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Title: Impressions of Spain
Author: Calvert, Albert Frederick
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         IMPRESSIONS OF SPAIN.

                    [Illustration: _Alfonso XIII._]

                               OF SPAIN.


                      ALBERT F. CALVERT, F.R.G.S.

                               AUTHOR OF

   “_The Discovery of Australia_,” “_The Exploration of Australia_,”
               “_My Fourth Tour in Western Australia_,”
               “_The Political Value of our Colonies_,”
                            _etc._, _etc._






                        _All rights reserved._




                      SEÑOR DON SEBASTIAN BARRIS.


As the pleasure and instruction I have derived from my different visits
to Spain have been contributed to so largely by your unfailing kindness
and invaluable counsel, so the culminating pleasure of this modest
attempt to set down my impressions of your fair country lies in the
privilege of inscribing the result to you. In you I shall ever feel that
I have a firm and wise friend and lenient critic, and I beg you to
enhance the obligation of friendship by accepting this dedication with
the assurance of my regard and esteem.





There is a character in current drama who devoted his whole life to the
writing of a book. He called it a “pamphlet,” because he had intended it
to be a pamphlet when he started on his task, but in its completed state
the work filled three mighty folio volumes. Although the present volume
has not attained such gargantuan proportions, it is considerably longer
than I had thought to make it. It is not put forward as an exhaustive or
profound study of Spain and the Spaniards, but as a simple record of
impressions of people I have met and places I have visited during a
series of many journeyings in different parts of that greatly
interesting and much misunderstood country. These impressions were
meant, in the beginning, to form a small collection of sketches and
appreciations; and, although the number has increased beyond the limits
of my original intentions, the design and scope of the book have not
been revised or amplified. The result of this desultory system of
working is a string of disconnected chapters--the first fruits of
fugitive note-book jottings collected over a period of several
years--rather than a concentrated and comprehensive survey of the
subject as a whole.

But the system was also fraught with an unforeseen technical difficulty,
as I discovered when I came to arrange my illustrations. The photographs
that I acquired--sometimes singly and sometimes in batches--during my
frequent visits to Spain, increased out of all proportion to the
“increasing purpose” of my manuscript, and in the end I was confronted
with the alternative options of leaving out a great many of my most
recent and best pictures of Granada and the Alhambra, or of publishing
them _en masse_ at the back of the volume.

The fact that I am even now engaged in gathering material and making
notes for a work upon the Alhambra, which I hope shortly to publish,
tempted me to hold these surplus illustrations in reserve. But I have
hopes that the fragmentary nature of my material, and, in many cases,
lack of style and finish in its transcription, may be atoned for by the
variety and charm of the pictorial side of the book; and, with this
desideratum in my mind, I decided to reproduce the overflow pictures in
the form of an appendix.

To the many friends in Spain who have assisted me in my work, with
counsel, information, practical aid, and inexhaustible hospitality, and
particularly to Messrs. HAUSER and MENET, Messrs. LAURENT and CO., and
Señor GARZON, the photographic artists who have supplied me with
pictures beyond those I took myself, and favoured me with permission to
reproduce them, I wish to tender my sincere and grateful thanks.

It may be that my personal relations with the Spanish people have been
more fortunate than that of some other authors, whose books on Spain I
have seen; but in a somewhat wide experience of countries and men, I
have never met their equals in courtesy and true consideration to the
stranger within their gates. I have encountered all sorts and conditions
of men in the sunny South, the black North, and the thriving East of the
kingdom, and from each and every one I have received nothing but
kindness and good-will. I have written enthusiastically in the following
pages about the Spaniards, for in every Spaniard I have met I feel that
I have a friend.

A. F. C.





ALFONSO XIII.                                     _Frontispiece_



THE FAMILY OF CHARLES V., BY GOYA                           242


THE DIVINE FAMILY, BY MURILLO                               246

BARTOLOME ESTEBAN, BY MURILLO                               247

THE DIVINE FAMILY, BY MURILLO                               249

THE DIVINE SHEPHERD, BY MURILLO                             250

A CONCEPTION, BY MURILLO                                    251

THE KING OF SPAIN--1886, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1895,
   1896, 1898, 1901, 1902                                   255

THE KING AND HIS MOTHER                                     257

S. M. EL REY ALFONSO XIII.                                  259

S. A. INFANTA MARIA TERESA                                  262

S. A. LA PRINCESA DE ASTURIAS                               263

S. A. R. EL INFANTE DON CARLOS                              264

ANTONIO FUENTES                                             224

LUIS MAZZANTINI AND CUADRILLA                               224

GUERRITA. _Bandillero_                                      224

   ISABELLA, 1492                                      Appendix



ELCHE (WOMEN WASHING)                                         1

ELCHE                                                         5

THE ESPLANADE                                                83

ESPLANADE AND WHARF                                          84

THE “MARTYR’S PROMENADE”                                 85, 86

      “           “      (HIGH ROAD)                         87

VIEW OF ELCHE                                                88

ENTRANCE TO THE STATION, ELCHE                               91


IN OLD MADRID                                                10

ROYAL PALACE                                                 11

A CORNER IN THE ROYAL PALACE                                 12

THE THRONE ROOM, ROYAL PALACE                                13

THE RIVER MANZANARES                                         15



THE BANK OF SPAIN                                            27

THE COUNSELLOR OF THE VILLAGE                                31

AN ORANGE SELLER                                             31

A DANCER                                                     31

FULL LIST OF LOTTERY RESULTS                                 31

SKETCHES IN SPAIN                                            35

A MILK STALL                                                 39

THE BULL RING                                                41



GENERAL VIEW OF THE MONASTERY                                45

THE ESCORIAL LIBRARY                                         47


THE ROYAL PALACE, ARANJUEZ                                   49


GENERAL VIEW                                                 51

A NATIVE OF CATALONIA                                        53

THE CASCADE                                                  55

SEÑOR BÁRRIS’S HOUSE                                         57

SNAPSHOT IN SEÑOR BÁRRIS’S GARDEN                            59

“RAMBLA DE LAS FLORES”                                       61

THE COLON (COLUMBUS) PROMENADE                               65

THE COLUMBUS COLUMN                                          67

PLAZA DEL REY                                                68

ARAGON STREET                                                69

LYRIC THEATRE                                                56

EXHIBITION HALL                                              56

PRINCIPAL THEATRE                                            56

THE PRIM MEMORIAL                                           106


THE MONASTERY                                                71


THE AQUEDUCT                                                 73

GENERAL VIEW                                                 74


THE ROMAN THEATRE                                            75


GENERAL VIEW                                                 76




ST. CATHERINE’S SQUARE AND TOWER                             78

GENERAL VIEW                                                 79

THE EXCHANGE                                                 81

A VALENCIANA                                                 82

TRINITY BRIDGE                                               84

GLORIETA FOUNTAIN                                            84

THE MEDITERRANEAN SHORE                                      84

BEACHING THE BOATS                                           84

VALENCIAN BEAUTIES                                          240

A TARTANA                                                    92


GENERAL VIEW                                                 89


A NATIVE OF                                              92, 93

A NOON-TIME HALT                                             92

THE HARVEST CART                                             92

A CARTLOAD OF TINAJAS                                        92


CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DE LA BLANCA                           95

THE VISAGRA GATE                                             96

THE DOOR OF THE SUN                                          97

THE CATHEDRAL                                                99

ST. MARTIN’S BRIDGE                                         101


THE CATHEDRAL, CENTRAL NAVE                                 102

      “        EXTERIOR OF HIGH ALTAR                       102

      “        THE LION DOOR                           102, 104

      “        THE HIGH ALTAR                                97

      “        SEPULCHRE OF ALONSO DE CARRILLO              104

      “        GENERAL VIEW OF THE CHOIR-STALLS             100

      “        INTERIOR                                     100


  “           “         “        INTERIOR                   104

ALCÁNTARA DOOR AND BRIDGE                                    98

    “     GATE                                               98

FAÇADE OF SANTA CRUZ                                         98

THE CATHEDRAL                                                98

CONVENT OF SAN JUAN DE LA PENITENCIA                   Appendix


BRIDGE AND CATHEDRAL                                        104

THE MOSQUE                                                  106

CATHEDRAL, CHOIR STALLS                                     106

     “     GENERAL INTERIOR VIEW                            106

AT THE FOUNTAIN                                             162

AT THE SPRING                                               162

IN THE COURT OF ORANGES                                     140

THE MOSQUE, A CORNER IN                                Appendix

    “       INTERIOR                                          “

CATHEDRAL, TOWER                                              “


ANDALUSIAN GALLANTRY                                        160


THE CATHEDRAL, FROM THE CASTLE                              109


A GENERAL VIEW                                              113

A NATIVE                                                    114


VIEW OF                                                     115


GENERAL VIEW                                                116


THE VALLEY OF THE JUCAR                                     117

VIEW FROM SAN JUAN HILL                                     119

VIEW OF CUENCA                                              120



THE WINE DOOR                                               127

ENTRANCE TO THE COURT OF LIONS                              128

THE INFANTAS’ TOWER                                         131

EL GENERALIFFE                                              133

 “      “      THE ACEQUIA COURT, FROM MAIN ENTRANCE        134

LA ALCAICERIA                                               135

VIEW OF ALBAYCIN                                            137

COURTYARD OF AN ARAB HOUSE                                  139

THE GENERALIFFE                                               2

THE LADIES’ TOWER, THE ALHAMBRA                              15

THE GIPSY QUARTERS                                           15

A STREET IN GRANADA                                          14

ARAB SILK MARKET                                             14


THE SACRISTY OF THE CARTUJA CONVENT                         120

THE COLUMBUS MEMORIAL                                       140

GROUP OF GYPSIES                                            140

TRANSEPT AND HIGH ALTAR, CATHEDRAL                          122


THE COURT OF LIONS                                     130, 132

HALL OF AMBASSADORS                                         132

THE FAVOURITE’S BALCONY                                     132

THE COURT OF LIONS, A LITTLE TEMPLE IN                        “

    “        “      A PEEP INTO                               “

    “        “      LITTLE EASTERN TEMPLE IN                  “

    “        “      FOUNTAIN IN                               “


INTERIOR OF THE MOSQUE                                        “

THE CAPTIVE’S TOWER                                           “

THE SULTAN’S BATH                                             “

THE DRESSING ROOM                                             “

HALL OF THE TWO SISTERS                                       “

HALL OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE                                  “

THE DOOR OF JUSTICE                                           “

THE CAPTIVE AND CADID TOWERS                                  “

WASHINGTON IRVING HOTEL                                       “

ENTRANCES TO THE ALHAMBRA                                     “

THE COURT OF MYRTLES                                   132    “

    “         “       GALLERY IN                              “

PALACE OF CHARLES V.                                          “

    “        “        ROMAN COURT                             “

THE ALHAMBRA AND THE SIERRA NEVADA                            “

THE ROYAL CHAPEL, CATHEDRAL                                   “

EL GENERALIFFE, THE ACEQUIA COURT                             “

 “      “       CYPRUS COURT                                  “

 “      “       GALLERY IN THE ACEQUIA COURT                  “

 “      “       A CORNER OF THE ACEQUIA COURT                 “



DANCING BOYS, CATHEDRAL                                     145

THE TOWER OF THE GOLD                                       146

GIRLS’ COURT IN THE ALCÁZAR                                 148

CATHEDRAL                                                   149

ENTRANCE TO THE ALCÁZAR                                     150

THE ALCÁZAR, AMBASSADOR’S HALL                         151, 158

      “  A DOORWAY IN                                       152

CIGAR MAKERS                                                154

A SEVILLIAN                                                 155

THE “SEVILLANAS” DANCE                                      156

CATHEDRAL, EXTERIOR                                         146

    “      FIFTEENTH CENTURY GRATING                        152

THE ALCÁZAR, GARDENS                                   148, 150

     “       SULTANA’S QUARTERS                             158

ASSASSINATED                                                158

     “       THE COURT OF DOLLS                             152

SAN FERNANDO SQUARE                                         150

A SEVILLIAN PATIO                                           162

A STREET                                                    152

GALLERY OF PILATE’S HOUSE                                   152


VIEW FROM THE TAVIRA TOWER                                  165

VIEW FROM SAN CARLOS BATTERY                                168


VIEW FROM THE “FAROLA PROMENADE”                            169

VIEW FROM THE “GIBRALFARO”                                  173


THE GORGE                                                   176

RONDA”                                                      177


GENERAL VIEW                                                181


GENERAL VIEW                                                182


VIEW OF THE TOWN                                            183


PASAJES DE SAN JUAN                                         184


CONCHA PROMENADE                                            185


SUBURBS                                                     186

GENERAL VIEW                                                187

VIZCAYA BRIDGE                                              189

OLD BILBAO                                                  190

THE ARENAL PROMENADE                                        191



A NATIVE                                                    195

NATIVES                                                     196

VIEWS IN GALICIA                                            199


GENERAL VIEW OF REDONDELA                                   197

GENERAL VIEW                                                201


GENERAL VIEW TAKEN FROM THE OLD TOWN                        200


VIEW FROM THE CASTLE                                        205


THE WHARF                                                   207


THE PORT                                                    208

GENERAL VIEW                                                209


THE CATHEDRAL                                               210

CLOISTER IN CATHEDRAL                                       211

THE CATHEDRAL CHOIR STALLS                                  211

VIEW TAKEN FROM THE CEMETERY                                212


GENERAL VIEW                                                213



“INDEPENDENCIA” PROMENADE                                   215

PILAR CHURCH                                                217

A FLEMISH DANCE                                             218

THE BOUQUET--THE DAWN OF ST. JOHN’S DAY                     160


AT NUEVALOS                                                 218


THE KING’S CARRIAGE                                         264

ARRIVAL AT THE CONGRESS                                     264



GENERAL VIEW                                                340


VIEW OF THE CASTLE                                          340


THE PROCESSION                                              221

ENTRANCE OF THE BULL                                        223

THE PICADOR                                                 227

AT CLOSE QUARTERS                                           230

A TURN WITH HIS BACK TO THE BULL                            233

FIXING THE BANDERILLAS                                      235

THE MATADOR                                                 237

THE FINAL STROKE                                            239

ENTERTAINING THE BULL-FIGHTERS                              160

BULL-FIGHTERS AT THE TAVERN                                 240

A PICADOR                                                   240



THE UNION MINE                                              270

ORCONERA IRON ORE COMPANY                                   278

ORCONERA COMPANY’S WORKINGS                                 281

THE RAILWAY SYSTEM                                          283

TRANSPORT OF ORE, ARCOCHA                                   285

LOS ALTOS HORNOS DEL DISIERTO                               287


TERMINUS OF THE MINE RAILWAY                                271

THE CANAL SYSTEM                                            272

SAN DIONISIO SHAFT                                          306

MINES                                                       288

THE LAGO CUTTING                                       289, 292

THE FRAMES                                                  291

THE CUTTINGS                                                293



CEMENTATION VATS                                            277

HEAD OF THE SAINTE-BARBE SHAFT                              305


THE PORT OF ALMERIA                                         294

WASHING FOR ALLUVIAL TIN                                    296

A TRENCH IN TIN ORE                                         299


THE RAILWAY                                                 321

THE CASTLE AND HARBOUR                                      324


THE OLD GOLD WORKINGS                                       303

GENERAL VIEW                                                334

ALLUVIAL GOLD WASHING                                       335


PORTION OF BUILDINGS                                        309

A CUTTING      310, 317

“DOLORES,” “JAIME,” AND MAIN SHAFT                     311, 313

GALAPAGAR SMELTING WORKS                                    313

ENGINE HOUSE AND BLACKSMITH’S SHOP                          315

SNAPSHOT SHOWING CUTTING                                    318


BÁRRIS CUTTING                                              320

THE CHURCH                                                  322

HEAPS OF COPPER ORE                                         325


LAS PALMAS BRIDGE                                           338


GENERAL MAP OF SPAIN                                          1

RAILWAY MAP OF SPAIN                                        267

MINING MAP OF SPAIN                                         273




INTRODUCTORY                                                  1

MADRID                                                       10

EL ESCORIAL                                                  43

BARCELONA                                                    50

ON THE EAST COAST                                            73

A PEEP INTO MURCIA                                           83

TOLEDO AND CÓRDOVA                                           95

THE CASTILES                                                108

GRANADA AND THE ALHAMBRA                                    122

SEVILLE                                                     141

IN SOUTHERN ANDALUSIA                                       164

THE BASQUE PROVINCES                                        180

IN NORTHERN SPAIN                                           195

BULL-FIGHTING                                               220

THE PICTURE GALLERY, MADRID                                 241

VIVA EL REY                                                 254

MINING                                                      269

[Illustration: ELCHE--WOMEN WASHING.]

Introductory Chapter.

From the wild gorges and noble crags of the Pyrenees, and the treeless
and apparently uninhabited sierras of the North--vast, solitary, and
impressive--to the snow-capped hills of the mid-interior, “the palms and
temples of the South,” and the unrivalled beauty of the country from
Seville to Granada--SPAIN is a land to entrance the traveller. Its great
and terribly chequered history is writ large upon the face of the
country. Its people have undergone as great, if not greater,
vicissitudes than any other people upon the earth, and to-day there does
not exist a race more courtly, more sincere, and with more confidence in
their country and themselves than the Spanish. As Iberia, Spain was
known to the Greeks; the Phœnicians and the Carthaginians have left
their traces there: as Hispania, it came beneath the sway of Imperial
Rome; it was ravaged by the Franks. For three centuries it was misruled
by West Gothic kings: it was conquered, pillaged, and tyrannised over by
the Arabs and Moors for nearly 800 years.

Then came the period of Spain’s greatness. When Philip II. ascended the
throne in 1556, he became ruler of an immense empire--the first empire
on which the sun never set. Portugal was then a portion of Spain by
right of conquest; Sicily, a great part of Italy, Holland, and Belgium,
practically the whole of the North and the entire Continent of South
America, besides the Philippines and other islands in the East, and
parts of Africa, were all under Spanish rule. Before he died, in 1598,
the power of Spain was at its zenith. At this period the fame and dread
of her army was heard and felt through the world; her scientific and
artistic eminence was unchallenged. No valour could withstand the charge
of the Spanish pikemen; it was the Spanish galleys, under the command of
a Spanish prince, that broke the Turks at Lepanto; the palaces of the
king were adorned by the glorious genius of Velasquez and Murillo; and
all Europe joined in delight over that first great novel of Cervantes.

At the beginning of the 17th century, as the Rev. Wentworth Webster
concisely and luminously writes, “the Spanish armies were the first in
the world, her navy was the largest: at its close the latter was
annihilated, her army was unable, without assistance from Louis XIV., to
establish the sovereign of her choice; population had declined from
eight to less than six millions, the revenue from 280 to thirty
millions; not a single soldier of talent, not a statesman remained to
recall the glories of the age of Charles V. and Philip II.; the whole
country grovelled in discontent at the foot of unworthy favourites
raised to power by court intrigues, and dependent on a foreign prince. A
period of resuscitation, under Charles III., was followed by a signal
relapse. The influence of the unscrupulous Godoy led to the internal
complications which lost Spain her remaining Colonial prestige, and gave
the crown of Spain to Joseph Bonaparte. The Peninsular War, the loss of
the whole of Spanish Continental America, and the two Carlist wars
followed. The war with the United States in 1898 was the preface to the
abolition in 1899 of the Spanish Colonial Office as being ‘no longer

In my opinion, the deprivation of her Colonial possessions has been a
blessing in disguise to Spain, inasmuch as it will afford her the
opportunity of embarking on much-needed schemes of domestic reform. As
long as her Colonies imposed an almost intolerable drain on the national
exchequer, it was impossible for Spain to attend to matters of urgent
importance at home. I regret, however, that this was not accomplished in
a different way. When the Spanish Government realised that America had
determined to acquire Cuba, it was a great pity that they did not
entertain the proposals made for the purchase of that island, instead of
rendering it necessary for the Cabinet at Washington to find some excuse
for the war of conquest upon which they subsequently embarked.

But in spite of the dramatic epoch-making vicissitudes, and the
strongly-contrasted periods of greatness and disruption that Spain has
experienced by turns, she has altered as little as any European country.
The Spaniard is conservative in the best, as well as the worst sense of
the word. His pride is at once his curse and his salvation; his lofty
but gentle resignation is immensely attractive; his courtliness never
fails him. His confidence in himself is, as has been said, unbounded. In
the course of a conversation I had with a Castilian recently, he
remarked: “We have been referred to as a decaying nation, a country to
be plundered and divided up among the European powers. Before Spain is
conquered there will be several million corpses between Madrid and the

Nobody who has any acquaintance with the Peninsula and its people can
listen without impatience to the jeremiads of the superior politicians
who predict the decay of Spain. For in spite of the accumulated trials,
the disasters, and the strife of centuries, there has lived in the
hearts and imaginations of the Spanish people a tradition too great to
die. They have preserved under the stress of widely-varying fortune a
fortitude and dignity which have prevented the nations, who have passed
them in prosperity and power, from regarding them except with respect
and admiration. Still, as in the days of Cervantes and Velasquez, the
true order of nobility has not been that of formal rank so much as that
of the whole nation and the characteristic Spaniard, whether the grandee
of the court, or the beggar of the highway, has always known how to wrap
his cloak about him with an air that seemed to make misfortunes
honourable, and all the material success of the commercial ages a form
of vulgarity. Notwithstanding the losses which have stripped them from
generation to generation of their conquests, down even to the final
blows of the war with America, they have dormant reserves of vitality
and vigour only awaiting the touch of genuine leadership, and the
inspiration of some hopeful national movement, to make a country
containing eighteen millions of inhabitants capable of resuming its
place as one of the foremost European nations.

In the past few years there has been a growing instinct in Spain that
when things have reached their worst they must begin to mend, and that
the disappearance of the last vestiges of external empire will assuredly
mark the real beginning of national regeneration. That Spain has been
mis-governed, her Governments have been incompetent, and her official
parasites insatiable is only too true, and it is scarcely to be wondered
at if her people have grown dispirited, pessimistic, and distrustful of
everybody except their individual selves. After himself, the Spaniard’s
first pride is in his native province. Northern Spain has little
interest or confidence in the South, nor the East in the West; and
North, East, South, and West were, until recently, supremely indifferent
to the course of events in any other quarter of the globe. But this
self-concentration is gradually disappearing, the Spaniard is learning
to regard himself with an “outside eye,” and the outside world with a
broader sympathy. Moreover, he has come to view the resources of his
country in a more practical and business-like light, catching, it may
be, the reflection of the awakened interest that they are attracting
among the neighbouring nations.

[Illustration: ELCHE, ALICANTE]

For many years now, Spain has formed a great and interesting problem. In
a book, published in 1884, we read as follows: “English and German
papers are continually proclaiming the fact, and usually painting the
situation in rosy hues; statesmen are cherishing ideas of commercial
treaties, and relations of closer friendship and wider import; merchants
are turning eager and inquiring eyes upon the comparatively untried
ground: and speculators are fondly hoping that they have at last
discovered, after many lean years, an El Dorado in Spain that shall not
prove barren or unfruitful.”

That the reaction was imminent at the time the foregoing was penned
cannot be doubted, but the hoped-for movement was checked by the
declaration of war by the United States in 1899. The consequences of
that terrible and futile struggle fell with paralysing severity upon the
whole country, but the story of the war cannot be regarded as a fair
test of the military prestige of her people. Nothing was wanting in the
warlike impact to throw into relief the condition of the country as
contrasted with the temper of her sons. All the chivalry of ancient
Spain was fully displayed. Individual courage and bravery were
splendidly in evidence. But they availed nothing against the nation that
had made haste to take the fullest advantage of modern methods and
appliances. The weakness of her fleet, the mismanagement of her military
system, and the inefficiency of officialdom in every branch of the
Government were laid bare, and it was from this combination of causes,
and not from any degeneracy in her soldiers or lack of valour, that
Spain owed her defeat.

But by this revelation the Spanish people were awakened to the fact that
they were behind the times; that their forms of government were
antiquated and inefficient; that all their national institutions cried
aloud for re-organisation and reform. Slowly at first, but increasing in
momentum as the blessings of peace made themselves felt, the forward
movement has proceeded along the entire line of politics, commerce, and
public affairs. But if the great work is to progress, as lovers of Spain
would desire to see it, the difference that at present exists between
the Spaniard, in his individual, his collective, and his official
capacity must disappear. This distinction has been emphasised before,
but it is so remarkable as to require a note in passing. Self-interest,
which is an integral part of human nature, is, or rather was, the most
highly-developed, in fact, the abnormal trait of the Spanish official.
He was irregular in his methods, and grasping--irregular, because
irregularity was connived at; greedy, because he was forced by the
paucity of his pay to live by the perquisites of his office. In his
collective capacity the Spaniard is mistrustful, strong-headed, and apt
to prove unreliable. Yet, individually, the Spaniard is remarkable for
the excellence of his personal and moral qualities. Truth and valour are
his by heredity, his personal honour is unassailable, his graceful
courtesy and air of high breeding make him a delightful companion and a
valued friend. He is quick to take offence, but he never, through
ignorance or tactlessness, proffers one; he is slow to bestow his
confidence, but he never, without cause, withdraws it. You may trust him
with your purse, your life, and your reputation. And this wonderful
combination of qualities is common alike to the nobles, the townsmen,
and the country people. All appear to have inherited the same dignity
and grace of manner, and the same sterling moral qualities.

Borrow, who had an intimate knowledge of and admiration for the Spanish
people, has declared that, in their social intercourse, no people in the
world exhibit a juster feeling of what is due to the dignity of human
nature than the Spaniards. Spain still retains all those old world,
social, and personal graces with which poetry, painting, and romance
have made the untravelled familiar. Grace is not necessarily a virtue,
but it is a flower often found on the path that leads to it. And these
flowers spring as naturally from racial instincts as do the more
prominent traits exhibited in etiquette and statecraft. Spanish
character is touched; nay, it is entirely imbued with the “grace of a
day that is dead.” The very beggars, whom you encounter in every
bye-way, do not lack this native grace which no mere acquirement could
exhibit. The receiver of a dole regards it as a tacit acknowledgment
that he is worthy of it on principle. But there is a certain charm in
Spanish indolence, even in its indigence, which is as much a production
of the country as are the soft skies and natural beauties that form its
fitting background. The politeness of the peasantry is proverbial, but
they are keenly alive to the point of an equal return of civility. Even
the brigand was wont to regard himself as a great caballero: and he was
often disarmed by a frank and confident air which tacitly acknowledged
him on that footing. The idler pursues his vocation as if imbued with a
full sense of its sufficiency, and supplements it with a grace beyond
the reach of art. Truly this is a nation of nobles, and here is a
foundation of national character which has in the past, and will again
make the Spanish race one of the greatest powers of the world.

Will Spain revive? The problem is exercising the thoughts of all
Europe--by those who do not know better the question is assumed to be
also exercising the thoughts of all good Spaniards. As a matter of fact,
the Spaniard is above such speculation. He knows his high destiny, and
he will fulfil himself. His confidence is supreme, and it is justified.
He has driven back every invader, and remains in full possession of one
of the noblest countries in the world, nearly the size of France, with a
climate which, if he were permitted to re-forest his plateaux, would be
as good, though warmer, with the same power, if industry were set free,
of producing wine, and oil, and wheat: and with deposits below the soil
incomparably greater than those of his successful neighbour; and,
perhaps, as rich as any country in the world. Spain, as we were recently
reminded by a well-informed writer in the _Spectator_, is a “treasure
house of minerals never yet rifled, though from the days of the
Phœnicians to those of the Rio Tinto, countless speculators have been
breaking into little corners and going away enriched.”

And what is her position to-day? She has 18,000,000 of people, who, if
they are not as industrious as either Germans or Englishmen, will, when
properly rewarded, work as energetically as any Southern race, and will
save their wages. Her children are as brave as any in the world: able,
if fairly led, to face any other troops, and with a special faculty at
once of endurance and abstinence which scarcely any other troops
possess. Seated on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, with a nearly
impenetrable frontier to the North, and only Africa to the South, she
occupies, perhaps, the best position both for war and trade possessed by
any European State: and will, with a decent administration and a new
revenue, become once more as great a maritime Power as she was till
Admiral Jervis defeated her fleet off Cape Vincent. She could not,
perhaps, rule the Mediterranean; but she could, by alliances, render it
impossible for any other Power to rule. Above all, she could suddenly
add to her strength, not by conquest, but by wisely-applied pressure and
support, the whole force of Portugal--Prim nearly achieved this. Spain
might thus assume, with an increasing population, fairly rich and
entirely contented, that position of a great Power, which she has never
entirely lost. The potentialities of Spain justify Spanish pride.


[Illustration: IN OLD MADRID.]

Among the cities of Spain, I write first of Madrid, because I knew it
first, and because I know of no city that has been more systematically
and unjustifiably maligned. My first visit to Madrid was undertaken on
business grounds; but I have returned there many times since, and always
with feelings of the keenest pleasure. There is, to me, what the
Americans describe as a “homey” air about the city, that may in a
measure be accounted for by the good fortune I have had in finding
friends there. The friendship of a Spaniard is so genuine, and
inspiriting, and whole-hearted, that an Englishman cannot in a moment
comprehend it. When a Spaniard extends his friendship to you, your
comfort, your interests, and your honour becomes as much a matter for
his concern as his own. I first learned to understand this in Madrid. At
that time the English were not reported to be held in favour in Spain,
and I was advised to be prepared for an unfriendly reception. But I was,
on that visit, and on each subsequent visit, agreeably disappointed; and
although I have wandered pretty extensively over many parts of the
Peninsula, I have

[Illustration: ROYAL PALACE, MADRID.]

never found it to be other than an advantage to be an Englishman. I have
seen the Britisher hustled in Paris, scowled at in Italy, and made the
butt of cheap Teutonic wit in Germany, but in Spain he is invariably
treated with the kindest consideration. I was told by an English
engineer that the explanation of this friendly attitude, on the part of
the Spanish people, was to be found in the fact that the country has not
yet endured the curse of the average British tourist. It may be so, yet
the influence of the English is very marked in the city of Madrid, if
not to the full extent that it appears to be at first sight.


An American writer, who “did” Spain in the customary slapdash,
get-there-and-get-away-again-fashion of American globetrotters, was not
a little chagrined to find in Madrid, English goods, English manners,
and English influence predominating over those of any other foreign
nation. In Spain, American means South American, and the Yankee is
indiscriminately included in the category labelled “Ingleses.” American
tram-cars and other Trans-atlantic inventions are thus wrongly credited
to the English; and the writer declares that his indignation rose to
fever-heat when he entered a place marked “English drinks,” and beheld a
genuine American soda-fountain. It must be, I think, due not a little to
this unintentional injustice to the land of the great spread-eagle that
this same writer finds Madrid ill-favoured and exceedingly noisy, its
bread unappetising and heavy, and its butter bad. He cannot bring
himself to admire the _Puerta del Sol_, which is “an ordinary square,
such as may be found in almost any city of a hundred thousand
inhabitants;” and as for the climate, he flippantly dismisses it in a
phrase--“nine months’ winter and three months’ hell.” In a more
gracious mood he is inclined to think that the surroundings have been
too much depreciated by tourists and guide-book makers; while in the
rapid increase in the population, together with the healthy appearance
of the inhabitants, he discovers an indication that it may be “not quite
as bad as its reputation.”


In the foregoing, we have a _precis_ of the generally-accepted opinion
of Madrid, and it is one in which I cannot concur. The conscious
superiority of the American critic has led him into error, and I
strongly deprecate these hasty and ill-formed conclusions upon the
climate, the situation, and the city itself, which are responsible for
its undeserved reputation. Madrid stands at an elevation of 2,500
English feet above the sea level, in the centre of an open country, and
splendid views of the capital are obtained from several miles around.
Whatever may be thought as to the wisdom of selecting a capital in the
centre of a great plain, and with no water communication with the
outposts of the kingdom, one cannot but admire both its position and the
magnificence of its buildings. It is a city that, from the first moment
of viewing, throughout an entire visit, commands a whole-hearted
admiration. Immediately in front of the point of arrival, the Northern
Station, there rises up the splendid _Palacio Real_, a huge building
forming a square of 470 feet; and which, by reason both of its situation
and general appearance, is one of the most magnificent in the world.
What is true of the Palace is equally true of the other buildings of the
capital, the splendour of which is common to all the public structures.
But the natural features are a separate consideration.

The best view of the country surrounding the capital is to be obtained
from the _Parque de Madrid_. Whether you like the prospect or not is
purely a matter of individual taste. From this eminence, the vast
campagna is stretched out to its greatest advantage; and for my own
part, I know few that can compare with it. The immensity of the panorama
alone entitles it to respect. On every side, save where the Guadarrama
fling their rugged peaks skywards, the expanse is bordered only by the
far distant horizon. The sense of space that the picture conveys is
irresistibly impressive--it is more than a sight; it is an experience. I
have seen it when the land has grown lifeless and shabby for want of
rain, and when the coming storm has caused the swift clouds to drag
their huge shadows across the broad landscape, and when, after the
rains, the green pasture is lit by a purple hue, and at night, when the
indigo sky is filled with a moon of such brilliancy, and stars of such
irridescence, that the whole earth was more brightly illuminated than
Piccadilly Circus at midnight.

The climate of Madrid has suffered greatly from the strictures of
visitors, who, from one cold breeze, or a single rain storm, consider
themselves competent to form, and justified in publishing abroad, their
opinions. That the city is subject to sudden changes of temperature is
incontestable. Perched as it is on a


commanding table-land so far above the level of the sea, it is swept by
every breeze that blows across the wide expanse of plains by which it is
surrounded. On the northern side, the horizon is jagged by the
snow-capped peaks of the noble Guadarrama; and when the wind sets in
from that direction, it comes like an icy blast, bringing, as the
guide-book writers aver, chills and acute pneumonia with it. But the
climate, though treacherous on this account, is not unhealthy. It is
true that pneumonia is unhappily prevalent among the men of Madrid, but
the women are singularly free from the malady. There is a reason, of
course, for this curious anomaly, and it is to be found in the different
fashions in which the men and women protect themselves from the climate.
The men, as a class, are abominators of fresh air, and an “eager and a
nipping air” is to them a malignant danger to be avoided at any cost.
They live in houses, cafes, and clubs heated to the temperature of a
second-class New York hotel at mid-winter, without ventilation, and
rendered stuffy from over much tobacco smoke. When they venture into the
streets they encase themselves in heavy cloaks, throw the “capas,” or
velvet-lined capes across their mouths, and stifle behind its oppressive
folds. Is it to be wondered at, that, if by any chance the chilled wind
should penetrate, or, as more often happens, deprive the muffled
pedestrian for the space of a few inspirations of his accustomed
protector, his lungs should suffer the inevitable consequences?

But the women face the elements with a sane hardihood that makes the
“coddlings” of their men folks seem more inexplicable by comparison.
Clad in sensible, thick dresses, supplemented perhaps by a fur cape,
they brave the Winter winds with unmuffled throats, and their heads
covered only with a light mantilla; while the working women trust almost
entirely to the natural protection afforded by their splendid hair. The
result is that, while pneumonia is a veritable curse to the men, it is
practically unknown among the women.

The present excellent system of watering the streets that has been
adopted in Madrid, has greatly moderated the excessive dryness of the
atmosphere in Summer; and the increase of vegetation around and in the
city is sensibly affecting the climate. I was in Madrid one Autumn in
the rainy season. I have had some experience of the tropical rainfalls
of mid-Australia, where sandy tracks are converted in a few hours into
mighty rivers, and waggon ruts in the bosom of a hill become rushing
cataracts; but the rain that I watched for a fortnight from the
luxurious shelter of the _Hotel de Paris_ was every bit as business-like
and effective. When it was over, the foliage had put on a brighter
green, wild flowers had sprung up in profusion, and the lazy,
imperturbable Manzanares had become an angry, turbulent river. Madrid is
then a sight that it is worth enduring a fortnight of incessant rain to

Coming as I did direct to Madrid, and regarding the city with eyes
unacquainted with Spanish sights, I was quick to note all the individual
characteristics of its architecture, its crowds, and its popular
customs; but even without the standards of other Spanish towns by which
to form a comparison, I could not fail to be impressed by the
cosmopolitan appearance of the capital. Madrid and Barcelona are many
years in advance of any other city in Spain; they have not outgrown
their national characteristics, but they have adopted with broad-minded
opportunism the improvements that intercourse with other nations has
made them cognisant of. The casual visitor to Madrid would, perhaps, not
regard it as a go-ahead city; and, indeed, I am assured that only those
who have a long acquaintance with the Spanish capital can appreciate the
advances it has made in the last half-century. It has extended its
boundaries, improved its condition,


and increased its notable buildings in an almost marvellous manner. The
present _Plaza de Toros_, the magnificent viaduct across the _Calle de
Segovia_, the Markets, the Hippodrome, and the _Parque de Madrid_ are
all the creation of some twenty-five years. And as Madrid has grown, the
_Madrileño_ has advanced. He, and more particularly she, has progressed
at the expense of the picturesque. English women are the beneficiaries
of French fashions, because they have no style of their own--no peculiar
modes or costumes that became them peculiarly as a race. Somebody once
said that an English woman was only a French woman badly dressed. It was
a libel; but, notwithstanding, she has lent truth to the definition by
her anxiety to remedy the defection. The English woman who covets the
distinction of being well dressed buys her gowns in Paris; but, in so
doing, she improves, she does not alter, her style of costumes. She
gains in effectiveness without the sacrifice of individuality. But the
Spanish woman, though having something to gain by this Parisian
attachment, has something also to lose. She had her “velo”--her
coquettish adornment with its rose fastening, and her fan. With these,
which suited her Spanish face to perfection, she was characteristic,
fascinating, adorable; but French millinery demanded the renunciation of
the “velo,” and taught her to forget the witchery of the fan and the
grace of the natural rose; and artists, experts, even the ordinary,
impressionable Englishman without æsthetic tendencies, may be allowed a
regret for the decay of a national means to a beautiful end.

To me, a stroll through the thoroughfares of Madrid is a source of
never-ending pleasure. I delight in its wide, clean streets, its gay
squares each containing a garden, fountain, and statuettes, its crowded
cafes, its promenades, its spectacles, and its unending animation and
bustle and crowded life. The street _Alcalá_, which divides Madrid in
half, is magnificent in its proportions. The _Prado_, made enchanting
by its carriage drives and its avenues, filled with beautiful women, is
a panorama of which one cannot have a surfeit; while the people, and the
variety of life in the _Puerta del Sol_ is in itself a sight that shall
not be witnessed in any other city in Europe.

The _Puerta del Sol_ is the living room of Madrid. It is a mingling of
salon, promenade, theatre, academy, garden, a square-of-arms, and a
market. The Italian author, Edmondo De Amicis, was so fascinated with
its attractions, that during the first few days of his stay in Madrid,
he was unable to tear himself away from the spot. The change, the
colour, and the contrasts that it presents are admirably summed up in
his description of the crowd that from daybreak until one o’clock in the
morning throng this famous thoroughfare. Here gather the merchants, the
disengaged demagogues, the unemployed clerks, the aged pensioners, and
the elegant young men; here they traffic, talk politics, make love,
promenade, read the newspapers, hunt down their debtors, seek their
friends, prepare demonstrations against the Ministry, and weave the
gossip of the city. Upon the side-walks, which are wide enough to allow
four carriages to pass abreast, one has to use one’s elbows to force a
way. On a single paving-stone you see a civil guard, a match-vendor, a
broker, a beggar, and a soldier, all in one group. Crowds of students,
servants, generals, officials, peasants, _toreros_, and ladies pass;
importunate beggars ask for alms in your ear; cocottes question you with
their eyes; courtesans hit your elbow; on every side you see hats
lifted, hand-shakings, smiles, pleasant greetings, cries of “Largo” from
laden porters, and merchants with their wares hung from the neck; you
hear shouts of newspaper sellers, shrieks of water vendors, blasts of
the diligence horns, cracking of whips, clanking of sabres, strumming of
guitars, and songs of the blind.


In this description, De Amicis does not omit a single one of the various
noises and incidents that are to be heard and seen in the _Puerta del
Sol_--indeed, the fault of his description is one of commission rather
than omission. For instance, I have never yet been elbowed there by a
woman, even by accident, who, to the evidence of the sense of sight, was
a courtesan. This fact leads me to the reflection that in two respects
Madrid is ahead of any European capital that I have visited--it neither
flaunts its vices, nor finds excuse for founding a total abstinence
movement. I have never seen there an intoxicated man or a representative
of what Rudyard Kipling has described as “the oldest profession in the
world.” I am not pretending that I believe Madrid to be entirely free
from this particular traffic--no city that has American, French, or even
English tourists on its visitors’ list could hope for that--but whatever
there is, is kept decently out of sight. Any grandmother may inspect the
photographs exhibited in the shops without a blush: and the volumes
which are exposed to view in the booksellers’ windows do not appeal to
the lower passions of the reading public, while as for “the curse of
drink,” Spain does not understand the meaning of the phrase. The
Spaniard is temperate by temperament, by custom and by heredity. The
climate of Spain is antagonistic to strong drink, and the Spanish
character revolts against the abuse of it. It would not be too much to
say that the Spaniard regards a drunken man with much the same feelings
as an Englishman looks upon the Spanish national sport of bull-fighting.

To anyone, other than the American on the make-haste, the _Puerta del
Sol_, the subject from which I have digressed, is a feature which
appeals irresistibly to the student of humanity. It is the centre where
all the great arteries of circulation meet and diverge, where the chief
pulse of Madrid life beats hardest, and the high tide of affairs flow
and ebb. Here are situated many of those huge, highly-decorated cafes
where the Madrilenians congregate to discuss politics, and settle the
affairs of the nation over good coffee and the most excellent chocolate;
here is the Home Office; and here, too, is the handsome _Hotel de
Paris_. Even this imposing and supremely comfortable hotel is not
without its detractor. The author of a book of jottings, which I came
across recently, wrote of it: “I did not particularly like the place,
and the manager and servants of the hotel did nothing to render our
visit agreeable.” From my knowledge of the hotel and its management, I
feel justified in stigmatising this expression as a gratuitous libel. A
more charming welcome, or more graceful attention, or more solid comfort
than I have invariably found at the _Hotel de Paris_, in Madrid, is not
to be obtained in any hostelry in Europe. It is on these grounds that
Sres. Baeza have built for the establishment they direct a reputation
equal to that of the Hotel Chatham, in Paris; the Carlton, in London;
the Hermitage, in Monte Carlo; and the Hotel Bristol, in Berlin. The
opinion I have quoted is that of a traveller who “had heard such
miserable accounts of Madrid” that he had “almost abandoned the idea of
going there at all;” and who, having been there, can apply to the
capital such adjectives as “cheerless,” “gloomy” and “depressing;” but
yet he cannot say that he “conceived any violent hatred to the city.” In
poll-parrotting the opinion of Theophile Gautier, which was expressed
nearly half a century ago, about a Madrid which is as different from the
capital of to-day as Madrid of to-day is, thank heaven! from Chicago,
this writer, doubtless, considers that he has earned a repute for
erudition and original observation surpassed only by that of Gautier

In the _Puerta del Sol_ is the _Imperial_ cafe, an immense hall,
comparable only in its size and the gaudiness of its decorations

[Illustration: THE BANK OF SPAIN, MADRID.]

with the _Fornos_ in the Street _Alcalá_, or the _Colon_, in Barcelona.
Long after the theatres and the handsome Opera House is closed, and the
hour of midnight is past, the city remains illuminated, the streets are
filled with carriages, and the cafes are just as crowded as at the
beginning of the evening. If you glance into the _Imperial_ before the
doors are open, or, as I was privileged to do, after the doors were
closed, you would marvel, as I did, that so vast a room should find
customers sufficient to fill it; yet, for the previous eight hours
without intermission, each table had possessed its complement of guests,
and every chair had been occupied. And, in addition to these mammoth
halls, there are innumerable others throughout the city in which a
hundred couples could dance easily. I have been told, and I see no
reason for doubting the statement, that enormous sums are quickly
amassed by the cafe proprietors in Madrid and Barcelona. For the huge
_Colon_ cafe in the latter city, the present tenant agreed to rebuild
the cafe and pay the sum of £12,000 for ten years occupation only. This
he did, and although only half the time of his tenure has expired, he
has made a fortune after deducting the cost of building.

