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Title: The humour of Spain.
Author: - To be updated
Language: English
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                          Transcriber’s Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. All other
variations remain unchanged.

Italics are represented thus _italic_, bold thus =bold=.

                            _HUMOUR SERIES_

                        EDITED BY W. H. DIRCKS

                          THE HUMOUR OF SPAIN

                            ALREADY ISSUED

                            _FRENCH HUMOUR_
                            _GERMAN HUMOUR_
                           _ITALIAN HUMOUR_
                           _AMERICAN HUMOUR_
                            _DUTCH HUMOUR_
                            _IRISH HUMOUR_
                           _SPANISH HUMOUR_


                            HUMOUR OF SPAIN


                   PATERNOSTER SQUARE, LONDON, E.C.
                       CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS,
                    153-157 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK.



  INTRODUCTION                                                        xi

  JEWS RACHEL AND VIDAS—_Twelfth Century_                              1

  LION BREAKS LOOSE—_Thirteenth Century_                               4

  THE CAT TURNED NUN—_Fourteenth Century_                              8

  THE MADMAN IN THE BATH—_Don Juan Manuel_                            10

  THE NAKED KING—_Don Juan Manuel_                                    10

  “NOT EVEN THE DAY OF THE MUD?”—_Don Juan Manuel_                    16

  THE TAMING OF THE SHREW—_Don Juan Manuel_                           18

  A LONG TALE—_Fifteenth Century_                                     22

  ELECTIO NULLA DEBET ESSE IN MALIS—_Fifteenth Century_               23

  THE BITER BIT—_Fifteenth Century_                                   23

  CALISTO IS SMITTEN WITH MELIBEA’S CHARMS—_Rodrigo Cota_             26

  LOVE AND DEATH                                                      31

  THE EATEN PANCAKE—_Lope de Rueda_                                   33

  THE FAIR CELIBATE—_Gil Vicente_                                     36


    THE RUSTIC AND THE LACKEYS                                        38

    THE CONTRARY WIFE                                                 40

    AN AFFECTIONATE WIFE                                              42

    CHASTISE WITH GOOD WORDS                                          42

    THE ACCOMMODATING FARMER                                          44

    THE ACCOMMODATING LORD                                            44

    DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND                                               44

    THE BEST HOUR TO DINE                                             45

    THE BEST WIFE IN THE WORLD                                        45

    A PIOUS WISH                                                      45

  “THE BOOK OF JOKES”—TRAVELLERS’ TALES                               54


    Mendoza_                                                          57

    HOW LAZARO SERVES A BLIND MAN—_Hurtado de Mendoza_                58

    LAZARO IS SERVANT TO A PRIEST—_Hurtado de Mendoza_                60

    THE REASON WHY—_Mateo Aleman_                                     70

    EPISODE OF THE OFFICIOUS PHYSICIAN—_Mateo Aleman_                 71

    GATEA—_Mateo Aleman_                                              72

    KNAVISH PRANKS PAUL PLAYED AT ALCALA—_Quevedo_                    79

  Gonzalez_                                                           86

  Cervantes_                                                          90

  THE LOVERS’ RUSE—_Lope de Vega_                                    128

  AUNTS—_Jacinto Polo_                                               131

  THE MISER CHASTISED—_Doña Maria de Zayas_                          132

  THE MARKET OF ANCESTORS—_Velez de Guevara_                         139

  VISION OF THE LAST JUDGMENT—_Gomez de Quevedo_                     141

  THE REVENGE OF DON LUCAS—_Francesco Rojas de Zorrilla_             155

  THE MAYOR OF ZALAMEA—_Calderon de la Barca_                        160

  THE SIMPLE GROOMS—_Santos_                                         178

  PORTUGUESE EPITAPHS AND SAYINGS—_Seventeenth Century_              180

  LA TARASCA AND THE CARRIERS—_Santos_                               181

  PEDIGREE OF FOOLS—_Seventeenth Century_                            183

  THE FAMOUS PREACHER, FRIAR BLAS                                    184

  THE MUSICAL ASS—_Yriarte_                                          187

  THE BASHFUL SHEPHERDESS—_Iglesias_                                 189

  THE BEAR, THE APE, AND THE PIG—_Yriarte_                           189

  THE FROG AND THE HEN—_Yriarte_                                     190

  MARIQUITA THE BALD—_Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch_                     191

  Calderón_                                                          207

  SEVILLE—_José Zorrilla_                                            213

  AFTER THE BULL-FIGHT—_Mesonero Romanos_                            213

  DELIGHTS OF A MADRID WINTER—_Wenceslao Ayguals de Izco_            216

  Bernard_                                                           218

  THE OLD CASTILIAN—_Mariano José de Larra_                          221

  A DEMAGOGIC JOURNALIST—_Antonio Maria Segovia_                     233

  A CAT CHASE DURING THE SIEGE OF GERONA—_Perez Galdos_              238

  A WELL-WON DISH OF CHERRIES—_Perez Galdos_                         242

  FIRST LOVE—_Emilia Pardo Bazan_                                    246

  THE ACCOUNT BOOK—_Pedro Antonio de Alarcon_                        254

  SISTER SAINT SULPICE—_A. Palacio Valdés_                           261

  PEPITA—_Juan Valera_                                               275

  IF SHE COULD ONLY WRITE—_Campoamor_                                288

  DOCTOR PERTINAX—_Leopoldo Alas_                                    291

  A FEW THOUGHTS ON LIGHT—_José Selgas_                              300

  EPIGRAMS                                                           302

  FOLK-TALES                                                         305


  THE WEDDING-NIGHT                                                  313

  FATHER COBOS’ HINT—_Juan Martinez Villergas_                       316

  POPULAR SONGS                                                      318

  PROVERBS                                                           321

  ANECDOTES                                                          325

  ECCENTRICITIES OF ENGLISHMEN—_A. Ribot y Fontserré_                329

  NEWSPAPER HUMOUR                                                   332

  HUMOROUS ADVERTISEMENTS                                            338

  AT THE THEATRE                                                     341

  NOTES—CRITICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL                                    345


A certain mysterious charm clings to the Spanish people, by reason
of the long domain of more than seven hundred years of the Moors
over the Peninsula, and consequent intermingling, to some degree, of
race, and considerable Oriental influence on the national life and
characteristics. The chief sport of the Spaniards, the bull-fight, is
of Moorish origin; their popular dances and songs raise recollections
of Indian Nautch-girls and the choruses in Moroccan coffee-houses;
their predominant sentiment, the jealousy over their women, points back
to the strict seclusion of the harem. To divert to another paramount
influence, Spain, to this day the most Catholic country in the world,
is in history of awful interest as the country in which the dread
Inquisition took root most firmly: here alone 32,000 persons were
condemned to the _auto-da-fe_! Gloominess, pride, and reserve have
for centuries been the reputed qualities of the Spaniards. Oriental
races are not mirthful; it is difficult to make the dignified Moor
smile, much less laugh: the influence of the Moor, therefore, and the
absolute power of the Church as little, could scarcely be conducive
to merriment. And yet Spanish literature is illumined throughout with
bright flashes of humour, like the silver lining to the dark cloud of
the history of the people—a humour which shows itself in almost every
phase of the national literature, from the twelfth to the nineteenth
century: from incidents in the “Poema del Cid” which tickled the rough
sense of humour of the warriors of the Middle Ages, to the delicate
and subtle irony of Valera in “Pepita Jimenez”—quaint and naïve in the
ballads and collections of tales, sprightly in the drama, boisterous
in the “Novela Picaresca,” inimitable in “Don Quixote.” A humour,
moreover, not laboured, not purely literary (though the latter kind is
not lacking), but spontaneous, and embodying the salient features of
the national life and characteristics.

It is both unnecessary and invidious to descant upon “Don Quixote,”
_par excellence_ the work of Spanish Humour. The death-blow to the
chivalrous literature throughout civilised Europe (in Spain more rankly
luxuriant than elsewhere, and where it perhaps reached its climax of
absurdity), this marvellous work spread rapidly from land to land, and
was first put into English in the year 1612. It is here given from the
latest and most scholarly translation, the labour of love for eighteen
years of Mr. H. E. Watts. It may be as well, however, to draw attention
to the special phase of Spanish life round which Spanish humour
collected in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—namely, the life
of rogues in the “Novela Picaresca”—to which a section of this volume
has been devoted, and the influence of which is traceable in other
authors (such as Guevara and Santos) not included in that section.
This peculiar taste, called El Gusto Picaresco (_pícaro_ = rogue)
owes its origin, according to Ticknor, to the condition of certain
portions of society in the reigns of Charles V. and Philip II., and
it has ever been in popular favour. Le Sage boldly imitated it in his
famous “Gil Blas”;[1] and Fielding, Smollet, and other English authors
show its influence upon English literature. This typical rogue, who
generally starts in life as a servant, has his counterpart on the stage
in the Gracioso (the valet), prototype of the Barbier de Seville of
Beaumarchais, and Molière's Scapin.

As this collection is not intended to be comprehensive, no apology need
be made for omissions obvious perhaps to Spanish scholars. Among other
works, such as those of the Archpriest of Hita, of Castillejo, Forner,
Pitillas, and Moratin, the “Gatomaquia” (_see_ Notes) and “Mosquea,”
burlesque epics after the pattern of the “Batrachomyomachia,” are not
represented; nor yet the famous “Murciliego Alevoso” (in which is
displayed a humour not unlike Pop) of Gonzalez, and the celebrated
periodical _El Padre Cobos_.[2] That the drama, however, the richest in
Europe, and original and characteristic as only either the Greek or the
English drama, should be so little represented is due to the fact that
the fun of a Spanish comedy generally lies in the plot and in comic

With regard to the tales and anecdotes (both ancient and modern), the
difficulty is any certainty of their origin, though this applies to
the literature of all countries. The story of the cook and the crane is
a common chestnut (with us the crane is a goose), the travellers’ tale
of the huge cauldron and the cabbage is perhaps too familiar to please;
but they are here of interest as from Spanish Tablebooks of so long ago
as the sixteenth century.

To come to the nineteenth century, our English periodical essayists
of the eighteenth—Addison, Steele, and Johnson—will be recognised as
prototypes of Figaro, El Curioso Parlante, El Solitario, &c. These
Spanish _Tatlers_ and _Spectators_ are, however, on the whole, no
servile imitators, and are justly held in high esteem by the Spaniards,
though little known outside the Peninsula.[3] The nineteenth-century
novel, in which critics see the continuity of the Spanish genius, is
here well represented by Valer “Pepita Jiménez,” and “Sister Saint
Sulpice” of Valdés; other novelists, the rightly popular Alarcon, and
the distinguished authoress, Emilia Pardo Bazan, have contributed short

The chronological order, which on the whole is adhered to down to the
eighteenth century, is somewhat neglected in the nineteenth for the
sake of variety and harmony in the arrangement of the selections. It is
also to be feared that a few names of minor importance have crept in
among the authors of the present century.

This compilation is based upon Ticknor’s great work upon Spanish
literature[4] and Padre Blanco Garcia’s “History of the Literature of the
Nineteenth Century” (published 1891), besides some valuable advice,
generously given under great stress of work and worry, by Senõr Don
Rubió y Lluch, professor of Spanish Literature to the University of
Barcelona. Other authorities consulted, biographies, &c., are too
numerous to detail.

Existing translations have been used, and the translators’ names
appended. Among these many famous ones from Elizabethan to modern times
will be noticed. Many of the selections have been considerably adapted
for various reasons, principally to suit the requirements of a work
intended to be popular. Others are almost literal. In many cases it has
been no little difficulty to select passages comprehensive enough to
dispense with explanations or a long introductory notice.

On the whole liveliness and attractiveness (whether with success or no)
is aimed at rather than scholarly exactness, though it is to be hoped
the collection will also be of interest to the student, and give a
faithful reflection of Spanish humour so far as possible in a foreign

With regard to the insertion of extracts from translations or Spanish
originals published within the last ten years, I have to thank the
Cassell Publishing Co., New York, for “The Account Book,” translated
by Mary J. Serrano; Messrs. Thomas J. Crowell & Co., New York, for the
extracts from “Sister Saint Sulpice,” translated by N. H. Dole; Mr.
Heinemann, for his kind permission to insert the given extract from the
translation of “Pepita Jiménez”; Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner,
and Co. for permission to insert the ballad from Mr. Gibson’s Spanish
Romances; Señora Doña Emilia Pardo Bazan for her gracious permission
to select from her tales; Mr. H. E. Watts for permission to insert
extracts from his translation of “Don Quixote.”

Finally, my best thanks are due to kind friends in Catalonia
(possessors in the Catalan of a distinct tongue and valuable
literature, if less important than the Castilian) for their great
help during my residence at Barcelona by the furthering of my Spanish
studies, privately, and at the University. While I owe much, to
cultured Spaniards, from Santander to Seville, for valuable information
on their national life and customs, and to my Mother, a patient and
enthusiastic traveller, and the origin, in more than one way, of my
sojourn and travels in Spain.

                                                     SUSETTE M. TAYLOR.

                         THE HUMOUR OF SPAIN.


    “Martin Antolinez, a dowghtye lance art thow
    And be my troth thy hire shall ne stinted be, I vow
    My gold, alack, is all yespent and eke the silver toe,
    And richesse bere I none with me as God on hye is trewe.
    With an ill wille I do itte, for my brave companye’s sake,
    Togither with thy gude reade tweye strong chests we will make,
    The leather schal be cramasie, the nails schal be of gold,
    And we’ll fill them ful of gravele, as much as thei can hold
    Toe Rachel and to Vidas, now hie thee speedilee:
    An outlawe I from Burgos towne, the Kyng is wrath with me,
    I needs must leave my tresor because of its sore weyt,
    And I will plege it to them at an anantageus rate.”
    Martin Antolinez spedde to towne without delai,
    And saw the tweye Jewes upon that verye day.
    “O Rachel and thow Vidas, dere frendes are ye in trothe,
    A message I have privyly to telle onto youe bothe.”
    They did not keep him waiting, they went asyde all thre.
    “Here Rachel, and thow Vidas, praye giv your handes to me,
    Betray me not to Xtian nor yet to any More,
    And I will make you ryche, you schal never more be poor.
    The Campeador alate gathered in the landes dutie,
    And keped from the Kyng grete and mickle bootie;
    Tweye coffres he has gotten brimful of shinand gold
    And he cannot bere hem with him, unless he had them sold;
    But he’ll give them in your keepyng, and borrow what is just,
    Soe take the coffres in your care, with hem we youe entrust,
    And laye your handes within mine and tel me one and bothe,
    That you wil not look insyde them al this yere upon your oathe”—
    “And what will my Cid paye toe us for keepyng safe his treasure?”—
    Quoth Martin Antolinez, “He will paye you in due measure
    But now he needes a hundred markes, and you can paye them here.”—
    “We never paye,” the Jewes sayde, “afore we have the ware.”
    Soe they mounted ther swift corsiares and rade richt speedilee,
    Wen my Cid saw them comynge, he lought most lustilee.
    The Jewes bent loe and kissed his hande, Martin wrote down the deed,
    Thei sholde have care of the coffers but of lookyng in tayk heed.
    The myrth youe sholde have witnest wen the chests were borne away,
    They coulde not bere them by themselves all gyf no striplings they.
    Sayd Rachel to the Campeador, “O Cid, I kisse thy hand,
    Myght I a fyn red moorish skynne on thi returne demande?”
    “Richt willyngley,” sayde my Cid, “sych gifts I gladly offer,
    Shoulde I perchaunce forget itte, youe must count it on the coffer.”
    In the middle of the hall they stretch’d a carpet fringed and rare,
    And a shete of fyn bleached linen was also laid out ther.
    In a single lot of silver thre hundrith markes they payed;
    Brave Antolinez counted them but did not have hem weyed.
    Thre hundrith more he toke in gold, and then bespake the two:
    “O Rachel and thow Vidas, mickle gain I’ve brought to you,
    And in soth I’ve earned your thanks gif not a pair of breeches toe.”
    Vidas and Rachel youde asyde and speedilye agreed
    That Antolinez verile had earned of them ryche meede.
    “Thritte odde markes, wich is but just, Martin, we’ll giv to youe,
    And you can buye some fur, a cloake, and paire of breeches toe.”
    Soe Antolinez took the markes and thanked them hertelye,
    And tayking curteous leave of them spedde backe richt merrylye.

                                 “_Poema del Cid_” (_Twelfth Century_).



Two years after their marriage did the Infantes of Carrion sojourn in
Valencia in peace and pleasure, to their own great contentment, and
their uncle Suero Gonzalez with them; and at the end of those two years
there came to pass a great misadventure, by reason of which they fell
out with the Cid, in whom there was no fault. There was a lion in the
house of the Cid who had grown a large one, and a strong, and was full
nimble; three men had the keeping of this lion, and they kept him
in a den which was in a courtyard, high up in the palace; and when
they cleansed the court they were wont to shut him up in his den, and
afterward to open the door that he might come out and eat: the Cid kept
him for his pastime, that he might take pleasure with him when he was
minded so to do. Now it was the custom of the Cid to dine every day
with his company, and after he had dined he was wont to sleep awhile
upon his seat. And one day when he had dined there came a man and told
him that a great fleet was arrived in the port of Valencia, wherein
there was a great power of the Moors, whom King Bucar had brought over,
the son of the Miramamolin of Morocco. And when the Cid heard this
his heart rejoiced and he was glad, for it was nigh three years since
he had had a battle with the Moors. Incontinently he ordered a signal
to be made that all the honourable men who were in the city should
assemble together. And when they were all assembled in the Alcazar, and
his sons-in-law with them, the Cid told them the news, and took counsel
with them in what manner they should go out against this great power
of the Moors. And when they had taken counsel the Cid went to sleep
upon his seat, and the Infantes and the others sat playing at tables
and chess. Now at this time the men who were keepers of the lion were
cleaning the court, and when they heard the cry that the Moors were
coming, they opened the den, and came down into the palace where the
Cid was, and left the door of the court open. And when the lion had
ate his meat and saw that the door was open he went out of the court
and came down into the palace, even into the hall where they all were;
and when they who were there saw him, there was a great stir among
them; but the Infantes of Carrion showed greater cowardice than all the
rest. Ferrando Gonzalez having no shame, neither for the Cid nor for
the others who were present, crept under the seat whereon the Cid was
sleeping, and in his haste he burst his mantle and his doublet also at
the shoulders. And Diego Gonzalez, the other, ran to a postern door,
crying, “I shall never see Carrion again!” This door opened upon a
courtyard where there was a winepress, and he jumped out, and by reason
of the great height could not keep on his feet, but fell among the lees
and defiled himself therewith. And all the others who were in the hall
wrapped their cloaks around their arms, and stood round about the seat
whereon the Cid was sleeping, that they might defend him. The noise
which they made awakened the Cid, and he saw the lion coming towards
him, and he lifted up his hand and said, “What is this?“... And the
lion, hearing his voice, stood still; and he rose up and took him by
the mane as if he had been a gentle mastiff, and led him back to the
court where he was before, and ordered his keepers to look better to
him for the time to come. And when he had done this he returned to the
hall and took his seat again; and all they who beheld it were greatly

After some time, Ferrando Gonzalez crept from under the seat where he
had hidden himself, and he came out with a pale face, not having yet
lost his fear, and his brother Diego got from among the lees: and when
they who were present saw them in this plight you never saw such sport
as they made; but my Cid forbade their laughter. And Diego went out to
wash himself and change his garments, and he sent to call his brother
forth, and they took counsel together in secret.

       “_Chronicle of the Cid_” (_Thirteenth Century_).
                                                      _Trans. Southey._


                         _THE CAT TURNED NUN._

In a certain convent there was a cat which had killed all the mice in
the convent but one, which was very big, which she could not catch.
The cat mused in her heart in what manner she might deceive the mouse
that she might kill him; and thought so long till she agreed she must
take the veil, and clothe herself in nun’s garb, and sit amongst the
nuns at table, and then she might get at the mouse; and she did as
she had thought. The mouse, when he saw the cat eating with the nuns,
rejoiced greatly, and thought, since the cat had become religious,
that she would henceforth do him no harm, insomuch that Don Mouse came
near to where the nuns were eating, and began to leap about here and
there. Then the cat rolled her eyes as one who has no longer eyes for
any vanity or folly, and she kept a peaceful and humble countenance;
and the mouse, seeing that, drew near little by little; and when the
cat saw him nigh her she sprang upon him with her claws and began to
throttle him. And the mouse said, “How is it that thou, a nun, art so
cruel as to wish to kill me?” Whereupon the cat replied, “Think not
thy cries will cause me to free thee; for know, brother, that when it
pleases me I am a nun, and when it pleases me a canoness.”[5]

             “_The Book of Cats_” (_Fourteenth Century_).
                                                      _Author unknown._


                       _THE MADMAN IN THE BATH._

Now it chanced that a good man kept some baths, and a neighbour, a
madman, was the first to come daily to this bath; afterwards awaiting
the arrival of the people to bathe, he commenced, as soon as he saw
them, to beat them with sticks or throw stones at them, so that the
proprietor of the baths soon lost all his customers. The good man,
seeing this, determined to rise very early one day, undressed himself,
and went into the bath before the madman arrived, having at hand a pail
full of very hot water and a wooden club. When the madman came to the
bath, determined, as usual, to attack all who came in his way, the good
man, seeing him enter, allowed him to approach, when he suddenly upset
the pail of hot water over his head, attacking him at the same time
with the club. The madman now gave himself up for dead; nevertheless,
he managed to escape, and, running away, he told every one he met to be
careful, for there was a madman in the bath.

                    _Don Juan Manuel_ (_d._ 1347). _Trans. James York._

                           _THE NAKED KING._

Three impostors came to a king and told him they were cloth-weavers,
and could fabricate a cloth of so peculiar a nature that a legitimate
son of his father could see the cloth; but if he were illegitimate,
though believed to be legitimate, he could not see it.

Now the King was much pleased at this, thinking that by this means
he would be able to distinguish the men in his kingdom who were
legitimate sons of their supposed fathers’s from those who were not,
and so be enabled to increase his treasures, for among the Moors only
legitimate children inherit their father’s property; and for this end he
ordered a palace to be appropriated to the manufacture of this cloth.
And these men, in order to convince him that they had no intention of
deceiving him, agreed to be shut up in this palace until the cloth was
manufactured, which satisfied the King.


When they were supplied with a large quantity of gold, silver, silk,
and many other things, they entered the palace, and, putting their
looms in order, gave it to be understood that they were working all day
at the cloth.

After some days, one of them came to the King and told him the cloth
was commenced, that it was the most curious thing in the world,
describing the design and construction; he then prayed the King to
favour them with a visit, but begged he would come alone. The King was
much pleased, but wishing to have the opinion of some one first, sent
the Lord Chamberlain to see it, in order to know if they were deceiving
him. When the Lord Chamberlain saw the workmen, and heard all they had
to say, he dared not admit he could not see the cloth, and when he
returned to the King he stated that he had seen it; the King sent yet
another, who gave the same report. When they whom he had sent declared
that they had seen the cloth, he determined to go himself.

On entering the palace and seeing the men at work, who began to
describe the texture and relate the origin of the invention, as also
the design and colour, in which they all appeared to agree, although in
reality they were not working; when the King saw how they appeared to
work, and heard the character of the cloth so minutely described, and
yet could not see it, although those he had sent had seen it, he began
to feel very uneasy, fearing he might not be the son of the King who
was supposed to be his father, and that if he acknowledged he could
not see the cloth he might lose his kingdom; under this impression he
commenced praising the fabric, describing its peculiarities after the
manner of the workmen.


On the return to his palace he related to his people how good and
marvellous was the cloth, yet at the same time suspected something

At the end of two or three days the King requested his “Alguacil” (or
officer of justice) to go and see the cloth. When the Alguacil entered
and saw the workmen, who, as before, described the figures and pattern
of the cloth, knowing that the King had been to see it, and yet could
not see it himself, he thought he certainly could not be the legitimate
son of his father, and therefore could not see it. He, however, feared
if he was to declare that he could not see it he would lose his
honourable position; to avoid this mischance he commenced praising the
cloth even more vehemently than the others.

When the Alguacil returned to the King and told him that he had seen
the cloth, and that it was the most extraordinary production in the
world, the King was much disconcerted; for he thought that if the
Alguacil had seen the cloth, which he was unable to see, there could
no longer be a doubt that he was not the legitimate son of the King,
as was generally supposed; he therefore did not hesitate to praise the
excellency of the cloth and the skill of the workmen who were able to
make it.

On another day he sent one of his Councillors, and it happened to
him as to the King and the others of whom I have spoken; and in this
manner, and for this reason, they deceived the King and many others,
for no one dared to say he could not see the cloth.

Things went on thus until there came a great feast, when all requested
the King to be dressed in some of the cloth; so the workmen, being
ordered, brought some rolled up in a very fine linen, and inquired of
the King how much of it he wished them to cut off; so the King gave
orders how much and how to make it up.

Now when the clothes were made, and the feast day had arrived, the
weavers brought them to the King, informing his Majesty that his dress
was made of the cloth as he had directed, the King all this time not
daring to say he could not see it.

When the King had professed to dress himself in this suit, he mounted
on horseback and rode into the city; but fortunately for him it was
summer time. The people seeing his Majesty come in this manner were
much surprised; but knowing that those who could not see this cloth
would be considered illegitimate sons of their fathers, kept their
surprise to themselves, fearing the dishonour consequent upon such a
declaration. Not so, however, with a negro, who happened to notice the
King thus equipped; for he, having nothing to lose, came to him and
said, “Sire, to me it matters not whose son I am, therefore I tell you
that you are riding without any clothes.” On this the King commenced
beating him, saying that he was not the legitimate son of his supposed
father, and therefore it was that he could not see the cloth. But no
sooner had the negro said this, than others were convinced of its
truth, and said the same; until, at last, the King and all with him
lost their fear of declaring the truth, and saw through the trick of
which these impostors had made them the victims. When the weavers were
sought for they were found to have fled, taking with them all they had
received from the King by their imposition.

                                  _Don Juan Manuel. Trans. James York._

                   “_NOT EVEN THE DAY OF THE MUD?_”

The King Abit, of Seville, was married to Romaquia, and he loved her
better than anything in the world. She was a very virtuous woman, and
the Moors recount many of her good acts. But in one thing she did not
display much wisdom; this was that she generally had some caprice or
other which the King was always willing to gratify.

One day, being in Cordova during the month of February, there happened
to be (which was very unusual) a very heavy fall of snow. When Romaquia
saw this she began to weep. The King, seeing her so afflicted, desired
to know the cause of her grief.

“I weep,” said she, “because I am not permitted to live in a country
where we sometimes see snow.”

The King, anxious to gratify her, ordered almond-trees to be planted
on all the mountains surrounding Cordova, for, it being a very warm
climate, snow is seldom or never seen there. But now, once a year, and
that in the month of February, the almond-trees came forth in full
blossom, which, from their whiteness, made it appear as if there had
been a fall of snow on the mountains, and was a source of great delight
to the Queen for a time.

On another occasion Romaquia, being in her apartment, which overlooked
the river, saw a woman without shoes or stockings kneading mud on the
banks of the river for the purpose of making bricks. When Romaquia saw
this she began to cry, which the King observing, begged to know the
cause of her grief.

She replied, “It is because I am not free to do as I please; I cannot
do as yonder woman is doing.”

Then the King, in order to gratify her, ordered a lake at Cordova to be
filled with rose-water in place of ordinary water, and to produce mud
he had this filled with sugar, powdered cinnamon and ginger, beautiful
stones, amber, musk, and as many other fragrant spices and perfumes as
could be procured, and in place of straws he ordered to be placed ready
small sugar-canes. Now when this lake was full of such mud, as you may
imagine, the King informed Romaquia that now she might take off her
shoes and stockings and enjoy herself by making as many bricks as she


Another day, taking a fancy for something not immediately procurable,
she began weeping as before. The King again entreated to know the cause
of her grief.

“How can I refrain from tears,” said she, “when you never do anything
to please me?”

The King, seeing that so much had been done to please and gratify her
caprices, and feeling now at his wits’ end, exclaimed, in Arabic, “_Ehu
alenahac aten_,” which means, “Not even the day of the mud.” That is to
say, that, although all the rest had been forgotten, she might at least
have remembered the mud he had prepared to humour her.

                    _Don Juan Manuel_ (_d._ 1347). _Trans. James York._

                      _THE TAMING OF THE SHREW._

There lived in a city a Moor who was much respected, and who had a son,
the most promising youth in the world, but not being rich enough to
accomplish the great deeds which he felt in his heart equal to, he was
greatly troubled, having the will and not the power. Now in the same
town there lived another Moor who held a higher position, and was very
much richer than his father, and who had an only daughter, the very
reverse in character and appearance of the young man, she being of
so very violent a temper that no one could be found willing to marry
such a virago. One day the young man came to his father and said, “You
know that your means will not allow you to put me in a position to
live honourably,” adding that, as he desired to live an easy and quiet
life, he thought it better to seek to enrich himself by an advantageous
marriage, or to leave that part of the country. The father told him
that he would be very happy if he could succeed in such a union. On
this the son proposed, if it were agreeable to his father, to seek the
daughter of their neighbour in marriage. Hearing this, the father was
much astonished, and asked how he could think of such a thing when he
knew that no man, however poor, could be induced to marry her.

Nevertheless the son insisted, and although the father thought it a
strange whim, in the end he gave his consent. The good man then visited
his neighbour telling him the wish of his son.

When the good man heard what his friend said, he answered, “By heaven,
my friend, were I to do such a thing I should prove myself a very
false friend, for you have a worthy son, and it would be base in me to
consent to his injury or death, and I know for certain that, were he to
live with my daughter, he would soon die, or death, at least, would be
preferable to life. Do not think I say this from any objection to your
alliance, for I should only be too grateful to any man who would take
her out of my house.”

The young man’s father was much pleased at this, as his son was so intent
on the marriage. All being ultimately arranged, they were in the end
married, and the bride taken home, according to the Moorish fashion,
to the house of her husband, and left to supper, the friends and
relations returning to their respective homes, waiting anxiously for
the following day, when they feared to find the bridegroom either dead
or seriously injured.

Now, being left alone, the young couple sat down to supper, when the
bridegroom, looking behind him, saw his mastiff, and said to him,
“Bring me water wherewith to wash my hands.” The dog naturally taking
no notice of this command, the young man became irritated, and ordered
the animal more angrily to bring him water for his hands, which the
latter not heeding, the young man arose in a great rage, and, drawing
his sword, commenced a savage attack on the dog, who to avoid him
ran away, but finding no retreat jumped on the table, then to the
fireplace, his master still pursuing him, who, having caught him,
first cut off his head, then his paws, hewing him to pieces, covering
everything with blood. Thus furious and blood-stained he returned to
the table, and looking round saw a cat. “Bring me water for my hands,”
said he to him. The animal not noticing the command, the master cried
out, “How, false traitor, did you not see how I treated the mastiff for
disobeying me? If you do not do as I tell you this instant you shall
share his fate.” The poor little harmless cat continuing motionless,
the master seized him by the paws and dashed him to pieces against
the wall. His fury increasing, he again placed himself at the table,
looking about on all sides as if for something to attack next. His
wife, seeing this, and supposing he had lost his senses, held her
peace. At length he espied his horse, the only one he had, and called
to him fiercely to bring him water to wash his hands. The animal not
obeying he cried out in a rage, “How is this? Think you that because
you are the only horse I have, you may dare thus to disobey my orders?
Know, then, that your fate shall be the same as the others, and that
any one living who dares to disobey me shall not escape my vengeance.”
Saying this he seized the horse, cut off his head, and hacked him to

And when the wife saw this, and knowing he had no other horse, felt
that he was really in earnest, she became dreadfully alarmed.

He again sat down to table, raging and all bloody as he was, swearing
he would kill a thousand horses, or even men or women, if they dared
to disobey him. Holding at the same time his bloody sword in his hand,
he looked around with glaring eyes until, fixing them on his wife, he
ordered her to bring him water to wash his hands.

The wife, expecting no other fate than to be cut to pieces if she
demurred, immediately arose and brought him the water.

“Ha! thank God you have done so!” said he, “otherwise, I am so
irritated by these senseless brutes, that I should have done by you
as by them.” He afterwards commanded her to help him to meat. She
complied; but he told her, in a fearful tone of voice, to beware, as
he felt as if he was going mad. Thus passed the night, she not daring
to speak, but strictly obeying all his orders. After letting her sleep
for a short time he said to her, “Get up; I have been so annoyed that I
cannot sleep, take care that nothing disturbs me, and in the meanwhile
prepare me a good and substantial meal.”

While it was yet early the following morning the fathers, mothers, and
other relatives came stealthily to the door of the young people, and,
hearing no movement, feared the bridegroom was either dead or wounded,
and seeing the bride approach the door alone were still more alarmed.

She, seeing them, went cautiously and tremblingly towards them, and
exclaimed: “Traitors, what are you doing? How dare you approach this
gate? Speak not—be silent, or all of us, you as well as I, are dead.”

When they heard this they were much astonished, and on learning what
had taken place the night previous they esteemed the young man very
much who had made so good a commencement in the management of his
household; and from that day forward his wife became tractable and
complaisant, so that they led a very happy life. A few days later his
father-in-law, wishing to follow the example of his son, likewise
killed a horse in order to intimidate his wife, but she said to him,
“My friend, it is too late to begin now; it would not avail you to kill
a hundred horses: we know each other too well.”

    “Who would not for life be a henpecked fool,
    Must show, from the first, that he means to rule.”

                                  _Don Juan Manuel. Trans. James York._

                            _A LONG TALE._

A King kept a man to tell him fables and tales at night before going to
sleep. And one night the King, troubled with anxious thoughts, could
not sleep, and the man told him three tales more than on other nights.
And the King bade him tell still more, but he was unwilling, having
told many. And the King said, “Thou hast told many, but they were
short; tell me a long one, and then thou canst hie thee to bed.” The
man, agreeing, began thus: “A countryman had a thousand shillings, and
went to the fair and bought two thousand sheep at sixpence each, and
on his way back he found the water had risen in the river, and that he
could not cross by either bridge or ford; but he found a little boat,
and putting in two sheep, rowed across. And now, the river is wide, the
boat very small, and the sheep many; when the rustic has ferried his
flock across, I will go on with the tale.” And he got up and hied him
to bed.

                       “_Libro de los Exemplos_” (_Fifteenth Century_).


A knavish fool condemned to death, asked the judge if he might choose
the tree whereon he should be hanged; and this wish granted him, he was
taken to the mountains, but could see no tree to please him. And they
took him before the King, who asked why he was not yet hanged, to which
the fool replied, the fact was he could not find a tree on which he
felt he would like to be hanged.

                       “_Libro de los Exemplos_” (_Fifteenth Century_).

                           _THE BITER BIT._

    “Who thinks to take another in
    Is oft in his turn taken in.”

Two townsmen and a countryman, on a pilgrimage to Mecca, agreed to
share provisions till they should reach Mecca. But the victuals ran
short, so that they had nothing left but a little flour—enough to make
a loaf. And the townsmen, seeing that, said one to the other: “We have
but little food, and our companion eats much, how shall we bring about
that he shall eat none of the bread, and that we alone eat it?” And
they took this counsel—they would make the loaf, and whilst it was
baking should all go to sleep, and whoever dreamed the most marvellous
thing in that time, he should alone eat the bread. This they did,
thinking to betray the simple rustic, and they made the loaf and put it
to bake, and then lay down to sleep. But the rustic saw through their
treachery, and when the companions were sleeping took the half-baked
bread, ate it, and turned to sleep. Then one of the townsmen awoke as
one dreaming and afraid, and called to his companion; and the other
said, “What hast thou?”

“I saw a marvellous vision: methought two angels opened the gates of
heaven, and bore me before the face of God.”

And his companion said, “Marvellous is that vision. But I dreamed that
two angels seized me, and, cleaving the earth, bore me to hell.”

The rustic heard all this and pretended to sleep, but the others called
out to him to awake, and he discreetly, as one amazed, replied, “Who
are ye that are calling me?”

They replied, “We are thy companions.”

And he said, “Have ye returned?”

And they said, “Whence wouldst thou have us return?”

And the rustic said, “But now methought I saw two angels take the one
of you to heaven, and then two other angels take the other to hell; and
seeing this, and thinking you would neither return, I got up and ate
the loaf.”

                       “_Libro de los Exemplos_” (_Fifteenth Century_).



[Illustration: Melibea and Calisto.]

 ARGUMENT.—CALISTO, _entering into a garden after his usual manner, met
 there with_ MELIBEA, _with whose love being caught, he began to court
 her; by whom being sharply checkt and dismist, he gets him home_.

_Calisto._ Sempronio, Sempronio, why Sempronio, I say, Where is this
accursed Varlet?

_Sempronio._ I am heere, Sir, about your horses.

_Calisto._ My horses (you knave), how haps it then that thou comst out
of the hall?

_Sempronio._ The Gyrfalcon bated, and I came in to set him on the

_Calisto._ Is’t e’en so? Now the divell take thee; misfortune waite on
thy heeles to thy destruction; mischiefe light upon thee; let some
perpetuall intolerable torment seyze upon thee in so high a degree that
it may be beyond all comparison, till it bring thee (which shortly I
hope to see) to a most painfull, miserable, and disastrous death. Goe,
thou unlucky rogue, goe I say, and open the chamber doore, and make
ready my bed.

_Sempronio._ Presently, Sir, the bed is ready for you.

_Calisto._ Shut the windowes, and leave darknesse to accompany him,
whose sad thoughts deserve no light. Oh death! how welcome art thou,
to those who out-live their happinesse! how welcome, wouldst thou but
come when thou art cal! O that Hypocrates and Galen, those learned
Physicians, were now living, and both heere, and felt my paine! O
heavens! if yee have any pitty in you, inspire that Pleberian heart
therewith, lest that my soule, helplesse of hope, should fall into the
like misfortune with Pyrramus and Thisbe.

_Sempronio._ What a thing is this? Wha the matter with you?

_Calisto._ Away, get thee gone, doe not speake to me, unlesse thou
wilt, that these my hands, before thy time be come, cut off thy daies
by speedy death.

_Sempronio._ Since you will lament all alone, and have none to share
with you in your sorrowes, I will be gone, Sir.

_Calisto._ Now the divell goe with thee.

_Sempronio._ With me Sir? There is no reason that he should goe with
me, who stayes with you. O unfortunate, O sudden and unexpected ill;
what contrarious accident, what squint-ey’d starre is it that hath robbed
this Gentleman of his wonted mirth? and not of that alone, but of it
(which is worse) his wits. Shall I leave him all alone? or shall I goe
in to him? If I leave him alone, he will kill himselfe. If I goe in, he
will kill me. Let him bide alone, and bite upon the bit, come what will
come, I care not. Better it is that hee dye, whose life is hatefull
unto him, than that I dye, when life is pleasing unto mee, and say that
I should not desire to live, save only to see my Elicia, that alone
is motive inoughe to make mee louke to my selfe, and guard my person
from dangers.... Well, I will let him alone awhile, and give his humour
leave to work out it selfe; ... againe, if he see me in sight, I shall
see him more incensed against me: For there the sun scorcheth most
where he reflecteth most.... And therefore I think it my best play,
to play least in sight, and to stay a little longer; but if in the
meanewhile he should kill him selfe, then farewell he. Perhaps I may
get more by it than every man is aware of, and cast my skinne, changing
rags for robes, and penury for plenty. But it is an old saying, He that
lookes after dead-men’s shoes, may chance to goe barefoote: Perhaps also
the divell hath deceived me. And so his death may be my death, and then
all the fat is in the fire: The rope will go after the Bucket: and one
losse follows another;—on the other side, your wise men say, That it
is a great ease to a grieved soule to have a companion, to whom he may
communicate his sorrow. Besides, it is generally received, that the
wound which bleedes inward, is ever the more dangerous. Why then in
these two extremes hang I in suspense. What I were best to doe? Sure
the safest is to enter....

_Calisto._ Sempronio!

_Sempronio._ Sir.

_Calisto._ Reach me that Lute.

_Sempronio._ Sir, heere it is.

_Calisto._ “Tell me what griefe so great can be
            As to equall my misery.”

_Sempronio._ This Lute, Sir, is out of tune.

_Calisto._ How shall he tune it, who himselfe is out of tune?... Or
how can he do anything well, whose will is not obedient to reason? who
harbors in his brest needles, peace, warre, truce, love, hate, injuries
and suspicions; and all these at once, and from one and the same cause.
Doe thou therefore take this Lute unto thee, and sing me the most
doleful ditty thou canst devise.


    “Nero from Tarpey, doth behold
    How Rome doth burne all on a flame;
    He heares the cries of young and old,
    Yet is not grievéd at the same.”

_Calisto._ My fire is farre greater, and lesse her pity whom now I
speake of——

_Sempronio._ I was not deceived when I sayd, my Master had lost his

_Calisto._ Whats that (Sempronio) thou muttrest to thy selfe?

_Sempronio._ Nothing Sir, not I.

_Calisto._ Tell me what thou saidst: Be not afraid.

_Sempronio._ Marry I said, How can that fire be greater which but
tormenteth one living man, than that which burnt such a Citty as that
was, and such a multitude of men?

_Calisto._ How? I shall tell thee. Greater is that flame which lasteth
fourscore yeeres than that which endureth but one day. And greater
that fire which burneth one soule, than that which burneth an hundred
thousand bodies: See what difference there is betwixt apparencies and
existencies; betwixt painted shadowes, and lively substances.... So
great a difference is there betwixt that fire which thou speakest of
and that which burneth mee.

_Sempronio._ I see, I did not mistake my byas; which runnes worse and
worse. Is it not enough to shew thy selfe a fool, but thou must also
speake prophanely?

_Calisto._ Did I not tell thee, when thou speakest, that thou shouldest
speake aloud? Tell me what’s that thou mumblest to thy selfe.

_Sempronio._ Onely I doubted of what religion your Worship was.

_Calisto._ I am a Melibean, I adore Melibea, I believe in Melibea, and
I love Melibea.

_Sempronio._ My Master is all Melibea: whose heart not able to containe
her, like a boyling vessell, goes bubbling her name in his mouth. Well,
I have now as much as I desire: I know on which foot you halt. I shall
heale you.

_Calisto._ Thou speakest of matters beyond the Moone. It is impossible.

_Sempronio._ O Sir, exceeding easie; for the first recovery of
sicknesse, is the discovery of the disease.... Ha, ha, ha, Calisto’s fire;
these, his intolerable paines: as if love shot all his arrowes only
against him. O Cupid, how high and unsearchable are thy mysteries!
What reward has thou ordained for love, since that so necessary a
tribulation attends on lovers? That hast set his bounds, as markes for
men to wonder at: Lovers ever deeming that they only are cast behinde;
that all men breake thorow but themselves, like your light-footed
bulls, which being let loose in the Place, and galled with darts, take
over the bars as soone as they feele themselves prickt.

_Calisto._ Sempronio.

_Sempronio._ Sir.

_Calisto._ Doe not you goe away.

_Sempronio._ This pipe sounds in another tune.

_Calisto._ What dost thou think of my malady?

_Sempronio._ Why, that you love Melibea.

  “_Celestina, or the Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea._”
         The first Act is attributed to Rodrigo Cota, 1480.
        _Trans. Puede-Ser, or Mabbe._

                           _LOVE AND DEATH._

                        TAPÁROUSE EN UNA VENTA.

    Death and Cupid chanced to meet,
    On a day when they were roaming,
    At a wayside country inn,
    After sunset in the gloaming.
    Cupid he was bound for Seville,
    Death was marching to Madrid,
    Both with knapsacks on their shoulders,
    Where their wicked wares were hid.

    Seemed to me that they were fleeing
    From the clutches of the law,
    For the couple gained a living
    Dealing death on all they saw.
    Cupid slily glanced at Death,
    As they sat around the board,
    Marvelled at her ugly visage,
    Shook his merry sides and roared.

    “Madam,” quoth he, “’tis so rude
    To behave in such a way;
    But, in sooth, so fair a fright
    I’ve not seen for many a day.”
    Death, whose cheeks grew red and fiery,
    Put an arrow in her bow;
    Cupid put in his another,
    And to combat they would go.

    Quick the landlord slipped between them,
    As they scowled on one another,
    Made them swear eternal friendship,
    Bade them sit and sup together.
    In the kitchen, by the ingle,
    They were fain to lay them down,
    For no bed was in the tavern,
    And the landlord he had none.

    They their arrows, bows and quivers,
    Gave into Marina’s care,
    She, a buxom wench who waited
    On the guests that harboured there;
    On the morrow at the dawning,
    Cupid started from the floor,
    Bade the landlord fetch his arms,
    Broke his fast and paid his score.

    ’Twas the arms of Death the landlord
    In his haste to Cupid brought,
    Cupid flung them on his shoulder,
    Took the road and gave no thought.
    Death rose up a little after,
    Sour, and limp, and woe-begone,
    Took at once the arms of Cupid,
    Shouldered them, and wandered on.

    From that very day to this,
    Cupid’s shafts no more revive;
    Youths who feel his fatal arrows
    Pass not over twenty-five.
    And, ’tis stranger still, the old ones,
    Whom Death’s arrows used to slay,
    When they feel the shafts of Cupid,
    Gain a new life and a gay.

    What a world, so topsy-turvey!
    What a change in people’s lives!
    Cupid giving life destroys,
    Death destroying life revives!

                               _Trans. J. Y. Gibson._


_Leno._ Ah, Troico, are you there?

_Troico._ Yes, my good fellow, do you see I am?

_Leno._ It would be better if I did not see it.

_Troico._ Why so, Leno?

_Leno._ Why, then you would not know a piece of ill-luck that has just

_Troico._ What ill-luck?

_Leno._ What day is it to-day?

_Troico._ Thursday.

_Leno._ Thursday? How soon will Friday come, then?

_Troico._ Friday will come to-morrow.

_Leno._ Well, tha something;—but tell me, are there not other days of
ill-luck as well as Fridays?

_Troico._ Why do you ask?

_Leno._ Because there may be unlucky pancakes, if there are unlucky

_Troico._ I suppose so.

_Leno._ Now, stop there;—suppose one of yours had been eaten of a
Thursday, on whom would the ill-luck have fallen—on the pancake, or on

_Troico._ On me, of course.

_Leno._ Then, my good Troico, comfort yourself, and begin to suffer and
be patient; for men, as the saying is, are born to misfortunes, and
these are matters, in fine, that come from God; and in the order of
time you must die yourself, and, as the saying is, your last hour will
then be come and arrived. Take it, then, patiently, and remember that
we are here to-morrow and gone to-day.

_Troico._ For heaven’s sake, Leno, is anybody in the family dead? Or else
why do you console me so?

_Leno._ Would to heaven that were all, Troico!

_Troico._ Then what is it? Can’t you tell me without so many
circumlocutions? What is all this preamble about?

_Leno._ When my poor mother died, he that brought me the news, before
he told me of it, dragged me round through more turn-abouts than there
are windings in the rivers Pisuerga and Zapardiel.

_Troico._ But I have got no mother, and never knew one. I don’t know what
you mean.

_Leno._ Then smell this napkin.

_Troico._ Very well, I have smelt it.

_Leno._ What does it smell of?

_Troico._ Something like butter.

_Leno._ Then you may surely say, “Here Troy was.”

_Troico._ What do you mean, Leno?

_Leno._ For you it was given to me; for you Donna Timbria sent it, all
stuck over with nuts;—but, as I have (and Heaven and everybody else
knows it) a sort of natural relationship for whatever is good, my eyes
watched and followed her just as a hawk follows chickens.

_Troico._ Followed whom, villain? Timbria?

_Leno._ Heaven forbid! But how nicely she sent it, all made up with
butter and sugar!

_Troico._ And what was that?

_Leno._ The pancake, to be sure,—don’t you understand?

_Troico._ And who sent a pancake to me?

_Leno._ Why, Donna Timbria.

_Troico._ Then what became of it?

_Leno._ It was consumed.

_Troico._ How?

_Leno._ By looking at it?

_Troico._ Who looked at it?

_Leno._ I, by ill-luck.

_Troico._ In what fashion?

_Leno._ Why, I sat down by the wayside.

_Troico._ Well, what next?

_Leno._ I took it in my hand.

_Troico._ And then?

_Leno._ Then I tried how it tasted; and what between taking and leaving
all around the edges of it, when I tried to think what had become of
it, I found I had no sort of recollection.

_Troico._ The upshot is that you ate it?

_Leno._ It is not impossible.

_Troico._ I’ faith you are a trusty fellow!

_Leno._ Indeed! do you think so? Hereafter, if I bring two, I will eat
them both, and so be better yet.

_Troico._ The business goes on well, truly!

_Leno._ And well advised, and at small cost, and to my content. But
now, go to; suppose we have a little jest with Timbria.

_Troico._ Of what sort?

_Leno._ Suppose you make her believe you ate the pancake yourself, and,
when she thinks it is true, you and I can laugh at the trick till you
split your sides. Can you ask for anything funnier?

_Troico._ You counsel well, indeed.

_Leno._ Well, Heaven bless the men that listen to reason! But tell me,
Troico, do you think you can carry out the jest with a grave face?

_Troico._ I? What have I to laugh about?

_Leno._ Why, don’t you think it is a laughing matter to make her believe
you ate it, when all the time it was your own good Leno that did it?

_Troico._ Wisely said! But now hold your tongue, and go about your

  _Lope de Rueda._ “_Timbria_” (_fl._ 1565). _Trans. Ticknor._

                         _THE FAIR CELIBATE._

    They say, “’Tis time, go, marry! go!”
    But I’ll no husband! not I! no!

    For I would live all carelessly,
    Amidst these hills, a maiden free,
    And never ask, nor anxious be,
    Of wedded weal or woe.
    Yet still they say, “Go, marry! go!”
    But I’ll no husband! not I! no!

    So, mother, think not I shall wed,
    And through a tiresome life be led,
    Or use, in folly’s ways instead,
    What grace the heaven’s bestow—
    Yet still they say, “Go, marry! go!”
    But I’ll no husband! not I! no!

    The man has not been born, I ween,
    Who as my husband shall be seen;
    And since what frequent tricks have been
    Undoubtingly I know,—
    In vain they say, “Go, marry! go!”
    For I’ll no husband! not I! no!

                           _Gil Vicente_ (_d._ 1557). _Trans. Ticknor._

[Illustration: THE FAIR CELIBATE.]


                     _THE RUSTIC AND THE LACKEYS._

A rustic desirous to see the King, thinking he was more than man, put
his wages in his pocket and took leave of his master. But the pennies
soon melted away on the long journey to the capital. Having arrived
and seen the King, whom he found to be a man like himself, he was so
disgusted at having spent upon this all his money excepting half a
real, that a tooth began to ache, and what with hunger tormenting him
too he did not know what to do, for he said to himself, “If I have the
tooth drawn, and give my half real for that, I shall die of hunger;
while, if I eat the half real, my tooth will go on aching.” As he was
thus debating he approached a pastrycook’s stall, and gazed with longing
eyes at the tarts displayed. By chance two lackeys were passing by,
who, seeing him so taken up with the pastry, cried out, to make sport—

“Hola, rustic, how many tarts would you venture to make a meal of?”

“By heavens! I could swallow fifty.”

“Go to the devil!” said they.

“Gentlemen,” he replied, “you are easily frightened.”

Upon which they offered to lay a wager.

“Done,” said the rustic; “if I don’t eat fifty, you can draw this tooth,”
and he pointed to the one that ached.


All parties pleased, the countryman, very much to his taste, began
whetting his teeth upon the tarts. When his hunger was satisfied he
stopped, saying, “Gentlemen, I have lost.” The others, making very
merry, indulged in much laughter, bade a barber draw the tooth—though
at this our friend feigned great grief—and the more to jeer at him
cried out to the bystanders—

“Did you ever see such a fool of a clown as to lose an ivory to satiate
himself with tarts?”

“Yours is the greater folly,” retorted he; “you have satisfied my
hunger and drawn a grinder which has been aching all the morning.”

The crowd burst out laughing at the trick the rustic had played upon
the lackeys, who, paying the pastrycook and barber, turned their backs
and went away.

                         _THE CONTRARY WIFE._

A tambourinist had so contrary a wife, he never could get her to
do anything he asked. One day, on their way to a wedding, at which
he was to play, she was riding an ass and carrying his tambourine,
and he cried out, as they were fording a river, “Woman, don’t play the
tambourine, for you’ll frighten the ass.” No sooner said than she began
thrumming; the ass, shying, lost its footing, and threw our dame into
the river; while the husband, however much he wished to help her, could
do no good. Seeing she was drowned, he went up-stream in search of her

“My good fellow,” said a looker-on, “what are you seeking?”

“My wife,” replied he, “who is drowned.”

“And you are looking for her up-stream, friend?”

“Oh, yes, sir, she was always contrary.”


                        _AN AFFECTIONATE WIFE._

Matters came to such a pass between a husband and wife—who, having
married against their will, lived a cat and dog life—that the husband
one day gave his spouse a box on the ears, whereupon she, knowing he
had a few days before killed a neighbour, began, without the least
caring about the issue, to raise her voice, crying, “Seize the villain;
he wants to kill me as he did So-and-so.” Somebody heard her, and the
man was accused, and, in accordance with his own confession, condemned
to be hanged. On his way to the gallows he begged to be allowed to
speak with his wife. She came, and he stopped on the road; but the good
woman, eager to see the last of his days, cried, “Husband, why stop
still? Let us walk while we talk, and lose no time.”

                      _CHASTISE WITH GOOD WORDS._

An honest husband, so ill-starred as to have married a troublesome
widow, beat her with a light stick, whereupon she went and complained
to her kinsfolk. The latter reprehended her husband, bidding him not
treat his wife thus, but chastise her with good words. This he said he
would do, whereupon the skittish widow conducted herself much worse.
The good fellow, not to break his promise, took a cudgel, into which he
cut the _Pater Noster_ on one side, and the _Ave Maria_ on the other,
and when she misbehaved herself beat her with that. The wife renewing
her complaints, her relations came to tell him he had ill kept his
word. “Not so, friends,” replied the young man; “I have done what you
bade me, and only chastised her with good words; read what is written
on the cudgel.”


                      _THE ACCOMMODATING FARMER._

A farmer who had on his land a fig-tree, on which several poor wretches
had from time to time done away with themselves, determined to fell it
as a thing of evil omen; but before so doing sent a cryer through the
town: Should any one wish to hang himself on that fig-tree, he was to
make up his mind within three days, for it was going to be cut down.

                       _THE ACCOMMODATING LORD._

As a great lord was dining, his servants at the sideboard turning their
backs, there entered a thief, who took one of the best dishes on the
table, and, seeing the master of the house looking at him, signed to
him to keep quiet, and made off. When the dish was found missing, the
lord said, “A thief took it, I saw him do so.”

“Then why didn’t your lordship cry out?”

“Oh, he bade me be quiet.”

                        _DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND._

A chaplain devouring a fine roast pigeon at an inn was asked by a fresh
arrival to let him eat with him and he would pay his share. This was
refused, and the pedestrian sat down and ate his dry bread, saying
afterwards, “Know, reverend sir, you by tasting, and I by smelling,
have both eaten the pigeon, although against your wish.”

“If that is so, you must pay your part of the pigeon,” replied the

The chaplain insisting, the other refusing, they finally made the
village sacristan judge between them. The sacristan, asking what the
bird cost, was told half a real, and then made the pedestrian disburse
a farthing, which he took and rang on the table, saying, “Reverend sir,
inasmuch as he ate by the smell of the pigeon, consider yourself paid
by the sound of the money.”

                       _THE BEST HOUR TO DINE._

A great nobleman asked certain physicians what was the best time of the
day to dine. One replied, at ten; another, at eleven; another, at noon.
The oldest said, “My lord, the perfect hour for dining is for the rich
man when he feels inclined, for the poor man when he has something to

                     _THE BEST WIFE IN THE WORLD._

A certain Valencian dame, a very good wife, had one fault: at times she
wagged her tongue more than was needful. One evening at a ball she was
seized with faintness, and they ran for her husband, telling him his
wife had lost her speech. “Let her alone! Let her alone!” said he. “If
this lasts, she’ll be the best wife in the world!”

                            _A PIOUS WISH._

A captain, when in Flanders, being robbed of some half-boots made to
measure for his feet, which were maimed and crooked, exclaimed, upon
discovering his loss, “Please God, they may fit the rogue who stole

A country squire, who had killed a crane, bade his cook roast it. As
his master was late to dinner, the cook ate one leg, and when the bird
was sent up to table and the other leg asked for, he replied cranes
only had one leg. Out shooting cranes another day with his master, he
said, “See, sir, they only have one” (for the bird raises one when
standing). “S-s-s-s-t!” cried the Squire, and the cranes flew up,
each showing two legs. “Oh!” exclaimed the cook, “if you had said
‘S-s-s-s-t!’ to the one on the dish, he would also have brought out his
other leg.”

[Illustration: “‘s-s-s-t!’ CRIED THE SQUIRE, AND THE CRANES FLEW UP.”]

       *       *       *       *       *

An old man, jealous of his pretty young wife and a certain friend of
his, a merchant and widower, fell ill of a mortal disease. Knowing his
case was hopeless, he said to his wife, “You know, my dear, that I
cannot escape this deadly sickness; what I beg of you is, if you care
to please me, that you will not marry that friend of mine, who often
comes to the house, and of whom I have been somewhat jealous.” “Dear
husband,” replied she, “even if I wished, I could not, for I am already
engaged to somebody else.”

       *       *       *       *       *

An old bachelor, having married at seventy, was reproached by his
friends for having committed a folly, and replied they said true: Man
with years loses his prudence; when he was a young man, and had any, he
never could be induced to marry.

       *       *       *       *       *

An astrologer, whose wife was with child, cast the horoscope of the
unborn infant and discovered two sons would be born to him, and that
the first would be a cutpurse, the second a murderer. This so grieved
him that he was unable to conceal his sorrow, which being perceived
by his wife, was unburdened to her. “There is a cure for this case,”
said she. “We will make the first a purse-maker, and he will cut
purses; the second a butcher, and he can slay oxen.”

