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Title: Wanderings in Spain
Author: Gautier, Théophile
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Wanderings in Spain" ***

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  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  More detail can be found at the end of the book.




  [Illustration: BRIDGE OF IRUN.]

  With numerous Engravings.






  With numerous Engravings.





  Departure from Paris--Subterranean Dwellings--Château Regnault--
  Tours--Châtellerault--Angoulême--The _Landes_--Cubzac--Bordeaux--
  The Theatre--The Cathedral--St. Michael's Tower--Mummified
  Corpses--The Museum                                                  1



  The _Landes_--Arrival at Bayonne--Information for Travellers--
  Urrugne--Saint Jean de Luz--Human Smuggling--Bridge over the
  Bidassoa--Irun--Travelling with Mules--Primitive Carts--Beggar
  Children--Spanish Bridges--Oyarzun--Astigarraga--A Spanish
  Supper--Puchero--Arrival at Vergara                                 11



  Vergara--Vittoria: the Baile Nacional and the French Hercules--
  The Passage of Pancorbo--The Asses and the Greyhounds--Burgos--
  A Spanish Fonda--Galley Slaves in Cloaks--The Cathedral--The
  Coffer of the Cid                                                   20



  The Cloisters; Paintings and Sculptures--The Cid's House; the Casa
  del Cordon; the Puerta de Santa Maria--The Theatre and the
  Actors--La Cartuja de Miraflores--General Thibaut and the Cid's
  bones                                                               34



  El Correo Real; the Galeras--Valladolid--San Pablo--A Representation
  of Hernani--Santa Maria--Madrid                                     47



  Bull-fights--The Arena--Calesins--Espadas, Chulos, Banderilleros,
  and Picadores--Sevilla the Picador--La Estocada a Vuela Pies        59



  The Prado--The Mantilla and Fan--The Spanish Type--Water-Merchants;
  Coffee-houses of Madrid--Newspapers--The Politicians of the
  Puerta del Sol--Post-Office--The Houses of Madrid--Tertullias;
  Spanish Society--The Teatro del Principe--The Queen's Palace; the
  Palace of the Cortes, and the Monument of the Dos de Mayo--The
  Armeria and El Buen Retiro                                          73



  Aridity and Desolation of the Country--First View of the Escurial--
  Sombre appearance of the building--The Church--The blind Cicerone--
  The Pantheon Pictures--Anecdote of Spanish Robbers                 103



  Illescas--The Puerta del Sol--Toledo--The Alcazar--The Cathedral--
  The Gregorian and Mozarabic Ritual--Our Lady of Toledo--San Juan
  de los Reyes--The Synagogue--Galiana, Karl, and Bradamant--The
  Bath of Florinda--The Grotto of Hercules--The Cardinal's
  Hospital--Toledo Blades                                            113



  Procession of the Corpus Christi at Madrid--Aranjuez--A Patio Ocaña
  and its Environs--Tembleque and its Garters--A Night at Manzanares--
  Santa Cruz Knives--The Puerto de los Perros--Colony of
  Carolina--Baylen--Jaen, its Cathedral and its Majos--Granada--The
  Alameda--The Alhambra--The Generalife--The Albaycin--Life at
  Granada--The Gitanos--The Carthusian Convent--Santo Domingo--
  Ascent of the Mulhacen                                             144



  The Robbers and Cosarios of Andalusia--Alhama--Malaga--Travelling
  Students--A Bull-Fight--Montes--The Theatre                        208



  Four-wheeled galera--Caratraca--The "Mayoral"--Ecija--The "Calle
  de los Caballeros"--La Carlotta--Cordova--The Archangel Raphael--
  The Mosque--Caliph Abderama--The Guadalquiver--Road to Seville     236



  Seville--The Cristina--The Torre del Oro--Italica--The Cathedral--
  The Giralda--The Alcazar--The Caridad and Don Juan de Marana       258



  Cadiz--Visit to the brig "Le Voltigeur"--The Rateros--Jeres--
  Bull-fights--The Steamer--Gibraltar--Carthagena--Valencia--The
  Lonja de Seda--The Convent de la Merced--The Valencians--
  Barcelona--The Return to France                                    274


  THE GATE OF VIVARAMBLA                        _Frontispiece._

  THE BRIDGE OF IRUN                            _Vignette in Title._

  BORDEAUX                                                    _p._ 6

  PASS OF PANCORBO                                                25

  CLOISTERS, BURGOS CATHEDRAL                                     30

  PUERTA DE SANTA MARIA                                           41

  SEVILLA THE PICADOR                                             66

  LADIES ON THE PRADO                                             75

  FOUNTAIN AT MADRID                                              80

  MADRID                                                          95

  THE ESCURIAL                                                   105

  STREET IN TOLEDO                                               118

  VEGA DE GRANADA                                                163

  WELL DE LAS ALGIVES, ALHAMBRA                                  180

  EXTERIOR OF THE ALHAMBRA                                       182

  PAVILION OF THE COURT OF LIONS, ALHAMBRA                       185

  FOUNTAIN, COURT OF LIONS, ALHAMBRA                             187

  MALAGA FROM THE ALAMEDA                                        219

  MOSQUE, CORDOVA                                                251

  CHAPEL IN MOSQUE, CORDOVA                                      253

  MOORISH MILLS, CORDOVA                                         255

  TORRE DEL ORO                                                  262

  HALL OF DON PEDRO, THE ALCAZAR, SEVILLE                        270

  CITY GATE, VALENCIA                                            297





  Departure from Paris--Subterranean
  _Landes_--Cubzac--Bordeaux--The Theatre--The Cathedral--St.
  Michael's Tower--Mummified Corpses--the Museum.

A few weeks ago (April, 1840), I happened, in an off-hand manner,
to give utterance to the following phrase:--"I should like to go
to Spain." Five or six days afterwards, my friends had suppressed
the prudent "I should like," with which I had qualified my wish,
and had told every one who chose to listen that I was about to
undertake a trip to Spain. This positive formula was soon followed
by the interrogation, "When do you set out?" while I, without
thinking of the obligation under which I was placing myself,
replied, "In a week." At the end of the week people began to
manifest some astonishment at seeing me still in Paris. "I thought
you were at Madrid," said one. "What! come back?" asked another. I
saw at once that I owed my friends an absence of several months,
and that I must pay the debt with the least possible delay, unless
I wished to be mercilessly pursued, without a moment's respite, by
my obliging creditors. The lobbies of the theatres, the various
asphaltic and bituminous pavements of the Boulevards, were to me
forbidden luxuries for the time being. All I could obtain was the
grace of three or four days, and on the 5th of May I commenced
relieving my native land of my importunate presence, by scrambling
into the Bordeaux diligence.

I shall pass very rapidly over the first few posts, which possess
nothing worthy of observation. Right and left stretch all kinds
of crops, streaked like tiger or zebra skins, and bearing a most
satisfactory resemblance to a tailor's book, in which are pasted
his various specimens of trowsers and waistcoat patterns. Although
these kinds of views are productive of great delight to farmers,
landlords, and other worthies of a similar stamp, they afford but
meagre entertainment to the enthusiastic and graphic traveller,
who, spy-glass in hand, sets out to note the peculiarities of the
universe in the same manner as a police agent does those of an
individual. Having left Paris in the evening, my first impressions,
after passing Versailles, are but so many feeble sketches _stumped
in_ by the hand of Night. I regret that I passed through Chartres
without being able to see its cathedral.

Between Vendôme and Château-Regnault, which is pronounced _Chtrnô_
in the language of the postilions, so well imitated by Henri
Monnier in his sketch of the "Diligence," there rise a number of
well-wooded hills, where the inhabitants dig their houses out of
the living rock, and live under ground, after the fashion of the
ancient Troglodytes. The stone obtained from these excavations
they sell, so that each house thus scooped out produces another
_en relief_, like a plaster figure taken out of a mould, or a
tower dragged out of a well. The chimney, which is a long passage
hammered through the rock, ends at the surface, so that the smoke
ascends from the ground itself in bluish spirals, and without any
visible cause, exactly as if it proceeded from a sulphur mine, or
from some volcano. A facetious traveller would not experience the
slightest difficulty in throwing stones into the omelets of this
cryptic population, and the rabbits, if they are ever absent or
short-sighted, must certainly fall, very often, all alive, into the
saucepans. By constructing houses on this principle, the trouble of
going down into the cellar to fetch your wine is entirely avoided.

Château-Regnault is a small town built upon a number of serpentine
and rapid declivities, bordered by ill-pitched and tottering
houses, which appear to lean against one another to keep themselves
upright. A large round tower, situated upon the talus of some old
fortifications, enveloped here and there in green patches of ivy,
redeems, to a certain extent, the appearance of the town. From
Château-Regnault to Tours there is nothing remarkable. Earth in the
middle, and trees on each side, forming those long yellow bands,
which lose themselves in the distance, and which, in the language
of the wagoners, are termed _rubans de queue_, are all that is to
be seen: then, on a sudden, the road dives down a couple of pretty
steep hills, and in a few minutes you perceive the town of Tours,
rendered famous by its prunes, Rabelais, and de Balzac.

The Bridge of Tours is very celebrated, and possesses in itself
nothing exceedingly remarkable; but the appearance of the town is
lovely. On my arrival, the sky, with a few flakes of snow floating
negligently over its surface, was tinged with the sweetest blue;
a white line, similar to that traced by a diamond upon glass, cut
the limpid surface of the Loire, and was formed by a tiny cascade
proceeding from one of the sand-banks so frequent in the bed
of this river. In the clear air, Saint Gatien reared its brown
profile and Gothic spires, ornamented with balls and roundings
similar to those of the steeples of the Kremlin, giving to the
city a most romantically Muscovite air; a few other towers and
spires, belonging to churches the names of which I do not know,
completed the picture; while numerous vessels, with their white
sails, floated, like so many sleeping swans, upon the azure bosom
of the stream. I should have liked to have paid a visit to the
house of Tristan l'Ermite, the terrible gossip of Louis XI., which
is still in a marvellous state of preservation, with its horribly
significant ornaments, composed of coils of rope, entwined with
other instruments of torture; but I had not time; I was obliged to
content myself with the _Grande Rue_, which must be the pride of
the inhabitants of Tours, and which aspires to the rank of another
_Rue de Rivoli_.

Châtellerault, which enjoys a high reputation for the article of
cutlery, possesses nothing particular except a bridge, ornamented
at each extremity with old towers, which present a most charmingly
feudal and romantic appearance. As for its manufactory of arms, it
is a large white mass, with a multitude of windows. Of Poitiers,
having passed through it in a beating rain, and a night as dark
as pitch, I can say nothing, except that it is paved in the most
execrable manner possible.

At break of day, the coach was traversing a country wooded with
trees of an apple green planted in a soil of the brightest red,
and producing a very singular effect. The houses were covered with
tiles ridged after the Italian fashion; these tiles, too, were
staring red, a colour which appears very strange to eyes accustomed
to the brown and sooty roofs of the houses of Paris. From a piece
of eccentricity, of which I forget the motive, the builders of
those parts commence at the roofs of the houses; the walls and
foundations follow. They place the framework upon four strong
beams, and the tilers perform their portion of the work before the

It is about this spot that the long orgy of stone commences,
which ends only at Bordeaux. The smallest hut, without doors or
windows, is of stone; the walls of the gardens are formed of large
blocks placed one above the other without mortar; along the road,
by the side of the doors, you perceive enormous heaps of superb
stone, with which it would be easy, at a trifling expense, to build
new _Chenonceaux_ and Alhambras. The inhabitants, however, are
contented with piling them in squares, and surmounting the whole
with a cover of red or yellow tiles, the different forms of which
compose a festoon of a tolerably graceful effect.

The town of Angoulême, queerly perched on an extremely steep hill,
at the foot of which the Charente turns two or three babbling
mills, is built in the same manner. It has a kind of second-hand
Italian look, which is increased still more by the thick masses of
trees which crown its rugged eminences, and a tall parasol-shaped
pine, like those of the Roman villas. An old tower, which, if my
memory does not deceive me, is surmounted by a telegraph (many
old towers have been saved by a telegraph), imparts a tone of
severity to the general aspect of the town, and renders it a
tolerably imposing object on the edge of the horizon. While toiling
up the ascent, I remarked a house daubed externally with rude
frescoes representing something like Bacchus, Neptune, or perhaps
Napoleon. As the artist forgot to paint the name underneath, every
supposition is admissible and capable of being defended.

As yet, I confess that an excursion to Romainville or Pantin would
have been quite as picturesque. Nothing can be more flat, more
inane, more insipid, than these interminable strips of ground,
similar to the little bands with which lithographers enclose all
the Boulevards of Paris in one sheet of paper. Hedges of hawthorn
and consumptive-looking elms, consumptive-looking elms and
hedges of hawthorn, with, a little further on, a row of poplars,
resembling a number of green feathers stuck in a flat soil, or
perhaps a solitary willow, with its deformed trunk and powdered
wig, compose the landscape; while, for figures, you have that of
some _pionnier_, or _cantonnier_, as sunburnt as a Moor, leaning
upon the handle of his long hammer as he looks at you pass by,
or else some poor soldier rejoining his regiment, and sweating
and staggering under his harness. Beyond Angoulême, however, the
physiognomy of the soil changes, and you begin to feel that you are
at a certain distance from the suburbs of the Capital.

It is on leaving the Department of the Charente that the traveller
meets with the first of the _Landes_, those monster patches of
grey, violet, and bluish land, diversified with undulations of
various depths. A kind of short and scanty moss, red-tinged
heather, and some dwarf broom compose all the vegetation. The
desolation is that of the Egyptian Thebaid, and every minute you
expect to see a file of dromedaries and camels; it seems as if the
spot had never been pressed by the foot of man.

After traversing the _Landes_, you enter a tolerably picturesque
region. Here and there along the road are groups of houses,
concealed like birds' nests in the thickets. These houses remind
one of the pictures of Hobbema, with their large roofs, their walls
over-run with wild vine, their well-grown wondering-eyed oxen and
their poultry foraging on the dung-hills. All the houses, by the
way, as well as the garden walls, are built of stone. On every side
are to be seen the beginning of buildings afterwards abandoned
out of pure caprice, and recommenced a few paces further on. The
inhabitants almost resemble children when they get a birthday
present of a "box of bricks," with which, by the aid of a certain
number of square-cut pieces of wood, all sorts of edifices may be
constructed. They unroof their houses, remove the stones, and with
the very same ones build another edifice of a totally different
character. On the road-side are blooming gardens, surrounded by
fine trees with beautifully fresh foliage, and variegated with peas
in blossom, daisies, and roses; the eye at the same time roaming
over meadows, where the cows are almost hidden by the grass which
reaches to their breasts. A cross path all redolent of hawthorn
and eglantine, a group of trees, beneath which is seen an empty
wagon, a country-girl or two, with their spreading caps like the
turban of the Turkish Ulemas, and with their narrow yellow skirts,
offer a thousand little unexpected details which charm the eye and
diversify the route. By slightly glazing the scarlet tint of the
roofs with a little bitumen, you might think yourself in Normandy.
Flers and Cabat would here find pictures ready made to their
hand. It is about this latitude that the "_berets_" begin to show
themselves. They are all blue, and the elegance of their form is
greatly superior to that of the hat.

Hereabouts, too, the first vehicles drawn by oxen are to be met
with. These wagons have rather a Homeric and primitive appearance.
The oxen are harnessed by the head to a common yoke covered with
a small head-piece of sheepskin. They have a mild, grave, and
resigned look, which is pre-eminently sculptural, and worthy of the
Elginetic bas-reliefs.

Most of them wear a covering of white cloth, which serves as a
protection against the flies and other insects. Nothing is more
singular than to see these oxen, dressed _en chemises_, raise
towards you their humid and lustrous muzzles and their large deep
blue eyes, which the Greeks, who were certainly judges of beauty,
thought sufficiently remarkable to furnish the sacramental epithet
of Juno--_Boopis Ere_.

A marriage, which happened to be in course of celebration at an
inn, afforded me an opportunity of seeing some of the natives of
these parts assembled together; for in a distance of more than a
hundred leagues I had not perceived ten persons. These said natives
are excessively ugly, especially the women: there is no difference
between the old and the young ones; a countrywoman of five and
twenty is as haggard and wrinkled as one of sixty. The little girls
wear caps quite as developed as those of their grandmothers, which
makes them look like the Turkish boys in Decamp's sketches, with
their enormous heads and slender bodies. In the stable of the inn
I saw a huge black he-goat, with immense twisted horns and glaring
yellow eyes. He had a hyper-diabolic appearance, and would, in
the middle ages, have made a most worthy president at a witches'

Evening was beginning to set in when we arrived at Cubzac. Formerly
the Dordogne used to be traversed in a ferry-boat, but the breadth
and rapidity of the stream rendered the passage dangerous, and
the boat is, at present, replaced by a suspension bridge of the
most daring construction. It is well known that I am no very great
admirer of modern innovations, but this bridge is really a work
worthy of Egypt or of Rome for its colossal dimensions and the
grandeur of its appearance. Piers formed by a succession of arches,
which gradually increase in height, lead to the suspended platform,
beneath which vessels can pass in full sail, as they did between
the legs of the Colossus of Rhodes. Tower-shaped buildings of cast
iron, with openings to render them lighter, serve as supports to
the iron chains, which are crossed with a most skilfully calculated
symmetry of resistance, and which stand out against the background
of the sky with the fineness and delicacy of a spider's web,
thereby adding still more to the wonderful effect of the whole.
Two obelisks of cast iron are placed at each end, as if before the
peristyle of some Theban monument, and form a kind of ornament
not at all out of place; for the gigantic architectural genius of
the Pharaohs would not be ashamed to own the Bridge of Cubzac. It
requires thirteen minutes, watch in hand, to cross it.

Two or three hours afterwards, the lamps of the Bridge of Bordeaux,
another, although less striking wonder, were gleaming at a distance
which my appetite could have wished considerably shorter, for speed
in travelling is always bought at the expense of the stomach. After
having exhausted all our sticks of chocolate, biscuits, and the
other ordinary provisions for a journey, we began to entertain
slightly cannibal ideas. My companions looked on me with famishing
eyes, and if we had had another stage, we should have renewed the
horrors of the raft of the Medusa, and eaten our braces, the soles
of our boots, and our Gibus hats, besides all the other articles in
request among shipwrecked individuals, who digest this kind of food
in the most satisfactory fashion.

[Illustration: BORDEAUX]

On leaving the diligence, you are assailed by a crowd of porters,
who take possession of your luggage at the rate of twenty to each
pair of boots. This is usual enough, but the most ridiculous
part of the business is the kind of gaolers stationed by the
hotel proprietors, as vedettes, to seize upon the traveller as he
goes along. All these wretches cry themselves hoarse and create
a confusion equal to that of the Tower of Babel, by their long
litanies of praise and abuse. One catches hold of your arm, another
of your leg, a third of the tail of your coat, a fourth of the
button of your paletôt. "Come to the Hotel of Nantes, sir; you
will find everything very comfortable there." "Don't go there,
sir; its real name is the Hotel of Bugs," immediately replies the
representative of a rival establishment. "Hôtel de France," "Hôtel
de Rouen," holla the crew, pursuing you with their vociferations.
"They never clean their saucepans, sir; they cook all their dishes
with lard. The rain comes through into their rooms; you will be
robbed, plundered, assassinated." Each one endeavours to disgust
you with every place but his own, and the band never leaves you
until you enter, definitively, one particular hotel. They then
quarrel among themselves, exchange blows, call each other thieves,
robbers, and other epithets of the like description, and finish by
hastening away in pursuit of fresh prey.

Bordeaux resembles very closely Versailles in the style of its
buildings. The same idea of surpassing Paris in magnificence is
very manifest. The streets are broader, the houses larger, the
rooms higher. The dimensions of the theatre are enormous. It looks
like the Odéon melted down into the Bourse. But it is in vain that
the inhabitants endeavour to fill their city. They exert themselves
to the utmost to appear numerous, but all their meridional
turbulence is not sufficient to people their disproportioned
structures. The lofty windows have rarely any curtains, and the
melancholy grass grows in the immense court-yards. The _grisettes_
and the women of the lower orders, who are really very pretty,
lend animation to the place. Almost all have a Grecian nose, flat
cheek bones, and large black eyes placed in a pale oval face of
the most pleasing kind. Their head-dress is very original, being
composed of a bright coloured silk handkerchief, worn after the
Creole fashion, very far back, and confining their hair, which
falls rather low down upon their neck. The remainder of their
costume consists of a large straight shawl descending to their
heels, and a print gown with long folds. These women are quick
and lively in their movements, and possess a supple, well-formed,
and naturally delicate figure. They carry upon their heads their
baskets, parcels, and water-jugs, which, I may mention by way of
parenthesis, are of the most elegant form. With their _amphora_ on
their head, and the long folds of their dress, they might be taken
for Greek girls, or the princess Nausicaa going to the fountain.

The Cathedral, built by the English, is rather fine; the portal
contains statues of bishops as large as life, executed in a much
more natural and careful style than the ordinary Gothic statues,
which are handled like _arabesques_, and completely sacrificed to
the exigencies of the architect. On visiting the church, I saw,
placed against the wall, the magnificent copy of Christ Scourged,
by Riesener, after Titian: it is waiting for a frame.

From the Cathedral, my companion and myself proceeded to the Tower
of St. Michael, where there is a vault which possesses the power
of mummifying the bodies placed there. The lowest story of the
tower is inhabited by the keeper and his family, who cook their
victuals at the entrance of the cavern, and live on a footing of
the most intimate familiarity with their frightful neighbours.
The man took a lantern, and we descended by the worn steps of
a winding staircase into the funeral vault. The corpses, about
forty in number, are placed around the vault, with their backs
against the wall. This upright position, so different from the
general horizontal posture of the dead, gives them a horribly
phantom-like appearance of life, especially in the yellow and
flickering light of the lantern, which oscillates in the hand of
the guide, and causes the shadows to change their place every
instant. The imagination of poets and painters has never produced
a more horrible nightmare; the most monstrous caprices of Goya, the
raving productions of Louis Boulanger, the diabolical creations
of Callot and of Teniers, are nothing in comparison, and all the
most fantastic writers of ballads are here surpassed. Never did
more abominable spectres rise from out the night of a German mind.
They are worthy of figuring at the midnight orgies of the Brocken
with the witches of Faust. Their faces are distorted and grinning;
their skulls have half the flesh peeled off; their sides gape open,
exposing, through the grating of their ribs, their lungs, dried and
shrivelled up like sponge. In one instance the flesh has crumbled
into dust, and the bones protrude; in another, the parchment skin,
no longer sustained by the fibres of the cellular tissue, floats
round the corpse like a second windingsheet. Not one of the heads
possesses that impassible calmness which death imparts, as a last
seal, to those whom it touches. Their mouths gape frightfully, as
if drawn asunder by the immeasurable weariness of eternity, or grin
with the sardonic grin of Nothingness which laughs life to scorn.
Their jaws are dislocated, and the muscles of the neck swollen.
Their fists are furiously clenched, and their spines writhe in the
contortions of despair. They appear enraged at being moved from
their tombs, and troubled in their sleep by the curiosity of the

The keeper pointed out to us a general killed in a duel; the wound,
like a large blue lipped mouth laughing in his side, is distinctly
visible;--a porter who expired suddenly while lifting an enormous
burden;--a negress, who is not much blacker than her white sisters
near her;--a woman with all her teeth, and with her tongue almost
fresh;--a family poisoned with mushrooms;--and, as a crowning
horror, a little boy who, to all appearance, must have been
interred alive. This figure is sublime with pain and despair; never
was the expression of human suffering carried to a greater extent.
The nails are buried in the palms of the hands; the nerves are
stretched like the strings of a violin over the bridge; the knees
form convulsive angles; and the head is violently thrown back. The
poor child, by an extraordinary effort, must have turned round in
his coffin.

The place where these corpses are assembled is a low-roofed vault.
The soil, which is of suspicious elasticity, is composed of human
detritus, fifteen feet deep. In the middle is raised a pyramid of
remains in a tolerable state of preservation. These mummies emit a
faint and earthy smell, more disagreeable than the acrid perfumes
of bitumen and Egyptian natron. Some of the bodies have been in
their present abode two or three hundred years, while others have
been placed there sixty years only: the cloth of their shrouds or
winding-sheets is yet in a tolerably perfect condition.

On leaving the cavern, we proceeded to view the belfry, composed of
two towers, united at the summit by a balcony of a most original
and picturesque design. We afterwards went to the Church of
Sainte-Croix, next to the _Hospice des Vieillards_.

The portal is enriched with a multitude of groups, which rather
boldly carry out the command: _Crescite et multiplicamini_.
Fortunately the flowery and tufted arabesques soften whatever
degree of eccentricity this method of rendering the text of Holy
Writ might otherwise possess.

The Museum, which is situated in the magnificent Mansion-house,
contains a fine collection of plaster casts and a great number of
remarkable pictures; among others, two small canvasses of Bega,
which are two pearls of inestimable value: they unite the warmth
and freedom of Adrien Brauwer with the delicacy and the peculiarity
of Teniers. There are also some extremely delicate specimens of
Ostade, some of the most quaint and fantastic creations of Tiepolo,
some Jordaens, some Van Dycks, and a Gothic painting, which must
be by Ghirlandajo or Fiesole. The Museum at Paris possesses
nothing in the way of Middle Age art which is worth it; it is
impossible, however, for the pictures to be hung with less taste
and discrimination; the best places are occupied by enormous daubs
of the modern school, contemporary with Guérin and Lethiers.

The port is crowded with vessels of all nations and every burden.
In the haze of twilight, they might be taken for a multitude of
floating cathedrals--for nothing more resembles a church than a
ship, with its spire-like masts, and the tangled tracery of its
rigging. To finish the day, we went to the _Grand Théâtre_. Our
conscience obliges us to say that it was full, although they were
playing _La Dame Blanche_, which is anything but a novelty. The
interior is nearly as large as that of the Grand Opera at Paris,
but with much less ornament about it. The actors sang as much out
of tune as at the real _Opéra Comique_.

At Bordeaux, the influence of Spanish customs begins to be felt.
Almost all the sign-boards are in the two languages, and the
book-sellers have quite as many Spanish as French publications. A
great number of persons can _hablar_ in the idiom of Don Quixote
and Guzman of Alfarache. This influence increases as you approach
the frontier; and, in fact, the Spanish portion, in this half-tint
of demarcation, carries off the victory from the French--the
_patois_ spoken by the inhabitants having much more resemblance to
Spanish than to the language of the mother country.



  The _Landes_--Arrival at Bayonne--Information for
  Travellers--Urrugne--Saint Jean de Luz--Human Smuggling--Bridge
  over the Bidassoa--Irun--Travelling with Mules--Primitive
  Carts--Beggar Children--Spanish Bridges--Oyarzun--Astigarraga--A
  Spanish Supper--Puchero--Arrival at Vergara.

On leaving Bordeaux, the _Landes_ recommence, if possible more sad,
more desolate, and more gloomy than before. Heather, broom, and
_pinadas_ (pine forests), with here and there a shepherd squatted
down, tending his flocks of black sheep, or a miserable hut in
the style of the Indian wigwams, offer a very lugubrious and by
no means diverting spectacle. No tree is seen but the pine, with
the gash in it from which the resin trickles down. This large
salmon-coloured wound forming a strong contrast with the grey tones
of the bark, gives the most miserable look in the world to these
sickly trees, deprived of the greatest portion of their sap. They
have the appearance of a forest unjustly assassinated, raising its
arms to Heaven for justice.

We passed through Dax at midnight, and traversed the Adour during
the most wretched weather, with a beating rain and a wind strong
enough to blow the horns off an ox. The nearer we approached a
warmer climate, the sharper and more penetrating became the cold;
and had not our cloaks been at hand, we should have had our noses
and feet frost-bitten, like the soldiers of the _Grande Armée_ in
the Russian campaign.

When day broke we were still in the _Landes_, but the pines were
mingled with cork-trees, which I had hitherto pictured to my
mind only under the form of corks, but which are really enormous
trees, partaking simultaneously of the nature of the oak and of
the carob-tree in the eccentricity of their shape and the deformity
and ruggedness of their branches. A number of blackish pools of
a leaden colour, stretched on each side of the road; gusts of
saltish air greeted our nostrils, and a sort of vague rumbling
noise resounded on the horizon. A bluish outline next stood out
upon the pale background of the heavens. It was the chain of the
Pyrenees. A few instants afterwards an almost invisible line of
azure, the sign of the ocean, told us that we had arrived. It was
not long ere Bayonne rose up before us, in the form of a mass of
tiles crushed by an awkward and squat-looking spire; but I will
not abuse Bayonne, since any town viewed under the disadvantage of
rainy weather is always wretched. The port was not very full. A
few decked boats floated in a negligent and admirably idle manner
alongside the quays. The trees which form the public promenade
are very fine, and somewhat soften the austerity of the numerous
right lines produced by the fortifications and parapets. As to the
church, it is plastered over with yellow, varied with a dirty fawn;
it possesses nothing remarkable save a kind of baldaquin of red
damask, and a few paintings of Lépicié and others, in the style of

The town of Bayonne is almost Spanish in its language and customs;
the hotel where we put up was called the _Fonda San Estaban_. As it
was known that we were about making a long trip in the Peninsula,
we were pursued with all sorts of recommendations. "Buy some red
belts to sustain your body; arm yourselves with blunderbusses,
combs, and bottles of water to kill the insects; take some biscuits
and other provisions; the Spaniards breakfast on a spoonful of
chocolate, dine on a piece of garlic washed down with a little
water, and sup on a paper cigar; you ought also to take a mattress
and a saucepan to serve as your bed and make your soup." The French
and Spanish Dialogues, too, for the use of travellers, were not
very encouraging. Under the head of "A Traveller at an Inn," we
read the following frightful conversation--"I should like to take
something." "Take a chair," replies the landlord. "With pleasure;
but I should prefer something more nutritious." "What have you
brought?" replies the master of the _posada_. "Nothing," says the
traveller, sadly. "Then how can you suppose I can give you anything
to eat? The butcher lives yonder, the baker a little further on.
Go and get some meat and bread, and my wife, who is something of
a cook, will prepare your provisions." The traveller, in a fury,
begins creating a most frightful disturbance, and the host calmly
puts into his bill--"Disturbance, 6 reals."

The Madrid coach sets out from Bayonne. The conductor is a
_mayoral_, with a peaked hat adorned with velvet and silk tufts,
a brown waistcoat embroidered with coloured ornaments, leather
gaiters, and a red sash; these impart a nice little amount of local
colouring. Beyond Bayonne, the country is exceedingly picturesque;
the chain of the Pyrenees becomes more distinct, and beautifully
undulating lines of mountains vary the aspect of the horizon, while
the sea appears frequently to the right of the road. At each turn,
between two mountains, its sombre mild and deep blue suddenly
starts into sight, traversed, here and there, by volutes of foam
whiter than snow, which no painter has, as yet, succeeded in
re-producing. I here beg to apologise to the sea, never having seen
it before but at Ostend, where it is nothing more than the Scheldt,
transformed into a canal, as my dear friend Fritz used so wittily
to express it.

We passed through the church of Urrugne, the dial of which
has the following mournful inscription, in black letters, on
it--"_Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat._" Yes, melancholy dial, you
are right. Each hour wounds us with the sharp point of your hands,
and each turn of your wheel hurries us towards the Unknown!

The houses of Urrugne, and of Saint Jean de Luz, which is not far
distant, possess a sanguinary and barbarous physiognomy, owing to
the strange custom of painting red or blood-colour the doors and
the beams which sustain the compartments of the masonry. Beyond
Saint Jean de Luz is Behobie, the last French village. On the
frontier, the inhabitants practise two kinds of trade to which the
war has given rise--first, that of the balls found in the fields,
and, secondly, that of human smuggling. A Carlist is passed just
like a bale of goods. There is a certain tariff, so much for a
colonel, so much for an inferior officer. As soon as the bargain
is struck, the contrabandist makes his appearance, carries off
his man, passes him over the frontier, and smuggles him to his
destination, as he would a dozen handkerchiefs or a hundred cigars.
On the other side of the Bidassoa, Irun, the first Spanish village,
is visible: one-half of the bridge belongs to France, the other to
Spain. Close to this bridge is the famous Isle of Pheasants, where
the marriage of Louis XIV. was celebrated by deputy. It would be
difficult to celebrate anything there at present, for it is not
larger than a moderately-sized fried sole.

A few more revolutions of the wheel, and I shall perhaps lose one
of my illusions, and behold the Spain of my dreams, the Spain of
the _Romancero_, of the ballads of Victor Hugo, of the tales of
Merimée, and the stories of Alfred de Musset, fade before me. On
passing the line of demarcation, I remembered what the good and
witty Henri Heine once said to me at Liszt's concert, with his
German accent, full of humour and sarcasm, "How will you manage to
speak of Spain when you have been there?"

One half of the bridge over the Bidassoa belongs to France, and
the other half to Spain, so that you may have, at the same time,
a foot in each kingdom, which is a great achievement. On one side
you perceive the gendarme, grave, respectable, and serious; the
gendarme red as a peony at having been restored to his social
position by Edward Ourliac, in Curmer's "Français Peints par
Eux-Memes;"[1] while, on the other, is beheld the Spanish soldier,
clad in green, and enjoying on the sward the voluptuous pleasure
of repose with happy nonchalance. At the extremity of the bridge,
you enter at once into Spanish life, with all its local colouring.
Irun does not possess a single feature in common with a French
town. The roofs of the houses jut out beyond the walls, while
the tiles, alternately round and hollow, give the houses a most
strange and Moorish battlemented appearance. The ironwork of the
balconies, which project over the street, is of the most elaborate
description, very surprising in an out-of-the-way village like
Irun, and indicating a great degree of opulence now passed away.
The women spend their lives upon these balconies, which are
shaded with an awning with coloured stripes, and which are like
so many aërian chambers attached to the body of the edifice. The
two sides remain open, and allow a passage to fresh breezes and
burning glances; but you must not look, however, for those dull
and _culotté_[2] tints (I beg pardon for the expression), those
shades of bistre and old pipes that a painter might hope to see;
everything is whitewashed, according to the Arabian fashion, but
the contrast of this chalky tone against the deep brown of the
beams, roofs, and balconies, is not without a fine effect.

The horses left us at Irun; and ten mules, shaved as far as the
middle of their body--half skin, half hair--like those costumes of
the middle-ages, which look as if they were two-halves of different
suits sown together by chance, were then harnessed to the vehicle.
These animals thus shaved present a strange sight, and appear
most horribly thin; for this denudation enables you to see their
whole anatomy, bones, muscles, and even the smallest veins. With
their peeled tails and their pointed ears, they resemble so many
enormous mice. Besides the ten mules, our band was increased by
a _zagal_ and two _escopeteros_, furnished with their _trabuco_
(blunderbuss). The _zagal_ is a kind of _under-mayoral_, who puts
the drag on whenever there is a dangerous descent, looks after the
harness and the springs, hurries the relays, and plays about the
coach the part of the fly in the fable, only with a great deal
more effect. The costume of the zagal is charming, being most
elegant and light. He wears a peaked hat, ornamented with silk
tufts; a chestnut-coloured or brown jacket, surmounted by a collar
composed of different coloured pieces, generally blue, white, and
red; a large arabesque, which blossoms out upon the middle of his
back, knee-breeches studded with filigree buttons, and for shoes,
_alpargatas_, or sandals tied with thin cord. Add to all this
a red sash and a variegated neck-tie, and you will have a most
characteristic costume. The escopeteros are guards, or _miquelets_,
whose office it is to escort the coach and frighten the _rateros_,
as the petty robbers are termed, who would not resist the
temptation of plundering a solitary traveller, but whom the
edifying sight of the _trabuco_ is sufficient to awe, and who pass
on their way with the sacramental salutation of--_Vaya Usted con
Dios_: "Pursue your road with God." The dress of the escopeteros
is nearly the same as that of the zagal, but less coquettish and
ornamented. They take up their position on the seat at the back of
the coach, and thus command the country around. In this description
of our caravan, I have forgotten to mention a little postilion,
mounted on horseback at the head of the convoy, who leads off the
whole line.

Before leaving, we had to get our passports, already pretty well
covered with signatures, _viséd_. While this important operation
was in course of performance, we had leisure to cast a glance at
the population of Irun, which offers nothing very particular,
unless it be that the women wear their hair, which is remarkably
long, united in one plait hanging down to the middle of their back;
shoes are a rarity, and stockings a still greater one.

A strange, inexplicable, hoarse, frightful, and laughable noise
had astonished my ears for some time; it sounded like that of a
number of jays being plucked alive, of children being whipped,
of cats making love, of saws scraping their teeth against a hard
stone, of tin-kettles scraped by some harsh instrument, or of the
rusty hinges of a prison door turning round and obliged to release
its prisoner; I imagined that it was, at the least, some princess
being assassinated by a savage necromancer. It was nothing but a
cart, drawn by oxen, ascending the street of Irun, and the wheels
creaking and groaning piteously for want of being greased, the
driver preferring, doubtless, to put the grease in his soup. This
cart was, certainly, exceedingly primitive. The wheels were of
one piece, and turned with the axle, as is the case with those
wagons which children manufacture out of the rind of a pumpkin.
The noise can be heard at the distance of half a league, and is
not displeasing to the aborigines of these parts. In this fashion
they hear a musical instrument which costs nothing, and plays of
its own accord as long as the wheel lasts. The noise is to them as
harmonious as the feats of a violinist upon the fourth string are
to us. A peasant would not give a "thank you" for a cart which did
not play. This kind of vehicle must date from the deluge.

On an old palace, now transformed into an official residence,
we beheld for the first time the placard of white plaster which
disgraces many other old buildings, with the inscription--_Plaza
de la Constitucion_. It must certainly be a fact, that whatever is
concealed in anything comes out somehow or other; a better symbol
of the actual state of the country could not have been selected. A
constitution forced upon Spain is a handful of plaster upon granite.

As the ascent was toilsome, I walked as far as the gates of the
town, and, turning round, cast a last look of farewell upon France.
It was truly a magnificent sight. The chain of the Pyrenees sloped
away in harmonious undulations towards the blue surface of the
sea, crossed here and there by bars of silver; while, thanks to
the excessive clearness of the air, in the far, far distance was
seen a faint line of pale salmon-colour, which advanced in the
immeasurable azure, and formed an immense indentation in the side
of the coast. Bayonne and its advanced guard, Biarritz, occupied
the extremity of this point, and the Bay of Biscay was mapped out
as sharply as on a geographical chart. After this, we shall see the
sea no more until we are in Andalusia. Good night, honest Ocean!

The coach ascended and descended at full gallop the most rapid
declivities: a kind of exercise, without a balancing-pole, upon
the tight rope, which can only owe its success to the prodigious
dexterity of the drivers, and the extraordinary sure-footedness of
the mules. Despite this velocity, however, there would, from time
to time, fall in our laps a branch of laurel, a little nosegay of
wild flowers, or a wreath of mountain strawberries--ruddy pearls
strung upon a blade of grass. These nosegays were flung in by
little beggars, boys and girls, who kept running after the coach
with their bare feet upon the sharp stones. This manner of asking
alms, by first making a present themselves, has something noble and
poetic about it.

The landscape, though rather Swiss perhaps, was charming, and
exceedingly varied. Mountain ridges, the interstices of which
permitted the eye to dwell upon others more elevated still, rose
up on each side of the road; their sides goffered with different
crops and wooded with green oaks, stood out vigorously against the
distant and vapoury peaks. Villages, with their roofs of red tiles,
bloomed amid thickets at the mountains' feet, and every moment
I expected to see Ketly or Getly walk out of these new châlets.
Fortunately, Spain does not push its Opéra Comique so far.

Torrents, as capricious as a woman, come and go, form little
cascades, divide, meet each other again, after traversing rocks
and flint stones, in the most amusing fashion, and serve as an
excuse for a number of the most picturesque bridges in the world.
These bridges, thus indefinitely multiplied, have a singular
characteristic: the arches are hollowed out almost up to the very
railing, so that the road over which the coach passes does not
appear to be more than six inches thick. A kind of triangular pile,
shaped like a bastion, generally occupies the middle. The business
of a Spanish bridge is not a very fatiguing one; there was never
a more perfect sinecure; three quarters of the year you can walk
under it. There it stands, with an imperturbable calmness and
patience worthy of a better lot, waiting for a river, a rill of
water, or even a little moisture, for it feels that its arches are
merely arcades, and that their title of "bridge" is pure flattery.
The torrents I have just mentioned have at most but four or five
inches of water in them, but they are sufficient to make a great
deal of noise, and serve to give life to the solitudes which they
traverse. At long intervals they turn some mill or other machinery,
by means of sluices, built in a manner that would enchant a
landscape-painter. The houses, which are scattered over the country
in little groups, are of a strange colour. They are neither black,
nor white, nor yellow, but of the colour of a roasted turkey. This
definition is of the most striking truth, although it is trivial
and culinary. Tufts of trees, and patches of green oaks, impart a
happy effect to the large outlines and the misty and severe tints
of the mountains. I dwell particularly upon these trees, because
nothing is more rare in all Spain, and henceforth I shall hardly
have occasion to describe any.

We changed mules at Oyarzun, and at nightfall reached Astigarraga,
where we were to sleep. We had not yet had a taste of a Spanish
inn. The _picaresque_ and "lively" descriptions of Don Quixote and
_Lazarille de Tormes_ occurred to our memory, and our whole bodies
shuddered at the very thought. We made up our minds to omelettes
adorned with Merovingian hairs and mixed up with feathers and
birds' feet, to gammons of rancid bacon with all the bristles,
equally adapted for making soup or brushing boots, to wine in
goat-skins, like those which the good knight de la Mancha cut so
furiously into, and we even made up our minds to nothing at all,
which is much worse, and trembled lest all we should get would be
the fresh evening breeze, supposing we were not obliged to sup,
like the valorous Don Sancho, off the dry air of a mandoline.

Taking advantage of the little daylight that remained, we went to
look at the church, which, to speak truth, was more like a fortress
than a temple; the smallness of the windows, formed like loopholes,
together with the solidity of the buttresses, gave it a robust and
massive appearance, more warlike than pensive. This form occurs
in every church in Spain. All around stretched a sort of open
cloister, in which was hung a bell of immense size, which is rung
by moving the clapper with a rope, instead of putting in motion the
vast metal capsule itself.

On being shown to our rooms, we were dazzled with the whiteness of
the beds and windows, the Dutch cleanliness of the floors, and the
scrupulous care shown in every particular. Fine handsome, strapping
girls, exceedingly well dressed, and with their magnificent tresses
falling upon their shoulders, not bearing the slightest resemblance
to the _Maritornes_ we had been led to expect, bustled about with
an activity that augured well for the supper, which did not keep
us long waiting: it was excellent, and very well dished up. I will
run the risk of appearing too minute, and describe it; for the
difference between one people and another consists in the thousand
little details which travellers neglect for those profound poetical
and political considerations which anyone may very well write
without ever having been in the country itself. First of all comes
a meat soup, which differs from ours from the fact of its having a
reddish tinge, due to the saffron with which it is flavoured. Red
soup! I hope this is a pretty good commencement of local colouring.
The bread is very white, of exceedingly close texture, with a
smooth crust, slightly glazed over with yolk of egg; it is salted
in a manner very apparent to Parisian palates. The handles of the
forks are turned the wrong way, and the points are flat and shaped
like the teeth of a comb. The spoons, too, have a spatula-kind of
appearance not possessed by our plate. The table linen is a sort
of coarse damask. As for the wine, I must confess that it was
of the most beautiful violet, and thick enough to be cut with a
knife, and the decanters which held it did not tend to increase its

After the soup, we had the _puchero_, an eminently Spanish dish,
or rather the only Spanish dish--for they eat it every day from
Irun to Cadiz, and reciprocally. A comfortable _puchero_ is
compounded of a quarter of veal, a piece of mutton, a fowl, some
pieces of a sausage stuffed full of pepper, and called _chorizo_,
with allspice and other spices, slices of bacon and ham, and, to
crown all, a violent tomato and saffron sauce. So much for the
animal portion. The vegetable part, called _verdura_, varies with
the season; but cabbages and _garbanzos_ always play a principal
part. The _garbanzo_ is not much known at Paris, and I cannot
define it better than "as a pea which aspires to be considered as
a haricot-bean, and succeeds but too well." All this is served up
in different dishes, and the ingredients then mixed up on your
plate, so as to produce a _Mayonnaise_ of a complicated description
and excellent flavour. This mixture will appear rather barbarous
to those connoisseurs who read Carême, Brillat-Savarin, Grimat
de la Reynière, and Mons. de Cussy; it has, however, its charm,
and cannot fail to please the Eclectics and Pantheists. Next come
fowls cooked in oil, for butter is an article unknown in Spain;
trout or salt cod, roasted lamb, asparagus, and salad; and, for
dessert, little macaroons, almonds browned in a frying-pan, and of
a most delicious taste, with goats'-milk cheese, _queso de Burgos_,
which enjoys a high reputation, that it sometimes deserves. As
a finish, they bring you a set of bottles with Malaga, sherry,
brandy, _aguardiente_, resembling French aniseed, and a little cup
(_fuego_) filled with live cinders to light the cigarettes. Such,
with a few trifling variations, is the invariable meal in all Spain.

We left Astigarraga in the middle of the night. As there was no
moon, there is naturally a gap in our account. We passed through
the small town of Ernani, the name of which conjures up the most
romantic recollections; but we did not perceive aught save a
heap of huts and rubbish vaguely sketched on the obscurity. We
traversed Tolosa without stopping. We saw some houses decorated
with frescoes, and gigantic blazons sculptured in stone. It was
market-day, and the market-place was covered with asses, mules,
picturesquely harnessed, and peasants of singular and wild

By dint of ascending and descending, of passing over torrents on
bridges of uncemented stone, we at last reached Vergara, where we
were to dine. We experienced a decided degree of satisfaction on
our arrival, for we had almost forgotten the _jicara de chocolate_,
which we had gulped down, half asleep, in the inn at Astigarraga.



  Vergara--Vittoria; the Baile National and the French
  Hercules--The Passage of Pancorbo--The Asses and the
  Greyhounds--Burgos--A Spanish Fonda--Galley Slaves in Cloaks--The
  Cathedral--The Coffer of the Cid.

At Vergara, which is the place where the treaty between Espartero
and Maroto was concluded, I saw, for the first time, a Spanish
priest. His appearance struck me as rather grotesque, although,
thank heaven, I entertain no Voltairean ideas with regard to the
clergy; but the caricature of Beaumarchais' Basile involuntarily
suggested itself to my recollection. Just fancy a black cassock,
with a cloak of the same colour, and to crown the whole, an
immense, prodigious, phenomenal, hyperbolical, and Titanic hat, of
which no epithet, however inflated and gigantic, can give any idea
at all approaching the reality. This hat is, at least, three feet
long; the brim is turned up, and forms, before and behind the hat,
a kind of horizontal roof. It would be difficult to invent a more
uncouth and fantastic shape; this, however, did not prevent the
worthy priest from presenting a very respectable appearance, and
walking about with the air of a man whose conscience is perfectly
tranquil about the form of his head-dress; instead of bands, he
wore a little collar (_alzacuello_), blue and white, like the
priests in Belgium.

Beyond Mondragon, which is the last small market-town, the last
_pueblo_ of the province of Guipuzcoa, we entered the province of
Alava, and were not long before we found ourselves at the foot of
the hill of Salinas. The _Montagnes Russes_[3] are nothing compared
to this, and, at first sight, the idea of a carriage passing over
it appears as preposterous as that of your walking head downwards
on the ceiling like a fly. This prodigy was however effected,
thanks to six oxen which were harnessed on before the mules.
Never in my whole life did I hear so horrible a disturbance;
the mayoral, the zagal, the escopeteros, the postilion, and the
oxen-drivers, tried which could excel each other in hooting,
swearing, using their whips, and exercising their goads; they
thrust forward the wheels, held up the body of the coach behind,
and pulled on the mules by their halters and the oxen by their
horns, with a most incredible amount of fury and vehemence. The
coach thus placed at the end of this long string of animals and
men, produced a most astonishing effect. There were, at least,
fifty paces between the first and last beast in the team. I must
not forget to mention, _en passant_, the steeple of Salinas, which
has a very pleasing Saracenic form. From the top of the hill the
traveller beholds on looking back, the Pyrenees rising one above
the other until lost in the distance; they resemble immense pieces
of rich velvet drapery, thrown together by chance and rumpled by
the whim of a Titan. At Royane, which is a little further on, I
observed a magical effect in optics. A snowy mountain-top (_Sierra
Nevada_), that the proximity of the other mountains had till
then veiled from our sight, suddenly appeared standing out from
the sky, which was of a blue so dark as to be almost black. Soon
afterwards, at all the edges of the table-land we were traversing,
more mountains raised, in a most curious manner, their summits
loaded with snow and bathed in clouds. This snow was not compact,
but divided into thin veins like sides of gauze worked with silver;
it appeared still whiter from the contrast it formed with the
azure and lilac tints of the precipices. The cold was tolerably
severe, and became more intense in proportion as we advanced. The
wind had not warmed itself by caressing the pale cheeks of these
beautiful and chilly virgins, and came to us as icy as if it had
arrived direct from the North or South Pole. We wrapped ourselves
up as hermetically as we could in our cloaks, for it is extremely
scandalous to have your nose frost-bitten in a torrid clime; I
should not have cared had we been merely fried.

The sun was setting when we entered Vittoria; after threading all
sorts of streets, of but middling architectural style and very bad
taste, the coach stopped at the _parador vejo_, where our luggage
was scrupulously examined. Our Daguerreotype especially alarmed the
worthy custom-house officers a good deal; they approached it with
the greatest precautions, like people who are afraid of being blown
up; I think they imagined it to be an electrifying machine, and I
took care not to undeceive them.

As soon as our things had been searched and our passports stamped,
we had the right to scatter ourselves over the pavement of the
town. We immediately took advantage of this, and, crossing a
fine square surrounded by arcades, proceeded straightway to the
church. The shades of night already filled the nave, and lowered
with a mysterious and threatening look in obscure corners, where
phantom-like forms might now and then be seen. A few small lamps,
yellow and smoky, trembled ominously like stars in a fog. A sort
of sepulchral chill came over me, and it was not without a slight
feeling of dread that I heard a mournful voice murmur, just at
my elbow, the stereotyped formula "_Caballero, una limosina por
l'amor de Dios._" It was a poor wretch of a soldier who had been
wounded, and who was asking an alms of us. In this country the
soldiers beg; this is excusable on account of their miserable state
of destitution, for they are paid very irregularly. In the church
at Vittoria I became acquainted with those frightful sculptures in
coloured wood, the use of which the Spaniards carry to such excess.

After a supper (_cena_) which caused us to regret that at
Antigarraga, we suddenly thought of going to the play. We had been
allured, as we passed along, by a pompous poster announcing the
extraordinary performances of two French Herculeses, which were to
terminate with a certain _baile nacional_ (national dance), which
we pictured to ourselves big with cachuchas, boleros, fandangos,
and other diabolical dances.

The theatres in Spain have generally no façade, and are only
distinguished from the houses around by two or three smoky
lamps stuck before the door. We took two orchestra-stalls,
surnamed _places de lunette_ (_asientos de luneta_), and bravely
precipitated ourselves into a corridor, where the floor was neither
planked nor paved, but was nothing more or less than the bare
earth. The frequenters of the place are not very particular about
the uses to which they turn the walls of the corridor, but, by
hermetically sealing our noses, we reached our places not more than
half suffocated. When I add that smoking is perpetually practised
between the acts, the reader will not have a very fragrant idea of
a Spanish theatre.

The interior of the house is, however, more comfortable than the
approaches to it promise; the boxes are tolerably arranged, and
although the decorations are simple, they are fresh and clean. The
_asientos de luneta_ are armchairs placed in rows and numbered;
there is no checktaker at the door to take your tickets, but a
little boy comes round for them before the end of the performance;
at the outer door you are merely asked for the card that admits you
within the theatre.

We had hoped to find the true type of the Spanish woman, of which
we had as yet seen but few specimens; but the ladies who filled
the boxes and galleries had nothing Spanish about them save the
mantilla and the fan: this was a good deal, it is true, but not
sufficient. The audience was mostly composed of the military, which
is the case in all garrison towns. In the pit, the spectators
stand as in the most primitive theatres. There was, in truth, but
a row of candles and a candle-snuffer wanting to give the place
the appearance of the Hôtel de Bourgogne; the lamps, however,
were enclosed by thin plates of glass, disposed in the shape of a
melon, and united at the top by a circle of tin: this was certainly
no great sign of an advanced state of the industrial arts. The
orchestra, which consisted of one row of musicians, almost all
of whom played brass instruments, blew most valiantly on their
cornets-à-piston an air which was always the same, and recalled to
one's recollection the flourishes of the band at Franconi's.

Our Herculean compatriots raised immense weights, and bent a
considerable number of iron bars, to the great delight of the
assembly; while the lighter of the two made an ascent upon the
tight rope, and performed a variety of other feats, rather stale
in Paris, but new, probably, to the population of Vittoria. During
this time we were dying with impatience in our stalls, and I was
cleaning the glass of my _lorgnette_ with a furious degree of
activity, in order not to lose anything of the _baile nacional_.
At last, the supports of the tight-rope were loosened, and the
stage-carpenters, dressed as Turks, cleared away the weights and
all the other paraphernalia of the Hercules_es_. Think, dear
reader, of the frightful anxiety of two enthusiastic and romantic
young Frenchmen about to behold, for the first time, a Spanish
dance ... in Spain!

At last the curtain rose upon a scene which seemed to entertain
a feeble desire, which was certainly not gratified, of being
enchanting and fairy-like. The cornets-à-piston played, with more
fury than ever, the strain already described, and the _baile
nacional_ advanced in the form of a _danseur_ and _danseuse_,
armed with a pair of castagnettes each. Never have I seen anything
more sad and lamentable than these two miserable ruins _qui ne
se consolaient pas entre eux_: a penny theatre never bore upon
its worm-eaten boards a couple more used-up, more worn-out, more
toothless, more blear-eyed, more bald, and more dilapidated.
The wretched woman, who had besmeared herself with bad Spanish
white, had a sky-blue complexion, which recalled to your mind the
Anacreontic pictures of a person who had died of cholera, or been
drowned some time; the two dabs of rouge that she had placed upon
her prominent cheek-bones, to add a little brilliancy to her fishy
eyes that seemed as if they had been boiled, contrasted strangely
with the aforesaid blue. With her veiny and emaciated hands she
shook a pair of cracked castagnettes, which chattered like the
teeth of a man who has got a fever, or like the wires of a skeleton
in motion. From time to time, she stretched, with a desperate
effort, the relaxed fibres of her calves, and managed to raise her
poor old baluster-looking leg, so as to produce a nervous little
capriole, like a dead frog submitted to the operation of the
voltaic battery, and, for a second, to cause the copper spangles
of the doubtful rags which served her for a robe, to sparkle and
glisten. As for the man, he kept fluttering about most horribly in
his own corner; he rose and fell flatly, like a bat crawling along
upon its stumps; he looked like a grave-digger burying himself. His
forehead, wrinkled like a boot, and his goat-like cheeks, gave him
a most fantastic air: if, instead of castagnettes, he had only had
a Gothic rebec in his hands, he might have set up to lead the Dance
of Death at Basle.

During all the time the dance lasted, they did not once raise their
eyes on one another; it struck you that they were frightened of
their reciprocal ugliness, and feared lest they should burst into
tears at seeing themselves so old, so decrepit, and so mournful.
The man, especially, avoided his companion as if she had been a
spider, and appeared to shiver in his old parchment skin every time
the figure of the dance forced him to approach her. This lively
bolero lasted five or six minutes, after which the fall of the
curtain put an end to the torture of these two wretched beings, ...
and to ours.

Such was the specimen of the bolero which greeted our poor eyes,
so enamoured of "local colouring." Spanish dancers exist only at
Paris, like the shells which are only found at the curiosity-shops,
and never on the sea shore. O Fanny Elssler, who art now in
America, among the savages! even before going to Spain, we always
had an idea that it was thou who inventedst the cachucha!

We went to bed rather disappointed. In the middle of the night we
were woke up to resume our journey. The cold was still intense,
to a Siberian extent; this is accounted for by the height of
the table-land we were crossing, and the snow by which we were
surrounded. At Miranda, our trunks were once more examined, and
then we entered Old Castile (_Castilla la Vieja_), the kingdom of
Castile and Leon, symbolically represented by a lion holding a
shield studded with castles. These lions, which are repeated until
you are sick of them, are generally of a greyish granite, and have
rather an imposing heraldic appearance.

[Illustration: PASS OF PANCORBO.]

Between Ameyugo and Cubo, small insignificant towns, where we
changed mules, the landscape is extremely picturesque; the
mountains contract and draw near one another, while immense
perpendicular rocks, as steep as cliffs, rise up at the road-side.
On the left, a torrent, crossed by a bridge with a truncated ogive
arch, whirls round and round at the bottom of a ravine, turns a
mill, and covers with spray the stones that stop its course. That
nothing may be wanting to complete the effect, a gothic church,
falling to ruin, with its roof staved in, and its walls covered
with parasite plants, rises in the midst of the rocks; in the
background is seen the vague and bluish outline of the Sierra. The
view is certainly very fine, but the passage of _Pancorbo_ carries
off the palm for singularity and grandeur. There the rocks leave
only just room enough for the road, and there is one point where
two immense granite masses, leaning towards one another, give you
the idea of a gigantic bridge, which has been cut in the middle, to
stop the march of an army of Titans. A second, but smaller, arch,
pierced through the thickness of the rock, adds still more to the
illusion. Never did a scene-painter imagine a more picturesque and
more admirably-contrived scene. When you are accustomed to the flat
views of plains, the astonishing effects met with at every step,
in the mountains, appear impossible and fabulous.

The posada where we stopped to dine had a stable for a vestibule.
This architectural arrangement is invariably repeated in all
Spanish posadas, and to reach your room you are obliged to pass
behind the cruppers of the mules. The wine, which was blacker than
usual, had a certain taste of goat-skin sufficiently local. The
maidservants of the inn wore their hair hanging down to the middle
of their backs, but, with this exception, their dress was the
same as that of French women of the lower classes. The national
costumes are, in general, seldom preserved, save in Andalusia,
and, at present, there are very few ancient costumes in Castile.
The men wore the pointed hat, edged with velvet and silk tufts,
or a wolf-skin cap of rather ferocious shape, and the inevitable
tobacco or dirty-coloured mantle. Their faces, however, had nothing
characteristic about them.

Between Pancorbo and Burgos we fell in with three or four little
villages, such as Briviesca, Castil de Peones, and Quintanapalla,
half in ruins, as dry as pumice-stone, and of the colour of a
toast. I doubt whether Decamps ever found in the heart of Asia
Minor, any walls more roasted, more reddened, more tawny, more
seedy, more crusty, and more scratched over, than these. Along
these said walls wandered carelessly certain asses, who are
decidedly well worth the Turkish ones, and which I would advise him
to go and study. The Turkish ass is a fatalist, and, as is evident
from his humble air, resigned to the blows which Fate has in store
for him, and which he endures without a murmur. The Castilian ass
has a more philosophical and deliberate look; he is aware that
people cannot do without him; he makes one of the family; he has
read Don Quixote, and he flatters himself that he is descended in a
straight line from the celebrated donkey of Sancho Panza. Side by
side with these asses were also dogs of the purest blood and most
superb breed, with splendid claws, broad backs, and beautiful ears,
and among the rest some large greyhounds, in the style of Paul
Veronese and Velasquez, of most magnificent size and beauty, not to
speak of some dozen _muchachos_, or boys, whose eyes glistened in
the midst of their rags, like so many black diamonds.

Old Castile is, doubtless, so called, on account of the great
number of old women you meet there; and what old women! The witches
in "Macbeth" crossing the heath of Dunsinane, to prepare their
diabolical cookery, are charming young girls in comparison: the
abominable hags in the capricious productions of Goya, which I had
till then looked upon as monstrous nightmares and chimeras, are
but portraits frightfully like; most of these old women have a
beard like mouldy cheese, and moustaches like French grenadiers;
and then, their dress! You might take a piece of cloth, and work
hard ten years to dirty, to rub, to tear, to patch, and to make it
lose all traces of its original colour, and you would not even then
attain the same sublimity of raggedness! These charms are increased
by a haggard and savage look, very different from the humble and
piteous mien of the poor wretches in France.

A little before reaching Burgos, a large edifice, situated upon
a hill, was, in the distance, pointed out to us. It was the
_Cartuja de Miraflores_ (Carthusian convent), of which I shall
have occasion, later, to speak more at length. Soon afterwards
the spires of the Cathedral displayed their embrasures more and
more distinctly against the sky, and in another half-hour we were
entering the ancient capital of Old Castile.

The public place of Burgos, in the midst of which stands a very
middling bronze statue of Charles III., is large, and not without
some character. Red houses, supported by pillars of bluish granite,
inclose it on all sides. Under the arcades and on the place, are
stationed all sorts of petty dealers, besides an infinite number of
asses, mules, and picturesque peasants who promenade up and down.
The rags of Castile are seen there in all their splendour. The
poorest beggar is nobly draped in his cloak, like a Roman emperor
in his purple. I know nothing better with which to compare these
cloaks, for colour and substance, than large pieces of tinder
jagged at the edges. Don Cæsar de Bazan's cloak, in the drama of
"Ruy Blas," does not come near these proud and haughty rags. They
are all so threadbare, so dry, and so inflammable, that it strikes
you the wearers are very imprudent to smoke or strike a light. The
little children, also, six or eight years old, have their cloaks,
which they wear with the most ineffable gravity. I cannot help
laughing at the recollection of a poor little wretch, who had
nothing left but a collar which hardly covered his shoulder, and
who draped himself in the absent folds with an air so comically
piteous, that he would have unwrinkled the countenance of the
Spleen in person. The men condemned to the _presidio_ (convicts)
sweep the town and clear away the filth, without quitting the rags
in which they are swathed. These convicts in cloaks are the most
astonishing blackguards it is possible to behold. After each stroke
of their broom, they go and sit down, or else recline upon the
door-steps. Nothing would be easier for them than to escape; and on
my hinting this, I was informed that they did not do so on account
of the natural goodness of their disposition.

The fonda where we alighted was a true Spanish fonda, where no
one spoke a word of French; we were fairly obliged to exert our
Castilian, and to tear our throats with uttering the abominable
_jota_--a guttural and Arabian sound which does not exist in our
language. I must confess that, thanks to the extreme intelligence
which distinguishes the people, we made ourselves understood pretty
well. They sometimes, it is true, brought us candles when we
asked for water, or chocolate when we desired ink; but, with the
exception of these little mistakes, which were very pardonable,
everything went on beautifully. We were waited on by a population
of masculine and dishevelled females, with the finest names in the
world; as, for instance, Casilda, Matilda, and Balbina. Spanish
names are always charming. Lola, Bibiana, Pepa, Hilaria, Carmen,
Cipriana, serve to designate some of the most unpoetical beings it
is possible to imagine. One of the creatures who waited on us had
hair of the most fiery red. Light haired, and especially red haired
persons abound in Spain, contrary to the generally-received idea.

We did not find any holy box-wood in the rooms, but branches of
trees, in the shape of palms, plaited, woven, and twisted with
great elegance and care. The beds possess no bolsters, but have two
flat pillows placed one on the other. They are generally extremely
hard, although the wool of which they are composed is good; but the
Spanish are not accustomed to card their mattresses, merely turning
the wool with the aid of two sticks. Opposite our windows hung a
strange kind of sign-board. It belonged to a surgical practitioner,
who had caused himself to be represented in the act of sawing off
the arm of a poor devil seated in a chair; we also perceived the
shop of a barber, who, I can assure my readers, did not bear the
least resemblance to Figaro. Through the panes of his shop-front we
could see a large and rather highly-polished brazen shaving-dish,
which Don Quixote, had he still been of this world, might easily
have mistaken for Mambrino's helmet. It is true that the Spanish
barbers have lost their ancient costume, but they still retain
their former skill, and shave with great dexterity.

Although Burgos was long the first city of Castile, there is
nothing peculiarly Gothic in its general appearance. With the
exception of one street, in which there are a few windows and
door-ways of the time of the Renaissance, and ornamented with coats
of arms and their supporters, the houses do not date further back
than the commencement of the seventeenth century, and merely strike
the observer by their very commonplace look; they are old, but
they are not ancient. Burgos, however, can boast of its Cathedral,
which is one of the finest in the world; but, unfortunately, like
all Gothic cathedrals, it is hemmed in by a number of ignoble
structures, which prevent the eye from appreciating the general
disposition of the building and seizing the whole mass at one
glance. The principal entrance looks out upon a large square,
in the middle of which is a handsome fountain, surmounted by a
delicious statue of Our Saviour in white marble. This fountain
serves as a target to all the idle vagabonds of the town who can
find no more amusing occupation than to throw stones at it. The
entrance, which I have just mentioned is magnificent, being worked
and covered with a thousand different patterns like a piece of
lace. Unfortunately it has been rubbed and scraped down to the
outer frieze by some Italian prelates or other, who were great
admirers of architectural simplicity, of plain walls and ornaments
in "good taste," and wished to arrange the cathedral in the Roman
style, pitying very much the poor, barbarous architects, for not
employing the Corinthian order, and not appearing to have been
alive to Attic beauty and the charm of triangular frontons.

There are still many people of this way of thinking in Spain, where
the so-called _Messidor_ style flourishes in all its purity. These
persons prefer to the richest and most profusely carved specimens
of Gothic architecture, all sorts of abominable edifices riddled
with windows, and _ornamented_ with Pæstumian columns, exactly as
was the case in France before the disciples of the Romantic School
had caused the public to appreciate once more the style of the
Middle Ages, and understand the meaning and the beauty of their
cathedrals. Two pointed spires, carved in zigzag, and pierced as
if with a punch, festooned, embroidered, and sculptured with most
delicate minuteness, like the bezel of a ring, spring upwards
towards Heaven with all the ardour and impetuosity of unshakable
conviction. It is very certain that the campaniles of our
incredulous times would never dare to rise thus into the air with
nothing to support them, save so much stone lacework and nerves as
thin as a spider's web. Another tower, which is also adorned with
an unheard-of profusion of sculpture, but which is not so high,
marks the spot where the arms of the cross join, and completes
the magnificence of the outline. A countless number of statues,
representing saints, archangels, kings, and monks, ornament the
whole; and this population of stone is so numerous, so crowded, so
multitudinous, that it must most certainly exceed the population in
flesh and blood that inhabit the town.

Thanks to the charming politeness of the political chief, Don
Enrico de Vedia, we were enabled to visit the cathedral most
minutely. An octavo volume of description, a folio of two thousand
plates, and twenty rooms filled with plaster casts would not be
sufficient to convey a complete idea of this prodigious production
of Gothic art with its immense mass of sculptures, more thick and
more complicated than a virgin forest in Brazil. Such being the
case, we shall, perhaps, be pardoned for some few slight omissions
and instances of seeming negligence, having been obliged to
scribble these lines hastily and from recollection, on the table of
a posada.

The moment the visitor enters the church, he is forcibly arrested
by a _chef-d'œuvre_ of incomparable beauty, namely, the carved
wooden door leading to the cloisters. Among the other bas-reliefs
upon it, there is one representing our Saviour's entry into
Jerusalem: the jambs and crosspieces are covered with delicious
little figures, so elegant in their form, and of such extreme
delicacy, that it is difficult to understand how so heavy and
solid a substance as wood could ever be made to lend itself to so
capricious and ethereal a production of the imagination. It is
certainly the most beautiful door in the whole world, if we except
that executed by Ghiberti, at Florence, and which Michael Angelo,
who understood something about these matters, pronounced worthy of
being the door of Paradise. There certainly ought to be a bronze
copy taken of this admirable work of art, so that it might at least
live as long as the work of men's hands can live.


The choir, in which are the stalls, called in Spanish _silleria_,
is enclosed by gates of wrought iron of the most wonderful
workmanship; the pavement, as is the custom in Spain, is covered
with immense mats made of spartum, besides which, each stall
has its own little carpet of dry grass or reeds. On looking up,
you perceive a kind of dome formed by the interior of the tower
to which I have before alluded. It is one mass of sculptures,
arabesques, statues, columns, nerves, and pendentives, sufficient
to make your brain turn giddy. Were a person to gaze for two
years, he still would not be able to see everything in it. The
various objects are as densely crowded together as the leaves of a
cabbage; there is as much open work as in a fish-slice; it is as
gigantic as a pyramid, and as delicate as a woman's earring. How
such a piece of filigree work can have remained erect during two
centuries surpasses human comprehension! What kind of men could
those have been who raised these marvellous buildings, which not
even a fairy palace could ever surpass in profuse magnificence? Is
the race extinct? Are not we, who are always boasting of our high
state of civilization, but decrepit barbarians in comparison? I am
always oppressed with a profound sentiment of melancholy whenever
I visit any of these prodigious edifices of the past; my heart is
overwhelmed by a feeling of utter discouragement, and the only wish
I have is to withdraw to some retired spot, to place a stone
upon my head, and, in the immovability of contemplation, to await
death, which is immovability itself. Why should I work? Why should
I exert myself? The most mighty effort of which man is capable
will never produce anything more magnificent than what I have just
described; and yet we do not even know the name of the divine
artists to whom we owe it; and, if we wish to obtain the slightest
information concerning them, we are obliged to seek it in the dusty
leaves of the monastical archives. When I think that I have spent
the best part of my life in making ten or twelve thousand verses,
in writing six or seven wretched octavo volumes, and three or four
hundred bad articles for the newspapers, and that I feel fatigued
with my exertions, I am ashamed of myself and of the times in which
I live, when so much exertion is required in order to produce so
little. What is a thin sheet of paper compared to a mountain of

If the reader will take a turn with me in this immense madrepore,
constructed by the prodigious human polypi of the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries, we will commence by visiting the little
sacristy, which, notwithstanding its name, is a very good-sized
room, and contains an "Ecce Homo" and a "Christ on the Cross" by
Murillo, as well as a "Nativity" by Jordäens. It is lined with
the most beautifully carved woodwork. In the middle is placed a
large brazero, which serves to light the censers, and perhaps
the cigarettes also, for many of the Spanish priests smoke, a
practice that does not strike me as being more unbecoming than
that of taking snuff, in which the French clergy indulge, without
the slightest scruple. The brazero is a large copper vessel,
placed upon a tripod, and filled with burning embers, or little
fruitstones covered with fine cinders, which produce a gentle heat.
In Spain, the brazeros are used instead of fireplaces, which are
very rare.

In the great sacristy, which is next to the little one, the visitor
remarks a "Christ on the Cross" by Domenico Theotocopuli, surnamed
_El Greco_, an extravagant and singular painter, whose pictures
might be mistaken for sketches by Titian, if there were not a
certain affectation of sharp and hastily-painted forms about them,
which causes them to be immediately recognised. In order that
his works may appear to have been painted with great boldness,
he throws in, here and there, touches of the most inconceivable
petulance and brutality, and thin sharp lights which traverse
the portions of the picture which are in shadow, like so many
sword-blades. All this, however, does not prevent El Greco from
being a fine painter. The good specimens of his second style
greatly resemble the romantic pictures of Eugène Delacroix.

The reader has seen, no doubt, in the Spanish Gallery at Paris,
the portrait of El Greco's daughter; a magnificent head that no
master would disown. It enables us to form an opinion as to what
an admirable painter Domenico Theotocopuli must have been when he
was in his right senses. It appears that his constant wish to avoid
any resemblance to Titian, whose scholar he is said to have been,
troubled his understanding, and led him to adopt an extravagance
and capriciousness of style, that allowed the magnificent faculties
with which nature had endowed him to gleam forth only at rare
intervals. Besides being a painter, El Greco was also an architect
and a sculptor,--a sublime union, a triangle of light, which is
often met with in the highest region of art.

The walls of this apartment are covered with panelled wainscoting,
with florid and festooned columns of the greatest richness. Above
the wainscoting there is a row of Venice mirrors; for what purpose
they are placed there, unless it is simply for ornament, I am at a
loss to say, as they are hung too high for any one to see himself
in them. Above the mirrors are ranged, in chronological order,--the
most ancient touching the ceiling,--the portraits of all the
bishops of Burgos, down from the very first, to the prelate who now
occupies the see. These portraits, although in oil-colours, look
like crayon drawings, or sketches in distemper. This is occasioned
by the practice they have in Spain of never varnishing their
pictures, a want of precaution which has been the cause of a great
number of very valuable masterpieces having been destroyed by the
damp. Although most of these portraits present a tolerably imposing
appearance, they are not first-rate paintings; besides, they are
hung too high for any one to form a just opinion of the merit of
the execution. The middle of the room is occupied by an immense
side-board and enormous baskets, made of spartum, in which the
church ornaments and sacred vessels are kept. Under two glass cases
are preserved, as curiosities, two coral trees, whose branches,
however, are far less complicated than the smallest arabesque in
the cathedral. The door is ornamented with the arms of Burgos in
relief, sprinkled with small crosses, gules.

Juan Cuchiller's room, which we traverse after the one I have just
described, offers nothing remarkable in the way of architecture,
and we were hastening to leave it as soon as possible, when our
guide requested us to raise our eyes and look at an object of
the greatest curiosity. This object was a large chest, firmly
attached to the wall by iron cramps: it would be difficult to
conceive anything more patched, more worm-eaten, or more rotten.
It is decidedly the oldest chest in the world; but the following
inscription, in black letters, _Cofre del Cid_, instantly
imparted, as the reader may imagine, an immense degree of
importance to its four planks of mouldering wood. This chest, if
we can believe the old chronicle, is the very same that the famous
Ruy Diaz de Bivar, more generally known under the name of the Cid
Campeador,--being once, hero though he was, pressed for money,
exactly as a mere author might be,--caused to be filled with sand
and stones, and left in pledge at the house of an honest Jewish
usurer, who made advances on this kind of security. The Cid forbad
him, however, to open the mysterious deposit until he, the Cid
Campeador, had paid back the sum borrowed. This proves that the
usurers of that period were of a much more confiding disposition
than those of the present time. We should now-a-days find but
few Jews, and I believe but few Christians either, so innocent
and obliging as to accept a pledge of this description. Monsieur
Casimir Delavigne has used this legend in his piece entitled "La
Fille du Cid;" but, for the enormous chest, he has substituted an
almost imperceptible coffer, which, in sober truth, could only
contain _the gold of the Cid's word_; and there is no Jew, and
there never was one, not even in those heroic times, who would
have lent anything upon such a toy. The historical chest is high,
broad, massive, deep, and garnished with all sorts of locks and
padlocks. When full of sand, it must have required at least six
horses to move it; so that the worthy Israelite might have supposed
it to be crammed with apparel, jewellery, or plate, and thus have
been more easily induced to humour the Cid's caprice, which is one
that, like many other heroical freaks, is duly provided for by the
criminal law. The real chest being such as I have described, I feel
myself necessitated, without wishing to hurt the feelings of Mons.
Antenoz Joly, to pronounce the _mise en scène_ at the Théâtre de la
Renaissance to be inexact.



  The Cloisters; Paintings and Sculptures--The Cid's House; the
  Casa del Cordon; the Puerta de Santa Maria--The Theatre and the
  Actors--La Cartuja de Miraflores--General Thibaut and the Cid's

On leaving the room of Juan Cuchiller, you enter another which
is decorated in a very picturesque manner. The walls are
wainscoted with oak and hung with red tapestry, while the ceiling
is _artesonado_, and produces a most pleasing effect. There is
a "Nativity" by Murillo, a "Conception," and a figure of "Our
Saviour" in flowing robes, all exceedingly well painted.

The cloisters are filled with tombs, most of which are enclosed by
strong iron railings placed very close together. These tombs, all
of them belonging to various illustrious personages, are placed
in recesses hollowed out in the thickness of the wall; they are
covered with armorial bearings and decorated with sculpture. On one
of them I observed an excessively beautiful group of the Virgin
Mary and Our Saviour holding a book in his hand, as well as a most
strange and surprising production of the imagination, representing
a fanciful monster, half animal, half arabesque. On all these tombs
are stretched statues the size of life, of knights in armour, or
bishops in full episcopal costume; so truthful are the attitudes
in which they are lying, and so minute are the details, that any
one looking at them through the iron railings might almost mistake
these statues for the persons they represent.

On the jamb of a door, I remarked as I passed along, a charming
little statue of the Virgin, executed in the most delicious manner
and conceived with extraordinary boldness. Instead of the contrite
and modest air that is generally given to the statues and paintings
of the Blessed Virgin, the sculptor has represented her with a
mixed expression of voluptuousness and ecstasy, and intoxicated
with all the pleasure of a woman in the act of conceiving a God.
She is standing up with her head thrown backwards, and seems to
be inhaling with her whole soul and body, and also with the most
original union of passion and purity, the ray of flame which is
breathed upon her by the symbolical dove. It was a difficult task
to produce any novelty in the treatment of a subject that had been
so often used, but for genius nothing is too common.

A detailed description of these cloisters would require a whole
chapter to itself; but, on account of my limited space and the
short time that was at my disposal, the reader will excuse me for
merely mentioning them in this cursory manner, and re-entering the
church, where we will take at hazard, without choice or preference,
the first _chefs-d'œuvre_ we may happen to see on our right and
left; for they are all beautiful and all admirable, and those which
we do not mention are at the least quite as valuable as the rest.

We will first stop before this "Passion of our Lord," carved
in stone by Philip of Burgundy, who, unfortunately, was not a
French artist, as his name or rather his nickname might lead us
to suppose. This bas-relief is one of the largest in the world.
According to the usual custom in Gothic art, it is divided into
several compartments,--namely, the Mount of Olives, the Bearing
of the Cross, and the Crucifixion of the Saviour between the two
Thieves; an immense composition which, for the fineness of the
heads, and the minute accuracy of the details, is equal to the most
delicate and lovely things that Albert Dürer, Hemlinck, or Holbein
ever produced with their miniature-painters' pencils. This stone
epic is terminated by a magnificent "Descent to the Tomb." The
groups of sleeping apostles which occupy the lower compartments of
the Garden of Olives possess almost the same beauty and purity of
style as the prophets and saints of Fra Bartholomew; the heads of
the women at the foot of the cross are remarkable for that pathetic
and mournful look which Gothic art alone could convey, and which
in this instance is united to an uncommon beauty of outline. The
soldiers attract attention by the singularity and savage style of
their apparel, which is that usually employed during the middle
ages in all representations of the Ancients, the Orientals, or the
Jews, whose true costume was then not known; the various postures
in which they are placed are stamped with a bold swaggering air,
which contrasts most happily with the ideality and melancholy of
the other figures. The whole is surrounded by carving as delicate
as the finest jewellery, and of the most incredible good taste
and lightness. This splendid production of the sculptor's art was
finished in 1536.

Since we are on the subject of sculpture, we may as well seize
the opportunity to speak of the stalls in the choir, which, as a
piece of admirable joinery, have not, perhaps, their equals in
the world. The stalls are so many marvels. They represent subjects
in bas-relief from the Old Testament, and are separated from each
other by monsters and fantastic animals shaped like the arms of a
chair. The flat portions are covered with incrustations, the effect
of which is heightened by black hatching, like inlaid enamel-work
on metal. It is impossible for arabesques or caprice to be carried
to a greater length. These stalls contain an inexhaustible mine,
an unheard-of abundance, a never-ending novelty, both of ideas and
forms: they are a new world, a creation of themselves, marvellously
rich and complete; a world in which the plants live, the men bud
forth, a branch ends in a hand, and a leg terminates in foliage;
a world in which the cunning-eyed monster spreads out his taloned
wings, and the monstrous dolphin spouts the water through its
nostrils. They form one inextricable entwining of buds and boughs,
acanthuses, water-lilies, flowers, with chalices ornamented with
tufts and tendrils, of serrated and twisted foliage, fabulous
birds, impossible fish, and extravagant sirens and dragons, of
which no tongue could ever give an idea. The wildest fancy reigns
unrestrained in all these incrustations, whose yellow tone causes
them to stand out from the sombre background of the wood, and
gives them the appearance of the paintings on Etruscan vases; an
appearance which is fully justified by the boldness and primitive
accent of their lines. These designs, from which the pagan spirit
of the Renaissance peeps out, have nothing in common with the
destination of the stalls themselves; in fact, the subject selected
very frequently shows an entire forgetfulness of the sacred
character of the place. They represent either children playing with
masks, women dancing, gladiators wrestling, peasants engaged in the
vintage, young girls teasing or caressing some fanciful monster,
animals playing the harp, or even little boys, in the basin of a
fountain imitating the famous statue at Brussels. Were they but
a little more slender in their proportions, these figures would
be equal to the purest productions of Etruscan art. Unity in the
general appearance, and infinite variety in the details, was the
difficult problem which the artists of the Middle Ages generally
succeeded in solving. Five or six paces farther on, this mass of
woodwork, so remarkable for the wildness of its execution, becomes
grave, solemn, architectural, brown in its tones, and altogether
worthy of serving as a frame to the pale and austere faces of the

The Chapel of the Constable (_Capilla del Condestable_) forms of
itself a complete church. The tomb of Don Pedro Fernandez Velasco,
Constable of Castile, and that of his wife, occupy the middle
of the building, and are far from being its least attractive
feature: they are of white marble, magnificently sculptured. The
constable is lying in his war armour, enriched with the chastest
arabesques, from which the sacristans take _papier-maché_ casts,
to sell to visitors. The constable's wife has her little dog by
her side, while her gloves, and the brocaded flowers on her gown,
are rendered with the utmost delicacy. Both their heads repose
upon marble cushions, ornamented with their coronets and armorial
bearings. The walls of the chapel are covered with gigantic coats
of arms, while figures placed upon the entablature hold stone
staves for supporting banners and standards. The _retablo_ (which
is the name given to the architectural _façade_ before the altar)
is sculptured, painted, gilt, and covered with a profusion of
arabesques, varied by columns; it represents the Circumcision of
our Saviour, with figures the size of life. To the right, on the
same side as the portrait of Doña Mencia de Mendoza, Countess
of Haro, is a small Gothic altar, coloured, gilt, carved, and
embellished with an infinity of little figures, so light in
appearance, and so graceful in form, that any one might mistake
them for the work of Antonin Moine. On this altar there is a
Christ, carved in jet. The high altar is ornamented with silver
rays and crystal suns, which produce a singularly brilliant
flickering effect. Carved on the roof is a rose of incredible

Enclosed in the wainscoting of the sacristy, near the chapel,
is a Magdalen, said to be by Leonardo da Vinci. The mildness of
the brown half-tints, merging into the light by imperceptible
gradations, the lightness of touch remarkable in the hair, and the
perfect rounding of the arms, render this supposition extremely
probable. In this chapel, also, is preserved the ivory diptych
that the constable used to take with him to the army, and before
which he was accustomed to recite his prayers. The _Capilla del
Condestable_ belongs to the Duke de Frias. Cast a glance, as you
pass, on that statue of Saint Bruno, in coloured wood,--it is by
Pereida, a Portuguese sculptor,--and on that epitaph, which is that
of Villegas, the translator of Dante.

A magnificent and most finely-built staircase, with
splendidly-sculptured monsters, kept us for some minutes riveted
with admiration. I am ignorant whither it leads, or into what
room the small door at its extremity opens, but it is worthy of
the most splendid palace. The high altar in the chapel of the
Duke d'Abrantes is one of the most singular productions of the
imagination which it is possible to behold. It represents the
genealogical tree of Jesus Christ. This strange idea is carried out
in the following manner:--The patriarch Abraham is lying at the
bottom of the composition, and in his fertile breast are placed
the spreading roots of an immense tree, each branch of which bears
an ancestor of Jesus, and is subdivided into as many branches
as that ancestor had descendants. The summit is occupied by the
Virgin Mary on a throne of clouds, while the sun, the moon, and
a multitude of gold and silver stars, shine through the foliage.
It is impossible to think without a shudder at the immense amount
of patience which must have been required to cut out all these
leaves, chisel all these folds, and make all these personages stand
out so prominently. This _retablo_, carved in the manner we have
described, is as high as the _façade_ of a house, that is to say,
at least thirty feet, if we include the three stories, the second
of which represents the crowning of the Virgin, and the third the
Crucifixion, with St. John and the Virgin. The sculptor is Rodrigo
del Haya, who lived in the middle of the sixteenth century.

The Chapel of Santa Tecla is the strangest structure imaginable.
The object both of architect and sculptor seems to have been to
crowd as many ornaments as possible into the least space, and
they have completely succeeded; for I defy the greatest advocate
of ornament to find space enough in the whole chapel for a single
rose or a single flower more. It is the most wonderful and most
charming specimen of the richest description of bad taste. It is
one mass of twisted spiral columns, surrounded by vine-shoots, of
endless volutes, of cherubim's heads and shoulders with a pair of
wings sticking out like the ends of a neck-tie, of large masses of
clouds, of flames rising from censers and blown about by the wind,
of rays spread out in the shape of a fan, and of endive-plants
in full bloom and most luxuriant growth, all gilt and painted
in natural colours with the pencil of a miniature-painter. The
flower-work of the drapery is imitated thread for thread, and point
for point, with frightful accuracy. Santa Tecla, who is tied to the
stake with the flames rising around her on all sides, and a number
of Saracens in extravagant costumes exciting them, is represented
as raising towards Heaven her beautiful enamel eyes, and holding
in her flesh-coloured hand a large holly-branch, twisted after the
usual Spanish fashion. The roof is ornamented in the same style.
The rest of the chapel is occupied by other altars, which, although
smaller, are quite as elaborate as that which we have described.
But the whole fabric is deficient in the peculiar delicacy of
Gothic art, as well as in the charming characteristics of the
period of the Renaissance; richness is substituted for purity of
outline; it is still very beautiful, however, like everything
carried to excess, but yet complete in its own peculiar style.

