The Ingenious and Diverting Letters of the Lady ---- Travels into Spain Describing the Devotions, Nunneries, Humours, Customs, Laws, Militia, Trade, Diet and Recreations of That People by Aulnoy, Madame d' (Marie-Catherine)

[Illustration:

Marie Catherine le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness of Aulnoy]

THE Ingenious and Diverting LETTERS OF THE Lady——TRAVELS INTO SPAIN

DESCRIBING

The Devotions, Nunneries, Humours, Customs, Laws, Militia, Trade, Diet, and Recreations of that People.

Intermixt with

Great Variety of Modern Adventures, and Surprising Accidents: being the Truest and Best REMARKS Extant on that Court and Country.

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The Second Edition

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_LONDON_:

Printed for _Samuel Crouch_, at the Corner of _Pope’s-Head-Alley_, next _Cornhil_. 1692.

Copyright, 1899, by Archer M. Huntington Entered at Stationers’ Hall, London

G. P. Putnam’s Sons The Knickerbocker Press New York & London

To

W. W. D.

Licensed,

Sept. 2, 1691.

_Rob. Midgley._

To the Honourable M^{rs} _Martha Lockhart_

MADAM,

I Humbly beg Leave these Letters may appear in an English Dress, under the Protection of your Name; whose Accuracy in the Original, justly Intitles you to this Dedication; and whose Advantagious Birth, Greatness of Mind, and Uncommon Improvements, exact a Veneration from the most Invidious; and render you an Illustrious Ornament of your Sex.

Madam, For me to attempt here the Publishing your Vertues and Accomplishments, so universally acknowledg’d by all that have the Honour of your Acquaintance, would be to detract from your Merit; and might more justly be censured for Presumption than Flattery.

It were better to imitate the Painter, who perceiving it not possible to represent the Father’s Grief for the loss of his Daughter, drew a Veil over his Face, and owned his Inability.

But I forget, Madam, ’tis my part only to crave your Pardon for this bold Address; and to study ever to approve myself,

MADAM,

_Your most Obedient Servant_.

TO THE READER

IT is not sufficient to write things true, but they must likewise seem probable, to gain belief. This has sometime so prevail’d with me, as to make me think of retrenching from my Relation the strange Stories you will find therein. But I have been withheld from doing this, by Persons of such great Sence and Merit, as has made me conclude, that I cannot do amiss in following their Judgments.

I do not doubt but there will be some, who will accuse me of hyperbolizing, and composing Romances; but such would do well to acquaint themselves first with the Countrey, Humour, and Character of those I treat of. A Fact must not be presently condemn’d as false, because it is not publick, or may not hit every Man’s Fancy. I cite no feigned Names, no Persons whose Death may give me the Liberty of attributing what I please to them.

In a word: I write nothing but what I have seen, or heard from Persons of Unquestionable Credit; And therefore shall conclude with assuring you, That you have here no Novel, or Story, devised at pleasure; but an Exact and most True Account of what I met with in my Travels.

CONTENTS

PAGE INTRODUCTION xv

LETTER I 1

LETTER II 50

LETTER III 100

LETTER IV 148

ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE MARIE CATHERINE LE JUMEL DE BARNEVILLE, BARONESS OF AULNOY _Frontispiece._

GATEWAY OF FUENTERRABIA 46

A TOWN OF CENTRAL SPAIN 100

MEDINA DEL CAMPO 144

INTRODUCTION

AT the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth there were several women in France who had gained no small reputation for the writing of amusing if somewhat extravagant _Contes des Fées_. Of these Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness of Aulnoy, has best survived her contemporaries as the author of _La Chatte Blanche_, _La Grenouïlle Bien-complaisante_, _Le Prince Lutin_, _L’Oiseau Bleue_, and of other tales which, as M. La Harpe has thought, place her supreme in the realm of delicate frivolity.

The life of this brilliant woman will doubtless present a contrast with most preconceptions of her character based upon a mere reading of her books; and we may be surprised to find in her such a marked individuality, so peculiarly in touch with her time, and offering so little of the ideal and sensitive nature it was fairly natural to infer. We have not, in fact, a mere writer of amusing tales and half romantic histories, but an intriguing, though charming, woman, of a bold and often reckless nature, sufficient to stamp her a worthy daughter of her time. And, after all harsh verdicts have been passed, we shall, I think, return to Madame Aulnoy, by way of her books, with a feeling of affection and interest.