       *       *       *       *       *

A village maiden, driving before her an ass, which, as it was returning
to its foal, went quicker than the girl, met a courtier. “Where do
you live, my pretty maiden?” “At Getafe,” replied she. “Tell me, do
you know the daughter of the innkeeper in that village?” “Very well,”
replied she. “Then be so kind as to take her a kiss from me!” “Give it
to my donkey, sir; she’ll get there first.”

       *       *       *       *       *

A father sending his son to study at Salamanca, bade him eat the
cheapest food. The youth on his arrival asked the price of an ox, and
was told ten ducats; then of a partridge, and was told a real. “Oh!”
said he, “then I am bidden to eat partridges!”

       *       *       *       *       *

Two friends, a weaver and a tailor, became in time enemies, so much so
that the tailor spoke much evil of the weaver behind his back, though
the weaver always spoke well of the tailor. Upon a lady asking the
weaver why he always spoke so well of the tailor, who spoke so ill of
him, he replied: “Madam, we are both liars.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Two thieves were breaking into a door when the master of the house,
hearing them, looked out of the window and said: “Friends, come a
little later, we are not yet in bed.”


       *       *       *       *       *

A man of evil life and fame having built a beautiful house, had
inscribed on the lintel: “Let no evil cross this threshold.” A wit
reading it, said, “Then wherever does the master of the house enter?”

       *       *       *       *       *

A knight having received a dish of cherries early in the season, had
them placed before him above the dais. His children, a bastard and a
legitimate son, were seated at another table apart, and seeing they got
no cherries, the bastard up with his hand and soundly boxed his brother’s
ears. “How now, you villain,” said the father, “why did you do that?”
“Because, sir, he kept on saying, ‘You won’t get any cherries, you won’t.’”
Upon which the father, much amused, gave some to both.


       *       *       *       *       *

A prince had a jester who kept a book of fools, in which he put
everybody deserving that title. One day at table the prince asked the
jester to bring him the book, and opening it saw his own name, and
below, “His Highness, on such a day, gave fifty ducats to an alchemist
with which to go to Italy and bring back materials for making gold and
silver.” “And what if he returns?” said the Prince. “Oh, then she will
scratch out your Highness and put him in.”

       *       *       *       *       *

A collegian of the Archbishop of Seville’s college was one day at table
overlooked by the prebendary who doles out everybody’s rations. Somewhat
embarrassed as to how he should ask for his food, he suddenly observed
a cat mewing in front of him, which he addressed in a loud voice so
that the prebendary might hear, “Why the deuce are you mewing and
licking your chops at me? I have not yet got my rations, and you must
needs already begin bothering me for the bones.”

       *       *       *       *       *

A Biscayan, just finished working on the belfry in a small town,
where there chanced to be a man condemned to death, was told by
the authorities that, as they had no executioner, they would give
him a ducat and the condemned man’s clothes to do the job, with which
our Biscayan was well content. A few months after, finding himself
penniless, and remembering how much he had gained by so light a task,
he climbed the belfry, and when the townsfolk hurried by upon the
pealing of the bells, he looked down at them, saying: “Gentlemen, it
is I have called your worships. You must know I have not a blessed
farthing, and you remember you gave me a ducat the other day to hang a
man. Now I have been thinking that, from the smallest to the biggest
of your worships, I should like to hang the whole town at half a ducat

       *       *       *       *       *

A blind man hid some money at the foot of a tree in a field belonging
to a rich farmer. Visiting it one day he found it gone, and suspecting
the farmer, went to him and said, “Sir, as you seem an honest man, I
have come to ask your advice. I have a sum of money in a very safe
place, and now I have just as much more, and do not know if I should
hide it where the other is, or somewhere else.” The farmer replied,
“Truly, if I were you, I would not change the place, it being as safe
as you say.” “That’s just what I thought,” said the blind man, and took
his leave. The farmer hurriedly put back the money, hoping to get it
doubled, and the blind man in his turn dug it up, greatly rejoicing at
recovering what he had lost.

                                       _Juan de Timoneda_ (_fl._ 1590).


                         “THE BOOK OF JOKES.”

                         _TRAVELLERS’ TALES._

In Monzon de Campos a nobleman returned from India, as he was one day
relating wonders of those regions to some neighbours, told them how
he had seen a cabbage so immense that three hundred mounted men could
rest under its shade. “I don’t think much of that,” cried a servant of
the Marquess of Poza. “In Biscay I saw a cauldron so vast that two
hundred men were hammering at it, and yet stood so far from each other
that no man heard the noise of his neighbour’s hammer.” The Indian, much
surprised, inquired the use of this cauldron. “Sir, to cook the cabbage
you have just told us about.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Don Rodrigo Pimentel, Count of Benavente, was a master much feared by
his servants. One day at Benavente, as he was writing some important
despatches, certain of his pages stood round about discussing their
fear of him, and one said, “What will you give me if I go up, just as
he is now, and give him a hard smack on the back of his neck?” The
others eagerly laid a wager with him. Hereupon goes my good page as if
to see if his lord wanted anything, and gives him a sound slap, crying
“St. George!” “What’s that?” said the Count. “Sir, a large spider was
crawling down your Excellenc neck.” The Count sprang up much disturbed,
saying, “What became of it? Did you kill it?” “I knocked it down, sir,
and it’s gone away.” And his delighted comrades willingly paid the wager
he had so cleverly and boldly won.

                                _Luis de Pinedo_ (_Sixteenth Century_).


       *       *       *       *       *

A great favourite of Cardinal Loaysa came one day to speak with him on
a certain matter, arriving so early that the Cardinal was asleep. The
nobleman’s importunity was so great that the servants awoke his Eminence,
telling him who was there. The Cardinal finally ordered him to be shown
in, and learning his business, said, “My friend, I knew long ago that
you wasted your time; but that you got up so early to do so, that I did
not know.”

       *       *       *       *       *

A pupil at the grammar school of Alcalá once said to the vice-rector,
who, for the sake of economy, always made boys eat very stale bread,
“Domine, fac ut lapides isti panes fiant.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Bachelor N., at Salamanca, gave bad wine to some pupils, one of whom,
a bold fellow, tasting it, rose, and taking off his hat, said to him,
“Domine, si potest fieri, transeat a me calix iste.”

       *       *       *       *       *

In the madhouse of Toledo a madman cried out in a loud voice to some
visitors shown round, “I am the angel Gabriel, who came with the
tidings to Our Lady,” and said, “Ave Maria,” &c. Another madman near
him upon this exclaimed, “He is lying; I am God the Father and I sent
him on no such errand.”

                           TALES OF ROGUES.


“Your Worship shall understand, before all things, that my name is
Lazaro de Tormes, son of Thomas Gonzalez and Antonia Pelez, native of
Tejares, a village near Salamanca. I was born within the river called
Tormes, whereof I took my surname. My father (whom God pardon) had
the charge of a mill standing upon that river, wherein he supplied
the room of a miller about fifteen years. It fortuned on a night, my
mother being great with child was there brought to bed, and there was I
born; therefore now I may truly report the river itself to be the place
of my nativity; and after the time I came to the age of eight years,
there was laid to my father’s charge that he had shamefully cut the seams
of men’s sacks that came thither to grind; wherefore he was taken and
imprisoned, and being tormented, he confessed the whole matter, denying
nothing, wherefore he was persecuted. I trust in God he is now in
Paradise, seeing the Gospel doth say that blessed are such as confess
their faults.”

  “_Lazarillo de Tormes_,” _Hurtado de Mendoza_, 1503-1575.
                                                _Trans. David Rowland._

                   _HOW LAZARO SERVES A BLIND MAN._

I am sorry to say that I never met with so avaricious and so wicked an
old curmudgeon; he allowed me almost to die daily of hunger, without
troubling himself about my necessities; and, to say the truth, if I had
not helped myself by means of a ready wit and nimble fingers, I should
have closed my account from sheer starvation.

Notwithstanding all my master’s astuteness and cunning, I contrived so
to outwit him that generally the best half came to my share. But to
accomplish this I was obliged to tax my powers of invention to the
uttermost. The old man was accustomed to carry his bread, meat, and
other things, in a sort of linen knapsack, which was closed at the
mouth with an iron ring, and secured also by a padlock; but in adding
to his store, or taking from it, he used such vigilance that it was
almost an impossibility to cheat him of a single morsel. However, when
he had given me my pittance, which I found no difficulty in dispatching
at about two mouthfuls, and closed his budget, thinking himself
perfectly secure from depredation, I began my tactics, and by means of
a small rent, which I slyly effected in one of the seams of the bag, I
used to help myself to the choicest pieces of meat, bacon, and sausage,
taking care to close the seam according as opportunity occurred. But in
addition to this, all that I could collect together, either by fraud
or otherwise, I carried about me in half farthings; so that when the
old man was sent for to pray, and they gave him farthings (all which
passed through my hands, he being blind), I contrived to slip them into
my mouth, by which process so quick an alteration was effected that
when they reached his hands they were invariably reduced to half the
original value.

[Illustration: “I PROCURED A LARGE STRAW.”]

The cunning old fellow, however, suspected me, for he used to say,
“How the deuce is this? ever since you have been with me they give
me nothing but half-farthings, whereas before it was not an unusual
thing to be paid with halfpence, but never less than farthings. I must
be sharp with _you_, I find.” Whenever we ate, the old man took care
to keep a small jar of wine near him, which was reserved for his own
especial service, but I very soon adopted the practice of bestowing on
this favourite jar sundry loving though stolen embraces. Such pleasures
were but short-lived, for the fervency of my attachment was soon
discovered in the deficiency of the wine; and the old man afterwards,
to secure his draught, never let the jar go without tying it to him by
the handle. But I was a match for him even there; for I procured a long
straw, and, dipping it into the mouth of the jar, renewed my intimacy
with such effect that but a small share was his who came after me. The
old traitor was not long in finding me out; I think he must have heard
me drink, for he quickly changed his plan, and placed the jar between
his knees, keeping the mouth closed with his hand, and in this manner
considered himself secure from my depredations.

                                 _Hurtado de Mendoza._ _Trans. Roscoe._

                   _LAZARO IS SERVANT TO A PRIEST._

It was during this trying and afflicting time, when, seeing things
going from bad to worse, without any one to advise with, I was praying
with all Christian humility that I might be released from such misery,
that one day, when my wretched, miserable, covetous thief of a master
had gone out, an angel, in the likeness of a tinker, knocked at the
door—for I verily believe he was directed by Providence to assume that
habit and employment—and inquired whether I had anything to mend?
Suddenly a light flashed upon me, as though imparted by an invisible
and unknown power. “Uncle,” said I, “I have unfortunately lost the
key of this great chest, and sadly afraid my master will beat me; for
God’s sake, try if you can fit it, and I will reward you.” The angelic
tinker drew forth a large bunch of keys, and began to try them, while
I assisted his endeavours with my feeble prayers; when lo, and behold!
when least I thought it, the lid of the chest arose, and I almost
fancied I beheld the divine essence therein in the shape of loaves of
bread. “I have no money,” said I to my preserver, “but give me the key
and help yourself.” He took some of the whitest and best bread he could
find, and went away well pleased, though not half so well as myself. I
refrained from taking any for the present, lest the deficiency might be
noticed, and contented myself with the hope that, on seeing so much in
my power, hunger would hardly dare to approach me.


My wretched master returned, and it pleased God that the offering my
angel had been pleased to accept remained undiscovered by him. The
next day, when he went out, I went to my farinaceous paradise, and,
taking a loaf between my hands and teeth, in a twinkling it became
invisible; then, not forgetting to lock the treasure, I capered about
the house for joy to think that my miserable life was about to change,
and for some days following I was as happy as a king. But it was not
predestined for me that such good luck should continue long; on the
third day symptoms of my old complaint began to show themselves, for
I beheld my murderer in the act of examining our chest, turning and
counting the loaves over and over again. Of course I dissimulated my
terror, but it was not for want of my prayers and invocations that he
was not struck stone-blind like my old master, but he retained his

After he had been some time considering and counting, he said, “If I
were not well assured of the security of this chest, I should say that
somebody had stolen my bread; but, however, to remove all suspicion,
from this day I shall count the loaves; there remain now exactly nine
and a piece.”

“May nine curses light upon you, you miserable beggar,” said I to
myself, for his words went like an arrow to my heart, and hunger
already began to attack me, seeing a return to my former scanty fare
now inevitable.

No sooner did the priest go out than I opened the chest to console
myself even with the sight of food, and as I gazed on the nice white
loaves a sort of adoration arose within me, which the sight of such
tempting morsels could alone inspire. I counted them carefully to see
if, perchance, the curmudgeon had mistaken the number; but, alas! I
found he was a much better reckoner than I could have desired. The
utmost I dared do was to bestow on these objects of my affection a
thousand kisses, and, in the most delicate manner possible, to nibble
here and there a morsel of the crust. With this I passed the day, and
not quite so jovially as the former, you may suppose.

But as hunger increased, and more so in proportion as I had fared
better the few days previously, I was reduced to the last extremity.
Yet all I could do was to open and shut the chest and contemplate the
divine image within. Providence, however, who does not neglect mortals
in such an extreme crisis, suggested to me a slight palliation of my
present distress. After some consideration, I said within myself, “This
chest is very large and old, and in some parts, though very slightly,
is broken. It is not impossible to suppose that rats may have made an
entrance and gnawed the bread. To take a whole loaf would not be wise,
seeing that it would be missed by my most liberal master, but the other
plan he shall certainly have the benefit of.” Then I began to pick the
loaves on some tablecloths which were there, not of the most costly
sort, taking one loaf and leaving another, so that in the end I made
up a tolerable supply of crumbs, which I ate like so many sugar-plums;
and with that I in some measure consoled myself and contrived to live.

The priest, when he came home to dinner and opened the chest, beheld
with dismay the havoc made in his store; but he immediately supposed
it to have been occasioned by rats, so well had I imitated the style
of those depredators. He examined the chest narrowly, and discovered
the little holes through which the rats might have entered, and calling
me, he said, “Lazaro, look what havoc has been made in our bread during
the night.” I seemed very much astonished, and asked “what it could
possibly be?” “What has done it?” quoth he; “why, rats; confound ‘em,
there is no keeping anything from them.” I fared well at dinner, and
had no reason to repent of the trick I played, for he pared off all the
places which he supposed the rats had nibbled at, and, giving them to
me, he said, “There, eat that; rats are very clean animals.” In this
manner, adding what I thus gained to that acquired by the labour of my
hands, or rather my nails, I managed tolerably well, though I little
expected it. I was destined to receive another shock when I beheld my
miserable tormentor carefully stopping up all the holes in the chest
with small pieces of wood, which he nailed over them, and which bade
defiance to further depredations. “Oh, Lord!” I cried involuntarily,
“to what distress and misfortunes are we unhappy mortals reduced, and
how short-lived are the pleasures of this our transitory existence.
No sooner did I draw some little relief from the measure which kind
fortune suggested, than it is snatched away; and this last act is like
closing the door of consolation against me, and opening that of my

It was thus I gave vent to my distress, while the careful workman, with
abundance of wood and nails, was finishing his cruel job, saying with
great glee. “Now, you rascals of rats, we will change sides, if you
please, for your future reception in this house will be right little

The moment he left the house I went to examine his work, and found he
had not left a single hole unstopped by which even a mosquito could
enter. I opened the chest, though without deriving the smallest benefit
from its contents; my key was now utterly useless; but as I gazed with
longing eyes on the two or three loaves which my master believed to be
bitten by the rats, I could not resist the temptation of nibbling a
morsel more, though touching them in the lightest possible manner, like
an experienced swordsman in a friendly assault.

Necessity is a great master, and being in this strait, I passed night
and day in devising means to get out of it. All the rascally plans
that could enter the mind of man did hunger suggest to me, for it is a
saying, and a true one, as I can testify, that hunger makes rogues, and
abundance fools. One night, when my master slept, of which disposition
he always gave sonorous testimony, as I was revolving in my mind the
best mode of renewing my intimacy with the contents of the chest, a
thought struck me, which I forthwith put in execution. I arose very
quietly, and, taking an old knife which, having some little glimmering
of the same idea the day previous, I had left for an occasion of this
nature, I repaired to the chest, and at the part which I considered
least guarded I began to bore a hole. The antiquity of the chest
seconded my endeavours, for the wood had become rotten from age, and
easily yielded to the knife, so that in a short time I managed to
display a hole of very respectable dimensions. I then opened the chest
very gently, and, taking out the bread, I treated it much in the same
manner as heretofore, and then returned safe to my mattress.

The next day my worthy master soon spied my handiwork, as well as the
deficiency in his bread, and began by wishing the rats at the devil.
“What can it mean?” said he; “during all the time I have been here
there have never been rats in the house before.” And he might say so
with truth; if ever a house in the kingdom deserved to be free from
rats, it was his, as they are seldom known to visit where there is
nothing to eat. He began again with nails and wood, but when night
came, and he slept, I resumed my operations, and rendered nugatory all
his ingenuity.

In this manner we went on; the moment he shut one door, I opened
another; like the web of Penelope, what he spun by day I unravelled
by night, and in the course of a few nights the old chest was so
maltreated that little remained of the original that was not covered
with pieces and nailing. When the unhappy priest found his mechanical
ability of no avail, he said, “Really, this chest is in such a state,
and the wood is so old and rotten, that the rats make nothing of it.
The best plan I can think of, since what we have done is of no use, is
to arm ourselves within against these cursed rats.” He then borrowed a
rat-trap, and baiting it with bits of cheese which he begged from the
neighbours, set it under the chest. This was a piece of singular good
fortune for me, for although my hunger needed no sauce, yet I did not
nibble the bread at night with less relish because I added thereto the
bait from the rat-trap. When in the morning he found not only the bread
gone as usual, but the bait likewise vanished, and the trap without a
tenant, he grew almost beside himself. He ran to the neighbours and
asked of them what animal it could possibly be that could positively
eat the very cheese out of the trap, and yet escape untouched. The
neighbours agreed that it could be no rat that could thus eat the bait,
and not remain within the trap, and one more cunning than the rest
observed, “I remember once seeing a snake about your premises, and
depend on it that is the animal which has done you this mischief, for
it could easily pick the bait from the trap without entering entirely,
and thus too it might easily escape.” The rest all agreed that such
must be the fact, which alarmed my master a good deal.

He now slept not near so soundly as before, and at every little noise,
thinking it was the snake biting the chest, he would get up, and
taking a cudgel which he kept at his bed’s head for the purpose, began to
belabour the poor chest with all his might, so that the noise might
frighten the reptile from his unthrifty proceedings. He even awoke the
neighbours with such prodigious clamour, and I could not get a single
minute’s rest. He turned me out of bed, and looked amongst the straw, and
about the blanket, to see if the creature was concealed anywhere; for,
as he observed, at night they seek warm places, and not unfrequently
injure people by biting them in bed. When he came I always pretended
to be very heavy with sleep, and he would say to me in the morning,
“Did you hear nothing last night, boy? The snake was about, and I think
I heard him at your bed, for they are very cold creatures, and love
warmth.” “I hope to God he will not bite me,” returned I, “for I am
very much afraid.” He was so watchful at night that, by my faith, the
snake could not continue his operations as usual, but in the morning,
when the priest was at church, he resumed them pretty steadily as usual.

Looking with dismay at the damage done to his store, and the little
redress he was likely to have for it, the poor priest became quite
uneasy from fretting, and wandered about all night like a hobgoblin. I
began very much to fear that, during one of these fits of watchfulness,
he might discover my key, which I placed for security under the
straw of my bed. I therefore, with a caution peculiar to my nature,
determined in future to keep this treasure by night safe in my mouth;
and this was an ancient custom of mine, for during the time I lived
with the blind man my mouth was my purse, in which I could retain ten
or twelve maravedies in farthings, without the slightest inconvenience
in any way. Indeed, had I not possessed this faculty, I should never
have had a single farthing of my own, for I had neither pocket nor
bag that the old man did not continually search. Every night I slept
with the key in my mouth without fear of discovery; but, alas! when
misfortune is our lot, ingenuity can be of little avail.

It was decreed, by my evil destiny, or rather, I ought to say, as a
punishment for my evil doings, that one night, when I was fast asleep,
my mouth being somewhat open, the key became placed in such a position
therein that my breath came in contact with the hollow of the key,
and caused—the worst luck for me!—a loud whistling noise. On this
my watchful master pricked up his ears, and thought it must be the
hissing of the snake which had done him all the damage, and certainly
he was not altogether wrong in his conjectures. He arose very quietly,
with his club in his hand, and stealing towards the place whence the
hissing sound proceeded, thinking at once to put an end to his enemy,
he lifted his club, and with all his force discharged such a blow on my
unfortunate head that it needed not another to deprive me of all sense
and motion. The moment the blow was delivered he felt it was no snake
that had received it, and, guessing what he had done, called out to me
in a loud voice, endeavouring to recall me to my senses. Then, touching
me with his hands, he felt the blood, which was by this time in great
profusion about my face, and ran quickly to procure a light. On his
return he found me moaning, yet still holding the key in my mouth, and
partly visible, being in the same situation which caused the whistling
noise he had mistaken for the snake. Without thinking much of me, the
attention of the slayer of snakes was attracted by the appearance of
the key, and drawing it from my mouth, he soon discovered what it was,
for of course the wards were precisely similar to his own. He ran to
prove it, and with that at once found out the extent of my ingenuity.

“Thank God,” exclaimed this cruel snake hunter, “that the rats and the
snakes which have so long made war upon me, and devoured my substance,
are both at last discovered.”

Of what passed for three days afterwards I can give no account, but
that which I have related I heard my master recount to those who came
there to see me. At the end, however, of the third day I began to have
some consciousness of what was passing around me, and found myself
extended on my straw, my head bound up and covered with ointment and

“What is the meaning of all this?” I cried in extreme alarm. The
heartless priest replied, “I have only been hunting the rats and the
snakes, which have almost ruined me.” Seeing the condition in which I
was, I then guessed what had happened to me. At this time an old nurse
entered, with some of the neighbours, who dressed the wounds on my
head, which had assumed a favourable appearance; and as they found my
senses were restored to me, they anticipated but little danger, and
began to amuse themselves with my exploits, while I, unhappy sinner,
could only deplore their effects.

With all this, however, they gave me something to eat, for I was almost
dying with hunger, and at the end of fourteen or fifteen days I was
able to rise from my bed without danger, though not even then without
hunger, and only half cured. The day after I got up my worthy and truly
respectable master took my hand, and, opening the door, put me into
the street, saying, “Lazaro, from this day look out for yourself; seek
another master, and fare you well. No one will ever doubt that you have
served a blind man, but for me, I do not require so diligent nor so
clever a servant.” Then shaking me off, as though I was in league with
the Evil One, he went back into his house and shut the door.

                            _Hurtado de Mendoza._      _Trans. Roscoe._

                 FIRMA, OR MARK, AND THE REASON WHY._

It was my hap one day to bear in my basket, which I brought from the
Shambles, a quarter of Mutton, for a certain Hosier, or Gentleman
Tailor. I had by chance at that time about me, certain old Coplas, or
Ballads, which in a kind of broken tune still, as I read this or t’other
line, I fell a-singing, as I went along. My good Master having (as it
should seem) listened unto me, looked back on the sudden, and smiling,

“How now, my tattered Rascal, a pox take you for a ragga-muffin. Can
you read, you Rogue?”

“Yes, marry, can I, Sir,” quoth I. “I thank God I can read reasonable
well, but my writing is better than my reading.”

“Sayst thou so, Boy?”

And with that he entreated me, that I would teach him to write his
name, or to make some mark that might serve for a subscription, or
undersigning. He cared not which, for either would serve his turn.

“I pray, Sir,” said I, “what good can this do you? What can you benefit
yourself, by having learnt to make a bare mark and no more? Methinks
you should have no great use for that alone, unless you could write

“Yes, marry, have I, Sir,” quoth he, “for I have much work goes
through these hands, of such and such great men, I make all the
clothes their children wear” (and there, by the way, he reckons me up
a beadroll of these and these Lords) “and therefore I would very fain,
if I knew how, learn to write my Name, or to make my Mark, that if
occasion were offered I might not be taken for an Ass, and say like
a fool as I am when I am called to subscribe, ‘Indeed, Sir, you must
pardon me, I cannot write.’”

And so this business broke off as abruptly, as it began. And I making a
large soliloquium, and meditation to myself, went on.

  “_Guzman d’Alfarache_,” _Mateo Aleman_ (_fl. 1609_).
                                                        _Trans. Mabbe._


 (In Spain your physician’s fee is ordinarily two shillings; the better
 sort give four shillings; and the best seldom above a crown.)

Now methought I saw Heaven opened, and my honest Carrier appearing unto
me in the shape of an Angel. His face was as joyful unto me, as that of
the desired Physician is to him that is afflicted with sickness. I say,
desired; because (as perhaps you may have heard) a Physician hath three
faces: Of a man, when we see him, and have no need of him: of an angel
when we are sick, and cannot be without him: and of a Devil, when at
one and the self-same time our sickness, and our purse ends together,
and yet for his private interest and to gain a fee, he follows us with
daily visits. As it happened to a Gentleman in Madrid, who having sent
for a physician, for a certain infirmity, wherewithal he was troubled,
every visit that he made, gave him a crown. The humour ceased; but his
physician was not in the humour to cease from coming unto him.

Now the Gentleman, when he saw that he was thorough well, and that his
Physician did still continue his visits, he got him up one morning very
early and went to Church.

Now, when the Physician came to visit him, and found him not at home,
he asked his servant whither he was gone. He (like a fool as he was),
for there are Servants still enow for their masters’ hurt, but few
for their profit, told him, that he was gone forth to Mass to such a
Church. My nimble Doctor, putting spurs to his Mule for to make the
more haste, went with all speed to the said Church, and, searching for
him, at last he found him; and then said unto him—

“What in God’s name, Sir, do you mean to commit so great an excess, as to
go abroad without my leave?”

The Gentleman, who knew well enough what he came for, and seeing that
now he had no more need of him, put his hand in his pocket, took out
his purse, drew forth a crown, and putting it in his hand, told him,
“Here, take it, master Doctor; for by the faith of a Gentleman, I now
perceive even this sacred place cannot privilege me from you.”

                                   _Mateo Aleman._      _Trans. Mabbe._

                         HIS VISIT TO GAETA._

In the evenings we used to assemble, some ten or twelve of us, and
amused ourselves with discussing the different kind of new exclamations
we had hit upon, to rouse public sympathy in our behalf. Such was the
skill of a few, that they had invented forms of benediction from which
they derived considerable profit by the sale of them to other less
ingenious heads than their own; so great was their novelty and efficacy
with all classes.

On every festival we went early in the morning to church, where plenary
indulgence was always granted us. We placed ourselves in the most
convenient stations; we continued there the whole morning; and towards
evening we issued forth into the neighbouring villages, calling at the
country seats and farmhouses on our road. From these we usually brought
away some slices of bacon, bread and cheese, eggs, and sometimes old
clothes and other articles; so successfully did we work upon the
charity of the good people. Did a person above the common rank happen
to make his appearance, we instantly united in setting up a loud
lamentation, even at a distance, giving him time to put his hand into
his pocket, and vociferating louder and louder the nearer he came, so
as to compel him in a manner to be charitable.

If we met a number of good citizens together, and had leisure to
prepare to accost them in due form, each played his own part—one
the _blind_, another the _halt_, a third the _dumb_, a fourth the
_paralytic_, a fifth the _idiotic_, and some with crutches, making
altogether a complication of human misery and distortion, which, with
the most able at our head, was sure to penetrate into the pockets even
of the callous. Could you but have heard the concord of sweet sounds we
made at the crisis that decided the balance in our favour! We beseeched
the Lord to bless them with lovely children—to return their bounty a
hundred fold—and long to preserve their precious health. Not a party of
pleasure could be got up, not a single festival pass, but we had some
share in it; so that however much others expended we gained by them;
and so acute was our scent that we could smell the preparation for them
at an enormous distance.

In the same way the mansions of the cardinals, the bishops, and
ambassadors, with all kind of open houses, were successfully besieged
and occupied by us. Thus we might truly be said to possess all,
levying as we did a tax upon all, though really having nothing. I know
not how my comrades felt inclined on receiving charity from the hands
of a pretty lady; but for my part, miserable sinner, when I accosted
a young creature, enchanting both in face and figure, I looked her
steadily in the face while I asked with my eyes fixed upon hers. If she
gave me anything, I caught her hand, pressed it affectionately, and
imprinted upon it a kiss in the fervour of my gratitude, before she had
time to withdraw it. Yet so respectfully, or rather, hypocritically,
was this done, that the lady, not being previously alarmed, took the
whole in good part, as a transport of grateful joy.

What are called the pleasures of life—erroneously supposed to be
monopolised by the great and the wealthy of this best of worlds—are,
in fact, the chief property of us mendicants, who feel no drawback,
but taste their flavour with a double relish, without a tithe of their
anxiety and trouble to obtain them. Had the happy fellows no other
privilege than that of asking freely, and receiving without the least
touch of shame or pain, it is such a one as the rest of mankind cannot
boast; if we only except monarchs and their royal families, who,
without a blush, can demand what they please from their good people,
while the sole difference between them and other beggars is, that they
always wring out silver and gold even from the poorest people, while
we require nothing but a mere trifle from the most proud and wealthy.
There is no condition, therefore, more happy and respectable than that
of the mendicant, but all do not know their own happiness—“beati si sua
bona norint.”

The most part of us—wholly sunk in the enjoyment of mere animal life;
insensible of the true pleasure of living independently, free from
strife, from all speculative losses, all intrigues of State, eternal
business; in short, from the infernal embarrassment in which the great
are involved—to the day of their death have the folly to envy what they
ought to avoid. The first man who embraced our kind of life must, from
his very nature, have been much better than the great—I mean a great

I had been led to think that this noble fraternity was safe from
the usual shocks of fortune, but the malicious goddess made
them occasionally feel the effects of her ire—throwing little
stumbling-blocks in their way, much like the one I broke my shins
over, when on a visit at Gaeta, whither I had gone out of curiosity,
and in the idea that a man already able in the profession would only
need to enter the town to feel a revivifying shower of alms poured
upon him from all sides. No sooner was I there than, having assumed a
new complexion, I placed myself at the entrance into a church. As luck
would have it, the governor of the place was then passing, and, after
looking at me very earnestly for a few moments, he gave me alms. A
number of the natives immediately followed his example, and it acted
as a continued benediction for me during more than a week; but there
is a medium in all things, and I did not observe the golden rule. On
the next festival, my complexion appearing no longer ingenious enough,
I changed it for a huge ulcer on my leg, and for this purpose I put in
practice one of the choicest secrets of my craft.

After having put my leg into an elegant case, I took an advantageous
station at the entrance to a well-frequented church. There, setting
up a sorrowful howl, caused by the new pain I felt from the ulcer, I
caught the eye of almost every one that passed. I thought I excited
the compassion of all who looked on me, but unluckily my rubicund
complexion, which I had neglected to sicken over with white, seemed to
give the lie to my lamentations, and might well excite suspicion; but
good people are not over suspicious, and I heard the golden shower
dropping sweetly and plentifully as they went into the house of prayer.
In short, I got more than all the rest of my brethren put together, and
they wished me at the devil, with my ulcer, that brought the capital
into one bank.

As the stars at last would have it, there came the governor to hear
mass at this very church—surely for my sins—and he recognised my
voice in a moment, surveying me intently from head to foot. Yes, it
was my voice, for elsewhere I was impenetrable; my whole person being
disguised in the most effectual manner, with a huge napkin round my
head, reaching down to my nose. Alas! he was a man of strong natural
penetration, and suspicious as the devil; for, as he fixed me with his
eyes, he seemed to be saying within himself, “For these several days
past I have heard, I have seen, this odd-looking fish; is it possible
he has got so dreadful an ulcer—all at once? Let us examine a little
farther.” “Friend,” he observed, “you seem in a sad plight; your case
truly deserves compassion; come, follow me, I will at least give you a
shirt to your back.”

I had the indiscretion to obey, for I suspected nothing. Had I so done,
spite of all the people at his heels, I vow I would have given him the
slip, and saved my unfortunate carcase. He had no sooner got me safely
housed than he assumed a cold and severe aspect, from which I augured
nothing pleasant. He then asked me sharply if I were not the person he
had seen at the door of a church, with a complexion as pale as death.
I grew pale enough indeed at this, and lost all presence of mind; I
could not deny it: and when he asked me how I had got so speedily cured
of my scalded head and other infirmities I was still more puzzled than
before. “Besides,” he continued, “I cannot comprehend how, with that
ruddy complexion of thine, thou hast got such a terrible ulcer in
the leg.” “My lord,” replied I, quite disconcerted, and trembling in
every limb, “I know not how it is, except that it is the will of God.”


But what was my anxiety when I heard the governor direct one of his
messengers to go and call in a surgeon. I saw what was coming, and
would have made an attempt to save myself had not the doors been
already closed upon me. Not a chance was left me; the dreaded surgeon
came, he examined my leg; but with all his ability and experience, he
would perhaps have been deceived had not the cruel governor privately
communicated the reasons he had to believe me an impostor. Of course,
he had little merit after that of probing the thing to the bottom;
he unbundled it all anew, and putting on a knowing face: “I verily
believe,” he said, “the rogue has nothing amiss with his leg, any more
than I have with my eyes; I see through it; bring me some warm water;”
which being done, he proceeded to restore it to its natural form and
colour. I had not a word to say in my defence, and held my tongue.

The governor then ordered me to be presented with a shirt, as he
had promised, and this was nothing but a most severe flagellation,
administered by a stout fellow, who laid on, at the governor’s special
order, with right good will on my bare carcase. After thirty lashes he
stopped; I was dressed by the same surgeon, and told to take myself
off, spite of my smarting, at double quick time, under a more terrible
penalty were I again found in the same territories. This advice was
quite superfluous. I hastened from the accursed spot, shrugging up
my shoulders, and marched as quickly as possible to reach the milder
government of the Pope. I uttered a thousand benedictions at the sight
of my well-loved Rome once more; I wept for joy as I entered it, and
wished that I had arms long enough to embrace it with the devoted love
of some returning prodigal son or happy pilgrim.

I rejoined my comrades, and took care not to say a word of the new
marks of honour I had brought back with me; there would have been no
end to their raillery, and I should never have heard the last of it.
I merely said I had been making a little excursion to the adjacent
villages, but, with the exception of Rome, there was no place on which
our profession could fairly rely, either for profit or safety. I had
indeed been a great ass to leave such a city at all.

                                 _Mateo Aleman._       _Trans. Roscoe._

                          PLAYED AT ALCALA._

When you are at Rome, do as they do at Rome, says the old proverb; and
it is well said. I took it so seriously into consideration, that I
fully resolved to play the knave among knaves, and to excel them all if
possible. I know not whether I succeeded to my wish, but I am sure I
used all my endeavours. In the first place, I made a law that it should
be no less than death for any pigs to cross the threshold of our house,
or for any of the old housekeeper’s chickens to run out of the yard into
our room. It happened that one day two of the cleverest porkers that
ever my eyes beheld slipped into our dominions; I was then at play
with the other servants, and hearing them grunt, said to one of my
companions, “Go see who it is that grunts in our house;” he went, and
brought word they were actually two swine.

No sooner did I hear, then off I set in a passion, exclaiming—“It was a
great deal of impudence in them to grunt in other people’s houses.” Then
slamming to the door, in a sudden heat of blood, I ran my sword into
the throats of them both, and we afterwards cut off their heads. To
prevent their cries for rescue, we all set up our voices to the highest
pitch during the operation, and between us they soon gave up the ghost.
We next paunched them, saved the blood, and by the help of our straw
bed half roasted them in the yard, so that all was over before our
masters came home, except the mere making of the black puddings. Don
Diego and our steward were informed of this exploit, and flew into such
a passion, that the other lodgers, highly amused, were fain to take my

The don asked me what I should say for myself when the affair should be
found out. I replied that I would plead hunger, the common sanctuary
of all scholars; and if that was not enough, I would urge that, seeing
them come into the house without knocking, just as if they had been at
home, I really thought that they were ours. They all laughed, and Don
Diego said, “By my faith, Paul, you begin to understand the trade.”
It was well worth observing the difference between my master and me;
he so sober and religious, I so arch and roguish, so that the one was
a foil to the other, and served to set off either his virtue or his
vice. Our old housekeeper was pleased to the very heart, for we both
played our parts, and conspired against the larder. I was caterer, and
a mere Judas in my employment, ever since retaining an inclination for
cribbing and stealing. The meat always wasted in the old woman’s keeping,
and she never dressed wedder mutton when she could get ewe or goat.
Besides, she picked the flesh off the bones before she boiled them, so
that the dishes she served up looked as if the cattle had all died of
a consumption. The broth was so clear, that had it been as hard as the
bones, it might have passed for crystal; but when she wanted to make it
seem a little fat, she clapped in a few candles’ ends. When I was by,
she would say to my master, “In truth, sir, Paul is the best servant
in Spain, bating his unluckiness, but that may well enough be borne
with, because he is so honest.” I gave her the same character, and so
we put upon the whole house between us.

When I bought anything at market for the real value, the old body would
pretend to fall out and quarrel; and she, seeming to be in a passion,
would say, “Do not tell me, Paul, that this is a pennyworth of salad.”
At this I pretended to cry and make a great noise, beseeching my master
that he would please to send the steward, that he might prove the base
calumny of the scolding old woman. By such simple means did we both
retain our character for honesty; she appearing to look sharp after
me, and I always being found out to be trustworthy. Don Diego, highly
pleased, would often say, “Would to God, Paul were as virtuous in other
ways as he is honest; I see, my good woman, he is even better than you
represent him.” It was thus we had leisure and opportunity to feast on
them like horse-leeches.

If you ask how much we might cheat them of in the year’s round, I can only
say it amounted to a considerable sum; yet the old woman never missed
going to church daily, nor did I perceive any scruple of conscience she
made of it, though she was so great a saint. She always wore a pair of
beads about her neck, so big, that the wood of them might have served
to roast a sirloin of beef. It was all hung with medals, crosses,
pictures, and other trinkets, on all which, she said, she prayed every
night for her benefactors. She would pray longer than any fanatical
preacher, always in dog Latin, the sound of which almost made us split
our sides with laughter.

The old woman kept fowls, and had about a dozen fine grown chickens,
which made my mouth water, for they were fit for any gentleman’s table.
It happened one day, going to feed them, she called, as is the custom
in Spain, very loud: “Pio, Pio, Pio.” She repeated it so often, that I
cried out in a pretended rage—

“’Fore God! nurse, I wish I had seen you kill a man, or clip and coin,
for then I might have kept your counsel; but now I must be forced to
discover you. The Lord have mercy upon us both, I say.”

She, seeing me in such disorder, was somewhat alarmed: “Why, Paul,” she
said, “what have I done? pray do not jest with me.”

“Jest with you, forsooth, a curse on your iniquity! I cannot avoid
giving information to the Inquisition, or I shall be excommunicated.”

“Oh Lord! the Inquisition; have I committed any crime, then?”

“Have you _not_?” I answered; “don’t think to trifle with the Inquisitors;
own you are in the wrong; eat your own words as fast as you can, and
deny not the blasphemy and irreverence.”

She replied in great consternation: “But, Paul, will they punish me if
I recant?”

“No,” I replied, “they will then only absolve you.”

“Then I recant,” said she; “only tell me what it is I have to recant;
for I know nothing of it, as I hope for mercy.”

“Bless me,” replied I; “is it possible you should be so dull? the
irreverence was so great I hardly know how to express it. Wretch as
you are, did you not call the chickens, Pio, Pio; and Pius is the name
of several Popes, who are Christ’s vicars upon earth, and heads of the
church. Now do you consider whether that be any trifling sin?”

She stood as if she had been thunderstruck, and after a while cried:
“’Tis true, I said so, Paul; but may I be burnt if I did it with any
ill design. I recant—I do, indeed; and try to find some way not to
inform of me; for I shall die if they get me into the Inquisition.”

“Provided you take your oath on the holy altar that you meant it not
for blasphemy; but then you must give me the two chickens you called
in that unsanctified way, by the names of the Popes, that they may be
burnt by the officers of the Inquisition. This you must do now, or I
shall otherwise be compelled to lay an information against you as quick
as possible.”

She was glad to escape so easily, and instantly consented, giving me
three instead of two, which I took to a neighbouring cook, had them
dressed, and ate with my companions. Don Diego came to hear of the
trick, and made excellent sport of it in the family. The old woman had
nearly fretted herself to death for mere vexation, and was a thousand
times in the mind of taking revenge, and discovering all my schemes.
She was, however, too deeply implicated; and having once quarrelled
with me, there was no end to the tricks I played her. In short, I
became a great authority in all that the scholars called snatching and
shop-lifting, at which I had many pleasant adventures.

One evening, about nine o’clock, as I was passing through the great
street, I spied a confectioner’s shop open, and in it a frail of raisins
upon the counter. I whipped in, took hold of it, and set a-running;
the confectioner scoured after me, and so did several neighbours and
servants. Being loaded, I perceived that, though I had the start, they
would overtake me, and so, turning the corner of a street, I clapped
the frail upon the ground and sat down upon it, and wrapping my cloak
about my leg, began to cry out, “God forgive him, he has trod upon me
and crippled me.” When they came up I began to cry, “For God’s sake, pity
the lame; I pray God you may never be lame!”


“Friend!” they exclaimed, “did you see a man run this way?”

“He is before you,” was my answer, “for he trod upon me.”

I boasted of this exploit, and with some reason: I even invited them
to come and see me steal a box of sweetmeats another night. They came,
and observing that all the boxes were so far within the shop, that
there was no reaching them, they concluded the thing was impracticable.
Drawing my sword, however, about a dozen paces from the shop, I ran on,
and crying out at the door, “You are a dead man!” I made a strong pass
just before the confectioner’s breast, who dropped down calling for help;
and my sword running clean through a box of sweetmeats, I drew it, box
and all, and took to my heels. They were all amazed at the contrivance,
and ready to burst with laughing on hearing him bid the people search
him, for that he was badly wounded; even when he found out the cheat he
continued to bless himself, while I was employed in eating the fruits
of my exploit. My comrades used to say that I could easily maintain my
family upon nothing; as much as to say, by my wits and sleight-of-hand.
This had the effect of encouraging me to commit more. I used to bring
home my girdle, hung all round with little pitchers, which I stole from
nuns, begging some water to drink of them; and when they turned it out
in their wheel, I went off with the mugs, they being shut up and not
able to help themselves.

  “_Paul, the Spanish Sharper._” _Quevedo_ (1580-1645).
                                                       _Trans. Roscoe._


When I had been there five weeks, to reward my good service, I was
prefe to be under-sweeper below stairs. Thus men rise who behave
themselves well in their employment, and are careful to please their
superiors. I was barefoot, half-naked, and as black as a collier, when
I entered upon my new charge, where I fared not so well as in the
kitchen; for places of honour are not often so profitable as those
of less reputation, and nothing could stick to me but the dust of
the house, whereas before I never wanted a sop in the pan, or other

[Illustration: “I CAME TO THE SEASHORE.”]

But Fortune so ordered it that the Cardinal’s servants undertook to act
a play on his Eminency’s birthday; and in distributing the parts, they
pitched upon me to represent a young King of Leon, either because I
was young, or for being descended from the renowned Fernan Gonzales,
who, as I said before, was my progenitor, and Earl of Castile, before
there were kings of that country. I took care to learn my part, and
persuaded him that took the management of it to give me half a pound of
raisins and a couple of oranges every day, that I might eat a little
collation at night, and rub my temples with the orange-peels in the
morning fasting, telling him that would help my memory, which was very
weak, else I should never get it by heart, tho’ the whole was not
above twenty lines; and assuring him I had seen this done by the most
celebrated comedians in Spain, when they acted the greatest parts.
When the day of the solemnity came, a stately theatre was erected in
the largest room in the palace, making a wood of green boughs at the
end next the attiring room, where I was to lye asleep, and Moors to
come and carry me away captive. My lord, the Cardinal, invited all
the men of quality and ladies of the court to this diversion. Our
Merry-Andrew actors dressed themselves like so many Jack-Puddings, and
all the palace was richly hung and adorned. They put me on a very fine
cloth suit, half cover’d with rich silver loops, and laced down the seams,
which was as good as giving me wings to take my flight and be gone.
Seeing myself in such equipage as I had never known before, I thought
not fit to return to my rags again, but resolv’d to shift for myself.
The play began at three in the afternoon, the audience consisting of
all the flower of the city. The manager of the representation was so
active and watchful, because he had hir’d my clothes, and was bound to see
them forthcoming, that he never suffered me to go out of his sight.
But when they came to that part where I was to appear as if I had been
hunting, and then to lye down in the wood, pretending weariness and
sleep; I repeated a few verses, and those who came out with me upon
the stage having left me, I turn’d into that green copse, where it cannot
be said I was taken napping, for going in at one end I follow’d a narrow
path that was left among the boughs, to the other end of the theatre,
whence I slipped down, and going along under it to the door of that
great hall, bid those who stood about it, make way, for I was going
to shift my clothes. Upon this they all let me pass, I made but two
steps down the stairs, and flew along the streets like an arrow out
of a bow, till I came to the sea-shore, whither I had steer’d my course,
in hopes of some conveniency to carry me off. I was told afterwards
when I returned to Palermo, that at the time when I quitted the stage,
there came out half-a-dozen Christian Moors, well stuff’d with gammon of
bacon, and encouraged with rich wine; who coming to the wood to seize
their prize, thinking I had been there, cry’d out with loud voice: “Young
Christian King, appear!” To which I supposing them to be my servants,
was to answer, “Is it time to move?” I being then too far on my way,
not for fear of being made a slave among infidels, but rather of being
stripped of my fine clothes, could not play my part, or answer to the
Moors, because I was a mile off, driving a bargain with Christians.
The prompter perceiving I did not answer, was very diligent, repeating
what I was to say, as believing I had forgot myself, tho’ he was much
mistaken, for I had all my business fresh in my head. The Moors being
tired with expectation, and concluding I had really fallen asleep, when
I ought only to counterfeit, went into the imaginary wood, and found no
footsteps of a King. They were all amazed, there was no proceeding on
the play; some ran about calling upon me, and others went to enquire
after my Majesty, whilst he, who had engag’d for my clothes, tore his
hair for vexation, and offer’d vows to Heaven in case I were found, and
he escaped that shipwreck. They told the Cardinal I was fled, who
answered, I was much in the right to make my escape from the enemies
of the Christian religion, and not suffer myself to be made prisoner
by them. That, without doubt, I was gone back to the city of Leon,
where I kept my court, whence it was likely I would take care to return
the clothes; but in the meanwhile, he would pay the value, so that
they need not take the trouble of sending after me, for he would not
disoblige so great a prince, especially on his birthday. He ordered my
part should be read, and the rest of the play acted; which was done
accordingly, to the great satisfaction of the audience, and no less of
the manager, having such good security for his clothes.

  “_The Life of Estebanillo Gonzalez_” (_written by himself
  in 1646_).      _Trans. Captain John Stevens._


_Which treats of the condition and way of life of the famous gentleman,
                      Don Quixote of La Mancha._

In a certain village of La Mancha, whose name I will not recall, there
lived not long ago a gentleman—one of those who keep a lance in the
rack, an ancient target, a lean hackney, and a greyhound for coursing.
A mess of somewhat more beef than mutton, a salad on most nights, a
hotch-potch on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, with the addition of a
pigeon on Sundays, consumed three parts of his substance. The rest of
it was spent in a doublet of fine broadcloth, a pair of velvet breeches
for holidays, with slippers of the same, and his home-spun of the
finest, with which he decked himself on week-days. He kept at home a
housekeeper, who was past forty, and a niece who had not yet reached
twenty, besides a lad for the field and market, who saddled the nag and
handled the pruning-hook.

The age of our gentleman bordered upon fifty years. He was of a
vigorous constitution, spare of flesh, dry of visage, a great early
riser, and a lover of the chase. They affirm that his surname was
Quejada, or Quesada (and in this there is some variance among the
authors who treat of the matter), although by very probable conjectures
we are led to conclude that he was called Quijana. But this is of
small import to our story; enough that in the telling of it we swerve
not a jot from the truth.

Be it known, then, that this gentleman above mentioned, during the
interval that he was idle, which was the greater part of the year, gave
himself up to the reading of books of chivalries, with so much fervour
and relish, that he almost entirely neglected the exercise of the
chase and even the management of his estate. And to such a pitch did
his curiosity and infatuation reach, that he sold many acres of arable
land in order to buy romances of chivalry to read; and so he brought
home as many of them as he could procure. And of all none seemed to him
so good as those composed by the famous Feliciano de Silva, for their
brilliancy of style and those entangled sentences seemed to him to be
very pearls; and especially when he came to read of the passages of
love, and cartels of defiance, wherein he often found written things
like these: “_The reason of the unreason which is done to my reason in
such wise my reason debilitates, that with reason I complain of your
beauteousness_.” And also when he read: “_The lofty heavens which of
your divinity do divinely fortify you with the constellations, and make
you deserver of the deserts which your mightiness deserves_.”

Over these reasons our poor gentleman lost his senses, and he used to
keep awake at night in trying to comprehend them, and in plucking out
their meaning, which not Aristotle himself could extract or understand,
were he to come to life for that special purpose. He did not much
fancy the wounds which Don Belianis gave and received; for he thought
that, however potent were the masters who had healed him, the Knight
could not but have his face and all his body full of scars and marks.
Nevertheless, he praised in the author the ending of his book with the
promise of that interminable adventure, and ofttimes he was seized with
a desire to take up the pen, and put a finish to it in good earnest,
as is there purposed. And doubtless he would have done so—aye, and
gone through with it—had not other greater and more lasting thoughts
diverted his mind.

Many times he held dispute with the Priest of his village (who was a
learned man, a graduate of Siguenza) as to who should have been the
better knight, Palmerin of England, or Amadis of Gaul; though Master
Nicholas, the Barber of the same village, was used to say that none
came up to the Knight of the Sun, and that if any one could compare
with him it was Don Galaor, brother of Amadis of Gaul, for he had a
very accommodating temper for everything; he was no prudish cavalier,
nor such a sniveller as his brother, nor in the article of valour any
behind him.

In fine, our gentleman was so absorbed in these studies, that he
passed his nights reading from eve to dawn, and his days from dark to
dusk; and so with little sleep and much study his brain dried up, to
the end that he lost his wits. He filled himself with the imagination
of all that he read in the books: with enchantments, with quarrels,
battles, challenges, wounds, amorous plaints, loves, torments, and
follies impossible. And so assured was he of the truth of all that
mass of fantastic inventions of which he read, that for him there was
no other history in the world so certain. He would say that the Cid
Ruy Diaz must have been a good knight, but not to be named with the
Knight of the Flaming Sword, who only with one back-stroke had severed
two fierce and monstrous giants through the middle. He better liked
Bernardo del Carpio, because at Roncesvalles he had slain Orlando
the Enchanted, availing himself of Hercules’ trick when he throttled
Anteus, son of Terra, in his arms. He spoke very well of the giant
Morgante; for, though of that gigantesque brood who are all arrogant
and uncivil, he alone was affable and well-mannered. But, above all, he
esteemed Rinaldo of Montalvan, especially when he saw him sally from
his castle and rob all he met, and when in Heathenrie he stole that
idol of Mahound, which was all of gold, as his history tells. As for
the traitor Galalon, for a volley of kicks at him he would have given
his housekeeper—aye, and his niece to boot. In short, his wits utterly
wrecked, he fell into the strangest delusion ever madman conceived in
the world, and this was, that it was fitting and necessary for him,
as he thought, both for the augmenting of his honour and the service
of the State, to make himself a Knight Errant, and travel through
the world with his armour and his horse seeking for adventures, and
to exercise himself in all that he had read that the Knight Errant
practised, redressing all kinds of wrong, and placing himself in perils
and passes by the surmounting of which he might achieve an everlasting
name and fame. Already the poor man imagined himself, by the valour
of his arm, crowned with, at the least, the Empire of Trebizond. And
so, with these imaginations so delightful, rapt in the strange zest
with which they inspired him, he made haste to give effect to what he
desired. The first thing he did was to furbish up some armour which
had belonged to his great-grandfathers, which, eaten with rust and
covered with mould, had lain for ages, where it had been put away and
forgotten, in a corner. He scoured and dressed it as well as he was
able, but he saw that it had one great defect, which was that there was
no covered helmet, but only a simple morion or, headpiece. This his
ingenuity supplied, for, with pieces of pasteboard, he fashioned a sort
of half-beaver, which, fitted to the morion, gave it the appearance
of a complete helmet. The fact is that, to prove it to be strong and
able to stand the chance of a sword-cut, he drew his sword and gave it
a couple of strokes, demolishing with the very first in a moment what
had cost him a week to make. The ease with which he had knocked it to
pieces not seeming to him good, in order to secure himself against
this danger he set to making it anew, fitting some bars of iron within
in such a manner as to leave him satisfied with his defence; and
without caring to make a fresh trial of it, he constituted and accepted
it for a very perfect good helmet. He went then to inspect his nag,
a beast which, though it had more quarters than there are in a real,
and more blemishes than the horse of Gonela, who, _tantum pellis et
ossa fuit_, appeared to him to surpass Alexander’s Bucephalus and the Ci
Bavieca. Four days were spent by our gentlemen in meditating on what
name to give him; for, as he said to himself, it was not right that the
steed of Knight so famous, and in himself so good, should be without a
recognised appellation; and therefore he endeavoured to fit him with
one which should signify what he had been prior to his belonging to
a Knight Errant, and what he was then; since he thought it but right
that, the master having changed his condition, the horse should also
change his name, and get him one sublime and high-sounding, as befitted
the new order and the new office which he professed. And so, after
many names which he devised, effaced, and rejected, amended, re-made
and un-made in his mind and fancy, finally he decided to call him
ROZINANTE—a name, in his opinion, lofty, sonorous, and significative of
what his animal had been when he was a common hackney, before he became
what he now was, before, and in front of, all the hackneys in the world.

Having given to his horse a name so much to his liking, he then desired
to give one to himself, and the thinking of this cost him eight other
days. At last he decided to call himself DON QUIXOTE; whereupon the
authors of this truthful history, as has been said, have found occasion
to affirm that his name was Quijada, and not Quesada, as others would
have it. Then recollecting that the valorous Amadis was not contented
with calling himself simply Amadis, but added the name of his kingdom
and native country, to make it famous, taking the name of Amadis of
Gaul, so he desired, like a good knight, to add to his own the name of
his native land, and call himself DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA, whereby,
to his seeming, he made lively proclamation of his lineage and his
country, and honoured it by taking his surname therefrom.

His armour then being cleaned, his morion manufactured into a helmet,
a name given to his horse, and himself confirmed with a new one, it
struck him that he lacked nothing else than to look for a lady of
whom to be enamoured; for the Knight Errant without amours was a tree
without leaves and without fruit, and a body without soul. He would say
to himself: “Were I, for my sins, or through good luck, to encounter
hereabouts some giant, as usually happens to Knights Errant, and to
overthrow him at the onset, or cleave him through the middle of his
body, or, in fine, vanquish him and make him surrender, would it not be
well to have some one to whom to send him as a present, that he might
enter and bend the knee before my sweet mistress, and say with humble
and subdued voice: ‘I, lady, am the giant Caraculiambro, lord of the
island of Malindramia, whom the never-to-be-praised-as-he-deserves
Knight, Don Quixote of La Mancha, vanquished in single combat—he
who hath commanded me to present myself before your grace that your
highness may dispose of me at your pleasure.’”

Oh, how our good knight was pleased with himself when he had delivered
this speech!—and the more when he found one to whom to give the name
of his lady. It happened, as the belief is, that in a village near his
own there was a well-looking peasant girl, with whom he had once fallen
in love, though it is understood that she never knew it or had proof
thereof. Her name was Aldonza Lorenzo, and upon her he judged it fit
to bestow the title of mistress of his fancy; and, seeking for her a
name which should not much belie her own, and yet incline and approach
to that of a princess or great lady, he decided to call her DULCINEA
DEL TOBOSO, for she was a native of El Toboso—a name, in his opinion,
musical, romantic, and significant, as were all which he had given to
himself and his belongings.

   _Wherein is related the pleasant method by which Don Quixote got
                        himself dubbed Knight._

... Don Quixote promised to perform all that was recommended to him
with all exactness; whereupon he was enjoined forthwith to keep watch
over his armour in a large yard by the inn-side. Collecting the pieces
all together, he placed them on top of a stone trough which stood near
a well, and, buckling on his shield, he grasped his lance, and began
with a jaunty air to pace in front of the trough, it being now dark
when he commenced his exercise.

The landlord told all who were staying in the inn of his guest’s craze,
the watching of the armour, and the dubbing of Knighthood which he
awaited. Wondering at this strange kind of madness, they went to look
at him from afar, and saw him sometimes pacing with a tranquil mien,
sometimes resting on his lance, with his eyes fixed on his armour,
from which he would not take them off for some time. The night had now
closed in, with a moon of such brightness that she might have vied with
him who lent it to her,[6] so that whatever our novice did could be
plainly seen by all. Just then one of the muleteers who were staying
in the inn, wanting to give water to his team, found it necessary to
remove Don Quixote’s armour from where it lay on the trough. The Knight,
seeing the man approach, exclaimed with a loud voice: “O thou,
whosoever thou art, rash cavalier! who comest to touch the armour of
the most valiant Errant that ever girt sword on himself, take heed what
thou doest, and touch it not, if thou wouldst not lose thy life in
forfeit of thy temerity.”

The muleteer paid no regard to these words (and better for him it had
been had he regarded them, for he would have re-guarded his safety),
but, taking hold of the armour by the straps, flung it some way from
him. When Don Quixote saw this, he lifted his eyes to heaven, and
addressing himself, as it seemed, to his Lady Dulcinea, cried, “Succour
me, mistress mine, in this the first affront which is offered to this
enthralled bosom: let not your favour and help fail me in this first

And uttering these and other such words, and loosing his shield, he
raised his lance in both hands, and with it dealt such a mighty blow
on the muleteer’s head that it felled him to the earth in such ill plight
that, if it had been followed up with a second, there would have been
no need of a leech to cure him. Soon after, another muleteer, without
knowing what had passed (for the first still lay stunned), came up
with the same purpose of giving water to his mules, and was going to
remove the armour so as to clear the trough, when Don Quixote, without
speaking a word or asking any one’s favour, again loosed his shield and
again raised his lance, and without breaking it made more than three of
the second muleteer’s head, for he broke it into four pieces. At the noise
all the people of the inn ran out, and the landlord among them. Seeing
this, Don Quixote buckled on his shield, and, setting his hand to his
sword, cried, “O lady of beauty! strength and vigour of this debile
heart! now is the hour when you should turn the eyes of your grandeur
on this your captive Knight, who is awaiting this mighty adventure!”


