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ous way in which his feet were attired in slight canvas sandals with hempen soles that just protected the toes and heels, loosely tied over the instep and ancle, thus leaving the whole powerful and complex organ to play with all the efficiency which nature conferred on its beautiful organization."

The richness and culture of the soil are described as being attested by the most evident tokens both as regards the luxuriance of crops, and the industry of the people. The superiority of the male population as soldiers and as husbandmen is frequently pronounced-we may add the same thing even of the female portion of the community. Maize is a crop extensively cultivated in the Basque Provinces we are told, and more for the fodder than for the sake of the grain. Where the natural capabilities of the soil are deficient, the farmers add to it manure and lime, even when these articles have, on account of the difficulty of access, to be borne on the backs of mules, or of the people themselves, and every patch is cultivated in certain districts which can bear an artificial crop. Such facts as these are incontrovertible evidences of industry, hardihood, and intelligence. They are also inseparable from a noble independence of mind and of a patriotism which nothing short of extermination can subdue, and which nothing but a long period of oppression and misgovernment is likely to corrupt. How deplorable then is it, that a contest of parties whose ambition may on either side be selfish, should offer violence to all these features of character?-how much is it to be lamented that at this late period of Christian civilization there should yet be a contest of principles maintained in the most enlightened countries of Europe, which goes to throw fuel upon the flames that consume the peace, the comfort, the liberty, and life of such people as we have just been reading of? Such one-sided publications as the present, therefore, in certain senses ought to be regarded in a far more serious view than merely as a species of light literature, that satisfies the appetite for information concerning neighbouring or distant countries, or that amuses by the accounts of curious adventure. If every Englishman that has lately visited the Basque Provinces, and written about them, had closely put it to himselfhow much may my representations contribute to propagate or prolong error which will necessarily be felt in all the direful practical results which the contest in the Peninsula at this moment exhibits, can it be thought that regard for the benefit of mankind and the dearest interests of humanity would not have been more consulted, and the sale of certain newspapers less, than has hitherto marked the labours of several of the gentlemen alluded to. Without entering into the causes of the war, or of the merits of the parties engaged in it, we cannot avoid mentioning that Mr. Stephens is strongly of opinion, that the conflict will be greatly prolonged, and that, indeed, it will have an indefinite continuance, affecting the character of distant governments, even of those that are free, and,

perhaps, the peace of Europe in general. These are grave considerations, showing how awful is the reckoning which every one will have to give, who has in any shape aided in throwing brands among the combatants. We quote one passage, which is eminently descriptive of the excellent traits of character and the only comforts which the Navarrese are celebrated for.

"Navarre is indeed the vineyard of the Carlists, and they contend manfully with the stubborn hills for spots of earth to stick the fruitful twigs in. In riding amongst the vineyards near Estella, it was truly delightful to witness the results and to contemplate the energy and perseverance that led to them.

"The rocks have first to be rolled hither and thither, and piled up out of the way; then the gritty subsoil has to be loosened by picks and forks; afterwards loads of manure have to be carried up flights of rocky stairs in double panniers formed of matting, resembling immense pairs of breeches tide at the knees, as they sit astride the poor mules. The task of unpaving the Strand in front of Somerset House and cultivating the under stratum, would be child's play compared to what I daily found the Navarrese cheerfully accomplishing, and beating off an enemy into the bargain. Around Estella the wheat and barley grounds spread widely also, and the olive cultivation begins. The fruit is small compared with what is to be found in the south of Spain and Portugal, but it is not for want of industry and attention. Corn, wine and oil culture are to be seen for miles about the town lying in patches at all elevations on the steep sides of the immense horseshoe range of the Amescoas, which bounds the horizon in nearly twenty points of the compass, forming with the tracts of native heath, furze and fern, a garment of as many colours as are painted in Jacob's coat;-the summit, composed of one mass of naked perpendicular rock (on which Valdes' army marched for two days and a night before they could reach a safe road to descend), presenting a whimsical resemblance to a standing collar. The wheat fallows beneath are beautifully clean, all root weeds being carefully hoed up by hand and burned in heaps, on the field. In short, the interior presents an admirable picture of order, peace and comfort, far beyond what I had been taught to give the people of any part of Spain credit for. The frontier presents a very different picture."