Barneville, near Bourg-Achard (Eure), is her birthplace. Her father was Nicolas-Claude Le Jumel, and her mother, who subsequently married the Marquis of Gudaigne and went with him to Rome, Judith-Angélique Le Coustellier. Nicolas is said to have served long in the armies of Louis XIV., and to have been related to some of the best families of Normandy. Judith later, when in Rome, seems to have rendered peculiar services to the Spanish court, for which she was duly rewarded.

The date of their daughter’s birth is not positively fixed. It is given as 1650 or 1651, but no record of baptism remains, and of the life of Madame Aulnoy previous to the date of her marriage with François de La Motte little is known. That event occurred on Monday, the 8th of March, 1666.

But if the minor details of her life are wanting, we have yet a general and quite sufficient survey of its broader lines. Married at sixteen to a man thirty-six years her senior, we may find in the character of her husband (“un assez triste personage,” as one of his biographers has named him) no uncertain commentary on the subsequent behavior of his wife.

He is described as: “Un bel homme, bien fait, d’abord valet de pied de César, duc de Vendôme, qui cherchait d’avoir de beaux hommes à son service.”

He rose in the confidence of this master, who in 1649 to 1650 employed him in important affairs. This duke of Vendôme, called by Le Vassor[1] “un mince capitaine, que ne sut jamais se faire craindre ni se faire estimer,” had, on his return to France in 1641, been accused of an attempt to poison Richelieu. These were the days of the celebrated Brinvilliers, when _Acqua Tofana_ had been brought from Italy and the number of poisoners was increasing in France. The duke had again returned after the death of Richelieu, and under Mazarin in 1650 was given the government of Bourgogne. In 1653 he took Bordeaux, and two years later put to flight the Spanish fleet before Barcelona. It was in 1653 that La Motte, rising to prosperity with the fortunes of his master, was made Chevalier de Saint-Michel, and one year later he purchased for 150,000 livres from Claude Gobelin the Barony of Aulnoy in Brie. His success was, however, of short duration, and his money soon slipped away. He died in 1700 in his eightieth year, “Accablé de ses infortunes et des infamies de ses filles, dont il y en a deux qui imitent leur mère.”

In view, therefore of the seemingly general evil opinion as to the character of François de La Motte we may possibly abate somewhat of the severity of judgment in regard to his wife. Yet on the whole Madame Aulnoy does not present a too pleasing portrait. Of her five children two only were acknowledged by their father. Marie-Angélique was born on the 26th of January, 1667; Dominique-César on the 22d of November of the same year; Anne, 1668; Judith-Henriette, 1669; Thérèse-Aymée in 1676.

Of these the only son died young. Thérèse was taken to Spain in the early part of 1679 by Madame Aulnoy, whither the latter had gone to rejoin her mother, the Marquise de Gudaigne. Marie-Angélique, it appears, had the clever nature of her mother, and won a salon reputation. She married Claude Denis de Herre de Vaudois. Anne, the most beautiful, married a gentleman of Berry, by name M. de Preaulx d’Artigny. Thérèse-Aymée remained in Spain with the queen, where she was in 1705. Judith-Henriette seems to have remained in Paris and followed, in a “carrière d’intrigue et de galanterie,” the footsteps of her mother and grandmother.

All amicable relations between Madame Aulnoy and her husband had come to an end even before the tragic event which all but involved her and her mother, and for which they were undoubtedly responsible. A certain C. Bonenfant, Seigneur de Lamoizière, and another, J. A. de Crux, Seigneur Marquis de Courboyer, who were, without seeming question, lovers of Madame Aulnoy and the Marquise de Gudaigne, attacked, at their instigation, in the courts, the unfortunate La Motte, who, however, managed to save himself, and the attempt ended in failure. The accusers were tried, put to the torture, and confessed. Both suffered death, and the two women found it necessary to make their escape. It was said that Madame Aulnoy was all but captured, having been found by the officer in bed, whence she managed to escape, and hid herself beneath a catafalque in a neighboring church. The two went first to England and afterwards to Spain. Here, however, having rendered some service to their own government, they were finally pardoned and returned to France, where, in 1699, Madame Aulnoy again appears, this time mixed up in the famous Ticquet scandal, which ended in the beheading of Angélique Ticquet on the 17th of June. Our author seems to have run some danger of joining her on the scaffold. She died, however, in her house in the Rue Saint-Benoit on the 14th of January, 1705.