The organs, which are of a formidable size, have rows of pipes laid
transversely, like so many cannon with their muzzles pointed at
you; they look very menacing and warlike. The private chapels have
each an organ, only of a smaller size. In the _retablo_ of one of
these chapels we beheld a painting of such exceeding beauty, that
I am even now at a loss to what master to ascribe it, unless it be
to Michael Angelo. This magnificent work of art possesses, most
undeniably, all the characteristic marks of the Florentine school,
when in its most flourishing state, and would form the principal
attraction in any gallery however rich. Michael Angelo, however,
hardly ever painted in oil colours, and his pictures are fabulously
scarce; I am inclined to think that it was painted by Sebastian del
Piombo, after a cartoon, and on a drawing of this sublime artist.
It is well known that Michael Angelo was jealous of Raphael's
success, and that he sometimes employed Sebastian del Piombo,
in order to unite colouring to drawing, and thus beat his young
rival. However this may be, it is very certain that the picture is
admirable. The Virgin Mary is represented seated, with her drapery
disposed in majestic folds; she is covering with a transparent
scarf the divine form of the infant Jesus, who is standing up
by her side. From out the ultramarine of the sky two angels are
contemplating her in silence, while in the background is seen a
severe landscape, with some rocks and fragments of walls. The head
of the Virgin possesses an amount of majesty, serenity, and force,
of which it is utterly impossible to convey an adequate idea by
mere words. The lines which join the neck to the shoulders are so
pure, so chaste, and so noble, the face breathes such an expression
of sweet maternal satisfaction, the hands are so divinely treated,
and the feet are so remarkable for their elegance and grand style,
that I found it almost impossible to tear myself away. Add to
this marvellous design, simple, solid, well-sustained colouring,
without any claptrap devices, or little tricks of chiaroscuro, but
a certain look of fresco which harmonizes perfectly with the tone
of the architecture around, and you have a _chef-d'œuvre_ such as
is to be found only in the Florentine or Roman school.

There is also in the cathedral at Burgos a "Holy Family," without
the painter's name. I strongly suspect it to be the production of
Andrea del Sarto. There are likewise some Gothic paintings on wood,
by Cornelis van Eyck; the fellows to them are in the gallery at
Dresden. The works of the German school are not uncommon in Spain
and some of them are exceedingly fine. We will seize the present
opportunity to mention some pictures by Fra Diego de Leyva, who
became a Carthusian friar in the _Cartuja_ of Miraflores when
he had already reached his fifty-fourth year. Among his other
compositions we may notice the Martyrdom of Santa Casilda. The
executioner has cut off both her breasts, and the blood is gushing
forth from the two large red places which mark the spot whence
the flesh has been removed; the two breasts are lying at the
Saint's side, while she herself is looking with an expression of
feverish and convulsive ecstasy at a tall angel, with a thoughtful,
melancholy face, who has brought her a palm-branch. These frightful
pictures of martyrdom are very frequently to be met with in Spain,
where the love of the real and the true in art is carried to the
greatest lengths. The artist will not spare you one single drop of
blood; you must see the severed nerves shrinking back, you must see
the quivering of the living flesh, whose dark purple hue contrasts
strongly with the bluish, bloodless whiteness of the skin, you
must be shown the vertebræ cut through by the executioner's blade,
and the gaping wounds that vomit forth water and blood from their
livid mouths; every detail is rendered with horrible truthfulness.
Ribera has painted some things in this style, sufficient to make
El Verdugo[4] himself start back with affright. In sober truth,
we require all the dreadful beauty and diabolical energy which
characterize this great master, to enable us to support this
flaying and slaughtering school of painting, which seems to have
been invented by some hangman's assistant for the amusement of
cannibals. We actually lose all desire to suffer martyrdom; and the
angel, with his palm-branch, strikes us as a very poor compensation
for such atrocious torments. But sometimes Ribera denies even this
consolation to his victims, and allows them to writhe about in
agony, like so many serpents, in the dull, menacing shade, that is
not illuminated by a single ray from heaven.

The craving for the true, however revolting, is a characteristic
feature of Spanish art. Idealism and conventionality are foreign
to the genius of this people, who are altogether deficient in
everything like æsthetic feeling. For them sculpture is not
sufficient; they require their statues to be coloured, and their
Virgins to be painted and clothed in real clothes. To please
them, the material illusion can never be carried too far; and
their unbridled passion for the real causes them sometimes to
overstep the line which separates the sculptor's studio from the
boiling-room of the wax-work exhibitor.

The celebrated "Christ of Burgos," which is held in such
veneration, and which must not be shown until the tapers are
lighted, is a striking example of this strange taste. It is not
formed of coloured stone or wood, but actually consists of a human
skin (at least, so they say), stuffed in the most artistic manner.
The hair is real hair; the eyes are furnished with eye-lashes,
the crown of thorns is really composed of thorns, and, in a word,
not one detail is omitted. Nothing can be more lugubrious, or
more disagreeable to behold than this crucified phantom, with its
ghastly life-like look and its death-like stillness. The skin, of a
brownish, rusty tinge, is streaked with long lines of blood, which
are so well imitated that you might almost think they were actually
trickling down. It requires no very great effort of the imagination
to believe the legend which affirms that this miraculous figure
bleeds every Friday.

Instead of flying drapery twisted round the body, the Burgalise
Christ has got on a white tunic, embroidered with gold, and
descending from the waist to the knees. This style of dress
produces a strange effect, especially upon us who are not used to
it. There are three ostrich-eggs encased in the foot of the cross
as a sort of symbolical ornament, the meaning of which I have
forgotten, however, unless they are intended to convey an allusion
to the Trinity, which is the principle and germ of all things.

On leaving the cathedral we felt dazzled and crushed with
_chefs-d'œuvre_: we were intoxicated with them; we could not
admire any longer: it was only by the greatest effort that we were
enabled to cast a careless glance on the arch erected to Fernan
Gonzalez: it is an experiment made in the classical style, at the
commencement of the Renaissance period, by Philip of Burgundy. We
were also shown the Cid's house; when I say the Cid's house, I
express myself badly; I mean the place where his house may have
been, and which is a square place enclosed by posts. There is not
the least vestige left which can authorize the general belief; but
then, on the other hand, nothing absolutely proves the contrary;
and, such being the case, there is no harm in our trusting the
tradition. The _Casa del Cordon_, so called from the rope which
winds round the doors, borders the windows, and serpentines through
the various ornaments, is worth examining. It is the residence
of the political chief of the province, and we met there sundry
alcades of the environs, with features that would have struck
us as rather suspicious had we happened to come across them in
some lonely spot, and who would have done well to ask themselves
for their papers before allowing themselves to proceed without
molestation on their road.

[Illustration: PUERTA DE SANTA MARIA.]

The _Puerta de Santa Maria_, erected in honour of Charles V., is a
remarkable piece of architecture. Although the statues placed in
the niches are short and squat, they have an appearance of force
and vigour which amply compensates for any defect in gracefulness
of form. It is a great pity that this superb triumphal arch should
be obstructed and disfigured by a number of plaster walls, which
are placed there under the pretence of their being fortifications;
they should immediately be pulled down. Near this gate is the
public promenade on the banks of the Arlanzon, a very respectable
river at least two feet deep, which is a great depth for Spain.
The promenade is ornamented with four very tolerable statues,
representing four kings or counts of Castile--namely, Don Fernan
Gonzalez, Don Alonzo, Don Enrique II., and Don Fernando I. I have
now mentioned almost everything worth seeing at Burgos. The theatre
is even more primitive than the one at Vittoria. The evening I was
there, the performance consisted of a piece in verse, entitled "El
Zapatero y el Rey" (the Cobbler and the King), by Zorilla, a young
and very talented author, who is very popular in Madrid, and who
has already published seven volumes of poetry much extolled for
its harmony and style. All the places, however, had been taken
beforehand, so that we were obliged to renounce the pleasure we had
promised ourselves, and wait until the next night for the "Three
Sultanas," which, we were informed, was a piece interspersed with
singing and Turkish dances of the most transcendent comicality. The
actors did not know a word of their parts, and the prompter spoke
so loudly that he completely drowned their voices. I may mention
that the prompter is protected by a sort of tin shell, arched
like the roof of an oven, to shield him against the _patatas_,
_manzanas_, and _cascaras de naranja_--potatoes, apples, and
orange-peel--with which the Spanish public, as impatient a public
as ever existed, never fails to bombard those actors who displease
them. Each person brings his store of projectiles in his pocket: if
the actors play well, the various vegetables return to the saucepan
and serve to augment the _puchero_.

For one moment, we thought we had at length discovered the true
type of a Spanish beauty in one of the three sultanas--large,
arched, black eyebrows, sharp nose, a long oval face, and red lips;
but an obliging neighbour informed us that she was a young French

Before leaving Burgos, we paid a visit to the Cartuja de
Miraflores, situated at half a league from the town. A few poor
old decrepit monks have been allowed to await their death there.
Spain has lost a great deal of its romantic character by the
suppression of the monks, and I do not see that it has gained much
in other respects. A number of magnificent edifices, which can
never be replaced, and which were formerly preserved in all their
integrity, will fall into a state of dilapidation, and crumble
to the ground, adding their ruins to those which are already so
common in this unhappy country; and thus unheard-of treasures in
the way of statues, pictures, and objects of art of all kinds, will
be lost, without any one deriving the least advantage. It strikes
me that our Revolution might be imitated in other things than its
stupid Vandalism. Murder each other if you will, for the ideas you
imagine that you possess; fatten with your bodies the meagre plains
ravaged by war--that is all very well; but the stone, the marble
and the bronze touched by genius, are sacred--at least spare them.
In two thousand years your civil dissensions will all be forgotten,
and the future will only know that you were once a great people by
some marvellous fragments dug from out a heap of ruins.

The Cartuja is situated upon a hill. Its exterior is austere and
simple, consisting of grey stones and a tile roof, that says
nothing to the eyes, but everything to the imagination. In the
interior are long, cool, silent cloisters, with whitewashed walls,
and a number of doors leading to the various cells, and windows
with leaden casements, containing different religious subjects on
stained glass, especially a remarkable composition representing the
Ascension. The body of our Saviour has already disappeared; there
is nothing left but his feet, the marks of which are seen on a rock
which is surrounded by pious personages lost in admiration.

The prior's garden is situated within a little courtyard, in the
midst of which is a fountain, from which the water, clear as
crystal, runs out drop by drop. A few stray sprigs of the vine
somewhat enliven the melancholy aspect of the walls, while a
few tufts of flowers and clusters of plants are seen springing
up here and there, in picturesque disorder, pretty much as they
were sown by the hand of Chance. The prior, an old man, with a
noble, venerable face, and dressed in a garment resembling as
much as possible a gown (for monks are not allowed to preserve
their costume), received us very politely, and, as it was not very
warm, made us sit around the brazero, and offered us cigarettes
and _azucarillos_, with cool spring water. An open book was lying
on the table: I took the liberty to glance into it. It was the
"Bibliotheca Cartuxiana," a collection of all the passages of the
various authors who have written in praise of the order and lives
of the Carthusian monks. The margin was covered with annotations,
written in that stiff, formal, priest-like hand, rather large,
which appeals so strongly to the imagination, but says nothing to
the hasty and offhand man of the world. This poor old monk, left
thus, out of pity, in a deserted convent, the vaults of which will
soon fall over his unknown grave, was still dreaming of the glory
of his order, and inscribing with a trembling hand, in the blank
spaces of the book, some passage or other that had either been
forgotten, or recently been found.

The cemetery is shaded by two or three large yew-trees, like those
in the Turkish cemeteries. It contains four hundred and nineteen
monks, who have died since the foundation of the convent. The
ground is covered by thick luxuriant grass, and neither tomb,
cross, nor inscription, is to be seen. There do the good monks
all lie together, as humble in death as they were in life. This
cemetery, without a single name, has something calm and silent
about it that is refreshing to the soul. A fountain situated in the
midst of it sheds a stream of limpid tears, as bright as silver,
for these poor creatures, all dead and forgotten. I took a draught
of the water, filtered through the ashes of so many holy persons;
it was pure, and icy as death.

But though the dwelling of man is poor, that of God is rich. In
the middle of the nave are placed the tombs of Don Juan II. and
Queen Isabella, his wife. The spectator is lost in astonishment
at the fact of human patience ever having completed such a work.
Sixteen lions, two at each angle, support eight shields with the
royal arms, and serve as base to the structure. Add to these a
proportionate number of virtues, allegorical figures, apostles,
and evangelists, imagine a countless number of branches, birds,
animals, scrolls of arabesque and foliage, twisting and twining
in every direction, and you will yet have but a feeble notion of
this prodigious masterpiece. The crowned statues of the king and
queen are lying at full length on the top of the tomb. The king is
holding his sceptre in his hand, and is enveloped in a long robe,
guilloched and figured with the most incredible delicacy.

The tomb of the Infante Alonzo is on the left-hand side of the
altar. The Infante is represented kneeling before a fall-stool. A
vine, with open spaces, in which little children gathering grapes
are suspended, creeps, in festoons of the most capricious and
endless variety around the Gothic arch that serves as a framework
to the composition, half buried in the thickness of the wall. These
marvellous monuments are in alabaster, and are due to the chisel of
Gil de Siloe, who also executed the sculptures for the high altar.
To the right and left of the latter, which is a most beautiful
work of art, are two open doors, through which you perceive two
Carthusian friars in the white robe of their order, standing
motionless before you. At first sight you are inclined to take
these two figures, which are probably by Diego de Leyva, for living
beings. The general decoration of the building is completed by
stalls in the Berruguete style, and it is a matter of astonishment
for the visitor to find all these wonders in so deserted a spot.

From the top of the hill we were shown, in the distance, San Pedro
de Cardeña, which contains the tomb of the Cid and of his wife,
Doña Ximena. By the way, in connexion with this tomb there is a
strange anecdote told, which I will here relate, without, however,
answering for the truth of it.

During the French invasion, General Thibaut conceived the idea
of having the Cid's bones removed from San Pedro de Cardeña to
Burgos. His intention was to place them in a sarcophagus on the
public promenade, in order that the presence of these illustrious
remains might inspire the people with sentiments of heroism and
chivalry. It is added, that the gallant general, in a fit of
warlike enthusiasm, placed the hero's bones in his own bed, in
order that he might elevate his courage by this glorious proximity,
a precaution of which he had no need. The project was not put into
execution, and the Cid returned to Doña Ximena's side, at San Pedro
de Cardeña, where he has since remained; but one of his teeth,
which had fallen out, and which had been put away in a drawer,
had disappeared, without any one being able to find out what had
become of it. The only thing that was wanting to complete the Cid's
glory, was that he should be canonized, which he would have been,
had he not, before his death, expressed the Arabo-heretical and
suspicious wish that his famous steed, Barbieca, should be buried
with him. This caused his orthodoxy to be doubted. Talking of the
Cid, I must remark to Monsieur Casimir Delavigne that the name of
the hero's sword is Tizona, and not Tizonade, which rhymes rather
too closely with lemonade. I say this, however, without any desire
of damaging the Cid's fame, who, to his merit as a hero, added that
of inspiring so poetically the unknown author of the Romancero, as
well as Guilhen de Castro, Diamante, and Pierre Corneille.



  El Correo Real; the Galeras--Valladolid--San Pablo--A
  Representation of Hernani--Santa Maria--Madrid.

_El Correo Real_ in which we quitted Burgos merits a particular
description. Just fancy an antediluvian vehicle, of which I should
say that the model, long since discarded, could at present only be
found in the fossil remains of Spain; immense bell-shaped wheels,
with very thin spokes, placed considerably behind the frame,
which had been painted red, somewhere about the time of Isabella
the Catholic; an extravagant body, full of all sorts of crooked
windows, and lined in the inside with small satin cushions, which
may, at some remote period, have been rose-coloured; and the
whole interior quilted and decorated with a kind of silk that was
once, probably, of various colours. This respectable conveyance
was suspended by the aid of ropes, and bound together in several
suspicious-looking places with thin cords made of spartum. To
this precious machine was added a team of mules of a reasonable
length, with an assortment of postilions, and a _mayoral_ clad in
an Astracan lambs-wool waistcoat, and a pair of sheepskin trousers
which looked tremendously Muscovitish. When all our preparations
were completed, we set off in the midst of a whirlwind of cries
and oaths, accompanied by a due proportion of whipping. We went
at a most terrific pace, and literally flew over the ground, the
vague outlines of the objects to our right and left flitting past
us with phantasmagorical rapidity. I never saw mules more fiery,
more restive, and more wild; every time we stopped, a whole army
of _muchachos_ was requisite to harness one to the coach. The
diabolical animals came out of their stables on their hind legs;
and it was only by the instrumentality of a bunch of postilions
hanging on the halter of each one, that we succeeded in again
reducing them to the state of quadrupeds. I think that it was
the idea of the food that awaited them at the next _venta_--for
they were frightfully thin--which filled them with this fiendlike
impetuosity. On leaving one small village, they commenced kicking
and capering about in such a fashion that their legs got entangled
in the traces; whereupon they were belaboured with a shower of
blows and kicks which must be seen to be believed. The whole team
fell down, and an unfortunate postilion, who was mounted on a
horse which in all probability had never before been in harness,
was dragged from beneath this heap of animals, almost as flat as a
pancake and bleeding from the nose. His sweetheart, who had come to
see him off, began shrieking enough to break any person's heart; I
should never have thought that such shrieks could proceed from a
human breast. The ropes were at last disentangled, and the mules
set upon their feet again. Another postilion took the place of the
wounded man, and we set off with a velocity which I should say
could not be surpassed. The country through which we passed had a
strange, savage look; it consisted of immense arid plains without a
single tree to break their uniformity, and terminated by mountains
and hills of a yellow-ochreish hue, which with difficulty assumed
an azure tint even at a distance. From time to time we passed a
dusty mud-built village, mostly in ruins. As it was Sunday, we
saw, all along the yellowish walls illuminated by a sickly sun,
whole ranks of haughty Castilians as motionless as mummies, and
enveloped in their tinder-like rags, who had placed themselves
there to _tomar el sol_, a species of amusement which would cause
the most phlegmatic German to die of _ennui_ at the expiration of
an hour. This peculiarly Spanish amusement was, however, on the day
in question, very excusable, for the weather was atrociously cold,
while a furious wind swept the plain with the noise of thunder and
of an infinity of war-chariots filled with armour rattling over a
succession of brazen vaults. I do not believe that anything more
barbarous and more primitive can be met with in the kraals of the
Hottentots and the encampments of the Calmucks. I took advantage of
a halt to enter one of these huts. It was a wretched hovel, without
any windows. It had a fireplace of unhewn stones in the centre, and
a hole in the roof for the smoke to escape. The walls were of a
dark brown colour, worthy of Rembrandt.

We dined at Torrequemada, a village situated on a small river which
is choked up by the ruins of some old fortifications. Torrequemada
is remarkable for the total absence of glass; the only window-panes
to be seen there are in the _parador_, which, in spite of this
unheard-of luxury, is nothing more nor less than a kitchen with
a hole in the ceiling. After having swallowed a few _garbanzos_,
which rattled in our stomachs like shots in a tambourine, we
re-entered our box, and the steeple-chase recommenced. The coach
at the back of the mules was like a saucepan tied to the tail of a
tiger, and the noise it made only served to render them still more
excited than they were before. A straw fire that was lighted in
the middle of the road nearly caused them to set off with the bit
between their teeth. They were so shy, that it was necessary for
the postilions to catch hold of them by the bridle, and cover their
eyes with their hands whenever another carriage was approaching
them from the opposite direction. It may be taken as a general
rule, that when two carriages drawn by mules meet, one of them is
destined to capsize. At last, what was to happen, did happen. I
was engaged in turning over in my brain the end of some hemi-stich
or other, as I am accustomed to do on my travels, when I saw my
companion, who was seated opposite to me, describe a rapid parabola
in my direction. This strange action was followed by a severe
shock and a general cracking. "Are you killed?" said my friend,
finishing his curve. "Quite the contrary," I replied; "and you?"
"Very slightly," was his answer. We made our way out as speedily
as possible through the shattered roof of the unfortunate coach,
which was shivered into a thousand pieces. It was with an infinite
degree of satisfaction that, at about fifteen paces off, we beheld
in a field the box of our daguerreotype, as perfect and unharmed
as if it had still been in Susse's shop, engaged in producing
views of the Colonnade of the Bourse. As for the mules, they had
disappeared, carrying off with them, Heaven knows whither, the
front part of the carriage, and the two small wheels. Our own loss
was limited to a button, which flew off with the violence of the
concussion, and which we were unable to find. In sober truth, it
would be impossible for any one to capsize more admirably.

I never in my life saw anything so ridiculous as the mayoral
lamenting over the ruins of his coach. He put the pieces together
just like a child who has broken a tumbler; finding, however,
that the damage was irreparable, he began swearing most awfully;
he beat himself, he rolled upon the ground, and imitated all the
excess of grief as represented by the ancients; the next moment he
softened down, and gave free course to the most touching elegies.
What grieved him most was the rose-coloured cushions, scattered in
all directions, torn and covered with dirt; these cushions were
evidently the most magnificent things that he, as a mayoral, could
conceive, and his heart bled to see that so much splendour had for
ever vanished.

After all, our situation was not over pleasant, although we were
seized with a most violent fit of laughter, which was certainly
rather ill-timed. Our mules had disappeared like smoke, and
all that we had left was a dismantled carriage without wheels.
Luckily, the _venta_ was not far off. Some one went and procured
two _galeras_, which came for us and our luggage. The _galera_
(galley) most undoubtedly justifies those who gave it the name it
bears. It is a cart on two or four wheels, with neither top nor
bottom. A number of cords made of reeds form, in the lower portion
of it, a sort of net, in which the packages and trunks are stowed.
Over these is spread a mattress--a real Spanish mattress--which in
no way prevents you from feeling the sharp angles of the baggage,
thrown in any how beneath. The victims arrange themselves, as well
as they can, on this novel instrument of torture, compared to
which the gridirons of Saint Lawrence and Guatimozin are beds of
roses; for on them, at least, it was possible to turn round. What
would the philanthropists, who give galley-slaves post-chaises to
ride in, say, if they saw the _galeras_ to which the most innocent
people in the world are condemned, when they visit Spain?

In this agreeable vehicle, completely innocent of anything like
springs, we went along at the rate of four Spanish leagues,
which are equal to five French leagues, an hour; just one mile
an hour more than the rate attained by our best horsed mails on
our best roads. Had we desired to have gone faster we must have
procured English racers or hunters. Our route was diversified by
a succession of steep ascents and rapid descents, down which we
always rattled at a most furious gallop. All the assurance and
skill for which Spanish postilions and conductors are famous was
requisite to prevent our being shivered into a thousand pieces at
the bottom of the various precipices; instead of capsizing merely
once, we ought to have been capsizing without intermission. We
were thrown from one side to the other like mice, when a person
shakes them about for the purpose of stunning and killing them
against the sides of the trap. Nothing but the severe beauty of
the landscape could have prevented us from becoming melancholy
and crooked in the back; but the lovely hills, with their austere
outline, and their sober, calm tints, imparted such a distinctive
character to the horizon, which was changing every moment, that
they more than compensated for the jolting we got in the _galera_.
A village, or some old convent, built like a fortress, varied the
oriental simplicity of the view, which reminded us strongly of the
background of Decamps's picture of "Joseph sold by his Brethren."

Dueñas, which is situated upon a hill, looks like a Turkish
cemetery. The caverns, scooped out of the living rock, are
supplied with air by little bell-shaped towers, which at first
sight bear a singular resemblance to minarets. A Moorish-looking
church completes the illusion. To our left, in the plain, we
caught occasional glimpses of the canal of Castile; it is not yet

At Venta de Trigueros, a most singularly beautiful _rose-coloured_
horse was harnessed to the _galera_. We had given up mules. This
horse fully justified the one which has been so much criticised
in the "Triumph of Trajan," by Eugene Delacroix. Genius is always
right. Whatever it invents, exists; and Nature imitates it in
almost its most fantastic eccentricities. After crossing a road
skirted by mounds and jutting buttresses, which presented a
tolerably monumental appearance, we at last entered Valladolid,
slightly bruised, but with our noses undamaged, and our arms still
hanging to our bodies without the assistance of black pins, like
the arms of a new doll. I cannot say much for our legs, in which we
seemed to feel all the pins and needles that were ever manufactured
in England, as well as the feet of a hundred thousand invisible
ants. We alighted in a superb and scrupulously clean _parador_,
where we were ushered into two splendid rooms, with balconies
looking out upon a square, coloured matting, and walls painted in
distemper, yellow and russet-green. As yet we had met with nothing
which could justify the charge of uncleanliness and poverty,
which travellers make against Spanish inns; we had not found any
scorpions in our beds, and the promised insects had not made their

Valladolid is a large city that is almost entirely depopulated.
It is capable of containing two hundred thousand souls, and the
number of its inhabitants scarcely amounts to twenty thousand. It
is a clean, quiet, elegant town, possessing many peculiar features
that tell us we are approaching the east. The façade of San Pablo
is covered with marvellous sculptures, of the commencement of the
Renaissance period. Before the entrance, and arranged like posts,
are granite pillars, surmounted by heraldic lions, holding in
every possible position a shield with the arms of Castile upon
it. Opposite this edifice is a palace of the time of Charles V.,
with a courtyard surrounded with extremely elegant arcades and
most beautifully sculptured medallions. In this architectural gem,
the government sells its ignoble salt and detestable tobacco. By
a lucky chance, the façade of San Pablo is situated in a square,
so that a daguerreotype view can be taken of it, which there is
generally a great difficulty in doing in the case of edifices of
the Middle Ages, almost always hemmed in by a heap of houses and
abominable sheds; but the rain, which did not cease for a moment
during our stay in Valladolid, prevented our profiting by this
circumstance. Twenty minutes of sunshine, piercing the streams of
rain at Burgos, had enabled us to take very clear and distinct
views of the two spires of the Cathedral and a large portion of the
portal; but, at Valladolid, we did not have even twenty minutes, a
circumstance which we regretted all the more from the fact of the
town abounding in charming specimens of architecture. The building
which contains the library, and which they wish to turn into a
museum, is built in the most pure and delicious style; and although
certain ingenious restorers, who prefer bare boards to bas-reliefs,
have scraped away the admirable arabesques in a shameful manner,
there is still enough left to render the edifice a masterpiece of
elegance. We would particularly direct the attention of draughtsmen
to an internal balcony, which cuts the angle of a palace situated
on this same Plaza de san Pablo, and forms a _mirador_ of the most
original description. The outline of the small column uniting the
two arches, is peculiarly happy. According to the tradition, it
was in this house that the terrible Philip II. was born. We may
also mention the colossal fragment of an unfinished cathedral,
of granite, by Herrara, in the style of St. Peter's at Rome.
This edifice was abandoned for the Escurial, that lugubrious and
fantastic production of Charles V.'s melancholy son.

In a church that was closed, we were shown a collection of pictures
that had been made at the time the convents were suppressed, and
taken to Valladolid in obedience to an order of the superior
authorities. This collection proves those who pillaged the convents
and churches to be excellent artists and admirable connoisseurs,
for they left none but the most horrible daubs, the best of which
would not fetch fifteen francs in a broker's shop. The Museum
contains a few tolerable specimens, but nothing at all first-rate;
to make up for this defect, there is a great quantity of wood
carving, and a large number of ivory figures of our Saviour, but
they are more remarkable for their size and antiquity than for
the actual beauty of the execution. Persons who go to Spain for
the sake of purchasing curiosities will be greatly disappointed;
they will not find a single valuable weapon, a rare book or a
manuscript. Such objects are never to be met with.

The _Plaza de la Constitucion_ at Valladolid is very handsome and
very large. It is surrounded by houses, which are supported by
columns of bluish granite formed of a single block. These columns
produce a fine effect. The Palace _de la Constitucion_ is painted
russet-green, and ornamented with an inscription in honour of the
_innocente Isabella_, as the little queen is called here; it also
possesses a clock which is illuminated at night, like that of the
Hôtel de Ville at Paris, an innovation whereat the inhabitants
seem greatly to rejoice. Under the pillars are established swarms
of tailors, hatters, and shoemakers, whose callings are the three
most flourishing ones in Spain. Here, too, are the principal
coffee-houses, and the whole life of the population seems to be
centered in this one spot. In the other parts of the town you will
only meet at rare intervals some straggling individual or other,
a _criada_ going to fetch water, or a countryman driving an ass
before him. This appearance of solitude is augmented still more
by the large extent of ground occupied by the town, in which the
squares are more numerous than the streets. The _Campo Grande_,
near the principal gate, is surrounded by fifteen convents and
could make room for a great many more.

On the evening of our arrival, the performance at the theatre
consisted of a piece by Don Breton de los Herreros, a dramatic
author who is greatly esteemed in Spain. This piece bore the
strange title of _El Pelo de la Desa_, which signifies when
literally translated, _The Hair of the Pasturage_, a proverbial
expression which it is rather difficult to explain, but which
answers to the French saying, "La caque sent toujours le hareng"
(what is bred in the bone will never come out of the flesh). The
plot of the piece turns upon the fact of an Aragonese peasant
being about to marry a young girl of noble birth, but having
the good sense to feel that he can never be fitted for polite
society. The comicality consists in the perfect imitation of the
Aragonese dialect and accent, a kind of merit that is not easily
perceived by foreigners. The _baile nacional_, without resembling
the "Dance of Death" quite as much as that at Vittoria, was but
a poor affair. The next day they played Victor Hugo's _Hernani,
ou l'Honneur Castillan_, translated by Don Eugenio de Ochoa. We
took care not to neglect so fine an opportunity. The piece is
rendered verse for verse with scrupulous exactitude, save some few
passages and scenes which were necessarily omitted to suit the
public taste. The Scene of the Portraits is reduced to nothing,
because Spaniards consider it insulting, and imagine that they are
indirectly ridiculed in it. There are also some passages omitted
in the fifth act. In general, Spaniards feel affronted when they
are spoken of in a poetical manner; they assert that they are
calumniated by Victor Hugo, Mérimée, and most of the authors who
have written on Spain; yes--calumniated by being represented nobler
than they are. They most strenuously disavow the Spain of the
Romancero and the Orientals; they almost invariably assert that
they are neither poetical nor picturesque, and their assertion is,
alas! but too well founded. The drama was well played. The Ruy
Gomez of Valladolid was most certainly equal to that of the Rue de
Richelieu, which is not saying a little. As for the Hernani, that
_rebelle empoisonné_, he would have been highly satisfactory, had
he not had the bad taste to dress himself up like the troubadour on
a clock. The Doña Sol was almost as _young_ as Mademoiselle Mars,
without her talent.

The Theatre at Valladolid is of a very pleasing shape, and although
the interior is only decorated with a coat of white paint,
ornamented with cameos on a grey ground, it produces a pretty
effect. The decorator has hit upon the strange fancy of painting
the partitions of the stage-boxes, so as to resemble windows with
spotted muslin curtains, exceedingly well imitated. These windows
have a very singular appearance. The balcony and the front of the
boxes are formed of open-work, which enables the spectator to see
whether the women have small feet and well-made shoes; indeed,
it also enables him to see whether they possess a neat ankle and
well-fitting stocking. This, however, cannot be at all disagreeable
to Spanish women, who are nearly always irreproachable in this
respect. I perceived by a charming _feuilleton_ written by my
literary substitute (for the _Presse_ penetrates even into these
barbarous regions), that the boxes of the new Opéra Comique are
constructed on the same plan.

Beyond Valladolid the character of the country changes, and the
vast heaths recommence. They possess, however, the advantage over
those of Bordeaux of being dotted with clusters of green dwarf
oaks, and fir-trees that spread out more at the top, and somewhat
resemble a parasol in shape. But they are marked by the same
aridity, the same solitude, the same look of desolation. Here and
there are scattered heaps of rubbish, pompously called villages,
which have been burnt and devastated by the various contending
factions; and wandering about among their ruins are seen some few
inhabitants, looking tattered and miserable. The only picturesque
objects are a few petticoats, of a very bright canary colour,
enlivened with embroidery of various hues, representing birds and

Olmedo, where the coach stops for the passengers to dine, is
completely in ruins. Whole streets are deserted, and others choked
up by fallen houses, while grass grows in the squares. Like the
doomed cities mentioned in Holy Writ, Olmedo will soon contain
no inhabitants save the flat-headed viper, the blear-eyed owl,
and the dragon of the desert, who will drag the scales of his
belly over the stones of the altars. A girdle of old dismantled
fortifications surrounds the place, and the charitable ivy throws
its cloak of verdure over the nudity of the gutted and yawning
towers. Nature endeavours to repair as well as she can the ravages
committed by Time and War. The depopulation of Spain is frightful:
in the time of the Moors she possessed thirty-two millions of
inhabitants, and, at present, the numbers, at most, ten or eleven
millions. Unless some very fortunate change takes place--a thing
that is not excessively probable--or the marriages are blessed
with supernatural fecundity, many towns that were once flourishing
will be abandoned altogether, and their ruins of brick and clay
insensibly become amalgamated with the soil which swallows up all
things--cities as well as men.

In the room where we dined, a tall woman, built like a Cybele,
kept walking up and down, carrying under her arm an oblong basket,
covered with a piece of stuff. From this basket there issued little
plaintive cries, rather like those of a very young child. I was
somewhat puzzled at this, because the basket was so small that if
it had contained a child the latter must have been of the most
microscopic and phenomenal proportions--a Lilliputian that ought
to be exhibited at fairs. It was not long before the enigma was
explained. The nurse--for such she was--drew out from the basket a
coffee-coloured puppy, and sitting down, very gravely suckled this
new description of baby. She was a _pasiega_ going to Madrid to
take a situation, and was afraid that her supply of milk might dry

On leaving Olmedo, the country does not offer any great variety
of scenery; the only thing worth notice that I remarked, before
we reached our quarters for the night, was an admirable effect
of sunset. The rays of light illuminated one side of a chain of
very distant mountains, all the details of which stood out with
the greatest clearness, but the portions that were plunged in
shadow were almost invisible; and the sky bore a most saturnine
appearance. Were a painter to transfer this effect exactly to
canvas, he would be accused of exaggeration and inexactitude. On
this occasion the posada was much more Spanish than any we had
hitherto seen. It consisted of an immense stable surrounded by
chambers with whitewashed walls, containing four or five beds
each. The whole place was miserable and naked, but not dirty;
the characteristic and proverbial filth did not yet make its
appearance. In fact, the dining-room contained an incredible
example of sumptuousness in the way of furniture,--namely, a
set of engravings representing the Adventures of Telemachus,
not the charming vignettes with which Célestin Nanteuil and his
friend Baron, have illustrated the history of the wearisome son
of Ulysses, but those horrible coloured daubs with which the Rue
Saint Jacques inundates the whole world. We set off again at two
in the morning, and, as soon as the first streaks of day enabled
me to distinguish the different objects, I beheld a sight that I
shall never forget as long as I live. We had just changed horses
at a village called, I think, Santa Maria de las Nieves, and were
toiling up the first ridges of the chain of mountains we had
to traverse. I almost imagined I was passing through some city
built by the Cyclops. Immense blocks of sandstone, that assumed
all sorts of architectural shapes, rose up on all sides, their
outlines standing out upon the background of the sky like so many
fantastic Towers of Babel. In one place, a flat stone that had
fallen across two other rocks bore a most astonishing resemblance
to the _peulven_ or _dolmen_ of the Druids; further on, a series
of lofty fragments, shaped like the shafts of columns, represented
porticoes and propylæa; in another place, you saw nothing but a
chaos--an ocean of sandstone suddenly frozen when in a state of
the utmost fury. The bluish-grey of these rocks augmented still
more the singularity of the view, while, at every moment, from out
the interstices of the stone there gushed forth, in the shape of
drizzling vapour, or trickled down like tears of crystal, numerous
mountain springs. But what particularly enchanted me was the snow
which had melted and run into the hollows, forming little lakes,
bordered with emerald-coloured grass, or framed in a circle of
silver, composed of snow which had resisted the action of the
sun. Pillars raised at certain distances, and serving to direct
the traveller when the snow throws its perfidious mantle over the
right road and the precipices, gave the scene a sort of monumental
appearance. The torrents foam and roar in every direction; the road
passes over them by means of the bridges of uncemented stone so
frequent in Spain, and which you meet at every step you take.

The mountains continued to tower higher and higher, and when we had
ascended one, another, which we had not before seen, rose up before
us. The mules were no longer equal to their task, and we were
under the necessity of procuring a team of oxen, which gave us an
opportunity of alighting, and performing the rest of the ascent on
foot. I was actually intoxicated with the pure bracing air; I felt
so light, so joyous, so full of enthusiasm, that I cried out and
capered about like a young goat. I experienced a desire to throw
myself down all the charming precipices, that looked so azure, so
vapoury, and so velvet-like. I wished to be carried away by the
cascades, to dip my feet in all the springs, to pluck a leaf from
every fir, to roll myself in the glittering snow, to be mixed up
with all the objects around, and melt like an atom in the immensity
before me.

The lofty mountain crests glistened and sparkled in the sun, like
the skirt of a dancing-girl's robe under its shower of silver
spangles; others, again, had their peaks surrounded by clouds, and
merged imperceptibly into the sky, for nothing resembles a mountain
so much as a cloud. The whole view was composed of one succession
of precipices and undulations. It is beyond the power of art,
whether of the pen or the pencil, to convey an adequate idea of
their different colours and forms. Mountains realize all that the
imagination can picture of them, and this is no small praise. The
only difference between the reality and the idea we form of it,
arises from the fact of our fancying mountains look larger than
they do. We are only aware of their enormous size by comparison. On
gazing attentively, you perceive that what, at a distance, you took
for a blade of grass, is a fir-tree sixty feet high.

At the turn of a bridge, admirably adapted for an ambuscade of
brigands, we beheld a small column surmounted by a cross. It was
erected to the memory of a poor devil who had ended his days in
this narrow pass, in consequence of his having fallen a victim to
_manoairada_ (violent death). From time to time we met travelling
_maragatos_, in their costume of the sixteenth century, which
consists of a tight-fitting leathern doublet, fastened with a
buckle, wide breeches, and a broad-brimmed hat. We also met several
_Valencianos_, with their white linen drawers, like the robes of
the Klephts, their handkerchief twisted about their head, their
white gaiters bordered with blue, and without feet, after the
fashion of the antique _Knemis_, and their long piece of cloth
(_capa de muestra_), crossed diagonally by bright-coloured stripes,
and draped over their shoulders in a very elegant manner. All
that we could perceive of their flesh was as tawny as Florentine
bronze. Then, again, we saw strings of mules, caparisoned in the
most charming fashion, with bells and party-coloured fringe and
housings, while their _arrieros_ were armed with carbines. We were
enchanted, for we had found an abundant supply of the picturesque
of which we were in search.

The higher we ascended, the thicker and broader became the strips
of snow; but a single sunbeam made the mountains stream with water,
like a woman laughing in the midst of her tears; on every side
little brooks, scattered about like the dishevelled tresses of some
Naïad, and clearer than crystal, forced their way downwards. By
dint of climbing, we reached the summit of the range, and seated
ourselves on the plinth of a large granite lion, which is situated
on the further side of the mountain, and marks the boundary of Old
Castile; beyond this lion the province of New Castile commences.

We took a fancy to cull a delicious red flower, whose botanical
name I do not know, and which was growing in the fissures of the
mountain. This necessitated our clambering up on a rock, which
is said to be the place where Philip II. used to sit to see how
the works of the Escurial were advancing. Either the tradition is
apocryphal, or Philip II. must have possessed most astoundingly
good eyes.

The coach, which had been toiling up the precipitous steeps, at
last rejoined us once more. The oxen were unyoked, and we descended
the declivity in a gallop. We stopped to dine at Guadarrama, a
little village crouched at the foot of the mountain. The only
ornament of which it can boast is a granite fountain, erected by
Philip II. At this place, by a strange reversion of the natural
order of dinners, goats' milk soup was served up as dessert.

Madrid, like Rome, is surrounded by a desert; it is impossible
to convey an idea of its aridity and desolation. There is not a
tree, a drop of water, a green plant, or the least appearance
of humidity; nothing but yellow sand and iron-grey rocks; and
when you leave the mountain, you do not find even rocks, but
large stones. From time to time you perceive a dusty _venta_, a
cork-coloured spire, just showing its nose on the horizon, large
melancholy-looking oxen dragging along one of the cars we have
already described; a countryman on horseback, or on a mule, with
a fierce expression of face, a carbine at his saddle-bow, and a
sombrero slouched over his eyes, or long strings of whity-brown
asses, carrying chopped straw, which is corded up with a network
of small ropes, and that is all. The ass which walks first, the
_coronel_, has always a small feather or rosette, indicating his
superiority in the hierarchy of the long-eared tribe.

At the expiration of a few hours, which our impatience to reach our
destination caused to appear still longer than they really were, we
at last perceived Madrid with tolerable distinctness. A few minutes
afterwards we entered the Spanish capital by the _Puerta de
Hierro_, and drove along an avenue planted with dwarf pollards and
bordered by small brick towers which serve to raise water. Talking
of water, although the transition is not very well timed, I forgot
to mention that we crossed the Manzanares by means of a bridge that
was worthy of a river of a more serious description; we then passed
by the Queen's Palace, one of those edifices which people are
pleased to designate as tasty. The immense terraces on which it is
raised give it rather a grand appearance.

After having undergone the visit of the custom-house officials, we
proceeded to take up our quarters in the immediate vicinity of the
_Calle d'Alcala_ and of the _Prado_; the name of our street was the
_Calle del Caballero de Gracia_, and our hotel was called _La Fonda
de la Amistad_, where Madame Espartero, Duchess de la Vittoria,
happened at that time to be staying. The first thing we did was to
despatch Manuel, our temporary servant, a most ardent _aficionado_
and tauromachist, to procure us tickets for the next bull-fight.



  Bull-fights--The Arena--Calesins--Espadas, Chulos, Banderilleros,
  and Picadores Sevilla the Picador--La Estocada a Vuela Pies.

We were obliged to wait two days. Never did two days appear so long
to me, and in order to overcome my impatience, I read over more
than ten times the bills posted up at the corners of the principal
streets. These bills promised wonders; they announced eight bulls
from the most famous pasturages; the _picadores_, Sevilla and
Antonio Rodriguez; and the _espadas_, Juan Pastor, also called _El
Barbero_, and Guillen; they wound up by prohibiting the public from
throwing into the arena orange-peel or any other projectile capable
of injuring the combatants.

The word _matador_ is scarcely ever employed in Spain to designate
the person who kills the bull; he is entitled _espada_ (sword),
which is more noble and more characteristic. Neither is the word
_toreador_ used, but _torero_. I just mention this as a piece
of useful information for those authors who are accustomed to
introduce a little local colouring into their ballads and comic
operas. The fight is called _media corrida_, half-course or fight,
because formerly there used to be two every Monday, one in the
morning and one at five in the afternoon, the two together making
up the day's amusement. At present only the fight in the afternoon
is preserved.

It has been asserted and reasserted on all sides, that the
Spaniards are losing their taste for bull-fights, and that
civilization will soon cause the amusement to be discontinued
altogether. If civilization does effect this, all I can say is that
it will be all the worse for civilization, as a bull-fight is one
of the grandest sights that the imagination of man can conceive;
but, at any rate, the time for their abolition has not yet arrived,
and those sensitive writers who affirm the contrary have only
to transport themselves some Monday, between the hours of four
and five, to the Puerta d'Alcala, in order to be convinced that
the taste for this _ferocious_ pastime is, as yet, very far from

Monday, which is the bull-day, _dia de toros_, is a holiday. No one
does any work, and the whole town is in commotion. Those persons
who have not previously bought their tickets, hasten off towards
the _Calle de Carretas_, where the ticket-office is situated, in
the hope of finding some place still vacant, for the enormous
amphitheatre is all numbered and portioned into stalls, a plan
which cannot be praised too highly, and which might be imitated
with advantage in the French theatres. The _Calle d'Alcala_, the
artery into which all the populous streets of the city flow, is
filled with foot-passengers, horse-men, and vehicles. To grace this
solemnity, the most strange and extravagant _calesins_ and cars
emerge from their dusty retreats, while the most fantastic horses,
and the most phenomenal mules come forth into the light of day. The
_calesins_ reminded me of the Neapolitan corricoli. They have large
red wheels and no springs, the body being decorated with paintings
more or less allegorical, and lined with old damask silk or faded
serge with long silk fringe. Altogether, they produce a most absurd
_rococo_ effect. The driver sits upon the shaft; this enables
him to harangue and belabour his mule just as he thinks fit, and
also makes one place more for his customers. The mule is tricked
out with as many feathers, rosettes, tufts, bells, and as much
fringe as it is possible to fasten to the harness of any quadruped
in existence. A _calesin_ generally contains a _manola_, and a
female friend as well as her _manolo_, not to mention a bunch of
_muchachos_ hanging on behind. All this flies along with the speed
of lightning in the midst of a whirlwind of cries and dust. There
are also carriages with four or five mules. Nothing equal to them
can be found now-a-days, anywhere save in the pictures of Van der
Meulen, which represent the conquests and hunting exploits of Louis

Every vehicle in the town is laid under contribution, for it is
accounted the height of fashion by the _manolas_, who are the
grisettes of Madrid, to proceed in a _calesin_ to the _Plaza de
Toros_: they pawn even their mattresses to obtain money on the
day of a bull-fight, and without being exactly virtuous the rest
of the week, they are most decidedly much less so on Sunday and
Monday. You also see country people who have come to town on
horseback, with their carbine suspended at the bow of their saddle;
others, again, either alone or with their wives, are mounted on
asses. Besides all these persons, there are the carriages of
the fashionable world, and a whole host of honest citizens and
señoras in mantles on foot, who quicken their pace on perceiving
the mounted National Guard, headed by their trumpeters, advancing
to clear the arena. For nothing in the world would any one miss
seeing the clearing of the arena, and the precipitate flight of the
alguazil after he has thrown to the helper the key of the _toril_,
where the horned gladiators are confined. The _toril_ is situated
opposite the _matadero_, in which place they flay the animals
that have been killed. The bulls are driven, the night before the
fight, to a meadow called _el arroyo_, near Madrid. This meadow
is a favourite walk with the _aficionados_; but it is one, by the
way, not wholly free from danger, for the bulls are at liberty,
and their drivers find it rather a difficult task to keep them in
order. Lastly, the bulls are conducted into the _encierro_ (stable
attached to the circus) by the aid of old bulls used to the office,
and scattered among the herd of their wild brethren.

The _Plaza de Toros_ is situated on the left-hand side of the road,
beyond the Puerta d'Alcala (which, I may mention in a parenthesis,
is a fine structure, resembling a triumphal arch, with trophies and
other heroic ornaments); it is an enormous circus, with whitewashed
walls, presenting no remarkable feature on the outside. As all
the tickets are taken beforehand, the audience enter without the
least confusion, and every one clambers to his place, and sits down
according to the particular number of his ticket.

The interior is arranged in the following manner:--Around the
arena, which is of truly Roman grandeur, runs a circular barrier of
planks, six feet high, painted a bright red, and furnished on each
side, at about two feet from the ground, with a wooden ledge, on
which the _chulos_ and _banderilleros_ put one foot, in order to
jump over to the other side when they are followed too closely by
the bull. This barrier is called _las tablas_. It has four doors,
for the entrance of the officials and the bulls, as well as for
carrying off the bodies, &c. Beyond this barrier there is another,
rather higher. The space between the two forms a kind of corridor,
where the _chulos_ rest themselves when they are fatigued; it is
likewise the station of the picador _sobresaliente_ (substitute),
whose duty it is always to hold himself in readiness, fully dressed
and equipped, in case the chief _picador_ should be killed or
wounded; and also of the _cachetero_ and a few _aficionados_, who,
by dint of perseverance, succeed, despite the rules, in smuggling
themselves into this blest place, admittance into which is as much
sought after in Spain as is the privilege of going behind the
scenes of the opera at Paris.

As it frequently happens that the bull, when exasperated, clears
the first barrier, the second is surmounted by a network of ropes
to prevent his leaping further; and a number of carpenters with
axes and hammers are always at hand to repair any damage done to
the enclosure, so that accidents are almost impossible. However,
bulls _de muchas piernas_ (of much legs), as they are technically
called, have been known to clear the second barrier. We have an
instance of this in an engraving of the _Tauromaquia_ of Goya, the
celebrated author of the "Caprices," representing the death of the
alcade of Torrezon, who was miserably gored by one of these leaping

The seats destined for the use of the public are situated
immediately beyond the second barrier. Those near the ropes are
called _plazas de barrera_, those in the middle _tendidos_,
while those next to the first tier of the _grada cubierta_ are
distinguished by the appellation of _tabloncillos_. All these
rows, which remind you of the seats in the Roman amphitheatres,
are composed of bluish granite, and have no covering but the
canopy of heaven. Immediately behind them are the covered places,
_gradas cubiertas_, which are divided into _delantera_, first
seats; _centro_, middle seats; and _tabloncillo_, seats with
backs. Above these are the boxes, called _palcos_ and _palcos por
asientos_. They are a hundred and twenty in number, very spacious,
and capable of containing twenty persons each. The difference
between the _palco por asientos_ and the simple _palco_ is, that in
the former you can take a single place as you can a balcony-stall
at the opera. The boxes of the _Reina Gobernadora y de la
Innocente Isabel_ are decorated with silk hangings and closed by
curtains. Next to them is the box of the _ayuntamiento_ (municipal
authorities), who preside over the sports, and whose duty it is to
settle any dispute that may arise.

The circus, thus arranged, contains twelve thousand spectators,
all seated at their ease, and enjoying a clear view of everything
going forward,--a most indispensable condition in an amusement that
is purely ocular. The immense building is always full; and those
who are unable to procure _plazas de sombra_ (places in the shade)
prefer being broiled alive in the uncovered seats, to missing one
fight. It is considered as indispensable by those persons who pride
themselves on their gentility to have a box at the bull-fights in
Madrid, as it is by Parisians of fashion to possess one at the
Italian Opera.

On issuing from the outward corridor to proceed to my place, I was
seized with a sort of sudden giddiness. The circus was bathed in
torrents of light, for the sun is a chandelier of a very superior
description, which possesses the advantage of not spilling the
oil upon those beneath, and which not even gas will supersede for
some time to come. An immense humming floated like a fog of noise
over the arena. On the sunny side of the building palpitated and
glistened thousands of fans and little round parasols with handles
made of reed. They looked like flocks of birds, of ever-varying
hues attempting to fly. There was not one place empty. I can
assure the reader that it is in itself a grand sight to see twelve
thousand people assembled in a theatre of such a size, that heaven
alone is capable of painting the ceiling with the blue which it
procures from the palette of eternity.

A detachment of the cavalry of the National Guard, exceedingly
well mounted and equipped, now rode round the arena, preceded
by two alguazils in their costume, which consists of a large
broad-brimmed hat and feather, in the style of Henri IV., black
doublet and cloak, and large boots. Their duty was to drive away
some few obstinate _aficionados_ and certain dogs that were still
loitering in the ring. As soon as this was effected, the alguazils
went and fetched the _toreros_, under which term are included
the _picadores_, _chulos_, _banderilleros_, and the _espada_,
who is the principal performer in the drama. These personages
made their entry to a flourish of trumpets. The _picadores_ were
mounted on horses with their eyes hooded, as the sight of the bull
might frighten them and cause them to shy, thereby endangering
the safety of their riders. The costume of the _picadores_ is
highly picturesque. It is composed of a short vest, which does not
button, of orange, carnation, green or blue velvet, loaded with
gold or silver embroidery and spangles, fringe, filigree buttons
and ornaments of all kinds, especially on the shoulders, where the
stuff is completely hidden beneath a glittering and phosphorescent
mass of twisted arabesque-work. Under this is a waistcoat in the
same style, a frilled shirt, a variegated neck-handkerchief tied
carelessly round the neck, and a silk sash round the waist. Their
pantaloons are of fawn-coloured buff, stuffed inside and lined
with thin metal plates, like the boots of the French postilions,
in order to protect the wearers' legs from being gored by the
bull. A grey, low-crowned hat (_sombrero_), with an immense brim,
and ornamented with an enormous tuft of favours, and a large mesh
or net of black ribbons, which is called, I believe, a _moño_,
and holds the hair gathered up in a pigtail at the back of the
head, complete the dress. The _picador_ is armed with a lance, at
the end of which is an iron spike two or three inches long. This
spike cannot wound the bull dangerously, but is enough to irritate
or keep him at bay. A piece of leather fitted to the _picador's_
hand, prevents the lance from slipping. The saddle rises very high,
both behind and before, and resembles those strengthened with iron
plates, in which the knights of the Middle Ages used to be buried
in the tournaments. The stirrups are made of wood, and form a kind
of shoe, like the Turkish stirrups. A long, iron spur, as sharp as
a dagger, is fixed in the rider's heel. An ordinary spur would not
be sufficient to govern the horses, who are often half dead.

The _chulos_ present a very nimble and natty appearance with
their breeches of green, blue, or rose-coloured satin, their
jacket ornamented with various patterns and flowers, their tight
girdle, and their little _montera_ cocked knowingly on one ear. On
their arm they carry a piece of cloth (_capa_), which they unroll
and agitate before the bull's eyes for the purpose of exciting,
dazzling, and deceiving him. They are all young men, well built,
spare and slim, differing in this respect from the _picadores_,
who are, in general, remarkable for their height and athletic
proportions; the _picadores_ require strength, and the _chulos_

The _banderilleros_ wear the same costume as the _chulos_. It is
their especial duty to plant a kind of dart, tipped with an iron
barb and ornamented with pieces of paper, in the bull's shoulder.
These darts are called _banderillas_, and are employed to revive
the animal's fury and lash him up to the pitch of exasperation
necessary to make him present a fair aim to the sword of the
_matador_. The _banderillero_ has to plant two _banderillas_ at a
time; in order to do this, he must pass his two arms between the
bull's horns, a delicate kind of operation, in performing which it
might, perhaps, be rather dangerous for a person to be thinking of
anything else.

The _espada_ differs from the _banderilleros_ only by the fact
of his having a richer and more highly ornamented costume, which
is sometimes of purple silk, a colour particularly offensive to
the bull. His weapons consist of a long sword, with a handle in
the shape of a cross, and a piece of scarlet cloth stretched on a
long stick; the technical term for this kind of waving shield, is
_muleta_. The reader is, at present, acquainted with the theatre
and the actors. I will now show the latter enacting their various

The _picadores_, escorted by the _chulos_, first go up and bow
to the box of the _ayuntamiento_, whence the keys of the _toril_
are thrown out to them. These are picked up and delivered to the
alguazil, who gives them to the groom of the ring, and then gallops
off as hard as he can, pursued by the shouts and cries of the
crowd; for the alguazils, as well as all the other representatives
of justice, are not much more popular in Spain than the gendarmes
and sergents-de-ville are in France. Meanwhile, the two _picadores_
take up their position to the left of the door of the _toril_,
which is situated directly opposite the royal box, because the
bull's entry is one of the most interesting parts of the fight.
The _picadores_ are stationed at a very little distance from each
other, with their backs to the _tablas_, firmly seated in their
saddles, holding their lances couched, and valiantly prepared
to receive the beast. The _chulos_ and _banderilleros_ station
themselves at some distance off, or disperse themselves over the

All these preparations, which appear longer in description than
they are in reality, excite the curiosity of the public to the
highest pitch. Every person looks anxiously at the fatal door, and
out of the twelve thousand spectators present, not one takes his
eyes off it. At this moment, the loveliest woman in the world might
beg in vain for a single glance.

For my own part, I frankly confess that I felt as oppressed as if
my heart had been clutched by some invisible hand. I experienced a
strange buzzing in my ears, and the perspiration, alternately hot
and cold, ran down my back. I never felt more excited in my life.

A shrill flourish of trumpets was now heard; the red folding-doors
were thrown wide open with a loud noise, and the bull rushed into
the arena, in the midst of an immense hurrah.

He was a superb animal, with a glossy coat, almost black, an
enormous dewlap, a square muzzle, sharp, polished, curving horns,
clean-made legs, and a tail that was always in motion. Between
his shoulders he had a bunch of ribbons, fastened by a large pin,
and representing the colours of his _ganaderia_. Dazzled by the
light of day, and astonished at the tumult, he stopped short for a
second, and snuffed the air twice or thrice; then, perceiving the
nearest _picador_, he made a furious bound, and tore towards him at
full gallop.

The _picador_ who was thus singled out was Sevilla. I cannot
refrain from taking this opportunity to describe this famous
Sevilla, who is really the beau-ideal of his class. Imagine a man
of about thirty years of age, of a noble expression and demeanour;
as robust as Hercules, as bronzed as a mulatto, with superb
eyes, and a physiognomy like that of one of Titian's Cæsars. The
expression of jovial, contemptuous serenity in his features and
bearing, had really something heroic about it. On this occasion
he was dressed in an orange-coloured jacket, embroidered and
laced with silver; the remembrance of this jacket has ever since
remained, even in its minutest details indelibly fixed on my mind.
He lowered his lance, and, couching it, sustained the shock of the
bull so victoriously, that the savage animal staggered and passed
by him, bearing away with him a wound which, ere long, streaked
his black coat with red. He stopped, as if uncertain what to do,
for a few seconds, and then, with redoubled fury, rushed at the
second _picador_, who was stationed at a little distance further on.

[Illustration: SEVILLA THE PICADOR.]

Antonio Rodriguez gave him a tremendous thrust with his lance, and
inflicted a second wound just beside the first, for it is only
allowable to hit the bull in the shoulder. But he again rushed
towards Rodriguez with his head near the ground, and plunged his
horn right into the horse's belly. The _chulos_ ran up, waving
their pieces of cloth, and the stupid animal, attracted and
diverted by this fresh object, turned round and pursued them at
full speed; but the _chulos_, placing one foot on the ledge we have
already described, leaped lightly over the barrier, leaving him
very much astonished at no longer seeing any one.

The horn had completely ripped up the horse's belly, so that his
entrails came through, and almost touched the ground. I thought
that the _picador_ would retire and procure another steed; this
was, however, far from being the case; he touched his ear, to see
whether or not the wound was mortal. The horse was only unseamed;
although his wound was most horrible to behold, it could be healed.
The entrails are replaced in his belly, a needle and thread are
passed through the skin, and the poor creature is still capable of
being used again. Rodriguez gave him the spur, and cantered up to
take another position at a little distance off.

It now seemed to strike the bull that all he should get from the
_picadores_ were hard thrusts, and he began to feel a desire
to return to his pasture. Instead of _entering_ again without
hesitation, after making a few bounds, he returned, with the most
dogged resolution, to his _querencia_; the _querencia_ is the
technical term for some corner or other that the bull chooses for
a resting-place, and to which he always retires after having made
the _cogida_. This word is employed to designate the attack of the
bull, while _la suerte_ is used in speaking of the _torrero_, who
is likewise named _diestro_.

A swarm of _chulos_ ran up and waved their bright-coloured _capas_
before the bull's eyes; one of them was even insolent enough to
wrap his cloak, that was rolled up, round the animal's head, making
him look exactly like the sign of the _Bœuf à la mode_, which most
people have seen at Paris. The bull was furious, and got rid, in
the best way he could, of this ill-timed ornament, throwing the
innocent piece of stuff into the air, and trampling on it with
great rage when it fell on the ground. Taking advantage of this
new access of fury, a _chulo_ began irritating him, and drew him
towards the _picadores_. On finding himself face to face with his
foes, the bull hesitated, and then, making up his mind, rushed at
Sevilla with such force that the horse fell with his four feet in
the air, for Sevilla's arm is a buttress that nothing can bend.
Sevilla fell under the horse, which is the best manner of falling,
because the rider is then protected from the bull's horns, the body
of his steed serving him as a shield. The _chulos_ came up, and the
horse got off with only a gash in his thigh. They raised Sevilla,
who clambered into his saddle again with the greatest coolness
imaginable. The horse of Antonio Rodriguez, the other _picador_,
was less fortunate; he received so severe a thrust in the breast
that the bull's horn entered up to the root, and disappeared
entirely in the wound. While the bull was endeavouring to free his
head from the body of the horse, Antonio clung to the edge of the
_tablas_, which he cleared, thanks to the _chulos_, for when a
picador is thrown, he is so weighed down by the iron lining of his
boots that he finds it as difficult to move as did the knights of
old when encased in their armour.

The poor horse, left to himself, crossed the arena, staggering as
if he had been drunk, and entangling his feet in his entrails. A
flood of black blood gushed impetuously from his wound, marking
the sand with intermittent zigzag lines, which attested the
unequalness of his course. At length he fell near the _tablas_.
Two or three times he raised his head and rolled his blue eyes,
that were already glazed, drawing back his lips, white with foam,
and exposing his fleshless teeth. He struck the ground feebly with
his tail, while his hind legs moved convulsively and kicked out
for the last time, as if he wished to break the thick skull of
Death with his hard hoof. He was hardly dead when the _muchachos_
on service, seeing that the bull was engaged somewhere else, ran
up and took off his saddle and bridle. He remained thus, lying on
his flank, like some dark outline upon the sand. He was so slight,
so flat, that he might have been mistaken for a profile cut out of
black paper. I had already remarked, at Montfaucon, what strangely
fantastic forms horses assume after death. Of all animals there are
certainly none whose dead bodies are so melancholy to look at as
that of a horse. His head, that is so noble and pure in form, is
so modelled and flattened by the terrible hand of Nothingness that
it seems as if it had been inhabited by a human mind; while his
dishevelled mane and streaming tail have something picturesque and
poetical about them. A dead horse is a corpse; every other animal
that has once ceased to live is nothing more nor less than carrion.

I dwell thus upon the death of this horse, because it excited in
me a more distressing feeling than anything else I ever saw at
a bull-fight. But this horse was not the only victim that day.
Fourteen others were stretched dead in the arena, one bull alone
killing five.

The _picador_ returned on a fresh horse, and a number of attacks,
more or less successful, then ensued. But the bull was beginning
to be tired, and his fury to abate, whereupon the _banderilleros_
advanced with their darts, furnished with little pieces of paper,
and in a short time the bull's neck was ornamented with a collar
of pennons, which all his efforts to shake off only fixed more
firmly. A little _banderillero_ of the name of _Majaron_ was
particularly bold and successful in discharging his darts, and
sometimes he would even cut an _entrechat_ before retiring: as a
natural consequence, he was greatly applauded. When the bull had
seven or eight _banderillas_ fluttering about him, and felt his
skin pierced by their darts, and heard the rustling of their paper
pennons in his ears, he began to run about in all directions, and
bellow in the most horrible manner. His black muzzle became white
with foam, and, in his blind fury, he butted so violently against
one of the doors, that he broke it off its hinges. The carpenters,
who were closely watching his movements, immediately replaced it,
while a _chulo_ enticed him in another direction; but was pursued
so closely, that he had scarcely time to clear the barrier. The
bull, exasperated and lashed to the highest pitch of fury, made
one prodigious effort and followed him over the _tablas_. All the
persons in the intermediate space jumped with marvellous rapidity
into the arena, while the bull, receiving on his passage a shower
of blows from the sticks and hats of the first row of spectators,
re-entered by another door.

The _picadores_ now retired, leaving a free field to the _espada_,
Juan Pastor, who proceeded to salute the box of the ayuntamiento,
and requested permission to kill the bull. As soon as this was
granted, he threw his _montera_ into the air, as much as to say
that he was about to stake everything upon a single cast, and then
walked up to the bull with a deliberate step, concealing his sword
under the red folds of his _muleta_.

The _espada_ now waved his piece of scarlet cloth several times,
and the bull rushed blindly at it. By a mere movement of his body,
the _espada_ avoided the animal's attack. The latter soon returned,
however, butting furiously at the light cloth, which he pushed on
one side, without being able to pierce it. The favourable instant
was come: the _espada_ placed himself exactly opposite the bull,
waving his _muleta_ with his left hand, and holding his sword
horizontally, with the point on a level with the animal's horns. It
is difficult to convey by words an idea of the fearful curiosity,
the frantic attention produced by this situation, which is worth
all the plays Shakspeare ever wrote. A few seconds more, and one
of the two actors will be killed! Which will it be, the man or the
bull? There they stand, face to face; the man has no defensive
weapon of any kind, he is dressed as if he were going to a ball, in
pumps and silk stockings. A woman's pin would pierce through his
satin jacket; a mere rag and a slight sword are all that he has to
save his life. In this fight all the material advantages belong to
the bull, who possesses two terrible horns as sharp as daggers,
immense force, and that animal fury which is not conscious of
danger. But then, on the other hand, the man has his sword and his
courage; the eyes of twelve thousand spectators are fixed upon him,
and in a few moments, young and beautiful women will applaud him
with their delicate white hands.

The _muleta_ was suddenly thrown on one side, leaving the
_matador's_ body exposed to view; the bull's horns were not an inch
from his breast; I thought he was lost. A silvery flash passed with
the rapidity of lightning between the two crescents, and the bull
fell upon his knees with a roar of pain. He had got the hilt of
the sword between his shoulders, just as the stag of Saint Hubert
is represented in Albert Dürer's marvellous engraving, bearing a
crucifix in the midst of his branching antlers.

Thunders of applause burst forth from all parts of the
amphitheatre; the _palcos_ of the nobility, the _gradas cubiertas_
of the middle classes, the _tendidos_ of the _manolos_ and
_manolas_ cried and shouted with all the ardour and petulance which
distinguish the natives of southern climes, "_Bueno! Bueno! Viva el
Barbero! Viva!!!_"

The blow which the _espada_ had just given is held in high
estimation, and called _la estocada a vuela pies_; the bull dies
without losing one drop of blood, which is accounted the height
of elegance, and by falling on his knees, seems to acknowledge
his adversary's superiority. The _aficionados_ (dilettanti) say
that the inventor of this blow was Joaquin Rodriguez, a celebrated
_torrero_ of the last century.

When the bull does not die immediately, a mysterious little
being, dressed in black, and who has hitherto taken no part in
the proceedings, is seen to jump over the barrier. This is the
_cachetero_. He advances with a stealthy step, looks at the bull
in his death-struggle, to see whether he is capable of getting
up again, which is sometimes the case, and, coming behind him,
traitorously plunges a cylindrical dagger, shaped at its extremity
like a lancet, into his neck; this cuts the spinal marrow, and
produces instantaneous death. The best spot is behind the head,
some inches from an imaginary straight line drawn from horn to horn.

The military band proclaimed the bull's death, one of the doors
was thrown open, and four mules, magnificently caparisoned with
feathers, bells, woollen tufts, and little flags, yellow and red,
the Spanish national colours, entered the arena. These mules bear
off the dead bodies, which are attached to a rope, furnished at the
end with a large hook. The horses were taken away first, and then
the bull. These four splendid and spirited animals, who dragged
along the sand, with frantic velocity, all the dead bodies which,
but a short time before, were themselves so active, had a strange,
savage look, which made you forget, in some degree, the mournful
duty they had to perform. When they had left, a groom came with a
basketful of earth, which he spread over the pools of blood, which
might otherwise cause the _torreros_ to slip. The _picadores_
resumed their places near the door, the orchestra sounded a
flourish, and another bull rushed into the arena, for no time is
allowed to elapse between the acts of this drama; nothing stops it,
not even the death of a _torrero_. As we have already mentioned,
the _doubles_ are waiting, ready dressed and armed, in case of
accidents. It is not our intention to give a separate account of
the deaths of eight different bulls who were sacrificed that day;
we will merely mention certain variations and remarkable incidents.

The bulls are not always very savage; some are even very gentle,
and would only be too happy to lie down quietly in the shade.
It is easy to perceive, by their good-natured honest look, that
they prefer their pastures to the circus. They turn their backs
on the _picadores_, and, in the most phlegmatic manner, allow the
_chulos_ to wave their many-coloured cloaks under their very nose.
Not even the _banderillas_ can rouse them from their apathetic
condition. In cases like these, it is necessary to have recourse
to more violent expedients; such, for example, as the _banderillas
de fuego_. These are slight sticks, with fireworks attached, which
go off some minutes after they are planted in the shoulders of the
_toro cobarde_ (coward) and explode with a shower of sparks and
detonations. By this ingenious contrivance, the bull is goaded,
burnt, and stunned simultaneously; were he the most _aplomado_
(leaden) of bulls, he cannot possibly avoid becoming furious. He
indulges in a succession of extravagant capers, of which no one
would ever suppose so heavy an animal capable; he bellows, foams,
and twists himself about in every direction, to escape from the
disagreeable proximity of the fireworks, which are burning his ears
and scorching his hide.

The _banderillas de fuego_, however, are never used but at the
last extremity; the fight is considered, as it were, disgraced
when it is necessary to have recourse to them; but if the alcade
is too long before waving his handkerchief as a sign that he
allows them to be employed, the public create such a horrible
disturbance that he is obliged to yield. The most extraordinary
vociferations, howling, shouting, and stamping of feet, break out
on all sides. Some holla "_Banderillas de fuego!_" while others
exclaim, "_Perros! perros!_" (The dogs!) The bull is overwhelmed
with abuse; he is called a scoundrel, an assassin, a thief; the
spectators offer him a place in the shade, and indulge in all
sorts of pleasantry, which is frequently very witty. In a short
time a chorus of sticks is added to the vociferations, if the
latter do not produce the desired effect. The flooring of the
_palcos_ creaks and gapes, and the painting on the ceilings falls
in small whitish pellicles, like so much snow mixed with dust.
The public becomes exasperated to the highest pitch. "_Fuego al
alcade! perros el alcade!_" (Burn the alcade! to the dogs with
him!) shout the incensed multitude, shaking their fists at the box
of the _ayuntamiento_. At last, the much desired permission is
granted, and everything becomes quiet again. During these kinds of
_jawing-matches_--excuse the term, but I cannot find a better--you
often hear some very humorous remarks. I will instance one that is
very concise and very cutting. A _picador_, magnificently dressed
in a completely new suit, was showing off on his horse without
taking any part in the proceedings, and remaining in a part of the
circus where there was no danger. "_Pintura! pintura!_" hollaed
the spectators to him, clearly perceiving the motives of his

Very frequently the bull is so cowardly that even the _banderillas
de fuego_ are insufficient. He returns to his _querenzia_, and will
not _enter_. The cries of "_Perros! perros!_" then recommence. On
a sign from the alcade, the canine gentlemen are introduced. They
are admirable animals, of the purest breed and most extraordinary
beauty. They go straight up to the bull. The latter tosses about
half-a-dozen in the air, but that does not prevent one or two of
the strongest and most courageous from at length succeeding in
catching hold of his ear. When they have once fastened on it they
are like leeches; they might be turned inside out before they
would let go. The bull shakes his head--dashes them against the
barrier--but it is of no avail. When this has lasted for some time,
the _espada_, or the _cachetero_, plunges a sword into the side of
the victim, who bends his knees and falls on the ground, where he
is despatched. Sometimes they employ a kind of instrument called
a _media-luna_, (half-moon), with which they hamstring him, and
render him incapable of offering any resistance: in this case it
is no longer a combat, but a disgusting butchery. It frequently
happens that a _matador_ fails; his sword meets with a bone and
springs back, or else it enters the throat and causes the bull to
vomit blood in large quantities; this is a serious fault according
to the laws of _Tauromaquia_. If the animal is not despatched at
the second blow, the _espada_ is overwhelmed with hisses and abuse;
for the Spanish public is impartial: it applauds both bull and man
in exact proportion to their respective merits. If the bull rips up
a horse and over-throws the rider, it shouts "_Bravo, toro!_" if
the man wounds the bull, "_Bravo, torrero!_" but it will not suffer
cowardice either in man or beast. A poor devil who was afraid
to go and fix his _banderillas_ in an extremely ferocious bull,
occasioned such a tumult, that the alcade, in order to restore
order, promised to have him sent to prison.

During this very fight, Sevilla, who is an admirable horseman,
was greatly applauded for the following feat:--An extraordinarily
strong bull caught his horse under the belly, and, tossing up
its head, lifted it completely off the ground. In this perilous
situation, Sevilla did not so much as move in his saddle, but kept
both stirrups, and held his horse so well in hand that it came down
again upon its four feet.

The day's entertainment had been good. Eight bulls and fourteen
horses killed, and a _chulo_ slightly wounded: what could any
one desire more? Each bull-fight must bring in about twenty or
twenty-five thousand francs,[5] which are given by the queen to the
principal hospital, where the wounded _torreros_ are treated with
every possible attention. A priest and a surgeon are always waiting
in a room at the _Plaza de Toros_, ready to administer spiritual
or corporal assistance as the case may be. Formerly, and I believe
it is the case at present as well, a mass used to be said for the
combatants during the fight. You see that nothing is neglected,
and that the impressarios take every precaution. As soon as the
last bull is killed, every one leaps into the arena, and discusses
on the way home the merit of the different _suertes_ or _cogidas_
which have struck him as most worthy of notice. And what, you will
ask, are the women like? for that is the first question put to a
traveller. I own, frankly, that I have not the slightest idea. I
have a vague notion that there were some very pretty ones near me,
but I will not positively assert the fact.

Let us proceed to the Prado, in order to clear up this important



  The Prado--The Mantilla and Fan--The Spanish
  Type--Water-Merchants; Coffee-houses of Madrid--Newspapers--The
  Politicians of the Puerta del Sol--Post-Office--The Houses of
  Madrid--Tertullias; Spanish Society--The Teatro del Principe--The
  Queen's Palace; the Palace of the Cortes, and the Monument of the
  Dos de Mayo--The Armeria and El Buen Retiro.

Whenever Madrid is mentioned, the first objects that the word
suggests to our minds are the Prado and La Puerta del Sol. Since
then our inclination leads us to do so, let us now proceed to
the Prado, as it is the hour of the evening promenade. The Prado
consists of a number of alleys and cross-alleys, with a road in
the middle for carriages. It is shaded by stunted pollards, whose
roots are in connexion with a little basin lined with brick,
into which the water is conveyed by small canals at the hours
appointed for watering; without this precaution the trees would
soon be devoured by the dust, and shrivelled up by the sun. The
promenade commences at the Convent d'Atocha, passing by the gate
of that name, as well as by the Puerta d'Alcala, and terminating
at the gate of the Franciscan Friars. The fashionable world,
however, frequents only the space bounded by the fountain of
Cybele and the fountain of Neptune, from the Puerta d'Alcala to
the Carrera de San Jeronimo. Within this space there is a large
plot of ground called the _saloon_, surrounded by chairs, like the
principal walk in the gardens of the Tuileries. Near the _saloon_
there is a cross-walk which bears the name of _Paris_. It is the
Boulevard de Gand of Madrid, and the rendezvous of the fashionable
world. The fashionable world, however, is not, as a general rule,
particularly distinguished by a taste for the picturesque, and in
this instance it has selected the most dusty, the least shady,
and the least convenient part of the whole promenade. The crowd
is so great in this narrow space, confined between the _saloon_
and the carriage-way, that you frequently find it a difficult task
to put your hand into your pocket and take out your handkerchief.
You must "lock up" and follow the stream as you would in the
_tail_ at the doors of a theatre (that is to say, as you would
have done when there were _tails_ at the doors of a theatre).
The only possible reason there could have been for choosing this
spot, is that you can see and salute the persons who are passing
in their carriages (it always looks well for a foot-passenger to
salute a carriage). The equipages are not very brilliant. Most
of them are drawn by mules, whose long, blackish coat, large
belly, and pointed ears, produce a most ungraceful effect; they
resemble the mourning coaches which follow a hearse. The carriage
of the queen herself has but a very simple and tradesman-like
appearance. Any Englishman, with the slightest pretensions to being
considered a millionaire, would most certainly look down upon it
with contempt; there are, doubtless, some exceptions, but they are
rare. The splendid Andalusian horses, however, on which the young
fashionables of Madrid prance about, are charming. It is impossible
to behold anything more elegant, more noble, and more graceful
than an Andalusian stallion, with its plaited mane, long, thick
tail reaching to the ground, trappings ornamented with red tufts,
stately head, sparkling eye, and neck swelling out like a pigeon's
breast. I saw one ridden by a lady, of the colour of a Bengal rose
(the horse and not the lady), frosted over with silver, and of the
most marvellous beauty. What a difference there is between these
noble beasts who have preserved all their splendid primitive form,
and those locomotive machines made of muscles and bones, called
English racers, which have nothing of the horse left about them,
save four legs and a backbone on which to place a jockey!

[Illustration: LADIES ON THE PRADO.]

The Prado most certainly offers one of the most animated sights
it is possible to behold. The promenade is one of the finest in
the world; not for the place itself, which is of the most ordinary
description, in spite of all the efforts made by Charles III. to
supply its natural defects, but on account of the astonishing
concourse of persons that are collected there every evening, from
seven o'clock until half-past ten. There are very few bonnets
to be seen on the Prado. With the exception of some few bright
yellow affairs resembling coal-scuttles, which may have been
used to decorate the head of some learned ass, you meet with
mantillas only. The Spanish mantilla is therefore a fact. I had
previously believed that it existed no longer, save in the ballads
of Monsieur Crevel de Charlemagne. It is made of black or white
lace, but generally black, and is worn at the back of the head,
on the top of the comb; a few flowers placed on each side of the
forehead complete the head-dress, which produces the most charming
effect imaginable. When a woman wears a mantilla, she must be
as ugly as the three theological virtues not to appear pretty;
unfortunately, it is the only part of the Spanish costume which
has been preserved, all the rest is _à la Française_. The lower
folds of the mantilla float above a shawl, an odious shawl, and
the shawl is accompanied by a gown of some stuff or other, which
does not bear the remotest resemblance to the basquina formerly
worn. I cannot avoid being astonished at such blindness, and I
cannot understand how it is that the women, who are generally so
clearsighted in all that relates to their beauty, do not perceive
that their immense efforts to be elegant only cause them, at most,
to look like provincial fashionables, which, after all, is but
a poor result. The old costume is so admirably adapted to the
peculiar beauty, proportions, and manners of the Spanish women,
that it is really the only one that can by any means become them.
The fan corrects, to a certain extent, the bad taste of this
pretension to _Parisianism_. A woman without a fan is something
that I have not yet seen in this happy land; I have seen some who
had satin shoes without stockings, but they always had a fan. The
fan accompanies them everywhere, even to church, where you come
across groups of them of all ages, kneeling down or squatting on
their heels, and praying and fanning themselves most fervently.
The proceedings are frequently varied by their making the sign of
the cross in the Spanish manner, which is much more complicated
than ours; they execute this manœuvre with a degree of rapidity and
precision worthy of Prussian soldiers. The management of the fan is
an art that is totally unknown in France. The Spanish women excel
in it; the fan opens, shuts, and is twirled about in their fingers
so rapidly and so lightly, that a conjurer could not do it better.
Some ladies who are great amateurs have a most valuable collection
of fans. We ourselves saw a collection of this kind which numbered
more than a hundred, of various patterns. There were fans of every
country and every period; fans made of ivory, tortoiseshell,
sandal-wood, adorned with spangles, or painted in water-colours, in
the style of Louis XIV. and Louis XV.; fans made of China or Japan
rice-paper; in a word, fans of every possible description. Some
of them were decorated with rubies, diamonds, and other precious
stones. This custom of forming large collections of fans is a piece
of tasteful extravagance, a charming mania in a pretty woman. The
shutting and opening of the fans produce a little hissing sound,
which, being repeated more than a thousand times a minute, pierces
the confused hum which floats above the crowd, and has something
very strange about it for a French ear. When a woman meets one
of her acquaintance, she makes a little sign with her fan, and
pronounces the word _agur_ as she passes him. At present let us say
something about Spanish beauty.

What we Frenchmen believe to constitute the Spanish type does
not exist in Spain; at least, I have not met with it as yet. We
generally picture to ourselves, whenever a señora or a mantilla is
mentioned, a long, pale, oval face, large black eyes with velvet
eyebrows, a sharp nose, slightly arched, a pair of bright red
lips, and, to complete the whole, a warm, gold-like tint, bearing
out the line in the song, _Elle est jaune comme une orange_ (She
is as yellow as an orange). This is the Arabic or Moorish, and
not the Spanish type. The women of Madrid are charming creatures,
in the fullest acceptation of the word; out of every four, there
are three who are pretty; but they do not correspond in the least
with the notion we have formed of them. They are short, delicate,
and well-shaped; their foot is small, their figure graceful, and
their bust full and voluptuous; but their skin is very white,
their features fine and irregular, and their mouth formed like a
heart, resembling exactly some of our beauties in the time of the
Regent.[6] Many have light chestnut hair, and you cannot take two
turns upon the Prado without meeting seven or eight women with fair
hair of every possible shade, from the light blond to the most
vivid red, like the beard of Charles V. It is an error to suppose
that there are no fair-complexioned women in Spain. Blue eyes are
very common, but they are not so highly esteemed as black ones.

During the first few days, we had some difficulty in accustoming
ourselves to the sight of women with their shoulders exposed as
if they were going to a ball, their arms bare, their feet encased
in satin shoes, and their fan in their hand, walking about alone
in a public thoroughfare, for it is not the custom to offer your
arm to a lady unless you are her husband or some near relation;
you content yourself with merely walking by her side, at least as
long as it is light, for after nightfall, this practice is not so
rigorously observed, especially with foreigners who are not used to

We had heard people talk a great deal of the _manolas_ of
Madrid; the type of the _manola_ has disappeared, like that of
the grisette in Paris, and of the _transteverini_ in Rome; it
certainly does exist, but it has been stripped of all its primitive
characteristics. The _manola_ no longer wears her old costume,
which was so spirited and picturesque. The ignoble gown of printed
calico has replaced the bright-coloured basquina, embroidered with
extravagant patterns; the frightful leather shoe has superseded
the satin slipper, and, horrible idea, their gowns are lengthened
at least two good inches. In former days, the _manolas_ lent
an aspect of variety to the Prado by their lively manner and
their singular dress; at present, it is difficult to distinguish
them from the wives of the lower class of tradespeople. I looked
for the _full-blood_ manola in every corner of Madrid; at the
bull-fights, in the Garden _de las Delicias_, at the _Nuevo
Recreo_, and on the Festival of Saint Anthony, without finding a
perfect one. Once, as I was crossing the quarter of the _Rastro_,
the Temple[7] of Madrid, after I had picked my way between an
immense number of dirty wretches, who were stretched out asleep,
upon the ground, in the midst of the most horrible collection of
rags, I found myself in a little deserted lane. There, for the
first time, did I behold the manola I was in search of. She was a
tall, strapping girl, about four-and-twenty, which is the greatest
age that a _manola_ or a grisette can ever attain. She had a dark
complexion, a sorrowful but determined look, rather thick lips, and
something strangely African in the general formation of her face.
An immense roll of hair that was so intensely black as to appear
blue, and plaited like so much basket-work, encircled her head and
terminated in a large high-backed comb. A bunch of coral hung from
each ear, her tawny neck was adorned with a necklace of the same
material; a mantilla of black velvet was wound around her head
and shoulders, her robe, which was as short as those of the Swiss
girls in the Canton of Berne, was formed of embroidered cloth, and
exposed to view her well-shaped nervous legs encased in a pair
of tightly-fitting black silk stockings; her shoes were of satin
according to the old fashion; and to complete the whole, a red fan
fluttered about like a cinnabar butterfly between her fingers,
which were loaded with silver rings. The last of the _manolas_
turned round the corner of the lane and disappeared from my sight,
leaving me in a state of astonishment at having once, at least,
seen walking about in the every-day world a costume so admirably
adapted for the masquerades at the Opera! On the Prado, too, I
saw some _pasiegas_ from Santander, in their national costume.
These _pasiegas_ are accounted the best wet-nurses in Spain, and
their affection for their little charges is as proverbial as is
the honesty of the natives of Auvergne in France. They wear a red
cloth petticoat with large pleats, and a broad silver-lace border,
a velvet bodice trimmed with gold, and a variegated bright-coloured
silk handkerchief as a headdress, the whole being accompanied with
silver trinkets and other barbarous ornaments. These women are
extremely handsome, and have a very striking expression of strength
and grandeur. Their custom of carrying the child upon their arms
causes them to throw their body rather back; this shows off the
development of their busts to great advantage. It is looked upon as
a kind of luxury to keep a pasiega in full costume, just as it is
to have a Klepht standing behind your carriage.

