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the hall which divided the lower ranges of rooms, on their way to the stables in the rear. The landlady, who was a widow, was one of the old school, “ fat, fair, and forty," with a large bunch of keys jingling at her waist, and moved about with an air of bustling, but easy, importance. She looked to the stables, scolded the servants, directed the cooking in the kitchen, and presided in the bar-room, where she helped her customers to what they called for, and ate, drank, and gossiped with them to their heart's content. In a word, she was an exact specimen of those of her vocation as described by Shakspeare and other early writers. Her chief aid-de-camp was a boy named Benito, about fifteen years of age, with long black hair flying in all directions, and large, wild, droll, and wicked looking eyes, which were no unapt index of his character, for surely he was the most busy, happy, noisy, and reckless vagabond I ever beheld. He wore neither coat nor hat, had an old loose pair of pantaloons, and a bright scarlet vest, and whether work or play was before him, he was talking and laughing, or singing, shouting, and dancing from morning till night. He was anxious to go with me on my travels as a servant, and it was truly amusing to think what a figure such a knight and squire would have made.
As the diligence, so called, leaves Badajoz for Madrid but twice each week, I was detained three days in waiting for it. My pen furnished me amusement in part, and I used also in my walks to stop and see the drilling of the Quintas, or raw recruits, for the army, whose names had recently been drawn by lot for this purpose. The plan now carrying into effect in Spain, of raising a standing army of 100,000 men, and a militia of 200,000 or 300,000, falls heavily upon all classes, especially the poor. A man may buy himself off from a single conscription by paying twenty dollars, but in that case he is liable to be drawn again. He can escape from serving in the army for the whole war, by paying $ 200. Some of the prisons in the large towns are filled with conscripts, who have refused to report themselves for duty, and I often saw files of them marching in from the country, bound to each other by the arm with ropes, and attended by a guard of soldiers. Thus does war curse a country by compelling the poor to forsake those occupations on which they and their families depend for support, and expose themselves to the hardships and peril, and the moral corruption, of a camp; or, on refusing to do this, they are confined in the crowded and loathsome vaults of a prison. These conscripts, as I saw them when drilling in various parts of Spain, with their old tattered small-clothes, and slouched weather-beaten hats, often reminded me of Falstaff's description of his soldiers. It was truly amusing to witness the manner in which they thrust back their heads, and how desperately stiff and straight they carried their arms and fingers, in a forced perpendicular position beside them, in order to look fierce and soldier-like. In marching, too, each one made it a rule to move his legs stiffly forward as far as they would reach, and thus the tall ones advanced so much faster than those who were shorter, that the line which they formed was any thing but a straight one.
Badajoz contains about 12,000 inhabitants, and is a place of some importance from its strong fortifications, and from being the capital, and the residence of the Captain-General of the province of Estramadura. In the earlier periods of Spanish history, the kings of Badajoz held a high rank among the chieftains of that region of country. It was also the birthplace of Manuel Godoy, styled the Prince of Peace, who, with his brother Lewis, was among the numerous train of lovers of Maria Louisa, the Queen of Charles the Fourth of Spain. By the influence which he obtained over this weak monarch and his abandoned wife, he became the richest subject in Spain, and for a series of years was the actual ruler of the kingdom. The accession of the late king, Ferdinand the Seventh, to the throne, put an end to the infamous career of Godoy, and the Spanish still execrate him as the cause of their national ruin. The present Queen Regent of Spain has also a lover, who, like Godoy, began as a common soldier in the royal guard, but has since been promoted by her to the rank of Colonel. With this man, by whom she has had two children, which are kept in the palace, she appears in public without the least reserve, thus furnishing to her numerous subjects, an example of notorious and abandoned profligacy, and at the same time greatly lessening the interest of the moral and religious, in the prosperity of that cause with which she is unhappily identified. Her conduct, however, will scarce appear singular to those who know the character of her mother, the old queen of Naples. The influence of such women as Jezebel is often a curse, which is handed down as a kind of heir-loom to many successive generations.