* * * * *

If the _Contes des Fées_ of Madame Aulnoy have had a remarkable vogue, not so fortunate has been the lot of some of the historical endeavors of this lady. Her _Mémoires de la Cour d’Espagne_ (1679-1681) and _Mémoires de la Cour d’Angleterre_ (1695) have been quietly laid aside, together with the _Histoire d’Hippolyte_, _Comte de Douglas_ (1690), and the _Histoire de Jean de Bourbon_ (1692), for, though always interesting, the qualities of imagination which combine to the writing of a fairy tale are not quite those needed for the making of history, and unfortunately for the clever lady, it is in the field of “delicate frivolity” that she has been placed.

But Madame Aulnoy has put forward a more serious claim to legitimate reputation in the small volume of travel published anonymously at Paris in 1691, wherein she describes her voyage into Spain with a brilliancy and wealth of detail which is all the more grateful in that the period has furnished us with but little like it. In this Journey she has produced a remarkable book. To the quick eye of the clever French woman nothing is lost. She sees the astonishing condition of the Peninsula with an instant but not unsympathetic glance. Into what might have well proved a dismal picture she has woven her ever lively personality, and with a ready humor turns the incidents of evil chance to amusing asides. If in all this an air of unreality and lack of truth is introduced, it does not on the whole affect the picture. Nor does this resemble the more fanciful historical work of the same writer, for here at least all is natural and fairly told. Spaniards have been at pains to attack this writer. They have argued and abused. But it is not far wrong to find in her book a near approach to a truthful picture. There was, in fact, small need for calling up the imagination. There is evidence enough that in that day no one need closet himself and dream for the seeing of strange sights. It is the commonplace that surprises us. We feel how little the nation was responding to the sense of awakening which began to be felt elsewhere. Cervantes with his laughter had not brought to earth all fabrics of romance. The modern spirit was not yet stirring.

Of this book, as of Madame Aulnoy, Taine has been unhesitating in his praise. To him she was neither prude, philosopher, nor pedant; without affectation; a ready observer, praising or condemning with discretion, he seemed to find in her a representative in some measure of the great literary age of which she was a part.

And to him she never exaggerates; she has the inestimable qualities of good sense, frankness, and tact, is a French woman of culture and breeding. “On imprime,” he says, speaking of the book before us, “beaucoup de livres nouveaux, on ferait bien de réimprimer quelques livres anciens, au premier rang celui-ci.”

* * * * *

On the death of Philip IV., in 1665, a sigh of relief might well have risen from all Spain, yet scarcely through any anticipation of better days to come. For, though this man had presented to Europe a peculiarly marked type of bad government, his end raised no profound hopes of improvement. A man of strong character, of inflexible honesty, of patience; a statesman, a philosopher, and, last of all, a king, was what a few who remembered other days may have hoped. Instead, a Regency. At a time when throughout the land a magistrate, a viceroy, or a noble who had no place to sell or influence to buy was scarcely to be found; when an exhausted treasury, the loss of possessions, the slipping of prestige, the corruption of all classes, called for a guiding hand, then it was that fate saw fit to introduce a new king—_at the age of four_.

Spanish writers have a justified bitterness for this period of the national history. While the Imperial power was sinking slowly away, no return of prosperity, of New World conquest, or Old World grandeur appeared in the distance. None ever came. Stretching back into the past, the widening road of disaster ran straight to the foot of the throne of Philip II. On every side the downfall had begun. Spanish troops once invincible retreated and again retreated. Bit by bit the schemes of other countries began to be realized in the dismemberment of the Empire. Literature grown decadent, history perverted, Mannerism and Gongorism were the new gods and Churriguera the builder of their temples.

The arts decayed and died. Merchants, anticipating the destruction of trade, refused to venture their money. They rather hoarded it in secret places, discarding hope of interest. Commerce knew no security. Wealth brought but extortion. Power lay in the hands of court favorites.

“Les provinces étoient si épuisées,” writes Villars, “qu’en quelques endroits de la Castille on étoit obligé pour vivre, de trocquer les marchandises, parcequ’il n’y avoit plus d’argent pour acheter. Dans Madrid même il ne se’en trouvoit presque plus, et l’on y ressentoit à loisir les suites du changement de la monnoye que l’on avoit fait, avec tant de précipitation. Les personnes de qualité dont la dépense avoit doublé par ce changement ne pouvoient payer leurs marchands, et les banquiers n’avoient plus de fonds et ne trouvoient point à emprunter; on ne payoit rien dans la maison du Roy et les choses en vinrent à une telle extrémité, que la plus part des petits domestiques ayant rendu leurs livrées pour quitter le service, on eut beaucoup de peine à trouver les moyens de les y faire demeurer.”