I have said nothing about the dress of the men. Look at the plates
of the fashions, six months old, in the shop of some tailor, or
in some reading-room, and you will have a correct idea of it.
Paris is the object which absorbs the thoughts of every one, and I
recollect having once seen written over the shed of a shoe-black,
"Boots cleaned here after the Parisian fashion (_al estilo de
Paris_)." The modest aim of the modern hidalgos is to embody the
delicious designs of Gavarni; they are not aware that there are
but a few of the most elegant Parisians who can succeed in the
attempt. We must, however, do them the justice to say, that they
are much better dressed than the women; their patent-leather boots
are as brilliant, and their gloves as white as it is possible for
boots or gloves to be. Their coats are correct, and their trousers
very praiseworthy; but the cravat cannot boast of the same purity
of taste, and the waistcoat, the only portion of modern costume
which offers any scope for the exercise of the fancy, is not always

There is a trade at Madrid of which no one in Paris has an idea.
I allude to the retailing of water. The stock in trade of the
water-seller consists of a _cantaro_ of white clay, a small reed or
tin basket, containing two or three glasses, a few _azucarillos_
(sticks of porous caramel sugar), and sometimes a couple of
oranges or limes. There is one class of water-sellers, who have
little casks twined round with green branches, which they carry
on their back. Some of them even go so far--along the Prado, for
instance--as to exhibit painted counters, surmounted by little
brass figures of Fame, and small flags, not a whit inferior in
magnificence to the displays made by the _marchands de coco_ in
Paris. These same water-sellers are generally young _muchachos_
from Gallicia, and are clad in a snuff-coloured cloth jacket,
breeches, black gaiters, and a peaked hat. There are also some who
are natives of Valencia, with their white linen drawers, their
piece of stuff thrown over their shoulder, their legs bronzed by
the sun, and their _alpargatas_ bordered with blue. There are also
a few women and little girls, whose costumes present nothing worthy
of notice, that sell water. They are called, according to their
sex, _aguadores_ or _aguadoras_. In all quarters of the city do you
hear their shrill cries, pitched in all sorts of keys, and varied
in a hundred thousand manners: _Agua, agua, quien quiere agua?
Agua helada, fresquita como la nieve!_ This lasts from five in the
morning till ten in the evening, and has inspired Breton de los
Herreros, a favourite author of Madrid, with the idea of a song,
entitled _l'Aguadora_, which has been very popular all through
Spain. This thirst of the population of Madrid is certainly a most
extraordinary thing; all the water in the fountains, and all the
snow of the mountains of Guadarrama, are insufficient to allay it.
People have joked a great deal about the poor Manzanares, and its
Naïad with her dry urn, but I should just like to see what sort
of a figure any other river would cut in a town parched up by the
same thirst. The Manzanares is drunk up at its very source; the
aguadores anxiously lie in wait for the least drop of water, the
slightest appearance of humidity which oozes forth between its
dry banks, and carry it off in their _cantaros_ and casks; the
laundresses wash the linen with sand, and, in the very middle of
the bed of the river, a Mahommedan would not find sufficient water
to enable him to perform his ablutions. The reader may, perhaps,
recollect a delicious _feuilleton_, in which Méry describes the
thirst of Marseilles. Exaggerate this six times, and you will have
but a slight idea of the thirst of Madrid. The price of a glass
of water is a _cuarto_ (about a farthing). What Madrid most stands
in need of, after water, is fire, wherewith to light its cigars;
consequently, the cry, _Fuego, fuego_, is heard in every direction,
mingled incessantly with that of _agua, agua_. There is a desperate
struggle between the two elements, each of which appears to be
striving which can make the most noise. The fire, which is more
inextinguishable than that of Vesta, is carried about by young
rascals in little vases filled with coal and fine ashes, with a
handle, to prevent the bearers from burning their fingers.

[Illustration: FOUNTAIN AT MADRID.]

It is now half-past nine o'clock. The crowd on the Prado begins
to thin, and the promenaders direct their steps towards the
coffee-houses and botillerias which line the Calle d'Alcala and the
neighbouring streets.

To us who are accustomed to the dazzling and fairy-like splendour
of the Parisian cafés, the coffee-houses of Madrid appear to be
nothing more than mere low, twenty-fifth-rate public-houses. The
manner in which they are decorated recalls most successfully
to your recollection the wretched sheds in which bearded women
and living sirens are shown to the public. But this want of
splendour is amply compensated by the excellence and variety of
the refreshments. I must frankly own that Paris, so superior
in everything else, is behindhand in this respect: the art of
the _limonadier_ is with us in its infancy. The most celebrated
coffee-houses are those of the _Bolsa_, at the corner of the
_Calle de Carretas_; the _Café Nuevo_, which is the rendezvous of
the _exaltados_; the _Café de_ ---- (I have forgotten the name),
where those who belong to the moderate party, and who are called
_cangrejos_, that is to say, "crabs," meet; and the _Café del
Levante_, just by the Puerta del Sol. I do not mean to assert that
the others are not good, but simply that those I have mentioned are
the most popular. I must not forget the _Café del Principe_, next
the theatre of the same name, and which is the customary resort of
the actors and authors.

With your leave, we will enter the Café de la Bolsa, which is
ornamented with little mirrors, hollowed out behind, so as to
form different designs, such as are to be seen in certain German
glasses. Here is the list of the _bebidas heladas_, of the
_sorbetes_, and of the _quesitos_. The _bebida helada_ (iced drink)
is contained in glasses distinguished by the name of _grandes_ or
_chicos_ (large or small), and offers a great variety; there is
the _bebida de naranja_ (orange), _de limon_ (lemon), _de fresa_
(strawberry), and _de guindas_ (cherries), which are as superior
to those frightful bottles of sour currant juice and citric acid,
which the proprietors of the most splendid Parisian cafés are
not ashamed to serve up to their customers, as real sherry is
to authentic _vin de Brie_: the _bebida helada_ is a kind of
liquid ice, a sort of most delicious _purée de neige_, of the most
exquisite flavour. The _bebida de almendra blanca_ (white almonds)
is a delightful beverage, which is unknown in France, where we
gulp down a something which is dignified by the name of _orgeat_,
and compounded of a number of horrible medicinal materials of some
kind or other. You can also procure iced milk, half strawberry,
half cherry, which, while your body is boiling in the torrid
zone, causes your throat to revel in all the frosts and snows of
Greenland. During the daytime, when the ices are not yet ready,
you have the _agraz_, a kind of beverage made of green grapes, and
contained in bottles with extraordinarily long necks; the taste of
this _agraz_ is slightly acid and exceedingly pleasant. You can
also indulge in a bottle of _Cerveza de Santa Barbara con limon_;
but this requires some little preparation. First of all, a bowl and
a large spoon are brought, like that with which punch is stirred
round. A waiter then advances, carrying a bottle fastened at the
top with wire. He undoes this with a vast amount of care, the cork
pops out, and the beer is poured into the bowl, into which a small
decanter of lemonade has previously been emptied. The whole is then
stirred round with the spoon; you fill your glass, and swallow
the contents. If this mixture does not please you, you have only
to enter one of the _orchaterias de chufas_, which are generally
kept by natives of Valencia. The chufa is a little berry, of the
almond species, which grows in the environs of Valencia, and which,
when roasted and beaten in a mortar, forms an exquisite beverage,
especially when mixed with snow. Prepared in this manner it is
extremely refreshing.

To conclude my account of the coffee-houses, I will remark that
the _sorbetes_ differ from those in France by being more solid;
that the _quesitos_ are little ices, very hard, and shaped like
small cheeses; there are some of all sorts, apricot, pine-apple,
orange, and so on, as in Paris; but there are likewise some made
up with butter (_manteca_) and eggs not yet formed, and taken from
the hens which have been opened on purpose. This custom is peculiar
to Spain, for I never heard of this singular piece of refinement
anywhere else but at Madrid. They give you also _spumas_ of coffee,
chocolate, and other materials. These _spumas_ are a kind of
iced whipt cream, as light as a feather, and sometimes powdered
with cinnamon grated very fine. All these various compounds are
accompanied by _barquilos_, a kind of cake or wafer rolled up in
a long cylindrical shape, through which you drink your _bebida_,
as you would with a syphon, by sucking slowly one of the ends.
This is a little piece of refinement which allows you to enjoy
the coolness of the beverage longer than you otherwise could do.
Coffee is not served up in cups, but in glasses; it is, however,
very rarely taken. All these details will perhaps strike the reader
as highly fastidious; but if he were exposed, as I am, to a heat of
from 30 to 35 degrees, he would consider them deeply interesting.
The papers most frequently met with in the coffee-houses are the
_Eco del Comercio_, the _Nacional_, and the _Diario_, which gives
a list of the various festivals every day, the hour at which mass
is performed and sermons preached in the various churches, the
degree of heat, lost dogs, young countrywomen who want situations
as wet-nurses, criadas who want places, &c. &c.--But it is striking
eleven. It is time to return home; the only persons in the _Calle
d'Alcala_ are a few promenaders who have stopped beyond the usual
hour. There is no one in the streets but the _serenos_, with their
lantern suspended at the end of a pole, their cloak, which is of
the same colour as the walls around them, and their measured cry:
all that you hear besides this is a chorus of crickets singing,
in their little cages decorated with small glass ornaments,
their dissyllabic lament. The people of Madrid have a taste for
crickets; each house has one hung up at the window in a miniature
cage made of wood or wire. They have also a strange affection for
quails, which they keep in open osier coops, and which vary, in
a very agreeable manner, by their everlasting _pue-pue-pue_, the
_crick-crick_ of the crickets. As Bilboquet remarks, those who are
fond of this particular note must be highly delighted.

The _Puerta del Sol_ is not a gate, as any one would suppose, but
the _façade_ of a church, painted rose-colour, and decorated with
a clock, which is illuminated at night, and also with a large sun
with golden rays. It is from the latter that it derives its name
of _Puerta del Sol_. Before the church is a place, or square,
traversed, in its greatest length, by the _Calle d'Alcala_, and
crossed by the _Calles de Carretas_ and _de la Montera_. The
Post-office, a large regular building, occupies the corner of the
_Calle de Carretas_, with its _façade_ looking upon the square.
The _Puerta del Sol_ is the rendezvous of the idlers of the town,
who, it appears, are rather numerous, for from eight o'clock in
the morning there is always a dense crowd on the spot. All these
grave personages stand about the place, enveloped in their cloaks,
although the heat is overpowering, under the frivolous pretence
that what protects you from the cold protects you from the heat,
too. From time to time an index and forefinger, as yellow as a
guinea, are seen to issue from beneath the straight motionless
folds of a cloak, and roll up a paper containing a few pieces
of chopped cigar, while, shortly afterwards, there rises from
the mouth of the grave personage who wears the cloak a cloud of
smoke; proving that he is endowed with the power of respiration,
a fact which his perfectly motionless appearance might lead any
one to doubt. With regard to the _papel Español para cigaritas_,
I may as well take this opportunity of remarking that, as yet, I
have not seen a single packet of it. The natives of the country
employ ordinary letter-paper, cut into small pieces; the packets,
tinted with liquorice-juice, variegated with grotesque designs,
and covered with _letrillas_, or comic songs, are sent to France,
for the use of the amateurs of local colouring. Politics form
the principal subject of conversation; the seat of war is a
favourite topic, and there is more strategy at the _Puerta del
Sol_ than on all the battle-fields of all the campaigns in the
world. Balmaseda, Cabrera, Palillos, and other adventurers of more
or less importance, at the head of different bands, are, every
moment, being brought upon the _tapis_, when things are related
of them which make you shudder--atrocities that have gone out
of fashion, and long been looked upon as displaying bad taste,
even by the Caribbees and Cherokees. Balmaseda, during his last
expedition, advanced to within some twenty miles of Madrid, and,
having surprised a village near Aranda, amused himself by breaking
the teeth of the _ayuntamiento_ and the alcade, and terminated
the pastime by nailing horseshoes on the feet and hands of a
constitutional curé. When I expressed some astonishment at the
perfect indifference with which this piece of intelligence was
received, I received for answer that the affair had taken place
in Old Castile, and that, consequently, it concerned nobody. This
reply sums up the whole history of Spain at the present moment, and
furnishes us with a key to very many things which to us in France
appear incomprehensible. The fact is, that an inhabitant of New
Castile cares no more for anything that happens in Old Castile,
than for what occurs in the moon. As forming one great whole, Spain
does not yet exist; it is still the kingdoms of Spain, Castile and
Leon, Aragon and Navarre, Granada and Murcia, &c.; it is composed
of a number of different races, speaking different dialects, and
hating one another most cordially. Being a simple-minded foreigner,
I spoke warmly against such a refinement of cruelty, but my
attention was called to the fact that the curé was a constitutional
curé, which considerably extenuated the matter. Espartero's
victories, which appear to us, who have been accustomed to the
colossal victories under the Empire, rather mediocre, frequently
serve as a text for the politicians of the _Puerta del Sol_. After
one of these triumphs, in which two men have been killed, three
made prisoners, and a mule seized carrying one sabre and a dozen
cartridges, the town is illuminated, and a distribution of oranges
and cigars made to the army, producing a degree of enthusiasm
easily described. Formerly, and even at present, the nobles used to
go into the shops near the _Puerta del Sol_, and, ordering a chair
to be brought, stop there for a good part of the day, conversing
with the customers, to the great annoyance of the shopkeeper, who
was afflicted with such a proof of familiarity.

Let us enter, if you please, the Post-office, to see whether there
are no letters from France. This hankering after letters is an
actual disease. You may be sure that the first public building a
traveller visits when he arrives in any city, is the Post-office.
At Madrid, every letter addressed _poste restante_ is numbered,
and the number and name of the person to whom the letter is sent
are posted upon a certain pillar. There is a pillar for January,
another for February, and so on. You look for your name, observe
the number, and go and ask for your letter at the office, where
it is delivered up to you without any further formality. At the
expiration of a year, if the letters are not fetched away, they
are burnt. Under the galleries surrounding the courtyard of the
Post-office, and shaded by large spartum blinds, are established
all kinds of reading-rooms, like those under the galleries of
the Odéon, at Paris, where you go to see the Spanish and foreign
papers. The postage is not dear, and, despite the innumerable
dangers to which the couriers are exposed on the road, which is
almost invariably infested by insurgents and bandits, the service
is conducted as regularly as possible. It is on these pillars, too,
that poor students post notices to the effect that they are willing
to black the boots of some rich cavalier, in order to procure the
means of attending their lectures of rhetoric or philosophy.

Let us now go about the town as chance may lead us, for chance is
the best guide, especially as Madrid is not rich in architectural
beauties, and as one street is as remarkable as another. The
first thing that you perceive on the angle of a house or street
directly you raise your nose in the air, is a small porcelain
plate with the following inscription--_Manzana. vicitac. gener._
These plates formerly served to number entire blocks or heaps of
houses. At present each house is numbered separately, as in Paris.
The quantity of plates that decorate the fronts of the houses and
inform you that they are insured against fire, would excite your
astonishment, especially in a country where there are no fireplaces
and no fires. Everything is insured, including even the public
monuments and churches. The civil war, it is said, is the cause of
this great alacrity in insuring. As no one is certain of not being
more or less fried alive by some Balmaseda or other, he endeavours
to save at least his house.

The houses of Madrid are built of lath and plaster, and bricks,
save the jambs, the belting courses, and the straps, which are
sometimes of grey or blue granite. The whole is rough-cast,
and painted fantastically enough, sea-green, bluish ash-colour,
fawn-colour, canary, and other hues more or less Anacreontic. The
windows are surrounded by imitations of architectural ornaments
of every description, with an infinite profusion of volutes,
scroll-work, little loves and flower-pots. They have likewise large
Venetian blinds with broad blue and white stripes, or spartum
matting, which is sprinkled with water in order that it may render
the wind cool and humid as it passes through. The modern houses
are merely whitewashed, or coloured cream-colour like those in
Paris. The balconies and _miradores_ jutting out from the walls,
somewhat relieve the monotony of so many straight lines with their
regular well-defined shadow, and diversify the naturally flat
aspect of all these buildings, in which the portions that should
be raised in relief are merely painted, as they would be on a
scene in a theatre. Fancy all this lighted up with a blazing sun;
at certain distances along these streets bathed in light, place
a few long-veiled señoras spreading their fans out like parasols
and holding them against their cheeks; a few bronzed and wrinkled
beggars, clothed in scraps of cloth and rags as rotten as tinder;
some few Valencians, half-naked and looking like Bedouins; imagine
that you behold rising up between the housetops the small dwarf
cupolas, and little bulging bell-turrets, terminated by leaden
balls, and belonging to some church or convent, and the result will
be rather a strange kind of scene, which will at least prove that
you are no longer in the Rue Lafitte, and that you have decidedly
left the Parisian asphalte for the time being, even if your feet,
which are cut about by the pointed flint-stones of the pavement,
had not already convinced you of the fact.

One circumstance struck me as really most astonishing; I allude
to the frequency of the following inscription: _Juego de Villar_,
which is repeated every twenty steps. For fear you should imagine
that some mystery lies concealed beneath these three sacramental
words, I will instantly translate them. They only signify, _Game
of Billiards_. I cannot possibly conceive what can be the use of
having so many billiard-rooms; there are enough for the whole
universe. After the _Juego de Villar_, the most common inscription
is, _Despacho de Bino_ (wine stores). In these places you can buy
Val-de-Peñas, as well as wines of a better quality. The counters
are painted in the most gaudy colours, and ornamented with drapery
and foliage. The _confiterias_ and _pastelerias_ are likewise very
numerous, and ornamented in a very natty manner. Spanish preserves
deserve to be particularly mentioned; there is one sort, known
by the name of angel's hair (_cabello de angel_), which is truly
exquisite. The pastry is as good as it can be in a country where
there is no butter, or where, at least, butter is so dear and so
bad that it can hardly be used. The Spanish pastry rather resembles
what we call in France _petit four_. All these various signs are
written in abbreviated characters, with the letters entwined in one
another; which renders it at first a difficult task for foreigners
to understand them; and if ever there were any persons famous for
reading signboards, foreigners are most decidedly those persons.

The houses are vast and convenient inside; the rooms are lofty, and
the architects have evidently not been cramped for space. In Paris
a whole house would be built in the well of certain staircases I
have seen here. You traverse a long succession of rooms before
reaching that part of the house which is really inhabited, for
the furniture of all these said rooms consists only of a little
whitewash, or a dull yellow or blue tint, relieved by a fillet
of colour and sham panelling. Smoky, black-looking pictures,
representing some martyr or other in the act of being beheaded
or ripped open, favourite subjects with Spanish painters, are
suspended against the walls, most of them having no frames, and
hanging in folds on the wood-work. Board flooring is a thing that
is not known in Spain--at least, I never saw any there. Every
room is paved with bricks; but as these bricks are, during the
winter, covered with matting made of grass, and during the summer
with matting made of rushes, they are much less disagreeable than
they otherwise would be. This matting is made with great taste;
it could not be better even if manufactured by savages of the
Philippine or Sandwich Islands. There are three things which, in
my eyes, determine with the precision of thermometers the state of
a people's civilization: these are--its pottery-ware, the degree
of skill it possesses in plaiting osiers or straw, and its manner
of caparisoning its beasts of burden. If the pottery is handsome,
pure in form, as correct as the antique, and with the natural
colour of the white or red clay; if the baskets and the matting
are fine, wonderfully entwined, and enhanced by arabesques of the
most admirably-selected colours; and if the harness is embroidered,
stitched, and decorated with bells, tufts of wool, and elegant
designs, you may be sure that the people is in a primitive state,
still very near that of nature: civilized nations can make neither
a pot, a mat, nor a set of harness. At the moment I am writing
these lines, there is hanging before me, attached to a column by a
small string, the _jarra_, in which the water I drink is cooling.
This _jarra_ is an earthen pot, worth twelve _cuartos_,--that is
to say, about six or seven French sous: its outline is charming,
and, with the exception of the productions of Etruscan art, I
never saw anything more pure. It spreads out at the top, forming
a sort of trefoil with four leaves, each of which has a slight
indenture down the middle, so that the water can be poured out
in whatever direction the vessel happens to be taken up. The
handles, which are ornamented with a small hollow moulding, are
most elegantly joined on to the neck and sides; the swell of the
latter is delicious. Instead of these charming vases, the wealthy
people prefer abominable big-bellied, podgy, ill-shapen English
pots, covered with a thick coating of varnish, and resembling large
jack-boots polished white. But while talking of boots and pottery
we have strayed rather far from our description of the houses; let
us resume it without further delay.

The small quantity of furniture found in Spanish houses offers a
specimen of the most frightful bad taste, and reminds you of the
_Goût Messidor_ and _Goût Pyramide_. The forms that were popular
under the Empire still flourish in all their integrity, and you
once more meet mahogany pilasters terminated by sphinxes' heads of
green bronze, as well as the brass rods and frame of garlands in
the style of Pompeii; all which objects have long since disappeared
from the face of the civilized world. There is not a single piece
of furniture of carved wood, not a single table inlaid with burgau,
not a single Japan cabinet--in a word, there is nothing. The Spain
of former days has completely passed away; all that remains of it
are a few pieces of Persian carpeting and some damask curtains. On
the other hand, however, there is a most extraordinary profusion of
straw chairs and sofas. The walls are disfigured with false columns
and false cornices, or daubed over with some kind of tint or other
which resembles water-colours. On the tables and the _étagères_ are
arranged little biscuit-china or porcelain figures, representing
troubadours, Mathilda and Malek Adel, and a variety of other
subjects equally ingenious, but long since gone out of fashion:
there are also poodle dogs blown in glass, plated candlesticks with
tapers stuck in them, and a hundred other magnificent things, which
would take me too long to describe; what I have already said will
perhaps be thought sufficient. I have not the courage to dwell on
the atrocious coloured prints, which are hung on the walls under
the absurd pretence that they adorn them. There are perhaps some
exceptions to this state of things, but they are rare. Do not run
away with the notion that the houses of the higher classes are
furnished with more taste and richness. My description is most
scrupulously exact, and holds good of the houses of persons keeping
their carriage, and six or eight servants. The blinds are always
drawn down and the shutters half closed, so that the light which
reigns in the apartments is about a third only of that outside.
A person must become accustomed to this darkness before he can
discern the different objects, especially if he comes from the
street. Those who are in the room see perfectly, but those who
enter it are blind for eight or ten minutes, especially if one of
the rooms they have to traverse is lighted up, which is often the

The heat at Madrid is excessive, and breaks out suddenly without
any spring to prepare people for it. This has given rise to the
saying with regard to the temperature of Madrid: "Three months of
winter, and nine months of ----:" the reader can perhaps supply the
deficiency. It is impossible to protect yourself from this flood
of fire otherwise than by remaining in low rooms, which are almost
buried in complete obscurity, and where the humidity is constantly
kept up by a continual watering. This craving for coolness has
given rise to the fashion of having _bucaros_, a savage and strange
piece of refinement which would certainly possess no charm for our
French ladies, but which appears to the Spanish beauties to be a
most useful and elegant invention.

The _bucaros_ are a sort of pot, formed of red American earth,
rather similar to that of which the bowls of Turkish pipes are
formed; they are of all sizes and of all forms, some being gilt
along the rims, and decorated with coarsely-painted flowers. As
they are no longer manufactured in America, these _bucaros_ are
becoming very scarce, and in a few years will be as fabulous and as
difficult to be met with as old Sèvres china; of course when this
is the case, every one will want to possess some.

The manner of using the _bucaros_ is as follows:--Six or eight of
them are placed upon small marble tables or the projecting ledges
round the room, and filled with water. You then retire to a sofa,
in order to wait until they produce the customary effect and to
enjoy it with the proper degree of calm. The clay soon assumes
a deeper tint, the water penetrates through its pores, and the
_bucaros_ begin to perspire, and emit a kind of perfume which is
very like the odour of wet mortar, or of a damp cellar that has
not been opened for some time. This perspiration of the _bucaros_
is so profuse, that at the expiration of an hour half the water
has evaporated. That which is left has got a nauseous, earthy,
cisterny taste, which is, however, pronounced delicious by the
_aficionados_. Half-a-dozen _bucaros_ are sufficient to charge
the air of a drawing-room with such an amount of humidity that
it immediately chills any one entering the apartment, and may be
considered as a kind of cold vapour-bath. Not content with merely
enjoying the perfume and drinking the water, some persons chew
small pieces of the _bucaros_, which they swallow after having
reduced them to powder.

I went to a few parties, or _tertulias_, but they did not offer
any very peculiar features. The guests dance to the piano as they
do in France, but in a still more modern and lamentable fashion.
I cannot conceive why people who dance so little do not at once
make up their minds not to dance at all. This would be much more
reasonable and quite as amusing. The fear of being exposed to a
charge of indulging in a _bolero_, a _fandango_, or a _cachuca_,
renders the ladies perfectly motionless. Their costume is very
simple compared to that of the men, who invariably resemble the
plates of the fashions. I noticed the same thing at the Palace de
Villa Hermosa on the occasion of a representation for the benefit
of the Foundling Hospital, _Niños de la Cuna_, which was graced
by the presence of the queen-mother, the little queen, and all
the nobility and fashionables of Madrid. Women who could boast of
possessing two titles of duchess and four of marchioness, wore such
toilettes as a Parisian dressmaker going to a party at a milliner's
would despise; Spanish women have forgotten how to dress in the
Spanish fashion, and have not yet learned how to dress in the
French style: if they were not pretty, they would frequently run
the risk of appearing ridiculous. At one ball only did I see a lady
with a rose-coloured short satin petticoat, ornamented with five or
six rows of black blond, like that worn by Fanny Elssler in "The
Devil upon Two Sticks;" but she had been to Paris, and it was there
that she had learnt the mystery of Spanish costume. The _tertulias_
cannot be very expensive. The refreshments are remarkable for
their absence; there is neither tea, ices, nor punch. On a table
in one of the rooms are a dozen glasses of perfectly pure water
and a plate of _azucarillos_; but a man is generally considered
as indiscreet and _sur sa bouche_, as Henri Monnier's Madame
Desjardins would express it, if he pushes his Sardanapalism so far
as to take one of the latter to sweeten the water. This is the case
in the richest houses; it is not the result of avarice, but custom.
Such, however, is the hermit-like sobriety of the Spanish, that
they are perfectly satisfied with this regimen.

As for the morals of the country, it is not in six weeks that a
person can penetrate the character of a people, or the habits of
any one class. Strangers, however, are apt to receive certain
impressions on their first arrival; which wear off after a long
stay. It struck me that, in Spain, women have the upper hand,
and enjoy a greater degree of liberty than they do in France.
The behaviour of the men towards them appeared to be very humble
and submissive; they are most scrupulously exact and punctual in
paying their addresses, and express their passion in verses of all
kinds, rhymed, assonant, _sueltos_, and so on. From the moment they
have laid their hearts at some beauty's feet, they are no longer
allowed to dance with any one save their great-great-grandmothers.
They may only converse with women of fifty years of age, whose
ugliness is beyond the shadow of a doubt. They may no longer visit
a house in which there is a young woman. A most assiduous visitor
will suddenly disappear, and not return for six months or a year,
because his mistress had prohibited him from frequenting the
house. He is as welcome as if he had only left the evening before;
no one takes the least offence. As far as any one can judge at
first sight, I should say that the Spanish women are not fickle
in love: the attachments they form frequently last for years.
After a few evenings passed in any house, the various couples are
easily made out and are visible to the naked eye. If the host
wishes to see Madame ----, he must invite Mr. ----, and _vice
versâ_. The husbands are admirably civilized, and equal the most
good-natured Parisian husbands; they display none of that antique
Spanish jealousy which has formed the subject of so many dramas
and melodramas. But what completely does away with all illusion
on the subject is that every one speaks French perfectly, and,
thanks to some few _élégants_ who pass the winter in Paris, and go
behind the scenes at the Opera, the most wretched ballet-girl and
the most humble beauty are well known at Madrid. I found there,
for instance, something that does not exist, perhaps, in any other
place in the world: a passionate admirer of Mademoiselle Louise
Fitzjames, whose name conducts us, by a natural transition, from
the tertulia to the stage.

The internal arrangements of the _Teatro del Principe_ are very
comfortable. The performances consist of dramas, comedies,
_saynetes_, and interludes. I saw a piece by Don Antonio Gil y
Zarate, entitled "Don Carlos el Heschizado," and constructed
entirely after the Shakspearian model. Don Carlos was very like the
Louis XIII. of Marion de Lorme, and the scene of the monk in the
prison is imitated from the scene of the visit which Claude Frollo
makes Esmeralda in the dungeon where she is awaiting her death. The
character of Carlos was sustained by Julian Romea, a most talented
actor, who has no rival that I know, except Frederick Lemaître, in
a totally opposite style: it is impossible for any one to carry
the power of illusion further, or remain more true to nature.
Mathilda Diez, also, is a first-rate actress; she marks all the
various shades of a character with exquisite delicacy, and with an
astonishing degree of nice appreciation. I have only one fault to
find with her, and that is, the extreme rapidity of her utterance,
which, however, is no fault in the opinion of Spaniards. Don
Antonio Guzman, the _gracioso_, would not be out of place on any
stage. He reminded me very much of Legrand, and, at certain times,
of Arnal. Fairy pieces, also, with dances and divertissements,
are sometimes played at the _Teatro del Principe_; I saw one of
this description, entitled "La Pata de Cabra:" it was an imitation
of "Pied de Mouton," that used to be played at the Théâtre de la
Gaieté. The choreographic portions were remarkably poor; their
first-rate _danseuses_ are not even as good as the ordinary
_doubles_ at the Opera; but, on the other hand, the supernumeraries
display a great amount of intelligence, and the "Pas des Cyclopes"
was executed with uncommon neatness and precision. As for the
_baile national_, such a thing does not exist. At Vittoria, Burgos,
and Valladolid, we had been told that the good _danseuses_ were at
Madrid; in Madrid we are informed the true dancers of the cachuca
exist only in Andalusia, at Seville. We shall see; but I am very
much afraid that in the matter of Spanish dancers, we must depend
upon Fanny Elssler, and the two sisters Noblet. Dolores Serral,
who produced such a lively sensation in Paris, where I was one of
the first to call attention to the bold passion, the voluptuous
suppleness, and the petulant grace, which characterized her style
of dancing, appeared several times at Madrid, without making the
least impression, so incapable are the Spaniards now-a-days of
understanding and enjoying the old national dances. Whenever the
_jota aragonesa_ or the _bolero_ is danced, all the fashionable
portion of the audience rise and leave the house; the only
spectators left are foreigners, and persons of the lower classes,
in whom it is always a more difficult task to extinguish the poetic
instinct. The French author most in repute at Madrid is Frederick
Soulié; almost all the dramas translated from the French are
attributed to him. He appears to have succeeded to the popularity
which Monsieur Scribe formerly enjoyed.

As we are now pretty well acquainted with theatrical matters, let
us proceed to view the public buildings; they will not detain us
long. The Queen's Palace is a square solid building of fine stones
strongly put together, with a great profusion of windows, and a
corresponding number of doors, Ionic columns, Doric pilasters,
and all the other elements of what is termed architectural good
taste. The immense terraces which support it, and the snow-covered
mountains of the Guadarrama rising behind, relieve any tendency to
sameness or vulgarity which its outline might otherwise present. In
the interior, Velasquez, Maella, Bayen, and Tiepolo, have painted
some of the ceilings in a more or less allegorical style. The
grand staircase is very fine, and was considered by Napoleon to be
superior to that at the Tuileries.

The building in which the Cortes meet is interspersed with
Pæstumian columns, and lions in long perukes, exhibiting the most
abominable want of taste; I doubt very much whether good laws can
be made in an edifice of this description. Opposite the chamber
of the Cortes, in the middle of the square, is a bronze statue of
Miguel Cervantes. It is, doubtless, a very praiseworthy action to
erect a statue to the immortal author of "Don Quixote," but I think
they should have erected a better one.

The monument raised to the memory of the victims of the _Dos de
Mayo_ is situated on the Prado, not far from the picture-gallery.
On perceiving it, I thought for a moment that I was suddenly
transported to the Place de la Concorde, at Paris, and beheld,
as if in some fantastic mirage, the venerable obelisk of Luxor,
which, up to that time, I had never suspected of any taste for
vagabondism. The monument is composed of a kind of grey granite
_cippus_, surmounted by an obelisk of reddish granite, the tone
of which is very similar to that of the Obelisk at Paris. It is a
pity that the Spanish obelisk is not made of a single block. The
names of the victims are engraved in golden letters on the sides of
the pedestal. The _Dos de Mayo_ is an heroic and glorious episode,
which the Spaniards have a slight tendency to make the most of;
you perceive engravings and pictures of it wherever you go. You
will have no difficulty in believing that we Frenchmen are not
represented in them as being very handsome; we look as frightful as
the Prussians of the Cirque Olympique.

The Armeria does not come up to the ideas generally entertained
of it. The Museum of Artillery at Paris is, beyond comparison,
far richer and more complete. In the Armeria at Madrid there are
very few entire suits, with the various portions of which they
are composed belonging to one another; helmets of one period
being stuck upon breastplates of another as well as of quite a
different style. The reason given for this confusion is, that at
the time of the French invasion all these curious relics were
hidden away in lofts and other places, where they were so mixed
up and jumbled together that it was subsequently impossible to
reunite the different parts with any certainty. No degree of credit
can therefore be placed in the description of the guides. We were
shown a carriage of admirably-carved wood-work, said to be that
of Joanna of Aragon, mother of Charles V., but it evidently could
not be more ancient than the reign of Louis XIV. The chariot of
Charles V., with its leather cushions and curtains, struck us as
far more authentic. There are very few Moorish weapons: two or
three shields, and a few yatagans form the whole collection. The
greatest curiosities are the embroidered saddles, studded with gold
and silver stars, and covered with steel scales; these are very
numerous and of all kinds of strange shapes, but it is impossible
to say to what period or to whom they belonged. The English admire
very much a kind of triumphal hackney-coach made of wrought iron,
and presented to Ferdinand somewhere about the year 1823 or 1824.

I may here mention some fountains of a very corrupt _rococo_ style,
but very amusing; the bridge of Toledo, a specimen of bad taste,
very rich and highly ornamented with ovalos and chicory leaves,
and a few strangely-variegated churches surmounted by Muscovite
turrets. We will now direct our steps towards the Buen Retiro, a
royal residence situated at the distance of a few paces from the
Prado. We Frenchmen, who possess Versailles and Saint Cloud, and
could formerly boast of Marly, are difficult to please in the
matter of royal residences. The Buen Retiro strikes us as being
the realization of the dreams of some well-to-do tallowchandler.
It is a garden filled with the most ordinary but glaring flowers,
and little basins ornamented with vermicular rustic rock-work, and
small fountains like those we see in certain fishmongers' shops.
It also contains pieces of green water, on which swim wooden swans
painted white and varnished, besides an infinity of other marvels
of a very ordinary description. The natives fall into ecstasies
before a certain rustic pavilion built of small round blocks, the
interior of which has rather strong claims to being considered
Hindoo in style. The first _Jardin Turc_ at Paris, the primitive
and patriarchal _Jardin Turc_, with its kiosks and windows filled
with small coloured panes, through which you saw a blue, green, or
red landscape, was far superior both in taste and magnificence.
There is also a certain Swiss cottage, which is the most ridiculous
and absurd affair it is possible to imagine. At the side of this
cottage is a stable, furnished with a goat and a kid both stuffed,
and also with a sow of grey stone, suckling a litter of young
pigs of the same material. A few paces from the cottage the guide
suddenly leaves you, and opens the door in a mysterious manner.
When, at last, he calls you and gives you leave to enter, you hear
low rumbling of wheels and balance-weights, and find yourself in
the presence of a number of frightful automatons, who are churning,
spinning, or rocking, with their wooden feet, children equally
wooden, and sleeping in carved cradles: in the next room is the
grandfather ill in bed, while his medicine is standing on a table
beside him. Such is a very accurate summary of the principal
wonders of the Buen Retiro. A fine equestrian statue in bronze of
Philip V., the pose of which resembles that of the statue of Louis
XIV. in the Place des Victoires at Paris, makes up in some degree
for all these absurdities.

[Illustration: MADRID.]

The description of the Museum at Madrid would require a whole
volume. It is rich in the extreme, and contains a very large number
of the works of Titian, Raphael, Paolo Veronese, Rubens, Velasquez,
Ribeira, and Murillo. The pictures are hung in an excellent light,
and the architectural style of the building is tolerably good,
especially in the interior. The Façade looks on the Prado, and is
a specimen of bad taste, but taken altogether the building does
honour to the architect, Villa Nueva, who drew the plans. After
the Museum, the next place to be visited is the Cabinet of Natural
History, containing the mastodon, or _dinotherium giganteum_, a
marvellous specimen of the fossil world, with bones like bars of
iron. It must at least be the behemoth mentioned in the Bible. The
collection also contains a lump of virgin gold weighing sixteen
pounds, a number of Chinese gongs, the sound of which, in spite of
what people say, very much resembles that which is produced if you
kick a copper, and a succession of pictures representing all the
possible varieties which can be produced by crossing white, black,
and copper-coloured races. I must not forget in the academy three
admirable pictures by Murillo,--namely, the Foundation of Santa
Maria Mayora (two pictures), and Saint Elizabeth washing the heads
of persons afflicted with scurvy; two or three admirable Ribeiras;
a Burial, by _El Greco_, some portions of which are worthy of
Titian; a fantastic sketch by the same artist, representing monks
performing different acts of penance, and surpassing the most
mysterious and gloomy creations of Lewis or Anne Radcliffe; and a
charming woman in Spanish costume, lying on a divan, by the good
old Goya, that pre-eminently national painter, who seems to have
come into the world expressly to collect the last vestiges of the
ancient manners and customs of his country, which were about to
disappear for ever.

Francisco Goya y Lucientes, was the last who could be recognised
as a descendant of Velasquez. After him come Aparicio, Lopez, and
others of the same stamp. The decadence of art is complete: the
cyclus is closed! Who shall ever recommence it? Goya is, indeed,
a strange painter--a most singular genius! Never was originality
more decided--never was a Spanish painter more local. One of Goya's
sketches, consisting of four touches of his graver in a cloud of
aquatint, tells you more about the manners of the country than
the longest description. From his adventurous kind of life, his
impetuosity, and his manifold talents, Goya seems to belong to the
best period of the art; and yet he was in some sort a contemporary,
having died at Bordeaux in 1828.

Before attempting to judge his works, let us give a summary sketch
of his biography. Don Francisco Goya y Lucientes was born in
Aragon. His parents were not affluent, but their circumstances were
sufficiently easy to offer no obstacle to his natural talents. His
taste for drawing and painting was developed at an early age. He
travelled, studied for some time at Rome, and returned to Spain,
where he very soon made a fortune at the court of Charles IV.,
who conferred on him the title of Painter to the King. He was
received at the Queen's, the Prince of Benavente's, and the Duchess
d'Alba's; and lived in the same grand style as Rubens, Van Dyck,
and Velasquez--a mode of existence so highly favourable to the
development of picturesque genius. He had, in the neighbourhood of
Madrid, a delicious _casa de campo_, where he used to give _fêtes_,
and where he had his studio.

Goya was very prolific; he painted sacred subjects, frescoes,
portraits, and sketches of manners, besides producing etchings,
aquatints, and lithographic drawings. In everything he did, even
in the slightest sketches, he gave proof of the most vigorous
talent; the hand of the lion is evident in his most careless works.
Although his talent was perfectly original, it is a strange mixture
of Velasquez, Rembrandt, and Reynolds; reminding you in turns, or
at the same time, of all these masters, but as the son reminds you
of his ancestors, without any servile imitation,--or rather, more
by a certain congeniality of taste than by any formal wish.

His pictures in the Museum at Madrid consist of the portraits of
Charles IV. and his Queen on horseback: the heads are admirably
painted, and are full of life, delicacy, and intelligence; a
Picador, and the "Massacre of the Second of May," a scene from the
French Invasion. The Duke d'Ossuna possesses several of Goya's
works, and there is hardly a family of consequence that has not
some portrait or sketch of his. The interior of the church of San
Antonio de la Florida, where there is a _fête_ which is pretty
numerously attended, at the distance of half a league from Madrid,
is painted in fresco by Goya, with that boldness and effect which
characterize him. At Toledo, in one of the capitular rooms, we saw
a painting of his, representing Jesus betrayed by Judas. The effect
of night is such as Rembrandt would not have disowned; indeed, I
should have attributed the picture to him, had not a canon pointed
out to me the signature of the famous painter of Charles IV. In
the sacristy of the cathedral at Seville there is also a picture
of great merit by Goya, representing Saint Justine and Saint
Ruffine, virgins and martyrs, who were both daughters of a potter,
a circumstance that is indicated by the _alcarazas_ and _cantaros_
grouped at their feet.

Goya's mode of painting was as eccentric as his talent. He kept
his colours in tubs, and applied them to the canvass by means of
sponges, brooms, rags, and everything that happened to be within
his reach. He put on his tones with a trowel, as it were, exactly
like so much mortar, and painted touches of sentiment with large
daubs of his thumb. From the fact of his working in this offhand
and expeditious manner, he would cover some thirty feet of wall in
a couple of days. This method certainly appears somewhat to exceed
even the licence accorded to the most impetuous and fiery genius;
the most dashing painters are but children compared with him. He
executed, with a spoon for a brush, a painting of the "Dos de
Mayo," where some French troops are shooting a number of Spaniards.
It is a work of incredible vigour and fire; but, curious as it is,
it is dishonourably banished to the antechamber in the museum at

The individuality of this artist is so strong and so determined,
that it is difficult to give even the faintest notion of it.
Goya is not a caricaturist like Hogarth, Bunbury, or Cruikshank;
Hogarth was serious and phlegmatic, as exact and minute as one of
Richardson's novels, always impressing some moral lesson on the
mind of the spectator; Bunbury and Cruikshank, so remarkable for
their sly humour and their comic exaggeration, have nothing in
common with the author of the "Caprichos." Callot might at first
appear to be more like him, for Callot was half Spaniard, half
gipsy; but Callot is distinct, delicate, clear, definite, and true
to nature, despite the mannerism of his forms and the extravagant
and braggart style of his costume; his most singular devilries
are rigorously possible; his etchings are always remarkable for
their strong light, for the minute attention to the various
details in them is fatal to effect and chiaro-oscuro, which can
only be obtained by sacrificing them. The compositions of Goya are
enveloped in the deepest gloom of night, traversed merely by an
unexpected ray of light, which brings out some pale outlines or
strange phantoms.

Goya's works are a mixture of those of Rembrandt, Watteau, and the
comical dreams of Rabelais; a strange union! Add to all this, a
strong Spanish flavour, a strong dose of the _picaresque_ spirit
of Cervantes, when he drew the portraits of the Escalanta and the
Gananciosa in _Rinconete_ and _Cortadillo_, and even then you will
only have an imperfect notion of Goya's talent. We will endeavour
to explain it more exactly, if, indeed, it is possible to do so by
mere words.

Goya's drawings are executed in aquatinta, touched up and picked
out with aquafortis; nothing can be more frank, more free, and
more easy. A single stroke expresses a whole physiognomy, and a
trail of shade serves as a background, or allows the spectator to
catch a glimpse of some landscape only half-sketched in, or some
pass of a _sierra_, fit scenes for a murder, a witches' sabbath,
or a _tertulia_ of gipsies; but this is rare, for the _background_
cannot be said to exist in Goya's works. Like Michael Angelo, he
completely despises external nature, and only takes just sufficient
to enable him to group his figures, and very often he composes
his background of clouds alone. From time to time, there is a
portion of a wall cut off by a large angle of shade, a hedge hardly
indicated, and that is all. For the want of a better word, we
have said that Goya was a caricaturist. But his caricatures are
in the style of Hoffmann, where fancy always goes hand in hand
with criticism, and often rises to the gloomy and the terrible. It
seems as if all these grinning heads had been drawn by the talons
of Smarra, on the wall of some suspicious alcove, lighted by the
flickering of an expiring lamp. You feel transported into some
unheard-of, impossible, but still real world. The trunks of the
trees look like phantoms, the men resemble hyenas, owls, cats,
asses, or hippopotamuses; their nails may be talons, their shoes
covered with bows may conceal cloven feet; that young cavalier may
be some old corpse, and his trunk hose, ornamented with ribbons,
envelop perhaps a fleshless thigh-bone and two shrunk legs; never
did more mysterious and sinister apparitions issue from behind the
stove of Dr. Faustus.

It is said that Goya's caricatures contain certain political
allusions, but they are few in number. They are directed against
Godoy, the old Duchess de Benavente, the favourites of the queen,
and some of the noblemen of the court, whose vices and ignorance
they stigmatize. But you must seek their meaning through the folds
of the thick veil with which they are covered. Goya executed, also,
other drawings for his friend, the Duchess d'Alba; but they have
never been made public, doubtless, on account of the ease with
which they could be applied to the persons caricatured in them.
Some of them ridicule the fanaticism, gluttony, and stupidity of
the monks, while others represent subjects of public manners or

The portrait of Goya serves as a frontispiece to the collected
edition of his works. He is represented as a man of about fifty,
with a quick oblique glance, a large eyelid and a sly, mocking,
crow's-foot beneath. The chin is curved upwards, the upper lip
is thin, and the lower one prominent and sensual. The face is
surrounded by whiskers of a description peculiar to natives of
southern climates and the head is covered by a hat _à la Bolivar_.
The whole physiognomy is that of a man of strongly-developed

The first plate represents a money match, a poor young girl
sacrificed by her avaricious parents, to a cacochymical and
horrible old man. The bride looks charming with her little black
velvet mask, and her basquina ornamented with deep fringe, for Goya
represents Andalusian and Castilian beauty most marvellously; her
parents are hideous with rapacity and envious misery, resembling in
the most astounding manner sharks and crocodiles. The poor child
is laughing through her tears, like the sun piercing an April
shower. All around is a mere mass of eyes, claws, and teeth: the
intoxicating effects of dress prevent the girl from yet feeling
the whole extent of her misfortune. This is a subject which often
returns to the point of Goya's pencil, and he always succeeds in
producing very striking effects. Further on, we have _el Coco_,
"Bogy," who frightens little children, and who would frighten many
others of more mature age, for, with the exception of the ghost of
Samuel in Salvator Rosa's picture of the "Witch of Endor," I do
not know of anything more horrible than this goblin. Then, again,
we see a number of _majos_ whispering soft things to dapper young
damsels on the Prado--handsome creatures with tightly-fitting silk
stockings, little pointed slippers, which are only kept on the foot
by the tip of the great toe, high-backed tortoiseshell combs, with
open carving, and more lofty than the mural crown of Cybele; black
lace mantillas, worn like a hood, and casting a velvety shadow on
the finest black eyes in the world; short-skirted petticoats loaded
with lead, the better to show off the rich form of the hips; beauty
spots placed most murderously at the corner of the mouth, and near
the temples; heart-breakers sufficient to break all the hearts
in Spain, and large fans spread out like the tail of a peacock.
There are also hidalgos in pumps and prodigious coats, with flat
cocked-hats under their arms, and large bunches of seals and keys
hanging on their stomach making their bows _à trois temps_, leaning
over the backs of the chairs, in order to puff, like the smoke of
their cigars, clouds of light-hearted madrigals into some thick
mass of beautiful black hair, or leading about some divinity of
more or less doubtful character, by the tips of their white kid
gloves. In another page, again, you see a number of complaisant
mothers, giving their too obedient daughters advice worthy of the
Macette of Régnier, washing and greasing them to go to the witches'
sabbath. The type of the "Complaisant Mother" is marvellously
rendered by Goya, who, like all the Spanish painters, possesses
a ready and profound sense of the ignoble. It is impossible to
fancy anything more grotesquely horrible, more viciously deformed.
Each of these frightful old shrews unites in her own person the
ugliness of the seven capital sins; compared to them, the Prince
of Darkness himself is pretty. Just fancy whole ditches and
counterscarps of wrinkles; eyes like live coals that have been
extinguished in blood; noses like the neck of an alembic, covered
with warts and other excrescences; nostrils like those of the snout
of a hippopotamus rendered formidable by stiff bristles; whiskers
like a tiger's; a mouth like the slit in the top of a money box,
contracted by a horrible and convulsive grin; a something between
the spider and the multiped, which makes you feel the same kind of
disgust as if you had placed your foot upon the belly of a toad.
Such are Goya's works as far as the actual world is concerned, but
it is when he abandons himself to his demonographic inspirations
that he is especially admirable: no one can represent as he can,
floating in the warm atmosphere of a stormy night, dark masses
of clouds loaded with vampires, goblins and demons, or make a
cavalcade of witches stand out with such startling effect from the
sinister background of the horizon.

There is one plate especially which is altogether fantastic, and
realizes the most frightful nightmare that ever any human being
perceived in his dreams. It is entitled "Y aun no se van." It is
frightful; and even Dante himself never reached such a degree of
suffocating terror. Fancy a bare mournful plain, over which a
shapeless cloud, like a crocodile that has been ripped open, creeps
with difficulty along, and a large stone, the top of some tomb or
other, which a shrivelled, thin figure is attempting to raise. The
stone is, however, too heavy for the fleshless arms that support
it, and which you feel are on the point of snapping, and falls
to the ground in spite of all the efforts of the spectre and of
other smaller phantoms, who are simultaneously stiffening their
shadowy arms; many of these smaller phantoms are crushed beneath
the stone, which has been raised for a moment. The expression of
despair depicted on all these cadaverous physiognomies, in all
these eyeless sockets, that see that their labour is useless, is
truly tragic, and presents the most melancholy symbol of powerless
labour, the most sombre piece of poetry and bitter derision ever
produced on the subject of the dead. The plate called "Buen
Viage," representing a flight of demons, pupils of the seminary
of Barahona, who are winging their course with all possible speed
towards some deed without a name, is remarkable for its energy and
vivacity. It seems as if you actually heard all these membranes,
covered with hair and furnished with claws like the wings of a bat,
palpitating in the thick night air. The collection concludes with
these words: "Y es ora" (It is the hour); the cock crows, and the
phantoms disappear; for it is again day.

As to the esthetic and moral meaning of these works, what was it?
We do not know. Goya seems to have given his opinion on the subject
in one of his drawings, which represents a man with his head leant
upon his arms, and a number of owls and storks flying around. The
motto is, _El sueño de la razón produce monstruos_. This is true,
but it is terribly severe.

The _Caprichos_ are the only productions of Goya in the
Bibliothèque Royale at Paris. He has, however, produced other
works,--namely, the "Tauromaquia," a collection of thirty-three
plates; "Scenes of the Invasion," which make twenty plates, and
ought to make more than forty; the etchings after Velasquez and
many others.

The "Tauromaquia" is a collection of scenes representing various
episodes of the bull-fights, from the time of the Moors down to
the present day. Goya was a finished _aficionado_, passing a
considerable portion of his time with the _torreros_, so that he
was the most competent person in the world to treat the matter
thoroughly. Although the attitudes, positions, the defence and
the attack, or, to speak technically, the various _suertes_ and
_cogidas_ are remarkable for their irreproachable exactitude; Goya
has invested the different scenes with his mysterious shadows
and fantastic colouring. What strange and ferocious heads! What
savage and odd dresses! What fury in the action! His Moors, treated
somewhat in the manner of the Turks in the time of the Empire,
as far as costume is concerned, have the most characteristic
physiognomies imaginable--a stroke roughly scratched in, a black
spot, a streak of light, is sufficient to form a personage who
lives, who moves, and whose physiognomy remains for ever impressed
upon your memory. The bulls and horses, although sometimes fabulous
in their proportions, have an expression of life and vigour which
is often wanting in the works of animal painters by profession:
the exploits of Gazul, of the Cid, of Charles V., of Romero, of
the Student of Falces, and of Pepe Illo, who perished miserably in
the arena, are traced with a truthfulness altogether Spanish. Like
the "Caprichos," the plates of the "Tauromaquia" are executed in
aquatinta, touched with aquafortis.

The "Scenes of the Invasion" would afford matter for a curious
comparison with the "Horrors of War," by Callot. They consist of
one long series of persons hanged, heaps of dead being stripped
of all they possess, women being violated, wounded persons being
carried away, prisoners being shot, convents being sacked, a
population in the act of flight, families reduced to beggary, and
patriots being strangled; all represented with such fantastic
accessories and so exorbitant an aspect as would lead any one
to suppose that he was looking at an invasion of Tartars in the
fourteenth century. But what delicacy, what a profound knowledge of
anatomy, is displayed in all these groups, which seem to owe their
existence to mere chance and the whim of the etching-needle! Does
the antique Niobe surpass in depth of desolation and nobleness of
expression that mother kneeling in the midst of her family before
the French bayonets? Among these drawings, which admit of an easy
explanation, there is one fearfully terrible and mysterious, the
meaning of which, that we can dimly understand, fills you with
horror and affright. It is a corpse, half-buried in the earth; it
is supporting itself on its elbow, and, without looking at what
it is writing, traces with its bony hand, on a paper placed near
it, one word--_Nada_ (nothingness)--which is alone worth the most
terrible things Dante ever penned. Around its head, on which there
is just enough flesh left to render it more frightful than a mere
skull, flit, scarcely visible in the darkness of the night, a
number of monstrous spectres, lighted up here and there by flashes
of livid lightning. A fatidical hand holds a pair of scales, which
are in the act of turning upside down. Can you conceive anything
more sinister or more heartrending?

At the very conclusion of his life, which was a long one, for he
was more than eighty when he died at Bordeaux, Goya improvised
upon stone some lithographic sketches, entitled "Dibersion de
España," and representing bull-fights. Even in these plates, traced
by the hand of an old man, who had long been deaf, and who was
almost blind, you can still perceive the vigour and movement of
the _Caprichos_ and the _Tauromaquia_. It is a most curious thing
that these lithographs remind you very much of the style of Eugène
Delacroix, in his illustrations to Faust.

In Goya's tomb is buried ancient Spanish art, all the world, which
has now for ever disappeared, of torreros, majos, manolas, monks,
smugglers, robbers, alguazils, and sorceresses; in a word, all the
local colour of the Peninsula. He came just in time to collect and
perpetuate these various classes. He thought that he was merely
producing so many capricious sketches, when he was in truth drawing
the portrait and writing the history of the Spain of former days,
under the belief that he was serving the ideas and creed of modern
times. His caricatures will soon be looked upon in the light of
historical monuments.



  Aridity and Desolation of the Country--First View of the
  Escurial--Sombre appearance of the building--The Church--The
  blind Cicerone--The Pantheon Pictures--Anecdote of Spanish

In order to proceed to the Escurial, we hired one of those
fantastic vehicles, of which we have already had occasion to speak,
covered with grey cupids and other ornaments in the Pompadour
style, dragged by four mules, and enhanced by the presence of a
zagal in a tolerable masquerading suit. The Escurial is situated
about seven or eight leagues from Madrid, not far from Guadarrama,
at the foot of a chain of mountains. It is impossible to imagine
anything more arid and desolate than the country you have to pass
through in order to reach it. There is not a single tree, not a
single house; nothing but a succession of steep declivities and
dry ravines, which the presence of several bridges points out as
the beds of different torrents, and here and there a long vista of
blue mountains capped with snow or clouds. Such as it is, however,
the view is not without a certain kind of grandeur; the absence
of all vegetation gives an extraordinary degree of boldness and
severity to the outline of the ground. In proportion as you proceed
further from Madrid, the stones with which the way is thickly
strewed become larger, and evince, more and more, an ambitious
feeling of being taken for rocks. They are of a bluish grey, and
appear, as they are scattered over the scale-like soil, like so
many warts upon the wrinkled back of a centenarian crocodile; they
form a thousand strange shapes upon the outline of the hills, which
resemble the ruins of gigantic edifices.

Halfway on the road, at the summit of a pretty steep ascent, is a
poor isolated house, the only one you meet in the course of eight
leagues. Opposite it is a spring, from which a pure and icy stream
trickles down, drop by drop; you drink as many glasses of water
as the spring contains, let your mules rest a short time, and
then set off again on your journey. Soon afterwards you perceive,
standing out from the vapoury background of the mountains, and
rendered visible by a bright gleam of sunshine, that Leviathan of
architecture, the Escurial. At a distance, the effect is very fine;
you would almost fancy it to be an immense Oriental palace, the
stone cupola and the balls which terminate all the elevated points
contributing very much to keep up the illusion. Before reaching
it, you pass through a large wood of olive-trees, ornamented with
crosses, quaintly planted on large blocks of rocks, and producing
the most picturesque effect. On issuing from the wood you enter
the village and find yourself before the colossus, which loses a
great deal from being viewed closely, like all the other colossi
in the world. The first thing that struck me was the great number
of swallows and martins, wheeling about in immense swarms, and
uttering a sharp, strident cry. The poor little birds appeared
terrified by the death-like silence which reigned in this Thebaid,
and were endeavouring to impart a little animation and noise to it.

Every one is aware that the Escurial was built in consequence of a
vow made by Philip II. at the siege of Saint Quentin, when he was
obliged to cannonade a church dedicated to St. Lawrence. Philip
promised the Saint that he would make amends for the church of
which he deprived him, by one that should be more spacious and more
beautiful; and he kept his word more faithfully than the kings of
this earth generally do. The Escurial, which was commenced by Juan
Bautista and completed by Herrera, is assuredly, with the exception
of the Egyptian pyramids, the largest heap of granite that exists
upon the face of the globe; it is called, in Spain, the eighth
wonder of the world, making, as each country has its own eighth
wonder, at least the thirtieth eighth wonder now existing.

I am exceedingly embarrassed in giving an opinion on the
Escurial. So many grave and respectable persons, who, I am happy
to believe, never saw it, have spoken of it as a _chef-d'œuvre_
and a supreme effort of human genius, that I, who am but a poor,
miserable, wandering writer of _feuilletons_, am afraid that
I shall appear to have determined to be original, and seem to
take pleasure in contradicting the generally-received opinion.
Despite of this, however, I declare conscientiously, and from
the bottom of my heart, that I cannot help thinking the Escurial
the dullest and most wearisome edifice that a morose monk and a
suspicious tyrant could ever conceive for the mortification of
their fellow-creatures. I am very well aware that the Escurial was
erected for an austere and religious purpose, but gravity does
not consist in baldness, melancholy in atrophy, or meditation in
_ennui_; beauty of form can always be united to elevation of ideas.

The Escurial is arranged in the form of a gridiron, in honour
of Saint Lawrence. Four towers, or square pavilions, represent
the feet of this instrument of torture; four masses of building
connect the pavilions with each other, and form the framework,
while other cross rows represent the bars; the palace and the
church are situated in the handle. This strange notion, which must
have hampered the architect very much, is not easily perceived by
the eye, although it is very visible upon the printed plan. If
the visitor were not told of it, he most certainly would never
discover it. I do not blame this symbolical piece of puerility,
which suited the taste of the times; for I am convinced that when a
certain model is given to an architect, so far from shackling him,
it will, provided he has genius, prove of great use and assistance
to him, and cause him to have recourse to expedients of which he
would, otherwise, never have thought; but it strikes me that, in
this case, he might have arrived at a far different result. Those
persons who are fond of _good taste and sobriety_ in architecture,
must think the Escurial a specimen of perfection, for the only line
employed in it is the straight line, and the only order the Doric
order, which is the most melancholy and poorest of any.

[Illustration: THE ESCURIAL.]

One thing which immediately strikes you very disagreeably, is the
yellow clayish colour of the walls, which you would almost imagine
to be built of mud, did not the joints of the stones, marked by
lines of glaring white, prove that this was not the case. Nothing
can be more monotonous to behold than all these buildings, six or
seven stories high, without a moulding, a pilaster, or a column,
and with their small low windows, looking like the entrance to
a beehive. The place is the very ideal of an hospital, or of
barracks: its sole merit consists in its being built of granite, a
species of merit which is of no value, since at the distance of a
hundred paces the granite may be easily mistaken for the clay of
which stoves are made in France. On the top is a heavy dwarfish
cupola, which I can compare to nothing more aptly than the dome
of the Val de Grâce, and which boasts of no other ornaments than
a multitude of granite balls. All around, in order that nothing
may be wanting to the symmetry of the whole, are a number of
buildings in the same style, that is to say, with a quantity of
small windows, and without the least ornament. These buildings are
connected with each other by galleries in the form of bridges,
thrown over the streets that lead to the village, which, at
present, is nothing more than a heap of ruins. All the approaches
to the edifice are paved with granite flags, and its limits marked
by little walls three feet high, ornamented with the inevitable
balls at every angle and every opening. The _façade_, which does
not project in the least from the other portions of the building,
fails to break the aridity of the general lines, and is hardly
perceived, although it is of gigantic proportions.

The first place you enter is a vast courtyard, at the extremity of
which is the portal of a church, presenting no remarkable feature,
except some colossal statues of prophets, with gilt ornaments, and
figures painted rose-colour. This courtyard is flagged, damp, and
cold; the angles are overgrown with grass; you no sooner place
your foot in it than you are oppressed with _ennui_, just as if
you had a weight of lead upon your shoulders; you feel your heart
contract; you think that all is over--that every joy is henceforth
dead for you. At a distance of twenty paces from the door you smell
an indescribable icy and insipid odour of holy water and sepulchral
caverns, which is borne to you by a current of air loaded with
pleurisy and catarrh. Although, outside, there may be thirty
degrees of heat, the marrow freezes in your bones; you imagine that
the warmth of life will never again be able to cheer the blood in
your veins, which has become colder than a viper's blood. The air
of the living cannot force its way through the immense thickness of
the walls, which are as impenetrable as the tomb, and yet, in spite
of this claustral and Moscovitish cold, the first object I beheld,
on entering the church, was a Spanish woman kneeling on the ground,
beating her breast with one hand, and with the other fanning
herself with equal fervour. I recollect that her face had a kind
of sea-green tint, which makes me shiver even now, whenever I think
of it.

The cicerone who conducted us over the interior of the edifice was
blind, and it was really most marvellous to see with what precision
he stopped before the pictures, naming the subject of each one, and
the artist by whom it was painted, without the least hesitation
or mistake. He took us up to the dome, and led us through an
infinity of ascending and descending corridors, which rivalled in
complication the "Confessional of the Black Penitents," or of the
"Château of the Pyrenees," by Anne Radcliffe. The old fellow's
name is Cornelio; he was the merriest creature in the world, and
appeared quite to take a delight in his infirmity.

The interior of the church is mournful and naked. Immense
mouse-grey pilasters formed of granite, with a large micaceous
grain like coarse salt, ascend to the roof which is painted in
fresco, the blue, vapoury tones of which are ill suited to the
cold, poor colour of the architecture; the _retablo_, gilt and
sculptured in the Spanish fashion, with some very fine paintings,
somewhat corrects this aridity of decoration, which sacrifices
everything to some stupid notion or other of symmetry. The style
of the kneeling statues of gilt bronze on each side the _retablo_,
representing, I believe, Don Carlos and some princesses of the
royal family, is grand, and the effect is very fine. The chapter
which is opposite the high altar is an immense church in itself;
the stalls which surround it instead of being florid and decorated
with fantastic arabesques, like those at Burgos, partake of
the general rigidity, and have no other ornaments than simple
mouldings. We were shown the place where for fourteen years the
sombre Philip II., that king born to be a grand inquisitor, used
to seat himself; it is the stall that forms the angle, and a
doorway cut through the thickness of the panelling communicates
with the interior of the palace. Without pretending to possess
any very fervent amount of devotion, I can never enter a Gothic
cathedral without experiencing a mysterious and profound feeling,
an extraordinary sentiment of emotion; but in the church of the
Escurial I felt so crushed, so depressed, so completely under the
dominion of some inflexible and gloomy power, that I was for the
moment convinced of the inutility of prayer. The God of such a
temple will never allow himself to be moved by any entreaties.

After visiting the church we went down into the Pantheon. This
is the name given to the vault where the bodies of the kings of
Spain are preserved. It is octagonal in form, thirty-six feet in
diameter and thirty-eight feet in height, directly under the high
altar; so that when the priest is saying mass, his feet are on the
stone which forms the keystone of the vault. The staircase leading
into it is formed of granite and coloured marble, and closed by a
handsome bronze gate. The pantheon is lined throughout with jasper,
porphyry, and other stones no less precious. In the walls there are
niches with antique-formed _cippi_, destined to contain the bodies
of those kings and queens who have left issue. A penetrating and
death-like coldness reigns throughout the vault, and the polished
marble glitters and sparkles in the flickering torchlight; it
seems as if the walls were dripping with water, and the visitor
might almost imagine himself to be in some submarine grotto.
The monstrous edifice weighs you down with all its weight; it
surrounds, it embraces, it suffocates you; you feel as if you were
clasped by the tentacles of an immense granite polypus. The dead
bodies contained in the sepulchral urns seem more dead than any
others, and it is with difficulty that you can induce yourself to
believe that they can ever possibly be resuscitated. In the vault,
as in the church, the impression is one of sinister despair; in all
this dreary place there is not one hole through which you can see
the sky.

A few good pictures still remain in the Sacristy (the best have
been transferred to the Royal Museum at Madrid). Among them are
three or four specimens on wood of the German school, possessing
a very uncommon degree of merit. The ceiling of the grand
staircase is painted in fresco by Luca Jordano, and represents,
allegorically, Philip II.'s vow and the foundation of the convent.
The acres of wall in Spain painted by this same Luca Jordano, are
something truly prodigious, and we moderns who lose our breath at
the slightest exertion, find it a difficult task to conceive the
possibility of such labours. Pellegrini, Luca, Gangiaso, Carducho,
Romulo, Cincinnato, and many others have painted in the Escurial
cloisters, vaults, and ceilings. That of the library is the work
of Carducho and Pellegrini, and is a good sample of light, clear
fresco colouring; the composition is very rich and the twining
arabesques in the best possible taste. The library of the Escurial
is remarkable for one peculiarity, and that is, that the books are
placed on the shelves with their backs to the wall and their edges
to the spectator; I do not know the reason of this odd arrangement.
The library is particularly rich in Arabic manuscripts, and
must contain many inestimable and totally unknown treasures. At
present that the conquest of Algiers has rendered Arabic quite a
fashionable and ordinary language, it is to be hoped that this
rich mine will be thoroughly worked by our young orientalists.
The other books appeared to be mostly works of theology and
scholastic philosophy. We were shown some manuscripts on vellum,
with illuminated margins ornamented with miniatures; but, as it
was Sunday, and the librarian was absent, we could not hope for
anything else, and we were consequently obliged to depart without
having seen a single _incunable_ edition; which, by the way, was a
much greater disappointment to my companion than to myself, who,
unfortunately, am not an enthusiast in the matter of bibliography,
or anything else.

In one of the corridors is placed a white marble Christ the size
of life, attributed to Benvenuto Cellini, and some very singular
fantastic paintings in the style of the Temptations of Callot
and Teniers, only much older. In other respects it is impossible
to conceive anything more monotonous than these narrow, low, and
interminable corridors of grey granite, which circulate all through
the edifice like the veins in the human body; you must really
be blind to find your way about them; you go up stairs and down
stairs, you make a thousand twistings and turnings, and if you only
walked about three or four hours you would wear out the soles of
your shoes, for the granite is as rough as a file, and as harsh
as so much sand-paper. From the dome you perceive that the balls
which, when viewed from below, did not appear larger than horses'
bells, are of an enormous size, and might serve as monster globes.
An immense panorama unfolds itself at your feet, and you perceive
at one glance the hilly country which separates you from Madrid;
on the other side you behold the mountains of Guadarrama. From
this position, too, you see the whole plan of the building; your
eye plunges into the courtyards and cloisters, with their rows of
superposed arcades, and their fountain or central pavilion; the
roofs appear like so many simple ridges, just as they would in an
engraving that gave a bird's-eye view of the place.

When we ascended to the dome, a stork with three little ones was
perched in a large straw nest, that resembled a turban turned
upside down, placed on the top of one of the chimneys. This
interesting family presented the strangest appearance in the world;
the mother was standing on one leg in the middle of the nest,
with her neck stuck between her shoulders, and her beak reposing
majestically upon her breast, like a philosopher in meditation; the
little birds were stretching out their long beaks and their long
necks to ask for food. I hoped to witness one of those sentimental
scenes of natural history, where we see the large white pelican
wounding her own breast to nourish her offspring; but the stork
appeared to be very little moved by these demonstrations of hunger,
and did not move more than the stork engraved on wood which adorns
the frontispiece of the books coloured by Cramoisi. This melancholy
group increased still more the profound solitude of the place,
and imparted a kind of Egyptian character to this Pharaoh-like
assemblage of buildings. After descending from the dome, we visited
the garden, where there is more architecture than vegetation. It
consists of a succession of large terraces and parterres of clipped
boxwood, representing a series of designs similar to the patterns
of old damask silk, with a few fountains, and pieces of greenish
water; it is a wearisome, solemn garden, as formal as a _Golilla_,
and altogether worthy of the morose-looking edifice to which it is

There are said to be one thousand one hundred and ten windows in
the exterior of the Escurial alone, a fact which greatly astonishes
the cockney visitor. I did not count them, as I preferred believing
the report to entering upon an undertaking of such magnitude; but
the fact is not improbable, for I never saw so many windows in one
place; the number of the doors is equally fabulous.

I took leave of this desert of granite, this monastic necropolis,
with an extraordinary feeling of satisfaction and delight; it
seemed as if I were restored to life, and that I could once more
feel young, and enjoy the wonderful creation of God, which I had
lost all hope of doing, while under these funereal vaults. The warm
bright air enveloped me as with some soft cloth of fine wool, and
warmed my body, that was frozen by the cadaverous atmosphere; I was
freed from the architectural nightmare, which I thought would never
end. I would advise those people who are absurd enough to pretend
that they are suffering from _ennui_ to go and pass three or four
days in the Escurial; they will there learn what _ennui_ really
means, and, for the rest of their lives, will always find a fund of
amusement in the thought that they might be in the Escurial, and
that they are not.

When we returned to Madrid, all our acquaintances were astonished
and delighted at beholding us once more alive. Very few persons
return from the Escurial; they either die of consumption in two
or three days, or blow out their brains,--that is, if they are
Englishmen. Luckily, we both enjoy a very good constitution; and
as Napoleon said of the cannon-ball which was to carry him off,
the building that is to kill us is not yet built. Another thing
which did not cause less surprise was the fact of our bringing
our watches back with us; for in Spain there are always, on the
high-road, persons extremely desirous of knowing what o'clock it
is; and as there are neither clocks nor even sundials at hand, they
are under the painful necessity of consulting travellers' watches.

Talking of robbers, I may as well seize this opportunity of
narrating an adventure in which we nearly sustained two of the
principal parts. The diligence from Madrid to Seville, by which we
should have gone, but from the fact of there being no more room,
was stopped in the province of La Mancha by a band of insurgents,
or of robbers, which is exactly the same thing. The robbers had
divided the spoil, and were on the point of conducting their
prisoners into the mountains, in order to obtain a ransom from
their families, (would you not suppose that all this happened in
Africa?) when another and more numerous band came up, thrashed
the first, and _robbed_ them of their prisoners, whom they then
definitively marched off into the mountains.

As they were going along the road, one of the travellers drew a
cigar-case out of his pocket, which his captors had forgotten to
search, takes a cigar, strikes a light, and lights it. "Would you
like a cigar?" he says to the chief bandit, with true Castilian
politeness; "they are real Havannahs." "_Con mucho gusto_,"
replies the bandit, flattered by this mark of attention, and, the
next instant, the traveller and the brigand are standing opposite
each other, cigar against cigar, puffing and blowing away, in
order to light their cigars more quickly. They then commenced a
conversation, and, from one thing to another, the robber, like all
commercial men, began complaining of business: times were hard,
things were in a bad state; many honest people had entered the
profession and spoilt it; the robbers were obliged to wait their
turn to pillage the miserable diligences, and, very frequently,
three or four bands were obliged to fight with one another for the
spoil of the same _galera_, or the same convoy of mules. Besides
this, the travellers, who were sure of being robbed, only took with
them what was absolutely necessary, and wore their worst clothes.
"Just tell me," said he, with a melancholy dejected air, pointing
to his cloak, which was threadbare, and patched all over, and which
would have been worthy of enveloping Probity in person, "is it not
shameful that we should be under the necessity of stealing a rag
like this? Is not my jacket one of the most virtuous description?
Could the most honest man in the world be dressed more shabbily
than I am? It is true that we keep our prisoners as hostages, but
relations, now-a-days, are so hard-hearted, that they cannot be
induced to loosen their purse-strings, so that, at the expiration
of two or three months, we are put to the extra expense of a charge
of powder and shot to blow out our prisoners' brains, which is
always a very disagreeable thing, when you have got accustomed to
their society. In order to do all this, too, we are obliged to
sleep on the ground, eat acorns, which are not always palatable,
drink melted snow, make tremendous journeys on the most abominable
roads, and risk our lives at every moment." So spoke the worthy
bandit, more disgusted with his profession than a Parisian
journalist, when it is his turn to write a _feuilleton_. "But,"
said the traveller, "if your profession does not please you, and
brings you in so little, why do you not follow some other?" "I have
often thought of doing so," replied the robber, "and so have my
comrades as well; but what can we do? We are tracked, pursued, and
should be shot down like dogs, if we were to go near a village. No,
we must continue the same kind of life." The traveller, who was
a man of some influence, remained a moment buried in thought; at
last he remarked, "Then you would willingly give up your present
calling, if you were allowed to benefit by the _indulto_ (if you
were amnestied?)" "Most certainly," answered all the band. "Do
you think it is so very amusing to be robbers? We are obliged to
work like negroes, and undergo all sorts of hardships." "Very
well," replied the traveller; "I will engage to procure you your
pardon, on condition that you set us free." "Agreed," replied the
captain. "Return to Madrid; there is a horse, some money for your
expenses on the road, and a safeconduct, which will ensure our
comrades allowing you to pass without molestation. Come back soon;
we will be at such and such a place, with your companions, whom we
will entertain as well as we can." The gentleman went to Madrid,
obtained a promise that the brigands should be allowed to take
the benefit of the _indulto_, and then set out again to seek his
companions in misfortune. He found them seated tranquilly with the
brigands, eating a Mancha ham boiled in sugar, and taking frequent
draughts from a goatskin filled with Val-de-Peñas, which their
captors had stolen expressly for them--a most delicate mark of
attention, certainly! They were singing and amusing themselves very
much, and were more inclined to become robbers, like the others,
than to return to Madrid. The captain, however, read them a severe
moral lecture, which brought them to their senses, and the whole
company set out arm in arm for the city, where both travellers
and brigands were enthusiastically received, for it was something
truly uncommon and curious for robbers to be taken prisoners by the
travellers in a diligence.



  Illescas--The Puerta del Sol--Toledo--The Alcazar--The
  Cathedral--The Gregorian and Mozarabic Ritual--Our Lady of
  Toledo--San Juan de los Reyes--The Synagogue--Galiana, Karl, and
  Bradamant--The Bath of Florinda--The Grotto of Hercules--The
  Cardinal's Hospital--Toledo Blades.

We had exhausted the curiosities of Madrid; we had seen the Palace,
the _Armeria_, and the _Buen Retiro_, the Museum and the Academy
of Painting, the _Teatro del Principe_, and the _Plaza de Toros_;
we had promenaded on the Prado from the fountain of Cybele to the
fountain of Neptune, and we began to find the time hang somewhat
heavily on our hands. Consequently, in spite of a heat of thirty
degrees,[8] and all sorts of stories, sufficient to make our hair
stand on end, about the insurgents and the _rateros_, we set out
bravely for Toledo, the city of beautiful swords and romantic

Toledo is one of the most ancient cities not merely in Spain,
but in the whole world, if the chroniclers are to be believed.
The most moderate of them fix the period of its foundation prior
to the Deluge; why not in the time of the Pre-Adamite kings, a
few years before the creation of the world? Some attribute the
honour of laying the first stone to Tubal; some to the Greeks;
some, again, to the Roman consuls Telmon and Brutus; while others,
supporting their opinion on the etymology of the word Toledo, which
is derived from _Toledoth_, meaning, in Hebrew, generations,
assert that the Jews who came to Spain with Nebuchadnezzar, were
the original founders, because the twelve tribes all helped to
build and people it. However this may be, Toledo is certainly a
fine old city, situated some dozen leagues from Madrid,--Spanish
leagues, by the way, which are longer than a _feuilleton_ of a
dozen columns, or a day without money--the longest things I know.
You can go there either in a _calessin_ or a small diligence which
leaves twice a week. The latter conveyance is preferred as being
the safer of the two; for on the other side of the Pyrenees, as
was formerly the case in France, a person makes his will before
undertaking the shortest journey. The terrible reports about
brigands must, however, be exaggerated; for, in the course of a
very long pilgrimage through those provinces which are considered
the most dangerous, we never saw anything which could justify this
universal panic. Nevertheless, the continual state of dread adds
a great deal to the pleasure of the traveller, for it keeps you
continually on the alert, and hinders the time from hanging heavily
on your hands; you do some heroic actions, you display a superhuman
amount of valour, and the troubled and scared looks of those who
are spared raises you in your own estimation. A journey in the
diligence, which we are accustomed to look on as the most ordinary
thing in the world, becomes an adventure, an expedition; you set
out, it is true, but it is not so certain that you will reach your
destination, or return from whence you started. After all, this is
something, in such an advanced state of civilization as that of
modern times, in the prosaic and common-place year, 1840.

You leave Madrid by the gate and bridge of Toledo, which, is
adorned with pots, volutes, statues, and pot-grenados of a very
ordinary description, but which yet produce rather a majestic
effect. You leave on your right the village of Caramanchel, whither
Ruy Blas went to procure, for Marie de Neubourg, _la petite fleur
bleue d'Allemagne_ (Ruy Blas, now-a-days, would not find the
smallest _Vergissmeinnicht_ in this hamlet built of cork on a
basement of pumice-stone), and then enter, by a most detestable
road, an interminable plain of dust, covered with crops of wheat
and rye, whose pale yellow tints increase still more the monotony
of the landscape. The only objects which serve to relieve it,
in the least, are a few crosses, of evil augury, here and there
stretching their skinny arms to the sky, the ends of a few spires
in the distance marking the sites of small villages concealed from
view, and the dried-up bed of some ravine traversed by a stone
arch. From time to time you meet a peasant on his mule, with his
carbine slung at his side; a _muchacho_ driving before him two or
three asses loaded with jars or chopped straw, secured by small
cords, or else some poor tawny, sunburnt woman, dragging along a
fierce-looking child, and that is all.

The further we advanced, the more arid and deserted did the country
become; and it was not without a secret feeling of satisfaction
that we perceived, on a bridge of uncemented stones, the five green
dragoons who were to escort us; for it is necessary to have an
escort from Madrid to Toledo. Would not a person be almost inclined
to believe that he was in the very heart of Algeria, and that
Madrid was surrounded by a Mitidja peopled by Bedouins?

We stopped to breakfast at Illescas, a city, or village, I am
not certain which, where there are still some remains of the
ancient Moorish buildings, and where the windows of the houses are
protected by intricate specimens of iron-work and surmounted by a

Our breakfast consisted of soup composed of garlic and eggs, of
the inevitable _tomata tortilla_, and of roasted almonds and
oranges, washed down with Val-de-Peñas, which was tolerably good,
although thick enough to be cut with a knife, smelling horribly
of pitch, and of the colour of mulberry syrup. Spain is certainly
not peculiarly brilliant in its cookery, and the hostelries have
not been sensibly ameliorated since the time of Don Quixote; the
pictures of omelettes full of feathers, of tough cakes, rancid oil,
and hard peas that might serve as bullets, are still strictly true,
but, on the other hand, I should be rather puzzled to say where you
would find, now-a-days, the splendid hens and monstrous geese that
graced the marriage-feast of Gamacho.

Beyond Illescas the ground becomes more broken, and the consequence
is that the road becomes more abominable, being a mere succession
of pits and bogs. This does not prevent you, however, from going
along at a furious rate; for Spanish postilions are like Morlachian
coachmen, they care very little for what takes place behind them,
and provided that they reach their destination, if it is only
with the pole and the forewheels, they are satisfied. We arrived,
however, without any accident, in the midst of a cloud of dust,
raised by our mules and the horses of the dragoons, and made our
entry into Toledo, panting with curiosity and thirst, through a
most magnificent Arabian gateway, with its elegantly sweeping arch,
and granite pillars surmounted by balls, and covered with verses
from the Koran. It is called the _Puerta del Sol_, and is of a rich
reddish colour, like a Portugal orange, while the outline stands
out admirably from the limpid and azure sky behind. In our foggy
climate we can really and truly form no conception of this violence
of colour and this sharpness of outline; any paintings that may
ever be brought back will always be looked on as exaggerated.

After passing the _Puerta del Sol_, we found ourselves on a kind of
terrace, whence we enjoyed a very extensive view. We saw the Vega,
streaked and dappled with trees and crops, which owe their verdure
to the system of irrigation introduced by the Moors. The Tagus,
which is crossed by the bridge of San Martin and that of Alcantara,
rolls its yellowish waters rapidly along, and almost surrounds the
town in one of its windings. At the foot of the terrace, the brown,
glittering housetops sparkle in the sun, as do also the spires of
the convents and churches, with their squares of green and white
porcelain arranged like those on a chessboard; beyond these, rise
the red hills and bare precipices which form the horizon around
Toledo. The great peculiarity of this view is the entire absence
of atmosphere and that species of hazy fog which, in our climate,
always envelop the prospect; the transparency of the air is such
that the lines of the various objects retain all their sharpness,
and the slightest detail can be discerned at a very considerable

As soon as our luggage had been examined, our first care was to
find some _fonda_ or _parador_, for it was a long time since we
had eaten our eggs at Illescas. We were conducted, through a
number of streets so narrow that two loaded asses could not pass
abreast, to the _fonda del Caballero_, one of the most comfortable
establishments in the town. Calling to our aid the little Spanish
we knew, and indulging in the most pathetic kind of pantomime, we
succeeded in explaining to our hostess, who was a most gentle and
charming woman, of a highly interesting and lady-like appearance,
that we were dying of hunger, a fact which always seems greatly to
astonish the natives of the country, who live upon sunshine and
air, after the very economical fashion of the chameleon.

The whole tribe of cooks and scullions were immediately in a
state of commotion. The innumerable little saucepans in which the
highly-spiced ragouts of the Spanish kitchen are distilled and
concocted were placed on the fire, and we were promised dinner
in an hour's time. We took advantage of this hour to examine the
_fonda_ more minutely.

It was a fine building, which had, no doubt, formerly been the
residence of some nobleman. The inner courtyard was paved with
coloured marble mosaic, and ornamented with wells of white marble
and large troughs lined with porcelain for washing the glasses and
crockery. This courtyard is called the _patio_, and is generally
surrounded by columns and galleries, with a fountain in the middle.
A cloth _tendido_, which is rolled up in the evening in order to
leave a free passage for the cool night-air, serves as a ceiling
to this kind of drawing-room. On the first story, all around,
there runs an elegantly-worked iron balcony, on which the windows
and doors of the apartments open, which apartments you only enter
when you wish to dress, dine, or take your siesta. The rest of the
time you sit in the courtyard-drawing-room aforesaid, in which the
pictures, chairs, sofas, and piano are placed, and which is decked
out with flower-pots and boxes containing orange-trees.

We had hardly finished our inspection when Celestina (a fantastic
and strange-looking servant-girl) came to inform us, humming a tune
all the while, that dinner was ready. It was very respectable,
consisting of cutlets, eggs with tomatoes, fowls fried in oil, and
trout from the Tagus, to which was added a bottle of Peralta, a
warm, liqueur-like wine, with a certain slight perfume of muscat,
not at all disagreeable.

When we had finished our repast we strolled through the city,
preceded by a guide, who was a barber by profession, but exercised
his talents in showing about tourists during his leisure moments.

The streets of Toledo are exceedingly narrow; a person leaning out
of a window on one side may shake hands with a person leaning out
of a window on the other; and nothing would be more easy than to
get over the balconies, if propriety was not preserved and aerial
familiarities prevented by very handsome rails and charming iron
bars, worked with that artistic richness of which they are so
prodigal on the other side of the Pyrenees. This want of breadth
would cause all the partisans of civilization among us to cry out
in a frightful manner. These good people dream of nothing but
immense places, vast squares, inordinately broad streets, and other
embellishments more or less progressive. Nothing, however, can
be more sensible than narrow streets in a very hot climate; and
the architects who are making such large gaps in the buildings at
Algiers will find this out very shortly. At the bottom of these
narrow divisions so appropriately made between the blocks and
masses of houses, you enjoy the most delicious shade and coolness:
you walk about, completely protected, in the human polypier called
a city; the spoonfuls of molten lead that Phœbus pours down from
the sky at the hour of noon never fall upon you; the projecting
roofs serve all the purposes of parasols.

If, for your misfortune, you are obliged to traverse any _plazuela_
or _calle ancha_, exposed to the canicular sunbeams, you will
soon appreciate the wisdom of people of former days, who were
not accustomed to sacrifice everything to a notion of stupid
regularity; the flagstones are as hot as the iron plates by means
of which mountebanks make geese and turkeys dance the Cracovienne;
the wretched dogs, who possess neither shoes nor _alpagartas_,
gallop over these stones howling most piteously. If you raise the
knocker of a door, it burns your fingers; you feel your brains
boiling inside your skull like a saucepan full of water on the
fire; your nose becomes the colour of a cardinal's hat; your hands
are so sunburnt that you seem to have a pair of gloves on; and you
evaporate in perspiration. Such is the advantage to be obtained
by having spacious squares and broad streets. Every one who has
walked along the _Calle d'Alcala_ at Madrid, between twelve and
two o'clock in the day, will be of my opinion. Besides, in order
to have broad streets, you are obliged to reduce the size of the
houses, and the opposite process strikes me as being the more
sensible one of the two. Of course, these observations only apply
to warm countries, where it never rains, where mud is a chimera,
and where carriages are extremely uncommon. Narrow streets in
our showery climate would be nothing more or less than so many
abominable sewers. In Spain, the women go out on foot in black
satin shoes; and, shod in this manner, walk considerable distances;
I admire them for this, especially at Toledo, where the pavement
is formed of small polished stones, shining and pointed, and which
seem to have been carefully placed with the sharpest end upwards;
but the women's little arched and nervous feet are as hard as a
gazelle's hoof, and they skip along in the most good-humoured
manner imaginable, over this pavement resembling the edge of a
diamond, which causes the traveller, who is accustomed to the soft
luxury of the _Asphalte Seyssel_, and the elasticity of the _Bitume
Polonceau_, to cry out with pain.