Thereupon he seemed to himself to acquire so much courage, that if all
the muleteers in the world had assailed him he would not have budged
a foot backwards. The companions of the wounded, seeing them in that
plight, began to shower stones upon Don Quixote from a distance, who
sheltered himself as well as he could with his shield, not venturing to
leave the horse-trough lest he should seem to abandon his armour. The
innkeeper called out to them to leave him alone, for he had told them
already that it was a madman, and being mad he would be scot-free even
if he killed them all. Don Quixote also cried out yet louder, calling
them cowards and traitors, and declaring the Lord of the castle to be
a craven and a base-born Knight for consenting to Knights Errant being
so treated, and that if he himself had received the order of Knighthood
he would have made him sensible of his perfidy: “But of you, base and
wild rabble, I make no account. Shoot! come on! advance! assail me as
much as ye are able; you shall see the penalty you have to pay for your
folly and insolence!”

This he said with so much spirit and intrepidity that he struck all who
heard him with a terrible fear; and therefore, and partly by the host’s
persuasions, they left off pelting him, and he on his part permitted
them to carry off their wounded, returning to the vigil of his arms
with the same calmness and composure as before.

These pranks of his guest were not to the innkeeper’s liking, so he
determined to despatch and give him that plaguy order of Knighthood
forthwith, before other mischief should happen. Going up to him,
therefore, he apologised for the insolence with which those base
fellows had behaved without his knowledge, but, he added, they had been
well chastised for their hardihood. And seeing there was no chapel in
that castle, as he had said before, there was no need, he declared,
for the rest of the performance—that the whole point of Knight-making
consisted in the slap of the hand and the stroke on the shoulder,
according to his knowledge of the ceremonial of the order, and this
could be done in the middle of a field; and that Don Quixote had
already accomplished all that pertained to the watching of arms, more
by token that he had been more than four hours at what might have been
finished off with a two hours’ watch.

To all this Don Quixote gave credence, and he said to the host that
he was there ready to obey him, praying him to conclude the business
as soon as possible, for, were he assaulted again when full Knight,
he purposed not to leave any one alive in the castle, except those he
might spare at the Castellan’s bidding, and out of regard for him.

The Castellan, thus forewarned, and apprehensive of what might happen,
brought out a book in which he used to enter the straw and barley
which he supplied to the muleteers, and, with a candle-end borne by a
lad, the two damsels aforesaid with him, went up to where Don Quixote
was standing, whom he ordered to go down on his knees. Reading in his
manual as though he were reciting some devout prayer, he broke off
in the middle, and, lifting up his hand, dealt Don Quixote a sound
blow on the head, and after this a brisk thwack on the shoulder with
his own sword, still muttering between his teeth as though he were
praying. This done, he commanded one of those ladies to gird on Don
Quixote’s sword, which she did with much sprightliness and discretion,
and it needed no little of that last article to avoid bursting with
laughter at each point of the ceremonies, though the prowesses they
had witnessed of the new Knight kept their mirth within bounds. At the
girding on of the sword the good lady said, “God make your worship
a fortunate Knight, and give you good luck in battles!” Don Quixote
besought her to tell him her name, that thenceforward he might know to
whom he was indebted for the favour received, for he designed to bestow
on her some portion of the honour which he was to reap by the valour
of his arm. She replied, with much humility, that her name was _La
Tolosa_, and that she was the daughter of a cobbler, native of Toledo,
who lived among the stalls of Sancho Bienaya, and that wheresoever
she might be, she was at his service and took him for her master. Don
Quixote begged her in reply, for love of him, henceforth to assume the
_Don_, and call herself Donna Tolosa, which she promised to do. The
other damsel buckled on him his spurs, with whom there passed almost
the same colloquy as with her of the sword. He asked her her name, and
she answered that she was called _La Molinera_, and was the daughter
of a miller of Antequera. Her also Don Quixote besought to take upon
her the _Don_, and call herself Donna Molinera, renewing his offers of
service and favour.

These never-before-seen ceremonies having been despatched at a gallop
and post-haste, Don Quixote could not rest till he saw himself on
horseback, sallying forth in quest of adventures. So saddling Rozinante
at once he mounted, and embracing the innkeeper, thanked him for
the favour done in the knighting in terms so extravagant that it is
impossible to give an exact relation of them. The innkeeper, seeing him
well outside his inn, responded to his speeches with others no less
flowery although more brief, and, without asking him for the cost of
his lodging, let him go with a hearty good will.

    _Of the good success which Don Quixote had in the terrible and
  never-before imagined adventure of the windmills, with other events
                     worthy of happy remembrance._

While thus conversing, they caught sight of some thirty or forty
windmills which are in that plain, and as soon as Don Quixote perceived
them, he exclaimed—

“Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we could have desired,
for look yonder, friend Sancho, where thirty or more huge giants are
revealed, with whom I intend to do battle, and take all their lives.
With their spoils we will begin to enrich ourselves, for this is fair
war, and it is doing God great service to clear this evil spawn from
off the face of the earth.

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those thou seest there,” replied his master, “with the long arms,
which some of them are wont to have of two leagues’ length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho, “for those we see yonder are not
giants, but windmills, and what in them look like arms are the sails
which, being whirled about by the wind, make the mill-stone to go.”

“It is manifest,” answered Don Quixote, “that thou art not experienced
in this matter of adventures. They are giants, and if thou art afraid
get thee away home and dispose thyself to prayer, while I go to engage
with them in fierce and unequal combat.”

So saying, he clapped spurs to Rozinante, his steed, without heeding
the cries which Sancho Panza, his squire, uttered, warning him that
those he was going to encounter were beyond all doubt windmills and not
giants. But he went on so fully persuaded that they were giants, that
he neither listened to the cries of his squire Sancho, nor stopped to
mark what they were, but shouted to them in a loud voice—

“Fly not, cowards, vile creatures, for it is a single cavalier who
assails you!”

A slight breeze having sprung up at this moment, the great sail-arms
began to move, on perceiving which Don Quixote cried—

“Although ye should wield more arms than had the giant Briareus, ye
shall pay for it!”

Saying this, and commending himself with his whole soul to his lady
Dulcinea, beseeching her to succour him in this peril, well covered
with his buckler, with his lance in rest, he charged at Rozinante’s best
gallop, and attacked the first mill before him and thrusting his lance
into the sail the wind turned it with so much violence that the lance
was shivered to pieces, carrying with it the horse and his rider, who
was sent rolling over the plain sorely damaged.


Sancho Panza hastened to his master’s help as fast as his ass could go,
and when he came up he found the Knight unable to stir, such a shock
had Rozinante given him in the fall.

“God bless me,” cried Sancho, “did I not tell your worship to look to
what you were doing, for they were nought but windmills? And nobody
could mistake them but one who had other such in his head.”

“Peace, friend Sancho,” said Don Quixote; “for the things of war
are more than other subject to continual mutation. And, moreover, I
believe, and that is the truth, that the same sage Friston, who robbed
me of my room and my books, hath turned these giants into windmills, in
order to deprive me of the glory of their overthrow, so great is the
enmity he bears to me; but in the upshot his evil arts shall little
avail against the goodness of my sword.”

“God send it as He will,” answered Sancho; and helping him to rise, the
Knight remounted Rozinante, whose shoulders were half dislocated.

 _Which treats of the lofty adventure and the rich winning of Mambrino’s

... Now, the truth of the matter as to the helmet, the horse, and the
Knight that Don Quixote saw was this. There were in that neighbourhood
two villages, one so small that it possessed neither apothecary’s shop
nor barber, which the other, close to it, had; and so the barber of
the larger village did duty for the smaller, in which was a sick man
who required to be blooded, and another who wanted shaving; on which
account the barber was coming, bringing with him a brass basin; and
it chanced that, at the time he was travelling, it commenced to rain,
and, not to spoil his hat, which was a new one, he clapt upon his head
the basin, which, being a clean one, shone half a league off. He rode
upon a grey ass, as Sancho said, and this was how to Don Quixote there
appeared the dapple-grey steed and the Knight and the helmet of gold,
for all things that he saw he made to fall in very easily with his
wild chivalries and his vagabond fancies. And, when he perceived that
luckless horseman draw near, without stopping to parley with him, he
ran at him with his lance couched at Rozinante’s full gallop, with intent
to pierce him through and through; and as he came up to him, without
abating the fury of his career, he cried out—


“Defend thyself, vile caitiff creature, or render me up of thine own
will that which by all right is my due.”

The barber, who saw that apparition bearing down upon him, without
thought or apprehension of any such thing, had no other way to save
himself from the thrust of the lance than to let himself fall off his
ass, and no sooner had he touched the ground when he rose more nimbly
than a deer, and began to race across the plain faster than the wind.
The basin he left upon the ground, with which Don Quixote was well
content, remarking that the Paynim had done wisely, and that he had
imitated the beaver, who, when he finds himself hard pressed by the
hunters, tears and cuts off with his teeth that for which he knows by
natural instinct he is chased. He bade Sancho pick up the helmet, who,
taking it in his hands, said—

“In sooth the basin is a good one, and worth a real of eight, if it is
worth a maravedi.”

He gave it to his master, who placed it upon his head, turning it about
from side to side in search of the vizor, and, not finding it, he said—

“Doubtless the Paynim to whose measure this famous headpiece was first
forged, must have had a very large head, and the worst of it is that
half of it is wanting.”

When Sancho heard him call the basin a headpiece, he could not contain
his laughter, but bethinking him of his master’s wrath, he checked himself
in the midst of it.

“What dost thou laugh at?” asked Don Quixote.

“I am laughing,” replied he, “for thinking of the big head the Paynim
owner of this helmet must have had, for it looks for all the world like
nothing but a perfect barber’s basin.”

“Knowest thou what I suspect, Sancho? That this famous piece of the
enchanted helmet must by some strange accident have come into the hands
of one who did not know or esteem its worth, and who, ignorant of what
he did, seeing it to be of pure gold, must have melted down the other
half of it to profit by its worth, and of this half he has made what
looks to thee like a barber’s basin, as thou sayest. But, be that as it
may, to me who recognise it, its transmutation makes no matter, for I
will have it rectified in the first village where there is a smith,
and in such wise that it shall not be surpassed or even approached by
that which was made and forged by the god of smithies for the god of
battles. And, in the meantime, I will wear it as I can, for something
is better than nothing; all the more as it will well suffice to protect
me against any blow from a stone.”

   _Wherein is set forth the highest point and extreme to which the
 never-before-heard-of courage of Don Quixote reached or could reach;
          with the happily achieved Adventure of the Lions._

The history tells that Sancho, when Don Quixote called for his helmet,
was buying some curds of the shepherds, and in his perturbation at his
master’s hurried call, knew not what to do with them or how to carry them;
so in order not to lose what he had now paid for, he bethought him
of clapping them into his master’s helmet, and having thus made shift,
he turned back to see what Don Quixote wanted, who, on his coming up,
cried, “Give me that helmet, friend, for I know little of adventure
or that which I descry yonder is one which should require, and does
require, me to take to arms.”

He of the Green Coat, hearing this, turned his eyes every way, but saw
nothing but a cart which came towards them with two or three little
flags, which made him think that it must be carrying the King’s treasure,
and so he told Don Quixote. But the Knight would not credit it, always
supposing and imagining that all which happened was adventures, and
still adventures; and so he replied—

“Forewarned is forearmed; nothing is lost by taking precaution, for I
know by experience that I have enemies visible and invisible, nor know
I when, nor where, nor in what moment, nor in what shape I have to
encounter them.”

And turning to Sancho he asked for his helmet, which the squire, not
having an opportunity of relieving it of the curds, was compelled to
hand to him as it was. Don Quixote took it, and without giving a look
to what it contained, clapped it on his head in all haste; and as the
curds were squeezed and pressed, the whey began to pour over all Don
Quixote’s face and beard, from which he got such a fright that he said to

“What is this, Sancho? For methinks my skull is softening, or my brains
are melting, or I sweat from feet to head. And if it is that I am
sweating, truly it is not from fear. Without doubt I believe this is
terrible, the adventure that now means to befall me. Give me something,
if you can, with which to wipe myself, for this copious sweat doth
blind my eyes.”

Sancho held his tongue and gave him a cloth, and with it thanks to
God that his master had not found out the truth. Don Quixote wiped
himself, and took off the helmet to see what it was which seemed to
chill his head, and finding the white clots within his headpiece, held
them to his nose, and smelling them, cried—

“By the life of my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, but these are curds thou
hast put here, thou traitor! villain, brazen-faced squire!”

To which, with much deliberation and command of countenance, Sancho
replied, “If they are curds give them to me, your worship, and I will
eat them; but let the devil eat them, for it must be he who put them
there. I to dare soil your worship’s helmet! You must know who it is
that’s so bold. In faith, sir, as God reads my mind, I, too, must have
enchanters who persecute me as a creature and limb of your worship;
and they will have put that nastiness there to move your patience to
anger, and make you baste my ribs as you are wont to do; but, in truth,
this time they have jumped wide of the mark, for I rely on my master’s
good judgment, who will consider that I have neither curds nor milk
about me, nor anything like; and if I had I would rather put it into my
stomach than in the helmet.”

“It may be all so,” quoth Don Quixote. And the gentleman in the Green
Coat, who noted all, was utterly amazed, especially when, after Don
Quixote had wiped dry his head, face, beard, and helmet, he put it on
again, and settling himself firmly in his stirrups, reaching for his
sword and grasping his lance, exclaimed—

“Now come what may, for here I stand to do battle with Satan himself in

The cart with the flags now approached, in which was nobody but the
carter upon one of the mules and a man seated in front. Planting
himself before it, Don Quixote exclaimed—

“Whither go ye, my brethren; what cart is this? What do you carry
therein? And what flags are these?”

To which the carter replied, “The cart is mine; what go in it are two
bold lions in a cage, which the General is sending from Oran to the
capital as a present to his Majesty; the flags are the King‘s, our master,
in token that something of his goes here.”

“And are they large, the lions?” asked Don Quixote.

“So large,” answered the man at the door of the van, “that none larger
or so large have ever passed from Africa to Spain; and I am the
lion-keeper, and have carried many, but none like these. They are male
and female; the male goes in the first cage, and the female in the one
behind, and they are now very hungry, for they have not eaten to-day;
and so let your worship stand aside, for we must needs reach quickly
the place where we are to give them their dinner.”

On which said Don Quixote, with a little smile, “Lion-whelps to me?
To me, lion-whelps? And at this time of day? Then by Heaven, those
gentleman who send them here shall see whether I am a man who is
frightened of lions. Alight, good fellow, and since you are the
lion-keeper, open these cages, and turn me out these beasts, for in the
middle of this open field I will teach them to know who Don Quixote of
La Mancha is, in defiance and despite of the enchanters who send them
to me.”

“So, so,” said he of the Green Coat to himself at this, “our good
knight gives us a proof of what he is; the curds i’ faith have softened
his skull and mellowed his brain.”

Here Sancho came up to him, and exclaimed, “For God’s sake, sir, mind that
my master, Don Quixote, does not fight with these lions, for if he
fights them all we here will be torn to pieces.”

“But is your master so mad,” the gentleman answered, “that you fear and
believe that he will fight with animals so fierce?”

“Not mad is he,” replied Sancho, “but headstrong.”

“I will make him desist,” said the gentleman. And coming up to Don
Quixote, who was pressing the keeper to open the cage, he said, “Sir
Knight, Knights Errant have to engage in adventures which hold out some
prospect of a good issue from them, and not in those that are wholly
devoid of it, for the valour which enters within the bounds of temerity
has more of madness than of fortitude; moreover, these lions come not
against you, nor do they dream of doing so, but are going as a present
to his Majesty, and it will not be right to detain them or hinder their

“Get you gone, Sir Country-squire,” replied Don Quixote, “and look
after your quiet pointer and your saucy ferret, and leave every one
to do his duty; this is mine, and I know whether they come against me
or not, these gentlemen the lions.” And, turning to the keeper, he
said, “I swear, Don Rascal, that if you do not open the cage at once,
instantly, I will pin you to the cart with this lance.”

The carter, seeing that armed phantom’s determination, said to him—

“Be pleased, dear sir, for charity, to let me unyoke the mules and
place myself and them in safety before the lions are let loose, for if
they are killed I shall be utterly ruined, for I have no other property
but this cart and these mules.”

“O man of little faith!” replied Don Quixote, “get down and unyoke, and
do what thou wilt, for soon thou shalt see that thou toilest in vain,
and might spare thyself these pains.”

The carter alighted and in great haste unyoked, and the keeper cried
in a loud voice, “Be witnesses as many as are here, how against my
will and on compulsion I open the cages and let loose the lions, and
that I protest to this gentleman, that all the evil and damage these
beasts shall do will run and go to his account, with my wages and dues
besides. Let you, sirs, make yourselves safe before I open; for myself,
I am sure they will do me no harm.”

Once more Don Diego entreated him not to commit such an act of madness,
for to engage in such a freak were a tempting of Providence, to which
Don Quixote replied that he knew what he was doing. The gentleman
pressed him again to look well to it, for that he was surely mistaken.

“Nay, sir,” quoth Don Quixote, “if your worship would not bear witness
to this, which in your opinion is about to be a tragedy, spur your grey
and put yourself in safety.”

Sancho, on hearing this, prayed his master with tears in his eyes
to desist from such an enterprise, compared to which that of the
windmills, and the fearful one of the fulling-mills, and, in short, all
the deeds his master had attempted in the course of his life, were but
pleasuring and junketing.

“Look, sir,” quoth Sancho, “here there is no enchantment, nor anything
like it, for I have seen through the chinks and bars of the cage a claw
of a real lion, and I gather from it that such a lion, to have such a
claw, is bigger than a mountain.”

“Fear, at least,” said Don Quixote, “will make it seem bigger to thee
than half the earth. Retire, Sancho, and leave me, and if I die here,
thou knowest our old compact: thou wilt betake thee to Dulcinea. I say
no more.”

Other words he added to these which took away all hope of his giving
up proceeding with his insane purpose. He of the Green Coat would have
resisted him in it, but he saw himself unequal in arms, and judged it
not wise to fight with a madman, for such he now appeared to him to be
at all points. Don Quixote once more pressing the keeper and repeating
his threats, caused the gentleman to urge his mare, and Sancho Dapple,
and the carter his mules, all trying to get away from the cart as far
as possible before the lions broke loose. Sancho wept over the death
of his master, for this time he verily believed it had come from the
lion’s claws; he cursed his fortune and called it a fatal hour when it
came into his mind once more to serve Don Quixote; but none the less,
in weeping and lamenting, did he stop cudgelling Dapple to get him
farther from the cart. The lion-keeper, seeing now that those who had
fled were well away, again entreated and warned Don Quixote as he had
entreated and warned him before, but the Knight replied that he heard
him, and that he cared for no more warnings and entreaties, which would
be fruitless, and bade him despatch. Whilst the keeper was engaged in
opening the first cage, Don Quixote was considering whether it would
be better to have the battle on foot or on horseback, and finally he
decided to have it on foot, fearing lest Rozinante should be startled
at the sight of the lions. Therefore, he leapt from his horse, threw
away his lance, and buckling his shield and unsheathing his sword,
leisurely, with a marvellous intrepidity and valiant heart advanced to
post himself in front of the cart, commending his soul to God and then
to his lady Dulcinea.

And it is to be known that, coming to this passage, the author of this
truthful history breaks out into this exclamation, saying—

“O brave and beyond all commendation courageous Don Quixote of La
Mancha! mirror wherein all the valiant may behold themselves, a
second and new Don Manuel de Leon, who was the honour and glory of
Spanish Knights! In what words shall I recount this dread exploit,
or by what argument make it creditable to future ages? What praises
can there be unfitting and unmeet for thee, be they ever such
hyperboles upon hyperboles? Thou on foot, thou alone, thou fearless,
thou great-hearted, with thy simple sword, and that not one of your
trenchant dog blades; with a shield of no very bright and shining
steel, standest watching and waiting for two of the fiercest lions that
ever the African forests engendered! Let thy deeds themselves, valorous
Manchegan, extol thee, for here I leave them at their height, failing
words to glorify them.”


Here the author breaks off from his apostrophe, and proceeds to take up
the thread of his history, saying—

The keeper, seeing Don Quixote fixed in his position, and that it was
impossible to avoid letting loose the male lion without falling under
the resentment of the rageful and dauntless Knight, opened wide the
door of the first cage where, as has been said, was the male lion,
who looked to be of extraordinary size and of a hideous and terrible
aspect. The first thing he did was to turn himself round in his cage,
and to extend his claws and stretch himself to his full length. Then
he opened his mouth and yawned very leisurely, and with about two
hands’-breadth of tongue which he put out, he licked the dust from his
eyes and bathed his face. This done, he put his head out of the cage
and gazed all about with his eyes blazing like live coals, a spectacle
and attitude to instil dread into daring itself. Don Quixote alone
looked at him intently, longing for him to leap out of the cart and
come within reach of his hands, between which he thought to rend him to

To this height did his unheard-of madness carry him; but the generous
lion, more courteous than arrogant, taking no notice of these childish
tricks and swaggerings, after having looked round about him, as has
been said, turned his back and, showing to Don Quixote his hinder
parts, with great calmness and nonchalance flung himself down again in
the cage. Seeing this Don Quixote commanded him to give him some blows
and tease him so that he might come out.

“That I will not do,” answered the keeper, “for if I excite him the
first he will tear in pieces will be myself. Let your worship, Sir
Knight, be content with what has been done, which is all that one can
tell of in point of valour, and seek not to tempt fortune a second
time. The lion has his door open; it rests with him to come out or not;
but since he has not come out up to now he will not come out all day.
Your worship’s greatness of heart is now made fully manifest. No champion
fighter, as I take it, is bound to do more than defy his enemy and wait
for him in the field; if the opponent does not appear the infamy rests
upon him, and he who waits wins the crown of victory.”

“That is true,” said Don Quixote; “close the door, friend, and give in
the best form thou canst a voucher of what thou hast seen me do: to
wit, how that thou didst open to the lion; I awaited him; he did not
come out; I waited for him again; again he did not come out, but turned
to lie down. I am bound to do no more. Enchantments avaunt! and God
prosper justice and truth and true chivalry! Shut the door, friend,
whilst I signal to the fugitive and absent to return that they may
learn of this exploit from thy mouth.”

The keeper did so, and Don Quixote, placing on the point of his lance
the cloth with which he had wiped the shower of curds off his face,
began to hail those who had never ceased retreating all in a troop,
looking round at every step, driven before him by the gentlemen in
Green. Sancho happened to perceive the signal of the white cloth, and
exclaimed, “May I die if my master has not conquered the wild beasts,
for he is calling us!”

They all stopped, and seeing that it was Don Quixote who was making the
signals, losing some of their fear, little by little they came nearer,
until they clearly heard the voice of Don Quixote calling to them.

At length they returned to the cart, and on their approach Don Quixote
said to the carter—

“Yoke your mules again, friend, and proceed on your journey, and thou,
Sancho, give him two gold crowns for himself and for the keeper,
towards amends for my having detained them.”

“I will give them with all my heart,” answered Sancho; “but what has
been done with the lions? Are they dead or alive?”

Then the keeper recounted minutely and at his leisure the issue of the
encounter, extolling, to the best of his power and skill, the valour
of Don Quixote, at sight of whom the cowed lion cared not, or durst
not, to come out of his cage, though he had held the door open a good
while, and that it was through his having told the Knight that it was a
tempting of Providence to provoke the lion so as to force him to come
out, as he wanted him to do, that he had most unwillingly and against
the grain permitted him to close the door.”

“What is your judgment on this, Sancho?” quoth Don Quixote; “are there
enchantments which avail against true valour? The enchanters may be
able to rob me indeed of fortune, but of my resolution and courage, it
is impossible.”

Sancho gave the gold crowns; the carter yoked up; the keeper kissed
Don Quixote’s hands for the largess received, and promised to relate that
valorous deed to the King himself when he should see him at Court.

“And if by chance his Majesty should ask who performed it,” said
Don Quixote, “you shall tell him, _The Knight of the Lions_; for
henceforth I would that into this may be changed, altered, varied, and
transferred, the name which till now I have borne, of the Knight of
the Rueful Feature; and in this I follow the ancient usage of Knights
Errant, who changed their names at their pleasure and according to the

The cart proceeded on its journey, and Don Quixote. Sancho, and he of
the Green Coat, continued theirs.

_Of the strange adventures which happened to Don Quixote in the Castle._

... With this she began to touch a harp very softly.

On hearing this Don Quixote was startled, for in that moment there came
into his memory the infinite adventures similar to that, of windows,
lattices, and gardens; of serenades, love-plaints, and languishments,
which he had read of in his giddy books of chivalries. He at once
conceived that some one of the Duchess’s maidens was enamoured of him,
and that modesty compelled her to keep her love in secret. He trembled
lest he should yield, but resolved in his mind not to let himself be
overcome; so, commending himself with all good heart and soul to his
lady Dulcinea del Toboso, he determined to listen to the music; and to
let them know he was there, he feigned to sneeze, at which the damsels
were not a little rejoiced, for they desired nothing better than that
Don Quixote should hear them. Then, the harp being set up and tuned,
Altisidora struck up this ballad—


    Thou that all the night till morning
      Sleepest on thy downy bed;
    Gaily with thy legs out-stretched,
      ’twixt two sheets of linen laid:

    Valiant Knight! thou whom La Mancha
      Knows none greater or more bold;
    Purer, blesseder, and chaster
      Than Arabia’s sifted gold:

    Hear a woful maid’s complaining,
      Nurtured well but thriven ill,
    Whose fond heart the burning sun-rays
      From thine eyes do scorch and kill.

    Seekest thou thine own adventures;
      Others’ ventures thou suppliest;
    Dealest wounds, yet for their healing
      Salve of plaster thou deniest.

    Tell me, lusty youth and valiant,
      May thy wishes all be sped!
    Was’t in Jaca’s gloomy mountains,
      Or in Lybia thou wert bred?

    Say, didst suck thy milk from serpents;
      Was thine infant babyhood
    Nurséd by the horrid mountain,
      Dandled by the rugged wood?

    Well may Dulcinea, thy charmer,
      Damsel plump and round, be proud,
    Conquering that heart of tiger,
      Softening that bosom rude!

    This shall make thy name e’er famous
      From Jarama to Henares;
    From Pisuerga to Arlanza;
      From Tagus e’en to Manzanares.

    Might I change with Dulcinea,
       give her my best petticoat;
    Rarest silk, of pretty colours,
      Golden fringe and all to boot!

    O to live within thine arms, and
      O to sit beside thy bed!
    O that poll so sweet to scratch, and
      Brush the scurf from that dear head!

    Much I ask, though undeserving
      Of so notable a grace,
    Would that I thy feet were stroking,
      That’s enough for maid so base.

    What fine night-caps I would work thee;
      What fine shiny silvern socks;
    Breeches of the rarest damask;
      Lovely yellow Holland cloaks!

    Precious milk-white pearls I’d give thee,
      Each as big as any gall,
    Such as, having no companions,
      Orphans they are wont to call.

    Gaze not from thy rock Tarpeian
      On the fire which scorches me,
    Nero of the world Manchegan!
      Nor revive it cruelly.

    Child I am—a tender pullet—
      Fifteen years I’ve never seen;
    I vow, by God and on my conscience,
      I’m only three months past fourteen.

    Lame I am not, neither crooked,
      Nothing in my body’s wrong;
    Locks like lilies, when I stand up,
      Sweep the ground, they are so long.

    Though my mouth is like an eagle’s,
      And a little flat my nose,
    With my topaz teeth,—of beauty
      I’ve enough for Heaven, with those.

    And my voice is, if you listen,
      Equal to the best, I trow;
    And I am of form and figure
      Something less than middling too.

    Spoils of thy spear, thy bow and quiver,
      These my charms and more, are;
    Maid am I of this here castle,
      And my name Altisidora!

Here ended the lay of the sore-wounded Altisidora, and here began the
terror of the courted Don Quixote, who, heaving a deep sigh, said to

“How unhappy an Errant am I, that there is no maiden but looks upon
me, who is not enamoured of me! How sad is the fate of the peerless
Dulcinea, whom they will not leave free to enjoy my incomparable
fidelity! Queens, what do ye want of her? Empresses, why do ye
persecute her? Maidens of fourteen and fifteen, wherefore do ye molest
her? Leave, O leave the unhappy one to triumph, to rejoice, to glory
in the lot which love would assign her in the rendering her my heart,
and delivering to her my soul! Know, ye amorous crew, that for Dulcinea
alone am I dough and sugar-paste, and for all the rest of you flint.
For her I am honey, and for you aloes. For me Dulcinea alone is the
beautiful, the sensible, the chaste, the gay, and the well-bred;
and the rest ugly, silly, wanton and base-born. To be her’s and none
other’s Nature sent me into the world. Let Altisidora weep or sing; let
the lady despair for whose sake they belaboured me in the castle of
the enchanted Moor; for Dulcinea’s I must be—roasted or boiled, clean,
well-born, and chaste—in spite of all the powers of witchcraft in the

And with that he clapt the window to, and laid down on his bed; where
for the present we will leave him, for the great Sancho calls, who is
desirous of making a beginning with his famous Governorship.

 _Of the mode in which the great Sancho Panza began to govern, when he
                  had taken possession of his Isle._

... At this moment there entered the justice-hall two men, one dressed
as a labourer and the other as a tailor, for he bore a pair of scissors
in his hand, and the tailor said—

“Sir Governor, I and this labouring man have come before your worship
for the cause that this good fellow came to my shop yesterday, who,
saving your presences, am a licensed tailor, blessed be God! and
putting a piece of cloth in my hands, asked me: ‘Sir, would there be
enough in this cloth to make me a cap?’I, measuring the stuff, answered
him ‘_Yes_.’He must have suspected, as I suspect, and suspected
rightly, that without doubt I wished to rob him of some part of his
cloth, founding his belief on his own roguery and the ill-opinion there
is of tailors, and he replied that I should look and see if there were
enough for two. I guessed his drift, and said, ‘_Yes_’ and he, riding
away on his first damned intent, went on adding caps, and I adding
_yeses_, till we reached five caps; and now at this moment he has come
for them, and I am giving them to him; and he will not pay me for the
making, but rather demands that I shall pay him, or give him back his

“Is all this so, brother?” inquired Sancho.

“Yes, sir,” answered the man; “but let your worship make him show the
five caps he has made me.”

“With all my heart,” said the tailor, and thrusting his hand suddenly
under his cloak he showed five caps on it, placed on the five tops of
his fingers, and said: “Here are the five caps which this good man
wants of me, and on God and my conscience I have none of the cloth left
for myself, and I will give the work to be examined by the inspectors
of the trade.”

All those present laughed at the number of caps, and at the novelty of
the suit. Sancho set himself to consider a little while, and then said—

“Methinks there need be no long delays in this case, but that it may
be decided, according to a wise mans’ judgment, off-hand; and so I decree
that the tailor shall lose the making, and the countryman the stuff,
the caps to be given to the prisoners in the gaol; and let no more be

This judgment provoked the laughter of the audience, but what the
Governor commanded was done.

  _Of how Don Quixote fell sick, and of the will he made, and of his

... The Notary entered with the rest, and after having written the
preamble to the will, and Don Quixote had disposed of his soul with
all those Christian circumstances which are requisite, coming to the
bequests he said—

“_Item, it is my will that of certain moneys which Sancho Panza, whom
in my madness I made my squire, retains, that because there have been
between him and me certain accounts, receipts, and disbursements, I
wish that he be not charged with them, nor that any reckoning be asked
from him, but that, if there should be any surplus after he has paid
himself what I owe him, the residue should be his, which will be very
little, and may it do him much good. And if I, being mad, was a party
to giving him the governorship of the Isle, now, being sane, I would
give him that of a Kingdom, were I able, for the simplicity of his
nature and the fidelity of his behaviour deserve it._”

And turning to Sancho, he said to him—

“Pardon me, friend, that I have given thee occasion to appear mad like
myself, making thee fall into the error into which I fell, that there
were and are Knights Errant in the world.”

“Alack!” responded Sancho, weeping, “don’t you die, your worship, dear
master, but take my advice and live many years, for the maddest thing
a man can do in this life is to let himself die without more ado,
without anybody killing him, nor other hands to finish him off than
those of melancholy. Look you, do not be lazy, but get out of that
bed, and we will go into the country, dressed like shepherds, as we
have arranged. Mayhap behind some hedge we shall find the lady Donna
Dulcinea disenchanted, and as fine as may be seen. If so be that you
are dying of fretting at being conquered, put the fault on me, and say
they overthrew you because I girthed Rozinante badly; more by token,
as your worship must have seen in your books of chivalries, that it
was a common thing for some Knights to overthrow others, and he who is
conquered to-day may be conqueror to-morrow.”

“It is so,” said Samson, “and honest Sancho is very true about these

“Gently, sirs,” said Don Quixote, “for _in last year’s nests you look
not for birds of this year_. I was mad, and now I am sane. I was Don
Quixote of La Mancha, and to-day I am, as I have said, Alonso Quixano
the Good. May my repentance and my sincerity restore me to the esteem
you once had for me, and so let Master Notary go on.”

“_Item, I bequeath all my estate, without reserve, to Antonia Quixana,
my Niece, who is present, there being first deducted from it, as may be
most convenient, what is needed for the satisfaction of the bequests
which I have made; and the first payment to be made I desire to be
of the salary due to my Housekeeper from the time she has been in my
service, with twenty ducats more for a dress. I leave as my executors
Master Priest, and Master Bachelor Samson Carrasco, who are present.
Item, it is my wish that if Antonia Quixana, my Niece, is inclined to
marry, she should wed a man of whom she shall first have evidence that
he knows not what books of chivalries are; and in case it shall be
discovered that he does know, and yet my Niece wishes to marry with him
and does so marry, that she shall forfeit all that I have bequeathed
her, which my executors are empowered to distribute in pious works at
their pleasure. Item, I beseech the said gentlemen, my executors, that
if good fortune should bring them to know the author who, they say,
wrote a history which is current hereabout under the title of Second
Part of the Exploits of Don Quixote of La Mancha, that they will on my
behalf beg him, as earnestly as they can, to pardon the occasion which
I unwittingly gave him for writing so many and such enormous follies
as therein be written, for I quit this life with some tenderness of
conscience for having given him a motive for writing them._”

With this he concluded his testament, and, being taken with a fainting
fit, he lay extended at full length upon the bed. They were all
alarmed, and ran to his assistance, and during the three days that
he lived after the day on which he made his will he fainted very
frequently. The house was all in confusion; however, the Niece ate, the
Housekeeper drank, and Sancho Panza was cheerful; for this inheriting
of something dulls or tempers in the inheritor the memory of the pain
which the dead man naturally leaves behind.

At last came Don Quixote’s end, after he had received all the sacraments,
and after he had expressed with many and moving terms his horror at the
books of chivalries. The Notary was present, and said that never had he
read in any book of chivalries that any Knight Errant had died in his
bed so tranquilly and so Christianlike as Don Quixote, who, amidst the
tears and lamentations of all who stood by, gave up his spirit,—that is
to say, died.

On seeing this, the Priest asked the Notary to give him a certificate
that Alonso Quixano the Good, commonly called Don Quixote of La
Mancha, had passed out of this present life, and had died a natural
death; declaring that he sought such certificate in order to take away
from any other author than Cid Hamet Benengeli the excuse falsely to
resuscitate him, and write interminable histories of his deeds.

This was the end of the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, whose village
Cid Hamet desired not to indicate precisely, in order to let all the
cities and towns of La Mancha contend among themselves for the honour
of giving him birth and adopting him for their own, as the seven cities
of Greece contended for Homer. The lamentations of Sancho, of the
Niece, and the Housekeeper of Don Quixote are here omitted, as well as
the new epitaphs upon his tomb; but this was what Samson Carrasco put

    “A valiant gentleman here lies,
      Whose courage reached to such a height,
    Of death itself he made a prize,
      When against Death he lost the fight.
    He reck’d not of the world a jot,
      The world’s great bugbear and the dread;
    Strong was his arm, and strange his lot;
      Stark mad in life,—when sober, dead.“

     “_Don Quixote de La Mancha._” _Miguel Cervantes_ (1547-1616).
                         _Trans. H. E. Watts._


It happened afterwards, dear reader, that as two of my friends and
myself were coming from Esquivias, a place famous for twenty reasons,
more especially for its illustrious families and for its excellent
wines, I heard a man behind me whipping his nag with all his might, and
seemingly very desirous of overtaking us. Presently he called out to
us, and begged us to stop, which we did; and when he came up, he turned
out to be a country student, dressed in brown, with spatterdashes and
round-toed shoes. He had a sword in a huge sheath, and a band tied
with tape. He had indeed but two tapes, so that his band got out of
its place, which he took great pains to rectify. “Doubtless,” said he,
“Señors, you are in quest of some office or some prebendal stall at
the court of my Lord of Toledo, or from the King, if I may judge from
the celerity with which you journey; for, in good truth, my ass has
hitherto had the fame of a good trotter, and yet he could not overtake

One of my companions answered, “It is the stout steed of Señor Miguel
Cervantes that is the cause of it, for he is very quick in his paces.”

Scarcely had the student heard the name of Cervantes, than, throwing
himself off his ass, whilst his cloak-bag tumbled on one side and his
portmanteau on the other, and his bands covered his face, he sprang
towards me, and seizing me by the left hand, exclaimed: “This, then,
is the famous one-handed author, the merriest of writers, the favourite
of the Muses.”

As for me, when I heard him pouring forth all these praises, I thought
myself obliged in politeness to answer him; so embracing his neck,
whereby I contrived to pull off his bands altogether, I said: “I am
indeed Cervantes, Señor, but not the favourite of the Muses, nor any
other of those fine things which you have said of me. Pray, sir, mount
your ass again, and let us converse together for the small remainder of
our journey.”

The good student did as I desired. We then drew bit, and proceeded at
a more moderate pace. As we rode on, we talked of my illness, but the
student gave me little hope, saying: “It is an hydropsy, which all the
water in the ocean, if you could drink it, would not cure; you must
drink less, Señor Cervantes, and not neglect to eat, for this alone can
cure you.”

“Many other people,” said I, “have told me the same thing; but it is as
impossible for me not to drink, as if I had been born for nothing but
drinking. My life is pretty nearly ended, and to judge by the quickness
of my pulse, I cannot live longer than next Sunday. You have made
acquaintance with me at a very unfortunate time, as I fear that I shall
not live to show my gratitude to you for your obliging conduct.”

Such was our conversation when we arrived at the bridge of Toledo, over
which I was to pass, while he was bound another route by the bridge of

“As to my future history, I leave that to the care of fame. My friends
will, no doubt, be very anxious to narrate it, and I should have great
pleasure in hearing it.”

I embraced him anew, and repeated the offer of my services. He spurred
his ass and left me as ill inclined to prosecute my journey, as he was
well disposed to do so. He had, however, supplied my pen with ample
materials for pleasantry. But all times are not the same. Perhaps the
time may yet arrive when, taking up the thread which I am now compelled
to break, I may complete what is now wanting, and what I fain would
tell. But adieu to gaiety, adieu to humour, adieu, my pleasant friends!
I must now die, and I wish for nothing better than speedily to see you
well contented in another world.

 _Preface_ (written a little time before the author’s death) _to the
 “Labours of Persiles and Sigismunda.”_ _Miguel Cervantes_ (1547-1616).
                                                       _Trans. Roscoe._

                          _THE LOVERS’ RUSE._

  _Theodora._ Show more of gentleness and modesty;
  Of gentleness in walking quietly,
  Of modesty in looking only down
  Upon the earth you tread.

  _Belisa._                 ’Tis what I do.

  _Theodora._ What? When yoe looking straight towards that man?

  _Belisa._ Did you not bid me look upon the earth?
  And what is he but just a bit of it?

  _Theodora._ I said the earth whereon you tread, my niece.

  _Belisa._ But that whereon I tread is hidden quite
  With my own petticoat and walking-dress.

  _Theodora._ Words such as these become no well-bred maid.
  But by your mother’s blessèd memory,
  I’ll put an end to all your pretty tricks;—
  What? You look back at him again?

  _Belisa._                         Who? I?


  _Theodora._ Yes, you; and make him secret signs besides.

  _Belisa._ Not I. ’Tis only that you troubled me
  With teasing questions and perverse replies,
  So that I stumbled and looked round to see
  Who would prevent my fall.

  _Riselo_ (_to Lisardo_).       She falls again.
  Be quick and help her.

  _Lisardo_ (_to Belisa_).    Pardon me lady,
  And forgive my glove.

  _Theodora._             Who ever saw the like?

  _Belisa._ Thank you, sir; you saved me from a fall.

  _Lisardo._ An angel, lady, might have fallen so;
  Or stars that shine with Heaven’s own blessèd light.

  _Theodora._ I, too, can fall; but this is but a trick.
  Good gentleman, farewell to you!

  _Lisardo._                         Madam,
  Your servants. (Heaven save us from such spleen!)

  _Theodora._ A pretty fall you made of it, and now I hope
  You’ll be content, since they assisted you.

  _Belisa._ And you no less content, since now you have
  The means to tease me for a week to come.

  _Theodora._ But why again do you turn back your head?

  _Belisa._ Why, sure you think it wise and wary
  To notice well the place I stumbled at,
  Lest I should stumble there when next I pass,

  _Theodora._ Go to! Come home! come home!

  _Belisa._                        Now we shall have
  A pretty scolding cook’d up out of this.

  _“El Azero de Madrid.” Lope de Vega (1562-1635)._
  _Trans. Ticknor._


That young creature whom you see there,” said the God of Love, as he
led me on, “is the chief captain of my war, the one that has brought
most men under my banners. The elderly person that is leading her along
by the hand is her aunt.”

“Her _aunt_, did you say?” I replied; “her _aunt_? Then there is an end
of all my love for her. That word ‘_aunt_’is a counter-poison that has
disinfected me entirely, and quite healed the wound your well-planted
arrow was beginning to make in my heart. For, however much a man may be
in love, there can be no doubt an _aunt_ will always be enough to purge
him clean of it. Inquisitive, suspicious, envious,—one or the other she
cannot fail to be,—and if the niece have the luck to escape, the lover
never has; for if she is envious, she wants him for herself; and if
she is only suspicious, she still spoils all comfort, so disconcerting
every little project, and so disturbing every little nice plan, as to
render pleasure itself unsavoury.”

“Why, what a desperately bad opinion you have of aunts?” said Love.

“To be sure I have,” said I. “If the state of innocence in which Adam
and Eve were created had nothing else to recommend it, the simple fact
that there could have been no _aunts_ in Paradise would have been
enough for me. Why, every morning, as soon as I get up, I cross myself
and say, ‘By the sign of the Holy Rood, from all aunts deliver us this
day, good Lord.’And every time I repeat the _Pater Noster_, after
‘Lead us not into temptation,’I always add, ‘nor into the way of aunts

                         _Jacinto Polo (?) (fl. 1630). Trans. Ticknor._

                        _THE MISER CHASTISED._

In this edifying manner did Don Marcos arrive at the age of thirty,
with the reputation of a wealthy man; and with good reason, for he had
gathered together, at the expense of every gentlemanly quality, and
the starvation of his unfortunate carcase, a good round sum, which he
always retained near him, for he dreaded every kind of speculation that
might place in the slightest degree of jeopardy his darling treasure.

Now as Don Marcos was known to be neither a gambler nor a libertine,
good opportunities of marriage continually presented themselves, of
which, however, he did not avail himself always, considering it a
speculation, and not unlikely to lead to some unfortunate result.
Nevertheless, he wished to appear to advantage in the eyes of the
ladies, some of whom, not knowing him, might have no objection to him
as a husband. To them he appeared more in the light of a gallant than
a miser. Amongst others who would have no objection to him, was a lady
who had been married, but was not so well reconciled to her situation
as a widow.

She was a lady of superior air and pretentions, although somewhat past
the prime of life; but by the help of a little study and skill, no
one would have supposed that she had arrived at so discreet an age as
she certainly had. She was prettily enough called Donna Isidora, and
was reported to be very rich; that she had actual property, at least
according to those who knew her well, her manner of living clearly
enough proved. Now this eligible match was proposed to Don Marcos; the
lady was represented to him in such engaging colours, with such perfect
assurance that she possessed more than fourteen or fifteen thousand
ducats, that he was led into temptation—the temptation of Mammon. Her
deceased husband was represented to have been a gentleman of one of the
best families of Andalusia, and Donna Isidora was equally well born,
and a native of the famous city of Seville.

These flattering communications so worked on the avarice and pride of
our friend Don Marcos, that he almost wished himself already married,
that he might be sure of the possession of so enviable a prize. He who
first entangled Don Marcos in this notable affair was a cunning rogue
of a dealer, who not only dealt in marriages, but in other descriptions
of more sure traffic.

He promised therefore an introduction to Don Marcos that very evening,
because, as he said, there was danger in delay.

Donna Isidora was profuse in her thanks to the obliging gentleman who
had procured her the pleasure of such an acquaintance; and she finally
established her triumph over Don Marcos, by inviting him to a costly
entertainment, wherein she displayed the utmost luxury and wealth.

At this entertainment Don Marcos was introduced to a young man of a
very gallant and prepossessing appearance, whom Donna Isidora honoured
with the title of nephew. His name was Augustin, and he, in turn,
seemed happy in the chance that gave him so delightful a relationship.
The under servant, Ines, waited on them at table, because Marcella,
the upper maid, by the order of her mistress, was engaged to entertain
them with her guitar, in the management of which she was so perfect,
that even the grandees of the court were seldom regaled with better
music. Her voice, which she accompanied with the instrument, was so
melodious, that it appeared more like that of an angel than a woman.
The unaffected manner, too, without the slightest timidity, yet equally
free from boldness, in which she sung, lent an additional charm;
for without being entreated, she continued to amuse them, feeling
confident that her performance would be well received.

Don Marcos felt himself so completely at ease with the well-bred,
though generous hospitality of Donna Isidora and her nephew, that
without the least scruple he amply indemnified himself for many a
hungry day, as the sensible diminution of the luxuries of the table
bore abundant, or rather scanty testimony. It may be said without
exaggeration, that that evening’s entertainment furnished him with as
much as six days of his ordinary consumption; and the continual and
repeated supplies, forced on him by his elegant and kind hostess, were
in themselves sufficient to enable him to dispense with eating for a
considerable time to come.

The pleasures of the conversation and of the table finished with the
daylight, and four wax candles were placed in beautiful candelabras,
by the light of which, and the sounds which Augustin drew from the
instrument which Marcella had before touched so well, the two girls
commenced a dance, in which they moved with such grace, as to excite
the admiration of their superiors. After all this, Marcella, at the
request of Don Marcos, again took her guitar, and closed the evening’s
amusement with an old chivalric romance.

On the conclusion of the song, the gentleman who had introduced
Don Marcos gave him a hint that it was time to retire; who, though
unwilling to leave such good company, and such good cheer, and at
such little cost, took leave of his kind hostess with expressions of
consideration and friendship, and took his road homewards, entertaining
his friend by the way with expressions of admiration of Donna Isidora,
or rather, more properly speaking, of her money. He begged him as
soon as possible to have a deed drawn up which would ensure to him so
enviable a treasure. His friend replied that he might already consider
the marriage concluded, for that his opinion held such weight with
Donna Isidora, that he would take an early opportunity of speaking
with her to effect the arrangement, for he fully agreed with him, that
delays were dangerous.

With this excellent maxim they separated, the one to recount to Donna
Isidora what had passed, and the other to return to the house of his

It being very late, all the household had retired to rest. Don Marcos
availing himself of the end of a candle, which he generally carried in
his pocket for the purpose, withdrew to a small lamp, which lighted an
image of the Virgin, at the corner of the street. There he placed it on
the point of his sword and lighted it, making, at the same time, a very
short but devout prayer that the very reasonable hopes he had framed
might not be disappointed. Satisfied with this pious duty, he then
retired to rest, waiting, however, impatiently for the day which should
crown his expectations.

The next day he was visited by his friend Gamorre, such was the name
of the gentleman who had recommended to him this tempting alliance.
Don Marcos had risen by times that morning, for love and interest had
conspired to banish sleep from his pillow. It was, therefore, with
the utmost joy that he welcomed his visitor, who informed him that he
had been successful in his mission to Donna Isidora, and that he was
the bearer of an invitation to him from that lady to pass the day at
her house, when he would have an opportunity of personally pressing
his suit, and perhaps concluding the negociation which had so happily

       *       *       *       *       *

Before they parted that night everything was arranged for their
marriage, which in three days from that time was solemnised with all
the splendour becoming people of rank and wealth. Don Marcos on this
occasion so far overcame his parsimony as to present his wife with a
rich wedding dress of great cost and fashion; calculating very wisely
that the expense was but trifling in comparison with what he had to

Behold, then, our friend Don Marcos, lord and master of this sumptuous
dwelling, and its amiable inmates; and when the day of the auspicious
union arrived, it found him in a state of the greatest possible
contentment and happiness.

“Surely this is the happiest day of my life,” he said to himself.
The future domestic arrangements were all carefully discussed by the
calculating mind of the bridegroom; and he already had disposed of his
anticipated savings in a speculation; for he had begun even to think of
speculating as to the greatest saving and profit.

Before retiring to rest, however, these flattering visions were
a little disturbed by the sudden illness of Augustin. Whether it
proceeded from mortification at his aunt’s wedding, which threatened to
curtail him of some of his fair proportions—his accustomed pleasures,
or from some natural cause, it is impossible to say; but the house
was suddenly thrown into a state of the greatest confusion; servants
running about for remedies, and Donna Isidora in a state of the most
violent agitation! However, the invalid became composed with the
efforts which were made in his behalf; and Donna Isidora ventured to
leave him and retire to rest, while the bridegroom went his round,
taking care to see that the doors and windows were all fast, possessing
himself of the keys for their better security.

This last act of caution seemed to be looked on with great distrust by
the servants, who immediately attributed to jealousy that which was
the result only of care and prudence; for Don Marcos had that morning
removed to the house, with his own valuable person, and all his worldly
possessions, including his six thousand ducats, which had not for a
long time seen the light of day, and which he intended should still
be consigned to solitary confinement, as far as locks and keys would
ensure it.

Having arranged everything to his satisfaction, he retired to his
bridal-chamber, leaving the servants to bewail their unhappy fortune,
in having got a master whose habits threatened to curtail them of
little liberties which the kindness of their mistress had so long
indulged. Marcella spoke of her dissatisfaction at once; saying that
rather than live like a nun, she should seek her fortune elsewhere, but
Ines fancying that she heard a noise in the chamber of Don Augustin,
and feeling he might require something in his illness, stepped lightly
to his room to inquire in what she might assist him.

On the ensuing morning Ines was about the house earlier than usual,
and to her surprise found the chamber of Marcella empty, and no
appearance of her having slept there that night. Astonished at so
strange a circumstance, she left the room to seek her, and was still
more surprised on finding the outer door unlocked, which her master had
so carefully fastened the night before, and which now, as if for the
purpose of disturbing Don Marcos’s ideas of security, had been left wide

On seeing this, Ines became terribly alarmed, and flew to the chamber
of her mistress, raising an outcry that the house had been broken into.
The bridegroom, half stupified with terror, leaped from the couch,
calling for his wife to do the same; at the same time drawing aside all
the curtains, and throwing open all the windows, in order that there
might be no deficiency of light to see whether anything were missing.
The first thing he beheld was what he supposed to be his wife, but so
altered, that he could scarce believe her to be the same; instead of
six-and-thirty years of age, which she professed to be, this sudden
and unwelcome visitation of morning light added at least twenty years
to her appearance; small locks of grey hair peeped from beneath
her nightcap, which had been carefully concealed by the art of the
hair-dresser, but the false hair had in the carelessness of sleep been
unluckily transferred to the ground.

The suddenness of this morning’s alarm had produced another no less
unfortunate mischance; her teeth, which Don Marcos had so complimented
for their regularity and whiteness, were now, alas! not to be seen,
and the lady at least verified the old proverb of not casting pearls
before swine. We will not attempt to describe the consternation of the
poor hidalgo, or waste words which the imagination can so much better
supply. We will only say that Donna Isidora was confounded. It was
intolerable that her imperfections should be made thus manifest at so
unseasonable an hour, and snatching up her strayed locks, she attempted
to replace them, but with such little success, owing to her extreme
hurry, that had not Don Marcos been overwhelmed with consternation, he
would assuredly hardly have refrained from laughter. She then sought
to lay hands on the dress she had worn the previous day; but, alas!
nothing of the rich paraphernalia in which she had been attired by the
gallantry of her husband—not one of the jewels and trinkets in which
she had dazzled the spectators’ eyes—remained.

Don Marcos, on his part, was struck dumb with horror, on finding that
his own wedding suit was missing, and likewise a valuable gold chain
which he had worn at the ceremony, and which he had drawn from his
treasure for the purpose. No pen can describe the agony of Don Marcos
upon this fatal discovery; he could not even console himself with the
youthful graces of his wife, for turning towards her he saw nothing but
age and ugliness, and turning his eyes again from her, he found his
expensive clothes all vanished, and his chain gone.

Almost out of his wits, he ran out into the saloon, and throughout
the apartments, attired only in his shirt, wringing his hands, and
betraying every sign of a miser’s lamentation and despair. While in this
mood, Donna Isidora escaped to her dressing-room, without giving
herself the trouble of inquiring into the minor catastrophe, and busied
herself in repairing the personal injuries which the untoward event had
produced. Don Augustin had by this time risen, and Ines recounted to
him the adventures of the morning, and they both laughed heartily at
the consternation of poor Don Marcos, the ridiculous accident of Donna
Isidora, and the roguishness of Marcella.

                   _Doña Maria de Zayas_ (_fl._ 1637). _Trans. Roscoe._

                      _THE MARKET OF ANCESTORS._

They hereupon entered a fairly wide street, littered with coffins,
amongst which walked several sextons, while a number of grave-diggers
were breaking into various graves. Don Cleofas said to his companion—

“What street is this, it is the oddest I have ever seen?”

“This is more worldly and of the times than any other,” replied the
Limping Devil, “and the most useful. It is the old-clothes market of
ancestors, where anybody in want of forefathers, his own not suiting
him, or being somewhat shabby, comes to pick out the one he likes best
for his money. Just look at that poor, deformed gentleman trying on
a grandmother he badly wants, and the other, who has already chosen
a father, putting on a grandfather as well, who’s much too big for
him. That fellow lower down is exchanging his grandfather for another,
offering a sum of money into the bargain, but can’t come to terms because
the sexton, who is the dealer, would be a loser by it. The man over
there has just turned his great-grandfather inside out and is patching
him up with somebody else’s great-grandmother. Her another with a
policeman to look for an ancestor of whom he has been robbed, and who
is hanging up in the market. If you want an ancestor or two on credit,
no your chance; one of the dealers is a friend of mine.”

“I could do with some money, but I’m not in want of ancestors,” replied the
student. So they continued their adventures.

                      “_The Limping Devil._” _Velez de Guevara_ (1644).


                    _VISION OF THE LAST JUDGMENT._

Homer, we find, represents Jupiter as the author or inspirer of dreams,
more especially the dreams of princes and governors, granting always
that the subject of them be of a religious and important character.
It is stated, moreover, as the opinion of the learned Propertius,
“that good dreams are sent from above, have their meaning, and ought
not to be slighted.” To give frankly my own idea upon this subject,
I am inclined to his way of thinking, in particular as to the case
of a certain dream I had the other night. As I was reading a sermon
concerning the end of the world, it happened that I fell asleep over
it, and pursuing the same line of thought, dreamed the following dream
of the Last Judgment—a thing rarely admitted into the house of a poet,
so much as in a dream. I was in this way reminded too of an observation
in “Claudian,” “that all creatures dream at night of what they have
heard and seen in the day; as the hound,” says Petronius Arbiter,
“dreams of hunting the hare.”

Well, methought I beheld a noble-looking youth towering in the air,
and drawing loud and solemn tones from a mighty trumpet. The vehemence
of his breath did certainly detract somewhat from the effect of his
glorious beauty, yet even the monumental marbles, the earth-closed
caverns—nay, the very dead within—obeyed his fearful call; for the
ground was seen gradually to open, the bones to rise and unite
together, and a mighty harvest of the living spring from the long-sown
seed of the dead. The first that appeared were soldiers,—such as
generals of armies, captains, lieutenants, and the common foot, who,
thinking that a fresh charge had sounded, rose out of their graves
with considerable boldness and alacrity, as if they had been preparing
for combat, or a sudden assault. The misers next put their heads out,
all pale and trembling, with the idea they were going to be again
plundered. Cavaliers and boon companions came trooping along, supposing
they were going to a horse-race, or a grand hunt. In short, though all
heard the trumpet sound, not any one seemed to understand it, for their
thoughts were plain enough to be read by the strangeness of their looks
and gestures.

While the souls came trooping in on all sides, many were seen to
approach their new bodies, not without signs of considerable aversion
and difficulty. Others stood spellbound with wonder and horror, as
if not venturing to come nearer to so dreadful a spectacle; for this
wanted an arm, that an eye, and the other a head. Though, on the whole,
I could not forbear smiling at so strange a variety of figures, I found
yet greater matter for awe and admiration at the power of Providence,
which drew order out of chaos, and restored every part and member to
its particular owner. I dreamed that I was myself in a churchyard; that
I saw numbers busied in changing heads, who were averse to make their
appearance; and an attorney would have put in a demurrer, on the plea
that he had got a soul that could be none of his, for that his soul and
body belonged to some different ones elsewhere.

