The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Bible in Spain - Vol. 2 [of 2], by George
Borrow, Edited by Ulick Ralph Burke

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Bible in Spain - Vol. 2 [of 2]

Author: George Borrow

Editor: Ulick Ralph Burke

Editor: Herbert W. Greene

Release Date: March 25, 2011  [eBook #35676]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1896 John Murray edition by David Price, email






a new edition, with notes and a glossary,
author ofa history of spain,” etc.


in two volumes.
vol. ii.


with map and engravings.




p. iilondon:
printed by william clowes and sons, limited,
stamford street and charing cross.




Arrival at Padron—Projected Enterprise—The Alquilador—Breach of Promise—An Odd Companion—A Plain Story—Rugged Paths—The Desertion—The Pony—A Dialogue—Unpleasant Situation—The Estadea—Benighted—The Hut—The Traveller’s Pillow



Autumnal Morning—The World’s End—Corcuvion—Duyo—The Cape—A Whale—The Outer Bay—The Arrest—The Fisher-Magistrate—Calros Rey—Hard of Belief—Where is your Passport?—The Beach—A Mighty Liberal—The Handmaid—The Grand Baintham—Eccentric Book—Hospitality



Corunna—Crossing the Bay—Ferrol—The Dock-yard—Where are we now?—Greek Ambassador—Lantern-Light—The Ravine—Viveiro—Evening—Marsh and Quagmire—Fair Words and Fair Money—The Leathern Girth—Eyes of Lynx—The Knavish Guide



Martin of Rivadeo—The Factious Mare—Asturians—Luarca—The Seven Bellotas—Hermits—The Asturian’s Tale—Strange Guests—The Big Servant—Batuschca



Oviedo—The Ten Gentlemen—The Swiss again—Modest Request—The Robbers—Episcopal Benevolence—The Cathedral—Portrait of Feijoo



Departure from Oviedo—Villa Viciosa—The Young Man of the Inn—Antonio’s Tale—The General and his Family—Woful Tidings—To-morrow we die—San Vicente—Santander—An Harangue—Flinter the Irishman



Departure from Santander—The Night Alarm—The Black Pass



State of Affairs at Madrid—The New Ministry—Pope of Rome—The Bookseller of Toledo—Sword-blades—Houses of Toledo—The Forlorn Gypsy—Proceedings at Madrid—Another Servant



Euscarra—Basque not Irish—Sanscrit and Tartar Dialects—A Vowel Language—Popular Poetry—The Basques—Their Persons—Basque Women



The Prohibition—Gospel Persecuted—Charge of Sorcery—Ofalia



The Two Gospels—The Alguazil—The Warrant—The Good Maria—The Arrest—Sent to Prison—Reflections—The Reception—The Prison Room—Redress demanded



Ofalia—The Juez—Carcel de la Corte—Sunday in Prison—Robber Dress—Father and Son—Characteristic Behaviour—The Frenchman—Prison Allowance—Valley of the Shadow—Pure Castilian—Balseiro—The Cave—Robber Glory



Maria Diaz—Priestly Vituperation—Antonio’s Visit—Antonio at Service—A Scene—Benedict Mol—Wandering in Spain—The Four Evangelien



Liberation from Prison—The Apology—Human Nature—The Greek’s Return—Church of Rome—Light of Scripture—Archbishop of Toledo—An Interview—Stones of Price—A Resolution—The Foreign Language—Benedict’s Farewell—Treasure Hunt at Compostella—Truth and Fiction



Villa Seca—Moorish House—The Puchera—The Rustic Council—Polite Ceremonial—The Flower of Spain—The Bridge of Azeca—The Ruined Castle—Taking the Field—Demand for the Word—The Old Peasant—The Curate and Blacksmith—Cheapness of the Scriptures



Aranjuez—A Warning—A Night Adventure—A Fresh Expedition—Segovia—Abades—Factious Curas—Lopez in Prison—Rescue of Lopez



Return to Spain—Seville—A Hoary Persecutor—Manchegan Prophetess—Antonio’s Dream



Work of Distribution resumed—Adventure at Cobeña—Power of the Clergy—Rural Authorities—Fuente la Higuera—Victoriano’s Mishap—Village Prison—The Rope—Antonio’s Errand—Antonio at Mass



Termination of our Rural Labours—Alarm of the Clergy—A New Experiment—Success at Madrid—Goblin-Alguazil—Staff of Office—The Corregidor—An Explanation—The Pope in England—New Testament expounded—Works of Luther



Projected Journey—A Scene of Blood—The Friar—Seville—Beauties of Seville—Orange Trees and Flowers—Murillo—The Guardian Angel—Dionysius—My Coadjutors—Demand for the Bible



The Solitary House—The Dehesa—Johannes Chrysostom—Manuel—Bookselling at Seville—Dionysius and the Priests—Athens and Rome—Proselytism—Seizure of Testaments—Departure from Seville


p. viiCHAPTER L.

Night on the Guadalquivir—Gospel Light—Bonanza—Strand of San Lucar—Andalusian Scenery—History of a Chest—Cosas de los Ingleses—The Two Gypsies—The Driver—The Red Nightcap—The Steam-Boat—Christian Language



Cadiz—The Fortifications—The Consul-General—Characteristic Anecdote—Catalan Steamer—Trafalgar—Alonzo Guzman—Gibil Muza—Orestes Frigate—The Hostile Lion—Works of the Creator—Lizard of the Rock—The Concourse—Queen of the Waters—Broken Prayer



The Jolly Hosteler—Aspirants for Glory—A Portrait—Hamáles—Solomons—An Expedition—The Yeoman Soldier—The Excavations—The Pull by the Skirt—Judah and his Father—Judah’s Pilgrimage—The Bushy Beard—The False Moors—Judah and the King’s Son—Premature Old Age



Genoese Mariners—Saint Michael’s Cave—Midnight Abysses—Young American—A Slave Proprietor—The Fairy Man—Infidelity



Again on Board—The Strange Visage—The Haji—Setting Sail—The Two Jews—American Vessel—Tangier—Adun Oulem—The Struggle—The Forbidden Thing


p. viiiCHAPTER LV.

The Mole—The Two Moors—Djmah of Tangier—House of God—British Consul—Curious Spectacle—The Moorish House—Joanna Correa—Ave Maria



The Mahasni—Sin Samani—The Bazaar—Moorish Saints—See the Ayana!—The Prickly Fig—Jewish Graves—The Place of Carcases—The Stable Boy—Horses of the Moslem—Dar-dwag



Strange Trio—The Mulatto—The Peace-offering—Moors of Granada—Vive la Guadeloupe—The Moors—Pascual Fava—Blind Algerine—The Retreat






ToledoEtched by Manesse


SegoviaFrom a Sketch by A. H. Hallam Murray

   Engraved by Manesse

To face 210


Arrival at Padron—Projected Enterprise—The Alquilador—Breach of Promise—An Odd Companion—A Plain Story—Rugged Paths—The Desertion—The Pony—A Dialogue—Unpleasant Situation—The Estadea—Benighted—The Hut—The Traveller’s Pillow.

I arrived at Padron late in the evening, on my return from Pontevedra and Vigo.  It was my intention at this place to send my servant and horses forward to Santiago, and to hire a guide to Cape Finisterre.  It would be difficult to assign any plausible reason for the ardent desire which I entertained to visit this place; but I remembered that last year I had escaped almost by a miracle from shipwreck and death on the rocky sides of this extreme point of the Old World, and I thought that to convey the Gospel to a place so wild and remote might perhaps be considered an acceptable pilgrimage in the eyes of my Maker.  True it is that but one copy remained of those which I had brought with me on this last journey; but this reflection, far from discouraging me in my projected enterprise, produced the contrary effect, as I called to p. 2mind that, ever since the Lord revealed Himself to man, it has seemed good to Him to accomplish the greatest ends by apparently the most insufficient means; and I reflected that this one copy might serve as an instrument for more good than the four thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine copies of the edition of Madrid.

I was aware that my own horses were quite incompetent to reach Finisterre, as the roads or paths lie through stony ravines, and over rough and shaggy hills, and therefore determined to leave them behind with Antonio, whom I was unwilling to expose to the fatigues of such a journey.  I lost no time in sending for an alquilador, or person who lets out horses, and informing him of my intention.  He said he had an excellent mountain pony at my disposal, and that he himself would accompany me; but at the same time observed, that it was a terrible journey for man and horse, and that he expected to be paid accordingly.  I consented to give him what he demanded, but on the express condition that he would perform his promise of attending me himself, as I was unwilling to trust myself four or five days amongst the hills with any low fellow of the town whom he might select, and who it was very possible might play me some evil turn.  He replied by the term invariably used by the Spaniards when they see doubt or distrust exhibited: “No tenga usted cuidado, [2] I will go myself.”  Having thus arranged the matter perfectly satisfactorily, as I thought, I partook of a slight supper, and shortly afterwards retired to repose.

I had requested the alquilador to call me the next morning at three o’clock; he, however, did not make p. 3his appearance till five, having, I suppose, overslept himself, which was indeed my own case.  I arose in a hurry, dressed, put a few things in a bag, not forgetting the Testament, which I had resolved to present to the inhabitants of Finisterre.  I then sallied forth and saw my friend the alquilador, who was holding by the bridle the pony or jaca which was destined to carry me in my expedition.  It was a beautiful little animal, apparently strong and full of life, without one single white hair in its whole body, which was black as the plumage of the crow.

Behind it stood a strange-looking figure of the biped species, to whom, however, at the moment, I paid little attention, but of whom I shall have plenty to say in the sequel.

Having asked the horse-lender whether he was ready to proceed, and being answered in the affirmative, I bade adieu to Antonio, and putting the pony in motion, we hastened out of the town, taking at first the road which leads towards Santiago.  Observing that the figure which I have previously alluded to was following close at our heels, I asked the alquilador who it was, and the reason of its following us; to which he replied that it was a servant of his, who would proceed a little way with us and then return.  So on we went at a rapid rate, till we were within a quarter of a mile of the Convent of the Esclavitud, a little beyond which he had informed me that we should have to turn off from the high-road; but here he suddenly stopped short, and in a moment we were all at a standstill.  I questioned the guide as to the reason of this, but received no answer.  The fellow’s eyes were directed to the ground, and he seemed to be counting with the most intense solicitude the prints p. 4of the hoofs of the oxen, mules, and horses in the dust of the road.  I repeated my demand in a louder voice; when, after a considerable pause, he somewhat elevated his eyes, without, however, looking me in the face, and said that he believed that I entertained the idea that he himself was to guide me to Finisterre, which if I did, he was very sorry for, the thing being quite impossible, as he was perfectly ignorant of the way, and, moreover, incapable of performing such a journey over rough and difficult ground, as he was no longer the man he had been; and, over and above all that, he was engaged that day to accompany a gentleman to Pontevedra, who was at that moment expecting him.  “But,” continued he, “as I am always desirous of behaving like a caballero to everybody, I have taken measures to prevent your being disappointed.  This person,” pointing to the figure, “I have engaged to accompany you.  He is a most trustworthy person, and is well acquainted with the route to Finisterre, having been thither several times with this very jaca on which you are mounted.  He will, besides, be an agreeable companion to you on the way, as he speaks French and English very well, and has been all over the world.”  The fellow ceased speaking at last; and I was so struck with his craft, impudence, and villany, that some time elapsed before I could find an answer.  I then reproached him in the bitterest terms for his breach of promise, and said that I was much tempted to return to the town instantly, complain of him to the alcalde, and have him punished at any expense.  To which he replied, “Sir Cavalier, by so doing you will be nothing nearer Finisterre, to which you seem so eager to get.  Take my advice, spur on the jaca, for you see it is getting late, and it p. 5is twelve long leagues from hence to Corcuvion, where you must pass the night; and from thence to Finisterre is no trifle.  As for the man, no tenga usted cuidado, he is the best guide in Galicia, speaks English and French, and will bear you pleasant company.”

By this time I had reflected that by returning to Padron I should indeed be only wasting time, and that by endeavouring to have the fellow punished no benefit would accrue to me; moreover, as he seemed to be a scoundrel in every sense of the word, I might as well proceed in the company of any person as in his.  I therefore signified my intention of proceeding, and told him to go back, in the Lord’s name, and repent of his sins.  But having gained one point, he thought he had best attempt another; so placing himself about a yard before the jaca, he said that the price which I had agreed to pay him for the loan of his horse (which, by-the-by, was the full sum he had demanded) was by no means sufficient, and that before I proceeded I must promise him two dollars more, adding that he was either drunk or mad when he had made such a bargain.  I was now thoroughly incensed, and without a moment’s reflection, spurred the jaca, which flung him down in the dust, and passed over him.  Looking back at the distance of a hundred yards, I saw him standing in the same place, his hat on the ground, gazing after us, and crossing himself most devoutly.  His servant, or whatever he was, far from offering any assistance to his principal, no sooner saw the jaca in motion than he ran on by its side, without word or comment, further than striking himself lustily on the thigh with his right palm.  We soon passed the Esclavitud, and presently afterwards turned to the left into a stony broken path leading to fields of maize.  p. 6We passed by several farm-houses, and at last arrived at a dingle, the sides of which were plentifully overgrown with dwarf oaks, and which slanted down to a small dark river shaded with trees, which we crossed by a rude bridge.  By this time I had had sufficient time to scan my odd companion from head to foot.  His utmost height, had he made the most of himself, might perhaps have amounted to five feet one inch; but he seemed somewhat inclined to stoop.  Nature had gifted him with an immense head, and placed it clean upon his shoulders, for amongst the items of his composition it did not appear that a neck had been included.  Arms long and brawny swung at his sides, and the whole of his frame was as strong built and powerful as a wrestler’s; his body was supported by a pair of short but very nimble legs.  His face was very long, and would have borne some slight resemblance to a human countenance had the nose been more visible, for its place seemed to have been entirely occupied by a wry mouth and large staring eyes.  His dress consisted of three articles: an old and tattered hat of the Portuguese kind, broad at the crown and narrow at the eaves, something which appeared to be a shirt, and dirty canvas trousers.  Willing to enter into conversation with him, and remembering that the alquilador had informed me that he spoke languages, I asked him, in English, if he had always acted in the capacity of guide.  Whereupon he turned his eyes with a singular expression upon my face, gave a loud laugh, a long leap, and clapped his hands thrice above his head.  Perceiving that he did not understand me, I repeated my demand in French, and was again answered by the laugh, leap, and clapping.  At last he said, in broken Spanish, p. 7“Master mine, speak Spanish in God’s name, and I can understand you, and still better if you speak Gallegan, but I can promise no more.  I heard what the alquilador told you, but he is the greatest embustero in the whole land, and deceived you then as he did when he promised to accompany you.  I serve him for my sins; but it was an evil hour when I left the deep sea and turned guide.”  He then informed me that he was a native of Padron, and a mariner by profession, having spent the greater part of his life in the Spanish navy, in which service he had visited Cuba and many parts of the Spanish Americas, adding, “when my master told you that I should bear you pleasant company by the way, it was the only word of truth that has come from his mouth for a month; and long before you reach Finisterre you will have rejoiced that the servant, and not the master, went with you: he is dull and heavy, but I am what you see.”  He then gave two or three first-rate somersaults, again laughed loudly, and clapped his hands.  “You would scarcely think,” he continued, “that I drove that little pony yesterday, heavily laden, all the way from Corunna.  We arrived at Padron at two o’clock this morning; but we are nevertheless both willing and able to undertake a fresh journey.  No tenga usted cuidado, as my master said, no one ever complains of that pony or of me.”  In this kind of discourse we proceeded a considerable way through a very picturesque country, until we reached a beautiful village at the skirt of a mountain.  “This village,” said my guide, “is called Los Angeles, because its church was built long since by the angels; they placed a beam of gold beneath it, which they brought down from heaven, and which was once a rafter of God’s p. 8own house.  It runs all the way under the ground from hence to the cathedral of Compostella.”

Passing through the village, which he likewise informed me possessed baths, and was much visited by the people of Santiago, we shaped our course to the north-west, and by so doing doubled a mountain which rose majestically over our heads, its top crowned with bare and broken rocks, whilst on our right, on the other side of a spacious valley, was a high range connected with the mountains to the northward of Saint James.  On the summit of this range rose high embattled towers, which my guide informed me were those of Altamira, an ancient and ruined castle, formerly the principal residence in this province of the counts of that name.  Turning now due west, we were soon at the bottom of a steep and rugged pass, which led to more elevated regions.  The ascent cost us nearly half an hour, and the difficulties of the ground were such that I more than once congratulated myself on having left my own horses behind, and being mounted on the gallant little pony, which, accustomed to such paths, scrambled bravely forward, and eventually brought us in safety to the top of the ascent.

Here we entered a Gallegan cabin, or choza, for the purpose of refreshing the animal and ourselves.  The quadruped ate some maize, whilst we two bipeds regaled ourselves on some broa and aguardiente, which a woman whom we found in the hut placed before us.  I walked out for a few minutes to observe the aspect of the country, and on my return found my guide fast asleep on the bench where I had left him.  He sat bolt upright, his back supported against the wall, and his legs pendulous, within three inches of the ground, p. 9being too short to reach it.  I remained gazing upon him for at least five minutes, whilst he enjoyed slumbers seemingly as quiet and profound as those of death itself.  His face brought powerfully to my mind some of those uncouth visages of saints and abbots which are occasionally seen in the niches of the walls of ruined convents.  There was not the slightest gleam of vitality in his countenance, which for colour and rigidity might have been of stone, and which was as rude and battered as one of the stone heads at Icolmkill, which have braved the winds of twelve hundred years.  I continued gazing on his face till I became almost alarmed, concluding that life might have departed from its harassed and fatigued tenement.  On my shaking him rather roughly by the shoulder he slowly awoke, opening his eyes with a stare, and then closing them again.  For a few moments he was evidently unconscious of where he was.  On my shouting to him, however, and inquiring whether he intended to sleep all day, instead of conducting me to Finisterre, he dropped upon his legs, snatched up his hat, which lay on the table, and instantly ran out of the door, exclaiming, “Yes, yes, I remember; follow me, captain, and I will lead you to Finisterre in no time.”  I looked after him, and perceived that he was hurrying at a considerable pace in the direction in which we had hitherto been proceeding.  “Stop,” said I, “stop! will you leave me here with the pony?  Stop; we have not paid the reckoning.  Stop!”  He, however, never turned his head for a moment, and in less than a minute was out of sight.  The pony, which was tied to a crib at one end of the cabin, began now to neigh terrifically, to plunge, and to erect its tail and mane in a most singular manner.  It tore and strained at p. 10the halter till I was apprehensive that strangulation would ensue.  “Woman,” I exclaimed, “where are you, and what is the meaning of all this?”  But the hostess had likewise disappeared, and though I ran about the choza, shouting myself hoarse, no answer was returned.  The pony still continued to scream and to strain at the halter more violently than ever.  “Am I beset with lunatics?” I cried, and flinging down a peseta on the table, unloosed the halter, and attempted to introduce the bit into the mouth of the animal.  This, however, I found impossible to effect.  Released from the halter, the pony made at once for the door, in spite of all the efforts which I could make to detain it.  “If you abandon me,” said I, “I am in a pretty situation; but there is a remedy for everything!” with which words I sprang into the saddle, and in a moment more the creature was bearing me at a rapid gallop in the direction, as I supposed, of Finisterre.  My position, however diverting to the reader, was rather critical to myself.  I was on the back of a spirited animal, over which I had no control, dashing along a dangerous and unknown path.  I could not discover the slightest vestige of my guide, nor did I pass any one from whom I could derive any information.  Indeed, the speed of the animal was so great, that even in the event of my meeting or overtaking a passenger, I could scarcely have hoped to exchange a word with him.  “Is the pony trained to this work?” said I, mentally.  “Is he carrying me to some den of banditti, where my throat will be cut, or does he follow his master by instinct?”  Both of these suspicions I, however, soon abandoned.  The pony’s speed relaxed; he appeared to have lost the road.  He looked about uneasily: at last, coming to a sandy p. 11spot, he put his nostrils to the ground, and then suddenly flung himself down, and wallowed in true pony fashion.  I was not hurt, and instantly made use of this opportunity to slip the bit into his mouth, which previously had been dangling beneath his neck; I then remounted in quest of the road.

This I soon found, and continued my way for a considerable time.  The path lay over a moor, patched with heath and furze, and here and there strewn with large stones, or rather rocks.  The sun had risen high in the firmament, and burned fiercely.  I passed several people, men and women, who gazed at me with surprise, wondering, probably, what a person of my appearance could be about, without a guide, in so strange a place.  I inquired of two females whom I met whether they had seen my guide; but they either did not or would not understand me, and, exchanging a few words with each other in one of the hundred dialects of the Gallegan, passed on.  Having crossed the moor, I came rather abruptly upon a convent, overhanging a deep ravine, at the bottom of which brawled a rapid stream.

It was a beautiful and picturesque spot: the sides of the ravine were thickly clothed with wood, and on the other side a tall black hill uplifted itself.  The edifice was large, and apparently deserted.  Passing by it, I presently reached a small village, as deserted, to all appearance, as the convent, for I saw not a single individual, nor so much as a dog to welcome me with his bark.  I proceeded, however, until I reached a fountain, the waters of which gushed from a stone pillar into a trough.  Seated upon this last, his arms folded, and his eyes fixed upon the neighbouring mountain, I beheld a figure which still frequently recurs p. 12to my thoughts, especially when asleep and oppressed by the nightmare.  This figure was my runaway guide.

Myself.—Good day to you, my gentleman.  The weather is hot, and yonder water appears delicious.  I am almost tempted to dismount and regale myself with a slight draught.

Guide.—Your worship can do no better.  The day is, as you say, hot; you can do no better than drink a little of this water.  I have myself just drunk.  I would not, however, advise you to give that pony any; it appears heated and blown.

Myself.—It may well be so.  I have been galloping at least two leagues in pursuit of a fellow who engaged to guide me to Finisterre, but who deserted me in a most singular manner; so much so, that I almost believe him to be a thief, and no true man.  You do not happen to have seen him?

Guide.—What kind of a man might he be?

Myself.—A short, thick fellow, very much like yourself, with a hump upon his back, and, excuse me, of a very ill-favoured countenance.

Guide.—Ha, ha!  I know him.  He ran with me to this fountain, where he has just left me.  That man, Sir Cavalier, is no thief.  If he is anything at all, he is a Nuveiro [12]—a fellow who rides upon the clouds, and is occasionally whisked away by a gust of wind.  Should you ever travel with that man again, never allow him more than one glass of anise at a time, or he will infallibly mount into the clouds and leave you, and then he will ride and run till he comes to a water-brook, or knocks his head against a fountain—p. 13then one draught, and he is himself again.  So you are going to Finisterre, Sir Cavalier.  Now it is singular enough, that a cavalier much of your appearance engaged me to conduct him there this morning; I, however, lost him on the way; so it appears to me our best plan to travel together until you find your own guide and I find my own master.

It might be about two o’clock in the afternoon that we reached a long and ruinous bridge, seemingly of great antiquity, and which, as I was informed by my guide, was called the bridge of Don Alonzo.  It crossed a species of creek, or rather frith, for the sea was at no considerable distance, and the small town of Noyo lay at our right.  “When we have crossed that bridge, captain,” said my guide, “we shall be in an unknown country, for I have never been farther than Noyo, and as for Finisterre, so far from having been there, I never heard of such a place; and though I have inquired of two or three people since we have been upon this expedition, they know as little about it as I do.  Taking all things, however, into consideration, it appears to me that the best thing we can do is to push forward to Corcuvion, which is five mad leagues from hence, and which we may perhaps reach ere nightfall, if we can find the way or get any one to direct us; for, as I told you before, I know nothing about it.”  “To fine hands have I confided myself,” said I: “however, we had best, as you say, push forward to Corcuvion, where, peradventure, we may hear something of Finisterre, and find a guide to conduct us.”  Whereupon, with a hop, skip, and a jump, he again set forward at a rapid pace, stopping occasionally at a choza, for the purpose, I suppose, of making inquiries, though I understood scarcely anything of the p. 14jargon in which he addressed the people, and in which they answered him.

We were soon in an extremely wild and hilly country, scrambling up and down ravines, wading brooks, and scratching our hands and faces with brambles, on which grew a plentiful crop of wild mulberries, to gather some of which we occasionally made a stop.  Owing to the roughness of the way, we made no great progress.  The pony followed close at the back of the guide, so near, indeed, that its nose almost touched his shoulder.  The country grew wilder and wilder, and, since we had passed a water-mill, we had lost all trace of human habitation.  The mill stood at the bottom of a valley shaded by large trees, and its wheels were turning with a dismal and monotonous noise.  “Do you think we shall reach Corcuvion tonight?” said I to the guide, as we emerged from this valley to a savage moor, which appeared of almost boundless extent.

Guide.—I do not, I do not.  We shall in no manner reach Corcuvion to-night, and I by no means like the appearance of this moor.  The sun is rapidly sinking, and then, if there come on a haze, we shall meet the Estadéa.

Myself.—What do you mean by the Estadéa?

Guide.—What do I mean by the Estadéa?  My master asks me what I mean by the Estadinha. [14] I have met the Estadinha but once, and it was upon a moor something like this.  I was in company with several women, and a thick haze came on, and suddenly a thousand lights shone above our heads in the p. 15haze, and there was a wild cry, and the women fell to the ground screaming, ‘EstadéaEstadéa!’ and I myself fell to the ground crying out, ‘Estadinha!’  The Estadéa are the spirits of the dead which ride upon the haze, bearing candles in their hands.  I tell you frankly, my master, that if we meet the assembly of the souls, I shall leave you at once, and then I shall run and run till I drown myself in the sea, somewhere about Muros.  We shall not reach Corcuvion this night; my only hope is that we may find some choza upon these moors, where we may hide our heads from the Estadinha.”

The night overtook us ere we had traversed the moor; there was, however, no haze, to the great joy of my guide, and a corner of the moon partially illumined our steps.  Our situation, however, was dreary enough: we were upon the wildest heath of the wildest province of Spain, ignorant of our way, and directing our course we scarcely knew whither, for my guide repeatedly declared to me that he did not believe that such a place as Finisterre existed, or if it did exist, it was some bleak mountain pointed out in a map.  When I reflected on the character of this guide, I derived but little comfort or encouragement: he was at best evidently half-witted, and was by his own confession occasionally seized with paroxysms which differed from madness in no essential respect; his wild escapade in the morning of nearly three leagues, without any apparent cause, and lastly his superstitious and frantic fears of meeting the souls of the dead upon this heath, in which event he intended, as he himself said, to desert me and make for the sea, operated rather powerfully upon my nerves.  I likewise considered that it was quite possible that we p. 16might be in the route neither of Finisterre nor Corcuvion, and I therefore determined to enter the first cabin at which we should arrive, in preference to running the risk of breaking our necks by tumbling down some pit or precipice.  No cabin, however, appeared in sight: the moor seemed interminable, and we wandered on until the moon disappeared, and we were left in almost total darkness.

At length we arrived at the foot of a steep ascent, up which a rough and broken pathway appeared to lead.  “Can this be our way?” said I to the guide.

“There appears to be no other for us, captain,” replied the man; “let us ascend it by all means, and when we are at the top, if the sea be in the neighbourhood we shall see it.”

I then dismounted, for to ride up such a pass in such darkness would have been madness.  We clambered up in a line, first the guide, next the pony, with his nose as usual on his master’s shoulder, of whom he seemed passionately fond, and I bringing up the rear, with my left hand grasping the animal’s tail.  We had many a stumble, and more than one fall: once, indeed, we were all rolling down the side of the hill together.  In about twenty minutes we reached the summit, and looked around us, but no sea was visible: a black moor, indistinctly seen, seemed to spread on every side.

“We shall have to take up our quarters here till morning,” said I.

Suddenly my guide seized me by the hand.  “There is lúme, senhor,” said he; “there is lúme.”  I looked in the direction in which he pointed, and after straining my eyes for some time, imagined that I perceived, far below and at some distance, a faint glow.  “That is p. 17lúme,” shouted the guide, “and it proceeds from the chimney of a choza.”

On descending the eminence, we roamed about for a considerable time, until we at last found ourselves in the midst of about six or eight black huts.  “Knock at the door of one of these,” said I to the guide, “and inquire of the people whether they can shelter us for the night.”  He did so, and a man presently made his appearance, bearing in his hand a lighted firebrand.

“Can you shelter a Cavalheiro from the night and the Estadéa?” said my guide.

“From both, I thank God,” said the man, who was an athletic figure, without shoes and stockings, and who, upon the whole, put me much in mind of a Munster peasant from the bogs.  “Pray enter, gentlemen, we can accommodate you both and your cavalgadura besides.”

We entered the choza, which consisted of three compartments; in the first we found straw, in the second cattle and ponies, and in the third the family, consisting of the father and mother of the man who admitted us, and his wife and children.

“You are a Catalan, sir Cavalier, and are going to your countrymen at Corcuvion,” said the man in tolerable Spanish.  “Ah, you are brave people, you Catalans, and fine establishments you have on the Gallegan shores; pity that you take all the money out of the country.”

Now, under all circumstances, I had not the slightest objection to pass for a Catalan; and I rather rejoiced that these wild people should suppose that I had powerful friends and countrymen in the neighbourhood who were, perhaps, expecting me.  I therefore favoured p. 18their mistake, and began with a harsh Catalan accent to talk of the fish of Galicia, and the high duties on salt.  The eye of my guide was upon me for an instant, with a singular expression, half serious, half droll; he, however, said nothing, but slapped his thigh as usual, and with a spring nearly touched the roof of the cabin with his grotesque head.  Upon inquiry, I discovered that we were still two long leagues distant from Corcuvion, and that the road lay over moor and hill, and was hard to find.  Our host now demanded whether we were hungry, and, upon being answered in the affirmative, produced about a dozen eggs and some bacon.  Whilst our supper was cooking, a long conversation ensued between my guide and the family, but as it was carried on in Gallegan, I tried in vain to understand it.  I believe, however, that it principally related to witches and witchcraft, as the Estadéa was frequently mentioned.  After supper I demanded where I could rest: whereupon the host pointed to a trapdoor in the roof, saying that above there was a loft where I could sleep by myself, and have clean straw.  For curiosity’s sake, I asked whether there was such a thing as a bed in the cabin.

“No,” replied the man; “nor nearer than Corcuvion.  I never entered one in my life, nor any one of my family; we sleep around the hearth, or among the straw with the cattle.”

I was too old a traveller to complain, but forthwith ascended by a ladder into a species of loft, tolerably large and nearly empty, where I placed my cloak beneath my head, and lay down on the boards, which I preferred to the straw, for more reasons than one.  I heard the people below talking in Gallegan for a considerable time, and could see the gleams of the fire p. 19through the interstices of the floor.  The voices, however, gradually died away, the fire sank low and could no longer be distinguished.  I dozed, started, dozed again, and dropped finally into a profound sleep, from which I was only roused by the crowing of the second cock.


Autumnal Morning—The World’s End—Corcuvion—Duyo—The Cape—A Whale—The Outer Bay—The Arrest—The Fisher-Magistrate—Calros Rey—Hard of Belief—Where is your Passport?—The Beach—A mighty Liberal—The Handmaid—The Grand Baintham—Eccentric Book—Hospitality.

It was a beautiful autumnal morning when we left the choza and pursued our way to Corcuvion.  I satisfied our host by presenting him with a couple of pesetas, and he requested as a favour, that if on our return we passed that way, and were overtaken by the night, we would again take up our abode beneath his roof.  This I promised, at the same time determining to do my best to guard against the contingency; as sleeping in the loft of a Gallegan hut, though preferable to passing the night on a moor or mountain, is anything but desirable.

So we again started at a rapid pace along rough bridle-ways and footpaths, amidst furze and brushwood.  In about an hour we obtained a view of the sea, and, directed by a lad whom we found on the moor employed in tending a few miserable sheep, we bent our course to the north-west, and at length reached the brow of an eminence, where we stopped for some time to survey the prospect before us.

p. 21It was not without reason that the Latins gave the name of Finis terræ to this district.  We had arrived exactly at such a place as in my boyhood I had pictured to myself as the termination of the world, beyond which there was a wild sea, or abyss, or chaos.  I now saw far before me an immense ocean, and below me a long and irregular line of lofty and precipitous coast.  Certainly in the whole world there is no bolder coast than the Gallegan shore, from the debouchement of the Minho to Cape Finisterre.  It consists of a granite wall of savage mountains, for the most part serrated at the top, and occasionally broken, where bays and firths like those of Vigo and Pontevedra intervene, running deep into the land.  These bays and firths are invariably of an immense depth, and sufficiently capacious to shelter the navies of the proudest maritime nations.

There is an air of stern and savage grandeur in everything around, which strongly captivates the imagination.  This savage coast is the first glimpse of Spain which the voyager from the north catches, or he who has ploughed his way across the wide Atlantic: and well does it seem to realize all his visions of this strange land.  “Yes,” he exclaims, “this is indeed Spain—stern, flinty Spain—land emblematic of those spirits to which she has given birth.  From what land but that before me could have proceeded those portentous beings who astounded the Old World and filled the New with horror and blood.  Alva and Philip, Cortez and Pizarro—stern colossal spectres looming through the gloom of bygone years, like yonder granite mountains through the haze, upon the eye of the mariner.  Yes, yonder is indeed Spain; flinty, indomitable Spain; land emblematic of its sons!”

p. 22As for myself, when I viewed that wide ocean and its savage shore, I cried, “Such is the grave, and such are its terrific sides; those moors and wilds, over which I have passed, are the rough and dreary journey of life.  Cheered with hope, we struggle along through all the difficulties of moor, bog, and mountain, to arrive at—what?  The grave and its dreary sides.  Oh, may hope not desert us in the last hour—hope in the Redeemer and in God!”

We descended from the eminence, and again lost sight of the sea amidst ravines and dingles, amongst which patches of pine were occasionally seen.  Continuing to descend, we at last came, not to the sea, but to the extremity of a long narrow firth, where stood a village or hamlet; whilst at a small distance, on the western side of the firth, appeared one considerably larger, which was indeed almost entitled to the appellation of town.  This last was Corcuvion; the first, if I forget not, was called Ria de Silla.  We hastened on to Corcuvion, where I bade my guide make inquiries respecting Finisterre.  He entered the door of a wine-house, from which proceeded much noise and vociferation, and presently returned, informing me that the village of Finisterre was distant about a league and a half.  A man, evidently in a state of intoxication, followed him to the door.  “Are you bound for Finisterre, Cavalheiros?” he shouted.

“Yes, my friend,” I replied, “we are going thither.”

“Then you are going amongst a fato de borrachos,” [22] he answered.  “Take care that they do not play you a trick.”

p. 23We passed on, and, striking across a sandy peninsula at the back of the town, soon reached the shore of an immense bay, the north-westernmost end of which was formed by the far-famed cape of Finisterre, which we now saw before us stretching far into the sea.

Along a beach of dazzling white sand we advanced towards the cape, the bourne of our journey.  The sun was shining brightly, and every object was illumined by his beams.  The sea lay before us like a vast mirror, and the waves which broke upon the shore were so tiny as scarcely to produce a murmur.  On we sped along the deep winding bay, overhung by gigantic hills and mountains.  Strange recollections began to throng upon my mind.  It was upon this beach that, according to the tradition of all ancient Christendom, Saint James, the patron saint of Spain, preached the Gospel to the heathen Spaniards.  Upon this beach had once stood an immense commercial city, the proudest in all Spain.  This now desolate bay had once resounded with the voices of myriads, when the keels and commerce of all the then known world were wafted to Duyo. [23]

“What is the name of this village?” said I to a woman, as we passed by five or six ruinous houses at the bend of the bay, ere we entered upon the peninsula of Finisterre.

“This is no village,” said the Gallegan, “this is no village, Sir Cavalier; this is a city, this is Duyo.”

So much for the glory of the world!  These huts were all that the roaring sea and the tooth of time had left of Duyo, the great city!  Onward now to Finisterre.

p. 24It was mid-day when we reached the village of Finisterre, consisting of about one hundred houses, and built on the southern side of the peninsula, just before it rises into the huge bluff head which is called the Cape.  We sought in vain for an inn or venta, where we might stable our beast; at one moment we thought that we had found one, and had even tied the animal to the manger.  Upon our going out, however, he was instantly untied and driven forth into the street.  The few people whom we saw appeared to gaze upon us in a singular manner.  We, however, took little notice of these circumstances, and proceeded along the straggling street until we found shelter in the house of a Castilian shopkeeper, whom some chance had brought to this corner of Galicia—this end of the world.  Our first care was to feed the animal, who now began to exhibit considerable symptoms of fatigue.  We then requested some refreshment for ourselves; and in about an hour, a tolerably savoury fish, weighing about three pounds, and fresh from the bay, was prepared for us by an old woman who appeared to officiate as housekeeper.  Having finished our meal, I and my uncouth companion went forth, and prepared to ascend the mountain.

We stopped to examine a small dismantled fort or battery facing the bay, and, whilst engaged in this examination, it more than once occurred to me that we were ourselves the objects of scrutiny and investigation; indeed, I caught a glimpse of more than one countenance peering upon us through the holes and chasms of the walls.  We now commenced ascending Finisterre; and, making numerous and long détours, we wound our way up its flinty sides.  The sun had reached the top of heaven, whence he showered upon p. 25us perpendicularly his brightest and fiercest rays.  My boots were torn, my feet cut, and the perspiration streamed from my brow.  To my guide, however, the ascent appeared to be neither toilsome nor difficult.  The heat of the day for him had no terrors, no moisture was wrung from his tanned countenance; he drew not one short breath; and hopped upon the stones and rocks with all the provoking agility of a mountain goat.  Before we had accomplished one-half of the ascent, I felt myself quite exhausted.  I reeled and staggered.  “Cheer up, master mine; be of good cheer, and have no care,” said the guide.  “Yonder I see a wall of stones; lie down beneath it in the shade.”  He put his long and strong arm round my waist, and, though his stature compared with mine was that of a dwarf, he supported me as if I had been a child to a rude wall which seemed to traverse the greater part of the hill, and served probably as a kind of boundary.  It was difficult to find a shady spot: at last he perceived a small chasm, perhaps scooped by some shepherd as a couch in which to enjoy his siesta.  In this he laid me gently down, and, taking off his enormous hat, commenced fanning me with great assiduity.  By degrees I revived, and, after having rested for a considerable time, I again attempted the ascent, which, with the assistance of my guide, I at length accomplished.

We were now standing at a great altitude between two bays, the wilderness of waters before us.  Of all the ten thousand barks which annually plough those seas in sight of that old cape, not one was to be descried.  It was a blue shiny waste, broken by no object save the black head of a spermaceti whale, which would occasionally show itself at the top, casting up p. 26thin jets of brine.  The principal bay, that of Finisterre, as far as the entrance, was beautifully variegated by an immense shoal of sardinhas, on whose extreme skirts the monster was probably feasting.  From the other side of the cape we looked down upon a smaller bay, the shore of which was overhung by rocks of various and grotesque shapes; this is called the outer bay, or, in the language of the country, Praia do mar de fora: [26] a fearful place in seasons of wind and tempest, when the long swell of the Atlantic pouring in is broken into surf and foam by the sunken rocks with which it abounds.  Even on the calmest day there is a rumbling and a hollow roar in that bay which fill the heart with uneasy sensations.

On all sides there was grandeur and sublimity.  After gazing from the summit of the cape for nearly an hour, we descended.

On reaching the house where we had taken up our temporary habitation, we perceived that the portal was occupied by several men, some of whom were reclining on the floor drinking wine out of small earthen pans, which are much used in this part of Galicia.  With a civil salutation I passed on, and ascended the staircase to the room in which we had taken our repast.  Here there was a rude and dirty bed, on which I flung myself, exhausted with fatigue.  I determined to take a little repose, and in the evening to call the people of the place together, to read a few chapters of the Scripture, and then to address them with a little Christian exhortation.  I was soon asleep, but my slumbers were by no means tranquil.  I thought I was surrounded with difficulties of various kinds, amongst rocks and ravines, vainly endeavouring to p. 27extricate myself; uncouth visages showed themselves amidst the trees and in the hollows, thrusting out cloven tongues, and uttering angry cries.  I looked around for my guide, but could not find him; methought, however, that I heard his voice down a deep dingle.  He appeared to be talking of me.  How long I might have continued in these wild dreams I know not.  I was suddenly, however, seized roughly by the shoulder, and nearly dragged from the bed.  I looked up in amazement, and by the light of the descending sun I beheld hanging over me a wild and uncouth figure; it was that of an elderly man, built as strong as a giant, with much beard and whisker, and huge bushy eyebrows, dressed in the habiliments of a fisherman; in his hand was a rusty musket.

Myself.—Who are you, and what do you want?

Figure.—Who I am matters but little.  Get up and follow me; it is you I want.

Myself.—By what authority do you thus presume to interfere with me?

Figure.—By the authority of the justicia of Finisterre.  Follow me peaceably, Calros, or it will be the worse for you.

“Calros,” said I, “what does the person mean?”  I thought it, however, most prudent to obey his command, and followed him down the staircase.  The shop and the portal were now thronged with the inhabitants of Finisterre, men, women, and children; the latter for the most part in a state of nudity, and with bodies wet and dripping, having been probably summoned in haste from their gambols in the brine.  Through this crowd the figure whom I have attempted to describe pushed his way with an air of authority.

On arriving in the street, he laid his heavy hand p. 28upon my arm, not roughly, however.  “It is Calros! it is Calros!” said a hundred voices; “he has come to Finisterre at last, and the justicia have now got hold of him.”  Wondering what all this could mean, I attended my strange conductor down the street.  As we proceeded, the crowd increased every moment, following and vociferating.  Even the sick were brought to the doors to obtain a view of what was going forward, and a glance at the redoubtable Calros.  I was particularly struck by the eagerness displayed by one man, a cripple, who, in spite of the entreaties of his wife, mixed with the crowd, and having lost his crutch, hopped forward on one leg, exclaiming, “Carracho! tambien voy yo!” [28]

We at last reached a house of rather larger size than the rest; my guide, having led me into a long low room, placed me in the middle of the floor, and then hurrying to the door, he endeavoured to repulse the crowd who strove to enter with us.  This he effected, though not without considerable difficulty, being once or twice compelled to have recourse to the butt of his musket to drive back unauthorized intruders.  I now looked round the room.  It was rather scantily furnished: I could see nothing but some tubs and barrels, the mast of a boat, and a sail or two.  Seated upon the tubs were three or four men coarsely dressed, like fishermen or shipwrights.  The principal personage was a surly ill-tempered looking fellow of about thirty-five, whom eventually I discovered to be the alcalde of Finisterre, and lord of the house in which we now were.  In a corner I caught a glimpse of my guide, who was evidently in durance, two stout fishermen standing before him, one with a musket and the other p. 29with a boat-hook.  After I had looked about me for a minute, the alcalde, giving his whiskers a twist, thus addressed me:—

“Who are you, where is your passport, and what brings you to Finisterre?”

Myself.—I am an Englishman.  Here is my passport, and I came to see Finisterre.

This reply seemed to discomfit them for a moment.  They looked at each other, then at my passport.  At length the alcalde, striking it with his finger, bellowed forth:

“This is no Spanish passport; it appears to be written in French.”

Myself.—I have already told you that I am a foreigner.  I of course carry a foreign passport.

Alcalde.—Then you mean to assert that you are not Calros Rey.

Myself.—I never heard before of such a king, nor indeed of such a name.

Alcalde.—Hark to the fellow! he has the audacity to say that he has never heard of Calros the pretender, who calls himself king.

Myself.—If you mean by Calros, the pretender Don Carlos, all I can reply is, that you can scarcely be serious.  You might as well assert that yonder poor fellow, my guide, whom I see you have made prisoner, is his nephew, the Infante Don Sebastian. [29]

Alcalde.—See, you have betrayed yourself; that is the very person we suppose him to be.

Myself.—It is true that they are both hunchbacks.  But how can I be like Don Carlos?  I have nothing the appearance of a Spaniard, and am nearly a foot taller than the pretender.

p. 30Alcalde.—That makes no difference; you of course carry many waistcoats about you, by means of which you disguise yourself, and appear tall or low according to your pleasure.

This last was so conclusive an argument that I had of course nothing to reply to it.  The alcalde looked around him in triumph, as if he had made some notable discovery.  “Yes, it is Calros; it is Calros,” said the crowd at the door.  “It will be as well to have these men shot instantly,” continued the alcalde; “if they are not the two pretenders, they are at any rate two of the factious.”

“I am by no means certain that they are either one or the other,” said a gruff voice.

The justicia of Finisterre turned their eyes in the direction from which these words proceeded, and so did I.  Our glances rested upon the figure who held watch at the door.  He had planted the barrel of his musket on the floor, and was now leaning his chin against the butt.

“I am by no means certain that they are either one or the other,” repeated he, advancing forward.  “I have been examining this man,” pointing to myself, “and listening whilst he spoke, and it appears to me that after all he may prove an Englishman; he has their very look and voice.  Who knows the English better than Antonio de la Trava, and who has a better right?  Has he not sailed in their ships; has he not eaten their biscuit; and did he not stand by Nelson when he was shot dead?”

Here the alcalde became violently incensed.  “He is no more an Englishman than yourself,” he exclaimed; “if he were an Englishman would he have come in this manner, skulking across the land?  Not so, I p. 31trow.  He would have come in a ship, recommended to some of us, or to the Catalans.  He would have come to trade—to buy; but nobody knows him in Finisterre, nor does he know anybody, and the first thing, moreover, that he does when he reaches this place is to inspect the fort, and to ascend the mountain, where, no doubt, he has been marking out a camp.  What brings him to Finisterre, if he is neither Calros nor a bribon of a faccioso?”

I felt that there was a good deal of justice in some of these remarks, and I was aware, for the first time, that I had indeed committed a great imprudence in coming to this wild place, and among these barbarous people, without being able to assign any motive which could appear at all valid in their eyes.  I endeavoured to convince the alcalde that I had come across the country for the purpose of making myself acquainted with the many remarkable objects which it contained, and of obtaining information respecting the character and condition of the inhabitants.  He could understand no such motives.  “What did you ascend the mountain for?”  “To see prospects.”  “Disparate!  I have lived at Finisterre forty years, and never ascended that mountain.  I would not do it in a day like this for two ounces of gold.  You went to take altitudes, and to mark out a camp.”  I had, however, a staunch friend in old Antonio, who insisted, from his knowledge of the English, that all I said might very possibly be true.  “The English,” said he, “have more money than they know what to do with, and on that account they wander all over the world, paying dearly for what no other people care a groat for.”  He then proceeded, notwithstanding the frowns of the alcalde, to examine me in the English language.  His p. 32own entire knowledge of this tongue was confined to two words—knife and fork, which words I rendered into Spanish by their equivalents, and was forthwith pronounced an Englishman by the old fellow, who, brandishing his musket, exclaimed:—

“This man is not Calros; he is what he declares himself to be, an Englishman, and whosoever seeks to injure him shall have to do with Antonio de la Trava, el valiente de Finisterra.”  No person sought to impugn this verdict, and it was at length determined that I should be sent to Corcuvion, to be examined by the alcalde mayor of the district.  “But,” said the alcalde of Finisterre, “what is to be done with the other fellow?  He at least is no Englishman.  Bring him forward, and let us hear what he has to say for himself.  Now, fellow, who are you, and what is your master?”

Guide.—I am Sebastianillo, a poor broken mariner of Padron, and my master for the present is the gentleman whom you see, the most valiant and wealthy of all the English.  He has two ships at Vigo laden with riches.  I told you so when you first seized me up there in our posada.

Alcalde.—Where is your passport?

Guide.—I have no passport.  Who would think of bringing a passport to such a place as this, where I don’t suppose there are two individuals who can read?  I have no passport; my master’s passport of course includes me.

Alcalde.—It does not.  And since you have no passport, and have confessed that your name is Sebastian, you shall be shot.  Antonio de la Trava, do you and the musketeers lead this Sebastianillo forth, and shoot him before the door.

p. 33Antonio de la Trava.—With much pleasure, Señor Alcalde, since you order it.  With respect to this fellow, I shall not trouble myself to interfere.  He at least is no Englishman.  He has more the look of a wizard or nuveiro; one of those devils who raise storms and sink launches.  Moreover, he says he is from Padron, and those of that place are all thieves and drunkards.  They once played me a trick, and I would gladly be at the shooting of the whole pueblo.

I now interfered, and said that if they shot the guide they must shoot me too; expatiating at the same time on the cruelty and barbarity of taking away the life of a poor unfortunate fellow who, as might be seen at the first glance, was only half-witted; adding, moreover, that if any person was guilty in this case it was myself, as the other could only be considered in the light of a servant acting under my orders.

“The safest plan, after all,” said the alcalde, “appears to be to send you both prisoners to Corcuvion, where the head alcalde can dispose of you as he thinks proper.  You must, however, pay for your escort; for it is not to be supposed that the housekeepers of Finisterre have nothing else to do than to ramble about the country with every chance fellow who finds his way to this town.”  “As for that matter,” said Antonio, “I will take charge of them both.  I am the valiente of Finisterre, and fear no two men living.  Moreover, I am sure that the captain here will make it worth my while, else he is no Englishman.  Therefore let us be quick, and set out for Corcuvion at once, as it is getting late.  First of all, however, captain, I must search you and your baggage.  You have no arms, of course?  But it is best to make all sure.”

p. 34Long ere it was dark I found myself again on the pony, in company with my guide, wending our way along the beach in the direction of Corcuvion.  Antonio de la Trava tramped heavily on before, his musket on his shoulder.

Myself.—Are you not afraid, Antonio, to be thus alone with two prisoners, one of whom is on horseback?  If we were to try, I think we could overpower you.

Antonio de la Trava.—I am the valiente de Finisterra, and I fear no odds.

Myself.—Why do you call yourself the valiente of Finisterre?

Antonio de la Trava.—The whole district call me so.  When the French came to Finisterre and demolished the fort, three perished by my hand.  I stood on the mountain, up where I saw you scrambling to-day.  I continued firing at the enemy, until three detached themselves in pursuit of me.  The fools! two perished amongst the rocks by the fire of this musket, and as for the third, I beat his head to pieces with the stock.  It is on that account that they call me the valiente of Finisterre.

Myself.—How came you to serve with the English fleet?  I think I heard you say that you were present when Nelson fell.

Antonio de la Trava.—I was captured by your countrymen, captain; and as I had been a sailor from my childhood, they were glad of my services.  I was nine months with them, and assisted at Trafalgar.  I saw the English admiral die.  You have something of his face, and your voice, when you spoke, sounded in my ears like his own.  I love the English, and on that account I saved you.  Think not that I would p. 35toil along these sands with you if you were one of my own countrymen.  Here we are at Duyo, captain.  Shall we refresh?

We did refresh, or rather Antonio de la Trava refreshed, swallowing pan after pan of wine, with a thirst which seemed unquenchable.  “That man was a greater wizard than myself,” whispered Sebastian, my guide, “who told us that the drunkards of Finisterre would play us a trick.”  At length the old hero of the Cape slowly rose, saying that we must hasten on to Corcuvion, or the night would overtake us by the way.

“What kind of person is the alcalde to whom you are conducting me?” said I.

“Oh, very different from him of Finisterre,” replied Antonio.  “This is a young Señorito, lately arrived from Madrid.  He is not even a Gallegan.  He is a mighty liberal, and it is owing chiefly to his orders that we have lately been so much on the alert.  It is said that the Carlists are meditating a descent on these parts of Galicia.  Let them only come to Finisterre; we are liberals there to a man, and the old valiente is ready to play the same part as in the time of the French.  But, as I was telling you before, the alcalde to whom I am conducting you is a young man, and very learned, and, if he thinks proper, he can speak English to you, even better than myself, notwithstanding I was a friend of Nelson, and fought by his side at Trafalgar.”

It was dark night before we reached Corcuvion.  Antonio again stopped to refresh at a wine-shop, after which he conducted us to the house of the alcalde.  His steps were by this time not particularly steady, and on arriving at the gate of the house, he stumbled p. 36over the threshold and fell.  He got up with an oath, and instantly commenced thundering at the door with the stock of his musket.  “Who is it?” at length demanded a soft female voice in Gallegan.  “The valiente of Finisterre,” replied Antonio; whereupon the gate was unlocked, and we beheld before us a very pretty female with a candle in her hand.  “What brings you here so late, Antonio?” she inquired.  “I bring two prisoners, mi pulida,” replied Antonio.  “Ave Maria!” she exclaimed.  “I hope they will do no harm.”  “I will answer for one,” replied the old man; “but as for the other, he is a nuveiro, and has sunk more ships than all his brethren in Galicia.  But be not afraid, my beauty,” he continued, as the female made the sign of the cross: “first lock the gate, and then show me the way to the alcalde.  I have much to tell him.”  The gate was locked, and bidding us stay below in the court-yard, Antonio followed the young woman up a stone stair, whilst we remained in darkness below.

After the lapse of about a quarter of an hour we again saw the candle gleam upon the staircase, and the young female appeared.  Coming up to me, she advanced the candle to my features, on which she gazed very intently.  After a long scrutiny she went to my guide, and having surveyed him still more fixedly, she turned to me, and said, in her best Spanish, “Señor Cavalier, I congratulate you on your servant.  He is the best-looking mozo in all Galicia.  Vaya! if he had but a coat to his back, and did not go barefoot, I would accept him at once as a novio; but I have unfortunately made a vow never to marry a poor man, but only one who has got a heavy purse and can buy me fine clothes.  So you p. 37are a Carlist, I suppose?  Vaya!  I do not like you the worse for that.  But, being so, how went you to Finisterre, where they are all Cristinos and negros?  Why did you not go to my village?  None would have meddled with you there.  Those of my village are of a different stamp to the drunkards of Finisterre.  Those of my village never interfere with honest people.  Vaya! how I hate that drunkard of Finisterre who brought you; he is so old and ugly; were it not for the love which I bear to the Señor Alcalde, I would at once unlock the gate and bid you go forth, you and your servant, el buen mozo”. [37]

Antonio now descended.  “Follow me,” said he; “his worship the alcalde will be ready to receive you in a moment.”  Sebastian and myself followed him upstairs to a room, where, seated behind a table, we beheld a young man of low stature, but handsome features, and very fashionably dressed.  He appeared to be inditing a letter, which, when he had concluded, he delivered to a secretary to be transcribed.  He then looked at me for a moment fixedly, and the following conversation ensued between us:—

Alcalde.—I see that you are an Englishman, and my friend Antonio here informs me that you have been arrested at Finisterre.

Myself.—He tells you true; and but for him I believe that I should have fallen by the hands of those savage fishermen.

Alcalde.—The inhabitants of Finisterre are brave, and are all liberals.  Allow me to look at your passport?  Yes, all in form.  Truly it was very ridiculous that they should have arrested you as a Carlist.

p. 38Myself.—Not only as a Carlist, but as Don Carlos himself.

Alcalde.—Oh! most ridiculous; mistake a countryman of the grand Baintham for such a Goth!

Myself.—Excuse me, sir, you speak of the grand somebody.

Alcalde.—The grand Baintham.  He who has invented laws for all the world.  I hope shortly to see them adopted in this unhappy country of ours.

Myself.—Oh! you mean Jeremy Bentham.  Yes! a very remarkable man in his way.

Alcalde.—In his way! in all ways.  The most universal genius which the world ever produced:—a Solon, a Plato, and a Lope de Vega.

Myself.—I have never read his writings.  I have no doubt that he was a Solon; and as you say, a Plato.  I should scarcely have thought, however, that he could be ranked as a poet with Lope de Vega.

Alcalde.—How surprising!  I see, indeed, that you know nothing of his writings, though an Englishman.  Now, here am I, a simple alcalde of Galicia, yet I possess all the writings of Baintham on that shelf, and I study them day and night.

Myself.—You doubtless, sir, possess the English language.

Alcalde.—I do.  I mean that part of it which is contained in the writings of Baintham.  I am most truly glad to see a countryman of his in these Gothic wildernesses.  I understand and appreciate your motives for visiting them: excuse the incivility and rudeness which you have experienced.  But we will endeavour to make you reparation.  You are this moment free: but it is late; I must find you a lodging for the night.  I know one close by which will just suit you.  Let us p. 39repair thither this moment.  Stay, I think I see a book in your hand.

Myself.—The New Testament.

Alcalde.—What book is that?

Myself.—A portion of the sacred writings, the Bible.

Alcalde.—Why do you carry such a book with you?

Myself.—One of my principal motives in visiting Finisterre was to carry this book to that wild place.

Alcalde.—Ha, ha! how very singular.  Yes, I remember.  I have heard that the English highly prize this eccentric book.  How very singular that the countrymen of the grand Baintham should set any value upon that old monkish book!

It was now late at night, and my new friend attended me to the lodging which he had destined for me, and which was at the house of a respectable old female, where I found a clean and comfortable room.  On the way I slipped a gratuity into the hand of Antonio, and on my arrival, formally, and in the presence of the alcalde, presented him with the Testament, which I requested he would carry back to Finisterre, and keep in remembrance of the Englishman in whose behalf he had so effectually interposed.

Antonio.—I will do so, your worship, and when the winds blow from the north-west, preventing our launches from putting to sea, I will read your present.  Farewell, my captain, and when you next come to Finisterre, I hope it will be in a valiant English bark, with plenty of contraband on board, and not across the country on a pony, in company with nuveiros and men of Padron.

Presently arrived the handmaid of the alcalde with a basket, which she took into the kitchen, where she prepared an excellent supper for her master’s friend.  p. 40On its being served up the alcalde bade me farewell, having first demanded whether he could in any way forward my plans.

“I return to Saint James to-morrow,” I replied, “and I sincerely hope that some occasion will occur which will enable me to acquaint the world with the hospitality which I have experienced from so accomplished a scholar as the Alcalde of Corcuvion.”


Corunna—Crossing the Bay—Ferrol—The Dock-yard—Where are we now?—Greek Ambassador—Lantern-Light—The Ravine—Viveiro—Evening—Marsh and Quagmire—Fair Words and Fair Money—The Leathern Girth—Eyes of Lynx—The Knavish Guide.

From Corcuvion I returned to St. James and Corunna, and now began to make preparation for directing my course to the Asturias.  In the first place I parted with my Andalusian horse, which I considered unfit for the long and mountainous journey I was about to undertake, his constitution having become much debilitated from his Gallegan travels.  Owing to horses being exceedingly scarce at Corunna, I had no difficulty in disposing of him at a far higher price than he originally cost me.  A young and wealthy merchant of Corunna, who was a national guardsman, became enamoured of his glossy skin and long mane and tail.  For my own part, I was glad to part with him for more reasons than one; he was both vicious and savage, and was continually getting me into scrapes in the stables of the posadas where we slept or baited.  An old Castilian peasant, whose pony he had maltreated, once said to me, “Sir Cavalier, if you have any love or respect for yourself, get rid, I beseech you, of that beast, who is capable of proving the ruin p. 42of a kingdom.”  So I left him behind at Corunna, where I subsequently learned that he became glandered and died.  Peace to his memory!

From Corunna I crossed the bay to Ferrol, whilst Antonio with our remaining horse followed by land, a rather toilsome and circuitous journey, although the distance by water is scarcely three leagues.  I was very sea-sick during the passage, and lay almost senseless at the bottom of the small launch in which I had embarked, and which was crowded with people.  The wind was adverse, and the water rough.  We could make no sail, but were impelled along by the oars of five or six stout mariners, who sang all the while Gallegan ditties.  Suddenly the sea appeared to have become quite smooth, and my sickness at once deserted me.  I rose upon my feet and looked around.  We were in one of the strangest places imaginable.  A long and narrow passage overhung on either side by a stupendous barrier of black and threatening rocks.  The line of the coast was here divided by a natural cleft, yet so straight and regular that it seemed not the work of chance but design.  The water was dark and sullen, and of immense depth.  This passage, which is about a mile in length, is the entrance to a broad basin, at whose farther extremity stands the town of Ferrol.

Sadness came upon me as soon as I entered this place.  Grass was growing in the streets, and misery and distress stared me in the face on every side.  Ferrol is the grand naval arsenal of Spain, and has shared in the ruin of the once splendid Spanish navy: it is no longer thronged with those thousand shipwrights who prepared for sea the tremendous three-deckers and long frigates, the greater part of which p. 43were destroyed at Trafalgar.  Only a few ill-paid and half-starved workmen still linger about, scarcely sufficient to repair any guarda costa [43a] which may put in dismantled by the fire of some English smuggling schooner from Gibraltar.  Half the inhabitants of Ferrol [43b] beg their bread; and amongst these, as it is said, are not unfrequently found retired naval officers, many of them maimed or otherwise wounded, who are left to pine in indigence: their pensions or salaries having been allowed to run three or four years in arrear, owing to the exigencies of the times.  A crowd of importunate beggars followed me to the posada, and even attempted to penetrate to the apartment to which I was conducted.  “Who are you?” said I to a woman who flung herself at my feet, and who bore in her countenance evident marks of former gentility.  “A widow, sir,” she replied, in very good French; “a widow of a brave officer, once admiral of this port.”  The misery and degradation of modern Spain are nowhere so strikingly manifested as at Ferrol.

Yet even here there is still much to admire.  Notwithstanding its present state of desolation, it contains some good streets, and abounds with handsome houses.  p. 44The alameda is planted with nearly a thousand elms, of which almost all are magnificent trees, and the poor Ferrolese, with the genuine spirit of localism so prevalent in Spain, boast that their town contains a better public walk than Madrid, of whose prado, when they compare the two, they speak in terms of unmitigated contempt.  At one end of this alameda stands the church, the only one in Ferrol.  To this church I repaired the day after my arrival, which was Sunday.  I found it quite insufficient to contain the number of worshippers who, chiefly from the country, not only crowded the interior, but, bareheaded, were upon their knees before the door to a considerable distance down the walk.

Parallel with the alameda extends the wall of the naval arsenal and dock.  I spent several hours in walking about these places, to visit which it is necessary to procure a written permission from the captain-general of Ferrol.  They filled me with astonishment.  I have seen the royal dock-yards of Russia and England, but, for grandeur of design and costliness of execution, they cannot for a moment compare with these wonderful monuments of the bygone naval pomp of Spain.  I shall not attempt to describe them, but content myself with observing that the oblong basin, which is surrounded with a granite mole, is capacious enough to permit a hundred first-rates to lie conveniently in ordinary: but instead of such a force, I saw only a sixty-gun frigate and two brigs lying in this basin; and to this inconsiderable number of vessels is the present war marine of Spain reduced.

I waited for the arrival of Antonio two or three days at Ferrol, and still he came not: late one evening, however, as I was looking down the street, I p. 45perceived him advancing, leading our only horse by the bridle.  He informed me that, at about three leagues from Corunna, the heat of the weather and the flies had so distressed the animal that it had fallen down in a kind of fit, from which it had been only relieved by copious bleeding, on which account he had been compelled to halt for a day upon the road.  The horse was evidently in a very feeble state; and had a strange rattling in its throat, which alarmed me at first.  I, however, administered some remedies, and in a few days deemed him sufficiently recovered to proceed.

We accordingly started from Ferrol, having first hired a pony for myself, and a guide who was to attend us as far as Rivadeo, [45] twenty leagues from Ferrol, and on the confines of the Asturias.  The day at first was fine, but ere we reached Novales, a distance of three leagues, the sky became overcast, and a mist descended, accompanied by a drizzling rain.  The country through which we passed was very picturesque.  At about two in the afternoon we could descry through the mist the small fishing-town of Santa Marta on our left, with its beautiful bay.  Travelling along the summit of a line of hills, we presently entered a chestnut forest, which appeared to be without limit: the rain still descended, and kept up a ceaseless pattering among the broad green leaves.  “This is the commencement of the autumnal rains,” said the guide.  “Many is the wetting that you will get, my masters, before you reach Oviedo.”  “Have you ever been as far as Oviedo?” I demanded.  “No,” he replied, “and once only to Rivadeo, the place to p. 46which I am now conducting you, and I tell you frankly that we shall soon be in wildernesses where the way is hard to find, especially at night, and amidst rain and waters.  I wish I were fairly back to Ferrol, for I like not this route, which is the worst in Galicia, in more respects than one; but where my master’s pony goes, there must I go too; such is the life of us guides.”  I shrugged my shoulders at this intelligence, which was by no means cheering, but made no answer.  At length, about nightfall, we emerged from the forest, and presently descended into a deep valley at the foot of lofty hills.

“Where are we now?” I demanded of the guide, as we crossed a rude bridge at the bottom of the valley, down which a rivulet swollen by the rain foamed and roared.  “In the valley of Coisa Doiro,” [46] he replied; “and it is my advice that we stay here for the night and do not venture among those hills, through which lies the path to Viveiro; for as soon as we get there, adios!  I shall be bewildered, which will prove the destruction of us all.”  “Is there a village nigh?”  “Yes, the village is right before us, and we shall be there in a moment.”  We soon reached the village, which stood amongst some tall trees at the entrance of a pass which led up amongst the hills.  Antonio dismounted, and entered two or three of the cabins, but presently came to me, saying, “We cannot stay here, mon maître, without being devoured by vermin; we had better be amongst the hills than in this place.  There is neither fire nor light in these cabins, and the rain is streaming through the roofs.”  The guide, however, refused to proceed.  “I could scarcely find my way amongst those hills by daylight,” he cried surlily, p. 47“much less at night, ’midst storm and bretima.”  We procured some wine and maize bread from one of the cottages.  Whilst we were partaking of these, Antonio said, “Mon maître, the best thing we can do in our present situation is to hire some fellow of this village to conduct us through the hills to Viveiro.  There are no beds in this place, and if we lie down in the litter in our damp clothes we shall catch a tertian of Galicia. [47]  Our present guide is of no service; we must therefore find another to do his duty.”  Without waiting for a reply, he flung down the crust of broa which he was munching and disappeared.  I subsequently learned that he went to the cottage of the alcalde, and demanded, in the queen’s name, a guide for the Greek ambassador, who was benighted on his way to the Asturias.  In about ten minutes I again saw him, attended by the local functionary, who, to my surprise, made me a profound bow, and stood bare-headed in the rain.  “His excellency,” shouted Antonio, “is in need of a guide to Viveiro.  People of our description are not compelled to pay for any service which they may require; however, as his excellency has bowels of compassion, he is willing to give three pesetas to any competent person who will accompany him to Viveiro, and as much bread and wine as he can eat and drink on his arrival.”  “His excellency shall be served,” said the alcalde; “however, as the way is long and the path is bad, and there is much bretima amongst the hills, it appears to me that, besides the bread and wine, his excellency can do no less than offer four pesetas to the guide who may be willing to accompany him to Viveiro; and I know no one better than my own son-in-law, Juanito.”  “Content, p. 48Señor Alcalde,” I replied; “produce the guide, and the extra peseta shall be forthcoming in due season.”

Soon appeared Juanito with a lantern in his hand.  We instantly set forward.  The two guides began conversing in Gallegan.  “Mon maître,” said Antonio, “this new scoundrel is asking the old one what he thinks we have got in our portmanteaus.”  Then, without awaiting my answer, he shouted, “Pistols, ye barbarians!  Pistols, as you shall learn to your cost, if you do not cease speaking in that gibberish and converse in Castilian.”  The Gallegans were silent, and presently the first guide dropped behind, whilst the other with the lantern moved before.  “Keep in the rear,” said Antonio to the former, “and at a distance: know one thing, moreover, that I can see behind as well as before.  Mon maître,” said he to me, “I don’t suppose these fellows will attempt to do us any harm, more especially as they do not know each other; it is well, however, to separate them, for this is a time and place which might tempt any one to commit robbery and murder too.”

The rain still continued to fall uninterruptedly, the path was rugged and precipitous, and the night was so dark that we could only see indistinctly the hills which surrounded us.  Once or twice our guide seemed to have lost his way: he stopped, muttered to himself, raised his lantern on high, and would then walk slowly and hesitatingly forward.  In this manner we proceeded for three or four hours, when I asked the guide how far we were from Viveiro.  “I do not know exactly where we are, your worship,” he replied, “though I believe we are in the route.  We can scarcely, however, be less than two mad leagues from Viveiro.”  “Then we shall not arrive there before morning,” interrupted Antonio, p. 49“for a mad league of Galicia means at least two of Castile; and perhaps we are doomed never to arrive there, if the way thither leads down this precipice.”  As he spoke, the guide seemed to descend into the bowels of the earth.  “Stop,” said I; “where are you going?”  “To Viveiro, Senhor,” replied the fellow: “this is the way to Viveiro; there is no other.  I now know where we are.”  The light of the lantern shone upon the dark red features of the guide, who had turned round to reply, as he stood some yards down the side of a dingle or ravine overgrown with thick trees, beneath whose leafy branches a frightfully steep path descended.  I dismounted from the pony, and delivering the bridle to the other guide, said, “Here is your master’s horse; if you please you may lead him down that abyss, but as for myself I wash my hands of the matter.”  The fellow, without a word of reply, vaulted into the saddle, and with a vamos, Perico! [49] to the pony, impelled the creature to the descent.  “Come, Senhor,” said he with the lantern, “there is no time to be lost; my light will be presently extinguished, and this is the worst bit in the whole road.”  I thought it very probable that he was about to lead us to some den of cut-throats, where we might be sacrificed; but, taking courage, I seized our own horse by the bridle, and followed the fellow down the ravine amidst rocks and brambles.  The descent lasted nearly ten minutes, and ere we had entirely accomplished it, the light in the lantern went out, and we remained in nearly total darkness.

Encouraged, however, by the guide, who assured us there was no danger, we at length reached the bottom of the ravine; here we encountered a rill of water, p. 50through which we were compelled to wade as high as the knee.  In the midst of the water I looked up and caught a glimpse of the heavens through the branches of the trees, which all around clothed the shelving sides of the ravine, and completely embowered the channel of the stream: to a place more strange and replete with gloom and horror no benighted traveller ever found his way.  After a short pause we commenced scaling the opposite bank, which we did not find so steep as the other, and a few minutes’ exertion brought us to the top.

Shortly afterwards the rain abated, and the moon arising, cast a dim light through the watery mists.  The way had become less precipitous, and in about two hours we descended to the shore of an extensive creek, along which we proceeded till we reached a spot where many boats and barges lay with their keels upward upon the sand.  Presently we beheld before us the walls of Viveiro, upon which the moon was shedding its sickly lustre.  We entered by a lofty and seemingly ruinous archway, and the guide conducted us at once to the posada.

Every person in Viveiro appeared to be buried in profound slumber; not so much as a dog saluted us with his bark.  After much knocking we were admitted into the posada, a large and dilapidated edifice.  We had scarcely housed ourselves and horses when the rain began to fall with yet more violence than before, attended with much thunder and lightning.  Antonio and I, exhausted with fatigue, betook ourselves to flock beds in a ruinous chamber, into which the rain penetrated through many a cranny, whilst the guides ate bread and drank wine till the morning.

When I arose I was gladdened by the sight of a p. 51fine day.  Antonio forthwith prepared a savoury breakfast of stewed fowl, of which we stood in much need after the ten-league journey of the preceding day over the ways which I have attempted to describe.  I then walked out to view the town, which consists of little more than one long street, on the side of a steep mountain thickly clad with forest and fruit-trees.  At about ten we continued our journey, accompanied by our first guide, the other having returned to Coisa Doiro some hours previously.

Our route throughout this day was almost constantly within sight of the shores of the Cantabrian sea, whose windings we followed.  The country was barren, and in many parts covered with huge stones: cultivated spots, however, were to be seen, where vines were growing.  We met with but few human habitations.  We, however, journeyed on cheerfully, for the sun was once more shining in full brightness, gilding the wild moors, and shining upon the waters of the distant sea, which lay in unruffled calmness.

At evening fall we were in the neighbourhood of the shore, with a range of wood-covered hills on our right.  Our guide led us towards a creek bordered by a marsh, but he soon stopped, and declared that he did not know whither he was conducting us.

Mon maître,” said Antonio, “let us be our own guides; it is, as you see, of no use to depend upon this fellow, whose whole science consists in leading people into quagmires.”

We therefore turned aside, and proceeded along the marsh for a considerable distance, till we reached a narrow path which led us into a thick wood, where we soon became completely bewildered.  On a sudden, after wandering about a considerable time, we heard p. 52the noise of water, and presently the clack of a wheel.  Following the sound, we arrived at a low stone mill, built over a brook; here we stopped and shouted, but no answer was returned.  “The place is deserted,” said Antonio; “here, however, is a path, which, if we follow it, will doubtless lead us to some human habitation.  So we went along the path, which, in about ten minutes, brought us to the door of a cabin, in which we saw lights.  Antonio dismounted and opened the door: “Is there any one here who can conduct us to Rivadeo?” he demanded.

Senhor,” answered a voice, “Rivadeo is more than five leagues from here, and, moreover, there is a river to cross.”

“Then to the next village,” continued Antonio.

“I am a vecino of the next village, which is on the way to Rivadeo,” said another voice, “and I will lead you thither, if you will give me fair words, and, what is better, fair money.”

A man now came forth, holding in his hand a large stick.  He strode sturdily before us, and in less than half an hour led us out of the wood.  In another half-hour he brought us to a group of cabins situated near the sea; he pointed to one of these, and having received a peseta, bade us farewell.

The people of the cottage willingly consented to receive us for the night; it was much more cleanly and commodious than the wretched huts of the Gallegan peasantry in general.  The ground floor consisted of a keeping room and stable, whilst above was a long loft, in which were some neat and comfortable flock beds.  I observed several masts and sails of boats.  The family consisted of two brothers, with their wives and families.  One was a fisherman; but p. 53the other, who appeared to be the principal person, informed me that he had resided for many years in service at Madrid, and, having amassed a small sum, he had at length returned to his native village, where he had purchased some land, which he farmed.  All the family used the Castilian language in their common discourse, and on inquiry I learned that the Gallegan was not much spoken in that neighbourhood.  I have forgotten the name of this village, which is situated on the estuary of the Foz, which rolls down from Mondonedo.  In the morning we crossed this estuary in a large boat, with our horses, and about noon arrived at Rivadeo.

“Now, your worship,” said the guide, who had accompanied us from Ferrol, “I have brought you as far as I bargained, and a hard journey it has been: I therefore hope you will suffer Perico and myself to remain here to-night at your expense, and to-morrow we will go back; at present we are both sorely tired.”

“I never mounted a better pony than Perico,” said I, “and never met with a worse guide than yourself.  You appear to be perfectly ignorant of the country, and have done nothing but bring us into difficulties.  You may, however, stay here for the night, as you say you are tired, and to-morrow you may return to Ferrol, where I counsel you to adopt some other trade.”  This was said at the door of the posada of Rivadeo.

“Shall I lead the horses to a stable?” said the fellow.

“As you please,” said I.

