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Title: Spain in 1830, vol. 2
Author: Inglis, Henry D.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Spain in 1830, vol. 2" ***

                            SPAIN IN 1830.

                            SPAIN IN 1830.


                           HENRY D. INGLIS,

                       THROUGH NORWAY,” &c. &c.

                             IN TWO VOLS.

                               VOL. II.




                    PRINTED BY S. MANNING AND CO.,
                    London-house-yard, St. Paul’s.




Different Modes of Travelling to Seville; Journey to Aranjuez; the
Gardens of Aranjuez; Ocana; a Spanish Supper; Polinario, the ci-devant
Robber; History of his Change of Life; La Mancha, and Journey to
Manzanarez; Madridlejos and its Population; Husbandry of La Mancha;
Puerto Lapiche, and References to Don Quixotte; Manzanarez; Journey to
the foot of the Sierra Morena; Consolacion, and its miserable People;
Val de Peñas and its Wine, and Details; Explanation of a Passage in Don
Quixotte; the Venta de Cardenas, and the Sierra Morena; Mountain Images;
Journey on muleback across the Sierra Morena; the New Settlements, and
their Condition; Descent into Andalusia; Novel Prospects; Baylen; a
Defence against Mosquitos; Picturesque Views; Anduxar; Journey from
Anduxar to Cordova; the Plain of the Guadalquivir; extraordinary Aloes,
and Uses of the Aloe; charming Situation of Cordova; its former
Splendour and present Wretchedness; Lead Mines; the Mosque; Journey to
Seville; Striking Views; Political Sentiments of a Barber of Ecija;
Carmona; View of Seville, and Arrival                                  1



Madrid not the sole Capital of Spain; Peculiarities of Seville; Moorish
Customs; the Streets; the Population; Manner of Living in Andalusia;
Society; Morals; the Archbishop; the Dean; the Convents; frequency of
Murder in Andalusia, and its Causes; Serenading; Superstition in
Seville, and examples of it; extraordinary Facts; the Paseo; Andalusian
Women; _Oracion_; _Las Delicias;_ Orange-Groves; Details respecting the
Orange Trade of Seville; the Cathedral; the Capuchin Convent; _La
Caridad_, and Murillo’s Pictures; Private Collections; the Alcazar and
its Gardens; the Tobacco Manufactory; Roman Remains; Seville as a
Residence; Prices of Provisions; Descent of the Guadalquivir, and its
Banks; Optic Deception; St. Lucar; Night Journey; Port St. Mary; the Bay
of Cadiz, and the City                                                46



Journey to Xeres; the Vineyards, and their Produce; Amount of Export,
and Official Tables for Ten Years; average Export and Price; Increase in
the Trade; the Xeres Grape; Details respecting the Manufacture of
Sherry; Pale Sherry and Brown Sherry; a curious Sherry; Amontillado;
Adulterated Sherries, Inferior Sherries, and Low-priced Sherries; the
Xeres Cellars; Varieties in Taste of Sherries; Knowledge of the
Merchants; Management of the Vineyards; Wine Houses in Xeres and in Port
St. Mary; Price of Sherry in Cadiz; Port St. Mary; the Theatre, and
Liberal Opinions; Strength of the Liberal Party in this Neighbourhood;
Return to Cadiz by Land; Isla; the Tongue of Cadiz....98



Peculiarities of Cadiz; a Fête; the Ladies of Cadiz; curious Whims and
Usages; Morals; the Religious Bodies; Murillo’s last Picture; Mr.
Brackenbury’s Pictures; Remarks upon Consular Remuneration; the two
Cathedrals; effects upon the Commercial Prosperity of Cadiz, from its
having been created a Free Port; State of the Road between Cadiz and
Gibraltar; Departure from Cadiz; Chiclana; Morning Scenes; a Venta; the
African Coast; Wild Scenery; Dangers of the Road; Suspicious
Circumstance; Tariffa; another Venta; Journey through the Mountains to
Algesiras; View of Gibraltar; Arrival                                119



Picture of the Street Population of Gibraltar; the Construction of
Houses favourable to Epidemic; Scenery, union of Nature and Art; the
_Agremens_ of Gibraltar as a Military Station; high Prices in Gibraltar;
the Alameda; the Excavations; Walk to the Summit; the Monkeys;
Magnificent View; Sunday in Gibraltar; Trade; the Epidemic; Extortion at
the Passport Office; Voyage to Malaga; View of the City from the Sea; a
strange Usage; Pictures of Idleness; facility of Living in Malaga; Bad
Character of the Population; an Anecdote; Public Edifices; Society;
Morals; Italian Opera; curious Scenes; a perilous Situation; the Wines
of Malaga; Produce, and Export of Wines; Malaga Sherry; Export of
Fruits; the Raisins of Malaga; Trade with England; Excursions in the
Neighbourhood; Water-Coolers; Prices of Provisions....156



Different Routes to Granada; Ascent of the Malaga Mountains; an Anecdote
illustrative of Spanish Morals; Picture of a Venta and its Inmates;
Night Arrangements, beautiful situation of Loxa; the Venta de Casin;
first View of Granada; Reflections; the Situation of Granada and its
Vega; the Alhambra; St. Michael’s Mount, and its Singularities;
excavated Dwellings; View from the Mount; extraordinary Changes in
Temperature; a Fire in Granada, and the curious means resorted to for
extinguishing it; Superstition; the Cathedral; the Convents; the
Archbishop; Husbandry in the Vega of Granada; State of Agriculture; the
Duke of Wellington’s Estates; Effects of the Loss of the Colonies; the
Paseos of Granada; the Population; the Market; Usages; the Italian
Opera                                                                201



The best mode of travelling this Road; Precautions necessary; the
Village of Huetor, and its Venta; Aspect of the Country; an Encounter;
Diezma; singular Scenery; Guadix; Journey from Guadix; excessive Cold;
Baza, and its Valley; Cullar de Baza; excavated Dwellings; a probable
intention of Robbery; Chirivel; Desolate Country on the confines of
Murcia; Puerto; the Vale of Lorca; Dress of the Murcian Peasantry; Lorca
Market; the Cathedral, and Liberality of the Archbishop of Carthagena;
Totana; a Dance; Approach to Murcia, and extraordinary beauty of its
Vale; Murcia, its Streets and Population; Magnificent View from the
summit of the Cathedral Tower; Paseos and Environs; a ridiculous
Observance; Prices of Provisions; Manufacture of Salt-Petre; Silk
Manufacture; Agriculture                                             248



Winter in England and in Spain; Journey from Murcia; Orihuela and its
Huerta; Inhabitants, and Superstition; a Muleteer’s Story; La Granja,
and effects of the Earthquake of 1829; Elche, and its Forest of Palms;
Commerce; the Date; arrival at Alicant; magnificent Houses; Situation of
Alicant; the Feast of the Patron Saint; peculiarity in Alicant Society;
Political Restrictions on Society; the Trade and Exports of Alicant;
Barilla, the Huerta; an extraordinary Law-suit; Dangerous Road to San
Felipe; Montforte, Novilda, and Elda; the Feast of the Concepcion
Purissima; Sax, and Villena; Recontre with Moorish Physicians; Fuente de
Higuera; Soldiers’ Opinions; charming Scenes; the Algarrobo; arrival at
San Felipe; magnificent Moorish Remains; Relics of Moorish Customs;
Journey to Valencia; Conversation with a Dominican Friar; the Plain of
Valencia; Spring and Autumn in Spain; arrival at Valencia            283



Bridges, River, Convents; prevalence of Religious Bigotry; Moorish
Remains; Beggars, and the cause of their abundance in Valencia; the
Archbishop; the University; Academy of Fine Arts; the Cathedral and its
Tower; the plain of Valencia and its productions; Rice Grounds and their
produce; produce of Silk, and Silk Trade; export of Fruit; prices of
Provisions; Pictures; Valencia Society; the Ladies of Valencia; the port
of Valencia; Paseos; Valencia Tiles; Journey to Murviedro, (the ancient
Saguntum); Convento de los Reyes; Murviedro, its Fortress, and Ruins of
Saguntum; an Arrest; a visit from the Alcalde; Journey to Tarragona;
pleasing Scenes; Catalunia; Catalunian industry and its causes;
Tarragona, its Antiquities and Cathedral; Provincial Dialects; sorting
of Nuts, and the Nut trade; Journey to Barcellona, and arrival       327



General Character of Barcellona, and its Population; Paseos, Ramparts,
and Fortifications; the Conde de España; his Policy; Interview with the
Conde; his Character and Government; Anecdotes of his Government;
Political Feeling in Barcellona; Churches and Convents; the Opera;
Monjuich; Barcellonetta; Decrease of Trade with England, and its Causes;
General Trade of Barcellona; an Execution; the Priesthood and the
People; a Miracle in 1827; Prices of Provisions; Visit to Monserrat;
Journey from Barcellona to the Frontier; Delightful Scenery; Proofs of
Catalunian Industry; Gerona Figueras; the Pyrennees;
Reflexions                                                           365

SPAIN IN 1830.



     Different Modes of Travelling to Seville; Journey to Aranjuez; the
     Gardens of Aranjuez; Ocana; a Spanish Supper; Polinario, the
     ci-devant Robber; History of his Change of Life; La Mancha, and
     Journey to Manzanarez; Madridlejos and its Population; Husbandry of
     La Mancha; Puerto Lapiche, and References to Don Quixotte;
     Manzanarez; Journey to the foot of the Sierra Morena; Consolacion,
     and its miserable People; Val de Peñas and its Wine, and Details;
     Explanation of a Passage in Don Quixotte; the Venta de Cardenas,
     and the Sierra Morena; Mountain Images; Journey on muleback across
     the Sierra Morena; the New Settlements, and their Condition;
     Descent into Andalusia; Novel Prospects; Baylen; a Defence against
     Mosquitos; Picturesque Views; Anduxar; Journey from Anduxar to
     Cordova; the Plain of the Guadalquivir; extraordinary Aloes, and
     Uses of the Aloe; charming Situation of Cordova; its former
     Splendour and present Wretchedness; Lead Mines; the Mosque; Journey
     to Seville; Striking Views; Political Sentiments of a Barber of
     Ecija; Carmona; View of Seville, and Arrival.

The heats of summer had now so far subsided, as to justify a change from
the elevated plain of Castile, to the warm shores of Andalusia.
Accordingly, being provided by the kindness of my friends in Madrid,
with letters for the captains-general of the southern provinces, and for
numerous private individuals, all which, together with the letters to
his majesty’s consuls, and to mercantile houses, brought with me from
England, formed a budget of no contemptible size or value, I prepared
for my long and fatiguing journey.

But although, in leaving Madrid to traverse the southern and
south-eastern provinces of Spain, the traveller naturally anticipates in
this journey of not less than sixteen hundred miles, many privations,
and some dangers; there are also a thousand delightful and novel
associations to excite his expectation. La Mancha, and the memory of its
courteous knight; and the thousand reminiscences with which the genius
of Cervantes has hallowed it,--the Sierra Morena, and its wild histories
and lawless banditti,--Seville, which, with its orange groves and
Guadalquivir, its masks and serenades, holds in the mind a sort of
fabled existence,--Granada, its Alhambra, and snowy Sierras, and the
host of historic and romantic recollections with which it is
peopled,--Murcia, and its groves of date trees, its earthquakes, and
ruined villages, and benighted inhabitants. Valencia, and its rich
plains and eternal summer, its gorgeous city and majestic antiquities.

There is only one road from Madrid to Seville; but there are various
modes of travelling it. Diligences, which leave Madrid twice a week,
perform the journey in four days and a half; resting every evening from
about seven, till a little after midnight. Galeras, on springs, which
have no regular day of departure, but which are to be found every week,
perform the journey in ten days. A private coach and seven mules may be
hired, by which eleven or twelve days will be occupied on the road; or
this journey may, like every other in Spain, be performed by mules, and
by this mode of conveyance, fourteen days must be allowed. But none of
these modes altogether pleased me; because the road between Madrid and
Seville is so varied in the degree of interest which it possesses, that
no single conveyance could unite the advantages of rapidity and
slowness, essential to the enjoyment of the traveller who wishes to
linger in those parts where peculiar attractions are to be found, and to
pass rapidly over those uninteresting tracts that stretch between one
point of interest and another. I resolved, therefore, to travel from
Madrid to Ocaña, by Aranjuez, in a _caleche_; to take the diligence
through La Mancha, to the foot of the Sierra Morena; to cross the Sierra
to Anduxar on muleback; and there to be guided by circumstances and
information, as to the mode of journeying to Seville.

I left Madrid at half-past six in the morning; and for the last time,
passed out at the gate of Toledo, and across the magnificent bridge
which spans the insignificant brook dignified by the name of the river
_Manzanares_. If the Tagus, which flows but seven leagues distant,
filled the wide channel which is now scarcely moistened by the scanty
waters that ooze through it,--what beauty, what wealth, would it carry
to the metropolis of Spain! What a belt of verdure would girt the
capital--what delicious shades,--what charming freshness! How contrasted
in imagination with the treeless desert that now lords it on every
side. But it is possible to suppose even greater changes than this; it
is said to have been a favourite topic with Joseph Buonaparte, to speak
not merely of diverting the waters of the Tagus to Madrid, but of
connecting the capitals of Spain and Portugal by a navigable
communication. There is only one step more needed, to present us with a
vision of regenerated Spanish power, wealth, and glory--the annexation
of Portugal to Spain,--the Peninsula one empire, and wisely governed.

The country between Madrid and Aranjuez presents little to interest,--it
is cursed with dryness. In most parts the cultivation of corn is
attempted, but the crops are scanty; and here and there are seen a few
copses of degenerate olives. Vines are also grown on some of the slopes,
but they are said hardly to repay the labour of the husbandman. At
Valdemoros, a Moorish town, as the name implies, and formerly celebrated
for its stocking manufactory, I stopped to take a cup of chocolate; and
about one o’clock I crossed the magnificent bridge over the Jarama,
erected by Charles III., and entered the valley of Aranjuez, where I
arrived after about half an hour’s drive along the first perfectly
shaded road I had seen since leaving Biscay. I had only a few hours to
spend in Aranjuez, being desirous of reaching Ocaña that evening; and
therefore I immediately presented myself to the governor, Don Lorenzo
Bonaria, to whom I carried an introductory letter from the Duque de

The charm of Aranjuez is entirely of a different kind from that which
belongs to St. Ildefonso. The latter would be beautiful if the aid of
art had never been sought. The neighbouring Sierra, and the natural
woods that clothe its sides, and hang upon its defiles, would possess
charms--even if man had never looked upon the scene to make it his own.
Aranjuez, on the other hand, would never have been distinguished by any
peculiar attraction, if the kings of Spain had not erected a palace
there; and if the wealth which, in past ages, so copiously flowed into
the coffers of these monarchs, had not been employed to make the spot
worthy of a palace. A site however was chosen, where it was possible to
accomplish much by the united aid of money and perseverance. The Tagus,
during about three leagues of its course, before reaching, and after
passing Aranjuez, flows through a dead level, varying in breadth from
two to three miles; and the object has been to cover this level with the
richest verdure, and to assemble there all the natural productions that
are congenial to the climate. The instrument has of course been
irrigation; and the object has been completely accomplished. The most
perfect shade, and the most charming verdure, cover this delightful
retreat; every spot of ground is laid out with the utmost
care,--unassisted Nature has been allowed to do nothing; every tree,
almost every bush, has its known and allotted place; and millions of
tiny rills are directed, when required, to the root of every individual
tree, and to every cluster of flowers. The whole belt is occupied by
gardens, woods, orchards, and innumerable avenues: and here and there,
near the palace, the waters of the Tagus are trained into cataracts,
that sights of shade and coolness may be answered by the refreshing
sounds that fall upon the ear. Aranjuez was charming even when I saw it;
although then the fresh verdure of spring had long passed away; but
here spring is constantly maintained by art;--and an unceasing
succession of labour, assisted by irrigation, and aided by a warm
climate, produces a never-ending renewal of beauty and vegetation. One
charm of Aranjuez, however, the season did not permit me to taste. I am
told, that walking among the woods of Aranjuez in the months of April or
May, one would say that they had robbed the two Castiles of their
singing birds, so full and charming is even the noon-day chorus of

After walking over the gardens, which are kept in the most inimitable
order, and where every fruit and vegetable suited to furnish forth a
kingly banquet may be seen, I had no more time left than just permitted
me to walk hastily over the principal apartments of the palace. I found
it quite equal to the wants even of a king; and with this observation, I
shall pass it over, having so lately occupied a chapter with the
Escurial and St. Ildefonso: descriptions of houses are at no time very
interesting. I received the greatest possible attention from Don Lorenzo
Bonaria, who would scarcely excuse me from spending a day or two at
Aranjuez; a pleasure in which I would willingly have indulged myself,
but for the necessity of proceeding south, and of passing the Sierras of
Granada, before the approach of bad weather.

I left Aranjuez about five o’clock, having two leagues only to Ocaña.
The moment I emerged from the belt of level ground, I found myself again
in a wild ill-cultivated country, with as little water, and as few
trees, as on the other side of the Tagus. We continued to ascend among
low wild hills, with olives here and there scattered over them; and
about seven o’clock, I arrived at the posada at Ocaña. Here I was
obliged to wait supper until the arrival of the diligence from Madrid:
fortunately, a good luncheon at Aranjuez, especially some delicious
melon from the royal garden, had fortified me against delay; but had
this been otherwise, I should nevertheless have been obliged to be
contented, for nothing is more hopeless than an attempt to hasten the
operations of a Spanish kitchen. A traveller may indeed take the care of
his supper upon himself; and if he possesses the faintest idea of the
art of cookery, this will generally be his wisest plan. The diligence
arrived about eight o’clock, and supper was immediately served. Every
where south of Madrid, the first two dishes placed upon the supper table
are soup--so called--and boiled eggs: the soup however is not soup, the
whole of the liquid being generally absorbed by the bread: and the eggs
are always boiled as if for a salad; but when bruised, and eaten with
vinegar, and pepper, and bread, this part of the supper is not to be
rejected; because it is more than probable, that the stew, or fowl,
which follows, will be found reclining upon a bed of oil and garlic,
from which it is impossible to extricate an untainted morsel. A few
glasses of good Val de Peñas, and some delicious grapes and melons, go
far however towards supplying deficiencies; and these luxuries are never

Towards the conclusion of supper, a guest of no small importance took
his place at the table: this was no other than the celebrated Polinario,
during eleven years, the dread of half Spain, and now following the
honest calling of guard of the Seville diligence. I never saw a finer
man, or one whose appearance more clearly indicated the profession
which he had abandoned. I could not help fancying, that his countenance
expressed a certain lawlessness of mind, and contempt of peaceable
persons like myself, which an assumed suavity of manner was unable
altogether to conceal: this suavity of manner is, however, very
remarkable; and I believe is in perfect accordance with his conduct when
a robber; for Polinario was never guilty of any act of wanton cruelty or
barbarity, but along with the most fearless courage, he always evinced a
certain forbearance, not uncommon among Spanish banditti,--but in him,
having a deeper seat than the mock civility of a Spanish thief, arising
rather from a softness at heart, which afterwards led to a change in his
mode of life. The history of this change is curious, and I pledge myself
for its authenticity. The usual range of Polinario was the northern part
of the Sierra Morena and the southern parts of La Mancha; and here he
remained during eleven years. A few years ago, understanding that the
archbishop of Gaen would pass the Sierra Morena in his carriage without
other attendants than his servants, he lay in wait for the prelate, and
stopped his carriage. The archbishop of course delivered his money; and
Polinario having received it, asked his blessing: upon this, the
archbishop began to remonstrate with the robber, setting forth the
heinousness of his offences, and the wickedness of his life: but
Polinario interrupted the archbishop, by telling him it was of no use
remonstrating upon his manner of life, unless his Grace could obtain a
pardon for the past; because without this, it was impossible he could
change his mode of living. The archbishop of Gaen is a good man; and
feeling a real desire to assist Polinario in his half-expressed desire
of seeking a better way of life, he passed his word that he would obtain
for him his majesty’s pardon; and Polinario came under a solemn promise
to the archbishop, that he would rob no more. In this way the matter
stood for eleven months; for it was eleven months before the archbishop
could obtain the pardon he had promised; and during all this time,
Polinario was obliged to conceal himself from the pursuit which the
offer of a considerable reward had long before instigated. At length,
however, the pardon was obtained; and Polinario was free to lead an
honest life. He admits, however, that he is not contented with the
change; and makes no hesitation in saying, that the promise made to the
archbishop alone prevents him from returning to his former profession;
but, he says the archbishop kept his word to him, and he will keep his
word to the archbishop.

I had resolved to take advantage of the diligence from this place,
through La Mancha to the foot of the Sierra Morena; because,
notwithstanding the interest that attaches to La Mancha, from its
connexion with Don Quixotte, it is not a country to linger in. There are
few romantic beauties in La Mancha; it is chiefly a wine country; and
producing, in other parts, corn, oil, and saffron: but it has few charms
for the traveller who loves the picturesque and the beautiful; and,
although the road touches upon two or three points where Cervantes has
laid the scene of certain exploits of the valorous knight, the chief
field of these lies more to the left. Besides, the interest which the
history of Don Quixotte has thrown over La Mancha, is of so visionary a
kind, that the mere consciousness of passing through La Mancha, gives
to it all the force and reality of which it is susceptible.

It wanted more than three hours to the time when the diligence should
set out, and all the passengers retired to bed; but I saw no advantage
in going to a bad bed, to be roused from it, just when one might begin
to be insensible to its badness; accordingly, I sat up until one
o’clock, when I took my seat in the diligence. Before day-light, we
passed through two poor towns, La Guardia, and Templeque, and arrived to
breakfast at Madridlejos. Breakfast not being ready, I strolled through
the street and market-place; and this being Sunday morning, all the
peasantry were sauntering about, and making purchases: it seemed almost
a population of beggars; for even the best of the peasantry, with their
old brown cloaks, and little black caps fitting close to the head,
conveyed a wretched idea of holiday respectability in Castile: how
opposite from the population of the village at which I stopped one
Sunday morning, in Biscay! The innkeeper in the posada where we
breakfasted, was formerly Alcalde of the town, and was well known to
have been at that time connected with the banditti who infested this
part of the country. He may still be said to be a robber, in one sense;
for I was obliged to pay twelve reals for one cup of chocolate and two

From Madridlegos to Puerto Lapiche, there is nothing to interest. The
nakedness of the country is in some degree relieved by olive
plantations; but the soil is generally sterile and unproductive.
Agriculture, throughout all these districts, including those parts of La
Mancha which are not dedicated to the best wines, is in the lowest
state: the natural indolence of the inhabitants is aided by old
prejudices and ridiculous usages in husbandry, which they are by no
means willing to relinquish; among these, one of the most injurious to
the land, is the supposed necessity for allowing animal manure to rot
before it be applied to the soil; the valuable gases fly off, and the
vegetable fibre alone remains. The inhabitants of this part of Spain
ought to be particularly careful that their manure be applied in the
most effectual way, because they possess so little of it. The greater
part of the husbandry of La Mancha, and of the southern parts of
Toledo, is performed by hand labour; all the animal labour required, is
performed by mules; and throughout the whole of La Mancha, horned cattle
are scarcely to be seen. Another cause of the depressed state of these
districts is, that in La Mancha and the neighbouring provinces, but
especially in La Mancha, there are immense tracts of crown lands, the
revenues of which are appropriated in grants for military and other
service; these lands are managed by stewards of the crown, who rob the
people, cheat the treasury, and, in fact, turn all the revenues to their
own aggrandizement.

At Puerto Lapiche we are in La Mancha, and it is at this place, or at
least in its neighbourhood, that the famous adventure with the windmills
is placed by Cervantes; for it was immediately after its unlucky
termination, that Don Quixotte and his squire approached Puerto Lapiche.
It was impossible to cast the eye towards the left, and see some
windmills standing upon a small elevation, without calling to mind the
chivalrous tone and heroic bearing of the knight of La Mancha. “Fly not,
ye base and cowardly miscreants! for he is but a single knight who now
attacks you.” A little farther on, a flock of sheep grazing at the foot
of a hillock, naturally reminded me of another adventure of Cervantes’
hero. “This, oh Sancho! is the day that shall manifest the great things
which fortune hath in store for me,--seest thou that cloud of dust
before us? the whole of it is raised by a vast army, composed of various
and innumerable nations that are marching that way.”

Between Puerto Lapiche and Manzanarez, we passed through Villaharta, a
place, attesting in its ruins, and wretchedness, the desolating effects
of war; and we also stopped a little while at the venta de Quesada,
under which the river Guadiana is supposed to flow. It is certain that
the Guadiana looses itself about two leagues to the left, and again
emerges at a short distance to the right of this venta. In approaching
Manzanarez, the appearance of the country improves: a brilliant sunset
blazed across the landscape, giving great richness to the fields, which
were covered with the blue flower of the saffron; and touching with
gaiety and lightness, even the unrefreshing green of the olives, which,
in long straight avenues, intersected the wide plain.

Manzanarez is a place of some size, and of proportionate poverty. Almost
all the surrounding land belongs to the knights of Calatrava, and to the
Duke of San Carlos, who has extensive cellars of Val de Peñas, in the
neighbourhood. The landlord of the posada, a fine old man of seventy,
used to be entrusted with a commission to send prime wine of the country
to his late Majesty, when Prince Regent: he made me taste a choice
glass, which I found not at all inferior to that which I drank from the
king’s cellar, at St. Ildefonso. At Manzanarez, I vacated my seat in the
diligence,--securing for my next day’s journey, a small caleche, and two
strong mules, by which I hoped to be carried to the foot of the Sierra
Morena. If I had proceeded by the diligence, I must have passed through
all the intervening country, and Val de Peñas, during the night. We
supped well at this posada; and when I retired to bed, it was with the
agreeable knowledge that I should not, like my travelling companions, be
roused at midnight, to continue my journey. In taking leave of
Polinario, I asked him if I might consider myself safe in sleeping the
ensuing night in the venta, at the foot of the Sierra Morena; he
replied, that he would desire them to prepare a bed for me, and that I
might sleep in security. I slipped a dollar into his hand, and felt that
I was secure in his promise.

I left Manzanarez before sunrise, and found my muleteer obliging and
intelligent, and my mules active. Soon after leaving Manzanarez, the
small town of Argamasilla de Alba is seen on the right: here it is, that
Cervantes is said to have been imprisoned, and that the first part of
Don Quixotte is said to have been written. Betwixt this point and Val de
Peñas, I passed through a small village called Consolacion,--almost a
ruin, from the effects of war; the inhabitants had in few instances
rebuilt their houses, but had scooped out hovels and habitations in the
rubbish. My vehicle attracted many to the outlets of these miserable
abodes; and the inmates looked more like wild animals peeping from their
dens, than civilized beings, looking from human habitations. In
approaching Val de Peñas, the country improves, the land is evidently
tilled with greater care, and the more anxious culture of the vine shews
that the grape is here worth cultivating. Before entering Val de Peñas,
I passed through an extensive olive plantation, in which I noticed
several monumental crosses,--two of them, broken by the weight of stones
with which the devout had burdened them.

Val de Peñas--“Valley of Stones”--is alike the name of the town, the
district, and the wine: the latter makes the riches of both the others;
and Val de Peñas is accordingly said to be the richest town in the
Castiles. The wine of Val de Peñas, is the wine universally drank by the
better classes all over the Castiles--indeed, it may almost be said,
every where north of the Sierra Morena. But unlike most other wines, it
is drunk most in perfection in the district where it grows; not because
it is incapable of exportation; on the contrary, it has body enough to
bear exportation to any climate: but because it is not tasted once in a
hundred times free from the taint of the skins in which it is carried.
When found in perfection, it is a wine deserving of being held in the
highest estimation; there is a raciness about it, which would certainly
recommend it to the English palate; and if a communication should ever
be opened between La Mancha and the southern provinces, there is little
doubt that the wine of Val de Peñas will find its way into the English
ports. I visited one of the repositories of the richest growers, who
told me he had there upwards of six thousand skins,--the average
contents of the skin being about ten arrobas; and that the price of the
wine bought upon the spot, would amount to about (in English currency
and measure) 3_l._ 10_s._ per pipe. I saw no beggars in Val de Peñas;
but neither is there any appearance of general comfort. The culture, and
preparation of the wine, employ all the inhabitants; but wages are low,
and the enjoyments which they purchase few. The wages of labour are
about three reals (less than 7_d._) per day. Mutton here sells at eight
quartos; bread at six and a half quartos, per lb. Beef is not to be
found in almost any part of La Mancha, and it is not esteemed.

Here, and in most other parts of La Mancha, it is the custom for women
of the inferior orders, to throw over their heads the skirt of their
petticoats; the veil and mantilla being only used by the upper ranks.
This fact explains the passage in Don Quixotte, where, when Sancho tells
his wife how great a lady she is destined to be when he is governor of
an island, Theresa replies, “Neither will I put it in the power of those
who see me dressed like a countess, or governor’s lady, to say, ‘Mind
Mrs. Porkfeeder--how proud she looks! It was but yesterday she toiled
hard at the distaff, and went to mass with the tail of her gown about
her head, instead of a veil.’” In a hundred other instances, light is
thrown upon the page of Cervantes, by travelling through La Mancha.

I left Val de Peñas, after a tolerable breakfast in one of the largest
posadas I had seen in Spain; and immediately upon getting clear of the
town, the Sierra Morena rose before me, apparently at no great distance.
I passed through several small villages in approaching nearer to the
Sierra, among others, St. Cruz, and La Concepcion de Almuradiel: between
these two villages, the plain of La Mancha is lost among the outer
ridges of the Sierra; and, excepting in the vicinity of the latter
village, the country is scarcely cultivated. Between La Concepcion de
Almuradiel, and the foot of the Sierra, the road constantly rises,
though gradually; and about four in the afternoon, I arrived at the
“Venta de Cardeñas,” where I purposed passing the night. I found a room
and a bed,--such as they were,--prepared for me, as I had reason to
expect from Polinario’s promise; and the host told me, that Polinario
had enjoined him to take care of me; to give me a good supper, and to
provide me with a steady mule to pass the Sierra.

The Venta de Cardenas, is a solitary house standing just under the
mountain, upon a small elevation on the left side of the road. It is
here where the famous adventure of the galley-slaves is placed by
Cervantes, where, after Don Quixotte had delivered Gines de Passamonte
and his companions from bondage, and after Sancho had his ass stolen,
the knight and his squire entered the Brown Mountain, and met Cardenio;
upon whose story the Drama of the Mountaineers has been constructed.
This neighbourhood is still famous for the frequency of the robberies
that take place in it; and it was in the identical Venta de Cardenas,
that the greater number of Polinario’s robberies were committed; the
landlord of the venta,--the same who inhabits it now,--had an
understanding with Polinario; and in most instances, travellers were
taken into this venta and stripped; this being considered safer and more
convenient than stripping them on the highway.

About an hour after I arrived, the supper which had been bespoken, was
placed before me; and having myself superintended the cookery, I had the
satisfaction of sitting down to fowl and bacon, without either oil or
garlic. The host told me, that upon the La Mancha side of the Sierra
Morena, there was little danger of robbery; but that the moment I set
foot in Andalusia, I might consider myself in constant jeopardy. The
band of Don José, he said, was then scouring every part of Andalusia;
and on some roads, scarcely any traveller escaped robbery. I afterwards
found, that in this information he was correct; but just about the same
time, the band of Don José was dispersed; upwards of twenty were made
prisoners, and the leader, and about fifteen followers escaped to

After dinner, it still wanted an hour of sunset; and this interval, and
nearly another hour added to it, I spent in a ramble among the outposts
of the Sierra. All the lower part of the mountain on this side is
covered with a thick carpet of shrubs, and with millions of aromatic
plants. Wild olives grow profusely over the lower acclivities; but
higher up, and in the defiles, ilex and pine throw their deeper and
broader shadows upon the mountain side. The silence of the hills is felt
in its fullest extent on the Sierra Morena, because it is not broken by
the music of mountain rills, whose playful gush, and varying tone, often
go far towards neutralizing the character of solemnity which naturally
belongs to mountain scenes. Almost all the waters of the Sierra Morena
descend on the southern side, and flow towards the Mediterranean. I
caught some fine mountain images before darkness forced me back to the
venta. Sunny slopes, strewed with pale olives; and dark hill sides
scattered with crooked ilex; golden peaks, and dusky ravines; milk-white
goats descending the steeps, and the goatherd, such as he whose whistle
startled Don Quixotte and his squire; small trains of mules, with their
bells, and their muleteer, winding down the road towards the venta; and
the broader shadows, and the fading light, and the dusky mountain, and
the dark outline, piled against the unclouded heaven of Andalusian

Leaving injunctions to call me before sunrise, I took a draught of Val
de Peñas, and retired to my _quarto_, a small square apartment, with no
furniture in it excepting one chair and my bed, which consisted of a
mattress laid upon three boards, supported by two logs. The window was
open, and not more than six or seven feet from the ground; but the
assurance of Polinario was enough, and I slept well till awoke by the
muleteer calling to me that my mule was ready. I swallowed a cup of
chocolate while dressing, and was seated upon my mule, just as the
highest peaks of the Sierra received the earliest message of day. It was
as charming a morning as ever broke upon the mountain tops; the sky was
one field of azure, with that pale green tinge peculiar to morning skies
in the south of Spain; and the air felt so light and invigorating, that
every draught was like the gush of a mountain spring. My mule trod
sturdily up the steep winding road: and the muleteer, an Andalusian of
Andujár, walked or ran as was necessary. Although early, we were not the
earliest upon the road; for several trains of mules were seen winding
round the brow of the opposite acclivities: these, though close at hand,
were not speedily gained by the road, which was obliged frequently to
ascend one side of a gorge, cross it at the extremity, and return by the
other side to the point opposite to that by which we entered it. After
about half a league of steep ascent, the first pass is obtained: here
the scenery is wild and striking; the road passes beneath a succession
of lofty rocky peaks, while on the other side, a deep and narrow gulf
runs parallel with the road: if twelve or fourteen feet of rock were
here blown up, this pass would be no longer a pass.

From the first summit, I descended into a deep valley, and then ascended
again, during at least two leagues. The sides of the mountain are
scattered with evergreen oak, and a few ash trees, and are thickly
covered with an underwood of shrubs; occasional glimpses are caught
below, of openings into the deep and uninhabited lateral valleys of the
Sierra; but as the road climbs towards the south, nature puts on a more
cultivated aspect, and houses, and villages at a little distance, are
seen scattered around. These are the new colonies, as they are still
called, of the Sierra Morena, and the first of the villages we reach, is
Santa Elena. Nothing can be more striking or agreeable than the contrast
between the villages of the new settlements, and those we meet in other
parts of the interior of Spain. Industry and activity were evidently at
work every where around; the soil was forced to yield whatever crop was
suited to it; and corn and pasture, and little patches of potato and
cabbage land, smiled fresh and green around the cottages: these were of
a better construction than the cabins of Spanish peasantry; and upon
looking into some of them, I noticed all the necessary articles of
common household furniture. The people too, were not seen looking from
their doors in rags, or sitting under the walls wrapped up in their
cloaks; they all seemed to have something to do, and went about their
avocations with the air of persons who had no hankering after idleness.
The secret is, that these people have an interest in what they do, for
they labour upon their own property. The history of these settlements is
probably known to every one; and yet; I can scarcely altogether pass it

Previous to the reign of Charles III., the Sierra Morena was entirely
abandoned to banditti; but Don Pablo de Olavido, who then enjoyed a high
office in the government of the province of Seville, conceived the
design of colonizing the Sierra, and of supporting the colonists by
their agricultural labour. One attempt failed, after a great outlay; but
a second was, to a certain degree, successful. Settlers came from
different parts of Germany, tempted by the liberal offers of the Spanish
government; and it is their descendants who still people these colonies.
Every settler received fifty pieces of land, every piece being ten
thousand square feet--free of rent, for ten years; and afterwards,
subject only to tithes. And if these pieces were brought under
cultivation, another equally large portion was assigned to the
cultivator. Along with his land, the colonist received the necessary
articles of agricultural labour:--ten cows, an ass, two pigs, a cock and
hen, and seed for his land; a house, and a bake-house: and the only
incumbrance upon the property, was, a restriction in the power of
disposing of it, which no settler had the liberty of doing in favour of
any person already in the enjoyment of a lot; so that the possessions of
the colonists could neither become less nor greater; excepting by their
own industry.

But, notwithstanding the many advantages and privileges which these
colonies enjoy; and although, in comparison with the ordinary run of
Spanish villages, the villages of the new settlements present an aspect
of comfort and industry; the colonies have never been entirely
successful, and are said to be less flourishing every year. At present,
there is no increase of riches among them; all they are able to do, is
merely to support themselves in tolerable comfort: the only cause that
can be assigned for this negative prosperity, must be referred to a
deficient outlet for the produce of their labour. It is evident, that
without a market, the labour of the agriculturist is useless, and will
soon be restricted to that point which is fixed by the wants of himself
and his family.

Soon after leaving Santa Elena, the prospect opens towards the south;
the highest ridges of the Sierra lie behind, and Andalusia stretches
below. About three leagues beyond Santa Elena, lies La Carolina, the
capital of the new settlements; where I arrived early in the afternoon.
This is really a neat, clean town; and the apparent excellence of the
posada almost tempted me to yield to the instances of the muleteer, who
wished me to make my night’s quarters at this place; but I had resolved
to sleep at Baylen, that I might have a short day’s journey on the
morrow, to Anduxar.

Nature exhibits a new appearance when we leave Carolina, and descend
into the plain of Andalusia: the olive grounds are no longer groves, but
forests; the ilex does not dot, but clothes the sides of the mountains;
innumerable new shrubs, and varieties of aromatic plants, unseen before,
cover every spot of waste land; and the hedges by the way-side, are
composed of gigantic aloes. All the way from La Carolina to Baylen, I
passed through a country rich in corn and oil;--a wide, undulating
plain, bounded on the south by the mountains of Granada; and here and
there, upon the southern ridges of the Sierra Morena, which forms the
northern boundary of the plain, were seen the ruins of Moorish castles.
At nightfall I reached Baylen, celebrated as the field of battle where
Castanos gained the decided victory which subsequently led to the
evacuation of Madrid.

I almost regretted that I had not yielded to the temptation of a good
posada at Carolina, as the guide led my mule into the yard of a very
wretched posada at Baylen. I found a bed, however, not worse than usual;
and for supper, I was forced to be contented with fried eggs, and
excellent wine, and a delicious melon. My journey had been long and
fatiguing; and defying the mosquitos, by throwing a handkerchief over my
face, I slept soundly till morning. It may be charity to the traveller,
to mention a contrivance which I afterwards adopted as a defence against
the assaults of mosquitos. Mosquito curtains are nowhere to be found in
Spain, not even in the very best hotels, and every one is not able to
sleep with a handkerchief thrown over the face. I purchased a piece of
thin muslin about a yard square, and loaded the sides of it with small
leaden weights, the muslin having been previously much starched: this,
thrown over the head, leaves ample breathing room; and the weights
keeping it down on all sides, it rarely happens that a mosquito gains
admittance within.

I left Baylen, as usual, about sun rise; and immediately entered a wild,
but highly picturesque valley. A turbulent stream, called Rio de las
Piedras--“river of stones,” dashed through it,--its banks, wherever the
rocks admitted a tuft of green, covered with the bright pink flower of a
shrub unknown to me: ilex, here and there diversified by a tall
round-headed pine, clustered in the hollows, and strewed the sides of
the acclivities; and a party of muleteers, and their mules, resting
under the shade of a clump of trees, added greatly to the
picturesqueness of the landscape. Several of these figures forcibly
reminded me that I was now in the country of Murillo. The short brown
hair, the ragged and patched brown coat and trowsers, the bare feet, and
the occupation--breaking bread, and eating fruit, all carried me to
those admirable portraitures of Spanish life, which have so often and so
successfully engaged the pencil of this illustrious master.

There is little to interest between leaving this valley, and arriving at
Andujar. I passed through extensive woods, both of olives and ilex,
where I counted three crosses; and the muleteer assured me it was not at
all unlikely that we might be robbed before reaching Andujar; though he
admitted that our probabilities of escape were greater, owing to its
being morning. This is considered one of the most dangerous spots
between Madrid and Seville: about a week after my arrival at the latter
place, the mail was robbed within about two leagues of Andujar. This
robbery was attended with one circumstance, rather inconsistent with the
usual civility of Spanish banditti. After every package had been rifled,
the four passengers,--three gentlemen and one lady,--were stripped, all
excepting the _camisa_, and in this plight were put into the carriage:
the postilion also made his entry into Andujar in his shirt, I reached
the Venta de Lequaca, however, without interruption; and after resting
there an hour, taking chocolate, and refreshing my mule, I continued my
journey, and arrived at Andujar early in the afternoon.

Here I dismissed my mule and muleteer; though yet unresolved in what
manner to proceed to Cordova and Seville: but soon after, learning that
a light waggon and seven mules would leave Andujar at four next morning,
I engaged a place in it to Cordova.

The situation of Andujar is fine: it stands at the head of a wide plain,
watered throughout its whole extent by the Guadalquivir, which I saw
here for the first time; and the advanced slopes of the Sierra Morena
rise close to the north of the town. Every where round, the country is
under cultivation; a fine soil, and a delightful climate, insuring an
abundant return: and the banks of the river, and the slopes of the
Sierra are covered with vines and olives. The city itself is of
considerable size, containing nearly twenty thousand inhabitants, six
churches, and nine convents. I remarked an evident improvement in the
appearance of the people: they were better clothed and better looking
than the Castilians; but notwithstanding this, the population of
Andujar, as well as of Cordova, is said to be a bad
population,--thievish, deceitful, and violent. It is certain that, with
the exception of the coast between Cadiz and Malaga, more robberies are
committed in the neighbourhood of Andujar than in any other part of

I took my seat in the waggon at four in the morning, and the day dawned
about half an hour after leaving Audujar. The whole way to Cordova, the
road lies through the extensive plain that borders the
Guadalquivir:--this plain is chiefly divided between wheat and olives;
the latter forming a complete forest a few leagues from Andujar:--they
are the property of the Duke of Medina Cœli, who is said to be the only
man in Spain who waters his olives. The river flows at about a mile
distant, and the whole of the olive land is subjected to irrigation by
means of machinery, which raises the water into channels and wooden
troughs laid for it. I learned that the Duke finds his advantage in this
system, having frequently fine olive crops when other proprietors have
none. The wheat crops raised upon this plain are of the finest quality,
but only one crop is expected. There can be no doubt, however, that if
the wheat land were also subjected to the process of irrigation, as in
Valencia and Murcia, more than one crop might be obtained from the soil.
The road, in approaching Cordova, is bordered on either side by
magnificent hedges of aloe. I had the curiosity to measure some of
these, and found several leaves eleven and twelve feet long, and the
stalks of the flower from twenty-four to thirty feet high. The aloe is a
useful plant to the natives. Ropes are made from the fibres of the
leaves; and the stalks of the flowers are cut into light beams for
constructing cottages. The wild olive, which grows in great abundance in
this district, is also a useful tree, although its fruit be worthless;
the wood is among the hardest known, and is much used in agricultural
implements, particularly in the construction of cart wheels.

I approached Cordova under all the advantages of a most glorious sunset,
which bathed in gold the numerous towers and minarets of this ancient
Moorish capital, long the nursery and favourite shelter of the arts and
sciences, and the birth-place of Seneca and Lucan. The situation of
Cordova is truly delightful. East and west flows the Guadalquivir,--the
level stripe that lies along its banks, rich in every production that is
congenial to the climate of Andalusia; a range of low hills wooded to
the summit, and diversified by gardens, orange groves, and country
houses, stretch, parallel with the river, bounding the prospect to the
south; while the elevated chain of the Sierra Morena, pushes forward its
picturesque outposts almost to the walls of the city. But situation is
the only glory of Cordova that remains. Science has found other
sanctuaries, and riches new channels; and modern Cordova is one of the
most decayed, most deserted, and most miserable cities of Spain.
Cordova, when metropolis of the kingdom of Abdoulraman, in 759, is said
to have contained three hundred thousand persons; forty years ago it
contained thirty-four thousand; and since then, twelve thousand more
must be deducted from the number of its inhabitants; and of the
twenty-two thousand yet remaining, upwards of three thousand are shut in
by convent walls. The inhabitants live entirely by agriculture,--for,
with the exception of a very trifling manufactory of linen, there is no
trade of any description. At a moderate distance from the city are some
lead mines, said to be well worth the notice of the capitalist. I met an
English gentleman resident at Cordova, who has lately begun to work one
of these mines under a sufficiently advantageous contract: he told me
that the only thing he had to contend with, was the expense of carriage
as far as Seville; the wages of labour were only four reals, about
9_d._; and if there was water conveyance from Cordova to Seville, he
could secure a highly profitable return. The Guadalquivir, however, is
not navigable; and without this facility of transit, I believe the
speculation is doubtful. Every thing is remarkably cheap in Cordova.
Beef is fourteen quartos the pound of thirty-two ounces. Mutton,
sixteen quartos. Fine bread, six quartos. The ordinary wages of
agricultural labour do not exceed three reals.

The great attraction of Cordova is its mosque,--once, second only to
that of Mecca. It is curious, but not beautiful or striking; the
interest arises chiefly from the knowledge we obtain from it of the
structure and interior of a mosque. Divested of this interest, it is a
labyrinth of small pillars, without order or elegance: the area is
indeed immensely large, being no less than five hundred and twelve feet
long, by four hundred and twenty-three broad; but the multitude of
pillars injures the general effect; and the erection of an altar in the
centre, where nothing was ever intended to be, destroys its unity as a
mosque, without substituting any of the grandeur of a Christian temple.
There is one beautiful Moorish relic however, which, of itself, well
repays a visit to this curious remain of other and brighter days. This
is the chapel of Mahomet, which was accidentally laid open in the year
1815, by the removal of some old brick-work. It is in the most perfect
state of preservation. The Arabic characters upon the cornices, and the
colours in which these are inscribed, are as perfect and as vivid as if
it were all the work of yesterday. The gilding too, and the mosaic, have
lost nothing of their freshness. Close by the mosque, upon a stone
platform above the river, there is a monument to the angel Raphael, the
guardian angel of the city. A certain devout archbishop, who held the
see of Cordova many years ago, dreamt that the angel Raphael appeared to
him, and declared himself guardian of the city; and the archbishop
commemorated his dream by the erection of a handsome monument. Such
expensive dreams have gone out of fashion now-a-days.

