, since the goods
landed at Cadiz could only be carried into the interior of the country
on payment of duties that amounted to an absolute prohibition of them,
and they were, consequently, introduced surreptitiously by bribing the
city authorities and custom-house officers; who, in their turn, paid
large sums for their respective situations to the ministers of the

Such is the way in which the commercial concerns of Spain are conducted.
The whole affair was, in fact, a temporary expedient to raise money by
selling Cadiz permission to smuggle. At the same time, the Spanish
government--by offering foreign merchants a mart which, at first sight,
seemed more conveniently situated for disposing of their goods than
Gibraltar--hoped to give a death-blow to the commerce of the British
fortress, which it had found to thrive, in spite of all the iniquitous
restrictions imposed upon it; such, for instance, as the exaction of
duties on goods shipped from thence, double in amount to those levied on
the _same articles_, if brought from the ports of France and Italy; the
depriving even Spanish vessels, if coming from, or touching at,
Gibraltar, of all advantages in regard to the rate of duty otherwise
granted to the national flag;[29] and various other abuses, to which it
is astonishing the British government has so long quietly submitted.

The scheme, however, though successful for a time against Gibraltar, did
no permanent good to Cadiz; and the trade of the place has relapsed into
its former sickly state.

"Cadiz! sweet Cadiz," has been so extolled by modern authors, that I am
almost afraid to say what I think of it. It strikes me, that the very
favourable impression it usually makes on my countrymen is owing to its
being, in most cases, the first place they see after leaving England;
or, perchance, the first place they have seen out of England; to whose
gloomy brick-built towns its bright houses and battlements offer as
agreeable a contrast, as the picturesque costume of its inhabitants does
to the ill-cut garments of the natives of our island.

Under any circumstances, however, the first impression made by Cadiz is
favourable, unless you enter by the fish-market. The streets are
straight, tolerably well lighted, and remarkably well paved, many of
them having even the convenience of a _trottoir_. There is one handsome
square, and the houses, generally, are lofty, and those which are
inhabited are clean. But many are falling rapidly to decay, from the
diminished population and prosperity of the place.

On the other hand, the city does not contain one handsome public
building; and, if one leaves the principal thoroughfares, its boasted
cleanliness and "sweetness" turn out to be mere poetical delusions. In
fact, the vaunted _agrémens_ of the city to me were undiscoverable.
There is but one road to ride upon, one promenade to walk upon, one
sheet of water to boat upon. The Alameda, on which much hyperbolical
praise has been bestowed, is a dusty gravel walk, extending about half a
mile along the ramparts. It is lined--not shaded--with stunted trees,
and commands a fine view of the marsh-environed bay when the tide is in,
and a disagreeable effluvium from it when the tide is out; and, I must
say, that I never could perceive any more "harmony and fascination" in
the movements of the pavonizing _gaditanas_ who frequent it, than in
those of the fair promenaders of other Spanish towns. The _Plaza de San
Antonio_ is a square, situated in the heart of the city, which, paved
with large flag-stones, and lighted with lamps, may be considered a kind
of treadmill, that fashion has condemned her votaries to take an hour's
exercise in after the fatigues of the day.

The society of Cadiz is now but second rate; for it is no longer
inhabited as in bygone days, when the nobility from all parts of the
kingdom sought shelter behind its walls. At the Tertulias of the first
circle, gaming is the principal pastime, and I have been given to
understand that the play is very high. The public amusements are few.
There is a tolerable theatre, where Italian Operas are sometimes
performed; but, for the great national diversion, the bull-fight, the
inhabitants have to cross the bay to Puerto Santa Maria.

In fine, for one whose time is not fully occupied by business, I know of
few _less_ agreeable places of residence than Cadiz. The transient
visiter, who prolongs his stay beyond two days, will find time hang very
heavy on his hands; for having, in that short space, seen all the place
contains, he will be driven to wile away the tedious hours after the
usual manner of its inhabitants, viz., by devoting the morning to the
_cafés_ and billiard-rooms, the afternoon to the _siesta_, evening to
the Alameda, dusk to the Plaza San Antonio and its _Neverias_,[30] and
night to the Tertulias--for such is the life of a Spanish _man of

The hospitable mansion of the British Consul General affords those who
have the good fortune to possess his acquaintance a happy relief from
this monotonous and wearisome life; and, besides meeting there the best
society the place affords, the lovers of the fine arts will derive much
gratification from the inspection of Mr. Brackenbury's picture gallery,
which contains many choice paintings of Murillo, and the best Spanish

What few other good paintings Cadiz possesses are scattered amongst
private houses. The churches contain none of any merit. In one of the
Franciscan convents, however, is to be seen a painting that excites much
interest, as being the last which occupied the pencil of Murillo, though
it was not finished by him. Our conductor told me that a most
distinguished English nobleman had offered 500 guineas for it, but the
pious monks refused to sell it to a heretic!--Perhaps, His Grace did not
know before on what _conscientious_ grounds his liberal offer had been

The old Cathedral is not worth visiting. The new one, as it is called,
was commenced in the days of the city's prosperity; but the source from
whence the funds for building it were raised, failed ere it was half
finished; and there it stands, a perfect emblem of Spain herself!--a
pile of the most valuable materials, planned on a scale of excessive
magnificence, but put together without the slightest taste, and falling
to decay for want of revenue![31]

The walls of the city--excepting those of its land front, which are
remarkably well constructed, and kept in tolerable order--are in a
deplorable state of dilapidation, and in some places the sea has
undermined, and made such breaches in them, as even to threaten the
very existence of the city, should it be exposed to a tempest similar to
that which did so much mischief to it some seventy years since. This
decay is particularly observable, too, on the south side of the
fortress, where the sea-wall is exposed to the full sweep of the
Atlantic; and here the mischief has resulted chiefly from the want of
timely attention to its repairs, for the wall itself is a perfect
masterpiece of the building art. Regarding it as such, I venture to
devote a small space to its description, conceiving that a hint may be
advantageously taken therefrom in the future construction of piers,
wharfs, &c. in our own country; and I am the more induced to do so,
since so small a portion of the work remains in its pristine state, that
it already must be spoken of rather as a thing that _has been_, than one
which _is_.

The great object of the builder was to secure the foundation of his wall
from the assaults of the ocean, which, at times, breaks with excessive
violence upon this coast. For this purpose, he formed an artificial
beach, by clearing away the loose rocks which lay strewed about, and
inserting in the space thus prepared and levelled, a strong wooden
frame-work formed of cases dovetailed into and well fastened to each
other. These cases were filled with stones, and secured by numerous
piles. The surface was composed of beams of wood, placed close
together, carefully caulked, and laid so as to form an inclined plane,
at an angle of eight degrees and a half with the horizon.

This beach extended twenty-seven yards from the sea-wall; and its foot,
by resting against a kind of breakwater formed of large stones, was
saved from being exposed, vertically, to the action of the sea. The
waves, thus broke upon the artificial beach, and running up its smooth
surface without meeting the slightest resistance, expended, in a great
measure, their strength ere reaching the foot of the wall.

To avoid, however, the shock which would still have been felt by the
waves breaking against the ramparts, (especially when the sea was
unusually agitated) had the planes of the beach and wall met at an
angle, the upper portion of the surface of the artificial beach--for
about fifteen feet--was laid with large blocks of stone, and united in a
curve, or inverted arch, with the casing of the walls of the rampart;
and the waves being, by this means, conducted upwards, without
experiencing a check, spent their remaining strength in the air, and
fell back upon the wooden beach in a harmless shower of spray.

So well was the work executed, that many portions of the arch which
connected the beach with the scarped masonry of the rampart are yet
perfect, and may be seen projecting from the face of the wall, about
twenty feet above its foundation; although the beach upon which it
rested has been entirely swept away.

Another cause, besides neglect, has contributed greatly to the
destruction of this work; namely, the injudicious removal of the stones
and ledges of rock which formed the breakwater of the beach, for
erecting houses and repairing the walls of the city.

The ride round the ramparts would be an agreeable variety to the
_eternal paseo_ on the _Camino de Ercoles_,[32] but for the insufferable
odours that arise from the vast heaps of filth deposited on one part of
it. To such an extent has this nuisance reached, that, without another
river Alpheus, even the hard-working son of Jupiter (the city's reputed
founder) would find its removal no easy task.

The arsenal of the _Carracas_ is situated on the northern bank of the
Santi Petri river, about half a mile within the mouth by which that
channel communicates with the bay of Cadiz, and at a distance of two
leagues from the city, to which it has no access by land. Its plan is
laid on a magnificent scale, and it may boast of having equipped some of
the most formidable armaments that ever put to sea; but it is now one
vast ruin, hardly possessing the means of fitting out a cockboat. A
fire, that reduced the greater part of it to ashes some five and thirty
years since, furnishes the national vanity with an agreeable excuse for
its present condition.

The road from Cadiz to Port St. Mary's is very circuitous, and offers
little to interest any persons but military men and salt-refiners. I
will, therefore, pass rapidly over it--which its condition enables me to
do--merely observing that, from the branching off of the Chaussée to
Chiclana at the _Portazgo_, it makes a wide sweep round the salt marshes
at the head of the bay of Cadiz, to gain _Puerto Real_ (eighteen miles
from Cadiz); and then leaving the peninsula of the _Trocadero_ on the
left, in four miles reaches a long wooden bridge over the
Guadalete--here called the river San Pedro. Two miles further on it
crosses another stream by a similar means; and this second river, which
is connected with the Guadalete by a canal, has become the principal
channel of communication between Xeres and the bay of Cadiz.

A road now turns off to the right to Xeres; another, on the left, to
Puerto Santa Maria; and that which continues straight on proceeds to San
Lucar, on the Guadalquivír.

Puerto Real is a large but decayed town, possessing but little
trade,[33] and no manufactories. Its environs, however, are
fertile--enabling it to contend with Port St. Mary's in supplying the
Cadiz market with fruit and vegetables;--and a good crop of hay might
even be taken from its streets after the autumnal rains!--The population
is estimated at 12,000 souls.

Puerto Santa Maria is a yet larger town than Puerto Real, and is
computed to contain 18,000 inhabitants. It is situated within the mouth
and extending along the right bank of the river, into which the
Guadalete has been partly turned. The entrance to the harbour is
obstructed by a sand bank, which is impassable at low tide; and at
times, when the wind is strong from the S. W., this bar interrupts
altogether the water communication with Cadiz.[34]

The distance between the two places, across the bay, is but five miles;
by the causeway, twenty-four.

The main street of Puerto Santa Maria is of great length, wide, and
rather handsome; and the place has, altogether, a very thriving look;
for which it is indebted, as well to the great share it enjoys of the
Xeres wine trade,[35] as to the fruitfulness of its fields and orchards.
The country, to some considerable extent round the town, is perfectly
flat; and the soil (a dark alluvial deposit,) is rich, and highly
cultivated; it is, in fact, the market-garden of Cadiz, the inhabitants
of which place would die of scurvy, if cut off for six months from the
lemon-groves of Port St. Mary.

The position of Puerto Santa Maria seems to correspond pretty well with
that of the Portus Gaditanus of Antoninus, viz., 14 miles from the
Puente Zuazo, (_Pons_;) the difference being only that between English
and Roman miles. But, besides that there is every appearance of the
Guadalete having altered its course, and consequently swept away all
traces of the Roman port, (or yet more ancient one of _Menesthes_,
according to Strabo,) a fertile soil is, of all things, the most
inimical to the _preservation_ of _ruins_; for gardeners will have no
respect for old stones when they stand in the way of cabbage-plants. It
would, therefore, be vain to look for any vestiges of the ancient town,
in the vicinity of the modern one.

To proceed to Xeres, we must retrace our steps, along the chaussée to
Cadiz, for about a mile; when, leaving the two roads branching off to
Puerto Real and San Lucar on the right and left, our way continues
straight on, traverses a cultivated plain for another mile, and then
ascends a rather steep ridge, distinguished in this flat country by the
name of _Sierra de Xeres_, though scarcely 500 feet high.

The view from the summit of this ridge is, nevertheless, remarkably
fine. It embraces the whole extent of the bay of Cadiz; the bright towns
which stand upon its margin; the curiously intersected country that cuts
them off from each other; and the winding courses of the Guadalete and
Santi Petri.

The slope of the hill is very gradual on the side facing Xeres, and the
view is tame in comparison with that in the opposite direction. The
road, which traverses a country covered with corn and olives, is
_carriageable_ throughout; but there is a better route, which turns the
Sierra to the eastward, keeping nearer the marshes of the Guadalete. The
distance from Puerto Santa Maria to Xeres, by the direct road, is nine
miles; by the post route, ten.

Xeres is situated in the lap of two rounded hillocks, which shelter it
to the east and west; and it covers a considerable extent of ground. The
city, properly so called, is embraced by an old crenated Moorish wall,
which, though enclosing a labyrinth of narrow, ill-built, and worse
drained streets, is of no great circuit, and is so intermixed with the
houses of the suburbs, as to be visible only here and there. The limits
of the ancient town are well defined, however, by the numerous gateways
still standing, and which, from the augmented size of the place, appear
to be scattered about it without any object. Some of the old buildings
and narrow streets are very sketchy, and the number of gables and
chimneys cannot fail to strike one who has been long accustomed to the
flat-roofed cities of Andalusia.

The principal merchants of the place reside mostly in the suburbs;
where, besides having greater space for their necessarily extensive
premises, their wine stores are better situated for ventilation; a very
important auxiliary in bringing the juice of the grape to a due state of
perfection. The numerous clean and lofty stores, interspersed with
commodious and well-built houses, gardens, greenhouses, &c., give the
suburbs an agreeable, refreshing appearance. But it is needful to walk
the streets with nose in air, and eyes fixed on things above; for,
though much wider, and consequently more freely exposed to the action of
the sun and air, than those of the circumvallated city, they are yet
more filthy, and quite as nauseating. Now and then, indeed, a generous
brown sherry odour salutes the third sense, counteracting, in some
degree, the unwholesome effects of the noxious cloacal miasms. But the
bad scents prevail in the proportion of ten to one; and, like the
far-famed distilling city of Cologne, Xeres seems to have bottled up,
and hermetically sealed, all its sweets for exportation.

The population of the place is enormous--being estimated at no less
than 50,000 souls. But the amount is subject to great variations,
dependant on the recentness of the last endemic fever, generated in its
pestiferous gutters. The inhabitants are all, more or less, connected
with the wine trade--which is the only thing thought of or talked of in
the place.

The store-houses are all above ground. They are immense buildings,
having lofty roofs supported on arches, springing from rows of slender
columns; and their walls are pierced with numerous windows, to admit of
a thorough circulation of air. Some are so large as to be capable of
containing 4000 butts, and are cool, even in the most sultry weather.
The exhalations are, nevertheless, rather _overcoming_, even unaided by
the numerous _samples_, of which one is tempted to make trial. The
number of butts annually made, or, more correctly speaking, _collected_,
at Xeres, amounts to 30,000. Of this number, one half is exported to
England, and includes the produce of nearly all the choicest vineyards
of Xeres; for, in selecting their wines for shipment, the Xeres houses
carefully avoid mixing their first-growth wines with those of lighter
quality, collected from the vineyards of Moguer, San Lucar, and Puerto
Real; or even with such as are produced on their own inferior grounds.

The remaining 15,000 butts are in part consumed in the country; where a
light wine, having what is called a _Manzanilla_[36] flavour, is
preferred--or sold to the shippers from other places, where they are
generally mixed with inferior wines.

The total number of butts shipped, annually, from the different ports
round the bay of Cadiz, may be taken at the following average--

  From Xeres               15,000  almost all to England.
    "  Puerto Santa Maria  12,000  chiefly to England and the
                                   United States.
                                 { principally to the Habana,
    "  Chiclana             3,000{ the Ports of Mexico, and
    "  Puerto Real            500{ Buenos Ayres.
                     Total 30,500

But, besides the above, a prodigious quantity of wine finds its way to
England from Moguer and San Lucar, which one never hears of but under
the common denomination of Sherry.

Most of the principal merchants are growers, as well as venders of wine;
which, with foreign houses, renders it necessary that one partner of the
firm, at least, should be a Roman Catholic; for "_heretics_" cannot hold
lands in Spain. Those who are growers have a decided advantage over such
as merely make up wines; for the latter are liable to have the produce
of the inferior vineyards of San Lucar, Moguer, and other places, mixed
up by the grower of whom they purchase. All Sherries, however, are
_manufactured_; for, it would be almost as difficult to get an unmixed
butt of wine from a Xeres merchant, as a direct answer from a quaker.
But there is no concealment in this mixing process; and it is even quite
necessary, in order to keep up the stock of old wines, which, otherwise,
would soon be consumed.

These are kept in huge casks--not much inferior in size to the great ton
of Heidelberg--called "_Madre_"[37] butts; and some of these old ladies
contain wine that is 120 years of age. It must, however, be confessed,
that the plan adopted in keeping them up, partakes somewhat of the
nature of "_une imposture delicate_;" since, whenever a gallon of wine
is taken from the 120 year old butt, it is replaced by a like quantity
from the next in seniority, and so on with the rest; so that even the
very oldest wines in the store are daily undergoing a mixing process.

It is thus perfectly idle, when a customer writes for a "ten-year old"
butt of sherry, to expect to receive a wine which was grown that number
of years previously. He will get a most excellent wine, however, which
will, probably, be prepared for him in the following
manner:--Three-fourths of the butt will consist of a three or four year
old wine, to which a few gallons of _Pajarete_, or _Amontillado_,[38]
will be added, to give the particular flavour or colour required; and
the remainder will be made up of various proportions of old wines, of
different vintages: a dash of brandy being added, to preserve it from
sea-sickness during the voyage.

To calculate the age of this mixture appears, at first sight, to involve
a laborious arithmetical operation. But it is very simply done, by
striking an average in the following manner:--The _fond_, we will
suppose, is a four-years' old wine, with which figure we must,
therefore, commence our calculations. To flavour and give age to this
foundation, the hundred and twenty years' old "_madre_" is made to
contribute a gallon, which, being about the hundreth part of the
proposed butt, diffuses a year's maturity into the composition. The
centiginarian stock-butt next furnishes a quantity, which in the same
way adds another year to its age. The next in seniority supplies a
proportion equivalent to a space of two years; and a fourth adds a
similar period to its existence. So that, without going further, we have
4+1+1+2+2=10, as clear as the sun at noon-day, or a demonstration in

This may appear very like "_bishoping_," or putting marks in a horse's
mouth to conceal his real age. But the intention, _in the case of the
wine_, is by no means fraudulent, but simply to distribute more equally
the good things of this life, by furnishing the public with an excellent
composition, which is within the reach of many; for, if this were not
done, the consequence would be, that the Xeres merchant would have a
small quantity of wine in his stores, which, from its extreme age, would
be so valuable, that few persons would be found to purchase it, and a
large stock of inferior wines, which would be driven out of the market
by the produce of other countries.

The quality of the wine depends, therefore, upon the quantity and age of
the various _madre_ butts from which it has been flavoured; and the
taste is varied from dry to sweet, and the colour from pale to brown, by
the greater or less admixture of _Pajarete_, _Amontillado_, and _boiled_
sherry. I do not think that the custom of adding boiled wine obtains
generally, for it is a very expensive method of giving age. It is,
however, a very effectual mode, and one that is considered equivalent to
a voyage across the Atlantic, at the very least.

I have heard of an extensive manufacturer (not of wine) in our own
country, who had rather improved on this plan of giving premature old
age to his wines. He called one of the steam-engines of his factory
_Bencoolen_, and another _Mobile_; and, slinging his butts of Sherry and
Madeira to the great levers of the machinery, gave them the benefit of a
ship's motion, as well as a tropical temperature, without their quitting
his premises; and, after a certain number of weeks' oscillation, he
passed them off as "East and West India _particular_."

The sweet wines of Xeres are, perhaps, the finest in the world. That
known as _Pajarete_ is the most abundantly made, but the _Pedro Ximenes_
is of superior flavour. There is also a sweet wine flavoured with
cherries, which is very delicious.

The light dry Sherries are also very pleasant in their pure state, but
they require to be mixed with brandy and other wines, to keep long, or
to ship for the foreign market. Those, therefore, who purchase _cheap
Sherry_ in England may be assured that it has become a _light_ wine
since its departure from Spain.

The number of _winehouses_ at Xeres is quite extraordinary. Of these, as
many, I think, as five-and-twenty export almost exclusively to England.
The merchants are extremely hospitable; they live in very good style,
and are particularly choice of the wines that appear at their tables.

The Spanish antiquaries have by no means settled to their satisfaction
what Roman city stood on the site of modern Xeres. The common opinion
seems to be, that it occupies the place of _Asta Regia_, mentioned by
Pliny as one of the towns within the marshes of the Guadalquivír.
Florez, however, labours to prove that it agrees better with _Asido_.
But I do not think his arguments get over the difficulty arising from
the expression "_in mediterraneo_," applied to that city; which agrees
better with _Medina Sidonia_ than Xeres, the latter being close upon the
flats of the Guadalquivír, whereas the other is decidedly _inland_ with
reference to them.

The medals of Asido, Florez describes as having sometimes a bull, and at
others a "fish of the _tunny_ kind," upon them. Now this latter emblem
is, most certainly, more applicable to Medina Sidonia than Xeres, since
no fish of the "tunny kind" ever could have frequented the shallow muddy
stream of the Guadalete. And though the city of Medina Sidonia is
situated on the summit of a high hill, sixteen miles from the sea, yet
we may take it for granted that its jurisdiction extended as far as the
coast, to the eastward of the Isla de Leon; since it does not appear
that any town of note intervened between Cadiz and Besaro, or Besippone.

The same author derives the name Xeres from the Persian _Zeiraz_
(Schiras); supposing it may have been so called from that having been
the country of the Moslem chief who captured Regia.

The word assimilates with our mode of pronouncing the name of the
existing town; and the wine of Schiraz was not less esteemed of old
amongst the easterns, than Sherry is now by us, and appears ever to have
been by the ancients; for tradition ascribes to Bacchus the foundation
of Nebrissa, in the vicinity of Xeres. May not, therefore, the celebrity
of its vineyards have led the Arabs to call the town Schiraz, or Xeres,
rather than the country of the chief who conquered it?

Xeres was captured from the Moors by San Fernando, and, becoming
thenceforth one of the bulwarks of the Christian frontier, changed its
name from _Xeres Sidonia_ to _Xeres de la Frontera_, by which it
continues to be distinguished from others.

The Guadalete does not approach within a mile and a half of Xeres. This
river is the Chryssus of the Romans; and the Spaniards, ever prone to
boast of the ancient celebrity of their country, maintain it to be the
mythological Lethe of yet more remote times. On its right bank (about
three miles on the road to Medina Sidonia) stands a Carthusian convent
of some note. The pious founders of this edifice--as indeed was their
wont--located themselves in a most enviable situation. The "_elisios
xerexanos prados_" were spread out before them, covered with fat beeves,
and herds of high caste horses, belonging to the order. The perfume of
the surrounding orange-groves penetrated to the innermost recesses of
this house of prayer and penance. The juice of the luscious grape, and
the oil of the purple olives that grew upon the sunny bank whereon it
stands, found their way, with as little obstruction, into its cells and
cellars. But still, with this Canaan in their possession, these austere
disciples of St. Bruno affected to despise the things of this world, and
held not communion with their fellow-creatures!

The edifice is fast falling to decay; the brotherhood is reduced to a
score of decrepit old men; and--what alone is to be regretted--the
celebrated breed of horses has become extinct.

The Guadalete winds through the valley overlooked by the _Cartuja_,[39]
and is crossed by a stone bridge of five arches. On gaining the southern
bank of the river, roads branch off in all directions. That to the
left--keeping up the valley--proceeds to Paterna (sixteen miles from
Xeres), and _Alcalà de los Gazules_ (twenty-five miles). Another,
continuing straight on, goes to Medina Sidonia (eighteen miles); and a
third, that presents itself to the right, is directed across the country
to Chiclana, reducing the distance to that place from twenty-six miles
(by the post-road) to sixteen.

About four miles below the bridge are some store-houses, a wharf, and
ferry, called _El Portal_, from whence the river is navigable to Port
St. Mary's. _El Portal_ may be considered the port of Xeres, to which
place (distant about three miles) there is a good wheel-road.

The fatal battle which gave Spain up to the dominion of the Saracens
(A.D. 714) was fought on the southern bank of the Guadalete, about five
miles from Xeres, on the road to Paterna. The robes and "horned helmet"
of Roderick, which he is supposed to have thrown off to facilitate his
escape, were found on the bank of the river, where a small chapel,
dedicated to Our Lady of _Leyna_, now stands. The sanguinary fight is
stated--with the customary Spanish exaggeration--to have lasted eight
days! and then only to have been decided in favour of the Mohammedans by

But however much we may admire the valour displayed by the Gothic
monarch, in thus obstinately defending his crown, yet the rashness he
was guilty of, in drawing up his forces on such a field (in a country
abounding in strong positions, where the enemy's superiority of numbers
would not have availed them), proves him to have been as little fitted
to command an army as to govern a kingdom.



The traveller who journeys on horseback has the choice of several roads
between Xeres and Seville. The shortest is by the marshes of the
Guadalquivír, visiting only one town, Lebrija, in the whole distance of
eleven leagues. The longest is the post route, or _arrecife_, which
makes a very wide circuit by Utrera and Alcalá de Guadaira, to avoid the
swampy country bordering the river. From this latter road several others
diverge to the left, cutting off various segments of the arc it
describes; and in summer these routes are even better than the highway
itself, though heavy and much intersected by torrents in winter.

On the first-named or shortest road, the town of Lebrija alone calls for
observation. It is about fifteen miles from Xeres, and stands on the
side of a slightly-marked mound, that stretches some little way into the
wide-spreading plain of the Guadalquivír. The knoll is covered with the
extensive ruins of a castle--a joint work of Romans and Moors--which
during the late war was put into a defensible state by the French. Most
writers agree in placing here the Roman city of Nebrissa;[40] in which
name that of the modern town may readily be distinguished. It is distant
about five miles from the Guadalquivír, and contains three convents, and
a population of 4,000 souls. The Posada is excellent.

The country from Xeres to Lebrija presents an undulated surface, which
is clothed with vines and olives; but thenceforth the banks of the
"_olivifero Boetis_" are devoted entirely to pasture, and the road is
most uninterestingly flat: so flat, indeed, that there is scarcely a
rise in the whole twenty-eight miles from Lebrija to Seville. It is not
passable in winter, and but one wretched hovel, called the _Venta del
Peleon_, offers itself as a resting-place. The river winds occasionally
close up to the side of the road, and from time to time a barge or
passage boat, gliding along its smooth surface, breaks the wearisome
monotony of the scene; but in general the tortuous stream wanders to a
distance of several miles from the road, and is altogether lost to the
sight in an apparently interminable plain, that stretches to the

The misty vapour, or _mirage_, which rises from and hangs over the low
land bordering the river, produces singular deceptions; at times giving
the whole face of the country in advance the semblance of a vast lake;
at others, magnifying distant objects in a most extraordinary manner. On
one occasion, we were surprised to see what had every appearance of
being a large town rise up suddenly before us; and it was only when
arrived within a few hundred yards of the objects we had taken for
churches and houses, that we became convinced they were but a drove of
oxen. These imaginary oxen proved in the end, however, to be only a
flock of sheep. The _Marisma_,[41] for such is the name given to this
low ground, affords pasturage for immense herds of cattle of all sorts,
and the herbage is so fine as to lead one to wonder what becomes of all
the _fat_ beef and mutton in Spain.

The post road from Xeres to Seville, as I have already mentioned, is
very circuitous, increasing the distance from forty-three to fifty-six
miles--reckoned fifteen and a half post leagues.

For the first thirteen miles, that is, to the post house of _La Casa
real del Cuervo_, the road traverses a country rich in corn and olives,
but skirting for some considerable distance the western limits of a vast
heath, called the _llanura de Caulina_, whereon even goats have
difficulty in finding sustenance. The first league of the road is
perfectly level, the rest hilly. A little beyond the post house of El
Cuervo, a road strikes off to the left to Lebrija. The _arrecife_,
proceeding on towards Utrera, crosses numerous gulleys by which the
winter torrents are led down from the side of the huge _Sierra
Gibalbin_, which, here raising its head on the right, stretches to the
north for a mile or two, keeping parallel to the road, and then again
sinks to the plain. This passed, the remainder of the road to Utrera is
conducted along what may be termed the brow of a wide tract of low table
land, which, extending to the foot of the distant _Serranía de Ronda_ on
the right, breaks in the opposite direction into innumerable
ramifications, towards the plain of the Guadalquivír.

In the entire distance to Utrera, (twenty-four miles from _El Cuervo_)
there is not a single village on the road, and but very few farms or
even cottages scattered along it. It is plentifully furnished with
bridges for crossing the various _barrancas_[42] that drain the mountain
ravines in the winter, and by means of these bridges the chaussée is
kept nearly on a dead level throughout. About midway there is another
post house. This road is so perfectly uninteresting, that, availing
myself of the earliest opportunity of quitting it and proceeding to
Seville by a more direct, if not a more diversified route, I will strike
into a well-beaten track that presents itself, edging away to the left,
about three miles beyond _El Cuervo_, and is directed on Las Cabezas de
San Juan, distant about six miles from the post road.

Las Cabezas de San Juan is a wretched little village, which inscriptions
found in its vicinity have decided to be the _Ugia_[43] of the Romans.
It is situated on a knoll, commanding an extensive view over the
circumjacent flat country, and some years since contained a population
of a thousand or twelve hundred souls. But, having been the hotbed
wherein Riego's conspiracy was brought to unnatural maturity, it was
razed to the ground during the short contest that restored Ferdinand to
a despotic throne, and "all its pleasant things laid waste."

From hence to _Los Palacios_ is ten miles. The country is flat, and but
partially cultivated. A short league before reaching _Los Palacios_, a
long ruined bridge, called _El Alcantarilla_, is seen at a little
distance off the road on the right. In the time of Swinburne, this
bridge appears to have been passable, and an inscription was then
sufficiently perfect to announce its Roman origin. It was probably
raised to carry a road from Lebrija to Utrera across a marshy tract,
which in winter is apt to be flooded by the _Salado de Moron_; or
perhaps the road over it may have been directed on _Dos Hermanos_, which
is known to be the Roman town of Orippo.

Los Palacios is a clean compact village, of about 1,000 inhabitants. A
plain extends for many miles on all sides of it, but a slight, perhaps
artificial, mound rises slightly above the general level of the place on
its eastern side, and bears the weight of its ruined castle: the walls
of the village itself are also fast crumbling to the dust. The inns are
miserable; but a Spanish nobleman, with whom we had become acquainted at
Xeres, had obligingly furnished us with a letter of introduction to a
gentleman of the place, who entertained us most hospitably, and very
reluctantly--for he wished much to detain us--gave orders to the _dueña_
of his household to have the usual breakfast of chocolate and bread
fried in lard prepared for us by daybreak on the following morning.

From Los Palacios to Seville the distance is reckoned five "_leguas
regulares_," but it is barely fifteen miles. The country to the north of
the village is very fruitful, and becomes hilly as one proceeds. At
about nine miles there is a solitary venta, on the margin of a stream
that comes down from _Dos Hermanos_; which village is situated about a
league off on the right.

It is a matter of some little difficulty to make any of the roads
between Cadiz and Seville (that is, from Port St. Mary's onwards) agree
with the route laid down in the Itinerary of Antoninus. The distance of
the _Portus Gaditanus_ from _Hispalis_ is therein stated to be
seventy-six Roman miles,[44] or, according to Florez, sixty-eight;[45]
which miles, if computed to contain eight _Olympic_ stadia each, are
equal to seventy, and sixty-three British statute miles respectively;
the actual distance from Puerto Santa Maria to Seville being, by the
chaussée, sixty-six miles; by Lebrija and the marshes, fifty-two.

On comparing these distances, therefore, one would naturally be led to
suppose that the Roman military way followed the circuitous line of the
existent chaussée, but that monuments and inscriptions, which have been
found at Las Cabezas de St. Juan and Dos Hermanos, prove those places
to be the towns of _Ugia_ and _Orippo_, mentioned in the Itinerary as
lying upon the road. We are under the necessity, therefore, of adopting
a line which reduces the distance from the _Portus Gaditanus_ to
_Hispalis_ far below even that given by Florez.

The only way of meeting all these difficulties and premises seems to be
by taking a smaller stadium than the _Olympic_. That of 666-2/3 to a
degree of the meridian[46] I have generally found to agree well with the
actual distances of places in Spain, and it is a scale which we are
warranted in adopting, since it is sometimes used by Strabo on the
authority of Eratosthenes, and Pliny admits that no two persons ever
agreed in the Roman measures.

Taking this scale, therefore (though a yet smaller would agree better),
I fix the first station, _Hasta_, at a small table hill, even now called
by the Spaniards _La Mesa de Asta_, lying N.N.W. of Xeres;[47] making
the distance from the _Portus Gaditanus_ sixteen miles, as in the
Itinerary, instead of eight, as altered by Florez: a number, by the
way, which scarcely agrees better with the actual distance from Port St.
Mary's to Xeres--at which latter place he fixes Hasta--than the sixteen
miles of the original.

The next place mentioned in the Itinerary is _Ugia_; determined, as has
been already stated, to have stood where Las Cabezas de San Juan is now
situated; and the distance from the _Mesa de Asta_ to this place,
passing through _Nebrissa_ (Lebrija--omitted in the Itinerary, as not
being a convenient halting-place for the troops), agrees tolerably well
with that specified, viz., twenty-seven Roman miles. The remaining
distances, viz., twenty-four miles to _Orippo_ (Dos Hermanos), and nine
to _Hispalis_ (Seville), agree yet better, though still somewhat below
the scale I have adopted.

The appearance of Seville, approaching it on the side of the _Marisma_,
is by no means imposing. Stretching as the city does along the bank of
the Guadalquivír, its least diameter meets the view; and, from its
standing on a perfect flat, the walls by which it is encircled conceal
the most part of the houses, and take off from the height of the hundred
spires of its churches--the lofty _Giralda_ being the only conspicuous
object that presents itself above them.

The wide avenue which, after crossing the river _Guadaira_, leads up to
the city gate, is, however, prepossessing; a spacious botanical garden
is on the left hand, and, in advance of the city walls, are the
Amphitheatre, the Royal Snuff Manufactory, and several other handsome
public buildings.

Seville is generally considered,--at all events by its inhabitants,--the
largest city of Spain. It is of an oval shape, two miles long, and one
and a quarter broad; and, washed by the Guadalquivír on the eastern
side, is enclosed on the others by a patched-up embattled wall, the work
of all ages and nations.

The city is tolerably free from suburbs, excepting at the Carmona and
_Rosario_ gates on its western side; but numerous extramural convents,
hospitals, barracks, and other public edifices, are scattered about in
different directions, which, with the town of Triana, on the opposite
bank of the river, materially increase the size of the place, and swell
the amount of its population to at least 100,000 souls.

Seville cannot be called a handsome city, for it contains but one
tolerable street; the houses, however, are lofty, and generally well
built, the shops good, and the lamps within sight of each other, which
is not usually the case in Spanish towns. Most of the houses in the
principal thoroughfares are built with an edging of flat roof
overlooking the street. This part of the house is called the _Azotea_,
and, with the lower orders, serves the manifold purposes of a dormitory
in summer, a place for washing and drying clothes in winter, and a
place of assignation at all seasons.

In hot weather awnings are spread from these _azoteas_ across the
streets, rendering them delightfully cool and shady; the canvass
covering, fanned by the breeze, sending down a refreshing air, whilst it
serves at the same time as a shelter from the sun. Even in the most
sultry days of summer, I have never found the streets of Seville

There are several spacious squares in various parts of the city; in the
largest, distinguished by the extraordinary, though, perhaps, not
_unsuitable_ name of _La Plaza de la Incarnacion_, the market is held.
This is abundantly supplied with bread, meat, fish, poultry, and all
sorts of vegetables and fruits, and is, perhaps, the cheapest in
Andalusia; it certainly is the cleanest.

The _Alamedas_, of which there are two, are equally as well taken care
of as the market, though in point of beauty they are not quite deserving
of the praise which has been bestowed upon them. One is in the interior
of the city, and becomes only a place of general resort when the weather
is unsettled. The other more commonly frequented walk is between the
walls of the town and the Guadalquivír, extending nearly a mile along
the bank of the river, from the _Torre del Oro_ to the bridge of boats
communicating with Triana. It is well sheltered with trees, and
furnished with seats, and is indeed a most delightful and amusing
promenade, being nightly crowded with all descriptions of people, from
the grandee of the first class to the goatskin clad swineherd, who
visits the city for a _sombrero_ of the _ultima moda_, or a fresh supply
of _bacallao_.

The carriage drive round the walk is generally thronged with equipages
of all sorts and ages, any one of which, shown as a _spectacle_ in
England, would most assuredly make the exhibitor's fortune. The _blazon_
on the pannels, and venerable cocked hats and laced coats of the drivers
and attendants, bespeak them, nevertheless, to belong to _sons of
somebody_; and the wives and daughters of somebody seated therein, seem
not a little proud of possessing these indubitable proofs of the
antiquity of their houses. Few of these distinguished personages,
however, excepting such as labour under the infliction of gout,
rheumatism, or the indelible marks of old age, are satisfied to remain
quiet spectators of the gay scene; but, after driving once or twice
round the _paseo_ to see _who_ has arrived, alight, and join the flutter
of their fans, and, with grief I say it, their loud laugh and
conversation to the already over-powering din of the "promiscuous

This scene of gaiety is prolonged until long after the sun has ceased
to gild the mirror-like surface of the Guadalquivír. The walk, indeed,
is still in its most fashionable state of throng, when a tinkling bell,
announcing the elevation of the Host, marks the concluding ceremony of
the vesper service in a neighbouring church. At this signal the motley
crowd appears as if touched by the wand of an enchanter. Each devout
Romanist either reverentially bends the knee, or stands statue-like on
the spot where the homage-commanding sound first reached the ear. The
men take off their hats--the ladies drop their fans. The coachmen check
their hacks--the hacks hang down their heads--not a whisper is heard,
not an eye is raised. The bell sounds a second time, and animation
returns, the breast is marked with repeated crosses, the dust brushed
off the knees, "_conques_" innumerable take up the interrupted
conversation, and once more

    "Soft eyes look love to eyes which speak again."

So ludicrously observant are the Spaniards of this ceremony, that, on
the ringing of the bell, I once remarked a water-carrier stop in the
midst of his sonorous cry, "_A...._" and devoutly uncovering his head,
and crossing himself, wait until the second tinkle permitted him again
to open his mouth; when, with most comical gravity, he finished the
wanting syllable "_gua!_ _Agua fres--ca!_"

The Guadalquivír is about 200 yards wide at Seville, where it forms a
kind of basin, and is navigable for vessels of 150 tons burthen. It is
so liable to be swollen by the freshes poured down from the mountains in
the upper part of its course, that a permanent bridge has never been
attempted; and the banks are so low, that the floods have frequently
reached to the very gates of the city. The influence of the tide is felt
some little distance above Seville, rendering the water of the river
unfit for general purposes. The water of the wells, on the other hand,
is considered unwholesome, so that the city is, in a great measure,
dependent for its supply of this most necessary article on an aqueduct,
that brings a stream from _Alcalà de Guadaira_, a distance of about nine

The populous town of Triana is still worse off than Seville, for, as the
expedient of a leather pipe has not yet been thought of, the "essential
fluid" has to be carried across the river on men's or asses' backs,
rendering it a most expensive article of consumption; a circumstance
that accounts, in a great measure, for the very Egyptian complexion of
the inhabitants.

The public buildings of Seville fully entitle the city to its boasted
title of the Western Capital of Spain. It contains no less than sixty
convents and nunneries, besides numerous other religious establishments
and hospitals. The Archiepiscopal Church is the largest in Spain,[48]
its dimensions being 450 feet by 260; and it is one of the most splendid
piles in the universe. The architecture of the exterior is heavy and
tasteless, so that one is but little prepared for the striking change
which meets the eye on drawing aside the ponderous leathern curtain that
closes the portal, and entering the vast vaulted interior.

It is built in the gothic style, not of a florid kind, however, but
simple, aërial, and imposing. The colour of the free stone used in its
construction is a subdued white; the pavement is laid in squares of
black and white marble, and the stained glass windows, which are of
extreme beauty, shed a warm, variegated glow throughout the building,
that produces an effect well suited to its character. Indeed, no
cathedral that I have any where seen either presents a more striking
coup d'oeil, or draws forth, in a greater degree, that instinctive
feeling of devotion implanted in the human breast. The walls, too, are
not so disfigured with tawdry chapels, as those of most Roman Catholic
churches, and the few paintings with which they are decorated are _chef
d'oeuvres_ of the best Spanish masters.

One modern painting has, however, been admitted to the collection,
rather, I should think, out of compliment to the ladies of Seville, than
on account of its own merit. It represents two maidens of this saintly
city, who, "_mucho tiempo hay_,"[49] to use our conductor's expression,
having been accused of some heretical practices, were exposed to be
devoured by a ferocious lion. The gallant sovereign of the woods and
forests, instead, however, of making a meal of these tempting morsels of
human flesh and imagined frailty, "_se echó à sus pies_," and began
caressing them after his feline fashion, to the great astonishment of
all beholders! This miraculous want of appetite on the part of the lion,
making the innocence of the damsels evident, led, of course, to their
liberation, and their names are now enrolled upon the long list of
saints of Seville.

The tower of the cathedral, commonly called _La Giralda_, from a
colossal statue of _Faith_, at its summit, which, with strange
inconsistency of character, wheels about at every change of wind, is by
no means a handsome structure. It was built by the Moors, about 250
years before the city was captured by San Fernando, and originally was
only 280 feet in height; but a belfry has since been added, which makes
it altogether 364 feet high. The tower is fifty feet square, and the
ascent is effected by an inclined plane, by means of which, some queen
of Spain is rumoured to have ridden on horseback to the gallery under
the belfry.

The view from the summit of the tower fully repays one, even for the
labour of ascending it on foot, and I am not quite sure but that the
inclined plane rather increases than lessens the fatigue of mounting.
From hence alone can a correct idea be formed of the size and splendour
of Seville. The eye, from this elevation, embraces the whole extent of
the city, its long narrow streets, wide circuit of walls, its gateways,
magnificent public buildings, and spacious plazas, its verdant
orangeries, and its house-top flower-gardens. Beyond the busy city, a
fruitful plain extends for several miles in every direction; on one side
bearing luxuriant crops of corn and olives, on the other, giving pasture
to countless herds of cattle; the lovely Guadalquivír winding through
and fertilizing the whole.

The Archiepiscopal palace occupies one side of a small square, that is
immediately under the _Giralda_; the façade of this building is
handsome, but we had not an opportunity of seeing the interior, as its
worthy occupier was unwell. Near the cathedral, but on the opposite side
to the Archbishop's residence, is the _Lonja_; a splendid edifice, which
(as the name implies) was originally built for an exchange. But, though
the lower suites of apartments are still set apart for the use of the
merchants, the building is so inconveniently situated, that no
commercial business is transacted there, and the whole of the upper
story has been fitted up as a repository for the "American archives."
These records are most voluminous, and are preserved with as much care,
and ticketed with as great regularity, as if Spain shortly intended to
resume the sovereignty over her former vast transatlantic possessions.

As a mark of especial favour, the tip of my little finger was permitted
to rest upon the edge of the first letter written from the _other
world_; the keeper of the archives requesting me, at the same time, not
to press too hard upon the valuable MS., and assuring us, that most
persons were obliged to be satisfied with looking at the precious
document bearing the signature of the adventurous Columbus, in its glass

The whole of the shelves, drawers, &c., are of cedar; a wood which has
the property of preserving the papers committed to their charge from all
descriptions of insects. The floors are laid in chequers of red and blue
marble, and the grand staircase is composed of the same, which is highly
polished and remarkably handsome. One of the apartments of the vast
quadrangle contains two original paintings of Columbus and Hernan

A little removed from the _Lonja_, is the _Alcazar_, or Royal Palace.
This is kept up in a kind of half-dress state, and has a governor
appointed to its peculiar charge, who usually resides within its
precincts. It is built in the Moorish style, and is generally supposed
to have been the work of Moorish hands, though raised only--so at least
a Gothic inscription on its walls is said to state--by "the puissant
King of Castile and Leon, Don Pedro."

There is probably some little exaggeration in this, and, in point of
fact, perhaps, the mighty monarch only repaired and added to the palace
of the Moorish kings, which the neglect of a hundred years had, in his
time, rendered uninhabitable. It is a very inferior piece of workmanship
to the Alhambra, but, nevertheless, contains much to admire,
particularly the ceilings of the apartments (of which there are upwards
of seventy), and the walls of one of the courts.

The different towers command very fine views over the city and adjacent
country, and the gardens are delightful, though of but small extent. The
walks are laid with tiles, between which little tubes are introduced
vertically, that communicate with waterpipes underneath, and, by merely
turning a screw, the whole of the valves of these tubes are
simultaneously opened, and each shoots forth a diminutive stream of
water. This plan was adopted, as being an improvement on the tedious
method usually practised in watering gardens. It affords the facetiously
disposed a glorious opportunity of inflicting a practical joke upon
unwary visiters to the Alcazar; who, conducted to the garden, and then
and there seduced, out of mere politeness, to join in the complaint
expressed of a want of rain, suddenly find themselves _over_ a heavy
shower, and under the necessity of laughing at a piece of wit from which
there is no possibility of escape.

The _Casa Pilata_ is another of the sights of Seville. It is a private
house, said to be built on the exact model of that of the Roman governor
of Jerusalem. It is fitted up with much taste, but its chief beauty
consists in a profusion of glazed tiles, which give it actual coolness,
as well as a refreshing look.

Most of the other subjects worthy of the traveller's notice are situated
without the walls of the city. The first in order, issuing from the
Xeres gate, is the _Plaza de los Toros_, or amphitheatre, an immense
circus, one half built of stone, and the other half of wood, and capable
of accommodating 14,000 persons. The next remarkable object is the
_Royal Tobacco Manufactory_, (the term seems rather absurd to English
ears,) a huge edifice, so strongly built, and jealously defended by
walls and ditches, as to appear rather a detached fort, or citadel,
raised to overawe the turbulent city, than an establishment for
peacefully grinding tobacco leaves into snuff, and rolling them into
cigars. The manufactory employs 5000 persons, and of this number 2600
are occupied solely in making cigars. But, as I have elsewhere shown,
even with the assistance of the Royal Manufactory lately established at
Malaga, the supply of _lawful_ cigars is not equal to one-tenth part of
the consumption of the country.

The demand for snuff may probably be fully met by the Royal Manufactory;
for the Spaniards are not great consumers of tobacco through the medium
of the nose; and most of the snuffs prepared at Seville are extremely
pungent, so that "a little goes a great way." There is a coarse kind,
however, called, I think, "Spanish bran," which is much esteemed by

The Royal Cannon Foundry is in the vicinity of the Tobacco Manufactory,
and though this establishment for furnishing the means of consuming
powder is not in such activity as its neighbour employed in supplying
food for smoke, yet it is in equally good order, and, on the whole, is a
very creditable national establishment. The brass pieces made here are
remarkably handsome, and very correctly bored, but they want the
lightness and finish of our guns--qualities in which English artillery
excels all others. Two of the "monster mortars," cast by the French for
the siege of Cadiz, are still preserved here.

The Cavalry Barracks, Royal Saltpetre Manufactory, Military Hospital,
and various other edifices, planned on a scale proportioned to Spain's
_former_ greatness, together with numerous convents, equally
disproportioned to her present wants, follow in rapid succession in
completing the circuit of the walls. The most interesting amongst the
religious houses is a convent of Capuchins, situated near the Cordoba
gate. It contains twenty-five splendid paintings by Murillo, "any one of
which," as a modern writer has justly remarked, "would suffice to render
a man immortal."

Murillo was certainly a perfect master of his art. His style is
peculiar, and in his early productions there is a coldness and formality
that partake of the school of Velasquez; but the works of his maturer
age are distinguished by a boldness of outline, a gracefulness of
grouping, and a depth and softness of colouring, which entitle him to
rank with Rubens and Correggio.

The paintings of Murillo, though met with in all the best collections of
Europe, where they take their place amongst the works of the first
masters, are, nevertheless, valued by foreigners rather on account of
their rarity than of their execution. The fact is, those of his
paintings which have left Spain are nearly all devoted to the same
subject--the Madonna and Child; and, even in that, offer but little
variety either in the disposition, or in the colouring of the figures.
The Spanish artist is, consequently, accused of want of genius and
self-plagiarism. Nor does Murillo receive due credit for the pains he
took in finishing his paintings; for, amongst those of his works which
have found their way into foreign collections, there are few which have
not received more or less damage, either in the transport from Spain, or
by subsequent neglect; and, in many instances, the attempts made to
restore them by cleaning or retouching have inflicted a yet more severe
injury upon them.

Those persons only, therefore, who have visited Spain, and, above all,
Murillo's native city--Seville--can fully appreciate the merits of that
wonderful artist. The vast number of master-pieces which he has there
left behind him, and the variety of subjects they embrace, sufficiently
prove, however, that, whilst in versatility of talent he has been
equalled by few, in point of _industry_ he almost stands without a

Besides the twenty-five paintings in the Capuchin convent, already
noticed, the _Hóspital de la Caridad_ contains several of Murillo's
master-pieces; two, in particular, are deserving of notice--the subjects
are, the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and Moses striking the rock.
The great size of these two paintings saved them from a journey to
Paris, but the French, in their zeal for the encouragement of the fine
arts, stripped the chapel of all the other works of Murillo that
enriched it--only a few of which were restored at the peace of 1815.

Other paintings of the Spanish Rafael are to be found in the various
churches of Seville, and every private collector (of whom the city
contains many,) prides himself on being the possessor of at least one
_original_ of his illustrious fellow-citizen.

The theatre of Seville has ever held a comparatively distinguished place
in the dramatic annals of Spain; and, lamentable as is the condition to
which the national stage has been reduced, the capital of Andalusia may
still be considered as one of the most _playgoing_ places in the
kingdom. This may, perhaps, partly be accounted for by the number of
dramatic authors to whom the city has given birth, partly by the
peculiar disposition of the inhabitants of the province, who are deeper
tinged with romance, and have more imagination than the rest of the
natives of the Peninsula.

The deplorable atrophy under which the drama has of late years been
languishing in every part of Europe[50] had, aided by various
predisposing circumstances, long been undermining the at no-time very
robust constitution of the Spanish theatre; which, like a condemned
criminal, existed only from day to day, at the will and pleasure of a
despotic sovereign; and had, moreover, constantly to combat the
hostility of the priesthood: a bigoted race, prone at all times to
discourage an art, which, by enlarging the understandings of the
community, tended to diminish the respect with which their own profane
melo-dramatic mysteries were regarded. The priests, in fact, have always
been, and ever will be, averse to their flock being fleeced by any other
shears than their own.

Considering, therefore, the obstacles which the Spanish theatre has had
to contend against, obstacles which were yet more formidable in that
country in times past than they are at the present day, it cannot but be
admitted that the drama was cultivated in Spain with a degree of success
which could little have been expected.

Our own early dramatists, indeed, drew largely from the prolific sources
opened by Lope de Vega, Calderon, and other Spanish writers of the
sixteenth century; and, perhaps, to the example set by those authors is
our stage indebted for its release from the thraldom in which others
are yet held, by a preposterous, though _classic_, adherence to the
preservation of the unities.