Wherever one wanders in this “cheerless” and “depressing” city, one’s
eyes are delighted with the constantly changing groups of all ages,
colour, and costume; one’s ears are filled with sounds of laughter, and
song, and merriment: and one’s senses are galvanised by the vivacity,
the gaiety, and the almost feverish overflow of pleasure by which one is
surrounded. Stroll, if you will, through the beautiful gardens of the
_Plaza Mayor_ (the grand square of Madrid), saunter by the open shops of
the _Calle de Toledo_, cross the oval-shaped _Plaza de Oriente_, which
lies between the Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre, linger on any of
the many handsome bridges, or promenade the beautiful _prados_--the Bank
of Spain, one of the finest public buildings in Europe, is situated in
the _Salon del Prado_--and you shall never escape the carnival spirit
that animates young and old, rich and poor alike.

Rich as Madrid is in obelisks, fountains, and splendid statuary, it has
fewer architectural and antiquarian attractions to afford the visitor
than such cities as Toledo, Granada, or Córdova; but it has a Royal
Picture Gallery which contains one of the finest, if not the very finest
collection of old masters in the world. Velasquez is to be seen here,
and here only, in all his power. Titian is also represented, as also are
Raffælle, Veronese, Murillo, Juan Juanes, Rubens, Tenier, and many
others. Rembrandt alone, of all the great artists, is limited to a
single specimen; but there is a whole host of comparatively unknown and
yet veritable masters, from the sixteenth century Antonio Moro, Coello,
and Pantoja de la Cruz, through Pacheco, Ribera (with, after all, his
only too life-like representations of what old days and old saints
were), Zurbaran and Alonso Cano, down to Valdés Leal; or, the Goya and
Lopez of but a century ago. This quiet Museo is a veritable home of art.
It is all in such deliciously small compass, all so well ordered, all so
good. One has not to walk miles before attaining to favourite spots, or
to stare over acres of unresponsive canvas before lighting upon familiar
faces, or even to command one’s temper against officialism or jostling.
All is contained in a few rooms, and that by exclusion of the bad rather
than through poverty. In the neighbouring Academia of San Fernando--the
Academy of Fine Arts--in the _Calle Alcalá_, there is, besides a fine
collection of minerals, precious stones, and the finest zoological
department in Spain, several excellent Murillos, Riberas, and Zurbarans,
a characteristic Rubens and some sketches of Goya’s. A visit should also
be paid to the _Armeria Real_. Here is housed probably the very finest
collection of armour in the world, a


[Illustration: AN ORANGE SELLER.]



collection that is not only a perfect epitome of the history of the
science of attack and defence, but is full likewise of touching record
and suggestion.

The Royal Palace of Madrid is admittedly one of the most magnificent in
the world; it is, in every sense of the word, a Royal residence. The
building is a square of 470 feet by 100 feet high, occupying, it is
said, the site of the original outpost alcazar of the Moors. The
exterior, despite its noble proportions, does not fulfil the
expectations inspired by the distant view; but once it is entered, the
princely magnificence of its decorations fills the beholder with
feelings of wondering ecstacy. Throughout the palace the appointments
are of extreme richness, and remind one of a time when Spain was in the
zenith of its glory. All the countries of Europe have been laid under
tribute for the art treasures that crowd every corner. In one apartment
there is a collection of timepieces, some of which are worth almost
their weight in gold, and they were all collected by one monarch; while
another sovereign devoted much time to completing a collection of china
which is one of the proudest possessions of the palace. Other kings have
covered the walls with the priceless works of old masters, and the
result is a gallery of paintings of various schools which is one of the
wonders of Europe. But undoubtedly the finest apartment in the palace is
the throne room, which glows with rich colouring and scintillates with a
lavish display of precious metals. The superb throne, made for the
husband of Mary of England, is entirely of silver; the huge lions that
mount guard on each side being of the same metal. Marbles of almost
every colour of the rainbow are to be seen everywhere; and the
furniture, made of the rarest of inlaid woods, delights the eye with its
graceful form. The whole apartment is given a finished and warm
appearance by the costly hangings of crimson velvet. The ball room of
the palace is the largest in Europe. All the arts and manufactures seem
to have contributed to its splendour.

In Madrid I sampled for the first time the cooking of the country. The
untravelled Englishman still clings to the superstition that the visitor
to Spain must either starve, or condescend to consume food fried in
rancid oil and seasoned with garlic. The fastidious tourist will be fed
as well in Spain, both in the cities and the country inns, as in any
city or provincial district in Europe. That born master of commissariat,
the Switzer, has introduced himself into the country; and he has
banished garlic and bad oil from Spain, even as he expelled “rare” beef
and parboiled cabbages in England. But the hotel charges of New York and
Paris have not yet been adopted in Madrid, and one can live sumptuously
at the _Hotel de Paris_ for £1 per day. Throughout Spain the charges are
remarkably reasonable, and in the principal cities 10s. a day, including
wine at meals and all et ceteras, is the average at the best hotels.

But the cooking of the _Hotel de Paris_ is not to be met with all over
Spain, nor are the menus of the city caravansary the ones adopted for
the general use throughout the country districts. Pork, in its various
phases--bacon, ham and sausage--is the meat par excellence of provincial
Spain, occupying the same elevated position in the department of
gastronomy as English beef, Welsh mutton, and Irish potatoes. Judging
from the Continent generally, an Englishman is apt to fancy that a
rasher is a delicacy confined to the British Isles; but before he has
been long in Spain, he will discover the truth of Ford’s eulogium: “The
pork of Spain has always been unequalled in flavour. The bacon is fat
and well flavoured; the sausages delicious, and the hams transcendently
superlative, to use the very expression of Diodorus Siculus, a man of
great taste, learning and judgment. Of all the things of Spain, no one

[Illustration: SKETCHES IN SPAIN.]

feel ashamed to plead guilty to a predilection and preference for the
pig.” And wherever one travels in the peninsula, one is met by the local
dish, which is, indeed, rather a dinner than a dish; and when one has
become used to it, it is both satisfying and exquisite. The _puchero_,
or stew, would have delighted the heart and stomach of Huckleberry Finn,
whose gastronomic prejudices, it will be remembered, favoured a “barrel
of odds and ends” in which “things get mixed up and the juice kinds of
swaps around and things go better.” The chief ingredients of the
national _puchero_ are bacon, beef, fowl, according to the state of the
larder, cooked in one mass with _garbanzos_, a bean of peculiar size and
tenderness and flavour, cabbage, carrots, gourd and long-pepper, a
sausage or two being thrown in by way of make weight. The _puchero_ is
amenable to unending expansion, according to the status of the
householder. Where the means are straightened, it consists of meat and
_garbanzos_ only, but the wealthy housewife adds to it a hundred
delicious tit-bits; and if the juice that “kinds of swaps around” is
sometimes a trifle over-seasoned, the general result is, as a rule,
delicious. Dumas has left it on record that he suffered from hunger in
Spain. I can only suppose that the supply of _puchero_ was insufficient
for his requirements. I cannot believe that the dish deprived him of his
appetite. Then, again, the Spaniards are great people for sweets; they
are, indeed, masters of this branch of the culinary art, and their
preserved fruits and quince jelly seems to form an indispensable
complement to the dinner table; while their fruits and vegetables, their
oranges, Malaga grapes, asparagus and artichokes are famous in song and

In one field of enterprise, and that, curiously enough, the one in which
their late antagonists, the Americans, claim pre-eminence over the
civilised world, viz., in the journalistic arena, Madrid is ahead of
New York, England, and Paris. In influence the press of Spain is second
to none; in variety it is equal to that of Paris; and in _La
Correspondencia de España_, Madrid has invented a newspaper which has no
counterpart in any other city in the world. It is supposed that nobody
can retire to rest before reading the latest edition of this “night-cap
of Madrid,” as it is commonly styled; and it is certain that few people
in the capital, who profess to take a lively interest in the world’s
doings, ever go to bed until they have perused it. It is innocent of
politics, and almost contemptuous of parties. The object of its wealthy
originator and proprietor is not to propagate views, but to give news.
Nothing in Spain, or out of it, which reaches Madrid is omitted from _La
Correspondencia_, of which there are three editions published during the
day, the last of which appears somewhere between ten o’clock and
midnight. Nobody takes it for its views, or its special articles,
although the mania of the moment has seized its millionaire proprietor,
and compelled him to adopt something of the movement of contemporary
journalism, but for its news it is read by everybody in Madrid. Its
advertisement charges are, consequently, very high; and also,
consequently, it has its imitators. But they do not prosper.

Although the Spaniard has an enormous capacity for enjoyment, his
popular pastimes are not numerous. Bull-fighting, as I shall explain, is
meat and drink to him, and it is something more, because it is his
horse-racing, cricket, football, and the prize-ring rolled into one. It
is his National sport. Horse-racing is creeping into popularity; but
although all Madrid attends the meetings at the Hippodrome, and ladies
don their most gorgeous gowns to do honour to the sport, it is doubtful
if it will imperil the strong position which the bulls hold in the
affections of the people. After bull-fighting, the only other universal
amusement is the guitar and the dance. The upper classes affect polo and
tennis; in the Basque provinces Pelota rouses enthusiasm, and
cock-fighting is still practised amongst the lower classes in most of
the Spanish towns; but these must be classed in “side-shows” in the
gallery of their general recreations.

[Illustration: A MILK STALL.]

A widespread and entirely erroneous impression prevails in this country
that the Spanish national dances are indecent. People who entertain this
notion may dispense with it as soon as possible. Londoners are
frequently given the opportunity of witnessing Spanish dancing at the
Alhambra by Otero, or Guerrero, or that even more splendid exponent of
the art, Consuelo Tortajada. I was present one evening at London’s
Alhambra, when the last-named was dancing the “Malagueña”--a variety to
which the description “poetry of motion” may be applied with full
justice--and a spectator remarked to me: “Very fine, very fine indeed,
but you should see it danced in Madrid. You wouldn’t recognise it for
the same thing.” And his look was more meaningful than his words.
Although he was not aware of it, he had informed me that he had never
been to Madrid, or at least had never witnessed the Andalucian dance on
the stage of a theatre there; and I suspect that if I had displayed a
craving for further information, I should have been assured that Spanish
women generally are ladies of flexible ethics, who indulge in
cigarettes. I believe that by paying for the edifying spectacle, certain
gipsy dances of the Hindoo “nautch” variety can be witnessed in the
gipsy quarter of Seville; but the Spaniard leaves these exhibitions to
the English and American tourists, who call it “studying the life of the
country,” or “gaining experience.” Those shows have no more connection
with the national dances than has burglary with the marriage service. In
the streets outside the cafes, and in the theatres, the dances of Spain
are as irreproachable as a _pas de seul_ by Miss Topsy Sinden.

In the Spanish theatre, with the exception of the leading playhouses in
the larger cities, the two, and even more shows a night system is an
ancient and universal practice. The pieces are short, and the charges
for admission are not based on the idea of so much a seat, but so much a
piece. Each item costs the spectator fivepence, and the audience is
constantly being changed and renewed during the evening. Variety is the
spice of the entertainment; and in the provincial towns, where the
theatres are always well patronised, a constant change of bill is
maintained. Madrid alone supports no less than nineteen theatres; and
Madrid, let it be remembered, is a city with under half-a-million
inhabitants. At the same rate, London would have over two hundred.

If one could extend the list of amusements without fear of being thought
irreverent, I should be inclined to include the saints’ festivals in
this category. Although these religious observances are conducted with
sincere devotional decorum, they provide, as they do in all Roman
Catholic countries, the excuse for, as well as the main feature of, a
general holiday. I have seen many festival crowds in Spain, and the good
humour, the innocent happiness and universal sobriety that characterise
them, is to an Englishman acquainted with English holiday-makers, as
novel as it is delightful. The festival of San Isidro del Campo, the
tutelary saint of Madrid, is the principal festival of the Madrilenian
year, and is religiously celebrated by all the lower classes and the

[Illustration: THE BULL-RING, MADRID.]

who come from the neighbouring villages. It takes place on May 15th, and
provides the most genuine bit of local colour that is to be witnessed
outside Toledo. The great concourse sets out early; and crossing the
Manzanares, follows a road which is lined with men and women offering
their “agua fresca” (cold water) from large jugs. Water, it may be
noted, is the staple beverage of all Spanish fairs and festivals. On the
other side of the river--in May, the Manzanares belies the
description--the miscellaneous vehicles (some drawn by as many as six
mules) discharge their crowded freights, and soon the country is like an
ant-hill, except that ants are usually in mourning, and do not wear such
bright colours as the peasant women and the soldiers who form so large a
portion of the crowd. There are innumerable booths for eating and
drinking, and other common features of folk festivals. More unique are
the family groups scattered everywhere, eating their slices of cold
meat, salad, red pepper and oranges. Many have their wine in the same
old pig-skins of which one reads in _Don Quixote_. At every hundred
yards there is some sort of primitive music, to the rhythm of which the
young men and young women dance with an expression of delighted
absorption. Indeed the whole crowd wear a look of indifference to the
past and future, and a determination to make the most of the passing
moment. Away up the hill are long rows of booths with pottery, toys for
children and cakes, and further up still is the saint’s chapel, into
which all the people crowd in turn to kiss a silver image held by the
priest, to receive a printed picture of the saint, and to drop a copper.
But that wonderful crowd, whether at dance, or meat, or its devotion,
contained the greatest number of happy faces I have ever seen together
in my life.

El Escorial.

Another of the Spanish royal residences, of which no other European
country can boast so many, is, to give the edifice its correct title:
“El Real sitio de San Lorenzo el Real del Escorial,” which is situated
some twenty-five miles from Madrid. The ancient glory of _El Escorial_,
its revenues, its monks and its magnificence, are vanished, but the
activity and importance of the district have been revived by virtue of
the wonderful copper mines which lie almost under the shadow of the
mighty walls of the historical building. The immediate vicinity of the
Escorial is extremely beautiful. Close at hand rises a mountain range,
highly picturesque in form and outline, and of a colouring singularly
rich and varied, while many of the upland slopes are clothed with
thickets and bushy patches of copse-wood, their varied tints thrown into
bright relief by the dark grey rocks cropping out here and there along
the face of the mountain. Immediately below lies the park with its dark
foliage of ibex, while to the east lies a tiny lake, which glistens
under the early sunbeams.

The Escorial, which has been pronounced to be the “eighth wonder of the
world,” owed its existence to Philip II. and the celebrated architects,
Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera, and is at once a palace, a
monastery and the pantheon of the monarchs of Spain. Formerly, it was
known as the Royal Monastery of St. Lawrence, and it was raised in
commemoration of the battle of St. Quentin, when the Spanish army routed
the French on the festival day of the martyr, St. Lawrence. Philip II.,
or the architect, or both, are commonly believed to have designedly
planned the outline of the building in the shape of a gridiron, out of
respect for the butchered saint, whose martyrdom on one of those
utensils is a matter of history. Probably, however, chance rather than
design is responsible for the exact plan; though there can be no doubt,
looking down at the Escorial from the top of the neighbouring mountains,
that the simile is justifiable. A desire to protect majesty from the
keen winds and to obtain for majesty’s apartments the bulk of the
sunshine in the neighbourhood, perhaps helped to make the Escorial what
it is, architecturally speaking.


Before the French invasion, the church teemed with treasures
of art--sacred vessels of gold and silver--a multitude of
shrines--reliquaires--and a tabernacle of such exquisite workmanship,
that it was wont to be spoken of as worthy to be one of the ornaments of
the celestial altar. All these were destroyed by La Houssage’s troopers
when they occupied the Escorial in 1808, by way of giving vent to their
national feeling respecting the battle of St. Quentin, two-and-a-half
centuries before. The Escorial sustained a still greater loss in 1837,
during the Carlist war, when about a hundred of the choicest paintings
were removed, for safety’s sake, to the Museo at Madrid.

The exploration of the Escorial is a formidable undertaking, comprising
as it does the inspection of a palace, a convent, two


colleges, three chapter-houses and three libraries, with their
concomitant complement of halls, dormitories, refectories and
infirmaries. There are no fewer than eighty-six staircases; and someone,
gifted with a turn for statistics, has calculated that to visit every
individual room and to traverse each staircase and corridor, would
occupy four entire days, and carry the adventurer over a distance of
about a hundred and twenty English miles. The square of the building
covers 500,000 feet; there are eighty-eight fountains, fifteen
cloisters, sixteen courtyards, and 3,000 feet of painted fresco.


Twenty-one years were occupied in its construction, but a century did
not suffice to collect the wonderful literary treasures which it now
contains. One of the most famous MSS. in the Escorial library is the
“Libro de Oro,” the letters of which are composed of eight kilogrammes
(18 lbs.) of gold leaf. These letters, which are of course very thin,
are attached to parchment. Forty-two richly-decorated altars are to be
seen in the interior of the palace church, but more wonderful in their
way than the altars are the service books for the use of the choir. It
is said that each leaf of each book was made from an entire calf-skin,
17,000 skins being used in the process.


Beneath the church is the burial place of the kings of Spain; the one
spot, one would imagine, where etiquette would not rule; but where, in
reality, it is most rigorously observed; for right royal dust must not
mingle with the dust of princes, and a separate pantheon was for this
cause built for those sons of kings who had not actually worn the
purple. Apart from its treasures and its curiosities, there is one
quarter of the Escorial which is of particular interest to
English-speaking peoples. In three small rooms, as bare as the cell of
the anchorite, dwelt the husband of Queen Mary of England, that monkish
and forbidding sovereign at whose command the myriad ships of the
Invincible Armada were hurled against England. His ambition was to make
England the appanage of Spain; all he obtained were a few English elms
which still flourish in the palace gardens.


Yet another Royal Palace, occupying an extensive valley, surrounded by
hills, is situated at Aranjuez, in the extreme south of the province of
Madrid, on the left bank of the full-flowing river Tajo. In the town of
Aranjuez there are splendid farms, palaces and hotels, wide
thoroughfares, good churches, theatre, hospital, barracks, very
beautiful promenades, and all the other adjuncts of a model town. All
these, however, are surpassed by the beauty of the gardens and parks
which, with the Royal Palace, are the property of the Crown. The
illustration shows the side of the Royal dwelling which opens on to what
are called the Island gardens, on account of their being surrounded by
the waters of the river Tajo. The first thing that strikes one is the
monumental fountain which deals with the allegory of the Pillars of
Hercules, and was designed by the Italian sculptor, Alexander Algardi.
The building, which was commenced in 1561 by Philip II. and continued by
all the Bourbon kings, is elegantly proportioned, and is surrounded by
delicious gardens, luxurious avenues of trees, picturesque woods, and
large lakes.


Don Quixote was a true lover of Barcelona, which he addressed as “the
home of courtesy, refuge for strangers, country of the valiant.” Its
history is replete with records of its valour; its everyday life is
illumined with a grave courtesy; the stranger within its gates is
welcomed with a cordiality in which suspicion has no part. The Catalan
is afraid of nobody on this earth; he has no use, as the Americans put
it, for suspicion. He is a distinct race in costume, habits, and
language; combining the grace and charm of the Spanish manner, with the
mental vitality of the French, and the commercial enterprise and
integrity of the English. Physically he is strong, sinewy, and active;
and his dogged perseverance, his enormous powers of endurance, and his
patience under privation and fatigue make him as fine a soldier as the
world has seen. The Catalans take what our grandmothers used to call a
proper pride in themselves. The hauteur of the proud Castilians is not
theirs; they regard the poetic language and indolent gaiety of the
Andalucians without envy; they know themselves to be the most serious,
industrious, and progressive people in the Peninsula; they are
Spaniards, but Spaniards, be it understood, of Catalonia.

This feeling is not of course peculiar to the Catalans. Spanish
character, and the special localism that forms one of its most
distinctive features, has changed but little since Richard Ford, writing
more than half-a-century ago, said: “The inhabitants of the different
provinces think, indeed, that Madrid


is the greatest and richest court in the world, but their hearts are in
their native localities. ‘Mi paisano,’ my fellow-countryman, or rather
my fellow-countyman, fellow-parishioner, does not mean Spaniard, but
Andalucian, Catalonian as the case may be. When a Spaniard is asked,
‘Where do you come from?’ the reply is, ‘_Soy hijo de Murcia--hijo de
Granada_’--‘I am a son of Murcia--a son of Granada,’ &c.” This is
strictly analogous to the “children of Israel,” the “Bene” of the
Spanish Moors, and to this day the Arabs of Cairo call themselves
_children_ of that town; and just as the Milesian Irishman is a “boy
from Tipperary,” &c., and ready to fight with anyone who is so also,
against all who are not of that ilk: similar, too, is the clanship of
the highlander: indeed, everywhere, not perhaps to the same extent as in
Spain, the being of the same province or town creates a powerful
freemasonry: the parties cling together like old school-fellows. It is a
_home_, and really binding feeling. To the spot of their birth, all
their recollections, comparisons, and eulogies are turned: nothing, to
them, comes up to their particular province; that is their real country.
“_La Patria_,” means Spain at large, is a subject of declamation, fine
words, _palabras_--palaver, in which all, like Orientals, delight to
indulge, and to which their grandiloquent idioms lends itself readily:
but their patriotism is still largely parochial, and self is the centre
of Spanish gravity.

[Illustration: A NATIVE OF CATALONIA.]

And so it happens that if the Catalan has scant liking for the romantic,
pleasure-loving, guitar-thrumming Andalucian, the Andalucian, on the
other hand, regards the Catalan as a hard, pedantic and unpoetic
mechanic. As a matter of fact, he is straightforward without being hard,
grave without pedantry, hospitable without ostentation; and, like all
Spaniards, he is a poet. Poetry, as a national characteristic, is an
accident of climate. Here is Barcelona, the Manchester of Spain, a hive
of manufacturing industry, rejoicing in one of the most lovely sites in
Europe, possessed of a climate equal to that of Naples, and with its
beauty untarnished by the hand of time, or the artificer. Such an
atmosphere, such skies, such stars make a people poets against their
wills. I do not imply a charge against the Spaniards that they write
poetry--that is an entirely different thing. They may--they do, happily,
for the most part--die with all their poetry in them; but they are none
the less poets; and indeed they are, as Oscar Wilde argued, the better
poets on that account. For the Spanish temperament rises superior to the
temptations of environment. If it were my good fortune to live
perpetually beneath that star-spangled sky, I believe I could not resist
the impulse to write verse. If for no other reason than for this alone I
doff my beaver to the unversifying Catalan.

There is, however, another characteristic which accounts for their
prosperity, and excuses the tone of superiority they adopt towards the
people of the neighbouring provinces--they are not afraid of work. Since
the thirteenth century, when the Catalans led the way to the whole world
in maritime conquest and jurisprudence, they have never thought trade to
be a degradation, but rather have ennobled it by their honesty and
enterprise. The Spanish race generally has lacked the trading spirit. An
intelligent American writer, who has studied the causes which have
brought Spain down from her ancient eminence in the affairs of Europe,
finds them in a position different from that which is generally
supposed. “Pride, a weak monarch, a dissolute court, religious
intolerance--all these,” says our transpontine critic, “are admirable
starting points from which to prove a nation’s decline. But Spain has
been by no means unique in the possession of these requisites. A close
examination of intrigue, and counter-intrigue, and plot at the capital
reveals a condition different from that of some other countries only in
being a little later in occurrence. In


fact, all these are mere effects; the cause is the absence of that which
has developed the great nations of the earth, the cause on which
civilisation rests, the great primitive developing agency--the trading
spirit. For seven centuries she was a battlefield. During that time,
while she was keeping the Mohammedan wolf from the door of Europe, there
was no chance for the development of the trading spirit. What growth
came in a measure to some of the coast cities was the result of local
commercial relations finding an extension and expansion between nation
and nation. The spirit of getting by the good right arm grew, and
produced its tradition; while the precarious cultivation of land for
food, an occupation ever more and more removed from the leaders, became
the work of an ignorant and unrespected class.

“With the absence of trade goes the absence of knowledge of the outside
world; and though a certain general knowledge was brought back by the
Europe-conquering soldiers of Charles and Philip, it was a knowledge of
how easily gain could be made in the old way, rather than a stimulus to
the merchant.

“Without the logical traditions of buying and selling, raised up through
generations, Spain could hardly avoid the errors of government which the
want of such traditions bring. She could scarcely hope not to become the
victim of each and every scheme for a financial millennium, as a nation,
which we are all accustomed to smile at when played in the more
self-evident form of personal charlatanry. And, most of all, the dignity
of work has been lost. The Spanish labourer pitied himself--and was

“Up to the beginning of the Cuban war, however, a better condition had
been developing. Education, and a knowledge of the outside world, were
bringing home to this nation that to be the proudest man in the world it
is well to have a basis for that pride in tangible rather than
traditional things; and of so excellent a nature have I found the
Spaniard when one knows him, that I cannot help believing in his
ultimate development.

“But few, I know, cross the threshold of the Spanish house to find how
good a man at heart the owner is. He is proud, it is true, and does not
much favour the stranger; but it is the pride of a reserved nature, not
of a weak one.”

There is indeed much truth to be found in this view of the situation.
Spain has never been a great _commercial_ nation; she

[Illustration: LYRIC THEATRE.]

[Illustration: EXHIBITION HALL.]


is, in fact, only now entering for the first time the commercial arena.
No nation in Europe commenced her career on a trade basis. Conquest in
the early ages was the only acknowledged industry; and the empires of
Carthage, Phœnicia, Rome, Spain, and Great Britain all rose to greatness
by the right of might. England was a young nation when Spain commenced
to decline after centuries of conquest and supremacy, and England was
ripe to receive the impression of the value of commerce as a maker and
sustainer of kingdoms. Germany did not become a great power until the
supremacy of trade was universally acknowledged; America was cradled in
a counting house, and brought up in the atmosphere of profit and loss.


Barcelona, of all the cities of Spain, has never been blind to the
advantages of commerce; and to-day, the city, in its bustling activity,
its red-hot life, its ceaseless movement and sense of prosperity
resembles all the great commercial cities of the world--London, New
York, Melbourne, Liverpool, and Chicago. But in one respect it more
nearly approaches London in the resemblance, by reason of an
ill-favoured side of approach. I have often met at Tilbury or
Liverpool--but Tilbury especially--friends who have been on their first
visit to our Metropolis, and I have begged them, as a personal favour,
not to form any opinion of the city from the railway-carriage windows.
The squalor and dreariness of the eastern approach to London is only
mildly reproduced by the southern environs of Barcelona. Indeed, when
one makes one’s first acquaintance with it, it is difficult to believe
that it is the boastedly first city of Spain. Yet the boast is not
unjustified in so far, at least, as the concerns of every-day life,
polity and progress are concerned. When once the visitor is within the
circle of her brighter ways, he will look in vain for any of the
smudginess whose kingdom and on-coming have been heralded by smudge; he
will speedily recognise the fact that here is rolling by him a greater
volume of trade than in all the other great centres of Spanish
commercial life put together. Everywhere in Barcelona there is apparent
the lively, virile animation, bred of a prosperous and forceful
existence; and it is this which constitutes one of the great charms of
the place. In no town-ways of Spain, not even in those of Seville, is
the visitor so well rewarded as in Barcelona.

On one of my visits to Barcelona, I arrived in the city during the
labour riots last year. Trains had been fired at and attacked with
stones, so the windows of the carriages were barricaded, and all
precautions were taken for the safety of the passengers. We were
allowed, however, to enter the station unmolested; and although the
crowded streets were paraded by the military, and a further outburst of
public feeling was expected, the force of the human volcano had
evidently expended itself before our arrival. Much property had been
damaged; and, on all sides, one saw windows riddled with bullets, or
smashed with stones, and evidences that the industrious and law-abiding
Barcelonian is a Spaniard when roused. There was an alertness akin to
menace in the flashing glances that inspected us that seemed to threaten
all kind of unpleasant eventualities. But we walked through the streets
in perfect safety; and my good friend, who had driven in from his
country house to meet me, along roads patrolled by soldiers and skirted
by turbulent rioters, apologised delightfully for the insecurity of the
highways which rendered him unable to offer me the hospitality of his
house until the following day. The risk he had run in coming in to
Barcelona to welcome me did not occur to him. I was his friend--he had
not given a thought


for his skin. As we promenaded the streets, he approached men and asked
them questions about the riot, and the scowl disappeared from their
faces as a sea-mist lifts from the cliffs as they gave us the required
information. I have written that the Spaniard’s good manners are the
result not of an acquired and superficial politeness, but are derived
from a natural and national courtesy that is inbred in the race. There
is in their attentions a vein of selfishness which is half its charm. A
stranger will do you a courtesy for which your thanks can only half pay
him--the other half-payment he himself contributes for the service. He
has pleased you, and in so doing he has pleased himself. And one feels
that he has pleasure in his own unselfishness. It is impossible to be
many hours in Spain without recognising this delightful trait. You step
into a shop and inquire the way to the cathedral. The friendly
shopkeeper places himself immediately at your disposal. He takes down
his _capa_, and personally conducts you to the desired spot. It is the
same always. You ask for your bearings of a member of the famous
_guardia civil_, and the pair will solemnly march you to your
destination; or the first pedestrian you meet proceeding in the opposite
direction, faces about on the instant, and retraces his steps through
the length or breadth of a town to put you on the right road.

We have no force in this country that corresponds with the _Guardia
Civil_; perhaps the Royal Irish Constabulary are their nearest
counterpart in organisation and fine _morale_. This body, which is
composed of 20,000 foot and 500 mounted guards, are neither soldiers nor
policemen, but they combine the duties of both. Their splendid physique,
and smart, soldierly bearing--only the best men in the Spanish Army are
admitted to the ranks of the Civil Guards--give one a feeling of
security and a sense of order that nothing else seems to impart. They
are stationed in every town and small village throughout the country.
They patrol the roads, they accompany every train, and are to be seen at
every station; they are to be encountered everywhere, and always in
pairs. Dressed in blue tunic and trousers of the same colour, with light
buff-coloured belts, cocked hats, and top-boots, they carry their
well-polished rifles in a manner which engenders the respect of
evil-doers. In contrast with the leisurely life around them, they stride
through the traffic, in it, but not of it--a class apart. They are,
indeed, apart in habit


as well as in appearance. Their association with the outer world is
almost entirely official. They live in barracks, mess together, and hold
themselves aloof. Their _esprit de corps_ is as perfect as their
discipline; they cannot be bribed, nor induced to accept a reward for
any service they may render you. The safety of property and life in
Spain is in their keeping; and it may be said without exaggeration that
they have done more to establish order in the Peninsula than any other

Barcelona, besides being a busy, wide-awake, and rapidly-growing
commercial and industrial centre, contrasting strongly with some other
Spanish cities that still seem to be shrouded in the mists of the middle
ages, has also acquired the reputation of being a beautiful
city--beautiful, of course, in the modern sense; for, where modern
enterprise rules, the old-time beauty is apt to take flight. Its
situation, on a slope running down from the mountains to the sea, is
both healthful and picturesque. Its streets and boulevards are wide,
regular, and well made; and its main avenue, the _Rambla_, has been
styled, not without justice, the “_Unter den Linden_” of Barcelona. This
line of promenade, formed by the _Ramblas_ of _Santa Monica_, _del
Centro_, _de San José_, _de Estudios_, _de Canaletas_, and the _Paseo de
Gracia_ is a veritable triumph of boulevarding. Europe may be challenged
to produce anything finer. It runs from the port right through the heart
of the town, and out into the country, a practically uninterrupted
series of carriage drives and public promenades, shaded nearly all the
way by over-arching plane-trees. The lower portions are lined with
handsome shops and cafés, with the best hotels and theatres; and all the
upper reach--the _Gracia Paseo_--with the imposing blocks of houses of
the Ensanche, the residential region, _par excellence_, of the city.

The little _Rambla de San José_, too, may justly be accorded its more
popular name of “_de las Flores_:” for here each morning is held the
flower market, when both sides of the broad central walk are lined with
stacks heaped up in dazzling profusion with all the floral wealth which
southern sunlight, nature, and art can produce. Here, amid the splendid
highways of the city, one may find a continual occupation for both eye
and mind in the ever-shifting and gorgeous colouring, and in all the
movements of the colossal game of life. The hour does not signify--early
or late, morning, afternoon, or night, it is all one--for Barcelona folk
seem to be able to do without sleep; and at all times the air is
deliciously soft, and yet so fresh, from the sea and from the
hill-country which backs up the city, that one is ever impelled onwards.
In the full artery of the life of it, one comes across the _Lonja_, the
_Casas Consistoriales and Diputacion_, but one looks in vain for the
great cathedral, the Churches of _Santa Maria del Mar_, _Santa Ana_,
_Santa Maria del Pino_, the old Benedictine Monastery of _San Pablo del
Campo_, the Roman remains, and the fine Renaissance houses. These are
not for those who run to see, but are hidden away, tucked out of sight,
so to speak, in a most vexatious and puzzling manner.

In Barcelona, we have the old town with its narrow, tortuous lanes, and
the new town with its streets laid out at right angles, its handsome
houses, and its air of general prosperity. The trade of the city is ever
increasing, and its prospects are almost illimitable. The wealth of the
city has overflowed into the handsome suburb of _Paseo de Gracia_, with
its villas and miniature palaces, and its population of nearly 40,000
inhabitants. The port of Barcelona has, in the process of improvement,
effaced the historical Muralla del Mar; and its site is now occupied by
a broad, handsome quay, laid out with palms, and enriched with a
wonderful stone and bronze column, 197 feet high, surmounted with a
statue of Columbus. More handsome and lofty houses are to be found in
the _Plaza Real_; the finest


shops are situated in the _Calle de Fernando_; while the _Calle Ancha_
is given over to banks and insurance offices. In the _Plaza del Palacio_
is the beautiful fountain in Carrara marble representing the four
Catalonian provinces of Barcelona, Lérida, Tarragona, and Gerona.
Another superb piece of street ornamentation is the Columbus Memorial,
which was erected in 1889. It is built at the end of the Rambla in the
PLAZA DE LA PAZ, and has the picturesque silhouette of Montjuich for a
background. The pedestal, which is octagonal in form, rests on a
circular base, flanked by four spacious ledges, decorated with eight
lions, and from it rises the iron column, crowned by a magnificent
Corinthian capital supporting a bronze globe; above which, in graceful
pose, is seen the statue of the immortal discoverer, also in bronze.
Many historical and allegorical statues embellish this memorial, and
also high reliefs in copper depicting the chief events in the life of
Columbus and a great number of ornaments and other details, all equally
elegant. From the ground to the top of the statue the monument is 180
feet in height. The vaulted arches underneath are used as a
burying-place for distinguished Catalan sailors. A lift runs inside the
column to the top, and a magnificent panoramic view is to be obtained
from the capital. I have referred especially to this column and the
fountain because to my mind they are the most imposing of the many
columns, pyramids, and statues that abound in the squares and
thoroughfares of the city.


Dark, mysterious, and imposing, the Gothic Cathedral is worthy of a
place by the most beautiful of Spain. After the great Cathedral of
Seville, I know no other that impresses one in the same way as the
Cathedral of Barcelona. The fine proportions and carefully-arranged
lighting are common to them both. At Tarragona, Salamanca, Toledo,
Burgos, Leon, and Santiago, we can see work that will bear more close
analysis and confer great teaching; but the Catalan here teaches us his
school of stern, solid, domestic architecture, and he conveys his lesson
by the finest of examples. Here we may learn that little faults on the
part of old workers, and big, glaring faults on the part of their
successors are powerless to detract from the effect of awful solemnity
and majesty of their splendid vistas, to stultify the great ideas and
fine grasp upon the subject of scale with which the Cathedral was
carried out. Beside this, its numerous fine bits of enriched detail work
and its glorious stained glass are mere matters of detail--and the
election of models--and they are scarcely noticed.



I have listened to some beautiful music beautifully rendered in the
Cathedral of Barcelona, and in many of the great cathedrals in Spain;
and I have seen an audience go into ecstacies over a piece of
vocalisation in the Opera House at Madrid; but I should hesitate to
describe the Spanish as a musical nation. Singing among the working
people is a habit and a relaxation, but it is scarcely an art. The
working people of Barcelona, or of the Peninsula generally for that
matter, are not naturally musical; but they do not sing the less on that
account. One day as I sat in a friend’s room in the Hotel and listened
to the servants chortling incessantly as they went about their work, I
asked a trifle impatiently: “Do these good people never cease their
singing?” He looked up with a quizzical twinkle in his questioning eyes.
“Singing?” he asked. I held up my finger, and the sound of three
different voices, uplifted in three different ecstacies, came from the
corridor. “Oh! that,” he replied, still smiling: “Yes, they do a good
deal of it. So you call that singing; now I think that is very amiable
of you.” I asked him why their songs were unduly long; and learned that
as each vocalist improvises his or her own song, both words and music,
it is only limited by his or her individual fancy. “But what are the
subjects of their ballads?” I protested, and my friend responded, “Oh!
just anything--a bullfight, a tender tale of love, a report of a police
court case with ten adjournments.” Schubert, it is said, could set a
handbill to music, but these people improvise a romantic opera out of an
overdue laundry account. Their guitar playing has little but mere form;
and their dancing--the dancing of the working-classes who picnic by the
wayside and dance for the sheer love of it and the joy of living--is
governed, or seems to be, by the whim of the performer. When the
children are not playing at bullfights, they are indulging in one or
other of their innumerable singing and dancing games.

Besides the interest it affords in itself, Barcelona is within hail of
Monserrat, the pride of Catalonia, and one of the natural wonders of
Spain, which lies some thirty miles north from the city. Antonio
Gallenga has written of this wonderful mountain: “It is the loftiest and
grandest temple and most formidable citadel that was worked by God’s
hands. The Monastery, standing as it does, squeezed on its narrow ledge,
with an abyss of untold fathoms at its feet, and the weight of three
great rocky masses hanging over its head, must look both mean in size
and tame in taste, crushed by the Titanic grandeur, by the sublime
harmony and the terrible power exhibited by the Supreme Architect in
this His masterpiece of earthly handiwork.”

Nor is the description out of keeping with the subject. Seen from the
road, this terrible yet beautiful mountain, throwing off its morning
mantle of mists and lifting its weird peaks to the sun, presents a
vision of entrancing loveliness. At its base, the Monastery, vast in
size and hideous in its severity, is almost a blot upon the landscape.
But the climb from the Monastery to the summit of Monserrat is fraught
with a succession of overpowering sensations, of perpetual contrast
between terror and delight. The immense mass of mountain, about
twenty-five miles in circumference at its base, is composed of a grey
conglomerate of the granite type, brittle and crumbling; and by its
nature assuming every variety of fanciful and weird appearances,
baffling the utmost extent of men’s inventive powers. For about half the
distance to the top its body remains solid; then rent asunder in every
direction, it towers in thousands of fantastic pinnacles to its highest
point, some four thousand feet above the sea. “There is hardly a spot,”
says Gallenga, “where you do not feel that you stand on a thousand feet
precipice; hardly a nook where some great boulder, as big as the Vatican
Palace, is not suspended over your head, ready, as you fancy, to slide
down in avalanche at every burst of the storm wind.” There are huge,
straight columns, the bases and shafts of which have thus been crumbling
away for thousands of years; while the top, or as one may say, the
capital, still hangs up in air on nothing. Impervious as those crags and
cliffs appear, they are, however, crossed by paths running like threads
on the edge of the precipice.


Further up, the crest is formed by the jagged teeth of the Saw. Here are
a myriad points and aiguilles clustering in groups of pinnacles tapering
like the fingers of a man’s hand; further, a whole multitude of rocky
excrescences which have been and can be equally compared to rough-hewn
chessmen in battle array, or to chessmen strewn carelessly over the
board, some standing up sharp and erect, some fallen prostrate and
broken. The grand rugged scenery is softened and toned down by a most
wonderful profusion of vegetation, consisting of box, ilex, myrtle, ivy,
heather, laurel, and other evergreens; which, growing in every crack and
crevice where they can possibly find a hold, and flourishing at all
seasons, transform this mountain into a marvel of grey and green.

The walk from the Monastery to the summit occupies about three hours,
and is one of the most remarkable to be found in Europe. The path is
narrow, but it has been planned with consummate artistic skill. It winds
over a broad area among and around the various crags and stone _seracs_,
onwards and ever upwards until it ends, at last, at the highest point.
Sometimes it leads through a narrow valley walled in on both sides by
wild sentinels of rock, again through creeping masses of myrtle, ivy,
and jessamine, or under bowers of ilex and box. And then, suddenly,
unexpectedly, you have attained to the apparently inaccessible summit,
and you stand on the brink of precipices and overlook Monserrat spread
out beneath like an enormous Medusa, its thousands of tentacles raised
aloft on every side, enclosing deep abysses whose terribleness is
mitigated by a lining of perpetual green. Beyond lies the sun-backed,
flowerless plain, through which silver rivers turn and return on their
journey to the sea. To the north, distant but clearly defined against
the blue background of sky, a line of snowy Pyrenees smile coolness down
upon the torrid lowlands; while to the east, beyond the hazy suggestion
of Barcelona, a glittering silver rim of sea wafts inland the softest of
noonday breezes.

On the East Coast.


Monserrat, according to the guide books, may be hurriedly visited from
Barcelona by means of a return ticket for the day; but one can imagine
few persons who would be content with so hasty an inspection of one of
the most remarkable sights in Spain. One returns from the mountain to
Barcelona with one’s mind crowded with wonderful sights, and one’s
senses stirred with a new idea of the beautiful. Where shall one look,
one asks oneself, for its equal? But Spain is full of spots of almost
dazzling beauty. Within a hundred miles to the southward, following the
coast-line, is situated Tarragona. To know Tarragona is to love her, for
her natural self first, her oak forests, soft verdure and park-like
land, then for her treasures of infinitely beautiful architectural work;
and again for her simple kindness and good fellowship, her gorgeous
colouring, her brilliant sky, her gorgeous sunsets, and her outlook over
the long sweep of rich country, rock-bound coast and glinting sea. Here
is another of Spain’s many abodes of loveliness--a paradise of
far-reaching plains, dotted with villages and homesteads, coloured with
rich gardens, orange-groves and vineyards, and shaded by a rich fringe
of olive and fir trees, that lose themselves against the distant rich
brown hills. And on the other side the fertile plain slopes gently down
to the ancient pine woods, beyond which lie the fringe of yellow sands
and dark green ocean.

Tarragona has her records too, and a history among the most ancient in
the kingdom. She once boasted her million of inhabitants, her
government, her luxury, and her art. The Phœnicians made the town a
maritime settlement, the Romans made it an imperial city, the Goths
selected it as their capital. The Moors “made of the city a heap,” and
the ruins remained uninhabited for four centuries. She can point to her
grand Cyclopean walls and gateways, her Phœnician well, her so-called
“tomb” of the Scipio, her amphitheatre, her Capital, and her Roman
aqueduct striding across the valley, and seemingly defying time to
destroy it.



But if Tarragona’s one-time million inhabitants has dwindled to its
present population of some thirty thousand souls, it must always be
remembered, to its credit, that a few years ago it was only a dull, dry,
sleepy old town--a place of dusty meats and sour wines--a temple of the
past. But Tarragona has no intention of resting satisfied with a great
yesterday; she is intent upon making a future for herself. The new has
overridden the old, the town has put away its look of despairing
incongruity and uselessness, and has put on the “handsomeness” of modern
cityhood. The streets palpitate with the life of commerce; and the
harbour shelters many ships that call for cargoes of wine, nuts, almonds
and oil. Most of the native wines are excellent, and can compare with
those grown in any part of Spain; but they are put, unfortunately, to
base uses, and scarcely ever reach the consumer in their pure state.
The lighter vintages are bought by Marseilles and Paris, where they are
transformed into _vin ordinaire_, while the full-bodied varieties, known
as “Spanish Reds,” are sold in England and America under the name of

The road from Tarragona to Valencia runs over the richly fruitful plain
that is bordered on the left by great brown hills, and the lovely sea
upon the right. In the Tortosa region, only the presence of the olives
and _algarrobos_, instead of oaks and elms amid the soft green
prettiness of the landscape, forbids the delusion that one is in Sussex
or Devonshire.

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW, TORTOSA.]

