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it becomes, as it were, intoxicated with excess of light. Life also, in Cadiz, has a permanent appearance of festivity, and one often asks oneself where the trade and traffic are really carried on; for wherever one looks, it appears as if people were only enjoying here what they had acquired in other places. In Cadiz, all the spirit of the life of an Andalusian seems to be united as in a focus. The impression of the whole is at first stupifying, then painful-the eye pines for green-the body for shade-the mind for rest; and Cadiz soon appears like an enchanted vessel in the middle of the sea, from which one is heartily glad to set foot on the broad green land again."
Of a less dazzling and quieter scene we must introduce a picture. It is of a way-side inn, La Venta de Cardenas, which stands at the entrance of the well-known pass through which the high road leads from Castile to Andalusia. Before the Venta the naked reddish plain of La Mancha extends, and " on the side of the house is a thicket of almond trees and roses; and a small garden run to waste, containing some vegetables, cucumbers, and melons, which, with their luxuriant tendrils and leaves, almost conceal the nearest trees, and bend towards the earth with the weight of their fruits." Some other general particulars are mentioned to fill up the outline of the Venta, both exteriorly and interiorly; and the arrival to the place in May 1822, of a train of heavily laden mules with their drivers and other travellers. We quote what follows connected with the scene and the date.
"A more detailed description of the inside of the Venta de Cardenas may give the reader a picture of the best class of Spanish Ventas, which sometimes are built at considerable expense, and belong to a munificent foundation, or to some grand señor, whose coat of arms is generally displayed over the door. The resemblance of such Ventas to the Caravanserais of the East is striking. The whole forms only one room, a spacious hall, the ceiling of which is formed by the roof of the house itself, with its rafters supported by three rows of strong square stone pillars. Even by day, this extensive space only receives, through a few small apertures in the side walls, and through the windows in the roof, a scanty light, to which the eye must first accustom itself before it can recognise objects and comprehend them. In this hall there is room for men, cattle, and cargoes; and it may, on many occasions, have given shelter to full a hundred men, and two or three hundred mules, without their incommoding or disturbing each other. Immediately round the gate stood several loaded carriers' carts and four-wheeled waggons, called 'galeras.' The mules were tied up along the wall on either side, and were only perceived by their stamping and snorting. Around some of the pillars were heaped up the chests, sacks, and bales of different caravans, which had taken up their night's quarters in the Venta, while opposite to the gate, at the farther end of the hall, blazed a cheering fire. The smoke found its way partly through the windows in the roof, and partly rose up like a light cloud under the rafters. The only separate space was a partition on the side of the fire-place, destined for the Ventero and his family, and for keeping the necessary kitchen
utensils, forming as it were a small house within the house. Against one wall of this partition were ranged full a dozen vessels of red clay, of the height of a man, and proportionate breadth, which contained the necessary water for the cattle, while a great number of smaller vessels of a neat form stood upon a plank, within reach of the travellers, whenever they desired to drink. Between the rafters of the roof were some garrets, which seemed to cling there like swallows' nests.
"Round about the fire, and in its vicinity, a great number of men had collected together in separate groups: some occupied with preparing their night's quarters, or their food, while others sat on little stools round small low tables, (reminding one of Eastern customs,) and consumed their frugal
At the fire was the Patrona, an elderly but hale woman, busy with some maids, in getting ready all sorts of food, which stood around or hung over the fire in several dishes and pots-and the guests carefully made room for the sharp and zealous mistress of the house. A priest, in the dress of the order of Dominicans, seated in a wooden arm-chair, had taken possession of the best place by the fire. He was a corpulent personage, with fiery eyes, a cunning look, a high forehead, and a mouth which expressed severity and imperiousness. Near him sat the Ventero, not seeming to trouble himself about any of his other guests. He was a character such as Cervantes alone can paint, and which is perhaps only to be met with in Spain.
"The travellers last arrived also went up to the fire, and greeted the 'Ave Maria Purisima!-good evening, Caballeros, may company with an This greeting was returned by the muleteers, your supper do you good.' carriers, and peasants, with that grave politeness which distinguishes, and so greatly facilitates the intercourse, of all classes in Spain.
Those sitting nearest invited the new comers to partake of their supper, with the words, 'Do you please to sup with us, gentlemen?' for in Spain the Arab custom still prevails, that no one eats or drinks without having first invited his neighbours, and even passers-by to partake of the meal."