Antonio looked after him for a moment, as he was leading the animals away, and then, shaking his head, followed slowly after.  In about a quarter of an hour p. 54he returned, laden with the furniture of our own horse, and with a smile upon his countenance.  “Mon maître,” said he, “I have throughout the journey had a bad opinion of this fellow, and now I have detected him: his motive in requesting permission to stay was a desire to purloin something from us.  He was very officious in the stable about our horse, and I now miss the new leathern girth which secured the saddle, and which I observed him looking at frequently on the road.  He has by this time doubtless hid it somewhere; we are quite secure of him, however, for he has not yet received the hire for the pony, nor the gratuity for himself.”

The guide returned just as he had concluded speaking.  Dishonesty is always suspicious.  The fellow cast a glance upon us, and probably beholding in our countenances something which he did not like, he suddenly said, “Give me the horse-hire and my own propina, for Perico and I wish to be off instantly.”

“How is this?” said I; “I thought you and Perico were both fatigued, and wished to rest here for the night: you have soon recovered from your weariness.”

“I have thought over the matter,” said the fellow, “and my master will be angry if I loiter here: pay up, therefore, and let us go.”

“Certainly,” said I, “if you wish it.  Is the horse furniture all right?”

“Quite so,” said he; “I delivered it all to your servant.”

“It is all here,” said Antonio, “with the exception of the leathern girth.”

“I have not got it,” said the guide.

“Of course not,” said I.  “Let us proceed to the stable; we shall perhaps find it there.”

p. 55To the stable we went, which we searched through: no girth, however, was forthcoming.  “He has got it buckled round his middle beneath his pantaloons, mon maître,” said Antonio, whose eyes were moving about like those of a lynx; “I saw the protuberance as he stooped down.  However, let us take no notice: he is here surrounded by his countrymen, who, if we were to seize him, might perhaps take his part.  As I said before, he is in our power, as we have not paid him.”

The fellow now began to talk in Gallegan to the bystanders (several persons having collected), wishing the Denho to take him if he knew anything of the missing property.  Nobody, however, seemed inclined to take his part; and those who listened only shrugged their shoulders.  We returned to the portal of the posada, the fellow following us, clamouring for the horse-hire and propina.  We made him no answer, and at length he went away, threatening to apply to the justicia; in about ten minutes, however, he came running back with the girth in his hand.  “I have just found it,” said he, “in the street: your servant dropped it.”

I took the leather and proceeded very deliberately to count out the sum to which the horse-hire amounted, and having delivered it to him in the presence of witnesses, I said, “During the whole journey you have been of no service to us whatever; nevertheless, you have fared like ourselves, and have had all you could desire to eat and drink.  I intended, on your leaving us, to present you, moreover, with a propina of two dollars; but since, notwithstanding our kind treatment, you endeavoured to pillage us, I will not give you a cuarto: go, therefore, about your business.”

All the audience expressed their satisfaction at this p. 56sentence, and told him that he had been rightly-served, and that he was a disgrace to Galicia.  Two or three women crossed themselves, and asked him if he was not afraid that the Denho, whom he had invoked, would take him away.  At last, a respectable-looking man said to him, “Are you not ashamed to have attempted to rob two innocent strangers?”

“Strangers!” roared the fellow, who was by this time foaming with rage, “innocent strangers, carracho! they know more of Spain and Galicia, too, than the whole of us.  Oh, Denho, that servant is no man, but a wizard, a nuveiro.—Where is Perico?”

He mounted Perico, and proceeded forthwith to another posada.  The tale, however, of his dishonesty had gone before him, and no person would house him; whereupon he returned on his steps, and seeing me looking out of the window of the house, he gave a savage shout, and shaking his fist at me, galloped out of the town, the people pursuing him with hootings and revilings.


Martin of Rivadeo—The Factious Mare—Asturians—Luarca—The Seven Bellotas—Hermits—The Asturian’s Tale—Strange Guests—The Big Servant—Batuschca.

“What may your business be?” said I to a short, thick, merry-faced fellow in a velveteen jerkin and canvas pantaloons, who made his way into my apartment in the dusk of the evening.

“I am Martin of Rivadeo, your worship,” replied the man, “an alquilador by profession.  I am told that you want a horse for your journey into the Asturias to-morrow, and of course a guide: now, if that be the case, I counsel you to hire myself and mare.”

“I am become tired of guides,” I replied; “so much so that I was thinking of purchasing a pony, and proceeding without any guide at all.  The last which we had was an infamous character.”

“So I have been told, your worship, and it was well for the bribon that I was not in Rivadeo when the affair to which you allude occurred.  But he was gone with the pony Perico before I came back, or I would have bled the fellow to a certainty with my knife.  He is a disgrace to the profession, which is one of the most honourable and ancient in the world.  Perico himself must have been ashamed of him, for Perico, p. 58though a pony, is a gentleman, one of many capacities, and well known upon the roads.  He is only inferior to my mare.”

“Are you well acquainted with the road to Oviedo?” I demanded.

“I am not, your worship; that is, no farther than Luarca, [58a] which is the first day’s journey.  I do not wish to deceive you, therefore let me go with you no farther than that place; though perhaps I might serve for the whole journey, for though I am unacquainted with the country, I have a tongue in my head, and nimble feet to run and ask questions.  I will, however, answer for myself no farther than Luarca, where you can please yourselves.  Your being strangers is what makes me wish to accompany you, for I like the conversation of strangers, from whom I am sure to gain information both entertaining and profitable.  I wish, moreover, to convince you that we guides of Galicia are not all thieves, which I am sure you will not suppose if you only permit me to accompany you as far as Luarca.”

I was so much struck with the fellow’s good humour and frankness, and more especially by the originality of character displayed in almost every sentence which he uttered, that I readily engaged him to guide us to Luarca; whereupon he left me, promising to be ready with his mare at eight next morning.

Rivadeo is one of the principal seaports of Galicia, and is admirably situated for commerce, on a deep firth, into which the river Mirando [58b] debouches.  It contains many magnificent buildings, and an extensive p. 59square or plaza, which is planted with trees.  I observed several vessels in the harbour; and the population, which is rather numerous, exhibited none of those marks of misery and dejection which I had lately observed among the Ferrolese.

On the morrow Martin of Rivadeo made his appearance at the appointed hour with his mare.  It was a lean haggard animal, not much larger than a pony; it had good points, however, and was very clean in its hinder legs, and Martin insisted that it was the best animal of its kind in all Spain.  “It is a factious mare,” said he, “and I believe an Alavese.  When the Carlists came here it fell lame, and they left it behind, and I purchased it for a dollar.  It is not lame now, however, as you shall soon see.”

We had now reached the firth which divides Galicia from the Asturias.  A kind of barge was lying about two yards from the side of the quay, waiting to take us over.  Towards this Martin led his mare, and giving an encouraging shout, the creature without any hesitation sprang over the intervening space into the barge.  “I told you she was a facciosa,” said Martin; “none but a factious animal would have taken such a leap.”

We all embarked in the barge and crossed over the firth, which is in this place nearly a mile broad, to Castro Pol, [59] the first town in the Asturias.  I now mounted the factious mare, whilst Antonio followed on my own horse.  Martin led the way, exchanging jests with every person whom he met on the road, and occasionally enlivening the way with an extemporaneous song.

We were now in the Asturias, and about noon we reached Navias, a small fishing-town, situate on a ria p. 60or firth: in the neighbourhood are ragged mountains called the Sierra de Buron, which stand in the shape of a semicircle.  We saw a small vessel in the harbour, which we subsequently learned was from the Basque provinces, come for a cargo of cider or sagadua, the beverage so dearly loved by the Basques.  As we passed along the narrow street, Antonio was hailed with an “Ola!” from a species of shop in which three men, apparently shoemakers, were seated.  He stopped for some time to converse with them, and when he joined us at the posada where we halted, I asked him who they were: “Mon maître,” said he, “ce sont des messieurs de ma connoissance.  I have been fellow-servant at different times with all three; and I tell you beforehand, that we shall scarcely pass through a village in this country where I shall not find an acquaintance.  All the Asturians, at some period of their lives, make a journey to Madrid, where, if they can obtain a situation, they remain until they have scraped up sufficient to turn to advantage in their own country; and as I have served in all the great houses in Madrid, I am acquainted with the greatest part of them.  I have nothing to say against the Asturians, save that they are close and penurious whilst at service; but they are not thieves, neither at home nor abroad, and though we must have our wits about us in their country, I have heard we may travel from one end of it to the other without the slightest fear of being either robbed or ill-treated, which is not the case in Galicia, where we were always in danger of having our throats cut.”

Leaving Navias, we proceeded through a wild desolate country, till we reached the pass of Baralla, which lies up the side of a huge wall of rocks, which at a p. 61distance appear of a light green colour, though perfectly bare of herbage or plants of any description.

“This pass,” said Martin of Rivadeo, “bears a very evil reputation, and I should not like to travel it after sunset.  It is not infested by robbers, but by things much worse, the duendes of two friars of Saint Francis.  It is said that in the old time, long before the convents were suppressed, two friars of the order of Saint Francis left their convent to beg.  It chanced that they were very successful, but as they were returning at nightfall by this pass, they had a quarrel about what they had collected, each insisting that he had done his duty better than the other; at last, from high words they fell to abuse, and from abuse to blows.  What do you think these demons of friars did?  They took off their cloaks, and at the end of each they made a knot, in which they placed a large stone, and with these they thrashed and belaboured each other till both fell dead.  Master, I know not which are the worst plagues, friars, curates, or sparrows:

‘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, Lord God.’”

In about two hours from this time we reached Luarca, the situation of which is most singular.  It stands in a deep hollow, whose sides are so precipitous that it is impossible to descry the town until you stand just above it.  At the northern extremity of this hollow is a small harbour, the sea entering by a narrow cleft.  We found a large and comfortable posada, and by the advice of Martin, made inquiry for a fresh guide p. 62and horse; we were informed, however, that all the horses of the place were absent, and that if we waited for their return, we must tarry for two days.  “I had a presentiment,” said Martin, “when we entered Luarca, that we were not doomed to part at present.  You must now hire my mare and me as far as Gijon, [62a] from whence there is a conveyance to Oviedo.  To tell you the truth, I am by no means sorry that the guides are absent, for I am pleased with your company, as I make no doubt you are with mine.  I will now go and write a letter to my wife at Rivadeo, informing her that she must not expect to see me back for several days.”  He then went out of the room, singing the following stanza:—

“A handless man a letter did write,
A dumb dictated it word for word:
The person who read it had lost his sight,
And deaf was he who listened and heard.” [62b]

Early the next morning we emerged from the hollow of Luarca; about an hour’s riding brought us to Caneiro, a deep and romantic valley of rocks, shaded by tall chestnut trees.  Through the midst of this valley rushes a rapid stream, which we crossed in a boat.  “There is not such a stream for trout in all the Asturias,” said the ferryman.  “Look down into the waters and observe the large stones over which it flows; now in the proper season, and in fine weather, you cannot see those stones for the multitudes of fish which cover them.”

Leaving the valley behind us, we entered into a wild and dreary country, stony and mountainous.  The day was dull and gloomy, and all around looked sad p. 63and melancholy.  “Are we in the way for Gijon and Oviedo?” demanded Martin of an ancient female, who stood at the door of a cottage.

“For Gijon and Oviedo!” replied the crone; “many is the weary step you will have to make before you reach Gijon and Oviedo.  You must first of all crack the bellotas: you are just below them.”

“What does she mean by cracking the bellotas?” demanded I of Martin of Rivadeo.

“Did your worship never hear of the seven bellotas?” replied our guide.  “I can scarcely tell you what they are, as I have never seen them; I believe they are seven hills which we have to cross, and are called bellotas from some resemblance to acorns which it is fancied they bear.  I have often heard of these acorns, and am not sorry that I have now an opportunity of seeing them, though it is said that they are rather hard things for horses to digest.”

The Asturian mountains in this part rise to a considerable altitude.  They consist for the most part of dark granite, covered here and there with a thin layer of earth.  They approach very near to the sea, to which they slope down in broken ridges, between which are deep and precipitous defiles, each with its rivulet, the tribute of the hills to the salt flood.  The road traverses these defiles.  There are seven of them, which are called, in the language of the country, Las siete bellotas.  Of all these the most terrible is the midmost, down which rolls an impetuous torrent.  At the upper end of it rises a precipitous wall of rock, black as soot, to the height of several hundred yards; its top, as we passed, was enveloped with a veil of bretima.  From this gorge branch off, on either side, small dingles or glens, some of them so overgrown with p. 64trees and copsewood, that the eye is unable to penetrate the obscurity beyond a few yards.

“Fine places would some of these dingles prove for hermitages,” said I to Martin of Rivadeo.  “Holy men might lead a happy life there on roots and water, and pass many years absorbed in heavenly contemplation without ever being disturbed by the noise and turmoil of the world.”

“True, your worship,” replied Martin; “and perhaps on that very account there are no hermitages in the barrancos of the seven bellotas.  Our hermits had little inclination for roots and water, and had no kind of objection to be occasionally disturbed in their meditations.  Vaya!  I never yet saw a hermitage that was not hard by some rich town or village, or was not a regular resort for all the idle people in the neighbourhood.  Hermits are not fond of living in dingles, amongst wolves and foxes; for how in that case could they dispose of their poultry?  A hermit of my acquaintance left, when he died, a fortune of seven hundred dollars to his niece, the greatest part of which he scraped up by fattening turkeys.”

At the top of this bellota we found a wretched venta, where we refreshed ourselves, and then continued our journey.  Late in the afternoon we cleared the last of these difficult passes.  The wind began now to rise, bearing on its wings a drizzling rain.  We passed by Soto Luino, and shaping our course through a wild but picturesque country, we found ourselves about nightfall at the foot of a steep hill, up which led a narrow bridle-way, amidst a grove of lofty trees.  Long before we had reached the top it had become quite dark, and the rain had increased considerably.  We stumbled along in the obscurity, leading our horses, p. 65which were occasionally down on their knees, owing to the slipperiness of the path.  At last we accomplished the ascent in safety, and pushing briskly forward, we found ourselves in about half an hour at the entrance of Muros, a large village situated just on the declivity of the farther side of the hill.

A blazing fire in the posada soon dried our wet garments, and in some degree recompensed us for the fatigues which we had undergone in scrambling up the bellotas.  A rather singular place was this same posada of Muros.  It was a large rambling house, with a spacious kitchen, or common room, on the ground floor.  Above stairs was a large dining apartment, with an immense oak table, and furnished with cumbrous leathern chairs with high backs, apparently three centuries old at least.  Communicating with this apartment was a wooden gallery, open to the air, which led to a small chamber, in which I was destined to sleep, and which contained an old-fashioned tester-bed with curtains.  It was just one of those inns which romance writers are so fond of introducing in their descriptions, especially when the scene of adventure lies in Spain.  The host was a talkative Asturian.

The wind still howled, and the rain descended in torrents.  I sat before the fire in a very drowsy state, from which I was presently aroused by the conversation of the host.  “Señor,” said he, “it is now three years since I beheld foreigners in my house.  I remember it was about this time of the year, and just such a night as this, that two men on horseback arrived here.  What was singular, they came without any guide.  Two more strange-looking individuals I never yet beheld with eye-sight.  I shall never forget them.  The one was as tall as a giant, with much tawny p. 66moustache, like the coat of a badger, growing about his mouth.  He had a huge ruddy face, and looked dull and stupid, as he no doubt was, for when I spoke to him he did not seem to understand, and answered in a jabber, valgame Dios! [66] so wild and strange, that I remained staring at him with mouth and eyes open.  The other was neither tall nor red-faced, nor had he hair about his mouth, and indeed he had very little upon his head.  He was very diminutive, and looked like a jorobado; but, valgame Dios! such eyes, like wild cats’, so sharp and full of malice.  He spoke as good Spanish as I myself do, and yet he was no Spaniard.  Spaniard never looked like that man.  He was dressed in a zamarra, with much silver and embroidery, and wore an Andalusian hat, and I soon found that he was master, and that the other was servant.

Valgame Dios! what an evil disposition had that same foreign jorobado! and yet he had much grace, much humour, and said occasionally to me such comical things, that I was fit to die of laughter.  So he sat down to supper in the room above, and I may as well tell you here, that he slept in the same chamber where your worship will sleep to-night, and his servant waited behind his chair.  Well, I had curiosity, so I sat myself down at the table too, without asking leave.  Why should I?  I was in my own house, and an Asturian is fit company for a king, and is often of better blood.  Oh, what a strange supper was that.  If the servant made the slightest mistake in helping him, up would start the jorobado, jump upon his chair, and seizing the big giant by the hair, would cuff him on both sides of his face till I was afraid his teeth would have p. 67fallen out.  The giant, however, did not seem to care about it much.  He was used to it, I suppose.  Valgame Dios! if he had been a Spaniard he would not have submitted to it so patiently.  But what surprised me most was, that after beating his servant the master would sit down, and the next moment would begin conversing and laughing with him as if nothing had happened, and the giant also would laugh and converse with his master, for all the world as if he had not been beaten.

“You may well suppose, Señor, that I understood nothing of their discourse, for it was all in that strange unchristian tongue in which the giant answered me when I spoke to him; the sound of it is still ringing in my ears.  It was nothing like other languages.  Not like Bascuen, [67] not like the language in which your worship speaks to my namesake Signor Antonio here.  Valgame Dios!  I can compare it to nothing but the sound a person makes when he rinses his mouth with water.  There is one word which I think I still remember, for it was continually proceeding from the giant’s lips, but his master never used it.

“But the strangest part of the story is yet to be told.  The supper was ended, and the night was rather advanced; the rain still beat against the windows, even as it does at this moment.  Suddenly the jorobado pulled out his watch.  Valgame Dios! such a watch!  I will tell you one thing, Señor, that I could purchase all the Asturias, and Muros besides, with the brilliants which shone about the sides of that same watch; the room wanted no lamp, I trow, so great was the splendour which they cast.  So the jorobado looked at his watch, and then said to me, ‘I shall go to rest.’  He p. 68then took the lamp, and went through the gallery to his room, followed by his big servant.  Well, Señor, I cleared away the things, and then waited below for the servant, for whom I had prepared a comfortable bed, close by my own.  Señor, I waited patiently for an hour, till at last my patience was exhausted, and I ascended to the supper apartment, and passed through the gallery till I came to the door of the strange guest.  Señor, what do you think I saw at the door?”

“How should I know?” I replied.  “His riding-boots, perhaps.”

“No, Señor, I did not see his riding-boots; but, stretched on the floor with his head against the door, so that it was impossible to open it without disturbing him, lay the big servant fast asleep, his immense legs reaching nearly the whole length of the gallery.  I crossed myself, as well I might, for the wind was howling even as it is now, and the rain was rushing down into the gallery in torrents; yet there lay the big servant fast asleep, without any covering, without any pillow, not even a log, stretched out before his master’s door.

Señor, I got little rest that night, for I said to myself, I have evil wizards in my house, folks who are not human.  Once or twice I went up and peeped into the gallery, but there still lay the big servant fast asleep; so I crossed myself, and returned to my bed again.”

“Well,” said I, “and what occurred next day?”

“Nothing particular occurred next day: the jorobado came down and said comical things to me in good Spanish; and the big servant came down, but whatever he said, and he did not say much, I understood not, for it was in that disastrous jabber.  They stayed p. 69with me throughout the day till after supper-time, and then the jorobado gave me a gold ounce, and mounting their horses, they both departed as strangely as they had come, in the dark night, I know not whither.”

“Is that all?” I demanded.

“No, Señor, it is not all; for I was right in supposing them evil brujos: the very next day an express arrived, and a great search was made after them, and I was arrested for having harboured them.  This occurred just after the present wars had commenced.  It was said they were spies and emissaries of I don’t know what nation, and that they had been in all parts of the Asturias, holding conferences with some of the disaffected.  They escaped, however, and were never heard of more, though the animals which they rode were found without their riders, wandering amongst the hills; they were common ponies, and were of no value.  As for the brujos, it is believed that they embarked in some small vessel which was lying concealed in one of the rias of the coast.”

Myself.—What was the word which you continually heard proceeding from the lips of the big servant, and which you think you can remember?

Host.—Señor, it is now three years since I heard it, and at times I can remember it, and at others not; sometimes I have started up in my sleep repeating it.  Stay, Señor, I have it now at the point of my tongue: it was Patusca.

Myself.—Batuschca, you mean; the men were Russians.


Oviedo—The Ten Gentlemen—The Swiss again—Modest Request—The Robbers—Episcopal Benevolence—The Cathedral—Portrait of Feijoo.

I must now take a considerable stride in my journey, no less than from Muros to Oviedo, contenting myself with observing, that we proceeded from Muros to Velez, [70] and from thence to Gijon, where our guide Martin bade us farewell, and returned with his mare to Rivadeo.  The honest fellow did not part without many expressions of regret; indeed he even expressed a desire that I should take him and his mare into my service.  “For,” said he, “I have a great desire to run through all Spain, and even the world: and I am sure I shall never have a better opportunity than by attaching myself to your worship’s skirts.”  On my reminding him, however, of his wife and family, for he had both, he said, “True, true, I had forgotten them: happy the guide whose only wife and family are a mare and foal.”

Oviedo is about three leagues from Gijon.  Antonio rode the horse, whilst I proceeded thither in a kind of diligence which runs daily between the two towns.  The road is good, but mountainous.  I arrived safely at the capital of the Asturias, although at a rather p. 71unpropitious season, for the din of war was at the gate, and there was the cry of the captains and the shouting. [71]  Castile, at the time of which I am writing, was in the hands of the Carlists, who had captured and plundered Valladolid in much the same manner as they had Segovia some time before.  They were every day expected to march on Oviedo, in which case they might perhaps have experienced some resistance, a considerable body of troops being stationed there, who had erected some redoubts, and strongly fortified several of the convents, especially that of Santa Clara de la Vega.  All minds were in a state of feverish anxiety and suspense, more especially as no intelligence arrived from Madrid, which by the last accounts was said to be occupied by the bands of Cabrera and Palillos.

So it came to pass that one night I found myself in the ancient town of Oviedo, in a very large, scantily furnished, and remote room in an ancient posada, formerly a palace of the counts of Santa Cruz.  It was past ten, and the rain was descending in torrents.  I was writing, but suddenly ceased on hearing numerous footsteps ascending the creaking stairs which led to my apartment.  The door was flung open, and in walked nine men of tall stature, marshalled by a little hunchbacked personage.  They were all muffled in the long cloaks of Spain, but I instantly knew by their demeanour that they were caballeros, or gentlemen.  They placed themselves in a rank before the table where I was sitting.  Suddenly and simultaneously they all flung back their cloaks, and I perceived that every one bore a book in his hand; a book which I knew full well.  After a pause, which I was p. 72unable to break, for I sat lost in astonishment, and almost conceived myself to be visited by apparitions, the hunchback, advancing somewhat before the rest, said in soft silvery tones, “Señor Cavalier, was it you who brought this book to the Asturias?”  I now supposed that they were the civil authorities of the place come to take me into custody, and, rising from my seat, I exclaimed, “It certainly was I, and it is my glory to have done so.  The book is the New Testament of God: I wish it was in my power to bring a million.”  “I heartily wish so too,” said the little personage with a sigh.  “Be under no apprehension, Sir Cavalier; these gentlemen are my friends.  We have just purchased these books in the shop where you placed them for sale, and have taken the liberty of calling upon you, in order to return you our thanks for the treasure you have brought us.  I hope you can furnish us with the Old Testament also.”  I replied, that I was sorry to inform him that at present it was entirely out of my power to comply with his wish, as I had no Old Testaments in my possession, but did not despair of procuring some speedily from England.  He then asked me a great many questions concerning my biblical travels in Spain, and my success, and the views entertained by the Society with respect to Spain, adding, that he hoped we should pay particular attention to the Asturias, which he assured me was the best ground in the Peninsula for our labour.  After about half an hour’s conversation, he suddenly said, in the English language, “Good night, sir,” wrapped his cloak around him, and walked out as he had come.  His companions, who had hitherto not uttered a word, all repeated, “Good night, sir,” and, adjusting their cloaks, followed him.

p. 73In order to explain this strange scene, I must state, that in the morning I had visited the petty bookseller of the place, Longoria, and having arranged preliminaries with him, I sent him in the evening a package of forty Testaments, all I possessed, with some advertisements.  At the time he assured me that, though he was willing to undertake the sale, there was, nevertheless, not a prospect of success, as a whole month had elapsed since he had sold a book of any description, on account of the uncertainty of the times, and the poverty which pervaded the land; I therefore felt much dispirited.  This incident, however, admonished me not to be cast down when things look gloomiest, as the hand of the Lord is generally then most busy: that men may learn to perceive, that whatever good is accomplished is not their work, but His.

Two or three days after this adventure, I was once more seated in my large scantily-furnished room; it was about ten, of a dark melancholy morning, and the autumnal rain was again falling.  I had just breakfasted, and was about to sit down to my journal, when the door was flung open and in bounded Antonio.

Mon maître,” said he, quite breathless, “who do you think has arrived?”

“The Pretender, I suppose,” said I, in some trepidation; “if so, we are prisoners.”

“Bah, bah!” said Antonio, “it is not the Pretender, but one worth twenty of him; it is the Swiss of Saint James.”

“Benedict Mol, the Swiss!” said I.  “What! has he found the treasure?  But how did he come?  How is he dressed?”

Mon maître,” said Antonio, “he came on foot, if we may judge by his shoes, through which his toes p. 74are sticking; and as for his dress, he is in most villanous apparel.”

“There must be some mystery in this,” said I.  “Where is he at present?”

“Below, mon maître,” replied Antonio; “he came in quest of us.  But I no sooner saw him, than I hurried away to let you know.”

In a few minutes Benedict Mol found his way upstairs.  He was, as Antonio had remarked, in most villanous apparel, and nearly barefooted; his old Andalusian hat was dripping with rain.

Och, lieber Herr,” said Benedict, “how rejoiced I am to see you again!  Oh, the sight of your countenance almost repays me for all the miseries I have undergone since I parted with you at Saint James.”

Myself.—I can scarcely believe that I really see you here at Oviedo.  What motive can have induced you to come to such an out-of-the-way place from such an immense distance?

Benedict.—Lieber Herr, I will sit down and tell you all that has befallen me.  Some few days after I saw you last, the canonigo persuaded me to go to the captain-general to apply for permission to disinter the Schatz, and also to crave assistance.  So I saw the captain-general, who at first received me very kindly, asked me several questions, and told me to come again.  So I continued visiting him till he would see me no longer, and, do what I might, I could not obtain a glance of him.  The canon now became impatient, more especially as he had given me a few pesetas out of the charities of the church.  He frequently called me a bribon and impostor.  At last, one morning I went to him, and said that I proposed to return to p. 75Madrid, in order to lay the matter before the government, and requested that he would give me a certificate to the effect that I had performed a pilgrimage to Saint James, which I imagined would be of assistance to me upon the way, as it would enable me to beg with some colour of authority.  He no sooner heard this request, than, without saying a word or allowing me a moment to put myself on my defence, he sprang upon me like a tiger, clasping my throat so hard that I thought he would have strangled me.  I am a Swiss, however, and a man of Lucerne, and when I had recovered myself a little, I had no difficulty in flinging him off; I then threatened him with my staff and went away.  He followed me to the gate with the most horrid curses, saying, that if I presumed to return again, he would have me thrown at once into prison as a thief and a heretic.  So I went in quest of yourself, lieber Herr, but they told me that you were departed for Corunna; I then set out for Corunna after you.

Myself.—And what befell you on the road?

Benedict.—I will tell you: about half-way between Saint James and Corunna, as I was walking along, thinking of the Schatz, I heard a loud galloping, and looking around me I saw two men on horseback coming across the field with the swiftness of the wind, and making directly for me.  “Lieber Gott,” said I, “these are thieves, these are factious;” and so they were.  They came up to me in a moment and bade me stand; so I flung down my staff, took off my hat, and saluted them.  “Good day, caballeros,” said I to them.  “Good day, countryman,” said they to me, and then we stood staring at each other for more than a minute.  Lieber Himmel, [75] I never saw such robbers; so finely dressed, p. 76so well armed, and mounted so bravely on two fiery little hakkas, [76] that looked as if they could have taken wing and flown up into the clouds!  So we continued staring at each other, till at last one asked me who I was, whence I came, and where I was going.  “Gentlemen,” said I, “I am a Swiss; I have been to Saint James to perform a religious vow, and am now returning to my own country.”  I said not a word about the treasure, for I was afraid that they would have shot me at once, conceiving that I carried part of it about me.  “Have you any money?” they demanded.  “Gentlemen,” I replied, “you see how I travel on foot, with my shoes torn to pieces; I should not do so if I had money.  I will not deceive you, however; I have a peseta and a few cuartos;” and thereupon I took out what I had and offered it to them.  “Fellow,” said they, “we are caballeros of Galicia, and do not take pesetas, much less cuartos.  Of what opinion are you?  Are you for the queen?”  “No, gentlemen,” said I, “I am not for the queen; but, at the same time, allow me to tell you that I am not for the king either.  I know nothing about the matter; I am a Swiss, and fight neither for nor against anybody unless I am paid.”  This made them laugh, and then they questioned me about Saint James, and the troops there, and the captain-general; and not to disoblige them, I told them all I knew, and much more.  Then one of them, who looked the fiercest and most determined, took his trombone in his hand, and pointing it at me, said, “Had you been a Spaniard, we should have blown your head to shivers, for we should have thought you a spy; but we see you are a foreigner, and believe what you have said.  Take, therefore, this peseta and p. 77go your way; but beware that you tell nobody anything about us, for if you do, carracho!”  He then discharged his trombone just over my head, so that for a moment I thought myself shot; and then with an awful shout, they both galloped away, their horses leaping over the barrancos, as if possessed with many devils.

Myself.—And what happened to you on your arrival at Corunna?

Benedict.—When I arrived at Corunna, I inquired after yourself, lieber Herr, and they informed me that, only the day before my arrival, you had departed for Oviedo: and when I heard that, my heart died within me, for I was now at the far end of Galicia, without a friend to help me.  For a day or two I knew not what to do; at last I determined to make for the frontier of France, passing through Oviedo in the way, where I hoped to see you, and ask counsel of you.  So I begged and bettled among the Germans of Corunna.  I, however, got very little from them, only a few cuarts, less than the thieves had given me on the road from Saint James, and with these I departed for the Asturias by the way of Mondonedo.  Och, what a town is that, full of canons, priests, and pfaffen, all of them more Carlist than Carlos himself.

One day I went to the bishop’s palace and spoke to him, telling him I was a pilgrim from Saint James, and requesting assistance.  He told me, however, that he could not relieve me, and as for my being a pilgrim from Saint James, he was glad of it, and hoped that it would be of service to my soul.  So I left Mondonedo, and got amongst the wild mountains, begging and bettling at the door of every choza that I passed; telling all I saw that I was a pilgrim from Saint James, and showing my passport in proof that I had been p. 78there.  Lieber Herr, no person gave me a cuart, nor even a piece of broa, and both Gallegans and Asturians laughed at Saint James, and told me that his name was no longer a passport in Spain.  I should have starved if I had not sometimes plucked an ear or two out of the maize fields; I likewise gathered grapes from the parras and berries from the brambles, and in this manner I subsisted till I arrived at the bellotas, where I slaughtered a stray kid which I met, and devoured part of the flesh raw, so great was my hunger.  It made me, however, very ill; and for two days I lay in a barranco half dead and unable to help myself; it was a mercy that I was not devoured by the wolves.  I then struck across the country for Oviedo: how I reached it I do not know; I was like one walking in a dream.  Last night I slept in an empty hog-sty about two leagues from here, and ere I left it, I fell down on my knees and prayed to God that I might find you, lieber Herr, for you were my last hope.

Myself.—And what do you propose to do at present?

Benedict.—What can I say, lieber Herr?  I know not what to do.  I will be guided in everything by your counsel.

Myself.—I shall remain at Oviedo a few days longer, during which time you can lodge at this posada, and endeavour to recover from the fatigue of your disastrous journeys; perhaps before I depart, we may hit on some plan to extricate you from your present difficulties.

Oviedo contains about fifteen thousand inhabitants.  It is picturesquely situated between two mountains, Morcin and Naranco; the former is very high and rugged, and during the greater part of the year is p. 79covered with snow; the sides of the latter are cultivated and planted with vines.  The principal ornament of the town is the cathedral, [79a] the tower of which is exceedingly lofty, and is perhaps one of the purest specimens of Gothic architecture at present in existence.  The interior of the cathedral is neat and appropriate, but simple and unadorned.  I observed but one picture, the Conversion of Saint Paul.  One of the chapels is a cemetery, in which rest the bones of eleven Gothic kings; to whose souls be peace.

I bore a letter of recommendation from Corunna to a merchant of Oviedo.  This person received me very courteously, and generally devoted some portion of every day to showing me the remarkable things of Oviedo.

One morning he thus addressed me: “You have doubtless heard of Feijoo, [79b] the celebrated philosophic p. 80monk of the order of Saint Benedict, whose writings have so much tended to remove the popular fallacies and superstitions so long cherished in Spain; he is buried in one of our convents, where he passed a considerable portion of his life.  Come with me and I will show you his portrait.  Carlos Tercero, [80] our great king, sent his own painter from Madrid to execute it.  It is now in the possession of a friend of mine, Don Ramon Valdez, an advocate.”

Thereupon he led me to the house of Don Ramon Valdez, who very politely exhibited the portrait of Feijoo.  It was circular in shape, about a foot in diameter, and was surrounded by a little brass frame, something like the rim of a barber’s basin.  The countenance was large and massive, but fine, the eyebrows knit, the eyes sharp and penetrating, nose aquiline.  On the head was a silken skull-cap; the collar of the coat or vest was just perceptible.  The painting was decidedly good, and struck me as being one of the very best specimens of modern Spanish art which I had hitherto seen.

A day or two after this I said to Benedict Mol, “To-morrow I start from hence for Santander.  It is therefore high time that you decide upon some course, whether to return to Madrid or to make the best of your way to France, and from thence proceed to your own country.”

p. 81Lieber Herr,” said Benedict, “I will follow you to Santander by short journeys, for I am unable to make long ones amongst these hills; and when I am there, peradventure I may find some means of passing into France.  It is a great comfort, in my horrible journeys, to think that I am travelling over the ground which yourself have trodden, and to hope that I am proceeding to rejoin you once more.  This hope kept me alive in the bellotas, and without it I should never have reached Oviedo.  I will quit Spain as soon as possible, and betake me to Lucerne, though it is a hard thing to leave the Schatz behind me in the land of the Gallegans.”

Thereupon I presented him with a few dollars.

“A strange man is this Benedict,” said Antonio to me next morning, as, accompanied by a guide, we sallied forth from Oviedo; “a strange man, mon maître, is this same Benedict.  A strange life has he led, and a strange death he will die,—it is written on his countenance.  That he will leave Spain I do not believe, or if he leave it, it will be only to return, for he is bewitched about this treasure.  Last night he sent for a sorcière whom he consulted in my presence: and she told him that he was doomed to possess it, but that first of all he must cross water.  She cautioned him likewise against an enemy, which he supposes must be the canon of Saint James.  I have often heard people speak of the avidity of the Swiss for money, and here is a proof of it.  I would not undergo what Benedict has suffered in these last journeys of his to possess all the treasures in Spain.”


Departure from Oviedo—Villa Viciosa—The Young Man of the Inn—Antonio’s Tale—The General and his Family—Woful Tidings—To-morrow we die—San Vicente—Santander—An Harangue—Flinter the Irishman.

So we left Oviedo and directed our course towards Santander.  The man who accompanied us as guide, and from whom I hired the pony on which I rode, had been recommended to me by my friend the merchant of Oviedo.  He proved, however, a lazy, indolent fellow; he was generally loitering two or three hundred yards in our rear, and instead of enlivening the way with song and tale, like our late guide, Martin of Rivadeo, he scarcely ever opened his lips, save to tell us not to go so fast, or that I should burst his pony if I spurred him so.  He was thievish withal, and though he had engaged to make the journey seco, [82] that is, to defray the charges of himself and beast, he contrived throughout to keep both at our expense.  When journeying in Spain, it is invariably the cheapest plan to agree to maintain the guide and his horse or mule, for by so doing the hire is diminished at least one-third, and the bills upon the road are seldom increased; whereas, in the other case, he pockets the p. 83difference, and yet goes shot free, and at the expense of the traveller, through the connivance of the innkeepers, who have a kind of fellow-feeling with the guides.

Late in the afternoon we reached Villa Viciosa, a small dirty town, at the distance of eight leagues from Oviedo: it stands beside a creek which communicates with the Bay of Biscay.  It is sometimes called La Capital de las Avellanas, or the Capital of the Filberts, from the immense quantity of this fruit which is grown in the neighbourhood; and the greatest part of which is exported to England.  As we drew nigh we overtook numerous carts laden with avellanas proceeding in the direction of the town.  I was informed that several small English vessels were lying in the harbour.  Singular as it may seem, however, notwithstanding we were in the Capital of the Avellanas, it was with the utmost difficulty that I procured a scanty handful for my dessert, and of these more than one-half were decayed.  The people of the house informed me that the nuts were intended for exportation, and that they never dreamt either of partaking of them themselves or of offering them to their guests.

At an early hour on the following day we reached Colunga, a beautiful village on a rising ground, thickly planted with chestnut trees.  It is celebrated, at least in the Asturias, as being the birthplace of Arguëlles, the father of the Spanish constitution.

As we dismounted at the door of the posada, where we intended to refresh ourselves, a person who was leaning out of an upper window uttered an exclamation and disappeared.  We were yet at the door, when the same individual came running forth and cast himself on the neck of Antonio.  He was a good-looking p. 84young man, apparently about five-and-twenty, genteelly dressed, with a montero cap on his head.  Antonio looked at him for a moment, and then with an “Ah, Monsieur, est ce bien vous?” shook him affectionately by the hand.  The stranger then motioned him to follow him, and they forthwith proceeded to the room above.

Wondering what this could mean, I sat down to my morning repast.  Nearly an hour elapsed, and still Antonio did not make his appearance.  Through the boards, however, which composed the ceiling of the kitchen where I sat, I could hear the voices of himself and his acquaintance, and thought that I could occasionally distinguish the sound of broken sobs and groans.  At last there was a long pause.  I became impatient, and was about to summon Antonio, when he made his appearance, but unaccompanied by the stranger.  “What, in the name of all that is singular,” I demanded, “have you been about?  Who is that man?”  “Mon maître,” said Antonio, “c’est un monsieur de ma connaissance.  With your permission I will now take a mouthful, and as we journey along I will tell you all that I know of him.”

Monsieur,” said Antonio, as we rode out of Colunga, “you are anxious to know the history of the gentleman whom you saw embrace me at the inn.  Know, mon maître, that these Carlist and Cristino wars have been the cause of much misery and misfortune in this country; but a being so thoroughly unfortunate as that poor young gentleman of the inn, I do not believe is to be found in Spain, and his misfortunes proceed entirely from the spirit of party and faction which for some time past has been so prevalent.

Mon maître, as I have often told you, I have lived p. 85in many houses and served many masters, and it chanced that about ten years ago I served the father of this gentleman, who was then a mere boy.  It was a very high family, for monsieur the father was a general in the army, and a man of large possessions.  The family consisted of the general, his lady, and two sons; the youngest of whom is the person you have just seen, the other was several years older.  Pardieu!  I felt myself very comfortable in that house, and every individual of the family had all kind of complaisance for me.  It is singular enough, that though I have been turned out of so many families, I was never turned out of that; and though I left it thrice, it was of my own free will.  I became dissatisfied with the other servants, or with the dog or the cat.  The last time I left was on account of the quail which was hung out of the window of madame, and which waked me in the morning with its call.  Eh bien, mon maître, things went on in this way during the three years that I continued in the family, out and in; at the end of which time it was determined that the young gentleman should travel, and it was proposed that I should attend him as valet.  This I wished very much to do.  However, par malheur, I was at this time very much dissatisfied with madame his mother about the quail, and insisted that before I accompanied him the bird should be slaughtered for the kitchen.  To this madame would by no means consent; and even the young gentleman, who had always taken my part on other occasions, said that I was unreasonable: so I left the house in a huff, and never entered it again.

Eh bien, mon maître, the young gentleman went upon his travels, and continued abroad several years; and from the time of his departure until we met him p. 86at Colunga, I have not set eyes upon, nor indeed heard of him.  I have heard enough, however, of his family; of monsieur the father, of madame, and of the brother, who was an officer of cavalry.  A short time before the troubles, I mean before the death of Ferdinand, monsieur the father was appointed captain-general of Corunna.  Now monsieur, though a good master, was rather a proud man, and fond of discipline, and all that kind of thing, and of obedience.  He was, moreover, no friend to the populace, to the canaille, and he had a particular aversion to the nationals.  So, when Ferdinand died, it was whispered about at Corunna that the general was no liberal, and that he was a better friend to Carlos than Christina.  Eh bien, it chanced that there was a grand fête, or festival, at Corunna, on the water, and the nationals were there, and the soldiers.  And I know not how it befell, but there was an émeute, and the nationals laid hands on monsieur the general, and tying a rope round his neck, flung him overboard from the barge in which he was, and then dragged him astern about the harbour until he was drowned.  They then went to his house, and pillaged it, and so ill-treated madame, who at that time happened to be enceinte, that in a few hours she expired.

“I tell you what, mon maître, when I heard of the misfortune of madame and the general, you would scarcely believe it, but I actually shed tears, and was sorry that I had parted with them in unkindness on account of that pernicious quail.

Eh bien, mon maître, nous poursuivrons notre histoire.  The eldest son, as I told you before, was a cavalry officer, and a man of resolution, and when he heard of the death of his father and mother, he vowed p. 87revenge.  Poor fellow!  So what does he do but desert, with two or three discontented spirits of his troop, and going to the frontier of Galicia, he raised a small faction, and proclaimed Don Carlos.  For some little time he did considerable damage to the liberals, burning and destroying their possessions, and putting to death several nationals that fell into his hands.  However, this did not last long; his faction was soon dispersed, and he himself taken and hanged, and his head stuck on a pole.

Nous sommes déjà presque au bout.  When we arrived at the inn, the young man took me above, as you saw, and there for some time he could do nothing but weep and sob.  His story is soon told:—he returned from his travels, and the first intelligence which awaited him on his arrival in Spain was, that his father was drowned, his mother dead, and his brother hanged, and, moreover, all the possessions of his family confiscated.  This was not all: wherever he went, he found himself considered in the light of a factious and discontented person, and was frequently assailed by the nationals with blows of sabres and cudgels.  He applied to his relations, and some of these, who were of the Carlist persuasion, advised him to betake himself to the army of Don Carlos, and the Pretender himself, who was a friend of his father, and remembered the services of his brother, offered to give him a command in his army.  But, mon maître, as I told you before, he was a pacific young gentleman, and as mild as a lamb, and hated the idea of shedding blood.  He was, moreover, not of the Carlist opinion, for during his studies he had read books written a long time ago by countrymen of mine, all about republics and liberties, and the rights of man, so that he was p. 88much more inclined to the liberal than the Carlist system; he therefore declined the offer of Don Carlos, whereupon all his relations deserted him, whilst the liberals hunted him from one place to another like a wild beast.  At last, he sold some little property which still remained to him, and with the proceeds he came to this remote place of Colunga, where no one knew him, and where he has been residing for several months, in a most melancholy manner, with no other amusement than that which he derives from a book or two, or occasionally hunting a leveret with his spaniel.

“He asked me for counsel, but I had none to give him, and could only weep with him.  At last he said, ‘Dear Antonio, I see there is no remedy.  You say your master is below; beg him, I pray, to stay till tomorrow, and we will send for the maidens of the neighbourhood, and for a violin and bagpipe, and we will dance and cast away care for a moment.’  And then he said something in old Greek, which I scarcely understood, but which I think was equivalent to, ‘Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die!’

Eh bien, mon maître, I told him that you were a serious gentleman, who never took any amusement, and that you were in a hurry.  Whereupon he wept again, and embraced me, and bade me farewell.  And now, mon maître, I have told you the history of the young man of the inn.”

We slept at Ribida de Sella, and the next day at noon arrived at Llanes.  Our route lay between the coast and an immense range of mountains, which rose up like huge ramparts at about a league’s distance from the sea.  The ground over which we passed was tolerably level, and seemingly well cultivated.  There was no lack of vines and trees, whilst at short intervals p. 89rose the cortijos of the proprietors—square stone buildings surrounded with an outer wall.  Llanes is an old town, formerly of considerable strength.  In its neighbourhood is the convent of San Cilorio, one of the largest monastic edifices in all Spain.  It is now deserted, and stands alone and desolate upon one of the peninsulas of the Cantabrian shore.  Leaving Llanes, we soon entered one of the most dreary and barren regions imaginable, a region of rock and stone, where neither grass nor trees were to be seen.  Night overtook us in these places.  We wandered on, however, until we reached a small village, termed Santo Colombo.  Here we passed the night, in the house of a carabineer of the revenue, a tall athletic figure, who met us at the gate, armed with a gun.  He was a Castilian, and with all that ceremonious formality and grave politeness for which his countrymen were at one time so celebrated.  He chid his wife for conversing with her handmaid about the concerns of the house before us.  “Barbara,” said he, “this is not conversation calculated to interest the strange cavaliers; hold your peace, or go aside with the muchacha.”  In the morning he refused any remuneration for his hospitality, “I am a caballero,” said he, “even as yourselves.  It is not my custom to admit people into my house for the sake of lucre.  I received you because you were benighted and the posada distant.”

Rising early in the morning, we pursued our way through a country equally stony and dreary as that which we had entered upon the preceding day.  In about four hours we reached San Vicente, a large and dilapidated town, chiefly inhabited by miserable fishermen.  It retains, however, many remarkable relics of former magnificence: the bridge, which bestrides the p. 90broad and deep firth on which stands the town, has no less than thirty-two arches, and is built of grey granite.  It is very ancient, and in some parts in so ruinous a condition as to be dangerous.

Leaving San Vicente behind us, we travelled for some leagues on the seashore, crossing occasionally a narrow inlet or firth.  The country at last began to improve, and in the neighbourhood of Santillana was both beautiful and fertile.  About a league before we reached the country of Gil Blas we passed through an extensive wood, in which were rocks and precipices; it was exactly such a place as that in which the cave of Rolando was situated, as described in the novel.  The wood has an evil name, and our guide informed us that robberies were occasionally committed in it.  No adventure, however, befell us, and we reached Santillana at about six in the evening.

We did not enter the town, but halted at a large venta, or posada, at the entrance, before which stood an immense ash tree.  We had scarcely housed ourselves when a tremendous storm of rain and wind commenced, accompanied with thunder and lightning, which continued without much interruption for several hours, and the effects of which were visible in our journey of the following day, the streams over which we passed being much swollen, and several trees lying uptorn by the wayside.  Santillana contains four thousand inhabitants, and is six short leagues’ distance from Santander, where we arrived early the next day.

Nothing could exhibit a stronger contrast to the desolate tracts and the half-ruined towns through which we had lately passed, than the bustle and activity of Santander, which, though it stands on the confines of the Basque provinces, the stronghold of the Pretender, p. 91is almost the only city in Spain which has not suffered by the Carlist wars.  Till the close of the last century it was little better than an obscure fishing town, but it has of late years almost entirely engrossed the commerce of the Spanish transatlantic possessions, especially of the Havannah.  The consequence of which has been, that whilst Santander has rapidly increased in wealth and magnificence, both Corunna and Cadiz have been as rapidly hastening to decay.  At present it possesses a noble quay, on which stands a line of stately edifices, far exceeding in splendour the palaces of the aristocracy of Madrid.  These are built in the French style, and are chiefly occupied by the merchants.  The population of Santander is estimated at sixty thousand souls.

On the day of my arrival I dined at the table-d’hôte of the principal inn, kept by a Genoese.  The company was very miscellaneous—French, Germans, and Spaniards, all speaking in their respective languages, whilst at the ends of the table, confronting each other, sat two Catalan merchants, one of whom weighed nearly twenty stone, grunting across the board in their harsh dialect.  Long, however, before dinner was concluded the conversation was entirely engrossed and the attention of all present directed to an individual who sat on one side of the bulky Catalan.  He was a thin man of about the middle height, with a remarkably red face, and something in his eyes which, if not a squint, bore a striking resemblance to it.  He was dressed in a blue military frock, and seemed to take much more pleasure in haranguing than in the fare which was set before him.  He spoke perfectly good Spanish, yet his voice betrayed something of a foreign accent.  For a long time he descanted with immense p. 92volubility on war and all its circumstances, freely criticizing the conduct of the generals, both Carlist and Cristinos, in the present struggle, till at last he exclaimed, “Had I but twenty thousand men allowed me by the government, I would bring the war to a conclusion in six months.”

“Pardon me, sir,” said a Spaniard who sat at the table, “the curiosity which induces me to request the favour of your distinguished name.”

“I am Flinter,” replied the individual in the military frock, “a name which is in the mouth of every man, woman, and child in Spain.  I am Flinter [92] the Irishman, just escaped from the Basque provinces and the claws of Don Carlos.  On the decease of Ferdinand, I declared for Isabella, esteeming it the duty of every good cavalier and Irishman in the Spanish service to do so.  You have all heard of my exploits, and permit me to tell you they would have been yet more glorious had not jealousy been at work and cramped my means.  Two years ago I was despatched to Estremadura, to organize the militias.  The bands of Gomez and Cabrera entered the province, and spread devastation around.  They found me, however, at my post; and had I been properly seconded by those under my command, the two rebels would never have returned to their master to boast of their success.  I stood behind my intrenchments.  A man advanced and summoned us to p. 93surrender.  ‘Who are you?’ I demanded.  ‘I am Cabrera,’ he replied; ‘and I am Flinter,’ I retorted flourishing my sabre; ‘retire to your battalions, or you will forthwith die the death.’  He was awed, and did as I commanded.  In an hour we surrendered.  I was led a prisoner to the Basque provinces; and the Carlists rejoiced in the capture they had made, for the name of Flinter had long sounded amongst the Carlist ranks.  I was flung into a loathsome dungeon, where I remained twenty months.  I was cold; I was naked; but I did not on that account despond—my spirit was too indomitable for such weakness.  My keeper at last pitied my misfortunes.  He said that ‘it grieved him to see so valiant a man perish in inglorious confinement.’  We laid a plan to escape together; disguises were provided, and we made the attempt.  We passed unobserved till we arrived at the Carlist lines above Bilbao: there we were stopped.  My presence of mind, however, did not desert me.  I was disguised as a carman, as a Catalan, and the coolness of my answers deceived my interrogators.  We were permitted to pass, and soon were safe within the walls of Bilbao.  There was an illumination that night in the town, for the lion had burst his toils, Flinter had escaped, and was once more returned to reanimate a drooping cause.  I have just arrived at Santander, on my way to Madrid, where I intend to ask of the government a command, with twenty thousand men.”

Poor Flinter! a braver heart and a more gasconading mouth were surely never united in the same body.  He proceeded to Madrid, and through the influence of the British ambassador, who was his friend, he obtained the command of a small division, with which p. 94he contrived to surprise and defeat, in the neighbourhood of Toledo, a body of the Carlists, commanded by Orejita, whose numbers more than trebled his own.  In reward for this exploit he was persecuted by the government, which, at that time, was the moderado or juste milieu, with the most relentless animosity; the prime minister, Ofalia, supporting with all his influence numerous and ridiculous accusations of plunder and robbery brought against the too successful general by the Carlist canons of Toledo.  He was likewise charged with a dereliction of duty, in having permitted, after the battle of Valdepeñas, which he likewise won in the most gallant manner, the Carlist force to take possession of the mines of Almaden, although the government, who were bent on his ruin, had done all in their power to prevent him from following up his successes, by denying him the slightest supplies and reinforcements.  The fruits of victory thus wrested from him, his hopes blighted, a morbid melancholy seized upon the Irishman; he resigned his command, and, in less than ten months from the period when I saw him at Santander, afforded his dastardly and malignant enemies a triumph which satisfied even them, by cutting his own throat with a razor.

Ardent spirits of foreign climes, who hope to distinguish yourselves in the service of Spain, and to earn honours and rewards, remember the fate of Columbus, and of another as brave and as ardent—Flinter!


Departure from Santander—The Night Alarm—The Black Pass.

I had ordered two hundred Testaments to be sent to Santander from Madrid: I found, however, to my great sorrow, that they had not arrived, and I supposed that they had either been seized on the way by the Carlists, or that my letter had miscarried.  I then thought of applying to England for a supply, but I abandoned the idea for two reasons.  In the first place, I should have to remain idly loitering, at least a month, before I could receive them, at a place where every article was excessively dear; and, secondly, I was very unwell, and unable to procure medical advice at Santander.  Ever since I left Corunna, I had been afflicted with a terrible dysentery, and latterly with an ophthalmia, the result of the other malady.  I therefore determined on returning to Madrid.  To effect this, however, seemed no very easy task.  Parties of the army of Don Carlos, which, in a partial degree, had been routed in Castile, were hovering about the country through which I should have to pass, more especially in that part called “The Mountains,” so that all communication had ceased between Santander and the southern districts.  Nevertheless, I determined to trust p. 96as usual in the Almighty, and to risk the danger.  I purchased, therefore, a small horse, and sallied forth with Antonio.

Before departing, however, I entered into conference with the booksellers as to what they should do in the event of my finding an opportunity of sending them a stock of Testaments from Madrid; and, having arranged matters to my satisfaction, I committed myself to Providence.  I will not dwell long on this journey of three hundred miles.  We were in the midst of the fire, yet, strange to say, escaped without a hair of our heads being singed.  Robberies, murders, and all kinds of atrocities were perpetrated before, behind, and on both sides of us; but not so much as a dog barked at us, though in one instance a plan had been laid to intercept us.  About four leagues from Santander, whilst we were baiting our horses at a village hostelry, I saw a fellow run off after having held a whispering conversation with a boy who was dealing out barley to us.  I instantly inquired of the latter what the man had said to him, but only obtained an evasive answer.  It appeared afterwards that the conversation was about ourselves.  Two or three leagues farther there was an inn and village where we had proposed staying, and indeed had expressed our intention of doing so; but on arriving there, finding that the sun was still far from its bourne, I determined to proceed farther, expecting to meet with a resting-place at the distance of a league; though I was mistaken, as we found none until we reached Montaneda, nine leagues and a half from Santander, where was stationed a small detachment of soldiers.  At the dead of night, we were aroused from our sleep by a cry that the “factious” were not far off.  A messenger had arrived from the alcalde p. 97of the village where we had previously intended staying, who stated that a party of Carlists had just surprised that place, and were searching for an English spy, whom they supposed to be at the inn.  The officer commanding the soldiers, upon hearing this, not deeming his own situation a safe one, instantly drew off his men, falling back on a stronger party stationed in a fortified village near at hand.  As for ourselves, we saddled our horses and continued our way in the dark.  Had the Carlists succeeded in apprehending me, I should instantly have been shot, and my body cast on the rocks to feed the vultures and wolves.  But “it was not so written,” said Antonio, who, like many of his countrymen, was a fatalist.  The next night we had another singular escape: we had arrived near the entrance of a horrible pass called “El puerto de la puente de las tablas,” or the pass of the bridge of planks, which wound through a black and frightful mountain, on the farther side of which was the town of Oñas, where we meant to tarry for the night.  The sun had set about a quarter of an hour.  Suddenly a man, with his face covered with blood, rushed out of the pass.  “Turn back, sir,” he said, “in the name of God; there are murderers in that pass; they have just robbed me of my mule, and all I possess, and I have hardly escaped with life from their hands!”  I scarcely know why, but I made him no answer, and proceeded; indeed I was so weary and unwell that I cared not what became of me.  We entered; the rocks rose perpendicularly, right and left, entirely intercepting the scanty twilight, so that the darkness of the grave, or rather the blackness of the valley of the shadow of death, reigned around us, and we knew not where we went, but trusted to the instinct of the horses, who p. 98moved on with their heads close to the ground.  The only sound which we heard was the plash of a stream, which tumbled down the pass.  I expected every moment to feel a knife at my throat, but “it was not so written.”  We threaded the pass without meeting a human being, and within three-quarters of an hour after the time we entered it, we found ourselves within the posada of the town of Oñas, which was filled with troops and armed peasants expecting an attack from the grand Carlist army, which was near at hand.

Well, we reached Burgos in safety; [98] we reached Valladolid in safety; we passed the Guadarrama in safety; and were at length safely housed in Madrid.  People said we had been very lucky; Antonio said, “It was so written;” but I say, Glory be to the Lord for His mercies vouchsafed to us.


State of Affairs at Madrid—The New Ministry—Pope of Rome—The Bookseller of Toledo—Sword-blades—Houses of Toledo—The Forlorn Gypsy—Proceedings at Madrid—Another Servant.

During my journey in the northern provinces of Spain, which occupied a considerable portion of the year 1837, I had accomplished but a slight portion of what I proposed to myself to effect in the outset.  Insignificant are the results of man’s labours compared with the swelling ideas of his presumption; something, however, had been effected by the journey which I had just concluded.  The New Testament of Christ was now enjoying a quiet sale in the principal towns of the north, and I had secured the friendly interest and co-operation of the booksellers of those parts, particularly of him the most considerable of them all, old Rey of Compostella.  I had, moreover, disposed of a considerable number of Testaments with my own hands, to private individuals, entirely of the lower classes, namely, muleteers, carmen, contrabandistas, etc., so that upon the whole I had abundant cause for gratitude and thanksgiving.

I did not find our affairs in a very prosperous state p. 100at Madrid, few copies having been sold in the booksellers’ shops; yet what could be rationally expected during these latter times?  Don Carlos, with a large army, had been at the gates; plunder and massacre had been expected; so that people were too much occupied in forming plans to secure their lives and property to give much attention to reading of any description.

The enemy, however, had now retired to his strongholds in Alava and Guipuzcoa.  I hoped that brighter days were dawning, and that the work, under my own superintendence, would, with God’s blessing, prosper in the capital of Spain.  How far the result corresponded with my expectations will be seen in the sequel.

During my absence in the north, a total change of ministers had occurred.  The liberal party had been ousted from the cabinet, and in their place had entered individuals attached to the moderado or court party: unfortunately, however, for my prospects, they consisted of persons with whom I had no acquaintance whatever, and with whom my former friends, Galiano and Isturitz, had little or no influence.  These gentlemen were now regularly laid on the shelf, and their political career appeared to be terminated for ever. [100]

From the present ministry I could expect but little; they consisted of men the greater part of whom had been either courtiers or employés of the deceased King Ferdinand, who were friends to absolutism, and by no means inclined to do or to favour anything calculated to give offence to the court of Rome, which they were anxious to conciliate, hoping that eventually it might be induced to recognize the young queen, not as the p. 101constitutional but as the absolute Queen Isabella the Second.

Such was the party which continued in power throughout the remainder of my sojourn in Spain, and which persecuted me less from rancour and malice than from policy.  It was not until the conclusion of the war of the succession that it lost the ascendency, when it sank to the ground with its patroness the queen-mother, before the dictatorship of Espartero.

The first step which I took after my return to Madrid, towards circulating the Scriptures, was a very bold one.  It was neither more nor less than the establishment of a shop for the sale of Testaments.  This shop was situated in the Calle del Principe, a respectable and well-frequented street in the neighbourhood of the Square of Cervantes.  I furnished it handsomely with glass cases and chandeliers, and procured an acute Gallegan of the name of Pepe Calzado, to superintend the business, who gave me weekly a faithful account of the copies sold.

“How strangely times alter,” said I, the second day subsequent to the opening of my establishment, as I stood on the opposite side of the street, leaning against the wall with folded arms, surveying my shop, on the windows of which were painted in large yellow characters, Despacho de la Sociedad Bíblica y Estrangera; [101] “how strangely times alter!  Here have I been during the last eight months running about old Popish Spain, distributing Testaments, as agent of what the Papists call an heretical society, and have neither been stoned nor burnt; and here am I now in the capital, doing that which one would think were enough to cause all p. 102the dead inquisitors and officials buried within the circuit of the walls to rise from their graves and cry abomination; and yet no one interferes with me.  Pope of Rome!  Pope of Rome! look to thyself.  That shop may be closed; but oh! what a sign of the times, that it has been permitted to exist for one day.  It appears to me, my Father, that the days of your sway are numbered in Spain; that you will not be permitted much longer to plunder her, to scoff at her, and to scourge her with scorpions, as in bygone periods.  See I not the hand on the wall?  See I not in yonder letters a ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin’?  Look to thyself, Batuschca.”

And I remained for two hours, leaning against the wall, staring at the shop.

A short time after the establishment of the despacho at Madrid, I once more mounted the saddle, and, attended by Antonio, rode over to Toledo, for the purpose of circulating the Scriptures, sending beforehand by a muleteer a cargo of one hundred Testaments.  I instantly addressed myself to the principal bookseller of the place, whom, from the circumstance of his living in a town so abounding with canons, priests, and ex-friars as Toledo, I expected to find a Carlist, or a servil at least.  I was never more mistaken in my life: on entering the shop, which was very large and commodious, I beheld a stout athletic man, dressed in a kind of cavalry uniform, with a helmet on his head, and an immense sabre in his hand.  This was the bookseller himself, who, I soon found, was an officer in the national cavalry.  Upon learning who I was, he shook me heartily by the hand, and said that nothing would give him greater pleasure than taking charge of the books, which he p. 103would endeavour to circulate to the utmost of his ability.

“Will not your doing so bring you into odium with the clergy?”

Ca!” [103a] said he; “who cares?  I am rich, and so was my father before me.  I do not depend on them; they cannot hate me more than they do already, for I make no secret of my opinions.  I have just returned from an expedition,” said he; “my brother nationals and myself have, for the last three days, been occupied in hunting down the factious and thieves of the neighbourhood; we have killed three and brought in several prisoners.  Who cares for the cowardly priests?  I am a liberal, Don Jorge, and a friend of your countryman, Flinter.  Many is the Carlist guerilla-curate and robber-friar whom I have assisted him to catch.  I am rejoiced to hear that he has just been appointed captain-general of Toledo; there will be fine doings here when he arrives, Don Jorge.  We will make the clergy shake between us, I assure you.”

Toledo was formerly the capital of Spain.  Its population at present is barely fifteen thousand souls, though, in the time of the Romans, and also during the Middle Ages, it is said to have amounted to between two and three hundred thousand.  It is situated about twelve leagues, or forty miles, westward [103b] of Madrid, and is built upon a steep rocky hill, round which flows the Tagus, on all sides but the north.  It still possesses a great many remarkable edifices, notwithstanding that it has long since fallen into decay.  Its cathedral is the most magnificent of Spain, and is the see of p. 104the primate.  In the tower of this cathedral is the famous bell of Toledo, the largest in the world with the exception of the monster bell of Moscow, which I have also seen.  It weighs 1543 arrobas, or 37,032 pounds.  It has, however, a disagreeable sound, owing to a cleft in its side.  Toledo could once boast the finest pictures in Spain, but many were stolen or destroyed by the French during the Peninsular war, and still more have lately been removed by order of the government.  Perhaps the most remarkable one still remains; I allude to that which represents the burial of the Count of Orgas, the masterpiece of Domenico, [104] the Greek, a most extraordinary genius, some of whose productions possess merit of a very high order.  The picture in question is in the little parish church of San Tomé, at the bottom of the aisle, on the left side of the altar.  Could it be purchased, I should say it would be cheap at five thousand pounds.

Amongst the many remarkable things which meet the eye of the curious observer at Toledo, is the manufactory of arms, where are wrought the swords, spears, and other weapons intended for the army, with the exception of firearms, which mostly come from abroad.

In old times, as is well known, the sword-blades of Toledo were held in great estimation, and were transmitted as merchandise throughout Christendom.  The p. 105present manufactory, or fabrica, as it is called, is a handsome modern edifice, situated without the wall of the city, on a plain contiguous to the river, with which it communicates by a small canal.  It is said that the water and the sand of the Tagus are essential for the proper tempering of the swords.  I asked some of the principal workmen whether, at the present day, they could manufacture weapons of equal value to those of former days, and whether the secret had been lost.

Ca!” said they, “the swords of Toledo were never so good as those which we are daily making.  It is ridiculous enough to see strangers coming here to purchase old swords, the greater part of which are mere rubbish, and never made at Toledo, yet for such they will give a large price, whilst they would grudge two dollars for this jewel, which was made but yesterday;” thereupon putting into my hand a middle-sized rapier.  “Your worship,” said they, “seems to have a strong arm; prove its temper against the stone wall—thrust boldly and fear not.”

I have a strong arm, and dashed the point with my utmost force against the solid granite: my arm was numbed to the shoulder from the violence of the concussion, and continued so for nearly a week, but the sword appeared not to be at all blunted, or to have suffered in any respect.

“A better sword than that,” said an ancient workman, a native of Old Castile, “never transfixed Moor out yonder on the sagra.”

During my stay at Toledo, I lodged at the Posada de los Caballeros, which signifies the inn of the gentlemen, which name, in some respects, it certainly well deserved, for there are many palaces far less magnificent than this inn of Toledo.  By magnificence it p. 106must not be supposed, however, that I allude to costliness of furniture or any kind of luxury which pervaded the culinary department.  The rooms were as empty as those of Spanish inns generally are, and the fare, though good in its kind, was plain and homely; but I have seldom seen a more imposing edifice.  It was of immense size, consisting of several stories, and was built something in the Moorish taste, with a quadrangular court in the centre, beneath which was an immense algibe or tank, serving as a reservoir for rain-water.  All the houses in Toledo are supplied with tanks of this description, into which the waters in the rainy season flow from the roofs through pipes.  No other water is used for drinking; that of the Tagus, not being considered salubrious, is only used for purposes of cleanliness, being conveyed up the steep narrow streets on donkeys, in large stone jars.  The city, standing on a rocky mountain, has no wells.  As for the rain-water, it deposits a sediment in the tank, and becomes very sweet and potable: these tanks are cleaned out twice every year.  During the summer, at which time the heat in this part of Spain is intense, the families spend the greater part of the day in the courts, which are overhung with a linen awning, the heat of the atmosphere being tempered by the coolness arising from the tank below, which answers the same purpose as the fountain in the southern provinces of Spain.

I spent about a week at Toledo, during which time several copies of the Testament were disposed of in the shop of my friend the bookseller.  Several priests took it up from the mostrador on which it lay, examined it, but made no remarks; none of them purchased it.  My friend showed me through his house, p. 107almost every apartment of which was lined from roof to floor with books, many of which were highly valuable.  He told me that he possessed the best collection in Spain of the ancient literature of the country.  He was, however, less proud of his library than his stud; finding that I had some acquaintance with horses, his liking for me and also his respect considerably increased.  “All I have,” said he, “is at your service; I see you are a man after my own heart.  When you are disposed to ride out upon the sagra, you have only to apply to my groom, who will forthwith saddle you my famed Cordovese entero; I purchased him from the stables at Aranjuez, when the royal stud was broken up.  There is but one other man to whom I would lend him, and that man is Flinter.”

At Toledo I met with a forlorn gypsy woman and her son, a lad of about fourteen years of age; she was not a native of the place, but had come from La Mancha, her husband having been cast into the prison of Toledo on a charge of mule-stealing: the crime had been proved against him, and in a few days he was to depart for Malaga, with the chain of galley-slaves.  He was quite destitute of money, and his wife was now in Toledo, earning a few cuartos by telling fortunes about the streets, to support him in prison.  She told me that it was her intention to follow him to Malaga, where she hoped to be able to effect his escape.  What an instance of conjugal affection! and yet the affection here was all on one side, as is too frequently the case.  Her husband was a worthless scoundrel, who had previously abandoned her and betaken himself to Madrid, where he had long lived in concubinage with the notorious she-thug Aurora, [107] at p. 108whose instigation he had committed the robbery for which he was now held in durance.  “Should your husband escape from Malaga, in what direction will he fly?” I demanded.

“To the chim of the Corahai, my son; to the land of the Moors, to be a soldier of the Moorish king.”

“And what will become of yourself?” I inquired; “think you that he will take you with him?”

“He will leave me on the shore, my son; and as soon as he has crossed the black pawnee, he will forget me and never think of me more.”

“And knowing his ingratitude, why should you give yourself so much trouble about him?”

“Am I not his romí, my son; and am I not bound by the law of the Calés to assist him to the last?  Should he return from the land of the Corahai at the end of a hundred years, and should find me alive, and should say, ‘I am hungry, little wife; go forth and steal or tell baji,’ I must do it, for he is the rom and I the romí.”

On my return to Madrid, I found the despacho still open.  Various Testaments had been sold, though the number was by no means considerable: the work had to labour under great disadvantage, from the ignorance of the people at large with respect to its tenor and contents.  It was no wonder, then, that little interest was felt respecting it.  To call, however, public attention to the despacho, I printed three thousand advertisements on paper, yellow, blue, and crimson, with which I almost covered the sides of the streets, and, besides this, inserted an account of it in all the journals and periodicals: the consequence was, that in a short time almost every person in Madrid was aware p. 109of its existence.  Such exertions in London or Paris would probably have ensured the sale of the entire edition of the New Testament within a few days.  In Madrid, however, the result was not quite so flattering; for after the establishment had been open an entire month, the copies disposed of barely amounted to one hundred.

These proceedings of mine did not fail to cause a great sensation: the priests and their partisans were teeming with malice and fury, which, for some time, however, they thought proper to exhibit only in words; it being their opinion that I was favoured by the ambassador and by the British government; but there was no attempt, however atrocious, that might not be expected from their malignity; and were it right and seemly for me, the most insignificant of worms, to make such a comparison, I might say, like Paul at Ephesus, I was fighting with wild beasts.

On the last day of the year 1837, my servant Antonio thus addressed me: “Mon maître, it is necessary that I leave you for a time.  Ever since we have returned from our journeys, I have become unsettled and dissatisfied with the house, the furniture, and with Doña Marequita.  I have therefore engaged myself as cook in the house of the Count of ---, where I am to receive four dollars per month less than what your worship gives me.  I am fond of change, though it be for the worse.  Adieu, mon maître; may you be as well served as you deserve.  Should you chance, however, to have any pressing need de mes soins, send for me without hesitation, and I will at once give my new master warning, if I am still with him, and come to you.”

Thus I was deprived for a time of the services of p. 110Antonio.  I continued for a few days without a domestic, at the end of which time I hired a certain Cantabrian or Basque, a native of the village of Hernani, in Guipuzcoa, who was strongly recommended to me.


Euscarra—Basque not Irish—Sanscrit and Tartar Dialects—A Vowel Language—Popular Poetry—The Basques—Their Persons—Basque Women.

I now entered upon the year 1838, perhaps the most eventful of all those which I passed in Spain.  The despacho still continued open, with a somewhat increasing sale.  Having at this time little of particular moment with which to occupy myself, I committed to the press two works, which for some time past had been in the course of preparation.  These were the Gospel of St. Luke in the Spanish gypsy and the Euscarra languages. [111a]

With respect to the gypsy Gospel, I have little to say, having already spoken of it in a former work; [111b] it was translated by myself, together with the greater part of the New Testament, during my p. 112long intercourse with the Spanish gypsies.  Concerning the Luke in Euscarra, however, it will be as well to be more particular, and to avail myself of the present opportunity to say a few words concerning the language in which it was written, and the people for whom it was intended.

The Euscarra, then, is the proper term for a certain speech or language, supposed to have been at one time prevalent throughout Spain, but which is at present confined to certain districts, both on the French and Spanish side of the Pyrenees, which are laved by the waters of the Cantabrian Gulf, or Bay of Biscay.  This language is commonly known as the Basque, or Biscayan, which words are mere modifications of the word Euscarra, the consonant B having been prefixed for the sake of euphony.  Much that is vague, erroneous, and hypothetical has been said and written concerning this tongue.  The Basques assert that it was not only the original language of Spain, but also of the world, and that from it all other languages are derived; but the Basques are a very ignorant people, and know nothing of the philosophy of language.  Very little importance, therefore, need be attached to any opinion of theirs on such a subject.  A few amongst them, however, who affect some degree of learning, contend that it is neither more nor less than a dialect of the Phœnician, and that the Basques are the descendants of a Phœnician colony, established at the foot of the Pyrenees at a very remote period.  Of this theory, or rather conjecture, as it is unsubstantiated by the slightest proof, it is needless to take further notice than to observe that, provided the Phœnician language, as many of the truly learned have supposed, and almost proved, was a dialect of the p. 113Hebrew, or closely allied to it, it were as unreasonable to suppose that the Basque is derived from it as that the Kamschatkan and Cherokee are dialects of the Greek and Latin.

There is, however, another opinion with respect to the Basque which deserves more especial notice, from the circumstance of its being extensively entertained amongst the literati of various countries of Europe, more especially England.  I allude to the Celtic origin of this tongue, and its close connexion with the most cultivated of all the Celtic dialects—the Irish.  People who pretend to be well conversant with the subject, have even gone so far as to assert, that so little difference exists between the Basque and Irish tongues, that individuals of the two nations, when they meet together, find no difficulty in understanding each other, with no other means of communication than their respective languages; in a word, that there is scarcely a greater difference between the two than between the French and the Spanish Basque.  Such similarity, however, though so strongly insisted upon, by no means exists in fact; and perhaps in the whole of Europe it would be difficult to discover two languages which exhibit fewer points of mutual resemblance than the Basque and Irish.

The Irish, like most other European languages, is a dialect of the Sanscrit, a remote one, as may well be supposed; the corner of the western world in which it is still preserved being, of all countries in Europe, the most distant from the proper home of the parent tongue.  It is still, however, a dialect of that venerable and most original speech, not so closely resembling it, it is true, as the English, Danish, and those which belong to what is called the Gothic family, and far p. 114less than those of the Sclavonian; for the nearer we approach to the East, in equal degree the assimilation of languages to this parent stock becomes more clear and distinct; but still a dialect, agreeing with the Sanscrit in structure, in the arrangement of words, and in many instances in the words themselves, which, however modified, may still be recognized as Sanscrit.  But what is the Basque, and to what family does it properly pertain?

To two great Asiatic languages all the dialects spoken at present in Europe may be traced.  These two, if not now spoken, still exist in books, and are, moreover, the languages of two of the principal religions of the East.  I allude to the Tibetian and Sanscrit—the sacred languages of the followers of Buddh and Bramah.  These tongues, though they possess many words in common, which is easily to be accounted for by their close proximity, are properly distinct, being widely different in structure.  In what this difference consists, I have neither time nor inclination to state; suffice it to say, that the Celtic, Gothic, and Sclavonian dialects in Europe belong to the Sanscrit family, even as in the East the Persian, and to a less degree the Arabic, Hebrew, etc.; [114] whilst to the Tibetian or Tartar family in Asia pertain the Mandchou and Mongolian, the Calmuc and the Turkish of the Caspian sea; and in Europe, the Hungarian and the Basque partially.