[Illustration: STREET IN TOLEDO.]

The appearance of the houses of Toledo is imposing and severe;
they have very few windows looking out upon the street, and those
they do have are generally secured by iron bars. The doors,
ornamented by pillars of bluish granite, and surmounted by balls,
a kind of decoration which is very common, have an air of solidity
and thickness which is increased still more by constellations of
enormous nails. They seem to partake, at the same time, of the
nature of convents, prisons, and fortresses, and also somewhat of
harems, for the Moors used once to be there. Some of these houses,
by a strange contradiction, are painted and decorated on the
outside, either in fresco or water-colours, with false bas-reliefs,
cameos, flowers, rockwork, and garlands, with incense-urns,
medallions, Cupids, and all the mythological rubbish of the last
century. The _Trumeau_ and _Pompadour_ style of these houses
produces the strangest and most comical effect in the midst of
their scowling sisters of feudal or Moorish origin.

We were conducted through an inextricable labyrinth of small
lanes, in which my companion and myself marched in Indian file,
like the geese in the fable, because there was not sufficient room
for us to walk arm-in-arm, until we reached the Alcazar, which is
situated like an Acropolis on the most elevated piece of ground in
the city. We succeeded in entering after some slight discussion;
for the first impulse of people of whom you ask anything is to
refuse, whatever your request may be. "Come again this evening, or
to-morrow--the keeper is taking his siesta--the keys are lost--you
must have a pass from the governor." Such are the answers you
obtain at first: but, by exhibiting the all-powerful tiny piece of
silver, or, in extreme cases, the glittering _duro_, you always end
by effecting an entrance.

The Alcazar, which was built upon the ruins of the old Moorish
palace, is now a perfect ruin itself. It might be mistaken for one
of those marvellous architectural dreams which Piranese used to
embody in his magnificent etchings; it is the work of Covarubias,
an artist little known, but far superior to the heavy, dull
Herrera, who enjoys a far higher reputation than he deserves.

The façade, which is ornamented with florid arabesques in the
purest style of the Renaissance, is a masterpiece of elegance and
nobleness. The burning sun of Spain, which reddens the marble and
dyes the stone with a tint of saffron, has clothed it in a robe of
rich, strong colour, very different from the black leprosy with
which past centuries have encrusted our old edifices. According
to the expression of a great poet; Time, who is so intelligent,
has passed his thumb over the angles of the marble and its too
rigid outlines, and given the finishing touch, the last degree
of polish, to this sculpture, already so soft and so supple. I
particularly remember a staircase of the most fairy-like elegance,
with marble columns, balustrades and steps, already half-crumbled
away, conducting to a door which looks out upon an abyss, for this
portion of the edifice has fallen down. This admirable staircase on
which a king might be content to live, and which leads to nothing,
possesses a certain indefinite air of singularity and grandeur.

The Alcazar is erected upon an esplanade, surrounded by battlements
in the Moorish style, from which you enjoy an immense view, a truly
magical panorama. Here the cathedral pierces the sky with its
extraordinarily lofty spire; further on, in the sunshine, sparkles
the church of _San Juan de los Reyes_; the bridge of Alcantara,
with its tower-like gateway, throws its bold arches across the
Tagus; the _Artificio de Juanello_ obstructs the stream with
its arcades of red brick, which might be taken for the ruins of
some Roman edifice, while the massive towers of the _Castillo_
of Cervantes (a Cervantes who has nothing in common with the
author of Don Quixote) perched upon the rugged, misshapen rocks
that run along the sides of the river, add one denticulation more
to the horizon already so profusely indented by the vertebrated

An admirable sunset completed the picture: the sky, by the most
imperceptible gradations, passed from the brightest red to an
orange colour, and then to a pale lemon tint in order to become of
a strange blue, like a greenish turquoise, which last tint subsided
in the west into the lilac-colour of night, whose shadow already
cast a coolness over the place where I stood.

As I leant over one of the embrasures, taking a bird's-eye view of
this town where I knew no one and where my own name was completely
unknown, I had fallen into a deep train of thought. In the presence
of all these forms and all these objects that I beheld at that
moment, and which, in all probability, I was destined never to
behold again, I began to entertain doubts of my own identity; I
felt so absent, as it were, from myself, transported so far from my
own sphere, that everything appeared an hallucination of my mind,
a strange dream, from which I should be suddenly awakened by the
sharp squeaking music of some vaudeville, as I was looking out of
a box at the theatre. By one of those leaps which our imagination
often takes when we are buried in reverie, I tried to picture to
myself what my friends might be doing at that moment; I asked
myself whether they noticed my absence, and whether at the time I
was leaning over the battlements of the Alcazar of Toledo, my name
was hovering on the lips of some well-loved and faithful friend at
Paris. Apparently the answer that my thoughts gave me was not an
affirmative one, for in spite of the scene I felt an indescribable
feeling of sadness come over me, though the dream of my whole life
was being accomplished; I knew that one of my fondest ideas was
being fulfilled; in my youthful, happy years of romanticism, I had
spoken enough of my good Toledo blade to feel some curiosity to see
the place where these same blades were manufactured.

Nothing, however, could rouse me from my philosophical meditations,
until my companion came and proposed that we should bathe in the
Tagus. Bathing is rather a rare peculiarity in a country where,
during the summer, the natives water the beds of the rivers with
water from the wells. Trusting to the assurances of the guide
that the Tagus was a real river, possessing a sufficient amount
of humidity to answer our purpose, we descended as quickly as we
could from the Alcazar, in order to profit by what little daylight
still remained, and directed our steps towards the stream. After
crossing the _Plaza de la Constitucion_, which is surrounded by
houses whose windows, furnished with large spartum blinds rolled
up, or half raised by the projecting balconies, have a sort of
Venetian mediæval look that is highly picturesque, we passed under
a handsome Arabic gateway with its semicircular brick arch, and
following a very steep and abrupt zigzag path, winding along the
rocks and walls which serve Toledo as a girdle, we reached the
bridge of Alcantara, near which we found a place suited for bathing.

During our walk, night, which succeeds the day so rapidly in
southern climates, had set in completely; but this did not hinder
us from wading blindfold into this estimable stream, rendered
famous by the languishing ballad of Queen Hortense, and by the
golden sands which are contained in its crystal waves, according to
the poets, the guides, and the travellers' handbooks.

When we had taken our bath, we hurried back in order to get into
the town before the gates were shut. We enjoyed a glass of _Orchata
de Chufas_ and iced milk, the flavour and perfume of which were
delicious, and then ordered our guide to take us to our _fonda_.

The walls of our room, like those of all the rooms in Spain, were
rough-cast, and covered with those stupid yellow pictures, those
mysterious daubs, like alehouse signs, which you so frequently
meet in the Peninsula, a country that contains more bad pictures
than any other in the world: this observation, of course, does not
detract from the merit of the good ones.

We hastened to sleep as much and as quickly as possible, in order
to be up early the next morning and visit the Cathedral before the
service began.

The Cathedral of Toledo is considered, and justly so, as one of the
finest and richest in Spain. Its origin is lost in the night of
time, but, if the native authors are to be believed, it is to be
traced back to the apostle Santiago, first archbishop of Toledo,
who, according to them, pointed out its site to his disciple and
successor, Elpidius, who was a hermit on Mount Carmel. Elpidius
erected, on the spot pointed out, a church, which he dedicated
to the Virgin during the time she was still living at Jerusalem.
"What a notable piece of happiness! what an illustrious honour for
the Toledans! It is the most excellent trophy of their glory!"
exclaims, in a moment of lyrical inspiration, the author from whom
we have taken these details.

The Holy Virgin was not ungrateful, and, according to the same
legend, descended in person to visit the church of Toledo,
bringing with her own hands, to the blessed San Ildefonso, a
beautiful chasuble _formed of heavenly cloth_. "See how this Queen
pays what she owes!" exclaims our author again. The chasuble still
exists, and, let into the wall, is seen the stone on which the
Virgin placed the sole of her celestial foot, the mark of which
remains. The miracle is attested by the following inscription:--


In addition to this, the legend informs us that the Holy Virgin
was so well pleased with her statue, and thought it so well
executed, so well proportioned and so like, that she kissed it,
thus bestowing on it the power of working miracles. If the Queen of
Heaven were to descend into our churches now-a-days, I do not think
that she would be tempted to embrace the statues of herself that
she might see there.

More than two hundred of the gravest and most honourable authors
relate this story, which they consider, at the very least, quite
as well authenticated as the death of Henry IV.; as for myself I
find no difficulty in believing the miracle, and I am perfectly
willing to admit it into the number of established facts. The
church remained in its original state until San Eugene, sixth
bishop of Toledo, enlarged and embellished it as far as his means
would allow, under the title of the Church of our Lady of the
Assumption, which it has preserved up to the present day; but in
the year 302, which was the period when the emperors Diocletian and
Maximinus persecuted the Christians so cruelly, the prefect Dacien
ordered the temple to be pulled down and razed to the ground, so
that the faithful knew no longer where to seek the consolations of
religion. Three years subsequently, when Constans, father of the
great Constantine, had mounted the throne, the persecution ceased,
the prelates returned to their see, and Archbishop Melancius
commenced rebuilding the church, always on the same spot. A
short time afterwards, somewhere about the year 312, the emperor
Constantine having been converted to the true faith, ordered, among
other heroic things to which he was impelled by his Christian zeal,
that the basilical church of Our Lady of the Assumption of Toledo,
which had been destroyed by Dacien's orders, should be rebuilt and
decorated in the most sumptuous manner possible at his expense.

At this period, Marinus, a learned and deeply read man, was
archbishop of Toledo. He enjoyed the privilege of being on
intimate terms of friendship with the emperor, a circumstance
which enabled him to carry out all his plans; consequently he
spared no expense to build a splendid edifice in the most sumptuous
and grandest style. It was this edifice which lasted all the time
of the Goths, which was visited by the Virgin, which was a mosque
during the conquest of Spain, which again became a church when
Toledo was conquered back by the king Don Alonzo VI., and the plan
of which was taken to Oviedo by order of the king Don Alonzo the
Chaste, in order that the church of San Salvador in that city might
be built after the same model, in the year 803. "Those who have
any wish to know what was the form, the grandeur, and the majesty
of the cathedral of Toledo at the time the Queen of Heaven visited
it, have only to go to Oviedo, and they will be satisfied," adds
our author. For our own part, we regret that we could not afford
ourselves this gratification.

At length, under the happy reign of Saint Ferdinand, Don Rodrigo
being archbishop of Toledo, the church assumed that admirable
and magnificent form which it has at the present day, and which,
it is said, is that of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. O simple
chronicler! allow me to doubt this! The Temple of Ephesus was
never equal to the Cathedral of Toledo! The archbishop Rodrigo,
in presence of the king and all the court, having first said a
pontifical mass, laid the first stone, one Saturday in the year
1227; the works were then carried on with great activity until the
building was completed, and carried to the highest pinnacle of
perfection which human art can attain.

We hope the reader will excuse this slight historical digression,
for it is a thing we do not often indulge in, and we will quickly
resume our humble mission of descriptive tourist and literary

The exterior of the Cathedral of Toledo is far less rich than
that of the Cathedral of Burgos; there is no florid profusion of
ornaments, no arabesques, no rows of statues running round the
portals, but simply solid buttresses, sharp bold angles, a thick
facing of large stones, and a sturdy-looking spire that displays
none of the delicate decorations of Gothic art, every portion of
the whole building being covered with a reddish tint like a piece
of toast, a kind of sunburnt skin like that of a pilgrim from the
Holy Land; but to make up for this simplicity on the outside, the
interior is sculptured and carved like a stalactite cavern.

The door by which we entered is formed of bronze, and bears the
following inscription: _Antonio Zurreno del arte de Oro y Plata,
faciebat esta media puerta_. The impression produced upon the mind
of the visitor is one of the most vivid and grandest description.
The church is divided into five naves; the middle one being of
the most unusual height, while the others beside it seem to bow
their heads and kneel down to denote their respect and adoration.
Eighty-eight pillars, each as large as a tower, and composed of
sixteen spindle-shaped columns bound together, sustain the weight
of this enormous edifice; a transept intersects the grand nave
between the choir and the high altar, and forms the arms of the
cross. The style of the entire building is most homogeneous and
perfect, a kind of merit possessed by but few Gothic cathedrals,
which have generally been erected piecemeal. The original plan has
been strictly carried out from beginning to end, with the exception
of a few arrangements in the chapels, which, however, do not in any
way mar the harmony of the whole. Painted windows, glittering with
the splendour of emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, and contained in
stone nervures worked like so much silversmith's work, let in a
mild and mysterious light which inspires you with deep religious
feelings; when the sun is too fierce, spartum blinds let down over
the windows diffuse throughout the building that cool half-state
of obscurity which renders Spanish churches so favourable for
meditation and prayer.

The high altar or _retablo_ alone might be mistaken for a church.
It is an enormous collection of small columns, niches, statues,
foliage, and arabesques, of which the most minute description
would convey but a very faint idea. All this mass of carving and
ornaments, which extends completely up to the roof, is painted and
gilt in the richest imaginable manner. The tawny, warm tones of the
old gilding, cause the thin streaks and patches of light, which
are caught in their passage by the nervures and projections of the
ornaments, to stand out with splendid brightness, producing the
most admirable, picturesque, and rich effect. The paintings, with
their backgrounds of gold, which adorn the panels of the altar,
equal in richness of colouring the most brilliant specimens of the
Venetian school. This union of colour, with the severe and almost
hieratic forms of mediæval art, is met with very rarely; some of
these paintings might be taken for pictures in Giorgione's best

The choir or _silleria_ is placed opposite the high altar,
according to the Spanish custom. It is composed of three ranks of
stalls formed of wood, carved, worked, and cut in a marvellous
manner, with historical, allegorical, and sacred bas-reliefs. Never
was anything more pure, more perfect, or better drawn, produced
by Gothic art, already approaching the style of the Renaissance.
This specimen of workmanship, which frightens you by the endless
variety of its details, is attributed to the patient chisels of
Philippe de Bourgogne and Berruguete. The archbishop's stall,
which is higher than the rest, is fashioned like a throne, and
marks the centre of the choir. The whole of this prodigious
piece of wood-work is crowned by brown polished jasper columns,
and on the entablature are alabaster figures, also by Philippe
de Bourgogne and Berruguete, but in an easier and more supple
style, which produce a most admirable and elegant effect. Enormous
reading-desks, sustaining gigantic missals, large spartum carpets,
and two colossal organs opposite each other, one to the right and
the other to the left, complete the decorations.

Behind the _retablo_ is the chapel in which Don Alvar de Luna and
his wife are buried, in two magnificent alabaster tombs, placed
side by side. The walls of this chapel are emblazoned with the arms
of the Constable, and with the shells of the Order of Santiago,
of which he was grand-master. Not far from this, in the arch of
that portion of the nave which is here termed the _trascoro_,
there is a stone with a funereal inscription. It is in memory of
a noble Toledan, whose pride was shocked at the idea of his tomb
being trodden underfoot by people of no consideration and mean
extraction. "I will not have a set of low-bred peasants walk over
me," he exclaimed on his deathbed; and, as he left a great deal to
the church, his strange whim was satisfied by his body being lodged
in the masonry of the vault, where, most assuredly, no one will
ever walk over it.

We will not endeavour to describe in detail the various chapels, we
should fill a whole volume; we will content ourselves by mentioning
the tomb of a cardinal, executed with the utmost delicacy in the
Arabic style; we can compare it to nothing more appropriately
than to lace-work on a grand scale. We now come at once to the
Mozarabic, or Musarabic Chapel (both terms are used), which is one
of the most curious in the cathedral. Before describing it, we will
explain the meaning of the phrase _Mozarabic Chapel_.

At the time of the Moorish invasion, the Toledans were forced to
surrender, after a two years' siege. They endeavoured to capitulate
on the most favourable terms, and among the other conditions
agreed upon, was the following: Six churches were to be reserved
for the use of those Christians who might desire to live with the
barbarians. These churches were those of St. Mark, Saint Luke,
Saint Sebastian, Saint Torcato, Saint Eulalia, and Saint Justa.
By this means the true faith was preserved in the city during the
four hundred years' dominion of the Moors, and for this reason the
faithful Toledans were termed Mozarabians, that is, "mixed with
the Arabs." In the reign of Alonzo VI., when Toledo once more fell
into the hands of the Christians, Richard, the Pope's legate,
wished the Mozarabian ritual to be abandoned for the Gregorian; he
was backed in this by the king and the queen Doña Constanza, who
preferred the rites of Rome. All the clergy revolted, and exclaimed
loudly against the change; the faithful were highly incensed,
and their irritation was nearly causing an open insurrection and
revolt of the people. The king, frightened by the turn that matters
were taking, and fearful that the Toledans would proceed to acts
of violence, tried to calm them in the best manner he could,
and proposed the following singular _mezzo termine_, which was
completely suited to the spirit of the times, and accepted with
enthusiasm by both parties:--The partisans of the Gregorian and of
the Mozarabic ritual were each to choose a champion, and the two
were then to meet in mortal combat, in order to decide which idiom
and which service was most pleasing to Heaven; and certainly, if
the opinion of Heaven is to be taken, it cannot be taken more fitly
than in the choice of a liturgy.

The champion of the Mozarabians was named Don Ruiz de la Matanza; a
day was appointed, and the Vega chosen as the field of battle. For
some time the victory was uncertain, but in the end Don Ruiz gained
the advantage, and left the lists as victor, amidst the cries of
joy of the Toledans, who wept with pleasure, and, throwing their
hats in the air, immediately repaired to their churches, in order
to render up thanks to Heaven. The king and queen were greatly
annoyed at this triumph. Reflecting, somewhat late in the day,
that it was an impious, daring, and cruel act to decide a question
of theology by a sanguinary combat, they said that the only means
of determining the matter was by a miracle, and they therefore
proposed another ordeal, to which the Toledans, confident of the
excellence of their ritual, consented. After a general fast, and
prayers in all the churches, a copy of the Gregorian ritual, as
well as one of the Mozarabian, was to be placed upon a lighted
pile, and that one which remained in the fire without being burnt,
was to be considered as the more acceptable to Heaven.

Everything was executed with the greatest exactitude. A pile of
very dry flaming wood was heaped up on the _Plaza Zocodover_,
which, as long as it has been a _plaza_, never beheld such a
concourse of spectators; the two liturgies were cast into the fire,
each party looking up to Heaven with arms uplifted in prayer. The
Romish ritual was rejected, and its leaves all scattered about
by the violence of the flames, but it came out intact, although
somewhat scorched. The Toledan ritual, on the other hand, remained
majestically in the midst of the flames, on the very spot on which
it had been thrown, without moving, or receiving the least injury.
Some few enthusiastic Mozarabians went so far as to assert that
the Romish ritual was entirely consumed. The king, the queen; the
legate Richard, were but slightly gratified, but they had gone
too far to retract. The Mozarabic ritual was therefore preserved
and followed with ardour, for a long period, by the Mozarabians,
their sons, and grandsons; but at last, the meaning of the ritual
was lost, and there was no one left capable of performing or
understanding the service which had occasioned so much contention.
Don Francisco Ximenes, archbishop of Toledo, being desirous that so
memorable a custom should not be discontinued, founded a Mozarabic
chapel in the cathedral, caused the ritual, which was in Gothic
characters, to be printed in ordinary letters, and ordained priests
whose special duty it was to celebrate the Mozarabic service.

The Mozarabic Chapel, which still exists at the present day, is
ornamented with the most interesting Gothic frescoes, representing
various combats between the Toledans and the Moors. They are in a
perfect state of preservation, the colours being as vivid as if
they had only been applied yesterday. An archæologist could not
fail to gather from them a vast quantity of curious information
concerning the arms, costumes, weapons, and architecture of the
period; for the principal fresco represents a view of Old Toledo,
and was, no doubt, very exact. In the lateral frescoes are painted,
with great attention to all the details, the vessels which brought
the Arabs to Spain; a seaman might glean some very useful hints
from them concerning the history of mediæval naval matters, at
present so obscure. The arms of Toledo--five stars sable on a
field, silver--are repeated in several parts of this low-arched
chapel, which is enclosed, according to the Spanish fashion, by a
gate of magnificent workmanship.

The chapel of the Virgin, which is entirely covered with porphyry,
jasper, and yellow breccia, most admirably polished, surpasses in
richness all the splendour of the "Thousand and One Nights." There
are a great many relics here; among others, a reliquary, presented
by Saint Louis, and containing a piece of the true cross.

We will now wait a little to recover our breath; meanwhile, we
will, if you please, take a turn in the cloisters. They surround
a number of elegant and severe arcades of beautiful masses
of verdure, which, thanks to the shade thrown on them by the
cathedral, remain green in spite of the intense heat at this time
of the year. All the cloister walls are covered with immense
frescoes, in the style of Vanloo, painted by an artist named Bayeu.
The composition of these paintings is easy and their colouring
pleasing, but they do not agree with the style of the building, and
no doubt replace older works that had suffered from the effects
of age, or been considered perhaps too Gothic by the persons "of
taste" at that period. Cloisters are very appropriately situated
near a church; they form a happy transition from the tranquillity
of the sanctuary to the turmoil of the city. You can walk about,
dream and meditate, in them, without being under the necessity of
joining in the prayers and ceremonies of the service: catholics
enter the temple; Christians remain more frequently in the
cloisters. This peculiar state of mind has been well understood
by the catholic church, who is so skilful a psychologist. In
religious countries, the cathedral is always the most ornamented,
richest, most florid, and most profusely gilt, of all the buildings
in a town. In a cathedral, the shade is coolest and the silence
most profound; the music is better than it is in the theatre, and
nothing can be compared to the splendour of the pageants. It is the
central point, the most attractive spot, like the Opera-house in
Paris. We northern catholics, with our Voltairean temples, have no
idea of the luxury, elegance, and comfort of Spanish churches: they
are furnished, they are animated, and have not that icy, deserted
look which ours have: the faithful can live in them in sweet
familiarity with Heaven.

The sacristies and capitular rooms in the Cathedral of Toledo are
of more than royal magnificence. Nothing can be more noble and
picturesque than these vast halls decorated in that solid and
severe style of luxury that the Church alone understands. They
present an endless succession of carved walnut-wood or black oak,
tapestry, or Indian damask curtains hanging down before the doors,
brocade drapery with large massive folds, figured tapestry, Persian
carpets, and fresco paintings. We will not attempt to describe
all these things in detail, we will merely mention one room
ornamented with admirable frescoes representing sacred subjects,
in the German style, of which the Spaniards have produced such
successful imitations. These frescoes are said to have been painted
by Berruguete's nephew, if not by Berruguete himself, for these
prodigious geniuses were great in all three branches of art. We
will also mention an immense ceiling by Luca Giordana, filled
with a countless multitude of angels and allegorical personages
in attitudes that offer the most extraordinary instances of
foreshortening. It is also remarkable for a singular optical
illusion. A ray of light issues from the middle of the roof,
and although painted on a simple flat surface, seems to fall
perpendicularly on your head, whichever way you turn.

Here is kept the treasure, that is to say, the beautiful capes of
brocade, cloth of gold, and silver damask; the marvellous guipures,
the silver-gilt reliquaries, the diamond monstrances, the gigantic
silver candlesticks, the embroidered banners, and, in fact, all the
decorations and accessories used in the representation of the drama
called the mass.

In the cupboards of one of these rooms is kept the wardrobe of
the Holy Virgin, for naked statues of marble or alabaster are
not sufficient for the passionate piety of these natives of the
South. In their devout enthusiasm, they load the object of their
veneration with ornaments of the most extraordinary richness;
nothing is good, or brilliant, or expensive enough; the form of the
figure and the materials of which it is made disappear completely
under this mass of valuables; but the Spaniards trouble themselves
very little about that. The great thing is that it should be a
physical impossibility to hang one pearl more on the ears of the
marble idol, to fix a larger diamond in its golden crown, or form
another pattern of precious stones on its brocade robe.

Never did a queen of ancient times, not even Cleopatra, who used
to drink pearls, never did an empress of the Lower Empire, never
did a duchess in the Middle Ages, never did a Venetian courtesan
in the time of Titian, possess more brilliant jewels or a richer
assortment of clothes than Our Lady of Toledo. We were shown some
of her gowns. There is one of them which defies all your efforts to
say of what material it is composed, so completely is it covered
with flowers and arabesques of fine pearls, among which there are
some of a size beyond all price; there are also several rows of
black pearls which are very rare indeed. Suns and stars of precious
stones also adorn this prodigious gown, which is so brilliant
that the eye can scarcely support its splendour. It is worth some
millions of francs.

We terminated our visit by going up into the spire, the top of
which is reached by a succession of rather steep but not very
enticing ladders placed one above the other. About halfway, in
a kind of store-room that we were obliged to traverse, we saw a
number of gigantic coloured figures, dressed in the style of the
last century and used in some procession or other.

The magnificent view that bursts upon you when you have reached
the summit of the spire, repays you most amply for all the trouble
of clambering up. The whole town is presented to your gaze with
all the sharpness and precision of the cork models exhibited by
Monsieur Pelet, and so greatly admired at the _Exposition_ at
Paris. This comparison will appear, doubtless, very prosaic, and
not at all picturesque; but, in sober truth, I could not hit
upon a better or more appropriate one. The dwarfish, misshapen
rocks of blue granite, which shut in the Tagus on both sides, and
constitute a portion of the horizon of Toledo, add still more to
the singularity of the landscape, which is bathed and inundated by
torrents of crude, pitiless, blinding light, not mitigated by the
least reflection, but on the contrary, increased by a cloudless,
vapourless sky that has become white from the intense heat, like
iron in a furnace.

The heat was, indeed, atrocious, fully equalling that of a
lime-kiln; and nothing but the most insatiable curiosity could have
prevented us from renouncing all sight-seeing in such a Senegambian
temperature; but we were still full of all the savage ardour of
Parisian tourists, overflowing with enthusiasm for local colour.
Nothing disheartened us: we only stopped to drink, for our throats
were more parched than the sands of Africa, and we absorbed water
like a couple of dry sponges. I really do not know how we avoided
becoming dropsical; for, exclusive of wine and ices, we consumed
seven or eight jars of water a day. _Agua! Agua!_ was our unceasing
cry; and a chain of _muchachos_, passing the jars to one another,
from our room to the kitchen, was hardly capable of quenching the
fire that raged within us. Had it not been for this never-ending
inundation, we should have been reduced to dust, like a sculptor's
clay models when he forgets to moisten them.

After having visited the cathedral, we resolved, in spite of our
thirst, to proceed to the church of _San Juan de los Reyes_; but it
was only after a very long parley that we succeeded in obtaining
the keys, for the church itself has been shut for the last seven or
eight years, and the convent, of which it forms part, is abandoned
and falling into ruins.

_San Juan de los Reyes_ is situated on the banks of the Tagus,
close to the bridge of San Martin. Its walls are of that beautiful
orange colour which distinguishes old buildings in countries where
it never rains. A collection of royal statues, of very imposing
appearance and in noble and chivalresque attitudes, decorates the
exterior; but this is not the most remarkable feature about the
church of _San Juan de los Reyes_, for all mediæval churches are
peopled with statues. An immense number of chains suspended on
hooks decorate the walls from top to bottom: they are the fetters
of the Christian captives who were delivered at the conquest of
Granada. These chains, thus hung up in the guise of ornaments and
votive offerings, give the church somewhat of the air of a prison,
which is rather strange and repulsive.

I was told an anecdote connected with this subject, which I will
insert here, as it is both short and characteristic. The dream
of every _jefe politico_ in Spain is to possess an _alameda_, as
that of every prefect in France is to have a Rue de Rivoli in his
town. The dream of the _jefe politico_ of Toledo was, therefore,
to procure the population committed to his government the
pleasures of a public promenade. The site was chosen, and, thanks
to the co-operation of the inmates of the Presidio, the necessary
levellings were soon completed. All the promenade now wanted was
trees, but trees cannot be improvised, and the _jefe politico_
very judiciously resolved to substitute for them short posts,
connected with iron chains. As money, however, is very scarce in
Spain, the ingenious official, who certainly possessed a fertile
imagination, if any one ever did, thought of the historical chains
of _San Juan de los Reyes_, and said to himself, "They are exactly
what I want, and are all ready to my hand!" Accordingly, the chains
of the captives set free by Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic,
were hung on the posts of the _alameda_, while each of the smiths
who had done the work received a few armfuls of the heroic metal
for his trouble. Certain intelligent persons (you are sure to find
some everywhere) said that it was an act of Vandalism, and the
chains were taken back to the church. As for those which had been
given in payment to the workmen, they had long since been forged
into ploughshares, mules' shoes, and other utensils. This story is
perhaps a piece of calumny, but it has all the air of probability;
I give it as I heard it related. But let us return to our church.
The key turned with difficulty in the rusty lock, but as soon as
this slight obstacle was surmounted, we entered the dilapidated but
most elegant and admirable cloisters. Slender columns supported
on their florid capitals a number of arches adorned with the most
delicate nervures and embellishments, while all along the walls ran
long inscriptions in praise of Ferdinand and Isabella, in Gothic
characters, intertwined with flowers, a Christian imitation of
the sentences and verses from the Koran employed by the Moors as
an architectural ornament. What a pity it is that so precious an
edifice should be thus abandoned!

By giving a few kicks against the doors, which were either
barricaded with worm-eaten planks, or obstructed by rubbish, we
succeeded in forcing our way into the church, which is a charming
building, and, with the exception of a few places where it had
been wantonly mutilated, seemed as if it had only been completed
yesterday. Gothic art never produced anything more suave, more
elegant, or more fine. All round it runs a gallery pierced and
penetrated like a fish-slice, hanging its adventurous balcony on
the clusters of pillars, and following exactly their indentations
and projections; gigantic scroll-work, eagles, monsters, heraldic
animals, coats of arms, banners, and emblematic inscriptions,
similar to those in the cloisters, complete the decorations. The
choir, which is situated opposite the _retablo_, at the other
extremity of the church, is supported by a very bold and handsome
elliptic arch.

The altar, which, without doubt, was a masterpiece of sculpture
and painting, has been pitilessly pulled down. These useless
acts of destruction sadden the heart, and make you doubt the
human understanding: how do old stones impede new ideas? Cannot
a revolution be effected without the Past being demolished?
It strikes me that the _Constitucion_ would have lost nothing
by leaving intact the church of Ferdinand and Isabella the
Catholic--that noble queen, who believed the bare word of Genius,
and endowed mankind with a new world.

Venturing up a staircase that was half in ruins, we penetrated
into the interior of the convent. The refectory is a tolerably
spacious apartment, presenting nothing peculiarly worthy of notice,
save a frightful picture placed over the door. This picture,
rendered still more hideous by the coat of dust and dirt which
covers it, represents a dead body in a state of decomposition,
with all those horrible details which are treated so complacently
by Spanish artists. A symbolical and funereal inscription, one of
those menacing biblical sentences, which warn human nothingness
in so terrible a manner, is written at the bottom of this
sepulchral painting, which seems a very singular one to select
for a refectory. I do not know whether all the stories of monkish
gluttony are true, but for my own part I should have but a very
delicate appetite in a dining-room decorated in this fashion.

Overhead, on each side of a long corridor, are ranged, like the
cells in a beehive, the deserted cells of the monks, who have long
since disappeared: they are all exactly similar to one another,
and all covered with white stucco. This whiteness diminishes the
poetical effect a great deal, by preventing monsters and other
bugbears of the imagination from hiding themselves in the dark
holes and corners. The interior of the church and cloisters is also
whitewashed; this gives them a sort of new and recent appearance,
which forms a strong contrast with the style of the architecture
and the state of the edifice. The absence of humidity and the great
heat have not allowed any plants or weeds to spring up between the
interstices of the stones or of the rubbish; and these remains are
not enveloped in the green ivy mantle which Time throws over our
northern ruins. We wandered about the abandoned edifice for a long
time, going up and down a succession of break-neck staircases,
exactly like Anne Radcliffe's heroes, except that we saw nothing in
the way of phantoms save two poor lizards, that made their escape
as quickly as they possibly could, being, doubtless, ignorant, in
their character of Spaniards, of the French proverb, "The lizard
is the friend of man." A stroll of this kind through the veins and
limbs of a large building, from which all life has fled, is one of
the most vivid pleasures that can be conceived; you expect, every
moment, to meet at the turn of some gallery or other one of the old
monks, with his glossy forehead and his eyes sunk in shade, walking
gravely along with his arms folded on his breast, as he proceeds to
take part in some mysterious service in the desecrated and deserted

We now left, for we had seen everything that was worth seeing,
even the kitchens, down to which our guide conducted us with
a Voltairean smile that a subscriber to the _Constitutionnel_
would not have disowned. The church and cloisters are uncommonly
magnificent; the rest of the place displays the strictest
simplicity; everything was for the soul, nothing for the body.

At a short distance from San Juan de los Reyes, you observe, or
rather, you do not observe, the celebrated mosque-like synagogue;
for, unless you have a guide, you might pass by it twenty times
without once suspecting that such a building existed. Our
_keeper_ knocked at a door cut in a wall formed of reddish clay,
and presenting the most insignificant appearance. After waiting
some time--for Spaniards are never in a hurry--the door was
opened, and we were asked if we came to see the synagogue. On
our answering in the affirmative, we were introduced into a kind
of courtyard, filled with wild vegetation, in the midst of which
stood a mangrove-tree, with its deeply serrated leaves, of a deep
green, and as shining as if they had been varnished. At the back
was a sort of wretched hovel, without the least pretension to any
peculiar character, and looking more like a barn than anything
else. We were shown into this hovel. Never was any one more
surprised than we were: we found ourselves suddenly transplanted
to the East, and beheld slender columns with spreading capitals
like turbans, Turkish arches, verses of the Koran, a flat ceiling
divided into compartments of cedar-wood, the day streaming in from
above--in a word, nothing was wanting to sustain the illusion. The
remains of old illuminated subjects, almost effaced, covered the
walls with their strange hues, and increased the singular effect of
the whole. This synagogue, which the Arabs turned into a mosque,
and the Christians into a church, serves, at present, as the
residence and workshop of a joiner. The joiner's bench now occupies
the place of the altar. This act of profanation is of recent date.
Vestiges of the _retablo_ are still remaining, as well as the
inscription, in black marble, commemorating the consecration of the
edifice for Roman Catholic worship.

Talking of synagogues, I will here relate the following curious
anecdote. The Jews of Toledo, probably with a view of diminishing
the feeling of horror entertained for them by the Christians,
asserted that they had not consented to the death of our
Saviour; and made the following statement in support of their
assertion:--When our Saviour was brought up for judgment, the
council of priests, of which Caiaphas was president, sent round
to each of the tribes to know whether our Saviour should be set
free or put to death. The question was put to the Jews of Spain,
and the synagogue of Toledo pronounced in favour of his acquittal.
This particular tribe, therefore, according to them, is not
covered with the blood of the Redeemer, and does not deserve the
execration incurred by those Jews who voted against the Son of
God. The original copy of the answer given by the Jews of Toledo,
with a Latin translation of the Hebrew text, is--so says the
report--preserved in the archives of the Vatican. In consideration
of their conduct, they were allowed to erect this synagogue, which
is, I believe, the only one ever tolerated in Spain.

We had heard of the ruins of an ancient Moorish country-house,
called Galiana's Palace. On leaving the synagogue, we ordered our
guide to conduct us thither, in spite of our fatigue, for our time
was precious, as we had to set out again the next day for Madrid.

Galiana's Palace is situated outside the town, in the plain of
the Vega; and in order to reach it, you have to cross the bridge
of Alcantara. After a quarter of an hour's walk through fields
irrigated by a thousand little canals, we came to a cluster of
extraordinarily green trees, at the foot of which a water-wheel of
the most antique and Egyptian simplicity was at work. Earthen jars,
fixed to the spokes of the wheel by means of cords made of reeds,
first drew up the water from the stream, and then emptied it into
a canal of concave tiles, conducting to a reservoir, whence it was
directed without difficulty, through small trenches, to whatever
point had to be watered.

The dilapidated outline of a mass of reddish bricks rose up behind
the foliage of the trees: this was Galiana's Palace. We made our
way, through a low doorway, into this heap of ruins, that was
inhabited by a family of peasants. It is impossible to conceive
anything more black, more smoky, more sepulchral, or more dirty.
The Troglodytes were lodged like princes in comparison; and yet
the charming Galiana, the Moorish maiden with her long eyelashes
tinged with henna, and her brocade jacket, covered with pearls, had
once pressed the uneven floor with her little slippers, and once
leant out at that window to look at the Moorish cavaliers who were
exercising themselves in throwing the djerrid, at some distance
away in the plain of the Vega.

We valiantly continued our researches, ascending to the upper parts
of the building by means of crazy old ladders, and grasping hold
of the tufts of dry weeds, which hung like a beard to the crabbed
chin of the ancient walls. When we had arrived at the summit, we
became aware of a strange phenomenon. We had entered the place with
white trousers, and we left it with black ones; but the black tint
was no ordinary black, it was alive, moving, skipping about; we
were covered with imperceptible little fleas, who had precipitated
themselves upon us in compact masses, attracted by the coldness of
our northern blood. I never should have thought that there were so
many fleas in the whole world.

A few pipes for conveying water into the hot baths are the only
vestiges of magnificence which time has spared: the glass and
enamelled porcelain mosaics; the slender marble columns with their
gilt capitals, ornamented with carving and verses from the Koran;
the alabaster basins; the stones pierced in a thousand different
places in order to allow the perfumes to filter through;--all, all
had disappeared. All that is left is the carcass of the principal
walls, and heaps of bricks rapidly crumbling to dust; for these
marvellous edifices, which remind the spectator of the fairy
palaces in the "Arabian Nights," are unfortunately only built
of bricks or clay, crusted over with stucco or plaster. All the
lacework, all the arabesques, are not, as is generally believed,
carved in marble or stone, but merely moulded in plaster, by which
method they can be reproduced without end and without any great
cost. Had it not been for the extraordinarily conservative quality
of the climate of Spain, all these edifices erected of such slight
materials would never have remained standing at the present day.

The legend of Galiana is more successfully preserved than her
palace. She was the daughter of king Galafre, who loved her more
than aught else in the world, and had built for her in the plain
of the Vega a country-house, with delicious gardens, kiosks,
baths, fountains, and cascades, which rose and fell exactly as
the moon increased or waned, either by means of magic, or by one
of those hydraulic artifices so familiar to the Arabs. Idolized
by her father, Galiana lived in this charming retreat in the most
agreeable manner, amusing herself with music, poetry, and dancing.
Her hardest task was to escape the importunities of her admirers.
The most troublesome and the most determined of them all was a
certain petty king of Guadalajara, called Bradamant, a gigantic,
valiant, and ferocious Moor. Galiana could not bear him, and, as
the chronicler says, "What avails it that the cavalier be all fire,
if the lady be all ice?" The Moor, however, was not to be rebuffed,
and his delight at seeing and speaking to Galiana was so intense
that he caused a subterranean passage to be dug from Guadalajara to
Toledo, and through this passage he came to visit her every day.

It was at this epoch, that Charlemagne, the son of Pepin, came to
Toledo, whither he had been sent by his father to assist Galafre
against Abderahaman, king of Cordova. Galafre lodged him in
Galiana's own palace, for the Moors willingly allowed illustrious
and important personages to see their daughters. Charlemagne
possessed a soft heart underneath his steel cuirass, and very soon
became desperately enamoured of the Moorish princess. He at first
endured Bradamant's assiduities, as he was not sure of having
made an impression upon the fair one's heart; but as Galiana,
despite her reserve and modesty, could not conceal from him any
longer the preference she secretly felt for him in her soul, he
began to give signs of jealousy, and required that his sunburnt
rival should be promptly suppressed. Galiana, who was already a
Frenchwoman up to her very eyes, says the chronicler, and who,
besides that, hated the petty king of Guadalajara, gave the prince
to understand that both she and her father were heartily sick of
the Moor's importunities, and that she should be gratified by his
being summarily disposed of. Charlemagne did not require telling
twice; he challenged Bradamant to single combat, and, although
the Moor was a giant, overcame him. He then cut off his head and
presented it to Galiana, who thought the present a remarkable proof
of delicate attention. This little act of politeness advanced the
prince considerably in the good graces of the beautiful Moorish
maiden, and the love of both of them continuing to increase,
Galiana promised to embrace Christianity in order that Charlemagne
might be enabled to marry her. No difficulty was thrown in her way,
as Galafre was delighted at the idea of bestowing his daughter's
hand on so great a prince. Meanwhile Pepin died, and Charlemagne
returned to France, bringing with him Galiana, who was crowned
Queen, and received with great rejoicings. It is thus that a
Moorish maiden succeeded in becoming a Christian queen, "and the
remembrance of this story, although connected with an old building,
is worthy of being preserved in Toledo," adds the chronicler, as a
sort of final moral reflection.

It was now absolutely necessary, before we did anything else,
that we should rid ourselves of the microscopic multitudes, whose
bites had spotted our ex-white trousers with blood. Fortunately,
the Tagus was not far off, and thither did we immediately conduct
the Princess Galiana's fleas, employing the method patronised by
foxes, who plunge up to the nose in water, holding between their
teeth a piece of cork, which they commit to the stream as soon as
they find it is manned by a sufficiently numerous crew, for the
confounded little insects run up and crowd into it as soon as they
feel themselves touched by the water. We trust our fair readers
will pardon us for these animalcular and _picaresque_ details,
which would be more suited, perhaps, to the life of Lazarillo de
Tormes or of Guzman d'Alfarache; but a book of travels in Spain
would not be complete without them, and we hope to be excused in
consideration of the local colouring.

The banks of the Tagus, at this point, are lined with peaked and
almost inaccessible rocks, and it was not without some difficulty
that we succeeded in making our way down to the spot where the
grand sacrifice was to be accomplished. I began swimming out and
displaying the greatest possible amount of artistic precision
in order to prove myself worthy of bathing in so celebrated and
respectable a river as the Tagus, when, after going some few yards
I reached the ruins of some building or other that had fallen down,
and left its shapeless remains of masonry projecting only a foot or
two from the surface of the stream. On the bank exactly opposite,
was an old ruined tower with a semicircular arcade, where some
linen was drying very prosaically in the sun on clotheslines that
had been hung there by the washerwomen.

I was simply in the _baño de la Cava_, which, I may as well say for
the benefit of my readers, means Florinda's Bath, and the tower
opposite me was the tower of King Rodrigo. It was from the balcony
of that window and concealed behind a curtain, that Rodrigo watched
the young maidens as they were bathing, and perceived the lovely
Florinda measuring her leg[9] and those of her companions, in order
to see whose was the roundest and best shaped. From what trifles do
great events spring. Had Florinda possessed an ill-shapen leg or an
ugly knee, the Arabs would never have come to Spain. Unfortunately,
Florinda had a tiny foot, a delicate ankle, and the whitest and
best shaped leg in the world. Rodrigo became enamoured of the
thoughtless bather, and seduced her. Count Juliano, Florinda's
father, furious at this outrage, betrayed his country in order to
obtain revenge, and called in the aid of the Moors. Rodrigo lost
the famous battle so often mentioned in the _romanceros_, and
perished miserably in a coffin filled with vipers, in which he had
placed himself to make atonement for his crime. Poor Florinda,
branded with the ignominious name of _la Cava_, remained bowed down
beneath the execration of all Spain; but then, what a ridiculous
and strange idea it was to place a bathing-place for young maidens
exactly before the tower of a young king.

Since we have begun to talk about Rodrigo, we may as well mention
the legend of the Grotto of Hercules, which is fatally connected
with the history of this unfortunate Gothic prince. The Grotto of
Hercules is a subterranean cave, which, according to the general
report, extends three leagues beyond the city walls: the entrance,
carefully shut and padlocked, is in the church of San Gines, which
stands on the highest ground in the whole city. On this spot there
was formerly a palace founded by Tubal, which Hercules restored
and enlarged. Here, too, he established his laboratory and his
school of magic; for Hercules, of whom the Greeks subsequently made
a god, was at first a powerful cabalist. By means of his art, he
constructed an enchanted tower, with talismans and inscriptions to
the effect, that whenever any one should penetrate the limits of
the magical edifice, a ferocious and barbarous nation should invade

Fearful of seeing this fatal prediction accomplished, all the
kings, and especially the Gothic kings, placed more locks and more
padlocks on the mysterious door; not that they actually put faith
in the prophecy, but, like sensible persons as they were, they
had no wish to be mixed up with these magical charms and spells.
Rodrigo, who was more curious or more needy, for his debauched and
prodigal course of life had exhausted all his money, resolved on
venturing into the enchanted cave, in the hopes of finding some
considerable treasures there. He directed his steps towards the
grotto at the head of some few determined followers, provided with
torches, lanterns, and cords, and reached the doorway cut in the
living rock, and closed by an iron door secured by a great number
of padlocks. On the door was a tablet with this inscription in
Greek characters: _The king who shall open this subterranean vault,
and succeed in discovering the marvels which it contains, shall
experience good and evil._ The former kings had been frightened
at the alternative, and had not dared to proceed; but Rodrigo,
chancing the evil to obtain the good, ordered the padlocks to be
broken, the locks to be forced, and the door to be opened. Those
who boasted of possessing most courage went down first, but soon
returned, with their torches extinguished, all trembling, pale,
and terror-stricken; those that could speak said that they had
been frightened by a most horrible vision. This, however, did not
induce Rodrigo to renounce his project of breaking the spell. He
caused the torches to be arranged in such a manner that the wind
which issued from the cavern could not extinguish them; and then,
placing himself at the head of his followers, advanced boldly into
the grotto. He soon reached a square chamber of great architectural
richness, in the middle of which was a tall bronze statue, of
terrible aspect. This statue had its feet placed upon a column
three cubits high, and held in its hand a mace, with which it kept
striking the floor, thereby producing the noise and wind which
had so frightened those who entered first. Rodrigo, as brave as a
Goth, and as determined as a Christian who has confidence in his
religion, and is not astonished by the magic arts of Pagans, went
straight up to the colossus, and asked permission to examine the
marvels which were in the grotto.

The brazen warrior intimated that he assented to the request, by
ceasing to strike the earth with his mace. It was now easy to see
the various objects in the chamber, and, before long, a chest was
found with the following inscription on the lid:--"He who opens
me will behold marvels." Seeing the quietness of the statue, the
king's companions, having recovered from their fright, and being
encouraged by the inscription, which seemed to promise well,
began making ready their pockets and mantles, under the idea that
they should fill them with gold; but all they found in the chest
was a roll of cloth. On it were painted troops of Arabs, some on
horseback and others on foot, with turbans on their heads, and
shields and lances in their hands. There was also an inscription
to the following effect:--"He who penetrates thus far, and opens
the chest, will lose Spain, and be vanquished by nations similar
to this one." King Rodrigo attempted to conceal the disagreeable
impression produced on him, in order not to augment the sadness of
his followers, and continued his search, in the hope of finding
something to compensate him for this disastrous prophecy. On
raising his eyes, Rodrigo perceived on the wall, to the left of
the statue, a cartouche, on which were the words, "Poor king! To
your misfortune is it that you have entered here!" and to the right
there was another, with the words, "You will be ejected from your
possessions by foreign nations, and your people will be heavily
chastised!" Behind the statue there was written, "I invoke the
Arabs," and before it, "I do my duty."

The king and his courtiers withdrew, filled with anxiety and gloomy
presentiments. The very same night there was a furious tempest, and
the ruins of the Tower of Hercules fell to the ground with the most
awful noise. It was not long before the prophecies of the magic
grotto were borne out by circumstances; the Arabs painted on the
roll of cloth in the chest really did show their strange-shaped
turbans, shields, and lances, on the unhappy soil of Spain, and
all because Rodrigo looked at Florinda's leg, and went down into a

But night is setting in; we must return to the _fonda_, sup, and
retire to bed, for we leave to-morrow evening, and have yet to
visit the Hospital of the Cardinal Don Pedro Gonzales de Mendoza,
the Manufactory of Arms, the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre,
and a thousand other curiosities. As for myself, I am so fatigued
by the diamond-edged pavement, that I feel inclined to reverse my
position, and walk about a little upon my hands, like the clowns,
in order to rest my aching feet. O hackney-coaches of civilization!
omnibuses of progress! I called upon you with a sinking heart--but
then of what use would you have been in the streets of Toledo?

The cardinal's Hospital is a large building, of broad and severe
proportions, which would take too long for me to describe here. We
will cross rapidly over the courtyard, surrounded by columns and
arcades, and containing nothing remarkable save two air-shafts,
with white marble kerbs, and at once enter the church, to examine
the cardinal's tomb, executed in alabaster by that prodigy,
Berruguete, who lived more than eighty years, covering his country
with masterpieces in various styles, but all equally perfect. The
cardinal is stretched out upon his tomb in his pontifical habits.
Death has pinched his nose with its skinny fingers, and the last
contraction of the muscles, in their endeavour to retain the soul
about to leave the body for ever, puckers up the corners of the
mouth, and lengthens the chin: never was there a cast taken after
death more horribly true; and yet the beauty of the work is such,
that you forget any amount of repulsiveness that the subject may
possess. Little children in attitudes of grief support the plinth
and the cardinal's coat of arms. The most supple and softest clay
could not be more easy, or more pliant; it is not carved, it is

There are also in this church two pictures by Domenico
Theotocopouli, called El Greco, an extraordinary and strange
artist, who is scarcely known, save in Spain. He was absurdly
afraid, as you are aware, of being accused of imitating Titian,
whose pupil he had been; this fear of his caused him to have
recourse to the strangest expedients and caprices.

One of these pictures, that which represents the "Holy Family,"
must have made the poor Greco very miserable, for, at first sight,
it would be taken for a genuine Titian. The ardent colouring, the
vivid tone of the drapery, and that beautiful reflex of yellow
amber, which imparts warmth even to the coolest shades of the
Venetian artist, all concur to deceive the most practised eye; the
touch alone is less bold and less broad. The little reason that El
Greco still possessed must have been altogether swallowed up in the
sombre ocean of madness, after he had completed this masterpiece.
There are not many artists, now-a-days, capable of going mad for a
similar reason.

The other picture, the subject of which is, the "Baptism of our
Saviour," belongs entirely to El Greco's second style. It is
remarkable for the abuse of black and white in it, for its violent
contrasts, singular tints, laboured attitudes, and abrupt, sharp
disposition of the drapery, but there is a certain air of depraved
energy, a sort of morbid power about it, which reveals the great
artist and the madman of genius. Very few paintings interest me so
much as those of El Greco, for his very worst have always something
unexpected, something that exceeds the bounds of possibility, that
causes astonishment, and affords matter for reflection.

From the Hospital, we proceeded to the Manufactory of Arms, which
is a vast, symmetrical, and pleasing edifice, founded by Charles
III., whose name is to be found on all buildings of public utility.
It is erected close to the Tagus, the water of that stream being
used to temper the sword-blades and move the machinery. The
workshops run along a large courtyard, surrounded by porticoes
and arcades, like almost all the courtyards in Spain. In one room
the iron is heated, in another it is submitted to the hammer,
while farther on it is tempered. In one place are the stones for
sharpening and grinding, in another are made the sheaths and
handles. We will not extend the investigation further, as it would
not teach our readers anything peculiarly new; we will only state
that these blades, so justly celebrated, are partly manufactured
out of the old shoes of horses and mules, that are carefully
collected for the purpose.

To convince us that the Toledo blades were still worthy of their
ancient reputation, we were conducted to the proving-room, where
a workman, of commanding stature and colossal strength, took a
weapon of the most ordinary kind, a straight cavalry sabre, fixed
the point in a pig of lead fastened to the wall, and made the
blade bend about in every possible way, like a switch, so that the
handle almost touched the hilt; the elasticity and suppleness of
the steel were such that it was able to stand this test without
snapping. The man then placed himself opposite an anvil, and gave
so vigorous a blow that the blade entered about half an inch; this
feat of strength made me think of the scene in one of Sir Walter
Scott's novels, where Richard Cœur-de-Lion and king Saladin amuse
themselves by cutting pillows and iron bars.

The Toledo blades of the present day are therefore quite equal to
those of former times; the secret of tempering them is not lost,
but merely the secret of their form; this little thing, so despised
by Progress people, is all that is wanting to enable modern works
to sustain a comparison with those of antiquity. A modern sword is
merely an instrument; a sword of the sixteenth century is at once
an instrument and a gem.

We thought that we should find at Toledo a few old weapons, such
as daggers, poniards, rapiers, and other curiosities, to be hung
up as trophies on the wall, or laid out upon a shelf; and we had
learnt by heart, for this purpose, the names and marks of the
sixty armourers of Toledo, collected by Achille Jubinal; but we
had not an opportunity of putting our knowledge to the test, for
there are no more swords at Toledo than leather at Cordova, lace at
Mechlin, oysters at Ostend, or _Pâtés de Foie Gras_ at Strasburg;
all curiosities are confined to Paris, and if you happen to meet a
few abroad they are sure to have come from the shop of Mademoiselle
Delaunay, on the Quai Voltaire.

We were likewise shown the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre
and of the Naumachia, which look exactly like a ploughed field,
as do all Roman ruins. I am not imaginative enough to go into
ecstasies at the sight of such problematical nonentities; this is
an amusement that I leave to antiquaries; for my own part, I prefer
talking of the walls of Toledo, which are visible to the naked eye
and admirably picturesque. They accord extremely well with the
undulating surface of the ground, and it is often very difficult to
say where the rock ends and where the rampart begins. Each epoch
of civilization has had a hand in the work; that piece of wall is
Roman, that tower is Gothic, those battlements are Arabic. All the
portion which extends from the Puerta Cambron to the Puerta Visagra
(_via sacra_) was built by the Gothic king Wamba. There is a story
attached to each of these stones, and if we wished to relate them
all we should require a whole volume instead of a single chapter.
But there is one thing we can do which is strictly in accordance
with our character of travellers, and that is, to mention once more
the noble effect produced on the horizon by Toledo seated on her
rocky throne, with her girdle of towers and her diadem of churches.
It is impossible to conceive a bolder or severer outline, clothed
in a richer colour, or one in which the physiognomy of the Middle
Ages is more faithfully preserved. I remained for more than an hour
plunged in contemplation, trying to satiate my eyes, and engrave on
my memory the recollection of this admirable view. Night closed in,
alas! too soon, and we were obliged to think of retiring to rest,
for we were to set off at one o'clock in the morning in order to
avoid the midday heat.

At midnight our calesero arrived, punctual to his time, and we
clambered up, in a state of unmistakable somnambulism, on to the
meagre cushions of our vehicle. The horrible jolting caused by the
abominable pavement of Toledo soon woke us sufficiently to enable
us to enjoy the fantastic appearance of our caravan. The carriage,
with its scarlet wheels and extravagant body, seemed--so close
together were the walls--to divide the houses, which closed again
like waves after it had passed! A bare-legged _sereno_, with the
flowing drawers and variegated handkerchief of the Valencians,
walked before us, bearing at the end of his lance a lantern, whose
flickering light produced all kinds of singular effects of light
and shade, such as Rembrandt would not have disdained to introduce
into some of his fine etchings of night-watches and patroles. The
only noise we heard was the silver tinkling of the bells on the
neck of our mule and the creaking of the axletrees. The inhabitants
were buried in as deep a sleep as the statues in the chapel of _los
Reyes Nuevos_. From time to time, our _sereno_ poked his lantern
under the nose of some vagabond who lay slumbering across the
street, and pushed him on one side with the handle of his lance;
for whenever any one feels sleepy in Spain, he stretches out his
cloak upon the ground and lies down with the most perfect and
philosophical calmness. Before the gate, which was not yet open,
and where we were kept waiting two hours, the ground was strewed
with sleepers, who were snoring away in every possible variety of
tone; for the street is the only bedroom which is not infected with
insects; to enter an alcove, you must possess all the resignation
of an Indian Fakir. At last the confounded gate swung back upon its
hinges, and we returned by the same road we had come.



  Procession of the Corpus Christi at Madrid--Aranjuez--A
  Patio--Ocaña and its Environs--Tembleque and its Garters--A
  Night at Manzanares--Santa Cruz Knives--The Puerto de los
  Perros--Colony of Carolina--Baylen--Jaen, its Cathedral and its
  Majos--Granada--The Alameda--The Alhambra--The Generalife--The
  Albaycin--Life at Granada--The Gitanos--The Carthusian
  Convent--Santo Domingo--Ascent of the Mulhacen.

We were obliged to pass through Madrid again, in order to take the
diligence to Granada: we could, it is true, have gone and waited
for it at Aranjuez, but we should have then run the risk of finding
it full; we therefore determined to return to Madrid.

Our guide had taken care, the evening before, to send forward a
mule, which was to wait for us halfway along the road, in order
to take the place of the one we set out with; for it is doubtful
whether, without this precaution, we should have been able to
perform the journey from Toledo to Madrid in a single day, owing to
the excessive heat we were exposed to along the dusty road, which
affords you nowhere the slightest shade, but runs through tracts of
open and interminable corn-fields.

We reached Illescas at about one o'clock, with no other incident
to talk of than that of being half-baked, if not quite so. We were
impatient to get away from a region which possessed nothing new for
us, unless passing through it in a contrary direction can be said
to add any novelty to the scene.

When we had alighted, my companion preferred to go to sleep; while
I, who was already pretty well accustomed to Spanish cookery, began
contesting the possession of my dinner with innumerable swarms of
flies. The landlady's daughter--a pretty little girl of twelve
or thirteen, with Arabian eyes--stood beside me, with a fan in
one hand and a little broom in the other, trying to keep off the
importunate insects, which returned to the charge more furiously
and more noisily than ever as soon as she flagged in the use of
either fan or broom. With this assistance I succeeded, however,
in getting into my mouth a few pieces somewhat free from flies;
and when my hunger was a little appeased I opened a conversation
with my pretty fly-flapper, which conversation was, however, kept
within very limited bounds by my ignorance of the Spanish language.
Yet, with the aid of my diamond dictionary, I succeeded in keeping
up the conversation tolerably well for a foreigner. She told me
that she could write and read all sorts of print, including even
Latin; and that, moreover, she played the _pandero_ pretty well:
I immediately requested her to give me a sample of her last-named
talent, which she did with a very good grace, though much to the
discomfort of my friend, whom the rattling of the brass rings and
the hollow sound produced by the little musician's thumb on the
ass's skin at length awoke.

The fresh mule was now harnessed, as it was necessary to continue
our journey. In a heat of thirty degrees, it requires great moral
courage to leave a _posada_ where we see before us several rows of
jars, pots, and _alcarrazas_, covered with beads of moisture. Spain
is the only place where a draught of water ever appeared to me real
voluptuousness: it is true that the water there is pure, limpid,
and of an exquisite taste. The interdiction of wine to Mahometans
is a law more easily obeyed than any other in such climates.

Thanks to the eloquent appeals our _calesero_ never ceased making
to his mule, and to the pebbles which he continually threw with
great dexterity at her ears, we got on pretty well. Under trying
circumstances, he called her _vieja_, _revieja_ (old, twice old),
to which injurious terms all mules appear, in general, particularly
sensitive, either because the said terms are always accompanied
by a blow on the back with the handle of the whip, or because
they really are in themselves very offensive. By the aid of these
epithets, aptly applied several times, we arrived at the gates of
Madrid at about five in the evening.

We were already acquainted with Madrid, and saw nothing new in it,
with the exception of the procession of the Corpus Christi: this
ceremony has, however, lost much of its former splendour, by the
suppression of the convents and religious fraternities; though
it still retains an appearance of great solemnity. The streets
through which the procession passes are strewed with fine sand,
while canvass _tendidos_, which reach from house to house, afford
protection from the sun and keep the air cool: the balconies are
decorated with flags and crowded with pretty women in full dress;
so that, altogether, the sight is one of the most charming that
can well be imagined. The perpetual motion of the fans, which
open and shut, tremble and flutter, like the wings of a butterfly
about to settle down somewhere; the movements of the elbows of
the women, wrapping themselves in their mantles and smoothing
an ungraceful wrinkle in their dress; the glances sent from one
window to acquaintances at another; the pretty inclination of
the head, and the graceful gesture that accompany the _agur_ by
which the _señoras_ reply to the salutations of the cavaliers;
the picturesque crowd, interspersed with _Gallegos_, _Pasiegas_,
Valencians, _Manolas_, and water-sellers, form a spectacle of the
greatest animation and the most charming gaiety. The _Niños de la
Cuna_ (foundlings), dressed in their blue uniform, walk at the head
of the procession. There were but very few out of this long file
of children who were endowed with pretty faces; and Hymen himself,
with all his conjugal carelessness, would have been troubled to
produce offspring uglier than were these children of Love. Then
follow the parochial banners, the clergy, silver shrines, and,
under a canopy of gold cloth, the Corpus Dei, in a sun of diamonds
of the most dazzling brilliancy.

The proverbial devoutness of the Spaniards appeared to me greatly
abated; for, with respect to it, one might well have fancied
himself in Paris at the time when it was considered fashionable
opposition not to kneel to the Host. The men hardly touched the
brim of their hats at the approach of the canopy. Catholic Spain
no longer exists. The Peninsula is now under the influence of
Voltairean and liberal ideas with respect to _feudalism_, the
_Inquisition_, and _fanaticism_. To demolish convents appears to
her, at present, the height of civilization.

One evening, as I was passing near the post-office at the corner
of the Calle de Carretas, I saw the crowd separate precipitately;
and then I perceived a brilliant galaxy of light coming up the
_Calle-Mayor_. It was the Host hastening in its carriage to the
bedside of some dying person; for the representatives of religion
do not yet go about on foot at Madrid. The people had fled, in
order to avoid the necessity of kneeling to the host as it passed.
As we are speaking of religious ceremonies, we must not forget
to mention that in Spain the cross on palls is not white, as in
France, but of the colour of brimstone. The Spaniards do not use
hearses, but carry their dead to the grave on biers.

Madrid was insupportable to us, and the two days that we were
obliged to stay there appeared, at least, two centuries. We
could think of nothing but orange-trees, lemon-trees, cachuchas,
castanets, and picturesque costumes, for every one related wonders
to us about Andalusia with that boastful magniloquence which the
Spaniards will never lose any more than the Gascons of France. At
length the long desired day arrived, for everything arrives at
last, even the day we are waiting for; and we left Madrid in a very
comfortable diligence, drawn by a troop of sturdy, close-cropped
mules, with shiny coats, and which trotted along at a dashing
pace. The diligence was lined with nankeen, and furnished with
both roller and green wooden blinds. It appeared to us the _ne
plus ultra_ of elegance, after the abominable galleys, _sillas
volantes_, and coaches, in which we had been jolted up to that
time; and it would have really proved a very agreeable conveyance,
had it not been for the furnace-like heat which calcined us, in
spite of the lightness of our dress and the continual movement of
our fans. The consequence was, that our rolling stove resounded
with a perpetual litany of "Oh, dear! _que calor!_ I am stifled!
I am melting!" with numerous other well-assorted exclamations.
We bore our sufferings patiently, however, and, with a little
grumbling, tranquilly allowed the perspiration to run, like a
cascade, down our noses and temples; for, at the end of our
fatigues, we had in perspective Granada and the Alhambra, the
dream of every poet--Granada, whose name alone makes the heaviest
and dullest man in all the world break out into exclamations of
admiration, and dance on one leg for delight.

The environs of Madrid are dull, bare, and scorched up, though less
stony on this side than on the side leading to Guadarrama. The
country, which is rather uneven than hilly, presents, everywhere,
the same uniform appearance, only broken by a few villages, all
dust and chalk, scattered here and there throughout the general
aridity, and which would not be remarked, were it not for the
square tower of their churches. Spires are rarely met with in
Spain, the square tower being the usual form of steeple. Where
two roads meet, suspicious-looking crosses stretch forth their
sinister arms; from time to time, carts drawn by oxen pass by,
with the carter asleep under his cloak; and peasants on horseback,
with a fierce expression of countenance, and their carbines at the
saddle-bows. In the middle of the day the sky is of the colour of
melting lead, and the ground of a dusty grey, interspersed with
mica, to which the greatest distance hardly imparts a bluish tint.
Not a single cluster of trees, not a shrub, not a drop of water
in the bed of dried-up torrents is to be seen; nothing, in fact,
is there to relieve the eye, or to gratify the imagination. In
order to find a little shelter from the burning rays of the sun,
you must follow the narrow line of scanty blue shade afforded by
the walls. We were, it is true, in the middle of July, which is
not exactly the time of year for cool travelling in Spain; but it
is our opinion that countries ought to be visited in their most
characteristic seasons. Spain in summer, and Russia in winter.

We met with nothing worthy of any particular notice, until we
came to the royal residence (_sitio real_) of Aranjuez. Aranjuez
is a brick mansion with stone facings, presenting a white and red
appearance, and has high slate roofs, pavilions, and weathercocks,
which call to mind the style of architecture employed under Henri
IV. and Louis XIII.; the palace of Fontainebleau, or the houses
in the Place Royale at Paris. The Tagus, which is crossed by a
suspension-bridge, keeps vegetation fresh there, much to the
admiration of the Spaniards, and allows the trees of the north
to grow to full maturity. At Aranjuez are seen elms, ash-trees,
birch-trees, and aspens, which are as great curiosities there as
Indian fig-trees, aloes, and palms would appear in France. They
pointed out to us a gallery built on purpose to enable Godoy, the
famous Prince of Peace, to pass from his house to the castle. On
leaving the village, we observed to our left the Plaza de Toros,
which is of a decided monumental appearance.

While the mules were being changed, we ran to the market to lay in
a stock of oranges and to take ices, or rather lemon snow batter,
at one of those refreshment shops which are met with in the open
air, and which are as common in Spain as wine-shops are in France.
Instead of drinking pots of bad wine and _goes_ of brandy, the
peasants and market-women take a _bebida helada_, which does not
cost more, and which does not, at all events, get into their heads
to besot their intellects. The absence of drunkenness renders the
people of the lower class much superior to the corresponding class
in those countries of ours, which we fancy to be civilized.

The name of Aranjuez, which is composed of two words, _ara_ and
_Jovis_, tells us pretty plainly that this edifice is built on the
site of an ancient temple of Jupiter. We had not time to visit the
interior of it, but this we do not regret, for all palaces are
alike. Such, too, is the case with courtiers; originality is to be
met with but among the people, and the rabble only appear to have
preserved the privilege of being poetical.

The scenery from Aranjuez to Ocaña is picturesque, without,
however, being very remarkable. Hills of graceful form, well
developed by the light, rise on each side of the route, and when
the eddies of dust in which the diligence is running, like a god
wrapped up in his cloud, are cleared away by a favourable breath
of air, they present you with a very pleasant sight. The roads,
though badly kept, are in pretty good order, thanks to this
wonderful climate, where it hardly ever rains, and to the scarcity
of vehicles, nearly all the carrying being done by beasts of burden

We were to sup and sleep at Ocaña, in order to wait for the _correo
real_, so that by joining ourselves to it we might profit by its
escort, for we were about to enter La Mancha, infested at that time
by the bands of Palillos, Polichinelle, and other honest people
with whom a meeting would prove far from agreeable. We stopped at
an hotel of decent appearance, before which was a _patio_ with
columns, and, over this _patio_, a superb _tendido_, of which the
cloth, now double, now single, formed designs and symmetrical
figures by its different shades of transparency. The name of the
maker, with his address at Barcelona, was written on it by this
means very legibly. Myrtles, pomegranates, and jasmines, planted in
red clay pots, enlivened and perfumed this sort of inner court, in
which reigned a clear, subdued kind of twilight full of mystery.
The _patio_ is a delightful invention; it affords greater coolness
and more space than a room; you can walk about there, read, be
alone or mix with others. It is a neuter ground where people meet,
and where, without undergoing the tediousness of formal visits and
introductions, they end by becoming known to one another and by
forming acquaintance; and when, as at Granada or at Seville, the
_patio_ possesses a jet of water or a fountain, nothing can be more
delightful, especially in a country where the thermometer always
indicates a Senegambian heat.

While waiting for our repast, we went to take a siesta: this is a
habit which you are compelled to follow in Spain, for the heat from
two to five o'clock is such as no Parisian can form an idea of.
The pavement burns, the iron knockers on the doors grow red-hot, a
shower of fire seems to be falling from the sky; the corn bursts
from its spikes, the ground cracks like over-heated porcelain, the
grass-hoppers make their corselets grate with more vivacity than
ever, and the little air which fans your face seems to be blown
forth by the brazen mouth of a large furnace; the shops are closed,
and all the gold in the world would not induce a tradesman to sell
you the slightest article. In the streets are to be seen dogs and
Frenchmen only, according to the popular saying, which is far
from flattering for us. The guides refuse to take you to the most
insignificant monument, even though you offer them Havannah cigars
or a ticket for a bull-fight, two most seductive things for a
Spanish _cicerone_. The only thing you can do is to sleep like the
rest, and you very soon make up your mind to do so; for what else
can you do in the midst of a nation fast asleep!

Our rooms, which were whitewashed, were scrupulously clean. The
insects of which we had heard such awful descriptions did not
yet make their appearance, and our sleep was troubled by no
thousand-footed nightmare.

At five o'clock, we rose to go and take a turn while waiting for
supper. Ocaña is not rich in monumental buildings, and its best
title to celebrity is the desperate attack made by Spanish troops
on a French redout during the war of invasion. The redout was
taken, but nearly the whole of the Spanish battalion was killed.
Each hero was interred on the spot where he fell. The ranks were
so well kept, in spite of a deluge of grape, that they can still
be traced by the regularity of the graves. Diamante has written a
piece called "The Hercules of Ocaña," produced, no doubt, for some
athletic champion of prodigious strength, like the Goliath of the
Olympic Circus. Our presence at Ocaña called this circumstance to
our memory.

The last of the harvest was being got in at an epoch when the
corn scarcely begins to assume its yellow tint in France, and the
sheaves were carried to large areas of beaten earth, where horses
and mules tread out the grain beneath their unshod hoofs. Both
mules and horses are harnessed to a sort of sledge, on which the
man superintending the operations stands upright in a posture of
proud and graceful ease. Much self-command and skill are required
to keep on this frail machine, as it is whisked along by three or
four horses which are ever being lashed most lustily. A painter of
the school of Leopold Robert would not fail to turn these scenes of
Biblical and primitive simplicity to great account. Fine swarthy
faces, sparkling eyes, Madonna-like features, costumes full of
character, brilliant light, azure and sun would not fail him here
any more than in Italy.

That evening the sky was of a milky blue colour, dashed with rose;
the fields appeared, as far as the eye could reach, like an immense
sheet of pale gold, where, here and there, you perceived a cart,
looking like a small island in an ocean of light, and drawn by oxen
which were almost hidden beneath the sheaves with which the cart
was loaded. The wild notion of a picture without shade, which is so
inherent to the Chinese, was realized here. All was sun and light;
and the deepest tint that appeared upon the scene was of pearl grey.

At length we were summoned to a pretty good supper, or which, at
least, our appetites made us think so; it was served in a low room,
decorated with little paintings on glass, of somewhat curious
Venetian taste. After supper, as my companion, Eugène, and myself,
were but mediocre smokers, and as we could take but a very small
part in the conversation, on account of the necessity we were under
of saying everything we had to say in the two or three hundred
words with which we were acquainted, we withdrew to our rooms,
greatly discouraged at the different stories about robbers which
we had heard related at table, and which, as they were only half
understood, appeared all the more terrible to us.

We were forced to wait till two in the afternoon for the arrival
of the _correo real_, for it would not have been prudent to set
out without it. We had besides a special escort of four horsemen,
armed with blunderbusses, pistols, and large sabres. They were men
of commanding stature, with pointed hats, large red sashes, velvet
breeches, leather gaiters and characteristic features, encircled by
enormous black whiskers, all which made them look more like robbers
than guards and whom it was a cunning contrivance to take with you,
in order to avoid meeting them on the road.

Twenty soldiers huddled together in a galley, followed the _correo
real_. A galley is a two or four wheeled cart, without springs,
and having its bottom formed of an esparto network, instead of
boards. This short description will suffice to give an idea of the
position of these poor wretches, who were forced to stand, and
who could only keep themselves from falling by catching hold of
the sides of the cart. Add to this the rapidity at which we were
going--four leagues an hour--a stifling heat, with the sun darting
down his rays perpendicularly, and you will agree with me that it
required a very great stock of heroic goodhumour to think such a
situation funny. And yet these poor soldiers, scarcely covered by
their ragged uniforms, with their stomachs empty, with nothing to
drink but the heated water in their leathern bottles, and tossed
about like mice in a trap, did nothing but laugh and sing all along
the road. The sobriety and patience of the Spaniards in supporting
fatigue are something wonderful. In this respect they have remained
Arabs. It would be impossible to show more disregard for material
life than they do. But these soldiers, who were without bread and
shoes, had a guitar.

All that part of the kingdom of Toledo which we passed through is
frightfully arid, and announces the approach of La Mancha, the
country of Don Quixote, and the most desolate and sterile province
of Spain.

We soon passed La Guardia, a little insignificant market-town, of
the most miserable appearance. At Tembleque we bought a few dozen
garters for the use of some pretty legs at Paris; these garters,
of all colours, cerise, orange, and sky-blue, were ornamented
with gold or silver thread, and marked with various-lettered
devices, that would put to the blush the most gallant ones on the
trumpets bought at the _fête_ of St. Cloud. Tembleque has the same
reputation for its garters as Châtellerault, in France, has for its

While we were bargaining for our garters, we heard by our side a
hoarse, discordant, menacing growl, like that of a mad dog. We
turned round quickly, but not without a certain amount of fear, for
we did not know how to speak to Spanish dogs, and then we perceived
that this growl came not from an animal, but from a man.

Never did nightmare, placing its knee on the chest of a delirious
patient, produce a more frightful monster. Quasimodo is a very
Phœbus by the side of it. A square forehead, two sunken eyes,
glaring with a savage fire, a nose so flat that its place was
distinguished only by the nostrils, with the lower jaw advancing
full two inches beyond the upper one--such, in a few words, is
the portrait of this scarecrow, the profile of which formed a
concave line, like those crescents on which the face of the moon is
represented in the almanack of Liege. The calling of this wretch
consisted in being without a nose, and in imitating dogs, a calling
which he exercised wonderfully well, for he was more noseless than
death himself, and made alone more uproar than all the inmates put
together of the Barrière du Combat at feeding-time.

Puerto Lapiche consists of a few tumbling-down huts, huddled
together on the declivity of a hill which is itself full of
cracks and chasms, and become so dry and rotten by the heat that
it is continually giving way and being torn asunder by the most
curiously-shaped rents. It represents aridity and desolation
in its highest degree. Everything is of the colour of cork and
pumice-stone. The fire of heaven seems to have passed over it; and
the whole scene is smothered by grey dust, as fine as powdered
sandstone. This wretchedness is so much the more heartrending as
the lustre of an implacable sky makes the whole poverty of the
place most prominently apparent. The cloudy melancholy of the
north is nothing in comparison with the luminous sadness of warm

On beholding such wretched hovels, you feel yourself full of
pity for the robbers who are obliged to live by marauding in a
country where you might make a round of ten leagues and not find
wherewithal to cook an egg. The resources offered by the diligences
and galleys are really insufficient, and the poor brigands who
vegetate in La Mancha are often obliged to be contented with a
supper composed of a handful of those sweet acorns which were the
delight of Sancho Panza. What is it possible to take from people
who have neither money nor pockets, who live in houses of which
the whole furniture is composed of four bare walls, and whose only
utensils are a saucepan and an earthenware pitcher? To pillage such
villages appears to me one of the most lugubrious fancies which can
well enter the head of a robber out of work.

A little beyond Puerto Lapiche you enter La Mancha, where we
perceived to our right two or three windmills, which lay claim to
having victoriously sustained the shock of Don Quixote's lance,
and which, for the moment, were listlessly turning their fans with
the aid of an asthmatic breeze. The _venta_ at which we stopped
to imbibe two or three jars of fresh water, also boasts of having
entertained the immortal hero of Cervantes.

We will not fatigue our readers with a description of our
monotonous route through a stony, flat, and dusty country, only
enlivened, at long intervals, with a few olive-trees, whose foliage
is diseased and of a bluish green; where nothing is seen but tawny,
haggard, mummified peasants, with scorched, rusty hats, short
breeches, and coarse gaiters of darkish cloth, carrying a tattered
jacket on their shoulders, and driving before them a mangy ass
whose coat is white with age, whose ears are enervated, and whose
back is pitiful to behold; and where you see at the entrance of the
villages nothing but half-naked children, as dark as mulattoes, and
who view you with wild and astonished looks as you pass by.

Dying of hunger, we arrived at Manzanares in the middle of the
night. The courier who preceded us, profiting by his right as
first comer and his acquaintance with the people of the hotel, had
exhausted all the provisions, which consisted, it is true, but of
three or four eggs and a piece of ham. We uttered the most piercing
and heart-rending cries, and declared that we would set fire to the
house and roast the landlady herself, if there were no other dish
forthcoming. This display of energy procured us, at about two in
the morning, some supper, to prepare which they had been obliged
to wake up half the town. We had a quarter of kid, eggs with
tomato-sauce, ham and goat's-milk cheese, with some pretty good
white table-wine. We all supped together in the yard by the light
of three or four brass lamps, very much like the funereal lamps of
antiquity. The flame of each lamp producing, through the caprices
of the wind, fantastic shades and lights, gave us the appearance
of so many lamiæ and ghouls tearing asunder pieces of disinterred
children: and that the repast might have a perfect appearance of
magic, a tall blind girl, guided by the noise, approached the
table, and began singing couplets to a plaintive and monotonous
air, like a vague sibylline incantation. On learning that we were
French, she improvised, in honour of us, some eulogical stanzas,
which we rewarded with a few reals.

Before getting into our conveyance, we went to take a turn in the
village; we were obliged to grope our way, it is true, but that
was better than remaining in the yard of the inn. We reached the
Market-place, not, however, without having stumbled over some one
sleeping in the open air. In the summer, the people generally
sleep in the street, some under their cloaks, and some beneath
mule-cloths, while others have a sack filled with chopped straw
(these are sybarites); and then again there are some who lie on the
bare bosom of their mother Cybele, with a stone for a pillow. The
peasants who had arrived in the night were asleep, pell-mell, in
the midst of curious vegetables and wild productions, or between
the legs of their mules and donkeys, where they were waiting for
daylight, which was soon to appear.

By the moon's faint light, we indistinctly perceived in the
obscurity a sort of embattled antique edifice, where, by the
whiteness of the plaster, we recognised the defences made during
the last civil war, and which time had not yet succeeded in
harmonizing with the main building. As a conscientious traveller,
this is all we can say of Manzanares.

We got into our conveyance again; sleep crept over us, and when we
again opened our eyes we were in the environs of Val-de-Peñas, a
town celebrated for its wine: the ground and hills, studded with
constellated stones, were of a red hue and singularly crude, and we
began to distinguish on the horizon ranges of mountains serrated
like saws, and whose outline was very plainly marked, in spite of
their great distance.

Val-de-Peñas possesses nothing above the common, and owes all its
reputation to its vineyards. Its name--the Valley of Stones--is
perfectly justified. We stopped here to breakfast, and, by an
inspiration from Heaven, I first of all took my own chocolate, and
then that intended for my companion, who had not yet risen; and,
foreseeing future famines, I crammed into my cup as many _bunuelos_
(a kind of small fritter) as it would hold, so as to make a sort
of pretty substantial porridge; for I had not yet learned the
abstemiousness of the camel, which, I did some time afterwards
by dint of practising abstinence worthy of an anchorite of the
primitive times. I was not then used to the climate, and I had
brought from France a most unnatural appetite, which inspired the
natives of the country with respectful astonishment.

In a few minutes we set off all in a hurry, for we were obliged
to keep close to the _correo real_, in order not to lose the
advantage of its protection. On leaning out of the vehicle to take
a last survey of Val-de-Peñas, I let my cap fall into the road: a
_muchacho_ of twelve or fifteen years of age perceived this, and,
in order to get a few _cuartos_, picked it up, and began running
after the diligence, which was now at some distance from him; he
overtook it, however, though he was barefooted and running on a
road paved with sharp-pointed stones. I threw him a handful of
sous, which certainly made him the most opulent urchin in the
whole place. I mention this insignificant circumstance merely
because it is characteristic of the swiftness of the Spaniards,
who are the best walkers in the world, and the most active runners
to be met with. We have already had occasion to speak of those
foot-postilions called _zagales_, who follow carriages, going at
full speed, for leagues together, without appearing to be in the
least fatigued, or without even perspiring.

At Santa Cruz we were offered for sale all sorts of small knives
and _navajas_: Santa Cruz and Albacete are renowned for this fancy
cutlery. These _navajas_, of Arabian and very characteristic
barbarous taste, have brass handles, which are cut through, and in
the perforations of which are seen red, green, and blue spangles.
Coarse enamel work, but cleanly executed, decorates the blades,
which are made in the form of a fish, and are always very sharp;
most of them bear some such motto as the following: _Soy de uno
solo_, "I belong to one only;" or _Cuando esta vivora pica, no
hay remedio en la botica_, "When this serpent stings, there is
no remedy in medicine." Sometimes the blade has three parallel
lines cut down it, the hollows of which are painted red, and then
it presents a truly formidable appearance. The length of these
_navajas_ varies from three inches to three feet; a few _majos_
(smart peasants) have some which, when open, are as long as a
sabre; the blade is kept open in its place by a jointed spring, or
a sliding ring. The _navaja_ is the favourite arm of the Spaniards,
especially of the people of the lower class; they handle it with
wonderful dexterity, and form moreover a shield by rolling their
cape round their left arm. This is an art which, like fencing, has
its laws, and _navaja_-masters are as numerous in Andalusia as
fencing-masters are at Paris. Every one who uses the _navaja_ has
his secret thrusts, and his particular ways of striking: adepts,
they say, can, on viewing a wound, recognise the _artiste_ who has
inflicted it, as we recognise a painter by his touch.

The undulations of the ground now began to be more marked and
more frequent--in fact, we did nothing but ascend and descend. We
were approaching the Sierra Morena, which forms the limits of
Andalusia. Behind that line of violet-coloured mountains lay hidden
the paradise of our dreams. The stones already began to change
into rocks, and the hills into towering mountains: thistles, six
or seven feet high, rose up on the sides of the road, like the
halberds of invisible soldiers. Though I have no pretensions to
being an ass, I am very fond of thistles (a taste which is common
both to myself and butterflies), and those I saw here surprised me.
The thistle is a superb plant, which can be most advantageously
studied for the production of ornamental designs. No piece of
Gothic architecture possesses cleaner or more delicately-cut
arabesques or foliage. From time to time we perceived in the
neighbouring fields large yellow-looking patches, as if sacks of
chopped straw had been emptied there; but this straw rose up in a
cloud when we approached, and noisily flew away. What we mistook
for straw was shoals of locusts, and there must have been millions
of them: this reminded one strongly of Egypt.

It was somewhere near this place that, for the first time in my
life, I really suffered from hunger. Ugolino in his tower could not
have felt more famished than I did, and I had not, like him, four
sons to devour. The reader, who has seen me swallow two cups of
chocolate at Val-de-Peñas, is perhaps astonished at this premature
hunger; but Spanish cups are not larger than a thimble, and do not
hold more than two or three spoonfuls. My melancholy was greatly
augmented at the _venta_, where we left our escort, on seeing a
magnificent omelet, intended for the soldiers' dinner, assume a
golden hue beneath a sunbeam that came down the chimney. I prowled
about it like a ravenous wolf, but it was too well guarded for me
to carry off. Luckily, however, a lady from Granada, who was in the
diligence with us, took pity on my martyrdom, and gave me a slice
of La Mancha ham cured in sugar, with a piece of bread which she
kept in reserve in one of the pockets of the vehicle. May this ham
be returned to her an hundredfold!

Not far from this _venta_, on the right hand side of the road,
stood some pillars, on which were seen three or four malefactors'
heads--a spectacle always adapted to tranquillize your mind, and
which proves that you are in a civilized country. The road kept
rising, and assuming various zigzag forms. We were about to pass
by the _Puerto de los Perros_: this is a narrow defile--a breach,
in fact, made in the mountain by a torrent, which leaves just
room enough for the road by its side. The _Puerto de los Perros_
(passage of dogs) is thus named, because through it the vanquished
Moors went out of Andalusia, taking with them the happiness and
civilization of Spain. Spain, which stands in the same relation to
Africa as Greece did to Asia, is not fitted for European manners.
The genius of the East is apparent there in all its forms, and it
is perhaps to be regretted that Spain is not still Moorish and

It would be impossible to imagine anything more picturesque or
grand than this entrance to Andalusia. The defile is cut through
immense rocks of red marble, the gigantic layers of which rise one
above the other with a sort of architectural regularity. These
enormous blocks, with their large transversal fissures--those
veins of mountain marble, a sort of terrestrial subject, deprived
of skin, on which to study the anatomy of the globe--are of such
proportions, that they make the largest granite of Egypt appear
microscopical by their side. In the interstices are palm oaks and
enormous cork-trees, which do not appear larger there than do tufts
of herb on an ordinary-sized wall. On reaching the bottom of the
defile, you perceive that the vegetation increases in richness, and
forms an impenetrable thicket, through which you see, sparkling in
different places, the bright water of the torrent. The edge is so
rugged on the side of the road, that it has been judged prudent to
place a parapet along it, without which the diligence, which is
always going very fast, and which it is very difficult to drive, on
account of the frequent bends, might easily turn a somersault of
some five or six hundred feet.

