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without sufficiently regarding the claims of decency and morality. This taste makes our places of public resort, and especially our churches, a kind of Vanity Fair; while the exquisitely fashionable of both sexes, are little else than stalking frames or walking automata, on which to exhibit the latest wares of the tailor and the milliner. These remarks likewise apply, in a greater or less degree, to many of our larger country towns and villages.
But my main object has been to speak of the Spanish modes of dress, and the striking illustration which they furnish, of the fixed and unchanging character of the people. It is true, indeed, that in the larger towns of Spain, some of the higher classes adopt the French fashions, when they visit the theatre, and on some other occasions ; but when they appear in public, for a walk or ride, the national costume uniformly prevails. I have before spoken of the universal use of the cloak, by the men. This they wear with peculiar grace, and not only have they done so for hundreds of
both summer and winter, but when, during the last century, on account of their ‘using this garment so often to conceal the weapons of the assassin, government forbid its being worn; and officers arrested all who used it; a mutiny was the consequence, and it was necessary to repeal the law; so strong is the attachment of the Spaniard to his old national customs.
The dress of the females is almost universally black, and it well comports with their complexion. The prevailing taste as to female beauty in Spain, does not require that violence to be done to the form, which is so common in the United States, and more regard is paid to the soul and expression that beams forth in the countenance, than to regularity of features, and that waxen and lily-like delicacy of complexion, of which so much is thought with us. The most striking peculiarity in the dress of the Spanish ladies, of all classes, is the mantilla. This was originally the same with the veil of the females of eastern countries, and was used to conceal the face. It continues to be worn thus, in some of the smaller towns in the south of Spain, where Moorish customs still prevail. It is frequently made wholly of figured lace, but more commonly of black silk, with a lace border. It is pinned to the hair, just forward of the comb, and, covering the back of the head, the neck, and shoulders, ends in two embroidered points in front. Thus the face, and all of the head forward
of the ears, is exposed to view. Some of the poorer women wear mantillas of black woollen cloth. Thus the only dis. tinction of dress there is among females of all classes, consists in the different quality of the materials used ; and whether it be in church, in places of public amusement, or in walking the streets, a lady's hat or bonnet is rarely seen. It has been truly said, that this uniformity of black, in the dress of both women and men, produces a monotony of coloring, unfavorable to effect, so that when the French soldiers first came to Madrid, they used to say, that they had, at length, reached a truly Catholic city, peopled only by monks and nuns. Though this head-dress of the ladies may expose the face more than is befitting, still I am much pleased with the uniformity, and the entire absence of all show, which there is in this national costume of the Spanish. In church, especially, it does away all that finery and that gaudiness of dress, which is too apt to occupy both the eyes and the minds of those who assemble to worship. It seems, also, to reduce to a proper equality of outward appearance, those, who, as children of a common Father, meet together for the worship of a common God.
Though the Spaniards have much of the coolness and stoicism of the Turks, still they have ever been noted for deep and absorbing passion. They love and hate most fervently, and their feelings of revenge are deep and lasting. Their religious and devotional character, also, has ever been strongly marked ; and sure I am, that the females of no other nation, would, as I have seen women do in Spain, sit or kneel, by hundreds, on the cold pavement of a church, from ten in the evening until two the next morning, with nothing to engage their attention but the gaudy show of the priesthood, the sound of the organ, and the chanting of prayers in an unknown tongue.