Indeed, this latter language is a strange anomaly, so that upon the whole it is less difficult to say what it is not, than what it is.  It abounds with Sanscrit words p. 115to such a degree that its surface seems strewn with them.  Yet would it be wrong to term it a Sanscrit dialect, for in the collocation of these words the Tartar form is most decidedly observable.  A considerable proportion of Tartar words is likewise to be found in this language, though perhaps not in equal numbers to the terms derived from the Sanscrit.  Of these Tartar etymons I shall at present content myself with citing one, though, if necessary, it were easy to adduce hundreds.  This word is Jauna, or, as it is pronounced, Khauna—a word in constant use amongst the Basques, and which is the Khan of the Mongols and Mandchous, and of the same signification—Lord.

Having closely examined the subject in all its various bearings, and having weighed what is to be said on one side against what is to be advanced on the other, I am inclined to rank the Basque rather amongst the Tartar than the Sanscrit dialects.  Whoever should have an opportunity of comparing the enunciation of the Basques and Tartars would, from that alone, even if he understood them not, come to the conclusion that their respective languages were formed on the same principles.  In both occur periods seemingly interminable, during which the voice gradually ascends to a climax, and then gradually sinks down.

I have spoken of the surprising number of Sanscrit words contained in the Basque language, specimens of some of which will be found below.  It is remarkable enough, that in the greater part of the derivatives from the Sanscrit, the Basque has dropped the initial consonant, so that the word commences with a vowel.  The Basque, indeed, may be said to be almost a vowel language, the number of consonants employed being comparatively few; perhaps eight words out of ten p. 116commence and terminate with a vowel, owing to which it is a language to the highest degree soft and melodious, far excelling in this respect any other language in Europe, not even excepting the Italian.  Here follow a few specimens of Basque words with the Sanscrit roots in juxtaposition:—





Ardoa [116a]










Chiria [116a]





Erreguiña [116a]





To see.




Jan (Khan)


To eat.

Uria [116a]






Such is the tongue in which I brought out Saint Luke’s Gospel at Madrid.  The translation I procured originally from a Basque physician of the name of Oteiza. [116b]  Previous to being sent to the press, the version had lain nearly two years in my possession, during which time, and particularly during my travels, I lost no opportunity of submitting it to the inspection of those who were considered competent scholars in the Euscarra.  It did not entirely please me; but it was in vain to seek for a better translation.

In my early youth I had obtained a slight acquaintance with the Euscarra, as it exists in books.  This acquaintance I considerably increased during my stay in Spain, and, by occasionally mingling with Basques, p. 117was enabled to understand the spoken language to a certain extent, and even to speak it, but always with considerable hesitation; for to speak Basque, even tolerably, it is necessary to have lived in the country from a very early period.  So great are the difficulties attending it, and so strange are its peculiarities, that it is very rare to find a foreigner possessed of any considerable skill in the oral language, and the Spaniards consider the obstacles so formidable that they have a proverb to the effect that Satan once lived seven years in Biscay, and then departed, finding himself unable either to understand or to make himself understood.

There are few inducements to the study of this language.  In the first place, the acquisition of it is by no means necessary even to those who reside in the countries where it is spoken, the Spanish being generally understood throughout the Basque provinces pertaining to Spain, and the French in those pertaining to France.

In the second place, neither dialect is in possession of any peculiar literature capable of repaying the toil of the student.  There are various books extant both in French and Spanish Basque, [117] but these consist entirely of Popish devotion, and are for the most part translations.

It will, perhaps, here be asked whether the Basques do not possess popular poetry, like most other nations, however small and inconsiderable.  They have certainly no lack of songs, ballads, and stanzas, but of a character by no means entitled to the appellation of poetry.  I have noted down from recitation, a considerable portion of what they call their poetry, but the only tolerable specimen of verse which I ever p. 118discovered amongst them was the following stanza, which, after all, is not entitled to very high praise:—

“Ichasoa urac aundi,
Estu ondoric agueri—
Pasaco ninsaqueni andic
Maitea icustea gatic.” [118a]

i.e. “The waters of the sea are vast, and their bottom cannot be seen; but over them I will pass, that I may behold my love.”

The Basques are a singing rather than a poetical people.  Notwithstanding the facility with which their tongue lends itself to the composition of verse, they have never produced among them a poet with the slightest pretensions to reputation; but their voices are singularly sweet, and they are known to excel in musical composition.  It is the opinion of a certain author, the Abbé D’Iharce, [118b] who has written about them, that they derived the name Cantabri, by which they are known to the Romans, from Khantor-ber, signifying sweet singers.  They possess much music of their own, some of which is said to be exceedingly ancient.  Of this music specimens were published at Donostian (San Sebastian) in the year 1826, edited by a certain Juan Ignacio Iztueta. [118c]  These consist of wild and thrilling marches, to the sound of which it is p. 119believed that the ancient Basques were in the habit of descending from their mountains to combat with the Romans, and subsequently with the Moors.  Whilst listening to them it is easy to suppose one’s self in the close vicinity of some desperate encounter.  We seem to hear the charge of cavalry on the sounding plain, the clash of swords, and the rushing of men down the gorges of hills.  This music is accompanied with words, but such words!  Nothing can be imagined more stupid, commonplace, and uninteresting.  So far from being martial, they relate to everyday incidents, and appear to have no connexion whatever with the music.  They are evidently of modern date.

In person the Basques are of the middle size, and are active and athletic.  They are in general of fair complexions and handsome features, and in appearance bear no slight resemblance to certain Tartar tribes of the Caucasus.  Their bravery is unquestionable, and they are considered as the best soldiery belonging to the Spanish crown: a fact highly corroborative of the supposition that they are of Tartar origin, the Tartars being of all races the most warlike, and amongst whom the most remarkable conquerors have been produced.  They are faithful and honest, and capable of much disinterested attachment; kind and hospitable to strangers; all of which points are far from being at variance with the Tartar character.  But they are somewhat dull, and their capacities are by no means of a high order, and in these respects they again resemble the Tartars.

No people on earth are prouder than the Basques, but theirs is a kind of republican pride.  They have no nobility amongst them, and no one will acknowledge a superior.  The poorest carman is as proud p. 120as the governor of Tolosa.  “He is more powerful than I,” he will say, “but I am of as good blood; perhaps hereafter I may become a governor myself.”  They abhor servitude, at least out of their own country; and though circumstances frequently oblige them to seek masters, it is very rare to find them filling the places of common domestics; they are stewards, secretaries, accountants, etc.  True it is, that it was my own fortune to obtain a Basque domestic; but then he always treated me more as an equal than a master, would sit down in my presence, give me his advice unasked, and enter into conversation with me at all times and occasions.  Did I check him?  Certainly not!  For in that case he would have left me, and a more faithful creature I never knew.  His fate was a mournful one, as will appear in the sequel.

I have said that the Basques abhor servitude, and are rarely to be found serving as domestics amongst the Spaniards.  I allude, however, merely to the males.  The females, on the contrary, have no objection whatever to enter houses as servants.  Women, indeed, amongst the Basques are not looked upon with all the esteem which they deserve, and are considered as fitted for little else than to perform menial offices, even as in the East, where they are viewed in the light of servants and slaves.  The Basque females differ widely in character from the men; they are quick and vivacious, and have in general much more talent.  They are famous for their skill as cooks, and in most respectable houses of Madrid a Biscayan female may be found in the kitchen, queen supreme of the culinary department. [120]


The Prohibition—Gospel Persecuted—Charge of Sorcery—Ofalia.

About the middle of January [121a] a swoop was made upon me by my enemies, in the shape of a peremptory prohibition from the political governor of Madrid to sell any more New Testaments.  This measure by no means took me by surprise, as I had for some time previously been expecting something of the kind, on account of the political sentiments of the ministers then in power.  I forthwith paid a visit to Sir George Villiers, informing him of what had occurred.  He promised to do all he could to cause the prohibition to be withdrawn.  Unfortunately, at this time he had not much influence, having opposed with all his might the entrance of the moderado [121b] ministry to power, and the nomination of Ofalia [121c] to the presidency of the cabinet.  I however, never lost confidence in the Almighty, in whose cause I was engaged.

Matters were going on very well before this check.  The demand for Testaments was becoming considerable, so much so that the clergy were alarmed, and p. 122this step was the consequence.  But they had previously recourse to another, well worthy of them; they attempted to act upon my fears.  One of the ruffians of Madrid, called Manolos, came up to me one night, in a dark street, and told me that unless I discontinued selling my “Jewish books,” I should have a knife “nailed in my heart;” but I told him to go home, say his prayers, and tell his employers that I pitied them; whereupon he turned away with an oath.  A few days after, I received an order to send two copies of the Testament to the office of the political governor, with which I complied, and in less than twenty-four hours an alguazil arrived at the shop with a notice prohibiting the further sale of the work.

One circumstance rejoiced me.  Singular as it may appear, the authorities took no measures to cause my little despacho to be closed, and I received no prohibition respecting the sale of any work but the New Testament, and as the Gospel of Saint Luke, in Romany and Basque, would within a short time be ready for delivery, I hoped to carry on matters in a small way till better times should arrive.

I was advised to erase from the shop windows the words “Despacho of the British and Foreign Bible Society.”  This, however, I refused to do.  Those words had tended very much to call attention, which was my grand object.  Had I attempted to conduct things in an underhand manner, I should, at the time of which I am speaking, scarcely have sold thirty copies in Madrid, instead of nearly three hundred.  People who know me not, may be disposed to call me rash; but I am far from being so, as I never adopt a venturous course when any other is open to me.  I p. 123am not, however, a person to be terrified by any danger, when I see that braving it is the only way to achieve an object.

The booksellers were unwilling to sell my work; I was compelled to establish a shop of my own.  Every shop in Madrid has a name.  What name could I give it but the true one?  I was not ashamed of my cause or my colours.  I hoisted them, and fought beneath them, not without success.

The priestly party in Madrid, in the mean time, spared no effort to vilify me.  They started a publication called The Friend of the Christian Religion, in which a stupid but furious attack upon me appeared, which I, however, treated with the contempt it deserved.  But not satisfied with this, they endeavoured to incite the populace against me, by telling them that I was a sorcerer, and a companion of gypsies and witches, and their agents even called me so in the streets.  That I was an associate of gypsies and fortune-tellers I do not deny.  Why should I be ashamed of their company when my Master mingled with publicans and thieves?  Many of the gypsy race came frequently to visit me; received instruction, and heard parts of the Gospel read to them in their own language, and when they were hungry and faint, I gave them to eat and drink.  This might be deemed sorcery in Spain, but I am not without hope that it will be otherwise estimated in England; and had I perished at this period, I think there are some who would have been disposed to acknowledge that I had not lived altogether in vain (always as an instrument of the “Most Highest”), having been permitted to turn one of the most valuable books of God into the speech of the most degraded of His creatures.

p. 124In the mean time I endeavoured to enter into negotiations with the ministry for the purpose of obtaining permission to sell the New Testament in Madrid, and the nullification of the prohibition.  I experienced, however, great opposition, which I was unable to surmount.  Several of the ultra-popish bishops, then resident in Madrid, had denounced the Bible, the Bible Society, and myself.  Nevertheless, notwithstanding their powerful and united efforts, they were unable to effect their principal object, namely, my expulsion from Madrid and Spain.  The Count Ofalia, notwithstanding he had permitted himself to be made the instrument, to a certain extent, of these people, would not consent to be pushed to such a length.  Throughout this affair I cannot find words sufficiently strong to do justice to the zeal and interest which Sir George Villiers displayed in the cause of the Testament.  He had various interviews with Ofalia on the subject, and in these he expressed to him his sense of the injustice and tyranny which had been practised in this instance towards his countryman.

Ofalia had been moved by these remonstrances, and more than once promised to do all in his power to oblige Sir George; but then the bishops again beset him, and playing upon his political if not religious fears, prevented him from acting a just, honest, and honourable part.  At the desire of Sir George Villiers, I drew up a brief account of the Bible Society, and an exposition of its views, especially in respect to Spain, which he presented with his own hand to the Count.  I shall not trouble the reader by inserting this memorial, but content myself with observing, that I made no attempts to flatter and cajole, but expressed myself honestly and frankly, as a Christian ought.  p. 125Ofalia, on reading it, said, “What a pity that this is a Protestant society, and that all its members are not Catholics!”

A few days subsequently, to my great astonishment, he sent a message to me by a friend, requesting that I would send him a copy of my gypsy Gospel.  I may as well here state, that the fame of this work, though not yet published, had already spread like wildfire through Madrid, and every person was passionately eager to possess a copy: indeed, several grandees of Spain sent messages with similar requests, all of which I however denied.  I instantly resolved to take advantage of this overture on the part of Count Ofalia, and to call on him myself.  I therefore caused a copy of the Gospel to be handsomely bound, and proceeding to the palace, was instantly admitted to him.  He was a dusky, diminutive person, between fifty and sixty years of age, with false hair and teeth, but exceedingly gentlemanly manners.  He received me with great affability, and thanked me for my present; but on my proceeding to speak of the New Testament, he told me that the subject was surrounded with difficulties, and that the great body of the clergy had taken up the matter against me; he conjured me, however, to be patient and peaceable, in which case he said he would endeavour to devise some plan to satisfy me.  Amongst other things, he observed that the bishops hated a sectarian more than an atheist.  Whereupon I replied, that, like the Pharisees of old, they cared more for the gold of the temple than the temple itself.  Throughout the whole of our interview he evidently laboured under great fear, and was continually looking behind and around him, seemingly in dread of being overheard, which brought to my mind p. 126an expression of a friend of mine, that if there be any truth in metempsychosis, the soul of Count Ofalia must have originally belonged to a mouse.  We parted in kindness, and I went away, wondering by what strange chance this poor man had become prime minister of a country like Spain.


The Two Gospels—The Alguazil—The Warrant—The Good Maria—The Arrest—Sent to Prison—Reflections—The Reception—The Prison Room—Redress demanded.

At length the Gospel of Saint Luke in the gypsy language was in a state of readiness.  I therefore deposited a certain number of copies in the despacho, and announced them for sale.  The Basque, which was by this time also printed, was likewise advertised.  For this last work there was little demand.  Not so, however, for the gypsy Luke, of which I could easily have disposed of the whole edition in less than a fortnight.  Long, however, before this period had expired the clergy were up in arms.  “Sorcery!” said one bishop.  “There is more in this than we can dive into,” exclaimed a second.  “He will convert all Spain by means of the gypsy language,” cried a third.  And then came the usual chorus on such occasions, of Que infamiaQue picardia!  At last, having consulted together, away they hurried to their tool the corregidor or, according to the modern term, the gefe politico [127] of Madrid.  I have forgotten the name of this worthy, p. 128of whom I had myself no personal knowledge whatever.  Judging from his actions, however, and from common report, I should say that he was a stupid, wrong-headed creature, savage withal—a mélange of borrico, mule, and wolf.  Having an inveterate antipathy to all foreigners, he lent a willing ear to the complaint of my accusers, and forthwith gave orders to make a seizure of all the copies of the gypsy Gospel which could be found in the despacho.  The consequence was, that a numerous body of alguazils directed their steps to the Calle del Principe; some thirty copies of the book in question were pounced upon, and about the same number of Saint Luke in Basque.  With this spoil these satellites returned in triumph to the gefatura politica, where they divided the copies of the gypsy volume amongst themselves, selling subsequently the greater number at a large price, the book being in the greatest demand, and thus becoming unintentionally agents of an heretical society.  But every one must live by his trade, say these people, and they lose no opportunity of making their words good, by disposing to the best advantage of any booty which falls into their hands.  As no person cared about the Basque Gospel, it was safely stowed away, with other unmarketable captures, in the warehouses of the office.

The gypsy Gospels had now been seized, at least as many as were exposed for sale in the despacho.  The corregidor and his friends, however, were of opinion that many more might be obtained by means of a little management.  Fellows, therefore, hangers on of the police-office, were daily despatched to the shop in all kinds of disguises, inquiring, with great seeming anxiety, for “gypsy books,” and offering high prices for copies.  They, however, returned to their employers p. 129empty-handed.  My Gallegan was on his guard, informing all who made inquiries, that books of no description would be sold at the establishment for the present.  Which was in truth the case, as I had given him particular orders to sell no more under any pretence whatever.

I got no credit, however, for my frank dealing.  The corregidor and his confederates could not persuade themselves but that, by some means mysterious and unknown to them, I was daily selling hundreds of these gypsy books, which were to revolutionize the country, and annihilate the power of the Father of Rome.  A plan was therefore resolved upon, by means of which they hoped to have an opportunity of placing me in a position which would incapacitate me for some time from taking any active measures to circulate the Scriptures, either in gypsy or in any other language.

It was on the morning of the first of May, [129a] [1838,] if I forget not, that an unknown individual made his appearance in my apartment as I was seated at breakfast; he was a mean-looking fellow, about the middle stature, with a countenance on which knave was written in legible characters.  The hostess ushered him in, and then withdrew.  I did not like the appearance of my visitor, but assuming some degree of courtesy, I requested him to sit down, and demanded his business.  “I come from his excellency the political [129b] chief of Madrid,” he replied, “and my business is to inform you that his excellency is perfectly aware of your proceedings, and is at any time able to prove that you are still disposing of in secret those evil books which you have been forbidden to sell.”  “Is p. 130he so?” I replied; “pray let him do so forthwith; but what need of giving me information?”  “Perhaps,” continued the fellow, “you think his worship has no witnesses; know, however, that he has many, and respectable ones too.”  “Doubtless,” I replied, “and from the respectability of your own appearance, you are perhaps one of them.  But you are occupying my time unprofitably; begone, therefore, and tell whoever sent you, that I have by no means a high opinion of his wisdom.”  “I shall go when I please,” retorted the fellow; “do you know to whom you are speaking?  Are you aware that if I think fit I can search your apartment, yes, even below your bed?  What have we here,” he continued, and commenced with his stick poking a heap of papers which lay upon a chair; “what have we here?  Are these also papers of the gypsies?”  I instantly determined upon submitting no longer to this behaviour, and taking the fellow by the arm, led him out of the apartment; and then, still holding him, conducted him downstairs from the third floor in which I lived, into the street, looking him steadfastly in the face the whole while.

The fellow had left his sombrero on the table, which I despatched to him by the landlady, who delivered it into his hand as he stood in the street staring with distended eyes at the balcony of my apartment.

“A trampa has been laid for you, Don Jorge,” said Maria Diaz, when she had re-ascended from the street; “that corchete came here with no other intention than to have a dispute with you.  Out of every word you have said he will make a long history, as is the custom with these people; indeed, he said, as I handed him his hat, that ere twenty-four hours were over, you should see the inside of the prison of Madrid.”

p. 131In effect, during the course of the morning, I was told that a warrant had been issued for my apprehension.  The prospect of incarceration, however, did not fill me with much dismay; an adventurous life and inveterate habits of wandering having long familiarized me to situations of every kind, so much so as to feel myself quite as comfortable in a prison as in the gilded chambers of palaces; indeed, more so, as in the former place I can always add to my store of useful information, whereas in the latter, ennui frequently assails me.  I had, moreover, been thinking for some time past of paying a visit to the prison, partly in the hope of being able to say a few words of Christian instruction to the criminals, and partly with the view of making certain investigations in the robber language of Spain, a subject about which I had long felt much curiosity; indeed, I had already made application for admittance into the Carcel de la Corte, [131] but had found the matter surrounded with difficulties, as my friend Ofalia would have said.  I rather rejoiced, then, in the opportunity which was now about to present itself of entering the prison, not in the character of a visitor for an hour, but as a martyr, and as one suffering in the holy cause of religion.  I was determined, however, to disappoint my enemies for that day at least, and to render null the threat of the alguazil, that I should be imprisoned within twenty-four hours.  I therefore took up my abode for the rest of the day in a celebrated French tavern in the Calle del Caballero de Gracia, which, as it was one of the most fashionable and public places in Madrid, I naturally concluded was one of the last where the corregidor would think of seeking me.

p. 132About ten at night, Maria Diaz, to whom I had communicated the place of my retreat, arrived with her son, Juan Lopez.  “O, señor,” said she, on seeing me, “they are already in quest of you; the alcalde of the barrio, with a large comitiva of alguazils and such-like people, have just been at our house with a warrant for your imprisonment from the corregidor.  They searched the whole house, and were much disappointed at not finding you.  Woe is me, what will they do when they catch you?”  “Be under no apprehensions, good Maria,” said I; “you forget that I am an Englishman, and so it seems does the corregidor.  Whenever he catches me, depend upon it he will be glad enough to let me go.  For the present, however, we will permit him to follow his own course, for the spirit of folly seems to have seized him.”

I slept at the tavern, and in the forenoon of the following day repaired to the Embassy, where I had an interview with Sir George, to whom I related every circumstance of the affair.  He said that he could scarcely believe that the corregidor entertained any serious intentions of imprisoning me; in the first place, because I had committed no offence; and in the second, because I was not under the jurisdiction of that functionary, but under that of the captain-general, who was alone empowered to decide upon matters which relate to foreigners, and before whom I must be brought in the presence of the consul of my nation.  “However,” said he, “there is no knowing to what length these jacks in office may go.  I therefore advise you, if you are under any apprehension, to remain as my guest at the Embassy for a few days, for here you will be quite safe.”  I assured him that I was under no apprehension whatever, having long been p. 133accustomed to adventures of this kind.  From the apartment of Sir George I proceeded to that of the first secretary of embassy, Mr. Southern, with whom I entered into conversation.  I had scarcely been there a minute when my servant Francisco rushed in, much out of breath, and in violent agitation, exclaiming in Basque, “Niri jauna, the alguaziloac, and the corchetoac, and all the other lapurrac [133] are again at the house.  They seem half mad, and not being able to find you, are searching your papers, thinking, I suppose, that you are hid among them.”  Mr. Southern here interrupting him, inquired of me what all this meant.  Whereupon I told him, saying at the same time, that it was my intention to proceed at once to my lodgings.  “But perhaps these fellows will arrest you,” said Mr. S., “before we can interfere.”  “I must take my chance as to that,” I replied, and presently afterwards departed.

Ere, however, I had reached the middle of the street of Alcalá, two fellows came up to me, and telling me that I was their prisoner, commanded me to follow them to the office of the corregidor.  They were, in fact, alguazils, who, suspecting that I might enter or come out of the Embassy, had stationed themselves in the neighbourhood.  I instantly turned round to Francisco, and told him in Basque to return to the Embassy, and to relate there to the secretary what had just occurred.  The poor fellow set off like lightning, turning half round, however, to shake his fist, and to vent a Basque execration at the two lapurrac, as he called the alguazils.

They conducted me to the gefatura, or office of the p. 134corregidor, where they ushered me into a large room, and motioned me to sit down on a wooden bench.  They then stationed themselves on each side of me.  There were at least twenty people in the apartment beside ourselves, evidently from their appearance officials of the establishment.  They were all well dressed, for the most part in the French fashion, in round hats, coats, and pantaloons, and yet they looked what in reality they were, Spanish alguazils, spies, and informers: and Gil Blas, could he have waked from his sleep of two centuries, would, notwithstanding the change of fashion, have had no difficulty in recognizing them.  They glanced at me as they stood lounging about the room; then gathered themselves together in a circle and began conversing in whispers.  I heard one of them say, “He understands the seven gypsy jargons.” [134a]  Then presently another, evidently from his language an Andalusian, said, “Es muy diestro, [134b] and can ride a horse and dart a knife full as well as if he came from my own country.”  Thereupon they all turned round and regarded me with a species of interest, evidently mingled with respect, which most assuredly they would not have exhibited had they conceived that I was merely an honest man bearing witness in a righteous cause.

I waited patiently on the bench at least one hour, expecting every moment to be summoned before my lord the corregidor.  I suppose, however, that I was not deemed worthy of being permitted to see so exalted a personage, for at the end of that time, an elderly man—one, however, of the alguazil genus—came into the room and advanced directly towards me.  “Stand up,” said he.  I obeyed.  “What is your p. 135name?” he demanded.  I told him.  “Then,” he replied, exhibiting a paper which he held in his hand, “señor, it is the will of his excellency the corregidor, that you be forthwith sent to prison.”

He looked at me steadfastly as he spoke, perhaps expecting that I should sink into the earth at the formidable name of prison; I, however, only smiled.  He then delivered the paper, which I suppose was the warrant for my committal, into the hand of one of my two captors, and obeying a sign which they made, I followed them.

I subsequently learned that the secretary of legation, Mr. Southern, had been despatched by Sir George, as soon as the latter had obtained information of my arrest, and had been waiting at the office during the greater part of the time that I was there.  He had demanded an audience of the corregidor, in which he had intended to have remonstrated with him, and pointed out to him the danger to which he was subjecting himself by the rash step which he was taking.  The sullen functionary, however, had refused to see him, thinking, perhaps, that to listen to reason would be a dereliction of dignity; by this conduct, however, he most effectually served me, as no person, after such a specimen of uncalled-for insolence, felt disposed to question the violence and injustice which had been practised towards me.

The alguazils conducted me across the Plaza Mayor to the Carcel de la Corte, or prison of the court, as it is called.  Whilst going across the square, I remembered that this was the place where, in “the good old times,” the Inquisition of Spain was in the habit of holding its solemn Autos da fé, and I cast my eye to the balcony of the city hall, where at the most solemn p. 136of them all, the last of the Austrian line in Spain sat, and after some thirty heretics, of both sexes, had been burnt by fours and by fives, wiped his face, perspiring with heat, and black with smoke, and calmly inquired, “No hay mas?” [136] for which exemplary proof of patience he was much applauded by his priests and confessors, who subsequently poisoned him.  “And here am I,” thought I, “who have done more to wound Popery than all the poor Christian martyrs that ever suffered in this accursed square, merely sent to prison, from which I am sure to be liberated in a few days, with credit and applause.  Pope of Rome!  I believe you to be as malicious as ever, but you are sadly deficient in power.  You are become paralytic, Batuschca, and your club has degenerated to a crutch.”

We arrived at the prison, which stands in a narrow street not far from the great square.  We entered a dusky passage, at the end of which was a wicket door.  My conductors knocked, a fierce visage peered through the wicket; there was an exchange of words, and in a few moments I found myself within the prison of Madrid, in a kind of corridor which overlooked at a considerable altitude what appeared to be a court, from which arose a hubbub of voices, and occasionally wild shouts and cries.  Within the corridor, which served as a kind of office, were several people; one of them sat behind a desk, and to him the alguazils went up, and after discoursing with him some time in low tones, delivered the warrant into his hands.  He perused it with attention, then rising he advanced to me.  What a figure!  He was about forty years of age, and his height might have amounted to some six feet two inches, had he not been curved much after the fashion p. 137of the letter S.  No weazel ever appeared lanker, and he looked as if a breath of air would have been sufficient to blow him away.  His face might certainly have been called handsome, had it not been for its extraordinary and portentous meagreness; his nose was like an eagle’s bill, his teeth white as ivory, his eyes black—oh, how black!—and fraught with a strange expression; his skin was dark, and the hair of his head like the plumage of the raven.  A deep quiet smile dwelt continually on his features; but with all the quiet it was a cruel smile, such a one as would have graced the countenance of a Nero.  “Mais en revanche personne n’étoit plus honnête”.  “Caballero,” said he, “allow me to introduce myself to you as the alcayde of this prison.  I perceive by this paper that I am to have the honour of your company for a time, a short time doubtless, beneath this roof; I hope you will banish every apprehension from your mind.  I am charged to treat you with all the respect which is due to the illustrious nation to which you belong, and which a cavalier of such exalted category as yourself is entitled to expect.  A needless charge, it is true, as I should only have been too happy of my own accord to have afforded you every comfort and attention.  Caballero, you will rather consider yourself here as a guest than a prisoner; you will be permitted to roam over every part of this house whenever you think proper.  You will find matters here not altogether below the attention of a philosophic mind.  Pray issue whatever commands you may think fit to the turnkeys and officials, even as if they were your own servants, I will now have the honour of conducting you to your apartment—the only one at present unoccupied.  We invariably reserve it for cavaliers of distinction.  I am p. 138happy to say that my orders are again in consonance with my inclination.  No charge whatever will be made for it to you, though the daily hire of it is not unfrequently an ounce of gold.  I entreat you, therefore, to follow me, cavalier, who am at all times and seasons the most obedient and devoted of your servants.”  Here he took off his hat and bowed profoundly.

Such was the speech of the alcayde of the prison of Madrid; a speech delivered in pure sonorous Castilian, with calmness, gravity, and almost with dignity; a speech which would have done honour to a gentleman of high birth, to Monsieur Bassompierre, of the Old Bastile, receiving an Italian prince, or the High Constable of the Tower an English duke attainted of high treason.  Now, who in the name of wonder was this alcayde?

One of the greatest rascals in all Spain.  A fellow who had more than once, by his grasping cupidity, and by his curtailment of the miserable rations of the prisoners, caused an insurrection in the court below, only to be repressed by bloodshed, and by summoning military aid; a fellow of low birth, who, only five years previous, had been drummer to a band of royalist volunteers!

But Spain is the land of extraordinary characters.

I followed the alcayde to the end of the corridor, where was a massive grated door, on each side of which sat a grim fellow of a turnkey.  The door was opened, and turning to the right we proceeded down another corridor, in which were many people walking about, whom I subsequently discovered to be prisoners like myself, but for political offences.  At the end of this corridor, which extended the whole length of the patio, we turned into another, and the first apartment p. 139in this was the one destined for myself.  It was large and lofty, but totally destitute of every species of furniture with the exception of a huge wooden pitcher, intended to hold my daily allowance of water.  “Caballero,” said the alcayde, “the apartment is without furniture, as you see.  It is already the third hour of the tarde, I therefore advise you to lose no time in sending to your lodgings for a bed and whatever you may stand in need of; the llavero shall do your bidding.  Caballero, adieu, till I see you again.”

I followed his advice, and, writing a note in pencil to Maria Diaz, I despatched it by the llavero, and then, sitting down on the wooden pitcher, I fell into a reverie, which continued for a considerable time.

Night arrived, and so did Maria Diaz, attended by two porters and Francisco, all loaded with furniture.  A lamp was lighted, charcoal was kindled in the brasero, and the prison gloom was to a certain degree dispelled.

I now left my seat on the pitcher, and sitting down on a chair, proceeded to despatch some wine and viands, which my good hostess had not forgotten to bring with her.  Suddenly Mr. Southern entered.  He laughed heartily at finding me engaged in the manner I have described.  “B---,” said he, “you are the man to get through the world, for you appear to take all things coolly, and as matters of course.  That, however, which most surprises me with respect to you is, your having so many friends; here you are in prison, surrounded by people ministering to your comforts.  Your very servant is your friend, instead of being your worst enemy, as is usually the case.  That Basque of yours is a noble fellow.  I shall never forget how he spoke for you, when he came running p. 140to the Embassy to inform us of your arrest.  He interested both Sir George and myself in the highest degree: should you ever wish to part with him, I hope you will give me the refusal of his services.  But now to other matters.”  He then informed me that Sir George had already sent in an official note to Ofalia, demanding redress for such a wanton outrage on the person of a British subject.  “You must remain in prison,” said he, “to-night, but depend upon it that to-morrow, if you are disposed, you may quit in triumph.”  “I am by no means disposed for any such thing,” I replied.  “They have put me in prison for their pleasure, and I intend to remain here for my own.”  “If the confinement is not irksome to you,” said Mr. Southern, “I think, indeed, it will be your wisest plan; the government have committed themselves sadly with regard to you; and, to speak plainly, we are by no means sorry for it.  They have on more than one occasion treated ourselves very cavalierly, and we have now, if you continue firm, an excellent opportunity of humbling their insolence.  I will instantly acquaint Sir George with your determination, and you shall hear from us early on the morrow.”  He then bade me farewell; and flinging myself on my bed, I was soon asleep in the prison of Madrid.


Ofalia—The Juez—Carcel de la Corte—Sunday in Prison—Robber Dress—Father and Son—Characteristic Behaviour—The Frenchman—Prison Allowance—Valley of the Shadow—Pure Castilian—Balseiro—The Cave—Robber Glory.

Ofalia quickly perceived that the imprisonment of a British subject in a manner so illegal as that which had attended my own was likely to be followed by rather serious consequences.  Whether he himself had at all encouraged the corregidor in his behaviour towards me, it is impossible to say; the probability is that he had not: the latter, however, was an officer of his own appointing, for whose actions himself and the government were to a certain extent responsible.  Sir George had already made a very strong remonstrance upon the subject, and had even gone so far as to state in an official note that he should desist from all farther communication with the Spanish government until full and ample reparation had been afforded me for the violence to which I had been subjected.  Ofalia’s reply was, that immediate measures should be taken for my liberation, and that it would be my own fault if I remained in prison.  He forthwith ordered a juez de la primera instancia, [141] a kind of solicitor-general, to wait p. 142upon me, who was instructed to hear my account of the affair, and then to dismiss me with an admonition to be cautious for the future.  My friends of the Embassy, however, had advised me how to act in such a case.  Accordingly, when the juez on the second night of my imprisonment made his appearance at the prison, and summoned me before him, I went, but on his proceeding to question me, I absolutely refused to answer.  “I deny your right to put any questions to me,” said I; “I entertain, however, no feelings of disrespect to the government or to yourself, Caballero Juez; but I have been illegally imprisoned.  So accomplished a jurist as yourself cannot fail to be aware that, according to the laws of Spain, I, as a foreigner, could not be committed to prison for the offence with which I had been charged, without previously being conducted before the captain-general of this royal city, whose duty it is to protect foreigners, and see that the laws of hospitality are not violated in their persons.

Juez.—Come, come, Don Jorge, I see what you are aiming at; but listen to reason: I will not now speak to you as a juez, but as a friend who wishes you well, and who entertains a profound reverence for the British nation.  This is a foolish affair altogether; I will not deny that the political chief acted somewhat hastily on the information of a person not perhaps altogether worthy of credit.  No great damage, however, has been done to you, and to a man of the world like yourself, a little adventure of this kind is rather calculated to afford amusement than anything else.  Now be advised, forget what has happened; you know that it is the part and duty of a Christian to forgive.  So, Don Jorge, I advise you to leave this place forthwith; I dare say you are getting tired of it.  You are this p. 143moment free to depart; repair at once to your lodgings, where I promise you that no one shall be permitted to interrupt you for the future.  It is getting late, and the prison doors will speedily be closed for the night.  Vamos, Don Jorge, á la casa, á la posada! [143a]

Myself.—“But Paul said unto them, they have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily?  Nay, verily: but let them come themselves and fetch us out.” [143b]

I then bowed to the juez, who shrugged his shoulders and took snuff.  On leaving the apartment I turned to the alcayde, who stood at the door: “Take notice,” said I, “that I will not quit this prison till I have received full satisfaction for being sent hither uncondemned.  You may expel me if you please, but any attempt to do so shall be resisted with all the bodily strength of which I am possessed.”

“Your worship is right,” said the alcayde, with a bow, but in a low voice.

Sir George, on hearing of this affair, sent me a letter in which he highly commended my resolution not to leave the prison for the present, at the same time begging me to let him know if there were anything that he could send me from the Embassy to render my situation more tolerable.

I will now leave for the present my own immediate affairs, and proceed to give some account of the prison of Madrid and its inmates.

The Carcel de la Corte, where I now was, though the principal prison of Madrid, is one which certainly in no respect does credit to the capital of Spain.  p. 144Whether it was originally intended for the purpose to which it is at present applied, I have no opportunity of knowing.  The chances, however, are, that it was not; indeed it was not till of late years that the practice of building edifices expressly intended and suited for the incarceration of culprits came at all into vogue.  Castles, convents, and deserted palaces, have in all countries, at different times, been converted into prisons, which practice still holds good upon the greater part of the continent, and more particularly in Spain and Italy, which accounts to a certain extent for the insecurity of the prisons, and the misery, want of cleanliness, and unhealthiness which in general pervade them.

I shall not attempt to enter into a particular description of the prison of Madrid; indeed it would be quite impossible to describe so irregular and rambling an edifice.  Its principal features consisted of two courts, the one behind the other: intended for the great body of the prisoners to take air and recreation in.  Three large vaulted dungeons, or calabozos, occupied three sides of this court, immediately below the corridors of which I have already spoken.  These dungeons were roomy enough to contain respectively from one hundred to one hundred and fifty prisoners, who were at night secured therein with lock and bar, but during the day were permitted to roam about the courts as they thought fit.  The second court was considerably larger than the first, though it contained but two dungeons, horribly filthy and disgusting places; this second court being used for the reception of the lower grades of thieves.  Of the two dungeons one was, if possible, yet more horrible than the other; it was called the gallineria, or chicken-coop, and within it every night p. 145were pent up the young fry of the prison, wretched boys from seven to fifteen years of age, the greater part almost in a state of nudity.  The common bed of all the inmates of these dungeons was the ground, between which and their bodies nothing intervened, save occasionally a manta or horse-cloth, or perhaps a small mattress; this latter luxury was, however, of exceedingly rare occurrence.

Besides the calabozos connected with the courts were other dungeons in various parts of the prison; some of them quite dark, intended for the reception of those whom it might be deemed expedient to treat with peculiar severity.  There was likewise a ward set apart for females.  Connected with the principal corridor were many small apartments, where resided prisoners confined for debt or for political offences.  And, lastly, there was a small capilla, or chapel, in which prisoners cast for death passed the last three days of their existence in company of their ghostly advisers.

I shall not soon forget my first Sunday in prison, Sunday is the gala day of the prison, at least of that of Madrid, and whatever robber finery is to be found within it is sure to be exhibited on that day of holiness.  There is not a set of people in the world more vain than robbers in general, more fond of cutting a figure whenever they have an opportunity, and of attracting the eyes of their fellow-creatures by the gallantry of their appearance.  The famous Sheppard of olden times delighted in sporting a suit of Genoese velvet, and when he appeared in public generally wore a silver-hilted sword at his side; whilst Vaux and Hayward, heroes of a later day, were the best dressed men on the pavé of London.  Many of the Italian bandits go splendidly decorated, and the very p. 146gypsy robber has a feeling for the charms of dress; the cap alone of the Haram Pasha, or leader of the cannibal gypsy band which infested Hungary towards the conclusion of the last century, was adorned with gold and jewels to the value of four thousand guilders.  Observe, ye vain and frivolous, how vanity and crime harmonize!  The Spanish robbers are as fond of this species of display as their brethren of other lands, and, whether in prison or out of it, are never so happy as when, decked out in a profusion of white linen, they can loll in the sun, or walk jauntily up and down.

Snow-white linen, indeed, constitutes the principal feature in the robber foppery of Spain.  Neither coat nor jacket is worn over the shirt, the sleeves of which are wide and flowing, only a waistcoat of green or blue silk with an abundance of silver buttons, which are intended more for show than use, as the vest is seldom buttoned.  Then there are wide trousers, something after the Turkish fashion; around the waist is a crimson faja, or girdle, and about the head is tied a gaudily coloured handkerchief from the loom of Barcelona; light pumps and silk stockings complete the robber’s array.  This dress is picturesque enough, and well adapted to the fine sunshiny weather of the Peninsula; there is a dash of effeminacy about it, however, hardly in keeping with the robber’s desperate trade.  It must not, however, be supposed that it is every robber who can indulge in all this luxury; there are various grades of thieves, some poor enough, with scarcely a rag to cover them.  Perhaps in the crowded prison of Madrid there were not more than twenty who exhibited the dress which I have attempted to describe above; these were jente de reputacion, [146] tip-top thieves, mostly p. 147young fellows, who, though they had no money of their own, were supported in prison by their majas and amigas, [147a] females of a certain class, who form friendships with robbers, and whose glory and delight it is to administer to the vanity of these fellows with the wages of their own shame and abasement.  These females supplied their cortejos with the snowy linen, washed, perhaps, by their own hands in the waters of the Manzanares, for the display of the Sunday, when they would themselves make their appearance, dressed à la maja, and from the corridors would gaze with admiring eyes upon the robbers vapouring about in the court below.

Amongst those of the snowy linen who most particularly attracted my attention, were a father and son; the former was a tall athletic figure of about thirty, by profession a housebreaker, and celebrated throughout Madrid for the peculiar dexterity which he exhibited in his calling.  He was now in prison for a rather atrocious murder committed in the dead of night, in a house at Caramanchel, [147b] in which his only accomplice was his son, a child under seven years of age.  “The apple,” as the Danes say, “had not fallen far from the tree;” the imp was in every respect the counterpart of the father, though in miniature.  He, too, wore the robber shirt-sleeves, the robber waistcoat with the silver buttons, the robber kerchief round his brow, and, ridiculous enough, a long Manchegan knife in the crimson faja.  He was evidently the pride of the p. 148ruffian father, who took all imaginable care of this chick of the gallows, would dandle him on his knee, and would occasionally take the cigar from his own moustached lips and insert it in the urchin’s mouth.  The boy was the pet of the court, for the father was one of the valientes of the prison, and those who feared his prowess, and wished to pay their court to him, were always fondling the child.  What an enigma is this world of ours!  How dark and mysterious are the sources of what is called crime and virtue!  If that infant wretch become eventually a murderer like his father, is he to blame?  Fondled by robbers, already dressed as a robber, born of a robber, whose own history was perhaps similar.  Is it right? . . .

Oh, man, man, seek not to dive into the mystery of moral good and evil; confess thyself a worm, cast thyself on the earth, and murmur with thy lips in the dust, Jesus, Jesus!

What most surprised me with respect to the prisoners was their good behaviour; I call it good when all things are taken into consideration, and when I compare it with that of the general class of prisoners in foreign lands.  They had their occasional bursts of wild gaiety, their occasional quarrels, which they were in the habit of settling in a corner of the interior court with their long knives; [148] the result not unfrequently being death, or a dreadful gash in the face or the abdomen; but, upon the whole, their conduct was infinitely superior to what might have been expected from the inmates of such a place.  Yet this was not the result of coercion, or any particular care which was exercised over them; for perhaps in no part of the world are prisoners so left to themselves and so p. 149utterly neglected as in Spain: the authorities having no farther anxiety about them than to prevent their escape; not the slightest attention being paid to their moral conduct, and not a thought bestowed upon their health, comfort, or mental improvement, whilst within the walls.  Yet in this prison of Madrid, and I may say in Spanish prisons in general, for I have been an inmate of more than one, [149] the ears of the visitor are never shocked with horrid blasphemy and obscenity, as in those of some other countries, and more particularly in civilized France; nor are his eyes outraged and himself insulted, as he would assuredly be, were he to look down upon the courts from the galleries of the Bicêtre.  And yet in this prison of Madrid were some of the most desperate characters in Spain; ruffians who had committed acts of cruelty and atrocity sufficient to make the flesh shudder.  But gravity and sedateness are the leading characteristics of the Spaniards, and the very robber, except in those moments when he is engaged in his occupation, and then no one is more sanguinary, pitiless, and wolfishly eager for booty, is a being who can be courteous and affable, and who takes pleasure in conducting himself with sobriety and decorum.

Happily, perhaps, for me, that my acquaintance with the ruffians of Spain commenced and ended in the towns about which I wandered, and in the prisons into which I was cast for the Gospel’s sake, and that, notwithstanding my long and frequent journeys, I never came in contact with them on the road or in the despoblado.

The most ill-conditioned being in the prison was a Frenchman, though probably the most remarkable.  p. 150He was about sixty years of age, of the middle stature, but thin and meagre, like most of his countrymen; he had a villanously formed head, according to all the rules of craniology, and his features were full of evil expression.  He wore no hat, and his clothes, though in appearance nearly new, were of the coarsest description.  He generally kept aloof from the rest, and would stand for hours together leaning against the walls with his arms folded, glaring sullenly on what was passing before him.  He was not one of the professed valientes, for his age prevented his assuming so distinguished a character, and yet all the rest appeared to hold him in a certain awe: perhaps they feared his tongue, which he occasionally exerted in pouring forth withering curses upon those who incurred his displeasure.  He spoke perfectly good Spanish, and to my great surprise excellent Basque, in which he was in the habit of conversing with Francisco, who, lolling from the window of my apartment, would exchange jests and witticisms with the prisoners in the court below, with whom he was a great favourite.

One day when I was in the patio, to which I had free admission whenever I pleased, by permission of the alcayde, I went up to the Frenchman, who stood in his usual posture, leaning against the wall, and offered him a cigar.  I do not smoke myself, but it will never do to mix among the lower classes of Spain unless you have a cigar to present occasionally.  The man glared at me ferociously for a moment, and appeared to be on the point of refusing my offer with perhaps a hideous execration.  I repeated it, however, pressing my hand against my heart, whereupon suddenly the grim features relaxed, and with a genuine French grimace, and a low bow, he accepted the cigar, p. 151exclaiming, “Ah, monsieur, pardon, mais c’est faire trop d’honneur à un pauvre diable comme moi.”

“Not at all,” said I, “we are both fellow-prisoners in a foreign land, and being so we ought to countenance each other.  I hope that whenever I have need of your co-operation in this prison you will afford it me.”

Ah, monsieur,” exclaimed the Frenchman in rapture, “vous avez bien raison; il faut que les étrangers se donnent la main dans ce . . . pays de barbaresTenez,” he added in a whisper, “if you have any plan for escaping, and require my assistance, I have an arm and a knife at your service: you may trust me, and that is more than you could any of these sacrées gens ici,” glancing fiercely round at his fellow-prisoners.

“You appear to be no friend to Spain and the Spaniards,” said I.  “I conclude that you have experienced injustice at their hands.  For what have they immured you in this place?”

Pour rien du tout, c’est à dire pour une bagatelle; but what can you expect from such animals?  For what are you imprisoned?  Did I not hear say for gypsyism and sorcery?”

“Perhaps you are here for your opinions?”

Ah, mon Dieu, non; je ne suis pas homme à semblable betise.  I have no opinions.  Je faisois . . . mais ce n’importe; je me trouve ici, où je crève de faim.”

“I am sorry to see a brave man in such a distressed condition,” said I; “have you nothing to subsist upon beyond the prison allowance?  Have you no friends?”

“Friends in this country?  You mock me; here one has no friends, unless one buy them.  I am bursting with hunger.  Since I have been here I have sold the p. 152clothes off my back, that I might eat, for the prison allowance will not support nature, and of half of that we are robbed by the Batu, as they called the barbarian of a governor.  Les haillons which now cover me were given by two or three devotees who sometimes visit here.  I would sell them if they would fetch aught.  I have not a sou, and for want of a few crowns I shall be garroted within a month unless I can escape, though, as I told you before, I have done nothing, a mere bagatelle; but the worst crimes in Spain are poverty and misery.”

“I have heard you speak Basque; are you from French Biscay?”

“I am from Bordeaux, monsieur; but I have lived much on the Landes and in Biscay, travaillant à mon métier.  I see by your look that you wish to know my history.  I shall not tell it you.  It contains nothing that is remarkable.  See, I have smoked out your cigar; you may give me another, and add a dollar if you please, nous sommes crevés ici de faim.  I would not say as much to a Spaniard, but I have a respect for your countrymen; I know much of them; I have met them at Maida and the other place.” [152]

“Nothing remarkable in his history!”  Why, or I greatly err, one chapter of his life, had it been written, would have unfolded more of the wild and wonderful than fifty volumes of what are in general called adventures and hairbreadth escapes by land and sea.  A soldier! what a tale could that man have told of marches and retreats, of battles lost and won, towns sacked, convents plundered! perhaps he had seen the flames of Moscow ascending to the clouds, and had “tried his strength with nature in the wintry desert,” p. 153pelted by the snowstorm, and bitten by the tremendous cold of Russia.  And what could he mean by plying his trade in Biscay and Landes, but that he had been a robber in those wild regions, of which the latter is more infamous for brigandage and crime than any other part of the French territory?  Nothing remarkable in his history! then what history in the world contains aught that is remarkable?

I gave him the cigar and dollar.  He received them, and then once more folding his arms, leaned back against the wall, and appeared to sink gradually into one of his reveries.  I looked him in the face and spoke to him, but he did not seem either to hear or see me.  His mind was perhaps wandering in that dreadful valley of the shadow, into which the children of earth, whilst living, occasionally find their way: that dreadful region where there is no water, where hope dwelleth not, where nothing lives but the undying worm.  This valley is the facsimile of hell, and he who has entered it has experienced here on earth for a time what the spirits of the condemned are doomed to suffer through ages without end.

He was executed about a month from this time.  The bagatelle for which he was confined was robbery and murder by the following strange device.  In concert with two others, he hired a large house in an unfrequented part of the town, to which place he would order tradesmen to convey valuable articles, which were to be paid for on delivery; those who attended paid for their credulity with the loss of their lives and property.  Two or three had fallen into the snare.  I wished much to have had some private conversation with this desperate man, and in consequence begged of the alcayde to allow him to dine with me in my p. 154own apartment; whereupon Monsieur Bassompierre, for so I will take the liberty of calling the governor, his real name having escaped my memory, took off his hat, and, with his usual smile and bow, replied in purest Castilian, “English cavalier, and I hope I may add friend, pardon me, that it is quite out of my power to gratify your request, founded, I have no doubt, on the most admirable sentiments of philosophy.  Any of the other gentlemen beneath my care shall, at any time you desire it, be permitted to wait upon you in your apartment.  I will even go so far as to cause their irons, if irons they wear, to be knocked off in order that they may partake of your refection with that comfort which is seemly and convenient: but to the gentleman in question I must object; he is the most evil disposed of the whole of this family, and would most assuredly breed a funcion either in your apartment or in the corridor, by an attempt to escape.  Cavalier, me pesa, [154] but I cannot accede to your request.  But with respect to any other gentleman, I shall be most happy, even Balseiro, who, though strange things are told of him, still knows how to comport himself, and in whose behaviour there is something both of formality and politeness, shall this day share your hospitality if you desire it, cavalier.”

Of Balseiro I have already had occasion to speak in the former part of this narrative.  He was now confined in an upper story of the prison, in a strong room, with several other malefactors.  He had been found guilty of aiding and assisting one Pepe Candelas, a thief of no inconsiderable renown, in a desperate robbery perpetrated in open daylight upon no less a personage than the queen’s milliner, a Frenchwoman, p. 155whom they bound in her own shop, from which they took goods and money to the amount of five or six thousand dollars.  Candelas had already expiated his crime on the scaffold, but Balseiro, who was said to be by far the worst ruffian of the two, had by dint of money, an ally which his comrade did not possess, contrived to save his own life; the punishment of death, to which he was originally sentenced, having been commuted to twenty years’ hard labour in the presidio of Malaga.  I visited this worthy, and conversed with him for some time through the wicket of the dungeon.  He recognized me, and reminded me of the victory which I had once obtained over him, in the trial of our respective skill in the crabbed Gitano, at which Sevilla the bull-fighter was umpire.

Upon my telling him that I was sorry to see him in such a situation, he replied that it was an affair of no manner of consequence, as within six weeks he should be conducted to the presidio, from which, with the assistance of a few ounces distributed amongst the guards, he could at any time escape.  “But whither would you flee?” I demanded.  “Can I not flee to the land of the Moors,” replied Balseiro, “or to the English in the camp of Gibraltar; or, if I prefer it, cannot I return to this foro, and live as I have hitherto done, choring the gachos; [155] what is to hinder me?  Madrid is large, and Balseiro has plenty of friends, especially among the lumias,” he added, with a smile.  I spoke to him of his ill-fated accomplice Candelas; whereupon his face assumed a horrible expression.  “I hope he is in torment,” exclaimed the robber.  The friendship of the unrighteous is never of long duration; the two worthies had, it seems, p. 156quarrelled in prison; Candelas having accused the other of bad faith and an undue appropriation to his own use of the corpus delicti in various robberies which they had committed in company.

I cannot refrain from relating the subsequent history of this Balseiro.  Shortly after my own liberation, too impatient to wait until the presidio should afford him a chance of regaining his liberty, he, in company with some other convicts, broke through the roof of the prison and escaped.  He instantly resumed his former habits, committing several daring robberies, both within and without the walls of Madrid.  I now come to his last, I may call it his master crime, a singular piece of atrocious villany.  Dissatisfied with the proceeds of street robbery and house-breaking, he determined upon a bold stroke, by which he hoped to acquire money sufficient to support him in some foreign land in luxury and splendour.

There was a certain comptroller of the queen’s household, by name Gabiria, [156] a Basque by birth, and a man of immense possessions: this individual had two sons, handsome boys, between twelve and fourteen years of age, whom I had frequently seen, and indeed conversed with, in my walks on the bank of the Manzanares, which was their favourite promenade.  These children, at the time of which I am speaking, were receiving their education at a certain seminary in Madrid.  Balseiro, being well acquainted with the father’s affection for his children, determined to make it subservient to his own rapacity.  He formed a plan, which was neither more nor less than to steal the children, and not to restore them to their parent until he had received an enormous ransom.  This plan was p. 157partly carried into execution: two associates of Balseiro, well dressed, drove up to the door of the seminary where the children were, and, by means of a forged letter, purporting to be written by the father, induced the schoolmaster to permit the boys to accompany them for a country jaunt, as they pretended.  About five leagues from Madrid Balseiro had a cave, in a wild unfrequented spot between the Escurial and a village called Torre Lodones: to this cave the children were conducted, where they remained in durance under the custody of the two accomplices; Balseiro in the mean time remaining in Madrid for the purpose of conducting negociations with the father.  The father, however, was a man of considerable energy, and instead of acceding to the terms of the ruffian, communicated in a letter, instantly took the most vigorous measures for the recovery of his children.  Horse and foot were sent out to scour the country, and in less than a week the children were found near the cave, having been abandoned by their keepers, who had taken fright on hearing of the decided measures which had been resorted to; they were, however, speedily arrested and identified by the boys as their ravishers.  Balseiro, perceiving that Madrid was becoming too hot to hold him, attempted to escape, but whether to the camp of Gibraltar or to the land of the Moor, I know not; he was recognized, however, at a village in the neighbourhood of Madrid, and being apprehended, was forthwith conducted to the capital, where he shortly after terminated his existence on the scaffold, with his two associates; Gabiria and his children being present at the ghastly scene, which they surveyed from a chariot at their ease.

Such was the end of Balseiro, of whom I should p. 158certainly not have said so much, but for the affair of the crabbed Gitano.  Poor wretch! he acquired that species of immortality which is the object of the aspirations of many a Spanish thief, whilst vapouring about in the patio, dressed in the snowy linen; the rape of the children of Gabiria made him at once the pet of the fraternity.  A celebrated robber, with whom I was subsequently imprisoned at Seville, spoke his eulogy in the following manner:—

“Balseiro was a very good subject, and an honest man.  He was the head of our family, Don Jorge; we shall never see his like again; pity that he did not sack the parné, and escape to the camp of the Moor, Don Jorge.”


Maria Diaz—Priestly Vituperation—Antonio’s Visit—Antonio at Service—A Scene—Benedict Mol—Wandering in Spain—The Four Evangelien.

“Well,” said I to Maria Diaz, on the third morning after my imprisonment, “what do the people of Madrid say to this affair of mine?”

“I do not know what the people of Madrid in general say about it, probably they do not take much interest in it; indeed, imprisonments at the present time are such common matters, that people seem to be quite indifferent to them; the priests, however, are in no slight commotion, and confess that they have committed an imprudent thing in causing you to be arrested by their friend the corregidor of Madrid.”

“How is that?” I inquired.  “Are they afraid that their friend will be punished?”

 “Not so, señor,” replied Maria; “slight grief indeed would it cause them, however great the trouble in which he had involved himself on their account; for this description of people have no affection, and would not care if all their friends were hanged, provided they themselves escaped.  But they say that they have acted imprudently in sending you to prison, inasmuch as by so doing they have given you an p. 160opportunity of carrying a plan of yours into execution.  ‘This fellow is a bribon,’ say they, ‘and has commenced tampering with the prisoners; they have taught him their language, which he already speaks as well as if he were a son of the prison.  As soon as he comes out he will publish a thieves’ Gospel, which will be a still more dangerous affair than the gypsy one, for the gypsies are few, but the thieves! woe is us; we shall all be Lutheranized.  What infamy, what rascality!  It was a trick of his own.  He was always eager to get into prison, and now, in evil hour, we have sent him there, el bribonazo; there will be no safety for Spain until he is hanged; he ought to be sent to the four hells, where at his leisure he might translate his fatal gospels into the language of the demons.’”

“I but said three words to the alcayde of the prison,” said I, “relative to the jargon used by the children of the prison.”

“Three words!  Don Jorge; and what may not be made out of three words?  You have lived amongst us to little purpose if you think we require more than three words to build a system with.  Those three words about the thieves and their tongue were quite sufficient to cause it to be reported throughout Madrid that you had tampered with the thieves, had learnt their language, and had written a book which was to overturn Spain, open to the English the gates of Cadiz, give Mendizabal all the church plate and jewels, and to Don Martin Luther the archiepiscopal palace of Toledo.”

Late in the afternoon of rather a gloomy day, as I was sitting in the apartment which the alcayde had allotted me, I heard a rap at the door.  “Who is p. 161that?” I exclaimed.  “C’est moi, mon maître,” cried a well-known voice, and presently in walked Antonio Buchini, dressed in the same style as when I first introduced him to the reader, namely, in a handsome but rather faded French surtout, vest, and pantaloons, with a diminutive hat in one hand, and holding in the other a long and slender cane.

Bon jour, mon maître,” said the Greek; then, glancing around the apartment, he continued, “I am glad to find you so well lodged.  If I remember right, mon maître, we have slept in worse places during our wanderings in Galicia and Castile.”

“You are quite right, Antonio,” I replied; “I am very comfortable.  Well, this is kind of you to visit your ancient master, more especially now he is in the toils; I hope, however, that by so doing you will not offend your present employer.  His dinner hour must be at hand; why are you not in the kitchen?”

“Of what employer are you speaking, mon maître?” demanded Antonio.

“Of whom should I speak but Count ---, to serve whom you abandoned me, being tempted by an offer of a monthly salary less by four dollars than that which I was giving you?”

“Your worship brings an affair to my remembrance which I had long since forgotten.  I have at present no other master than yourself, Monsieur Georges, for I shall always consider you as my master, though I may not enjoy the felicity of waiting upon you.”

“You have left the Count, then,” said I, “after remaining three days in the house, according to your usual practice.”

“Not three hours, mon maître,” replied Antonio; “but I will tell you the circumstances.  Soon after p. 162I left you I repaired to the house of Monsieur le Comte; I entered the kitchen, and looked about me.  I cannot say that I had much reason to be dissatisfied with what I saw: the kitchen was large and commodious, and everything appeared neat and in its proper place, and the domestics civil and courteous; yet, I know not how it was, the idea at once rushed into my mind that the house was by no means suited to me, and that I was not destined to stay there long; so, hanging my haversack upon a nail, and sitting down on the dresser, I commenced singing a Greek song, as I am in the habit of doing when dissatisfied.  The domestics came about me, asking questions.  I made them no answer, however, and continued singing till the hour for preparing the dinner drew nigh, when I suddenly sprang on the floor, and was not long in thrusting them all out of the kitchen, telling them that they had no business there at such a season.  I then at once entered upon my functions.  I exerted myself, mon maître—I exerted myself, and was preparing a repast which would have done me honour; there was, indeed, some company expected that day, and I therefore determined to show my employer that nothing was beyond the capacity of his Greek cook.  Eh bien, mon maître, all was going on remarkably well, and I felt almost reconciled to my new situation, when who should rush into the kitchen but le fils de la maison, my young master, an ugly urchin of thirteen years or thereabouts.  He bore in his hand a manchet of bread, which, after prying about for a moment, he proceeded to dip in the pan where some delicate woodcocks were in the course of preparation.  You know, mon maître, how sensitive I am on certain points, for I am no Spaniard, but a Greek, and have p. 163principles of honour.  Without a moment’s hesitation I took my young master by the shoulders, and hurrying him to the door, dismissed him in the manner which he deserved.  Squalling loudly, he hurried away to the upper part of the house.  I continued my labours, but ere three minutes had elapsed, I heard a dreadful confusion above stairs, on faisoit une horrible tintamarre, and I could occasionally distinguish oaths and execrations.  Presently doors were flung open, and there was an awful rushing downstairs, a gallopade.  It was my lord the count, his lady, and my young master, followed by a regular bevy of women and filles de chambre.  Far in advance of all, however, was my lord with a drawn sword in his hand, shouting, ‘Where is the wretch who has dishonoured my son, where is he?  He shall die forthwith.’  I know not how it was, mon maître, but I just then chanced to spill a large bowl of garbanzos, which were intended for the puchera of the following day.  They were uncooked, and were as hard as marbles; these I dashed upon the floor, and the greater part of them fell just about the doorway.  Eh bien, mon maître, in another moment in bounded the count, his eyes sparkling like coals, and, as I have already said, with a rapier in his hand. ‘Tenez, gueux enragé,’ he screamed, making a desperate lunge at me; but ere the words were out of his mouth, his foot slipping on the pease, he fell forward with great violence at his full length, and his weapon flew out of his hand, comme une flêche.  You should have heard the outcry which ensued—there was a terrible confusion: the count lay upon the floor to all appearance stunned.  I took no notice, however, continuing busily employed.  They at last raised him up, and assisted him till he p. 164came to himself, though very pale and much shaken.  He asked for his sword: all eyes were now turned upon me, and I saw that a general attack was meditated.  Suddenly I took a large casserole from the fire in which various eggs were frying; this I held out at arm’s length, peering at it along my arm as if I were curiously inspecting it, my right foot advanced and the other thrown back as far as possible.  All stood still, imagining, doubtless, that I was about to perform some grand operation, and so I was: for suddenly the sinister leg advancing, with one rapid coup de pied, I sent the casserole and its contents flying over my head, so that they struck the wall far behind me.  This was to let them know that I had broken my staff and had shaken the dust off my feet; so casting upon the count the peculiar glance of the Sceirote cooks when they feel themselves insulted, and extending my mouth on either side nearly as far as the ears, I took down my haversack and departed, singing as I went the song of the ancient Demos, who, when dying, asked for his supper, and water wherewith to lave his hands—

Ό ἤλιος ἐβασίλευε, κἰ ὁ Δημος διατάζει,
Σύρτε, παιδιά μου, ’σ τὸ νερὸν ψωμὶ νὰ φάτ' ὰπόψε. [164]

And in this manner, mon maître, I left the house of the Count of ---.”

Myself.—And a fine account you have given of yourself; by your own confession, your behaviour was most atrocious.  Were it not for the many marks of courage and fidelity which you have exhibited in my service, I would from this moment hold no further communication with you.

p. 165Antonio.—Mais qu’est ce que vous voudriez, mon maître?  Am I not a Greek, full of honour and sensibility?  Would you have the cooks of Sceira and Stambul submit to be insulted here in Spain by the sons of counts rushing into the temple with manchets of bread?  Non, non, mon maître, you are too noble to require that, and what is more, too just.  But we will talk of other things.  Mon maître, I came not alone, there is one now waiting in the corridor anxious to speak to you.

Myself.—Who is it?

Antonio.—One whom you have met, mon maître, in various and strange places.

Myself.—But who is it?

Antonio.—One who will come to a strange end, for so it is written.  The most extraordinary of all the Swiss, he of Saint James—Der Schatz Gräber. [165]

Myself.—Not Benedict Mol?

Yaw, mein lieber Herr,” said Benedict, pushing open the door which stood ajar; “it is myself.  I met Herr Anton in the street, and hearing that you were in this place, I came with him to visit you.”

Myself.—And in the name of all that is singular, how is it that I see you in Madrid again?  I thought that by this time you were returned to your own country.

Benedict.—Fear not, lieber Herr, I shall return thither in good time; but not on foot, but with mules and coach.  The Schatz is still yonder, waiting to be dug up, and now I have better hope than ever; plenty of friends, plenty of money.  See you not how I am dressed, lieber Herr?

And verily his habiliments were of a much more p. 166respectable appearance than any which he had sported on former occasions.  His coat and pantaloons, which were of light green, were nearly new.  On his head he still wore an Andalusian hat, but the present one was neither old nor shabby, but fresh and glossy, and of immense altitude of cone; whilst in his hand, instead of the ragged staff which I had observed at Saint James and Oviedo, he now carried a huge bamboo rattan, surmounted by the grim head of either a bear or lion, curiously cut out of pewter.

“You have all the appearance of a treasure-seeker returned from a successful expedition,” I exclaimed.

“Or rather,” interrupted Antonio, “of one who has ceased to trade on his own bottom, and now goes seeking treasures at the cost and expense of others.”

I questioned the Swiss minutely concerning his adventures since I last saw him, when I left him at Oviedo to pursue my route to Santander.  From his answers I gathered that he had followed me to the latter place; he was, however, a long time in performing the journey, being weak from hunger and privation.  At Santander he could hear no tidings of me, and by this time the trifle which he had received from me was completely exhausted.  He now thought of making his way into France, but was afraid to venture through the disturbed provinces, lest he should fall into the hands of the Carlists, who he conceived might shoot him as a spy.  No one relieving him at Santander, he departed and begged his way till he found himself in some part of Aragon, but where he scarcely knew.  “My misery was so great,” said Benedict, “that I nearly lost my senses.  Oh, the horror of wandering about the savage hills and wide plains of Spain, without money and without hope!  Sometimes I became p. 167desperate, when I found myself amongst rocks and barrancos, perhaps after having tasted no food from sunrise to sunset; and then I would raise my staff towards the sky and shake it, crying, Lieber Herr Gott, ach lieber Herr Gott, you must help me now or never; if you tarry I am lost; you must help me now, now!  And once, when I was raving in this manner, methought I heard a voice—nay, I am sure I heard it—sounding from the hollow of a rock, clear and strong; and it cried, ‘Der Schatz, der Schatz, it is not yet dug up; to Madrid, to Madrid.  The way to the Schatz is through Madrid.’  And then the thought of the Schatz once more rushed into my mind, and I reflected how happy I might be, could I but dig up the Schatz.  No more begging then; no more wandering amidst horrid mountains and deserts; so I brandished my staff, and my body and my limbs became full of new and surprising strength, and I strode forward, and was not long before I reached the high road; and then I begged and bettled as I best could, until I reached Madrid.”

“And what has befallen you since you reached Madrid?” I inquired.  “Did you find the treasure in the streets?”

On a sudden Benedict became reserved and taciturn, which the more surprised me, as, up to the present moment, he had at all times been remarkably communicative with respect to his affairs and prospects.  From what I could learn from his broken hints and innuendos, it appeared that, since his arrival at Madrid, he had fallen into the hands of certain people who had treated him with kindness, and provided him both with money and clothes; not from disinterested motives, however, but having an eye to the treasure.  “They p. 168expect great things from me,” said the Swiss; “and perhaps, after all, it would have been more profitable to have dug up the treasure without their assistance, always provided that were possible.”  Who his new friends were he either knew not or would not tell me, save that they were people in power.  He said something about Queen Christina and an oath which he had taken in the presence of a bishop on the crucifix and the four Evangelien.  I thought that his head was turned, and forbore questioning.  Just before taking his departure, he observed, “Lieber Herr, pardon me for not being quite frank towards you, to whom I owe so much, but I dare not; I am not now my own man.  It is, moreover, an evil thing at all times to say a word about treasure before you have secured it.  There was once a man in my own country who dug deep into the earth until he arrived at a copper vessel which contained a Schatz.  Seizing it by the handle, he merely exclaimed in his transport, ‘I have it!’ that was enough, however: down sank the kettle, though the handle remained in his grasp.  That was all he ever got for his trouble and digging.  Farewell, lieber Herr, I shall speedily be sent back to Saint James to dig up the Schatz; but I will visit you ere I go—farewell.”


Liberation from Prison—The Apology—Human Nature—The Greek’s Return—Church of Rome—Light of Scripture—Archbishop of Toledo—An Interview—Stones of Price—A Resolution—The Foreign Language—Benedict’s Farewell—Treasure Hunt at Compostella—Truth and Fiction.

I remained about three weeks in the prison of Madrid, and then left it.  If I had possessed any pride, or harboured any rancour against the party who had consigned me to durance, the manner in which I was restored to liberty would no doubt have been highly gratifying to those evil passions; the government having acknowledged, by a document transmitted to Sir George, that I had been incarcerated on insufficient grounds, and that no stigma attached itself to me from the imprisonment I had undergone; at the same time agreeing to defray all the expenses to which I had been subjected throughout the progress of this affair.

It moreover expressed its willingness to dismiss the individual owing to whose information I had been first arrested, namely, the corchete, or police officer, who had visited me in my apartments in the Calle de Santiago, and behaved himself in the manner which I have described in a former chapter.  I declined, however, to avail myself of this condescension of the government, more especially as I was informed that the p. 170individual in question had a wife and family, who, if he were disgraced, would be at once reduced to want.  I moreover considered that, in what he had done and said, he had probably only obeyed some private orders which he had received; I therefore freely forgave him, and if he does not retain his situation at the present moment, it is certainly no fault of mine.

I likewise refused to accept any compensation for my expenses, which were considerable.  It is probable that many persons in my situation would have acted very differently in this respect, and I am far from saying that herein I acted discreetly or laudably; but I was averse to receive money from people such as those of which the Spanish Government was composed, people whom I confess I heartily despised, and I was unwilling to afford them an opportunity of saying that after they had imprisoned an Englishman unjustly, and without a cause, he condescended to receive money at their hands.  In a word, I confess my own weakness; I was willing that they should continue my debtors, and have little doubt that they had not the slightest objection to remain so: they kept their money, and probably laughed in their sleeves at my want of common sense.

The heaviest loss which resulted from my confinement, and for which no indemnification could be either offered or received, was in the death of my affectionate and faithful Basque Francisco, who, having attended me during the whole time of my imprisonment, caught the pestilential typhus or gaol fever, which was then raging in the Carcel de la Corte, of which he expired within a few days subsequent to my liberation. [170]  His death occurred late one evening.  The p. 171next morning, as I was lying in bed ruminating on my loss, and wondering of what nation my next servant would be, I heard a noise which seemed to be that of a person employed vigorously in cleaning boots or shoes, and at intervals a strange discordant voice singing snatches of a song in some unknown language: wondering who it could be, I rang the bell.

“Did you ring, mon maître?” said Antonio, appearing at the door with one of his arms deeply buried in a boot.

“I certainly did ring,” said I, “but I scarcely expected that you would have answered the summons.”

Mais pourquoi non, mon maître?” cried Antonio.  “Who should serve you now but myself?  N’est pas que le sieur François est mort?  And did I not say, as soon as I heard of his departure, I shall return to my functions chez mon maître, Monsieur Georges?”

“I suppose you had no other employment, and on that account you came.”

Au contraire, mon maître,” replied the Greek, “I had just engaged myself at the house of the Duke of Frias, [171] from whom I was to receive ten dollars per month more than I shall accept from your worship; but on hearing that you were without a domestic, I forthwith told the duke, though it was late at night, that he would not suit me; and here I am.”

“I shall not receive you in this manner,” said I; “return to the duke, apologize for your behaviour, request your dismission in a regular way; and then, if his grace is willing to part with you, as will most probably be the case, I shall be happy to avail myself of your services.”

p. 172It is reasonable to expect that after having been subjected to an imprisonment which my enemies themselves admitted to be unjust, I should in future experience more liberal treatment at their hands than that which they had hitherto adopted towards me.  The sole object of my ambition at this time was to procure toleration for the sale of the Gospel in this unhappy and distracted kingdom, and to have attained this end I would not only have consented to twenty such imprisonments in succession as that which I had undergone, but would gladly have sacrificed life itself.  I soon perceived, however, that I was likely to gain nothing by my incarceration; on the contrary, I had become an object of personal dislike to the government since the termination of this affair, which it was probable I had never been before; their pride and vanity were humbled by the concessions which they had been obliged to make in order to avoid a rupture with England.  This dislike they were now determined to gratify, by thwarting my views as much as possible.  I had an interview with Ofalia on the subject uppermost in my mind; I found him morose and snappish.  “It will be for your interest to be still,” said he; “beware! you have already thrown the whole corte into confusion; beware, I repeat; another time you may not escape so easily.”  “Perhaps not,” I replied, “and perhaps I do not wish it; it is a pleasant thing to be persecuted for the Gospel’s sake.  I now take the liberty of inquiring whether, if I attempt to circulate the Word of God, I am to be interrupted.”  “Of course,” exclaimed Ofalia; “the Church forbids such circulation.”  “I shall make the attempt, however,” I exclaimed.  “Do you mean what you say?” demanded Ofalia, arching his eyebrows and elongating his mouth.  p. 173“Yes,” I continued, “I shall make the attempt in every village in Spain to which I can penetrate.”

Throughout my residence in Spain the clergy were the party from which I experienced the strongest opposition; and it was at their instigation that the government originally adopted those measures which prevented any extensive circulation of the sacred volume through the land.  I shall not detain the course of my narrative with reflections as to the state of a Church, which, though it pretends to be founded on Scripture, would yet keep the light of Scripture from all mankind, if possible.  But Rome is fully aware that she is not a Christian Church, and having no desire to become so, she acts prudently in keeping from the eyes of her followers the page which would reveal to them the truths of Christianity.  Her agents and minions throughout Spain exerted themselves to the utmost to render my humble labours abortive, and to vilify the work which I was attempting to disseminate.  All the ignorant and fanatical clergy (the great majority) were opposed to it, and all those who were anxious to keep on good terms with the court of Rome were loud in their cry against it.  There was, however, one section of the clergy, a small one, it is true, rather favourably disposed towards the circulation of the Gospel, though by no means inclined to make any particular sacrifice for the accomplishment of such an end: these were such as professed liberalism, which is supposed to mean a disposition to adopt any reform, both in civil and Church matters, which may be deemed conducive to the weal of the country.  Not a few amongst the Spanish clergy were supporters of this principle, or at least declared themselves so; some doubtless for their own advancement, hoping to turn p. 174the spirit of the times to their own personal profit: others, it is to be hoped, from conviction, and a pure love of the principle itself.  Amongst these were to be found, at the time of which I am speaking, several bishops.  It is worthy of remark, however, that of all these not one but owed his office, not to the Pope, who disowned them one and all, but to the Queen Regent, the professed head of liberalism throughout all Spain.  It is not, therefore, surprising that men thus circumstanced should feel rather disposed than not to countenance any measure or scheme at all calculated to favour the advancement of liberalism; and surely such an one was the circulation of the Scriptures.  I derived but little assistance from their good will, however, supposing that they entertained some, as they never took any decided stand, nor lifted up their voices in a bold and positive manner, denouncing the conduct of those who would withhold the light of Scripture from the world.  At one time I hoped by their instrumentality to accomplish much in Spain in the Gospel cause; but I was soon undeceived, and became convinced that reliance on what they would effect was like placing the hand on a staff of reed, which will only lacerate the flesh.  More than once some of them sent messages to me, expressive of their esteem, and assuring me how much the cause of the Gospel was dear to their hearts.  I even received an intimation that a visit from me would be agreeable to the Archbishop of Toledo, the Primate of Spain.