The drama (in the strict sense of the term) never, however, became a
popular amusement with the Spaniards generally. The legal disabilities
imposed upon the performers by the intrigues of the Romish church
brought the profession of an actor into disrepute, and, as a natural
consequence, checked the progress of the histrionic art. The stage had
no door opening to preferment, and the knight of the buskin (to whom, by
the way, the _Don_ was interdicted), though endowed with the talents of
a Talma or a Kemble, of a Liston or a Potier, ranked below the lowest of
the train of bullfighters, and could never expect to amass a fortune, or
hope to be considered otherwise than as a "diverting vagabond." A
Spanish actress was yet more discouragingly circumstanced, as, however
irreproachable her character, she held only the same grade in society as
the frail Ciprian whose beauty gained her livelihood.

Labouring under such disadvantages, it is not surprising, therefore,
that Thalia and Euterpe should eventually have been driven from the
Spanish stage, and a licentious monster--the illegitimate offspring of
Comus and Impudicitia--have been crowned with the palm-wreath snatched
from the brows of the immortal Parnassides.

The modern Spanish dramatic authors--if it be not profanation so to call
them--pandering to the vitiated taste of the day, indulge in all the
licence of Aristophanes, without varnishing their obscenities with the
brilliancy of his wit. They write, in fact, for auditors, who, whilst
endowed with a quick perception of the ridiculous, are too ignorant to
discriminate between right and wrong, and cannot perceive where
legitimate satire ends, and libertinism commences; who, possessing a
vast stock of native wit, inherit with it a coarse, degenerate taste.
The human frailties of the monastic orders are, consequently, the
favourite subjects now held up to ridicule on the stage, as if to prove
the truth of Voltaire's lines,

    _"Les prêtres ne sont point ce qu'un vain peuple pense,
     _Notre credulité fait toute leur science_;"_

and no modern _saynete_[51] is considered perfect, unless some member of
their church is brought forward to serve as a recipient for the ribald
jokes of an Andalusian _majo_, or to become the amatory dupe of an
intriguing _graciosa_.

These pieces are not suffered to appear in print; or rather, I should
say, perhaps, would not _sell_ if they were printed, for the press of
the day has far exceeded the bounds of decorum in giving light to many
of the somewhat less objectionable productions of _Sotomayor_,
_Comella_, and other prolific scribblers of Vaudevilles. The only modern
dramatic writers who have been at all successful in obtaining public
favour on worthier grounds, are _Iriate_, _Martinez de la Rosa_, and
_Moratin_, but their writings are by no means numerous.

The plays of the last-named (who is considered the Terence of Spain) are
always well received at Seville, where the dramatic taste is somewhat
more refined than in the minor provincial towns. They are full of
incident, without being encumbered with plot, like those of the old
Spanish school; and the dialogue is natural and sprightly, without
falling into licentiousness or vulgarity. This author's translation of
Shakspeare's Hamlet is lamentably weak, however, for his language is not
sufficiently elevated for tragedy. To Molière he has done more justice.

The Spanish language is remarkably well adapted to the stage, being not
less melodious than emphatic and dignified; and there is a raciness
about it well suited to comedy, though, on the whole, I should say, it
is better adapted for tragedy. The national taste is, however, in favour
of comedy, which, besides being more congenial to the character of the
people, speaks more intelligibly to their uncultivated understandings.
And, indeed, it must be confessed, that but for the infinite superiority
of the language, the long speeches of the heroes of Spanish tragedy
would be yet more wearying to listen to, than even the jingling, rhymed
declamations of the French drama.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the impatient _Andaluzes_,--whose
whole thoughts are bent upon the coming Bolero and laughter-causing
farce,--should complain of the interminable "_platicas importunas_" of
their tragedies, and even of their _serious_ comedies; especially since
they are delivered in a diction which to the lower orders is almost
unintelligible, the dialogue being generally carried on in the second
person plural, _vos_: a style which is never now heard in common
parlance, and is, therefore, quite unnatural to them.

I will, however, draw the curtain upon Spanish tragedy, and bring the
graceful _Baylarinas_ upon the stage; at the first click of whose
castañets, whilst even yet behind the scenes, every bright eye sparkles
with animation, and every tongue is silenced.

The Bolero, which is the favourite national dance, admits of great
variety as well of figures as of movements, for it may be executed by
any number of persons, though two or four are generally preferred. It is
a purified kind of _Fandango_, and, when danced by Spaniards, is as
graceful and pleasing an exhibition as can be imagined. It is altogether
divested of those dervish-like gyrations, and other wonderful displays
of limbs and under-petticoats, that are so much the vogue on the boards
of London and Paris, and on which, in fact, the reputation of a
_Ballerina_ seems to depend. In Spain the taste in dancing has not yet
reached this pitch of refinement; for, even in the _Cachucha_, when the
dancer turns her back upon the spectators, a Spanish lady deems it
necessary to turn her face from the stage.

The castañets, though furnishing but little to the entertainment in the
way of music, afford the performers the means of displaying their
figures to advantage; and are yet further useful, by giving employment
to the hands and arms; which, with most dancers, public as well as
private, are generally found to be very much in the way.

There are other dances of a less _modest_ character than the _Bolero_,
which are performed at the minor theatres; but it may be said of Spanish
public dancing generally, that it is light, spirited, and _poetic_, and
admits of the display of considerable grace without being _indecent_.

Although of all modern languages--that of dulcet Italy alone
excepted--the Spanish is the best adapted to song, yet the Spaniards
have little or no relish for musical entertainments. The truth is, they
are not a musical nation. In expressing this opinion, I am aware that I
declare war against a host of preconceived notions; but in proof of my
assertion I will ask, what country possesses so little national music as
Spain? Has a single _known_ opera ever been produced there? Is not her
church music all borrowed? Is not the trifling guitar the only
instrument the Spaniard is really master of? Is not the _Sostenuto_
bellow of the _arriero_ almost the only approach to melody that the
peasant ever attempts?

Spanish music consists of a few simple airs, which are probably
heir-looms of the Saracens; and a medley of _Boleros_, that may be
considered mere variations of one tune. Neither their vocal nor
instrumental performances ever reach beyond mediocrity, and in concert
they invariably sing and play _a faire casser la tête_.

A fine climate and a gregarious disposition lead the peasantry to
assemble nightly, and amuse themselves by dancing and singing to the
monotonous thrumming of a cracked guitar; and this habit has earned for
the nation the character of being musical--a character to which the
Spaniards are little better entitled than the _Tom Tom_-loving black
_apprentices_ of our West India islands.

There are exceptions to every rule, and I willingly admit that I have
heard an opera of Rossini very well performed by Spanish "_artists_."
But that they do not _pride themselves_ on being a musical nation is
evident from their always preferring Italian music to their own, though
they like to sing Spanish words to an Italian opera.

The Theatre is a place of fashionable resort at Seville. It fills up a
vacuum between the Paseo and the Tertulia. And when the times are
sufficiently quiet to warrant the outlay, a sufficient sum is subscribed
to bribe a second-rate Italian company to expose their melodious throats
to the baneful influence of the sea breezes. The house is large and
rather tastily decorated, but so ill-shaped that, unless one is close to
the stage, not a word can be heard; and if there, the prompter's voice
completely drowns those of the performers. The fall of the curtain at
the conclusion of the _Bolero_ is generally the signal for the _beau
monde_ to retire, leaving the highly seasoned _Saynete_ to the enjoyment
of the "_gente baja y desreglada_."[52]

This breaking up is not the least amusing part of the play. The
antediluvian carriages are again put in requisition; and now, besides
the cocked-hatted attendants, each vehicle is accompanied by two or more
torch-bearers on foot; so that the blaze of light on first issuing from
the Theatre is most dazzling and astounding,--astounding, because it is
only on walking into the gutter, or over a heap of filth in the first
cross street one has occasion to enter, that the want of lamps in these
minor avenues renders the utility of this extraordinary illumination

Each carriage, after "taking up," moves majestically off, its
torch-bearers running ahead to show the way, scattering long strings of
sparks, like comets' tails, amongst the humble pedestrians.

The Tertulias commence after the families have supped at their
respective houses, that is to say, at about eleven o'clock; and are
generally kept up until a late hour.



The society of Seville is divided into nearly as many circles as there
are degrees in the Mohammedans paradise. In former days, the bounds of
each were marked with _heraldic_ precision, and those of the innermost
were guarded as jealously from trespass as the precincts of a royal
forest, but of late years politics have materially injured the fences.
The fine edged bridge of _Sirat_ is no longer difficult of passage, and
a foreigner, in especial, provided some mufti of the Aristocracy but
holds out his hand to him, may reach the seventh heaven without the
slightest chance of stumbling over his pedigree.

The English, above all other foreigners, are favourably received at
Seville, for the nobles of the South of Spain, not being so much under
court influence as those of the provinces lying nearer the capital, are
by no means distinguished for their love of _absolutism_. With some few,
indeed, the want of courtly sunshine has engendered excessive
liberalism; but the nobles of Andalusia generally may be considered as
favourably disposed towards a limited monarchy--that is, are of
moderate, or what they term _English_, politics.

Of persons of such a political bias is the first circle of the society
of Seville composed, and it is, perhaps, in every respect, the best in
the kingdom. It is adorned by many men of highly cultivated talents, and
much theoretical information, who, with a sincere love of country at
their hearts, are yet not arrogantly blind to the faults of its former
and present institutions; and who, removed to a certain extent from the
baneful influence of a corrupt court, are proportionably free from the
demoralising vices which distinguish the society of the upper classes in
the capital.

The ladies of the _exclusive_ circle are, it must needs be confessed,
deficient in education: but they possess great natural abilities, a
wonderful flow of language, and--excepting that they will pitch their
voices so high--peculiarly fascinating manners.

The morals of Spanish women have usually been commented upon with
unsparing severity; it strikes me, however, that the moral _principle_
is as strong in them as in the natives of any other country or climate.
The constancy of Spanish women, when once their affections have been
placed on any object, is, indeed, proverbial, and if they are but too
frequently faithless to the marriage vow, the source of corruption may
be traced, _first_, to the lamentable religious education they
receive--since the demoralizing doctrines of the efficacy of penance and
absolution in the remission of sins furnish them at all times with a
ready palliative; and, _secondly_, to the habit of contracting early
marriages, and, especially, _marriages de convenance_, by which, in
their anxiety to see their daughters well established, parents--and
above all Spanish parents--are apt to sacrifice, not only their
children's happiness, but their honour.

Of all the evils under which Spanish society labours, this last is the
most serious as well as most apparent. A marriage of this kind, in nine
cases out of ten, tends to demorality. It is followed by immediate
neglect on the part of the husband, whose affections were already placed
elsewhere when he gave his hand at the altar; and is soon regarded by
the wife merely as a civil compact, to which the usages of society
oblige her to subscribe. With _her_, however, this state of things had
not been anticipated. The innate, all-powerful feeling, _love_, had, up
to this period, lain dormant within her breast--for in Spain, if the
extremely early age at which females marry did not of itself warrant
this supposition, the little intercourse which, under any circumstances,
an unmarried woman (of the upper classes of society) has with the world,
naturally leads to the conclusion that her affections had not previously
been engaged; she expects, therefore, to receive from her husband the
same boundless affection that her inexperienced heart is disposed to
bestow on him;--and what is the inevitable consequence? Disappointed in
her cherished hope of occupying the first place in her husband's
affections, her innocence is tarnished at the very outset, by thus
acquiring the knowledge of his turpitude; she turns from him with
disgust; and her better feelings, seared by jealousy and wounded pride,
seeks out some other object on whom to bestow the love slighted by him,
who pledged himself to cherish it.

Thrown thus at an early age upon the world, without the least experience
in its ways, with strong passions to lead, and evil examples to seduce
her, is it surprising that a Spanish wife should wander from the path of
virtue, and that she should hold constancy to her lover more sacred than
fidelity to a husband who quietly submits to see another possess her

The understanding once established, however, that jealousy is not to
disturb the ménage, the parties live together with all the outward
appearances of mutual esteem, and inflict the history of their private
bickerings only upon their favoured friends.

The Spaniards of all classes have great conversational powers, but even
those of the upper are sadly deficient in general information. Their
knowledge of other nations is picked up entirely from books, and those
books mostly old ones; for few works are now written in their own
language, and still fewer are translated from those of other countries;
so that what little knowledge of mankind they possess is of the last

Cards help out the conversation at the Tertulias of the first circle.
Dancing, forfeits, and other puerile games, are the resources of the
rest. Balls and suppers are _funciones_ reserved for great occasions,
and dinner parties are of equally rare occurrence.

In the entertainments of the nobility, the French style prevails even to
the wines, but the national dish, the _olla_, generally serves as a
prelude, and may be considered the "_piece de resistance_" of the
interminable dinner. Toothpicks (!!) and coffee are handed round, and
the party breaks up, to seek in the _siesta_ renewed powers of

To those, however, who think exercise more conducive to health, the
environs of Seville hold out plenty of attractions; and, if the weather
be too hot for either walking or riding, the city contains hackney
coaches and _calesas_ without number, by means of which (most of the
roads in the vicinity being level) the various interesting points may be
reached without difficulty or inconvenience.

The places most deserving of a visit in the immediate environs of
Seville, are the villages of _San Juan de Alfarache_ and _Santi Ponce_;
near the latter of which are the ruins of Italica.

Both these places are situated on the right bank of the Guadalquivír;
the former, about three miles below Seville, the latter a little more
distant, up the stream. The road to both traverses the long town of
Triana, which contains nothing worthy of observation but a sombre gothic
edifice, where the high altar of Popish bigotry, the Inquisition, was
first raised in the Spanish dominions. It has long, however, been
converted to another purpose, never, let us hope, to be again applied to
that which for so many ages disgraced Christianity.

By many Triana is supposed to be the Osset of Pliny, but I think without
sufficient reason, as it does not seem probable that a place merely
divided from Seville by a narrow river should have been distinguished by
him as a distinct city. The words of Pliny, "_ex adverso oppidum
Osset_," imply certainly that Osset stood on the opposite bank of the
river to Hispalis, but not that it was situated _immediately opposite_,
as some authors have translated it. It is yet more evident that Alcalà
de Guadaira cannot be Osset, as supposed by Harduin, since that town is
on the _same_ side of the Guadalquivír as Seville.

Florez imagines Osset to have been where San Juan de Alfarache now
stands,[53] near which village traces of an ancient city have been
discovered; and the position occupied by an old Moorish castle, on the
edge of a high cliff, impending over the river, and commanding its
navigation, seems clearly to indicate the site of a Roman station, since
the Saracens usually erected their castles upon the foundations of the
dilapidated fortresses of their predecessors. The village of San Juan de
Alfarache stands at the foot of the before-mentioned cliff, compressed
between it and the Guadalquivír; which river, making a wide sweep to the
north on leaving Seville, here first reaches the roots of the chain of
hills bounding the extensive plain through which it winds its way to the
sea, and is by them turned back into its original direction.

Of the Moorish fortress little now remains but the foundation walls; the
stones of the superstructure having probably been used to build the
church and convent that now occupy the plateau of the hill. The view
from thence is quite enchanting, embracing a long perspective of the
meandering Guadalquivír and its verdant plain, the whole extent of the
shining city, and the distant blue outline of the Ronda mountains.

The hills rising at the back of the convent are thickly covered with
olive trees, the fruit of which is the most esteemed of all Spain: and,
indeed, those who have eaten them on the spot, if they like the flavour
of olive rather than of salt and water, would say they are the best in
the world. The fruit is suffered to hang upon the tree until it has
attained its full size, and consequently will not bear a long journey.
For the same reason, it will not keep any length of time, as the salt in
which it is preserved cannot penetrate to a sufficient depth in its oily
flesh to secure it from decay. Let no one say, however, that he dislikes
_olives_, until he has been to San Juan de Alfarache.

Retracing our steps some way towards Seville, we reach the great road
leading from that city into Portugal by way of Badajoz; and, continuing
along the plain for about five miles, we arrive at the priory of Santi
Ponce, situated on the margin of the Guadalquivír, and close to the
ruins of Italica. So complete has been the destruction of this once
celebrated city, the birth-place of three Roman Emperors, that, but for
the vestiges of its spacious amphitheatre, one would be inclined to
doubt whether any town could possibly have stood upon the spot; the more
so as the vicinity of Seville seems, at first sight, to render it
improbable that two such large cities would have been built within so
short a distance of each other.

Opinions on the subject of the relative antiquity of these two cities
are, however, very various; for, whilst some Spaniards are to be found,
who maintain that Hispalis was founded long before Italica, and some
who, declaring, on the other hand, that the two cities never existed
together, insist on calling Italica, _Sevilla la Vieja_;[54] others
there are who suppose that the two cities flourished contemporaneously
for a considerable period, and that Hispalis (the more modern of the
two) eventually caused the other's destruction.

This last hypothesis might readily be received, since, from the
influence of the tide being felt at Seville and not at Santi Ponce, the
situation of the former is so much more favourable for trade than that
of the latter; but that, setting aside the traditionary authority of
Seville having been founded by _Hispalis_, one of the companions of
Hercules, we have the testimony of several writers to prove that
Hispalis was a place of consequence when Italica must have been yet in
its infancy. For the antiquity of this latter is never carried further
back than the 144th Olympiad, i.e. 200 B.C. Now, Hispalis is mentioned
by Hirtius, at no very great period after that date, as a city of great
importance; whereas, Italica is noticed by him (proving it to have been
a _distinct_ place) merely as a walled town in the vicinity.[55]

The two places are again mentioned separately by Pliny; the one,
however, as a large city, giving its name to a vast extent of
country--the _Conventus Hispalensis_--the other as one of the towns
within the limits of that city's jurisdiction.

The foundation of Italica being fixed, therefore, about two hundred
years before the Christian era, and attributed to the veteran soldiers
of P. C. Scipio; that is to say, immediately after the expulsion of the
Carthagenians from the country; it may naturally be concluded that the
Romans, who had not come to Spain merely to drive out their rivals,
would, with their usual foresight, have planted a colony of their own
people to overawe the _principal city_ of a country they intended to
bring under subjection; and hence, that Seville existed long before
Italica was founded.

The amphitheatre, which alone remains to prove the former grandeur of
Italica, is of a wide oval shape. The dimensions of its arena are 270
feet in its greatest diameter, 190 in its least. It rests partly against
a hill, a circumstance that has tended materially to save what little
remains of it from destruction; but, nevertheless, only nine tiers of
seats have offered a successful resistance to the encroachments of the
plough. Few of the vomitorios can be traced, but it would appear that
there were sixteen. Some of the caverns in which the wild beasts were
confined are in tolerable preservation.

From the ruined amphitheatre we were conducted to a kind of pound,
enclosed by a high mud wall, and secured by a stout gate, wherein we
were informed other reliques of Italica were preserved. There was some
little delay in obtaining the key of this _museo_, the _custodio_ being
at his _siesta_; and, hearing the grunting of pigs within, we began to
doubt whether it could contain any thing worth detaining us under a
broiling sun to see. Unwilling, however, to be disappointed, we
clambered with some little difficulty to the top of the wall, and,
_horresco referens!_ beheld an old sow rubbing her back against that of
the Emperor Hadrian, whilst the profane snouts of her young progeny were
grubbing at the tesselated cheeks of Clio and Urania, the only two of
the immortal Nine whose features could be distinctly traced in an
elaborate mosaic pavement that covered the greater part of the court.

Several fragments of statues were strewed about; but all were in too
mutilated a state to excite the least interest. The feeling with which
we contemplated the beautiful, outraged pavement, was one of unmitigated
disgust; for the workmanship of such parts of it as remained intact was
of the most delicate description, the stones not being more than one
fifth of an inch square, and, as far as we could judge, put together so
as to form a picture of great merit. I fear that this valuable specimen
of the art has long since been altogether lost, for, at the time of
which I write, the stones were lying in heaps about the yard, and the
pavement seemed likely to be subjected to a continuance of the mining
operations of the "swinish multitude," as well as to exposure to the
destructive ravages of the elements.

I could not refrain from expostulating with the owner of the piggery
(when he at length made his appearance) at this, in the words of Don
Quijote, _puerco y extraordinario abuso_. He was a wag, however, and
answered my "Why do you keep your pigs here?" precisely in the words
that an Irish peasant replied to a very similar question, viz., "But am
I to have the company of the pig?" put to him by a friend of mine, who
had a billet for a night's lodging on his cabin: to wit, "_No hay toda
comodidad_?" "Isn't there every convey'nance?"

We then attempted to persuade him that the pigs being young and
inexperienced would probably kill themselves by swallowing the little
square stones piled up against the walls, when the supply of Indian corn
failed them. "No, Señor," he replied; "_el Puerco es un animal que tiene
mas sesos que una casa_." "The hog is an animal that has more (sesos)
brains (or bricks) than a house." And, indeed, the discrimination of the
animal is wonderful, for, whilst we were yet arguing the case, one of
the little brutes grubbed up the entire left cheek of Calliope, to get
at a grain of corn that had fallen into one of the numerous crow's feet
with which unsparing Time had furrowed the Muse's animated countenance.
Without further observation, therefore, we abandoned the chaste
daughters of Mnemosyne to their ignominious fate, remounted our horses,
and bent our steps homewards.

The foreigner who visits Seville, under any circumstances, cannot but
find it a most delightful place, and our short sojourn at it was
rendered particularly agreeable by the kindness and hospitality of the
_Marques de las Amarillas_, who, independent of the pleasure it at all
times affords him to show his regard for the English, whom he considers
as his old brothers in arms, was pleased to express peculiar
gratification at having an opportunity of evincing his sense of some
trifling attentions that it had been in my power to pay his only son,
when, as well as himself, driven by political persecution to seek a
refuge within the walls of Gibraltar.

The life of this distinguished nobleman, now Duke of Ahumado, has been
singularly varied by the smiles and frowns of fortune, and furnishes a
melancholy proof of the little that can be effected by talents, however
exalted, and patriotism, however pure, in a country writhing, like
Spain, under the combined torments of religious and political
revolution. For, the more sincere a lover of his country he who puts
himself forward, _having aught to lose_, may be, the more he becomes an
object of distrust and envy to _the many_, who seek in change but their
own aggrandizement. To him who would take the helm of affairs in times
of revolution, an unscrupulous conscience is yet more necessary than the
possession of extraordinary talents.

The Marques de las Amarillas, well known in the "Peninsular War" as
General Giron, was appointed minister at war in the first cabinet formed
by Ferdinand VII. after he had sworn to the Constitution. A sincere
lover of rational liberty, and a strong advocate for a mixed form of
government, the Marques, himself a soldier, saw the danger of permitting
the very existence of the government to be at the mercy of the
undisciplined rabble army, that, seduced by its democratic leaders for
their own private ends, had effected the revolution; and had projected a
plan for its partial reduction and entire reorganization.

The _Exaltados_, however, fearful lest the establishment of a _rational_
form of government should result from a project which certainly would
have had the effect of allaying the existing agitation, accused the
Marques of a plot to subvert the constitution, and restore Ferdinand to
a despotic throne; and he was obliged to save himself from the impending
danger by a rapid flight, and to take refuge within the walls of
Gibraltar. There he remained during the period of misrule that preceded
the invasion of the country by the Duc d'Angoulême in 1823; suffering,
during the feeble struggle that ensued, from the most painfully
conflicting feelings that could possibly enter a patriot's breast. For,
aware that his unhappy country had but the sad alternative of a
continuance in anarchy and misery, or of bending the neck to foreign
dictation, and receiving back the cast-off yoke of a despot, he could
take no active part in a struggle which, end as it would, was fraught
with mischief to his native land.

It ended, as he had always foreseen, in the restoration of the
despicable monarch, who possessed neither the courage to draw the sword
in defence of what he conceived to be his _rights_, nor the virtue to
adhere to the word pledged to his people; who by his contemptible
intrigues exposed, and by his vacillating plans sacrificed, his most
devoted adherents; who with his dying breath bequeathed the scourge of
civil war to his wretched country; whose very existence, in fine, was as
hurtful to Spain, as is the odour of the upas-tree to the incautious
traveller who rests beneath its shade.

The contemptible Ferdinand, restored to his throne, forbade the _Marques
de las Amarillas_ to present himself in the capital--the crime of having
held office in a constitutional cabinet being considered quite
sufficient to warrant the infliction of such a punishment. Some ten
years afterwards, however, he was, through the influence of his
relatives, the Dukes of Baylen and Infantado, appointed captain-general
of Andalusia, and on the death of Ferdinand was called to Madrid, to
form one of the Council of Regency.

He again held a distinguished post in the Torreno administration, and
again fell under the displeasure of the anarchists--his talents had less
influence than the halbert of Serjeant Gomez.

These are not merely "_cosas de España_," however, but have been, and
will be, those of every country where the hydra, democracy, is
cherished. God grant that our own may be preserved from the many-headed

We quitted Seville only "upon compulsion" (our leave of absence being
limited), making choice of a road which, though, by visiting Moron and
Ronda, it proceeds rather circuitously to Gibraltar, traverses a more
romantic and picturesque portion of the Serranía than any other. The
most direct of the numerous roads that offer themselves between Seville
and the British fortress, is by way of Dos Hermanos, Coronil, Ubrique,
and Ximena.

The first place lying upon the road we selected is Alcalà de Guadaira.
This town is distant about eight miles from Seville (though generally
marked much less on the maps), and is the first post station on the
great road from Seville to Madrid.

For the first five miles from Seville the road traverses a gently
undulated country, that is chiefly planted with corn; but, on drawing
near Alcalà, the features of the ground become more strongly marked, and
are clothed with olive and other trees; and amongst the hills that
encompass the town rise the copious springs which, led into a conduit,
supply Seville with water. Alcalà administers to yet another of the
great city's most material wants, for it almost exclusively furnishes
Seville with bread, whence it has received the agnomen of "_de los
panaderos_" (of the bread-makers), as well as that of "_de Guadaira_,"
which it takes from the river that runs in its vicinity. The numerous
mills situated along the course of this stream, by furnishing easy means
of grinding corn, probably led the inhabitants of Alcalà to engage in
the extensive kneading and baking operations which are carried on there.

The immediate approach to the town is by a narrow gorge between two
steep hills; that on the right, which is the more elevated of the two,
and very rugged and difficult of access, is washed on three sides by the
Guadaira, and crowned with extensive ruins of a Moorish fortress. The
town itself is pent in between these two hills and the river, and, there
can be but little doubt, occupies the site of some Roman city, its
situation being quite such as would have been chosen by that people.

That it is not on the site of Osset is, as I have before observed, quite
evident, and its present name, being completely Moorish, furnishes no
clue whatever to discover that which it formerly bore. Some have
supposed it is Orippo; but inscriptions found at Dos Hermanos determine
that place to be on the ruins of the said Roman town. Possibly--for such
a supposition accords with the order in which the towns of the county
of Hispalis are mentioned by Pliny--Alcalà may be Vergentum.

It is a long dirty town, full of ovens and charcoal, and contains a
population of 3000 souls. The chaussée to Madrid, by Cordoba, here
branches off to the left; whilst that to Xeres and Cadiz, crossing the
Guadaira, is directed far inland upon Utrera, rendering it extremely
circuitous. A more direct road strikes off from it immediately after
crossing the river, proceeding by way of Dos Hermanos.

We still continued to pursue the great road, which, after ascending a
range of hills that rises along the left bank of the Guadaira, traverses
a perfectly flat country, abounding in olives, that extends all the way
to Utrera, a distance of eleven miles.

Utrera thus stands in the midst of a vast plain, that may be considered
the first step from the marshes of the Guadalquivír, towards the Ronda
mountains, which are yet twelve miles distant to the eastward. A slight
mound, that rises in the centre of the town, and is embraced by an
extensive circuit of dilapidated walls, doubtless offered the inducement
to build a town here; and these walls, some parts of which are very
lofty, and in a tolerably perfect state, appear to be Roman, though the
castle and its immediate outworks are Moorish.

What the ancient name of the town was would, without the help of
monuments or inscriptions, be now impossible to determine, but it
certainly did not lie upon either of the routes laid down in the
Itinerary of Antoninus, between Cadiz and Cordoba, though some have
imagined it to be Ilipa.[56] Others have supposed it to be Siarum; but
adopting Harduin's reading of Pliny--"Caura, Siarum," instead of
Caurasiarum--it seems more likely that Utrera was Caura, and that Moron,
or some other town yet more distant from Seville, was Siarum.

By its present name it is well known in Moorish history, its rich
_campiña_ having frequently been ravaged by the Moslems, after they had
been driven from the open country to seek shelter in the neighbouring

At the present day, it is celebrated only for its breeds of saints and
bulls, the former ranked amongst the most devout, the latter the most
ferocious, of Andalusia. The town is large, and not walled in; the
streets are wide and clean, and a plentiful stream rises near and
traverses the place--remarkable as being the only running water within a
circuit of several miles. It contains 15,000 inhabitants, mostly
agriculturists, and a very tolerable inn.

Utrera, as has already been observed, is situated on the _arrecife_, or
great road, from Cadiz to Madrid, which _arrecife_ makes two
considerable elbows to visit this place and Alcalà. Now from Utrera
there is a cross-road to Carmona (which town is also situated on the
great route to the capital), that, by avoiding Alcalà, reduces the
distance between the two places from seven to six leagues; and from
Utrera there is also another cross-road (by way of Arajal) to Ecija,
which, by cutting off another angle made by the _arrecife_, effects a
yet greater saving in the distance to that city, and consequently to
Cordoba and Madrid. From these circumstances, Utrera becomes, in
military phrase, an important _strategical_ point; and as such, the
French, when advancing upon Cadiz in 1810, attempted to gain it by the
cross-road from Ecija, ere the Duke of Albuquerque, who had taken post
at Carmona, with the view of covering Seville, could reach it by the
_arrecife_. The duke, however, with great judgment, abandoned Seville to
what he well knew must eventually be its fate, and by a rapid march
saved Cadiz, though not without having to engage in a cavalry skirmish
to cover his retreat.

What important consequences hung upon the decision of that moment; for
how different might have been the result of the war, had the important
fortress of Cadiz fallen into the enemy's hands, and given them 30,000
disposable troops at that critical juncture![57]

On issuing from Utrera, we once more quit the chaussée (which is
henceforth directed very straight upon Xeres), and, taking an easterly
course, proceed towards a lofty mountain, that, seemingly detached from
the serrated mass, juts slightly forward into the plain.

At the distance of six miles from Utrera, the ground, which thus far is
quite flat and very barren, begins to be slightly undulated, and is here
and there dotted with _cortijos_ and corn fields; and, at eight miles
from Utrera, a road crosses from Arajah to Coronil; the first-named town
being distant about two miles on the left, the latter half a league on
the right. For the next league the country is one waving corn-field. At
the end of that distance we reached the steep banks of a rivulet, which
here first issues from the mountains, and is called _El Salado de
Moron_. The road crosses to the right bank of this stream, on gaining
which it immediately turns to the north (keeping parallel to the ridge
of the detached mountain, upon which, as I have already noticed, it had
previously been directed), and ascends very gradually towards Moron. The
country, during this latter portion of the road, is partially wooded.
The total distance from Utrera to Moron is about sixteen miles.

Moron is singularly situated, being nestled in the lap of five distinct
hills, the easternmost and loftiest of which is occupied by an old
castle, a mixed work of the Romans and Moors.

According to La Martinière, Moron is on the site of Arunci; and this
opinion seems to rest on a better foundation than that of other authors,
who maintain that Arcos occupies the position of the above-named ancient
city; for it is natural to suppose that the territory of the _Celtici_
(amongst whose towns _Arunci_ is enumerated by Pliny) did not extend
beyond the intricate belt of mountains known at the present day as the
_Serranía de Ronda_. Now, Moron commands one of the principal entrances
to the Serranía, whereas Arcos is situated far in the plains of the
Guadalete towards Xeres, and would seem rather to have been one of the
cities of the "county of Cadiz."

Moron is a strong post, for though raised but slightly above the great
plain of Utrera, it commands all the ground in its immediate
neighbourhood; and, standing as it does in a mountain gorge, by which
several roads debouch upon Seville from various parts of the _Serranía_,
it occupies a military position of some consequence. The French guarded
it jealously during the war, and placed the castle in a defensible
state. Since those days its walls have again been dismantled; but the
strength of its position tempted Riego (1820) to try the chances of a
battle with the royal army, commanded by General Josef O'Donnel, ere he
finally abandoned the mountains.

In vain, however, Riego pointed out to his men the far distant hill of
_Las Cabezas_, where they had first raised the cry of "Constitution, or
death;" their _exaltacion_ had abandoned them, and they in turn
abandoned their exaltation, leaving their strong position after a very
slight resistance. A few days afterwards, at _Fuente Ovejuna_, they were
entirely dispersed.

The successful general, ready to march either against the insurgents of
the Isla de Leon, or upon the capital, wrote to the king, announcing
that the army of Riego was no more, and requesting to know his commands:
but "_eheu! quam brevibus pereunt ingentia causis!_" a few weeks after
this letter was penned, the victor was a prisoner at Ceuta, and the
vanquished general (without doing any thing in the meanwhile to retrieve
his character) had become the hero of hymns and ballads! The imbecile
Ferdinand, fearful lest, by further delay in accepting the Constitution
he should lose his crown, had despatched orders to those generals who
remained faithful to him, to give up their respective commands, just as
the tide of affairs seemed to be turning in favour of a continuance of
his despotic reign.

The dispersion of the constitutional army proved two things, however;
the first, that Riego was no general; the second, that he and his party
had deceived themselves as to the political feeling of the inhabitants
of the province. In the course of his rambling operations, Algeciras and
Malaga were the only places where Riego was at all well received. In
vain he tried to maintain himself in the latter city; driven out of it
at the point of the bayonet, he attempted to regain Cadiz, the
head-quarters of the revolt; but, closely pressed by the royal army on
his retreat through the Serranía, was obliged, as I have stated, to
receive battle at Moron, where the disorganization of his force was

Moron contains a population of 8,000 souls, and is a well built town,
with wide streets, and good shops. There is a mountain road from hence
to Grazalema (seven leagues) by way of Zahara. The road from Moron to
Ronda passes by Olbera. The distance between the two places is
thirty-one miles. The country, immediately on leaving Moron, becomes
rough and desolate, and the road, (a mere mule-track,) traverses a
succession of strongly marked ridges, which, though not themselves very
elevated, are bounded on all sides by bare and rocky mountains. The
numerous streams which cross the stony pathway all flow to the south,
uniting their waters with the _Salado de Moron_. On penetrating further
into the recesses of the _Serranía_, the valleys become wider, and are
thickly wooded, and the luxuriant growth of the unpruned trees, the
absence of houses, bridges, and all the other signs of the hand of man,
offer a picture of uncultivated nature that could hardly be surpassed
even in the interior of New Zealand.

At nine miles from Moron is situated the solitary venta of _Zaframagon_,
and, a mile further on, descending by a beautifully wooded ravine, we
reached an isolated rocky mound, under the scarped side of which,
embosomed in groves of orange and pomegranate trees, stands a
picturesque water-mill. From hence to Olbera is seven miles. The country
is of the same wild description as in the preceding portion of the
route, but gradually rises and becomes more bare of trees on drawing
near the little crag-built town. An execrable pavé, which appears to
have remained intact since the days of the Romans, winds for the last
two miles under the chain of hills over whose narrow summit the houses
of Olbera are spread, rising one above another towards an old castle
perched on the pinnacle of a rocky cone.

By some Spanish antiquaries, Olbera has been supposed to be the _Ilipa_
mentioned in the Roman Itinerary, as being on the _second_ route laid
down between Cadiz and Cordoba, passing by Antequera. This route, by the
way, is not a less strange one to lay down between the two cities, than
a post road from London to Dover _by way of Brighton_ would be
considered by us; but the fancy of winding it through the least
practicable part of the mountains of Ronda, from Seville (if, as some
imagine, it first went to that city) to Antequera, is even yet more
strange, since a nearly level tract of country extends between those two
cities in a more direct line.

Considering it, however, merely as a military way, made by the Romans to
connect the principal cities of the province, and serving in case of
need as a communication between Cadiz and Cordoba, _avoiding Seville_; a
much more probable line may be laid down, on which the distances will be
found to agree infinitely better.[58]

Olbera is a wretched place, containing some 3,000 or 4,000 of the rudest
looking, and, if report speak true, of the least scrupulous, inhabitants
of the Serranía. Their lawless character has already been alluded to,
and, in Rocca's Memoirs, a most interesting account is given of their
reception of him, when, with a party of dragoons, he was on the march
from Moron to Ronda.

His description of the rickety old town-house, wherein he saved his life
from an infuriated mob by making a fat priest serve as a shield, is most
correctly given, and, in the present dark, suspicious-looking,
cloak-enveloped inhabitants, one may readily picture to one's-self the
descendants of the men who skinned a dead ass, and gave it to the French
troopers for beef; ever after jeering them by asking "_Quien come carne
de burra en Olbera?_ Who eats asses'-flesh at Olbera?"

  Carula (Puebla de Santa Maria)            24
  Ilipa (Grazalema)                         18
  Ostippo[59] (La Torre de Alfaquime)       14
  Barba (Almargen)                          20
  Anticaria (Antequera)                     24
  Angellas                                  23
  Ipagro                                    20
  Ulia                                      10
  Cordoba                                   18
                                   Total   294[60]

The view from the old castle is very commanding; the outline of the
amphitheatre of mountains is bold and varied, and the valleys between
the different masses are richly wooded. To the south may be seen the
rocky little fortress of Zahara, sheltered by the huge _Sierra del
Pinar_; and only about two miles distant from Olbera to the north, is
the old castle of Pruna, similarly situated on a conical hill that
stands detached from a lofty impending mountain.

Olbera is fourteen miles from Ronda. At the distance of rather more than
a mile, a large convent, _N. S. de los Remedios_, stands on the right of
the road, and a little way beyond this, the road descends by a narrow
ravine towards _La Torre de Alfaquime_, and, after winding round the
foot of the cone whereon that little town is perched, reaches and
crosses the Guadalete. This point is about four miles from Olbera. The
stream issues from a dark ravine in the mountains that rise up on the
left of the road, and serves to irrigate a fertile valley, and turn
several mills that here present themselves.

A road to Setenil is conducted through the narrow gorge whence the
little river issues, but that to Ronda, ascending for three quarters of
an hour, reaches the summit of a lofty mountain on whose eastern
acclivity are strewed the extensive ruins of Acinippo.

The view is remarkably fine; to the westward, extending as far as
Cadiz, and in the opposite direction looking down upon a wide, smiling
valley, watered by the numerous sources of the Guadalete, and upon the
little castellated town of Setenil, perched on the rocky bank of the
principal branch of that river. This place was very celebrated in the
days of the Moslems, having resisted every attack of the Christians,[61]
until the persevering "_Reyes Catolicos_" brought artillery to bear upon
its defences.

The road to Ronda descends for two miles, and then keeps for about the
same distance along the banks of the Guadalete, crossing and recrossing
it several times. The surrounding country is one vast corn-field.
Leaving, at length, this rich vale, the road ascends a short but steep
ridge, whence the first view is obtained of the yet more lovely basin of
Ronda, which, clothed with orchards and olive grounds, and surrounded on
all sides by splendid mountains, is justly called the pride of the

A good stone bridge affords a passage across the _Rio Verde_, or of
Arriate, about a mile above its junction with the Guadiaro; and the road
falls in with that from Grazalema on reaching the top of the hill
whereon the town stands.



Ronda and the road from thence to Gaucin have been already fully
described; I will, therefore, pass on, without saying more of either
than that, if the road be one of the _worst_, the scenery along it
equals any to be met with in the south of Spain. The road was formerly
practicable for carriages throughout, but it is now purposely suffered
to go to decay, lest it should furnish Gibraltar with greater facilities
than that great commercial mart already possesses, for destroying the
manufactures of Spain--such, at least, is the excuse offered for the
present wretched state of the road.

From the rock-built castle of Gaucin we will descend--by what, though
called a road, is little more than a rude flight of steps practised in
the side of the mountain--to the deep valley of the Genal, and, crossing
the pebbly bed of the stream, take a path which, winding through a dense
forest of cork and ilex, is directed round the northern side of the
peaked mountain of _Cristellina_, to a pass between it and the more
distant and wide-spreading _Sierra Bermeja_.

The scenery, as one advances up the steep acclivity, is remarkably fine.
I do not recollect having any where seen finer woods; and the occasional
glimpses of the glassy Genal, winding in the dark valley below; the
numerous shining little villages that deck its green banks; the
outstretched town of Gaucin and ruined battlements of its impending
castle covering the ridge on the opposite side, and backed by the
distant mountains of Ubrique, Grazalema, &c., furnish all the requisites
for a perfect picture.

Soon after gaining the summit of the wooded chain, the road branches in
two, that on the left hand proceeding to Estepona, the other to Casares.
Taking the latter, we emerged from the forest in about a quarter of an
hour, and found ourselves at the head of a deep and confined valley,
which, overhung by the scarped peaks of Cristellina on one side, is
bounded on the other by a narrow ridge that, stretching several miles
to the south, terminates in a high conical knoll crowned by the castle
of Casares.

The road, which is very good, keeps under the crest of the left-hand
ridge, descending for two miles, and very gradually, towards the town.
The view on approaching Casares is remarkably fine, embracing, besides
the picturesque old fortress, an extensive prospect over the apparently
champaign country beyond, which (marked, nevertheless, with many a
wooded dell and rugged promontory,) spreads in all directions towards
the Mediterranean; the dark, cloud-capped rock of Gibraltar rising
proudly from the shining surface of the narrow sea, and overtopping all
the intervening ridges.

Before reaching Casares, the mountain, along the side of which the road
is conducted, falls suddenly several hundred feet, and a narrow ledge
connects it with the conical mound more to the south, whereon the castle
is perched. The town occupies the summit of this connecting link--which
in one part is so narrow as to afford little more than the space
sufficient for one street--but extends, also, some way round the bases
and up the rude sides of the two impending heights, thus assuming the
shape of an hour-glass.

Having reached the _Plaza_,--and a tolerably spacious one it is
considering the little ground the town has to spare for
embellishments,--we looked about for the usual signs of a _venta_, but,
failing in discovering any, applied to the bystanders for information,
who, pointing to a wretched hovel, on the wall of which was painted a
shield, bearing, in heraldic language, gules, a bottle sable, told us it
was the only _Ventorillo_[62] in the town.

Now, though it is a common saying that "good wine needs no bush," we had
yet to learn that dirty floors need no broom; and, unwilling to be the
first to gain experience in the matter, we determined, after a minute
examination of the house, to present ourselves to the _Alcalde_, and, in
virtue of our passports, ask his "aid and assistance" in procuring
better quarters.

The unusual sight of a party of strange travellers had brought that
important personage himself into the market-place, who, collecting round
him the principal householders of the town, forthwith laid our
distressing case before them, and, in his turn, asked for aid and
assistance in the shape of advice.

Our papers were accordingly handed round the standing council, and,
having been minutely inspected, turned upside down, the lion and unicorn
duly admired, the great seal of the Governor of Gibraltar examined with
eyes of astonishment, and the question asked "_Son Ingleses?_"[63]
(which was excusable, considering the absurdity of giving passports in
_French_ to English travellers in _Spain_) a shrug of the shoulders
seemed all that the _Alcalde_ was likely to get in the way of advice, or
we in the lieu of board and lodging.

Guessing at last, by the oft-repeated question concerning our
nationality, "_De que pie cojeaba el negocio_";[64] we took occasion to
signify to the conclave, that a few dollars would most willingly be paid
for any inconvenience the putting us up for the night might occasion.
Our prospects immediately brightened; each had now "_una salita_," that
he could very well spare for a night or so ... "we had our own _mantas_,
so that we should require but mattresses to lie down upon--and as for
stabling, that there was no loss for"--in fact, the only difficulty
appeared to be, how the Alcalde should avoid giving offence to a dozen,
by selecting _one_ to confer the favour of our company upon.

He saw the delicacy of his position, and hesitated--"he himself, indeed,
had a spare room, but ..." here a portly personage, clothed in a black
silk cassock, and sheltered by an ample shovel hat, stepped forward to
relieve the embarrassed functionary from his dilemma; and giving him a
nod, and us a beckon, drew his _toga_ up behind, and walked off at a
brisk pace towards the castle hill.

The claims of _El Señor Cura_--for such our conductor proved to be--no
one presumed to dispute; so making our bow to the _Alcalde_, who assured
us that

    _Quien a buen arbol se arrima_
      _buena sombra le cobija_,[65]

we followed the footsteps of the worthy member of the Church
Hospitaliar, without further colloquy.

Our conductor stopped not, and spoke not, until we had reached the very
top of the town, and then, leading our horses into a commodious stable,
he ushered us into his own abode; wherein he assured us, if the
accommodation he could offer was suitable, "we had but to _mandar_." It
consisted of a large _sala_ and an _alcoba_, or recess, for a bed; the
latter scrupulously clean, the former lofty and airy. We, therefore,
expressed our entire satisfaction, requesting only that a couple of
mattresses might be spread upon the floor; a friend, who had joined us
at Gaucin, rendering this increase of accommodation necessary.

Having given instructions to that effect, Don Francisco Labato--for such
our host informed us were his _nombre y appellido_,[66] not omitting to
add, that he was a _clerigo beneficiado_[67]--proposed to accompany us,
to cast an ojeada[68] upon the curious old town, from the ruined
battlements of its ancient fortress; observing that there was yet
abundance of time to do so, "ere Phoebus took his evening plunge into
the western ocean."

We gladly accepted the proffered ciceroneship of our classical host,
and, mounting the rugged pathway up the isolated crag, in a few minutes
reached the plateau at its summit. It would be hardly possible to select
a less convenient site for a town than that occupied by Casares. Pent in
to the north and south between impracticable crags, and bounded on the
other two sides by deep ravines; it can, in fact, be reached only,
either by describing a wide circuit to gain the mountains, rising at its
back; or, by ascending a rough winding path, practised in the side of
the castle hill.

The principal part of the town is clustered round the base of the old
fortress, the houses rising one above another in steps, as it were, and
occupying no more of the valuable space than is necessary to give them a
secure foundation. The streets, which are barely wide enough to allow a
paniered donkey to pass freely, are formed out of the live rock, and,
here and there, are cut in wide steps, to render the ascent less
difficult and dangerous. These flat slabs of native limestone, when
heated by a summer sun, though passable enough by unshod animals, afford
but a precarious footing to a horse's iron-bound hoofs.

The castle can only be approached through the town, and although its
walls have long been in ruins, yet, so strong are its natural defences,
that the muzzles of a few rusty old guns, propped up by stones, and
protruded from the prostrate parapets, were sufficient to deter the
French from making any attempt upon the place during the war of
independence:--such, at least, is the version of the inhabitants.

That Casares was a Roman town is almost proved by the name it yet bears;
but the matter is placed beyond a doubt on examining the old foundations
of the castle, which are clearly of a date anterior to the occupation of
Spain by the Saracens.

The name it anciently bore strikes me as being equally obvious, viz.,
_Cæsaris Salutariensis_; so designated from the mineral waters in its
neighbourhood, which, though _now_ known by the name of the modern town
of Manilba, are within the _termino_ of Casares. For, not only were the
valuable properties of these springs well known to the Romans, but,
according to the common belief in the country, they performed a
wonderful cure on one of the emperors--Trajan, I think.

_Cæsaris Salutariensis_ is mentioned by Pliny, amongst the Latin towns
of the _conventus gaditanus_; the limits of which country may, at first
sight, appear to be somewhat stretched to include Casares; but
Barbesula, which stood at the mouth of the river Guadiaro, at an equal
distance from Cadiz, (as is clearly proved by inscriptions found there,)
is also mentioned by that excellent authority as one of the stipendiary
towns of the same county; and the order in which they are enumerated,
viz., those first which were nearest to the capital, tends to confirm my

On our return from the old castle, which commands a splendid view, we
were not displeased to find that our host was no despiser of the good
things of this world, much as he gave us to understand that all his
thoughts were directed towards the never-ending joys of that which is to
come. Every thing bespoke a well-conducted _ménage_; the house, besides
being clean and tastily decorated with flowers, was provided with some
solid comforts. The _Cura's niece_--his housekeeper, butler, and
factotum--was pretty, as well as intelligent and obliging. His _cuisine_
was tolerably free from garlic and grease, his wine from aniseed. Our
horses were up to their knees in fresh straw; and three clean beds were
prepared for ourselves.

Our host excused himself from partaking of our meal, he having already
dined, and, whilst we were doing justice to his good catering, paced up
and down the room pretending to read, but in reality watching our
movements, and, as it at first struck us, looking after his silver
spoons: but divers testy hints given to his bright-eyed niece that her
constant attendance upon us was unnecessary, soon made it evident that
_she_ was the object of his solicitude; as, judging from the occasional
direction of our eyes, he rightly conjectured what was the subject of
our conversation. Anon, however, he would approach the table, thrust the
volume of Homilies under his left arm, and, taking a pinch of snuff,
(which he said was "_bueno para el estudio_"[69]) ask our way of
thinking on various subjects, political and theological, always
prefacing his interrogatories by some observation, either on his passion
for study, the cosmopolitan bent of his mind, or the superiority his
learning gave him over the vulgar prejudices of the age. And, at length,
when the table was cleared, the niece gone, and he had elicited from us
that we were all three _English_, he observed, without further
circumlocution, "_Pues Señores_, you are not members of the _Santa
Iglesia, Catolica Romana_?"

"No," we replied, "_Catolica_ but not _Romana_."

"That is to say, you are heretical Christians."

"That is to say, we differ with you as regards the corporeal nature of
the elements partaken of in the Eucharist; we deny the efficacy of
masses; the power of granting indulgences; and the necessity for
auricular confession:--and so far certainly we are heretics in the eyes
of the church of Rome."

The worthy _Cura_--much as he had studied--was by no means aware that
our pretensions to Catholicism were so great as, on continuing the
controversy, he discovered them to be.[70] He made a stout stand,
however, for the absolute necessity of auricular confession; maintaining
that we, by dispensing with it, deprived the poor and ignorant of a
friend, a counsellor, and an intercessor;--stript our church of the
power of reclaiming sinners, and checking growing heresies;--and our
government of the means of anticipating the mischievous projects of
designing men.

It was in vain we urged to our host that, in our favoured country,
education had done away with the necessity for strengthening the hands
of government by such means; that the poor were provided for by law; and
that the clergy were ever ready to counsel and assist those who stood in
need of spiritual consolation. But, before leaving us for the night, the
_Padre_ admitted that _we_ were certainly Christians, and that many of
the mysteries and practices of the Church of Rome were merely preserved
to enable the clergy to maintain their influence over the people;--an
influence which we deemed quite necessary for the well-being of the

Rising betimes on the following morning, we set off on foot to clamber
to the lofty peak of the _Sierra Cristellina_; and regular climbing it
was, for all traces of a footpath were soon lost, and we then had to
mount the precipitous face of the cone in the best way we could. The
magnificence of the view from the summit amply repaid us for the fatigue
and loss of shoe-leather we had to bear with; for, though scarcely 2000
feet above the level of the sea, the peak stands so completely detached
from all other mountains, that it affords a bird's eye view which could
be surpassed only by that from a balloon. The entire face of the
country was spread out like a map before us. To the north, penned in on
all sides by savage mountains, lay the wide, forest-covered valley of
the Genal, its deeply furrowed sides affording secure though but scanty
lodgment to the numerous little fastnesses scattered over them by the
persecuted _Mudejares_, when expelled from the more fertile plains of
the Guadalquivír and Guadalete; and on which castellated crags the
swarthy descendants of these "mediatised" Moors still continue to reside
and bid defiance to civilization.