The famous marble, known in Italy as _broceatello de spagna_, and
largely employed in the decoration of churches in Rome, is quarried near
Tortosa, and the city itself has its place in song and story. Tubal,
Hercules, and St. Paul, according to Martorel, were all connected with
Tortosa; and the latter is further stated to have instituted Monseñor
Ruf as bishop here. Under the Moors the place became the key of the east
coast, and from time immemorial it has been acquainted with warfare and
the clash of arms. It withstood the siege of Louis de Débonnaire, son of
Charlmagne, in 811, but two years later the city fell and had to be
recaptured by the Moors. Since then it has been four times besieged and
thrice taken; to-day it is chiefly noted for its imposing appearance,
its fine Gothic cathedral, and its picturesque bridge of boats.
Sixty-five miles to the southward is Castellon, which, though a
flourishing place in a garden of plenty, is of only Moorish origin, and
consequently an infant among the towns of Spain. Naturalists make it
their headquarters; and it is the junction for the copper, cinnabar, and
lead mines that abound at Espadeno.


A stop must be made at Murviedro, which flourished under its old title
of Sanguntum. Then it was a seaport city of magnificence, richness and
power; to-day it consists of a wild bare hill, studded with white
houses, traversed by long lines of wall and crowned by an old castle.
Two thousand years ago it was laid in ruins by the Carthagenian army,
and it has been little else than a heap of ruins ever since. The Roman
Theatre, which still remains, is placed in a bend of the northern skirt
of the hill between the town and the immense fortress which crowns the
mountain. It has seats built of blue limestone and


cement, petrified by the action of the centuries which have elapsed
since it was built, which, according to the most authoritative opinion,
was in the first century of our era. The stage, which measures about 165
feet in length and 19½ feet in width, was vaulted, some of the vaults
being still in existence. The


amphitheatre was composed of three series or groups of steps separated
by wider ones which served for landings. A spacious portico ran round
with small columns, statues, and a triple row of seats. At present the
theatre is surrounded by a wall which prevents it from falling entirely
to ruin, a consummation which would be due more to the vandalism of men
than to the ravages of time.

The population of Valencia, the third city in Spain, which according to
the last census was 150,000, makes this an important centre, but it is
not an outwardly picturesque city. This is due to the flatness of the
country, which prevents a good view of its buildings, as well as to the
luxuriant vegetation which, surrounding the town on all sides, hides
from the observer.


Valencia has little to boast in the way of archæological prizes. Her old
churches and palaces, her _tapia_ walls and massive gates, with most of
her ancient monuments, are gone; and only a few beautiful bits--the late
Gothic Lonja, the octagonal _Miguelete_ belfry-tower, and some odd
portions of the cathedral--remain. The very beautiful Lonja (Exchange),
the ornamentation of which is characteristic of the Renaissance, is
situated in the large Market square. The Lonja comprises the handsome
Hall of Trade, the Watch Tower, on the ground floor of which is the
chapel, and the Pavilion of the Consulado de Mar, which was previously
used for offices and as a commercial hall. Extensive restoration work
has recently been carried out in the building, which has suffered great
mutilations. The Silk Exchange, besides being a market for this article,
contains the commercial bourse, the municipal courts and other
government offices. But if the city has swept herself almost clean of
her precious art relics, she has assumed an air of modern alertness, and
developed a commendable intention to move with the times. The
improvements being carried out in the city of the Cid have almost
entirely transformed Santa Catalina Square. Both the Santa Catalina and
the Rhein Square near by, in the heart of the city, contain magnificent
buildings, luxurious cafés, and all kinds of shops. There is a vast
amount of bright life and gorgeous colouring in the streets and market
places, with a quite Catalan forcefulness of character. The Valenciana
is, moreover, a progressive and very excitable individual, and he
imparts a special charm of fervour into all his affairs. On the
occasions of their feasts and sports, the varied costumes of the lower
classes--especially that of the huerta man, or peasant from the
garden--may be seen in perfection. With his brilliantly-coloured _manta_
thrown loosely over a white linen shirt and black velveteen jacket, and
with a bright kerchief knotted round his head, he is perhaps the
best-dressed individual in the whole Peninsula, and he looks as if he
thought so into the bargain.

[Illustration: A VALENCIANA.]

A Peep into Murcia.


There are some parts of Spain over which I have travelled as the long
hand travels round a clock dial--without haste, but without stopping. I
have seen Murcia, as it were, from a moving platform, and the impression
I derived of “African Spain,” as this quarter of the country has been
called, has left me with the desire to return and spend a round of
months amid its floral enchantments. This little province was the spot
cherished by the Carthagenians, who found consolation in its possession
for the loss of Sicily, and from it they derived the mineral wealth
which enabled Hannibal to make war against Rome itself. The Goths of
Murcia held their territory so stoutly against the Moors that during the
lifetime of the warlike Theodimah the province was allowed to retain its
independence. Under the Moors, Murcia was transformed into one
continuous _huerta_ or garden; and after the disruption of the Kalifate
of the Ummeyahs, it held its own as an independent State from 1038 to
1091, when internal dissensions among the members of the ruling
Beni-Tahar family prepared the way for the triumph of the Spaniards. But
to this day Murcia is regarded by the Spaniards as the Bœotia of the


At Alicante I spent four-and-twenty hours, but half as many weeks would
not exhaust its attractions. I saw the ruined Castle of San Fernando
from a distance, and made the acquaintance of the Castle of Santa
Bárbara only from the outside. I perambulated the palm-shaded Paseo de
los Martires, and the well-paved and capacious harbour, where the work
of exporting minerals from Almagra and other places was going forward.
There is always an air of bustling activity about the wharf,

[Illustration: TRINITY BRIDGE.]

[Illustration: GLORIETA FOUNTAIN.]


[Illustration: BEACHING THE BOATS.]

which is alive with small wagons, roofed over by a cover of heavy
matting, made of _esparto_ grass. Esparto, which resembles the
spear-grass that flourishes on the sandy sea-shores of Lancashire, grows
wild in vast quantities in this district. It is very wiry and tenacious
in fibre, and is worked up by the natives into an infinite variety of
purposes--such as matting, baskets, soles of sandals, &c. It is also
largely exported to England, France, and the United States. It is the
best substitute for rags in the manufacture of paper, and between 80,000
and 100,000 tons are annually imported into this country for that
purpose. The Iberian whips, described by Horace, were manufactured of
this material. The women and children are largely employed in the hand
manufacture of _esparto_, and in the silkworm-gut industry, of which
Murcia is the centre in this part of Spain.


The huerta, or garden of Alicante, is situated at some two or three
miles from the town to the north, and is irrigated from the artificial
_Pantano de Tibi_, of Moorish constructure. It is an oasis in a
wilderness of sand and dust. The fields that surround this garden are
parched and dry; the almond and fig trees that line the road are coated
with dust that clings to them like thin snow, and the almond nuts
resemble plaster imitations of themselves. And in the midst of this
blistered country nestles the luscious _huerta_--a wide stretch of
verdant plantations, thickly foliaged, cool, sweet, and refreshing, with
villas embowered among its oranges and palms, a film of dim mountains in
the background, and away to the south the silent brimming sea.


I received an invitation to inspect the tobacco factory in the northern
suburb, and listened to enthusiastic descriptions of the beauty of many
of the 6,000 girls employed there; but my time was limited, and I was
compelled to postpone the pleasure of a visit.

From Alicante, past Elche to Murcia, lies a tract of African Spain--a
vast plain covered with plantations of orange, lemon, pomegranate, fig
and olive, among which scattered palms lift their broad heads with
stately pride. At intervals, small towns, very Oriental in appearance,
with domed, azure-tiled mosques, nestle among the palms, and add to the
attractiveness of a scene of enthralling beauty. “Why is this lovely
corner of the world so little known?” wrote a German enthusiast; and his
question has been capped by the more prosaic cyclist, who asked: “Why
are the people of these towns so rude and annoying, and why do the
children favour us with a shower of stones?” One has not to ponder long
in order to solve the cyclist’s problem. Cycles are as rarely seen in
Murcia as bears in Bloomsbury, and it is scarcely surprising in the
circumstances if the indefatigable wheelist is regarded with many
wondering and sarcastic stares. But the peasant children in Spain, and
especially in Southern


Spain, are, as a rule, chartered libertines. Until they are old enough
to make themselves useful they are quite spoiled. On the assumption that
children can do no wrong, they are permitted to do exactly what they
please. The girls amuse themselves with singing and dancing, and the
boys, in Southern Spain especially, find a favourite diversion in
imitating the perils of the bull ring. Amongst themselves they are, even
in argument, punctiliously polite; with the inoffensive stranger they
are wary and not disobliging; but to the peripatetic oddity they are
annoying in the manner that boys, given the same provocation, display
all the world over.

[Illustration: VIEW OF ELCHE, ALICANTE.]

Elche, rising from among its thousands of date-palms to a height of
fifty feet, resembles an oasis in the desert. All around, the country is
flat and fertile--a slumberland of soft greens and unbroken
peacefulness. From Elche one passes to Granja, with its double-towered
Moorish church, its old castillo clinging to the frowning height, its
houses built into the rock of the mountain, and overgrown with aloes,
fig, and cacti. There are Calossa de Segura and Albatera, flat-roofed
and minareted; and from these spots may be seen the Montaña de Calossa,
where amethyst steeps, glowing in the afternoon light, contrast with the
varied tints of the plain in an ensemble of colour and outline nowhere
surpassed in effect.

Carthagena, one of the three arsenals of Spain, and the largest


port in the country after Vigo, lies to the south. From here is shipped
the silver and lead ores, iron ores, manganiferous iron ores, calamine,
blend and copper ores from the rich mines in the surrounding districts,
and also from the mines of the interior. In the suburbs of Sta. Lucia
are extensive lead smelting and desilverization works, and the goods
terminus of the steam tramway which connects Carthagena with La Union,
the centre of the mining district. Escombreras, on a bay just outside
the harbour, was at one time an important smelting and shipping place,
but at the present time only one large furnace is open there. The
country around Carthagena has been so wastefully denuded of forest as to
make it an unmitigated desert. The landscape is a barren, burning waste,
and the city itself is destitute of any semblance of greenness.
Carthagena, which is considered impregnable to a foreign foe, was
besieged by the Government soldiery in 1873, when a Commune was
established there by Roque Barcia. A very little artillery practice
directed against the walls, however, impressed Barcia with the
advisability of taking a trip to Africa, and the Commune was at an end.
There is an academy for cadets in the place, and blind people are
numerous--a fact which may be owing to the excessive dazzle of the
sunlight and absence of verdure. The men of Carthagena are so big, and
the donkeys are so minute, that the latter are almost hidden beneath
their human burdens.


The Moorish city of Murcia, the capital of its province, is a
picturesque town in a beautiful setting. The city is one magnificent
mass of varied colours, and all around, as far as the eye can see, are
rare tropical shrubs and wide vistas of luxurious vegetation. Murcia is
the land of roses--the Mecca of the floriculturist--the Canaan of the
tribe of Art. I did not see its Gothic Cathedral, its picture gallery,
nor its churches of Sta. Catalina or San Nicolas--I was there and away
again, carrying

[Illustration: A NATIVE OF MURCIA.]

with me an impression of sunshine, and roses, and soft airs. The country
is intersected with swiftly flowing brooks, that part in and out beneath
the tall palms. Here the dark-complexioned and Oriental-looking Murcian
washerwomen, dressed in brightly-coloured garments, assemble to follow
their daily avocations; and the chatter, the laughter, and the brilliant
hues of the many shawls are a perpetual delight to the ear and the eye.
The men have the reputation of being the most ill-disposed and
revengeful of any in Spain. The only indication I could discover of
abnormal belligerency about them was in their practice of carrying the
long Albacete knife; but I am inclined to the opinion that it is worn
more for ornament than use. The teamsters, it is true, have a fierce
aspect, and their manners are not improved by strong drink; but I have
never met teamsters

[Illustration: A TARTAÑA, VALENCIA.]


[Illustration: A NOON-TIME HALT, MURCIA.]


in any part of the globe who were celebrated for remarkable sobriety, or
angelic dispositions. The Murcian girls, as the traveller will observe
at the various railway stations where they sell flowers and sweets, are
pretty and engaging, and their costumes are charmingly picturesque.

The present city was built by the Moors from the remains of the Roman
_Murgi_ in the early part of the 8th century. It was taken by the
Spaniards under St. Ferdinand in 1240, and was reconquered by Alonso el
Sabio, who left his heart and bowels to the Dean and Chapter; and these
precious relics, preserved in a sarcophagus, are still to be seen in the
Presbytery of the Gothic Cathedral.

[Illustration: A NATIVE OF MURCIA.]

From the palm-land of Murcia one passes over the unvarying, toneless
plains of La Mancha to the Sierra Morena mountains, and beyond them to
the daisy and buttercup-spread fields of Andalucia, which stretch away
to the south, and lose themselves in a wide perspective, bounded by
gold-shot undulating hills. The road runs down long slopes of flaming
poppies, and beside gardens of blooming wild roses, amid extremes of
perfectly-blended colour, to Bailen and Jaén, and the snow-crowned
Sierra Nevada which surrounds Granada. Bailen is famous only as being
the scene of the battle in which the French, under Duport, were defeated
by the Spanish forces led by Castaños. Jaén, or _Gien_, the Arab word
for fertility, is delightfully situated amid a jumble of mountains which
are covered with luxuriant vegetation. Under the Moors it was a petty
independent kingdom; but its ancient walls and its castle, which stands
like a sentinel commanding the gorge of the mountain approach from
Granada, have been almost entirely destroyed, and its own formidable
bulwarks are reduced to a single gate. Jaén, like Baeza, surrendered to
the victorious St. Ferdinand in the XIIIth century, and the two towns
conjointly form the see of a Bishop.

Toledo and Cordova.


Spain is a country that has never laid aside the sword, or cast off her
armour. Her martial spirit is lulled to rest, but its memory is kept
alive in the frowning battlements, the gaunt fortresses that crown each
peopled eminence, and guard the approaches of its ancient, war-scarred
cities. Imperial Toledo, “the crown of Spain, the light of the world,
free from the time of the mighty Goths,” as Padilla describes it, is a
rock built upon a rock 1,820 feet above the sea. It is a mighty citadel,
almost engirdled by the rushing Tagus, and armed at every point by
massive Moorish masonry--solid, venerable, invincible. Toledo, in the
heyday of its history, contained, beside the cathedral, one hundred and
ten churches, thirty-four hospitals, a university, and four colleges.
Toledo, or Toledoth, the Hebrew “city of generations,” has now only
fifty-nine churches; its hospitals have been reduced to four; its fame
as a seat of learning is a tale that is told. John Lomas, who wrote of
this city that it “never had rest until it entered into the tomb;
blighted, but not destroyed. There is the old Toledo yet, simply
fossilised--a theatre with the actors gone and the scenery left. But the
curtain will never be drawn up again, or the music re-commence. Rome may
play the wanton with each succeeding age, and deck herself out in
obedience to every passing fashion. But Toledo--? She is at least
faithful to the dead past. The liveliest imagination cannot picture her
as a creature of to-day, a receptive pupil of nineteenth century science
and improvement. And so she keeps her old ways: her old tongue, thank
heaven! knowing nothing of the mixed dialects and slang that mark off
progress; her old narrow streets and solid buildings that are so
beautifully fitted for defence, intrigue, and shelter, and would spell
ruin to any enterprising company that should attempt to adapt them to
the requirements of the new life that has come into the world. She has
been poked at--twice--by inquisitive, bustling railroads, without the
slightest electrifying results. So she retains her old Soko, and will
have nought to do with the correct _Plaza de la Constitucion_, her old
stern inconveniences and her old traditions.”


In many respects the foregoing is a faithful picture of Toledo of
to-day. But will the curtain never be drawn up again? Will the music
never re-commence? I may be wrong, but I cannot share this opinion.
Writing eighteen years after Mr. Lomas, I have been privileged to find
his prognostications already proving incorrect. The power and virility
upon which Spain built up her greatness may slumber for awhile; but even
in the fastnesses

[Illustration: TOLEDO.


of the Castilian mountains it has never died. The machinery of the
curtain of the theatre of Toledo is a trifle rusty, the pulleys are
jambed from long disuse; but that curtain is rising steadily if slowly,
and already I can hear the tuning up of fiddles in its ancient
orchestra. The ancient spirit still burns in the Toledans, and the
ancient prosperity of their city is surely recovering itself. Since 1884
much re-building has been done, and more is in progress; whilst new and
handsome shops are seen in the principal thoroughfares where an increase
of population and traffic is apparent.

[Illustration: THE DOOR OF THE SUN, TOLEDO.]

But one must live in such a city as Toledo in order to appreciate the
changes that are being wrought in her. The casual visitor cannot hope to
detect the specks of modernity in this vast temple of the antique. Its
ancient grandeur is comparatively impervious to the pretty wiles of
modern improvement. One’s eyes wander from the newly-built emporiums to
the immensity of its enduring monuments, and one’s mind flings back
instinctively into the past, out of which they arose to defy the hand of
Time himself. And so the majority of book-makers, who take Spain for
their subject, overlook the present condition of the country; the
instant life that rushes before their eyes escapes their notice. And,
indeed, it requires an effort, even on the part of a shrewd and
unemotional observer, to stand beneath the shadow of the ruins of the
old Alcázar and keep one’s mind from slipping backwards into the history
of a city which presents an epitome of the principal arts, religions,
and race-lives which have dominated the world for the last two thousand
years. This was the theatre in which grim tragedy was ever played, where
waves of strife, rapine, and misfortune swept remorselessly across its
stage in constant succession; where Jew and Roman, Goth and Moor in turn
played their stern parts. Here the voice of the Goth echoes amid Roman
ruins, and the step of the Christian treads on the heel of the Moor.
Here are palaces without nobles, churches without congregations, walks
without people; and over all that silence which is so peculiar to the
ancient cities of Spain. Before England was, Toledo had been.

In a city which holds one spellbound by its past, it must be difficult
for the present to make headway. Wörmann has well described Toledo as “a
gigantic open-air museum of the architectural history of early Spain,
arranged upon a lofty and conspicuous table of rock;” and Street has
declared: “Few cities I have ever seen can compete in artistic interest
with it; and none, perhaps, come up to it in the singular magnificence
of its situation, and the endless novelty and picturesqueness of its
every corner.” And the grandeur is emphasised by the silence that serves
to enhance the awe that the place inspires in the heart of the visitor.
Such occasional sounds as are heard echo along the narrow streets, and
turn innumerable corners, and the noise of a passing horse reverberates
like the clatter of a charging squadron. But horses are few, and
carriages are very far between, for the ascents of Toledo are
formidable, and its turnings are endless. One must be resident in the
city for months in order to learn its topography: the visitor must
engage a guide, or be prepared to make a dozen inquiries on a journey
from the Hotel de Castilla to the Cathedral. It is a maze built of
masonry; an ideal place in which to lose oneself. One can walk for miles
through these stone passages and make

[Illustration: TOLEDO.


[Illustration: FAÇADE OF SANTA CRUZ.]

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL.]

[Illustration: ALCÁNTARA GATE.]

but little progress, and zig-zag among the same houses for hours.
Without a guide it is possible to live for weeks in Toledo and yet not
see one quarter of the city. But, with an obliging cicerone to lead one
about, the “Spanish Rome” may be superficially examined in a few days.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, TOLEDO.]

Special admirers of ecclesiastic sculpture and architectural detail will
find in the famous cathedral of Toledo not one, but several weeks of
study and enjoyment laid out for them. To attempt even a general survey
of its marvels would be impossible in a volume of this size and design,
and I must refer the antiquarian to Señor Parro’s exhaustive book on
Toledo. In this work of 1,550 pages, one half is devoted to the
cathedral, which is justly considered one of the most beautiful in the
world. It is situated in the very heart of the city, around which
cluster multitudinous churches and convents. So closely do the
surrounding buildings press upon it, that no free view of the structure
can be obtained, and one passes with a feeling of infinite relief from
the congested vicinity of the exterior into the broad quietude, the
lonely shade, and the austere gravity of the interior. I am told that it
would take a week to minutely examine the high altar; it would take as
long to inspect the accumulation of treasures in the sacristy--treasures
of silver and gold, of pearls, rubies, and diamonds, sufficient, it is
said, to entirely replenish the exchequer of Spain. The frescoed ceiling
by Luca Giordano is the best in Spain; while pictures by Francesco
Bassano, Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Rubens, Goya, Guercino, Van Dyck, and
Carlo Maratta are to be seen on every side. Through the beautiful
Oriental-looking cloister garden, with its shade of great trees, its
grove, and its mass of luxurious verdure, one arrives at the bell-tower,
from which one can enjoy a magnificent view of the city and the
surrounding country.

But an even finer panoramic view of Toledo is to be obtained from one of
the four great towers of the Alcázar. Involuntarily one catches one’s
breath, and pays a silent tribute of amazed admiration as the spectacle
discloses itself to view. From this vantage ground, every street, and
turning, and detail of the city is revealed, with the cathedral rising
like a mountain of granite in the midst of it. The statues on the
terrace of San Juan de los Reyes look like dolls, the houses like dolls’
houses, and the horses like huge beetles climbing the tiny alleys.
Towers and fortifications lie below us. A little further off, near the
_Puente de_

[Illustration: TOLEDO.



_Alcántara_, are the ruins of the old _Castillo de San Servando_; and
beyond and around lies the great green plain, stretching outwards to the
distant rocks and mountains. At the foot of the city, and almost
surrounding it, runs the River Tagus.

[Illustration: ST. MARTIN’S BRIDGE, TOLEDO.]

No finer panegyric has been written on this mighty River Tagus than
Ford’s description of its poetical and picturesque course: “First green
and arrowy, amid the yellow cornfields of New Castile, then freshening
the sweet Tempe of Aranjuez, clothing the gardens with verdure, and
filling the nightingale-tenanted glens with groves: then boiling and
rushing around the granite ravines of rock-built Toledo, hurrying to
escape from the cold shadow of its deep prison, and dashing joyously
into light and liberty, to wander far away into silent plains, and on to
Talavera, where its waters were dyed with brave blood, and gladly
reflected the flash of the victorious bayonets of England--triumphantly
it rolls thence, under the shattered arches of Almaraz, down to desolate
Estremadura, and in a stream as tranquil as the azure sky by which it is
curtained, yet powerful enough to force the mountains at Alcántara.
There the bridge of Trajan is worth going a hundred miles to see: it
stems the fierce, condensed stream, and ties the rocky gorges together:
grand, simple, and solid, tinted by the tender colours of seventeen
centuries, it looms like the gray skeleton of Roman power, with all the
sentiment of loneliness, magnitude, and the interest of the past and
present. How stern, solemn, and striking is this Tagus of Spain! No
commerce has ever made it its highway--no English steamer has ever
civilised its waters like those of France and Germany. Its rocks have
witnessed battles, not peace: have reflected castles and dungeons, not
quays, or warehouses: few cities have risen on its banks, as on those of
the Thames and Rhine: it is truly a river of Spain--that isolated and
solitary land. Its waters are without boats, its banks without life: man
has never laid his hand upon its billows, nor enslaved their free and
independent gambols.”


The old Alcázar, which occupies the highest ground in Toledo, is of
Roman origin, and was used by the Visigoths as a citadel. The Cid
resided here after the capture of the city by Alfonso VI., and it was
converted into a palace by the saintly Ferdinand and the learned
Alfonso. It was burned down in the war of Spanish Succession in 1710,
was restored by Cardinal Lorenzana in 1772, was burned by the French in
1810, and in

[Illustration: TOLEDO CATHEDRAL.



[Illustration: THE LION DOOR.]

1887 it was gutted by a third conflagration. To-day it is utilised as a
Military Academy for the education of officers for the Spanish infantry.
The Archbishop’s Palace, the Hospital of Santa Cruz, the Moorish Mosque,
the Town Hall, the Synagogue of _Santa Maria la Blanca_, and the Church
of _San Juan de los Reyes_, which looks more like a royal palace than a
church, are but a few of the many sights that Toledo has to offer to the
leisured visitor. To the traveller, whose time is limited, as was mine
when I stayed there, she leaves an impression of greatness, grandeur,
and melancholy which one does not, and would not, lightly lose.

From Toledo I proceeded direct to Córdova, because, in my mind, the two
cities were linked together by the broad band of longevity, and I
desired to see them both in the same mood cycle. So, while the
atmosphere of Toledan greatness was still hot in my veins, I hastened
across the broad, bare, sandy plains of the celebrated Mancha--the
immortal theatre of the adventures of Don Quixote--past
Argasamilla--where Don Quixote was born, and died, and where his great
creator, Cervantes, was imprisoned for debt--across the Sierra Morena to
the land of the valley of the Guadalquiver--“the garden of Spain, the
Eden of the Arabs, the paradise of poets and painters”--to Andalucia.
Thenceforward there are no more rocks, but fields now studded, now
hidden by flowers--flowers, flowers all the way--carpet after carpet of
purple, gold, and snow-white flowers, poppies, daisies, lilies, wild
mushrooms, and ranunculuses. Then, as we are carried deeper into the
bosom of the south, we are met with grain and orange groves, olive
groves, and green hillsides, vineyards, and fruit trees. First a few
Moorish towers and many-coloured houses, then on the hills of the Sierra
Nevada clusters of villas and gardens, then a perfumed air scented with
rose leaves, an enchanted garden, and--Córdova.


Córdova is as different a place from Toledo as Monte Carlo is from
Manchester. Toledo, sombre, austere, overpowering in its impressive
solemnity; and Córdova, gay, vivacious, flashing its pervading whitewash
in the sunshine beneath the clearest sky in Europe. And yet Córdova is
one of the most ancient of cities; its record of all the races that have
fought for it, made it, died for it during twenty centuries, are visible
on every side. A thousand years ago it boasted upwards of a million
inhabitants, three hundred mosques, nine hundred baths, and six hundred
_fondas_. Its cathedral was formerly a mosque: before that it had been a
basilica: and it had commenced life as a Roman temple dedicated to
Janus. The Carthagenians styled the city the “Gem of the South.” Cæsar
half destroyed it, and slaughtered 28,000 of its inhabitants, because it
had sided with Pompey. Under the Goths its importance diminished; but it
became, under the Moors, the Athens of the West, and was the

[Illustration: TOLEDO.





successful rival of Bagdad and Damascus as a seat of learning, and the
centre of European civilisation. It was the birthplace of Seneca, Lucan,
Averroes, and Juan de Mena, the Chaucer of Spain; and here, in the
Church of San Nicolas, Gonzalo de Córdova, the great captain of Spain,
was baptised.

To-day Córdova is no more than an overgrown village in size and rank, a
village with open-air market-places, and winding, uneven streets.
Theophile Gautier wrote, in his delightful graphic style of the streets
of Córdova, that “they have a more thoroughly African appearance than
those of any other town in Spain. One threads one’s way between
interminable whitewashed walls, their scanty windows guarded by heavy
iron bars, over a pebbly pavement so rough that it is like the bed of a
torrent, littered with straw from the burdens of innumerable donkeys.”
These streets are traversed by happy, light-hearted people, who would
seem to have no memory of the past, and no thought for the morrow. But
the city contains a mosque which gives one a better idea of the power
and magnificence of the Moors than anything else in Spain, not excepting
even the Alhambra. This wondrous Arab temple--huge, wonderful,
fairy-like in its Eastern gorgeousness--with its thousand marble
columns, is unique in beauty as it is in curious detail. It is said that
these columns were brought, already shaped, from various centres of the
old civilised world--Carthage, Constantinople, Alexandria, Nîmes, and
Narbonne--while others came from the marble quarries of the Sierra
Morena, from Loja and Cadiz. Black, gray, dark green, and dull red in
colour, they stretch out on every side, and form a seemingly boundless
forest of marble pillars.

Concerning the impression made by this many-columned mosque, Gautier
says: “You appear to be walking about in a roofed forest rather than in
a building: whichever direction you turn to, your eye strays along rows
of columns, which cross each other, and lengthen out endlessly, like
marble trees that have risen spontaneously from the soil.” De Amicis has
written of it in similar terms: “Imagine a forest; fancy yourself in the
thickest portion of it, and that you can see nothing but trunks of
trees. So, in this mosque, on whichever side you look, the eye loses
itself among the columns. It is a forest of marble, whose confines one
cannot discover.” It stands, this dazzling Mezquita, in the centre of
the Court of Orange Trees, whose rows were planted to correspond with
the lines of the columns in the mosque. Above the dark, shining foliage
and flame-colour fruit rises the creamy delicate belfry-tower, rival of
Sevilla’s Giralda.

[Illustration: THE MOSQUE, CÓRDOVA.]

Some day, when “the wandering footsteps of my life” take me again to
Spain, I shall go to Córdova, and seek out this _Patio de los Naranjos_;
and among its pleasant fountains, and its blithesome, indolent
gossipers, I shall recall the impressions of my former visit. And, if
possible, I shall again visit the city in May. The guide-books warn the
traveller against going there in that month, when the annual fair is
held. I know that fair, as the suspicious Brother Goldfinch used to say,
with its booths erected under the trees, its band and its coloured
lanterns, its dear dates and its cigar lotteries, its gaiety, its gaudy
mantillas, its laughing, dark-eyed girls and gesticulating men, and its
culminating display of fireworks. I know it, and I can conceive no
reason why the guide-book makers should endeavour to




deprive other visitors of the enjoyment I got out of the innocent and
exhilarating experience.

Everything about Córdova--the streets, the squares, the houses, with
their _patios_--are small, lovely, mysterious, and Eastern. The
ground-work is white--white and smooth are the walls and the houses--but
the detail is a blaze of colours--roses, and oranges, and pinks forming
a colour scheme of Nature’s own designing. The youthful gaiety of the
town has overgrown its ancient might and sombreness, even as gay
flowers, burst from between the ancient stones of a ruined castle. It
has a charm that fills the heart with a sad pleasure; a mysterious spell
that one cannot resist. The cathedral is a fortress from without, but
within it is a palace of enchantment; the town is a citadel become a
pleasure garden; it is a museum of Roman and Arabian antiquities,
peopled with blithesome men and women. Within a mile or two of Córdova
once flourished Medina Az-zahra, which was one of the most marvellous
works of architecture, the most superb earthly palace, and the most
delicious garden in the world, and Zahira, built by the powerful
Almansur, the governor of the kingdom. Both these superb cities have
been destroyed, and not even the ruins are to be found.

The Castiles.

Some of the oldest and most truly national cities of Spain are situated
in the two Castiles--silent cities peopled by silent men, in the midst
of a mountainous, silent country. It is no light thing to bear the stamp
of Castile. The men, reserved, well bred, loyal, and proud, carry their
Castilian origin in their faces, their habits, and their cast of mind;
and the cities are Castilian in their strength and their uncompromising
severity. One sees it in the Toledo of New Castile, and finds it in the
Burgos of the older province. Burgos, a representative Gothic Castilian
city, was long the capital of the kingdom of Castile and León, and its
cathedral ranks among the finest in Spain. What voyager that crosses the
Pyrenees is not acquainted with Burgos Cathedral? The train that hurls
the traveller across the mountainous boundary dumps him in Burgos, and
being there, he proceeds forthwith to inspect the Cathedral. He is, it
may be assumed, new to Spain, the Spanish cathedrals have the charm of
novelty, and the first one he visits he does thoroughly. Unless he is an
architect, or an archæologist, he will expend over this first specimen
of the Peninsula’s religious edifices an amount of enthusiasm that
would, if properly apportioned, carry him with interest round all the
cathedrals of Spain. As an illustration of this contention I may mention
the experience of an American whom I encountered in Seville. He was
enthusiastic about the bull-fighting, delighted with the Alcázar, and
fascinated with the Sevillian patios; but when I spoke to him of the
cathedral, he replied, in an off-hand manner and a shrug of the
shoulders: “Oh, I haven’t seen it, except from the outside. I got so
full up of cathedrals at Burgos that I haven’t been inside another.”


Burgos Cathedral is certainly a magnificent specimen to get, to quote my
American acquaintance, “full up on.” Although by no means large in
comparison with many others in Spain, it appears to fill half the town.
In addition to its conspicuousness and inviting aspect, it is the
principal surviving monument to the ancient wealth and grandeur of the
province, and one of the most beautiful structures in Europe. It was
begun in 1221, and it was not finished till 1567, so that the period of
its erection extends over three centuries and a-half, during which
Gothic architecture passed through its successive stages in what we
regard as Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular. The exterior is
greatly admired for the variety and richness of its outline, which
embraces a whole forest of pinnacles, spires, and towers; but
unfortunately it is so hemmed in with houses that it is not easy to find
a point from which the eye can take in the whole sweep of the building
from one end to the other. The _Capilla del Condestable_, the most
interesting portion of the interior, might vie, for elevation and
spaciousness of proportion, with many a church; while its magnificent
tombs, profusion of sculpture and other decoration, combined with its
general sumptuousness, render it worthy to be the sepulchre of kings.
Burgos, like all other Spanish cathedrals, or all that I have visited,
abounds in magnificent iron-work, a department of art which appears to
have been cultivated with more ease in this country than in all the rest
of Christendom. Almost every chapel (and some cathedrals contain no
fewer than twenty) is fenced about by grilles of most graceful design
and admirable workmanship; while the high altar is enclosed on two sides
by railings, and in front by gates of the same material, each portion
being a perfect marvel of the metal-worker’s art. Some of these gates
stand thirty feet high; and when constructed of iron, as is usually the
case, are not only richly gilt, so as to convey the effect of light and
shade, but covered in addition with profuse ornamentation and heraldic

There is a Christ in Burgos Cathedral--_the_ Christ it is called in
Burgos--and it is claimed for it that it bleeds every Friday. It hangs
behind a curtain over the altar in one of the chapels. When the curtain
was drawn, I expected to see a figure of painted wood or marble, such as
one sees elsewhere, and the spectacle filled me with horror. For this
effigy is covered with skin, and is so terribly real that one recoils
from it involuntarily. The beard, the hair, and the lashes are real, the
hair is matted with clots of blood, the wounds gape in the side and the
hands, and the pose is a marvel of realism. It has well been designated
“_the_ Christ”--to see it is to lose all desire to look upon it again.

In one of the rooms of the old sacristy the visitor is shown the broken
and worm-eaten coffer in which the Cid carried his treasure in his wars
against the Moors. The Cid, it would appear, was the original exponent
of the confidence trick. Being in need of ready money, he filled the
coffer with metal and stones, and pawned it to a Jewish usurer, making a
stipulation that it should not be opened until the loan was repaid.
Seeing that the Cid would, in all probability, have kept the trick to
himself if he had redeemed the goods, we may assume that he never paid
his debt. People have been filling portmanteaus with bricks and living
at hotels on the good faith of their worthless luggage ever since.

But Burgos, though magnificent in its cathedral and severe as a judge by
temperament, is somewhat like an ancient and irrepressible comedian in
appearance. Its situation, on the slope of the mountain is sufficiently
impressive; its narrow, winding streets are serious and unresponsive in
character; but its colouring is strangely genial, even to the verge of
facetiousness. No two houses together are of the same colour; but orange
and blue, red and grey and green confront the eye from doors, and
railing, and windows, and from every bit of decoration that can bear its
dollop of paint. No design is allowed to restrict the freedom of the
artist’s fancy; the paints are daubed on irrespective of all the laws of
colour harmony, and without any reference to the feelings of the family
that live over the way. But the effect is decidedly cheerful and
waggish, and the cathedral uprears its head in the midst of it like a
Salvini in the middle of a crowd of Gaiety choristers. The silence of
Burgos arises in part from the lack of vehicular traffic, and, in a
measure, from the scarcity of women to be seen in the streets. Such
ladies as are about keep their eyes to themselves, and pass along
unheedful of the signs of life about them. But in the security of their
_miradores_, or high-balconied windows, they regard mankind with
perfect composure and entire freedom. So long as the beauty of Burgos
can only be contemplated by throwing back the head and gazing up at
“skied” windows, it is not a bad thing that carriages should be few and
far between.

La Granja wakes up for three months in the year, viz., in July, August,
and September, when the Court seeks in the altitude of the Palace a
relief from the heat of the capital. Madrid has no reason to be ashamed
of her elevation, but the Royal Residence of La Granja stands nearly
1,500 feet above the Palace of Madrid, and the Spanish people are well
pleased that the King should desire so exalted a spot in which to live.
The palace is a cheerful, if theatrical-looking French chateau, the
antithesis of the severe Madrid palace, or the proud, gloomy Escorial.
The interior is pretty rather than magnificent; agreeable rather than
impressive. But if French art has reared the building, the natural
surroundings are truly Spanish, and unmistakably Castilian. Around the
palace on all sides are rocks, and forests, and crystal streams, and
adjoining it are the palace gardens, which are at once among the finest,
as they are certainly the most costly in the kingdom. These gardens,
which cover an area of 360 acres, are an imitation, on a smaller scale,
of the gardens of Versailles. The formal cut of the ground plan, the
regularity of its avenues, the artificiality of the numerous fountains,
marble vases and statuary, and its dwarf-like vegetations is all in
striking contrast with the wild scenery on every side. In order to form
these grounds, rocks were levelled and bored for the water pipes to feed
the fountains, and hollowed to admit the roots of trees. One
fountain--the Baños--which shoots up water to a height of 130 feet, cost
Philip V. three millions of pesetas (over £100,000), but that monarch
confessed that the display had amused him for three minutes. The cost of
the gardens alone reached the enormous total of forty-five million
pesetas; and on the death of Philip V. his debts were found to be within
a couple of pesetas of that amount.

[Illustration: SEGOVIA--A GENERAL VIEW.]

After the magnificent scenery of the Alpine Nava Cerrada, the chain of
pine-clad mountain and the road, indescribably beautiful, that winds
through the dark woods to La Granja, the 6 miles that still separate the
traveller from Segovia are flat and uninteresting. But the dull, bare
country changes as if by magic when a sharp corner is turned and the
city bursts upon the view. The first sight of Segovia from La Granja
fills one with a thrill of rapturous awe. The rocky gorge, by which the
city is approached, is spanned by Trajan’s noble aqueduct; and beyond
it, from the bosom of a soft, green vale, rises the rocky ridge upon
which the fine old Castilian stronghold commands the surrounding
country. The prospect is indescribably impressive, and one fears that
the magic of the spectacle will disappear as we near it. But in this one
is agreeably disappointed. The drive under the huge aqueduct gives one
a momentary flash of realisation of the might of its Roman builders; and
then the road struggles ever upwards, past red, sunlit plazas and
curiously-fronted houses, beneath nodding roofs and under archways, into
the _Plaza Mayor_, over which lies the shadow of the grim Gothic
cathedral. The wonderful fairy-like “Puente del Diablo,” with its 320
arches, which rise, tier upon tier, to a height of 102 feet, is
constructed of granite, without cement or lime. It is indeed a lasting
monument to the enterprise, the resolution, and the architectural genius
of its creators. The great cathedral, one of the largest in Spain, the
old Alcázar which successfully stood out against the plundering
_Comuneros_ who sacked the city in 1520, and the eighteen lesser
churches, are for antiquarians and ecclesiologists: but the aqueduct is
a separate ecstacy that appeals alike to the layman and the expert.

[Illustration: A NATIVE OF SEGOVIA.]

Although it has points in common with Segovia, Cuenca, and all these
ancient cities of Castile, Avila, the home of the saint-like Teresa,
Spain’s lady patroness, with its granite approach and its massive
granite walls, its memories, its fortified cathedral, and its severe
menacing air, is as well worthy a visit as any city in Spain.

The Avila of to-day is the Avila of a thousand years ago--a mediæval
wall-girt city. Its frowning ramparts wear a strangely forbidding
appearance, and its countenance is an index of its character. Protected
by walls forty feet high and twelve feet thick, pierced by ten gateways,
and studded by no less than eighty-six towers, commanding at every point
the plain below, it stood from its foundation, until the era of
artillery, a city impregnable. Local tradition has it that Avila was
originally called Abula, after the mother of Hércules, and it is not
incongruous to associate this brave old fortress town with all the
heroes of mythology. The earliest authentic records of the city date
back to B.C. 1660. The cathedral, dedicated to San Salvador, the Prince
of Peace, reminds one of the futile voice that cries

[Illustration: AVILA.]

“Peace, peace,” where there is no peace. Nor did Alva Garcia, its
architect, gamble on its peace prospects; for its strong _cimborio_ was
evidently built for defence, and its apse, with castellated
machicolations, forms one of the towers of the city walls. From the
general character of the cathedral it is evident that although it was
commenced in A.D. 1091, it was not completed until the early part of the
thirteenth century, and it is much disfigured by some poor patchwork
restoration. Don Ramon of Burgundy, who rebuilt the city at the same
time as the cathedral, endeavoured to secure peace by preparing for
war, and the old church was pressed into the defence of the town.


The “Royal City” or Ciudad-Real is a fledgling among the cities of
Castile, being little more than 650 years old. It was styled “royal” by
Juan II. in 1420, and Cervantes called it “imperial,” and “the seat of
the god of smiles.” Ciudad-Real may, in the days of Ferdinand and
Isabella, have worn a regal appearance, but the touch of a hand that is
dead no longer lingers about this dull, poverty-stricken, backward town.
The cathedral is vast, bare, and uninteresting; and when it has been
hurried through, there is nothing else of interest to detain one in
Ciudad-Real. Quite recently the tower of the cathedral partially
collapsed, damaging, but happily only to a slight extent, in its fall,
the beautiful dome of the building. The authorities, with commendable
promptitude, engaged a small army of workmen, and at considerable risk
removed the rest of the dangerous portion,


and prevented further injury to the dome. As the tower was regarded in
the light of a national monument, a proposal to rebuild it is now under
consideration. Within ten miles of the city is Almadén, a town that
boasts no antiquity, and reflects not the shadow of a departed glory,
but rather provides the substance of a matter-of-fact to-day. For at
Almadén, on the confines of La Mancha, Estremadura, and Andalucia, is
the great and apparently inexhaustible quicksilver mine, which is one of
the few real sources of direct income to the State. These mines are
Crown property; and of the £250,000 worth of the mineral which Almadén
produces annually, a profit of £160,000 goes to the Government.


Rock-girt Cuenca is more picturesquely situated than either Ronda, or
Granada, or even Monserrat. It is built on a granite height, the base of
which is girdled by two graceful rivers, the Huecar and the Jucar, that
run their green courses through the most luxuriant of valleys, filled
with paths and groves of handsome trees. Terraced fruit gardens, rising
like a grand staircase of verdure, stretch up to the perpendicular rock
columns on one side of the city; and on the other it is guarded by
abrupt, wild crags that fringe it in a hundred weird forms, their
nakedness being modified, like the points of Monserrat, by lichens, ivy
and other trailing vines.

[Illustration: CUENCA.]

From the city one looks across the river-washed valley, over the line of
cliffs that merge into the distant mountains, and compose a scene of
grandeur and loveliness, of slope, and precipice, and fairy-like
verdure--a scene as grand and beautiful as one shall find in Spain. Time
was when Cuenca was known to the world by its literature, its arts, and
its manufacures; to-day it is no more than a back-cloth, a spectacle, an
empty stage. Its trade has deserted it; its artists and authors have
never been replaced. Time was when its mountains were the fastnesses in
which the brave Celtiberians waged their desperate guerilla warfare
against the Romans; to-day the Idubedan ranges are devoid of the
vigorous spirit of either Roman or Celtiberian. The


race of rich traders who peopled these localities in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries is extinct. The beautiful _pinares de Cuenca_ still
remain with their immemorial glades and rocks, their wild poetical
scenery, and their myriad squirrels. All that is left to Cuenca is its
history and its beauty, and if its history was great, its beauty is even
greater and more enduring.

Granada and the Alhambra.

To the majority of travellers who visit Spain the Alhambra is Granada.
They visit the city in order to see the wonders of the old Moorish
palace, and unless they can spend many months in the neighbourhood they
have no time to see anything else. A celebrated French artist declared
that a man might worthily devote a life-time to the study of the
Alhambra. Washington Irving, who lived for six years in Spain, and
nearly the whole of it in Granada, complained, in 1829, that the
Alhambra had been so often described that little remained to be said.
Irving added to the literature of the subject his great and fascinating
work, and it might have been thought that with this book the last word
had been spoken. Hundreds of thousands of words in all languages have
been written since then about the Alhambra, and yet I am not deterred
from adding my few pages to the pile. There are many sights, like
moonlight on running water, or the dancing shadows of feathery trees on
a lawn, or the Hall of the Two Sisters in the Alhambra, which inspire
one with _cacoēthes scribendi_, and the mania is not to be resisted.