Of this personage I can say but little, his early history being entirely unknown to me.  At the death of Ferdinand, I believe, he was Bishop of Mallorca, a small insignificant see, of very scanty revenues, which perhaps he had no objection to exchange for one p. 175more wealthy.  It is probable, however, that had he proved a devoted servant of the Pope, and consequently a supporter of legitimacy, he would have continued to the day of his death to fill the episcopal chair of Mallorca; but he was said to be a liberal, and the Queen Regent thought fit to bestow upon him the dignity of Archbishop of Toledo, by which he became the head of the Spanish Church.  The Pope, it is true, had refused to ratify the nomination, on which account all good Catholics were still bound to consider him as Bishop of Mallorca, and not as Primate of Spain.  He, however, received the revenues belonging to the see, which, though only a shadow of what they originally were, were still considerable, and lived in the primate’s palace at Madrid, so that if he were not archbishop de jure, he was what many people would have considered much better, archbishop de facto. [175]

Hearing that this personage was a personal friend of Ofalia, who was said to entertain a very high regard for him, I determined upon paying him a visit, and accordingly one morning betook myself to the palace in which he resided.  I experienced no difficulty in obtaining an interview, being forthwith conducted to his presence by a common kind of footman, an Asturian, I believe, whom I found seated on a stone bench in the entrance-hall.  When I was introduced, the archbishop was alone, seated behind a table in a large apartment, a kind of drawing-room; he was plainly dressed, in a black cassock and silken cap; p. 176on his finger, however, glittered a superb amethyst, the lustre of which was truly dazzling.  He rose for a moment as I advanced, and motioned me to a chair with his hand.  He might be about sixty years of age; his figure was very tall, but he stooped considerably, evidently from feebleness, and the pallid hue of ill-health overspread his emaciated features.  When he had reseated himself, he dropped his head, and appeared to be looking on the table before him.

“I suppose your lordship knows who I am?” said I, at last breaking silence.

The archbishop bent his head towards the right shoulder, in a somewhat equivocal manner, but said nothing.

“I am he whom the Manolos of Madrid call Don Jorgito el Ingles; I am just come out of prison, whither I was sent for circulating my Lord’s Gospel in this kingdom of Spain.”

The archbishop made the same equivocal motion with his head, but still said nothing.

“I was informed that your lordship was desirous of seeing me, and on that account I have paid you this visit.”

“I did not send for you,” said the archbishop, suddenly, raising his head with a startled look.

“Perhaps not: I was, however, given to understand that my presence would be agreeable; but as that does not seem to be the case, I will leave.”

“Since you are come, I am very glad to see you.”

“I am very glad to hear it,” said I, reseating myself; “and since I am here, we may as well talk of an all-important matter, the circulation of the Scripture.  Does your lordship see any way by which an end so desirable might be brought about?”

p. 177“No,” said the archbishop, faintly.

“Does not your lordship think that a knowledge of the Scripture would work inestimable benefit in these realms?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is it probable that the government may be induced to consent to the circulation?”

“How should I know?” and the archbishop looked me in the face.

I looked in the face of the archbishop; there was an expression of helplessness in it, which almost amounted to dotage.  “Dear me,” thought I, “whom have I come to on an errand like mine?  Poor man! you are not fitted to play the part of Martin Luther, and least of all in Spain.  I wonder why your friends selected you to be Archbishop of Toledo; they thought perhaps that you would do neither good nor harm, and made choice of you, as they sometimes do primates in my own country, for your incapacity.  You do not seem very happy in your present situation; no very easy stall this of yours.  You were more comfortable, I trow, when you were the poor Bishop of Mallorca; could enjoy your puchera then without fear that the salt would turn out sublimate.  No fear then of being smothered in your bed.  A siesta is a pleasant thing when one is not subject to be disturbed by ‘the sudden fear.’  I wonder whether they have poisoned you already,” I continued, half aloud, as I kept my eyes fixed on his countenance, which methought was becoming ghastly.

“Did you speak, Don Jorge?” demanded the archbishop.

“That is a fine brilliant on your lordship’s hand,” said I.

p. 178“You are fond of brilliants, Don Jorge,” said the archbishop, his features brightening up; “vaya! so am I; they are pretty things.  Do you understand them?”

“I do,” said I, “and I never saw a finer brilliant than your own, one excepted; it belonged to an acquaintance of mine, a Tartar Khan.  He did not bear it on his finger, however; it stood in the frontlet of his horse, where it shone like a star.  He called it Daoud Scharr, which, being interpreted, meaneth light of war.”

Vaya!” said the archbishop, “how very extraordinary!  I am glad you are fond of brilliants, Don Jorge.  Speaking of horses, reminds me that I have frequently seen you on horseback.  Vaya! how you ride!  It is dangerous to be in your way.”

“Is your lordship fond of equestrian exercise?”

“By no means, Don Jorge; I do not like horses.  It is not the practice of the Church to ride on horseback.  We prefer mules; they are the quieter animals.  I fear horses, they kick so violently.”

“The kick of a horse is death,” said I, “if it touches a vital part.  I am not, however, of your lordship’s opinion with respect to mules: a good ginete may retain his seat on a horse however vicious, but a mule—vaya! when a false mule tira por detras, [178a] I do not believe that the Father of the Church himself could keep the saddle a moment, however sharp his bit.”

As I was going away, I said, “And with respect to the Gospel, your lordship, what am I to understand?”

No sé,” [178b] said the archbishop, again bending his head towards the right shoulder, whilst his features resumed their former vacant expression.  And thus p. 179terminated my interview with the Archbishop of Toledo.

“It appears to me,” said I to Maria Diaz, on returning home; “it appears to me, Marequita mia, that if the Gospel in Spain is to wait for toleration until these liberal bishops and archbishops come forward boldly in its behalf, it will have to tarry a considerable time.”

“I am much of your worship’s opinion,” answered Maria; “a fine thing, truly, it would be to wait till they exerted themselves in its behalf.  Ca! [179a] the idea makes me smile.  Was your worship ever innocent enough to suppose that they cared one tittle about the Gospel or its cause?  Vaya! they are true priests, and had only self-interest in view in their advances to you.  The Holy Father disowns them, and they would now fain, by awaking his fears and jealousy, bring him to some terms; but let him once acknowledge them, and see whether they would admit you to their palaces or hold any intercourse with you!  ‘Forth with the fellow!’ they would say; ‘vaya! is he not a Lutheran?  Is he not an enemy to the Church?  Á la horca, á la horca!’ [179b]  I know this family better than you do, Don Jorge.”

“It is useless tarrying,” said I; “nothing, however, can be done in Madrid.  I cannot sell the work at the despacho, and I have just received intelligence that all the copies exposed for sale in the libraries in the different parts of Spain which I have visited have been sequestrated by order of the government.  My resolution is taken: I shall mount my horses, which are neighing in the stable, and betake myself to the villages and plains of dusty Spain.  Al campo, p. 180al campo: [180a] ‘Ride forth, because of the word of righteousness, and thy right hand shall show thee terrible things. [180b]  I will ride forth, Maria.”

“Your worship can do no better; and allow me here to tell you, that for every single book you might sell in a despacho in the city, you may dispose of one hundred amongst the villages, always provided you offer them cheap; for in the country money is rather scant.  Vaya! should I not know? am I not a villager myself, a villana from the Sagra?  Ride forth, therefore: your horses are neighing in the stall, as your worship says, and you might almost have added that the Señor Antonio is neighing in the house.  He says he has nothing to do, on which account he is once more dissatisfied and unsettled.  He finds fault with everything, but more particularly with myself.  This morning I saluted him, and he made me no reply, but twisted his mouth in a manner very uncommon in this land of Spain.”

“A thought strikes me,” said I; “you have mentioned the Sagra; why should not I commence my labours amongst the villages of that district?”

“Your worship can do no better,” replied Maria; “the harvest is just over there, and you will find the people comparatively unemployed, with leisure to attend and listen to you; and if you follow my advice, you will establish yourself at Villa Seca, in the house of my fathers, where at present lives my lord and husband.  Go, therefore, to Villa Seca in the first place, and from thence you can sally forth with the Señor Antonio upon your excursions.  Peradventure, p. 181my husband will accompany you; and if so, you will find him highly useful.  The people of Villa Seca are civil and courteous, your worship; when they address a foreigner, they speak to him at the top of their voice and in Gallegan.”

“In Gallegan!” I exclaimed.

“They all understand a few words of Gallegan, which they have acquired from the mountaineers, who occasionally assist them in cutting the harvest, and as Gallegan is the only foreign language they know, they deem it but polite to address a foreigner in that tongue.  Vaya! it is not a bad village, that of Villa Seca, nor are the people; the only ill-conditioned person living there is his reverence the curate.”

I was not long in making preparations for my enterprise.  A considerable stock of Testaments were sent forward by an arriero, I myself followed the next day.  Before my departure, however, I received a visit from Benedict Mol.

“I am come to bid you farewell, lieber Herr; tomorrow I return to Compostella.”

“On what errand?”

“To dig up the Schatz, lieber Herr.  For what else should I go?  For what have I lived until now, but that I may dig up the Schatz in the end?”

“You might have lived for something better,” I exclaimed.  “I wish you success, however.  But on what grounds do you hope?  Have you obtained permission to dig?  Surely you remember your former trials in Galicia?”

“I have not forgotten them, lieber Herr, nor the journey to Oviedo, nor ‘the seven acorns,’ nor the fight with death in the barranco.  But I must accomplish my destiny.  I go now to Galicia, as is becoming p. 182a Swiss, at the expense of the government, with coach and mule, I mean in the galera.  I am to have all the help I require, so that I can dig down to the earth’s centre if I think fit.  I—but I must not tell your worship, for I am sworn on ‘the four Evangelien,’ not to tell.”

“Well, Benedict, I have nothing to say, save that I hope you will succeed in your digging.”

“Thank you, lieber Herr, thank you; and now farewell.  Succeed!  I shall succeed!”  Here he stopped short, started, and looking upon me with an expression of countenance almost wild, he exclaimed, “Heiliger Gott!  I forgot one thing.  Suppose I should not find the treasure after all!”

“Very rationally said; pity, though, that you did not think of that contingency till now.  I tell you, my friend, that you have engaged in a most desperate undertaking.  It is true that you may find a treasure.  The chances are, however, a hundred to one that you do not, and in that event what will be your situation?  You will be looked upon as an impostor, and the consequences may be horrible to you.  Remember where you are, and amongst whom you are.  The Spaniards are a credulous people, but let them once suspect that they have been imposed upon, and above all laughed at, and their thirst for vengeance knows no limit.  Think not that your innocence will avail you.  That you are no impostor I feel convinced; but they would never believe it.  It is not too late.  Return your fine clothes and magic rattan to those from whom you had them.  Put on your old garments, grasp your ragged staff, and come with me to the Sagra, to assist in circulating the illustrious Gospel amongst the rustics on the Tagus’ bank.”

p. 183Benedict mused for a moment, then, shaking his head, he cried, “No, no, I must accomplish my destiny.  The Schatz is not yet dug up.  So said the voice in the barranco.  To-morrow to Compostella.  I shall find it—the Schatz—it is still there—it must be there.”

He went, and I never saw him more.  What I heard, however, was extraordinary enough.  It appeared that the government had listened to his tale, and had been so struck with Benedict’s exaggerated description of the buried treasure, that they imagined that, by a little trouble and outlay, gold and diamonds might be dug up at Saint James sufficient to enrich themselves and to pay off the national debt of Spain.  The Swiss returned to Compostella “like a duke,” to use his own words.  The affair, which had at first been kept a profound secret, was speedily divulged.  It was, indeed, resolved that the investigation, which involved consequences of so much importance, should take place in a manner the most public and imposing.  A solemn festival was drawing nigh, and it was deemed expedient that the search should take place upon that day.  The day arrived.  All the bells in Compostella pealed.  The whole populace thronged from their houses, a thousand troops were drawn up in the square, the expectation of all was wound up to the highest pitch.  A procession directed its course to the church of San Roque; at its head was the captain-general and the Swiss, brandishing in his hand the magic rattan; close behind walked the meiga, the Gallegan witch-wife, by whom the treasure-seeker had been originally guided in the search; numerous masons brought up the rear, bearing implements to break up the ground.  The procession enters the church, they pass through it in solemn march, they find themselves in a vaulted p. 184passage.  The Swiss looks around.  “Dig here,” said he suddenly.  “Yes, dig here,” said the meiga.  The masons labour, the floor is broken up,—a horrible and fetid odour arises. . . .

Enough; no treasure was found, and my warning to the unfortunate Swiss turned out but too prophetic.  He was forthwith seized and flung into the horrid prison of Saint James, amidst the execrations of thousands, who would have gladly torn him limb from limb.

The affair did not terminate here.  The political opponents of the government did not allow so favourable an opportunity to escape for launching the shafts of ridicule.  The moderados were taunted in the cortes for their avarice and credulity, whilst the liberal press wafted on its wings through Spain the story of the treasure-hunt at Saint James.

“After all, it was a trampa of Don Jorge’s,” said one of my enemies.  “That fellow is at the bottom of half the picardias which happen in Spain.”

Eager to learn the fate of the Swiss, I wrote to my old friend Rey Romero, at Compostella.  In his answer he states: “I saw the Swiss in prison, to which place he sent for me, craving my assistance, for the sake of the friendship which I bore to you.  But how could I help him?  He was speedily after removed from Saint James, I know not whither.  It is said that he disappeared on the road.”

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.  Where in the whole cycle of romance shall we find anything more wild, grotesque, and sad, than the easily authenticated history of Benedict Mol, the treasure-digger of Saint James?


Villa Seca—Moorish House—The Puchera—The Rustic Council—Polite Ceremonial—The Flower of Spain—The Bridge of Azeca—The Ruined Castle—Taking the Field—Demand for the Word—The Old Peasant—The Curate and Blacksmith—Cheapness of the Scriptures.

It was one of the most fiercely hot days in which I ever braved the sun, when I arrived at Villa Seca.  The heat in the shade must have amounted at least to one hundred degrees, and the entire atmosphere seemed to consist of flickering flame.  At a place called Leganez, six leagues from Madrid, and about half way to Toledo, we diverged from the highway, bending our course seemingly towards the south-east.  We rode over what are called plains in Spain, but which, in any other part of the world, would be called undulating and broken ground.  The crops of corn and barley had already disappeared, the last vestiges discoverable being here and there a few sheaves, which the labourers were occupied in removing to their garners in the villages.  The country could scarcely be called beautiful, being perfectly naked, exhibiting neither trees nor verdure.  It was not, however, without its pretensions to grandeur and magnificence, like every part of Spain.  The most prominent objects were two p. 186huge calcareous hills, or rather one cleft in twain, which towered up on high; the summit of the nearest being surmounted by the ruins of an ancient castle, that of Villaluenga.  About an hour past noon we reached Villa Seca.

We found it a large village, containing about seven hundred inhabitants, and surrounded by a mud wall.  A plaza, or market-place, stood in the midst, one side of which is occupied by what is called a palace, a clumsy quadrangular building of two stories, belonging to some noble family, the lords of the neighbouring soil.  It was deserted, however; being only occupied by a kind of steward, who stored up in its chambers the grain which he received as rent from the tenants and villanos who farmed the surrounding district.

The village stands at the distance of about a quarter of a league from the bank of the Tagus, which even here, in the heart of Spain, is a beautiful stream, not navigable, however, on account of the sand-banks, which in many places assume the appearance of small islands, and are covered with trees and brushwood.  The village derives its supply of water entirely from the river, having none of its own—such, at least, as is potable—the water of its wells being all brackish, on which account it is probably termed Villa Seca, which signifies “the dry hamlet.”  The inhabitants are said to have been originally Moors; certain it is, that various customs are observable here highly favourable to such a supposition.  Amongst others, a very curious one: it is deemed infamous for a woman of Villa Seca to go across the market-place, or to be seen there, though they have no hesitation in showing themselves in the streets and lanes.  A deep-rooted hostility exists between the inhabitants of this place p. 187and those of a neighbouring village, called Vargas; they rarely speak when they meet, and never intermarry.  There is a vague tradition that the people of the latter place are old Christians, and it is highly probable that these neighbours were originally of widely different blood; those of Villa Seca being of particularly dark complexions, whilst the indwellers of Vargas are light and fair.  Thus the old feud between Moor and Christian is still kept up in the nineteenth century in Spain.

Drenched in perspiration, which fell from our brows like rain, we arrived at the door of Juan Lopez, the husband of Maria Diaz.  Having heard of our intention to pay him a visit, he was expecting us, and cordially welcomed us to his habitation, which, like a genuine Moorish house, consisted only of one story.  It was amply large, however, with a court and stable.  All the apartments were deliciously cool.  The floors were of brick or stone; and the narrow and trellised windows, which were without glass, scarcely permitted a ray of sun to penetrate into the interior.

A puchera had been prepared in expectation of our arrival; the heat had not taken away my appetite, and it was not long before I did full justice to this the standard dish of Spain.  Whilst I ate, Lopez played upon the guitar, singing occasionally snatches of Andalusian songs.  He was a short, merry-faced, active fellow, whom I had frequently seen at Madrid, and was a good specimen of the Spanish labrador, or yeoman.  Though far from possessing the ability and intellect of his wife, Maria Diaz, he was by no means deficient in shrewdness and understanding.  He was, moreover, honest and disinterested, and performed good service in the Gospel cause, as will presently appear.

p. 188When the repast was concluded, Lopez thus addressed me:—“Señor Don Jorge, your arrival in our village has already caused a sensation; more especially as these are times of war and tumult, and every person is afraid of another, and we dwell here close on the confines of the factious country: for, as you well know, the greater part of La Mancha is in the hands of the Carlinos and thieves, parties of whom frequently show themselves on the other side of the river; on which account the alcalde of this city, with the other grave and notable people thereof, are desirous of seeing your worship, and conversing with you, and of examining your passport.”  “It is well,” said I; “let us forthwith pay a visit to these worthy people.”  Whereupon he conducted me across the plaza, to the house of the alcalde, where I found the rustic dignitary seated in the passage, enjoying the refreshing coolness of a draught of air which rushed through.  He was an elderly man, of about sixty, with nothing remarkable in his appearance or his features, which latter were placid and good-humoured.  There were several people with him, amongst whom was the surgeon of the place, a tall and immensely bulky man, an Alavese by birth, from the town of Vitoria.  There was also a red fiery-faced individual, with a nose very much turned on one side, who was the blacksmith of the village, and was called in general El Tuerto, [188] from the circumstance of his having but one eye.  Making the assembly a low bow, I pulled out my passport, and thus addressed them:—

p. 189“Grave men and cavaliers of this city of Villa Seca, as I am a stranger, of whom it is not possible that you should know anything, I have deemed it my duty to present myself before you, and to tell you who I am.  Know, then, that I am an Englishman of good blood and fathers, travelling in these countries for my own profit and diversion, and for that of other people also.  I have now found my way to Villa Seca, where I propose to stay some time, doing that which may be deemed convenient; sometimes riding across the plain, and sometimes bathing myself in the waters of the river, which are reported to be of advantage in times of heat.  I therefore beg that, during my sojourn in this capital, I may enjoy such countenance and protection from its governors as they are in the habit of affording to those who are of quiet and well-ordered life, and are disposed to be buxom and obedient to the customs and laws of the republic.”

“He speaks well,” said the alcalde, glancing around.

“Yes, he speaks well,” said the bulky Alavese; “there is no denying it.”

“I never heard any one speak better,” cried the blacksmith, starting up from a stool on which he was seated.  “Vaya! he is a big man and a fair complexioned, like myself.  I like him, and have a horse that will just suit him; one that is the flower of Spain, and is eight inches above the mark.”

I then, with another bow, presented my passport to the alcalde, who, with a gentle motion of his hand, appeared to decline taking it, at the same time saying, “It is not necessary.”  “Oh, not at all,” exclaimed the surgeon.  “The housekeepers of Villa Seca know how to comport themselves with formality,” observed the blacksmith.  “They would be very loth to harbour p. 190any suspicion against a cavalier so courteous and well spoken.”  Knowing, however, that this refusal amounted to nothing, and that it merely formed part of a polite ceremonial, I proffered the passport a second time, whereupon it was instantly taken, and in a moment the eyes of all present were bent upon it with intense curiosity.  It was examined from top to bottom, and turned round repeatedly, and though it is not probable that an individual present understood a word of it, it being written in French, it gave nevertheless universal satisfaction; and when the alcalde, carefully folding it up, returned it to me, they all observed that they had never seen a better passport in their lives, or one which spake in higher terms of the bearer.

Who was it said that “Cervantes sneered Spain’s chivalry away”? [190]  I know not; and the author of such a line scarcely deserves to be remembered.  How the rage for scribbling tempts people at the present day to write about lands and nations of which they know nothing, or worse than nothing!  Vaya!  It is not p. 191from having seen a bull-fight at Seville or Madrid, or having spent a handful of ounces at a posada in either of those places, kept perhaps by a Genoese or a Frenchman, that you are competent to write about such a people as the Spaniards, and to tell the world how they think, how they speak, and how they act.  Spain’s chivalry sneered away!  Why, there is every probability that the great body of the Spanish nation speak, think, and live precisely as their forefathers did six centuries ago.

In the evening the blacksmith, or, as he would be called in Spanish, El Herrador, made his appearance at the door of Lopez on horseback.  “Vamos, Don Jorge,” he shouted.  “Come with me, if your worship is disposed for a ride.  I am going to bathe my horse in the Tagus, by the bridge of Azeca.”  I instantly saddled my jaca Cordovesa, and joining him, we rode out of the village, directing our course across the plain towards the river.  “Did you ever see such a horse as this of mine, Don Jorge?” he demanded.  “Is he not a jewel—an alhaja?”  And in truth the horse was a noble and gallant creature, in height at least sixteen hands, broad-chested, but of clean and elegant limbs.  His neck was superbly arched, and his head towered on high like that of a swan.  In colour he was a bright chestnut, save his flowing mane and tail, which were almost black.  I expressed my admiration; whereupon the herrador, in high spirits, pressed his heels to the creature’s sides, and flinging the bridle on its neck, speeded over the plain with prodigious swiftness, shouting the old Spanish cry, Cierra!  I attempted to keep up with him, but had not a chance.  “I call him the flower of Spain,” said the herrador, rejoining me.  “Purchase him, Don Jorge; his price is but three p. 192thousand reals. [192]  I would not sell him for double that sum, but the Carlist thieves have their eyes upon him, and I am apprehensive that they will some day make a dash across the river and break into Villa Seca, all to get possession of my horse, ‘The Flower of Spain.’”

It may be as well to observe here, that, within a month from this period, my friend the herrador, not being able to find a regular purchaser for his steed, entered into negociations with the aforesaid thieves respecting him, and finally disposed of the animal to their leader, receiving not the three thousand reals he demanded, but an entire herd of horned cattle, probably driven from the plains of La Mancha.  For this transaction, which was neither more nor less than high treason, he was cast into the prison of Toledo, where, however, he did not continue long; for during a short visit to Villa Seca, which I made in the spring of the following year, I found him alcalde of that “republic.”

We arrived at the bridge of Azeca, which is about half a league from Villa Seca: close beside it is a large water-mill, standing upon a dam which crosses the river.  Dismounting from his steed, the herrador proceeded to divest it of the saddle, then causing it to enter the mill-pool, he led it by means of a cord to a particular spot, where the water reached halfway up its neck, then fastening the cord to a post on the bank, he left the animal standing in the pool.  I thought I could do no better than follow his example; and, accordingly, procuring a rope from the mill, I led my own horse into the water.  “It will refresh their blood, Don Jorge,”, said the herrador; “let us leave them there for an hour, whilst we go and divert ourselves.”

p. 193Near the bridge, on the side of the river on which we were, was a kind of guard-house, where were three carbineers of the revenue, who collected the tolls of the bridge.  We entered into conversation with them: “Is not this a dangerous position of yours,” said I to one of them, who was a Catalan, “close beside the factious country?  Surely it would not be difficult for a body of the Carlinos or bandits to dash across the bridge and make prisoners of you all.”

“It would be easy enough at any moment, cavalier,” replied the Catalan; “we are, however, all in the hands of God, and he has preserved us hitherto, and perhaps still will.  True it is that one of our number, for there were four of us originally, fell the other day into the hands of the canaille.  He had wandered across the bridge amongst the thickets with his gun in search of a hare or rabbit, when three or four of them fell upon him and put him to death in a manner too horrible to relate.  But patience! every man who lives must die.  I shall not sleep the worse to-night because I may chance to be hacked by the knives of these malvados to-morrow.  Cavalier, I am from Barcelona, and have seen there mariners of your nation; this is not so good a country as Barcelona.  Paciencia!  Cavalier, if you will step into our house, I will give you a glass of water; we have some that is cool, for we dug a deep hole in the earth and buried there our pitcher; it is cool, as I told you, but the water of Castile is not like that of Catalonia.”

The moon had arisen when we mounted our horses to return to the village, and the rays of the beauteous luminary danced merrily on the rushing waters of the Tagus, silvered the plain over which we were passing, and bathed in a flood of brightness the bold sides of p. 194the calcareous hill of Villaluenga and the antique ruins which crowned its brow.  “Why is that the Castle of Villaluenga?” I demanded.

“From a village of that name, which stands on the other side of the hill, Don Jorge,” replied the herrador.  “Vaya! it is a strange place, that castle: some say it was built by the Moors in the old times, and some by the Christians when they first laid siege to Toledo.  It is not inhabited now, save by rabbits, which breed there in abundance amongst the long grass and broken stones, and by eagles and vultures, which build on the tops of the towers.  I occasionally go there with my gun to shoot a rabbit.  On a fine day you may descry both Toledo and Madrid from its walls.  I cannot say I like the place, it is so dreary and melancholy.  The hill on which it stands is all of chalk, and is very difficult of ascent.  I heard my grandame say that once, when she was a girl, a cloud of smoke burst from that hill, and that flames of fire were seen, just as if it contained a volcano, as perhaps it does, Don Jorge.”

The grand work of Scripture circulation soon commenced in the Sagra.  Notwithstanding the heat of the weather, I rode about in all directions.  It was well that heat agrees with my constitution, otherwise it would have been impossible to effect anything in this season, when the very arrieros frequently fall dead from their mules, smitten by a sun-stroke.  I had an excellent assistant in Antonio, who, disregarding the heat like myself, and afraid of nothing, visited several villages with remarkable success.  “Mon maître,” said he, “I wish to show you that nothing is beyond my capacity.”  But he who put the labours of us both to shame, was my host, Juan Lopez, whom it had pleased p. 195the Lord to render favourable to the cause.  “Don Jorge,” said he, “yo quiero engancharme con usted; [195a] I am a liberal, and a foe to superstition; I will take the field, and, if necessary, will follow you to the end of the world: Viva Inglaterra; viva el Evangelio.”  Thus saying, he put a large bundle of Testaments into a satchel, and, springing upon the crupper of his grey donkey, he cried, “Arrhé! burra!” [195b] and hastened away.  I sat down to my journal.

Ere I had finished writing I heard the voice of the burra in the courtyard, and going out, I found my host returned.  He had disposed of his whole cargo of twenty Testaments at the village of Vargas, distant from Villa Seca about a league.  Eight poor harvest-men, who were refreshing themselves at the door of a wine-house, purchased each a copy, whilst the village schoolmaster secured the rest for the little ones beneath his care, lamenting, at the same time, the great difficulty he had long experienced in obtaining religious books, owing to their scarcity and extravagant price.  Many other persons were also anxious to purchase Testaments, but Lopez was unable to supply them: at his departure they requested him to return within a few days.

I was aware that I was playing rather a daring game, and that it was very possible that, when I least expected it, I might be seized, tied to the tail of a mule, and dragged either to the prison of Toledo or Madrid.  Yet such a prospect did not discourage me in the least, but rather urged me to persevere; for, at this time, without the slightest wish to magnify myself, p. 196I could say that I was eager to lay down my life for the cause, and whether a bandit’s bullet or the gaol fever brought my career to a close, was a matter of indifference to me; I was not then a stricken man: “Ride on, because of the word of righteousness,” was my cry.

The news of the arrival of the book of life soon spread like wildfire through the villages of the Sagra of Toledo, and wherever my people and myself directed our course we found the inhabitants disposed to receive our merchandise; it was even called for where not exhibited.  One night as I was bathing myself and horse in the Tagus, a knot of people gathered on the bank, crying, “Come out of the water, Englishman, and give us books; we have got our money in our hands.”  The poor creatures then held out their hands, filled with cuartos, a copper coin of the value of a farthing, but unfortunately I had no Testaments to give them.  Antonio, however, who was at a short distance, having exhibited one, it was instantly torn from his hands by the people, and a scuffle ensued to obtain possession of it.  It very frequently occurred that the poor labourers in the neighbourhood, being eager to obtain Testaments, and having no money to offer us in exchange, brought various articles to our habitation as equivalents; for example, rabbits, fruit, and barley; and I made a point never to disappoint them, as such articles were of utility either for our own consumption or that of the horses.

In Villa Seca there was a school in which fifty-seven children were taught the first rudiments of education.  One morning the schoolmaster, a tall slim figure of about sixty, bearing on his head one of the peaked hats of Andalusia, and wrapped, notwithstanding the p. 197excessive heat of the weather, in a long cloak, made his appearance, and having seated himself, requested to be shown one of our books.  Having delivered it to him, he remained examining it for nearly an hour, without uttering a word.  At last he laid it down with a sigh, and said that he should be very happy to purchase some of these books for his school, but from their appearance, especially from the quality of the paper and binding, he was apprehensive that to pay for them would exceed the means of the parents of his pupils, as they were almost destitute of money, being poor labourers.  He then commenced blaming the government, which, he said, established schools without affording the necessary books, adding that in his school there were but two books for the use of all his pupils, and these, he confessed, contained but little good.  I asked him what he considered the Testaments were worth?  He said, “Señor Cavalier, to speak frankly, I have in other times paid twelve reals for books inferior to yours in every respect; but I assure you that my poor pupils would be utterly unable to pay the half of that sum.”  I replied, “I will sell you as many as you please for three reals each.  I am acquainted with the poverty of the land, and my friends and myself, in affording the people the means of spiritual instruction, have no wish to curtail their scanty bread.”  He replied, “Bendito sea Dios!” [197] and could scarcely believe his ears.  He instantly purchased a dozen, expending, as he said, all the money he possessed, with the exception of a few cuartos.  The introduction of the Word of God into the country schools of Spain is therefore begun, and I humbly hope that it will prove one of those events which the Bible Society, after the p. 198lapse of years, will have most reason to remember with joy and gratitude to the Almighty.

An old peasant is reading in the portico.  Eighty-four years have passed over his head, and he is almost entirely deaf; nevertheless he is reading aloud the second of Matthew: three days since he bespoke a Testament, but not being able to raise the money, he has not redeemed it until the present moment.  He has just brought thirty farthings.  As I survey the silvery hair which overshadows his sun-burnt countenance, the words of the song occurred to me, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”

I experienced much grave kindness and simple hospitality from the good people of Villa Seca during my sojourn amongst them.  I had at this time so won their hearts by the “formality” of my behaviour and language, that I firmly believe they would have resisted to the knife any attempt which might have been made to arrest or otherwise maltreat me.  He who wishes to become acquainted with the genuine Spaniard must seek him not in seaports and large towns, but in lone and remote villages, like those of the Sagra.  There he will find all that gravity of deportment and chivalry of disposition which Cervantes is said to have sneered away; [198] and there he will hear, in everyday conversation, those grandiose expressions, which, when met with in the romances of chivalry, are scoffed at as ridiculous exaggerations.

I had one enemy in the village—it was the curate.

“The fellow is a heretic and a scoundrel,” said he one day in the conclave.  “He never enters the church, p. 199and is poisoning the minds of the people with his Lutheran books.  Let him be bound and sent to Toledo, or turned out of the village at least.”

“I will have nothing of the kind,” said the alcalde, who was said to be a Carlist.  “If he has his opinions, I have mine too.  He has conducted himself with politeness.  Why should I interfere with him?  He has been courteous to my daughter, and has presented her with a volume.  Que viva! and with respect to his being a Lutheran, I have heard say that amongst the Lutherans there are sons of as good fathers as here.  He appears to me a caballero.  He speaks well.”

“There is no denying it,” said the surgeon.

“Who speaks so well?” shouted the herrador.  “And who has more formality?  Vaya! did he not praise my horse, ‘The Flower of Spain’?  Did he not say that in the whole of Inglaterra there was not a better?  Did he not assure me, moreover, that if he were to remain in Spain he would purchase it, giving me my own price?  Turn him out, indeed!  Is he not of my own blood, is he not fair-complexioned?  Who shall turn him out when I, ‘the one-eyed,’ say no?”

In connexion with the circulation of the Scriptures I will now relate an anecdote not altogether divested of singularity.  I have already spoken of the water-mill by the bridge of Azeca.  I had formed acquaintance with the tenant of this mill, who was known in the neighbourhood by the name of Don Antero.  One day, taking me into a retired place, he asked me, to my great astonishment, whether I would sell him a thousand Testaments at the price at which I was disposing of them to the peasantry; saying, if I would consent p. 200he would pay me immediately.  In fact, he put his hand into his pocket, and pulled it out filled with gold ounces.  I asked him what was his reason for wishing to make so considerable a purchase.  Whereupon he informed me that he had a relation in Toledo whom he wished to establish, and that he was of opinion that his best plan would be to hire him a shop there and furnish it with Testaments.  I told him that he must think of nothing of the kind, as probably the books would be seized on the first attempt to introduce them into Toledo, as the priests and canons were much averse to their distribution.

He was not disconcerted, however, and said his relation could travel, as I myself was doing, and dispose of them to the peasants with profit to himself.  I confess I was inclined at first to accept his offer, but at length declined it, as I did not wish to expose a poor man to the risk of losing money, goods, and perhaps liberty and life.  I was likewise averse to the books being offered to the peasantry at an advanced price, being aware that they could not afford it, and the books, by such an attempt, would lose a considerable part of that influence which they then enjoyed; for their cheapness struck the minds of the people, and they considered it almost as much in the light of a miracle as the Jews the manna which dropped from heaven at the time they were famishing, or the spring which suddenly gushed from the flinty rock to assuage their thirst in the wilderness.

At this time a peasant was continually passing and repassing between Villa Seca and Madrid, bringing us cargoes of Testaments on a borrico.  We continued our labours until the greater part of the villages of the Sagra were well supplied with books, more especially p. 201those of Vargas, Coveja, Mocejon, Villaluenga, Villa Seca, and Yuncler. [201]  Hearing at last that our proceedings were known at Toledo, and were causing considerable alarm, we returned to Madrid.


Aranjuez—A Warning—A Night Adventure—A Fresh Expedition—Segovia—Abades—Factious Curas—Lopez in Prison—Rescue of Lopez.

The success which had attended our efforts in the Sagra of Toledo speedily urged me on to a new enterprise.  I now determined to direct my course to La Mancha, and to distribute the Word amongst the villages of that province.  Lopez, who had already performed such important services in the Sagra, had accompanied us to Madrid, and was eager to take part in this new expedition.  We determined in the first place to proceed to Aranjuez, where we hoped to obtain some information which might prove of utility in the further regulation of our movements; Aranjuez being but a slight distance from the frontier of La Mancha, and the high-road into that province passing directly through it.  We accordingly sallied forth from Madrid, selling from twenty to forty Testaments in every village which lay in our way, until we arrived at Aranjuez, to which place we had forwarded a large supply of books.

A lovely spot is Aranjuez, [202] though in desolation: here the Tagus flows through a delicious valley, p. 203perhaps the most fertile in Spain; and here upsprang, in Spain’s better days, a little city, with a small but beautiful palace, shaded by enormous trees, where royalty delighted to forget its cares.  Here Ferdinand the Seventh spent his latter days, surrounded by lovely señoras and Andalusian bull-fighters; but, as the German Schiller has it in one of his tragedies—

“The happy days in fair Aranjuez
Are past and gone.” [203]

When the sensual king went to his dread account, royalty deserted it, and it soon fell into decay.  Intriguing courtiers no longer crowd its halls; its spacious circus, where Manchegan bulls once roared in rage and agony, is now closed, and the light tinkling of guitars is no longer heard amidst its groves and gardens.

At Aranjuez I made a sojourn of three days, during which time Antonio, Lopez, and myself visited every house in the town.  We found a vast deal of poverty and ignorance amongst the inhabitants, and experienced some opposition: nevertheless it pleased the Almighty to permit us to dispose of about eighty Testaments, which were purchased entirely by the very poor people; those in easier circumstances paying no attention to the Word of God, but rather turning it to scoff and ridicule.

One circumstance was very gratifying and cheering to me, namely, the ocular proof which I possessed that the books which I disposed of were read, and with attention, by those to whom I sold them; and that many others participated in their benefit.  In the streets of Aranjuez, and beneath the mighty cedars p. 204and gigantic elms and plantains which compose its noble woods, I have frequently seen groups assembled listening to individuals who, with the New Testament in their hands, were reading aloud the comfortable words of salvation.

It is probable that, had I remained a longer period at Aranjuez, I might have sold many more of these Divine books, but I was eager to gain La Mancha and its sandy plains, and to conceal myself for a season amongst its solitary villages, for I was apprehensive that a storm was gathering around me; but when once through Ocaña, the frontier town, I knew well that I should have nothing to fear from the Spanish authorities, as their power ceased there, the rest of La Mancha being almost entirely in the hands of the Carlists, and overrun by small parties of banditti, from whom, however, I trusted that the Lord would preserve me.  I therefore departed for Ocaña, [204] distant three leagues from Aranjuez.

I started with Antonio at six in the evening, having early in the morning sent forward Lopez with between two and three hundred Testaments.  We left the highroad, and proceeded by a shorter way through wild hills and over very broken and precipitous ground.  Being well mounted, we found ourselves just after sunset opposite Ocaña, which stands on a steep hill.  A deep valley lay between us and the town: we descended, and came to a small bridge, which traverses a rivulet at the bottom of the valley, at a very small distance from a kind of suburb.  We crossed the bridge, and were passing by a deserted house on our left hand, when a man appeared from under the porch.

p. 205What I am about to state will seem incomprehensible, but a singular history and a singular people are connected with it: the man placed himself before my horse so as to bar the way, and said, “Schophon,” which, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies a rabbit. [205]  I knew this word to be one of the Jewish countersigns, and asked the man if he had anything to communicate?  He said, “You must not enter the town, for a net is prepared for you.  The corregidor of Toledo, on whom may all evil light, in order to give pleasure to the priests of Maria, in whose face I spit, has ordered all the alcaldes of these parts, and the escribanos and the corchetes to lay hands on you wherever they may find you, and to send you, and your books, and all that pertains to you to Toledo.  Your servant was seized this morning in the town above, as he was selling the writings in the streets, and they are now awaiting your arrival in the posada; but I knew you from the accounts of my brethren, and I have been waiting here four hours to give you warning in order that your horse may turn his tail to your enemies, and neigh in derision of them.  Fear nothing for your servant, for he is known to the alcalde, and will be set at liberty; but do you flee, and may God attend you.”  Having said this, he hurried towards the town.

I hesitated not a moment to take his advice, knowing full well that, as my books had been taken possession of, I could do no more in that quarter.  We turned back in the direction of Aranjuez, the horses, notwithstanding the nature of the ground, galloping at full speed; but our adventures were not over.  Midway, and about half a league from the village of p. 206Antigola, we saw close to us on our left hand three men on a low bank.  As far as the darkness would permit us to distinguish, they were naked, but each bore in his hand a long gun.  These were rateros, or the common assassins and robbers of the roads.  We halted and cried out, “Who goes there?”  They replied, “What’s that to you? pass by.”  Their drift was to fire at us from a position from which it would be impossible to miss.  We shouted, “If you do not instantly pass to the right side of the road we will tread you down beneath the horses’ hoofs.”  They hesitated and then obeyed, for all assassins are dastards, and the least show of resolution daunts them.  As we galloped past, one cried, with an obscene oath, “Shall we fire?”  But another said, “No, no! there’s danger.”  We reached Aranjuez, where early next morning Lopez rejoined us, and we returned to Madrid.

I am sorry to state that two hundred Testaments were seized at Ocaña, from whence, after being sealed up, they were despatched to Toledo.  Lopez informed me, that in two hours he could have sold them all, the demand was so great.  As it was, twenty-seven were disposed of in less than ten minutes.

“Ride on, because of the word of righteousness.”  Notwithstanding the check which we had experienced at Ocaña, we were far from being discouraged, and forthwith prepared ourselves for another expedition.  As we returned from Aranjuez to Madrid, my eyes had frequently glanced towards the mighty wall of mountains dividing the two Castiles, and I said to myself, “Would it not be well to cross those hills, and commence operations on the other side, even in Old Castile?  There I am unknown, and intelligence of my proceedings can scarcely have been transmitted p. 207thither.  Peradventure the enemy is asleep, and before he has roused himself, I may have sown much of the precious seed amongst the villages of the Old Castilians.  To Castile, therefore, to Castilla la Vieja!”  Accordingly, on the day after my arrival, I despatched several cargoes of books to various places which I proposed to visit, and sent forward Lopez and his donkey, well laden, with directions to meet me on a particular day beneath a particular arch of the aqueduct of Segovia.  I likewise gave him orders to engage any persons willing to co-operate with us in the circulation of the Scriptures, and who might be likely to prove of utility in the enterprise.  A more useful assistant than Lopez in an expedition of this kind it was impossible to have.  He was not only well acquainted with the country, but had friends, and even connexions on the other side of the hills, in whose houses he assured me that we should at all times find a hearty welcome.  He departed in high spirits, exclaiming, “Be of good cheer, Don Jorge; before we return we will have disposed of every copy of your evangelic library.  Down with the friars!  Down with superstition!  Viva Inglaterra, viva el Evangelio!”

In a few days I followed with Antonio.  We ascended the mountains by the pass called Peña Cerrada, which lies about three leagues to the eastward of that of Guadarrama.  It is very unfrequented, the high road between the two Castiles passing through Guadarrama.  It has, moreover, an evil name, being, according to common report, infested with banditti.  The sun was just setting when we reached the top of the hills, and entered a thick and gloomy pine forest, which entirely covers the mountains on the side of Old Castile.  The descent soon became so rapid and p. 208precipitous, that we were fain to dismount from our horses and to drive them before us.  Into the woods we plunged deeper and deeper still; night-birds soon began to hoot and cry, and millions of crickets commenced their shrill chirping above, below, and around us.  Occasionally, amidst the trees at a distance, we could see blazes, as if from immense fires.  “They are those of the charcoal-burners, mon maître,” said Antonio; “we will not go near them, however, for they are savage people, and half bandits.  Many is the traveller whom they have robbed and murdered in these horrid wildernesses.”

It was blackest night when we arrived at the foot of the mountains; we were still, however, amidst woods and pine forests, which extended for leagues in every direction.  “We shall scarcely reach Segovia to-night, mon maître,” said Antonio.  And so indeed it proved, for we became bewildered, and at last arrived where two roads branched off in different directions: we took not the left-hand road, which would have conducted us to Segovia, but turned to the right, in the direction of La Granja, where we arrived at midnight.

We found the desolation of La Granja [208] far greater than that of Aranjuez; both had suffered from the absence of royalty, but the former to a degree which was truly appalling.  Nine-tenths of the inhabitants had left this place, which, until the late military revolution, had been the favourite residence of Christina.  So great is the solitude of La Granja, that wild p. 209boars from the neighbouring forests, and especially from the beautiful pine-covered mountain which rises like a cone directly behind the palace, frequently find their way into the streets and squares, and whet their tusks against the pillars of the porticos.

“Ride on, because of the word of righteousness.”  After a stay of twenty-four hours at La Granja, we proceeded to Segovia.  The day had arrived on which I had appointed to meet Lopez.  I repaired to the aqueduct, and sat down beneath the hundred and seventh arch, where I waited the greater part of the day, but he came not, whereupon I arose and went into the city.

At Segovia I tarried two days in the house of a friend; still I could hear nothing of Lopez.  At last, by the greatest chance in the world, I heard from a peasant that there were men in the neighbourhood of Abades selling books.

Abades is about three leagues distant from Segovia, and upon receiving this intelligence, I instantly departed for the former place, with three donkeys laden with Testaments.  I reached Abades at nightfall, and found Lopez, with two peasants whom he had engaged, in the house of the surgeon of the place, where I also took up my residence.  He had already disposed of a considerable number of Testaments in the neighbourhood, and had that day commenced selling at Abades itself.  He had, however, been interrupted by two of the three curas of the village, who, with horrid curses, denounced the work, threatening eternal condemnation to Lopez for selling it, and to any person who should purchase it; whereupon Lopez, terrified, forbore until I should arrive.  The third cura, however, exerted himself to the utmost to persuade the people p. 210to provide themselves with Testaments, telling them that his brethren were hypocrites and false guides, who, by keeping them in ignorance of the word and will of Christ, were leading them to the abyss.  Upon receiving this information, I instantly sallied forth to the market-place, and that same night succeeded in disposing of upwards of thirty Testaments.  The next morning the house was entered by the two factious curas; but upon my rising to confront them, they retreated, and I heard no more of them, except that they publicly cursed me in the church more than once, an event which, as no ill resulted from it, gave me little concern.

I will not detail the events of the next week; suffice it to say that, arranging my forces in the most advantageous way, I succeeded, by God’s assistance, in disposing of from five to six hundred Testaments amongst the villages from one to seven leagues’ distance from Abades.  At the expiration of that period I received information that my proceedings were known in Segovia, in which province Abades is situated, and that an order was about to be sent to the alcalde to seize all books in my possession.  Whereupon, notwithstanding that it was late in the evening, I decamped with all my people, and upwards of three hundred Testaments, having a few hours previously received a fresh supply from Madrid.  That night we passed in the fields, and next morning proceeded to Labajos, a village on the high-road from Madrid to Valladolid.  In this place we offered no books for sale, but contented ourselves with supplying the neighbouring villages with the Word of God; we likewise sold it in the highways.


We had not been at Labajos a week, during which p. 211time we were remarkably successful, when the Carlist chieftain, Balmaseda, [211a] at the head of his cavalry, made his desperate inroad into the southern part of Old Castile, dashing down like an avalanche from the pine-woods of Soria.  I was present at all the horrors which ensued,—the sack of Arrevalo, and the forcible entry into Martin Muñoz.  Amidst these terrible scenes we continued our labours.  Suddenly I lost Lopez for three days, and suffered dreadful anxiety on his account, imagining that he had been shot by the Carlists; at last I heard that he was in prison at Villallos, three leagues distant.  The steps which I took to rescue him will be found detailed in a communication, which I deemed it my duty to transmit to Lord William Hervey, who, in the absence of Sir George Villiers, [211b] now become Earl of Clarendon, fulfilled the duties of minister at Madrid:—

“Labajos, Province of Segovia,
“August 23rd, 1838.

My Lord,

“I beg leave to call your attention to the following facts.  On the 21st inst. I received information that a person in my employ, of the name of Juan Lopez, had been thrown into the prison of Villallos, in the province of Avila, by order of the cura of that place.  The crime with which he was charged was selling the New Testament.  I was at that time at Labajos, in the province of Segovia, and the division of the factious chieftain Balmaseda was in the immediate neighbourhood.  On the 22nd, I mounted my p. 212horse and rode to Villallos, a distance of three leagues.  On my arrival there, I found that Lopez had been removed from the prison to a private house.  An order had arrived from the corregidor of Avila, commanding that the person of Lopez should be set at liberty, and that the books which had been found in his possession should be alone detained.  Nevertheless, in direct opposition to this order (a copy of which I herewith transmit), the alcalde of Villallos, at the instigation of the cura, refused to permit the said Lopez to quit the place, either to proceed to Avila or in any other direction.  It had been hinted to Lopez that as the factious were expected, it was intended on their arrival to denounce him to them as a liberal, and to cause him to be sacrificed.  Taking these circumstances into consideration, I deemed it my duty, as a Christian and a gentleman, to rescue my unfortunate servant from such lawless hands, and in consequence, defying opposition, I bore him off, though entirely unarmed, through a crowd of at least one hundred peasants.  On leaving the place I shouted, ‘Viva Isabel Segunda.’

“As it is my belief that the cura of Villallos is a person capable of any infamy, I beg leave humbly to intreat your Lordship to cause a copy of the above narration to be forwarded to the Spanish Government.

“I have the honour to remain,

“My Lord,
“Your Lordship’s most obedient,
George Borrow.

“To the Right Honourable
   “Lord William Hervey.”

After the rescue of Lopez we proceeded in the work of distribution.  Suddenly, however, the symptoms of p. 213an approaching illness came over me, which compelled us to return in all haste to Madrid.  Arrived there, I was attacked by a fever which confined me to my bed for several weeks; occasional fits of delirium came over me, during one of which I imagined myself in the market-place of Martin Muñoz, engaged in deadly struggle with the chieftain Balmaseda.

The fever had scarcely departed, when a profound melancholy took possession of me, which entirely disqualified me for active exertion.  Change of scene and air was recommended; I therefore returned to England. [213]


Return to Spain—Seville—A Hoary Persecutor—Manchegan Prophetess—Antonio’s Dream.

On December 31, 1838, I again visited Spain for the third time.  After staying a day or two at Cadiz, I repaired to Seville, from which place I proposed starting for Madrid with the mail post.  Here I tarried about a fortnight, enjoying the delicious climate of this terrestrial paradise, and the balmy breezes of the Andalusian winter, even as I had done two years previously.  Before leaving Seville I visited the bookseller, my correspondent, who informed me that seventy-six copies of the hundred Testaments entrusted to his care had been placed in embargo by the government last summer, and that they were at the present time in possession of the ecclesiastical governor; whereupon I determined to visit this functionary also, with the view of making inquiries concerning the property.

He lived in a large house in the Pajaria, or straw-market.  He was a very old man, between seventy and eighty, and, like the generality of those who wear the sacerdotal habit in this city, was a fierce persecuting Papist.  I imagine that he scarcely believed his ears when his two grand-nephews, beautiful black-haired boys who were playing in the courtyard, ran to inform p. 215him that an Englishman was waiting to speak with him, as it is probable that I was the first heretic who ever ventured into his habitation.  I found him in a vaulted room, seated on a lofty chair, with two sinister-looking secretaries, also in sacerdotal habits, employed in writing at a table before him.  He brought powerfully to my mind the grim old inquisitor who persuaded Philip the Second to slay his own son [215] as an enemy to the Church.

He rose as I entered, and gazed upon me with a countenance dark with suspicion and dissatisfaction.  He at last condescended to point me to a sofa, and I proceeded to state to him my business.  He became much agitated when I mentioned the Testaments to him; but I no sooner spoke of the Bible Society and told him who I was, than he could contain himself no longer: with a stammering tongue, and with eyes flashing fire like hot coals, he proceeded to rail against the society and myself, saying that the aims of the first were atrocious, and that, as to myself, he was surprised that, being once lodged in the prison of Madrid, I had ever been permitted to quit it; adding, that it was disgraceful in the government to allow a person of my character to roam about an innocent and peaceful country, corrupting the minds of the ignorant and unsuspicious.  Far from allowing myself to be disconcerted by his rude behaviour, I replied to him with all possible politeness, and assured him that in this instance he had no reason to alarm himself, as my sole motive in claiming the books in question was to avail myself of an opportunity which at present presented itself, of sending them out of the country, which, indeed, I had been commanded to do by an official notice.  But nothing would soothe him, and he p. 216informed me that he should not deliver up the books on any condition, save by a positive order of the government.  As the matter was by no means an affair of consequence, I thought it wise not to persist, and also prudent to take my leave before he requested me.  I was followed even down into the street by his niece and grand-nephews, who, during the whole of the conversation, had listened at the door of the apartment and heard every word.

In passing through La Mancha, we stayed for four hours at Manzanares, a large village.  I was standing in the market-place conversing with a curate, when a frightful ragged object presented itself; it was a girl about eighteen or nineteen, perfectly blind, a white film being spread over her huge staring eyes.  Her countenance was as yellow as that of a Mulatto.  I thought at first that she was a gypsy, and addressing myself to her, inquired in Gitano if she were of that race.  She understood me, but shaking her head, replied, that she was something better than a Gitana, and could speak something better than that jargon of witches: whereupon she commenced asking me several questions in exceedingly good Latin.  I was of course very much surprised, but, summoning all my Latinity, I called her Manchegan Prophetess, and, expressing my admiration for her learning, begged to be informed by what means she became possessed of it.  I must here observe that a crowd instantly gathered around us, who, though they understood not one word of our discourse, at every sentence of the girl shouted applause, proud in the possession of a prophetess who could answer the Englishman.

She informed me that she was born blind, and that a Jesuit priest had taken compassion on her when she p. 217was a child, and had taught her the holy language, in order that the attention and hearts of Christians might be more easily turned towards her.  I soon discovered that he had taught her something more than Latin, for upon telling her that I was an Englishman, she said that she had always loved Britain, which was once the nursery of saints and sages; for example, Bede and Alcuin, Columbus and Thomas of Canterbury; but, she added, those times had gone by since the reappearance of Semiramis (Elizabeth).  Her Latin was truly excellent, and when I, like a genuine Goth, spoke of Anglia and Terra Vandalica (Andalusia), [217] she corrected me by saying, that in her language those places were called Britannia and Terra Betica.  When we had finished our discourse, a gathering was made for the prophetess, the very poorest contributing something.

After travelling four days and nights, we arrived at Madrid without having experienced the slightest accident, though it is but just to observe, and always with gratitude to the Almighty, that the next mail was stopped.  A singular incident befell me immediately after my arrival.  On entering the arch of the posada called La Reyna, where I intended to put up, I found myself encircled in a person’s arms, and on turning round in amazement, beheld my Greek servant, p. 218Antonio.  He was haggard and ill-dressed, and his eyes seemed starting from their sockets.

As soon as we were alone he informed me that since my departure he had undergone great misery and destitution, having, during the whole period, been unable to find a master in need of his services, so that he was brought nearly to the verge of desperation; but that on the night immediately preceding my arrival he had a dream, in which he saw me, mounted on a black horse, ride up to the gate of the posada, and that on that account he had been waiting there during the greater part of the day.  I do not pretend to offer an opinion concerning this narrative, which is beyond the reach of my philosophy, and shall content myself with observing, that only two individuals in Madrid were aware of my arrival in Spain.  I was very glad to receive him again into my service, as, notwithstanding his faults, he had in many instances proved of no slight assistance to me in my wanderings and Biblical labours.

I was soon settled in my former lodgings, when one of my first cares was to pay a visit to Lord Clarendon. [218]  Amongst other things, he informed me that he had received an official notice from the government, stating the seizure of the New Testaments at Ocaña, the circumstances relating to which I have described on a former occasion, and informing him that unless steps were instantly taken to remove them from the country, they would be destroyed at Toledo, to which place they had been conveyed.  I replied that I should give myself no trouble about the matter; and that if the authorities of Toledo, civil or ecclesiastic, p. 219determined upon burning these books, my only hope was that they would commit them to the flames with all possible publicity, as by so doing they would but manifest their own hellish rancour and their hostility to the Word of God.

Being eager to resume my labours, I had no sooner arrived at Madrid than I wrote to Lopez at Villa Seca, for the purpose of learning whether he was inclined to co-operate in the work, as on former occasions.  In reply he informed me that he was busily employed in his agricultural pursuits: to supply his place, however, he sent over an elderly villager, Victoriano Lopez by name, a distant relation of his own.

What is a missionary in the heart of Spain without a horse?  Which consideration induced me now to purchase an Arabian of high caste, which had been brought from Algiers by an officer of the French legion.  The name of this steed, the best, I believe, that ever issued from the desert, was Sidi Habismilk. [219]


Work of Distribution resumed—Adventure at Cobeña—Power of the Clergy—Rural Authorities—Fuente la Higuera—Victoriano’s Mishap—Village Prison—The Rope—Antonio’s Errand—Antonio at Mass.

In my last chapter I stated that, immediately after my arrival at Madrid, I proceeded to get everything in readiness for commencing operations in the neighbourhood: and I soon entered upon my labours in reality.  Considerable success attended my feeble efforts in the good cause, for which at present, after the lapse of some years, I still look back with gratitude to the Almighty.

All the villages within the distance of four leagues to the east of Madrid were visited in less than a fortnight, and Testaments to the number of nearly two hundred disposed of.  These villages for the most part are very small, some of them consisting of not more than a dozen houses, or I should rather say miserable cabins.  I left Antonio, my Greek, to superintend matters in Madrid, and proceeded with Victoriano, the peasant, from Villa Seca, in the direction which I have already mentioned.  We, however, soon parted company and pursued different routes.

The first village at which I made an attempt was p. 221Cobeña, about three leagues from Madrid.  I was dressed in the fashion of the peasants in the neighbourhood of Segovia, in Old Castile, namely, I had on my head a species of leather helmet or montera, with a jacket and trousers of the same material.  I had the appearance of a person between sixty and seventy years of age, and drove before me a borrico with a sack of Testaments lying across its back.  On nearing the village, I met a genteel-looking young woman leading a little boy by the hand.  As I was about to pass her, with the customary salutation of vaya usted con Dios, she stopped, and, after looking at me for a moment, she said, “Uncle, [221a] what is that you have got on your borrico?  Is it soap?”

“Yes,” I replied; “it is soap to wash souls clean.”

She demanded what I meant; whereupon I told her that I carried cheap and godly books for sale.  On her requesting to see one, I produced a copy from my pocket and handed it to her.  She instantly commenced reading with a loud voice, and continued so for at least ten minutes, occasionally exclaiming, “Que lectura tan bonita, que lectura tan linda!” [221b]  At last, on my informing her that I was in a hurry, and could not wait any longer, she said, “True, true,” and asked me the price of the book; I told her “But three reals,” whereupon she said, that though what I asked was very little, it was more than she could afford to give, as there was little or no money in those parts.  I said I was sorry for it, but that I could not dispose of the books for less than I had demanded, and accordingly, resuming it, wished her farewell, and left her.  p. 222I had not, however, proceeded thirty yards, when the boy came running behind me, shouting, out of breath, “Stop, uncle, the book, the book!”  Upon overtaking me, he delivered the three reals in copper, and seizing the Testament, ran back to her, who I suppose was his sister, flourishing the book over his head with great glee.

On arriving at the village, I directed my steps to a house, around the door of which I saw several people gathered, chiefly women.  On my displaying my books, their curiosity was instantly aroused, and every person had speedily one in his hand, many reading aloud; however, after waiting nearly an hour, I had disposed of but one copy, all complaining bitterly of the distress of the times, and the almost total want of money, though, at the same time, they acknowledged that the books were wonderfully cheap, and appeared to be very good and Christian-like.  I was about to gather up my merchandise and depart, when on a sudden the curate of the place made his appearance.  After having examined the books for some time with considerable attention, he asked me the price of a copy, and upon my informing him that it was three reals, he replied that the binding was worth more, and that he was much afraid that I had stolen the books, and that it was perhaps his duty to send me to prison as a suspicious character; but added, that the books were good books, however they might be obtained, and concluded by purchasing two copies.  The poor people no sooner heard their curate recommend the volumes, than all were eager to secure one, and hurried here and there for the purpose of procuring money, so that between twenty and thirty copies were sold almost in an instant.  This adventure not only affords an p. 223instance of the power still possessed by the Spanish clergy over the minds of the people, but proves that such influence is not always exerted in a manner favourable to the maintenance of ignorance and superstition.

In another village, on my showing a Testament to a woman, she said that she had a child at school for whom she should like to purchase one, but that she must first know whether the book was calculated to be of service to him.  She then went away, and presently returned with the schoolmaster, followed by all the children under his care; she then, showing the schoolmaster a book, inquired if it would answer for her son.  The schoolmaster called her a simpleton for asking such a question, and said that he knew the book well, and there was not its equal in the world. [223]  He instantly purchased five copies for his pupils, regretting that he had no more money, “for if I had,” said he, “I would buy the whole cargo.”  Upon hearing this, the woman purchased four copies, namely, one for her living son, another for her deceased husband, a third for herself, and a fourth for her brother, whom she said she was expecting home that night from Madrid.

In this manner we proceeded; not, however, with uniform success.  In some villages the people were so poor and needy that they had literally no money; even in these, however, we managed to dispose of a few copies in exchange for barley or refreshments.  On entering one very small hamlet, Victoriano was stopped by the curate, who, on learning what he carried, told him, that unless he instantly departed, he would cause him to be imprisoned, and would write to Madrid in order to give information of what p. 224was going on.  The excursion lasted about eight days.  Immediately after my return, I despatched Victoriano to Caramanchel, [224a] a village at a short distance from Madrid, the only one towards the west which had not been visited last year.  He stayed there about an hour, and disposed of twelve copies, and then returned, as he was exceedingly timid, and was afraid of being met by the thieves who swarm on that road in the evening.

Shortly after these events, a circumstance occurred which will, perhaps, cause the English reader to smile, whilst, at the same time, it will not fail to prove interesting, as affording an example of the feeling prevalent in some of the lone villages of Spain with respect to innovation and all that savours thereof, and the strange acts which are sometimes committed by the rural authorities and the priests, without the slightest fear of being called to account; for as they live quite apart from the rest of the world, they know no people greater than themselves, and scarcely dream of a higher power than their own. [224b]

I was about to make an excursion to Guadalajara, and the villages of Alcarria, about seven leagues distant from Madrid; indeed, I merely awaited the return of Victoriano to sally forth; I having despatched him in that direction with a few Testaments, as a kind of explorer, in order that, from his report as to the disposition manifested by the people for purchasing, I might form a tolerably accurate opinion as to the number of copies which it might be necessary to carry with me.  However, I heard nothing of him for a fortnight, at the end of which period a letter was brought p. 225to me by a peasant, dated from the prison of Fuente la Higuera, a village eight leagues from Madrid, in the campiña of Alcalá: [225] this letter, written by Victoriano, gave me to understand that he had been already eight days imprisoned, and that unless I could find some means to extricate him, there was every probability of his remaining in durance until he should perish with hunger, which he had no doubt would occur as soon as his money was exhausted.  From what I afterwards learned, it appeared that, after passing the town of Alcalá, he had commenced distributing, and with considerable success.  His entire stock consisted of sixty-one Testaments, twenty-five of which he sold without the slightest difficulty or interruption in the single village of Arganza; the poor labourers showering blessings on his head for providing them with such good books at an easy price.

Not more than eighteen of his books remained, when he turned off the high-road towards Fuente la Higuera.  This place was already tolerably well known to him, he having visited it of old, when he travelled the country in the capacity of a vender of cacharras, or earthen pans.  He subsequently stated that he felt some misgiving whilst on the way, as the village had invariably borne a bad reputation.  On his arrival, after having put up his caballejo, or little pony, at a posada, he proceeded to the alcalde for the purpose of asking permission to sell the books, which that dignitary immediately granted.  He now entered a house and sold a copy, and likewise a second.  Emboldened by success, he entered a third, which, it appeared, belonged to the barber-surgeon of the village.  This personage, having just completed his dinner, was p. 226seated in an armchair within his doorway, when Victoriano made his appearance.  He was a man about thirty-five, of a savage truculent countenance.  On Victoriano’s offering him a Testament, he took it in his hand to examine it; but no sooner did his eyes glance over the title-page than he burst out into a loud laugh, exclaiming, “Ha, ha, Don Jorge Borrow, the English heretic, we have encountered you at last.  Glory to the Virgin and the Saints!  We have long been expecting you here, and at length you are arrived.”  He then inquired the price of the book, and on being told three reals, he flung down two, and rushed out of the house with the Testament in his hand.

Victoriano now became alarmed, and determined upon leaving the place as soon as possible.  He therefore hurried back to the posada, and having paid for the barley which his pony had consumed, went into the stable, and placing the packsaddle on the animal’s back, was about to lead it forth, when the alcalde of the village, the surgeon, and twelve other men, some of whom were armed with muskets, suddenly presented themselves.  They instantly made Victoriano prisoner; and, after seizing the books and laying an embargo on the pony, proceeded, amidst much abuse, to drag the captive to what they denominated their prison, a low damp apartment with a little grated window, where they locked him up and left him.  At the expiration of three-quarters of an hour they again appeared, and conducted him to the house of the curate, where they sat down in conclave; the curate, who was a man stone blind, presiding, whilst the sacristan officiated as secretary.  The surgeon having stated his accusation against the prisoner—namely, that he had detected him in the act of selling a version of the p. 227Scriptures in the vulgar tongue—the curate proceeded to examine Victoriano, asking him his name and place of residence; to which he replied that his name was Victoriano Lopez, and that he was a native of Villa Seca, in the Sagra of Toledo.  The curate then demanded what religion he professed? and whether he was a Mahometan or freemason? and received for answer that he was a Roman Catholic.  I must here state that Victoriano, though sufficiently shrewd in his way, was a poor old labourer of sixty-four; and until that moment had never heard either of Mahometans or freemasons.  The curate becoming now incensed, called him a tunante, or scoundrel, and added, “You have sold your soul to a heretic; we have long been aware of your proceedings, and those of your master.  You are the same Lopez whom he last year rescued from the prison of Villallos, in the province of Avila; I sincerely hope that he will attempt to do the same thing here.”  “Yes, yes,” shouted the rest of the conclave, “let him but venture here, and we will shed his heart’s blood on our stones.”  In this manner they went on for nearly half an hour.  At last they broke up the meeting, and conducted Victoriano once more to his prison.

During his confinement he lived tolerably well, being in possession of money.  His meals were sent him twice a day from the posada, where his pony remained in embargo.  Once or twice he asked permission of the alcalde, who visited him every night and morning with his armed guard, to purchase pen and paper, in order that he might write to Madrid; but this favour was peremptorily refused him, and all the inhabitants of the village were forbidden under terrible penalties to afford him the means of writing, or to convey any p. 228message from him beyond the precincts of the place, and two boys were stationed before the window of his cell for the purpose of watching everything which might be conveyed to him.

It happened one day that Victoriano, being in need of a pillow, sent word to the people of the posada to send him his alforjas, or saddle-bags, which they did.  In these bags there chanced to be a kind of rope, or, as it is called in Spanish, soga, with which he was in the habit of fastening his satchel to the pony’s back.  The urchins seeing an end of this rope, hanging from the alforjas, instantly ran to the alcalde to give him information.  Late at evening, the alcalde again visited the prisoner at the head of his twelve men as usual.  “Buenos noches,” [228a] said the alcalde.  “Buenas noches tenga usted,” [228b] replied Victoriano.  “For what purpose did you send for the soga this afternoon?” demanded the functionary.  “I sent for no soga,” said the prisoner; “I sent for my alforjas to serve as a pillow, and it was sent in them by chance.”  “You are a false, malicious knave,” retorted the alcalde; “you intend to hang yourself, and by so doing ruin us all, as your death would be laid at our door.  Give me the soga.”  No greater insult can be offered to a Spaniard than to tax him with an intention of committing suicide.  Poor Victoriano flew into a violent rage; and, after calling the alcalde several very uncivil names, he pulled the soga from his bags, flung it at his head, and told him to take it home and use it for his own neck.

At length the people of the posada took pity on the prisoner, perceiving that he was very harshly treated for no crime at all; they therefore determined to afford him an opportunity of informing his friends p. 229of his situation, and accordingly sent him a pen and inkhorn, concealed in a loaf of bread, and a piece of writing-paper, pretending that the latter was intended for cigars.  So Victoriano wrote the letter: but now ensued the difficulty of sending it to its destination, as no person in the village dare have carried it for any reward.  The good people, however, persuaded a disbanded soldier from another village, who chanced to be at Fuente la Higuera in quest of work, to charge himself with it, assuring him that I would pay him well for his trouble.  The man, watching his opportunity, received the letter from Victoriano at the window: and it was he who, after travelling on foot all night, delivered it to me in safety at Madrid.

I was now relieved from my anxiety, and had no fears for the result.  I instantly went to a friend who is in possession of large estates about Guadalajara, in which province Fuenta la Higuera is situated, who furnished me with letters to the civil governor of Guadalajara and all the principal authorities; these I delivered to Antonio, whom, at his own request, I despatched on the errand of the prisoner’s liberation.  He first directed his course to Fuente la Higuera, where, entering the alcalde’s house, he boldly told him what he had come about.  The alcalde, expecting that I was at hand, with an army of Englishmen, for the purpose of rescuing the prisoner, became greatly alarmed, and instantly despatched his wife to summon his twelve men: however, on Antonio’s assuring him that there was no intention of having recourse to violence, he became more tranquil.  In a short time Antonio was summoned before the conclave and its blind sacerdotal president.  They at first attempted to frighten him by assuming a loud bullying tone, and talking of the necessity of p. 230killing all strangers, and especially the detested Don Jorge and his dependents.  Antonio, however, who was not a person apt to allow himself to be easily terrified, scoffed at their threats, and, showing them his letters to the authorities of Guadalajara, said that he should proceed there on the morrow and denounce their lawless conduct; adding that he was a Turkish subject, and that should they dare to offer him the slightest incivility, he would write to the Sublime Porte, in comparison with whom the best kings in the world were but worms, and who would not fail to avenge the wrongs of any of his children, however distant, in a manner too terrible to be mentioned.  He then returned to his posada.  The conclave now proceeded to deliberate amongst themselves, and at last determined to send their prisoner on the morrow to Guadalajara, and deliver him into the hands of the civil governor.

Nevertheless, in order to keep up a semblance of authority, they that night placed two men armed at the door of the posada where Antonio was lodged, as if he himself was a prisoner.  These men, as often as the clock struck the hour, shouted, “Ave Maria!  Death to the heretics!”  Early in the morning the alcalde presented himself at the posada; but before entering he made an oration at the door to the people in the street, saying, amongst other things, “Brethren, these are the fellows who have come to rob us of our religion.”  He then went in to Antonio’s apartment, and after saluting him with great politeness, said, that as a royal or high Mass was about to be celebrated that morning, he had come to invite him to go to church with him.  Whereupon Antonio, though by no means a Mass-goer, rose and accompanied him, and p. 231remained two hours, as he told me, on his knees on the cold stones, to his great discomfort; the eyes of the whole congregation being fixed upon him during the time.

After Mass and breakfast, he departed for Guadalajara, Victoriano having been already despatched under a guard.  On his arrival, he presented his letters to the individuals for whom they were intended.  The civil governor was convulsed with merriment on hearing Antonio’s account of the adventure.  Victoriano was set at liberty, and the books were placed in embargo at Guadalajara; the governor stating, however, that though it was his duty to detain them at present, they should be sent to me whenever I chose to claim them: he, moreover, said that he would do his best to cause the authorities of Fuente la Higuera to be severely punished, as in the whole affair they had acted in the most cruel, tyrannical manner, for which they had no authority.  Thus terminated this affair: one of those little accidents which chequer missionary life in Spain.


Termination of our Rural Labours—Alarm of the Clergy—A New Experiment—Success at Madrid—Goblin-Alguazil—Staff of Office—The Corregidor—An Explanation—The Pope in England—New Testament expounded—Works of Luther.

We proceeded in our task of distributing the Scriptures with various success, until the middle of March, when I determined upon starting for Talavera, for the purpose of seeing what it was possible to accomplish in that town and the neighbourhood.  I accordingly bent my course in that direction, accompanied by Antonio and Victoriano.  On our way thither we stopped at Naval Carnero, a large village five leagues to the west of Madrid, where I remained three days, sending forth Victoriano to the circumjacent hamlets with small cargoes of Testaments.  Providence, however, which had hitherto so remarkably favoured us in these rural excursions, now withdrew from us its support, and brought them to a sudden termination: for in whatever place the sacred writings were offered for sale, they were forthwith seized by persons who appeared to be upon the watch; which events compelled me to alter my intention of proceeding to Talavera, and to return forthwith to Madrid.

p. 233I subsequently learned that our proceedings on the other side of Madrid having caused alarm amongst the heads of the clergy, they had made a formal complaint to the government, who immediately sent orders to all the alcaldes of the villages, great and small, in New Castile, to seize the New Testament wherever it might be exposed for sale; but, at the same time, enjoining them to be particularly careful not to detain or maltreat the person or persons who might be attempting to vend it.  An exact description of myself accompanied these orders; and the authorities, both civil and military, were exhorted to be on their guard against me and my arts and machinations; for, as the document stated, I was to-day in one place, and tomorrow at twenty leagues’ distance.

I was not much discouraged by this blow, which, indeed, did not come entirely unexpected.  I, however, determined to change the sphere of action, and not expose the sacred volume to seizure at every step which I should take to circulate it.  In my late attempts I had directed my attention exclusively to the villages and small towns, in which it was quite easy for the government to frustrate my efforts by means of circulars to the local authorities, who would, of course, be on the alert, and whose vigilance it would be impossible to baffle, as every novelty which occurs in a small place is forthwith bruited about.  But the case would be widely different amongst the crowds of the capital, where I could pursue my labours with comparative secrecy.  My present plan was to abandon the rural districts, and to offer the sacred volume at Madrid, from house to house, at the same low price as in the country.  This plan I forthwith put into execution.

p. 234Having an extensive acquaintance amongst the lower orders, I selected eight intelligent individuals to co-operate with me, amongst whom were five women.  All these I supplied with Testaments, and then sent them forth to all the parishes in Madrid.  The result of their efforts more than answered my expectations.  In less than fifteen days after my return from Naval Carnero, nearly six hundred copies of the life and words of Him of Nazareth had been sold in the streets and alleys of Madrid: a fact which I hope I may be permitted to mention with gladness and with decent triumph in the Lord.

One of the richest streets is the Calle Montera, where reside the principal merchants and shopkeepers of Madrid.  It is, in fact, the street of commerce, in which respect, and in being a favourite promenade, it corresponds with the far-famed Nefsky [234] of Saint Petersburg.  Every house in this street was supplied with its Testament, and the same might be said with respect to the Puerta del Sol.  Nay, in some instances, every individual in the house, man and child, manservant and maid-servant, was furnished with a copy.  My Greek, Antonio, made wonderful exertions in this quarter; and it is but justice to say that, but for his instrumentality, on many occasions, I might have been by no means able to give so favourable an account of the spread of “the Bible in Spain.”  There was a time when I was in the habit of saying “dark Madrid,” an expression which, I thank God, I could now drop.  It were scarcely just to call a city “dark,” in which thirteen hundred Testaments at least were in circulation, and in daily use.

