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be traced the deep lines of heavy sorrow, and the fire of his dark eye seemed to have been quenched in real suffering. He was exceedingly pale, thin, and very tall, and the upper part of his head completely bald. His brow was marked with the furrows of reflection, and an expression of meditative melancholy appeared habitual to him. There was nothing remarkable in his dress, except his long cloak of chesnut colour with blue facings, and yet his whole appearance and deportment betokened some strange mystery. He kept an imperturbable silence, nor did he seem aware of the prodigious uproar that now filled the place.


The usual topics of conversation were now in agitation; the merits of preachers and actresses were discussed-the small gossip and scandal of the town circulated freely-then competent comment were passed upon the most interesting passages of the Diario and the Gazeta, such as the announcement of a novena,* the promotion of some friar to an episcopacy, or the day that the king was going out of Madrid, or coming into it. This, together with the soul-stirring recital of the latest murders and robberies, the feats of the contrabandistast de Ronda, and the bull-fights, offered ample field for the oratorical powers of the company, without entering upon the dangerous ground of political speculation. This topic, which in other countries furnishes the philosophers of coffee-houses with such an exhaustless source of ingenious guesses and sapient speeches, was in Spain studiously avoided.

'After this explanation, it will, perhaps, be superfluous to add that these things took place in the year 1819, when a continual alarm and mistrust prevailed throughout Spain, and more especially at Madrid. The several plots and unsuccessful attempts of Lacy, Vidal, and Portier, together with the tragical end of those chiefs, and above all the consummate specimen of double dealing in the late affair of the Count de Abisbal (General O'Donnell), kept men's minds in a constant state of excitement; not so much for those events in themselves, as through dread of being wrongly implicated and punished accordingly.

'Many dozens of cigars had already been smoked, and not quite so many cups of coffee swallowed, when a dashing, bustling young man entered the café. He was elegantly attired after the French fashion, wore the requisire opera-glass, and appeared prodigiously well satisfied with himself. Yet amidst his coxcombry there was something intelligent and good-humoured in his countenance. The expression of his features was frank and open, and a gay smile seemed to have permanently fixed its quarters on the corner of his lip. No sooner did he make his appearance amongst the motley concourse, than the noise increased; every one cried out "Verdeflor!" and he began to bestow on every side his tokens of recognition. He shook hands with some, spoke to others, simpered with a few, and nodded to many, and thus he was making his way when he was arrested by the calls of some inviting him to coffee, and others who invited themselves to take coffee with him. He very judiciously closed with the first offer-told some story-a shout of laughter followed, and having thus

Public prayers which last nine days, and are addressed to some parti

cular saint.'


paid his reckoning, he rose in a hurry to depart, looking at his watch, a beautiful gold repeater, with appropriate chain and seals. He wondered how long he had stayed-swore three oaths in French-cocked his glass -pushed a couple of waiters in his precipitate march-three cups of coffee were spilt-another laugh ensued he called out to one of the laughers to pay for the mischief he had done, and was just on the point of leaving the place, when his eye with the cocked glass fell by chance on the young man of whom we have spoken above, and his course was suddenly arrested.'vol. i. pp. 1-12.

We need hardly add, that the "exquisite" above described, is Verdeflor. His companion is Cortante. The gloomy personage, styled throughout the Incognito, is the Count Belprado. Another perfectly correct and characteristic picture of Madrid, is the author's description of the evening assembly on the Prado, justly styled one of the most superb promenades in Europe. The sudden effect upon the gay multitude of the hundred bells at the time of oracion, or evening prayer, has often been mentioned by travellers. No one who has not seen it, can conceive the magical change which it produces for a moment. A foreigner looking about him, would think that they were all mad, or spell-bound. We must, however, pass over this lively picture, in order to make room for the amusing and original character of Deogracias.

'The two brothers Cabezon were as dissimilar in their characters, tastes and dispositions, as it is possible for beings of the same species to be, though at the same time each was a perfect original in his kind. Don Deogracias, the youngest of the two, quite satisfied with a small competency, seemed to regard all worldly pursuits with total indifference, nor was his heart ever known to feel interested in those pleasures and indulgences which fall to the share of human nature. He might indeed be accounted a philosopher, if it were known that, in denying himself the comforts of life within his reach, he felt no privation, since in him it was only a want of imagination and animal spirits, which produced that unconcern for sublunary things which in more lofty minds springs only from strong reason.