The civil war which now exists in Spain, has called into action the chivalrous feelings of the Spanish ladies, and has led them to measures, which, though opposed to that delicacy and reserve which are proper to the fairer part of creation, still present, in a strong light, the marked and peculiar character of the nation. A love of heroism, either in themselves, or in those to whom they look up as their natural protectors, has ever been one of the strongest passions of the female sex; and we know, from the records of the past, that the fever of knight-errantry, which took its rise amid the
lawless violence of the dark ages, and resulted in making woman the presiding deity of the tournament and the battlefield, and the object of devoted idolatry to those of every grade, from the mere soldier of fortune, to the king on his throne, we know that this fever raged with its greatest violence, and reached its highest point of extravagance and folly, in Spain. And though the author of Don Quixote, by the force of ridicule, did much to lessen this infatuation, still the seeds of the old disease have ever remained in the heart of the nation. The form in which it now exhibits itself is owing to the fact, that the head of the nation is a woman; and, as the ladies have either found a deficiency of heroism in the stronger sex, or from some other cause, they have chosen to become heroines themselves. In other words, in some of the provinces, large numbers of women have organized themselves into military companies and regiments, that, by their prowess and their valor, they may, to use their own words, vindicate and defend the “ unsullied purity and spotless innocence of the Queen.” All the officers of the companies are females, except the captains and chaplains, and their names are published in the army list, in the gazettes. They are supplied with arms, and meet for drilling and exercise. A military address, written by one of these heroines, and published in the papers, some time since, is really quite eloquent. Strange warriors, indeed, they must be, but such is the enthusiasm and ardor of the Spanish, when excited, and so strong is their attachment to their native land, fallen as she. is, that I doubt not that on the field of battle they would show a valor which might put to shame the self-styled lords of creation. Still, there is something extremely revolting to the better feelings of our nature, in beholding that sex, in whose souls the purer and gentler affections alone should reign, yielding themselves up to the influence of the dark and malignant passions of war and bloodshed, and wielding in their hands the instruments of death. The poet is true to nature in the description which he gives of the feelings of the Corsair, when he saw the stain of blood upon the brow of her, who, by her valor and her devotion to himself, had been the means of saving his life.
“ He had seen battles, – he had brooded lone
But ne'er from strife, captivity, remorse, -
Voyage to Naples. - The Bay. - The City.- Vesuvius. — Eruptions. - Beg
gars; their Mode of Life, Sufferings, and Character.- Ecclesiastical Re. form. - The Jesuits. — Suppression of Convents. - Salaries.- Number of the Clergy; their Income. - Lazaroni; their Number, Character, and Mode of Life ; treatment of them by the French.- Hospitals. - Maccaroni. - Massaniello.- A Night Scene. - National Workhouse ; its Form, and Expense of erecting it. -- Internal Police. - Schools. — Trades. – Catholics; their Doctrines, Ignorance, Religious Rites, Books, Holydays, Bigotry, Law of Marriage. - Persecution at Gibraltar. - The English ; their Character. - Lord W.- Mr. F. - Occurrence at Sienna.
- English Chaplains. Rev. Mr.Vallette, Rev. Mr. Paxton. - Street Preaching. - Churches. – Scenery around Naples. — Street of Toledo. - Clergy; their Dress. -Corpus Christi. — Morals of the People. - Grotto of Pausilipo. — Puzzoli. - Cumæ. - Lake Avernus. - Cumæan Sibyl. Temple of Jupiter. — Amphitheatre. - Solfaterra. – Villa Reale.
FROM Barcelona we sailed to Gibraltar, and from thence to Naples, where we arrived near the close of May. The bay of Naples, and the beautiful scenery around, have been so often described, that there are few superlatives in the language which have not been used by travellers to express the feelings of delight excited by gazing on this richly varied panorama. The bay itself is about thirty miles in circumference, and in addition to the islands which it contains, whose names are connected with the history and the fame of the earliest Roman emperors, every point of the coast has been hallowed by the genius of the Latin historians and poets. As you enter the bay, on the left, and near its head, is the city of Naples, rising as it retires from the water, until the landscape, in that direction, terminates in a range of gentle hills, clothed with gardens, vineyards, and forest trees, except where the hill of St. Elmo, crowned by its mammoth castle, rears its head high above the surrounding region, and overlooks the city, the sea, and the rich and varied scenery, and the numerous towns and villages with which the coast of the bay, and the country inland are covered, as far as the eye can reach. To the right of the city, and seven miles distant from it, is Mount Vesuvius, for ever sending up from its vast