Granada, which has been called the city of running waters, is another
monument of Spain’s decayed glories. Under the Moors it boasted a
population of half-a-million inhabitants; to-day it has but little more
than a tenth of that number. There must have been more virility in the
district under the Romans, who ever congregated where wealth was
obtainable, and who reaped a rich harvest by washing the gold in the
sands of the

[Illustration: GRANADA.


Darro. To-day this vast source of revenue is practically neglected;
although, after the rains, a number of gold-fishers may be seen puddling
in its eddies. The beautiful and magnificent cathedral, the burial place
of the Catholic kings of mediæval Spain, the religious monuments--the
superb Cartoja, the Montesacro, containing the grottos of the martyrs,
the tomb of Gonzales di Córdova in the Church of San Geronimo, the
Convents of St. Dominie and of the Angels--and, above all, the Alhambra,
remain to link the city with its mighty past, but the only living
survival of its ancient activity is represented by the sand washers on
the banks of the Darro. Granada has gone to sleep. She is content to
doze in the midst of her beautiful gardens, encircled by her noble
mountains, rejoicing in the fruits that a fertile ground grows of its
own accord--content in her idleness and the variety of her beauty. If
she is reproved upon her condition, she replies with a yawn, and says,
as a witty Italian writer puts it: “I gave to Spain the painter Alonzo
Cano, the poet Luis de León, the historian Fernando de Castillo, the
sacred orator Luis de Granada, and the minister Martinez de la Rosas; I
have paid my debt; leave me in peace!”

So the visitor leaves sleepy Granada in peace in the hollow, and breasts
the hill, on the summit of which the Alhambra mounts guard over the
city. From the distance it presents, as do so many Oriental palaces, the
appearance of a fortress, and the approach is so planned that one comes
right under the shadow of its walls without obtaining another view of
it. A curve in the road brings one suddenly at the entrance to a grove,
the trees of which are so thickly planted that a man may scarcely pass
between them, and their mighty branches interlacing overhead defy the
sun to penetrate their foliage. An avenue pierces this park of verdure;
the shade is deep, but the air is soft and fragrant with the perfume of
flowers; and at the end we stand before a large square tower, dark
coloured and crowned with battlements, and entered by an arched door. It
is dowdy, commonplace, and unimpressive, but it is the Door of Justice,
the principal entrance to the Alhambra. But if the visitor feels a shock
of disappointment at this first close acquaintance with the world-famed
structure, it will certainly not be allayed when, having passed through
the gateway and ascended an embanked road, he is brought up before a
great ruined palace in the style of the Renaissance, beyond which stand
some miserable-looking little houses. The palace was erected by that
arch-vandal, Charles V., who, to his everlasting shame, planted a Gothic
Church in the middle of the Mosque at Córdova. The Alhambra has had its
full share of vicissitudes and desecrations. For a number of years it
was inhabited by smugglers and vagabonds, the French soldiers stabled
their horses there during their occupation, earthquakes have visited it,
and a gunpowder explosion destroyed some of the ceilings, but it
remained for Charles V. to outstrip the earthquake and the invading
armies in the work of ignorant spoilation. “But this,” one inquires,
aghast, “this rubbishly palace is not the Alhambra?” It is a relief to
be reassured that it is not; but the consolation is changed to amazement
when one learns that the Alhambra itself is contained among the wretched
hovels that lie beyond. But the suspense is nearly at an end; there is a
little door to be entered, a little courtyard to be crossed, and one is
in the marvellous apartment, which is at once a hall, a courtyard, and a
garden--the Court of the Myrtles. Two rows of Moorish arches, upheld by
light columns, stretch out on the right of the entrance one above the
other, while a tower rises on the opposite side; and in the centre,
extending right across the width of the _patio_, is a large rectangular
basin of water, which reflects, as in a mirror, the arches and
arabesques, and the superb mosaics which


ornament the walls. The deep thrill of emotion and delighted surprise
that one experiences in gazing round this beautiful Eastern interior is
repeated again and again as one proceeds through the halls and courts of
this fairy palace. Moorish patios, with every variety of mosaic marble
columns, fountains, and flowers, may be seen in other cities of Spain,
but here are whole suites of courts, and gardens, and halls, vying with
each other in splendour, in regal magnificence and lavish expenditure;
while the situation of the palace is the most romantic and picturesque
in Europe.

[Illustration: THE WINE DOOR.]

The Tower of the Ambassadors, which contains two halls, one of which is
the great Hall of the Ambassadors, would alone earn for the Alhambra its
reputation for unsurpassed beauty. The walls and the ceilings are
covered with an enormous tracery of embroideries in the form of
garlands, roses, branches, and leaves, so blended as to make one
magnificent whole so delicate and intricate that the visitor could spend
hours in examining its inextricable network, and yet gain no more than a
vague impression of its detail. Gautier has compared these
ornamentations to “a kind of tapestry worked into the wall itself;” and
De Amicis, employing the same simile, writes of it: “The walls seem
woven like a cloth, rich as a brocade, transparent as lace, and veined
like a leaf.” The Hall of the Ambassadors is a spacious square apartment
lighted by nine arched windows, which, by reason of the thickness of the
walls, form nine alcoves, each supported by a little marble column and
surmounted by two exquisite small arches, surmounted in their turn by
two little arched windows. The views from these windows are entrancing;
and one turns from the handsome workmanship of the interior to the
magnificent landscape without in an ecstacy of sensuous pleasure.


The Court of Lions is one of the most beautiful edifices in Granada, and
the finest and most elegant piece of Mussulman architecture of the
Nazarite period. There is not a more magnificent and fantastic example,
in or out of Spain, on which the artistic genius of the Arabs might
pride itself; and certainly its builder, the famous architect Aben
Cencid, is worthy a place with the most noted architects of all time.
Transparent arcades, columns which have been grouped together in large
and small numbers in order to share the weight of the beautiful arches
and ceilings, seven fountains, two high ornaments in the form of
temples, which advance majestically to relieve the monotony of the
cloister, four golden cupolas which gleam in the rays of the sun, eleven
different forms of arches gaudily decorated, constitute, as Don Rafael
Contreras, who restored the Alhambra, says, a magical and delicious
whole, even though seven centuries have elapsed. In the centre of the
Court is a great marble basin, surrounded by a little paved canal, and
supported by twelve lions--lions fashioned in the strictest accordance
with the injunction of the Koran, which forbids its followers to make an
image of any living thing. A glance at these lions shows how faithfully
the sculptors

[Illustration: GRANADA.


of these ill-shaped, grotesque, ridiculous monstrosities observed the
tenets of their creed.

Perhaps the most beautiful apartment in the Alhambra is the hall of the
“Two Sisters,” which, in its exuberance of ornamentation, richness, and
variety of carving and manifold combination of every line that can
produce beauty and grace, is beyond description. Fergusson has described
it as “the most varied and elegant apartment in the whole palace.” The
proportions are so graceful, the colours so bright and gay, yet subdued
into such exquisite harmony that it soothes while it enchants the eye;
and every portion, down to the tiles, bears the stamp of such refined
taste and infinite invention, that one looks around with a sort of
despairing wonderment, unable either to classify the various objects
that challenge admiration on every side, or to carry off anything more
distinct than a dream-like recollection, in which every element of
decoration is blended in a bewildering chaos of beauty.

The ancient Moors made art a virtue, and bathing an art. They did not
bathe from a sense of duty, but because bathing was a luxury. Here
between the Hall of the Two Sisters and the Court of the Myrtles is the
_Sala de Reposo_, where the favourites of the Kings prepared themselves
for their bath, or rested themselves after it. This hall, which was
restored by Spanish artists on the ruins of the old one, is in keeping
with the rest of the palace. A fountain occupies the centre of the
apartment, alcoves are set in the multi-coloured walls, and the
atmosphere of the whole place is cool, fragrant, and delicious. Around
this hall are the little bath rooms, each bath formed out of a solid
slab of marble. The rooms are lit by means of holes in the wall in the
shape of stars and flowers, a device which admits the glow of the sun
without its rays. Soft light and perfumes, rose-coloured curtains and
music, contributed to the sensuous delights of the Sultanas’ ablutions.
They may not have been a particularly intelligent class of women, these
dainty, languid-eyed sultanas; but they must, as an American tourist
observed, have been a “wonderfully sweet and wholesome kind of female to
have about one.”

From the baths one proceeds to the _Tocador de la reina_ (the Queen’s
toilet), situated at the top of a tower from which one obtains a
magnificent view of the surrounding country. This royal boudoir is
perched on the edge of an abyss. It is open on all sides and on all
sides a spectacle of amazing beauty is spread out to the view.
Immediately below lies the city of Granada, the houses interspersed with
groups of trees and huge bunches of foliage which seem to fight with the
buildings for every yard of land that the hand of man has snatched from
nature. Beyond the city is an immense green plain, over which endless
rows of cypresses, pines, and oaks thread their ways amid groves of
oranges and a riot of flowers. The deep valley of the Darro is almost
hidden by the profusion of vegetation that runs right down to the
water’s edge, and the silver Genil shimmers amid the groves and gardens.
Beyond the plain are the hills, their green sides torn by the rugged
boulders that thrust their way through the trees; and to the south rise
the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, white and dazzling
in summer sunshine. The spectacle is one that can never fade from the
mind; the thrill it produces can never quite be lost.

The huge wall which surrounds the vast precincts of the Alhambra is
studded with towers which retain their original names. The _Torre de las
Infantas_ is one of the best preserved outwardly, and presents that
severity of outline which characterises the exterior of the palace, and
contrasts so strongly with the prodigal magnificence visible everywhere
in the interior. The Alhambra would be inexpressibly beautiful if it had


[Illustration: THE COURT OF LIONS.]

set up in the Arabian desert, or the wastes of Siberia; but situated as
it is in one of the most lovely spots on earth, it is as though the
Moors had discovered Paradise and made it habitable. I am told that
there is no time in the year when Granada is not beautiful; but beyond
question the best time to be there is when the song of the nightingale
and the fragrance of the orange blossom fill its groves with melody and
sweetness: when the eye, penetrating the foliage of its elm-planted
alameda, rests on the dazzling crest of Mulahacen with a sense of
refreshment, to which the contrast of green leaves and summer snow lends
an unwonted charm: when day is Elysium, and night a dream-land of
romance, illumined by the warm beams of a southern moon: when the
Alhambra assumes a garb of beauty to which, amid the glare of noon, its
courts and bowers are strangers. At that hour, as Irving tells us,
“Every rent and chasm of time, every mouldering tint and weather-stain,
disappears. The marble resumes its original whiteness: the long
colonnades brighten in the moonbeams: the halls are illumined with a
softened radiance, until the whole edifice reminds one of the enchanted
palace of some Arabian tale.”

[Illustration: THE INFANTAS’ TOWER.]

Another American author, G. P. Lathrop, has acknowledged the supreme
spell of the Alhambra in a passage of remarkable descriptive power:
“When the Madonna’s lamp shone bright amid the engulfing shadows of the
Tower of Justice, while its upper half was cased in steely radiance, we
passed in by Charles’s Palace, where the moon, shining through the
roofless top, made a row of smaller moons in the circular upper windows
of the dark gray wall. In the Court of the Pond a low, gourd-like
umbellation at the north end sparkled in diamond lustre beneath the
quivering rays; while the whole Tower of Comares behind it, repeated
itself in the gray-green water at our feet, with a twinkle of stars
around its reversed summit--the coldness of the moonlight on the soft,
cream-coloured plaster in this warm, stilly air is peculiarly
impressive. As for sound, absolutely none is heard but that of dripping
water: nor did I ever walk through a profounder, more ghost-like silence
than that which eddied in Lindaraxa’s garden around the fountain, as it
mourned in silvery monotones of neglected grief. The moon-glare coming
through the lonely arches shaped gleaming cuirasses on the ground, or
struck the out-thrust branches of citron trees, and seemed to drip from
them again in a dazzle of crystals.... From the Queen’s Peinador we saw
long shadows from the towers thrown out over the sleeping city, which,
far below, caked together its squares of hammered silver, dusked over by
the deep gray of roofs that did not reflect the light. But within the
Hall of Ambassadors reigned a gloom like that of the grave. Gleams of
sharp radiance lay in the deep embrasures without penetrating; and at
one, the intricacies of open work above the arch were mapped sharp
figures of light on a space of jet-black floor. Another was filled
nearly to the top by the blue, weirdly-luminous image of a mountain
across the valley. Through all these openings I thought the spirit of
the departed would find entrance as easily as the footless night breeze.
I wonder if the people who lived in this labyrinth of art ever smiled?
In the palpitating dark, robed men and veiled women seemed to steal by
with a rustle no louder than that of their actual movement in life: silk
hangings hung floating from the walls: scented lamps shed their

[Illustration: COURT OF MYRTLES.]

[Illustration: HALL OF AMBASSADORS.]

[Illustration: COURT OF LIONS.]


beams at moments through the obscurity, and I saw the gleam of enamelled
swords, the shine of bronze candlesticks, the blur of coloured vases in
the corners: the _kasidas_, of which poetry-loving monarchs turned the
pages. But in such a place I could not imagine laughter. I felt inclined
to prostrate myself in the darkness before I knew not what power of
bygone, yet ever present things--a half-tangible essence that expressed
only the solemnity of life and the presentiment of change.”

It were endless to describe all the various courts, balconies,
galleries, and baths contained within the circuit of the Alhambra. The
Mosque alone, with its exquisite niche where the Koran is deposited,
would long detain an archæologist. Yet that is but one Mosque; there are
the remains of three others to be seen. There are the ruins of the house
of the Cadi, the Water-tower, the Tower of the Prisoner, the Tower of
the Candil, a dozen other towers besides the house of Mondejar--what is
left of it--the military quarters, the gardens, the promenades, the--but
the list is endless, the sights are inexhaustible. One may live in the
Alhambra itself, as Washington Irving lived, and echo his plaint, “Oh,
that I had seen the Alhambra!”

[Illustration: EL GENERALIFFE.]

In ancient times there was direct communication between the Alhambra and
the Generaliffe, the summer palace of the Moorish sovereigns, by the
Iron Door, and a narrow path running in front of it between two rows of
red walls. An exquisitely-carved door, inlaid with Dutch tiles, in the
lower garden of this place of recreation, leads into it. The
Generaliffe was built by order of Prince Omar, and the word has been
interpreted as meaning “Recreation, or Pleasure House,” and truly a more
delicious and charming spot, or one with more splendid views, cannot be
conceived. It is a small, white villa, with a terrace of gardens
stretching from the top of the mountain to the walls of the house, which
is encircled by thickets of laurel and myrtle. Flowers and myrtles,
arbours and high espaliers, surmounted by arches, abound on every side,
and the ears are soothed by the murmur of a hundred springs and
brooklets which gurgle and bubble amid the greenery and sparkle in every
open space. The noise of the distant city floats upwards with the sound
of a soft hum, and the air is laden with the perfume of roses and orange

The Cathedral of Granada is a splendid pile, but I did not inspect it
during my visit. There is a Cathedral in every Spanish city one enters,
but there is only one Alhambra in the world. Yet here are the tombs of
Ferdinand and Isabella, here is the casket in which Isabella sent her
jewels to the pawnbroker--the jewels that were disposed of in order to
furnish Christopher Columbus with the money for the arming of the ships
in which he sailed to discover the New World.

Close to the Cathedral there is a bazaar, Arabian in form and
appearance, which was re-decorated in 1844 owing to the fire which
occurred there the previous year. It is said that Alcaiceria signifies
the house or place of Cæsar; and, according to Marmol, it is the place
where public and private merchandise was stored according to the custom
in Eastern towns. Before the fire this Alcaiceria preserved all its old
characteristics, and was a great deal narrower than it is now, the shops
being so small that the shopman had to get on the counter or outside it,
as there was no room behind it. At


present the Arab decoration is too artificial, and a strange
incongruousness exists between the beautiful Arab columns and the
angular horse-shoe arches covered with show-bills and notices
advertising various articles and professional services of all kinds.

[Illustration: LA ALCAICERIA (GRANADA).]

To the visitor to Spain, who has already seen Seville and Toledo and
Cuenca, the city of Granada is not greatly impressive, or even
deliberately interesting. The older streets are tortuous, narrow and
noisy; but the modern part is as regular and unimaginative as only a
modern city can be, with wide thoroughfares, spacious squares, and
excellent pavements. This monotony is broken by the famous _Alameda_,
which, with its rows of immense trees whose foliage meets and interlaces
overhead, its handsome fountains, its garden filled with roses, myrtle
and jessamine, and its glimpses of the snowy Sierra Nevada from amid the
tropical vegetation, makes it one of the finest and most picturesque
promenades in Spain. During the daytime the Alameda is deserted, but in
the evening it is crowded with a laughing, bustling multitude; and, in
the habit of keeping late hours, the people of Granada are every bit as
fashionable as those of Madrid or Seville. Beggars there are--and where
are they not in this land of mendicancy?--ordinary beggars and
gipsies--the most persistent and irrepressible of beggars.

Where do they all come from, these hungry-looking, scowling, emaciated
men and women, and these wretched, withered, whining children? From the
_Albaycin_, the gipsy quarters on the face of the hill. The road is
steep, and the streets are narrow, the houses dilapidated and unsavoury.
The higher one climbs, the more miserable become the houses, the more
wretched and ragged the people that sleep in the doorways or shuffle
about the streets. Yet this is the Belgravia of the _Albaycin_. Further
still, and the path grows so rugged and narrow, so full of boulders and
holes, that it seems more like a cutting made by a mountain torrent than
a street, and the dwellings are no better than hovels. We are miles from
Spain, in an African village, and an evil specimen at that. The
buildings are so many ruins with tiny doors--you pass through the
doorway and find yourself in the court-yard of an Arabian house,
surrounded by graceful, slender columns, surmounted by very light
arches, and bearing those indescribable traceries which are the glory
and the bewilderment of the Alhambra. One gazes from the bits of
arabesqued walls to the morose wrinkled faces; from the delicate columns
to the rags that serve to but half-clothe the women, and one’s mind
refuses, or is incapable of reconciling these incongruities. The
conditions of the houses and the people continue to grow more malodorous
and repulsive as one proceeds; but if the visitor has a mind (and
stomach) for high-class slumming, there is yet more to see.

For beyond the residential area, where hovels serve as dwelling-places,
we come to the district of the cave-dwellers. The caves are dug in the
earth in the side of the hills; caves


with a mud wall in front, with holes to admit the light, and cracks to
serve as a means of ingress and exit for the people. They are mere dens,
fit only for wild beasts; and the gitanos that swarm in them are little
better than savages. Their numbers are unobtainable; their laws, if they
have any, are unknown to the statute of any country. No one shall say
how they exist,


or what they exist upon. The police dare not penetrate their fastnesses;
the tax-collector never troubles them; nor doctor nor priest visits
them. “Manners none, customs nasty” is the only description that can be
applied to them. One reaches the gates of the gipsy quarter, but few
people have any desire to go further. No sooner is the intruder espied
from afar than the whole mountain-side vomits forth its pack of
beggars--men, women and children--the blind, the lame and the halt, the
diseased and the decrepit, all filthy, and all shouting for alms, and
thrusting out their hungry palms. It is not dignified, I admit, but, in
the circumstances, it is advisable to button up your dignity, with your
other valuables, and take to your heels. Take the advice that Jack
Bunsby gave to Captain Cuttle, when he was in his matrimonial fix, and

It is told of one of the gitani, to whom a man child was born, that he
brought the baby to a priest in Granada, and asked that it might be
christened. The old padre was delighted to find such a sign of awakening
to moral consciousness in one of the outlawed people, and willingly

“And what do you wish to call your son?” he asked.

“Tiger!” promptly responded the proud father.

“Tiger?” protested the priest. “But you cannot name a child after a wild

“That is his name,” persisted the father. “The Pope, he is called lion
(Leo), my son shall be tiger.”

And “Tiger” he was duly christened.





There is an old German saying: “_Wein Gott lieb hat, dem giebt er ein
Haus in Sevilla_,” which may be translated, “He whom God loves has a
house in Seville.” Truly, there are few fairer, gayer, and more wholly
desirable places of abode in Europe. It is at once a seaport town,
situated on the banks of the Guadalquiver (“the great river”),
fifty-four miles from the sea, and the centre of an exuberantly fertile
district which produces olives, grapes, oranges, cork, and grain in
perfection. The Sevillians proudly call their country “La Tierra de
Maria Santisima,” of which Byron wrote:

              “ ...All sunny land
    Of love! When I forget you, may I fail
    To--say my prayers!”

The sunshine reflected from the walls and the houses darts through the
labyrinth of narrow streets, peers into fairy-like _patios_, and floods
the orange trees, palms, and acacias that grow in every open space and
square of the city. Here is all gaiety, and mirth, and roses which
blossom all the year round in a climate which is claimed to be one of
the most delightful in Europe. And the sun is in the blood of the
people. They pursue pleasure as the serious business of life; bustle,
love, and laughter fill their days and nights, and the air is ever abuz
with soft sounds. I suppose that the English temperament, which is more
like that of the Catalonians, would in time grow weary of the buoyant,
light-hearted Andalusian nature, and the English resident in Seville
would find himself complaining that he had

                “ ... breathed too long awhile,
    Soft airs and perfumes, listened to soft sounds,
    And journeyed in soft paths beneath soft skies.”

But my visits to Seville have never been so far protracted as to afford
me the opportunity of putting this surmise to the test. My impressions
of the city are snapshots rather than etchings; they are slightly
blurred and indistinct, but wholly delightful to reflect upon. Seville,
like Venice and Rome, is a place that one goes to with one’s mind full
of preconceived notions--unconsciously primed for disappointment and the
disillusionment of reality. Yet I have never met anyone who confessed to
being disappointed with Seville. After the modernity of Madrid, the
prosperous and business-like alertness of Barcelona, and the sombre
mediævalism of Toledo, the exhilarating sense of enjoyment that
permeates the air of this “all sunny land of love” inspires one with a
sympathy that makes the criticisms of the Madrileños seem as ill-natured
slanders. Are these bright, laughing people, these spruce, graceful men,
and entrancing women, vain, false, changeable, and given to gossip?
Perish the thought! True, that is the opinion held in the capital; the
Sevillians only half resenting the allegations, which they ascribe to
jealousy. And their criticisms of the bodies, minds, and manners of the
Madrileños are unprintable. In Madrid you hear, “The Sevillians! Ah,
they can do nothing but make love!” And in Seville they declare that the
Madrileños can make nothing--but mistakes.

But whatever the shortcomings of Seville may be, no town in the south of
Spain receives more visitors. All sorts of people go there, with all
sorts of motives. The artist goes to fill his portfolio with the
picturesque forms and showy costumes of Majo and Maja. The lover of
painting makes a pilgrimage there to see Murillo in all his glory. The
seasons of the Church--Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter--attract
thousands from


devotion or curiosity, the religious ceremonies of the place being of
peculiar interest, and unrivalled, except in Rome. And not even in the
Eternal City itself shall you see boys dancing before the high altar.
This curious survival of a very ancient custom takes place at the
festival of Corpus Christi--the _corps de ballet_, if one may so term it
without offence, consisting of two rows of boys, from eight to ten years
old, dressed like Spanish cavaliers of the mediæval age, with plumed
hats and


white stockings. The dance they execute to the low music of violins is
simple, dignified, and exceedingly graceful. When they break out all
together into a lovely and harmonious chant, the effect upon the
spectator is electrical; and even the use of the castanets does not rob
the ceremony of its impressiveness. I am told that some two hundred
years ago an Archbishop of Seville desired to suppress this dance, and
the tumult that ensued among the people and the canons of the cathedral
echoed even to Rome. The Pope was naturally curious to see the dance,
and the boys were taken to Rome to dance and sing before his holiness.
The Pope laughed, and did not express any disapproval; but, wishing to
satisfy the canons without displeasing the Archbishop, decreed that the
boys should dance until the clothes they had on were worn out, after
which the ceremony might be considered as abolished. In two centuries
these clothes are still in a state of excellent repair; and as only one
part of the boys’ costumes are renewed at a time, they bid fair to last
for ever.


Seville, which is always gay, and Spanish, and fascinating to the
receptive visitor, is at its best at this festival of Corpus Christi.
For days beforehand preparations are in progress, streets are swept,
awnings are put up over all the streets and squares along which the
procession is to pass, flowers are banked to make a background, chairs
are placed in every available corner, and in the cathedral the columns
are draped in gorgeous velvet cloths. On the day itself, thousands flock
into Seville from the country and the neighbouring towns. The procession
itself would appear a poor and ineffective spectacle to people who saw
Alfonso XIII. ride from the Palacio Real to the Plaza de Toros in May
last year, or Edward VII. pass from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham
Palace. But the line of route is a sight to remember. Along it, on
either side, one can observe the Andalusians in all their glory. As a
beauty show, it is a display that in my experience has no equal. Every
window and every balcony contains a picture of feminine loveliness.
Every individual beauty composing it is a subject for the painter’s
brush. Hardly less attractive is the sight of the soldiers lining the
route, either on foot or mounted on Andalusian steeds, proud and


as their riders, and beautiful as the señoritas, who gaze upon them with
their big, black, lustrous eyes.

The streets of Seville, in comparison with those of Toledo or Córdova,
are almost modern and relatively spacious. The most interesting of them
all is the _Calle de Sierpes_, which no wagon is allowed to enter, and
which is lined with cafés, clubhouses, and splendid shops. Many of the
latter are semi-Moorish, and although you do not see a turbanned
Mohammedan squatting in a small booth open to the street, you do see no
end of shops which are practically in the street, the whole front wall
(consisting of doors) being removed in the daytime. I have wandered for
hours through the dazzling white streets, sniffing the diffused odour of
oranges, and watching the handsome and picturesque peasantry as they
revel through life. To the Englishman, no city in Spain presents more
novel sights and historic contrasts. Having been successively a
Phœnician, Greek, Roman, Gothic, Moorish, and Catholic city, it
preserves traces and monuments of almost all these dynasties. At the
suberb, Italica, the birthplace of three Roman emperors, the ruins of an
ancient amphitheatre, with its various subterranean divisions for the
gladiators and the wild beasts that appeared therein, may still be seen.
Seville itself is Moorish in the arrangement of the streets and houses,
and the Alcázar is the best preserved specimen of Moorish architecture
in Spain. Adjoining it is the Christian Cathedral. In the streets the
mediæval donkey grazes the modern tram-car. At the hotel sits an
Englishman in a Moorish _patio_ reading the latest number of the

These Moorish _patios_ are, of all the sights in Seville, the most
interesting. One finds them at Malaga and Granada, at Córdova and
Toledo, but one must come to Seville to see these pleasant courtyards at
their best. Here are _patios_ of all sizes and grades of splendour, but
always _patios_. In the finest of these square courtyards the floor is
of marble, and the walls are inlaid with elegant mosaic. In the centre
is a flower plot, or a fountain surrounded with flowers or statuary.
Marble columns on each side support the inside projection of the upper
story, which is sometimes provided with windows, while the _patio_
itself is open above to the sky at night, and covered during the daytime
with an awning. To me these sweet shady spots were a source of
increasing delight. Anything more exquisite after its kind--more
perfectly ordered, delicately arranged, and beautifully kept up, than
the court of a Sevillian gentleman’s residence, I have never seen; and
the poorer classes follow suit with marvellous success and unanimity.
There is no great outer door, as at Toledo, but cunningly-wrought and
fairy-like iron gates, which only serve to set off an enticing picture
of marble pavement, colonnade, and fountain, in a framing of palmitos,
bananas, and lemon-trees, with here and there a coquettishly-perched
cage of singing birds. The temptation to pry into these dainty interiors
was irresistible.


I confess that I had been two days in Seville before I explored the
cathedral. For one thing, there was so much to see all around that I had
no temptation to make a definite excursion to any particular point of
interest; and as somebody once remarked about a five-act tragedy, it was
so easy not to go to the cathedral. Moreover, I had seen cathedrals in
every town


that I had visited in Spain, and I was surfeited of them. I had stood in
admiration before the magnificent pile, and gazed in wonderment at the
famous rose-coloured Giralda; but it was not until the third day of my
visit that I determined to “do” the cathedral. It has been said “there
is not a more solemn

[Illustration: SEVILLE CATHEDRAL.]

and beautiful temple in the world than the great cathedral at Seville.”
It is so grand and solemn as to strike the visitor with amazement and
awe. From the gay, colour-slashed streets of the city to the grand
interior is but a step, but the effect is overwhelming. The sudden
transition from the dazzling sunshine of the outer air produces a
sensation of darkness; all is confused and indistinct; while the eye,
instinctively seeking relief, looks upward to the clerestory, where,
through the small windows, a feeble ray of daylight comes struggling in.
By degrees, the magnificent proportions of the building reveal
themselves, and their majestic grandeur almost oppresses the mind. Even
Furguson allows Seville Cathedral to be “so grand, so spacious, and so
richly furnished that it is impossible to criticise when the result is
so splendid and imposing.” How, indeed, can one criticise a building
whose decorations consist of paintings by Murillo, Juan Valdes Leal,
Morales, Zurburan, Roelas, and Vargas, sculptures by Montanes and Alonso
Cano, and whose painted glass, wood-carving, and embroidery, mural
decoration, and metal work are the finest examples of the finest date in
every branch of each art?


“The first view of the interior,” says Lomas, “is one of the supreme
moments of a life-time. The glory and majesty of it are almost terrible.
No other building, surely, is so fortunate as this in what may be called
its presence. Nave, side aisles, and lateral chapels, all of singularly
happy proportions, a vista of massive and yet graceful columns, a
rightly dim religious light, gloriously rich stained glass, and an
all-prevailing notion of venerable age--such is the sum of one’s first

Gautier’s and De Amicis’ comparison of the interior of the mosque at
Córdova to a marble forest, is in reality much more applicable to the
interior of the Seville Cathedral. As one writer has said: “Vast height,
dim light, gloom, and awe are

[Illustration: SEVILLE.


[Illustration: SAN FERNANDO SQUARE.]

the characteristics of a forest primeval; and all these, absent in
Córdova, are to be found in the Cathedral of Seville. But if this
cathedral be compared to a petrified forest, it must be to a forest of
giant trees. There is something supremely massive, colossal, mammoth, in
the huge, high pillars of this building--something which makes one
wonder, as do the Pyramids of Egypt, that human might should have
sufficed to place these monstrous stones in an upright position, and in
symmetrical rows. The Córdovan pillars are mere walking sticks in
comparison, and the ceiling which they support only one quarter as high
as that in the Seville Cathedral, which is the largest--and its tower
the highest--in Spain. So vast is its interior space that,
notwithstanding its ninety-three windows, a dim, mysterious twilight
pervades every part all day long.” Yet, although Seville is the warmest
and sunniest place in Spain, and this cathedral its coolest spot, the
flock of worshippers is very small indeed. The number of priests who
officiate at the thirty chapels and eighty-two altars, have been reduced
from 133 to 100; but it seems as if to-day one quarter that number would
suffice for all needful purposes.


The Alcázar, built on the ruins of the Roman Prætorium, was, in the
design of its creators, the principal feature in the scheme of the
city’s fortification. It was also the palace of the Moorish Kings, and
is to-day the residence of the Spanish sovereign; but the exterior, with
its masses of bare masonry and its embattled towers, still preserves
the character of a mediæval castle. The Alcázar is in an excellent state
of preservation, and its charms are bewildering; while its associations
with the crisores and amours of three races of kings lend it an historic
interest. The ornamentation of the rooms is superbly beautiful, and the
variety of designs and colours, the gold and the gems, with which the
walls are decorated, produce in the brain a feeling of tiredness and
confusion. All that is marvellous in complicated design, all that is
rich and exquisite in tone and material, all that genius and workmanship
is capable of, has been enlisted in the beautifying of this palace of
delight. One gazes from the friezes to the fairy-like columns, from the
capricious arches to the bejewelled ceilings, from the secret doors to
the lovely little windows, and in the mysterious gloom one feels again
the thrill of exaltation and amazement that only love, or wine, or the
spectacle of the sublime and the mysterious can beget. The Alcázar,
taken in conjunction with its history, is a dose of artistic and
imaginative intoxication that no living soul shall resist.


Seville is instinct of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Here is the house in
which he lived, and the house in which he died: here in the picture
gallery are over a score of his paintings, and here are the originals of
the beggar-boys, which are admitted to be beyond praise. Here, too, in
the centre of the _Plaza del Museo_, is the statue of the painter that
was erected in 1866.

[Illustration: SEVILLE.





Everybody who visits Seville goes to the _La Fabrica de Tabacos_; and
travellers who delight in the picturesque should not omit to make a call
at _El Corral del Conde_, where the washerwomen follow their avocation.
The crowd, the clatter of female tongues, the groupings, the attitudes,
the draperies, and the babble of children, make up a scene which would
move Mr. Beerbohm Tree to enthusiasm. The tobacco factory is, of course,
an institution, and the women employed there are made famous by the
opera of “Carmen.” The building is an enormous quadrangular edifice, and
has 28 interior _patios_; and some 5,000 women and girls are engaged in
the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes. The stories of the beauty and
diablerie of these ladies that had been told me were strangely
conflicting. From some I had gathered that they were a collection of
alluring sultanas; while others had described them as plain, coarse, and
unattractive. But I found them to be very much as I expected. They were
not all Carmens, but the majority of them were something more than
interesting, and many were downright beautiful. The architecture of the
building makes accommodation for the workers in three vast rooms, and
each room is sub-divided into three by three rows of pilasters. The
girls work in dishabille, and silence is _not_ imposed. In order to
obtain the maximum measure of freedom, they discard their finery, which
is suspended on the walls, and forms an amazing mass of black and red,
slashed with vivid streaks of white, purple, and yellow. A fancy dress
warehouse could not present a braver display of colour, nor a _corps de
ballet_ at rehearsal a sartorial exhibition of more engaging scantiness.
The whole place is alive with colours and with sound. There is no noise
but a kind of incessant buzzing. If these girls were English, their
voices would produce a clatter; but the soft, singing accents of
Andalusia, even when several hundred girls are talking altogether,
sound harmonious and soothing. The amount of pay earned varies according
to the capacity and industry of the workers, and the majority appear to
be both busy and skilful. Some there are that look dull and sleepy;
others, as we enter, are asleep with their heads pillowed on their arms,
that are crossed on the table, but they are wakened by a nudge or a
whisper; and even the most absorbed labourer finds time to give us a
glance as we pass. It is said that the morality of the tobacco workers
is a trifle loose--babies are numerous in _la Fabrica de Tabacos_. A
friend who was with me remarked their presence to the manager: “There
would seem to be more babies here than married women,” he said. “It is
possible,” was the reply, “some married women are blessed with more than
one.” We looked at our guide with questioning eyes, but he did not so
much as smile.

[Illustration: CIGAR MAKERS, SEVILLE.]

Immediately around Seville are green gardens and vineyards, and olive
and orange orchards, and beyond them the level, marshy country with
grass in plenty, in which are bred flocks of sheep, herds of cattle and
horses, and mosquitoes of singular malignity. No trees arrest the eye,
nothing but green, flat plains, traversed by roads bordered by hedgerows
of prickly pear surmounted with their yellow flowers--substantial,
business-like hedges that do not require the artificial embellishment of
barbed wire or spikes to make them deadly to would-be trespassers. Such
hedges would keep out an army--unless of course it be an army composed
of beggars, whom no fortification, natural or created,

[Illustration: SEVILLANA]


would keep out. There are beggars everywhere; sick beggars, and sorry
beggars, sad beggars, smiling beggars, blind beggars, beastly beggars,
old beggars, and baby beggars. There is no escaping them. They follow
you along the roads, crawl out in front of you from the hedges, cluster
around you if you stop to take a momentary observation. _Toujours_
beggars! You drive up to your hotel--there is a small crowd of them
awaiting you. If you hesitate a moment in handing the fare to the
driver, they hem you in on every side, whining for “Señor, una limosnita
por el amor de Diós” (“A little alms, sir, for the love of God”). A tiny
boy of some seven summers explains with dignity that he is not begging
for himself--he would scorn to beg for himself--but it is for the little
señorita, and he points to a tiny girl of four who looks pleading up at
you out of great eyes. A blind man at your elbow commences to scrape out
the ghost of a tune on a wretched fiddle, and a filthy segment of
humanity thrusts the stump of an amputated arm before your face. It is
horrible to the visitor; it is equally repulsive to the Spaniard. The
Englishman feels sick and angry: the Spaniard feels sick and sorry. The
former bolts into the shelter of his hotel with a malediction between
his teeth, the latter thrusts his hand into his pocket instinctively and

[Illustration: THE “SEVILLANAS” DANCE.]

A large number of the beggars are children, who are brought up to
mendicity as a profession, and they never desert it. They beg, as do
their similars in Naples, in Constantinople, or in Colombo, for their
fathers and mothers and for the love of God. They are so importunate, so
bright, and, in many cases, so pretty that they reap a living wage even
from the British visitors. One gets to love these Spanish children--it
is impossible to resist them. Their childish dignity and politeness, and
their eagerness to be of assistance if the opportunity presents itself,
is delightful. I remember well a little chap we encountered at the
railway station at Chinchilla, where, for reasons best known to the
railway officials, we had to change trains in the middle of the night.
He fastened on to us directly we dismounted from the train, and desired
to be made of some service. He followed us into the waiting room, and
suggested that we should commission him to notify us when our train was
due. We charged him with this mission, and so great was his zeal in the
discharge of it that he had us out again upon the platform, where we
stood, exposed to the rain and the cold night air, for a quarter of an
hour before the train arrived. He was very pleased with himself; and
when, after bundling our traps into a compartment, he was rewarded with
a whole peseta, his gratification was unbounded. He bit the piece
between his teeth, and then, approaching a porter who stood near with a
lamp in one hand and an open umbrella in the other, he got him to cast
the light of his lantern upon it. Then he took another bite at the
coin--bad money is not so rare in Spain as it is in this country--and
came back to us, and his face was one expansive smile. He climbed up to
the carriage window, as we supposed, with Feste’s importunation in his
mind: “But that it would be double dealing, sir, I would you could make
it another.” But he had only come to place himself at our entire
disposal. Were we wanting anything, he would fetch it; did we wish to
send letters, or telegrams, or messages, he would carry them. I sent him
to get me another pillow, and on his return gave him half a peseta. His
delight was humorous. He desired that God would treat me according to my
great deservings, that my journey would be a safe and comfortable one,
and that my days might be many. The bow he gave me as the train steamed
out of the station was quite worth one and a-half pesetas.

Spanish trains are invariably slow, and, as often as not, they are
overcrowded. For some reason or other, which I have failed to plomb, the
so-called fast trains travel at night, and the times are so arranged
that one generally has to leave a place and arrive at one’s destination
at about two o’clock in the morning. The Spaniard is a lover of the
night, not from poetical or sentimental motives, but because it is only
before sun-up and after sun-down that one gets a sufficiency of the
much-longed-for shade. Shade is to the Spaniard what gold is to the Jew,
or English origin is to the American. Hence the Spaniard rises early and
gets through as much work as he can before the heat of the day sets in;
hence, also, he makes his siesta as long as he can; and, consequently,
he is able and ready to pursue his business or his pleasure far into the
night. It is in the cool of the evening in Seville that one sees the
promenades full, the highways alive with splendid Andalusian
horses--when one sees in one week of evenings more feminine beauty than
can be seen anywhere else in a month.

But to return to the railways, and the subject brings to mind the
reflections and the prophecy indulged in by Ford when the undertaking
was in contemplation:--“Certainly if the rail can be laid down in Spain
by the gold and science of England, the gift like that of steam will be
worthy of the Ocean’s Queen, and one of the world’s real leaders of
civilisation: and what a change will then come over the spirit of the
Peninsula! how the siestas of torpid man vegetation will be disturbed by
the shrill whistle and panting snort of the monster engine! how the
seals of this long, hermetically-shut-up land will be broken! how the
cloistered obscure and dreams of treasures in Heaven will be enlightened
by the flashing fire-demon of the wide-awake money worshipper! what owls
will be vexed, what bats disost, what drones, mules, and asses will be
scared, run over and annihilated! Those who love Spain, and pray, like
the author, daily for her prosperity, must indeed hope to see this
‘network of rails’ concluded, but will take special care

[Illustration: SEVILLE.





at the same time not to invest one farthing in the imposing

Richard Ford, who wrote the foregoing in 1846, was not far out in his
calculations. Although the network of rails is not yet complete, the
railroad now connects most of the principal cities of Spain, and its
introduction has been a blessing to the country. But its cost has been
enormous. French capital has been, for the most part, sunk in the
venture; and those who followed Ford’s advice, with respect to investing
their money in it, have little to complain of. The speed, which seldom
exceeds twenty miles an hour, and averages not more than ten miles, is
regulated by law, and the management of the entire system might with
advantage be reorganised. But the delays at junction stations, the
slowness of the pace, and the other inconveniences, which the traveller
accustomed to British or American railroads finds so great a trial on
his patience, are not necessarily the result of bad management. They are
rather the effects of a combination of natural causes and temperamental
prejudices. The danger incurred by the starting of rails exposed to the
full heat of the sun on sandy plains and the menace of mountain torrents
govern, to an extent, the regulation as to speed. Moreover, this is
always to be borne in mind, that the railways are primarily for the
convenience of the Spanish people, and the Spaniards are never in a
hurry. But that there is not a little red-tape about the whole thing
cannot be denied.

A short time ago I was travelling from Valencia to Barcelona by the East
Coast Railway. Rain had been falling for a week, and some doubt was
expressed as to the train being able to complete the journey. Time was
precious just then, and the only alternative route was _via_ Madrid,
which would be very much the same as going from London to Hull _via_
Cardiff. “We may be delayed,” my companion admitted, “I was twenty-four
hours late on the same journey once before, but we shall get through. We
will start, in any case--at the worst it is only an excursion.” So we
started, and the rain continued. We were within sight of Murviedro, or
Saguntum as it was known by the Romans, when the train stopped, and we
were informed that something had happened to the line just ahead of us.
Further information told of a rushing torrent which had carried away a
seven-arch bridge, and that further progress was impossible. Then a
German commercial traveller, who was in our carriage, published his
opinion aloud upon the railway system, the officials, and everything
connected with “this damned country.” He compared Spain with Germany,
and his eloquence was up to the high water mark of his indignation. He
damned everything in English, and the bridge in particular. He said that
in Germany they would have ferried the passengers over the stream,
placed them in another train which would have been awaiting on the other
side, and not lost more than an hour by the accident.

As our wait was likely to be somewhat lengthy, we decided to walk along
the rails and inspect the scene of the breakdown for ourselves, and our
German critic was surprised to find that the “stream” he had wished to
be ferried over was a mad, boiling torrent in which no boat--not even a
boat “made in Germany”--could have lived for thirty seconds. We wandered
back and interviewed the engine-driver, the guard, and the other train
officials. We were all agreed that the only thing to be done was for the
train to return to Valencia. But the engine-driver would not act without
instructions--on that point he was adamant. He wired to Barcelona, and
he wired also to Madrid, explaining the situation, and requesting
permission to return the way he had come. After four hours’ delay the
necessary orders arrived, and we looked for an immediate start on the



[Illustration: THE BOUQUET.


journey. But this the officials could not think of. We could not return
in that slapdash fashion--we were the 8.30 from Valencia to Barcelona,
and if we went bundling back into Valencia like an old tramp steamer
that had sprung a leak, the entire railway system of the country would
be thrown into confusion. The point was debated warmly, but without
haste; and, eventually, the engine-driver, who had been consulting his
time-table, discovered that if we waited a further couple of hours we
should be able to re-enter Valencia with our dignity unimpaired as the
4.47 from Barcelona. Which we did, and nobody but the German appeared to
see anything foolish or unmethodical in this solution of the difficulty.
“You do not find the arrangement incongruous?” asked my companion, for
the German was still swearing. I smiled. “For three months I was a
season ticket holder on a certain South of England railway,” I

But if the railway system of Spain has its drawbacks, it is the
embodiment of luxury and speed compared with the old-fashioned posting
facilities for those who are in a hurry. If time is no object, and the
weather is fine, there is no pleasanter way of seeing the country. The
engine is of course driving the mule team further and further from the
large cities, but the delights of posting are not yet banished from the
Peninsula. In the northern provinces posting is still very general, and
in many parts it is excellent. The oaths of the drivers would,
doubtless, shock the unaccustomed ear that was sufficiently versed in
the jargon of the road to understand it, but the pace leaves nothing to
be desired. The Spaniard is a born muleteer; and, as I have invariably
found him, a good fellow. His vocabulary of objurations is varied and
peculiar, and he keeps it in first-class working order by continual
practice. The customs of the road are like the laws of the Medes and
Persians in their unalterableness. You may improve the diligence off
the road, but while it remains on it, it cannot be improved. A French
minister described the stage as a “clumsy, inconvenient carriage drawn
by mules which have no other spur or rein than the voice of their
guides. On seeing them harnessed together and to the shafts merely by
cords, and observing them traversing as it were at random the winding
and sometimes unfrequented roads of the Peninsula, the traveller at
first conceives himself as deriving all his dependence for safety from
the care and kindness of Providence: but on the slightest appearance of
danger, a simple and short exclamation from the _mayoral_ restrains and
directs these tractable animals.”