It was now that I turned to account a supply of p. 235Bibles which I had received from Barcelona, in sheets, at the commencement of the preceding year.  The demand for the entire Scriptures was great; indeed far greater than I could answer, as the books were disposed of faster than they could be bound by the man whom I employed for that purpose.  Eight-and-twenty copies were bespoken and paid for before delivery.  Many of these Bibles found their way into the best houses in Madrid.  The Marquis of --- had a large family, but every individual of it, old and young, was in possession of a Bible, and likewise a Testament, which, strange to say, were recommended by the chaplain of the house.  One of my most zealous agents in the propagation of the Bible was an ecclesiastic.  He never walked out without carrying one beneath his gown, which he offered to the first person he met whom he thought likely to purchase.  Another excellent assistant was an elderly gentleman of Navarre, enormously rich, who was continually purchasing copies on his own account, which he, as I was told, sent into his native province, for distribution amongst his friends and the poor.

On a certain night I had retired to rest rather more early than usual, being slightly indisposed.  I soon fell asleep, and had continued so for some hours, when I was suddenly aroused by the opening of the door of the small apartment in which I lay.  I started up, and beheld Maria Diaz, with a lamp in her hand, enter the room.  I observed that her features, which were in general peculiarly calm and placid, wore a somewhat startled expression.  “What is the hour, and what brings you here?” I demanded.

Señor,” said she, closing the door, and coming up to the bedside, “it is close upon midnight; but a p. 236messenger belonging to the police has just entered the house, and demanded to see you.  I told him that it was impossible, for that your worship was in bed.  Whereupon he sneezed in my face, and said that he would see you if you were in your coffin.  He has all the look of a goblin, and has thrown me into a tremor.  I am far from being a timid person, as you are aware, Don Jorge; but I confess that I never cast my eyes on these wretches of the police, but my heart dies away within me!  I know them but too well, and what they are capable of.”

“Pooh,” said I, “be under no apprehension; let him come in, I fear him not, whether he be alguazil or hobgoblin. [236]  Stand, however, at the doorway, that you may be a witness of what takes place, as it is more than probable that he comes at this unseasonable hour to create a disturbance, that he may have an opportunity of making an unfavourable report to his principals, like the fellow on the former occasion.”

The hostess left the apartment, and I heard her say a word or two to some one in the passage, whereupon there was a loud sneeze, and in a moment after a singular figure appeared at the doorway.  It was that of a very old man, with long white hair, which escaped from beneath the eaves of an exceedingly high-peaked hat.  He stooped considerably, and moved along with a shambling gait.  I could not see much of his face, which, as the landlady stood behind him with the lamp, was consequently in deep shadow.  I could observe, however, that his eyes sparkled like those of a ferret.  He advanced to the foot of the bed, in which I was p. 237still lying, wondering what this strange visit could mean; and there he stood gazing at me for a minute, at least, without uttering a syllable.  Suddenly, however, he protruded a spare skinny hand from the cloak in which it had hitherto been enveloped, and pointed with a short staff, tipped with metal, in the direction of my face, as if he were commencing an exorcism.  He appeared to be about to speak, but his words, if he intended any, were stifled in their birth by a sudden sternutation which escaped him, and which was so violent that the hostess started back, exclaiming, “Ave Maria purísima!” and nearly dropped the lamp in her alarm.

“My good person,” said I, “what do you mean by this foolish hobgoblinry?  If you have anything to communicate do so at once, and go about your business.  I am unwell, and you are depriving me of my repose.”

“By the virtue of this staff,” said the old man, “and the authority which it gives me to do and say that which is convenient, I do command, order, and summon you to appear to-morrow, at the eleventh hour, at the office of my lord the corregidor of this village of Madrid, [237] in order that, standing before him humbly, and with befitting reverence, you may listen to whatever he may have to say, or, if necessary, may yield yourself up to receive the castigation of any crimes which you may have committed, whether trivial or enormous.  Tenez, compère,” he added, in most villanous French, “voilà mon affaire; voilà ce que je viens vous dire.”

Thereupon he glared at me for a moment, nodded his head twice, and replacing his staff beneath his p. 238cloak, shambled out of the room, and with a valedictory sneeze in the passage left the house.

Precisely at eleven on the following day I attended at the office of the corregidor.  He was not the individual whose anger I had incurred on a former occasion, and who had thought proper to imprison me, but another person, I believe a Catalan, whose name I have also forgotten.  Indeed, these civil employments were at this period given to-day and taken away tomorrow, so that the person who held one of them for a month might consider himself a functionary of long standing.  I was not kept waiting a moment, but as soon as I had announced myself, was forthwith ushered into the presence of the corregidor—a good-looking, portly, and well-dressed personage, seemingly about fifty.  He was writing at a desk when I entered, but almost immediately arose and came towards me.  He looked me full in the face, and I, nothing abashed, kept my eyes fixed upon his.  He had, perhaps, expected a less independent bearing, and that I should have quaked and crouched before him; but now, conceiving himself bearded in his own den, his old Spanish leaven was forthwith stirred up.  He plucked his whiskers fiercely.  “Escuchad,” said he, casting upon me a ferocious glance, “I wish to ask you a question.”

“Before I answer any question of your excellency,” said I, “I shall take the liberty of putting one myself.  What law or reason is there that I, a peaceable individual and a foreigner, should have my rest disturbed by duendes and hobgoblins sent at midnight to summon me to appear at public offices like a criminal?”

“You do not speak the truth,” shouted the corregidor; “the person sent to summon you was neither duende nor hobgoblin, but one of the most ancient p. 239and respectable officers of this casa, and so far from being despatched at midnight, it wanted twenty-five minutes to that hour by my own watch when he left this office, and as your lodging is not distant, he must have arrived there at least ten minutes before midnight, so that you are by no means accurate, and are found wanting in regard to truth.”

“A distinction without a difference,” I replied.  “For my own part, if I am to be disturbed in my sleep, it is of little consequence whether at midnight or ten minutes before that time; and with respect to your messenger, although he might not be a hobgoblin, he had all the appearance of one, and assuredly answered the purpose, by frightening the woman of the house almost into fits by his hideous grimaces and sneezing convulsions.”

Corregidor.—You are a—I know not what.  Do you know that I have the power to imprison you?

Myself.—You have twenty alguazils at your beck and call, and have of course the power, and so had your predecessor, who nearly lost his situation by imprisoning me; but you know full well that you have not the right, as I am not under your jurisdiction, but that of the captain-general.  If I have obeyed your summons, it was simply because I had a curiosity to know what you wanted with me, and from no other motive whatever.  As for imprisoning me, I beg leave to assure you, that you have my full consent to do so; the most polite society in Madrid is to be found in the prison, and as I am at present compiling a vocabulary of the language of the Madrilenian thieves, I should have, in being imprisoned, an excellent opportunity of completing it.  There is much to be p. 240learnt even in the prison, for, as the gypsies say, “The dog that trots about finds a bone.” [240]

Corregidor.—Your words are not those of a caballero.  Do you forget where you are, and in whose presence?  Is this a fitting place to talk of thieves and gypsies in?

Myself.—Really I know of no place more fitting, unless it be the prison.  But we are wasting time, and I am anxious to know for what I have been summoned; whether for crimes trivial or enormous, as the messenger said.

It was a long time before I could obtain the required information from the incensed corregidor; at last, however, it came.  It appeared that a box of Testaments, which I had despatched to Naval Carnero, had been seized by the local authorities, and having been detained there for some time, was at last sent back to Madrid, intended, as it now appeared, for the hands of the corregidor.  One day as it was lying at the waggon-office, Antonio chanced to enter on some business of his own and recognized the box, which he instantly claimed as my property, and having paid the carriage, removed it to my warehouse.  He had considered the matter as of so little importance, that he had not as yet mentioned it to me.  The poor corregidor, however, had no doubt that it was a deep-laid scheme to plunder and insult him.  And now, working himself up into almost a frenzy of excitement, he stamped on the ground, exclaiming, “Que picardiaQue infamia!”

The old system, thought I, of prejudging people, and imputing to them motives and actions of which they never dreamed.  I then told him frankly that I was p. 241entirely ignorant of the circumstance by which he had felt himself aggrieved; but that if, upon inquiry, I found that the chest had actually been removed by my servant from the office to which it had been forwarded, I would cause it forthwith to be restored, although it was my own property.  “I have plenty more Testaments,” said I, “and can afford to lose fifty or a hundred.  I am a man of peace, and wish not to have any dispute with the authorities for the sake of an old chest and a cargo of books, whose united value would scarcely amount to forty dollars.”

He looked at me for a moment, as if in doubt of my sincerity, then, again plucking his whiskers, he forthwith proceeded to attack me in another quarter: “Pero que infamia, que picardia! to come into Spain for the purpose of overturning the religion of the country.  What would you say if the Spaniards were to go to England and attempt to overturn the Lutheranism established there?”

“They would be most heartily welcome,” I replied; “more especially if they would attempt to do so by circulating the Bible, the book of Christians, even as the English are doing in Spain.  But your excellency is not perhaps aware that the Pope has a fair field and fair play in England, and is permitted to make as many converts from Lutheranism every day in the week as are disposed to go over to him.  He cannot boast, however, of much success; the people are too fond of light to embrace darkness, and would smile at the idea of exchanging their Gospel privileges for the superstitious ceremonies and observances of the Church of Rome.”

On my repeating my promise that the books and chest should be forthwith restored, the corregidor p. 242declared himself satisfied, and all of a sudden became excessively polite and condescending: he even went so far as to say that he left it entirely with myself, whether to return the books or not; “and,” continued he, “before you go, I wish to tell you that my private opinion is, that it is highly advisable in all countries to allow full and perfect tolerance in religious matters, and to permit every religious system to stand or fall according to its own merits.”

Such were the concluding words of the corregidor of Madrid, which, whether they expressed his private opinion or not, were certainly grounded on sense and reason.  I saluted him respectfully and retired, and forthwith performed my promise with regard to the books; and thus terminated this affair.

It almost appeared to me at this time that a religious reform was commencing in Spain; indeed, matters had of late come to my knowledge, which, had they been prophesied only a year before, I should have experienced much difficulty in believing.

The reader will be surprised when I state that, in two churches of Madrid, the New Testament was regularly expounded every Sunday evening, by the respective curates, to about twenty children who attended, and who were all provided with copies of the society’s edition of Madrid, 1837. [242a]  The churches which I allude to were those of San Gines and Santa Cruz. [242b]  Now, I humbly conceive that this fact alone is more than equivalent to all the expense which the p. 243society had incurred in the efforts which it had been making to introduce the Gospel into Spain; but be this as it may, I am certain that it amply recompensed me for all the anxiety and unhappiness which I had undergone.  I now felt that whenever I should be compelled to discontinue my labours in the Peninsula, I should retire without the slightest murmur, my heart being filled with gratitude to the Lord for having permitted me, useless vessel as I was, to see at least some of the seed springing up, which during two years I had been casting on the stony ground of the interior of Spain.

When I recollected the difficulties which had encompassed our path, I could sometimes hardly credit all that the Almighty had permitted us to accomplish within the last year.  A large edition of the New Testament had been almost entirely disposed of in the very centre of Spain, in spite of the opposition and the furious cry of the sanguinary priesthood and the edicts of a deceitful government, and a spirit of religious inquiry excited, which I had fervent hope would sooner or later lead to blessed and most important results.  Till of late the name most abhorred and dreaded in these parts of Spain was that of Martin Luther, who was in general considered as a species of demon, a cousin-german to Belial and Beelzebub, who, under the disguise of a man, wrote and preached blasphemy against the Highest; yet now, strange to say, this once abominated personage was spoken of with no slight degree of respect.  People with Bibles in their hands not unfrequently visited me, inquiring with much earnestness, and with no slight degree of simplicity, for the writings of the great Doctor Martin, whom, indeed, some supposed to be still alive.

p. 244It will be as well here to observe, that of all the names connected with the Reformation, that of Luther is the only one known in Spain; and let me add, that no controversial writings but his are likely to be esteemed as possessing the slightest weight or authority, however great their intrinsic merit may be.  The common description of tracts, written with the view of exposing the errors of Popery, are therefore not calculated to prove of much benefit in Spain, though it is probable that much good might be accomplished by well executed translations of judicious selections from the works of Luther.


Projected Journey—A Scene of Blood—The Friar—Seville—Beauties of Seville—Orange Trees and Flowers—Murillo—The Guardian Angel—Dionysius—My Coadjutors—Demand for the Bible.

By the middle of April I had sold as many Testaments as I thought Madrid would bear: I therefore called in my people, for I was afraid to overstock the market, and to bring the book into contempt by making it too common.  I had, indeed, by this time, barely a thousand copies remaining of the edition which I had printed two years previously; and with respect to Bibles, every copy was by this time disposed of, though there was still a great demand for them, which, of course, I was unable to satisfy.

With the remaining copies of the Testament, I now determined to betake myself to Seville, where little had hitherto been effected in the way of circulation: my preparations were soon made.  The roads were at this time in a highly dangerous state, on which account I thought to go along with a convoy, which was about to start for Andalusia.  Two days, however, before its departure, understanding that the number of people who likewise proposed to avail themselves of it was likely to be very great, and reflecting on the p. 246slowness of this way of travelling, and moreover the insults to which civilians were frequently subjected from the soldiers and petty officers, I determined to risk the journey with the mail.  This resolution I carried into effect.  Antonio, whom I had resolved to take with me, and my two horses, departed with the convoy, whilst in a few days I followed with the mail courier.  We travelled all the way without the slightest accident, my usual wonderful good fortune accompanying us.  I might well call it wonderful, for I was running into the den of a lion; the whole of La Mancha, with the exception of a few fortified places, being once more in the hands of Palillos and his banditti, who, whenever it pleased them, stopped the courier, burnt the vehicle and letters, murdered the paltry escort, and carried away any chance passenger to the mountains, where an enormous ransom was demanded, the alternative being four shots through the head, as the Spaniards say.

The upper part of Andalusia was becoming rapidly nearly as bad as La Mancha.  The last time the mail had passed, it was attacked at the defile of La Rumblar [246] by six mounted robbers; it was guarded by an escort of as many soldiers, but the former suddenly galloped from behind a solitary venta, and dashed the soldiers to the ground, who were taken quite by surprise, the hoofs of the robbers’ horses making no noise on account of the sandy nature of the ground.  The p. 247soldiers were instantly disarmed and bound to olive trees, with the exception of two, who escaped amongst the rocks; they were then mocked and tormented by the robbers, or rather fiends, for nearly half an hour, when they were shot; the head of the corporal who commanded being blown to fragments with a blunderbuss.  The robbers then burned the coach, which they accomplished by igniting the letters by means of the tow with which they light their cigars.  The life of the courier was saved by one of them, who had formerly been his postilion; he was, however, robbed and stripped.  As we passed by the scene of the butchery, the poor fellow wept, and, though a Spaniard, cursed Spain and the Spaniards, saying that he intended shortly to pass over to the Moreria, to confess Mahomet, and to learn the law of the Moors, for that any country and religion were better than his own.  He pointed to the tree where the corporal had been tied; though much rain had fallen since, the ground around was still saturated with blood, and a dog was gnawing a piece of the unfortunate wretch’s skull.  A friar travelled with us the whole way from Madrid to Seville; he was of the missionaries, and was going to the Philippine Islands, to conquer (para conquistar), for such was his word, by which I suppose he meant preaching to the Indians.  During the whole journey he exhibited every symptom of the most abject fear, which operated upon him so that he became deadly sick, and we were obliged to stop twice in the road, and lay him amongst the green corn.  He said that if he fell into the hands of the factious, he was a lost priest, for that they would first make him say Mass, and then blow him up with gunpowder.  He had been professor of philosophy, as he told me, in one of p. 248the convents (I think it was San Tomas) of Madrid before their suppression, but appeared to be grossly ignorant of the Scriptures, which he confounded with the works of Virgil.

We stopped at Manzanares as usual; it was Sunday morning, and the market-place was crowded with people.  I was recognized in a moment, and twenty pair of legs instantly hurried away in quest of the prophetess, who presently made her appearance in the house to which we had retired to breakfast.  After many greetings on both sides, she proceeded, in her Latin, to give me an account of all that had occurred in the village since I had last been there, and of the atrocities of the factious in the neighbourhood.  I asked her to breakfast, and introduced her to the friar, whom she addressed in this manner: “Anne Domine Reverendissime facis adhuc sacrificium?” [248]  But the friar did not understand her, and, waxing angry, anathematized her for a witch, and bade her begone.  She was, however, not to be disconcerted, and commenced singing, in extemporary Castilian verse, the praises of friars and religious houses in general.  On departing I gave her a peseta, upon which she burst into tears, and entreated that I would write to her if I reached Seville in safety.

We did arrive at Seville in safety, and I took leave of the friar, telling him that I hoped to meet him again at Philippi.  As it was my intention to remain at Seville for some months, I determined to hire a house, in which I conceived I could live with p. 249more privacy, and at the same time more economically, than in a posada.  It was not long before I found one in every respect suited to me.  It was situated in the Plazuela de la Pila Seca, a retired part of the city in the neighbourhood of the cathedral, and at a short distance from the gate of Xeres; and in this house, on the arrival of Antonio and the horses, which occurred within a few days, I took up my abode.

I was now once more in beautiful Seville, and had soon ample time and leisure to enjoy its delights and those of the surrounding country.  Unfortunately, at the time of my arrival, and indeed for the next ensuing fortnight, the heaven of Andalusia, in general so glorious, was overcast with black clouds, which discharged tremendous showers of rain, such as few of the Sevillians, according to their own account, had ever seen before.  This extraordinary weather had wrought no little damage in the neighbourhood, causing the Guadalquivir, which, during the rainy season, is a rapid and furious stream, to overflow its banks, and to threaten an inundation.  It is true that intervals were occurring when the sun made his appearance from his cloudy tabernacle, and with his golden rays caused everything around to smile, enticing the butterfly forth from the bush, and the lizard from the hollow tree, and I invariably availed myself of these intervals to take a hasty promenade.

Oh how pleasant it is, especially in springtide, to stray along the shores of the Guadalquivir!  Not far from the city, down the river, lies a grove called Las Delicias, or “The Delights.”  It consists of trees of various kinds, but more especially of poplars and p. 250elms, and is traversed by long shady walks.  This grove is the favourite promenade of the Sevillians, and there one occasionally sees assembled whatever the town produces of beauty or gallantry.  There wander the black-eyed Andalusian dames and damsels, clad in their graceful silken mantillas; and there gallops the Andalusian cavalier, on his long-tailed thick-maned steed of Moorish ancestry.  As the sun is descending, it is enchanting to glance back from this place in the direction of the city; the prospect is inexpressibly beautiful.  Yonder in the distance, high and enormous, stands the Golden Tower, now used as a toll-house, but the principal bulwark of the city in the time of the Moors.  It stands on the shore of the river, like a giant keeping watch, and is the first edifice which attracts the eye of the voyager as he moves up the stream to Seville.  On the other side, opposite the tower, stands the noble Augustine convent, the ornament of the faubourg of Triana, whilst between the two edifices rolls the broad Guadalquivir, bearing on its bosom a flotilla of barks from Catalonia and Valencia.  Further up is seen the bridge of boats, which traverses the water.  The principal object of this prospect, however, is the Golden Tower, where the beams of the setting sun seem to be concentrated as in a focus, so that it appears built of pure gold, and probably from that circumstance received the name which it now bears.  Cold, cold must the heart be which can remain insensible to the beauties of this magic scene, to do justice to which the pencil of Claude himself were barely equal.  Often have I shed tears of rapture whilst I beheld it, and listened to the thrush and the nightingale piping forth their melodious songs in p. 251the woods, and inhaled the breeze laden with the perfume of the thousand orange gardens of Seville:

“Kennst du das Land wo die Citronen blühen?” [251a]

The interior of Seville scarcely corresponds with the exterior; the streets are narrow, badly paved, and full of misery and beggary.  The houses are, for the most part, built in the Moorish fashion, with a quadrangular patio, or court, in the centre, where stands a marble fountain, constantly distilling limpid water.  These courts, during the time of the summer heats, are covered over with a canvas awning, and beneath this the family sit during the greater part of the day.  In many, especially those belonging to the houses of the wealthy, are to be found shrubs, orange trees, and all kinds of flowers, and perhaps a small aviary, so that no situation can be conceived more delicious than to lie here in the shade, hearkening to the song of the birds and the voice of the fountain.

Nothing is more calculated to interest the stranger as he wanders through Seville, than a view of these courts, obtained from the street through the iron-grated door.  Oft have I stopped to observe them, and as often sighed that my fate did not permit me to reside in such an Eden for the remainder of my days.  On a former occasion I have spoken of the cathedral of Seville, but only in a brief and cursory manner. [251b]  It is, perhaps, the most magnificent cathedral in all Spain, and though not so regular in its architecture as those of Toledo and Burgos, is far p. 252more worthy of admiration when considered as a whole.  It is utterly impossible to wander through the long aisles, and to raise one’s eyes to the richly inlaid roof, supported by colossal pillars, without experiencing sensations of sacred awe and deep astonishment.  It is true that the interior, like those of the generality of the Spanish cathedrals, is somewhat dark and gloomy; yet it loses nothing by this gloom, which, on the contrary, rather increases the solemnity of the effect.  Notre Dame of Paris is a noble building, yet to him who has seen the Spanish cathedrals, and particularly this of Seville, it almost appears trivial and mean, and more like a town-hall than a temple of the Eternal.  The Parisian cathedral is entirely destitute of that solemn darkness and gloomy pomp which so abound in the Sevillian, and is thus destitute of the principal requisite to a cathedral.

In most of the chapels are to be found some of the very best pictures of the Spanish school; and, in particular, many of the master-pieces of Murillo, a native of Seville.  Of all the pictures of this extraordinary man, one of the least celebrated is that which has always wrought on me the most profound impression.  I allude to the Guardian Angel, El Angel de la Guardia, a small picture which stands at the bottom of the church, and looks up the principal aisle.  The angel, holding a flaming sword in his right hand, is conducting the child: this child is, in my opinion, the most wonderful of all the creations of Murillo; the form is that of an infant about five years of age, and the expression of the countenance is quite infantine, but the tread—it is the tread of a conqueror, of a God, of the Creator of the universe; and the earthly globe appears to tremble beneath its majesty.

p. 253The service of the cathedral is in general well attended, especially when it is known that a sermon is to be preached.  All these sermons are extemporaneous; some of them are edifying, and faithful to the Scriptures.  I have often listened to them with pleasure, though I was much surprised to remark, that when the preachers quoted from the Bible, their quotations were almost invariably taken from the apocryphal writings.  There is in general no lack of worshippers at the principal shrines—women for the most part—many of whom appear to be animated with the most fervent devotion.

I had flattered myself, previous to my departure from Madrid, that I should experience but little difficulty in the circulation of the Gospel in Andalusia, at least for a time, as the field was new, and myself and the object of my mission less known and dreaded than in New Castile.  It appeared, however, that the government at Madrid had fulfilled its threat, transmitting orders throughout Spain for the seizure of my books wherever found.  The Testaments that arrived from Madrid were seized at the custom-house, to which place all goods on their arrival, even from the interior, are carried, in order that a duty be imposed upon them.  Through the management of Antonio, however, I procured one of the two chests, whilst the other was sent down to San Lucar, to be embarked for a foreign land as soon as I could make arrangements for that purpose.

I did not permit myself to be discouraged by this slight contretemps, although I heartily regretted the loss of the books which had been seized, and which I could no longer hope to circulate in these parts, where they were so much wanted; but I consoled myself p. 254with the reflection, that I had still several hundred at my disposal, from the distribution of which, if it pleased the Lord, a blessed harvest might still proceed.

I did not commence operations for some time, for I was in a strange place, and scarcely knew what course to pursue.  I had no one to assist me but poor Antonio, who was as ignorant of the place as myself.  Providence, however, soon sent me a coadjutor in rather a singular manner.  I was standing in the courtyard of the Reyna Posada, where I occasionally dined, when a man, singularly dressed and gigantically tall, entered.  My curiosity was excited, and I inquired of the master of the house who he was.  He informed me that he was a foreigner, who had resided a considerable time in Seville, and he believed a Greek.  Upon hearing this, I instantly went up to the stranger, and accosted him in the Greek language, in which, though I speak it very ill, I can make myself understood.  He replied in the same idiom, and, flattered by the interest which I, a foreigner, expressed for his nation, was not slow in communicating to me his history.  He told me that his name was Dionysius, that he was a native of Cephalonia, and had been educated for the Church, which, not suiting his temper, he had abandoned, in order to follow the profession of the sea, for which he had an early inclination.  That after many adventures and changes of fortune, he found himself one morning on the coast of Spain, a shipwrecked mariner, and that, ashamed to return to his own country in poverty and distress, he had remained in the Peninsula, residing chiefly in Seville, where he now carried on a small trade in books.  He said that he was of the p. 255Greek religion, to which he professed strong attachment, and, soon discovering that I was a Protestant, spoke with unbounded abhorrence of the papal system; nay, of its followers in general, whom he called Latins, and whom he charged with the ruin of his own country, inasmuch as they sold it to the Turk.  It instantly struck me, that this individual would be an excellent assistant in the work which had brought me to Seville, namely, the propagation of the eternal Gospel; and, accordingly, after some more conversation, in which he exhibited considerable learning, I explained myself to him.  He entered into my views with eagerness, and, in the sequel, I had no reason to regret my confidence, he having disposed of a considerable number of New Testaments, and even contrived to send a certain number of copies to two small towns at some distance from Seville.

Another helper in the circulation of the Gospel I found in an aged professor of music, who, with much stiffness and ceremoniousness, united much that was excellent and admirable.  This venerable individual, only three days after I had made his acquaintance, brought me the price of six Testaments and a Gypsy Gospel, which he had sold under the heat of an Andalusian sun.  What was his motive?  A Christian one truly.  He said that his unfortunate countrymen, who were then robbing and murdering each other, might probably be rendered better by the reading of the Gospel, but could never be injured.  Adding, that many a man had been reformed by the Scriptures, but that no one ever yet became a thief or assassin from its perusal.

But my most extraordinary agent was one whom I occasionally employed in circulating the Scriptures p. 256amongst the lower classes.  I might have turned the services of this individual to far greater account had the quantity of books at my disposal been greater; but they were now diminishing rapidly, and as I had no hopes of a fresh supply, I was almost tempted to be niggard of the few which remained.  This agent was a Greek bricklayer, by name Johannes Chrysostom, who had been introduced to me by Dionysius.  He was a native of the Morea, but had been upwards of thirty-five years in Spain, so that he had almost entirely lost his native language.  Nevertheless, his attachment to his own country was so strong that he considered whatever was not Greek as utterly barbarous and bad.  Though entirely destitute of education, he had, by his strength of character and by a kind of rude eloquence which he possessed, obtained such a mastery over the minds of the labouring classes of Seville, that they assented to almost everything he said, notwithstanding the shocks which their prejudices were continually receiving.  So that, although he was a foreigner, he could at any time have become the Masaniello [256] of Seville.  A more honest creature I never saw, and I soon found that if I employed him, notwithstanding his eccentricities, I might entertain perfect confidence that his actions would be no disparagement to the book he vended.

We were continually pressed for Bibles, which of course we could not supply.  Testaments were held in comparatively little esteem.  I had by this time made the discovery of a fact which it would have p. 257been well had I been aware of three years before: but we live and learn.  I mean the inexpediency of printing Testaments, and Testaments alone, for Catholic countries.  The reason is plain: the Catholic, unused to Scripture reading, finds a thousand things which he cannot possibly understand in the New Testament, the foundation of which is the Old.  “Search the Scriptures, for they bear witness of me,” may well be applied to this point.  It may be replied, that New Testaments separate are in great demand and of infinite utility in England; but England, thanks be to the Lord, is not a papal country; and though an English labourer may read a Testament, and derive from it the most blessed fruit, it does not follow that a Spanish or Italian peasant will enjoy similar success, as he will find many dark things with which the other is well acquainted, and competent to understand, being versed in the Bible history from his childhood.  I confess, however, that in my summer campaign of the preceding year, I could not have accomplished with Bibles what Providence permitted me to effect with Testaments, the former being far too bulky for rural journeys.


The Solitary House—The Dehesa—Johannes Chrysostom—Manuel—Bookselling at Seville—Dionysius and the Priests—Athens and Rome—Proselytism—Seizure of Testaments—Departure from Seville.

I have already stated that I had hired an empty house in Seville, wherein I purposed to reside for some months.  It stood in a solitary situation, occupying one side of a small square.  It was built quite in the beautiful taste of Andalusia, with a court paved with small slabs of white and blue marble.  In the middle of this court was a fountain well supplied with the crystal lymph, the murmur of which, as it fell from its slender pillar into an octangular basin, might be heard in every apartment.  The house itself was large and spacious, consisting of two stories, and containing room sufficient for at least ten times the number of inmates which now occupied it.  I generally kept during the day in the lower apartments, on account of the refreshing coolness which pervaded them.  In one of these was an immense stone water-trough, ever overflowing with water from the fountain, in which I immersed myself every morning.  Such were the premises to which, after having provided p. 259myself with a few indispensable articles of furniture, I now retreated with Antonio and my two horses.

I was fortunate in the possession of these quadrupeds, inasmuch as it afforded me an opportunity of enjoying to a greater extent the beauties of the surrounding country.  I know of few things in this life more delicious than a ride in the spring or summer season in the neighbourhood of Seville.  My favourite one was in the direction of Xeres, over the wide Dehesa, as it is called, which extends from Seville to the gates of the former town, a distance of nearly fifty miles, with scarcely a town or village intervening.  The ground is irregular and broken, and is for the most part covered with that species of brushwood called carrasco, amongst which winds a bridle-path, by no means well defined, chiefly trodden by the arrieros, with their long trains of mules and borricos.  It is here that the balmy air of beautiful Andalusia is to be inhaled in full perfection.  Aromatic herbs and flowers are growing in abundance, diffusing their perfume around.  Here dark and gloomy cares are dispelled as if by magic from the bosom, as the eyes wander over the prospect, lighted by unequalled sunshine, in which gaily painted butterflies wanton, and green and golden salamanquesas lie extended, enjoying the luxurious warmth, and occasionally startling the traveller, by springing up and making off with portentous speed to the nearest coverts, whence they stare upon him with their sharp and lustrous eyes.  I repeat, that it is impossible to continue melancholy in regions like these, and the ancient Greeks and Romans were right in making them the site of their Elysian fields.  Most beautiful they are, even in their present desolation, for the hand of man has not p. 260cultivated them since the fatal era of the expulsion of the Moors, which drained Andalusia of at least two-thirds of its population.

Every evening it was my custom to ride along the Dehesa, until the topmost towers of Seville were no longer in sight.  I then turned about, and pressing my knees against the sides of Sidi Habismilk, my Arabian, the fleet creature, to whom spur or lash had never been applied, would set off in the direction of the town with the speed of a whirlwind, seeming in his headlong course to devour the ground of the waste, until he had left it behind, then dashing through the elm-covered road of the Delicias, his thundering hoofs were soon heard beneath the vaulted archway of the Puerta de Xeres, and in another moment he would stand stone-still before the door of my solitary house in the little silent square of the Pila Seca.

It is eight o’clock at night, I am returned from the Dehesa, and am standing on the sotea, or flat roof of my house, enjoying the cool breeze.  Johannes Chrysostom has just arrived from his labour.  I have not spoken to him, but I hear him below in the courtyard, detailing to Antonio the progress he has made in the last two days.  He speaks barbarous Greek, plentifully interlarded with Spanish words; but I gather from his discourse, that he has already sold twelve Testaments among his fellow-labourers.  I hear copper coin falling on the pavement, and Antonio, who is not of a very Christian temper, reproving him for not having brought the proceeds of the sale in silver.  He now asks for fifteen more, as he says the demand is becoming great, and that he shall have no difficulty in disposing of them in the course of the morrow, whilst pursuing his occupations.  Antonio goes to fetch them, p. 261and he now stands alone by the marble fountain, singing a wild song, which I believe to be a hymn of his beloved Greek Church.  Behold one of the helpers which the Lord has sent me in my Gospel labours on the shores of the Guadalquivir.

I lived in the greatest retirement during the whole time that I passed at Seville, spending the greater part of each day in study, or in that half dreamy state of inactivity which is the natural effect of the influence of a warm climate.  There was little in the character of the people around to induce me to enter much into society.  The higher class of the Andalusians are probably upon the whole the most vain and foolish of human beings, with a taste for nothing but sensual amusements, foppery in dress, and ribald discourse.  Their insolence is only equalled by their meanness, and their prodigality by their avarice.  The lower classes are a shade or two better than their superiors in station: little, it is true, can be said for the tone of their morality; they are overreaching, quarrelsome, and revengeful, but they are upon the whole more courteous, and certainly not more ignorant.

The Andalusians are in general held in the lowest estimation by the rest of the Spaniards, even those in opulent circumstances finding some difficulty at Madrid in procuring admission into respectable society, where, if they find their way, they are invariably the objects of ridicule, from the absurd airs and grimaces in which they indulge,—their tendency to boasting and exaggeration, their curious accent, and the incorrect manner in which they speak and pronounce the Castilian language. [261]

p. 262In a word, the Andalusians, in all estimable traits of character, are as far below the other Spaniards as the country which they inhabit is superior in beauty and fertility to the other provinces of Spain.

Yet let it not for a moment be supposed that I have any intention of asserting, that excellent and estimable individuals are not to be found amongst the Andalusians; it was amongst them that I myself discovered one, whom I have no hesitation in asserting to be the most extraordinary character that has ever come within the sphere of my knowledge; but this was no scion of a noble or knightly house, “no wearer of soft clothing,” no sleek highly perfumed personage, none of the romanticos who walk in languishing attitudes about the streets of Seville, with long black hair hanging upon their shoulders in luxuriant curls: but one of those whom the proud and unfeeling style the dregs of the populace, a haggard, houseless, penniless man, in rags and tatters.  I allude to Manuel, the—what shall I call him?—seller of lottery tickets, driver of death carts, or poet laureate in gypsy songs?  I wonder whether thou art still living, my friend Manuel; thou gentleman of nature’s forming—honest, pure-minded, humble, yet dignified being!  Art thou still wandering through the courts of beautiful Safacoro, or on the banks of the Len Baro, [262] thine eyes fixed in vacancy, and thy mind striving to recall some half-forgotten couplet of Luis Lobo; or art thou gone to thy long rest, out beyond the Xeres gate within p. 263the wall of the Campo Santo, to which, in times of pest and sickness, thou wast wont to carry so many, gypsy and Gentile, in thy cart of the tinkling bell?  Oft in the réunions of the lettered and learned in this land of universal literature, when weary of the display of pedantry and egotism, have I recurred with yearning to our gypsy recitations at the old house in the Pila Seca.  Oft, when sickened by the high-wrought professions of those who bear the cross in gilded chariots, have I thought on thee, thy calm faith, without pretence,—thy patience in poverty, and fortitude in affliction; and as oft, when thinking of my speedily approaching end, have I wished that I might meet thee once again, and that thy hands might help to bear me to “the dead man’s acre” yonder on the sunny plain, O Manuel! [263]

My principal visitor was Dionysius, who seldom failed to make his appearance every forenoon: the poor fellow came for sympathy and conversation.  It is difficult to imagine a situation more forlorn and isolated than that of this man,—a Greek at Seville, with scarcely a single acquaintance, and depending for subsistence on the miserable pittance to be derived from selling a few books, for the most part hawked about from door to door.  “What could have first induced you to commence bookselling in Seville?” said I to him, as he arrived one sultry day, heated and fatigued, with a small bundle of books secured together by a leather strap.

Dionysius.—For want of a better employment, p. 264Kyrie, [264a] I have adopted this most unprofitable and despised one.  Oft have I regretted not having been bred up as a shoemaker, or having learnt in my youth some other useful handicraft, for gladly would I follow it now.  Such, at least, would procure me the respect of my fellow-creatures, inasmuch as they needed me; but now all avoid me and look upon me with contempt; for what have I to offer in this place that any one cares about?  Books in Seville! where no one reads, or at least nothing but new romances, translated from the French, and obscenity.  Books!  Would I were a gypsy and could trim donkeys, for then I were at least independent and were more respected than I am at present.

Myself.—Of what kind of books does your stock-in-trade consist?

Dionysius.—Of those not likely to suit the Seville market, Kyrie; books of sterling and intrinsic value; many of them in ancient Greek, which I picked up upon the dissolution of the convents, when the contents of the libraries were hurled into the courtyards, and there sold by the arroba.  I thought at first that I was about to make a fortune, and in fact my books would be so in any other place; but here I have offered an Elzevir [264b] for half a dollar in vain.  I should starve were it not for the strangers who occasionally purchase of me.

Myself.—Seville is a large cathedral city, abounding with priests and canons; surely some of these occasionally visit you to make purchases of classic works and books connected with ecclesiastical literature.

p. 265Dionysius.—If you think so, Kyrie, you know little respecting the ecclesiastics of Seville.  I am acquainted with many of them, and can assure you that a tribe of beings can scarcely be found with a more confirmed aversion to intellectual pursuits of every kind.  Their reading is confined to newspapers, which they take up in the hope of seeing that their friend Don Carlos is at length reinstated at Madrid; but they prefer their chocolate and biscuits, and nap before dinner, to the wisdom of Plato and the eloquence of Tully.  They occasionally visit me, but it is only to pass away a heavy hour in chattering nonsense.  Once on a time three of them came, in the hope of making me a convert to their Latin superstition.  “Signor Donatio,” said they (for so they called me), “how is it that an unprejudiced person like yourself, a man really with some pretension to knowledge, can still cling to this absurd religion of yours?  Surely, after having resided so many years in a civilized country like this of Spain, it is high time to abandon your half-pagan form of worship, and to enter the bosom of the Church; now pray be advised, and you shall be none the worse for it.”  “Thank you, gentlemen,” I replied, “for the interest you take in my welfare; I am always open to conviction; let us proceed to discuss the subject.  What are the points of my religion which do not meet your approbation?  You are of course well acquainted with all our dogmas and ceremonies.”  “We know nothing about your religion, Signor Donatio, save that it is a very absurd one, and therefore it is incumbent upon you, as an unprejudiced and well-informed man, to renounce it.”  “But, gentlemen, if you know nothing of my religion, why call it absurd?  Surely it is not the part of p. 266unprejudiced people to disparage that of which they are ignorant.”  “But, Signor Donatio, it is not the Catholic Apostolic Roman religion, is it?”  “It may be, gentlemen, for what you appear to know of it; for your information, however, I will tell you that it is not; it is the Greek Apostolic religion.  I do not call it catholic, for it is absurd to call that catholic which is not universally acknowledged.”  “But, Signor Donatio, does not the matter speak for itself?  What can a set of ignorant Greek barbarians know about religion?  If they set aside the authority of Rome, whence should they derive any rational ideas of religion? whence should they get the Gospel?”  “The Gospel, gentlemen?  Allow me to show you a book.  Here it is; what is your opinion of it?”  “Signor Donati, what does this mean?  What characters of the devil are these, are they Moorish?  Who is able to understand them?”  “I suppose your worships, being Roman priests, know something of Latin; if you inspect the title-page to the bottom, you will find, in the language of your own Church, ‘the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the original Greek,’ of which your Vulgate is merely a translation, and not a very correct one.  With respect to the barbarism of Greece, it appears that you are not aware that Athens was a city, and a famed one, centuries before the first mud cabin of Rome was thatched, and the gypsy vagabonds who first peopled it had escaped from the hands of justice.”  “Signor Donatio, you are an ignorant heretic, and insolent withal: what nonsense is this! . . .”  But I will not weary your ears, Kyrie, with all the absurdities which the poor Latin Papas [266] poured into mine; the burden of p. 267their song being invariably, what nonsense is this! which was certainly applicable enough to what they themselves were saying.  Seeing, however, that I was more than their match in religious controversy, they fell foul of my country.  “Spain is a better country than Greece,” said one.  “You never tasted bread before you came to Spain,” cried another.  “And little enough since,” thought I.  “You never before saw such a city as Seville,” said the third.  But then ensued the best part of the comedy: my visitors chanced to be natives of three different places; one was of Seville, another of Utrera, and the third of Miguel Turra, a miserable village in La Mancha.  At the mention of Seville, the other two instantly began to sing the praises of their respective places of birth; this brought on comparisons, and a violent dispute was the consequence.  Much abuse passed between them, whilst I stood by, shrugged my shoulders, and said tipotas. [267]  At last, as they were leaving the house, I said, “Who would have thought, gentlemen, that the polemics of the Greek and Latin Churches were so closely connected with the comparative merits of Seville, Utrera, and Miguel Turra?”

Myself.—Is the spirit of proselytism very prevalent here?  Of what description of people do their converts generally consist?

Dionysius.—I will tell you, Kyrie; the generality of their converts consist of German or English Protestant adventurers, who come here to settle, and in course of time take to themselves wives from amongst the Spanish, prior to which it is necessary to become members of the Latin Church.  A few are vagabond Jews, from Gibraltar or Tangier, who have fled for p. 268their crimes into Spain, and who renounce their faith to escape from starvation.  These gentry, however, it is necessary to pay, on which account the priests procure for them padrinos, or godfathers; these generally consist of rich devotees over whom the priests have influence, and who esteem it a glory and a meritorious act to assist in bringing back lost souls to the Church.  The neophyte allows himself to be convinced on the promise of a peseta a day, which is generally paid by the godfathers for the first year, but seldom for a longer period.  About forty years ago, however, they made a somewhat notable convert.  A civil war arose in Morocco, caused by the separate pretensions of two brothers to the throne.  One of these being worsted, fled over to Spain, imploring the protection of Charles IV.  He soon became an object of particular attention to the priests, who were not slow in converting him, and induced Charles to settle upon him a pension of a dollar per day.  He died some few years since in Seville, a despised vagabond.  He left behind him a son, who is at present a notary, and outwardly very devout, but a greater hypocrite and picaron does not exist.  I would you could see his face, Kyrie, it is that of Judas Iscariot.  I think you would say so, for you are a physiognomist.  He lives next door to me, and notwithstanding his pretensions to religion, is permitted to remain in a state of great poverty.

And now nothing further for the present about Dionysius.

About the middle of July our work was concluded at Seville, and for the very efficient reason that I had no more Testaments to sell; somewhat more than two hundred having been circulated since my arrival.

p. 269About ten days before the time of which I am speaking, I was visited by various alguazils, accompanied by a kind of headborough, who made a small seizure of Testaments and gypsy Gospels, which happened to be lying about.  This visit was far from being disagreeable to me, as I considered it to be a very satisfactory proof of the effect of our exertions in Seville.  I cannot help here relating an anecdote:—A day or two subsequent, having occasion to call at the house of the headborough respecting my passport, I found him lying on his bed, for it was the hour of siesta, reading intently one of the Testaments which he had taken away, all of which, if he had obeyed his orders, would have been deposited in the office of the civil governor.  So intently, indeed, was he engaged in reading, that he did not at first observe my entrance; when he did, however, he sprang up in great confusion, and locked the book up in his cabinet, whereupon I smiled, and told him to be under no alarm, as I was glad to see him so usefully employed.  Recovering himself, he said that he had read the book nearly through, and that he had found no harm in it, but, on the contrary, everything to praise.  Adding, he believed that the clergy must be possessed with devils (endemoniados) to persecute it in the manner they did.

It was Sunday when the seizure was made, and I happened to be reading the Liturgy.  One of the alguazils, when going away, made an observation respecting the very different manner in which the Protestants and Catholics keep the Sabbath; the former being in their own houses reading good books, and the latter abroad in the bull-ring, seeing the wild bulls tear out the gory bowels of the poor horses.  p. 270The bull amphitheatre at Seville is the finest in all Spain, and is invariably on a Sunday (the only day on which it is open) filled with applauding multitudes.

I now made preparations for leaving Seville for a few months, my destination being the coast of Barbary.  Antonio, who did not wish to leave Spain, in which were his wife and children, returned to Madrid, rejoicing in a handsome gratuity with which I presented him.  As it was my intention to return to Seville, I left my house and horses in the charge of a friend in whom I could confide, and departed.

The reasons which induced me to visit Barbary will be seen in the following chapters.

p. 271CHAPTER L.

Night on the Guadalquivir—Gospel Light—Bonanza—Strand of San Lucar—Andalusian Scenery—History of a Chest—Cosas de los Ingleses—The Two Gypsies—The Driver—The Red Nightcap—The Steam-Boat—Christian Language.

On the night of the 31st of July I departed from Seville upon my expedition, going on board one of the steamers which ply on the Guadalquivir between Seville and Cadiz.

It was my intention to stop at San Lucar, for the purpose of recovering the chest of Testaments which had been placed in embargo there, until such time as they could be removed from the kingdom of Spain.  These Testaments I intended for distribution amongst the Christians whom I hoped to meet on the shores of Barbary.  San Lucar is about fifteen leagues distant from Seville, at the entrance of the bay of Cadiz, where the yellow waters of the Guadalquivir unite with the brine.  The steamer shot from the little quay, or wharf, at about half-past nine, and then arose a loud cry—it was the voices of those on board and on shore wishing farewell to their friends.  Amongst the tumult I thought I could distinguish the accents of some friends of my own who had accompanied me to the p. 272bank, and I instantly raised my own voice louder than all.  The night was very dark, so much so, indeed, that as we passed along we could scarcely distinguish the trees which cover the eastern shore of the river until it takes its first turn.  A calmazo had reigned during the day at Seville, by which is meant exceedingly sultry weather, unenlivened by the slightest breeze.  The night likewise was calm and sultry.  As I had frequently made the voyage of the Guadalquivir, ascending and descending this celebrated river, I felt nothing of that restlessness and curiosity which people experience in a strange place, whether in light or darkness, and being acquainted with none of the other passengers, who were talking on the deck, I thought my best plan would be to retire to the cabin and enjoy some rest, if possible.  The cabin was solitary and tolerably cool, all its windows on either side being open for the admission of air.  Flinging myself on one of the cushioned benches, I was soon asleep, in which state I continued for about two hours, when I was aroused by the furious biting of a thousand bugs, which compelled me to seek the deck, where, wrapping myself in my cloak, I again fell asleep.  It was near daybreak when I awoke; we were then about two leagues from San Lucar.  I arose and looked towards the east, watching the gradual progress of dawn, first the dull light, then the streak, then the tinge, then the bright blush, till at last the golden disk of that orb which giveth day emerged from the abyss of immensity, and in a moment the whole prospect was covered with brightness and glory.  The land smiled, the waters sparkled, the birds sang, and men arose from their resting-places and rejoiced: for it was day, and the sun was gone forth on the errand of its p. 273Creator, the diffusion of light and gladness, and the dispelling of darkness and sorrow.

“Behold the morning sun
   Begins his glorious way;
His beams through all the nations run,
   And life and light convey.

“But where the Gospel comes,
   It spreads diviner light;
It calls dead sinners from their tombs,
   And gives the blind their sight.”

We now stopped before Bonanza: this is, properly speaking, the port of San Lucar, although it is half a league distant from the latter place.  It is called Bonanza on account of its good anchorage, and its being secured from the boisterous winds of the ocean; its literal meaning is “fair weather.” [273]  It consists of several large white buildings, principally government store-houses, and is inhabited by the coastguard, dependents on the custom-house, and a few fishermen.  A boat came off to receive those passengers whose destination was San Lucar, and to bring on board about half a dozen who were bound for Cadiz: I entered with the rest.  A young Spaniard of very diminutive stature addressed some questions to me in French as to what I thought of the scenery and climate of Andalusia.  I replied that I admired both, which evidently gave him great pleasure.  The boatman now came demanding two reals for conveying me on shore.  I had no small money, and offered him p. 274a dollar to change.  He said that it was impossible.  I asked him what was to be done: whereupon he replied, uncivilly, that he knew not, but could not lose time, and expected to be paid instantly.  The young Spaniard, observing my embarrassment, took out two reals and paid the fellow.  I thanked him heartily for this act of civility, for which I felt really grateful; as there are few situations more unpleasant than to be in a crowd in want of change, whilst you are importuned by people for payment.  A loose character once told me that it was far preferable to be without money at all, as you then knew what course to take.  I subsequently met the young Spaniard at Cadiz, and repaid him, with thanks.

A few cabriolets were waiting near the wharf, in order to convey us to San Lucar.  I ascended one, and we proceeded slowly along the playa or strand.  This place is famous in the ancient novels of Spain, of that class called Picaresque, or those devoted to the adventures of notorious scoundrels, the father of which, as also of others of the same kind, in whatever language, is Lazarillo de Tormes.  Cervantes himself has immortalized this strand in the most amusing of his smaller tales, La Ilustre Fregona. [274]  In a word, the strand of San Lucar in ancient times, if not in modern, was a rendezvous for ruffians, contrabandistas, and vagabonds of every description, who nested there in wooden sheds, which have now vanished.  San Lucar itself was always noted for the thievish propensities of its inhabitants—the worst in all Andalusia.  The roguish innkeeper in Don Quixote perfected his education at San Lucar.  All these recollections crowded into my mind as we proceeded along the p. 275strand, which was beautifully gilded by the Andalusian sun.  We at last arrived nearly opposite to San Lucar, which stands at some distance from the waterside.  Here a lively spectacle presented itself to us: the shore was covered with a multitude of females either dressing or undressing themselves, while (I speak within bounds) hundreds were in the water, sporting and playing: some were close by the beach, stretched at their full length on the sand and pebbles, allowing the little billows to dash over their heads and bosoms; whilst others were swimming boldly out into the firth.  There was a confused hubbub of female cries, thin shrieks, and shrill laughter; couplets likewise were being sung, on what subject it is easy to guess—for we were in sunny Andalusia, and what can its black-eyed daughters think, speak, or sing of but amor, amor, which now sounded from the land and the waters?  Further on along the beach we perceived likewise a crowd of men bathing; we passed not by them, but turned to the left up an alley or avenue which leads to San Lucar, and which may be a quarter of a mile long.  The view from hence was truly magnificent: before us lay the town, occupying the side and top of a tolerably high hill, extending from east to west.  It appeared to be of considerable size; and I was subsequently informed that it contained at least twenty thousand inhabitants.  Several immense edifices and walls towered up in a style of grandeur which can be but feebly described by words; but the principal object was an ancient castle towards the left.  The houses were all white, and would have shone brilliantly in the sun had it been higher; but at this early hour they lay comparatively in shade.  The tout ensemble was very Moorish and Oriental; and, indeed, in ancient p. 276times San Lucar was a celebrated stronghold of the Moors, and, next to Almeria, the most frequented of the commercial places in Spain.  Everything, indeed, in these parts of Andalusia is perfectly Oriental.  Behold the heavens, as cloudless and as brightly azure as those of Ind; the fiery sun which tans the fairest cheek in a moment, and which fills the air with flickering flame; and oh! remark the scenery and the vegetable productions.  The alley up which we were moving was planted on each side with that remarkable tree or plant, for I know not which to call it, the giant aloe, which is called in Spanish, pita, and in Moorish, gurséan.  It rises here to a height almost as magnificent as on the African shore.  Need I say that the stem, which springs up from the middle of the bush of green blades, which shoot out from the root on all sides, is as high as a palm-tree; and need I say that those blades, which are of an immense thickness at the root, are at the tip sharper than the point of a spear, and would inflict a terrible wound on any animal which might inadvertently rush against them?

One of the first houses at San Lucar was the posada at which we stopped.  It confronted, with some others, the avenue up which we had come.  As it was still early, I betook myself to rest for a few hours, at the end of which time I went out to visit Mr. Phillipi, the British vice-consul, who was already acquainted with me by name, as I had been recommended to him in a letter from a relation of his at Seville.  Mr. Phillipi was at home in his counting-house, and received me with much kindness and civility.  I told him the motive of my visit to San Lucar, and requested his assistance towards obtaining the books from the custom-house, in order to transport them out of the p. 277country, as I was very well acquainted with the difficulties which every one has to encounter in Spain who has any business to transact with the government authorities.  He assured me that he should be most happy to assist me; and, accordingly, despatched with me to the custom-house his head clerk, a person well known and much respected at San Lucar.

It may be as well here at once to give the history of these books, which might otherwise tend to embarrass the narrative.  They consisted of a chest of Testaments in Spanish, and a small box of Saint Luke’s Gospel in the Gitano language of the Spanish gypsies.  I obtained them from the custom-house at San Lucar, with a pass for that of Cadiz.  At Cadiz I was occupied two days, and also a person whom I employed, in going through all the formalities, and in procuring the necessary papers.  The expense was great, as money was demanded at every step I had to take, though I was simply complying, in this instance, with the orders of the Spanish government in removing prohibited books from Spain.  The farce did not end until my arrival at Gibraltar, where I paid the Spanish consul a dollar for certifying on the back of the pass, which I had to return to Cadiz, that the books were arrived at the former place.  It is true that he never saw the books, nor inquired about them; but he received the money, for which he alone seemed to be anxious.

Whilst at the custom-house of San Lucar I was asked one or two questions respecting the books contained in the chests: this afforded me some opportunity of speaking of the New Testament and the Bible Society.  What I said excited attention; and presently all the officers and dependents of the house, p. 278great and small, were gathered around me, from the governor to the porter.  As it was necessary to open the boxes to inspect their contents, we all proceeded to the courtyard, where, holding a Testament in my hand, I recommenced my discourse.  I scarcely know what I said; for I was much agitated, and hurried away by my feelings, when I bethought me of the manner in which the Word of God was persecuted in this unhappy kingdom.  My words evidently made impression, and to my astonishment every person present pressed me for a copy.  I sold several within the walls of the custom-house.  The object, however, of most attention was the gypsy Gospel, which was minutely examined amidst smiles and exclamations of surprise; an individual every now and then crying, “Cosas de los Ingleses.”  A bystander asked me whether I could speak the Gitano language.  I replied that I could not only speak it, but write it, and instantly made a speech of about five minutes in the gypsy tongue, which I had no sooner concluded than all clapped their hands and simultaneously shouted, “Cosas de Inglaterra,” “Cosas de los Ingleses.”  I disposed of several copies of the gypsy Gospel likewise, and having now settled the business which had brought me to the custom-house, I saluted my new friends and departed with my books.

I now revisited Mr. Phillipi, who, upon learning that it was my intention to proceed to Cadiz next morning by the steamer, which would touch at Bonanza at four o’clock, despatched the chests and my little luggage to the latter place, where he likewise advised me to sleep, in order that I might be in readiness to embark at that early hour.  He then introduced me to his family, his wife an English woman, and his daughter p. 279an amiable and beautiful girl of about eighteen years of age, whom I had previously seen at Seville; three or four other ladies from Seville were likewise there on a visit, and for the purpose of sea-bathing.  After a few words in English between the lady of the house and myself, we all commenced chatting in Spanish, which seemed to be the only language understood or cared for by the rest of the company; indeed, who would be so unreasonable as to expect Spanish females to speak any language but their own, which, flexible and harmonious as it is (far more so, I think, than any other), seems at times quite inadequate to express the wild sallies of their luxuriant imagination.  Two hours fled rapidly away in discourse, interrupted occasionally by music and song, when I bade farewell to this delightful society, and strolled out to view the town.

It was now past noon, and the heat was exceedingly fierce: I saw scarcely a living being in the streets, the stones of which burnt my feet through the soles of my boots.  I passed through the square of the Constitution, which presents nothing particular to the eye of the stranger, and ascended the hill to obtain a nearer view of the castle.  It is a strong heavy edifice of stone, with round towers, and, though deserted, appears to be still in a tolerable state of preservation.  I became tired of gazing, and was retracing my steps, when I was accosted by two gypsies, who by some means had heard of my arrival.  We exchanged some words in Gitano, but they appeared to be very ignorant of the dialect, and utterly unable to maintain a conversation in it.  They were clamorous for a gabicote, or book in the gypsy tongue.  I refused it them, saying that they could turn it to no p. 280profitable account; but finding that they could read, I promised them each a Testament in Spanish.  This offer, however, they refused with disdain, saying that they cared for nothing written in the language of the Busné or Gentiles.  They then persisted in their demand, to which I at last yielded, being unable to resist their importunity; whereupon they accompanied me to the inn, and received what they so ardently desired.

In the evening I was visited by Mr. Phillipi, who informed me that he had ordered a cabriolet to call for me at the inn at eleven at night, for the purpose of conveying me to Bonanza, and that a person there, who kept a small wine-house, and to whom the chests and other things had been forwarded, would receive me for the night, though it was probable that I should have to sleep on the floor.  We then walked to the beach, where there were a great number of bathers, all men.  Amongst them were some good swimmers; two, in particular, were out at a great distance in the firth of the Guadalquivir, I should say at least a mile; their heads could just be descried with the telescope.  I was told that they were friars.  I wondered at what period of their lives they had acquired their dexterity at natation.  I hoped it was not at a time when, according to their vows, they should have lived for prayer, fasting, and mortification alone.  Swimming is a noble exercise, but it certainly does not tend to mortify either the flesh or the spirit.  As it was becoming dusk, we returned to the town, when my friend bade me a kind farewell.  I then retired to my apartment, and passed some hours in meditation.

It was night, ten o’clock;—eleven o’clock, and the cabriolet was at the door.  I got in, and we proceeded p. 281down the avenue and along the shore, which was quite deserted.  The waves sounded mournfully; everything seemed to have changed since the morning.  I even thought that the horse’s feet sounded differently as it trotted slowly over the moist firm sand.  The driver, however, was by no means mournful, nor inclined to be silent long: he soon commenced asking me an infinity of questions as to whence I came and whither I was bound.  Having given him what answers I thought most proper, I, in return, asked him whether he was not afraid to drive along that beach, which had always borne so bad a character, at so unseasonable an hour.  Whereupon he looked around him, and seeing no person, he raised a shout of derision, and said that a fellow with his whiskers feared not all the thieves that ever walked the playa, and that no dozen men in San Lucar dare to waylay any traveller whom they knew to be beneath his protection.  He was a good specimen of the Andalusian braggart.  We soon saw a light or two shining dimly before us; they proceeded from a few barks and small vessels stranded on the sand close below Bonanza: amongst them I distinguished two or three dusky figures.  We were now at our journey’s end, and stopped before the door of the place where I was to lodge for the night.  The driver, dismounting, knocked loud and long, until the door was opened by an exceedingly stout man of about sixty years of age; he held a dim light in his hand, and was dressed in a red nightcap and dirty striped shirt.  He admitted us, without a word, into a very large long room with a clay floor.  A species of counter stood on one side near the door; behind it stood a barrel or two, and against the wall, on shelves, many bottles of various sizes.  The smell of liquors p. 282and wine was very powerful.  I settled with the driver and gave him a gratuity, whereupon he asked me for something to drink to my safe journey.  I told him he could call for whatever he pleased: whereupon he demanded a glass of aguardiente, which the master of the house, who had stationed himself behind the counter, handed him without saying a word.  The fellow drank it off at once, but made a great many wry faces after having swallowed it, and, coughing, said that he made no doubt it was good liquor, as it burnt his throat terribly.  He then embraced me, went out, mounted his cabriolet, and drove off.

The old man with the red nightcap now moved slowly to the door, which he bolted and otherwise secured; he then drew forward two benches, which he placed together, and pointed to them as if to intimate to me that there was my bed: he then blew out the candle and retired deeper into the apartment, where I heard him lay himself down sighing and snorting.  There was now no further light than what proceeded from a small earthen pan on the floor, filled with water and oil, on which floated a small piece of card with a lighted wick in the middle, which simple species of lamp is called mariposa. [282]  I now laid my carpet-bag on the bench as a pillow, and flung myself down.  I should have been asleep instantly, but he of the red nightcap now commenced snoring awfully, which brought to my mind that I had not yet commended myself to my Friend and Redeemer: I therefore prayed, and then sank to repose.

I was awakened more than once during the night by cats, and I believe rats, leaping upon my body.  At the last of these interruptions I arose, and, p. 283approaching the mariposa, looked at my watch; it was half-past three o’clock.  I opened the door and looked out; whereupon some fishermen entered, clamouring for their morning draught: the old man was soon on his feet serving them.  One of the men said to me, that if I was going by the steamer, I had better order my things to the wharf without delay, as he had heard the vessel coming down the river.  I despatched my luggage, and then demanded of the red nightcap what I owed him.  He replied, “Un real.”  These were the only two words which I heard proceed from his mouth: he was certainly addicted to silence, and perhaps to philosophy, neither of which are much practised in Andalusia.  I now hurried to the wharf.  The steamer was not yet arrived, but I heard its thunder up the river every moment becoming more distinct: there were mist and darkness upon the face of the waters, and I felt awe as I listened to the approach of the invisible monster booming through the stillness of the night.  It came at last in sight, plashed its way forward, stopped, and I was soon on board.  It was the Peninsula, the best boat on the Guadalquivir.

What a wonderful production of art is a steamboat! and yet why should we call it wonderful, if we consider its history?  More than five hundred years have elapsed since the idea of making one first originated; but it was not until the close of the last century that the first, worthy of the name, made its appearance on a Scottish river.

During this long period of time, acute minds and skilful hands were occasionally busied in attempting to remove those imperfections in the machinery which alone prevented a vessel being made capable of propelling itself against wind and tide.  All these attempts p. 284were successively abandoned in despair, yet scarcely one was made which was perfectly fruitless; each inventor leaving behind him some monument of his labour, of which those who succeeded him took advantage, until at last a fortunate thought or two, and a few more perfect arrangements, were all that were wanting.  The time arrived, and now, at length, the very Atlantic is crossed by haughty steamers.  Much has been said of the utility of steam in spreading abroad civilization, and I think justly.  When the first steam-vessels were seen on the Guadalquivir, about ten years ago, the Sevillians ran to the banks of the river, crying “sorcery, sorcery,” which idea was not a little favoured by the speculation being an English one, and the boats, which were English built, being provided with English engineers, as, indeed, they still are; no Spaniard having been found capable of understanding the machinery.  They soon, however, became accustomed to them, and the boats are in general crowded with passengers.  Fanatic and vain as the Sevillians still are, and bigoted as they remain to their own customs, they know that good, in one instance at least, can proceed from a foreign land, and that land a land of heretics; inveterate prejudice has been shaken, and we will hope that this is the dawn of their civilization.

Whilst passing over the bay of Cadiz, I was reclining on one of the benches on the deck, when the captain walked by in company with another man; they stopped a short distance from me, and I heard the captain ask the other, in a low voice, how many languages he spoke; he replied, “Only one.”  “That one,” said the captain, “is of course the Christian;” by which name the Spaniards style their own language, in p. 285contradistinction to all others.  “That fellow,” continued the captain, “who is lying on the deck, can speak Christian too, when it serves his purpose, but he speaks others, which are by no means Christian: he can talk English, and I myself have heard him chatter in Gitano with the gypsies of Triana; he is now going amongst the Moors, and when he arrives in their country you will hear him, should you be there, converse as fluently in their gibberish as in Cristiano, nay, better, for he is no Christian himself.  He has been several times on board my vessel already, but I do not like him, as I consider that he carries something about with him which is not good.”

This worthy person, on my coming aboard the boat, had shaken me by the hand and expressed his joy at seeing me again.


Cadiz—The Fortifications—The Consul-General—Characteristic Anecdote—Catalan Steamer—Trafalgar—Alonzo Guzman—Gibil Muza—Orestes Frigate—The Hostile Lion—Works of the Creator—Lizard of the Rock—The Concourse—Queen of the Waters—Broken Prayer.

Cadiz stands, as is well known, upon a long narrow neck of land stretching out into the ocean, from whose bosom the town appears to rise, the salt waters laving its walls on all sides save the east, where a sandy isthmus connects it with the coast of Spain.  The town, as it exists at the present day, is of modern construction, and very unlike any other town which is to be found in the Peninsula, being built with great regularity and symmetry.  The streets are numerous, and intersect each other, for the most part at right angles.  They are very narrow in comparison to the height of the houses, so that they are almost impervious to the rays of the sun, except when at its midday altitude.  The principal street, however, is an exception, it being of some width.  This street, in which stands the Bolsa, or exchange, and which contains the houses of the chief merchants and nobility, is the grand resort of loungers as well as men of business during the early part of the day, and in that p. 287respect resembles the Puerta del Sol at Madrid.  It is connected with the great square, which, though not of very considerable extent, has many pretensions to magnificence, it being surrounded with large imposing houses, and planted with fine trees, with marble seats below them for the accommodation of the public.  There are few public edifices worthy of much attention: the chief church, indeed, might be considered a fine monument of labour in some other countries; but in Spain, the land of noble and gigantic cathedrals, it can be styled nothing more than a decent place of worship; it is still in an unfinished state.  There is a public walk, or alameda, on the northern ramparts, which is generally thronged in summer evenings: the green of its trees, when viewed from the bay, affords an agreeable relief to the eye, dazzled with the glare of the white buildings, for Cadiz is also a bright city.  It was once the wealthiest place in all Spain, but its prosperity has of late years sadly diminished, and its inhabitants are continually lamenting its ruined trade; on which account many are daily abandoning it for Seville, where living at least is cheaper.  There is still, however, much life and bustle in the streets, which are adorned with many splendid shops, several of which are in the style of Paris and London.  The present population is said to amount to eighty thousand souls.

It is not without reason that Cadiz has been called a strong town: the fortifications on the land side, which were partly the work of the French during the sway of Napoleon, are perfectly admirable, and seem impregnable: towards the sea it is defended as much by nature as by art, water and sunken rocks being no contemptible bulwarks.  The defences of the town, p. 288however, except the landward ones, afford melancholy proofs of Spanish apathy and neglect, even when allowance is made for the present peculiarly unhappy circumstances of the country.  Scarcely a gun, except a few dismounted ones, is to be seen on the fortifications, which are rapidly falling to decay, so that this insulated stronghold is at present almost at the mercy of any foreign nation which, upon any pretence, or none at all, should seek to tear it from the grasp of its present legitimate possessors, and convert it into a foreign colony.

A few hours after my arrival, I waited upon Mr. B---, [288] the British consul-general at Cadiz.  His house, which is the corner one at the entrance of the alameda, commands a noble prospect of the bay, and is very large and magnificent.  I had, of course, long been acquainted with Mr. B--- by reputation; I knew that for several years he had filled, with advantage to his native country, and with honour to himself, the distinguished and highly responsible situation which he holds in Spain.  I knew, likewise, that he was a good and pious Christian, and, moreover, the firm and enlightened friend of the Bible Society.  Of all this I was aware, but I had never yet enjoyed the advantage of being personally acquainted with him.  I saw him now for the first time, and was much struck with his appearance.  He is a tall, athletic, finely built man, seemingly about forty-five or fifty; there is much dignity in his countenance, which is, however, softened by an expression of good humour truly engaging.  His manner is frank and affable in the extreme.  I am not going to enter into minute details of our interview, which was to me a very interesting one.  p. 289He knew already the leading parts of my history since my arrival in Spain, and made several comments upon it, which displayed his intimate knowledge of the situation of the country as regards ecclesiastical matters, and the state of opinion respecting religious innovation.

I was pleased to find that his ideas in many points accorded with my own, and we were both decidedly of opinion that, notwithstanding the great persecution and outcry which had lately been raised against the Gospel, the battle was by no means lost, and that the holy cause might yet triumph in Spain, if zeal united with discretion and Christian humility were displayed by those called upon to uphold it.

During the greater part of this and the following day, I was much occupied at the custom-house, endeavouring to obtain the documents necessary for the exportation of the Testaments.  On the afternoon of Saturday I dined with Mr. B--- and his family—an interesting group—his lady, his beautiful daughters, and his son, a fine intelligent young man.  Early the next morning a steamer, the Balear, was to quit Cadiz for Marseilles, touching on the way at Algeziras, Gibraltar, and various other ports of Spain.  I had engaged my passage on board her as far as Gibraltar, having nothing further to detain me at Cadiz; my business with the custom-house having been brought at last to a termination, though I believe I should never have got through it but for the kind assistance of Mr. B---.  I quitted this excellent man and my other charming friends at a late hour with regret.  I believe that I carried with me their very best wishes; and, in whatever part of the world I, a poor wanderer in the Gospel’s cause, may chance to be, I shall not p. 290unfrequently offer up sincere prayers for their happiness and well-being.

Before taking leave of Cadiz I shall relate an anecdote of the British consul, characteristic of him and the happy manner in which he contrives to execute the most disagreeable duties of his situation.  I was in conversation with him in a parlour of his house, when we were interrupted by the entrance of two very unexpected visitors: they were the captain of a Liverpool merchant-vessel and one of the crew.  The latter was a rough sailor, a Welshman, who could only express himself in very imperfect English.  They looked unutterable dislike and defiance at each other.  It appeared that the latter had refused to work, and insisted on leaving the ship, and his master had in consequence brought him before the consul, in order that, if he persisted, the consequences might be detailed to him, which would be the forfeiture of his wages and clothes.  This was done; but the fellow became more and more dogged, refusing ever to tread the same deck again with his captain, who, he said, had called him “Greek, lazy lubberly Greek,” which he would not bear. The word Greek rankled in the sailor’s mind, and stung him to the very core.  Mr. B---, who seemed to be perfectly acquainted with the character of Welshmen in general—who are proverbially obstinate when opposition is offered to them—and who saw at once that the dispute had arisen on foolish and trivial grounds, now told the man, with a smile, that he would inform him of a way by which he might gain the weather-gage of every one of them, consul, and captain, and all, and secure his wages and clothes; which was by merely going on board a brig-of-war of her Majesty, which was then lying in the bay.  The fellow said he was p. 291aware of this, and intended to do so.  His grim features, however, instantly relaxed in some degree, and he looked more humanely upon his captain.  Mr. B--- then, addressing himself to the latter, made some observations on the impropriety of using the word Greek to a British sailor: not forgetting at the same time to speak of the absolute necessity of obedience and discipline on board every ship.  His words produced such an effect, that in a very little time the sailor held out his hand towards his captain, and expressed his willingness to go on board with him and perform his duty, adding, that the captain, upon the whole, was the best man in the world.  So they departed mutually pleased; the consul making both of them promise to attend divine service at his house on the following day.

Sunday morning came, and I was on board the steamer by six o’clock.  As I ascended the side, the harsh sound of the Catalan dialect assailed my ears.  In fact, the vessel was Catalan built, and the captain and crew were of that nation; the greater part of the passengers already on board, or who subsequently arrived, appeared to be Catalans, and seemed to vie with each other in producing disagreeable sounds.  A burly merchant, however, with a red face, peaked chin, sharp eyes, and hooked nose, clearly bore off the palm; he conversed with astonishing eagerness on seemingly the most indifferent subjects, or rather on no subject at all; his voice would have sounded exactly like a coffee-mill but for a vile nasal twang: he poured forth his Catalan incessantly till we arrived at Gibraltar.  Such people are never sea-sick, though they frequently produce or aggravate the malady in others.  We did not get under way until past eight p. 292o’clock, for we waited for the Governor of Algeziras, and started instantly on his coming on board.  He was a tall, thin, rigid figure of about seventy, with a long, grave, wrinkled countenance; in a word, the very image of an old Spanish grandee.  We stood out of the bay, rounding the lofty lighthouse, which stands on a ledge of rocks, and then bent our course to the south, in the direction of the Straits.  It was a glorious morning, a blue sunny sky and blue sunny ocean; or rather, as my friend Oehlenschlæger [292a] has observed on a similar occasion, there appeared two skies and two suns, one above and one below.

Our progress was rather slow, notwithstanding the fineness of the weather, probably owing to the tide being against us.  In about two hours we passed the Castle of Santa Petra, and at noon were in sight of Trafalgar.  The wind now freshened, and was dead ahead; on which account we hugged closely to the coast, in order to avoid as much as possible the strong heavy sea which was pouring down from the Straits.  We passed within a very short distance of the Cape, a bold bluff foreland, but not of any considerable height.

It is impossible for an Englishman to pass by this place—the scene of the most celebrated naval action on record—without emotion.  Here it was that the united navies of France and Spain were annihilated by a far inferior force; but that force was British, and was directed by one of the most remarkable men of the age, and perhaps the greatest hero of any time. [292b]  Huge fragments of wreck still frequently emerge from p. 293the watery gulf whose billows chafe the rocky sides of Trafalgar: they are relics of the enormous ships which were burnt and sunk on that terrible day, when the heroic champion of Britain concluded his work and died.  I never heard but one individual venture to say a word in disparagement of Nelson’s glory: it was a pert American, [293a] who observed, that the British admiral was much overrated.  “Can that individual be overrated,” replied a stranger, “whose every thought was bent on his country’s honour, who scarcely ever fought without leaving a piece of his body in the fray, and who, not to speak of minor triumphs, was victorious, in two such actions as Aboukir and Trafalgar?”

We were now soon in sight of the Moorish coast, Cape Spartel appearing dimly through mist and vapour on our right.  A regular Levanter [293b] had now come on, and the vessel pitched and tossed to a very considerable degree.  Most of the passengers were seasick; the governor, however, and myself held out manfully: we sat on a bench together, and entered into conversation respecting the Moors and their country.  Torquemada himself could not have spoken of both with more abhorrence.  He informed me that he had been frequently in several of the principal Moorish towns of the coast, which he described as heaps of ruins: the Moors themselves he called Caffres [293c] and wild beasts.  He observed that he had p. 294never been even at Tangier, where the people were most civilized, without experiencing some insult, so great was the abhorrence of the Moors to anything in the shape of a Christian.  He added, however, that they treated the English with comparative civility, and that they had a saying among them to the effect that Englishman and Mahometan were one and the same: he then looked particularly grave for a moment, and, crossing himself, was silent.  I guessed what was passing in his mind:—

“From heretic boors,
And Turkish Moors,
Star of the sea,
Gentle Marie,
Deliver me!”

At about three we were passing Tarifa, so frequently mentioned in the history of Moors and Christians.  Who has not heard of Alonzo Guzman the Faithful, [294] who allowed his only son to be crucified before the walls of the town rather than submit to the ignominy of delivering up the keys to the Moorish monarch, who, with a host which is said to have amounted to nearly half a million of men, had landed on the shores of Andalusia, and threatened to bring all Spain once more beneath the Moslem yoke?  Certainly if there be a land and a spot where the name of that good patriot is not sometimes mentioned and sung, that land, that spot, is modern Spain and modern Tarifa.  p. 295I have heard the ballad of Alonzo Guzman chanted in Danish, by a hind in the wilds of Jutland; but once speaking of “the Faithful” to some inhabitants of Tarifa, they replied that they had never heard of Guzman the Faithful of Tarifa, but were acquainted with Alonzo Guzman, el tuerto, and that he was one of the most villanous arrieros on the Cadiz road.