These little strongholds stand for the most part on the summit of rocky
knolls that jut into the dark valley; and round the base of each a small
extent of the forest has in most cases been cleared, serving, in times
past, to improve its means of defence, and, at the present day, to admit
the sun to shine upon the vineyards, in the cultivation of which the
rude inhabitants find employment, when, obliged for a time to lay aside
the smuggler's blunderbuss, they take to the axe and pruning-knife.
Behind, serving as a kind of citadel to these numerous outworks, rises
the huge _Sierra Bermeja_, which afforded a last refuge to the
persecuted Moslems; and at its very foot, about five miles up the valley
of the Genal, are the ruins of _Benastepar_; the birth-place of the
Moorish hero, _El Feri_, whose courage and address so long baffled the
exterminating projects of the Spaniards.

Turning now round to the south, a totally different, and yet more
magnificent, view meets the eye. Gibraltar,--its lovely bay,--the
African mountains, rising range above range,--and the distant Atlantic,
successively present themselves: whilst, from the height at which we are
raised above the intermediate country, the courses of the different
rivers, that issue from the gorges of the sierras at our back, may be
distinctly followed through all their windings to the Mediterranean, the
features of the intervening ground appearing to be so slightly marked as
to lead to the supposition that the country below must be perfectly
accessible;--but, as one of our party drily observed, those who, like
himself, had followed red-legged partridges across it could tell a
different story.

We returned to Casares by descending the eastern side of the mountain,
which is planted with vines to within a short distance of the summit. In
fact, wherever a little earth can be scraped together, a root is
inserted. The wine made from the grapes grown on this bank is considered
the best of Casares; it is not unlike Cassis--small, but highly
flavoured. The town, looked down upon in this direction, has a singular
appearance, seeming to stand on a high cliff overhanging the
Mediterranean shore, though, in reality, it is six or seven miles from

We amused ourselves during the rest of the afternoon in taking sketches
of the town from various points in the neighbourhood, and excited the
wrath of some passers-by to a furious degree. They swore we were
_mapeando el pueblo_,[71] and that they would have us arrested; but we
were strong in our innocence, and turned a deaf ear to their menaces. It
is, however, a practice that is often attended with annoying
consequences; for I have known several instances of English officers
having been taken before the military authorities for merely sketching a
picturesque barn or cork tree--so great is the national jealousy.

At our evening meal, our host, as on the former occasion walked
book-in-hand up and down the room, but was evidently less watchful of
his pretty niece and silver spoons. His attention, indeed, appeared to
be entirely given to the state of the mercury in an old barometer,
which, appended to the wall at the further end of the room, he consulted
at every turn, putting divers weatherwise questions to us as he did so.
And at last, he asked in plain language, whether our church ever put up
prayers for rain, and if they ever brought it.

The occasion of all this _pumping_ we found to be, that the country in
the neighbourhood having long been suffering from drought, the
husbandmen, apprehensive of the consequences, had for some days past
been urging him to pray for rain, but the state of the barometer had not
hitherto, he said, warranted his doing so, and he had, therefore, put
them off, on various pretences. "Yesterday, however," he observed,
"seeing that the mercury was falling, I gave notice that I should make
intercession for them; and, I think, judging from present appearances,
that my prayers are likely to be as effectual as those of any bishop
could possibly be." And off he started to church, giving us, at parting,
a very significant, though somewhat heterodoxical grin.

Nevertheless, not a drop of rain fell that night; the barometer was at
fault; and the only clouds visible in the morning were those gathered on
the brow of the _Cura_. They dispersed, however, like mist under the
sun's rays; when, bidding him farewell, and thanking him for his
hospitable entertainment, we slipped a _doublon de à ocho_ into his
hand; which, pocketing without the slightest hesitation, he assured us,
with imperturbable gravity, should be applied to the services of the
_church_--"as, doubtless, we intended."

Threading once more the rudely _graduated_ streets of the town, we took
the stony pathway, before noticed, which winds down under the eastern
side of the castle hill, and in rather more than half an hour were again
beyond the limits of the Serranía, and in a country of corn and pasture.

At the foot of the mountain two roads present themselves, one proceeding
straight across the country to San Roque and Gibraltar (nineteen and
twenty-five miles), the other seeking more directly the Mediterranean
shore, and visiting on its way the sulphur-baths and little town of

The _Cura_ had spoken in such terms of commendation of the _Hedionda_
(fetid spring)--claiming it jealously as the property of Casares--that
we were tempted to lengthen our journey by a few miles to pay it a

The road to it follows the course of the little stream that flows in the
valley between the Cristellina mountain and Casares, which, escaping by
a narrow rocky gorge immediately below the town, winds round the foot of
the castle crag, and takes an easterly direction to the Mediterranean.
The country at first is open, and the stream flows through a smiling
valley, without encountering any obstacle; but, at about two miles from
Casares, a dark and narrow defile presents itself, which, the winding
rivulet having in vain sought to avoid, finally precipitates itself
into, and is lost sight of, under an entangled canopy of arbutus,
lauristinus, clematis, and various creepers. So narrow and overshadowed
is the chasm, so high and precipitous are its bank--themselves overgrown
with coppice and forest-trees, wherever the crumbling rocks have allowed
their roots to spread--that even the sunbeams have difficulty in
reaching the foaming stream, as it hurries over its rough and tortuous
bed; and the pathway, following the various windings of the narrow
gorge,--now keeping along the shady bank of the rivulet, now climbing,
by rudely carved zig-zags, some little way up the precipitous sides of
the fissure,--is barely of a width to admit of the passage of a loaded

So wildly beautiful is the scenery, so free from artificial
embellishments,--for the low moss-grown water-mills which are scattered
along the course of the stream, and here and there a rustic bridge, owe
their beauty rather to nature than art--so _romantic_, in fine, is the
spot, that, if in the vicinity of a fashionable _baden_, it could not
fail of being a little fortune to all the ragged donkey-drivers within a
circuit of many leagues, and of proving a mine of wealth to the
surveyors of _tables d'hôtes_, and _restaurans_, and keepers of billiard
and faro tables.

The amusements of the frequenters of the humble _Hedionda_ are, however,
very different, and the sequestered dell is visited only by chanting
muleteers, driving their files of laded animals to or from the mills;
or, perchance, by some sulphurated old lady, who, ensconced in a
pillowed _jamuga_,[72] is bending her way, with renovated health,
towards Casares or Ximena: to which places the narrow fissure offers the
nearest road from the baths.

After proceeding about a mile down the dark ravine, its banks, crumbling
down in rude blocks, recede from each other, and a huge barren sierra is
discovered rising steeply along the southern bank of the stream, to
which the road now crosses. It greatly excited our surprise how this
lofty and strongly marked ridge could have escaped our observation from
Casares, for it had seemed to us, that on descending from thence we
should leave the mountains altogether behind us.

From the base of this barren ridge issues the _Hedionda_; still,
however, about a mile from us; and ere reaching it, the hills retiring
for a time yet more from the stream, leave a flat space of some extent,
and in form resembling an amphitheatre, which is planted with all kinds
of fruit-trees, and dotted with vine-clung cottages. This spot is called
_La Huerta_--the orchard; and these comfortless looking little
hovels--pleasing nevertheless to the eye--we eventually learnt are the
lodging-houses of the most aristocratic visiters of the baths.

Traversing the fruitful little dell, and mounting a low rocky ledge that
completes its enclosure to the east, leaving only a narrow passage for
the rivulet, we found ourselves close to the baths; our vicinity to
which, however, the offensive smell of the spring (prevailing even over
the strong perfume of the orange blossoms) had already duly apprized us

The baths are situated almost in the bed of the pure mountain stream,
whose course we had been following from Casares; and a short distance
beyond, and at a slight elevation above them, stands a neat and compact
little village.

The season being at its height, we found the place so crowded with
visiters, that it would have been impossible to procure a night's
lodging, had such been our wish. All we required, however, was
information concerning the place; for which purpose we repaired to the
_Fonda_,--a kind of booth, such as is knocked up at fairs in England for
the sale of gin, "and other cordials,"--and ordered such refreshment as
it afforded, asking the _Moza_[73] if she could tell us whether any of
the houses were vacant, &c.

She replied, that the Fonda was provided with every thing necessary for
travellers of distinction, being established on the footing of the
hotels "_de mas fama_" of Malaga and San Roque; and that _El Señor
Juan_, the "_intendente_"[74] of the place,--who, doubtless, on hearing
of our arrival, would forthwith pay his respects to us,--could furnish
every sort of information respecting it.

Oh! a master of the ceremonies, with his book, thought we--well, this
will be amusing: some urbane "captain," no doubt, all smiles to all
persons!--and whilst we were yet picturing to ourselves what this
Spanish Beau Nash could possibly be like, a tall ungainly personage,
with a considerable halt in his gait, a fund of humour in his long
leathern countenance, and a paper cigar screwed up in the dexter corner
of his mouth, presented himself, and placed his services at our

He held a huge pitcher of the fragrant water in one hand, which, when he
was in motion, gave him a "lurch to starboard;" a stout staff in the
other, by means of which he established an equilibrium when at rest. His
body was coatless, his neck cravatless, his shirt sleeves were rolled up
to the elbow, leaving his brown sinewy arms bare; his trowsers hung in
braceless negligence about his hips; his large bare feet were thrust
into a pair of capacious shoes; and his head was covered with a
high-crowned, narrow-brimmed, Frenchified hat, which had evidently
browned under the heat of many summers, and bent to the storms of
intervening winters. Round his neck hung a stout silver chain (which the
fumes of the sulphur-spring had turned as black as Berlin iron), whence
was suspended a ponderous master-key.

"He must be the prison-keeper," said we, "carrying the daily allowance
of water to the incarcerated malefactors!"

"This is _Señor Juan, el intendente_," said our smirking attendant,
placing a bottle of wine upon the table before us.

"Oh! this is _Señor Juan_, the master of the ceremonies!--Then pray be
seated, _Señor Juan_; and bring another wine-glass, _Mariquita_."

Our requests were instantly complied with; and in half an hour we had
disengaged from the numberless "_por supuestos, conques_," and "_pues_,"
with which Señor Juan interlarded his conversation, and from the smoky
exhalations in which he enveloped it, all the information we required
concerning the baths, though by no means so full an account of them as
the gossip-loving _Tio_ seemed disposed to give us. So pleased were we,
however, with his description of the amusements of the place, and of the
valuable properties of its waters, that, assuring him we should take an
early opportunity of renewing his acquaintance, and commending him to
the care of _San Juan Nepomaceno_, we arose, and took our departure.

I was not long in performing my promise. Indeed, I became an annual
visiter to the baths for a few days during the shooting season; and will
devote the following chapter to a more particular description of the
_Hedionda_, and the manner of life at a Spanish watering-place.

The mule-track from the baths to Gibraltar--for during the first few
miles it is little else--keeps down the valley for some little distance,
and then, ascending a steep hill, joins at its summit a road leading to
Casares from Manilba; which latter little town is seen about
three-quarters of a mile off, on the left. This road to Casares turns
the _sierra_ overhanging the baths on its western side, where it meets
with some flat, nearly table-land; but our route to Gibraltar, after
keeping along it a few hundred yards, strikes off to the left, and,
traversing a wild and very broken country, in something more than three
miles forms its junction with the road from the town of Manilba to San
Roque and Gibraltar, which again, half a mile further on, falls into the
road from Malaga to those two places. This spot is distant five miles
from the baths, and rather more than two from the river Guadiaro.

Near some farm-houses on the left bank of this river, and about a mile
from its mouth, are ruins of the Roman town of _Barbesula_. Some
monuments and inscriptions found here, many years since, were carried to

The bed of the Guadiaro is wide but shallow, and offers two fords, which
are practicable at most seasons. There is a ferry-boat kept, however, at
the upper point of passage, for cases of necessity. A venta is situated
on the right bank of the stream, whereat a bevy of custom-house people
generally assemble to levy contributions on the passers-by. It is a
wretched place of accommodation, though better than another, distant
about a mile further, on the road to Gibraltar, and well known to the
sportsmen of the garrison by the name of _pan y agua_--bread and
water--those being the only supplies that the establishment can be
depended upon to furnish. Its vicinity to some excellent snipe ground
occasions it to be much resorted to in the winter.

At the first-named venta, two roads present themselves, that on the
right hand proceeding to San Roque, (eight miles,) the other seeking the
coast and keeping along it to Gibraltar--a distance of twelve miles.

The country traversed by the former is very rugged, but the path is,
nevertheless, unnecessarily circuitous. In various places--but a little
off the road--are vestiges of an old paved route, which, it is by no
means improbable, was the Roman way from _Barbesula_ to _Carteia_, of
which further notice will be taken, when the coast road from Malaga to
Gibraltar is described.



The baths of Manilba lie about seventeen miles N.N.E. of Gibraltar, and
four, inland, from the sea-fort of Savanilla. The town, from which they
take their name, is about midway between them and the coast; and,
standing on a commanding knoll, is a conspicuous object when sailing
along the Mediterranean shore.

The virtues of the sulphureous spring have long been known; but it is
only within the last few years that the increasing reputation of the
medicated source led a company of speculators to build the village which
now stands in its vicinity; the scattered cottages of the _Huerta_
having been found quite incapable of lodging the vast crowd of
valetudinarians, annually drawn to the spot. The same parties have yet
more recently erected a chapel, and also the _Fonda_, mentioned in the
preceding chapter.

The little village is built with the regularity of even Wiesbaden
itself, but nothing can well be more different in other respects than it
is from that, or any other watering-place, which I have ever visited. It
consists of five or six parallel stacks of houses, forming streets which
open at one end upon the bank overhanging the now sulphurated stream,
that flows down from Casares; and which abut, at the other, against the
side of the lofty mountain whence the medicated spring issues. These
streets are covered in with trellis-work, over which vines are trained,
rendering them cool, as well as agreeable to the sight. The houses are
all built on a uniform plan, namely, they have no upper story, and
contain but _one room each_; which room is furnished with the usual
Spanish kitchen-range--that is, with three or four little bricked stoves
built into a kind of dresser. By this arrangement, every room is, of
itself, capable of forming a _complete establishment_; and in most
cases, indeed, it does serve the triple purposes of a kitchen, a
refectory, and a dormitory, to its frugal inmates. When a family is
large, however, an entire lareet must be hired for its accommodation.

The principal speculator in the joint-stock village is a gentleman of
Estepona; and _El Señor Juan_--or _Tio Juan_, as he is familiarly
called by those admitted to his intimacy--is a poor relative, who, for
the slight perquisites of office, readily undertook the charge of the
infant establishment.

The choice of the _Tio_ was, in every respect, a judicious one; for,
having drunk himself off the crutches on which he hobbled down to the
baths, he has become a kind of walking advertisement of the efficacy of
the waters. He is not, however, like the unsightly fellows who
perambulate the streets of London with placards, a silent one; for I
know of no man more thoroughly versed in the art of _viva voce_ puffing
than _Tio Juan_; and then he has stored his memory with such a fund of
useful watering-place information, that he is a perfect guide to the
_Hedionda_ and its environs.

The _Tio_ and I soon became wonderful cronies; I derived great amusement
from his _cuentas_--he, much gratification from my nightly whisky-toddy.
In fact, the two dovetailed into each other in a most remarkable manner;
for, when once the _Tio_ had attached one of his long stories to a
(_pint_) bottle of "poteen," there was no possibility of separating
them--they drew cork and breath together, and together only they came to
a conclusion.

He knew every body that visited the baths, and every thing about them;
could point out those who came for health, and those who were allured
by dissipation; could tell which ladies and gentlemen were looking out
for matrimony, which for intrigue; whether the buxom widow had fruitful
vineyards and olive grounds with her weeds; whether the young ladies had
shining _onzas_ to recommend them as well as sparkling eyes.

Then the Tio knew where every medicinal herb grew that was suited to any
given case--could point out the haunt of every covey of red-legged
partridges in the vicinity--could tell to an hour when a flight of quail
would cross from the parched shores of Africa--when the matchless
_becafigos_ would alight upon the neighbouring fig-trees--and, as the
season advanced, he would mark the time to a nicety when the first
annual visit of the woodcocks might be looked for to the wooded glens
beyond the baths.

As the historian of the wonder-working spring, the _Tio_ was not less
valuable; though, it must be confessed, the terms in which he conveyed
the idea of its vast antiquity were any thing but prepossessing; viz.,
"_Pues! saben ustedes, que esa hedionda es mas vieja que la sarna._"
"Know then, gentlemen, that this fetid spring is older than the itch."
In other respects, however, the information he had collected, besides
being most rare, possessed a freshness that was truly delightful;
"_Siglos hay_,[75]" he would continue, "the spring was _endemoniado_,
for _Carlomagno_, or some other great hero of the most remote antiquity,
drove an evil spirit into the mountain, which said spirit, to be
revenged on mankind, poisoned the source whence the stream flows. Saint
James, however, arriving in the country soon after--having taken Spain
under his especial protection--determined to expel this imp of Satan.
This was done accordingly, and the devil went over into Barbary, (where
he eventually stirred up the Moors against the adopted children of
_Santiago_--the story of _Don Rodrigo_ and _La Cava_ being all a fable,)
leaving nothing but his sulphur behind."

"The good saint, to perpetuate the fame of the miracle he had wrought,
next determined to endue the spring with extraordinary curative
properties; not depriving it, however, of the unusually bad smell left
by the devil, that the marvellous work he was about to perform might be
the more apparent to future generations."

"Some years after this, the baths were visited by '_muchos emperadores
de Roma_;'[76] amongst others, Trajan and Hercules; as also by the
famous Roland; and, '_segun dicen_,' by _un Ingles, llamado Malbrù, y
otra gente muy principal_."[77] "In those days," continued the Tio,
"there were _palathios, posa'a, y to'o_,[78] but then came the Moors
(with the devil in their train), and laid every thing waste. They had
not the power, however, to deprive the stream of its virtues; and great
they are, and most justly celebrated _por todo la España_."[79]

In detailing the wonderful properties of the spring committed to his
charge, _Tio Juan_ would enter with all the minuteness of an Herodotus.
By his account, there was no ailment to which suffering humanity is
exposed that it would not reach. It was a "universal medicine"--a
Hygeian fountain that bestowed perpetual youth--a Styx that rendered
mankind invulnerable. It gave strength to the weak, and ease to those
who were in pain--rendered the barren fruitful, and the splenetic,
good-humoured--made the fat, lean, and the lean, fat. By it the good
liver was freed from gout, and the bad liver from bile. The sores of the
leper were dried up, and the lungs of the asthmatic inflated--it made
the maimed whole, and patched up the broken-hearted. He had known many
instances of its curing consumption, and had seen it act like a charm in
cases of tympany.

"In fact," said old Juan--"_para todo tiene remedio_.--_Mir'
usted_[80]--I, who on my arrival here could not put a foot to the
ground, now, as you may perceive, walk about like a _Jovencito_;[81]
and, under proper directions, I have no doubt it would make a man live
for ever."[82]

Nor did the long list of the water's valuable qualities end here. It was
good for all the common purposes of life--for stewing and for
boiling--for washing and for shaving;--and, to wind up all, as we go on
sinning, until, by constant repetition, crime no longer pricks one's
conscience, so, the _Tio_ declared, one went on drinking this devilish
water until it positively became palatable. "_Jo no bebo otra_," he
concluded, "_nunca bebo otra--guiso y to'o con ella_."[83]

Now, though the Tio painted the yellow spring thus _couleur de rose_,
and his account of its wonderful properties, like his system of
chronology, must be received with caution, yet I must needs confess that
the _Hedionda_ seemed to perform extraordinary cures; and, even in my
own case, I ever fancied that after a few days passed at the baths, I
returned to Gibraltar with invigorated powers of digestion. I could by
no means, however, bring myself to submit to the _Tio's_ discipline, and
he was wont to shake his head very seriously, when, returning from a
hard day's shooting, I used to request him to open a bath for me after
sunset--Hercules, himself, he thought could not have stood that.

That this spring was known to the Romans there can be no manner of
doubt, since the public bath, which still exists, is a work of that
people. The source is very copious, and the water of an equal
temperature throughout the year, viz., 73 to 75 degrees of Fahrenheit's

On analysis it is found to contain large quantities of hydrogen and
carbonic acid gases, and the following proportions of fixed substances
in fifty pounds of water, viz., six grains of muriate of lime; fifty-six
of sulphate of magnesia; thirty-five of sulphate of lime; ten of
magnesia; and four of silica. The quantity of sulphur it holds in
solution is so great, that the vine-dressers in the neighbourhood make
themselves matches, by merely steeping linen rags in the waste water of
the baths.

The use of the bath has been found very efficacious in the cure of all
kinds of cutaneous diseases, ulcers, wounds, and elephantiasis; and
taken inwardly, the water is considered by the faculty as extremely
beneficial in cases of gout, asthma, scrofula, rheumatism, dyspepsia,
and, as the Tio said, in fact, in almost every disorder that human
nature is subject to.

The season for taking the waters is from the beginning of June to the
end of September; and it is astonishing during those four months what
vast crowds of persons, of every grade and calling, are brought
together. Nobles, priests, peasants, and beggars--the gouty,
hypochondriac, lame, and blind--all flock from every part of the kingdom
to the famed Hedionda. It was ever a matter of surprise to me where such
a host can find accommodation.

The same regimen is prescribed at this as at other watering places;
viz., plenty of the spring, moderate exercise, and abstemious diet; and
in this latter item, at least, the injunctions are as generally
disregarded at Manilba as at the Brunnens of Nassau: that is,
comparatively speaking, for it must be borne in mind that a German's
daily food would support a Spaniard for a week.

The principal bath is open to the public, and, being very large and
tolerably deep, is by far the pleasantest, when one can be sure of its
entire possession. Those which have been built by the company of
speculators are too small, though convenient in other respects. The
charge for the use of these is moderate enough, viz., one real and a
half each time of bathing; which includes a trifling gratuity to _Tio

The source from which the drinkers fill their goblets is open to all
comers, and any one may bottle and carry off the precious water _ad
libitum_. A considerable quantity is sent in stone jars to the
neighbouring towns; but Tio Juan maintained--and I believe not without
good reason--that it lost all its properties on the journey "_amen del
mal olor_."[84]

The situation of the new village would have been more agreeable had it
been built somewhat higher up the side of the sierra, instead of on the
immediate bank of the rivulet, where it is excluded from the fine view
it might otherwise command, and is sheltered from every breath of air.
It is not, however, so sultry as might be expected, considering its
confined situation; for the mountain behind screens it from the sun's
rays at an early hour after noon, and the opposite bank of the ravine,
by sloping down gradually to the stream, and being clothed to the
water's edge with vines, fig, and other fruit-trees, throws back no
reflected heat upon the dwellings.

The manner of life of the visiters of the _hedionda_ is not less
different from that of the watering places of other countries, than the
place itself is from Cheltenham or Carlsbad. They rise with the sun;
drink their first glass of water at the spring on their way to chapel; a
second glass, in returning from their devotions; and then take a
_paseito_[85] in the _huerta_: but not until after the third dose do
they venture on their usual breakfast of a cup of chocolate. The bath
and the toilette occupy the rest of the morning. Dinner is taken at one
or two o'clock; the _Siesta_ follows, and before sunset another bath,
perhaps. The _Paseo_ comes next--that is quite indispensable--and the
_Tertulia_ concludes the arrangements for the day.

This, at the baths, is a kind of public assembly held in the open air,
and generally in one of the vine-sheltered streets of the modern
village. A guitar, cards, dancing, and games of forfeit, are the various
resources of the _réunion_; which breaks up at an early hour.

_Tio Juan_, in his shirt-sleeves and slippers, is a constant attendant
at the _Tertulia_, usually looking on at the sports and pastimes with
becoming gravity, but occasionally taking a hand at _Malilla_,[86] or
joining the noisy circle playing at _El Enfermo_;[87] in which, when the
usual question is asked, "What will _you_ give the sick man?" he
invariably answers, "_El Agua--nada mas que el agua--que no hay cosa mas
sano en el mundo_,"[88] puffing away at his paper cigar all the while
with the most imperturbable gravity, and casting a side glance at me, as
much as to say--"not a word of our nightly _symposium_, if you please."

The company on these occasions is, as may be supposed, of a very mixed
kind. Let it not be imagined, however, that because "_Señor Juan_"
presents himself with bare elbows, that it is altogether of a secondary
order--far from it--for such is the caprice of fashion, such the love of
change, that even the noblest of the land are ofttimes inmates of the
little inconvenient hovels that I have described; but _Tio Juan_ is a
privileged person--every body consults him, every one makes him his or
her confidant. And so curiously is Spanish society constituted, that
though considered the proudest people in the world, yet, on occasions
like this, Spaniards lay aside the distinction of rank, and mix together
in the most unceremonious manner. Indeed, no people I have ever seen
treat their inferiors with greater respect than the Spanish Nobles. They
enter familiarly into conversation with the servants standing behind
their chair; and, strange as it may appear, this freedom is never taken
advantage of, nor are they less respected, nor worse served in

The custom of kneeling down in common at their places of public worship
may have a tendency to keep up this feeling, warning the rich and
powerful of the earth that, though placed temporarily above the peasant
in the world's estimation, yet that he is their equal in the sight of
the Creator of all; an accountable being like themselves, and deserving
of the treatment of a human being.

The Spanish nobles certainly find their reward in adopting such a line
of conduct, for they are served with extraordinary fidelity; and the
horrors which were perpetrated _through the instrumentality of
servants_, during the French revolution, is little to be apprehended in
this country; perhaps, indeed, this good understanding between master
and man has hitherto saved Spain from its reign of terror.

The chapel of the bathing village is generally thronged with penitents;
for people become very devout when they have, or fancy they have, one
foot in the grave. The little edifice may be considered the repository
of the _archives_ of _the Hedionda_, for countless are the legs, arms,
heads, and bodies, moulded in wax, or carved in wood, and telling of
wondrous cures, that have been offered at the shrine of Our Lady of _Los

Leaving the good Romanists at their devotions within the crowded chapel,
and _Tio Juan_, with one knee and his pitcher of water on the ground,
and his staff in hand, offering a passing prayer behind the throng
collected outside the open door, we will devote the morning to a
scramble to the summit of the steep mountain that rises at the back of
the baths.

The _Sierra de Utrera_, by which name this rugged ridge is
distinguished, is of very singular formation. Its eastern base (whence
the _hedionda_ issues) is covered with a crumbling mass of schist,
disposed in laminæ, shelving downwards, at an angle of 25 or 30 degrees
with the horizon. This sloping bank reaches to about one third the
height of the mountain, when rude rocks of a most peculiar character
shoot up above its general surface, rising pyramidically, but assuming
most fantastic forms, and each pile consisting of a series of huge
blocks (sometimes fourteen or fifteen in number), resting loosely one
upon another, and seemingly so much off the centre of gravity as to lead
to the belief that a slight push would lay them prostrate.

At first these detached pinnacles rise only to the height of fifteen or
twenty feet, but, on drawing near the crest of the ridge, they attain
nearly twice that elevation. The general surface of the mountain, above
which these piles of rocking stones rise, is rent by deep chasms, as if
the whole mass of rock had, at some distant period, been shaken to its
very foundation by an earthquake. In these rents, soil has been
gradually collected, and vegetation been the consequence; but the
general character of the mountain is arid and sterile.

The ascent becomes very difficult as one proceeds, and, in fact, it
requires some little agility to reach the crest of the singular ridge.
Its summit presents a very rough, though nearly horizontal surface,
varying in width from 300 to 400 yards; and, looking from its western
side, the spectator fancies himself elevated on the walls of some vast
castle, so precipitously does the rocky ledge fall in that direction, so
level and smiling is the cultivated country spread out but a couple of
hundred feet below him.

This rocky plateau appears to have been covered, in former days, with
the same singularly formed pyramids that protrude from the eastern
acclivity of the mountain; but they have probably been hewn into mill
stones, as many of the rough blocks strewed about its surface are now in
process of becoming. The plateau extends nearly two miles in a parallel
direction to the rock of Gibraltar, that is, nearly due north and south
by compass; and, when on its summit, the ridge appears continuous; but,
on proceeding to examine the southern portion of the plateau, I found
myself suddenly on the brink of a chasm, upwards of a hundred feet
deep, which, traversing the mountain from east to west, cuts it
completely in two. This cleft varies in width from 50 to 100 feet; and
in winter brings down a copious stream, being the drain of a
considerable extent of country on the western side of the ridge. It is
partially clothed with shrubs and wild olive-trees, and a rude pathway
leads down the dark dell to the _hedionda_, which issues from the base
of the mountain, about 200 yards to the north of the opening of the

This remarkable gap, though not distinguishable from the baths situated
immediately below it, is so well defined, and has so peculiar an
appearance at a distance, that it is an important landmark for the
coasting vessels.

The southern portion of the Sierra is far less accessible than that
which has been described; in fact, access to its summit can be gained
only by means of a ramped road, which, piercing the rocky precipice on
its western side, has been made to facilitate the transport of the
millstones prepared there. In other respects, this part of the plateau
is of the same character as the other.

Wonderful are the tales of fairies, devils, and evil spirits, told by
the goatherds and others who frequent this singular mountain; and _Tio
Juan_, who never would suffer himself to be outdone in the marvellous,
told us that "_un Ingles_," who, about two years before, had been on a
visit to the baths, had disappeared there in a most mysterious way. A
goatherd of his acquaintance had seen him descend into a cleft in search
of some herb, but out of it he had never returned. "_Se dicen_," he
concluded, "_que era uno de esos Lores, de que hay tantos en
Inglaterra_;[89] but I can hardly believe, if he had possessed such
'_montones de oro_'[90] as was represented, that he would have been
going about like a pedlar, with a basket slung to his back, picking up
all sorts of herbs, and drying them with great care every day when he
returned home, spreading them out between the leaves of a large book.
'_A me mi parece_,'[91] that he was gathering them to make tea with; but
I know an herb which grows on that Sierra, which is worth all the
medicines[92] in the world: ay! and in some cases it is yet quicker,
though not more effectual, in its cure, than even the waters of the
_hedionda_; and some day, _Don Carlos_, I will walk up and show you the
cleft wherein it grows."

The _Tio's_ occupations were, however, too constant to allow of his
accompanying me in search of this wonderful plant, and, consequently,
my curiosity concerning it was never gratified.

The district of Manilba is celebrated for the productiveness of its
vineyards, and the undulated country between the baths and the southern
foot of the _Sierra Bermeja_ is almost exclusively devoted to the
culture of the grape. That most esteemed is a large purple kind. It is
highly flavoured, and makes a strong-bodied and very palatable wine,
though, in nine cases out of ten, the wine is spoilt by some defect of
the skin in which it has been carried.

The husks of the Manilba grape, after the juice has been expressed,
enjoy a reputation for the cure of rheumatism, scarcely less than that
of the sulphureous spring itself. The sufferer is immersed up to the
neck in a vat full of the fermenting skins, and, after remaining therein
a whole morning, comes forth as purple as a printer's devil. I have met
with persons who declared they had received great benefit from this
vinous bath; but I question whether interment in hot sand (a mode of
treatment, by the way, which has been tried with great success) would
not have been found more efficacious, without subjecting the patient to
this unpleasant discoloration.

Several interesting mornings' excursions may be made from the baths. The
village of Manilba (about two miles distant) is situated on a high, but
narrow ridge, that protrudes from the south-eastern extremity of the
Sierra de Utrera. It is a compactly built place, and commands fine
views: towards the mountains on one side, and over the Mediterranean on
the other. The population amounts to about 3000 souls, principally
vinedressers and husbandmen.

On one occasion--having found all the lodging-houses at the _hedionda_
occupied, I established myself for a few days at the posada at Manilba,
where a singular adventure befel me. Mine host entered my room on the
evening of my arrival, and very mysteriously informed me, that a certain
person--a friend of his--a Spanish officer "_por fin_," who had
distinguished himself greatly under the constitutional government, and
was a _caballero de toda confianza_,[93] wished very much to have the
honour of paying me a visit, if I were agreeable, which, hearing I was
alone, he thought it possible I might be; and, before I had time fully
to explain that I was quite tired from a long day's shooting, and must
beg to be excused, the _Lismahago_ himself walked in--as vulgar,
off-handed, free-and-easy a gentleman as I ever came across.

Having expressed unbounded love for the English nation, and stated his
conviction--drawn from his intimate knowledge of the character of
British officers--that they were, one and all, well disposed to assist
in the grand work of regenerating Spain, he proceeded to state, that the
"friends of liberty," in various towns of that part of the Peninsula,
had entered into a plot to subvert the existing government of the
country, and having many friends in Gibraltar, wished, through the
medium of an officer of that garrison, to communicate with them; that,
understanding I was, &c. &c. &c.

I had merely acknowledged that I comprehended what he was saying, by
bowing severally to the numerous panegyrics on liberty, and compliments
to myself and nation, with which he interlarded his discourse--for the
above is but the skimmed milk of his eloquent harangue; but, finding
that he had at length concluded, I expressed the deep regret I felt at
not being able to meet his friendly proposal in the way he wished, from
the circumstance of my time being fully occupied in preparing a
deep-laid plot against my own government--nothing less, in fact, than to
give up the important fortress of Gibraltar to the Emperor of Morocco,
until we had established a republic in England. When this grand project
was accomplished, I added, I should be quite at leisure, and would most
willingly enter into any treasonable designs against any other
government; but, at present, he must see it was quite out of the

My visiter gazed on me "with the eyes of astonishment," but I kept my
countenance. He rose from his seat--I did the same.

"Are you serious?" asked he.

"Perfectly so," I replied; "but, of course, I reckon on your maintaining
the strictest secrecy in the matter I have just communicated," I added

"You may rely in perfect confidence upon me."

"Do you smoke? Pray accept of a Gibraltar cigar. I regret that I cannot
ask you to remain with me, but I have letters of the utmost importance
to write, which must be sent off by daybreak." He accepted my proffered
cigar, begged I would command his services on all occasions, and walked

I made sure he was a government spy, and in a towering rage sent for the
innkeeper. He protested such was not the case, adding, "but, to confess
the truth," he was a poor harmless fellow,--a reduced officer of the
constitutional army,--who was very fond of the English, not less so of
wine; talked a great deal of nonsense, which nobody minded; and hoped I
would take no notice of it.

I reminded mine host, that he had said he was a "_distinguished
officer_," and had called him "_his friend_."--"_Si, señor, es
verdad_;[94] but the fact is, he followed me up stairs, and I knew he
was at the door, listening to what I might say."

I very much doubted the truth of his asseverations, and my doubts were
confirmed by my never afterwards seeing the constitutional officer about
the premises; but, to prevent a repetition of such introductions, I
begged to be allowed the privilege of choosing my own associates,
telling him, indeed, that my further stay at his house would depend upon
it. I still, however, continued to look upon the fellow as a spy, until
the mad attempt made by Torrijos to bring about a revolution, not very
long afterwards, led me to think that my visiter's overture might really
have been seriously intended.

Manilba is distant about seven miles from Estepona. The first part of
the road thither lies through productive vineyards; the latter along the
sea-shore, on reaching which it falls into the road from Gibraltar to

Not many years since Estepona was a mere fishing village, built under
the protection of one of the _casa fuertes_ that guard the coast; but
the fort stands now in the midst of a thriving town, containing 6000

The fish taken here finds a ready sale in the Serranía, whither it is
conveyed in a half-salted state, on the backs of mules or asses. The
_Sardina_ frequents this coast in great numbers; it is a delicious
fish, of the herring kind, but more delicately flavoured.

The environs of Estepona are very fruitful; and oranges and lemons are
exported thence to a large amount--the greater portion to England. The
place is distant twenty-five miles from Gibraltar (by the road), and
sixteen from Marbella. To the latter the road is very good.

A most delightful ride offers itself to return from hence to the baths
of Manilba, by way of Casares. The road, for the first few miles, keeps
under the deeply seamed and pine-clad side of the _Sierra Bermeja_, and
then, leaving the mountain-path to Gaucin (mentioned in a preceding
chapter) to the right, enters an intersected country, winding along the
edge of several deep ravines, shaded by groves of chesnut-trees, and
reaches Casares very unexpectedly; leaving a large convent, situated on
the side of a steep bank, on the left, just before entering the narrow,
rock-bound town.

The road from Casares to the baths has already been described, but two
other routes offer themselves from that town to reach Manilba. The more
direct of these keeps the fissure in which the _hedionda_ is situated on
the right; the other makes a wide circuit round the _Sierra de Utrera_,
and leaves the baths on the left. By the former the distance is five and
a half, by the latter seven miles.



In the wildest part of the mountainous belt that, stretching in a wide
semicircle round Gibraltar, cuts the rocky peninsula off, as it were,
from the rest of Spain, is situated the _Casería de Sanona_; a lone
house, now dwindled down to a mere farm; but, as both its name implies,
and its appearance bespeaks, formerly a place of some consequence.

It was brought to its present lowly state during the last war, when its
inhabitants were so reduced in number, as well as circumstances, that
hands and means are still equally wanting for the proper looking after,
and attending to, the vast herds and extensive _dehesas_[95] and
forest-lands belonging to it. The consequence is, that the wolves and
wild boars, from having been so long permitted to roam about in
undisputed possession of the woods, have in their turn, from being the
persecuted, become the aggressors, and are now in the habit of making
nightly predatory visits to the cattle folds and plantations of the
_Casería_, carrying off the farmer's sheep and heifers, and destroying
his winter stock of vegetables, whenever, by any neglect or remissness
of the watch, an opportunity is afforded them.

Besides the animals above mentioned, deer, and, in the winter,
woodcocks, find the unfrequented ravines in the vicinity of the
_Casería_ equally well suited to their secluded habits; and, tempted by
the promising account of the sport the place afforded, a party was
formed, consisting of three of my most intimate friends, myself, and a
piqueur, to proceed thither for a few days' shooting.

Sending forward a messenger to the Casería, as well to go through the
form of asking its proprietor to "put us up," during our proposed visit,
as to request him to have a sufficient number of beaters collected--on
which the quality of the sport mainly depends--we provided ourselves
with a week's consumption of provisions and ammunition, and, leaving
Gibraltar late in the afternoon, proceeded to Los Barrios; whence, we
could take an earlier departure on the following morning than from the
locked-up fortress.

The _Piqueur_ who usually accompanied us on these shooting excursions
was a personage of some celebrity in the Gibraltar _sporting world_, and
his name--Damien Berrio--will doubtless be familiar to such of my
readers as may have resided any time on "the rock." By birth a
Piedmontese, a baker by profession, Damien's bread--like that of many
persons in a more elevated walk of life--was not to his taste. At the
very mention of a _Batida_, he would leave oven, home, wife, and
children; shoulder his gun, fill his _alforjas_--for he was a provident
soul, and, though a baker, ever maintained that man could not live on
bread alone--borrow a horse, and, in half an hour, "be ready for a

Possessing a perfect knowledge of the country, a quick eye, an unerring
aim, and a nose that could wind an _olla_ if within the circuit of a
Spanish league, Damien was, in many respects, a valuable acquisition on
a shooting party. And to the aforesaid qualifications, befitting him for
the _staff_, he added that of being an excellent _raconteur_. In this he
received much assistance from his personal appearance, which, like that
of the inimitable Liston, passed off for humour that which, in reality,
was pure nature.

His person was much above the common stature, erect, and well-built, but
his hands and feet were "prodigious." His face--when the sun fell
directly upon it, so as to free it from the shadow of his enormous
nose--was intelligent, and bespoke infinite good nature, though marked,
nevertheless, with the lines of care and sorrow. His costume was that of
a French sportsman, except that he wore a high-crowned, weather-beaten
old hat, placed somewhat knowingly on one side of his head, and which,
of itself alone, marked him as "_a character_."

To those who have not had the pleasure of his acquaintance, a _precis_
of his early history may not be unacceptable; those who already know it
will, I trust, pardon the short digression.

Born on the sunny side of the Alps, some fifteen years before the
breaking out of the French revolution, Damien, at a very early age, was
called upon to defend his country against the aggression of its Gallic
neighbours. He was draughted accordingly to a regiment of grenadiers of
the Piedmontese army commanded by General Colli; and, in the short and
disgraceful campaign of 1796, was made prisoner with the brave but
unfortunate Provèra, at the Castle of Cosséria.

On the formation of the Cisalpine republic soon afterwards, our
grenadier, released, as he fondly imagined, from the necessity of any
further military service, purposed returning to his family and regretted
agricultural pursuits; but, on applying for his discharge, he found that
he had quite misunderstood the meaning of the word _freedom_. "What!"
said the regenerator of his oppressed country; "what! return home like a
lazy drone, when so much still remains to be done! No, no, we cannot
part with you yet; we are about to give liberty to the rest of Italy;
you must march; can mankind be more beneficially or philanthropically
employed? _Allons! en avant! vive la liberté!_"--"And so," said Damien,
"off we were marched, under the tail of the French eagle, to give
freedom to the _Facchini of Venice_, and _Lazzaroni_ of Naples; and to
spoil and pillage all that lay in our way."

This marauding life was ill-suited either to our hero's taste or habits,
and accordingly he embraced the first favourable opportunity of quitting
the service of the "Regenerator of Italy." How he managed to effect his
liberation I never could find out, it being one of the very few subjects
on which Damien was close; but I suspect--much as he liked
shooting--that the love of the smell of gunpowder was not a _natural_
taste of his. Be that as it may, he made his way to Spain--took to
himself a Spanish wife--and settled at Gibraltar.

His language, like the dress of a harlequin, was made up of
scraps,--French, Spanish, English, and Italian, joined in angularly and
without method or regularity; and all so badly spoken, as to render it
impossible to say which amongst them was the mother-tongue.
Nevertheless, Damien got on well with every body, and his _bonhommie_
and good nature rendered him a universal favourite. In other respects,
however, he was not so favoured a child of fortune; for, though no idle
seeker of adventures, in fact, he was wont to go a great way to avoid
them, yet, as ill luck would have it, adventures very frequently came
across him. And it generally happened, as with the famed Manchegan
knight, that Damien, in his various encounters, came off "second best."
That is to say, they usually ended in his finding himself _minus_ his
gun, or his horse, or both, and, perhaps, his _alforjas_ to boot.

By his own account, these untoward events invariably happened through
some want of proper precaution--either whilst he was indulging in a
_Siesta_, or taking a snack by the side of some cool stream, his trusty
gun being out of his immediate reach, or when committing some other
imprudent act. So it was, however, and these "_petits malheurs_," as he
was in the habit of calling them, had generated a more than ordinary
dread of robbers, which, in its turn, had produced in him a disposition
to be gregarious whenever he passed the bounds of the English garrison.

In travelling through the mountains, we always knew when we were
approaching what Damien considered a likely spot for an ambuscade, by
his striking up a martial air that he told us had been the favourite
march of the regiment of grenadiers in which he had served; giving us
from time to time a hint that it would be well to be upon the look-out
by observing to the person next him, "_Hay muchos ladrones par ici, mon
Capitaine--el año pasado (maledetti sian' ces gueux d'Espagnols!) on m'a
volé une bonne escopète en este maldito callejon_[96]--_Il faut être
preparé, Messieurs!_" and then the Piedmontese march was resumed with
increased energy, growing _piu marcato e risoluto_, as the banks of the
gorge became higher and the underwood thicker.

On regaining the open country, the air was changed by a playful
_Cadenza_ to one of a more lively character, and, after a _Da Capo_,
generally ended with "_n'ayez pas peur, Messieurs--questi birbánti
Spagniuoli_"[97] (he seldom abused them in their native language, lest
he should be over-heard) "_n'osent pas nous attaquer à forces égales_."

Poor _Damien!_ many is the good laugh your fears have unconsciously
occasioned us--many the joking bet the tuning up of the Piedmontese
grenadiers' march has given rise to--and every note of which is at this
moment as perfect in my recollection as when we traversed together the
wild _puertas de Sanona_.

The town of Los Barrios, where we took up our quarters for the night, is
twelve miles from Gibraltar. It is a small, open town, containing some
2000 souls, and, though founded only since the capture of Gibraltar,
already shows sad symptoms of decay.

Being within a ride of the British garrison, it is frequently visited by
its inmates, and two rival _posadas_ dispute the honour of possessing
the _golden fleece_. One of them, for a time, carried all before it, in
consequence of the beauty of the _Donzella de la Casa_:[98] but beauty
_will_ fade, however unwillingly--as in this case--its possessor admits
that it does; and the "fair maid of Los Barrios," who, when I first saw
her, was really a very beautiful girl, had, at the period of my last
visit, become a coarse, fat, middle-aged, _young woman_; and, as the
charges for looking at her remained the same as ever, I proved a
recreant knight, and went to the rival posada.

Nothing could well be more ludicrous than the contrast, in dress and
appearance, between the beauty's mother and the beauty herself--unless,
indeed, the visiter arrived very unexpectedly,--the one being dirty,
slatternly, and clothed in old rags; the other, _muy bien peynado_,[99]
and pomatumed, and decked in all the finery and ornaments presented by
her numerous admirers. The old lady was excessively proud of her
daughter's beauty and wardrobe; and in showing her off always reminded
me of the _sin-par_[100] Panza's mode of speaking of his _Sanchita, una
muchacha a quien crio para condesa_.[101]

The father of "the beauty" was a notorious _liberal_; and, having
outraged the laws of his country on various occasions, was executed at
Seville some years since. He was, I think, the most thorough-going
leveller I ever met with--one who would not have sheathed the knife as
long as any individual better off than himself remained in the country.
Boasting to me on one occasion of the great deeds he had done during the
war, he said that in one night he had despatched eleven French soldiers,
who were quartered in his house. He effected his purpose by making them
drunk, having previously drugged their wine to produce sleep. He put
them to death with his knife as they lay senseless on the floor, carried
them out into the yard, and threw them into a pit. The monster who could
boast of such a crime would commit it if he had the opportunity; and
though I suspect the number of his victims was exaggerated, yet I have
no doubt whatever that he did not make himself out to be a murderer
without some good grounds; and, I confess, it gave me very little regret
to hear, a year or two afterwards, that he had perished on the scaffold.

The road to Sanona enters the mountains soon after leaving Los Barrios,
ascending, for the first few miles, along the bank of the river
Palmones. The scenery is very fine; huge masses of scarped and jagged
sierras are tossed about in the most fantastic irregularity, whilst the
valleys between are clad with a luxuriance of foliage that can be met
with only in this prolific climate.

Looking back, the silvery Palmones may be traced winding between its
wooded banks towards the bay of Gibraltar, which, viewed in this
direction, has the appearance of a vast lake; the African shore, from
Ape's Hill to the promontory of Ceuta, seeming to complete its enclosure
to the south.

After proceeding some miles further, the road becomes a mere
mule-track, and the country very wild and barren. The Piedmontese march
had been gradually _crescendo_ ever since leaving the cultivated valley
of the Palmones, and Damien, as he rode on before us, had already given
sundry yet more palpable intimations of impending danger,--firstly, by
examining the priming of his old flint gun,--secondly, by trying whether
the balls were rammed home,--and, lastly, by producing a brandy bottle
from his capacious pocket; when, arrived at the foot of a peculiarly
dreary and rocky pass, pulling up and dismounting from his horse, under
pretence of tightening the girths of his saddle, he exclaimed, "_à
present, Messieurs, es preciso cargar--ces lâches d'Espagnols viennent
toujours a l'improviste, et se non siamo apparecchiati sarémo tutti
inretati come tanti uccellini.--Somos todos muy bien armados con
escopetas à dos cañones; y con juicio, no tendremos que temer--ma ...
bisogna giudizio!_"[102] and in accordance with his wishes thus clearly
expressed, we all loaded with ball, and, pushing on an advanced guard,
boldly entered the rugged defile, joining our voices in grand chorus in
the inspiriting grenadier's march.

On emerging from this rocky gorge, we entered a peculiarly wild and
secluded valley, which, so completely is it shut out from all view, one
might imagine, but for the narrow path under our feet, had never been
trodden by man. The road winds round the heads of numerous dark ravines,
crosses numberless torrents, that rush foaming from the impending sierra
on the left, and is screened effectually from the sun by an impenetrable
covering of oak and other forest-trees, festooned with woodbine,
eglantine, and wild vines; whilst the valley below is clothed, from end
to end, with cistus, broom, wild lavender, thyme, and other indigenous
aromatic shrubs.

At the end of about three leagues, we reached the head of the valley,
where one of the principal sources of the Palmones takes its rise. The
neck of land that divides this stream from the affluents to the Celemin,
is the pass of Sanona. From hence the _Casería_ is visible, and a rapid
descent of about a mile brought us to the door of the lone mansion.

Our arrival was announced to the inmates by a general salute from the
countless dogs that invariably form part of a Spanish farmer's
establishment. The horrid din soon brought forth the equally
shaggy-coated bipeds, headed by a venerable-looking old man, who, with a
slight recognition of Damien, stepped to the front, and, in a very
dignified manner, announcing himself as the owner of the _Casería_,
begged we would alight, and consider his house our own.

"My habitation is but a poor one, _Caballeros_; the accommodation it
affords yet poorer. I wish for your sakes I had better to offer; but of
this you may rest assured, that every thing _Luis de Castro_ possesses,
will ever be at the service of the brave nation who generously aided,
and by whose side I have fought, to maintain the independence of my
country."--"_Bravo, Don Luis!_" ejaculated Damien, which saved us the
trouble of making a suitable speech in return.

We were much pleased with our host's appearance: indeed the shape of his
cranium was itself sufficient to secure him the good opinion of all
disciples of Spurzheim; but this feeling of gratification was by no
means called forth by his _Casería_, from the outward inspection of
which we judged the organ of accommodation to be wofully deficient.

The house and out-buildings formerly occupied a considerable extent of
ground, but at the present day they are reduced to three sides of a
small square, of which the centre building contains the dwelling
apartments of the family, and the wings afford cover to the retainers,
cattle, and farming implements. A stout wall completes the enclosure on
the fourth side, wherein a wide folding gate affords the only means of
external communication.

The _Casería_ has long been possessed by the family of its present
occupant, but, losing something of its importance at each succeeding
generation, has dwindled down to its present insignificant condition.
Don Luis strives hard, nevertheless, to keep up the family dignity of
the De Castros, though joining with patriarchal simplicity in all the
services, occupations, and pastimes, of his dependents.

The portion of the house reserved for himself and family consists but of
two rooms on the ground-floor. The outer and larger of these serves the
double purpose of a kitchen and refectory; the other is appropriated to
the multifarious offices of a chapel, dormitory, henroost, and granary.
In this inner room we were duly installed,--the lady de Castro, and
other members of the family, removing into a neighbouring _choza_ during
our stay: and a sheet having been drawn over the Virgin and child, the
cocks and hens driven from the rafters, and the Indian corn swept up
into a corner, we found ourselves more _snugly_ lodged than outward
appearances had led us to expect.

Leaving our friend Damien to make what arrangements he pleased as to
dinner--a discretional power that always afforded him infinite
gratification--we proceeded to examine the "location," with a view of
obtaining some notion of the country which was to be the scene of our
next day's sporting operations.