Even religion was to become the vehicle of a host of strange mysteries; professional saints flourished; miracles were of daily report, the stigmata had repeatedly appeared. Superstition fed upon tales of witches and hobgoblins, and the minds of high and low were filled with a strange, incongruous mass of belief and doubt. A whole supernatural world both local and national crowded the places of Christian tradition. Every fragment of Roman, Arabic, or Gothic belief came to be fused upon the general credulity.

While the form that faith had assumed no longer surprises the reader as he turns the pages of contemporary writers, yet the _auto de fé_ had not gasped its last. Outside the gate of Fuencarral the fires still burned. In 1680, the very year in which our author is writing her later letters from Madrid, it had produced an exhibition in the Plaza Mayor which had the utmost detail of dramatic staging given it to lend impressiveness. The bull-fight, too, was beginning to grow into that popularity which was later to make it the national sport.

The condition of the people was lamentable. Little by little the lower orders, driven from trades and manufacturing, were forced to face conditions of pauperism. Theft came to be too common to be noted. Every mountain pass was infested by robbers. People travelled well armed or stayed at home.

Into such a country, under such conditions as these, came, in February, 1679, this French woman of position, cultivation, and wit, and from San Sebastian she wrote the first of the series of letters which one by one found their way northward as she journeyed toward Madrid.

“Le premier trait du caractère Espagnol, c’est le manque de sense pratique,” says Taine. Something, however, must be added to every epigram on Spain, for she will not permit of hasty summing. Something must be said of language, dignity, and, last but not least, of the instinctive ceremonial. All of this our author has perceived.

This ceremonial of Spain, what and whence is it and how is it that it is first discerned by the traveller? Its history, could it be written, would be indeed a history of shadows, a ghostly palimpsest of needs made forms. Time was when a stern and God-favored war, fought day by day, year to year, and century to century behind the Pyrenean wall, nursed and fostered strange forms and moulded fantastic mental attitude. Europe busied herself but little with it all. It was enough for her that the Spaniard did well his office of guard and watcher at the outer gate. There, she came to believe, was his place, and there he wore his livery. And a strange livery it was—made up of rags and tatters of Iberian pride, Roman servitude, and Christian independence, and as it was fought day after day at the cheerless outer gate, from time to time the foe who bore upon him with the banners of Islam fell back before him, leaving upon the field some word to be gathered up as booty, some spoil of solemn gesture or grave reply or strangely formed garment brought across all Africa from Hejaz or the land of the Anazeh. And in this strange attire he stood and fought and bled until with sweat and blood of a thousand years the garment was a single hue and had become a solemn cloak.

Then the word came for the sheathing of the sword to the south, and with this cloak wrapped about him the erstwhile guardian of the outer gate of a sudden stalked out upon Europe, jangling the gold purse of the Indies at his belt, to the terror and the unfeigned astonishment of the world.

And this strange, melancholy creation of spectral silence has worn his piecemeal cloak of historic ceremonial, and, like the garment of the Seises, when it grew too old and threadbare redarned and furbished it anew until it in turn became but a shade and figure of its predecessor, yet drawn ever closer and hugged with a dearer love about the wasting old guardsman’s figure.

-----

Footnote 1:

_Histoire de Louis XIII._

LETTERS OF THE Lady——TRAVELS INTO SPAIN

A RELATION OF A Voyage to _SPAIN_ IN Several Letters

LETTER I

SEEING you are so earnest with me to let you know all my Adventures, and whatever I have observ’d during my Travels, you must therefore be contented (my dear Cousin) to bear with a great many trifling Occurrences, before you can meet with what will please you: I know your Fancy is so nice and delicate, that none but extraordinary Accidents can entertain you; and I wish I had no others to relate: but recounting things faithfully, as they have hapned, you must be contented therewith.

I gave you an Account in my last, of what I met with as far as Bayonne: you know this is a Town in France, Frontier to Spain, wash’d by the Rivers Dadour and Nivelle, which joyn together; and the Sea comes up to them. The Port and Trade are considerable: I came from Axe by Water, and observ’d that the Boat-men of Adour have the same Custom as those of Garonne; which is to say, That in passing by one another, they set up a Hollowing; and they had rather lose their Wages than to forbear these sort of Shoutings, although exceeding vexatious to those who are not used to them. There are two Castles strong enough to defend the Town, and there are about it several pleasant Walks.

