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most remarkable article, however, of this singular dress, and by no means the most graceful, was a long cap of red woollen, which fell over behind the head, and hung a long way down the back, giving the wearer the look of a cut-throat. Whether from the
association of the bonnet rouge, or some other prejudice, or from its own intrinsic ugliness, I was not able, during my short stay in Catalonia, to overcome my repugnance to this detestable headgear.
'As for the women, some of them were dressed in a gala suit of white, with silk slippers covered with spangles; but more wore a plain black frock, trimmed with velvet of the same color. They were generally bare-headed, just as they had come from their dwellings; a few, returning perhaps from mass, had fans in their hands, and on their heads the mantilla. The Spanish mantilla is often made entirely of lace, but more commonly of black silk, edged with the more costly material. It is fastened above the comb, and pinned to the hair, thence descending to cover the neck and shoulders, and ending in two embroidered points which depend in front. These are not confined, but left to float about loosely; so that, with the ever-moving fan, they give full employment to the hands of the lady, whose unwearied endeavor to conceal her neck furnishes a perpetual proof of her modesty. Though in former times the female foot was doomed in Spain to scrupulous concealment, to display it is now no longer a proof of indecency. The frock had been much shortened among these fair Catalans, each of whom exhibited a well-turned ancle, terminated in a round, little foot, neatly shrouded in a thread stocking, with a red, a green, or a black slipper. They were, besides, of graceful height and figure, with the glow of health deep upon their cheeks, and eyes that spoke a burning soul within. There was much of the grace, and ease, and fascination of the Provençale, with a glow and luxuriance enkindled by a hotter sun.' pp. 19, 20.
The author gives a good sketch of the scene presenting itself on his coming in prospect of the Mediterranean, soon after leaving Tordera, and describes the journey as very pleasant along the coast, where the route often passes through neatlooking villages of two rows of houses, mostly of one story, with plastered and whitewashed walls, and roofs covered with red tiles. They arrived at Barcelona on Sunday evening before sunset, and entered the capital of Catalonia with the concourse of the inhabitants and French officers and soldiers, making altogether a very variegated, fantastical group, who had been out to recreate themselves in the promenades and fields, and were hastening to enter the town before the gates should be closed
for the night. Here the French captain, who had been a fellow traveller with the author from Perpignan, had reached the rendezvous of his regiment, but they did not separate for their respective lodgings without exchanging addresses, as a pledge of further acquaintance; and, though we are afraid of too early exhausting the capacity of our article for quotations, we cannot withhold from our readers the very descriptive and animated picture of this survivor of the Russian campaign. Besides, the sketch is a good specimen of the life led by the officers of an army of occupation. Our traveller and a young Frenchman, with whom he had made acquaintance in the diligence, had no sooner settled their lodgings at the Fonda of the Four Nations, than they sallied out to find those of the captain, whom they at length discovered in a little room overlooking one of the narrowest streets of Barcelona.
'As we entered, he was sitting thoughtfully on his bed, with a folded paper in his hand, one foot on the ground, the other swinging. A table, upon which were a few books, and a solitary chair, formed the only furniture of the apartment; while a schaiko, which hung from the wall by its nailed throat-lash, a sword, a pair of foils and masks, an ample cloak of blue, and a small portmanteau, containing linen and uniform, constituted the whole travelling equipage and movable estate of this marching officer. We accommodated ourselves, without admitting apologies, on the bed and the chair, and our host set about the task of entertaining us, which none can do better than a Frenchman. He had just got a letter from a widow lady, whose acquaintance he had cultivated when last in Barcelona, and was musing upon the answer. deed, his amatory correspondence seemed very extensive; for he took one billet which he had prepared from the cuff of his capot, and a second from the fold of his bonnet, and read them to us. They were full of extravagant stuff, rather remarkable for warmth than delicacy, instead of a signature at the bottom, had a heart transfixed with an arrow, and were done up in the shape of a cocked hat. As for the widow, he did not know where to find words sweet enough for her; and protested that he had half a mind to send her the remaining one of a pair of mustaches, which he had taken from his lip after the campaign of Russia, and which he presently produced, of enormous length, from a volume of tactics.
When we were about to depart, our captain said that he was going to the caserne of his regiment, to assist in an assault of arms which was to be given by the officers, and asked us to go with him. The scene of the assault was a basement room. The pave
ment of pounded mortar was covered with plank, to make it more pleasant to the feet. We found a couple already fencing, and our companion soon stripped to prepare for the encounter. It was singular to see the simplicity of his dress. When he removed his boots to put on the sandal, his feet were without stockings, and under his close-buttoned capot there was no waistcoat, nothing to cover his shaggy breast, but a coarse linen shirt without a collar; for the French officers wear nothing about the neck beside a stock of black velvet edged with white. Having taken off the sword-belt which hung from his shoulder, and bound his suspenders round his loins, he rolled his sleeves up, chose a mask and foil, and was ready to step into the arena. It appeared that our captain was master of his weapon, from the difficulty in finding him an antagonist. This, however, was at length removed, by the stepping forth of a close-built little sabreur. It was a fine display of manly grace, to see the opening salutations of courtesy, and the fierce contest that ensued, as they alternately attacked and defended, winding themselves within the guard of each other with the stealth and quickness of the serpent, and glaring from within their masks with eyes of fire. The buttons of their foils were not covered with leather, as is usual among more moderate fencers, lest the motion of the points should be embarrassed. Hence the rough edges, as they grazed the arm or struck full This same upon the breast, brought blood in several places.
weapon, the foil, is generally used by the French military in duels, with the single preparation of cutting off the button. When the assault was concluded, the antagonists removed their masks and shook hands, as is the custom, in order to remove any irritation that might have occurred during the contest. Then commenced a brisk and earnest conversation upon the performance, furnishing matter for many compliments and never-ending discussion. During a year's residence in France, I had never before met with any one who had taken part in the campaign of Russia; as I now looked, however, upon the muscular arms of the captain and his iron conformation, I was not surprised that he had been of the few who had gone through the horrors of that disastrous expedition.' pp. 23, 24.
