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The Bible in Spain by George Borrow

Part 10 out of 12

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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 fact of selling a version of the
Scriptures 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
Mohometan, 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 message 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
saddlebags, 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. "Buenas noches," said the alcalde. "Buenas
noches tenga usted," 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 of 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 Fuente 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 killing 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 were 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 into 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 remained 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

I 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, I as the document stated, was to-day in one
place, and to-morrow 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.

Having 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" of Saint
Petersburg. Every house in this street was supplied with its
Testament, and the same might be said with respect to the Puerto
del Sol. Nay, in some instances, every individual in the house,
man and child, man-servant 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 Bibles 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.

"Senor," said she, closing the door, and coming up to the bedside.
"It is close upon midnight; but a messenger 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. 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 unreasonable 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 still 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 it 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 purissima!"
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, 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, compere," he added, in most villainous French,
"voila mon affaire; voila ce que je viens vous dire."

Thereupon he glared at me for a moment, nodded his head twice, and
replacing his staff beneath is cloak, 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 to-morrow, 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 and respectable officers of this casa, and so far from
being dispatched 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 learnt
even in the prison, for, as the Gypsies say, "The dog that trots
about finds a bone."

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 recognised 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 picardia! Que 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 entirely 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 declared 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. The churches which I allude to, were
those of San Gines and Santo Cruz. Now I humbly conceive that this
fact alone is more than equivalent to all the expense which the
Society 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 guise 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.

It 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 slowness 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 resolutions 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 the 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

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 by six mounted robbers; it was guarded by
an escort of as many soldiers, but the former suddenly galloped
from behind a solitary venda, 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 soldiers 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 postillion; 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 the convents (I think it was
San Thomas) 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 recognised 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?" 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 intreated 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 more 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.

O 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 elms,
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. Farther
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 the woods, and inhaled the
breeze laden with the perfume of the thousand orange gardens of

"Kennst du das land wo die citronem bluhen?"

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

Nothing is more calculated to interest the stranger as he wanders
through Seville, than a view of these courts obtained from the
streets, 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. 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 more 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
masterpieces 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 (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.

The 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

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 with 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 at Seville, where he now carried on a
small trade in books. He said that he was of the Greek 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 amongst 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 Massaniello 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
been 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 proposed 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 myself 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 Xerez, 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 train 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 cultivated 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 Dedesa, 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 Xerez, 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, and 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.

In 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 my sphere of
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, 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 the 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 reunions 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!

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, Kyrie, I have adopted
this most unprofitable and despised one. Oft have I regretted not
having been bred up as a shoe-maker, 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 arrobe. 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 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 one of these occasionally visit you to make
purchases of classic works, and books connected with ecclesiastical

Dionysius.--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.
"Signior 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 civilised
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,
Signior 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
unprejudiced people to disparage that of which they are ignorant."
"But, Signior 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, Signior 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?"
"Signior Donatio, 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."
"Signior 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 poured
into mine; the burden of their 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.
{21} 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 among 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 their 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 the Fourth. 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 picaroon 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 farther 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

About 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. The 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 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.


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
expendition, 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 bank, 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 curious 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 flush, 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 Creator, 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." It consists of several large
white buildings, principally government store-houses, and is
inhabited by the coast-guard, 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 a
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
all 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. 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 strand, which was beautifully gilded by the
Andalusian sun. We at last arrived nearly opposite to San Lucar,
which stands at some distance from the water side. 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.
Farther 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 times San Lucar was a
celebrated stronghold of the Moors, and next to Almeria, the most
frequented of their 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 O, 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, gursean. 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 country, 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 or 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 Testaments and
the Bible Society. What I said excited attention, and presently
all the officers and dependents of the house, great 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 recommended 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 Ingalaterra," "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 an 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,) seemed 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 profitable 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 Busne 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 down 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 and 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 farther 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." 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, approaching 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 dispatched my luggage,
and then demanded of the red nightcap what I owed him. He replied
"One 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 was 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

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 were
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 contradistinction 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 he be there, converse as fluently in
their gibberish as in Christiano, 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 respect 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, however, 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

A few hours after my arrival, I waited upon Mr. B., 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. He 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
Algeciras, Gibraltar, and various other ports of Spain. I had
engaged my passage on board her as far as Gibraltar, having nothing
farther 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 unfrequently
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 aware 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 o'clock, for we waited for the Governor of
Algeciras, 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
Oehlenschlaeger 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. Huge fragments of wreck
still frequently emerge from the watery gulf whose billows chafe
the rocky sides of Trafalgar: they are relies 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, 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

We were now soon in sight of the Moorish coast, Cape Spartel
appearing dimly through mist and vapour on our right. A regular
Levanter had now come on, and the vessel pitched and tossed to a
very considerable degree. Most of the passengers were sea-sick;
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 and wild beasts. He observed that he had never been
even at Tangier, where the people were most civilised, 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 the Moors and Christians. Who has not heard of
Alonzo Guzman the faithful, 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. I 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, "the one-eyed" (el tuerto),
and that he was one of the most villainous arrieros on the Cadiz

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
overthrow 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. 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 distance; 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, Montana de las
Monas (the hill of the baboons); 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 Algeciras, on the Spanish side, for the purpose of
landing the old governor and his suite, and delivering and
receiving letters.

Algeciras is an ancient Moorish town, as the name denotes, which is
an Arabic word, and signifies "the place of the islands." 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 Andalusian 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 Santissima Trinidad, and be pleased also not to forget that we
are almost within cannon's sound of Trafalgar."

It was neat sunset, I repeat, and we were crossing the bay of
Gibraltar. I stood on the prow of the vessel, 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. 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 deform 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 solitary
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
atalaias which overcrowded 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 Alpujarra mocking it from behind. O what 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

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