The battles between the English and the French, for the mastery of Badajoz, which took place during the Peninsular war, were extremely hard fought and sanguinary, and on one occasion the British artillery was turned upon their own men, numbers of whom were thus cut down while entering a breach. The object of this was, to lower the wall still more than had before been done, that thus the entrance to the town might be made more easy. The entrenchments thrown up, and numerous cannon-balls fired during the different sieges, may still be seen without the walls. The Cathedral has some pretensions to style and elegance, and contains a number of good paintings. Among them is one, of the daughter of Herodias, receiving the head of John the Baptist from the executioner, who has just severed it from the lifeless trunk which lies beside them. Unlike the pictures of this scene met with in Italy, she is very naturally painted, with her head averted as far as possible, in order to avoid the bloody scene. In a court of the Cathedral is one of those · wretched allegorical conceits so often met with in Catholic churches, which degrade and abuse the meaning of scenes described in the Bible, by attempting to present them to the eye. The subject is the baptism of Christ, and in one part of the painting John is standing with a lamb, holding a full blown rose in its mouth beside him, at which he is pointing, while from an upright rod which is near, there hangs a pendant, on which in Latin is the phrase, “ Behold the Lamb of God.” In another part of the painting Christ is represented as standing in the river Jordan, and John pouring water upon his head from a clamshell, while a dove, as an emblem of the Divine Spirit, is hovering above, and sending down from its mouth a stream of liquid upon the head of our Saviour. High in the air is a bevy of fat young angels, looking like so many Cupids, bearing a large tray of fruits and flowers, as a kind of votive offering on the occasion. Such is the sad burlesque of the baptism of Christ with water and with the Holy Ghost. There is another class of paintings which always shock my feelings : I mean those in which God the Father is represented in the form of an old man; and in the Sacred Dramas, too, which are acted during some of the festivals of the Catholic Church, and of several of which I have copies, the same Holy Being is often personated on the stage, and takes a prominent part in the dialogues. In one of the most splendid churches of Spain, I noticed a fresco painting by a distinguished Italian artist, descriptive of a scene in the upper world, · where, in the midst of surrounding angels, the Virgin Mary is kneeling between God the Father and the Son, who are crowning her as the Queen of Heaven. In the Litany of the Virgin Mary, or prayers to her, as intercessor with God, she is addressed by near fifty different titles of honor and royalty, while the different persons of the Trinity have but eight or nine allotted to them. A large sheet covered with small prints of the Virgin, in each of the characters in which she is addressed in the litany, is used in Spain as a help to devotion, and one of the Popes has granted 200 days' indulgence, or freedom from the pains of purgatory, for every repetition of this litany.
I was glad when the time came for leaving Badajoz, being heartily sick of its narrow, filthy, crooked, Moorish streets, and the ceaseless clangor of martial music, with which the streets, and the convents, which are now used for barracks, were ever resounding. The distance from Badajoz to Madrid is 64 Spanish leagues, or 256 miles, and the journey is performed in about five days. The fare by one kind of carriage is only nine dollars, and by a coach it is fifteen. AH though this road is considered one of the safest in Spain, still there had then been three robberies of the diligence upon it within the last fifteen days. Two of these were near the same place and on two successive days. From the passengers in the carriage in which I was to travel, $ 200 had been taken, while those in another were robbed of $2,000. In order, therefore, to be ready for the worst, I purchased an extra purse, so as to have one for the robbers, and retain the other for myself. Day had not dawned when I entered the little room at the Post House, where my fellow-passengers were gathered round a scanty fire, waiting for the hour of departure. There were in this group a gray-headed man who had seen half a century or more, and a lady who was somewhat younger; and when we entered the carriage, as the lady only was going with us, the parting scene was truly affecting. T'hey embraced each other, and wept and sobbed aloud as if their hearts would break, until, rallied by the passengers, who were uneasy at the delay, they finally parted. How happy a union is this, thought I, as I eagerly gazed upon this venerable pair. How cheering is it to behold the warm current of affection thus freely gushing forth from beneath the frosty covering of age. How high is the respect thus inspired within me both for you, ye aged ones, and the nation to which you belong. Compared with the joys of affection like this, how gloomy and sad is the bachelor's life, and henceforth I earnestly long to be free from the curse of his lonely and cheerless estate. But alas ! all my sentiment fled to the winds when I learned, that the lady in question had long been a widow, and the man from whom she thus parted was merely a friend. Such scenes I have since often met with in Spain, and they strongly impress one with the lively and ardent feelings of the Spaniards, as shown both in the warmth of their affections and the raging violence of their passions. The lady referred to above belonged to one of the first families in Spain, and was on her way to Madrid to join a brother-in-law, who was going on a mission to one of the leading European Courts. Though the approach of old age had left only the remains of former beauty, and the full fleshy form, so common among Spanish females, had somewhat impaired her activity, still, whatever her other members had lost in this respect, her tongue seemed to have gained, for surely a more striking example of perpetual motion it would be difficult to meet with, and I was utterly at a loss to conceive how she could talk so, and still be able to breathe. She carried provisions enough to victual the crew of a schooner, and dealt out her fine Spanish chocolate, cakes, and boiled fowl, to those of us who would partake of them, with a truly liberal hand. Her waiting-maid was from Catalonia, and spoke that rude harsh dialect with which my ears had become familiar in Minorca, and of which the Spanish have a saying, that the devil once spent seven years in trying to learn it, but at last gave it up in despair. She looked and acted as if she had been caught wild in her native mountains, where the wolf and the panther had been her only companions. There were also with us two sisters, young ladies of fifteen and eighteen years of age, daughters of a major in the Spanish army,
They were both of them lively and spirited, and full of that ardor and intensity of feeling which is the highest charm of Spanish ladies, and constantly betrays itself in every look, and word, and motion. The younger of the two was just at that age when pertness is too often mistaken for wit, while the other had reached that interesting period, when the wild and unchecked joyousness of girlish feeling begins to yield to the influence of sensitive maidenly propriety, and the conscious dignity of woman's estate. They had been spending a number of months with their friends in