From Cordova, I resolved to travel to Seville by the diligence; and
finding a vacant place in the _coupé_, I left Cordova at one o’clock
next day. The views are very charming in leaving Cordova; fine vistas
are caught among the neighbouring mountains, from which, embowered in
wood, several convents look down upon the plain. I saw here, for the
first time, the date tree, which in the kingdoms of Valencia and
Murcia, adds so great a charm to the landscape: two of them were seen
towering far above all the surrounding trees, in a convent
garden,--their tall stems, and fan-like branches, carrying me in fancy,
to the tent of the wandering Arab, and the fountains of the desert. All
the way from Cordova to Carlotta, the country is well cultivated and
well wooded; and to a great distance on every side of this newest of the
new settlements, neat white cottages are scattered over the plain.
Carlotta, itself, is a remarkably pretty town; and the inhabitants
looked clean and well fed. We arrived at Ecija about seven o’clock,
after crossing the Xenil by a fine bridge, and found an excellent
posada, and a supper that would have done honour to a French table. We
were also regaled by the most delicious perfume; for the walls of the
_patio_ were entirely covered with jasmine, of a luxuriance and
fragrance beyond any thing that I had ever seen elsewhere; every blossom
was larger than the largest periwinkle. I had sufficient time and light,
before supper, to stroll through the town, which is more flourishing,
and even more populous than Cordova. Returning to the posada by the
Plaza Mayor, a fine spacious square, with a double row of balconies the
whole way round, I stepped into a barber’s shop, and while he was
preparing his implements, I ventured to ask him if he had heard the
news? “What news?” said he. “Why,” replied I, “that with the assistance
of God, the king’s troops have defeated and taken prisoners the whole
army of refugees.” I was not aware of any such news, but I wished to
hear the sentiments of an Andalusian. “Thank God! thank God!” said he,
“and so we shall be allowed to live in our own way after all.”

I left Ecija at an early hour next morning, with the pleasant assurance
that I should dine in Seville. A remarkably wild country stretches
between Ecija and Carmona--most of it is crown land--and I believe few
serious attempts have been made to people and fertilize it. Robberies
had lately been very frequently committed upon the extensive heath that
stretches almost to the foot of the hill upon which Carmona stands; and
I noticed several crosses, two of them evidently of recent erection.
The situation of Carmona is particularly striking, looking down from its
isolated hill over the plains of Andalusia; a very winding road leads up
to the city; but I left the carriage and walked straight up the hill to
the gate, which I had sufficient time to examine and admire as a fine
Moorish remain;--because the sentinel would not allow me to enter until
the diligence arrived. At Carmona I found the luxury of _café au lait_,
for the first time since leaving France; and we were soon again on the
road to Seville.

Between Carmona and Seville, there is little to interest, excepting the
increasing excitement in approaching nearer and nearer to famous
Seville, the capital of the south of Spain. At Alcala, the nearest town
to Seville, and which may be called its bake-house--since almost all the
bread generally used there is made at Alcala--we stopped to change
horses; and, not long after leaving this town, upon reaching the brow of
a ridge, Seville, queen of Andalusia, was seen amidst her orange groves,
swaying her sceptre over a dominion of luxuriance and beauty, and
circled by the broad glittering waters of the Guadalquivir.

I reached the city soon after mid-day, and immediately established
myself in the house of a private family, in the neighbourhood of the
alcazar and the cathedral.



     Madrid not the sole Capital of Spain; Peculiarities of Seville;
     Moorish Customs; the Streets; the Population; Manner of Living in
     Andalusia; Society; Morals; the Archbishop; the Dean; the Convents;
     frequency of Murder in Andalusia, and its Causes; Serenading;
     Superstition in Seville, and Examples of it; extraordinary Facts;
     the Paseo; Andalusian Women; _Oracion_; _Las Delicias_;
     Orange-Groves; Details respecting the Orange Trade of Seville; the
     Cathedral; the Capuchin Convent, _La Caridad_, and Murillo’s
     Pictures; Private Collections; the Alcazar and its Gardens; the
     Tobacco Manufactory; Roman Remains; Seville as a Residence; Prices
     of Provisions; Descent of the Guadalquivir, and its Banks; Optic
     Deception; St. Lucar; Night Journey; Port St. Mary; the Bay of
     Cadiz, and the City.

Spain is the only country in Europe, that contains more than one
capital. London is the capital, and the only capital of England; and
Paris is the sole capital of France. Bourdeaux, indeed, or Marseilles,
may be called capitals of the west and south of France; and Liverpool is
sometimes called the metropolis of the west of England: but these are
only small editions of the great capital. The general appearance of all
the cities is the same; and in dress and manners, the inhabitants of the
smaller cities differ in nothing from the inhabitants of the
acknowledged metropolis of the kingdom. But in Spain, one city does not
represent the whole nation. In dress, usages, morals, as well as in the
general aspect of external things, all those provinces which remained
during the longest period subject to the dominion of the Moors, possess
essential and characteristic distinctions; and Madrid, although
nominally the capital of all Spain, is, in fact, but the metropolis of
the two Castiles. Seville is the capital of the south, and Valencia of
the east of Spain.

The first stroll which a stranger takes through the streets of Seville,
shews him a new order of things: he at once perceives the results of a
hot climate, and the traces of Moorish dominion and Moorish customs.
These are first remarked in the construction of the houses, which differ
entirely from any thing that he has ever seen before. In place of the
wide dark entry to a Castilian house, a passage, scrupulously clean,
leads through the building to the interior square, or _patio_, which is
separated from the passage by a handsome, ornamented, and often gilded,
cast-iron door; through which, every one who passes along the street,
may see into the patio. The patio is the luxury of a hot climate; it is
open to the sky, but the sun scarcely reaches it; and there is always a
contrivance, by which an awning may be drawn over it. The floor is of
marble, or of painted Valencia tiles; sometimes a fountain plays in the
centre; and a choice assortment of flowers, sweet-smelling and
beautiful, is disposed around in ornamented vases: here the inmates
escape from the noon-day heats; and here, in the evening, every family
assembles to converse, see their friends, play the guitar, and sip

There is something peculiarly attractive in a walk through Seville. The
streets, though narrow, so scrupulously clean--the white-washed houses,
every one with its range of balconies; those peeps into the patios,--so
cool, so luxurious,--the golden oranges hanging over the garden walls,
for every third or fourth house has its garden and orangery; and the
glimpses of Moorish customs visible even in trifles. Among these, one of
the most obvious, is the contempt of chairs: in many of the lower order
of houses, and in the artizan’s workshop, it is usual to see the inmates
squatted upon mats; and even in the most respectable houses, and in the
best shops, most persons are seated upon low stools, not much elevated
above the ground.

The general aspect of the population of Seville, differs greatly from
that of Madrid. To begin with the upper ranks, there is something more
eastern in the appearance of the ladies; they are more frequently seen
veiled; their cheeks seem tinged with a hue of Moorish blood; and along
with the fire of the Castilian eye, there is mingled a shading of
oriental softness. Among the lower orders of women, we remark an
extravagant and tasteless profusion of gaudy ornaments, immense
earrings, and enormous bracelets, and numerous rings, which I have seen
gracing the fingers of a common beggar: all this is a remnant of Moorish
custom; and the dress of the Andalusian peasant, is even more grotesque
and ornamented than that of the women: his jacket and waistcoat, are
almost always trimmed with gold or silver, and a profusion of silk cord
and buttons covers every article of his dress.

One striking difference between Madrid and Seville, consists in the
number of ragged and wretched-looking people seen in the latter city.
This is the almost invariable result of a hot climate, where labour is a
disagreeable exertion, and where the temptations to labour are few. It
is easy to live in Andalusia:--give a small loaf of bread to one of
these ragged sons of idleness; he makes a hole in it, begs a little oil,
which is not worth refusing, pours it into the hole, and dipping his
slices of bread in it as he cuts round his loaf, he is set up for the
day; and if he succeeds in getting a two-quarto piece, about one
farthing, he can deliberate between the choice of a _gaspacho_, (the
luxury of thousands), which only requires a little vinegar, oil, and
onion,--or, of as many grapes as might furnish forth the desert of a
Russian prince: he is therefore idle, because he has no incitement to be
busy; and as for his rags and houselessness, these are scarcely felt to
be evils in a country where the sun shines every day in the year.

The upper and middle ranks in Seville live more luxuriously, but not
better than the inhabitants of Madrid. Things that are justly esteemed
luxuries in Andalusia, would not be luxuries in Castile: the luxuries of
the Sevillanos, are made luxuries by the climate--iced water, lemonade,
oranges, pomegranates and prickly pears; a cool patio to retire to, a
fountain and a bath; summer apartments nearest the ground, and winter
apartments nearest the sun; these are all luxuries in the climate of
Andalusia, and are even necessary to health and comfort. But even in his
ordinary diet, the Andalusian has the advantage over the Castilian; it
is true that he, like the inhabitant of the northern provinces, dines
upon the eternal puchero; but then its ingredients are better in
Andalusia than in Castile; the pigs are fed from the ilex nuts, and the
vegetables of the south of Spain are perhaps the finest in the world.

The state of society in Seville, affords farther evidence of the
difference between Castile and Andalusia. The true Spanish tertulia is
far less frequent in Seville than in Madrid; and substantial
entertainments are more general. In morals, the distinction is still
greater; for, in Seville, intrigue in married life, is not, as in
Castile, concealed from the husband: the Andalusian _cortejo_ enjoys, at
the same time, the good graces of the wife, and the apparent or real
good will of the husband. Among all classes in Seville, morality is at
the lowest possible ebb. It is almost a derision to a married woman, to
have no _cortejo_; and a jest against an unmarried woman, to have no
_amante_; and the gallantries of the latter, are not unfrequently
carried as far as the gallantries of the former. It is forbidden to all
women to enter the cathedral of Seville after sunset; but I have
frequently seen this order disregarded, under circumstances too, of the
most suspicious kind. The worst possible example is set by the
churchmen: it is a common saying in Seville, that the reason why one
sees so few pretty women in the streets, is, that they are all in the
houses of the clergy; and those who have had the best opportunity of
judging of the truth of this saying, have assured me, that such is the
fact; and that it is impossible to enter the houses of the dignified
clergy, without finding evidence of it.

The head of the church in Seville, the archbishop, is equally careless
of the interests of religion and morality. He never resides in Seville,
but most generally in some convent in the country, by which he saves the
expense of living at home; and the whole revenues of his see, are sent
by him to Portugal, to aid in supporting the party and interests of Don
Miguel. Three years ago, the archbishop failed: finding himself in
difficulties, he wrote to the king, requesting to know what was to be
done; to which his majesty is said to have replied,--“do as I do, pay
nobody.” At all events, the archbishop acted upon this advice, by
whomsoever given: he promised to pay his creditors by instalments, in
ten years, but no one has ever yet received a dollar. I am myself
acquainted with a merchant to whom he owes a considerable sum; but the
merchant told me, he should expose himself to persecution of various
kinds, were he to proceed to extremities. Every archbishop and bishop is
almost forced to incur debt upon his appointment to a see: the first
year’s revenue belongs to the king, and the new bishop is therefore
obliged to borrow money of the merchants, that he may be able to support
his dignity the first year. The revenue of the archbishop of Seville is
about 35,000_l._

A very different man from the archbishop, is the Dean of Seville: he is
ninety-eight years old; and his house being directly opposite to my
lodgings, I had daily opportunities of observing the respect and love
which his virtues have secured for him, and the constant acts of his
beneficence. He literally gives away all that he has; and were it not
for the kindness of those friends who know his character, he might often
be in want of the necessaries of life. On the 31st of December, his
steward waits upon him with his accounts for the year made up, and pays
whatever surplus may remain; and the whole of this, he immediately
distributes to those who are in want: it has sometimes happened that on
the first of January, his housekeeper has borrowed a dollar from a
neighbour, to defray household expenses. The income of the Dean is about
2500_l._ sterling.

I could hear nothing of the immorality of the convents within the city,
though there are several without the walls,--one especially, a female
convent,--said to be connected with the contrabandisters; making their
convents depots for smuggled goods, and of course receiving a liberal
share of the profits. Only three among the eighty-one convents give any
thing to the poor, and two of these live upon charity themselves,--the
Capuchins and Franciscans; the other that feeds the poor, is the
Carthusian convent. Formerly, many more of the convents distributed
alms; and, I understand, that since the limitation of convent charity,
there has been a sensible diminution in the number of those who seemed
to stand in need of it; a result that may easily be credited. Those
convents which belong to the orders who live on charity, want for no
luxury which their rules permit them to enjoy. I have more than once
followed the footsteps of the Franciscan with his sack, in his morning
peregrination through the Seville markets: one gave a handful of
lettuces; another, a bunch of carrots; a third, a couple of melons, or a
few pomegranates; a fourth, a loaf of bread; and I remarked, that every
contribution was carefully picked, that the convent might have the best.

If vice degrade the manners of the upper and middle classes in Seville,
crime of a darker turpitude disfigures the character and conduct of the
lower orders. Scarcely a night passes without the commission of a
murder; but these crimes are not perpetrated in cold blood, from
malevolent passions; still less, from love of gain; they generally
spring from the slightest possible causes. The Andalusian is not so
abstemious as the Castilian; and the wine he drinks, is stronger: he has
also a greater propensity for gambling, the fruitful engenderer of
strife; and the climate has doubtless its influence upon his passions.
“Will you taste with me?” an Andalusian will say to some associate with
whom he has had some slight difference,--offering him his glass. “No,
_gracias_,” the other will reply. The former, already touched with wine,
will half drain his glass, and present it again, saying, “Do you not
wish to drink with me?”--and if the other still refuses the proffered
civility, it is the work of a moment to drain the glass to the dregs--to
say, “How! not taste with me?” and to thrust the knife an Andalusian
always carries with him, into the abdomen of the comrade who refused to
drink with him. It is thus, and in other ways equally simple, that
quarrel and murder disfigure the nightly annals of every town in
Andalusia, and of the other provinces of the south of Spain. There is an
hospital in Seville dedicated to the sole purpose of receiving wounded
persons. I had the curiosity to visit it, and ascertained that during
the past fourteen days, twenty-one persons had been received into the
hospital wounded from stabs: they would not inform me how many of these
had died.

Walking late in the evening through the streets of Seville, (for I
generally spent my evenings at a friend’s house, situated half a mile
beyond the gate), I was frequently startled by the sound of
broils,--some of which most probably ended in murder; and although often
strongly tempted to approach the scene of contention, prudence always
gained the victory over curiosity. Sounds and sights of a more
agreeable, or more picturesque kind, sometimes awaited me. Once or
twice, the sound of the guitar and an accompanying voice, rose suddenly
from the shaded angle of a garden wall. Another time, the lover had been
more adventurous, for the serenade rose from within the sanctuary of the
garden. The night after, proceeding a little way along a narrow street,
in which I heard the thrumming of a guitar, a cloaked caballero stepped
from the shade of a wall which inclosed an orangery--the scene of the
serenade--and crossed the street towards me. I thought it safest not to
interrupt the affair, whatever it was; and returned to my lodgings by a
more circuitous road: and once, in passing the garden of a female
convent, I am strangely mistaken if I did not see two figures disappear
from the top of the wall. It is certain, that while I was at Seville,
there was a strange rumour respecting the arrest and private examination
of two Frenchmen, said to have been detected in some forbidden exploit.

Next to Toledo and Murcia, among the larger cities of Spain,
superstition and bigotry have the firmest footing in Seville; and from
my longer residence in Seville than in Toledo, I had more personal
proofs of this, as well as better opportunities of receiving authentic
information upon these matters. I will throw some facts together, as
they occur to me.

I was surprised, the first visit I made to the cathedral, to observe
suspended in the chapels of the different saints, legs, arms, eyes, and
other parts of the body, in wax or silver: by the side of one altar I
saw a pair of crutches hanging; and by the side of another, the entire
body of a child in wood. These are offerings made by devout persons, to
the saint whose intercession they believe to have been the means of
restoring them to health; and, in token of gratitude, they offer at the
altar of the saint, a representation of that part of the body which had
been the subject of disease. Vows of various kinds of penance, or of
offerings, are made by devout persons when afflicted. Sometimes in
walking the streets, you are startled by the apparition of a nun; but
this is only some female who, when dangerously ill, has made a vow to
wear a certain habit during one, two, or three years. This, it may
easily be believed, is the most genuine proof of devotion and gratitude
that a Spanish woman can give; for it is no light sacrifice to throw
aside her laces and silks, and shroud her graceful figure in the coarse
and inelegant garb of a sister of St. Francis. The most celebrated
beauty of Cadiz lately testified her devotion in this way,--she vowed to
wear the Augustin habit for two years, and the penance had not concluded
when I visited Cadiz. Nor is it at all uncommon to see in the streets of
Seville, little boys dressed in the full habit of a Franciscan
friar,--this also originates in superstitious vows: when children are
affected with a dangerous malady, parents make this vow in their behalf;
and the order of friars so honoured, is always one of the most austere.
But women sometimes resort to modes of inflicting penance upon
themselves, more agreeable to them than concealing their charms. One
day, when strolling through the cathedral, I saw a respectable woman,
not thirty years of age, making the tour of the aisles upon her knees. I
watched her progress, and saw her complete the circuit of the cathedral.
This might possibly have been enjoined by the confessor; though it is
more than probable that it was the result of a secret vow, because money
to purchase masses would have been a more likely exaction on his part.

It is impossible to turn the eye in any direction, without finding
proofs of the superstition of the inhabitants of Seville; every second
or third window is decorated with a palm-branch, which is looked upon as
a security against disease coming to that house, the branches having, of
course, been duly consecrated. The very names of the streets, but above
all the names of the inns, savour strongly of religious bigotry. You
read Posada de la Concepcion, Posada de la Natividad, Posada de la
Virgen, Posada de todos los Santos. In the respect too that is paid to
religious processions, there is a remarkable difference between Madrid
and Seville. In Madrid, people only take off their hats when the host is
carried by; in Seville, every one falls upon his knees; and if this
happen to be at night, no sooner is the little bell heard, than every
one hastens to throw open the window and place lights upon the balcony,
and to drop upon their knees behind them,--so that the carrying of the
host always produces a partial illumination. But more marked honours
than even these, are paid to the host, in Seville.

If a person driving in his carriage, should be so unfortunate as to meet
this procession, he must leave his carriage, and give it up to the host
and the attendant priest; or, if a carriage should drive past the door
of a house into which the host has already entered, the carriage must
wait at the door, to carry back to the church, or the convent, the
consecrated wafer. But I can cite a yet stronger example of superstition
than these. One of the convents, the Dominican I think, lay in my way
from my lodgings to the Alameda; and I noticed several times the same
new carriage standing at the convent door; and upon inquiring the
meaning of this, I received the following explanation. When a devout
person has a new carriage built, it is sent to wait at the door of one
of the churches, or convents, until some dying person may happen to send
to that church, or convent, for the last offices of religion: and until
the carriage has been blessed by carrying the host, the owner would feel
himself unblessed in entering it. But even more gross instances of
superstition than these occasionally occur in Seville. Only a very few
months before I visited Seville, a Capuchin friar died, one who had the
reputation of being even more than usually holy; and so great a
commotion was excited, by the hundreds, or rather thousands, who
besieged the convent doors to obtain parts of his garments, that the aid
of the military was required to preserve order. Not six months before
this, it was given out, that a certain virgin, who had up to that time
honoured the Carthusian convent by making her abode in it, was found one
morning upon the summit of St. John’s Hill; she was brought back to the
convent: but next morning she was again discovered to be missing, and
was again found on St. John’s Hill: a third time she was made prisoner
by the Carthusians, and a third time she returned to her favourite spot
on St. John’s Hill. The fathers, no longer able to resist the evidence
of the virgin’s will, erected a chapel for her on St. John’s Hill, where
she now attracts the footsteps of the devout. It is scarcely credible
that an imposition like this should be practised in the middle of the
nineteenth century,--and yet the hoax succeeded,--and thousands in
Seville believe, that the Carthusian friars were concerned in the affair
no farther than in yielding to the wishes of the virgin, in erecting a
chapel for her.

I shall add two other facts that occurred at Seville within the last
three years. A sacrilegious thief contrived to enter the Capuchin
convent during the night, or more probably secreted himself in it during
the day, and stole a diamond ring of great value, from the finger of
“the Holy Shepherdess,” an image much venerated in that convent, and
very richly clothed. The thief, however, was detected, and the ring
found upon his person. He was examined before the civil magistrate, and
in presence of the superior of the convent, and of many persons whom the
rumour of the thing had collected together; and he gave this history of
the affair: while praying with great earnestness at the feet of the Holy
Shepherdess, he raised his eyes and saw her stretch forth her hand; and
while impressed with awe and devotion, she took the ring from her finger
and presented it to him. It would have been most unwise had the superior
of the convent refused to credit the miracle; he affected to believe
it,--told the thief to keep, and ever to venerate the ring,--but advised
him never in future to accept presents from this, or any other virgin.

The other extraordinary fact I have to relate is this. Among the many
processions of Holy week, there is one, of the Virgin Mary and St. John
Baptist, which issues from the church of St. Juan, and makes the tour of
the city, passing by the cathedral. The procession left the church, and
it began to rain; the friars and their charge took refuge in the
Franciscan convent,--and the rain subsiding, the procession proceeded.
However, just as it reached the Plaza of the cathedral, a tremendous
storm burst overhead, and torrents of rain threatening to descend, the
procession sought shelter in the cathedral. Here it remained for some
time; but the rain increased, and it began to grow dusk. The Virgin and
John Baptist were in their best clothes, which the rain would have
entirely spoiled; and besides, it would have shewn a want of respect to
take them back to the church without the pomp usually attendant upon so
important a procession. In this dilemma, it was resolved that the Virgin
and John Baptist should remain in the cathedral all night; but now an
unthought-of difficulty arose. Could the Virgin and John Baptist be left
in the cathedral all night by themselves with any propriety? The canons
were sent for, and the difficulty was stated. One said, “_No es decente
se quedase St. Juan con ella_.” “It is not decent to leave St. John and
her together.” Another, a more jocular canon, quoted the well-known
Spanish proverb, “_El fuego junto á la estopa llega el diablo, y
sopla_.” “When fire is put to the hemp, the devil comes and blows it.”
The result was, that a message was actually dispatched to the
captain-general to request a guard; and a captain’s guard, with torches,
did accordingly keep watch upon the Virgin and John till morning. These
facts I learned from the lips of a lady who had taken refuge in the
cathedral, and who herself heard the consultation. I could perceive no
symptom of any diminution in the superstitions of Seville, or in the
influence possessed by the friars; and the highest public civil
authorities lend all the aids of their influence and example to support
the delusions. While I was at Seville, it was in contemplation to revive
a procession which had not been seen for forty years; this was the
burial of Christ; and large funds were required for the exhibition. The
Intendente of Seville,--the civil governor,--took up the affair, and
sent his son round among the inhabitants to solicit subscriptions; I
need scarcely say, that nobody refused. So much for the superstitions of

The first Sunday after my arrival in Seville, I walked, after dinner, to
the Paseo, always an admirable place, in Spain, for making observations
upon the population. There is more than one Paseo in Seville; but the
most recently formed is the pleasantest and the most frequented: it is a
broad paved walk, lying parallel with the river, elevated about ten feet
above the surrounding country, and set round with two rows of stone
benches. It is the work of the present Intendente, who is also laying
out a garden around the Paseo. I found the walk crowded from end to end;
and all the benches occupied by friars, whiffing their cigars, and
enjoying the cool breeze off the river. The universal dress of the
ladies was black, with white silk stockings, and the mantilla; and a few
wore veils. At Madrid, when I used to speak without any enthusiasm of
Spanish beauty, I was told to reserve my opinion till I had seen the
ladies of Seville and Cadiz; but, on the Paseo of Seville, I saw no good
reason to alter the opinion I had already formed. If splendid eyes and
graceful forms are of themselves sufficient for female beauty, then are
the ladies of Seville beautiful. The step and air of the Andalusian, are
even more striking than the grace of the Castilian; but the gait of an
Andalusian woman, we should scarcely consider decorous in England: this
opinion was well expressed by a French lady at Barcellona, to whom I
remarked, that the Spanish women walked _tres bien_. “_Trop bien_,” she

I took care to be on the Paseo before sunset, that I might witness that
impressive ceremony, called _oracion_,--now banished from Madrid and the
northern parts of Spain, and found only in the provinces last occupied
by the Moors. Nothing can be more imposing than this old usage: at the
same instant that every church and convent bell in the city, peals forth
the signal for prayer,--motion and conversation are suspended; the whole
multitude stands still; every head is uncovered; the laugh and the jest
are silent; and a monotonous hum of prayer rises from the crowd: but
this expression of devotion lasts but a moment--the next, it is past;
heads are covered; every one turns to his neighbour, and says, “_Buenas
noches_;” and the multitude moves on. During the heats of summer, the
Paseo is crowded till midnight; at that season, it is impossible to stir
out till after eight o’clock; and it is not unusual to rise at four in
the morning, and ride or walk for an hour or two, and then return to

A more delightful walk than the Paseo, is the _Delicias_: this is
situated about a mile down the river, and is, in fact, a grove of
flowering trees and aromatic plants. There is here a complete underwood
of geraniums, bordering the walks, trailing upon the trees, and
spreading over every unoccupied spot. Rows of acacia line the avenues,
and form, with majestic weeping willows, a delicious shade; the mingled
fragrance of the acacia blossoms, the geraniums, and the adjacent orange
and lemon groves, realizes those dreams of far distant and almost fabled
lands, that have been the visions of our youthful fancy.

All the left bank of the Guadalquivir is a succession of orange
groves,--beautiful to the sight, and filling the air with their
refreshing and indescribably delicious perfume. When the wind blows from
the east, nothing can be more charming than an evening stroll down the
river side: the broad Guadalquivir gliding by the fertile and
richly-wooded banks that lie opposite, rising gradually to the hill of
St. John, and diversified by country houses, and convents, and convent
gardens; the delightful fragrance wafted from the orange groves on the
left, and the sight of the yellow and golden fruit clustering among the
broad and bright green leaves of its lovely tree; and, above all, the
charm of a balmy air, and the indescribable beauty of Andalusian skies.

I was intimately acquainted with the principal orange proprietor and
merchant of Seville, and found his orange groves a delightful resort in
hot weather; for, even independently of the shade, there is something
cooling in the smell of oranges and lemons. From this gentleman I
obtained some information respecting the orange trade of Seville, which
I shall make no apology for transferring to these pages.

The oranges chiefly used in England, are from Portugal, Malta, the
Barbary coast, and Seville; but by far the greatest number are from
Seville; the export from which, equals that of all these other places.
About forty vessels are yearly freighted with oranges from Seville; each
cargo consists of four hundred chests, and each chest contains eight
hundred oranges, so that the average number exported from Seville, is
twelve million, eight hundred thousand oranges; of this quantity, about
one tenth part are bitter. The price paid by the London merchant to the
Seville exporter, is one hundred and twenty reals a chest, which is
fourpence halfpenny per dozen, or one farthing and a half a piece; so
that if the freight and other expenses be added, one can scarcely expect
a good orange much under a penny. The cargo of each vessel is generally
consigned to about ten persons; so that the trade is a secure one, and
to the grower, sufficiently profitable. The best oranges are allowed to
remain long on the tree; the tree blossoms in March, and the choicest
fruit still hangs on the tree when the blossom of another crop begins to
appear. The Spaniards do not esteem them as thoroughly ripe till then;
but, in this state, they are of course unable to bear exportation. The
chief part of the export takes place in November and December, and a
small number is shipped in January: if the fruit shipped so late as
this, happens to be detained long on the voyage, the greater part of it
arrives in England in a state unfit for use; but if the voyage be short,
this is the finest fruit that comes to the English market.

As my lodgings were in the immediate neighbourhood of both the cathedral
and the alcazar--under the roof indeed of the latter--it may be supposed
that it was not long before I visited both of these stupendous and
magnificent structures. The cathedral of Seville is inferior in riches,
but equal in size to that of Toledo; and, in the wealth of pictures, it
far surpasses every other cathedral in Spain. One of the most esteemed
of these, is the great picture of St. Anthony of Padua, which I have
already slightly mentioned, in the chapter dedicated to Murillo. This
picture, however, although a splendid performance, is not in Murillo’s
happiest style. In its colouring, it is far inferior, as a work of art,
to the pictures in the Capuchin convent, and in the Hospital de la
Caridad; but in the conception of the figure of St. Anthony, and in the
celestial expression of his countenance, all the peculiar graces of
Murillo are displayed. A picture that pleased me better than this, but
which has a less honourable niche, is “An Angel leading a Child;” benign
and glorious is the countenance of the angel, as he seems to point out
to the little innocent the way to heaven; and the child naturally draws
back, alarmed by the blaze of celestial light that shines upon the path.
This exquisite composition is only a sketch, and being placed in rather
an obscure corner, it is seen to greater advantage; for, with a more
favourable light, it would appear defective as a work of art. The
cathedral contains several other pictures of merit, both by Murillo and
by other artists, particularly Morales, and Louis de Vargas, and
Campaña, whose famous Descent from the Cross I have mentioned in my
memoir of Murillo. The riches of the cathedral surprised me less, after
having seen Toledo; but I believe they are second only to Toledo and the
Escurial. As for relics, they profess to have as valuable a store of
them as their neighbours. The organ--the principal organ--is the most
perfect in the world: it contains five thousand three hundred pipes, and
one hundred and ten stops, being considerably more than are possessed by
the organ of Haarlem; nothing can exceed the majesty of the music
awakened by this organ. I rarely missed morning service while I remained
in Seville; and if, as was sometimes the case, this heavenly music
filled the aisles after day-light had deserted them, the effect was
almost too overpowering for human senses.

The tower of the cathedral, is one of the boasts of Seville: it is of
Moorish architecture--the work of a Moor, and is three hundred and fifty
feet high. There are no steps; the summit is gained by an easy ascent,
winding around an inclined plain so gradually, that the queen was driven
up in a small carriage. The view from the top is superb. An almost
boundless plain stretches around Seville, its centre and queen; and the
Guadalquivir traverses its whole length. I counted no fewer than one
hundred and twenty spires and towers, belonging to the city and the
neighbouring villages and convents. The ecclesiastics of the cathedral
do not enjoy a sinecure. I passed through the body of the church many
times every day,--for this saved me a circuit,--and I never recollect to
have seen it once without some religious ceremony going forward. There
are said to be upwards of five hundred masses performed daily at the
different altars; and the number of persons directly employed in, and
supported by, the cathedral, exceeds six hundred.

The only convent in Seville that attracted me within its walls was the
Capuchin convent, famous as the depository of many of the most
remarkable works of Murillo. I have already spoken of some of these
pictures; but there is still something more to be gleaned. There are
here twenty-five pictures of Murillo, any one of which would suffice to
render a man immortal. Among these, the most remarkable are, “the
Archbishop of Valencia giving alms to a kneeling Beggar;” “the Virgin,
the Child, and St. Felix,” which I have already spoken of as beautifully
illustrating Murillo’s power of handling the gentler emotions. “The
Assumption,” “St. Bienventura and Bernardo,” “St. John, the Virgin and
Child,” “St. Antonio,” and “the Annunciation.” The paintings in the
hospital de la Caridad I have also mentioned as the efforts of Murillo’s
ripest genius. Several of these, particularly “the Prodigal Son,” and
“the Deliverance of St. Peter from Prison,” are no longer to be found
there; but “John of God,” “Moses striking the Rock,” and “the Miracle of
the Loaves and Fishes,” have escaped the chances of war, and the dangers
of covetousness.

In Seville there are several private collections of pictures,--one of
these, the gallery of Mr. Williams, rich in the works of Murillo. Among
these pictures I cannot help naming a few of the most remarkable. There
is that delightful portrait of Murillo, by himself, which I have
mentioned elsewhere; there is a Christ on the Cross, painted upon what
was formerly the lid of a relic box, but now let into a frame,--a gem of
great beauty and value. There is a passage in the life of St. Augustin,
who, when washing the feet of some pilgrims, discovers that one of them
is our Saviour; the expression of mingled love and fear, which the
painter has thrown into the countenance of the Saint, when, having made
the discovery, he raises his eyes towards Christ,--is most happily
conceived and executed. But the true gem of this collection is a “Christ
crowned with Thorns,” one of the happiest efforts of Murillo’s ripest
genius. Besides these there are four sketches of “the Prodigal Son
receiving his Inheritance,--setting out upon his journey,--devouring his
living, and feeding swine;” certain passages in the life of St. Thomas,
a Virgin and Child, another Christ, a Madonna,--all of Murillo; and
several good pictures by Velasquez, Morales, and Españoletto.

There is also a collection of pictures in the house of Mr. Bravo. Among
a great many indifferent pictures in this collection, there is an
excellent “Magdalen,” that most difficult of all subjects,--in which the
painter must represent human passions, and yet passions no longer
triumphant,--heaven before, and yet earth still in sight. There is a
curious picture here, of St. Anthony preaching to the Fishes. The
Saint, it seems, had preached to the people, who would not listen to
him, and to convince them of his divine appointment, he went to the
sea-shore and addressed the fishes, who are seen with their heads above
water gasping for breath, and gaping for wisdom.

As the alcazar of Seville is far inferior as a Moorish remain, to the
alhambra of Granada, I will not dwell upon its description; the building
itself would indeed be difficult to describe. There are seventy-eight
rooms, all communicating with each other,--most of the walls of carved
wood-work, or of composition. The only really curious and splendid room,
is the ambassador’s hall. The garden is more curious and more
interesting than the palace; and from its shade, its fountains, and the
delightful fragrance of its trees, shrubs, and flowers, I found it at
all times a delightful morning retreat. The hedges are of small-leafed
myrtle; geraniums, and that delicious plant, _yerba Louisa_, cover the
walls, and hang among the bushes; and through the whole there is a thick
shade of orange and lemon-trees,--the various tinted fruit, from the
pale straw to the deep golden, beautifully mingling with the fresh and
unfading green: every where around are seen fountains throwing out the
clearest water; and by very simple machinery, a thousand minute pipes
dispersed over the walks and beds, shower a thousand crystal streams
upon the paths, and wake new fragrance from the drooping flowers. The
garden is surrounded by a high wall, near the top of which there is a
walk under an arcade, supported by innumerable pillars. From this walk
there is a most enchanting prospect,--on one side the fine fertile
plain, with its innumerable gardens and orangeries,--on another, the
towers of the cathedral, and the numerous and more distant spires of the
city; the old Roman aqueduct, with its four hundred arches,--the river
seen gliding by the openings left between the orange groves,--the
magnificent convent of the Carmelites on the opposite bank, with its
deep surrounding shades and stately palm-trees; and below, encircled by
the Moorish wall, the pleasure grounds of Moorish kings, with all their
rich variety of beautiful and mellow fruit,--their mingled fragrance of
myrtle, and geranium, and orange, and their cool and sparkling

I did not leave Seville without visiting the snuff manufactory--the most
celebrated in Spain. The building in which the manufacture is carried
on, is more like a fortified palace, than a house destined for the
preparation of tobacco. It has four regular fronts; two of them six
hundred feet long--the other two, four hundred and eighty feet. This
manufactory is sadly on the decline; in other times, the complement of
men and women used to exceed three thousand, and upwards of three
hundred mules and horses were employed; forty years ago, that number was
reduced to one thousand seven hundred workmen, and a hundred mules. When
I visited it, no more than four hundred men were employed, and eleven
mules; and in place of two hundred grind-stones, which formerly were
constantly at work, four only were in requisition. This falling off is
to be attributed partly to the extensive contraband trade carried on
through the free ports of Gibraltar and Cadiz; and partly to the high
price which government puts upon the manufactured article. The stock on
hand at present exceeds two millions of arobas (fifty millions of
pounds); forty years ago, the stock on hand amounted to five millions of
pounds; of the snuff at present on hand, there are eight thousand
canisters fifty years old. It is not likely, according to the present
policy of the government, that this stock will diminish; the price was
only lately raised from thirty-two to forty-eight reals, and the demand
has constantly diminished. I have been speaking of what is called
Seville snuff; there is another department, for the manufacture of
rappee, which is now more in vogue, and does not accumulate in the same
ratio as the other. Government derives a profit upon the manufacture and
sale, of seventy per cent. before paying the expenses of the
establishment. The workmen employed are paid six, seven, and eight reals
per day, according to their ability--those who twist cigars, work by the
piece. It happened to be the hour of dismissal when I visited the
establishment, and I noticed that each workman was taken into a little
inclosed place, and underwent a rigorous search; they were even obliged
to take off their shoes. Most of the workmen looked unhealthy. I learned
that during the heats of summer, as many as twelve are sometimes carried
to the hospital in a day; and that they almost invariably die of disease
in the lungs at an early age.

Although the remains of the Moorish kingdom are most conspicuous in
Seville, the empire of the Romans has also left many interesting traces
behind: the most interesting of these, are the ruins of the city of
Italica, which in past times, gave birth to Trajan, Adrian, and
Theodosius. Little now remains except the traces of the amphitheatre;
and the general features of a Roman amphitheatre are too well known to
require description. There is little doubt that by digging, many
interesting remains of this city might be discovered; stones, shewing
Latin inscriptions, are occasionally laid bare; and it is evident that
many traces of a city so large as to have been a bishop’s see even in
later times, must be concealed. It cannot have all crumbled away.

If a stranger wished to select a Spanish city as a residence, Seville
would certainly be entitled to his preference. The climate, though not
altogether faultless, is perhaps as near perfection as can be obtained.
It is said, that there is not a day throughout the year that the sun
does not shine upon Seville. Winter is scarcely felt; and if the heats
of summer are oppressive, the streets, the houses, and the economy of
life, are all adapted to the climate; and the demands of heat become, in
fact, sources of luxury. The country around Seville is all that one
could desire; and its delicious vines, and if possible, still more
delicious fruits, ought not to be omitted in enumerating the advantages
of Seville. As for another class of _agremens_,--excellent music is
always within one’s reach at Seville; for music is universally, and
successfully cultivated; and some period of the year, there is generally
a good Italian opera. Spanish society, too, is not unattainable in
Seville; and there are several agreeable English and French families who
exercise the hospitalities of their country. Let me not omit to name,
among these, the house of Mr. Wetherell, whose unbounded charities have
long endeared him to the inhabitants of Seville,--and whose many
attentions I gratefully and eagerly acknowledge; and I must not omit to
add, that Seville is within a day’s journey of Cadiz, the gayest and
most hospitable city of Spain; and that by the aid of a friend at Cadiz,
English newspapers and English publications received by the steam-boat,
may be smuggled up the river to Seville.

Before leaving Seville, I ascertained that the following are the prices
of different articles of consumption.

Beef and mutton, twelve quartos the lb. of sixteen oz., or 3¾_d._ Pork,
fifteen quartos; Veal, fourteen quartos; but the meat in Seville is
indifferent, with the exception of pork.

Fowls, 2_s._ 4_d._ a pair. A turkey, from 3_s._ to 5_s._ or 6_s._,
according to size.

Milk, 6_d._ a pint. Eggs, 10_d._ a dozen.

Fruit and vegetables excellent, and remarkably cheap.

The best bread, eight quartos per lb. The bread of Seville is generally
reputed to be the most excellent in Spain. I did not find it so; it is
not leavened; it is too close in the grain, and tastes more like very
white biscuit, than bread.

An arroba of small sherry costs fifty reals; the arroba runs to about
twenty-one bottles; so that the wine is nearly 6_d._ per bottle; but
this is far superior to the wine which is drank by the inhabitants

Game of most descriptions is plentiful and reasonable. A pair of
partridges costs 1_s._ 6_d._; a hare, about 1_s._ 4_d._

The wages of a female servant are about 5_l._; a good cook has three
times as much.

Clothing in Seville is reasonable. English calicos, and English printed
muslins, may be bought as cheap as in England.

Labour, in Seville, is generally paid by the piece; but some kind of
artisans are hired by the day. A stone-mason receives 3_s._ 6_d._; a
bricklayer, 2_s._ 6_d._; and a white-washer, no less than a dollar. This
is one of the most profitable trades in Seville; for almost every
respectable house is white-washed three times in the year. The
consumption of meat in Seville in the year 1819, was one million, nine
hundred and ninety-one thousand, three hundred and sixty lbs. A hundred
years before, the consumption was nearly two millions of lbs. less.
Seville has also increased in population. Forty years ago, it contained
eighty thousand, two hundred and sixty persons. By the latest census,
the population somewhat exceeded ninety thousand, exclusive of the
religious orders, whose numbers amount to four thousand and forty,--two
thousand eight hundred friars, and twelve hundred and forty nuns,--but
this includes the convents beyond the walls.

A steam-boat leaves Seville every second day, for St. Lucar and Cadiz,
alternately. It is a great convenience to the inhabitants of Seville, to
be carried direct to Cadiz; because the journey over land from St.
Lucar, is both tedious and dangerous; but as I was desirous of seeing
the country, I preferred the steam-boat to St. Lucar. Between the city
gate and the river side, I was obliged to pay three sets of custom-house
officers, that I might escape the delay and inconvenience of having my
baggage searched; and when I remonstrated the third time against the
extortion, the officer candidly told me, it was all they had to depend
upon. The boat started at nine; and so precise are its arrangements,
that although it had not parted six yards from the shore, the master
refused to take in four passengers who were running down the bank. Half
a league from Seville, we passed an extensive line of Moorish walls and
fortifications, crowning a height about a mile from the river; these now
serve as the garden wall of the Franciscan convent, which is erected
behind. The weather was, as usual, delightful, and the views from deck,
were in the highest degree pleasing. The right bank of the river is
covered with olive grounds, which slope upward to the adjoining
elevations, covered with gardens and convents and villages. The left
bank presents a constant succession of extensive orange groves; and on
both sides, there is a carpet of the finest verdure. St. John’s Hill,
about two leagues from Seville, is another fine object; this is the
highest ground near Seville, and is a famous resort of parties of
pleasure: the handsome and extensive convent of Hieronomites, and many
little chapels and hermitages,--among others, the chapel of the Virgin,
who insisted upon dwelling here,--crown the elevation; and a subject
village straggles down the hill, and nestles at its foot. The passengers
were numerous; and among them, was a fair sprinkling of friars of the
Franciscan and Capuchin orders. These persons never forget that they
have the reputation of poverty to support; and a contribution is
accordingly always attempted, to pay their fares; and it generally
succeeds. Before reaching St. Lucar, the master of the boat asked me if
I wished to pay any thing for the friars; but my interrogatory in
return, whether he charged them less than other passengers, prevented a
repetition of the question. One passenger, however, subscribed
liberally; this was a young officer, who, from the employment of king’s
page, had been promoted to a commission in the army, and was on his way
to join his regiment at Cadiz. Whether Ferdinand had presented his page
with a purse at parting may be doubted; but the young officer produced a
purse marvellously well loaded, and presented a small gold piece of the
value of two dollars, to the captain of the vessel, towards the
expenses of the friars. Something, I think, may be gathered from this,
as to the education of those who are brought up at court. The behaviour
of this king’s page afforded me much entertainment: he occupied four
chairs; sitting upon one, his legs upon another, and the two others
occupied by his arms. He had two soldiers to wait upon him, and their
services were in constant requisition: one presented him with a cigar,
another fetched a light; one he employed in polishing the hilt of his
sword, the other held his watch open, while he looked into it. Sometimes
he sent for his dressing-box, which was opened and held for him, while
he examined its contents; and then he sent for a case of pistols, or a
small portmanteau; and, in fact, made himself be served as he had served
the king, his master.

Below St. John’s Hill, the banks of the Guadalquivir become flat, and
are covered with immense herds of horses. The country is here entirely
pasture land, but the grass is coarse, and the soil apparently wet and
poor. Scarcely any houses are to be seen, excepting where an orange
grove, breaking the monotony of the view, fringes the river; and the
house of the proprietor is generally embowered in his orangery. At every
orange grove, there is a wheel and buckets to raise water from the
river, and carry it to the trees. The horses and cattle had generally
selected these shady spots, to shelter themselves from the sun; and
standing, or lying in the river, they gave a character of
picturesqueness to the landscape, which it would not otherwise have
possessed. About six leagues below Seville, the banks again rise; and
villages, and churches, and convents are scattered upon the heights
which rise about a mile from the river; but soon after this, every
elevation disappears, and the Guadalquivir flows through a boundless
level, covered with scanty herbage, scattered with numerous herds of
horses and cattle, and dotted here and there with long mud houses, meant
as a shelter to the animals, from the noonday heats. I observed here for
the first time in my life, that delusion of which I had often
heard--leading the traveller of the desert to expect a lake, where there
is only burning sand. The whole interior of the plain appeared like an
immense sea; I distinctly saw the shadows of trees and houses seemingly
in the water; but this was entirely a delusion;--the interior of the
plain is sand, partially covered with very coarse grass. This plain
stretches more than two leagues upon either side of the river, and it
was with no small satisfaction, that I saw before me, though still far
distant, the spires and buildings of St. Lucar. Owing to the state of
the tide, however, we could not proceed so far as St. Lucar, but stopped
at Bonanza, which is a league short of it. It was now nearly eight
o’clock, and quite dark, excepting the star-light, and it became a
question whether, and how to proceed. It had been announced that next
morning at seven o’clock, an escort would leave St. Lucar for Port St.
Mary; for, in this neighbourhood, an escort is considered necessary; and
my object, therefore, was to reach St. Lucar: but I had heard such bad
reports of this part of the road, and the men who offered to conduct me
to St. Lucar had so much the appearance of rogues, that I hesitated to
put myself under their guidance, especially as the other passengers
seemed to consider it the safer plan to remain at Bonanza. Two merchants
of Cadiz, however, who wished to transact business at St. Lucar that
night, proposed to me to join them, after they had applied in vain to
most of the other passengers,--the king’s page among the rest,--who,
with his two soldiers, declined running any risk. I agreed to accompany
them, and we hired two _caleches_ and set out,--mine in front, that, as
the merchants said, they might be able to keep an eye upon me and my
driver. There is no road from Bonanza to St. Lucar; there is only a
track among wild sand-hills, along the side of the river,--here at least
a mile broad,--and there is not a single habitation the whole way. The
driver walked at the head of the horse, leading it sometimes through
deep sand,--oftener knee-deep in water; and the wild desolate country,
seen beneath the star-light,--the uncertain and dangerous road,--and the
low rush of the wide river, altogether contributed to give a character
of great impressiveness to the scene. Coming suddenly upon a deep creek,
I was startled by the bright glare of torches illuminating the barren
shore, and falling upon a circle of strange-looking men, some seated,
some standing upon the sand, close to the water; they were hauling a
boat upon the beach, and the guide told me they were
contrabandisters,--a very suspicious crew to meet at such an hour, and
in such a place. “Buenas Noches Señores,” passed between us,--“Vayan
ustedes con Dios,”--“Go with God,” and we passed on; and soon after we
descried the lights of St. Lucar, where we arrived about half-past nine.
A good supper,--rum and hot-water, and a fresh lemon, were soon placed
upon the table, and sound sleep succeeded.