The situation of the _Casería_ is singularly romantic; to the north it
is backed by a richly wooded slope, above which, at the distance of
about half a mile, a rocky ledge of sierra rises perpendicularly several
hundred feet, its dark outline serving as a fine relief to the rich and
varied green tints of the forest. In the opposite direction, the house
commands a view over a wide and partially wooded valley, along the bed
of which the eye occasionally catches a glimpse of a sparkling stream,
that is collected from the various dark ravines which break the lofty
mountain-ridges on either side. A wooded range, steep, but of somewhat
less elevation than the other mountains that the eye embraces, appears
to close the mouth of this valley; but, winding round its foot to the
right, the stream gains a narrow outlet to the extensive plain of Vejer,
and empties itself into the _Laguna de la Janda_--a portion of which may
be seen; and over this intermediate range rise, in the distance, the
peaked summits of the _Sierra de la Plata_, whose southern base is
washed by the Atlantic.

The beauty of the scenery, heightened by the broad shadows cast upon the
mountains, and the varied tints that ever attend upon a setting sun in
this Elysian atmosphere, had tempted us to continue roaming about,
selecting the most favourable points of view, without once thinking of
our evening meal; and when, at length, the sun disappeared behind the
mountains, we found we had, unconsciously, wandered some considerable
distance from the _Casería_. We forthwith bent our steps homewards, and,
on drawing near the house, were not a little amused at hearing Damien's
stentorian halloos to draw our attention, which were sent back to him in
echoes from all parts of the _Serranía_. He was right glad to see us,
though vexed at our extreme imprudence in wandering about the woods
without an _escopeta_, or defensive weapon of any sort amongst us.

"_Messieurs, quand vous connoitrez ces gens çi aussi bien que moi----!_"

We referred to Don Luis (who had come out with the intention of
proceeding in search of us), whether there were any _mala gente_ in the
neighbourhood. A faint smile played about the old man's mouth as he
looked towards Damien, as if guessing the source from which our
interrogation had sprung, and, then waving his right hand to and fro,
with the forefinger extended upwards, he replied, "_Por aqui Caballeros
no hay mala gente alguna; esa Canalla conoce demasiado quien es Luis de

On entering the house, we found a large party assembled round the
charcoal fire, preparing to take their evening _gazpacho_[104]
_caliente_; and, hot as had been the day, we gladly joined the circle,
until our own more substantial supper should be announced. The group
consisted of the wife, son, and daughter-in-law of our host, and several
of his friends, who, living at a distance, had come overnight, to be
ready to take part in the _batida_ on the following morning.

A _batida_ bears so strong a resemblance to the same sort of thing
common in Germany, and indeed in some parts of Scotland, that a very
detailed account of one would be uninteresting to most of my readers. We
turned out at daybreak, and, recruited by the neighbouring peasantry,
found that we mustered twenty-three guns, and dogs innumerable, mostly
of a kind called by the Spaniards _podencos_, for which the most
appropriate term in our language is lurcher; though that does not
altogether express the strong-made, wiry-haired dog used by the
Spaniards on these occasions.

As the _camas_[105] about Sanona are very wide, and require a number of
guns to line them, only eleven of the men could be spared for beaters.
These were placed under the direction of Alonzo, our host's son, whilst
Don Luis himself took command of the sportsmen in the quality of
_capitan_; and his first order was to prohibit all squibbing off of
guns, by which the game might be disturbed.

The two parties, on leaving the house, took different directions. Our's,
after proceeding about a mile, was halted, and enjoined to form in rank
entire, and keep perfectly silent. We then ascended a steep, thickly
coppiced hill, and were placed in position along its crest, at intervals
of about a hundred yards, with directions to watch the openings through
the underwood in our front--to screen ourselves from observation as well
as we could--not to stir from the spot until the signal was made to
retire--and to observe carefully the position of our fellow sportsmen on
either side, to prevent accidents.

We were much amused at the manner in which Don Luis--to whom we were all
perfect strangers--selected us to occupy the different approaches to the
position. Scanning us over from right to left, and from head to foot, he
seemed to pick and choose his men as if perfectly aware of the peculiar
qualities each possessed, befitting him for the situation in which he
purposed placing him; and, beckoning the one selected out of the rank,
without uttering a word he led him to the assigned post, pointed out the
various openings in the underwood, and gave his final instructions in a
low whisper.

On leaving me he pointed to a narrow passage between two huge blocks of
rock, and in a low voice said "_Lobo_;"[106] which, I must confess, made
me look about for a tree, as a secure position to fall back upon, in the
event of my fire failing to bring the expected visiter to the ground.

The position we occupied had a deep ravine in front, a wide valley on
one flank, and a precipitous wall of rock on the other; but, as the
event proved, it was far too extended. Thus posted, we remained for a
considerable time, and I began to think very meanly of the sport,
especially as I did not much like to withdraw my eyes from the rocky
pass where the wolf was to be looked for; but at length the distant
shouts of the beaters resounded through the mountains, and a few minutes
after, the faint but true-toned yelp of one of the hounds put me quite
on the _qui vive_; and when, in a few seconds, other dogs gave tongue,
and several shots were fired by the beaters (who are furnished with
blank cartridge), giving the assurance that game had been sprung, a
feeling of excitement was produced, that can, I think, hardly be
equalled by any other description of sport.

The first gun from our own party almost induced me to rush forward and
break the line; but, just at the moment, a rustling in the underwood
drew my attention, and, looking up, I saw a fine buck "at gaze," as the
heralds say, about thirty yards off, and exactly in the direction of the
spot where I had seen my friend G---- posted.

The animal, with ears erect, was listening, in evident alarm, to the
barking of the dogs; yet, from the shot just fired in his front,
scarcely knowing on which side danger was most imminent. I was so
screened by the underwood that he did not perceive me, and I could have
shot him with the greatest ease--that is to say, had my nervous system
been in proper trim,--but that the fear of killing my neighbour withheld
me; so there I stood, with my gun at the first motion of the present,
and there stood the deer, in just as great a _quandary_.

At length, losing all patience, I hallooed to my neighbour by name,
hoping by his reply to learn whereabouts he was (for that he had moved
from his post was evident), and, if possible, get a shot at the deer as
he turned back, which I doubted not he would do. But, alas! my call
produced no response, and the fine animal bounded forward, breaking
through our line, and rendering it too hazardous for me to salute him
with both barrels, as I had murderously projected.

Soon after the horn sounded for our reassembly. The _cama_[107] had
been very unsuccessful. One deer only, besides that which visited me,
had been driven through our line; the rest of the herd, and several wild
boars, turned our position by its right, which was too extensive for the
small number of guns. One of the Spaniards had shot a fox, which was all
we had to show; and his companions shook their heads, considering it a
bad omen, and that it was, indeed, likely to turn out "_una dia de

On my relating the tantalizing dilemma in which I had been placed, old
_Luis_, who felt somewhat sore at the signal failure of his generalship,
declared we should have no sport if I stood upon such ceremony; adding,
with much energy of manner, and addressing himself to the assembled
party, "As soon as ever you see your game, _carajo! candela!_"[109]--a
speech that reminded us forcibly of Suwarrow's reply to his Austrian
coadjutor, when urging the prudence of a _reconnoissance_ before
undertaking some delicate operation, viz.--"_Poussez en avant--chargez à
la bayonette--voilà mes reconnoissances._"

The beaters were now directed to make a "wide cast," and, if possible,
head the game that had escaped us, whilst we moved off to a fresh
position, about half a mile in rear, and perpendicular to the former.
This plan was pretty successful: we killed a wolf and two deer, but Don
Luis was by no means satisfied.

It was now noon-day, and, ascending a rocky ledge that projects into the
wide valley, already described as lying in front of the house, we
obtained a splendid panoramic view of the whole wooded district of
Sanona. We found, on gaining the summit, that the provident Damien had
directed a _muchacho_ to meet us there, with a mule-load of provender,
which he was pleased to call "_un petit peu de rafraichissement_." We
were quite prepared to acknowledge our sense of his foresight and
discretion in the most unequivocal manner; for the exertion of climbing
the successive mountain-ridges, and forcing our way through the
underwood, as well as the excitement of the sport, had given a keen edge
to our appetites.

Whilst seated in a convivial circle, smoking our cigars at the
conclusion of our repast, we observed that poor Alonzo--who, though a
stoutly built, was a very sickly-looking man--appeared to be quite
exhausted from the heat and fatigue of the day, and that poor old Luis
looked from time to time on his son, as he lay full-length upon the
ground, with a heart-rending expression of grief.

One of our party remarked to him, that Alonzo did not appear to be well,
and suggested that he had better not exert himself further. Don Luis
shook his head. "Alas! señor!" he replied, "my poor Alonzo is as well as
ever he again will be. But do not suppose that he is a degenerate scion
of the De Castros; nor even that I regret seeing him in his present
state. No: much as I once wished to see the family name handed down to
another generation--of which there is now no chance--I would rather,
much rather, that he should have sacrificed his health--his life
indeed--for his country, than that any vain wish of mine should be

Our curiosity excited by the words, and yet more by the manner of the
old man, we ventured, after some little preamble, to ask what had
occasioned the change in his son that his speech implied.

"It is a long story, _caballeros_," he answered; "but, as the sun is now
too powerful to allow us to resume our sport, I will, if you feel
disposed to listen to a garrulous old man, relate the circumstances that
led to my son's being reduced to the lamentable state in which you see
him." We contracted the circle round Don Luis, the Spaniards,
apparently, quite as intent on hearing the thrice-told tale as
ourselves; and Damien, though still busily occupied at his
"_rafraichissement_," also lending an attentive ear.

The fine old man was seated on a rock, elevated somewhat above the rest
of the party, holding in his right hand his uncouth-looking
fowling-piece, whilst the other rested on the head of a favourite dog,
that came, seemingly, to beg his master to remonstrate with Damien for
using his teeth to tear off the little flesh that remained on a

Don Luis, after patting the impatient favourite on the head and bidding
him lie down, thus began his story.



"_Tiene este caso un no sé que de sombra de adventura de
Caballeria._"--DON QUIJOTE.

I need not tell enlightened Englishmen--commenced Don Luis--that the
name I bear is no common one. The Casería which you there see, and all
the shady glens we here look down upon, were granted to the renowned De
Castro, whose valour so materially aided the Catholic kings, of blessed
memory, in the pious work of extirpating the vile followers of the
Arabian Impostor from the soil of Spain; and the patrimony thus acquired
by my ancestor's sword has been handed down from generation to
generation to me,--too likely, alas! to be the last of the race to
inherit it.

I married early in life, and was blessed with several children. Alonzo,
the first-born, was the only one permitted to reach maturity,--but I
repine not. They were all healthy, and every thing a parent could wish.
Years rolled on unmarked by any events of importance. Our days were
passed in attending to our herds; our evenings, in singing and dancing
to the notes of the wild guitar. Our festivals were devoted to the
exhilarating sport we have this morning been following; nor did we,
amidst our happiness, neglect to offer up our thanks to the Omnipotent
Deity, who,--through the propitiating influence of our patron
saints--was pleased to pour his blessings upon us.

But a storm arose, which, for a time, shook our happy country to its
foundation. Spain became the object of a vile tyrant's insatiable
ambition. The perfidious Corsican, under the specious plea of
friendship, marched his licentious legions into our devoted country: and
having, by shameless deceit, first possessed himself of all our
strongholds, threw off the mask, and treated us as a conquered nation.

This favoured province was, for some considerable time saved from the
desolation that wasted the rest of Spain, by the heroism of one of her
sons:--the brave Castaños hastened to place himself at the head of the
national troops, and in the defiles of the Sierra Morena, captured a
whole French army. But jealousy and intrigue--the greatest enemies our
country had to contend against--caused his services to be requited with
ingratitude. Another French army advanced, but we had not another
Castaños to oppose it. The enemy forced the barriers with which nature
and art had defended the province, and, like a swarm of locusts, spread
over and consumed the rich produce of its fertile fields.

The mountaineers of Ronda and Granada, engaged in the vile contraband
trade which the disorganized state of the country favoured, were slow to
take up arms against the invaders, but "_Io y mi gente_" (I and my
people) were early in the field, harassing their parties conveying
supplies to the siege of Cadiz, as well as protecting the surrounding
country from their predatory visits; and our secluded _Casería_ afforded
a secure retreat to the inhabitants of the plain, when forced to abandon
their hearths.

I will not take up your time with the account of the various encounters
we had with the enemy--they are well known throughout the Serranía--but
will confine my narrative to what more particularly concerns my son.

On one occasion, fortune presented him with an opportunity of saving a
party of the king's troops, who had got entangled in the intricacies of
the Serranía; his knowledge of the country having enabled him to lead
them clear of their pursuers, and bring them safely to the _Casería_.

Disappointed of the prey they had so confidently calculated upon, and
uneasy at a body of disciplined troops being added to our _guerilla_,
and established so close to them, the enemy determined on sending a
large force to root us out of our fastness. We, on our parts, hoping
that the French were unconscious of the place where the troops had found
a refuge, were meditating an attack upon their post of Alcalà, when the
storm burst suddenly upon our heads, and, but for the devotedness and
presence of mind of my gallant son, would have involved us all in one
common destruction.

Alonzo had gone off to reconnoitre in the direction of Tarifa, a rumour
having reached us that the enemy had invested that place; and we were
anxiously awaiting his return to decide upon our plans, when, soon after
nightfall, a lad belonging to the _Venta de Tabilla_ arrived at the
_Casería_ on my son's horse, and in hurried words, informed me that a
large body of French troops was advancing upon the house.

The enemy had forced this lad,--who alone had been left in charge of the
_Venta_,--to be their guide, and he had already conducted them across
the swamps at the head of the _Laguna de la Janda_, and was within a
hundred yards of the road leading from Tarifa to Casa Vieja--by keeping
along which to the left, he purposed gaining the shortest road into our
sequestered valley--when Alonzo crossed the path immediately in front of

From what we learnt afterwards it appeared, that he had been for some
time watching the enemy's movements, and, guessing from the direction
they had finally taken, whither they were bound, had thus purposely
thrown himself in their way; resolved--cut off as he found himself from
the shortest road to the _Casería_--to take this hazardous step to save
us from a surprise.

On being questioned as to his knowledge of the country, he at once
offered to guide them to the _Casería_. "This is your way," he said,
pointing in the direction, whence he had just come, "but yonder is my
house," motioning with his head towards the _Cortijo de le las Habas_;
which, though about half a mile off, was yet visible in the dusk; "I
will send my jaded horse home by the boy, and accompany you on foot."

The commanding officer, to whom this was addressed, made no objection;
in fact, he probably thought that their guide would be more in their
power without his horse.

Alonzo gave his beast to the lad, saying significantly, "_Juanillo_,
tell my father I have fallen in with some friends and shall not be at
home for some little time; be quick; make your way back to the venta
without delay, as soon as you have delivered my message; and, as you
value your life,--no babbling."

My son then turned off to the right, taking the best but far the most
circuitous route into the valley of Sanona, whilst _Juanillo_, putting
his horse into a canter, proceeded in the direction of the _Cortijo de
las Habas_, but, ere reaching it, struck into the difficult pass you see
below there, whence a rude foot-path leads direct to the _Casería_, and
by which he had intended to conduct the enemy.

It seemed to us--what indeed proved to be the case--that my son's
message was intended to hint to us the necessity for flight, and
_Juanillo's_ account of the number of the enemy, would fully have
warranted our avoiding an encounter; but, thinking Alonzo's life would
surely pay the forfeit of our escape, we determined to anticipate their
attack and give him a chance of saving himself.

Prudence suggested the propriety of sending away our women and children.
Mounting them, therefore, on _borricos_, we hurried them off by the
mountain path to the _Casa de Castañas_, or _de las Navas_, as it is
otherwise called, from the name of its proprietor--a solitary house,
situated in a wooded valley, several miles to the north of Sanona.

The women had scarcely left the _Casería_, ere we heard the distant
tramp of horses in the valley below. Leaving a part of the soldiers to
defend the house, I led the rest, and my own people, out as silently as
possible, and posted them on the upper side of the path by which the
French were advancing. The enemy halted directly under the muzzles of
our guns, and a corporal and two dragoons were sent on to the house to
ask for a night's lodging.

Nothing could be more favourable than the opportunity now presented for
attacking them, but I hesitated to give the word until I had discovered
my son, anxious as well to give him a chance of escape, as to save him
from our own fire. At last I recognised him: he was standing at the side
of the commander of the party, who, with a pistol in his hand, was
questioning him in a low tone of voice.

The corporal now thundered at the gate of the _Casería_. "_Quien es?_"
demanded the soldiers from within. I listened to no more; for, observing
that the commander's attention was for the moment attracted to the
proceedings of his advanced guard, and that Alonzo, in consequence, was
comparatively out of his reach, "_Candela!_" I cried out to my people,
directing, at the same time, my own unerring rifle at the head of the
French captain.

Twenty guns answered to the word. The commander of the enemy fell
headlong to the earth; his horse sprung violently off the ground,
reared, staggered, and fell back; a dozen Frenchmen bit the dust; the
rest turned and fled, ere we could reload our pieces.

I pressed forward to embrace my brave son, but saw him not. I called him
by name, but a faint groan was the only reply I received. I turned in
the direction of the sound, and found the Frenchman's horse, struggling
in the agonies of death, upon the bleeding body of my Alonzo. He had
been wounded in the breast by the Frenchman's pistol, the trigger of
which had, apparently, been pressed in the convulsive movement
occasioned by his death-wound. The horse had been shot by one of our
men, had fallen upon Alonzo, and broken several of his ribs. We conveyed
him to the house, without a hope of his recovery.

In the excess of my grief, I thought not of sending after the women.
Alonzo was the first to bring me to a sense of my remissness, by
enquiring for his wife and child. I expressed my joy at hearing him
speak, for he had lain many hours speechless. He pressed my hand, and
added, "Father, I wish to see them once again before I die--to have a
mother's blessing also--for I feel my end approaching."

I instantly despatched four of my people to the _Casa de Castañas_ to
escort them back, for I recollected that the three Frenchmen who had
been sent forward to demand admission to the house, had effected their
escape, and must be, wandering about the mountains.

The sun had risen some hours, and yet no tidings reached us of them. I
began to feel very uneasy. A terrible presentiment disturbed me. I went
to the iron cross that stands on the mound in front of our house, whence
a view is obtained of the pass leading to _Las Navas_. I heard a wild
scream, that pierced my very soul, and the moment after, caught a
glimpse of a female figure, hastening with mad speed down the rocky path
leading to the _Casería_. It was my daughter-in-law, Teresa!

"See," she exclaimed, with frantic exultation, showing me her hands
stained with blood, "see--I killed him! my knife pierced the heart of
the murderer of my child! I killed the vile Frenchman! The wife of a De
Castro ever carries a knife to avenge her wrongs--to defend her honour!"

That some terrible catastrophe had happened was too evident, but from
the unhappy maniac it was impossible to gather any thing definite.

I mounted my horse, and rode with the speed of desperation towards the
_Casa de Castañas_, but had not proceeded far ere I met my people
returning, bearing my wife on a litter, and accompanied by two only of
the women who had accompanied her, mounted on _borricos_.

"Dead?" I asked. It was the only word I could utter.

"No, Luis," replied one of my faithful followers, "not dead, and, we
hope, not even seriously hurt; but evil has befallen your house--your
three young children and your grandson are lost to you for ever."

"Lost! murdered? This is, indeed, a heavy blow, a severe trial. Perhaps
I am now childless;--God's will be done."

"Proceed gently to the _Casería_ with your burthen; I will hasten
forward, and send assistance, and such cordials as may be required to
restore my Ana."

On my return I was surprised to see Alonzo sitting up, and his wife at
his bedside. I cannot describe the joy of that moment; but there was a
fearful expression of determination in my son's contracted brows, that
almost led me to fear for his mind. He turned to me for explanation, but
as yet I could give him none. The party shortly arrived, however, and
the women gave us a full account of the overwhelming disaster that had
befallen us.

On leaving the _Casería_ they had proceeded with such speed as the
darkness of the night permitted, towards the _Casa de Castañas_, and had
reached within a quarter of a league of the house, when the trampling of
horses behind them, spread the greatest alarm amongst these defenceless
females. It was clear that those who were in pursuit could not be their
friends, otherwise they would call to them to return; and concluding
therefore, that the enemy had prevailed at the _Casería_, naturally
considered their danger imminent.

My wife and daughter-in-law, with their children, and three of the
women, being well mounted, pressed forward to the solitary house for
shelter; the others, finding the Frenchmen--whom they could now hear
conversing--gaining rapidly upon them, with more good fortune took to
the woods; and, as we eventually learnt, reached Los Barrios in safety.

On arriving at the _Casa de Castañas_, it was found to be totally
abandoned. They had barely time to close the outer gate, and shut
themselves up in a loft,--that could be ascended only by a ladder, and
through a trap-door, which they let fall--before their pursuers rode up
to the house. At first the Frenchmen civilly demanded admission; but
this being refused, they--guessing, probably, how the case stood, from
none but female voices replying to their demands--proceeded to threaten
to force an entrance.

My daughter-in-law, who speaks a few words of French, then appeared at
the window; told them it was an abandoned house, and contained
absolutely nothing, not even refreshment for their horses; that, by
keeping down the valley to the left, they would, in less than an hour,
reach the _Hermita of El Cuervo_, where they would find all they might
stand in need of.

The beauty of her who addressed them--for in those days my
daughter-in-law was a lovely young woman of eighteen--awakened the most
lawless of passions in these ruthless profligates. Affecting, however,
to disbelieve her statement of the unprovided condition of the house,
they forced open the outer gate, and, after vainly endeavouring to
persuade the terrified females to descend from their place of refuge,
collected all the straw and other combustible articles that were
scattered about the premises, in the apartment beneath, and threatened
to set fire to the house.

In vain was appeal made to their clemency, to the boasted gallantry of
their nation, to every honourable feeling that inhabits the breast of
man. And at length, exasperated at the determination of these devoted
women, and possibly--it is a compliment I am willing to pay human
nature--thinking that a little smoke would soon induce them to descend,
the reckless monsters fired the straw. The whole building was quickly
enveloped in flames.

For some minutes the unhappy beings above thought that the straw, being
damp, would not ignite so as to communicate with the wooden rafters of
the floor which supported them, and hoped that they were free from
danger; but the smoke which ascended soon, of itself, became
intolerable. Two of my children dropped on the floor from the effects
of suffocation; and one of women, taking her infant in her arms, jumped
from the window and was killed on the spot.

My daughter-in-law, seeing that for herself there was but a choice of
death,--for the flames had now burst through the crackling
floor,--determined to make an effort to save her child. Pressing him to
her bosom, and covering him with her shawl to protect him from the
flames in her descent, she lifted the trap-door and placed her foot upon
the ladder. The fire had yet spared the upper steps, but ere she reached
the bottom the charred wood gave way, and she fell. The child escaped
from her arms and rolled amongst the blazing straw; she started upon her
feet to save him, but the rude hand of one of the ruffians seized and
dragged her from the flames into the court-yard. Vainly she implored to
be allowed to go to the rescue of her helpless infant; the monster--even
at such a moment looking upon his victim with the eyes of lust--would
not listen to her heart-rending appeals. The agonizing screams of her
writhing offspring gave her superhuman strength; she seized her knife;
plunged it deep in the Frenchman's breast; and, released from his
paralyzed arms, rushed back into the flames.

Alas! it was too late--nothing but the blackened skeleton now remained
of her darling child.

She darted, with the fury of a tigress robbed of its young, upon one of
the other Frenchmen, but he disarmed her, and, with a returning feeling
of humanity, forbore inflicting any further injury upon the frantic
woman; and, after some apparent altercation with his companion, both
mounted their horses and rode away. They were just in time to make their
escape, as the four men I had despatched rode up to the front gate of
the house, as they went off by the other.

One of my people was an inhabitant of the _Casa de Castañas_, and
knowing the premises, quickly brought a ladder from a place of
concealment, and applied it to the window of the burning portion of the
building. My wife and the other two women were brought down safely,
though all more or less scorched, but the floor gave way before the
children, who were lying in an insensible state from suffocation, could
be removed.

I despatched an indignant remonstrance to the French general, on the
inhuman conduct of his troops towards helpless women and children; and
threatened, if the perpetrators were not signally punished, to hang
every one of his countrymen that might fall into my hands, but he never
deigned to answer my letter.

Some weeks elapsed after these events, ere Alonzo could leave his couch;
and the enemy seemed now so fully occupied in pressing the siege of
Cadiz, that we were led to believe they entertained no idea of paying
the _Casería_ a second visit.

Want of provisions, and still more of ammunition, had hitherto prevented
our being of much service, in harassing the enemy during their
operations; but, having obtained supplies from Algeciras, I determined
to follow up my remonstrance with a blow, and mustering all our
strength, to make an attempt to carry the enemy's post at _Casa Vieja_.

For this purpose I fixed on the _Casa de Castañas_ for the general
rendezvous; that spot being more conveniently situated than Sanona, for
those who were to join our ranks from Castellar, Ximena, and other
places, and equally as near the projected point of attack.

At the appointed day, I proceeded with my people to the place of
concentration. Alonzo had insisted on accompanying us, though yet hardly
able to cross a horse; but he thirsted for the blood of the destroyers
of his child and brothers. On reaching the _Casa de Castañas_, however,
his strength failed him, and he was obliged to remain there.

Leaving _Pepito_, who sits there, then a beardless boy, to tend upon
Alonzo, and accompany him back to Sanona on the morrow, we departed on
our expedition.

The chapel and few houses which compose the village of _Casa Vieja_,
are situated on the brow of a high hill overlooking a wide plain,
watered by the river Barbate. Not a bush interrupts the view for several
miles in any direction, so that to approach the place some
circumspection was requisite. I halted my men in the woods bordering the
Celemin--on the very spot, perhaps, where Muley Aben Hassan, King of
Granada, fixed his camp, when he sallied forth from Malaga to plunder
the estates of the Duke of Medina Sidonía--and sent one of my most
trustworthy followers on to reconnoitre, purposing, if a favourable
report was received, to make an attack at the point of day, trusting to
the shadows of night to conceal our march across the open plain.

Our scout returned only a couple of hours before dawn. He had
experienced much difficulty in fording the Barbate, which was swollen by
recent rains. He brought us the startling news, that a considerable
French force had left Alcalá de los Gazules, the preceding day, to
penetrate into the mountains, and was now probably in our rear, either
at the _Casa de Castañas_ or at Sanona.

It was necessary to fall back immediately. We were at the fork of the
roads leading from those two places to _Casa Vieja_, but on which should
we direct our march? My heart whispered, to the former, where my Alonzo,
the last of my race, was left defenceless; but the wives and families
of my companions were all at Sanona, and duty bade me hasten thither for
their protection. The struggle of my feelings was severe, but short. I
sent a trusty friend on a swift horse to save Alonzo, if time yet
permitted, and hurried the march of my troop to the _Casería_. We
reached it in three hours.

We found every thing as we had left it. Those who had remained there had
neither seen nor heard anything of the enemy, but my son had not
returned home. I now regretted not having proceeded to the _Casa de
Castañas_, and proposed to my wearied men to march on and attack the
_Gavachos_ in their passage through the passes, fully expecting they
would now direct their steps to the _Casería_. They acceded to my
proposal with _vivas_. A cup of wine and a mouthful of bread were given
to each, and we were off.

We had not yet gained the pass yonder, at the back of the house, when we
met the man I had sent to the _Casa de Castañas_, coming towards us at
full speed. He informed us that he had encountered the French when on
his way to _Las Navas_, directing their march towards _Casa Vieja_.
Fortunately escaping their observation, he had concealed himself in a
thicket whilst they passed. _Pepito_--whom, it will be recollected, I
had left with Alonzo--was walking by the side of one of their officers,
undergoing a strict examination respecting our movements, &c. They had
several other prisoners in charge, who were tied together in couples,
but he could not distinguish Alonzo amongst them. My son's favourite
dog, _Hubilon_, however, brought up the rear, led by one of the
marauders; and the faithful creature's oft-averted head and restive
attempts to escape, sufficiently proved that his master had been left

Under this conviction, he had pushed on to the _Casa de Castañas_ as
soon as the enemy were out of sight, and had thoroughly searched every
part of the building; but not a living being did it contain. The pigeons
even had deserted it, or, more probably, had been sacrificed, for
feathers and bones were scattered about on all sides, the smoke of
numerous fires darkened the white-washed walls, and the stains of wine
were left on the stone pavement, proving that the house had lately been
the scene of a deep carouse.

From this account, it was evident that the Frenchmen had marched upon
our track in the hope of taking us between two fires, and it was most
fortunate we had returned to Sanona, instead of falling back upon the
_Casa de Castañas_; for the superiority of their number, in a chance
encounter, would have given them every advantage.

It was probable that the enemy would now continue their pursuit in
hopes of taking us by surprise at Sanona; we countermarched immediately
therefore, and passing the _Casería_, took up a strong position about
two miles beyond it, on the road to _Casa Vieja_, where we waited for
the enemy.

We were not mistaken in our supposition, for scarcely were my men
posted, when the French advance appeared in sight. I allowed them to
approach to within pistol shot, and gave them a volley. My men were
scattered among the bushes, so that the extent of our fire made our
force appear much larger than it was in reality. We killed and wounded

The enemy paused, and seeing by their numbers that if they pushed boldly
on, resistance on our parts would be vain, I determined to try and
intimidate them; and taking for this purpose eight or ten active
fellows, we made our way through the brushwood which covered the hill
side on our left, and opened a flank fire upon the main body of the
enemy; who, imagining a fresh column had come to take part in the
action, fell back in some confusion to a place of greater security, and
one where they had more space to deploy their strength.

We had effectually succeeded in frightening them, however, and no
further attempt was made to force our position; but it was not until the
next day that they finally left the mountains and retired to their
fortified posts of Casa Vieja and Alcalà.

No sooner had I seen them fairly out of the Serranía, than I retraced my
steps with all possible speed to Sanona; still indulging the fond hope
that Alonzo might have made his escape and reached home; but,
disappointed in this expectation, I proceeded on without loss of time to
the _Casa de Castañas_.

I had scarcely entered the house ere I was greeted by "_Hubilon_,"--ay,
my good dog, said Don Luis, caressing his pet, your grandsire--who
evidently had come on the same errand as myself. But our search was
fruitless. The well, the vaults, the lofts and out-houses, every place,
was ransacked, but I discovered nothing to lead to the belief that
Alonzo had either been left there or been murdered. I mounted my horse
to return home, and had proceeded some little way, when I heard the howl
of _Hubilon_. Thinking I had inadvertently shut him in the house, I sent
back one of my companions to release him, but he returned, saying that
the dog would not leave the spot. I returned myself, but the sagacious
animal was not to be enticed away; he gave evident signs of pleasure at
seeing me, and began scratching furiously at the boarded floor of one of
the interior apartments. I approached to see what it was that excited
his attention, and discovered a trap door. With some little difficulty
I raised it up, and _Hubilon_ instantly leapt into the dark abyss. His
piteous whining soon informed me that he had found the body of his
master; a light was struck; I let myself down, and on the stone floor of
the cold, damp vault lay the body of my unfortunate son; his hands were
tied behind his back, and a handkerchief was drawn across his mouth to
stifle his cries!

To me it appeared that the spirit of my Alonzo had long left its earthly
tenement, but the affectionate brute, by licking his master's face,
proved that life was not yet entirely extinct. Assisted by my
companions, I lifted my son out of the noxious vault, and, by friction,
a dram of _aguadiente_, and exposure to the sun and a purer atmosphere,
animation was gradually restored; and in the course of a few days he was
able to bear the journey home; but from the effects of this confinement
he has never recovered.

He had no recollection of any of the circumstances which preceded his
incarceration. A raging fever, brought on by fatigue and exposure to the
sun in his previously weak state, had affected his brain, as well as
deprived him of all strength. But _Pepito_ (who rejoined us a few days
after,) stated, that Alonzo himself, in his delirium, had declared to
the French on their arrival, who he was, and had besought them to put
an end to his sufferings. The superior officer of the party had
directed, however, that he should not be ill-treated; "what if he be the
son of the _old wild boar_?" (the name by which they honoured me,) said
he to his men; "we came not to murder our enemies in cold blood--carry
him into the house and let him die in peace."

_Pepito_ guessed by the malignant glance of one Italian-looking
scoundrel--"I ask your pardon, Señor Damien," said Don Luis, in a
parenthesis; "_servitore umilissimo_," replied he of the _Val
d'Aosta_.--_Pépé_ guessed, I say, by the look that he who stepped
forward to execute the orders of his officer gave one of his companions,
whom he invited to assist him, that their superior's humane intentions
would not be fulfilled; he begged hard, therefore, to be allowed to
remain and wait upon his young master. "Impossible," replied the
officer, "you must be our guide."

The two men were absent but a few minutes, and then came out of the
house and informed the officer that they had placed the rebel chief in
the coolest place they could find; probably their fear of Alonzo's cries
had deterred them from killing him outright.

The abominable cruelties of these dastards exasperated every one. The
expedition which was at this time undertaken to raise the siege of Cadiz
promised to afford us a favourable opportunity of taking vengeance; but
the cowardice of a Spaniard--the cowardice, if not treason, of a Spanish
general--marred our fair prospects. The glorious field of Barrosa decked
with fresh laurels the brows of our brave allies; but, to this day, the
very name fills the breast of every loyal Spaniard with shame. Oh! that
I and my people had been thereto share the danger and glory of that day;
but we fulfilled with credit the part allotted to us. In the plan
adopted by the allied generals it was settled that the _Serraños_,
should make a diversion in the direction of _Casa Vieja_ and _Alcalà de
los Gazules_, to draw the enemy's attention on that side, whilst their
combined forces should proceed along the coast to Chiclana; accordingly
_io y mi gente_....



The old man, excited by the stirring recollections of the eventful times
to which his narrative referred, his eyes sparkling with animation, and
his words flowing somewhat more rapidly than in their wonted even
current, had risen from his rocky seat, and, having transferred his
fowling-piece to the left hand, was standing with his right arm extended
in the direction of the scene of his former exploits, when he suddenly
dropt his voice, and, after slowly, and, as it appeared to us,
abstractedly, repeating his favourite expression, "_Io y mi gente_," he
ceased altogether to speak, and appeared transfixed to the spot. His
right arm remained stretched out towards Cadiz, and his head was turned
slightly to one side, but the only motion perceptible was a tightening
of the fingers round the barrel of his long gun.

As if from the effect of sympathy, Damien's jaws--which for the last
hour had been keeping _Hubilon_ in a state of tantalization, threatening
to produce St. Vitus's dance--suddenly became equally motionless; his
huge proboscis was turned on one side for a moment to allow free access
to his left ear, and then starting up he exclaimed, "_Javali!

"_Quiet ... o!_" said Don Luis, in an undertone, at the same time
motioning Damien to resume his seat, "_Si, es una puerca_."[111] And
then making signs to his men, they rose without a word, and went
stealthily off down the hill.

We now distinctly heard the grunting of a pig, and were hastily
distributed in a semicircle, along the crest of the steep ridge we had
selected for our resting-place. We had scarcely got into position before
the cries of the beaters, and several shots fired in rapid succession,
gave us notice that they had come in sight of the chase; but the sounds
died away, and we were beginning to speak to each other in terms of
disappointment, when a loud grunt announced the vicinity of a visiter.
Hearing our voices, however, he went off at a tangent, and attempted to
cross the ridge lower down; but this was merely, as the Spaniards say,
"_Escapar del trueno y dar en el relampago_:"[112] a sharp fire there
opened upon him, and after various trips he was fairly brought to the
ground. Our _couteaux de chasse_ were instantly brandished, but the
grisly monster, recovering himself quickly, once more got into a long
trot, and, most probably, would have effected his escape, but that he
was encountered and turned back by some of the dogs. Finding himself
thus pressed on all sides by enemies, he again attempted to force the
line of sportsmen, and a second time was made to bite the dust. He
managed, nevertheless, to recover himself once more, and might, even yet
possibly, have got away from us but for the dogs, which hung upon and
detained him until some of the beaters came up and despatched him with
their knives; not, however, until he had killed one dog outright, and
desperately gored two others. The dogs showed extraordinary _pluck_ in
attacking him.

On examining the huge monster, we found he had received no less than
four bullets: two in the neck, and two in the body. A fire was
immediately kindled, and, having been singed, to destroy the vermin
about him, he was decorated with laurel and holly, placed on the back of
a mule, and, with the rest of our spoils, sent off to the _Casería_.

The beaters informed us, that they had seen the wild sow and four young
ones, which Don Luis had sent them after; but that they had made off
through the wooded valley to the right, ere they could succeed in
heading and turning them up the hill.

It was decided that we should proceed immediately after them, and leave
the conclusion of Don Luis's tale for the charcoal fire-circle in the
evening; but, as the rest of his story related principally to events
that are well known, and was all "_Santiago y cierra España_,"[113] I
will spare my readers the recital.

The rest of the day's sport was poor, but the grand and ever-varying
mountain scenery was of itself an ample reward for the fatigue of
scrambling up the steep braes. Towards sunset we retraced our steps,
thoroughly tired, to the _Casería_. Damien, mounting a stout mule, rode
on to prepare dinner, saying, "_Messieurs, sans doute, désireront goûter
du chevreuil de Sanone; vado avanti con questo motivo, e subito, subito,
all red-dy"_;[114] and, digging his heels into the animal's side, he
thereupon started off at a jog-trot, his huge feet sticking out at right
angles, like the paddle-boxes of a steamer, the smoke of a cigar rolling
away from his mouth, like the clouds from the steamer's tall black

On the following morning we departed from Sanona, taking the road to
Casa Vieja, and sending our game into Gibraltar.

Don Luis would on no account receive any remuneration for the use of his
house, &c.; and a very moderate sum satisfied the beaters he had engaged
for us.

The distance to Casa Vieja is about twelve miles, the country wild and
beautiful; but the view, after gaining a high pass, about three miles
from Sanona, is confined to the valley along which the road thenceforth
winds, until it reaches the river Celemin. This stream is frequently
rendered impassable by heavy rains. Emerging now from the woods and
mountains, the road soon reaches the Barbate, which river, though
running in a broad and level valley, is of a like treacherous character
as the Celemin.

The little chapel and hamlet, whither we were directing our steps, now
became visible, being situated under the brow of a high hill on the
opposite bank of the river, and distant about a mile and a half. The
road across the valley is very deep in wet weather, and the Barbate is
often so swollen, as to render it necessary, in proceeding from Casa
Vieja to the towns to the eastward, to make a wide circuit to gain the
bridges of Vejer or Alcalà de los Gazules.

We "put up" at the house of the village priest, which adjoins the
chapel. Indeed the portion of his habitation allotted to our use was
under the same roof as the church, and communicated with it by a private
door; and I have been credibly informed that, on some occasions, when
the party of sportsmen has been large, beds have been made up within the
consecrated walls of the chapel itself, whereon some of the visiters
have stretched their wearied heretical limbs and rested their _aching_
heads. In our case there was no occasion to lead the _Padre_ into the
commission of such a sin, since the small apartment given up to us was
just able to contain four stretchers, in addition to a large table.

The priest was another "_amigo mio de mucha aprec'ion_"[115] of Señor
Damien. Their friendship was based upon the most solid of all
foundations--mutual interest; for, it being an understood thing that the
accommodation, and whatever else we might require, was to be paid for at
a fixed rate, both parties were interested in prolonging our stay: the
_Padre_, to gain wherewith to shorten the pains of purgatory, either for
himself or others; Damien, simply because he liked shooting better than
even baking in this world.

To us also this was an agreeable arrangement, since it granted us a
dispensation from all ceremony in ordering whatever we wanted, and gave
us also the privilege of making the Padre's house our home as long as we
pleased. Accordingly, finding the sport good, we passed several days
here very pleasantly. The snipe and duck shooting in the marshes
bordering the Barbate is excellent; francolins, bustards, plover, and
partridges, are to be met with on the table-lands to the westward of the
village; and the woods towards Alcalà and Vejer abound, at times, in

An adventure befel me during our short stay at Casa Vieja, which I
relate, as affording a ludicrous exemplification of the power of
flattery--an openness to which, that is to say, vanity, is certes the
great foible of the Spanish character.

I had devoted one afternoon to a solitary ride to Vejer, (which town is
about eleven miles from Casa Vieja,) and had proceeded some little
distance on my way homewards, when, observing a very curious bird on a
marshy spot by the road-side, I dismounted--knowing my pony would not
stand fire--to take a shot at it. The gun missed fire, as I expected it
would; for, in consequence of its owner not having been able to
discharge it during the whole morning, I had lent him mine to visit the
snipe-marsh, and taken his to bear me company on my ride. The explosion
of the detonating cap was enough, however, to frighten my pony; he
started--jerked the bridle off my arm--and, finding himself free,
trotted away towards Casa Vieja.

I ran after him for some distance, fondly hoping that the tempting green
herbage on the road-side would induce him to stop and taste, but my
accelerated speed had only the effect of quickening his; from a trot he
got into a canter, from a canter into a gallop; and, panting and
perspiring, I was soon obliged to abandon the chase, and trust that the
animal's natural sagacity would take him back to his stable.

I had long lost sight of the runaway--for a thick wood soon screened him
from my view,--and had arrived within four miles of Casa Vieja, when I
met a party of very suspicious-looking characters, who, under the
pretence of being itinerant _wine-merchants_, were carrying contraband
goods about the country. They were all very noisy; all, seemingly, very
tipsy; and most of them armed with guns and knives.

The van was led by a fat Silenus-looking personage, clothed in a shining
goatskin, and seated on a stout ass, between two well-filled skins of
wine; who saluted me with a very gracious wave of the hand, evidently to
save himself the trouble of speaking; but his followers greeted me with
the usual "_Vaya usted con Dios_;" to which one wag added, in an
undertone, "_y sin caballo_,"[116]--a piece of wit that put them all on
the grin.

Regardless of their joke, I was about to make enquiries concerning my
pony, which it was evident they knew something about, when I discovered
a stout fellow, bringing up the rear of the party, astride of the
delinquent. Considering the disparity of force, and aware of the
unserviceable condition of my weapon, I thought it best to be remarkably
civil, so informing the gentleman riding my beast that I was its owner,
and extremely obliged to him for arresting the fugitive's course, I
requested he would only give himself the further trouble of dismounting,
and putting me in possession of my property.

This, however, he positively refused to do. "How did he know I was the
owner? It might be so, and very possibly was, but I must go with him to
Vejer, and make oath to the fact before _la Justicia_." This, I said,
was out of the question: it was evident that the horse was mine, since I
had claimed him the moment I had seen him; and as, by his own admission,
he had found the animal, he must have done so out of my sight, since we
were now in a thick wood. If, I added, he chose to return with me to
Casa Vieja, the _Padre_, at whose house I was staying, would convince
him of the truth of my statement, and I would remunerate him for his
trouble. But I argued in vain! "If," he replied, "I felt disposed to
give him an _onza_,[117] he would save _me_ further trouble, but
otherwise justice must take its course."

I remarked that the _haca_ was not worth much more than a doubloon.
"No!" exclaimed one of the party, jumping off his mule, thrusting his
hand into his belt, and producing _two_, "I'll give you these without
further bargaining."

This occasioned a laugh at my expense. I turned it off, however, by
telling my friend, that if he would bring his money to Gibraltar we
might possibly deal; but, as I had occasion for my pony to carry me back
there, I could not at that moment conveniently part with him.

There seemed but slight chance, however, of my recovering my pony
without trudging back to Vejer; and, probably, they would have ridden
off, and laughed at me, after proceeding half way; or by paying a
handsome ransom, which I was, in fact, unable to do, having only the
value of a few shillings about me.

The dispute was getting warm, and my patience exhausted; for vain were
my representations that the _haca could_ belong to no one else--that the
saddle, bridle, and even the very _tail_ of the animal, were all
English. The Don kept his seat, and coolly asked, whether I thought
they could not make as good saddles, and cut as short tails, in Spain?

The party had halted during this altercation, and old Silenus, who, by
his dress and position, seemed to be the head of the _firm_, had taken
no part in the dispute. He appeared, indeed, to be so drowsy, as to be
quite unconscious of what was passing. I determined, however, to make an
appeal to him, and summoning the best Spanish I could muster to my aid,
called upon him as a Spanish _hidalgo_, a man of honour, and a person of
sense, as his appearance bespoke, to see justice done me.

He had heard, I continued, in fact he had _seen_, how the case stood;
and was it to be believed that a foreigner travelling in Spain--perhaps
the most enlightened country in the world--and trusting to the
well-known national probity, should be thus shamefully plundered? An
Englishman, above all others, who, having fought in the same ranks
against a common enemy, looked upon every individual of the brave
Spanish nation as a brother! Could a people so noted for honour,
chivalry, gratitude, and every known virtue, be guilty of so bare-faced
an imposition?

Oh, "flattery! delicious essence, how refreshing art thou to nature! how
strongly are all its powers and all its weaknesses on thy side!"

"_Baj' usted!_" grunted forth Silenus to the man mounted on my pony,
accompanying the words with a circular motion of his right arm towards
the earth. "_Baj' usted luego!_"[118] repeated the irate leader in a
louder tone, seeing that there was a disposition to resist his commands.
"Mount your horse, caballero," he continued, turning to me, "you have
not over-estimated the Spanish character."

I did not require a second bidding, but, vaulting into the vacated
saddle, pushed my pony at once into a canter, replying to the man's
application for something for his trouble, by observing, that I did not
reward people for merely obeying the orders of their superiors; and,
kissing my hand to the fat old Satyr, rode off, amidst the laughter
occasioned by the discomfiture of the dismounted knight.

On the morning fixed for our departure from Casa Vieja, Damien came to
us at a very early hour--a smile breaking through an assumed cloudy
expression of countenance--to report that the Barbate was so swollen by
the rain which had fallen without cessation during the night, as to be
no longer fordable: "_Nous pouvons demeurer encore trois ou quatre
jours_," he added, "_car il nous reste de quoi manger--du thé, du sucre,
du jambon, un bon morceau de bouilli de rosbif, et autres bagatelles; et
comme il fait beau temps à présent, puede ser que havra una entrada de
gallinetas esta noche--no es verdad Señor Padre?_"[119] turning to the
priest, who had followed him into the room.

We were prepared for this contingency, however, and, stating that we
_must_ go, signified our intention of returning home by way of Alcalà de
los Gazules. Damien was horror-struck. "_Corpo di Bacco! Messieurs,
celle là est la plus mauvaise route du pays! è infestata di cattivissima
gente, ad ogni passo. No es verdad, Don Diego, que esa trocha de Alcalà
allà 'se llama el camino del infierno!_" "_Si, si_," replied the
priestly lodging-house keeper with a nod, "_tan verdad como la Santa

Finding, however, that we were bent on departing, Don Diego went to make
his bill out; and Damien, now truly alarmed, proposed that, at all
events, we should take the shorter and more practicable route homewards,
by way of Vejer. But the name of the other had taken our fancy, and
orders were given accordingly, our departure being merely postponed
until the afternoon; for, as it would be necessary to sleep at Alcalà,
which is but nine miles from Casa Vieja, we agreed to have another brush
at the snipes ere leaving the place.

In the afternoon we set out. At two miles from Casa Vieja the road
crosses a tributary stream to the Barbate, which reached up to our
saddle-girths, and then traverses some wooded hills for about an equal
distance. The rest of the way is over an extensive flat.

Little is seen of Alcalà but an old square tower, and the ruined walls
of its Moorish castle, in approaching it on this side. The town is built
on a rocky peninsulated eminence, which, protruding from a ridge of
sierra that overlooks the place to the east, stretches about a mile in a
southerly direction, and, excepting along the narrow neck that connects
it with this mountain-range, is every where extremely difficult of
access. A road, however, winds up to the town by a steep ravine on the
south-eastern side of the rugged eminence; and a good approach has also
been made, though with much labour, at its northern extremity. The river
Barbate washes the western side of the mound, and across it, and
somewhat above the town--which is huddled together along the northern
crest of the ridge--a solid stone bridge presents itself, where the
roads from Casa Vieja, Medina Sidonia, and Xeres, concentrate.

The ascent from the bridge, as I have mentioned, is good, but very
steep. The position of the town is most formidable; its walls, however,
are all levelled; and, of the castle, the square tower, or keep, alone
remains. The streets are narrow, but not so steep as we expected to find
them, and they are remarkably well paved. The houses are poor, though
some trifling manufactories of cloths and tanneries give the place a
thriving look. Its population amounts to about 9000 souls.

_This_ Alcalà receives its distinctive name of "_los Gazules_" (i.e. the
Castle of the Gazules), from a tribe of Moors so called; but what Roman
city stood here is a mere matter of conjecture.

The inn afforded but indifferent accommodation; but our host and hostess
were obliging people, and very good-naturedly made over to us the olla
prepared for their own supper. It was a fine specimen of the culinary
art; the savoury odour alone, that exuded from the bubbling stew, drew a
smile from Damien's unusually lugubrious countenance; and, on afterwards
witnessing the justice we did to its merits, he kindly wished--with a
doubt-implying compression of the lips--that we might have as good an
appetite to enjoy as good a supper on the following night.

We set out at daybreak, accompanied by a guide, though, I think, we
could have dispensed with his services. The road enters the Serranía,
immediately on leaving Alcalà, taking an easterly direction, and
ascends for five miles by a rock-bound valley, partially under
cultivation, and watered by several streams, along which mills are
thickly scattered. On leaving them behind, the country becomes very wild
and desolate; the mountains ahead appear quite impracticable; and, long
ere we reached their base, the Piedmontese march had several times
resounded through the rocky gorges that encompassed us.

At length we began to scramble up towards a conical pinnacle, called _El
Peñon de Sancho_,[121] which presents a perpendicular face, to the
south-west, of some hundreds of feet, and whose white cap, standing out
from the dark sierra behind, is a landmark all along the coast from
Cipiona to Cape Trafalgar.

We soon attained a great elevation, crossing a pass between the _Peñon
de Sancho_ and the main sierra on our left. The view, looking back
towards Cadiz, is magnificent, and the scenery for the next four miles
continues to be of the most splendid kind, the road being conducted
along the side of the great sierra _Monteron_, and by the pass of _La
Brocha_ to the sierra _Cantarera_.

The road is by no means so bad as, from the name it bears, we were
prepared to expect; in fact, there are many others in the Serranía of a
far more infernal character. After riding about four hours--a distance
of twelve miles--we reached a verdant little vale, enclosed on all sides
by rude mountains, wherein the Celemin takes its rise, and whence it
wends its way through a deep and thickly wooded ravine to the south.
This gullet is called the _Garganta de los Estudientes_, from the
circumstance, as our guide informed us, of some scholars having ventured
down it who never afterwards were heard of--to which story Damien
listened with great dismay.

We halted at this delightful spot for half an hour, as well to breathe
our horses as to examine the contents of Damien's _alforjas_, who took
his meal, pistol in hand, for fear of a surprise. Continuing our
journey, we had to traverse some more very difficult country, the views
from which were now towards Ximena, Casares, Gibraltar, and the
Mediterranean; including an occasional peep of Castellar, as we advanced
to the eastward.

At four miles and a half from our resting-place, the road branches into
two, the left proceeding to Ximena (five miles and a half), the other
leading toward Estepona, and the towns bordering the Mediterranean.
Taking the latter path, in about two hours we reached the river
Sogarganta, along the right bank of which is conducted the main road
from Ximena to Gibraltar.