When it came at length to be generally understood that here at last was
the Day of Judgment, it was curious to observe what strange evasions
and excuses were made use of among the wicked. The man of pleasure,
the betrayer of innocence, the epicure, and the hypocrite, would not
own their eyes, nor the slanderer his tongue, because they were sure
to appear in evidence against them. Pick-pockets were seen running
away as fast as possible from their own fingers, while an old usurer
wandered about anxiously inquiring if the money-bags were not to rise
as well as the bodies? I should have laughed outright at this, had not
my attention been called away to a throng of cutpurses, hastening all
speed from their own ears, now offered them, that they might not hear
so many sad stories against themselves.

I was a witness to the whole scene, from a convenient station above
it, when all at once there was uttered a loud outcry at my feet of
“Withdraw, withdraw!” No sooner was it pronounced, than down I came,
and forthwith a number of handsome women put out their heads and called
me a base clown for not showing the respect and courtesy due to their
high quality, not being a whit the less inclined to stand upon their
etiquette,—although in Hell itself. They appeared half-naked, and as
proud as Juno’s peacock, whenever they happened to catch your eye; and, to
say truth, they had a good complexion, and were well made. When they
were informed, however, that it was no other than the Day of Judgment,
they took the alarm, all their vivacity vanished, and slowly they took
their way towards an adjacent valley, quite pensive and out of humour.
Of these one among the rest had wedded seven husbands, and promised
to each of them that she would never marry again, for she was unable
to love any one like she had loved the last. Now the lady was eagerly
inventing all manner of excuses, in order that she might return a
proper answer when examined on this part of her conduct. Another, that
had been common as the common air, affected to hum a tune, and delay
the arrival on pretence of having forgotten some of her trickeries, as
an eye-brow, or a comb; but, spite of her art—for she could now neither
lead nor drive—she was impelled on till she came within sight of the
throne. There she beheld a vast throng, among whom were not a few she
had brought far on their way to the worst place; and no sooner did they
recognise her than they began to hoot after and pursue her, till she
took refuge in a troop of city police.

Next appeared a number of persons driving before them a certain
physician along the banks of a river, whither he had unfairly
dispatched them considerably before their time. They assailed his
ears all the way with cries of “_justice! justice!_” at the same time
urging him forwards towards the seat of judgment, where they at length
arrived. Meantime, I heard upon my left hand something like a paddling
in the water, as if some one were trying to swim; and what should it
all be but a judge, plunged into the middle of a river, and vainly
trying to wash his hands of the foul matter that adhered to them.
I inquired what he was employed about, and he told me, that in his
lifetime he had often had them oiled so as to let the business slip the
better through them, and he would gladly get out the stains before he
came to hold up his hand before the bar. What was yet more horrible,
I saw coming under guard of a legion of devils, all armed with rods,
scourges, and clubs, a whole posse of vintners and tailors, suffering
no little correction; and many pretended to be deaf, being unwilling to
leave the grave under dread of a far worse lodging.

As they were proceeding, however, up started a little dapper lawyer,
and inquired whither they were going; to which it was replied, that
they were going to give an account of their works. On hearing this,
the lawyer threw himself down flat on his face in his hole again,
exclaiming at the same time, “If down I must without a plea, I am at
least so far on my way.” An innkeeper seemed in a great sweat as he
walked along, while a demon at his elbow jeering at him cried,—“Well
done, my brave fellow, get rid of the water, that we may have no more
of it in our wine.” But a poor little tailor, well bolstered up, with
crooked fingers, and bandy legged, had not a word to say for himself
all the way he went, except, “Alas! alas! how can any man be a thief
that dies for want of bread!” As he cried, his companions, however,
rebuked him for running down his own trade. Next followed a gang of
highwaymen, treading upon the heels of one another, and in no little
dread of treachery and cheating among each other. These were brought up
by a party of devils in the turning of a hand, and were quartered along
with the tailors; for, as was observed by one of the company, your real
highwayman is but a wild sort of tailor. To be sure, they were a little
quarrelsome at the first, but in a short time they went together down
into the valley, and took up their quarters very quietly together.
A little behind them came Folly, Bells, and Co., with their band of
poets, fiddlers, lovers, and fencers—that kind of people, in short,
that last dream of a day of reckoning. These were chiefly distributed
among the hangmen, Jews, scribes, and philosophers. There were also
a great many solicitors, greatly wondering among themselves how they
could have so much conscience when dead, and none at all in their
lifetime. In short, the catch-word “silence” was the order of the day.

The throne of the Eternal being at length elevated, and the mighty
day of days at hand which spake of comfort to the good, and of terror
to the wicked; the sun and the stars, like satraps, cast their glory
round the footstool of the Supreme Judge—the avenger of the innocent,
and the Judge of the greatest monarchs and judges of the earth. The
wind was stilled; the waters were quiet in their ocean-sleep—the earth
being in suspense and anguish for fear of her human offspring. The
whole creation looked about to yield up its trust in huge confusion
and dismay. The just and righteous were employed in prayer and
thanksgiving; the impious and wicked were vainly busy in weaving fresh
webs of sophistry and deceit, the better to mitigate their sentence. On
one side stood the guardian angels ready to show how they had fulfilled
the part entrusted to them; and on the other frowned the evil genii,
or the devils who had eagerly contended with the former, and fomented
the worst human passions, attending now to aggravate every matter of
charge against their unfortunate victims. The Ten Commandments held the
guard of a narrow gate, so straight indeed, that the most subdued and
extenuated body could not get through without leaving the better part
of his skin behind.

In one portion of this vast theatre were thronged together Disgrace,
Misfortune, Plague, Grief, and Trouble, and all were in a general
clamour against the doctors. The plague admitted fairly that she had
smitten many, but it was the doctor at last who did their business.
Black Grief and Shame both said the same; and human calamities of
all kinds made open declaration that they never brought any man to
his grave without the help and abetting of a doctor. It was thus the
gentlemen of the faculty were called to account for the number of
fellow-men they had killed, and which were found to exceed by far those
who had fallen by the sword. They accordingly took their station upon
the scaffold, provided with pen, ink, and paper; and always as the
dead were called, some or other of them made answer to the name, and
quoted the year and day when such or such a patient passed from time to
eternity through his hands.

They began the inquiry as far back as Adam, who, to say the truth, was
rather roughly handled about biting an apple. “Alas!” cried one Judas
that stood by, “if that were such a fault, what must be the end of me,
who sold and betrayed my own Lord and Master?” Then next approached the
race of patriarchs; and next the Apostles, who took up their places by
the side of St. Peter. It was well worth observing that on this day
there was not a whit distinction between kings and beggars: all were
equal before the judgment-seat. Herod and Pilate had no sooner put out
their heads, than they found it was likely to go hard with them. “My
judgment, however, is just,” exclaimed Pilate. “But alas!” cried Herod,
“what have I to confide in? Heaven is no abiding place for me, and in
Limbo I shall fall among the very innocents whom I murdered; I have no
choice, therefore, but must e’en take up my quarters in Hell—the general
refuge for the most notorious malefactors.” After this, a rough sort of
sour, ill-grained fellow, made his appearance: “See here,” he cried,
“here are my credentials—take these letters.” The company, surprised at
his odd humour, inquired of the porter who he was? “Who am I?” quoth
he, “I am master of the noble science of defence”: then pulling out a
number of sealed parchments, “These will bear witness to my exploits.”
As he said these words, the testimonials fell out of his hand, and two
devils near him were just going to pick them up, to keep as evidence
against him at his trial, but the fencer was too nimble for them, and
seized on them. An angel, however, now offered him his hand to help
him in; while he, as if fearing an attack, leapt a step back, throwing
himself into an attitude of defence. “Now,” he exclaimed, “if you
like, I will give you a taste of my skill”; upon which the company set
a-laughing, and this sentence was pronounced against him: “That since
by his art he had caused so many duels and murders, he should himself
be allowed to go to the devil in a perpendicular line.” He pleaded he
was no mathematician, and knew no such a line; but with that word a
devil came up, and gave him a twirl or two round, and down he tumbled
before he could bring his sentence to an end.

The public treasurers came after him, pursued by such a hooting at
their heels, that some supposed the whole band of thieves themselves
were coming; which others denying, the company fell into a dispute upon
it. They were greatly troubled at the word “thieves,” and one and all
requested they might be permitted to have the benefit of counsel. “For
a very good reason,” said one of the devils. “Here’s a discarded apostle,
a Judas, that played into both hands at once; seize him!”

On hearing this, the treasurers turned away; but a vast roll of
accusations against them, held in another devil’s hand, met their
eyes, and one of them exclaimed, “For mercy’s sake, away with those
informations! We will one and all submit to any penalty; to remain
in purgatory a thousand years, if you will only remove them from our
sight.” “Is it so?” quoth the cunning devil that had drawn out the
charges—“you are hard put to it to think of compounding on terms like
these.” The treasurers had no more to say; but, finding they must make
the best of a bad case, they very quietly followed the dancing-master.

Close upon the last came an unfortunate pastryman, and on being asked
if he wished to be tried, he replied that he did, and with the help of
the Lord would stand the venture. The counsel against him then prest
the charge; namely, that he had roasted cats for hares, and filled his
pies with bones in place of meat, and sold nothing but horse-flesh,
dogs, and foxes, in lieu of good beef and mutton. It turned out, in
fact, that Noah had never had so many animals in his ark as this
ingenious fellow had put in his pies (for we hear of no rats and mice
in the former); so that, in utter despair, he threw up his cause, and
went to be baked in his turn with other sinners like himself.

“Next came and next did go” a company of barefoot philosophers with
their syllogisms, and it was amusing enough to hear them chop logic,
and try all manner of questions in mood and figure, at the expense of
their own souls. Yet the most entertaining of them all were the poets,
who refused to be tried at any lesser tribunal than that of Jupiter
himself. Virgil, with his _Sicelides Musæ_, made an eloquent defence of
himself, declaring that he had prophecied the Nativity. But up jumped a
devil with a long story about Mæcenas and Octavius, declaring that he
was no better than an idolater of the old school. Orpheus then put in
a word, asserting that, as he was the elder, he ought to be allowed to
speak for all, commanding the poet to repeat his experiment of going
into hell, and trying to get out again, with as many of the company as
he could take along with him.

They were no sooner gone, than a churlish old miser knocked at the
gate, but was informed that it was guarded by the Ten Commandments, to
which he had always been an utter stranger. Yet he contended that if
he had not kept, he had never broken, any of them, and proceeded to
justify his conduct from point to point. His quirks, however, were not
admitted—his works were made the rule of decision—and he was marched
off to receive a due reward.

He was succeeded by a gang of housebreakers and others of the same
stamp, some of whom were so fortunate as to be saved just in the nick
of time. The usurers and attorneys, seeing this, thought they too had
a good chance, and put so good a face on the matter that Judas and
Mahomet began to look about them, and advanced rather confidently to
meet their trial, a movement which made the devils themselves fall to

It was now the accusing demons of the usurers and attorneys proceeded
with their accusations, which they took not from the bills of
indictment made out, but from the acts of their lives, insisting upon
the plain matter of fact, so as to leave them without the possibility
of an excuse. Addressing the Judge—“The great crime of which these
men were guilty was their being attorneys at all;”—to which it was
ingeniously answered by the men of law—“No, not so; we only acted
as the secretaries of other men.” They nearly all denied their own
calling; and the result was that, after much cross-questioning and
pleading, two or three only were acquitted, while to the rest their
accusers cried out, “You here! you are wanted elsewhere;” and they
then proceeded to swear against some other people, some bribing the
witnesses, making them say things which they had never heard, and see
things they had never seen, in order to leave innocence no chance of
escape. The lie was concocted in all its labyrinths; and I saw Judas,
Mahomet, and Luther draw back, while the former prest his money-bag
closer to him. Luther observed that he did just the same thing in his
writings (_i.e._, draw back); but the doctor interrupted him, declaring
that, compelled by those who had betrayed him, _he_ now appeared with
the apothecary and the barber to defend himself. On this a demon with
the accusations in his hand turned sharp round on him, asking, “Who
it was had sent the greater part of the dead then present, and with
the aid of his worthy _aide-de-camps_, had, in fact, occasioned the
whole proceedings of that day.” But the apothecary’s advocate put in a
plea for him, asserting that he had dosed the poor people for nothing.
“No matter,” retorted a devil, “I have him down on my list; two of
his pill-boxes despatched more than ten thousand pikes could do in
a battle, such was the virulence of his poisonous drugs, with which
indeed he entered into a partnership with the plague, and destroyed two
entire villages.” The physician defended himself from any participation
in these exploits, and at last the apothecary was obliged to succumb,
the physician and the barber each taking the deaths that respectively
belonged to them.

A lawyer was next condemned for taking bribes from both sides, and
betraying both; and lurking behind him was discovered a fellow who
seemed very desirous of concealing himself, and who, on being asked his
name, replied that he was a player. “And a very comic player indeed,”
rejoined a devil, “who had done better not to appear on that stage
to-day.” The poor wretch promised to retire, and was as good as his
word. A tribe of vintners next took their station, accused of having
assassinated numbers of thirsty souls by substituting bad water for
good wine. They tried to defend themselves on the plea of compensation,
having supplied a hospital gratis with wine for the sacred ceremonies;
but this was overruled, as was that preferred by the tailors, of having
clothed some charity boys on the same terms, and they were all sent to
the same place.

Three or four rich merchants next appeared, who had got wealth by
defrauding their correspondents and creditors, but the accusing
demon now informed them they would find it more difficult to make a
composition; and turning towards Jupiter, he said, “Other men, my Lord
Judge, have to give account of their own affairs, but these have had
to do with everybody’s.” Sentence was forthwith pronounced, but I could
not well catch it, so speedily they all disappeared. A cavalier now
came forward with so good a face, and so upright, as to challenge even
justice itself. He made a very lowly obeisance on entering, but his
collar was of such a size as to defy you to say whether he had got any
head in it at all. A messenger inquired, on the part of Jupiter, if he
was a man, to which he courteously replied in the affirmative, adding
that his name was Don Fulano, on the faith of a cavalier. At this one
of the devils laughed, and he was then asked what it was he wanted?
To which he replied that he wanted to be saved. He was delivered
over to the demons, whom he entreated to use him gently, lest they
should chance to disorder his mustachios and ruff. Behind him came
a man uttering great lamentations, which he himself interrupted by
saying, “Though I cry, I am none so badly off, for I have shaken the
dust off the saints themselves before now.” Every one looked round,
thinking to see a hero, or a Diocletian, from his brushing the ears of
the saints; but he turned out to be a poor wretch whose highest office
was to sweep the pictures, statues, and other ornaments of the church.
His cause seemed safe, when all at once he was accused by one of the
devils of drinking the oil out of the lamps, but which he again laid to
the charge of an owl; that he had moreover clothed himself out of the
church suits, that he drank the wine, ate the bread, and even laid a
duty on the fees. He made but a lame defence, and was ordered to take
the left hand road in his descent.


He made way for a bevy of fine ladies, tricked out in cap and feather,
and so full of merriment that they fell to amuse themselves with the
odd figures of the demons themselves. It was stated by their advocate
that they had been “excellent devotees.” “True,” retorted the demon,
“devoted to anything but chastity and virtue.” “Yes, certainly,”
replied one that had taken her full fling in life, and whose trial
now came on. She was accused of making religion itself a cloak, and
even marrying, the better to conceal the enormities of her conduct.
When condemned she retired, bitterly complaining that, had she known
the result, she would have taken care not to have done any of the
charitable things, and said so many masses as she had.

Next, after some delay, appeared Judas, Mahomet, and Martin Luther, of
whom a messenger inquired which of the three was Judas? To this both
Mahomet and Luther replied that he was the man; on which Judas cried
out in a rage that they were both liars, for that he was the true
Judas, and that they only affected to be so, in order to escape a worse
fate than his, for though he had indeed sold his Master, the world
had been the better of it, while the other rascals, by selling both
themselves and his Master, had well-nigh ruined it. They were all sent
to the place they deserved.

An attorney who held the evidence in his hand now called on the
alguazils and runners to answer the accusations brought against them.
They cut a woful figure, and so clear was the case against them, that
they were condemned without more ado.

An astrologer now entered with his astrolabes, globes, and other
quackery, crying out that there was some mistake, for that was not the
Day of Judgment, as Saturn had not yet completed his course, nor he out
of sheer fear his own. But a devil turned round on him, and seeing him
loaded with wooden instruments and maps, exclaimed, “Well done, friend,
you have brought firewood along with you, though it is a hard thing,
methinks, after making so many heavens as are here, you should be sent
to the wrong place at last for the want of a single one.” “I will not
go, not I,” said the astrologer. “Then carry him,” said the devil, and
away he went.

The whole court after this broke up: the shadows and clouds withdrew,
the air grew refreshing, flowers scented once more the breezes, the
sunny sky reappeared, while I methought remained in the valley; and
wandering about, heard a good deal of noise and voices of lamentation,
as if rising out of the ground. I pressed forward to inquire what it
could be, and I saw in a hollow cavern (a fit mouth to hell) a number
of persons in pain. Among these was a _Letrado_, but busied not so
much with dead laws as with live coals,—and an _Escrivano_, devouring
only letters. A miser was there, counting more pangs than pieces; a
physician contemplating a dead patient; and an apothecary steeped in
his own mixtures.

I laughed so outright at this that I started wide awake, and was withal
more merry than sad to find myself on my bed.

The foregoing indeed are dreams, but such as if your excellency will
sleep upon them, it will come to pass, that in order to see the things
as I see them, you will pray for them to turn out as I say they are.

                       _Gomez de Quevedo_ (1580-1645). _Trans. Roscoe._

                      _THE REVENGE OF DON LUCAS._

  DON LUCAS, _a rich, fat, ugly little man, betrothed to his ward_,
    DOÑA ISABEL, _against her will_.
  DON PEDRO, _young cousin to_ DON LUCAS, _and in love with_ ISABEL.
  DON LUIS, _a gaunt old batchelor, also in love with_ ISABEL.
  DOÑA ALFONSA, _an old maid, sister to_ DON LUCAS, _and in love with_
  PERIWIG, _valet to_ DON LUCAS.

                       DON LUCAS _and_ DON LUIS.

_Don Luis._ I tell you—yesterday at Illescas she departed from her mute
coyness and, quitting her chamber, came to discourse with me under the
porch, where she told me she would be my bride with all her heart, and
that her hand was bestowed upon you against her will. If this be truth,
why separate two loving souls? ... I hold you for a man of mind, and
therefore come to demand....

_Don Lucas._ No more, for by the devil, I’ll pay you out....

_D. Alfonsa._ (_knocking without_). Is my brother here?

_Don Lucas._ Into my bedroom, quick, I must see my sister.

_Don Luis._ Let me know first if my life and liberty are secure!

_Don Lucas._ Be off with you, ther time enough to look after your life
and liberty.

                                                      [_Exit_ DON LUIS.

                     DON LUCAS _and_ DOÑA ALFONSA.

_D. Alfonsa._ Brother?

_Don Lucas._ Well, sister Alfonsa?

_D. Alfonsa._ I have something to tell you.

_Don Lucas._ Deuce take it, everybody has something to tell me. But it’s
my own fault for listening.

_D. Alfonsa._ Are we alone?

_Don Lucas._ Yes, sister.

_D. Alfonsa._ Will you be angry at what I’m going to tell you?

_Don Lucas._ How do I know?

_D. Alfonsa._ Well, you know....

_Don Lucas._ I don’t know.

_D. Alfonsa._ ... That I am a woman....

_Don Lucas._ I don’t know anything of the kind.

_D. Alfonsa._ Brother?...

_Don Lucas._ Do be quick and have done with it. You’ll all be the death of

_D. Alfonsa._ Well, I am a woman, and in love....

_Don Lucas._ The point at last.

_D. Alfonsa._ And with Don Pedro.

_Don Lucas._ All right.

_D. Alfonsa._ But he doesn’t love me; the treacherous wretch is courting
Doña Isabel, and betraying both of us.

_Don Lucas._ I say, I don’t believe it.

_D. Alfonsa._ Well, you know, I often have fainting fits.

_Don Lucas._ Yes!

_D. Alfonsa._ And do you remember that I also had one at the inn at

_Don Lucas._ Well, what of that?

_D. Alfonsa._ You must know it was feigned.

_Don Lucas._ And now who’ll believe you when you really have one?

_D. Alfonsa._ I did it with a motive. Don Pedro, the traitor, thinking
it was real, seized the opportunity to say a thousand tender things to
Doña Isabel. I would have given vent to my rage, but he is so far gone,
he even makes love to her before _you_.

_Don Lucas._ A pretty how-d’ye-do!

_D. Alfonsa._ Last—night—he—met—her—in—the—parlour—secretly.... And now
you know my wrongs. Make haste and avenge both yourself and me on that
treacherous Don Pedro.

_Don Lucas._ A pretty kettle of fish. But, devil take it, Don Luis has
just been to tell me that Isabel is in love with _him_. Perhaps she
loves them both, she seems to have a great facility that way. But if
Don Pedro is her accepted lover, I’ll pay them both out! I shall have
such a revenge as shall last their whole lives! To kill them would be
too poor a vengeance.

_D. Alfonsa._ What do you mean to do?

_Don Lucas._ (_calling_). Don Pedro!

_D. Alfonsa._ There, he’s just come in.

_Don Lucas._ (_calling_). Doña Isabel!

_D. Alfonsa._ Here she is.

            _Enter_ DOÑA ISABEL, DON PEDRO, _and_ PERIWIG.

_D. Isabel._ Why are you calling me?

_Don Pedro._ What can I do for you?

_Don Lucas._ Just wait for a bit. Periwig, shut that door.

_Periwig._ Yes, sir. (_Shuts it._)

_Don Lucas._ Lock it.

_Periwig._ Certainly, sir. (_Locks it._)

_Don Lucas._ Give me the key.

_Periwig._ Here it is, your honour. (_Hands him the key._)

_Don Lucas._ (_opening his bedroom door_). Come out, Don Luis.

_Don Luis._ Here I am. (_Comes out._)

_D. Isabel._ What are you going to do?

  _Don Pedro._ }
               }         What’s all this?
  _Don Luis._  }

_Don Lucas._ Listen, all of you. Señor Don Luis, whom you here behold,
has told me he is Doña Isabel’s lover, and that he must marry her, for she
gave him her word at Illescas and....

_Periwig._ Oh no, beg pardon, sir. I saw the gent knock at a door at
Illescas and palaver with Doña Alfonsa, whom he took for the young
lady. Don’t you remember, sir, you heard a noise, and came out with a
light and your sword? Well, it was him, sir.

_Don Luis._ I will not deny it. You came forth, and I discreetly hid,
but I thought I was speaking with Isabel, not with Alfonsa.

_D. Alfonsa._ Wait, it was I with whom you spoke, but I took you for
Don Pedro.

_Don Pedro._ (_aside_). Blessings upon Cupid and my lucky star.

_Don Lucas._ Well, that’s one gallant done with. But to proceed (_to Don
Pedro_), my sister, Doña Alfonsa, tells me treacherous and unloyal
fellow, that you love Isabel.

_Don Pedro._ Yes, it is so. I confess I have long loved her, before you
even thought of her; and who can blame my impotence to stifle a love so
great that....

_Don Lucas._ Hold your tongue, young cousin, for by h——, but no, I won’t
swear.... I must have fierce and fatal vengeance.

_Don Pedro._ Plunge your poniard into this my throat.

_Don Lucas._ No, I won’t do that; I don’t want to kill you: that’s what
you’d like.

_Don Pedro._ Then what will you do?

_Don Lucas._ You shall know. You, Don Pedro, are a pauper, and but for
me would have starved.

_Don Pedro._ It is true.

_Don Lucas._ Doña Isabel is a beggar. I was going to marry her for her
looks only, for she hasn’t a farthing for a dowry.

_Don Pedro._ But she is virtuous and beautiful.

_Don Lucas._ Well, then, give her your hand, for this is my vengeance.
You are very poor, and she is very poor; no more happiness for you.
Love flies out of the window when poverty enters the door. On your
wedding-day you may laugh at me, but on the morrow when breakfasting on
kisses, with vows on the table for victuals, and constancy for supper,
Love instead of a silk frock, and “Darling” to keep you warm, you will
see who laughs longest and last.

_Don Pedro._ Cousin....

_Don Lucas._ I say, you shall marry her.

_Periwig._ (_aside_). The punishment is _too_ severe!

_Don Lucas._ (_joins_ DON PEDRO’S _and_ DOÑA ISABEL’S _hands_).

    Join hands, you fond and pretty fools,
      By vengeance is the nuptial knot:
    Too soon you’ll learn what Love is like
      When there is nothing in the Pot.

“_Entre Bobos anda el Juego._” _Francesco Rojas de Zorrilla_ (_fl._

                        _THE MAYOR OF ZALAMEA._



  PEDRO CRESPO, _a Farmer of Zalamea_.
  JUAN, _his Son_.
  ISABEL, _his Daughter_.
  INES, _his Niece_.

  DON MENDO, _a poor Hidalgo_.
  NUÑO, _his Servant_.

  REBOLLEDO, _a Soldier_.
  CHISPA, _his Sweetheart_.



   SCENE I.—_Country near Zalamea._ _Enter_ REBOLLEDO, CHISPA, _and

_Reb._ Confound, say I, these forced marches from place to place,
without halt or bait; what say you, friends?

_All._ Amen!

_Reb._ To be trailed over the country like a pack of gipsies, after a
little scrap of flag upon a pole, eh?

_1st. Soldier._ Rebolledo’s off!

_Reb._ And that infernal drum, which has at last been good enough to
stop a moment, stunning us.

_2nd. Sold._ Come, come, Rebolledo, don’t storm; we shall soon be at

_Reb._ And where will be the good of that if I’m dead before I get there?
And if not, ’twill only be from bad to worse: for if we all reach
the place alive, as sure as death up comes Mr. Mayor to persuade the
Commissary we had better march on to the next town. At first Mr.
Commissary replies very virtuously, “Impossible! the men are fagged to
death.” But after a little pocket persuasion, then it’s all “Gentlemen, I’m
very sorry, but orders have come for us to march forward, and
immediately,” and away we have to trot, foot-weary, dust bedraggled,
and starved as we are. Well, I swear if I do get alive to Zalamea
to-day, I’ll not leave it this side o’ sunrise for love, lash, or money.
It won’t be the first time in my life I’ve given ‘em the slip.

_1st. Sold._ Nor the first time a poor fellow has had the slip given
him for doing so. And more likely than ever now that Don Lope de
Figuerroa has taken the command, a fine brave fellow they say, but a
devil of a tartar, who’ll have every inch of duty done, or take the
change out of his own son, without waiting for trial either.[8]

_Reb._ Listen to this now, gentlemen! By Heaven, I’ll be beforehand with

_2nd. Sold._ Come, come, a soldier shouldn‘t talk so.

_Reb._ I tell you it isn’t for myself I care so much, as for this poor
little thing that follows me.

_Chis._ Signor Rebolledo, don’t you fret about me; you know I was born
with a beard on my heart if not on my chin, if ever girl was; and your
fearing for me is as bad as if I was afeard myself. Why, when I came
along with you I made up my mind to hardship and danger for honour’s
sake; else if I’d wanted to live in clover, I never should have left the
Alderman who kept such a table as all aldermen don’t, I promise you. Well,
what’s the odds? I chose to leave him and follow the drum, and here I am,
and if I don’t flinch, why should you?

_Reb._ ‘Fore Heaven, you’re the crown of womankind!

_Soldiers._ So she is, so she is, _Viva la Chispa!_

_Reb._ And so she is, and one cheer more for her—hurrah! especially if
she’ll give us a song to lighten the way.

_Chis._ The castanet shall answer for me.

_Reb._ I’ll join in—and do you, comrades, bear a hand in the chorus.

_Soldiers._ Fire away!

_Chispa sings._


    “Titiri tiri, marching is weary,
      Weary, weary, and long is the way:
    Titiri tiri, hither, my deary,
      What meat have you got for the soldier to-day?
    ‘Meat have I none, my merry men,’Titiri tiri, then kill the old hen.
    ‘Alas and a day! the old hen is dead!’Then give us a cake from the
       oven instead.
              Titiri titiri titiri tiri,
    Give us a cake from the oven instead.


    Admiral, admiral, where have you been-a?
      I‘ve been fighting where the waves roar.’ Ensign, ensign, what have
         you seen-a?
      ‘Glory and honour and gunshot galore;
    Fighting the Moors in column and line,
    Poor fellows, they never hurt me or mine—
              Titiri titiri titiri tina ...’”

_1st Sold._ Look, look, comrades—what between singing and grumbling we
never noticed yonder church among the trees.

_Reb._ Is that Zalamea?

_Chis._ Yes, that it is, I know the steeple. Hoorah! we’ll finish the
song when we get into quarters, or have another as good; for you know I
have ‘em of all sorts and sizes.

_Reb._ Halt a moment, here’s the sergeant.

_2nd. Sold._ And the captain, too.

                    _Enter_ CAPTAIN _and_ SERGEANT.

_Capt._ Good news, men, no more marching for to-day at least; we halt
at Zalamea till Don Lope joins with the rest of the regiment from
Llerena. So who knows but you may have a several days’ rest here?

_Reb. and Solds._ Hurrah for our captain!

_Capt._ Your quarters are ready, and the Commissary will give every one
his billet on marching in.

_Chis._ (_singing_). Now then for

    “Titiri tiri, hither, my deary,
    Heat the oven and kill the old hen.”

                                                 [_Exit with Soldiers._

_Capt._ Well, Mr. Sergeant, have you my billet?

_Serg._ Yes, sir.

_Capt._ And where am I to be put up?

_Serg._ With the richest man in Zalamea, a farmer, as proud as Lucifer’s

_Capt._ Ah, the old story of an upstart.

_Serg._ However, sir, you have the best quarters in the place,
including his daughter, who is, they say, the prettiest woman in

_Capt._ Pooh! a pretty peasant! splay hands and feet.

_Serg._ Shame! shame!

_Capt._ Isn’t it true, puppy?

_Serg._ What would a man on march have better than a pretty country
lass to toy with?

_Capt._ Well, I never saw one I cared for, even on march. I can’t call
a woman a woman unless she’s clean about the hands and fetlocks, and
otherwise well appointed—a lady, in short.

_Serg._ Well, any one for me who’ll let me kiss her. Come, sir, let us
be going, for if you won’t be at her, I will.

_Capt._ Look, look yonder!

_Serg._ Why, it must be Don Quixote himself, with his very Rosinante
too, that Michel Cervantes writes of.

_Capt._ And his Sancho at his side. Well, carry you my kit on before to
quarters, and then come and tell me when all’s ready.


SCENE II.—_Zalamea, before_ CRESPO’S _House_. _Enter_ DON MENDO _and_ NUÑO.

_Men._ Ho the grey horse?

_Nuñ._ You may as well call him the _Dun_; so screw’d he ca move a leg.

_Men._ Did you have him wal gently about?

_Nuñ._ Wal about! when it’s corn he wants, poor devil!

_Men._ And the dogs?

_Nuñ._ Ah, now, they might do if yo give them the horse to eat.

_Men._ Enough, enough—it has struck three. My gloves and tooth-pick.

_Nuñ._ That sinecure tooth-pick?

_Men._ I tell you I would brain anybody who insinuated to me I had not
dined—and on game too. But tell me, Nuño, hav the soldiers come into
Zalamea this afternoon?

_Nuñ._ Yes, sir.

_Men._ What a nuisance for the commonalty who have to quarter them.

_Nuñ._ But worse for those who hav.

_Men._ What do you mean, sir?

_Nuñ._ I mean the squires. Ah, sir; if the soldiers are billeted on
them, do you know why?

_Men._ Well, why?

_Nuñ._ For fear of being starved—which would be a bad job for the kin

_Men._ God rest my father’s soul, says I, who left me a pedigree and
patent all blazon’d in gold and azure, that exempts me from such

_Nuñ._ I wish he’d left you the gold in a more available shape, however.

_Men._ Though, indeed, when I come to think of it, I do know if I owe
him any thanks; considering that, unless he had consented to beget me
an Hidalgo at once, I would have been born at all, for him or any one.

_Nuñ._ Humph! Could you have hel it?

_Men._ Easily.

_Nuñ._ How, sir.

_Men._ You must know that every one that is born is the essence of the
food his parents eat——

_Nuñ._ Oh! Your parents did eat, then, sir? You have not inherited
_that_ of them, at all events.

_Men._ Knave, do you insinuate——

_Nuñ._ I only know it is now three lock, and we have neither of us yet
had anything but our own spittle to chew.

_Men._ Perhaps so, but there are distinctions of rank. An Hidalgo, sir,
has no belly.

_Nuñ._ Oh, Lord! that I were an Hidalgo!

_Men._ Possibly; servants must learn moderation in all things. But let
me hear no more of the matter; we are under Isabel’s window.

_Nuñ._ There again——If you are so devoted an admirer, why on earth,
sir, do you ask her in marriage of her father; by doing which you would
kill two birds with one stone: get yourself something to eat, and his
grandchildren squires.

_Men._ Hold your tongue, sir, it is impious. Am I, an Hidalgo with such
a pedigree, to demean myself with a plebeian connection just for money’s

_Nuñ._ Well, I’ve always heard say a mean father-in-law is best; better
stumble on a pebble than run your head again a post. But, however, if
you do mean marriage, sir, what do you mean?

_Men._ And pray, sir, what business is that of yours? But go directly,
and tell me if you can get a sight of her?

_Nuñ._ afraid lest her father should get a sight of me.

_Men._ And what if he do, being my man? Go and do as I bid you.

_Nuñ._ (_after going to look_). Come, sir, you owe one meal at least
now—sh at the window with her cousin.

_Men._ Go again and tell her something about her window being another
East, and she a second Sun dawning from it in the afternoon.

               (ISABEL _and_ INES _come to the window_.)

_Ines._ For heave sake, cousin, le stand here and see the soldiers
march in.

_Isab._ Not I, while that man is in the way, Ines; you know how I hate
the sight of him.

_Ines._ With all his devotion to you!

_Isab._ I wish he would spare himself and me the trouble.

_Ines._ I think you are wrong to take it as an affront.

_Isab._ How would you have me take it?

_Ines._ Why, as a compliment.

_Isab._ What, when I hate the man?

_Men._ Ah! ‘pon the honour of an Hidalgo (which is a sacred oath), I
could have sworn that till this moment the sun had not risen. But why
should I wonder? When indeed a second Aurora——

_Isab._ Signor Don Mendo, how often have I told you not to waste your
time playing these foo antics before my window day after day.

_Men._ If a pretty woman only knew, la! how anger improves its beauty!
her complexion needs no other paint than indignation. Go on, go on,
lovely one, grow angrier and lovelier still.

_Isab._ You shan’t have even that consolation; come, Ines.


_Ines._ Beware of the portcullis, sir knight.

                 (_Shuts down the blind in his face._)

_Men._ Ines, beauty must be ever victorious, whether advancing or

_Enter_ CRESPO.

_Cres._ That I can never go in or out of my house without that squireen
haunting it!

_Nuñ._ Pedro Crespo, sir!

_Men._ Oh—ah—let us turn another way; ’tis an ill-conditioned fellow.

_As he turns, enter_ JUAN.

JUAN. That I never can come home but this ghost of an Hidalgo is there
to spoil my appetite.

_Nuñ._ His son, sir!

_Men._ He’s worse. (_Turning back._) Oh, Pedro Crespo, good-day, Crespo,
good man, good-day.

                                                     [_Exit with_ NUÑO.

_Cres._ Good-day, indeed; I’ll make it bad day one of these days with
you, if you do take care. But how now, Juanito, my boy?

_Juan._ I was looking for you, sir, but could not find you; where have
you been?

    _Cres._   To the barn, where high and dry
            The jolly sheaves of corn do lie,
            Which the sun, arch-chemist of old,
            Turn’d from black earth into gold,
            And the swinging flail one day
            On the barn-floor shall assay,
            Separating the pure ore
            From the drossy chaff away.
            This I’ve been about. And now,
            Juanito, what hast thou?

_Juan._ Alas, sir, I ca answer in so good rhyme or reason. I have been
playing at fives, and lost every bout.

_Cres._ What signifies if you paid?

_Juan._ But I could not, and have come to you for the money.

    _Cres._ Before I give it you, listen to me.
                There are things two
                Thou never must do;
                Swear to more than thou knowest,
                Play for more than thou owest;
                And never mind cost,
                So credit’s not lost.

_Juan._ Good advice, sir, no doubt, that I shall lay by for its own
sake as well as for yours. Meanwhile I have also heard say—

    “Preach not to a beggar till
    The beggar’s empty hide you fill.”

_Cres._ ‘Fore Heaven, thou pat me in my own coin. But——

                           _Enter_ SERGEANT.

_Serg._ Pray, does one Pedro Crespo live hereabout?

_Cres._ Have you any commands for him, if he does?

_Serg._ Yes, to tell him of the arrival of Don Alvaro de Ataide,
captain of the troop that has just marched into Zalamea, and quartered
upon him.

_Cres._ Say no more; my house and all I have is ever at the service of
the king, and of all who have authority under him. If you will leave
his things here, I will see his room is got ready directly; and do you
tell his Honour that, come when he will, he shall find me and mine at
his service.

_Serg._ Good—he will be here directly.


_Juan._ I wonder, father, that, rich as you are, you still submit
yourself to these nuisances.

_Cres._ Why, boy, how could I help them?

_Juan._ You know; by buying a patent of Gentility.

_Cres._ A patent of Gentility! upon thy life now dost think ther a
soul who does know that no gentleman at all, but just a plain farmer?
Wha the use of my buying a patent of Gentility, if I ca buy the gentle
blood along with it? will any one think me a bit more of a gentleman
for buying fifty patents? Not a whit; I should only prove I was worth
so many thousand royals, not that I had gentle blood in my veins, which
ca be bought at any price. If a fello been bald ever so long, and buys
him a fine wig and claps it on, will his neighbours think it is his own
hair a bit the more? No, they will say, “So-and-so has a fine wig; and,
wha more, he must have paid handsomely for it too.” But they know his
bald pate is safe under it all the while. Tha all he gets by it.

_Juan._ Nay, sir, he gets to look younger and handsomer, and keeps off
sun and cold.

_Cres._ Tut! I’ll have none of your wig honour at any price. My
grandfather was a farmer, so was my father, so is yours, and so shall
you be after him. Go, call your sister.

                      _Enter_ ISABEL _and_ INES.

Oh, here she is. Daughter, our gracious king (whose life God save
these thousand years!) is on his way to be crowned at Lisbon; thither
the troops are marching from all quarters, and among others that
fine veteran Flanders regiment, commanded by the famous Don Lope de
Figuerroa, will march into Zalamea, and be quartered here to-day; some
of the soldiers in my house. Is it not as well you should be out of the

_Isab._ Sir, ’twas upon this very errand I came to you, knowing what
nonsense I shall have to hear if I stay below. My cousin and I can go
up to the garret, and there keep so close, the very sun shall not know
of our whereabout.

_Cres._ That’s my good girl. Juanito, you wait here to receive them in
case they come while I am out looking after their entertainment.

_Isab._ Come, Ines.

_Ines._ Very well——

    “Though I’ve heard in a song what folly ’twould be
    To try keep in a loft what wo keep on the tree.”


                    _Enter_ CAPTAIN _and_ SERGEANT.

_Serg._ This is the house, sir.

_Capt._ Is my kit come?

_Serg._ Yes, sir, and (_aside_) I’ll be the first to take an inventory
of the pretty daughter.


_Juan._ Welcome, sir, to our house; we count it a great honour to have
such a cavalier as yourself for a guest, I assure you. (_Aside._) What
a fine fellow! what an air! I long to try the uniform, somehow.

_Capt._ Thank you, my lad.

_Juan._ You must forgive our poor house, which we devoutly wish was a
palace for your sake. My father is gone after your supper, sir; may I
go and see that your chamber is got ready for you?

_Capt._ Thank you, thank you.

_Juan._ Your servant, sir.


                           _Enter_ SERGEANT.

_Capt._ Well, sergeant, wher the Dulcinea you told me of?

_Serg._ Deuce take me, sir, if I hav been looking everywhere—in
parlour, bedroom, kitchen, and scullery, upstairs and downstairs, and
ca find her out.

_Capt._ Oh, no doubt the old fellow has hid her away for fear of us.

_Serg._ Yes, I as a serving wench, and she confess’d her master had loc
the girl up in the attic, with strict orders not even to look out so
long as we were in the place.

_Capt._ Ah! these clodpoles are all so jealous of the service. And what
is the upshot? Why, I, who did care a pin to see her before, shall
never rest till I get at her now.

_Serg._ But how, without a blow-up?

_Capt._ Let me see; how shall we manage it?

_Serg._ The more difficult the enterprise, the more glory in success,
you know, in love as in war.

_Capt._ I have it!

_Serg._ Well, sir?

_Capt._ You shall pretend—but no, here comes one will serve my turn

                    _Enter_ REBOLLEDO _and_ CHISPA.

_Reb._ (_to_ CHISPA). There he is; now if I can get him into a good

_Chis._ Speak up then, like a man.

_Reb._ I wish some of your courage; but do you leave me while I tackle
him. Please, your Honour——

_Capt._ (_to_ SERGEANT). I tell you I’ve my eye on Rebolledo to do him a
good turn; I like his spirit.

_Serg._ Ah, he’ one of a thousand.

_Reb._ (_aside_). Her luck! Please, your Honour——

_Capt._ Oh, Rebolledo—Well, Rebolledo, what is it?

_Reb._ You may know I am a gentleman who has, by ill-luck, lost all his
estate; all that ever I had, have, shall have, may have, or can have,
through all the conjugations of the verb “_to have_.” And I want your

_Capt._ Well?

_Reb._ To desire the ensign to appoint me roulette-master to the
regiment, so I may pay my liabilities like a man of honour.

_Capt._ Quite right, quite right; I will see it done.

_Chis._ (_aside_). Oh, brave captain! Oh, if I only live to hear them
all call me Madame Roulette!

_Reb._ Shall I go at once and tell him?

_Capt._ Wait. I want you first to help me in a little plan I have.

_Reb._ Out with it, noble captain. Slow said slow sped, you know.

_Capt._ You are a good fellow; listen. I want to get into that attic
there, for a particular purpose.

_Reb._ And why does your Honour go up at once?

_Capt._ I do like to do it in a strange house without an excuse. Now
look here; you and I will pretend to quarrel; I get angry and draw my
sword, and you run away upstairs, and I after you, to the attic, tha
all; I’ll manage the rest.

_Chis._ (_aside_). Ah, he seems to be getting on famously.

_Reb._ I understand. When are we to begin?

_Capt._ Now directly.

_Reb._ Very good. (_In a loud voice._) This is the reward of my
services—a rascal, a pitiful, scoundrel, is preferred, when a man of
honour—a man who has seen service——

_Chis._ (_aside_). Halloa! Rebolledo up? All is not so well.

_Reb._ Who has led you to victory?

_Capt._ This language to me, sir?

_Reb._ Yes, to you, who have so grossly insulted and defrauded——

_Capt._ Silence! and think yourself lucky if I take no further notice
of your insolence.

_Reb._ If I restrain myself, it is only because you are my captain, and
as such—but ‘fore God, if my cane were in my hand——

_Chis._ (_advancing_.) Hold! hold!

_Capt._ I’ll show you, sir, how to talk to me in this way. (_Draws his

_Reb._ It is before your commission, not you, I retreat.

_Capt._ That sha’n’t save you, rascal!

  (_Pursues_ REBOLLEDO _out_.)

_Chis._ Oh! I sha’n’t be Madame Roulette after all. Murder! murder!

                                                       [_Exit calling._

             SCENE III.—ISABEL’S  _Garret_. ISABEL _and_ INES.

_Isab._ What noise is that on the stairs?

                          _Enter_ REBOLLEDO.

_Reb._ Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

_Isab._ Who are you, sir?

                           _Enter_ CAPTAIN.

_Capt._ Where is the rascal?

_Isab._ A moment, sir! This poor man has flown to our feet for
protection; I appeal to you for it; and no man, and least of all an
officer, will refuse that to any woman.

_Capt._ I swear no other arm than that of beauty, and beauty such as
yours, could have withheld me. (_To_ REBOLLEDO.) You may thank the
deity that has saved you, rascal.

_Isab._ And I thank you, sir.

_Capt._ And yet ungratefully slay me with your eyes in return for
sparing him with my sword.

_Isab._ Oh, sir, do not mar the grace of a good deed by poor
compliment, and so make me less mindful of the real thanks I owe you.

_Capt._ Wit and modesty kiss each other, as well they may, in that
lovely face. (_Kneels._)

_Isab._ Heavens! my father!

_Enter_ CRESPO _and_ JUAN _with swords_.

_Cres._ How is this, sir? I am alarmed by cries of murder in my
house—am told you have pursued a poor man up to my daughte room;
and, when I get here expecting to find you killing a man, I find you
courting a woman.

_Capt._ We are all born subjects to some dominion—soldiers especially
to beauty. My sword, though justly raised against this man, as justly
fell at this lad bidding.

_Cres._ No lady, sir, if you please; but a plain peasant girl—my

_Juan._ (_aside_). All a trick to get at her. My blood boils. (_Aloud
to Captain._) I think, sir, you might have seen enough of my father’s
desire to serve you to prevent your requiting him by such an affront as

_Cres._ And, pray, who bid thee meddle, boy? Affront! what affront? The
soldier affronted his captain; and if the captain has spared him for
thy siste sake, pray what hast thou to say against it?

_Capt._ I think, young man, you had best consider before you impute ill
intention to an officer.

_Juan._ I know what I do know.

_Cres._ What! you will go on, will you?

_Capt._ It is out of regard for you I do not chastise him.

_Cres._ Wait a bit; if that were wanting, ’twould be from his father,
not from you.

_Juan._ And wha more, I would endure it from any one but my father.

_Capt._ You would not?

_Juan._ No! death rather than such dishonour!

_Capt._ What, pray, is a clodpol idea of honour.

_Juan._ The same as a captain’s—no clodpole no captain, I can tell you.

_Capt._ ‘Fore Heaven, I must punish this insolence.

                       (_About to strike him._)

_Cres._ You must do it through me, then.

_Reb._ Eyes right!—Don Lope!

_Capt._ Don Lope!

                           _Enter_ DON LOPE.

_Lope._ How now? A riot the very first thing I find on joining the
regiment? What is it all about?

_Capt._ (_aside_). Awkward enough!

_Cres._ (_aside_). By the lord, the boy would have held his own with
the best of ‘em.

_Lope._ Well! No one answer me? ‘Fore God, I’ll pitch the whole house,
men, women, and children, out of windows, if you do tell me at once.
Here have I had to trail up your accursed stairs, and then no one will
tell me what for.

_Cres._ Nothing, nothing at all, sir.

_Lope._ Nothing? that would be the worst excuse of all, but swords are
drawn for nothing; come, the truth?

_Capt._ Well, the simple fact is this, Don Lope; I am quartered upon
this house; and one of my soldiers——

_Lope._ Well, sir, go on.

_Capt._ Insulted me so grossly I was obliged to draw my sword on him.
He ran up here, where it seems these two girls live; and I, not knowing
there was any harm, after him; at which these men, their father or
brother, or some such thing, take affront. This is the whole business.

_Lope._ I am just come in time then to settle it. First, who is the
soldier that began it with an act of insubordination?

_Reb._ What, am I to pay the piper?

_Isab._ (_pointing to_ REBOLLEDO). This, sir, was the man who ran up

_Lope._ This? handcuff him!

_Reb._ Me! my lord?

_Capt._ (_aside to_ REBOLLEDO). Do blab, I’ll bear you harmless.

_Reb._ Oh, I dare say, after being marched off with my hands behind me
like a coward. Noble commander, ’twas the captain’s own doing; he made me
pretend a quarrel, that he might get up here to see the women.

_Cres._ I _had_ some cause for quarrel, you see.

_Lope._ Not enough to peril the peace of the town for. Halloa there!
beat all to quarters on pain of death. And, to prevent further ill
blood here, do you (_to the_ CAPTAIN) quarter yourself elsewhere till
we march. I’ll stop here.

_Capt._ I shall of course obey you, sir.

_Cres._ (_to_ ISABEL). Get you in. (_Exeunt_ ISABEL _and_ INES.) I
really ought to thank you heartily for coming just as you did, sir;
else, have done for myself.

_Lope._ How so?

_Cres._ I should have killed this popinjay.

_Lope._ What, sir, a captain in his Majest service?

_Cres._ Aye, a general, if he insulted me.

_Lope._ I tell you, whoever lays his little finger on the humblest
private in the regiment, I’ll hang him.

_Cres._ And I tell you, whoever points his little finger at my honour,
I’ll cut him down before hanging.

_Lope._ Know you not, you are bound by your allegiance to submit.

_Cres._ To all cost of property, yes; but of honour, no, no, no! My
goods and chattels, aye, and my life—are the kin; but my honour is my
own sou, and that is—God Almight.

_Lope._ ‘Fore God, ther some truth in what you say.

_Cres._ ‘Fore God, there ought to be, for I’ve been some years saying it.

_Lope._ Well, well. I’ve come a long way, and this leg of mine, which I
wish the devil who gave it would carry [_sic_] away with him! cries for

_Cres._ And who prevents its taking some? the same devil I suppose who
gave you your leg, gave me a bed, which I do want him to take away
again, however, on which your leg may lie if it like.

_Lope._ But did the devil, when he was about it, make your bed as well
as give it?

_Cres._ To be sure he did.

_Lope._ Then I’ll unmake it—Heaven knows weary enough.

_Cres._ Heaven rest you then.

_Lope._ (_aside_). Devil or saint alike he echoes me!

_Calderon de la Barca_ (1600-1681).

                                            _Trans. Edward Fitzgerald._

                         _THE SIMPLE GROOMS._

“Look,” said Juanillo, “we have now arrived at the Puerta del Sol, one
of the chief resorts in Madrid. This site of beautiful things, rightly
called the Sol or Sun, is renowned not only in Madrid, but throughout
the whole world.” Just then the cries and loud sobs of a lad made them
turn to inquire the cause, and Onofre, asking a boy close by, was told
it was a doctor’s groom who had gone out to sell a mule too slow for his
master, who, on account of his large practice, required one with more

“Are there so many sick in Madrid?” asked Onofre; to which the boy
replied: “He lives in a suburb of delicate people, who dress richly,
lie a long time in bed, have all their windows shut to keep out the
air, and if their chocolate is too sweet or too highly spiced, say it
has done them harm, and then they send for the doctor, who, to feel the
pulses and purses of all, needs a lively mule, and so he wanted to sell
his slow one.”

The boy went on to relate how the groom soon found a buyer in the
servant of a country doctor, just arrived on horseback between the
panniers of bread, a trick worthy of the devil himself, since that
they might not suspect Death was entering the gates of Madrid, he came
cloaked with the chief support of life; for they say he was abandoning
his last residence, since it had lost half its population during the
one year of his stay, and was, therefore, coming to Madrid, where, on
account of its size, he hoped his work would not be so noticeable. With
this executione servant ... a bargain was struck, and the buyer allowed
to try the mule, after entertaining and bribing the groom; whereupon he
vanished down the street of Alcalá.

Onofre smiled at the youth’s humour, and approaching the blubbering
groom, heard the crowd trying to advise and console him in various
ways: to look in all the hostries, where the thief might have taken the
mule to give it a feed; that his master would easily earn his value in
four days; that it was no good crying over spilt milk, to all of which
the groom wept loudly, the big tears running down his cheeks, which,
as well as his nose, he wiped with his cape and shirt-sleeves. Onofre
felt sorry for the poor fellow, but Juanillo, calling him, told him
such things often happened market days, and he knew another case, which
showed the astuteness of some thieves.

A groom went, like this one, to sell a mule, which was, however, so
young and wild, his master could not ride it. He arrived at the market
and straightway found a buyer, for those simple fellows always come
across crafty rogues, up to all kinds of tricks. They quickly came to
terms, and the thief asked the lad to come for his money astride his
mule to a surgeon-barber, for whom it was purchased. He then lead him
to a shop where he had been shaved once or twice, and, leaving him
outside on the mule, inquired for the master, and after the customary
salutations, told him he had brought a sick groom whom he wished to
be examined, and cured if possible, but that, as he was very shy and
embarrassed, and had put off coming to a doctor for a long time, he
must try not to frighten him, and ask the lad to wait a while inside
till he could see him, lest he should run away. He then paid half the
fee and said he would pay the rest afterwards. The barber, highly
pleased, went out and asked the groom to come in and wait, and his
business would soon be despatched.

“You know my business?” said the lad.

“Certainly,” said the barber.

The cheat, telling the groom that the barber would give him a dozen
reals for himself beside the price for the mule, mounted, clapped spurs
to the mule, and made off.

The groom, after waiting some little time, found out the fraud as soon
as the barber began questioning him as to his health, and set up a
great hullabaloo, whereupon the police hastened by, but could only warn
him to be more prudent next time, with the hope that God would console
him meanwhile.

                    “_Day and Night in Madrid._” _Santos_ (_fl._ 1697).


    A noble Portuguee lies here,
    By name Don Vasco Cid Figuere,
    Not in bloodshed
    Died he, he fled
    From wars and Moors, and did all he could
    To die in bed as a gentleman should.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here lies who once lived and is now dead, and although he died, he
lives, for the world trembles at the sound of his name.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Here lies the body of Senhor Vasco Barreto,
    He died by God’s will and much against his own.
    Breathe an _Ave Maria_ for the repose of his soul.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here lies Alfonso Galego. He died for the glory of God in spite of the

       *       *       *       *       *

A Portuguese preacher once said: “The Moors are our neighbours, and
the Jews are our neighbours, and even the Castilians are also our

Another time a Portuguese friar, preaching on the anniversary of a
great battle, said: “The Christians were on one side of the river, and
the Castilians on the other.”

                                               (_Seventeenth Century_).

                    _LA TARASCA AND THE CARRIERS._

A town in Spain on the banks of the Tagus, just about to celebrate
Corpus Christi, sent to a neighbouring town for the giants and the huge
serpent, called La Tarasca. On the eve of the festival the bearers,
in order to arrive in good time to join the procession, set out at
dusk, with the intention of reaching their destination at break of
day. They were inside the huge effigies, which were borne on their
shoulders exactly as when they dance through the streets. The moon
rose during their journey and shone down on the strange figures, to
the great amazement and alarm of some carriers with loads of wine,
who, becoming aware of the serpent and the giants behind, only screwed
together enough courage to take to their heels as fast as they could.
The bearers cried after them to come back and look after their teams,
but in vain, the more they shouted, the faster they fled. Thereupon the
porters of La Tarasca set her down and repaired to the mules, and when
they perceived the sweet spoils they had won without any bloodshed,
called to the bearers of the giants, and they all drank to each other’s
health in such long draughts and hearty quaffs, that the liquor rose to
their heads and laid them full length on the road.

The carriers, who were great braggarts, returned home and told their
Alcalde how they had encountered such giant thieves; and the whole
township, armed with cross-bows, lances and cudgels, sallied out in
quest of these odd fish. They arrived at the spot, making so great a
din, they almost awakened their foes, whom they found stretched on the


The Alcalde, much amused at the jest, gave judgment that the carriers
were to pay with wine those who had come to their help; upon which all
drank to their hear content till the citizens and soldiers returned
homewards and the porters again shouldered their burdens.

                          “_Truth on the Rack._” _Santos_ (_fl._ 1697).

                         _PEDIGREE OF FOOLS._

They say Lost Time married Ignorance, and had a son called I Thought,
who married Youth, and had the following children: I Did Know, I Did
Think, Who Would Have Expected.

Who Would Have Expected married Heedlessness, and had for children I
All Right, To-morrow Will Do, Ther Plenty of Time, Next Opportunity.

Ther Plenty of Time married Doña I Did Think, and had for family I
Forgot, I Know All About It, Nobody Can Deceive Me.

I Know All About It espoused Vanity, and begat Pleasure, who, marrying
Tha Not Likely, became father to Let Us Enjoy Ourselves and Bad Luck.

Bad Luck took to wife Little Sense, and had a very large family, among
whom were This Will Do, What Business Is It Of Theirs, It Seems To Me,
I Not Possible.

Pleasure was widowed, and, marrying again, espoused Folly. Consuming
their inheritance, they said one to the other, “Have Patience, let us
spend our capital and enjoy ourselves this year, for God will provide
for the next.” But Deception took them to prison, and Poverty to the
workhouse, where they died.

Strange obsequies were performed at their funeral, at which were
present the five Senses, Intellect, Memory, and Will, although in a
pitiful condition. Repentance, who came somewhat late, found no seat,
and had to stand the whole time, while Consolation and Contentment
were represented by Desolation and Melancholy, daughters of Memory.

Despair, grandchild of the deceased, went about begging for several
days, in which he could only collect six maravedies, with which he
bought a rope and hanged himself from a turret, which is the end of the
family of Fools.

                                       _Anon._ (_Seventeenth Century_).

                  _THE FAMOUS PREACHER, FRIAR BLAS._

He was in the full perfection of his strength, just about
three-and-thirty years old, tall, robust, and stout; his limbs well set
and well proportioned; manly in gait, inclining to corpulence, with an
erect carriage of his head, and the circle of hair round his tonsure
studiously and exactly combed and shaven. His clerical dress was always
neat, and fell round his person in ample and regular folds. His shoes
fitted him with the greatest nicety, and, above all, his silken cap
was adorned with much curious embroidery and a fanciful tassel—the
work of certain female devotees who were dying with admiration of
their favourite preacher. In short, he had a very youthful, gallant
look; and, adding to this a clear, rich voice, a slight fashionable
lisp, a peculiar grace in telling a story, a talent at mimicry, an
easy action, a taking manner, a high-sounding style, and not a little
effrontery—never forgetting to sprinkle jests, proverbs, and homely
phrases along his discourses with a most agreeable aptness—he won
golden opinions in his public discourses, and carried everything before
him in the drawing-rooms he frequented.

[Illustration: FRIAR BLAS.]