The voyage of these narrow seas can scarcely fail to be interesting to the most apathetic individual, from the nature of the scenery which presents itself to the eye on either side.  The coasts are exceedingly high and bold, especially that of Spain, which seems to overcrow the Moorish; but opposite to Tarifa, the African continent, rounding towards the south-west, assumes an air of sublimity and grandeur.  A hoary mountain is seen uplifting its summits above the clouds: it is Mount Abyla, or, as it is called in the Moorish tongue, Gibil Muza, or the hill of Muza, from the circumstance of its containing the sepulchre of a prophet of that name. [295]   This is one of the two excrescences of nature on which the Old World bestowed the title of the Pillars of Hercules.  Its skirts and sides occupy the Moorish coast for many leagues in more than one direction, but the broad aspect of its steep and stupendous front is turned full towards that part of the European continent where Gibraltar lies like a huge monster stretching far into the brine.  Of the two hills, or pillars, the most remarkable, when viewed from afar, is the African one, Gibil Muza.  It is the tallest and bulkiest, and is visible at a greater p. 296distance; but scan them both from near, and you feel that all your wonder is engrossed by the European column.  Gibil Muza is an immense shapeless mass, a wilderness of rocks, with here and there a few trees and shrubs nodding from the clefts of its precipices; it is uninhabited, save by wolves, wild swine, and chattering monkeys, on which last account it is called by the Spaniards, Montaña de las Monas, [296a] whilst, on the contrary, Gibraltar, not to speak of the strange city which covers part of it, a city inhabited by men of all nations and tongues, its batteries and excavations, all of them miracles of art, is the most singular-looking mountain in the world—a mountain which can neither be described by pen nor pencil, and at which the eye is never satiated with gazing.

It was near sunset, and we were crossing the bay of Gibraltar.  We had stopped at Algeziras, on the Spanish side, for the purpose of landing the old governor and his suite, and delivering and receiving letters.

Algeziras is an ancient Moorish town, as the name denotes, which is an Arabic word, and signifies “the place of the islands.” [296b]  It is situated at the water’s edge, with a lofty range of mountains in the rear.  It seemed a sad deserted place, as far as I could judge at the distance of half a mile.  In the harbour, however, lay a Spanish frigate and French war brig.  As we passed the former, some of the Spaniards on board our steamer became boastful at the expense of the English.  It appeared that, a few weeks before, an English vessel, suspected to be a contraband trader, was seen by this frigate hovering about a bay on the p. 297Andalusian coast, in company with an English frigate, the Orestes.  The Spaniard dogged them for some time, till one morning, observing that the Orestes had disappeared, he hoisted English colours, and made a signal to the trader to bear down; the latter, deceived by the British ensign, and supposing that the Spaniard was the friendly Orestes, instantly drew near, was fired at and boarded, and, proving in effect to be a contraband trader, she was carried into port and delivered over to the Spanish authorities.  In a few days the captain of the Orestes hearing of this, and incensed at the unwarrantable use made of the British flag, sent a boat on board the frigate, demanding that the vessel should be instantly restored, as, if she was not, he would retake her by force; adding, that he had forty cannons on board.  The captain of the Spanish frigate returned for answer, that the trader was in the hands of the officers of the customs, and was no longer at his disposal; that the captain of the Orestes, however, could do what he pleased, and that if he had forty guns, he himself had forty-four; whereupon the Orestes thought proper to bear away.  Such at least was the Spanish account, as related by the journals.  Observing the Spaniards to be in great glee at the idea of one of their nation having frightened away the Englishman, I exclaimed, “Gentlemen, all of you who suppose that an English sea-captain has been deterred from attacking a Spaniard, from an apprehension of a superior force of four guns, remember, if you please, the fate of the Santísima Trinidad, and be pleased also not to forget that we are almost within cannon’s sound of Trafalgar.”

It was near sunset, I repeat, and we were crossing the bay of Gibraltar.  I stood on the prow of the p. 298vessel, with my eyes intently fixed on the mountain fortress, which, though I had seen it several times before, filled my mind with admiration and interest.  Viewed from this situation, it certainly, if it resembles any animate object in nature, has something of the appearance of a terrible couchant lion, whose stupendous head menaces Spain.  Had I been dreaming, I should almost have concluded it to be the genius of Africa, in the shape of its most puissant monster, who had bounded over the sea from the clime of sand and sun, bent on the destruction of the rival continent, more especially as the hue of its stony sides, its crest and chine, is tawny even as that of the hide of the desert king.  A hostile lion has it almost invariably proved to Spain, at least since it first began to play a part in history, which was at the time when Tarik seized and fortified it. [298]  It has for the most part been in the hands of foreigners: first the swarthy and turbaned Moor possessed it, and it is now tenanted by a fair-haired race from a distant isle.  Though a part of Spain, it seems to disavow the connexion, and at the end of a long narrow sandy isthmus, almost level with the sea, raising its blasted and perpendicular brow to denounce the crimes which deformed the history of that fair and majestic land.

It was near sunset, I say it for the third time, and we were crossing the bay of Gibraltar.  Bay! it seemed no bay, but an inland sea, surrounded on all sides by enchanted barriers, so strange, so wonderful was the aspect of its coasts.  Before us lay the impregnable hill; on our right the African continent, with its grey Gibil Muza, and the crag of Ceuta, to which last a p. 299solitary bark seemed steering its way; behind us the town we had just quitted, with its mountain wall; on our left the coast of Spain.  The surface of the water was unruffled by a wave, and as we rapidly glided on, the strange object which we were approaching became momentarily more distinct and visible.  There, at the base of the mountain, and covering a small portion of its side, lay the city, with its ramparts garnished with black guns, pointing significantly at its moles and harbours; above, seemingly on every crag which could be made available for the purpose of defence or destruction, peered batteries, pale and sepulchral looking, as if ominous of the fate which awaited any intrusive foe; whilst east and west towards Africa and Spain, on the extreme points, rose castles, towers, or atalayas, which overcrowed the whole, and all the circumjacent region, whether land or sea.  Mighty and threatening appeared the fortifications, and doubtless, viewed in any other situation, would have alone occupied the mind and engrossed its wonder; but the hill, the wondrous hill was everywhere about them, beneath them, or above them, overpowering their effect as a spectacle.  Who, when he beholds the enormous elephant, with his brandished trunk, dashing impetuously to the war, sees the castle which he bears, or fears the javelins of those whom he carries, however skilful and warlike they may be?  Never does God appear so great and powerful as when the works of his hands stand in contrast with the labours of man.  Survey the Escurial; it is a proud work, but wonder if you can when you see the mountain mocking it behind; survey that boast of Moorish kings, survey Granada from its plain, and wonder if you can, for you see the Alpujarras mocking it from behind.  Oh, p. 300what are the works of man compared with those of the Lord?  Even as man is compared with his Creator.  Man builds pyramids, and God builds pyramids; the pyramids of man are heaps of shingles, tiny hillocks on a sandy plain; the pyramids of the Lord are Andes and Indian hills.  Man builds walls, and so does his Master; but the walls of God are the black precipices of Gibraltar and Horneel, eternal, indestructible, and not to be scaled; whilst those of man can be climbed, can be broken by the wave, or shattered by the lightning or the powder blast.  Would man display his power and grandeur to advantage, let him flee far from the hills; for the broad pennants of God, even his clouds, float upon the tops of the hills, and the majesty of God is most manifest among the hills.  Call Gibraltar the hill of Tarik or Hercules, if you will; but gaze upon it for a moment, and you will call it the hill of God.  Tarik and the old giant may have built upon it; but not all the dark race of whom Tarik was one, nor all the giants of old renown of whom the other was one, could have built up its crags or chiselled the enormous mass to its present shape.

We dropped anchor not far from the Mole.  As we expected every moment to hear the evening gun, after which no person is permitted to enter the town, I was in trepidation lest I should be obliged to pass the night on board the dirty Catalan steamer, which, as I had no occasion to proceed further in her, I was in great haste to quit.  A boat now drew nigh, with two individuals at the stern, one of whom, standing up, demanded, in an authoritative voice, the name of the vessel, her destination, and cargo.  Upon being answered, they came on board.  After some conversation with the captain, they were about to depart, p. 301when I inquired whether I could accompany them on shore.  The person I addressed was a tall young man, with a fustian frock-coat.  He had a long face, long nose, and wide mouth, with large restless eyes.  There was a grin on his countenance which seemed permanent, and, had it not been for his bronzed complexion, I should have declared him to be a cockney, and nothing else.  He was, however, no such thing, but what is called “a rock lizard,” [301] that is, a person born at Gibraltar of English parents.  Upon hearing my question, which was in Spanish, he grinned more than ever, and inquired, in a strange accent, whether I was a son of Gibraltar.  I replied that I had not that honour, but that I was a British subject.  Whereupon he said that he should make no difficulty in taking me ashore.  We entered the boat, which was rapidly rowed toward the land by four Genoese sailors.  My two companions chattered in their strange Spanish, he of the fustian occasionally turning his countenance full upon me, the last grin appearing even more hideous than the preceding ones.  We soon reached the quay, where my name was noted down by a person who demanded my passport, and I was then permitted to advance.

It was now dusk, and I lost no time in crossing the drawbridge and entering the long low archway which, passing under the rampart, communicates with the town.  Beneath this archway paced, with measured tread, tall red-coated sentinels with shouldered guns.  There was no stopping, no sauntering in these men.  There was no laughter, no exchange of light conversation with the passers-by, but their bearing was that of British soldiers, conscious of the duties of their p. 302station.  What a difference between them and the listless loiterers who stand at guard at the gate of a Spanish garrisoned town!

I now proceeded up the principal street, which runs with a gentle ascent along the base of the hill.  Accustomed for some months past to the melancholy silence of Seville, I was almost deafened by the noise and bustle which reigned around.  It was Sunday night, and of course no business was going on, but there were throngs of people passing up and down.  Here was a military guard proceeding along; here walked a group of officers, there a knot of soldiers stood talking and laughing.  The greater part of the civilians appeared to be Spaniards, but there was a large sprinkling of Jews in the dress of those of Barbary, and here and there a turbaned Moor.  There were gangs of sailors likewise, Genoese, judging from the patois which they were speaking, though I occasionally distinguished the sound of tou logou sas, [302] by which I knew there were Greeks at hand, and twice or thrice caught a glimpse of the red cap and blue silken petticoats of the mariner from the Romaic isles.  On still I hurried, till I arrived at a well-known hostelry, close by a kind of square, in which stands the little exchange of Gibraltar.  Into this I ran and demanded lodging, receiving a cheerful welcome from the genius of the place, who stood behind the bar, and whom I shall perhaps have occasion subsequently to describe.  All the lower rooms were filled with men of the rock, burly men in general, with swarthy complexions and English features, with white hats, white jean jerkins, and white jean pantaloons.  They were p. 303smoking pipes and cigars, and drinking porter, wine, and various other fluids, and conversing in the rock Spanish, or rock English, as the fit took them.  Dense was the smoke of tobacco, and great the din of voices, and I was glad to hasten upstairs to an unoccupied apartment, where I was served with some refreshment, of which I stood much in need.

I was soon disturbed by the sound of martial music close below my windows.  I went down and stood at the door.  A military band was marshalled upon the little square before the exchange.  It was preparing to beat the retreat.  After the prelude, which was admirably executed, the tall leader gave a flourish with his stick, and strode forward up the street, followed by the whole company of noble-looking fellows and a crowd of admiring listeners.  The cymbals clashed, the horns screamed, and the kettle-drum emitted its deep awful note, till the old rock echoed again, and the hanging terraces of the town rang with the stirring noise—

“Dub-a-dub, dub-a-dub—thus go the drums,
Tantara, tantara, the Englishman comes.”

O England! long, long may it be ere the sun of thy glory sink beneath the wave of darkness!  Though gloomy and portentous clouds are now gathering rapidly around thee, still, still may it please the Almighty to disperse them, and to grant thee a futurity longer in duration, and still brighter in renown, than thy past!  Or if thy doom be at hand, may that doom be a noble one, and worthy of her who has been styled the Old Queen of the waters!  May thou sink, if thou dost sink, amidst blood and flame, with a mighty noise, causing more than one p. 304nation to participate in thy downfall!  Of all fates, may it please the Lord to preserve thee from a disgraceful and a slow decay; becoming, ere extinct, a scorn and a mockery for those selfsame foes who now, though they envy and abhor thee, still fear thee, nay, even against their will, honour and respect thee!

Arouse thee, whilst yet there is time, and prepare thee for the combat of life and death!  Cast from thee the foul scurf which now encrusts thy robust limbs, which deadens their force, and makes them heavy and powerless!  Cast from thee thy false philosophers, who would fain decry what, next to the love of God, has hitherto been deemed most sacred, the love of the mother land!  Cast from thee thy false patriots, who, under the pretext of redressing the wrongs of the poor and weak, seek to promote internal discord, so that thou mayest become only terrible to thyself!  And remove from thee the false prophets, who have seen vanity and divined lies; who have daubed thy wall with untempered mortar, that it may fall; who see visions of peace where there is no peace; who have strengthened the hands of the wicked, and made the heart of the righteous sad.  Oh, do this, and fear not the result; for either shall thy end be a majestic and an enviable one, or God shall perpetuate thy reign upon the waters, thou Old Queen!

The above was part of a broken prayer for my native land, which, after my usual thanksgiving, I breathed to the Almighty ere retiring to rest that Sunday night at Gibraltar.


The Jolly Hosteler—Aspirants for Glory—A Portrait—Hamáles—Solomons—An Expedition—The Yeoman Soldier—The Excavations—The Pull by the Skirt—Judah and his Father—Judah’s Pilgrimage—The Bushy Beard—The False Moors—Judah and the King’s Son—Premature Old Age.

Perhaps it would have been impossible to have chosen a situation more adapted for studying at my ease Gibraltar and its inhabitants, than that which I found myself occupying about ten o’clock on the following morning.  Seated on a small bench just opposite the bar, close by the door, in the passage of the hostelry at which I had taken up my temporary abode, I enjoyed a view of the square of the exchange and all that was going on there, and, by merely raising my eyes, could gaze at my leisure on the stupendous hill which towers above the town to an altitude of some thousand feet.  I could likewise observe every person who entered or left the house, which is one of great resort, being situated in the most frequented place of the principal thoroughfare of the town.  My eyes were busy, and so were my ears.  Close beside me stood my excellent friend Griffiths, the jolly hosteler, of whom I take the present opportunity of saying a few words, though I p. 306dare say he has been frequently described before, and by far better pens.  Let those who know him not figure to themselves a man of about fifty, at least six feet in height, and weighing some eighteen stone, an exceedingly florid countenance and good features, eyes full of quickness and shrewdness, but at the same time beaming with good nature.  He wears white pantaloons, white frock, and white hat, and is, indeed, all white, with the exception of his polished Wellingtons and rubicund face.  He carries a whip beneath his arm, which adds wonderfully to the knowingness of his appearance, which is rather more that of a gentleman who keeps an inn on the Newmarket road, “purely for the love of travellers, and the money which they carry about them,” than of a native of the rock.  Nevertheless, he will tell you himself that he is a rock lizard; and you will scarcely doubt it when, besides his English, which is broad and vernacular, you hear him speak Spanish, ay, and Genoese too, when necessary, and it is no child’s play to speak the latter, which I myself could never master.  He is a good judge of horseflesh, and occasionally sells a “bit of a blood,” or a Barbary steed, to a young hand, though he has no objection to do business with an old one; for there is not a thin, crouching, liver-faced, lynx-eyed Jew of Fez capable of outwitting him in a bargain, or cheating him out of one single pound of the fifty thousand sterling which he possesses; and yet ever bear in mind that he is a good-natured fellow to those who are disposed to behave honourably to him, and know likewise that he will lend you money, if you are a gentleman, and are in need of it; but depend upon it, if he refuse you, there is something not altogether right p. 307about you, for Griffiths knows his world, and is not to be made a fool of.

There was a prodigious quantity of porter consumed in my presence during the short hour that I sat on the bench of that hostelry of the rock.  The passage before the bar was frequently filled with officers, who lounged in for a refreshment which the sultry heat of the weather rendered necessary, or at least inviting; whilst not a few came galloping up to the door on small Barbary horses, which are to be found in great abundance at Gibraltar.  All seemed to be on the best of terms with the host, with whom they occasionally discussed the merits of particular steeds, and whose jokes they invariably received with unbounded approbation.  There was much in the demeanour and appearance of these young men, for the greater part were quite young, which was highly interesting and agreeable.  Indeed, I believe it may be said of English officers in general, that in personal appearance, and in polished manners, they bear the palm from those of the same class over the world.  True it is, that the officers of the royal guard of Russia, especially of the three noble regiments styled the Priberjensky, Simeonsky, and Finlansky polks, [307] might fearlessly enter into competition in almost all points with the flower of the British army; but it must be remembered, that those regiments are officered by the choicest specimens of the Sclavonian nobility, young men selected expressly for the splendour of their persons, and for the superiority of their mental p. 308endowments; whilst, probably, amongst all the fair-haired Anglo-Saxon youths whom I now saw gathered near me, there was not a single one of noble ancestry, nor of proud and haughty name; and certainly, so far from having been selected to flatter the pride and add to the pomp of a despot, they had been taken indiscriminately from a mass of ardent aspirants for military glory, and sent on their country’s service to a remote and unhealthy colony.  Nevertheless, they were such as their country might be proud of, for gallant boys they looked, with courage on their brows, beauty and health on their cheeks, and intelligence in their hazel eyes.

Who is he who now stops before the door without entering, and addresses a question to my host, who advances with a respectful salute?  He is no common man, or his appearance belies him strangely.  His dress is simple enough; a Spanish hat, with a peaked crown and broad shadowy brim—the veritable sombrero—jean pantaloons and blue hussar jacket;—but how well that dress becomes one of the most noble-looking figures I ever beheld!  I gazed upon him with strange respect and admiration as he stood benignantly smiling and joking in good Spanish with an impudent rock rascal, who held in his hand a huge bogamante, or coarse carrion lobster, which he would fain have persuaded him to purchase.  He was almost gigantically tall, towering nearly three inches above the burly host himself, yet athletically symmetrical, and straight as the pine-tree of Dovrefeld.  He must have counted eleven lustres, which cast an air of mature dignity over a countenance which seemed to have been chiselled by some Grecian sculptor, and yet his hair was black as the plume of the Norwegian raven, and so was the p. 309moustache which curled above his well-formed lip.  In the garb of Greece, and in the camp before Troy, I should have taken him for Agamemnon.  “Is that man a general?” said I to a short queer-looking personage, who sat by my side, intently studying a newspaper.  “That gentleman,” he whispered in a lisping accent, “is, sir, the Lieutenant-Governor of Gibraltar.” [309]

On either side outside the door, squatting on the ground, or leaning indolently against the walls, were some half-dozen men of very singular appearance.  Their principal garment was a kind of blue gown, something resembling the blouse worn by the peasants of the north of France, but not so long; it was compressed around their waists by a leathern girdle, and depended about halfway down their thighs.  Their legs were bare, so that I had an opportunity of observing the calves, which appeared unnaturally large.  Upon the head they wore small skull-caps of black wool.  I asked the most athletic of these men, a dark-visaged fellow of forty, who they were.  He answered, humáles.  This word I knew to be Arabic, in which tongue it signifies a porter; and, indeed, the next moment, I saw a similar fellow staggering across the square under an immense burden, almost sufficient to have broken the back of a camel.  On again addressing my swarthy friend, and inquiring whence he came, he replied, that he was born at Mogadore, in Barbary, but had passed the greatest part of his life at Gibraltar.  He added, that he was the capataz, or head man, of the hamáles near the door.  I now addressed him in the Arabic of the East, though with scarcely the hope p. 310of being understood, more especially as he had been so long from his own country.  He, however, answered very pertinently, his lips quivering with eagerness and his eyes sparkling with joy, though it was easy to perceive that the Arabic, or rather the Moorish, was not the language in which he was accustomed either to think or speak.  His companions all gathered round and listened with avidity, occasionally exclaiming, when anything was said which they approved of: “Wakhud rajil shereef hada, min beled del scharki.” [310]  At last I produced the shekel, which I invariably carry about me as a pocket-piece, and asked the capataz whether he had ever seen that money before.  He surveyed the censer and olive-branch for a considerable time, and evidently knew not what to make of it.  At length he fell to inspecting the characters round about it on both sides, and giving a cry, exclaimed to the other hamáles: “Brothers, brothers, these are the letters of Solomon.  This silver is blessed.  We must kiss this money.”  He then put it upon his head, pressed it to his eyes, and finally kissed it with enthusiasm, as did successively all his brethren.  Then regaining it, he returned it to me, with a low reverence.  Griffiths subsequently informed me that the fellow refused to work during all the rest of the day, and did nothing but smile, laugh, and talk to himself.

“Allow me to offer you a glass of bitters, sir,” said the queer-looking personage before mentioned; he was a corpulent man, very short, and his legs particularly so.  His dress consisted of a greasy snuff-coloured coat, dirty white trousers, and dirtier stockings.  On his head he wore a rusty silk hat, the eaves of which had a tendency to turn up before and behind.  I p. 311had observed that, during my conversation with the hamáles, he had several times uplifted his eyes from the newspaper, and on the production of the shekel had grinned very significantly, and had inspected it when in the hand of the capataz.  “Allow me to offer you a glass of bitters,” said he; “I guessed you was one of our people before you spoke to the hamáles.  Sir, it does my heart good to see a gentleman of your appearance not above speaking to his poor brethren.  It is what I do myself not unfrequently, and I hope God will blot out my name, and that is Solomons, when I despise them.  I do not pretend to much Arabic myself, yet I understood you tolerably well, and I liked your discourse much.  You must have a great deal of shillam eidri, nevertheless you startled me when you asked the hamál if he ever read the Torah; of course you meant with the meforshim; poor as he is, I do not believe him becoresh enough to read the Torah without the commentators.  So help me, sir, I believe you to be a Salamancan Jew; I am told there are still some of the old families to be found there.  Ever at Tudela, sir? not very far from Salamanca, I believe; one of my own kindred once lived there: a great traveller, sir, like yourself; went over all the world to look for the Jews—went to the top of Sinai.  Anything that I can do for you at Gibraltar, sir?  Any commission? will execute it as reasonably, and more expeditiously than any one else.  My name is Solomons.  I am tolerably well known at Gibraltar; yes, sir, and in the Crooked Friars, and, for that matter, in the Neuen Stein Steg, [311] at Hamburg; so help me, sir, I think I once saw your p. 312face at the fair at Bremen.  Speak German, sir? though of course you do.  Allow me, sir, to offer you a glass of bitters.  I wish, sir, they were mayim hayim [312a] for your sake, I do indeed, sir, I wish they were living waters.  Now, sir, do give me your opinion as to this matter (lowering his voice and striking the newspaper).  Do you not think it is very hard that one Yudken should betray the other?  When I put my little secret beyad peluni [312b]—you understand me, sir? when I entrust my poor secret to the custody of an individual, and that individual a Jew, a Yudken, sir, I do not wish to be blown, indeed, I do not expect it.  In a word, what do you think of the gold dust robbery, and what will be done to those unfortunate people, who I see are convicted?”

That same day I made inquiry respecting the means of transferring myself to Tangier, having no wish to prolong my stay at Gibraltar, where, though it is an exceedingly interesting place to an observant traveller, I had no particular business to detain me.  In the evening I was visited by a Jew, a native of Barbary, who informed me that he was secretary to the master of a small Genoese bark which plied between Tangier and Gibraltar.  Upon his assuring me that the vessel would infallibly start for the former place on the following evening, I agreed with him for my passage.  He said that as the wind was blowing from the Levant quarter, the voyage would be a speedy one.  Being desirous now of disposing to the most advantage of the short time which I expected to remain at Gibraltar, p. 313I determined upon visiting the excavations, which I had as yet never seen, on the following morning, and accordingly sent for, and easily obtained, the necessary permission.

About six on Tuesday morning, I started on this expedition, attended by a very intelligent good-looking lad of the Jewish persuasion, one of two brothers who officiated at the inn in the capacity of valets de place.

The morning was dim and hazy, yet sultry to a degree.  We ascended a precipitous street, and, proceeding in an easterly direction, soon arrived in the vicinity of what is generally known by the name of the Moorish Castle, a large tower, but so battered by the cannon balls discharged against it in the famous siege, that it is at present little better than a ruin.  Hundreds of round holes are to be seen in its sides, in which, as it is said, the shot are still embedded.  Here, at a species of hut, we were joined by an artillery sergeant, who was to be our guide.  After saluting us, he led the way to a huge rock, where he unlocked a gate at the entrance of a dark vaulted passage which passed under it, emerging from which passage we found ourselves in a steep path, or rather staircase, with walls on either side.

We proceeded very leisurely, for hurry in such a situation would have been of little avail, as we should have lost our breath in a minute’s time.  The soldier, perfectly well acquainted with the locality, stalked along with measured steps, his eyes turned to the ground.

I looked fully as much at that man as at the strange place where we now were, and which was every moment becoming stranger.  He was a fine specimen of the yeoman turned soldier; indeed, the p. 314corps to which he belonged consists almost entirely of that class.  There he paces along, tall, strong, ruddy, and chestnut-haired, an Englishman every inch; behold him pacing along, sober, silent, and civil, a genuine English soldier.  I prize the sturdy Scot, I love the daring and impetuous Irishman; I admire all the various races which constitute the population of the British isles; yet I must say that, upon the whole, none are so well adapted to ply the soldier’s hardy trade as the rural sons of old England, so strong, so cool, yet, at the same time, animated with so much hidden fire.  Turn to the history of England and you will at once perceive of what such men are capable: even at Hastings, in the grey old time, under almost every disadvantage, weakened by a recent and terrible conflict, without discipline, comparatively speaking, and uncouthly armed, they all but vanquished the Norman chivalry.  Trace their deeds in France, which they twice subdued; and even follow them to Spain, where they twanged the yew and raised the battle-axe, and left behind them a name of glory at Ingles Mendi, [314] a name that shall last till fire consumes the Cantabrian hills.  And, oh, in modern times, trace the deeds of these gallant men all over the world, and especially in France and Spain, and admire them, even as I did that sober, silent, soldier-like man who was showing me the wonders of a foreign mountain fortress, p. 315wrested by his countrymen from a powerful and proud nation more than a century before, and of which he was now a trusty and efficient guardian.

We arrived close to the stupendous precipice, which rises abruptly above the isthmus called the neutral ground, staring gauntly and horridly at Spain, and immediately entered the excavations.  They consist of galleries scooped in the living rock at the distance of some twelve feet from the outside, behind which they run the whole breadth of the hill in this direction.  In these galleries, at short distances, are ragged yawning apertures, all formed by the hand of man, where stand the cannon upon neat slightly raised pavements of small flint stones, each with its pyramid of bullets on one side, and on the other a box, in which is stowed the gear which the gunner requires in the exercise of his craft.  Everything was in its place, everything in the nicest English order, everything ready to scathe and overwhelm in a few moments the proudest and most numerous host which might appear marching in hostile array against this singular fortress on the land side.

There is not much variety in these places, one cavern and one gun resembling the other.  As for the guns, they are not of large calibre, indeed, such are not needed here, where a pebble discharged from so great an altitude, would be fraught with death.  On descending a shaft, however, I observed, in one cave of special importance, two enormous carronades looking with peculiar wickedness and malignity down a shelving rock, which perhaps, although not without tremendous difficulty, might be scaled.  The mere wind of one of these huge guns would be sufficient to topple over a thousand men.  What sensations of p. 316dread and horror must be awakened in the breast of a foe when this hollow rock, in the day of siege, emits its flame, smoke, and thundering wind from a thousand yawning holes; horror not inferior to that felt by the peasant of the neighbourhood when Mongibello [316] belches forth from all its orifices its sulphureous fires.

Emerging from the excavations, we proceeded to view various batteries.  I asked the sergeant whether his companions and himself were dexterous at the use of the guns.  He replied that these cannons were to them what the fowling-piece is to the fowler, that they handled them as easily, and, he believed, pointed them with more precision, as they seldom or never missed an object within range of the shot.  This man never spoke until he was addressed, and then the answers which he gave were replete with good sense, and in general well worded.  After our excursion, which lasted at least two hours, I made him a small present, and took leave with a hearty shake of the hand.

In the evening I prepared to go on board the vessel bound for Tangier, trusting in what the Jewish secretary had told me as to its sailing.  Meeting him, however, accidentally in the street, he informed me that it would not start until the following morning, advising me at the same time to be on board at an early hour.  I now roamed about the streets until night was beginning to set in, and becoming weary, I was just about to direct my steps to the inn, when I felt myself gently pulled by the skirt.  I was p. 317amidst a concourse of people who were gathered around some Irish soldiers who were disputing, and I paid no attention; but I was pulled again more forcibly than before, and I heard myself addressed in a language which I had half forgotten, and which I scarcely expected ever to hear again.  I looked round, and lo! a tall figure stood close to me and gazed in my face with anxious inquiring eyes.  On its head was the kauk or furred cap of Jerusalem; depending from its shoulders, and almost trailing on the ground, was a broad blue mantle, whilst kandrisa or Turkish trousers enveloped its nether limbs.  I gazed on the figure as wistfully as it gazed upon me.  At first the features appeared perfectly strange, and I was about to exclaim, “I know you not,” when one or two lineaments struck me, and I cried, though somewhat hesitatingly, “Surely this is Judah Lib.”

I was in a steamer in the Baltic in the year ’34, if I mistake not.  There was a drizzling rain and a high sea, when I observed a young man of about two and twenty leaning in a melancholy attitude against the side of the vessel.  By his countenance I knew him to be one of the Hebrew race, nevertheless there was something very singular in his appearance, something which is rarely found amongst that people, a certain air of nobleness which highly interested me.  I approached him, and in a few minutes we were in earnest conversation.  He spoke Polish and Jewish German indiscriminately.  The story which he related to me was highly extraordinary, yet I yielded implicit credit to all his words, which came from his mouth with an air of sincerity which precluded doubt; and, moreover, he could have no motive for deceiving me.  One idea, p. 318one object, engrossed him entirely: “My father,” said he, in language which strongly marked his race, “was a native of Galatia, a Jew of high caste, a learned man, for he knew Zohar, [318] and he was likewise skilled in medicine.  When I was a child of some eight years, he left Galatia, and taking his wife, who was my mother, and myself with him, he bent his way unto the East, even to Jerusalem; there he established himself as a merchant, for he was acquainted with trade and the arts of getting money.  He was much respected by the Rabbins of Jerusalem, for he was a Polish man, and he knew more Zohar and more secrets than the wisest of them.  He made frequent journeys, and was absent for weeks and for months, but he never exceeded six moons.  My father loved me, and he taught me part of what he knew in the moments of his leisure.  I assisted him in his trade, but he took me not with him in his journeys.  We had a shop at Jerusalem, even a shop p. 319of commerce, where we sold the goods of the Nazarene, and my mother and myself, and even a little sister who was born shortly after our arrival at Jerusalem, all assisted my father in his commerce.  At length it came to pass, that on a particular time he told us that he was going on a journey, and he embraced us and bade us farewell, and he departed, whilst we continued at Jerusalem attending to the business.  We awaited his return, but months passed, even six months, and he came not, and we wondered; and months passed, even other six passed, but still he came not, nor did we hear any tidings of him, and our hearts were filled with heaviness and sorrow.  But when years, even two years, were expired, I said to my mother, ‘I will go and seek my father;’ and she said, ‘Do so,’ and she gave me her blessing, and I kissed my little sister, and I went forth as far as Egypt, and there I heard tidings of my father, for people told me he had been there, and they named the time, and they said that he had passed from thence to the land of the Turk; so I myself followed to the land of the Turk, even unto Constantinople.  And when I arrived there I again heard of my father, for he was well known amongst the Jews, and they told me the time of his being there, and they added that he had speculated and prospered, and departed from Constantinople, but whither he went they knew not.  So I reasoned within myself and said, perhaps he may have gone to the land of his fathers, even unto Galatia, to visit his kindred; so I determined to go there myself, and I went, and I found our kindred, and I made myself known to them, and they rejoiced to see me: but when I asked them for my father, they shook p. 320their heads and could give me no intelligence; and they would fain have had me tarry with them, but I would not, for the thought of my father was working strong within me, and I could not rest.  So I departed and went to another country, even unto Russia, and I went deep into that country, even as far as Kazan, and of all I met, whether Jew, or Russ, or Tartar, I inquired for my father: but no one knew him, nor had heard of him.  So I turned back, and here thou seest me; and I now purpose going through all Germany and France, nay, through all the world, until I have received intelligence of my father, for I cannot rest until I know what is become of my father, for the thought of him burneth in my brain like fire, even like the fire of Jehinnim.”

Such was the individual whom I now saw again, after a lapse of five years, in the street of Gibraltar, in the dusk of the evening.  “Yes,” he replied, “I am Judah, surnamed the Lib.  Thou didst not recognize me, but I knew thee at once.  I should have known thee amongst a million, and not a day has passed since I last saw thee, but I have thought on thee.”  I was about to reply, but he pulled me out of the crowd and led me into a shop where, squatted on the floor, sat six or seven Jews cutting leather; he said something to them which I did not understand, whereupon they bowed their heads and followed their occupation, without taking any notice of us.  A singular figure had followed us to the door: it was a man dressed in exceedingly shabby European garments, which exhibited nevertheless the cut of a fashionable tailor.  He seemed about fifty; his face, which was very broad, was of a deep bronze colour; the features were rugged, but exceedingly p. 321manly, and, notwithstanding they were those of a Jew, exhibited no marks of cunning, but, on the contrary, much simplicity and good nature.  His form was above the middle height, and tremendously athletic, the arms and back were literally those of a Hercules squeezed into a modern surtout; the lower part of his face was covered with a bushy beard, which depended halfway down his breast.  This figure remained at the door, his eyes fixed upon myself and Judah.

The first inquiry which I now addressed was, “Have you heard of your father?”

“I have,” he replied.  “When we parted, I proceeded through many lands, and wherever I went I inquired of the people respecting my father, but still they shook their heads, until I arrived at the land of Tunis; and there I went to the head Rabbi, and he told me that he knew my father well, and that he had been there, even at Tunis, and he named the time, and he said that from thence he departed for the land of Fez; and he spoke much of my father and of his learning, and he mentioned the Zohar, even that dark book which my father loved so well; and he spoke yet more of my father’s wealth and his speculations, in all of which it seems he had thriven.  So I departed, and I mounted a ship, and I went into the land of Barbary, even unto Fez, and when I arrived there I heard much intelligence of my father, but it was intelligence which perhaps was worse than ignorance.  For the Jews told me that my father had been there, and had speculated and had thriven, and that from thence he departed for Tafilaltz, which is the country of which the emperor, even Muley Abderrahman, is a native; and there he was still prosperous, and his wealth in gold and silver was very p. 322great; and he wished to go to a not far distant town, and he engaged certain Moors, two in number, to accompany him and defend him and his treasures: and the Moors were strong men, even makhasniah, or soldiers; and they made a covenant with my father, and they gave him their right hands, and they swore to spill their blood rather than his should be shed.  And my father was encouraged, and he waxed bold, and he departed with them, even with the two false Moors.  And when they arrived in the uninhabited place, they smote my father, and they prevailed against him, and they poured out his blood in the way, and they robbed him of all he had, of his silks and his merchandise, and of the gold and silver which he had made in his speculations, and they went to their own village, and there they sat themselves down and bought lands and houses, and they rejoiced and they triumphed, and they made a merit of their deed, saying, ‘We have killed an infidel, even an accursed Jew;’ and these things were notorious in Fez.  And when I heard these tidings my heart was sad, and I became like a child, and I wept; but the fire of Jehinnim burned no longer in my brain, for I now knew what was become of my father.  At last I took comfort, and I reasoned with myself, saying, ‘Would it not be wise to go unto the Moorish king and demand of him vengeance for my father’s death, and that the spoilers be despoiled, and the treasure, even my father’s treasure, be wrested from their hands and delivered up to me who am his son?’  And the king of the Moors was not at that time in Fez, but was absent in his wars; and I arose and followed him, even unto Arbat, [322] which is a seaport, and when I p. 323arrived there, lo! I found him not, but his son was there, and men said unto me, that to speak unto the son was to speak unto the king, even Muley Abderrahman; so I went in unto the king’s son, and I kneeled before him, and I lifted up my voice, and I said unto him what I had to say, and he looked courteously upon me and said, ‘Truly thy tale is a sorrowful one, and it maketh me sad; and what thou askest, that will I grant, and thy father’s death shall be avenged, and the spoilers shall be despoiled; and I will write thee a letter with my own hand unto the Pasha, even the Pasha of Tafilaltz, and I will enjoin him to make inquiry into thy matter, and that letter thou shalt thyself carry and deliver unto him.’  And when I heard these words, my heart died within my bosom for very fear, and I replied, ‘Not so, my lord; it is good that thou write a letter unto the Pasha, even unto the Pasha of Tafilaltz, but that letter will I not take, neither will I go to Tafilaltz, for no sooner should I arrive there, and my errand be known, than the Moors would arise and put me to death, either privily or publicly, for are not the murderers of my father Moors; and am I aught but a Jew, though I be a Polish man?’  And he looked benignantly, and he said, ‘Truly, thou speakest wisely; I will write the letter, but thou shalt not take it, for I will send it by other hands; therefore set thy heart at rest, and doubt not that, if thy tale be true, thy father’s death shall be avenged, and the treasure, or the value thereof, be recovered and given up to thee; tell me, therefore, where wilt thou abide till then?’  And I said unto him, ‘My lord, I will go into the land of Suz and will tarry there.’  And he replied, ‘Do so, and thou shalt hear speedily from me.’  So I arose p. 324and departed, and went into the land of Suz, even unto Swirah, which the Nazarenes call Mogadore; and I waited with a troubled heart for intelligence from the son of the Moorish king, but no intelligence came, and never since that day have I heard from him, and it is now three years since I was in his presence.  And I sat me down at Mogadore, and I married a wife, a daughter of our nation, and I wrote to my mother, even to Jerusalem, and she sent me money, and with that I entered into commerce, even as my father had done, and I speculated, and I was not successful in my speculations, and I speedily lost all I had.  And now I am come to Gibraltar to speculate on the account of another, a merchant of Mogadore, but I like not my occupation; he has deceived me; I am going back, when I shall again seek the presence of the Moorish king, and demand that the treasure of my father be taken from the spoilers and delivered up to me, even to me his son.”

I listened with mute attention to the singular tale of this singular man, and when he had concluded I remained a considerable time without saying a word.  At last he inquired what had brought me to Gibraltar.  I told him that I was merely a passer through on my way to Tangier, for which place I expected to sail the following morning.  Whereupon he observed, that in the course of a week or two he expected to be there also, when he hoped that we should meet, as he had much more to tell me.  “And peradventure,” he added, “you can afford me counsel which will be profitable, for you are a person of experience, versed in the ways of many nations; and when I look in your countenance, heaven seems to open to me, for I think I see the countenance of a friend, even of a brother.”  He p. 325then bade me farewell, and departed; the strange bearded man, who during our conversation had remained patiently waiting at the door, following him.  I remarked that there was less wildness in his look than on the former occasion, but, at the same time, more melancholy, and his features were wrinkled like those of an aged man, though he had not yet passed the prime of youth.


Genoese Mariners—Saint Michael’s Cave—Midnight Abysses—Young American—A Slave Proprietor—The Fairy Man—Infidelity.

Throughout the whole of that night it blew very hard, but, as the wind was in the Levant quarter, I had no apprehension of being detained longer at Gibraltar on that account.  I went on board the vessel at an early hour, when I found the crew engaged in hauling the anchor close, and making other preparations for sailing.  They informed me that we should probably start in an hour.  That time, however, passed, and we still remained where we were, and the captain continued on shore.  We formed one of a small flotilla of Genoese barks, the crews of which seemed in their leisure moments to have no better means of amusing themselves than the exchange of abusive language: a furious fusilade of this kind presently commenced, in which the mate of our vessel particularly distinguished himself; he was a grey-haired Genoese of sixty.  Though not able to speak their patois, I understood much of what was said.  It was truly shocking, and as they shouted it forth, judging from their violent gestures and distorted features, you would have concluded them to p. 327be bitter enemies.  They were, however, nothing of the kind, but excellent friends all the time, and indeed very good-humoured fellows at bottom.  Oh, the infirmities of human nature!  When will man learn to become truly Christian?

I am upon the whole very fond of the Genoese; they have, it is true, much ribaldry and many vices, but they are a brave and chivalrous people, and have ever been so, and from them I have never experienced aught but kindness and hospitality.

After the lapse of another two hours, the Jew secretary arrived and said something to the old mate, who grumbled much; then coming up to me, he took off his hat and informed me that we were not to start that day, saying at the same time that it was a shame to lose such a noble wind, which would carry us to Tangier in three hours.  “Patience,” said I, and went on shore.

I now strolled towards St. Michael’s cave, in company with the Jewish lad whom I have before mentioned.

The way thither does not lie in the same direction as that which leads to the excavations; these confront Spain, whilst the cave yawns in the face of Africa.  It lies nearly at the top of the mountain, several hundred yards above the sea.  We passed by the public walks, where there are noble trees, and also by many small houses, situated delightfully in gardens, and occupied by the officers of the garrison.  It is wrong to suppose Gibraltar a mere naked barren rock; it is not without its beautiful spots—spots such as these, looking cool and refreshing, with bright green foliage.  The path soon became very steep, and we left behind us the dwellings of man.  The p. 328gale of the preceding night had entirely ceased, and not a breath of air was stirring; the midday sun shone in all its fierce glory, and the crags up which we clambered were not unfrequently watered with the perspiration drops which rained from our temples: at length we arrived at the cavern.

The mouth is a yawning cleft in the side of the mountain, about twelve feet high and as many wide; within there is a very rapid, precipitous descent for some fifty yards, where the cavern terminates in an abyss which leads to unknown depths.  The most remarkable object is a natural column, which rises up something like the trunk of an enormous oak, as if for the purpose of supporting the roof; it stands at a short distance from the entrance, and gives a certain air of wildness and singularity to that part of the cavern which is visible, which it would otherwise not possess.  The floor is exceedingly slippery, consisting of soil which the continual drippings from the roof have saturated, so that no slight precaution is necessary for him who treads it.  It is very dangerous to enter this place without a guide well acquainted with it, as, besides the black pit at the extremity, holes which have never been fathomed present themselves here and there, falling into which the adventurer would be dashed to pieces.  Whatever men may please to say of this cave, one thing it seems to tell to all who approach it, namely, that the hand of man has never been busy about it.  There is many a cave of nature’s forming, old as the earth on which we exist, which nevertheless exhibits indications that man has turned it to some account, and that it has been subjected more or less to his modifying power.  Not so this cave of Gibraltar, for, judging from its appearance, there p. 329is not the slightest reason for supposing that it ever served for aught else than a den for foul night birds, reptiles, and beasts of prey.  It has been stated by some to have been used in the days of paganism as a temple to the god Hercules, who, according to the ancient tradition, raised the singular mass of crags now called Gibraltar, and the mountain which confronts it on the African shores, as columns which should say to all succeeding times that he had been there, and had advanced no further.  Sufficient to observe, that there is nothing within the cave which would authorize the adoption of such an opinion, not even a platform on which an altar could have stood, whilst a narrow path passes before it, leading to the summit of the mountain.  As I have myself never penetrated into its depths, I can of course not pretend to describe them.  Numerous have been the individuals who, instigated by curiosity, have ventured down to immense depths, hoping to discover an end, and indeed scarcely a week passes without similar attempts being made either by the officers or soldiers of the garrison, all of which have proved perfectly abortive.  No termination has ever been reached, nor any discoveries made to repay the labour and frightful danger incurred; precipice succeeds precipice, and abyss succeeds abyss, in apparently endless succession, with ledges at intervals, which afford the adventurers opportunities for resting themselves and affixing their rope-ladders for the purpose of descending yet further.  What is, however, most mortifying and perplexing, is to observe that these abysses are not only before, but behind you, and on every side; indeed, close within the entrance of the cave, on the right, there is a gulf almost equally dark and full as threatening as that p. 330which exists at the nether end, and perhaps contains within itself as many gulfs and horrid caverns branching off in all directions.  Indeed, from what I have heard, I have come to the opinion that the whole hill of Gibraltar is honeycombed, and I have little doubt that, were it cleft asunder, its interior would be found full of such abysses of Erebus as those to which Saint Michael’s cave conducts.  Many valuable lives are lost every year in these horrible places; and only a few weeks before my visit, two sergeants, brothers, had perished in the gulf on the right hand side of the cave, having, when at a great depth, slipped down a precipice.  The body of one of these adventurous men is even now rotting in the bowels of the mountain, preyed upon by its blind and noisome worms; that of his brother was extricated.  Immediately after this horrible accident, a gate was placed before the mouth of the cave, to prevent individuals, and especially the reckless soldiers, from indulging in their extravagant curiosity.  The lock, however, was speedily forced, and at the period of my arrival the gate swung idly upon its hinges.

As I left the place, I thought that perhaps similar to this was the cave of Horeb, where dwelt Elijah, when he heard the still small voice, after the great and strong wind which rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; the cave to the entrance of which he went out and stood with his face wrapped in his mantle, when he heard the voice say unto him, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” [330]

And what am I doing here, I inquired of myself, as, vexed at my detention, I descended into the town.

p. 331That afternoon I dined in the company of a young American, a native of South Carolina.  I had frequently seen him before, as he had been staying for some time at the inn previous to my arrival at Gibraltar.  His appearance was remarkable: he was low of stature, and exceedingly slightly made; his features were pale, but very well formed; he had a magnificent head of crispy black hair, and as superb a pair of whiskers of the same colour as I ever beheld.  He wore a white hat, with broad brim and particularly shallow crown, and was dressed in a light yellow gingham frock, striped with black, and ample trousers of calico.  In a word, his appearance was altogether queer and singular.  On my return from my ramble to the cave, I found that he had himself just descended from the mountain, having since a very early hour been absent exploring its wonders.

A man of the rock asked him how he liked the excavations.  “Liked them?” said he; “you might just as well ask a person who has just seen the Niagara Falls how he liked them—like is not the word, mister.”  The heat was suffocating, as it almost invariably is in the town of Gibraltar, where rarely a breath of air is to be felt, as it is sheltered from all winds.  This led another individual to inquire of him whether he did not think it exceedingly hot?  “Hot, sir?” he replied, “not at all; fine cotton-gathering weather as a man could wish for.  We couldn’t beat it in South Carolina, sir.”  “You live in South Carolina, sir—I hope, sir, you are not a slave proprietor,” said the short, fat Jewish personage in the snuff-coloured coat, who had offered me the bitters on a previous occasion; “it is a terrible thing to make slaves of poor people, simply because they happen to be black; p. 332don’t you think so, sir?”  “Think so, sir?—no, sir, I don’t think so—I glory in being a slave proprietor; have four hundred black niggers on my estate—own estate, sir, near Charleston—flog half a dozen of them before breakfast, merely for exercise.  Niggers only made to be flogged, sir; try to escape sometimes; set the bloodhounds in their trail, catch them in a twinkling; used to hang themselves formerly—the niggers thought that a sure way to return to their own country and get clear of me; soon put a stop to that; told them that if any more hanged themselves I’d hang myself too, follow close behind them, and flog them in their own country ten times worse than in mine.  What do you think of that, friend?”  It was easy to perceive that there was more of fun than malice in this eccentric little fellow, for his large grey eyes were sparkling with good humour whilst he poured out these wild things.  He was exceedingly free of his money; and a dirty Irish woman, a soldier’s wife, having entered with a basketful of small boxes and trinkets, made of portions of the rock of Gibraltar, he purchased the greater part of her ware, giving her for every article the price (by no means inconsiderable) which she demanded.  He had glanced at me several times, and at last I saw him stoop down and whisper something to the Jew, who replied in an undertone, though with considerable earnestness, “Oh dear no, sir; perfectly mistaken, sir; is no American, sir; from Salamanca, sir—the gentleman is a Salamancan Spaniard.”  The waiter at length informed us that he had laid the table, and that perhaps it would be agreeable to us to dine together: we instantly assented.  I found my new acquaintance in many respects a most agreeable companion: he soon told me his history.  p. 333He was a planter, and, from what he hinted, just come to his property.  He was part owner of a large vessel which traded between Charleston and Gibraltar, and the yellow fever having just broken out at the former place, he had determined to take a trip (his first) to Europe in this ship; having, as he said, already visited every state in the Union, and seen all that was to be seen there.  He described to me, in a very naïve and original manner, his sensations on passing by Tarifa, which was the first walled town he had ever seen.  I related to him the history of that place, to which he listened with great attention.  He made divers attempts to learn from me who I was, all of which I evaded, though he seemed fully convinced that I was an American; and, amongst other things, asked me whether my father had not been American consul at Seville.  What, however, most perplexed him was my understanding Moorish and Gaelic, which he had heard me speak respectively to the hamáles and the Irish woman, the latter of whom, as he said, had told him that I was a fairy man.  At last he introduced the subject of religion, and spoke with much contempt of revelation, avowing himself a deist: he was evidently very anxious to hear my opinion, but here again I evaded him, and contented myself with asking him whether he had ever read the Bible.  He said he had not, but that he was well acquainted with the writings of Volney and Mirabeau.  I made no answer, whereupon he added, that it was by no means his habit to introduce such subjects, and that there were very few persons to whom he would speak so unreservedly, but that I had very much interested him, though our acquaintance had been short.  I replied, that he would scarcely have spoken at Boston in the p. 334manner that I had just heard him, and that it was easy to perceive that he was not a New Englander.  “I assure you,” said he, “I should as little have thought of speaking so at Charleston, for if I held such conversation there, I should soon have had to speak to myself.”

Had I known less of deists than it has been my fortune to know, I should perhaps have endeavoured to convince this young man of the erroneousness of the ideas which he had adopted; but I was aware of all that he would have urged in reply, and, as the believer has no carnal arguments to address to carnal reason upon this subject, I thought it best to avoid disputation, which I felt sure would lead to no profitable result.  Faith is the free gift of God, and I do not believe that ever yet was an infidel converted by means of after-dinner polemics.  This was the last evening of my sojourn in Gibraltar.


Again on Board—The Strange Visage—The Haji—Setting Sail—The Two Jews—American Vessel—Tangier—Adun Oulem—The Struggle—The Forbidden Thing.

On Thursday, the 8th of August, I was again on board the Genoese bark, at as early an hour as on the previous morning.  After waiting, however, two or three hours without any preparation being made for departing, I was about to return to the shore once more, but the old Genoese mate advised me to stay, assuring me that he had no doubt of our sailing speedily, as all the cargo was on board, and we had nothing further to detain us.  I was reposing myself in the little cabin, when I heard a boat strike against the side of the vessel, and some people come on board.  Presently a face peered in at the opening, strange and wild.  I was half asleep, and at first imagined I was dreaming, for the face seemed more like that of a goat or an ogre than of a human being; its long beard almost touching my face as I lay extended in a kind of berth.  Starting up, however, I recognized the singular-looking Jew whom I had seen in the company of Judah Lib.  He recognized me also, and nodding, bent his huge features into a smile.  I arose and went upon deck, p. 336where I found him in company with another Jew, a young man in the dress of Barbary.  They had just arrived in the boat.  I asked my friend of the beard who he was, from whence he came, and where he was going?  He answered, in broken Portuguese, that he was returning from Lisbon, where he had been on business, to Mogadore, of which place he was a native.  He then looked me in the face and smiled, and taking out a book from his pocket, in Hebrew characters, fell to reading it; whereupon a Spanish sailor on board observed that with such a beard and book he must needs be a sabio, or sage.  His companion was from Mequinez, and spoke only Arabic.

A large boat now drew nigh, the stern of which was filled with Moors; there might be about twelve, and the greater part evidently consisted of persons of distinction, as they were dressed in all the pomp and gallantry of the East, with snow-white turbans, jabadores of green silk or scarlet cloth, and bedeyas rich with gold galloon.  Some of them were exceedingly fine men, and two amongst them, youths, were strikingly handsome, and, so far from exhibiting the dark swarthy countenance of Moors in general, their complexions were of a delicate red and white.  The principal personage, and to whom all the rest paid much deference, was a tall athletic man of about forty.  He wore a vest of white quilted cotton, and white kandrisa, whilst gracefully wound round his body, and swathing the upper part of his head, was the haik, or white flannel wrapping plaid, always held in so much estimation by the Moors from the earliest period of their history.  His legs were bare, and his feet only protected from the ground by p. 337yellow slippers.  He displayed no further ornament than one large gold earring, from which depended a pearl, evidently of great price.  A noble black beard, about a foot in length, touched his muscular breast.  His features were good, with the exception of the eyes, which were somewhat small; their expression, however, was evil; their glances were sullen; and malignity and ill-nature were painted in every lineament of his countenance, which seemed never to have been brightened with a smile.  The Spanish sailor, of whom I have already had occasion to speak, informed me in a whisper, that he was a santurron, [337] or big saint, and was so far back on his way from Mecca, adding, that he was a merchant of immense wealth.  It soon appeared that the other Moors had merely attended him on board through friendly politeness, as they all successively came to bid him adieu, with the exception of two blacks, who were his attendants.  I observed that these blacks, when the Moors presented them their hands at departing, invariably made an effort to press them to their lips, which effort was as uniformly foiled, the Moors in every instance, by a speedy and graceful movement, drawing back their hand locked in that of the black, which they pressed against their own heart; as much as to say, “though a negro and a slave you are a Moslem, and being so, you are our brother—Allah knows no distinctions.”  The boatman now went up to the haji, demanding payment, stating, at the same time, that he had been on board three times on his account, conveying his luggage.  The sum which he demanded appeared p. 338exorbitant to the haji, who, forgetting that he was a saint, and fresh from Mecca, fumed outrageously, and in broken Spanish called the boatman thief.  If there be any term of reproach which stings a Spaniard (and such was the boatman) more than another, it is that one; and the fellow no sooner heard it applied to himself, than, with eyes sparkling with fury, he put his fist to the haji’s nose, and repaid the one opprobrious name by at least ten others equally bad or worse.  He would perhaps have proceeded to acts of violence had he not been pulled away by the other Moors, who led him aside, and I suppose either said or gave him something which pacified him, as he soon got into his boat, and returned with them on shore.  The captain now arrived with his Jewish secretary, and orders were given for setting sail.

At a little past twelve we were steering out of the bay of Gibraltar.  The wind was in the right quarter, but for some time we did not make much progress, lying almost becalmed beneath the lee of the hill; by degrees, however, our progress became brisker, and in about an hour we found ourselves careering smartly towards Tarifa.

The Jew secretary stood at the helm, and indeed appeared to be the person who commanded the vessel, and who issued out all the necessary orders, which were executed under the superintendence of the old Genoese mate.  I now put some questions to the haji, but he looked at me askance with his sullen eye, pouted with his lip, and remained silent; as much as to say, “Speak not to me, I am holier than thou.”  I found his negroes, however, far more conversable.  One of them was old and ugly, the other about twenty, p. 339and as well-looking as it is possible for a negro to be.  His colour was perfect ebony, his features exceedingly well-formed and delicate, with the exception of the lips, which were too full.  The shape of his eyes was peculiar; they were rather oblong than round, like those of an Egyptian figure.  Their expression was thoughtful and meditative.  In every respect he differed from his companion, even in colour (though both were negroes), and was evidently a scion of some little-known and superior race.  As he sat beneath the mast gazing at the sea, I thought he was misplaced, and that he would have appeared to more advantage amidst boundless sands, and beneath a date-tree, and then he might have well represented a Jin.  I asked him from whence he came; he replied that he was a native of Fez, but that he had never known his parents.  He had been brought up, he added, in the family of his present master, whom he had followed in the greater part of his travels, and with whom he had thrice visited Mecca.  I asked him if he liked being a slave?  Whereupon he replied, that he was a slave no longer, having been made free for some time past, on account of his faithful services, as had likewise his companion.  He would have told me much more, but the haji called him away, and otherwise employed him, probably to prevent his being contaminated by me.

Thus, avoided by the Moslems, I betook myself to the Jews, whom I found nowise backward in cultivating an intimacy.  The sage of the beard told me his history, which in some respects reminded me of that of Judah Lib, as it seemed that, a year or two previous, he had quitted Mogadore in pursuit of his son, who had betaken himself to Portugal.  On the p. 340arrival, however, of the father at Lisbon, he discovered that the fugitive had, a few days before, shipped himself for the Brazils.  Unlike Judah in quest of his father, he now became weary, and discontinued the pursuit.  The younger Jew from Mequinez was exceedingly gay and lively as soon as he perceived that I was capable of understanding him, and made me smile by his humorous account of Christian life, as he had observed it at Gibraltar, where he had made a stay of about a month.  He then spoke of Mequinez, which, he said, was a Jennut, or Paradise, compared with which Gibraltar was a sty of hogs.  So great, so universal is the love of country.  I soon saw that both these people believed me to be of their own nation: indeed, the young one, who was much the most familiar, taxed me with being so, and spoke of the infamy of denying my own blood.  Shortly before our arrival off Tarifa, universal hunger seemed to prevail amongst us.  The haji and his negroes produced their store, and feasted on roast fowls, the Jews ate grapes and bread, myself bread and cheese, whilst the crew prepared a mess of anchovies.  Two of them speedily came with a large portion, which they presented to me with the kindness of brothers: I made no hesitation in accepting their present, and found the anchovies delicious.  As I sat between the Jews, I offered them some, but they turned away their heads with disgust, and cried, Haloof.  They at the same time, however, shook me by the hand, and, uninvited, took a small portion of my bread.  I had a bottle of Cognac, which I had brought with me as a preventive to sea-sickness, and I presented it to them; but this they also refused, exclaiming, Harám.  I said nothing.

p. 341We were now close to the lighthouse of Tarifa, and turning the head of the bark towards the west, we made directly for the coast of Africa.  The wind was now blowing very fresh, and as we had it almost in our poop, we sprang along at a tremendous rate, the huge latine sails threatening every moment to drive us beneath the billows, which an adverse tide raised up against us.  Whilst scudding along in this manner, we passed close under the stern of a large vessel bearing American colours; she was tacking up the straits, and slowly winning her way against the impetuous Levanter.  As we passed under her, I observed the poop crowded with people gazing at us; indeed, we must have offered a singular spectacle to those on board, who, like my young American friend at Gibraltar, were visiting the Old World for the first time.  At the helm stood the Jew; his whole figure enveloped in a gabardine, the cowl of which, raised above his head, gave him almost the appearance of a spectre in its shroud; whilst upon the deck, mixed with Europeans in various kinds of dresses, all of them picturesque with the exception of my own, trod the turbaned Moors, the haik of the haji flapping loosely in the wind.  The view they obtained of us, however, could have been but momentary, as we bounded past them literally with the speed of a racehorse, so that in about an hour’s time we were not more than a mile’s distance from the foreland on which stands the fortress Alminàr, and which constitutes the boundary point of the bay of Tangier towards the east.  There the wind dropped and our progress was again slow.

For a considerable time Tangier had appeared in sight.  Shortly after standing away from Tarifa, we had descried it in the far distance, when it showed p. 342like a white dove brooding on its nest.  The sun was setting behind the town when we dropped anchor in its harbour, amidst half a dozen barks and felouks about the size of our own, the only vessels which we saw.  There stood Tangier before us, and a picturesque town it was, occupying the sides and top of two hills, one of which, bold and bluff, projects into the sea where the coast takes a sudden and abrupt turn.  Frowning and battlemented were its walls, either perched on the top of precipitous rocks, whose base was washed by the salt billows, or rising from the narrow strand which separates the hill from the ocean.

Yonder are two or three tiers of batteries, displaying heavy guns, which command the harbour; above them you see the terraces of the town rising in succession like steps for giants.  But all is white, perfectly white, so that the whole seems cut out of an immense chalk rock, though true it is that you behold here and there tall green trees springing up from amidst the whiteness: perhaps they belong to Moorish gardens, and beneath them even now peradventure is reclining many a dark-eyed Leila, akin to the houris.  Right before you is a high tower, or minaret, not white but curiously painted, which belongs to the principal mosque of Tangier; a black banner waves upon it, for it is the feast of Ashor.  A noble beach of white sand fringes the bay from the town to the foreland of Alminàr.  To the east rise prodigious hills and mountains: they are Gibil Muza and his chain; and yon tall fellow is the peak of Tetuan; the grey mists of evening are enveloping their sides.  Such was Tangier, such its vicinity, as it appeared to me whilst gazing from the Genoese bark.

A boat was now lowered from the vessel, in which p. 343the captain, who was charged with the mail from Gibraltar, the Jew secretary, and the haji and his attendant negroes departed for the shore.  I would have gone with them, but I was told that I could not land that night, as ere my passport and bill of health could be examined, the gates would be closed; so I remained on board with the crew and the two Jews.  The former prepared their supper, which consisted simply of pickled tomates, [343a] the other provisions having been consumed.  The old Genoese brought me a portion, apologizing at the same time for the plainness of the fare.  I accepted it with thanks, and told him that a million better men than myself had a worse supper.  I never ate with more appetite.  As the night advanced, the Jews sang Hebrew hymns, and when they had concluded, demanded of me why I was silent, so I lifted up my voice and chanted Adun Oulem. [343b]

p. 344Darkness had now fallen over land and sea: not a sound was heard save occasionally the distant barking of a dog from the shore, or some plaintive Genoese ditty, which arose from a neighbouring bark.  The town seemed buried in silence and gloom, no light, not even that of a taper, could be descried.  Turning our eyes in the direction of Spain, however, we perceived a magnificent conflagration, seemingly enveloping the side and head of one of the lofty mountains northward of Tarifa.  The blaze was redly reflected in the waters of the strait; either the brushwood was burning or the carboneros were plying their dusky toil.  The Jews now complained of weariness, and the younger, uncording a small mattress, spread it on the deck and sought repose.  The sage descended into the cabin, but he had scarcely time to lie down ere the old mate, darting forward, dived in after him, and pulled him out by the heels, for it was very shallow, and the descent was effected by not more than two or three steps.  After accomplishing this, he called him many opprobrious names, and threatened him with his foot, as he lay sprawling on the deck.  “Think you,” said he, “who are a dog and a Jew, and pay as a dog and a Jew; think you to sleep in the cabin?  Undeceive yourself, beast: that cabin shall be slept in by none to-night but this Christian caballero.”  The sage made no reply, but arose from the deck and stroked his beard, whilst the old Genoese proceeded in his Philippic.  Had the Jew been disposed, he could have strangled the insulter in a moment, or crushed him to death in his brawny arms, as I never remember to have seen a figure so powerful and muscular; but he was evidently slow p. 345to anger, and long-suffering.  Not a resentful word escaped him, and his features retained their usual expression of benignant placidity.

I now assured the mate that I had not the slightest objection to the Jew’s sharing the cabin with me, but rather wished it, as there was room for us both and for more.  “Excuse me, Sir Cavalier,” replied the Genoese, “but I swear to permit no such thing; you are young, and do not know this canaille as I do, who have been backward and forward to this coast for twenty years.  If the beast is cold, let him sleep below the hatches as I and the rest shall, but that cabin he shall not enter.”  Observing that he was obstinate, I retired, and in a few minutes was in a sound sleep, which lasted till daybreak.  Twice or thrice, indeed, I thought that a struggle was taking place near me; but I was so overpowered with weariness, or “sleep drunken,” as the Germans call it, that I was unable to arouse myself sufficiently to discover what was going on.  The truth is, that three times during the night, the sage, feeling himself uncomfortable in the open air by the side of his companion, penetrated into the cabin, and was as many times dragged out by his relentless old enemy, who, suspecting his intentions, kept his eye upon him throughout the night.

About five I arose: the sun was shining brightly and gloriously upon town, bay, and mountain; the crew were already employed upon deck repairing a sail which had been shivered in the wind of the preceding day.  The Jews sat disconsolate on the poop; they complained much of the cold they had suffered in their exposed situation.  Over the left eye of the sage I observed a bloody cut, which he p. 346informed me he had received from the old Genoese after he had dragged him out of the cabin for the last time.  I now produced my bottle of Cognac, begging that the crew would partake of it as a slight return for their hospitality.  They thanked me, and the bottle went its round; it was last in the hands of the old mate, who, after looking for a moment at the sage, raised it to his mouth, where he kept it a considerable time longer than any of his companions, after which he returned it to me with a low bow.  The sage now inquired what the bottle contained.  I told him Cognac, or aguardiente, whereupon with some eagerness he begged that I would allow him to take a draught.  “How is this?” said I; “yesterday you told me that it was a forbidden thing, an abomination.”  “Yesterday,” said he, “I was not aware that it was brandy; I thought it was wine, which assuredly is an abomination, and a forbidden thing.”  “Is it forbidden in the Torah?” I inquired.  “Is it forbidden in the law of God?”  “I know not,” said he; “but one thing I know, that the sages have forbidden it.”  “Sages like yourself,” cried I with warmth; “sages like yourself, with long beards and short understandings; the use of both drinks is permitted, but more danger lurks in this bottle than in a tun of wine.  Well said my Lord the Nazarene, ‘ye strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel;’ but as you are cold and shivering, take the bottle and revive yourself with a small portion of its contents.”  He put it to his lips and found not a single drop.  The old Genoese grinned.

Bestia,” said he, “I saw by your looks that you wished to drink of that bottle, and I said within me, even though I suffocate, yet will I not leave one drop p. 347of the aguardiente of the Christian Cavalier to be wasted on that Jew, on whose head may evil lightnings fall.”

“Now, Sir Cavalier,” he continued, “you can go ashore: these two sailors shall row you to the Mole, and convey your baggage where you think proper; may the Virgin bless you wherever you go.”


The Mole—The Two Moors—Djmah of Tangier—House of God—British Consul—Curious Spectacle—The Moorish House—Joanna Correa—Ave Maria.

So we rowed to the Mole, and landed.  This Mole consists at present of nothing more than an immense number of large loose stones, which run about five hundred yards into the bay; they are part of the ruins of a magnificent pier which the English, who were the last foreign nation which held Tangier, destroyed when they evacuated the place. [348]  The Moors have never attempted to repair it: the surf at high water breaks over it with great fury.  I found it a difficult task to pick my way over the slippery stones, and should once or twice have fallen but for the kindness of the Genoese mariners.  At last we reached the beach, and were proceeding towards the gate of the town, when two persons, Moors, came up to us.  I almost started at sight of the first: he was a huge old barbarian with a white uncombed beard, dirty turban, haik, and trousers, naked legs, and immense splay feet, the heels of which stood out a couple of inches at least behind his rusty black slippers.

“That is the captain of the port,” said one of the p. 349Genoese; “pay him respect.”  I accordingly doffed my hat and cried, “Sba alkheir a sidi.” [349]  “Are you Englishmans?” shouted the old grisly giant.  “Englishmans, my lord,” I replied, and, advancing, presented him my hand, which he nearly wrung off with his tremendous gripe.  The other Moor now addressed me in a jargon composed of English, Spanish, and Arabic.  A queer-looking personage was he also, but very different in most respects from his companion, being shorter by a head at least, and less complete by one eye, for the left orb of vision was closed, leaving him, as the Spaniards style it, tuerto; he, however, far outshone the other in cleanliness of turban, haik, and trousers.  From what he jabbered to me, I collected that he was the English consul’s mahasni, or soldier; that the consul, being aware of my arrival, had despatched him to conduct me to his house.  He then motioned me to follow him, which I did, the old port-captain attending us to the gate, when he turned aside into a building, which I judged to be a kind of custom-house from the bales and boxes of every description piled up before it.  We passed the gate and proceeded up a steep and winding ascent.  On our left was a battery full of guns, pointing to the sea, and on our right a massive wall, seemingly in part cut out of the hill: a little higher up we arrived at an opening where stood the mosque which I have already mentioned.  As I gazed upon the tower I said to myself, “Surely we have here a younger sister of the Giralda of Seville.”

I know not whether the resemblance between the two edifices has been observed by any other individual; and perhaps there are those who would assert p. 350that no resemblance exists, especially if, in forming an opinion, they were much swayed by size and colour: the hue of the Giralda is red, or rather vermilion, whilst that which predominates in the Djmah of Tangier is green, the bricks of which it is built being of that colour; though between them, at certain intervals, are placed others of a light red tinge, so that the tower is beautifully variegated.  With respect to size, standing beside the giant witch of Seville, the Tangerine Djmah would show like a ten-year sapling in the vicinity of the cedar of Lebanon, whose trunk the tempests of five hundred years have worn.  And yet I will assert that the towers in other respects are one and the same, and that the same mind and the same design are manifested in both; the same shape do they exhibit, and the same marks have they on their walls, even those mysterious arches graven on the superfice of the bricks, emblematic of I know not what.  The two structures may, without any violence, be said to stand in the same relation to each other as the ancient and modern Moors.  The Giralda is the world’s wonder, and the old Moor was all but the world’s conqueror.  The modern Moor is scarcely known, and who ever heard of the tower of Tangier?  Yet examine it attentively, and you will find in that tower much, very much, to admire, and certainly, if opportunity enable you to consider the modern Moor minutely, you will discover in him, and in his actions, amongst much that is wild, uncouth, and barbarous, not a little capable of amply rewarding laborious investigation.

As we passed the mosque I stopped for a moment before the door, and looked in upon the interior: I saw nothing but a quadrangular court paved with p. 351painted tiles and exposed to the sky; on all sides were arched piazzas, and in the middle was a fountain, at which several Moors were performing their ablutions.  I looked around for the abominable thing and found it not; the besetting sin of the pseudo-Christian Church did not stare me in the face in every corner.  “Come here,” said I, “Papist, and take a lesson; here is a house of God, in externals at least, such as a house of God should be: four walls, a fountain, and the eternal firmament above, which mirrors His glory.  Dost thou build such houses to the God who has said, ‘Thou shalt make to thyself no graven image’?  Fool, thy walls are stuck with idols; thou callest a stone thy Father, and a piece of rotting wood the Queen of Heaven.  Fool, thou knowest not even the Ancient of Days, and the very Moor can instruct thee.  He at least knows the Ancient of Days who has said, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods but me.’”

And as I said these words I heard a cry like the roaring of a lion, and an awful voice in the distance exclaim, “Kapul Udbagh.” [351]

We now turned to the left through a passage which passed under the tower, and had scarcely proceeded a few steps, when I heard a prodigious hubbub of infantine voices: I listened for a moment, and distinguished verses of the Koran; it was a school.  Another lesson for thee, Papist.  Thou callest thyself a Christian, yet the book of Christ thou persecutest; thou huntest it even to the seashore, compelling it to seek refuge upon the billows of the sea.  Fool, learn a lesson from the Moor, who teaches his child to repeat with its first accents the most important portions of the book of his law, and considers p. 352himself wise or foolish, according as he is versed in or ignorant of that book; whilst thou, blind slave, knowest not what the book of thy own law contains, nor wishest to know: yet art thou not to be judged by thy own law?  Idol-monger, learn consistency from the Moor: he says that he shall be judged after his own law, and therefore he prizes and gets by heart the entire book of his law.

We were now at the consul’s house, a large roomy habitation, built in the English style.  The soldier led me through a court into a large hall hung with the skins of all kinds of ferocious animals, from the kingly lion to the snarling jackal.  Here I was received by a Jew domestic, who conducted me at once to the consul, who was in his library.  He received me with the utmost frankness and genuine kindness, and informed me that, having received a letter from his excellent friend Mr. B---, in which I was strongly recommended, he had already engaged me a lodging in the house of a Spanish woman, who was, however, a British subject, and with whom he believed that I should find myself as comfortable as it was possible to be in such a place as Tangier.  He then inquired if I had any particular motive for visiting the place, and I informed him without hesitation that I came with the intention of distributing a certain number of copies of the New Testament in the Spanish language amongst the Christian residents of the place.  He smiled, and advised me to proceed with considerable caution, which I promised to do.  We then discoursed on other subjects, and it was not long before I perceived that I was in the company of a most accomplished scholar, especially in the Greek and Latin classics; he appeared likewise to be thoroughly p. 353acquainted with the Barbary empire and with the Moorish character.

After half an hour’s conversation, exceedingly agreeable and instructive to myself, I expressed a wish to proceed to my lodging; whereupon he rang the bell, and, the same Jewish domestic entering who had introduced me, he said to him in the English language, “Take this gentleman to the house of Joanna Correa, the Mahonese widow, and enjoin her, in my name, to take care of him and attend to his comforts; by doing which she will confirm me in the good opinion which I at present entertain of her, and will increase my disposition to befriend her.”

So, attended by the Jew, I now bent my steps to the lodging prepared for me.  Having ascended the street in which the house of the consul was situated, we entered a small square which stands about half way up the hill.  This, my companion informed me, was the soc, or market-place.  A curious spectacle here presented itself.  All round the square were small wooden booths, which very much resembled large boxes turned on their sides, the lid being supported above by a string.  Before each of these boxes was a species of counter, or rather one long counter ran in front of the whole line, upon which were raisins, dates, and small barrels of sugar, soap, and butter, and various other articles.  Within each box, in front of the counter, and about three feet from the ground, sat a human being, with a blanket on its shoulders, a dirty turban on its head, and ragged trousers, which descended as far as the knee, though in some instances, I believe, these were entirely dispensed with.  In its hand it held a stick, to the end of which was affixed a bunch of palm p. 354leaves, which it waved incessantly as a fan, for the purpose of scaring from its goods the million flies which, engendered by the Barbary sun, endeavoured to settle upon them.  Behind it, and on either side, were piles of the same kind of goods.  Shrit hinai, shrit hinai, [354] was continually proceeding from its mouth.  Such are the grocers of Tangier, such their shops.

In the middle of the soc, upon the stones, were pyramids of melons and sandias, and also baskets filled with other kinds of fruit, exposed for sale, whilst round cakes of bread were lying here and there upon the stones, beside which sat on their hams the wildest-looking beings that the most extravagant imagination ever conceived, the head covered with an enormous straw hat, at least two yards in circumference, the eaves of which, flapping down, completely concealed the face, whilst the form was swathed in a blanket, from which occasionally were thrust skinny arms and fingers.  These were Moorish women, who were, I believe, in all instances, old and ugly, judging from the countenances of which I caught a glimpse as they lifted the eaves of their hats to gaze on me as I passed, or to curse me for stamping on their bread.  The whole soc was full of people, and there was abundance of bustle, screaming, and vociferation, and as the sun, though the hour was still early, was shining with the greatest brilliancy, I thought that I had scarcely ever witnessed a livelier scene.

Crossing the soc, we entered a narrow street with the same kind of box-shops on each side, some of which, however, were either unoccupied or not yet p. 355opened, the lid being closed.  We almost immediately turned to the left, up a street somewhat similar, and my guide presently entered the door of a low house which stood at the corner of a little alley, and which he informed me was the abode of Joanna Correa.  We soon stood in the midst of this habitation.  I say the midst, as all the Moorish houses are built with a small court in the middle.  This one was not more than ten feet square.  It was open at the top, and around it on three sides were apartments: on the fourth a small staircase, which communicated with the upper story, half of which consisted of a terrace looking down into the court, over the low walls of which you enjoyed a prospect of the sea and a considerable part of the town.  The rest of the story was taken up by a long room, destined for myself, and which opened upon the terrace by a pair of folding-doors.  At either end of this apartment stood a bed, extending transversely from wall to wall, the canopy touching the ceiling.  A table and two or three chairs completed the furniture.