Next morning at seven, I was seated in my caleche, anxious to reach
Cadiz. It was a curious scene that presented itself,--upwards of twenty
caleches were assembled, some from St. Lucar, some from Xeres, but the
greater number, with the steam-boat passengers who had arrived the same
morning, from Bonanza,--and all united for common security, and to take
advantage of the escort. We set off soon after seven, the caleches
following each other in a line, and five men armed with guns and sabres
on horseback, galloping to and fro; but generally two in front, two in
the rear, and one reconnoitring; and in this order we wound among the
wild hills that lie between St. Lucar and Port St. Mary. At a small
venta half way, all the travellers were obliged to stop, that the
caleches might not be too far separated from each other; and again
resuming close order, we continued our journey. It appears extraordinary
that an armed escort should be considered necessary on a short journey
like this,--every day taken by travellers from Seville and Cadiz; and
yet it seems improbable that the Steam-boat Company should put itself to
the expense of maintaining and paying five mounted and armed men, unless
they considered an escort absolutely necessary. The country between St.
Lucar and Port St. Mary is wild, and for the most part uncultivated;
some part of it is, however, under tillage; and in one field I noticed
no fewer than twenty-four ploughs at work, each with a pair of oxen. The
uncultivated land is covered with furze and aromatic plants; and the
aloe and prickly pear grow spontaneously in great luxuriance and
abundance. We arrived at Port St. Mary about mid-day, and immediately
encountered the scene of confusion invariably found wherever there is a
much frequented ferry. Scores of caleche-men, who wished us to go round
by land to Cadiz, vociferated their offers in our ears, swearing by all
the saints, that it was impossible to cross the bar; boatmen, in as
great numbers, swore, by their own peculiar saints, that there was no
necessity to go by land, and that they could carry us safely over the
bar: and tempted by the hope of dining in Cadiz, which I saw across the
bay, not a league distant, I entrusted myself to the boatmen. The
passage, till we crossed the bar, was tedious; but when this difficulty
was overcome, we bounded merrily over the waves. The city is extremely
imposing from the bay; it appears to stand upon an island, which it
entirely covers with an irregular line of white buildings and ramparts;
but upon looking more narrowly, a long, and almost invisible line is
seen to connect it with the main land. The wind blew fresh; and the bay
was animated by innumerable boats, scudding in every direction, looking,
with their great white sails, like enormous sea fowl cleaving the waves.
We dropped under the quay about two o’clock, and I immediately made my
way to the Posada Inglesa,--an hotel equalled by none that I had seen
since leaving England.



     Journey to Xeres; the Vineyards, and their Produce; Amount of
     Export, and Official Tables for Ten Years; average Export and
     Price; Increase in the Trade; the Xeres Grape; Details respecting
     the Manufacture of Sherry; Pale Sherry and Brown Sherry; a curious
     Sherry; Amontillado; Adulterated Sherries, Inferior Sherries, and
     Low-priced Sherries; the Xeres Cellars; Varieties in Taste of
     Sherries; Knowledge of the Merchants; Management of the Vineyards;
     Wine Houses in Xeres and in Port St. Mary; Price of Sherry in
     Cadiz; Port St. Mary; the Theatre, and Liberal Opinions; Strength
     of the Liberal Party in this Neighbourhood; Return to Cadiz by
     Land; Isla; the Tongue of Cadiz.

I of course proposed visiting Xeres, the famous nursery of sherries,
before finally leaving Cadiz for the eastern provinces; but learning
accidentally, the day I arrived in Cadiz, that two of the gentlemen to
whom I carried letters, were about to leave home in a few days, I
resolved to lose no time in visiting Xeres, and to defer, until my
return, any inquiries respecting Cadiz and its neighbourhood.
Accordingly, the morning after my arrival, I walked down to the quay, to
take my place in some boat for Puerto de Santa Maria. It blew so hard,
that no boat had crossed the bay that morning; and the boat that agreed
to carry me across for about five times the usual fare, had no sooner
cleared the harbour, that we saw the signal hoisted, declaring the port
shut, owing to the dangerous state of the weather. We had a very rough
and a very quick run, reaching Port St. Mary in little more than half an
hour. From Port St. Mary to Xeres, it is about three leagues; and I
immediately hired a caleche to carry me thither: the driver wished me to
take an escort; but I had brought a light purse from Cadiz, and was
resolved to risk it, rather than part with a couple of dollars. There is
nothing interesting in the road between Port St. Mary and Xeres. The
country is much the same as that which lies between St. Lucar and Port
St. Mary,--wild, badly cultivated, and thinly peopled. Nothing occurred
on the road worthy of recording; and I reached Xeres about mid-day. I
was provided with letters to the three principal houses,--those of
Gordon, Penmartin, and Domecq,--and immediately hastened to present
myself. In place of detailing the visits which I made to the different
cellars, and the information I received in different quarters, in which
there would necessarily be much repetition, I shall throw together, as
connectedly as I can, the results of my inquiries and observations
respecting the growth, preparation, and commerce of sherries.

The vineyards of Xeres lie scattered; but supposing them to be all
concentrated, they might occupy about six miles square. They are mostly
planted upon slopes; and the nearest vineyard to the city, is distant
from it about half a league. It is impossible to approach to any thing
like precision, in estimating the produce of these vineyards; all that
can be known of this, must be gathered from the amount of export; but
even the export tables do not indicate the quantity produced in the
vineyards of Xeres; for, besides the difficulty arising from ignorance
as to the yearly accumulation or diminution of stock in the cellars of
the different merchants, the wine growers import from the country lying
to the right of the Guadalquivir, a quantity of wine called Moquer,--a
cheap, light wine, which they mix with the Xeres before it comes into
the hands of the grower: wines, so mixed, are called inferior sherries;
they are quite well known to the Xeres merchants as mixed wines, and
pass as low-priced sherries into the English markets, swelling the table
of sherries exported from Cadiz. But although it is impossible to fix
accurately the quantity of sherry produced, the export tables, of
course, afford some data, and are interesting, as shewing the changes in
taste and fashion, and as throwing light upon the general state of the

The following note of exports I obtained through the kindness of Mr.
Brackenbury, his Majesty’s consul at Cadiz.

“The export of sherry wine and of others under the same denomination,
from Xeres, and Port St. Mary, has been for the years following, as

     “In the year 1821, there were exported 1499 butts.
         ---      1822        ---         11,508¾
         ---      1823        ---         12,476½
         ---      1824        ---         15,059½
         ---      1825        ---         21,297¾
         ---      1826        ---         no return.
         ---      1827        ---         20,150
         ---      1828        ---         26,901
         ---      1829        ---         17,839.”

I expected to have received the note of the first half-year’s export of
1830; but I could not obtain it before leaving Cadiz. I may state,
however, that the export of 1830 was expected to fall below fourteen
thousand butts.

Taking the average of the last eight years from the foregoing table,
presuming the export of 1830 to be fourteen thousand butts, the average
export will be seventeen thousand four hundred butts. The price varies
much, from 15_l._ up to 65_l._; but as the lower priced sherries form
the bulk of the export, the average must be stated low; taking the
result of the opinions of the most competent judges, the price of the
export overhead, may be stated at 26_l._ per butt. The value of the
sherries exported is therefore 452,000_l._ sterling--the duty upon the
export is 504,600_l._; so that if freight and the profit of the merchant
in London be added, the consumption of sherries exceeds one million
sterling yearly. It will also be observed from the table, that the
export for the years 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1830, has exceeded that of
1822, 1823, 1824, and 1825, by seventeen thousand five hundred and fifty
butts, though the export of the last two years, has fallen under that of
the two years immediately preceding them.

The grape that produces the wine of Xeres, is a green grape; it is
allowed to become perfectly ripe, being plucked just before it begins to
shrivel: this, in average years, is on the 9th of September,--a day
marked in Catholic countries, by being the day before the feast of the
immaculate Conception; but in less forward years, the plucking is
deferred until the 15th of September, beyond which day it is never
protracted. After the plucking, those growers who are the most attentive
to their wines, place the grapes in baskets, exposed to the sun for
forty-eight hours,--turning and sorting them all the while, according
as they appear to require this attention.

It has often been said that sherry is a compound wine; but this is a
mistake. The best pale and light golden sherries are made from the pure
Xeres grape, with only the addition of two bottles of brandy to a butt,
which is no more than one two-hundred-and-fiftieth part. This brandy is
of an excellent quality; it is imported from Catalunia, and seemed to me
scarcely inferior to the best and purest cogniac. Neither are the deep
golden and brown sherries of the best quality, compound wines, though
they may be called mixed wines. The difference is thus produced:--If a
butt of brown sherry be wanted, a butt of light sherry is boiled down to
one-fifth part of its bulk, till it acquire a deep brown colour; and one
half of this quantity is added to a butt of the best pale sherry, of
course removing from it as much as makes room for this additional
tenth-part of a butt of boiled wine. When it is said that a butt of
light sherry is boiled down, it is not to be understood that this is
wine of an inferior kind; it is wine produced from the Xeres grape,
planted upon a lighter soil, near the mouth of the Guadalquivir, and
producing a somewhat lighter wine. To make a butt of brown sherry, a
butt and a half is therefore required, deducting a tenth part; but the
brown sherry is not more expensive, because the grape from which the
boiled wine is made, is more abundant than the other grape, and
consequently cheaper. This boiled wine is also mixed, in the proportion
of one half, with unboiled wine,--not to be drank, but to be added in
smaller or larger quantities to other sherries, for the mere purpose of
giving them colour, should this be desired by the English merchant. It
is evident, therefore, from these details, that although brown sherry
cannot be said to be a compound wine, inasmuch as it is all the wine of
Xeres,--the pale sherries are nevertheless the purest; and all the
gradations of colour upon which so much stress is laid, have nothing to
do with the quality of the wine, but depend entirely upon the greater or
smaller quantity of boiled wine used for colouring it. Taste in wines is
one of the most capricious things in the world. I tasted, in the cellar
of a merchant in Port St. Mary, a butt of sherry, more than one half of
which was boiled wine,--not used for drinking, or meant for sale; but
kept merely as colouring matter, and which came off as dark coloured as
porter; and I found it delicious. I told the merchant to make an
experiment of it, as curious sherry, and to send it to the English
market; but he said no one would give the price at which he could afford
to sell it: for, to prepare this single butt, three butts had been
required--nearly half a butt of the unboiled wine, and more than two
butts and a half of the boiled wine, reduced to one-fifth.

Amontillado, the produce also of the Xeres grape, is made either
intentionally or accidentally: if it be intended to produce amontillado,
the fruit is plucked a fortnight sooner than for sherry. But it is an
extraordinary fact, that if a hundred butts of wine be taken from a
Xeres vineyard, and treated in precisely the same way, several of them
will, in all probability, turn out amontillado, without the grower or
the merchant being able to assign any reason for this. Amontillado is
the purest of all wine; for it will bear no admixture of either brandy,
or boiled wine; whatever is added to it, entirely spoils it.

Sherries, when adulterated, are not usually adulterated by the London
wine merchant, with the exception of those extremely inferior wines,
which, from their excessive low price, no one can expect to be genuine
wines, and which are probably mixed with Cape. But the class of wines
which pass under the denomination of “low-priced sherries,” are not
adulterated in London, but at Xeres--by the grower, not by the exporter.
These wines are mixed with the wines of Moguer, and with a larger
proportion of brandy; and the exporter, in purchasing them from the
grower, is quite well aware of their quality: but, being ordered to send
a large cargo of low-priced wines, he is forced to purchase and export
these. It may be laid down as a fact, that genuine sherry, _one year
old_, cannot be imported under thirty shillings per dozen; and if to
this be added, the profit of the merchant, and the accumulation of
interest upon capital on older wine, it is obvious that genuine sherry,
four years old, cannot be purchased in England under forty-five

The principal depositories of wine at Xeres and at Port St. Mary’s, are
not cellars, but lightly constructed buildings, containing various
chambers. There are generally three tier of casks, laid horizontally
upon beams; and in the principal vaults, as many as two thousand five
hundred butts may be seen. I noticed many casks without bungs; this, I
was told, is not at all prejudicial to the wine, but, on the contrary,
if a brick be merely laid upon the hole, to keep out dust, the admission
of air is considered an advantage. Sherry is a very hardy wine; and is
well known, by the merchants of Xeres, to be improved by exposure to the
weather. An illustration of this fact lately occurred: the roof of one
of the wine-houses fell in; and, not being rebuilt, the wine was left
exposed to the opposite temperatures of winter and summer; and this wine
was celebrated as the finest that for many years had left Xeres.

Before visiting Xeres, one cannot have any idea of the variety in
flavour, and the various gradations of excellence in sherry; and, after
tasting the primest samples of each kind, from the palest straw, up to
the deep brown, it is impossible to say which is the finest. I need
scarcely repeat again, that it is entirely by the aroma and by the
taste--not at all by the colour, that sherries are to be judged. The
_wide_ differences in colour, depend entirely upon the proportion of
boiled wine; while those slighter shades, perceptible among the pale and
light golden wines, are owing to some small difference in the ripeness
of the fruit.

A few houses, of the greatest capital, are growers, as well as
merchants; but, generally speaking, the wine is bought of the growers
when on the lees. The exporter who is also a grower, has an advantage
over the other merchant, in the perfect security he has, that no wine of
Moguer has been mixed with the sherry. But the merchants are not afraid
to trust to their knowledge and experience, in being able to detect
adulterated wine; and besides, those who are perfectly accustomed to the
trade can tell, before vintage time, by merely looking at a vineyard,
within two or three butts of the quantity the vineyard will produce: so
that, when one comes to treat for the produce of those vineyards which
he has had in his eye, he discovers by the quantity, whether it has been
much adulterated with Moguer. An experienced merchant possesses an
intimate acquaintance with the quality of the different vineyards; among
which, the most essential differences are found, even when they lie
contiguous. It is, of course, this difference in the quality of the
vine, that creates the difference in price and quality among the genuine
unadulterated sherries. In this trade, as in every other, the capitalist
has an advantage; for, if he advances a few bags of dollars to the
cultivator during the summer, he has the first choice of the November
sales, when the article is always cheaper.

It is difficult to say what is the return for land under a vineyard in
Xeres; this, of course, depends upon the quality of the produce, and
partly upon the convenience of road and market. But all the vineyards of
Xeres, require great expense, and unintermitting labour. The following
is a summary of the management of the vine producing sherry.

The first operation is to take up the canes, or props, immediately after
the vintage is gathered: the second operation immediately follows this;
it is, to dig small pits about a yard square round each plant, that the
vines may obtain a permanent advantage from the rains. There is then an
interval of labour, till after the first rains have fallen; and in the
early part of January, when this has taken place, the third operation of
the vine-grower is, to prune the whole plant; and, it is a curious fact,
that the vineyard which is the earliest pruned, is the latest in
budding; the plant too, is always better, the vine stronger, and more
firmly rooted. The next operation is to close the pits, in order that
the moisture which has been received, may be retained. After this, but a
little later, the whole vineyard is dug up, to loosen the soil. The next
operation is to free the soil of grass and weeds, by turning it over;
and this is repeated once, twice, or thrice, according as the rains may
have reproduced the weeds, and rendered a repetition of this labour
necessary. All these operations are concluded by the middle of March.
When the vineyard has been thoroughly cleared of weeds, the next care
of the husbandman is to smoothe the soil, which is done twice, at an
interval of three weeks: this done, he cuts off the vicious sprouts at
the roots of the plants, which hinder their nourishment; he then
pulverises the land to a fine powder, and, lastly, he puts in the stakes
to support the coming harvest. These are the distinct operations to be
performed in succession, and each at its fixed time: but these do not
comprehend all the labours of the vineyard; for, during the whole of
this time, there are many lesser cares with which the grower must occupy
himself; the most unintermitting and most laborious of these, being the
search, and destruction of insects. Such are the toils which are
necessary to procure us the enjoyment of a glass of genuine sherry. The
Xeres vintage is not considered an uncertain crop; the climate in that
country may be depended upon; so that labour is certain, or almost
certain of its reward. The wine trade employs, one way and another, the
whole inhabitants of Xeres, and Port St. Mary: the latter is a very
rising place; it is a more convenient point of export than Xeres, being
close to the sea; and new wine establishments are every year springing
up there. At present, there are sixteen wine-houses in Xeres, and nine
in Port St. Mary: the former would gladly change their position, if this
were possible; for the merchant of Xeres has a manifest disadvantage in
not being able to see his goods shipped, and put beyond the reach of
damage and plunder. At Xeres, it is not always possible to know the
state of the weather at sea, and it often happens that a cargo is sent
down to Port St. Mary, where it lies many days exposed to both damage
and roguery. The city of Xeres itself, possesses no interest apart from
that which arises from its wine trade. Good sherry is an expensive wine
even at Port St. Mary and Cadiz. The small wine, the _vin ordinaire_ of
the district, is about 6_d._ per bottle; but this, although passing
under the generic name of sherry, is not produced from the Xeres grape,
though there is so much similarity, that the sherry flavour is at once
detected in it. But either at Port St. Mary or at Cadiz, a bottle of
good sherry is charged 3_s._ 4_d._ in a coffee-house or hotel; and if
any thing very superior be asked for, a dollar will be demanded.

After spending one day in Xeres, and another, in riding over the
vineyards, I returned to Port St. Mary, where I had also the pleasure of
partaking of the hospitalities of its merchants. In the evening I went
to the theatre, where I found good reason to be greatly surprised at the
license which was permitted on the stage--so opposite from any thing I
had before witnessed in Spain. A friar of the Carmelite order, was
introduced, as one of the dramatis personæ, and he was made to carry on
an intrigue with the daughter of a barber, and to offer her the money
which he had just received for some masses; and in another part of the
play, a song was sung in evident burlesque of the kind of singing heard
at religious ceremonies. With all this, the audience was delighted. But
neither in Madrid nor in Seville, nor in any of the towns in the east of
Spain, would this have been tolerated by the public authorities; nor
would it even have been acceptable to the audience. If the liberal
party can be said to be strong in any part of Spain, that part is the
country and cities surrounding the bay of Cadiz. I heard several
merchants of this neighbourhood express an opinion, that an attempt to
revolutionize this part of Spain, would be more likely to be successful
than if made in any other quarter. The population of this neighbourhood
is large, and would be a formidable party if opposed to the government.
The population of Cadiz exceeds seventy thousand, St. Lucar contains
twenty-two thousand, Puerto de Santa Maria seventeen thousand, Puerto
Real twelve thousand, Isla thirty-two thousand; altogether forming
within a very narrow district, a population of one hundred and fifty
thousand, without including villages.

The storm that commenced the morning I left Cadiz, had increased; and
when I walked down to the quay at Port St. Mary, to cross the bay to
Cadiz, I found that that port, as well as the port of Cadiz, was shut;
and I was accordingly forced to hire a caleche to go round the bay by
land, a distance of seven leagues and a half. I scarcely regretted
this, as I should thus have an opportunity of seeing more of the

Leaving Port St. Mary, I passed through an almost uncultivated country,
towards Puerto Real, skirting the edge of the bay; the country on the
land side being covered with furze, and intersected by hedges of
magnificent aloes and Indian fig; and with wild olives thinly scattered
over the soil; and farther back, were seen the outer ridges of the
Sierra de Ronda. As we proceeded, a singular spectacle was presented on
the side towards the bay: immense lagunes lay between the road and the
sea, thickly sprinkled with white pyramids, and assuming the exact
representation of an extensive encampment. These were pyramids of salt:
the sea is admitted into shallow reservoirs excavated in the soil, and
the salt is formed by evaporation. Nothing can be more uninteresting
than the road round the bay, till we enter the Isle of Leon, which is
separated from the main land by a drawbridge. Soon after, I reached
Isla, which is certainly one of the prettiest towns in Spain; I never
saw a cleaner or prettier street, than the principal street of Isla.
Every house is of the purest white, and every range of windows on every
house, has its green veranda. Isla is a sadly fallen town: the great
naval school, and extensive docks of Caraccas, in its immediate
neighbourhood, once gave employment to thousands, and life and
prosperity to Isla; but now, there is not a ship on the stocks, and not
an _eléve_ in the college.

Soon after leaving Isla, I entered upon the long and narrow tongue of
land which connects Cadiz with the mainland; the tongue becomes narrower
as we approach Cadiz, and during at least a league, it varies from two
to three hundred yards broad, including a part of the sands, which are
covered at high tide: the causeway itself is not one hundred yards
broad. About a mile and a half from Cadiz, I passed a magnificent
fortress, called the Cortadura, because it cuts the tongue of land
across. This fortress was built in the year 1812, and it entirely covers
the approach to Cadiz on the land side; presenting a formidable range of
batteries, mounting one hundred and forty guns. Before entering Cadiz,
another strong battery must be passed, so that Cadiz may be considered
impregnable on the land side; at all events, not to be reduced without
immense sacrifices.



     Peculiarities of Cadiz; a Fête; the Ladies of Cadiz; curious Whims
     and Usages; Morals; the Religious Bodies; Murillo’s last Picture;
     Mr. Brackenbury’s Pictures; Remarks upon Consular Remuneration; the
     two Cathedrals; effects upon the Commercial Prosperity of Cadiz,
     from its having been created a Free Port; State of the Road between
     Cadiz and Gibraltar; Departure from Cadiz; Chiclana; Morning
     Scenes; a Venta; the African Coast; Wild Scenery; Dangers of the
     Road; Suspicious Circumstance; Tariffa; another Venta; Journey
     through the Mountains to Algesiras; View of Gibraltar; Arrival.

Cadiz is less interesting than some others of the Spanish cities,
because it is less purely Spanish: the number of foreign mercantile
houses, and the concourse of strangers always to be seen in Cadiz, gives
to the population a more mixed and motley aspect than that which belongs
to the population of Seville, Madrid, Valencia, or indeed, of any
Spanish city--with the exception, perhaps, of Barcellona: and in the
mode of life, too, foreign usages have made great inroads upon the
exclusiveness and peculiarities of Spanish customs. The table is better
served in Cadiz than elsewhere, and strangers are more frequently seated
at it: the hours of repast too are later. At the table of a person in
the middle ranks of life, the puchero is seldom seen; and among the
upper classes there is an affectation of a preference of French wines,
sufficiently ridiculous in a city situated so near Xeres, and in a
country in which every little district produces its own peculiar, and
often exquisitely flavoured wine. But those very things that diminish,
in some degree, the interest of Cadiz in the eyes of a stranger, render
it the most attractive city in Spain, for one who desires to pass a few
months agreeably. There is, there, no shrinking from the eye of the
stranger; hospitality is understood in its true sense; and no one need
fear, in Cadiz, that the time may hang heavy on his hands.

Externally, Cadiz has its advantages and its drawbacks; the streets are
clean, and many of them sufficiently wide for the climate, which is
delightful; but which, in the latitude of thirty-six, cannot be
otherwise than hot; and there is no want of finely situated, commodious,
and even elegant houses, for those who can afford to live in them. But
the chief external charm of Cadiz, is found in its ramparts, and in the
delightful promenade which they afford. The day of my arrival in Cadiz,
as well as the day of my return to it from Xeres, were both too stormy
for the enjoyment of a promenade; but the day following, was calm and
beautiful; and I spent half the morning, and all the evening, upon the
ramparts. The views are of course marine views, and scarcely to be
exceeded in beauty, from the rampart fronting the bay, and Puerto de
Santa Maria. The bay itself, the opposite shore, the many towns that
sprinkle it, the distant Sierras of Xeres and Ronda, the vessels lying
at anchor in the harbour, the innumerable boats crossing the
ferry--fishing, or sailing, or rowing for pleasure--and the fine
irregular line of handsome white buildings that lie along the Alameda,
form altogether, a delightful and animated picture.

But Cadiz lies under this great disadvantage, that it is impossible to
leave the city, and walk or ride into the country; there is no country
in the immediate neighbourhood of Cadiz: the city occupies every rood of
the little Peninsula upon which it stands; and before one can get into
the fields, it is necessary either to travel along two or three leagues
of causeway, or to cross the bay to Port St. Mary. The rampart, the
squares, and the streets, are the only walks; and charming as the former
is, I think if I resided in Cadiz, I should soon long for the verdure of
the open fields, in place of the green sea; the shade of trees, in place
of the shadow of houses; and the song of birds, instead of the ocean’s

Whilst I remained in Cadiz, there was a fête and illumination one
evening, in honour, I think, of the queen’s accouchement. The streets
and squares, particularly the Plaza de San Antonio, were brilliantly
illuminated; and in this square, which is one of the paseos of Cadiz,
all the population was assembled from eight till eleven o’clock; and I
of course seized so favourable an opportunity of judging of those charms
which I had always heard spoken of as the peculiar distinction of “the
ladies” of this gay and voluptuous city. Horace, no bad judge of these
matters, celebrates the beauty of the women of Cadiz; and later and
better poets than Horace, speak in raptures of the charms of these fair
and frail ones. Whether it was, that so high authorities had their
influence upon my judgment, or that sun-light is less favourable to
Spanish beauty than the light of torches, blended with that of the
moon,--or that the women of Cadiz are really deserving of the praises
that have been lavished upon them, I will not pretend to determine; but
I must be candid enough to admit, that while I sat at the door of a
café, from which a strong light blazed across the piazza, and
scrutinized the passers by, I did see some splendid forms, and some
lustrous eyes,--some countenances, in short, that might remind one of
Gulnare. The women of Cadiz are, beyond question, the finest in Spain.

Presuming upon their charms, the ladies of this city indulge in some
curious whims. Every family of any consequence, has a state-bed, highly
ornamented, and placed in an elegantly fitted up apartment; and the use
made of it is this:--at a particular time of the year, generally after
Lent, the señora of the house, or her daughter, if _she_ has reached,
and her mother has passed a certain age, feigns sickness. Having
previously made all the necessary arrangements, she takes to her bed:
there she lies in an elegant night dress, under embroidered sheets, her
head resting upon a rose-coloured silk pillow,--and a table stands near,
with silver candlesticks, and wax lights,--a little silver bell, and
several vases containing choice perfumes. There she receives company;
there all her male and female acquaintances resort; and there, attired
to be seen, and bent upon admiration, she listens to the language of
mock condolence, pleasing flattery, and undisguised gallantry! There is
another occasion, upon which the state-bed is used. When a woman is
_accouchée_, the child is baptized next day,--and upon this day, the
mother holds a _levée_: the company is received in the saloon; the
folding doors which usually divide this reception-room from the
state-bedroom, are thrown open, and the lady lies in state to receive
the compliments of her many visitors. This levée is held by women of all
classes, though all have not a state-bed to recline on; and it often
happens among the lower ranks, that a woman will arrange the chamber,
make and adorn her bed, and after having prepared it for her own
reception, will pop into it to receive company. I was informed that the
ladies of Cadiz are adepts in the manufactory of the female person; that
in looking at them, we may frequently apply with truth the well known
proverb, “all is not gold that glitters;” and that the most experienced
dress-maker of the British metropolis would be “all in amaze” at the
various and subtle uses to which the cork tree is put in the city of
Cadiz. All this scandal, however, was told me by an English lady; and I
hope for the sake of the ladies of Cadiz, as well as of my own
reminiscences of the Plaza de San Antonio, that it may be calumny.

Morals in Cadiz are, if possible, even lower than in the other Spanish
cities: female virtue is a thing almost unknown, and scarcely
appreciated. It is with difficulty and with pain we can bring ourselves
to believe, that in a civilized country, there should exist a state of
society in which that purest gem--female modesty--bears no price; and it
is unpleasant to have the conviction thrust upon us, that the innate
virgin pride, which we have ever delighted to believe inseparable from
the female character, should be so loosely rooted, as to wither away
under the baleful influences of habit and opinion. Yet how can we resist
this conclusion? I could give innumerable examples of the depraved state
of morals in Cadiz: I have at this moment before me, a closely written
page of notes, full of these; and even the names of individuals are
mentioned; but I have turned the leaf, and will not sully my page with
details which might indeed gratify curiosity, but which could add
nothing to the truth of the statement I have made, that in Cadiz,
“female virtue is a thing almost unknown, and scarcely appreciated.”

The morals of the religious bodies in Cadiz are exemplary; nothing, at
all events, is said to their disadvantage; and in a city such as Cadiz,
this is evidence enough in their favour. Formerly, the morals of the
monastic orders in Cadiz were notoriously bad; but there is now so
little disposition in that city, to affect blindness towards the
feelings of the clergy--free opinions in religion have made so great
progress in Cadiz--and so watchful an eye is kept upon the conduct of
the religious bodies, that purity of morals could alone protect them
against public obloquy.

In Cadiz, there are not many objects of curiosity to visit: it has no
antiquities now visible; few public buildings worthy of notice; and a
very scanty assortment of good pictures. In search of the last, I
visited the churches and convents, without finding any thing to reward
my labour. In one convent, indeed--the Capuchins--is found that picture
which last employed the hand of Murillo. He, however, only designed it,
and laid on the first colours; the work being completed by a pupil. In
its colouring, there is of course nothing of Murillo to be seen; but in
the composition, the genius of the master may be detected; and the
picture is at all events interesting, as being the last of his
works--more interesting indeed because an unfinished work--since we know
in looking at it, that _there_, for the last time, his hand gave visible
manifestation of his genius.

The only other pictures that repaid the labour of a visit,--and they
well repaid it,--are in the possession of Mr. Brackenbury, his majesty’s
consul at Cadiz. Nowhere is there a more exquisite morsel of Murillo to
be seen, than the “Infant Bacchus,” tasting, for the first time, the
juice of the grape. He looks as if he quaffed immortality; and as a work
of art, this is one of the finest specimens, both in colouring, and in
every other excellence, of the best days of Murillo. In this collection
there are many other admirable pictures; among these, a “Bassano,”
greatly superior to either of the two in the Madrid gallery. But I
understand, that some of the choicest works of Murillo, have been sent
by Mr. Brackenbury to England; and that the amateurs in this country,
may probably have an opportunity of increasing their knowledge and
admiration of Murillo, by contemplating these admirable productions of
his genius. I cannot allow this opportunity to escape, without
expressing my warm acknowledgments to Mr. Brackenbury, not only for the
pleasant hours enjoyed in his society, but also for the valuable
information upon many points which I received from him. Nor can I help
adding, that if those who speak so much, and so loudly, respecting the
high emoluments derived by his Majesty’s consuls, would visit Cadiz,
they might find cause to alter their opinion. No representative of the
English government ought to have any temptation to shut his doors
against those who are recommended to him,--those who need his
protection,--or even those who come accidentally in his way. Generous
minded men, such as the representative of the British government in
Cadiz, do not, and cannot yield to the temptations of avarice,--perhaps
the suggestions of prudence. But the claims upon consular hospitality
are ruinous in a city like Cadiz, where, besides its own trade, half the
vessels bound for Gibraltar, call; and where the steam-boat for the
Levant, every fortnight discharges its passengers. A consul, at such a
port, is exposed to many inconveniences, and has a difficult duty to
perform. Nothing is so easy as to obtain a letter to a consul: friends
and relations in England,--men who have travelled, and once dined with
him,--consuls in other ports,--an ambassador will seldom refuse an
application for a letter to the British consul at this, or that port;
for he is considered a sort of public property, bound, almost by the
duties of his office, to pay attention to strangers; and if a traveller
carry a letter to a consul, and is not offered the hospitalities of his
house, he is immediately set down as a very penurious representative of
the British government. All this is wrong, and ought to be righted. I am
not advocating ostentation, extravagance, or over liberality in his
Majesty’s consuls. They are not called upon to be princely in their
hospitalities; but they are expected to act like Englishmen, and
gentlemen; and although it forms no part of their consular duties, to
invite to their tables every stranger who brings an introduction in his
hand, there are some noble feelings in the breast, that are felt to be
more urgent than mere duties; and it is not for the respectability of
the British monarchy, that these feelings should be entirely repressed.
The remuneration of consuls ought to vary with the calls for expenditure
that are made upon them. Those variations in commercial prosperity,
which affect the different ports, require that a new scale should, from
time to time, be adopted.--I will not pursue farther, a subject that may
perhaps be called a digression.

The only buildings in Cadiz worth visiting, are the two cathedrals; the
old and the new. The old is not remarkable for any thing excepting some
treasures and relics; the new is chiefly interesting, because it is
gradually falling into ruin. It was begun more than a hundred years ago,
and the fund, derived from a duty upon imports from America, was
entrusted to a board of commissioners. The commissioners
quarrelled,--the fund did not find its way into the proper channel, and
the cathedral was left unfinished,--and unfinished it will certainly for
ever remain. The style of the building was meant to be in the most
gorgeous taste of Composite architecture: ornament is heaped upon
ornament; and both in material and in workmanship, its richness cannot
be exceeded; but it is fast falling into decay. In many parts it is
uncovered; the excellence of workmanship has yielded to the influence of
the weather, and the marbles have lost their beauty and freshness. The
principal area of the interior is used as a rope-walk, while other parts
have been converted into depositories of mahogany. Underneath the
building are vast vaults, by some said to have been intended as a
pantheon; by others, believed to have been excavated with a view to
religious persecution and punishment. From an inspection of these
vaults, the former surmise appeared to me the more probable.

The recent erection of Cadiz into a free port, has not brought with it
all the advantages that were anticipated; but it has, nevertheless, had
an important influence upon its prosperity. Immediately upon Cadiz being
created a free port, immense shipments of manufactured goods were made
from England; and several branches of Manchester houses were
established there. So improvident had been the export from England, that
last autumn, calicos and muslins were bought in Cadiz 20 per cent.
cheaper than in England. But the chief increase in the commerce of
Cadiz, arises from the facilities now afforded for illicit trade with
the rest of Spain. This is principally seen in the import of tobacco,
which comes free from the Havannah, and which is not intended so much
for the consumption of the city, as for supplying the contraband trade
with the ports and coast of Spain. There are said to be six thousand
persons in Cadiz employed in twisting cigars. But it is not in tobacco
only that Cadiz has drawn to itself the illicit trade of the
Mediterranean. There is also an extensive contraband trade in English
manufactured goods, which can be bought throughout Spain, at only thirty
per cent. above the price at which they cost in Cadiz. Gibraltar
formerly monopolized the contraband trade of the Spanish coast; and the
effects resulting from Cadiz having been made a free port, have proved
most ruinous to the interests of Gibraltar; the merchants of the latter
place have endeavoured to support themselves by establishing branch
houses in Cadiz, and of these there are no fewer than twenty-five. The
change in the commercial prosperity of Cadiz has materially affected its
population,--in 1827, the inhabitants scarcely reached fifty-two
thousand; in 1830, they exceeded sixty-seven thousand.

The whole commercial system of Spain is most erroneously conceived. The
prohibitory system is carried to a length absolutely ruinous to the fair
trader, and highly injurious to the revenue. The immense duties upon
admissible articles, and the total prohibition of others, has occasioned
a most extensive contraband trade, both externally,--with the various
ports, and along the coast of Spain, and internally,--throughout the
whole of the kingdom; and by this trade, admissible articles are
introduced into the interior, at from one to three hundred per cent.
below the duties imposed. Government could not fail to be benefited by
permitting the importation of articles of general use, upon payment of
such a duty as would allow the sale of the article at a lower price
than is now paid by the consumer to the smuggler. As one example of the
impolicy of the system, I may cite a fact respecting the trade in salted
fish, the returns of which I have before me. The import of this article
into Cadiz in one year, before that city was made a free port, amounted
to four vessels, whose cargoes reached 4092 cwt.; while at the free port
of Gibraltar, in the same year, forty-one vessels entered, with 89,106
cwt. _the whole of which was intended for the illicit trade_, and passed
into Spain through the hands of the smugglers. The duty upon this
article is more than one hundred per cent.; the smuggler considers
himself remunerated by a gain of twenty-five per cent., so that the
article which finds its way into the market through the contraband
trade, is sold seventy-five per cent. cheaper than that which is
admitted upon payment of the regular duties.

The duties upon British manufactured goods, amount almost to a
prohibition; they often reach one hundred per cent.; and this trade is
therefore also in the hands of the smuggler, who obtains the profit
which, under a more wholesome system, might go into the treasury of the
kingdom. The fraudulent dealer is also greatly assisted by the custom of
granting a royal license to individuals to import a certain limited
quantity of prohibited goods; an expediency resorted to in order to meet
the exigences of the state: and under the license to enter a hundred
tons of merchandize,--the merchant enters perhaps a thousand tons,--a
deception easily practised in a country where, among the public
officers, a scale of bribery is perfectly understood and acted upon.

I must not forget to mention, that the distinction of free port,
conferred upon Cadiz, was a government expedient to raise money; and
that the sum paid by the city for this privilege, is raised by duties
levied upon the entrance of every inland article of consumption.

The road between Cadiz and Gibraltar has long been notorious for its
difficulties and danger: it is altogether a mule track, lying partly
through the outposts of the Sierras of Xeres and of Ronda, and partly
along the sea-coast, and totally impassable during rainy weather, both
on account of the swampy nature of the soil, and of the numerous streams
which a mountain storm may convert in a few hours into impetuous and
impracticable torrents. The accommodations too, are of the worst kind.
Between Chiclana, which lies near Cadiz, and Algesiras, opposite to
Gibraltar, a distance of nearly eighty miles, there is only one town,
and the ventas are of the most miserable description:--but these are
difficulties only; the dangers are still more formidable. From the
middle of last June, till the middle of August in the same year, no
fewer than fifty-three travellers had been robbed upon this road: many
of these robberies had been attended with violence; and, in some
instances, the travellers had been taken into the mountains, and long
detained in the hope of ransom. More than two months had indeed elapsed
since these robberies had been committed, and the danger was therefore
less; the regular band under Don José had been broken up, and twenty-one
of their number were at that time under sentence of death at St. Roqué;
but the road was still considered unsafe--the post from Malaga had been
robbed only the day before, and I was strongly counselled to go to
Malaga by sea. It is frequently, however, such roads as these, that are
most worthy the attention of the traveller; and as my object was to see
Spain, I concluded a bargain with a man who had the reputation of being
honest, for three horses and his own attendance; for which I agreed to
pay twenty-one dollars.

In travelling between Cadiz and Gibraltar, the plan usually recommended
is, to leave Cadiz in the afternoon, and sleep at the town of Chiclana;
the following day a push is made to reach Tariffa, or the Venta de la
Jondal; and the third day, a moderate journey brings the traveller to
Gibraltar. I left Cadiz therefore about two o’clock, and proceeded along
the causeway, and through Isla, both of which I have already spoken of
in returning from Xeres to Cadiz. In the course of four leagues, I was
stopped no fewer than five times by custom-house officers, and was
obliged each time to have a _peceta_ ready, to avoid the inconvenience
of search: this is only a part of the system of bribery and robbery
which pervades every public department in Spain; these men have scarcely
any salary; and for the sake of a paltry saving, government allows
itself to be robbed to a hundred times the amount, by the contraband
trade, which is connived at by all the under employées. Shortly after
leaving Isla, I left the Xeres road, and turned to the right, through a
dreary and swampy plain that extended nearly to Chiclana: it was almost
dark when we yet wanted a league of the town; but we put our horses into
a gallop--and no horses go more agreeably than the little
Andalusians--and arrived about eight o’clock at the door of the posada.
Here we found tolerable accommodation for this part of Spain--some good
fresh eggs, and a stretcher to sleep upon--and at five next morning we
mounted, and trotted out of the town.

It still wanted nearly two hours to sunrise; but the crescent moon
lighted our path. It has been said, truly, that the waning moon is the
moon of the traveller. In southern countries, where the nature of the
climate creates a necessity for night journeys, or in any country when
a long journey is necessary, it cheers many a lonely hour, and gives
security to the traveller in uncertain and dangerous paths. When day
dawned, I found myself travelling among uncultivated hills, with pine
trees scattered over them, and the ground entirely covered with the
crocus, and many other beautiful flowers; the track seemed to depend
entirely upon the knowledge of the guide, who wound in and out among the
glades and the trees, and up and down the declivities, with the assured
step of a man who knows his business. The sun rose with its usual
splendour; and soon after, we descended into a valley full of pleasing,
and even cheerful scenes. No one could have believed it to be the
beginning of November; it was like a July morning in England,--calm, and
mild, and sunny,--the sky was without a cloud, and the little birds were
at their play and their song. The valley was finely wooded, and covered
with thousands of aromatic shrubs; a flock of milk-white sheep was
feeding in one place, and a small herd of cattle in another; two or
three muleteers, and their trains, were winding down the neighbouring
heights; and a peasant, with his gun, and two dogs, was wading among the
underwood, in search of provender for his cabin. From this valley, we
passed again into a more deserted country, where, in one spot, I
observed a small hut constructed of branches of trees, bound together by
the Esparto rush, and inhabited by a woman, who brought a bottle of
brandy to the door, and tempted the muleteer by an encomium upon its
excellence. The owner of the hut was no doubt the man we had seen with
his gun and dogs. Soon afterwards, we came in sight of Vegé, a small
village situated upon a conical hill about one thousand feet high, which
stands at one side of a charming fertile valley, full of orange groves
and fig trees; and at the foot of the hill, we stopped at a venta to
refresh the horses, and ourselves. This was a wretched place, where
nothing could be had to eat, and where there was neither table nor
chair; a little hot water however, was got with some difficulty; and
with tea without sugar or milk, and bread, which I had brought along
with me, I made an indifferent breakfast. The master of the venta and
his wife, struck me as being two of the most suspicious-looking people I
had seen in Spain; and the guide afterwards almost admitted that they
were not to be depended upon. It was in this venta, about three months
before, that a robbery, attended with some violence, was committed: ten
banditti entered, while three travellers were at supper; and it was well
known that the owners of the venta were not unacquainted with some of
the number.

From this venta, there are two roads to Gibraltar; one, which leads to
Tariffa, about thirty-four miles distant,--the other, by a solitary
venta, considerably nearer. The master of the venta strongly urged us to
go by the latter; but having been expressly cautioned against this in
Cadiz, I resolved to keep to my original plan, and go to Tariffa; but,
in such cases, it is always wise to keep one’s counsel. Accordingly, I
pretended to be convinced by his reasoning; but the moment we left the
venta, I told the guide that I was resolved to go by Tariffa; and he,
although more disposed towards the shortest road than I relished,
promised that I should be obeyed.

For a short time after leaving the venta, there was some appearance of a
road; but it soon terminated, and we struck to the left, among wide
green slopes, thickly scattered with fine clumps of ilex, beneath which,
many herds of swine were feeding. We passed two or three mud cabins,
with a patch of cultivation round them; at the door of one of these, an
old man was seated upon a bundle of rushes, and a fine athletic young
man stood beside him leaning upon a long gun. The picture was striking;
but it is by persons like these, more perhaps than by regular banditti,
that the solitary traveller runs the risk of being robbed. Soon
afterwards a young man, habited something like a soldier in undress,
joined us: he said he was running away from Xeres, having been detected
in some contraband transaction, and that he was going to Tariffa. It is
never safe in Spain, to join company with strangers: this man and the
guide immediately began to differ as to the road; and the guide, after
some altercation, yielded to the other, whose good intentions I had
afterwards the strongest reasons for doubting.

The country through which we passed, after leaving the venta where we
breakfasted, was for the most part uncultivated; here and there, a
little corn land was to be seen; and I noticed one or two ploughs at
work: herds of cattle, horses, and sheep occasionally gave life to the
landscape; and now and then a man with his gun, ranged the brushwood, or
was seated upon a bank: but there were no houses, and no stationary
inhabitants: whoever we met seemed to be far from home; and every little
while, a monumental cross was seen by the way-side; I counted no fewer
than twenty-seven during the day’s journey.

Towards evening we began to descend rapidly; and after winding among
some narrow rocky defiles, we came suddenly upon the sea. For some hours
before, I had noticed very elevated mountains towards the south-east,
rising above the lower hills that lay around; these, before reaching the
sea, had seemed to be close at hand, and I was much puzzled to
understand what mountains they could be, since I knew we were fast
approaching the coast. It had never occurred to me that we had all day
been travelling towards the Streights; and the sudden opening from which
the sea burst upon me, explained my difficulty. These were the mountains
of Africa; and the coast of Morocco rose boldly before me at the
distance of a few leagues. It was impossible to look upon the coast of
Africa for the first time, without peculiar emotions. Africa, its
untrodden solitudes, and mighty and unknown rivers: its swarthy kings
and savage people: its wonders and its wrongs. The mind travelled
backward to Egypt and her glories--to Carthage and her dominion--to the
Moors, their past conquests, and present debasement; and the eye,
looking beyond the barrier of mountains that seemed guarding a fabled
land, wandered over the desert of Zahara, and the reedy rivers; and
descried the solitary white man walking by their banks,--seeking glory,
and finding a grave!

