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“Now don't-pray don't,” said the lady.
“Now, sir,” said Sam, who had been summoned by his master, “put on these large boots, this smock-frock, and this round hat-only a bit of straw covered with tarpaulin, and your own mother would not know you."
“ All right, Sam, my good fellow,” said Tom, obeying the orders given him. “How do I look ?"
“Like a regular-built rogue," said Sam, aside to his mistress.
“Now, sir, come with me - but before I show you my secrets, promise me, on your oath, that
never say any thing to my injury to any body, let what will happen.”
“I swear it-I swear it-I'll take an affidavit to that effect-but lead on--don't be afraid,” said Tom.
“I am not afraid for myself,” said Simeon, “ but if you should be pounced upon by your friends, the preventives, it might go hard with you.”
“ All right, old cock," said Tom, three parts tipsy, and the other part over-confident in his own abilities, “all right-lead on—I'll follow thee,' as the man says in the play.”
Simeon led the lawyer first to a barn, in which sundry tubs were stowed away very ingeniously, then to a granary with a double flooring, which concealed many bales of tobacco and lace. In the next place, he led him to a large patch of furze, and showed him a lot of tubs slung ready for carrying away.
“ A-humph !" said Tom, "devilish cleverly done."
Simeon and Sam saw him there, and ran off as fast as they could.
the lieutenant and his two men, and they saw them seize the lawyer, who, from the effects of the champagne, “ showed fight,” but was at length captured. Simeon ran up and asked what was the matter. The answer was, “ We have him at last.”
“ Scoundrel !” said Simeon, “he's the very fellow that set you against “Impossible! This never can be Lawyer Quickly!" “Oh! oh! It is—it is,” said Tom, “but Simeon there canRespect your word, you villain,” said Mrs. Simeon.
I be-" “Come along—no more of this—you're a cunning fox, but you have overdone it,” said the lieutenant. ** We'll show him to the beaks in his disguise, and see if he won't catch it.”
“Simeon, you won't allow me to be—" “ Off with him," said Simeon.
Tom Quickly was “ taken in” before the magistrates, and done for;" but Simeon did not remain on the island. He knew that Tom had friends in court, so he quietly disappeared from New Britain, taking with him a heavy purse and the hearty good wishes of all his servants.
Tom Quickly, after a time, put in a full explanation of his motives for becoming a smuggler. He was released upon the payment of a heavy fine, and lost his character and his stewardship. The Cock, in this instance, proved too much for the Fox.
5. If I do, may
THE FESTIVAL OF SANTA MARIA.
AN ADVENTURE IN CASTILE.
“ ARRIBA, señor !" cried my servant Pepito, throwing open the door of my room at Ameyugo, a village in Castile, on the road from Burgos to the French frontier. Arriba, up, señor, there is a romeria only half a league off.”
I was on my way to France, and had arrived at Ameyugo the previous evening, tolerably fatigued by a long day's ride on a very indifferent saddle, and along hot and dusty roads. Notwithstanding my fatigue, however, I had hesitated a moment before taking up my quarters at the only inn the village afforded. This was one of the queerest of all the queer, old-fashioned posadas I had met with during my rambles in Spain, and the host of it was as original as his hostelry. The public room was low and dark, the latter quality rather an advantage, as it rendered the impure state of walls and floor less evident: ricketty wooden tables, and benches, of which no two legs were of equal length, composed the furniture. The kitchen was, as usual, half filled by the enormous projecting chimney, upon the raised hearth beneath which there was abundant room for five or six chairs, besides a large wood fire, and half a score huge iron kettles that dangled from as many soot-covered chains and hooks, and emitted odours of rancid oil and garlic-tainted ollas by no means calculated to please the olfactories of squeamish travellers, if, indeed,' such ever venture into Spanish posadas. The amo de casa, or master of the house, was a capital type of his class, a thick-set, hardfeatured, beetle-browed sinner, with one of those inveterately surly tempers that nothing can propitiate. While making his guests pay exorbitantly for the nasty cookery and indifferent accommodation afforded by his taberna, he evidently thought the while that they were excessively indebted to him for receiving them at all, treated them entirely de haut en bas, and very rarely took the trouble to answer any of their questions. He was seldom without a jug of the black-looking Rioja wine in his fist, of his devotion to which generous fluid his pimpled and fiery proboscis afforded conclusive evidence. His wife, who was continually waddling round the kitchen fire, going through very mysterious and suspicious manuævres with the kettles aforesaid, looked as if she had been monstrously fat and had fallen away again. Not but what she may still have weighed a good fourteen stone, but the skin of her face and neck was collapsed into long, horizontal wrinkles, conveying the idea that it had formerly been fuller. The colour of the said skin was a grimy yellow, and on her upper lip she had a very respectable moustache. The personnel of this remarkable establishment was completed by a barefooted and filthy animal of the scullion species, whose den was a dingy recess, about five feet square, situate at one extremity of the kitchen, wherein she kept up a continual clattering of greasy plates and wine-stained glasses in a tub of dirty water, evidently fully persuaded that she was cleaning them.