'He was an old bachelor, but he would have been puzzled to tell why, for he had arrived at the age of sixty, without ever bestowing a thought on love or marriage. He was systematic in every thing-regular at his meals and his prayers-never missed the evening walk and chocolate, and was constantly attired in the same sober dress of brown. As his necessities were but few, the greater part of his income would have been a dead weight on his hand, had he not contrived a method of easing himself of the troublesome commodity. Almost all his money was spent in satisfying a strong fancy he had for ecclesiastical ceremonies. Being of a pious turn of mind, he spent half of his time at church--was known to every monk and friar, and knew himself all the regulations of ecclesiastical discipline. He never missed a sermon, and he could tell the merits and the faults of every celebrated preacher. On Sundays and festivals he was constantly at the choir of some convent, making one of the singers; for he prided himself much on his base voice, and there were few even amongst the most renowned sochantres, who could give out a psalm with better grace.

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'Don Deogracias was moreover a member of every charitable fraternity -attended every procession, and was an inveterate collector of prints of saints, images, and other pious appendages. He had a complete assortment of rosaries and escapularios, and was esteemed the most indefatigable and successful collector of religious relics and other curiosities. His house was indeed a museum quite unique in its way. There was scarcely a saint in the calendar who had not contributed to the splendid collection of the good Don Deogracias. He had relics of every martyr, and he possessed the most complete assortment of appropriate prayers and other recipes against the tooth-ache. He could tell without hesitation what was the peculiar province over which each saint presided, and the most correct version of such miracles as were somewhat involved in obscurity. He was constantly occupied in discussing the merits of church ornaments, towards the stock of which he very liberally subscribed, and never was he more busily engaged than when giving directions for some new article of decoration. With all this he was exempt from fanaticism, possessed the heart of a child, was extremely benevolent, and by no means devoid of


His mania, however, could never be cured; he was the most zealous supporter of the externals of religion, as well as the most harmless of idolaters.'-vol. i.—pp. 59–62.

The character of Dona Tecla, the beata, or female devotee, is drawn with equal force and felicity, and is admirably sustained throughout. Her proceedings at Aranjuez, where Theresa is lodged, and the chit chat of her visitors, old maids, and monks, are amusing, and relieve the tragical part of the story of much of its gloom. We have also a capital description of the peculiar manner in which the festivals of Christmas are spent at Madrid. The eating and drinking, the rejoicing, the fairs, the groups that fill the streets, the swarms of friars of every hue, of hidalgos, beggars, and women and children, the songs and dances, and musical instruments, are all brought before us in the most lively colours' During that season, many curious sights are to be seen in Madrid, none perhaps more original and more striking than the amusements of the lowest orders of the city, who inhabit a quarter called El Avapiés, somewhat analogous to our St. Giles's. It is principally in possession of a race denominated Manolos, who, from their dress, language, manners, and general appearance, may be easily distinguished from the other classes of citizens. They go about in their cloaks, smoking their cigars, and have, frequently, a most ferocious look. A visit paid by Verdeflor and his friend Cortante, to the dominions of this people, enables the author to present us with one of his most finished scenes. A part of it will be sufficient for our purpose.

'The two friends now bent their steps towards El Avapiés, a parish well known at Madrid from the various feats performed there. It claims the singular merit of affording a great number of customers to his Majesty's galeras, and disputes with that of the maravillas the honour of producing the most daring, desperate, reckless matones. El Avapiés is

completely inhabited by the lower classes, especially by those people called manolos, who are to be seen lounging about in their cloaks, smoking their cigars, and looking terrible things. Whether the manolos be a distinct race of men, and directed by their own peculiar regulations, I cannot determine; but it is not less true that in their dress, jargon, and manners, they make a striking contrast with the rest of the inhabitants of Madrid. In what calling or profession they employ themselves would puzzle the greatest economist to determine, nor is the way in which they get their money very clearly to be explained.