Soon after reaching the sea-shore, it became dusk, and in place of being
now at our journey’s end, we were yet some leagues distant from it. I
have seldom looked upon a wilder or more desolate scene, than that
which lay around. Between us and the sea, was a succession of dry sand
hills--on the left, vast fragments of rock were scattered below the
cliffs, that rose in dark and rugged outline above, crowned by the ruins
of a Moorish watch-tower;--and the roar of the sea, and the deepening
dusk, and the place, and the solitude, and the helplessness of a
traveller, all conspired to fix the scene deeply in my memory. It soon
became entirely dark, excepting the light of the stars; but in such
places, darkness scarcely adds to the insecurity of the traveller,
because it conceals him. Almost all the robberies that take place, are
at dusk; or sometimes, in broad day; and, unless one has been seen to
set out upon a journey towards evening, darkness may be considered a
defence. But in this journey, there were other dangers than robbery, to
be apprehended; the road was intersected here and there, by arms of the
sea, which, but for the reflection of the stars in the water, I must
frequently have plunged into. Sometimes a shallow was found; and
sometimes, by making a circuit, a bridge was discovered, but of the
frailest and most dangerous kind. Once, following the young man who had
joined company with us, and whose white jacket was a convenient guide, I
found myself, before I was aware, upon a bridge not a yard in width;
without parapet, and, in many places, loose beneath. The bridge was
long, and a broad arm of the sea was beneath: it was impossible to
dismount, and I could only trust to my horse, which, fortunately, was
both sure-footed and bold.

Shortly after this, a circumstance occurred, which gave rise to strong,
and very natural suspicions of the young man who accompanied us: he was,
at this time, about twenty yards in advance; and I was surprised by
hearing a loud whistle. I immediately pushed forward and seized his arm,
and asked why he whistled--but not before he had found time to whistle a
second time. He said his mother lived _there_, pointing to a little
height close to the sea, upon which something like a house, or a tower,
could be discerned. This seemed very like a fiction; I have little doubt
that the place he pointed to was a rendezvous of contrabandisters, with
whom he was connected, and these are often the worst robbers. What might
be the meaning of the signal, I was unable to tell, but I resolved to
watch him.

I thought this journey was to have no end--there was still no appearance
of Tariffa--and, when I supposed we must be close to the gate, the guide
stopped at a lone house close to the sea; and, telling us we were yet a
league distant from the town, said, I might find accommodation in this
house: but this I refused, and insisted upon going on; and at length I
was rewarded by the welcome sight of lights; and in a few minutes we
were among the straggling houses that lie outside of the town. The gates
of the town were shut; and the guard told me, that no one could enter
without permission from the governor. Leaving the horses standing, I
approached under an escort; and a soldier upon the top of the wall,
asked our business. I replied, that an English gentleman, travelling
with a regular passport, requested permission to enter the town; but,
after waiting a full half-hour, the permission was refused, and I was
obliged, in consequence, to go to a most miserable venta beyond the
gates. There was, perhaps, some excuse for this strictness. Tariffa is
at all times a sort of prison, where convicted persons are kept at
large; and the knowledge that there were, at that time, some refugees in
Gibraltar, and that an attempt had been all but made upon Algesiras, was
sufficient to justify a refusal to do what is at all times a matter of
special favour.

At the wretched venta to which the guide conducted me, nothing could be
had to eat, excepting a little cold fish, which had been stewed with oil
and garlick. I need scarcely say, there were no knives or forks; these
are luxuries rarely to be met with in a Spanish venta. Every Spaniard is
provided with his own clasp knife; and as for forks, they can be
dispensed with: a traveller in Spain will therefore do well to provide
himself with these necessaries. There is one comfort, however, that can,
with few exceptions, be always had, even in the worst venta,--good wine;
very different, both in flavour and strength, from the wretched beverage
generally set before one in the French _auberge_. And this was the only
comfort to be got at the venta at Tariffa; for sleep was out of the
question, in a bed that had long been in the undisturbed possession of
other living creatures. Next morning, the mistress of the house demanded
two dollars for her accommodations. When a charge is exorbitant in
Spain, less will always be accepted; and one dollar seemed to me quite
sufficient payment for a bottle of wine that probably cost a real, and a
bed that was already occupied.

Next morning about sunrise, I gladly mounted my horse; and without
entering Tariffa we skirted the walls, and struck into the road to
Algesiras. This is one of the most charming rides I have seen in any
part of Spain: it is a mountain road, abounding in the finest mountain
prospects; sometimes climbing to a great elevation, and sometimes
descending into deep valleys, and now and then disclosing magnificent
views over the sea. The coast of great part of Andalusia and of Granada,
is of a curious configuration: an infinite succession of conical hills,
rising one above another, decline backward from the sea, forming
altogether an elevated chain of mountains, from three thousand to five
thousand feet in height; the road, therefore, which winds among these,
necessarily conducts the traveller to never ending variety of prospect;
and this variety I fully enjoyed for the first time, in travelling
between Tariffa and Algesiras. At the highest point which the road
traversed, the view might be called sublime: it looked down into the
sea, which seemed like a majestic river flowing between gigantic
mountains; one of its banks being the mountain below me, which appeared
to dip into the water--the other, the Barbary coast, stretching away in
bold outline, and forming, directly opposite, that high and frowning
promontory, which is the southern boundary of the Streights of

From this point, the road descended into a deep and highly picturesque
valley, crossing a fine clear torrent, and then ascending through a
forest of aged cork trees. Here the air was filled with the perfume of
aromatic plants, particularly the balm of Gilead, which grew every where
around; and I also noticed abundance of rosemary, sweet marjorum, and
many medicinal plants, of whose names I am ignorant, although I had no
difficulty in recognizing their smells.

From the next elevation, I obtained the first view of Gibraltar,--an
object, that even if deprived of its localities, would possess an
interest exclusively its own; for it is impossible that an Englishman
travelling across the Peninsula, and first descrying this tower of
strength rising between Africa and Europe, should not feel that he is an
Englishman. Far from country and home, home lies before him; and he is
not too prejudiced a man, who, in a moment like this, feels that there
is a peculiar charm in an English voice, and puts spurs to his horse
that he may the sooner hear its music. I stopped a few moments, however,
upon the elevation, to enjoy the prospect: the calm, sun-shiny bay of
Algesiras, lay below,--the blue bosom of the water chequered with the
many vessels and their shadows; the rock of Gibraltar, part in sunshine,
part in shade, rising out of the other side of the bay. Beyond the
tongue of land that connected Gibraltar with the coast of Spain, were
seen the lofty Sierras of Granada; while beyond the Streights, the
horizon was bounded by the mountains of Morocco. But the pure air of
the mountains had disposed me for breakfast, and I made haste to reach
Algesiras, where I found a good inn and tolerable coffee.

My muleteer having no passport for Gibraltar, he of course could not
pass the Spanish lines, and I was therefore obliged to find another
conveyance for Gibraltar; and while inquiries were making for horses, I
took the opportunity of strolling through the town.

Algesiras is charmingly situated at the foot of mountains, upon a little
slope; and the sea washes the houses. The ruins of the ancient citadel,
within which the Moors continued to defend themselves when they were
driven from the town, are still visible. Just opposite to the town, and
not a quarter of a mile from the shore, is the little island of Palomas;
it is fortified, and commands the town, and the approach on that side.
When I walked down to the harbour, I found the packet-boat for Ceuta
getting under weigh. Ceuta, a Spanish possession on the African coast,
is five leagues from Algesiras; and a packet sails twice every week: the
passage seldom exceeds five or six hours. The wind was fair, and I was
almost tempted to step into the boat, which would carry me to Africa to
dinner. But Ceuta, I believe, is an uninteresting spot; and if one be
desirous of visiting Africa, it is better to go to Tangiers, to which
there are constant opportunities from Gibraltar.

It was upon Algesiras that an attempt had been meditated by a small body
of refugees, and others,--chiefly from Ceuta,--collected at Gibraltar;
it was fortunate for them that the intention was discovered, because any
descent upon Algesiras could only have been followed by their
destruction. There was not the slightest truth in any of the reports
which were current in other countries, respecting risings in different
parts of the southern provinces. No attempt was made to disturb the
government in any part of Andalusia, nor with the exception of the
scheme I have just noticed, is it believed that any was meditated.

I left Algesiras before noon, and rode within water mark round the bay
towards Gibraltar. Across the bay, it is not a league from Algesiras to
Gibraltar, but round by the tongue of land, it is between two and three
leagues; no one however can regret the distance, for the views on every
side are magnificent; and the sands, when the tide is a little back, are
spacious and dry. After crossing two wide creeks by ferries, I found
myself on English, rather than on Spanish ground; for though still
within the Spanish lines, I met numerous parties of English officers and
ladies on horseback; and having passed the Spanish sentinels, and the
neutral ground, which is but very limited, I was in the British



     Picture of the Street Population of Gibraltar; the Construction of
     Houses favourable to Epidemic; Scenery, union of Nature and Art;
     the _Agremens_ of Gibraltar as a Military Station; high Prices in
     Gibraltar; the Alameda; the Excavations; Walk to the Summit; the
     Monkeys; Magnificent View; Sunday in Gibraltar; Trade; the
     Epidemic; Extortion at the Passport Office; Voyage to Malaga; View
     of the City from the Sea; a strange Usage; Pictures of Idleness;
     facility of Living in Malaga; Bad Character of the Population; an
     Anecdote; Public Edifices; Society; Morals; Italian Opera; curious
     Scenes; a perilous Situation; the Wines of Malaga; Produce, and
     Export of Wines; Malaga Sherry; Export of Fruits; the Raisins of
     Malaga; Trade with England; Excursions in the Neighbourhood;
     Water-Coolers; Prices of Provisions.

To some, it may almost appear waste of words, to speak of
Gibraltar,--Gibraltar, a British possession that every body has heard
of, and where there are always five or six British regiments; and yet,
if I be at all entitled to judge of others, by my own ignorance of
Gibraltar before I visited it, I suspect the rock of Gibraltar is but
very imperfectly known to those who have never passed the Streights.

When I threw open the window of the hotel, and looked out upon the
street, it seemed as if I had been suddenly transported to England. I
saw English houses, English names upon the corners of the streets,
English names over the shops, English faces, English dresses. But a more
narrow inspection of the population, destroys the illusion; for it is of
so motley a character, that if we can suppose one to be carried to
Gibraltar, without having been informed of his destination, he would be
utterly at a loss to imagine in what corner of the world he had been set
down. That gentleman sauntering down the street in a surtout and black
neckcloth, is an Englishman; his countenance and his dress, alike decide
his country: the two ladies who follow, are Spanish; the light step, and
graceful gait, would be sufficient to determine this; but the mantilla
and the fan, put it beyond doubt: those two on horseback, are a British
officer and an English lady; the horse and the scarlet uniform fix the
character of the one,--and as for the other, the bright sunny face, and
auburn ringlets, are sufficient, without the evidence of the riding
habit. The three women crossing the street, are neither English nor
Spanish; their scarlet cloaks, trimmed with black velvet, distinguish
them as Gibraltar women; or they might be Genoese. These men with
turbans, ample trowsers, and crimson girdles, standing in a group under
the piazzas, are Moors, the former masters of Spain: and these with bare
legs, and sandals, and black caps and beards, sitting in the streets,
are Barbary Jews, the common porters of Gibraltar: and that, is an
English trading captain, easily known any where: and who can mistake the
British tar, with his jacket and trowsers, and rolling walk, and bluff
countenance--or the Spanish muleteer, the Andalusian, with his dark eye,
and bizarre dress--or the kilted soldier, his sinewy limbs, and rough
face, bearing the complexion of Scotch winds, and Highland hills? All
this is seen in less than two minutes from the window of Griffith’s

Nothing can be worse judged than the manner in which the town of
Gibraltar is built; the houses are constructed for the latitude of
England in place of the latitude of Africa. It is not to be wondered at,
that when epidemics find their way to Gibraltar, their progress should
be irresistible; for not one demand of a hot climate has been complied
with: here are no patios, and fountains, and open galleries, admitting a
free circulation of air, as in Seville; all is closely boxed up, as if
for the climate of England; closed doors, narrow passages, and narrow
stairs, keep out the fresh, and keep in the foul air. In place of the
floors being of brick, or Valencia tiles, they are of wood; the rooms
are small; the windows, not folding, lightly closed, and opening upon
airy balconies, but constructed upon the most approved air-excluding
plan; and the bedrooms carpeted, and the beds curtained. The effects of
all this may easily be imagined,--the spread of disease is powerfully
assisted by filthiness, and by impure and stagnant air; and,
accordingly, no where in Europe have the ravages of the plague been so
fearful as in Gibraltar. The streets and houses are incapable of
alteration; and therefore the only remedy would be, gradually to pull
down the houses, and to replace them with others better fitted to the

The morning after my arrival in Gibraltar, I walked out, with some
curiosity, to see more of a spot of which I had heard so much. After
leaving the town, the road led me towards the south-west, gradually
mounting the rock, and disclosing novel and entrancing views below,
while it conducted me through most charming scenes. I was every where
struck with the results of industry, and of art--not supplanting nature,
but adding its embellishments where her hand had already traced the
outline. Wherever a nook in the rocks was covered with a little soil, it
bore evidence of the labour that had been bestowed upon it; upon every
little eminence, beautiful cottages, the quarters of the officers, or
the country houses of the merchants, were seen surrounded by pretty
gardens; and shaded, on one side perhaps by a majestic rock, on the
other by orange trees and acacias. On both sides of the road, luxuriant
hedges of geranium in flower, captivated more senses than one; and the
rocks, too, were covered with its scarlet and lilac blossoms. The road
which I pursued looked down upon the Alameda, which I had not then
visited, but which looked most captivating from above; I saw it
sprinkled with fig trees, with their broad beautiful leaves and
fantastic trunks--and acacias, with their little yellow tufts so full of
fragrance--and orange trees, speckled thick with the bright fruit,
embowered in its green alcove. It was a charming prospect to look down
upon the Alameda, and across to the Spanish main, over the calm bay--and
up to the gigantic rocks, covered with their natural foliage, and
sheltering the pretty villas that nestled under them. In about an hour
and a half, I reached the south-west point, after passing numerous
ranges of fine barracks; here the rock dips perpendicularly into the
sea; and from this point, the long bold line of the African coast is
seen stretching away to the west and south. The whole rock of Gibraltar
is intersected by roads, broad and smooth, all adapted for horse
exercise, and most of them for carriages. In fact, Gibraltar is not the
banishment some people suppose; and as military quarters, it possesses
many more _agremens_ than any English provincial town can boast. There
is no want of society in Gibraltar, for the military are always
sufficiently numerous to form society among themselves; and that fine
old gentleman, Sir George Don,[A] is just such a man as ought to be
governor of Gibraltar, because he understands hospitality, and brings
the inhabitants together. Every body in Gibraltar is bent upon
amusement: there are balls and concerts, and private parties, and an
excellent library and a reading room, where I saw the English magazines
fifteen days after they were published in London. Add to all these
agremens, charming rides on the fine sands within the Spanish lines;
walks in the Alameda, where there are parades and military music every
day; boating in the bay; and excursions to Algesiras, Ceuta, and
Tangiers; and news from England by the steam-packet every month,--and
it will be admitted that Gibraltar is not a place of military
banishment. One drawback Gibraltar indeed possesses,--the expense of
living. Almost every article of subsistence is brought from the Spanish
main, from Africa, or from England; and every thing is therefore
expensive: house-rent, especially, is exorbitantly high; the rent of a
moderately sized house, ranging from 200_l._ to 400_l._ per annum. It is
probable, however, that the withdrawal of business and population from
Gibraltar to Cadiz--the result of the latter place having been made a
free port--will affect a reduction in the value of property, and in the
amount of house-rent. Clothing is an exception to the dearness of every
thing in Gibraltar: all goods of foreign manufacture are of course to be
bought of the regular trader, in a free port, at the same price as in
the country where they are manufactured, with only the addition of
freight, and the profit of the dealer; but all such articles find their
way by some means into the hands of the Jews; and at the public sales
which are held in the market-place almost daily, every thing may be
bought far below prime cost.--I saw fine broad cloth sold at a dollar a

The Alameda of Gibraltar is truly a little paradise; and whenever I left
the inn, I found myself on the road to this delightful retreat. Along
the whole of the north side of Gibraltar, there is a level, or nearly
level stripe, between the base of the rock and the sea; this stripe
varies in breadth, from a quarter, to perhaps two-thirds of a mile; the
east end of it is occupied by the town, and the west end by the Alameda.
This delightful promenade is about half a mile long; it is intersected
by innumerable walks, and affords, besides its own attractions, ever
changing and delightful views of the bay, the rock, the mainland, and
the town. The fences are entirely of geranium of every variety; and of a
size, such as would be thought worthy of a pilgrimage in England. The
spaces between the walks, are thickets of geranium, and of various
flowering and odoriferous plants, seen in the English green-house; and
fig trees, silver elms, acacias, and orange trees, are thickly scattered
over this little paradise. The Alameda of Gibraltar would be beautiful
any where--even if surrounded by a desert; but how much more beautiful,
bounded on one side by a rock fifteen hundred feet high, and on the
other, by a placid bay of the Mediterranean!

But it is the excavations in the rock that are always spoken of as the
wonder of Gibraltar. I of course visited these, and found them all, and
more than all, that I had expected. The whole interior of the solid rock
has been hewn, blasted, and formed into galleries, of immense
extent,--wide enough for a carriage,--and leaving, every ten or twelve
yards, openings at which cannon are placed, commanding the sea or the
land approach to the rock. There are two galleries, one over the other,
and the extent of both is between two and three miles. At one point in
the highest gallery, a small opening leads to a projecting part of the
rock, at the side of the great precipice of fifteen hundred feet, facing
the north-east. I found every niche in the rock covered with white
narcissus,--and beautiful looked these gentle flowers, standing in
little companies, in spots where the hand of man could never reach, nor
the foot of the goat ever stray: but I made a capture of one cluster,
which nodded upon a little shelf within my reach; they smelt quite as
sweet as the garden narcissus; and there were no fewer than eight
flowers upon one stalk.

After leaving the galleries, I wished to ascend to the highest point of
the rock; but a sentry stopped me, telling me I could not be permitted
to go higher, without an order from the governor. But the day being
transcendantly beautiful, and, resolved upon a day’s ramble, I got out
of the sentinel’s sight, and leaving the road, scrambled in a direct
line towards the eastern point. Turning the corner of the declivities
fronting the east, I suddenly found myself in the neighbourhood of
eleven monkeys; they did not perceive me at first, nor, when they did,
was there any great alarm manifested among them. They turned round, sat
up, and looked at me; and after a few moments’ scrutiny, they wheeled
about, and scampered away, chattering, and looking behind them; and
disappeared round some projecting rocks. The monkeys are always to be
found on the side of the rock opposite to that upon which the wind
blows: they constantly shift their quarters with the wind.

It was a laborious ascent to reach the south-eastern summit of the rock,
which is one thousand five hundred and ninety-five feet above the
Mediterranean; but amply was the labour repaid: for my eye never
embraced a more magnificent prospect. Looking towards the east, the bold
coast of Granada stretched in a wide curve, ending in the dim mountains
that lie around Malaga. Withdrawing the eye from the Spanish coast, it
wandered over the calm Mediterranean, streaked like a summer lake, and
baring its trembling bosom to the sunbeams. Farther to the south, was
seen an indistinct line, stretching eastward; this was the coast of
Africa: and towards the west, this line grew more distinct, till, at
scarce three leagues across, it terminated in the dark high mountain of
Barbary--one of the Pillars of Hercules. Turning towards the north, lay
in unruffled tranquillity, the bay that separates Gibraltar from the
Spanish Main. The vessels at anchor were mirrored below; many little
boats were rowing about; and several mysticos and scampiavas had hung
out their enormous sails, to woo the light airs that came, and died upon
the summer sea. Beyond the bay, was the coast of Andalusia, seemingly
within a gun-shot; the town of Algesiras nestling at the head of the
bay, and in the hollow of the mountains that rose behind, dappled with
the lights and shadows that the few wandering clouds cast upon their
valleys and acclivities. Nor was the gigantic rock itself a picture of
no importance in this glorious view: its rugged and fearful precipices,
and deep ravines--a milk-white goat here and there standing upon a giddy
point--the sentinels far below, their arms glittering in the
sunshine--the verdure that covered the lower declivities, and fringed
the bay--these completed the picture: a picture that I think can never
pass from my memory.

One of the days I spent at Gibraltar was a Sunday. This day is there
observed with great strictness: prayers are read to the troops on
parade, and also in the government house. But it is a most
unaccountable fact, that there should be no place of public worship for
the large Protestant English population of this British possession: this
is bitterly complained of. Hundreds among the troops would gladly attend
church, if there was a church to attend; and many, rather than go to no
temple at all, frequent the Catholic chapel. A Protestant church was
begun some time ago, but want of funds has prevented its completion. All
this reflects little credit upon those who have the management of such

Gibraltar is a fallen and falling place, as a place of commerce; and
there is no prospect of any revival. In speaking of Cadiz, I have
already said that the whole, or almost the whole licit and illicit trade
of Gibraltar, has been transferred to that city. The loss of the Cadiz
market alone, which took up extensively the articles which were received
into the free port of Gibraltar, might easily account for its decline.
But there is still another cause for the decline of Gibraltar; a cause
that might probably have been of itself sufficient to determine the ruin
of this settlement, and which has, at all events, materially hastened
it: I allude to the epidemic. Since the last terrible visitation of this
kind, there has been a general feeling of insecurity: many, soon
afterwards, removed their establishments elsewhere; and others are
ready, upon the first rumour of disease, to quit a spot where life is
held by so precarious a tenure.

Every one knows the history of Gibraltar. Before the establishment of
the Moorish empire in Spain, Gibraltar was called Calpe; under the Moors
it bore the name of Gibel-Tarif, and subsequently of Gibraltar. The
importance attached to Gibraltar during the last years of the Moorish
empire, has lately been made better known to us by that delightful work,
the Chronicles of the Conquest of Granada. In the year 1704, Gibraltar
was taken by the combined English and Dutch fleets under Sir George
Rooke; and in 1713 it was confirmed to England by the peace of Utrecht.
The only important attempt to wrest Gibraltar from the English was made
in 1782, by the combined fleets of France and Spain; but the attempt
proved abortive, and the rock of Gibraltar may now be considered
inseparably united to the British empire[B].

After having spent some pleasant days at Gibraltar, I inquired
respecting conveyances to Malaga. I learnt that it was a two days’
journey on mule back; and that the character of the country between
Gibraltar and Malaga, was precisely the same as that which I had
travelled from Cadiz. Tempted the same afternoon by a fine breeze from
the west, and by an offer of a passage in a Spanish mystico, which the
captain assured me would sail at six next morning, and would be in
Malaga the same evening, I got all ready,--took out my passport and a
bill of health, and went to bed in the hope of sleeping next night in
Malaga. I gladly avail myself of this opportunity of mentioning the
unjustifiable exactions of the public offices in this British
possession. Throughout the whole of Spain, more than two pecetas (1_s._
8_d._) had never been demanded at any passport office; but at Gibraltar,
where it is difficult to understand upon what principle an English
subject should require permission of the English authorities to visit
Malaga,--I was charged a dollar. As well might an Englishman about to
visit Calais, be obliged to have the permission of Sir Richard Birnie.
At all events, the charge is extravagant, and therefore unjust; the
petty officer who signs his name at Gibraltar, and pockets the crown, is
not, like a consul in a foreign port, the representative of the British
government, and obliged to spend all, or more than all, that he
receives. In Gibraltar the governor is the representative of the
government; and the demand of a dollar from every Englishman who passes
through Gibraltar, can only be regarded as a robbery of British subjects
to support a sinecurist.

Looking from my window, about five next morning, I saw with dismay, that
the wind had increased almost to a storm, still from the west, but too
violent to allow any vessel to beat out of the bay; for it is a great
difficulty attending the navigation from Gibraltar, that the most
favourable wind for the Levant, is the most adverse for carrying a
vessel out of the bay. I had made up my mind to bear the delay, and be
contented with reading the English newspapers, and with an English
dinner in the hotel, when the master of the mystico sent to inform me
that the wind had so much abated as to permit him to beat out, and that
he was on the point of sailing. I immediately ran down to the harbour,
hired a boat, and was just in time to catch the mystico upon one of its
tacks. The vessel had been obliged to leave the harbour, because, after
gun-fire at five o’clock, the gates and harbour are shut, and nothing is
permitted to pass out or in.

We beat out of the bay with some difficulty;--a brilliant sun-set flamed
upon the rock of Gibraltar,--and just as the sun sunk behind the
mountains of Barbary, we doubled Point Europa,--and lying to our course,
went swiftly through the water. The current alone would carry a vessel
from Gibraltar to Malaga, for it constantly sets in through the
Streights into the Mediterranean, a fact that has puzzled both
navigators and philosophers: but with a strong westerly breeze, the
doubt was not, whether we should reach Malaga by day-break, but whether
we might not pass it during the night; for the masters of these Spanish
boats are not the most scientific of navigators. I sat upon deck till
the line of coast became invisible, and then lay down on the lee side,
where I slept till day-break; and looking up, I found we were traversing
the bay of Malaga, and that we should be in the harbour in less than an
hour. Malaga is an imposing object from the sea: it stands in the centre
of a wide bay, flanked and backed by lofty mountains; and by the
picturesque ruins of its ancient fortifications and castle, which cover
the hill that rises immediately to the east, and seem, from their great
extent, like the remains of a former city. When we had cast anchor, the
health-boat rowed out to us: fortunately quarantine had lately been
removed; and after a slight examination of luggage, I was permitted to
go on shore; and on the recommendation of the British consul, I
established myself in the Fonda de los tres Reyes.

Malaga I found an interesting, agreeable, and hospitable city; and I
recollect with pleasure the time I spent there. After breakfasting, and
waiting upon his Britannic majesty’s consul, Mr. Mark, whose attentions
I have great pleasure in acknowledging, I committed myself to chance,
and perambulated the city. One of the first places I happened to enter,
was the market, where I was attracted by the singularity of a usage
which I never remarked elsewhere. Various stalls were appropriated to
the sale of poultry; but these were not exposed whole;--fowls, ducks,
partridges, and various other birds, were cut up: here was a row of
legs,--there, of wings, or breasts,--these were sold separately; and I
saw no lack of purchasers. The general aspect of the population of
Malaga, I found even more Moorish than that of Seville; and it afforded
innumerable admirable pictures of idleness. Many of the market people
were seated on the earth on circular mats, and the stools in general use
were still lower than in Seville; but hundreds appeared to be doing
nothing: groups sat upon the ground, their backs against the wall of
some house or convent; others lay upon the steps at the entrance of the
churches; and many sauntered listlessly to and fro in the sun, which at
this season was rather coveted than shunned. All these idlers were
wrapped up in their brown cloaks,--most of them ragged and patched,--and
the greater number were regaling themselves with delicious melons, which
they leisurely and indolently cut up with their long clasp knives--so
often in Malaga put to less innocent purposes. Malaga is noted for its
idle and bad population; a character which I believe it deservedly
maintains, and which results chiefly from the facility with which the
wants of life are supplied. A good melon may often be purchased for two
or three quartos. A quartillo of wine (something more than a bottle)
costs no more. A little barrel of anchovies may be purchased for two
reals (4½_d._); and if so, the fresh sardiña must be to be had at a
price that will put a meal within the reach of any one who is possessed
of a quarto (less than a farthing). These luxuries, indeed, require a
few quartos to obtain them; and if begging be not sufficient for this,
the _mala gente_ of Malaga (for this is the expression commonly applied
to its population) are at no loss to find the quartos in some other
way. The whole idle population of Malaga are thieves: and in so degraded
a state is public justice in this city, that crimes of a far darker hue
than theft, pass unpunished; because, to take notice of them, would be
to court the worst effects of revenge. In another chapter I have
illustrated, by an example, the perfect security with which, in Malaga,
a man may obey the very worst passions. A woman who dares prosecute the
murderer of her husband, speedily receives a private intimation that
effectually silences her; and it has been not uncommon, for money to be
put into the hands of an _escrivano_ previous to the commission of a
murder, in order to ensure the services and protection of a person so
necessary to one who meditates crime. I will relate a trifling
circumstance that occurred while I was at Malaga, in corroboration of
what I have been saying.

One night, Mr. F., a most respectable merchant of the town, while on his
way home, was stopped and robbed. The man who committed the robbery was
very well known to the gentleman whom he robbed: he was a waterman,
owning a boat, and plying betwixt the pier and the vessels. Next
morning, Mr. F. having occasion to go out to a vessel, walked down to
the pier, and was stepping into a boat, when another man offered his
services; Mr. F., without turning to look at the man who spoke, said
this was his ordinary boatman, and he always employed men whom he knew.
“What, sir,” said the other, lifting his hat above his brow, “don’t you
know me?” Mr. F. turned round, and saw the man who had robbed him the
night before; and yet, to prosecute a man, who thus in open day claimed
the recollection of the person he had robbed, would be a hazard that no
prudent inhabitant of Malaga dare encounter.

I found the pictures presented by the street population of Malaga
interesting, because they were novel; but the streets themselves
presented little attraction. The only handsome part of the town is the
Alameda; the other parts present a labyrinth of narrow, intricate
streets, almost wholly inhabited by the tradespeople, or by a low
population; but the buildings that line both sides of the Alameda are
magnificent, and the interior of many of these houses, I found more
splendid than any thing I had yet seen in Spain. The public buildings
are but indifferent; with the exception of the cathedral, which is
greatly admired by the people of Malaga; but which, after having seen
those of Toledo and Seville, possesses but little attraction. Like the
cathedral of Cadiz, it is not finished; it was intended to be surmounted
by six towers, but only one of these has been erected. There are no
pictures in the cathedral, nor are there any worthy of notice in the
other churches or convents of the city.

The state of society in Malaga, does not greatly differ from that of the
other cities in the south of Spain; but there is one strange peculiarity
in Malaga society, that cannot but forcibly strike a stranger: this is,
the extraordinary familiarity of servants. I have frequently seen
servants at table, join in conversation with the family: a female
servant while receiving orders, always sits down in the company of her
mistress; and, upon one occasion, while a game at _basto_ was playing,
I saw a servant who had brought refreshments, walk forward to the table,
place his two _pecetas_ upon it, retire, and wait at a little distance
to know the fate of his stake.

With respect to morals, I might repeat what I have said of Cadiz: I may
merely add, that a Spanish lady of Malaga, married to a highly
respectable Scotch merchant and consul, and who had resided all her days
there, told me that she did not know one Spanish woman in Malaga who had
always led a virtuous life. So universal is the system of gallantry in
Malaga, that a gentleman is not designated as señor so and so, but
invariably as the _cortejo_ of this or that señora. In another respect,
too, the low state of morals is shewn: I allude to the great laxity of
female conversation. I was informed by the English mother of three
grown-up daughters, that it was impossible to allow them to keep company
with either married or unmarried Spanish women; and this I can very well
believe, judging by the tone of conversation to which I have myself been

Last autumn, Malaga supported an Italian opera; at which I was twice
present. Upon one of these occasions, La Gaza Ladra was performed, and
not ill performed. The Prima Donna was a sister of Malibran,--a very
inferior singer to her celebrated relative, but by no means despicable,
and she was well supported both in the vocal parts and by the orchestra.
The theatre was crowded, and the dresses of the ladies might be called
splendid. The love of dress is carried to a great length in Malaga. A
young lady, fifteen years of age, who was of the same party with myself
at the opera, told me that she had given twenty dollars for her fan; and
another young person, the daughter of a small tradesman in Malaga, told
me, when I admired her comb, that it had cost fourteen dollars. It was a
curious spectacle in leaving the theatre, to see some hundreds of
servants with lanterns waiting in the street. Gentlemen and ladies, have
alike their lantern to light them home. To attempt the dark narrow
streets of Malaga without this accompaniment, would be to tempt the
_mala gente_, and certainly to encounter great and unnecessary risk. It
was a very unseasonable interruption, just when every servant had
discovered his master, and when the line of march had begun, to hear the
little bell that announced the approach of the _host_. All the lights
were suddenly arrested in their progress, and the procession passed
through an avenue of kneelers, illuminated by the hundreds of lanterns
that were placed upon the ground,--the spectacle was undoubtedly

I consider myself to have had rather a narrow escape while at Malaga, in
a visit which I made to the ruins of the castle. The ruins of the
Moorish fortifications are of extraordinary extent; they reach from the
city to the summit of the hill that flanks it to the east,--a distance
not much less than a mile; and desirous of inspecting the ruins, as well
as of enjoying the views which I had no doubt were to be enjoyed from
the heights, I devoted an afternoon to this walk. As I ascended,
occasional gaps in the ruins discovered charming glimpses over the city,
the sea, and the mountains; and at one spot, where a half-fallen spiral
staircase leads to the summit of a round tower, whose ruins flank the
wall,--the whole magnificence of the prospect burst upon me. The city,
washed by the Mediterranean,--the fertile plain to the north of Malaga,
covered with gardens and orangeries, and sprinkled with villages and
convents, and the fine range of magnificent and curiously broken
mountains that environ that little plain;--the situation of Malaga
leaves nothing to desire. I had not yet ascended above half way,--and
the higher up, the more extensive are the ruins; the lower part being
occupied by fortifications, but the upper half of the hill being covered
with the remains of the castle. Soon after leaving the tower, I passed
three ruffian-looking men sitting under the wall playing cards; and
perhaps prudence ought to have whispered to me to return; but an
Englishman with difficulty persuades himself of the possibility of
violence in day-light; and the sun being above the horizon, I continued
my walk. Higher up, I found myself entirely enclosed among the ruins;
and having gone so far, and believing that I could be at no great
distance from the summit, I resolved not to return by the same road, but
to find some path that might lead me down the other side of the hill,
either towards the sea or the back of the city. I therefore continued
threading my way among the ruins. I had reached a very solitary spot,
entirely shut in by massive walls, when, passing within ten or twelve
yards of a low archway, scarcely two feet above the ground, I chanced to
turn my eye in that direction, and was startled by seeing the dark
countenances of two men peering from the mouth of it, their bodies being
concealed by the gloom within. All that I had heard and knew of the
character of the lowest class in Malaga, suddenly recurred to my mind; I
felt the full danger of my situation, and walking a few wide paces
farther, as if I had not observed them, till a fragment of the ruin was
fortunately intercepted between me and the arch, I sprung forward with
no tardy step; but not before a stealthy glance had shewn me the figure
of one man already half way between the arch and myself, and another on
the point of emerging from his lurking place. I have not the smallest
doubt, that if these men had been aware of my approach, or if, in the
hurry of the moment, I had mistaken my path among the ruins, or found
no outlet, I should never have returned to write this volume:
fortunately, however, I had not run more than twenty yards, when a gap
in the wall shewed me the open country below, and the next moment I had
passed through it, and dropped into a small olive plantation. I made
what haste I could, down the hill to the city; and when I related the
circumstance that had taken place, I was told I had been guilty of an
imprudence that no one acquainted with Malaga would have ventured upon;
that robbery, and murder also, had been perpetrated among these ruins;
and that I owed my escape to nothing but the lucky accident of finding a
speedy exit.

When we think of Malaga, it is generally in connexion with its wines;
which, although not so much in vogue in England as in other times, yet
enjoy a high reputation, and along with its fruits, form the distinction
and the wealth of Malaga. I shall therefore make no apology for
occupying a few pages with some details respecting the wines and fruits
of this most southern city of the continent of Europe.

The wines of Malaga are of two sorts, sweet, and dry; and of the former
of these, there are four kinds. First, The common “Malaga,” known and
exported under that name. In this wine there is a certain proportion of
boiled wine, which is allowed to burn, and which communicates a slightly
burnt taste to the “Malaga.” The grape from which this wine is made, is
a white grape, and every butt of Malaga contains no less than eleven
gallons of brandy. Secondly, “Mountain.” This wine is made from the same
grape as the other, and like the other, contains colouring matter, and
brandy; the only difference is, that for “mountain,” the grape is
allowed to become riper. Thirdly, “lagrimas,” the richest and finest of
the sweet wines of Malaga; the name of which almost explains the manner
in which it is made. It is the droppings of the ripe grape hung up, and
is obtained without the application of pressure.

The dry wine of Malaga is produced from the same grape as the sweet
wine, but pressed when greener: in this wine there is an eighth-part
more of brandy than in the sweet wine; no less than one twelfth part of
the dry Malaga being brandy.

The whole produce of the Malaga vineyards is estimated at from
thirty-five to forty thousand butts, but owing to the increasing stock
of old wine in the cellars, it is impossible to be precise in this
calculation. The export of all the Malaga wines may be stated at about
twenty-seven thousand butts. The principal market is the United States,
and the States of South America; and to these countries, the export is
rather upon the increase. The average price of the wines shipped from
Malaga, does not exceed thirty-five dollars per butt; but wines are
occasionally exported at so high a price as one hundred and seventy
dollars. Many attempts have been made at Malaga to produce sherry, but
not with perfect success. The Xeres grape has been reared at Malaga,
upon a soil very similar to its native soil; but the merchants of Malaga
have not ventured to enter the wine for export. For my own part, judging
from a sample of wine which I tasted at the warehouse of Messrs. W. &
G. Read, I should say that the experiment had succeeded; and that the
sherry made at Malaga, might be introduced into the English market as
sherry; and from its great cheapness, it could not fail to command a
sale. One reason of the very low price of the wines of Malaga, is to be
found in the cheapness of labour: field labour is only two and a half
reals a day (4½_d._). In the fruit and vintage time it is about double.

Next to its wines, the chief export of Malaga is fruit; consisting of
raisins, almonds, grapes, figs, and lemons: but of these, raisins are
the principal export. I have before me, a note of the exports of Malaga
for the months of September and October, in the year 1830--the chief,
though not the sole exporting months,--and I find, that during that
time, the export of raisins amounted to two hundred and sixty-eight
thousand, eight hundred and forty-five boxes; and thirty-one thousand,
nine hundred and sixteen smaller packages. Of this quantity, one hundred
and twenty-five thousand, three hundred and thirty-four boxes were
entered for the United States; forty-five thousand, five hundred and
thirteen for England; the remaining quantity being for France, the West
Indies, the Spanish ports, South America, and Holland.

The raisins exported from Malaga are of three kinds; the muscatel, the
bloom, or sun raisin, and lexias. The muscatel raisin of Malaga, is the
finest in the world. In the preparation of this raisin, no art is used;
the grape is merely placed in the sun, and frequently turned. The bloom,
or sun raisin, is a different grape from the muscatel; but the process
of preparing it is the same: like the other, it is merely sun-dried. The
lexias acquire this name from the liquor in which they are dipped, and
which is composed of water, ashes, and oil: these, after being dipped,
are also dried in the sun. All muscatel raisins are exported in boxes,
and also a part of the bloom raisins. In the year 1829, the number of
boxes of muscatel and bloom raisins exported, was three hundred and
twenty thousand; each box containing twenty-five lbs.--eight millions of
lbs. in all. This quantity is independent of the export of bloom raisins
in casks; and of lexias, the annual export of which, does not exceed
thirty thousand arrobas. The export of raisins to England has fallen
off; the export to America has constantly increased. In the year 1824,
seventy-five ships cleared from the port of Malaga, for England, with
fruit. In 1830, up to the first of November, thirty-four vessels had
cleared out. It is supposed, that Cadiz having been made a free port,
will have the effect of increasing the export fruit trade of Malaga.
Owners are unwilling to send out vessels from England on ballast; and it
is probable, that many will carry out goods to Cadiz, and then proceed
to Malaga to take back a cargo, or part cargo of fruit.

Of the other fruits exported from Malaga, grapes, almonds, and lemons
are the most extensively exported. In the months of September and
October, 1830, eleven thousand six hundred and twelve jars of grapes
were sent to England; to America, six thousand four hundred and
twenty-nine; and to Russia one thousand six hundred and fifty. During
the same period of time, five thousand three hundred and thirty-five
arrobas of almonds (133,375 lbs.) were exported to England; and this
constituted nearly the whole export: and during these months also, there
were exported to England, three thousand seven hundred and fifty-nine
boxes of lemons; to Germany, four thousand two hundred and one boxes;
and to Russia, eight hundred and forty boxes. There is also a large
export of oil from Malaga: but the export for the latter part of 1830
would be no criterion of the average; because the Greenland whale
fishery having failed, extensive orders for olive oil had been received
from England. Eight hundred and twenty-seven pipes of oil had been
exported for the British market during the above months.

The general trade between England and Malaga is on the decline: that
with both the Americas is increasing, especially in wines. The number of
British vessels which entered the port of Malaga in 1827, I find, from
an official note furnished by the British consul, to have been one
hundred and four; in 1828, one hundred and twenty-six; in 1829, one
hundred and five; in 1830, up to the 1st of November, eighty-three,
exclusive of the small Gibraltar vessels. The number of American
vessels entering in 1829, was fifty-five; but the average tonnage of the
Americans being one hundred and seventy-five tons, and that of the
English vessels not exceeding one hundred, the whole American is nearly
equal to the whole of the English trade.

Whilst I remained in Malaga, my time was very agreeably employed; the
weather was sufficiently cool to allow horse and foot exercise; and the
neighbourhood of Malaga affords many charming excursions: these
pleasantly filled up the mornings; while a stroll on the sea shore, the
many hospitalities of English, American, and Spanish families, and the
theatre or opera, agreeably occupied the evening. Among my excursions in
the neighbourhood, one was made to the convent of Victoria, beautifully
placed in a hollow of the neighbouring mountains, surrounded by charming
gardens, where the most delicious fruits vie with each other in tempting
the palate. Among the autumnal fruits of the south of Spain, they
particularly prize the granada, or pomegranate, on account of its real,
or salubrious qualities, especially in derangements of the bowels. North
of the Sierra Morena, the pomegranate is an indifferent fruit; but in
Andalusia and Granada, it arrives at perfection; and so full of juice is
a really fine and ripe pomegranate, that one measuring four inches in
diameter, may be compressed into the bulk of a nut.

In the neighbourhood of the convent of Victoria, the country people find
that useful clay, of which they make the vessels called _bucaros_, used
for cooling water. Without these, the inhabitant of these sultry shores
would be deprived of one of his most essential luxuries; for when the
hot winds prevail, water exposed to the air in these vessels, becomes
icy cold. This singular fact is to be explained by the porous nature of
these vessels, which allow the water to exude; and the hot wind blowing
upon the moist external surface, a rapid evaporation and consequent
cold, are produced.

From the same clay, there is an ingenious manufactory of little figures,
representing Spanish costume in the different provinces. These are in
great variety, and are executed with much truth and ability: indeed, I
have not seen, in any other country, any thing so excellent in its kind.
Nothing would have pleased me more, than to have carried a complete
assortment of them to England; but they are of so fragile a nature, that
they could scarcely have arrived at their destination without broken
limbs and noses.

I occupied another day with an excursion to the _Retiro_, the
country-seat of a noble family; but now in a state of dilapidation. The
situation of the old castle is, however, beyond conception
delightful,--nestling at the foot of the mountains, and almost bathed by
the transparent waves of the Mediterranean; and in the adjoining
gardens, every fruit-tree congenial to that glorious climate, flourishes
in unfading luxuriance. Every where in the neighbourhood of Malaga, the
acclivities not occupied by vines, are covered with the prickly pear,
which is cultivated chiefly for the sake of the cochineal which breeds
upon it: this valuable article of commerce has not, however, been yet
produced in so great abundance as to form an article of export.

Few of the useful productions of the globe are unsuitable to the climate
of some part of Spain. In the northern provinces, all the productions of
the temperate climates arrive at perfection; and in the most southern
parts, the climate is found sufficiently fine to ripen the produce of
the Indies. To the eastward of Malaga, a few leagues along the coast,
the sugar-cane is successfully cultivated: though this useful plant is
known to have been much more extensively grown in the time of the Moors
than now, which is evident, from the remains of their sugar-houses.
Still, however, the sugar-cane is a valuable produce, and is said to
supply a sugar scarcely inferior to that of the West Indies.

Malaga, like most of the other cities of Spain, has had various masters.
Built by the Phœnicians, it was successively Carthagenian, Roman,
Gothic, and Moorish; and in the reign of Haly Abenhameth, was the seat
of empire. Ferdinand and Isabella succeeded in wresting Malaga from the
dominion of the Moors, in the year 1487.

Malaga was formerly much more populous than it is now, though, within
the last fifty years, the population has been again on the increase.
Anciently, it contained nearly a hundred thousand persons; in the middle
of the last century, the inhabitants were reduced to thirty thousand;
and at present, it is said to contain about forty-five thousand.

I have nothing more to add of Malaga, excepting the price of provisions.

Beef is ten quartos the pound, of sixteen ounces; mutton the same. Pork,
fourteen quartos. Eggs, two for six quartos--not much less than a penny
each. A fine fowl, seven reals; a chicken, three reals; a duck, fifteen
reals; a turkey, from twenty to thirty reals. The best bread, twelve
quartos. Excellent wine, two reals per bottle. Potatoes, the measure of
six pounds and a quarter, seven quartos, or about twopence. A barrel of
anchovies, two reals. A partridge, four reals. A rabbit, ten reals.
Fish, remarkably cheap and plentiful. Melons, grapes, pomegranates,
figs, and prickly pears, so cheap as scarcely to form an article of

Let it not be forgotten, that eight quartos are twopence farthing; and
that, in one franc French, there are four reals.



     Different Routes to Granada; Ascent of the Malaga Mountains; an
     Anecdote illustrative of Spanish Morals; Picture of a Venta and its
     Inmates; Night Arrangements; beautiful situation of Loxa; the Venta
     de Casin; first View of Granada; Reflections; the Situation of
     Granada and its Vega; the Alhambra; St. Michael’s Mount, and its
     Singularities; excavated Dwellings; View from the Mount;
     extraordinary Changes in Temperature; a Fire in Granada, and the
     curious means resorted to for extinguishing it; Superstition; the
     Cathedral; the Convents; the Archbishop; Husbandry in the Vega of
     Granada; State of Agriculture; the Duke of Wellington’s Estates;
     Effects of the Loss of the Colonies; the Paseos of Granada; the
     Population; the Market; Usages; the Italian Opera.