It was well known that he always began his sermons with some proverb,
some jest, some pothouse witticism, or some strange fragment, which,
taken from its proper connections and relations, would seem, at first
blush, to be an inconsequence, a blasphemy, or an impiety; until at
last, having kept his audience waiting a moment in wonder, he finished
the clause, or came out with an explanation which reduced the whole to
a sort of miserable trifling. Thus, preaching one day on the mystery
of the Trinity, he began his sermon by saying, “I deny that God exists
a Unity in essence and a Trinity in person,” and then stopped short
for an instant. The hearers, of course, looked round on one another
scandalised, or, at least, wondering what would be the end of this
heretical blasphemy. At length, when the preacher thought he had fairly
caught them, he went on, “Thus says the Ebionite, the Marcionite, the
Arian, the Manichean, the Socinian; but I prove it against them all
from the Scriptures, the Councils, and the Fathers.”

In another sermon, which was on the Incarnation, he began by crying
out, “Your health, cavaliers!” and, as the audience burst into a broad
laugh at the free manner in which he had said it, he went on, “This is
no joking matter, however; for it was for your health and for mine,
and for that of all men, that Christ descended from heaven and became
incarnate in the Virgin Mary. It is an article of faith, and I prove
it thus: ‘_Propter nos, homines et nostram salutem decendit de cœlo et
incarnatus est_,’”—whereat they all remained in delighted astonishment,
and such a murmur of applause ran round the church that it wanted
little of breaking out into open acclamation.

                                                      _Trans. Ticknor._

                          _THE MUSICAL ASS._

    The fable which I now present
    Occur to me by accident;
    And whether bad or excellent,
    Is merely so by accident.

    A stupid Ass this morning went
    Into a field by accident
    And crop his food and was content,
    Until he spied by accident
    A flute, which some oblivious gent
    Had left behind by accident;
    When, sniffing it with eager scent,
    He breathed on it by accident,
    And made the hollow instrument
    Emit a sound by accident.
    “Hurrah, hurrah!” exclaimed the brute,
    “How cleverly I play the flute!”

    A fool, in spite of nature’s bent,
    May shine for once—by accident.

         _Yriarte_ (1750-1791). _Trans. R. Rockliff._


                      _THE BASHFUL SHEPHERDESS._

    No shady fruit-tree
    In the early year
    Dec with blossoms sweet
    In the day dawn clear
    So gladdens my eyes,
    And raises my heart,
    As when I catch sight
    Of my own sweetheart.
    He says, if I like,
    In the fair springtime
    We will married be,
    For his love I see.
    But to tell him yes
    I feel such shame,
    And no to answer
    Gives still more pain.
    But a thousand times yes,
    The very first time
    That he asks again,
    Is the answer mine.

        _Iglesias_ (_d._ 1791).

                   _THE BEAR, THE APE, AND THE PIG._

    A bear, whose dancing hel to gain
      His own and owne livelihood,
    And whose success had made him vain
      As any petit-maitre, stood
    Upon his hinder legs to try
      The figure of a new quadrille,
    When, seeing that an Ape was nigh,
      He stump’d about with all his skill,
    And, “Tell me how you like,” he cried,
      “My dancing, for  always glad
    To hear the truth.” The Ape replied,
      “I really think it very bad.”
    “’Tis plain enough,” rejoin’d the Bear,
      “That envy makes you censure so;
    For have I not a graceful air,
      A slender shape and limber toe?”
    But here a tasteless Pig began
      To grunt applause, and said, “I vow
    I’ve never met, in brute or man,
      With one who danced so well as thou.”
    The bear, on hearing this, became
      Sedate and pensive for awhile;
    And then, as if abash’d with shame.
      Replied, in a more humble style:
    “The agile Ape’s rebuke might be
      Inspired by jealousy or spleen;
    But, since the Pig commends, I see
      How bad my dancing must have been.”

    Let every author think on this,
      And hold the maxim for a rule—
    The worst that can befall him is
      The approbation of a fool.

        _Yriarte_ (1750-1791). _Trans. R. Rockliff._

                        _THE FROG AND THE HEN._

    As once a Frog,
    Who all day long had chatte from his bog,
                  Began to close
    His mouth and eyes, and drop into a dose,
                  He chanced just then
    To hear the sudden cackle of a hen.
                  “What sound is this?”
    He cried. “Dear madam, what can be amiss,
                  That thus you scream,
    And keep a quiet neighbour from his dream?”
                  The Hen replied,
    Her feathers fluttering with maternal pride,
                  “I humbly beg
    Your pardon, sir; but, having laid an egg,
                  I could not chuse
    To let you sleep in ignorance of the news.”
                  “What! all this clatter
    About a single egg!—so small a matter!”
                  “True, neighbour, true;
    ’Tis but a single egg—a small one, too;
                  But if you blame
    The rout that I have made about the same,
                  ’Tis doubly wrong
    In you to croak for nothing all day long.
                  The egg’s of use,
    And therefore I may brag with some excuse;
                  But the dull brute
    Tha unproductive should be also mute.”

         _Yriarte._ _Trans. R. Rockliff._

                         _MARIQUITA THE BALD._


It is as sorry a matter to use the words of which one ignores the
meaning as it is a blemish for a man of sense to speak of what he knows
nothing about. I say this to those of you who may have the present
story in your hands, however often you may have happened to have heard
_Mariquita the Bald_ mentioned, and I swear by my doublet that you
shall soon know who Mariquita the Bald was, as well as I know who ate
the Christmas turkey, setting aside the surmise that it certainly must
have been a mouth.

I desire, therefore, to enlighten your ignorance of this subject, and
beg to inform you that the said noted Maria (Mariquita is a diminutive
of Maria) was born in the District of Segovia, and in the town of Sant
Garcia, the which town is famed for the beauty of the maidens reared
within its walls, who for the most part have such gentle and lovely
faces, that may I behold such around me at the hour of my death. Mari
father was an honest farmer, by name Juan Lanas, a Christian old
man, and much beloved, and who had inherited no mean estate from his
forefathers, though with but little wit in his crown, a lack which was
the cause of much calamity to both the father and the daughter, for
in the times to which we have attained, God forgive me if it is not
necessary to have more of the knave than of the fool in on composition.
Now it came to pass that Juan Lanas, for the castigation of his sins,
must needs commit himself to a lawsuit with one of his neighbours about
a vine stock which was worth about fifty maravedis; and Juan was in the
right, and the judges gave the verdict in his favour, so that he won
his case, excepting that the suit lasted no less than ten years and
the costs amounted to nothing less than fifty thousand maravedies, not
to speak of a disease of the eyes which after all was over left him
blind. When he found himself with diminished property and without his
eyesight, in sorrow and disgust he turned into money such part of his
patrimony as sufficed to rid him of the hungry herd of scribeners and
lawyers, and took his way to Toledo with his daughter, who was already
entering upon her sixteenth year, and had matured into one of the most
beautiful, graceful, and lovable damsels to be found throughout all
Castile and the kingdoms beyond. For she was white as the lily and red
like the rose, straight and tall of stature, and slender in the waist,
with fair, shapely hips; and again her foot and hand were plump and
small to a marvel, and she possessed a head of hair which reached to
her knees. For I knew the widow Sarmiento who was their housekeeper,
and she told me how she could scarcely clasp Mariquita’s hair with both
hands, and that she could not comb the hair unless Maria stood up and
the housekeeper mounted on a footstool, for if Maria sat down, the long
tresses swept the ground, and therefore became all entangled.

And do not imagine her beauty and grace being such that she sinned
greatly in pride and levity, as is the wont of girls in this age. She
was as humble as a cloistered lay-sister, and as silent as if she
were not a woman, and patient as the sucking lamb, and industrious as
the ant, clean as the ermine, and pure as a saint of those times in
which, by the grace of the Most High, saintly women were born into
the world. But I must confide to you in friendship that our Mariquita
was not a little vain about her hair, and loved to display it, and
for this reason, now in the streets, now when on a visit, now when at
mass, it is said she used to subtilely loosen her mantilla so that her
tresses streamed down her back, the while feigning forgetfulness and
carelessness. She never wore a hood, for she said it annoyed her and
choked her; and every time that her father reproached her for some deed
deserving of punishment and threatened to cut off her hair, I warrant
you she suffered three times more than after a lash from the whip, and
would then be good for three weeks successively; so much so that Juan
Lanas, perceiving her amendment, would laugh under his cloak, and when
saying his say to his gossips would tell them that his daughter, like
the other saint of Sicily, would reach heaven by her hair. Having read
so far, you must now know that Juan Lanas, the blind man, with the
change of district and dwelling did not change his judgment, and if he
was crack-brained at Sant Garcia, he remained crack-brained at Toledo,
consuming in this resort his monies upon worthless drugs and quacks
which did not cure his blindness and impoverished him more and more
every day, so that if his daughter had not been so dexterous with her
fingers in making and broidering garments of linen, wool, and silk, I
promise you that this miserable Juan would have to have gone for more
than four Sundays without a clean shirt to put on or a mouthful to
eat, unless he had begged for it from door to door. The years passed
by to find Maria every day more beautiful, and her father every day
more blind and more desirous to see, until his affliction and trouble
took such forcible possession of his breast and mind, that Maria saw
as clear as daylight that if her father did not recover his sight,
he would die of grief. Maria thereupon straightway took her father
and led him to the house of an Arabian physician of great learning
who dwelt at Toledo, and told the Moor to see if there were any cure
for the old ma sight. The Arabian examined and touched Juan, and made
this and that experiment with him, and everything was concerted in
that the physician swore great oaths by the heel-bone of Mohammed that
there was a complete certainty of curing Juan and making him to see
his daughter again, if only he, the physician, were paid for the cure
with five hundred maravedies all in gold. A sad termination for such a
welcome beginning, for the two unhappy creatures, Juan and Maria, had
neither maravedi nor cuarto in their money box! So they went thence all
downcast, and Maria never ceased praying to his Holiness Saint John and
his Holiness Saint James (the patron saint of Spain) to repair to their
assistance in this sad predicament.

“In what way,” conjectured she inwardly—“in what way can I raise
fifty maravedies to be quits with the worthy Moor who will give back
his sight to my poor old father? Ah! I have it. I am a pretty maid,
and suitors innumerable, commoners and nobles, pay their addresses
and compliments to me. But all are trifling youths who only care for
love-making and who seek light o’ loves rather than spouses according
to the law of the Lord Jesus Christ. I remember, notwithstanding,
that opposite our house lives the sword-cutler, Master Palomo, who is
always looking at me and never speaks to me, and the Virgin assist
me, he appears a man of very good condition for a husband; but what
maiden, unless she were cross-eyed or hunch-backed, could like a man
with such a flat nose, with that skin the colour of a ripe date, with
those eyes like a dead cal, and with those huge hands, which are more
like the paws of a wild beast than the belongings of a person who
with them should softly caress the woman whom Destiny bestows upon
him for a companion? ’Tis said that he is no drunkard, nor cudgeller,
nor dallier with woman, nor a liar, and that he is besides possessed
of much property and very rich. Pity ’tis that one who is so ugly and
stiff-necked should unite such parts.”

Thus turning the matter over and over in her mind, Maria together with
Juan reached their home, where was awaiting them an esquire in a long
mourning robe, who told Maria that the aunt of the Mayor of the city
had died in an honest estate and in the flower of her age, for she had
not yet completed her seventy years, and that the obsequies of this
sexagenarian damsel were to be performed the following day, on which
occasion her coffin would be carried to the church by maidens, and he
was come to ask Maria if she would please to be one of the bearers of
the dead woman, for which she would receive a white robe, and to eat,
and a ducat, and thanks into the bargain.

Maria, since she was a well brought up maid, replied that if it seemed
well to her father, it would also seem well to her.

Juan accepted, and Maria was rejoiced to be able to make a display
of her hair, for it is well known that the maidens who bear another
to the grave walk with dishevelled locks. And when on the morrow the
tiring-women of the Mayoress arrayed Maria in a robe white as the
driven snow and fine as the skin of an onion; and when they girt her
slender waist with a sash of crimson silk, the ends of which hung down
to the broad hem of the skirt; and when they crowned her smooth and
white forehead with a wreath of white flowers, I warrant you that,
what with the robe and the sash and the wreath, and the beautiful
streaming hair and her lovely countenance and gracious mien, she seemed
no female formed of flesh and blood, but a superhuman creature or
blessed resident of those shining circles in which dwell the celestial
hierarchies. The Mayor and the other mourners stepped forth to see
her, and all unceasingly praised God, who was pleased to perform such
miracles for the consolation and solace of those living in this world.
And there in a corner of the hall, motionless like a heap of broken
stones, stood one of the mutes with the hood of his long cloak covering
his head, so that nothing could be seen but his eyes, the which he kept
fixed on the fair damsel. The latter modestly lowered her eyes to the
ground with her head a little bent and her cheeks red for bashfulness,
although it pleased her no little to hear the praises of her beauty.
At this moment a screen was pushed aside, and there began to appear a
huge bulk of petticoats, which was nothing less than the person of the
Mayoress, for she was with child and drawing near to her time. And when
she saw Maria, she started, opened her eyes a hand’s-breadth wide, bit
her lips, and called hurriedly for her husband. They stepped aside for
a good while, and then hied them thence, and when they returned the
mutes and maidens had all gone.

While they are burying the defunct lady I must tell you, curious
readers, that the Mayor and Mayoress had been married for many years
without having any children, and they longed for them like the
countryman for rain in the month of May, and at last her hour of bliss
came to the Mayoress, to the great content of her husband. Now, it was
whispered that the said lady had always been somewhat capricious; judge
for yourselves what she would be now in the time of her pregnancy! And
as she was already on the way to fifty, she was more than mediocrely
bald and hairless, and on these very same days had commissioned a woman
barber, who lived in the odour of witchcraft, to prepare for her some
false hair, but it was not to be that of a dead woman, for the Mayoress
said very sensibly that if the hair belonged to a dead woman who
rejoiced in supreme glory, or was suffering for her sins in purgatory,
it would be profanation to wear any pledge of theirs, and if they were
in hell, it was a terrible thing to wear on person relics of one of
the damned. And when the Mayoress saw the abundant locks of Maria, she
coveted them for herself, and it was for this reason that she called
to the Mayor to speak to her in private and besought him eagerly to
persuade Maria to allow herself to be shorn upon the return from the

“I warn you,” said the Mayor, “that you are desirous of entering upon
a very knotty bargain, for the dishevelled girl idolises her hair in
such wise, that she would sooner lose a finger than suffer one of her
tresses to be cut off.”

“I warn you,” replied the Mayoress, “that if on this very day the head
of this young girl is not shorn smooth beneath my hand as a melon, the
child to which I am about to give birth will have a head of hair on its
face, and if it happens to be a female, look you, a pretty daughter is
in store for you!”

“But bethink yourself that Maria will ask, who knows, a good few crowns
for this shaving.”

“Bethink yourself, that if not, your heir or heiress, begotten after so
many years’ marriage, will come amiss; and bear in mind, by the way,
that we are not so young as to hope to replace this by another.”

Upon this she turned her back to the Mayor, and went to her apartment
crying out: “I want the hair, I must have the hair, and if I do not get
the hair, by my halidom I shall never become a mother.”

In the meantime the funeral had taken place without any novelty to
mention, excepting that if in the streets any loose fellow in the crowd
assayed to annoy the fair Maria, the hooded mute, of whom we made
mention before, quickly drew from beneath his cloak a strap, with which
he gave a lash to the insolent rogue without addressing one word to
him, and then walked straight on as if nothing had happened. When all
the mourners returned, the Mayor seized hold of Mari hand and said to

“And now, fair maid, let us withdraw for a little while into this other
apartment,” and thus talking whilst in motion he brought her into his
wife’s private tiring-room, and sat himself down in a chair and bent his
head and stroked his beard with the mien of one who is studying what
beginning to give to his speech. Maria, a little foolish and confused,
remained standing in front of the Mayor, and she also humbly lowered
before him her eyes, black as the sloe; and to occupy herself with
something, gently fingered the ends of the sash which girded her waist
and hung down over her skirt, not knowing what to expect from the grave
mien and long silence of the Mayor, who, raising his eyes and looking
up at Maria, when he beheld her in so modest a posture, devised thence
a motive with which to begin, saying—

“Forsooth, Maria, so modest and sanctimonious is thy bearing, that it
is easy to see thou art preparing thyself to become a black wimpled
nun. And if it be so, as I presume it to be, I now offer of my own
accord to dispose of thy entry into the cloisters without any dowry, on
condition that thou dost give me something that thou hast on thy head,
and which then wilt not be necessary for thee.”

“Nay, beshrew me, Sir Mayor,” replied Maria, “for I durst not think
that the Lord calls upon me to take that step, for then my poor father
would remain in the world without the staff of his old age.”

“Then, now, I desire to give thee some wise counsel, maid Maria. Thou
dost gain thy bread with great fatigue, thou shouldst make use of thy
time as much as is possible. Now one of thy neighbours hath told me,
that in the dressing of thy hair, thou doth waste every day more than
an hour. It would be better far if thou didst spend this hour on thy
work rather than in the dressing and braiding which thou dost to thy

“That is true, Sir Mayor,” replied Maria, turning as red as a
carnation, “but, look you, it is not my fault if I have a wealth of
tresses, the combing and plaiting of which necessitates so long a time
every morning.”

“I tell thee it is thy fault,” retorted the Mayor, “for if thou didst
cut off this mane, thou would save thyself all this combing and
plaiting, and thus would have more time for work, and so gain more
money, and would also give no occasion to people to call thee vain.
They even say that the Devil will some day carry thee off by thy hair.
Nay, do not be distressed, for I already perceive the tears gathering
in thy eyes, for thou hast them indeed very ready at hand; I admonish
thee for thine own good without any self-interest. Cut thy hair off,
shear thyself, shave thyself, good Maria, and to allay the bitterness
of the shearing, I will give fifty maravedies, always on condition that
thou dost hand me over the hair.”

When Maria at first heard this offer of so reasonable a sum for this
her hair, it seemed to her a jest of the Mayo, and she smiled right
sweetly while she dried her tears, repeating—

“You will give me fifty maravedies if I shave myself?”

Now it appeared to the Mayor (who, it is said, was not gifted with all
the prudence of Ulysses) that that smile signified that the maid was
not satisfied with so small a price, and he added—

“If thou wilt not be content with fifty maravedies, I will give thee a

Then Maria saw some hangings of the apartment moving in front of her,
and perceiving a bulky protuberance, she immediately divined that the
Mayoress was hiding behind there, and that the protuberance was caused
by her portly form. She now discovered the Mayo design, and that it
was probably a caprice of his spouse, and she made a vow not to suffer
herself to be shorn unless she acquired by these means the five hundred
maravedies needful to pay the Arabian physician who would give her
father back his eyesight.

Then the Mayor raised his price from a hundred maravedies to a hundred
and fifty, and afterwards to two hundred, and Maria continued her sweet
smiling, shaking of the head and gestures, and every time that the
Mayor bid higher and Maria feigned to be reluctant, she almost hoped
that the Mayor would withdraw from his proposition, for the great
grief it caused her to despoil herself of that precious ornament,
notwithstanding that by means of it she might gain her father’s health.
Finally the Mayor, anxious to conclude the treaty, for he saw the
stirring of the curtains, and knew by them the anxiety and state of
mind of the listener, closed by saying—

“Go to, hussy, I will give thee five hundred maravedies, see, once and
for all, if thou canst agree to these terms.”

“Be it so,” replied Maria, sighing as if her soul would flee from her
flesh with these words—“be it so, so long that nobody doth know that I
remain bald.”

“I will give my word for it,” said the Mayoress, stepping from behind
the curtains with a pair of sharp shears in her hands and a wrapper
over her arm.

When Maria saw the scissors she turned as yellow as wax, and when they
told her to sit down on the sacrificial chair, she felt herself grow
faint and had to ask for a drink of water; and when they tied the
wrapper round her throat it is related that she would have immediately
torn it asunder if her courage had not failed her. And when at the
first movement of the shears she felt the cold iron against her skull,
I tell you it seemed to her as if they were piercing her heart with
a bright dagger. It is possible that she did not keep her head still
for a moment while this tonsuring was taking place; she moved it in
spite of herself, now to one side, now to another, to flee from the
clipping scissors, of which the rude cuts and the creaking axis wounded
her ears. Her posture and movements, however, were of no avail to the
poor shorn maiden, and the pertinacious shearer, with the anxiety and
covetousness of a pregnant woman satisfying a caprice, seized the hair
well, or ill, by handfuls, and went on bravely clipping, and the locks
fell on to the white wrapper, slipping down thence till they reached
the ground.

At last the business came to an end, and the Mayoress, who was beside
herself with joy, caressingly passed the palm of her hand again and
again over the mai bald head from the front to the back, saying—

“By my mother’s soul, I have shorn you so regularly and close to root,
that the most skilful barber could not have shorn you better. Get up
and braid the hair while my husband goes to get the money and I your
clothes, so that you can leave the house without any one perceiving it.”


The Mayor and Mayoress went out of the room, and Maria, as soon as
she found herself alone, went to look at herself in a mirror that hung
there; and when she saw herself bald she lost the patience she had
had until then, and groaned with rage and struck herself, and even
tried to wrench off her ears, which appeared to her now outrageously
large, although they were not so in reality. She stamped upon her
hair and cursed herself for having ever consented to lose it, without
remembering her father, and just as if she had no father at all. But as
it is a quality of human nature to accept what cannot be altered, poor
angry Maria calmed down little by little, and she picked up the hair
from the ground and bound it together and braided it into great ropes,
not without kissing it and lamenting over it many times. The Mayor and
the Mayoress returned, he with the money and she with the every-day
clothes of Maria, who undressed and folded her white robe in a
kerchief, put on her old gown, hid herself with her shawl to the eyes,
and walked, moaning, to the house of the Moor, without noticing that
the man with the hood over his head was following behind her, and that
when she, in a moment of forgetfulness, lowered her shawl through the
habit she had of displaying her tresses, her bald head could be plainly
seen. The Moor received the five hundred maravedies with that good will
with which money is always received, and told Maria to bring Juan Lanas
to his house to stay there so long as there was any risk in the cure.
Maria went to fetch the old man, and kept silence as to her shorn head
so as not to grieve him, and whilst Juan remained the physicia guest,
Maria durst not leave her home except after nightfall and then well
enveloped; this, however, did not hinder her being followed by the
muffled-up man.

One evening the Moor told her in secret that the next morning he would
remove the bandages from Jua eyes. Maria went to bed that night with
great rejoicing, but thought to herself that when her father saw her
(which would be with no little pleasure) he would be pleased three or
four times more if he could see her with the pretty head-dress which
she used to wear in her native town. Amidst such cavillation she donned
the next day her best petticoat and ribands to hie to the Arabia house;
and while she was sitting down to shoe herself she of a sudden felt
something like a hood closing over her head, and, turning round, she
saw behind her the muffled-up man of before, who, throwing aside his
cloak, discovered himself to be the sword-cutler, Master Palomo, who,
without speaking, presented Maria with a little Venetian mirror, in
which she looked and saw herself with her own hair and garb in such
wise that she wondered for a good time if it were not a dream that the
Mayoress had shorn her. The fact was, that Master Palomo was a great
crony of the old woman barber, and had seen in her house Mari tresses
on the very same afternoon of the morning in which he saw Maria was
bald, and keeping silence upon the matter, had wheedled the old woman
into keeping Mari hair for him, and dressing for the Mayoress some
other hair of the same hue which the crone had from a dead woman—a
bargain by which the crafty old dame acquired many a bright crown. And
the story relates that as soon as Maria regained her much-lamented
and sighed-for hair by the hands of the gallant sword-cutler, the
Master appeared to her much less ugly than before, and I do not know
if it tells that from that moment she began to look on him with more
favourable eyes, but i’sooth it is a fact that upon his asking her to
accept his escort to the Moor’s house, she gave her assent, and the
two set out hand in hand, the maiden holding her head up free from
mufflers. As they both entered the physicia apartment her father threw
himself into Mari arms, crying—

“Glory to God, I see thee now, my beloved daughter. How tall and
beautiful thou art grown! Verily, it is worthwhile to become blind for
five years to see on daughter matured thus! Now that I see daylight
again, it is only right that I should no longer be a burden to thee. I
shall work for myself, for as for thee it is already time for thee to

“For this very purpose am I come,” broke in at this opportune moment
the silent sword-cutler; “I, as you will have already recognised by my
voice, am your neighbour, Master Palomo. I love Maria, and ask you for
her hand.”

“Lack-a-day, Master, but your exterior is not very prepossessing.
Howbeit, if Maria doth accept you, I am content.”

“I,” replied Maria, wholly abashed, and smoothing the false hair (which
then weighed upon her head and heart like a burden of five hundred
weight)—“I, so may God enlighten me, for I durst not venture to reply.”

Palomo took her right hand without saying anything, and as he did so
Maria looked at the Master’s wrists, and observed the wristbands of his
shirt, neatly embroidered, and with some suspicion and beating of her
heart said to him—

“If you wish to please me, good neighbour, tell me by what sempstress
is this work?”

“It is the work,” replied the Master, jocularly—“the work of a pretty
maiden who for five years has toiled for my person, albeit she hath not
known it till now.”

“Now I perceive,” said Maria, “how that all the women who have come to
give me linen to sew and embroider were sent by you, and that is why
they paid me more than is customary.”

The Master did not reply, but he smiled and held out his arms to Maria.
Maria threw herself into them, embracing him very caressingly; and Juan
himself said to the two—

“In good sooth, you are made one for the other.”

“By my troth, my beloved one,” continued the sword-cutler after a
while, “if my countenance had only been more pleasing, I should not
have been silent towards you for so many long days, nor would I have
been content with gazing at you from afar. I should have spoken to you,
you would have made me the confidant of your troubles, and I would
have given you the five hundred maravedies for the cure of your good
father.” And whispering softly into her ear, he added, “And then you
would not have passed that evil moment under the hands of the Mayoress.
But if you fear that she may break the promise she made to you to keep
silence as to your cropped head, let us, if it please you, set out for
Seville, where nobody knows you, and thus——”

“No more,” exclaimed Maria, resolutely throwing on the ground the hair,
which Juan picked up all astonished; “Send this hair to the Mayoress,
since it was for this and not for that of the dead woman that she
paid so dearly. For I, to cure myself of my vanity, now make a vow,
with your good permission, to go shorn all my life; such artificial
adornments are little befitting to the wives of honest burghers.”

“But rely upon it,” replied the Master-cutler, “that as soon as it is
known that you have no hair, the girls of the city, envious of your
beauty, will give you the nickname of _Mariquita the Bald_!”

“They may do so,” replied Maria, “and that they may see that I do not
care a fig for this or any other nickname, I swear to you that from
this day forth I will not suffer anybody to call me by another name
than _Mariquita the Bald_.”

This was the event that rendered so famous throughout all Castille the
beautiful daughter of good Juan Lanas, who in effect married Master
Palomo, and became one of the most honourable and prolific women of the
most illustrious city of Toledo.

                               _Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch_ (1806-1880).


Through the little square of St. Anna, towards a certain tavern, where
the best wine is to be quaffed in Seville, there walked in measured
steps two men, whose demeanour clearly manifested the soil which gave
them birth. He who walked in the middle of the street, taller than
the other by about a finger’s length, sported with affected carelessness
the wide, slouched hat of Ecija, with tassels of glass beads and a
ribbon as black as his sins. He wore his cloak gathered under his left
arm; the right, emerging from a turquoise lining, exposed the merino
lambskin with silver clasps. The herdsman’s boots—white, with Turkish
buttons,—the breeches gleaming red from below the cloak and covering
the knee, and, above all, his strong and robust appearance, dark curly
hair, and eye like a red-hot coal, proclaimed at a distance that all
this combination belonged to one of those men who put an end to horses
between their knees and tire out the bull with their lance. He walked
on, arguing with his companion, who was rather spare than prodigal in
his person, but marvellously lithe and supple. The latter was shod with
low shoes, garters united the stockings to the light-blue breeches,
the waistcoat was cane-coloured, his sash light green, and jaunty
shoulder-knots, lappets, and rows of buttons ornamented the camelite
jacket. The open cloak, the hat drawn over his ear, his short, clean
steps, and the manifestations in all his limbs and movements of agility
and elasticity beyond trial plainly showed that in the arena, carmine
cloth in hand, he would mock at the most frenzied of Jarama bulls, or
the best horned beasts from Utrera.

I—who adore and die for such people, though the compliment be not
returned—went slowly in the wake of their worships, and, unable
to restrain myself, entered with them the same tavern, or rather
eating-house, since there they serve certain provocatives as well as
wine, and I, as my readers perceive, love to call things by their right
name. I entered and sat down at once, and in such a manner as not to
interrupt my Oliver and Roland, and that they might not notice me, when
I saw that, as if believing themselves alone, they threw their arms
with an amicable gesture round each other’s neck, and thus began their

“Pulpete,” said the taller, “now that we are going to meet each other,
knife in hand—you here, I there,... _one, two,... on your guard,...
triz, traz,... have that,... take this and call it what you like_
...—let us first drain a tankard to the music and measure of some

“Señor Balbeja,” replied Pulpete, drawing his face aside and spitting
with the greatest neatness and pulchritude towards his shoe, “I am not
the kind of man either for la Gorja or other similar earthly matters,
or because a steel tongue is sheathed in my body, or my weasand slit,
or for any other such trifle, to be provoked or vexed with such a
friend as Balbeja. Let the wine be brought, and then we will sing; and
afterwards blood—blood to the hilt.”

The order was given, they clinked glasses, and, looking one at the
other, sang a Sevillian song.

This done, they threw off their cloaks with an easy grace, and
unsheathed their knives with which to prick one another, the one
Flemish with a white haft, the other from Guadix, with a guard to
the hilt, both blades dazzling in their brightness, and sharpened
and ground enough for operating upon cataracts, much less ripping up
bellies and bowels. The two had already cleft the air several times
with the said lancets, their cloak wound round their left arm—first
drawing closer, then back, now more boldly and in bounds—when Pulpete
hoisted the flag for parley, and said—

“Balbeja, my friend, I only beg you to do me the favour not to fan
my face _Juilon_ your knife, since a slash might use it so ill that
my mother who bore me would not know me, and I should not like to be
considered ugly; neither is it right to mar and destroy what God made
in His likeness.”

“Agreed,” replied Balbeja; “I will aim lower.”

“Except—except my stomach also, for I was ever a friend to cleanliness,
and I should not like to see myself fouled in a bad way, if your knife
and arm played havoc with my liver and intestines.”

“I will strike higher; but let us go on.”

“Take care of my chest, it was always weak.”

“Then just tell me, friend, _where_ am I to sound or tap you?”

“My dear Balbeja, ther always plenty of time and space to hack at a
man: I have here on my left arm a wen, of which you can make meat as
much as you like.”

“Here goes for it,” said Balbeja, and he hurled himself like an arrow;
the other warded off the thrust with his cloak, and both, like skilful
penmen, began again tracing and signatures in the air with dashes and
flourishes, without, however, raising a particle of skin.

I do not know what would have been the end of this onslaught, since
my venerable, dry, and shrivelled person was not suitable for forming
a point of exclamation between two combatants; and the tavern-keeper
troubled so little about what was happening that he drowned the
stamping of their feet and clatter of the tumbling stools and utensils
by scraping street music on a guitar as loud as he could. Otherwise he
was as calm as if he were entertaining two angels instead of two devils


I do not know, I repeat, how this scene would have ended, when there
crossed the threshold a personage who came to take a part in the
development of the drama. There entered, I say, a woman of twenty to
twenty-two years of age, diminutive in body, superlative in audacity
and grace. Neat and clean hose and shoes, short, black flounced
petticoat, a linked girdle, head-dress or mantilla of fringed taffeta
caught together at the nape of her neck, and a corner of it over her
shoulder, she passed before my eyes with swaying hips, arms akimbo, and
moving her head to and fro as she looked about her on all sides.

Upon seeing her the tavern-keeper dropped his instrument, and I was
overtaken by perturbation such as I had not experienced for thirty
years (I am, after all, only flesh and blood); but, without halting for
such lay-figures, she advanced to the field of battle.

There was a lively to-do here: Don Pulpete and Don Balbeja when they
saw Doña Gorja appear, first cause of the disturbance and future
prize for the victor, increased their feints, flourishes, curvets,
onsets, crouching, and bounds—all, however, without touching a hair.
Our Helen witnessed in silence for a long time this scene in history
with that feminine pleasure which the daughters of Eve enjoy at such
critical moments. But gradually her pretty brow clouded over, until,
drawing from her delicate ear, not a flower or earring, but the stump
of a cigar, she hurled it amidst the jousters. Not even Charles V.’s
cane in the last duel in Spain produced such favourable effects. Both
came forward immediately with formal respect, and each, by reason of
the discomposure of his person and clothes, presumed to urge a title
by which to recommend himself to the fair with the flounces. She, as
though pensive, was going over the passage of arms in her mind, and
then, with firm and confident resolution, spoke thus—

“And is this affair for me?”

“Who else should it be for? since I ... since nobody——” they replied in
the same breath.

“Listen, gentlemen,” said she. “For females such as I and my parts,
of my charms and descent—daughter of la Gatusa, niece of la Méndez,
and granddaughter of la Astrosa—know that there are neither pacts
nor compacts, nor any such futile things, nor are any of them worth a
farthing. And when men challenge each other, let the knife do its work
and the red blood flow, so as not to have my mother’s daughter present
without giving her the pleasure of snapping her fingers in the face
of the other. If you pretend you are fighting for me, it’s a lie; you
are wholly mistaken, and that not by halves. I love neither of you.
Mingalarios of Zafra is to my taste, and he and I look upon you with
scorn and contempt. Good-bye, my braves; and, if you like, call my man
to account.”

She spoke, spat, smoothed the saliva with the point of her shoe,
looking Pulpete and Balbeja full in the face, and went out with the
same expressive movements with which she entered.

The two unvarnished braggarts followed the valorous Doña Gorja with
their eyes; and then with a despicable gesture drew their knives across
their sleeve as though wiping off the blood there might have been,
sheathed them at one and the same time, and said together—

“Through woman the world was lost, through a woman Spain was lost;[9]
but it has never been known, nor do ballads relate, nor the blind
beggars sing,[10] nor is it heard in the square or markets, that two
valiant men killed each other for another lover.”

“Give me that fist, Don Pulpete.”

“Your hand, Don Balbeja.”

They spoke and strode out into the street, the best friends in the
world, leaving me all amazed at such whimsicality.

                     _Estébanez Calderón_ (_El Solitario_) (1799-1867).


    Who Naples fair has never seen
    never a marvel, sure, has seen;
    Nor who to Sevill ever been
    will ever wish to leave, I ween,
    “See bella Napoli and die!”
    is the Neapolitan’s cry.
    The counsel the Sevillians give
    is “Seville see and learn to live!”

                        _José Zorrilla_ (1817-1893).

                        _AFTER THE BULL-FIGHT._

Beg pardon, Mr. Magistrate, but it was as my husband tells it, for he
stayed at home with Alfonsa and the baby, who was asleep, and he knew
nothing about what happened.”

“Then, do you tell me how it happened.”

“I, sir? Well, you see, your Worship, an honest woman and do know how
to explain myself well; but that gentleman there is my husband, and his
conduct is such as your Honour sees, always drunk and out of work.”

“Come to the point.”

“Well, I’m coming; the cause of it all is a friend of the family and very
intimate, as every one knows, and they call him Malgesto, and he can
thrust a banderilla[11] into the morning star, much less into a bull;
well, as I was saying, the same had told me: ‘Paca, I won’t have my lady
friends look at el Chato, and if I see them do it, I’ll cut off the
little nose he has left.’“All right!” said I, “but as you see, your
Lordship or your Worship, taste is taste, and in no catechism have I
seen it called a sin to look at somebody; so la Curra, who evil tongues
say is Malgesto’s wife, and I paid no attention, you see, and....”

“Go on, you went to the bull-fight with the other man.”

“Tha just it, since he hired a fly and took me and la Curra, so that we
might not go alone, and everybody would have done the same, and I....”

“To the point, to the point.”

“The point is a needle’s point, as one says, for take my word for it, the
other from the arena never takes his eyes off us the whole time, and he
placed the darts in a cross, and cursed them with gestures towards us,
from which Heaven deliver us.”

“But at last....”

“At last the last bull was despatched as usual, and we all went away
in peace and the grace of God, when as we were going out el Chato
disappeared somehow, and I who expected to meet him at the door
of the fly, who do you think I met? nobody more nor less than the
banderillero, who said, ‘Ungrateful woman, is this how you obey my
orders?’I said to him ... but no, I said nothing to him then, as if I
were afraid, but I just shrugged my shoulders, and I do know if I did
anything else. He answered nothing, except two or three oaths and a
little blasphemy, and then seizing la Curra, he lifted her violently
into the cab, and then he pushed me in, saying: ‘If you do go in I’ll
kill el Chato’ and I, you see, your Honour, a decent woman, and do want
anybody’s death.”

“And so what did you do?”

“What could I do? I got in.”

“And afterwards?”

“Afterwards came the row, for la Curra began to grumble, and so did I,
he to keep us quiet gave us each two or three cuffs; and then we began
to call him names and call each other names, for your Honour knows
defence is only natural; to finish up, the horse took fright and nearly
upset us; but at last we got out in the Calle del Barquillo; he set off
running, la Curra after him, and tha the last I’ve seen of them.”

“So that you have nothing more to allege?”

“Nothing more.”

“And you swear to this?”

“I swear that I am a respectable woman, incapable of scandalous
behaviour, though at times a poor female ca help ... but now I want to
complain to your Worship, for I too have my wrongs.”

“Let us hear them.”

“In the first place I complain of all my neighbours, for they have
stolen all I had in the house, inside and outside.”

“And how can you prove?”

“I can prove the things are gone, which is the principal thing;
secondly, I complain of my husband, who does protect me in my danger;
thirdly, I complain of la Curra for fourteen scratches and ten pinches,
not to mention some kicks; besides this I complain of the policeman,
who took me to prison only because I pulled a face at him on St. Anthony’s
day,[12] when he tried to make love to me; lastly, I complain of your
Worship, who are Justice of the Peace for this ward, and——”

“Silence, you baggage, or by Heavens I’ll put a gag in your mouth which
it won’t be so easy to shake off.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“What is it, constable?”

“Notice has just been brought, sir, that two men have been fighting
with knives in front of Mother Alfons tavern, and are both badly

“Who are they?”

“El Chato and Malgesto.”

“_Scenes in Madrid._” _Mesonero Romanos_ (_El Curioso Parlante_)

                    _DELIGHTS OF A MADRID WINTER._

No, sir, you cannot deny that the best season of the year is winter.
The theatres fill up. Gastronomists return to the juicy oyster; and
as soon as it begins to freeze still their appetites with the tasty
sea-bream. The crown ministers can infringe the laws with impunity,
fearless of tumults and insurrections, for the people’s blood does not
boil as in the month of July, and patriots prefer roasting chestnuts
and toasting themselves over the brazier to haranguing in rain and
snow. The shoeblacks dance with joy, for the mud is all in their
favour. The doctors make their fortunes with colds and lung diseases.
The apothecaries sell cough lozenges to their hearts’ content. The
maid-servants make a new conquest every day of the Savoyards who cross
the Pyrenees to clean out our chimneys and purses with their monkeys
and hurdy-gurdies. But besides these and other votaries, who have
powerful reasons for liking winter, there are other admirers of this
season dubbed _rigorous_ by the ignorant vulgar. These devotees are the
only really intelligent beings, and nobody will be able to deny they
are right, when they patent the advantages of the months of November,
December, and January over those of May, June, and July.

The monotony of summer is insipid. The sun shines upon everything with
the very same rays. The flowers unceasingly diffuse the identical
scent. The country is always green.... It is unsupportable, horrible!
The votaries of summer say that all this makes the little birds charm
with their trills and warbles every heart sensible to the delights of
harmony. And we defenders of winter reply, who can compare the feeble
song of the timid nightingale to the animated and piercing duets
intoned by enamoured cats on our roofs in January? And the rain? Can
anything be more delicious than rain? Oh, how I rave for the rain! Let
us talk about the rain!

Some people say the rain is monotonous. Ignorant idiots! Let them apply
that epithet to the sun, but the rain—monotonous? Bah! Could anybody
adduce anything more varied and agreeable than rain? Clouds, mists,
dew, hail, drizzle, showers, snow-storms ... what a charming mosaic of
precious things!

Is there a more sublime spectacle than a shower? ... especially when
contemplated from behind a well-glazed window? When the cataracts
of heaven are opened on Sundays, it is worth while hiring a balcony
in the Puerta del Sol. Those who have been so imprudent as to sally
out without their wife and umbrella, recognise the advantage of the
latter article over the former. But what a pleasing sight is the
picturesque group of a married pair and their little children under
the protection of one umbrella! And when the crystalline rain is
accompanied by a strong soester, which the most impermeable of taffety
cannot resist—that boisterous blast which removes hats and wigs ...
oh, then the respectable couple who have issued forth to air their
Sunday-best present a marvellous and really romantic spectacle. The
husband, fearful for his precious umbrella abandons the arm of his
better-half, and presses his feet firmly to the ground to save the
article in question, for the wind has turned it inside out like a
stocking, and seems desirous of snatching it from his hands, in the
same way that it has whirled off his hat just as a flower-pot falls
from one of the houses and smashes his skull. The modest spouse pays
no attention either to her husband’s catastrophe, or to the gusts or
downpour, but thinks only of her angelical prudicity, and how she may
best avoid making a display of her person, for the wind against which
she is struggling marks out all her contour, seeming to take a pleasure
in exposing to the spectators the most hidden curves of his victim.

But I should never end if I gave a minute description of all the
fascinations of my favourite season. I have said enough about the
beauties of rain. In another article I hope to illustrate the pleasures
of the cold, the charm of chilblains, and particularly all tha heroic
in cerebral rheums, fully persuaded that once the reasons upon which I
base my opinions are read, all my readers will agree with me that there
is nothing to be compared with the delights of winter.

                                           _Wenceslao Ayguals de Izco._


“I tell you it’s not good at all,” vociferated a newly-elected
parliamentary representative of some rural locality. “Why my
constituency would recognise me in that portrait. It’s detestable!”

“It’s excellent!” replied the exasperated photographer. “There’s not a
better photographer than myself in Madrid.”

“I do doubt it; but it’s clear you have not been successful with me.”

“But what’s the matter with it?”

“The matter?... Look at me!... Have I two eyes?”


“Well, in the photograph there’s only one.”


“Have I two ears?”

“Of course, but....”

“Well, you’ve only given me one too.”

“But you are taken in profile....”

“Tut, tut, tut.... Do you take me for a simple rustic? However much I
placed myself in profile, does that prevent my having two eyes and two

(_Aside_) “And very long ones....” (_Aloud_) “But....”

“Again, is my neck black?”

“That is the shade....”

“No imputations, sir! ther nothing shady in me or my political life,
and in my district they will tell you who I am; and if, though I am
mayor, I never served my two years in the militia, why....”

“But the photograph, the photograph!”

“The photograph is not like me.”

“Then you wo take it?”

“No, sir.”

“Good; then I shall put it in the window, with the inscription, ‘The
original of this is a cheat.’”

“You can do it....”

“Everybody who knows you....”

“Who would recognise me?... My electors know perfectly well that I have
two eyes and two ears.”

“Then go, sir, in Heave name.”

“And to think that people say photography is so true to life!” growled,
as he departed, this father of his country.

“Number 25,” cried the manservant, putting his head in at the door of
the waiting-room.

And Number 25, who is not a bad-looking lady, passes through the
corridor and enters the studio.

The photographer bows, and the following conversation begins:—

“Sir,” said the lady, “my happiness lies in your hands.”

“I am very pleased, sure; but I do quite understand....”

“I am a single lady, sir, as yet single....”

“Been so long?”


“I beg your pardon, I mean ... at your service.”

“I must tell you that a gentleman I do not love wants to marry me
perforce.... He resides at Havana, and I do not wish to have my husband
so far away.”

“I understand.”

“Now, tell me, if a man persisted in marrying you from Havana....”

“The hypothesis is not admissible, mm.”

“Ah, true! well, if a woman....”

“There are matters, madam, in which the person interested can alone....”

“It is true; for this reason, wishing at all costs to break off the
projected marriage, I have determined to send my likeness to my suitor.”

“Your looks, mm, will captivate him more than ever.”

“That’s why; ... I wish my likeness not to be my likeness: I want to come
out ugly, very ugly.”

“That’s impossible, madam; photography always tells the truth.”

“Do you refuse?”

“Decidedly. Even if I tried you would not come out ugly.”

“That’s what my cousin the lieutenant says.”

“And he’s right.”

“But I must carry out my plan, and if you will not do it I shall go to
a photographer I saw in the Calle de Francia, where some hideous women
are exhibited.”

“As you like, madam.”

The lady withdraws, and the manservant calls out, “Number 26.”

Number 26 is a stalwart country bumpkin in a russet suit, who, after
entering the studio, is asked if he desires his photograph on a card or
on glass.

“I want those that cost twelve reals by the notice,” says he.

“Good. Sit down in that chair.”

“But it must be exactly like me; I give you warning.”

“You will see, sir.”

“And I must appear in the fancy dress I wear at home in our village for
the Carnival.”

“Have you brought it with you?”

“No; ought I to have?”

“Most certainly.”

“Take me now, and the first time I come to Madrid again I’ll bring the


“Well, I am surprised; to think that....”

“Come, come, it’s getting late, and other people are waiting for me.”
[_Exit bumpkin._

“Number 27.”

  “_Viaje crítico alrededor de la Puerta del Sol._”

                                                _M. Ossorio y Bernard._

                         _THE OLD CASTILIAN._

Since I have grown older I very seldom care to change the order of my
way of living, which has now been settled a long time, and I base this
repugnance upon the fact that I have never for a single day abandoned
my Lares to break my system without being overtaken by a most sincere
repentance as the presumption of my deluded hopes. Nevertheless a
remnant of the old-fashioned courtesy adopted by our forefathers in
their intercourse obliges me at times to accept certain invitations,
which to refuse would be rudeness, or at least a ridiculous affectation
of delicacy.

Some days ago I was walking through the streets in search of material
for my articles. Buried in my thoughts, I surprised myself several
times, laughing like a poor wretch at my own fancies, and mechanically
moving my lips. A stumble or so reminded me now and again that to
walk on the pavements of Madrid it is not the best of circumstances
to be either poet or philosopher; more than one malicious smile, more
than one look of wonder from the passers-by, made me reflect that
soliloquies should not be made in public; and when turning corners
not a few collisions with those who turned them as heedlessly as I
made me recognise that the absent-minded are not among the number of
elastic bodies, much less among glorious and impassable beings. Such
being my frame of mind, imagine my sensations upon receiving a horrible
smack which a huge hand attached (it seemed to me) to a brawny arm
administered to one of my shoulders, which unfortunately bear not the
slightest resemblance to those of Atlas!

Not wishing to make it understood that I would not recognise this
energetic way of announcing on self, nor to rebuff the goodwill, which
doubtless wished to show itself to be more than mediocre by leaving
me crooked for the rest of the day, I was merely about to turn round
to see who was so much my friend as to treat me so badly. But my Old
Castilian is a man who, when he is joking, does not stop half-way.
What? my reader will ask. He gave further proofs of his intimacy and
affection? He clasped his hands tightly over my eyes from behind,
crying out, “Who am I?” bubbling over with delight at the success of
his pretty trick. “Who you are? A brute,” I was about to reply; but
I suddenly remembered who it might be, and substituted the words,
“I Braulio.” Upon hearing me he loosened his hands, held his sides
for laughter, disturbing the whole street, and making us both very

“Good, good! How did you recognise me?”

“Who could it be but you?...”

“Well, so you’ve come from your dear Biscay?”

“No, Braulio, I have not come?”

“Always the same merry humour. What does it matter? I a way we have of
talking in Spain.... Do you know it’s my birthday to-morrow?”

“I wish you many happy returns of the day.”

“Oh, no formalities between us; you know a plain fellow and an Old
Castilian, and call a spade a spade; consequently I require no
compliments from you, but consider yourself invited——”

“To what?”

“To dine with me.”


“You must.”

“I cannot,” I insist, trembling.

“You ca?”

“Very many thanks——”

“Thanks? Very well, my dear friend; as not the Duke of F., or Count P.,
of course——”

Who can resist an attack of this kind? Who cares to appear proud? “It
is not that, but——”

“Well, if it’s not that,” he breaks in, “I shall expect you at two. We
dine early at my house—Spanish style. I expect a lot of people; there
will be the famous improvisor X.; T. will sing after dinner in his
usual first-rate style; and in the evening J. will play and sing some

This consoled me somewhat, and I had to give way. “Everybody,” said I
to myself, “has an evil day sometimes. In this world, if one wishes to
preserve friends, one must endure their civilities.”

“You wo fail, unless you want to quarrel with me?”

“I shall not fail,” I said in a lifeless voice and low spirits, like a
fox vainly revolving in the trap in which it has allowed itself to be

“Then good-bye till to-morrow,” and he gave me a parting slap.

I watched him go as the sower watches the decreasing cloud of his seed,
and remained wondering how one should take such adverse and fatal

       *       *       *       *       *

Two lock arrived. As I knew my friend Braulio, I did not think it
advisable to make myself too fine for his party; that, I am sure,
would have annoyed him; nevertheless I could not dispense with a
light frock-coat and a white pocket-handkerchief as essential for
such birthday festivities. Above all, I dressed myself as slowly as
possible, like the wretched criminal confessing at the foot of the
gallows, who would like to have committed a hundred more sins the which
to confess in order to gain more time. I was invited at two, and I
entered the state-parlour at half-past two.

I will not dwell on the ceremonious calls made before dinner-time by
an infinite number of visitors, among which were not least all the
officials of his department with their spouses and children, their
cloaks, umbrellas, galoshes, and house-dogs; I will be silent as to the
foolish compliments paid to the head of the family on his birthday,
nor describe the monstrous circle which was formed in the parlour
by the assembly of so many heterogeneous people, discoursing upon
how the weather was about to change, and how the winter is generally
colder than the summer. Let us come to the point: four lock struck,
and we, the invited guests, found ourselves alone. Unluckily for me,
Señor X., who was to have entertained us, being a connoisseur of this
class of invitation, had had the good idea to fall sick that morning;
the celebrated T. found himself opportunely compromised by another
invitation, and the young lady who was to sing and play so well was
hoarse to such a degree that she was appalled lest a single word should
drop from her lips, while she had a rag round one of her fingers. Alas,
for my beguiled expectations!

“I suppose all who are to dine are here,” exclaimed Don Braulio. “Let
us go to table, my dear.”

“Wait a bit,” replied his wife in a loud whisper. “Such a lot of
callers prevented my being in the kitchen, and....”

“But, look, it’s five lock....”

“Dinner will be ready in a moment....”

It was five lock when we sat down.

“Ladies and gentleman,” said our amphitryon, as we staggered into our
respective chairs, “I insist upon your making yourselves quite at home;
we do stand upon ceremony in my house. Oh, Figaro! I want _you_ to be
quite comfortable; you are a poet, and besides, these gentlemen who
know how intimate we are will not be offended if I make an exception of
you; take off your coat; it wo do to stain it.”

“Why should I stain it?” I replied, biting my lips.

“Oh, tha all right; I’ll lend you a loose jacket; sorry I have one for

“I’d sooner not, thank you.”

“Nonsense! My jacket! Here it is; it will be a little large for you!”

“But, Braulio....”

“You must have it—bother etiquette!” and he thereupon pulled off my
coat himself, _velis nolis_, and buried me in a great striped jacket,
through which only my feet and head protruded, and the sleeves of which
would probably not permit me to eat. I thanked him; he thought he was
doing me a favour.

The days upon which my friend has no visitors he contents himself
with a low table, little more than a cobble bench, because he and his
wife, as he says, what should they want more? From this little table
he carries his food, like water drawn up a well, to his mouth, where
it arrives dripping after its long journey; for to imagine that these
people keep a proper table and eat comfortably every day in the year
is to expect too much. It is easy, therefore, to conceive that the
installations of a large table for a dinner-party was an event in
that house, so much so that a table at which scarcely eight people
could have eaten comfortably had been considered capable of sitting
the whole fourteen of us. We had to sit sideways with one shoulder
towards the dinner, and the elbows of the guests entered on intimate
relationship with each other in the most confiding fashion possible.
They put me as in a place of honour between a child five years old,
raised on some cushions, which I had to arrange every minute, as the
natural restlessness of my youthful neighbour caused them to slip, and
one of those men that occupy in this world the room of three, whose
corpulency rose from the basis of the armchair (the only one) in which
he was sitting as from the point of a needle. The table-napkins which
we silently unfolded were new, for they were just as little commodities
of daily use, and were pulled by these good gentlemen through a
button-hole of their frock-coats to serve as intermediary bodies
between the sauces and their broadcloth.

“You will have to do penance, gentlemen,” exclaimed our amphitryon as
soon as he had sat down.

“What ridiculous affectation if untrue,” said I to myself; “and if it
is true, what folly to invite on friends to do penance.” Unfortunately
it was not long before I knew that there was in that expression more
truth than my good Braulio imagined. Interminable and of poor taste
were the compliments with which, upon passing and receiving each dish,
we wearied one another. “Pray help yourself.” “Do me the favour.” “I
could think of it.” “Pass it on to the lady.” “Ah, tha right.” “Pardon
me.” “Thank you.”

“No ceremony, gentlemen,” exclaimed Braulio, and was the first to dip
his spoon into his plate.

The soup was followed by an olla, an assortment of the most savoury
impertinences of that most annoying but excellent dish; here was some
meat, there some green stuff; here the dried beans,[13] there the ham;
the chicken to the right, the bacon in the middle, and the Estremaduran
sausage to the left. Then came some larded veal, upon which may the
curse of Heaven alight, and after this another dish, and another and
another and another, half of which were brought over from an hotel,
which will suffice to excuse our praising them, the other half made
at home by their own maid and a Biscayan wench, a help hired for this
festivity, and the mistress of the house, who on such occasions is
supposed to have a hand in everything, and can consequently superintend
nothing properly.

“You must be indulgent with this dish,” said the latter of some
pigeons, “they are a little burnt.”

“But, my dear....”

“I only left them for a moment, and you know what servants are.”

“What a pity this turkey was not half an hour longer before the fire!
It was put down too late. And do you think that stew is a little

“What can you expect? A woman ca be everywhere at once.”

“Oh, thee excellent!” we all exclaimed, leaving the pieces on our

“This fish is bad.”

“Well, they said in the office of the fresh fish delivery that it had
only just arrived; the man there is so stupid!”

“Where does this wine come from?”

“Now there yoe wrong, for it’s....”


These short dialogues were accompanied by a number of furtive glances
from the husband to acquaint his wife of some negligence, and both
tried to give us to understand that they were quite at home in all
those formulæ which in similar cases are reputed correct, and that
all the blunders were the fault of the servants, who can never learn
to wait. But these omissions were so numerous, and looks were of such
little avail, that the husband had recourse to pinches and kicks,
and his wife, who, until the present, had barely succeeded in rising
superior to her spouse’s persecution, now became inflamed in the face, and
had tears in her eyes.

“Dear madam, do not distress yourself about such trifles,” said her

“Ah! I assure you I shall not do this kind of thing in the house again;
you do know what it means; another time, Braulio, we’ll dine at the
hotel, and then you’ll not have ...”

“You, madam, shall do what I ...”

“Braulio! Braulio!”

A terrible storm was about to burst; however, all the guests vied with
each other in settling these disputes born of the desire to demonstrate
the greatest refinement, and of which not the smallest components
were Braulio’s mania, and the concluding remark which he again directed
to the assembly with regard to the inutility of ceremony, by which
he understood being properly served and knowing how to eat. Is there
anything more ridiculous than those people who wish to pass for refined
in the depths of the crassest ignorance of social usage, and who, to
favour you, forcibly oblige you to eat and drink, and will not allow
you to do what you like? And why are there people who only care to eat
with a little more comfort on birthdays?

To add to all this, the child to my left violently knocked against a
dish of ham and tomatoes a saucer of olives, of which one hit one of
my eyes, and prevented me seeing clearly for the rest of the day; the
stout gentleman to my right had taken the precaution to heap up on the
cloth by the side of my bread the crumbs of his own and the bones of
the birds which he had picked; and the guest opposite me, who piqued
himself on his carving, had taken upon himself to make the autopsy of
a capon, or cock, for nobody knew which, and whether by reason of the
advanced age of the victim, or the lack of anatomical science of the
executioner, the joints would not sever.

“This bird has no joints!” exclaimed the poor wretch, the drops of
perspiration running down his face from his struggles, “for the
carver is the labourer who digs that I may eat,” and then a wonderful
occurrence took place. Upon one of the attacks the fork, as if in
resentment, slipped on the animal, which, thus violently despatched,
took a flight as in its happier days, and then quietly alighted on the
tablecloth, as on a roost in the poultry yard.

The fright was general, and the alarm reached its climax when a
sauce-boat, impelled by the bird’s wild career, upset, splashing my
snow-white shirt. At this point the carver rose hastily, with a mind
to chase the fugitive fowl, and as he precipitated himself upon it,
a bottle to the right, which he knocked with his arm, abandoning its
perpendicular position, poured out an abundant stream of Valdepeñas[14]
over the capon and the cloth. The wine ran; the uproar increased; salt
was abundantly sprinkled on the top of the wine to save the cloth; to
save the table a napkin was inserted below the cloth, and an eminence
arose on the site of so many ruins. A terrified maid-servant, who was
bidden bear away the capon, now reposing in its own gravy, tilted the
dish as she lifted it over me, and an accursed shower of grease
descended like the dew upon the meadows to leave lasting traces on my
pearl-grey pantaloons. The anguish and confusion of the girl are beyond
bounds; she withdraws, unsuccessful in her excuses, and, turning round,
collides with the waiter, who is carrying a dozen clean plates and a
salver for the dessert wines, and the whole machine comes to the ground
with the most horrible clatter and commotion.


“By St. Peter!” roars our host, and a mortal pallor diffused itself
over his features, while a fire broke out on his wif face. “But no
matter; let us continue, friends,” said he, calming down.

Oh, honest homes where a modest olla and a single dish constitute
the daily happiness of a family, shun the perturbation of a birthday
dinner-party! The custom of eating well and being well served every day
can alone avert similar discomfiture.