It was in the Sierra Morena that the knight of the rueful
countenance accomplished, in imitation of Amadis on the rock, that
famous act of penance which consisted in tumbling about in his
shirt on the sharpest rocks, and that Sancho Panza, the positive
man, the representative of vulgar reason by the side of noble
madness, found Cardenio's portmanteau so well filled with ducats
and fine shirts. You cannot make a step in Spain without meeting
with something to remind you of Don Quixote; so truly national is
the work of Cervantes, and so true is it that these two personages
sum up in themselves the whole Spanish character--chivalrous
exaltation of mind, and an adventurous spirit joined to great good
practical sense, and a sort of goodnature full of _finesse_ and

At Venta de Cardona where we changed mules, I saw a pretty little
child with a complexion of the most dazzling whiteness, lying
in his cradle, and resembling a wax Jesus in his manger. The
Spaniards, when they are not burnt by the sun, are in general
exceedingly fair.

As soon as the Sierra Morena is passed, the aspect of the country
undergoes a total change; it is like going all at once from Europe
to Africa; vipers, crawling to their nests, leave their oblique
marks on the fine gravel of the roads; and the aloe begins to
brandish its large thorny sabres at the sides of the ditches.
These large fans of thick, brawny, bluish-grey leaves immediately
throw a different appearance over the whole landscape. You feel
that you are in a new country; you understand that you have
really quitted Paris; but the difference in the climate, in the
architecture, and in the costumes, does not astonish you so much
as the presence of the large vegetables belonging to the torrid
regions, and which we are only accustomed to behold in hothouses,
in France. The laurels, the holm oaks, the cork, and the fig-trees,
with their varnished and metallic-looking foliage, have about them
something free, robust, and wild, which indicates a climate in
which nature is more powerful than man, and in which she can do
without him.

Before us extended the fine country of Andalusia, unfolding itself
to our view, like an immense panorama. The scene possessed the
grandeur and appearance of the sea: chains of mountains, which
distance confounded with the sky itself, succeeded one another,
with the gentlest undulations, like long rows of billows of azure.
Large clouds of white vapour filled up the intervals; and here and
there the rays of the sun streaked with gold some of the nearer
mountain-tops, and made them sparkle with a thousand colours like
a pigeon's breast. Other ridges, curiously irregular, resembled
those draperies in ancient pictures which were yellow on one side
and blue on the other. The whole was inundated with a most dazzling
and splendid light, similar to that which must have illuminated the
terrestrial paradise. It streamed through this ocean of mountains
like liquid gold and silver, dashing a phosphorescent foam of
spangles on every obstacle it met with. The scene before us was
much more vast than the grandest perspectives of Martin, and
infinitely more beautiful. The infinite in things filled with light
is sublime and stupendous in a far different manner to the infinite
in things smothered in darkness.

While gazing on this wonderful picture, which varied in appearance
and presented us with fresh splendours at each turn of our wheels,
we saw appear on the horizon the pointed roofs of Carolina's
symmetrical pavilions, a sort of model village, or agricultural
phalansterium, formerly founded by the Count of Florida Blanca, and
peopled by him, at a great expense, with Germans and Swiss. This
village, built all of a sudden, and raised at the will of one man,
possesses that tedious regularity which is unknown in places which
rise gradually, and in obedience to the caprice of chance and time.
Everything has been done by line and rule: from the middle of the
place you can see the whole town; here is the market of the Plaza
de Toros; here is the church, and here is the house of the alcade.
All this is certainly very nice, but I prefer the most wretched
village which has taken its form at random. The colony has not,
however, succeeded; the Swiss became affected with nostalgia and
died off like flies, on merely hearing the bells sound; the ringing
of them was therefore obliged to be discontinued. They did not all
die, however, and the population of Carolina still preserves traces
of its German origin. We had a solid dinner at Carolina served up
with some excellent wine, and I was not obliged to take double
portions: we now no longer travelled with the courier, as the roads
are perfectly safe in these parts.

Aloe-trees, more and more African in size and shape, continued
to rise along the sides of the road, and towards the left a long
garland of flowers of the deepest rose-colour, glittering in a
foliage of emeralds, marked out all the sinuosities of the bed of
a dried up rivulet. Profiting by a halt made to change mules, my
companion ran and gathered an enormous bouquet of these flowers;
they were rose-bays of the greatest beauty and freshness. We might
put to this rivulet, with the name of which I am not acquainted,
and which perhaps has none, the same question that Monsieur Casimir
Delavigne puts to the Greek river--

      "Eurotas, Eurotas, que font tes lauriers-roses?"

To the rose-bays succeeded, like a melancholy reflection after
a silvery burst of laughter, tall olive-trees whose pale leaves
remind you of the white foliage of the willows of the North, and
which harmonize admirably well with the ashy colour of the ground.
These leaves, which are of a grave, austere, and gentle tint, were
most judiciously chosen by the ancients, those skilful estimators
of natural evidence, as the symbol of peace and wisdom.

It was about four o'clock when we arrived at Baylen, famous for the
disastrous capitulation which is known by this name. We were to
pass the night there, and while waiting for supper we went to take
a stroll through the town and about the environs with the lady from
Granada, and a very pretty young girl who was going with her father
and mother to take sea-baths at Malaga; for the general reserve of
the Spaniards quickly gives way to polite and cordial familiarity,
as soon as they are certain that you are neither a commercial
traveller, nor a tight-rope dancer, nor a hawker of pomatum.

The church of Baylen, the construction of which does not date much
further back than the sixteenth century, astonished me by its
strange colour. Its stone and marble baked by the sun of Spain,
instead of turning black as such things do in our damp climate, had
assumed red hues of the most extraordinary vividness, and which
even inclined to saffron and purple, resembling in their tints
vine-leaves at the end of autumn. At the side of the church, a
palm-tree, the first I had ever seen in the open air, rose above
a little wall gilt by the reflection of the sun's burning rays,
and abruptly spread out its branches in the dark azure of the
heavens. This palm-tree--a sudden revelation from the East--thus
met unexpectedly at the corner of a street, produced a singular
effect on me. I expected, every instant, to see the profile of the
camel's ostrich-like neck appear in the glimmering light thrown out
by the setting sun, and the white bournous of the Arab float along
the ranks of the caravan.

Some rather picturesque ruins of ancient fortifications presented
to our view a tower, in a sufficiently good state of preservation
to allow us to ascend it by the aid of our hands and feet and the
jutting out of the stones. We were rewarded for our trouble by one
of the most magnificent sights it is possible to behold. The city
of Baylen, with its tiled roofs, its red church, and its white
houses huddled round the foot of the tower like a flock of goats,
formed a charming foreground: further on were immense corn-fields,
undulating like waves of gold, and right at the back, above several
ranges of mountains, the ridge of the Sierra Nevada glittered in
the distance like a chain of silver. Veins of snow, played on by
the light, brightly sparkled and sent forth prismatic flashes;
while the sun, similar to a large golden wheel, of which its disc
was the nave, spread out its flaming rays, like spokes, in a sky
tinged with all the hues of the agate and the advanturine.

The inn at which we were to pass the night was a large building
consisting but of one immense room, with a fireplace at each end, a
roof of timberwork, shiny and black with smoke, racks on each side
for horses, mules, and donkeys; and having, for the accommodation
of travellers, a few small lateral chambers, containing each a bed
formed of three planks placed on two trestles, and covered with
those pellicles of canvass, in which floated a few lumps of wool,
and which hotel-keepers, with the usual effrontery and _sang froid_
which characterize them, call mattresses; but this, however, did
not hinder us from snoring like Epimenides and the Seven Sleepers
all together.

We set off very early in the morning to avoid the heat, and we
again saw the beautiful rose-bays, as resplendent as glory and
as blooming as love, which had enchanted us the evening before.
The Guadalquiver, with its troubled and yellowish waters, soon
appeared to bar our passage; we crossed it in a ferry-boat, and
took the road to Jaen. To our left was pointed out to us the tower
of Torrequebradilla, on which a sunbeam was playing, and we soon
perceived the strange outline of the city of Jaen, the capital
of the province of that name. An enormous mountain, of the colour
of ochre, as tawny as a lion's skin, variegated with stripes of
red and brown, and enveloped in clouds of light, rises abruptly in
the middle of the city; massive towers, and long, zigzag lines of
fortification streak its barren sides and give them a fantastic
and picturesque appearance. The Cathedral, an immense mass of
architecture, which seems, from a distance, to be larger than the
town itself, rears its head haughtily, like an artificial mountain
by the side of the natural one. This cathedral, which is of the
Renaissance style of architecture, and which boasts of possessing
the true handkerchief in which Saint Veronica took the impression
of our Saviour's face, was built by the duke of Medina Coeli. It
is certainly a handsome building, but we had imagined it, at a
distance, to be both more antique and more curious.

On our way from the _Parador_ to the cathedral, I took care to
inspect the play-bills, and found that, the evening before,
_Mérope_ had been played, and that that evening would be given
"El Campanero de San Pablo," _por el illustrissimo señor don Jose
Bouchardy_; or, in other words, "Le Sonneur de Saint Paul," by my
friend Bouchardy. To have your pieces played at Jaen, a barbarous
town, where the inhabitants never go out without a poniard
in their belt and a carabine on their shoulder, is certainly
very flattering, and very few of our contemporary geniuses are
able to boast of a like success. If we formerly borrowed a few
_chefs-d'œuvre_ of the Spanish stage, we fully repay, at present,
in vaudevilles and in melodramas, the value of all we have taken.

On leaving the cathedral we returned, with the other travellers,
to the _Parador_, the appearance of which seemed to promise
an excellent repast; a _café_ was attached to it, and it had
quite the look of a European and civilized establishment. Some
one discovered, however, on taking his place, that the bread
was as hard as a mill-stone, and asked for some other. But the
hotel-keeper obstinately refused to change it. During the quarrel,
another person perceived that the dishes had been warmed up, and
must have already appeared on the table some time back. Hereupon,
every person present began to utter the most plaintive cries
and to insist on having a perfectly fresh dinner that had never
appeared before. And now for the secret of this: the diligence
which preceded us had been stopped by the brigands of La Mancha,
and the travellers, whom they had carried off into the mountains,
had not been able to partake of the repast prepared for them by the
hotel-keeper at Jaen. The latter, in order not to be out of pocket,
had kept the dishes, and served them up again for us; but he was
deceived in his expectations, for we all left his house, and went
elsewhere to satisfy our hunger. The unlucky dinner was, no doubt,
presented, for a third time, to the next travellers.

We repaired to an obscure _posada_, where, after waiting a long
while, we obtained some cutlets, some eggs, and a salad, all served
up in chipped plates, accompanied by odd knives and forks, and
glasses, each of which belonged to a different set. The banquet
was very mediocre, but it was seasoned with so much laughter, and
so many jokes about the comic fury of the hotel-keeper when he saw
his company leave in procession, as well as about the fate of the
poor victims to whom he would not fail to re-present his emaciated
chickens, warmed up for the third time, as perfectly fresh, that
we were fully compensated, and even more than compensated, for the
poorness of our fare. As soon as the icy reserve of the Spaniards
once begins to wear away, they immediately indulge in an infantine
and _naïve_ gaiety, full of charming sweetness. The least thing
makes them laugh till the tears run down their faces.

It was at Jaen that I saw more national and picturesque costumes
than anywhere else. The men were attired, for the most part, in
blue velvet breeches, adorned with silver filigrane buttons, and
Ronda gaiters embellished with aiglets and stitching, and worked
with arabesques on leather of a darker colour. It is considered the
height of elegance to button but the first two or three buttons, at
the top and bottom, so as to let the calf be seen. Wide sashes of
red or yellow silk, jackets of brown cloth variously trimmed, blue
or maroon cloaks, pointed hats with slouched brims, ornamented with
bands of velvet and silk tassels, complete the costume, which is
very similar to the ancient dress of Italian brigands: others wore
what is called a _vestido de cazador_ (hunter's dress), which is
made entirely of buckskin of a tawny colour, and of green velvet.

Some women of the lower class had red cloaks and hoods, which
seemed to make the darker part of the crowd sparkle brightly, and
to bespangle it with scarlet. The fantastic style of dress, the
swarthy complexion, the energy depicted in the features, the fiery
eyes, with the calm and impassible attitude of these _majos_, more
numerous here than anywhere else, impart to the population of Jaen
an aspect more African than European: an illusion which is kept
up still more by the intense heat of the climate, the dazzling
whiteness of the houses, which are all whitewashed in the Arabian
fashion, the tawny colour of the ground, and the unchanging azure
of the sky. The following proverb on Jaen is in current use in
Spain: "Ugly town, bad people;" but no painter would ever admit it
to be true. But then, there as here, a handsome town in the eyes
of most people is a town laid out by rule and line, and furnished
with a certain number of lamps and tradesmen.

On leaving Jaen, you enter a valley which stretches as far as the
Vega de Granada. The beginning of it is arid; barren mountains
continually crumbling away through dryness scorch you, like burning
mirrors, with their canescent reverberation; the only sign of
vegetation is to be found in a few sickly-looking tufts of fennel.
But soon the valley becomes narrower and deeper; streams begin
to flow, and vegetation reappears, bringing with it shade and
coolness. The _Rio_ of Jaen occupies the bottom of the valley,
where it rushes rapidly along between the stones and rocks which
torment it and stop its course at every instant. By it runs the
road, which follows it in all its sinuosities; for, in mountainous
countries, the torrents are as yet the most skilful engineers in
tracing out routes, and the wisest thing to do is to follow their

[Illustration: VEGA DE GRANADA.]

A peasant's cottage at which we stopped to drink was surrounded
by two or three little gutters of running water, which emptied
themselves, at a short distance further on, into a cluster of
pomegranate-trees, myrtles, pistachio-trees, and others of every
kind, in a most extraordinarily flourishing condition. It was so
long since we had seen anything really green, that this wild and
almost entirely uncultivated garden appeared a little terrestrial
paradise to us.

The young girl who brought us our beverage in one of those
delightful porous clay pots which keep the water so cool, was
extremely pretty; her eyes were long, reaching to beneath the
temples, and her mouth, which was as blooming and as red as a
beautiful pink, contrasted admirably with her tawny complexion. She
wore a flannel petticoat and velvet shoes, of which she appeared
very proud and careful. This style of beauty, which is frequently
met with in Granada, is evidently Moorish.

At one point, the valley becomes extremely narrow, and the rocks
project to such an extent, that they but just leave room enough
for the Rio. Formerly, vehicles were obliged to enter and proceed
along the very bed of the torrent, which it was somewhat perilous
for them to do, on account of the holes and stones at the bottom of
the river, and of the rising of the water, which, in winter, must
be considerable. In order to remedy this inconvenience, a viaduct,
similar to a railway tunnel, has been made right through one of the
rocks. This subterraneous passage, which is on a rather extensive
scale, was constructed only a few years back.

The valley soon widens again, however, and the road ceases to be
obstructed. Here my recollection fails me for several leagues.
Overcome by the heat, which the weather, inclining to storm,
rendered suffocating, I fell asleep; and when I awoke, night, which
comes on so suddenly in southern climates, enveloped everything,
and an awful wind was sweeping before it clouds of inflamed dust:
this wind must have been a very near relation of the African
sirocco, and I don't know how we escaped being stifled. The form of
every object disappeared in the fog of dust; and the sky, generally
so splendid during the summer night, resembled the vault of an
oven: it was impossible to see two paces before you. We entered
Granada at about two in the morning, and alighted at the _Fonda del
Comercio_, a _soi-disant_ French hotel, where there were no sheets
on the beds, and where we slept on the tables in our clothes: but
these trifling tribulations produced little effect on us; for we
were at Granada, and, in a few hours, we should see the Alhambra
and the Generalife.

Our first care was to request a cicerone to take us to a _casa de
pupilos_,--that is, a private house in which boarders are received,
for, as it was our intention to remain some time at Granada, the
mediocre hospitality of the _Fonda del Comercio_ was far from
calculated to promote our comfort during a long sojourn. This
_cicerone_, of the name of Louis, was a Frenchman, and came from
Farmoutiers in Brie. He had deserted during the French invasion
under Bonaparte, and had lived at Granada for twenty years. He
was the most comical figure imaginable: his height--he was five
feet eight--contrasted most singularly with his little head, which
was as wrinkled as a shrivelled apple and about as large as your
fist. Being deprived of all communication with France, he had
preserved his Brie jargon in all its native purity, spoke like an
Opéra Comique Jeannot, and seemed to be perpetually reciting the
words of Monsieur Etienne. In spite of so long a sojourn, his thick
head had refused to stock itself with a single new idiom: he was
hardly acquainted with the most indispensable phrases. The only
things Spanish he had about him were the _alpargatas_, and the
little Andalusian hat with its turned-up brim. The fact, however,
of being Spanish even to this extent sorely vexed him, and he
revenged himself by showering on every Spaniard he met all sorts
of injurious epithets--in his Brie jargon, be it understood, for
Master Louis had a particular dread of hard blows, and took as much
care of his skin as if it had been worth something.

He took us to a very respectable house, in the _Calle de Parragas_,
near the _Plazuela de San Antonio_, and at a stone's throw from
the _Carrera del Darro_. The mistress of this boarding-house
had lived for a long time at Marseilles and spoke French, which
circumstance immediately induced us to take up our abode there, as
our vocabulary was still very limited.

They put us into a room on the ground floor: this room was
whitewashed, and its entire furniture consisted of a rose of
different colours in the middle of the ceiling, but then it had
the advantage of opening into a _patio_, surrounded by white
marble columns with Moorish capitals, procured, no doubt, at the
demolition of some ancient Arabian palace. A little basin, with a
jet of water in it, dug in the middle of the court, kept the whole
place cool; an immense piece of esparto matting, which formed the
_tendido_, let in a subdued light, and made the ground, paved and
marked out into compartments with pebbles, glitter here and there,
as if studded with shining stars.

It was in the _patio_ that we took our meals, read, and lived. We
used our room for hardly anything but to dress and sleep in. Were
it not for the _patio_, an architectural arrangement which reminds
you of the ancient Roman _cavædium_, the houses in Andalusia would
not be inhabitable. The sort of hall which precedes it is generally
paved with small pebble-stones of various colours, forming designs
in rough mosaic-work, now representing vases of flowers, now
soldiers and caltrops, or simply stating the time when the _patio_
was constructed.

From the top of our abode, which was surmounted by a kind of
_mirador_, we could perceive, above the summit of a hill standing
out boldly on the blue sky, and through groups of trees, the
massive towers of the Alhambra, clothed by the sun in deep red,
fire-like tints. The view was rendered complete by two large
cypresses placed in juxtaposition, and the dark points of which
rose into the sky above the walls of red. These cypresses are never
lost sight of: whether you are climbing the snow-streaked sides of
the Mulhacen, or wandering about the Vega or the Sierra de Elvira,
they are always to be perceived, dark and motionless in the mist
of the blue or golden vapour with which the roofs of the houses
appear, at a distance, to be enveloped.

Granada is built on three hills, at the end of the plain of the
Vega: the Vermilion Towers--thus named on account of their colour
(_Torres Bermejas_), and which are asserted to be of Roman or even
Phœnician origin--occupy the first and the least elevated of these
eminences; the Alhambra, which is in itself an entire city, covers
the second and highest hill with its square towers, connected
with one another by lofty walls and immense substructures, which
form an enclosure containing gardens, woods, houses, and squares;
the Albaycin is situated on the third hillock, which is separated
from the others by a deep ravine choked with vegetation and full
of cactuses, coloquintidas, pistachio-trees, pomegranate-trees,
rose-bays, and tufts of flowers, and at the bottom of which flows
the Darro, with the rapidity of an Alpine torrent. The Darro, which
has gold in its stream, traverses the city now beneath the open
sky, now under bridges so long that they rather merit the name of
vaults, and joins itself in the Vega, at a little distance from the
parade, to the Xenil which is contented with containing silver.
The course of the torrent through the city is called _Carrera del
Darro_, and a magnificent view is obtained from the balconies of
those houses which border it. The Darro wears away its shores
very much, and causes frequent slips of earth; there exists, in
consequence, an old couplet, sung by children, which alludes to
this mania for carrying everything away, and accounts for it in a
peculiar manner. The following are the lines in question:--

      "Darro tiene prometido
      El casarse con Xenil
      Y le ha de llevar en dote
      Plaza Nueva y Zacatin,"

The gardens called _Carmenes del Darro_, and of which such charming
descriptions are to be found in Spanish and Moorish poetry, are
situated on the banks of the _Carrera_, on the same side as the
fountain of _los Avellanos_.

The city is thus divided into four quarters: the Antequerula,
which occupies the brow of the hill, or rather of the mountain,
on which the Alhambra is situated; the Alhambra and its appendix
the Generalife; the Albaycin, formerly a vast fortress, but now
a ruined and depopulated quarter; and Granada proper, which
extends into the plain round the cathedral, and the place of the
_Vivarambla_, which forms a separate quarter.

Such is the topographical aspect of Granada, traversed in its
entire width by the Darro, bordered by the Xenil, which washes the
alameda (parade), and sheltered by the Sierra Neveda, which you
perceive from the corner of every street, and which seems so near,
in consequence of the transparency of the air, that you fancy you
can touch it with your hand from the balcony or the _mirador_ of
your house.

The general aspect of Granada greatly deceives the ideas you
may have formed. In spite of yourself--in spite of the numerous
deceptions you have already experienced--you cannot bring your
mind to believe that three or four hundred years, and streams
of matter-of-fact citizens have passed over the theatre of so
many romantic and chivalrous actions. You picture to yourself a
half-Moorish, half-Gothic city, where open-worked towers are mixed
with minarets, and where gables alternate with terraced roofs;
you expect to see houses sculptured and ornamented with coats of
arms and heroic devices, grotesque buildings, with their stories
overlapping one another, projecting joists, windows adorned with
Persian carpets and blue and white vases--in short, the reality
of an opera scene, representing some wonderful perspective of the
Middle Ages.

The people you meet dressed in modern costumes, wearing
broad-brimmed hats and long frock-coats, involuntarily produce on
you a disagreeable effect, and appear more ridiculous than they
really are; for, after all, they cannot be expected to walk about,
for the sake of the local colouring, in the Moorish _albornoz_ of
the time of Boabdil, or in the iron armour of the time of Ferdinand
and Isabella the Catholic. Like nearly all the citizens of every
town in Spain, they think it necessary for their honour to show
that they are not at all picturesque, and to prove, by the means
of trousers and straps, their progress in civilization. Such is
the prevailing idea which occupies their minds; they are afraid
of appearing barbarous or backward; and when you admire the wild
beauty of their country, they humbly beg you to excuse them for
having no railways yet, and for being without steam-engines in
their manufactories. One of these honest citizens, to whom I was
extolling the charms of Granada, replied, "It is the best lighted
city in Andalusia. Just look at the number of its lamps; but what a
pity it is that they are not gas ones!"

Granada is gay, smiling, animated, although much fallen from its
former splendour. The inhabitants are everywhere, and well merit
the name of a numerous population; the carriages are handsomer and
more plentiful than at Madrid. The sprightliness of the Andalusians
fills the streets with bustle and life--things unknown to the grave
Castilian, who, as he goes along, makes no more noise than his
shadow: this remark particularly applies to the Carrera del Darro,
the Zacatin, the Plaza Nueva, the Calle de los Gomeles, which leads
to the Alhambra, to the square before the theatre, to the entrances
to the parade, and to all the leading thoroughfares. The rest of
the city is intersected in all directions by inextricable lanes of
three or four feet in width, through which no vehicles can pass,
and which remind you of the Moorish streets of Algiers. The only
sound heard there is the noise made by the hoof of a donkey or a
mule, which strikes a light every now and then on the glittering
flints which pave the road, or the monotonous tinkling of a guitar
which some one is playing at the bottom of a yard.

The balconies, furnished with blinds and ornamented with shrubs
and vases of flowers, the vine-runners creeping from one window
to another, the rose-bays raising their blooming flowers above
the garden walls, the curious effect of the sun and shade, whose
fantastic frolics remind you of Decamps's pictures representing
Turkish villages, the women seated before the doors, the half-naked
children playing and rolling about at their sides, the donkeys
going backwards and forwards loaded with feathers and woollen
tufts, give these lanes, which are nearly always up-hill and
sometimes intersected with steps, a peculiar appearance which
has a certain charm about it, and which compensates--nay, more
than compensates for their want of regularity, by the novel and
unlooked-for things you see.

Victor Hugo, in his charming "Orientale," says of Granada,--

      "Elle peint ses maisons de plus riches couleurs."

This is perfectly true. The houses of persons at all well off are
painted outside in the most fantastic manner with imitations of
architectural embellishments, sham cameos on grey grounds, and
false bas-reliefs. You have before you a medley of mouldings,
modillions, piers, urn-like vessels, volutes, medallions ornamented
with rose-coloured tufts, ovoloes, bits of embroidery, pot-bellied
cupids supporting all sorts of allegorical figures, on apple-green,
bright flesh-colour, or fawn-tinted backgrounds, all which, high
art tells us, argues bad taste carried to its utmost limits. At
first, you have some difficulty to bring yourself to look upon
these illuminated façades as real dwelling-houses. You fancy you
are walking among the scenery of a theatre. We had already seen
houses illuminated in this manner at Toledo, but they are very much
behind those of Granada in the extravagance of their decorations
and the strangeness of their colours. As for myself, I do not
dislike this fashion, which pleases the sight and forms a happy
contrast with the chalky colour of the whitewashed walls.

We just now mentioned the adoption by the upper classes of the
French style of dress; but the man of the people does not, luckily,
study Parisian fashions. He has still kept the pointed hat with
a velvet brim, adorned with silk tassels, or the one of stunted
form with a wide flap, like a turban, the jacket ornamented at the
elbows, the cuffs, and the collar, with embroidery, and pieces
of cloth of all colours, and which vaguely reminds you of the
Turkish jackets, the red or yellow sash, the breeches furnished
with filigrane buttons, or with small coins soldered to a shank,
with the leather gaiters open up the side to let the leg be seen;
the whole being more striking, more gorgeous, more flowered, more
dazzling, more loaded with tinsel and gewgaws, than the costume
of any other province. You see also many other costumes known by
the name of _vestido de cazador_ (hunter's dress), made of Cordova
leather and blue or green velvet, and ornamented with aiglets. It
is considered highly fashionable to carry a cane (vara) or white
stick, four feet long, slit up at the end, and on which the person
carrying it leans negligently when he stops to speak to any one.
No _majo_ possessing the least respect for himself would ever dare
appear in public without a _vara_. Two handkerchiefs, with their
ends hanging out of the jacket pockets, a long _navaja_ stuck in
the sash, not in front, but in the middle of the back, constitute
the height of elegance for these coxcombs of the people.

This costume so pleased my fancy, that my first care was to order
one. They took me to Don Juan Zafata, a person who had a great
reputation for national costumes, and who had as great a hatred
for black dress-coats and frock-coats as I have. Seeing that my
antipathy coincided with his own, he gave free course to his
sorrow, and poured into my breast his elegies on the decline of
art. With grief that found an echo in myself did he remind me of
the happy time when foreigners dressed in the French fashion would
have been hooted through the streets and pelted with orange-peel;
when the _toreadores_ wore jackets embroidered with gold and
silver, which were worth more than five hundred _piécettes_; and
when the young men of good family had trimmings and aiglets of an
enormous price. "Alas! sir, the English are the only persons who
buy Spanish clothes now," said he, as he finished taking my measure.

This Señor Zapata was, with respect to his clothes, something
like Cardillac with respect to his jewels. He was always sorely
grieved at having to give them up to his customers. When he
came to try on my suit, he was so delighted with the splendid
appearance of the flower-pot he had embroidered in the middle
of the back on the brown cloth ground, that he broke out into
exclamations of the most frantic joy, and began to commit all sorts
of extravagances. But all at once the thought that he should have
to leave this chef-d'œuvre in my hands put a stop to his hilarity,
and his features suddenly became overcast. Under the pretext of
making I know not what alteration, he wrapped the garment up in
a handkerchief, gave it to his apprentice, for a Spanish tailor
would think himself dishonoured if he carried his own parcels,
and casting at me a fierce, ironical look, hurried away as if a
thousand demons were pursuing him. The next day he came back alone,
and, taking from a leathern purse the money I had paid him, he told
me that it grieved him so much to part with his jacket, that he
preferred to return me my duros. It was only after I had observed
that this costume would give the Parisians a great idea of his
talent, and create him a reputation in Paris, that he consented to
let me have it.

The women have had the good taste not to discard the mantilla,
the most delicious style of head-dress for the display of Spanish
features; gracefully enveloped in their black lace, they go about
the streets and public walks, with nothing on their heads but the
mantilla, and a red pink at each temple, and glide along the walls,
while skilfully using their fans, with the most incomparable grace
and agility. A bonnet is a rare thing in Granada. The women of
fashion have, it is true, some jonquil, or poppy-coloured thing,
carefully put away in a bonnet-box, to be kept for grand occasions;
but such occasions, thank Heaven, are very rare, and the horrible
bonnets only see the light on the saint's day of the Queen, or at
the solemn sittings of the Lyceum. May our fashions never invade
the city of the caliphs, and may we never see realized the terrible
menace contained in the two words, "Modista Francesa," painted
in black at the entrance of a public square! Persons of a grave
character will, doubtless, think us very futile, and ridicule our
grief about the extinction of the picturesque, but then we are of
opinion, that patent leather boots and mackintoshes contribute very
little to civilization, and we even look upon civilization itself
as a thing far from desirable. It is a melancholy spectacle for a
poet, an artist, and a philosopher, to see both form and colour
disappear from the world, lines become confused, tints confounded,
and the most disheartening uniformity invade everything, under the
pretext of I know not what progress. When all things are alike,
there will be no further need for travelling, but, by a happy
coincidence, that will be the very time when railways will be in
full activity. What will be the good of making a long journey at
the rate of ten leagues an hour, to go and look at a number of
streets lighted, like the Rue de la Paix, with gas, and full of
well-to-do citizens? We do not think that it was for this that
Nature modelled each country in a different shape, supplied it
with plants peculiar to itself, and peopled the world with races
dissimilar to each other in conformation, colour, and language.
It is giving a bad interpretation to the meaning for which the
world was created, to wish it to force the same livery on men
of every climate; and yet this is one of the errors of European
civilization: a coat with long narrow tails makes a man look
much uglier than any other costume would, and keeps him quite as
barbarous. The poor Turks of Sultan Mahmoud have certainly cut a
fine figure since the reform made in their old Asiatic costume, and
the progress of knowledge among them has been prodigious indeed!

In order to reach the parade, you must go along the Carrera del
Darro and cross the Plaza del Teatro, where there is a funereal
column raised to the memory of Joaquin Maïquez by Julian Romea,
Matilda Diez, and other dramatic _artistes_: the façade of the
Arsenal, a structure of bad taste, besmeared with yellow and
decorated with statues of grenadiers painted mouse-grey, looks on
the square.

The Alameda of Granada is certainly one of the most agreeable
places in the world; it is called the _Saloon_, a singular name
for a parade; fancy a long walk furnished with several rows of
trees of a verdancy unique in Spain, and terminating at each end
by a monumental fountain, the top basins of which support on
their shoulders aquatic gods, curious by their deformity, and
delightfully barbarous. These fountains, contrary to the custom of
such constructions, throw out the water in large sheets, which,
evaporating in the form of fine rain and mist, spreads around
a most delicious coolness. In the side walks run streams of
crystalline transparency, encased in beds of different coloured
pebbles. A large parterre, ornamented with jets of water and
crowded with shrubs and flowers, myrtles, roses, jasmines, with all
the riches, in fact, of the Granadian Flora, occupies the space
between the Saloon and the Xenil, and stretches as far as the
bridge constructed by General Sebastiani at the time of the French
invasion. The Xenil runs from the Sierra Neveda in its marble bed,
through woods of laurel of the most incomparable beauty. Glass and
crystal form comparisons too opaque and too thick to give a true
idea of the purity of the water which, but the evening before,
was still flowing in sheets of silver on the white shoulders of
the Sierra Neveda. It is like a torrent of diamonds in a state of

The fashionable world of Granada assemble on the Saloon, between
seven and eight in the evening; the carriages follow along the
road, but they are for the most part empty, as the Spaniards are
very fond of walking, and in spite of their pride, deign to use
their own legs. Nothing can be more charming than to see the young
women and young girls pass to and fro in little groups, dressed
in their mantillas, with their arms bare, real flowers in their
hair, satin shoes on their feet, and a fan in their hand, followed
at some distance by their friends and sweethearts, for, as we
have already said, when speaking of the Prado at Madrid, it is
not customary in Spain for the women to take the arms of the men.
This habit of walking alone gives them a bold, elegant, and free
deportment unknown to our women, who are always hanging to some arm
or other. As artists say, they carry themselves beautifully. This
perpetual separation of the men from the women, at least in public,
already smacks of the East.

A sight of which the people of the North can have no idea, is
the Alameda of Granada at sunset. The Sierra Neveda, whose
denticulated ridges face the city on this side, assumes the most
unimaginable hues. Its whole steep and rugged flank and all its
peaks, struck by the light, become of a rose-colour, dazzling
to behold; ideal, fabulous, shot with silver, and streaked with
iris and opal-like reflections, which would make the freshest
tints on the artist's palette appear thick and dirty: the hues
of mother-of-pearl, the transparency of the ruby, and veins of
agate and advanturine that would defy all the fairy jewellery of
the "Thousand-and-one Nights," are to be seen there. The hollows,
crevices, anfractuosities, and all the places which the rays of the
setting sun cannot reach are of a blue colour which vies with the
azure of the sky and sea, with the lapis-lazuli and the sapphire;
this contrast of hue between light and shade produces a wonderful
effect: the mountain seems to have put on an immense robe of shot
silk spangled and bordered with silver; little by little, the
bright colours disappear and turn to violet mezzotintos, darkness
invades the lower ridges, the light withdraws towards the summit,
and all the plain has long since been in obscurity, while the
silver diadem of the Sierra still shines out in the serenity of the
sky, beneath the parting kiss sent it by the sun.

The company take a turn or two more and then disperse, some going
to take sherbet or _agraz_ at the _café_ of Don Pedro Hurtado,
where you get the best ice in Granada, and others to the _tertulia_
at their friends' and acquaintances' houses.

This is the gayest and most lively part of the day at Granada. The
shops of the _aguadores_ and sellers of ices in the open street are
illuminated by a multitude of lamps and lanterns; the street lamps
and the lights placed before the images of the madonnas vie in
splendour and number with the stars, and this is saying something:
if it happens to be moonlight, you can easily see to read the most
microscopical print. The light is blue instead of being yellow, and
that is all.

Thanks to the lady who had saved me from dying of hunger in the
diligence, and who introduced us to several of her friends, we were
soon well known in Granada. We led a delicious life there. It would
be impossible to receive a more cordial, frank, and amiable welcome
than we did; at the end of five or six days we were on the most
intimate terms with every one, and according to the Spanish custom,
we were always called by our Christian names; at Granada I was Don
Teofilo, my friend gloried in the appellation of Don Eugenio, and
we were both at liberty to designate the ladies and young girls
of the houses in which we were received, by the familiar names of
Carmen, Teresa, Gala, &c.; this familiarity clashes in no way with
the most polished manners and the most respectful attention.

We went to _tertulia_ every evening from eight o'clock till twelve;
to-day at one house, to-morrow at another. The _tertulia_ is held
in the _patio_, surrounded by alabaster columns and ornamented by a
jet of water, the basin of which is encircled with pots of flowers
and boxes of shrubs, down whose leaves the water falls in large
beads. Five or six lamps are hung up along the walls: sofas, and
straw or cane-bottomed chairs furnish the galleries, with here and
there a guitar. The piano occupies one corner, and in another stand
card-tables. Every one, on entering, goes to pay his compliments
to the mistress and master of the house, who never fail to offer
you a cup of chocolate, that good taste tells you to refuse, and
a cigarette, which is sometimes accepted. When this duty is over,
you retire to a corner of the _patio_, and join the group which
has most attraction for you. The parents and old people play at
_trecillo_, the young men talk with the young girls, recite the
octaves and the decastichs they have composed during the day,
and are scolded and forced to do penance for the crimes they may
have committed the evening before; such, for instance, as having
danced too often with a pretty cousin, or cast too ardent a glance
towards a proscribed balcony, with numerous other peccadilloes.
If, on the contrary, they have been very good, they are rewarded
for the rose they have brought with the pink in the young girls'
breast or hair, and their squeeze of the hand is replied to by a
gentle look and a slight pressure of the fingers, when all go up
into the balcony to listen to the Retreat beaten by the troops.
Love seems to be the sole business of Granada. You have only to
speak two or three times to a young girl, and the entire city
immediately declare you to be _novio_ and _novia_,--that is,
affianced, and make a thousand innocent jokes about the passion
they have invented for you; which jokes, innocent though they be,
do not fail, however, to make you somewhat uneasy, by bringing
visions of conjugal life before your eyes. All this gallantry is,
however, more apparent than real; in spite of languishing glances,
burning looks, tender or impassioned conversations, pretty little
shortenings of your name, and the _querido_ (beloved) with which
it is preceded, you must not conceive any too flattering ideas. A
Frenchman to whom a woman of the world were to say the quarter of
what a young Granadian girl says to one of her numerous novios,
without the least importance being attached to it, would think
himself already in Paradise; but he would soon find his mistake,
for if he became too bold, he would be instantly called to order,
and summoned to state his matrimonial intentions before the nearest
relatives. This honest liberty of language, so far removed from
the forced and artificial manners of the nations of the north, is
preferable to hypocrisy of speech, which always hides, at bottom,
some coarse thought or other. At Granada, to pay attentions to a
married woman seems quite extraordinary; while nothing appears more
natural there than to pay court to a young girl. It is the contrary
in France: no one ever addresses, there, a word to young, unmarried
ladies, and this is what so often renders marriages unhappy. In
Spain, a _novio_ sees his _novia_ two or three times a day, speaks
to her without witnesses, accompanies her in her walks, and comes
to talk with her in the evening through the bars of the balcony,
or the window of the ground-floor. He thus has time to become
acquainted with her, to study her character, and does not buy, as
the saying is, a pig in a poke.

When the conversation flags, one of the gentlemen takes down a
guitar, and, scratching the cords with his nails and keeping
time with the palm of his hand on the centre of the instrument,
begins to sing some gay Andalusian song or some comic couplet,
interspersed with _Ay!_ and _Ola!_ curiously modulated and
productive of a very singular effect. Then a lady sits down to
the piano, and plays a _morceau_ from Bellini, who appears to
be the favourite maestro of the Spaniards, or sings a romance
of Breton de los Herreros, the great versifier of Madrid. The
evening is terminated by a little extempore ball, at which, alas!
they dance neither jota, nor fandango, nor bolero, these dances
being abandoned to peasants, servants, and gipsies; but they dance
quadrilles, rigadoons, and sometimes they waltz. At our request,
however, two young ladies of the house volunteered to execute the
bolero one evening; but, before they commenced, they took care to
close the door and windows of the _patio_, which are generally left
open, so afraid were they of being accused of bad taste and local
colouring. In general, the Spaniards grow angry on being spoken
to of cachuchas, castanets, majos, manolas, monks, smugglers, and
bull-fights, though they have, in reality, a great liking for
all these things, so truly national and characteristic. They ask
you, with an air of apparent vexation, if you do not think that
they are as far advanced in civilization as yourself? To such an
extent has the deplorable mania of imitating everything, French or
English, penetrated everywhere! At present, Spain represents the
Voltaire-Touquet system and the _Constitutionnel_ of 1825; that is,
it is hostile to all colouring and to all poetry. Be it remembered,
however, that we are only speaking of the self-styled enlightened
class inhabiting the cities.

As soon as the quadrilles are over, you take your leave by saying,
"_A los pies de vd._" to the lady of the house, and "_Beso à vd. la
mano_" to her husband; to which they reply, "_Buenas noches_," and
"_Beso à vd. la suya_:" and then again on the threshold, as a last
adieu, "_Hasta mañana_" (till to-morrow); which is an invitation
to return. In spite of their familiar ways, the people of even
the lower classes, the peasants and vagrants, make use towards
one another of the most exquisite urbanity, which forms a strong
contrast with the uncouthness of our own rabble. It is true that
a stab might be the result of an offensive expression, and this
is certainly one way of making all interlocutors use a good deal
of circumspection. It is worthy of remark that French politeness,
formerly proverbial, has disappeared since swords have ceased to be
worn. The laws against duelling will end by making us the rudest
nation in the world.

On returning home, you meet, under the windows and balconies,
numbers of young gallants enveloped in their hooded cloaks, and
staying there to _pelar la paba_ (pluck the turkey), that is,
to talk with their _novias_ through the bars. These nocturnal
conversations often last till two or three o'clock in the morning,
which is nothing astonishing, since the Spaniards spend a part of
the day in sleep. You sometimes tumble also on a serenade composed
of three or four musicians, but more generally of the sighing swain
only, who sings couplets as he accompanies himself on the guitar,
with his _sombrero_ drawn over his eyes, and his feet resting
on a stone or a step. Formerly two serenades in the same street
would not have been tolerated. The first comer claimed the right
of remaining there alone, and forbade every other guitar, except
his own, to tinkle in silence of the night. Such pretensions were
maintained at the point of the sword, or by the knife, unless
the patrol happened to be passing. In this case the two rivals
coalesced, in order to charge the patrol, with the understanding
that they were to renew their own private combat by and by. The
susceptibility of serenaders has greatly diminished, and every one
can at present tranquilly _rascar el jamon_ (scrape the ham) under
the window of his mistress.

If the night is dark you must take care not to put your foot into
the stomach of some honourable hidalgo, rolled up in his mantle,
which serves him for garment, bed, and house. During the summer
nights the granite steps of the theatre are covered with a mass of
blackguards who have no other place to go to. Each of them has his
particular step, which serves as his apartment, where he is always
sure to be found. They sleep there under the blue vault of heaven,
with the stars for night lights, with no bugs to annoy them, and
defy the sting of the mosquito by the coriaceous nature of their
tanned skin, which is bronzed by the fiery sun of Andalusia, and
certainly quite as dark as that of the darkest mulattoes.

The following is, without much variation, the life we led. The
morning was devoted to visiting different parts of the city, to a
walk to the Alhambra or the Generalife; we then went, of necessity,
to call on the ladies at whose houses we had passed the previous
evening. When we called but twice a day they told us we were
ungrateful, and received us with so much kindness that we came
to the conclusion that we really were fierce savage beings, and
extremely negligent.

Our passion for the Alhambra was such that, not satisfied with
visiting it every day, we were desirous of altogether taking up
our abode there; not, however, in the neighbouring houses, which
are let at very high prices to the English, but in the palace
itself; and, thanks to the interest of our Granadian friends,
the authorities, without giving us formal permission, promised
not to perceive us. We remained there four days and four nights,
which constituted, without any doubt, the happiest moments of my

In order to reach the Alhambra, we will pass, if you please,
through the square of the Vivarambla, where Gazal, the valiant
Moor, used to hunt the bull, and where the houses, with their
wooden balconies and _miradores_, present a vague appearance of so
many hen-coops. The fish-market occupies one corner of the square,
the middle of which forms an open space, surrounded with stone
seats, peopled with money-changers, vendors of alcarrazas, earthen
pots, water melons, mercery, ballads, knives, chaplets, and other
little articles that can be sold in the open air. The Zacatin,
which has preserved its picturesque name, connects the Vivarambla
with the Plaza Nueva. It is in this street, bordered by lateral
lanes, and covered with canvass _tendidos_, that all the commerce
of Granada moves and buzzes; hatters, tailors, and shoemakers,
lacemen and cloth merchants, occupy nearly all the shops, which
possess as yet nothing of the improvements of modern art, and
remind you of the old pillars of the Paris markets.

The Zacatin is always crowded. Now you meet a group of students
on a tour from Salamanca, playing the guitar, the tambourine,
castanets, and triangle, while they sing couplets full of fun and
animation; then again your eye encounters a gang of gipsy women,
with their blue flounced dresses studded with stars, their long
yellow shawls, their hair in disorder, and their necks encircled
with big coral or amber necklaces, or a file of donkeys loaded with
enormous jars, and driven by a peasant from the Vega, as sun-burnt
as an African.

The Zacatin leads into the Plaza Nueva, one side of which is
taken up by the splendid palace of the Chancellor, remarkable
for its columns of rustic order and the severe richness of its
architecture. As soon as you have crossed the place, you begin
to ascend the Calle de los Gomeres, at the end of which you find
yourself on the limits of the jurisdiction of the Alhambra, and
face to face with the Puerta de Granada, named Bib Leuxar by the
Moors, with the Vermilion Towers on its right, built, as the
learned world declares, on Phœnician sub-structures, and inhabited
at present by basket-makers and potters.

Before proceeding further, we ought to warn our readers, who may
perhaps think our descriptions, though scrupulously exact, beneath
the idea they have formed of the Alhambra, that this palace and
fortress of the ancient Moorish kings is very far from presenting
the appearance lent to it by the imagination. We expected to see
terrace superposed on terrace, open-worked minarets, and rows
of boundless colonnades. But nothing of all this really exists:
outside, there are only to be seen large massive towers of the
colour of bricks or toasted bread, built at different epochs by
Arabian princes; and within, all you see is a suite of chambers and
galleries, decorated with extreme delicacy, but with nothing grand
about them. Having made these remarks, we will continue our route.

After having passed the Puerta de Granada, you find yourself
within the bounds of the fortress and under the jurisdiction of a
special governor. There are two routes marked out in a wood of
lofty trees. Let us take the one to the left, which leads to the
fountain of Charles the Fifth: it is the steeper of the two, but
then it is the shorter and the more picturesque. Water flows along
rapidly in small trenches paved with kelp, and spreads around the
bottom of the trees, which nearly all belong to species peculiar
to the north, and the verdancy of which is of such moisture as to
be truly delicious at so short a distance from Africa. The noise
of the murmuring water joins itself to the hoarse hum of a hundred
thousand grasshoppers or crickets, whose music never ceases, and
which forcibly reminds you, in spite of the coolness of the place,
of southern and torrid climes. Water springs forth everywhere; from
beneath the trunks of the trees and through the cracks in the old
walls. The hotter it is, the more abundant are the springs, for
it is the snow which supplies them. This mixture of water, snow,
and fire, renders the Granadian climate unparalleled throughout
the world, and makes Granada a real terrestrial paradise; without
being Moors, we might well have had applied to us, when we appeared
oppressed by deep melancholy, the Arabian saying--"He is thinking
of Granada."

At the end of the road, which continues to rise, you meet a large
monumental fountain, which serves as a shouldering-piece, raised
to the memory of the emperor Charles the Fifth: it is covered with
numerous devices, coats of arms, names of victories, imperial
eagles, mythological medallions, is of a heavy imposing richness,
and in the Romanic-German style. Two shields, bearing the arms of
the house of Mondejar, announce that Don Luis de Mendoza, marquis
of this title, raised the monument in honour of the red-bearded
Cæsar. This fountain, which is solidly constructed, supports the
ascent which leads to the Gate of Justice, through which you enter
the Alhambra proper.

The Gate of Justice was built by King Yusef Abul Hagiag, about
the year of our Lord 1348: it owes its name to the custom the
Mussulmans have of rendering justice on the threshold of their
palaces; this custom possesses the advantage of being very
majestic, and of allowing no one to enter the inner courts; for
the maxim of Monsieur Royer-Collard, which says that "Private life
ought to be walled in," was invented ages ago by the inhabitants of
the East--that country of the sun, whence all light and wisdom come.

The name of tower might be given more properly than that of gate to
this construction of King Yusef Abul Hagiag; for it is in reality a
large square tower, rather high, and through which there is a large
hollow arch in the form of a heart, to which a hieroglyphic key and
hand, cut in two separate stones, impart a stern and cabalistic
air. The key is a symbol held in great veneration by the Arabs, on
account of a verse in the Koran beginning with the words "He has
opened," and of several other hermetic significations; the hand is
destined to destroy the influence of the Evil Eye, the _jettatura_,
like the little coral hands which they wear at Naples as pins or
watch appendages, to avert the power of sinister looks. There was
an ancient prediction which asserted that Granada would never be
taken until the hand had seized the key: it must be owned, however,
to the shame of the prophet, that the two hieroglyphics are still
in the same places; and that Boabdil, _el rey chico_, as he was
called on account of his small stature, uttered outside the walls
of conquered Granada the historical groan, _suspiro del Moro_,
which has given its name to a rock of the Sierra de Elvira.

This massive and embattled tower, glazed with orange and red on
a stiff sky-blue ground, and having behind it a whole abyss of
vegetation, with the city built on a precipice, while beyond it are
long ranges of mountains streaked with a thousand hues, like those
of African porphyry, forms a truly majestic and splendid entrance
to the Arabian palace. Under the gate is a guard-house, and poor
ragged soldiers now take their siesta in the same place where the
caliphs, seated on sofas of gold brocade, with their black eyes
motionless in their marble faces and their hands buried in the
folds of their silky beards, listened with a thoughtful and solemn
air to the complaints of the believers. An altar, surmounted by an
image of the Virgin, stands against the wall, as if to sanctify at
the very entrance this ancient abode of the worshippers of Mahomet.

When you have passed through the gate, you enter a vast place
called the _Plaza de las Algives_, in the middle of which is a
well whose curb is surrounded by a sort of wooden shed covered
with esparto-work, where you can go, for a _cuarto_, and drink
large glasses of water as clear as a diamond, as cold as ice, and
of the most delicious taste. The towers of Quebrada, the Homenaga,
the Armeria, and of the Vela, whose bell announces the time at
which the water is distributed; and stone parapets on which you
can lean, in order to admire the wonderful view that stretches
itself before you, surround one side of the place; the other side
is occupied by the palace of Charles the Fifth, an immense monument
of the Renaissance which would be admired anywhere else, but which
is wished anywhere but here when you think that it covers a space
once belonging to a part of the Alhambra, that was pulled down
on purpose to make room for this heavy mass. This _alcazar_ was
designed, however, by Alonzo Berruguete: the trophies, bas-reliefs,
and medallions on its façade have been executed with patience
by a bold and spirited hand: the circular court with its marble
columns, where the bull-fights, doubtless, took place, is certainly
a magnificent piece of architecture, but _non erat hic locus_.


You enter the Alhambra by a corridor running through an angle of
the palace of Charles the Fifth, and after a few windings you
arrive at a large court indifferently known by the names of _Patio
de los Arrayanes_ (Court of Myrtles), of the _Alberca_ (of the
Reservoir), or of the _Mezouar_, an Arabian word signifying a bath
for women.

On coming from these obscure passages into this large space
inundated with light, you feel an effect similar to that produced
by a diorama. It appears to you that an enchanter's wand has
carried you to the East of four or five centuries back. Time,
which changes all things in its progress, has in no way modified
the aspect of these places, where the apparition of one of the old
Moorish sultans, and of Tarfe the Moor in his white cloak, would
not cause the least surprise.

In the middle of the court there is a large reservoir three or
four feet deep, in the form of a parallelogram, bordered by two
large beds of myrtles and shrubs, and terminated at each end by a
sort of gallery, with slender columns supporting Moorish arches
of very delicate workmanship. Fountains, the over-abundant water
of which is conducted from the basins to the reservoir through a
marble gutter, are placed under each gallery, and complete the
symmetry of the decorations. To the left are the archives, and the
chamber where, to the shame of the Granadians, is stowed away,
among all sorts of rubbish, the magnificent vase of the Alhambra,
a monument of inestimable rareness, nearly four feet in height,
covered with ornaments and inscriptions, and fitted in itself to
form the glory of a museum, but which Spanish heedlessness allows
to lie uncared-for in an ignoble hole. One of the wings which form
the handles was broken off a little time back. On this side also
are passages leading to an ancient mosque, converted into a church
under the protection of St. Mary of the Alhambra, at the time of
the conquest. To the right are the rooms of the attendants, where
the head of some dark Andalusian servantmaid, looking out of a
narrow Moorish casement, now and then produces a very pleasing
Oriental effect. At the bottom, above the ugly roof of round tiles,
which have replaced the gilt tiles and cedar-beams of the Arabian
roof, rises majestically the tower of Comares, the embattlements of
which boldly shoot forth their vermilion denticulations into the
beautifully limpid vault of heaven. This tower contains the Hall of
Ambassadors, and communicates with the _Patio de los Arrayanes_ by
a sort of antechamber called the _Barca_, on account of its form.

The antechamber of the Hall of Ambassadors is worthy of
its purpose; the nobleness of its arcades, the variety and
interweavings of its arabesques, the mosaic-work of its walls,
the delicacy of its stuccoed roof, furrowed like the stalactite
ceiling of a grotto, painted blue, green, and yellow, of which
there are still some traces left, form a whole of the most charming
originality and strangeness.

On each side of the door leading to the Hall of Ambassadors, in the
jamb itself of the arcade, and above the coating of varnished glass
which decorates the lower part of the walls, and which is divided
into triangles of glaring colours, are two white marble niches,
looking like little chapels, and sculptured in a most delicate
manner. It was here that the ancient Moors used to leave their
slippers before entering, as a mark of deference, just as we take
off our hat in places we respect.

The Hall of Ambassadors, one of the largest of the Alhambra,
occupies all the interior of the tower of Comares. The roof, which
is cedar, is full of those mathematical combinations so familiar to
Arabian architects: all the pieces are placed so that their salient
or re-entering angles form a great variety of designs; the walls
disappear beneath a network of ornaments so close together, and so
inextricably interwoven, that they can be compared to nothing more
fitly than to several pieces of guipure placed one over another.
Gothic architecture, with its stone lacework, and its open-worked
roses, is nothing to this. Fish-knives, and paper embroidery
executed with a fly-press, like that which confectioners use to
cover their bonbons with, can alone give you an idea of it. One of
the characteristics of the Moorish style is that it offers very
few projections or profiles. All this ornamental work is executed
on smooth surfaces, and scarcely ever projects more than four or
five inches; it resembles a kind of tapestry worked on the wall
itself. It has, too, one very distinguishing feature, and this is,
the employment of writing as a means of decoration. It is true
that Arabian writing, with its mysterious forms and distortions,
is admirably fitted for this use. The inscriptions, which are
nearly always _suras_ of the Koran, or eulogiums on the different
princes who have built and decorated the halls, are placed along
the friezes, on the jambs of the doors, and round the arches of
the windows, and are interspersed with flowers, foliage, net-work,
and all the riches of Arabian calligraphy. Those in the Hall of
Ambassadors signify "Glory to God, power and riches to believers;"
or they sing the praises of Abu Nazar, who, "if he had been taken
alive into heaven, would have made the brightness of the stars and
planets pale"--a hyperbolical assertion, which seems to us rather
too oriental. Other rows of inscriptions are filled with eulogiums
of Abi Abd Allah, another sultan, who helped to build this part of
the palace. The windows are loaded with pieces of poetry in honour
of the limpidness of the waters of the reservoir, of the blooming
condition of the shrubs, and of the perfume of the flowers that
ornament the yard of the Mezouar, which is seen from the Hall of
Ambassadors through the door and columns of the gallery.

The loopholes, with their interior balconies at a great height from
the ground, and the roof of wood-work without any other ornaments
but the zigzags and the cross-work formed by the placing of the
timber, give the Hall of Ambassadors a severer aspect than the
other halls of the palace have, but which is more in harmony with
the purpose it was intended for. From the window at the back there
is a beautiful view over the ravine of the Darro.


Now that we have given this description, we think it our duty to
destroy another illusion. All these magnificent things are made
neither of marble nor of alabaster, nor even of stone, but simply
of plaster! This interferes very much with the ideas of fairy
splendour that the name alone of the Alhambra creates in the most
positive imaginations; but it is true, for all that. With the
exception of the columns, which are nearly all made of a single
piece, and which are hardly ever more than from six to eight feet
in height, of a few flag-stones, of the smaller basins of the
fountains, and of the little chapels where the slippers used to be
left, there has not been a single bit of marble employed in the
construction of the Alhambra. The same thing may be said of the
Generalife: the Arabs surpassed all other nations in the art of
moulding, hardening, and carving plaster, which acquired in their
hands the firmness of stucco, without having its disagreeable shiny

The greater part of these ornaments were made in casts, so that
they could be reproduced without any great trouble as often as
the symmetry of the place required it. Nothing would be easier
than to reproduce an exact likeness of any hall of the Alhambra;
to do this, it would suffice to take casts of all the ornaments
contained in it. Two arcades of the Hall of Justice, which had
fallen down, have been reconstructed by some Granadian workmen, in
a manner which leaves nothing to be desired. If we were anything of
a _millionaire_, one of our fancies would be to have a duplicate of
the Court of Lions in one of our parks.

On leaving the Hall of Ambassadors, you follow a passage of modern
structure, comparatively speaking, and you arrive at the _tocador_,
or dressing-room of the queen. This is a small pavilion situated
on the top of a tower, which formerly served the sultanas for an
oratory, whence you enjoy the sight of an admirable panorama. At
the entrance you perceive a slab of white marble, perforated with
small holes to allow the smoke of the perfumes that were burnt
beneath the floor to pass through. On the walls are still seen some
fantastic frescoes, executed by Bartholomew de Ragis, Alonzo Perez,
and Juan de la Fuente. On the frieze the ciphers of Isabella and
Philip V. are intertwined, one with another, together with groups
of Cupids. It is impossible to conceive anything more coquettish
or charming than this closet, suspended as it is, with its little
Moorish pillars, and its surbased arches, over an abyss of azure,
the bottom of which is studded with the house-tops of Granada,
and whither the breeze wafts the perfumes of the Generalife, that
enormous tuft of rose-bays blooming on the brow of the neighbouring
hills, and the plaintive cry of the peacocks walking on the
dismantled walls. How many hours have I not spent there, wrapped
in that serene melancholy so different from the melancholy of the
north, with one leg dangling over the precipice, and straining
my eyes in order to leave unexamined no form or contour of the
picture that lay before them, and which they will, doubtless,
never see again. No pen or pencil will ever be able to give a true
idea of that brilliancy, of that light, of that vividness of hues.
The most commonplace tones assume the appearance of jewels, and
everything is on the same scale. Towards the end of the day, when
the sun is oblique, the most inconceivable effects are produced:
the mountains sparkle like heaps of rubies, topazes and carbuncles;
dust, which looks like dust of gold, fills the intervals, and if,
as is often the case in summer, the labourers are burning stubble
in the plain, the smoke, while rising slowly towards the sky,
borrows the most magical reflections from the rays of the setting
sun. I am surprised that Spanish painters, have, in general, made
their pictures so dark, and have almost exclusively employed
themselves in imitating Caravaggio and the masters of the sombre
school. The pictures of Decamps and Marilhat, who only painted
views of Asia or Africa, give a truer idea of Spain than all the
pictures fetched, at a great expense, from the Peninsula.

We will traverse the garden of Lindaraja without stopping, for
it is nothing but an uncultivated piece of ground, strewed with
rubbish, and bristling with brushwood; we will therefore visit,
for an instant, the Bath-room of the Sultana, which is coated with
square pieces of mosaic-work of glazed clay, and bordered with
filigree-work that would make the most complicated madrepores
blush. A fountain is in the middle of the room, and two alcoves are
in the wall. It was here that the Moorish Sultanas used to come to
repose themselves on square pieces of golden cloth, after having
enjoyed the pleasure and luxury of an oriental bath. The galleries
or balconies, in which the singers and musicians used to be placed,
are still seen, and are at a height of about fifteen feet from the
ground. The baths themselves resemble large troughs, and each of
them is made out of one piece of white marble; they are placed in
little vaulted closets, lighted by open-worked stars or roses. For
fear of becoming irksome by repetition, we will not speak of the
Hall of Secrets, whose acoustic powers are productive of a very
curious effect, and the corners of whose walls are blackened by
the noses of those inquisitive persons who go and whisper, in one
corner, some impertinence that is faithfully carried to another;
nor of the Hall of the Nymphs, over the door of which is an
excellent bas-relief of Jupiter changed into a swan and caressing
Leda, and which said bas-relief is most extraordinarily free in
its composition, and very audacious in its execution; nor of the
apartments of Charles the Fifth, which are in a dreadful state
of devastation, and which possess nothing curious, with the
exception of their roofs, studded with the ambitious device of _Non
plus ultra_; but we will go direct to the Court of Lions, the most
curious and best preserved part of the Alhambra.


English engravings and the numerous drawings which have been
published of the Court of Lions convey but a very incomplete and
false idea of it: nearly all of them fail to give the proper
proportions, and, in consequence of the over-loading necessitated
by the fact of representing the infinite details of Arabian
architecture, suggest the idea of a monument of much greater

The Court of Lions is a hundred and twenty feet long, seventy-three
broad, while the galleries which surround it are not more than
twenty-two feet high. They are formed by a hundred and twenty-eight
columns of white marble placed in a symmetrical disorder of four
and four, and of three and three, together: these columns, the
capitals of which are full of work and still preserve traces of
gold and colour, support arches of extreme elegance and of quite a
unique shape.

On entering, the Hall of Justice, the roof of which is a monument
of art of the most inestimable rarity and worth, immediately
attracts your attention, as it forms the back of the parallelogram.
There you see the only Arabian pictures, perhaps, which have come
down to us. One of them represents the Court of Lions itself, with
the fountain, which is very apparent, but gilt: some personages,
whom the oldness of the painting does not allow you to distinguish
clearly, seem to be engaged in a joust or passage of arms.

The subject of the other appears to be a sort of divan where the
Moorish kings of Granada are assembled, and whose white burnous,
olive-coloured faces, red mouths, and mysteriously dark eyes, are
still easily discernible. These paintings, as is asserted, are
executed on prepared leather, pasted on cedar panels, and serve to
prove that the precept of the Koran which forbids the likenesses of
animated beings being taken was not always scrupulously observed by
the Moors, even if the twelve lions of the fountain were not there
to confirm this assertion.

To the left, halfway up the gallery, is the Hall of the Two
Sisters, which is the fellow to the Hall of the Abencerrages. This
name of _las Dos Hermanas_ is given it from two immense flagstones
of white Macael marble, equal in size and perfectly alike, which
form part of the pavement. The vaulted roof, or cupola, which the
Spaniards expressively call _media naranja_ (half an orange), is
a miracle of work and patience. It is like a honeycomb, or the
stalactites of a grotto, or the bunches of soap-bubbles which
children blow out through a straw. The myriads of little vaults,
of domes three or four feet high which grow out of one another,
crossing and intersecting each other's edges, seem rather the
effect of fortuitous crystallization than the work of a human
hand; the blue, red, and green in the hollows of the mouldings
are still nearly as bright as if they had only just been put on.
The walls, like those of the Hall of Ambassadors, are covered,
from the frieze to the height of a man, with stucco-work of the
most complicated and delicate description. The bottom of the walls
is coated with those square pieces of glazed clay of which the
black, yellow, and green angles, combined with the white ground,
form a mosaic-work. The middle of the apartment, according to
the invariable custom of the Arabs, whose habitations seem to be
nothing but large ornamented fountains, is occupied by a basin and
a jet of water. There are four fountains under the Gate of Justice,
a like number under the entrance-gate, and another in the Hall of
the Abencerrages, without counting the _Taza de los Leones_, which,
not satisfied with vomiting water through the mouths of its twelve
monsters, throws up another torrent towards the sky out of the cap
which surmounts it. All this water flows through small trenches
made in the flooring of the halls and the pavement of the courts,
to the foot of the Fountain of Lions, where it disappears in a
subterraneous conduit. This is certainly a kind of dwelling in
which you would never be annoyed by the dust, and it is a matter of
conjecture how these halls could be inhabited in the winter. The
large cedar doors were no doubt then shut, the marble floor was
perhaps covered with a thick carpet, and fires of fruit-stones and
odoriferous wood lighted in the _braseros_, and it was thus that
the return of the fine season was waited for, which is never long
in coming at Granada.

We will not describe the Hall of the Abencerrages, which is
almost similar to that of the Two Sisters, and contains nothing
particular, with the exception of its ancient door of wood arranged
in lozenges, which dates from the time of the Moors. At the Alcazar
of Seville there is another one made exactly in the same style.

The _Taza de los Leones_ enjoys, in Arabian poetry, a wonderful
reputation, and no terms of praise are thought too high for
these superb animals: I must own, however, that it would be
difficult to find anything less resembling lions than these
productions of African fancy; the paws are mere wedges, similar
to those bits of wood, of hardly any shape, which are used to
thrust into the bellies of paste-board dogs to make them keep
their equilibrium; the muzzles, streaked with transversal lines,
doubtless to represent the whiskers, are exactly like the snout of
a hippopotamus; and the eyes are designed in so primitive a manner,
that they remind you of the shapeless attempts of children.
Nevertheless, these twelve lions, if we look upon them not as
lions, but as chimeras, as a caprice in ornamenting, produce, with
the basins they support, a picturesque effect full of elegance,
which aids you to comprehend their reputation, and the praises
contained in the following Arabian inscription, of twenty-four
verses of twenty-two syllables each, engraved on the sides of
the basin into which the waters of the upper basin fall. We ask
our readers' pardon for the somewhat barbarous fidelity of the


"O you who gaze on the lions fixed to their places! remark that
they only require life to be perfect. And you to whom this Alcazar
and this kingdom fall as an inheritance, take them from the noble
hands who have governed them, without displeasure and without
resistance. May God preserve you for the work which you come to
perform, and protect you for ever from the revenge of your enemy!
Honour and glory be yours. O Mohammed! our king, endowed with
great virtues, by the aid of which you have conquered all! May
God never permit this fine garden, the image of your virtues, to
have a rival that surpasses it! The substance which tints the
basin of the fountain is like mother-of-pearl beneath the clear
sparkling water; the flowing stream resembles melting silver, for
the limpidness of the water and the whiteness of the stone have no
equals; they might be likened unto a drop of transparent essence
on a face of alabaster. It would be difficult to follow its course.
Look at the water and look at the basin, and you will not be able
to distinguish whether it is the water that is motionless or the
marble that ripples. Like the prisoner of love, whose visage is
covered with vexation and fear by the look of the envious, so is
the jealous water indignant at the stone, and the stone envious of
the water. To this inexhaustible stream may be compared the hand of
our king, who is as liberal and as generous as the lion is valiant
and strong."

It was in the basin of the Fountain of Lions that the heads of
the thirty-six Abencerrages, whom the Zegris had drawn there by
stratagem, fell. The rest of the Abencerrages would have shared the
same fate, had it not been for the devotedness of a little page,
who ran at the risk of his life to warn them against entering the
fatal court. On having your attention directed to the bottom of the
basin, you perceive large reddish spots, an indelible accusation
left by the victims against their executioners. Unfortunately,
the erudite world declares that the Abencerrages and the Zegris
have never existed. With respect to this I am completely guided
by romances, popular traditions, and the novel of Monsieur de
Châteaubriand, and I firmly believe that these purple-looking marks
are blood and not rust.

We had established our head-quarters in the Court of Lions; our
furniture consisted of two mattresses, which we rolled up in a
corner in the day-time, of a brass lamp, of an earthenware jar, and
of a few bottles of sherry that we kept in a fountain to render
the wine cool. We slept one night in the Hall of the Two Sisters,
and the next in that of the Abencerrages, but it was not without
some slight fear, as I lay stretched on my cloak, that I looked
at the white rays of the moon, which appeared quite astonished at
crossing the yellow and flickering flame of a lamp, shoot through
the openings of the roof into the water of the basin and across the
shining ground.

The popular traditions collected by Washington Irving in his
"Tales of the Alhambra," now came into my mind; the stories of
the "Headless Horse" and of the "Hairy Phantom," gravely related
by Father Echeverria, appeared to me very probable, above all,
when the light was out. The likelihood of the legends appears
much greater in the night-time, when these dark places are filled
with uncertain reflections, which give to all objects of a vague
outline a fantastic appearance: doubt is the son of the day, faith
the daughter of the night; and what astonishes me is, that St.
Thomas believed in our Saviour after having felt his wound. I am
not sure that I myself did not see the Abencerrages walking about
in the moonlight, with their heads under their arms, along the
galleries; at all events, the shadows of the columns assumed forms
diabolically suspicious, and the breeze, as it passed through the
arcades, so resembled the breathing of a human being, that it made
you doubt.

One Sunday morning, about four or five o'clock, we felt ourselves,
while yet asleep, inundated on our mattresses with a fine and
soaking rain. This was owing to the conduits of the water-jets
having opened earlier than usual, in honour of a prince of Saxe
Coburg, who was come to view the Alhambra, and who, they said, was
to marry the young queen, as soon as she was of age.

We had scarcely time to rise and dress before the prince arrived,
with two or three persons of his suite. He was half mad with rage.
The keepers, in order to receive him in a proper manner, had fitted
to every fountain the most ridiculous pieces of mechanism and
hydraulic instruments imaginable. One of these inventions aimed,
by the means of a little white tin carriage and lead soldiers,
which were turned by the force of the water, at representing the
journey of the queen to Valencia. You may judge of the prince's
satisfaction at this ingenious and constitutional piece of
refinement. The _Fray Gerundio_, a satirical journal of Madrid,
persecuted this poor prince with marked animosity. It taxed him,
among other crimes, with haggling too much about the charges in his
hotel bills, and with having appeared at the theatre in the costume
of a _majo_, with a pointed hat on his head.

A party of Granadians came to spend the day at the Alhambra;
there were seven or eight young and pretty women, and five or six
cavaliers. They danced to the guitar, played at different games,
and sung in chorus, to a delightful air, a song by Fray Luis de
Leon, which has become very popular throughout Andalusia. As
the water-jets had stopped through having begun to shoot forth
their silver streams too early, and as the basins were dry, the
giddy young girls seated themselves in a round on the edge of the
alabaster basin of the Hall of the Two Sisters, so as to form a
kind of flower-basket, and, throwing back their pretty heads, again
took up simultaneously the burden of their song.

The Generalife is situated at a little distance from the Alhambra,
on a pass of the same mountain. Access is gained to it by a kind
of hollow road, that traverses the ravine of Los Molinos, which is
bordered with fig-trees, having enormous shiny leaves, with palm
oaks, pistachio-trees, laurels, and rock roses, of a remarkably
exuberant nature. The ground is composed of yellow sand teeming
with water, and of wonderful fecundity. Nothing is more delightful
than to follow this road, which appears as if it ran through a
virgin forest of America, to such an extent is it obstructed with
foliage and flowers, and such is the overwhelming perfume of the
aromatic plants you inhale there. Vines start through the cracks
of the crumbling walls, and from all their branches hang fantastic
runners, and leaves resembling Arabian ornaments in the beauty
of their form; the aloe opens its fan of azured blades, and the
orange-tree twists its knotty wood, and clings with its fang-like
roots to the rents in the steep sides of the ravine. Everything
here flourishes and blooms in luxuriant disorder, full of the most
charming effects of chance. A wandering jasmine-branch introduces a
white star among the scarlet flowers of the pomegranate-tree; and a
laurel shoots from one side of the road to the other to embrace a
cactus, in spite of its thorns. Nature, abandoned to herself, seems
to pride herself on her coquetry, and to wish to show how far even
the most exquisite and finished art always remains behind her.

After a quarter of an hour's walk, you come to the Generalife,
which is, so to say, nothing but the _casa de campo_, the
country-house of the Alhambra. The exterior of it, like that of all
oriental buildings, is very simple: large walls without windows,
and surmounted by a terrace with a gallery divided into arcades,
the whole being crowned with a small modern belvedere, constitute
its architecture. Of the Generalife nothing now remains but some
arcades, and some large panels of arabesques, unfortunately clogged
with layers of whitewash, which have been applied again and again
with all the obstinacy and despair of cleanliness. Little by little
have the delicate sculptures and the wonderful guilloches of these
remains become filled up, until they have at last disappeared. What
is at present nothing but a faintly-vermiculated wall, was formerly
open lace-work, as fine as those ivory leaves which the patience of
the Chinese carves for ladies' fans. The brush of the whitewasher
has caused more _chefs-d'œuvre_ to disappear than the scythe
of Time, if we may be allowed to make use of this mythological
expression. In a pretty well preserved hall is a suite of smoky
portraits of the kings of Spain, but the only merit they possess is
a chronological one.

The real charm of the Generalife consists in its gardens and its
waters. A canal, paved with marble, runs through the whole length
of the enclosure, and rolls its rapid and abundant waters beneath a
series of arcades of foliage, formed by twisting and curiously-cut
yews. Orange-trees and cypresses are planted on each side of
it. It was at the foot of one of these cypresses, which is of a
prodigious bulk, and which dates from the time of the Moors, that
the favourite of Boabdil, if we are to believe the legend, often
proved that bolts and bars are but slight guarantees for the virtue
of sultanas. There is one thing, at least, very certain, and that
is, that the yew is very thick, and very old.

The perspective is terminated by a porticoed gallery, ornamented
with jets of water and marble columns, like the _patio_ of myrtles
of the Alhambra. The canal suddenly makes a turn, and you then
enter some other places embellished with pieces of water, and
the walls of which still preserve traces of the frescoes of the
sixteenth century, representing rustic pieces of architecture,
and distant views. In the midst of one of the basins, a gigantic
rose-bay, of the most incomparable beauty and splendour, is seen
to bloom, like an immense flower-basket. At the time when I saw
it, it appeared like an explosion of flowers, or the bouquet of a
display of vegetable fireworks; its aspect, too, is so blooming and
luxuriant, so glaring, if we may be allowed the expression, that
it makes the hue of the most vermilion rose appear insipid. Its
lovely flowers, shot with all the ardour of desire high up into
the pure blue space of the heavens; and its noble-looking leaves,
shaped expressly by nature to form a crown for the glorious deeds
of heroism, and sprinkled by the spray of the water-jets, sparkled
like emeralds glittering in the sun. Never did anything inspire me
with a higher sentiment of the beautiful than this rose-bay of the

The water is brought to the gardens along a sort of steep
acclivity, bordered with little walls, forming on each side a
kind of parapet, that support trenches of large hollow tiles,
through which the water runs beneath the open sky with the most gay
and lively murmur in the world. On each footpace, well-supplied
water-jets burst forth from the middle of little basins, and
shoot their crystal aigrettes into the thick foliage of the wood
of laurels, the branches of which cross and recross one another
above them. The mountain streams with water on every side; at each
step a spring starts forth, and you continually hear at your side
the murmuring of some rivulet, turned out of its course, going to
supply some fountain with water, or to carry bloom and verdure to
the foot of a tree. The Arabs have carried the art of irrigation to
the highest point; their hydraulic works attest the most advanced
state of civilization; these works still exist; and it is to them
that Granada owes the reputation it has of being the Paradise of
Spain, and the fact of its enjoying eternal spring in an African
temperature. An arm of the Darro has been turned out of its course
by the Arabs, and carried for more than two leagues along the hill
of the Alhambra.

From the Belvedere of the Generalife you can plainly perceive
the configuration of the Alhambra, with its line of reddish,
half-demolished towers, and its remaining pieces of wall, which
rise and descend according to the undulations of the mountain. The
palace of Charles the Fifth, which is not seen from the side of the
city stamps its square and heavy mass, which the sun gilds with a
white reflection, on the damask-like sides of the Sierra Neveda,
whose white ridges stand out on the horizon in a singular manner.
The steeple of Saint Mary's marks its Christian outline above the
Moorish embattlements. A few cypresses thrust their mournful leaves
through the cracks of the walls, surrounded by all this light and
azure, like a melancholy thought in the midst of a joyful fête. The
slopes of the hill running down towards the Darro, and the ravine
of Los Molinos, disappear beneath an ocean of verdure. It is one of
the finest views that can well be imagined.

On the other side, as if to form a contrast with so much verdancy,
rises an uncultivated, scorched up, tawny mountain, tinged with
dashes of red and yellow ochre; this mountain is called _La Silla
del Moro_, on account of a few remains of some buildings on its
summit. It was there that king Boabdil used to view the Arabian
horsemen jousting in the Vega with the Christian knights. The
recollection of the Moors is still vivid at Granada. You would
think that they had quitted the city but yesterday, and, if we
may judge by what remains of them, it is really a pity that they
ever quitted it at all. What southern Spain requires is African
civilization, and not the civilization of Europe, which is not
suited to the heat of the climate or to the passions it inspires.
Constitutional mechanism can only agree with the temperate zones;
above a heat of eighty degrees charters melt or blow up.

As we have now done with the Alhambra and the Generalife, we will
traverse the ravine of the Darro, and take a look as we go along
the road leading to Monte Sagrado, at the dens of the _gitanos_,
who are pretty numerous at Granada. This road is made through the
hill of the Albaycin, which overhangs on one side. Gigantic Indian
fig-trees, and enormous nopals raise their prickly heads, of the
colour of verdigris, along its impoverished and white-coloured
slopes; under the roots of these large unctuous plants, which seem
to supply the place of chevaux-de-frise and spiked fences, are dug
in the living rock, the dwellings of the gipsies. The entrance to
these caverns is whitewashed; a light cord on which hangs a piece
of frayed-out tapestry, serves as a door. It is there that the
wild race swarms and multiplies; there, children, whose skins are
darker than Havannah cigars, play in a state of nudity before the
door, without any distinction as to sex, and roll themselves in
the dust while uttering sharp and guttural cries. The _gitanos_
are generally blacksmiths, mule-shearers, veterinary doctors,
and, above all, horse-dealers. They have a thousand receipts for
putting mettle and strength into the most broken-winded and limping
animals in the world: a _gitano_ would have made Rozinante gallop,
and Sancho's ass would have caracoled under their hands. Their real
trade, however, is that of stealing.

The _gitanas_ sell amulets, tell fortunes, and follow those
suspicious callings inherent to the women of their race. I saw very
few pretty ones, though their faces were remarkable both by their
type and character. Their swarthy complexion contrasts strongly
with the limpidness of their oriental eyes, the fire of which is
tempered by an indescribable and mysterious melancholy, only to be
compared to the look inspired by the recollection of a country that
is lost to us for ever, or of former grandeur. Their mouth, which
is rather thick and deeply coloured, reminds you of the blooming
nature of African mouths; the smallness of their forehead, and
the curved form of their nose, pronounce them to be of the same
origin with the _tzigones_ of Wallachia and Bohemia, and with
all the children of that fantastic people which traversed, under
the generic name of Egyptians, the whole of the society of the
Middle Ages, and the enigmatical filiation of which century upon
century has not been able to interrupt. Nearly all of them possess
so much natural majesty and freedom in their deportment, and are
so well and firmly set, that in spite of their rags, their dirt,
and their misery, they seem to be conscious of the antiquity and
purity of their race, and ever to remember that it is free from
all alloy, for these gipsies never marry but among themselves, and
those children which are the offsprings of temporary unions are
unmercifully cast out of the tribe. One of the pretensions of the
_gitanos_ is that of being good Castilians and good Catholics,
but I think that, at bottom, they are, to some extent, Arabs and
Mahometans; they deny this fact to the best of their power, from a
remnant of fear for the Inquisition which no longer exists. A few
deserted and half-ruined streets of the Albaycin are also inhabited
by richer or less wandering gipsies. In one of these streets, we
perceived a little girl, about eight years old, and entirely naked,
dancing the _zorongo_ on a painted paving stone. Her sister, whose
features were wan and emaciated, and in whose citron-looking face
sparkled eyes of fire, was crouched beside her on the ground, with
a guitar, from the strings of which she drew forth a monotonous
tinkle by running her thumb over them, and producing music not
unsimilar to the husky squeak of the grasshopper. The mother, who
was richly dressed, and whose neck was loaded with glass beads,
beat time with the end of a blue velvet slipper, which she gazed on
with great complacency. The wild attitude, strange accoutrement,
and extraordinary colour of this group, would have made a subject
for the pencil of Collot, or of Salvator Rosa.

Monte Sagrado, which contains the grottoes of the martyrs who were
so miraculously discovered, offers nothing very interesting. It is
a convent with a rather ordinary-looking church, beneath which the
crypts are dug. These crypts have nothing about them capable of
producing any deep impression. They are composed of a complication
of small, straight, whitewashed corridors, from seven to eight
feet high. In recesses made for the purpose, altars, dressed with
more devotion than taste, have been raised. It is there that the
shrines and bones of the holy personages are locked up behind the
wire-work. I expected to see a subterraneous church, dark and
mysterious, nay, even dreadful-looking, with low pillars, and a
surbased roof, lighted by the uncertain reflection of a distant
lamp,--something, in fact, similar to the ancient catacombs, and
great was my surprise at the clean and tidy appearance of this
whitewashed crypt, lighted by ventholes like those of a cellar. We
somewhat superficial Catholics require something picturesque, in
order to get imbued with religious feeling. The devout man thinks
little about the effect of light and shade, or about the more or
less learned proportions of architecture; he knows, however, that,
beneath that altar of so mediocre a form, lie hidden the bones of
the saint who died for the sake of the faith which he professes,
and that suffices for him.

The Carthusian Convent, at present bereft of monks, like all other
convents in Spain, is an admirable edifice, and we cannot regret
too much that it has ever ceased to be used for its original
purpose. We have never been able to understand what harm could be
done by cenobites voluntarily cloistered in a prison, and passing
their lives in austerity and prayer, especially in a country like
Spain, where there is certainly no lack of ground.

You ascend by a double flight of steps to the doorway of the
church: it is surmounted by a white marble statue of St. Bruno,
of a rather handsome effect. The decorations of the church are
singular, and consist of plaster arabesques, truly wonderful by
the variety and richness of their subjects. It appears as if
the architect had been desirous of vying, in quite a different
style, with the lightness and complication of the lace-work of
the Alhambra. There is not a place as large as your hand, in this
immense structure, which is not filled with flowers, damask-work,
leaves, and guilloches: it would be enough to turn the head of any
one who wanted to take an exact sketch of it. The choir is lined
with porphyry and costly marble. A few mediocre pictures are hung
up here and there along the walls, and make you regret the space
they hide. The cemetery is near the church: according to the custom
of the Carthusian friars, no tomb, no cross, indicates the place
where the departed brothers sleep; but the cells surround the
cemetery, and each one is provided with a little garden. In a piece
of ground planted with trees, which, no doubt, formerly served
as a promenade for the friars, my attention was called to a kind
of fish-pond, with a sloping stone edge, in which were awkwardly
crawling three or four dozen tortoises, that basked in the sun
and appeared quite happy at being henceforth in no danger of the
cook's art. The laws of the Carthusian brethren forbade their ever
eating meat, and the tortoise is looked on as a fish by casuists.
These tortoises were destined to supply the friars' table. The
revolution, however, saved them.

While we are about visiting the convents, we will enter, if you
please, the Monastery of San Juan de Dios. The cloister is one of
the most curious imaginable, and is constructed with frightfully
bad taste; the walls, painted in fresco, represent various
fine actions of the life of San Juan de Dios, framed with such
grotesque and fantastic ornaments as throw into the shade the most
extravagant and deformed productions of Japan and China. You behold
sirens playing the violin, she-monkeys at their toilet, chimerical
fish in still more chimerical waves, flowers which look like
birds, birds which look like flowers, lozenges of looking-glass,
squares of earthenware, love-knots--in a word, an endless pell-mell
of all that is inextricable. The church, which is luckily of
another epoch, is gilt nearly all over. The altar-screen, which is
supported by pillars of the Solomonic order, produces a rich and
majestic effect. The sacristan, who served as our guide, on seeing
that we were French, questioned us about our country, and asked if
it were true, as was said at Granada, that Nicholas, the Emperor
of Russia, had invaded France and taken possession of Paris: such
was the latest news. These gross absurdities were spread among the
people by the partisans of Don Carlos, in order to obtain credence
for an absolutist reaction on the part of the European powers, and
to rally, by the hope of speedy assistance, the drooping courage of
the disorganized bands.

I saw in this church a sight that made a deep impression on me;
it was an old woman crawling on her knees from the door to the
altar: her arms were stretched out as stiff as stakes, in the form
of a cross, her head was thrown back, her upturned eyes allowed
the whites only of them to be seen, her lips were firmly closed,
and her face was shiny and of the colour of lead: this was ecstasy
turned to catalepsy. Never did Zurbaban execute anything more
ascetic or possessing more feverish ardour. She was accomplishing a
penance ordered by her confessor, and had still four more days of
it to undergo.