From Malaga to Granada, there are two roads; one by Velez Malaga, the
other by Loxa. The former of these roads lies a great part of the way
along the sea shore, and then turning to the left, leads through Alhama
to Granada. By sleeping at Velez Malaga the first night, and at Alhama
the second, tolerable accommodation may be had all the way to Granada.
The other road, on leaving Malaga, strikes at once into the heart of the
mountains, and leads to Granada by way of Loxa. By this road, it is
necessary to sleep at ventas of the very worst description,--for Loxa
does not make a convenient halting place,--and although neither of these
roads are safe from robbery, the latter is by far the most celebrated
for the crimes that have been committed upon it. I resolved to travel by
the Loxa road; chiefly, because the scenery upon it was reported to be
greatly more attractive than upon the road by Velez Malaga; and learning
that a gallera was about to leave Malaga for Granada by the road which I
had selected, I engaged a place in it, for which I paid two dollars and
a half,--a very moderate charge for so long a journey.

I took my seat in the gallera at seven in the morning, and found my
fellow travellers to consist of a middle-aged woman, the wife, as I
afterwards learned, of a respectable shopkeeper in Malaga: her
daughter, a sprightly, intelligent, and remarkably pretty girl of
nineteen, two years married to a wine grower of the neighbourhood: a
young woman of two or three and twenty, comely, and finely formed, on
her way to Granada on speculation,--for she was one of those unhappy
persons, whose temporary home depends upon the caprice of her temporary
master; and another woman, who travelled openly as the mistress of the
muleteer. Such was the company in the gallera.

Leaving Malaga, the road passes along the channel of a stream, and then
enters the rich and highly cultivated country that lies between Malaga
and the mountains, which we began to ascend, after travelling about
three quarters of a league. This is the most extraordinary ascent I ever
recollect to have seen: it is computed to be three leagues and a half,
upwards of fourteen miles English, from the point at which the road
enters the mountains, until it reaches the summit of the range; and in
all this distance there is not one yard of level ground, still less of
descent. I know of no mountain road in Switzerland more abounding in
magnificent scenery, or in varied and charming prospects, than this. The
formation of these mountains is singular: innumerable conical hills
cover the face of the range; and the road winding upward among these, is
one moment shut in among the mountains, and shut out from the
world,--the next, emerging from behind one of these little hills, it
traverses the front of the range, disclosing an illimitable prospect of
land and sea. This peculiarity in the formation of the mountain,
produces an infinite variety of views. Sometimes, when looking back
towards Malaga, nothing intercepts the view--the whole bay,--Malaga in
its centre,--the Moorish ruins,--the cathedral, and the cultivated
plain, are all spread below. At another point, only the city and the bay
are seen, the mountains shutting out all the rest; while still higher
up, even the city is hidden, and the sea appears to wash the base of the
mountains. The views too in the interior of the mountain are beautiful:
a deep valley is from time to time revealed,--the mountain slopes that
encompass it, covered with vines, and in its centre the house of the
vine-grower, surrounded by a belt of charming verdure, and half
embowered in a grove of orange trees.

As we ascended the mountains, we met a few travellers, and a
considerable number of muleteers and their trains, every one well armed
with guns, and some with swords also. Many crosses stood by the
way-side; and as I walked the most part of the way up the mountain, I
generally stopped to read the record; some of these were of sudden
death, and some of murder,--but of the latter I saw only one of very
recent date.

A curious circumstance, throwing some additional light upon the morals
of Malaga, occurred in the course of the morning. When we had ascended
about two-thirds of the mountain, a handsome young caballero, in the
richly-ornamented Andalusian dress, and mounted upon a fine powerful
horse, overtook the gallera, and accosted the middle-aged woman and her
young married daughter, in the language of an acquaintance. Soon after
he gave his horse in charge to the muleteer’s assistant, and took his
seat in the gallera, where he kept up a half-whispered conversation
with the younger lady: but the nature of the _liaison_ now became more
evident. The cortejo of this young wife, for such of course was his
character, asked her aloud whether she would not like to ride his horse
a little way? To which she at first replied no, and then yes; and the
muleteer having opportunely discovered a lady’s saddle lying in the
bottom of the gallera, and contrived too for two persons, she was soon
seated upon the horse, which walked in front of the gallera, and the
caballero walked by her side; but the horse gained so fast upon the
gallera, that the party was soon out of sight, till, upon reaching a
point from which a higher reach of the zig-zag road was visible, the
lady and her cortejo were seen both mounted, and trotting forward; and
we saw no more of them till night, when we reached the venta, where we
found the young lady in bed, and the caballero sitting by her. Her
mother seemed quite satisfied with the arrangements of the day, and
offered no reproof either in word or in look. The same evening the
gallant set out on his return to Malaga.

After reaching the summit of the mountain, and following for a little
way a level road, we began to descend into a deep valley, clothed with
ilex and cork tree; and towards evening we passed under the hill, upon
which the town of Colmona is situated. Upon a small bridge at the foot
of the hill, a number of the inhabitants of the town were assembled,
some sitting upon the wall of the bridge, some playing cards, and some
lying on the ground; and a more ruffian-like sample of a town’s
population, I do not recollect to have ever seen. After passing Colmona,
we continued to wind among low hills that seemed the outposts of more
lofty ranges,--gradually ascending, and approaching the Sierra. And
nearly two hours after dark, the gallera stopped at the gate of the
solitary venta, where it was necessary we should pass the night.

This venta may be taken as a fair specimen of travelling accommodation
in the southern and eastern provinces of Spain, in the year 1830.
Groping my way through a small court-yard, and a wide gateway, I found
myself in a long apartment; I do not know any word to express (a barn
on the ground-story), the floor earthen--the roof, a congregation of
beams and rafters--the walls, partly rough stone, as originally put
together; partly white-washed. The door, by which I had entered, was
nearly in the middle of the side wall, so that one-half of the apartment
lay to the right, and the other to the left. To the right, I saw a dim
file of mules stretching away into obscurity: on the left, at the
farther extremity of the apartment, a bright blaze from a fire kindled
on the floor, shewed me the way to the part appropriated to the human
guests! As I walked towards the fire, which was at a great distance, the
scene assumed a more picturesque and striking appearance: at a round
table not far from the fire, sat ten or twelve men, every one with his
little round Spanish hat and crimson girdle; and in every one’s hand a
long clasp knife, with which he fished, from time to time, a huge piece
of meat from an enormous brown dish that stood smoking in the centre of
the table--diffusing around the usual fragrance of a Spanish stew, in
which the prominent ingredients are oil and garlic. Over the blazing
fire hung an iron apparatus, from which depended a large iron pot,
containing something worthy the attention of a brown-cheeked,
dark-haired wench, who inspected it by the help of a light simply
contrived by a piece of wick being put into a small open vessel of oil;
and, after having ascertained the state of the stew (for this also was a
stew) she hung her lamp upon a nail affixed to a rafter over her head.
On the stone bench beyond the fire, sat two or three muleteers, who
seemed by their inactivity, to have already tasted the good things of
the venta; for one was manufacturing a cigar in the approved Spanish
mode, by rolling paper round a little tobacco: and the other had already
accomplished this task, and was enveloped in a cloud of smoke--and the
picture of the venta is completed, if we add two or three great lank
dogs standing at the table where the supper party was seated; and two or
three others lying in the neighbourhood of the fire. Such was the state
of the venta, when the gallera party arrived, to claim a share of its
hospitalities. The features of the scene were now greatly multiplied:
one of the party was seen kneeling at the fire, intent upon the
operation of chocolate-making--another was employed in heating a pot of
wine--and my occupation was, watching the progress towards boiling, of
some water meant to deluge the “fragrant herb.” All these preparations
being completed, the gallera party proposed enjoying their various
refreshments in company, adding to them, the fowl and sausages which had
been brought from Malaga. But the supper-table was still occupied by the
hungry guests, before whom the second supply of stew had just been
placed; and who were employing the interval in passing round the wine in
the southern fashion--each in his turn pouring from the tube of a glass
vessel, a stream of wine, which fell from the distance of a foot, in a
fine arch, into his open mouth. We were accordingly obliged to carry our
refreshments into the chamber, or quarto (for the word chamber suggests
something beyond its deserts), where the young lady had been seen in
bed. The caballero had already taken his leave; and the pretty
_intrigante_ got up, and joined us at supper: this being finished, a
difficulty arose as to our various sleeping accommodations. The mother
and daughter were already provided; for the latter had secured the only
mattress and sheets, when she arrived at the venta; and the doubtful
lady had brought her sleeping apparatus from Malaga. The bed of the two
former was already spread, and the other was speedily deposited in the
opposite corner; and as there was no other quarto in the venta
disengaged, it was proposed that I should make my bed in a corner of the
same quarto: this was better than sitting by the fire, or sleeping on
the mud floor; and I had deposited some clean straw, and my cloak, upon
the ground, and had turned my back to the ladies while they retired to
their mattresses, when a lucky event placed at my disposal, the
comfortable bed of the single lady: the noise of a horse’s hoofs was
heard, and the commanding voice of a caballero; and when I was permitted
to turn round, I discovered that the lady had disappeared. Soon after,
upon going to the door of the quarto, and looking into the common
apartment, I saw her seated by the gentleman who had newly arrived,
upon a bench near the fire; and after waiting more than half an hour, I
took the liberty of approaching, and asking her when she purposed
returning to occupy her bed, as the other ladies wished to lock the
door, and go to sleep? To this question, the caballero replied for her,
that the ladies might lock the door, and go to sleep when it was
agreeable to them, as no one would disturb them; and receiving no
contradiction of this from his companion, I returned to the quarto,
bolted the door, and took possession of the comfortable berth of the
absent owner.

It was a curious scene next morning, when, upon leaving my bed early, I
could scarcely thread my way among the mattresses spread on the ground;
all occupied by some sleeping or newly-awoke muleteer: round the fire,
these were still more thickly strewn; and I had actually to tempt one
yawning fellow from his bed, by a present of two cigars, that I might
find a vacant spot where I could stand, and prepare my chocolate. It was
then just day-break; and the gallera not being ready, I left the venta,
and walked to the summit of a neighbouring rocky height. The evening is
said to be the most solemn hour; but I have felt that the morning is
solemn too, when, in a desolate scene like this, we stand alone among
the dim mountains, and see the stars’ faint twinkle, and day preparing
to illuminate a desert,--and hear no sound, that in peopled climes,
welcomes the approach of light.

When we left the venta, we continued to wind through the Sierra, and
then traversed a deep valley, full of wood, and bounded by lofty
mountains. I counted five monumental crosses in this valley. Soon
afterwards, we entered a more cultivated country; and before noon, Loxa
was seen before us at about a league distant. The view and situation of
this old Moorish town, are beyond expression beautiful. It stands upon a
slight elevation, in a valley about half a league wide; the Xenil
circling round the height, and traversing the valley; the mountains that
rise on either side, are covered with the most charming vegetation, and
all the lower slopes near the town, are adorned with gardens, and rich
groves of oranges and lemons; and these so mingle with the buildings,
that the spires of the churches and convents seem to rise out of bowers;
and the houses, partly hid in foliage, appear like a range of villas. We
did not stop in Loxa, which is remarkable chiefly for the beauty of its
situation--but passed on towards Granada. The valley of the Xenil is
extremely fruitful; many ploughs were busy by the river side, and the
young corn had already covered the fields with the freshest green.

A little before sunset, I climbed to the summit of a neighbouring
height, to catch, if possible, a view of the Sierra Nevada,--the snowy
Sierra of Granada--touched by the rosy light of evening; but just as I
had climbed high enough to descry the summit of the range, a large,
lean, and ferocious sheep dog made towards me, and I was satisfied to
purchase an escape, at the expense of losing my labour. The ascent of
this height had separated me a considerable distance from the gallera;
and I still loitered behind, gathering the woodbine,--the first I had
seen in Spain,--that grew profusely by the way side, until reminded of
the propriety of joining my companions by the approaching dusk, and by
a glimpse of two suspicious-looking men, who eyed me very scrutinizingly
from a bank upon which they were sitting. Soon after overtaking the
gallera, we crossed a rapid stream, by a deep, and rather dangerous
ford; and after dark, we arrived at the Venta de Casin, our refuge for
the night. At the same time with ourselves, another gallera arrived from
Granada, so that the venta overflowed with travellers, and three quartos
were all the accommodation it afforded.

Very different is the reception which the traveller meets with at a
Spanish venta, or even posada, and at an English inn. At the Spanish
posada, no bustling waiter with his clean napkin, bows you into the
house; no smart _demoiselle_ drops a curtesy, and leads the traveller
forward with the glance of her black eyes. In the Spanish posada, the
traveller is welcomed by nobody,--is never asked his pleasure, or what
are his wants; he is left to feel his way along a stone wall; and is at
last directed to the kitchen by a glare of light from the fire, which is
kindled on the floor. It is a curious fact too, that the rank of the
traveller makes no difference in his reception. There is not one kind of
welcome for the gentleman traveller, another for the diligence
traveller, and another for the visitor of low degree. All ranks find one
level in a Spanish posada: no separate tables are set; no distinctive
honours are paid; there is no scale of civility; the caballero, the
merchant, the muleteer, is alike left to shift for himself.

By having walked in advance of the gallera, I had secured one of the
three quartos, which I gave up to the females of the party, or rather
shared it with them: and after having succeeded in getting some
hard-boiled eggs, and some excellent wine, I made my bed, and retired to
it; for no repetition of my good fortune occurred this night. But there
was so great a number of mules in the venta, that the tinkling of their
bells, and the noise of their feet, added to the unintermitting attacks
of certain enemies of repose, whose name might be called “legion,”
prevented the gentle approaches of sleep; and it was with great
satisfaction that I hailed the morning dawn through the paneless
windows. I need scarcely say that window glass is not to be seen in any
village south of the Sierra Morena; and in the most southern, and in the
eastern parts, even the principal posadas in the large towns have rarely
glass in the windows. It is quite a mistake, to suppose that there is no
occasion for glass in the southern parts of Spain. There are many days
during a Spanish winter--and before leaving Spain I had experience of
them--which, in England, would be thought to demand closed windows, and
a blazing fire.

After leaving the Venta de Casin, we entered upon a heathy country,
wild, open, and covered with aromatic plants; and after three hours
travelling, we caught the first view of Imperial Granada,--yet at a
great distance--backed by the lofty Sierra, with its snowy summits. At a
small village famous for its fruits, I purchased a melon as large as a
man’s head, for four quartos--a fraction above a penny--and found it
delicious beyond any that I had ever before eaten. Granada is the most
celebrated, among all the Spanish provinces, for its fruits; but, with
the exception of the melon, the pomegranate, and the prickly pear, the
season of fruit was passing. At Santa Fe, the country becomes rich and
populous; for here we are within the influence of irrigation; and now at
every step, Granada rose before us with greater distinctness and
magnificence. The situation of Granada eclipses that of any city that I
have ever seen; and altogether, the view in approaching it, struck me
more forcibly than any other view that I could at that moment recollect.
And yet, the description would not perhaps be very striking on paper;
because the ingredients of its magnificence consist in the vastness and
splendour of its Moorish remains--not a single Alcazar, not a few
isolated ruins, whose dimensions the eye at once embraces--but ranges of
palaces, and castles, and towers, covering elevations a league in
circumference, rising above and stretching beyond one another, with a
subject city at their feet; and almost vying in grandeur with the
gigantic range of the snowy Sierra that towers above them.

It is impossible to approach and to enter Granada without a thousand
associations,--half reality, half romance,--being awakened within us:
many centuries are suddenly swept from the records of time; and the
events of other days are pictured in our imagination. A page of history
is written upon every object that surrounds us. We see the Vega covered
with the Christian camp, and the silken pavilion of Queen Isabella
rising above the tents of the Spanish nobles: we see the queen, and the
ladies of the court, and a gorgeous cavalcade, ride forth towards the
Moorish city; and we see the Moorish cavalry pour through the gates into
the plain, headed by the warrior Muza Ben Abel Gazan; and we see
Boabdil, the last of the Moors, uncrowned and exiled, leave the city of
his affections--the glory of a fallen empire--and turn round from the
last eminence, to gaze yet once more upon the towers of the Alhambra;
and we hear the fallen king, as he turns in silence and sorrow from the
contemplation, exclaim, “Allah achbar!” God is great.

I will endeavour to convey to the reader some idea of the situation of
Granada, in a matter-of-fact description.

The Vega of Granada is about ten miles long, and seven miles broad; and
being subjected to irrigation, is covered with perpetual verdure, with
grain of every description, with gardens, with olive plantations, and
with orange groves; and it is thickly studded with villages, and country
houses, and cottages. This plain is bounded on the south-east, the east,
and north-east, by a semi-circular range of high mountains called the
Sierra Nevada, the summits of which are always less or more covered with
snow; and when we call to mind the latitude of Granada, this informs us,
without the assistance of trigonometry, that the elevation of these
mountains is great. Upon the outposts of the Sierra stands the city of
Granada--for the most part, built upon the gentle acclivities that lie
between the mountains and the Vega; but some part of it standing upon
the Vega itself. Two rivers, the Xenil and the Daro, flow through the
city, and traverse the Vega. Although the mountains seem from the plain
to rise directly behind the city, this is not precisely the fact; two
ridges, from four hundred to six hundred feet in height, separated from
each other by the Daro, lie between the city and the base of the Sierra:
these directly overlook the city; and upon one of them is situated the
chapel of St. Michael, while the other is entirely covered by the ruins
of the Alhambra. Not only are these heights covered with wood and with
verdure, but the whole city is intermingled with gardens and orangeries;
and, inclosing within it so many _monticules_, which are mostly occupied
by convents and convent gardens, there is a picturesqueness about the
city itself, abstracted from its Alhambra or its environs, that is
peculiarly its own.

From whatever point Granada may be contemplated, it is a sumptuous city;
whether viewed from the plain, or from any of the neighbouring heights:
even in walking the streets, vistas of astonishing beauty are
occasionally discovered; and from the windows of my apartment in the
Fonda del Comercio, I have never seen any thing more gorgeous than
sunset upon the city of Granada; nor any thing more beautiful than the
moonlight falling upon its gardens, and groves, and convents, and
towers, and neighbouring heights, and snow-clad mountains.

The first morning after my arrival, I hastened to the Alhambra. I
entered its precincts by the gate of Granada, and found myself in a
shrubbery, shewing many marks of the unpardonable neglect with which all
the magnificent monuments in Spain are treated, by those who preside
over the destinies of that ill-governed country. I was first conducted
to the Xeneralife, once the residence of Boabdil el Chico, the last of
the Moorish kings. This building stands upon an elevation considerably
higher than the Alhambra, and separated from it by a deep ravine. Some
modern additions have been made to the Xeneralife; but these may easily
be distinguished from the Moorish part of the building. In the palace of
Boabdil, there is nothing particularly worthy of observation; but the
myrtle groves and terraces are agreeable; and from the latter, there is
a charming view over the Alhambra and its gardens.

The Xeneralife, which in the Arabic signifies a pleasure house, is said
to have been built by Omar, who, in that delightful seclusion, gave
himself entirely up to the enjoyment of music. The inscriptions on every
part of the Alhambra, interpret the uses of the different buildings and
chambers. These have all been copied and translated,--and, although a
record of them would be tedious, I may perhaps be permitted to introduce
two or three of the most interesting, as curious relics of Moorish
customs. There is only one connected with the Xeneralife, which appears
worthy of recording. It is on the arcades around a court.

“Charming palace! splendid art thou, and great as thou art splendid! all
is bright around thee. Worthy art thou to be praised, for divinity is in
all thy charms: flowers adorn thy garden; they nod upon their stalks,
and fill the air with their sweet perfume. A breeze plays with the
blossoms of the orange tree, and their delightful fragrance is wafted
around. Hark! voluptuous music mingles with the gentle rustling of the
leaves,--sweet harmony! and verdure and flowers encompass me. Thou, oh
Abulgali! most excellent of kings; guardian of the faithful, and of the
law,--thou art the object of my reverence. May God be ever with thee,
and may he crown thy hopes! Thy greatness throwest dignity on all that
thou doest. This apartment, dedicated to thee, is full of perfection and
strength,--its duration will be coeval with our faith,--it is a wonder
and a triumph.”

From the Xeneralife, I descended by a steep path shaded by fine elms;
and crossing the ravine, entered the precincts of the Alhambra, by what
is called the Gate of Iron. The remains of seven gates are passed before
reaching the inner court, where Charles V. had the bad taste to project
the erection of a palace, which yet remains in an unfinished state:
close to this palace stands the Alhambra, the most perfect monument of
Moorish magnificence that the world contains. Passing through an oblong
court, with a colonnade at each end, I found myself in the Court of
Lions, a fine and perfect specimen of Moorish taste. The Court, formerly
paved with marble, has been converted into a garden; it is surrounded by
a colonnade of one hundred and forty elegant white marble pillars; and
in the centre, is a fountain supported by thirteen lions: there, the
last of the Moorish kings were doubtless wont to retire from the
council, to ruminate upon their misfortunes, and the probable
termination of their empire.

Upon the alabaster bowl which the lions support, there is a long
inscription,--great part of it is without beauty; and owing to the
darkness in which the events of Moorish history are buried, it is for
the most part unintelligible. This indeed is an observation which may
apply to many of the inscriptions in the Alhambra. The conclusion of the
inscription is as follows:--“The purity of the alabaster and of the
water may vie with each other. If thou wouldst distinguish the water,
look narrowly into the bowl; for both might be liquid, or both solid.
The water seems to envy the beauty of the basin where it lies; and the
basin is jealous of the crystal water. Beautiful is the stream that
issues from my bosom, thrown high into the air by the profuse hand of
Mahomed. His generosity excels the strength of the lion!”

From the court of Lions you enter various halls, each of them
distinguished by the singularity, and some by the beauty of their walls
and roofs, which are of the same materials as those of the Alcazar of
Seville, but of better workmanship, and more vivid in colour. Of these
halls, the most magnificent is the hall of the ambassadors, or audience
chamber. The bed-chamber of the king and queen is a curious sample of
Moorish taste, and throws some light, too, upon the customs of these
days. There are two alcoves for the separate beds of the king and queen,
with pillars before them; and in the middle of the chamber there is a
marble fountain: the floor is of porcelain, and the only light is
admitted through the door. Immediately adjoining the bed-room, are two
baths. The boudoir of the queen is in a more elevated part of the
building, in a circular tower, from which a magnificent prospect is
enjoyed. Many foolish persons have torn away pieces of the fretwork from
the walls, in different parts of the Alhambra; but the old woman who now
accompanies the visitor, looks so keenly after her charge, that, unless
she be accessible to bribery, I should think it difficult to commit a

One of these gardens was formerly called Lindaraxa; and as an example of
the extravagant, I shall quote the inscription which refers to this
garden. “The beauty and the excellence that are in me, proceed from
Mahomed. His goodness surpasses that of beings that have passed, and
that are to come. Among five stars, three turn pale beside his superior
brightness; my master gives lightness to the murkiest atmosphere: the
stars sicken with love of him; and to them, he communicates the perfume
of plants, and the sweet odour of virtues. Their business is to
enlighten the firmament, else would they dart from their places, and
seek his presence. By his command, stones are firmly rooted: it is his
power that communicates to them their delicate workmanship; and by his
will do they remain firm. The marble softens at his voice; and the light
of his eyes scatters darkness. Where is there a garden like unto this?
its verdure and its fragrance excel all others; and its freshness is
diffused far around!”

I must not omit to make mention of the Hall of the Abencerrages, so
called from an historical fact with which it is connected, and which is
probably known to the reader. It was in the year 1491, when Abdali was
king, that two great families, the Gomels and the Legris, conspired the
ruin of the Abencerrages, the greatest of the Moorish families. To
effect this, they invented a tale, by which they fixed dishonour upon
the queen, and connected it with Albin Hamet, the chief of the family.
The king in his fury, resolved to extirpate the family; and they were
sent for to the Alhambra, one by one, and the moment they entered, each
was beheaded beside an alabaster vase, which yet stands in the hall, and
which is said to have overflowed with their blood. Thirty-five of the
family fell victims; but the rest being warned by a page who escaped,
they raised the city in their cause, penetrated the palace, and slew
many of the Gomels and the Legris, who there defended the king, who took
refuge in a neighbouring mosque. The conquest of Granada speedily
followed this event.

No description can convey to the reader any just idea of the Alhambra of
Granada; nor is it merely the courts, and halls, and fountains, that
excite the interest of the traveller: with every one of these, there is
some historic and romantic association; and he that would fully enjoy
the hours, or days, spent among these splendid tokens of the Moorish
empire, must prepare himself by a perusal of that delightful work, “the
Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada.” He will there find a thousand
stirring, romantic, or affecting pictures, peopling the Alhambra with
recollections--interesting, as human passions and human affections can
make them; and if they be not as vivid as they are interesting, the
fault will be in himself, and not in the writer, who with so graphic a
pen has sketched the scenes from which they are drawn. I spent the
morning of several days wandering over the Alhambra, and found no
diminution in the interest awakened by these majestic remains. I did not
forget to visit the postern gate through which Boabdil el Chico went
forth to surrender his empire, and which he requested might be closed
up, that no one might enter or pass out by the same gate. Accident has
now sealed the request of the Moorish king, for the entrance is closed
up with stones.[C]

The finest point of view in the neighbourhood of Granada, is not from
the Alhambra; because the view must be imperfect, unless the Alhambra be
itself one of the features. The chapel of St. Michael, upon the opposite
height, is the spot to be attained; and to this little excursion, I
devoted a morning. The hill upon which the chapel stands, is one
labyrinth of aloes and Indian fig, which form an impenetrable thicket,
unless where the zig-zag path is cut; and of so sturdy a growth are
these, that the prospect towards the city and the Vega is entirely shut
out. But this mount is curious and interesting on another account: every
ten or twelve yards, you pass the exit of a narrow path cut through the
aloes, and leading, a few yards forward, to the door, or rather the
mouth of a hovel, excavated in the face of the hill. These habitations
are tenanted by the very lowest of the population, as may well be
believed; and I counted a hundred and forty of them. I requested
permission to enter one, at the door of which, a young woman in rags,
sat spinning flax; she told me that her husband was out with his gun
seeking rabbits, and the only other inmate of the hovel, was a child,
asleep upon a mattress on the ground. I saw no furniture, excepting two
stools and this mattress, and the light found its way in, and the smoke
its way out, at the entrance, to which there was no door; but the woman
said, that before winter, they meant to supply this want; and that they
also intended to construct a chimney, or, at least, a hole by which the
smoke might escape. I noticed that some of the other hovels had
chimneys, but I saw no one with a door. I was not sorry, when, after
many times losing my way in this labyrinth, set upon by fierce hungry
dogs, and meeting many suspicious-looking persons, I gained the summit
of the mount, and an open space where I could see around me. The view
was superb: in front stood the old Moorish town--on the left, lay the
ravine of the Daro--and beyond it, the whole range of the Alhambra, with
its towers, and walls, and arches, and pillars, and the rocky ridge upon
which it stands, beautifully shaded and coloured by the woods, over
which late autumn had thrown his rich and nameless tints: still higher,
stood the Xeneralife; and above this range, the dark defiles and snowy
summits of the Sierra, towered into the serene skies. The view was of a
different character, looking towards the west: Stretching from the foot
of the Alhambra, lay the city, with its many spires and towers, and all
its groves and gardens; and still farther, was spread out the rich and
fertile Vega, traversed by its winding rivers, and losing itself in the
hazy distance. Not wishing to run the risk of losing myself again in the
labyrinth of prickly pear, or to encounter the dogs--some of which owed
me a grudge, for having threatened them with a stone--I succeeded in
finding another road back to the city. In this walk, I could not but
observe the remarkable changes of temperature to which Granada is
subject.--Walking up the sunny side of the mount, I many times blessed
the friendly shade of the prickly pear, and the enormous leaves of the
aloe; so scorching was the sun; and yet, under the wall, on the shaded
side of the mount, the hoar frost was lying; and this same evening, I
found it so cold in the hotel, that I drank tea, and received some
visitors in bed.

The second night I slept in Granada, I was awoke about midnight by an
extraordinary confusion of sounds: bells from the seventy or eighty
convents and churches, rung out an alarm; sometimes in discordant
chorus, sometimes one ceasing, and another commencing--sometimes, after
a moment of perfect silence, all again breaking into a general
peal--trumpets, distant and near, filled up the intervals, or pierced
shrilly through the crash of bells--and mingled with these sounds, were
heard the roll of drums, the hurrying of footsteps, and the howling of
dogs. Naturally supposing that all this must indicate something, I
hastily dressed, and putting on my hat, hurried down stairs; but the
master of the _fonda_ stopped me at the door, telling me he could upon
no account allow me to go out; the cause of the disturbance, he said,
was a fire, and it would be extremely imprudent for a stranger to trust
himself in the streets. Recollecting Malaga, I did not contend the point
with him, but contented myself with looking from the window of my
apartment. The noise still continued, and the fire not being speedily
got under by human efforts, stronger measures were resorted to: the
sound of bells and trumpets was exchanged for the song of monks. I heard
the monotonous hum from several quarters; lights in long lines were seen
approaching; and soon one procession, and then another, headed by a
silver virgin, or a wooden saint, crossed the Plaza; and all the while,
the streets were paraded by single friars, each tinkling a little bell,
and crying aloud “Holy Mary! Blessed Virgin! save this city!” This
proved effectual, for the fire was subdued before morning. I need
scarcely add, that before these processions issue from the convents, a
hint has been received, that the fire will speedily be got under,--and
who can be surprised that the brethren of St. Francis, or St. Dominick,
should seize so excellent an opportunity of publishing a miracle?

Among the objects most worthy of notice in Granada, the cathedral must
not be passed over. I was already almost surfeited with marbles and
gilding, and paid little attention to these; but there are some other
things deserving of observation. Among them, the most remarkable and the
most beautiful, are the Sarcophagi of Ferdinand and Isabella, the
conquerors of Granada: which are of white marble,--sculptured with great
taste and delicacy. The sword and sceptre of these illustrious
personages, are preserved in the sacristy. I observed a curious notice
affixed to every conspicuous part of the walls, forbidding any man to
speak to a woman within the cathedral under the pain of excommunication,
and the penalty of two ducats, to be given to holy purposes; thus making
good spring out of evil. There were formerly some good pictures in the
cathedral, but they did not escape the rapacity of the French.

The convents of Granada are not distinguished for their pictures; but
the admirer of fine marbles will find nothing in the Escurial equal to
the marbles that adorn some of the convents of this city. I visited four
of the convents--the Dominicans, the Hieronomites, Juan de Dios, and the
Carthusians. The Dominican convent is remarkable as the depository of a
piece of marble found in the Sierra Nevada, upon which is distinctly
represented the flight into Egypt; or at all events, a pictorial
resemblance of the objects which are generally selected by the painter
to illustrate this piece of history: the marble is in so elevated a
situation, that suspecting some deception, I obtained a ladder, and
examined it closely; but I found that the friar had not deceived me.
Juan de Dios contains, besides much fine marble and innumerable relics,
the real body of John of God. The urn was formerly placed within a dome
of pure silver, supported by silver pillars, but the French carried off
these, and a wooden temple has been substituted: it is somewhat curious
that the French should have respected the saint so much as to leave the
silver urn in which his body is contained. Judging however, by the order
which he has instituted, the memory of John of God is entitled to
veneration. The monks of this order do not spend their lives in sloth,
but devote them to the succour of the wretched: there is always an
hospital attached to a convent of this order. The Carthusian convent of
Granada is one of the most splendid, and one of the richest in Spain:
its revenues are immense; and being inhabited by only eleven monks, who
live on fish and fruits, the convent treasury must be well stored. The
marbles of this convent are beyond price; and all the doors and the
panels round the sacristy are mosaic of mother-of-pearl, ivory, ebony,
and tortoise-shell. They have some pictures, said to be from the hand of
Murillo; but this I disbelieve.

It is said, that formerly five thousand poor were fed daily in Granada
by the archbishop and by the convents: at present, however, only four of
the convents supply the needy; but the archbishop gives all that he can
spare. His revenues, which formerly amounted to one hundred thousand
dollars, do not now exceed forty thousand. I went one morning to the
archepiscopal residence, to obtain an order to see a country-house
belonging to this dignitary; but he was in bed, unwell; and while the
majordomo was sent for, I entered at one of the doors opening from the
yard, and found myself in the kitchen. Four dishes were preparing for
his lordship’s breakfast;--a white soup, a stew of pigeons, pig’s feet,
and stewed cellery--which, with dessert and wine, was a tolerable
breakfast for a sick archbishop.

Among the letters which I carried with me to Granada, one was addressed
to General O’Lowlor, Lieutenant-Governor of the province, and
Commissioner for the Duke of Wellington, in the management of his
Grace’s estates in this neighbourhood. From Gen. O’Lowlor I obtained
accurate information respecting the state of agriculture in the Vega of
Granada, as well as regarding the property of the Duke of Wellington;
and I have great pleasure in recording my acknowledgments to this
gentleman, for the many kind and polite attentions which I received from

The following is the usual rotation of crops in the Vega of Granada.
After the land has been fully manured, hemp is put in; and two, or
sometimes three crops of wheat, according to the nature of the land, are
taken in the same year: a crop of flax, and a crop of Indian corn follow
the next year, and beans and Indian corn are taken the third year. For
this last crop the land is half manured; and then it is fully manured
for the hemp, to begin the next rotation. The hemp is considered
necessary to prepare the land for wheat, which otherwise would come up
too strong after the manure. This is the rotation on land which is
subjected to the process of irrigation.

Agriculture, in the best parts of Spain, is not in a flourishing
condition; agricultural produce of every kind, the value of land and
rents, have all fallen. Ten years ago, land in the Vega of Granada was
worth from fifty to a hundred dollars per acre: at present, it does not
average above sixteen. Wheat sold, ten years ago, at three dollars the
_fanega_; now, it does not average, year by year, more than one dollar
and a half. Rents are of course fallen in proportion; and low as rents
are, they are difficult to be recovered. Upon the lands which are not
capable of being irrigated, the crops are extremely precarious; and
where a money-rent is required, it is next to impossible to find a
cultivator for the land. As a remedy for this, proprietors of high lands
are contented to receive a certain proportion of the crop--generally a
fifth; and upon land subject to irrigation, a tenant is willing to pay
one fourth part of the produce. Land, generally, in the Vega of Granada,
returns four per cent., taxes paid; but a considerable quantity returns
as much as six per cent. The return from land under tillage, is greater
than that from meadow land.

The estates belonging to the Duke of Wellington, lie in the lower part
of the Vega, about two leagues from Granada; and all the land is capable
of irrigation. His Grace’s estates return about fifteen thousand dollars
per annum; his rents are paid in grain--a fixed quantity, not a
proportion of the crop; a plan beginning to be pretty universally
followed by other land-owners. The Duke has three hundred tenants, from
which it appears that very small farms are held in the Vega of Granada;
for if the whole rental be divided by three hundred, the average rent of
the possessions will be but fifty dollars each. The tenants upon the
Duke’s estate are thriving; they pay no taxes; and these estates are
exempt from many of the heavy burthens thrown upon land. A composition
of six per cent. is accepted from the Duke of Wellington, in lieu of all

Before the loss of the colonies, taxation was light; the revenue being
mainly supported through them. This loss was a severe and irrecoverable
blow; and whether by the burthens which it has thrown upon land,--by
drying up the former sources of revenue,--or by the extinction of the
best and only sure market for Spanish manufactures, it is a blow felt
throughout every department of Spanish industry. Before the loss of the
colonies, there was in Granada an extensive manufactory of ribbons,
which found in South America a wide, ready, and exclusive market,--no
fewer than two thousand hands were employed in it; but since that event,
it has entirely fallen. Many persons who were in that trade, and were
accounted the richest in the city, have become bankrupts; others have
closed their concerns, and turned their attention to agriculture; and
hundreds of the artizans are in a state of perfect destitution,
supported only by charity or thieving: to so great an extent has theft
been carried, that in one night, while I was in Granada, twenty-six
persons were arrested in the act. The export trade in oil has also
suffered severely from the loss of the colonies: before that event, it
fetched from eighty to one hundred dollars the arroba; and now, it
cannot command more than from twenty to twenty-six dollars. The export
wine trade from the southern provinces, has suffered the least: the
imposition of import-duties has, of course, somewhat limited the demand,
by increasing the price in America; but in articles of taste, such as
wine, or any thing that is the exclusive produce or manufacture of a
mother country, the separation of colonies but slightly affects the
market: the colonists have acquired a taste for such produce, and they
will continue to give a preference to it, notwithstanding a political

I will venture to say, that no city in Europe can boast of promenades so
delightful as those of Granada. Besides the many romantic walks in the
neighbourhood of the city--to the hill of martyrs; to St. Michael’s
mount, and to the nearer ridges of the Sierra; there are two professed
alamedas: one, along the banks of the Xenil; the other, by the margin of
the Daro: the former is within the city, and is the most frequented; the
other is a path above the Daro, which flows through a deep and finely
wooded ravine. Nothing in Switzerland excels the romantic and striking
scenery of the valley of the Daro,--for along with the picturesque views
within the valley, magnificent glimpses of the glorious Alhambra, and
the gorgeous city, are frequently caught beyond it.

The appearance of the population of Granada differs little from that of
the population of Malaga; there is nearly an equal quantity of beggary
and idleness; but it occurred to me, that among the lower orders, there
was more rudeness than in any of the other cities of the south:
strangers are more stared at than elsewhere; and it is rarely that one
passes a group of idlers, that a gibe and a laugh do not follow. This
may perhaps be accounted for, from the greater rarity of strangers in
Granada than in Cadiz, Seville, or Malaga. One morning, my walk
conducted me through the market-place, which is not appropriated to
edibles only, but which contains all kinds of goods, exposed in stalls:
it is in fact, a general bazaar. The central part is occupied by meat,
fruit, and vegetables; and round the sides, the other goods are exposed.
At one end, under a range of sheds, all kinds of trades are carried on.
I remarked an extraordinary shew of vegetables and fruits, especially
dried fruits; but among all the articles exposed for sale, nothing
appeared to be so much in demand as hot potatoes; the supply of which
was constantly kept up by a regular apparatus of fire, water, and a
steamer. This seemed a favourite breakfast, for scores were sitting upon
the ground enjoying it; a little boy, to whom I gave a trifle for
shewing me a barber’s shop, immediately upon receiving his quartos, sat
down upon the ground with his purchase of potatoes, apparently highly
delighted with the treat. I noticed a Franciscan, perambulating the
stalls with an image of Christ under his arm, and those who gave him any
thing were permitted to kiss the image,--a favour that seemed to procure
him ample supplies. I inquired the prices of some articles in the
market, and found them to differ little from the prices of Malaga: eggs
were a halfpenny a-piece, in place of a penny, as in Malaga; bread was
somewhat cheaper, and all kinds of game extremely low in price.

The manner of life in Granada differs little from that of Malaga; only
that being inland, and having less communication with strangers, Spanish
usages are more unmixed. Every one takes chocolate, and goes to mass in
the morning. Every lady dresses, and seats herself upon her couch with
her fan in her hand, her basket at her feet, and her embroidery before
her, waiting the arrival of visitors; every one dines _a la cuisine
Españole_,--eats melon and pomegranate, and takes a siesta,--and every
one goes to the paseo in the evening. When I was at Granada, a
Neopolitan company gave operas every second night. The prima donna,
Señora Cresoti, would have done honour to any opera in Europe,--but she
was only indifferently supported. It is a curious fact, however, that
several of the provincial towns of Spain--poverty-stricken Spain! should
be able to support an Italian opera; and that in England, London alone,
and with difficulty, supports an indifferent company. This can only be
accounted for from the absence of musical taste in England; for there is
not a country town to which the expense could be any barrier. What
salaries are paid to the singers in Malaga and Granada, I have no access
to know; but where a whole box may be engaged for 7_s._, and the price
of the pit is only 10_d._, these cannot be very extravagant.

The origin of Granada is hidden in the obscurity of antiquity. It is
said to have been founded nearly three thousand years before the
Christian era; it is at all events certain, that during the time of the
Romans, Granada was a place of some importance: but the name of the
founder, as well as the precise date of the foundation, are altogether
matter of conjecture.



     The best mode of travelling this Road; Precautions necessary; the
     Village of Huetor, and its Venta; Aspect of the Country; an
     Encounter; Diezma; singular Scenery; Guadix; Journey from Guadix;
     excessive Cold; Baza, and its Valley; Cullar de Baza; excavated
     Dwellings; a probable intention of Robbery; Chirivel; Desolate
     Country on the confines of Murcia; Puerto; the Vale of Lorca, Dress
     of the Murcian Peasantry; Lorca Market; the Cathedral, and
     Liberality of the Archbishop of Carthagena; Totana; a Dance;
     Approach to Murcia, and extraordinary beauty of its Vale; Murcia,
     its Streets and Population; Magnificent View from the summit of the
     Cathedral Tower; Paseos and Environs; a ridiculous Observance;
     Prices of Provisions; Manufacture of Salt-Petre; Silk Manufacture;

I had always looked upon this, as the journey in which I might expect to
find the most privations, and that most abounded in hazard; and the
little information I was able to receive at Granada, tended rather to
confirm than to dissipate these anticipations. It is, indeed,
surprising how very little information I was able to obtain at Granada:
there is no commerce between Granada and Murcia; the communication
between the southern provinces, and Valencia, and Catalunia, is entirely
carried on by sea; and the few persons who pass from Granada to the
east, generally take shipping at Malaga, for Valencia. Every one was
agreed, however, that the road was execrable, and totally impassable
after rain; that the accommodations upon the road were as bad as they
could be; and that the probabilities of robbery outweighed the chances
of escape. The few persons who had travelled that road, had invariably
taken an escort; and this I was told, I could by no means dispense with.
I resolved, however, to be guided by the opinion of General O’Lowlor;
and, acting upon his advice, I engaged a _tartana_, a small covered cart
with one mule, and a muleteer, recommended by him as an honest man. An
honest muleteer is the principal security of a traveller; for I am
convinced from what I have subsequently heard, that an escort is
totally useless, unless it be composed of soldiers; and, in a long
journey, the expense of a sufficient escort will amount to as much as
one runs the risk of losing by being robbed; because no traveller in
Spain ever carries an overflowing purse. The best mode is, to pay the
muleteer a part, before setting out, and the remainder at the end of the
journey, which can, of course, be managed by carrying a letter of
credit; and the traveller ought to carry in his pocket only what may
suffice for his personal expenses, with as much more added, as will
satisfy banditti, in case of being attacked by them; for otherwise, the
traveller is exposed to violence. If one chooses to hire four soldiers,
the risk of robbery is entirely at an end; but this, in a journey to
Murcia from Granada, would cost thirty-five dollars; exceeding by at
least fifteen dollars, the amount of the purse which it is necessary to
have in readiness, in case of meeting with robbers. An escort of
peasantry is totally useless. Many instances have occurred, in which
travellers have been betrayed by their escort; and I could hear of no
instance in which the escort had stood to defend the traveller; but,
indeed, it is better that they should run away, as resistance would only
endanger his life. Resistance is a thing that no traveller in certain
parts of Spain should ever dream of: before setting out, he must make up
his mind to the probability of being robbed, and provide accordingly;
not by hiring an escort, or by loading his pistols; but, by putting
about twenty dollars into a separate purse, to buy civility in case of
need; and by obtaining a letter of credit upon the next town.

The distance between Granada and Murcia is not very accurately measured;
but it is computed to be about forty-seven leagues, which is nearly two
hundred miles. For this journey, I agreed to pay the muleteer
twenty-five dollars; which I thought a reasonable demand for a journey
of thirteen days. I did not intend to make much use of the tartana,
excepting for carrying my portmanteau, and a basket of provisions; the
mule walks the whole of the way; and the daily journey averaging only
about thirty-two miles, it would be no difficult matter to keep pace
with it.

I left Granada at three o’clock, P.M., in order that we might arrive the
same night at a village called Huetor; from which an easy journey would
carry us to Guadix the night following. By any other arrangement, we
should have been obliged to rest every night at a solitary venta. We no
sooner got clear of Granada, than we were enclosed among the mountains;
and in a wild, uncultivated country, overrun with the Esparto rush,--the
Sierra Nevada lying on our right, and a range of other, and somewhat
lower, mountains on our left. The road alternately descended into deep
narrow valleys, and climbed the heights that separated them; but, upon
the whole, we gradually got into a higher country; and it was dusk long
before we reached Huetor. I noticed several fires blazing in remote
spots of the ravines; and one of these we passed so near, that I was
able to distinguish several persons around it: the muleteer told me that
these persons were migratory peasantry, who avoided the ventas from
economy; or, perhaps, houseless persons, who lived by the produce of
their gun. About half a mile before reaching Huetor, we passed a chapel
erected in a very dreary spot; a lamp burned before an image of the
virgin, and the light, shining upon the road, shewed me a monumental
cross standing by the way-side. Soon after, we reached the village and
its venta.

This venta was a bad specimen of the accommodation I was likely to find
on the road. Although only four leagues from Granada, I should have been
obliged to go supperless to bed, unless for the provision I had wisely
made against such an event. I superintended the boiling of some water,
infused my tea, got my bread and little jar of Dutch butter from my
basket, and cut into a most delicious ham, which had been presented to
me, and prepared at Granada. Sugar was the only thing I had forgotten;
but this the good people of the venta undertook to supply from the
village; and it was soon brought, in four separate papers, wrapped up
like powders received from an apothecary. Having made a comfortable
meal, I next went in search of a bed, and succeeded in finding a
mattress, which I laid upon six chairs; and, covering myself with my
cloak--of course, without undressing--I slept tolerably well till roused
by the muleteer, although the wind and rain beat in at the open window
half the night. When I went in search of the tartana, I found no fewer
than sixty-nine mules in the venta, some ready to set out, and others
standing in their places--the muleteers sleeping beside them: all these
were going to Granada, laden with the Esparto rush, which is extensively
manufactured into baskets.