The foregoing, which might have been written yesterday, was, as a matter
of fact, indicted a hundred years ago. It is evident that the worthy
French minister did not understand the purport of those “simple and
short” exclamations, and I am inclined to think, from his remarks upon
the tractability of the animals, that he must have been asleep when the
start was made. For the mules appear to entertain a rooted and
conscientious objection to starting, and the scene is diverting. All the
skill and patience and language of the _mayoral_, and the united efforts
of ostlers, helpers, and all the hangers-on of a posthouse are required
to persuade them to take the first step. For several minutes one’s ears
are assailed with a perfect tornado of shouts, and orders, imprecations,
and deprecations; which, beginning with “Anda!” (Go) “Anda!” “Anda!”
invariably end, when breath and patience are exhausted, in an
abbreviated form of “Da! Da! Da!” and then, after a good deal of
kicking, the team starts suddenly across the road or over a heap of
stones, with an occasional leg over the traces, at a pace that threatens
to bring the carriage and its cargo to inevitable grief. Only a Spanish
muleteer could bring this riotous team into order, and pilot


[Illustration: A SEVILLIAN PATIOS.]

[Illustration: AT THE SPRING, CÓRDOVA.]

them with such patience until they drop into a more moderate pace. Ford
has described those exciting starts, and the motion of the “dilly,” as
away it goes, “pitching over ruts deep as routing prejudices, with its
pole dipping and rising like a ship in a rolling sea.”

It goes without saying that the observant Ford did not fail to note the
vituperative supremacy of the Spanish muleteer. “Their language,” he
tells us, “is limited only by the extent of their anatomical,
geographical, astronomical, and religious knowledge: it is so
plentifully bestowed on their animals--‘un muletier a ce jeu vaut trois
rois’--that oaths and imprecations seem to be considered as the only
language a mute creation can comprehend: and as actions are generally
suited to the words, the combination is remarkably effective.... The
Spanish oath is used as a verb, as a substantive, as an adjective, just
as it suits the grammar or the wrath of the utterer.” But why, the
reader may ask, does the _mayoral_ swear to this degree, or with this
fluency? Unless it is a part of his habit, I cannot answer. It is told
that a traveller once asked the same question, and received a similar
reply. The _mayoral_ had uttered an oath of such peculiar force and
aptness that a fellow traveller remarked upon it with good humoured
appreciation: “That’s one on the devil!” “But why?” queried the seeker
for information, “why does he swear so?” The Spaniard stared in
astonishment. “Because he is the _mayoral_!” was all he said.

In Southern Andalusía.

Idle as a “painted ship upon a painted ocean,” fair Cadiz sleeps beneath
her white mantle and dreams of the succeeding storms that she has
endured since Hercules brought her into being eleven hundred years
before the advent of the Messiah. For century after century Cadiz played
her important part in the world--the world that ended at her glistening
shores. Yet it might, from external evidence, have been built yesterday,
and whitewashed this morning. But beneath that white covering lies the
rust of three thousand years. The natives compare their spotless city to
a silver dish; Fernan Caballero describes it as an ivory model set in
emeralds. It is an architectural symbol of purity. Extreme neatness and
scrupulous cleanliness are its leading characteristics--white is its
prevailing and only colour. The Venice of Spain, so far as my
opportunities of making a comparison extends, is decidedly the best-kept
city in the Peninsula. The impression is heightened by the ever-ready
brush of the whitewasher, which keeps the houses and walls in the most
immaculate condition.

Although Cadiz is slowly recovering from the decadence into which it was
sunk for so long, there is small activity either of commerce, trade, or
manufacture to support its seventy thousand inhabitants; and suitable
docks have yet to be constructed to enable it to take the commercial
rank to which its situation entitles it. Its resemblance to Venice is
remarkable. Lying as it does seven miles at sea, the inhabitants could,
if they wished it, have had canals instead of streets, for most of the
thoroughfares begin and end at the ocean. Coming straight from the


ultra-Moorish Seville with its narrow winding streets, the traveller
wonders why in neighbouring Cadiz, which also belonged to the Moors for
over five hundred years, the streets should be so much wider and
straighter, and why they possess so few patios and other Arabian
characteristics. The explanation lies in the fact that almost the entire
town was newly laid out and rebuilt after the bombardment in 1596. Cadiz
being practically on an island is much cooler than Seville, so that
Moorish patios are not essential to comfort, and their places are taken
by the turrets on the top of the houses, from whence sea-breezes and a
magnificent view can be obtained at the same time.

The history of Cadiz is an epitome of the progress of civilisation up to
the time when Spain was the chiefest nation of the world. It capitulated
to Hamilcar Barca in B.C. 237, it was fortified by Cæsar, rebuilt in
marble by Balbus, and destroyed by the Goths. Its greatness was its
misfortune. So rich it was that England in 1596 fitted out an expedition
to sack the city. Lord Essex did his work so thoroughly that Cadiz was
brought to the verge of bankruptcy, and Spain received the first blow to
her supremacy. Two other English expeditions against this place proved
unsuccessful; but it was bombarded at the end of the eighteenth century,
it was devastated by the plague, and was the theatre of the horrible
massacres in the revolution of 1820. Cadiz supplied the ancient Roman
epicures with salt fish and anything but proper dancing girls; and was
resorted to by philosophers, who came here to study the curious
phenomena of the tides. A city with such a history might be expected to
be full of antiquarian records; yet, from a mere archæological point of
view, it is by no means a place of great attractiveness. In the convent
of San Francisco is to be seen the last Murillo, the picture upon which
the artist was engaged when he fell from the scaffold and sustained his
fatal injuries; but beyond this and the cathedral, which is not
remarkable, the city is destitute of works of art.


Moreover, Cadiz is one of the noisiest cities in Spain; but it is, none
the less, a delightful city to live in. Here the beggar nuisance is
unknown, its society is, with the exception of that of Madrid and
Barcelona, the most cultivated in the Peninsula, and its women are the
most graceful in Andalusia. The Alameda, where everybody promenades in
the evening, commands lovely views of the ocean, the blue of which is
varied, according to the light, with rich dark green and royal purple.
And in a walk along the sea walls surrounding the city one passes large
mercantile storehouses, and mixes with sailors from all parts of the
world--negroes and Moors (betokening the nearness of Africa), troops of
soldiers who are always at the quick step, and crowds of hardy,
picturesque, and sun-browned fishermen.


One does not find in Cadiz the virile gaiety that prevails in Seville.
The tone is quieter, more subdued and less fitful. If the Sevillians are
not intensely joyous, they are in tears--the people of Cadiz take their
happiness as it comes, rather than make it a sacrifice to their
subsequent peace of mind. They are as tidy and attractive as their own
orderly, sunny streets, and invariably courteous both between themselves
and towards strangers. The women are taller than their sisters of
Seville, a trifle darker, and a shade less languishing, but--they are
Andalusian, and in that admittance the highest compliment to feminine
fascination is paid.

Different, quite different from Cadiz, different in situation, tone, and
complexion is Malaga. Seen from the shore, the houses stand out in
violet and yellow against a background of green and reddish hills, and
on either side of the town the mountains stretch out into the distance
as far as the eye can reach. The site of the city is excellent; its
harbour is one of the best in the kingdom; and in importance it ranks
next to Barcelona among the commercial centres of Spain. Its merchants
are men of substance, and their villas are objects of beauty in suburbs
that are naturally beautiful. But Malaga does not appeal to the heart of
the visitor as does Cadiz or Córdova. The certain grandeur that one
notes from a distance dwindles almost to vanishing point as one comes
nearer; and when one plunges into the narrow, ill-kept, malodorous
streets of the lower town, the delusion is dispelled altogether. But one
has only to leave the city behind one to regain the first impression of
its picturesqueness. If one would see Malaga at its best, an expedition
must be undertaken to the summit of the high hill which overlooks the
city. The tramway takes one the first part of the journey--the only part
that the average Spaniard ever attempts. I am not sure that I blame him
for stopping short there. The walk up that brown-baked hill under the
fierce rays of the morning sun is an achievement that makes some call
upon one’s powers of endurance, but the view from the summit fully
atones for the discomforts of the climb. At one’s feet lies picturesque
Malaga, set in a huge garden of tropical and semi-tropical floral
vegetation; beyond it the blue, clear, glinting Mediterranean stretches
far out to where, in the distance, the shores of Africa are dimly

Although the land winds are occasionally variable and trying, the
climate of Malaga is one of the most equable in Europe. Winter as we
know it is unknown here; and the sugar cane, which is destroyed by the
merest suspicion of frost, is cultivated on a large and profitable
scale. As an invalid resort it has a considerable repute, but it is as a
flourishing commercial centre rather than a sanitorium that Malaga is
best known. The raisins of Malaga are famous, the manufacture of sugar
gives employment to some thousands of hands, while its wines are widely
celebrated. The port receives visits from upwards of 2,500 vessels
annually; and although the air of thrift and prosperity is not so marked
as it is in Barcelona, and its people lack the sterling integrity and
moral balance of the Catalans, there are unmistakable evidences of
progress and improvements in its streets. Much building is in progress,
the paving of the thoroughfares is receiving attention, and the new
stores and warehouses that are being erected are constructed on the most
modern plan. Like Cadiz, Malaga is of immemorial antiquity; and, like
the white city on the west of Gibraltar, it is singularly deficient in
antiquarian monuments. Phœnicians, Carthagenians and Romans occupied it
in turn; the Moors caused it to be styled “a paradise on earth;” and the
French sacked it in 1810 and walked off with twelve millions of reals in
gold and silver. The present cathedral, which was nearly 200 years in
the making,


presents a motley appearance. Many architects have put much bad art into
its decoration, and with the exception of the magnificently-carved
_Silleria del Coro_, archæologists find little in it to engage their

The reports as to the amount of ignorance that prevails in Malaga are
probably exaggerated, since commercial progress and ignorance do not
usually go hand-in-hand. But there is no gainsaying the fact that
superstition, which is most nearly allied to, and has its foundation in
ignorance, is widespread; and the people are notorious for their
republican tendencies. The sacredness of human life is only imperfectly
understood here; and juries are even, according to official report,
culpably averse to bringing in adequate verdicts in cases of
manslaughter. The Andalusian is quick-tempered and impulsive--he acts
without thinking when he is provoked--and stabbing cases are the not
infrequent outcome of the most trifling disagreements. The Procurator
Fiscal of Malaga has commented severely upon the leniency with which
juries regard such offences. But how can one bring home the heinous
nature of manslaughter to a number of men who know themselves capable of
committing it within the hour if the provocation should arise; and who
realise, moreover, that the person charged only acted on the spur of the
moment, and was desperately sorry for his hastiness the moment
afterwards? And if the Malaga people are prone to swift individual
action, they will act collectively with equal passion and the same
entire want of conviction. One might, and possibly would, live all one’s
life in the city without coming to any harm, but the reading in the
newspapers of frequent impetuous blood-lettings conduces to a feeling of

After bustling, thriving Malaga, one finds in Ronda--“the Tivoli of
Andalusia”--a haven of wondrous peace and infinite loveliness.
Half-a-century ago Ronda was one of the gayest, the most flourishing,
the most beautifully-situated towns in the south of Spain.
Half-a-century ago it was the grand centre of smuggling for the mountain
district of which it was the capital; and at that date “free trade” was
a very feasible, highly profitable, and eminently virtuous method of
earning a livelihood. But

[Illustration: THE GORGE, RONDA.]

the decay of smuggling meant the diminution of prosperity and
_joyaunce_. No longer are the streets alive with dancing and the
strumming of guitars. Contrabandists in costumes of picturesque
splendour no longer linger in its shadows. Ronda has lost its air of
thrift and light-heartedness, but the situation of the town still
remains to maintain its world-wide renown for beauty. A long tract of
table-land terminates, with the abruptness of an ocean-cliff, in a
precipice varying in height from 800 to 1,000 feet. On this natural
platform stands Ronda above an Alpine valley, in which the orange and
olive flourish in rich luxuriance. The view from the bridge is a sheer
delight. A chasm, 300 feet wide, divides the old town from the new. It
is spanned by a massive wooden bridge, under which, at a depth


of some 700 feet, the Guadalvin rushes forth into open day from the
caverns which hitherto have imprisoned its waters. In a bound it clears
a huge ledge of rock and dashes onward down the slope, until, having
fertilised the green meadows of the valley, it finally empties itself
into the green-hued and romantic Guadairo. The sides of the cliff are
covered with festoons of moist, fresh creepers; and nothing could be
more delightful than the transition from the sun-baked town into these
cool depths, where the spray of the waterfall, dropping like unseen,
gentle dew, maintains a perpetual freshness.

The Basque Provinces.

The Basques are a people apart and peculiar in the most acceptable
application of the term. They are distinct from the Spaniards of the
rest of Spain in type, language, law and custom. They are conservative,
shrewd, industrious and intelligent in a high degree. The men possess
the hardy and robust appearance common to mountaineers and the symmetry
of form which is almost universal in Spain. The women are decidedly
handsome, but of a type which is at variance with the characteristic of
Spanish beauty. It is enhanced, moreover, by an erect and dignified
carriage not usually belonging to peasants, and is attributable
principally to a very unpeasantlike planting of the head on the neck and
shoulders. But for the difference in dress, many of the village girls,
who are universally blondes, might be mistaken for well-bred English or
German ladies. But, like all women trained to severe manual labour,
their beauty disappears with their youth.

In these provinces of mountain and valley everybody works; and, for the
most part, they work their own land. Consequently, Basque farms are
small. Five acres, or in other words, just so much land as a man, his
wife and family can till, dictates the size of the holding. The Basques,
who are the most Gothic gentlemen of Spain, and claim to be the oldest
race in Europe, are grievously affected by genealogy. Peppery as the
Welsh, proud as Lucifer, and combustible as his matches, as one writer
has described them, these _Nobleza de España_--they are noble by the
mere fact of being born in these provinces--fire up when their pedigree
is questioned. Yet they recognise no indignity in agricultural
employment. Adam, the first gentleman who bore arms, occupied himself in
husbandry, and you will not convince a Basque that Adam did not speak

[Illustration: HENDAYE--GENERAL VIEW.]

But without accepting or controverting their pretensions to being the
oldest inhabitants of the Continent, these _Caballeros hijos de algo_
are admitted to be the aborigines of the Iberian Peninsula. They have
held the provinces of Alava, Viscaya and Guipuzcoa for themselves; they
have never been subdued or expelled. Liberty has been their immemorial
birthright, and their lives the means by which they have preserved it.
The Visigoths never conquered them; the Moors could not prevail against
them; and they beat back the Franks who swarmed down upon Spain from the
north. While they fought for their homes and their independence their
arms were consistently victorious. They are born mountain fighters, and
have been distinguished at all times for their great valour; but their
Carlist tendencies brought disaster upon them. The conspicuous part they
played in both the Carlist wars resulted in the loss of all their
special privileges. In particular they resented the order countermanding
their exemption from compulsory military service, which they had
hitherto enjoyed, and it was thought that they would prove a failure as
regular soldiers. But this fear was misplaced; and although Gonzalo de
Córdova affirmed that he would rather be a keeper of wild beasts than a
commander of Basques, the wearers of the blue blouses and red trousers
of the Highland provinces have proved themselves exceptional soldiers
when commanded by Basque officers.

[Illustration: IRUN--GENERAL VIEW.]

To the dwellers on the sea-board, fishing affords a lucrative
occupation, and they are considered to be among the best sailors in
Spain. The islanders, dwelling in the sub-alpine towns in the midst of
green hills, cultivate maize, which is the staple breadstuff, good
milk, inferior cheese, and splendid apples. Oranges and palms flourish
in the more sheltered districts; but the wine of the country, though
wholesome and palatable, is distinctly thin. The hotels are generally
very good, and the roads are amongst the best in Spain. The songs and
dances of the Basques are of ancient origin, and are entirely different
from those in other parts of the Peninsula. Their language is as
difficult as Russian, and as ear-pleasing as Welsh. The devil is said to
have devoted seven years to the study of it in the Bilboes, and to have
mastered exactly three words. Pelota, which is played more or less all
over Spain, is zealously cultivated only in the Basque provinces.

[Illustration: PASAJES--VIEW OF THE TOWN.]

The game of pelota is not only interesting in itself, but it challenges
the common impression that the Spaniards are an indolent people, who
prefer to take their recreation with the least possible physical
exertion. In point of fact, Spain is experiencing, in common with
England, the dubious blessing of athletic professionalism. Her
bull-fighters to-day are all “pros.,” and her pelota players belong to
the same category. The game, which would resemble fives if it were not
so vastly different, is the most fatiguing I have ever witnessed. So
greatly does it tax the constitution, that the career of its paid
devotees is limited to three, or at the most, four years. It is played
with a four-ounce ball, which has a diameter of eight


inches, and is “volted” about a court, 175 feet long, 50 feet wide, and
40 feet high, by the players, whose hands are encased in leather gloves
about two feet in length, protected by basket-work backs. The rallies
between good players realise anything between twelve and twenty strokes;
and although “soft returns” are not unknown, the majority of the strokes
are delivered with all the force of which the players are capable. In a
game of fifty up the players will wear a hole completely through the
soles of their shoes.


The traveller by the Paris-Madrid route leaves France at Hendaye, the
charming little seaside town on the Bay of Biscay, and enters Spain at
Irun, which is comparatively modern, is charmingly situated, and is
about as much French as Hendaye is Spanish. But except that here the
passenger has his luggage examined, changes trains, and puts his watch
back twenty-five minutes to mark the difference that is observed between
Paris and Madrid time, Irun is of no particular interest: unless, of
course, the traveller has plenty of time on his hands, for in that case
he will traverse the eight miles to Pasajes, the pretty land-locked
harbour which, thanks to the enterprise of a private company, has been
made the best port between Coruña and Cherbourg, and ships a third part
of the entire exportation of the Spanish wine to France. Pasajes is
perhaps the most picturesque port on the north coast of Spain. The
tramway also runs over the eleven miles which separate Irun from San
Sebastian. This city, which boasts some 33,000 inhabitants, and the
favour of royal patronage, is historically interesting on account of the
gallant assault by which it was taken by the English forces in the face
of the strenuous defence made by the French veterans under General Rey
in 1813; it is fashionable by reason of the annual visit of the ex-Queen
Regent and the young King, who spend four months in each year in the
handsome royal palace overlooking the sea, and it

[Illustration: BILBAO--SUBURBS.]

is beautiful with a beauty that is entirely its own. Here you shall find
the tamarisks and the geranium and heliotrope in full bloom far into the
autumn, and the birds singing among the foliage, and the Spanish
sunlight glinting through the trees and lying hot on the white
horse-shoe of glistening sand. And even on the stillest day the blue
Atlantic rollers break fiercely upon the rocks beneath the quaint bit of
old town, and curl themselves magnificently along the firm, smooth
beach. _La Perla del Oceano_, the bathing establishment, is a popular
resort, and, in the season, thousands of bathers disport

[Illustration: BILBAO--GENERAL VIEW.]

themselves on the yellow sands. The old ramparts of the land defence
works are now demolished, and their site is occupied by the handsome
streets of the _Parte Nueva_, or New Town. The _Calle de la Alameda_,
stretches across the isthmus that divided the old town from the new. And
beyond the old town the gaunt eminence of _Monte Orgullo_, crowned by
the castle of _La Mota_, rises sheer out of the sea, and forms a scene
which fills the eyes with beauty and the mind with memories that do not
easily fade. The Grand Casino, which cost £80,000, the bull-ring, the
churches of Santa Maria and San Vicente, the _Palacio de la Diputacion_,
and the _Pelota_ Court--these lions of San Sebastian are but so many
specks in the broad impression one carries away of ocean, and sky, and
the black mountain frowning majestically through the golden sunshine.


Bilbao, the most important city in the Basque provinces, and one of the
most progressive and flourishing places in Spain, is the capital of
Viscaya, and gained its proud title of _La Invicta Villa de Bilbao_ by
successfully withstanding three sieges by the army of Don Carlos. The
river Nervion, upon which it is situated, is navigable for steamers up
to the town, eight and a-half miles from its mouth. The old town, which
is composed of a mass of narrow streets, closely packed between the
river and the hills--the city is built in a mountain gorge--was famous
for its iron and steel manufactures in the days of Elizabeth; and
Shakespeare uses the terms _bilbo_, a rapier, and _bilboes_,

[Illustration: OLD BILBAO.]

fetters. The new town, on the more spacious left bank of the river, is
well built; the principal streets are straight and broad, and the houses
are substantial. Three stone and two iron bridges cross the river
between the old and the new Bilbao. The city owes, of course, its
prosperity mainly to the enormous deposits of iron ore on the left bank
of the Nervion, which, though known since the earliest times, have only
been systematically exploited during the last quarter of a century. Long
lines of steamers are constantly loading iron ore, chiefly for Cardiff,
Newport, Glasgow, and Newcastle; and the annual amount of British
tonnage entering Bilbao exceeds, with the exception of Antwerp, that of
any other foreign port in Europe. Pig iron is the staple export--red


wines, wool, and other products are numerous, but unimportant.

The iron ore mines (red and brown hematite) in the Somorrostro range and
district are largely in the hands of English capitalists. These mines,
which began to attract the attention of British iron masters about 1870,
occur chiefly in the mountain limestone, and are worked in open
quarries. Short railways and tramways have been made to San Nicolas on
the Nervion; and a wire tramway has been constructed by the Galdames
Mining Company, who possess a cliff of iron ore about a mile long and
280 feet high. The tramway carries the ore through a tunnel, 600 feet
long, to the quay. The Landore Siamese Steel Company have important
hematite mines connected with the river by a wire tramway, carrying
baskets for loading.


Bilbao is largely modern and wholly commercial, and its public buildings
are not notable. But its thoroughfares are full of movement, and the
shady arenal, in the old town--the focus of the life of the whole
city--contains the principal hotels, the chief cafes, and the New
Theatre. The land which this beautiful promenade now occupies was at
one time very boggy, and swept by the tides. Now the two principal
avenues are asphalted. The Church of _San Nicolás de Bari_, which faces
it, is one of the city parish churches. It was built towards the end of
the fifteenth century on the ruins of the sailors’ and fishermen’s
little church. This church has suffered greatly on account of floods,
especially during the year 1553. It was closed in 1740 as ruin
threatened it. When it fell, the present one was begun in 1743. During
the last war it was used as a provisioning station; and, after repairs,
was opened for worship on the 21st of January, 1881.

In Northern Spain.

[Illustration: A GALICIAN.]

The great bulk of the Spanish people know as little of Galicia and the
neighbouring Principality of the Asturias as the average Englishman
knows of the Hebrides. Nor can they judge of the inhabitants of these
provinces from the few individual Galicians who emigrate to Madrid any
more than we in England can form an idea of Italians from the specimens
who perambulate the London streets with a piano organ and a monkey. The
Madrileño comes across a few Galicians in the capital engaged in menial
services, and speaking a harsh, strange patois, which he finds some
difficulty in understanding; but the Gallegan in exile is a very
different person from the man you meet in his own land of rain and mist,
where the scenery is exquisite, the hotels are famously bad, and
devotion is the chief recreation of the community. At home these people
are poor, but hardy; possessing little intelligence, but great capacity
for work; knowing little comfort, but nursing a passionate attachment
for the country of their birth. Many of the young women are remarkably
handsome, but drudgery and hardship early tell their tale, and very few
of them retain their good looks beyond the age of twenty. The country,
for the most part, is poor to barrenness; the peasantry work day and
night for mere subsistance; the cottages, which do duty for bedroom and
nursery, stable, kitchen, rabbit hutch, pigsty and parlour, are damp and
dirty, and destitute of beds or chimneys. The climate is rainy, the
surface is mountainous, and the roads are generally bad. Small wonder is
it that muleteers and commercial travellers constitute the principal
visitors to Galicia--for those who have a soul above scenery, and an
ambition beyond fishing, the country is practically without attraction.

[Illustration: A GALICIAN.]

[Illustration: A GALICIAN.]

The single province of Oviedo, which constitutes the principality of the
Asturias, harbours a people who have remained unconquered alike by Roman
and Moor. There is protection, if not complete safety, in a country of
mountain and valley, of damp and cold; and the Asturians have ever been
able to spread themselves over the land and farm their straggling
holdings in comparative security. They have cultivated maize for their
staple food, poached the hills and rivers for game and fish, cultivated
the art of dancing, and lived in terror of the evil eye from the most
ancient times; and despite damp, hard fare, and harder toil, they have


the secret of longevity and the charm of a gracious civility of manner.
Minerals in abundance are common to both Asturias and Galicia; and while
the former is the richer in coal and iron, the latter has been worked
for gold, silver, and tin from the time of the Roman occupation. It is
on their mineral resources that these provinces will have to depend for
their future prosperity.

[Illustration: IN GALICIA.]

[Illustration: IN GALICIA.]

After the cities of the South--Barcelona, Toledo, Granada, or even
modern Madrid--the Northern towns are small, shabby, and unimportant.
Coruña, the chief seaport of Galicia, though interesting to Englishmen
as being the landing place in Spain of John of Gaunt, and the harbour
from which the invincible Armada sailed to conquer and Romanise Great
Britain, is a place of only secondary importance. The city was founded
by the Phœnicians; its name is probably derived from Columna, the
Phœnician Pharos, or lighthouse; and its famous lighthouse, the Tower of
Hercules, has had its counterpart from the earliest days. The
Phœnicians, who made gain rather than discovery the aim of all their
expeditions, were attracted to Galicia and to the province of Orense
particularly by reason of its rich deposits of tin. Coruña in ancient
days was the principal port of the North-west Coast, and the most
westerly town in Europe. It is still the chief military station in
Northern Spain, and ranks as a commercial city of the first importance.


The hill-girt city of Santiago, though knowing nothing of commercial
prestige, and having no part in the military system of the country, is
to the traveller of far more interest than the capital of the province.
For dead as it now appears to be, with the hand of death on its crooked,
branching streets, and its crazy, deformed squares, which echo the
pilgrims’ footfalls to the deaf ears of the dead, it was at one time the
most celebrated religious centre in Spain--the goal of fanatics from
every corner of Europe, the Mecca of countless thousands of theologians,
and the tomb of one of the personal companions of Christ. Although the
ancient glory of Santiago has departed, although


its broad-flagged pavements are no longer thronged by the feet of the
devout, and it has been much shorn of its former civil and religious
dignities, the city is still the See of an Archbishop with a cathedral,
two allegiate churches, and fifteen parishes. The cathedral is erected
on the site of the chapel which was erected by Alonso II. to mark the
spot where Theodomer, Bishop of _Iria Flavia_, is said to have
discovered the body of St. James the Apostle; and the city, which sprang
up around the memorial, bears the Spanish name for St. James the Elder.
The original cathedral, which was finished in 879, consecrated in 899,
and destroyed by the Moors in 997, was replaced by the present edifice
in 1078. Whether one believes or not the tradition of the foundation of
the cathedral--which, by the way, is no mere tradition in the mind of
the Galician--one cannot but regard this mighty pile of stone with awe,
and recognise in it the expression of an influence which was once felt
throughout the Christian world. Even to-day it is one of the most
frequented pilgrim-resorts in Europe.

One passes through Pontevedra, a picturesque granite town, with arcaded
streets and ancient houses bearing armorial shields, on the journey to
Vigo. Here, as everywhere on the Galician coast line, the parish priest
goes down to the shore one day in every year and blesses the sea; here
also the oysters are excellent and abundant, and here the watchman’s
night chant is heard in the streets. The call of the _sereno_, or
watchman, who dates from the building of the ancient walls of
Pontevedra, and the chapel of Alonso II. of Santiago, seems to catch the
imagination of the traveller, and hurl him back into the mediæval ages,
when life was a state that men fought to retain, and religion was a
power for which they laid it down. The _sereno_, with his theatrical
cloak wrapped about him, his axe-headed staff, his lantern, his majestic
stalking walk, and his thrilling chant, “_Ave Maria Purissima. Son las
diez y sereno_,” seemed to me impressive, unreal, almost fantastic. At
ten o’clock he passed me in the deserted square, at eleven he was
offering up his quavering invocation beneath my window. Galicia has
little in common with the towns of the South--it retires to rest early
in order to be up betimes.

At Vigo a small fragment of the ancient sea walls yet remain, but the
ruins that Lord Cobham made of the town in 1719 have been obliterated,
and in place of the fortified port, which Drake visited in 1585 and
1589, we have a thriving, modernised town. Vigo is an important place of
call for Mediterranean steamers, it is one of the chief centres of the
cattle trade export to London, and the port of the mineral provinces of
Pontevedra and Orense.

The town of Orense, the capital of its province, is reached by the
magnificent old bridge that spans the river Miño. Though now deprived of
three of its arches, which were removed to give the road more width, and
also of the ancient castle which defended the entrance, it continues to
attract the attention of the traveller on account of its elegant and
bold construction, its ample proportions and majestic appearance.
Tradition says it is Roman, but many learned writers find nothing to
confirm this assertion. It is quite likely that a bridge existed there
previously; but the present one, it would appear, was built by order of
Bishop Lorenzo during the first half of the thirteenth century, and has
since undergone many alterations, including those to the largest arch,
which is more than forty-three metres in width, and the reconstruction
of which was completed about the middle of the fifteenth century. In the
Roman days Orense was celebrated for its warm baths. These three
springs, which are still in existence, flow copiously from fountains one
above another, but the waters have lost their medicinal virtues--it is


only a supposition that they ever possessed any--and are now used for
domestic purposes. The present cathedral, which is an obvious imitation
of the cathedral at Santiago, was raised in 1220. The cathedral, the
warm springs, and the bridge over the Miño, comprise the three marvels
of the city.

[Illustration: GIJON--THE WHARF.]

Equally ancient, but in many ways more interesting, is the capital town
of Lugo. It boasts a cathedral which shares with San Isidoro of León the
immemorial right to have the consecrated Host always exposed; Roman
walls in an excellent state of preservation that entirely surround the
city, and an establishment of baths. The bath-house contains 200 beds;
and the springs, which contain nitre and antimony, are good for
cutaneous diseases and rheumatism. The river Miño, which is the glory
not only of Lugo but of Galicia, rises in the mountains, some nineteen
miles from the city.

As the centre of a beautiful and variegated country, which affords good
sport for the angler, and scenery of enchanting loveliness to attract
the artist, Oriedo, the capital of the Astionas, has its charms; but the
seaport of Gijon, with its tobacco manufactory, its railway workshops,
its iron foundry, and glass and pottery works, is a much more thriving
and important town. Gijon, like Santander, is a flourishing port; and
both have gained immensely in importance of late years. While the
latter, with its handsome modern houses, makes a more splendid show, its
drainage and sanitary arrangements leave much to be desired, and the
harbour at low water is sometimes most offensive. Both towns are of
Roman origin, but Gijon is the most pleasantly situated on a projecting
headland beneath the shelter of the hill of _Santa Catalina_, and the
harbour is the safest on the North Coast. It exports apples and nuts in
enormous quantities, coal, and iron, and jet; while its shores are much
frequented by bathers during the summer months.

[Illustration: SANTANDER--THE PORT.]


It is currently believed, and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of
the statement, that if a visitor in any town in England stops the first
native he meets and inquires as to the objects of interest that the
place possesses, he will be referred immediately to the principal
hostelry of the town. If you wander in London, and ask your way about,
you will be directed right across the city by references to
public-houses, which are the only landmarks that the Cockney ever dreams
of studying. In Spain, cathedrals are as ubiquitous as inns are in
England. You may be sure of finding comfortable accommodation for man
and beast in most English towns, and in the Peninsula you can be quite
as confident of “bringing up” against a cathedral--if nothing else. In
León, the capital of the province of the same name, and in Salamanca,
the second city in the province, we find the same state of things
existing--the cathedral first and the rest nowhere. Yet these two
cities boast of a noble history of ancient splendour and old-time
greatness, and with this--and their cathedrals--they appear to be
content. León, in the time of Augustus, was the headquarters of the
legion that defended the plains from the Asturian marauders; and when
the Romans withdrew, it continued as an independent city to withstand
the continued attacks of the Goths until 586. The city yielded to the
Moor, was rescued by Ordoño I., and retaken by the Arabs with every
accompaniment of inhuman atrocity. Its defences were rebuilt by Alonso
V. nearly 400 years later, its houses were repeopled, and it continued
to be the capital of the Kings of León until the court was removed to
Seville by Don Pedro. Its present miserable condition is a lamentable
appendix to such a history. Its streets are mean, its shops are
miserable, and its inns are worse. Nothing is left to it but its

[Illustration: LEÓN--THE CATHEDRAL.]

This temple is truly an architectural wonder, combining the delicacy of
the purest Gothic style with a solidity which has stood for centuries;
the manner in which the problem of


stability was solved is wonderful, the immense weights seeming to have
no solid bases. The finest and most beautiful chiselled work is visible
everywhere, and careful study is necessary in order to understand how
the weight and strain of the arches were made to rest on their elegant
buttresses. The origin of this magnificent temple is not quite clear,
but many archæologists believe that it was founded in the time of King
Ordoño II. It is of irregular form, but the cathedral or nave, transept,
and presbytery are in the form of a perfect Latin cross.


The windows are of colossal dimensions, and the ratablos and sculptures
are notable. Among its many famous works the cloister must not be
forgotten. It is an example of the transition style from ogive to
renaissance, with large galleries, interesting groups of sculpture, and
a beautiful door leading into the temple.


Among all the choral stalls treasured in Spanish churches those in the
cathedral at León stand out prominently. Unfortunately, the names of the
master who designed them, and of the artists who assisted him to carry
that marvel of ogive art into effect, are not known; but it must have
been executed during the last thirty years of the fifteenth century, for
it is known that in 1468 the necessary bulls were obtained from his
holiness through Archbishop Antonio de Veneris in order to arrange means
for meeting the cost of the stalls, and in 1481 the work was still


Salamanca has a great name, a florid Gothic cathedral, and a square of
handsome proportions and pleasant prospects. In other respects, it is
quite without attractions. The streets are badly paved and dull, the
climate is shrewd, and fuel, I was told, is scarce and expensive. Even
the cathedral, though grand, is bare; and when one has visited the
cathedral and lingered awhile in the pleasant garden of the _Plaza
Mayor_--one of the largest and handsomest squares in Spain--and tested
the accommodation of “_La Comercio_,” one can find little else to
entrance one in the disappointing old city which was once a world-famed
seat of learning. In the fifteenth century, when its university gave
precedence to Oxford alone, it boasted of 10,000 students. In the
following century its scholars had declined to one half that number, and
to-day only some few hundred students are on its books. The sun of
Salamanca commenced to set at a period of the world’s history that to
all the rest of Europe was one of awakening and advancement. Decline and
decay are writ large on the face of the city. From a distance its noble
situation and fine buildings, built of beautiful creamy stone, gives the
place an imposing and picturesque appearance. But though the shell of
Salamanca remains, its spirit has departed. The ravages of the Romans,
the Goths, the Moors, the Spaniards, and the ruin which the neighbourly
French inflicted less than a hundred years ago, have left their cruel
marks upon its historic walls. Salamanca is but a broken hulk spent by
the storms that, from time to time, have devastated her. Her narrow,
tortuous, ill-paved streets, which skirt its multitude of grandiose
buildings, her squalor and poverty, her inferior art work, but even more
the uncorrupted art of the grand old cathedral, all remind us of what
Salamanca was, and turn our eyes backwards from what it is.




One must approach Zaragoza with one’s mind full of memories of heroes,
queens, poets, and bandits that have been associated with this once
mighty city, and one’s heart filled with sympathy and respect for the
old, proud Aragon that flourished, and was illustrious in history while
the Englanders still decorated themselves with blue paint, and were
domiciled in caves. For Zaragoza is not altogether a gay or an
exhilarating city. Many of the streets have a gloomy aspect, and the old
houses are high, dark, and repellant. But the city is not only important
as the seat of a university, an Audiencia, an archbishop, the
captain-general of Aragón, and other officials; it is also the junction
of four railways, and its commercial progress has been steadily
increasing of recent years. For Zaragoza is in reality two cities--the
old part with ancient fortified houses, converted now into stables and
wood stores, and the new part traversed by broad, well-paved, and
excellently-lighted streets, and lined with modern buildings. Until the
railway connected the city with Madrid and Barcelona, Zaragoza was as
dead as Salamanca, and as dilapidated as León. But it has always held
the advantage of those places in having two cathedrals to their one. The
principal cathedral, that of _La Seo_, is a venerable Gothic pile
occupying the site of a Moorish mosque, and its high arches have echoed
many councils, and looked down on the solemn coronations of the kings of
Aragon. More modern is the Cathedral _El Pilar_, so called from the
identical pillar on which the Virgin descended from heaven. It was
commenced on St. James’s Day, 1686, the work being designed and carried
out by the famous Don Francisco Herrera, the architect. In the year 1753
King Ferdinand VI. instructed Ventura Rodriguex, the architect, to
design and build a new church, as luxurious as possible, in which to
instal the image without taking it out of its temple. This was done by
erecting a small Corinthian temple under the magnificent cupola, which
was ornamented with the richest marble and jasper that could be
procured. On one of the altars of this temple, which is crowned with a
magnificent silver canopy, reposes the venerated effigy, the jewels on
which are of incalculable value.

[Illustration: A FLEMISH DANCE.]

[Illustration: AT NUEVALOS.]

The Stone Monastery at Nuevalos, on the right bank of the river from
which it takes its name, is one of the places most worthy of a visit in
the province of Zaragoza, not only on account of the building itself,
which is of great historical interest, having been built in 1195, but
for the delicious picturesqueness of the place. Surrounded by rocks,
winding amidst thick woods and dashing into deep abysses, this river
runs its erratic course, imparting life to a landscape which is,
according to the noted poet, Don Ramon Campoamor, “an improved dream of
Virgil.” Among its many picturesque waterfalls, the one called “La
Caprichosa” is perhaps the most beautiful.

The dress of the Aragonese peasantry is peculiar and picturesque. The
men, as a rule, wear no hats, but have instead a coloured handkerchief
wound round the head, leaving the top bare. Their knee-breeches are
slashed down the sides and tied by strings below the knee. The
waistcoats are worn open. Round the waist they wind a wide sash, in the
folds of which pipes, tobacco, money, and provisions are carried as
safely as in a pocket. Their feet are shod with sandals, and they
universally carry a blanket, which is thrown in a graceful manner over
their shoulders.


A bull-fight is underlined for an early visit in the note-book of every
visitor to Spain. He goes prepared to be disgusted, and he comes away to
denounce it as a revolting and demoralising exhibition. He even plumes
himself upon his moral and human superiority over the Spaniard, because
the spectacle proves too strong for his untutored stomach. The inference
is as gratuitous as it is illogical. In point of fact, the effect of the
spectacle upon the spectator is not so much a matter of sensibility as
custom. The Spaniard grows up to the sport as our Elizabethan ancestors
grew to bull-baiting--even as the present generation of Englishman grows
to pugilism. To the Spaniard, the cruelty of the craft of tauromachy
does not appeal; the spectacle inflames his blood, and stirs not a chord
of compassion in his nature. Yet he can be intensely sympathetic,
gentle, and tender-hearted; but these softer qualities of character are
not touched by the sight of animal suffering. In the first place, the
bull is his enemy by heredited tendency. He cannot forbear to hurl
insulting epithets at him when he chances to pass him on a journey. He
witnesses his end with the thrill of satisfaction which a soldier feels
in the death of a treacherous and implacable foe. The Englishman cannot
share, or even realise this sentiment--it would be strange if he could.
His leading feeling is curiosity, and a nervous apprehensive tension
which only magnifies the horror and repulsion of the sport. With the
Spaniard it is entirely different. Long habit has familiarised him with
the bloody details, and his experienced eyes follow each trick and turn
of the contest with the enthusiasm of an athlete watching an athletic
display. Every detail of skill and dexterity and nerve exhibited by the
fighters, and every clever move made by the bull is greeted with
critical applause. Cruelty there must be, but courage in a high degree
is a factor in the contest--danger gives to the contest a dignity which
is absent from pheasant shooting, and which formed no excuse for the
vogue to which bear-baiting and cock-fighting once attained in this

[Illustration: THE PROCESSION.]

It may be thought that I am trying to champion an institution which is
regarded with aversion by all classes of English people, but such is not
my intention. My object is to look at it from the Spanish point of view,
and endeavour to see if there is not some plausible explanation of its
popularity as a national amusement. But when all is said and done, there
still exist two objections to the sport which cannot be explained away.
The first is the almost inexplicable indifference which a Spanish
audience shows for the torture that is inflicted upon the horses that
take part in the _corrida_: the other is the attendance of the gentler
sex. It must, however, be noted that a large proportion--certainly the
majority of Spanish ladies--are opposed to the sport, and with the rest
it is the manly courage and address of the performers that fascinates
them. But the fact remains that women are seen in large numbers in the
amphitheatre, as 300 years ago good Queen Bess was not ashamed to be a
spectator at many an exhibition of bear-baiting. English sentiments in
matters of sport have undergone a great change since the Elizabethan
era, but Spain is notoriously the most conservative country in Europe.

However, enough has been said of the theoretical side of bull-fighting;
let us accompany the seething populace to the _Plaza de Toros_, and
witness the sport for ourselves. The streets of Madrid are crowded with
people who are all moving in the same direction. April to October is the
regular bull-fighting season, but the Spaniard finds the lightest excuse
a sufficient one for indulgence in his favourite pastime during the
“close” season. And so, although it is February when I am in Madrid, I
am not to forego an experience of a promising _corrida_.

Although I have seen bull-fights in some of the best rings in Spain,
including those of San Sebastian, Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, it is
more particularly of my experiences at the latter place that I shall

During the fashionable months, a _boletin de Sombra_, or “ticket for the
shade,” is a luxury to be prized; but in February, in Madrid, we need
all the warmth and glare that the sun can give us. The present Bull
Ring, which was built at a cost of £80,000, and opened in 1874, seats
15,000 persons. It stands on a gentle elevation in a broad stretch of
bare yellow land, where it raises its brick-coloured walls--the only
land-mark in the barren, treeless, desolate expanse between the city and
the solemn distant mountains. Around the various entrances countless
human beings cluster like bees, and the Plaza is alive with men and
horses, mules with tinkling bells, soldiers, police, picadors, and
fruit-sellers. What strikes one most curiously about this concourse of
human beings, both outside the bull-ring and within the huge
amphitheatre, which rises tier above tier from the brown sand till it is
almost lost in the vast expanse of blue above, is its single-mindedness,
its patience, and the entire absence of horseplay. To a Spaniard this is
not curious, but to the English spectator some familiar characteristic
of a crowd appears to be absent.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE OF THE BULL.]

Punctuality is not a strong trait in the Spanish character, but
punctuality will be observed to-day. At the hour and the minute
appointed, the President enters his _palco_, the signal is given, and
the proceedings commence. The procession, headed by two _caballeros_,
habited in black velvet, moves slowly across the ring to the front of
the President’s seat. The two _espadas_ in yellow and violet, and gold
and green costumes respectively, follow the _caballeros_. After them
come half-a-dozen stoutly-protected _picadores_, then eight
_banderilleros_, gay with a profusion of silk sashes, short breeches,
and variously-coloured hose, and the rear is brought up by a _posse_ of
attendants, leading the mules, all bedecked in plumes and rich
trappings, which are to drag off the carcases from the arena. The
entrance of the glittering cavalcade is announced by a trumpet sound,
and the President tosses the key of the _toril_ into the ring.