Damien's countenance brightened on his once more finding himself in "_un
pays reconnu_," and, turning joyfully into the well-known track, he
struck up one of his most _scherzosa_ arias; the heretofore dreaded
_Boca de Leones_ and Almoraima forest (which we had yet to pass), being
robbed of their terrors by the superior dangers we had safely
surmounted; and, in the words of the favourite poet of his country,

      _"Dopo sorte si funesta_
    _Sarà placida quest alma_
    _E godrà--tornata in calma--_
    _I perigli rammentar."_



The next and last excursion of which I purpose extracting some account
from my notebook, was commenced with the intention of proceeding from
Gibraltar to Madrid, late in the autumn of the year 1833; at which time,
the cholera having broken out in various parts of the kingdom of
Seville, it was necessary to "shape a course" that should not subject my
companion and self to the purifying process of a lazaret; a rigid
quarantine system having been adopted by the other kingdoms bordering
the infected territory.

We hired three horses for the journey; that is to say, for any portion
of it we might choose to perform on horseback: two for ourselves, and
one to carry our portmanteaus, as well as the _mozo_ charged with their
care and our guidance.

We found, on enquiry, that by avoiding two or three towns lying upon the
road, we could reach Cordoba without deviating much from the direct
route to that city, whence we purposed continuing our journey to the
capital by the diligence. We proceeded accordingly to Ronda, which place
being in the kingdom of Granada, was open to us; and thither I will at
once transport my readers, the road to it having already been fully
described. After sojourning a couple of days at the little capital of
the Serranía, comforting my numerous old and kind friends with the
opinion (which the event, I was happy to find, confirmed), that the new
enemy against which their country had to contend--the dreaded
cholera--would not cross the mountain barrier that defended their city;
we proceeded on our journey, taking the road to Puente Don Gonzalo, on
the Genil, thereby avoiding Osuna, which lay upon the direct road to
Cordoba, but in the infected district.

In an hour from the time of our leaving Ronda, we crossed the rocky
gulley which has been noticed as traversing the fertile basin in which
the city stands, laterally, bearing the little river Arriate to irrigate
its western half, and in the course of another hour reached the northern
extremity of this fruitful district. The hills here offer an easy egress
from the rock-bound basin; but, though nature has left this one level
passage through the mountains, art has taken no advantage of it to
improve the state of the road, for a viler _trocha_ is not to be met
with, even in the rudest part of the Serranía.

The view of the rich plain and dark battlements of Ronda is remarkably

After winding amongst some round-topped hills, the road at length
reaches a narrow rocky pass, which closes the view of the vale of Ronda,
and a long deep valley opens to the north, the mouth of which appears
closed by a barren mountain, crowned by the old castle of _Teba_.

The path now undergoes a slight improvement, and, after passing some
singular table-rocks, and leaving the little village of _La Cueva del
Becerro_ on the left, reaches the _venta de Virlan_. We, however, had
inadvertently taken a track that, inclining slightly to the right, led
us into the bottom of the valley, and in about four miles (from the
pass) brought us to the miserable little village of _Serrato_. The
proper road, from which we had strayed, keeps along the side of the
hills, about half a mile off, on the left; and upon it, and three miles
from the first venta, is another, called _del Ciego_. Yet a little
further on, but situated on an elevated ridge overlooking the valley, is
the little town of _Cañete la Real_.

From Serrato our road led us to the old castle of Ortoyecar, ere
rejoining the direct route; which it eventually does, about a mile
before reaching the foot of the mountain of Teba.

This singular feature is connected by a very low pass with the chain of
sierra on the left, and, stretching from west to east about
three-quarters of a mile, terminates precipitously along the river
_Guadaljorce_. The road, crossing over the pass, and leaving on the
right a steep paved road, that zig-zags up the mountain, winds round to
the west, keeping under the precipitous sides of the ridge, and avoiding
the town of Teba, which, perched on the very summit, but having a
northern aspect, can only be seen when arrived at the north side of the
rude mound; and there another winding road offers the means of access to
the place.

The base of the mountain is, on this side, bathed by a little rivulet
that flows eastward to the Guadaljorce, called the _Sua de Teba_. It is
erroneously marked on the Spanish maps as running on the south side of
the ridge, but the only stream which is there to be met with, is a
little rivulet that takes its rise near Becerro and waters the valley by
which we had descended; and it does not approach within a mile of Teba,
but sweeps round to the eastward a little beyond the old castle of
Ortoyecar, and discharges itself into the river Ardales.

The deep-sunk banks and muddy bottom of the _Suda de Teba_, render it
impassable excepting at the bridge. This rickety structure is apparently
the same which existed in the time of Rocca, who, in his "Memoirs of the
War in Spain," gives a very spirited account of the military operations
of the French and _serranos_ in this neighbourhood.

The locality of Teba is most faithfully described by that author; indeed
I know no one who has given so graphic an account of this part of Spain

The ascent to the town on this (the northern) side, is yet more
difficult than that in the opposite direction; but the place will amply
repay the labour of a visit, for the view from it is extremely fine, and
the extensive ruins of its ancient defences, evidently of Roman
workmanship, are well worthy of observation.

The position of Teba, with reference to other places in the
neighbourhood, and to the circumjacent country, is so inaccurately given
in all maps which I have seen, that the antiquaries seem quite to have
overlooked it as the probable site of _Ategua_, so celebrated for its
obstinate defence against Julius Cæsar.

Morales--without the slightest grounds, as far as the description of the
country accords with the assumption--imagined _Ategua_ to have stood
where he maintains some ruins, "called by the country-people _Teba la
Vieja_," are to be seen between Castrò el Rio and Codoba; but, as I
pointed out in the case of Ronda, and Ronda _la Vieja_, it is absurd to
suppose that an _old Teba_ could ever have existed, since Teba itself is
a Roman town, and its present name a mere corruption of that which it
bore in times past.

Other Spanish authors place _Ategua_ at Castro el Rio, some at Baena,
some elsewhere; but almost all appear anxious to fix its site near the
river Guadajoz, which they have determined, in their own minds, must be
the _Salsus_ mentioned by Hirtius.

La Martinière, with his usual _inaccuracy_, says, that the Guadajoz
falls into the _Salado_: he should rather have said, that it is _formed_
from the confluence of _various salados_; for, as I have elsewhere
observed, salado is a general term for all water-courses, and not the
name of a river.[122]

It seems, however, probable, that the Romans gave the name _Salsus_ to
some river impregnated with salt, which many streams in this part of
Spain are; and since there is an extensive salt-lake still existing near
Alcaudete, on the very margin of the Guadajoz, that river has hastily
been concluded to be that of the Roman historian. But, it appears
strange, if the Guadajoz be the Salsus of Hirtius, that Pliny, when
describing the course of the Boetis, and the principal streams which
fell into it, should have omitted to mention that river, as being one of
its affluents; for the Salsus, from the recentness of the war between
Cæsar and the sons of Pompey, must have been much spoken of in Pliny's

But what, to me, proves most satisfactorily that the _Guadajoz_ is _not_
the Salsus, is, that it so ill agrees with the minute description given
of the river by Hirtius himself;--for, in speaking of the Salsus he
says,[123] "It runs through the plains, and _divides_ them from the
mountains, which all lie upon the side of Ategua, at about two miles'
distance from the river;" and again, "But what proved principally
favourable to Pompey's design of drawing out the war, was the nature of
the country, (i. e. about Ategua) full of mountains, and extremely well
adapted to encampments;"[124] and, from what again follows, it is
evident that Ategua stood upon the summit of a mountain.

Now the Guadajoz nowhere runs so as to _divide_ the plains from the
mountains. It _issues from_ the mountains of Alcalà Real, many miles
before reaching Castrò el Rio, and between that last-named town and
Cordoba, there is no ground that can be called mountainous.

The country bordering the Guadajoz, in the lower part of its course,
differs as decidedly with the statement that the neighbourhood of Ategua
was "full of mountains," if we suppose the town to have stood anywhere
_below_ Castrò el Rio.

It is again improbable that Ategua could have stood on the site of the
supposed _Teba la Vieja_, or any place in that neighbourhood, since it
is mentioned[125] as being a great provision dépôt of the Pompeians;
which would scarcely have been the case had it been within twenty miles
of the city of Cordoba. And again, it is not likely that Cæsar would
have commenced the campaign by laying siege to a place within such a
short distance of Cordoba, since the invested town might so readily have
received succour from that city, and his adversary would, by such a
step, have had the advantage of combining all his forces to attack him
during the progress of the siege.

Again, another objection presents itself, namely, that Ategua is
represented as a particularly strong place,[126] which, from the nature
of the ground in that part of the country--that is, between Castrò el
Rio and Cordoba--no town could well have been; situation, rather than
art, constituting the strength of towns in those days.

We will now return to Teba, the locality of which agrees infinitely
better with the account of Ategua given by Hirtius, whilst the River
_Guadaljorce_, which flows in its vicinity, answers perfectly his
description of the Salsus; for, along its right bank a plain extends all
the way to the Genil; on its left, "at two miles' distance," rises a
wall of Sierra; and the whole country, beyond, is "full of mountains,
all lying on the side of" Teba. That is to say, the mountain range
continues in the same direction, and possesses the same marked
character, although the Guadaljorce breaks through it ere reaching so
far west as Teba; for, by a vagary of nature, this stream quits the wide
plain of the Genil to throw itself into a rocky gorge, and after
describing a very tortuous course, gains, at length, the vale of Malaga.

Now this very circumstance strikes me, on attentive consideration, as
tending rather to strengthen than otherwise the supposition that Teba
is Ategua; for Cæsar's army is not stated to have _crossed_ the Salsus
on its march from Cordoba to Ategua; from which we must conclude that
Ategua was on the _right_ bank of the river; whilst other circumstances
prove that the town was some distance from the river, and encompassed by

Pompey, however, following Cæsar from Cordoba, and proceeding to the
relief of Ategua, _crosses the Salsus_, and fixes his camp "on these
mountains (i. e. the mountains 'which all lie on the side of Ategua')
between Ategua and Ucubis, but within sight of both places," being, as
is distinctly said afterwards, separated from his adversary by the

Thus, therefore, though his camp was on the same range of mountains as
Ategua, yet he was separated from that town by a river: a peculiarity,
in the formation of the ground, which suits the locality of Teba, but
would be difficult to make agree with any other place.

The only very apparent objection to this hypothesis is, that Cæsar's
cavalry is mentioned as having, on one occasion, pursued the foraging
parties of his adversary "almost to the very walls of Codoba." But this
was when Pompey (after his first failure to relieve Ategua) had drawn
off his army towards Cordoba. It does not follow, therefore, that
Cæsar's troops pursued his adversary's parties from Ategua, though he
was still besieging that place, but it may rather be supposed that his
cavalry was sent after the enemy to harass them on their march, and
watch their future movements.

One might, indeed, on equally good grounds, maintain that Ategua was
_within a day's march of Seville_; since, on Pompey's finally abandoning
the field, Hirtius says,[127] "the same day he decamped, (from Ucubis,
which was within sight of Ategua) and posted himself in an olive wood
over against Hispalis."

With respect to this knotty point of distance it is further to be
observed, that on Cæsar's breaking up his camp from before Cordoba, his
march is spoken of as being _towards_ Ategua, implying that the two
places did not lie within a day's march of each other; and the
supposition that they were more than a few leagues apart is strengthened
by the place, and order in which Ategua is mentioned by the methodical
Pliny; viz., amongst the cities lying between the Boetis and the
Mediterranean Sea, and next in succession to _Singili_,[128] which,
doubtless, was on the southern bank of the Genil, towards Antequera.

The Guadaljorce has as good claims to the name of _Salsus_, as any other
river in the country, since the mountains about Antequera, amongst
which it takes its rise, were in former days noted for the quantity of
salt they produced; and though the river Guadaljorce now carries its
name to the sea, yet, in the time of the Romans, such was not the case;
for, in those days, by whatever name that river may have been
distinguished, it was dropt on forming its junction with the Sigila,
(now the Rio Grande) in the _vega_ of Malaga, although, of the two, the
latter is the inferior stream.

The fort of Ucubis, stated by Hirtius to have been destroyed by Cæsar,
we may suppose stood on the side of the mountains overlooking the Salsus
or Guadaljorce, towards Antequera; and it does not seem improbable that
that city is the _Soricaria_ mentioned by the same historian; for
_Anticaria_, though noticed in the Itinerary of Antoninus, is not
amongst the cities of Boetica enumerated by Pliny.

Teba was taken from the Moors by Alphonso XI., A.D. 1340. The
inhabitants are a savage-looking tribe, and boast of having kept the
French at bay during the whole period of the "war of independence."[129]

There is a tolerable venta at the foot of the hill, near the bridge, at
which we baited our horses. The distance from Ronda to Teba is 21 miles;
from hence to Campillos is about six; the country is undulated, and
road good, crossing several brooks, some flowing eastward to the
Guadaljorce, others in the opposite direction to the Genil.

Campillos is situated at the commencement of a vast track of perfectly
level country, that extends all the way to the river Genil. By some
strange mistake it is laid down in the Spanish maps due east of Teba,
whereas it is nearly north. It is four leagues (or about seventeen
miles) from Antequera, and five leagues from Osuna. It is a neat town,
clean, and well-paved, and contains 1000 _vecinos escasos_;[130] which
may be reckoned at 5000 souls, six being the number usually calculated
per _vecino_.

Campillos lies just within the border of the kingdom of Seville, and
was, therefore, on forbidden ground; since, had we entered it, our clean
bills of health would have been thereby tainted. We were consequently
obliged to skirt round the town at a tether of several hundred yards. I
regretted this much, for the place contains an excellent _posada_,
bearing the--to Protestant ears--somewhat profane sign of "_Jesus
Nazarino_," and its keepers were old cronies of mine, our friendship
having commenced some years before under rather peculiar circumstances,
viz., in travelling from Antequera to Ronda, my horse met with an
accident which obliged me to halt for the night at Campillos. Leaving to
my servant the task of ordering dinner at the inn, I proceeded on foot
to examine the town, and gain, if possible, some elevated spot in its
vicinity whence I could obtain a good view of the country, being
desirous to correct the mistake before alluded to, in the relative
positions of Teba and Campillos on the maps.

Having found a point suited to this purpose, from whence I could see
both Teba and the _Peñon de los Enamorados_, (a remarkable conical
mountain near Antequera,) I drew forth a pocket surveying compass, and
took the bearings of those two points, as well as of several other
conspicuous objects in the neighbourhood.

These ill-understood proceedings caused the utmost astonishment to a
group of idlers, who, at a respectful distance, but with significant
nods and mysterious whisperings, were narrowly watching my operations.
These concluded, and the result of my observations committed to my
pocket-book, I took a slight outline sketch of the bold range of
mountains that stretches towards Granada, and returned to the inn.

On my first arrival there, I had merely addressed the usual compliment
of the country to the innkeeper and his wife, and now, repeating my
salutation to the lady--who only was present--I seated myself at the
fire-place of the common apartment, and began writing in my pocket-book,
replying very laconically to her various attempts at conversation; and
at length obtaining no immediate answer to another endeavour to _draw me
out_, she said, addressing herself, "_no entiende_,"[131] and offered no
further interruptions to my scribbling.

I confess to the practice of a little deceit in the matter, as my
answers certainly must have led her to believe that I was a very _tyro_
at the Spanish vocabulary--a fancy in which I used often to indulge the
natives when I wished to shirk conversation.

Soon afterwards the _Posadero_ came in, and a whispered communication
took place between him and his spouse, which gradually acquiring _tone_,
I at length was able to catch distinctly, and heard the following

"You are quite certain he does not understand Spanish?" said mine host.

"Not a syllable," replied his helpmate.

"He is about no good here, wife, that I can tell you."

"There does not appear to be much mischief in him."

"We must not trust to looks; I was at the chapel of the Rosario just
now, and he walked up there, took an instrument from his pocket, marked
down all the principal points of the country, and then drew them in that
little book he is now writing in ... are you quite sure he does not
understand Spanish?--I observed him smile just now."

"_No tienes cuidado_,"[132] replied the wife; "I have tried him on all

"Depend upon it he is _mapeando el pais_,"[133] resumed the husband.

"I think you ought forthwith to give notice of his doings to the
_Justicia_," answered the lady.

"Ay, and lose a good customer by having him taken to prison!" rejoined
the patriotic innkeeper; "time enough to do that in the morning after he
has paid his bill; but as to the propriety of giving information wife, I
agree with you perfectly."

"He must be one of the rascally _gavachos_ from Cadiz," (a French
garrison at this time occupied that fortress,) "but what right has he to
take his notes of our _pueblo_?[134] I thought of questioning the
servant, who does speak a few words of Spanish, before he took the
horses to the smithy, but Don Guillelmo came in and put it out of my
head. Suppose I make another attempt to find out from himself what
brings him here?"

"Do so," said her lord and master; and, with this permission, she
advanced towards me with a very gracious smile, and _articulating_ every
syllable most distinctly, in the hope of making her interrogation
perfectly intelligible, "begged to know if my worship was a Frenchman."

"_Yo_," said I, pointing to myself, as if I did not clearly understand
her; "_nix_."

"_Ingles?_" demanded she, returning to the charge.

"_Si_," replied I, with a nod affirmative.

"_Valga mi Dios!_" exclaimed she, turning to her husband; "he is
English! how delighted I am! what a time it is since I saw an
Englishman! how can we make him comfortable?"

"_Poco a poco_,"[135] observed the inn-keeper--"English or French he has
no business to be _mapeando_ our country, and the Alcalde ought to know
of it."

"_Disparate!_"[136] exclaimed the wife; "what does his _mapeando_
signify if he is an Englishman? are they not our best friends?[137] Is
it not the same as if a Spaniard were doing it, only that it will be
better done?"

"Very true," admitted mine host; "they have, indeed, been our friends,
and will soon again, I trust, give us a proof of their friendship, by
assisting to drive these French scoundrels across the Pyrenees, and
allowing us to settle our own differences."

Pocketing my memorandum book, I now rose from my seat and addressing the
landlady, "_con gentil donayre y talante_,"[138] as Don Quijote says,
asked, in the best Castillian I could put together, when it was probable
I should have dinner, as from having been the greater part of the
morning on horseback, I was not only very hungry, but should be glad to
retire early to my bed.

Never were two people more astonished than mine host and his spouse at
this address. Had I detected them in the act of pilfering my saddlebags,
they could not have looked more guilty. They offered a thousand
apologies, but seemed to think the greatest affront they had put upon me
was that of mistaking me for a Frenchman.

"I ought at once to have known you were no braggart _gavacho_," said the
landlord, "by your not making a noise on entering the house--calling for
every thing and abusing every body--How do you think one of these
gentry, who came into Spain as _friends_, to tranquillize the country,
behaved to our _Alcalde_? The Frenchman wanted a billet, and finding the
office shut, went to the _Alcalde's_ house for it. The _Alcalde_ was at
dinner with a couple of friends; he begged the officer to be seated,
saying he would send for the _Escribano_ and have a billet made out for
him--'And am I to be kept waiting for your clerk?' said the Frenchman;
'a pretty joke, indeed.' 'He will be here in an instant,' said the
_Alcalde_; 'pray have a little patience, and be seated.' 'Patience,
indeed!' exclaimed the other; 'make the billet out directly yourself, or
I'll pull the house about your ears.' '_Juicio!_ señor,' replied the
Mayor; 'do you not see that I am at dinner?' 'What are you at _now_?'
said the Frenchman; and, laying hold of one corner of the tablecloth, he
drew it, plates, dishes, glasses, and every thing, off the table. This
is the way our French _friends_ behave to us!"

I now satisfied the worthy couple that their fears of mischief arising
from my "_mapeando el pais_," were quite groundless; and mine host
showed great intelligence in comprehending what I wished to correct in
the Spanish map; the error in which he saw at once, when I pointed to
the setting sun; his wife standing by and exclaiming "_que gente tan
fina los Ingleses_!"[139]

No advantage was taken of the knowledge of _my_ country in making out
_the bill_, and I departed next morning with their prayers that I might
travel in company with all the saints in the calendar.

The direct road from Campillos to Cordoba is by way of La Rodd; but, in
the present instance, it was necessary to avoid that town, and proceed
to _La Fuente de Piedra_, which is situated a few miles to the eastward,
and without the sanitory circle drawn round the cholera.

The distance from Campillos to this place is two long leagues, which may
be reckoned nine miles.

_La Fuente de Piedra_ is a small village, of about sixty houses,
surrounded with olive-grounds, and abounding in crystal springs. The
medicinal virtues of one of these sources (which rises in the middle of
the place) led to the building of the village; and the painful disease
for which in especial this fountain is considered a sovereign cure, has
given its name to the place. We arrived very late in the evening, and
found the _posada_ most miserable.

On leaving _La Fuente de Piedra_ we took the road to _Puente Don
Gonzalo_, and at about three miles from the village crossed the great
road from Granada to Seville, which is practicable for carriages the
greater part, but _not all_ the way; a little beyond this the _Sierra de
Estepa_ rises on the left of the route, to the height of several hundred
feet above the plain. The town of Estepa is not seen, being on the
western side of the hill; it is supposed to be the Astapa of the
Romans, the horrible destruction of which is related by Livy.

The inhabitants, on the approach of Scipio, aware of the exasperated
feelings of the Romans towards them, piled all their valuables in the
centre of the forum, placed their wives and children upon the top, and
leaving a few of their young men to set fire to the pile in the event of
their defeat, rushed out upon the Roman army. They were all killed, the
pile was lighted, and a heap of ashes was the only trophy of their

The Roman historian says, the people of Astapa "delighted in robberies."
I wonder if he thought his countrymen exempt from similar propensities!

In three hours we reached Cazariche. The road merely skirts the village,
being separated from it by an abundant stream, which, serving to
irrigate numerous gardens and orchards, renders the last league of the
ride very agreeable, which otherwise, from the flatness of the country
to the eastward, would be uninteresting. This rivulet is called _La
Salada_; but its volume is far too small to make one suppose for a
moment that it is the _Salsus_.

At five miles from Cazariche, keeping along the left bank of the Salada
the whole distance, but not crossing it, as marked on the maps, the road
reaches Miragenil. This is a small village, situated on the southern
bank of the Genil, and communicating, by means of a bridge, with _Puente
Don Gonzalo_.

The river here forms the division between the kingdoms of Seville and
Cordoba; and the two governments not having agreed as to the superior
merits of wood or stone, one-half the bridge is built of the former, the
other half of the latter material.

Puente Don Gonzalo stands on a steep acclivity, commanding the bridge
and river. It is a town of some consideration, containing several
manufactories of household furniture, numerous mills, and a population
of 6000 souls.

Florez, on the authority of a _stone_ found _near_ Cazariche (which he
calls Casaliche), whereon the word VENTIPO was inscribed, supposed
_Ventisponte_,[140] to have been situated somewhere in the vicinity of
Puente Don Gonzalo. But if this stone had been _carried_ to Cazariche,
it may have been taken there from any other point of the compass as well
as from that in which Puente Don Gonzalo is situated.

Other authorities suppose this town to be on the site of Singilis; but
that place, as already stated, has been pretty clearly proved to have
been nearer Antequera.

The "_provechasos aguas del divino Genil_,"[141] after cleansing the
town of Puente Don Gonzalo, are turned to the best possible account, in
irrigating gardens and turning mill-wheels; and the road to Cordoba,
after proceeding for about a mile along the verdant valley that
stretches to the westward, ascends the somewhat steep bank which pens in
the stream to the north, and for four hours wanders over a flat
uninteresting country to Rambla; passing, in the whole distance of
fifteen miles, but two running streams, three farm-houses, and the
miserable village of Montalban. This latter is distant about a mile and
a half from Rambla.

We saw but little of this town, having arrived late at night, and
departed from it at an early hour on the following morning; but it is of
considerable size, and situated on the north side of a steep hill. We
found the inn excessively dirty and exorbitantly dear; indeed it may be
laid down as a general rule with Spanish as well as Swiss inns, that the
charges are high in proportion to the _badness_ of the fare and

The ground in the vicinity of Rambla is planted chiefly with vines, and
but two short leagues to the eastward is situated Montilla, where, in
the estimation of Spaniards, the best wine of the province is grown. It
is extremely dry; and, as I have mentioned before, gives its name to the
Sherry called _Amontillado_.

Rambla is just midway between Puente Don Gonzalo and Cordoba, viz.
sixteen miles from each. The country is hilly, and mostly under tillage,
but where its cultivators reside puzzles one to guess, as there is not a
house on the road in the whole distance, and but two towns visible from
it, viz. Montemayor and Fernan Nuñez, both within six miles of Rambla.

The first-named of these places disputes with Montilla the honour of
being the Roman city of _Ulía_, the only inland town of Boetica that
held out for Cæsar against the sons of Pompey, previous to his arrival
in the country.[142] It appears doubtful[143] whether _Ulía_ is
mentioned by Pliny, but it is noticed in the Roman Itinerary (_Gadibus
Cordubam_) as eighteen miles from Cordoba, a distance that agrees better
with Montilla than Montemayor; indeed the former almost declares itself
in the very name it yet bears, _Montilla_; the double _l_ in Spanish
having the liquid sound of _li_, making it a corruption of _Mont Ulía_.

At about four miles from Cordoba the Guadajoz, or river of Castro, is
crossed by fording, and between it and the Guadalquivír the ground is
broken by steep hills. The road falls into the _Arrecife_ from Seville,
on reaching the suburb on the left bank of the river.

We took up our abode at the _Posada de la Mesangería_; a particularly
comfortable house, as Spanish inns go, that had been opened for the
accommodation of the diligence travellers since my former visit to the
city. The _patio_, ornamented with a bubbling fountain of icy-cold
water, and shaded with a profusion of all sorts of rare creepers and
flowering shrubs, afforded a cool retreat at all hours of the day;
which, though we were in the month of October, was very acceptable.

Whilst seated at breakfast, under the colonnade that encompasses the
court, the morning after our arrival, the master of the inn waited upon
us to know if we required a _valet de place_ during our sojourn at
Cordoba, as a very intelligent old man, who spoke French like a native,
and was in the habit of attending upon _caballeros forasteros_[144] in
the above-named capacity, was then in the house, and begged to place his
services at our disposition.

I replied, that having before visited his city, I considered myself
sufficiently acquainted with its _sights_ to be able to dispense with
this, otherwise useful, personage's attendance; but our host seemed so
desirous that we should employ the old man, "We might have little
errands to send him upon--some purchases to make; in fact, we should
find the Tio Blas so useful in any capacity, and it would be such an
act of charity to employ him,"--that we finally acceded to his proposal,
and the _Tio_ was accordingly ushered in.

He was a tall, and, though emaciated, still erect old man, whose
tottering gait, and white and scanty hairs, would have led to the belief
that his years had already exceeded the number usually allotted to the
life of man, but that his deep-sunk eyes were shaded by dark and
beatling brows, and yet sparkled occasionally with the fire of youth;
proving that hardships and misfortunes had brought him somewhat
prematurely to the brink of the grave.

It struck me at the first glance that I had seen him before, but when,
and under what circumstances, I could not recall to my recollection.
After some conversation, as to what had been his former occupation, &c.,
he remarked, addressing himself to me, "I think, _Caballero_, that this
is not the first time we have met--many years have elapsed since--many
(to me) most eventful years, and they have wrought great changes in my
appearance. And, indeed, some little difference is perceptible also in
yours, for you were a mere boy then; but, still, time has not laid so
heavy a hand on you as on the worn-out person of him who stands before
you, and in whom you will, doubtless, have difficulty in recognizing the
reckless _Blas Maldonado_!"

Time had, indeed, effected great changes in him, morally as well as
physically; for not only had the powerful, well-built man, dwindled into
a tottering, emaciated driveller, but the daring, impious bandit, had
become a weak and superstitious dotard.

My curiosity strongly piqued to learn how changes so wonderful had been
brought about, we immediately engaged the _Tio_ to attend upon us; and,
during the few days circumstances compelled us to remain at Cordoba, I
elicited from him the following account of the events which had
chequered his extraordinary career since we had before met.



     "_La rueda de la fortuna anda mas lista que una rueda de molino, y
     que los que ayer estaban en pinganitos, hoy estan por el
                                              DON QUIJOTE.

It was at Castrò el Rio that we last met Don Carlos; it is now eleven
years since,--rather more, but still I have a perfect recollection of
it. My memory, indeed, is the only thing that has served me well through
life. Friends have abandoned--riches corrupted--success has
hardened--ambition disappointed me; and now, as you see, my very limbs
are failing me, but memory--excepting for one short period, when my
brain was affected--has never abandoned me. I cannot flee from it--it
pursues me incessantly: it is as impossible to get rid of, as of one's
shadow in the sun's rays, and seems indeed, like it, to become more
perfect, as I too proceed downward in my rapidly revolving course.

Alas! it often brings to mind the words of my good father, addressed,
whilst I was yet a child, to my too-indulgent mother:--"If we consult
the happiness of our son, we must not bring him up above the condition
to which it has pleased Providence to call him." It was my unhappy lot,
however, to become an _educated pauper_. I grew up discontented, and
became a profligate: I coveted riches, to feed my unnatural cravings,
and became criminal: I scoffed at religion, and came to ridicule the
idea of a future state of rewards and punishments. And as I thus brought
myself to believe that I was not an accountable creature, nothing
thenceforth restrained me from committing any act which gratified my
passions. What is man, I argued, that I should not despoil him, if he
possess that which I covet? What should deter me from taking his life,
if he stand between me and that which I desire? _Crime_ is a mere
word,--a term for any act which certain _men_, for their mutual
advantage, have agreed shall meet with punishment. But what right have
those men to say, this is just, and that is unlawful?

Such were my feelings at the time I met and related to you the
adventures of my early life; adventures of which I was then not a
little proud, though, nevertheless, I slurred over some little matters
that I thought would not raise me in your opinion. Well was it for me
that I was not cut off in the midst of my iniquitous career, but have,
on the contrary, been allowed time, by penance and prayer, to make what
atonement is in my power for my former sinful life.

My journey to Castrò had been undertaken at the desire of the political
chief of ----, for the purpose of watching the proceedings of the Royal
Regiment of Carbineers, which, as you may remember, was at that time
quartered there.

I soon, under pretence of being a stanch royalist, wormed myself into
the confidence of the officers, and learnt that they were in
communication with the King's Guards at Madrid, and were plotting a
counter-revolution, to reestablish Ferdinand on a despotic throne. The
advice I gave them, and the information I furnished the government, led
to the unconnected and premature developement of their treason, and to
the vigorous steps which were taken by the executive to meet and put it

These, however, are matters of history, on which it is unnecessary to
dwell; suffice it, therefore, to say, that my good services on the
occasion were rewarded by promotion to a more lucrative _corregimiento_.
I did not long enjoy this new post, for, on the French columns crossing
the Pyrenees the following spring, I threw up my civil employment, and,
collecting a small band of _guerrillas_, flew to the defence of my
country; joining the traitor Ballasteros, then entrusted with the
command of the army of the south.

The deplorable events which followed deprived me of a home; but, leaving
my wife and infant son (the only child, of three, whom it had pleased
Providence to spare us) at the secluded little town of Cañete la Real,
perched high up in the Sierra de Terril, I wandered about the country
with a few adherents, seeking opportunities of harassing the French
during their operations before Cadiz.

They afforded us no opportunities, however, of attacking their convoys
with any chance of success, and my followers could not be brought to
engage in any daring enterprise without the prospect of booty. The
feeling of patriotism appeared, indeed, to be extinct in the breasts of
Spaniards, and after a few weeks my band, which was nowhere well
received, having been induced to commit excesses in some of the villages
situated in the open country about Arcos, several parties of royalist
volunteers were formed to proceed in quest of us; and so disheartened
were my followers, that I shortly found my band reduced to a dozen
desperadoes, who, like myself, had no hopes of obtaining pardon.

We betook ourselves, therefore, to the innermost recesses of the Ronda
mountains, moving constantly from place to place, as well to harass our
pursuers, as to avoid being surrounded by them; and such is the
intricacy of the country, and so numerous are the rocky fastnesses of
the smugglers (from whom we were always sure of a good reception), that
we readily baffled all pursuit, and exhausted the patience of our
enemies; and, at length, seizing a favourable opportunity of inflicting
a severe loss upon one of their parties, the patriotic zeal of these
gentry so completely evaporated, that we were left in the undisturbed
command of the Serranía.

All hope of being serviceable to our country at an end, we were
compelled, as a last resource, to adopt the only calling to which we
were suited, viz., that of highway robbers; and for several months every
road between Gibraltar and Malaga, and the inland towns, was, in turn,
subject to our predaceous visits.

On one occasion a dignitary of the church, whose name and particular
station it would not be prudent of me to mention, fell into our hands.
His attendants, who were of a militant order, defended their master with
great obstinacy. They were eventually overpowered, however, but several
of my men having been badly wounded in the scuffle, were so
exasperated, that they determined to shoot all those who had fallen into
our hands, as well as the ---- himself; who, though he had not taken an
active part in the combat, had made no attempt to restrain his
pugnacious adherents.

As soon as our prisoners had been secured, therefore, the portly
ecclesiastic was directed to descend from his sleek mule, deliver up his
money, and prepare for death. He inveighed in eloquent terms at our
barbarity, pointed out to us the iniquity of our proceedings, the
probability of a speedy punishment overtaking us in this life, and the
certainty of having to endure everlasting torments in that which is to
come. But it was to no purpose; indeed, it only tempted my miscreants to
prolong his misery; and, having tied him to a tree, they insisted upon
his blessing them all round, ere they proceeded to shoot him.

"My children," said the worthy ----, "my blessing, from the tone in which
you ask it, would serve you little. My life is in the hands of my Maker,
not in your's; and if it be His pleasure to make you the instruments of
his divine will, so be it. I am prepared; death has no terrors for me;
and may you obtain _His_ forgiveness for the sin you are about to
commit, as readily as I grant you _mine_. Now, I am ready;" and, looking
upwards to the seat of all power and grace, he paid no further
attention to their scoffing.

"Now Señor Bias," said one of my men, "since he will give us no more
sport, give the word, and let us finish his business."

"Hold!" exclaimed one of the ----'s suite, addressing me, "Is your name
Blas Maldonado?"

"It is: wherefore?"

"Because, if such be the case, in his Excellency's _portefuille_ you
will find a letter addressed to you."

I forthwith proceeded to examine its contents, and, true enough, found a
letter bearing my address. It was from my old friend _Jacobo_,
requesting, should the ---- fall into my hands, that I would suffer him
to pass without molestation, in return for services conferred on him,
which would be explained at our next meeting.[146]

_Jacobo_, though we had not met for many months, I knew was in that part
of the country, following the honest calling of a _Contrabandista_, and
I felt, in honour, bound to grant this request of my old friend and ever
faithful lieutenant. My followers, however, objected strongly to spare
either the ----, or his attendants, and a violent altercation ensued;
for, I declared that my life must be taken ere that of any one of our

Four only of the band sided with me, and we had already assumed a
hostile attitude, when the ---- called earnestly upon me to desist.

"Peril not your sinful souls!" he exclaimed, "by hurrying each other,
unrepented of your manifold sins, into the presence of an offended
Maker.--Take our gold--take every thing we possess; and if those
misguided men cannot be satisfied without blood, let mine flow to save
the lives of these, my followers, who have stronger ties than I to bind
them to this world."

My hot temper, little used to contradiction, would listen, however, to
no terms; my word was pledged that the ---- and his attendants should go
free, and my word was never given in vain. I persisted, therefore, in
declaring that those must pass over my body who would touch a hair of
the ----'s head, or take a m_aravedi_ from his purse.... If he chose to
make them a present after he had been released, he was his own master to
do so.

This delicate hint was eagerly seized by the worthy dignitary's
attendants, and a large sum of money was distributed amongst the gang,
in which I declined sharing. The ----, meanwhile, remounted his mule,
and, calling me to his side, placed a valuable ring upon my finger. "I
am indebted to you for my life, Blas Maldonado," he said, with the most
lively emotion; "but that is little; I owe to you--what I value
infinitely more--the safety of these faithful attendants, whose
attachment had led them, like Simon Peter, to defend their Pastor. Such
debts cannot be cancelled by any gift I can bestow, and it is not with
that view I offer you this bauble, but a day may come when you may need
an intercessor--if so, return this ring to me by some faithful member of
our holy church, and let me know how I can serve you: or--which is
probable, considering my age and infirmities--should I, ere that comes
to pass, have been called from this world to give an account of my
stewardship; then, fear not to lay it at the foot of Fernando's throne,
and, in the name of its donor, beg for mercy. I trust you may not have
occasion to require its services, for my prayers shall not be wanting
for your conversion from your present evil ways--my blessing be upon

How powerful is the influence of religion! Whilst listening to the
worthy ----'s words, my head, which since the days of my childhood no
act of devotion had ever led me to uncover, was bared as if by instinct;
and, to receive the blessing he had called down upon me, I humbled
myself to the earth!

Although those of the band who had so vehemently opposed sparing
the ----'s life had finally been satisfied with the _donation_ bestowed
upon them, yet their disobedience made me determine on ejecting them
from my band, and accordingly, accompanied only by my four supporters in
the late dispute, I proceeded to my old rendezvous, Montejaque, hoping
to pick up some recruits. I purposed, also, availing myself of the first
favourable opportunity to remove my wife and child to that place, it
being more conveniently situated, and offering greater security than
even Cañete la Real.

We had been there but a few days, when I received a letter without a
signature, but in the well-known characters of my bosom friend, Miguel
Clavijo, under whose protection I had placed my wife and child, giving
warning of impending danger to them. There was yet time to avert it, my
correspondent concluded, but in twenty-four hours from the date of this
communication, their fate would probably be sealed.

It was within two hours of sunset when I received this letter, and eight
hours had already elapsed since it had been written. Not a moment,
therefore, was to be lost. I procured a pillion, and, placing it on an
active horse, set off with all possible haste for Cañete, keeping along
the course of the river Ariate to avoid the town of Ronda, and
traversing at full speed the village bearing the name of the stream, in
order to escape recognition.

I reached the rounded summit of the chain of hills which forms the
northern boundary of the cultivated valley of Ronda, just as the sun was
sinking behind the western mountains; and, checking my horse to give him
a few moments' breath ere commencing the rugged descent on the opposite
side, I turned round to see if all were quiet in the wide-spread plain I
had just traversed, and that no one was following my traces. At this
moment the last ray of the glorious luminary lit upon the distant town
of Grazalema. The remarkable coincidence of the warning of treason I had
received there on this very day, twelve years before, came vividly to
mind, and with it the recollection of my extraordinary escape from the
snare laid for me--the debt of gratitude due to her who had risked her
life, and sacrificed her honour to save me--the cruelty with which my
preserver had been treated. Poor abandoned Paca! From the moment of our
angry separation, never had I once taken the trouble of enquiring what
had been her fate. Scarcely, indeed, had I ever bestowed a thought upon

I resumed my way down the rough descent, pondering, for the first time
in my life, on the ingratitude I had been guilty of, and had reached
some high cliffs that border the road beneath the village of La Cuera
del Becerro, when a pistol was discharged within a few yards of me, and,
looking up, I saw a witchlike figure standing on the edge of the
precipice overhanging the path--It was Paca!

Had my eyes wished to deceive me, she would not have allowed them, for,
with a wild, demonaical laugh, she screamed out "_Adelante, Adelante,
embustero desalmado!_[147]--You will yet be in time to dig the grave for
your child, though too late to snatch your _wife_ from the arms of her
paramour. Forward, forward; recollect the old saying, '_no hay boda, sin
tornabóda_;'[148] you may have forgotten Paca of _Benaocaz_, but I shall
never forget Blas Maldonado. The creditor has ever a better memory than
the debtor. I have paid myself now, however--ride on, and see the
receipt I have left for you at Cañete--ha, ha, ha!"

There was something perfectly fiendish in her laughter. A horrible
presentiment possessed me.--With a hand tremulous with passion, I drew
forth a pistol and fired. Paca staggered, and fell backwards; but, not
waiting to see if she were killed, I put spurs to my horse, and hurried
forward to Cañete.

I rode straight to the house where I had left my wife, but it was
uninhabited. I turned from it with a shudder, and proceeded to the
abode of my faithful friend Clavijo, who was confined to his bed with
ague. He received me with a face foreboding evil.

"Where is my wife?" I hastily demanded--"my child, where is he?"

"Alas!" he replied, "why came you not earlier?"

"Earlier! how could that be? It is but twelve hours since your summons
was penned! Tell me, I implore you--what horrible misfortune has

"But twelve hours, say you?" exclaimed Clavijo; "It is now _three days_
since I intrusted my letter to Paca to convey to you! she it was who
informed me of the plot to carry off your wife, (which has been but too
truly effected,) and offered to be herself the bearer of my letter to
you at Montejaque, where she assured me you were. I have not seen her
since, and fancied she had not succeeded in finding you."

I stood stupified whilst listening to this explanation--for such it was
to me; the truth, the horrible truth, at once flashing upon me--and
then, without waiting to obtain further information from the bed-ridden
Miguel, hastened to the late residence of my wife, which one of his
domestics pointed out to me. In few words, I explained to its owner the
object of my visit, begging for information concerning my child. "This
will explain all, Señor Blas," she replied, taking a letter from a
cupboard, and placing it in my hands; "would to God it had been in my
power to prevent what has happened."

The letter was in my wife's hand-writing, I tore it open, and to my
astonishment read as follows.

"Monster of iniquity! The veil that has but too long concealed thy
unequalled crimes from the eyes of a confiding woman, has been rudely
torn aside. Murderer of my brother! Apostate! Traitor! Adulterer!
receive at my hands the first stroke of the Almighty's anger. The
illegitimate offspring of our intercourse lies a mangled corpse upon our
adulterous bed! Yes, unparalleled villain; my hand, like thine own, is
stained with the blood of my child--_our_ child. But on thy head rests
the sin. In a moment of delirium, produced by the sight of my husband,
and the knowledge of thy atrocious crimes, the horrid deed was
committed. I leave thee to the pangs of remorse. I cannot curse thee.
Even with the bleached corpse of my poor boy before me, I cannot bring
myself to call down a heavy punishment upon thee. We shall never meet
again; but fly instantly and save thyself if possible; and may the
Almighty Being, whose every command thou hast violated, extend the term
of thy life for repentance; and may a blessed Saviour and the holy
saints, whose mediation thou hast ever derided, intercede for the
salvation of thy sinful soul."

My first feeling on reading this epistle was incredulity! _I_, who had
stopped at no crime to gratify any evil passion; even I could not
persuade myself that it was not a forgery, nor believe that one so
gentle, so affectionate, as Engracia, could be guilty of so diabolical
an act. I took up a lamp and walked composedly to the adjoining chamber,
to satisfy my doubts. With a steady hand I drew aside the curtain of the
bed--nothing was visible. A thrill of delight ran through my veins. I
tore off the counterpane, and--horrible revulsion of
feeling!--discovered my boy, my darling boy, with anguish depicted in
every feature, and every muscle contracted with excessive suffering; a
cold--black--fetid--putrid corpse!

Until that moment I had not known the full extent to which the chords of
the human heart are capable of being stretched. All my love of life had
centred in that child. Each of his infantile endearments came fresh upon
my memory. The pangs of jealousy and hate, too, had never before been so
acutely felt; and, lastly, I thought of my Fernando's dying malediction!
It seemed as if a poisoned dart had pierced to the very innermost recess
of the heart, and that my envenomed blood waited but its extraction, to
gush forth in one irrepressible flood.

I stood speechless--awe-struck--motionless; but not yet humbled. I
thought of Paca, and a curse rose to my throat; but ere I had time to
give it utterance, a noise, as of many persons assembled at the door of
the house, attracted my attention, and I heard an unknown voice say,
"This, _Tio_, you are sure is the house? Then in with you, comrades,
without ceremony, and bring out every soul you may find there, dead or

In another moment the door was broken open and a party of armed men
rushed in. My precaution of extinguishing the lamp was vain, as several
of them bore blazing torches. I rushed to a back window of the inner
apartment, and drew forth a pistol to keep them at bay whilst I effected
my escape by it. It had the desired effect. Not one of the dastard crew
would approach to lay his hand upon me. The shutter was already thrown
open; the strength of desperation had enabled me to tear down one of the
iron bars of the _reja_; and one foot rested on the window-sill; when,
rushing past the soldiers, a ghost-like female figure, whose face was
bound up in a cloth clotted with gore, seized me in her convulsive
grasp, and in a half-articulate scream cried, "Wretch! you shall not so
escape me!"--It was Paca! I tried in vain to shake her off; she clung to
me with the pertinacity of a vampire, I placed the muzzle of my pistol
to her temple, and pulled the trigger; but, in my hurry, I had drawn
that which I had already fired at her. I attempted to snatch another
from my belt, but the soldiers taking courage rushed forward and
overpowered me, just as Paca, from whose mouth I now perceived blood was
rapidly issuing, fell exhausted upon the floor.

The commander of the party was now called in, who gave directions for a
priest and a surgeon to be instantly sent for, and that I should be
bound hand and foot with cords. They took the bedding from under the
corpse of my son to form a rest for Paca, whose life seemed ebbing

In a few minutes the surgeon arrived, and shortly after a tinkling bell
announced the approach of the Host. The doctor having examined Paca's
wounds, pronounced them to have been inflicted by the discharge of some
weapon loaded with slugs, one of which had fractured her jaw-bone,
whilst another had inflicted a wound that occasioned an inward flow of
blood which threatened immediate dissolution, and consequently the
services of the church were more likely to be beneficial than his own.
The priest then approached, and offered the last and cheering
consolation that our holy religion offers to a dying penitent.

Paca opened her now lustreless eyes, and with a motion of impatience,
putting aside the proffered cup, pointed to me. "There is my murderer,"
she muttered in broken accents; "Villain! monster! my vengeance is at
length complete. I leave you in the hands of justice, and die ...
happy." An agonized writhe belied her assertion. She never spoke after,
but continued groaning whilst the worthy priest attempted to call her
attention to her approaching end.

I have not much more to add to my history. It appeared, by what I learnt
afterwards, that Beltran had most miraculously escaped death, when
thrown from the rock of Montejaque, and having been discovered by some
French soldiers who made an attack upon the place a few days afterwards,
was conveyed to Ronda, when the loss of his ears led to his being
recognised by the French governor, who had, in the meanwhile, received
my _present_, and discovered the trick I had played him.

Beltran's tale thus proved to have been the true one, he was
well-treated, and sent with a party of prisoners to France, where he
remained until the conclusion of the war. He was then on his way back to
his native country, in company with several other Spaniards, when he was
arrested as being an accomplice, "_sans préméditation_," in a robbery,
attended with loss of life, and was sentenced to ten years'
imprisonment; but, before this term was fully completed, he obtained
his release, returned to Spain, and proceeding immediately to his native
province, there first learnt that Engracia had become my wife.

I think, by the way, that in the former part of my narrative I omitted
to mention--for fully persuaded as I _then_ was of Beltran's death, it
was a matter of no moment--that previous to Engracia's becoming my wife,
she informed me of her having, at the urgent instances of her brother
Melchor, consented to a private marriage with my rival; and from this
circumstance she had expressed the greatest anxiety to ascertain his
fate with certainty, and had delayed for so long a period bestowing her
hand upon me.

This marriage with Beltran had taken place at Gaucin within an hour of
my departure from that town, after making the arrangements for our
combined attack on Ronda; and had been strongly advocated by Melchor,
from an apprehension that, should any thing happen to him in the
approaching conflict, his elder brother, Alonzo, who was kept in perfect
ignorance of this proceeding, would abandon his friend Beltran, and
insist on their sister's marrying me, whom he (Melchor) detested.

I, however, as you are aware, had every reason to believe that Beltran
had been killed by his fall from the rock of Montejaque; and therefore,
on eventually eliciting from Engracia the reason of her reluctance to
marry me, I had no scruple in declaring that Beltran's dead body had
been seen rolling down the shallow pebbly bed of the Guadiaro, after our
action with the French. The crime I had led her to commit was
consequently unintentional. Would I could as easily acquit myself of
another her letter accused me of, namely, that of being the murderer of
her brother: for, through my machinations was his death brought about.

Whilst the crop-eared traitor, Beltran, (the _Tio's_ revengeful feelings
were not so entirely allayed as to prevent his bestowing an occasional
term of reproach on those who had thwarted his prosperous career of
iniquity) was skulking about the mountains, endeavouring to obtain
tidings of his re-married wife, chance threw him in the way of Paca,
engaged in a similar pursuit, but with a very different purpose.

This wretched woman had, for many years after our separation, been the
inmate of a mad-house; but, at length, her keepers finding that,
excepting on the subject of her supposed wrongs, she was perfectly
tractable, became careless of watching her, and she effected her escape.

The sole object of this vindictive creature's life appears now to have
been to wreak vengeance upon me. But not satisfied with the mere death
of her victim, she sought first to torture him with worldly pangs; and
informed that Engracia lived, and had given birth to a son, whom I loved
with a more fervent affection than even the mother, she determined
_they_ should first be sacrificed to her revenge.

On discovering Beltran alive, however, a scheme yet more hellishly
devised entered her imagination; in the execution of which he became a
willing agent, though in some degree her dupe.

Well acquainted with all my haunts, she soon got upon my track; and that
discovered, had little difficulty in finding out the hiding-place of
Engracia. Making a shrewd guess at the person under whose protection I
had placed my wife and child, she forthwith presented herself to Don
Miguel, and informed him that a plot was laid, and on the eve of
execution, to carry them both off; adding, that it might yet be
frustrated if I could but arrive at Cañete within twenty-four
hours--that she knew where I then was, and would undertake to have any
warning conveyed to me which his prudence might suggest--that her
messenger was sure, but still the utmost caution, as well as despatch,
was necessary.

Miguel, quite taken by surprise, and unable from illness to leave his
bed, wrote the short note which has already been given; and this point
gained, Paca proceeded to the nearest town to give information to the
authorities that the bandit Blas, whom they were seeking in every
direction, was to be at Cañete la Real on a certain night; and proposed,
if a detachment of troops was sent quietly to the neighbouring village
of El Becerro, that she would repair thither at the proper time, and
conduct the soldiers to the traitor's very lair.

This proposal was readily acceded to, and Paca then repaired to Cañete,
to tell Miguel not to be uneasy as to the result of his message to me,
as, since sending it, she had ascertained on good authority that
something had occurred to postpone the elopement of Engracia for a day
or two.

Bending her steps thence to where Beltran was anxiously awaiting her
return, she told him that after much difficulty she had discovered
Engracia was at Cañete; he had therefore but to proceed there after
dark, provided with the means of carrying her off. But this, she
informed him, must be done with the utmost celerity and circumspection,
as the inhabitants of the place were so desperate a set, and so attached
to me, that, if they got the slightest inkling of what was going
forward, they certainly would handle him very roughly; and the
authorities, unless backed by a body of troops, would be afraid to
interfere in his behalf.

If, however, she pursued, he preferred waiting until an escort could be
procured, that he might avoid all personal risk--but delays were
dangerous, for frequently

    _"De la mano a la boca_
          _se cae la sopa._"[149]

The law, too, was uncertain.--He thought so also, and they proceeded
together to Cañete.

Beltran, imagining that Paca had informed Engracia of his being alive,
conceived that no intimation of his coming was requisite; but such was
not the case, and the shock given by his unexpected visit caused the
aberration of mind which led the hapless Engracia to commit the horrid
crime of infanticide; and, in the state of inanition that followed, she
was carried out of the town.