I was so occupied in inspecting the house of Joanna Correa, that at first I paid little attention to that lady herself.  She now, however, came up upon the terrace where my guide and myself were standing.  She was a woman about five and forty, with regular features, which had once been handsome, but had received considerable injury from time, and perhaps more from trouble.  Two of her front teeth had disappeared, but she still had fine black hair.  As I looked upon her countenance, I said within myself, if there be truth in physiognomy, thou art good and gentle, O Joanna; and, indeed, the kindness I experienced from her during the six weeks which I spent beneath her p. 356roof would have made me a convert to that science had I doubted in it before.  I believe no warmer and more affectionate heart ever beat in human bosom than in that of Joanna Correa, the Mahonese widow, and it was indexed by features beaming with benevolence and good nature, though somewhat clouded with melancholy.

She informed me that she had been married to a Genoese, the master of a felouk which passed between Gibraltar and Tangier, who had been dead about four years, leaving her with a family of four children, the eldest of which was a lad of thirteen; that she had experienced great difficulty in providing for her family and herself since the death of her husband, but that Providence had raised her up a few excellent friends, especially the British consul; that besides letting lodgings to such travellers as myself, she made bread which was in high esteem with the Moors, and that she was likewise in partnership in the sale of liquors with an old Genoese.  She added that this last person lived below in one of the apartments; that he was a man of great ability and much learning, but that she believed he was occasionally somewhat touched here, pointing with her finger to her forehead, and she therefore hoped that I would not be offended at anything extraordinary in his language or behaviour.  She then left me, as she said, to give orders for my breakfast; whereupon the Jewish domestic, who had accompanied me from the consul, finding that I was established in the house, departed.

I speedily sat down to breakfast in an apartment on the left side of the little wustuddur; the fare was excellent: tea, fried fish, eggs, and grapes, not forgetting the celebrated bread of Joanna Correa.  I p. 357was waited upon by a tall Jewish youth of about twenty years, who informed me that his name was Hayim Ben Attar, [357a] that he was a native of Fez, from whence his parents brought him at a very early age to Tangier, where he had passed the greater part of his life principally in the service of Joanna Correa, waiting upon those who, like myself, lodged in the house.  I had completed my meal, and was seated in the little court, when I heard in the apartment opposite to that in which I had breakfasted several sighs, which were succeeded by as many groans, and then came Ave Maria, gratiâ plena, ora pro me, [357b] and finally a croaking voice chanted—

“Gentem auferte perfidam
Credentium de finibus,
Ut Christo laudes debitas
Persolvamus alacriter.” [357c]

“That is the old Genoese,” whispered Hayim Ben Attar, “praying to his God, which he always does with particular devotion when he happens to have gone to bed the preceding evening rather in liquor.  He has in his room a picture of Maria Buckra, before which he generally burns a taper, and on her account he will never permit me to enter his apartment.  He once caught me looking at her, and I thought he would have killed me; and since then he always keeps his chamber locked, and carries the key in his p. 358pocket when he goes out.  He hates both Jew and Moor, and says that he is now living amongst them for his sins.”

“They do not place tapers before pictures,” said I, and strolled forth to see the wonders of the land.


The Mahasni—Sin Samani—The Bazaar—Moorish Saints—See the Ayana!—The Prickly Fig—Jewish Graves—The Place of Carcases—The Stable Boy—Horses of the Moslem—Dar-dwag.

I was standing in the market-place, a spectator of much the same scene as I have already described, when a Moor came up to me and attempted to utter a few words in Spanish.  He was a tall elderly man, with sharp but rather whimsical features, and might have been called good looking, had he not been one-eyed, a very common deformity in this country. [359]  His body was swathed in an immense haik.  Finding that I could understand Moorish, he instantly began talking with immense volubility, and I soon learnt that he was a mahasni.  He expatiated diffusely on the beauties of Tangier, of which he said he was a native, and at last exclaimed, “Come, my sultan, come, my lord, and I will show you many things which will gladden your eyes, and fill your heart with sunshine; it were a shame in me, who have the advantage of being a son of Tangier, to permit a stranger, who comes from an island in the great sea, as you tell me you do, for the purpose of seeing p. 360this blessed land, to stand here in the soc with no one to guide him.  By Allah, it shall not be so.  Make room for my sultan, make room for my lord,” he continued, pushing his way through a crowd of men and children who had gathered round us; “it is his highness’ pleasure to go with me.  This way, my lord, this way;” and he led the way up the hill, walking at a tremendous rate, and talking still faster.  “This street,” said he, “is the Siarrin, and its like is not to be found in Tangier; observe how broad it is, even half the breadth of the soc itself; here are the shops of the most considerable merchants, where are sold precious articles of all kinds.  Observe those two men, they are Algerines and good Moslems; they fled from Zair [360] when the Nazarenes conquered it, not by force of fighting, not by valour, as you may well suppose, but by gold; the Nazarenes only conquer by gold.  The Moor is good, the Moor is strong, who so good and strong? but he fights not with gold, and therefore he lost Zair.

“Observe you those men seated on the benches by those portals; they are mokhasniah, they are my brethren.  See their haiks how white, see their turbans how white.  Oh that you could see their swords in the day of war, for bright, bright are their swords!  Now they bear no swords.  Wherefore should they? is there not peace in the land?  See you him in the shop opposite?  That is the Pasha of Tangier, that is the Hamed Sin Samani, the under Pasha of Tangier; the elder Pasha, my lord, is away on a journey; may Allah send him a safe return.  Yes, that is Hamed; he sits in his hanutz as were he nought more than a merchant, yet life and death p. 361are in his hands.  There he dispenses justice, even as he dispenses the essence of the rose and cochineal, and powder of cannon and sulphur; and these two last he sells on the account of Abderrahman, my lord and sultan, for none can sell powder and the sulphur dust in his land but the sultan.  Should you wish to purchase attar del nuar, [361] should you wish to purchase the essence of the rose, you must go to the hanutz of Sin Samani, for there only you will get it pure: you must receive it from no common Moor, but only from Hamed.  May Allah bless Hamed.  The makhasniah, my brethren, wait to do his orders, for wherever sits the Pasha, there is a hall of judgment.  See, now we are opposite the bazaar; beneath yon gate is the court of the bazaar; what will you not find in that bazaar?  Silks from Fez you will find there: and if you wish for sibat, if you wish for slippers for your feet, you must seek them there, and there also are sold curious things from the towns of the Nazarenes.  Those large houses on our left are habitations of Nazarene consuls; you have seen many such in your own land, therefore why should you stay to look at them?  Do you not admire this street of the Siarrin?  Whatever enters or goes out of Tangier by the land passes through this street.  Oh, the riches that pass through this street!  Behold those camels, what a long train; twenty, thirty, a whole cafila descending the street.  Wullah!  I know those camels, I know the driver.  Good day, O Sidi Hassim, in how many days from Fez?  And now we are arrived at the wall, and we must pass under p. 362this gate.  This gate is called Bab del Faz; we are now in the Soc de Barra.”

The Soc de Barra is an open place beyond the upper wall of Tangier, on the side of the hill.  The ground is irregular and steep; there are, however, some tolerably level spots.  In this place, every Thursday [362] and Sunday morning, a species of mart is held, on which account it is called Soc de Barra, or the outward market-place.  Here and there, near the town ditch, are subterranean pits, with small orifices, about the circumference of a chimney, which are generally covered with a large stone, or stuffed with straw.  These pits are granaries, in which wheat, barley, and other species of grain intended for sale are stored.  On one side are two or three rude huts, or rather sheds, beneath which keep watch the guardians of the corn.  It is very dangerous to pass over this hill at night, after the town gates are closed, as at that time numerous large and ferocious dogs are let loose, who would to a certainty pull down, and perhaps destroy, any stranger who should draw nigh.  Halfway up the hill are seen four white walls, inclosing a spot about ten feet square, where rest the bones of Sidi Mokhfidh, a saint of celebrity, who died some fifteen years ago.  Here terminates the soc; the remainder of the hill is called El Kawar, or the place of graves, being the common burying-ground of Tangier; the resting-places of the dead are severally distinguished by a few stones arranged so as to form an oblong circle.  Near Mokhfidh sleeps Sidi Gali; but the principal saint of Tangier lies interred on the top of the hill, in the centre of a small plain.  A beautiful chapel or mosque, with p. 363vaulted roof, is erected there in his honour, which is in general adorned with banners of various dyes.  The name of this saint is Mohammed el Haji, and his memory is held in the utmost veneration in Tangier and its vicinity.  His death occurred at the commencement of the present century.

These details I either gathered at the time or on subsequent occasions.  On the north side of the soc, close by the town, is a wall with a gate.  “Come,” said the old mahasni, giving a flourish with his hand; “come, and I will show you the garden of a Nazarene consul.”  I followed him through the gate, and found myself in a spacious garden laid out in the European taste, and planted with lemon and pear trees, and various kinds of aromatic shrubs.  It was, however, evident that the owner chiefly prided himself on his flowers, of which there were numerous beds.  There was a handsome summer-house, and art seemed to have exhausted itself in making the place complete.

One thing was wanting, and its absence was strangely remarkable in a garden at this time of the year; scarcely a leaf was to be seen.  The direst of all the plagues which devastated Egypt was now busy in this part of Africa—the locust was at work, and in no place more fiercely than in the particular spot where I was now standing.  All around looked blasted.  The trees were brown and bald as in winter.  Nothing green save the fruits, especially the grapes, huge clusters of which were depending from the parras; for the locust touches not the fruit whilst a single leaf remains to be devoured.  As we passed along the walks, these horrible insects flew against us in every direction, and perished by hundreds beneath our feet.  “See the ayanas,” said the old mahasni, p. 364“and hear them eating.  Powerful is the ayana, more powerful than the sultan or the consul.  Should the sultan send all his makhasniah against the ayana, should he send me with them, the ayana would say, ‘Ha! ha!’  Powerful is the ayana!  He fears not the consul.  A few weeks ago the consul said, ‘I am stronger than the ayana, and I will extirpate him from the land.’  So he shouted through the city, ‘O Tangerines! speed forth to fight the ayana,—destroy him in the egg; for know that whosoever shall bring me one pound weight of the eggs of the ayana, unto him will I give five reals of Spain; there shall be no ayanas this year.’  So all Tangier rushed forth to fight the ayana, and to collect the eggs which the ayana had laid to hatch beneath the sand on the sides of the hills, and in the roads, and in the plains.  And my own child, who is seven years old, went forth to fight the ayana, and he alone collected eggs to the weight of five pounds, eggs which the ayana had placed beneath the sand, and he carried them to the consul, and the consul paid the price.  And hundreds carried eggs to the consul, more or less, and the consul paid them the price, and in less than three days the treasure chest of the consul was exhausted.  And then he cried, ‘Desist, O Tangerines! perhaps we have destroyed the ayana, perhaps we have destroyed them all!’  Ha! ha!  Look around you, and beneath you, and above you, and tell me whether the consul has destroyed the ayana.  Oh, powerful is the ayana!  More powerful than the consul, more powerful than the sultan and all his armies.” [364]

p. 365It will be as well to observe here, that within a week from this time all the locusts had disappeared, no one knew how—only a few stragglers remained.  But for this providential deliverance, the fields and gardens in the vicinity of Tangier would have been totally devastated.  These insects were of an immense size, and of a loathly appearance.

We now passed over the soc to the opposite side, where stand the huts of the guardians.  Here a species of lane presents itself, which descends to the seashore; it is deep and precipitous, and resembles a gully or ravine.  The banks on either side are covered with the tree which bears the prickly fig, called in Moorish, Kermous del Inde. [365]  There is something wild and grotesque in the appearance of this tree or plant, for I know not which to call it.  Its stem, though frequently of the thickness of a man’s body, has no head, but divides itself, at a short distance from the ground, into many crooked branches, which shoot in all directions, and bear green and uncouth leaves, about half an inch in thickness, and which, if they resemble anything, present the appearance of the fore fins of a seal, and consist of multitudinous fibres.  The fruit, which somewhat resembles a pear, has a rough tegument covered with minute prickles, which instantly enter the hand which touches them, however slightly, and are very difficult to extract.  I never remember to have seen vegetation in ranker luxuriance than that which these fig-trees exhibited, nor upon the whole a more singular spot.  “Follow me,” said p. 366the mahasni, “and I will show you something which you will like to see.”  So he turned to the left, leading the way by a narrow path up the steep bank, till we reached the summit of a hillock, separated by a deep ditch from the wall of Tangier.  The ground was thickly covered with the trees already described, which spread their strange arms along the surface, and whose thick leaves crushed beneath our feet as we walked along.  Amongst them I observed a large number of stone slabs lying horizontally; they were rudely scrawled over with odd characters, which stooped down to inspect.  “Are you talib enough read those signs?” exclaimed the old Moor.  “They are letters of the accursed Jews; this is their mearrah, as they call it, and here they inter their dead.  Fools, they trust in Muza, when they might believe in Mohammed, and therefore their dead shall burn everlastingly in Jehinnim.  See, my sultan, how fat is the soil of this mearrah of the Jews; see what kermous grow here.  When I was a boy I often came to the mearrah of the Jews to eat kermous in the season of their ripeness.  The Moslem boys of Tangier love the kermous of the mearrah of the Jews; but the Jews will not gather them.  They say that the waters of the springs which nourish the roots of these trees pass among the bodies of their dead, and for that reason it is an abomination to taste of these fruits.  Be this true, or be it not, one thing is certain, in whatever manner nourished, good are the kermous which grow in the mearrah of the Jews.”

We returned to the lane by the same path by which we had come: as we were descending it he said, “Know, my sultan, that the name of the place where we now are, and which you say you like much, p. 367is Dar-sinah. [367a]  You will ask me why it bears that name, as you see neither house nor man, neither Moslem, Nazarene, nor Jew, only our two selves; I will tell you, my sultan, for who can tell you better than myself?  Learn, I pray you, that Tangier was not always what it is now, nor did it occupy always the place which it does now.  It stood yonder (pointing to the east) on those hills above the shore, and ruins of houses are still to be seen there, and the spot is called Old Tangier.  So in the old time, as I have heard say, this Dar-sinah was a street, whether without or within the wall matters not, and there resided men of all trades; smiths of gold, and silver, and iron, and tin, and artificers of all kinds.  You had only to go to the Dar-sinah if you wished for any thing wrought, and there instantly you would find a master of the particular craft.  My sultan tells me he likes the look of Dar-sinah at the present day; truly I know not why, especially as the kermous are not yet in their ripeness, nor fit to eat.  If he likes Dar-sinah now, how would my sultan have liked it in the old time, when it was filled with gold and silver, and iron and tin, and was noisy with the hammers, and the masters and the cunning men?  We are now arrived at the Chali del Bahar. [367b]  Take care, my sultan, we tread upon bones.”

We had emerged from the Dar-sinah, and the seashore was before us; on a sudden we found ourselves amongst a multitude of bones of all kinds of animals, and seemingly of all dates; some being blanched with time and exposure to sun and wind, whilst to p. 368others the flesh still partly clung; whole carcases were here, horses, asses, and even the uncouth remains of a camel.  Gaunt dogs were busy here, growling, tearing, and gnawing; amongst whom, unintimidated, stalked the carrion vulture, fiercely battening and even disputing with the brutes the garbage; whilst the crow hovered overhead, and croaked wistfully, or occasionally perched upon some upturned rib bone.  “See,” said the mahasni, “the kawar of the animals.  My sultan has seen the kawar of the Moslems and the mearrah of the Jews; and he sees here the kawar of the animals.  All the animals which die in Tangier by the hand of God—horse, dog, or camel—are brought to this spot, and here they putrefy or are devoured by the birds of the heaven or the wild creatures that prowl on the chali.  Come, my sultan, it is not good to remain long in this place.”

We were preparing to leave the spot, when we heard a galloping down the Dar-sinah, and presently a horse and rider darted at full speed from the mouth of the lane and appeared upon the strand: the horseman, when he saw us, pulled up his steed with much difficulty, and joined us.  The horse was small but beautiful, a sorrel with long mane and tail; had he been hoodwinked he might perhaps have been mistaken for a Cordovese jaca; he was broad-chested, and rotund in his hind quarters, and possessed much of the plumpness and sleekness which distinguish that breed, but looking in his eyes you would have been undeceived in a moment; a wild savage fire darted from the restless orbs, and so far from exhibiting the docility of the other noble and loyal animal, he occasionally plunged desperately, p. 369and could scarcely be restrained by a strong curb and powerful arm from resuming his former head-long course.  The rider was a youth, apparently about eighteen, dressed as a European, with a montero cap on his head: he was athletically built, but with lengthy limbs, his feet, for he rode without stirrups or saddle, reaching almost to the ground; his complexion was almost as dark as that of a Mulatto; his features very handsome, the eyes particularly so, but filled with an expression which was bold and bad; and there was a disgusting look of sensuality about the mouth.  He addressed a few words to the mahasni, with whom he seemed to be well acquainted, inquiring who I was.  The old man answered, “O Jew, my sultan understands our speech, thou hadst better address thyself to him.”  The lad then spoke to me in Arabic, but almost instantly dropping that language, proceeded to discourse in tolerable French.  “I suppose you are French,” said he with much familiarity; “shall you stay long in Tangier?”  Having received an answer, he proceeded, “as you are an Englishman, you are doubtless fond of horses; know, therefore, whenever you are disposed for a ride, I will accompany you, and procure you horses.  My name is Ephraim Fragey: I am stable-boy to the Neapolitan consul, who prizes himself upon possessing the best horses in Tangier; you shall mount any you please.  Would you like to try this little aoud?”  I thanked him, but declined his offer for the present, asking him at the same time how he had acquired the French language, and why he, a Jew, did not appear in the dress of his brethren?  “I am in the service of a consul,” said he, “and my master obtained permission p. 370that I might dress myself in this manner; and as to speaking French, I have been to Marseilles and Naples, to which last place I conveyed horses, presents from the sultan.  Besides French, I can speak Italian.”  He then dismounted, and holding the horse firmly by the bridle with one hand, proceeded to undress himself, which having accomplished, he mounted the animal and rode into the water.  The skin of his body was much akin in colour to that of a frog or toad, but the frame was that of a young Titan.  The horse took to the water with great unwillingness, and at a small distance from the shore commenced struggling with his rider, whom he twice dashed from his back; the lad, however, clung to the bridle, and detained the animal.  All his efforts, however, being unavailing to ride him deeper in, he fell to washing him strenuously with his hands, then leading him out, he dressed himself and returned by the way he came.

“Good are the horses of the Moslems,” said my old friend; “where will you find such?  They will descend rocky mountains at full speed and neither trip nor fall; but you must be cautious with the horses of the Moslems, and treat them with kindness, for the horses of the Moslems are proud, and they like not being slaves.  When they are young and first mounted, jerk not their mouths with your bit, for be sure if you do they will kill you; sooner or later, you will perish beneath their feet.  Good are our horses, and good our riders, yea, very good are the Moslems at mounting the horse; who are like them?  I once saw a Frank rider compete with a Moslem on this beach, and at first the Frank rider had it all his own way, and he passed the Moslem, but the course was p. 371long, very long, and the horse of the Frank rider, which was a Frank also, panted; but the horse of the Moslem panted not, for he was a Moslem also, and the Moslem rider at last gave a cry and the horse sprang forward and he overtook the Frank horse, and then the Moslem rider stood up in his saddle.  How did he stand?  Truly he stood on his head, and these eyes saw him; he stood on his head in the saddle as he passed the Frank rider; and he cried ha! ha! as he passed the Frank rider; and the Moslem horse cried ha! ha! as he passed the Frank breed, and the Frank lost by a far distance.  Good are the Franks; good their horses; but better are the Moslems, and better are the horses of the Moslems.”

We now directed our steps towards the town, but not by the path we came: turning to the left under the hill of the mearrah, and along the strand, we soon came to a rudely-paved way with a steep ascent, which wound beneath the wall of the town to a gate, before which, on one side, were various little pits like graves, filled with water or lime.  “This is Dar-dwag,” said the mahasni; “this is the house of the bark, and to this house are brought the hides; all those which are prepared for use in Tangier are brought to this house, and here they are cured with lime, and bran, and bark, and herbs.  And in this Dar-dwag there are one hundred and forty pits; I have counted them myself; and there were more which have now ceased to be, for the place is very ancient.  And these pits are hired not by one, nor by two, but by many people, and whosoever list can rent one of these pits and cure the hides which he may need; but the owner of all is one man, and his name is Cado Ableque.  And now my sultan has p. 372seen the house of the bark, and I will show him nothing more this day; for to-day is Youm al Jumal, [372] and the gates will be presently shut whilst the Moslems perform their devotions.  So I will accompany my sultan to the guest house, and there I will leave him for the present.”

We accordingly passed through a gate, and ascending a street found ourselves before the mosque where I had stood in the morning; in another minute or two we were at the door of Joanna Correa.  I now offered my kind guide a piece of silver as a remuneration for his trouble, whereupon he drew himself up and said—

“The silver of my sultan I will not take, for I consider that I have done nothing to deserve it.  We have not yet visited all the wonderful things of this blessed town.  On a future day I will conduct my sultan to the castle of the governor, and to other places which my sultan will be glad to see; and when we have seen all we can, and my sultan is content with me, if at any time he see me in the soc of a morning, with my basket in my hand, and he see nothing in that basket, then is my sultan at liberty as a friend to put grapes in my basket, or bread in my basket, or fish or meat in my basket.  That will I not refuse of my sultan, when I shall have done more for him than I have now.  But the silver of my sultan will I not take now nor at any time.”  He then waved his hand gently, and departed.


Strange Trio—The Mulatto—The Peace-offering—Moors of Granada—Vive la Guadeloupe—The Moors—Pascual Fava—Blind Algerine—The Retreat.

Three men were seated in the wustuddur of Joanna Correa, when I entered; singular-looking men they all were, though perhaps three were never gathered together more unlike to each other in all points.  The first on whom I cast my eye was a man about sixty, dressed in a grey kerseymere coat with short lappets, yellow waistcoat, and wide coarse canvas trousers; upon his head was a very broad dirty straw hat, and in his hand he held a thick cane with ivory handle; his eyes were bleared and squinting, his face rubicund, and his nose much carbuncled.  Beside him sat a good-looking black, who perhaps appeared more negro than he really was, from the circumstance of his being dressed in spotless white jean—jerkin, waistcoat, and pantaloons being all of that material: his head gear consisted of a blue montero cap.  His eyes sparkled like diamonds, and there was an indescribable expression of good humour and fun upon his countenance.  The third man was a Mulatto, and by far the most remarkable personage of the group: he might be between thirty and forty; his body was very long, and, though uncouthly put together, p. 374exhibited every mark of strength and vigour; it was cased in a ferioul of red wool, a kind of garment which descends below the hips.  His long, muscular, and hairy arms were naked from the elbow, where the sleeves of the ferioul terminate; his under limbs were short in comparison with his body and arms; his legs were bare, but he wore blue kandrisa as far as the knee; every feature of his face was ugly, exceedingly and bitterly ugly, and one of his eyes was sightless, being covered with a white film.  By his side on the ground was a large barrel, seemingly a water-cask, which he occasionally seized with a finger and thumb, and waved over his head as if it had been a quart pot.  Such was the trio who now occupied the wustuddur of Joanna Correa: and I had scarcely time to remark what I have just recorded, when that good lady entered from a back court with her handmaid Johár, or the pearl, an ugly fat Jewish girl with an immense mole on her cheek.

Que Dios remate tu nombre,” exclaimed the Mulatto; “may Allah blot out your name, Joanna, and may he likewise blot out that of your maid Johár.  It is more than fifteen minutes that I have been seated here, after having poured out into the tinaja the water which I brought from the fountain, and during all that time I have waited in vain for one single word of civility from yourself or from Johár.  Usted no tiene modo, you have no manner with you, nor more has Johár.  This is the only house in Tangier where I am not received with fitting love and respect, and yet I have done more for you than for any other person.  Have I not filled your tinaja with water when other people have gone without a drop?  When even the consul and the p. 375interpreter of the consul had no water to slake their thirst, have you not had enough to wash your wustuddur?  And what is my return?  When I arrive in the heat of the day, I have not one kind word spoken to me, nor so much as a glass of makhiah offered to me; must I tell you all that I do for you, Joanna?  Truly I must, for you have no manner with you.  Do I not come every morning just at the third hour; and do I not knock at your door; and do you not arise and let me in, and then do I not knead your bread in your presence, whilst you lie in bed, and because I knead it is not yours the best bread in Tangier?  For am I not the strongest man in Tangier, and the most noble also?”  Here he brandished his barrel over his head, and his face looked almost demoniacal.  “Hear me, Joanna,” he continued, “you know that I am the strongest man in Tangier, and I tell you again for the thousandth time, that I am the most noble.  Who are the consuls?  Who is the Pasha?  They are Pashas and consuls now, but who were their fathers?  I know not, nor do they.  But do I not know who my fathers; were?  Were they not Moors of Garnata (Granada), [375] and is it not on that account that I am p. 376the strongest man in Tangier?  Yes, I am of the old Moors of Garnata, and my family has lived here, as is well known, since Garnata was lost to the Nazarenes, and now I am the only one of my family of the blood of the old Moors in all this land, and on that account I am of nobler blood than the sultan, for the sultan is not of the blood of the Moors of Garnata.  Do you laugh, Joanna?  Does your maid Johár laugh?  Am I not Hammin Widdir, el hombre mas valido de Tanger? [376a]  And is it not true that I am of the blood of the Moors of Garnata?  Deny it, and I will kill you both, you and your maid Johár.”

“You have been eating hsheesh and majoon, Hammin,” said Joanna Correa, “and the Shaitán has entered into you, as he but too frequently does.  I have been busy, and so has Johár, or we should have spoken to you before; however, ma ydoorshee, [376b] I know how to pacify you now and at all times; will you take some gin-bitters, or a glass of common makhiah?”

“May you burst, O Joanna,” said the Mulatto, “and may Johár also burst; I mean, may you both live many years, and know neither pain nor sorrow.  I will take the gin-bitters, O Joanna, because they are stronger than the makhiah, which always appears to me like water; and I like not water, though I p. 377carry it.  Many thanks to you, Joanna; here is health to you, Joanna, and to this good company.”

She had handed him a large tumbler filled to the brim; he put it to his nostrils, snuffed in the flavour, and then, applying it to his mouth, removed it not whilst one drop of the fluid remained.  His features gradually relaxed from their former angry expression, and looking particularly amiable at Joanna, he at last said—

“I hope that within a little time, O Joanna, you will be persuaded that I am the strongest man in Tangier, and that I am sprung from the blood of the Moors of Garnata, as then you will no longer refuse to take me for a husband, you and your maid Johár, and to become Moors.  What a glory to you, after having been married to a Genoui, and given birth to Genouillos, to receive for husband a Moor like me, and to bear him children of the blood of Garnata!  What a glory, too, for Johár!—how much better than to marry a vile Jew, even like Hayim Ben Attar, or your cook Sabia, both of whom I could strangle with two fingers, for am I not Hammin Widdir, Moro de Garnata, el hombre mas valido de Tanger?”  He then shouldered his barrel and departed.

“Is that Mulatto really what he pretends to be?” said I to Joanna; “is he a descendant of the Moors of Granada?”

“He always talks about the Moors of Granada, when he is mad with majoon or aguardiente,” interrupted, in bad French, the old man whom I have before described, and in the same croaking voice which I had heard chanting in the morning.  “Nevertheless it may be true, and if he had not heard something of the kind from his parents, he would p. 378never have imagined such a thing, for he is too stupid.  As I said before, it is by no means impossible: many of the families of Granada settled down here when their town was taken by the Christians, but the greater part went to Tunis.  When I was there, I lodged in the house of a Moor who called himself Zegri, [378] and was always talking of Granada and the things which his forefathers had done there.  He would moreover sit for hours singing romances of which I understood not one word, praised be the Mother of God, but which he said all related to his family: there were hundreds of that name in Tunis, therefore why should not this Hammin, this drunken water-carrier, be a Moor of Granada also?  He is ugly enough to be emperor of all the Moors.  Oh, the accursed canaille!  I have lived amongst them for my sins these eight years, at Oran and here.  Monsieur, do you not consider it to be a hard case for an old man like myself, who am a Christian, to live amongst a race who know not God, nor Christ, nor anything holy?”

“What do you mean?” said I, “by asserting that the Moors know not God?  There is no people in the world who entertain sublimer notions of the uncreated eternal God than the Moors, and no people have ever shown themselves more zealous for His honour and glory: their very zeal for the glory of God has been and is the chief obstacle to their becoming Christians.  They are afraid of compromising His dignity by supposing that He ever condescended to become man.  And with respect to Christ, their ideas even of Him are much more just than those of the Papists; they say He is a mighty prophet, whilst, according to the others, He is either p. 379a piece of bread, or a helpless infant.  In many points of religion the Moors are wrong, dreadfully wrong; but are the Papists less so?  And one of their practices sets them immeasurably below the Moors in the eyes of any unprejudiced person: they bow down to idols, Christian idols if you like, but idols still, things graven of wood, and stone, and brass; and from these things, which can neither hear, nor speak, nor feel, they ask and expect to obtain favours.”

Vive la France, Vive la Guadeloupe!” said the black, with a good French accent.  “In France and in Guadeloupe there is no superstition, and they pay as much regard to the Bible as to the Koran; I am now learning to read, in order that I may understand the writings of Voltaire, who, as I am told, has proved that both the one and the other were written with the sole intention of deceiving mankind.  O, vive la France! where will you find such an enlightened country as France; and where will you find such a plentiful country as France?  Only one in the world, and that is Guadeloupe.  Is it not so, Monsieur Pascual?  Were you ever at Marseilles?  Ah quel bon pays est celui-là pour les vivres, pour les petits poulets, pour les poulardes, pour les perdrix, pour les perdreaux, pour les alouettes, pour les bécasses, pour les bécassines, enfin, pour tout.”

“Pray, sir, are you a cook?” demanded I.

Monsieur, je le suis pour vous rendre service, mon nom c’est Gérard, et j’ai l’honneur d’être chef de cuisine chez monsieur le consul HollandoisA present je prie permission de vous saluer; il faut que j’aille à la maison pour faire le diner de mon maître.”

At four I went to dine with the British consul.  Two other English gentlemen were present, who p. 380had arrived at Tangier from Gibraltar about ten days previously for a short excursion, and were now detained longer than they wished by the Levant wind.  They had already visited the principal towns in Spain, and proposed spending the winter either at Cadiz or Seville.  One of them, Mr. ---, struck me as being one of the most remarkable men I had ever conversed with: he travelled not for diversion nor instigated by curiosity, but merely with the hope of doing spiritual good, chiefly by conversation.  The consul soon asked me what I thought of the Moors and their country.  I told him that what I had hitherto seen of both highly pleased me.  He said that were I to live amongst them ten years, as he had done, he believed I should entertain a very different opinion; that no people in the world were more false and cruel; that their government was one of the vilest description, with which it was next to an impossibility for any foreign power to hold amicable relations, as it invariably acted with bad faith, and set at nought the most solemn treaties.  That British property and interests were every day subjected to ruin and spoliation, and British subjects exposed to unheard-of vexations, without the slightest hope of redress being offered, save recourse was had to force, the only argument to which the Moors were accessible.  He added, that towards the end of the preceding year an atrocious murder had been perpetrated in Tangier: a Genoese family of three individuals had perished, all of whom were British subjects, and entitled to the protection of the British flag.  The murderers were known, and the principal one was even now in prison for the fact; yet all attempts to bring him to condign punishment had hitherto proved abortive, as he was a Moor, and his victims Christians.  p. 381Finally, he cautioned me not to take walks beyond the wall unaccompanied by a soldier, whom he offered to provide for me should I desire it, as otherwise I incurred great risk of being ill-treated by the Moors of the interior, whom I might meet, or perhaps murdered; and he instanced the case of a British officer who not long since had been murdered on the beach for no other reason than being a Nazarene, and appearing in a Nazarene dress.  He at length introduced the subject of the Gospel, and I was pleased to learn that, during his residence in Tangier, he had distributed a considerable quantity of Bibles amongst the natives in the Arabic language, and that many of the learned men, or talibs, had read the holy volume with great interest, and that by this distribution, which, it is true, was effected with much caution, no angry or unpleasant feeling had been excited.  He finally asked whether I had come with the intention of circulating the Scripture amongst the Moors.

I replied that I had no opportunity of doing so, as I had not one single copy either in the Arabic language or character.  That the few Testaments which were in my possession were in the Spanish language, and were intended for circulation amongst the Christians of Tangier, to whom they might be serviceable, as they all understood the language.

It was night, and I was seated in the wustuddur of Joanna Correa, in company with Pascual Fava, the Genoese.  The old man’s favourite subject of discourse appeared to be religion, and he professed unbounded love for the Saviour, and the deepest sense of gratitude for his miraculous atonement for the sins of mankind.  I should have listened to him with pleasure had he not smelt very strongly of liquor, p. 382and by certain incoherences of language and wildness of manner given indications of being in some degree the worse for it.  Suddenly two figures appeared beneath the doorway; one was that of a bareheaded and bare-legged Moorish boy of about ten years of age, dressed in a gelaba.  He guided by the hand an old man, whom I at once recognized as one of the Algerines, the good Moslems of whom the old mahasni had spoken in terms of praise in the morning whilst we ascended the street of the Siarrin.  He was very short of stature and dirty in his dress; the lower part of his face was covered with a stubbly white beard; before his eyes he wore a large pair of spectacles, from which he evidently received but little benefit, as he required the assistance of the guide at every step.  The two advanced a little way into the wustuddur, and there stopped.  Pascual Fava no sooner beheld them, than assuming a jovial air he started nimbly up, and leaning on his stick, for he had a bent leg, limped to a cupboard, out of which he took a bottle and poured out a glass of wine, singing in the broken kind of Spanish used by the Moors of the coast—

Moro fino,
No beber vino,
Ni comer tocino.” [382]

He then handed the wine to the old Moor, who drank it off, and then, led by the boy, made for the door without saying a word.

p. 383Hade mushe halal,” [383a] said I to him with a loud voice.

Cul shee halal,” [383b] said the old Moor, turning his sightless and spectacled eyes in the direction from which my voice reached him.  “Of everything which God has given, it is lawful for the children of God to partake.”

“Who is that old man?” said I to Pascual Fava, after the blind and the leader of the blind had departed.  “Who is he!” said Pascual; “who is he!  He is a merchant now, and keeps a shop in the Siarrin, but there was a time when no bloodier pirate sailed out of Algier.  That old blind wretch has cut more throats than he has hairs in his beard.  Before the French took the place he was the rais or captain of a frigate, and many was the poor Sardinian vessel which fell into his hands.  After that affair he fled to Tangier, and it is said that he brought with him a great part of the booty which he had amassed in former times.  Many other Algerines came hither also, or to Tetuan, but he is the strangest guest of them all.  He keeps occasionally very extraordinary company for a Moor, and is rather over-intimate with the Jews.  Well, that’s no business of mine; only let him look to himself.  If the Moors should once suspect him, it were all over with him.  Moors and Jews, Jews and Moors!  Oh my poor sins, my poor sins, that brought me to live amongst them!—

 “‘Ave maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper virgo,
Felix cœli porta!’” [383c]

p. 384He was proceeding in this manner when I was startled by the sound of a musket.

“That is the retreat,” said Pascual Fava.  “It is fired every night in the soc at half-past eight, and it is the signal for suspending all business, and shutting up.  I am now going to close the doors, and whosoever knocks, I shall not admit them till I know their voice.  Since the murder of the poor Genoese last year, we have all been particularly cautious.”

Thus had passed Friday, the sacred day of the Moslems, and the first which I had spent in Tangier.  I observed that the Moors followed their occupations as if the day had nothing particular in it.  Between twelve and one, the hour of prayer in the mosque, the gates of the town were closed, and no one permitted either to enter or go out.  There is a tradition current amongst them, that on this day, and at this hour, their eternal enemies, the Nazarenes, will arrive to take possession of their country; on which account they hold themselves prepared against a surprisal.


In the following pages a translation only has been given, as a rule, of the Romany words, but references have been added which will enable los del aficion to acquire fuller knowledge elsewhere.  It is only right to state that for any philological theories advanced in this part of the Glossary the late Mr. Burke is not responsible.—H. W. G.

List of Abbreviations.


Ascoli, Zigeunerisches. 1865.


Francisque-Michel, Le Pays Basque. 1857.


Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. 1888–1892.


Groome, In Gipsy Tents. 1880.


Hidalgo, Romances de Germanía. 1779.


Jimenez, Vocabulario del Dialecto Jitano. 1853.


Leland, The Gypsies.


Borrow, Romano Lavo-Lil. 1888.


Miklosich, Ueber die Mundarten und die Wanderungen der Zigeuner Europa’s. 1872–1880.


MacRitchie, The Gypsies of India. 1886.


Pott, Die Zigeuner in Europa und Asien. 1844–5.


Paspati, Etudes sur les Tchinghianés ou Bohémiens de l’Empire Ottoman. 1870.


De Rochas, Les Parias de France et d’Espagne. 1876.


Smith, Tent Life with English Gypsies in Norway. 1873.


Smart and Crofton, The Dialect of the English Gypsies.


Wlislocki, Die Sprache der transsilvanischen Zigeuner. 1884.


Borrow, The Zincali, 3rd edit. 1843.

AArab.  O!  A sidi, “O my lord!”

ÁSpan. and Port.  To.

AbajarSpan.  To descend.

AcánaRom.  Now.  P. ii. 124; A. 21; W. 70.

AduanaSpan.  The custom-house.  Fr. la douane, from Arab. p. 386diwán; either as a council or as an account-book.

AdunHebr.  Lord; Adon.

AficionSpan.  Affection.  Los del aficion, “those of the predilection,” persons addicted to the gypsies and their language.  Z. ii. 58.

AfrancesadoSpan.  Frenchified.

AgoaPort.  Water.  Span. agua.

AguadorSpan.  A water-carrier.

AguardienteSpan.  Agua ardiente, fire-water; coarse native spirit; Spanish brandy.

AlamedaSpan.  A public promenade in or near a town, planted with trees.  Lit. a place of poplars, from Span. álamo, a poplar.

AlcahueteSpan.  A spy; a pimp.  Arab. al ḳawwād.

AlcaláSpan.  The fort.  Arab, al-ḳal‘ah.

AlcaldeSpan.  The mayor or chief magistrate of a town or village.  Arab. al ḳádi, the judge.

Alcalde mayor.  The chief magistrate of a district.

AlcaydeSpan.  A governor of a castle or fortress.  Arab. al ḳáid, the general.  In more modern parlance, the governor of a prison, a jailer.

AlcazarSpan.  A castle; palace; a fortress.  Arab. al ḳaṣr.

AlcornoqueSpan.  The cork tree, Quercus suber.

AldeaSpan. and Port.  A village.

AlecrimPort.  Rosemary.  A word said to be of Arabic origin, perhaps al karím, a precious thing.  The Spanish romero, or pilgrim flower (see note, i. 47).  The English word is said to be derived from ros marinus, dew of the sea.

AlemPort.  Beyond.  Alemtejo, the district beyond the Tagus.

AlfandegaPort.  Custom-house.  The Arab. funduḳ, a large house.

Alforjas, lasSpan.  Saddle-bags.  Arab. al khurj.

AlgibeSpan.  A vaulted subterranean cistern for storing water.  Arab. jubb, a reservoir.

Alguacil or AlguazilSpan.  A constable, or peace-officer.  Arab. al wazir, the vizier, governor, deputy, or minister.

AlhajaSpan.  Any precious article, a jewel.  Probably from the Arab, al-hadja.

Alhama.  Stated by Borrow (i. 394) to be a Moorish word, meaning “warm baths.”  Apparently the Arab, al ḥammām.

AlkheirArab.  Of good.

AlmaSpan. and Port.  Soul.

p. 387AlmocrevesPort.  Muleteers or carriers.  A word of Arabic origin, al mukāri, like the Spanish arriero.

AlquiladorSpan. and Port.  A letter on hire of anything, especially of horses.  Alquilar, in Spanish, signifies to give or lend on hire.  Alquiler, to take or borrow for reward.  The converse, inquiler.

AltoSpan. and Port.  High.

AmigaSpan. and Port.  A mistress, or concubine.  Lit. a female friend.

AmigoSpan. and Port.  A friend.

Anciña AnciñacoBasque.  The ancient of the ancient.

AndalouRom.  An Andalusian.

AndréRom.  In.  P. ii. 56.

Anise-brandyEng.  A cordial, something like the French anisette.  The anise (Pimpinella anisum) is largely cultivated in Spain, where it is known as anis.  The seed is dried and exported, the aniseed of the English cake-makers.

AoudArab.  According to Borrow, a stallion.  It is the Moorish ‘aud = horse.

AquelSpan.  That.

ArcoSpan. and Port.  A bow, an arch.

Ardoa.  Guipuzcoan and Biscayan for arno, arnoa, wine, the final a being the definite article.

ArgelinoSpan.  A native of Algiers.

ArmadaSpan. and Port.  A fleet, or navy.

AromáliRom.  Truly.  Arromales = caramba.  J.

ArrieroSpan.  Muleteer; one who cries arrhé or harré, Arabic “Gee up!”  The older form of Harriero, given in the Dictionary of the Spanish Academy, more clearly preserves this etymology.

ArrobaSpan. and Port.  A weight equal to about 25 lbs.  English.  Arab, ar ruba‘, a quarter.

ArroyoSpan.  A brook, stream.

ArtesanoSpan.  Artisan, workman.

AshorHebr.  Jewish feast of the tenth (day), ‘āsor.  It is really the Arabic ‘ashūrā.

AtajoSpan.  A short cut, material or moral; an expedient of any kind.  Lit. a tying; atar, to tie.

AtalayaSpan.  A watch-tower.  Port. atalaia.  A word of Arabic origin; aṭ-ṭalí‘ah, a view.

AttarArab.  Essence.  More correctly, ‘aṭar.  Frequently in combination.  The Eng. otto.

AuslandraMilan.  The meaning of this word is given by Borrow himself as “to roam about in a dissipated manner.”  It is p. 388obviously the Germ. Ausland, “a foreign country,” made into an Italian verb.  On the authority of the native of Como, whom Borrow met at Cerrig y Drudion, it was considered a vulgar word, even in the gergo of the Milanese, and that it is so may be proved by a reference to Cherubini, Vocabolario Milanese-Italiano, s.v. Slándra, Slandrà.

Auto da féPort.  Span. auto de fé.  Execution of persons condemned by the Inquisition.

AvellanaSpan.  A filbert.

AyanaArab.  According to Borrow, a locust.  It is not an ordinary Arabic word, possibly of some North African dialect.

AzabacheSpan.  Jet.  The Arab, as-sabaj.

AzabacheriaSpan.  Jet-market.

AzinheiraPort.  The holm-oak.

AzumbreSpan.  A measure for liquids, the eighth of an arroba, equal to about half a gallon.  From the Arab. ath-thumn = the eighth.


BabArab.  Gate.  Bab del Faz, gate of Fez.

BacalhãoPort.  (In Span. Bacallao or Abadejo).  Salt cod, commonly imported from the Newfoundland coast.

BaharArab.  Sea.

Bahi or BajiRom.  Fortune.  Penar baji, decir la buena ventura, to tell fortunes.  According to Borrow, the Sanscrit and Persian baḥkt.

Bakh, BokRom.  Luck.  Kosko bakh, “Good luck to you!”  P. ii. 398; A. 47; M. vii. 14.

BaladArab.  Land.  Also beled.

BalichóRom.  A hog.  P. ii. 420; A. 54; M. vii. 15.

BarAram.  Son.

BarRom.  A stone.  P. ii. 409; M. vii. 16.

Bar LachíRom.  The loadstone; a gypsy charm or talisman.  Lit. “the good stone.”  See Lachó.

BariaRom.  Used by Borrow in ch. x., and given in Z. ii. 147, as Germanía, or thieves’ slang, for a gold onza (q.v.).  Cf. varia = weight.  A. 12.  It is also the plural of bar, used by English gypsies for a sovereign.  The correct Gitano for onza is jara.

Baribú, Baributre, BaribustreRom.  Plenty, much.  P. ii. 400; M. vii. 17.

BaroRom.  Great.  Len Baro = the great river, the Guadalquivir.  Hokkano Baro = the great trick.  See Hok.  P. ii. 411; A. 59; M. vii. 17.

p. 389BarraArab.  Outside; out of the town.  See Soc.

BarraganeriaSpan.  Concubinage.  See note, i. 157.

Barranco, BarrancaSpan.  A fissure in a hill, a deep cleft, made by the action of water; a precipice.

BarreteSpan.  A helmet, cap.

BarrioSpan.  One of the quarters or districts into which a large town is divided.  Fr. quartier.

Batu, BatoRom.  Father.  Perhaps from the Russ. batuschca, q.v.  In thieves’ slang, a prison governor or jailer.  P. ii. 430; F. 145; G. i. 61; J.

Batuschca, BatushkaRuss.  Little father.  A term of endearment or familiar address, something like the Span. tio, uncle.

BeberSpan. and Port.  To drink.

BecoreshHebr.  I.e. Epikores = Epicurus, selected by Jewish writers as a type of insolent atheism.

BedeyaArab.  An open waistcoat.  More correctly, bad‘iyya.

BeladHebr.  In the power of.

BeledArab.  Country.  Also balad.

BellotaSpan.  An acorn.  The Portuguese bolota; Arab, balūt.

Ben, plur. BeniHebr. and Arab.  Son.

BenditoSpan. and Port.  Blessed, praised.

Beng, Bengue, BenguiRom.  The devil; also any demon, or evil spirit.  P. ii. 407; M. vii. 19.  As to the meaning, frog or toad, see G. i. 118.

BerakaHebr.  A blessing.

Besti, BestisRom.  A seat, chair, or saddle.  P. ii. 428; M. vii. 20.  Borrow, however, seems to use it as a slang form of the following.

BestiaSpan.  An animal.  “You brute!”

BirdocheRom.  Used by Borrow in ch. ix. for a stage-coach or galera, q.v.  It is probably connected with bedo, berdo, a cart.  Z. ii. * 17.  Eng. Rom. vardo.  See P. ii. 80; A. 68; M. viii. 96.

BocaSpan. and Port.  Mouth.

Boda, BodasSpan. and Port.  Marriage, a wedding.

Bogamante, BogavanteSpan.  The slang name for a large lobster; orig. the stroke-oar of a galley; bogar = to row, avante = in front.

BohémienFr.  A gypsy.

BolotaPort.  (Span. Bellota.)  An acorn.

BolsaSpan. and Port.  (1) A purse.  (2) The Exchange.

p. 390BombardóRom.  A lion.  Used also of the gulf usually called the Gulf of Lyons, but in French La Golfe du Lion, or “Gulf of the Lion,” from its stormy water.  Lyons on the Rhone may have given the English, but certainly not the French, name to the bay.  P. ii. 432.

BonanzaSpan.  Fair weather.  See note, ii. 273.

BonitoSpan. and Port.  Pretty.

BorrachoSpan. and Port.  A drunkard.  Borracha is a wine-skin, or leathern bottle.  Hence Shakespeare’s Borachio.

BorricoSpan.  Dimin. of Burro, an ass.

BotaSpan.  A leather wine-bottle or bag; usually made of the skin of a pig for storing purposes, of goatskin for travelling.  A glass bottle is called frasco or botella.

BraseroSpan.  Brazier; brass or copper pan to hold live coals.

Bretima, Bretema, BretomaGal.  A low-lying mist or fog.  When thick and damp it is called—also in Galician—mexona.

Bribon, BribonazoSpan.  A vagrant, vagabond, or impostor.  The termination in bribonazo does not express action, as in such words as calmazo, q.v., but augmentation.

BriboneriaSpan.  Knavery, rascality.

BroaPort. and Gal.  BaronaSpan. and Gal.  BronaGal.  A bread made of a mixture of maize (2 parts), rye (4), millet (1), and panic-grass (1).

BrotoboroRom.  First.  Grk. πρῶτος.  Brotorbo, J.

Brujo or BruxoSpan., Port., and Gal.  A sorcerer, or wizard.

BuckraArab.  Bikr, a virgin; used (ii. 357) for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

BuenoSpan.  Good.  Buenas noches, “good night.”

BufaRom.  A manger, crib.  P. ii. 433.

Bul, BullátiRom.  The anus.  P. ii. 422.

BurraSpan. and Port.  Jackass; she-ass.

BusnóRom.  A man who is not a gypsy, a Gentile.  P. ii. 434; Pp. 172; M. vii. 26.


CaSpan.  An abbreviated form of Carajo, q.v.

CabalgaduraSpan.  A sumpter horse or mule; beast of burden.

Caballejo, or CaballueloSpan.  Pony.

CaballeriaSpan.  Is used either of a single horse, mule, or ass used for riding, as the Fr. monture, or for a number of such beasts together.  The word p. 391in the plural also signifies chivalry or knighthood.

CaballeroSpan.  Lit. a cavalier, but constantly used either as a mode of polite address, “Sir,” or in speaking of a gentleman, whether mounted or on foot.

CabañaSpan.  (1) A shepherd’s hut or cabin.  (2) A flock, or assemblage of flocks, of sheep, under the charge of a mayoral, driven to and from the wild pasture lands of Estremadura.  See note, i. 146.

CacharroSpan.  A coarse earthen pan or pot.

CachasRom.  Shears, scissors.  Z. i. 244; P. ii. 99; cachais, R. 295.

CachimaniRom.  A wine-shop, or tavern.  Cachiman, J.  See P. ii. 117; M. i. 19.

CaesPort.  A wharf.

Cafila, rather ḲāfilahArab.  A caravan.

CalabozoSpan.  Dungeon or underground cell.  Calabozero, the keeper thereof; turnkey.

CalashEng.  A two-wheeled carriage with a hood; a buggy.  Span. calesa; Port. caleça; Fr. calèche.

CaldasSpan. and Port.  Warm Baths.  Used most frequently in combination as a place name; e.g. Caldas de Reyes, called by Borrow (i. 394) Caldas de los Reyes, in Galicia.

CalésRom.  Plur. of Caló, Caloró.  A gypsy; lit. a black and dark man.  See Caló.

CaleseroSpan.  (1) The driver of a calesa.  (2) The driver of any carriage or cart.

CallarSpan.  To be silent.  Calla boca, “Hold your tongue!”

Callardó, GallardóRom.  A black man, mulatto.  See Caló.

CalleSpan.  A street.

Callee, CallíRom.  Fem. of Caló, q.v.

CallicasteRom.  (1) Yesterday.  (2) Tomorrow.  So in English Rom. cóllico, káliko.  P. ii. 107; LL. 7.

CalmazoSpan.  A calm at sea.  Lit. an “attack” or “stroke” of calm, such being the force of the termination azo; as puñal, a poignard; puñalazo, the blow of a poignard.

Caló, CaloróRom.  One of the kalo rat, or black blood; a gypsy.  P. ii. 106; A. 44; M. vii. 71; G. i. 178.

CamareraSpan.  A lady’s maid, chambermaid.

CampiñaSpan.  The open country, the fields.  Dimin. of Campo.

CampoSpan. and Port.  The country.  In the mouths of English-speaking Argentines it has become “the camp,” conveying no idea whatever of the Anglo-Indian p. 392“camp,” or “marching” with tents, or “camping out.”

Campo SantoSpan., Port., and Ital.  A churchyard, cemetery.

Canallis.  See Jara Canallis.

Candory, plur.  CandoréRom.  Christian.  P. ii. 125; McR. 46.

CanónigoSpan.  A canon or prebendary of a cathedral.

CapatazSpan. and Port.  Not capitaz.  A head man; overseer; ganger; steward on a farm.  From Lat. caput.

CapillaSpan.  A chapel.

CapitularSpan.  Belonging to the chapter.  Sala capitular, chapter-house.

CarajoSpan.  “The great oath of Spain, which ought never to be written or pronounced in full, practically forms the foundation of the language of the lower orders; it is a most ancient remnant of the phallic abjuration of the evil eye, the dreaded fascination which still perplexes the minds of Orientals, and is not banished from Spanish and Neapolitan superstitions.  The word terminates in ajo, on which stress is laid; the j is pronounced with a most Arabic guttural aspiration.  The word ajo means also garlic, which is quite as often in Spanish mouths, and is exactly what Hotspur liked—a ‘mouth-filling oath,’ energetic and Michael Angelesque.”—Ford’s Spain, Introd. p. 35.  For “the evil eye,” see; Z. i. 138.

Carals.  Catalan for Carajo, q.v.

CarambaSpan.  A polite modification of the grosser Carajo, q.v.

CarboneroSpan.  A charcoal-burner; also a collier.

CarcelSpan.  A prison.

Carcelero, CarceleraSpan.  A male or female jailer; or the latter may be merely the wife of a jailer.

Carlino, CarlistaSpan.  A partisan of Don Carlos.

CarloRom.  Heart.  P. ii. 125.  It also means “throat,” the only meaning in English Rom.  P. ii. 96; A. 66; Pp. 299; SC. 91.

CarrachoGal.  A tick, or small parasite found on dogs and cattle.  Carracha is a somewhat similar pest of the human body.  The word, which is not Spanish, is used by Borrow as an expletive, instead of the coarser Carajo, q.v.

CarrascalSpan. and Port.  A plantation or grove of the following.

CarrascoSpan. and Port.  The ilex, or evergreen oak.

CarretaSpan. and Port.  A long and narrow cart.

p. 393CarreteraSpan.  A high-road.  Fr. voie carrossable.

CarronadeO. Eng.  A short cannon of large bore, usually carried on board ship.  The word has nothing to do with cannon, but is derived from the Scotch town of Carron, in Stirlingshire, where these pieces were first made in 1779.  They were not used after 1852, and the name is obsolete.

CartaSpan. and Port.  A letter.

CasaSpan. and Port.  House.

CaspitaSpan.  “Wonderful!”  Milder than Caramba, q.v.

CastellanoSpan.  A Castilian.  Hablar Castellano, to talk Spanish.

CastumbaRom.  Castile.

CavalgaduraGal.  See Cabalgadura.

CavalheiroPort.  See Caballero.

CéadIrish.  A hundred.

CerradaSpan. and Port.  Closed, concealed, dark.

CerroSpan. and Port.  A hill, hillock.

ChabíRom.  A girl.  See Chabó.

Chabó, Chabé, ChaboróRom.  A boy, youth, fellow.  P. ii. 181; A. 51; Pp. 528; M. vii. 30; McR. 100.  Possibly the origin of the English slang, “chap.”

ChachipéRom.  The truth.  P. i. 138; ii. 178; A. 29; Pp. 523; M. vii. 27.

ChaiRom.  Irreg. plur. of Chabó, q.v.  Chaps; used commonly for gypsies.

ChalRom.  A lad, boy, fellow; possibly the same as chiel, childe.  Rómano-chal, a gypsy.  McR. 98.

Chali del BaharArab.  Bahar is “the sea” in Arabic; shát is “the shore.”  Chali is possibly a misprint for this.

ChalanSpan.  A jockey or horse-dealer.

Chardí, ChátiRom.  A fair.  I cannot find this word except in Borrow (Z. ii. * 36), though J. gives chandí.  Borrow derives it from Hind, chhetr = field.  If so it is perhaps connected with char, chor = grass.  P. ii. 198; Pp. 529; M. vii. 29.  Can it be the Persian chatrí—canopy, tent?

Charipé, CheripenRom.  Bed, or bedstead.  Hind. charpoy = that which has four feet or legs.  Borrow (Z. ii.* 37) wrongly suggests the Grk. κρεββάτι, though giving, as elsewhere (LL. 100), the right derivation.  P. ii. 203; M. vii. 32.

ChegarPort.  To arrive, land.

Chenourain.  Synagogues.  From shanūra, an Algerian or low Arabic word.

Chi, ChichíRom.  Nothing.  P. ii. 176; M. vii. 31.

p. 394ChibadoRom.  Put into.  From chibar, a word used in many senses.  P. ii. 184.

ChicaSpan.  Little girl.  Properly the fem. of the adj. chico, which is also used commonly for a boy, especially as a mode of address, or to call attention, , chico!

ChicotitoSpan.  Dimin. of chico.  A little fellow, dwarf.

ChimRom.  Kingdom, country.  P. ii. 295; M. viii. 82; Z. ii. * 38; and J.

ChindomarRom.  A butcher.  From chinar = to cut.  P. ii. 208; Pp. 538; M. vii. 33.

ChinelRom.  A man of official position or rank.  Especially an alguacil.  Russ. chin, rank.  P. ii. 204.

ChinobaróRom.  A head official.  Compounded of Chin and Baro, q.v.

ChipeRom.  Tongue, speech.  P. ii. 216; M. vii. 31; SC. 64.

Chiria.  Borrow gives this as Sanscrit for “bird,” but I cannot find his authority.  The Rom. word is cziriklo, chiriclo.  See P. ii. 199.

ChorRom.  Subs. a thief; verb, to steal.  P. ii. 200; A. 46; Pp. 545–6; M. vii. 36.

ChozaSpan.  A hut or small cottage.  According to Dozy and Engelmann it is the Arab. khas.

Chulí, plur. ChuléRom.  A dollar.  Span. peso fuerte.  Borrow uses the word in his gypsy St. Luke, xv. 8, etc.  P. ii. 205, has “Chuli = Groschen,” and suggests a connexion with tchulo = thick.  It is tempting to compare the English slang “a thick ’un” = a sovereign.

Chulí, ChuríRom.  A knife.  Hind. churi.  P. ii. 210; Pp. 550; M. vii. 39.  The form with L is only found in Spanish.  Pott suggests that it is a corruption of cuchillo.  In Z. ii. 148 it is given as Germanía, or thieves’ slang, and is probably their alteration of the correct churí.

ChuquelRom.  A dog.  P. ii. 213; A. 64; Pp. 553; M. vii. 51; Z. ii. * 132.

CierraSpan.  “Close!”  The war-cry of the Castilian chivalry; more fully, Santiago! y cierra España!

CiertoSpan.  Sure, certain.

CiervoSpan.  A stag.

CocalRom.  A bone.  P. ii. 92; A. 52; Pp. 289; M. vii. 85.

Coisa, CousaPort.  A thing.

ColegioSpan.  A college.

ComerSpan. and Port.  To eat.

ComitivaSpan. and Port.  Suite, following, company.

p. 395CommercioPort.  Commerce.  Span. comercio.

CompanheiroPort.  Companion, comrade.

ComprarSpan. and Port.  To buy.

ComuneroSpan.  A member or partisan of the Communities of Castile.  See Burke’s Hist. of Spain, ii. 316.

ConSpan.  With.

ConciudadanoSpan.  A fellow-citizen.

CondeSpan. and Port.  A count, or earl.  Lat. comes.  A title at one time greater than that of duke in Spain.  See Burke’s Hist. of Spain, i. 148.

CondenadoSpan.  Condemned, damned.

ConquistarSpan. and Port.  To conquer.

ConstitucionSpan.  Constitution; the constitution of 1812.

ContrabandistaSpan and Port.  A smuggler.

ConversacionSpan.  Conversation.  As an interjection, “Folly! rubbish!”

CopitaSpan.  A wine-glass, or small drinking-cup; dimin. of copa.

CoplaSpan. and Port.  A couplet, or a few lines of poetry.  The original Spanish of the lines quoted ii. 62 is as follows—

“Un manco escribió una carta;
Un siego [395] la está mirando;
Un mudo la está leyendo;
Y un sordo la está escuchando.”

(Rodriguez Marin, Cantos Populares Españoles, tom. iv. p. 364, No. 7434.)

Corahai or CorajaiRom.  The Moors of Northern Africa.  P. ii. 127; A. 27; Pp. 320; M. vii. 64.

Corahanó, fem. CorahaníRom.  A Moor.  See Corahai.

CorcheteSpan. and Port.  A catchpoll.  Lit. a clasp; corchetes are “hooks and eyes.”

CorçoGal.  A stag, or deer.

CordovesSpan.   Of or belonging to Cordova.

CorregidorSpan.  A municipal magistrate.  Orig. a co-regidor, or joint administrator of the law; not, as Midshipman Easy and the Boatswain decided, a corrector, though the word also has that signification in Spanish.  As regards the magistrate, the second r is superfluous and etymologically deceptive.

CorridaSpan. and Port.  A racecourse; bull-fight.

Cortamanga.  The word is not given in any dictionary that I have consulted.  Borrow evidently alludes to a vulgar and obscene gesture, usually called un corte de mangas.  It is made by bringing down the right hand on the left forearm, and raising the left forearm, p. 396with the middle finger of the left hand raised and the other fingers bent.  It is not under corte or manga either in Covarrubia or the 1730 edit. of the Dic. Acad. Esp., or more recent ones, probably on account of its indecent signification.  I have never seen it written.  The finger part of the business is of course as old as the Romans, and survives still in Italy.

CorteSpan. and Port.  The king’s court; more particularly the city where the court resides—thus the capital.  Applied colloquially and in commercial correspondence to Madrid, Lisbon, Rio Janeiro, etc.

CortejoSpan. and Port.  A lover.  Orig. courtesy or homage.  Cortejar = to do homage to.

CortesSpan. and Port.  The estates of the realm, parliament.

CortijoSpan.  Farmhouse.

CosasSpan.  Things.  “Cosas de España,” “Cosas de Inglaterra,” “Cosas de los Ingleses.”  Colloquially equivalent to our, “How Spanish!” “Quite English!”

CrallisRom.  King.  The Slavonian kral.  P. ii. 123; Pp. 296; M. vii. 87.

CreerSpan.  To believe.  Yo lo creo, “I believe you, my boy!”  “You bet!”

CriaSpan. and Port.  A brood.

CriscoteRom.  A book.  See Gabicote.

CristianoSpan.  Christian.  Used in Spain for the Spanish language.

CristinoSpan.  A partisan of Queen Christina.

CruzSpan. and Port.  A cross; also the withers of a horse or mule.

CruzadoSpan. and Port.  A coin worth about six shillings.  See Burke’s Hist. of Spain, ii. 286.

CuadrillaSpan.  A band.

CuartoSpan.  A copper coin of the value of four maravedis, or about one English farthing.  Lit. the fourth part of anything.

CuentaSpan.  Bill, reckoning.

CuestaSpan.  A hill, or mount.

CuidadoSpan. and Port.  Care, anxiety.  The Andalusians and Gitanos say cuidao.

CulArab.  Every, all.

CuraSpan. and Port.  Parish priest.  Fr. curé; not a “curate.”  The writer usually known as El Cura de Fruime (i. 401) was D. Diego Antonio Zernadas de Castro, born at Santiago in 1698.  He wrote various works in verse and prose, a complete edition of which, in seven volumes, was published by Ibarra (Madrid, 1778–81), and was followed by another, in three volumes, p. 397in 1783–9–90.  A biography of the author, by D. Fernando Fulgosio, appeared in the Revista de España, tomos 27, 28 (1872).  There was another Cura de Fruime, D. Antonio Francisco de Castro, who was also a poet, and who died in 1836.

CurelarRom.  To do business.  P. ii. 111; Pp. 281; M. vii. 88.

CurelóRom.  Trouble, pain.  P. ii. 115.  See Curelar.

CuriosoSpan. and Port.  Inquiring, curious.


DadasSpan. and Port.  Given.  From dar.

DaiRom.  Mother.  P. ii. 309; Pp. 194; M. vii. 40.

DaoudArab.  Light.  Arab. ḍauDaoud Scharr = ḍau ash-sharr, light of mischief.

DarArab.  A house; often found in composition as Dar-sinah, Dar ṣināah (ii. 367), the house of the arts, or handicrafts; Dar-dwag, Dar dabbagh (ii. 371), the house of the bark, or tannery.

DehesaSpan.  Pasture; applied more particularly to large open tracts of country where the cattle can roam at large.

DemonioSpan. and Port.  Demon, devil.

DenhoGal.  The devil; used familiarly, “the deuce.”

DesembarcarSpan. and Port.  To disembark.

DesesperadoSpan. and Port.  Desperate; a desperado.

DeshonestoSpan. and Port.  Not “dishonest,” but “immodest, lascivious.”

DespachoSpan.  An office; a depôt.  Used also of certain shops, such as the bakers, tobacco-sellers, and others.

DespobladoSpan.  Desert, or waste lands.  Lit. depopulated; the true history is seen in the etymology.  The word is applied to uncultivated desert, or uninhabited parts of the country, grazed for the most part by half wild sheep or cattle.

DespuesSpan.  Afterwards.  Hasta despues, “Au revoir.”

DetrasSpan.  Behind.  See Tirar.

DiestroSpan.  Skilful, dexterous; as a substantive, a performer at a bull-feast, also a fencer.

DiosSpan.  God.

DisparateSpan. and Port.  A blunder, or extravagance.  As an interjection, “Stuff and nonsense!”

Djmah.  The name of a tower in Tangier.  Apparently the Arab. Jami’ = mosque.

DoiroPort.  Of gold, de oiro or ouro.

p. 398Don, DoñaSpan.  Dom, DonaPort.  Lord; lady.

DonostianBasque.  San Sebastian.

DorsoSpan. and Port.  The back.

DostaRom.  Enough!  Span. basta!  P. ii. 308; M. vii. 45.

DoubloonEng.  A gold coin.  Span. doblon.  See Burke’s Hist. of Spain, ii. 284.

DraoRom.  Poison.  P. ii. 316; Pp. 215; M. vii. 45.

DromálisRom.  Carriers, muleteers, men of the road.  P. ii. 319.  See Drun.

Drun, DromRom.  A road.  Grk. δρόμος.  P. ii. 318; Pp. 215; M. vii. 46.

Drungruje, better Drongrugi or DrunjiRom.  The king’s highway; also a bridle-path.  See Drun.

DuendeSpan. and Port.  A ghost, or hobgoblin.  In Germanía, or thieves’ slang = the watch, patrol.

DuffelO. Eng.  A coarse woollen cloth, said to have been first made at Duffel, near Amsterdam.

Durotunó.  A shepherd.  Probably connected with dur = far, P. ii. 317; M. vii. 48.  It is worth noticing that we find Gorotuné = a native of Estremadura, which looks like a pun, P. i. 54, so too J., who has also oroturné = a mountaineer, which suits the idea.

Dwag.  See Dar.


E, Es.  Rom.  Genitive, sing. and plur., of the article O.

E.  Port.  And.

Eidri.  See Shillam.

Ellegren.  Stated by Borrow to be a Scand. word, meaning “elfin plant,” but the dictionaries do not give it.  Elle, however, in composition = fairy, in Danish; and gren = bough, in Danish, Norse, and Swedish.

EmbéoRom.  A book.  P. ii. 62.

EmbusteroSpan.  Impostor, cheat, schemer; from embuste, a deceit, false or fraudulent scheme, snare.

EncinaSpan.  An oak.

EndemoniadoSpan.  Possessed by the devil.

EngancharSpan.  To enlist as a soldier.  Prim. to hook; gancho, a hook.

EnsayoSpan.  An essay, attempt.

EntenderSpan.  To understand.

EnteroSpan.  An entire horse, or stallion.  As an adjective, entire, perfect, complete.

ErrateRom.  A respectful appellation of the gypsy race, used by them of their own race.  From Rom. rat, blood; the p. 399people of the same blood; our blood relations.  P. ii. 272; Pp. 457; M. viii. 56.

ErrayRom.  Gentleman.  More commonly, rai; in Eng. Rom., rye.  P. ii. 264; Pp. 453; M. viii. 54.

ErreguiñaBasque.  Queen.  Borrow is mistaken in connecting this word with Sanscrit.  It is simply the Lat. regina.

EruditoSpan. and Port.  Learned.

EscapadoSpan. and Port.  Escaped, a runaway.

EsclivitudSpan.  Slavery.

EscocésSpan.  Scotch.

EscondidoSpan. and Port.  Adj. hidden.

EscopetaSpan. and Port.  A gun.

EscribanoSpan.  A notary, or his clerk.  Lit. a writer.

EscucharSpan.  To listen.  Escuchad!  “Listen!”

EscuelaSpan.  A school.

EsoSpan.  That.  Que es eso?  “What’s that?”

EspañaSpan.  Spain.  See i. 341.

Español.  Spanish.

Espinal, EspinarSpan.  A thorny thicket; place of thorns.

EspingardaSpan. and Port.  A musket.

EspinheiroPort.  A thorn-tree.

EstadeaPort.  EstadaiñaGal.  Dimin. Estadinha.  (1) A skeleton, or death’s-head; a nocturnal procession of the spirits of the dead.  (2) A witches’ “sabbath;” for which last the Galician compaña is also used.

EstalagemPort.  An inn.

EstarSpan. and Port.  To be.

EstaripelRom.  A prison.  P. ii. 246; Pp. 146.  SC. 141.

EstrangeroSpan.  Strange, foreign.

EstremouRom.  EstremeñoSpan.  An inhabitant of the province of Estremadura.

Euscarra.  Basque.  Used by Borrow (ch. xxxvii.) for the Basque name of their own tongue; more commonly, Escualdun, Escualdunac; a word in any case of very uncertain origin.  See Burke’s Hist. of Spain, vol. i. App. I., The Basques.

ExemploSpan. and Port.  Example, pattern.  Por exemplo, for instance.

ExtenderseSpan.  To extend, stretch.


FabricaSpan. and Port.  Manufactory.

FacciosoSpan.  As an adjective, factious; more often used by Borrow as a substantive, with the special signification, in the p. 400years 1830–1840, of a disaffected or factious person; a rebel; a Carlist.

FáilteIrish.  Welcomes.

Faja, FaxaSpan. and Port.  A thick waist-band, usually of silk, often red, and a characteristic portion of the dress of a great majority of Spaniards.  The Indian kamarband.  From the Lat. fascia, a girth, or band.

FangoSpan.  Mire, mud.

FarolSpan. and Port.  Strictly speaking, a lantern; used by Borrow for Faro, a lighthouse.  They are, of course, equally the ancient Grk. φάρος.

FatoPort.  A herd; a multitude.  Span. hato.

Felouk, FeloqueEng.  A boat, felucca.  Arab. faluka, falak = ship.

FerioulArab.  A sort of shawl thrown over the shoulders.  Arab. farwāl.

FidalgoPort.  A gentleman.  The Spanish hidalgo = filius alicujus, the son of some one.

FilimichaRom.  The gallows.  Found in Borrow, and J.; Pott, ii. 394, simply quotes it from the former.

FinoSpan. and Port.  Fine, excellent, sharp.

FondaSpan.  Hotel.  According to Diez, from Latin funda, a sling, or a purse, which has also given the French bourse and Spanish bolsa, an assembly of paying persons.  See Posada.

ForaPort. and Gal.  Outside, without.

Foro, ForosRom.  City, or town.  P. ii. 393; Pp. 234; M. vii. 53.

FortePort.  Strong.

FregonaSpan.  A scullery maid.

FrioleraSpan.  A trifle.  Lat. futilitas.

FuenteSpan.  A fount, spring.

FueronSpan.  They were.  From ser.

FuerosSpan.  Local privileges.

FuncionSpan.  A solemnity; festival; public assemblage of people to do or see some important act.  In military language, an action; then colloquially, “a row.”  The barbarous English adaptation, function, is convenient, and is rapidly gaining ground.


GabardineO. Eng.  A long coat, or cloak, usually applied to the distinctive dress worn by the Jews under compulsion.  Said to be from the Spanish and Old French gaban, a great coarse cloak with a hood, a word itself supposed to be connected with capa.

GabicoteRom.  Book.  Borrow seems the only authority for this word.  J. has gascote.  P. ii. 145.

p. 401GabinéRom.  A Frenchman.  P. i. 54, ii. 145.

GachaplaRom.  A couplet, in poetry.  Span. copla.  P. ii. 41.

GachóRom.  Any one who is not a gypsy; the same as Rom. busnó.  P. ii. 129; Pp. 235; M. vii. 53; McR. 93.

GaleraSpan.  A long cart without springs; the sides are lined with matting, while beneath hangs a loose open net, as under the calesinas of Naples, in which lies and barks a horrid dog, who keeps a cerberus watch over iron pots and sieves, and suchlike gypsy utensils, and who is never to be conciliated.—Ford’s Spain, Introd. p. 37.

GallegoSpan. and Port.  Galician; usually Anglicized by Borrow as Gallegan.  The Roman Gallaeci or Callaeci.

GallineriaSpan.  A hen-coop; a place for keeping gallinas, or chickens.

Galoot (Galūth).  Hebr.  Bondage, captivity.  “The galoot of sin.”  In the slang of the United States the word means “a simpleton.”

GarbanzosSpan.  Chick-pease (Cicer arietinum).  The invariable vegetable in every olla and puchero.

GarlochinRom.  Heart.  See Carlo.

GarnataArab.  Granada.  See Melegrana.

GarroteSpan. and Port.  The death penalty by strangulation, in which an iron collar fixed to a post is tightened by a screw and receives the neck of the culprit, which is broken by a sharp turn given by the executioner.  Garrote also means a cudgel, or heavy walking-stick; and the tourniquet used by surgeons.  It is a word of strange and uncertain etymology, and is said to be connected with Span. garra, a claw, Fr. jarret, a thigh, and other apparently incongruous words.

Gazpacho.  A dish in the nature of a vegetable salad very popular in Spain, made of bread, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, garbanzos or chick-peas, with oil and seasoning of various kinds.  The etymology is uncertain.

GefaturaSpan.  Office of the following.

GefeSpan.  Chief.  Gefe politico = corregidor, q.v.

GelabaArab.  A long cloak.  Arab. jilbāb.

GenioSpan. and Port.  Genius; spirit.

Genoui, dimin. Genouillos.  Moor.  A Genoese, Genoese children.

Gente, JenteSpan. and Port.  People.

GermaníaSpan.  According to the dictionaries, p. 402the dialect or mode of speech used by gypsies, thieves, and ruffians, to prevent their being understood, in which they give special meanings to ordinary words (e.g. aguila, eagle = a clever thief), or invent words of their own (e.g. almifor = horse).  No doubt Germanía contains gypsy words, but it is no more identical with Romany than are the Fr. Argot or the Eng. Cant.  See Z. ii. 129.

GibilArab.  A hill.