Are there any more disasters? Alas, there are for my miserable self!
Doña Juana, the lady with the black and yellow teeth, holds out to me
from her plate and with her own fork a dainty bit, which I am bound to
accept and swallow; the child diverts himself by shooting cherry-stones
at the eyes of the assembly; Don Leandro makes me taste the delicious
orange, which I had refused, squeezed into his glass, which preserves
the indelible traces of his greasy lips; my fat friend is smoking, and
makes me the flue of his chimney; finally, oh last of miseries! the
clamour and uproar increase, voices already hoarse demand couplets and
stanzas, and Figaro is the only poet present.

“You must.” “I for you to say something,” they all shout. “Start him
with the first line; let him compose a couplet for each of us.” “I’ll
start him:

                    ‘To Don Braulio on this day.’”

“Gentlemen, for Heave sake!”

“Ther no getting out of it.”

“I’ve never improvised in my life.”

“Do play the bashful.”

“I shall go.”

“Lock the door. He sha’n’t leave the room till he recites something.”

And so I repeat some verses at last, and vomit absurdities, which they
praise, and the smoke, the hubbub, and the purgatory increases.

Thank Heavens, I succeed in escaping from this new pandemonium. At
last I again breathe the pure air of the street; there are now no more
lunatics, no more Old Castilians around me.

“Ye gods, I thank you!” I exclaimed, breathing freely like a stag who
has just escaped a dozen dogs and can barely hear their distant barks.
“Henceforward I do not pray for riches, office, or honours. But deliver
me from those houses in which a dinner-party is an event, in which a
decent table is only laid for visitors, in which they think they are
doing you a good turn while they are doing you a bad one, in which
they are over-polite, in which they recite verses, in which there are
children, in which there are fat men, in which, finally, there reigns
the brutal frankness of the Old Castilians! If I fall again by similar
temptations, may I ever lack roast beef, may beefsteaks vanish from
this world, may timbales of macaroni be annihilated, may there be no
turkeys in Perigueux, nor pies in Perigord, may the wines of Bordeaux
dry up, and everybody but myself drink the delicious foam of champagne!”

                        _Mariano José de Larra_ (_Figaro_) (1809-1837).

                       _A DEMAGOGIC JOURNALIST._

Eleven was striking by the nearest clock; and as the last stroke
vibrated upon Don Liberato Plebist tympanum an instantaneous electric
commotion was transmitted from it to his brain, which made him hastily
sit up in bed and begin to dress. He violently rubbed his eyes with his
knuckles, which, together with the use of his pocket-handkerchief and
four or five loud hollow coughs, sufficed to cause him to regain entire
possession of his senses and natural powers, and shook him out of that
kind of lethargy, or state of doze, which between a deep sleep and
being wide awake occupies the function of a scruple.

He had fallen asleep with a fixed idea that he must rise early to write
a long, forcible, and brilliant article, and seeing the sun already
so advanced on its course, he jumped out of bed, and made towards
his study in a rich dressing-gown and canvas slippers delicately
embroidered by some feminine hand. He leaned back in an armchair before
a solid mahogany writing-table, pulled the bell loudly three times
by a silken rope; a footman appeared, who placed upon the table the
silver brazier with some large red-hot pieces of charcoal; and then,
when he had demanded breakfast with an imperative manner, and the man
had withdrawn, Don Liberato lit a fragrant Havana, seized it between
his teeth, grasped the pen with his right hand, rested his brow on
his left, and leaning his elbow on the desk and gently tapping his
right foot on the carpet, as if to excite ideas by this slight motion,
remained in this attitude for five minutes, at the end of which he put
his pen to paper and began to write to the following effect:—

“The incarnate enemies of the unhappy people—those wicked and egoistic
men, who live under the shadow of privileges (_Don Liberato smiled
to himself_) and grow fat with the substance of the poor—take very
good care in all their writings and perorations to speak of nothing
but principles and political questions, more or less metaphysical and
vague, astutely keeping silence when there is any reference to social
questions, upon which is actually based the revolution, which in this
our age agitates Spain, disturbs Europe, and threatens the world.”

(_Liberato, savouring the sonority of this rounded period, expelled
from his cigar a dense cloud of azure and aromatic smoke ... and
continued writing._)

“The priority of certain castes, the inequality with which property is
distributed, the malign influence of priesthood, the tyranny of the
rich and potential over the masses, and other thousand obstacles which
oppose the felicity of the people, are those which must be destroyed,
but with regard to which the partisans of abuses ever succeed in
embroiling a discussion. You, unhappy day-labourers, unfortunate
artisans, fathers of a numerous family, who to gain bread for your
unfortunate offspring must abandon your narrow bed at break of day....”

(_At this moment Don Liberato’s clock struck a quarter to twelve, and the
rays of the noonday sun, penetrating the green curtains, succeeded in
bathing with light the richly furnished room of the journalist, who
went on writing thus_):—

“You will tell me if what interests you most is to discuss the
preference for this or that method of electing representatives, or,
on the contrary, the monstrous superiority of the potentate swimming
in pleasures, of the sensual sybarite passing the night amidst the
delicacies of the table, while you earn with the sweat of your brow the
bread you must eat soaked in your tears.”

(_The room door is opened, and Don Liberato’s footman enters carrying
an exquisite china tea-service, with a savoury dish, tea, milk, and
buttered toast. Placing his burden on a small table, covered with a
fine white embroidered cloth, he draws it in the greatest silence
within reach of his master to the right of the desk, and retires
stealthily, so as not to interrupt the sublime composition which
continues multiplying sheets of paper thus wise_):—

“Ye hungry and naked sons of the unfortunate Spanish people (_The
writer throws away the stump of the Havana, and crams his mouth full
with sweet-bread_) rear your naked and hungry children with anxiety and
fatigue, and rear them to be the slaves of a rich, powerful, and proud

(_Don Liberato again smiles to himself, and devours the rest of the

“Rear them to till _their_ land, to build _their_ palaces, to weave
_their_ rich clothes, to wrench from the bowels of the earth the
precious metals with which _their_ ostentatious apparel is embroidered,
and _their_ ornaments and furniture covered in scandalous profusion.”

(_The writer imbibes about a quart of tea, and attacks the buttered

“Rear them that they may be dragged into misery with you, while the
gilded chariots of the great, bearing their mistresses to shows and
pageants, roll by, threatening to run over them, and bespattering them
with mud....”

“Sir,” said the Gallegan servant, entering timidly.

“Wha the matter?” replied Don Liberato.

“They have brought this letter from the lady. It is urgent.”

Having read the note, he replied thus—

“Say, ‘very well’ and Domingo, remember to hire a carriage for this
evening at five sharp: and I ca see anybody now, I must get on with my

“This, this is the real evil of society, the pitiful state of which the
present generation aspires to vary by a revolution as glorious as just.
Let those monstrous fortunes be divided and subdivided, let them return
in small capitals to the hands of the poor people who made them. Thus
these terrible scenes of misery will not be seen which are augmented by
the scandalous neglect of the Government for the widows and orphans of
the best servants of the State.”


“What is it now?”

“The widow of that captain, who comes to see if you....”

“D—— you and the widow; throw her downstairs, and do open the door to
every beggar.”

“But there also came....”

“Who came?—quickly.”

“A man with cigars, the one who brought that other box.”

“Here, take these twenty-five dollars, and go to the devil! Let us see
if I can finish my article.”

“Meanwhile the vile aristocrats keep the people in the most humiliating
servitude, and their condition and treatment is worse than that of


“If you do shut that door, you brute, I’ll throw the ink-bottle at your

“The habits of despotism which they have acquired through the course of

“But, sir, only one word....”

(_Don Liberato hurls the salver at the poor Gallegan, and then
continues scribbling with the greatest amenity until he comes to the
following words_):—

“And these errors, upheld by venal journalists....”

(_Domingo returns to the charge, preceded this time by a man of ugly
appearance, who pays Don Liberato a large sum for a compilation. Having
taken the money, and returned the receipt, he continues_):—

“And who tells these calumniators that the defence of the people is a
propensity to anarchy; that the severe censure of deeds of despotism
is an act of rebellion; and that the struggle against fanaticism is
unbelief, impiety, and hatred of the sacred religion which we venerate
more than they?”

“May I go out, sir?”

“No, no, hang you, and by heavens if you interrupt me again....”

“It is Sunday, sir, if you remember, and there is only late mass now.”

“You must do without mass, I require you here.”

“You must take it on your conscience, sir.”

“And so I will, you rascal; and I may take a stick too, and send you
to hear mass in the infernal regions, that will stop your being such a
confounded hypocrite.”

       *       *       *       *       *

With this last invective the scene ended between master and man, and
with a few more lines the article of our journalist. The latter, after
having dined sumptuously, passed the evening driving with his mistress,
entered a café, where he spent a dollar or two, calling the waiter a
scoundrel and stupid idiot; went in the night to a gambling-house,
where he parted with ten gold pieces, and returned to bed with the
dawn, forming plans for heartrending articles on the lot of the poor,
and furious declamations against the aristocracy, the rich, and the

                            “_El Estudiante._” _Antonio Maria Segovia._


“Siseta,” I said suddenly, “it is a long time since I have seen Pussy,
but I suppose she is wandering about somewhere with her three kittens.”

“Oh!” she replied sorrowfully, “do you know that Dr. Pablo has done for
the whole family? Poor Pussy! He says the flesh is excellent; but I
think I would rather die of hunger than eat her.”

“What? he killed Pussy? I never heard about it; and the little kittens

“I didn’t like to tell you. The last few days that we have not been at
home, the doctor often came in. One day he knelt down and implored me
to give him something for his sick daughter, for he had no provisions
left or money to buy them. While he was talking one of the kittens
sprang on to my shoulder, and Don Pablo seized it quickly and put
it into his pocket. The next day he came again and offered me his
drawing-room furniture for another kitten, and without awaiting my
answer went into the kitchen, then into the dark lobby, lay in wait and
chased the kitten like a cat after a rat. I had to bathe the scratches
on his face. The third perished in the same way, and then Pussy
disappeared from the house, probably thinking she was not safe.”

I was meditating upon the desertion of the poor animal, when Don Pablo
suddenly presented himself. He was lean and cadaverous-looking, and had
lost by physical and moral sufferings the kindly expression and gentle
accent which distinguished him. His clothes were disorderly and torn,
and he was carrying a large gun and a hunting-knife.

“Siseta,” he said abruptly, and forgetting to greet me, although
we had not seen each other for several days. “I know now where that
cunning cat is.”

“Where is she, Don Pablo?”

“In the loft the other side of the yard where my corn and straw was
stored when I kept a horse.”

“Perhaps it is not our Pussy,” said Siseta, in her generous desire to
save the poor animal.

“Yes, it is, I tell you. She can’t deceive me. The sly thing jumped in
this morning through the pantry window and stole a kitte leg hanging
there. The audacity! and to eat her own children’s flesh too. I must put
an end to her, Siseta. I have already given you a good part of my
furniture for the kittens. I have nothing valuable left except my books
of medicine. Will you have them in exchange for the cat?”

“Don Pablo, I will take neither furniture nor books, catch Pussy, and,
as we are reduced to such extremities, give part of her to my brothers.”

“Good. Andres, do you dare chase the animal?”

“I do think we want such a lot of arms,” I replied.

“But I do. Let us go.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The doctor and I climbed to the loft, which we entered slowly and
warily, for fear we might be attacked by the ravenous beast, probably
maddened by hunger and the instinct of preservation. Don Pablo, lest
our prey should escape us, closed the door from within and we remained
in almost total darkness, since the feeble light which entered by a
narrow slit of a window merely illumined the immediate obscurity.
Gradually, however, our eyes got accustomed to the murkiness, and we
saw that the room was lumbered with a lot of old and broken furniture;
above our heads floated dense curtains of spider webs covered with
the dust of a century. Then we began to look for the truant; but saw
nothing nor in fact any indication of her presence. I expressed my
doubt to Don Pablo; but he replied—

“Oh, she’s here. I saw her enter a moment ago.”

We moved some empty cases, threw on one side some bits of a broken
armchair and a little barrel, and then saw a small body glide away and
leap over the piled-up objects. It was Pussy. We could see in the dark
background her two golden-green eyes, watching the movements of her
persecutors with a fierce inquietude.

“Do you see her?” said the doctor. “Take my gun and shoot at her.”

“No,” I replied laughing. “It is not very easy to aim in the dark. The
gun is of no good. Keep on one side and give me your hunting-knife.”

The two eyes remained motionless in their first position, and that
green and golden light, unlike the irradiation of any other gaze, or
any gem, produced in me a strong impression of terror. I gradually
distinguished the outline of the animal, and the grey and black stripes
on her tawny coat multiplied in my eyes, increasing the size of her
body till she had the proportions of a tiger. I was afraid, why deny
it? and for a moment repented having undertaken such a difficult task.
Don Pablo was more frightened than I, his teeth were chattering.

We held a council of war, the result of which was that we were to take
the offensive; but when we had recovered a little valour, we heard
a low rumbling, a noise between a dove’s coo and a death-rattle, which
announced Puss hostile disposition. The cat was saying to us in her
language, “Come on, murderers of my children, I am ready for you!”

She had first adopted a sphinx-like posture, but now cowered together,
her angular head resting on her fore paws, and her eyes changed,
projecting a blue light in vertical rays. Her grim aspect seemed to
glower at us. Then she raised her head, rubbed her paws over her face,
cleaning her long whiskers, and took a few somersaults to descend to a
nearer site, where she crouched in readiness to spring. The muscular
force possessed by these animals in the articulation of their hind paws
is immense, and she could have sprung upon us in one bound. I saw her
looks were directed more especially towards Don Pablo than myself.

“Andres,” he said, “if you are afraid, I shall attack her. I
disgraceful that such a little animal should make cowards like this of
two men. Yes, Señora Pussy, we shall eat you.”

It seemed as if the animal heard and understood the threatening words,
for my friend had scarcely pronounced them when she precipitated
herself with lightning speed upon him, alighting on his neck and
shoulders. The struggle was short, and the cat had put into execution
the whole of her offensive power, so that the rest of the combat could
not be otherwise than favourable to us. I hastened to my all defence,
and the animal fell to the ground, carrying away with her claws some
particles of the good doctor’s person and tattooing my right hand. She
then doubled in different directions, but once as she sprang at me, I
had the good luck to receive her on the point of the hunting-knife,
which put an end to the unequal combat.

“The animal was more formidable than I thought,” said Don Pablo,
putting his hand to his beating heart.

“Well, doctor,” said I, after a pause, “let us now divide the prey.”

The doctor pulled a face of profound disgust, and, wiping the blood
from his neck, said in the most aggressive tone I had heard from his

“Wha that about dividing? Siseta gave me the cat in exchange for my
books. Do you know my daughter ate nothing yesterday?”

“Siseta and the children have also eaten nothing,” I replied.

Don Pablo scratched his head, making ugly contractions with his mouth
and nostrils—and taking the dead animal by the neck, said—

“Do bother me, Andres. The children can live on any rubbish they pick
up in the street; but my invalid needs better food; do me the favour
not to touch the cat.”

“Do you mean to say you wo divide the cat? Good, good,” I said, and
advanced towards him. Our hands met; we struggled for a short time and
then the doctor fell and rolled along the floor, leaving me in full
possession of our prey.

“Thief! thief!” he exclaimed. “Is this the way you rob me? Just wait a

I was picking up our victim to leave the loft. But the doctor ran, or
rather leapt like a cat, to the gun, and aimed it full at me, crying
with a hoarse and tremulous voice—

“Drop the cat, or I’ll kill you.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“Don Pablo,” said I, “take the cat. You have become a wild beast.”

Without reply, but showing the horrible agitation of his mind by a
smothered groan, he seized the animal which I had hurled from me, and
opening the door, disappeared.

                                                        _Perez Galdos._

                    _A WELL-WON DISH OF CHERRIES._

Manalet ran away, but he soon came back with a lot of other little
boys, all barefoot, dirty, unkempt, and ragged, and amongst them his
brother Badoret, with Gasparo pickapack, clinging tightly with arms and
legs to his shoulders and waist. All seemed very pleased, especially
Badoret, who was distributing cherries to his companions.

“Take one, Andres,” said the boy, giving me a cherry. “How did you
think I got them? Well, I’ll tell you. I was going with Gasparo on my
back down the calle del Lobo, when I saw open the gate of the Convent
of the Capuchin Nuns, which is always shut. Gasparo would keep on
asking me for bread and crying, and I gave him little slaps to make
him keep quiet, telling him that if he wouldn’t leave off I would tell
his Excellency the Governor. But when I saw the convent gate open, I
said to myself, ‘there will be something to find here,’and I slipped
in. I crossed the courtyard, and then entered the church and passed
through the choir till I reached a long corridor with a lot of little
rooms, and I didn’t meet a soul. I looked carefully everywhere to see if
I could get anything, but I only came across some candle-ends and two
or three skeins of silk, which I began to chew to see if they gave
any juice. I was thinking of returning to the street, when I heard
behind me, ‘_Ss—t, Ss—t_,’ as if somebody was calling me. I looked,
but I saw nobody. Oh, how afraid I was, Andres! Down at the bottom of
the corridor there was a huge print, in which was a devil with a long
green tail. I thought it was the devil calling me, and began to run.
But, oh dear! I could not find a door, and I went round and round that
horrid corridor, and all the time, ‘_Ss—t_!’ And then I heard some
one say, ‘Little boy, come here,’and I looked at the ceiling and the
walls, until I at last saw behind some bars a white hand and a worn and
wrinkled face. I was not afraid then, and went to it. The nun said to
me, ‘Come, don’t be afraid, I have something to say to you.’I went close
to the grating, and said to her, ‘Pardon me, Señora, I thought you were
the devil.’”

“Why, it must have been some poor sick nun who could not escape with
the others.”

“That’s it. The lady said to me, ‘Little boy, how did you come in here?
God has sent you to do me a great service. All the sisters have gone
away. I am ill and a cripple. They wanted to take me, but it grew
late, and so they left me behind. I am very afraid. Is all the town
burnt? Have the French entered? Just now, when I was half asleep, I
dreamt that all the sisters had been beheaded in the slaughter-house,
and that the French were eating them. Boy, would you venture to go,
now at once, to the fort, and give this note to my nephew, Don Alonso
Carrillo, captain of the regiment of Ultonia? If you do so, I will give
you the dish of cherries you see here, and this half loaf.’“Even if
she hadn’t offered them me I would have gone, you know. I seized the note,
she told me where I could get out, and I ran towards the fort. Gasparo
cried more than before, but I said to him, ‘If you don't keep quiet, I’ll
put you in a cannon as if you were a ball, and shoot you away, and you’ll
go rolling amongst the French, who will cook you in a saucepan and eat

“At last I reached the fort. What a lot of firing there! That
down here is nothing to it. The cannon balls whizzed through the air
like a flight of birds. And do you think I was afraid? Not I! Gasparo
went on crying and screaming; but I showed him the flames bursting
from the bombs, and the flashes from the powder-pans, and said, ‘Look,
how pretty! We are going to shoot cannons too now!’

 “A soldier gave
me a cuff to push me to one side, and I fell on a heap of dead, but I
got up and went straight on. Then the Governor appeared, and grasping
a large black banner he waved it in the air, and then he said that he
would have the first coward hanged. What do you think of that? I went
in front and shouted, ‘Quite right, too!’ ‘Some soldiers told me to go
away, and the women who were looking after the wounded began to abuse
me, asking me why I had taken the baby there. What a crowd of sparks!
They fell like flies, first one, then another. The French wanted to get
in, but we wouldn't let them.”

“What? You wouldn't?”

“Yes; the women and our men threw stones from the top of the wall at
the scoundrels who wanted to climb them. I loosened Gasparo, putting
him on the top of a box in which was some powder and cannon-balls,
and I also began to throw stones. And what stones! I threw one which
weighed at least six hundredweight, and hit a Frenchman, doubling him
in two. You ought to have seen it. The French were many, and they
wanted to do nothing else but come into the fort. You should have
seen the Governor, Andresillo! Don Mariano, and I, we sprang in front
... and always went where the soldiers were most hard pressed. I don’t
know what I did, but I did something, Andres. I could not see for
the smoke, nor hear for the noise. Such terrible firing! Into your
very ears, Andres. It makes one quite deaf. I began to shout, calling
them blackguards, thieves, and telling them that Napoleon was a
good-for-nothing. Maybe they didn’t hear me for the noise, but I made them
turn back and a-half. Rather! Well, Andres, not to tire you, I stayed
there until they retreated. The Governor told me he was satisfied—no,
he did not speak to me, he said it to the rest.”

“But the letter.”

“I looked for Captain Carrillo—I knew him by sight before—and I met
him at last when all was over. I gave him the paper, and he gave me a
message for the nun. Then, remembering Gasparo, I went to look for him
where I had left him, but he wasn’t there. I began to shout out, ‘Gasparo,
Gasparo!’ but he didn’t answer. At last I saw him under a gun carriage,
rolled up like a little ball, with his fists in his mouth, looking
between the spokes of the wheel, and a large tear in each eye. I put
him on my back and ran to the convent. But now comes the best of it; as
I was going along thinking of battles, and my head full of all I had
seen, I forgot the message the Captain had given me for the nun. She
scolded me, saying that I had torn up the letter, and wanted to deceive
her, and that she couldn’t think of giving me either the cherries or the
bread she had promised. And then she began to grumble, and called me
a bad boy and a beast. One of Gasparo’s toes was bleeding, and the nun
tied a rag round it; but the cherries—not a single one! At last all
was settled, for Captain Carrillo came himself, and she gave me the
cherries and the bread, and I ran out of the convent.”

“Take the child home to your sister,” I said, noticing that poor Gaspar
foot was still bleeding.

“I have kept some cherries for Siseta,” he cried.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Oh, I say, boys!” shouted Manalet, running back towards us, “the
Governor is going through the town with a lot of people and banners;
the ladies are singing in front, and the monks dancing, and the bishop
smiling, and the nuns crying. Come along!”

And like a flock of birds the band of children ran down the street.

                    _Gerona_: “_Episodios Nacionales._” _Perez Galdos._

                             _FIRST LOVE._

How old I was then? Eleven or twelve years? More probably thirteen, for
before then is too early to be seriously in love; but I won’t venture to
be certain, considering that in Southern countries the heart matures
early, if that organ is to blame for such perturbations.

If I do not remember well _when_, I can at least say exactly _how_ my
love first revealed itself. I was very fond—as soon as my aunt had
gone to church to perform her evening devotions—of slipping into her
bedroom and rummaging her chest of drawers, which she kept in admirable
order. Those drawers were to me a museum; in them I always came across
something rare or antique, which exhaled an archaic and mysterious
scent, the aroma of the sandalwood fans which perfumed her white linen.
Pincushions of satin now faded; knitted mittens, carefully wrapped in
tissue paper; prints of saints; sewing materials; a reticule of blue
velvet embroidered with bugles, an amber and silver rosary would appear
from the corners: I used to ponder over them, and return them to their
place. But one day—I remember as well as if it were to-day—in the
corner of the top drawer, and lying on some collars of old lace, I saw
something gold glittering.... I put in my hand, unwittingly crumpled
the lace, and drew out a portrait, an ivory miniature, about three
inches long, in a frame of gold.

I was struck at first sight. A sunbeam streamed through the window and
fell upon the alluring form, which seemed to wish to step out of its
dark background and come towards me. It was a most lovely creature,
such as I had never seen except in the dreams of my adolescence. The
lady of the portrait must have been some twenty-odd years; she was
no simple maiden, no half-opened rosebud, but a woman in the full
resplendency of her beauty. Her face was oval, but not too long,
her lips full, half-open and smiling, her eyes cast a languishing
side-glance, and she had a dimple on her chin as if formed by the tip
of Cupid’s playful finger. Her head-dress was strange but elegant; a
compact group of curls plastered conewise one over the other covered
her temples, and a basket of braided hair rose on the top of her head.
This old-fashioned head-dress, which was trussed up from the nape
of her neck, disclosed all the softness of her fresh young throat,
on which the dimple of her chin was reduplicated more vaguely and
delicately. As for the dress ... I do not venture to consider whether
our grandmothers were less modest than our wives are, or if the
confessors of past times were more indulgent than those of the present;
I am inclined to think the latter, for seventy years ago women prided
themselves upon being Christianlike and devout, and would not have
disobeyed the director of their conscience in so grave and important
a matter. What is undeniable is, that if in the present day any lady
were to present herself in the garb of the lady of the portrait, there
would be a scandal; for from her waist (which began at her armpits)
upwards, she was only veiled by light folds of diaphanous gauze,
which marked out, rather than covered, two mountains of snow, between
which meandered a thread of pearls. With further lack of modesty she
stretched out two rounded arms worthy of Juno, ending in finely-moulded
hands ... when I say _hands_ I am not exact, for, strictly speaking,
only one hand could be seen, and that held a richly embroidered

Even to-day I am astonished at the startling effect which the
contemplation of that miniature produced upon me, and how I remained
in ecstasy, scarcely breathing, devouring the portrait with my eyes. I
had already seen here and there prints representing beautiful women:
it often happened that in the illustrated papers, in the mythological
engravings of our dining-room, or in a shop-window, that a beautiful
face, or a harmonious and graceful figure attracted my precociously
artistic gaze; but the miniature encountered in my aunt’s drawer, apart
from its great beauty, appeared to me as if animated by a subtle and
vital breath; you could see it was not the caprice of a painter, but
the image of a real and actual person of flesh and blood. The warm
and rich tone of the tints made you surmise that the blood was tepid
beneath that mother-of-pearl skin. The lips were slightly parted to
disclose the enamelled teeth; and to complete the illusion there ran
round the frame a border of natural hair, chestnut in colour, wavy and
silky, which had grown on the temples of the original. As I have said,
it was more than a copy, it was the reflection of a living person from
whom I was only separated by a wall of glass.... I seized it, breathed
upon it, and it seemed to me that the warmth of the mysterious deity
communicated itself to my lips and circulated through my veins. At this
moment I heard footsteps in the corridor. It was my aunt returning
from her prayers. I heard her asthmatic cough, and the dragging of her
gouty feet. I had only just time to put the miniature into the drawer,
shut it, and approach the window, adopting an innocent and indifferent

My aunt entered noisily, for the cold of the church had exasperated
her catarrh, now chronic. Upon seeing me, her wrinkled little eyes
brightened, and giving me a friendly tap with her withered hand, she
asked me if I had been turning over her drawers as usual.

Then, with a chuckle—

“Wait a bit, wait a bit,” she added, “I have something for you,
something you will like.”

And she pulled out of her vast pocket a paper bag, and out of the bag
three or four gum lozenges, sticking together in a cake, which gave me
a feeling of nausea.

My aunt’s appearance did not invite one to open one’s mouth and devour
these sweets: the course of years, her loss of teeth, her eyes dimmed
to an unusual degree, the sprouting of a moustache or bristles on
her sunken-in mouth, which was three inches wide, dull grey locks
fluttering above her sallow temples, a neck flaccid and livid as the
crest of the turkey when in a good temper.... In short, I did not take
the lozenges. Ugh! A feeling of indignation, a manly protest rose in
me, and I said forcibly—

“I do not want it, I don’t want it.”

“You don’t want it? What a wonder! You who are greedier than a cat!”

“I am not a little boy,” I exclaimed, drawing myself up, and standing
on tip-toes; “I don’t care for sweets.”

My aunt looked at me half good-humouredly and half ironically, and at
last, giving way to the feeling of amusement I caused her, burst out
laughing, by which she disfigured herself, and exposed the horrible
anatomy of her jaws. She laughed so heartily that her chin and nose
met, hiding her lips, and emphasising two wrinkles, or rather two deep
furrows, and more than a dozen lines on her cheeks and eyelids; at the
same time her head and body shook with the laughter, until at last her
cough began to interrupt the bursts, and between laughing and coughing
the old lady involuntarily spluttered all over my face.... Humiliated,
and full of disgust, I escaped rapidly thence to my mother’s room, where I
washed myself with soap and water, and began to muse on the lady of the

And from that day and hour I could not keep my thoughts from her. As
soon as my aunt went out, to slip into her room, open the drawer, bring
out the miniature, and lose myself in contemplation, was the work of
a minute. By dint of looking at it, I fancied that her languishing
eyes, through the voluptuous veiling of her eyelashes, were fixed in
mine, and that her white bosom heaved. I became ashamed to kiss her,
imagining she would be annoyed at my audacity, and only pressed her
to my heart or held her against my cheek. All my actions and thoughts
referred to the lady; I behaved towards her with the most extraordinary
refinement and super-delicacy. Before entering my aunt’s room and opening
the longed-for drawer, I washed, combed my hair, and tidied myself,
as I have seen since is usually done before repairing to a love
appointment. I often happened to meet in the street other boys of my
age, very proud of their slip of a sweetheart, who would exultingly
show me love-letters, photographs, and flowers, and who asked me if I
hadn’t a sweetheart with whom to correspond. A feeling of inexplicable
bashfulness tied my tongue, and I only replied with an enigmatic and
haughty smile. And when they questioned me as to what I thought of
the beauty of their little maidens, I would shrug my shoulders and
disdainfully call them _ugly mugs_. One Sunday I went to play in the
house of some little girl-cousins, really very pretty, and the elder of
whom was not yet fifteen.

We were amusing ourselves looking into a stereoscope, when suddenly one
of the little girls, the youngest, who counted twelve summers at most,
secretly seized my hand, and in some confusion and blushing as red as a
brazier, whispered in my ear—

“Take this.”

At the same time I felt in the palm of my hand some thing soft and
fresh, and saw that it was a rosebud with its green foliage. The little
girl ran away smiling and casting a side-glance at me; but I, with a
Puritanism worthy of Joseph, cried out in my turn—

“Take this!”

And I threw the rosebud at her nose, a rebuff which made her tearful
and pettish with me the whole afternoon, and which she has not pardoned
me even now, though she is married and has three children.

The two or three hours which my aunt spent morning and evening together
at church being too short for my admiration of the entrancing portrait,
I resolved at last to keep the miniature in my pocket, and went about
all day hiding myself from people just as if I had committed a crime. I
fancied that the portrait from the depth of its prison of cloth could
see all my actions, and I arrived at such a ridiculous extremity, that
if I wanted to scratch myself, pull up my sock, or do anything else
not in keeping with the idealism of my chaste love, I first drew out
the miniature, put it in a safe place, and then considered myself free
to do whatever I wanted. In fact, since I had accomplished the theft,
there was no limit to my vagaries; at night I hid it under the pillow,
and slept in an attitude of defence; the portrait remained near the
wall, I outside, and I awoke a thousand times, fearing somebody would
come to bereave me of my treasure. At last I drew it from beneath the
pillow and slipped it between my nightshirt and left breast, on which
the following day could be seen the imprint of the chasing of the frame.

The contact of the dear miniature gave me delicious dreams. The lady of
the portrait, not in effigy, but in her natural size and proportions,
alive, graceful, affable, beautiful, would come towards me to conduct
me to her palace by a rapid and flying train. With sweet authority
she would make me sit on a stool at her feet, and would pass her
beautifully moulded hand over my head, caressing my brow, my eyes, and
loose curls. I read to her out of a big missal, or played the lute, and
she deigned to smile, thanking me for the pleasure which my reading and
songs gave her. At last romantic reminiscences overflowed in my brain,
and sometimes I was a page, and sometimes a troubadour.

With all these fanciful ideas, the fact is, that I began to grow thin
quite perceptibly, which was observed with great disquietude by my
parents and my aunt.

“In this dangerous and critical age of development, everything is
alarming,” said my father, who used to read books of medicine, and
anxiously studied my dark eyelids, my dull eyes, my contracted and pale
lips, and above all, the complete lack of appetite which had taken
possession of me.

“Play, boy; eat, boy,” he would say to me, and I replied to him

“I don’t feel inclined.”

They began to talk of distractions, offered to take me to the theatre;
stopped my studies, and gave me foaming new milk to drink. Afterwards
they poured cold water over my head and back to fortify my nerves; and
I noticed that my father at table or in the morning when I went to
his bedroom to bid him good morning, would gaze at me fixedly for some
little time, and would sometimes pass his hand down my spine, feeling
the vertebræ. I hypocritically lowered my eyes, resolved to die rather
than confess my crime. As soon as I was free from the affectionate
solicitude of my family, I found myself alone with my lady of the
portrait. At last, to get nearer to her, I thought I would do away
with the cold crystal. I trembled upon putting this into execution;
but at last my love prevailed over the vague fear with which such a
profanation filled me, and with skilful cunning I succeeded in pulling
away the glass and exposing the ivory plate. As I pressed my lips
to the painting and could scent the slight fragrance of the border
of hair, I imagined to myself even more realistically that it was a
living person whom I was grasping with my trembling hands. A feeling of
faintness overpowered me, and I fell unconscious on the sofa, tightly
holding the miniature.

When I came to my senses I saw my father, my mother, and my aunt, all
bending anxiously over me; I read their terror and alarm in their
faces: my father was feeling my pulse, shaking his head, and murmuring—

“His pulse is nothing but a flutter, you can scarcely feel it.”

My aunt, with her claw-like fingers was trying to take the portrait
from me, and I was mechanically hiding it and grasping it more firmly.

“But, my dear boy.... Let go, you are spoiling it!” she exclaimed. “Do
you see you are smudging it? I am not scolding you, my dear.... I will
show it to you as often as you like, but don’t destroy it; let go, you are
injuring it.”

“Let him have it,” begged my mother, “the boy is not well.”

“Of all things to ask!” replied the old maid. “Let him have it! And
who will paint another like this ... or make me as I was then? To-day
nobody paints miniatures ... it is a thing of the past, and I also am a
thing of the past, and I am not what is represented there!”

My eyes dilated with horror; my fingers released their hold on the
picture. I don’t know how I was able to articulate—

“You ... the portrait ... is you...?”

“Don’t you think I am as pretty now, boy? Bah! one is better looking
at twenty-three than at ... than at ... I don’t know what, for I have
forgotten how old I am!”

My head drooped and I almost fainted again; anyway, my father lifted me
in his arms on to the bed, and made me swallow some tablespoons of port.

       *       *       *       *       *

I recovered very quickly, and never wished to enter my aunt’s room again.

                           _Emilia Pardo Bazan_ (_Nineteenth Century_).

                          _THE ACCOUNT BOOK._

                             A RURAL TALE.

Gaffer Buscabeatas was already beginning to stoop at the time when the
events occurred which I am going to relate; for he was now sixty years
old, and of these sixty years he had spent forty cultivating a garden
bordering on the shore of La Costilla.

In the year in question he had cultivated in this garden some wonderful
pumpkins, as large as the ornamental globes on the breastwork of some
massive bridge, that at the time of our story were beginning to turn
yellow, inside and out, which is the same as saying that it was the
middle of June. Old Buscabeatas knew by heart the particular form and
the stage of maturity at which it had arrived of every one of these
pumpkins, to each of which he had given a name, and especially of the
forty largest and finest specimens, which were already crying out,
“Cook me!” and he spent the days contemplating them affectionately, and
saying in melancholy accents—

“Soon we shall have to part!”

At last, one evening, he made up his mind to the sacrifice, and marking
out the best fruits of those beloved vines which had cost him so many
anxieties, he pronounced the dreadful sentence—

“To-morrow,” he said, “I shall cut from their stalks these forty
pumpkins and take them to the market at Cadiz. Happy the man who shall
eat of them!”

And he returned to his home with slow step and spent the night in such
anguish as a father may be supposed to feel on the eve of his daughter’s

“What a pity to have to part from my dear pumpkins!” he would sigh from
time to time in his restless vigil. But presently he would reason with
himself and end his reflections by saying, “And what else can I do but
sell them? That is what I have raised them for. The least they will
bring me is fifteen dollars!”

Judge, then, what was his consternation, what his rage and despair, on
going into the garden on the following morning, to find that during
the night he had been robbed of his forty pumpkins! Not to weary the
reader, I will only say that his emotion, like that of Shakespeare’s Jew,
so admirably represented, it is said, by the actor Kemble, reached the
sublimity of tragedy as he frantically cried—

“Oh, if I could but find the thief! If I could but find the thief!”

Poor old Buscabeatas presently began to reflect upon the matter with
calmness, and comprehended that his beloved treasures could not be in
Rota, where it would be impossible to expose them for sale without risk
of their being recognised, and where, besides, vegetables bring a very
low price.

“I know as well as if I saw them, that they are in Cadiz!” he ended.
“The scoundrel! the villain! the thief must have stolen them between
nine and ten o’clock last night, and got off with them at midnight on the
freight-boat. I shall go to Cadiz this morning on the hour-boat, and it
will surprise me greatly if I do not catch the thief there, and recover
the children of my toil.”

After he had thus spoken, he remained for some twenty minutes longer on
the scene of the catastrophe, whether to caress the mutilated vines, to
calculate the number of pumpkins that were missing, or to formulate a
declaration of the loss sustained, for a possible suit; then, at about
eight o’clock, he bent his steps in the direction of the wharf.

The hour-boat was just going to sail. This was a modest coaster which
leaves Cadiz every morning at nine lock precisely, carrying passengers,
as the freight-boat leaves Cadiz every night at twelve, laden with
fruits and vegetables.

The former is called the hour-boat because in that space of time, and
occasionally even in forty minutes, if the wind is favourable, it makes
the three leagues which separate the ancient village of the Duke of
Arcos from the ancient city of Hercules.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was, then, half-past ten in the morning on the before-mentioned day,
when old Buscabeatas passed before a vegetable-stand in the market of
Cadiz, and said to the bored policeman who was accompanying him—

“Those are my squashes! arrest that man!” and he pointed to the vendor.

“Arrest me!” cried the vendor, astonished and enraged. “These squashes
are mine; I bought them!”

“You will have to prove that before the judge!” answered old

“I say No!”

“I say Yes!”



“Speak more civilly, you ill-mannered fellows! Decent men ought not to
treat one another in that way!” said the policeman tranquilly, giving a
blow with his closed fist to each of the disputants.

By this time a crowd had gathered, and there soon arrived also on the
scene the inspector of public markets.

The policeman resigned his jurisdiction in the case to his Honour, and
when this worthy official had learned all the circumstances relating to
the affair, he said to the vendor majestically—

“From whom did you purchase those squashes?”

“From Gossip Fulano, a native of Rota,” answered the person thus

“It could be no one else!” cried old Buscabeatas. “He is just the one
to do it! When his own garden, which is a very poor one, produces
little, he takes to robbing the gardens of his neighbours!”

“But, admitting the supposition that forty pumpkins were stolen from
you last night,” said the inspector, turning to the old gardener and
proceeding with his examination, “how do you know that these are
precisely your pumpkins?”

“How?” replied old Buscabeatas. “Because I know them as well as you
know your daughters, if you have any! Don’t you see that they have grown
up under my care? Look here: this one is called Roly-poly, this one
Fat-cheeks, this one Big-belly, this one Ruddy-face, this Manuela,
because it reminded me of my youngest daughter.”

And the poor old man began to cry bitterly.

“That may be all very well,” replied the inspector; “but it is
not enough for the law that you should recognise your pumpkins.
It is necessary also that the authorities be convinced of the
pre-existence of the article in dispute, and that you identify it with
incontrovertible proofs; gentlemen, there is no occasion for you to
smile—I know the law!”

“You shall see, then, that I will very soon prove to the satisfaction
of everybody present, without stirring from this spot, that these
pumpkins have grown in my garden!” said old Buscabeatas, to the no
little surprise of the spectators of this scene. And laying down on
the ground a bundle which he had been carrying in his hand, he bent
his knees until he sat upon his heels, and quietly began to untie the
knotted corners of the handkerchief.

The curiosity of the inspector, the vendor, and the chorus was now at
its height.

“What is he going to take out of that handkerchief?” they said to

At this moment a new spectator joined the crowd, curious to see what
was going on, whom the vendor had no sooner perceived than he exclaimed—

“I am very glad that you have come, Gossip Fulano! This man declares
that the squashes which you sold me last night, and which are now here
present, listening to what we are saying about them, were stolen.
Answer, you!”

The newcomer turned as yellow as wax, and made a movement as if to
escape, but the bystanders detained him by force, and the inspector
himself ordered him to remain. As for Gaffer Buscabeatas, he had
already confronted the supposed thief, saying to him—

“Now you are going to see something good.”

Gossip Fulano, recovering his self-possession, answered—

“It is you who ought to see what you are talking about, for if you do
not prove, as prove you cannot, your accusation, I shall have you put
in prison for libel. These pumpkins were mine. I cultivated them, like
all the others that I brought this year to Cadiz, in my garden, the
Egido, and no one can prove to the contrary!”

“Now you shall see!” repeated old Buscabeatas, loosening the knots of
the handkerchief and spreading out its contents on the ground.

And there were scattered over the floor a number of fragments of
pumpkin stalks, still fresh and dripping sap, while the old gardener,
seated on his heels and unable to control his laughter, addressed the
following discourse to the inspector and the wondering bystanders.

“Gentlemen, have any of you ever paid taxes? If you have, you must have
seen the big green book of the collector, from which he tears off your
receipt, leaving the stub or end, so as to be able to prove afterward
whether the receipt is genuine or not.”

“The book you mean is called the account-book,” said the inspector

“Well, that is what I have here—the account-book of my garden; that is
to say, the stalks to which these pumpkins were attached before they
were stolen from me. And in proof of what I say, look here! This stalk
belongs to this pumpkin; no one can doubt it. This other—you can see
for yourselves—belonged to this other. This is thicker—it must belong
to this one. This to that one. This to that other.”

And as he spoke he went fitting a stub or peduncle to the hole which
had been made in each pumpkin as it was pulled from the stalk, and the
spectators saw with surprise that the irregular and capricious shaped
ends of the peduncles corresponded exactly with the whitish circles
and the slight hollows presented by what we might call the cicatrices
of the pumpkins.

Every one present, including the policeman, and even the inspector
himself, then got down on their heels and began to help old Buscabeatas
in his singular comprobation, crying out with childlike delight—

“He is right! he is right! There is not a doubt of it! Look! This
belongs to this one. This to that one. That one there belongs to this.
This belongs to that!” And the bursts of laughter of the grown people
were mingled with the whistling of the boys, the abuse of the women,
the tears of joy and triumph of the old gardener, and the pushes that
the policeman gave to the convicted thief, as if they were impatient to
carry him off to prison.

Needless to say that the policeman had that pleasure; that Gossip
Fulano was immediately compelled to restore to the vendor the fifteen
dollars he had received from him, that the vendor handed these over
at once to Gaffer Buscabeatas, and that the latter departed for Rota,
highly delighted, although he kept repeating all the way home—

“How handsome they looked in the market! I should have brought Manuela
back with me to eat at supper to-night, and save the seeds.”

“_Moors and Christians, and other Tales._” _Pedro Antonio de Alarcon_
(1833-1891). _Trans. Mary J. Serrano._

                        _SISTER SAINT SULPICE._

  SISTER SULPICE (_Gloria, by her mundane name_), _a novice about to
  quit the convent for the world, against her mother, Doña Tula’s,

  SISTER MARIA DE LA LUZ, _cousin to Sister Sulpice, and also a


  PACA, _Glori foster-sister_.

  DON CEFERINO, _native of Galicia_.

  DON PACO, _landlord of the Fonda Continental_.

                       I. AT THE MARMOLEYO SPA.

Along a gentle slope, over which was intended to be a high-road, we
descended to the spring which gushes out in the very middle of the
river Guadalquivir, which comes circling around the brow of the sierra.
There is a gallery or bridge which leads from the shore to the spring.
Across it were gravely walking two or three persons, who, by their
wandering and vacant looks, showed that they were perhaps paying more
attention to the contents of their stomachs than to the discourse and
steps of their companions. From time to time they hastened to the
spring, descended the steps, asked for a glass of water, and drank
it eagerly, shutting their eyes with a kind of pleasurable emotion,
suggesting the hope of health.

“Have you been taking much of the water, Mother?” asked my landlord,
leaning over the railing of the well.

A short, plump nun, who appeared to be dropsical, and had a small red
nose, raised her head just as she was about to put the glass to her

“Good morning, Señor Paco.... I have had only four glasses so far.
Would you like a little to increase your appetite?”

That greatly delighted my landlord.

“Increase my appetite, eh? Give me something to reduce it, rather! that’s
what I should prefer.... And the Sisters?”

Two young nuns, not at all ill-favoured, who were standing beside the
other with their heads raised towards us, smiled politely.

“The same as always; two little sips,” rejoined one of them, who had
lively black eyes, and spoke with a downright Andalusian accent, and
displayed an elegant set of teeth.

“How little!”

“Why, surely you would not wish to make our stomachs ponds for
anchovies, would you, like the Mother’s?”


“Yes, Cadiz anchovies. You have only to cast the net.”

The Mother’s dropsical form was shaken violently by a laughing fit. The
anchovies swimming in her stomach, according to the young nun, must
have thought that they were exposed to an earthquake.

We all laughed and went down to the spring. As we came near the
Mother, she greeted me with an affectionate smile. I bent low, took
the crucifix which hung from her girdle, and kissed it. The nun smiled
still more tenderly, and looked at me with an expression of generous

Let us be explicit: if this book is to be an honest history or
confession of my life, it is my duty to declare that by the act of
bending over to kiss the metal crucifix, I do not think that I was
actuated by any mystic impulse, rather, I suspect, that the pretty
Sister’s black eyes shrewdly fixed upon me had a very active part in it.
Perhaps, without being aware of it, I desired to ingratiate myself with
those eyes. And the truth is that I failed in my attempt; because,
instead of showing that she was flattered by such an act of devotion,
it seemed to me that they assumed a slight expression of mockery. I was
a bit confused.

“Has the gentleman come to take the waters?” asked the Mother half
directly, half indirectly.

“Yes, señora, I have just arrived from Madrid.”

“They are wonderful! The Lord our God has given them a virtue which is
almost beyond belief. You will see how they develop the appetite. You
will eat as much as you possibly can, and it will not hurt you.... You
see, I can say I am a different woman, and it is only a week since we
came.... Just imagine! yesterday I ate pig’s liver, and it did not hurt me
at all.... Then this young girl,” she added, pointing to the black-eyed
Sister: “I can’t tell you what a colour she had! She was as pale as ashes.
To be sure she hasn’t much colour yet, but, ... there now, ... that is
another thing.”

I looked at her closely, and noticed that she was blushing, though she
instantly turned her back to get another glass of water.

She was a young woman of nineteen or twenty, of average height, with an
oval face of a pale brunette, her nose slightly “tip-tilted,” her teeth
white and close, and her eyes, as I have already said, of an intense
and velvety black, shaded by long lashes, and bordered by a slight pink
circle. Her hair was entirely covered from sight by the hood that bound
her forehead. She was dressed in black serge, with a girdle around her
waist, from which hung a large bronze crucifix. On her head, beside the
hood, she wore a great white _papalina_, or “coronet,” with stiffly
starched flaps. Her shoes were large and coarse, but could not wholly
disguise the grace of her dainty Southern foot.

The other Sister was likewise young, perhaps even younger than
the first, as well as shorter in stature, and with a lily-white
face, showing under the transparent skin an exceedingly lymphatic
temperament; her eyes were clear blue, her teeth somewhat faulty. By
the purity and correctness of her features, and likewise by her quiet
manners, she looked like a Virgin of painted wood. She kept her eyes
constantly fixed upon the ground, and did not open her lips during the
short moments that we were together there.

“Come, drink, señor, prove the Divine grace,” said the Mother.

I took the glass which the Sister with the white teeth had just laid
down, and proceeded to fill it with water, since the attendant had
disappeared through a trap-door; but in doing so I had to lean on the
rock, and when I bent over to dip the glass into the pool I slipped,
and my foot went in above my ankle.

“Be careful!” simultaneously cried my landlord and the Mother, as is
always said after one has met with any accident.

I drew out my foot with the water spurting from my shoe, and could not
refrain from a rather energetic exclamation.

The Mother was disturbed, and hastened to ask me with a grave face—

“Did it hurt you?”

The little Sister of the transparent skin blushed up to her ears. The
other began to laugh so heartily, that I gave her a quick and not very
affectionate look. But she paid no heed to it; she continued to laugh,
although, in order not to meet my eyes, she turned her face the other

“Sister San Sulpicio, remember that it is a sin to laugh at another’s
misfortunes,” said the Mother. “Why do you not imitate Sister Maria de
la Luz?”

The latter was blushing like a poppy.

“I can’t help it, Mother, I cannot; excuse me,” she replied, endeavouring,
but without success, to contain herself.

“Let her laugh; the truth is, the thing is more ludicrous than
serious,” said I, affecting good-humour though angry at heart.

These words, instead of inciting the Sister, had the opposite effect,
and she quickly grew calm. I looked at her now and then, with a
curiosity mingled with annoyance. She returned my look with a frank and
smiling eye, in which still lurked a trace of mockery.

“You must change your shoes and stockings as quick as you can; getting
the feet wet is very bad,” said the Mother with interest.

“Pshaw! I shall not change them till night. I am accustomed to go all
day with my feet soaking,” said I, in a scornful tone of voice, putting
on a show of robustness, which, unfortunately, I am very far from being
blessed with. But it pleased me to affect bravado before the smiling

“By all means ... go, go home and take off your stocking. We are going
to walk across the gallery to see if the water is going down. May the
Lord our God bless you!”

I once more made a low bow and kissed the Mother’s crucifix. I did the
same with Sister Maria’s, who, of course, blushed again. As to Sister San
Sulpicio’s I refrained from touching it. I merely bowed low with a grave
face. Thus should she learn not to laugh at people when they get wet.

                            II. IN SEVILLE.

... When I returned to my boarding-house to dinner, I found Paca
waiting at the door to give me a letter. I did not care to open it
before the messenger, and tried to dismiss her as soon as possible.
But the worthy woman was too happy over her señorita’s escape from the
convent, not to chatter for a while. Both interested and impatient,
I was treated to all the particulars; how Doña Tula had gone to get
Gloria in her carriage; how abominably they had behaved towards her at
the convent, no one except the chaplain coming to bid her good-bye; how
happy her señorita felt to take off her nun’s dress; how glad every one
was to see her “so bright and chipper!” and all the insignificant words
which they had exchanged in their talk.

At last she went away, and I hastened to my room, nervously lighted my
candle, and opened the note.

“I am out of the convent,” it read. “If you wish to receive the
promised scolding, pass in front of my house at eleven o’clock. I will be
at the grating, and we will have a talk.”

The keen joy produced in me by that letter may be imagined. All my
dreams were coming true at once. Gloria loved me, and was giving me a
rendezvous, and this rendezvous was singularly attractive to a poet and
a man of the North by being at the grating!

The grating—_la reja_![15] Does not this word exert a strange
fascination? does it not awake in fancy a swarm of vague, sweet
thoughts, as though it were the symbol and centre of love and poesy?
Who is there with so little imagination as never to have dreamed of a
talk with a loved one through the grating on a moonlight night? These
talks and these nights have, moreover, the incalculable advantage that
they can be described without an actual experience of them. There is
not a lyrical mosquito among all those that hum and buzz in the central
or septentrional provinces of Spain who has not given expression to
his feelings concerning them, and framed a more or less harmonious
structure with the sweet notes of the guitar, the scents of tube-roses,
the moonlight scattering its delicate filaments of silver over the
windows, the heavens bespangled with stars, the orange flowers, the
maiden’s fascinating eyes, her warm perfumed breath, &c.

I myself, as a descriptive poet and colourist, have on more than
one occasion, to the applause of my friends, jumbled together these
commonplaces of Andalusian æsthetics.

But now the reality far exceeded and differed from this poetic
conventionalism. For the time being, as I entered the Calle de Argote
de Molina, at eleven o’clock, I failed to notice whether moon and stars
were shining in the sky or not. It is quite possible that they were,
for such things are natural; but I did not notice. What could be seen
with perfect distinctness was the watchman with pike and lantern
leaning up against a door not very far from Gloria’s.

“Shall I have to wait till this fellow goes off?” I asked myself with a
sudden pang of fear.

Fortunately, after a little while I saw him start away from that place
and move up the street.

Moreover, I went to the trysting-place without guitar or cloak, merely
with a jonquil in my hand, and wearing a plain and inoffensive jacket.
Neither did I go mounted on a fiery steed, black, dappled, or sorrel;
but on my own wretched legs, which certainly trembled all too violently
as I approached the windows of the house. In one of them I saw the
gleam of a white object, and I hastened to tap on the grating.

“Gloria!” I said in a very low voice.

“Here I am,” replied the girl’s voice.

At the same instant her graceful bare head bent over toward the
grating, and I saw the gleam of her little white teeth with that same
bewitching and mocking smile which was so delineated on my heart. I saw
her dark velvety eyes shining. As though I were in the presence of a
supernatural apparition, I stood motionless with both hands clenching
the grating. I found nothing more to say than—

“Còmo sigue V.” “How do you do?”

That ordinary formula of every-day courtesy did not seem to arouse any
sad ideas in her, for I saw her put her hand to her mouth to hide a
laugh. After a brief silence, she replied—

“Well; and you?”

“How I have longed for this moment to arrive!” I exclaimed, realising
that I was not “in situation,” as they say in the theatres. “Can you
not imagine the eagerness with which I have been waiting for it,

“And why should you have been anxious for it?”

“Because my heart was tormented with the desire to tell you how I
worship you.”

“That indeed is news! Why, my son, you have repeated it in the nine
letters you have written me, forty-one times.... I counted them!”

“Then it was so as to tell you so the forty-second time. What is taking
place between us, Gloria, seems to me just like a novel. It is not
three months that I have known you, and yet it seems to me as if I had
lived three years since then. What a change! How it has altered our
lives! You were a nun, and now I see you transformed into a perfect
young lady of the world.”

“So you really find that I am perfect?”


“A thousand thanks. What would it be if you were to see me!”

“I do see you ... not very well, but sufficient to make me realise what
a favourable change.”

Up to a certain point that was true. Although the darkness that
prevailed in that corner did not allow me to make out her features, I
could see the outline of her graceful head, adorned with waving hair,
and when she bent it over a little toward the grating, the dim light of
the street shone into her face, which seemed to me paler than when she
was at Marmolejo, though not less lovely.

A moment of silence ensued, and, embarrassed by it, I said at last—

“Is this your chamber?”

“This is not a chamber, it is the reception-room.”


And again silence fell.

I noticed that her eyes were fastened upon me, and, if the truth
be told, I could not deceive myself into thinking that they were
overflowing with love, but rather that they displayed a mischievous

“O Gloria, if you only knew how sadly those days passed for me when I
got no word from you! I believed that you had forgotten me.”

“I never forget my good friends. Besides, I had promised you one thing,
and I should certainly not wish to fail of fulfilling my promise.”

“What was it?”

“Do you remember?—the scolding....”

“Oh, yes,” I exclaimed, laughing.

And, encouraged by these words, I felt that I ought to have my love
affairs put upon a definite basis, and I said—

“Well, then, Gloria, I have come for nothing else than to have you
undeceive me if I am under a false impression, or else confirm my
hopes of being loved if they have any foundation. Since I have already
repeated forty-one times that I adore you, as you say, I need not say
it again. Ever since I have seen you and talked with you at Marmolejo,
you have kept me a willing prisoner of love and admiration. My fate
is in your hands, and I wait with the greatest anxiety to hear my

Gloria paused a few moments before she answered; then she coughed a
little, and finally said—

“The fatal moment has arrived. Prepare for the worst.... Señor Don
Ceferino, I should not tell the truth if I gave you to understand that
from the first day I talked with you at Marmolejo, I did not perceive
that you were courting me. Further, I believe that the kiss which you
gave Mother Florentina’s crucifix, the first time we saw each other, you
gave me in my honour.... You laugh? Well, it shows that I was not
deceived. Those gallantries of yours have caused me some annoyances,
but I cherish no hard feelings against you. Sooner or later I had to
let the thunder burst, for I had made up my mind not to stay in the
convent, even though I had to go out to service. Then you greatly aided
me in accomplishing my wishes, and for this I am very grateful.... But
gratitude is one thing and love is another. So far I have not been able
to reciprocate your love. I esteem you ... I like you, and I shall
never forget how kind you have been to me; but I speak frankly, I
cannot have you live longer labouring under a mistake. I will be your
sincere and affectionate friend.... Your betrothed I cannot be.”

It is absolutely impossible for me to give any idea of my state of
mind on hearing those words. They were spoken in an ironical tone,
which might have left one open to think that they were in jest, but the
reasoning was so natural and logical that they put an end to any such
supposition. Nevertheless, by a supreme act of self-control, I burst
into a laugh, exclaiming—

“Well, that is a well-fabricated refusal! I might think that you really
meant it!”

“What! don’t you believe what I say?... Child, have you not a very lofty
opinion of your little self?”

“It is not a question of whether I have a high opinion of myself,
Gloria,” I replied, becoming grave; “it is that it is hard to believe
that you would have waited so long to refuse me.”

“But you have not given me a chance till now!”

“Are you speaking seriously, Gloria?”

“Why not? Come, now, you have imagined because I accepted your aid in
getting out of the convent, that I was in so far bound to worship you,
did you not?”

A wave of hot blood surged into my cheeks; my ears hummed. I suddenly
realised the fact that I had been making a fool of myself in a most
lamentable fashion, that this girl had most shamefully turned me
into ridicule. Indignation and anger took complete possession of me;
I poured out all my bile in a perfect torrent of words. I stood for
some little time clutching the grating, gazing at her in silence with
flaming eyes. Finally, in a voice hoarse with anger, I said,—

“The truth is, you are the veriest flirt,[16] unworthy of receiving
the attentions of any decent man. I do not regret the time that I have
wasted in loving you, but I do regret having wasted my love on you! I
believed that under your apparent frivolity you had a good heart, but
I see that it was nothing but vanity and giddiness. I rejoice that I
have found it out in good time, for I will at one blow tear it out of
my heart and my thoughts, where you ought never to have found a place.
Good-bye! and for ever!”

As I withdrew my contracted hands from the iron bars I felt the
pressure of hers, and I heard a compressed laugh, which entirely
confused me.

“Bravo, bravo? I like you so, my dear! I was becoming weary of so much

“What does this mean, Gloria?”