The letter to me was written afterwards, and delivered to the old woman
of the house by Paca, the last act of whose fiendish plot now commenced.

Altering the date of Miguel's letter, so as to make it correspond with
the time arranged for the arrival of the troops at _La Cueva del
Becerro_, she forwarded it to me at Montejaque--what followed has
already been stated.

These details became known on my trial, which took place shortly
afterwards. I was condemned to suffer death by the _garrote_. The day
was fixed; I sent for a priest, and entrusting to him the ring given me
by the ----, begged he would forward it without delay to Madrid.

This was done, but day after day passed without bringing any answer to
my appeal. At first I had been so sanguine as to the result, that I was
affected but little at my position, for I knew how easily a pardon is
obtained in Spain, when application is made in the proper quarter; but,
as the fatal time approached, the darkest despair took possession of my

I cannot indeed convey to you, Don Carlos, an adequate idea of the
horrible torments I endured during the last few days preceding that
fixed for my execution. The pious father Ignacio--he has since (sainted
soul!) been taken from this earth, and is now, I trust, my intercessor
in heaven--was unremitting in his endeavours to bring me to repentance;
but Satan was yet strong within me, and my heart remained hardened. The
pardon came not, and I exclaimed against the justness of the Most High:
I, whom no considerations of justice had influenced in any one action of
my life--who had recklessly transgressed each of His commandments!

"We must not ask for _justice_ at the hands of the Almighty," urged
Ignacio; "We are all born in sin, in sin we all live; _mercy_ is what we
must pray for."

"Mercy!" I exclaimed; "_Why_ was I born in sin? Why led to commit crime?

"Your unbridled passions led you to transgress the laws of your
Creator," replied Ignacio; "be thankful that you were not cut short in
your mad career, and that time has been allowed you for repentance."

"Repent!--I cannot--I have ever denied, I cannot now believe in the
existence of a Maker."

"Unhappy man!" ejaculated the worthy priest; "unhappy, impious,
inconsistent man! You deny the existence of the Being against whose
justice your voice was raised e'en now in reproaches! Do you not look
forward to behold again to-morrow the bright luminary round which this
atom of a world revolves? Look on that pale moon, which perhaps you now
see rising for the last time--Observe that fiery meteor which has this
moment dashed through the wondrous, boundless firmament; and ask
yourself if this admirable system can be the effect of accident? Do the
trees yearly yield us their fruits by chance? Is the punctual return of
the seasons a mere casualty? If so, how is it that this accidental
atom--this globe we inhabit, has so long held together _without_
accident? Has any work of man, however cunningly devised, in like manner
withstood the effects of time? Is not the protecting hand of the Deity
clearly perceptible in the unvarying continuance of these phenomena?

"My son, had you studied the Holy Scriptures more, and the philosophy of
Voltaire and other infidels less, you would not have been brought to
this strait; neither would you have shocked my ears with a confession,
which, a few years since, would have consigned you to the dungeons of
the Inquisition. Repent! unhappy man, repent! and save your soul--there
is still time. Nay, an omnipotent Maker may even yet think fit to
prolong your life here below, for the perfection of this good work, if
you will but pray to him in all sincerity."

The pious father saw that I was touched, and, pouring in promises of
future happiness, brought me to reflect. I begged him to be with me
early on the following morning. He came; I had passed the night in
prayer; and now unburdened my mind, by making to him a full confession
of my sins.

Ignacio remained comforting me, until the hour of the arrival of the
post, when he repaired, as usual, to the _Corregidor_, to ascertain
whether any pardon had reached him. He returned not, however. Eleven
o'clock was the hour fixed for my execution; it came, but still Ignacio
did not appear. Hours passed away, and not a soul visited me; the sun
again sank below the horizon, and I yet lived.

It was evident--so, at least, I thought--that a pardon had arrived, and
my spirits rose accordingly. At length, towards nightfall, Ignacio
entered my cell. "Blas," he said, "though it would appear there is no
longer a chance of your receiving a pardon, yet your life has been
miraculously spared this day, to give you time for repentance. I trust
you have turned it to good account."

"How!" I exclaimed, "have I not been pardoned? What, then, has
occasioned this delay?"

"You owe your life," he replied, "to a rumour, that a band of robbers
had appeared in the vicinity--some of your old friends, it was
thought--which caused all the troops to be sent out in pursuit. They
have but now returned, and to-morrow you will be executed."

A pang of withering disappointment ran through me, for I had confidently
imagined that the delay had been the consequence of the arrival of a
pardon, and Satan once more obtained dominion over me.

Ignacio read in my overcast countenance the change his information had
wrought in my feelings. "Your repentance is not sincere, my son," he
observed. "Alas! when death is in sight, how fondly do we cling to this
earth. And yet you have braved death in the field a thousand times!"

"Father," I replied, "it is not death I fear--it is the disgrace of a
public execution."

"What absurd sophistry is this?" said he. "Can one, who but yesterday
denied the existence of a future state, care for one moment _how_ he
quits this world, or regard the opinion of those he leaves behind in
it?--as well might he be fearful of losing the good opinion of a herd of
swine. Away with such fine-spun subtilties--it is the prospect of
meeting your Maker face to face that makes you quail. You are yet but
ill prepared, I see. Oh! may He yet mercifully extend your life, if but
a short span."

The morrow came, but the pious Ignacio's prayer remained apparently
unheard. He repaired to my call soon after the arrival of the post, to
exhort and prepare me. Alas! I was as much in want of his assistance as
ever, for I had all along clung to the hope of obtaining a pardon
through the influence of the ----, and was more inclined to rail than to

A party of soldiers at length arrived, and I was led off in chains to
the place of execution. A vast crowd was assembled from all the
neighbouring towns to witness my punishment. Ignacio addressed the
multitude on our way, saying, I was a repentant sinner, and implored the
prayers of all good Christians. For myself I said not a word, and the
crowd gave no signs of either gratification or commiseration. I mounted
the scaffold, the fatal instrument was placed round my throat, a curse
was yet on my lips, when a distant shout attracted the Father's
attention. Laying a hand upon the arm of the executioner to stay his
proceedings, he watched with eager eyes the signs of some one who was
approaching at a rapid pace, holding a paper high in the air. The paper
was handed to Ignacio by the breathless messenger. "It is a pardon," he
exclaimed; "your life is miraculously spared--it has been sent express
from the Escurial! Return your thanks, to Him, who has been pleased thus
to extend his mercy towards you."

I had already sunk on my knees--I prayed earnestly for the first time in
my life.

Marvellously, indeed, had my life been preserved. But for the rumoured
appearance of the band of robbers, I should have suffered death the day
before; again, this day, but for Ignacio's presence, the pardon would
have arrived too late.

I was immediately released, but a fever, caused, probably, by my
previously excited feelings, confined me to my bed for many weeks. I
became delirious, and my life was despaired of. Ignacio tended me like a
brother. A second time he saved my life; but, alas! he himself
contracted the contagious disorder, and fell a victim to his warm and
disinterested friendship.

I expended all I was worth in masses for his soul, and was once more
thrown upon the world to seek a livelihood.

I thought of applying to the ---- to procure me some employment, but
learnt that he too had closed his mortal career. The fever had given
such a shock to my constitution, that old age, I may say, came suddenly
upon me, and to gain a livelihood by hard labour was out of the
question. I had no relations; my friends were all new; so that I had no
claims on any one: my present occupation presented itself, as the only
one I was fit for; and, thank God, it enables me to earn my bread
without begging, and even to lay by a little store for pious
purposes:--for much of my time is devoted to the performance of penances
and austerities, to expiate the sins of my past life. Thrice, on my
knees, have I ascended to the _Ermita_ you see there peeping through the
clouds gathered round the peaks of the Sierra Morena. Once, too, have I
walked barefoot to prostrate myself before the _Santa faz_[150] of Jaen;
and this winter (God willing!) I purpose visiting the most holy shrine
of _Sant' Iago de Compostela_.

It is a long journey, and will, probably, be my last pilgrimage, for I
feel myself sinking fast.

You have now had the history of my whole life, Don Carlos--I wish it
could be published. It might, probably, warn my fellow-creatures to rest
contented with the lot to which it has pleased God to call them; and, if
so, I may have lived to some purpose.



I found Cordoba the same dull, sultry, loyal city as at the period of my
former visit; after devoting a day, therefore, to the incomparable
_Mezquita_, we repaired to the police office to redeem our passports,
and have them _visé_ for Madrid, purposing to proceed to the capital by
_Diligence_. We there learnt, however, that our route from Gibraltar,
having passed _near_ the district wherein the cholera had appeared, the
public safety demanded that our journey should be continued on
horseback, and, moreover, that each day's ride should not exceed eight

The prospect of a fortnight's baking on the parched plains of La Mancha
and Castile, which this preposterous precaution held out, was, of
itself, enough to make any one _crusty_; but the additional vexation of
finding that all our precautions had been unavailing, all our
information erroneous, made us return to the _posada_, thoroughly out of
humour with _Las Cosas de España_. Our landlord comforted us, however,
by engaging--if we would but wait patiently for a few days, and leave
the business entirely in his hands--to get matters arranged so that we
might yet proceed on to Madrid by the diligence; and, knowing the wheels
within wheels by which Spanish affairs of state are put in motion, we
willingly came to this compromise, and remained quietly paying him for
our breakfasts and dinners during the best part of a week, receiving
each day renewed assurances that every thing was proceeding

The second day after our arrival at Cordoba, the inhabitants were moved
to an unusual degree of excitement, in consequence of an _estafette_
having passed through the city during the night, bearing despatches from
Madrid to the Captain General of the Province, and rumours were afloat
that the king was so seriously ill as to occasion great fears for his
life; and, on the following day, public anxiety was yet further excited
by a report that the Captain General had passed through Cordoba on his
way to the capital; leading to the general belief that Ferdinand was
actually dead.

In the evening our host came to us with a very long face, and informed
us, confidentially, that such was the case, though, for political
reasons, it had been deemed prudent not to make the melancholy news
public; adding, that, in consequence of this unforeseen and unfortunate
event, he regretted to say the authorities had been seized with such a
panic, that he had altogether failed in his endeavour to have the stain
effaced from our bill of health. Nevertheless, he said, he hoped yet to
be able to arrange matters so as to ensure our being received into the
diligence, _without any questions being asked_ at Andujar, if we would
but remain quietly where we were for a few days longer, and then proceed
to that place on horseback.

The news received from Madrid had, however, decided us to give up the
plan of continuing our journey thither. I knew enough of Spain to
foresee what would be the result of all the intrigues which had been
carried on behind the curtains of the imbecile Ferdinand's death-bed.

"You are quite right, Señor," said Blas, to whom I made known our change
of plans, "we shall now have a disputed succession, for, be assured, Don
Carlos is not the man to forego his just rights without a
struggle.--Alas! this only was wanting to fill my unhappy country's cup
of misery to overflowing."

Although thus unwillingly forced to abandon the project of crossing the
Sierra Morena, we determined, whilst the country yet remained quiet, to
extend our tour further to the eastward, and, by proceeding along the
_arrecife_ to Madrid as far as Andujar, gain the road which leads from
thence to Jaen; a city, which the want of practicable roads leading from
it to the south has, until late years (during which that deficiency has
been remedied), been very rarely visited by travellers.

Recommending Señor Blas to postpone his projected barefoot pilgrimage
into Gallicia, until the rainy season had set in, and made the roads
soft, we departed from Cordoba by the great post route to the capital,
which, as far as Alcolea, is conducted along the right bank of the
Guadalquivír, and is a fine, broad, and well-kept gravel road.

Alcolea is seven miles from Cordoba. It is a small village of but twenty
or thirty houses, and, in the opinion of Florez, occupies the site of
the ancient town of Arva. The _arrecife_ here crosses to the left bank
of the river by a handsome marble bridge, of eighteen arches, built in
1788-92. The passage of this bridge was obstinately contested by the
Spaniards, in the campaign of 1808, but a party of the French, which
had crossed the river at Montoro, falling upon its defenders in flank,
forced them to retreat.

From hence to Carpio is ten miles. The country is undulated, and the
road--along which there is not a single village, and scarcely half a
dozen houses--keeps within sight of the Guadalquivír the whole way,
affording many pleasing views of the winding stream and its overhanging
woods and olive groves.

The town of Carpio is left about a quarter of a mile off, on the right.
It is situated on a hill, and by some is supposed to be the ancient city
of Corbulo. Pliny, however, distinctly says that place was _below_
Cordoba, and Florez fixes it in the vicinity of Palma.

From Carpio to Aldea del Rio is twelve miles, the country continuing
much the same as heretofore. At three miles, the road reaches the small
town of Pedro Abad (or Perabad) in the vicinity of which is a
_despoblado_,[151] where various medals and vestiges have been found
that determine it to be the site of Sacili, mentioned by Pliny.

Proceeding onwards, the town of Bujalance may occasionally be seen on
the right, distant about a league and a half from the Guadalquivír; and
at seven miles from Carpio, we passed Montoro, a large town situated on
the margin of the river, and about three quarters of a mile to the left
of the _arrecife_. This town has been determined by antiquaries to be

The country about Aldea del Rio is rather pretty, and the place has a
thriving look compared with the miserable towns we had lately seen; its
population is about 1,800 souls. We halted here for the night, and found
the _posada_ most wretched.

At a distance of nine (geographic) miles from Aldea del Rio, in a
south-east direction, is the town of Porcuna; its situation, Florez
justly observes, agreeing so well with that of Obulco, as given both by
Strabo[152] and Pliny,[153] as to leave no doubt of their identity.
Inscriptions, monuments, coins, &c., which have been found there, quite
confirm this opinion, and an important point is thus gained in tracing
the operations of Cæsar in his last campaign against the sons of Pompey;
since Obulco, which he is mentioned as having reached in twenty-seven
days from Rome, may be considered the advanced post of the country that
was favourable to his cause.

The present ignoble name of the town--Porcuna,--appears to have been
bestowed upon it from the extraordinary fecundity of a _sow_; an
inscription, commemorative of the birth of thirty young pigs at one
litter, being preserved to this day in the church of the Benedictine
friars, and is thus worded:--

                          C. CORNELIVS. C. F.
                             CN. GAL. CÆSO.
                          AED. FLAMEN. II. VIR
                           MVNICIPII. PONTIF
                           C. CORN. CÆSO. F.
                       SACERDOS. GENT. MVNICIPII
                         SCROFAM CVM PORCIS XXX
                            IMPENSA IPSORVM.
                                 D. D.

From Aldea del Rio to Andujar is fourteen miles, making the whole
distance from Cordoba to that place forty-three miles. The country is
very gently undulated, and principally under tillage; the ride, however,
is dreary, there being but one house on the road.

Andujar stands altogether on the right bank of the Guadalquivír, which
is crossed by a bridge of nine arches. The town is reputed to contain a
population of 12,000 souls, but that number is a manifest exaggeration.
It is encompassed by old Roman walls, and defended by an ancient castle,
and is celebrated for its manufacture of pottery. It is, nevertheless, a
dilapidated, impoverished looking place.

By some Andujar is supposed to be the Illiturgi,[154] or, as it is
otherwise written, Illurtigis of the ancient historians; but Florez
fixes the site of that city two leagues higher up, but on the same bank
of the Guadalquivír, and imagines Andujar to be Ipasturgi. The locality
of the existing town certainly but ill agrees with the description of
Illurtigis given by Livy, for no part of Andujar is "covered by a high

The _arrecife_ to Madrid leaves the banks of the Guadalquivír at
Andujar, striking inland to Baylen, and thence across the Sierra Morena
by the pass of _Despeña Perros_. After devoting a few hours to exploring
the old walls of the town, we recrossed the river, and bent our steps
towards Granada, taking the road to Jaen.

We proceeded that afternoon to Torre Ximena, twenty miles from Andujar.
The country is undulated, and mostly under cultivation. The road is--or,
more properly, I should say, perhaps, the places upon the road are--very
incorrectly laid down on the Spanish maps; for, instead of being
scattered east and west over the face of the country, they are so nearly
in line, as to make the general direction of the road nearly straight.
Though but a cross-country track, it is tolerably good throughout. The
first town it visits is Arjona, said to be the ancient Urgao, or
Virgao.[156] It is a poor place, of some twelve or fifteen hundred
inhabitants, and distant seven miles from the Guadalquivír.

Five miles beyond Arjona, but lying half pistol shot off the road to the
right, is the miserable little village of Escañuela; and three miles
further on, the equally wretched town of Villa Don Pardo. From hence to
Torre Ximeno (five miles) the road traverses a vast plain, but, ere we
had proceeded half way, night overtook us, and on reaching the town we
found all the entrances most carefully closed.

After making various attempts to gain admission--groping our way from
one barricade to another, until we had nearly completed the circuit of
the town--we perceived a light glimmering at some little distance in the
country, and hoping it proceeded from some _rancha_, where we might
obtain shelter from an approaching storm, if not accommodation for the
night, we spurred our jaded animals towards it as fast as the ruggedness
of the ground would admit. It proved, however, to be only the remains of
a fire made for the purpose of destroying weeds; but a peasant lad, who
was warming his evening meal over the expiring embers, pointed out a
path leading to one of the town gates, at which, he said, we might,
perhaps, gain admission.

Following his directions, we found the gate without much trouble; but a
difficulty now arose that promised to be of a more insuperable nature,
namely, that of _awaking the guard_, for the combined efforts of our
voices proved quite inadequate to the purpose.

It was very vexatious, but irresistibly ludicrous; and, prompted by this
mixed feeling of wrath and merriment, we determined to try what effect
would be produced by a general discharge of our pistols, and,
accordingly riding close up to the gate, fired a volley in the air.

A tremendous discharge of _carajos!_ responded to our _salvo_, and
soldiers, policemen, custom-house officers, and health-officers, sallied
forth, helter skelter, from the guard-house and adjacent dwellings,
making off "with the very extremest inch of possibility," under the
impression that the place was attacked.

One _aduanero_, however, more enterprising and valiant than the rest,
ventured to peep through the bars of the stockade and demand our
business; on learning which he encouragingly invited the _urbanos_ to
return to their _military duty_, whilst he despatched a messenger to the
_Alcalde_ to request instructions for their further proceedings.

We were subjected meanwhile to a most vexatious detention, occasioned by
various causes. Firstly, because the village dictator was nowhere to be
found. He had--so it eventually turned out--started from his comfortable
seat at the fire of the _posada_ (where, surrounded by a knot of
politicians, he was discussing the justice of abrogating the Salique
law), at the first report of our fire-arms, and, wrapping his cloak
around him, had rushed into the street, declaring his intention of
meeting death like the last of the Palæologi, rather than be recognised
and spared, to grace the triumph of a victorious enemy. Then we had to
wait for the key of the gate, which had been carried off in the pocket
of one of the runaway soldiers; and, lastly, for a light, the guard-lamp
having been overturned in the general confusion, and all the oil spilt.

During the half hour's delay occasioned by these various untoward
circumstances, we were subjected to a long verbal examination, touching
the part of the country whence we had come; for having wandered round
the town in our attempts to gain admission, until we had reached a gate
at the very opposite point of the compass to that which points to
Andujar, the account we gave seemed to awaken great doubts of our
veracity in the minds of these vigilant functionaries; and, even after a
lantern had been brought, and our passports delivered up, we underwent a
minute personal examination, ere being permitted to repair to the

The Spaniards say, that we English are "_victimas de la etiqueta_;" and,
certes, we may compliment them, in return, on being the most complete
_slaves to form_. Instances in proof thereof,--which, though on a
smaller scale, were scarcely less laughable than the
foregoing,--occurred daily in the course of our journey. _Par example_,
on leaving the _venta_ at Fuente de Piedra, where our sleeping apartment
was little better than the stable into which it opened, the hostess
insisted on serving our morning cup of chocolate on a table partially
covered with a dirty towel, saying, it would not be "_decente_" to allow
us to take it standing at the kitchen fire.

Here again, at Torre Ximeno, the landlord was conducting us into what he
conceived to be a befitting apartment, when his better half cried out,
"_à la sala! à la sala!_"[157] We pricked up our ears, fancying we were
to be in clover. The _sala_, however, proved to be a room about ten feet
longer than that into which we were first shown, but in every other
respect its _fac simile_; that is to say, it had bare white-washed walls
and a plastered floor, was furnished with half a dozen low rush-bottomed
chairs, and ventilated by two apertures, which at some distant period
had been closed by shutters.

The floor presented so uneven a surface, and was marked with so many
rents, that, until encouraged by the landlord's "_no tiene usted
cuidado_,"[158] I was particularly careful where I placed my feet,
taking it to be a highly finished model of the circumjacent sierras and

After more than the usual difficulties about bills of health and
passports, we received a very civil message from the _Alcalde_, to say,
that his house, &c. &c., were at our disposal; but our host and his
helpmate seemed so well inclined to do what was in their power to make
us _comfortable_, that we declined his polite offer.

Our landlady was still remarkably pretty, though the mother of four
children--a rare occurrence in Spain, where mothers, however young they
may be, usually look like old women. We had some little difficulty in
persuading her that we did not like garlic, and that we should be
satisfied with a very moderate quantity of oil in the _guisado_[159] she
undertook to prepare for our supper, and on which, with bread and fruit,
and some excellent wine, we made a hearty meal.

Contrasts in Spain are most absurd. We slept on thin woollen mattresses,
spread upon the before-mentioned mountainous floor--the serrated ridges
of which we had some little difficulty in fitting to our ribs--and in
the morning were furnished with towels bordered with a kind of thread
lace and fringe to the depth of at least eighteen inches; very
ornamental, but by no means useful, since the serviceable part of the
towel was hardly get-at-able.

On asking our hostess for the bill, we were referred to her husband,
which, as the Easterns say, led us to regard her with the eyes of
astonishment; for this reference from the lady and mistress to her
helpmate, is the exception to the rule, and it was to save trouble we
had applied to her, experience having taught us that the landlady was
generally the oracle on these occasions; _invariably_, indeed, when
there is any intention to cheat.

This, without explanation, may be deemed a most ungallant accusation; I
do not mean by it, however, to screen my own sex at the expense of the
fairer, for the truth is, the man adds duplicity to his other sins, by
retiring from the impending altercation. This he does either from
thinking that imposition will come with a better grace from his better
half, or, that she will be more ingenious in finding out reasons for the
exorbitance of the demand, or, at all events, words in defending it; for
any attempt at expostulation is drowned in such a torrent of whys and
wherefores, that one is glad, _coute qui coute_, to escape from the
encounter. And thus, whilst the lady's volubility is extracting the
money from their lodger's pocket, mine host stands aloof, looking as
like a hen-pecked mortal as he possibly can, and shrugging his
shoulders from time to time, as much as to say, "It is none of my doing!
I would help you if I dare, but you see what a devil she is!"

On the present occasion, however, we had no reason to remonstrate, for,
to a very moderate charge, were added numerous excuses for any thing
that might have been amiss in our accommodation, in consequence of their
ignorance of our wants.

Torre Ximeno is situated in a narrow valley, watered by a fine stream;
its walls, however, reach to the crest of the hills on both sides, and
apparently rest on a Roman foundation. It contains a population of 1,800
souls. From hence a road proceeds, by way of Martos and Alcalà la Real,
to Granada, but it is more circuitous than that by Jaen.

From Torre Ximeno to that city is two long leagues, or about nine miles.
The road now takes a more easterly direction than heretofore, and, at
the distance of three miles, reaches the village of Torre Campo. The
rest of the way lies over an undulated country, which slants gradually
towards the mountains, that rise to the eastward.

Jaen is situated on the outskirts of the great Sierra de Susana, which,
dividing the waters of the Guadalquivír and Genil, spreads as far south
as the vale of Granada. The city is built on the eastern slope of a
rough and very inaccessible ridge, whose summit is occupied by an old
castle, enclosed by extensive outworks.

The ancient name of the place was Aurinx, and it appears to have stood
just without the limits of ancient Boetica. It is now the capital of
one of the kingdoms composing the province of Andalusia, and the see of
a bishop in the archbishoprick of Toledo. Its population amounts to at
least 20,000 souls.

Jaen is in every respect a most interesting city. It is frequently
mentioned by the Roman historians, was equally noted in the time of the
Moors, from whom it was wrested by San Fernando, A.D. 1246, and of late
years has held a distinguished place in the pages of military history.
Its situation is picturesque in the extreme, the bright city being on
the edge of a rich and fertile basin, encased by wild and lofty
mountains. The asperity of the country to the south is such indeed,
that, until within the last few years no road practicable for carriages
penetrated it, and Jaen has consequently been but very-little visited by
travellers; for Granada and Cordoba, being the great objects of
attraction, the most direct road between those two places was that which
was generally preferred.

A direct and excellent road has now, however, been completed, between
Granada and the capital, passing through Jaen. This route crosses the
Guadalquivír at Menjiber, and, directed thence on Baylen, falls into the
_arrecife_ from Cordoba to Madrid, ere it enters the défilés of the
Sierra Morena.

The castle of Jaen stands 800 feet above the city, and is still a fine
specimen of a Moslem fortress, though the picturesque has been
sacrificed to the defensive by various French additions and demolitions.
It crowns the crest of a narrow ridge much in the style of the castle of
Ximena, to which, in other respects, it also bears a strong resemblance.
Its tanks and subterraneous magazines are in tolerable preservation, but
the exterior walls of the fortress were partially destroyed by the
French, in their hurried evacuation of it in 1812.

The view it commands is strikingly fine. An extensive plain spreads
northward, reaching seemingly to the very foot of the distant Sierra
Morena, and on every other side rugged mountains rise in the immediate
vicinity of the city, which, clad with vines wherever their roots can
find holding ground, present a strange union of fruitfulness and

The city contains fifteen convents, and numerous manufactories of silk,
linen and woollen cloths, and mats, and has a thriving appearance. The
streets are, for the most part, so narrow, that, with outstretched
arms, I could touch the houses on both sides of them.

The cathedral is a very handsome edifice of Corinthian architecture, 300
feet long, and built in a very pure style; indeed every thing about it
is in good keeping for Spanish taste. The pavement is laid in chequered
slabs of black and white marble; the walls are hung with good paintings,
but not encumbered with them; the various altars, though enriched with
fine specimens of marbles and jaspers, are not gaudily ornamented; the
organ is splendid in appearance and rich in tone.

Some paintings by Moya, particularly a Holy Family, and the visit of
Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary, are remarkably good; and the _Capilla
sagrada_ contains several others by the same master, which are equally
worthy of notice: their frames of polished red marble have a good

The only specimens of sculpture of which the cathedral can boast, are
some weeping cherubim, done to the very life. The greatest curiosity it
contains is the figure of Our Saviour on the cross, dressed in a kilt;
but the treasure of treasures of the holy edifice, the proud boast of
the favoured city itself, in fact, is the _Santa faz_--the Holy face.

The _Santa faz_--so our conductor explained to us--is the impression of
Our Saviour's face, left in stains of blood on the white napkin which
bound up his head when deposited in the sepulchre. This cloth was thrice
folded over the face, so that three of these "_pinturas_," as the priest
called them, were taken. That of Jaen, he said, was the second or middle
one, the others are in Italy--where, I know not, but I have some
recollection of having heard of them when in that country.

This miraculous picture is only to be viewed on very particular
occasions, or by paying a very considerable fee; but we were perfectly
satisfied with our cicerone's assurance of its "striking resemblance" to
Our Saviour, without requiring the ocular demonstration he was most
solicitous to afford.

Attached to the cathedral is a kitchen for preparing the morning
chocolate of the priests, and which serves also as a snuggery,
where-unto they retire to smoke their _legitimos_ during the breaks in
their tedious lental services.

The _Parador de los Caballeros_, in the Plaza _del Mercado_ is
remarkably good, and the view from the front windows, looking towards
the castle is very fine.

The distance from Jaen to Granada, by the newly made _arrecife_, is
fifty-one miles. It descends gradually into the valley of the Campillos,
arriving at, and crossing the river about two miles from Jaen.

The valley is wide, flat, and covered with a rich alluvial deposit; and
extends for several leagues in both directions along the course of the
stream, encircling the city with an ever-verdant belt of cultivation.

For the succeeding three leagues, the road proceeds along this valley,
at first bordered with gardens, orchards, and vineyards, amongst which
numerous cottages and water-mills are scattered, but, after advancing
about five miles, overhung by rocky ridges, and occasionally shaded with

On a steep mound, on the right hand, forming the first mountain gorge
that the road enters, is situated the _Castillo de la Guarda_, and, at
the distance of three leagues from Jaen, is the _Torre de la Cabeza_,
similarly situated on the left of the road. Beyond this, another verdant
belt of cultivation gladdens the eye, extending about a mile and a half
along the course of the Campillos. In the midst of this, is the _Venta
del Puerto Suelo_, on arriving at which our _mozo_, who for several days
had been suffering from indisposition, came to inform us "_que no podía
mas_,"[160] requested we would leave him there to rest for a couple of
days; when he hoped to be able to rejoin us at Granada by means of a
_Galera_ that travelled the road periodically.

We could not but accede to his request, and as we purposed reaching
Granada on the following day, the loss of his attendance for so short a
period was of little importance; the only difficulty was, who should
lead the baggage animal.--Fortune befriended us.

On our arrival at the inn we had been accosted by a smart-looking young
fellow, in the undress uniform of a Spanish infantry soldier, who,
seeing the disabled state of our Esquire, volunteered his services to
lead our horses to the stable, and minister to their wants; and now,
learning from our _mozo_ how matters stood, he again came forward, and
offered to be our attendant during the remainder of the journey to
Granada, to which place he himself was proceeding.

We gladly accepted his proffered services, and, after a short rest,
remounted our horses, and pursued our way; the young soldier--like an
old campaigner--seating himself between our portmanteaus on the back of
the baggage animal. Whilst jogging on before us, I observed, for the
first time, that he carried a bright tin case suspended from his
shoulder by a silken cord, and curious to know the purpose to which it
was applied, asked what it contained.

Without uttering a word in reply, he took off the case, produced
therefrom a roll of parchment, and, spreading before us a long document
concluding with the words _Io el Rey_,[161] offered it for my perusal.
If my surprise was great at the length of the scroll, it was not
diminished on finding, after wading through the usual verbose and
bombastic preamble, that it dubbed our new acquaintance a knight of the
first class of _San Fernando_, and decorated him with the ribbon and
silver clasp of the same distinguished order.

On first addressing him at the Venta, I had noticed a bit of ribbon on
his breast, but, aware that the very smell of powder, even though it
should be but that of his own musket, often _entitles_ a Spanish soldier
to a decoration; and, indeed, that it is more frequently an
acknowledgment of so many months' pay due, than of so much good service
done,[162] I had abstained from questioning him concerning it; but that
the first class decoration of a military order should have been bestowed
on one so low in rank as a corporal, I confess, surprised me; and I
concluded that its possessor was either the brother of the mistress of
some great man, or that he was passing off some other person's _honors_
as his own.

Being a very young man, it was evident he could not have seen much
service; my suspicions were, therefore, excusable, and I took the
liberty of cross-questioning him concerning the fields wherein his
laurels had been gathered. The result gave me such satisfaction that I
feel in justice bound to make the _amende honorable_ to the gallant
fellow for the foul suspicions I had entertained, by giving my readers
his history. As, however, it is somewhat long, I will postpone it for
the present--as, indeed, not having arrived at its conclusion for
several days, it is but methodically correct I should do--merely
premising in this place, that, besides the _Diploma_, the tin case
contained a statement of the particular services for which he obtained
his knighthood, drawn up and attested by the officers of his regiment.

About a mile beyond the Venta where we had fallen in with our new
attendant, the country again becomes very wild and broken, and the hills
are covered with pine woods. The valley of the Campillos gets more and
more confined as the road proceeds, and is bounded by precipitous rocks;
and, at length, on reaching the _Puerta de Arenas_, the passage, for the
road and river together, does not exceed sixty feet, the cliffs rising
perpendicularly on both sides to a considerable height.

This is a very defensible pass, looking towards Granada, but not so in
the opposite direction, as it is commanded by higher ground. It is about
eighteen miles from Jaen.

On emerging from the pass, an open, cultivated valley presents itself;
towards the head of which, distant about four miles, is Campillos
Arenas, a wretched village, containing some fifty or sixty _vecinos_. We
were stopt at the entrance by an old beggarman, who was officiating as
_health_ officer, and demanded our passports, which, on receiving, he
ceremoniously forwarded to Head Quarters by a ragged, barefoot urchin,
with the promise of an _ochavo_[163] if he used despatch in bringing
them back to us.

Our passports had now become a serious nuisance, from being completely
covered with _visés_ both inside and out; for, of course, the curiosity
of the natives was proportioned to the number of signatures they
contained, and their astonishment was boundless that we should be
travelling south at such a moment. At length, our papers were returned
to us, and the boy gained his promised reward by running with all his
might, to prove that the tedious delay we experienced was not
attributable to him.

Proceeding onwards, in three quarters of an hour, we reached the
_Parador de San Rafael_, a newly built house of call for the diligence,
recently established on this road. It is about twenty-four miles from
Jaen, and twenty-seven from Granada, though, as the crow flies, the
distance is rather shorter, perhaps, to the latter city than to the
first named. It is a place of much resort, and we were happy to find
that San Rafael presided over comfortable beds, and good dinners, though
rather careless of the state of the wine-cellar.

We started at an early hour next morning, our knightly attendant, with
his red epaulettes, and janty foraging cap, together with a _de haut en
bas_ manner assumed towards the passing peasantry and arrieros, causing
us to be regarded with no inconsiderable degree of respect.

The road, for the first eight miles, is one continuation of zig zags
over a very mountainous country, and must be kept up at an immense
expense to the government, for there is but very little traffic upon it.
The hills are principally covered with forests of ilex, but patches of
land have recently been taken into cultivation in the valleys, and
houses are thinly scattered along the road. At ten miles and a half, we
passed the first village we had seen since leaving Campillos Arenas. It
is about a mile from the road on the left. The country now becomes less
rugged than heretofore, though it continues equally devoid of
cultivation and inhabitants.

We were much disappointed at not finding a good _posada_ on the road, as
we had been led to expect. We passed two in process of building on a
magnificent scale, but nothing could be had at either. At last, after
riding four long leagues--at a foot's pace, on account of our baggage
animal--a farmer took compassion upon us, and, leading the way to his
_Cortijo_, supplied our famished horses with a feed of barley, and set
before ourselves all the good things his house afforded--melons, grapes,
fresh eggs, and delicious bread.

We arrived at the farmer's dinner hour, and a wide circle, comprising
his wife, children, cowherds, ploughboys, and dairymaids, was already
formed round the huge family bowl of _gazpacho fresco_, of which we
received a general invitation to partake. It was far too light a meal,
however, to satisfy the cravings of our appetites, and politely
declining to dip our spoons in their common mess, we commenced making
the usual preparations for an English breakfast, by unpacking our
travelling canteen and placing a skillet of water upon the fire.

The curiosity of the peasantry on these occasions amused us exceedingly.
In this instance the spectators, who probably had never before come in
such close contact with Englishmen, watched each of our movements with
the greatest interest. The beating up an egg as a substitute for milk,
excited universal astonishment; and the production of knives, forks, and
spoons, took their breath away; but when our travelling teapot was
placed on the table, their wonderment defies description; many started
from their seats to obtain a near view of the extraordinary machine,
and our host, after a minute examination, venturing, at last, to expose
his ignorance by asking to what use it was applied, exclaimed in
raptures, as if it was a thing he had heard of, "_y esa es una
tepà!_"[164] "_Una tepà!_" was repeated in all the graduated intonations
of the three generations of spectators present; "_una tepà! caramba! que
gente tan fina los Ingleses!_"

We now carried on the joke by inflating an air cushion, but the use to
which it was applied alone surprised them; for our host with a nod
signifying "I understand," took down a huge pig-skin of wine, and made
preparations to transfer a portion of its contents to our portable
_caoutchouc_ pillow. On explaining the purpose to which it was applied,
"_Jesus! una almohada!_"[165] exclaimed all the women with one
accord--"_Que gente tan deleytosa!_"[166]

Our percussion pistols next excited their astonishment, and by ocular
demonstration only could we convince them that they were fired without
"una piedra;"[167] but when I assured our host that, in England,
_diligences_ were propelled by steam at the rate of ten leagues an hour,
his amazement was evidently stretched beyond the bounds of credulity.
"_Como! sin caballos, sin mulas, sin nada, sino el vapor!_"[168] he
ejaculated; and his shoulders gradually rising above his ears, as I
repeated the astounding assertion, he turned with a look, half horror,
half amazement, to his assembled countrymen, saying as plainly as eyes
could speak--either these English deal largely with the devil, or are
most extraordinary romancers.

If our equipment surprised them, we were not less astonished at the
number of cats, without tails, that were prowling about the house; and
asking the reason for mutilating the unfortunate creatures in this
unnatural way, our host replied, "These animals, to be useful, must have
free access to every part of the premises; but, when their tails are
long, they do incredible mischief amongst the plates, dishes, and other
friable articles, arranged upon the dresser, or left upon the table;
whereas, docked as you now see them, they move about without ceremony,
and, even in the midst of a labyrinth of crockery, do not the slightest
damage. All the mischief of this animal is in his tail."

We had great difficulty in persuading our hospitable entertainer to
accept of any remuneration for what he had furnished us, and only
succeeded by requesting he would distribute our gift amongst his

From his farm, which is called the _Cortijo de los Arenales_, to
Granada, is nine miles. The country, during the whole distance, is
undulated, and mostly covered with vines and olives. On the right, some
leagues distant, we saw the town and _tajo_ of Moclin; and at three
miles from the _Cortijo_ crossed the river Cubillas, which, flowing
westward to the plain of Granada, empties itself into the Genil. A
little way beyond this the Sierra de Elvira rises abruptly on the right,
and thenceforth the ground falls very gradually all the way to Granada.

Our sojourn at Granada was prolonged much beyond the period we had
originally intended, by the difficulty of ascertaining the truth of a
report that the cholera had appeared at Malaga; but, at length, it was
officially notified by a proclamation of the captain-general, that in
answer to a despatch sent to the governor of Malaga, he had been assured
that city was perfectly free from the disease; and a caravan, composed
of numberless _galeras_, _coches_, and _arrieros_, that had been
detained at Granada for a fortnight in consequence of this rumour,
forthwith proceeded to the sea-port.

Sending our baggage animal forward, directing the mozo--whose
indisposition had abated so as to allow of his rejoining us, and
resuming his duty--to proceed along the high road to Loja until we
overtook him, we set off ourselves at mid-day to visit the _Soto de

The road thither strikes off from the _arrecife_ to Loja, soon after
passing the city of Santa Fé,[170] and traversing Chauchina, after much
twisting and turning, reaches Fuente Vaquero, a village belonging to the
Duke of Wellington, where his agent, General O'Lawler, has a house.

From thence a long avenue leads to the _Casa Real_, which is situated on
the right bank of the Genil. The avenue, both trees and road, is in a
very bad state. On the left hand there is a wood of some extent; the
forest-trees it contains are chiefly elms and white poplars, but there
are also a few oaks. The ground is extremely rich, and was covered with
fine crops of maize and hemp; and, on the whole, it struck me the estate
was in better order than the properties adjoining it.

The house, however, which at the period of my former visit to Granada
was in a tolerable state of repair, I now found in a wretched plight.
The court-yard was made the general receptacle for manure; the
coach-house and stables were turned into barns and cattle-sheds; the
garden was overgrown with weeds; and, basking in the sun, lay young
pigs amongst the roses.

From having been the favourite retreat of the Minister Wall, it has
degenerated, in fact, into a very second-rate description of farmhouse.
This change, however, was inevitable; for, besides that the taste for
country-houses is very rare amongst Spaniards, and that the difficulty
of procuring a tenant who would keep it in order would, consequently, be
very great, the situation of the house is not such as a lover of fine
scenery would choose in the vicinity of Granada.

The estate of the Soto de Roma has suffered great damage within the last
few years, from the Genil having burst its banks, laid waste the
country, and formed itself a new bed; and the stream not being now
properly banked in, keeps continually "_comiendo_"[171] the ground on
both sides. This evil should be corrected immediately, or, in the event
of another extraordinary rise in the river, it may lead to incalculable
mischief. The best and cheapest plan of doing this, would be to force
the stream back into its old channel. The elm woods on the estate would
furnish excellent piles for this purpose, and, by being cut down, would
clear some valuable ground which at present lies almost profitless.

After recrossing the Genil we arrived at another village, inhabited by
the peasantry of the Soto de Roma, and soon after at a wretched place
called Cijuela. The country in its vicinity was flooded for a
considerable extent, and we had great difficulty in following the road,
and avoiding the ditches that bound it. At length we got once more upon
the _arrecife_, and reached Lachar; a vile place, reckoned four leagues
from Granada.

From thence to the Venta de Cacin is called two leagues, but they are of
Brobdignag measurement. The road is heavy, and the country becomes hilly
soon after leaving Lachar. A league beyond the Venta de Cacin is the
Venta del Pulgar, situated in the midst of gardens and olive

It was 11 P.M. when we arrived, for, having missed our way in fording
the wide bed of the river Cacin (which crosses the road just beyond the
Venta of that name), we had wandered for two hours in the dark; and
might have done so until morning, but that our progress was cut short by
the river Genil. We thought the wisest plan would be to return to the
venta, and endeavour to procure a guide, which we fortunately succeeded
in doing. The _ventero_ had previously informed us that he had seen our
_mozo_ pass on with the baggage animal towards Loja, which made us
rather anxious for its safety, otherwise we should have rested at his
house for the night.

On arriving at the Venta del Pulgar, we found our attendant established
there, and in some little alarm at our prolonged absence. Indeed the
faithful fellow was so uneasy, that he was about proceeding on a fresh
horse in search of us. The night was excessively cold, and we duly
appreciated the fire and hot supper his providence had caused to be

This venta is but a short league from Loja, the ride to which place is
very delightful, the rich valley of the Genil (here contracted to the
width of a mile) being on the right, a fine range of mountains on the
left, whilst the river frequently approaches close to the road, adding
by its snakelike windings to the beauty of the scenery.

The town of Loja stands on the south side of a rocky gorge, by which the
Genil escapes from the fertile _Vega_ of Granada. The mountains on both
sides the river are lofty, and of an inaccessible nature, so that the
old Moorish fortress, though occupying the widest part of the défilé,
completely commands this important outlet from the territory of Granada,
as well as the bridge over the Genil.

It was a place of great strength in times past, and Ferdinand and
Isabella were repulsed with great loss on their first attempt to gain
possession of it. The second attack of the "Catholic kings," made some
years afterwards (i. e. in 1487), was more successful, and the English
auxiliaries, under the Earl of Rivers, particularly distinguished
themselves on the occasion.

Loja is proverbially noted for the fertility of its gardens and
orchards, the abundance and purity of its springs, and the loose morals
and hard features of its inhabitants. Its situation is peculiarly
picturesque, the town being built upon a steep acclivity, unbosomed in
groves of fruit trees and overlooked by a toppling mountain. The view of
the distant _Sierra Nevada_ gives additional interest to the scenery. It
contains a population of 9000 souls.

From Loja to Malaga is forty-three miles. The country throughout is
extremely mountainous, but the road, nevertheless, is so good as to be
traversed by a diligence. Soon after leaving Loja, a road strikes off to
the right to Antequera, four leagues; and this, in fact, is the great
road from Granada to Seville, and the only portion of it that is
interrupted by mountains.

The _arrecife_ to Malaga, leaving the village of Alfarnate to the left,
at sixteen miles, reaches the solitary venta of the same name; and two
miles beyond, the equally lonely venta of Dornejo, considered the
half-way house from Loja. The view from hence is remarkably fine, and we
enjoyed the scenery to perfection, having remained the night at the
venta, and witnessed the splendid effects of both the setting and rising

This is the highest point the road reaches, and is, I should think,
about 4000 feet above the level of the Mediterranean.

From the Venta de Dornejo the road proceeds to El Colmenar, eight miles.
The mountains that encompass this little town are clad to their very
summits with vines, and from the luscious grapes grown in its
neighbourhood is made the sweet wine, well known in England under the
name of Mountain.

From El Colmenar the road is conducted nine miles along the spine of a
narrow tortuous ridge, that divides the Gualmedina, or river of Malaga,
from various streams flowing to the eastward, reaching, at last, a point
where a splendid view is obtained of the rich vale of Malaga, encircled
by the boldly outlined mountains of Mijas, Monda, and Casarabonela. The
_coup d'oeil_ is truly magnificent; the bright city lies basking in
the sun, on the margin of the Mediterranean, seemingly at the
spectator's feet; but eight miles of a continual descent have yet to be
accomplished ere reaching it.

The engineer's pertinacious adherence to his plan of keeping the road on
one unvarying inclined plane, tries the patience to an extraordinary
degree, but the work is admirably executed. In the whole of these last
eight miles there is not one house on the road side, though several neat
villas are scattered amongst the ravines below it, on drawing near

This difficult passage through the Serranía has been effected only at an
enormous cost of money and labour; but, as a work of art, it ranks with
any of the splendid roads lately made across the Alps. The scenery along
it, especially after gaining the southern side of the principal
mountain-chain, when the Mediterranean is brought to view, surpasses any
thing that is to be met with in those more celebrated, because more
frequented, cloud-capped regions.

Another very fine road has been opened through the mountains between
Malaga and Antequera. The scenery along this is very grand, though
inferior to that just described. The distance between the two places is
about twenty-eight miles, reckoned eight leagues. The road is conducted
along the valley of Rio Gordo, or Campanillos; and, it is alleged,
through some private influence was made unnecessarily circuitous, to
visit the Venta de Galvez. This, and two other ventas, are almost the
only habitations on the road. About four miles from Antequera, the road
reaches the summit of the great mountain-ridge that pens in the
Guadaljorce, which falls very rapidly on its northern side.

Antequera is situated near the foot of the mountain, but in a hollow
formed by a swelling hill, which, detached from the chain of sierra,
shelters it to the north. It is a large, well-built, and populous city,
contains twenty religious houses, numerous manufactories of linen and
woollen cloths, silks, serges, &c., and 40,000 souls.

An old castle, situated on a conical knoll, overlooks the city to the
east. It formerly contained a valuable collection of ancient armour, but
the greater part has been removed.

The city of _Anticaria_ is mentioned in the Itinerary of Antoninus; but,
as no notice is taken of it by Pliny, it probably was known in his day
by some other name. Some antiquaries have imagined Antequera to be
Singilia; but this is very improbable, as it is nearly four leagues
distant from the Singilis (Genil).

Even the Guadaljorce does not approach within a mile of the city, which
depends upon its fountains for water; for though a fine rivulet flows
down from the mountains at the back of the city, washing the eastern
base of the castle hill, and sweeping round to the westward, where it
unites with the Guadaljorce, yet it merely serves to render the valley
fruitful, and to turn the wheels of the mills which supply the city with
flour and oil.

At a league north-east from Antequera a lofty conical mountain,
distinguished by the romantic name of _El Peñon de los Enamorados_ (Rock
of the Lovers), rises from the plain; and a league beyond it is the town
of Archidona, on the great road from Granada to Seville.



We found Malaga a deserted city, for the dread of cholera had carried
off half its inhabitants; not, however, to their last home, but to
Alhaurin, Coin, Churriara, and other towns in the vicinity, in the hope
of postponing their visit to a final resting-place by a temporary change
to a more salubrious atmosphere than that of the fetid seaport.

Our zealous and indefatigable consul, Mr. Mark, still, however, remained
at his post, and his hospitality and kindness rendered our short stay as
agreeable as, under existing circumstances, it well could be.

Understanding that a vessel was about to proceed to Ceuta in the course
of a few days, we resolved to take advantage of this favourable
opportunity of visiting that fortress--the Port Jackson of Spain; and
having already seen every thing worthy of observation in Malaga (of
which due notice has been taken in a former chapter), we agreed to
devote the intervening days to a short excursion to Marbella, Monda, and
other interesting towns in the vicinity.

Leaving, therefore, the still hot, but no longer bustling city, late in
the afternoon, we took the road to the ferry near the mouth of the
Guadaljorce, and leaving the road to _El Retiro_ to the right on gaining
the southern bank of the river, proceeded to Churriana.

We were disappointed both in the town and in the accommodation afforded
at the inn, for the place being much resorted to by the merchants of
Malaga, we naturally looked forward to something above the common run of
Spanish towns and Spanish posadas, whereas we found both the one and the
other rather below par. The town is quite as dirty as Malaga, but,
perhaps, somewhat more wholesome; for the filth with which the streets
are strewed _not_ being watered by a trickling stream, to keep it in a
state of fermentation throughout the summer, is soon burnt up, and
becomes innoxious.

The town stands at a slight elevation above the vale of Malaga, and
commands a fine view to the eastward.

We left the wretched venta betimes on the following morning, and
proceeded towards Marbella, leaving on our left the little village of
Torre Molinos, situated on the Mediterranean shore (distant one league
from Churriana), and reaching Benalmaina in two hours and a half. The
road keeps the whole way within half a mile of the sea, and about the
same distance from a range of barren sierras on the right. No part of it
is good but the ascent to Benalmaina (or, as it is sometimes, and
perhaps more correctly written, Benalmedina), is execrable.

This village is surrounded with vineyards, and groves of orange and fig
trees; is watered by a fine clear stream, which serves to irrigate some
patches of garden-ground, as well as to turn numerous mill-wheels; and,
from the general sterility of the country around, has obtained a
reputation for amenity of situation that it scarcely deserves.

In something less than an hour, descending the whole time, we reached
the Mediterranean shore, and continuing along it for a mile, arrived at
the Torre Blanca--a high white tower, situated on a rugged cliff that
borders the coast, and in the vicinity of which are numerous ruins. Some
little distance beyond this the cliffs terminate, and a fine plain,
covered with gardens and orchards, stretches inland for several miles.

Nature has been peculiarly bountiful to this sunny valley, for the river
of Mijas winds through, and fertilizes the whole of its eastern side;
whilst the western portion is watered by the river Gomenarro, or--word
offensive to British ears--Fuengirola.

The plain is about two miles across, and near its western extremity; and
a little removed from the seashore is the fishing village of Fuengirola.
It is a small and particularly dirty place, but contains a population of
1000 souls. The distance from Malaga is reckoned by the natives five
leagues, "three long and two short," according to their curious mode of
computation; but, I think, in reducing them to English miles, the usual
average of four per league may be taken. The last league of the road is
very good. The town of Mijas, rich in wine and oil, is perched high up
on the side of a rugged mountain, about four miles north of Fuengirola.
A _trocha_ leads from thence, over the mountains, into the valley of the
Guadaljorce, debouching upon Alhaurinejo; and to those in whose
travelling scales the picturesque outweighs the breakneck, I would
strongly recommend this route from Malaga in preference to the tamer,
somewhat better, and, perhaps, rather shorter road, that borders the

The old and, alas! too celebrated castle of Fuengirola, or Frangirola,
occupies the point of a rocky tongue that juts some way into the sea,
about half a mile beyond the fishing village of the same name. It is a
work of the Moors, built, as some say, on an ancient foundation,
imagined to be that of Suel; whilst others maintain, that the vestigia
of antiquity built into its walls, were brought there from some place in
the neighbourhood.

That _Suel_ did not stand here appears to me very evident; for though
the actual distance from Malaga to Fuengirola exceeds but little that
given in the Itinerary of Antoninus from Malaca to Suel, viz.,
twenty-one miles--calculating seventy-five Roman miles to a degree of
the meridian;--yet, as the Itinerary makes the whole distance from
Malaca to Calpe Carteia eighty-nine miles,[172] whereas, even following
all the sinuosities of the coast, it can be eked out only to eighty (of
the above standard), it seems clear that the length of the mile has been
somewhat overrated.