To the “new chum,” all this preliminary detail, commonplace and
“circusy” as it is, is sufficient to strain the nerves, and expectancy
changes to apprehension. The creak emitted by the opening of the heavy
door of the _toril_ intensifies the feeling. The clutch of curiosity
with which the entire concourse awaits the entrance of the first bull is
contagious. Instinctively one strains forward and catches one’s breath.
Toro does not keep us long in suspense. There is a momentary lull, and
then the bull dashes from his dark cell into the glint of the Spring
sunshine. The novelty of the environment staggers him for a moment. He
hesitates in the centre of the ring, and looks wildly around him. The
arena is empty, with the exception of three picadores, who sit rigidly
in a row on their sorry hacks, waiting for the bull to recognise their

Our first victim is a doughty warrior. He is as ignorant as the
blindfold knackers--that would be dear at a pound a leg--of the fate in
store for him. He may make a brave fight, kill horses, upset men, and
leap the barriers with a heroic rush, but in twenty minutes his corpse
will be coupled up to the mules, and fresh sand will be strewn on the
red trail that will mark his last passage across the arena. The
inevitableness of the outcome of the encounter, so far as the principal
actor is concerned, is the least pleasing feature of the sport. The fox
and the stag are

[Illustration: ANTONIO FUENTES.]


[Illustration: GUERRITA. _Bandillero._]

given a gambling chance, the grouse is not without hope, and the
gladiator of the cock-pit may live to fight another day, but the bull is
a doomed animal. Happily he is not capable of calculating the
uselessness of his efforts. The horses stand but little better chance,
and the _picadores_, despite their iron and leather greaves and spears,
are paid to take risks.

The art of the _picador_ is displayed in the skill with which he avoids
the charge of the bull, and turns him on to the next _picador_, who, in
turn, will pass him on to the third. In this instance the manœuvre does
not come off. The bull’s rush is met by the first _picador_ with the
point, but the horse he strides is too ancient to obey with sufficient
celerity the rider’s injunction to swerve, and horse and man are rolled
over with the force of the impact. The wretched equine is lacerated on
his opposing flank, but the spearman appears to be uninjured, and before
the bull has completed his circuit of the ring, the horse is on his feet
again, and the _picador_ is waiting for the next attack. The _toreros_,
with their red _capa_, are immediately on the spot to draw the bull from
his victim, but the bull is too eager to waste time on a fallen foe. The
second and third horseman avoid his rush; and the bull, smarting from
spear thrusts, and confused by the cheers, is inclined, in racing
parlance, to “turn it up.” The first horse who crosses the line of sight
is caught on the brute’s horns, and is so deeply impaled that the bull
has to swerve at right angles to rid himself of his enemy. The second
horse is impaled before the combatant can plant his spear in the bull’s
neck. Steed and rider are lurched in the air, and fall heavily to the
ground, and the momentary victor lowers his head again to the prostrate
man, and rolls him over and over. _Toreros_ hasten to the spot to get
him away, the people rise in their places, ladies lift their fans and
avert their faces, while the air is filled with the usual murmur of
lamentation which accompanies an accident. Both the other _picadores_
are unhorsed before the President gives the signal for them to retire.
Act one of this most realistic of sporting melodramas is over.

The _banderilleros_ now come forward. They are costumed like Figaro, in
the opera of “Il Barbiere de Sevilla,” and their hair is tied into a
knot behind. To the English spectator, this part of the performance is
the most fascinating and least abhorrent of the entire piece. The
_banderillero_ inflicts no more pain on the bull than the humane angler
deals out to the wily trout, and the agility and daring with which he
addresses himself to his task is superb. His aim is to plant small
barbed darts, or _banderillas_, on each side of the neck of the bull.
The _chulos_, or apprentices, here open the ball by tantalising the
animal, and working him up to a proper pitch of fury. Then the
_banderilleros_ circle round him, and one, standing full in his line of
flight, “defies” him with the arms raised high over his head. If the
bull stops, as he is doing now, the man walks composedly towards him.
Then the bull lowers his head and makes his rush, and the athlete,
swerving nimbly to one side, pins in his _banderillas_ simultaneously.
Again and again the maddened animal, frantic more from impotence than
pain, makes his rushes from one tormentor to another. At each rush he
receives further instalments of his hated decorations. Then one man
bungles. He loses his nerve, or, failing to time the animal’s charge,
shirks the onslaught. A howl of execration greets the exhibition, and
the unfortunate baiter is tempted to more rash efforts. He seats himself
in a chair, and waits with suicidal calmness the rush of the bull. Just
as the animal’s horns are thrust beneath him he jumps lightly up,
manipulating his darts with miraculous precision, while the chair is
tossed high in the air.

Thunders of applause greet this venturesome feat, and the other
_banderilleros_, warmed to their work by the plaudits of the public,
vie with one another in deeds of coolness and “derring do.” One waits,
alert but motionless, for the attacks of the charging bull, and as the
galloping brute lowers his head to toss him, places his foot between the
terrible horns, and is lifted clear over his onrushing enemy. Another,
seizing hold of the lashing tail, swings himself along the bull’s side,
and plants himself for one thrilling moment right between the horns.

[Illustration: THE PICADOR.]

I once saw a _banderillero_, in response to the jeers of the crowd, take
the darts, which are about two feet long, break them across his knee,
and plant the stumpy weapons, with unerring precision, on each side of
the neck of the bull.

These feats appear to be fraught with infinite danger, and the agility
with which the performers acquit themselves cannot be witnessed without
a tremour of amazement and admiration. Several times the venturesome
_chulos_ escape death as by a miracle: they sometimes seem so close to
their end when they vault over the barriers to avoid the pursuing bull,
that they appear to be helped over the fence by the bull’s horns. One
bull exhibits at this stage of the proceedings an emphatic
disinclination to continue the fight. He paws the ground when the darts
are driven home, but makes no show of retaliation, and the hoots and
opprobrious epithets that are hurled at him by the populace fail to
inspire him to renewed efforts. Then the _banderillas de fuego_ are
called for. These are arrows, provided with fire crackers, which explode
the moment they are affixed in the neck. In a moment the spectacle,
which had worked me up to a high pitch of excitement, becomes intensely
distasteful. The tortured animal, driven mad with fright and pain,
bounds across the ring in a series of leaps like a kid. The people
scream with delight, and I mentally wonder what kind of “steadier” the
Spaniard resorts to when his stomachic nerve is affected by a detail of
the exhibition. The firework display had not lasted long when the last
trumpet sounded, and the _espada_ walks forward to a storm of rapturous

The _finale_ of the spectacle is approaching. The executioner comes
alone: the bull, who has hitherto been tormented by a crowd of enemies,
is now able to concentrate his whole attention on one object. _Toro_ has
become exhausted with his previous exertions, and he moves without his
old dash. The _espada_ studies his foe carefully, to judge the temper of
the animal with which he has to deal. With his left hand he waves the
_muleta_--the red cloak--to lure the beast into a few characteristic
rushes and disclose his disposition. If he is a dull, heavy bull, he
will be despatched with the beautiful half-volley; but if he proves
himself a sly, dangerous customer, that is cunning enough to run at the
man, instead of at the _muleta_, a less picturesque, but safer thrust
must be employed. But our bull is neither sly nor leaden. He has
recovered from his fright, and is quick to seize his opportunity to make
a final effort before the stinging _banderilleros_ return to distract
him. Once or twice he thrusts his horns into the unresisting cloak, then
gathers himself together for a final rush. The swordsman raises the
point of his glimmering Toledo blade; while every nerve of his sinuous,
graceful body quivers with the absolute constraint and concentrated
effort that hold him. The duellists are both of the same mind. The
_espada_ has summed up his antagonist--he is _levantados_, the bold
bull, a fit subject for _la suerte de frente_. The bull’s next rush is
his last. The fencer receives the charge on his sword, which enters just
between the left shoulder and the blade. The bull staggers, lurches
heavily on to his knees, and rolls over, at the feet of his conqueror,
vomiting blood.

The assembled multitude rend the air with their cheers, the men yell
applause, and every face is distorted with excitement and enthusiasm.
The only indifferent person in the building is the _espada_. With a
graceful and unassertive turn of his wrist, he waves the sword over his
fallen foe, wipes the hot blood from the blade, and turning on his heel,
approaches the President’s box, and bows with admirable sang-froid. The
team of jingling mules enter, and the dead bull is carried off at a
rapid gallop. The _espada_ walks composedly away, without another glance
at the result of his handiwork.

The superb imperturbability of these _espadas_ always fills me with
admiration. They accept the plaudits of the spectators with the same
unconcern with which they hear the execrations that fill the air if they
do not at the first attempt inflict the _coup de grace_. During the
first _corrida_ I attended, an _espada_ failed to aim at the precise
spot, and the bull tore up the sand in agony. The populace insulted the
swordsman with jeers and howlings, but he remained perfectly cool and
collected, and nerved himself with as much composure to his second and
successful thrust as if he had been practising with a sack of potatoes
in an empty arena. When I had been witness to the death of two bulls, I
remarked to my Spanish friend that I had seen as much as I desired, and
was quite ready to quit the spot. But my companion was a friend of long
standing: he could be firm without seeming discourteous. “No! no!” he
said, “you kept me in the theatre last night until ‘Don Juan’ was played
to the bitter end: you shall remain to-day to reward me for my exemplary
patience and respect for your wishes.” I saw five other bulls done to
death during the afternoon.

[Illustration: AT CLOSE QUARTERS.]

Although not to be compared with an ordinary _corrida_ as a display of
skill, and capacity, and artistic finish, a Royal bull-fight, such as
Madrid saw on the occasion of the coronation of King Alfonso XIII., is
more interesting as being a revival of the sport as it was originally
practised. Bull-fighting to-day is a purely professional business, but
in the knightly days of ancient Spain it was employed as a means to
teach the chivalrous youth the use of arms. In those days, mounted
_caballeros_ encountered the bulls in the ring with lances alone--a more
dangerous pastime than is bull-fighting in its modern sufficiently
hazardous form. Then the combatants were mounted on good horses, and
their business was to save them and turn the bull, to kill the bull if
possible, but, at the risk of their own lives, to protect their steeds
from injury. It is recorded that in one _Fiesta de Toros_ at the
beginning of the sixteenth century, no less than ten young knights lost
their lives. The corrida, _Real con Caballeros en plaza_--a Royal
bull-fight with gentlemen in the arena--on the olden lines, that was
held on May 21st, 1902, in Madrid, was fought by young officers and
scions of noble families, who were attired in the gorgeous costumes of
Spanish knights of the reign of Philip IV., and attended by their pages
and grooms wearing the dress of the same period, and displaying the
colours of the noble house which they served. On that occasion, the
_Paseo de las Cuadrillas_, or preliminary procession of the
bull-fighters across the arena to the strains of military music, was a
most imposing sight. The _Padrinos_, the grandees who acted as
supporters or godfathers of the knights, accompanied the fighters,
followed by their mediævally-clad retinues, to the foot of the Royal
box, and presented them to the King. The spectacle was strikingly
brilliant, but the display was not to be compared with a professional
bout. The horses of the cavaliers had evidently not been sufficiently
trained for their work, and the best riding in the world could not bring
them off scathless. Let me condense an account of the scene to convey an
impression of what the present-day bull-fight has been derived from.

When the procession had withdrawn, leaving only the _chulos_ and the
gallant _caballeros_ in the arena, the door of the _toril_ swung on its
heavy hinges, and a splendid specimen of a bull, dungeoned for several
hours previously in utter darkness, darted into the light of day,
tearing up the ground with its hoofs, and ploughing the air with its
horns. Suddenly, a horseman and his prancing steed vaulted into the
centre of the ring--the charger, with flowing mane, full-veined ears and
shapely head slanted forward--to meet the onrush of the goaded bull. The
second _picador_ seeing the bull worried and dazed by the tantalising
assistants, scudded past on a swift, white racer, sitting gracefully in
his saddle, and then turning deftly as he passed the great brute,
plunged his lance into his neck, and whirled aside to avoid possible
pursuit. But by sheer accident, the bleeding steer dashed off in the
same direction, caught the horse in the hindquarters, raising it on its
forelegs and endangering the equilibrium of the rider.

Before the scampering bull had time to recover from the compact, the
second _caballero_, dashing up, had planted his lance deep into its
neck. The white horse, stung with pain, made a wild rush, but was
brought to hand by splendid horsemanship, and his rider urged him along,
to inflict another wound in the animal’s head. Then two _toreros_
advanced, beguiling and wearying the bull. By the time the bull had
received the fifth lance in his neck, and the white steed had been twice
wounded, the edge was taken off the keen thirst for violent emotions,
and another _torero_ unfolded his red _capa_, waved it to and fro until
the bull swooped down upon him, and a moment later he was sprawling in
the sand seemingly gored by the infuriated animal. The next minute the
wounded steer tottered, dropped on its forelegs, and turned over on the
sand, and a knife put a speedy end to its sufferings.

The second bull, a black massive creature, appeared listless and faint,
and made little effort to defend itself. It made one successful attack
on the white charger; and, then, at the signal from the King, an
amateur _espada_ stepped forward. The attempt was a miserable failure.
The young swordsman dedicated, in a few well-chosen words, the death of
the bull to his sovereign, and after a dozen passes with the red _capa_,
plunged the gleaming blade of Toledo steel into the animal’s neck, but
so ineffectually that a storm of hisses resounded through the ring. The
second attempt was still more awkward, the sword entering but a few
inches. The sword was pulled out, and another effort, made amid groans
and hisses, proved equally unsuccessful.


Although the madness had died out of the expiring brute’s eyes, and his
forelegs were bending under him, the inexperienced _torero_ seemed
unable to put him out of pain. However, he grasped the short, sharp
knife, and unsteadily taking aim, plunged it into the neck. Another
failure. Yells, groans, shrieks, whistling, and hissing marked the anger
of the crowd. The _espada_ may be a paid professional, or the greatest
noble in Spain, but in the ring he is judged by the rules of the ring,
and his bungling is recognised with the most poignant scorn to which
failure could be subjected. He again grasped the sword; and, spurred by
the vitriolic exclamations of the public, sheathed it in the bull’s
neck. The animal stood still and tottered, his forelegs bent, his head
sank upon the moist, red sand, his hind feet quivered, and a flourish of
trumpets announced that life was extinct.

It is curious to find, in talking with learned enthusiasts on the
relative merits of the bull-fighters, what diversity of opinion exists;
but all parties are agreed upon the unrivalled skill and daring of the
mighty Frascuelo. In his day, for death’s whistle summoned him from the
arena in the height of his fame, Frascuelo was regarded as the greatest
_matador_ that Spain had ever seen; and Spaniards, in debating the
subject of the bull-ring, never indulge the hope that his equal will
ever arise to shed a new glory on the National sport. Frascuelo is dead,
and his famous rival, Guerra, or Guerrita--to give him his professional
name--has long since cut off his _coleta_, and lives in well-earned
retirement at Córdova. But the school of fighters, who claim Frascuelo
as their master--the fearless, dare-devil _toreros_, who scorn to
concede a yard of ground to the bull, and do all their fighting at close
quarters--is widely popular; and if their terribly dangerous methods are
attended by frequent casualties, the intoxicating applause that rewards
the accomplishment of a brilliant coup is, apparently, ample
compensation for the risks that it entails. But the wildest appreciation
of a successful feat does not exempt the most popular performer from the
furious condemnation of the multitude when his scheme miscarries. The
allowances made by a Spanish audience at the ring-side are of the most
grudging nature. I once travelled from Barcelona to Madrid in the
company of Bombita-Chico--the boy Bombita--who, although he was barely
recovered from an unfortunate encounter with a tricky bull eight days
before, was on his way to take part in a grand _corrida_ that was to be
held in the capital. He was--as his name denotes--no more than a lad,
with large, strong hands that sparkled with jewels, while a formidable
anchor about five inches long, set with magnificent diamonds, dangled
from his watch-chain. I saw him again in the arena a few days later. He
seemed nervous, and was, it appeared to me, a little perturbed by the
demonstration that welcomed his reappearance in the ring after his
accident. Ill fortune allotted him a troublesome animal, and his kill,
while creditable enough to untutored eyes, lacked the grace and finish
that the critical spectator requires. Bombita was their own Boy of
Madrid, and because of his recent misfortune they forgave him, but they
did not cheer him; and the lad walked out of the arena amid a silence
that could be felt.


Mazantini, now grown old and heavy, was in his day an undoubtedly fine
_matador_. There are some that still regard him as the head of his
profession. But the majority, remembering what he was, regret that he
has not gone into honourable retirement. But Mazantini cannot tear
himself away from the fascination of the arena, although his appearances
grow less frequent every year. Conejito, who was wounded in Barcelona in
the spring of 1903, is generally regarded as the most accomplished
_matador_ now before the public; but Fuentes is, _par excellence_, the
best all-round man. For, with the exception of the _picador_ business,
Fuentes plays every part in the piece. Other _espadas_ have their
assistants, who play the bull with their _capas_, and stand by while the
_banderilleros_ ply their infuriating darts. It is only when the bull
has been prepared for the slaughter by the other performers that the
_matador_ comes forward to put the finishing touch to the grim tragedy.
Fuentes, on the other hand, on special occasions--of which the _corrida_
which I attended in Madrid was one--keeps his assistants entirely in the
background; he takes the stage when the _picadores_ leave it, and keeps
it to the end. So close does he keep to the bull, that during the
_corrida_ in Madrid, of which I am writing, he seldom allowed the animal
to be a dart’s length away from him. On one occasion his _capa_ got
caught so tightly on the bull’s horns that he tore it in jerking it
away; and at another time the bull stopped dead, with his forefeet on
the hated sash. As a _banderillero_, Fuentes is without equal in Spain.
He frequently works with darts that have previously been broken short,
and he uses them sparingly. Yet the encounter between the _banderillero_
and the bull when Fuentes is on the scene is the most thrilling part of
the whole performance. It is a contest between human intellect and brute
intelligence--a duel between mind and matter. Fuentes does not avoid the
bull, but by exerting some magnetic power he repulses the animal and
compels it to halt. When the bull charges, in response to his
“defiance,” he waits with the _banderillas_ suspended above his head
until the animal is within a few yards of him. Then he deliberately, but
without haste, lowers one arm until the arrow is on a level with the
brute’s eyes. The bull wavers in his onslaught, slows up, and stops dead
within a foot or two of the point. Sometimes Fuentes walks backwards,
while the bull glares at him with stupefied impotence, until he escapes
the eyes that

[Illustration: THE MATADOR.]

hold him, and gallops away. Again and again the _banderillero_ taunts
his enemy to attack him, only to arrest his charge and force him to turn
from his deadly purpose by the irresistible power of his superior
mentality. The crowd follows this superb exhibition with breathless
interest, and in a silence that is more eloquent of admiration than the
wildest cheers would be. But the end is nearly reached. Fuentes grasps
his stumpy darts and advances against his bewildered antagonist, who
waits his approach with sulky indifference. The man’s arms are flung up
with a gesture of exasperating defiance, and when the bull makes his
final rush, his opponent, instead of stopping him, steps lithely on one
side, and the brute thunders past him with the two galling arrows firmly
implanted in his huge neck. Fuentes has already moved to the side of the
ring. The bull turns and charges back at him. The _banderillero_ glides
gracefully over the sand, but his pace is not equal to that of his
infuriated pursuer. The distance between them decreases rapidly; in
half-a-dozen yards he will be upon him. Fuentes glances over his
shoulder and, without changing his pace, doffs his cap and flings it in
the bull’s face. This stratagem only arrests the rush of the brute for a
moment, but it gives the man time to reach the barrier, where he
receives his _muleta_ and sword from an attendant and returns to
complete his task.

All the kings of the bull-ring have their own particular feats or
strokes, which the Spaniards appreciate as Englishmen revel in
Ranjitsinhji’s acrobatic hitting, or Morny Cannon’s inimitable
“finishes.” Bombita-Chico’s speciality in playing his bull is to kneel
in the arena and allow the animal to charge through the _capa_ which is
held within three feet of the ground. The nerve required for this feat
fires the audience with enthusiastic approval. The tale is told of a
_torero_, whose name I have forgotten, who gained distinction by his
exceptional skill in facing the bull with the long vaulting pole, known
as the _salto de la garrocha_. With this instrument he would goad the
bull on to the attack. When the brute was in full gallop he would,
timing his movements to the instant, run a few yards to meet him, and
swing himself high into the air at the end of his pole. The oncoming
bull would charge the pole, the grounded end would be tossed upwards,
and the _torero_ would drop lightly to the ground and make good his
escape. On one occasion the man performed his risky “turn” at a moment
when the attention of a royal lady was attracted from the arena, and she
sent an attendant to the expert to command him to repeat it. In vain the
poor fellow protested that it was impossible for him to accomplish the
same feat again with the same bull. The lady’s desire had been
expressed. “But it is more than my life is worth,” argued the athlete.
“It is the lady’s wish,” responded the attendant. The _torero_ bowed,
and “I dedicate my life to Her Royal Highness,” he said. The attempt
fell out as he foretold. The bull charged and stopped dead. The man
vaulted aloft, his body described a half circle, and fell--on the horns
of the bull. He was dead before the attendants could entice the animal
from his victim.

[Illustration: THE FINAL STROKE.]

Lagartijo, Lagartijillo, Mazantini, and Montes all have their
distinguishing methods of attacking and despatching the bull, but none
of these are capable of the feat by which Guerrita was wont to throw the
bull-ring into transports of deafening enthusiasm. In the ordinary way,
the _espada_ having taken the measure of his adversary, receives him
standing sideways, and having thrust his sword at arm’s length between
the left shoulder and the blade, leaps aside as the bull blunders
forward on to his knees and falls to the earth. But Guerrita advanced
his left arm across his body and waved his _muleta_ under his right
uplifted arm. When the bull lowered his head at the charge he passed the
sword over the animal’s horns and plunged the blade into the vital spot
behind the shoulder. In other words, he stopped the brute and killed him
while his head was under his arm; and so closely were the duellists
locked in that last embrace, that Guerrita’s side was frequently
scratched by the bull’s horns. One may lecture, write, and preach
against the barbarity of bull-fighting; but so long as Spain can breed
men of such amazing nerve, and skill, and dexterity that they can
successfully defy death and mutilation to provide their countrymen with
such lurid sport, so long will bull-fighting continue to flourish in

[Illustration: A VALENCIAN BEAUTY.]

[Illustration: A VALENCIAN BEAUTY.]


[Illustration: A PICADORÉ.]

The Picture Gallery, Madrid.

In returning to the subject of the Museo of Madrid, and its priceless
treasures, my object is not to pen a dissertation on Spanish art, but to
add a few lines by way of an accompaniment to the excellent photographs
of some of the principal pictures which I am privileged to reproduce. In
a collection which contains numerous canvasses by Rubens, Vandyke, and
Rembrandt, no less than forty of Titian’s best productions, ten pictures
by Raffaele, including the _Spasimo_, considered by many to be his
greatest work, and, among the Dutch and Flemish specimens, more than 200
of Teniers alone, the artist is concerned almost entirely with the
masterpieces of the Spanish school. Here are sixty paintings of the
superb Velasquez, who was Court painter under Philip the Fourth; nearly
as many pictures by that gentle and serene genius Murillo; and many
magnificent specimens of the fiery temperament of Goya. Here are
miracles of art from the sixteenth-century genius of Antonio Moro and
Coello to Valdés Leal and Lopez of but a century ago. The catalogue of
this collection would make a formidable appendix to a book of this size;
an adequate appreciation could not be contained in two such volumes. The
most famous gems of the Madrid gallery are familiar not only to
students, but to the men in the streets of every city of the world--even
Goya’s “Family of Charles IV.,” the least known of the few that I have
selected for reproduction, has been copied by scores of enthusiasts. The
passionate, fulminating genius of Goya, which found its supreme
nourishment in the spectacle of the bull-fight, and its highest
expression in scenes of war, and blood, and laceration, was scarcely at
home as a courtier. He brought the terrible realism of his execution
scenes and battle pieces to the portraiture of the Royal Family, and the
members of the family of Charles IV. will, consequently, go down to
posterity as the most unamiable and unattractive group of royalties that
has ever been put on canvas. The faces are worse than plain, they are
hideous; but the details are treated in the artist’s vigorous and
effective style, and the whole composition compels a belief in his
fidelity to nature.


From among the profusion of masterpieces by which Velasquez is
represented I have passed over the dignified, serene, and powerful
picture of Æsop, in favour of the huge and


dramatic painting of the Surrender of Breda--the latter a superb
achievement, both in colour and design. “The Surrender of Breda” is
regarded as the noblest of the works of Velasquez, and is, perhaps, one
of the finest historical pictures in the world. “Such a masterpiece,”
says the Chevalier D’Avillier, “must be seen; it cannot be described.”
It is usually known in Spain as _Les Lanzas_ from the upright lances
that cut the sky. A celebrated art critic has written of the picture,
“never were knights, soldiers, or national character, or the heavy
Fleming, the intellectual Italian, and the proud Spaniard, more nicely
marked even to their boots and breeches. Observe the genial countenance
of Spinola, who (the model of a high-bred, generous warrior) is
consoling a gallant but vanquished enemy (Justin of Nassau). It is
interesting to recall the fact that Spinola took Breda in 1826, and died
five years afterwards, broken hearted at Philip the Fourth’s treatment,
exclaiming, ‘_Me han quitado la honra!_’ (They have robbed me of my
honour!)” The head placed on the extreme right of the picture, with a
plumed hat shading his finely-chisseled brow, is that of Velasquez
himself, who has in other of his pictures introduced his personality. In
_La Familia_ the artist has represented himself painting the Royal
Family of Philip IV., and in it the painter stands before his easel,
brush and palette in hand. On his breast is the red cross of Santiago:
and tradition has it that the King painted in the decoration in order,
as he declared, “to finish the picture.”

By his works in the Velasquez Gallery alone must the great artist be
judged. Outside Madrid the painter is apt to be judged by a few gloomy
figures, conceived in a stiff, gloomy style, and attired in staid,
gloomy costumes; whereas his fertile genius composed a whole gallery of
types and examples ranging from kings to beggars, from warriors to
clowns, from martyrs to drunkards--all vigorous, living, speaking
presentments. Velasquez was, as his pictures in the Museo teach us, a
painter of real personages, a chronicler of what he saw, a surprisingly
faithful depicter of humanity; but one must go to Madrid to realise and
properly appreciate the genius of the master, for it might almost be
said that the entire produce of his brush is contained within these


Murillo, with his placid inspiration, which found its outlet in simple
and noble elegance of outline, in benign and consoling expressions, and
a sweetness of eye and lip on saintly faces that defies description, is
represented here in all his glory. Murillo was unequalled in the art of
representing the Divine idea in his saints and madonnas, and Spain has
rightly named him “The Painter of the Conceptions.” Of the four
wonderful “conceptions” that are to be seen in the Museo of Madrid, I



chosen for reproduction two that all the world has acclaimed to be the
most wonderful imaginings of soulful beauty and tender youthfulness that
man has given to the world. Devout in purpose and idea, tender and
exquisite in execution, his picture of the Sacred Family--called the
_Pajarito_ from the little bird held in the Christ’s hand--is one of the
most purely devotional pictures of the youthful Saviour in existence. An
altarpiece, known as _La Porciuncula_, from a plot of ground near
Assisi, where Christ appeared in a vision to St. Francis, is in the
artist’s best style, and _El Divino Pastor_ is another most
characteristic and most popular of the master’s works.


Murillo’s heart was divided between beggars and babyhood--he seems to
have taught the Spaniards benevolence towards the one and devotion to
the other. Most of the beggar-boy pictures have been transferred to
foreign collections, but remains the Holy Families and the
cherub-peopled Annunciations. Of those Andalusian cherubs a charming
American author, Katharine Lee Bates, has written, “Such ecstatic
rogues as they are! Their restless ringlets catch azure shadows from the
Virgin’s mantle; they perch tiptoe on the edges of the crescent moon;
they hold up a mirror to her glory and peep over the frame to see
themselves; they pelt St. Francis with roses; they play bo-peep from
behind the fleecy folds of cloud; they try all manner of aerial
gymnastics. But a charm transcending even theirs dwells in these baby
Christs that almost spring from the Madonna’s arms to ours, in those
Christs that touch all boyhood with divinity. The son of the Jewish
carpenter, happy in his father’s workshop with bird and dog; the
shepherd lad whose earnest eyes look toward his waiting flock; the
lovely playmates, radiant with innocent beauty, who bend together above
the water of life--from these alone might Catholic Spain have learned
the sacredness of childhood. But Spain first showed Murillo the vision
that he rendered back to her.”


Murillo’s baby Christs are indeed an inspiration, for “they



touch all boyhood with divinity,” as his Virgin’s waken all souls to
adoration. De Amicis, the Italian writer whose appreciations of Spain it
is a pleasure to read and a privilege to quote, says of Murillo that he
is “not only a great painter, but has a great soul; is more than a
glory; is, in fact, an object of affection in Spain; he is more than a
sovereign master of the beautiful, he is a benefactor, one who inspires
good actions; and a lovely image which is once found in his canvasses is
borne in one’s heart throughout life with a feeling of gratitude and
religious devotion. He is one of those men of whom an indescribable
prophetic sentiment tells us that we shall see them again; that the
meeting with them is due to us like some prize; that they cannot have
disappeared for ever, they are still in some place; that their life has
only been like a flash of inextinguishable light, which must appear once
more in all its splendour to the ages of mortals.” In transcribing his
general impressions of the pictures in the Museo of Madrid, De Amicis
pathetically comments: “It is one of the most dolorous consequences of a
charming journey, this finding one’s mind full of beautiful images, and
the heart a tumult of intense emotions, and only being able to give
expression to so small a portion of them! With what profound disdain I
could tear up these pages when I think of those pictures! Oh, Murillo;
oh, Velasquez; oh, poor pen of mine!” Yet these are the artistic
bewailings of a writer who has comprehended as much of, and expressed
more faithfully the charm and soulfulness of Murillo than any living

Viva el Rey.

On the 17th of May, 1902, Queen Maria Christina relinquished the Regency
she had sustained so faithfully and unfalteringly for upwards of sixteen
years, and Alfonso XIII., or to give his name in full, Alfonso Leon
Fernando Maria Santiago Pidro Pascual Marcian Antonio, appeared before
his subjects for the first time in the character of ruler as well as
King. The eyes of all Europe were directed to Madrid on that day of
sunshine and rejoicing, and perhaps in England more than in any country
in the world was the nobility and pathos of the Queenly figure, and the
brilliant promise given by the young King, most sympathetically
appreciated. Queen Christina had devoted her life to her duty; to the
service of Spain and the task of fitting her son for the high destiny to
which he was born. The difficulty of that task cannot be over-estimated.
Taken from the cloistered and secluded life in the Convent of Hochradin
in Bohemia, the young Abbess-Princess, who from her earliest years was
remarkable for the gravity of her character and her singular piety, was
suddenly thrust into the fierce light that beats about a throne to
secure a union between the two great Catholic families of the Hapsburgs
and the Spanish Bourbons. Married in 1879, Queen Maria Christina enjoyed
six years of complete happiness. Handsome, young, and brave, King
Alfonso XII. proved a faithful and a devoted husband. His early death
left her an alien in a strange land to govern a people who regarded her,
if not with dislike, at least with suspicion. The Spanish have no reason
to love Austria, and the mere fact of the Queen Mother being an Austrian
by birth was sufficient

[Illustration: 1886.]

[Illustration: 1891.]

[Illustration: 1892.]

[Illustration: 1893.]

[Illustration: 1895.]

[Illustration: 1896.]

[Illustration: 1898.]

[Illustration: 1901.]

[Illustration: 1902.]

to excite a feeling of distrust. But the brave Queen outlived the
popular want of confidence, and won the admiration and respect of her

[Illustration: THE KING AND HIS MOTHER.]

A few months after the death of Alfonso XII., the infant King--he was
King from the first breath of life that he drew--“the only child born a
king since Christ”--was presented to the great officials and grandees of
Spain, lying upon a silver salver. The thrill of the first cry of “Viva
el Rey!” that rose outside the Palace of Madrid on May 17th, 1886, and
were renewed with tempestuous enthusiasm on May 17th, 1902, has never
died in the hearts of the Spaniards. The Divine right of kings is not an
unmeaning formula in Spain, in spite of all past history; and to the
people who so ardently desired him, the circumstances of Alfonso’s birth
gave their King a peculiarly Heaven-sent character. From the moment of
his birth he has been hedged about by restrictions and precautions. The
hopes of the Royalists and of men of all parties who believe that only
monarchical government is possible for Spain have been centred in him,
and his every look and action has been watched with a most intense
anxiety, rising from the conviction that only the life of this one-time
delicate lad stood between Spain and the chaos of revolution.

The weakness of the infant King added to the unparalleled trials that
were laid upon the Queen. She has had, in addition, to meet the
unquenchable hate of the two political factions--the Carlists, who still
dream of a successful coup on behalf of the Pretender; and the Radicals,
who would found the Red Republic. She has had to meet the menace of
risings in the Carlist North and labour troubles in the Republican
South. She has seen Spain drained in men and money in a futile effort to
subdue the Cuban Rebellion. More recently still her heart has been wrung
by the appalling disasters of the war with America. She saw the gallant
army of Spain defeated, its heroic fleet annihilated; Cuba, Porto Rico,
and the Philippines--the last remnants of what had once been the
greatest Colonial Empire in the World--torn from the Crown of Spain. The
Queen Regent bore these terrible misfortunes with dauntless courage; and
her wisdom, prudence, and ability enabled her to save the dynasty and to
see the Crown placed on the head of the son she so dearly loves.

Under his mother’s untiring care the little King threw off his infant
ailings. He had the usual illnesses of childhood, one of so severe a
character that it cost the country many days of painful suspense. But,
like many other delicate children, he grew in health and strength as the
years went by, and his subjects were soon able to assure themselves that
it was no weakling that would sit on the throne of Spain. It is a matter
of history that he opened his first Cortes in his nurse’s arms at

[Illustration: S. M. EL REY ALFONSO XIII.]

the age of one; at two years old he sat on a throne to open the
Exhibition of Barcelona, and from his earliest years he was taught the
lesson of responsibility. Efforts have been made before now to bring up
a future ruler of a country in ignorance of his or her coming power, and
in subjection to temporary guardians. With Alfonso XIII. the opposite
plan was very wisely followed. He has always been the King, subject to
no will but his mother’s; and even in his childhood there must have been
borne upon his mind some perception of the idea which all the pomp and
ceremony surrounding him portended, and some knowledge that he himself
was the embodiment of that idea. Until the age of seven, his time was
spent between the Palace of Madrid and the Palace of Miramar in San
Sabastian, under the immediate eye of his mother and his sisters.
Thereafter, in conformity with the traditions of the Court of Spain, he
was obliged to have a separate establishment of his own, and his
education was entrusted to a distinguished officer of the Royal
Household, General Sanchis, assisted by three officers and a staff of
professors. His Majesty proved an apt scholar, mastering English,
French, and German, each of which he speaks fluently, and obtaining a
wide and deep knowledge of the history of his own country. He was also
instructed in the elements of law, political economy, and the theory of
Government--branches of study for which he showed a very marked
aptitude. Like every true Spaniard, the King early disclosed a
passionate fondness for the army, and three days in the week he was
regularly instructed in military drill and exercises in company with a
number of young Spanish nobles. He early became an accomplished fencer,
a capital shot, a good swimmer, and an excellent horseman. He has an
admirable seat and great pluck and judgment, and never looks better than
he does on horseback. In the extensive stables of the Palace, which
contains a very varied collection of steeds from all countries, there is
scarcely a horse which he has not ridden.

[Illustration: S. A. INFANTA MARIA TERESA.]

What manner of King was it that on his 17th birthday made his first
official appearance as the Constitutional ruler of Spain? Accomplished
as a scholar and a musician, and a fine all-round athlete, we know also
of him that, thanks to heredity and careful training, he has developed a
manliness and resolution of character which promise to stand him in good
stead in the future. “Tall and slender,” to quote the description of a
writer who was in a position to picture His Majesty with accuracy,
“graceful in movement in spite of the length and looseness of his limbs,
the King has inherited, not only the mobile features, but also very much
of the charm of manner, the _bonhomme_ and easy grace, which made
Alfonso XII. so dear to his friends. He is no lover of ceremonious
etiquette; but, simple and familiar as he prefers his intercourse to be,
he shows a rare tact in one so young in never forgetting, or permitting
others to forget, that he is King. Above all, he is Spanish to the
backbone; and for this he owes much to his aunt, the Infanta Isabel, the
widowed Countess of Girgenti, who has particularly devoted herself to
the task of making her nephew a good Spaniard. The Infanta Isabel is
deservedly one of the most popular women in Spain; she possesses a rare
knowledge of even the intricate mazes of its political life, as well as
an absolute and innate sympathy with many national characteristics.
Other reasons, too, have contributed to make Alfonso XIII. a good
Spaniard. There is no greater incentive to patriotism than national
suffering; and it was at the most impressionable age that he learnt, day
by day, to listen to the tale of the disasters that were befalling his
country. In this connection, it may be added that he shows signs of
becoming a keen soldier, and has shown a lively interest in the military
life by which he is immediately surrounded. His brother-in-law, the
husband of the Infanta, known now by courtesy as the Prince of Asturias,
fully shares this inclination, and has proved the best of comrades to
the King in that as well as in other pursuits.”

[Illustration: S. A. LA PRINCESA DE ASTURIAS.]

Such was the Royal youth who stood by his mother’s side when the
Queen-Regent of Spain presided at her last Cabinet Council in the Palace
in Madrid. Sixteen and a-half years before she had been seated in the
same vast State hall waiting to receive all the Diplomatic Corps and the
message of condolence that they were bringing. Señor Zarco del Valle,
introducer of Ambassadors at the Spanish Court, describes her appearance
as she sat, crushed by grief and despondency, her face and eyes swollen
by the tears she had shed. Her hands lay loosely in her lap and
trembled. The sight of the forlorn widow was so heartrending that Señor
del Valle hesitated long before he pronounced the official words,
“Madam, may I announce to your Majesty His Eminence the Apostolic
Nuncio?” Scarcely had the words crossed his lips than Maria-Christina
started and stood upright before him, a Queen and a ruler from head to
foot, her forehead erect, a fire of resolution burning in the depths of
her brown eyes. The late Señor Sagasta, who was then Prime Minister of
Spain, was still her chief Minister when she received the official
farewells of the Councillors. Señor Sagasta, in the course of an
eloquent address, recalled the day when the Queen, who then barely knew
him, did honour to his loyalty, and, trembling and weeping at the loss
of her Consort, so fresh in her memory, she placed her confidence in
him. Sixteen years and a-half elapsed since that day, during which the
Queen was sacrificing her youth, a slave to duty and a jealous guardian
of her children. She had suffered so much, finding at last compensation
in the happiness of the King. He, a grateful and loving son to his
mother, on receiving the carefully-guarded deposit of Royal power, would
receive therewith a moral education which assuredly he would never
forget in all the trials of his life.

[Illustration: S. A. R. EL INFANTE DON CARLOS.]

The Queen listened to Señor Sagasta’s words with increasing emotion, and
finally was moved to weeping. But, recovering herself, she responded,
and, in thanking Señor Sagasta, said that she had ever had the earnest
desire to do right, even though she might not always have been right;
and she ever felt profound love for Spain in return for the kindnesses
that had always been heaped upon her. She hoped that the statesmen
before her assembled, and those who could and might become Councillors
of the Crown, would help her son as effectively as they had helped her.





On the following day the formal enthronement of Alfonso XIII. as King of
Spain was accomplished; a chapter in the history of the Spanish Monarchy
was closed and a fresh epoch was begun. The young Monarch made his
appearance before his subjects under the happiest conditions. Madrid
looked its best beneath the bright sun and cloudless skies which
fortunately attended the whole course of the city’s festivities. The
procession was one of those picturesque and impressive displays in which
the Spanish as a people know how to excel. The young King’s demeanour
was an engaging mixture of boyish self-possession and boyish delight,
together with traces of a maturer air of resolution, which were
especially apparent when he recited the oath of enthronement before his
Congress. From that body he had a magnificent and remarkable reception.
The crowds in the streets vied with their Parliamentary representatives
in their acclamations as the King left the Congress, and these
unmistakable signs of a loyalty deep and true were received by the King
with manifest pleasure. The whole day of rejoicing was one which must
live long in the memory of both subjects and Sovereign.

So, amid sounds of universal rejoicing, the young King entered upon his
task with all the promise of youth and under fair auspices, and nowhere
than in this country was the hope more cordially felt that the unbounded
enthusiasm with which he had been proclaimed would be the prelude to a
long, ever-brightening record of loyal co-operation between the
Sovereign and his subjects, of re-awakened national energies, of solid
and enduring gains of domestic unity and progress, and of the attainment
of the indomitable aspiration of a noble people.

In every respect these high hopes are being realised. The King’s
popularity, based on the solid foundation of respect for wise authority
and administration, of his frank, generous, and engaging personality,
is growing daily. He has gained the confidence as he won the hearts of
his subjects, and it is safe to assert that at no period of recent
history has the throne of Spain been more secure, or the future of the
country more full of promise. The renaissance of the Spanish nation has
commenced; her commercial prosperity is steadily and surely increasing;
and with the ever-lessening evil of domestic friction, the expansion of
her trade, and the development of her natural and mineral resources, the
boundless possibilities before Spain are assuming definite and tangible

[Illustration: RAILWAY MAP OF SPAIN.]


The history of mining in Spain would fill a dozen books, each twelve
times as large as the present volume, and even then only the half, if so
much of the story, would be told. It would form a narrative that would
combine tragedy and romance, and present a moral as stern as humanity
has ever been asked to peruse. The mineral wealth of the Peninsula was
responsible for the origination of the African slave trade, for the
demolition of Carthage, for the decline of Rome, for the sacrifice of
lives innumerable, for tortures unspeakable, for crimes that are without
parallel in the annals of the world. In ancient times Spain was ravaged,
plundered, and depopulated to provide Carthage with the spoils that were
to make her the prey of the Romans, who, in their turn, were to be
lulled by wealth and luxury into the deadly sleep of degeneracy that
precedes decay.

It is probable that the beginning of the history of precious metals may
be traced back to India, although it is commonly assigned to Greece
about 900 B.C.; but the earliest specific mention of gold or silver
mining in European history is derived from the story of Cadmus, a
Phoenician, who mined for copper and gold in Thrace in 1594 B.C., or
thereabouts. Jason, another Phoenician, journeyed as far west as
Sardinia in search of precious metals in 1263 B.C.; and it is known that
the Phoenicians were working the gold placers of the Guadalquiver
previous to 1100 B.C. The means of winning the gold--the only mineral
that was exploited in those days--were both limited and arduous, and
some time between 1200 and 500 B.C. (it is impossible to compute the
period more exactly) the auriferous resources of Spain were thought to
be exhausted. The results of Phoenician mining enterprise must have been
considerable, for about B.C. 500 Darius, of Persia, undertook and
successfully executed a military expedition against Phoenicia for the
purpose of acquiring the metallic treasure, which its adventurers had
carried away from Spain. Some portion of this hardly-won stock of
bullion found its way back to Europe some two centuries later when
Alexander the Great plundered Persia.

[Illustration: THE UNION MINE, BILBAO.]

Spain did not benefit in the slightest degree by the earliest discovery
of her auriferous riches; and when her silver resources were disclosed,
they provided the Carthaginians with a further incentive to pillage and
plunder the country which was cursed by the possession of her coveted
mineral wealth. Between 480 and 206 B.C. the silver mines were worked by
the Carthaginians, who stored their spoil at Carthage against the
coming, in B.C. 146, of the plundering Romans who captured the city,
rifled its treasure houses, and either sold its myriad inhabitants in
the slave markets of Rome, or condemned them to the hideous labour of
the Spanish mines. Spain was to the Ancients what Mexico and Central and
South America became in later ages to Spain--El Dorado, the land of
gold, the richest mining country of the world; and the nearer history of
Mexico and Peru--the fate of its aborigines, the subsequent struggle
among leading nations for the mastery of its precious metals, the
destruction of its soil, the neglect of its agriculture, and the
resultant poverty and decay of its population--is no more than a
repetition of the ancient history of Spain. The aborigines were easily
brought into a state of subjection by the disciplined and well armed
soldiers of Carthage, who reduced them to slavery, and compelled them,
with every accompaniment of savage brutality, to explore and work the


“These people,” says Didorus, “though by their labour they enriched
their masters to an almost incredible extent, did it by toiling night
and day in their golden prisons. They were compelled, by the lash, to
work so incessantly that they died of their hardships in the caverns
they had dug. Such as by great vigour of body continued to live, were in
a state of misery which rendered death a preferable fate.” Again
Didorus, in describing the conditions under which mining was carried on
at this period, tells us that infinite numbers of slaves of both sexes
were thrust into the mines, kept at work night and day, and guarded so
strictly as to make escape an impossibility. Naked, maimed, and sick
they laboured on beneath the lash of the brutal overseers without rest
or remission. “Neither the weakness of old age, nor the infirmities of
females,” says this authority, “excuse any from the work, to which all
are driven by blows and cudgels, until borne down by the intolerable
weight of their misery many fell dead in the midst of their insufferable
labours. Deprived of all hope, these miserable creatures expect each day
to be worse than the last! and long for death to end their griefs.”