“It means that you must not be so honey-like, for one gets tired of
syrup, and incense is sickening. See here! You have advanced your cause
more in one moment by saying impudent things to me, than in three
months of flatteries. You will say that I like to have my knuckles
rapped with the fire-shovel. It may be so. But I tell you that a little
touch of genius never hurts a man!”

“Yes? Then wait a bit, and I will insult you some more,” said I,

“No, no,” she exclaimed, also laughing, “enough for to-day.”

During that sweet and memorable interview, which was prolonged till one
o’clock, our love was mutually confessed and agreed upon. Without any
difficulty we began to address each other with the familiar “thee” and
“thou,” and we swore fidelity till death, no matter what might happen.

Not a soul passed through the street. The watchman, when he saw me
glued to the grating, did not come near. I was afraid that Doña Tula
might come into the room, but Gloria re-assured me by declaring that
in Seville no one ever acted traitorously towards two lovers, and the
watchmen still less interfered with these colloquies at the gratings,
which they saw every night. She also had great confidence in the
servants. Therefore the prospect of a series of delightful interviews
was spread before us, filling my soul with joy.

“They will know about it sooner or later,” said she. “But suppose they
do. I will take it upon me to make them mind their own business if they
attempt to interfere.”

And in her handsome eyes I saw a flash of audacious mischief, which
made it plain enough that it would not be an easy matter to lead her in
paths where she did not wish to go.

“Now it is getting late. Mamma gets up very early for mass, and will
wish me to go with her. Now you must go.”

“A little while longer, sweetheart! It is not midnight yet.”

“Yes, the clock in the Giralda[17] struck one.”

“No, it is only a quarter-past twelve....”

The slow, solemn stroke of the bell in the Giralda just then struck a
quarter-past one.

“Do you hear? It is a quarter-past one. Adios! adios!”

“And are you going to send me off so, without giving me your hand?”

She reached it out to me, and I, naturally, was about to kiss it, but
she snatched it away.

“No, no; wait a little, I will give you the crucifix, as in Marmolejo,”
she cried with a laugh.

“I prefer your hand.”

“You heretic, begone!”

“God is everywhere. But still if you wish to give me the crucifix I
will guard it carefully as a keepsake.”

“Wait just a second. I have my dress here.”

She withdrew from the window for a moment and came back with the bronze
crucifix, which she handed out to me through the iron grating. In
taking it from her I got possession of her brown, firm hand, and kissed
it a number of times voraciously, gluttonously!

“That will do, little boy. Do you expect to keep it up till morning?”

I went away from that window grating intoxicated with love and bliss.
So far gone was I that when I met the watchman a little distance away
I gave him two pesetas. Afterwards I regretted it, for there was no
need of doing so, according to what Gloria had said. This time, also, I
noticed as little as before whether the stars were glittering on high
with sweet brilliancy, or whether the moonlight filtered down into the
dark labyrinthine streets, spotting them here and there with patines of
bright silver. I carried in my own heart a radiant sun, which dazzled
me and prevented me from seeing such petty details!

                     III. A VISIT TO THE CONVENT.

... During all this time neither the Mother Superior nor the sisters
had asked who I was, or how and why Gloria happened to be in that
place. They looked at me with quick glances of curiosity, showing that
my presence embarrassed them. I had not opened my lips.

My wife, doubtless piqued by this neglect, suddenly said, “Did you not
know that I was married?”

The sisters burst into a laugh.

“Ay! what a Sister!—always so full of spirit,” exclaimed the Mother

“Yes, Mother, I have been married for a month and three days to this
fine young man whom you see. He has only one defect,” she added,
growing grave, “and that is that he is a Gallegan!... But you would not
think it, would you?”

“What a Sister!” again exclaimed some of the nuns. “How witty she
is!—who would have said that she was married! Something has happened to

“What! Don’t you believe me?”

The Sisters still laughed, giving me keen and mysterious glances.

“Well, then, this very instant I will prove it to you!” exclaimed my
wife with a sudden impulse. And at the same time she threw her arms
around my neck and began to give me some ringing kisses on the cheek,

“_Rico mio!_ Isn’t it true that you are my husband? Isn’t it true that I am
your little wife? Isn’t it true that we are married? Tell me, sweetheart!
Tell me, my own life!”

While I, quite abashed, was trying to escape from her caresses, I heard
exclamations of reproof, and saw that the nuns were flying in fright
towards the portal. One of them, more intrepid, seized the cord of
the curtain and pulled it with all her force. The curtain, as it shut
together, likewise sent up a squeak of scandalised amazement.

I heard hurried steps and a sound of voices. Then nothing; it had grown

My wife, laughing merrily and blushing at the same time, seized my hand
and drew me out. We passed through the melancholy corridors in this
way, ran down the stairs, passed through the great passageway, and when
we found ourselves in the street I said to her, half vexed, “Child, how
crazy you were! What got into you, to....”

“Forgive me, my dear,” she replied, still laughing and crimson. “They
made me nervous. They might as well know that we were married as the
priest who gave us his benediction.”

              _A. Palacio Valdés_ (_Nineteenth Century_).
                                          _Trans. Nathan Haskell Dole._


In the past few days I have had occasion to practise patience in an
extreme degree, and to mortify my self-love in the most cruel manner.
My father, wishing to return Pepita’s compliment of the garden-party,
invited her to visit his villa at the Pozo de la Solana. The excursion
took place on the 22nd of April. I shall not soon forget the date.

The Pozo de la Solana is about two leagues distant from the village,
and the only road to it is a bridle-path. We all had to go on
horseback. As I never learned to ride, I had on former occasions
accompanied my father mounted on a pacing mule, gentle, and, according
to the expression of Dientes the muleteer, as good as gold, and of
easier motion than a carriage. On the journey to the Pozo de la Solana
I went in the same manner.

My father, the notary, the apothecary, and my cousin Currito were
mounted on good horses. My aunt, Doña Casilda, who weighs more than two
hundred and fifty pounds, rode on a large and powerful donkey, seated
in a commodious side-saddle. The reverend vicar rode a gentle and easy
mule like mine.

As for Pepita Jiménez, who, I supposed, would go also mounted on a
donkey, in the same sort of easy saddle as my aunt—for I was ignorant
that she knew how to ride—she surprised me by making her appearance
on a black and white horse full of fire and spirit. She wore a
riding-habit, and managed her horse with admirable grace and skill.


I was pleased to see Pepita look so charming on horseback, but I soon
began to foresee and to be mortified by the sorry part I would play,
jogging on in the rear beside my corpulent Aunt Casilda and the vicar,
all three as quiet and tranquil as if we were seated in a carriage,
while the gay cavalcade in front would caracole, gallop, trot, and make
a thousand other displays of their horsemanship.

I fancied on the instant that there was something of compassion in
Pepita’s glance as she noted the pitiable appearance I no doubt presented,
seated on my mule. My cousin Currito looked at me with a mocking smile,
and immediately began to make fun of me and to tease me.

Confess that I deserve credit for my resignation and courage. I
submitted to everything with a good grace, and Currito’s jests soon ceased
when he saw that I was invulnerable to them. But what did I not suffer
in secret! The others, now trotting, now galloping, rode in advance of
us, both in going and returning. The vicar and I, with Doña Casilda
between us, rode on, tranquil as the mules we were seated upon, without
hastening or retarding our pace.

I had not even the consolation of chatting with the vicar, in whose
conversation I find so much pleasure, nor of wrapping myself up in my
own thoughts and giving the rein to my fancy, nor of silently admiring
the beauty of the scenery around us. Doña Casilda is gifted with an
abominable loquacity, and we were obliged to listen to her. She told
us all there is to be told of the gossip of the village; she recounted
to us all her accomplishments; she told us how to make sausages,
brain-puddings, pastry, and innumerable other dishes and delicacies.
There is no one, according to herself, who can rival her in matters
pertaining to the kitchen, or to the dressing of hogs, but Antoñona,
Pepita’s nurse, and now her housekeeper and general manager. I am already
acquainted with this Antoñona, for she goes back and forth between
her mistress’s house and ours with messages, and is in truth extremely
handy—as loquacious as Aunt Casilda, but a great deal more discreet.

The scenery on the road to the Pozo de la Solana is charming, but my
mind was so disturbed during our journey that I could not enjoy it.
When we arrived at the villa and dismounted, I was relieved of a great
load, as if it had been I who carried the mule, and not the mule who
carried me.

We then proceeded on foot through the estate, which is magnificent, of
varied character and extensive. There are vines, old and newly planted,
all on the same property, producing more than five hundred bushels of
grapes; olive-trees that yield to the same amount; and, finally, a
grove of the most majestic oaks that are to be found in all Andalusia.
The water of the Pozo de la Solana forms a clear and deep brook, at
which all the birds of the neighbourhood come to drink, and on whose
borders they are caught by hundreds, by means of reeds smeared with
bird-lime, or of nets, in the centre of which are fastened a cord and a
decoy. All this carried my thoughts back to the sports of my childhood,
and to the many times that I too had gone to catch birds in the same

Following the course of the brook, and especially in the ravines, are
many poplars and other tall trees, which, together with the bushes and
the shrubs, form a dark and labyrinthine wood. A thousand fragrant wild
flowers grow there spontaneously, and it would, in truth, be difficult
to imagine anything more secluded and sylvan, more solitary, peaceful,
and silent than this spot. Even in the fervour of noonday, when the
sun pours down his light in torrents from a heaven without a cloud,
the mind experiences the same mysterious terror as visits it at times
in the silent hours of the night. One can understand here the manner
of life of the patriarchs of old, and of the primitive shepherds and
heroes; and the visions and apparitions that appeared to them of
nymphs, of gods, and of angels, in the midst of the noonday brightness.

As we walked through this thicket, there arrived a moment in which, I
know not how, Pepita and I found ourselves alone together. The others
had remained behind.

I felt a sudden thrill pass through me. For the first time, and in
a place so solitary, I found myself alone with this woman; while my
thoughts were still dwelling on the noontide apparitions, now sinister,
now gracious, but always supernatural, vouchsafed to the men of remote

Pepita had left the long skirt of her riding habit in the house,
and now wore a short dress that did not interfere with the graceful
ease of her movements. She had on her head a little Andalusian hat,
which became her extremely. She carried in her hand her riding-whip,
which I fancied to myself to be a magic wand, by means of which this
enchantress might cast her spells over me.

I am not afraid to transcribe here these eulogies of her beauty. In
this sylvan scene she appeared to me more beautiful than ever. The
precaution recommended in similar cases by ascetics, to think of her
beauty defaced by sickness and old age, to picture her to myself dead,
the prey of corruption and of the worm, presented itself, against
my will, to my imagination; and I say _against my will_, for I do
not concur in the necessity for such a precaution. No thought of the
material, no suggestion of the evil spirit, troubled my reason or
infected my will or my senses.

What did occur to me was an argument—at least to my mind—in disproof of
the efficacy of this precaution. Beauty, the creation of a Sovereign
and Divine Power, may indeed be frail and ephemeral, may vanish in an
instant; but the idea of beauty is eternal, and, once perceived by the
mind, it lives there an immortal life. The beauty of this woman, such
as it manifests itself to-day, will disappear in a few short years;
the graceful form, those charming contours, the noble head that raises
itself so proudly above her shoulders: all will be food for loathsome
worms; but—though the material must of necessity be transformed—its
idea, the creative thought—abstract beauty, in a word—what shall
destroy this? Does it not exist in the Divine Mind? Once perceived and
known by me, must it not continue to live in my soul, triumphing over
age and even over death?

I was meditating thus, striving to tranquillise my spirit and to
dissipate the doubts which you have succeeded in infusing into my mind,
when Pepita and I encountered each other. I was pleased and at the same
time troubled to find myself alone with her—hoping and yet fearing that
the others would join us.

The silvery voice of Pepita broke the silence, and drew me from my
meditations, saying—

“How silent you are, Don Luis, and how sad! I am pained to think that
it is perhaps through my fault, or partly so at least, that your father
has caused you to spend a disagreeable day in these solitudes, taking
you away from a solitude more congenial, where there would be nothing
to distract your attention from your prayers and pious books.”

I know not what answer I made to this. It must have been something
nonsensical, for my mind was troubled. I did not wish to flatter Pepita
by paying her profane compliments, nor, on the other hand, did I wish
to answer her rudely.

She continued—

“You must forgive me if I am wrong, but I fancy that, in addition to
the annoyance of seeing yourself deprived to-day of your favourite
occupation, there is something else that powerfully contributes to your

“And what is this something else?” I said, “since you have discovered
it, or fancy you have done so.”

“This something else,” responded Pepita, “is a feeling not altogether
becoming in one who is going to be a priest so soon, but very natural
in a young man of twenty-two.”

On hearing this I felt the blood mount to my face, and my face burn.
I imagined a thousand absurdities; I thought myself beset by evil
spirits; I fancied myself tempted by Pepita, who was doubtless about
to let me understand that she knew I loved her. Then my timidity gave
place to haughtiness, and I looked her steadily in the face. There
must have been something laughable in my look, but either Pepita did
not observe it, or, if she did, she concealed the fact with amiable
discretion; for she exclaimed, in the most natural manner—

“Do not be offended because I find you are not without fault. This that
I have observed seems to me a slight one. You are hurt by the jests of
Currito, and by being compelled to play—speaking profanely—a not very
dignified _rôle_, mounted, like the reverend vicar with his eighty
years, on a placid mule, and not, as a youth of your age and condition
should be, on a spirited horse. The fault is the reverend dea, to whom
it did not occur that you should learn to ride. To know how to manage a
horse is not opposed to the career you intend to follow, and I think,
now that you are here, that your father might in a few days give you
the necessary instruction to enable you to do so. If you should go to
Persia or to China, where there are no railroads yet, you will make but
a sorry figure in those countries as a bad horseman. It is possible
even that, by this oversight, the missionary himself may come to lose
prestige in the eyes of those barbarians, which will make it all the
more difficult for him to reap the fruits of his labours.”

This and other arguments Pepita adduced in order to persuade me to
learn to ride on horseback; and I was so convinced of the necessity
of a missionary’s being a good horseman, that I promised her to learn at
once, taking my father as a teacher.

“On the very next expedition we make,” I said, “I shall ride the most
spirited horse my father has, instead of the mule I am riding to-day.”

“I shall be very glad of it,” responded Pepita, with a smile of
indescribable sweetness.

At this moment we were joined by the rest of the party, at which I was
secretly rejoiced, though for no other reason than the fear of not
being able to sustain the conversation, and of saying a great many
foolish things, on account of the little experience I have had in
conversing with women.

After our walk my father’s servants spread before us on the fresh grass,
in the most charming spot beside the brook, a rural and abundant

The conversation was very animated, and Pepita sustained her part in
it with much discretion and intelligence. My cousin Currito returned
to his jests about my manner of riding and the meekness of my mule. He
called me a theologian, and said that, seated on mule-back, I looked
as if I were dispensing blessings. This time, however, being now
firmly resolved to learn to ride, I answered his jests with sarcastic
indifference. I was silent, nevertheless, with respect to the promise I
had just made Pepita. The latter, doubtless thinking as I did—although
we had come to no understanding in the matter—that silence for the
present was necessary to insure the complete success of the surprise
that I would create afterward by my knowledge of horsemanship, said
nothing of our conversation. Thus it happened, naturally and in the
simplest manner, that a secret existed between us; and it produced in
my mind a singular effect.

Nothing else worth telling occurred during the day.

In the afternoon we returned to the village in the same manner in which
we had left it. Yet, seated on my easygoing mule and at the side of
my aunt Casilda, I did not experience the same fatigue or sadness as

During the whole journey I listened without weariness to my aunt’s
stories, amusing myself at times in conjuring up idle fancies. Nothing
of what passes in my soul shall be concealed from you. I confess, then,
that the figure of Pepita was, as it were, the centre, or rather the
nucleus and focus, of these idle fancies.

The noonday vision in which she had appeared to me, in the shadiest
and most sequestered part of the grove, brought to my memory all the
visions, holy and unholy, of wondrous beings, of a condition superior
to ours, that I had read of in sacred authors and in the profane
classics. Pepita appeared to the eyes and on the stage of my fancy
in the leafy seclusion of the grove, not as she rode before us on
horseback, but in an ideal and ethereal fashion—as Venus to Æneas, as
Minerva to Callimachus, as the sylph who afterward became the mother of
Libusa to the Bohemian Kroco, as Diana to the son of Aristæus, as the
angels in the valley of Mamre to the Patriarch, as the hippocentaur to
St. Anthony in the solitude of the wilderness.

That the vision of Pepita should assume in my mind something of a
supernatural character, seems to me no more to be wondered at than any
of these. For an instant, seeing the consistency of the illusion, I
thought myself tempted by evil spirits; but I reflected that in the few
moments during which I had been alone with Pepita near the brook of the
Solana, nothing had occurred that was not natural or commonplace; that
it was afterward, as I rode along quietly on my mule, that some demon,
hovering invisible around me, had suggested these extravagant fancies.

That night I told my father of my desire to learn to ride. I did not
wish to conceal from him that it was Pepita who had suggested this
desire. My father was greatly rejoiced; he embraced me, he kissed me,
he said that now not you only would be my teacher, but that he also
would have the pleasure of teaching me something. He ended by assuring
me that in two or three weeks he would make me the best horseman of
all Andalusia; able to go to Gibraltar for contraband goods, and come
back laden with tobacco and cotton, after eluding the vigilance of the
Custom-house officers; fit, in a word, to astonish the riders who show
off their horsemanship in the fairs of Seville and Mairena, and worthy
to press the flanks of Babieca,[18] Bucephalus, or even of the horses
of the sun themselves, if they should by chance descend to earth, and I
could catch them by the bridle.

I don’t know what you will think of this notion of my learning to ride,
but I take it for granted you will see nothing wrong in it.

If you could but see how happy my father is, and how he delights in
teaching me! Since the day after the excursion I told you of, I take
two lessons daily. There are days on which the lesson is continuous,
for we spend from morning till night on horseback. During the first
week the lessons took place in the courtyard of the house, which is
unpaved, and which served as a riding-school.

We now ride out into the country, but manage so that no one shall see
us. My father does not want me to show myself on horseback in public
until I am able to astonish every one by my fine appearance in the
saddle, as he says. If the vanity natural to a father does not deceive
him, this, it seems, will be very soon, for I have a wonderful aptitude
for riding.

“It is easy to see that you are my son!” my father exclaims with joy,
as he watches my progress.

My father is so good that I hope you will pardon him the profane
language and irreverent jests in which he indulges at times. I grieve
for this at the bottom of my soul, but I endure it with patience. These
constant and long-continued lessons have reduced me to a pitiable
condition with blisters. My father enjoins me to write to you that they
are caused by mortification of the flesh.

As he declares that within a few weeks I shall be an accomplished
horseman, and he does not desire to be superannuated as a master, he
proposes to teach me other accomplishments of a somewhat irregular
character, and sufficiently unsuited to a future priest. At times he
proposes to train me in throwing the bull, in order that he may take
me afterwards to Seville, where, with lance in hand, on the plains of
Tablada, I shall make the braggarts and the bullies stare. Then he
recalls his own youthful days, when he belonged to the body-guard, and
declares that he will look up his foils, gloves, and masks, and teach
me to fence. And, finally, as my father flatters himself that he can
wield the Sevillian knife better than any one else, he has offered to
teach me even this accomplishment also.

You can already imagine the answer I make to all this nonsense. My
father replies that, in the good old times, not only the priests, but
even the bishops themselves, rode about the country on horseback,
putting infidels to the sword. I rejoin that this might happen in the
Dark Ages, but then in our days the ministers of the Most High should
know how to wield no other weapons than those of persuasion. “And what
if persuasion be not enough?” rejoins my father. “Do you think it would
be amiss to re-enforce argument with a few good blows of a cudgel?” The
complete missionary, according to my father’s opinion, should know how on
occasion to have recourse to these heroic measures, and as my father
has read a great many tales and romances he cites various examples in
support of his opinion. He cites, in the first place, St. James, who on
his white horse, without ceasing to be an apostle, put more Moors to
the sword than he preached to or convinced; he cites a certain Señor
de la Vera, who, being sent on an embassy to Boabdil by Ferdinand and
Isabella, became entangled in a theological discussion with the Moors
in the courtyard of the Lions, and, being at the end of his arguments,
drew his sword and fell upon them with fury in order to complete their
conversion; and he finally cites the Biscayan hidalgo, Don Inigo de
Loyola, who, in a controversy he had with a Moor regarding the purity
of the Holy Virgin, growing weary at last of the impious and horrible
blasphemies with which the aforesaid Moor contradicted him, fell upon
him, sword in hand, and, if he had not taken to his heels, would have
enforced conviction upon his soul in a terrible fashion. In regard to
the incident relating to St. Ignatius, I answer my father that this was
before the saint became a priest; and in regard to the other examples,
I answer that historians are not agreed.

In short, I defend myself as best I can against my father’s jests, and
I content myself with being a good horseman, without learning other
accomplishments unsuited to the clergy, although my father assures me
that not a few of the Spanish clergy understand and practise them with
frequency in Spain, even in our own day, with a view to contributing to
the triumph of the faith, and to the preservation or the restoration of
the unity of the Church.

I am grieved to the soul by this levity of my father’s, and that he
should speak with irreverence and jestingly about the most serious
things; but a respectful son is not called upon to go further than
I do in repressing his somewhat Voltairean freedom of speech. I say
_Voltairean_, because I am not able to describe it by any other word.
At heart my father is a good Catholic, and this thought consoles me.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Cross, and the village presented a very
animated appearance. In each street were six or seven May-crosses
covered with flowers, but none of them was so beautiful as that placed
by Pepita at the door of her house. It was adorned by a perfect cascade
of flowers.

In the evening we went to an entertainment at the house of Pepita. The
cross which had stood at the door was now placed in a large saloon on
the ground-floor, in which there is a piano, and Pepita presented us
with a simple and poetic spectacle—one that I had seen when a child,
but had since forgotten.

From the upper part of the cross hung down seven bands or broad
ribbons, two white, two green, and three red, the symbolic colours of
the theological virtues. Eight children, of five or six years old,
representing the seven sacraments, and holding the seven ribbons
that hung from the cross, performed with great skill a species of
contra-dance. The sacrament of baptism was represented by a child
wearing the white robe of a catechumen; ordination, by another child
as a priest; confirmation, by a little bishop; extreme unction, by a
pilgrim with staff and scrip, the latter filled with shells; marriage,
by a bride and bridegroom; and penance, by a Nazarene with cross and
crown of thorns.

The dance was a series of reverences, steps, evolutions, and
genuflexions, rather than a dance, performed to the sound of very
tolerable music, something like a march, which the organist played, not
without skill, on the piano.

The little dancers, children of the servants or retainers of Pepita,
after playing their parts, went away to bed loaded with gifts and

The entertainment, in the course of which we were served with
refreshments, continued till twelve; the refreshments were syrup
served in little cups, and afterwards chocolate with sponge-cake, and
meringues and water.

Since the return of spring Pepita’s seclusion and retirement are being
gradually abandoned, at which my father is greatly rejoiced. In future
Pepita will receive every night, and my father desires that I shall be
one of the guests.

Pepita has left off mourning, and now appears, more lovely and
attractive than ever, in the lighter fabrics appropriate to the season,
which is almost summer. She still dresses, however, with extreme

I cherish the hope that my father will not now detain me here beyond
the end of this month at farthest. In June we shall both join you in
the city, and you shall then see how, far from Pepita, to whom I am
indifferent, and who will remember me neither kindly nor unkindly, I
shall have the pleasure of embracing you, and attaining at last to the
happiness of being ordained.

                                     “_Pepita Jiménez._” _Juan Valera._

                      _IF SHE COULD ONLY WRITE._

    “Please write me a letter, Holy Sir.”
    —“To Robin, I suppose?”
    “You know because one evening dark
    To startle us you chose,—
    But on my soul ...”—“No more, a pen
    And paper, daughter, give:
    ‘_Belovèd Rob_,’”—“‘Belo’d’?”—“Then
    You don’t love him, I perceive.”
    “Oh yes! and now you’ve put it,
    It must stay”—“‘_If you but knew
    How very sad and lonely, dear,
    I am away from you!_’”
    “Why, Sir, you know my very thoughts!”...
    “To an old man like me
    A maid’s breast is of crystal clear
    Through which the heart we see.
    ‘_Without you all is bitterness,
    But with you Paradise._’”
    “Pray make those letters quite clear, Sir,
    And underline them thrice.”
    “‘_And if you no longer love me,
    Suffer so much shall I.
    That_’ ...”—“‘Suffer’? ’tis not the word, Sir;
    Put ‘I shall surely die.’”
    “’Twere sinning against Heaven, my child.”
    “‘Die,’ sir, in black and white!”
    “Not so.”—“Alas, your heart’s of ice,
    Oh! if I could but write!...
    Dear Father, Holy Father!
    In vain you write for me,
    If incarnate in the letters
    Is not all that I may be.
    For Christ’s sake, tell him that my soul
    Within me will not stay,
    That if anguish does not kill me
    ’Tis because I weep all day.
    That my lips, the roses of his breath,
    Know only how to close;
    And that all smiles and laughter
    Long ago within me froze.
    That the eyes he thought so lovely
    Are heavy with distress,
    Since there’s nobody to look at them
    They shut for wretchedness.
    That for the echo of his voice
    My ears are all athirst;
    That of all the torments suffer’d
    His absence is the worst ...
    And that it is _his_ fault my heart’s
    In such sweet-bitter plight!...
    Good heavens, how many things I’d put
    If I could only write!...”


[Illustration: “IF I COULD ONLY WRITE.”]

                          _DOCTOR PERTINAX._

St. Peter was polishing the large knocker of the Gate of Heaven,
leaving it as bright as the sun—which is not to be wondered at since
the knocker St. Peter was cleaning _is_ the sun we see appearing every
morning in the east.

The holy porter, merrier than his colleagues at Madrid, was humming
some little air not unlike _Ça ira_ of the French.

“Hola! You get up very early,” said he, bending his head and staring at
a person who had stopped before the threshold of the gate.

The unknown did not reply, but bit his lips, which were thin, pale, and

“No doubt,” continued St. Peter, “you are the savant who was dying
last night?... What a night you made me pass, friend!... I never closed
my eyes once, thinking you might be likely to knock; my last orders
were not to let you wait a moment, a piece of respect paid to your sort
here in heaven. Well, welcome, and come in; I can’t leave the gate. Go
through, and then straight on.... There is no entresol.”


The stranger did not stir from the threshold, but fixed his little blue
eyes on the venerable bald head of St. Peter, who had turned his back
to go on rubbing up the sun.

The newcomer was thin, short, and sallow, with somewhat feminine
movements, neat in his attire, and without a hair on his face. He wore
his shroud elegantly and nicely adjusted, and he measured his gestures
with academic severity.

After gazing for some time at St. Peter working, he wheeled round and
was about to return on the journey he had come he knew not how; but
he found he was standing above a gloomy abyss, in which the darkness
almost seemed palpable, and a horrisonous tempest was roaring with
flashes of livid light at intervals like lightning. There was not a
trace of any stairs, and the machine by which he dimly remembered he
had mounted was not in sight either.

“Sir,” exclaimed he, in a vibrating and acrid voice: “May I know what
this means? Where am I? Why was I brought here.”

“Ah, you haven’t gone yet; I am very glad, for I had forgotten something.”
And pulling his memorandum-book out of his pocket, the saint moistened
the point of the pencil between his lips and asked—

“Your name?”

“I am Doctor Pertinax, author of the book stereotyped in its twentieth
edition, called ‘_Philosophia Ultima_.’...”

St. Peter was not a quick writer, and of all this had only put down

“Well, Pertinax of what?”

“Of what? Oh, I see, you mean from where? just as they say: Thales of
Miletus, Parmenides of Elea....”

“Exactly, Quixote of la Mancha....”

“Write down, Pertinax of Torrelodones. And now, may I know what this
farce means?”

“This farce?”

“Yes, sir. I am the victim of a farce, this is a comedy: my enemies, my
colleagues, with the help of subtle artifices and theatrical machinery,
exalting my mind with some beverage, have doubtless prepared all this.
But the deception is useless. My power of reasoning is above all
these appearances, and protests with a mighty voice against this low
trickery; neither masks nor limelights are of any avail, for I am not
taken in by such palpable effrontery, and I say what I always said,
and which is enframed on page 315 of my ”_Philosophia Ultima_,“ note
_b._ of the sub-note Alpha, _i.e._, that after death the deception of
appearances will not exist, and there will no longer be any desire for
life, _nolite vivere_, which is only a chain of shadows linked with
desires, &c., &c.... Therefore, one of the two: either I have died, or
I have not died; if I have died, it cannot possibly be I as I was when
alive half an hour ago, and all that I see around me, as it can only be
a representation, is not, for I am not; but if I have not died, and am
myself, what I was and am, it is clear that although what I see around
me exists in me by representation, it is not what my enemies wish me
to believe, but an unworthy farce designed to frighten me; but ’tis in
vain, for....”

And the philosopher swore like a coal-heaver. And the swearing was not
the worst, for he lifted up his voice towards Heaven, the inhabitants
of which were beginning to awake at the noise, while some of the blest
were already descending by the staircase of clouds, tinged some as with
woad, others with a sea-blue.

Meanwhile St. Peter held his sides with both hands to keep from
bursting into the laughter with which he was nearly choking. Pertinax
became more irritated at the saint’s laughter, and the latter had to stop
to try and pacify him by the following words—

“My dear sir, farces are of no avail here, nor is it a question of
deceiving you, but of bringing you to Heaven, which it appears you
have merited for some good works of which I am ignorant; in any case,
calm yourself and go up, for the inhabitants above are already astir,
and you will find somebody who will conduct you to where all will be
explained to your taste, so that not a shadow of doubt will remain, for
doubts all disappear in this region, where the dullest thing is the sun
which I am polishing.”

“I do not say _you_ are deceiving me, for you seem an honest man; the
tricksters are others, and you only an instrument, unconscious of what
you are doing.”

“I am St. Peter....”

“They have persuaded you that you are; but there’s no proof that you are.”

“Dear sir, I have been porter here for more than eighteen hundred

“Apprehension, preconception....”

“Preconception fiddlesticks!” cried the saint, now somewhat angry;
“I am St. Peter, and you a savant, and like all that come to us, an
ignorant fool, with more than one bee in your bonnet....”

The gateway was now crowded with angels and cherubim, saints, male and
female, and a number of the blest, who all formed a circle round the
stranger and smilingly surveyed him.

       *       *       *       *       *

From amongst them there stepped forth St. Job:—“I think,” said he,
“that this gentleman would be convinced that he had lived in error
if he could see the Universe as it actually is. Why not appoint a
commission from amongst us to accompany Doctor Pertinax and show him
the construction of the immense piece of architecture, as Lope de Vega
says, whom I am sorry not to see among us.”

Great was the respect for St. Job, and they immediately proceeded to
a nominal vote, which took up a good deal of time, as more than half
the martyrology had repaired to the gate. The following were by the
results appointed members of the commission:—St. Job, by acclamation;
Diogenes, by a majority; and St. Thomas the Apostle, by a majority. St.
Thomas of Aquinas and Duns Scotus had votes.

Dr. Pertinax gave way to the supplications of the commission, and
consented to survey all the machinery and magic, with which they might
deceive his eyes, said he, but not his mind.

“My dear fellow, don’t be downhearted,” said St. Thomas, as he sewed
some wings on to the Doctor’s shoulder-blades: “Look at me, I was an
unbeliever, and....”

“Sir,” replied Pertinax, “you lived in very different times, the
world was then in its theological age, as Comte said, and I have
passed through all those ages and have lived side by side with the
”_Criticisms of Pure Reason_“ and the ”_Philosophia Ultima_“; so that
I believe in nothing, not even in the mother who bore me; I only
believe in this, inasmuch as I know that I am, I am conscious, but
without falling into the preconception of confounding representation
with essence, which is unattainable, that is to say, excepting the
being conscious, putting aside all that is not myself (and all being
in myself) I _know_, by knowing that everything is represented (and
I as everything else) by simply appearing to be what it is, and the
reality of which is only investigated by another volitive and effective
representation, a harmful representation, being irrational and the
original sin of the Fall; therefore, this apparent desire undone,
nothing remains to explore, since not even the will for knowledge

Only St. Job heard the last word of this discourse, and, scratching his
bald crown with his potsherd, he replied—

“The truth is, you savants are the very devil for talking nonsense, and
do be offended, but those things, whether in your head or imagination,
as you please, will give you warm work to see them in reality as they

“Forward! forward!” shouted Diogenes at this moment; “the sophists
denied me motion, and you know how I proved it; forward!”

And they began their flight through boundless space. Boundless?
Pertinax thought it so, and said—

“Do you expect to show me all the Universe?”

“Certainly,” replied St. Thomas.

“But since the Universe—seemingly, of course—is infinite ... how can
you conceive the limit of space?”

“Conceive it, with difficulty; but see it, easily. Aristoteles sees it
every day, for he takes the most terrible walks with his disciples, and
certainly he complained that the space for walking ended before the
disputes of his peripatetics.”

“But how can space have an end? If there is a limit, it will have to be
nothing; but as nothing does not exist, it cannot form a boundary; for
a boundary is something, and something apart from what is bounded.”

St. Job, who was already growing impatient, cut him short—

“Enough, enough of conversation! but you had better bend your head so
as not to knock it, for we have arrived at that limit of space which
cannot be conceived, and if you take a step more, you will break your
head against that nothing you are denying.”

And effectually; Pertinax saw there was nothing more beyond; wished to
feel it, and bumped his head.

“But this can’t be!” he exclaimed, while St. Thomas applied to the bump
one of those pieces of money which pagans take with them on their
journey to the other world.

There was no help for it, they had to turn back, the Universe had come
to an end. But ended or not, how beautiful shone the firmament with its
millions and millions of stars!

“What is that dazzling light shining above there, higher than all the
constellations? Is it some nebula unknown to the astronomers of the

“A pretty nebula!” replied St. Thomas; “that is the celestial
Jerusalem, from which we have just descended, and what is shining so
are the diamond walls round the city of God.”

“So that those marvels related by Chateaubriand, and which I thought
unworthy of a serious man...?”

“Are perfectly true, my friend. And now let us go and rest on that
star passing below there, for i’ faith, I am tired of so much going
backwards and forwards.”

“Gentlemen, I am not presentable,” said Pertinax; “I have not yet
doffed my shroud, and the inhabitants of this star will laugh at such
indecorous garb....”

The three Ciceroni of Heaven all burst out laughing together. Diogenes
was the first to exclaim—

“Though I should lend you my lantern, you would not meet a living soul
in that star, nor in any other star.”

“Of course,” added Job, very seriously, “there are no inhabitants
except on the Earth; don’t talk such nonsense.”

“This I cannot believe!”

“Well, let us go and show him,” said St. Thomas, who was already
growing angry. And they journeyed from star to star, and in a few
minutes had traversed all the Milky Way and the most distant starry
systems. Nothing, not a sign of life. They did not even encounter a
flea, for all the numerous globes they surveyed. Pertinax was horrified.

“This is the Creation!” he exclaimed; “what solitude! Come, show me the
Earth; I want to see that privileged region; by what I conjecture, all
modern cosmography is a lie, the Earth is still, and the centre of all
the celestial vault; and round her revolve the suns and planets, and
she is the largest of all the spheres....”

“Not at all,” replied St. Thomas; “astronomy is not mistaken; the
earth revolves round the sun, and you will soon see how insignificant
she appears. Let us see if we can find her amongst all that crowd of
stars. _You_ look for her, St. Job; _you_ have plenty of patience.”

“I will!” exclaimed the Saint of the potsherd, as he hooked his
spectacles round his ears.

“It is like looking for a needle in a bottle of hay!... I see her!
there she goes! look! look how small! she looks like a microbe!”

Pertinax looked at the Earth and sighed.

“And are there no inhabitants except on that mote?”

“Nowhere else.”

“And the rest of the Universe is empty?”


“Then of what use are such millions and millions of stars?”

“As lamps. They are the public illumination of the Earth. And they are
also useful for singing praises to the Almighty. And they serve as
eke-outs in poetry, and you can’t deny they are very pretty.”

“But all empty?”

“Every one!”

Pertinax remained in the air for a good time sad and thoughtful. He
felt ill. The edifice of his “_Philosophia Ultima_” was threatening
ruin. Upon seeing that the Universe was so different from what reason
demanded, he began to believe in the Universe. That brusque lesson of
reality was the rude and cold contact with material which his spirit
needed in order to believe. “It is all so badly arranged, but perhaps
it is true!” thus thought the philosopher. Suddenly he turned to his
companions, and asked them—“Does Hell exist?”

The three sighed, made gestures of compassion, and replied—

“Yes; it exists.”

“And condemnation is eternal?”


“A solemn injustice!”

“A terrible reality!” replied the three in chorus.

Pertinax wiped his brow with his shroud. He was perspiring philosophy.
He began to believe that he was in the other world. The injustice of
everything convinced him. “Then the cosmogony and the theogony of my
infancy was the truth?”

“Yes; the first and only philosophy.”

“Then I am not dreaming?”


“Confession! confession!” groaned the philosopher; and he swooned into
the arms of Diogenes.

       *       *       *       *       *

When he awoke, he found himself in his bed. His old servant and the
priest were by his side.

“Here is the confessor, sir, for whom you asked....”

Pertinax sat up, stretched out both hands, and looking at the confessor
with frightened eyes, cried—

“I say and repeat, that all is pure representation, and that I am the
victim of an unworthy farce.”——And he expired really.

                                  “_Solos de Clarin._” _Leopoldo Alas._

                      _A FEW THOUGHTS ON LIGHT._

Man has invented artificial light, he inferred it from natural light;
he has in the same way invented artificial truths, inferring them from
supreme truths.

The sun appears every day illuminating space to show us the heavens.

In Madrid the gas is lighted every night that we may see the earth.

Man is to God what a box of matches is to the sun.

Human pride can also write its Genesis.

It can begin like this—

“One day man said—‘Fiat lux,’ and there were matches.“

Henceforward a blaze of light which illumines us perfectly.

The light invented by men is worth more than the light created by God:
let us see how.

A thousand sunbeams cost nothing; one box of matches costs a halfpenny.

                                      ”_Hojas Sueltas._” _José Selgas._


                             TO A CRITIC.

    Thy foolish criticism
    On the plays composed by me
    Wounds not my egotism;
    But a sore, indeed, ’t would be,
    Should they be praised by thee.

    _Leandro Fernandez de Moratin_, 1760-1828.

                     TO A TRANSLATOR OF THE ÆNEID.

    In bad Spanish great Vergil
    You dare to asperse.
    And tell us most closely
    You follow his verse:
    If to imitate Maro
    Is your real intent,
    Pray will it’s to burn
    By _your_ last testament.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The mother of young Cupid,
    Once her baby sleepless lay,
    Fearful lest the child should perish,
    Weeping loud in her dismay,
    Quickly to the gods repair’d.
    Grave Morpheus took it in his care,
    Laid it in the bed of Hymen,—
    In a trice it slumber’d there.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Love, Morpheus, and I
    Shared a maiden fair;
    Love took her heart
    As his due share,
    And Morpheus liked
    Her sweet eyes best
    So I for myself
    Claimed all the rest.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The Devil tried hard
    Job’s faith to impair,
    Loss of property, children,
    And health he’d to bear,
    But failing to tempt him
    To curse his own life,
    To make him despair
    He left him his wife.

           *       *       *       *       *

    García by name.
    Was thus sadly address’d
    By the wife of the same:
    How is’t you acquir’d
    Such a great reputation
    And are so behindhand
    In Multiplication?

    _Pablo de Jérica._

       *       *       *       *       *

                             THE SUN-DIAL.

    A sun-dial was made by some natives near Quito,
    Who thought it so fine (in Spanish “bonito”),
    They put up a roof to protect it from rain,
    Saying, “We never shall have such a sun-dial again.”
    But of use it was none, since the roof hid the sun.
    And I said in my heart, ’tis a nice counterpart
                  Of good laws for our weal
                  Spoil’d by fools’ silly zeal!

    _J. E. Hartzenbusch_, 1806-1880.



A certain Pacha had a daughter who had three suitors. When her father
asked her which of the three she would marry, she replied she wanted
all three. To this he replied it was impossible, no woman ever had
three husbands; but the girl, who was wilful and spoilt, persisted, and
at last the good Pacha in despair called the three suitors before him
and told them he would give his daughter to whichever returned with
the most wonderful thing within a year’s time. The three suitors set out
in quest, and after vainly wandering about the world for many months,
one of them met a witch who showed him a looking-glass in which you saw
whatever you wished to see. This he bought from her. The second suitor
also met this witch, who sold him a strip of carpet, which, when you
sat upon it, carried you to wherever you wished to go; while the third
suitor bought from her a salve, the which, when applied to the lips
of a newly laid out corpse returned the body to life. Now the three
suitors met, and showed each other their respective finds.

“Let us wish to see our fair mistress,” said one; and they wished and
looked into the mirror, when, lo and behold! they saw her dead, laid
out in her coffin ready for burial. They were overwhelmed with grief.

“My salve will restore her to life,” said the third suitor, “but by
the time we get to her she will have been long buried and devoured by

“But my carpet will take us to her at once,” cried the second suitor,
and so they all sat down on it and wished.

In a trice they found themselves in the Pacha’s palace, and the salve was
applied to the dead girl’s lips. She immediately came to life again, sat
up, and looking at the Pacha said—

“I was right, you see, father, when I wanted all three.”

                                    _(Abridged from) Fernan Caballero._


There was in the village of Abadiano a certain farmer called Chomin,
who had made a prodigious fortune by his devotion to a number of saints
of both sexes.

When first married he possessed nothing beyond his wife and a dog;
but it occurred to him to make perpetual family saints of St. Isidro,
patron of farmers; St. Antonio, advocate of animals; St. Roque, enemy
of the plague; Santa Lucia, protector of the sight; St. Barbara, enemy
of thunderbolts and lightning, and other innumerable saints, to each of
whom he offered up every night their respective Pater Noster and Ave
Maria, and certes, he struck a mine of wealth by so doing, for from
that moment he began to prosper, and in such a way that after a few
years he had the best house and farm in the district of Gaztelua.

In Chomin’s house even a headache was unknown; the wheat, which in Biscay
generally produces sixteen bushels for one sown, produced twenty-four
for Chomin; the maize, which nearly always produces thirty for one,
produced forty for Chomin; not a single head of his cattle had come to
grief, although he had many, and when a storm burst upon the heights
of Gorbea and Amboto, and the lightning flashed towards Abadiano, it
always took good care to make a little round so as to avoid passing
over Chomin’s buildings and property.

Chomin had a servant by name Péru, to whom he had promised his
daughter, Mari-Pepa, with whom Péru was in love, and verily not without
motive, for she was the prettiest girl that came to dance on Sundays in
the market-place of Abadiano.

Péru was a hard worker, and as honest as the day; but he had a very
short memory, and was not over-intelligent; it was related of him
among other things, how one day that Péru had to go to San Antonio de
Urquiola, his master having commissioned him to kiss the Saint for him,
Péru, instead of giving the kiss to the Saint, gave it to the Saint’s pig,
which always accompanies him. But in spite of this, if he was in love
with Mari-Pepa, she was still more in love with him, for we know what
women are like; they may dislike a man for being poor, ugly, or wicked,
but they don’t mind how stupid he is.

One night, the eve of St. James, after the whole family, under the
direction of Chomin, had told their rosary, with an extra rosary of
Pater Nosters and Ave Marias to the patron saints of the house, Chomin
said to Péru—

“Listen, Péru. To-morrow begins the fair of Basurto, and I am thinking
of going there to see if I can buy a pair of bullocks to rear and
train, so that when you and Mari-Pepa marry you may have a good yoke of
oxen, for it is already time to think of settling you.”

Péru and Mari-Pepa, upon hearing this, blushed as red as cherries, and
looked at each other with eyes dancing with joy.

Chomin continued, “I shall be away for at least a couple of days, for
until I come across a pair which will be the pride of the country I wo
come back. Meanwhile, Péru, you will have to take my place at prayers,
and be careful not to forget the Pater Noster and Ave Maria for each of
the Saints who protect us.”

“Don’t you worry about it,” replied Péru, “not a single one shall be

“I hope not, Péru, for, you see, we owe them a great deal. My wife and
I had only one rag in front and another behind when we made them our
Saints, and to-day.... Well, you shall see a good few ounces of gold
from the sweepings of our stables on your and Mari-Pepa’s wedding-day! But
suppose you omit, for example, St. Barbara and her corresponding Pater
Noster and Ave Maria, and a tempest bursts over us.... Lord Jesus, at
the very thought my legs tremble! Now let us see, Péru, if you know by
heart all the saints to whom you must pray.”

Péru recited the names of all the patrons of the family to Chomin’s
satisfaction, but the latter burdened his fealty in the accomplishment
of his task, by threatening that he should not become his son-in-law
if he did a single saint out of their respective Pater Noster and Ave
Maria, which omission would be sure to be found out by the ill-luck
which would certainly happen to the family, house, property, or cattle.

The next morning, after he had attended early mass, Chomin took his way
to the fair, now certain that Péru would not pass over a single saint.
Poor Péru took the charge so much to heart, and above all the threat,
that he passed the whole night and next morning in trying to find a
sure way of not forgetting a single saint, but with no avail, however
much he racked his brains. And it was a serious case, for Péru said
to himself, “I know all their names off like a parrot, but as there
are twenty-five besides the Virgin, how can I help it if I give an Ave
Maria or so short, and there is an end to my marriage with Mari-Pepa?
It would be a pretty to-do if that happened, for I shall not find
another companion like her easily, and then Chomin won’t let us leave the
house without some household furniture, a good yoke of oxen, and fifty
ducats for the dowry.”

At the fall of evening all the village was dancing to the sound of
the tambourine in the market-place of Abadiano, all except Péru and
Mari-Pepa. Péru was sitting amidst brambles and furze on a desolate
slope overlooking the village. Mari-Pepa was in the market-place close
to the village fountain, refusing to dance with anybody, and full of
grief at Péru’s state of mind.

Suddenly Péru uttered a shout of joy and flew down the hill, seized
Mari-Pepa, and began the maddest dance ever seen in Abadiano. He had
thought out an infallible way how not to forget a single saint in the
celestial city.

That evening, after praying to each of the particular saints appointed
by Chomin special patron saints of the family, lest any should have
been forgotten he prayed to _all the saints in the celestial city,—and
seven leagues without_, in case any should be taking a walk.

                                                           _A. Trueba._



    If thy debtor be poor, old Christoval cried,
      Exact not too hardly thy due;
    For he who preserves a poor man from want,
      May preserve him from wickedness too.

    If thy neighbour should sin, old Christoval cried,
      Never, never unmerciful be!
    For remember it is by the mercy of God
      That thou art not as wicked as he.

    At sixty-and-seven the hope of heaven
      Is my comfort, old Christoval cried;
    But if God had cut me off in my youth,
      I might not have gone there when I died.

    You shall have the farm, young Christoval,
      My good master Henrique said;
    But a surety provide, in whom I can confide,
      That duly the rent shall be paid.

    I was poor, and I had not a friend upon earth,
      And I knew not what to say;
    We stood by the porch of St. Andrew’s Church,
      And it was St. Isidro’s day.

    Take St. Isidro for my pledge,
      I ventured to make reply;
    The Saint in Heaven may perhaps be my friend,
      But friendless on earth am I.

    We entered the church and came to his grave,
      And I fell on my bended knee;
    I am friendless, holy Isidro,
      And I venture to call upon thee.

    I call upon thee my surety to be,
      Thou knowest my honest intent;
    And if ever I break my plighted word,
      Let thy vengeance make me repent

    I was idle, the day of payment came on,
      And I had not the money in store;
    I feared the wrath of Isidro,
      But I feared Henrique more.

    On a dark, dark night I took my flight
      And hastily fled away:
    It chanced that by St. Andre Church
      The road I had chosen lay.

    As I passed the door I thought what I had swore
      Upon St. Isidr day;
    And I seemed to fear because he was near,
      And faster I hastened away.

    So all night long I hurried on,
      Pacing full many a mile;
    I knew not his avenging hand
      Was on me all the while.

    Weary I was, and safe I thought,
      But when it was daylight,
    I had, I found, been running round
      And round the church all night.

    I shook like a palsy and fell on my knees,
      And for pardon devoutly I prayed:
    When my Master came up—What, Christoval,
      You are here betimes, he said.

    I have been idle, good master! I cried,
      Good master, and I have been wrong!
    And I have been running round the church
      In penance all night long.

    If thou hast been idle, Henrique said,
      Go home and thy fault amend;
    I will not oppress thee, Christoval,
      May the Saint thy labour befriend.

    Homeward I went a penitent,
      And I never was idle more;
    St. Isidro blest my industry,
      As he punished my fault before.

    When my debtor was poor, old Christoval said,
      I have never exacted my due;
    I remembered Henrique was good to me,
      And copied his goodness too.

    When my neighbour has sinned, old Christoval said,
      I have ever forgiven his sin.
    For I thought of the night by St. Andrew’s Church,
      And remembered what I might have been.

    _Southey’s “Letters from Spain and Portugal.”_


                          THE WEDDING NIGHT.

      Before Isidro’s holy shrine
    Hernando knelt and pray’d,
    “Now, blessed Saint, afford thine aid,
      And make Aldonza mine;
    And fifty pieces I will lay,
    The offering of my Wedding Day,
      Upon thy holy shrine.”

      Hernando rose and went his way;
    Isidro heard his vow;
    And, when he sued, Aldonza now
      No longer said him nay;
    For he was young and _débonair_,
    And sped so well that soon the fair
      Had fix’d the Wedding Day.

      The Wedding Day at length is here.
    The day that came so slow;
    Together to the church they go,
      The youth and maid so dear;
    And kneeling at the altar now
    Pronounced the mutual marriage vow,
      With lips and heart sincere.

      And joy is on Hernando’s brow,
    And joy is in his breast;
    To him by happiness possest,
      The past exists not now;
    And gazing on the wedded maid,
    The youth forgot Isidro’s aid,
      And thought not of his vow.

      The sun descended from the height
    Of heaven his western way;
    Amid Hernando’s hall so gay,
      The tapers pour their light;
    The Wedding Guests, a festive throng,
    With music and with dance and song,
      Await the approach of night.

      The hours pass by, the night comes on,
    And from the hall so gay,
    One by one they drop away,
      The Wedding Guests; anon
    The festive hall is emptied quite;
    But whither on his Wedding Night
      Is young Hernando gone?

      Hernando he had gone away
    The Wedding Guests before;
    For he was summon’d to his door
      By an old man cloth’d in grey.
    Who bade the Bridegroom follow him;
    His voice was felt in every limb,
      And forced them to obey.

      The old man he went fast before,
    And not a word said he,
    Hernando followed silently,
      Against his will full sore;
    For he was dumb, nor power of limb
    Possess’d, except to follow him,
      Who still went mute before.

      Towards a church they hasten now,
    And now the door they reach;
    The Bridegroom had no power of speech,
      Cold drops were on his brow;
    The church where St. Isidro lay,
    Hernando knew, and in dismay,
      He thought upon his vow.

      The old man touch’d the door, the door
    Flew open at his will,
    And young Hernando followed still
      The silent man before;
    The clasping doors behind him swung,
    And thro’ the aisles and arches rung
      The echo of their roar.

      Dim tapers, struggling with the gloom,
    Sepulchral twilight gave:
    And now to St. Isidro’s grave
      The old man in grey is come.
    The youth that sacred shrine survey’d,
    And shook to see no corpse was laid
      Within that open tomb.

      “Learn thou to pay thy debts aright!”
    Severe the old man said,
    As in the tomb himself he laid;
      “Nor more of vows make light.”
    The yearning marble clos’d its womb,
    And left Hernando by the tomb,
      To pass his Wedding Night.

    _Southey’s  “Letters from Spain and Portugal.”_

                         _FATHER COBOS’ HINT._

                   (LAS INDIRECTAS DE PADRE COBOS.)

A certain Father Superior of, I don’t know where, used to take such
delicious cups of chocolate as only holy friars do. An intimate friend
of the friar, who was extremely fond of chocolate, began visiting him
very frequently, and always at the hour in which his reverence drank
his chocolate, the friar being so courteous as to always order another
cup for his visitor. But as this friend abused the father’s hospitality by
coming day after day, the latter complained of this sponging tendency,
whereupon a lay-friar, whose name was Father Cobos, declared that it
fell to him to give him a hint to drop this habit. To this the Father
Superior agreed. Noticing soon after that his friend no longer came to
the convent, and desirous to know the lay-friar’s hint, he asked him after
a fortnight what he had said to make his friend leave off coming even
to see him.

“I gave him a hint,” replied Father Cobos. “I said, ‘Look you, Don
Fulano, don’t be so disobliging as to take your chocolate at home; for the
Father Superior says you are such a tremendous glutton that it warms
the cockles of his heart every time he sees you.’”

The Father Superior was so amused at this that he divulged the story,
and since then the hints of Padre Cobos have become proverbial
throughout Spain.

                                             _Juan Martinez Villergas._

                           _POPULAR SONGS._

                          THE PARSLEY VENDOR.

    This morning as the golden sun
    Was rising, pretty maid,
    I saw you in the garden
    Bending o’er the parsley bed.
    To see you somewhat nearer
    Through the garden gate I strayed,
    And found when I went out again
    I’d lost my heart, sweet maid.
    You must have come across it,
    For I lost it there, I say.
    “Oh, pretty parsley maiden,
    Give back my heart, I pray.”

                 _A. Trueba_, 1819-1889.


    When He made thee those black lashes
    God, no doubt, would give thee warning
    That for all the deaths thou causest,
    Thou must put thyself in mourning.

                      (_Trans. A. Strettel._)

       *       *       *       *       *

    Alcaldè măyòr, Alcaldè măyòr,
    You sentence poor prisoners for theft,
    While your daughter walks out with her black eyes,
    And robs all our hearts right and left.

                             LA GRANADINA.

    Some tears, my pretty maiden,
    If only two or three,
    And the goldsmiths of Granàda
    Shall set them as jewels for me.

           *       *       *       *       *

    They tell me that you love me,
    But ’tis a falsehood bold;
    So circumscribed a bosom
    Could never two hearts hold.

           *       *       *       *       *

    As I carelessly opened
    Your letter, my dear,
    Your heart dropp’d out,
    Into my bosom, I fear,
    So I took it in; but
    As there’s no room for two,
    I have taken out mine,
    Which I now send to you.


    I saw two stones
    Fight in your street
    For the joy of being trodden
    Under your feet;
            And I ponder’d then.
            If the stones do this,
            Oh, what will men?


    A favour, Blacksmith,
    I ask of you;
    Pray make me a lover
    Of steel so true.
              And this is what he replies to me
              It can’t be very true
              If a man it’s to be.

           *       *       *       *       *

    As we know, God made man first,
    And afterwards the womenstock;
    First of all the tower is built.
    But last of all the weather-cock.

           *       *       *       *       *

    May the Lord God preserve us from evil birds three,
    From all friars, and curates, and sparrows that be;
    For the sparrows eat up all the corn that we sow,
    The friars drink down all the wine that we grow,
    Whilst the curates have all the fair dames at their nod:
    From these three evil curses preserve us, good God.

    (_Trans. G. Borrow._)


The Man is Fire, the Woman tow, the Devil comes the flame to blow.

Choose your Wife on a Saturday, not on a Sunday.

While the tall Maid is stooping the little one hath swept the House.

He who hath a handsome Wife, or a Castle on the Frontier, or a Vineyard
near the Highway, never lacks a quarrel.

He who marries a Widow, will have a dead Man’s Head often thrown in his

There’s not a pin’s point between the yes and no of a woman.

Mother, what kind of thing is this Marrying? Daughter, ’tis to spin, to
bear Children, and to cry your eyes out.

The honest woman and the broken leg within doors.

Women and hens soon lost with gadding about.

He who stirs honey must have some stick to him.

In the house of the tambourinist, all dance.

No olla without bacon, no wedding without a tambourine.

A partridge frightened is half cooked.

There’s many a good drinker under a ragged cloak.

God doth the Cure, and the Doctor takes the Money.

When the Devil hies to his Prayers he means to cheat you.

Change of Weather finds Discourse for Fools.

When all Men say you are an Ass, ’tis time to bray.

A Handful of Mother-wit is worth a bushel of Learning.

A Pound of Care will not pay an ounce of Debt.

A broken head never lacked a rag.

As good bread is baked here as in France.

When loaves are lacking, cake will do.

He who sings, scares away sorrow.

The hen lives on even with the pip.

However early you get up, the day won’t break any sooner.

Short cuts, deep ruts.

Patience, and shuffle the cards.

The hare jumps out when you least expect her.

Where you hope to find rashers there are not even spits.

Opportunity is painted bald.

When the heifer’s given you, run quick with the halter.

He who is not Handsome at Twenty, nor Strong at Thirty, nor Rich at
Forty, nor Wise at Fifty, will never be Handsome, Strong, Rich, nor

I wept when I was born, and every day shows why.

Buy at a Fair, and sell at home.

Let us be Friends, and put out the Devil’s eye.

Women, Wind, and Fortune are ever changing.

    When going up hill
    For a mule I sigh,
    But I like my own legs
    When I downwards hie.

He who will have a Mule without any Fault must keep none.

You should not blame the pannier for the donkey’s fault.

The mule said to the donkey. Gee up, long ears.

There’s a difference between Peter and Peter.

God keep me from him whom I trust, from him whom I trust not I shall
keep myself.

The foot of the Owner is the best manure for his Land.

If your dove-cote never lacks corn, you will never lack pigeons.

Lock your Door, that you may keep your Neighbour honest.

Never mention the rope in the house of a hanged man.

Finger nails come in when wedges are useless.

When the abbot sings out, the acolyte’s not far behind.

At night all cats are grey.

One devil’s like another.

He who sheared me still handles his scissors.

Once bitten by a scorpion, and frightened at its shadow.

Flies don’t enter a closed mouth.

Some have the glory, and others card the wool.

Don’t stretch your leg further than the street is long.

What you have to give to the mouse give to the cat.

Smugglers make better custom-house officers than do carbineers.

Money paid, arms soon tired.

Italy to be born in, France to live in, and Spain to die in.