With this picture ought to be contrasted that of a part of the country that had been the seat of war, or was in the vicinity of the "red land," such as near Oteiza, where, our author says, the fallow fields bore thick crops of thistles, the farmers either having fled from the horrors of civil strife, or more probably having been cut off in battle or otherwise. Few inhabitants were to be seen in that neighbourhood, and these few consisted of some old women. In stopping at the residence of a medical person, who is a man of great consideration in a Spanish village, his house being frequently the very best in the place, the author declares that there was not a chair, table, bed, plate, or napkin left-the door and windows being broken,

and even every pill-box destroyed. So much for the lesser signs of desolation occasioned by civil warfare.

Mr. Stephens states, in contradiction to sundry alarming reports which he had often heard repeated, that during the four months which he spent in Navarre and the adjoining districts, he never in the course of all his travels met with the slightest injury or insult. He thinks that an Englishman may travel very safely through these provinces, provided he keeps his eyes and ears open and his mouth shut, and does not impertinently set himself up to contradict the popular opinion that the male natives of John Bull's land are all drunkards, who sell their shirts, &c., for wine, or that the females will not dispose of their children for two pence three farthings apiece, showing, certainly to what purpose, and how far the schoolmaster has travelled in the Basque Provinces. Some of the higher classes, it would appear, take a somewhat different view of the matter, Don Carlos especially, whom "nothing would please more than to see English gentlemen freely travelling through the country and judging for themselves" of the people and their sentiments. But we are on the verge of disputed points, and have only as regards intelligence to notice farther that our author, after all, estimates at a very high rate the mental light of the Navarrese peasantry; at least when compared with those of England, he thought them superior in this particular, while "it is probable," he adds, " they do not set so high a value on their lives," meaning thereby to convey one of those compliments at the expense of his countrymen which is by no means a favourable symptom of his impartiality or his good feeling. It will be seen from the following account that the superior qualities of the Biscayans are neither few nor slight, if Mr. Stephens is to be believed.

"The Biscayans are indeed a highly intelligent, sociable, and amiable people. They possess all the natural active politeness of the Irish peasantry, without any alloy of servility-the sagacity of the Scotch, without a symptom of its degeneracy into 'cuteness-and the steady self-respect which characterises the upper classes of England quite free from the leaven of Saxon stupidity. I have seen them frown vengefully when talking, or rather thinking, about the Christinos; but I have never yet heard an angry word amongst them,-except, indeed, by a sentinel, towards myself one night, at Durango, when I was very near being shot at; not being aware that any one was challenging me, as I have already narrated. They differ however so much in one material respect from the Irish, than I can scarcely believe the latter have any fair claim to a common origin, (although it is politely conceded by the Biscayans, and natives of Ireland are by a virtue of their birth-right free of the corporation of Bilbao, being entitled to trade, settle and open shop in that capital,privilege they do not enjoy in the soi-disant liberal metropolis of England), viz. their remarkable sobriety, notwithstanding the abundance

of wine and aguardiente in the country. Every where I experienced the greatest consideration and kindness-much more, indeed, than I expected, bearing as I did the inimical name of Englishman, associated as it was to their sad experience with everything ferocious and dastardly. We only appeared on their shores to pillage and destroy,- our only apparent motive

“The daily shilling which makes warriors tough."

I could have forgiven them if they hooted me as I rode along; but they are a people of more reflection, discrimination and generosity than Englishmen are inclined to believe; and they showed far more consideration for us than we did for them. In their self-possessed dispassionate conduct they bear a strong resemblance to those native gentlemen the North American Indians, who never allow themselves to betray surprise or vexation, and in this respect the Biscayans stand at the moral antipodes of their neighbours at the other side of the Pyrenees. They may be recognised at once as men and gentlemen, although clad as the mountain iron-millers were, in little more than long linen shirts reaching to their shoes, to shield them from the sparks."