That I may not incur the reproach of "extreme confidence," in venturing
to publish an opinion differing from that of various learned antiquaries
who have written on the subject, I will endeavour to show that my doubt
has, at all events, some reasonable foundation to rest upon.

Supposing that the distances given in the Itinerary between Malaca and
Calpe Carteia were respectively correct, but that the error--which, in
consequence, was evident--had been made by over-estimating the length of
the Roman mile in use at the period the Itinerary was compiled, I found,
by dividing the _actual_ distance into eighty-nine parts (following such
an irregular line as a road, considering the ruggedness of the country,
might be supposed to take), that it gave a scale of eighty-three and a
third of such divisions to a degree of the meridian; a scale which, as I
have observed in a former chapter, is mentioned by Strabo, on the
authority of Eratosthenes, as one in use amongst the Romans.

Now, by measuring off twenty-one such parts along the indented line of
coast from Malaga westward, to fix the situation of Suel, I find that,
according to this scale, it would be placed about a mile beyond the
Torre Blanca; that is, at the commencement of the fertile valley, which
has been mentioned as stretching some way inland, and at the bottom of
the bay, of which the rocky ledge occupied by the castle of Fuengirola
forms the western boundary; certainly a much more suitable site, either
for a commercial city, or for a fortress, than the low, rocky headland
of Fuengirola, which neither affords enough space for a town to stand
upon, nor is sufficiently elevated above the adjacent country, to have
the command that was usually sought for in building fortresses previous
to the invention of artillery.

Proceeding onwards, and measuring twenty-four divisions (of this same
scale) from the point where I suppose Suel to have stood, along the yet
rugged coast to the westward of Fuengirola, the site of Cilniana, the
next station of the Itinerary, is fixed a little beyond where the town
of Marbella now stands; another most probable spot for the Phoenicians
or Romans to have selected for a station; as, in the first place, the
proximity of the high, impracticable, Sierra de Juanel, would have
enabled a fortress there situated to intercept most completely the
communication along the coast; and, in the second, the vicinity of a
fertile plain, and the valuable mines of Istan (from whence a fine
stream flows), would have rendered it a desirable site for a port.

The next distance, thirty-four miles to Barbariana, brings me to the
_mouth_ of the Guadiaro, (which _can be_ no other than the Barbesula of
the Romans, if we suppose that the road continued, as heretofore, along
the seashore); or, carries me across that river, and also the
Sogarganta, which falls into it, if, striking inland, _as soon as the
nature of the country permitted_, we imagine the road to have been
directed by the straightest line to its point of destination.

Now, in the first case, the discovery of numerous vestigia, and
inscriptions at a spot two miles up from the mouth, on the eastern bank
of the Barbesula, (i. e. Guadiaro) have clearly proved that to be the
position of the city[173] bearing the same name as the river. We must
not, therefore, look in its neighbourhood for Barbariana; especially as
the vestiges of this ancient town are twelve _English_ miles from
Carteia, whereas the distance from Barbariana to Carteia is stated in
the Itinerary to be but ten _Roman_ miles.

In the second case, having crossed the Sogarganta about a mile above its
confluence with the Guadiaro, we arrive, at the end of the prescribed
thirty-four miles from Cilniana, at the mouth of a steep ravine by which
the existing road from Gaucin and Casares to San Roque ascends the
chain of hills forming the southern boundary of the valley, and this
spot is not only well calculated for a military station, but exceeds by
very little the distance of ten miles to Carteia, specified in the

I suppose, therefore, that Barbariana stood here, where it would have
been on the most direct line that a road _could take_ between Estepona
and Carteia, as well as on that which presented the fewest difficulties
to be surmounted in the nature of the country.

I will now follow the Roman Itinerary as laid down by Mr. Carter, in his
"Journey from Gibraltar to Malaga."[174]

The first station, Suel, he fixes at the Castle of Fuengirola; the
second, Cilniana, at the ruins of what he calls Old Estepona. These he
describes as lying _three leagues_ to the eastward of the modern town of
that name, and upwards of a league to the westward of the Torre de las
Bovedas, in the vicinity of which he assumes Salduba stood; but this
very site of Salduba (i. e. the Torre de las Bovedas) is little more
than _two leagues_ from modern Estepona, being just half way between
that place and Marbella--the distance from the one town to the other
scarcely exceeding four leagues, or sixteen English miles--so that, in
point of fact, he fixes Cilniana at _four miles_ to the eastward of
Estepona, instead of three leagues.

Passing over this error, however, and allowing that his site of Cilniana
was where _he wished it to be_, Mr. Carter, nevertheless, still found
himself in a difficulty; for he had already far exceeded the greater
portion of the _actual_ distance between Malaga and Carteia, although
but half the number of miles specified in the Itinerary were disposed
of; so that twenty-five miles measured along the coast now brought him
within the prescribed distance of Barbariana from Carteia (ten miles),
instead of thirty-four, as stated in the Itinerary!

To extricate himself, therefore, from this dilemma, he carries the road,
first to the town of Barbesula, situated near the mouth of the river of
the same name, and then _eight miles up the stream_ to Barbariana.

The objections to this most eccentric route are, however, manifold and
obvious. In the first place, had the road visited Barbesula, that town
would assuredly have been noticed in the Itinerary of Antoninus, because
it would have made so much more convenient a break in the distance
between Cilniana and Carteia, than Barbariana.

In the next,--had the road been taken to the mouth of the Guadiaro, it
would _there_ have been as near Carteia as from any other point along
the course of that river, with nothing in the nature of the intervening
country to prevent its being carried straight across it: every step,
therefore, that the road was taken up the stream would have
unnecessarily increased the distance to be travelled.

Thirdly,--had Barbariana been situated _eight miles_[175] up the river,
the road from Barbesula must not only have been carried that distance
out of the way to visit it, but, for the greater part of the way, must
actually have been led back again towards the point of the compass
whence it had been brought; and the town of Barbariana would thereby
have been situated nearly eighteen miles from Calpe Carteia, instead of

Mr. Carter probably fell into this error, through ignorance of the
direction whence the Guadiaro flows, for though the last four miles of
its course is easterly, yet its previous direction is due south, or
straight upon Gibraltar; and, consequently, taking the road up the
stream beyond the distance of _four miles_, would have been leading it
away from its destination. And if, on the other hand, we suppose that
Mr. Carter's mistake be simply in the name of the river, and that, by
two leagues up the Guadiaro, he meant up its tributary, the
Sogarganta;[176] still, so long as the road continued following the
course of that stream, it would get no nearer to Carteia, and was,
therefore, but uselessly increasing the distance.

It is quite unreasonable, however, to suppose that the Romans, who were
in the habit of making their roads as straight as possible, should have
so unnecessarily departed from their rule in this instance, and not only
have increased the distance by so doing, but also the difficulties to be
encountered; for, in point of fact, a road would be more readily carried
to the Guadiaro by leaving the seashore on approaching Manilba, and
directing it straight upon Carteia, than by continuing it along the
rugged and indented coast that presents itself from thence to the mouth
of the river.

Objections may be taken to the sites I have fixed upon for the different
towns mentioned in the Roman Itinerary, from the absence of all vestiges
at those particular spots; but when the ease with which all traces of
ancient places are lost is considered, particularly those situated on
the seashore, I think such objections must fall to the ground: and,
indeed, Carter himself, who found fault with Florez for supposing the
town of Salduba[177] _could_ have entirely disappeared, furnishes a
glaring instance of the futility of such objections, when he states that
not the least remains of Barbesula were to be traced, whereas, _now_,
they are quite visible.

The castle of Fuengirola--to which it is time to return from this long
digression--has lately undergone a thorough repair; the whole of the
western front, indeed, has been rebuilt, and the rest of the walls have
been modernised, though they still continue to be badly flanked by small
projecting square towers, and are exposed to their very foundations, so
that the fortress _ought not_ to withstand even a couple of hours'

From hence to Marbella is four leagues. During the first, the road is
bad enough, and, for the remaining three, but indifferently good. The
last eight miles of the stony track may, however, be avoided by riding
along the sandy beach, which, when the sun is on the decline, the breeze
light and westerly, and, above all, when the _tide is out_, is pleasant
enough. I may as well observe here, that the Mediterranean Sea really
does ebb and flow, notwithstanding anything others may have stated to
the contrary.

The whole line of coast bristles with towers, built originally to give
intelligence by signal of the appearance of an enemy. They are of all
shapes and ages; some circular, having a Roman look; others angular, and
either Moorish, or built after Saracenic models; many are of
comparatively recent construction, though all seem equally to be going
to decay.

These towers can be entered only by means of ladders, and such as are in
a habitable state are occupied by Custom-house guards, or, more
correctly, Custom-house defrauders. Here and there a _Casa fuerta_ has
been erected along the line, which, furnished with artillery and a small
garrison of regular troops, serves as a _point d'appui_ to a certain
portion of the _peculative_ cordon, enabling the soldiers to render
assistance to the revenue officers in bringing the smugglers to _terms_.

Marbella has ever been a bone of contention amongst the antiquaries;
some asserting that it does not occupy the site of any ancient city;
others, that it is on the ruins of _Salduba_. Of this latter opinion is
La Martinière, who certainly has better reason for maintaining than
Carter for disputing it. For if that city "stood on a steep headland,
between which and the hill" (behind) "not a beast could pass," it could
not possibly have been on the site where our countryman places it, viz.,
at the ruins near the _Torre de las Bovedas_ (seven miles to the
westward), where a wide plain stretches inland upwards of two miles.

In fact, there are but two headlands between the river Guadiaro and
Marbella, where a town could be built at all answering the foregoing
description; namely, at the _Torre de la Chullera_ and the _Torre del
Arroyo Vaquero_, the former only three, the latter ten miles from the
Guadiaro: and a far more likely spot than either of these is the knoll
occupied by the _Torre del Rio Real_, about two miles to the _eastward_
of Marbella.[178]

Marbella stands slightly elevated above the sea, and its turreted walls
and narrow streets declare it to be thoroughly Moorish. Its sea-wall is
not actually washed by the waves of the Mediterranean, so that the town
may be avoided by such as do not wish to be delayed by or subjected to
the nuisance of a passport scrutiny; and the Spanish saying, "_Marbella
es bella, pero no entras en ella_,"[179] significantly, though
mysteriously, suggests the prudence of staying outside its walls; but
this poetical scrap of advice was perhaps the only thing some luckless
_contrabandista_ had left to bestow upon his countrymen, and we, being
in search of a dinner and night's lodging, submitted patiently to the
forms and ceremonies prescribed on such occasions at the gates of a

To do the Spaniards justice, they are not usually very long in their
operations, the first offer being in most instances accepted without
haggling; and accordingly, the _peseta_ pocketed, and every thing
pronounced _corriente_, we proceeded without further obstruction to the
_Posada de la Corona_, which, situated in a fine airy square, we were
agreeably surprised to find a remarkably good inn.

Marbella, though invested with the pomp and circumstance of war, is but
a contemptible fortress. An old Moorish castle, standing in the very
heart of the town, constitutes its chief strength; for, though its
circumvallation is complete and tolerably erect, considering its great
age, yet, from the inconsiderable height of the walls, and the
inefficient flanking fire that protects them, they could offer but
slight resistance to an enemy.

A detached fort, that formerly covered the place from attack on the sea
side, and flanked the eastern front of the enceinte of the town, has
been razed to the ground, so that ships may now attack it almost with

The town is particularly clean and well inhabited, the fishing portion
of the population being located more conveniently for their occupation
in a large suburb on its eastern side. The fortress encloses several
large churches and religious houses, besides the citadel or Moorish
castle, so that within the walls the space left for streets is but
small; the inhabitants of the town itself cannot therefore be estimated
at more than five thousand, whilst those of the suburb may probably
amount to fifteen hundred.

The trade of Marbella is but trifling; the fruit and vegetables grown in
its neighbourhood are, it is true, particularly fine, but the proximity
of the precipitous Sierra de Juanal limits cultivation to a very narrow
circuit round the walls of the town; and, on the other hand, the
valuable mines in the vicinity, which formerly secured Marbella a
prosperous trade, have for many years been totally abandoned: so that,
in fact, there is little else than fish to export.

There is no harbour, but vessels find excellent holding ground and in
deep water, close to the shore; the landing also is good, being on a
fine hard sand, and I found a small pier in progress of construction.

It seems probable that in remote times numerous commercial towns were
situated along the coast, between Malaca and Calpe, whence a thriving
trade was carried on with the East, for the whole chain of mountains
bordering the Mediterranean abounds in metallic ores, especially along
that part of the coast between Marbella and Estepona; and it is evident
that mining operations on an extensive scale were formerly carried on
here, since the tumuli formed by the earth excavated in searching for
the precious metals are yet to be seen, as well as the bleached
channels by which the water that penetrated into the mines was led down
the sides of the mountains.

The metals contained in this range of mountains are, principally,
silver, copper, lead, and iron; of the two former I have seen some very
fine specimens.

The richness and comparative proximity of these mines led the
Phoenicians and Romans, by whom there is no doubt they were worked, to
neglect the copper mines of Cornwall; for, whilst necessity obliged them
to come to England for tin, it is observable that in many places, where,
in working for that metal, they came also upon lodes of copper, they
carried away the tin only; a circumstance that has rendered some of the
recently worked Cornish copper mines singularly profitable, and leads
naturally to the supposition that the ancients procured copper at a less
expense from some other country.

In the same way that the old Roman mines in England, from our knowledge
of the vast power of steam, and of the means of applying that power to
hydraulical purposes, have been reopened with great advantage, so also
might those of Spain be again worked with a certainty of success.
Capital and security--the two great wants of Spain--are required however
to enable adventurers to embark in the undertaking.

Marbella is four leagues from Estepona, and ten from Gibraltar; but
though the first four may be reckoned at the usual rate of four miles
each, yet the remaining six cannot be calculated under four and a half
each, making the whole distance to Gibraltar forty-three miles, and from
Malaga to Gibraltar seventy-nine miles.[180]



"_Mas vale paxaro en mano, que buytre volando_"--_Anglicè_, a bird in
the hand is worth more than a vulture flying--is a proverb that cannot
be too strongly impressed upon the minds of travellers in Spain; and,
acting up to the spirit of this wise saw, we did not leave our
comfortable quarters at the _Posada de la Corona_ until after having
made sure of a breakfast. For, deeming even a cup of milk at Marbella
worth more than a herd of goats up the sierra, there appeared yet more
reason to think that no venta on the unfrequented mountain track by
which we purposed returning to Malaga could furnish anything half so
estimable as the _café au lait_ promised overnight, and placed before us
soon after daybreak.

We commenced ascending the steep side of the _Sierra de Juanal_
immediately on leaving Marbella, and, in something under an hour,
reached a pass, on the summit of a ridge, whence a lovely view opens to
the north. The little town of Ojen lies far down below, embosomed in a
thicket of walnut, chesnut, and orange trees; whilst all around rise
lofty sierras, clothed, like the valley, with impervious woods, though
with foliage of a darker hue, their forest covering consisting
principally of cork and ilex. Numerous torrents, (whose foaming streams
can only occasionally be seen dashing from rock to rock amidst the dense
foliage) furrow the sides of the impending ridges, directing their
course towards the little village, threatening, seemingly, to overwhelm
it by their united strength; but, wasting their force against the
cragged knoll on which it stands, they collect in one body at its foot,
and, as if exhausted by the struggle, flow thenceforth tranquilly
towards the Mediterranean, meandering through rich vineyards, and under
verdant groves of arbutus, orange, and oleander.

Excepting by this outlet, along the precipitous edge of which our road
was practised, there seemed to be no possibility of leaving the sylvan
valley, so completely is it hemmed in by wood and mountain. The descent
from the pass occupied nearly as much time as had been employed in
clambering up to it from the sea-coast, but the road is better.

The situation of the little town, on the summit of a scarped rock,
clustered over with ivy and wild vines, and moistened by the spray of
the torrents that rush down on either side, is most romantic; the place,
however, is miserable in the extreme, containing some two hundred
wretched hovels, mostly mud-built, and huddled together as if for mutual

An ill-conditioned _pavé_ zigzags up to it, and proceeds onwards along
the edge of a deep ravine towards Monda. The woods, rocks, and water
afford ever-varying and enchanting vistas, but, from the vile state of
the road, it is somewhat dangerous to pay much attention to the beauties
of nature.

In something more than an hour from Ojen, we reached a pass in the
northern part of the mountain-belt that girts it in, whence we took a
last lingering look at the lovely valley, compared to which the country
now lying before us appeared tame and arid.

The fall of the mountain on the western side is much more gradual than
towards the Mediterranean, and the road--which does not however improve
in due proportion--descends by an easy slope towards the little river
Seco. The valley, at first, is wide, open, and uncultivated; but, at the
end of about a mile, it contracts to an inconsiderable breadth, and the
steep hills that border it give signs of the husbandman's toils, being
every where planted with vines and olive trees.

Arriving now at the margin of the _Seco_, the road crosses and recrosses
the rivulet repeatedly, in consequence of the rugged nature of its
banks, and, at length, quitting the pebbly bed of the stream, and
crossing over a lofty mountain ridge that overlooks it to the east, the
stony track brings us to Monda, which is nestled in a deep ravine on the
opposite side of the mountain, and commanded by an old castle situated
on a rocky knoll to the north-west.

The view from the summit of this mountain is very extensive, embracing
the greater portion of the _Hoya_ de Malaga, the distant sea-bound city,
and yet more remote sierras of Antequera, Alhama, and Granada. The
descent to Monda is extremely bad, though by no means rapid. The
distance of this place from Marbella is stated in the Spanish
Itineraries to be three leagues, but the incessant windings of the road
make it fourteen miles, at least. The houses of Monda are mostly poor,
though some of the streets are wide and good. The population is
estimated at 2,000 souls.

It is to this day a mooted question amongst Spanish antiquaries whether
Monda, or Ronda _la Vieja_, (as some of them call the ruins of
Acinippo), or any other of several supposed places, be the Roman
_Munda_, where Cneius Scipio gave battle to the Carthaginian generals,
Mago and Asdrubal, B.C. 211, and near whose walls Julius Cæsar concluded
his wonderful career of victory by the defeat of Cneius Pompey the
younger, B.C. 42.

From this discrepancy of opinion, and the inaccuracy of the Spanish
maps, I am induced to offer the following observations (the result of a
careful examination of the country), touching the site of this once
celebrated spot. And, first, with respect to Ronda and Ronda _la Vieja_,
I may repeat what I have already stated in a former chapter, that
neither the situation of those places, nor the nature of the ground in
their vicinity, agrees in any one respect with the description of Munda
and its battle-field, as given by Hirtius;[181] nor, from discoveries
that have recently been made, does there appear to be any ground left
for doubting that those places occupy the sites of Arunda and Acinippo.

Of the other positions which have been assigned to _Munda_, that most
insisted upon is a spot "three leagues to the _west_ of the present town
of Monda,"[182] and here Carter, adopting the opinion of Don Diego
Mendoza, confidently places it, stating that bones of men and horses
had, in former days, been dug up there; that the peasants called the
spot _Monda la Vieja_, and averred they sometimes saw squadrons of
apparitions fighting in the air with cries and shouts!

Such a host of circumstantial and phantasmagorical evidence our
countryman considered irresistible, and concluded, accordingly, that
this spot could be no other than that whereon the two mighty Roman
armies contended for empire. He admits, however, that, even in the days
of his precursor, Don Diego, "scarcely any ruins were to be found, the
_whole_ having by degrees been transplanted to modern Monda and other
places." Why they should have been carried three leagues across some of
the loftiest mountains in the country, to be used merely as building
stones, he does not attempt to explain, but, believing such to be the
case, one wonders it never struck him as being somewhat extraordinary
that these pugnacious ghosts should continue fighting for a town of
which not a stone remains.

But, leaving Mr. Carter for the present, I will retrace my steps to
modern Monda, where it must be acknowledged some little difficulty is
experienced in fitting the Roman city to the spot allotted to it on the
maps, as well as in placing the contending armies upon the ground in its
neighbourhood, so as to agree with the order in which they were arrayed
on the authority of Hirtius. Still, with certain admissions, which
admissions I do not consider it by any means unreasonable to beg, all
apparent discrepancies may be reconciled and difficulties overcome; and,
on the other hand, unless these points be granted, Ronda, Gaucin, or
Gibraltar agree just as well with the Munda of the Roman historian as
the little town of Monda I am about to describe.

It will be necessary, however, for the perfect understanding of the
subject,--and, I trust, my endeavour to establish the site of Cæsar's
last battle-field will be considered one of sufficient interest to
warrant a little prolixity,--to take a glance at the country in the
vicinity of Monda, ere proceeding to describe the actual ground whereon,
according to my idea, the contending armies were drawn up; as it is only
from a knowledge of the country, and of the communications that
intersected it, that the reasons can be gathered for such a spot having
been selected for a field of battle.

The old castle of Monda, under the walls of which we must suppose--for
this is one of the premised admissions--the town to have been clustered,
instead of being, as at present, sunk in a ravine, stands on the eastern
side of a rocky ridge, projected in a northerly direction from the lofty
and wide-spreading mountain-range, that borders the Mediterranean
between Malaga and Estepona. This range is itself a ramification of the
great mountain-chain that encircles the basin of Ronda, from which it
branches off in a southerly direction, and under the names of Sierras of
Tolox, Blanca, Arboto, and Juanal, presents an almost impassable barrier
between the valley of the Rio Verde (which falls into the Mediterranean,
three miles west of Marbella), and the fertile plains bordering the

This steep and difficult ridge terminates precipitously about Marbella;
but another branch of the range, sweeping round the little town of Ojen,
turns back for some miles to the north, rises in two lofty peaks above
Monda, and then, taking an easterly direction, juts into the
Mediterranean at Torre Molinos. The towns of Coin and Alhaurin are
situated, like Monda, on rocky projections from the north side of this
range, overhanging the vale of Malaga; and the solitary town of Mijas
stands upon its southern acclivity, looking towards the sea.

The rugged ramification on which Monda is situated stretches north about
two miles from the double-peaked sierra above mentioned; and though
completely overlooked by that mountain, yet, in every other direction,
it commands all the ground in its immediate neighbourhood, and, without
being very elevated, is every where steep, and difficult of access. The
summit of the ridge is indented by various rounded eminences, and,
consequently, is of very unequal breadth, as well as height. The castle
of Monda stands on one of these knolls, but quite on the eastern side of
the hill, the breadth of which, in this place, scarcely exceeds 400
yards. At its furthest extremity, however, the ridge, which extends
northward, _nearly a mile_, beyond the town, sends out a spur to the
east, following the course of, and falling abruptly to the Rio Seco; and
the breadth of the hill may here be said to be increased to nearly two

Between the river Seco and the Rio Grande (a more considerable stream,
which runs nearly parallel to, and about seven miles from the Seco), the
country, though rudely moulded, is by no means lofty; but round the
sources of the latter river, and along its left bank, rise the huge
sierras of Junquera, Alozaina, and Casarabonela, closing the view from
Monda to the north.

From the description here given it will be apparent, that the
communications across so mountainous a country must not only be few, but
very bad. Such, indeed, is the asperity of the sierras west of Monda,
that no road whatever leads through them; and, to the south, but one
tolerable road presents itself to cross the lateral ridge, bordering the
Mediterranean, between Marbella and Torre Molinos, viz., that by which
we had traversed it.

Even on the other half circle round Monda, where the country is of a
more practicable nature, only two roads afford the means of access to
that town, viz., one from Guaro, where the different routes from Ronda
(by Junquera), El Burgo, Alozaina, and Casarabonela, unite; the other
from Coin, upon which place, from an equal necessity, those from Alora,
Antequera, and Malaga, are first directed.

Monda thus becomes the point of concentration of all the roads
proceeding from the inland towns to Marbella; the pass of Ojen, in its
rear, offering the only passage through the mountains to reach that

The road from this pass, as has already been described, approaches Monda
by the valley watered by the river Seco; which stream, directed in the
early part of its course by the Sierra de Monda on its right, flows
nearly due north for about a mile and a half beyond where the road to
Monda leaves its bank, receiving in its progress several tributary
streams that rise in the mountains on its left. On gaining the northern
extremity of the ridge of Monda, the rivulet winds round to the
eastward, still washing the base of that mountain, but leaving the hilly
country on its left bank, along which a plain thenceforth stretches for
several miles. The stream again, however, becomes entangled in some
broken and intricate country, ere reaching the wide plain of the
Guadaljorce, into which river it finally empties itself.

The situation of Monda, with reference to the surrounding country,
having now been fully described, it is necessary, ere proceeding to shew
that the ground in its neighbourhood answers perfectly the account given
of it by Hirtius, to offer some remarks on the causes that may be
supposed to have led to a collision between the hostile Roman armies on
such a spot, since the present unimportant position of Monda seems to
render such an event very improbable.

Cæsar, it would appear, after the fall of Ategua, proceeded to lay siege
to Ventisponte and Carruca--two places, whose positions have baffled the
researches of the most learned antiquaries to determine--his object,
evidently, having been to induce Pompey to come to their relief. His
adversary, however, was neither to be forced nor tempted to depart from
his politic plan of "drawing the war out into length;" but, retiring
into the mountains, compelled Cæsar, whose interest it was, on the other
hand, to bring the contest to as speedy an issue as possible, to follow
him into a more defensible country.

With this view, leaving the wide plain watered by the Genil and
Guadaljorce on the northern side of the mountains, Pompey, we may
imagine, retired towards the Mediterranean, and stationed himself at
Monda; a post that not only afforded him a formidable defensive
position, but that gave him the means of resuming hostilities at
pleasure, since it commanded the roads from Cartama to Hispalis
(Seville), by way of Ronda, and from Malaca, along the Mediterranean
shore, to Carteía,[183] where his fleet lay; and, should his adversary
not follow him, the situation thus fixed upon was admirably adapted for
carrying the war into the country in arms against him, the two opulent
cities of Cartama and Malaca (which there is every reason to conclude
were attached to the cause of Cæsar), being within a day's march of

Here, therefore, Pompey occupied a strategical point of great
importance; and Cæsar, fully aware of the advantage its possession gave
his opponent, determined to attack him at all risks.

The hostile armies were separated from each other by a plain five miles
in extent.[184] That of Cæsar was drawn up in this plain, his cavalry
posted on the left; whilst the army of Pompey, whose cavalry was
stationed on _both_ wings, occupied a strong position on a range of
mountains, protected on one side by the town of Munda, "_situated on an
eminence_;" on the other, by the nature of the ground, "_for across this
valley_" (i.e. that divided the two armies), "_ran a rivulet, which
rendered the approach to the mountain extremely difficult, because it
formed a morass on the right_."

Now although the town of Munda is here described as protecting Pompey's
army on one side, yet from what follows it must be inferred that it was
some distance in the rear of his position, since, not only is it stated
that "_Pompey's army was at length obliged to give ground and retire
towards the town_," but it may be taken for granted that, had either
flank rested upon the town, the cavalry would _not_ have been posted on
"_both wings_."

Moreover, it is stated that "_Cæsar made no doubt but that the enemy
would descend to the plain and come to battle_," the superiority of
cavalry being greatly on Pompey's side--"_but_," Hirtius proceeds to
say, "_they durst not advance a mile from the town_," and, in spite of
the advantageous opportunity offered them, "_still kept their post on
the mountain in the neighbourhood of the town_."

It may therefore be fairly concluded, that Pompey's position was on the
edge of a range of hills, some little distance in advance of the town of
Munda, having a stream running in a deep valley along its front, and a
morass on one flank. Now the question is, Can the ground about Monda be
made to agree with these various premises? Certainly not, if, as is
generally assumed, the battle was fought on the eastern side of the
town; for Pompey's position must, in that case, have extended along the
ridge, so as to have the peaked Sierra, above Monda, on its right, and
the river Seco on its left, whilst Monda itself would have been an
advanced post of the line; and so far from there being a plain "_five
miles_" in extent in front, the country to the east of Monda--though for
some way but slightly marked--is, at the distance of _two_ miles, so
abruptly broken as to render the drawing up of a Roman army impossible.

In addition to these objections it will be obvious that the half of
Pompey's cavalry on the right, would have been posted on a high
mountain, where it could not possibly act, whilst the whole of Cæsar's
(on his left), would have been paralyzed by having to manoeuvre on the
acclivity of a steep mountain and against a fortified town, instead of
being kept in the valley of the river Seco, ready to fall upon the weak
part of the enemy's line as soon as it should be broken.

What, however, seems to me to be fatal to the supposition that this was
the side of the town on which the battle was fought is, that Cæsar's
army would have occupied the road by which alone the small portion of
Pompey's army, that escaped, could have retired upon Cordoba.

Against the supposition that the battle took place on the _western_ side
of the ridge on which Monda is situated, the objections, though not so
numerous, are equally insurmountable; since there is nothing like a
plain whereon Cæsar's army could have been drawn up; the valley of the
river Seco being so circumscribed that, for Pompey's army to have
"_advanced a mile from Monda_," it must not only have crossed the
stream, but mounted the rough hills that there border its left bank;
whereas Cæsar's army is stated to have been posted in a plain that
extended five miles from Monda. The half of Pompey's cavalry on the
_left_ would, in this case also, have been uselessly posted on an
eminence. In other respects the supposition is admissible enough, since
Monda would have been in the rear of the left of Pompey's position, but
still a support to the line, and the whole front would have been
"_difficult of approach_," and along the course of a rivulet.

We will now examine the ground to the north of the town, to which it
strikes me no insuperable objections can be raised.

We may suppose that Pompey took post with his army fronting Toloz and
Guaro, the only direction in which his enemy could be looked for, and
where the ground is so little broken, as certainly to allow of its being
called _a plain_, as compared with the rugged country that encompasses
it on all sides; and his position would naturally have been taken up
along the edge of the last ramification of the ridge of Monda, which
extends about two miles from west to east along the right bank of the
river Seco.

The town would then have been half a mile or so _in rear_ of the left
centre of Pompey's position; _a rivulet_, "_rendering the approach of
the mountain difficult_," would have run along its front. His cavalry
would naturally have been disposed on _both flanks_, where, the hills
terminating, it would be most at hand either to act offensively, or for
the security of the position; and the cavalry of Cæsar, on the contrary,
would _all_ have been posted on _his_ left, where the access to Pompey's
position was easiest, and where, in case of his enemy's defeat, its
presence would have produced the most important results.

We may readily conceive, also, that in times past _a morass_ bordered
the Seco where it first enters the plain, since several mountain streams
there join it, whose previously rapid currents must have experienced a
check on reaching this more level country. The industrious Moslems,
probably, by bringing this fertile plain into cultivation, drained the
morass so that no traces of it are now perceptible, but twenty years
hence there may possibly be another.

Every condition required, therefore, to make the ground agree with the
description given of it by Hirtius, is here fulfilled; and, occupying
such a position, the army of Pompey seemed likely to obtain the ends
which we cannot but suppose its general had in view.

The objections of Mr. Carter to modern Monda being the site of the Roman
city are, first, the want of space in its vicinity for two such vast
hosts to be drawn up in battle array; and, secondly, the little distance
of the existing town from the river Sigila and city of Cártama, which,
according to an ancient inscription, referring to the repairs of a road
from Munda to Cártama, he states was twenty miles.

In consequence of these imaginary discrepancies, he suffered himself to
be persuaded that the spot where the apparitions are fighting "three
leagues to the westward of the modern town," is the site of the Roman
_Munda_. In which case it must have been situated in a _narrow valley_,
bounded on all sides by lofty mountains, and _twenty-eight_ Roman miles,
at least, from the city of Cártama!

With respect to his first objections, however, it may be observed, that
the _want of space_ can only apply to the army posted on the mountain,
for, on the level country between its base and the village of Guaro, an
army of any amount might be drawn up. And as regards the mountain, as I
have already stated, its north front offers a strong position, nearly
two miles in extent, and one in depth. Now, considering the compact
order in which Roman armies were formed; the number of lines in which
they were in the habit of being drawn up; and making due allowance for
exaggeration[185] in the number of the contending hosts; such a space, I
should say, was more than sufficient for Pompey's army.

In reply to the second objection urged by Mr. Carter, I may, in the
first place, observe, that the inscription whereon it is grounded--

       *       *       *       *       *

                        A MVNDA ET FLVVIO SIGILA

seems to have no reference to the actual distance between Munda and
Cártama, since, by attaching any such meaning to it--coupled as Munda
is with the river Sigila--the inscription, to one acquainted with the
country, becomes quite unintelligible.

Thus, if translated: "From Munda and the river Sigila, he (i. e. the
Emperor Hadrian) restored the twenty miles of road to Cártama," any one
would naturally conclude that Munda was upon the Sigila, and Cártama at
a distance of twenty miles from it; whereas, whatever may have been the
situation of Munda, Cártama certainly stood upon the very bank of the

It must, therefore, either have been intended to imply that the Emperor
restored twenty miles of a road which from Munda and the sources,[187]
or upper part of the course of the Sigila, led to Cártama, and various
traces of such a Roman road exist to this day on the road to Ronda by
Junquera; or, that the road from Munda was conducted along part of the
course of the Sigila ere it reached Cártama: and such, from the nature
of the ground, undoubtedly was the case, since Cártama stood at the
eastern foot of a steep mountain, the northern extremity of which must
(in military parlance) have been turned, to reach it from Monda, and the
road, in making this détour, would first reach the river Guadaljorce, or

In this case it must be admitted that the _twenty miles_ refer to the
actual distance between the two towns, and this tends only more firmly
to establish modern Monda on the site of the Roman town, since the
distance from thence to Cártama, measured with _a pair of compasses_ on
a _correct_ map,[188] is fourteen English miles, which are equal to
fifteen Roman of seventy-five to a degree, or seventeen of eighty-three
and one third to a degree; and considering the hilly nature of the
country which the road must unavoidably have traversed, the distance
would have been fully increased to twenty miles, either by the ascents
and descents if carried in a straight line from place to place, or by
describing a very circuitous course if taken along the valley of the Rio

Carter further remarked upon the foregoing inscription that "it seems to
place" Munda to the _west_ of the river Sigila, which ran _between_ that
town and Cártama; but this, he said, does not agree with the situation
of modern Monda, which is on the same side the river as Cártama.

I suppose for _west_ he meant to say _east_, but, in either case, his
assumed site for Munda, "three leagues to the west of the present town,"
is open to this very same objection, and to the yet graver one, of
being--even allowing that he meant English leagues--_twenty-three
English miles_ in a _direct_ line from the town of Cártama, and in a
contracted and secluded valley, to the possession of which, no military
importance could possibly have been attached.

On the whole, therefore, I see no reason to doubt what, for so many
years was looked upon as certain, viz., that the modern town of Monda is
on the site of the ancient city. I must nevertheless own that in
following strictly the text of Hirtius, an objection presents itself to
this spot with reference to the relative position of Ursao; that is, if
Osuna be Ursao; since, in allusion to Pompey's resolve to receive battle
at Munda, he says that Ursao "served as a sure resource _behind_

This objection holds equally good with the position Carter assigns to
Munda; but that there is some error respecting Ursao is evident, for, if
Osuna be Ursao, then Hirtius described it most incorrectly by saying it
was exceedingly strong by nature, and eight miles distant from any
rivulet.[190] And, on the other hand, it is clear that Ursao did _not_
serve as a _sure_ resource to Pompey, since no part of his defeated army
found refuge there.

We must read this passage, therefore, as implying rather that Pompey
_calculated_ on Orsao as a place of refuge, but that, by the able
manoeuvres of his adversary, he was cut off from it. Now a town
placed high up in the mountains like Alozaina, or Junquera, and like
them distant from any stream but that which rises within their walls,
answers the description of Orsao, much better than Osuna;[191] and,
supposing one of these, or any other town in the vicinity, similarly
situated, to have been Orsao, Pompey might have flattered himself that
he could fall back upon it in the event of being defeated at Monda.
Cæsar, however, by moving along the valley of the Seco, and, taking post
in the plain to the north of Pompey's position, effectually deprived him
of this resource.

The modern town of Monda contains numerous fragments of monuments,
inscriptions, &c., which, though none of them actually prove it to be on
the site of the ancient place of the same name, satisfactorily shew that
it stands near some old Roman town, and that, therefore, to call it
_new_ Monda, in contradistinction to _Monda la vieja_, is absurd.

The road to Coin traverses a succession of tongues, which, protruding
from the side of the steep Sierra de Monda on the right, fall gradually
towards the Rio Seco, which flows about a mile off on the left. For the
first three miles the undulations are very gentle, and the face of the
country is covered with corn, but, on arriving at the Peyrela, a rapid
stream that rushes down from the mountains in a deep rocky gully, the
ground becomes much more broken, and the hills on both sides are thickly
wooded. The road, nevertheless, continues very good, and in about two
miles more reaches Coin.

The approach to this town is very beautiful. It is situated some way up
the northern acclivity of a high wooded hill, and commands a splendid
view of the valley of the Guadaljorce.

Coin is supposed to be of Moorish origin, and, from the amenity of its
situation, abundance of crystal springs and fruitfulness of its
orchards, was, no doubt, a favourite place of retreat with the turbaned
conquerors of Spain. Nor are its merits altogether lost upon the present
less contemplative race of inhabitants, for they flee to its pure
atmosphere whenever any endemic disease frightens them from the close
and crowded streets of filthy Malaga.

During the last few years that the divided Moslems yet endeavoured to
struggle against the fate that too clearly awaited them, the fields of
Coin were doomed to repeated devastations, though the city itself still
set the Christian hosts at defiance; but at length the artillery of
Ferdinand and Isabella reduced it to submission, A.D. 1485.

The population of Coin is estimated by the Spanish authorities at 9000
souls, but I should say it is considerably less. The houses are good,
streets well paved, and the place altogether is clean and wholesome.

The posada, except in outward appearance, is not in keeping with the
town. It is a large white-washed building, with great pretensions and
small comfort. We left it at daybreak without the least regret, carrying
our breakfast with us to enjoy _al fresco_.

At the foot of the hill two roads to Malaga offer themselves, one by way
of Cártama (distant ten miles), which turns the Sierra Gibalgalía to the
north, the other by Alhaurin, which crosses the neck of land connecting
that mountain with the more lofty sierras to the south. The distance is
pretty nearly the same by both, and is reckoned five leagues, but the
_leguas_ are any thing but _regulares_, and may be taken at an average
of four miles and a half each. The first named is a carriage road, and
the country flat nearly all the way; we therefore chose the latter, as
likely to be more picturesque.

In about an hour from Coin, we reached a clear stream, which, confined
in a deep gulley, singularly scooped out of the solid rock, winds round
at the back of Alhaurin, and tumbles over a precipice on the side of the
impending mountain. The crystal clearness of the water and beauty of
the spot, tempted us to halt and spread the contents of our alforjas on
the green bank of the rivulet, though the white houses of Alhaurin,
situated immediately above, peeped out from amidst trelissed vines and
perfumed orange groves, seeming to beckon us on. But appearances are
proverbially deceitful all over the world, and more especially in
Spanish towns, as we had recently experienced at Coin.

Our repast finished, we remounted our horses, and ascended the steep
acclivity, on the lap of which the town stands. The environs are
beautifully wooded, and the place contains many tasteful houses and
gardens, wide, clean, and well-paved streets, abundance of refreshing
fountains, and groves of orange and other fruit trees, and, in fact, is
a most delightful place of abode. The view from it is yet finer than
from Coin, embracing, besides the fine chain of wooded sierras above
Alozaina and Casarabonela, the lower portion of the vale of Malaga, and
the splendid mountains that stretch into the Mediterranean beyond that
city. Nevertheless, in spite of these advantages, the scared
_Malagueños_ consider Coin a more secure retreat from the dreaded yellow
fever than Alhaurin, perhaps because from the former even the view of
their abandoned city is intercepted.

Alhaurin contains, probably, 5000 inhabitants. The road from thence to
Malaga is _carriageable_ throughout. It winds along the side of the
mountain, continuing nearly on a dead level from the town to the summit
of the pass that connects the Sierra Gibalgalía with the mountains of
Mijas; thence it descends gradually, by a long and rather confined
ravine, into the vale of Malaga.

Arrived in the plain, it leaves the little village of Alhaurinejo about
half a mile off on the right, and at thirteen miles from Alhaurin
reaches a bridge over the Guadaljorce. This bridge, commenced on a
magnificent scale by one of the bishops of Malaga, was to have been
built entirely of stone; but, before the work was half completed, either
the worthy dignitary of the church came to the last of his days, or to
the bottom of his purse, and it is left to be completed, "_con el
tiempo_"--a very celebrated Spanish bridge-maker.

Forty-four solid stone piers remain, however, to bear witness to the
good and liberal intentions of the bishop; and the weight of a rotten
wooden platform, which has since been laid down, to afford a passage
across the stream when swollen by the winter torrents, for at most other
times it is fordable.

A road to the Retiro and Churriana continues down the right bank of the
river; but that to Malaga crosses the bridge, and on gaining the left
bank of the river is joined by the roads from Casarabonda and Cártama.
From hence to Malaga is about five miles.

On arriving at Malaga we found the dread of cholera had attained such a
height during our short absence, that the _Xebeque_, for Ceuta, had
sailed, whilst clean bills of health were yet issued. We also thought it
advisable to save our passports from being tainted, and, without further
loss of time, departed for Gibraltar by land. Our haste, however, booted
us but little; for, amongst the absurdities of quarantine be it
recorded, on reaching the British fortress, on the morning of the third
day from Malaga, admittance was refused, until we had undergone a three
days' purification at San Roque. Thither we repaired, therefore; and
there we remained during the prescribed period, shaking hands daily with
our friends from the garrison, until the dreaded _virus_ was supposed to
have parted with all its infectious properties. Our _decorated_
attendant had left us on reaching Malaga, promising to take the earliest
opportunity of acquainting us with the result of an ordeal, to which the
little blind God, in one of his most capricious moods, had been pleased
to subject two of his votaries.

The circumstances attending this trial of _true love_, will be found
related in the following chapter, which contains also a sketch of the
previous history of the hero of the tale, the knight of San Fernando.



_Don Fernando Septimo, por la gracia de Dios, rey de Castilla, de Leon,
de Aragon, de las dos Sicilias, de Jerusalem, de Navarra, de Granada, de
Toledo, de Valencia, de Galicia, de Mallorca, de Sevilla, de Cerdeña, de
Cordoba, de Corcega, de Murcia, de Jaen, de los Algarbes, de Algeciras,
de Gibraltar, de las islas de Canaria, de las Indias Orientales y
Occidentales, islas y tierra ferme del Mar Oceano; archiduque de
Austria; duque de Borgoña, de Brabante y de Milan; conde de Absparg,
Flandes, Tirol y Barcelona; señor de Viscaya y de Molina,[192] &c._

Such was the heading of the document which conferred the honour of
knighthood (silver cross of the first class of the royal and military
order of St. Ferdinand), upon _Don_ Antonio Condé, a soldier of the
light company (cazadores) of the Queen's, or second regiment of the
line, in acknowledgment of his distinguished services against the
_revolutionarios_ of the _isla de Leon_, who surrendered at Bejer on the
8th March, 1831.

The bearer of this _certificate_ of gallant conduct--for the
gratification that its possession afforded his vanity was the only sense
in which it could be considered a _reward_--was in person rather below
the usual stature of the Andalusian peasantry; but his square shoulders,
open chest, and muscular limbs, bespoke him to be possessed of more than
their wonted strength and activity.

In other respects too he differed somewhat from his countrymen, his hair
being light, even lighter than what they call _castaños_, or chestnut,
his chin beardless, and his eyes hazel. His manners were those of a
frank young soldier, rather, perhaps, of the French school, with a dash
of the _beau garçon_ about him, but, on the whole, very prepossessing.
In his carriage to us, though rather inquisitive, he was at all times
respectful; but towards his fellow countrymen, not of _the cloth_, a
certain hauteur was observable in his deportment, which clearly showed
that he prided himself on the "_Don_."

The document, encased with the brevet of knighthood, of which mention
has before been made, briefly, but in very honourable terms, described
the gallant conduct of the young soldier, and forms the groundwork of
the following _memoir_; a circumstance I feel called upon to mention,
lest my hero should be wrongfully accused of vain-gloriously boasting of
his achievements; and this also will explain why his story is not,
throughout, told in the first person.

The secluded little village of Guarda, which has been noticed in the
course of my peregrinations, as lying to the right of the high road from
Jaen to Granada (about five miles from the former city), was the
birth-place of Antonio Condé. His parents, though in a humble station of
life, were of _sangre limpio_;[193] and never having heard of Malthus,
had married early, and most unphilosophically added a family of seven
human beings to the already overstocked population of this
wisdom-getting world.

Five of these unfortunate mortals were daughters, and our hero was the
younger of the two masculine lumps of animated clay. His brother, who
was many years his senior, had joined the army at an early age, and at
the conclusion of the war had proceeded with his regiment to the
Habana, where he still remained; their parents, therefore, now declining
in years, were anxious to keep their remaining son at home, to assist in
supporting the family. Such, however, was not to be the case, for, on
the _quintos_ being called out in 1830, it fell to Antonio's lot to be
one of the quota furnished by the district that included his native

To purchase a substitute was out of the question--the price was quite
beyond his parents' means; and though his brother had, at various times,
transmitted money home, which, with praiseworthy foresight, had been
hoarded up to make some little provision for his sisters, but was now
urgently offered to buy him off, yet Antonio would not listen to its
being so applied. To confess the truth, indeed, he secretly rejoiced at
his lot, having always wished to be a soldier, though he could never
bring himself voluntarily to quit his aged parents. Now, he maintained,
there was no alternative; and accordingly, with the brilliant prospect
of making a fortune, which the military life opened to him, he marched
from his native village, and joined the Queen's regiment, then quartered
at Seville, to the cazador company of which he was shortly afterwards

Antonio's zeal, and assiduous attention to his duties, as well as his
general good conduct and intelligence, made him a great favourite with
his officers; whilst his youth, good humour, and gay disposition,
endeared him equally to his comrades, in whose amusements he generally
took the lead. In fact, he soon became the pattern man of the pattern
company, and attained the rank of corporal.

Early in the month of March, 1831, the Queen's regiment received orders
to proceed by forced marches to Cadiz, where the _soi-disant_
"liberals," having again raised the standard of revolt, commenced the
work of regeneration by murdering the governor of the city in the
streets at noon day. The cold-blooded, calculating miscreants, who
committed this act, excused themselves for the premeditated murder of a
man _universally_ beloved and respected, by saying it was necessary for
the success of their plans to commence with a blow that should strike
terror into the hearts of their opponents. They killed, therefore, the
most virtuous man they could select, to show that no one would be spared
who thenceforth ventured to entertain a doubt, that the constitution
they upheld was the _beau idéal_ of liberal government; and, I regret to
say, Englishmen were found who applauded this atrocious doctrine, and
considered the subsequent punishment inflicted on Torrijos, and the
other abettors and instigators of this barbarity, as an act of
unprecedented cruelty on the part of the "tyrant Ferdinand" and his
"_servile_" ministers.

Antonio's regiment proceeded to the scene of revolt by way of Utrera and
Xeres, and on reaching Puerto Santa Maria received orders to continue
its march round the head of the bay of Cadiz, and occupy, without delay,
the Puente Zuazo, with the view of confining the rebels to the isla de
Leon, their attempt to gain possession of Cadiz having failed, through
the loyalty and firmness of the troops composing its garrison.

The rebels, however, effected their escape, ere the Queen's regiment
reached its destined position, and had marched to Chiclana, in the hope
of being there joined by another band of "_facciosos_," under an
ex-officer, named Torrijos; which, long collected in the bay, and
protected by the guns of Gibraltar, was to have effected a landing on
the coast to the westward of Tarifa, and marched thence to support the
ruffians of the isla.

The royal troops were instantly sent in pursuit of the rebels, who,
abandoning Chiclana, fell back successively upon Conil and Vejer. The
strength of the position of this latter town induced them to make a
stand, and await the momentarily expected reinforcement under Torrijos;
and the King's troops having assembled in considerable force at the foot
of the mountain, determined on attempting to dislodge them from the
formidable post, ere they received this accession of strength; a sharp
conflict was the consequence, which terminated in the royalists being
repulsed with severe loss.

Antonio, who was well acquainted with the ground, now respectfully
hinted to the captain of his company, that the retreat of the rebels
might be effectually cut off by taking possession of the bridge over the
Barbate, which--all the boats on the river having been destroyed--alone
offered the rebels the means of reaching Tarifa, or Torrijos that of
coming to the assistance of the blockaded town.

The captain communicated our hero's plans to the commander of the
expedition, who immediately adopted it, wisely abstaining from wasting
further blood to obtain a result by force, which starvation, sooner or
later, would be sure to bring about.

In pursuance, therefore, of Antonio's project, the Queen's regiment
received orders to take possession of the bridge, and the _cazador_
company was pushed on with all speed, to facilitate the execution of
this rather difficult operation.

The bridge, as I have described in a former chapter, is situated
immediately under the lofty precipitous cliff whereon the town of Vejer
is perched, and the road to it is conducted, for nearly half a mile,
along a narrow strip of level ground, between the bank of the Barbate
and the foot of the precipice.

In their advance, therefore, the _cazadores_ were exposed to a most
destructive shower of bullets, stones, &c. from above, and, of the whole
company, only Corporal Condé, and seven of his comrades, made good their
way, and threw themselves into the venta; which stands on the right bank
of the stream, close to the bridge. They instantly opened a fire from
the windows of the inn upon the rebels in the town overhead, who, at
first, returned it with interest; but after some time Antonio was
beginning to flatter himself, from the slackening of their fusillade,
that he was making their post too hot for them, when, looking round, he
perceived the whole force of the _facciosos_ descending from the town in
one long column, by the road which winds down to the bridge, round the
eastern face of the mountain, their intention evidently being to force a
passage _à todo precio_.[194]

Antonio's comrades were daunted; they had no officer with them; there
was no appearance of support being at hand; and the odds against them
were fearful. Prudence suggested, therefore, that they should shut
themselves up in the venta, and let the enemy pass.

Our hero, however, saw how much depended on the decision of that moment.
If the rebels succeeded in crossing the bridge, nothing could prevent
their forming a junction with the band of Torrijos, and in that case the
country might, for many months, be subjected to their outrages and
rapine, and Gibraltar would afford them a sure retreat; he determined,
therefore, to make an effort to intimidate them, and knowing the weight
his example would have upon his comrades, rushed out of the venta,
calling upon them to follow; and taking post behind some old walls, that
formed, as it were, a kind of _tête de pont_, opened a brisk fire upon
the advancing column of the enemy.

The boldness of the manoeuvre intimidated the rebels, who, thinking
that this handful of men must be supported by a considerable force,
hesitated, halted for further orders, and, finally, threw out a line of
skirmishers to cover their movements, between whom and Antonio's party a
sharp fire was kept up for several minutes.

In this skirmish one of Antonio's companions was killed, another fell
badly wounded by his side, and he himself received a wound in his head,
which, but that the ball had previously passed through the top of his
chako, would, probably, have been fatal.

The rebels, discovering at length that the small force opposed to them
was altogether without support, again formed in column of attack to
force the bridge. The word "forward" was given, and Antonio feared that
his devotion would prove of no avail, when, at the critical moment, the
remainder of his company advanced from behind the venta at the _pas de
charge_, rending the air with loud cries of "_Viva el Rey_," and opening
a fire which took the enemy in flank.