The mortality among the workers in the mines of Spain at this period
must have been appalling, and the conditions were calculated to decimate
the entire race. Soon it became necessary to recruit the fast thinning
ranks of native labourers with imported workers, and these were brought
in thousands from Africa. Negro slaves had previously been introduced,
to a small extent, into Etruria; but the traffic had not hitherto

[Illustration: MINING MAP OF SPAIN.]

attained the gigantic proportion that it was then to assume. Jacob, in
his _History of the Precious Metals_, says: “This oppression and
exhaustion of the native labourers led to a trade in human beings which
was carried on by the Carthaginians with the interior of Africa, and
supplied to Andalusia the place of those native workmen who had been
destroyed by the excessive toil imposed on them by their Asiatic
intruders. This horrid traffic was extended and continued, and it
augmented the produce of the mines of Spain in such a degree as to have
an influence on the whole commerce of the world at that period. That
influence was continued for upwards of seven hundred years, until the
Government of the Romans, who succeeded the Carthaginians in the mastery
of Spain, had fallen into the hands of the Gothic monarchs.”

The spoils which Phoenicia had won from Spain led to her spoilation by
Darius of Persia, in the fifth century before the Christian era; three
hundred years later the silver hoards of Carthage excited the cupidity
and envy of Rome, and Spain, which provided the booty, was wrested from
the Carthaginians by the armies of the Commonwealth. Up to B.C. 400,
when mining in Spain was reduced to a regular system, and the output was
enormously increased, Carthage was able to utilise her silver in her
Indian trade; but with increasing returns the necessity arose for
establishing other markets for her precious metals. In Carthage and in
Rome the numerary money system still obtained, but about this date the
Carthaginians adopted silver currency and endeavoured, but with little
success, to dispose of their surplus supplies of silver by offering them
in the markets of Rome. But Rome still held to her copper tokens, and
was as yet free from the fatal influence of the mines. “Rome trusted to
itself and its sword,” says Heeren in his _Researches, African Nations_,
“Carthage to its gold and its mercenaries. The greatness of Rome was
founded upon a rock; that of Carthage upon sand and gold-dust.”


But the increasing volume of the trade of Carthage with the Orient did
not keep pace with her ever-multiplying returns of silver. Carthaginian
silver made its appearance in Italy, and the jealous eye of Rome was led
from Carthaginian silver to Carthage and its hugely profitable Indian
trade. In B.C. 264 began the first Punic War, which cost Carthage the
islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica--all of them mining
countries--and an indemnity of 1,200 talents of silver. Three years
after Hamilcar Barca, on the plea that the extension of the
Carthaginians’ arms into the interior was necessary in order to make
good the loss of the mineral-producing islands ceded to Italy, conducted
a marauding expedition through Spain. This campaign of conquest and
slaughter culminated in B.C. 219 in the sacking of Saguntum (the modern
Murviedro), a Greek colonial city and furnished Rome with the pretext
for another war against Carthage. In B.C. 269, prior to the first Punic
War, Rome had formally adopted silver as a portion of her monetary
system; and the demand for the metal made it necessary for her to
devise some means for ensuring a larger and more regular supply than she
could obtain from her own mines or by purchase. Italy’s growing commerce
with the Orient, which consumed all the silver at her command, hastened
the means to the end. The capture of Saguntum by the unauthorised
commandoes of Hamilcar Barca was the excuse upon which Rome declared the
second Punic War which, in B.C. 207, ended in the conquest of Spain, and
the final evacuation of the coveted territory by the Carthaginian forces
five years later.


Carthage built her greatness on the spoils wrung from the mines of
Spain, and her fall is directly traceable to the same cause. As
Alexander del Mar says: “They corrupted the Government of Carthage, and
led to the neglect of military discipline and precautions; they
introduced a mercenary and gambling spirit into all enterprises; they
created monopolies of wealth; they impoverished the masses; they
occasioned the abandonment of those industries which had built up the
State, and they eventually so crippled its power, that in the memorable
contests that ensued with Rome for the mastery of these same mines,
Carthage was unable to successfully cope with its more vigorous


There is abundant evidence to show that although the Carthaginians were
driven out by the all-conquering Romans, they left with the full
determination to return at some future time, and they took the most
careful precautions to hide their treasures from the eyes of the
invaders. The ancient workings that are attributed to Roman miners are,
in many cases, of Carthaginian origin; for it appears certain that
numbers of these well-developed mines were never discovered by the
Romans. The site of a mine at Córdova, for instance, was indicated by a
series of seven abandoned and rubbish-filled shafts, forming an
irregular row of workings. One or two of these shafts at either end of
the row had been tested without yielding any satisfactory results, and
when the property passed, at a nominal figure, into the hands of English
capitalists the manager received instructions to empty these shafts. He
started at one end and cleared three of the seven holes, only to find
that they stopped suddenly at a few yards from the surface. Then,
following the course that had been taken by the Romans and the more
recent Spanish proprietors, he began at the other end only to find that
the supposed shafts were no more than huge pot holes. Disappointed with
the fruitlessness of his efforts he wired to London, “Have cleared six
holes. No trace of lode.” The answer was instantly returned to the
despondent manager:--“Clear the seventh.” Acting on these instructions
the centre shaft was cleared, and at a little depth he came upon a
massive iron door which proved to be the entrance to the enormous
ancient workings which the Carthaginians had hidden for over two
thousand years by this ingenious device of digging dummy shafts, and so
giving succeeding generations the impression that the mine was a
worthless and abandoned prospect.

In the majority of these ancient workings in the copper mines that I
have inspected, tools of Carthaginian make had been found lying
scattered in the tunnels where the workmen had thrown them when they
made their hurried departure. One has only to glance from those enormous
catacombs to the implements with which the excavations were made to
realise the terrific difficulties of the task and the misery and almost
super-human labour that was involved in its accomplishment. Human blood
was spilt like water to gratify the mineral greed of the Carthaginian
conquerors. When the younger Scipio, carrying the war into the enemy’s
country, sacked and afterwards burned Carthage to the ground, 60,000 of
its citizens were sent to labour as slaves in the Spanish mines of which
they had so recently been the opulent masters.

Before the conclusion of the second Punic war Scipio returned to Rome
with so great a quantity of the precious metals captured by his forces,
that the Roman numerary system was finally abolished, and the complete
establishment of silver currency was effected. But the triumph of Rome
was the beginning of her end. She had crushed her great Carthaginian
rival, and gained her Indian trade; she had extended her possessions to
the Atlantic ocean, and made herself the owner of the greatest mineral
country of the world. But she had transferred to her own shoulders the
curse of Carthage’s decline when she assumed the Carthaginian mantle.
Public and private morality was demoralised by the accumulation of the
treasure in Rome; wealth was the precursor of corruption; and corruption
led to that gross luxury and social and political supineness which
sapped the greatness of the empire.

When the impairment of the stock of silver coins by export to India and
the surrounding countries necessitated larger and regular supplies of
the metal, Rome applied herself to the exploitation of her Spanish mines
with a vigour as great as it was pitiless. The native races and their
erstwhile Carthaginian masters worked side by side, and their ranks were
subsequently swelled by condemned criminals from Italy, and in later
times even by legionary soldiers. Jacob tells us that “the silver
procured by the Romans by these operations must have cost more than its
current worth; and, according to Polybius, the 40,000 workmen who were
constantly employed in the silver mines at New Carthage in Spain
produced only 25,000 drachmas (valued at under £1,000) per diem--a sum
that could scarcely have purchased more than sufficient to keep alive
the miserable beings who were immolated in them. Another reason why
these mines were worked at a loss at this time, if indeed they were, is
supplied by Del Mar, who points out that “when these mines were worked
by the Romans there already existed in their own markets a mass of the
precious metals that had been obtained at a cost which, reckoned in
blood and cruelty, was immeasurable; but which in mere pecuniary outlay
of labour, in killing and sacking, was as nothing. It was against the
competition of this mass of metals, which pecuniarily cost nothing,
that the mine owners had to measure their products in the Roman market;
and it is to be hardly wondered at that they found the industry
unprofitable. The Spaniards subsequently had the same experience in
America, and the Californians and Australians are repeating it at the
present time.


The Romans also worked for gold the sands of the Guadalquiver, Darro and
Duero rivers, but with what results is not known. They also mined for
copper on a large scale, with, it is evident, the most gratifying
success. The mechanical resources at their command were limited, and
there seems no doubt that many rich mines were abandoned for want of
knowledge and the proper appliances with which to treat the ores. In one
instance, that of the Escurial Mines at Escurial, a huge lode carrying
rich copper was broken by a fault, and the Romans made no effort to pick
up the lode again. The present English owners penetrated the fault, and
found the lode of the original dimensions on the other side.

During the eight hundred years that Spain was under Arab domination, the
mines of Sardinia are believed to have been worked by the conquerors,
and they prosecuted their explorations for the precious metals on the
main land with some vigour. Yeats, in his _History of Commerce_, tells
us that in the eighth century the old silver mines, thought by the
Romans to be exhausted, were made to yield afresh by skilful working;
and the Spanish mines then furnished to the world the chief supplies of
precious metals. The Arabs exported quicksilver to Constantinople, and
it is possible that they extended the industry by opening up new mines.
Spain is so full of metals that, after being explored for centuries, new
mines are constantly being discovered; and perhaps the richest of all
the silver mines--the Hiendelæncina--was opened up in 1843. But what the
Arabs did in the way of discovery we have no means of ascertaining. They
are believed by Jacob to have re-opened the Roman silver mines in the
present French division of the Pyrenees, and to have worked the gold
mines at Lares, the silver mine of Zalamea in Andalusia, and that of
Constantina, near Cazalla. The hills of Jaen, upon which they
principally concentrated their exertions, are pierced with over five
thousand shallow pits, which are estimated to have been the work of five
centuries. Even the approximate amount of the precious metals obtained
as the result of Arab mining in Spain is a matter of the merest

It is curious to note that when Spain was at the zenith of her greatness
the wealth in which she abounded was not the result of the exploitation
of her own vast stores of precious metals, but the fruits of conquest,
bloodshed, and cruelties, similar to those which she had herself
suffered at the hands successively of the Phœnicians, the Carthaginians,
the Romans, and the Arabs. She had seen each succeeding nation of her
despoilers crumble into decay, but she failed to learn the lesson that
their disastrous endings had for her.

In her turn Spain crushed Mexico and Peru, and grew rich and powerful by
tribute and plunder to the neglect of her own resources and her ultimate
temporary ruin and submersion among the nations of Europe. Her own
metallic hoards were passed over--the treasure for which Carthage, and
Rome, and Morroco had fought and bled was neglected; while the methods
of the Roman and the Carthaginian conquerors were being practised upon
the people of the New World. The result is, that while Spain is to-day
recognised as the richest mineral country in Europe, her mineral assets
are in a more backward state of development than those of any other
European country.


In the production of copper ore, lead, and quicksilver Spain heads the
list; she is second only to Austria-Hungary in the production of salt
and silver; her tin mines are at present almost untouched; while among
the less important minerals distributed over the Peninsula are
manganese, antimony, cobalt, soda sulphate, sulphate of barium
(barytes), phosphorite, alum, magnesia sulphate, sulphur, kaolin,
lignite. Gold is also found there in payable quantities; coal and cement
of good quality and in enormous deposits are present in the province of
Lerida; while the richness and extent of her iron resources in the
districts round Santander and Bilbao have long been recognised. With all
this vast mineral wealth within her boundaries, Spain should be one of
the richest, rather than one of the poorest of European countries. The
natural conditions are all favourable to the development of the
industry. Labour is cheap and abundant, transport facilities are mostly
good, and the mines are within easy reach of all the important markets
of the world. The working of the mineral resources is carried on under
generous and encouraging State regulations. For this purpose the whole
kingdom is divided into three sections, and each of these into four
districts. Each section is under the charge of an inspector-general of
the first class, and each of the districts under an inspector of the
second class. There are no harassing restrictions to hamper the energies
of the mine owner, while the climatic conditions render it possible to
work the majority of the properties all the whole year round.

Yet with all this mineral wealth to hand, only waiting to be
systematically developed to yield immense returns, less than ten per
cent. of the population of Spain are engaged in its mining industries;
and between sixty and seventy per cent. are occupied in various branches
of agriculture, or in pastoral pursuits. The reason is not far to seek.
In many parts the country realises Mr. Stephen Phillips’s dream of that
fair land where

    “Trees without care shall blossom, and the fields
     Shall without labour unto harvest come.”

The Spanish peasant can tend his land to produce sufficient for his
needs, and allow him to be independent of his fellows. He is more
contented and happier, and his best qualities are more strikingly
evident when he is “on his own” than in the mass. Unregulated labour is
congenial to him, and if his earnings are small, his wants are few.
Agriculture appeals to his temperament and satisfies his needs. Mining,
however, demands capital which he has not got, and experience which he
has no means of acquiring. It is something which he does not understand.
The Spanish noblemen and landed proprietors who own the mines neglect
this source of revenue for another reason. Englishmen, nobles or
commoners, who possess mineral land do not hesitate to turn their
possessions to practical account; but the Spaniard has the greatest
aversion to anything that savours of trade. In England pig-iron is
aristocratic, though tenpenny nails still remain scarcely respectable;
in Spain wholesale and retail are alike beneath the dignity of the


But, although since the days of the Ancients the minerals of Spain have
not been worked on the same enormous scale that was then adopted, the
industry has never been neglected to the extent that is generally
supposed. The majority of people cherish the delusion that since the
times of the Moors the metallic resources of the Peninsula have not been
exploited, and that the revival of activity that is now being witnessed
is a development of recent months. Nothing could be further from the
truth. That the eyes of English capitalists and investors have only
lately been turned upon this Bonanza is an indisputable fact; but in a
quiet unostentatious way the country has been mined without interruption
for centuries, and fabulous fortunes have been made by a comparatively
small number of people. And this select coterie of millionaire
mine-owners has, for years, managed to disguise the magnitude of its
operations and secure immunity from active competition.

Before the discovery of America thousands of mines were being
energetically exploited in Spain; new mineral discoveries were of daily
occurrence, and Royal Charters were granted by tens of thousands. But
the astounding richness of the mines of Peru and Central America enticed
whole armies of Spanish miners to the new Eldorado, and for a while the
home industry languished. Spain has never since re-attained its
commanding position as a mineral country in the eyes of the world; but
hundreds and hundreds of mines have been and are being worked by small
companies and private individuals, and the returns have been buried from
sight in official statistics and unpublished records. While the general
public were being kept out of the country as the result of this
carefully cultivated policy of suppression of facts, it was inevitable
that the plums should fall into the hands of a few wealthy monopolists.
The small local owners did not stand a chance. If they mined for copper
there was no market for their ore; the fall in the price of tin rendered
that industry for a while unprofitable, and the development of iron
properties necessitated the expenditure of more capital than the Spanish
proprietors could command. And the agents of the mammoth firms, who form
a close corporation for the exploitation of Spain’s mineral resources,
have been up and down the country, inspecting, and acquiring for ready
cash all the most promising properties. There has been no fuss, no
sensation, no publicity, and no incitement to competition. The direct
consequence of this condition of affairs has been to give currency to
all kinds of erroneous impressions with respect to the condition, the
profits, and the prospects of Spanish mining. A general belief has grown
up that the minerals have been largely worked out; that the difficulties
of transport, the vexatious mining regulations, and the paucity of
natural facilities have combined to spoil the industry--fallacies which
have been fostered by those whose interests were best conserved by their


This condition of affairs has obtained very largely in the iron industry
of Northern Spain--an industry that is so widely known that it is
unnecessary here to make more than passing reference to it; but in the
Southern Provinces (principally) of Almeria, Granada, and Murcia, the
iron mines are being developed in the interests of a far larger number
of persons. Both foreign and Spanish capital is invested in the
enterprise, and many of the mines are fully equipped with wire tramways
and American waggons, and the promise of the future of the Southern iron
fields is well on its way to being realised. Foreign capitalists are
embarked in the venture which, until now, has attracted the attention of
few Englishmen; and, indeed, until recently Englishmen have only
possessed a vague idea of the magnitude and richness of Spain’s mineral
deposits. The French people realised it long ago, and attempted, in a
half-hearted and parsimonius manner, to develop them, but with only
indifferent success. Native enterprise proved even less satisfactory,
and the attempt of the Government to work the world-famous Rio Tinto
mines resulted in utter failure, and the sale of the property by public
tender in 1873. The Rio Tinto

[Illustration: RIO TINTO MINES.]

mines, like those of Tharsis, were extensively developed by the Romans,
and so perfect was the smelting process they adopted, that in the heap
of ancient slag on the surface hardly a trace of copper remains. The
Phoenicians and Carthaginians both worked the Rio Tinto property prior
to the advent of the Romans, and their galleries and shafts are found in
every direction and at every depth explored by the Moderns. Especially
on the North lode are found innumerable shafts and vast slag heaps, the
latter testifying to the great extent of their smelting operations. On
this lode are also to be seen the traces, now almost obliterated, of a
Roman town and a Roman cemetery; while upon the summit of the Cerron
Salomon (3,000 feet) are the outlines of a fortified enclosure covering
many acres. From the time when the Roman occupation was broken up by the
inroads of the Visigoths, until the middle of the sixteenth century Rio
Tinto fell into utter oblivion. The Moors apparently never directed
their attention to them. An attempt was made to reopen the mines under
Philip II., but the purpose failed, and for another two centuries the
property remain neglected.


Ultimately they were leased to a Swede named Liebert Wolters in 1725,
and the property reverted to the Crown in 1783. The Government at first
leased the mines, but the wretchedly unsatisfactory result of this
arrangement prompted them for a while to undertake the management. The
loss to the Government was so great that they disposed of the mines in
1872 for £4,000,000 to a group of capitalists, who formed the present
Rio Tinto Company. This company has developed the property on a vast
scale, and in accordance with the dictates of modern science. A railway
line has been constructed to Huelva, a distance of fifty-three miles,
terminating in a pier nearly half-a-mile long in the River Odiel. This
pier consists of two floors, used respectively for loading and
unloading. It has, at some portions of its section, ten lines of railway
abreast and above, and can easily berth five large steamers. The ore for
export is brought from the mines and shot directly into the ships’
holds. The quantity of pyrites extracted in 1901 was 1,928,776 tons, of
which 633,949 tons were exported. The sulphur ore shipped in that year
was 119,683 tons, and 21,100 tons of copper were produced by treatment
at the mines. Of the ore that is not exported a portion is worked up
into copper by the cementation process, and the remainder by smelting.
The sulphur fumes emitted by the roasting, which is a necessary prelude
to parts of the processes, had denuded the surrounding hills of every
vestige of vegetation before the company commenced operations; and the
so-called Hill of the Pines has not borne a tree for thirty or forty
years past.

At the Rio Tinto mines there are nearly fifty miles of railway above
ground and over ten miles underground, all of which are available for
locomotive traffic. The underground workings are all reached by adits or
galleries running in from the hill-side on different levels. Nearly
fifty locomotives are daily employed in these workings, besides those
used for the traffic to Huelva. The original town has been greatly
enlarged, and three or four separate villages have been built by the
company for the housing of their army of workmen, which numbers between
10,000 and 11,000 persons. Stores have been opened to supply the needs
of the workmen, schools have been founded and hospitals built, both at
Huelva and the mines, and forty armed guards, recruited out of the Civil
Guard, are maintained to preserve order and protect property. The
company has also constructed several reservoirs for the storage of
water, which is of such importance in copper mining. The largest of
these, which is about twice the area of the Serpentine, has a depth of
seventy feet, and a capacity of 2,570,000 tons, or 575,000,000 gallons.
These figures convey some impression of the vastness of the undertaking,
but another figure may be added, viz., the revenue of the company, which
last year amounted to upwards of £1,800,000. Of this sum over one and
three-quarter million sterling was profit on sale of produce.

[Illustration: THE FRAMES, RIO TINTO.]

The Tharsis mines, though not such a remarkable proposition as the Rio
Tinto, form a notable property. They appear to have been practically
abandoned from the time of the Roman occupation until 1865, and were not
worked at a profit until they were acquired by the present Scotch
company. Since then, however, an enormous quantity of ore has been
extracted, and last year a total output of some 400,000 tons of metal
returned a profit of over £320,000. The mines are connected by a railway
twenty-eight miles in length with the pier station at Corrales, a short
distance from Huelva, on the opposite bank of the river Odiel. A fine
iron pier, 765 yards long, allows the ore for export to be carried
direct to the ships. The Tharsis mines and the Lagunazo mines are now
yielding considerably smaller returns of copper ore; but at the Calanas
mines the output is steadily increasing, and vigorous exploration work
in this portion of the property has disclosed, in addition to the
already proved resources of ore which can be profitably treated for the
production of copper, a large mass of low-grade ore, which, though
comparatively poor in copper is rich in sulphur.


The Rio Tinto and the Tharsis have been rightly regarded as the show
mines of Spain, and the former can, of course, hold its own among the
leading mines of the world; and, if it is unlikely that any other
Spanish property will rival this cupiferous wonder, there are many that,
under proper scientific management, will be found to be as relatively
rich and profitable. What is required in Spain is money for development
and brains to direct the operations. The existence of minerals, and of
copper particularly, has been demonstrated; and now that English capital
is slowly but in steadily increasing amount being invested in these
mines, a tremendous reaction in the industry may confidently be looked
for in this quarter of the globe. Within the past year or two quite a
number of promising properties have been acquired for the English
markets, and in every instance the results of the opening-up work have
more than realised the expectations of the proprietors. The company,
which was formed a short time ago to acquire an extensive property at
Coruña, is regarded by experts as a proposition of the highest
importance. Another company, called the Escurial Copper Mines, is
already working at a profit, and promises to give very large returns for
many years to come. La Recompensa Mines also appear to be rich in
copper, and the ore also contains precious metals, assays giving as much
as 12 ozs. of silver and 9½ dwts. of gold to the ton. An important fact
in connection with all these mines is that they are only distant two
miles from the Escurial Mines; consequently the cost of ore treatment
will be considerably reduced by reason of the proximity of large
smelting works now nearing completion. The latest reports from the
Huercal Copper-cobalt Mines, in the province of Almeria, all tend to
confirm the very high opinion which the English owners formed of their
value at the time they acquired the property; and the English-owned Rio
Rimal Mines in the province of Gerona are putting out very fine copper.

[Illustration: THE CUTTINGS, RIO TINTO.]

Among the other Spanish mines in which English capital has been
invested--and attention will be mainly confined to these in this
chapter--tin and silver-lead play a prominent part.

Although tin was smelted more than two thousand years ago, and some of
the first ore containing the metal was probably discovered by the
Ancients in that north-westerly province of Hispania, which the Romans
named Gallaeci, Spain is not to-day ranked among the great tin-producing
countries of the world. Pliny refers to Cornish tin, but most of the
metal contained in the ancient bronze weapons and objects must have been
derived from the Spanish mines. The ancient town of Orense, the capital
of the Galician province of the same name, which was founded by the
Romans, and greatly esteemed by them on account of its warm springs, is
the centre of the industry, and the country is scored and bored with
many indications of the enterprise and energy of the ancient miners.
Beariz, a little village in the mountains of Balcovo, is situated on a
hill that is tunnelled with Roman workings in what are probably the
richest tiniferous deposits in the richest tin district in Spain.
Enormous quantities of the mineral must from this mine alone have
rewarded the labours of the pioneers, who were so rudely interrupted by
the invasion of the victorious Visigoths, and no succeeding owners have
mined the property on the same gigantic scale.


The tiniferous areas of Spain are enormous; and the alluvial tin-bearing
deposits, which extend for miles, are practically virgin ground. The
Ancients, who worked the tin lodes of Galicia, entirely neglected these
alluvials, and, more remarkable still, they have been neglected by every
succeeding generation ever since. The quartz mining, which entails an
enormous initial outlay in crushing and concentration plant, machinery,
and explosives, was prosecuted to a limited extent until the slump, and
the consequent fall in the price of tin, which caused the operations to
be conducted at a loss. Immediately every tin mine in the country was
shut down--the owners could only afford to work for quick cash profits.
Small private companies are now making large profits from quartz
mining--one company, of which nothing is heard by the general public, is
shipping from thirty to forty tons of tin per month--but alluvial tin
mining in Spain is only in its infancy. There are vast fields of
tin-bearing alluvials that can be treated hydraulically at a cost of 2d.
per ton, and yet there is not a single hydraulic plant, or a solitary
dredger in operation in the country. When these districts are in full
operation, when the tin fields of Beariz, of Arnoya, and Pontevedra and
of Salamanca are being washed on a large scale, as they will be very
shortly now, Spain will be near the head of the list in the production
of tin.

There are two important reasons why tin stands so low in the table of
Spain’s mineral output. In the first place the tiniferous areas are,
comparatively speaking, so few that, although they may yield fortunes to
their exploiters, the country can never compare with Australia and the
United States in the aggregate output. And in the second place, although
the tin is found in such exceeding richness that Señor Alfred Lasala,
the eminent mining authority, reported on the Beariz mines, “It is
almost impossible to cubicate the quantity of tin ore in these
concessions,” yet the properties can only be made to pay when the
mineral stands at a good price in the market. Spanish mine owners have
very strong views upon the absolute necessity of making the mines pay
their own way. The expenditure of capital in properly opening up the
mines, with a view to future regular outputs is never entertained.
“Spend nothing and get all you can without” is the motto they have
adopted. Consequently the amount of development work accomplished on
most locally owned properties is small, unscientific, and frequently


The silver mines in the neighbourhood of Jadraque, in the province of
Guadalajara, have supplied all the Spanish silver that has been coined
for generations, and the supply of the metal would appear to be almost
inexhaustible. The principal property in the district, called the
Hiendelæncina, was at one time in the hands of an English company, who
worked it for awhile unsuccessfully, and abandoned it when their
capital was expended. On the advice of the Spanish mine foreman--advice
which had been rejected by the English owners--the work was carried on
by a Frenchman, who acquired the mine for the price of an old song. The
lode was struck, as the foreman had predicted, and at the very spot he
had pointed out; and within a year the lucky French owner had sold the
mine for £160,000 cash.

Silver-lead, although not so widely distributed over Spain as are some
other minerals, is found in no fewer than half-a-dozen provinces; and
the industry is, generally speaking, in a healthy condition. In the case
of the mines of Granada, transport difficulties have had to be overcome;
and in Guadalajara, Murcia and Navarra, the want of capital and the
absence of scientific methods have militated against their progress. The
most favourable conditions for lead mining exist in the provinces of
Badajoz, Jaén, Córdova and Ciudad-Real, where foreign capital has been
more freely invested, and very large profits have already been obtained.
Such astute investors as the Rothschilds are heavily interested in these
latter districts, and of recent months several concessions have been
acquired for the English market and are now being developed with English

The number of Spanish mines that, having been abandoned by one set of
owners, have been taken over by other persons and profitably exploited,
is extraordinarily large--in fact, it might almost be said that there
are few important properties in the Peninsula that have not changed
hands at least once before enriching their proprietors. The Triumfo
Silver-lead Mine at Córdova is an interesting case in point. So much
fruitless exploration work was done on this mine that the French owners
had come to the conclusion that further endeavours would only be
wasted; but after listening to the combined entreaties of the Spanish
foreman and their French manager, they reluctantly agreed to continue
working for a few more weeks. Before the extension limit had been
reached, an enormous seam of silver-lead had been located; and the
output of the Triumfo to-day is only limited by the market requirements
and the obligations entered into by the company. In La Mancha there is a
silver lead-mine which a French company, after sinking an enormous
amount of working capital and failing to strike the lode, abandoned as a
“duffer.” On the representations of the Spanish mine captain, who never
doubted the existence of the lode at depth, the property was taken over
for a nominal consideration by some Scotch financiers. The Spaniard’s
sanguine predictions were speedily verified; and for the expenditure of
a trifling amount of further capital the Scotch investors acquired a
mine of extraordinary richness, which has been returning them enormous
dividends ever since.

In lead mining, the element of speculation is reduced to a minimum. In
other branches of mining, 60 per cent. of the properties are failures;
in silver-lead mining, 60 per cent. of the properties are successful.
And, in the case of the 40 per cent. of the silver-lead mines that turn
out badly, the explanation is that sufficient preliminary care has not
been bestowed on proving the existence of the lodes before commencing
operations. What may appear to be a lode may prove only a pocket; but
where proper precautions are taken, this risk may be eliminated. The
French engineers largely failed in their mining ventures in Spain for
this very reason. They made haste too quickly, as the Americans say, and
they were not expert economists. Then there is another favourable
element in lead mining--it can be conducted with only a shaft and a
winch--and as soon as the lode is reached, the mine commences to pay. A
very large number of properties are locally owned, and the mines of
Ciudad-Real, Badajoz, Jaén, Córdova, Seville and Almeria supply the
markets of Europe with lead. It is found in large lodes, it is cheaply
worked, and there is a ready market for the produce. It is, therefore, a
branch of mining that commends itself to the fancy of the small
capitalist; while the large capitalist is so eager to secure the ore
that he will even advance money on it before it is taken out of the
mine. The works at Peñarroya, and the smelting firms at Carthagena and
elsewhere, absorb the entire output.

[Illustration: A TRENCH IN TIN ORE.]

Amongst the important properties may be mentioned the San Antonio, Maria
del Pilar and San Teodoro (situated at Agudo in the Almaden district)
and the San Luis at Piedrabuena in the province of Ciudad-Real, and the
silver-lead mines of Santa Maria, in the province of Badajoz. These
latter mines, which have been proved to a depth of over 700 feet, and
are now fully equipped with machinery, are the properties of the Santa
Maria Mining Company.

There are extensive coal and cement stone mines at Almatret, in the
province of Lerida. The coal or lignite, which is of good quality, is at
present worked, and about eighty tons per day are being shipped. This
will, it is anticipated, be shortly increased to 200 tons per day. The
cement is suitable for constructive work; and experts who have reported
upon the properties have expressed their belief that it will be found to
approximate very closely to the composition required for true Portland
cement. The quantity of cement stones is said to be practically

One department of mining enterprise, which has remained unexploited from
the time of the Romans until the last few years, is that of alluvial
gold washing. The Romans washed for gold over a larger area, and on a
much larger scale, than the chroniclers of the times were aware of. Even
Jacob (1831) confessed himself unaware of the extent on which their
operations were conducted, for modern investigation had disclosed that
in the provinces of Lugo, and Orense, and Léon many of the rivers were
washed by them on a scale of almost incomprehensible magnitude. So
profitable must the operations have been that, in one case, the river
Sil was diverged out of its course by means of a cutting made through a
mountain spur in order that the river bed might be exposed for the
precious metal. Considering the primitive means that the Romans
possessed, this must be regarded as a gigantic engineering feat; and it
has been estimated that if 10,000 men had been engaged on the work it
would have taken many years to complete. Before 1100 B.C. the banks of
the Guadalquivir were worked for alluvial gold, and sometime before 500
B.C. the auriferous


Parts marked ^ and solid = Alluvial.

Parts marked by dots = Diluvial.]

deposits of Spain were believed to be exhausted. But Pliny records that
in 207 B.C., when the second Punic war ended in the Roman conquest of
Spain, “the Asturias, Galicia and Lusitania furnished 2,000 lbs. weight
of gold (4,427 lbs. English weight) annually; but Asturias supplies the
most, nor in any other part of the world during so many ages has so
great a quantity been obtained.”


In the case of other alluvial properties, water was brought in by the
Ancients from great distances by canals; and at Páramo, in Léon, the
ancient water channels are now used as country roads. Many of these
water-races are so substantially constructed that they could be repaired
at a comparatively small cost. Where these indications of previous
workings are observed, gold has always been found; and in the summer,
when the river channels narrow under the influence of the sun, the banks
of the Ouria, the Navia, the Sil and their tributaries, and all the
considerable rivers of these North-west provinces, are panned by the
country people, who get a very good return on their labours. Yet the
fact remains that while the existence of gold in highly-paying
quantities has been definitely proved, no systematic exploitation of
this rich source of auriferous supply has yet been attempted. In New
Zealand, scores of locally-floated gold dredging companies are reaping
rich and regular returns on a comparatively trifling outlay; in New
South Wales and Victoria, gold dredging has been carried on for years
with most satisfactory results; and in California, alluvial mines worked
by hydraulic sluicing methods give handsome profits from alluvial
carrying only about four grains of gold per cubic metre. Even in
Australia, where the water has to be pumped, the cost of treating the
alluvial does not exceed 6d. per ton.

In Spain, the conditions are immensely more favourable to profitable
working, while the gold-bearing alluvial is very much richer than that
of Australasia or America. The concessions are held direct from the
Spanish Government in perpetuity at a nominal yearly rental. The most
important properties that have as yet been acquired in Spain are
situated in the provinces of Lugo, Orense and Léon; and the nature,
value and depths of the alluvial is practically common to all. The
Romans, with the primitive apparatus that was employed in those days,
could only wash the sands down to the water level; but below the water
level in the rivers is a vast stretch of the rich deposits which have
not yet been touched. Of the thirty-three groups of properties that have
been secured by English capitalists, four are in the province of Léon,
and have a total area of 541 English acres. Of these, the Crones (153½
acres), and the Retorno (129 acres), are situated on the river Sil; and
the Flórez (180 acres), and the Bostarga (79 acres), are both on the
left bank of the river Cabrera. The twelve concessions in the province
of Orense comprise the Baño (190 acres), the Disco (160 acres), the
Alameiro (158½ acres), the Otero (148½ acres), the Casayo (272½ acres),
the Carvalleda (50 acres), the Bacelos (176 acres), the Gateira (233
acres), the Charca (228 acres), the Pedela (67 acres), the Vuelpozo (233
acres), and the Mouchinos (114 acres). All the foregoing properties,
with a combined area of 2,031 acres, are situate on the rivers Sil and
Miño and their tributaries, while the seventeen concessions in the
province of Lugo, which have an aggregate acreage of 2,148 acres, are in
the same geographical district, and are also located on the river Sil,
the river Miño and their


tributaries. The Lugo groups include the Arenas (203 acres), the
Subieros (121 acres), the Peuadolo (54½ acres), the Coba (74 acres), the
Corrego (74 acres), the Lor (101½ acres), the Lodeiras (196 acres), the
Reineite (79 acres), the Rosio (69 acres), the Baicela (76½ acres), the
Libedo (101½ acres), the Pesquiera (111½ acres), the Alban (116½ acres),
the Lis (109 acres), the Blanca (282½ acres), the Lloris (188 acres),
and the Ramamo (190½ acres). The Páramo Alluvial Gold Mines, in the
province of Léon, on which gold-washing machines are now working, are
giving satisfactory returns. The Kingston Gold Mines in Léon, and the
Moraleja Gold-bearing Alluvial Mines in the neighbouring province of
Orense, are being exploited on a steady scale, with good results.


The geological features of all the foregoing groups present an almost
remarkable uniformity. The gold-bearing alluvial deposits cover
practically the whole of the entire area of each concession, and the
depth of the alluvial varies from ten feet, which is the minimum depth
on any of the properties, to twenty-five feet. In cubicating the
alluvial ground available for treatment, one-half may be deducted
(although that is a very high proportion, and one not likely to be
attained), on account of the stones and boulders which may be present in
the earth and sand. The average of the assays made of the alluvial
deposits of all these concessions give a minimum of five dwts. of gold
per cubic yard; but if the return is estimated at only one and a-half
dwts., the facilities for economically working and handling the ore are
so favourable that the profits will be seen to be enormous. The cost of
working the deposits varies from 3½d. to 6d. per cubic yard. The working
of these alluvials is being done by machines, especially adapted for
the purpose, which are capable of treating twenty-five cubic yards of
earth, at a cost of 5s. per day; and give, roughly, a return of £6 per
day per machine. The number of these machines, which cost £25 each, and
can be erected on the spot at a small additional expenditure, can be
increased indefinitely.

When the alluvial is exhausted, by means of these machines, down to
water level, the beds of the rivers will have to be dredged. Up to the
present time these river deposits have not been touched, and they will,
of course, be found to be considerably richer in gold than the exposed
alluvials. By many mining men the result of the dredging operations are
looked to, to complete the revival in Spanish mining that has been so
long coming. It is impossible to contemplate the probable--one might
almost say the assured--return from this dredger mining without a
feeling of amazement that such a source of wealth should have lain so
long untapped. Want of capital in Spain, and want of confidence in the
Spaniards, have hitherto been the chief obstacles to her progress; and
the fact that the country has never become a fashionable mining venue
has also to be taken into consideration in reviewing the causes that
have contributed to its backward position. It is, however, evident to
those who have been much in the country in recent times, that the
long-delayed interest in its mineral resources has set in; and it is
with considerable confidence that one predicts an enormous revival in
the industry as soon as some of these alluvial gold-bearing districts
are systematically exploited, and regular returns are forthcoming. But
the gold quartz mines of Spain are still almost entirely neglected, as
they have been since the days of the Romans; and despite the fact that
there are numberless prospects containing reefs that yield from
half-an-ounce to 1½ ozs. of gold per ton, only two or three companies
are engaged in gold quartz mining in the Peninsula. The miner and the
investor have generally confined their attention to iron, copper, and
lead--metals that occur in huge deposits--and have disregarded the less
assertive tin and gold-bearing alluvials which, when scientifically
developed and economically managed, will give larger returns than any
other mining in the world.


Some of the most prominent and promising of the newly-acquired copper
properties in Spain are those of the Escurial district, of which mention
has been made. Here, at a spot situated within thirty miles of Madrid,
at the end of an hour-and-a-quarter’s train journey, is a district which
promises to take rank among the leading copper-producing areas. Yet
until some two years ago the properties were practically being ruined by
the starvation policy of the Spanish owners, who obtained excellent
results by following the richest of the leaders until a little
expenditure was required to further prosecute the work, and then
abandoned them. The Romans, who would appear from the evidences of their
workings to have been the original miners at Escurial, carried out their
developments on a large scale; and judging from the immensity and
richness of the dumps of ore which they discarded as being too poor to
pay for treatment by the primitive methods at their commands, they must
have won enormous quantities of very high-grade copper ore. These huge
mounds of refuse ore have been assayed to yield about 4 per cent. of
copper; and with the modern system of concentration will all give
profitable returns. Some of the outhouses and walls on the property are
constructed of rich copper ore, and the purplish colour of the loose
stones of the road from Galapagar, and on the other roads about the
property, are everywhere indicative of the presence of the same mineral.
The Romans evidently recognised the value of their mine, for before they
vacated the country they carefully filled in all their workings, and
obliterated every trace of their activity. The openings to the galleries
and the mouths of their shafts were closed up with rubble, but they
could not remove the incriminating dumps--the monuments to their energy
and the witnesses to the richness of the property.


The Romans undoubtedly meant, at a more convenient season, to return to
the scene of their labours, as did the Carthaginians and Phœnicians
before them; but the fates which govern nations ruled it otherwise. The
Visigoths succeeded the Romans; and they in their turn were driven out
by the Moors, who dominated the Peninsula for over 800 years. The Moors
have left the marks of their greatness, their industry, and their love
of art over the entire face of the land; but they have contributed
comparatively little to the history of its mining. They certainly did
not undertake systematic researches into the mineral resources of the
country, and as certainly they did not happen upon the copper caverns
which the Ancients had quarried at Escurial.

[Illustration: A CUTTING, ESCURIAL.]

The present proprietary, upon taking possession of the property,
immediately set to work to have the mine cleared, and all the old
workings explored. These operations were attended with many remarkable
discoveries, and it seemed as if everything was revealed which had been
done by the original proprietors. But Señor Bárris, the modern
discoverer of this remarkable property, and a gentleman who combines the
erudition of the scholar with an unsurpassed practical knowledge of
Spanish mining, was not satisfied. He was convinced that there remained
further traces of more recent exploitation to be revealed; so the
research was resumed, with the result that during my visit I paid to the
property in 1902, some additional deeper workings of Spanish origin were
discovered. Only then was Señor Bárris convinced that the end was
reached; but even later, I have since learned, a falling-in in one of
the levels disclosed the existence of further large ancient workings,
and the presence of a mass of magnificent copper ore.

The Spaniards, whoever they were, who had worked the mine for a short
period some (approximately) 300 years ago, had been interrupted in their
labours by the lack of proper machinery, and had abandoned the pursuit.
The walls of the gallery they had excavated had fallen in, rubbish had
blocked up the entrance, and the mine had returned to the condition in
which it had been left by the Roman discoverers. And, curiously enough,
not a single document or record has come to light to reveal the identity
of these disappointed adventurers.


The Escurial district is a network of copper lodes, which curve, and
zig-zag, and bisect one another in an extraordinary fashion, and would
appear to have their origin, or their ending, in a concession known as
the Antigua Pilar--one of four concessions which constitutes the
property of the Escurial Copper Mines, Limited, the principal company in
the neighbourhood. The mines are chiefly in the hands of three
companies--which are known as the Escurial, the Escurial Extended, and
the Georgia Mines and Development Company. The properties owned by the
premier company consists of the Antigua Pilar (103½ acres), the Gloria
(140 acres), the Jaime (49½ acres), and the Ramon (49½ acres). This
group, with a total area of 342½ acres, is held on perpetual tenure from
the Spanish Government, subject only to an annual payment of 6s. 5d. per

The mines are equi-distant from three railway stations, but Torrelodones
is the most convenient, as it is connected with Galapagar by a good cart
road. From this place, where are situated the Galapagar concentration
works, one travels over an excellent high-road built of stone, all of
which shows traces of copper. The weather is cool, clear, and
invigorating; and the manager of the Escurial Copper Mines, Limited,
informs me that the climate, though hot in summer and very cold in
winter (the mines are about 2,850 feet above the sea level), is
wonderfully healthy. I remarked upon the solidity of the buildings which
serve to protect the openings of the various shafts, and was informed
that such substantial structures were necessary as affording a shade
from the sun in the hot weather and a shelter from the snows in winter.

The Escurial Mines, unlike some others in Spain, are worked all the year
round; and, as many of the miners live on the property, a small barrack
has been constructed of masonry for their accommodation. These
buildings, which are of the most durable kind, having masonry walls
three feet thick and tiled roofs, include, in addition to the men’s
quarters and the manager’s dwelling, offices, &c., a small metallurgical
establishment, large stores for the storage of minerals, for coal, and
wood, and blasting powder, engine houses, and other buildings. “The mine
is our home,” explains one of the old watchmen--a phrase which I take to
be equivalent to the Englishman’s expression: “We’ve come to stay!”

If you happen to entertain any doubts as to the capacity



and general excellence of the Spanish miner, I would advise you not to
ventilate your opinion of the subject in the presence of the manager of
the Escurial Mines, or of Señor Bárris, the Company’s local director.
Nor indeed can one be long among these men without recognising their
sterling good qualities. They work well, and they lighten their labours
with an enthusiasm which I have not remarked in any miners outside
Spain. Every man and boy has a personal interest in the mine and its
development; his talk is about its progress and prospects: his joy is a
rich strike or a satisfactory return; his sorrow is a blank day. And
with the characteristic independence of the Spaniard, each man keeps to
his own drive, or shaft, or gallery, which he is convinced is the best,
and richest, and most promising portion of the whole property.


It will be seen from a glance at the accompanying plan that the
northernmost claim, the Ramon, is situated at a little distance from the
rest of the group, and it is here that the principal buildings and
concentration works are located. Two lodes have been proved on this
property. No development work had been done on the Ramon at the time of
my last visit, nearly the whole of the labour having been concentrated
on the Antigua Pilar concession, which carries eight proved reefs, and
is undoubtedly the most valuable claim of the entire group. The
developments on this, and on the adjoining Jaime lease, have
demonstrated that both these claims are of very great value, and the
manager declares in his report that with proper management “they will
yield incalculable profit.”

