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The picadores, according to the order of precedence, ranged themselves in the circus, close to the baranda, or wooden barrier, which, though elevated to the height of five feet, is sometimes scarcely sufficient to prevent the most furious amongst the bulls from breaking over it. Suddenly the music ceased the silence was intense—the signal is given—the doors were flung open—and, with one tremendous burst, forth sprang the bull into the middle of the circus! It was a fearful animal; not large, but of that peculiar colour and breed which are accounted the most ferocious.
Dark is his hide, on either side, but the blood within doth boil,
Upon the forehead of the bull the horns stand close and near, From out the broad and wrinkled skull like daggers they appear; His neck is massy, like the trunk of some old knotted tree, Whereon the monster's shagged mane like billows curled ye see.
His legs are short, his hams are thick, his hoofs are black as night, Like a strong flail he holds his tail in the fierceness of his might; Like something molten out of iron, or hewn forth from the rock, Harpado of Xarama stands, to bide the Alcayde's shock.*
The appearance of the bull was hailed by loud acclamations from the multitude; whilst hats, handkerchiefs, and scarfs fluttered in the air, in every direction.
# Lockhart's Spanish Ballads.
The noble animal appeared at first as though he were undecided how to act, or on whom to wreak his fierce vengeance. He turned on every side, and scanned the appalling number and firmness of his tormentors; gradually he became more and more excited, till, exasperated by the clamours of the impatient multitude, he tore the ground with his hoofs, tossed his head in proud indignation, and then stared intently before him, as if to awe the circus with the lightnings of his angry eye. Again he lowered his head, and blew the dust in clouds with the burning breath of his distended nostrils, and lashed his sides with his tail, as if to work himself up to the proper pitch of frenzy; at length, with a sudden bound, he rushed furiously against the first picador. The cavalier received the charge with perfect coolness and intrepidity, and having succeeded in planting his pica in the higher part of the animal's neck, the theatre rung with acclamations at the strength and dexterity with which he kept his tremendous opponent for some moments fixed to the spot. Smarting with pain, the bull then retired for a short time; but his rage prevailing over his fears, he again rushed forward, and was received by a second picador. Less fortunate, however, than his companion, he was unable to withstand the overwhelming shock; and, after a fruitless effort to stem the animal's fury with his pica, it at length broke, and the bull, with one tremendous thrust on the horse's breast, overthrew its rider. Fortunately for the fallen picador, he was protected by the bulk of his horse; and the bull, as it often happens, sated his fierceness on the helpless animal, whose blood spouted round the arena, from a wound evidently mortal. The excitement of the spectators now became intense; when the bull, having fully disabled his enemy, advanced toward the third cavalier. The champion, however, had penetration enough to perceive that the bull was of a dangerous kind, and evinced no particular solicitude to come to closer quarters with him. He kept, therefore, retreating, under pretext of gaining an advantageous position; but the people, who guessed his real motive, unanimously protested against such dilatory proceedings. Men and women, old and young, began to assail the luckless, or rather, prudent picador, with a violent storm of abuse.
During the whole of this noisy altercation, our erudite neighbour, the aficionado, had been very scientifically descanting on the various points of the combat, to our no small annoyance; for he could not rest a moment in his seat, and was continually intercepting our view. The picador, provoked by the bitter sarcasms lavished upon him by the more vulgar part of the spectators, now advanced with an air of determination a little farther into the arena; but the sagacious bull kept retreating as his enemy advanced, in order to render escape more difficult, and his vengeance certain. At length he rushed on the cavalier with such fury and overwhelming force, that both picador and horse rolled on the ground: unluckily,
the man not being very dexterous, could seek no protection from the horse, but lay exposed to the fury of his powerful antagonist.
Cries of horror and alarm for the safety of the unfortunate picador were now heard on every side, and strange to say, those very persons, who had but just driven him to encounter the danger, were now the most clamorous in shouting for protection for him. The chulos lost no time in applying their art to extricate their companion, by harassing the animal on all sides, who was thus compelled to abandon his prey in order to meet his new tormentors. Thus the fallen cavalier was rescued from his jeopardy, whilst his poor horse, dreadfully gored, ran wildly about the arena. The bull, as if satisfied with these feats, now stood tranquilly looking on the spectators, who filled the air with vivas in praise of his prowess.
The trumpet again sounded the signal for the second part of the combat, and forthwith the chulos advanced nimbly with their banderillas, each striving to fix his weapon in the neck of the animal, as in their hazardous course he passed under their extended arms. The smart of the banderillas tended to goad the bull to greater fury, and tormented on every side he bellowed out in agony, and bounded from place to place, turning first to one, and then to another of his aggressors.
Thus, after he had vented his rage, foaming at the mouth and flashing fire from his eyes, the moment arrived when it was deemed expedient to put an end to
his protracted sufferings, and at a given signal the chulos retired and made place for the primu-espadu.
This was Candido, who though arrived at an advanced age, still retained much of the strength and agility of his youth, which, combined with the experience he had acquired in the game, rendered him a very formidable opponent. He advanced with a stately pace, bearing in one hand a piece of scarlet cloth to entice the animal, and in the other his sword. Having arrived in front of the seat of the presiding authorities, he made a graceful salute, and then performed the same ceremony before his friends, who hailed him with many hearty vivas; whilst a deadly silence was observed on the part of the admirers of his rival Leoncito. Candido proceeded slowly, and warily towards the bull, endeavouring to entice him by waving the red cloth. The animal, however, would not suddenly rush against his foe; but calmly watched for the moment when he might find him less upon his guard.
Candido, with all the skill of a practised matador, appeared to guess the sinister intentions of the bull, and followed his every movement with an active eye-nay, he seemed to penetrate into the inmost feelings of the animal.-Irritated by the defiance, the bull sprang upon his foe; but was baffled in his vengeance, for he pierced only the floating piece of cloth; the matador very adroitly turning aside, and plunging his sword into his flank as he passed. The wound however was not mortal, and the combat was renewed. The bull, somewhat intimi