'Sometimes indeed you may see one of them-a tall, swarthy, longwhiskered, ferocious-looking fellow, indolently reclining against a wall, basking in the sun, whilst at his feet, upon a rag of an old brown cloak, is displayed "a beggarly account" of rusty nails, a lock, an old blade of a sword, a tinder box, a few flints, two horse-shoes, sundry pieces of old iron, and similar trumpery. But how with the product of this merchandise he contrives to live, find his expences in cigars and wine, shew-off on a Sunday in a fine cloak and silk neck-cloth, treat his maja and buy her ribands, savours indeed a little of the miraculous. The manolos are great connoisseurs in horses and bull-fights, and are to be found amongst muleteers and carriers, which trades they sometimes, though seldom, follow; they flock to the court-yards of mesones and inns, with what intentions I leave the charitable reader to imagine; and when they have absolutely no other way of killing time, they creep from their sanctum and venture to the Puerta del Sol, where they loiter and lounge in clusters, discussing the merits of the bull-fighters, and recounting the wonderful feats of courage of some members of the fraternity. The manolos must not, however, be all confounded together. They have their ranks and gradations. Every manolo is not a majo, for this is an appellation bestowed on, or assumed by those, who in virtue of their wealth, bravery, and deeds of gallantry consider themselves entitled to the distinction. But to return: Verdeflor and his companion proceeded to El Avapiés without any incident. but the occasional meeting of a drunken sot, or the parties of pious people returning from the misa del gallo.

The noise and din had begun partially to subside, though enough was yet heard of the zambombas, sufficiently villancicos to satisfy any reasonable amateur of discord. In the Avapiés, however, the orgies were kept up with greater alacrity-the sounds of laughter and of quarrelling, of loose jokes, and tender sayings, of pious ejaculations, and huge oaths, floated promiscuously along the air; the narrow, filthy, darksome streets which composed this parish were scantily illuminated by a few candiles, the bonfires had gone out, and the place was in a most desirable condition for the matones to exercise their prowess, had they not been happily otherwise engaged. The young men were now arrested by sounds of castanets, a tuneless guitar, and a lame fiddle. This strange concert proceeded from a house of miserable appearance, and it was now and then diversified by bursts of laughter, or the energetic apostrophes of some manola. It was evident that a scene of merriment was going forward, and Verdeflor, turning to his companion

"Now, Cortante," he said with glee, "thank Heaven, we are in the way of witnessing a curious sight-have you never seen un bayle de

candil ?"

"No, never, though I have often heard of them.”


Well, you may now be gratified with the spectacle-let me knock at the door."


Gently, my good fellow," interposed Cortante, "what are you at? Are you by chance acquainted with the people within?"

"No more than with his Holiness the Pope-but what of that? I have a marvellous talent for making impromptu acquaintances-be ruled by my discretion and fear nothing.'

Thus saying, without the least hesitation and in spite of his friend's remonstrances, he knocked loudly at the door.


A moment of deep silence ensued; the revellers no doubt imagined from the knock that it was the ronda; whispers followed, and then a gruff voice inquired, "Who's there?"

""Gente de paz! answered Verdeflor readily. "Open the door, camaradas, and fear nothing."

"Fear! what mean you by fear?" cried a gaunt swarthy figure, opening wide the door, and acquiring a degree of courage from the certainty that it was not the ronda. "Fear! By Santiago, such a commodity is not to be had here, Senorito. But what, in the name of Satan, do you mean by making this clatter at the mansion of honourable men?"

"I beg your pardon, caballero," returned Verdeflor, in a polite and submissive tone. "It was not my intention to offend. But passing by chance through the street and hearing your agreeable music, I was anxious to shew my friend here, who is a stranger at Madrid, the agreeable modes of life and hospitality of the manolos, by becoming partakers in your festivities that is to say, if you had no objection, and you allowed us to contribute our quota towards the expenses."

"This last sentence carried by far more weight with it than all the fine phrases by which Verdeflor had prefaced it. The manola looked for a moment very grave, then he relapsed and with a bow

""Come in, caballeros," he said, "for I know you to be such."

· Verdeflor and Cortante now entered and found themselves in a narrow and filthy passage, in absolute darkness; they groped their way to a flight of tottering wooden steps, at the summit of which a low, crazy door was opened, and the strangers went in. The scene which now offered itself to the view was singularly curious and striking. The apartment was very low, and impregnated with the fumes of cigars, so that the walls, which had once been white, had turned to a dark dingy colour; the furniture and ornaments of the place were in strict keeping with the appearance of the walls; there was a low bench and three chairs of very fanciful variety

-one was made of wood, the other of horse-hair, and the third had been of rush; there was also an arm-chair, lame of one arm, and a deal table lame of a part of a leg; this deficiency, however, was supplied by a brickbat, which acted very appropriately in the capacity of a foot. On one of the walls was seen an uncouth piece of glass, which was called a mirror; and besides this curious article there was a wood-cut of the Holy Family going to Nazareth, daubed over with anil azafran, and other random colours that have not as yet been admitted into a painting-box. It was a curious specimen of the graphic art, and afforded some luminous ideas concerning the invention of fire-arms. St. Joseph was very gal2 H


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