The Antigua Pilar claim has been exploited in a masterly manner, and the
results reflect the greatest credit upon the management. All the work
proceeds under the unremitting personal supervision of the manager, and
his very full and luminous reports reveal his intimate knowledge of
every detail. “It is a pleasure,” he said to me, “to work such a mine.
Every week brings its work, and the work brings its recompense in the
consistently and thoroughly satisfactory nature of the progress made.
The property has never, as mothers say of good children, given me an
uneasy moment, and I am only too delighted to show visitors over it.” As
we proceed, he explains to me his theory of the property and of its
prospects. The Antigua Pilar he believes to be the centre of a network
of reefs, and the eight lodes he has already proved are only a few that
he expects to discover as the work progresses. “It is a large property,”
he says, “and it must be developed by degrees. I have proved to my
entire satisfaction that the lodes in the Ramon and the Jaime leases
will pay handsomely when we get to work on them. I have also traced two
of the Antigua Pilar reefs into the Gloria lease, and six others are
also making in that direction. This naturally led me to make a special
study of the lodes in Antigua Pilar, and I am convinced that in
formation and structure the reefs are the same in all. Everything
pointed to satisfactory results, and, indeed, the results have exceeded
our expectations.”

[Illustration: A CUTTING, ESCURIAL.]

In the manager’s office I was permitted to examine the figures and
measurements on which he had based his estimates of the value of the
mine, and they are calculated on so moderate a scale that he is
convinced the net profits will be much greater. To give an idea of the
value and sizes of the lodes on the property, I may mention that by
cubing the lodes of Nos. 2, 3, and 4 on Antigua Pilar alone, and
calculating the yield of copper at the very low return of 5 per cent.
per ton, he estimates the value of the ore at £155,532. By the present
methods of exploitation, the daily output of ore will shortly be twenty
tons per day; and this ore, with proper plant for concentration, could
be brought up to 33 per cent. of copper, worth £16 10s. per ton. The
carbonates of copper which the ore carries could, by proper treatment,
be made to yield from sixty per cent. to eighty per cent. of copper
suitable for smelting. But there is an alternative scheme for the
complete exploitation of the property, by which 100 tons of copper ore,
of a value of £550, could be raised and treated per diem. This plan
would, of course, involve a larger outlay, but it has been forwarded to
London for the consideration of the directors. Such figures and
prospects justify the manager in his high opinion of the mine, which is
shared by the miners and the local shareholders.


When I was at Escurial I visited two other groups of properties in the
neighbourhood which had been acquired by British capitalists. The
successful developments in the Escurial property proper--especially on
the Jaime and Antigua Pilar leases--attracted a good deal of attention
to the district, which subsequent prospecting work shows to have been
thoroughly warranted. One of these groups comprises the Recompensa, the
Pepitanga, and the San Antonio leases, which have a combined area of 437
acres. The local theory is that the nature of the country and the
constitution of the lodes is the same throughout the district, and the
work done on these mines bears out that belief. The lodes and veins are
numerous, varying in thickness from seven inches to three feet; and the
ores have yielded, as the result of assays, from eleven per cent. to
thirty per cent. of copper. Seven lodes, which are distinct and well
defined, have been followed for a distance of over 6,000 feet through
the property, and five separate workings have been undertaken to test
the value of the mineral deposits. As the workings are 750 feet above
sea level, at which depths the lodes usually improve, the quantity of
ore in the property must consequently be very considerable. The ore also
yields both silver and gold, but it is not possible to estimate the
profit likely to be made from this source. Only one assay has been made
from this ore, but it disclosed the existence of nearly thirteen ozs. of
silver and over nine dwts. of gold. The other group that is now the
property of English capitalists, consists of five concessions, called
the Clarisa, the Morena, Natividad, Mitry, and the Mercedes, having a
total area of 2,111 acres.


A railway journey of 20 hours’ duration, over three railroad systems,
transports the visitor from Madrid to the little mining town of Huercal
(pronounced Whercal) Overa. We leave the capital by the express train
for Alicante, and travel _via_ Alcázar and Albacete to Chinchilla, which
is reached at some unearthly hour in the middle of the night. From
Chinchilla the line runs through the beautiful province of Murcia to
Lorca, where we change onto a small English railroad which takes us to
Huercal. We had left Madrid in our winter overcoats and rugs; when we
stepped out into the soft sunshine of Almeria we could have dispensed
with our under coats and waistcoats. We are in the land of the spring
roses and early oranges, and the nipping and eager air of the capital is
forgotten. Our visit is regarded by the community with general interest,
for the townsfolk look to _El Monte Minado_, as the copper mines are
known locally, to make the fortunes of Huercal-Overa. Many of the
leading people here are shareholders in the mines, and all the labour
employed on the property is drawn from the town. There is not a child
in the neighbourhood who is unacquainted with the personality of the
Spanish representative of the English proprietors, who acts as our
cicerone, and the word goes round that he is come to town. The mine
captain, and several prominent people of the district, are at the
station to meet us; and in the sitting-room that has been reserved for
our use in the comfortable hotel we find the table laid, not for dinner,


with an array of valuable specimens taken from the mine. Here is copper
in practically every form--green carbonate of copper (malachite), blue
carbonate of copper (azurite), red oxide of copper (cuprite), copper
pyrites (yellow sulphuret of copper), and native copper. Added to this,
the abundant association of cobalt--cobalt steel-gray, and pinkish
purple, like the hue of peach-blossom in colour--and of bright emerald
green tinted nickel, give the specimens an extremely beautiful
appearance. The _Monte Minado_ property comprises a copper hill not
unlike the celebrated Mount Morgan in conformation, and has an area of
111½ acres. There are indications that point to Phœnician industry in
the Huercal Mine, but the traces of later workmanship demonstrate
conclusively that the Romans were the last of the Ancients who exploited
this copper mountain on a large scale. It was the Romans who
obliterated so carefully all traces of their handiwork, and filled up
with rubbish the openings of their levels and other workings.

[Illustration: AGUILAS--THE RAILWAY.]

The composition of the mountain, being of volcanic creation, it is a
crumbling conglomerate mass; and unless the galleries are substantially
timbered, the chances of their falling in present an instant danger to
the miners. The men who are employed in the work of clearing the ancient
galleries and putting in new levels have had many narrow escapes from
falling earth. The Spanish mining regulations impose a very high rate of
compensation in the case of accidents which occur in the mines; and as a
doctor, whose duty it is to report on all casualties to the Department
of Mines at Madrid, is attached to every working property, mine owners
are exceptionally careful for the safety of their employées. On one
occasion, when the Spanish representative of the present proprietary was
being conducted by the manager through some new workings, a huge piece
of the country rock fell upon his guide. His head was very luckily
protected by one of the hard pot hats which the underground hands always
wear; and although this helmet was badly dented, it probably saved the
wearer’s life. The visitor was naturally much concerned, but the
manager accepted the mishap with smiling philosophy. “You see,” he
remarked, “I am not meant to be an expense to the owners, just yet.”

The labour of fortifying all the drives, as the work advanced, rendered
exploitation both slow and expensive, while not entirely eliminating the
element of danger from the operations. It was at one time intended to
cut the lode by driving an adit into the mountain at a level of 150 feet
below the ancient workings; but as it was discovered that this adit
would have had to be shored up and cemented like an electric railway
tube, the proposal was abandoned as impracticable. Since then, the
difficulty has been successfully overcome by the adoption of another

[Illustration: THE CHURCH AT HUERCAL.]

The present leaseholders opened their negotiations for the purchase of
the Huercal Mines on the strength of the mammoth dumps which from a
number of assays made by different firms gave results varying from 5·71
per cent. to 10·40 per cent. of copper, 2·19 per cent. of nickel, and
3·13 per cent. of cobalt. It was argued that even if the mines were
worked out, the dumps alone, if scientifically treated with modern
machinery, would return a handsome profit. But very little exploration
work was required to convince the Englishmen that so far from the
property being exhausted of its mineral treasures, the bulk of the
mineral had been little more than pecked at; and a more comprehensive
system of development disclosed the fact that in _El Monte Minado_ they
had acquired a copper-cobalt mine of extraordinary richness. The
consistent and surprising richness of the dumps in carbonates and copper
pyrites made it abundantly clear that if the Romans, with their
primitive methods and appliances, had regarded this ore as unprofitable
for treatment, they must have found still more valuable deposits to
engage their attention. There could be no other excuse for regarding
five per cent. copper ore as débris. For the first time since the Roman
miners left their Bonanza, the old workings were now cleared and the
mystery was solved. These ancient galleries, as will be seen from the
illustrations, were not driven on any systematic plan, but simply
followed the lodes blindly through all their twists and curves. The idea
of going boldly through the mountain and sweeping all before them does
not appear to have been considered practicable by the Romans; and,
doubtless, the danger of excavating in the soft country rock on a large
scale had also been taken into their calculations. As the workings were
freed from the rubbish that choked every drive and level, further traces
of cobalt and nickel were encountered, and copper in its many beautiful
forms became more abundant, and of richer quality. In the Napoleon
gallery the ore was assayed to yield from 17·17 per cent. to 78·69 per
cent. of copper, and at the extreme end of it was found to be in the
face of a three-foot lode, in which native copper was also discovered.


As I follow Señor José Perez, the mine manager, through the old Napoleon
and Esperanza galleries, it is impossible to resist the contagious
enthusiasm with which he describes and exhibits the property. Certainly
there is excuse on every side for their eulogiums. The copper in the
lodes is very plentiful, while in the hanging-wall of the lodes
important veins of pink and black cobalt are frequently to be found, and
at all points where work had been done abundance of ore has been
exposed. I was shown a large caverture, the roof of which is supported
by a single column of ore, which had been left for that purpose by the
Roman excavators. The miners who were clearing the drives at first took
this circular chamber to be a break in the lode; but it is really a
cavern in the walls, and roof of which nearly every variety of copper
ore is to be seen. The spectacle is strikingly beautiful, and to the
geologist it presents a feature of unusual interest. I have examined
many caverns in mines, but this particular example, which has been
christened “The Cathedral,” far exceeds in natural beauty anything of
the kind that I have ever seen.


A considerable amount of useful development had been accomplished by
clearings and surface cuttings on both sides of the mountain, and these
have been of the greatest importance in the adoption of the latest
scheme for working the mine. In one clearing the outcrop had been
stripped over about 1,100 feet, and by this means the copper and cobalt
lode had been exposed for a distance of 70 feet, and similar work had
been done on the opposite side of the hill. As the result of much
anxious consideration and many discussions it was decided to undertake
the opening up of the mines on a scale which, it is safe to presume, the
Romans never dreamed of, viz., by removing the top of the hill to a
depth of thirty feet, as one scalps an egg. The ancient workings,
situated at a depth of 180 feet from the summit, having been located,
and their dimensions ascertained, the over-burden, which had been found
to be only 30 feet in thickness, will be removed, and from that point
down to 180 feet, where the ancient galleries are situated, is a mass
of copper, cobalt, and nickel ores that will be worked by the
open-cutting process. A trench has been cut from the “Bárris” clearing
connecting with the “Marin” clearing on the other side of the mountain,
and four lines of rails have been constructed to work the ores, which
are loaded up into the trucks and conveyed to the sides of the hill. No
timbering is necessary, shafts and drives are done away with, and all
risks to life are eliminated. The soft nature of the country rock
renders the work, which in quartz would be an impossibility without the
aid of dynamite, a simple pick-and-shovel business, and by this means
the mountain is being gutted at the price of labour and cartage.


The Rio Rimal Mines, in the province of Gerona, are situated close to
the quaint old-world village of San Lorenzo, which stands, surrounded by
its mediæval fortifications, at the foot of a high mountain. Far above
it an ancient watch-tower still looks out over the wide expanse of plain
and valley. It is broken and weather-beaten, but is otherwise as it was
left by the old Moorish warriors who built it. Within a mile or two, on
the east and west, are the comparatively modern fortified places of
Figueras and Rosas. In the municipality of San Lorenzo, at the beginning
of the last century, was a huge Government Arsenal and Smelting Works,
where the metals won from the neighbouring mountains were cast into
cannon, and made into shot and shell. Among the hills are still to be
seen the remains of busy mining camps where hundreds of men were once
engaged in working the mineral deposits. Before Napoleon’s
all-conquering marshals marched across the frontier the Spanish
Government blew up the arsenal, destroyed the smelting works, and
concealed the entrance to the more important workings. Nothing remains
to-day but a few melancholy ruins to show the extent of the former

The Government factories were never re-constructed. The proximity to the
border, and the exposed nature of the country, combined with the
experience of the then recent events, rendered the situation too
insecure for the purpose, and the arsenals of San Lorenzo were re-built
on more powerfully-protected spots at Ferrol and Carthagena.

Even the massive stone bridge over the river Muga, which was blown up to
impede the passage of the French troops, has never been rebuilt. The
interesting point about all this is the fact that somewhere, close at
hand in the hills, must exist the mineral deposits which fed the
factories before the Peninsula War. The tunnels and workings have been
very effectually concealed--by no means a difficult matter. A few
barrels of gunpowder would have brought down hundreds of tons of rock
and débris over the mouth of the shafts and galleries, and left no trace
of human handiwork. But that these mines are still there, and waiting
only to be re-discovered, is an indisputable fact.

The operations of the Spanish owners on the Rio Rimal property
commenced, as modern engineering science counselled, near the bottom of
the hill, and they put in their galleries and levels to tap at lower
depth the richest portion of the reserves of copper. But work had only
been in progress for about years when the Carlist war broke out. For
seven years operations had to be suspended, and during the whole of that
period the mine was abandoned. When the owners again turned their
attention to the property, it was to find that many parts of their
galleries had caved in, and the mine had become flooded. After a
considerable interval, the worst parts of the galleries were repaired.
The water was pumped out, the level and inclined shaft were cleared, and
work was resumed. The price of copper in 1874 at Swansea was very low,
and the method of inclined shaft workings being very costly, all hope of
continuing to work the property at a profit was extinguished. For thirty
years nothing was done at the mine. In 1898 an endeavour was made by the
present owners to obtain possession of the mines, but it was not until
January, 1902, that work was resumed on the property.

It was then decided that the most profitable course to be adopted was to
concentrate all labour upon the work of repairing and unwatering the
second level, and of driving a further level some ninety or 100 feet
lower down the mountain side. This work was at once put in hand, and the
north-west gallery was driven a distance of 185 feet on the line of the
lode, cutting entirely through the same for the whole distance. In many
places the lode is mineralised for a width of fifteen inches, the ore
assaying thirty-three per cent. copper. In driving this gallery some
splendid copper was obtained. Work on the level has in the meantime been
progressing steadily, although the workmen experienced great difficulty
on account of the hardness of the rock. At the beginning of this drive a
very hard conglomerate was encountered, which resisted all tools. For a
time the formation defied dynamite, and small progress was made until
the sandstone ground was reached. Thereafter work became easier, and
consequently more rapid.

The Buena Presa property, which adjoins the Rio Rimal Mine on the north,
was subsequently acquired, thus increasing the original area by 141
acres. The Rio Rimal lode traverses the adjoining concession for a
distance of about 2,100 feet. It is a strongly-defined masterly lode,
and has every appearance of producing large quantities of mineral when
developed. Judging from the outcrops, it resembles the Rio Rimal lode
in every respect; and although no systematic work has been done upon it,
the probability is that it will be found to be of equal value.


The Coruna Copper Company’s property, which covers an area of 2,540
acres--a tract of country more than six times as large as Hyde Park--is
situated in the mining district of Santiago, and is connected with the
railway, which is about eight miles distant, by a first-class road. The
country in which the concession is situated, consists of a series of low
rolling hills, and the character of the ore, so far as it has yet been
explored by the prospecting operations, is very similar to that produced
by the Rio Tinto and Tharsis Mines. It is a low grade copper ore,
carrying on the average twenty-three per cent. of sulphur, and from two
to three per cent. of copper. No attempt was made by the late owners to
determine by a systematic series of borings the extent over which the
mineral actually exists, or the depth and character of the ore; but the
prospecting work already carried out by the English company, and the
natural outcrops found at many points on the concession, place it, in
the estimation of some mining experts, quite beyond doubt that the mass
of mineral is one of the largest known, extending in one direction for
over two miles, apparently without a break. This preliminary work has
clearly proved the whole of the north-west quarter of the concession;
and taking the outcrops into account, one-half of the whole ground is
assumed to contain mineral. Three shafts and nine trenches are being
sunk, and numerous outcrops have also been located on the concession.
The original estimate of the quantity of mineral was 50,000,000 cubic
metres, equal in round figures to 250,000,000 tons. The most recent
assays indicate a mean of three per cent. copper in the ore. The
prospecting work has in every instance proved the accuracy of original
estimates as to the value of the property, as well as the correctness of
the opinion, that a very large output could be obtained with practically
none of the unproductive development work required in most mining
enterprises. It was recommended that mining operations should be chiefly
“open-cut,” and of the simplest character, the exceptionally favourable
conditions under which the ore exists rendering operations an extremely
easy and inexpensive matter. The property is being opened up on these
lines, and it is considered there will be no difficulty in supplying the
concentrating works with 1,000, 2,000, or even 3,000 tons per day, all
obtained from open cutting.


Fortunately for the present proprietary of the Beariz Mines, the late
owners possessed considerable technical knowledge; and if the property
was not worked extensively by them, the work was prosecuted on right
lines. They overhauled the Roman shafts and put in new galleries; and at
a time when the standard price of metallic tin was £153 a ton the mine
returned the owners a handsome profit. Some years ago, when the mines
were reopened and actively exploited, a large number of hands were
engaged; and although the ore had to be carted by road to Vigo, large
profits were made. Gradually the price of tin dropped, and the profits
shrank until operations could only be conducted at a loss. Then work was
suspended. Since 1878 the Beariz Mines have remained idle, save for the
persistence of the “Tributors,” who have continued to make a livelihood
by washing alluvials.

The three leases that comprise the Beariz group are entitled the
“Esperanza,” the “Federico,” and the “Elena,” and together they have an
area of 450 English acres of tin-bearing ground. Since the mines were
closed down, the railway has been constructed from the port of Vigo to
within twenty miles of the property, and the roads between Beariz and
the railroad are well made and in excellent repair. Señor S. J. Bárris,
who was requested to inspect the properties and report upon them by the
intending purchasers, spent several weeks at Beariz ascertaining the
dimension of the lodes, estimating the extent and value of the alluvial,
and making assays. He traced four distinct lodes on the “Federico”
property, three on the “Esperanza,” and two on the “Elena,” and his
tests proved that the whole of these nine lodes carried rich oxide of
tin (cassiterite), averaging thirty per cent. of the mineral. “I am well
aware,” he wrote, in communicating the results of his examination, “that
the average will appear to be very high, but I would point out that this
is a very exceptional property; in fact, I have inspected almost all the
known tin properties in Spain, and I can say with confidence that,
taking into consideration the numerous lodes and the very rich alluvial
deposits, these Beariz Tin Mines are one of the richest, if not the
richest, mining properties I have ever seen.”

Worked as a quartz mine, as it was worked by the Ancients, the owners
possess in Beariz an asset of proved value, but the property is rendered
the more valuable by the fact that the lodes represent only one portion
of its assets. For, in addition to the quartz lodes, the greater portion
of the 450 acres is composed of tin-bearing ground, almost every yard of
which will pay to work. On one side of the hill a large number of
boulders are present in the alluvial, which reduces its value; but the
major portion of the area is exceptionally free from unbeatable
material, and consists entirely of tiniferous deposits. Tin is found in
the decomposed granite, which is so soft that it can be worked by pick
and shovels. The upper alluvial is about five feet in thickness; but the
depth of the granitic formation, which is very rich in tin, has not yet
been ascertained. It was for this reason that Señor Alfred Lasala, the
leading mining engineer of Orense, reported that it is almost impossible
to cubicate the quantity of tin ore in these concessions; but he added
in his report that “in every shaft and every trench, cutting, or
outcrop, from the highest point down to the bed of the river Beariz,
which runs at a great depth below the workings, the tin ore is found in
remarkable abundance.” Señor Lasala describes the formation of the
Beariz tin deposit as tiniferous granite, concentrated in great masses
of tin mineral, which is intersected by cross lodes of tiniferous,
quartz veins, or stringers, containing the metal in great quantity. Two
samples of earth, that had been washed to remove the mica, tourmaline,
and other principal elements of crystalline formation that are present
in the ore, assayed 62 per cent. and 81 per cent. of tin respectively;
and Señor Bárris estimates that every ton of tin ore, after being
properly concentrated, will assay from 62 to 65 per cent. black tin.

The upper alluvials contain a smaller percentage of tin than is found in
the lower strata, a fact which is explained by the laws of specific
gravity, and by the attention that has been devoted to the surface
ground in times past. The granitic formation, which is practically
virgin ground, is computed to be hundreds of feet in depth, and there is
enough of it on the Beariz property to employ all the energies of the
company for fifty years to come. The whole of this formation is
traversed by innumerable veins of quartz, containing from 15 to 20 per
cent. of tin, which will add enormously to the value of the output.


The Spanish Tin Corporation, which was formed towards the end of 1901,
became the purchasers of 1,361 acres of tin-bearing land in the Arnoya
district of the province of Orense. The Government’s annual publication
of Spanish mining statistics for the year 1900 gives the production of
tin ore for the entire province at 240 tons, and adds, “So far, only one
mine has been producing tin in the province, the ‘Roberto,’ which in
nine month produced 240 tons.” The extent of the concessions, the
richness of the immense tin-bearing alluvial deposits, and the
exceptionally favourable conditions under which they can be worked,
makes the property exceedingly valuable. The whole surface of the
concessions is more or less covered with alluvial soil, with an average
thickness of fully 3¼ feet of tin-bearing ground; and if one-half be
deducted for boulders, surface soil and waste ground, the amount of
block tin is computed at 30,368,365 lbs., and the value at nearly one
million pounds sterling. Practically, it is said, the whole of this vast
quantity of tin can be recovered by simple hydraulic working. In
addition to the alluvial tin-bearing ground there has also to be taken
into consideration the tin contained in the masses of decomposed granite
lodes which traverse the property, and is estimated to contain
60,936,730 lbs. of black tin, of a value of nearly two million pounds.


The revival of the mining industry has spread even to the province of
Salamanca, where, according to the Government report, not a single mine
had been worked during the year 1900. A reference is made, however, to
visits of mining experts to the districts of Valsalabroso, but nothing
is reported as to the result of their inspections. One result, however,
was the acquisition of three properties known as San Antonio, Adela and
San Pablo, having a total area of 437 acres of tin-bearing ground, on
behalf of English capitalists. Three well-defined lodes have been
discovered, and the leases have been specially pegged out to contain
these lodes for a length of 2,500 metres, or about 2,700 yards. Apart
from these lodes, it is stated that the whole of the ground is
sufficiently rich to allow of the alluvial being profitably worked.
Various tests have been made which endorse this view by giving a return
of nineteen pounds of alluvial tin per cubic yard. The company, which
has been formed in London to work the property, has decided to exploit
the alluvial, while development work is being prosecuted on the lodes.
Special tin-washing machines have been sent to the Pontevedra Mines, and
they are now at work and producing tin. Labour is cheap and plentiful,
and transport facilities are very favourable to economic working, while
another important feature is supplied in the close proximity of a
stream, which gives an abundant supply of water for all mining purposes.

[Illustration: PARAMO.]


I visited at Paramo, in the province of Léon, an alluvial gold-mining
property, which appeared to possess all the natural advantages for
economical and highly profitable working. This concession consists of an
immense bank of alluvial, over 300 feet in height, and a great plateau,
which has been proved to carry gold wherever tested. The richness of
this plain was evidently fully appreciated in ancient times, and the
remains of gigantic operations can be clearly traced. Water had been
brought in from a great distance by canals; and at the western extremity
of the plain, where it ends suddenly in steep bluffs, two


great valleys have been sluiced away. The water channels employed for
this purpose are still visible, and are now used as country roads.
Millions of tons of earth must have been washed here, and with
satisfactory results, even with the imperfect appliances then in use, or
otherwise work on such a gigantic scale would never have been carried
out. On the lower ground, very extensive sluicing operations had also
been carried on in ancient times, and a water-race has been brought from
some three miles away. This water-race could be repaired at little cost,
and sluicing be begun here on a large scale with a very small
expenditure compared with what is usually necessary in such operations.
Along the river, on both sides, are level stretches of alluvial, formed
by the eating away of the higher ground by winter floods, and these
deposits carry gold from the grass-roots down.


The Kingston Gold Mines have acquired four important concessions in the
municipality of Puente de Domingo, Florez, in the province of Léon.
These properties are well situated on the banks of the river Sil and its
tributaries, and are very accessible, being close to the railway station
of Ponferada. The alluvial deposits cover almost the whole of the area
of the concession. The average of the assays made of the alluvial
deposits give five dwts. of gold per cubic yard; but the engineers state
that, taking the average at only one and a-half dwts. per cubic yard,
these properties ought to give a large return per annum.


This is another company that has been formed for the purpose of working
alluvial gold mines in Spain, and there are good indications that their
enterprise will be crowned with success. The two properties known as
Barbantes and Acha, comprising 208 acres in the province of Orense, have
already been tested, with the most satisfactory results. The engineers
have based their calculations on the uniform depths of the deposits of
fifteen feet, but in most places they are far deeper, and it is reported
that nearly the whole of the ground will pay well to work. The tests
have given an average return of five dwts. of gold per cubic yard; but
the facilities for working and handling the ore are so favourable that
if only a quarter of that estimate is realised, the profits of the
company will be enormous.


The Lugo Goldfields, Limited, has acquired three groups of properties in
the province of Lugo (Galicia). These concessions, which are situated on
the main road to Madrid, and twenty-six miles from Lugo, consist of 525
acres of quartz country and alluvial property seventy-five acres in
extent, which contain strong evidences that the Romans, during their
occupation of the Peninsula, washed from it large quantities of alluvial
gold. On the first group, broad gold-bearing quartz reefs, which
increase in width from six feet to twenty-four feet as depth is reached,
have been traced for many miles on each side of the property; and on the
second group the reefs are highly mineralised, and contain gold, silver,
copper, and lead. The reefs are situated in hills rising from 350 feet
to 450 feet above the river-bed, which will enable the ore to be run out
of the galleries by means of trucks on rails, and so save, for some
considerable time at least, the initial outlay and annual expenditure
entailed by the erection and maintenance of pumping and haulage
machinery. In taking the samples of stone for assay, good, bad, and
indifferent stone was included, and the calculations as to the value of
the ore was based on a minimum extraction of five dwts. of gold per ton.
The assays gave returns varying from three dwts. two grs. up to sixteen
dwts. eight grs., and the ore has been tested to be eminently adapted
for concentration. Water, labour, and timber present no difficulties,
and the working of the mines should be carried on at a low cost. It is
estimated that the expense of mining the ore, delivering the
concentrates in Swansea, and paying the charges for treatment there,
will amount to 10s. per ton of ore crude, which means that two and
a-half dwts. of pure ore will pay all expenses.




Among the most important of the silver-lead properties in Spain, mention
has been made to the group in the province of Badajoz that has been
floated in London under the title of the Santa Maria Mining Company,
Limited. This property, which originally consisted of four leases,
having an area of 138 acres, has been since increased to 166 acres, by
the acquisition of the Santa Florentina lease at Mestanza, Puertollano,
in the neighbouring province of Ciudad-Real. So far as the position of
the Santa Maria property is concerned, it could not easily be bettered.
It is only six miles distant from the railway system, with which it is
connected by two good roads, and is situated quite near to the
Rothschilds’ Smelting Works at Peñarroya. Timber is procurable at a
cheap rate from Cuenca and Portugal; there is an abundance of water
obtainable for all mining purposes; while labour, which is obtained from
two villages in the vicinity, is cheap, plentiful, and efficient.

The history of the Santa Maria group presents, as do so many other mines
in Spain, an object lesson in mismanagement and wilful disregard for the
future of the property. It was first opened in 1845 by a Portuguese
Company, and it is abundantly proved from the reports of their
consulting engineer, and from the condition in which the mines was left,
that the work could not have been conducted in a more haphazard and
destructive fashion. No attention was given to exploration or
development work; and, doubtless, acting under peremptory orders, all
labour was concentrated on the extraction of the rich available ore. The
shaft, instead of being perpendicular, was sunk at a vertical angle, and
was so badly timbered that it was always in a dangerous condition. The
galleries, being left without sufficient supports, frequently collapsed,
and work was conducted at imminent risk of life to the miners. The
official figures showing the quantity of ore won by the adoption of
these methods are not available, but the great heaps of débris which
have accumulated show that the amount was something very considerable;
and it was not until 1889, when the policy of ore-grabbing could no
longer be safely proceeded with until money had been spent in repairing
the shaft and the workings, that the mine was abandoned and became
flooded up to the first level.

During this time the Santa Maria lode was worked by its faulty shaft
down to the seventh level, but the dressing of the ore was so defective
that the dumps are found to contain nearly five per cent. of galena.
From this refuse the present management have been obtaining from ten to
twelve tons of “dressed” ore per month, giving fifty-five per cent. of
lead and 600 grammes of silver per ton.

When Señor Villanova purchased the property in 1889 he took from the
first level of the Santa Maria shaft about 100 tons of ore, which gave a
return of seventy-five per cent. of lead and 850 grammes of silver per
ton; and, then, in order to avoid the expense of unwatering the mine and
repairing the shaft, he decided to confine his operations to the San
Juan shaft, upon which little work had been done. The winding engine was
accordingly removed and re-erected at this shaft, which was sunk to a
depth of about 540 feet. Six levels were driven, in each of which the
lode was found to be mineralised throughout. Señor Villanova continued
to work the mine on the principle of making it entirely self-supporting.
No exploration or dead-work was undertaken, and when a fault was
encountered in the eastern levels the pursuit of the vein was abandoned.
This fault has since been cut through in all the levels, and the lode
has in every case been found to continue on the other side. The property
was starved for working capital, no cross-cutting was allowed on account
of the outlay it would involve, and the stoping was only carried on
where the mineral was rich. Yet even under these conditions Señor
Villanova extracted from this shaft alone over 3,000 tons of ore, which
yielded him substantial profits.

When the present company took over the mine they were advised that both
the Santa Maria and the San Juan lodes could be better and more
economically worked by means of the Santa Maria shaft, and they decided
to have this shaft unwatered and put into thorough repair down to the
bottom level. The shaft had to be enlarged and galleries cleared, and
all the workings retimbered. These operations, although vigorously
prosecuted, took longer than was anticipated.


[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW, LINARES.]

Twelve years of neglect had reduced this part of the mine to such a
condition that the task of clearing the congested galleries was not only
difficult but highly dangerous. The timber with which the workings were
fortified was so rotten that the removal of the rubble brought down the
woodwork with it. The old supports had consequently to be replaced by
new timber as the work progressed; and as the galleries were constructed
on a small scale, the want of space rendered it impossible to employ a
large number of hands. At the same time all the buildings and the
masonry work on the property, which had also fallen into decay, were
repaired or rebuilt; the old engine-house at the San Juan shaft was
replaced by a substantial building, tram-lines and trucks were
purchased, the roads were overhauled and repaired, and the property was
completely equipped and put into thorough working order. Yet in spite of
all this dead work, the exploitation of Santa Maria has never been a
severe charge upon the company, for the return of ore per month from the
San Juan lode was sufficient to defray all the expenses incurred in
development, and to return a profit on the mine. During the early part
of last year the Peñarroya works were being rebuilt and enlarged, and
the ore had to be sold at Carthagena; but since the reopening of the
works the whole of the output has been purchased locally, and a
considerable saving has been effected thereby.


It has been already stated that the production of coal in Spain is quite
insignificant in comparison with the extent of the coal-bearing beds
(which are estimated to cover an area of about 3,500 square miles, of
which nearly a third belongs to Oviedo); but the new find of coal
(lignite) and cement stone in the province of Lerida should, and
undoubtedly will, draw attention to this profitable industry. The
Almatret Mines, which have an area of 820 acres, are situated on the
river Elbro, near Fayon, on the main railway from Madrid to Barcelona.
In each of the eight seams, which are distinctly visible on the
property, the lignite is much decomposed, and the outcrops contain a
great deal of gypsum. This has effloresced, and the seams present a very
different appearance from that of lignite. On cutting into the beds,
however, the infiltrations of the gypsum soon disappears. The workings,
which are very limited, had been carried out without any system, and
much of the lignite had been lost in winning. The quality of the lignite
is very satisfactory. It keeps well, and burns with a long flame. Owing
to the exceptional conditions under which these deposits can be
worked--the seams lying horizontally, and being entirely free from water
or deleterious gases--no shafts are required, and the ventilation is a
very simple matter. The question of transport is stated to be the chief
element of a successful exploitation of these mines, and it will be
necessary to construct a light railway to reduce the cost of the present
system. The probable profit on the lignite, according to expert’s
reports, will depend on the ruling price of coal in Spain: this is
determined by that of Cardiff coal and the rate of freight. The
calcareous layers are, in several places, comprised of highly aluminius
and siliceous limestone, forming a natural cement stone. One of the beds
of this material has been exploited in former years for the manufacture
of a cement which was somewhat largely used in Lerida for house
construction, &c. A cement of this quality is highly suited for
constructive work, such as floors, staircases, water tanks, &c., for
which very large quantities are used in Spain. It is not, of course,
equal to a true Portland cement; but when the various layers of cement
stone have been examined and analysed, several of them will be found to
approximate very closely to the composition required for giving the true
Portland cement. The quantity of cement stones which exist on the
property is enormous. In fact, it may be said to be practically

I have referred in detail to these Almatret Mines because they
demonstrate the truth of the contention that the coal districts of Spain
are not, as has been erroneously accepted, confined to the province of
Oviedo; although, up to the present, little mining has been done outside
the Asturian coal basin. Even here the rate of progress is lamentably
slow. Lack of capital, which has hitherto retarded the increase of
mechanical facilities and railway construction, is now being overcome,
and it is confidently expected that a material advance is imminent.
Every class of coal is obtainable in this district; and the seams, which
vary from two and a-half feet to over six feet in thickness, are being
worked by galleries in the mountain sides. In only one instance is the
pit system in practice; and the whole of the coal below the level of the
base of the mountain is virgin ground, which will ultimately be
exploited by deep workings. But it is highly improbable that this
profitable industry will be undertaken by the present owners, who, for
want of the necessary capital, will, in a large number of cases, suspend
operations when they have exhausted the coal from their lower galleries.
Valuable concessions will then come into the market at “knock-out”
prices; and if British capitalists desire to be associated with the
highly-promising enterprise, they will have to seize the opportunity
before the French and Belgian investors step in. For, despite their
comparative failure in the past, the French capitalists are more keenly
alive than their English rivals to the enormous possibilities of Spanish
mining, and Spanish money is now coming forward as an earnest of the
rejuvenated spirit of enterprise which careful observers have already
noted in the spirit of the country.

In the foregoing pages I have outlined, in the barest fashion, the
history of the mining industry of Spain from its genesis, and I have
cited instances of modern development with the object of proving that in
Spain of to-day we have at once one of the most backward and most
promising mineral countries in Europe, if not in the world. I have not
attempted to exhaust the list of mines that are in full operation at the
present time, but have contented myself with giving some particulars
about representative properties--properties which, for the most part,
have come under my own immediate notice, and several of which I have
visited more than once. My experience compels me to the conclusion that
Spanish mining offers more and better opportunities for the investment
of British capital than that of any other country with which I am
acquainted, and I treasure the hope that a closer union will be welded
between England and Spain by the common bond of a mutual interest in her
mineral development.

_E. Goodman & Son, Phœnix Printing Works, Taunton._


Aben Cencid, 128

African Spain, 86

Avila, 114

Albaycin, The, 136

Alcázar (Toledo), 100

Alfonso VI., 102

Alfonso XIII., 254, _et seq._

Alhambra, The, 122, _et seq._

Alicante, 84, _et seq._

Alluvial Gold Washing in Spain, 300, _et seq._

Alonso II., 203

Alonso el Sabio, 93

Alonso V., 210

Almadén, 119

Alva Garcia, 115

American in Spain, The, 12

Arab Mining Enterprise, 281

Aragonese, 219

Aranjuez, Palace of, 49

Armeria Real (Madrid), 30

Bailen, 93

Barcelona, 50, _et seq._

Barcelona, Labour Riots in, 58

Basque Provincia, The, 180, _et seq._

Beariz and its Tin Mines, 294, 330, _et seq._

Beggars in Spain, 155

Bicycle in Spain, The, 87

Bilbao, 189, _et seq._

Bombita-chico, 234

Borrow, George, 7

Bull-Fighting, 38, 220, _et seq._

Burgos, 108, _et seq._

Cadiz, 164, _et seq._

Cadmus, 269

Carthagena, 88

Carthaginian Miners in Spain, 270

Castellon, 77

Castiles, The, 108, _et seq._

Catalans, The, 53, _et seq._

Cervantes, 116

Charles the Fifth, 124

Children in Spain, 87, 156

Christ in Burgos Cathedral, The, 110

Cid, The, 102, 111

Coal and Cement Mines of Spain, The, 300, 341

Cobham, Lord, 204

Colon Cape (Barcelona), 29

Colonial Possessions, Loss of, 3

Columbus Memorial (Barcelona), 67

Contreras Rafael, 128

Cooking in Spain, 34

Córdova, 103, _et seq._

Coruña, 199, _et seq._

Coruña Copper Mines, The, 329

Crime in Spain, 175

Cuba, 3

Cuenca, 119

Cuidad-Real, 116

Dances, 39, _et seq._

De Amicis E., 25, 106, 127, 253

Decline of Carthaginian Influence, 275

Didorus, 271

Don Carlos, 189

Don Pedro, 210

Don Quixote, 103

Drake, Sir Francis, 204

Elche, 86, 88

English in Spain, The, 11

Escorial, The, 43, _et seq._

Escurial Copper Mines, 293, 307, _et seq._

Espadeno, 77

Esparto Grass, 85

Ferdinand and Isabella, 116, 134

Ferdinand VI., 218

Festival of San Isidro del Campo, 41

Ford, Richard, 101, 159, 163

Francisco Herrera, 218

Frascuelo, 234

Fuentes, 236

Galicia, 195, _et seq._

Gallenga, 71

Gijon, 208

Gold-bearing Alluvials of Spain, 300, _et seq._

Goya, 241

Granada, 122, 134, _et seq._

_Guardia Civil_, 60

Guerrita, 239

Gypsies, 136

Herrera, Juan de, 43

Hiendelæncina Silver Mine, The, 296

_Hotel de Paris_ (Madrid), 26, 34

Huércal Copper-cobalt Mines, 293, 319, _et seq._

Huecar, The, 119

Huerta of Alicante, The, 85

Imperial Cafe (Madrid), 29

Infanta Isabel, 262

Iron Industry, 287

Irun, 185

Jaén, 94

John of Gaunt, 199

Juan the Second, 116

Jucar, The, 119

Kingston Gold Mines, The, 336

La Correspondencia, 38

La Granja, 112

La Mancha, 93

La Princesa de Asturias, 263

La Union, 91

León, 209, 212, _et seq._

_Libro de Oro_, 47

Liebert Wolters, 289

Lomas, John, 95, 150

Lorenzana, Cardinal, 102

Lorenzo, Bishop, 204

Louis de Débonnaire, 77

Lugo, 207

Lugo Goldfields, The, 337

Madrid, 10, _et seq._

_Madrileño, El_, 21

Madrid, Climate of, 14

Malaga, 171, _et seq._

Maria Christina, 254, 258, 263

Mazantini, 235

Medina Az-zahra, 107

Mendicancy in Spain, 155

Mining Enterprise in the Middle Ages, 286

Mining in Spain, 271, _et seq._

Miño River, 204, 207

Monserrat, 70, _et seq._

Moraleja Gold-bearing Alluvial Concession, The, 336

Muleteers, 161, _et seq._

Murcia, 83, _et seq._

Murcians, The, 92

Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban, 152, 167, 246

Murviedro (Sanguntum), 77

Nava Cerrada, 113

Newspapers in Madrid, 38

Northern Spain, In, 195, _et seq._

Nuevalos, 218

Officialism in Spain, 6, 160

Ordoño I., 210

Ordoño II., 211

Orense, 204

Orense and the Tin Industry, 294

Oriedo, 208

Oviedo, 196

_Palacio Real_, (Madrid), 14

_Pantano de Tibi_, 85

Páramo Alluvial Gold Fields, 305, 335

Pasajes de San Juan, 183

_Pasco de Gracia_, 64

Pelota, 183

Philip II., 2, 43

Philip the Fifth, 112

Phœnicians in Galicia, 199

Phœnician Miners in Spain, 270

Picture Gallery, The (Madrid), 30, 241, _et seq._

Pontevedra, 203

Pontevedra Tin Mines, The, 333

Posting, 161, _et seq._

_Puchero_, 37

_Puerta del Diablo_, 114

_Puerta del Sol_, 22, _et seq._

Rafael Contreras, 128

Ramon of Burgundy, 115

Railway Travelling, 157, _et seq._

_Rambla_, The, 63

Recompensa Copper Mines, 318

Rio Rimal Copper Mines, 326, _et seq._

Rio Tinto Mines, 288, _et seq._

Roman Conquest of Spain, 277, 279, _et seq._

Roman Gold-washing Operations, 300

Ronda, 175, _et seq._

Roque Barcia, 91

Royal Palace (Madrid), 33

Sagasta, 264

St. Ferdinand, 93, 94

St. James the Apostle, 203

St. Lawrence, 44

Salamanca, 209, 213

Sanguntum (Murviedro), 77

San Isidro del Campo, Festival of, 41

San Sebastian, 185

Santa Lucia, 91

Santa Maria Silver-lead Mines, 299, 338

Santiago, 200, _et seq._

Segovia, 113, _et seq._

_Sereno, El_, 203

Seville, 141, _et seq._

Sevillians, The, 142

Sierra Nevada, 103

Silver-Lead Mining in Spain, 297 _et seq._

Silver Mines of Spain, The, 296

Singing in Spain, 69

Slaves as Miners, 271, 279

_Soko, El_, 96

Somorrosto Range, 193

Southern Andalusia, In, 164, _et seq._

Spain (Her Position To-day), 8

Spain’s Mineral Resources, 283

Spaniards as Miners, 312

Spaniards, The, 6, _et seq._

Spanish-American War, 6, 56

Spanish Courtesy, 59

Spanish Mining, 271, _et seq._

Spanish Mining Regulations, 319

Spanish Tin Corporation’s Mines, The, 333

Spanish Pride, 3

Spanish Provincialism, 53

Spanish Wines, 75

Sport, 38, 183

Tagus, The, 101

Tarragona, 73

Temperance Question, The, 25

Tharsis Mines, 291

Theatres, 40

Theodimah, 84

Theophile Gautier, 105, 127

Tin Mines of Spain, The, 295

Toledo, 95, _et seq._

Toledo, Juan Bautista de, 43

Tortosa, 76

Trading Spirit, The, 54

Truimfo Mine, The, 297

Valencia, 81, _et seq._

_Velo_, The, 21

Ventura Rodriguex, 218

Velasquez, 242

Vigo, 204

Webster, Rev. Wentworth, 2

Wörmann, 98

Zahira, 107

Zaragoza, 217, _et seq._

ISABELLA, 1492.]




[Illustration: GRANADA.


[Illustration: THE GENERALIFFE.]


[Illustration: THE DOOR OF JUSTICE.]





[Illustration: HALL OF THE TWO SISTERS.]



[Illustration: THE CAPTIVE’S TOWER.]

[Illustration: THE SULTAN’S BATH.]

[Illustration: THE DRESSING ROOM.]




[Illustration: THE DRESSING ROOM.]




[Illustration: THE COURT OF MYRTLES.]






[Illustration: PALACE OF CHARLES V.]


[Illustration: THE ACEQUIA COURT.]


[Illustration: CYPRUS COURT]



[Illustration: THE ACEQUIA COURT.]


[Illustration: GRANADA.


[Illustration: ARAB SILK MARKET.]

[Illustration: GRANADA.


[Illustration: THE GIPSY QUARTERS.]



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