At my Arrival there, I intreated the Baron de Castleneau, who had accompany’d me from Axe, to bring me acquainted with some Women, with whom I might spend my time with less impatience, till the Litters came, which were to be sent to me from St. Sebastian.

He readily complied with my Request; for being a Person of Quality and Worth, he is much esteem’d at Bayonne. He fail’d not the next Morning to bring several Ladies to visit me.

These Women begin here to feel the scorching Heats of the Sun; their Complexion is dark, their Eyes sparkling; they are charming enough, their Wits are sharp: And I could give you a farther Account of their Capacities, could I have better understood what they said: not but that they could all speak French, yet with such a different Dialect, as surpast my Understanding.

Some who came to see me, brought little Sucking Pigs under their Arms, as we do little Dogs: it’s true they were very spruce, and several of ’em had Collars of Ribbons, of various Colours: However, this Custom looks very odd, and I cannot but think that several among themselves are disgusted at it: When they danced, they must set them down, and let these grunting Animals run about the Chamber, where they make a very pleasant Harmony. These Ladies danc’d at my Intreaty, the Baron of Castleneau having sent for Pipes and Tabors.

The Gentlemen who attended the Ladies, took each of ’em her whom he had brought with him, and the Dance began in a Round, all holding Hands: they had afterwards long Canes brought them, and then each Spark taking hold of his Lady’s Handkerchief, which separated them from one another, moved very gracefully at the Sound of this Martial sort of Musick, which inspired them with such Heat, that they seem’d not to be able to moderate it. This seem’d to me to resemble the Pyrric Dance so much celebrated by the Ancients; for these Gentlemen and Ladies made so many Turns, Frisks and Capers, their Canes being thrown up into the Air, and dexterously caught again, that it is impossible to describe their Art and Agility: And I had a great deal of Pleasure in seeing ’em; but methoughts it lasted too long, and I began to grow weary of this ill-ordered Ball: When the Baron de Castleneau, who perceiv’d it, caused several Baskets of dried Fruit to be brought in. They are the Jews who pass for Portuguises, and dwell at Bayonne, who transport them from Genoa, and furnish all the Country with them. We wanted not for Limonade, and other refreshing Waters, of which these Ladies drank heartily; and so the Entertainment ended.

I was carry’d the next Morning to see the Synagogue of the Jews, in the Suburb of the Holy Spirit, but met with nothing remarkable there. Monsieur de St. Pe, the King’s Lieutenant, who came to see me, though much troubled with the Gout, invited me to Dine at his House, where I was most deliciously entertain’d; for this a Country abounding with good Cheer, and at cheap Rates. I found here Women of Quality that were very handsome, whom he had invited to bear me Company. The sight of the Castle, which faces the River, is very pleasant, and has always a good Garison in it.

At my return to my Lodging, I was surpriz’d to find several Pieces of Linnen, which were brought to me from the Ladies who came to see me, with Baskets full of dried Sweetmeats. This Treatment seem’d to me very obliging to a Lady whom they had not known above four or five Days. But I must not forget to tell you, there is not any finer Linnen in the World, than that which is made in this Country, some of which is open like Net-work, and the Threads of it finer than Hair: And I remember, that travelling thro’ the Villages of Bourdeaux, which may be rather call’d Desarts, the poor Peasants living so wretchedly; yet I found among them as neat Napkins as those used among People of Quality at Paris.

I fail’d not to send these Ladies such little Presents which I thought might please them: I perceiv’d they were great Admirers of Ribbons, and wear a great many on their Heads and Ears, which made me send them a great many; to which I added several Fans: and they, by way of Return, presented me with Gloves, and Thread-Stockins, most delicately knit.

In sending them to me they desired me to go to the next Chappel, which was not far from my Quarters, where they intended to Regale me with the best Musick the Town would afford: but though there were very good Voices, yet there is no great pleasure in hearing them, because they want both Air and Skill.

The Litters which I expected from Spain, being come, I prepared for my Departure; but I never met with any thing dearer than these sort of Equipages; for each Litter has a Master that accompanies it, who keeps the Gravity of a Roman Senator, being mounted on a Mule, and his Man on another, with which they release ever and anon those that carry the Litter. I had two, I took the greatest for myself and my Child, and had besides four Mules for my Servants, and two for my Baggage: to conduct them, there were other two Masters and two Men. You see what Charge one is at, to go to Madrid, seeing you must pay not only for their Attendance on you forwards, but the same Price for their return back: However, we must submit to their Customs, and suffer ourselves to be peel’d by them.