An astute Gallegan one day presented himself with the most candid air
at the shop of a tailor, telling him he had come to draw the fifty
reals he had deposited with him two years ago.

The tailor was thunderstruck, and replied that he had no money of
his, whereupon the Gallegan began to cry out and complain loudly and
bitterly, which soon drew a crowd round the shop door.

The tailor was sure of his fact, since there was no document to
attest the imaginary deposit, but fearing the scandal might damage
his business, yet unable to confess to the debt after denying it, had
recourse to a neighbouring tradesman, who promised to settle the affair.

“Look you here, yokel, why are you making such a fuss about a mistake?
Don’t you remember that it was to my shop you brought the fifty reals?”

“Oh, yes,” slyly replied the Gallegan; “but that was another fifty.”

       *       *       *       *       *

While ascending a steep hill the mayoral opens the door, of the
diligence every now and then, to shut it with a loud bang, without a
word to the passengers.

“Oh, mayoral!” cries one, “why do you open and shut the door like that,
we are freezing.”

“Hush! it’s for the mules; every time the door slams they think somebody
has got out, and pull better.”

A countryman wrote the following letter to his son, a student in the

“MY DEAR SON,—This is to tell you that I am very displeased with the
bad conduct which I have been told you observe in Madrid. If a good
thrashing could be sent by post, you would have had several from me.
As for your mother, the good woman spoils you as usual. Enclosed you
will find an order for seventy reals, which she sends you without my

  “Your father,

       *       *       *       *       *

Horse-dealer, exhibiting a superb animal to probable customer:—

“Take this one, sir. He’s a splendid trotter. Mount him at four in the
morning at Madrid, and you’ll be at Alcalá at five.”

“He won’t suit me.”

“Why not?”

“What should I do at five o’clock in the morning at Alcalá where I know

       *       *       *       *       *

“The deuce! I do feel bad.”

“What’s the matter.”

“I ate a steak of horse-flesh and it’s going round and round in my

“My dear fellow! It must have been a circus-horse!”

       *       *       *       *       *

A young girl was taken to see a bull-fight for the first time, and one
of the matadors was furiously attacked by a bull.

“Don’t be afraid, dear, don’t be afraid!” exclaimed her father, while the
matador was flying through the air with the impetus of the beast’s horns.

“Oh, no, papa, it’s the bull-fighter who’ll be afraid.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                             AT A STATION.

“A peseta for a cup of chocolate! It’s very dear. It would be better to
lower the price, though it should be of an inferior quality.”

“To please you, señor, I will make it three reals, but I can’t make it of
inferior quality.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              IN SCHOOL.

“Now, Pepito, is _huevo_ [egg] masculine or feminine?”

(Pepito, thoughtfully) “It’s very difficult to tell.”

“Difficult? What do you mean?”

“Well, sir, how can one know until the chicken’s hatched?”

       *       *       *       *       *

An Aragonese carman was unmercifully beating a mule who had fallen down
in one of the chief streets of the capital. The passers-by stopped to
censure the carman’s  conduct, exclaiming—

“How cruel!”

“Poor mule!”

“What a beast the man is!”

The carman stopped his blows and going to the mule’s head, said—

“Caramba! Jocky; what a lot of friends you’ve made in Madrid!”

       *       *       *       *       *

In the porch of a church a beggar’s stool, on the stool a hat, in the hat
a cardboard with the inscription—

“Ladies and gentlemen, do not forget a poor blind man, who has gone to
his breakfast.”

       *       *       *       *       *

A dying courtier said to the priest that the only favour he asked of
God was to let him live till he had paid his debts.

“That is a good motive, my son, and it is to be hoped that your prayer
will be heard.”

“Alas, father! If it were, I should be sure never to die.”

       *       *       *       *       *

An Arab of Tetuan asked a Jew, which of the three religions was the
best: the Jewish, the Christian, or the Mahometan?

The Jew replied—“If Messiah really came, the Christian is the best;
if He did not, mine is the best; but whether or no, yours, Mahomet, is
always bad.”


It is not to be wondered at that a country so fecund in heroes and
men of genius as the home of Nelson, Newton, and Byron, should also
produce some very eccentric men. Of no other sons of Adam are such
whimsicalities and oddities related as of those born in England.
At every step on the other side of the Channel one meets with mad
philosophers, who, if they unexpectedly inherit a large fortune,
instead of leading a sybaritic life, order a schooner or brig to be
built, embark straight away without troubling about their destination,
let the wind take them whither it lists, swallow half-a-dozen bottles
of rum, double themselves into a berth, and mingle their snores with
the roaring of the waves until their craft strands on a shoal, when the
dampness of the ocean reminds them it’s time to wake up.

I knew an Englishman poorer than a retired Spanish ensign, and more
miserly than an old clo’man, who, with the help of a clever Newfoundland,
which he loved like a brother, saved the life of a lord’s daughter who
had fallen into the Thames. Ten years later, when he did not even
remember his generous deed, he received from the father of the lord’s
daughter a gift of £200,000 sterling. This stroke of good luck produced
no impression on his mind, to judge by any outward expression of joy;
and the following day when his creditors came to congratulate him,
they found him, to their surprise, bathed in his own blood. Not far
from the corpse lay a letter with the following contents: “Let nobody
be accused of my death, ascribe it still less to bad fortune. I was
happy in the act of suicide; I had good health and money. And yet I
felt inclined to kill myself first, because I felt inclined, secondly,
because from a boy I had always wished for a capital of £100,000, and I
find myself with one hundred thousand more than I wanted. I leave half
my fortune to my Newfoundland dog, to be invested in cat’s-meat, of which
he is very fond, and the other half to whoever undertakes to buy the
cat’s-meat for the dog. Witness my signature....”

Needless to say, that all who knew the last will and testament of the
deceased, wanted to discharge it, with no further philanthropy than
receiving the recompense. As for the dog, which was present at the
reading of his master’s will, that so greatly concerned him, he did not
show the slightest sign of joy. However, the will was declared invalid,
and to avoid all disputes the £200,000 were returned to the chest of
the noble lord.

The latter, finding himself again possessor of funds of which he had
taken leave for ever, desired to use them to satisfy a caprice, which
should give him the fame, throughout the whole country, of a wit. He
laid a wager with a rich tradesman that he would not sell a hundred
thousand sovereigns at a halfpenny each, though he should take his
stand for six hours in one of the most crowded spots of the capital.
This proposition deceived the tradesman as it would have deceived
anybody, and he agreed to take the bet, the stakes being nothing
less than £200,000, convinced that it was impossible he could lose.
There was a Court _levée_ that day, and a tremendous crowd of people
were crossing the Thames over Westminster Bridge towards St. James’s
Palace. The tradesman and the lord took up their post one side of the
bridge, behind a huge open chest, full of sovereigns. “A ha’penny each,
sovereigns a ha’penny each!” cried the tradesman, and the lord at his side
did nothing but laugh; the stipulations being that the lord should only
be allowed to laugh, and the tradesman to say “A ha’penny each, sovereigns
a ha’penny each!” The people passed on, saying: “What a take in! Good
heavens! Sovereigns for a ha’penny. What will they be like?” The tradesman
began to despair. More than one passer-by took up one of the coins,
turned it round and round, and then noticing the laughter which the
lord pretended he could not stifle, put the money back, saying, “They
are well imitated, but nobody can do me.”

“A ha’penny each, sovereigns a ha’penny each!” shouted the tradesman
unceasingly, and the more he exerted himself to cry his ware, the
more clearly did the public think they saw through the trick by
which he hoped to empty their pockets. They stayed thus from nine in
the morning till three in the afternoon, the lord laughing and the
tradesman shouting. The result was that the latter lost the bet. Only
two sovereigns were sold, and these were bought by a medical student,
believing them to be false, but hoping to pass them in a gambling den
or other low place. When he found they were accepted, he returned
post-haste to Westminster Bridge to lay in a new provision, but arrived
too late; the lord and the tradesman had already vanished.

                                                _A. Ribot y Fontserré._

                          _NEWSPAPER HUMOUR._

                            IN THE STREET.

Excuse me, I can’t stop. The sermon begins at five, and Padre Macario
preaches to-day. His words are worth their weight in gold, I don’t want to
lose _one_. I thought of going to call on the Zaragatonas to give them
a piece of my mind; deceitful things, they wrote an anonymous letter
to the head of my husband’s department, saying he had the influenza, and
that all the office would catch it, which is a vile story; he is quite
well, and if he had anything the matter with him I should say so at
once.... They may be thankful this is Holy Week or I should teach
them a thing or two, but I don’t want to offend Heaven to-day. The wicked
scandalmongers! ... They shall hear from me sooner or later. ... But
... I can’t stop. What’s the time? Five o’clock. I must run the whole
way. Oh! do you think you could manage to send me some stalls for La

                            IN THE CHURCH.

“Hail, Mary,” ... Madam, you are crushing my mantilla. ... “full of
grace,” ... yes, _you_, Madam! “Blessed are thou amongst.” ... Good
evening, doña Agustina. ... No, the sermon has not commenced yet, but
it must very soon for I saw Padre Macario go into the sacristy....
Yes, isn’t there a crowd, and quite natural too, there are not many
orators _like_ him.... “Our Father which” ... You look rather pale?
What’s the matter? ... Oh, don’t speak to me of husbands, there are
some wretches amongst them? ... What, he wouldn’t let you come to the
sermon? Heavens, what a man! Mine, thank God, is not like that; on the
contrary, so that I might feel quite easy, he has promised to give baby
his food. He’s a very good husband; fancy, this morning I had to go
out to see the dynamiters in court, and he stayed at home to wash out
some baby-clothes.... “Thy kingdom come,” ... but he has his enemies.
Those horrid Zaragatonas; ... they can’t bear me because I’m plump. ...
They’re jealous and I’ve told them so. It’s the will of Heaven, for as
for eating, I eat very little, and some days a little stewed veal, an
omelette, and half-a-dozen oranges satisfy me as much as if I had eaten
an ox. But it’s no good, they dislike me, because they themselves are
so scraggy, and now they’ve started a nasty rumour about my husband.
Suppose he has a little cold in the head, what’s that to do with them?
“Pray for our sins now and” ... _They_ are consumptive, if you like:
you need only look at them, especially the eldest, who dresses her
salad with cod-liver oil. I, of course, respect the sacredness of this
week, or I should go and see them, when they would have to look to
themselves. Besides, I don’t like talking ill of anybody, but they had
a lieutenant-colonel lodging with them, who only slept there, for he
ate with his mess, and paid them ten reals for a tiny bedroom, and was
always making them presents besides; if he had an old pair of trousers,
for instance, he would give them to their mother to make a little
jacket for herself. Now that all means something. In fact, I don’t like
scandal, but that lieutenant-colonel, “the Lord is with thee.”...
What? Padre Macario in the pulpit? So he is, and just going to begin.

“Dear Brethren....”

What eloquence!

“May you in truth be brethren, with your conscience free from the sin
of hatred....”

He’s right. People are so uncharitable, those Zaragatonas, for instance.

“Love one another with the love of brethren. Christ pardoned His

(_Much moved_) Ah! ah! It seems impossible that people won’t repent. When
I think of those Zaragatonas, I don’t know what’s the matter with me! No,
when Holy Week is over, I shall go and hear what they have to say for
themselves. Horrid creatures!

                 “_De todo un poco._” _Luis Taboada_ (_Madrid Comico_).

       *       *       *       *       *

A coiner of false money was confessing that he had made and uttered
dollars (20 reals) which were only worth four reals.

“You must restore the difference,” said the priest.

“But to whom can I restore it, father?” asked the compunctious penitent.

The priest hesitated for a moment, then said—

“Make as many other dollars worth thirty-six reals.”

                               “_La Ilustracion Española y Americana._”

                           SPANISH CEREMONY.

A very ceremonious Spaniard, when asked why he was not present at the
funeral of a certain personage, replied—

“Because he owed me a call.”


    A governess out walking with two children:—
      “Look, that’s the white cow that gives us our milk.”
      “Does that black one give us the coffee then?”

           *       *       *       *       *

    “Oh, children! what are you doing up that tree?”
      “Mama, Pepito wanted to pick some pears.”
      “And you?”
      “I got up to persuade him not to.”

                            RURAL SYMPATHY.

“My boy,” said a happy mother, “has won the first prize at school.”

“I can understand your feelings. Oh, how well I remember how pleased I
was when our pig took a prize at the show.”

                                                    “_Blanco y Negro._”

                            IN THE STALLS.

“Do you notice how fat all the chorus are?”

“Yes, the manager is very economical, and the fat ones get the same pay
as the thin but fill the stage better.”

                                                     “_Blanco y Negro_”

       *       *       *       *       *

“Take care they don’t give you mule’s flesh,” said a mistress to her maid,
who was going out marketing.

“And how can I tell, ma’am?”

“I don’t know, but mind you don’t buy any.”

“Good, ma’am; I won’t take any meat until the butcher has shown me the
cow’s horns.”

                               “_La Ilustracion Española y Americana._”

       *       *       *       *       *

Furious wife to inflexible husband:—

“My health requires it. The doctor has ordered me a change of air.”

“Very well, my dear, use another fan.”

                               “_La Ilustracion Española y Americana._”

                       THE ANARCHIST AGITATION.

Military police to poor wretch found in a miserable garret suspiciously
hiding a paper:—

“Some little preparation for the First of May, eh?”

(_Timidly_) “Only a sonnet dedicated to the victims.”

                                                     “_Madrid Comico._”

                             SUNDAY REST.

The Congress is at present warmly debating the question as to Sunday
rest. As scarcely any of us Spaniards work even on week-days, _why_
should we work on a Sunday?

                                                     “_Madrid Comico._”

       *       *       *       *       *

          Woman and Man,
          I’ve a specialist’s word,
          Are as different quite
          As a fish and a bird.
          She, like the latter,
          Is graceful and sweet,
          White feathers, charms many,
          Long wings, and short feet.
          He, on the contrary,
          Sticky as gum.
          Has, patent or hidden,
          Sharp fins, a fair sum.
          They marry each other,
          For love possibly,
          And the law of their cage
          Turns and takes out the key.
          Poor things, unaware
          Were they, but now larn,
          That the well-being of one
          Is the other one’s harm.
          If she longs for air,
          For water he cries;
          The bird drowns in water,
          In air the fish dies.

    But some pairs are happy, to me you reply!
    Yes, some few amphibious creatures, I sigh.

    “_Los Lunes de el Imparcial._” _Manuel del Palacio._

                      _HUMOROUS ADVERTISEMENTS._

[Illustration: Perfumes recently arrived from Heaven.—

[Illustration: Two elephants pull at a pair of English trousers
(PESQUERA, MAGDALENA, 20) without tearing them.]

[Illustration: Resuscitation of a dead man, thanks to the fine Brandy

[Illustration: I had been shaved at No. 40, ALCALA, when an angel
flying past told me to follow him, since I was ready.]

[Illustration: The athlete, Señor Gomez, has developed his muscles in
a most extraordinary way by dining regularly at the restaurant, LAS

[Illustration: “The earth shook, my sister, the skies were o’ercast, and
the clocks stopped.”

“Then they could not have been bought at BRANAS, MATUTE 12, father!”]


    When Love has the toothache,
    He is halting and thin,
    So get rid of the tooth
    If your fair one you’d win.


                                                    _Madrid Comico._

                           _AT THE THEATRE._

[Illustration: The first thing done by every newcomer is to deposit his
hat on a chair, to show there are no hooks in the hall.]

[Illustration: The startled lover hides himself in a special shelveless
cupboard, kept in all houses exclusively for this object.]

[Illustration: If anyone becomes a corpse at the end of the drama, the
witnesses must all keep the same position until the curtain falls at

[Illustration: When anything serious happens to the heroine, she must
at once take out her hair-pins, which are incompatible with sentiment.]

[Illustration: The comic tenor can do nothing less than sing smart
couplets to the young ladies, who learn them immediately and repeat
them straight away.]

_Madrid Comico._


 [_The accent, used in Spanish both for accentuation and pronunciation,
 has mostly only been given in the names of persons and places in which
 it is necessary for the pronunciation, as José, otherwise Jose._]

 ALARCON, PEDRO ANTONIO DE, perhaps the most popular Spanish writer
 of the nineteenth century, was born in Guadix in 1833, and was a
 member of a noble family of but little means. After studying first
 jurisprudence, and afterwards theology, he devoted himself to letters,
 for which he had always shown a strong proclivity. Amongst the best
 known of his numerous works are “The Three-Cornered Hat,” which
 is based on an old Spanish tale, somewhat Boccaccian in flavour;
 “The Scandal”; “La Alpujarra,” the records of a delightful trip in
 Andalusia; and several collections of short tales, of which many have
 been translated into English—notably by Mary J. Serrano (New York).

 ALAS, LEOPOLDO, author and critic of the present day.

 ALEMAN, MATEO, native of Seville, flourished in the year 1609. He
 followed in the steps of Mendoza, by the more ample portraiture of
 the life of a rogue than is the former’s Lazarillo, in his “Guzman
 de Alfarache,” which appeared in 1553, forty-six years after its
 prototype. Little is known of Aleman’s life; he seems to have been long
 employed in the Treasury, and at last to have retired, and devoted the
 rest of his life to letters. But he claims to be remembered by his
 work, “Guzmann de Alfarache,” the popularity of which was so immediate
 that, like “Don Quixote,” it provoked a spurious “Second Part” before
 the real continuation appeared, and was soon translated into the chief
 European tongues, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and even
 Latin, and into excellent English by Mabbe, whose contemporary, Ben
 Jonson, thus speaks of it:

                  “The Spanish Proteus, which, though writ
    But in one tongue, was formed with the world’s wit,
    And hath the noblest mark of a good booke,
    That an ill man doth not securely looke
    Upon it; but will loathe or let it passe,
    As a deformed face doth a true glasse.”

 (Verses prefixed to Mabbe’s translation, and signed by Ben Jonson.)

 AYGUALS DE IZCO, WENCESLAO, nineteenth century. This author, now often
 held up as a model to avoid, enjoyed, some fifty years ago, no little
 popularity as a humorous writer.

 “BOOK OF JOKES, THE,” is to be found in the collection of “Spanish
 Salt,” edited by A. Paz y Melía, and published in 1890. Señor Paz
 believes most of the tales in the “Book of Jokes” should be ascribed
 to Hurtado de Mendoza.

 CALDERON DE LA BARCA, PEDRO, the great successor and rival of Lope de
 Vega, was eminently a poet in the national temper, and had a brilliant
 success. He was born at Madrid on January 17, 1600. After serving
 as a soldier he was, on the death of Lope, formally attached to the
 Court, and was subsequently made a Knight of the Order of Santiago. In
 1651 he followed the example of Lope de Vega and other men of letters
 by entering the Church. He died in 1681, on the Feast of Pentecost,
 when all Spain was ringing with his autos, and was buried in the
 splendid church of Atocha. Calderon was remarkable for his personal
 beauty, and was endowed with a benevolent and kindly character. Of his
 autos, or religious plays, the “Wonder-working Magician” is the most
 characteristic of the old Spanish stage (the question has been raised
 if Goethe had not read it before he wrote “Faust,” the plot being very
 similar). Of the secular dramas, “The Mayor of Zalamea” is in Spain
 the most popular, and is still frequently represented, while “Life is
 a Dream” is perhaps pre-eminent for its brilliant flowing verse and
 philosophic thoughts. “The Mayor of Zalamea,” though boisterous and
 jolly in the act given in the text, winds up a tragedy of the first

 CAMPOAMOR, RAMON DE, native of Asturias, September 24, 1817, called
 by Blanco García the Poet “Philosopher” (a title disputed by other
 critics), is one of the few modern Spanish poets whose fame has
 crossed the frontier of the Peninsula, his works having been studied
 in Italy and France. Like his late fellow-poet, Zorrilla, he has
 reached a ripe old age, and his peculiar style (of which “If She could
 only Write” is perhaps scarcely typical) has had several imitators.

 one of the chief foundations of the Spanish drama. The first act was
 probably written by Rodrigo Cota of Toledo, and it may be assumed that
 it was produced about 1480. The rest was added by Fernando de Rojas
 de Montalvan. Unhappily, large portions of this vigorous work abound
 in a shameless libertinism. It was followed by many imitations, and
 was soon translated into English, German, Dutch, Latin, Italian, and

 CERVANTES DE SAAVEDRA (MIGUEL) was a member of an old noble family,
 decayed in fortune, and was born in the month of October in 1547 in
 Alcalá de Henares. Here he probably received his early education,
 which it has been conjectured he continued at Madrid, and later on at
 the University of Salamanca. He discovered a strong predilection for
 literature, but his necessities seemed to have forced him to seek for
 a livelihood by some other means. Anyway, in 1570 we find him serving
 at Rome as chamberlain in the household of Cardinal Aquaviva; and he
 subsequently entered the navy, and lost his left hand at the famous
 sea-fight of Lepanto, which fight decisively arrested the intrusion of
 the Turks into the West of Europe (October 7, 1571). His misfortune
 did not prevent him joining the troops of the King of Spain at Naples;
 but when returning to Spain by sea, he was made a prisoner by pirates,
 who took him to Algiers, where for five years he was kept as a slave.
 After this period he was ransomed, when he went to Madrid. He married
 in 1584, and soon after began his first literary efforts, which were
 for the stage. But after composing some thirty plays with little
 pecuniary result, his genius was diverted into a different channel,
 and he produced, in 1605, the First Part of the immortal novel of “Don
 Quixote.” Inimitable in its wit and humour as this work is, it was at
 first received with comparative indifference. Ultimately, however, it
 met with the greatest applause, although the author reaped few or
 none of the emoluments which might have been expected from it. The
 Second Part was not published till 1615, and was even superior to the
 first. (Avellaneda’s spurious Second Part appeared in 1614.) Needless to
 say, “Don Quixote” soon became known all over the civilised world,
 and was translated into a multitude of tongues. The oldest English
 translation is by Shenton, 1612, which is followed by a vulgar,
 unfaithful, and coarse one by Milton’s nephew, John Philips, 1712; one by
 Motteux; one by Jervas (Jarvis), 1742, which Smollet used freely in
 his own, 1755; a few others of lesser importance; and finally, in the
 eighties of the present century, one by Mr. Ormsby; and Mr. H. E. Watt’s
 learned and faithful work, from which the extracts have been drawn for
 this volume. The other principal works of Cervantes are “The Journey
 to Parnassus,” his Exemplary Novels, “Galatea,” and the unfinished
 romance, “The Labours of Persiles and Sigismunda,” his last work.
 Cervantes died on the 23rd of April, in the year 1616 (the year of
 Shakespeare’s death), at the age of sixty-eight.

 CHRONICLE OF THE CID. Southey’s so-called “Chronicle of the Cid” is not a
translation of any single work, but is based upon, i. La Cronica del
Cid; ii. La cronica general (thirteenth century); iii. El Poema del
Cid (twelfth century); and lastly, the ballads of the Cid. The extract
given is, however, a word for word translation from the Cronica del
Cid. The first and only edition of this chronicle was printed in 1552,
but it is impossible to ascertain its age. (The Abbot who published it
absurdly supposed it to have been written during the Cid’s lifetime.)
The incident in the given extract seems to have much amused a mediæval
audience, and it was often enlarged and improved upon by the minstrels
and story-tellers.

 _The Campeador_, the national hero of Spain, was born at Burgos about
 1040. The facts of his career have been wrapped by his admiring
 countrymen in such a haze of glorifying myths, that it is scarcely
 possible to detect them. His life, however, appears to have been
 entirely spent in fierce warfare with the Moors, then masters of a
 great part of Spain. His exploits are set forth in the works given in
 the note to the Chronicle of the Cid; and the story of his love for
 Ximena is the subject of Corneille’s masterpiece, “Le Cid” (based on a
 play by the Spanish dramatist Guillen de Castro). The Campeador’s last
 achievement was the capture from the Moors of Valencia, where he died
 in 1099.

 EPIGRAMS. The names of two famous satirists, of Forner (d. 1797) and
 Pitillas, are, for various reasons, lacking in this compilation.

 ESTÉBANEZ DE CALDERÓN, SERAFIN (El Solitario), born in Malaga, 1799,
 and died in Madrid in 1867, is given the priority of those authors,
 akin to the Periodical Essayists in English literature, called in
 Spain writers of “_costumbres_” (manners and customs of the people),
 who occupy so important a place in the Spanish literature of the
 nineteenth century, and amongst whom de Larra (Figaro) is pre-eminent.
 Unfortunately El Solitario employs such subtle style and archaic
 phrases that the Spaniards themselves complain they have to read his
 works with a dictionary.

 “ESTEBANILLO GONZALEZ, THE LIFE OF,” which appeared in 1646, is the
 autobiography of a buffoon, who was long in the service of Ottavio
 Piccolomini, the great general of the Thirty Years’ War, but it is an
 autobiography so full of fiction, that Le Sage, sixty years after its
 appearance, easily changed it into a mere romance (Ticknor).

 “FERNAN CABALLERO” (Cecilia Böhl de Faber, daughter of the Spanish
 scholar), was born in 1796, and married three times. She is sometimes
 known under her last name, Cecilia Arron (or Arrom) de Azala. Her
 numerous works, chiefly novelas, were published under the pseudonym
 of Fernan Caballero, the name of a little village in La Mancha. They
 give truthful and lively pictures of Spanish (especially Andalusian)
 life and manners, are eminently national in tone and spirit, and have
 an excellent moral tendency, which combination soon made her one
 of the most popular Spanish writers of the nineteenth century. She
 also shares with Trueba the honour of collecting Spanish Folk-tales
 and popular songs from the mouths of the people, before the days
 of Folk-lore societies. Queen Isabella II. made her an offer of a
 residence in the Alcazar of Seville, of which she availed herself till
 the revolution of 1868, after which she lived in a modest villa, and
 devoted herself to charity. She died April 7, 1877.

 FOLK-TALES. To a student of Spanish Folk-lore this selection will
 be unsatisfactory. The tales from Fernan Caballero and Trueba (see
 _Biographical Notes_) are, however, amusing, while Southey’s verses
 present a sample of the numerous tales current in Spain about the
 saints, and which are more often than not allied to the ridiculous.
 _El Padre Cobos_ is the title of a famous periodical produced in the
 years 1854-6 (see _Newspaper Humour_).

 “GATOMAQUIA.” [Having been unable to find a passage in Lope de Veg
 burlesque epic, the “Gatomachia,” comprehensive enough in itself to
 form a good extract, I append some lines descriptive of the hero and
 heroine, which, though somewhat vulgarised in the English, may give a
 notion of its humour.]

    On a lofty peak’d ridge of a til’d-roof there sat
    Zapaquilda, the prettiest pussy cat,
    Enjoying a blow and most busy at work
    Cleaning waistcoat and tail with tongue graceful yet perk,
    For as jaunty a cat and important is she
    As if she belonged to a monastery—
    No mirror had she, though a mocking magpie
    Had carried a broken potsherd up on high—
    Who never found student’s shirt-collar but he
    Behind a tile hid it as his property.
    When she’d finished her washing, and wetting her paws,
    Had drawn two long stripes down her sides with her claws,
    She sang a sweet sonnet with such style and grace,
    It reminded one of the musician of Thrace,
    And made all the hearts of her list’ners rejoice
    And say, “I am sure that’s a pussy cat’s voice,”
    While some feline solfas and harmonious chromatics
    Laid a whole nest of rats low with nervous rheumatics.

    ’Twas late spring and fair Flora with buskins of gold
    Decked the earth with her roses and flowers manifold,
    When to Sir Marramaquiz, of fame far and wide,
    His squire (of La Mancha, by birth) quickly hied,
    To tell how in the sun Zapaquilda, as fair
    As the roseate dawn, had been combing her hair,
    And now, with a charm and a grace quite her own,
    Was singing a trifle of famed Mendelssohn,
    That enamoured the air. Marramaquiz’s heart
    At this news of his squire of dire love felt the smart;
    He called for his charger, a monkey acquired
    In the war of the Apes and the Cats, and attired
    In breeches and boots, worth many a bright dollar,
    And a little girl’s cuff round his neck for a collar,
    In cape, cap and feather, and girt with a sword,
    (The feather he’d pluck’d from a parrot whose word
    Of defiance had vexed him), used both whip and spur,
    And found Zapaquilda still taking the air,—
    Who on seeing him, modest as nun ‘neath a veil,
    Lick’d one paw, droop’d her eyelids and let down her tail,
    For of virtuous maidens, ’tis ever the duty
    To be more circumspect the greater their beauty.

 GUEVARA, LUIS VELEZ DE, born in 1572 or 1574 at Ecija in Andalusia. He
 wrote a good deal for the stage (four hundred plays), in which he was
 an early follower of Lope de Vega; but the work which established his
 fame was the “Diablo Cojuelo,” the “Limping Devil,” which suggested
 the idea of Le Sag famous “Diable Boiteux.” Guevara died in the year

 HARTZENBUSCH, JUAN EUGENIO, lived from 1805 to 1880, was born of a
 German father and Spanish mother. He is one of the first scholars,
 prose writers, and critics of the century, and like his contemporary,
 Mesonero Romanos, edited valuable collections of the flower of the old
 Spanish drama. His masterpiece is the tragedy, “The Lovers of Teruel,”
 which treats upon an old Spanish legend, and is one of the most
 popular of modern plays. An opera with the same title and subject, by
 a Spanish composer of the day, is also deservedly popular. “Mariquita
 la Pelona,” which is taken from a collection of short tales by this
 author, is written in old Spanish, and has a sequel in a modern
 “Mariquita,” who repairs to a convent for a year to obtain possession
 of a sum of money offered her by some unknown person, on condition she
 undergoes this temporary confinement, to find at the expiration of the
 twelve months that the mysterious donor is a slighted suitor, who had
 vowed to humiliate her.

 IGLESIAS, born in Salamanca, wrote a number of poems, the lighter of
 which have alone retained popularity, the serious and duller ones,
 written after he became a priest, being justly neglected. He died in

 ISLA, FATHER, was born in 1703, and died in 1781 at Bologna, where,
 being a Jesuit, he had been sent on the general expulsion of his order
 from Spain. He was an author possessed of a brilliant and delicate
 satire, most thoroughly exemplified in his celebrated work, “The
 History of the Famous Preacher, Friar Gerund,” a direct attack on the
 bad style of preaching then in vogue. Padre Isla is also prominent
 as the translator into Spanish of “Gil Blas,” which, without any
 foundation, he maintained had been stolen by Le Sage from Spanish

 JÉRICA (XÉRICA), PABLO DE (he was a young man during the French
 revolution), is very severely criticised by Blanco García in his
 “History of the Literature of the Nineteenth Century.”

 LARRA, MARIANO JOSÉ DE (Figaro), was born in Madrid in the year 1809.
 Receiving his first education in France, where his father served as
 doctor in Napoleon’s army, he returned to complete it at Madrid, and
 afterwards repaired to the University of Valladolid, where he began
 to study law. He wrote his first prose essays at the age of twenty,
 but it was his later articles, signed “El pobrecito Hablador,” which
 first gave him the undisputed reputation of critic and writer of
 “_costumbres_,” among the host of which, his Spanish contemporaries
 and imitators, he reigns supreme, while what preserve his fame are
 the brilliant and satirical articles signed “Figaro,” amongst which
 “The Old Castilian,” and “Yo quiero ser comico,” are the best known.
 Unfortunately his private life was disturbed by wild love affairs, and
 he committed suicide on account of an attachment to a married lady, in
 1837, at the age of twenty-eight.

 “LIBRO DE LOS EXEMPLOS” (author unknown). This collection of tales
 is considered by Don Pascual de Gayangos to be posterior to Don Juan
 Manuel. The greater part of the tales are taken from Rabbi Mosch
 Sefardi’s “Disciplina Clericalis” (early part of the twelfth century),
 probably the Latin translation of an Arabic original, which is drawn
 from Oriental sources, and is itself the common well from which drew,
 amongst others, the authors of the “Gesta Romanorum,” the “Decameron,”
 and the “Canterbury Tales.” The story entitled “The Biter Bit”
 figures, for instance, in the “Disciplina Clericalis” and the Gesta
 Romanorum. “El Libro de los Gatos” belongs to the same century as the
 “Libro de los Exemplos” (or Enxemplos).

 LOPE FELIX DE VEGA CARPIO was born on November 25, 1562, at Madrid.
 This extraordinary Spanish genius, second only to Cervantes, than whom
 he was more popular during the lifetime of both, rose to a degree of
 fame reached by few of any country. Epics, serious and humorous (see
 “_Gatomaquia_”); novelas; ballads; epigrams; plays—religious, heroic,
 of intrigue, or of domestic life; nothing, in fact, came amiss to
 his pen. But it is as dramatist that he is best known, and in which
 quality his facility was such that at his death it was reckoned he
 had composed eighteen hundred plays and four hundred autos (religious
 dramas), while it is stated that one of his plays was written and
 acted within five days. Lope de Vega’s last days were the prey to a
 melancholy fanaticism. He regretted he had ever been engaged in
 any occupations but such as were exclusively religious; and on one
 occasion he went through with a private discipline so cruel that
 the walls of the compartment where it occurred were found sprinkled
 with his blood. From this he never recovered, and he died on August
 27, 1635, nearly seventy-three years old. His funeral, which immense
 crowds thronged to see, lasted nine days; and of the eulogies and
 poems written on the occasion, those in Spanish were sufficient to
 form one volume, those in Italian another.

 MANUEL, PRINCE DON JUAN, born May 5, 1282, at Escalona, died 1349, was
 of the blood royal of Castile and Leon, nephew to Alfonso the Wise,
 cousin to Sancho IV. He first fought against the Moors when he was
 twelve, and the rest of his years were spent in filling great offices
 in the State, or in military operations on the Moorish frontier. In
 spite of a life full of intrigue and violence he devoted himself
 successfully to literature, and is the first great Spanish prose
 writer. In “Count Lucanor,” his best and more known work, most of the
 tales are of Oriental origin. That Shakespeare knew the tale, here
 given the title of his play, is indubitable; while “The Naked King”
 will appear familiar to readers of Hans Andersen’s fairy tales (“The
 Emperor’s New Clothes” in its turn has given the plot for Ludwig Fulda’s
 drama, “The Talisman,” considered the best German play of the last
 three years, and recently introduced into England by Mr. Beerbohm Tree
 under the title of “Once Upon a Time”).

 MENDOZA, DIEGO HURTADO DE, a distinguished Spanish statesman, soldier,
 and historian, was born at Granada in 1503. After studying at the
 Universities of Granada and Salamanca, he entered the service of the
 Emperor Charles V., and was employed in Italy both as diplomatist and
 general with equal success. He at last fell under the displeasure
 of Philip II. of Spain, and in 1567 was banished. He died at Madrid
 in the year 1575. His greatest work is “La guerra de Granada contra
 los Moriscos”; he also wrote some fine poetry; and claims the
 merit of producing in “Lazarillo de Tormes” the first model of the
 _novela picoresca_, peculiar to the literature of Spain. “Lazarillo”
 was translated into English as early as 1586 by David Rowland, of
 which rendering as many as twenty editions are known, and which was
 re-edited in the seventeenth century by James Blakeston, with but
 slight alterations. Like other books enjoying a wide reputation, it
 produced many imitations, among them a “Second Part” of little merit.
 See _Book of Jokes_.

 MESONERO ROMANOS, RAMON DE (El Curioso Parlante), born in Madrid,
 1803, died in 1882, who appeared in the literary world, almost
 simultaneously, with de Larra, and together with him and Estébanez
 de Calderón belongs to the writers of “_costumbres_,” seems to an
 English reader inferior to these two in style and conception, though
 Spaniards consider his “Escenas Matritenses” one of the great works
 of the nineteenth century, and they are held by Blanco García to be
 invaluable photographs of life in the writer’s days. Mesonero Romanos was
 also a composer of light and piquant verses, and distinguished himself
 in the critical world by his collections of Spanish dramatists,
 published by Rivadeneyra.

 MORATIN, LEANDRO FERNANDEZ, died 1828, the more famous son of a famous
 father (Nic. Fern. Moratin).

 NEWSPAPER HUMOUR. The strictly humorous Spanish periodical literature
 of to-day is of no great merit, and often borders upon impropriety.
 Of the papers from which cuttings are here given, _La Ilustracion
 Española y Americana_ (the Spanish _Illustrated News_), is first-rate
 in its class—Fernandez Bremen is a well-known contributor. The daily
 paper—_El Imparcial_—devotes a sheet every Monday to lighter and
 more amusing literature under the direction of Señor Ortega Munilla.
 Manuel Palacio is the comic poet of the day. Taboada, who writes for
 _El Madrid Comico_, the nearest approach to our _Punch_, is nothing
 if not vulgar. _Blanco y Negro_ is a fairly successful attempt of
 humour with propriety. The famous periodical, _El Padre Cobos_, is
 not represented here as (it appeared in the years 1854-56) it cannot
 be considered to belong to the present day. It is, moreover, purely

 OSSORIO Y BERNARD, MANUEL (nineteenth century). A humbler member of
 the _Spectator_ school, or “autores de costumbres.”

 PALACIO VALDÉS, ARMANDO (nineteenth century). One of the Spanish
 novelists of the day, and of great popularity, especially in America,
 where nearly all his novels have been translated into English. “Sister
 Saint Sulpice” is perhaps his masterpiece. Of his later novels,
 “Froth” should be avoided as a disagreeable work, and no true picture
 of aristocratic Spanish circles. “El Maestrante,” the last work of
 this author, is to be brought out shortly by Mr. Heinemann.

 PARDO BAZAN, EMILIA, native of Corunna, September 16, 1851, married in
 1868, is one of the most gifted women of the times, and in fame the
 Madame de Staël of Spain. She belongs to the Naturalistic school of
 novelists; does not, however, lack tinges of idealism. Her critical
 power is manifest in the review, _El Teatro Critico_, for three years
 the product of her pen alone, and the issuing of which, it is to be
 regretted, she has—owing to stress of work—suspended for this year
 (1894). She is, furthermore, editor of a series of works of special
 reference to women (whether of fiction, or of scientific, historical,
 and philosophical interest), for which she has already translated John
 Stuart Mill’s “The Subjection of Women,” while she promises, among other
 volumes, a Spanish version of “Adam Bede.” The little tale “First
 Love” is given here as being suitable for this volume, rather than
 as typical of Doña Emilia’s pen. Her works are too numerous to be here

 “PEDIGREE OF FOOLS.” This was versified at a later date.

 PÉREZ GALDOS, BENITO, born in Las Palmas (the Canary Isles) in 1845,
 came to Madrid in 1863, where he took his degree in law. His fame
 rests upon the “Epistodios Nacionales,” in which, following in the
 steps of Erckmann-Chatrian, he illustrates his national history in
 a series of romances. The first series, to which the volume “Gerona”
 belongs, covers the period from the battle of Trafalgar to the entry
 of Ferdinand VII. into Spain (1814). Unlike his French prototypes,
 Pérez Galdos is furnished with no small amount of humour. In “Gerona”
 the grim horrors of the siege are well contrasted by passages, such as
 those given, and a third, in which the two boys Manolet and Badolet
 catch rats in the cellars, in danger themselves of being devoured by
 the army of famishing rodents, which are led by a huge fat rat, abused
 by the boys under the name of Napoleon, and which they finally catch
 and propose to sell in the market for at least ten reals (2s.) Pérez
 Galdos changes his residence according to the scenes of the subject at
 which he is working, and is at present at Santander.

 PINEDO, LUIS DE. See _Book of Jokes_.

 “POEMA DEL CID.” This grand old poem, unquestionably the oldest in
 the Spanish language, is by Sanchez, who first published it in 1779,
 given as early a date as the middle of the twelfth century, about
 fifty years after the death of the Cid. Some spirited fragmentary
 translations by Mr. John Hookham Frere are appended to the early
 edition of Southey’s “Chronicle of the Cid,” and the whole laid before
 the reader in verse and somewhat epitomised prose by Mr. John Ormsby,
 whose work is invaluable to English students of the poem, not only
 for its true rendering, but for the fine introduction. An attempt at
 old ballad language and style may perhaps be excused in the extract
 selected, by reason that this, the most humorous incident in the poem,
 had unfortunately not been put into verse by either Mr. Hookham or
 Mr. Ormsby, and a fresh departure seemed desirable to avoid invidious
 comparison. The passage, alas! is also considerably abridged to suit
 the requirements of the present volume. For the rendering of the old
 Spanish I have to thank the valuable tuition of Señor Don José Balari
 y Jovany, of the University of Barcelona, to whom, as a philologist
 of no small merit, attention has already been drawn in England. The
 following passage is from Ford’s “Guide to Spain”—Burgos Cathedral. “In
 the ante-room of the chapter-house is preserved _El Cofre del Cid_, a
 trunk clamped with iron, and now attached to the north wall, which the
 Cid filled with sand, and then pledged to the Jews as full of gold,
 for a loan of 600 marks, which he afterwards honestly repaid.”

 POLO, JACINTO, flourished in 1630, and is known as the composer of
 some lyrical poetry and author of prose satires in the style of Quevedo’s
 Visions. It has, however, been doubted by Gayangos and other critics
 if “The University of Love and School of Interest,” from which Ticknor
 gives the extract “Aunts,” was written by Polo.

 POPULAR SONGS. Long romances or ballads, like those of the olden
 times, are also sung in the streets of Spain by the blind minstrels.
 The so-called popular songs are, however, of the kind here given,
 which bear a strong family likeness to the _stornelli_ and _rispetti_
 of the Italian peasantry, and which, illustrating the origin of the
 word _ballad_, are danced to. The verses often embody quaint conceits.
 The stones in the pavement quarrelling over which should be trodden
 on by a fair maid is not very far-fetched for a Spanish compliment.
 A Spanish lover will adore anything that has the remotest connection
 to his lady-love, and a record “flor” (flower = sweet saying) which
 hails from South America is, “Blessed be even the razor with which
 your father shaves himself.” The accompaniment to the songs is in
 dancing rhythm thrummed on the ubiquitous guitar, and often marked by
 the castanets of the dancers, or, in Oriental fashion, by the clapping
 of hands of the bystanders. The air sung consists of three or four
 phrases at most, each a combination of nasally intoned, long-sustained
 notes ending in odd twists and turns.

 PORTUGUESE EPITAPHS. The Castilians always sharpen their wits on
 the Portuguese, who, together with the Biscayans, are laughed at
 for their simplicity. The Portuguese is also accused of a love of
 brag. This joking is carried so far that, to take off the poor
 Portuguese, anecdotes and epitaphs (as in those selected) are written
 in the Portuguese language by Spaniards. The Andalusian also plays
 the braggart, and is a reputed payer of fantastic and exaggerated
 compliments (_flores_) to the fair sex. The Gallegan is credited with
 the shrewdness of the Yorkshireman.

 PROVERBS. Many of these “wise sayings drawn from long experience,” to
 which the Spanish people are especially addicted, are given in the
 English rendering of an old book on Spanish proverbs in the library of
 the British Museum.

 QUEVEDO, FRANCISCO GOMEZ DE, the eminent Spanish satirist, was born
 of a distinguished family at Madrid, 1580. He was sent early to the
 University of Alcalá, where he took his degree at the age of fifteen.
 He mixed much in fashionable society, but in consequence of a duel
 he was compelled to quit the court and repair to Naples, where he
 was received by the Spanish envoy, the Duke of Osuna, who not only
 retained him in his service, but procured his pardon at Madrid. On
 the fall of his patron Quevedo returned to court; but scarcely had
 he arrived there when he was arrested, and confined for three years
 to his country seat, upon the charge of being the author of certain
 libels against the Government. In 1641 he was again arrested on the
 charge of libel, and cast into prison, where he remained for nearly
 two years. He died sometime after his release in September, 1645.
 Quevedo was undoubtedly one of the best writers of his age, both in
 prose and verse. His longest prose satire, “The History and Life of
 the Great Sharper, Paul of Segovia,” first printed in 1626, belongs to
 the style of fiction invented by Mendoza in his “Lazarillo,” and has
 most of the characteristics of its class. His “Sueños,” or Visions,
 are equally famous, and are extremely original. His works were
 translated into English by Sir Roger L’Estrange, and passed through about
 ten editions in forty years, and again by Stevens about the close of
 the last century. This most original of Spanish writers (excepting
 Cervantes) distinguished himself by his extraordinary versatility of
 talent. His poems, collected under the title of “El Parnaso Español,”
 consist of lyrical poems, satires, burlesque pieces, and more than a
 thousand sonnets of remarkable beauty.

 RIBOT Y FONTSERRÉ. The tales current abroad of the eccentricities of
 Englishmen are many. A Spaniard will gravely tell a tale of how an
 Englishman, after a serious railway accident on the Continent, in
 which his valet was killed, gathered together the fragments of the
 latter’s body, packed them in the man’s trunk, and despatched this to the
 family of the deceased. The tale of the somewhat Dundrearyesque lord
 may, however, be based on fact, for the story is known in England. It
 is here given from a Spanish humorous publication of the first half
 of this century. A veteran in journalism like Mr. Sala would probably
 know the origin, and name the hero of the story.

 ROJAS, FRANCISCO DE (ROJAS Y ZORRILLA), flourished during the greater
 part of Calderon’s life, and may have survived him. He was born in
 Toledo, and in 1641 was made a Knight of the Order of Santiago; but
 when he died is not known. Unless he began his career too early to be
 a mere follower, he certainly belongs to Calderon’s school. He is perhaps
 most successful in tragedies, of which the best play is “None below
 the King.” This work still maintains a position on the stage, and is
 worth reading if only as an example of the extraordinary sense of
 honour and allegiance entertained by Spaniards in those past times.

 RUEDA, LOPE DE, is the author of four comedias, two pastoral
 colloquies (“Timbria” is one), and minor works, all written for
 representation, and which were unquestionably acted before public
 audiences by the strolling company Lope de Rueda led about. The period
 in which he flourished is probably between 1544 and 1567. In spite of
 belonging to the then despised and rejected profession of the stage,
 he was interred with honour in the great cathedral of Cordova.

 SANTOS, FRANCESCO, a native of Madrid, died not far from the year
 1700. Between 1663 and 1697 he gave to the world sixteen volumes of
 different kinds of works for the popular amusement. The oldest of the
 series is “Dia y Noche en Madrid,” the hero of which, a stranger,
 falls into the hands of a not over-honest servant, who undertakes to
 serve as guide to him in Madrid. “Truth on the Rack; or, the Cid come
 to Life again,” is an allegorical work (from it the tale “La Tarasca”
 is drawn), and is amusing in that the Cid on his return to earth is
 much disgusted with the traditions and ballads about himself.

 SEGOVIA, ANTONIO MARIA, who signed his articles with the pseudonym
 “The Student,” has the fame of being the most classic in style of the
 Spanish periodical essayists of the nineteenth century.

 SELGAS Y CARRASCO, JOSÉ, was born in Murcia in 1824, and died at
 Madrid, 1882. He was one of the contributors to the famous periodical
 _El Padre Cobos_, and exhibits an inimitable serious humour in his
 volumes of “Loose Leaves” (“Hojas Sueltas”).

 TIMONEDA, JUAN DE, a bookseller, one of the founders of the popular
 theatre in Spain, flourished in the year 1590. He was also an early
 writer of Spanish tales, his first attempt being “Patrañuelo,” a small
 work which drew its material from widely different sources—some being
 found in the Gesta Romanorum, others, like the story of Griselda, from
 Boccaccio, another, familiar to English readers by the ballad of “King
 John and the Abbot of Canterbury,” probably from Sacchetti. Timoneda
 was a friend of Lope de Rueda, whose works he edited.

 TRUEBA, ANTONIO DE, born Christmas, 1819 (?), of poor and respectable
 parents, within the jurisdiction of the province of Biscay, was
 sent, at the age of fifteen, to work in a hardware store in Madrid,
 where he spent all his spare time and hours, stolen from sleep, in
 reading and writing, until he began to publish, and finally dedicated
 himself wholly to literature. He is the exponent of humble Spanish
 life, especially of the country people, and if he is somewhat too
 rose-coloured in his views, it is, perhaps, not an unpardonable fault.
 His collection of popular songs was received with enthusiasm, and
 though he is now out of vogue as an author, the songs and his prose
 works, of which most are based upon folk-tales, will always be of
 value for the researches of Folk-lore.

 VALERA, JUAN, was born in the province of Cordova on October 18, 1824.
 He had aristocratic connections, and was early in life enrolled in
 the diplomatic service, to which he owes his great familiarity with
 European literature. He subsequently entered politics, and until the
 age of forty-two had been able to give up to authorship but his hours
 of leisure, to which we owe his critical studies and translations.
 “Pepita Jiménez,” his first novel, was produced in 1874, and was a
 “success unparalleled in the history of modern Spanish literature.” To
 continue in the words of Mr. Edmund Gosse:—“This book still remains,
 after the large development of fiction in Spain, the principal, the
 typical Spanish novel of our days.... It has become a classic in
 the lifetime of its author, and is studied, imitated, analysed as
 a book which has passed beyond all danger of the vicissitudes of
 fashion, and which will unquestionably survive as one of the glories
 of the national literature.... ‘Pepita Jiménez’ is Spain itself in
 a microcosm—Spain with its fervour, its sensual piety, its rhetoric
 and hyperbole, its superficial passion, its mysticism, its graceful
 extravagance.” Later novels are “El Comendador Mendoza,” “Doña Luz,”
 and “Doctor Faustino.” Valera occupies a pre-eminent position as
 politician, journalist, author, and critic, and is at present at
 Vienna as Spanish ambassador to the Austrian Court.

 VICENTE, GIL, a Portuguese, but who ranks among Spanish dramatists, as
 he wrote ten plays in Castilian. (It was a not uncommon practice for
 Portuguese authors to employ Castilian. Saa de Miranda, the pastoral
 poet and contemporary of Gil Vicente, wrote six of his eight eclogues
 in the more sonorous Castilian.) Gil Vicente flourished as a writer
 for the stage from 1506 to 1536; died in 1557.

 YRIARTE (IRIARTE), TOMAS DE, born on the island of Tenerife in 1750,
 but educated mostly at Madrid, owes his reputation chiefly to his
 literary fables, the influence of which was much needed in the age of
 bad writing in which they appeared, and in which he showed originality
 by adapting the attributes of animals to only one class of men,
 namely, authors, and not mankind at large, as had always been done
 before. Yriarte died in 1791.

 ZAYAS Y SOTOMAYOR, MARIA DE. The only information we can gather
 respecting this lady is founded on the authority of the industrious
 bibliographer, Nicolas Antonio, who assures us that she was a native
 of Madrid, and that she composed two series of novels, under the
 titles of “Novelas Amorosas i exemplares,” and “Novelas i Seraos.”
 She is also mentioned by Lope de Vega in his “Laurel de Apolo” in
 very flattering terms. The style and character of this write novels
 exhibit much of the ease and elegance, with no little of the freedom,
 of Boccaccio; they abound with incident, both humorous and tragic, and
 with chivalric or amorous adventure. With little artifice, however,
 in the plot, and less study of character, there are some striking and
 effective scenes; while the situations are often well conceived, and
 the suspense is maintained throughout so as to please or surprise us.
 “The Miser Chastised” is perhaps the only one of her novels in which
 the writer wholly adopts a comic tone and spirit, without any touches
 of a more sentimental kind. With some humour, this story combines
 considerable ease and originality. Under the same title as the
 foregoing appeared a drama from the pen of Don Juan de la Hoz Mota, a
 Spanish dramatic writer of some celebrity, who succeeded in exposing
 the vice of avarice on the stage in strong and natural colours, and
 with such bold and happy strokes of ridicule, as almost to merit its
 being placed in the same rank with the famous “Avare” of Molière
 (Thomas Roscoe). Doña Maria de Zayas, flourished in the year 1637.
 ZORRILLA, JOSÉ, born at Valladolid, February 21, 1817, poet _par
 excellence_ of traditionary and legendary subjects, has for years been
 prime favourite of the Spanish people, and his inexhaustible vein of
 poetry showed but scanty signs of diminishing even in the last years
 of a hoary old age. His most popular work, “Don Juan Tenorio” (1844),
 a drama in verse treating of the notorious Don Juan, hero of Tirso de
 Molina’s “Seville Deceiver,” of Byron’s poem, and Mozart’s opera, is
 a masterpiece of harmonious and flowing verse, and of fine dramatic
 effect. It is played annually in every town where there is a theatre
 throughout all Spain on the eve of All Saints’ Day, when the scene in
 which the bodies rise from their graves and come to the banquet of Don
 Juan and his boon companions upon the former’s blasphemous invitation
 is awaited with breathless horror by crowded houses. Other long poems
 are the “Legend of the Cid,” and “The Cobbler and the King.” Zorrilla
 died the 23rd of January, 1893.


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  =HYPNOTISM.= By DR. ALBERT MOLL. New and Enlarged Edition.

VII. THE CRIMINAL. By HAVELOCK ELLIS. Illustrated Second Edition.

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novelist—all, indeed, for whom the study of human nature
has any attraction—will find Mr. Ellis full of interest and


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mental science published in our time.”—_Pall Mall Gazette._

IX. HYPNOTISM. By Dr. ALBERT MOLL. New and Enlarged Edition.

“Marks a step of some importance in the study of some difficult
physiological and psychological problems which have not yet received
much attention in the scientific world of England.”—_Nature._

X. MANUAL TRAINING. By Dr. C. M. WOODWARD, Director of the Manual
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Woodward.”—_Manchester Guardian._


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Letourneau has long stood in the first rank. He approaches the great
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scrutinise, and appraise facts is his chief business. In the volume
before us he shows these qualities in an admirable degree.”—_Science._

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XXIV. MAN AND WOMAN. By HAVELOCK ELLIS. Illustrated. Fourth and Revised

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 of a subject which is certainly of primary interest.”—_Athenæum._

 and Revised Edition.)

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 Mall Gazette._


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 in the University of Pennsylvania.

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 With Illustrations.

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 F.I.C. With Diagrams. *

                            IBSEN’S DRAMAS.

                       EDITED BY WILLIAM ARCHER.

                      THREE PLAYS TO THE VOLUME.

                 12mo, CLOTH, PRICE $1.25 PER VOLUME.

 “_We seem at last to be shown men and women as they are; and at first
 it is more than we can endure.... All Ibsen’s characters speak and act
 as if they were hypnotised, and under their creator’s imperious demand
 to reveal themselves. There never was such a mirror held up to nature
 before: it is too terrible.... Yet we must return to Ibsen, with his
 remorseless surgery, his remorseless electric-light, until we, too,
 have grown strong and learned to face the naked—if necessary, the
 flayed and bleeding—reality._”—SPEAKER (London).

 SOCIETY.” With Portrait of the Author, and Biographical Introduction

 an Introductory Note.

 PRETENDERS.” With an Introductory Note.

 VOL. IV. “EMPEROR AND GALILEAN.” With an Introductory Note by WILLIAM

 Translated by WILLIAM ARCHER. With an Introductory Note.

 VOL. VI. “PEER GYNT: A DRAMATIC POEM.” Authorised Translation by

 The sequence of the plays in _each volume_ is chronological; the
 complete set of volumes comprising the dramas thus presents them in
 chronological order.

 “The art of prose translation does not perhaps enjoy a very high
 literary status in England, but we have no hesitation in numbering
 the present version of Ibsen, so far as it has gone (Vols. I.
 and II.), among the very best achievements, in that kind, of our

 “We have seldom, if ever, met with a translation so absolutely
 idiomatic.”—_Glasgow Herald._




[Footnote 1: See note on _Isla_.]

[Footnote 2: See note on _Newspaper Humour_.]

[Footnote 3: Blanco Garcia, the latest authority upon modern Spanish
literature, ignores the English periodical essayists, and ascribes the
introduction of this style of literature into Spain to the amusing and
humorous work, “Ermite de la Chaussée d’Antin,” of M. de Jouy (d. 1846),
which work, however, was, according to Gustave Masson, written in
imitation of the _Spectator_.]

[Footnote 4: This last edition of 1863, enlarged and corrected by
reference to a German annotated translation and to the Spanish
translation (with ample notes) of his first edition by Don Pascual de
Gayangos and Enrique de Vedia.]

[Footnote 5: That a canoness is a woman who enjoys a prebend, without
being obliged to make any vows, or renounce the world, may be unknown
to some readers.]

[Footnote 6: Meaning, of course, the sun.]

[Footnote 7: Does not appear in this extract.]

[Footnote 8: Don Lope de Figuerroa, who figures also in the _Amar
despues de la Muerte_, was (says Mr. Ticknor) “the commander under whom
Cervantes served in Italy, and probably in Portugal, when he was in the
_Tercio de Flandes_, the Flanders regiment, one of the best bodies of
troops in the armies of Philip II.,” and the very one now advancing,
with perhaps Cervantes in it, to Zalamea.]

[Footnote 9: Count Julian, governor of the provinces on both sides
of the Straits of Gibraltar, to avenge himself on King Roderick for
dishonouring his daughter, the famous La Cava (also called Florinda) of
the Spanish ballads, invited (711 A.D.) the Moors into Spain.]

[Footnote 10: The street singers of Spain are invariably recruited from
the large army of the blind.]

[Footnote 11: A stick about a foot in length, wound round with gay
ribbon or strips of coloured paper, and with a barbed dart at the
point. The great feat is to stick a pair of banderillas, at one and the
same time, one in each side of the bull, just above the shoulder.]

[Footnote 12: San Antonio is the patron saint of animals (St. Anthony
and his pig), and reference to this saint is a favourite Spanish jest.
To tell a youth his saint’s day is St. Anthony is equal to saying, “You
are a donkey.”]

[Footnote 13: Garbanzos—chick-peas.]

[Footnote 14: A generous red wine.]

[Footnote 15: “_La reja._” In Spanish houses the large casements of
the ground floor are all heavily barred, permitting the windows in the
hot weather to be wide open without fear of intrusion. _La reja_ is to
Spain in æsthetic value (with regard to love scenes) what the balcony
is to Italy.]

[Footnote 16: _Solemnisima coquetuela._]

[Footnote 17: The Giralda is the celebrated cathedral tower of Seville,
built by a Moor 1196.]

[Footnote 18: The Cid’s famous charger.]

[Footnote 19: The Spanish Ellen Terry.]

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