After the night’s rain, the morning was hazy; but it gradually cleared
away, and fine weather succeeded. On the outskirts of the village, I
noticed these words inscribed upon a house in large letters, _Viva el
Rey absoluto_, “Long live the absolute King:”--and soon after, in a
little hollow, I passed a cross which recorded a murder, committed there
five months before, upon a traveller who had been so rash as to offer
resistance to banditti. When we left the village behind us, we left the
road behind us also: it was now no longer a road, but only a track of
the rudest kind, winding among the ridges of the Sierra; the ground was
entirely without cultivation. Mingled with the Esparto rush, lavender,
sweet marjorum and thyme, covered the lower part of the mountains;
which, higher up, were bare and stony; and the snowy peaks of the Sierra
Nevada, bounded the horizon. At a wild and desolate spot, where enormous
rocks were strewn around--a secure and admirable retreat for thieves--we
suddenly came upon two men seated in a hollow of the rocks, armed with
guns, and with pistols stuck in their girdles; and when I saw them leave
their places, and hasten down the rock towards us, I began to think of
feeling for the purse of twenty dollars. They, however, adopted a
different mode of supplying their needs,--thinking it safer to ask for
money, as guards of the road, than as robbers. I gave them a dollar
betwixt them, with which they appeared to be contented; and, giving me
in return, “_Muchas gracias_,” and the parting salutation, “_Vaya Vd.
con la Virgen_,” they scrambled up among the rocks. The salutation
differs in different provinces: before reaching Granada, it had always
been “Go with God!” now, it was, “Go with the Virgin.” From this spot,
the road continued to wind among the mountains, amid the same wild and
desolate scenery, till we arrived at Diezma, a small village, with a
venta attached to it. Here I again found my ham useful, and, with some
eggs and chocolate, I had no reason to complain of my breakfast. The
venta, however, seemed very miserable: they had to send into the village
for the small quantity of bread I required, and for a little wine. But
there was an excuse for the neglected state of this venta; the husband
of its mistress had been stabbed in a quarrel only the day before, and
had been buried that morning.

After leaving Diezma, we entered a very singular looking country; it was
covered with monticules, and pyramids of clay, sand, and gravel, from
thirty to a hundred feet high, forming a perfect labyrinth, through
which the road tortuously wound. This forenoon we had nothing to fear
from robbers, for our party was numerous, consisting of about fifty
mules and ten or twelve muleteers. I walked all the way along with the
muleteers, entering into conversation with them, and from time to time
assisting them in diminishing the rotundity of their wine-skins: a
traveller must never refuse to put the wine-skin to his mouth; to refuse
this offered courtesy, is looked upon as a serious affront. It requires
some practice, however, to use the skin without wasting the wine, and
deluging the bosom: and nothing but habit can teach this art.

This singular labyrinth continued about two leagues, when we reached a
small village, called Parillena, in the neighbourhood of which I
observed many hovels excavated in the clay banks--the wretched retreats
of the miserably poor. It did not surprise me to see no fewer than five
records of murder in this neighbourhood. Between this village and
Guadix, parts of the country are under tillage; and I saw some ploughs
at work, and several persons sowing in the fields, although it was
Sunday; but I never observed that, in the South of Spain, any
distinction is made between Sundays and other days. It is not as in
France, a day of recreation; every one plies his trade as usual. In the
towns, all the shops are thronged; and in the country, those who wish to
be industrious are industrious still.

Guadix, which is situated within half a league of the Sierra Nevada, is
approached through a fine avenue of trees; and the land on both sides is
rich, and subjected to irrigation from the small stream of the same
name. We reached the town, or city I believe, about sun-set, and halted
at the best posada the place afforded; but it boasted no provisions, and
being unwilling to draw too constantly upon my stores, I walked into the
market, and purchased a rabbit for four reals (eight pence), which,
stewed with potatoes, afforded me a comfortable supper. During the
night, I was awoke by sounds of quarrelling under the windows, and upon
rising and looking out, I saw a man lying upon the ground, and several
persons collected about him. Next morning, I learned that the man had
been stabbed in an affray by his brother-in-law, after having been
engaged in playing cards. Guadix is famous for its midnight frays; and
it is here, those murderous knives are made, which are in general use
throughout all the south of Spain. This is the only manufacture of
Guadix, the inhabitants generally being employed in agriculture. This
city is a bishop’s see; it has a cathedral, four churches, and seven
convents; and contains between five and six thousand inhabitants.

Next day, I left Guadix before sun-rise; the morning was fine, but
rather chilly. All the clay banks in the neighbourhood of Guadix, are
excavated into human habitations: the first league from the town, I
counted one hundred and sixty of these miserable hovels; and some of
their inmates, who looked from the outlets, exhibited the very acmé of

After leaving Guadix, we entered a vast open plain, traversed by deep
ravines, and almost wholly abandoned to the Esparto rush: here and
there, I noticed some feeble attempts at cultivation; and some flocks of
sheep were feeding upon the lower acclivities of the Sierra, which
bounded the plain on the right. The venta, fourteen miles distant from
Guadix, was the first house we saw; and we therefore cease to wonder at
the neglected state of a plain in which there are no human habitations.
The venta at which we stopped furnished chocolate, and bread, and good
wine; and with my ham and butter-jar, I feasted luxuriously. I noticed
an improvement in the construction of the interior of this venta: there
was a circular stone bench round the place where the fire is made upon
the floor, large enough for a dozen persons; and it was indeed occupied
by nearly as many when we entered it; for there was the old man and his
wife, the son of the old couple and his wife, three children, and two
great dogs. Two very suspicious looking men were standing, apparently
about to leave the venta; but when I arrived, they sat down again; and
one of them put a number of questions to me, as to where I had come
from, where I was going, and if I had no companions. I had already
received a hint from the honest muleteer, not to answer questions of
that kind; and I pretended not to understand him. The muleteer, to whom
he immediately afterwards put the same questions, told him that I had
left Guadix an hour sooner than my companions; and that before we
arrived at Baza, we expected to be overtaken by four of my countrymen.

After leaving this venta, we continued constantly ascending, and soon
reached a very elevated and exposed plain, bounded by snowy mountains;
the cold was intense. I had never felt a more cutting wind in England;
and unless by quick walking, and even running, I found it impossible to
keep myself warm. Suddenly the plain terminates in an abrupt descent,
almost a precipice, and Baza was seen at the foot, with a fertile plain
stretching before it, and mingled with groves and gardens. The
transition from this region of snow, to the sheltered valley of Baza,
was luxury; and to my great surprise, I found myself soon established
for the night in an excellent posada, kept by a Frenchman, who I need
scarcely say, provided a supper that did not disgrace his country.

Baza was once a place of consequence and wealth; rich lead and copper
mines abound in the neighbourhood, and were formerly worked with profit;
but they are now closed, and will remain closed, until a new order of
things begets a spirit of enterprise. The inhabitants are entirely
occupied by agriculture, which, in this valley, is assisted by
irrigation; and is sufficient for the wants of the people. Baza is said
to contain fifteen thousand inhabitants: it is certain that it contains
many churches, and five convents,--one of these, St. Hieronimo,
possessing an income of eight hundred thousand reals (8,000_l._
sterling), meant for the support of the seven monks who inhabit it.

The market-place of Baza is adorned by nine columns, being the nine iron
cannon, by the aid of which, Ferdinand and Isabella took the city from
the Moors. Upon one of them, is the following inscription:--Estos tiros
son los que los Reyes Dom Ferdinando y Dona Isabella ganaron esta Ciudad
sobre los Mauros, anno 1489, en el dia de Sancta Barbara Patrona de esta
Ciudad.--“It was with these cannon, that Ferdinand and Isabella took
this city from the Moors, in the year 1489, on the festival of St.
Barbara, the patroness of this city.”

From Baza, which we left as usual about sunrise, to Cullar de Baza, the
country is wholly without interest; we ascended an inclined plain,
bounded by snowy mountains on both sides, and almost wholly left to the
hand of nature. The situation of Cullar de Baza is pleasing: it stands
upon the side of a deep ravine, almost wide enough to be called a
valley, which is cultivated to the utmost possible extent; and
doubtless, when spring clothes with its own fresh livery, this little
valley, Cullar de Baza will appear not only pleasingly, but beautifully
situated. This valley, a mile long, and about a quarter of a mile broad,
is the sole resource of the inhabitants.

In the neighbourhood of this town, the excavation of the earth, to form
dwellings, is carried to a greater extent than in any place that I had
yet seen; these present a very singular appearance in travelling below
the gypsum rocks that environ the town: they are formed in galleries,
one above another, and are entered by steps cut in the face of the bank.
I noticed several crosses before entering, and after leaving Cullar de
Baza; and it is worthy of remark, that these are more numerous in the
neighbourhood of the small towns, than in the more solitary places. From
this town to Chirivel, we passed over a high and very desolate country,
producing nothing but the Esparto rush, and aromatic plants: upon the
highest part of the ridge, Vertientes, and another small village, are
situated; there, some few fields are seen under tillage, and stunted
ilex is scattered over the neighbouring acclivities. At Vertientes, the
muleteer mistook his path, and we were under the necessity of several
times asking directions: this, is always to incur risk. It was already
dusk, and no road could be more solitary than that between this village
and Chirivel; the population seemed miserably poor, and many of them had
seen the unprotected vehicle pass, and knew its destination. As we went
forward, I noticed several fires in hollows not far distant from the
road, shewing the night camp of some houseless wanderers; and I was
somewhat startled when looking keenly along the road, lighted by a
glorious full moon that had risen in the east, I descried the figures of
two men, about two hundred yards behind us. The old muleteer seemed not
quite at his ease, when I told him what I had seen, and he urged on his
mule. I had little doubt that we were followed by some of the persons
who had seen us pass through Vertientes; and taking from my purse of
twenty dollars, a part of its contents, I slipped them, and two ounces
of gold, into my boot, and put in my waistcoat pocket, a purse with only
twelve dollars, which I thought sufficient for two peasants of
Vertientes, although so paltry a booty might be despised by the band of
Don José. Just at this time, something dark appeared before us, and
presently a train of some ten or twelve mules, and three men approached.
We stopped to ask them how far we were distant from Chirivel--and while
the question was put and answered, I kept my eye upon the men behind,
who stood still in the middle of the road. I had now less doubt than
ever, of their intentions, and mentioned the ground of my increased
suspicions to the muleteer, who was so persuaded of their truth, that he
proposed to the men whom we had met, that one should go forward with the
mules to Vertientes, and that the other two, should return with us to
Chirivel, which was only about half a league distant. It is generally
indifferent to a Spaniard where he passes the night; and this proposal,
seconded by the promise of a few pecetas from me, secured us this
seasonable addition to our party. After we set forward, the men behind
followed us a little way, probably to ascertain our numbers; they then
stood still; and in another quarter of an hour, they were no longer

The posada at Chirivel was almost as bad as the venta at Huetor; but
being nearly independent of the larder of the posada, I both drank tea
and supped comfortably, with that miserable substitute for a sea-coal
fire--a brasero--under the table; but I had no talisman against the
fleas, and was overjoyed to find myself free from their assaults, and on
the road next morning.

From Chirivel, the only road is the bed of a river, in which we
travelled three leagues, till we reached Velez el Rubio. The banks of
the stream, then almost dried up, are in many places precipitous; so
that I had been truly told in Granada, that in wet weather it is
impossible to travel to Murcia. The situation of Velez el Rubio is
picturesque: a ruined castle looks down upon it, and the environs are
tolerably well wooded; this improvement in the appearance of the
country, continues only about a league and a half beyond the town, when
every trace of cultivation is entirely lost; and a range of the most
desolate hills I ever travelled through, stretches to the east; these
are the hills that divide Granada from Murcia. The pass through them is
twenty-two miles long; and the whole of this distance there is not a
single human dwelling. It is not by a road, nor even by a path, but by
the bed of a torrent that these mountains are traversed; and this bed,
for the first eight miles, is not six feet wide, and is strewn with
enormous rocks, which force the traveller to be a pedestrian. During the
whole day, after entering these mountains, we met only one person; this
was a Capuchin friar, driving his ass before him, laden with two large
jars of oil, the gift of the good Catholics of Lorca, where he had been,
to beg this luxury for the use of his convent at Velez el Rubio. Since
there are no houses among these hills, it can scarcely be expected that
there should be any cultivation; I did not see one rood of cultivated
land, nor a single flock of any kind, not even a few goats. But this
country, desolate as it is, has some charms of its own. Rosemary, sweet
marjoram, thyme, lavender, and a thousand odoriferous and sweet smelling
plants, fill the air with their fragrance, and by so pleasingly
addressing one of the senses, withdraw the attention of another from the
spectacle of barrenness. After ascending in the bed of one torrent two
leagues, we reached the summit of the ridge, and then entered the
channel of another stream, in which we descended three leagues to
Puerto, our rendezvous for the night. Approaching this place, I observed
several little boys herding goats, with only a shirt on, and that shirt
a very ragged one. This, on the warm shores of Andalusia, or in the
plain of Murcia, would excite little compassion; but here, scarcely out
of the region of the Sierra Nevada, it was pitiable to see these
shivering little creatures, the children no doubt of those wretched
persons whose hovels I saw excavated in the bank of the river.

In the posada at Puerto, I found very civil people, but nothing to eat.
They made me a blazing fire of rosemary and the husks of Indian
corn--another of the many uses to which this valuable plant is put--they
shewed me a good mattress, and the luxury of a bedstead, and they found
a peasant to accompany me to the market to buy something for supper. A
fowl was procured without difficulty; and this, stewed with rice, and
followed by some excellent wine, might have pleased a more fastidious
taste than mine. I had also the luxury of the prickly pear; I bought
three dozen for 2_d._, and found them delicious.

We left Puerto half an hour before sunrise: a rapid descent was carrying
us from the regions of cold, into the sunny vale of Lorca, and the
transition was equally striking and agreeable. It was now the 2d day of
December, but the air was like that of a June morning in England; and as
the mist rose from the lower grounds, and disclosed the vale of Lorca,
smiling beneath the rays of the new risen sun, the earth, as well as
the air, seemed to own the dominion of summer. As we descended into the
vale, the change from the high lands, both in the temperature of the
air, and in the appearance of every thing around, became more striking:
the fields were covered with wheat, fresh and green; olives, and other
trees had regained their natural height: and aloes were again seen by
the way side. The whole of the vale of Lorca is under cultivation: to
the traveller who arrives by way of the snowy Sierra, it appears a
paradise; and the situation of Lorca, close under the mountains that
bound it on the left, and the fine old castle hanging over it, add
greatly to the beauty of the picture.

The best posada in Lorca I found worse than might have been expected in
a city containing twenty-five thousand inhabitants; and it was so
dirty,--certainly not a common fault in the posadas--that I breakfasted
in the yard. It chanced to be market-day at Lorca; and immediately after
I had breakfasted, I strolled through the town, and into the
market-place. Here I found many things new to me; for, as I have
observed before, the provinces of Spain differ greatly from each other
in dress, usages, &c. All the women wore a large square white woollen
shawl, thrown over the head like a mantilla; the men were seen with
short white drawers, untied at the knees, and reaching about two inches
lower; they had no stockings; upon their feet were sandals, made of
rope; and in place of the smart Spanish hat, they wore tapering black
caps, fitting close to the head, with a small rim turned up all round:
others, from the higher countries, were enveloped in blankets, generally
of gaudy colours,--some of them nearly approaching to tartan. All sorts
of things were exposed for sale: I saw an immense quantity of dried and
shell fruits; cloths and calicos of Catalunian manufactory; shoes,
especially rope sandals; quantities of the Esparto rush, and baskets
made of it; beads, rosaries, images, and trinkets; and, in short, every
thing that one either eats, or wears in the province of Murcia. In a
street in the neighbourhood of the market-place, the pig market was
held. I never saw a finer shew; for nowhere in the world, is the pig to
be found in so great perfection as in Spain--fed, as it is, in the
woods, upon the ilex nut. I asked the price of an enormous animal,
weighing one hundred and eighty-five lbs., and found it to be two
hundred and forty reals (about 2_l._ 8_s._); for a sucking-pig, they
asked fourteen reals. In Lorca, there is little beef; mutton sells at
twelve quartos; a fowl costs 1_s._ 8_d._, a hare 10_d._, bread 1½_d._
per lb. The price of labour in the vale of Lorca, is five reals, nearly

I walked into the cathedral, but saw nothing worthy of notice, except
proofs of the liberality of the Archbishop of Carthagena, who has
published so great a number of indulgences, that the Catholics of Lorca
and other places in his diocese, may pray themselves out of purgatory
before they get into it. I saw one indulgence of forty days for every
paternoster, and an ave, said before the shrine of St. Francis; and
another of forty days for an ave, and a paternoster, said to St. Jago,
St. Anthony of Padua, St. Domingo, and St. Nicholas: but I saw nobody
taking advantage of these indulgences. The cathedral contains some
tolerable pictures by pupils of Murillo.

I left Lorca about mid-day, passing through a very spacious paseo,
surrounded by gardens; and after fording the river Gudalentin, and
traversing a long suburb, the road skirted the range of hills which
bounds the vale on the left; and about a league distant from Lorca, we
began to ascend, leaving the vale and fertility behind, and passing
through an uncultivated and unpeopled tract of land, to the village of
Totana. Here I was again greeted with the sight of orange trees, the
first I had seen since leaving Granada; and magnificent aloes and
prickly pear, shewed what the land is susceptible of. But the village
seemed very miserable; great part of it was in ruins, and most of the
children I saw, were clothed--if clothed it can be called--in ragged
shirts. Yet, this miserable village supports a convent of monks, of the
order of St. Jago. I saw one of their number walking in the
neighbourhood of the village, and might have pitied his forlorn
situation, but that I knew the minds of most friars to be devoid of
those feelings which would render a lot like his, intolerable to a man
of refined and cultivated understanding.

In this wretched place the price of labour is only two reals, less than
5_d._ Beef is rarely seen, but when brought to market, it is sold at
only five quartos per lb., about 1½_d._; mutton sells at eight and nine
quartos; and pork at twelve; but the pork is excellent.

After dinner, two village musicians introduced themselves: one played
the violin, the other the guitar; and thinking it a pity that no use
should be made of the music, I invited all the inmates of the posada to
my _sala_ to have a dance; and excellently well they danced their
fandango--snapping their fingers as a substitute for the castanet, and
displaying a grace in their movements and limbs, that would surprise the
audience in any of our minor theatres.

Next morning, I left this place with the intention of dining in Murcia.
We travelled along an execrable road, but through a country susceptible
of the finest cultivation, though totally uncultivated, to the little
village of Pedrilla; where at an enormously large posada we stopped to
refresh the mule and take chocolate; and immediately after leaving
Pedrilla, I descried at a distance the tower of the cathedral of
Murcia. Yet for three leagues the country continued wild, and but very
partially under cultivation; and then, at about a league from Murcia, we
entered its celebrated vale. I was delighted and surprised with the
prospect before me: a wide avenue, bordered by trees, stretched four
miles, terminating in the two lofty towers of one of the churches. On
both sides of this avenue, as far as the eye could reach, it rested upon
a carpet of that perfect green that is produced by irrigation,--but
there was variety too,--for the shades of the green were different;
there was the green of the young wheat, that in a thick crop had reached
the height of eight or ten inches; and the still brighter green of the
flax; and the green of the many beds of the various vegetables for the
market of Murcia; and over all the vale, fig-trees and mulberries were
thickly strewn; luxuriant groves of blood-coloured oranges speckled the
fields; and stately palms here and there lifted up their broad canopy.
It was altogether a most captivating prospect, and realized more than
any thing I had ever yet seen,--the idea of a continued garden and
eternal summer. The scene was animated too; for many country people,
with their short white trowsers, crimson girdles, and Montera caps, were
crossing the fields, returning from labour. Many carts, waggons,
carriages, and horsemen, filled the road; and every hundred yards, or
less, we passed a neat cottage, half hid in its own little orangery. All
this was very different from what I had been led to believe. I expected
to have found nothing but silence and poverty in the neighbourhood of
Murcia; and in place of these, the approach to it more resembled the
neighbourhood of a large and flourishing city, than any thing that I had
yet seen in Spain.

At the entrance to the city the custom-house officers, of course stopped
the tartana, and I was prepared with the usual bribe of a peceta to save
myself from the inconvenience of a search: but here the officers were
more ambitious, they would take nothing less than half a dollar; and
rather than submit to this imposition, I allowed my portmanteau to be
tumbled inside out, and thus saved my peceta. I arrived at the Fonda de
las Diligencias at five o’clock, much pleased that my purse of twenty
dollars might now be applied to some better purpose than to fill the
pockets of banditti.

The interior of Murcia surprised me as much as the approach to it. I
found clean pleasant streets, like those of Seville, and a population
not remarkable for poverty and rags. The best commentary upon this
assertion, is the fact, that I was not accosted by a beggar during the
three days I spent in Murcia. Like Seville too, the convent gardens
often skirt the streets, and the walls are over-topped by the heavily
laden orange trees, and by the branchy palm. In walking towards the
cathedral, I chanced to follow a friar carrying an image of St. Anthony,
which the children crowded to kiss; and some of the lower orders to whom
he held it, also bestowed upon it this mark of attention.

The cathedral is not equal to many in Spain, but it is fine
nevertheless:--the architecture is mixed,--there is much fine marble,
and several of the Gothic chapels are worthy of a visit, from the
excellence of the workmanship found in them. There are no pictures in
the cathedral; and the riches in which it formerly abounded were almost
all carried off by the French. But the chief object of attraction is the
tower, which is ten feet higher than that of Seville; and like it, is
ascended by inclined planes. The prospect from the summit at once lays
open the character and extent of the celebrated vale. It is about
sixteen miles long, and eight wide, and is bounded on both sides by
mountain ranges. The whole of this expanse is one sheet of variegated
green, thickly dotted with mulberry trees, and sprinkled with clumps of
palms, and copses of orange trees. The whole of the vale is divided into
fields, separated from each other by small embankments about eighteen
inches high, to assist the process of irrigation, and by rows of
mulberry trees or shrubs of some sort, which give to the landscape a
lighter effect than that which is produced by the dark thorn hedges of
England. Towards the east, four leagues distant, where the vale
contracts into the narrow opening through which Alicant lies, I could
distinguish the spires of Orihuela. An isolated rock, crowned by a
Moorish castle, and a village beneath it, called Monte Agudo, and
another village charmingly situated under the mountains, called
Algesarez, were agreeable features in the landscape; while the cottages
and houses thickly strewing the plain, gave life and animation to it.

Walking towards the paseo by the river side, I observed a fine marble
column erected in the Plaza Real; and upon inquiring its history, I
learned that it was to be surmounted by a statue of King Ferdinand.
Farther on, I passed an hospital begun seven years ago, but still
unfinished; and still farther, I reached a fine aqueduct for conveying a
stream across the deep bed of the river Segura, to water the vale. This
promenade would be very delightful, were it not that in order to reach
it, it is necessary to pass through the lowest quarter of the city,
where the poorest and worst population are congregated. I was told that
the corregidor executes well the duties of his office, and that crime is
rare in Murcia. In returning from the paseo, I visited the Dominican
Convent, without finding in it much to attract my notice; excepting an
indulgence of two hundred and eighty days, granted to all who assist in
the ceremony attending the procession of St. Rosario.

In another walk, I visited a chapel where are presented in wood, many
passages in the life of Christ,--among others, the last supper; the
figures are well executed, and the attitudes natural. Seeing the table
covered with a cloth, I asked the reason of this; and was told,--that a
magnificent supper is always served on Holy Thursday, and that after
standing on the table forty-eight hours, it is removed, and given to the
poor; so that at times, even the most absurd superstitions may be
productive of good. Returning from the posada, I passed through the
market, where I helped myself to a handful of fresh dates, and
astonished the vendor with the princely recompense of a halfpenny! The
following are the prices of provisions in Murcia. Beef, per pound of 16
ounces, twelve quartos; mutton, eleven quartos; veal, ten; pork,
fourteen. Were it not for a heavy duty upon the provisions entering the
city, these prices would be at least one-half lower. A fowl costs 1_s._
8_d._; a chicken, five reals; a turkey, a dollar; a duck, 10_d._; a
hare, 10_d._ or 1_s._; a rabbit, three reals. Bread of the finest
quality is ten quartos per pound, and of an inferior quality, eight
quartos. Good wine is about nine quartos per bottle. The price of labour
is from four to five reals. A female servant receives a dollar per
month; a man, a dollar and a half, or two dollars.

While at Murcia, I visited the manufactory of saltpetre, this, and all
other manufactories of the same article, are farmed by government to a
company. The company is bound to furnish the article at six dollars the
arroba, (25 lbs.). At present, they make but 1200 arrobas yearly; but
formerly, they manufactured as much as 10,000. There were 70,000 arrobas
in the magazine when I visited it. The trade has lately been thrown
open; but I was informed that few have availed themselves of the
permission to enter it. I did not visit the gunpowder manufactory, which
is about a league distant from Murcia. It is bound to furnish government
with 10,000 arrobas every two months, but there is at present so large
a stock on hand, that it only produces 32,000 arrobas yearly.

The silk manufactories of Murcia, were once so extensive, as to employ
16,000 hands; at present, scarcely 400 are required. In Murcia, all the
silk is prepared by hand labour, and cannot, therefore, enter the market
with the Valencia silk, which is for the most part, produced by
machinery. The only other manufacture of Murcia, is a coarse cloth,
which, to a certain extent, is sure of a market. The city lives almost
entirely by agriculture; but the prosperity of the agriculturist, here
as in Granada, has greatly decreased since the loss of the colonies has
created a necessity for the imposition of new burthens upon land. The
land in the vale of Murcia produces two crops yearly: wheat and lentils,
wheat and maize, or wheat and beans; and may be computed to return about
five per cent.



     Winter in England and in Spain; Journey from Murcia; Orihuela and
     its Huerta; Inhabitants, and Superstition; a Muleteer’s Story; La
     Granja, and effects of the Earthquake of 1829; Elche, and its
     Forest of Palms; Commerce; the Date; arrival at Alicant;
     magnificent Houses; Situation of Alicant; the Feast of the Patron
     Saint; peculiarity in Alicant Society; Political Restrictions on
     Society; the Trade and Exports of Alicant; Barilla, the Huerta; an
     extraordinary Law-suit; Dangerous Road to San Felipe; Montforte,
     Novilda, and Elda; the Feast of the Concepcion Purissima; Sax, and
     Villena; Recontre with Moorish Physicians; Fuente de Higuera;
     Soldiers’ Opinions; charming Scenes; the Algarrobo; arrival at San
     Felipe; magnificent Moorish Remains; Relics of Moorish Customs;
     Journey to Valencia; Conversation with a Dominican Friar; the Plain
     of Valencia; Spring and Autumn in Spain; arrival at Valencia.

If I were anxious to impress any one with a favourable idea of Spanish
scenery, I would carry him from Murcia to Alicant, by Orihuela; for the
beauty and the novelty of the views upon this route, absolutely beggar
description. It is here particularly, where we learn to understand the
singular charm of palm-tree groves; and I was informed by a gentleman,
who before travelling this road had visited those spots in both Africa
and in Asia where the date is most abundant, that he had nowhere found
it in so great perfection as between Murcia and Alicant.

There is a diligence upon this road, which makes the transit in ten
hours; but I preferred hiring a tartana, and employing two days on the
journey. I accordingly left Murcia about sunrise, journeying along the
left bank of the river Segura; and while I sat in the tartana, with all
its curtains withdrawn, feeling the air so mild that I was even forced
to throw aside my cloak, though it was little more than day-break, I
transported myself in imagination to my native land, and its December
fogs, and frosts and snows. How different was a Spanish December! Here,
was no hazy atmosphere,--no raw, damp winds,--no rain, or sleet, or
snow, or cloudy sky. I never saw a June or July morning in England
finer than this. The sun rose into a cloudless heaven; not a speck was
visible from horizon to horizon: it was the calm of a summer morning,
and the softness of summer air; and when I turned to the bright green
livery in which the earth was arrayed, it seemed as if Spring had
borrowed for a day the graces of a riper season.

About a league from Murcia we passed under the rock and Moorish castle I
had seen from the tower of the cathedral, and gradually ascending among
the outer ridges of the mountains, and winding through some sweet
secluded valleys, the towers of Orihuela appeared over a little
promontory; and about eleven o’clock I reached the posada to breakfast.

Orihuela is famous upon many accounts. It is famous for the extreme
beauty of its situation, and the unrivalled fertility of its _huerta_:
it is famous for the undue number of its churches and convents: it is
famous for its superstition, and it is famous for its demoralization.
The three last are consequent upon each other. Even the vale of Murcia
yields in beauty and fertility to the Huerta of Orihuela; because the
latter is more abundantly supplied with water. I thought the greenness
of the vale of Murcia could not be exceeded; but I was mistaken. I found
the Huerta of Orihuela greener still: and the greater variety in the
trees with which it is thickly strewn, give to it another claim of
preference; for, mingled with the mulberry, the orange, and the fig, are
seen the cypress, the silver elm, and the pomegranate; and there too,
the palm, in place of lifting at wide intervals one solitary crown,
seems to have found its element; and, rising in clusters, lends novelty
as well as beauty to the enchanting scene.

As for the number of churches and convents in Orihuela, its
superstition, and demoralization, I can speak only of the first; but it
is highly probable, that where priests and friars so much abound,
superstition and bigotry should abound also. I walked into the parish
church of St. Augusta; and found a most unusual concourse of persons at
prayer; there was not a saint around the church who had not found
several worshippers; and I noticed that in one of the larger chapels,
where mass was then performing, the devout people of Orihuela were not
contented with the lowest prostration, but beat their breasts in an
agony of devotion; and I have no doubt that if any one had set the
example of flagellation, it would have been followed with spirit and
effect. In returning from the church, I saw two boys in the habits of
Augustin friars; and the population of the town appeared to possess in
an uncommon degree, the character of idleness, and its attendant,
poverty. No one seemed to have any thing to do, and no one had the air
of being anxious to do any thing. The men had taken to themselves, their
winter cloaks; and although the weather was so warm, that when walking
in advance of the tartana, I sedulously sought out the shade, every one
stood with his back to a sunny wall, folded up to the nose, and
immoveable, unless when a friar passing by, demanded a salutation of

At the Posada, at Orihuela, I succeeded in getting a little milk for the
first time since leaving Seville, and made ready my chocolate in the
English fashion. Nothing is so difficult to be had in Spain, as milk.
Cows’ milk is a luxury not to be dreamed of, excepting in the very
largest cities; and even goats’ milk is far from plentiful; milk, in
fact, is an aliment of which the Spaniards make no use.

From Orihuela, I skirted the Huerta, passing close under the range of
hills that bound it on the north; and noticing a cross on the summit of
a perpendicular rock, and another beneath it, I inquired of the
muleteer, the cause of their erection,--and he in reply, told me a
melancholy story, how a certain friar of Orihuela was grievously tempted
by the flesh; and how he dreamt, that to escape from temptation, he must
go to the brow of a certain mountain--a dream that was doubtless sent by
the devil,--and how that when he arrived there, the damsel who stood
between him and heaven, was waiting for him; and how he, being a holy
man, and seeing no means of escape but one, commended himself to the
saints, and leapt from the summit of the rock; but the saints, unwilling
that he should commit suicide, even to escape from another deadly sin,
bore him up, and he walked back to the convent. But every day he
returned to this rock to pray; and when he died, his body was
miraculously conveyed from the convent to that spot, beneath which it
was buried.

Soon after passing these crosses, we reached a village, whose name I
have forgotten; but the entrance to it was marked by some beautiful and
extensive inclosures,--thickets of orange trees and pomegranates,
surrounded by a row of stately palms. The next village we arrived at was
La Granja, situated also amid groves of oranges and palms, but
exhibiting in its ruined dwellings, and almost houseless population, the
awful effects of the earthquake of 1829 that spread ruin and desolation
over some of the fairest valleys in Murcia. This road possesses a
peculiar and sad interest, from conducting the traveller through these
melancholy scenes. La Granja suffered severely by the visitation. I
scarcely saw one upper story standing, and the greater number of the
houses had been levelled with the ground. Upon the sites of these, the
owners had built low houses of one story; and those of which the lower
story still remained, were inhabited in that part which had withstood
the shock. The tower of the church had not been thrown down, but I
noticed a wide rent from the top to the bottom.

The earthquake of 1829 took place on the 21st of March. In the morning
the sky was serene, and the atmosphere clear; but towards mid-day clouds
began to rise, and the sky was soon obscured; the wind also entirely
fell, and it was a perfect calm. The shock took place at six in the
evening, and lasted only five seconds; but in these five seconds it
spread death and ruin wherever it was felt. Fifteen towns and villages
were less or more injured. Torre Viejo, on the sea-coast, four leagues
from Orihuela, was entirely destroyed; and in that town, in Almosida and
La Granja, between five and six hundred persons were swallowed up, or
were buried among the ruins of their homes. Torre Viejo is rebuilt with
timber houses of one story. In that place, every day renews the
recollection of its misfortune; for it is a singular fact, that a day
never passes over Torre Viejo that a slight shock of earthquake is not
felt. At Orihuela the shock was severe: many houses were rent, some few
injured, but no lives were lost. At Alicant the shock was also alarming,
although, there, little actual damage was sustained. A gentleman of that
city related to me, that while he sat writing, he felt a very slight
motion, which he knew to be produced by an earthquake, for slight shocks
of earthquake have always been of common recurrence throughout Murcia;
thinking it possible that the shock might be repeated, he walked to the
balcony, and at the same moment his anticipations proved too true: he
saw the wall of the house rock to and fro, and almost immediately
afterwards found himself, without knowing how, in the great square,
where the whole of the inhabitants were already assembled, testifying
their alarm in all the modes by which human fear can find expression.
The shock was sensibly felt in the harbour of Alicant; it seemed to
those who were embarked, as if the vessels had struck against each
other. It is no more than justice to add, that subscriptions for the
destitute sufferers were universal throughout Spain, and that the king
liberally aided the subscription from his own purse.

After leaving La Granja, I passed through two other villages in a state
of ruin. In one of them the tower of the church had been thrown down,
and a rent a foot wide traversed the side wall. The whole of the way
from Orihuela to Alicant, I observed that almost all the children, and
very many grown-up persons, were afflicted with sore eyes. The people in
the neighbourhood were unable to assign any cause for this, though I was
informed at Alicant that it was to be attributed to irrigation; but as
there is not the same prevalence of this complaint in the vales of
Murcia or Orihuela, where irrigation is carried to as great an extent as
in these smaller valleys, this seemed to me to be a conclusion scarcely
sufficiently built upon experience.

The country is here extremely beautiful,--we traverse a succession of
little huertas, as fertile as irrigation and a delightful climate can
make them; every one with its village surrounded by orangeries and palm
groves. After passing this line of villages, the fig-trees are so
numerous as to seem almost a forest; and succeeding the fig-trees, a
thick and extensive wood of olives stretches on all sides; here the
olive is not the dwarfish tree we find it in the south of France, or
even in other parts of Spain, but a fine branchy tree, which, but for
the unlovely hue of its green, might vie with many of our forest trees.

And now we approached that most interesting spot on the route to
Alicant, Elche, which has been called “the City of Dates,” and which, to
all travellers who have never pitched their tents with the Arabs, must
be striking, alike from its beauty and its novelty. Here I purposed
resting until next day; and having alighted at the Posada de la
Concepcion, and ordered supper, I walked out to enjoy the scenery.

Elche rises from the midst of a forest of palms, which encircles it and
mingles with the buildings, and which occupies altogether nearly a
league square. There is scarcely a vacant spot within, or about the
city, that is not covered with them; they crowd the gardens, they fringe
the banks of the stream, and in every direction are seen overtopping
the houses. And beautiful is the palm-tree at this season,--its majestic
stem rising to the height of eighty or a hundred feet, surmounted by the
clusters of bright golden dates, and its broad canopy of fan-like leaves
falling around like a circular plume. From a tower of the very ancient
palace of the Dukes of Arcos, I obtained a view over the city and the
surrounding country: this view was of so novel a character, that it will
bear no comparison with any other; it was simply the view of a palm
forest, which, from the great height of the trees, seemed unbounded,
with the city embosomed in it. This is all that can be said by way of
description; but the mere novelty of a view, embracing thousands, and
tens of thousands of these strangely beautiful trees, cannot fail to
delight the spectator.

I fared well in the posada, and drank delicious wines; and passed the
evening in conversation with the host and his family, and a neighbouring
grower and exporter of barilla, and other produce of the district. He
was an intelligent and communicative man; and from him I learnt some
particulars respecting Elche. Elche contains about 20,000 inhabitants,
and may be called a flourishing city; for the surrounding country,
besides its large produce of dates, abounds in barilla, of which the
export is very extensive. Last year, the export of barilla from Alicant,
but chiefly grown in the vicinity of Elche, amounted to no less than
200,000 quintals--twenty millions of lbs. The export of dates I could
not ascertain; but I afterwards learnt at Alicant, that a great
proportion of the dates imported to England as Barbary dates, are from
Elche; and in proof of this, I was shewn some boxes in a warehouse,
marked “Barbary dates.” The wages of field labour at Elche, are three or
four reals; and every thing is proportionably cheap; barley bread, which
is much used in this neighbourhood, is sold at two quartos (less than a
farthing) per pound. Elche possesses one important advantage over most
of the other Spanish cities: it is not overrun with priests and friars.
It contains only two churches, and two convents; and the inhabitants are
thus spared the expense of feeding the idle and useless incumbrances
who are so great a burthen upon the market people of Murcia, Orihuela,
Guadix, and other cities of the southern provinces. And besides this
advantage, the proportion of the religious bodies in Elche is so small,
that their influence acts feebly: self-interest has gained upon the
dominion of superstition; for I was informed, that the after part of
most of the holidays, enjoined, or recommended, by the Catholic church,
is spent in field labour. The two convents of Elche are rich; and
therefore have less interest in maintaining that dominion, to which
others are indebted for their sustenance.

I left Elche about sunrise on foot, the muleteer not being ready, and
walked slowly through the palm forest, that he might overtake me. I
noticed that the colour of the fruit varied much; some of the clusters
being green, some of them yellow, some orange colour, or golden, and
some brown; but the two latter colours were the most prevailing. The
taste also differs. I threw stones at some of the clusters which were
upon the lowest trees, and found the fruit I brought down, differ almost
as much in taste, as in colour; the deep golden, verging upon brown,
tasted the most agreeably. At a house on the outskirts of the forest, I
purchased 1lb. for four quartos, (about one penny). After leaving the
palm forest, we passed through a wild country, partially under tillage;
and here the sea is first discovered upon the right; the castle of
Alicant, perched upon its high rock, rising in front. From this point,
we descended into a cultivated plain, abounding in almond trees; and
then winding for a while among sand-hills, we passed along the straight
avenue that leads to the gate of Alicant, which I soon afterwards
entered, and alighted at the Fonda de las Diligencias.

After having breakfasted, I waited upon Mr. Waring, the British Consul
at this port, and have great pleasure in acknowledging his
hospitalities,--not easily forgotten by one who, after having lived upon
Spanish stews since leaving Malaga, enjoyed the luxury of a true English
dinner. To Mr. Adams, also, the Consul for the United States, I was
indebted for many kind attentions, and much valuable information. I was
much struck with the interior of some of the houses in Alicant; the
spaciousness of the rooms; the magnificence of the staircases; and
particularly, the beauty of the floors. These, throughout an extensive
suite of apartments opening into each other, are covered with the
Valencia tile, which is a kind of porcelain. The pieces of which the
floor is composed, are about nine inches square, the ground white, and
each having a flower painted upon it, with the utmost truth and
delicacy; and the lobbies and staircases are paved in the same way. In
some houses, the different rooms are paved with different patterns; but
I thought it more elegant, where one pattern covered a suite of

The situation of Alicant pleased me,--though less than that of Malaga.
Like Malaga, it lies at the foot of a bay; but the mountains behind it
are comparatively diminutive: the castle, however, is singularly
picturesque; the rock upon which it stands is eight or nine hundred feet
high,--nearly pointed, and stands isolated from the other heights; and a
precipice, reaching from the foot of the castle wall, overhangs the
town. The rock is constantly crumbling; and fears are entertained, that
it may some day overwhelm the city. I applied for leave to see the fort,
but this was refused. The quay is fine and spacious, and a handsome row
of houses fronts the sea.

The day after my arrival in Alicant chanced to be an important _dia de
fiesta_; for it was no less than the day of the patron Saint of the city
(Saint Nicholas), who is besides the peculiar patron of all young women
who wish to be married. In the evening I went to the cathedral, which
was illuminated, and was filled with spectators; some seated upon mats,
some standing: and in front of the altar an elevated platform was
erected, upon which sat the Governor, and high civil and military
officers. The Saint stood in a niche, in the centre of the altar,
surrounded by lights; above, was an image of Christ, and below, an image
of the Virgin. After the performance of some selections of music, all
the female part of the audience pressed forward towards the Saint; for
she who has the good fortune to see the Saint with his eyes open, will
certainly be married the same year. There was much eagerness and much
merriment among the ladies; and as I chanced to be in the current, I was
carried in the same direction. I found, that the merriment was owing to
the difficulty of ascertaining what all were anxious to ascertain: for
either the eyes of the Saint, or the lights, were so contrived, that it
was impossible to determine whether his eyes were open or shut. After
the ceremonies, a paltry engraving of Saint Nicholas was presented to
each of the great men who occupied the platform, all of whom reverently
kissed it. This was also the fee given to the musicians.

In Alicant there is an extraordinary forgetfulness or disregard of
distinctions in rank; arising, no doubt, from the very limited society
of the town. It is not at all unusual to see the daughter of the
governor sitting upon her balcony in company with the daughter of the
jailor. If there should be a deficiency of one or two persons to make up
a game at cards, the most respectable of the inhabitants will send to
any low person in the neighbourhood who happens to be skilful in the
game, to supply the deficiency; and among the many examples of this, I
knew an officer, holding a high official situation, who every night sat
down to cards with his wife, and a tailor who lived next door, and who
chanced to be an adept in their favourite game. The Spaniards,
especially in the south, although not addicted to gambling, are
extremely fond of cards: they play from the real interest which they
feel in the game,--- its chances and its difficulties,--for the stake is
generally so utterly insignificant, that it can scarcely add any thing
to the interest. In truth, there is a miserable want of resource in most
parts of Spain. The _regimé_ of married life forbids those domestic
enjoyments,--those home occupations,--that fill up so large a portion of
the evening hours in an English family of the middle classes: books and
study are almost out of the question; because, unless in the principal
cities, public libraries are nowhere to be found; and private libraries
are luxuries that few possess: Spain has not, like France, the resource
of the coffee-house; nor, like England, the news of yesterday, to
employ a vacant hour; and therefore the Spaniard seeks relief from
_ennui_ in cards, which are always at hand, and are at all times capable
of producing the same enjoyment.

When I visited Alicant, difficulties had been newly thrown in the way of
even the simplest interchange of civilities; and society was in
consequence almost broken up. Public parties, such as balls, &c., were
prohibited; and it was even expected that the governor should be
informed, if more than half-a-dozen persons were invited to an
entertainment: this was more complained of by the foreign merchants than
by the Spaniards, because the Spaniards give few entertainments,--and
foreigners not being willing to make the expected intimation to the
governor, society was rapidly on the decline. Every one spoke of the
governor as a man of despotic character; but the Spanish government
considers a man of this kind necessary in a place like Alicant, where it
is well known, that liberal opinions have many supporters, and where
the population is so closely connected with many of the refugees. Few
towns have suffered more from emigration than Alicant: between three and
four hundred persons were forced to leave it from political causes; so
that there are few families in Alicant who have no relation or friend
among the _emigrés_. But the governor, although scrutinising political
opinion with a keenness that is disagreeable to many, is allowed by all
to be an admirable civil magistrate. Alicant was formerly almost as
notorious for robbery and murder, as Malaga is still; but these crimes
are now almost unknown. The governor is accustomed himself to
perambulate the streets during the night, disguised, and with two
attendants; and it not unfrequently happens, that when one is challenged
in passing along the street during the night, the challenger is
discovered to be the governor.

Alicant, like most of the other Spanish sea-ports, has greatly declined
in its general commerce. In the days of its prosperity, as many as one
thousand vessels have been known to enter the port in one year: at
present the average number is about three hundred. The exports of every
kind, with the exception of barilla, are gradually declining. The export
of wine particularly, formerly an important article of Alicant trade, is
now reduced to almost nothing. A little dry wine is still shipped to
Gibraltar; and the sweet wine (_tent_) is exported in such very small
quantities, as scarcely to enter into the tables--the little that is
shipped, is for Russia. I am convinced, that if the common red wine of
Alicant were better known, it would find a ready market;--it is made
from several qualities of grape mixed, and if kept a few years is truly
delicious. The export of almonds and of raisins does not at present
decline; the former are for the English and Hamburgh markets,--the
raisins exclusively for English consumption. The Alicant raisin, which
is dipped, like the _lexia_ of Malaga, is used in England for
plum-pudding, and in the manufacture of raisin wine. The export of
brandy, of which one hundred thousand pipes have been known to leave
Alicant, has almost entirely ceased; and oil, since the loss of the
colonies, has been exported in comparatively small quantities.

The only exports of any consequence are barilla and salt. I have already
stated the amount of the former export in the year 1829. In 1830 it
would greatly fall below that quantity; but, upon the whole, the export
of barilla maintains itself. This is not, however, a lucrative trade.
The profit from barilla affords the cultivator nothing beyond a bare
livelihood. But in a country where rain is so uncertain, barilla is the
only safe crop upon land that is beyond the reach of irrigation. The
price of this article is extremely low, because, in the markets of
Ireland, to which it is chiefly exported, it has to compete with the
potash. The barilla of an inferior quality is sent to England for the
use of the soap boilers. It is possible that some may not know how
barilla is made. The weed, which is planted by seed, is pulled up by the
root, and is stacked and dried; circular pits are made in the ground and
heated; bars are laid across the mouth of these, and the weed being
placed upon them, melts and drops into the pit, and hardens into
barilla. The cultivation of barilla is expensive, because the land
requires much dressing, and a large supply of manure.