I found at Bayonne several Turks and Mores, and I think a worse sort of People, and these are Custom-House-Men: I had caused my Trunks to be weigh’d at Paris, that I might have the less to do with these sort of People; but they were more subtle, or to speak better, more obstinate than I; so that I was forc’d to give them whatever they demanded. Scarcely was I got clear from them, when the Drums, Trumpets, Pipes, and Violins of the Town, came thundring upon me; they follow’d me farther than St. Anthony’s Gate, through which you pass for Spain through Biscaye: they play’d each of them in their way, and all together, without any Harmony, which was enough to drive any one out of their Senses: I ordered some Money to be given them, upon which they left persecuting me. As soon as we had left Bayonne, we enter’d into a large barren Heath, where we saw nothing but Chesnut-Trees; but we afterwards past along by the Sea, whose Sand makes a delightful Way, and a pleasant Prospect.

We arriv’d in good time at St. John de Luz: nothing can be pleasanter than this Borough, which is the greatest in France, and the best built; there are several smaller Cities: its Port lies between two Mountains, which Nature seems to have expresly placed to defend it from Storms; the River Nivelle disgorges it self therein; the Sea comes up very high in it, and the greatest Barks come up commodiously to the Key. The Seamen here are very skilful at catching Whales, and other large Fish. We were here very well entertain’d, so that our Tables were covered with all sorts of Wild Fowl: but our Beds were not answerable, being stuck with Feathers whose Pinions ran into our sides, and we wanted Quilts to lay on the top of them: I thought when we were to pay, that we should have had a large Reckoning, but they only demanded of me half a Lewis Dor, when they would have cost more than five Pistoles at Paris. The Situation of St. John de Luz is extreamly agreeable.

In the most spacious part of the Town you see here a very fine Church, built after the Modern Fashion; and here is a Passage over the River Nivelle, on a Woodden Bridge of great length. Here are Toll-Gatherers, who make you pay for every thing you carry with you, not excepting your Cloaths: This Tax is demanded at their Pleasure; and it is excessive on Strangers. I was weary with speaking French to ’em, and protesting I was no Spaniard; they feigning not to understand me, sneering in my Face, and wrapping up their Heads in their Hooded-Gowns; they seem’d to be Thieves, disguised in Capuchins: In short, they tax’d me eighteen Crowns, and would perswade me they used me well, tho’ I found the contrary. But I have already told you (dear Cousin), that when you travel this Country, you must stock yourself with Patience, and good store of Money.

I saw the Castle of Artois, which seems a strong place; and a little farther Orognes, where the Biscaye is spoken, without either French or Spanish. I design’d to lye at Iron, which is but three Leagues distant from St. John de Luz; and I had set out after Noon, but the Dispute which we had with the Watch on the Bridge, the Difficulty we had in passing the Mountains of Beotia, and the ill Weather, joyned to other little Difficulties which hapned, were the Cause that it was Night before we arriv’d on the Borders of the River Bidassoa, which separates France from Spain. I observ’d along the way from Bayonne thither, little Carriages, on which they transport every thing, which have only two Iron Wheels, and the Noise they make is so great, that they are heard a Mile off, when there are many of them together, which often happen; for you often meet with Sixty or Seventy at a time; they are drawn by Oxen. I have seen the same in the Villages of Bourdeaux, and especially on the side of Axe.

The River of Bidassoa is usually very small, but the Snows melting had increas’d it to such a degree, that we had no small trouble to pass it, some in a Boat, and others swimming on their Mules: The Moon shined very bright, by means of which I was shew’d on the right Hand the Isle of Conference, where the Marriage of our King was made with Maria Therese, Infanta of Spain. I saw a while after the Fort of Fontarabia, which belongs to the King of Spain, standing on the Mouth of this small River: the Flux and Reflux of the Sea arrives here. Our Kings heretofore pretended it belonged to them: there have been such great Contests hereupon, especially by the Inhabitants of Fontarabia, and those of Andaye, that they have several times come to Blows. This oblig’d Lewis the Twelfth, and Ferdinand, to agree, That it should be common to both Nations: the French and the Spaniards take Toll equally; these last making those pay who pass into Spain, and the former doing the like in relation to those who pass over to France.