The rebels saw that the golden opportunity had been missed, and, seized
with a panic, retired hastily to their stronghold, closely pressed by
the _cazadores_, who hoped to enter the town pêle mêle with them.

The commander of the king's troops, who had galloped to the spot where
he heard firing, determined, however, to adhere to the plan of reducing
the rebels to starvation; which now, by Antonio's gallantry, he was
certain of eventually effecting; and ordered, therefore, the recall to
be sounded as soon as he saw the enemy had regained the town.
Unfortunately for our hero, who, attended by a single comrade, was at
the extreme left of the extended line of skirmishers, and had taken
advantage of one of the deep gullies that furrow the side of the
mountain to advance unobserved on the enemy; he neither heard the signal
to retire, nor saw his companions fall back; continuing, therefore, to
advance, it was only on gaining the head of the ravine that he suddenly
became aware of the extreme peril of their situation, and that a quick
retreat alone could save them. It was, however, too late; his
comrade--his bosom friend, Gaspar Herrera--fell, apparently dead, a
dozen paces from him, and he, himself, in the act of raising up his
brave companion, was brought to the ground by a ball, which splintered
his ankle-bone. He managed, with great difficulty, to crawl to some
palmeta bushes, having first sheltered the body of his friend behind the
stem of a stunted olive tree, which would not afford cover for both;
and, lying flat on the ground, waited for some time in the hope that his
company had merely moved round to the left to gain a more accessible
part of the mountain, and would speedily renew the attack.

At length, his patience becoming exhausted, he thought it would be well
to let his comrades know where he was, and once more levelling his
musket, resumed the offensive by attacking a pig, which, unconscious of
danger, came grunting with carniverous purpose towards that part of the
gory field where the body of his friend Gaspar lay extended. This drew a
heavy fire upon Antonio, but, as he was much below the rebels, who had
all retired into the town, and was tolerably well sheltered by the
friendly palmetas, he escaped further damage.

In the meanwhile, Antonio and Gaspar had had been reported as killed to
the captain of the _cazadores_, who, whilst deploring with the other
officers the loss of the two most promising young men of his company,
heard the renewed firing in the direction of the late skirmish.
"_Corajo!_" he exclaimed, "that must be Condé and Herrera still at it."
"No, Señor," replied the serjeant, "they were both seen to fall as we
retreated from the hill; that firing must be an attack upon our friends
posted on the other side of the town; the rebels are probably attempting
to force a passage in that direction." "Well then, I cannot do wrong in
advancing," said the captain, "so let us on. Nevertheless, I still think
it is the fire of Condé and his comrade, and I know, my brave fellows,"
he continued, addressing his men, "I know that if it be possible to
bring them off, you will do it."

They advanced, accordingly, in the direction of the firing, and, as the
captain had conjectured, there they found Condé continuing the combat _à
l'outrance_, extended full length upon the ground under cover of the
palmeta bushes, with his head and ankle bandaged, and his ammunition
nearly exhausted. They fortunately succeeded in bearing him off without
sustaining any loss, though Condé insisted on their first removing the
seemingly lifeless body of his friend Gaspar, which he pointed out to

The detachment at the venta had now been reinforced by some cavalry and
artillery, and the remainder of the Queen's regiment, whilst the rest
of the Royalist force took post on the opposite side of the town, in a
position that covered the roads to Chiclana, Medina, Sidonia, and Alcalà
de los Gazules, thereby depriving the beleaguered rebels of all chance
of escape.

Towards dusk that same evening, one of Torrijos's troopers was brought
in a prisoner. Unconscious of the state of affairs, he had mistaken a
cavalry piquet of the king's troops for the advanced guard of the
_facciosos_, and had not even discovered his error in time to destroy
the despatches of which he was the bearer. By these it was learnt that
Torrijos, apprized of the failure on Cadiz and subsequent escape of the
rebel-band from the Isla de Leon, had not budged from the spot where he
had effected his landing; but he now sent to acquaint his coadjutors
that he had collected a sufficiency of boats to take them all off, and
that the bearer would be their guide to the place of embarkation.

This information was forwarded to the rebels at Vejer, who, not giving
credit to it, continued to hold out until the third day, when their
provisions being exhausted and no Torrijos appearing, they agreed to
capitulate, and were marched prisoners to the Isla, where, but a few
days before, "_Quantam est in rebus inane!_" they had styled themselves
the liberators of Spain.

The queen's regiment was now marched in all haste towards Tarifa, in the
hope of surprising and capturing Torrijos and his band, ere the news of
what had passed at Vejer could reach him, but he had taken the alarm at
the prolonged absence of his messenger, and, re-embarking his doughty
heroes, regained the anchorage of Gibraltar without having fired a shot
to assist their friends. The regiment, therefore, proceeded to
Algeciras, and from thence marched to San Roque, where it remained
stationary for several months.

Here Antonio rejoined it, accompanied by his friend Herrera, who, thanks
to the timely surgical aid his comrade had been the means of procuring
him, yet lived to evince his gratitude to his preserver. Here, also, our
hero received the distinction which his gallant conduct had so well
earned, as well as the grant of a--to-this-day-unpaid--pension of a real
per diem. Promotion, too, was offered, but he chose rather to wait for a
vacancy in his own regiment than to receive immediate rank in any other.

Our hero's military career was shortly, however, doomed to be brought to
a close. He had resumed his duty but a few days, when an order arrived
for the queen's regiment to proceed to Seville. The wound in Antonio's
ankle, though apparently quite healed, had been suffered to close over
the bullet that had inflicted it, and the first day's march produced
inflammation of so dangerous a character as to threaten, not only the
loss of his shattered limb, but even of life itself.

In this deplorable state Antonio was left behind at Ximena, where,
fortunately, an aunt of Gaspar resided. The good Dame Felipa required
only to hear the young soldier's name--his noble act of friendship
having long made it familiar to her ear--to receive him as her son.
"Never can I forget her kindness," said Antonio; "my own mother could
not have tended me with more unremitted attention, and--under the
Almighty--I feel that my recovery is entirely their work." Here an
"_Ay!_" drawn seemingly from the innermost recess of his heart, escaped
from the young soldier's lips, which, appearing quite out of keeping
with the terms in which he spoke of Dame Felipa's _maternal_ solicitude,
induced me, after a moment's pause, to ask, "But who are _they_,

"The aunt and sister of Gaspar," he replied, with some little confusion.

"And you find the wounds of Cupid more incurable than those of Bellona?"
said I, jestingly--"_Vamos_, Don Antonio! As Sancho says, '_Gusto mucho
destas cosas de amores_,'[195] so let us have the sequel of your story
by all means."

"I shall not be very long in relating it," continued our hero. "For
three months I remained the guest of Doña Felipa. A fever, produced by
my intense sufferings, rendered me for many days quite insensible to the
extraordinary kindness of which I was the object; at length it was
subdued, leaving me, however, so reduced, that for weeks I could not
quit my couch. Indeed, the most perfect repose was ordered on account of
my wound, the cure of which was rendered far more tedious and
troublesome from former mismanagement. During this long period, the
sister of my friend Gaspar was my constant attendant. She read to me,
sang to me, or touched the guitar to break--what she imagined must
be--the wearisome monotony of my confinement. I have even, when
consciousness first returned, on the abatement of the fever, heard her,
thinking I was sleeping, _pray_ for the recovery of her brother's

"It was impossible to be thus the object of Manuela's tender solicitude,
without being impressed with the most ardent love and admiration for one
so pure, so engaging, and so beauteous! Had she indeed been less lovely
and captivating, had she even been absolutely plain, still her assiduous
and disinterested attention could not but have called forth my warmest
gratitude and regard; but I trust you will one day see Manuela, and
then be able to judge if I could resist becoming the captive of such
_enganchamientos_[196] as she possesses.

"Vainly I endeavoured to stifle the rising passion at its birth. Alas!
the greater my efforts were to eradicate it, the deeper it took root in
my heart. I hoped, nevertheless, to have sufficient self-control to
conceal my passion from the eyes of all, even of her who had called it
into existence, for gratitude and honour equally forbade my endeavouring
to engage the affections of one whose family, placed in a walk of life
far above mine--that is in point of _wealth_, added the K. S. F.
somewhat proudly--I had little right to hope, would consider a poor
soldier of fortune a suitable match for the daughter of the rich Don
Fadrique Herrara. Nor did I know, indeed, how Manuela herself would
receive my addresses, for I scarcely ventured to attribute the soft
glances of her love-inspiring eyes to any other feeling than that of
compassion for the sufferings of her brother's friend.

"The day of separation came, however, and the veil which had so long
concealed our mutual feelings was gently and unpremeditatedly drawn
aside. Manuela's father and her brother Gaspar came to Ximena to pass a
few days with Doña Felipa, and finding that, though still a prisoner to
my room, I was now declared to be out of all danger, Don Fadrique
announced his intention of taking his daughter home with him--her visit
having already been prolonged far beyond the time originally fixed, in
consequence of my illness, and the fatigue which, unassisted, the
attendance upon me would have imposed on her aunt.

"When the dreaded hour of departure arrived, my lovely nurse came to the
side of my couch, to bid her last farewell. A tear stood in her bright
eye; the silvery tones of her voice faltered; her hand trembled as she
placed it in mine, and a blush suffused her cheeks as I pressed it to my
lips. But that soft hand was not withdrawn until her own lips had
confessed her love, and had sealed the unsolicited promise, never to
bestow that hand upon another!

"The difficulty now was to make known our mutual attachment to her
father, who I dreaded would think but ill of me, for the return thus
made for all the kindness of his family. My pride pinched me, also, lest
allusion should be made to my poverty, for, though poor, the blood of
the Condé's is pure as any in the Serranía.

"I had but little time for consideration, for Don Fadrique was about to
mount his horse, and I thought the best channel of communication would
be my friend Gaspar. He listened attentively to my tale, which was not
told without much embarrassment, and then, to my confusion, burst into
a loud laugh.

"'Pretty _news_, truly, _amigo_ Antonio,' he at length exclaimed. '_My_
eyes, however, have not been so exclusively occupied with one object for
this week past--like your's and my sister's--as to render the
communication of this wonderful secret at all necessary. But be of good
cheer; I have seen how the matter stood, and, on the part of my sister,
encouraged it; and I hope to be able to overcome all difficulties, so
leave the affair in my hands:--on our way homewards I will talk the
matter over with my father, and you shall hear the result shortly.'

"Nor did he disappoint me. In a few days a letter came from Gaspar: the
result of his interference exceeded my expectations: Don Fadrique had
received his communication very calmly, and told him that before
returning any definite answer, he should take time to fathom Manuela's

"Not long after this, I received a letter, of a less satisfactory kind,
however, from Don Fadrique himself. It simply stated that he could not
at present give his consent to his daughter's accepting me; that he had
no objections to urge on the score of my rank in life, or the way in
which I had acted in the matter, but that his daughter's expectations
entitled him to look for a wealthier son-in-law, and that, in fact, it
had long been a favorite plan of his, to unite her to the son of an old
and intimate friend, when they should be of a proper age.

"Nevertheless--his letter concluded--provided I would abstain from
seeing, writing to, or holding _in any way_ communication with his
daughter for the space of two years, he would, at the expiration of that
period, consent to our union, should we both continue to wish it.

"This chilling letter was accompanied by a hastily written billet from
Manuela. It was as follows:--'I know my father's conditions--accept
them, and have full confidence in the constancy of your Manuela.'

"I accordingly wrote to Don Fadrique, subscribing to the terms he
proposed, and, from that day to this, have neither seen nor communicated
with either Manuela or any member of her family."

"But have you not heard from time to time of the welfare of your
Manuela?" I asked; "are you sure she is yet unmarried?" For it struck me
that the young son of "an old and intimate friend" was a dangerous
person to have paying court to one's mistress during a two years'
absence; especially in Spain, where _love matches_ are rather scouted. A
story that one of Manuela's countrywomen related to me of herself,
recurring to me at the same time.

This lady had, early in life, formed an attachment to a young officer,
whom poverty alone prevented her marrying. His regiment was ordered to
Ceuta, and she remained at Malaga, consoling herself with the hope that
brighter days would dawn upon them. Her friends laughed at the idea of
such interminable constancy, especially as a most advantageous _parti_
presented itself for her acceptance. The proposer--it is true--was
neither so handsome nor so youthful as the exile, but then he was also
an officer, and "_in very good circumstances_." She could not forget her
first love, however--indeed, she _never_ could--and long turned a deaf
ear to the tender whisperings of her new admirer; but, at length, her
relations became urgent, as well as her lover; the mail boat from Ceuta
gradually came to be looked for with less impatience; and, "_por fin_,"
she observed, "_como era Capitan por Capitan (!!)_,[197] I had no great
objections to urge, and we were married!"

She confessed to me, however, that this exchange was not effected
"_without paying the difference_," as the treatment she experienced from
her rich husband, caused her ever after to regret having given up her
poor lover.

But to return to Antonio--"I have had but few opportunities of hearing
from Manuela," he replied, "for my native village is removed from any
high road, and the close attendance required by my aged parents--my
wound having incapacitated me from further military service--has been
such, that I seldom could get as far as Jaen to make enquiries amongst
the _contrabandistas_ and others who visit the neighbourhood, of her
place of residence; but about a month since I met an _arriero_ of Arcos,
who knew Don Fadrique well, and from him I learnt that Manuela is still
unmarried, has lost all her beauty, is wasted to a shadow; and said to
be suffering from some disease that baffles the skill of the most
eminent physicians of the place.

"This intelligence has made me the more anxious to see her, and claim
her promised hand, for no change in her personal appearance--even if the
account be true--can alter the sentiments I entertain for her; but, at
the same time, it has placed a weight upon my spirits which in vain I
endeavour to throw off.

"The morning it was my good fortune to fall in with you, Caballeros, I
had set out from my home to proceed to Ximena, whither I understand
Manuela has been removed for change of air. For the term of my
probation, though not yet expired, is fast drawing to a close, and
having some business to transact with the military authorities at
Granada and Malaga respecting my pension (of which not a _maravedi_ has
ever been paid), I have timed my movements so as to reach Ximena by the
day on which I may again present myself to Manuela, and receive, I
trust, the reward of my constancy."

Antonio's narrative was here brought to a conclusion, but ere he left
us, I exacted the promise mentioned in the preceding chapter, that he
would acquaint us with the result of Don Fadrique's essay in
experimental philosophy. Circumstances, however, occurred to prevent our
meeting him at the place of appointment, and I had almost given up the
hope of hearing more of Antonio and his love story, when, to my
surprise, he one morning presented himself at my breakfast table at San

I saw, at the first glance, that the course of true love had not run
smooth--he was pale and hagged--flurried, yet dispirited. "My good
Antonio," said I, unwilling to give utterance to a doubt of his fair
one's constancy, "I fear Don Fadrique has not proved to be a man of his

"_Perdon usted_," he replied--"he has been faithful to his word"--worse
and worse, thought I--"And Manuela not less constant in her affection,"
he continued; guessing at once the suspicion that flitted across my
mind--"Alas! I could even wish it were not so, if all otherwise were
well; but fate has ordered differently. A calamity has befallen Manuela;
compared to which, death would be a mercy. She is in a state that is
heart-rending to behold. Her sufferings are almost beyond the power of
bearing. Oh, Caballero! it is fearful--it is awful to see her. She has
the best advice that money can procure, but nothing can be done to give
us a hope of her recovery."

"Mad?" I exclaimed, with a shudder--"Oh, cursed love of riches...."

"_Nada, nada_,"[198] interrupted Antonio, "she is as sensible as ever.
Alas! I could even bear to see her insane, for then I might hope that
time would effect a change."

"Is it _Etica_?" I asked, knowing that the Spaniards consider
consumption both incurable and highly infectious.

A mournful shake of the head was his reply.

"What then, my good Antonio, _is_ the nature of her malady?"

"_Ojala_[199] that it could be called a malady, Don Carlos," ejaculated
the silver cross of San Fernando; "it might not then be beyond the reach
of the physician's art. But _Dios de mi vida!_ there is no hope for her,
unless a miracle can be wrought. It is to have a consultation on that
point, I am come to San Roque."

"What," said I, my patience thoroughly exhausted, "has she embraced

"Not far from it, Don Carlos--she is possessed of a devil!"

"Friend Antonio," said I, "congratulate yourself;--such discoveries are
seldom made _before_ marriage. Let me, however, persuade you, instead of
consulting with priests, to allow an heretical English doctor to meet
this devil face to face; his simple nostrums may perchance be found more
efficacious than the exorcisms of the most pious divines. But explain to
me the signs and symptoms of the presence of this imp of darkness; and
pardon my making light of so serious an affair, for, rest assured, the
evil one is not now permitted to torment the human frame with bodily
anguish; his toils are spread for catching _souls_; and worldly
pleasures, not personal sufferings, are the means he employs to effect
his purpose."

Antonio then entered into a detailed account of his betrothed's ailment,
as well as of the mode of treatment that had been adopted; but,
ignorant, superstitious, and bigoted, as I knew the campestral Spanish
_faculty_ to be, I had yet to learn how far they could practise on the
credulity of their infatuated _patients_.

Manuela, it appeared, had, one day during the preceding Lent, been so
imprudent as to taste some chicken broth that had been prepared for her
sick father; and it was supposed, that the devil, assuming the
appearance of the egg of some insect, had gained admission to her throat
and settled in her breast, where he had ever since been nurtured and
was gradually "_comiendo su vida_!"[200]

The Doctors assured her friends that the only way of appeasing the
monster's appetite, was by the constant application of thick slices of
raw beef to the exterior of the part affected--but this remedy was daily
losing its effect.

My astonishment knew no bounds.--Was it possible such gross ignorance
could exist, or such horrible imposition be practised in the nineteenth

After much persuasion, Antonio promised to bring his betrothed to San
Roque, to have the advice of an English doctor; my proposal of taking
one to see her, at Ximena, having at once been negatived on the grounds
that it would cause great irritation amongst the people of that town;
and, accordingly, on the day appointed for the meeting, Manuela, borne
on a kind of litter, and accompanied by her aunt, came to San Roque on
the pretence of its being her wish to offer a wax bust at the shrine of
one of the Emigré Saints of Gibraltar "now established in the city of
_San Roque de su Campo;_" which said saint, having taken a very active
part in expelling the Moors from Spain, it was naturally concluded might
feel an interest in driving the devil out of Manuela's breast.

Antonio's mistress had evidently been a lovely creature. Her features
were beautifully outlined, but her white lips and bloodless cheeks, her
sunken eyes and wasted figure, declared the ravages making by some
terrible inward disease. She was suffering excessive pain from the
effects of the journey, but received us with a faint smile.

"I fear, sir," she said, with some emotion, addressing herself to my
friend, Dr. ----, "I fear, sir, that I have given you unnecessary trouble
in coming to see me, for I am told that my disorder is beyond the reach
of medical skill; but my friend here," pointing to her lover, who, with
brimful eyes, stood watching alternately the pain-distorted countenance
of his mistress and that of the Doctor, hoping, if possible, to discover
his thoughts, "my friend here requested me so earnestly to come and meet
you, that, as we shall be so short a time together on this earth, I
could not, as far as concerned myself, refuse him so slight a favour,
and I hope you will pardon the inconvenience to which we have put you."

Antonio and myself now withdrew, leaving Manuela and Doña Felipa with
Dr. ----, who, in a short time rejoined us, and, to Antonio's
inexpressible delight, informed him that the case of his betrothed was
not by any means hopeless, though she would have to submit to a painful
surgical operation, and then turning round to me, he added, "the poor
creature is suffering from a cancerous affection, which, fortunately, is
just in the state that I could most wish it to be. But no time must be

The nature of the case having been fully explained to Antonio, it was
left to him to persuade Manuela to submit to the necessary operation,
and to inform her, that though it might be performed with safety _then_,
yet death must inevitably be the consequence of delay.

The prejudices we were prepared to encounter were numerous, but they
were propounded chiefly by Manuela's aunt, she herself agreeing without
hesitation to every thing Antonio suggested. At length, however, the old
lady said a positive answer should be given after consulting with a
priest, and I forthwith accompanied Antonio to Don ---- ----, and
requested his attendance.

Antonio was present at the consultation, and gave us an amusing account
of it. The main objection of the Doña Felipa was to the heretical hand
that was to direct the knife; but the worthy _Padre_--who had good
reason to know the superior skill of the English faculty over those of
his own country, and was himself _spelling_ for a little advice on the
score of an over-strained digestion--took the case up most zealously,
and eventually overcame all their scruples.

"Fear not," said he, winding up his arguments, "Fear not, good dame, to
trust the maiden in his hands. Like as the Lord opened the mouth of
Balaam's ass to admonish her master, so has he put wisdom into the heads
of these heretical doctors for the good of us, his faithful servants.
Quiet your conscience, Señora Felipa, I myself have been physicked by
these semi-christian _Medicos_."

The case was not much in point, but it served the purpose. Doña Felipa
was convinced; her niece submitted; the operation was successfully
performed; the colour in a short time returned to the cheeks of the
truly lovely and loveable Manuela; the smile of health once again
lighted up her intelligent countenance. And, ere I left the country, the
small share it had fallen to my lot to take in producing this happy
change, was gratefully acknowledged by the expressive, though downcast
glance that gleamed from Manuela's bright and joyous eyes, on my
addressing her as the bride of the knight of San Fernando.



     _Itinerary of the principal Roads of Andalusia, and of the three
     great Routes leading from that Province to the Cities of Madrid,
     Lisbon, and Valencia._

N.B. The measurements on the Post Roads are given in Spanish leagues,
conformably with the Government Regulations by which Postmasters are
authorized to charge for their horses. On these, therefore, the
distances from stage to stage cannot be calculated with much precision;
but a Spanish _Post_ league may generally be reckoned 3½[201] English
miles. On the other roads the distances are more accurately specified in
English miles.

  No. 1.
  (A Post Road, travelled by Diligences.)

  From Baylen to Guarroman                2
      thence to La Carolina               2
          Santa Elena                     2
          La Venta de Cardenas            2
          Visillo                         2
          Sta. Cruz de Mudela             2
          Val de Peñas                    2
          N. S. de la Consalacion         2
          Manzanares                      2
          La Casa nueva del Rey           2½
          Villaharta                      2½
          Vta. del Puerto Lapice          2
          Madridejos                      3
          Caña de la higuera              2
          Tembleque                       2
          Guardia                         2
          Ocaña                           3½
          Aranjuez                        2
          Espartinas                      2½
          Los Angeles                     3
          Madrid                          2½
                           Total leagues 47½
  47½ leagues = 164 English miles.

  No. 2.
  (Post road, travelled by Carriages.)

  From Seville to Santi Ponce             1
      thence to La Venta de Guillena      3
          Ronquillo                       3
          Santa Olalla                    4
          Monasterio                      4
          Fuente de Cantos                3
          Los Santos de Maimona           4
          Santa Marta                     5
          Albuera                         3
          Badajos                         4
          Elvas (Portugal)                3
          Lisbon                         30
                           Total leagues 67
  67 leagues = 232 miles.

  No. 3.
  (Post road, no Diligence.)

  From Granada to Diezma                  6
      thence to Guadiz                    3
  From Guadiz to Baza                     7
    thence to Lorca                      18
      Murcia                             12
      Alicante                           13
      San Felipe                          9
      Valencia                           14
                           Total leagues 82

82 leagues=284 miles.

No. 4.


(Post road travelled by carriages.)

  From Cadiz to San Fernando              3
    thence to Puerto Sta. Maria           3
      Xeres de la Frontera                2½
      de Casa Real del Cuervo             3½
      Ventllo de la Torre de Orcas        3½
      Utrera                              3½
      Alcalà de Guadaira                  3
      Mairena del Alcor                   2
      Carmona                             2
      da Venta de la Portugueza           2½
      Luisiana                            3½
      Ecija                               3
      La Carlota                          4
      Cortijo de Mangonegro               3
      Cordoba                             3
      Alcolea                             2
      Carpio                              3
      Aldea del Rio                       3½
      Andujar                             3½
      La Casa del Rey                     2½
      Baylen                              2½
  By No. 1, from Baylen to Madrid        47½
                          Total leagues 109½

109½ leagues=378 miles

No. 5.


(Post and carriage road.)

  From Cadiz to Alcalà de Guadaira,
      by Route No. 4                      22
    Thence to Seville                      2
                           Total leagues  24

24 leagues=83 miles.

No. 6.


(Direct road, passable for carriages in summer only.)


  From Cadiz, by boat, to El
    Puerto de Santa Maria            5
  Thence to Xeres                    9
            Lebrija                 15
            Seville                 28
                        Total miles 57

No. 7.


(Post road.)


  From Cadiz to Seville, by No. 5.  24
       Seville to Lisbon, by No. 2. 67
                      Total leagues 91

91 leagues = 315 miles.

No. 8.


(Bridle road.)


  From Gibraltar to Los Barrios       12
  Thence to La Venta de Ojen           9
          La Venta de Tabilla         11
          La Venta de Vejer           14
  (Town of Vejer ½ a mile on left.)
          Chiclana                    16
          El Puente Zuazo              4½
          Cadiz                        9
                     Total miles      75½

No. 9.


(Another bridle road.)


  From Gibraltar to Algeciras[202]   9
  Thence to La Venta de Ojen        10
          by No. 8                  54½
                       Total miles  73½

No. 10.


(Bridle road.)


  From Gibraltar to San Roque              6
  Thence to La Venta la Gamez              4½
          La Casa de Castañas             15
          Alcalà de los Gazules           13
  (The town left ½ a mile to the right.)
          Paterna                          9
          Xeres                           16
                             Total miles  63½

No. 11.


(Bridle road.)


  From Gibraltar to Ximena      24
     thence to Ubrique          20
         El Broque              10
         Villa Martin            8
         Utrera                 21
         Dos Hermanos            8
         Seville                 7
                    Total miles 98

No 12.


(Bridle road to Seville, from thence a carriage road.)


  From Gibraltar to Seville, by
    Route No. 11                    98
  From Seville to Lisbon, by
    Route No. 2                    232
                       Total miles 330

No. 13.


(A post, but only bridle road to Osuna, from thence a carriage route.)


  From Gibraltar to San Roque      6
     thence to Gaucin             25
         Atajate                  14
         Ronda                    10
  From Ronda to Saucejo           21
     thence to Osuna              11
               Ecija              20
  By Route No. 4, from thence
    to Baylen,      27 leagues =  93
  By Route No. 1, from Baylen
    to Madrid,  47½ leagues    = 164
                     Total miles 364

No. 14.



(A bridle road only as far as Andujar.)


  From Gibraltar to Ronda, by
    Route No. 13                      55
  From Ronda to La Venta de
    Teba                              21
  (Town of Teba ½ mile on the right)
     thence to Campillos               6
         Fuente de Piedra              9
         Benemeji                     16
         Lucena                       12
         Baena                        18
         Porcuna                      24
         Andujar                      14
         Baylen                       17
  By Route No. 1, to Madrid,
                    47½ leagues    = 164
                         Total miles 356

No. 15.


(Bridle road.)


  From Gibraltar to Venta Guadiaro     12
     thence to Estepona                15
         Marbella                      16
         Fuengirola                    16
         Benalmedina                    6
         Malaga                        14
                           Total miles 79

No. 16.


(Bridle road.)

  From Gibraltar to Malaga, by
    Route No. 15                     79
  From Malaga to Valez               18
    thence to La Venta de Alcaucin   12
              Alhama                 12
              La Venta de Huelma     15
              La Mala                 6
              Granada                 9
                        Total miles 151

No. 17.


(Bridle road.)


  From Gibraltar to Granada, by
    Route No. 16                    151
  Thence to Valencia, by Route
    No. 3                           284
                        Total miles 435

No. 18.


(Bridle road.)


  From Malaga to Venta de Cartama       13½
    (leaves town of Cartama 1 mile
     on left.)
  Venta de Cartama to Casarabonela      11½
    (the ascent to this town may be
     avoided, keeping it to the left)
  Casarabonela to El Burgo               9
  thence to Ronda                       11
            Zahara                      15
  (Town half a mile off, on the left.)
  thence to Puerto Serrano               7
            Coronil                     10
            Utrera                       8
            Dos Hermanos                 8
            Seville                      7
                           Total miles 100

No. 19.


(Practicable for Carriages.)

  From Malaga to Venta de Galvez  15¾
  thence to Antequera             12¼
            Puente Don Gonzalo    27
            Rambla                16
            Cordoba               16
                      Total miles 87

No. 20.


(Post road, travelled by a Diligence.)

  From Malaga to El Colmenar      17
  Thence to Venta de Alfarnate    10
            Loja                  16
            Venta de Cacin         8
            Lachar                 9
            Santa Fé               8
            Granada                8
            Venta de San Rafael   27
            Jaen                  24
            Menjiber              14
            Baylen                10
  To Madrid by Route No. 1       164
                   Total miles   315

No. 21.


(a more direct road, but in part only practicable for carriages.)

  From Malaga to Loja, by Route      43
  Thence to Montefrio                12
            Alcalà la real           14
            Alcaudete                11
            Martos                   12
            Arjona                   17
            Andujar                   7
            Baylen                   17
            Madrid by Route No. 1   164

No. 22.


(Bridle road.)

  From Malaga to Granada, by
    Route No. 16                  72
  Thence to Valencia, by Route
    No. 3                        284
                   Total miles   356

No. 23.


(A wheel road as far as Alcalà.)

  From Granada to Pinos de la
      Puerte                     12
    thence to Alcalà la Real     18
              Baena              24
              Castro el Rio       6
              Cordoba            24
                   Total miles   84

No. 24.


(Diligence road.)

  From Granada to Baylen, by
    Route No. 20                75½
  Thence to Madrid by Route
    No. 1                      164
                 Total miles   239½

No. 25.


(Not a wheel road throughout.)

  From Granada to Santa Fé  8
    thence to Lachar        8
      La Venta de Cacin     9
      Loja                  8
      Archidona[203]       18
      Alameda              11
      Pedrera              12
      Osuna                11
      Marchena             14
      Maraina del Alcor    14
      Alcalà del Guadiaro   7
      Seville               8
              Total miles 128

No. 26.


(Post and Diligence road.)

  From Seville to Alcalà de Guadaira    8
  Thence to Beylen, by Route
    No. 4                             138
  Baylen to Madrid, by Route
    No. 1                             164
                          Total miles 310

No. 27.


  From Seville to Granada, by
    Route No. 25                128
  From Granada to Valencia, by
    Route No. 3                 284
                    Total miles 412

                     *       *       *       *       *

                           _Just Published_,

                  In 2 vols., 8vo. with Illustrations,


                          With Details of the

                             MILITARY POWER

 And Resources of those Countries, and Observations on the Government,
             Policy, and Commercial System of MOHAMMED ALI.

"One of the most sterling publications of the season. We have recently
had no small supply of information on Egypt, but there is a freshness in
Captain Scott's narrative that affords a new desire respecting the
events of this most interesting country. The narrative is throughout
light, and amusing; the habits and customs of the people are sketched
with considerable spirit and talent, and there is much novelty in the
gallant Author's details."--_Naval and Military Gazette._

"We do not recollect to have read a better book of travels than this,
since Slade's able publication on Turkey. The field of African and
Egyptian investigation has been variously trodden, but Captain Scott,
trusting to a shrewd observation and a sound understanding, has struck
out new lights and improved upon the information of others."--_United
Service Journal._

        HENRY COLBURN, Publisher, 13, Great Marlborough Street.

                     To be had of all Booksellers.

_In a Few Days will be Published_,



Compiled from the best Authorities, and Corrected from his own Notes and



To be had of Mr. NEW, Mapseller and Publisher, No. 11, Strand, price
2_s._ 6_d._


[1] See the Posting Itinerary in the Appendix.

[2] The post league has already been stated to contain 3 English miles,
and 807 yards.

[3] Town-hall.

[4] Lobster-hunting--such is the name for Locust in Spanish.

[5] Or Genua urbanorum.--Pliny.

[6] Hirt. Bel. Hist. Cap. LXI.

[7] In an abundant house supper is soon cooked.

[8] Red pepper.

[9] Cabbage.

[10] A kind of sausage, resembling those made at Bologna.

[11] Bacon.--Spanish bacon is certainly the best in the world, which
may be accounted for by the swine being fed principally on acorns,
chesnuts, and Indian corn.

[12] No vain boast--the fact being established on the testimony of

[13] Florez Medallas de las Colonias, &c.

[14] Mentioned in the Itinerary of Antoninus--not the Ilipa of Strabo
and Pliny, situated on the river Boetis, and in the county of Seville.

[15] The orchard.

[16] Evil doer.

[17] Alleys.

[18] The dead body.

[19] Roguish.

[20] La Martinière fell into a strange error in describing this river
and the battle field on its bank; making the stream fall into the bay
of Cadiz, and the scene of Alfonso's victory some fifty miles from
Tarifa. This mistake has been followed by several modern authors.

[21] Not the Mellaria of Pliny, which was a city of the Turduli, within
the county of Cordoba.

[22] A ruined town, no longer inhabited.

[23] By Strabo ninety-four miles, following the coast: i.e. 750 Stadia.

[24] Lib. III. Some editions enumerate two cities called _Besippo_,
thus, "Bæsaro Tauilla dicte Bæsippo, Barbesula, Lacippo, Bæsippo, &c.;"
but Holland and Harduin give only one, calling the first "_Belippo_."

[25] There is no Epidemic here.

[26] There are more direct cross-roads to these places, but they are
not always passable in winter.

[27] _Toll-house._

[28] Strabo.

[29] This one amongst the various restraints laid on the trade of
Gibraltar has very lately been removed on the remonstrance of our

[30] Shops where ice is sold.

[31] I understand this Cathedral is now being patched up in an
economical way to render it serviceable.

[32] Road of Hercules. The causeway connecting Cadiz with the Isla de
Leon is so called, and supposed to be a work of the Demi-god.

[33] 400 or 500 butts of Wine are shipped yearly from this place.

[34] The old mouth of the Guadalete is obstructed by a yet more
impracticable bar.

[35] 10,000 butts of Wine are collected annually from the vineyards of
Puerto Santa Maria. The exports amount to 12,000.

[36] Camomile.

[37] Mother.

[38] So called from the town of _Montilla_, whence the grape, that
originally produced this description of dry, light-coloured wine, was
brought to Xeres.

[39] Carthusian convent.

[40] Strabo and Pliny.

[41] A Fen, subject to the inundations of the sea. Such, however, is
not the case here.

[42] Water-courses, which are dry in summer.

[43] Written _Vrgia_ by Pliny--_Vcia_ by Ptolemy.

[44] Itin. Anton.

[45] España Sagrada.

[46] This supposes the earth's circumference to have been reckoned
240,000 stadia, giving 83-1/3 miles to a degree of the meridian. By the
calculation of Eratosthenes, the circumference of the earth was 252,000
stadia, which gives exactly 700 stadia, or 87½ miles to a degree.

[47] Mariana (lib. 3. cap. 22) has quite mistaken the situation of this
place, which he describes as two leagues from Xeres, _on the banks of
the Guadalete_. It is two leagues from Xeres, certainly, but nearly
three from the Guadalete, and but one and a half from the Guadalquivir.

[48] The area of the Mezquita at Cordoba, taken altogether, is larger,
but not the enclosed portion of Gothic architecture, which is, properly
speaking, the Episcopal church.

[49] A long time since.

[50] In England, however, it must be the taste of the nation that is
suffering from disease, rather than its drama, if, with such writers as
Sheridan Knowles, Talfourd, and Bulwer, the theatre does not once more
become a popular place of resort.

[51] Farce; but, literally, goût, highly seasoned dish.

[52] Low and disorderly people.

[53] Florez Medallas descubiertas, &c.

[54] Old Seville.

[55] De Bell. Civ.

[56] Hollond--intending, of course, the Itipa of the Itinerary, since
the city of that name, mentioned by Pliny, was on the right bank of
the Guadalquivír; and from medals discovered of it, whereon a fish is
borne, may be concluded to have stood on the very margin of the river.

[57] The gallant and talented author of the "History of the Peninsular
War" has fallen into some slight topographical errors (caused,
probably, by the extraordinary inaccuracy of the Spanish maps) in
describing the movements of the contending armies. He describes, for
instance, the French as obliging the Duke of Albuquerque to abandon
his position at Carmona (where he had hoped to cover both Seville
and Cadiz), by moving from Ecija upon Utrera (i.e. in rear of the
Spanish army), along "a road by Moron, shorter" than that leading to
the same place through Carmona. But so far from this road by Moron
being "_shorter_," it is yet more circuitous than the chaussée; and,
moreover, by skirting the foot of the Ronda mountains, it is both bad
and hilly.

He furthermore represents the Duke of Albuquerque as falling back
from Utrera upon Xeres, with all possible speed, and, nevertheless,
taking Lebrija in his way, which town is, at least, eight miles out
of the direct road. A French account (_La Pène, Campagne de 1810_)
says, the Spanish army fell back from Carmona "par le chemin _le plus
direct, Utrera et Arcos sur Xeres_,"--an error equally glaring, for the
chaussée is the shortest road from Utrera to Xeres;--in fact, it is as
direct as a road can well be, and leaves Arcos some twelve miles on
the left! We may suppose, in attempting to reconcile these discrepant
accounts, that the main body of the duke's army retreated from Utrera
to Xeres by the chaussée; the cavalry by Arcos, to cover its right
flank during the march; and that the road by Lebrija was taken by the
troops withdrawn from Seville, as being the most direct route from that
city to Xeres.

[58] Don Maldonado Saavedra viewed it in this light, imagining that, in
the Itinerary of Antoninus from Cadiz to Cordoba, two distinct roads
were referred to; one proceeding direct, by way of Seville, whence it
was taken up by another road, afterwards described, to Cordoba; the
other (starting again from Cadiz) traversing the Serranía de Ronda to
Antequera, and proceeding thence to Cordoba by Ulía. Florez, however,
disputes this hypothesis, conceiving that but one route is intended,
and that from Seville onwards it was given, not as a direct road, but
merely as one by which troops might be marched if occasion required.
But why, if such were the case, a road should have been made that
increased the distance from Seville to Antequera from 85 to 121 miles,
he does not explain; and I confess, therefore, it seems to me, that Don
Maldonado Saavedra's supposition is the more probable. The distances,
however, between the modern places which he has named as corresponding
with those mentioned in the Itinerary do not at all agree; and he
also, in laying down the road from Cadiz to Antequera, has made it
unnecessarily circuitous. The following towns will be found to answer
much better with those mentioned in the Roman Itinerary, and the line
connecting them is one of the most practicable through the Serranía.

_Iter a Gadis Corduba, milia plus minus 295 sic._

                                                Roman miles.

  Ad pontem (Puente Zuazo) m. p. m.                  12
  Portu Gaditano (Puerto Santa Maria)                14
  Hasta (near La Mesa de Asta)                       16
  Ugia (Las Cabezas de San Juan)                     27
  Orippo (Dos Hermanos)                              24
  Hispali (Seville)                                   9

  (returning now to the Puente Zuazo, we have to)

  Basilippo (a rocky mound and ruins between Paterna
  and Alcalà de los Gazules)                         21

[59] Olbera, according to Saavedra.

[60] This disagreement with the heading is in the original.

[61] Cura de los Palacios.

[62] The diminutive of Venta.

[63] Are they English?

[64] Literally--on which foot the business was lame.


    He who shelters himself under a good tree,
      gets a good shade.

[66] Name and surname.

[67] Beneficed clergyman.

[68] Glance--from ojo, eye.

[69] Good for study.

[70] The lower orders of Spaniards, generally speaking, imagine that
Protestantism implies a denial of the Godhead in the person of Our
Saviour, and consider that but for our eating pork, like _Christianos
Viejos_, we should be little better than Jews. For the whole seed of
Israel, they entertain a most preposterous dislike; so deep rooted is
it, indeed, that I once knew an instance of a young Spanish woman--far
removed from a _low_ station in life, however--who was perfectly
horrified on being told by an English lady that Our Saviour was a
Jew. Her exclamation of "Jesus!" was in a key which seemed to express
wonder that such a blasphemous assertion had not met with the summary
punishment of Annanias and Sapphira. I have no doubt but that the bad
success which has attended the _Cristina_ arms is attributed by the
lower orders less to the incapacity of Espartero and Co. than to the
Jewish blood flowing in the veins of Señor Mendizabel.

[71] Mapping the town.

[72] A Spanish side-saddle; or, more properly, an _arm-chair_, placed
sideways on a horse's back, with a board to rest the feet upon.

[73] Female attendant.

[74] Managing person.

[75] Ages ago.

[76] Many Roman Emperors.

[77] As it is said, by an Englishman named Marlborough, and other very
distinguished persons.

[78] Palacios, posadas, y todo--i.e., palaces, inns, and _every thing_.

[79] Throughout Spain.

[80] For every thing it has a cure--look you, &c.

[81] Youngster.

[82] The poor old Tio could not have acted under "proper directions,"
as I am informed that he died the year following my last visit to the

[83] I drink no other--never any other--I cook and every thing with it.

[84] Even to its bad smell.

[85] Little walk.

[86] A game that bears some resemblance to Boston.

[87] The Invalid.

[88] The water--nothing but the water--there is nothing in the world
more salutary.

[89] They say that he was one of those lords, of whom there are so many
in England.

[90] Heaps of gold.

[91] To me it appears.

[92] The Spaniards considered tea a medicine.

[93] A gentleman in whom perfect confidence might be placed.

[94] Yes, sir; that is true.

[95] Pastures.

[96] There are many robbers hereabouts--last year (accursed be these
rascally Spaniards!) a good fowling-piece was stolen from me in this
confounded narrow pass, &c.

[97] These beggarly Spaniards, &c.

[98] Young lady of the house.

[99] Very well _combed_, literally--her hair well dressed.

[100] Unequalled.

[101] A young girl I am bringing up for (_i. e._ to be) a countess.

[102] Now, gentlemen, it is necessary to load--these cowardly Spaniards
always fall suddenly upon one; and, if we are not prepared, we shall
be all netted, like so many little birds.--We are all well armed with
double-barrelled guns, and, with prudence, we shall have nothing to
fear--but ...! prudence is necessary.

[103] In these parts, no evil-disposed persons whatever are to be met
with; that sort of _canaille_ know too well who Louis de Castro is.

[104] A gazpacho, eaten hot.

[105] Literally, _beds_--spots frequented by the deer.

[106] Wolf.

[107] The position taken up by the sportsmen is called the _cama_, as
well as the haunt of the game.

[108] A day of foxes--an expression amongst Spanish sportsmen,
signifying an unlucky day.

[109] Literally, light--here used as "_fire!_"

[110] A wild boar! zounds!

[111] Yes, it is a sow.

[112] To escape from the thunder, and encounter the lightning.

[113] The war-cry of the Spaniards.

[114] I precede you with this motive, and in the shortest possible time
_all will be ready_.

[115] Very dear friend of mine; aprec'ion, abbreviation of apreciacion;

[116] Go you with God ... and without a horse.

[117] An ounce; i. e. a doubloon.

[118] Get down directly.

[119] Perhaps a flight of woodcocks will arrive to-night. Is it not
true, good father?

[120] "It is infested with banditti at each step. Is it not true, Don
Diego, that that rocky path beyond Alcalà is called the road to the
infernal regions?" "Yes, yes--as true as holy writ."

[121] Rock of Sancho.

[122] The little stream that empties itself into the sea, near Tarifa,
is called _El_ Salado, _par excellence_, in consequence of the great
victory gained on its banks by Alfonso XI.; but, properly speaking, it
is El Salado _de Tarifa_.

[123] Hirtius, Bel. Hisp. cap 7.

[124] Ibid. cap. 8.

[125] Dion--Lib. 48.

[126] Dion and Hirtius.

[127] Cap. 27.

[128] _Singilia Hegua_, corrected by Hardouin to Singili Ategua.--The
ruins of Singili are on the banks of the Genil (Singilis) to the north
of Antequera.

[129] It is a mere boast, however, for, according to Rocca, the French
entered the town and levied a contribution.

[130] Scanty _vecinos_--a _vecino_, used as a _statistical_ term,
implies a hearth or family, though literally a neighbour. The Spanish
computation of population is always made by _vecinos_.

[131] He does not understand.

[132] Have no anxiety.

[133] Mapping the country.

[134] Town.

[135] Fair and softly.

[136] Nonsense.

[137] Should this good woman be yet living, I suspect her opinion on
this point will have undergone a material change--like that of most

[138] With polite mien and deportment.

[139] What a rare people are these English!

[140] Mentioned by Hirtius--Bell. Hisp. Cap. XXVII.

[141] The salutary waters of the divine Genil.--DON QUIJOTE.

[142] Dion and Hirtius.

[143] Zurita and Hardouin maintain, that it is not in the old editions
of Pliny.

[144] Foreign gentlemen.

[145] The wheel of fortune revolves more rapidly than that of a mill,
and those who were elevated yesterday, to-day are on the ground.

[146] These _Salvo conductos_ were by no means uncommon in those days.
A friend of mine offered to procure me one to ensure me the protection
of the celebrated _José Maria_.

[147] Forward, forward, heartless deceiver!

[148] There is no wedding without its morrow's festival.


    Between the hand and the mouth
      the soup falls

[150] Holy face.

[151] Uninhabited place.

[152] Distant from Cordoba 300 stadia.

[153] Distant fourteen miles from the Guadalquivír.

[154] _Illiturgi quod Forum Julium._--PLINY.

[155] Titus Livius, lib. 28.

[156] Pliny.

[157] To the parlour! to the parlour!

[158] Be not afraid.

[159] Stew.

[160] Literally, that he could no more.

[161] I, the king.

[162] With us, I am sorry to say, "the honour of knighthood" has, in
too many instances, become rather an acknowledgment of so many years'
_good salary received_, than of any meritorious service performed.

[163] A very small copper coin.

[164] And this is a teapot!

[165] A pillow!

[166] What voluptuous people!

[167] A stone--a flint.

[168] How! without horses, without mules, without any thing, save steam!

[169] The estate, so called, was bestowed on the Duke of Wellington, as
a slight acknowledgment of the distinguished services rendered by him
to the Spanish nation.

[170] Santa Fé, built by Ferdinand and Isabella during the siege of
Granada, and dignified by them with the title of _city_, is a wretched
little walled town, of some twelve or fifteen hundred inhabitants; and,
excepting two full-length portraits of the Catholic kings contained in
the church, possesses nothing worthy of notice.

[171] Eating; to use the expression of one of the peasants we conversed

[172] _Itinerary of Antoninus._

  Malaca to Suel          21 m. p. m.
  To Cilniana             24    "
  To Barbariana           34    "
  To Calpe Carteia        10    "
               Total      89 miles.

Pomponius Mela has made sad confusion of the itinerary from Malaca to
Gades (of which the above is a part), by introducing Barbesula and
Calpe, and mentioning Carteia twice; but, on attentive observation, it
is evident he intended to imply that the road bifurked at Cilniana,
one branch going straight to Carteia by Barbariana, the other making a
detour by Barbesula and Calpe, and rejoining the former at Carteia; the
distance from Malaga to Cadiz, by the first route, being 155 miles, by
the latter 186.

[173] Pliny.

[174] Published in 1765.

[175] "Two leagues" are his words--meaning Spanish measure, or eight
miles English; since he estimates the league at four miles.

[176] Otherwise called Horgarganta.

[177] Florez fixes Salduba where I suppose Cilniana to have stood,
i. e. on the eastern bank of the Rio Verde, about two miles to the
westward of Marbella. Cilniana he places at the Torre de Bovedas, a
site to which the objections above stated apply equally as to the
position assigned to that place by Mr. Carter.

[178] Pliny places Salduba between Barbesula and Suel.

[179] Marbella is a fine place, but do not enter it.

[180] This may appear at variance with what I have said in computing
the distance from Malaca to Calpe Carteía in Roman miles--viz., only
eighty of eighty-three and one third to a degree of the meridian: but,
besides that the distance from Malaga to Gibraltar is at least three
English miles greater than to Carteía, the measurement I here give is
along a winding pathway, that makes the distance considerably more than
it would have been by a properly made road, even though it had followed
all the irregularities of the coast.

[181] Bell. Hisp. cap. xxix.

[182] Journey from Gibraltar to Malaga.

[183] Traces of the first-named of these Roman roads may yet be seen
about Tolox. The latter was one of the great military roads mentioned
in the Itinerary of Antoninus, and, doubtless, existed long before that
work was compiled.

[184] Hirtius, de Bell. Hisp. xxix. et seq.

[185] Great allowance must be made for exaggeration in enumerating
the strength of contending armies in those early times, since even
in these days of despatches, bulletins, and Moniteurs, it is so
extremely difficult to get at the truth. The battle of Waterloo offers
a remarkable instance of this, for no two published accounts agree as
to the respective numbers of the belligerents, and one which I have
read--a French one, of course--swells the force under the Duke of
Wellington, on the 18th June, to 170,000 men!!!

[186] The inscription is given at length in Florez España Sagrada.

[187] The source of the Sigila, now called El Rio Grande, is
twenty-five English miles from Cartama, following the course of the

[188] Certainly _not_ Mr. Carter's, than which I never saw a more
complete caricature. Not one of the rivers is marked correctly upon it,
and the towns are scattered about where chance directed.

[189] Hirtius Bell. Hisp. xxviii.

[190] Ibid. xli.

[191] An account of which place has already been given in Chapter I. of
this volume.

[192] "Don Ferdinand the Seventh, by the grace of God, king of Castile,
Leon, Aragon, the Two Sicilies, Jerusalem, Navarre, Granada, Toledo,
Valencia, Gallicia, Majorca, Seville, Sardinia, Cordoba, Corsica,
Murcia, Jaen, the Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands,
the East and West Indies, islands and terra firma of the Great Ocean;
archduke of Austria; duke of Burgundy, Brabant, and Milan; Count of
Hapsburg, Flanders, the Tyrol, and Barcelona; Lord of Biscay and
Molina, &c."--The seeming wish to avoid prolixity, implied by this
"&c." is admirable.

[193] _Clean_ blood.

[194] At any price.

[195] These love affairs are much to my taste.

[196] Attractions--literally, _hooking_ qualities.

[197] In fine--as it was captain for captain.

[198] Not a bit.

[199] Would to God!

[200] Eating her life.

[201] A Post league is equal to 3 British statute miles and 807 yards.

[202] To Algeciras, by boat, saves 4 miles.

[203] This is the only stage that is not perfectly practicable for a

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

Adventnre with Itinerant=> Adventure with Itinerant {pg v}

gradully hauled=> gradually hauled {pg 54}

rocky islot rises=> rocky islet rises {pg 62}

in the joint-stock vilstge=> in the joint-stock village {pg 180}

he exclaimed=> he ex-exclaimed {pg 212}

It was necessry=> It was necessary {pg 241}

the chace, and trust=> the chase, and trust {pg 256}

addressiug me=> addressing me {pg 300}

extarordinary=> extraordinary {pg 331}

woollen mattrasses=> woollen mattresses {pg 337}

too many intances=> too many instances {pg 346}

decsends=> descends {pg 384}

considered irresisitble=> considered irresistible {pg 387}

acccordingly=> accordingly {pg 421}

to unite her to to the son=> to unite her to the son {pg 429}

long turned a a deaf ear=> long turned a deaf ear {pg 430}

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