The Convent of San Geronimo, now transformed into barracks,
contains a Gothic cloister with two arteries of arcades of rare
character and beauty. The capitals of the columns are ornamented
with foliage and fantastic animals of the most capricious nature
and charming workmanship. The church, at present profaned and
deserted, exhibits the peculiarity of having all its ornaments and
architectural reliefs painted in imitation on grey grounds, like
the roof of the Bourse, instead of being executed in reality: here
lies interred Gonzalvo of Cordova, surnamed the great captain. His
sword used to be preserved there, but it was lately taken away and
sold for a few _duras_, the value of the silver which ornamented
the handle. It is thus that many objects, valuable as works of art
or from associations, have disappeared without any other profit
to the thieves than the pleasure of doing wrong. It appears to
us that our revolution might be imitated in something else but
its stupid Vandalism. It is this sentiment we all experience on
visiting a tenantless convent, on beholding so many ruins and such
devastation, the utter loss of so many _chefs d'œuvre_ of every
kind, and the long work of centuries destroyed and swept away
in an instant. No one has the power to prejudge the future: I,
however, doubt if it will restore what the past had bequeathed us,
and which we destroy as if we possessed wherewithal to replace it.
In addition to this something might be put _on one side_, for the
globe is not so covered with monuments that it is necessary for
us to raise new buildings on the ruins of the old ones. With such
reflections was my mind filled, as I wandered, in the Antequerula,
through the old convent of San Domingo. The chapel was decorated
with a profusion of all sorts of gewgaws, baubles, and gilding. It
was one mass of wreathed columns, volutes, scroll-work, encrusted
work of various coloured breccia, glass mosaics, checker-work of
mother-of-pearl, and burgau, bevilled mirrors, suns surrounded by
rays, transparencies, and all the most preposterous, misshapen,
ugly, and strange embellishments that the depraved taste of the
eighteenth century and the horror of straight lines could invent.
The library, which has been preserved, is almost exclusively
composed of folios and quartos bound in white vellum, with the
titles written on them in black or red ink. They consist, for the
most part, of theological treatises, casuistical dissertations, and
other scholastic productions, possessing but little attraction for
the mere literary man. A collection of pictures has been formed
at the convent of San Domingo, composed of works from the various
monasteries that were either abolished or suffered to go to ruin,
but, with the exception of some few fine heads of ascetics, and a
few representations of martyrs which seem to have been painted by
the hangman himself, from the proficiency in the art of torturing
which they exhibit, there is nothing remarkably good, which proves
that the persons who were guilty of these acts of pillage are
excellent judges of paintings, for they never fail to keep the best
things for themselves. The courtyards and cloisters are admirable,
and are adorned with fountains, orange-trees, and flowers.

How excellently are such places adapted for reverie, meditation,
and study, and what a pity is it that convents were ever inhabited
by monks, and not by poets! The gardens, left to themselves, have
assumed a wild, savage aspect; luxuriant vegetation has invaded
the walks, and Nature has regained possession of her own, planting
a tuft of flowers or grass in the place of every stone that has
fallen out. The most remarkable feature in these gardens is an
alley of enormous laurels, forming a covered walk which is paved
with white marble, and furnished, on each side, with a long seat
of the same material, with a slanting back. At certain distances
from each other, a number of small fountains maintain a refreshing
coolness beneath this thick vault of verdure, at the end of which
you have a splendid view of a portion of the Sierra Nevada, through
a charming Moorish mirador, which forms part of an old Arabic
palace, enclosed in the convent. This pavilion is said to have
communicated, by means of long subterranean galleries, with the
Alhambra, which is situated at some considerable distance. However,
this is an idea deeply rooted in the minds of the inhabitants of
Granada, where the least Moorish ruin is always presented with five
or six leagues of subterranean passages as well as a treasure,
guarded by some spell or other.

We often went to San Domingo to sit beneath the shade of the
laurels and bathe in a pool, near which, if the satirical songs
are to be believed, the monks used to lead no very reputable sort
of life. It is a remarkable fact, that the most Catholic countries
are always those in which the priests and monks are treated most
cavalierly; the Spanish songs and stories about the clergy rival,
in licence, the facetiæ of Rabelais and Beroalde de Verville, and
to judge by the manner in which all the ceremonies of the church
are parodied in the old pieces, one would hardly think that the
Inquisition had ever existed.

Talking of baths, I will here relate a little incident which proves
that the thermal art, carried to so high a degree of perfection
by the Arabs, has lost much of its former splendour in Granada.
Our guide took us to some baths that appeared very well managed,
the rooms being situated round a patio shaded by a covering of
vine-leaves, while a large reservoir of very limpid water occupied
the greater part of the patio. So far all was well; but of what do
you think the baths themselves were made? Of copper, zinc, stone,
or wood? Not a bit of it, you are wrong; I will tell you at once,
for you will never guess. They were enormous clay jars, like those
made to hold oil. These novel baths were about two-thirds buried
in the ground. Before potting ourselves in them we had the inside
covered with a clean cloth, a piece of precaution which struck the
attendant as something so extremely strange, and which astonished
him so profoundly, that we were obliged to repeat the order several
times before he would obey it. He explained this whim of ours to
his own satisfaction by shrugging his shoulders and shaking his
head in a commiserative manner as he pronounced in a low voice the
one word: _Ingleses!_ There we sat, squatted down in our oil jars,
with our heads stuck out at the top, something like pheasants _en
terrine_, cutting rather grotesque figures. It was on this occasion
that I understood for the first time the story of _Ali Baba and
the Forty Thieves_, which had always struck me as being rather
difficult to believe, and had made me for an instant doubt the
veracity of the "Thousand-and-One Nights."

There are, also, in the Albaycin, some old Moorish baths, and a
pond covered over with a vaulted roof, pierced by a number of
little holes in the shape of stars, but they are not in working
order, and you can get nothing but cold water.

This is about all that is to be seen at Granada, during a stay of
some weeks. Public amusements are scarce. The theatre is closed
during the summer; the bull-fights do not take place at any fixed
periods; there are no clubs or establishments of this description,
and the Lyceum is the only place where it is possible to see the
French and other foreign papers. On certain days, there is a
meeting of the members, when they read papers on various subjects
as well as poetry, besides singing and playing pieces, generally
written by some young author of the company.

Every one employs his time, most conscientiously, in doing nothing.
Gallantry, cigarettes, the manufacture of quatrains and octaves,
and especially card-playing, are found sufficient to fill up a
man's existence very agreeably. In Granada you see nothing of that
furious restlessness, that necessity for action and change of
place which torments the people of the north. The Spanish struck
me as being very philosophical. They attach hardly any importance
to material life, and are totally indifferent about comfort. The
thousand factitious wants created by the civilization of northern
countries, appear to them puerile and troublesome refinements.
Not having to protect themselves continually against the climate,
the advantages of the English _home_ have no attractions in their
eyes. What do people, who would cheerfully pay for a breeze or a
draught of air, if they could obtain such a thing, care whether
or not the windows close properly? Favoured by a beautiful sky,
they have reduced human existence to its simplest expression: this
sobriety and moderation in everything enables them to enjoy a large
amount of liberty, a state of extreme independence; they have time
enough to live, which we cannot say that we have. Spaniards cannot
understand how a man can labour first in order to rest afterwards.
They very much prefer pursuing an opposite course, and I think that
by so doing, they show their superior sense. A workman who has
gained a few reals leaves his work, throws his fine embroidered
jacket over his shoulders, takes his guitar and goes and dances
or makes love to the _majas_ of his acquaintance, until he has
not a single _cuarto_ left; he then returns to his employment.
An Andalusian can live splendidly for three or four sous a day;
for this sum he can have the whitest bread, an enormous slice of
water-melon, and a small glass of aniseed, while his lodging costs
him nothing more than the trouble of spreading his cloak upon
the ground under some portico or the arch of some bridge. As a
general rule, Spaniards consider work as something humiliating and
unworthy of a freeman, which, in my opinion, is a very natural and
very reasonable idea, since Heaven wishing to punish man for his
disobedience, found no greater infliction than the obliging him to
gain his daily bread by the sweat of his brow. Pleasures procured,
as ours are, by dint of labour, fatigue, and mental anxiety and
perseverance strike Spaniards as being bought much too dearly. Like
all people who lead a simple life approaching a state of nature,
they possess a correctness of judgment which makes them despise
the artificial enjoyments of society. Any one coming from Paris or
London, those two whirlpools of devouring activity, of feverish
and unnaturally excited energy, is greatly surprised by the mode
of life of the people of Granada,--a mode of life that is all
leisure, filled up with conversation, siestas, promenades, music,
and dancing. The stranger is astonished at the happy calmness, the
tranquil dignity of the faces he sees around him. No one has that
busy look which is noticeable in the persons hurrying through the
streets of Paris. Every one strolls leisurely along, choosing the
shady side of the street, stopping to chat with his friends, and
betraying no desire to arrive at his destination in the shortest
possible time. The certitude of not being able to make money
extinguishes all ambition: there is no chance of a young man making
a brilliant career. The most adventurous among them go to Manilla
or Havannah, or enter the army, but on account of the piteous state
of the public finances, they sometimes wait for years without
hearing anything about pay. Convinced of the inutility of exertion,
Spaniards do not endeavour to make fortunes, for they know that
such things are quite out of the question; and they therefore pass
their time in a delightful state of idleness, favoured by the
beauty of the country and the heat of the climate.

I saw nothing of Spanish pride; nothing is so deceptive as the
reputation bestowed on individuals and nations. On the contrary,
I found them exceedingly simple-minded and good-natured; Spain
is the true country of equality, if not in words at least in
deeds. The poorest beggar lights his _papelito_ at the _puro_ of a
powerful nobleman, who allows him to do so, without the slightest
affectation of condescension; a marchioness will step, with a
smile, over the bodies of the ragged vagabonds who are slumbering
across her threshold, and, when travelling, will not make a face
if compelled to drink out of the same glass as the _mayoral_, the
_zagul_, and the _escopetero_ of the diligence. Foreigners find
great difficulty in accustoming themselves to this familiarity,
especially the English, who have their letters brought upon
salvers, and take them with tongs. An Englishman travelling from
Seville to Jeres, told his _calesero_ to go and get his dinner in
the kitchen. The calesero, who, in his own mind, thought he was
honouring a heretic very highly by sitting down at the same table
with him, did not make the slightest remark, and concealed his rage
as carefully as the villain in a melodrama; but about three or four
leagues from Jeres, in the midst of a frightful desert, full of
quagmires and bushes, he threw the Englishman very neatly out of
the vehicle, shouting to him as he whipped on his horse: "My lord,
you did not think me worthy of sitting at your table, and I, Don
Jose Balbino Bustamente y Orozco, do not think you good enough to
sit on the seat in my calesin. Good evening!"

The servants, both male and female, are treated with a gentle
familiarity very different from our affected civility, which
seems, every moment, to remind them of the inferiority of their
condition. A short example will prove the truth of this assertion.
We had gone to a party given at the country-house of the Señora
----; in the evening, there was a general desire to have a little
dancing, but there were a great many more ladies than gentlemen
present. To obviate this difficulty, the Señora ---- sent for the
gardener and another servant, who danced the whole evening without
the least awkwardness, false bashfulness, or servile forwardness,
but just as if they had been on a perfect equality with the rest
of the company. They invited, in turn, the fairest and most noble
ladies present, and the latter complied with their request in the
most graceful manner possible. Our democrats are very far from
having attained this practical equality, and our most determined
Republicans would revolt at the idea of figuring in a quadrille,
opposite a peasant or a footman.

Of course, there are a great many exceptions to these remarks,
as there are to all other generalities. There are, doubtless,
many Spaniards who are active, laborious, and sensible to all the
refinements of life, but what I have said conveys the general
impression felt by a traveller after a stay of some little
time,--an impression which is often more correct than that of a
native observer, who is less struck by the novelty of the various

As our curiosity was satisfied with regard to Granada and its
buildings, we resolved, from having had a view of the Sierra
Nevada at every turn we took, to become more intimately acquainted
with it, and endeavour to ascend the Mulhacen, which is the most
elevated point of the whole range. Our friends at first attempted
to dissuade us from this project, which was really attended with
some little danger, but, on seeing that our resolution was fixed,
they recommended us a huntsman named Alexandro Romero, as a
person thoroughly acquainted with the mountains, and possessing
every qualification to act as guide. He came and saw us at our
_casa de pupilos_, and his manly, frank physiognomy, immediately
pre-possessed us in his favour. He wore an old velvet waistcoat,
a red woollen sash, and white linen gaiters, like those of the
Valencians, which enabled you to see his clean-made, nervous legs,
tanned like Cordovan leather. Alpargatas of twisted rope served
him for shoes, while a little Andalusian hat, that had grown red
from exposure to the sun, a carbine and a powder-flask, slung
across his shoulder, completed his costume. He undertook to make
all the necessary preparations for our expedition, and promised
to bring, at three o'clock, the next morning, the four horses we
required, one for my travelling companion, one for myself, a third
for a young German who had joined our caravan, and a fourth for
our servant, who was intrusted with the direction of the culinary
department. As for Romero he was to walk. Our provisions consisted
of a ham, some roast fowls, some chocolate, bread, lemons, sugar,
and a large leathern sack, called a _bota_, filled with excellent
Val-de-Peñas, which was the principal article in the list.

At the appointed hour, the horses were before our house, while
Romero was hammering away at the door with the butt-end of his
carbine. Still scarcely awake, we mounted our steeds, and the
procession set forth, our guide running on beforehand to point
out the road. Although it was already light, the sun had not
risen, and the undulating outlines of the smaller hills, which we
had passed, were spread out all around us, cool, limpid and blue,
like the waves of an immovable ocean. In the distance, Granada had
disappeared beneath the vapourized atmosphere. When the fiery globe
at last appeared on the horizon, all the hill-tops were covered
with a rosy tint, like so many young girls at the sight of their
lovers, and appeared to experience a feeling of bashful confusion
at the idea of having been seen in their morning _déshabille_.
The ridges of the mountain are connected with the plain by gentle
slopes, forming the first table-land which is easily accessible.
When we reached this place, our guide decided that we should allow
our horses a little breathing time, give them something to eat,
and breakfast ourselves. We ensconced ourselves at the foot of a
rock, near a little spring, the water of which was as bright as a
diamond, and sparkled beneath the emerald-coloured grass. Romero,
with all the dexterity of an American savage, improvised a fire
with a handful of brush-wood, while Louis prepared some chocolate,
which, with the addition of a slice of ham and a draught of wine,
composed our first meal in the mountains. While our breakfast was
cooking, a superb viper passed beside us, and appeared surprised
and dissatisfied at our installing ourselves on his estate, a fact
that he gave us to understand by unpolitely hissing at us, for
which he was rewarded by a sturdy thrust with a sword-stick through
the stomach. A little bird, that had watched the proceedings very
attentively, no sooner saw the viper disabled, than it flew up with
the feathers of its neck standing on end, its eye all fire, and
flapping its wings, and piping in a strange state of exultation.
Every time that any portion of the venomous beast writhed
convulsively, the bird shrunk back, soon returning to the charge,
however, and pecking the viper with its beak, after which it would
rise in the air three or four feet. I do not know what the serpent
could have done, during its lifetime, to the bird, or what was the
feeling of hatred we had gratified by killing the viper, but it is
certain that I never beheld such an amount of delight.

We once again set out. From time to time we met a string of little
asses coming down from the higher parts of the mountains with their
load of snow, which they were carrying to Granada for the day's
consumption. The drivers saluted us, as they passed by, with the
time honoured "_Vayan Ustedes con Dios_," and we replied by some
joke about their merchandise, which would never accompany them as
far as the city, and which they would be obliged to sell to the
official who was entrusted with the duty of watering the public

We were always preceded by Romero, who leaped from stone to stone
with the agility of a chamois, and kept exclaiming, _Bueno camino_
(a good road). I should certainly very much like to know what
the worthy fellow would call a bad road, for, as far as I was
concerned, I could not perceive the slightest sign of any road at
all. To our right and left, as far as the eye could distinguish,
yawned delightful abysses, very blue, very azure and very vapoury,
varying in depth from fifteen hundred to two thousand feet, a
difference, however, about which we troubled our heads very little,
for a few dozen fathoms more or less made very little difference
in the matter. I recollect with a shudder a certain pass, three or
four pistol-shots long and two feet broad,--a sort of natural plank
running between two gulfs. As my horse headed the procession, I had
to pass first over this kind of tight-rope, which would have made
the most determined acrobats pause and reflect. At certain points
there was only just enough space for my horse's feet, and each of
my legs was dangling over a separate abyss. I sat motionless in my
saddle, as upright as if I had been balancing a chair on the end of
my nose. This pass, which took us a few minutes to traverse, struck
me as particularly long.

When I quietly reflect on this incredible ascent, I am lost in
surprise, as at the remembrance of some incoherent dream. We
passed over spots where a goat would have hesitated to set its
foot, and scaled precipices so steep that the ears of our horses
touched our chins. Our road lay between rocks and blocks of stone,
which threatened to fall down upon us every moment, and ran in
zigzags along the edge of the most frightful precipices. We took
advantage of every favourable opportunity, and although advancing
slowly we still advanced, gradually approaching the goal of our
ambition,--namely, the summit, that we had lost sight of since
we had been in the mountains, because each separate piece of
table-land hides the one above it.

Every time our horses stopped to take breath, we turned round in
our saddles to contemplate the immense panorama formed by the
circular canvas of the horizon. The mountain tops which lay below
us looked as if they had been marked out in a large map. The Vega
of Granada and all Andalusia presented the appearance of an azure
sea, in the midst of which a few white points that caught the rays
of the sun, represented the sails of the different vessels. The
neighbouring eminences that were completely bare, and cracked,
and split from top to bottom, were tinged in the shade with a
green-ash colour, Egyptian blue, lilac and pearl-grey, while in
the sunshine they assumed a most admirable and warm hue similar to
that of orange peel, tarnished gold or a lion's skin. Nothing gives
you so good an idea of a chaos, of a world still in the course
of creation, as a mountain range seen from its highest point. It
seems as if a nation of Titans had been endeavouring to build some
sacrilegious Babel, some prodigious _Lylac_ or other; that they
had heaped together all the materials and commenced the gigantic
terraces, when suddenly the breath of some unknown being had, like
a tempest, swept over the temples and palaces they had begun,
shaking their foundations and levelling them with the ground. You
might fancy yourself amidst the remains of an antediluvian Babylon,
a pre-Adamite city. The enormous blocks, the Pharaoh-like masses,
awake in your breast thoughts of a race of giants that has now
disappeared, so visibly is the old age of the world written in deep
wrinkles on the bald front and rugged face of these millennial

We had reached the region inhabited by the eagles. Several times,
at a distance, we saw one of these noble birds perched upon a
solitary rock, with its eye turned towards the sun, and immersed
in that state of contemplative ecstasy which with animals replaces
thought. There was one of them floating at an immense height above
us, and seemingly motionless in the midst of a sea of light. Romero
could not resist the pleasure of sending him a visiting card in
the shape of a bullet. It carried away one of the large feathers
of his wing, but the eagle, nothing moved, continued on his way
with indescribable majesty, as if nothing had happened. The feather
whirled round and round for a long time before reaching the earth;
it was picked up by Romero, who stuck it in his hat.

Thin streaks of snow now began to show themselves, scattered
here and there, in the shade; the air became more rarified and
the rocks more steep and precipitous; soon afterwards, the snow
appeared in immense sheets and enormous heaps which the sun was
no longer strong enough to melt. We were above the sources of
the Gruil, which we perceived like a blue ribband frosted with
silver, streaming down with all possible speed in the direction
of its beloved city. The table-land on which we stood is about
nine thousand feet above the level of the sea, and is the highest
spot in the range with the exception of the peak of Veleta and
the Mulhacen, which towers another thousand feet towards the
immeasurable height of heaven. On this spot Romero decided that
we should pass the night. The horses, who were worn out with
fatigue, were unsaddled; Louis and the guide tore up a quantity of
brushwood, roots, and juniper plants to make a fire, for although
in the plain the thermometer stood at thirty or thirty-five
degrees, there was a freshness on the heights we then occupied,
which we knew would settle down into intense cold as soon as
the sun had set. It was about five o'clock in the afternoon; my
companion and the young German determined to take advantage of the
daylight that remained, to scale alone and on foot the last heights
of the mountain. For my own part, I preferred stopping behind; my
soul was moved by the grand and sublime spectacle before me, and
I busied myself in scribbling in my pocket-book sundry verses,
which, if not well turned, had, at least, the merit of being the
only alexandrines composed at such an elevation. After my strophes
were finished, I manufactured some sorbets with snow, sugar, lemon
and brandy, for our dessert. Our encampment presented rather a
picturesque appearance; our saddles served us for seats, and our
cloaks for a carpet, while a large heap of snow protected us from
the wind. A fire of broom blazed brightly in the centre, and we
fed it by throwing in, from time to time, a fresh branch which
shrivelled up and hissed, darting out its sap in little streams
of all colours. Above us, the horses stretched forward their thin
heads, with their sad, gentle eyes, and caught an occasional puff
of warmth.

Night was rapidly approaching. The least elevated mountains were
the first to sink into obscurity, and the light, like a fisherman
flying before the rising tide, leapt from peak to peak, retiring
towards the highest in order to escape from the shade which was
advancing from the valleys beneath and burying everything in
its bluish waves. The last ray which stopt on the summit of the
Mulhacen hesitated for an instant; then, spreading out its golden
wings, winged its way like some bird of flame into the depths of
heaven and disappeared. The obscurity was now complete, and the
increased brilliancy of our fire caused a number of grotesque
shadows to dance about upon the sides of the rocks. Eugene and
the German had not returned, and I began to grow anxious on their
account; I feared that they might have fallen down some precipice
or been buried beneath some mass of snow. Romero and Louis already
requested me to sign a declaration to the effect that they had
neither murdered nor robbed the two worthy gentlemen, and that, if
the latter were dead, it was their own fault.

Meanwhile, we tore our lungs to pieces by indulging in the most
shrill and savage cries, to let them know the position of our
wig-wam, in case they should not be able to perceive the fire.
At last the report of firearms, which was hurled back by all the
echoes of the mountains, told us that we had been heard, and that
our companions were but a short distance off--in fact, at the
expiration of a few minutes, they made their appearance, fatigued
and worn out, asserting that they had distinctly seen Africa on
the other side of the ocean; it is very possible they had done so,
for the air of these parts is so pure, that the eye can perceive
objects at the distance of thirty or forty leagues. We were all
very merry at supper, and by dint of playing the bagpipes with
our skin of wine, we made it almost as flat as the wallet of a
Castilian beggar. It was agreed that each of us should sit up
in turn to attend the fire, an arrangement which was faithfully
carried out, but the circumference of our circle, which was at
first pretty considerable, kept becoming smaller and smaller.
Every hour the cold became more intense, and at last we literally
laid ourselves in the fire itself, so as to burn our shoes and
pantaloons. Louis gave vent to his feelings in loud exclamations;
he bewailed his _gaspacho_ (cold garlic soup), his house, his bed,
and even his wife. He made himself a formal promise, by everything
he reverenced, never to be caught a second time attempting an
ascent; he asserted that mountains are far more interesting when
seen from below, and that a man must be a maniac to expose himself
to the chance of breaking every bone in his body a hundred thousand
times, and having his nose frozen off in the middle of the month of
August, in Andalusia, and in sight of Africa. All night long he did
nothing but grumble and groan in the same manner, and we could not
succeed in reducing him to silence. Romero said nothing, and yet
his dress was made of thin linen, and all that he had to wrap round
him was a narrow piece of cloth.

At last the dawn appeared; we were enveloped in a cloud, and
Romero advised us to begin our descent, if we wished to reach
Granada before night. When it was sufficiently light to enable us
to distinguish the various objects, I observed that Eugene was as
red as a lobster nicely boiled, and at the same moment he made an
analogous observation with respect to me, and did not feel himself
bound to conceal the fact. The young German and Louis were also
equally red; Romero alone had reserved his peculiar tint, which
resembled, by the way, that of a boot-top, and although his legs of
bronze were naked, they had not undergone the slightest alteration.
It was the biting cold and the rarefaction of the air that had
turned us this colour. Going up a mountain is nothing, because you
look at the objects above you, but coming down, with the awful
depths before your eyes, is quite a different matter. At first the
thing appeared impracticable, and Louis began screeching like a
jay who is being picked alive. However, we could not remain for
ever on the Mulhacen, which is as little adapted for the purpose of
habitation as any place in the known world, and so, with Romero
at our head, we began our descent. It would be impossible, without
laying ourselves open to the charge of exaggeration, to convey any
notion of the paths, or rather the absence of paths, by which our
dare-devil of a guide conducted us; never more break-neck obstacles
crowded together in the course marked out for any steeple-chase,
and I entertain strong doubts as to whether the feats of any
"gentlemen riders" ever outrivalled our exploits on the Mulhacen.
The _Montagnes Russes_ were mild declivities in comparison to the
precipices with which we had to do. We were almost constantly
standing up in our stirrups, and leaning back over the cruppers of
our horses, in order to avoid performing an incessant succession
of parabolas over their heads. All the lines of perspective seem
jumbled up together; the streams appeared to be flowing up towards
their source, the rocks vacillated and staggered on their bases,
and the most distant objects appeared to be only two paces off; we
had lost all feeling of proportion, an effect which is very common
in the mountains, where the enormous size of the masses, and the
vertical position of the different ranges, do not allow of your
judging distances in the ordinary manner.

In spite of every difficulty we reached Granada without our horses
having even made one false step, only they had got but one shoe
left among them all. Andalusian horses--and ours were of the most
authentic description--cannot be equalled for mountain travelling.
They are so docile, so patient, and so intelligent, that the best
thing the rider can do is to throw the reins on their necks and let
them follow their own impulse.

We were impatiently expected, for our friends in the city had seen
our fire burning like a beacon on the table-land of Mulhacen. I
wanted to go and give an account of our perilous expedition to
the charming Senoras B----, but I was so fatigued that I fell
asleep on a chair, holding my stocking in my hand, and I did not
wake before ten o'clock the following morning, when I was still in
the same position. Some few days afterwards, we quitted Granada,
sighing quite as deeply as ever King Boabdil did.



  The Robbers and Cosarios of Andalusia--Alhama--Malaga--Travelling
  Students--A Bull-fight--Montes--The Theatre.

A piece of news, well calculated to throw a whole Spanish town into
a state of commotion, had suddenly been bruited about Granada, to
the great delight of the _aficionados_. The new circus at Malaga
was at last finished, after having cost the contractor five million
reals. In order to inaugurate it solemnly, by exploits worthy of
the palmy days of the art, the great Montes de Chielana--Montes,
the first _espada_ of Spain, the brilliant successor of Romero and
Pepe Illo--had been engaged with his quadrille, and was to appear
in the ring three days consecutively. We had already been present
at several bull-fights, but we had not been fortunate enough to
see Montes, who was prevented by his political opinions from
making his appearance in the circus at Madrid; and to quit Spain
without having seen Montes would be something as barbarous and
savage as to leave Paris without having witnessed the performance
of Mademoiselle Rachel. Although, had we taken the direct road, we
ought to have proceeded at once to Cordova, we could not resist
this temptation, and we resolved, in spite of the difficulties of
the journey and the short time at our disposal, to make a little
excursion to Malaga.

There is no diligence from Granada to Malaga, and the only means of
transport are the _galeras_ or mules: we chose the latter as being
surer and quicker, for we were under the necessity of taking the
cross-roads through the Alpurjas, in order to arrive even on the
very day of the fight.

Our friends in Granada recommended us a _cosario_ (conductor
of a convoy) named Lanza, a good-looking honest fellow, and
very intimate with the brigands. This fact would certainly not
tell much in his favour in France, but on the other side of the
Pyrenees the case is different. The muleteers and conductors of
the _galeras_ know the robbers and make bargains with them; for
so much a head, or so much for the whole convoy, according to
the terms agreed upon, they obtain a free passage, and are never
attacked. These arrangements are observed by both parties with
the most scrupulous probity, if I may use the word, and if it is
not too much out of place when talking of transactions of this
description. When the chief of the gang infesting a peculiar track,
takes advantage of the _indulto_,[10] or, for some reason or other,
cedes his business and customers to any one else, he never neglects
presenting officially to his successor those _cosarios_ who pay him
"black mail," in order that they may not be molested by mistake.
By this system, travellers are sure of not being pillaged, while
the robbers avoid the risk of making an attack and meeting with
a degree of resistance which is often accompanied with danger to
them; so that the arrangement is advantageous to both parties.

One night, between Alhama and Velez, our cosario had dropped to
sleep upon the neck of his mule, in the rear of the convoy, when
suddenly he was awakened by shrill cries, and saw a number of
trabucos glistening at the road-side. There was no doubt about the
matter; the convoy was attacked. In the greatest state of surprise,
he threw himself from his mule, and averting the muzzles of the
blunderbusses with his hand, declared who he was. "Ah! we beg your
pardon, Señor Lanza," said the brigands, quite confused at their
mistake, "but we did not recognise you. We are honest men, totally
incapable of so indelicate a proceeding as to molest you. We have
too much honour to deprive you of even so much as a single cigar."

If you do not travel with a man who is known along the road, it is
absolutely necessary to be accompanied by a numerous escort, armed
to the teeth, and which cost a great deal, besides offering less
security, for the _escopeteros_ are generally retired robbers.

It is the custom in Andalusia, when a person travels on horseback,
and goes to the bull-fights, to put on the national costume.
Accordingly our little caravan was rather picturesque, and made
a very good appearance as it left Granada. Seizing with delight
this opportunity of disguising myself out of Carnival time, and
quitting, for a short space, my horrible French attire, I donned my
_majo's_ costume, consisting of a peaked hat, embroidered jacket,
velvet waistcoat, with filigree buttons, red silk sash, webbed
breeches, and gaiters open at the calf. My travelling companion
wore his dress of green velvet and Cordova leather. Some of the
others wore _monteras_, black jackets, and breeches decorated with
silk trimmings of the same colour, and yellow cravats and sashes.
Lanza was remarkable for the magnificence of his silver buttons,
made of pillared dollars, soldered to a shank, and the floss-silk
embroideries of his second jacket, which he wore hanging from his
shoulder like a hussar's pelisse.

The mule that had been assigned to me was close-shaved halfway up
his body, so that I was enabled to study his muscular development
with as much ease as if he had been flayed. The saddle was composed
of two variegated horse-cloths, put on double, in order to soften
as much as possible the projecting vertebræ, and the sloping shape
of the animal's backbone. On each side hung down, in the guise
of stirrups, two kinds of wooden troughs, rather resembling our
rat-traps. The head-trappings were so loaded with rosettes, tufts,
and other gewgaws, that it was almost impossible to distinguish
the capricious brute's sour crabbed profile through the mass of
ornament fluttering about it.

Whenever they travel, Spaniards resume their ancient originality,
and eschew the imitation of anything foreign. The national
characteristics reappear in all their pristine vigour, in these
convoys through the mountains--convoys which cannot differ much
from the caravans through the desert. The roughness of the roads,
that are scarcely marked out, the grand savage aspects of the
various places you pass through, the picturesque costume of the
_arrieros_, and the strange trappings of the mules, horses, and
asses, marching along in files, all transport you a thousand
miles away from civilized life. Travelling becomes a reality, an
action in which you take a part. In a diligence a man is no longer
a man, he is but an inert object, a bale of goods, and does not
much differ from his portmanteau. He is thrown from one place
to the other, and might as well stop at home. The pleasure of
travelling consists in the obstacles, the fatigue, and even the
danger. What charm can any one find in an excursion, when he is
always sure of reaching his destination, of having horses ready
waiting for him, a soft bed, an excellent supper, and all the ease
and comfort which he can enjoy in his own house? One of the great
misfortunes of modern life is the want of any sudden surprise, and
the absence of all adventures. Everything is so well arranged, so
admirably combined, so plainly labelled, that chance is an utter
impossibility; if we go on progressing, in this fashion, towards
perfection for another century, every man will be able to foresee
everything that will happen to him from the day of his birth to
the day of his death. Human will will be completely annihilated.
There will be no more crimes, no more virtues, no more characters,
no more originality. It will be impossible to distinguish a Russian
from a Spaniard, an Englishman from a Chinese, or a Frenchman from
an American. People will not even be able to recognise one another,
for every one will be alike. An intense feeling of _ennui_ will
then take possession of the universe, and suicide will decimate the
population of the globe, for the principal spring of life, namely,
curiosity, will have been destroyed for ever.

A journey in Spain is still a perilous and romantic affair. You
must risk your life, and possess courage, patience, and strength.
You are exposed to danger at every step you take. Privations of all
kinds, the absence of the most indispensable articles, the wretched
state of the roads, that would offer insurmountable difficulties to
any but an Andalusian muleteer, the most horrible heat, with the
sun darting its rays upon you as if it were about to split your
skull, are the most trifling inconveniences. Besides all this,
there are the _factions_, the robbers, and the innkeepers, all
ready to plunder and ill-treat you, and who regulate their honesty
by the number of carbines that accompany you. Peril encircles you,
follows you, goes before you, is all around you. You hear nothing
but terrible and mysterious stories discussed in a low, terrified
tone. Yesterday the bandits supped in the very _posada_ at which
you alight. A caravan has been attacked and carried off into the
mountains by the brigands, in the hope that their prisoners will
be ransomed. Pallilos is lying in ambush at such and such a spot,
which you will have to pass! Without doubt there is a good deal
of exaggeration in all this, but however incredulous you may be,
you cannot avoid believing something of it, when, at each turn of
the road, you perceive wooden crosses with inscriptions of this
kind--_Aqui mataron à un hombre, Aqui murio de maupairada_.

We had left Granada in the evening, and were to travel all night.
It was not long before the moon rose, frosting with silver the
precipitous rocks exposed to her beams. These rocks threw their
long strange shadows over the road we were following, and produced
some very singular optical effects. We heard in the distance, like
the notes of an harmonica, the tinkling of the asses' bells, for
the asses had been sent on beforehand with our luggage, or some
_mozo de mulas_ singing some amorous couplets with that guttural
tone and peculiar far-sounding pitch of voice, so poetical when
heard at night and in the mountains. The song was delightful; and
the reader will perhaps thank us for giving two stanzas, which were
probably improvised, and which, from their graceful quaintness,
have ever since remained engraved on our memory:

      Son tus labios dos cortinas
      De terciopelo carmesi;
      Entre cortina y cortina,
      Niña, dime que se.

      Atame con un cabello
      A los bancos de tu cama,
      Aunque el cabello se compa
      Segura esta que no me vaya.

          Thy lips are two curtains
          Of crimson velvet;
          Between curtain and curtain,
          Dear girl, say to me, Yes.

          Fasten me with a hair
          To the frame of your couch,
          Even if the hair should snap,
          Be sure that I would not leave you.

We soon passed Cacin, where we forded a pretty little torrent
some inches deep. The clear water glittered on the sand like the
scales on the belly of a bleak, and then streamed down the steep
mountain-side like an avalanche of silver spangles.

Beyond Cacin, the road becomes most wretchedly bad. Our mules
sunk up to their girths in the stones, while they had a shower of
sparks round each of their hoofs. We had to ascend and descend,
to pass along the edges of precipices and to proceed in all sorts
of zigzags and diagonals, for we had entered those inaccessible
solitudes, those savage and precipitous mountain-chains, the
Alpujarras, whence the Moors, so runs the report, could never be
completely expelled, and where some thousands of their descendants
live concealed at the present day.

At a turn in the road, we experienced a very tolerable amount of
alarm. We perceived, by the light of the moon, seven strapping
fellows, draped in long mantles, with peaked hats on their heads,
and _trabuchos_ on their shoulders, standing motionless in the
middle of the way. The adventure we had so long panted for,
was about to be realized in the most romantic manner possible.
Unfortunately, the banditti saluted us politely with a respectful
_Vayan Ustedes con Dios_. They were the very reverse of robbers,
being Miquelets, that is to say, gendarmes! Oh, what a cruel
disappointment was this for two enthusiastic young travellers,
who would willingly have lost their luggage for the sake of an

We were to stop for the night at a little town called Alhama,
perched like an eagle's nest upon the top of a mountain peak.
Nothing can be more picturesque than the sharp angle which the road
conducting to this eyrie is obliged to make, in order to adapt
itself to the unevenness of the ground. We reached our destination
about two in the morning, half dead with hunger and thirst, and
worn out with fatigue. We quenched our thirst by means of three or
four jars of water, and appeased our hunger by a tomato omelette,
which, considering it was a Spanish one, did not contain too
many feathers. A stony kind of mattress, bearing a strong family
likeness to a sack of walnuts, was given us for a couch. At the
expiration of two minutes, I was buried in that peculiar sleep
attributed to the Just, and my companion religiously followed my
example. The day surprised us in the same attitudes, as motionless
as lumps of lead.

I went down into the kitchen to implore them to give me some
food, and, thanks to my eloquence, obtained some cutlets, a fowl
fried in oil, and half of a water-melon, besides for dessert,
some Barbary figs, whose prickly skin the landlady took off very
dexterously. The water-melon did us a great deal of good; the rosy
pulp contained inside its green rind has a most delightfully cool
and thirst-assuaging look. Scarcely have you bitten it, before you
are inundated up to your elbows with a very agreeably-flavoured and
slightly sweet juice, which bears no sort of resemblance to that of
our cantaloups. We really stood in need of this refreshing fruit
to moderate the burning effects of the peppers and spices with
which all Spanish dishes are seasoned. We were on fire internally
and roasted externally; the heat was atrocious. We lay down upon
the brick floor of our room, on which the forms of our bodies were
marked by pools of perspiration. The only method we could discover
for rendering the place, comparatively speaking, a little cool, was
by closely shutting all the doors and windows, and remaining in
complete darkness.

In spite of this Indian temperature, however, I boldly threw my
jacket over my shoulder, and went out to take a turn in the streets
of Alhama. The sky was as white as metal in a state of fusion: the
pavingstones glistened as if they had been waxed and polished; the
whitewashed walls presented a micaceous scintillating appearance,
while the pitiless blinding sunshine penetrated into every hole
and corner. The shutters and doors were cracking with heat, the
gasping soil was full of yawning fissures, and the branches of the
vines writhed like green wood when thrown into the fire; while, in
addition to all this, there was the reflection of the neighbouring
rocks, which cast back the rays of light even hotter than they
were before. To complete my torture, I had got on very thin shoes,
through which the pavement burnt the soles of my feet. There was
not a breath of air, not so much wind as would have ruffled a
feather. It is impossible to conceive anything more dull, more
melancholy, or more savage.

I wandered at hazard through the solitary streets, whose
chalk-coloured walls, pierced by a few windows, scattered far
apart, and closed by means of wooden shutters, gave them a
completely African appearance, until, I will not say without
meeting a human being, but absolutely without seeing a living
creature, I reached the great square, which is exceedingly
picturesque and quaint. It is crossed by the stone arches of an
aqueduct, and consists simply of a level space cleared away on the
bare rock itself, which has grooves cut in it to prevent persons
from slipping. The whole of one side overlooks the abyss, at the
bottom of which peep out, from the midst of clumps of trees,
several mills that are turned by a torrent which foams so violently
that it resembles a quantity of soap-suds.

The hour fixed upon for our departure was approaching, and I
returned to the _posada_ wet through with perspiration, just as if
I had been out in a heavy shower of rain, but satisfied at having
done my duty as a traveller, although you might have boiled eggs by
the mere heat of the atmosphere.

Our caravan again set out, proceeding through most abominable but
highly picturesque roads, where no other creature but a mule could
have stood without falling. I had thrown the bridle on the neck of
mine, thinking that he was better qualified to direct his steps
than I was, and leaving him all the responsibility of passing
the dangerous points. I had already had several very animated
discussions with him, in order to induce him to walk beside the
mule of my companion, but I was at last convinced of the inutility
of my efforts. I bow, in all submission, to the truth of the
saying--_As obstinate as a mule_. Give a mule the spur and it will
stand still; touch it with a whip, it will lie down; pull it up,
and it will start off at full gallop: in the mountains, a mule is
really intractable; it feels its importance and takes a most unfair
advantage of it. Very often, right in the middle of the road, a
mule will suddenly stop, raise its head, stretch out its neck, draw
back its lips, so as to expose its gums and long teeth, and indulge
in a series of the most horrible inarticulate sighs, convulsive
sobs, and frightful clucking, resembling the shrieks of a child who
is being murdered. During the time it is indulging in this system
of vocalization you might kill it, without being able to make it
move one step.

Our path now lay through a veritable Campo Santo. The crosses
erected where murders had been committed, became frightfully
numerous: in the situations that were favourable to this kind of
thing, we sometimes counted more than three or four crosses in
less than a hundred paces; we were no longer on a road, but in a
cemetery. I must own, however, that if it were the custom in France
to perpetuate the memory of violent deaths by the erection of
crosses, there would be quite as many of them in certain streets
of Paris as there are on the road from Grenada to Velez-Malaga.
The dates of a great number of these sinister monuments are
already very old; it is very certain, however, that they keep the
traveller's mind actively employed, rendering him attentive to the
slightest noise, causing him to look very carefully about him, and
hindering any feeling of _ennui_. At every turn of the road, he
says to himself, if he sees a rock that looks at all suspicious, or
a mysterious cluster of trees: "There is some vagabond concealed
behind there, who is the act of taking aim, and is on the point
of making me the pretext for another cross destined to edify the
travellers of future generations who may happen to pass by the

When we emerged from the defiles, the crosses became somewhat
less frequent. Our road now lay along the bases of stern, grand
mountains, whose summits were cut off by immense archipelagos of
mist. The country was a complete desert, with no other habitations
save the reed hut of some _aguador_, or vender of brandy. This
brandy is colourless, and is drunk out of long glasses filled
up with water, which it causes it to turn white exactly as
Eau-de-Cologne would.

The weather was heavy and stormy, and the heat suffocating: a few
large drops of water, the only ones that had fallen for a space
of four months, from the implacable sky of lapis-lazuli, spotted
the parched sand, and made it resemble a panther's skin; however,
there was no shower after all, and the canopy of heaven resumed its
immutable serenity. The sky was so constantly blue during my stay
in Spain, that I find the following notice in my pocketbook: "Saw a
white cloud," as if such an object was worthy of being especially
recorded. We inhabitants of the north are so accustomed to behold
the heavens covered with clouds, constantly varying in form and
colour, and with which the wind builds mountains, islands, and
palaces, that it soon destroys again to build elsewhere, that we
cannot form any conception of the feeling of profound melancholy
caused by this azure tint, as uniform as eternity itself, and which
is always hanging over one's head. In a little village which we
traversed, all the population were standing outside their houses in
order to enjoy the rain, just as we should go in doors to avoid it.

The night has set in without any twilight, almost in an instant,
as is the case in warm climates, and we were not very far from
Velez-Malaga, where we intended sleeping. The mountain-steeps began
to be less abrupt, and gradually subsided in small stony plains,
traversed by streams fifteen or twenty feet broad, and one foot
deep; their banks were covered with gigantic reeds. The funeral
crosses again became more numerous than ever, and their white
colour caused them to stand out distinctly from the blue mist of
night. We counted three of them in the distance of twenty paces,
but the fact is, that the spot presents a most lonely appearance,
and is admirably adapted for an ambuscade.

It was eleven o'clock when we entered Valez-Malaga; the windows
were joyfully lighted up, and the streets re-echoed with songs and
the sounds of guitars. The young maidens seated in the balconies
were singing verses which the _novios_ accompanied from the
street below, and each stanza was followed by laughter, shouts,
and applause, which I thought would never end. Other groups were
dancing the cachucha, the fandango, and the jalo, at the corners
of the streets. The guitars emitted a dull hum like that of bees,
the castagnettes rattled merrily, and all was music and delight.
It would almost appear as if the most important business of a
Spaniard's life were pleasure; he gives himself up to it, heart
and soul, with admirable ease and frankness. No nation in the
world appears to know less of misfortune than the Spaniards, and
a stranger travelling through the Peninsula can scarcely believe
that the state of political affairs can be so serious, or that
he is traversing a country which for ten years has been ravaged
and laid waste by civil war. Our peasants are far from possessing
the happy carelessness, the joyful look, and the elegant costume
of the Andalusian _majos_, and in the matter of education they
are greatly inferior to them. Almost all the Spanish peasants can
write; their minds are stored with poetry, which they recite or
sing without destroying the measure; they are good horsemen, and
very dexterous in the use of the knife and carbine. It is true that
the admirable fertility of the soil and the beauty of the climate
relieves them from the necessity of that brutalizing work, which,
in less favoured countries, reduces man to the condition of a beast
of burden or a machine, and robs him of those two gifts of heaven,
force and beauty.

It was not without a feeling of the profoundest satisfaction, that
I tied my mule to the bars of the posada.

Our supper was extremely frugal; all the servants, both male
and female, were gone out to dance, so that we had to content
ourselves with a simple _gaspacho_. The _gaspacho_ is worthy of
a particular description, and we will therefore give our readers
the receipt for making it--a receipt which would have caused the
late Brillat-Savarin's hair to stand on end with horror. You first
pour some water into a soup-tureen; to this water you then add a
small quantity of vinegar, some cloves of garlic, some onions cut
into quarters, some sliced cucumber, a little pimento, and a pinch
of salt. You then cut some slices of bread and let them soak in
this agreeable compound, which is served up cold. In France, a dog
with the least pretensions to a good education would refuse to
compromise himself by putting his nose into such a mixture; but
it is the favourite dish of the Andalusians, and the most lovely
women do not hesitate of an evening, to swallow large messes of
this diabolical soup. The _gaspacho_ is considered very refreshing,
an opinion which struck us, allowing scope for some diversity of
opinion; yet, strange as the mixture appears the first time you
taste it, you gradually grow accustomed to it, and, ultimately,
even like it. By a providential chance we had, to enable us to wash
down this meagre repast, a large decanterful of excellent dry white
Malaga, which we conscientiously finished to the last pearly drop,
and which restored our strength, that was completely exhausted by
a ride of nine hours, over the most improbable roads, and in a
temperature like that of a limekiln.

At three o'clock the conveyance set out once more upon its march.
The sky looked lowering; a warm mist hung over the horizon, and
the humidity of the air warned us that we were approaching the
sea, which soon afterwards appeared in the extreme distance like a
streak of hard blue. A few fleecy flakes of foam were visible here
and there, while the waves came and died away in regular volutes
upon the sand, which was as fine as boxwood sawdust. High cliffs
rose upon our right. At one moment the rocks separated and left
us a free passage, and at the next they barricaded the road, and
obliged us to wind slowly round them. It is not often that Spanish
roads proceed in a right line; it would be so difficult a task to
overcome the various obstacles, that it is far better to go round
than to surmount them. The famous motto, _Linea recta brevissima_,
would in Spain be completely false.

The rising sun dispersed the mist as if it had been so much smoke;
the sky and the sea recommenced their azure struggle, in which it
is impossible to say which of the two is victorious; the cliffs
reassumed their varied tints of reddish-brown, shot-colour,
amethyst, and burnt topaz; the sand began once again to rise in
small thin clouds, and the water to glisten in the intensity of the
sunshine. Far, far away, almost on the line of the horizon, the
sails of five fishing-boats palpitated in the wind like the wings
of a dove.

The declivities now became less steep; from time to time, a little
house appeared, as white as lump-sugar, with a flat roof, and a
kind of peristyle formed by a vine clustering over trellis-work,
supported at each end by a square pillar, and in the middle by a
massive pylone, that presented quite an Egyptian appearance. The
_aguardiente_ stores became more numerous; they were still built
of reeds, but they were more natty, and boasted of whitewashed
counters daubed with a few streaks of red. The road, which was
now distinctly marked out, began to be lined on each side with
a line of cactus and aloe-trees, broken now and then by gardens
and houses, before which women were mending nets, and children,
completely naked, playing about. On seeing us pass by on our
mules, they cried out, "_Toro! Toro!_" taking us, on account of
our _majo_ costume, for proprietors of _ganaderias_, or for the
_toreros_ belonging to the quadrille directed by Montes.

Carts drawn by oxen and strings of asses now followed at shorter
intervals, and the bustle which invariably marks the neighbourhood
of a large town became every moment more apparent. On all sides,
convoys of mules, carrying persons who were on their way to witness
the opening of the circus, made their appearance: we met a great
number in the mountains coming from a distance of thirty or forty
leagues. The _aficionados_ are as superior, by their passionate and
furious love of their favourite amusement, to our dilettanti, as
the interest excited by a bull-fight is superior to that produced
by the representation of an opera: nothing stops them; neither the
heat, nor the difficulty or danger of the journey; provided they
reach their destination and obtain a place near the _barrera_, from
which they can pat the bull on the back, they consider themselves
amply repaid for whatever fatigue they may have undergone. What
tragic or comic author can boast of possessing such powers of
attraction? This, however, does not prevent a set of namby-pamby
sentimental authors from pretending that the taste for this
_barbarous amusement_, as they term it, is every day gradually
dying away in Spain.

It is impossible to conceive anything more picturesque and strange
than the environs of Malaga. You appear to be transported to
Africa: the dazzling whiteness of the houses, the deep indigo
colour of the sea, and the overpowering intensity of the sun, all
combine to keep up the illusion. On each side of the road are
numbers of enormous aloe-trees, bristling up and waving their
leafy cutlasses, and gigantic cactuses with their green broad
foliage and misshapen trunks, writhing hideously like monstrous
boa-constrictors, or resembling the backbones of so many stranded
whales; while here and there a palm-tree shoots up like a column,
displaying its green capital by the side of some tree of European
parentage, which seems surprised at such a neighbour, and alarmed
at seeing the formidable vegetation of Africa crawling at its feet.

An elegant white tower now stood out upon the blue sky behind; it
was the Malaga lighthouse; we had reached our destination. It was
about eight o'clock in the morning; the town was already alive
and stirring: the sailors were passing and re-passing, loading
and unloading the vessels anchored in the port, and displaying
a degree of animation which was something uncommon in a Spanish
town; the women, with their heads and figures enveloped in large
scarlet shawls, which suited their Moorish faces most marvellously,
were walking quickly along, and dragging after them some brat,
who was entirely naked, or who had only got on a shirt. The men,
with their cloaks thrown round them, or their jackets cast over
their shoulders, hurried on their way; and it is a curious fact,
that all this crowd was proceeding in the same direction,--that
is, towards the _Plaza de Toros_. What struck me most, however, in
this multicoloured concourse of people, was the sight of the negro
galley-slaves, dragging a cart. They were of gigantic stature, with
such monstrously savage faces, possessing so little of anything
human, and stamped with such an expression of ferocious brutality,
that on beholding them I stopped motionless with horror, as if they
had been a team of tigers. The kind of linen robe which constituted
their dress rendered their appearance still more diabolical and
fantastic. I do not know what crime had brought them to the
galleys; but I should certainly have sent them there merely because
they were villains enough to have such faces.


We put up at the _parador_ of the Three Kings, which, comparatively
speaking, is a very comfortable establishment, shaded by a fine
vine, whose tendrils clustered round the ironwork of the balcony,
and adorned with a large room, where the landlady sat enthroned
behind a counter, loaded with porcelain, somewhat after the
fashion of the Parisian cafés. A very beautiful servant-girl,
a charming specimen of the lovely women for which Malaga is
celebrated all through Spain, showed us to our rooms, and threw us,
for a few minutes, into a state of desperate anxiety, by informing
us that all the places in the circus were already taken, and that
we should have great difficulty in procuring any. Fortunately, our
_cosario_, Lanza, got us two _asientos de preferencia_ (numbered
seats); it is true that they were exposed to the sun, but we did
not care for that. We had long since sacrificed the freshness of
our complexion, and were not particular about our bistre-coloured
yellow faces becoming a trifle more sunburnt. The circus was to be
open during three days consecutively. The tickets for the first day
were crimson; for the second, green; and for the third, blue; in
order that there might be no confusion, and that the lovers of the
sport might not obtain admission twice with the same card.

While we were breakfasting, a company of travelling students
came in. They were four in number, and were more like some of
Ribiera's or Murillo's models than theological students, so ragged,
barefooted, and dirty were they. They sang some comic songs,
accompanying themselves with the tambourine, the triangle, and
the castagnettes. The one who played the _pandero_ was a virtuoso
in his way: he performed on his ass's skin with his knees, his
elbows, and his feet, and, not content with these various means
of percussion, would now and then apply the dirk, ornamented with
its copper circles, on the head of some _muchacho_, or old woman.
One of the students, who was the orator of the band, went round to
collect alms, and indulged, with an excessive amount of volubility,
in all sorts of pleasantry, in order to excite the generosity of
the company. "A _realito_!" he exclaimed, throwing himself into
the most supplicating postures, "so that I may finish my studies,
become a priest, and live without doing anything." Whenever he
obtained a small piece of silver, he stuck it on his forehead, near
to those he had already extorted, exactly like the Almees, who
cover their faces, bathed in perspiration, with the sequins and
piastres which the enchanted Osmanlis have thrown them.

The performances were to begin at five o'clock, but we were advised
to be at the circus at about one, as the corridors would be choked
up by the crowd at an early hour, and prevent us from reaching our
places, although they were numbered and reserved. We swallowed our
breakfast, therefore, as quickly as we could, and set out towards
the _Plaza de Toros_, preceded by our guide Antonio, a tall, thin
fellow, whose waist was tied in most atrociously by a broad red
sash, increasing still more his natural meagreness, which he
pleasantly attributed to the fact of his having been crossed in

The streets were swarming with an immense multitude, which became
more and more dense as we approached the circus; the _aguadors_,
the venders of iced _cebada_, of paper fans, and parasols, and
of cigars, as well as the _calessin_ drivers, were creating a
frightful uproar: a confused rumour floated over the town like a
fog of noise.

After twisting and turning about, for a considerable time, in
the narrow, complicated streets of Malaga, we at last arrived
before the building, whose exterior offers nothing remarkable. A
detachment of troops had considerable difficulty in keeping back
the crowd, which would otherwise have invaded the Circus; although
it was not more than one o'clock, at the latest, the seats were all
occupied from top to bottom, and it was only by a free use of our
elbows, and the interchange of a profusion of invectives, that we
succeeded in reaching our stalls.

The Circus at Malaga is really antique in size, and will contain
twelve or fifteen thousand spectators in its vast funnel-like
interior, of which the arena forms the bottom, while the acroteria
rises to the height of a five-storied house. It gives you a notion
of what the Roman amphitheatres must have been, as well as those
terrible spectacles where men were opposed to wild beasts, under
the eyes of a whole nation.

It is impossible to conceive any sight more strange and more
splendid, than that of these immense rows of seats occupied by an
impatient crowd, endeavouring to while away the hours they had to
wait by all kinds of jokes and _andaluzados_ of the most piquant
originality. The number of persons in modern costume was very
limited; those who were dressed in this manner were greeted with
shouts of laughter, cries, and hisses; this improved the general
appearance of the audience very much; the vivid-coloured jackets
and sashes, the scarlet drapery of the women, and the green and
jonquil fans, prevented the crowd from presenting that black,
lugubrious aspect which always distinguishes it in France, where
the sombre tints predominate.

There was a great number of women present, and I remarked very many
pretty ones among them. The Malagueña is remarkable for the pale,
golden uniformity of her complexion, tinging her cheek no more than
it does her forehead, for her long oval face, the bright carnation
of her lips, the delicacy of her nose, and the brilliancy of her
Arabian eyes, which any one might suppose were tinged with henna,
on account of the length the eyelashes extend towards the temples.
I do not know whether we must attribute it to the severe folds of
drapery round their faces, but they have a serious, passionate
look, which is completely Eastern in its character, and which is
not possessed by the women of Madrid, Granada, or Seville, who are
smaller, more graceful, and more _coquet_, and always thinking
somewhat of the effect they produce. I saw some admirable heads,
superb types, by which the painters of the Spanish school have not
sufficiently profited, and which would furnish an artist of talent
with matter for a series of precious and entirely new studies.
According to our notions, it appears strange that women can like to
witness a performance, in which the lives of human beings are every
moment in danger, where blood flows in large pools, and where the
wretched horses are gored until their feet get entangled in their
own intestines; a person unacquainted with the true state of the
case would be very likely to imagine that women who could do this
were brazen-faced, shameless creatures, but he would be greatly

Never did more gentle, Madonna-like faces, more silken eyelashes,
or more gentle smiles ever watch over a sleeping child. The various
chances of the bull's death are attentively observed by pale,
lovely beings, of whom an elegiac poet would be glad to make an
Elvira. The merit of the different thrusts is discussed by mouths
so pretty that you would fain hear them talk of nothing but love.
Because they behold unmoved scenes of carnage which would cause
our sensitive Parisian beauties to faint, it must not be inferred
that they are cruel and deficient in tenderness of soul; in spite
of their presence at such sights, they are good, simple-minded, and
full of compassion for the unfortunate. But custom is everything;
the sanguinary side of a bull-fight, which is what strikes
foreigners the most forcibly, is exactly that which least interests
Spaniards, who devote their whole attention to the importance of
the different blows and the amount of address displayed by the
_toreros_, who do not run so great a risk as might at first be

It was not more than two o'clock, and the sun inundated with a
deluge of fire all the seats on the side we were placed. How we
envied those favoured individuals who were revelling in the bath
of shade, thrown over them by the upper boxes! After riding thirty
leagues in the mountains, the fact of remaining the whole day
exposed to an African sun, with the thermometer at thirty-eight, is
rather creditable on the part of a wretched critic, who, on this
occasion, had paid for his place and did not wish to lose it.

The _asientos de sombra_ (places in the shade) hurled all kinds of
sarcasms at us; they sent us the water-merchants, to prevent us
from catching fire; they begged permission to light their cigars
at our fiery noses, and kindly offered us a little oil in order
that we might be properly fried. We answered as successfully as
our means would allow, and when the shade, shifting as the day
advanced, delivered up one of our tormentors to the rays of the
sun, the event was celebrated by shouts of laughter and an endless
tumult of applause.

Thanks to some jars full of water, some dozen oranges, and two
fans in constant movement, we managed not to catch fire, and we
were not quite roasted, nor struck by apoplexy when the musicians
took possession of the places set apart for them, and the picket
of cavalry proceeded to clear the arena for a whole host of
_muchachos_ and _mozos_, who, by some inexplicable process,
found places among the general mass of spectators, although,
mathematically speaking, there was not room for one more; under
certain circumstances, however, a crowd is marvellously elastic.

An immense sigh of satisfaction proceeded from the fifteen thousand
breasts that were now relieved from the irksome necessity of
waiting any longer. The members of the _Ayuntamiento_ were greeted
with frantic applause, and on their entering their box, the
orchestra struck up the national airs--_Yo que soy Contrabandista_
and the march of _Riego_--the whole assemblage singing them at the
same time, clapping their hands, and stamping their feet.

We do not here pretend to give a detailed account of a bull-fight.
We have already had occasion to describe one with conscientious
accuracy, during our sojourn in Madrid, and shall therefore only
relate the principal events and remarkable instances of skill that
occurred in the course of the performances, during which the same
combatants appeared three days without resting, twenty-four bulls
were killed and ninety-six horses stretched dead upon the arena,
without any accident happening to any of the combatants, with the
exception of one _capeador_, whose arm was slightly gored by a
bull's horn; his wound, however, was not dangerous, and did not
prevent his appearance in the circus the following day.

At five o'clock precisely the gates of the arena were thrown
open, and the actors in the drama about to be presented proceeded
in procession round the circus. At the head were the three
_picadores_, Antonio Sanchez and Jose Trigo, both from Seville, and
Francisco Briones, from Puerto Real, with their hand upon their
hip and their lance upon their foot, as grave as Roman conquerors
going in triumph to the Capitol. On the saddles of their horses was
the name of the proprietor of the circus, Antonio Maria Alvarez,
formed with gilt-headed nails. After them came the _capeadores_ or
_chulos_, with their cocked-hats and gaudy-coloured mantles; while
the _banderilleros_, dressed like Figaro, followed close behind.
In the rear of the cortége, in majestic isolation, marched the two
_matadores_,--_the swords_, as they are styled in Spain,--Montes
de Chiclana, and Jose Parra de Madrid. Montes was always
accompanied by his own faithful quadrille, a very important thing
for the safety of the combatants; for in these times of political
dissensions, it often happens that the Christino _toreros_ will
not assist the Carlist _toreros_ when in danger, and _vice versâ_.
The procession was significantly terminated by the team of mules
destined to remove the dead bulls and horses.

The conflict was about to commence. The Alguazil, dressed in
everyday costume, and whose duty it was to carry the keys of the
_toril_ to the groom of the circus, had a spirited horse, which
he managed very awkwardly, prefacing the tragedy with rather an
amusing farce. He first lost his hat, and then his stirrups. His
trousers, which had no straps, were rucked up as far as his knees
in the most grotesque fashion, and, in consequence of the door
having been maliciously opened for the bull's entrance, before
the alguazil had had time to quit the circus, his fright was
increased to a fearful pitch, rendering him still more ridiculous
by the contortions he threw himself into on his steed. He was not,
however, unhorsed, to the great disappointment of the vulgar; the
bull, dazzled by the torrents of light which inundated the arena,
did not instantly perceive him, but allowed him to escape without
injury. It was therefore in the midst of an immense Homeric and
Olympian fit of laughter that the fight began, but silence was
soon restored, the bull having ripped up the horse of the first
_picador_, and thrown the second.

All our attention was engrossed by Montes, whose name is popular
all through Spain, and whose feats of daring form the subject of
a thousand wonderful stories. Montes was born at Chiclana, in the
neighbourhood of Cadiz. He is from forty to forty-three years
of age, and rather above the middle size. He has a serious cast
of countenance, a deliberate, measured walk, and a pale olive
complexion, with nothing remarkable about him save the mobility of
his eyes, which appear to be the only part of his impassible face
endowed with life; he seems to be more supple than robust, and owes
his success more to his coolness, the justness of his glance, and
his profound study of the art, than to his muscular force. At the
very first step a bull takes in the arena, Montes can tell whether
he is short or long sighted, whether he is _clear_ or _dark_; that
is to say, whether he attacks frankly or has recourse to stratagem,
whether he is _de muchas piernas_ or _aplomado_, light or heavy,
and whether he will shut his eyes to execute the _cogida_, or keep
them open. Thanks to these observations, made with the rapidity of
thought, Montes is always enabled to vary his mode of defence as
circumstances require. However, as he carries his cool temerity to
the greatest possible lengths, he has during his career received a
considerable number of thrusts, as the scar down his cheek proves,
and, on several occasions he has been borne out of the circus
grievously wounded.

On this occasion, he wore an extremely elegant and magnificent suit
of apple-green silk embroidered with silver, for Montes is a rich
man, and, if he still continues to appear in the arena, it is from
a love of the art, and the want of strong emotions; his fortune
amounts to more than 50,000 duros, which is a considerable sum
for him to possess, if we consider what the _matadores_ have to
pay for their dress, a complete suit costing from 1,500 to 2,000
francs, and, also the perpetual journeys they are always making,
accompanied by their quadrille, from one town to another.

Montes is not like other _espadas_, contented with despatching a
bull when the signal of his death is given. He is always on the
watch, he directs the combat, and comes to the succour of the
_picadores_ and _chulos_ in peril. More than one _torero_ owes
his life to Montes' intervention. One bull, that would not allow
his attention to be diverted by the cloaks that the _chulos_ were
waving before him, had ripped up the belly of a horse that he had
thrown down, and was endeavouring to do the same to the rider,
who was protected by the carcass of his steed. Montes seized the
savage beast by the tail, and in the midst of the frantic applause
of the whole assembly, caused him to waltz round several times,
to his infinite disgust; thus allowing time for the _picador_
to be carried off. Sometimes he will place himself motionless
before the bull, with his arms crossed on his breast, and his eye
fixed, and the monster will suddenly stop short, subjugated by
his opponent's look, which is as bright, as sharp, and as cold as
the blade of a sword. A feat of this description is followed by
shouts, bellowings, vociferations, stamping of feet and thunders
of bravoes, of which it is impossible to form any idea; a feeling
of delirium seizes every one present, a general giddiness causes
the fifteen thousand spectators, intoxicated with _aguardiente_,
sunshine, and blood, to reel upon their seats; handkerchiefs are
waved, and hats thrown up into the air, while Montes alone, calm in
the midst of this multitude, enjoys in silence the profound feeling
of joy which he restrains within his own breast, merely bowing
slightly like a man who is capable of performing many other feats
of the same description. I can easily understand a man risking
his life every minute for applause like this; it is not dear at
the price. O ye singers with golden throats, ye fairy-footed
danseuses, ye actors of all descriptions, ye emperors and ye poets,
ye who fancy that you have excited a people's enthusiasm, you never
heard Montes applauded!

Sometimes the spectators themselves beg him to execute one of
those daring feats in which he is always successful. A pretty girl
says to him, as she blows him a kiss, "Come, Señor Montes, come,
Paquirro" (which is his christian name), "I know how gallant you
are; do some trifle, _una cosita_, for a lady." Whereupon Montes
leaps over the bull, placing his head on the animal's neck as he
does so, or else, shaking his cape before the animal's muzzle, by a
rapid movement, wraps it round him so as to form an elegant piece
of drapery with irreproachable folds; he then springs on one side,
and lets the bull, who is unable to stop himself, pass by.

The manner in which Montes kills the bull is remarkable for its
precision, certainty, and ease: with him all idea of danger
ceases; he is so collected and so completely master of himself,
he appears so sure of success, that the combat seems no longer to
be serious, and, perhaps, loses somewhat of its exciting nature.
It is impossible to fear for his life; he strikes the bull where
he likes, when he likes, and how he likes. The chances of the
conflict become somewhat too unequal; a less skilful _matador_
will sometimes produce a more startling effect by the risks and
danger which he incurs. This will, perhaps, appear to be a piece
of refined barbarity; but _aficionados_, and all those persons who
have been present at a bull-fight, and felt interested in favour of
some particularly courageous, frank bull, will most certainly share
our sentiments. A circumstance which happened on the last day of
the performances will prove the truth of our assertion as surely
as it proved, rather harshly, to Montes, how strictly impartial a
Spanish public is both towards man and beast.

A magnificent black bull had just been let loose in the arena. The
quick, decided manner in which he issued from the _toril_ caused
all the connoisseurs present to conceive the highest opinion of
him. He possessed all the qualities requisite for a fighting bull;
his horns were long, sharp, and well-curved; his clean-made, slim,
and nervous legs, showed his extreme agility, while his broad
dewlap and well-developed flanks gave proof of an immense amount
of strength; indeed, he was called the Napoleon of the herd, that
being the only name capable of conveying a suitable idea of his
incontestable superiority. Without hesitating a single instant,
he rushed at the _picador_ stationed near the _tablas_, overthrew
him, together with his horse, who was killed on the spot, and
then attacked the second _picador_, who was not more fortunate,
and whom the assistants had scarcely time to help over the
barrier, severely bruised and injured by his fall. In less than a
quarter of an hour, six horses lay ripped open on the ground; the
_chulos_ only shook their coloured capes at a very long distance
off, without losing sight of the barrier, over which they leaped
immediately Napoleon gave signs of approaching. Montes himself
appeared troubled, and on one occasion had actually placed his foot
on the ledge of the _tablas_, ready to jump over to the other side,
in case he was too closely pressed; a thing he had not done during
the two preceding days. The delight of the spectators was made
manifest by the most noisy exclamations, and the most flattering
compliments for the bull were heard from every mouth. He shortly
afterwards performed a new feat of strength, which wound up the
enthusiasm to its highest possible pitch.

A _sobre-saliente_ (double) _de picador_--for the two principal
ones were too much injured to appear again, was awaiting, lance
in rest, the attack of the terrible Napoleon; the latter, without
paying any attention to the wound he received in the shoulder,
caught the horse under the belly, and, with one movement of his
head, caused him to fall with his fore-legs on the top of the
_tablas_; then, raising his hind quarters by a second movement,
sent him and his master completely over the barrier into the
corridor of refuge which runs all round the arena.

So great an exploit caused thunders of applause. The bull was
master of the field, galloping about victoriously, and amusing
himself, in default of any other adversaries, by tossing into the
air the dead bodies of the horses he had already gored. The supply
of victims was exhausted, and there were no more horses in the
stables of the circus to mount the _picadores_. The _banderilleros_
were seated astride upon the _tablas_, not daring to harass with
their darts, ornamented with paper, so redoubtable an adversary,
whose rage most certainly stood in no need of artificial
excitement. The spectators became impatient at this pause in the
proceedings, and vociferated, _Las banderillas! las banderillas!
Fuego al alcade!_ To the stake with the alcade for not giving the
necessary order! At last, at a sign from the director of the games,
one _banderillero_ detached himself from the rest, and planted two
darts in the neck of the furious animal, immediately retreating as
speedily as possible, but yet not quickly enough, as the bull's
horn grazed his arm, and tore up his sleeve. On seeing this, and
in spite of the hooting and vociferations of the public, the
alcade gave the death order, and made a sign to Montes to take his
_muleta_ and his sword, contrary to all the rules of Tauromachy,
which require that a bull shall have received at least four pairs
of _banderillas_ before being delivered up to the sword of the

Instead of advancing, according to his usual custom, into the
middle of the arena, Montes posted himself at the distance of some
twenty paces from the barrier, in order to have a place of refuge
in case of failure. He was very pale, and, without indulging in any
of those sportive acts and tricks of courage which have procured
him the admiration of all Spain, he displayed the scarlet _muleta_,
and called the bull, who required no pressing to come up to him.
Montes made two or three passes with his _muleta_, holding his
sword horizontally on a level with the monster's eyes; suddenly the
bull fell down, as if struck by lightning, and after giving one
convulsive start, expired. The sword had pierced his forehead and
entered his brain, contrary to the rules of the art, which require
the _matador_ to pass his arm between the horns of the animal, and
stab him between the nape of the neck and the shoulders, thereby
augmenting the danger of the man, but giving some chance to his
four-footed adversary.

When the public understood the blow, for all this had passed with
the rapidity of thought, one universal shout of indignation rose
from the _tendidos_ to the _palcos_; a storm of abuse and hisses,
accompanied by the most incredible tumult, burst forth on all
sides. "Butcher, assassin, brigand, thief, galley-slave, headsman!"
were the gentlest terms employed. "_A centa Montes!_ To the stake
with Montes! To the dogs with Montes! Death to the alcade!" were
the cries which were everywhere heard. Never did I behold such a
degree of fury, and I blush to own that I shared in it myself. Mere
vociferations, however, did not long suffice; the crowd commenced
throwing at the poor wretch fans, hats, sticks, jars full of water,
and pieces of the benches torn up for the purpose. There was still
one more bull to kill, but his death took place unperceived, in
the midst of the horrible tumult. It was Jose Para, the second
_espada_, who despatched the bull, with two very skilful thrusts.
As for Montes, he was livid; his face turned green with rage, and
his teeth made the blood start from his white lips, although he
displayed great calmness, and leant with affected gracefulness on
the hilt of his sword, the point of which, reddened against the
rules, he had wiped in the sand.

On what does popularity depend! On the first and second days of
the performance no person would ever have conceived it possible
that so sure an artist, one so certain of his public as Montes,
could be punished with such severity for an infraction of the
rules, which was, doubtless, called for by the most imperious
necessity, on account of the extraordinary agility, strength, and
fury, of the animal. When the fight was concluded, he got into a
calessin followed by his quadrille, and swearing by all that he
held sacred that he would never put his foot in Malaga again. I do
not know whether he has kept his word, and remembered the insults
of the last day longer than the triumphs and applause of the two
preceding ones. At present, I am of opinion that the public of
Malaga was unjust towards the great Montes de Chiclana, all whose
blows had been superbly aimed, and who, in every case of danger,
had displayed heroic coolness, and admirable address, so much so,
indeed, that the delighted audience had made him a present of all
the bulls he killed, and allowed him to cut off an ear of each, to
show that they were his property, and could not be claimed either
by the hospital or the proprietor of the circus.

We returned to our _parador_, giddy, intoxicated, and saturated
with violent emotion, hearing nothing, as we passed along the
streets, but the praises of the bull, and imprecations against

The same evening, in spite of my fatigue, I procured a guide to
conduct me to the theatre, wishing to pass immediately from the
sanguinary reality of the circus to the intellectual emotions of
the stage. The contrast was striking; the one was full of life and
noise, the other was deserted and silent. The house was almost
empty, only a few spectators being scattered here and there over
the melancholy benches; and yet the entertainments consisted of
"The Lovers of Ternel," a drama by Don Juan Eugenio Hartzembusch,
and one of the most remarkable productions of the modern Spanish
school. It is the touching and poetical story of two lovers, who
remain unalterably faithful to one another, in spite of a thousand
various seductions and obstacles. Notwithstanding all the author's
endeavours--which are often very successful--to vary a situation
that is always the same, the piece would appear too simple to a
French audience. The passionate portions are treated with a great
deal of warmth and impulse, occasionally disfigured by a certain
melodramatic exaggeration, to which the author abandons himself
too easily. The love of the Sultana of Valencia for Isabel's
lover, Juan Diego Martinez Garces de Marsilla, whom she causes
to be drugged with a narcotic and brought into the harem; the
vengeance of this same Sultana when she sees that she is despised,
the guilty letters of Isabel's mother, which are found by Roderigo
d'Azagra, who uses them as a means of marrying the daughter, and
threatens to show them to the deceived husband, are, perhaps,
rather improbable incidents, but they afford an opportunity for
touching and dramatic scenes. The piece is written partly in verse
and partly in prose. As far as a foreigner can judge of the
style of a language, all the niceties of which he can never fully
appreciate, Hartzembusch's verses struck me as being superior to
his prose. They are free, bold, animated, and offer a great variety
in their form; they are also tolerably free from those poetical
amplifications into which the facility of their prosody often leads
the poets of southern countries. His prose dialogue appears to be
imitated from that of modern French melodramas, and offends by its
heavy, bombastic style. "The Lovers of Ternel" is really a literary
work, far superior to the translations, arranged, or deranged, from
the pieces played in the Boulevard theatres of Paris, and which
inundate the Peninsula. In "The Lovers of Ternel," you perceive
traces of the old ballads and great Spanish dramatists; and it is
greatly to be desired that the young poets on the other side the
Pyrenees would pursue this course rather than translate a quantity
of wretched melodramas into a Castilian more or less pure.

A very comic _saynete_ followed the serious piece. It set forth
the troubles of an old bachelor, who takes a pretty servant of
"all-work," as the advertisements say. The little rogue first
introduces as her brother a great strapping Valencian, six feet
high, with enormous whiskers, a tremendous _navaja_, an insatiable
appetite and inextinguishable thirst; she then brings into the
house a cousin, who is quite as wild a gentleman as her brother,
and is bristling with an unlimited number of blunderbusses,
pistols, and other dangerous arms. The said cousin is followed
by an uncle, who is a smuggler, and carries with him a complete
arsenal and a face to correspond, to the great terror of the
old man, who is very repentant for his improper levity. All
these various rascals were represented by the actors in the most
truthful and admirable manner. At last, a nephew appears, who is a
well-behaved young soldier, and delivers his uncle from the band of
ruffians who have taken up their quarters in his house, embraced
his servant while they were drinking his wine, smoked his cigars
and pillaged his dwelling. The uncle promises never to be served
for the future by any but old men-servants. The _saynetes_ resemble
our vaudevilles, but the plot is less complicated, sometimes
consisting merely of detached scenes, like the interludes in
Italian comedies.

The performances terminated with a _bayle nacional_, executed
by two couples of dancers and danseuses, in a very satisfactory
manner. Although the Spanish danseuses do not possess the
correct and accurate precision, or the elevated style of the
French danseuses, they are, in my opinion, vastly superior to
them by their graceful and fascinating appearance. As they study
but little, and do not subject themselves, in order to render
their bodies supple, to those terrible exercises which cause
a professional dancing-room to resemble a chamber of torture,
they avoid that race-horse sort of thinness which makes our
ballet-dancers look rather too deathlike and anatomical; they
preserve the outlines and fulness of their sex; they resemble women
dancing and not danseuses, which is a very different thing. Their
style has not anything in common with that of the French school. In
the latter, the immovability and perpendicularity of the upper part
of the body are expressly recommended, and the body never takes
part in the movement of the legs. In Spain, the feet hardly leave
the ground; there are none of those grand pirouettes or elevating
of the legs, which make a woman look like a pair of compasses
opened to their fullest extent, and which, in Spain, are considered
revoltingly indecent. It is the body which dances, the back which
undulates, the sides which bend, the waist which moves with all the
suppleness of an Almee or a serpent. When a Spanish danseuse throws
herself back, her shoulders almost touch the ground; her arms, in
a deathlike swoon, are as flexible and limp as a floating scarf;
you would think that her hands could scarcely raise and rattle
the ivory castagnettes with their golden strings, and yet, when
the proper moment is come, this voluptuous languor is succeeded
by the activity of a young African lion, proving that the body as
soft as silk envelopes muscles of steel. At the present day, the
Moorish Almees follow the same system; their dancing consists of a
series of harmoniously wanton undulations of the bust, the hips,
and the back, with the arms thrown back over the head. The Arabian
traditions have been preserved in the national dances, especially
those of Andalusia.

Although the Spanish male dancers are but mediocre, they have a
dashing, bold, and gallant bearing, which I greatly prefer to the
equivocal and vapid graces of ours. They are taken up neither by
themselves nor the public, and have not a look or a smile for any
one but their partner, of whom they appear passionately enamoured,
and whom they seem ready to defend against all comers. They possess
a ferocious kind of grace, a certain insolently daring demeanour,
which is peculiar to them. After wiping off their paint, they would
make excellent _banderilleros_, and might spring from the boards of
a theatre to the arena of the circus.

The _Malagueña_, which is a dance confined to Malaga, is really
most poetical and charming. The cavalier appears first, with his
_sombrero_ slouched over his eyes, and his scarlet cloak thrown
round him, like that of some hidalgo walking about in search of
adventures. The lady then enters, draped in her mantilla, and with
her fan in her hand, like a lady who is going to take a turn in
the _Almeda_. The cavalier endeavours to catch a glance of the
mysterious siren, but she manœuvres her fan so coquetishly, and so
well, she shuts and opens it so opportunely, she twists it about
so promptly on a level with her pretty face, that the gallant is
completely baffled, and retires a few steps to think of some new
stratagem. He rattles the castagnettes under his cloak. Directly
she hears them, the lady pricks up her ears; she smiles, her
breast heaves, and the tip of her little satin shoe marks the time
in spite of her; she throws aside her fan and her mantilla, and
appears in a gay dancing costume, glittering with spangles and
tinsel, with a rose in her hair, and a large tortoiseshell comb at
the back of her head. The cavalier then casts aside his mask and
cloak, and the two personages execute a deliciously original dance.

As I returned along the beach, and looked upon the sea which
reflected in its mirror of dark steel the pale visage of the moon,
I reflected on the contrast between the crowded circus and the
empty theatre,--on the eagerness displayed by the multitude for
brutal reality, and its indifference for the speculations of the
mind. As a poet, I could not help envying the gladiator, and I
regretted having given up action for reverie. The day before, at
the same theatre, they had played a piece of Lope de Vega, which
had not been more attractive than the work of the younger writer;
so that ancient genius and modern talent were not worth a thrust
from the sword of Montes!

Nor are the other theatres in Spain much better attended than that
at Malaga, not even the _Teatro del Principe_ in Madrid, although
there is a very great actor there,--namely, Julian Romea--and an
excellent actress, Matilde Diez. The course of the old Spanish
drama appears to be hopelessly dried up; and yet never did a
more copious stream flow in a broader channel,--never did there
exist a more profound and inexhaustible amount of fecundity. Our
most prolific vaudeville writers are still far behind Lope de
Vega, who never had any one to assist him, and whose works are so
numerous that the exact number is not known, and there is hardly a
complete copy of them to be found. Without including his comedies
_de cape et d'épée_, in which he has no rival, Calderon de la
Barca has written a multitude of _autos sacramentales_, which are
a kind of Roman-catholic mysteries, in which strange profundity
of thought and singularity of conception are united to the most
enchanting and luxuriously elegant poetry. It would require a
whole series of folio catalogues merely to enumerate the titles of
the pieces written by Lope de Rueda, Montalban, Guevara, Quevedo,
Tirso, Rojas, Moreto, Guilhen de Castro, Diamante, and a host of
others. The number of theatrical pieces written in Spain during
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries surpasses all that we
can imagine: we might as well endeavour to count the leaves in
the forest or the grains of sand upon the sea-shore. They are
almost all composed in verse of eight feet, varied by assonants,
and printed in two columns quarto, with a coarse engraving as a
frontispiece, each forming a book of from six to eight leaves.
The booksellers' shops are full of them; thousands may be seen
hung up pell-mell in the midst of the ballads and legends in verse
sold at the bookstalls in the streets. Without any exaggeration,
the epigram written on a too prolific Roman poet, who was, after
his death, burnt upon a funereal pile formed of his own books,
might be applied to most of the Spanish dramatic authors. They
possess a fertility of invention, an abundance of incidents, and
a complication of plot, of which no one can form any idea. Long
before Shakspeare the Spaniards invented the Drama; their works are
dramatic in the broadest acceptation of the word; and, with the
exception of some few erudite puerilities, they copy neither from
the Greeks nor the Romans, but, as Lope de Vega says in his "Arte
Nuevo de hacer Comedias in este Tiempo,"--

      " ... Cuando he de escribir una comedia
      Encierro los preceptos con seis llaves."

Spanish dramatic authors do not seem to have paid much attention
to the delineation of character, although fine, cutting instances
of observation are to be met with in each scene. But man is not
studied philosophically; and in their dramas you seldom find
those episodical figures so frequent in England's great tragic
poet,--those life-like sketches which are only indirectly connected
with the action of the piece, and have no other object than that
of presenting another phase of the human soul, another original
individuality, or reflection of the poet's mind. The Spanish author
rarely allows the public to perceive anything of his own peculiar
character until he asks pardon, at the conclusion of the drama, for
the faults of which he has been guilty.

The _primum mobile_ in Spanish pieces is the point of honour.

      "Los Cusos de la honra son mejores,
      Porque mueven con fuerza a toda gente,
      Con ellos las acciones virtuosas
      Que la virtud es donde quiera amada,"

says Lope de Vega, who was a pretty good judge in the matter,
and did not fail to follow his own precept. The point of honour
played the same part in the Spanish comedies as Fatality did
in the tragedies of the Greeks. Its inflexible laws and cruel
alternatives easily gave rise to dramatic scenes of deep interest.
_El Pundonor_, which was a kind of chivalric religion, with its
own laws, subtleties, and niceties, is far superior to the Ἀνάγκη,
or Fatality of the ancients, whose blow fell blindly, and by mere
chance, on the innocent, as well as on the guilty. When a person
reads the Greek tragic authors, his mind frequently revolts at
the situation of the hero, who is equally guilty, whether he
acts or no; but the point of honour of the Castilians is always
perfectly logical, and consonant with itself. Besides, it is only
an exaggerated representative of all human virtues carried to the
highest pitch of susceptibility. In his most horrible fits of rage,
and in his most frightful acts of revenge, the hero maintains a
noble and solemn attitude. It is always in the name of loyalty,
conjugal fidelity, respect for his ancestors, and the honour of
his name, that he draws his iron-hilted sword, frequently against
those whom he loves with all his soul, and whom he is compelled by
stern necessity to immolate. From this struggle of the passions
with the point of honour springs the interest of most of the pieces
of the old Spanish theatre, a profound and sympathetic interest
keenly felt by the spectators, who in a similar position would
not have acted otherwise than the personages of the drama. We can
no longer be astonished at the prodigious fertility of the old
dramatists of the Peninsula, when we reflect upon the inexhaustible
nature of their subject, which was so well suited to the manners
of the times. Another source of interest, not less rich, was found
in virtuous actions, chivalric devotion, sublime self-abnegation,
supernatural passion, and ideal delicacy, resisting the most
skilfully-combined plots, and the most complicated intrigues. In
cases of this description, the poet seems to have undertaken the
task of representing to the spectators a finished model of human
perfection, heaping on the head of his prince or princess all the
good qualities on which he can lay his hand, and making them more
careful of their purity than the white ermine, who prefers death to
a single spot upon its snow-like fur.

A profound sentiment of catholicism and feudal customs pervades the
whole Spanish theatre, which is truly national, both in matter and
form. The division of the pieces into three days adopted by the
Spanish authors, is certainly the most reasonable and most logical.
Every well-constructed dramatic piece naturally consists of the
exposition, the complicated consequences arising therefrom, and the
unravelling of the same. This is an arrangement we should do well
to adopt, in place of the ancient form in five acts, two of which
are often useless, the second and the fourth.

It must not, however, be supposed that the old Spanish pieces were
exclusively sublime. The grotesque, that indispensable element of
mediæval art, is often introduced under the form of the _gracioso_,
or _bobo_ (simpleton), who enlivens the serious portion of the
action by pleasantries and jokes more or less broad, producing,
in contrast to the hero, the same effect as the misshapen dwarfs
playing, in their many-coloured doublets, with greyhounds bigger
than themselves, as we see them represented by the side of kings
and princes, in the old pictures of public galleries.

Moratin, the author of the "Si de las Niñas" and "El Café,"
whose tombs may be seen in Père la Chaise at Paris, was the last
reflection of dramatic art in Spain, just as the old painter Goya,
who died at Bordeaux, in 1828, was the last whom we could look on
as a descendant of the great Velasquez.

At present, hardly anything else is played in Spanish theatres but
translations of French dramas and vaudevilles. At Jaen, in the
very heart of Andalusia, they give "Le Sonneur de Saint Paul;" at
Cadiz, which is but two steps from Africa, "Le Gamin de Paris."
The "Saynetes," which were formerly so gay and so original, and
possessing such a strong local tinge, are at present nothing save
imitations of the repertory of the Théâtre des Variétés. Not to
speak of Don Martinez de la Rosa, and Don Antonio Gil y Zarate, who
already belong to a less recent period, the Peninsula can still
boast of several young and talented authors of great promise; but
public attention in Spain, as in France, is diverted from the stage
by the gravity of political events. Hartzembusch, the author of
the "Lovers of Ternel;" Castro y Orozco, to whose pen we owe "Fray
Luis de Leon, or the Age and the World;" Zorilla, who brought out
successfully the drama of "El Rey y el Zapatero;" Breton de los
Herreros, the Duke de Rivas, Larra, who committed suicide for love;
Espronceda, whose death has just been announced in the papers, and
whose writings were characterized by a wild and passionate energy,
sometimes worthy of his model, Byron, are--alas! in speaking of the
last two we must say, were, men of great literary merit, ingenious,
elegant, and easy poets, who might take their places by the side
of the old masters, did they not want what we all want,--namely, a
sure and certain point to start from, a stock of ideas common both
to them and the public. The point of honour and the heroism of the
old pieces are either no longer understood or appear ridiculous,
and the belief of modern times is not sufficiently definite to
enable poets to describe it in their verse.