War does not hinder Commerce on this Frontier: it’s true they cannot subsist without it, seeing they must perish through Want, did they not assist one another.

This Country call’d Biscaye, is full of high Mountains, where are several Iron Mines: The Biscays climb up the Rocks as easily, and with as great swiftness as Stags: Their Language (if one may call such Jargon Language) is very poor, seeing one Word signifies abundance of Things: There are none but those born in the Country that can understand it; and I am told, that to the end it may be more particularly theirs, they make no use of it in Writing; they make their Children to read and write French and Spanish, according to which King’s Subjects they are. It’s certain, as soon as I past the little River of Bidassoa, I was not understood, unless I spake Castillan; and not above a quarter of an Hour before, I should not have been understood had I not spoke French.

I found on the other side of this River a Banker of St. Sebastian, to whom I was recommended: he tarried for me, with two of his Relations; they were cloath’d after the French manner, but ridiculously, their Justau Corps being short and large, and their Sleeves hanging down very short; those of their Shirts were so large, that they hung down below their Justau Corps: they had Bands without Collars; Periwigs, one of which had enough Hair for four, and so frizled, as made ’em look as if they were frighted; iller-drest People you cannot meet with. Those who wear their own Hair, wear it very long and close, parting it on the Crown, and pass part of it behind their Ears: but what kind of Ears think you? those of Midas were not larger; and I believe, that to lengthen them, they are stretched when they be young: without question they find some kind of Beauty herein.

My three Spaniards made me in bad French most tedious and dull Complements. We past through the Bourg of Tran, which is about a quarter of a League from the River, and came afterwards to Irun, which is distant about another quarter of a League: this little Town is the first of Spain which you meet with, leaving France: it’s ill built; the Streets are unequal, and there’s nothing one can speak of: We entered into the Inn through the Stable, where are the Stairs on which you must ascend to your Chamber; this is the Country’s Fashion. I found the House very light, by a great many Candles, which were as small as Pack-thread; there were at least forty in my Chamber, fixt on little bits of Wood; in the midst of ’em stood a Pan of Coals burning, made of Olive Rhines, to take away the scent of the Candles.

I had a great Supper, which my Gallants, the Spaniards, had caus’d to be made ready for me; but all was so full of Garlick, Saffron and Spice, that I could eat nothing: and I had made very bad Cheer, had not my Cook made me a little Ragou of what he could find.

Determining to go but to St. Sebastian the next Morning, which is but seven or eight Leagues, I thought to Dine before I set out: I was sitting at Table when one of my Women brought me my Watch to wind it up, as it was my Custom at Noon; It was a striking Watch, of Tompion’s make, and cost me fifty Lewises: My Banker, who was by me, shew’d some desire to see it; I gave it him, with a customary Civility. This was enough: my Blade rises, makes me a profound Reverence, telling me, “He did not deserve so considerable a Present; but such a Lady as I could make no other: That he would engage his Faith and Reputation, that he would never part with my Watch as long as he liv’d; and that he found himself extreamly oblig’d to me.” He kist it at the end of his pleasant Complement, and thrust it into his Pocket, which was deeper than a Sack. You’ll take me to be a very great Sot, in saying nothing to all this, and I do not wonder at it; but I confess ingenuously, I was so surpriz’d at his Proceeding, that the Watch was out of sight before I could resolve on what I was to do. My Women, and the rest of my Servants who were about me, stared on me, and I on them, blushing with Shame and Vexation to be thus caught: However, I recollected myself, and considered, that this Man was to pay me a good round Sum of Money for the Charge of my Journey, and to return Money to Bourdeaux, where I had taken it up; that having Bills of Credit on him, he might use several Tricks to me, and Put-offs, which might make me spend twice the Value of the Watch: In fine, I let him part with it, and endeavour’d to do myself Honour from a thing which gave me great Mortification.

I have learnt, since this little Adventure, that ’tis the Custom in Spain, when any thing is presented to one, if he likes it, and kisses your Hand, he may take it with him. This is a very pleasant Fashion, and being sufficiently acquainted with it, ’twill be my Fault if I am Trapt again.