Such had been the appetising aspect of things in the Ameyugo posada on my arrival there the preceding evening. With some difficulty I ma
May.- LXXIV. NO. CCXCIII.
naged to get a chamber allotted to me, and one which, to my surprise proved tolerably comfortable. The sheets on the bed were white though coarse, and if a large canvass bag stuffed with Indian corn husks was the only mattrass, it had its advantages in being less numerously inhabited than one of wool or feathers would inevitably have been. The planks of which the floor was composed, although old and crumbling, were scrubbed pretty clean, and the walls had been white-washed some few years previously. Outside the windows was a broad balcony strewed with tomatas, put there to ripen in the sun, and surrounded by a heavy wooden balustrade; and the room being at the back of the house, I had the advantage of looking out, not on the dirty, neglected street of the village, but over a smiling landscape, rich in all the mellow hues of a Castilian summer.
The morning sun was shining gloriously through the window when I was awakened, as already mentioned, by the vociferations of my servant, who brought me intelligence that a romeria or festival was to occur that day in a neighbouring village. Nowise pressed for time, I was, as Pepito well knew, willing enough to prolong my journey by a twentyfour hours' halt, when, by so doing, I obtained an opportunity of observing the customs and characteristics of the people I was travelling amongst. I had already been at numerous romerias, but none of them in this particular province, and, tempted also by the beauty of the weather and of the adjacent country, I at once resolved to defer my departure till the following day.
A xicara of chocolate and slice of snow-white bread-two things that one is almost certain to get good, even in the most wretched of Spanish hamlets—served for my breakfast, and I then started on foot for the romeria, guided by Pepito and an acquaintance whom he had already picked up in the village. There was little need, however, of guidance, for by far the greater part of the population of Ameyugo was flocking in the direction of the shrine to which that day's pilgrimage was to be made. We passed, or were passed, by numerous groups of villagers
, all in their holiday costume, the men in knee-breeches, dark stockings, and buckled shoes, with broad leafed hats, and jackets of black or brown cloth; the females with black silk mantillas, and gowns mostly of the same colour, which is a very favourite one amongst Spanish women. Here and there a deviation from this sombre attire was to be seen, in the shape of a bright hued riband or striped petticoat of brilliant colours, or else some picturesque looking character, half smuggler, half muleteer, with perhaps, on occasion, a slight mixture of the bandit, dazzled the eyes of the mozas by his embroidered jacket, silver buttons, jaunty air, and velvet trimmed sombrero.
Our path lay for a short distance along a high road, bordered on either side by a row of cherry trees, laden with the most beautiful fruit. Soon, however, leaving this orchard avenue, we traversed some fields, ascended the line of hills that extends to the south-east of Ameyugo, and descending them again, found ourselves in a long, narrow valley, well wooded, sprinkled with caserias or farm-houses, and intersected by the little river Oroncillo, a swift, shallow stream that brawls and bubbles over a bed of shining sand and pebbles. It would be scarcely possible for the most skilful and imaginative landscape painter to devise any thing so exquisitely beautiful as that valley ; such perfect freshness, such light and
brilliancy in its flowery fields, and then again such delightful shade, as we passed beneath the wide-spreading boughs of magnificent oaks and chesnuts, or skirted the stream under the shadow of hazel, plum, and cherry trees, over which the honeysuckle and wild vine twined themselves, and hung down their long, supple branches, fragrant with dew-covered leaves and blossoms, that swished and brushed against our faces and clothes as we sauntered on. Pepito and his companion were a little in advance ; I walked slowly along, inhaling the balmy air, basking in the golden sunshine, and thinking that, for this day at least, my lot had fallen in pleasant places.