We must not, therefore, be too severe in judging the crowd, who
rush to the bull-ring and seek for emotion where it is to be
found; after all, it is not the people's fault that the stage
is not more attractive; all the worse for us poets, if we allow
ourselves to be beaten by the gladiators. In conclusion, it is more
healthy both for the mind and the body to see a brave man kill a
savage beast beneath the canopy of heaven, than to listen to an
actor without talent singing some obscene vaudeville, or spouting a
number of sophisticated lines before a row of smoky footlights.



  The Four-wheeled Galera--Caratraca--The "Mayoral"--Ecija--The
  "Calle de los Caballeros"--La Carlotta--Cordova--The Archangel
  Raphael--The Mosque--Caliph Abderama--The Guadalquiver--Road to

As yet we were only acquainted with the _galera_ on two wheels; we
now had the pleasure of making a trial of one on four. An amiable
vehicle of this description happened to be about starting for
Cordova; it was already occupied with a Spanish family, and we
helped to fill it still more. Just fancy rather a low wagon, with
its sides formed of a number of wooden spokes at a considerable
distance from each other, and having no bottom save a strip of
spartum on which the trunks and packages are heaped, without much
attention to the irregularities of surface which they may present.
Above the luggage are thrown two or three mattresses, or, to speak
more correctly, two or three linen sacks, in which a few tufts of
wool but very slightly carded, float about, and on these mattresses
the unfortunate travellers are stretched transversely, in a
position very similar (excuse the triviality of the comparison)
to that of calves that are being carried to market. The only
difference is, that the travellers do not have their feet tied,
but their situation is not much more comfortable for all that. The
top consists of a coarse cloth, stretched on wooden hoops, and the
whole machine is driven by a _mayoral_ and dragged by four mules.

Our fellow-travellers consisted of the family of an engineer,
who was rather a well educated man, and spoke very good French.
They were accompanied by a tall, villanous, fantastic-looking
individual, who had formerly been a brigand in Jose Maria's gang,
and who was now a superintendent of mines. This gentleman followed
the _galera_ on horseback, with a knife stuck in his girdle and a
carbine slung at his saddle-bow. The engineer appeared to entertain
a high opinion of him, and spoke in very favourable terms of
his probity, of which he was perfectly convinced in spite of
the superintendent's old trade. It is true that in speaking of
Jose Maria himself, he told me several times that he was a brave
and worthy man. This opinion, which would strike us as slightly
paradoxical in the case of a highway robber, is that of the most
honourable persons in Andalusia. On this point, Spain is still
Arabian, and brigands very frequently are looked upon as heroes.
This is less strange than it may at first appear, especially in
southern countries, where men's minds are so easily acted on. Is it
not certain that the contempt of death, audacity, coolness, bold
and prompt determination, address, and bodily strength, and all
the kind of grandeur which belongs to a man who revolts against
society, as well as the qualities which exercise so great an
influence over minds as yet but little civilized, are exactly those
which constitute great characters, and is the people so very wrong
in admiring them in these energetic individuals, even although they
employ them in a reprehensible manner?

The cross-road along which we were journeying ascended and
descended rather abruptly through a country dented with hills and
furrowed by narrow valleys, the bottom of which was occupied by
the dry beds of torrents, and bristling with enormous stones that
jolted us most atrociously, and elicited loud screams from the
women and children. On our road we noticed some admirably coloured
and poetical effects of sunset. The mountains in the distance
assumed a variety of purple and violet hues, tinged with gold,
of the most extraordinary warmth and intensity, while the total
absence of vegetation imparted to the whole scene, consisting
exclusively of ground and sky, a look of grand nudity and savage
severity that is to be found in no other country, and which no
painter has yet transferred to canvass. We halted for a few hours
at nightfall, in a little hamlet of three or four houses, in
order to rest our mules and obtain some refreshment: but with the
thoughtlessness of true French travellers, although a sojourn of
five months in Spain ought to have rendered us more prudent, we had
brought nothing with us from Malaga, and the consequence was that
we were obliged to sup on dry bread and white wine, which a woman
in the _posada_ was obliging enough to procure for us, for Spanish
safes and cellars do not participate in that horror which Nature is
said to entertain for a vacuum, but contain nothing with the most
perfect tranquillity of conscience.

About one o'clock in the morning we set out again; and, in spite
of the awful jolting, of the engineer's children rolling over us,
and of the knocks that our heads received from bumping against
the spokes of the wagon, we soon fell asleep. When the sun came
and tickled our noses with one of his rays, as with a golden
ear of corn, we were near Caratraca, an insignificant village
which is not marked in the map, and which is only remarkable for
its sulphurous springs, which are very beneficial in diseases
of the skin, and attract to this remote spot a population that
is rather suspicious and not calculated to prove very desirable
company. Gambling is carried on there to a frightful extent, and
although it was still very early, the cards and ounces of gold were
passing from hand to hand. It was something hideous to see these
invalids with their green, cadaverous faces, rendered still more
ugly by rapacity, slowly stretching out their fingers and seizing
convulsively their prey. The houses of Caratraca, like those of
all Andalusian villages, are whitewashed; and this, in conjunction
with the bright colour of the tiles, the festoons of the vines,
and the shrubs growing around, gives them a comfortable, holiday
look, very different from the picture we are accustomed to draw, in
other parts of Europe, of Spanish filth; this notion is generally
false, and the fact of its ever having been entertained can only be
attributed to some miserable hamlets in Castile, whose wretchedness
is equalled and even surpassed by some that we possess in Brittany.

In the courtyard of the inn, our attention was attracted by a
number of coarse frescoes, representing, with primitive simplicity,
bull-fights: round the pictures were _coplas_ in honour of Paquirro
Montes and his quadrille. The name of Montes enjoys the same kind
of universal popularity in Andalusia as that of Napoleon does with
us; walls, fans, and snuff-boxes are ornamented with his portrait;
and the English, who always turn the public taste--whatever it may
be--to good account, send from Gibraltar thousands of handkerchiefs
with red, violet, and yellow printed portraits of the celebrated
_matador_, accompanied by verses in his praise.

Remembering our famished condition the night before, we purchased
some provisions from our host, and among other articles, a ham, for
which he made us pay an exorbitant price. A great deal has been
said about highway robberies, but it is not on the highway that
the danger exists; it is at the road-side, in the inns, that you
are robbed and pillaged with the most perfect safety to those that
plunder you, without your possessing the right of having recourse
to your weapons of defence, and discharging your carbine at the
waiter who brings you your bill. I pity the brigands from the
bottom of my heart; such landlords as those in Spain do not leave
much for them, and only deliver travellers into their hands, like
so many lemons with the juice squeezed out. In other countries,
landlords make you pay a high price for the things with which they
supply you, but in Spain you pay for the absence of everything
with its weight in gold.

After we had taken our siesta, the mules were put to the _galera_,
each person resumed his place, the _escopetero_ bestrode his little
mountain-steed, the _mayoral_ laid in a stock of small flint-stones
to hurl at the ears of his mules, and we set out once more on our
journey. The country through which we passed was savage without
being picturesque. We beheld nothing but bare, naked, sterile,
rugged hills, stony torrent-beds, like scars made in the ground
by the winter's rains, and woods of olive-trees, whose pale
foliage, powdered over with dust, did not suggest the least idea
of refreshing verdure. Here and there, on the gaping sides of the
rocks of turf and chalk, was a solitary tuft of fennel, whitened
by the heat; on the powdery road were the marks of serpents and
vipers, while, over the whole, was a sky as glowing as the roof of
an oven and not a gust of wind, not even so much as the slightest
breath of air! The grey sand which was raised by the hoofs of the
mules fell again without the least eddy to the ground. You might
have made iron red-hot in the sun, which darted its rays on the
cloth covering of our _galera_, in which we were ripening like
melons under a glass frame. From time to time, we got out and
walked a short distance, keeping in the shade projected by the body
of the horse or the wagon; when we had stretched our legs somewhat,
we would scramble in again, slightly crushing the children and
their mother, for we could not reach our seats except by crawling
on all fours under the elliptical arch formed by the tilted roof
of the _galera_. By dint of crossing quagmires and ravines, and
making short cuts over fields, we lost our way. Our _mayoral_, in
the hope of coming into the right road again, still went on, as
if he was perfectly aware where he was going, for _corsarios_ and
guides will never own that they have lost themselves till they are
reduced to extremities, and have taken you five or six leagues out
of the right direction. I must, in justice, say, however, that
nothing could be easier than to lose oneself on this fabulous road,
which was scarcely marked out, and intersected every moment by
deep ravines. At length we found ourselves in the midst of large
fields, dotted here and there by olive-trees, with misshapen,
dwarfish trunks, and frightful forms, without the slightest signs
of a human habitation or a living being. Since the morning, we had
met only one half-naked _muchacho_ driving before him, in a cloud
of dust, half-a-dozen black pigs. Night set in, and, to augment
our misfortunes, there was no moon, so that we had nothing but the
uncertain light of the stars to guide us.

The _mayoral_ left his seat every instant to feel the ground with
his hands, in the hopes of finding some rut or wheelmark which
might direct him to the right road, but all his efforts were in
vain, and, greatly against his inclination, he was under the
necessity of informing us that he had lost his way, and did not
know where he was: he could not understand it; he had made the
journey twenty times, and would have undertaken to go to Cordova
with his eyes shut. All this appeared rather suspicious, and the
idea then struck us that we were, perhaps, purposely brought there
in order to be attacked and plundered. Our situation was not an
agreeable one, even supposing this were not the case; we were
benighted in a remote spot, far from all human help, in a country
which enjoys the reputation of concealing more robbers than all
the other provinces of Spain united. These reflections doubtlessly
suggested themselves also to the minds of the engineer and his
friend, the former associate of Jose Maria, who, of course, was
not a bad judge in such matters, for they silently loaded their
own carbines with ball, and performed the same operation on two
others that were placed inside the _galera_; they then handed us
one apiece without uttering a syllable, a mode of proceeding that
was exceedingly eloquent. The _mayoral_ was thus left without
arms, and, even had he been in collusion with the brigands, was
reduced to a state of helplessness. However, after wandering
about at hazard, during two or three hours, we perceived a light
glittering like a glow-worm under the branches, at a long distance
from us. We immediately adopted it as our polar star, and started
off towards it in as direct a line as possible, at the risk of
being overturned every moment. Sometimes a rise in the ground would
conceal it from our eyes, and all nature seemed to be extinguished.
Suddenly it would again appear, and our hopes returned with it. At
last we arrived sufficiently near a farm-house to distinguish the
windows, which was the sky in which our star was shining under the
form of a copper lamp. A number of the peculiar wagons drawn by
oxen, and of agricultural instruments, scattered here and there,
completely restored our confidence, for we were not, at first,
sure that we had not fallen into some den of thieves, some _posada
de barrateros_. The dogs, having smelt us out, began barking
furiously, so that the whole farm was soon in a state of commotion.
The peasants came out with their muskets in their hands to discover
the cause of this nocturnal alarm, and having satisfied themselves
that we were honest travellers who had lost our way, politely
invited us to enter and rest ourselves in the farm.

The worthy people were just going to sup. A wrinkled, bronzed,
and, so to speak, mummified old woman, whose skin formed, at all
her joints, large folds like a Hessian boot, was preparing a
gigantic _gaspacho_ in a red earthen pan. Five or six magnificent
greyhounds, with thin backs, broad chests, and splendid ears, and
who were worthy of being in the kennel of a king, followed the
old woman's movements with unflagging attention, and the most
melancholy look of admiration that can possibly be conceived. But
this delicious repast was not intended for them; in Andalusia it
is the men, and not the dogs, who eat soup made of bread-crusts
steeped in water. Some cats, whom the absence of ears and
tails--for in Spain these ornamental superfluities are always cut
off--cause to resemble Japanese monsters--were also watching these
savoury preparations, only at a greater distance. A plateful of
the said _gaspacho_, two slices of our own ham, and a few bunches
of grapes, of the colour of amber, composed our supper, which we
were obliged to defend from the greyhounds, who were encroachingly
familiar, and, under pretence of licking us, literally tore the
meat out of our mouths. We rose from our seats, and eat standing
up, with our plates in our hands, but the diabolical brutes got on
their hind legs, and, throwing their fore-paws over our shoulders,
were thus on a level with the coveted food. Even if they did not
actually carry it off, they at least gave it two or three licks
with their tongues, and thus contrived to obtain the first taste
of its flavour. It appeared to us that these greyhounds must
have been descended in a right line from the famous dog, whose
history Cervantes, however, has not written in his Dialogues. This
illustrious animal held the office of dish-washer in a Spanish
_fonda_, and when the girl was blamed because the plates were not
clean, she swore by everything she held holy, that they had been
washed in six waters _por siete Aguas_. _Siete Aguas_ was the name
of the dog, who was so called because he licked the plates so
scrupulously clean, that any one would have supposed that they had
been washed in six different waters; on the day in question he must
have performed his work in a slovenly manner. The greyhounds of the
farm certainly belonged to the same breed.

Our hosts gave us a young boy as guide, who was well acquainted
with the road, and who took us safely to Ecija, which we reached
about ten o'clock in the morning.

The entrance to Ecija is rather picturesque. You pass over a
bridge, at the end of which is a gateway like a triumphal arch.
This bridge is thrown over a river, which is no other than the
Genil of Granada, and which is obstructed by ancient arches and
milldams. When you have passed the bridge, you find yourself
in an open square, planted with trees, and ornamented with two
rather strange monuments. The first is a gilt statue of the Holy
Virgin, placed upon a column, the pedestal of which evidently
forms a kind of chapel, decorated with pots of artificial flowers,
votive offerings, crowns formed of the pith of rushes, and all the
other gewgaws of Meridional devotion. The second is a gigantic
Saint Christopher, also of gilt metal, with his hand resting
upon a palm-tree, a sort of walking-stick in keeping with his
immense size; on his shoulder he bears, with the most prodigious
contraction of all his muscles, and with as great an effort as if
he were raising a house, an exceedingly small infant Jesus, of
the most delicate and charming style. This colossus, said to be
the work of the Florentine sculptor, Torregiano, who flattened,
with a blow of his fist, Michael Angelo's nose, is stuck upon a
Solomonic column (as wreathed columns are here called) of light,
rose-coloured granite, the spiral wreaths of which end half-way up
in a mass of volutes and extravagant flower-work. I am very partial
to statues placed in this position; they produce a greater effect,
and are seen advantageously at a longer distance. The ordinary
pedestals have a kind of flat, massive look, which takes away from
the lightness of the figures which they support.

Although Ecija lies out of the ordinary route of tourists, and is
generally but little known, it is a very interesting town, and
very original and peculiar in its appearance. The spires which
form the sharper angles in its outline are neither Byzantine, nor
Gothic, nor in the Renaissance style; they are Chinese, or rather
Japanese, and you might easily mistake them for the turrets of some
_miao_ dedicated to Kong-fu-Tzee, Buddha, or Fo; for the walls are
entirely covered with porcelain tiles of the most vivid tints,
while the roofs are formed of varnished white and green tiles,
arranged like the squares of a chessboard, and presenting one of
the most curious sights in the world. The rest of the buildings are
not less chimerical. The love of distorted lines is carried to the
utmost possible lengths. You see nothing but gilding, incrustation,
breccia, and various-coloured marbles, rumpled about as if they
were cloth and not stone, garlands of flowers, lovers'-knots, and
bloated angels, all coloured and painted in the most profuse manner
and sublime bad taste.

The _Calle de los Caballeros_, where the nobility reside and the
finest mansions are situated, is truly a miraculous specimen of
this style: you have some difficulty in believing that you are
in a real street, between houses that are inhabited by ordinary
human beings. Nothing is straight, neither the balconies, the
railings, nor the friezes; everything is twisted and tortured all
sorts of ways, and ornamented with a profusion of flowers and
volutes. You could not find a single square inch which is not
guilloched, festooned, gilt, carved, or painted; the whole place
is a most harsh and extravagant specimen of the style termed in
France _rococo_, and presents a crowding together of ornament
that French good taste, even during its most depraved epochs,
has always successfully avoided. This Pompadour-Dutch-Chinese
style of architecture amuses and surprises you in Andalusia. The
common houses are whitewashed, and their dazzling walls stand out
wonderfully from the deep azure of the sky, while their flat roofs,
little windows, and _miradores_, reminded us of Africa, which was
already sufficiently suggested to our minds by thirty-seven degrees
of Réaumur, which is the customary temperature of the place during
a cool summer. Ecija is called the Stove of Andalusia, and never
was a surname more richly merited. The town is situated in a basin,
and surrounded by sandy hills which shield it from the wind, and
reflect the sun's rays like so many concentric mirrors. Every one
in the place is absolutely fried, but this did not prevent us from
walking about all over it while our breakfast was being prepared.
The _Plaza Mayor_ has a very original look, with its pillared
houses, its long rows of windows, its arcades, and its projecting

Our _parador_ was tolerably comfortable; they gave us a meal that
was almost human, and we partook of it with a degree of sensuality
very allowable after so many privations. A long siesta, in a large
room, carefully shut up, very dark, and well watered, completely
restored us; and when, about three o'clock, we again got into the
_galera_, it was with a quiet air of perfect resignation that we
did so.

The road from Ecija to La Carlotta, where we were to pass the
night, traverses a very uninteresting country, which appeared to
be arid and dusty, or at least the season gave it that look; it
has not left any very remarkable impression on my mind. A few
olive plantations and clumps of oak-trees appeared from time to
time, and the aloes displayed their bluish foliage which is always
so characteristic. The dog belonging to the superintendent of
mines (for, besides the children, we had some quadrupeds in our
menagerie) started a few partridges, two or three of which were
brought down by my companion. This was the most remarkable event
during this stage.

La Carlotta, where we stopped for the night, is an unimportant
hamlet. The inn is an ancient convent, which had first been turned
into barracks, as is almost always the case in times of revolution,
military men feeling at their ease, and installing themselves in
buildings arranged for monastic life more easily than any other
class of persons. Long-arched cloisters formed a covered gallery
all round the four sides of the courtyard. In the middle of one of
the sides yawned the black mouth of an enormous and very deep well,
which promised the luxury of some very cold and very clear water.
On leaning over the edge, I saw that the interior was completely
lined with plants of the most beautiful green, that had sprung up
between the stones; and, indeed, to find any kind of verdure or
coolness, it was necessary to go and look into the wells, for the
heat was so great, that any one might have supposed it was caused
by a large fire in the immediate neighbourhood. The only thing
that can give the least idea of it is the temperature of those
hot-houses where tropical plants are reared. Even the air burnt
you, and ignited molecules seemed to be borne along in each gust
of wind. I endeavoured to go out and take a turn in the village,
but the stove-like vapour which greeted me the moment I had crossed
the threshold, caused me to turn back. Our supper consisted of
fowls cut to pieces and laid pell-mell on a bed of rice, as highly
flavoured with saffron as a Turkish pillau, with the addition of
a salad (_ensalada_) of green leaves in a deluge of vinegar and
water, dotted here and there with drops of oil, taken, doubtless,
from the lamp. After we had finished this sumptuous repast, we
were conducted to our rooms, which were, however, already so full,
that we sallied out to pass the rest of the night in the middle of
the courtyard, with our mattress wrapped round, and a chair turned
upside down instead of a pillow. There, at least, we were only
exposed to the mosquitos; by putting on our gloves, and covering
our faces with our handkerchiefs, we escaped with merely five or
six stings, which were simply painful, but not disgusting.

The people of the inn had a slightly hang-dog look, but this was
a circumstance about which we had long since ceased to concern
ourselves, accustomed as we were to meet with faces more or less
repulsive. A fragment of their conversation which we overheard
proved that their sentiments corresponded to their faces. Thinking
that we did not understand Spanish, they asked the _escopetero_
whether they could not do a little stroke of business by lying in
wait for us a few leagues further on. Jose Maria's old associate
replied, with most perfect nobleness and majesty, "I shall suffer
nothing of the kind, as these two young gentlemen form part of the
company in which I myself am travelling. Besides, they expect to
be robbed, and have only as much as is strictly necessary for the
journey, the rest of their money being in bills of exchange on
Seville. Again, they are both strong tall men; as for the engineer,
he is _my friend_, and we have four carbines in the _galera_." This
persuasive mode of argument produced its effect on our host and
his acolytes, who, on this occasion, contented themselves with the
ordinary method of plundering that the innkeepers of all countries
are permitted to practise.

In spite of all the frightful stories about brigands which are
related by travellers and the natives themselves, this was our
only adventure, and the most dramatic incident during our long
peregrinations through the provinces which are accounted the most
dangerous in all Spain, and at a time that was certainly favourable
for this kind of meeting: the Spanish brigand was for us a purely
chimerical being, an abstraction, a poetic fiction. We never once
perceived the least sign of a _trabuco_, and we became, as far as
robbers were concerned, as incredulous as the English gentleman
mentioned by Mérimée, and who, having fallen into the hands of a
band of brigands who plundered him, would insist that they were
only theatrical supernumeraries dressed up and posted there to play
him a trick.

We left La Carlotta about three o'clock in the afternoon, and
halted, in the evening, at a miserable gipsy's hut, the roof of
which was formed of simple branches cut off the trees, and thrown,
like a kind of coarse thatch, over cross pieces. After drinking a
few glasses of water, I quietly stretched myself out before the
door, upon the bosom of our common mother, and began watching the
azure immensity of heaven, where the large stars seemed to float
like swarms of golden bees, while their twinkling formed a kind
of luminous haze, similar to that which a dragon fly's invisible
wings produce round his body by the immense rapidity with which
they move; but it was not long before I fell into a profound sleep,
just as if I had been reposing on the softest bed in the world. I
had, however, for a pillow nothing but a stone wrapt up in the cape
of my cloak, while some very respectable flints were stamping an
impression of themselves in the hollow of my back. Never did a more
beautiful and milder night envelope the globe in her mantle of blue
velvet. At about midnight, the _galera_ set out once more, and,
when morning appeared, we were not more than half a league from

It might, perhaps, be supposed from my description of all these
halts and marches, that Cordova is separated by a great distance
from Malaga, and that we had gone over an enormous deal of ground
in the course of our journey, which did not occupy less than four
days and a half. The distance we went, however, is only twenty
Spanish leagues, that is to say, about thirty French ones, but
the vehicle was heavily loaded, the road abominable, and no fresh
mules waiting for us at regular distances. Besides, the heat was so
intolerable that it would have suffocated both man and beast, had
we ventured out during the time that the sun was at its height.
This journey, however, slow and wearisome as it was, has left a
pleasing impression on my mind: excessive rapidity in the means of
transport, deprives the road of all charm; you are hurried along
like a whirlwind, without having time to see anything. If a man
comes to his journey's end directly, he may as well stop at home.
For my part I think that the pleasure of travelling consists in
travelling, and not in arriving at your destination.

A bridge across the Guadalquivir, which at this point is tolerably
broad, leads into Cordova as you come from Ecija. Close to it are
the ruins of some ancient arches, and of an Arabian aqueduct. The
head of the bridge is defended by a large square embattlemented
tower, supported by casemates of a more recent date. The city
gates not being yet open, a large collection of carts drawn by
oxen majestically crowned with tiaras of yellow and red spartum,
mules and white asses loaded with chopped straw, countrymen with
sugar-loaf hats, and brown woollen _capas_, which fell down before
and behind like a priest's cape, and which are put on by thrusting
your head through a hole made in the middle, were all waiting with
the calmness and patience peculiar to Spaniards, who never appear
to be in a hurry. A similar crowd at one of the Paris Barriers
would have created a horrible disturbance, and given vent to all
sorts of invectives and abuse, but here we heard no other noise but
the tinkling of the brass bell attached to the collar of some mule,
and the silvery sound of that hung round the neck of the _coronel_
ass changing his position, or resting his head upon the neck of one
of his long-eared brethren.

We took advantage of this temporary stoppage to examine, at our
leisure, the external aspect of Cordova. A handsome gateway, like a
triumphal arch, of the Ionic order, and of such good taste that it
might be supposed to be of Roman origin, forms a majestic entrance
to the city of the Caliphs, although I should prefer one of those
beautiful Moorish arches, shaped like a heart, similar to those
you see at Granada. The Cathedral Mosque rises above the outer
walls and the roofs of the town more like a citadel than a temple,
with its high walls denticulated with Arabian embrazures, and its
heavy Catholic dome cowering on the Oriental platform. It must be
confessed that the walls are daubed over with a very abominable
yellow. Without being precisely one of those who admire mouldy,
black, leprous-looking edifices, I have a particular horror of
that infamous pumpkin colour which possesses such attractions for
the priests, the chapters, and the vestry-boards of all countries,
since they never fail disfiguring with it the marvellous edifices
confided to their care. These buildings always should be, and
always have been painted even during the purest periods of the art,
only the peculiar shade and nature of the coating they receive
ought to be selected with more taste. At last the gates were open,
and we had the preliminary gratification of being searched rather
strictly by the custom-house officers; after which, we were at
liberty to proceed, accompanied by our luggage, to the nearest

Cordova has a more African look than any other town in Andalusia.
Its streets, or rather its lanes, with their confused, irregular
pavement, that resembles the dry bed of some mountain torrent,
are all strewn with the short straw which falls from the loads of
the different asses, and have nothing about them which reminds
you of the manners and customs of Europe. You walk on between
interminable chalk-coloured walls, diversified at rare intervals by
a few windows defended with rails and bars; while the only persons
that you meet are some repulsive-looking beggar, some devotee
enveloped in black, or some _majo_, who passes with the rapidity of
lightning on his brown horse with white harness, causing thousands
of sparks to fly up from the flints of the road. If the Moors could
come back, they would not have much trouble in making themselves
at home. The idea that many people have, perhaps, formed, when
thinking of Cordova, that it is a town with Gothic houses, and
carved, open spires, is completely wrong. The universal use of
whitewash imparts a uniform tint to all the buildings, fills up the
architectural lines, effaces all their delicate ornamentation, and
does not allow you to read their age. Thanks to whitewash, the wall
which has been erected a century cannot be distinguished from that
which was erected yesterday. Cordova, which was formerly the centre
of Arabian civilization, is at present nothing more than a confused
mass of small, white houses, above which rise a few mangrove-trees,
with their metallic green foliage, or some palm-tree, with its
branches spread out like the claws of a crab; while the whole town
is divided into a number of separate blocks by narrow passages,
where it would be a difficult matter for two mules to pass abreast.
All life seems to have deserted this great body, formerly animated
by the active circulation of Moorish blood; there is nothing of it
left save the white, calcined skeleton. But Cordova still possesses
its Mosque, which is without a rival in the whole world, and quite
new, even for those travellers who have had an opportunity of
admiring the marvels of Arabian architecture at Granada or Seville.

In spite of the Moorish airs it gives itself, Cordova is a true
Christian city, placed under the especial protection of the
Archangel Raphael. From the balcony of our _parador_, we could
see a strange kind of monument raised in honour of this celestial
patron, and we resolved to examine it more closely. The Archangel
Raphael, who is standing upon the top of a column, with a sword
in his hand, his wings outstretched and glittering with gilding,
seems like a sentinel eternally watching over the city confided to
his care. The column is formed of grey granite, with a Corinthian
capital of gilt bronze, and rests upon a small tower or lantern
of rose-coloured granite, the sub-basement of which is formed of
rockwork, on which are grouped a horse, a palm-tree, a lion, and a
most fantastic sea-monster; the whole decoration is completed by
four allegorical statues. In the plinth is buried the coffin of
Bishop Pascal, who was celebrated for his piety and devotion to the
holy Archangel.

On a cartouche is the following inscription:


But, the reader will ask, how was it known that the Archangel
Raphael, and not some one else, was the patron of the ancient
city of Abderama? To this I reply, by means of a song or
complaint, printed by permission at Cordova, and to be procured
at the establishment of Don Raphael Garcia Rodriguez, Calle
della Libreria. At the head of this precious document is a wood
engraving, representing the Archangel, with his wings expanded, a
glory round his head, his travelling-staff and fish in his hand,
majestically placed between two splendid pots of hyacinths and
peonies. Underneath is an inscription to this effect: "The true
history and curious legend of our patron Saint Raphael, Archangel,
Solicitor of the Plague, and Guardian of the City of Cordova."

The book relates how the blessed Archangel appeared to Don Andres
Roëla, gentleman and priest, and made, in his room, a speech, the
first phrase of which is precisely that engraven on the column.
This speech, which the legendaries have perceived, lasted more than
an hour-and-a-half, the priest and the Archangel being each seated
on a chair opposite one another. The apparition took place on the
7th of May, in the year of our Lord 1578, and the monument was
erected to perpetuate the remembrance of it.

An esplanade, enclosed by railings, stretches all round the
monument, and enables it to be seen on every side. Statues in this
position have something elegant and graceful about them which
pleases me very much, and which serves admirably to conceal the
nudity of a terrace, a square, or a courtyard that is too large.
The small statue on the porphyry column in the courtyard of the
Palais des Beaux Arts, at Paris, will convey a faint notion of the
ornamental effect which might be produced by arranging figures in
this fashion; they assume, when so placed, a monumental aspect
which they would otherwise not possess. The same thought struck me
when I saw the Holy Virgin and Saint Christopher at Ecija.

We were not greatly struck by the exterior of the Cathedral, and
were afraid of being wretchedly disappointed. Victor Hugo's lines:

                "Cordoue aux maisons vielles
      A sa mosquée où l'œil se perd dans les merveilles."

appeared before we had visited the building to be too flattering,
but we were soon convinced that they were only just.

It was the Caliph Abderama I., who laid the foundations of the
Mosque at Cordova, towards the end of the eighth century, and the
works were carried on with such activity that the whole edifice
was completed at the commencement of the ninth; twenty-one years
were found sufficient to terminate this gigantic monument! When
we reflect that, a thousand years ago, so admirable a work, and
one of such colossal proportions, was executed in so short a time
by a people who have since fallen into a state of the most savage
barbarism, the mind is lost in astonishment, and refuses to believe
the pretended doctrines of human progress which are generally
received at the present day; we even feel inclined to adopt an
opinion diametrically opposite, when we visit those countries
which formerly enjoyed a state of civilization which now exists no
longer. I have always regretted, for my own part, that the Moors
did not remain in possession of Spain, which certainly has only
lost by their expulsion. Under their dominion, if we can believe
the popular exaggerations so gravely collected and preserved by
historians, Cordova contained two hundred thousand houses, eighty
thousand palaces, and nine hundred baths, while its suburbs
consisted of twelve thousand villages. At present it does not
number forty thousand inhabitants, and appears almost deserted.

Abderama wished to make the Mosque of Cordova a place of
pilgrimage, a western Mecca, the first temple of Islamism, after
that in which the body of the prophet reposes. I have not yet
seen the _Casbah_ of Mecca, but I doubt whether it equals in
magnificence and size the Spanish Mosque. One of the original
copies of the Koran and a still more precious relic, a bone of one
of Mahomet's arms, used to be preserved there.

The lower orders even believe that the Sultan of Constantinople
still pays a tribute to the King of Spain, in order that mass may
not be said in that part of the building especially dedicated to
the prophet. This chapel is ironically called by the devout, the
_Zancarron_, a term of contempt which signifies, "Ass's jawbone,

The Mosque of Cordova is pierced with seven doors, which have
nothing ornamental about them; indeed its mode of construction
prevents their being so, and does not allow of the majestic portals
imperiously required by the unvarying plan of Roman-catholic
cathedrals; there is nothing in its external appearance to prepare
your mind for the admirable spectacle which awaits you. We will
pass, if you please, through the _patio de los naranjeros_,
an immense and magnificent courtyard planted with monster
orange-trees, that were contemporaries of the Moorish kings, and
surrounded by long arched galleries, paved with marble flags. On
one side rises a very mediocre spire, which is a clumsy imitation
of the Giralda, as we were afterwards enabled to see, at Seville.
There is said to be an immense cistern under the pavement of the
courtyard. In the time of the Ommyades, you entered at once from
the _patio de los naranjeros_ into the Mosque itself, for the
frightful wall which now breaks the perspective on this side, was
not built until a more recent period.

I can best convey an idea of this strange edifice, by saying that
it resembles a large esplanade enclosed by walls and planted with
columns in quincuncial order. The esplanade is four hundred and
twenty feet broad, and four hundred and forty long. The number of
the columns amounts to eight hundred and sixty, which is, it is
said, only half the number in the first mosque.

The impression produced on you when you enter this ancient
sanctuary of the Moslem faith cannot be defined, and has nothing
whatever in common with that generally caused by architecture;
you seem rather to be walking about in a roofed forest than in a
building. On whatever side you turn, your eye is lost in alleys
of columns crossing each other and stretching away out of sight,
like marble vegetation that has shot up spontaneously from the
soil; the mysterious half-light which reigns in this lofty wood
increases the illusion still more. There are nineteen transepts
and thirty-six naves, but the span of the transepts is much less
than that of the naves. Each nave and transept is formed between
rows of superimposed arches, some of which cross and combine with
one another as if they were made of ribbon. The columns, each of
which is hewn out of one solid block, are hardly more than ten or
twelve feet up to the capitals, which are Arabic-Corinthian, full
of force and elegance, and reminding you rather of the African
palm than the Greek acanthus. They are composed of rare marbles,
porphyry, jasper, green and violet breccia, and other precious
substances; there are some even of antique origin, and are said
to be the remains of an old temple of Janus. Thus the rites of
three religions have been celebrated on the spot. Of these three
religions, one has for ever disappeared, with the civilization it
represented, in the gulf of the past; the second has been driven
out of Europe, where it has now but a precarious footing, to take
refuge with the barbarism of the East; and the third, after having
reached its apogee, has been undermined by the spirit of inquiry,
and is growing weaker every day, even in those countries where it
once reigned as absolute sovereign. Perhaps the old mosque built
by Abderama may still last long enough to see a fourth religion
installed under the shade of its arches, and a new God, or rather a
new prophet,--for God never changes,--celebrated with other forms
and other songs of praise.

[Illustration: MOSQUE, CORDOVA.]

In the time of the Caliphs, eight hundred silver lamps, filled
with aromatic oils, illuminated these long naves, caused the
porphyry and polished jasper of the columns to sparkle, spangled
with light the gilt stars of the ceiling, and showed, in the
shade, the crystal mosaics and the verses of the Koran wreathed
with arabesques and flowers. Among their lamps were the bells
of Saint Jago de Compostella, which the Moors had won in battle;
turned upside down, and suspended to the roof by silver chains,
they illuminated the temple of Allah and his Prophet, and were,
no doubt, greatly astonished at being changed from Catholic bells
into Mahomedan lamps. At that period, the eye could wander in
perfect liberty under the long colonnades, and, from the extremity
of the temple, look at the orange-trees in blossom and the gushing
fountains of the _patio_, inundated by a torrent of light, rendered
still more dazzling by the half-day inside. Unfortunately, this
magnificent view is at present destroyed by the Roman-catholic
church, which is a heavy, massive building squeezed into the very
heart of the Arabian mosque. A number of _retablos_, chapels,
and sacristies crowd the place and destroy its general symmetry.
This parasitical church, this enormous stone mushroom, this
architectural wart on the back of the Arabian edifice, was erected
after the designs of Hernán Ruiz. As a building it is not destitute
of merit, and would be admired anywhere else, but it is ever to
be regretted that it occupies the place it does. It was built, in
spite of the resistance of the _ayuntamiento_, by the chapter, in
virtue of an order cunningly obtained from the emperor Charles V.,
who had not seen the mosque. Having visited it, some years later,
he said--"Had I known this, I should never have permitted you to
touch the old building; you have put what can be seen anywhere in
the place of what is seen nowhere." This just reproach caused the
members of the chapter to hang down their heads in confusion, but
the evil was done. In the choir we admired an immense carving, in
massive mahogany, representing subjects of the Old Testament. It
is the work of Don Pedro Duque Cornejo, who spent ten years of
his life on this prodigious undertaking, as may be seen by the
inscription on the poor artist's tomb; he lies stretched upon a
slab some few paces distant from his work. Talking of tombs, we
noticed a very remarkable one, shaped like a trunk and fastened
by three padlocks, let into the wall. How will the corpse, so
carefully locked up, manage on the day of judgment, in order to
open the stone locks of his coffin, and how will he find the keys
in the midst of the general confusion?

Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the original ceiling,
built by Abderama, of cedar and larch, was preserved with all its
compartments, soffits, lozenges, and oriental magnificence; it has
now been replaced by arches and half-cupolas, of a very mediocre
effect. The old slabs have disappeared under a brick pavement,
which has raised the ground, partly concealed the shafts of the
pillars, and rendered still more evident the building, which is too
low for its size.

All these acts of profanation, however, do not prevent the mosque
of Cordova from still being one of the most marvellous buildings
in the world. To make us feel, as it were, still more bitterly the
mutilations of the rest, one portion, called the _Mirah_, has been
preserved as if by a miracle, in a state of the most scrupulous


The wooden roof, carved and gilt, with its _median aranja_,
spangled with stars, the open windowshafts, garnished with railings
which render the light so soft and mellow, the gallery of small
trefoiled columns, the mosaic tablets of coloured glass, and
the verses from the Koran, formed of gilt crystal letters, and
wreathed about with the most gracefully complicated ornaments
and arabesques, compose a picture which, for richness, beauty,
and fairy elegance, is to be equalled nowhere save in the
"Thousand-and-One Nights," and could not be improved by any effort
of art. Never were lines better chosen or colours better combined;
even those found in the most capricious and delicate specimens of
Gothic architecture have something poor, weakly and emaciated about
them which betrays the infancy of the art. The architecture of the
_Mirah_, on the contrary, is an instance of a state of civilization
which has reached its greatest development, of art arrived at its
culminating point; all beyond it is nothing but a retrogression.
Nothing is wanting, neither proportion, harmony, richness, nor
gracefulness. On leaving this chapel, you enter a little sanctuary
profusely ornamented, the ceiling of which is formed of a single
block of marble, scooped out in the form of a shell, and carved
with infinite delicacy. This was probably the _sanctum sanctorum_,
the dread and sacred place where the presence of the Deity was
supposed to be more palpable than anywhere else.

Another chapel called _Capilla de los Reyes Moros_, where the
caliphs used to pray apart from the common herd of the Faithful,
also offers some curious and charming details; but it has not been
so fortunate as the _Mirah_, its colours having disappeared under
an ignoble coating of whitewash.

The sacristies are overflowing with treasures; they are literally
crammed full of monstrances glittering with precious stones, silver
reliquaries of enormous weight and incredible workmanship, and as
large as small cathedrals, candlesticks, gold crucifixes, and copes
embroidered with pearls, the whole forming a collection that is
more than royal, and altogether Asiatic.

As we were on the point of leaving the building, the beadle, who
had served as our guide, led us mysteriously into a remote obscure
corner, and pointed out, as an object of the greatest possible
curiosity, a crucifix, which is said to have been carved by a
Christian prisoner, with his nail, on a porphyry column, to the
foot of which he was chained. To prove the authenticity of the
story, he showed us the statue of the poor captive some few paces
off. Without being more Voltairean than is necessary in the matter
of legends, I can not help thinking that people must formerly
have had very hard nails, or that porphyry was extremely soft.
Nor is this crucifix the only one of its kind; there is a second,
on another column, but it is far from being so well formed. The
beadle likewise showed us an enormous ivory tusk, suspended from
the middle of the cupola by iron chains, and looking like the
hunting-horn of some Saracenic giant of some Nimrod of the world
that has disappeared: this tusk is said to have belonged to one
of the elephants employed in carrying the materials during the
building of the mosque. Being well satisfied with our guide's
explanations and complaisance, we gave him one or two small coins,
a piece of generosity which appeared to be highly displeasing to
Jose Maria's old friend, who had accompanied us, and elicited from
him the following slightly heretical remark:--"Would it not be
better to give that money to some brave bandit, than to a villanous

On leaving the cathedral, we stopped for a few moments before a
pleasing Gothic portal, which serves as a façade to the Foundling
Hospital. Anywhere else it would be admired, but, in its present
position, it is crushed by its formidable neighbour.

After we had visited the cathedral, there was nothing more to keep
us at Cordova, which is not the liveliest place in the world to
stop at. The only amusement a stranger can take, is to bathe in the
Guadalquiver, or get shaved in one of the numerous shaving-shops
near the mosque; the operation is very dexterously performed, with
the aid of an enormous razor, by a little barber perched upon the
back of the large oaken arm-chair in which the customer is seated.


The heat was intolerable, being artificially increased by a fire.
The harvest had just been got in; and it is the custom in Andalusia
to burn the stubble as soon as the sheaves are carted away, in
order that the ashes may improve the ground. The country was in
flames for two or three leagues all round, and the wind, which
singed its wings in its passage through this fiery ocean, wafted
to us gusts of hot air, like that which escapes from the mouth
of a stove. We were placed in the same position as the scorpions
that children surround with a circle of shavings, which they set
on fire; the poor creatures are obliged to make a desperate effort
to get out, or to commit suicide by turning their sting against
themselves. We preferred the first alternative.

The _galera_ in which we had come to Cordova took us back by
the same road, as far as Ecija, where we asked for a calessin,
to convey us to Seville. We succeeded in finding one, but when
the driver saw us, he found us too tall, too big, and too heavy,
and made all sorts of objections. Our trunks, he asserted, were
so enormously weighty, that it would require four men to move
them; and the consequence was, that they would immediately cause
his vehicle to break down. The truth of the last objection we
disproved, by placing, unassisted and with the greatest ease, the
portmanteaus thus calumniated, on the back part of the calessin.
The rascal, having no more objections to raise, at last decided on
setting out.

For several leagues the view consisted of nothing save flat, or
vaguely-undulating ground, planted with olive-trees, whose grey
colour was rendered still more insipid by the dust upon them, and
large sandy plains, whose uniform appearance was broken, from time
to time, by balls of blackish vegetation, like vegetable warts.

At La Sinsiana, the whole population was stretched out before the
doors of the houses, and snoring away in the open air. Our vehicle
obliged the rows of sleepers to rise and stand up against the
wall in order to allow us to pass, grumbling all the while, and
bestowing on us all the treasures of the Andalusian vocabulary. We
supped in a suspicious-looking _posada_, more liberally furnished
with muskets and blunderbusses than cooking utensils. A number of
immense dogs followed all our movements with the most obstinate
perseverance, and seemed to be only awaiting the signal to fall on
us, and tear us to pieces. The landlady looked extremely surprised
at the voracious tranquillity with which we despatched our tomato
omelette. She appeared to consider the repast quite superfluous,
and to regret our devouring so much food, which would never be
of any good to us. In spite of the sinister aspect of the place,
however, we were not assassinated, and the people were merciful
enough to allow us to continue our journey.

The ground became more and more sandy, and the wheels of the
calessin sank up to their naves in the shifting soil. We now
understood why our driver had so strongly objected to our specific
gravity. To ease the horse a little, we got down, and, about
midnight, after having followed a road which wound round a steep
rock in a zigzag direction, we reached Cormana, where we were to
pass the night. Some limekilns cast their long, reddish reflection
over the line of rocks, producing most powerful and admirably
picturesque Rembrandt-like effects.

The room into which we were shown was ornamented with some wretched
lithographed plates representing various episodes of the revolution
of July, such as the taking of the Hôtel de Ville, and so on.
This circumstance pleased and almost moved us; it was like seeing
a piece of France framed and hung up against the wall. Cormana,
which we had scarcely time to look at, as we once more got into
our calessin, is a little town as white as cream; the campanilas
and towers of an old convent of Carmelite nuns give it a very
picturesque appearance, and that is all we can say about it.

Beyond Cormana, luxuriant plants, cactuses, and aloe-trees, which
had for some time deserted us, now appeared again more bristling
and ferocious than ever. The landscape was less bare and arid, and
more varied; the heat, too, had lost something of its intensity.
We soon afterwards reached Alcala de los Panaderos, celebrated
for the excellence of its bread, as its name signifies, and for
its _novillos_ (young bulls) fights, to which the _aficionados_
of Seville resort when the circus there is closed. Alcala de los
Panaderos is situated very pleasantly at the bottom of a small
valley, irrigated by a river; it is sheltered by a hill, on which
the ruins of an old Moorish palace are still standing. We were
approaching Seville; in fact, it was not long ere the Giralda
displayed on the horizon its open lantern and then its square
tower: a few hours afterwards we were passing through the Puerta
de Cormana, whose arch enclosed a background of dusty light, in
which galeras, asses, mules, and carts drawn by oxen, some coming
to the town and others leaving it, crossed each other in a flood of
golden vapour. To the left of the road arose the stone arcades of
a superb aqueduct, of a truly Roman appearance: on the other side
were rows of houses built nearer and nearer to each other: we were
at Seville.



  Seville--The Cristina--The Torre del Oro--Italica--The
  Cathedral--The Giralda--El Polbo Sevillano--The Caridad and Don
  Juan de Marana.

There is a Spanish proverb, very frequently quoted, on Seville:

      "Quien no ha visto a Sevilla
      No ha visto a maravilla."

We confess, in all humility, that this proverb would strike us
as more correct if applied to Toledo or Granada rather than to
Seville, where we saw nothing particularly marvellous, unless it
was the Cathedral.

Seville is situated on the banks of the Guadalquiver, in a
large plain, whence it derives its name of Hispalis, which, in
Carthagenian, means a flat piece of ground, if we may believe Arias
Montano and Samuel Bockhart. It is a vast, straggling town, of very
recent date, gay, smiling, and animated, and must really appear a
charming place to Spaniards. It would be impossible to find a more
striking contrast to Cordova. The town of Cordova is dead; it is
an ossuary, a catacomb in the open air, on which Neglect is slowly
sprinkling its white dust; the few inhabitants whom you meet at
the corners of its narrow streets look like apparitions which have
mistaken the hour. Seville, on the contrary, is full of all the
petulance and busy hum of life; the sound of gaiety floats over
her at every instant of the day; she hardly allows herself time to
take her siesta. She cares little for yesterday, and still less for
to-morrow; she exists altogether for the present. Memory and Hope
are the consolation of those who are unhappy, and Sevilla is happy.
She enjoys herself, while her sister, Cordova, wrapt in silence and
solitude, appears to be dreaming mournfully of Abderama; of the
great captain and all his departed glories, brilliant meteors in
the nights of the Past, while all she now possesses are ashes.

To the great disappointment of travellers and antiquaries,
whitewash reigns supreme at Seville; the houses have a new coat
of it three or four times a year; this gives them a look of
cleanness and neatness, but effectually prevents any investigation
of the remains of the Arabic and Gothic sculptures which formerly
adorned the place. Nothing can be less varied than this network
of streets, where the eye sees but two tints--the indigo of the
sky and the chalky white of the walls on which the azure shadows
of the neighbouring buildings are thrown; for in warm countries
the shadows are blue instead of being grey, so that the objects
appear to be lighted up on one side by the moon, and on the other
by the sun; the absence, however, of all sombre tints produces a
general appearance of life and gaiety. Doorways closed with iron
gates allow you to look through and see the _patios_ ornamented
with columns, mosaic pavement, fountains, flower-pots, shrubs,
and pictures. As regards the external architecture, it offers no
particularly remarkable feature; the houses are rarely more than
two or three stories high, and you hardly meet with a dozen façades
that are interesting in an artistic point of view. The streets are
paved, like those of all Spanish towns, with small pebbles, but,
on each side, there is a kind of pavement consisting of tolerably
large flat stones on which the crowd walks in single file. If a
man and woman meet, the man always makes way for the woman with
that exquisite politeness which is natural to Spaniards, even of
the very lowest classes. The women of Seville quite deserve the
reputation for beauty which they enjoy; they are almost all alike,
as is always the case in pure races of a well-defined type; their
long eyes, opening to the temples, and fringed with long brown
lashes, produce an effect of black and white which is unknown in
France. When a woman or young girl passes you, she slowly drops
her eyelids, and then suddenly opens them again, shoots at you a
look so searching that you are perfectly unable to bear it, rolls
the pupil of her eye, and then again drops the lashes over them.
The Bayadere, Amany, when dancing the _Pas des Colombes_, was the
only person who could convey the slightest notion of the murderous
glances which the East has bequeathed to Spain; we have no terms
to express this play of the eyes; the word _ojear_ is wanting in
our vocabulary. These glances, which are so full of vivid, sudden
brilliancy, and which almost embarrass strangers, have, however, no
particular signification, and are cast upon the first object that
presents itself; a young Andalusian girl will look with the same
passionate expression at a cart passing along, a dog running after
its tail, or a group of children playing at bullfights. The eyes
of the people of the north are dull and meaningless in comparison;
the sun has never left its reflection in them. Their canine teeth
are very pointed, and, as well as all the rest, rival in brilliancy
those of a young Newfoundland dog, and impart to the smile of
the young women of Seville an Arabic savage expression, which is
extremely original. Their forehead is high, round, and polished;
their nose is sharp and slightly inclining to the aquiline.
Unfortunately, their chin sometimes terminates by a too sudden
curve of the divine oval of the upper part of their face. Their
shoulders and arms are somewhat thin; this is the only imperfection
which the most fastidious artist could find in the women of
Seville. The delicacy of their articulation, and the smallness of
their hands and feet, are all that can be desired. Without any sort
of poetical exaggeration, there are women in Seville whose feet an
infant might hold in its hand. The Andalusian beauties are very
proud of this, and wear shoes to correspond. There is no very great
difference between these shoes and the slippers worn by the Chinese

      "Con primor se calza el pié
      Digno de regio tapiz."

is a compliment as common in their songs as the tint of the rose or
the lily is in ours.

The said shoes, which are generally of satin, hardly cover their
toes, and appear to have no heels, the latter being covered with
a small piece of ribbon, of the same colour as the stocking. A
little French girl, seven or eight years old, could not put on the
shoe of an Andalusian of twenty. Accordingly, there is no end to
their jokes about the feet and shoes of the ladies of the north. "A
boat with six rowers, to row about in the Guadalquiver, was made
out of the ball shoe of a German lady." "The wooden stirrups of
the _picadores_ might do for shoes for an English beauty,"--and a
thousand other _andulazades_ of the same kind. I defended, as well
as I could, the feet of our fair Parisians, but I only met with
incredulous listeners. Unfortunately, the women of Seville have
only remained Spanish as far as the head and feet, the mantilla and
the shoe, are concerned; the coloured gowns _à la Française_ are
beginning to obtain the superiority over the national robe. The
men are dressed like plates of fashions. There are some, however,
who wear small white dimity jackets, trousers to correspond, a
red sash, and Andalusian hat; but this is rare, and, besides, the
costume is not very picturesque.

The favourite walks are the _Alameda del Duque_, where the audience
stroll during the time between the acts at the theatre, which is
close at hand: and also, more especially, the Cristina. It is a
most charming thing to see, between seven and eight o'clock in the
evening, all the beauties of Seville, in little groups of three or
four, parading up and down here, and showing themselves off to the
best advantage, accompanied by their lovers, present or future.
They have something peculiarly nimble, active, and brisk about
them, and prance along, rather than walk. The celerity with which
the fan is opened and shut in their hands, the searching power of
their glance, the assurance of their bearing, and the undulating
suppleness of their figure, give them a physiognomy which is
especially their own. There may be women in England, France, and
Italy, of a more perfect and regular style of beauty, but there are
assuredly none who are prettier or more piquant. They possess in
a high degree the quality called by Spaniards _la sal_, and which
is some thing that it is difficult to explain to Frenchmen. It is
a mixture of nonchalance, vivacity, bold repartees, and infantine
manners; a grace, a pungency, a _ragoût_, as painters express
it, which may be found without beauty, and which is frequently
preferred to it. Thus, a person says to a woman in Spain, "How
salt, _salada_, you are!" and there is no other compliment like
that one.

The Cristina is a superb promenade, on the banks of the
Guadalquiver, with a _saloon_ paved with large stone flags, and
surrounded by an immense white marble sofa with an iron back. It
is shaded by Eastern plane-trees, and has a labyrinth, a Chinese
pavilion, and plantations of all kinds of northern trees, such as
ashes, cypresses, poplars, and willows, of which the Andalusians
are as proud as the Parisians would be of aloe-trees and palms.

At the approaches to the Cristina, pieces of rope, dipped in
brimstone, and rolled round posts, are always kept burning in order
that the smokers may light their cigars, and not be bored by boys
with coals, pursuing them with the cry of _Fuego_; an annoyance
which renders the Prado of Madrid insupportable.

But delightful as this promenade was, I preferred the banks of the
river itself, where the prospect was always animated and constantly
changing. In the middle of the stream, where the water was deepest,
were anchored merchant schooners and brigs, their tapering masts
and airy rigging standing out in clear black lines from the light
background of the sky. In all directions, smaller craft were seen
crossing and recrossing each other. Sometimes a boat would bear
down the stream a number of young men and women, playing the guitar
and singing _coplas_, whose rhymes were dispersed by the wanton
wind, while the promenaders applauded from the banks. The view was
beautifully terminated, on this side, by the _Torre del Oro_, a
kind of octagon tower with three receding stories, and Moorish
battlements: it laves its base in the waves of the Guadalquiver,
near the landing-place, and shoots up into the blue air from
the midst of a forest of masts and cordage. This tower, which
the learned pretend to have been constructed by the Romans, was
formerly connected with the Alcazar by means of walls, which have
been pulled down to make room for the Cristina, and, in the time
of the Moors, supported one end of the iron chain which defended
the passage of the river, while the other end was fastened to
stone piers on the opposite side. It is said to derive its name of
_Torre del Oro_ from the fact of the gold which was brought in the
galleons from America having been kept there.

[Illustration: THE TORRE DEL ORO.]

We used to go and walk here every evening, looking at the sun as it
set behind the Triana suburbs, which are on the other side of the
stream. A most noble-looking palm raised in the air its leafy disk,
as if to salute the sinking luminary. I was always exceedingly
fond of palms, and I can never see one without feeling transported
into a patriarchal and poetical world, in the midst of the fairy
scenes of the East, and the magnificent pictures of the Bible.

As if to bring us back to a feeling of reality, one evening, as
we were returning to the _Calle de la Sierpe_, where our host,
Don Cæsar Bustamente, whose wife had the most beautiful eyes and
the longest hair in the world, resided, we were accosted by some
fellows very well dressed, with eye-glasses and watch-chains, who
asked us to come and rest ourselves and take some refreshment at
the house of some persons _muy finas_, _muy decentes_, who had
deputed them to invite us. These worthy individuals seemed, at
first, very much struck at our refusing, and, imagining that we had
not understood them, entered more explicitly into details; but,
seeing that they were merely losing their time, they contented
themselves with offering us cigarettes and Murillos,--for, you
must know, Murillo is the pride and also the curse of Seville. You
hear nothing but this one name. The smallest tradesman, the most
insignificant abbé, possesses, at least, three hundred specimens
of Murillo in his best days. What is that daub there? It is a
Murillo, vapoury style. And that one. A Murillo, warm style. And
the third, yonder? A Murillo, cold style. Like Raphael, Murillo has
three styles; a fact which allows of all kinds of pictures being
attributed to him, and gives a most delicious scope to amateurs
desirous of forming collections. At the corner of every street,
you run against the angle of a picture-frame: it is a Murillo
worth thirty francs which some Englishman always buys for thirty
thousand. "Look, _Señor Caballero_, what drawing! what colouring!
It is the very _perla_, the _perlita_ of pictures!" How many
pearls, not worth the frames and the ornaments, were shown to
me! How many originals that were not even copies! This does not,
however, prevent Murillo from being one of the first painters in
Spain, and in the whole world. But we have wandered rather far from
the banks of the Guadalquiver; let us return to them.

A bridge of boats unites the two banks, and connects the suburbs
with the town. You cross it in order to visit, near Santi-Pouce,
the remains of Italica, the birthplace of the poet Silius Italicus,
and the emperors Trajan, Adrian, and Theodosius: there is a ruined
circus, whose form is still tolerably distinct. The cellars
where the wild beasts were confined, the dressing-rooms of the
gladiators, as well as the lobbies and rows of benches, can be made
out with the greatest facility. The whole is built of cement, with
flint-stones embedded in it. The stone coating has probably been
torn away to serve in more modern edifices, for Italica has long
been the quarry of Seville. A few chambers have been cleared out,
and afford a shelter during the great heat of the day to herds of
blue pigs, who run grunting between the visitors' legs, and are
now the only inhabitants of the old Roman city. The most perfect
and most interesting vestige of all this splendour that has for
ever disappeared, is a large mosaic, which has been surrounded
by walls, and represents Muses and Nereids. When it is revived
with water, its colours are still very brilliant, although the
most valuable stones have been torn out from motives of cupidity.
Among the rubbish, some fragments of very tolerable statues have
likewise been found, and there is no doubt that skilfully directed
excavations would lead to important discoveries. Italica is
situated about a league and a half from Seville, and the excursion
there and back may be easily made with a calessin in an afternoon,
unless you are a furious antiquary, and wish to examine, one by
one, all the old stones suspected of an inscription.

The _Puerta de Triana_, also, has pretensions to Roman origin, and
derives its name from the emperor Trajan. Its appearance is very
stately; it is of the Doric order, with coupled columns, and is
ornamented with the royal arms and surmounted by pyramids. It has
its own alcade, and serves as a prison for gentlemen.

The _Puertas del Carbon_ and _del Aceite_ are worthy of a visit. On
the _Puerta de Jeres_ is the following inscription:

      Hercules me edifico,
      Julio Cesar me coesco,
      De Muros y torres altas
      El rey santo me gano
      Con Garci Perez de Vargas.

Seville is surrounded by a continuous line of embattlemented walls,
flanked at intervals by large towers, many of which are at present
in ruins, and also by ditches, almost entirely choked up. These
walls, which would not afford the least protection against modern
artillery, produce, with their denticulated Arabic embrasures, a
very picturesque effect. They are said to have been begun, like all
other walls and camps that ever existed, by Julius Cæsar.

In an open square, near the _Puerta de Triana_, I beheld rather a
singular sight, consisting of a family of gipsies encamped in the
open air, and composing a group that would have sent Callop into
ecstasies. Three stakes, in the form of a triangle, made a kind of
rustic hook, which supported over a large fire, scattered by the
wind into tongues of flame and spirals of smoke, a saucepan full of
strange and suspicious ingredients, like those which Goya knows so
well how to cast into the caldrons of the witches of Barahona. By
this apology for a fireplace was seated a bronzed, copper-coloured
gitana, with a curved profile, naked to her waist,--a fact which
proved her to be completely devoid of anything like coquetry:
her long, black hair fell, like a quantity of brushwood, down
her thin, yellow back, and over her bistre forehead. Through
the dishevelled locks sparkled a pair of those large oriental
eyes, of mother-of-pearl and jet, which are so mysterious and
contemplative that they elevate into poetry the most degraded and
brutal physiognomy. Around her sprawled two or three screeching
children, as black as mulattoes, with large bellies and shrunk
limbs, which made them look more like quadrumans than bipeds. I
do not think that little Hottentots could be more hideous or more
dirty. This state of nakedness is nothing uncommon, and shocks
nobody. You often meet beggars, whose only covering consists of a
piece of old counterpane, or a fragment of very equivocal drawers;
I have seen, wandering about the public squares of Granada and
Malaga, young rascals of twelve or fourteen years of age, with less
clothing on them than Adam had when he left Paradise. The Triana
suburbs are particularly frequented by individuals in this costume,
for they contain a great number of gitanos, whose opinions with
regard to a free and easy style of dress are very advanced; the
women pass their time frying different articles of food in the open
air, and the men employ themselves in smuggling, clipping mules,
horse-jobbing, and the like, when they are doing nothing worse.

The Cristina, the Alameda del Duque, Italica, and the Moorish
Alcazar, are, no doubt, all very curious; but the true marvel of
Seville is its Cathedral, which is a surprising edifice, even when
compared to the Cathedrals of Burgos and Toledo, and the Mosque
at Cordova. The chapter who ordered it to be erected, summed up
their plans in this one phrase: "Let us raise a monument which
shall cause Posterity to think we must have been mad." This was,
at any rate, a good, broad, sensible way of settling matters, and
the consequence was, that the artists, having full scope for the
exertion of their talents, worked wonders, while the canons, in
order to accelerate the completion of the edifice, gave up all
their incomes, only reserving what was barely sufficient to enable
them to live. O thrice-sainted canons! may you slumber softly under
the shade of your sepulchral flags near your beloved Cathedral!

The most extravagant and most monstrously prodigious Hindoo pagodas
are not to be mentioned in the same century as the Cathedral of
Seville. It is a mountain scooped out, a valley turned topsy-turvy;
Notre Dame at Paris might walk about erect in the middle nave,
which is of a frightful height; pillars, as large round as towers,
and which appear so slender that they make you shudder, rise out of
the ground or descend from the vaulted roof, like the stalactites
in a giant's grotto. The four lateral naves, although less high,
would each cover a church, steeple included. The _retablo_, or
high altar, with its stairs, its architectural superpositions,
and its rows of statues rising in stories one above the other, is
in itself an immense edifice, and almost touches the roof. The
Paschal taper is as tall as the mast of a ship, and weighs two
thousand and fifty pounds. The bronze candlestick which contains it
is a kind of column like that in the Place Vendôme; it is copied
from the candlestick of the Temple at Jerusalem, as represented
in the bas-reliefs on the Arch of Titus, and everything else is
proportionally grand. Twenty thousand pounds of wax and as many
pounds of oil are burnt in the cathedral annually, while the wine
used in the service of the Sacrament amounts to the frightful
quantity of eighteen thousand, seven hundred and fifty French
litres. It is true that five hundred masses are said every day at
the eighty altars! The catafalque used during the Holy Week, and
which is called the _monument_, is nearly a hundred feet high!
The gigantic organs resemble the basaltic colonnades of Fingal's
Cave, and yet the tempests and thunder which escape from their
pipes, which are as large in the bore as battering cannon, are
like melodious murmurs, or the chirping of birds and seraphim
under these colossal ogives. There are eighty-three stained glass
windows, copied from the cartoons of Michael Angelo, Raphael,
Dürer, Peregrino, Tibaldi, and Lucas Cambiaso; the oldest and most
beautiful are those executed by Arnold de Flandre, a celebrated
painter on glass. The most modern ones, which date from 1819,
prove how greatly art has degenerated since the glorious sixteenth
century, that climacteric epoch of the world, when the human plant
brought forth its most beautiful flowers and its most savoury
fruit. The choir, which is Gothic, is decorated with turrets,
spires, niche-work, figures, and foliage, forming one immense and
delicately minute piece of workmanship that actually confounds
the mind, and cannot now-a-days be understood. You are actually
struck dumb in the presence of such stupendous efforts of art, and
you interrogate yourself with anxiety, as to whether vitality is
withdrawing itself more and more, every century, from the world.
This prodigy of talent, patience, and genius, has, at least,
preserved the name of its author, on whom we are able to bestow
our tribute of admiration. On one of the panels to the left of the
altar the following inscription is traced: "_Este coro fizo Nufro
Sanchez entallador que Dios haya año de 1475._" (Nufro Sanchez,
sculptor, whom may God protect, made this choir in 1475.)

Any attempt to describe, one after the other, all the riches
of the cathedral, would be an absurd piece of folly; it would
require a whole year to see it thoroughly, and even that would
not be sufficient; whole volumes would not so much as contain
the catalogue of the various remarkable objects. The sculptures
in stone, in wood, and in silver, by Juan de Arfe, Joan Mellan,
Montañes, and Roldan; the paintings by Murillo, Zurbaran, Pierre
Campana, Roëlas, Don Luiz de Villegas, the two Herreras, Juan
Valdes and Goya, completely fill the chapels, sacristies, and
chapter-house. You are crushed by all kinds of magnificence, worn
out and intoxicated with _chefs d'œuvre_, and do not know which
way to turn; the desire to see everything, and the impossibility
of doing so, cause you to experience a sort of feverish giddiness;
you wish not to forget a single thing, and you feel every moment,
that some name is escaping you, some lineament is becoming confused
in your brain, some particular is usurping the place of another.
You make the most desperate appeals to your memory, and lay strict
injunctions on your eyes not to let slip a single glance; the least
rest, even the time necessary for eating and sleeping, appears
a robbery you are committing on yourself, for you are hurried
on by imperious necessity; you will shortly be obliged to leave
the place; the fire is already blazing under the boiler of the
steam-boat; the water boils and hisses, and the chimney emits its
volumes of white smoke. Tomorrow you will quit all these marvels,
which, in all probability, you are not destined ever to behold

Being unable to mention everything, I will confine myself to
mentioning the _Saint Anthony of Padua_, by Murillo, which
ornaments the chapel of the baptistry. Never was the magic of
painting carried to a greater length. The saint is kneeling in a
state of ecstasy in the middle of his cell, all the poor details of
which are rendered with that vigorous reality which characterises
the Spanish school. Through the half-open door is seen one of those
long, white, arched cloisters, so favourable to reverie. The upper
portion of the picture, which is inundated with white, transparent,
vapoury light, is occupied by groups of angels, of the most truly
ideal beauty. Attracted by the force of his prayers, the infant
Jesus is descending from cloud to cloud, to place himself between
the arms of the saint, whose head is surrounded by rays of glory,
and who is leaning back in a fit of celestial delight. I think that
this divine picture is superior to that of _Saint Elizabeth of
Hungary_ in the Academy of Madrid, superior to _Moses_, superior
to all the _Virgins_ and _Children_ by the same master, however
beautiful and pure they may be. Whoever has not seen the _Saint
Anthony of Padua_, does not know the finest production of the
Sevillian painter; he is like those who fancy they know Rubens,
and have never beheld the Antwerp _Magdalene_.

Every style of architecture is to found in the Cathedral of
Seville. The severe gothic, the style of the renaissance, that
which the Spaniards term _plateresco_, or jewellery-work, and
which is distinguished by a profusion of incredible ornaments and
arabesques, the rococo, the Greek and Roman styles, are all there
without a single exception, for each age has built its chapel or
_retablo_, after its own peculiar taste, and even now the edifice
is not completely finished. Many of the statues which fill the
niches of the portals, and represent patriarchs, apostles, saints,
and archangels, are made of baked earth only, and placed there
temporarily. On the same side as the courtyard _de los Naranjeros_,
on the top of the unfinished portal, rises the iron crane, as
a symbol that the edifice is not yet terminated, and that the
works will be resumed at some future period. This kind of gallows
is also to be seen on the summit of the church at Beauvais, but
when will the day come, when the weight of a stone slowly drawn
up through the air by the workmen returned to their work, shall
cause its pulley, that has for ages been rusting away, once more
to creak beneath its load? Never, perhaps; for the ascensional
movement of Catholicism has stopped, and the sap which caused
this efflorescence of cathedrals to shoot up from the ground, no
longer rises from the trunk into the branches. Faith, which doubts
nothing, wrote the first strophes of all these great poems of
stone and granite; Reason, which doubts everything, has not dared
to finish them. The architects of the Middle Ages were a race of
religious Titans, as it were, who heaped Pelion on Ossa, not to
dethrone the Deity they adored, but to admire more closely the mild
countenance of the Virgin-Mother smiling on the Infant Jesus. In
our days, when everything is sacrificed to some gross and stupid
idea or other of comfort, people no longer understand these sublime
yearnings of the soul towards the Infinite, which were rendered
by steeples, spires, bell-turrets, and ogives, stretching their
arms of stone heavenwards, and joining them, above the heads of
the kneeling crowd, like gigantic hands clasped in an attitude of
supplication. Political economists shrug their shoulders with pity
at all these treasures lying idle without returning anything. Even
the people are beginning to calculate how much the gold of the pyx
is worth: they who once scarcely dared to raise their eyes on the
white sun of the host, whisper to themselves that pieces of glass
would do quite as well to decorate the monstrance as the diamonds
and precious stones; the church is, at present, hardly frequented
by any one save travellers, beggars, and horrible old hags,
atrocious dueñas clad in black, with owl-like looks, death's-head
smiles, and spider hands, who never move without a rattling, as
if of rusty bones, medals and chaplets, and, under pretence of
soliciting arms, murmur atrocious propositions concerning raven
tresses, rosy complexions, burning glances and ever-budding smiles.
Spain itself is no longer Catholic!

The Giralda, which serves as a campanila to the cathedral, and
rises above all the spires of the town, is an old Moorish tower,
erected by an Arabian architect, named Geber or Guever, who
invented algebra, which was called after him. The appearance of
the tower is charming and very original; the rose-coloured bricks
and the white stone of which it is built, give it an air of gaiety
and youth, which forms a strange contrast with the date of its
erection, which extends as far back as the year 1000, a very
respectable age, at which a tower may well be allowed to have a
wrinkle or two, and be excused for not being remarkable for a
fresh complexion. The Giralda, in its present state, is not less
than three hundred and fifty feet high, while each side is fifty
feet broad. Up to a certain height the walls are perfectly even;
there are then rows of Moorish windows with balconies, trefoils,
and small white marble columns, surrounded by large lozenge-shaped
brick panels. The tower formerly ended in a roof of variously
coloured varnished tiles, on which was an iron bar, ornamented with
four gilt metal balls of a prodigious size. This roof was removed
in 1568, by the architect, Francisco Ruiz, who raised the daughter
of the Moor Guever, one hundred feet higher in the pure light of
heaven, so that his bronze statue might overlook the sierras, and
speak with the angels who passed. The feat of building a belfry on
a tower was in perfect keeping with the intentions of the members
composing that admirable chapter, of whom we have spoken, and
who wished posterity to imagine they were mad. The additions of
Francisco Ruiz consist of three stories; the first of these is
pierced with windows, in whose embrasures are hung the bells; the
second, surrounded by an open balustrade, bears on the cornice of
each of its sides these words--"_Turris fortissima nomen Domini_;"
and the third is a kind of cupola or lantern, on which turns a
gigantic gilt bronze figure of Faith, holding a palm in one hand
and a standard in the other, and serving as a weathercock, thereby
justifying the name of Giralda given to the tower. This statue is
by Bartholomew Morel. It can be seen at a very great distance; and
when it glitters through the azure atmosphere, really looks like a
seraph lounging in the air.

You ascend the Giralda by a series of inclined ramps, so easy
and gentle, that two men on horseback could very well ride up to
the summit, whence you enjoy an admirable view. At your feet
lies Seville, brilliantly white, with its spires and towers,
endeavouring, but in vain, to reach the rose-coloured brick girdle
of the Giralda. Beyond these stretches the plain, through which the
Guadalquiver flows, like a piece of watered silk, and scattered
around are Santi-Pouce, Algaba, and other villages. Quite in the
background is the Sierra Morena, with its outlines sharply marked,
in spite of the distance, so great is the transparency of the air
in this admirable country. On the opposite side, the Sierras de
Gibram, Zaara, and Morou, raise their bristling forms, tinged with
the richest hues of lapis lazuli and amethyst, and completing this
magnificent panorama, which is inundated with light, sunshine, and
dazzling splendour.

A great number of fragments of columns, shaped into posts, and
connected with each other by chains, except where spaces are left
for persons to pass, surround the cathedral. Some of these columns
are antique, and come either from the ruins of Italica, or from the
remains of the ancient mosque, whose former site is now occupied
by the cathedral, and of which the only remaining vestiges are
the Giralda, a few old walls, and one or two arches, one of which
serves as the entrance to the courtyard _de los Nanjeros_. The
_Lonja_ (Exchange) is a large and perfectly regular edifice, built
by the heavy and wearisome Herrera, that architect of _ennui_, to
whom we owe the Escurial, which is decidedly the most melancholy
building in the world; the Lonja, also, like the cathedral, is
surrounded by the same description of posts. It is completely
isolated, and presents four similar façades; it stands between the
cathedral and the Alcazar. In it are preserved the archives of
America, and the correspondence of Christopher Columbus, Pizarro,
and Fernand Cortez; but all these treasures are guarded by such
savage dragons, that we were obliged to content ourselves with
looking at the outside of the pasteboard boxes and portfolios,
which are stowed away in mahogany compartments, like the goods in a
draper's shop. It would be a most easy thing to place five or six
of the most precious autographs in glass-cases, and thus satisfy
the very legitimate curiosity of travellers.


The Alcazar, or ancient palace of the Moorish kings, is very fine
and quite worthy of its reputation, but it does not surprise
any one who has seen the Alhambra at Granada. You meet the same
small white marble columns, the painted and gilt capitals, the
heart-shaped arcades, the panels with mottoes from the Koran
entwined with arabesques, the doors of larch and cedar wood, the
stalactite cupolas, and the fountains ornamented with carving,
which may vary in appearance, but of whose endless details and
minute delicacy no description can convey an idea. The Hall of
Ambassadors, the magnificent doors of which have been preserved in
all their integrity, is perhaps more beautiful and rich than that
at Granada; unfortunately, the authorities have hit upon the idea
of hanging between the slender columns which support the roof, a
series of portraits of the kings of Spain from the most ancient
times of the monarchy down to the present day. Nothing could be
more ridiculous. The old kings, with their breastplates and iron
crowns, manage to make a respectable appearance, but the more
modern ones, with their powdered hair and uniforms produce a most
grotesque effect. I shall never forget a certain queen with a pair
of spectacles on her nose and a small dog upon her knees; she must
feel very much out of her element. The baths, named after Maria
Pedrilla, the mistress of the king, Don Pedro, who resided in the
Alcazar, are still in the same state as in the time of the Arabs.
The vaulted roof of the bath-room has not undergone the slightest
alteration. Charles V. has left far too many marks of his presence
in the Alcazar of Seville, as he did in the Alhambra of Granada.
This mania of building one palace in another is as frequent as it
is deplorable; we must for ever regret the number of historical
monuments it has destroyed, to substitute insignificant edifices
in their stead. The Alcazar contains gardens laid out in the old
French style, with yew-trees tortured into the strangest shapes

Since we have come with the purpose of visiting all the public
buildings, let us enter, for a few moments, the manufactory of
tobacco, which is only two paces distant. This vast building is
very well adapted to the business carried on in it, and contains a
great number of machines for scraping, chopping, and grinding the
tobacco; these machines make a noise like that of a multitude of
windmills, and are set in motion by two or three hundred mules.
It is here that they manufacture _el palbo Sevilla_, which is an
impalpable, pungent powder, of a yellowish gold colour, with which
the marquises of the time of the Regent were so fond of sprinkling
their laced shirt-frills; its strength and volatility are so great
that you begin sneezing the moment you put your foot into the rooms
where it is prepared. It is sold by the pound and half-pound, in
tin canisters. We were also shown into the workshops, where the
tobacco-leaves are rolled up into cigars. Five or six hundred women
are employed in this branch of the trade. Immediately we entered
this room, we were stunned by a perfect tempest of noise; they were
talking, singing, and disputing, in the same breath. I never in my
life heard such a disturbance. Most of them were young, and several
very pretty. The extreme carelessness of their dress allowed us to
contemplate their charms at our ease. Some of them had got the
end of a cigar boldly stuck in the corner of their mouth, with all
the coolness of an officer of hussars, while some--O Muse, come to
my assistance!--were chewing away like old sailors, for they are
allowed to take as much tobacco as they can consume on the spot.
They earn from four to six reals a day. The _Cigarera_ of Seville
is a type, as just like the _Manala_ of Madrid. She is worth
seeing, on Sundays or the days of the bull-fights, with her short
basquina decorated with enormous flounces, her sleeves ornamented
with jet buttons, and the _puro_, which she passes, from time to
time, to her admirer, after having first inhaled its smoke herself.

Let us finish this inspection of the public buildings, by a visit
to the celebrated Hospital de la Caridad, founded by the famous
Don Juan de Marana, who is by no means a fabulous being, as the
reader might suppose. An hospital founded by Don Juan!--Ay!--it
may appear strange, but it is true. The following circumstance
was the cause of its being erected. One night, as Don Juan was
returning from some orgy or other, he met a funeral procession
going to the Church of Sant-Isidore, with black penitents masked,
yellow wax tapers, and, in a word, with something more lugubrious
and sinister about it than an ordinary burial. "Who is dead? Is it
a husband killed in duel by his wife's lover? or an honest father,
who lived too long before his wealth came to his heir?" asked Don
Juan, excited by the wine he had drunk. "The deceased," replied
one of those who were bearing the coffin, "is no other than Don
Juan de Marana, whose funeral service we are now going to perform.
Come, and pray for him with us." Don Juan having approached,
saw by the light of the torches (for in Spain the face of the
deceased is always left exposed to view) that the corpse resembled
himself, and, in fact, was himself. He followed his own bier to the
church, and recited the usual prayers with the mysterious monks:
the next morning he was found lying insensible on the stones of
the choir. The circumstance produced such an impression on him,
that he renounced his roystering life, assumed the monkish cowl,
and founded the hospital in question, where he died almost in
the odour of sanctity. The Caridad contains some very beautiful
Murillos--namely, _Moses Striking the Rock_, _The Multiplication of
the Loaves_, two immense compositions of the richest disposition,
and _San Juan de Dios_ carrying a dead body, and supported by an
angel, a masterpiece of colouring and chiar'-oscuro. Here, too,
is the picture, by Juan Valdes, known under the name of _Los Dos
Cadaveres_, a strange and terrible painting, compared to which the
blackest conceptions of Young may be looked upon as exceedingly
jovial facetiæ.

The Circus was shut, to our great regret, for according to the
_aficionados_ the bull-fights at Seville are the most brilliant
in all Spain. The circus here is remarkable from the fact of its
forming a semicircle, at least as far as the audience portion
of it is concerned, for the arena is round. It is said that a
violent storm threw down all one side, which has not since been
rebuilt. This arrangement enables you to obtain a marvellous view
of the cathedral, and forms one of the finest sights imaginable;
especially when the benches are filled with a brilliant crowd,
resplendent with the brightest colours. Ferdinand VII. founded
at Seville a School of Tauromachia, where the pupils were first
exercised on pasteboard bulls, then on _novillos_, whose horns were
tipped with balls, and lastly, on bulls in good earnest, until they
were worthy of appearing in public. I am not aware whether the
Revolution has respected this royal and despotic institution. Our
hopes having been deceived, we had nothing left but to depart. Our
places were already taken by the Cadiz steamer, and we embarked
in the midst of the tears, the sobs, and the lamentations of the
sweethearts or wives of some soldiers, who were changing their
garrison, and going in the same vessel as ourselves. I do not
know whether all this grief was sincere, but never did antique
despair, or the desolation of the Jewish women in the days of their
captivity, reach such a pitch.



  Cadiz--Visit to the brig "Le Voltigeur"--The
  Steamer--Gibraltar--Carthagena--Valencia--The Lonja de Seda--The
  Convent de la Merced--The Valencians--Barcelona--The Return to

After we had been travelling so long on horseback, on mules,
in carts, and in _galeras_, the steamer struck us as something
miraculous, in the style of the magic carpet of Fortunatus, or the
staff of Abaris. The power of devouring space with the rapidity of
an arrow, and that, too, without any trouble, fatigue, or jolting,
while you quietly pace the deck, and see the long lines of the
shore glide past you, in defiance of the caprices of wind and
tide, is certainly one of the finest inventions of the human mind.
For the first time, perhaps, I was of opinion that civilization
had its good points, I do not say its attractive ones, for all
that it produces is disfigured by ugliness, and thus betrays its
complicated and diabolical origin. Compared to a sailing-vessel, a
steamer, however convenient it may be, appears hideous. The former
looks like a swan spreading its white wings to the gentle breeze,
while the latter resembles a stove running away as fast as it can,
on the back of a water-mill.

But however this may be, the floats of the wheels, assisted by the
stream, were driving rapidly towards Cadiz. Seville was beginning
to fade away behind us, but, by a magnificent optical effect, in
the same proportion as the roofs of the houses appeared to sink
into the ground and become confounded with the distant lines of the
horizon, the cathedral increased, and seemed to assume the most
enormous size, like an elephant standing up in the midst of a flock
of sheep lying down all around; it was not till that moment that I
gained a just idea of its immensity. The highest church-steeples
did not rise above the nave. As for the Gualda, distance gave its
rose-coloured bricks an amethyst, adventurine tint, which seems
to me incompatible with our dull climate. The statue of Faith
glittered on the summit like a golden bee on the top of a large
blade of grass. Shortly afterwards, a turn in the river concealed
Seville from our sight.

The banks of the Guadalquiver, at least as you descend the river
towards the sea, do not possess that enchanting aspect that the
descriptions of travellers and poets attribute to them. I have not
the remotest idea where these gentlemen have got the groves of
orange and pomegranate-trees, with which they perfume their songs.
In reality, you see nothing but low, sandy, ochre-coloured banks,
and yellow, troubled water, whose earthy tint cannot be attributed
to the rains, since the latter are so rare. I had already remarked
a similar want of limpidity in the Tagus; it arises, perhaps,
from the large quantity of dust that the wind carries into the
water, and from the friable nature of the soil through which the
river passes. The strong blue of the sky, also, has some share in
producing this effect, and by its extreme intensity, causes the
tones of the water, which are always less vivid, to appear dirty.
The sea alone can dispute the palm of transparency and azure with
such a sky. The river continued to become broader and broader, and
the banks flatter and smaller, while the general aspect of the
scenery reminded me forcibly of the physiognomy of the Scheldt
about Antwerp and Ostend. This recollection of Flanders in the
heart of Andalusia, seems rather strange in connexion with the
Moorish-named Guadalquiver, but it suggested itself to my mind so
naturally, that the resemblance must have been very striking; for
I can assure my readers that I was not then troubling myself about
the Scheldt nor my voyage to Flanders, some six or seven years
ago. Besides, the river presented no very animated appearance,
and the country which we could see beyond the banks appeared
uncultivated and deserted. It is true that we were in the middle
of the dog-days, during which Spain is hardly anything more than
a vast cinder-heap, without vegetation or verdure. The only
living creatures visible were herons and storks, standing with
one leg tucked under their breast and the other one half immersed
in the water, watching for some fish to pass, and so perfectly
motionless that they might almost have been mistaken for wooden
birds stuck upon a stick. Barks with lateen sails, diverging from
each other, floated up and down the stream, impelled by the same
wind--a phenomenon I could never understand, although I have had it
explained to me several times. Some of these vessels had a third
and smaller sail, in the shape of an isosceles triangle, placed
between two larger sails, a kind of rig which is highly picturesque.

About four or five o'clock in the afternoon we passed San Lucar,
which is situated on the left bank. A large modern building, built
in that regular, hospital, or barrack style, which constitutes the
charm of all the edifices of the present day, had on its front some
inscription or other which we could not read, a circumstance that
we regretted but slightly. This square many-windowed affair was
built by Ferdinand VII., and must be a custom-house, or warehouse,
or something of the kind. Beyond San Lucar the Guadalquiver
becomes very broad, and begins to assume the proportions of an
arm of the sea. The banks form only a continually decreasing line
between the water and the sky. The view is certainly grand, but
rather monotonous, and we should have found the time hang heavily
on our hands, had it not been for the games, the dancing, the
castagnettes, and the tambourines of the soldiers. One of them, who
had witnessed the performances of an Italian company, counterfeited
the words, singing, and gestures of both actors and actresses,
especially the latter, with great gaiety and talent. His comrades
were obliged to hold their sides for laughter, and appeared to
have entirely forgotten the touching scene which accompanied their
departure. Perhaps their weeping Ariadnes had also dried their
tears, and were laughing quite as heartily. The passengers on board
the steamer entered fully into the general hilarity, and seemed
to vie with each other as to who should prove most successfully
the fulness of that reputation for imperturbable gravity that the
Spaniards enjoy in all the countries of Europe. The time of Philip
II., with its black costume, its starched ruffs, its devout looks,
and its proud cold faces, is much more passed than is generally

After leaving San Lucar behind us, we entered the open sea by an
almost imperceptible transition; the waves became transformed
into long, regular volutes, the water changed colour, and so did
the faces of the persons on board. Those doomed to suffer that
strange malady which is termed sea-sickness, began to seek out
the most solitary corners, and to lean in a melancholy manner
against the rigging. As for myself, I took my seat valiantly on
the top of the cabin, near the paddle-box, determined to study my
sensations conscientiously; for, never having made a sea-voyage, I
did not know whether I was fated to suffer the same indescribable
torture or not. The first few see-saw movements of the vessel
surprised me slightly, but I soon felt better, and resumed all my
usual serenity. On leaving the Guadalquiver we kept to the left,
and coasted along the shore, but at such a distance as only to
be enabled to distinguish it with difficulty; for evening was
approaching, and the sun was descending majestically into the
sea by a glittering staircase formed of five or six steps of the
richest purple clouds.

It was perfectly dark when we reached Cadiz. The lanterns of the
ships and smaller craft at anchor in the roads, the lights in the
town, and the stars in the sky, literally covered the waves with
millions of golden, silver, and fiery spangles; where the water was
calmer, the reflection of the beacons, as it stretched over the
sea, formed long columns of flame of the most magical effect. The
enormous mass of the ramparts loomed strangely through the thick

In order to land, it was necessary for ourselves and our luggage to
be shifted into small boats, the boatmen fighting with one another,
and vociferating in the most horrible manner, for the passengers
and trunks, in about the same style as that which was formerly
patronised at Paris by the drivers of the Coucons for Montmorency
and Vincennes. My companion and myself had the utmost difficulty
not to be separated from each other, for one boatman was pulling us
to the right, and another to the left, with a degree of energy that
was not at all calculated to inspire us with any great confidence,
especially as all this contention took place in cockle-shells, that
oscillated like the swings at a fair. We were deposited on the
quay, however, without accident, and, after having been examined
by the custom-house officers, whose bureau was situated under the
archway of the city gates, in the thickness of the wall, we went to
lodge in the Calle de San Francisco.