Mr. Stephens says that the Biscayans, warlike as they are, have few martial sports amongst them. They have no boxing, singlestick combats, fencing or target shooting. One exercise, however, prevails with them, of a martial gymnastic character in some of its forms, which the author describes at length, and from which we extract some particulars. The specimen will convey an idea of the sort of straining after effect, already charged against our tourist's manner of writing, which defeats to a certain extent its own purpose, by enfeebling and confusing the picture. The scene described took place on a Sunday within half a mile of Durango, and was superintended by the Alcalde of the village.

"The music struck up, and crowds of men, woman, and children poured into the Plaza, an irregular pentagon, (or queræangle) environed with houses adorned with balconies and a grand raised portico which extended the length of the church. These were soon filled with the beauty and fashion of the court and its vicinity, who thought it more suitable to their sex or age or dignity to look on, than to take an active part in the athletic evolutions which the peasantry were about to engage in. Groups of officers and civilians, secretaries, chamberlains, and the whole ayuntamiento loitered on the sod below as if to brave the dangers of the scene, or gallantly conversed with the ladies in the balconies, calming their fears and assuring them it was not half so dangerous or cruel as a bull-bait, &c. A dense crowd of young peasant soldiers stood in one angle of the Plaza, apparently in expectation of opponents of some kind; the barriers were withdrawn from the stone pillars at each angle, and the centre of the arena was thrown open for combat.

"The drum and tabor (I beg their pardon for this delay) repeated the point of war emphatically; and the first demonstration of active operations was made by a long file of young women who marched upon the green hand-in-hand, the file leader acting as fugle-woman, and conducting

her band of heroines with a kind of saltatory motion resembling that which Le Brun and others have preserved to us in their pictorial descriptions of the tactics of the Priestesses of Bacchus and Cybele. At times it was nearly identical with the inspired movement of Orpheus, depicted in Barry's famous series of paintings which adorn the chief saloon of the Society of Arts in the Adelphi, and which their catalogue raisonné justly terms an attitude of singular energy.' As the line of rustic beauty swept round the Plaza, I could almost imagine that I beheld the maidens of Sparta going through their warlike exercises and daring their lovers to the combat. They were all clad in strict national uniform,-neat black shoes, snow-white stockings, rather short petticoats, small shawls of various colours, and white pocket handkerchiefs! but no caps, hats, bonnets or artificial head-dress of any kind, the hair being universally gathered backward and plaited in one or two tails, which hung down at full length behind, and switched about most cavalierly. After a few circumvolutions of these Spartan damsels in the Plaza, the crowd of men who stood in close column evinced a degree of restlessness to accept the challenge of the parading heroines. Voluntarios started out one after another and broke into the line, seizing an opponent with each hand till all were fairly engaged and a marching file of double length attained, in which so equally were the parties matched that it was a difficult point to predict to whom the victory would fall. The combined yet rival forces now made another solemn perambulation to the same measure; when the Alcalde, apparently quite satisfied that a firm line of battle was formed and all ready for action, gave a signal to the little band with his javelin, when instantly the drum and tabor struck up a brisk quick step which set the whole string of life (or lives) whirling with fearful rapidity round a young ash tree in the centre. Now the engagement began in earnest, and the secret of the tactics, acted on by the natural born enemies' on the plain, began to develope itself."

The author not having at his command diagrams, labours by means of definitions to explain the elevations, prostrations, and evolutions of the performers.

"Each hero and heroine was reciprocally placed between two enemies of the opposite sex, and obliged in turn, to encounter both. All were at war with their neighbours in turn, and each proximate couple became, at every opportunity,

"A pair of rustic foes, who sought renown,

While dancing round to bump each other down;" as Goldsmith would have sung if he had travelled to the Basque provinces.

"But, hark-the tune is changed; the fife and tabor have struck up a quicker and livelier strain,-the drum beats time more loudly and imperatively. All the links of the immense circle are severed in an instant; the combatants throw aloft their hands, and whirl about separately like mad! 'Tis now

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-the mirth and fun grow fast and furious." Some face their partners sternly in a jig, or, melting into a waltz, cruize

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