Our traveller's room at the inn overlooked a field encumbered with the ruins of a convent of Capuchins, which had been demolished during the troubles of the Peninsula. The site had been sold under the constitution; and the purchasers were already collecting materials to build, when church and state, and the French army under the Duke of Angoulême, dispossessed them of their purchase; and the Capuchins, now returning one after another, like bees hovering about their de
molished hive, had laid hands upon the materials collected by the dispossessed purchasers, and were moving to and fro in their long beards, dingy gray dresses, and rope girdles, directing some twenty or thirty workmen in laying anew the foundations of their cloisters. In describing the various groups making up the passing and repassing throng in the Rambla, or public walk, in front of the inn, the writer particularly distinguishes the clergy, who very naturally occupy much of his attention, as well as that of every other traveller in this singular country. But this easterly corner of the Peninsula seems to be peculiarly blessed with this consecrated part of Spanish society, the number of priests, and 'friars, black, white, and gray,' being, as he says, two per cent. of the whole population of Catalonia. One person, out of fifty inhabitants, is equivalent to one out of every twelve and a half of the able-bodied male population, a proportion which would be altogether incredible, if these devout persons were all wholly incumbents, one to every eleven, on the industry of their lay neighbors. The truth is, however, that many of them, in a great measure, support themselves by laboring with their own hands in their gardens. But after making all possible allowances in their favor, this ecclesiastical incubus weighs sorely enough upon the energies, both moral and physical, of the Spanish nation.
The author gives a very pleasing account of this city, the third in Spain, being next in population to Valencia and Madrid; the sketch of its history is well drawn, and not too long; the passages, which he commemorates, are all striking,—its foundation by the Carthaginian, Hamilcar, the father of Hannibal, the Roman town, the arches and pillars of which are incorporated with the present buildings of the oldest part of the city, the pompous spectacle exhibited in the public square, or plaza, where Ferdinand, in presence of his courtiers, received from Columbus the tribute of the first-fruits of the New World, -and the first experiment of steam navigation made in 1543, with an engine invented by Blasco de Garay. But we pass over the description of the city and its environs, to give an account of the noria, a simple machine used for raising water from the wells, for the purpose of irrigating the fields, to which they owe their fertility. We wish to attract the attention of our cultivators to the subject of irrigation, for which a great many parts of our country afford so great facilities, not hitherto applied to any practical advantage.
'The noria consists of a vertical wheel placed over a well, and having a band of robes passing round it, to which earthen jars are affixed. These jars, set in motion by the turning of the wheel, descend empty on one side, pass through the water in the well below, and having small holes in the bottom for the air to escape, fill easily, before they ascend on the opposite side. A little water leaks from the air-holes during the ascent, and falls from jar to jar. When arrived at the top, the water is emptied into a trough leading to a reservoir, so placed as to overlook every part of the field which it is intended to irrigate. Connected with the reservoir is a basin for washing clothes. As for the vertical wheel which immediately raises the water, it receives its motion from a horizontal one, turned by a horse, cow, mule, or more commonly an ass. There is something primitive in this rude machine, that carries one back to scripture scenes and oriental simplicity. Often have I sat by the road-side for an hour together, watching the economy of these little farms, such as one may see in the environs of Barcelona. While the laborer was digging among his lettuces, that old-fashioned animal, the ass, performed unbidden his solemn revolutions; the wheel turned, and the ropes of grass brought up the jars and emptied them of their burthen, while at the neighboring reservoir a darkhaired and dark-eyed damsel would be upon her knees beside the basin, her petticoats tucked snugly around her, and as she rubbed the linen with her hand, or beat it against the curbstone, singing some wild, outlandish air, like anything but the music of Europe. Much labor is doubtless lost by the rude construction of the noria; but the system of irrigation, with which it is connected, is an excellent one, and is the means of fertilizing lands which must otherwise have remained uncultivated.' p. 28.
After passing the Ebro at the ferry near its mouth, and arriving at Amposta on its western bank, the traveller is struck with the entire change of personal appearance, physiognomy, and costume of the inhabitants. Though he is still in the province, or kingdom, of Catalonia, still he seems here to meet with the manners and race of the neighboring kingdom of Valencia, that stretches along the coast of the Mediterranean some two hundred miles in a southwesterly direction; the capital of which, the second city of Spain in population, is the next destination of the traveller. Instead of the long pantaloons of the Catalans, reaching from their shoulders to the ground, these Valencians wear short linen small-clothes, bragas, which tie over the hips with a drawing-string, and, like the Highland kilt, terminate above the knee. But the long, hanging, point