A sketch of Antonio's paternal house, and his reception after his return from travel, would be still more striking; but it is too long for our insertion. One paragraph, however, will afford some
evidence of the value of the whole.
Antonio hastened to meet his mother, who recognised him immediately, and fell speechless and sobbing upon his neck. She only relaxed her embrace in order to consider him with the careful look of motherly love, and again to press him in her arms, till Dolores, who had greeted her father with a timid kiss of the hand, at last claimed her share also of motherly affection, and Antonio could turn to his father, who shook him cordially by the hand without any particular emotion, but with a hearty Welcome, Antonio, welcome home.' After the first storm of joy and emotion of questioning and answering was past, the father reminded them that it was time for the evening meal. A plank was now laid upon two low blocks. which formed together a long low table in the middle of the court, and A few common earthenthis was covered with a coarse but clean cloth. ware dishes full of gazpacho were then brought, and all the inhabitants of
the house seated themselves on low stools round the table, the servants and the maid at the lower end, at the upper end Father Hilario, who was always a welcome guest, next to him old Lara and his wife, and beside the latter Antonio, to whom Dolores had been obliged to yield her place. The wooden spoons which drew from all sides upon the dishes soon emptied them, and olives, together with snow-white bread, concluded the frugal repast. Some glass jugs of wine, however, were not wanting, from which the men poured the wine down their throats, holding them with a skilful hand high above their heads."
We now quote part of some of the scenes closely connected with the destinies of Antonio's family. The first is an account of a terrific combat, in which Christoval, Antonio's cousin, enacts a principal part. He is in all its prominent parts an admirable representative of the Spanish character; for though he can do a deed such as is now to be detailed, he is pious, in the Spanish sense of the word, faithful, and affectionate; capable indeed of cherishing the most romantic feelings. Then mark the confiding, simple, even childish love of Dolores. The tragedy occurs at a booth in a fair, where there has just been a difference between two parties.
"Suddenly, a deep voice from the crowd which surrounded him cried, 'Down with the Constitution! to the seventh hell with Riego !' And, at the same time, a man stepped forward, wrapped up in his mantle, and his large hat pulled deep over his face. The officer, uncertain what he was to think of this unexpected opponent, cried, Who are you? What do you want? In the name of the King and Constitution deliver yourself prisoner.'
"At the first word of the disguised man Dolores was on the point of springing to him, with the words, 'Jesus Maria! it is Christoval!' But her brother, and the young gipsy girl, who had joined her in the meantime, held her back. Christoval himself, throwing hastily his hat on the ground, and swinging back his cloak, which he at the same time twisted round his arm, stood in a moment with a drawn knife in his hand ready for the conflict. Remarking the movement of Dolores, he called to her,
For the love of God, girl, keep back! Esteban, hold her back!' Then looking round, And you, Caballeros, keep quiet! I have an account to settle with the young gentleman there. You do not know me, sir, you say,' he continued, as he turned towards the officer, but I know youyou are one who has ruined me. Recollect the Venta de Gualdiaro. You are the murderer of the brave Pedro Gomez. His blood still sticks to your sabre, and blood will have blood!'
"With these words Christoval pressed in upon his adversary. The latter could not conceal from himself the danger of his situation. All round him he saw, by the uncertain light of torches, either curious or indifferent countenances, whilst single Embozados darted gloomy and unfriendly glances at him. He knew very well that he was hated by the lower classes of the people in the neighbourhood, and by the Serviles, on account of the zeal with which he had distinguished himself in the pursuit
of robbers, contrabandists, and people of that description. He hesitated, then, a short time, whether he should engage in a duel with such an enemy, or should call in the arm of the law to his assistance; but the desire of adventure, natural to so young a man, rose within him, and he was ashamed, when opposed only to a single adversary, to have the appearance of calling for help.
The extraordinary combat had, in the meantime, begun. Not unacquainted with the fearful weapon of his antagonist, and with the only means of escaping it, the officer stood in a calm attitude on his ground, with his right arm drawn back, ready either to cut or thrust. He knew he was lost, without hope of escape, if he did not lay his antagonist low at the first stroke, and he followed his movements with eyes and body in high-wrought attention. Christoval, in the meantime, bent forward, in an almost cowering position, behind his cloak, which was stretched out far before him on his left arm, while in his right hand he held his long knife, the blade of which, of two fingers' breadth, diminished gradually to a fine point, and was hollowed out below for the convenience of thrusting. In this attitude he slid round his adversary, in circles gradually smaller, watching, with glowing eyes, his every motion. It was evident that the latter was gradually losing his patience, while his fiery courage excited him to make a speedy end of the affair.