As may easily be imagined, we rose with the dawn. The fact of
entering, for the first time, a town at night, is one of the things
which most excites the curiosity of a traveller: he makes the most
desperate endeavours to distinguish the general appearance of the
streets, the form of the public buildings, and the physiognomies
of the few people he meets in the dark, so that he has at least
the pleasure of being surprised, when, the next morning, the town
suddenly appears all at once before him, like the scene in a
theatre when the curtain is raised.

Neither the palette of the painter nor the pen of the writer
possesses colours sufficiently bright, nor tints sufficiently
luminous, to convey any idea of the brilliant effect that Cadiz
produced upon us that glorious morning. Two unique tints struck our
view; blue and white--the blue as vivid as turquoises, sapphires,
or cobalt, in fact the very deepest azure that can be imagined,
and the white as pure as silver, snow, milk, marble, or the finest
crystallized sugar! The blue was the sky repeated by the sea; the
white was the town. It is impossible to conceive anything more
radiant and more dazzling--to imagine light more diffused, and, at
the same time, more intense. In sober truth, what we term the sun
in France is, in comparison, nothing but a pale night-lamp at the
last gasp, by the bedside of a sick man.

The houses at Cadiz are much loftier than those in the other towns
of Spain. This is explained by the conformation of the ground,
which is a small narrow island connected with the continent by a
mere strip of land, as well as from the general desire to have a
view of the sea. Each house stands on tiptoe with eager curiosity,
in order to look over its neighbour's shoulder, and raise itself
above the thick girdle of ramparts. This, however, is not always
found sufficient, and at the angle of nearly all the terraces,
there is a turret, a kind of belvedere, sometimes surmounted by a
little cupola. These aërial miradores enrich the outline of the
town with innumerable dentations, and produce a most picturesque
effect. Every building is whitewashed, and the brilliancy of
the façades is increased still more by long lines of vermilion
which separate the houses and mark out the different stories: the
balconies, which project very far, are enclosed in large glass
cages, furnished with red curtains and filled with flowers. Some
of the cross streets terminate on the open space, and seem to end
in the sky. These stray bits of azure charm you by their being so
totally unexpected. Apart from this gay, animated and dazzling
appearance, Cadiz can boast of nothing particular in the way of
architecture. Although its cathedral, which is a vast building of
the sixteenth century, is wanting neither nobleness nor beauty,
it presents nothing to astonish, after the prodigies of Burgos,
Toledo, Cordova, and Seville; it is something in the same style
as the cathedrals of Jaen, Granada, and Malaga; it is a specimen
of classic architecture only rendered more slim and tapering,
with that skill for which the artists of the Renaissance were
so famed. The Corinthian capitals, more elongated than those of
the consecrated Greek form, are very elegant. The pictures and
ornaments are specimens of overcharged bad taste and meaningless
richness, and that is all. I must not, however, pass over in
silence, a little crucified martyr of seven years old, in carved,
painted wood, most beautifully conceived, and carried out with
exquisite delicacy. Enthusiasm, faith, and grief are all united on
the beautiful face, in childlike proportions and the most touching

We went to see the _Plaza de Toros_, which is small, and reckoned
one of the most dangerous in Spain. In order to reach it, you
pass through gardens planted with gigantic palm-trees of various
kinds. Nothing is more noble and more royal than the palm-tree. Its
large sun of leaves at the top of its grooved column, glitters so
splendidly in the lapis-lazuli of an eastern sky! Its scaly trunk,
as slender as if it were confined within a corset, reminds you so
much of a young maiden's waist, its bearing is so majestic and so
elegant. The palm-tree and the oleander are my favourite trees: the
sight of one of them causes me to feel a degree of gaiety and joy
that is truly astonishing. It seems to me as if no one could be
unhappy under their shade.

The _Plaza de Toros_ at Cadiz has no continuous _tablas_. There are
kinds of wooden screens, at certain intervals, behind which the
_toreros_ take refuge when too closely pursued. This arrangement
struck us as presenting less security than that in the other

Our attention was directed to the boxes in which the bulls are
confined during the fight: they are a kind of cages, formed of
massive beams, and shut by a door which is raised like the shuttle
of a mill or the sluice of a pond. It is the custom here to goad
the bulls with sharp-pointed darts and rub them with nitric acid,
in order to render them furious: in short, all possible means are
employed to exasperate their natural disposition.

On account of the excessive heat, the bull-fights were
discontinued; a French acrobat had arranged his trestles and
tight-rope in the middle of the arena for a performance that was
to take place the next day. It was in this circus that Lord Byron
saw the bull-fight which he describes in the first canto of "Childe
Harold's Pilgrimage;" the description is poetical, but does not say
much for his knowledge of Tauromachia.

Cadiz is surrounded by a tight girdle of ramparts, which laces in
its waist like a granite corset: a second girdle of shoals and
rocks defends it from the attacks of the waves, and yet, some few
years since, a frightful tempest rent in twain and threw down,
in several places, these formidable walls, which are more than
twenty feet thick, and immense masses of which still strew the
shore here and there. The ramparts are furnished at intervals
with stone sentry-boxes; you can walk on the glacis all round the
town, from which there is only one gate leading to the mainland,
and, as you go along, view, out at sea or on the roadstead, the
boats, feluccas, and fishing-smacks coming, going, describing
graceful curves, crossing one another, tacking about, and playing
like so many albatrosses; on the horizon, they appear nothing more
than a number of dove's feathers, carried through the air by the
capricious breeze; some of them, like the ancient Greek galleys,
have on each side of the cutwater at the prow a large eye painted
so as to resemble nature, and which appears to watch over the
vessel's progress, imparting to this part of it something that
bears a vague resemblance to the human profile. Nothing can be more
animated, more lively, and more gay than this view.

On the mole, near the gateway of the custom-house, the scene is
one of unequalled activity. A motley crowd, in which every nation
of the globe has its representative, is hurrying, at every hour
of the day, to the foot of the columns, surmounted by statues,
which decorate the quay. From the white skin and red hair of the
Englishman, down to the bronzed hide and black hair of the African,
including all the intermediate shades, such as coffee-colour,
copper, and golden-yellow, all the varieties of the human race
are assembled there. In the roads, a little further on, the
three-deckers, the frigates, and the brigs ride proudly at anchor,
hoisting every morning, to the sound of the drum, the flags of
their respective nations; the merchantmen and steamers, whose
funnels belch forth a bicoloured smoke, approach nearer to the
shore, in consequence of their drawing less water, and form the
first plan of this grand naval picture.

I had a letter of introduction to the commander of the French
brig-of-war _Le Voltigeur_, then stationed in Cadiz Roads. On my
presenting it, Monsieur Lebarbier de Linan politely invited me,
and two other gentlemen, to dine on board his vessel, the next
day about five o'clock. At four o'clock we were on the mole,
looking out for a bark and a boatman to take us from the quay to
the vessel, which it required fifteen or twenty minutes, at most,
to reach. I was very much astonished at the boatman's demanding
a douro instead of a piacetta which was the ordinary fare. In my
ignorance of nautical matters, seeing the sky perfectly clear
and the sun shining as on the first day of the creation, I very
innocently imagined that the weather was fine. Such was my
conviction. The weather was, on the contrary, atrocious, as I did
not fail to perceive at the very first broadsides we encountered.
There was a short, chopping sea, that was frightfully rough, while
the wind was sufficient to blow our heads off our shoulders. We
were tossed about as if we had been in a nutshell, and shipped
water every instant. At the expiration of a few minutes we were
enjoying a foot-bath, which threatened to become very speedily a
hip-bath. The foam of the waves entered between my neck and the
collar of my coat, and trickled down my back. The skipper and his
two companions were swearing, vociferating and snatching the sheets
and the helm out of each other's hands. One wanted this thing and
the other that, and there was one moment when they were on the
point of coming to fisticuffs. Our situation at last became so
critical that one of them began to mumble the end of a prayer to
some saint or other. Luckily we were now near the brig, that was
calmly riding at anchor, and apparently looking down with an air
of contemptuous pity on the convulsive evolutions of our little
skiff. At length we came alongside, and it took us more than ten
minutes ere we could succeed in catching hold of the man-ropes
and scramble upon deck. "This is what I call being courageous and
punctual," said the commander, with a smile, on seeing us climb up
out the gangway, dripping with water, and with our hair streaming
about us, like the beard of some marine deity. He then gave each of
us a pair of trousers, a shirt, a waistcoat--in fact, a complete
suit. "This will teach you," he continued afterwards, "to put faith
in the descriptions of poets. You thought that every tempest must
necessarily be accompanied with thunder, and waves mingling their
foam with the clouds, and rain, and lightning darting through the
murky darkness. Undeceive yourselves; in all probability, I shall
not be able to send you on shore for two or three days."

The wind was, indeed, blowing with frightful violence; the rigging
quivered like the strings of a fiddle under the bow of a frantic
player; the flag kept flapping with a kind of harsh sound, and its
bunting threatened every moment to be rent into shreds and fly
away to sea; the blocks creaked, groaned, and whistled, sometimes
emitting shrill cries, which seemed to proceed from the breast of
some human being: two or three sailors who had been mast-headed,
for some offence or other, had all the trouble in the world to
prevent themselves from being blown away.

All this did not prevent our making an excellent dinner, washed
down with the best wines, and seasoned with the most agreeable
conversation, as well as, by the bye, with the most diabolical
Indian spices, which would cause even a person afflicted with
hydrophobia to drink. The next day, as the weather was still so bad
that it was impossible to send a boat to fetch fresh provisions
from the land, our dinner was no less delicate; but it was rather
remarkable from the fact of every dish being rather ancient in
date. We had green peas of 1836, fresh butter of 1835, and cream
of 1834; all preserved in a miraculous fashion. The bad weather
lasted for two days, during which time I walked up and down the
deck, never weary of admiring the scrupulous cleanliness, which
would have done honour to a Dutch housewife; the finish of the
details, and the talent visible in the arrangement of that prodigy
of the human mind which is simply termed a vessel. The brass of the
carronades glittered like gold, and the planks were as polished as
the finest satin-wood furniture. Every morning the crew have to
dress the vessel for the day; and though the rain were to come down
like a waterspout, the deck would be washed, inundated, sponged,
and swabbed all the same.

At the expiration of two days, the wind fell, and we were conveyed
on shore in a boat manned by ten rowers.

My black coat, however, which was strongly impregnated with
sea-water, obstinately refused, when dry, to resume its former
elasticity, and was ever after spangled with brilliant crystal-like
particles, and as stiff as a salted cod.

The aspect of Cadiz from the sea is charming. When the town is seen
thus, with its buildings of dazzling white between the azure of
the sea and the azure of the sky, you might almost mistake it for
an immense crown of silver filigree work; while the dome of the
cathedral, which is painted yellow, appears to be a silver-gilt
tiara placed in the middle. The flower-pots, volutes, and turrets,
which crown the houses, give their outlines an infinite variety.
Byron has characterised the physiognomy of Cadiz in a marvellous
manner, and with a single touch:

      "Fair Cadiz, rising from the dark blue sea!"

In the next stanza, the English poet does not speak in the very
highest terms of the virtue of the women of Cadiz, and he, no
doubt, had good reasons for his opinion. As far as I am concerned,
and without at present going into this delicate question, I shall
content myself with saying they are very beautiful, and that their
beauty is of a very peculiar and decided cast; their complexion
is remarkable for that whiteness of polished marble which shows
off the purity of feature to such advantage. Their nose is less
aquiline than that of the women of Seville; their forehead is
small, and their cheek-bones not at all prominent; their whole
physiognomy bears a great resemblance to that of the women of
Greece. They also struck me as being fatter and taller than other
Spanish women. Such at least was the result of the observations I
was enabled to make while walking in _El Salon_, or on the Plaza
de la Constitucion, or when I was at the theatre, where I may
parenthetically mention, I saw the _Gamin de Paris_ (_el Piluelo de
Paris_), exceedingly well played by an actress in male attire, and
some Boleros danced in a very animated and sprightly manner.

But however agreeable Cadiz may be, the idea of being cooped up
within its narrow limits, first by the ramparts and secondly by
the sea, makes you desire to leave it. It seems to me that the
only wish islanders can have, is to go upon the Continent; and
this explains the perpetual emigrations of the English, who are
everywhere save at London, where there are only Italians and Poles.
As a proof of this, the people of Cadiz are perpetually crossing
from Cadiz to Puerto de Santa Maria, and _vice versâ_. A sort of
marine omnibus, in the form of a small steamer, which leaves every
hour, sailing vessels, and boats are always lying in readiness,
and exciting the vagabond inclinations of the inhabitants. One fine
morning my companion and myself recollected that we had a letter of
introduction from a friend of ours in Granada to his father, who
was a rich merchant in Jeres. The aforesaid letter was couched in
these terms: "Open your heart, your house, and your cellar, to the
two gentlemen whom you will receive herewith." This being the case,
we clambered on board the steamer; in the cabin we saw a bill stuck
up, announcing a bull-fight, interspersed with comic interludes, to
take place the same evening, at Puerto de Santa Maria. This filled
up our day admirably, for by taking a calessin, we might go from
Puerto to Jeres, stop there a few hours, and return in time to
witness the bull-fight. After having swallowed a hasty breakfast
in the _Fonda de Vista Alegre_, which most certainly deserves its
name, we made a bargain with a driver who promised that he would
bring us back by five o'clock, in time for the _funcion_, which is
the name given in Spain to every public amusement, no matter what.
The road to Jeres runs through a hilly, rugged plain, as dry as a
piece of pumice-stone. This desert is said to be covered, in the
spring, with a rich carpet of verdure, enamelled with wild flowers;
broom, lavender and thyme, scent the air with their aromatic
emanations; but at the time of year when we beheld it, all traces
of vegetation had disappeared. The only thing we saw was, here and
there, a little plot of dry, yellow, filamentous grass all powdered
over with dust. This road, if we may believe the local chronicle,
is very dangerous, being much infested by _rateros_, that is to
say, peasants, who, without being professional brigands, avail
themselves of the opportunity of taking a purse whenever they can,
and never resist the pleasure of plundering any solitary traveller.
These _rateros_ are more to be dreaded than real robbers, who
always act with the regularity of an organized body, under the
command of a chief, and who spare the travellers, in order to
extort something more from them at some other time. Besides this,
you do not attempt to resist a brigade of twenty or twenty-five
on horseback, well equipped and armed to the teeth, whereas you
will struggle with a couple of _rateros_, and get killed, or at
least wounded. And then the _ratero_ who is about to attack you,
may be that cowherd just passing, that ploughman who touches his
hat to you, that ragged, bronzed _muchacho_ who is sleeping, or
pretending to sleep, under a narrow strip of shade, in a cleft
of the ravine, or even your _calesero_ himself who is taking you
into some snare. You do not know where to look for the danger--it
is everywhere and nowhere. From time to time the police cause the
most dangerous and best known of these wretches to be assassinated
in some tavern quarrel, got up expressly for the purpose by its
agents. This is rather a summary and barbarous mode of justice,
but it is the only one possible, on account of the absence of all
proofs and witnesses, and the difficulty of apprehending criminals
in a country where it would require an army to arrest each single
man, and where a system of counter-police is carried out with such
intelligence and passion by a people who entertain ideas with
respect to _meum_ and _tuum_, hardly more advanced than those of
the Kabyls of Africa. On this occasion, however, the promised
brigands did not make their appearance, and we reached Jeres
without the slightest accident.

Jeres, like all the small towns of Andalusia, is whitewashed from
head to foot, and has nothing remarkable in the way of buildings,
save its _bodegas_, or wine warehouses, immense structures,
with tiled roofs and long white walls devoid of windows. The
gentleman to whom the letter was addressed was absent, but it
produced its desired effect in spite of this circumstance, and
we were immediately ushered into the cellars. Never was a more
glorious spectacle presented to the gaze of a toper; we walked
through alleys of casks, of four or five stories high. We were
under the necessity of tasting every wine there, at least all the
principal kinds, and there is an infinity of principal kinds. We
ran through the whole gamut, from the sherry that was eighty-four
years old, dark and thick, having the flavour of Muscat, and the
strange colour of the green wine of Béziers, down to the dry,
pale straw-coloured sherry, with a flavour of gun-flints, and a
resemblance to Sauterne. Between these two extreme notes, there
is a whole register of intermediate wines, with tints like burnt
topazes or orange peel, and an extreme variety of taste. They
are all, however, more or less mixed with brandy, especially
those intended for England, where they would not otherwise be
found strong enough, for, to please English throats, wine must be
disguised as rum.

After so complete a study of the Œnology of Jeres, the difficulty
was to regain our carriage with a sufficiently upright and majestic
bearing, so as not to compromise France in the eyes of Spain; it
was a question of national pride; to fall or not to fall, that
was the question on the present occasion, a question which was
rather more embarrassing than that which so greatly perplexed the
Prince of Denmark. I must say, however, with a degree of very
legitimate self-approbation, that we walked to our calessin in a
very satisfactory state of perpendicularity, and represented our
well-beloved country with great glory in this struggle with the
most heady wine of Spain. Thanks to the rapid evaporation produced
by a heat of thirty-eight or forty degrees, on our return to
Puerto, we were perfectly capable of discussing the most delicate
points of psychology, and duly appreciating the various incidents
of the bull-fight. Most of the bulls were _embalados_, that is
to say, they had balls at the ends of their horns; two only were
killed, but we were highly amused by a variety of burlesque
episodes with which the proceedings were enlivened. The picadores,
who were dressed like Turks at a masquerade, with Mameluke trousers
of cambric muslin, and large suns on the back of their jackets,
reminded us most forcibly of those outrageous Moors whom Goya
represents with three or four strokes of the graver in his plates
of the _Toromaquia_. One of these worthies, while waiting for his
turn to attack the bull, blew his nose in the end of his turban
with the most admirable philosophy and coolness. A _barco de
vapor_, made of wickerwork, covered with cloth, and manned by a
crew of asses, decorated with red braces, and wearing, somehow or
other, cocked hats on their heads, was pushed into the middle of
the arena. The bull rushed at this machine, goring, overturning,
and throwing the poor donkeys into the air in the most comical
manner imaginable. I also saw a _picador_ kill a bull at one thrust
of his lance, in the handle of which some fireworks were concealed,
that exploded with such violence that the bull, the horse and its
rider fell down all together,--the first because he was dead, and
the two others from the force of the recoil. The _matador_ was an
old rascal, dressed in a seedy, worn-out jacket, and yellow silk
stockings, with rather too much open work about them, and looked
like a Jeannot of the Opéra Comique, or a street tumbler. He was
several times overthrown by the bull, the thrusts of his lance
being so feeble and uncertain that it was at last necessary to
have recourse to the _media luna_ in order to put the animal out
of his misery. The _media luna_, as its name indicates, is a kind
of crescent, fitted on a handle, and very like a pruning hook.
It is used for houghing the bull, who is then despatched without
danger. Nothing is more ignoble and hideous than this; as soon as
there is an end to the danger, you feel disgusted, and the combat
degenerates into mere butchery. The poor animal crawling about on
its haunches, like Hyacinthe at the Théâtre des Variétés, when he
plays the Female Dwarf, in that sublime piece of buffoonery, the
_Saltembanques_, is the most melancholy sight it is possible to
conceive; and you only desire one thing, and that is, that the
bull may still have sufficient strength left to rip up its stupid
tormentor with one last butt of its horns.

The special occupation of this miserable wretch, who was only a
_matador_, when not otherwise employed, was eating. He would
absorb six or eight dozen hard eggs, a whole sheep or calf, and
so on. From his thin appearance, I should say that he did not get
work very often. There were a great number of people present;
the _majos'_ dresses were rich and numerous; the women, whose
characteristics were entirely different from those of the women of
Cadiz, wore on their heads, instead of a mantilla, long scarlet
shawls, which were admirably adapted to their fine olive faces,
almost as dark as those of mulattoes, in which the pearly eyes and
the ivory-like teeth stand out with singular brilliancy. These pure
lines, and this tawny, golden tint, are marvellously suited for
painting; and it is greatly to be regretted that Léopold Robert,
that Raphael of peasants, died so young and never travelled through

Wandering at hazard through the streets, we came out upon the
market-place. Night had set in. The shops and stalls were lighted
up by lanterns, or lamps suspended from the roof, and formed
a charming scene, all spangled and glistening with spots of
brilliancy. Watermelons, with their green rind and rosy pulp,
cactus figs, some in their prickly shells and others ready skinned,
sacks of _garbanzos_, monster onions, yellow, amber-coloured
grapes, that would put to the blush those brought from the Land of
Promise, alder wreaths, spices, and other violent products, were
heaped up in picturesque confusion. In the small free passages left
between the different stalls, country people passed and re-passed,
driving their asses before them, as well as women dragging their
brats. I noticed one especially. She was remarkably beautiful,
with her jet black eyes glistening in her bistre, oval-shaped
face, and her hair, that shone like satin or the raven's wing,
plastered down on her temples. She walked along with a serious but
happy expression, no stockings on her legs, and her charming foot
thrust into a satin shoe. This coquetting with the feet is general
throughout Andalusia.

The courtyard of our inn, laid out as a _patio_, was ornamented
by a fountain surrounded by shrubs, and inhabited by a whole
population of chameleons. Just fancy a pot-bellied sort of
lizard, six or seven inches long, or, perhaps, less, with a
disproportionately wide mouth, out of which it darts a viscous,
whitish tongue, as long as its body, and eyes, like those of a
toad, when you chance to tread upon it; these eyes start out of the
creature's head; they are enveloped in a membrane, and perfectly
independent of each other in their movements, one looking up
towards the sky while the other is turned upon the ground. These
squinting lizards, who, according to Spaniards, live on air alone,
but whom I very distinctly saw eating flies, have the power of
changing colour, according to the place they happen to be in.
They do not suddenly become scarlet, blue, or green, but, at
the expiration of an hour or two, they imbibe the tints of the
nearest objects. On a tree, they are a fine green; on anything
blue, a slatish grey; and on scarlet, a reddish brown. If they are
kept in the shade, they lose their colour, and assume a sort of
neutral yellowish white hue. One or two chameleons would produce a
fine effect in the laboratory of an alchemist, or a second Doctor
Faustus. In Andalusia, it is the custom to hang a piece of rope
of a certain length to the ceiling, and place the end between the
fore-paws of a chameleon. The animal begins crawling up, until he
reaches the roof, on which his paws have no purchase. He then comes
down again to the end of the rope, and, rolling his eyes about,
measures the distance between him and the ground. After having
made his calculations he crawls up the rope again with the most
admirable seriousness and gravity, and continues this manœuvre
for an indefinite period. When there are two chameleons on the
same rope, the sight becomes most transcendentally ridiculous.
Spleen itself would die of laughter on seeing the horrible looks
of the ugly brutes when they meet. I was exceedingly anxious to
provide myself with the means of indulging in this amusement when
I returned to France, and accordingly bought a couple of these
amiable animals, which I put in a cage. But they caught cold during
the passage, and died of disease of the lungs, on our arrival
at Porte Vendres. They had dwindled completely away, and their
poor little anatomical system peeped out from their shrunken and
wrinkled skin.

Some few days later, the announcement of a bull-fight--the last,
alas! that I was destined to witness--caused me to return to Jeres.
The circus at Jeres is very handsome and very capacious, and is
not without a certain monumental appearance. It is built of brick,
faced at the sides with stone, which produces a pleasing effect.
There was an immense, motley, variegated, ever-moving crowd, and
an endless flourishing of fans and handkerchiefs. In the middle
of the arena was a stake with a kind of little platform upon the
top. On this platform was crouched a monkey, dressed up as a
troubadour, making faces and licking his chaps. He was fastened
by a tolerably long chain, which allowed him to describe a pretty
large circle, of which the stake formed the centre. When the bull
entered, the first object that attracted his attention was the
monkey upon his perch. A most amusing comedy followed. The furious
animal commenced butting violently against the stake, and shook
our friend the monkey in a terrible fashion. The latter was in an
awful state of alarm, which he expressed by the most irresistibly
comic grimaces. Sometimes, being unable to hold on to his plank,
although he grasped it with his four paws, he actually fell upon
the bull's back, where he stuck with all the energy of despair.
The hilarity of the public knew no bounds, and fifteen thousand
smiles lighted up all the swarthy faces around. But the comedy was
succeeded by a tragedy. A poor negro helper, who was carrying a
basket filled with fine earth to sprinkle over the pools of blood,
was attacked by the bull, whom he imagined was occupied somewhere
else, and thrown up twice into the air. He lay stretched out upon
the ground, motionless and lifeless. The _chulos_ came and waved
their cloaks before the bull, and drew him off to another part of
the arena, in order that the negro's body might be carried away.
He passed close to me; two _mozos_ were carrying him by the head
and legs. I remarked a singular fact; from black he had become dark
blue, which is apparently the tint that negroes assume when they
turn pale. This circumstance did not interrupt the proceedings.
_Nada; es un mozo_; "It is nothing, he is only a black;" such
was the funeral oration of the poor African. But if the human
spectators were indifferent to his death, the case was different
with the poor monkey, who threw about his arms, uttered piercing
moans, and exerted all his strength to break his chain. Did he
look upon the negro as an animal of his own race, a brother monkey
who had got on in the world, and who was the only friend worthy of
understanding him? However this may be, it is very certain that I
never beheld an instance of deeper grief, than that of this monkey
bewailing this negro; and the circumstance is the more remarkable,
as he had seen the _picadores_ unhorsed and their lives in danger
without manifesting the least uneasiness or sympathy. At the same
moment, an enormous owl alighted in the middle of the arena. He
had come, no doubt, in his character of a bird of night, to carry
off this black soul to the ebony paradise of Africans. Out of the
eight bulls in this fight, four only were to be killed. The others,
after having received half-a-dozen thrusts with the lance, and
three or four pairs of _banderillas_, were conducted back again
into the _toril_ by large oxen with bells on their necks. The last
one, a _novillo_, was abandoned to the spectators, who tumultuously
invaded the arena, and despatched him with their knives, for so
great is the passion of the Andalusians for bull-fights, that they
are not contented with being mere spectators; they require to take
a part in the fight, without which they would retire unsatisfied.

The steamer the _Ocean_, was lying in the harbour, ready to start;
the bad weather, that superb bad weather which I have already
mentioned, had detained her for some days; we went on board her,
with a lively feeling of satisfaction, for in consequence of the
events in Valencia, and the troubles which ensued, Cadiz was,
after a fashion, in a state of siege. The papers were no longer
filled with anything, save pieces of poetry or _feuilletons_
translated from the French, and on the corners of all the streets
were posted rather uncomfortable little _bandos_, prohibiting all
groups of more than three persons, under pain of death. Besides
these reasons for wishing to leave as soon as possible, we had been
travelling forwards with our backs turned on France for a long
time; it was the first time for many months that we had made a
step towards our native land, and, however free a man may be from
national prejudices, he cannot help feeling a slight longing to
behold his country once more, when he is so far away. In Spain, the
least disrespectful allusion to France made me furious, and I felt
inclined to sing of laurels, victory, glory, and warriors, like a
supernumerary of the _Cirque-Olympique_.

Every one was on deck, running about in all directions, and making
all sorts of signs of adieu, to the boats that were shoving off
to return to shore. Hardly had we gone a league when I heard on
all sides such exclamations as, "_Me mareo!_ I feel ill! some
lemons; some rum; some vinegar; some smelling salts." The deck
offered a most melancholy spectacle. The women, who but a short
time previously had looked so lovely, were as green as bodies
that had been immersed in the water for a week. They lay about on
mattresses, boxes, and counterpanes, with a total forgetfulness of
grace or modesty. A poor parrot, which was taken ill in its cage,
and could not at all comprehend the agony it was suffering, poured
forth its vocabulary with the most mournful and comic volubility.
I was lucky enough not to be ill. The two days I had passed on
board the _Voltigeur_ had no doubt hardened me. My companion, who
was less fortunate than myself, plunged into the interior of the
vessel, and did not reappear until we reached Gibraltar. How is it
that modern science, which displays so much solicitude for rabbits
who have got a cold in the head, and finds delight in dying duck's
bones red, has not yet endeavoured to discover some remedy against
this feeling of horrible uneasiness, which causes more suffering
than actual acute pain?

The sea was still rather rough, although the weather was
magnificent; the air was so transparent that we could distinguish
with tolerable distinctness the coast of Africa, Cape Spartel, and
the bay at the bottom of which Tangiers is situated. That band of
mountains resembling clouds, from which they differed only by their
immovability, was then Africa, the land of prodigies, of which the
Romans used to say, _quid novi fert Africa?_ the oldest continent
in the world, the cradle of Eastern civilization, the centre of
Islamism, the black world, where the shade which is absent from
the sky is only found on the faces of the people, the mysterious
laboratory of Nature, who, in her endeavours to bring forth man,
first changes the monkey into a negro! What a refined and modern
instance of the punishment of Tantalus was it merely to see Africa,
and be obliged to pass on.

Opposite Tarifa, a little town whose chalky walls rise on the
summit of a precipitous hill, behind a small island of the same
name, Europe and Africa approach nearer, and seem desirous to kiss
each other in token of alliance. The straits are so narrow that you
see both continents at the same time. It is impossible, when you
are here, not to believe that the Mediterranean was, at no very
remote epoch, an isolated sea, an inland lake, like the Caspian Sea
and the Dead Sea. The spectacle before us was one of marvellous
magnificence. To the left was Europe, and to the right Africa,
with their rocky coasts, clothed by distance in light lilac and
shot-coloured tints, like those of a double-woofed cloth; before us
was the boundless horizon, continually increasing; above us, the
turquoise-coloured sky; and below, a sea of sapphire so limpid that
we could distinguish the whole hull of our vessel, as well as the
keels of the smaller craft which passed near us, and which appeared
rather to be flying in the air, than floating in the water. All
around us was one mass of light, the only sombre tint perceptible
for twenty leagues in every direction, being the long wreaths
of thick smoke which we left behind us. The steamer is truly a
northern invention; its fires, which are always fiercely glowing,
its boiler in a state of constant ebullition, its chimney which
will eventually blacken the sky with its soot, are in admirable
keeping with the fogs and mists of the north. Amidst the splendid
scenery of the south, however, it is a blot. All nature was gay;
large sea-birds grazed the surface of the waves with the tips
of their pinions; tunny-fish, doradoes, and fish of every other
description, all glittering, shining, and sparkling, leaped up and
performed a thousand quaint antics as they sported on the top of
the water; sail succeeded sail every moment, as white and swelling
as the bosom of a Nereid would be, could we see her rise above the
billows. The coasts were tinged with all kinds of fantastic hues;
their folds, precipices, and gaps produced the most marvellous and
unexpected effects in the sunshine, and formed a panorama that
was incessantly changing. About four o'clock we were in sight of
Gibraltar, waiting for the health officers to be kind enough to
come and take our papers with a pair of tongs, and see that we
had not brought in our pockets some yellow fever, blue cholera, or
black plague.

The aspect of Gibraltar completely confuses all your ideas:
you no longer know where you are, nor what you see. Just fancy
an immense rock, or, rather, a mountain, fifteen hundred feet
high, rising suddenly and bluffly from the midst of the waves,
and based on a tract of ground so flat and level that you can
scarcely perceive it. Nothing prepares you for it, nothing
accounts for its being there; it is connected with no chain
of mountains; but it is a monstrous monolith thrown down from
heaven, the corner of some planet broken off during a battle of
the stars--a fragment of some broken world. Who placed it in this
position? God and Eternity alone know. What adds still more to
the singular effect of this inexplicable rock is its form. It
looks like an enormous, prodigious, and gigantic Sphinx, such
as Titans might have sculptured, and compared to which, the
flat-nosed monsters of Carnac and Giseh are but what a mouse is
in comparison with an elephant. The outspread paws form what is
called Europa Point; the head, which is somewhat truncated, is
turned towards Africa, which it seems to look at with profound and
dreamy attention. What thoughts can this mountain be revolving
in its mind, in this sly meditative attitude? What enigma is it
about to propose, or endeavouring to solve? The shoulders, loins,
and hind-quarters stretch towards Spain in nonchalant folds and
beautifully undulating lines, like those of a lion in a state of
repose. The town is situated at the bottom of the rock, and is
almost imperceptible, being a wretched detail lost in the general
mass. The three-deckers at anchor in the bay look like German
toys--little miniature models of ships, such as are sold in seaport
towns--and the smaller craft seem to be flies drowning in milk;
even the fortifications are not apparent. The mountain, however, is
hollowed out, mined and excavated in every direction; its belly is
full of cannons, howitzers, and mortars; it is absolutely crammed
with warlike stores. It is an example of the luxury and coquetry
of the Impregnables. But all this offers nothing to the eye, save
a few almost imperceptible lines, which are confounded with the
wrinkles on the face of the rock, and a few holes through which
pieces of artillery furtively thrust their brazen mouths. In the
Middle Ages, Gibraltar would have bristled with donjons, towers,
turrets, and battlements; instead of taking up its position below,
the fortress would have scaled the mountain, and perched itself,
like an eagle's nest, upon the highest peak. The present batteries
sweep the sea, which is so narrow in this part, and render it
almost impossible for a vessel to force a passage. Gibraltar was
called by the Arabs, Giblaltah,--that is to say, the _Mountain of
the Entrance_; and never was a name more appropriate. Its ancient
name was Calpe. Abyla, now Ape's Hill, is on the other side of the
straits in Africa, close to Ceuta, a Spanish possession, the Brest
and Toulon of the Peninsula; it is there that the Spaniards send
their most hardened galley-slaves. We could distinctly make out its
rocky precipices, and its crest enveloped in clouds, despite the
serenity of the surrounding sky.

Like Cadiz, Gibraltar, situated on a peninsula at the entrance of
a gulf, is only connected with the continent by a narrow strip of
land called the _Neutral Ground_, where the custom-house lines
are established. The first Spanish possession on this side is San
Roque. Algeciras, whose white houses glisten in the universal
azure, like the silvery stomach of a fish floating on the surface
of the water, is exactly opposite Gibraltar; in the midst of this
splendid blue, Algeciras was having its little revolution. We heard
indistinctly the popping report of fire-arms, like the noise made
by grains of salt when thrown into the fire. The _ayuntamiento_
even took refuge on board the steamer, and began smoking cigars in
the most tranquil manner in the world.

The officers of health not having found that we brought any
infectious disease with us, we were surrounded by small boats,
and, in another quarter-of-an-hour, we were on shore. The effect
produced by the appearance of the town is the strangest it is
possible to conceive. By taking one step, you have your five
hundred leagues, which is rather more than even Tom Thumb did in
his famous boots. Just now you were in Andalusia, at the next
moment you are in England. From the Moorish towns of Granada and
Murcia, you suddenly alight at Ramsgate: you see brick-houses
with their areas, their low doors, and their English windows,
exactly like those at Twickenham or Richmond. If you go a little
further, you will perceive cottages with their painted railings
and gates. The public walks are planted with ash and birch trees,
with elms and the green vegetation of the north, so different
from those small plates of varnished metal which pass for foliage
in southern climates. Englishmen have so strong an individuality
that they are everywhere the same, and I really cannot understand
why they travel, for they carry all their customs with them, and
bear their houses on their backs exactly like snails. Wherever an
Englishman may be, he lives precisely as he would do in London; he
must have his tea, his rumpsteaks, his rhubarb pies, his porter,
and his sherry, if he is well; and his calomel, if he is ill. By
means of the innumerable packages he lugs about with him, the
Englishman always enjoys his _home_ and his _comfort_, which
are necessary to his existence. How many objects do our insular
neighbours require in order to live--how much trouble do they give
themselves to feel at their ease?--and how much do I prefer to all
this complicated array, Spanish abstemiousness and privation! It
was a very long time since I had seen a female with one of those
horrible coal-scuttle affairs, one of those odious pasteboard
cases covered with a slip of stuff, and called bonnets, in which
the fair sex bury their faces, in so-styled civilized countries.
I cannot express the disagreeable sensation I experienced at the
sight of the first Englishwoman I met, with a bonnet and a green
veil on her head; I seemed, all at once, to be placed face to face
with the spectre of civilization, that mortal enemy of mine, and
this apparition struck me as a sort of warning that my dream of
vagabond liberty was at an end, and that I should soon be obliged
once more to re-enter the mode of life of the nineteenth century,
never to leave it again. Before this Englishwoman, I felt quite
ashamed of having neither white kid gloves, eye-glass, nor patent
leather shoes, and I cast an embarrassed glance on the extravagant
embroidery of my sky-blue mantle. For the first time during six
months, I felt that I was not presentable, and that I did not look
like a gentleman.

At Gibraltar, which has become heretic since the English occupy
it, there are a great number of Jews, who have either been driven
away, or looked on with an evil eye by the Spanish, who, if they
have no more religion, still possess superstition. They walk about
the streets, displaying their hooked noses, thin lips, and yellow,
polished foreheads surmounted by rabbinical caps, placed on the
back of the head, and their threadbare, narrow, sombre-coloured
robes. The Jewesses, who, by a singular privilege, are as beautiful
as their husbands are hideous, wear picturesque black cloaks,
bordered with scarlet and having hoods. Their appearance caused
us to think vaguely of the Bible, of Rachel at the well, and the
primitive scenes of the time of the patriarchs, for, like the women
of all oriental races, they still preserve in their long black
eyes and the golden tints of their complexions, the mysterious
reflexion of a world that has now disappeared. There are, also, at
Gibraltar, a great many natives of Morocco, as well as Arabs from
Tangiers and the places along the coast: they have little shops,
where they sell perfumery, silk sashes, slippers, fly-flappers,
ornamented leathern cushions, and other knick-knacks of barbarous
industry. As we wished to purchase a few trifles and curiosities,
we were conducted to one of the principal dealers, who lived in
the upper part of the town. We had to pass through a number of
streets like staircases, which were less English in their character
than the streets in the lower part of the town, and whence, at
certain turnings, our eye glanced over the gulf of Algeciras, which
was magnificently illuminated by the last rays of daylight. On
entering the Morocco merchant's house, we were enveloped in a cloud
of oriental perfumes: the sweet, penetrating odour of rose-water
greeted our olfactory organs and made us think of the mysteries of
the harem and the marvels of the _Thousand-and-One Nights_. The
merchant's sons, two fine young men about twenty years of age,
were seated on benches near the door, enjoying the coolness of the
evening. They possessed that purity of features, that limpidity of
look, that careless nobleness, and that air of amorous and pensive
melancholy which belong to pure races. Their father had the grave,
majestic look of a Magian king. We considered ourselves very ugly
and mean-looking by the side of this solemn personage; and it was
in the most humble tone, with hat in hand, that we asked him if
he would deign to sell us a few pairs of yellow morocco slippers.
He nodded affirmatively, and, on our observing that the price was
rather high, he replied in Spanish, with great grandeur, "I never
overcharge; such practices are only good for Christians." Thus our
want of loyalty in commercial transactions renders us an object of
contempt in the eyes of barbarous nations, who cannot understand
that a man will perjure himself, in order to make a farthing or two

Having made our purchases, we went down again to the lower part of
the rock, and took a stroll along a fine promenade planted with
trees of northern climes, intermixed with flowers, sentinels, and
guns, and where you meet with broughams and horsemen just as you do
in Hyde Park. All that is wanting there is the statue of Achilles
Wellington. This promenade is outside the town, at Europa Point,
in the direction of the mountain inhabited by the monkeys. This
is the only spot in Europe where these amiable quadrumanes live
and multiply in a savage state. According as the wind changes,
they pass from one side of the rock to the other, and thus serve
as a barometer: every one is forbidden to kill them under very
heavy penalties. As for myself, I saw none; but the temperature
of the place is hot enough to allow the most chilly macacuses and
cercopithecuses to fully develop themselves, without fires or
air-stoves. Abyla, if we can believe its modern name, must delight,
on the coast of Africa, in a similar population.

The next day we left this park of artillery and land of smuggling,
to be wafted towards Malaga, with which place we were already
acquainted, but which we had great pleasure in again beholding,
with its white, slender lighthouse, and its harbour full of
perpetual movement. Viewed from the sea, the cathedral looks larger
than the town, and the ruins of the ancient Arab fortifications
impart to the sloping rocks a most romantic effect. We returned to
our inn of the Three Kings, and the pretty Dolores uttered a cry of
joy on recognising us.

The next day we again embarked with a cargo of raisins; and, as we
had lost some time, the captain resolved to pass by Ameria, and to
go direct to Cartagena.

We kept close enough to the coast of Spain never to lose sight of
it; but the coast of Africa had, in consequence of the widening of
the Mediterranean, long since disappeared from the horizon. On one
side, therefore, our view consisted of long rows of bluish cliffs,
with curiously-formed steeps, full of perpendicular cracks, and
marked, here and there, with white spots, announcing the presence
of a little village, a watch-tower, or a custom-house officer's
hut; and, on the other, of the boundless sea, now ruffled and
goffered by the breeze or tide, now of a dull blue and dead colour,
or as transparent as crystal, and then brilliant and undulating,
like the basquina of a dancing-girl, while at other times it was
opaque, oily, and as grey as mercury or melted lead; forming
altogether a variety of tones, and assuming such various aspects as
would throw any poet or painter into utter despair. A procession
of red, white, and other light-coloured sails, of ships of every
size and nation, enlivened the scene, and took away that melancholy
which ever attends infinite solitude. A sea in which no sail is
visible, is the most sad and dispiriting spectacle that any one can
well behold. Fancy not one thought on so large an extent of space,
not one soul to comprehend all the sublimity contained therein! And
yet, only place one white and almost imperceptible speck on this
fathomless and unbounded main, and its immensity will be peopled;
it will then contain an interest, a drama.

Cartagena, which is called _Cartagena de Levante_, to distinguish
it from Cartagena in America, is situated at the end of a bay, a
sort of funnel of rocks, where ships find complete shelter from
every wind. Its form has nothing picturesque about it; the deepest
impressions produced on us there were made by two windmills,
decorated with black drawings on a light sky-blue ground.

The aspect of Cartagena differs entirely from that of Malaga.
Buried in its crown of bare and sterile rocks, which are as dry as
the Egyptian hills of the ancient Pharaohs, Cartagena is as dull
and grim as Malaga is gay, cheerful, and animated. You no longer
see whitewashed walls, for they are all dark-coloured, and the
windows are grated with a complication of iron-work; while the
houses, still more ill-looking, possess that prison-like appearance
which distinguishes all Castilian mansions. Yet, as we do not
wish to fall into the error of that traveller who wrote in his
note-book, "All the women at Calais are cross, red-haired, and
hump-backed," because the landlady of his inn united in herself
these three defects, we must own that we perceived at these barred
windows none but charming features and angelic faces: it is perhaps
on this account that they are grated so carefully. While waiting
for dinner, we went to visit the naval arsenal, an establishment
of the grandest proportions, but at present in a state of grievous
dilapidation; its vast basins, its stocks and idle dockyards, in
which another armada might be built, are used for nothing now.
Two or three half-constructed hulls, looking like the stranded
skeletons of so many cachelots, are rotting unheeded in a corner;
thousands of crickets have taken possession of those large deserted
vessels, and you cannot make a step without crushing some of them;
the noise they make, too, with their little rattles, is so great,
that you can hardly hear yourself speak. In spite of the love I
profess to have for crickets, love which I have expressed both in
prose and verse, I must frankly own that here there were somewhat
too many for me.

From Cartagena, we went as far as the town of Alicant, of which
I had mentally formed, from a verse in the _Orientale_ of Victor
Hugo, a much too denticulated sketch:

      "Alicante aux clochers mêle les minarets."

Now, Alicant would have much difficulty, at present at least, in
bringing about this mixture, which I acknowledge as very desirable
and picturesque, seeing, in the first place, that it has no
minarets, and that the only steeple it possesses is a very low
and far from important tower. What characterizes Alicant is an
enormous rock, which rises in the middle of the town; and this
rock, of a magnificent form and colour, is crowned with a fortress,
and flanked with a watch-tower that was suspended over the abyss
in the most audacious manner. The town-hall, or, to keep up the
local colour, the palace of the _Constitucion_, is a delightful
edifice, constructed in the best possible taste. The _Alameda_,
paved throughout with stone, is shaded by two or three rows of
trees, pretty well supplied with leaves for Spanish trees, of which
the roots do not revel in a well. The houses rise high, and assume
European forms. I saw two women wearing yellow brimstone-coloured
bonnets--a menacing symptom. This is all I know of Alicant, where
the boat only remained long enough to take in some freight and
coal, and we profited by this stoppage to go and breakfast on
shore. As may be imagined, we did not neglect the opportunity of
making some conscientious experiments on the wine, which in spite
of its incontestable authenticity, I did not find so good as I
thought I should: this perhaps arose from the taste of pepper which
had been imparted to it by the _bota_ in which it was contained.
Our next stage was to take us to Valencia, _Valencia del Cid_, as
the Spaniards say.

From Alicant to Valencia, the cliffs along the shore continue to
rise in curious forms, and to assume unexpected appearances: our
attention was called to the summit of a mountain, where there was
a square chasm, which seemed as if it had been cut out by the hand
of man. Towards morning, on the following day, we cast anchor
before the Grao; this is the name given to the harbour and suburb
of Valencia, which is at half a league's distance from the sea. The
waves ran high, and when we arrived at the landing-place, we were
pretty well sprinkled with sea water. There we took a tartan to go
to the town. The word _tartan_ is generally taken in a maritime
sense; but the tartan of Valencia is a case covered with oil-cloth,
and placed on two wheels, without any springs whatever. This
vehicle, compared to the _galeras_, seemed effeminately luxurious
to us; and no fashionably-made carriage ever appeared more soft. We
were quite surprised and embarrassed at being so comfortable. Large
trees bordered our route, affording us a pleasure to which we had
not been accustomed for some time.

[Illustration: THE GATE OF VALENCIA.]

With regard to picturesque appearance, Valencia corresponds pretty
well with the notion formed of it from romances and chronicles.
It is a large, flat, scattered town, laid out in a confused
manner, and possesses none of those advantages that disorder in
construction imparts to old towns built on hilly sites. Valencia
is situated in a plain named the Huerta, in the midst of gardens
and cultivated lands, where constant irrigation keeps everything
cool and fresh--a very rare circumstance in Spain. The climate is
so mild, that palm-trees and orange-trees grow in the open air by
the side of products of the north. Valencia, therefore, carries
on a great trade in oranges, which are measured by being passed
through a ring, like cannon-balls when calibre is required to
be known. Those which cannot pass constitute the choicest. The
Guadalaviar, over which are five handsome stone bridges, and which
is bordered by a superb promenade, runs by the side of the city,
nearly beneath the ramparts. The frequent use made of its waters
for irrigation render these five bridges mere objects of ornament
for three-fourths of the year. The gate of the Cid, through which
you pass to go to the promenade of the Guadalaviar, is flanked with
large embattled towers, which produce a pretty good effect.

The streets of Valencia are narrow, and bordered with high houses
of a sullen aspect, some of which still bear mutilated coats of
arms; you can also perceive fragments of worn-out sculptures,
chimeras without claws, women without noses, and knights without
arms. A casement in the style of the Renaissance, but which is lost
and imbedded in a frightful wall of recent workmanship, causes
from time to time an artist to raise his eyes, and utter a sigh of
regret; you must, however, look for such rare vestiges in obscure
corners, and at the bottom of back-courts, for Valencia itself has
quite a modern aspect. The cathedral, built in a style of hybrid
architecture, possesses nothing, in spite of an apsis with a
gallery furnished with Roman semicircular arches, which can attract
the attention of the traveller after the wonders of Burgos, Toledo,
and Seville. A few finely-sculptured altar-screens, a painting by
Sebastian del Piombo, and another by Espagnoletto, executed in
his softest style, when he was trying to imitate Correggio, are
the only things worthy of remark. The other churches, though both
numerous and rich, are built and decorated in that strange style
of bad ornamentation of which we have already given a description
several times. On beholding all these extravagances, you can
but regret so much talent should have been thrown away on such
subjects. _La Longa de Seda_ (purse of silk) on the market-place,
is a delightful Gothic monument; the grand hall, the vaulted roof
of which rests on rows of pillars with wreathed nervures of extreme
lightness, presents an appearance of elegance and sprightliness
rarely met with in Gothic architecture, which is in general more
fitted to express melancholy than happiness. It is in the Longa
that the fêtes and masked balls of the carnival take place. Before
we have done speaking of the monumental buildings, let us say a
few words about the ancient Convent of La Merced, where a great
number of pictures have been collected, some mediocre, and the
others, with very few exceptions, extremely bad. What delighted me
more than anything else at La Merced, was a yard surrounded by a
cloister, and planted with palm-trees, perfectly oriental by their
size and beauty, and which shot up like spires through the limpid

The real attraction of Valencia, for a traveller, is its
population; or, to speak more correctly, that of the Huerta
which surrounds it. The Valencian peasants wear a costume of
characteristic strangeness of appearance, which cannot have varied
much since the invasion of the Arabs, and which differs very little
from the present costume of the Moors of Africa. This costume
consists of a shirt, of flowing drawers of coarse linen, kept up
by a red sash, and of a green or blue velvet waistcoat, furnished
with buttons made of small pieces of silver money; the legs are
clothed in a sort of _knémides_ or leggings of white wool, with a
blue border, which leave the knee and instep exposed to view. For
shoes, they wear _alpargatas_, sandals of plaited cords, the soles
of which are nearly an inch thick, and which are tied by ribbons
like the buskins of the Greeks. Their heads are generally shaved
in the oriental fashion, and they are nearly always enveloped
in a handkerchief of a gaudy colour; and on this handkerchief
is placed a little low-shaped hat, with a turned-up brim, and
ornamented with velvet, silk tassels, spangles, and tinsel. A piece
of motley-coloured stuff, called a _capa de muestra_, ornamented
with rosettes of yellow ribbon, and which is thrown across the
shoulder, completes this costume, full of nobleness and character.
The Valencian keeps his money, his bread, his water-melon, and
his _navaja_, in the corners of his café, which he arranges in a
thousand different manners; it forms for him, at the same time,
a wallet and a cloak. At present, we are only speaking, it must
be remembered, of the full dress costume, of the holiday suit.
On ordinary days, the Valencian keeps on hardly anything but his
shirt and drawers; and then, with his enormous black whiskers, his
sunburnt face, his fierce look, and his bronze-coloured arms and
legs, he has quite the appearance of a Bedouin, especially if he
undoes his handkerchief and exposes to view his bare head, looking
as smooth and blue as a well-bearded chin just shaved. In spite
of Spanish pretensions to catholicism, I shall always find much
difficulty to bring myself to think that such stalwart fellows are
not Mussulmans. It is probably, owing to this ferocious air, that
the Valencians have obtained the name of bad people (_male gente_),
by which they are designated in the other provinces of Spain. I
was told a hundred times in the Huerta of Valencia, that when any
one wanted to get rid of another person, it was not difficult to
find a peasant who, for five or six douros, would undertake the
business. This appears to me barefaced calumny. In the country
I have often met with individuals delighting in a frightful
expression of countenance, but they always saluted me with the
greatest politeness. One evening, we lost our way, and we were near
being compelled to sleep in the open air, as the gates of the city
were closed when we arrived there; but nothing happened to us,
although it had been dark for some time, and though Valencia and
its environs were in a state of revolution.

By a singular contrast, the wives of these European Zabyles are
pale and fair, _bionde e grassote_, as the women of Venice; they
have a sweet, melancholy smile on their lips, and a tender look
in their blue eyes; it would be impossible to conceive a stronger
contrast. These dark demons of the paradise of the Huerta have fair
angels for their wives, whose beautiful hair is kept in its place
by a high-backed comb, or by long pins ornamented at the end by
large silver or glass beads. Formerly, the Valencian women used to
wear a lovely national costume, which resembled that of the women
of Albania; but they have, unfortunately, cast it aside to make
room for a frightful Anglo-French style of attire, for dresses
with shoulder-of-mutton sleeves, and other abominations. It is
worthy of remark that the women are always the first to quit the
national costume; and almost the only persons in Spain who have
preserved the ancient manner of dressing are the men of the lower
classes. This want of discrimination with respect to costume in
an essentially coquettish sex surprises us; but our astonishment
ceases, when we reflect that women only possess the sentiment of
fashion and not that of beauty. A woman will always think any
wretched piece of rag lovely, if it is the height of fashion to
wear this piece of rag.

We had now been at Valencia some nine or ten days, waiting for
another steamer, for the weather had disorganized the regular
departure of the boats, and had greatly interfered with all
correspondence. Our curiosity was satisfied; and all we now
thought of was returning to Paris, to again behold our parents,
our friends, the dear boulevards, and the dear gutters; I even
think--may Heaven forgive me!--that I cherished the secret desire
of seeing a vaudeville; in a word, civilized life, which had
been forgotten for the last six months, called imperiously for
our return. We longed to read the daily papers, to sleep in our
own beds, and had, besides, a thousand other Bœotian fancies. At
length, a packet arrived from Gibraltar, and took us to Porte
Vendres, after allowing us to visit Barcelona, where it stopped for
a few hours. The aspect of Barcelona resembles that of Marseilles,
and there is hardly any trace of the Spanish type about it; the
edifices are large and regular, and, were it not for the immense
blue velvet trousers and the ample red caps of the Catalonians, you
would fancy yourself in a town of France. In spite of its Rambla,
planted with trees, and its handsome straight streets, Barcelona
appears somewhat cramped and stiff, like all towns which are too
tightly laced in a doublet of fortifications.

The cathedral is very handsome, especially the interior, which is
sombre, mysterious, and almost inspires you with fear.

The organ is of Gothic structure, and shuts with two large panels
covered with paintings; a Saracen's head is making a frightful
grimace beneath the pendentive which supports the organ. Beautiful
lustres of the fifteenth century, full of open-worked figures like
reliquaries, hang from the nervures of the roof. On leaving the
church, you enter a fine cloister of the same epoch; its silence
incites to reverie, and its half-ruined arcades are characterized
by the greyish tints of the old buildings of the north. The
_calle_ of _La Plateria_ (the goldsmith's art) dazzles the eyes
by its shop-fronts and glass-cases, which sparkle with jewellery,
especially with enormous ear-rings as large as small bunches
of grapes, of a heavy and massive richness; and, though rather
barbarously made, productive of a very majestic effect: they are
principally bought by peasant-women in easy circumstances.

The next day we entered, at ten o'clock in the morning, the little
bay at the end of which Porte Vendres rises. We were in France.
And--must I own it?--on setting foot on the soil of my country, I
felt my eyes fill with tears, not of joy, however, but of regret.
The Vermilion Towers, the silvery tops of the Sierra Neveda, the
rose-bays of the Generalife, the long, soft, limpid looks, the
pink-blossom lips, the little feet and the little hands of the
daughters of Spain, all came back to my mind so vividly, that it
appeared to me that France, where, however, I was about to see my
mother again, was a land of exile for me. My dream was over.


  Abencerrages, Hall of the, Alhambra, 189, 190

  Accident to the Correo Real, near Burgos, 47

  Aceite, Puerta del, at Seville, 264

  Adventure with robbers, 209

  Aguadores and Aguadoras of Madrid, 79

  Alameda, the, of Granada, 171, 172

  Alcala de los Panaderos, 257

  Alcantara, bridge of, at Toledo, 119

  Alcazar, the, at Toledo, 119;
    at Seville, 270, 271

  Algives, Plaza de los, 179

  Alhama, 212, 213

  Alhambra, the, 177, 178;
    the Zacatin and Plaza Nueva, 177;
    the Gate of Justice, 178;
    the Plaza de los Algives, 179;
    the Patin de las Arrayanes of Alberca, or Mezouar, 180;
    Hall of Ambassadors, 181-183;
    the Tocador, 183;
    Garden of Lindaraja, and Bath-room of the Sultana, 185, 186;
    Hall of the Two Sisters, 186;
    of Abencerrages, 186;
    the Taza de los Leones, 187, 188

  Alicant, 296, 297

  Aloe-tree, 159

  Altar, high, in the cathedral of Toledo, 124

  Amistad, Fonda de la, at Madrid, 58

  Andalusia, entrance to, by the Puerta de los Perros, 157

  Anecdote of Spanish Robbers, 110-112;
    of the Jews at Toledo, 134, 135;
    of a Calesero, 200

  Angoulême, 4;
    frescoes at, 4

  Aranjuez, royal residence of, 148

  Architecture, usual style of, at Madrid, 85-87

  Armeria, the, at Madrid, 93, 94;
    in the Alhambra, 179

  Arms, manufactory of, at Toledo, 141, 142

  Aspect of Granada, 167

  Astigarraga, inn at, 17;
    supper at, 18, 19

  Authors, Spanish dramatic, 235

  Baile Nacional, at Vittoria, 23, 24;
    at Malaga, 230

  Banderillas, 68;
    de fuego, 71

  Banderilleros, the, 61-64

  Baño de la Cava at Toledo, 137

  Barcelona, the cathedral at, 301

  Bath of Florinda at Toledo, 137, 138

  Bathing in the Tagus at Toledo, 121-136

  Bath-room of the Sultana, Alhambra, 184

  Bautista, J., builder of the Escurial, 104

  Baylen, 159;
    the church, 160

  Bayonne, 120

  Bidassoa, bridge over the, 14

  Billiard-playing at Madrid, 86

  Berruguete, tomb of the Cardinal at Toledo, by, 140

  Blades of Toledo, 141, 142

  Blanca, Count de Florida, village founded by, 158

  Boabdil, king, 179

  Bordeaux, 6-10;
    hotel touters at, 7;
    the theatre, 8;
    the grisettes, 8;
    the cathedral, 8;
    Tower of St. Michael, 8;
    vault of Mummies, 9;
    Hospice des Vieillards, 10;
    the museum, 10;
    the port, 10;
    the theatre, 10

  Bradamant and Galiana, legend of, 135, 136

  Bridge of boats across the Guadalquiver at Seville, 263

  Briones, Francisco, of Madrid, the picador, 223

  Briviesca, village of, 26

  Bucaros, and mode of using them, 89

  Buen Retiro, palace at Madrid, 94

  Bull, the, in the arena at Madrid, 67-69

  Bull-fight, description of a, at Madrid, 57-73;
    at Malaga, 221-229;
    at Jeres, 284-288

  Burgos, 27-45;
    public place at, 27;
    romantic appearance of the beggars at, 27;
    the convicts, 27;
    the fonda, 28;
    fountain, 29;
    the cathedral, 30-41;
    the Puerta de Santa Maria, 41, 42;
    Cartuja de Miraflores, 42-45;
    General Thibaud and the Cid's bones, 45

  Cacin, 212

  Cadiz, 277-282;
    the Calle San Francisco, 277;
    appearance of the town, 278;
    Plaza de Toros, 279; ramparts, 279;
    the _Voltigeur_, 280, 281;
    Cadiz from the sea, 282

  Calderon de la Barca and his plays, 232

  Calesero, the, 143

  Calle d'Alcala at Madrid, 60

  Calle de Carretas at Madrid, 60

  Calle de Parragas at Granada, 165

  Calle de los Caballeros at Ecija, 242

  Campeador (_see_ Cid)

  Caramanchel, village of, 114

  Caratraca, 238

  Carbon, Puerta del, at Seville, 264

  Cardinal's Hospital at Toledo, 140, 141

  Caridad, Hospital de la, at Seville, 272

  Cartagena de Levante, 295, 296

  Carthusian Convent, Cartuja de Miraflores, 27;
    visit to, 42, 44;
    at Granada, 194, 195

  Carvings in wood and stone in Burgos Cathedral, 30, 31, 38;
    the Passion of our Lord, stone carving by Philip of Burgundy, 35;
    stalls of Burgos Cathedral, 35, 36

  Casa del Cordon at Burgos, 41

  Casa de Pupilos at Granada, 164

  Castil de Peones, village of, 26

  Cathedral of Bordeaux, 8;
    of Burgos, 30-41;
    of Toledo, 119-125;
    of Jaen, 160, 161;
    at Seville, 265-270;
    of Barcelona, 301

  Cellini, Benvenuto, statue of the Escurial attributed to, 109

  Cervesa de Santa Barbara con limon, 82

  Chains at San Juan de los Reyes, at Toledo, 131

  Charlemagne and Galiana, legend of, 135, 136

  Charles III., statue of, at Burgos, 27

  Château Regnault, 2

  Châtellerault, 3

  Chulos at Madrid, 61-64

  "Christ on the Cross," at Burgos, 31

  Cid, the, his chest at Burgos, 32, 33;
    his bones, 45

  Coffee-houses at Madrid, 81-83

  Cormana, 257

  Cordova, 246-255;
    magnificent gateway, 246;
    appearance of Cordova, 247;
    Mosque at Cordova, 249-254;
    the Foundling Hospital, 255;
    the Guadalquiver, 255

  Cork-tree, the, 11

  Cormana, 257

  Cornelio, the Cicerone of the Escurial, 107

  Correo Real, el, the Spanish diligence, 49

  Costume of the ladies at Madrid, 75, 78, 90;
    of the men, 79;
    of the peasants of Andalusia, 162;
    of the inhabitants of Granada, 167-169

  Court of Lions, Alhambra, 185-189

  Covarubias, builder of the Alcazar at Toledo, 119

  Crickets kept in cages at Madrid, 83

  Cristina, the, at Seville, 261

  Cubzac, Bridge of, 6

  Dances, national, aversion to among the higher classes, 92

  Dangers of the Spanish roads, 210, 211

  Darro, the, at Granada, 168

  Dax, 11

  Depopulation of Spain, 54

  Diez, Matilde, the actress, 232

  Dogs used at bull-fights, 71, 72

  Dome of the Escurial, 109

  Dos de Mayo, monument to the victims of the, at Madrid, 93

  Drama, Spanish, its utter decline, 232, 233

  Dramatic authors, Spanish, 255

  Dueñas, 50

  Duque, the Alameda del, at Seville, 260, 261

  Eagles on the Sierra Nevada, 204

  Ecija, 241, 242

  Encampment on the mountains, 205, 206

  Environs of Madrid, 147; of Malaga, 218;
    of Cadiz, 278

  Equipages at Madrid, 74

  Ernani, town of, 19

  Escopeteros, 14

  Escurial, visit to the, 103-112;
    foundation of the building by Philip II., 104;
    its gloomy appearance, 104;
    formed like a gridiron in honour of St. Lawrence, 105;
    curious colour of the walls, 105, 106;
    the courtyard and church, 106, 107;
    the blind cicerone Cornelio, 107;
    the Pantheon, 107, 108;
    the sacristy, 108;
    the library, 108, 109;
    marble figure of Christ, attributed to Benvenuto Cellini, 109;
    the dome, 109

  Espada or Matador, the, 64, 69, 70

  Exchange, the, at Seville, 270

  Excitement of spectators at a bull-fight, 71-73

  Extortion at Spanish inns, 238, 239

  Fan, the, universally used in Spain, 75, 76

  Farmhouse hospitality, 241

  _Fire_ sold at Madrid, 81

  Florinda's Bath at Toledo, 137, 138

  Fonda San Estaban at Bayonne, 12;
    at Castile, 28;
    de la Amistad at Madrid, 58;
    del Caballero at Toledo, 116, 117

  Fountain with statue of our Saviour at Burgos, 29;
    at Madrid, 80-97;
    of Lions, Alhambra, 186-188

  Francisco, Calle San, 277

  Frescoes at Angoulême, 4

  Furniture of Spanish houses, 88

  Galera, the Spanish, 49

  Galiana's Palace at Toledo, 134, 135

  Garbanzo, the, 19

  Gaspacho, or cold garlic soup, 216, 217, 241

  Gateway at Cordova, 276

  Gatien, St., at Tours, 3

  Generalife, the, near the Alhambra, 189

  Gibraltar, 291-295

  Gitanos and Gitanas at Granada, 193, 194;
    at Seville, 265

  Gomeles, Calle de los, at Granada, 169

  Goya, Francisco, his works and life, 95-102

  Granada, 164-207;
    Fonda del Comercio, 164;
    Louis the cicerone, 164, 165;
    the Calle de Parragas, 165;
    view of the Alhambra, 166;
    the Darro, 166;
    general aspect of Granada, 167;
    the inhabitants, 167, 168;
    picturesque costumes of the peasantry, 169;
    the Spanish tailor, 170;
    the Alameda, 171;
    the Xenil, 171;
    Tertulias, 173;
    the Zacatin, 177;
    the Alhambra, 177-192;
    the Gitanos and Gitanas, 192, 193;
    Monte Sagrado, the Carthusian convent, 194, 195;
    Monastery of San Juan de Dios, 195, 196;
    Convent of San Geronimo, 196;
    Convent of San Domingo, 196, 197;
    baths of Granada, 197, 198;
    Society at Granada, 198-201;
    ascent of the Mulhacen, 201-207

  Gregorian and Mozarabic rituals, 126, 127

  Guadarrama, 57

  Guadalquivir, the, 160, 257, 262, 274-276

  Guevara, dramatic author, 232

  Guilhen de Castro, dramatic author, 233

  Guzman, Antonio, the actor, 91

  Hall of Ambassadors, in the Alhambra, 181-183;
    of the two Sisters, 185

  Harvest and harvest carts, 150

  Heat of the weather at Madrid, 89;
    at Toledo, 117;
    at Ocaña, 149

  Heaths near Valladolid, 53

  Hercules, the French, at Vittoria, 23

  ---- grotto of, at Toledo, 138-140

  Hernani, ou l'Honneur Castillan, 53

  Herrera, builder of the Escurial, 105

  Homenaga, the tower of, in the Alhambra, 179

  Horses of Andalusia, 207

  Hospice des Vieillards, at Bordeaux, 10

  Hospital, Foundling, at Cordova, 256

  Host, unwillingness of the people to worship the, 146

  Houses, underground, near Vendôme, 2;
    at Toledo, 118;
    at Ecija, 243

  Iced drinks--bebidas heladas, 81, 82

  Illescas, town of, 115;
    Moorish remains near, 115

  Impartiality of the Spanish public, 226

  Inns, Spanish, extortion at, 238

  Irun and its bridge, 13

  Isle of Pheasants, 13

  Jaen, city of, the cathedral, 161-163

  Jarras, for cooling water, 87, 88

  Jeres, bull-fights, ridiculous and tragical episodes, 284-288

  Jewish synagogue at Toledo, 133

  Juan, Don, de Marana, founder of an hospital at Seville, 272

  Juan Eugenio Hartzembusch, the author, 229

  Juliano, count, father of Florinda, 137

  Justice, the gate of, in the Alhambra, 178

  La Carlotta, road from Ecija to, 243;
    the inn, treachery of our hosts, 244, 245

  La Guardia, town of, 151

  Ladies of Madrid, 75, 76

  Lady, our, of Toledo, 129

  Landes, the, 4;
    desolate appearance of, 11

  Lanza the cosario, 208

  Legend of our Lady of Toledo, 121, 122;
    of Galiana's palace, 135, 136;
    of Florinda's bath at Toledo, 137, 138;
    of Rodriguez and the Moors, 138-140

  Library of the Escurial, 108, 109

  Lindaraja, garden of, in the Alhambra, 184

  Longa, or Exchange, at Seville, 270

  Lope de Vega, the author, 233

  Los Perros, Puerto de, 156

  Louis, the cicerone of Granada, 164, 165

  Lucar, San, on the Guadalquiver, 276

  Luna, Don Alvar de, chapel of, at Toledo, 125

  Lyceum, the, at Granada, 198

  Madrid, 57-102;
    approach to the city--arid scenery, 57;
    Puerta de Hierro, 58;
    Fonda de la Amistad, 58;
    bull-fight, description of, 57-73;
    the matador or espada, 59;
    the Calle de Carretas, 60;
    the Calle d'Alcala, 60;
    Calesins, 60;
    Manolas and Manolos, 60, 77, 78;
    the Plaza de Toros and Toril, 60, 61;
    chulos, banderilleros, picadores, and aficionados, 61;
    interior arrangement of the arena, costume of the actors, &c., 62-65;
    Sevilla the picador, 65, 66;
    the bull, 67-69;
    Juan Pasta, the espada, 69, 70;
    the spectators and their excitement, 71-73;
    the Prado, 73;
    equipages of Madrid, 74;
    ladies of Madrid--the mantilla and fan, 75, 76;
    the Spanish type, 77;
    costume of the men, 79;
    trade in water and fire, 79-81;
    the Manzanares, 80;
    coffee-houses--the Bolsa, the Café Nuevo, Café del Levante, &c., 81,
    iced drinks--the bebida de naranja, de limon, de fresa de guindas,
        &c., 81, 82;
    quesitos, little ices, 82;
    newspapers in the coffee-houses, 83;
    the Puerta del Sol, 83;
    the post-office, 83-85;
    cigars, 84;
    political conversation, 84;
    the houses at Madrid, 85-87;
    billiards, 86;
    Spanish preserves, 86;
    jarras for cooling water, 87;
    heat at Madrid, 89;
    Bucaros, 89;
    parties, or tertulias, 89, 90;
    morals, 90, 91;
    deference paid to women, 91;
    the Teatro del Principe, 91, 92;
    Spanish dancers and dancing, 92;
    the queen's palace, 92;
    the meeting of the Cortes, 93;
    monument to the victims of the Dos de Mayo, 93;
    the Armeria, 93;
    carriages of Joanna of Aragon and of Charles V., 93;
    fountains, 94;
    bridge of Toledo, 94;
    the Buen Retiro and its fantastic gardens, 94;
    the museum, 95;
    cabinet of Natural History and pictures--Goya and his works, 95-102

  Maïquez, funeral column in memory of, 171

  Majos, the, 162;
    at Granada, 169

  Malaga, 219-236;
    Negro galley-slaves, 219;
    parador of the three kings, 219, 220;
    travelling students, 220;
    Circus at Malaga, 221;
    beauty of the Spanish women, 221-223;
    national airs, 223;
    the picadores Antonio Sanchez, Jose Trigo, and Francisco Briones,
    Montes and Jose Parra, the matadores, 224, 225;
    the Napoleon of the herd--failure of Montes, 227, 228;
    rage of the populace, 228, 229;
    the theatre, 229, 230;
    the dancers, 230-232;
    theatres and dramatic authors in Spain, 232-234

  Manners of the Spaniards, 90, 91, 198-201

  Manolas and manolos at Madrid, 60, 77-78

  Mantilla, the, worn at Madrid, 76, 170

  Manzanares, the town of, 153

  Mastodon, bones of, in the museum at Madrid, 95

  Mayoral, the Spanish stage-coachman, 46

  Media Luna, used at bull-fights, 285

  Michael, St., tower of, at Bordeaux, 8

  Miguel Cervantes, statue of, at Madrid, 93

  Miquelets, or gendarmes, 212

  Miranda, 24

  Mondragon, village of, 20

  Montalban, dramatic author, 232

  Montes, the Espada, 208, 224-229

  Mosque at Cordova, 249-254

  Monument to Charles the Fifth at Granada, 178

  Mountains near Olmedo, 55

  Mozarabic chapel at Toledo, 125

  Mules, Spanish 14, 46, 47;
    their obstinacy, 210, 214

  Muleta, the, 69

  Mulhacen, ascent of the, 201-207

  Mummified corpses in St. Michael's Tower, 8, 9

  Murillo, his "Ecce Homo" at Burgos, 31;
    beautiful paintings by, at Seville, 272

  Museum at Bordeaux, 10;
    at Madrid, 95

  Napoleon, the, of the herd, 226-228

  Navajas, knives sold at Santa Cruz and Albacete, 155

  Negro galley-slaves at Malaga, 219;
    killed at a bull-fight at Jeres, 288

  Nevada, Sierra, 160;
    ascent of, 201, 207;
    intense cold on the, 206

  Novel baths at Granada, 197, 198

  Nueva, Plaza, at Granada, 177

  Ocaña, 149

  Ocean, the steamer, at Jeres, 288, 289

  Olmedo, 54; deserted appearance of, 52

  Orchaterias de Chufas at Madrid, 82

  Organs in Burgos Cathedral, 39;
    at Barcelona, 301

  Oyarzun, 17

  Palace, the Queen's, at Madrid, 92, 93

  Pantheon, the, in the Escurial, 107, 108

  Pancorbo, Pass of, 25;
    romantic appearance of, 25

  Parador, the, at Jaen, 161;
    at Malaga, 219

  Pasiega, the Spanish Nurse, 54;
    at Madrid, 78

  Passion of our Lord, stone-carving, 35

  Pasta, Juan, the Espada, 69, 70

  Patio, the, 149;
    de los Arrayanes, 180

  Picadores, 61, 63, 64;
    Sevilla, the, 65-69;
    Rodriguez, the, 66-68

  Pictures by Murillo, Jordaens, Theotocopuli, Delacroix, and others, in
        the Cathedral of Burgos, 31, 32-34;
    the Holy Family in Burgos Cathedral, 39;
    Martyrdom of Santa Casilda, 40;
    Collection in a Church at Valladolid, 51;
    Pictures by Raphael, Titian, Paolo Veronese, Rubens, Velasquez,
        Murillo, and others, in the Museum at Madrid, 95;
    in the Cabinet of Natural History, works of El Greco, Murillo, and
        Goya, 95-102;
    of Velasquez, Maella, and others, in the Palace at Madrid, 92;
    works of Titian, Raphael, Paolo Veronese, &c., in the Museum at
        Madrid, 95;
    works of Murillo, Ribeira, and Goya, in the Academy, 95-102;
    in the sacristy of the Escurial, 108;
    by El Greco, at Toledo, 140, 141;
    by Murillo, at Seville, 272

  Pine-trees in the Landes, 11

  Plaza de Toros at Madrid, 60, 61

  Politicians of Madrid, 84, 85

  Portraits (_see_ Pictures).

  Posada, the Spanish, 26;
    near Olmedo, 55;
    at Jaen, 162

  Post-office at Madrid, 85

  Prado, the, at Madrid, 73

  Preserves, Spanish, 86, 87

  Priests, Spanish, 20

  Procession of the Corpus Christi at Madrid, 145, 146

  Puchero, the Spanish national dish, 18, 19

  Puerta de Santa Maria at Burgos, 41;
    de Hierro at Madrid, 57;
    Del Sol at Madrid, 83, 84;
    Del Sol at Toledo, 115

  Puerto Lapiche, 152

  Pyrenees, the, 12, 16

  Quails kept in cages at Madrid, 83

  Quebrada, tower of, 179

  Quevedo, dramatic author, 282

  Quintanapalla, village of, 26

  Ravine of Los Molinos, 189, 190

  Road from Valez-Malaga to Malaga, 217

  Road to Jeres, 283

  Robbers, anecdote of Spanish, 110-112;
    adventures with, 209;
    their position in Spain, 235, 236

  Rodrigo, archbishop of Toledo, lays the first stone of the cathedral,

  Rodriguez, Antonio, the picador, 66-68

  Rojas, dramatic authors, 232

  Roman amphitheatre at Toledo, 142

  Romea, Julian, the actor, 91

  Romero, Alexandro, the huntsman's guide, 201

  Rueda, dramatic author, 232

  Ruins of fortifications near Baylen, 160

  Ruins of Italica, near Seville, 263, 264

  Sacristy, the, in the Escurial, 108

  Sagrado, Monte, at Granada, 194

  Saint Jean de Luz, 13

  Saint Louis, Reliquary of, at Toledo, 127

  San Domingo, Granada, 197

  San Juan de los Reyes, at Toledo, 119, 130-133

  San Juan de Dios, Convent of, 195, 196

  Salinas, hill of, 20

  Santa Cruz, 155

  Santa Maria de los Nieves, 55

  Sanchez, Antonio of Seville, the picador, 223

  Saynete, a comic piece, at Malaga, 230, 231

  Servant-girls, Spanish, 28

  Sevilla the picador, 65-67, 72, 73

  Seville, 258-273;
    general appearance of the city, 258, 259;
    beauty of the women, 259;
    their little feet, 260;
    the Alameda del Duque, 260, 261;
    the Cristina, 261;
    the Guadalquiver, and the Torre del Oro, 261, 262;
    Murillos at Seville, 263;
    Bridge of Boats, 263;
    Ruins of Italica, 263, 264;
    the Puerta de Triana, 264;
    Puertas del Carbon and del Aceite, 264;
    Gitanas, 265;
    the cathedral, 265-270;
    the Lonja or Exchange, 270;
    the Alcazar, 270, 271;
    tobacco manufactory, 271, 272;
    the Cigarera of Seville, 272;
    Hospital de la Caridad, founded by Don Juan de Marina, 272;
    beautiful paintings by Murillo, 272;
    the circus, 273

  Sierra Morena, the, 155-157

  Siesta, the, 149

  Smuggling, human, 13

  Soldiers, Spanish, their contentment and good-humour, 151

  Spires of the cathedral of Toledo, 129, 130

  Stalls in Burgos Cathedral, 35, 36

  Students singing in the streets, 220

  Suspiro del Moro, el, 179

  Synagogue, the Jewish, at Toledo, 133

  Tailor, the, of Granada, 169, 170

  Tarifa, and the African coast, 296

  Tagus, the, at Toledo, 119, 120

  Tauromachia, school of, at Seville, 273

  Tembleque, 151, 152

  Temperance of the Spaniards, 148

  Tertulias, or parties, at Madrid, 89, 90;
    at Granada, 173-176

  Theatre at Bordeaux, 10;
    at Burgos, 42;
    at Valladolid, 52-55;
    Teatro del Principe at Madrid, 91;
    at Malaga, 229-233

  Thibaut, General, and the Cid's bones, 45

  Tirso, dramatic author, 232

  Tizona, the Cid's sword, 45

  Tobacco, manufactory of, at Seville, 271, 272

  Tocador, the, in the Alhambra, 183, 184

  Toledo, 115-143;
    the Alcazar, 119;
    the cathedral, 119-125;
    the Gregorian and Mozarabic ritual, 125-127;
    Our Lady of Toledo, 128, 129;
    San Juan de los Reyes, 130-133;
    the synagogue, 133, 134;
    Galiana, Karl, and Bradamant, 134-136;
    the bath of Florinda, 136-138;
    the grotto of Hercules, 138-140;
    the cardinal's hospital, 140, 141;
    Toledo blades, 141

  Tolosa, 19

  Tomb of the cardinal at Toledo, 140

  Toril, the, at Madrid, 61

  Toros, Plaza de, at Cadiz, 279

  Torre del Oro, the, at Seville, 261

  Torrents near Oyarzun, 17;
    near Olmedo, 55

  Torrequemada, town of, 47, 48

  Tours, bridge of, 3

  Travelling students singing for money at Malaga, 220

  Triana, Puerta de, at Seville, 264

  Trigo, Jose, of Seville, the picador, 223

  Urrugne, 42

  Val-de-Peñas and its vineyards, 154, 155;
    name signifying "Valley of Stones", 155

  Valencia, 297-299

  Valencianos, 56

  Valez-Malaga, 216

  Valladolid, 50-53;
    San Pablo, 50, 51;
    collection of pictures, 51;
    Museum, 51, 52;
    Plaza de la Constitucion, 52;
    Compo Grande, 52;
    Theatre, 52, 53

  Vase of the Alhambra, 181

  Vela, tower of, in the Alhambra, 179

  Vendres Porte, 301

  Venta de Trigueros, 50

  Vergara, 19, 20

  Virgin, chapel of the, at Toledo, 127

  Visit to a Morocco merchant at Gibraltar, 296, 297

  Vista Allegro, Fonda de, 283

  Vittoria, 21-24;
    the Parador vejo, 21;
    the Church, 22;
    the Theatre, Baile Nacional, and the French Hercules, 23, 24

  _Voltigeur_, visit to the brig, 280, 281

  Wagons drawn by oxen, 5, 15

  Wardrobe of Our Lady of Toledo, 129

  Water, sale of, at Madrid, 79, 80

  Water-melon, the, 213;
    refreshing qualities of, 213

  Women, number of old, in Old Castile, 26;
    of Madrid, 75, 76;
    beauty of the women of Malaga, 221;
    of those of Seville, 259, 260

  Zacatin, the 177

  Zagal, the Spanish, 15


Savill & Edwards, Printers, Chandos Street, Covent Garden.


[1] This work corresponds to "The Heads of the People," published,
some time since, in London.--TRANSLATOR.

[2] _Culotté_ is the term applied by smokers to a pipe coloured by
long use.--TRANSLATOR.

[3] The well-known popular source of amusement to the Parisian
pleasure-seeker of days now past.

[4] The hangman.

[5] £800 or £1000.

[6] Philippe d'Orléans.

[7] The _Temple_ in Paris is a sort of large market where old
clothes are sold, something like what Monmouth-street used to be.

[8] Eighty degrees Fahrenheit. The author here, as well as all
through his works reckons the degree of heat by the thermometer
termed "Centigrade."

[9] The song says, "her arms,"--_los brazos_.

[10] A brigand is said to receive the benefit of the _indulto_ when
he voluntarily gives himself up and is pardoned.


  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Five occurrences of omitted names, indicated by '* * *' in the
  original text, have been replaced by '----'.

  The 'Frontispiece' noted in the list of 'Illustrations' is missing
  from this edition of the book.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example,
  court-yard, courtyard; bull-fights, bullfights; Sierra Nevada,
  Sierra Neveda; torreros, toreros; asphaltic; heroical; ideality;
  whipt; stopt; unsimilar.

  Pg iv, 'Puerto del Sol' replaced by 'Puerta del Sol'.
  Pg v, 'los Cabelleros' replaced by 'los Caballeros'.
  Pg 3, 'and De Balzac' replaced by 'and de Balzac'.
  Pg 3, 'long orgie' replaced by 'long orgy'.
  Pg 5, 'Eginetic' replaced by 'Elginetic'.
  Pg 14, 'at Listz's concert' replaced by 'at Liszt's concert'.
  Pg 14, 'escopoteros' replaced by 'escopeteros'.
  Pg 15, 'escopoteros' replaced by 'escopeteros' (twice).
  Pg 16, 'Biaritz' replaced by 'Biarritz'.
  Pg 19, 'and succeds but' replaced by 'and succeeds but'.
  Pg 21, 'escopoteros' replaced by 'escopeteros'.
  Pg 29, 'bezil of a ring' replaced by 'bezel of a ring'.
  Pg 32, 'these portaits' replaced by 'these portraits'.
  Pg 54, 'exactly to canvass' replaced by 'exactly to canvas'.
  Pg 64, 'which they unrol' replaced by 'which they unroll'.
  Pg 92, 'chorographic portions' replaced by 'choreographic portions'.
  Pg 113, 'Puerto del Sol' replaced by 'Puerta del Sol'.
  Pg 116, 'del Cabellero' replaced by 'del Caballero'.
  Pg 139, 'cartouch' replaced by 'cartouche'.
  Pg 152, 'same reputatation' replaced by 'same reputation'.
  Pg 182, 'Arabian caligraphy' replaced by 'Arabian calligraphy'.
  Pg 190, 'the aloes opens' replaced by 'the aloe opens'.
  Pg 190, 'it knotty wood' replaced by 'its knotty wood'.
  Pg 190, 'modern belvidere' replaced by 'modern belvedere'.
  Pg 204, 'Romeros decided' replaced by 'Romero decided'.
  Pg 210, 'to distingush' replaced by 'to distinguish'.
  Pg 212, 'Son tuo labios' replaced by 'Son tus labios'.
  Pg 212, 'Entre cortena' replaced by 'Entre cortina'.
  Pg 217, 'aloes-trees' replaced by 'aloe-trees'.
  Pg 218, 'aloes-trees' replaced by 'aloe-trees'.
  Pg 218, 'afficionados' replaced by 'aficionados'.
  Pg 234, 'subtilties' replaced by 'subtleties'.
  Pg 235, 'Esprouceda' replaced by 'Espronceda'.
  Pg 238, 'in Britanny' replaced by 'in Brittany'.
  Pg 244, 'with our mattrass' replaced by 'with our mattress'.
  Pg 252, 'Herman Riuz' replaced by 'Hernán Ruiz'.
  Pg 257, 'aficienados' replaced by 'aficionados'.
  Pg 257, 'superb aquaduct' replaced by 'superb aqueduct'.
  Pg 264, 'del Accite' replaced by 'del Aceite'.
  Pg 270, 'Santi-Pouer' replaced by 'Santi-Pouce'.
  Pg 273, 'norillos' replaced by 'novillos'.
  Pg 287, 'cameleons' replaced by 'chameleons' (twice).
  Pg 291, 'monstrous monolinth' replaced by 'monstrous monolith'.
  Pg 297, 'as if had' replaced by 'as if it had'.
  Pg 298, 'romances and chrocles' replaced by 'romances and chronicles'.

  Accite: replaced by 'Aceite'.
  Briores: replaced by 'Briones'.
  Calle de Caritas: replaced by 'Calle de Carretas'.
  Calle de Parragos: replaced by 'Calle de Parragas'.
  Cervesa: replaced by 'Cerveza'.
  Gomelos: replaced by 'Gomeles'.
  Hospital: 'Cardova' replaced by 'Cordova'.
  Lindaraga: replaced by 'Lindaraja'.
  Madrid: 'bebida de Naranga' replaced by 'bebida de naranja'.
  Rogas: replaced by 'Rojas'.
  Ruins: 'fortificatinos' replaced by 'fortifications'.
  Salinos: replaced by 'Salinas'.
  Seville: 'Puerta de Triana;' replaced by 'Puerta de Triana, 264;'.
  Seville: 'del Accite' replaced by 'del Aceite'.
  Suspire del Mora: replaced by 'Suspiro del Moro'.
  Women: 'Old Castille' replaced by 'Old Castile'.

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