The other principal export, salt, is embarked from Torre Viejo, though
the vessels make their clearances at Alicant. From fifty to sixty
vessels yearly clear out with cargoes of salt, chiefly for Sweden and
the different ports of the Baltic. This salt is remarkably strong, and
best suited, therefore, for those countries where salted provisions are
the most in use.

One of my mornings I devoted to a walk to the huerta, which lies about
two miles to the east of the city. It is about three miles in
diameter,--the sea forming its southern boundary, and the mountains
entirely closing round it on the west, north, and east. With so
favourable a situation, and irrigated from a reservoir formed in the
mountains, this huerta will scarcely yield in productiveness to any of
the most favoured spots in Spain. Besides a constant succession of crops
of grain, barley, wheat, and maize,--of flax, and of the various
esculents used at the table, this little plain is thickly strewn with
every kind of fruit tree,--orange, lemon, fig, almond, pomegranate,
apricot, and with innumerable mulberry and olive trees. But the greatest
novelty of this plain consists in the many delightful country houses
that are scattered over it; these belong to the merchants of the city;
and one object of ambition for which every one in Alicant strives, is to
possess a country house in the huerta. Exposed, however, as the huerta
is to the southern sun, I should think the pride in such a possession
must be greater than the pleasure.

I was greatly amused by the history of a law-suit that was pending while
I was at Alicant. A certain rich proprietor having died about six months
before, left money to the church, sufficient to purchase twelve thousand
masses for his soul; but after a few of these had been said, the masses
were discontinued, and the process was brought by the heir to recover
the sum left for the masses, the church having failed to fulfil the
condition upon which the money was bequeathed. The defence set up was
sufficiently singular:--Those upon whom the duty of saying these masses
devolved, willing to be excused from the labour, interceded with the
bishop, who interceded with his holiness the pope: the defence against
the claim was the production of the pope’s letter, which declared, by
his sovereign authority, that the celebration of _twelve_ masses should
have the same effect, and be as beneficial to the soul of the deceased
as the celebration of _twelve thousand masses_. The decision upon the
case had not been given when I left Alicant; but as it involved a
question touching the pope’s spiritual power, the probabilities are,
that his holiness would prove an overmatch for the heir. The argument of
the counsel in support of the claim was merely non-fulfilment of the
stipulated duty; while the argument for the church was, that the
deceased had intended to benefit his soul to a certain extent, for which
he left a certain sum of money; and that since his soul was benefited to
the same extent by the performance of _twelve_, as of _twelve thousand_
masses, the intention of the deceased was equally fulfilled, and the
money, therefore, equally the property of those who fulfilled it. But
this evidently leaves room for a rejoinder, as to the power and value of
the pope’s letter.

At Alicant I heard the worst accounts of the road to San Felipe. Every
one agreed that there was the utmost danger of robbery, and urged upon
me the necessity of taking an escort. I recollected that at Mr.
Addington’s table at Madrid, I had been told by Captain C----k, a
gentleman well known for his enterprise in scientific pursuits, and
intimately acquainted with every part of Spain, that I should run the
greatest risk of robbery in the neighbourhood of San Felipe, and between
that town and Alicant; and being obliged to carry from Alicant a fuller
purse than it would have been convenient to lose, I yielded in this one
instance to the general opinion, and applied, through Mr. Waring, to the
governor, for an escort of four soldiers to Fuente de Higuera. The
danger of robbery upon this road is not by regular banditti, but by
itinerant or idle, or ill-disposed peasantry, who have frequently been
known to leave their work in the fields to intercept and rob a
traveller, and then return to their occupation.

I hired a tartana as usual, at the rate of three dollars a day; and left
Alicant about seven in the morning, accompanied by my four soldiers,
armed with guns, swords, and bayonets. The country, upon leaving
Alicant, is at first very interesting; after passing some low hills
about a league distant, we entered the little valley of Montforte,
which, with its handsome church, and Moorish castle, dominates over its
own fertile huerta. Between this place and Novilda, we passed a convent
of the Franciscan order, of vast extent, and in which I was informed
there are sixty monks. We also passed two men, whom the muleteer
recognised as two notorious thieves, who had lately been released from
prison. At Novilda we stopped, the muleteer to dine,--myself to take a
cup of chocolate. The streets of this village were spread in many places
with figs, drying in the sun, which any one appeared to have the liberty
of making free with. I picked up one or two, but found them indifferent.
From Novilda, we passed through a very partially cultivated country, but
affording some picturesque views; particularly of the Castle of Luna,
situated upon a very high rock; and soon after we descended into the
vale of Elda, by a singularly wild approach in a chasm through barren
gypsum hills. Walking in advance of the tartana, I observed in a deep
hollow below, a spectacle in perfect unison with the scenery. It was the
carcase of a mule, the possession of which was disputed by about a score
of ravens, and four very large lean dogs. The discharge of one of the
soldier’s muskets scarcely startled them; they were “too busy” to be
easily disturbed.

The little vale and town of Elda, lie very bewitchingly on the other
side of these barren hills. The huerta was covered with verdure; and the
town, with its castle upon a rock--like all the towns in this
neighbourhood--looked promising as night’s quarters. I was amused with
the distinction which was made in the venta at this place, between
things which scarcely differ from each other. I asked as usual for a
quarto; and they ushered me into a room without a chair or a table, I of
course complained of the accommodation; “Oh,” said they, “if you wish to
have a sala, that’s another affair”; and to a sala we went, which
differed from the other, only in having two chairs, and a deal table;
but the sala costs the traveller double the price of the quarto.

Next day was one of the most important festivals in Spain, no less than
that of the concepcion purissima; and not being able to start in the
morning, until the muleteer had attended mass, I thought it as well to
attend it along with him. In this church, I noticed the same edict that
is published in the church of Alicant; an indulgence granted by the
College of Cardinals of no fewer than two thousand five hundred and
eighty days, to whatever penitent person shall say at the altar of the
Virgin, “Ave Maria Purissima”; and the same to every one who shall reply
to this, “Sin pecado concebida.” It was in this chapel that mass was
performed; and many two thousand five hundred and eighty days were no
doubt that day added to the credit side of the purgatory accounts. My
muleteer, in particular, was constant and earnest in his endeavours to
turn the morning to the best advantage: constantly on the watch to hear
any one say “Ave Maria Purissima,” he was kept constantly repeating
“Sin pecado concebida.” After we set out, I told him he must certainly
be a great rogue, since he had shewn so much anxiety in the morning to
accumulate indulgences. He replied that he was not any worse than his
neighbours; but that it was best to be upon the safe side. The feast of
the Concepcion Purissima, produced one good effect. I was not charged at
the posada above one-third part of the sum I had been accustomed to pay;
no doubt because on so holy a day, to cheat would have been to
neutralize the effect of the indulgences.

From Elda and its vale, we passed through a wild country to Sax; a
romantic town, overlooked by a castle perched upon the top of a rock as
high as that of Alicant. There we only stopped to take in a supply of
bread, for which Sax is famous, and proceeded towards Villena, still
through a wild country. On the road, we met a coach filled with
travellers, and escorted by five soldiers; and also a gentleman on
horseback, with an escort of two soldiers; proving that I was not
singular in the precaution I had taken. Villena has also its rock, and
castle, and huerta, the latter larger than those of Elda or Sax, because
Villena is a place of some size, containing several convents and
churches, and nearly 8,000 inhabitants. The vine is extensively grown
upon the lower acclivities of the neighbouring sierra, and is almost all
converted into brandy. The population of this town appeared to me to
present a singularly disreputable appearance--beggarly, idle, ragged,
and ruffian-like; this, I was informed, was to be attributed to the
great plenty and cheapness of brandy, which had produced its usual
effects upon those who indulged in it without moderation.

Leaving Villena, we entered the Sierra that lies between it and Fuente
de Higuera; this is considered the most dangerous part of the road; and
as it would be dusk before we could reach Fuente de Higuera, the
soldiers new primed their guns, and armed me with a sabre, and we kept
close together. We had a singular, and certainly very interesting
rencontre, by the way. In travelling through a narrow valley covered
with aromatic shrubs, I noticed upon one of the slopes, two figures in
a stooping posture, whom I at first mistook for women; but upon coming
near, I discovered them to be tawny Moors, clothed in the Moorish dress,
and that they were engaged in searching for something on the ground: we
passed within a hundred yards of them, and exchanged salutations; and I
observed, that each carried a tolerably large basket. I did not learn
the explanation of what I had seen till I reached San Felipe; every
year, in Spring, and in Autumn, the Moorish physicians come to these
parts from the shores of Africa, to gather medicinal plants,--a custom
that may be called the only remaining tie between Barbary and Spain.

Descending the mountain towards Fuente de Higuera, I observed a scorpion
on the path; and several young eagles flew over our heads: the soldiers
fired at them,--of course without effect; and soon after these various
encounters, we came in sight of the town, lying among elevated brown
mountains, and surrounded with ilex woods; and about dusk we reached the
Posada. At this place I discharged the soldiers, all fine young men,
who I am convinced would have done their duty if their services had been
called for. They told me that Spain was the finest country in the world;
that they were well and regularly paid; and had nothing to complain of;
that they were ready to fight against whosoever the king commanded; and
that they hoped they should not spend all their days in inaction. I
commended them for their loyalty, which is always a virtue in a soldier
towards the actual king,--gave them a dollar more than their due, and
sent them away contented.

At Fuente de Higuera, I had the luxury of a hare for supper, and the
still greater luxury of a flealess bed: and next morning betimes, I was
on my way to San Felipe. This is a delightful road; we ascended a
narrow, but very charming valley, presenting at every turn new and
picturesque prospects. It is traversed all the way by a stream, which in
the eastern provinces of Spain is always made to fertilize its banks: a
beautiful stripe of green lay along its margin; vines and fruit trees
clothed the lower acclivities of the mountains, which higher up, were
scattered with the ilex and algarrobo. This is a very useful tree; the
bean, which it bears plentifully, is found to be a wholesome and
nutricious food for cattle; and the great abundance of the tree in the
south and east of Spain, renders it as cheap as it is useful. The
algarrobo, besides its utility, is one of the most beautiful of trees,
full in its foliage, and rich in colour. The valley through which we
travelled, lay on the right; barren hills rose on the left, close to the
road; and the infinity of aromatic and flowering plants and shrubs with
which these were covered, surpassed anything of the kind that I had yet
seen in Spain: the heaths, in particular, delighted me; they were all in
flower, their hues varying from the deep crimson, to the pale pink, and
their bell shaped blossoms, larger and more beautiful than the heaths I
had been accustomed to admire in the glass houses of England. Several
villages lay under the mountains, and we passed two large ventas,
situated on the road; but the most striking object is the castle of
Montesa, upon a very high rock, and the town surrounding its base. The
castle is a ruin, having been entirely destroyed by an earthquake
nearly a hundred years ago. Soon after, San Felipe appeared at about a
league distant, most romantically situated in a recess among the
mountains, with a rich vale stretching before it: the direct road to
Valencia does not pass through San Felipe: it is a detour of two
leagues; but I wished to see this fine old Moorish city, and it had been
arranged that I should rest there one night. We accordingly left the
road, and followed a narrow track through the Huerta to San Felipe,
where I arrived about two o’clock.

I was much pleased with _San Felipe_; and the magnificence and extent of
the Moorish remains in its neighbourhood struck me with astonishment,
even after having seen the Alhambra. These crown a hill that rises
immediately behind the city; the hill is twice the height of that upon
which the Alhambra stands, and the ruins at _San Felipe_ are also
greatly more extensive; they are not, indeed, like the Alhambra, in
preservation; nor do they present the terraces, and arches, and columns,
that at once point out its Moorish origin: but they are splendid ruins,
covering the summit of a mountain ridge a thousand or twelve hundred
feet high, and presenting in fine relief, against the sky, an irregular
line not less than two miles in extent, of massive and imposing ruins. I
did not climb to the summit, but I ascended about half way to enjoy the
prospect, which on every side was picturesque or beautiful. The
magnificent ruins behind, and the thick wood of Algarrobos that filled
every hollow of the mountain,--the city below, and its green huerta, and
convents situated upon projecting points, with rocks behind, and orange
groves below, formed the features of the landscape; and at a distance,
between the mountains, a vista was caught of the wide and rich plain of

Descending from the mountain to the posada, I noticed a fountain from
which no fewer than twenty-five full streams were flowing; and from
other fountains on the paseo, many other streams united with these, and
flowed in a brimful rivulet, towards the huerta, to cover it with
fertility and beauty. Passing along the street, I observed many signs
of Moorish days, more than either in Seville or Granada: in a court-yard
which I entered, mistaking it for that of the posada, I noticed that the
walls were arabesque; and looking in at the doors of the shops and
houses, I scarcely saw a single person seated upon a chair, or even upon
a stool; every one was squatted upon a mat. I walked through the
cathedral, but saw nothing worthy of observation; and returned to the
posada, where I fared well, and found the most delicious wine I had yet
tasted in Spain;--how different from the small vin de pays of France.

San Felipe has no fewer than ten convents, seven for men, and three for
women; and it contains about 12,000 inhabitants, the whole of whom find
employment and subsistence from the huerta; for the city contains no
manufacture of any kind.

I left San Felipe about day-break; and after skirting the huerta, we
began to ascend the range of hills that separated us from the plain of
Valencia. I had set out on foot from San Felipe, and made but slow
progress towards these hills, being often tempted to stand and look
back towards the ruins, which had alone caught the golden hue of

I had for some time observed a friar before me, upon a small mule, and
in ascending the height I overtook him, and we entered into
conversation. He complained of his manner of travelling, not being
accustomed to ride, and readily accepted a seat in the tartana. I bore
him company for the sake of society, and my muleteer mounted his mule.
He was a young friar of the Dominican order, then scarcely
eighteen,--his youth rendered him communicative, more so than might
perhaps have been approved of by his superior; and I obtained from him
some particulars respecting himself and his convent. He had entered the
convent at thirteen. I asked him what was his motive? He replied, that
it was attachment to the monastic life that led him to adopt it, and
that he had entered upon it contrary to the wishes of his parents,
especially his mother. When I observed that it would have been a greater
virtue, and more his duty, to have remained with his mother, to comfort
and cherish her,--he said it was better as it was, for that now he was
sure of meeting her in heaven, which otherwise might have been doubtful.
When I remarked that thirteen was too early an age to enter into a
convent, he replied that it was better and safer never to have known the
world; and when I enquired of him whether he would still enter a
convent, supposing him to be now free? he answered that he would; for
that it was the only sure road to heaven: but when we became better
acquainted, he admitted that the monastic life was _triste_; and I could
discover, that he occasionally doubted whether he was happy. Ignorance
of the world, and the seclusion of a monastery from childhood, are
insufficient to change human nature; or to hinder the indulgence of a
suspicion, that the world is not barren of enjoyments.

He gave me some account of the manner in which he spent his time. The
Dominican is a strict order, and one that makes study an obligation.
Philosophy and theology occupied a great part of the day. The friars met
together only one hour in the twenty-four; and all the rest, excepting
those devoted to sleep, were spent in study of one kind or another, and
in religious exercises. One day in the week only, this young friar was
allowed to leave the convent and walk in the garden; and only twice in
the year it was permitted to go into the city. The old friars, however,
were allowed greater indulgence in these matters. The rules of the order
do not admit of animal food: fish, vegetables, and fowls are alone
permitted; but the friar told me that the fish is often very various,
and well cooked. The friars rise at four in summer, and at five in
winter. They are allowed two habits in the year, and each costs
seventeen dollars. The conversation among the friars during the hour
when they meet together, is generally upon philosophical or theological
subjects, and sometimes politics; but the young friar was no doubt still
ignorant of the conversation which those who are emancipated from the
restraints put upon youth, hold with each other; for Dominican councils
have not always been held in their hall of recreation. I was also
informed, that some of the friars in this convent understood several
languages; and that the books being selected by the superiors, there
was no restraint upon the study of these. Three of the friars also
understood music; and in the convent there were three pianos. I omitted
to say, that the young friar possessed property before entering the
convent, amounting to 120_l._ a year.

From the summit of the range which we had now ascended, we looked down
upon the plain of Valencia, usually called “the garden of Spain,” an
appellation that has been given to it, not I should suppose, on account
of its exclusive fertility, because the huertas of Murcia, and
Oriuhuela, and San Felipe, are no less fertile than the plain of
Valencia,--but on account of its great extent. All the way from the foot
of the hill to Valencia, we passed through a highly cultivated, and well
peopled country; covered, like the vale of Murcia, with the finest
vegetation, thickly scattered with wood, and strewn with houses and
villages. At short intervals, the road is crossed by a fine clear
stream, communicating the benefits of irrigation to both sides of the
plain; and as we approached nearer to Valencia, the road was in many
places skirted by extensive orange groves, laden with so great a
profusion of fruit, that the green and the yellow appeared to be almost
equally mingled.

Although in some respects, spring is the most eligible season for
travelling in Spain, late autumn, and even the confines of winter, have
many advantages. Both seasons have their charms; spring is the peculiar
season of flowers; and in those extensive tracts in the south and east
of Spain, which are covered with a thousand flowering shrubs and
aromatic plants, and where particularly, the beautiful oleander, the
caper, and the various species of gum-cistus, are found in all their
perfection and variety, spring is doubtless the season of beauty; but
amid different scenery, the later autumnal months disclose many as
beautiful, and to a stranger, more novel scenes; for it is then only,
that we can understand the beauty of an orange grove, and that
enchanting union of the most lovely green, with the bright mellow fruit
that sparkles among its leaves; then only can the strange charm of the
palm tree be felt, as we look up to its broad green crown, and golden
treasure of dates; then too, the olive is covered with fruit; and the
ilex and the algarrobo being evergreens, little is lost in the beauty of
forest scenery. The finest and rarest flowers may be seen in the
conservatories; and the imagination can easily multiply them, and cover
a mountain with their blossoms: but where, in our own cold clime, shall
we find the stately palm; or where, but in the regions of the south,
enjoy the beauty and the fragrance of an orange grove.

Valencia is seen about three leagues before reaching it; and from this
point, a straight avenue leads through the plain to its gates. Its
widely extended buildings, its massive wall, and numerous spires,
strongly impressed me as I approached it, with an idea of its
magnificence; and with excited expectations, I passed the gate, and
alighted at the Fonda de la Paz. This is not considered the first hotel
in Valencia; the Fonda de las quatros Naciones enjoys this reputation;
and in the department of the kitchen, I believe deservedly; but the
superior situation of the hotel I made choice of, outweighed in my mind,
the culinary advantages of the other.



     Bridges, River, Convents; prevalence of Religious Bigotry; Moorish
     Remains; Beggars, and the cause of their abundance in Valencia; the
     Archbishop; the University; Academy of Fine Arts; the Cathedral and
     its Tower; the plain of Valencia and its productions; Rice Grounds
     and their produce; produce of Silk, and Silk Trade; export of
     Fruit; prices of Provisions; Pictures; Valencia Society; the Ladies
     of Valencia; the port of Valencia; Paseos; Valencia Tiles; Journey
     to Murviedro, (the ancient Saguntum); Convento de los Reyes;
     Murviedro, its Fortress, and Ruins of Saguntum; an Arrest; a visit
     from the Alcalde; Journey to Tarragona; pleasing Scenes; Catalunia;
     Catalunian industry and its causes; Tarragona, its Antiquities and
     Cathedral; Provincial Dialects; sorting of Nuts, and the Nut trade;
     Journey to Barcellona, and arrival.

When I had dispatched my introductory letters, I sallied, as usual into
the street, and accident brought me to one of the bridges across the
Guadalaviar, called Puente del Mar. The river sometimes fills its
channel, a channel so wide, that some of the bridges have as many as
thirteen arches; but I saw only an inconsiderable rivulet not much
larger than the Manzanarez, as it flows through the bridge of Toledo at
Madrid. I believe, however, the apparent scantiness of the stream is
partly owing to its being diverted in numerous channels to water the
plain. The view from any of the bridges over the river is fine, for a
handsome line of irregular buildings follows the curve of the river, and
the bridges one beyond another, and the great Moorish gates, give an air
of grandeur to the scene. Almost all the conspicuous buildings seen from
this point are convents; these add much to the external beauty and
effect of the great Spanish cities; and few are more favoured in this
respect than Valencia, for it contains no fewer than twenty-seven
convents and monasteries for men, and twenty-two for women; and these,
with sixteen churches, and twenty-four chapels and hermitages, amount
altogether to eighty-six religious edifices. No wonder, therefore, that
the streets abound in friars and priests, and that the influence of the
religious bodies should be great in Valencia. Bigotry is not upon the
decline here among the mass of the population; and whether for the sake
of appearance, or from sincerity, religious observances are strictly
practised by the inhabitants of all classes. I have not seen in the
convents and churches of any town in Spain so great a number of persons
at devotion as in those of Valencia. I several times attempted to enter
the Dominican convent to see some pictures that I understood adorned the
walls of the church; but though the Dominican church be one of the
largest in Valencia, I always found the floor entirely covered with
kneelers, not scattered, but so crowded, that it was impossible to wade
among them. My apartment in the hotel was opposite to the gate of the
cathedral, and there too a constant stream poured in and out. In
Valencia, as in Toledo, tokens of faith and devotion are affixed to the
doors of the houses; but in place of the “ave Maria purissima” of
Toledo, engravings are seen pasted upon the doors in Valencia,
representing different passages in the life of our Saviour; and I
noticed upon some of the houses paintings, or at least daubs, as large
as life, of Christ taken down from the Cross, the Crucifixion, &c.;
crosses, the same as we meet with upon the highways, are seen in many
parts of Valencia affixed to the walls of the houses. But these do not
all, though many do, point out the place marked by a deed of murder.
Several of them record examples of sudden death,--probably of some
well-fed canon, or other dignitary, who dropped down dead from repletion
or apoplexy.

Valencia is one of those cities in which traces of Moorish dominion are
the most visible,--not in any splendid Alhambra or Alcazar, but in
every-day sights and common objects. Independently of the great wall and
fine Moorish gates, one observes, in walking through the streets of
Valencia, many smaller signs of other days and ancient masters. Gateways
are occasionally seen sculptured in marble upon Moorish designs; stones
over the doors, or underneath the windows, shew, by their chiseled
marks, their ancient fashioner. Looking one day accidentally through the
open window of a house near the cathedral, I was surprised to see an
arabesque roof, gilded like the halls in the Alhambra of Granada and the
Alcazar of Seville; and if, from these inanimate objects, we turn to the
population, we shall also find among them equally strong traces of
former connexion with the Moors. All the Moorish tokens which I have
already mentioned, as distinguishing the population of Seville, Malaga,
and San Felipe, are found in even greater distinctness in Valencia.

It is impossible to stir out of doors in Valencia, without being beset
by beggars, and by others also more decent in appearance, resembling
work-people: the latter are those persons who were formerly engaged in
the silk manufactories, but who are now thrown out of work by the
diminished trade that followed the loss of the colonies. As for the
common beggars, I can only attribute their abundance in Valencia to the
easy relief which they find at the convents. Formerly, throughout every
part of Spain, the convents fed the poor, and fed idleness at the same
time; but now, with the exception of the poor orders of friars, who
still continue to give alms, this practice has been discontinued; and to
this improvement, for I cannot call it by a better name, I am inclined
to refer the fact, that in those cities which were formerly the most
distinguished for the numbers of beggars by whom they were infested, I
found few: and when in Valencia, I saw every street swarm with them, and
every door beset by them; and when I learnt that this city was an
exception to the rest of Spain, inasmuch as almost every one of the
forty-nine convents distribute indiscriminate charity, it was impossible
to avoid the conclusion, that this had the effect of encouraging
idleness, and beggary along with it. In Valencia, every idle person is
sure of his dinner; and he endeavours, by begging, to supply himself
with a few of those superfluities which the convent does not provide for

The church dignitaries, and the archbishop, give nothing to the poor.
The revenues of the archbishop amount, at present, to about 17,000_l._
sterling per annum--an immense sum for Spain--and whatever part of this
sum he can spare from his own expences, he employs in the erection and
endowment of convents. It is only a year ago, since he endowed a new
convent at the port of Valencia, the erection of which cost him forty
thousand dollars--almost half a year’s revenue. Short-sighted man!
twenty years more, and no trace of his ill-directed generosity will
remain; but it is possible, that the wealth which he destines to
maintain a corrupt system, to foster idleness, and dim the light of
knowledge, may, before half a century pass away, be directed into other
channels, and be employed in disseminating truth, and supporting useful
institutions. Let us hope that it may be so.

The opportunities of instruction for the youth of Valencia are
considerable, though greatly narrowed by the regulations which affect
every seminary of learning throughout Spain. When I visited Valencia,
the university contained nearly two thousand five hundred students;
these were chiefly divided between law and philosophy. Theology here, as
in Toledo, commanded but few disciples; not more than eight or ten
attending a course. The professors of the different branches of
knowledge, with the exception of law, are friars; and the salaries
amount to about six thousand reals per annum--the law professors
receiving more than double this sum. Education here, may be said to be
gratis: formerly, the students, at entry, paid no more than four
quartos; now, they pay three dollars at entry, and one dollar every
succeeding year: but even this is next to free instruction. Among the
_estudiantes_ there are many paupers, who go regularly every day to one
or other of the convents to get a basin of soup; and when vacation
arrives, they beg their way home. One of these passed me on the road
between San Felipe and Valencia; he had perhaps not heard of the royal
order for closing the universities; and having travelled to Valencia,
and found the university shut, he was no doubt returning home. His dress
was scarcely removed from rags; he had a patched brown cloak thrown over
his shoulder; a cocked hat; and a sack,--probably containing his books,
and some provisions,--slung across his back.

Instruction in the fine arts is also provided for in Valencia; and as
this seminary is not affected by the imbecile policy of the government,
and has escaped the superintendence of jesuits and friars, its results
are more successful. I visited this institution one evening, and found
much to please, and a little to surprise me. In one room I found
fourteen pupils engaged in drawing the same figure, a Venus, a cast from
the antique, which was placed upon a pedestal on one side of the room;
and the pupils were ranged before it in a semicircle, so that owing to
the different position from which each pupil saw the object, every
drawing exhibited a different view of it. From this room I passed into
another, where sixteen pupils, of a maturer age, were employed, some in
drawing, others in modelling from a group intended to represent despair;
the group was composed of real figures,--two men, entirely naked,
standing upon an elevated platform. The stillness of the men was so
perfect, that they might have been mistaken for statues; but for that
hue of flesh and blood, which marble cannot imitate; and which at that
time, strongly reminded me of the painting of Murillo and Velasquez.
This drawing from nature has been lately revived; it was discontinued
for some time, owing to the great difficulty in finding persons who
were willing to assist the views of the institution; but lately, high
remuneration has produced its usual results. The drawings appeared to be
in general, executed with spirit and fidelity. In still another room, I
found fourteen students of agricultural design. The institution is
decidedly flourishing, and finds many disciples. In a large hall which I
did not see, because before I had satisfied my curiosity in the other
rooms, the hour of dismissal had arrived, there are no fewer than three
hundred pupils of a tenderer age, who are there instructed in first
principles, and in drawing separate parts of the human body. The school
of Valencia has always maintained its reputation, and from time to time,
has produced many great painters; among others Españoletto, Juanes, and
Ribalta; and among the living painters, Lopez, and the author of “the
famine in Madrid,” are both of this school.

I was not a long time in Valencia before I visited the cathedral, which
is a pleasing and elegant structure of Greek architecture in the
interior; but in many parts of the exterior, and in some of the
chapels, displaying the Gothic style. It contains abundance of fine
marble; and at the back of the choir, twelve bas reliefs in alabaster,
representing our Saviour’s passion, will engage for a while, the
attention of the passer-by. I noticed only three good pictures; one, a
descent from the cross, by Murillo, but not in his best style, “the
Adoration of the Shepherds,” said to be also by Murillo; and “the
Baptism of Christ,” by Juanes. In the sacristy, and in the
chapter-house, there are also two or three pictures by Ribalta, and one
by Juanes, of singular merit. I was also shewn some of the relics, an
arm of St. Luke, one of “the Innocents,” and a picture of the Virgin, by
St. Luke, who, if we are to credit the keepers of the relics in almost
every church, both in Spain and in Italy, has multiplied to a great
extent, these specimens of his art. The cup out of which our Saviour
drank at the last supper, is too precious, and too sacred, to be gazed
upon by heretical and unbelieving eyes.

After satisfying my curiosity in the cathedral, I ascended the tower.
The view of the plain is superb. Though not greener, or more beautiful,
than the vale of Murcia, its immense extent, and great populousness,
produce a more striking effect. I should guess the extent of the plain
to be little less than thirty miles long, and twenty wide; on three
sides it is bounded by the mountains, and on the fourth, by the sea; and
throughout the whole of this vast extent, there is not an acre that does
not produce its crop of grain, or vegetables, or rice. The olive, the
mulberry, the ilex, the algarrobo, the orange tree, and the palm, with
all of which the plain is thickly dotted, give to it the appearance of a
union of garden and orchard; but the populousness of the plain is even
more striking than its beauty and fertility. I counted in it no fewer
than forty-two towns and villages, and sixty-four spires of churches and
convents, exclusive of the sixty spires and towers of the city. The
plain, the towns and villages, the mountains, the sea, the city, and the
line of coast terminating in the hill of Murviedro (the ancient
Saguntum), formed altogether a prospect, that in richness and
animation, cannot be equalled in any other country.

The plain of Valencia produces every kind of crop that is congenial to
the climate; two and three crops in the year are taken from it; and the
greater part of the land returns as much as eight per cent. The rice
crops are among the most valuable in this plain; they are chiefly found
in the territory of Albufera, surrounding the lake of the same name; the
nearest part of which is distant from Valencia about two leagues. This
was the property first proposed to be granted to the Duke of Wellington;
but the Cortes of Valencia objected to it; and the estates near Granada
were substituted. The rice grounds produce only one crop in the year;
but the return is from eight to ten per cent. The rice is put into the
ground in June, and cut in September,--water is then let in upon the
ground,--and when the stubble rots, the land is ploughed up; and no
other manure is required. In Valencia and its neighbourhood, rice is in
universal use by all classes; but the produce is much greater than the
consumption of the plain; and the surplus is exported to the different
ports of Andalusia. The whole produce is estimated at twelve million of
arrobas (three hundred million of pounds), one half of which at least is
exported; and the average price may be taken at fourteen reals, about
3_s._ the arroba, nearly 1½_d._ per pound; but the best rice for
exportation is one dollar the arroba. The neighbourhood of the rice
grounds is extremely unhealthy, being pregnant with all those maladies
that originate in exhalations from stagnant water; for rice is sown in
water, grows in water, and rots in water.

The other chief produce of the plain of Valencia is the mulberry, once
the source of great riches, through the silk manufactories of the city.
This trade had been declining for many years; first, the French invasion
was the means of destroying the mulberry trees; and then, the loss of
the colonies, to which the silks of Spain enjoyed an exclusive trade,
gave the death blow to this source of wealth. The first blow was
remediable, for new plantations now cover the plain; but when these
began to be serviceable, the second severer blow rendered them almost
valueless. At present, the silk manufactories of Valencia do not employ
one twentieth part of the hands that were needed, previous to the loss
of the colonies; for these silks cannot compete in the foreign markets
with the manufacture of France or England. The only manufactured silk
that continues to bear a remunerating price, is the damask, and rich
silks used in religious ceremonies. The produce of silk from the plain
of Valencia, is computed to be about one million of pounds; by far the
greater part of which is exported in its raw state; and the average
price is from forty to fifty reals per pound (8_s._ to 10_s._).

The export of fruit from Valencia is large, particularly of raisins;
these are of two kinds, the muscatel, and an inferior raisin,--but
neither are equal to the raisin of Malaga. These, like the lexia of
Malaga, are used in England for puddings, confectionary, and wine; but
since the introduction of cape wine into England, the manufacture of
raisin wine has greatly decreased; and with it, in some degree, the
export of raisins from Spain. This, however, is still very large. In
the year 1829, 47,000 quintals of the best, and 42,000 quintals of the
inferior raisin, were exported from Valencia;--in all, eight million
five hundred and forty-four thousand pounds of 12 ounces. This export
was exclusively for the English market. These statements I make upon the
authority of Signor Trenor, the chief exporter of fruit from Valencia,
and who has access to the export tables. The export of figs, oil, and
wine, from the province and different ports of Valencia, is also
considerable, particularly the latter, which is called _Beni Carlo_, and
is exported from a town of the same name, lying considerably to the east
of Valencia. This wine is sent chiefly to _Cette_, from whence much of
it finds its way to Bourdeaux, by the canal of Languedoc, to give body
and colour to the clarets.

The huerta of Valencia belongs, for the most part, to great proprietors;
and many of the Grandees own estates in it. The Duke of Medina Cæli has
a revenue of seventy-five thousand dollars per annum from his estates in
the huerta. The families of Villa Hermosa and Benevento have almost as
much; and in fact, there are very few persons who labour upon their own
land. This is another explanation of the poverty that every where
obtrudes itself in the midst of abundance. The price of labour is
generally about three reals, and provisions are by no means remarkably
cheap, considering the situation and advantages of Valencia. Beef is
twelve quartos the pound of eighteen ounces, mutton seventeen quartos,
pork a little more; a wild duck costs 10_d._ These are found in immense
quantities on the lake of Albufera, a fowl costs 1_s._ or 1_s._ 3_d._
Wine, owing to the dues upon entry, costs in the city, three times its
price in country; but bread is the dearest article in Valencia,
notwithstanding the abundance of wheat: this is owing to a combination
among the bakers, who are well known to bribe the corregidor not to

There are few good pictures in Valencia; I looked for them in the
convents, but found scarcely any; and the only tolerable private
collection is up five pair of stairs, in a remote alley in the house of
a Peruquier. He has an extraordinary number of pictures,--some
originals, but more copies: one picture by Alonzo Cano, and another by
Juanes, are, however, sufficient of themselves, to repay the labour of
mounting to the gallery of the peruque maker.

Society in Valencia differs little from society in other Spanish cities
of the south. Many persons of high rank and great wealth, reside in
Valencia; but they live without any display, and many of them even
shabbily, sending to the wine shop for two bottles of wine, and to the
cook shop for a stew. Among the middle classes, the Tertulia is
universal; but its monotony is usually relieved by music and dancing. I
had good opportunities at Valencia, of judging of the manners of the
Valencian women; and I found among them, that agreeable vivacity--that
ready wit--that perfect freedom from affectation--and that obliging
disposition, which render them the most charming triflers in the world;
and the graces of music and dancing, in which they almost all excel,
greatly heighten the pleasure one finds in their society. But in
Valencia, more than in any other city, I was struck with the absence of
that mental cultivation, without which, vivacity, wit, and even good
temper, must fatigue, or become insipid. I need scarcely say how much I
was surprised, when one day showing a lady the beautiful sketch of the
Alhambra, from which the engraving in this work is taken, she said,
“what is the Alhambra?” It is a curious fact, that in Valencia society,
professional men are not to be found. Neither law nor medicine carry
with them any respectability in that city: I could obtain no explanation
of this; but perhaps there, as elsewhere, riches are the best passport
to society; and I was informed, that the fees paid to medical men are so
low, that not one physician in Valencia makes 100_l._ per annum.

On the Sunday before I left Valencia, I walked to the port, which is
situated about two miles distant from the city. Passing towards the
bridge, I met a religious procession issuing from one of the churches,
carrying with it the pope’s bull, published that day in every church of
the city, granting permission to eat animal food during the approaching
Lent: this resource of the papal exchequer, I should think fast
declining. A fine broad avenue leads in nearly a straight line, from
Valencia to its port, which is but an insignificant place, with a
harbour, suitable only for boats; and a roadstead very ill protected
against a south or south-west wind. The view from the end of the pier,
laid open the whole reach of that wide bay which lies between Cape St.
Antonio and the high lands in the neighbourhood of Propesa; but,
excepting the charm of a calm sea, there was little more to attract.
Between the port and the city, the country on both sides of the avenue
is laid out in vegetable gardens, for the consumption of the town. At
this season,--the month of December,--every kind of choice vegetable was
seen upon the table, particularly cauliflower, and green peas, which I
ate in the utmost perfection at Valencia.

The paseos of Valencia are scarcely proportionate to the greatness of
the city; but indeed, every road from Valencia is a paseo, because they
all lead through its beautiful plain, and are all skirted by trees,
close enough planted to afford a sufficient shade. The captain-general,
too, kindly throws open his garden, which is remarkable for its
profusion of flowers, its myrtle bowers, its acacias, and its
orange-trees, which I saw there for the first time as a wall-fruit. I
counted no fewer than sixteen in one cluster.

I have several times spoken of “Valencia tiles,” which, in all the
cities of the south of Spain, are used for floors; and are not only
highly ornamental, but most appropriate to the climate. In Valencia,
these tiles are, of course, more universally in use than elsewhere,
owing to their greater cheapness; but the best qualities are expensive,
even when bought at the manufactory. I saw there a very large
assortment, varying in price according to the design, from two to six
reals; and when it is considered that the squares are not more than nine
inches, it is obvious, that to cover an extensive suite of apartments
with these at 1_s._ a-piece, must be greatly more expensive than the
most sumptuous carpet. A good workman, employed in painting the tiles,
earns as much as a dollar per day.

I now prepared to leave Valencia. There is a diligence twice a week to
Barcellona; but, being desirous of visiting the site of the ancient
Saguntum (now Murviedro), I resolved to make only partial use of the
public conveyance. Accordingly, having hired a tartana, I left Valencia
after an early breakfast, and took the road to Murviedro. About half a
league from Valencia, stands the _Convento de los Reyes_, one of the
richest in Spain; and leaving my little vehicle at the gate, I applied
for leave to see the interior, which was immediately accorded by a very
civil, and even courteous monk, who accompanied me through the building.
In a former chapter, when speaking of the riches of the convents, I
referred to this, and mentioned the conversation that passed between the
friar and myself; I need not, therefore, repeat it here. The chief
distinction, however, of this convent, is the collection of manuscripts
which were bequeathed to it by the founder, who, along with his
magnificent endowment, enjoined that every day, and for ever, a mass
should be said for the repose of his soul. Among the manuscripts, I was
shown a fine copy of Livy, and many illuminated copies of the fathers;
but the chief treasure is the _Roman de la Rose_, of so early a date as
the ninth century. I was glad to see the friar show something like
enthusiasm in displaying these literary treasures.

Still continuing to pass through the rich vale, we gradually approached
the ancient Saguntum; and passing a thick olive wood, where I observed
two Franciscan friars tending a flock of sheep, we wound round the base
of the hill upon which the fortress stands, and entered the town. One
can scarcely be accused of affectation in saying that this spot, so
connected with the most momentous periods in Carthagenian and Roman
history, cannot be viewed with indifference; and I hastened to leave the
posada and ascend the hill. The hill of Saguntum, about a mile and a
half long, and less than a quarter of a mile broad, is now surmounted by
a modern fortress; but mingled with its walls, and covering other parts
of the summit of the hill, and strewing its sides, the ruins of the
ancient Saguntum are every where visible. The most entire among these
ruins, though quite a ruin, is the theatre; parts of the outer walls are
still standing, and the seats hewn out of the rock, are likely to
remain for ever. I ascended to the summit by a steep ascent, but by a
good road, constructed from the town to the fortress, where I was
admitted after a little hesitation. Even if there had been no vestige of
antiquity here, the view from the summit would have well repaid the
labour of the ascent; for the wide, rich, and populous plain of Valencia
stretched before me, bounded, forty miles distant, by the mountains of
San Felipe,--the city in its centre; the sea, almost washing the foot of
the hill, spread towards the south, bounded by the horizon; while to the
north and east, ruins spread over the fore-ground, backed by a range of
romantic mountains; and the coast of Valencia, stretched in a long curve
of green and wooded fertility, till no longer distinguishable from the
waters that laved it.

Whether owing to the length of time I lingered in the fortress, or my
narrow scrutiny of its walls and ramparts, or the rumours of revolution
and refugees, I somehow awakened the suspicions of the non-commissioned
officer on guard; and while looking into a small ruined building that
seemed half ancient, half modern, I was addressed by a soldier, who
said he had instructions to carry me before the governor. I of course
made no remonstrance, especially as I had satisfied my curiosity, and
suffered myself to be marched into the town, and to the governor’s
house, attended by a corporal, and followed by a soldier with his
shouldered musket. The governor had gone to the paseo, and although I
knew that dinner was ready at the posada, I was obliged to wait the
return of this great man. The soldiers desired me rather roughly to wait
in the open yard; but I took the liberty of knocking at the governor’s
door; and entering his house without leave, I seated myself upon his
sofa to wait his arrival. When he entered the room, I took the first
word, saying it was the most extraordinary thing in the world that an
Englishman, carrying a proper passport, should be marched through the
town like a felon, and detained for an hour, when his conduct had
afforded no ground of suspicion. The governor replied that the soldiers
supposed I was a Frenchman. He looked slightly at my passport, said he
was sorry I had been detained, and I made my bow, well pleased to
return to the posada and to dinner.

But although I had escaped from the governor, the alcalde thought
himself bound, as civil magistrate, to take some cognizance of a
stranger who had attracted the suspicion of the military powers.
Accordingly, while I was sitting after dinner, enjoying my dessert, and
a bottle of excellent wine, two visitors were announced; and the
alcalde, with a sabre buckled round his waist, and with some lesser
insignia of office, and accompanied by a friend, entered the apartment.
He laid aside his sabre, lighted his segar, and then explained the
object of his visit. Strict orders, he said, had been received at all
the fortified towns along the sea coast, to keep a watchful eye upon
strangers, particularly French; and as positive injunctions had been
given by the governor, that no stranger should be admitted within the
fortress, it was supposed I had bribed the soldiers. I answered, that in
the first place I was not a Frenchman; and that in the second place, I
had not bribed the soldiers, unless he considered it bribery to give a
peceta to the person who took the trouble to walk round the fortress
with me. The alcalde then said, that if I was not a Frenchman, that
altered the case; that he knew I had told the governor I was an
Englishman; but that the governor was so short-sighted, that he could
not read my designation, &c., in the passport; and that he (the alcalde)
would be glad to see it. With this request I of course immediately
complied; and the alcalde being satisfied from an inspection of my
passport, that I was, what I pretended to be, buckled on his sabre,
re-lighted his segar, which the importance of his mission had made him
forget; and with an apology for the intrusion, left me to relate the
history of his visit in the next room, where I heard his voice, along
with others, at least an hour longer.

I knew that between Murviedro and Tarragona there was not much to
interest the traveller; and I accordingly resolved to take advantage of
the diligence which passes through Murviedro before midnight, on its way
to Barcellona. I found a vacant place, and rolled onward as fast as
seven mules could carry me. I passed in the dark, through Nules, and
Villa Real; and through a country, as far as I was able to judge,
fertile and well wooded. At the earliest dawn we reached Castellon; but
it was too early to gain admittance to the church of Dominicans, or the
chapel of la Saugne, where there were once, and perhaps still are, some
good pictures by Ribalta, who was a native of this town. By travelling
six hours in the dark, I had also missed the aqueduct of Almasora,
interesting to antiquarians. But this aqueduct being a tunnel almost the
whole of its length, cannot possess any of those attractions which are
allied with the majestic, or the picturesque; and which are the chief
sources of interest to those who do not make antiquities a study.

From Castellon we passed through a fine country, and between immense
fences of aloes, to Venicasi,--an inconsiderable place with a fine
church,--and not long after, we reached Cropesa, whose castle, crowning
the summit of a high rock, and rising out of woods, overlooks the sea.
The castle of Cropesa, which gives its name to a military order, is now
a ruin, having been entirely destroyed by the French. A country, but
partially cultivated, lies between Venicasi and Torreblanca. The rich
carpet of aromatic plants, and the luxuriance of the trees, shew what
the soil is capable of; but the temporal, as well as spiritual
sovereignty exercised by the Bishop of Tortosa, falls so heavily upon
the produce of land, that it is not able to support its burdens; and
therefore lies for the most part uncultivated. Torreblanca, a poor
little place, is undeserving of notice; but Alcala, which lies two
leagues behind it, is a pretty town, remarkable for a magnificent
church, and for the number of its clergy. The dinner at the posada
appeared so little inviting,--the soup covered with oil, and the stew
fragrant with garlic,--that I preferred a stroll through the town, and a
loaf of bread.

The drive along the sea coast, from Alcala to Venicarlo, is singularly
pleasing; the road is generally close to the sea, which is not here, as
we are accustomed to see it in northern countries, bounded by barren
sands, or chalky cliffs; but is fringed by the finest verdure, and
often throws its little impotent waves almost to the roots of the lovely
Algarrobos that bend over it. The sun, too, was getting low; the sea
glittered beneath it, and the crowded trunks of the dark green trees,
were all bright in its beams. Venicarlo, I have already mentioned as
famous for its exported wines; but there is also a wine made for
consumption, which I tasted as we changed mules, and found it so
excellent, that I filled a small wine-skin with it, which I borrowed
from the conductor. The chief produce of the country between Venicarlo
and the river Ebro, after the vineyards cease, is the Algarrobo. In this
part of Spain, the bean is bought of the owner at sixteen reals three
quarters the quintal; and I was informed, that a good bearing tree will
produce about four quintals and a half: this, however, I can scarcely
credit. The produce of a single tree would, in that case, be worth
15_s._; and a forest of Algarrobos would therefore be the most
productive of all lands. It was dusk before we reached the confines of
Catalunia, and the bank of the Ebro,--here a very different stream from
that which I had crossed at Miranda, where it divides old Castile from
Biscay. The river, at Amposta, is about three hundred yards wide,--less
than might be expected from a river which runs so long a course as the
Ebro,--and within so short a distance of the sea. We crossed in a boat,
and walked to the venta, which is about a mile distant from the bank.
Here we remained all night; but the entrance to Catalunia was rather
discouraging. Although the diligence was expected, no supper had been
provided, nor was there any thing in the house that could be converted
into a supper. I was forced to be contented with a cup of chocolate; and
the night being cold, and the fire bad, I was glad to escape to bed.