"He is lost!' quietly remarked an old bull-fighter who stood amongst the crowd, and observed the fight with the eye of a connoisseur.
"The cloak now seemed to slip from Christoval's left arm, and whilst he endeavoured to gather it up again, he exposed himself, in some degree, to his adversary, who, thinking the right moment had arrived, rushed forward, and aimed a powerful blow at his adversary's head, but sank at the same moment to the ground, with a faint cry. The apparent slipping off of the cloak was only a feint of Christoval's, by which he might mislead his adversary into some imprudent movement. Receiving the blow on his cloak, he sprang forward at the same moment, with the quickness of lightning, on his adversary, like the tiger on his prey, and thrust the knife from below, under the ribs, into his left side; and such was the force of the blow, together with that of the spring, that he tore the unhappy man's body open, completely across, so that the trunk only hung to the under body by the bones of the spine, while the numerous layers of his thick woollen cloak had defended Christoval from every injury.
"God be merciful to his poor soul!' said he, with an agitation which he with difficulty suppressed, while the persons around, keeping silence for a moment, gazed on the terrific wound.
"Well struck, Christoval!' cried Esteban at last, giving his hand to his cousin; but now away, I hear the Round. My horse is standing yonder give Dolores a kiss, and away!'"
There can be no doubt, that even the tender Dolores would have willingly kissed the murderer, while his blade was reeking with new shed blood. It is even stated by the author, that the "gay proceedings on the place were only interrupted for a short time by this event, and the night was enlivened by sounds of music and the dance till the break of morning."
At the risk of considerably exceeding our limits, we shall extract a dialogue between Dolores and a sort of wild gipsy girl, which takes place at the Alhambra a considerable time after the combat above detailed. The said girl was present during its occurrence, and encouraged poor Dolores while it lasted. Esteban is one of the brothers of Dolores. The dialogue now to be quoted, we believe, is as true to Spanish life and feeling as any thing in Huber's work.
"Dolores thought she knew the voice that sang this wild strain, and soon she beheld her friend Paquita, who now, as formerly at the fair of Mairena, made it her especial business to plague her numerous admirers. Dolores nodded, and waved to her with her fan as she passed; and scarcely had Paquita caught sight of her when she sprung up, and, breaking the circle of her adorers, with the quickness of lighting she was at Dolores' side, overwhelming her with kisses and caresses.
"Saint John bless your eyes, my life! I am mad with joy at seeing you at last again, my pink! Where have you been so long then?'
"Dolores answered her questions in a few words; and Paquita continued without listening much to what she said
Well, are you also going to bathe in the Genil this blessed night of St. John, to become as white as the snow of the Sierra Nevada, my queen? Do not do it,' she added, in a lower voice, to Dolores; it is not at all necessary for you, Morenita. Just as you are you please me best, and somebody else too;-you need not blush, my treasure,-Christoval is the bravest youth in Andalusia, and the handsomest,-after Esteban, of course. But, seriously,' continued the chatterer, growing all at once very grave, have you anything to send to Christoval, Senitora? I go away to-morrow to the mountains.'
"You, Paquita, into the mountains? what can make you think of such a thing?' cried Dolores, surprised.
"Yes, yes,' answered the gipsy, looking round anxiously; but speak low-Esteban has given me permission. At first he would not hear of it. He swore, and scolded, and implored, God knows what about. I would have thrown myself into the water if he had not allowed it. loves me a little, it is true; but he said I should be in his way, and not be able to bear the life in the mountains, for it is rather sharp work there at present. But he does not know Paquita.'
"But, in God's name, what will you do in the mountains, girl?' cried Dolores again.
"Softly, softly,' continued Paquita again; if my father finds it out I am lost. He has promised me to the matador Romero, as his wife, and has cursed me if ever I seek to see Esteban again; and he has sworn to stab Esteban wherever he may find him. Ah, Dios! Senitora, I have been very unhappy about it but now all is well again-for I shall see my Esteban to-morrow, and remain with him. Christoval is also with him, and greets you-ah! he is indeed in love with you, my rose.'
"Could not I go with you?' interrupted Dolores, timidly.
"God forbid! it would not do for you, Senitora,' continued Paquita. No, no, you are too delicate for that. But only be quiet, child; every