GineteSpan.  A good horseman.  À la gineta, in the Moorish style (of riding).  Diez, strangely enough, would derive this Arab or Moorish word from the Grk. μυμνήτης, a naked or light-armed foot soldier.  It is really derived from the proper name Zeneta, a Berber tribe who furnished the finest horsemen to the Spanish Moors (Cron. Alfonso X., fo. 6 d, an. 1263).  In Catalan the word has become janetz.  Our English word “jennet” may be derived from the same source.

GirarSpan. and Port.  To turn round.

GitanaThieves’ slang.  Twelve ounces of bread.  See i. 177.

GitanoSpan.  A gypsy.  A corrupted form of Egiptiano, an Egyptian.  R. 269; McR. 109.  See Zincalo.

GodoSpan. and Port.  A Goth; Gothic.

GohPers.  Mountain.  More correctly, koh.

GonfalonieraItal.  Standard-bearer.

Grā, Gras, Graste, GryRom.  A horse.  P. ii. 145; A. 33; Pp. 249; M. vii. 58.

GraciaSpan.  GratiaLat.  Grace.

GranjaSpan.  A grange, farm.  La Granja, the royal palace at San Ildefonso.

GrecoItal.  GriegoSpan.  Greek.

Guapo, GuapitoSpan. and Port.  Gay, neat, clever, elegant, gallant.

GuardacostasSpan.  A revenue cutter.

GuardiaSpan.  A guard, watch.

GuerillaSpan.  Lit. little war.  Irregular warfare to which the Spaniards have ever been so much addicted.  The guerrillero is the irregular soldier, or armed paisano, who wages this little war.

GuerraSpan.  War.

GuissanBasque.  According to.  It is an adaptation of the Fr. guise, Span. guisa.  The regular Basque words are arabera, araura.  Aizquibel, Basque-Spanish Dict., gives the form gisara.

GurséanMoor.  The giant aloe.  Span. pitaApud Borrow, ii. 276.

p. 403GustoSpan.  (1) Taste, lit. or fig.  (2) Fancy, caprice, wish.


HaberSpan.  To have.  Hay, there are.  No hay mas?  Are there no more?

HablaSpan.  Speech.

HablarSpan.  To speak.  Lat. fabulare.

HacerSpan.  To do, make.  El hará el gusto por V, He will do what you want.

Hada, HadeArab.  This.

HaikArab.  A white cloth worn over the head by the Moors.

HaimasArab.  Tents.  More correctly, ḥaimat, plur. ḥiyām.

HajiArab., Turk., and Grk.  One who having made the haj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, is entitled to wear a green turban and assume the title of haji.  But the same title, strange to say, is assumed by orthodox Christians who have made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; and Haji Yanco is quite as common a title or mode of address in the Levant as Haji Ibrahím.

HalalArab.  Lawful.

HaloofBerber.  Hog’s flesh.  More correctly, ḥalluf.

HamalArab.  Porter, carrier.  More correctly, ḥammāl.

HanutzArab.  Shop.  More correctly, ḥanūt.

HarāmArab. and Hebr.  Forbidden.  Akin to this is harem.

HastaSpan.  Until.  See Despues.

HatoSpan.  A herd, a multitude.  Port. fato.

Hax Weib, HaxGerm.  A witch.  A wrong form of Hexe Weib or Hexe, a witch, or female wizard.

HayimHebr.  Living.  More correctly, hayyim.

HellerGerm.  A copper coin in use in Germany previous to 1848; in value about one farthing.

HerenciaSpan.  Heritage, inheritance.

HerradorSpan.  A blacksmith.

HidalgoSpan.  See Fidalgo.

HigueraSpan.  A fig-tree.

HijoSpan.  A son.  Lat. filius.

HinaiArab.  Here.

HokRom.  Deceit, falsehood, fraud.  Hokka, to lie; hokkawar, to cheat.  Hokkano, in Eng. Rom., a lie.  P. ii. 160; A. 37; Pp. 317; M. vii. 63.  Hokkano baro, the great trick.  See Z. i. 310; LL. 244; Lel. 352; Gr. 357.

HombreSpan.  HommeFr.  A man

HorcaSpan.  The gallows.

p. 404HornoSpan.  Oven.

HourisArab.  The women of the Moslem Paradise.  Plural of the Arab, ḥawrá = black-eyed.

HsheeshArab.  I.e. ḥashish, a preparation of hemp.

HuájeArab.  Things.  Huáje del Mselmeen, more correctly, ḥawāij el Muslimīn, things of the Moslems.

HuesoSpan.  A bone.

Hundunar, JundunarRom.  A soldier.  P. ii. 172; R. 294.  J. gives jundo, jundonal.


IchasoaBasque.  The sea.  The verse quoted by Borrow (ii. 118) more accurately runs thus—

“Ichasoa urac handi.
   (The iea—the water—large)
Eztu ondoric aguerri—
   (There is not—any bottom—manifest)
Pasaco ninsaqueni andic
   (To pass—I could be able—thence)
Maitea icustea gatic.”
   (The beloved—the seeing, i.e. to see—for).

InfamiaSpan. and Port.  Infamy.

InfanteSpan. and Port.  Prince.

InglaterraSpan.  England.

InglesSpan.  English.  Inglesito!  “My little Englishman!”

InquisicionSpan.  The Inquisition.

InshallahArab.  Please God!

InstanciaSpan. and Port.  Instance, prosecution.  See note, ii. 141.


Jabador.  Apparently a Hispanized form of the African Arabic jabdali = a gold-embroidered waistcoat.

Jaca, or HacaSpan.  A pony, or small riding horse.

Jara CanallisRom.  The only authority I have succeeded in finding for this word is Z. ii. * 61.  “Jaracañales, guards, officers of the revenue.”  It may possibly be derived from the Bohemian gypsy xáro, Hungarian háro = sabre, and the Span. canalla, but I have no reason to suppose that the word xáro or háro was known to the gypsies of Spain.

JargonEng.  Originally a Fr. word, meaning any unintelligible sound, as that of birds, then applied to the strange speech of the Gueux; and so to any unknown tongue.  Borrow himself says of the gypsies, “when wishing to praise the proficiency of any individual in their tongue, they are in the habit of saying, ‘He understands the seven jargons’” (Z. ii. 125).  Frampton Boswell is recorded (G. i. 374) to have stated that Romany was not one of “the seven languages,” “but,” adds Mr. p. 405Hinde Groome, “what he meant thereby, goodness alone knows.”  The historian Mazaris (a.d. 1416) states that at that time the Peloponnesus was inhabited by seven principal nations, one of which was that of the Egyptians.  These “Egyptians” are held by M. Bataillard to have been gypsies (ib. iii. 154), and I would suggest that we have here the origin of “the seven jargons.”  The number seven seems to be in a special way connected with the children of Roma.  For other instances see Leland, English Gypsies, p. 218; Gr. 171.

Jaun, JaunaBasque.  Lord, the lord.

JaungvicoaBasque.  The Lord God.  Jaun = man, sir, lord; Gincoa or Jincoa = God.

JehinnimArab. and Hebr.  Hell.

JennutArab.  Paradise.  Usually written, jannat.

JenteSpan.  See Gente.

JinArab.  In classic English, genie (Arabic and Persian jinn), a class of spirits lower than the angels.

JohárArab.  A pearl.

Jojabar, JonjabarRom.  To deceive.  From jojána, deceit.  See Hok.

Jorge, dimin. JorgitoSpan.  George.

JorobadoSpan.  A hunchback.  The verb jorobar means “to worry.”

JuezSpan.  A judge.

JumalArab.  Friday.  More correctly, juma.

JuntaSpan. and Port.  An assembly, meeting, council, governing body.

JuntunóRom.  A listener, spy, sneak.  From junar, junelar, to listen.  P. ii. 221; Pp. 497; M. viii. 75.

JusticiaSpan.  A legal tribunal, or the magistrate or magistrates who constitute it.  Absol, justice.


KafirArab.  Not a Moslem.

Kandrisa.  According to Borrow, Turkish trousers.  Possibly the same as the African Arabic ḳan dūra = long shirt, toga talaris.

Kapul Udbagh.  According to Borrow = “There is no God but one.”

KaukHebr.  The furred cap of Jerusalem, according to Borrow.  We may perhaps compare ḳūḳa, stated by Redhouse in his Turkish Diet, to be a peculiar plumed head-dress worn by field-officers of the Janissaries.

KawarArab.  An uncommon word, meaning, no doubt, a cemetery, being a corrupt form of ḳabr, a tomb.

KebirArab.  Great.

p. 406Ker, QuerRom.  A house.  P. ii. 153; Pp. 279; M. vii. 79; G. i. 178.

Kermous del IndeArab.  A fruit; the prickly pear.

Kistur, KesterRom.  To ride.  P. ii. 122; SC. refer to uklistó, Pp. 560; A. 14; M. viii. 89.  Borrow derives it from the Wallachian keleri.  Perhaps from the Grk. κέλης.

KjæmpeScand.  A champion.  Cf. “Kempion the kingis son” in the ballad that bears his name.

KnawRom.  Now.  P. ii. 124; Pp. 130; M. vii. 5.

Kosko, KooshtoRom.  Good.  P. ii. 157.  This is an Eng. Rom. word.  Continental gypsies use latchó, mishtó.

Kyrie.  Grk. Κύριε, sir, my lord.


LabradorSpan.  Cultivator, rustic, peasant.  Labrar, to till the ground.

LáchaRom.  Maidenhead, virginity.  Z. ii. 7; P. ii. 331; Pp. 325; M. viii. 4.

LachipéRom.  Silk.  I cannot explain this word, unless it is connected with the following.

Lachó, fem. LachíRom.  Good.  P. ii. 329; A. 49; Pp. 328; M. viii. 4.

LadrõesPort.  Plur. of ladrão, a thief.  Lat. latro.

LaloréRom.  The Portuguese.  Laloró, the red land.  Eng. Rom. Lotto (cf. Jackanapes, p. 28).  P. i. 54, ii. 338; Pp. 328, 339; M. viii. 8.

LapurracBasque.  The thieves.

LargoPort.  A square, or public place in a town.

LecturaSpan.  Reading.

LenRom.  A river.  Len baro, the great river; Wady al Kebir, the Guadalquivir.  P. ii. 336; Pp. 333; M. viii. 6.

LevantarseSpan. and Port.  To raise one’s self, rise.

LeSpan.  To him.

Li, LilRom.  Paper; a letter, passport, book.  P. ii. 329, 339; A. 48; Pp. 334; M. viii. 7.

LibHebr.  Heart.  More correctly, leb.

LiceoSpan.  School, college.

LilipendiRom.  A simpleton.  Akin to Liló, q.v.

Liló, fem. LilíRom.  Foolish, mad.  P. ii. 340.

Limosna, dimin. LimosnitaSpan.  Alms, charity.

LindoSpan. and Port.  Beautiful, pretty.

LiriRom.  Law.  P. ii. 340.

LlaveroSpan.  Turnkey.

LocoSpan.  Mad.

p. 407LomboPort.  Loin.

LondonéRom.  An Englishman; lit. a Londoner.  So B., but it is probably plural.  P. i. 54.

LonganizeroSpan.  Sausage-maker.

LontraPort.  Otter.  Span. nutria.  “L” for “N” is characteristic.

LoorOld Span.  Praise.

LumePort.  Light.

LumiaRom.  A harlot.  P. ii. 334; Pp. 342; M. viii. 9; G. i. 178.


MaArab.  Not.

Macho, MachaSpan.  A mule, male or female.  Considering that, even in Spanish, macho did, and does, signify a male animal of any kind—being an abbreviation of the Latin masculusmacha, a she-mule, is rather a strange word!

MadrilatiRom.  Madrid.  Also Adalí, J.  In thieves’ slang also Gao (= gav, a town), Z. ii. * 54.  But H. gives gao = piojo (a louse).

MahaSanscr.  Great.  Persian mih.

Mahasni, plur. MakhasniahArab.  Soldiers.  More correctly, men of the garrison; defenders.

MaiPort.  Mother.

MaillaRom.  A she-ass.  P. ii. 454.  Apparently only found in Eng. Romany.

MajaróRom.  Holy.  P. ii. 462.

Majo, Maja.  Dandy; fancy man or girl.  Majo, scarcely to be rendered in any foreign language, is a word of more general signification than manolo, q.v.  The one is a dandy, or smart fellow, all over Spain; the other is used only of a certain class in Madrid.

Majoon.  I cannot find this word, but it is apparently the name of some intoxicating substance, and is probably connected with the Arabic majnūn = possessed by a jinn, mad.

MakhiahArab.  Brandy made of figs.  More correctly, ma’iyya.

MaloSpan.  Bad, wicked.

MalvadoSpan. and Port.  Malicious, evil disposed.

ManRom.  Me.  P. i. 229; Pp. 66; M. xi. 22.

ManoloSpan.  Manolo is a somewhat difficult word to translate.  It is applied to the flash or fancy man and his manola in Madrid only; a class fond of pleasure, of fine clothes, of bull-fights, and of sunshine, with a code of honour of their own; men p. 408and women rather picturesque than exemplary, and eminently racy of the soil.

ManróRom.  Bread or corn.  Estremadura is thus called Chim del Manró, “The Land of Corn.”  P. ii. 440; Pp. 350; M. viii. 12.  Given as marron, G. i. 177.

MantaSpan. and Port.  A woollen blanket.  Á manta de Dios = copiously.  The word has nothing to do with the national cloak of Spain, which is la capa.

MantillaSpan.  The characteristic headdress of Spanish ladies, of black silk or lace, drawn over the back of the head and shoulders.  Dimin. of manta.

MarSpan. and Port.  Sea.

MaravedíSpan.  A coin of various weights and values.  See Burke’s History of Spain, ii. 282.

MarequitaSpan.  Dimin. of Maria.

MariposaSpan.  A butterfly; a night light.

MasSpan.  More.

MatadorSpan. and Port.  (1) A slayer, murderer.  (2) The man who kills the bull.  See note, i. 170.

MatoPort.  A forest; or more exactly, a wild country, full of bushes and thickets.

MaughrabieArab.  A Borrovian adaptation of the Arabic Al Maghrib, the west, signifying Mauretania, or North-Western Africa.

MayimHebr.  Waters.

MayorSpan. and Port.  Greater.

MayordomoSpan. and Port.  House steward, or major-domo.

MearrahHebr. and Arab.  Cemetery.  Lit. a cave.  Hebr. marah, Arab. maghārah.

Meclis, MeklisEng. Rom.  Leave off! have done!  “‘Meklis,’ said Mrs. Chikno, ‘pray drop all that, sister’”  (The Romany Rye, ch. v.).  P. ii. 112, 434; Pp. 369; M. viii. 19.

MedicoSpan. and Port.  A physician.

MeforshimHebr.  The commentators.  More correctly, mfárshim.

MeigaPort. and Gal.  A female sharper, fortune-teller, or sorceress.  The adjective meigo, in Spanish mego, has the signification of gentle, kind, mild.

MelegranaRom.  Granada.  From the Ital. melagrana, a pomegranate; Span. granada.  See note, 375.

MendiBasque.  A mountain.  See note to Ingles Mendi, ii. 314.

MercadoSpan. and Port.  A market, or market-place.

MercedSpan.  (1) Favour, grace, mercy.  (2) A day labourer’s pay, or wages.  (3) In combination, p. 409vuestra merced, your worship, your honour, etc.; written V. or Vd. and pronounced usted.

MesunaRom.  A wayside inn, or posada, q.v.  P. ii. 43, 463.

MezquitaSpan.  A mosque.

MílaIrish.  A thousand.

MilagroSpan.  A miracle.

MinRom.  My, mine.  P. i. 237; Pp. 69; M. xi. 30.

MinArab.  From.

MirarSpan.  To look.

MiseriaSpan. and Port.  Misery, wretchedness; also niggardliness, stinginess.

ModeradoSpan. and Port.  Moderate.  The name assumed by the more royalist members of the Cristino party.  See i. 180.

ModoSpan. and Port.  (1) Measure; (2) courtesy, urbanity.  V. no tiene modo, “You’ve got no manners.”

MoidoreO. Eng.  Portuguese moeda d’ouro = golden money, was a gold piece of the value of about twenty-six shillings.

MonaSpan. and Port.  A she-monkey.

MonróRom.  A friend; in thieves’ slang, an adult.  Z. ii. 149; P. ii. 453; M. viii. 18.

MontanaSpan.  A hill, mountain.

MonteSpan. and Port.  A hill, mountain.

MonteraSpan.  A hunting-cap, a Montero cap.

MonteroSpan.  A hunter; originally, a mountaineer.

MoroSpan.  Moorish.

MostradorSpan.  The counter, of a shop.

MozoSpan.  A youth, or lad; moza, a girl.

MselmeenArab.  Moslems.  See Huáje.

Muchacho, MuchachaSpn.  Boy; girl.

MuchoSpan.  Much.

Muger, MujerSpan.  Woman; wife.

Mujik, MuzhikRuss.  A peasant.  It may be added that their popular song, “Come, let us cut the cabbage” (i. 175), is not, as might be supposed, an exhortation to horticultural pursuits.  “To cut the cabbage” is a slang expression among the Slavs for killing a Turk, in allusion to the green turbans worn by the descendants of the prophet.

MukRom.  Let, allow.  See Meclis.

MundoSpan. and Port.  World.

MusheeArab.  I.e. ma = not, shee = thing.

MuySpan.  Very, much.


NacionalSpan. and Port.  A Nationalist; a member of the National Guard.

p. 410NadaSpan. and Port.  Nothing.

NahiRom.  Translated by Borrow, lost.  If so, perhaps connected with najabar, to lose.  P. ii. 324; Pp. 381; M. viii. 23.  Possibly, however, it is only a negative = is not.  P. i. 319; A. 70.

NaoPort.  Ship.

NarangeroSpan.  An orange-seller.

NavaSpan.  A plain.

NduiHebr.  A kind of hell, or purgatory, according to Borrow, who puts the word into the mouth of his Lisbon Jews.  It is, apparently, the Hebr. niddui = ban, excommunication.

NefskyRuss.  Of the Neva.

NegroSpan. and Port.  (1) Black; (2) a negro, or African; (3) the nickname given by the Basque Carlists to the Cristinos, or Constitutionalists, 1833–1839.

NicabarRom.  To take away, steal, destroy.  P. ii. 326; Pp. 390; M. viii. 25.

NiriBasque.  My, mine.

NocheSpan.  Night.

NombreSpan.  Name.

NovilloSpan.  A young bull.  See note, i. 361.

NovioSpan.  Bridegroom, betrothed.

NuarArab.  Flowers.  More correctly, nawār.

NuestroSpan.  Our.

Nuveiro.  This word is neither Castilian, Galician, nor Portuguese; but is a made-up or fancy word, from the Portuguese nuvem, a cloud; a cloud man, or supernatural being.


ORom.  The.

ÓSpan.  Or.

ObispoSpan.  Bishop.

OjalaterosSpan.  “Waiters upon Providence.”  A burlesque word.  See note, i. 169.

OnzaSpan.  A coin of the value of about £3 6s. 8d.; lit. an ounce of gold.  Also known as the doblon de à 8; Anglicized as “piece of eight.”

Oraçam, OraçãoPort.  A prayer.

OtroSpan.  Other.  No hay otro en el mundo, “There’s none like it in the world.”

OulemHebr.  Of the world.  Arab. ‘olam.


PachíRom.  Modesty, honour, virginity.  P. ii. 347.

PacienciaSpan. and Port.  Patience.

p. 411PaçoPort.  The Court.

PadreSpan. and Port.  Father.

PadrinoSpan.  (1) Sponsor, godfather; (2) second—in a duel.

PadronSpan.  Patron, landlord.

PahanPhœn.  A rabbit.

PaisanoSpan. and Port.  A countryman; not a peasant, but a man of the same country as another; a compatriot.  As the conventional answer to the challenge, “Quien vive?” by a Spanish sentry, it means “Civilian.”

PajandiRom.  A guitar.  According to Borrow, lit. “the thing that is touched or played upon.”  P. ii. 369, 426.

PajariaSpan.  Straw-market.  The place where straw is kept is Pajar.

Pal.  Rom.  See Plan.

PalabraSpan.  A word.

PalomarSpan.  A dovecote.

PanSpan.  Bread.

PanhagiaGrk.  Lit. All-holy.  The Virgin Mary.

Paní.  See Pawnee.

PañueloSpan.  A handkerchief.  Lit. a little cloth.

PapasGrk.  A priest (παπᾶς).

ParaSpan. and Port.  For.

ParnóRom.  White.  P. ii. 359; Pp. 410; M. viii. 32.

Parné.  White, or silver money; thence, as in the case of Fr. argent, money in general.  See Parnó.

ParraSpan.  Festoons of vines; the trellis or stakes upon which these festoons are trained.

ParugarRom.  To barter, swop, chaffer.  P. ii. 354; Pp. 412; M. viii. 33.

PastelerosSpan.  Pastrycooks.

PastesasRom.  The hands.  Ustilar á pastesas is to steal “with the hands,” or by any sleight of hand.  Z. i. 315.  The usual Span. gypsy word is ba, J.; bas, Z. i. 522.  Both are doubtless variations of the more common vast.  P. ii. 86; Pp. 573; M. viii. 94; SC. 151.

PastorSpan. and Port.  Shepherd.

PatioSpan. and Port.  The court of a house; either the open space round which Spanish houses are so commonly built, or an open court in front of it.

Patron.  See Padron.

Pawnee, PaníRom. Water.  Hind. paní.  The one special word known to all gypsies wherever found, even in Brazil.  P. ii. 343; Pp. 405; M. viii. 31; G. i. 61.

PeluniArab.  Of another.  See ii. 313.

p. 412Penar, PenelarRom.  To speak, say.  P. ii. 386; Pp. 421; M. viii. 41.

PeñaSpan.  A rock.

PeptndorioRom.  Antonio; proper name.

PericoSpan.  A small parrot.

PeroSpan.  But

PerroSpan.  A dog.

PesarSpan. and Port.  To afflict, distress.  Lit. to weigh.  Me peso, “I’m very sorry.”

PesetaSpan.  A Spanish coin, representing, down to 1870, two silver reals or four reals vellon, but since 1870 the standard or unit of value in Spanish finance, is nearly equal to the French franc, and, like it, divided for purposes of account, into 100 centimos.

Petulengro, PetalengroEng. Rom.  A shoeing smith.  See note on i. 204; P. ii. 348; Pp. 427; M. viii. 37; SC. 13, 121; and, generally, Lavengro and The Romany Rye.

PfaffenGerm.  Monks; a contemptuous term for clerics generally, whether regular or secular.

PiazzaItal.  An open square in a town, surrounded by colonnades.  In modern American parlance the word is often used for a veranda, in which sense Borrow apparently uses it, i. 276.

PicadorSpan. and Port.  A riding-master, bull-fighter.  See note, i. 170, and Torero.

PicardiaSpan. and Port.  Knavishness; from picaro, a rogue, knave, or loafer.  The English adjective picaresque is conventionally applied to a certain class of Spanish story of low life and sharp practice relieved by humour.

PícaroSpan. and Port.  Rogue, knave.

PicaronSpan.  Augmentative (on) of pícaro, a great scamp.

PicaSpan. and Port.  Peak, summit.

PilaSpan.  A water-trough.

Pinar, PinalSpan.  Grove or wood of pine trees.

Pinró, Pindró, plur. PindréRom.  Foot; en pindré, on foot P. ii. 351; Pp. 433; M. viii. 47; A. 33.

PioSpan. and Port.  Pious.

Pirar, PirelarRom.  To go, walk.  P. ii. 382; Pp. 436; M. viii. 42.

PitaSpan.  The aloe (Agave americana).

PlulíRom.  A widow.  P. ii. 377; Pp. 439; M. viii. 43.

Plako or PlacoRom.  Tobacco.  Russ. prâk = powder.  P. ii. 361; Pp. 445; M. viii. 52.  A gypsy model at Granada gave it as prajo in 1876, “L” and p. 413“R” being often interchanged by the peasants thereabouts.  G. i. 177 and J. has polvo = praco.

Plan, Planoró, PlalRom.  Brother, comrade.  Eng. Rom. pal.  P. ii. 383; A. 79; Pp. 445; M. viii. 43.

PlayaSpan.  The strand.

PlazaSpan.  A square or open space in a town.  Ital. piazza, q.v.

PlazuelaSpan.  Dimin. of Plaza.

PoblacionSpan.  (1) Population; (2) act of populating; (3) a town.

PobrecitaSpan.  “Poor thing!”  Dimin. of pobre, poor.

PoliticoSpan. and Port.  Political, civil.  See note, ii. 127.

PolkRuss.  A regiment.

PoquitoSpan.  Dimin. of poco.  Small, little.

PorSpan. and Port.  For.

PorqueSpan. and Port.  Because.

PosadaSpan.  “A lodging; from posar, to sit down or lodge, hence lodging-house, tavern, or small hotel.  The genuine Spanish town inn is called the posada, as being meant to mean a house of repose after the pains of travel.  Strictly speaking, the keeper is only bound to provide lodging, salt, and the power of cooking whatever the traveller brings with him or can procure out-of-doors, and in this it differs from the fonda, in which meats and drinks are furnished.”—Ford, Gatherings from Spain, ch. xv.

PosaderoSpan.  Innkeeper.

PostaSpan. and Port.  Post, post-house.  Casa de las Postas, General Post-office.

PraçaPort.  Square, place.

PradoSpan. and Port.  A lawn or meadow.  The great promenade at Madrid.

PraiaGal.  Seashore, strand.

PresidioSpan. and Port.  Place of imprisonment, penitentiary; prim. a fortress, or the garrison thereof.

PrestarPort.  To be of use.

PrimeroSpan.  First.

PrincipeSpan. and Port.  PrincepsLat.  Prince.

PropinaSpan.  Lat. propinare.  Drink-money; pour boire, a tip.

Puchera or PucheroSpan.  A stew; prim. the pot in which the stew is made, which, as in the case of the olla, has come to signify the contents.  The puchero is more used in the north, the olla in the south of the Peninsula.  The combination olla podrida is now at least never heard in Spain.

PuebloSpan.  A small town, or village.  p. 414El pueblo, the common people.

PuenteSpan.  A bridge.

PuertaSpan.  Door, gate.  Puerta del Sol, Gate of the Sun.  The central point of Madrid.

PuertoSpan.  A bay, or port; also a pass in the mountains.

PulidoSpan.  Neat, delicate, charming.


QuatroSpan. and Port.  Four.

QueSpan. and Port.  What, that.

QuerRom.  A house.  See Ker.

QuienSpan.  Who.

QuieroSpan.  I wish.

QuintaSpan. and Port.  A country house.


RabbiHebr.  Master.

RainhaPort.  Queen.

RaisArab.  Chief; captain of a ship.

RajilArab.  Man.

Randado.  Rom.  Written.  From randar, P. ii. 276.

RateroSpan.  Mean, scoundrelly.

RayaSpan.  Border, boundary, or frontier.

RealSpan. and Port.  Royal.

RealSpan. and Port.  A coin or unit of value.  The Spanish plural is reales; the Portuguese, reis or rees.  The Spanish real is worth about 2½d. English; the Portuguese only 1/20d., one thousand reis making the Portuguese dollar, or piece of mil reis, hence called a milrei or milreis.

RegataSpan.  A small channel, or, conduit.

RejaSpan.  The iron grating before a window looking on to the street of a town.  The recognized trysting-place of a lover and his mistress.

RelacionSpan.  Relation, story.

RematarSpan. and Port.  To end, finish.  Que Dios remate tu nombre!  “May God blot out your name!”

RenderSpan. and Port.  To yield, surrender.

RepañiRom.  Brandy.  This word, given in 1876 (v. Plako), is derived by Pott from repañi (repañó, J.), a radish, the connexion being the sharp taste of both (ii. 274).  Remembering the “fire-water” of the Indians, the aguardiente of Spain and Portugal, and the tattopani of the Eng. gypsies, I am tempted to suggest another explanation.  J. gives ardiente = carí, and aguardiente = pañicarí.  Now car (P. ii. 125) or jar (ib. 171) = heat.  Change the p. 415order of the words and caripañi might shorten into repañí.

ReposteroSpan.  The butler, or majordomo, in a great house.  The reposteria is the plate-room, storeroom, or pantry.

ReputacionSpan.  Reputation.  Gente de reputacion, “swells,” “swagger people.”

RequisoSpan.  Requisitioning (from requerir).  A technical word; the authority that requisitions private property, horses, etc., for the use of the national army in time of war.

ReynaSpan.  Queen.

RiaSpan. and Port.  An estuary, as the mouth of a river.  More particularly applied to the numerous bays on the Galician and Asturian coasts of Northwest Spain.

Ro, RomRom.  A husband; a married gypsy.  Roma, the husbands, is the generic name of the gypsy nation, or Romany.  P. ii. 275; A. 56; Pp. 462; M. viii. 58; McR. 91.

RomeroSpan.  Rosemary.

RomiRom.  A married gypsywoman; fem. of rom, a husband; a married gypsy.

RoqueSpan. and Port.  The “rook,” or “castle,” at chess.  Pers. rukh.  The same word is used for the fabulous bird of immense size so often mentioned in Oriental tales.

RoubleRuss.  A kind of Russian money, either silver or paper.  Its present value is about two shillings.

Ruah.  Arab, and Hebr.  Spirit.  Used throughout the Old Test, to denote the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.

RufianescoSpan.  Ruffian, criminal.

RuneEng.  (1) A letter of the ancient Scandinavian alphabet, usually carved on stone.  (2) A short mystic sentence of Scandinavian origin.  Norse and Danish rune, Swed. runa.


SabioSpan. and Port.  Learned.  King Alfonso X. was surnamed El Sabio, which is sometimes erroneously rendered “The Wise.”  Sabio is, rather, “erudite;” and the king was undoubtedly the most learned man of his time, though his government was not always by any means wise.

SacroSpan. and Port.  Sacred.

SafacoroRom.  The city of Seville.  P. ii. 248.  J. gives Sevillano = Safacorano.

Sagadua, SagarduaBasque.  Cider; i.e. the strong or Spanish cider, called in French Basque charnoa or sharnoa, as distinguished from the weak cider which p. 416is made from apples rotted in water.  A probable etymology is sagar = apple; arno = wine.

SagraSpan.  The name of certain districts in Spain, especially of one lying north of Toledo.  The word is probably derived from the Arab ṣaḥra = a plain.  See note, i. 257.

SalamanquesaSpan.  A salamander, or, star-lizard; otherwise called salamandra.

SandiaSpan.  A water-melon.

SantiguoSpan.  The action of crossing one’s self.  Santiguar is “to make the sign of the cross.”

SantoSpan. and Port.  Sainted, holy.  La Santa Casa, the Inquisition.

SantonSpan.  A great saint; more especially applied to Moslem recluses.  Also, a hypocrite.

SanturronSpan.  A great saint; usually, a great hypocrite.

SardinhaPort. and Gal.  A sardine.  Borrow’s friends, la gente rufianesca, have a quaint name for a galley-slave, apaleador de sardinas, a sardine-beater.  H. 155.

SbaArab.  Morning.  More correctly, ṣabāḥ.

ScharkiArab.  The East.

Scharr.  See Daoud.

SchophonHeb.  Shâphân (שׁפן) A quadruped which chews the cud like a hare (Lev. xi. 5; Deut. xiv. 7); which lives gregariously on rocks, and is remarkable for its cunning (Ps. civ. 18; Prov. xxx. 26).  The Rabbins render coney, or rabbit; more correctly the LXX. in three places χοιρογρύλλιος, i.e. an animal resembling the marmot.

Span.  I know; from saber.

SeaSpan.  May he be; from ser.

SecoSpan. and Port.  Dry.  See ii. 82.

SecretarioSpan. and Port.  Secretary.

SegunSpan.  According to.

SegundoSpan. and Port.  Second.

Senhor, SenhoraPort.  Señor, SeñoraSpan.  Gentleman, lady.

Señorito, SeñoritaSpan.  Dimin. of the above.

SeoSpan.  A cathedral church.

SerekaArab.  A theft.  More correctly, sarika.

SerraPort.  A high range of mountains; the Spanish sierra.

SerradorSpan. and Port.  A sawyer.  Although according to some authorities this was the real name of the person mentioned in i. 138, 233, it seems that he was really a sawyer, by name José Miralles, born in Valencia, on the borders of Aragon.  He served under El Fraile (The Friar), a p. 417Guerilla chief in the Napoleonic wars, and was rather the rival than the lieutenant of Cabrera, who imprisoned him, on which occasion he broke both his legs in a vain attempt to escape.  He subsequently took part in the rising at Maeztrazgo, in 1844, and died in the campaign of that year, while serving under General Villalonga.

SerraniaSpan. and Port.  District or country of sierras, or mountain ridges.

ServilSpan. and Port.  Servile.  Applied, as a substantive, as a party nickname to the Royalists on the outbreak of the first civil war in 1820.

Sesó (fem. Sesí, plur. Sesé, also = Spain).  Rom.  A Spaniard.  In Spanish the word signifies “brain,” P. ii. 249.

ShaitánArab.  Satan, the devil.

SheeArab.  Thing.

ShekelHebr.  A Hebrew coin of uncertain value.  The word itself means merely “a weight.”

ShemHebr.  Name.

Shem HamphorashHebr.  The separated, reserved, or special Name, i.e. Yahweh.  Always transliterated Adonai.  Lord (a word which itself, perhaps, contains the Span. Don), whence Κύριος, Dominus, and the Lord, have found their way into translations of the Old Testament.  Our English “Jehovah” contains the forbidden consonants of Yahweh and the vowel points of Adonai.

ShereefArab.  Noble.

Shillam eidri.  Apparently meant for lashon ivri = the Hebrew tongue.

Shoob.  Borrovian for the Russian shuba, a fur cloak or pelisse.  The word has made its way into Eng. Rom. as shooba, a gown.

Shrit.  Apparently for the Arabic ishtari = buy.

SibatArab.  Slippers.  More correctly, sabbāt.

SidiArab.  My lord.  More usually written Said or Sayyid, the same as the more familiar Cid.  The fem.  Sitti = my lady, is familiar to every lady who has visited North Africa.

SierrasSpan.  Lit. saws; applied to mountain ranges, from their serrated outline.

SiestaSpan.  Lat. sexta (hora), noon.  Noontide or afternoon sleep.  Sext is one of the canonical hours of the Catholic Church.

SieteSpan.  Seven.

SigloSpan.  Century, age.

Signor, SignoreItal.  Sir.

p. 418SinSpan.  Without.

Sinah.  See Dar.

SinarRom.  To be.  Sin, he is; sinava, I was.  P. ii. 250; Pp. 255; M. vii. 66.

SōcArab.  A market.  More correctly, sūḳSoc de barra = outer market.

SociedadSpan.  Society.

SogaSpan.  A rope; a well-rope; a halter for beasts; the halter for hanging a man.

SolabarriRom.  Bridle.  P. ii. 239; Pp. 487; M. viii. 69.

SombreroSpan.  A hat; that which gives sombra, or shade.

SonSpan.  They are; from ser.

SonacaiRom.  Gold.  P. ii. 227; Pp. 481; M. viii. 68.

SopaSpan.  (1) Soup.  (2) The entire dinner.

SoteaPort.  Flat roof; balcony; platform.

SouPort.  SoySpan.  I am; from ser.

SowaneeRom.  A sorceress.  Used by Borrow, i. 122, for the more correct chuajañi, Eng. Rom. chovihoni.  P. ii. 190; Pp. 549; M. vii. 37.

SuSpan.  SuusLat.  His.

SvendDan.  Swain.


TablaSpan.  A board, or plank.

TalSpan. and Port.  Such.  Que tal?  “How goes it?”

TalibArab.  Learned, Lit.  “a seeker,” used in some countries for “a devotee.”  More correctly, ṭālib.

TambienSpan.  Also, likewise, as well.

TanSpan.  So.

TardeSpan. and Port.  Afternoon, evening.

TeatroSpan.  Theatre.

TeblequeRom.  God the Saviour, Jesus.  P. ii. 312; J.

TenerSpan.  To take, hold, have.  See ModoTuvose, it was held, or, thought.

Terelar.  Rom.  To have, hold.  P. ii, 294; A. 41; Pp. 512; M. viii. 79.

TerreiroPort.  A parade, promenade.

TertuliaSpan.  An assembly, conversazione.

TinajaSpan.  A large earthen jar.

TintoSpan. and Port.  Coloured.  Vino tinto, red wine.

Tio, TiaSpan.  Uncle; aunt.  Applied in common life as a term of familiar address to any one, not related to the speaker.  Something like the Old English gaffer and gammer.

TipotasGrk.  Nothing (πίποτε).

p. 419TirarSpan. and Port.  To throw, remove, shoot.  Tirar por detras, to kick out behind.

TocinoSpan.  Bacon, pork.

TodoSpan. and Port.  All.

TomaSpan.  Lit. take; as an interjection, “Come!” “Look here!”

TomateSpan.  The tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum).

TonsuraSpan. and Port.  (1) A cutting, of hair or wool.  (2) The first of the ecclesiastical orders.

Torah, or ThorahHebr.  The books of the Law; the Pentateuch.

Toreador.  See Torero.

ToreroSpan.  A professional bull-fighter.  These are of three classes—the picadores, or horsemen; the bandarilleros, or placers of banderillos; and the matador, or espada.  Each company, or cuadrilla, of fighters consists of a matador, chief of the band, three bandarilleros, and two picadores.  There is also usually a sobresaliente (or understudy) de espada, in case of accidents; and a certain number of chulos, or men with cloaks, complete the personnel of the ring.

TraducidoSpan.  Translated.  From traducir.

TraerSpan.  To bear, carry.

TraguilloSpan.  Dim. of trago.  A draught, drink.

TrampaSpan. and Port.  A trap, snare.

TrinidadSpan.  Trinity.

TsadikHebr.  Righteous.  Hence Tsadok, the leader of the Sadducees, derived his name.

TucueRom.  Thee, with thee.  See Tute.

TuertoSpan.  One-eyed.

TunanteSpan. and Port.  Truant; lazy scoundrel.

TuteRom.  Thou, thee.  P. i. 229; Pp. 66; M. viii. 87.

Tuvose.  See Tener.


Undevel, UndebelRom.  God.  According to Borrow, the first syllable of the word is the Om of the Brahmins and Indian Buddhists, one of the names of the Deity.  Pott, however, denies this, ii. 75, 311; A. 285 Pp. 205; M. vii. 42; G. i. 177.

UriaBasque.  City.  So translated by Borrow, but I cannot find the word.  The correct Basque is iri or hiri.

UstedSpan.  Contracted form of vuestra merced, your worship; used for “you;” now written simply Vd or V.

UstilarRom.  To take, take up, steal.  p. 420Z. ii. * 118; J.  Cf. ostilar, to steal.  P. ii. 72, 246.  See Pastesas.

ValdepeñasSpan.  The red wine made in the neighbourhood of that town, in die heart of La Mancha.  It is about the best in Spain.

ValerSpan.  To be worth, prevail, protect.  Valgame Dios!  “May God protect me!”  “S’help me!”

ValidoSpan. and Port.  Powerful, respected.  See note, ii. 376.

Valiente.  Span.  (1) As an adjective, strong or valiant.  (2) As a substantive, in a less honourable sense, as “cock of the walk,” or bully.

Vamos, or VamonosSpan.  “Let us go!”  “Come along!”

VástacoSpan.  Stem, bud, shoot.

VayaSpan.  A very common interjection or expression, “Come!” “Get along!” “Let it go!” Imper. of ir, to go.

VecinoSpan.  An inhabitant; as an adjective, neighbouring.

VegaSpan.  A meadow or plain; an open tract of level and fruitful ground, more particularly applied to the country around Granada; generally an alluvial tract formed by the bend of a river or expansion of a valley.

VelhoPort.  Old.

VentaSpan.  VendaPort.  Strictly speaking, an isolated country inn, or house of reception on the road; and if it be not of physical entertainment, it is at least one of moral, and accordingly figures in prominent characters in all the personal narratives and travels in Spain.  The venta is inferior in rank to the posada, q.v.  The original meaning of the word is “sale.”

VerdaderoSpan.  True.

Verdugo, VerdugaSpan. and Port.  Said of an exceedingly cruel person.  Prim. a switch, then a flogger, or executioner.

ViajeSpan.  A voyage.

VidSpan.  Vine.

ViejoSpan.  Old; an old man.

VillaSpan.  A town; greater than an aldea or village, less than a ciudad or city.

Villano, VillanaSpan.  Countryman, peasant; country girl or woman.

VinoSpan.  Wine.

VirgenSpan.  VirgoLat.  Virgin.

ViseNor. Dan.  A ballad.

ViséFr.  Endorsed, or furnished with the official visa.  As commonly applied to passports, neither the verb nor p. 421the substantive has any exact equivalent in English.

ViverSpan. and Port.  To live.  Que viva!  “Long life to him!”

Vossé, or VossemPort.  Vossa mercé, your worship; you.  Gal. vusté; Span. usted.  See note, i. 89.

VoySpan.  I am going; from ir.


WadyArab.  River.  Wady al kebir = the great river, the Guadalquivir.

WakhudArab.  A, the article.  More correctly, waḥid.

WullahArab.  “By God!”

WustuddurArab.  Home; abode.  Lit. the middle of the houses.  See Dar.


YSpan.  And.

Yaw.  Borrovian for the Germ.  ja = yes.

YdoorsheeArab.  It signifies; lit. it hurts.

YerbaSpan.  (1) Grass.  (2) Poison.

YescaSpan.  Under.

YoSpan.  I.

YoumArab.  A day.

YudkenGerm.  A little Jew; more correctly, Jüdchen.


ZamarraSpan.  A sheepskin coat, the woolly side turned inwards; from the Basque echamarra (having the same signification), usually worn by shepherds.  The French chamarrer, to deck out, or bedizen, is said to be a word of kindred origin.

ZarzaSpan.  A bramble.

Zincalo.  plur.  ZincaliSpan. Rom.  Gypsy.  P. ii. 259; M. viii. 65.

ZoharHebr.  Brilliancy.  See note, ii. 318.

p. 423INDEX.

Abades, ii. 209

Abyla, Mount (Gibil Muza), ii. 295

Aguilar, Antonio Garcia de, i. 282–286

Alcalá de Guadaira, i. 223

Aldea Gallega, i. 19, 58, 71

Alemtejo, i. 16, 72

Algeziras, ii. 296

Andalusia, Desert of, i. 224

Andalusians, The, ii. 261

Andujar, i. 253

Antigola, ii. 206

Antonio, the gypsy, i. 106

Antonio Buchini, i. 265; ii. 161, 171, 217

Aranjuez, 1. 254; ii. 202

Arroyolos, i. 84

Astorga, i. 318

Asturias, The, ii. 59

Azeca, Bridge of, 11. 192

Azido, Jozé Dias, i. 74


Badajoz, i. 96, 105

Bailen, i. 253

Balmaseda, ii. 211

Balseiro, i. 177; ii. 154

Baltasar, the National, i. 167, 206

Baralla Pass, ii. 60

Basques, The, and their language, ii. 112 et seq.

Beckford, William, i. 9

Bembibre, i. 333

Benedict Mol, i. 190, 382, 385; ii. 73, 165, 181

Bermudez, Cean, i. 266

Betanzos, i. 364

Bilbao, ii. 93

Bonanza, i. 214; ii. 273

Borrego, Don Andrés, i. 259

Brackenbury, John (Consul at Cadiz), ii. 288

Buchini, Antonio, i. 265; ii. 161, 171, 217

Burgos, ii. 98


Cabrera, General, i. 233

Cacabelos, i. 338

Cadiz, i. 212; ii. 286

Caldas de Reyes, i. 394

Calzado, Pepe, ii. 101

Caneiro, ii. 62

Cantwell, Patrick, i. 280

Carmona, i. 224

Carolina, i. 253

Castro, John de, i. 9

Castro Pol, ii. 59

Christina, Queen Regent, i. 197

Chrysostom, Johannes, ii. 256

Cintra, i. 7

Clarendon, Lord, i. 164, 271; ii. 121, 124, 218

p. 424Cobeña, ii. 221

Coisa Doiro, ii. 46

Colhares, i. 10

Colunga, ii. 83

Compostella, i. 192, 377; ii. 183

Contrabandistas, Spanish, ii. 35, 45

Corcuvion, ii. 35

Cordova, i. 229, 238

Cordova, General, i, 180, 267

Correa, Joanna, ii. 355

Corunna, i. 367; ii. 41

Cuesta del Espinal, i. 228


D’Almeida, J. Ferreira, i. 98

D’Azveto, Don Geronimo, i. 25, 38

Dehesa, The, ii. 259

Despeñaperros Pass, i. 254

Diaz, Maria, i. 256; ii. 130, 159

Dionysius, ii. 263

Doddridge, Dr. P., i. 6

Dueñas, i. 303

Duero (Douro), i. 293

Duyo, ii. 23


Elvas, i. 94

Estremadura, i. 146

Estremoz, i. 87

Evora, i. 16, 33

Execution of criminals, i. 171


Fava, Pascual, ii. 381

Ferrol, ii. 42

Feyjoo, Benito, ii. 79

Fielding, Henry, i. 6

Finisterre, Cape, i. 209; ii. 21, 24

Flinter, G. D. (the Irishman), ii. 92

Fragey, Ephraim, ii. 369

Fuencebadon Pass, i. 344


Galiano, Alcala, i. 179, 181, 195

Galicia, i, 1, 347; ii. 59

Gallegan language, i. 351

Garcia, Sergeant, i. 197, 273

Gartland, Dr., i. 276

Gibraltar, ii. 300

Gijon, ii. 70

Gomez, i. 194, 212, 218, 233

Guadalquivir, i. 214; ii. 249, 272

Guadarrama Mountains, i. 151

Guadiana River, i. 102

Gypsies, Spanish, i. 105


Hervey, Lord William, ii. 211

Hirias, Archbishop (Toledo), ii. 174


Isturitz, Don Francis Xavier de, i. 179, 181, 196


Jaraicejo, i. 135

Judaism, i. 67, 247


Labajos, i. 210

La Granja, i. 197; ii. 208

La Mancha, i. 254

Lariategui, i. 262, 295

Las Batuecas, i. 152

Leganez, ii. 185

Leon, i. 315

Leyden, Dr. John, i. 76

Lib, Judah, ii. 317

Lisbon, i. 3, 15, 58, 66, 212

Llanes, ii. 88

Los Angeles, ii. 7

Luarca, ii. 61

Lugo, i. 354, 358

Luigi Piozzi, ii. 370


Madrid, i. 162, 173, 256, 270; ii. 99, 121, 217, 334

p. 425Mafra, i. 12

Manzanal, i. 327

Manzanares, ii. 216, 248

Maragatos, The, i. 321

Medina del Campo, i. 291

Mendizabal, Juan Alvarez y, i. 164

Merida, i. 114, 125

Miguelets, The, i. 363

Mirabete Pass, i. 145

Mol, Benedict, i. 190, 382, 385; ii. 73, 165, 181

Moncloa, i. 225

Montaneda, ii. 96

Monte Almo, i. 29

Monte Moro, i. 28, 53, 75

Monte Moro Novo, i. 87

Montes, Francisco, i. 170

Moore, Sir John, i. 374

Moors, The, i. 116, 239

Munoz, i. 198

Muros, ii. 65


Naval Carnero, ii. 232

Navias, ii. 59

New Castile, i. 150

Nogales, i. 350

Novales, ii. 45

Noyo, ii. 13


Ocaña, ii. 204

Ofalia, Count, ii. 121, 124, 141

Old Castile, i. 274; Plains of, i. 290

Oliban, the secretary, i. 183, 195

Oñas, ii. 98

Oropesa, i. 150

Oviedo, ii. 70


Padron, i. 392; ii. 1

Palencia, i. 309

Pascual Fava, ii. 381

Pedroso, i. 286

Pegões, 1. 24, 74

Peña Cerrada Pass, ii. 207

Peñaranda, i. 275

Petulengres, i. 204

Philippi, Mr., ii. 276, 278

Pico Sacro, i. 377

Piozzi, Luigi, i. 370

Pitiegua, i. 281

Pontevedra, i. 395

Portuguese Jews, i. 409

Puerto de Lumbreras, ii. 246


Quesada, i. 181, 199, 202


Rey Romero, i. 380

Ribida de Sella, ii. 88

Rivadeo, ii. 53

Rivas, Duke of, i. 183


Sabocha, the robber, i. 21

Sagra of Toledo, The, i. 257, ii. 194

Saint James of Compostella, i. 192, 377

Salamanca, i. 275

Sanchez, Antonio, i. 170

San Lucar, i. 214; ii. 274

San Martin de Duyo, ii. 23

Santa Colombo, ii. 89

Santa Marta, ii. 45

Santander, ii. 90

Santi Ponce, i. 217

Santillana, ii. 90

San Vicente, ii. 89

Scio, Padre Filipe, i. 259

Segovia, ii. 209

Serra Dorso, i. 33, 87

Sevilla Francesco, i. 170, 176

Seville, i. 215; ii. 214, 248

Sierra de Buron, ii. 60

Sierra de Ronda, i. 215

Sierra Morena, i. 241

Soto Luino, ii. 64

Southern, Mr., i. 271; ii. 133, 135, 139


p. 426Tagus, The, i. 3, 18, 145

Talavera, i. 155

Tangier, ii. 342

Tarifa, ii. 294, 341

Taylor, Baron, i. 220

Toledo, ii. 102–107

Tormes River, i. 276

Toro, i. 300

Trafalgar Bay, ii. 292

Triana, i. 216

Trujillo, i. 130


Valladolid, i. 294

Vargas, ii. 187, 195

Vendas Novas, i. 27, 55, 74

Vendas Velhas, i. 21

Villa del Padron, i. 392; ii. 1

Villafranca, i. 341

Villa Seca, ii. 185

Villa Viciosa, ii. 83

Vigo, i. 403

Villiers, Sir George.  See Clarendon, Lord

Viveiro, ii. 50


Zariategui, i. 262, 295




london: printed by william clowes and sons, limited,
stamford street and charing cross.


[2]  See note, vol. i. p. 120.

[12]  A fanciful word of Portuguese etymology from nuvem, cloud = the cloud-man.

[14]  Inha, when affixed to words, serves as a diminutive.  It is much in use amongst the Gallegans.  It is pronounced ínia, the Portuguese and Galician nh being equivalent to the Spanish ñ.

[22]  “Flock of drunkards.”  Fato, in Gal. as in Port. = a herd or flock.  Span. hato.

[23]  San Martin de Duyo, a village, according to Madoz, of sixty houses.  There are no remains of the ancient Duyo.

[26]  Galician; lit. the shore of the outer sea.

[28]  “By God!  I am going too.”

[29]  Who served as a subordinate general in the Carlist armies.

[37]  “The good lad.”

[43a]  In Spanish, guardacostas.

[43b]  More correctly, el Ferrol or farol, the lighthouse.  Nothing can more strikingly give the lie to the conventional taunt that Spain has made no progress in recent years than the condition of the modern town of el Ferrol compared with the description in the text.  It is now a flourishing and remarkably clean town of over 23,000 inhabitants, with an arsenal not only magnificent in its construction, but filled with every modern appliance, employing daily some 4000 skilled workmen, whose club (el liceo de los artesanos) might serve as a model for similar institutions in more “advanced” countries.  It comprises a library, recreation-room, casino, sick fund, benefit society, and school; and lectures and evening parties, dramatic entertainments, and classes for scientific students, are all to be found within its walls.

[45]  A little town charmingly situated on a little bay at the mouth of the river Eo, which divides Galicia from Asturias, famous for oysters and salmon.

[46]  Signifying in Portugese or Galician, “A thing of gold.”

[47]  Tertian ague, or intermittent three-day fever.

[49]  “Come along, my little Parrot!”

[58a]  A town on the sea-coast about half-way between Rivadeo and Aviles.

[58b]  Query.  See note, p. 45.

[59]  On the right bank of the Eo, over against Rivadeo.

[62a]  The port of Oviedo.

[62b]  See the Glossary, s.v. Copla.

[66]  “God bless me!”

[67]  I.e. Bascuence, or Vascuence, the Basque language.

[70]  Query, Aviles?

[71]  Job xxxix. 25: “. . . the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.”

[75]  “Good heavens!”

[76]  I.e. jacas.

[79a]  The cathedral at Oviedo is one of the oldest and most interesting foundations in Spain.  The first stone was laid by Alfonso II. in 802; the greater part of the existing edifice is of the fourteenth century.

But the great glory of Oviedo, entitling it to rank as second among the holy cities of Christian Spain, is the Camara Santa, and the relics therein contained (see Burke’s History of Spain vol. i. pp. 122–124, 140, 141, 147–150, 165, 275; vol. ii. pp. 8–11; and Murray’s Handbook, sub. Oviedo).

[79b]  Benito Feyjoo was born in 1676, and having assumed the Benedictine habit early in life, settled at length in a convent of his order at Oviedo, where he lived for hard on fifty years.  He died in 1764.

A strange mixture of a devout Catholic and a scientific innovator, he was an earnest student of Bacon, Newton, Pascal, Leibnitz, and others, whose opinions he embodied in his own works.  Learned, judicious, and diligent rather than a man of genius, he was original at least as regards his conceptions of the nature and limits of scientific research in Spain.  He kept on good terms with the Inquisition, while he continued to publish in his Teatro Critico and his Cartas Eruditas y Curiosas all that the Inquisitors would desire to remain unread; attacked the dialectics and metaphysics then taught everywhere in Spain; maintained Bacon’s system of induction in the physical sciences; ridiculed the general opinion as regards eclipses, comets, magic, and divination; and laid down canons of historical criticism which would exclude many of the most cherished traditions of his country and his Church.  The best edition of his works is that by Campomanes, the minister of the enlightened Charles III., with a Life of the author.  16 vols.  Madrid, 1778.

[80]  Charles III. of Spain (1759–1788), the most enlightened of the Bourbon kings.

[82]  Literally, dry.

[92]  George Dawson Flinter began life in an English West India regiment, served in the Spanish American forces, and afterwards obtained a commission in the Spanish army.  In 1833, on the outbreak of the civil war, he declared for Isabella, and served with considerable distinction in the constitutional army.  A prisoner in 1836, he was entrusted with a high command at Toledo in 1837, but having failed to satisfy the Cortes in an engagement in September, 1838, he cut his throat (see Gentl. Mag., 1838, vol. ii. p. 553, and Duncan, The English in Spain, pp. 13, 189).

[98]  There is still a fairly frequented high-road from Santander to Burgos, inasmuch as the railway from Santander to Madrid takes a more westerly route through Palencia, the actual junction with the main line from Irun being at Venta de Baños, a new creation of the railway not even mentioned in the guidebooks a few years ago, and now one of the most important stations in Spain.

Yet in railway matters Spain has still some progress to make.  From Santander to Burgos viâ Venta de Baños is just 120 English miles; but the time occupied in the journey by train in this year 1895 is just seventeen hours, the traveller having to leave Santander at 1 p.m. in order to reach Burgos at 6 o’clock the following morning!

[100]  See Introduction.

[101]  “Office of the Biblical and Foreign Society,” rather an odd rendering of the original title!

[103a]  The briefest of all abbreviations and modifications of the objectionable Carajo.

[103b]  Rather south-south-west.

[104]  Domenico Theotocoupoulis, a Greek or Byzantine who settled at Toledo in 1577.  He is said to have been a pupil of Titian.  The picture so highly praised in the text is said by Professor Justi to be in “his worst manner,” and is indeed a very stiff performance.  There are many of El Greco’s pictures in Italy, where his work is often assigned to Bassano, Paul Veronese, and Titian.  His acknowledged masterpiece is the Christ on Mount Calvary in the cathedral of Toledo.  El Greco died in 1625, after an uninterrupted residence of nearly forty years in Spain.

[107]  See The Zincali, part. ii. chap. vi.

[111a]  Borrow’s translation of St. Luke into Spanish gypsy was published with the following title: Embéo e Majaró LucasBrotoboro randado andré la chipe griega, acána chibado andré o Romanó ó chipe es Zincales de Sesé.  (No place) 1837.  A new edition was published five and thirty years later by the British and Foreign Bible Society, as Criscote e Majaró Lucas chibado andré o Romano ó chipe es Zincales de Sesé.  Lundra, 1872.  Both these works are now out of print, but I have had the advantage of seeing a copy of each in the library of the Society in Queen Victoria Street.

[111b]  The Zincali, part ii. ch. viii.

[114]  Modern linguistic science is so entirely at variance with these theories that it is difficult to add a note at once modest, instructive, or of reasonable length.  On the whole it is perhaps better to leave the chapter entirely alone.

[116a]  See the Glossary.

[116b]  Evangelioa San Lucasen GuissanEl Evangelio Segun S. LucasTraducido al vascuenceMadrid: Imprenta de la Compañia Tipografica. 1838.

[117]  See Proverbes Basques suivis des Poésies Basques, by Arnauld Oihenart, 1847.

[118a]  See F. Michel, Le Pays Basque, p. 213, and the Glossary, s.v. Ichasoa.

[118b]  No one who has ever read the work of this Abbé would ever think of citing it as a serious authority.  It is entitled, L’histoire des Cantabres par l’Abbé d’Iharce de Bidassouet.  Paris, 1825.  Basque, according to the author, was the primæval language; Noah being still the Basque for wine is an etymological record of the patriarch’s unhappy inebriety!

[118c]  This work is entitled, Euscaldun anciña anciñaco, etc.  Donostian, 1826, by Juan Ignacio de Iztueta, with an Introduction in Spanish, and many Basque songs with musical notation, but without accompaniment.

[120]  See further as to the Basques, Burke’s History of Spain, vol. i. App. I.

[121a]  1838.

[121b]  See ante, p. 100, and Introduction.

[121c]  Ofalia was prime minister from November 30, 1837, to August, 1838, when he was succeeded by the Duke of Frias.

[127]  The mayor or chief magistrate.  Politico is here used in the old sense of civic, πολιτικὸς, of the πόλις; gefe, now spelt jefe = chief.

[129a]  In The Zincali, part ii. ch. iv., Borrow places his imprisonment in March.

[129b]  Rather civic; see note on p. 127.

[131]  “The city prison.”  La Corte is the capital, as well as the court.

[133]  “My master! the constables, and the catchpolls, and all the other thieves . . . ”

[134a]  See the Glossary, s.v. Jargon.

[134b]  “He is very skilful.”

[136]  “Are there no more?”

[141]  More like the French Juge d’Instruction.

[143a]  “Come along, Sir George; to your house, to your lodgings!”

[143b]  Acts xvi. 37.

[146]  People of renown.

[147a]  “Mashes” and mistresses.  Majo is a word of more general signification than manolo.  The one is a dandy, or smart fellow, all over Spain; the other is used only of a certain class in Madrid.

[147b]  More correctly, Carabanchel or Carabancheles, two villages a few miles south of Madrid.

[148]  This in prison!

[149]  E.g. in the citadel of Pampeluna.  See Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, i. 152.

[152]  Perhaps Waterloo.—[Note by Borrow.]

[154]  “It distresses me.”

[155]  Robbing the natives.

[156]  See chap. xiii.

[164]  The sun was setting, and Demos commands.  “Bring water, my children, that ye may eat bread this evening.”  Borrow has translated this song in the Targum (v. p. 343).

[165]  The treasure-digger.

[170]  See The Zincali, part ii. chap. iv.

[171]  The duke became prime minister in August, 1838.

[175]  In Gams’ Series Episcoporum, the standard authority on the subject, the archiepiscopal see of Toledo is noted as vacant from 1836 to 1847.  Nor is any hint given of how the duties of the office were performed.  Don Antonio Perez Hirias figures only as Bishop of Mallorca, or Majorca, from December, 1825, to December, 1847.

[178a]  Kicks from behind.

[178b]  “I do not know.”

[179a]  See note, p. 103.

[179b]  “To the gallows!  To the gallows!”

[180a]  “To the country!  To the country!”

[180b]  “Ride on, because of the word of truth, of meekness, and righteousness” (Ps. xlv. 5, P.B.V.).

[188]  A nickname, unhappily too commonly justified in Southern Spain, where ophthalmia and oculists are equally dangerous.

It is remarkable how many of the great men in Spanish history, however, have been distinguished by this blemish: Hannibal, Viriatus, Táric, Abdur Rahman I., and Don Juan el Tuerto in the reign of Alfonso XI.

[190]  Byron, Don Juan, xiii. 11.  Borrow probably knew well enough where the lines came from.  Don Juan had not been published more than fifteen years at the time, and was in the zenith of its popularity.  But Byron and his ways were alike odious to the rough manliness of Borrow (see Lavengro, ch. xxxix.), and, in good truth, however much the poet “deserves to be remembered,” it is certainly not for this line, which contains as many suggestiones falsi as may be packed into one line.  Yet the “sneer” is not in the original, but in Borrow’s misquotation; Byron wrote “smiled.”  The idea of the poet having spent a handful of gold ounces in a Genoese posada at Seville and at a bull-fight at Madrid, that he might be competent to tell the world that Cervantes sneered Spain’s chivalry away, is superlatively Borrovian—and delicious.  The entire passage runs thus—

“Cervantes smiled Spain’s chivalry away;
   A single laugh demolish’d the right arm
Of his own country;—seldom since that day
   Has Spain had heroes.”

[192]  About thirty pounds, at the exchange of the day.

[195a]  “I wish to enlist with you.”

[195b]  “Gee up, donkey!”  From this arrhé, of Arabic origin, is derived the word arriero, a muleteer.

[197]  “Blessed be God!”

[198]  See note, ante, p. 190.

[201]  See vol. i. p. 257.

[202]  Aranjuez, the Roman Ara Jovis, was, until the absorption of the great military order by the Crown under Isabella and Ferdinand, a favourite residence of the Grand Masters of Santiago.

[203]  “Die schönen Tage in Aranjuez
Sind nun zu Ende.”

The opening lines of Don Carlos.

[204]  An exceedingly ancient town, celebrated in the days before the Roman dominion.

[205]  See Glossary, sub. verb. Schophon.  As to rabbits in Spain, see note, vol. i. p. 25.

[208]  The modern La Granja or San Ildefonso is, in the season, anything but desolate: the beautiful, if somewhat over-elaborate gardens, are admirably kept up, and the general atmosphere of the plain is bright and cheerful, though the Court of to-day prefers the sea-breezes of Biscay to the air of the Guadarrama, when Madrid becomes, as it does, well-nigh uninhabitable in summer.

[211a]  A particular scoundrel.  His massacre of prisoners, November 9, 1838, was remarkable for its atrocity, when massacre was of daily occurrence.  See Duncan, The English in Spain, pp. 247, 248.

[211b]  See note, vol. i. p. 164.

[213]  August 31, 1838.

[215]  Don Carlos, who probably died a natural death in 1568.

[217]  The etymology of Andalusia is somewhat of a crux; the various authorities are collected and reviewed in an appendix to Burke’s History of Spain, vol. i. p. 379.  The true etymology may be Vandalusia, the abiding-place of the Vandals, though they abode in Southern Spain but a very short time; but the word certainly came into the Spanish through the Arabic, and not through the Latin, long years after Latin was a spoken language.  The young lady was quite right in speaking of it as Betica or Bœtica; though the Terra would be superfluous, if not incorrect.

[218]  He had succeeded to that title on the death of his uncle, December 22, 1838.

[219]  I.e. “My Lord the Sustainer of the Kingdom.”  See preface to The Zincali, second edition.

[221a]  Tio.  A common method of address, conveying no reference to real relationship.  So the Boers in South Africa speak of “Oom (uncle) Paul.”

[221b]  “What beautiful, what charming reading!”

[223]  No hay otro en el mundo.

[224a]  See note on p. 147.

[224b]  Κατὰ τὸν τόπον καὶ ὁ τρόπος, as Antonio said.—[Note by Borrow].   I.e. “As is the place, such is the character (of the people).”

[225]  Alcalá de Henares.  See note, vol. i. p. 223.

[228a]  “Good night!”

[228b]  “Good night to you!”

[234]  Or Nevski = of the Neva; as we have a Thames Street.

[236]  Spanish, duende.  See p. 238.  Oddly enough in Germanía, or thieves’ slang, duende = ronda, a night patrol.

[237]  Madrid is not a city or ciudad, but only the chief of villas.

[240]  In Romany, Chuquel sos pirela cocal terela.

[242a]  El Nuevo Testamento Traducido al Español de la Vulgata Latino por el Rmo. P. Phelipe Scio de S. Miguel de las Escuelas Pias Obispo Electo de SegoviaMadridImprenta á cargo de D. Joaquin de la Barrera.  1837.

[242b]  The church of San Gines is in the Calle del Arenal; the chapel of Santa Cruz in the Concepcion Jerónima.

[246]  This is a curious slip; the spelling is found in the first and all subsequent editions.  The true name of the defile—it is between Velez el Rubio and Lorca—is, as might be supposed, La Rambla, but the narrowest part of the pass is known as the Puerto de Lumbreras (the Pass of Illumination), and from Rambla and Lumbrera Borrow or the printer of 1843 evolved the strange compound Rumblar!

[248]  This would naturally mean, “Most reverend sir, art thou still saying, or, dost thou still say Mass?” which seems somewhat irrelevant.  Possibly what “the prophetess” meant to ask was, “Most reverend sir, hast thou yet said Mass?”

[251a]  “Knowest thou the land where the lemon-trees bloom?”  The song of Mignon in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, introduced in the opera of Faust.

[251b]  See note, vol. i. p. 216.

[256]  Born at Amalfi, 1623, a simple fisherman.  He headed the rebellion of the Neapolitans against the Spanish viceroy, in 1647.  His success as a leader led to a revulsion of popular feeling, and he was executed or murdered within a few days of his greatest triumph.

[261]  Chiefly in their pronunciation of the characteristic G and Z of the Castilian as S instead of TH.  The South-American Spaniards, so largely recruited from Andalusia, maintain the same sibilation, which is about as offensive to a true Castilian as the dropping of an H is to an educated Englishman.

[262]  Safacoro is the Romany name for Seville; and Len Baro for the great river, arabicé Wady al Kebir, the Guadalquivir.  See Glossary.

[263]  For further information about Manuel and Luis Lobo, who compiled a manuscript collection of the pseudo-gypsy writings of los del aficion, or those addicted to the Gitanos and their language, see The Zincali, part iii. chap. ii.

[264a]  Κύριε, voc. of κύριος, the usual mode of address, “sir.”

[264b]  The name of a famous family of Dutch printers (1594–1680).

[266]  Priests.  Greek, παπᾶς; not Spanish, in which language Papa means the Pope (of Rome).

[267]  Τίποτε = nothing at all.

[273]  The secondary signification of “prosperity” or “good fortune” is more familiar to English ears; the word having come to us by way of the Spanish, American, and Californian mining camps.

[274]  “The Illustrious Scullion.”

[282]  Lit. a butterfly.

[288]  This was Mr. John Brackenbury.

[292a]  The great Danish poet, born in 1779, died 1850; see ante, note, vol. i. p. 29.

[292b]  October 21, 1805.

[293a]  It is an American in our own day, Captain Mahan, U.S.N., who has called attention, in his masterly influence of Sea Power upon History, to the transcendent importance of the battle of Trafalgar, hardly realized by the most patriotic Englishman, who had well-nigh forgotten Trafalgar in celebrating the more attractive glories of Waterloo.

[293b]  Storm of east wind; wind from the Levant.

[293c]  I.e. Kafirs, the Arabic term of reproach, signifying an unbeliever; one who is not a Moslem!

[294]  The title formally granted to this Alonzo Perez de Guzman, under the sign-manual of King Sancho the Bravo, was that of “The Good.”  His son was not crucified, but stabbed to death by the Infante Don John, with the knife that had been flung over the battlements of the city by the poor lad’s father, a.d. 1294 (see Documentos Ineditos para la Historia de España, tom. xxxix. pp. 1–397).

[295]  Rather of Muza, the commander-in-chief of the army that conquered Gothic Spain in 711.  Tarifa similarly perpetuates the memory of one of his lieutenants, Tárif; and Gibraltar is Gibil Tarik, after Tarik, his second in command (see Burke’s History of Spain, vol. i. pp. 110–120).

[296a]  The hill of the baboons.

[296b]  Rather, “The Island;” Al Jezirah.

[298]  According to Don Pascual de Gayangos, Thursday, April 30, 711.

[301]  In more modern slang, “a rock scorpion.”

[302]  Του λόγου σας, a polite locution in modern Greek, signifying “you,” “your good self, or, selves.”

[307]  More correctly, the Preobazhenski, Semeonovski, and Findlandski polks.  The first is a very crack regiment, and was formed by Peter the Great in 1682.  In 1692 it took part in the capture of Azov (Toll, “Nastolny Slovar,” Encyclop. tom. iii.).

[309]  This would have been General Sir A. Woodford, K.C.B., G.C.M.G.

[310]  “A holy man this, from the kingdoms of the East.”

[311]  A street in West Hamburg, near the port and the notorious Heiligegeist, frequented by a low class of Jews and seafaring men.

[312a]  The living waters.

[312b]  Into the hands of some one else—manû alicujusPeluni is the Fulaneh of the Arabs, the Don Fulano of the Spaniards; Mr. So-and-So; Monsieur Chose.

[314]  I.e. “The Hill of the English,” near Vitoria.  Here, in the year 1367, Don Tello, with a force of six thousand knights, cut to pieces a body of four hundred men-at-arms and archers, under the command of Sir Thomas Felton, Seneschal of Guienne, and his brother Sir William.  See Froissart, i. chap. 239; Ayala, Cronicas de los Reyes de Castilla, i. p. 446; Mérimée, Histoire de Don Pèdre Ier, p. 486.

[316]  The popular name for Etna—an etymology most suggestive, Mons (Latin) and gibil (Arabic) each signifying “a mountain.”

[318]  The book Zohar (Hebrew, “Brilliancy”) is, next to the canonical Scripture, one of the ablest books in Hebrew literature, having been written by the Rabbi Simeon bar Jochaï, “The Great Light” and “Spark of Moses,” early in the second century of our era.  The mysteries contained in the Zohar are said to have been communicated to Jochaï during his twelve years’ seclusion in a cave; and they are specially revered by a sect of modern Jews known as Zoharites, or Sabbathians, from their founder Sabbataï Zevi, who was born at Smyrna in 1625, and claimed to be the true Messiah, but who, to save himself from death as an impostor, embraced the faith of Islám at Adrianople, and died a Moslem in 1676.  Yet a hundred years later another Zoharite pretender, Jankiev Lejbovicz, who acquired the name of Jacob Frank, of Offenbach, near Frankfort, and died only in 1792, made himself famous in Germany.  The Zoharites were Cabalistic, as opposed to Talmudic, in their theology or theosophy, and in later times have claimed to have much in common with Christianity.—See M. J. Mayers (of Yarmouth), A Brief Account of the Zoharite Jews (Cambridge, 1826); and Graetz, History of the Jews, vol. v. pp. 125, 289.

[322]  Rabat.

[330]  1 Kings xix. 11–13.

[337]  On as a termination is usually indicative of size without admiration, bigness rather than greatness, as in the Italian one.

[343a]  The tomato was hardly known in England in 1839, and was not common for forty years after, so Borrow may be excused for giving the word in its Spanish form.  The plant was introduced into Spain from Peru in the sixteenth century.

[343b]  “Lord of the World.”  Adun or Adon is the well-known Hebrew word for Lord, and is said to be the origin of the Spanish title DonOulem is the Arab ‘Olam.  The following lines are the first poem in the Targum, a collection of translations by Borrow from thirty languages, printed at St. Petersburg in 1835:—

“Reigned the universe’s Master, ere were earthly things begun:
When his mandate all created Ruler was the name he won;
And alone he’ll rule tremendous when all things are past and gone,
He no equal has, nor consort, he, the singular and lone,
Has no end and no beginning; his the sceptre, might and throne.
He’s my God and living Saviour, rock to whom in need I run;
He’s my banner and my refuge, fount of weal when called upon;
In his hand I place my spirit at nightfall and rise of sun,
And therewith my body also; God’s my God—I fear no one.”

[348]  In 1684, on the familiar official plea of “economy.”

[349]  “Good morning, O my lord.”

[351]  “There is no God but one.”

[354]  “Buy here, buy here.”

[357a]  This youth followed Borrow to England, where he was introduced to Mr. Petulengro as a pal, but rejected by him as “no Roman.”  See The Zincali, Preface to Second Edition.

[357b]  “Hail, Mary, full of grace, pray for me.”

[357c]  “Remove the faithless race from the borders of the believers, that we may gladly pay due praises to Christ.”

[359]  This has been already alluded to as regards Southern Spain.

[360]  Algiers.

[361]  Essence of white flowers.  The Arabic attar = essence is well known in combination as otto or attar of roses.  Nuar is a form of Nawār = flowers.

[362]  This was still market-day in 1892.

[364]  Nowhere has the destruction of locusts been undertaken in a more systematic manner, or carried to greater perfection than in the island of Cyprus, where a special tax is levied by the British Government to defray the expenses of what is called “the war.”  The system is the invention of a Cypriote gentleman, Mr. Mattei.

[365]  More commonly known as the prickly pear (Opuntia vulgaris).

[367a]  The house of the trades [Borrow], or rather “of the handicrafts.”

[367b]  Seashore.  See the Glossary.

[372]  Friday.

[375]  The etymology of Granada is doubtful.  Before the invasion of Spain by the Arabs, a small town of Phœnician origin, known as Karnattah, existed near Illiberis (Elvira), and probably on the site of the more modern city of Granada.  The syllable Kar would, in Phœnician, signify “a town.”  The meaning of nattah is unknown (Gayangos, i. 347; Casiri, Bib. Ar. Hisp. Esc., ii. 251; Conde, Hist. Dom., i. pp. 37–51).  The supposition that the city owes its name to its resemblance to a ripe pomegranate (granada) is clearly inadmissible.  As in the case of Leon, the device was adopted in consequence of its appropriateness to an existing name—although the modern city of Granada is probably not older than 1020.  The Arabic word, moreover, for a pomegranate is romàn; and Soto de Roma, the name of the Duke of Wellington’s estate in Andalusia, means “the wood of the pomegranates;” and an ensalada romana is not a Roman, but a pomegranate salad (see Pedaza, Hist. Eccl. de Granada [1618], fol. 21, 22; Romey, Hist., i. 474, 475).—Burke’s Hist. of Spain, vol. i. p. 116.

[376a]  The most powerful, or the most respected, man in Tangier.  Power and respect are usually enjoyed by the same individual in the East.

[376b]  “It does not signify.”

[378]  See note, vol. i. p. 240.

[382]  “Algerine,
Moor so keen,
No drink wine,
No taste swine.”

[383a]  “That is not lawful.”

[383b]  “Everything is lawful.”

[383c]  “Hail, star of the sea, benign Mother of God, and for ever virgin, blessed gate of heaven.”

[395]  Andalusian for ciego.


***** This file should be named 35676-h.htm or******

This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.