We were now in Catalunia, which in its accommodations, in the industry
of its inhabitants, and in the perfect security with which it may be
travelled in every part, has the advantage over all the other provinces
of Spain, with the exception, perhaps, of Biscay. It is not, however,
more, but perhaps less interesting to the traveller, for these very
reasons; if the accommodations on the road are better, they are more
like other countries, and therefore less novel; if there be no danger
from robbers, there is less excitement; and as for the industry of the
Catalunians, industry, although always a pleasing spectacle, possesses
no novelty. Catalunian industry does not arise from any superior
education, by which men obtain a clearer insight into their moral
duties, and higher views of the human character; on the contrary, no
Spanish peasant is more ignorant than a Catalunian boor; none are more
enslaved by the priesthood; and in no other province, have the
inhabitants shewn so much, their veneration for the apostolical party
both in church and state. The secret of Catalunian industry, is the same
as that which has covered with fertility many an Alpine valley in
Switzerland,--self-interest. Give to the labourers of the earth an
interest,--a property in the land which they cultivate, and the world
would become one wide extended garden. The land upon which the
Catalunian labours, is either his own, or held by him upon a lease,
sometimes for lives, sometimes in perpetuity, with a fine upon
succession or alienation; but at all events, for so long a period as to
invest the tenant with a real interest in the property which he

From the Venta, where we slept, to Tarragona, the road winds among
rugged hills, along the sea shore. I noticed many beautiful heaths by
the way side, but the soil is not rich enough to repay cultivation. At a
venta close by the sea, called Hospitalet, we stopped to breakfast. Soon
after, we entered the plain of Tarragona, almost vieing in fertility
with the huertas of the more southern provinces, and reached the city to
a late dinner.

I had expected much from the antiquities of Tarragona; but I confess
they disappointed me. They possess few of those features which strike or
delight the traveller who is not professedly an antiquarian. When a
Roman amphitheatre is shewn to me, I always think of the amphitheatre of
Nismes; if I look upon an aqueduct, I see placed beside it the Pont de
Gard. The remains of the amphitheatre are little more than visible; the
aqueduct, though fine, is certainly not comparable to that which I have
named; and the tower of Scipio is merely the tower of Scipio. I was
greatly surprised at the ignorance of the inhabitants respecting their
antiquities. The cicerone whom I first engaged, scarcely knew of their
existence; and one group of priests whom I addressed, and another group
of respectable looking men, could give me no information upon the

The cathedral of Tarragona is worth a visit, particularly the court and
cloisters, which are surrounded by innumerable pillars. The canon who
accompanied me, said they were Roman, but upon one I noticed a
representation of the crucifixion, and upon another the last
supper,--and upon others I could trace Gothic designs. It is possible
that some Roman pillars found elsewhere, may have been conveyed to this
court. The ecclesiastic who walked round the cathedral with me, spoke in
earnest language of the decline of piety; and so deeply did the old man
lament this that, as he laid his hand upon his heart, I saw the tears
start into his eyes.

I was delighted with the posada at Tarragona; the posadero, an Italian,
put forth his utmost skill in cookery, and seeing that I relished the
wine he set before me, which was really excellent, he brought a pint
bottle of choice wine, which he had had eleven years in his cellar. It
proved perfect nectar, and the owner was quite charmed with the praises
I bestowed upon it.

I found it impossible to understand the Catalunian dialect, which is
indeed almost a distinct language,--this is a difficulty that is felt in
all the provinces. The dialects of Biscay, Andalusia, Valencia, and
Catalunia, are all different from each other, and distinct from the
Castilian; the better classes in all the provinces, of course,
understand and speak Castilian,--with certain imperfections in
pronunciation, such as in Andalusia, where _th_ is used in place of _s_,
which gives a softness, but an indistinctness to the language; but the
lower classes, the persons met with in the ventas, and the muleteers,
often speak a dialect that is altogether unintelligible.

I was much pleased at the port of Tarragona, with the operation of
sorting the nuts, which form an important article of export. In one of
the principal warehouses I saw from two hundred to two hundred and fifty
girls, seated upon stools, at a table which extended the whole length of
the room; heaps of nuts lay upon the floor, and men were constantly
filling baskets with these and emptying them upon the table. The girls
drew the nuts towards them by handfuls, and distinguishing, as if by an
instinctive knowledge, the empty from the full nuts, they swept the good
into a basket between their knees, and the empty, they dropped into a
basket at their feet. Nothing can exceed the rapidity with which these
operations are performed; it is really a busy and an animated scene; the
labour employs the hands only, for it is by the touch the quality of the
nut is distinguished; and the mind being disengaged, the constant
prattle and the frequent laughter, give to the scene an appearance
almost of a party of pleasure.

Tarragona is the chief exporting port of Catalunia. Its exports consist
of nuts, almonds, wines, and brandy. The nuts sent to the English market
are known by the name of Barcellona nuts; but they are neither grown
near, nor exported from Barcellona. They are grown more in the interior
of the province, and are all exported from Tarragona. The average export
of nuts from Tarragona is from twenty-five to thirty thousand bags.
There are four bags to a ton; and they were placed on board last autumn
at 17_s._ 6_d._ per bag. The whole of this export is for the English
market. The export of almonds is about twelve thousand bags. From five
thousand to five thousand five hundred pipes of wine are exported from
Tarragona, to Rio Janiero, the Brazils, Guernsey, and Jersey; and of
brandy, about four hundred pipes are exported, chiefly for Cette, and
Cadiz, from which places, it finds its way into the wine butts of
Bourdeax and Xeres. Cork wood, and cork bark, also form a small export
from Tarragona.

I left Tarragona for Barcellona in a small carriage, something better
than a tartana, and two mules, which trotted all the way. The country is
chiefly a wine country; and the road winds among hills, covered in the
lower parts with vines, and higher up, with pine. Numerous villages,
engaged in the wine and brandy trade, are scattered along the shore, but
all of these have considerably suffered from the loss of the colonies.
After passing Vendrill we left the sea coast; and about three leagues
from Barcellona, entered a charming country, covered with romantic
hills,--clothed with fir, and embosoming numerous small and beautiful
valleys; and emerging from these, I found myself in the Huerta of
Barcellona. The approach to Barcellona is less striking than the
approaches either to Murcia or Valencia; nor does the city itself
present so imposing an appearance; but the commerce upon the road,
greatly exceeded what I had seen in the neighbourhood of any other city
in Spain. I reached the gate before dusk, and alighted at the Fonda de
las quatros Naciones.



     General Character of Barcellona, and its Population; Paseos,
     Ramparts, and Fortifications; the Conde de España; his Policy;
     Interview with the Conde; his Character and Government; Anecdotes
     of his Government; Political Feeling in Barcellona; Churches and
     Convents; the Opera; Monjuich; Barcellonetta; Decrease of Trade
     with England, and its Causes; General Trade of Barcellona; an
     Execution; the Priesthood and the People; a Miracle in 1827; Prices
     of Provisions; Visit to Montserrat; Journey from Barcellona to the
     Frontier; Delightful Scenery; Proofs of Catalunian Industry; Gerona
     Figueras; the Pyrenees, Reflexions.

A glance at Barcellona is sufficient to show, that we approach the
frontier. We no longer see a purely Spanish population. Spanish hats are
scarcely to be seen, nor is the mantilla altogether indispensible. In
the buildings too, we perceive a difference; the streets are wider, and
few of the houses are adorned with balconies. I thought too, but this
might be fancy, that I could perceive a different expression in the
countenances of the people. Of one thing I am certain, that although the
women of Barcellona have not perhaps the grace of the Andalusians; their
claims to beauty are stronger: their features are more regular, their
complexions are clearer, their hair less coarse, and their forms
slighter: still it must be admitted, that there is more witchery hid in
the eye of an Andalusian, than perhaps in all the separate charms of a
woman of Barcellona. No one, however, can walk along the streets,
without perceiving in the female population, sufficient evidence of
being no longer among a people exclusively Spanish. I found another
peculiarity in the aspect of the Barcellona population--a peculiarity
however, that refers only to the time I visited Barcellona. No caps were
to be seen: these, as well as grey hats, were forbidden, immediately
upon the revolution breaking out in France. For my own part, I continued
to wear my grey hat while in Barcellona, without being challenged; but I
have good reason to believe, that this forbearance arose from the
authorities knowing that I had the honour of being acquainted with the
Conde de España, the ruler, and dictator of Catalunia. But the strange,
and gaudy dress of the Catalunian peasantry is the most striking
peculiarity in the appearance of the Barcellona population: all wear
their red caps, which hang at least a foot down their backs; and with
their crimson girdles, and gaudy coloured woollen plaids, they give a
peculiar grotesqueness to the appearance of the Rambla--the principal
street of Barcellona--which is almost always crowded.

Barcellona is particularly fortunate in its promenades; the Rambla is
scarcely inferior to the Boulevards of Paris; and there is a charming
walk round the whole of the ramparts; every moment the view changes,
sometimes looking towards the huerta, and sometimes towards the
mountains, with the villages, and country houses of the merchants lying
under them; sometimes towards the hill and fortress of Monjuich; and
sometimes towards the sea; and that part of the promenade which is above
the sea, is without exception, the finest promenade in any city I have
ever seen. Barcellona would be better without its fortifications; for
owing to them, the city has been confined within too narrow bounds; and
the whole space within the walls, is filled up with houses, in place of
(as in other Spanish cities) gardens mingling with the buildings, and
adding both to the beauty and the healthfulness of the place. The
fortifications of Barcellona are of little real use to it. I was
informed by the commander of the citadel, that the city could not
maintain a siege of one week, against a sufficiently well appointed
army; nor could the occupation of it be maintained for one day, if the
citadel or Monjuich were in possession of an enemy.

The day after my arrival in Barcellona, I was presented to the Conde de
España, a man who has made himself to be respected by some, and feared
by all; owing to the promptness, decision, and tyranny of the measures
by which he has from time to time put down the most formidable
insurrections; and owing also to the influence which he has more than
once shewn he has the power of wielding, over the determinations, and
the actions of the king. No man has more enemies than the Conde de
España, both at court, and in the province which he governs; and
constant attempts are made in the highest quarters, to remove him from
his government, and from the confidence of his royal master. The
Archbishop of Toledo is his bitterest enemy, and has never forgotten the
insult he put upon the dignitaries of the church, in the year 1827; but
the king knows that whatever his faults may be, they are faults that
prove him to be a zealous and faithful servant; and the fittest man to
govern the turbulent Catalunians; and when upon a late occasion, the
Duke del Infantado strongly urged upon the king, the unpopularity of the
Conde de España, and the propriety of removing him, his majesty cut the
matter short by saying, “I wish I had a Conde de España in every
province;” one of the most sensible things the king ever said, if he
wishes to preserve his authority.

The Conde de España is not very easy of access; he is seldom seen,
though his presence is always felt; his system of government is secret;
and in the province of Catalunia, it may be said to have come in place
of the inquisition,--with instruments as numerous and as masked, with
power as unanswerable, with measures as prompt, and sometimes as
unjustifiable, and with a bolder heart and a stronger head to direct the
machine. It was a mere chance whether I should be admitted to an
audience: indeed, no one in Barcellona knows, whether he be in the city
or not. The parade takes place before his residence, and the guards are
mounted at his gate every morning, but this is no proof that he is
within. The Conde was at home however; and the names of his Britannic
Majesty’s Consul, and English gentleman, were passed inward. We walked
into an anti-room where a Spanish general, and several other persons
were waiting. How long they might have preceded us I cannot tell, but in
a few minutes, we were informed that the Conde would see us; and we were
conducted through a long suite of magnificent apartments, and ushered by
an aide-de-camp, into a little mean dirty parlour, without a bit of
matting to cover the brick floor, the walls white washed, a wood fire
almost burnt out, and the furniture consisting of one small table, and
two or three chairs. There sat the Conde de España, writing, or, at
least, signing his name to a number of papers. He immediately rose, and
received us with the utmost curtesy, made us sit down, and asked me some
particulars of my journey, and in what state I had found Spain. I told
him, what I really believed to be true, that Spain was at that time, the
most tranquil country in Europe; and that I had no where found the
slightest indication of commotion. This reply was no doubt gratifying:
the Conde ordered wine and segars, and the conservation took a more
general turn. He spoke of France, and said he considered it hastening
towards republicanism. He then spoke of himself, his conduct, and his
enemies; and said, that as a private individual, he always acted justly,
and morally right; but as a public man, he clothed himself with a
garment of policy,--an ingenious, but not a new apology for the
commission of iniquity. I remained about a quarter of an hour; and when
I took leave, he did me the honour to offer me the freedom of the royal
box at the opera; and also to invite me to his country seat, where he
said he spent much of his time, for that to be respected, (he meant
feared) one must not be seen too often. The Conde appears to be about
fifty, he is rather under the middle size, and somewhat lusty; his head
and face are large, and his eyes expressive of much. One may read in
them, violent passions, penetration, reflection, and cunning.

The character of the Conde de España has been variously represented. All
admit, however, that he is a man of most determined and fearless
character; and that Catalunia, which, to be preserved in tranquillity in
these perilous times, requires to be ruled with a rod of iron, could not
be entrusted to any man better qualified to wield it. When he first took
upon him the government of the province, he committed many oppressive
acts; some of which I have related in the chapter entitled “State of
Parties,” consisting, for the most part, in banishment without trial;
and even in some instances, carried so far as secret execution. This
was soon after the fall of the constitution; and some apologists of the
Conde excuse these proceedings upon the plea of political necessity; an
expression that, in my mind, involves a sophism, because I do not
believe that the moral government of the universe can ever include in it
a necessity for doing evil.

The government of the Conde de España has sanctioned many lesser acts of
inquisitorialness and oppression. Several despotic orders were issued
immediately upon the French revolution breaking out: ever since that
time, no greater number than four persons are permitted to dine together
in a coffee-house; nor are politics allowed to form the subject of
conversation in any house open to the public; and it is believed, that
the Conde is not entirely ignorant of the conversation that passes in
many private houses also. He has even had the boldness to interfere with
the usages of the church, by interdicting the celebration of the
midnight mass in the cathedral, at Christmas; probably, because he
disliked the assemblage of so great a number of persons during the
night: but, of course, mass was permitted to be celebrated in a more
private way. The strictness of the Conde extends also to morals: all
houses of ill-fame are suppressed, and instances occurred, even while I
was in Barcellona, of inquisitorial strictness in more private matters
relating to morals. Dining one day in company, one of the gentlemen at
table received a message while at dinner, which he immediately attended
to, and withdrew; I saw a smile pass round the table, and I afterwards
learnt, that the occurrence was not unusual. The gentleman had a
_liaison_ with a _chére amie_, who lived in lodgings provided by him;
but this the police would not permit; and, to escape their interference,
these lodgings were changed every few days; and every few days he was
questioned as to his secret, and obliged to pay a fine. This was the act
of the police; and, although the police is not within the department of
the Conde, who is captain-general, not civil governor of the province,
yet it is well known that both the military and civil government are in
his hands; and that the civil authorities do not move a step without
his permission. Along with this strict surveillance of morals, the
Conde’s own morals are irreproachable, and he neglects no opportunity of
showing his regard for religion; he is present at all its public
ceremonials; and assumes an air of the deepest devotion. This is
doubtless to please the party of Carlists, who might otherwise prove
dangerous. But with all these inquisitorial and tyrannical acts, even
his enemies admit, that he is the only man who could have kept Catalunia
tranquil: and peaceable-minded persons, however they may condemn the
means by which the quiet of the province has been preserved, are
satisfied with a government under which they feel a security against
civil commotion.

It is a great mistake to suppose that the Conde de España is attached to
the apostolical party; quite the reverse: he is a decided,
thorough-going royalist, who will exert himself to the very uttermost
for the preservation of the king’s government; and come when it may, a
revolution in favour of either Carlists or liberal, the deadliest stand
against it will be made in Catalunia, if the Conde de España be then
captain-general. But, that he is no Carlist, is evident from his conduct
in 1827, when he put that affront upon the bishops, which I have already
said has been one means of securing the enmity of the Archbishop of
Toledo. The circumstances are as follow:--In the latter part of 1827,
when the Catalunian insurrection in favour of the Carlists took place,
and when fifty thousand men in arms threatened the province with
anarchy, and Barcellona with capture, the Conde de España represented to
the king the necessity of his appearing in Catalunia; and after his
majesty had arrived, he, by advice of the Conde, called a convocation of
bishops, ostensibly to consult respecting the state of the province. The
Conde well knew the connexion of the bishops with the plot; and was in
possession of documents that proved their guilt. The Conde, as
representing his majesty in that province, or by express delegation,
presided; and all the bishops being assembled, he addressed them to this
effect, if not almost in these words:--“My Lord Bishop,” said he, taking
a paper from his pocket, and unfolding it, “you know this,”--and
turning to another, and shewing another paper,--“and you, my Lord, know
this,” and so on, producing documents that connected every one present
with the conspiracy; “and now, gentlemen,” said he, addressing the
assembly, “you perceive that I hold in my hands proofs of treason; you
who have fomented this rebellion, can put it down; and I have
instructions from his majesty, if the rebellion be not put down within
forty-eight hours,--I am sorry for the alternative, gentlemen,--but my
instructions are peremptory, to hang every one of you; and it will be a
consolation for you to know, that the interests of the church shall not
suffer, for the king has already named successors to the vacant sees.”
This reasoning was effectual; the bishops knew the man they had to deal
with; and within forty-eight hours, the insurrection was at an end. A
man who threatens to hang a bench of bishops, cannot surely be called an

At the same period, but before the council had been called, when Gerona
was closely pressed by the insurgents, the bishop dispatched a letter
to the Conde de España, saying, that it would be necessary to give up
the city to the besiegers. The Conde, who very well knew how the
inclinations of the bishop lay, and what were the defences of the city,
but who also knew the influence possessed by him over the inhabitants,
who might force the troops to give it up, wrote, in reply to the bishop,
that his lordship being upon the spot, was no doubt best able to judge
of the state of the city; and adding, that along with the letter which
he had sent to the bishop, he had also sent instructions to Gerona, that
when the enemy entered the gate, the first thing they should see, might
be the gibbet of a traitor bishop.

It is generally understood that, but for the Conde de España, the French
army would not have evacuated Spain; and that the king was brought down
to Catalunia with this ultimate object. When the Conde was made
captain-general, he refused to reside in Barcellona, because it was in
possession of the French, and he established himself at Tarragona. He
then advised the king to pay a visit to Barcellona, and obtained
permission to write to the French authorities there to prepare for his
majesty’s reception. To this the French general replied, that he would
receive the king, but not any guards; and the Conde, who knew that such
would be the reply, told the king that he was insulted; the king got
angry, and refused to go to Barcellona, and even left Catalunia. The
French general now suspected he had committed an error, and he sent for
instructions; an ambassador was despatched in consequence to the king,
who was then at Valencia, requesting to know what were his majesty’s
wishes. The Conde de España had been busily employed in the meanwhile,
priming Ferdinand to act with spirit; and when the king was asked what
his wishes were, he replied that he wished the French army to evacuate
Spain. The only pretext for the occupation of Spain, was to defend the
king; and the king declaring that he wanted no defence, this pretext was
at an end.

The Conde de España is of French extraction, but at an early age he
entered into the service of Spain, and by his talents and zeal, he has
raised himself to the highest honour that could have been conferred
upon him,--in having received for his title the name of the country that
conferred it. The count dislikes, or affects to dislike, every thing
French, and likes, or affects to like, every thing English. He speaks
English fluently, and few things are more disagreeable to him than to be
addressed in the French language.

With respect to political feeling in Barcellona, I may say that, among
the upper ranks, there is a secret wish for some change,--for a milder
government, less tyranny, and a free press; but there is no feeling in
favour of what is called a constitution. At the time the French
revolution broke out, there was naturally much excitement in Barcellona;
but I found the universal opinion of the best informed classes to be,
that the state of moral and political feeling among the Catalunians must
prevent the progress of any movement in the province; and that no
attempt in favour of greater liberalism has the smallest probability of
success on that side of Spain, unless by foreign interference. When I
was in Barcellona, there were many Carlists prisoners in the city; and
before I left it thirty prisoners were brought from Zaragosa. It was
generally thought that if the Conde de España had a _carte blanche_ as
to the disposal of them, many ran a risk of visiting Ceuta.

The public buildings of Barcellona are not deserving of much notice,
with the exception of the custom-house and the cathedral. The cathedral
is light and beautiful, in the late Gothic stile, with finely painted
windows, and a choir of wood workmanship of singular delicacy. The
convents, with the exception of the Dominicans, are without any
attraction. In that convent there were formerly some curious records in
the cloisters, of the heretics who had been burnt, from the year 1489 to
the year 1726; but these the monks have thought proper to remove. I saw
nothing in the convent to attract attention, excepting a picture of a
certain saint who came from Majorca to Barcellona in six hours, with no
other boat than his cloak. Great part of this convent was destroyed in
the war of independence; and the monks are now erecting a large and
handsome building for the reception of their library. The only other
religious edifice worth a visit, is the church of the Jesuits, which is
remarkable for the beauty of its marbles.

The opera house is also a respectable building, and the interior is
large and handsome. I several times availed myself of the _entreé_ to
the royal box, presented to me by the Conde de España. The Conde is
never seen in it; but it is always lighted in the interior, by elegant
candelabras, and centinels stand at the door, as if ready for the
reception of royalty, or its representative. The opera of Barcellona
enjoys a considerable reputation among the European operas; and the
inhabitants are passionately attached to it: but last year, it was
considered below its usual strength. The whole of the boxes in the
house, with the exception of five, are private boxes; and cost 50_l._,
55_l._, and 60_l._, according to their situation, for the season. This
impresses one with no mean idea of the inhabitants of a provincial city,
who can afford to rent the whole of the boxes in a large opera house, at
so considerable a price. Single places too, in what is called the
_lunetta_--a row of seats all round the front, and a little beneath the
level of the boxes, are taken by the season; and it is rarely that one
of these remains unlet after its commencement. These places cost fifty
dollars, and many of the best seats in the pit, are also let for the
season, at forty dollars. The first bass is paid the sum of two thousand
five hundred dollars for the season, the first tenor three thousand
dollars, the principal female singer two thousand four hundred dollars,
the second two thousand dollars; and a benefit is worth eight or nine
hundred dollars; for, upon these occasions, besides the free places,
presents are made by proprietors of boxes.

While at Barcellona, I walked one morning to the hill and fortress of
Monjuich, accompanied by Colonel Barry, then commandant of the citadel.
I believe that if sufficiently provisioned, the fortress is considered
to be impregnable. There are about two hundred brass cannon mounted, and
an immense number of unmounted guns, and a large garrison. In descending
the hill, and making a circuit towards the sea, some large stones with
Hebrew characters upon them, were pointed out to me; but the
inscriptions are now illegible. It is believed that this was the
burying place of the Jews, and the name Monjuich seems to favour the

From Monjuich, after walking through the citadel, which is even a more
perfect fortification than the other, though by situation, less strong,
I continued my walk to Barcellonetta, the port of the city: the
buildings are modern, and ugly; all built upon the same plan, and all
constructed of red brick. A massive breakwater defends the entrance of
the harbour to the south; it is already four hundred yards in length,
and four hundred yards more are to be added to it. It is forty feet
broad, and thirty feet high. There were few vessels of any size in the
harbour, excepting two Spanish sloops of war, and a few foreign brigs.
The foreign trade of Barcellona is reduced almost to nothing;
particularly the trade with England. About thirty years ago, seven
hundred British vessels entered the port in one year. Since then, the
number has rapidly decreased. In the year 1825, fifty-three British
vessels entered the port, and in the year 1830, only eleven. This
decrease in the trade with England, is owing to several special causes.
One of these, is the non-importation of English hardware, which used
formerly to supply almost exclusively, the Spanish markets. This trade
has changed its direction; and in place of hardware of British
manufacture, it is now the manufacture of Germany that is used: they say
it is much cheaper, and nearly equal in quality. Another cause of the
decline of commerce between England and Barcellona, is a change in the
direction of the fish trade. The Swedish and Norwegian fish are now
preferred by the retail dealers, because, when steeped, they imbibe
water, which the cod of Newfoundland do not; and, as they are sold by
weight, the dealer finds his profit in this preference. Besides this
preference, which has deprived England of an important branch of trade,
the fish trade of Barcellona has suffered a general decline ever since
the year 1826. At that time, a house in Madrid (Shea) obtained a
monopoly of this trade in the Catalunian ports; and immediately, with a
short-sighted policy, additional duties were laid on. From that time,
the general import declined; and, although the duties have since been
lightened, the trade has not revived; because, when fish was scarce and
dear, the convents, where it is chiefly consumed, made use of vegetables
in its stead, and have now become accustomed to this change in diet.
Still another branch of trade which is lost to the commerce of England,
is cotton. The Catalunians have discovered that it is cheaper to import
cotton direct from Pernambuco, than to take it by way of England.

All these are _changes in the direction_ of the commerce of Barcellona,
operating upon the trade with England; but, some of them not affecting
the _extent_ of Barcellona commerce; nor, with the exception of cotton,
connected with its export trade. But the export trade of Barcellona has
almost entirely ceased. This, which consisted in silk and cotton
manufactured goods for the Spanish colonies, is now at an end, with the
exception of the small quantity still sent to the Havannah; and the
export of shoes also, which employed in their manufacture at Barcellona,
before the loss of the colonies, upwards of two thousand hands, has
also entirely ceased.

I had an opportunity, while at Barcellona, of being present at an
execution--the first I had seen in Spain. The man had been condemned to
the galleys for some previous offence, and had murdered one of his
fellow-convicts; and, although this is not an agreeable spectacle, yet,
as in every country, public spectacles, whether agreeable or the
reverse, exhibit some peculiarities either of character or of manners, I
resolved to be present. Three o’clock was the hour appointed; and all
that morning, as well as great part of the day before, there was an
unceasing noise of little bells, carried through the streets by boys in
scarlet cloaks, with the bell in one hand, and a box in the other,
collecting alms to purchase masses in the different convents and
churches, for the soul of the felon. There is another thing worth
relating, connected with the last days of a felon in Spain. A society,
called the Benevolent Society, undertakes to soften the last three days
of his existence, and to diminish the terrors of death, by the singular
device of increasing the pleasure of life. During these three days, he
may have every luxury he desires; he may feast upon the daintiest
viands, drink the choicest wines; and thus learn, in quitting the world,
new reasons for desiring to remain in it.

I obtained a good situation, close to the military who guarded the
ground. Besides the platform, there was erected, at a little distance,
an altar, upon which was placed an image of the Virgin and Child; and
opposite to this, a cross, with an image of Christ extended upon it. I
was much struck with the procession; the unfortunate felon was
accompanied by upwards of two thousand masked penitents, who looked more
like a train of devils than human beings; a black cloak entirely
enveloped the body and the head, holes only being left for the eyes and
mouth; a black pyramidical cap, at least eighteen inches high, crowned
the head; and each carried in his hand a long white wand. This strange
escort was the result of an indulgence published, and addressed to all
persons conscious of secret crimes, and penitent; granting its benefits
to such of them as submitted to the humiliation of accompanying the
felon to the scaffold. Two accomplices of the felon also accompanied
him, that they might benefit by seeing him hanged; and a friar of the
Franciscan order, was his spiritual guide.

After having been led to the altar, and then below the cross, where he
repeated a number of prayers, he ascended the platform attended by the
friar, who carried a large cross in his hand. When the offices of
religion were concluded, the man wished to address the people, and twice
began “Mis Hermanos,” but his voice was instantly drowned by shouts from
a crowd at some distance behind the platform, no doubt so instructed;
and when he found that he could not be heard, he gave the signal, and
the executioner immediately leapt upon his shoulders, and swung off the
platform; while the friar continued to speak, and extend the cross
towards him, long after he was insensible to its consolations. The
spectacle concluded by the friar ascending to the summit of the ladder,
and delivering a sermon, in which he did not omit the exhortation of
contributing largely towards masses for the soul of the deceased. The
exhortation was not without its effect; the little bells immediately
began to ring, and hundreds obeyed the invitation to piety.

Barcellona has always been celebrated for the zeal of its priesthood,
and for the pains taken by them to hoodwink the people; and even in
these days, religious bigotry is far more prevailing than might be
expected in a city so near the frontier; and which has had so much
connexion with foreign nations. In another chapter, I related a
circumstance that occurred eight years ago, when a peasant was condemned
to ten years imprisonment in the citadel, because he said unthinkingly,
that an image of some virgin was made of wood; and so late as the year
1827, another very flagrant example of religious superstition, and of
the use made of it even in these days by the clergy, occurred at
Barcellona. There was in one of the churches, or convents, an image of a
Virgin, called I believe, the Virgin of St. Pilar, and this image was
black. It was at this time, that an outcry had been raised against the
liberals, who were called Negroes; (negro is the Spanish for black) and
the rumour got abroad, that the negroes went to this church, to pay
adoration to the Black Virgin. Such being the case, the priests and
friars ventured upon and concerted a miracle which might have the double
effect of strengthening the faith of the people, and of bringing the
negroes into still greater discredit. One morning it was publicly
announced, that the Virgin of St. Pilar, had changed from black to
white; and the good Catholics of Barcellona were invited to go and see
the miracle with their own eyes; and they went by thousands. Let it not
be forgotten that this happened only three years ago.

I have to add to these notices of Barcellona and its inhabitants, the
price of provisions. Beef sells at thirty-two quartos per pound, of
thirty-six ounces. Mutton, thirty-five quartos; scarcely cheaper than in
England. Pork, twenty quartos per pound of sixteen ounces; a good fowl
costs twelve reals; and a pair of chickens the same--both as dear as in
England. A turkey, thirty-two to forty reals. The best bread, seven
quartos (2_d._) per pound. The wages of artizans are, in general, 2_s._
6_d._ per day; and field labour about 1½_d._, without including

Before finally quitting Barcellona, I resolved to pay a visit to
Monserrat,--a place that has derived remarkable notoriety from the
singularity of its situation. I accordingly left Barcellona at the early
hour of four, in a galera, which passed within half a league of the foot
of the mountain. The country between Barcellona and Martorrel is the
same as I have described on my journey from Tarragona; and from
Martorrel to the foot of Monserrat, the land is divided between corn and
wine; it is every where populous, and every where exhibits proofs of
Catalunian industry. The approach to Monserrat from this side, is not
remarkably striking, owing to the elongated form of the mountain; but as
we approach nearer, its height, and singular conformation, become
sufficiently imposing. After quitting the galera, I walked to the small
village that lies at the foot of the mountain; and having got some
chocolate, and a guide, I began the ascent. A zig-zag path, of not less
than a league and a half, leads up the mountain to the convent, which is
not seen until at an abrupt turn it is discovered lying on a platform,
in a recess of the rocks which rise in perpendicular cliffs directly
behind it. The view from this platform is wild and imposing; towards the
north, a long line of snowy summits marks the Pyrennean boundary of the
Peninsula; towards Barcellona, the Mediterranean is seen beyond the rich
and diversified country that lies between the mountains and the sea;
while the mountain itself,--its lower part encircled by a belt of
wood,--its grotesque range of rocky peaks above, and its convent, and
hermitages, are not the least striking features of the landscape. In the
interior of the convent I saw little deserving of notice; the occupation
of it by the French, and other causes, have left it nearly a ruin; but
its ruins shew its former extent. The architecture of the building is
mixed; part of it is Gothic; while later parts were built in the time of
Julius II., and of Philip III. There were formerly seventy monks in the
convent; but now, it is inhabited by thirty only. I saw in the
refectory, a pilgrim who had come all the way from St. Jago in the
Asturias, and who was going to Rome. By the rules of the convent, a
pilgrim is fed three days within it. He was a man past the middle age,
and was rather reserved in his communications; not appearing willing to
tell any more than where he had come from, and whither he was going. His
habit was covered with scallops and little images.

Monserrat is not the interesting spot it was formerly. The numerous
hermitages were then tenanted, and the convent possessed many curious
and valuable things; but the French carried away the latter, and
destroyed the former; and now, Monserrat is worthy of a visit only on
account of its situation, the view enjoyed from it, and the singularity
of its aspect and conformation. The mountain is said to be four thousand
feet high; and the platform of the convent is two thousand five hundred
feet above the Mediterranean; the lower parts are treeless, with the
exception of a few scattered and stunted ilex; but its acclivities are
covered with a thick carpet of box, juniper, rosemary, and a thousand
fragrant shrubs.

I returned to the inn about dusk, and found the accommodation so bad,
that I regretted I had not accepted the letter offered by the Conde de
España, to the abbot; but I did not, at that time, purpose visiting
Monserrat; and perhaps a dormitory in the convent might have been as
comfortless as the quarto in the venta. Next morning, at day-break, I
left the village on muleback, and arrived in Barcellona in sufficient
time to make one at the hospitable board of Mr. Annesley, nephew of Earl
Annesley, and his Britannic Majesty’s consul at Barcellona, whose many
kindnesses, gentlemanly attentions, and unwearied hospitality, I eagerly
and gratefully acknowledge.

My journey in Spain now approached its conclusion,--I had only to travel
from Barcellona to the frontier; and as the general aspect of the
country could be seen as well by rapid as by slow travelling, I resolved
to take advantage of the public conveyance, and left Barcellona by the
Diligence, for Perpignan, some hours before day-break. The year had
already expired, but winter had scarcely made itself felt. The mornings
and evenings, indeed, had been chilly enough to turn one’s thoughts
towards the comforts of a fire; and once or twice at Barcellona, when I
walked round the ramparts before breakfast, I observed a thin covering
of ice upon the pools; but there had been no rains,--the days were clear
and sun-shining; and one might liken the season to a dry month of March
in England,--only with fewer clouds.

It is scarcely possible to conceive a more beautiful drive than between
Barcellona and Gerona. The road keeps near to the sea all the way, and
an enchanting country lies on the left. You pass through a succession of
little plains, each from half a mile to three miles across, and each
containing a village. These plains lie in little recesses of the
mountains, which screen them behind, and separate them from each other,
leaving one side open to the sea. They are covered with the finest
vegetation, which advances within twenty yards of the sea, and are
generally skirted by a hedge of aloes, that runs all along the coast.
Between these plains the hills run forward into the sea, generally
terminating in perpendicular cliffs; and the road, after traversing the
green level, approaches close to the sea, and is carried along the front
of the precipice, till having passed the barrier, it then descends into
another of these little smiling recesses. These plains were covered with
beautiful and promising crops when I passed through them; and round the
villages, beds of every kind of vegetable,--cauliflower, cabbage,
carrot, onion, and pease, shewed excellent crops, all ready for the
kitchen. Every house, the centre of its own little farm, has a draw-well
in its neighbourhood, from which the land is supplied. Some of these
villages were singularly beautiful, particularly Cardetta, hanging upon
some heights above the sea, with its little fertile plain,--all that the
mountains would allow to it,--lying at its feet. These heights were
entirely covered with the prickly pear, the last I saw; and near that
village I also saw the last palm tree; but it was of stunted growth, not
the stately and branchy palm of Elche.

The difference between the villages and cottages of Catalunia, and of
the other provinces of Spain, is seen at a glance; and in the state of
the inhabitants, the difference is equally striking. The houses and
cottages have an air of greater neatness and comfort,--there is glass in
the windows, and the insides display the articles of furniture in common
use. No beggars, and fewer ragged people are seen,--industry is
evidently active,--stones are removed from the ground, and collected in
heaps,--fences are more general, and more neatly constructed,--nobody is
seen basking in the sun,--even the women and girls who are tending the
cattle, are not sitting idly wrapped up in plaids, but every one has her
spindle in her hand. In short there is altogether a new order of things.

We breakfasted at Mataro, a considerable and once a flourishing
sea-port, famous for the excellence of its wine; and, till lately,
famous for its linens and laces, which were exported to the colonies;
and about mid-day we left the sea-coast, and entered the mountains. New
and charming scenes awaited us in passing through these mountains to
Gerona. Covered with stately pine, their sides were also clothed with
the richest underwood of evergreens, flowering shrubs, and fragrant
plants; among which the beautiful arbutus was particularly
distinguished. After emerging from the mountains, we entered the fertile
and sheltered valley of Gerona, where we arrived about sunset. This was
once a place of importance, now chiefly attested in the number of its
religious edifices, for here there are no fewer than thirteen churches,
besides the cathedral and eleven convents. The bishopric is richer than
that of Barcellona. At Gerona we supped, and slept, and set out next
morning about day-break.

Between Gerona and Figueras, I saw nothing that deserves to be recorded,
excepting the change in temperature; a bitter wind blew off the
Pyrennees, and reminded me that I had left the regions of the south
behind; and when we reached Figueras I hailed a blazing fire upon the
hearth, with the satisfaction of a northern traveller. The fuel here,
attracted my notice; it was a thin dark cake, which, upon inquiry, I
found to be the refuse of the olive, after it is pressed, and which, I
have no doubt, might be given with advantage to the cattle. I learned,
however, that it is not put to this purpose, though it is given to pigs
and poultry. The price of this cake is sixteen reals (3_s._ 4_d._) the
100 lb. It is singular, that at this town, so near the frontier, the inn
should still be in all respects, the Spanish posada: it is just as
little French as the posada of Murcia or Andalusia: the fire still
blazes in the middle of the floor; coffee and tea are still
unattainable; and meat is to be found not in the inn, but in the market:
how numerous and expressive must be the shrugs of the Frenchman who
makes Figueras his first halting place. _Caffé au lait_, or
_coutelettes_, are alike out of the question.

From Figueras to Junquera, the last town in Spain, I passed through a
pleasant undulating country, and then entered the valley that lies under
the Pyrenees,--a valley not fertile, but picturesque, traversed by a
small mountain stream, covered with the olive and the cork tree, and
winding into the recesses of the mighty barrier that shuts out the
Peninsula from the rest of the world. Rising above the valley, I found
myself inclosed among the mountains, and leaving Spain behind; I had
left the carriage, to walk up the steep ascent; and soon, Bellegarde,
upon the summit of the pass, and the pillars that mark the boundary of
the kingdoms, appeared in sight. The valley behind was still visible
through the defile; and as I turned round to look upon Spain for the
last time, a thousand recollections and vague fancies crowded upon my
mind. I felt a sensation something like pride, in having traversed
Spain. Much I had seen to interest, much to delight, much to lament,
much to remember; and as I turned away, regret was not unmingled with my
other feelings. As I pursued my way up the mountains, that had now shut
out the view of the valleys below, Spain, as fancy had once pictured
it--and Spain, as I had seen it, rose successively to my memory. But it
pleased me to discover, that romance had outlived reality, or was
mingled with it; for the fragrant, and palmy valleys of Spain, still lay
among the regions of fiction; Seville retained in my mind, its
character of a fabled city; the Sierra Morena was yet traversed by the
knight of La Mancha; and Spain, with all its realities before me, was
still the land of romance.

                               THE END.

     Printed by S. Manning and Co., London house-yard, St. Paul’s.


[A] Since this was put to press, Sir George Don has been recalled.

[B] Some account of this enterprise seems to be a natural digression;
and as the fullest account of the rash attempt which led to the
abandonment of the enterprise, is to be found in the work of M.
Bourgoing, I make no apology for transferring it to these pages. “The
court of Spain, weary of the fruitless blockade of Gibraltar, which
excited the ridicule of all Europe, and of the besieged themselves,
seriously determined to take this fortress by some extraordinary
expedient or other, against which its steepness, its formidable
artillery, and all the skill of General Elliot should prove unavailing.
Plans poured in from all quarters; some bold to extravagance, others so
whimsical, that it was scarcely possible to look upon them as serious.
Several of this kind I received myself. One of those sent to ministers,
formally proposed to throw up, in front of the lines of St. Roch, a
prodigious mount, higher than Gibraltar, which would consequently
deprive that fortress of its principal means of defence. The author had
calculated the quantity of cubic fathoms of earth, the number of hands,
and the time that would be required by this enormous undertaking, and
proved that it would be less expensive, and less destructive than the
prolongation of the siege upon the plan on which it had been begun.

“Another proposed to fill the bombs with a substance so strongly
mephitic, that on bursting in the fortress, they would either put to
flight, or poison the besieged with their exhalations.

“The plan of D’Arçon was at length presented, and engaged the more
serious attention of the Spanish government.

“This plan, first projected at a distance from Gibraltar, by that
engineer, who, notwithstanding the issue of that famous siege, still
enjoyed the reputation of a man of great talents, was afterwards
matured and modified by him within sight of the fortress. But how many
crosses was he doomed to experience! * * * * * * * * Scarcely any
thing is known respecting it, except what relates to the ten floating
batteries, which, on the 13th of September, 1782, foolishly exposed
themselves to the fire of Gibraltar, and were reduced to ashes by the
red-hot shot from the English batteries. This method of summing up the
result of enterprises, is very convenient for indolence or malignity,
but would furnish history with very erroneous elements. Enlightened
by contemporary historians, her pages will inform posterity, that
if this great undertaking failed, it was from a concurrence of
circumstances which the genius of D’Arçon could not possibly control.
One of the principal was, the hurry with which the plan was put in
execution, before all the necessary preparations had been made for
ensuring its success. It is well known that the ten batteries had
been so constructed as to present to the fire of the fortress, one
side covered with blinds three feet thick, and kept continually wet
by a very ingenious contrivance. The red-hot balls were thus expected
to be extinguished on the spot where they penetrated; but this first
measure proved incomplete. The awkwardness of the caulkers prevented
the working of the pumps, which were designed to keep up the humidity.
It succeeded only on board one of them, the Talla-Piedra, and that
very imperfectly. But this was not all; though the place where they
were to take their stations had been but very slightly sounded, they
had received instructions what course they were to pursue, in order
to avoid striking, and to place themselves at a proper distance. This
precaution likewise proved unavailing. Don Ventura Moreno, a brave
seaman, but incapable of executing a plan, stung to the quick by a
letter sent him in the evening of the 12th of September, by General
Crillon, which contained this expression: ‘If you do not make an
attack, you are a man without honour;’ hastened the departure of the
batteries, and placed them in an order contrary to the plan which
had been adopted. In consequence of this mistake, no more than two
could sustain themselves at the concerted distance of two hundred
fathoms. These were, the Pastora, commanded by Moreno himself, and
the Talla-Piedra, on board of which, were the Prince of Nassau, and
D’Arçon: but they were exposed to the fire of the most formidable
battery; that of the Royal Bastion, instead of all ten being drawn
up around the old mole, and receiving only sidewise the fire of that

“The only two batteries which occupied this dangerous post made great
havoc, and sustained dreadful loss. The Talla-Piedra received a fatal
shot. In spite of all precautions, a red-hot ball penetrated to the dry
part of the vessel: its effect was slow. The Talla-Piedra had opened
her fire about ten in the morning; the ball struck her three and five.
The mischief did not appear irremediable till midnight. The San Juan,
one of her next neighbours, shared the same fate. It appears certain
that the eight others remained untouched.

“But what was still more distressing, every thing was wanting at once:
cables to tow off the batteries in place of accident, and boats to
receive the wounded. The attack was to have been supported by ten
ships, and upwards of sixty gun-boats. Neither boats, gun-boats, nor
ships, made their appearance.

“Lastly, according to the projected position, the gun-boats were to
have been seconded by the one hundred and eighty pieces of cannon at
the lines of St. Roch. This co-operation was rendered impracticable.
Near four hundred pieces of artillery were to have opened at once upon
North Bastion, Montagu Bastion, and Orange Bastion. With a superiority
of nearly three hundred pieces, D’Arçon flattered himself that he
should be able to silence the artillery of the fortress. What was
his consternation when he found that the besiegers had no more than
sixty or seventy pieces, to oppose to more than two hundred and eighty
belonging to the besieged.

“The combined squadron remained quiet spectators of this tremendous
scene: Guichen, who commanded the French ships, sent to offer
assistance to Moreno; who replied that he had no occasion for any.

“Matters continued to grow worse; and no remedy could be devised.
Eight of the batteries were at too great a distance to do or to
sustain much injury. The two others bore in their bosoms the elements
of destruction. Moreno, despairing of being able to save any of
them, and resolving that they should not fall into the hands of the
English, directed that those which were already in flames should be
suffered to burn, and that all the others should be set on fire. I
have seen the original order to this effect. Such was the result of
that day, on which were annihilated ten vessels--the masterpieces of
human ingenuity--the building of which cost three millions of livres,
and whose artillery, anchors, cables, rigging, &c., amounted to two
millions and a half more.

“D’Arçon, in the first moment of his consternation, acknowledged
that he alone was to blame for the fatal issue of the day. I had for
a considerable time in my possession the original of the short, but
emphatic letter, which he wrote to Montmorin the ambassador, from the
very shore of Algesiras, amid the dying sound of the artillery, and by
the light of the burning batteries. It was as follows: “I have burned
the Temple of Ephesus; every thing is lost, and through my fault. What
comforts me under my misfortune is, that the glory of the two kings
remains untarnished.” But on recovering from the shock, D’Arçon wrote a
learned memoir, in which he took great pains to modify the confession
which had escaped him; and to prove that he had more than one partner;
or rather that circumstances, the most untoward and imperious,
constituted his only fault.

“Scarcely had Gibraltar foiled beneath its walls, this formidable
attempt, when in sight of our armies and our squadron, the place was
re-victualled by Admiral Howe, who afterwards, with his thirty-six
ships, boldly entered the Mediterranean. He was seen from Buena Vista
passing from one sea to the other; every spectator supposed that he
was running into the jaws of destruction. The fifty-two ships which
were in the bay, weighed anchor, and pursued him; but Howe baffled our
endeavours, as fortune had done our plans; and returned through the
Streights in the same security as he had entered them.” Such is the
account given by M. Bourgoing. He had access to know the facts, and
they are probably correct; but there is, evidently, a French polish
over the whole detail.

[C] The existence of this gateway, and the story connected with it,
are perhaps known to few, but were identified in the researches made
to verify this history. The gateway is at the bottom of a great tower,
at some distance from the main body of the Alhambra. The tower had
been rent and ruined by gunpowder, at the time when the fortress was
evacuated by the French. Great masses lie around, half covered by vines
and fig trees.--_Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada._

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Spain in 1830, vol. 2" ***

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