Presently the sonorous tones of a church bell broke the stillness of the valley, which had hitherto only been interrupted by an occasional murmur of voices, or merry ringing laugh, from some group of pilgrims proceeding like myself to the romeria, and who never failed, on passing, to give me the usual salutation, of “ Buenas fiestas tenga vmd !” with that cheerful courtesy that characterises Spaniards of nearly all classes and every province. Almost at the same moment that the bells became audible, I perceived a massive church tower of a gray tint, and partially overgrown with ivy, just opening out from the corner of a wood. As I proceeded, my path inclining to the left, the whole building became visible, then another adjoining it, and which looked like a convent, and finally the village itself, consisting of some fifty or sixty houses. It was admirably situated, on a gentle slope, sheltered from the north by a wooded hill, and had probably at some former period been a much larger place, but had shared the fate and the decay of so many villages and towns in Spain, and dwindled down into an inconsiderable cluster of houses. As far as population went, on this morning at least, there was no lack of it. The village was thronged with visiters from all the surrounding country, and some from places at a considerable distance. The church was dedicated to Santa Maria de las lagrimas--the Virgin of the Tears—and the shrine, it appeared, contained relics of wonderful fame and efficacy. So at least I gathered from a piece of tawny paper which an old gray-haired mendicant presented to me with a “ Caridad, por el amor de la Virgen, señor!" and which was headed by a hieroglyphical representation of the virgin in question, and contained in uncouth type, and a sort of monkish jargon, a full, true, and particular account of the numerous miracles that had been wrought at the very shrine which I, an unworthy heretic, was now permitted to approach. The usual funciones and ceremonies were going on,
was, as customary on such occasions, a vast consumption of wax tapers and holy water, a great deal of crossing and genuflexion, ringing of bells, and chanting of choristers. Mass over, the majority of the pilgrims, having taken care of their souls, seemed disposed to turn their thoughts to the comforting of their bodies. It was past noon, the usual dinner hour in Spanish country places, and the smell of the puchero, the indispensable dish, and sometimes the only one, at a Spanish dinner, was to be perceived issuing from each window and door. Every house in the place seemed for this day to be converted into a posada, and was crammed with guests, admitted either for love or money's sake; and the hungry faces and savoury odours which I encountered at every turn, began to remind me that my morning repast had been but a slight one. Scarcely had I uttered the word "dinner” when Pepito, who, with his new friend, was close at my heels, carried me off to the farther end of the village, where a large house stood a little apart from the others. In front of this house a sort of calesa or cabriolet was now standing, a curious, old-fashioned vehicle, that looked more likely to have been built in the days of Isabella the First than in those of Isabella the Second. The body was of a flaring red, with a huge rusty leathern hood, now thrown back, the springs were worthy of preservation in a museum of antiquities, and the enormous wheels, of which the spokes were elaborately carved and ornamented, were of a bright azure.
The driver was busy unharnessing his mule, of which the equipment was nearly as antiquated as the vehicle.
In spite of the boasted sanctity of the shrine, I had not expected to meet any but foot
passengers aud equestrians at this rustic festival, and was proportionably surprised at the sight of this carriage, which indicated the presence of visiters from a town. In answer to my question on the subject, the calesero told me that he had come from Miranda del Ebro, a town about three leagues off, bringing with him two gentle. men to see the festival.
“ Caballeros a ver las fiestas-y chupar dinero, acaso," added he, in a lower tone, and with a laugh; “ and perhaps to pick up a little money."
Without understanding the meaning of this last intimation, I stepped into the posada and entered the public room. This was a large apartment on the ground floor, the back windows of which looked out upon a juego de pelota, or fives court, where a numerous company was now asseinbled. Although in Castile, we were within hail, it might almost be said, of Biscay, the frontier of which province was not above a couple of leagues off, and there was a certain degree of fusion in the habits and customs of the populations. Thus the juego de pelota, which, with slight variations, is the same as our English game of fives, and which the Biscayans are all passionately addicted to, is also patronised to a considerable extent in the district south of the Ebro, and many of the village posadas have a high wall built near them for the encouragement of game, the violent exercise of which, in its turn, as may
the emptying of the wine-skin. The fives court pertaining to the posada of Santa Maria—that was the name of the village-afforded on the day in question a high treat to the lover of the characteristic and the national in costume, manners and physiognomy. There were only four persons engaged in the game that was now playing, but the lookers on, la galerie, as the French call it, were at least as good a study as the players. Two of the latter were Basques from the neighbouring province of Alava, who had backed themselves against two Castilians. The match was a very equal one, and surprising activity and skill were displayed. The style of playing was perhaps less showy and elegant than that of many English tives players that I had seen, but for suppleness and activity it could not be surpassed.
The men were stripped to their shirts and trousers, with coloured handkerchiefs bound tightly round their waists and heads, and hempen slippers upon their feet. Each smart hit or notable advantage gained by either side, drew forth a shout of applause from the bystanders, amongst whom were natives of all the adjacent provinces ; Navarrese, with their dark and strongly marked countenances, loud voices, and brutal bearing;