I left this Inn where they peel’d me sufficiently; for this is a grievous dear Country, and every one strives to be Rich at his Neighbour’s Cost. A while after we had left the Town we entred on the Pyrenean Mountains, which are so high and steep, that looking down, you see, not without Horror, the Precipices which environ them; we went thus as far as Rentery: Don Antonio (which was my Banker’s Name) went before me, and for my more commodious Passage, he oblig’d me to quit my Litter; for although we had traverst several Mountains, yet there remain’d more difficult to pass: he made me enter into a little Boat, which he had prepar’d to go down the River of Andaye, till we were near the Mouth of the Sea, where we saw the King of Spain’s Gallions; there were three very fine and large ones. Our little boats were set forth with Gilt Streamers; they were manag’d by Girls, who were very lusty and handsome; there are three in each, two that Row, and one who holds the Rudder.

These Wenches are very well shaped, of Chesnut Complexion, have very good Teeth, Hair Black, which they tie up with Ribbons, in Knots, and so let it hang behind them: They wear a kind of Veil on their Heads, made of Musling, embroidered with Flowers of Gold and Silk, which hangs loose, and covers their Breasts: they wear Pendants in their Ears of Gold and Pearls, and Bracelets of Coral; they have a kind of Justau Corps, like our Gypsies, whose Sleeves are very strait: I can assure you they charm’d me. I was told these Wenches swim like Fishes, and suffer neither Women nor Men among them. This is a kind of Republick, where they repair from all Parts, and where their Parents send them very young.

When they are willing to marry, they go to Mass at Fontarabia, which is the nearest Town to ’em; and there the young Men come to chuse ’em Wives to their Humour. He that will engage himself in Hymen’s Bonds, goes to his Mistress’s Parents, declares to them his Intentions, regulates every thing with them: And this being done, notice of it is given to the Maid: If she likes the Party, she retires to their house, where the Nuptuals are celebrated.

I never saw a more gay Air than that on their Countenances; they have little Habitations along the Waterside, and there are old Maidens to whom the younger pay Respect, as to their Mothers. They related these Particulars to us in their Language, and we hearken’d to ’em with great Delight, when the Devil, who never sleeps, disturb’d us with a vexatious Adventure.

My Cook, who is a Gascon, and exactly of the Humour of those of that Country, was in one of our Boats behind us, at some distance, very near a young Biscaneer, who appeared to him very handsome; he contented not himself with telling her as much, but would have rudely turn’d up her Veil. She being not used to this sort of plain Dealing without any Words broke his Head with her Oar: Having done this Exploit, Fear seizing on her, she threw herself immediately into the Water, tho’ the Season was very cold, and swam with great swiftness; but having all her Cloaths on, and it being far to the Shoar, her strength began to fail her. Several of these Wenches who saw this at Land, leapt immediately into their Boats to her Assistance, when those who had remain’d in the Boat with the Cook, fearing the loss of their Companion, fell on him like two Furies, resolving by all means to drown him, and had like two or three times to have overturn’d their little Vessel, which we beholding from ours, had much a-do to part and appease them.

I assure you the foolish Gascon was so cruelly handled, that he was all over blood; and my Banker told me, that these young Biscaneers provoked, are worse than Lions. In fine, we came to Land, but were scarcely on Shoar, but we saw this Wench which was saved out of the Water, making up towards us, with near fifty others, each with an Oar on their Shoulder, marching in Battle-ray, with Fife and Drum; when she who was to be the Mouth of the Company, advanc’d, and calling me several times Andria, which is to say, Madam, (for that’s all I could retain of her Speech) gave me to understand, That they would have my Cook’s Skin, if Satisfaction were not made proportionably to the Damage done their Companion’s Cloaths. At the ending of which words, the She-Drummers fell loudly beating their Drums, and the rest of their Amazons set up an Hollowing, Leaping and Dancing, and Fencing with their Oars in a most astonishing manner.

Don Antonio, to make me amends for the Present he had wrung from me (I cannot but often mention it, lying on my Heart as it does) undertook to make Peace: He found that my Cook, who thought himself sufficiently beaten, had Reason to give nothing; and therefore he distributed some Pieces of Money among this Marine Troop: On receipt of which they set forth lowder Hollow’s than before, and wish’d me a good Journey, and speedy Return, each of ’em dancing and singing at the sound of their Pipes and Tabors.

We entred into a very rough Way, and ascended along very narrow Paths, on the side of which there are Precipices; so that I was greatly afraid, lest the Mules which carry’d my Litter should stumble: We afterwards past over a large Sandy Field. I tarry’d some time in the Convent of St. Francis, which stands near the River of Andaye: We past over it on a very long Wooden Bridge; and though we were very near St. Sebastian, yet we could not then perceive it, because a Mount of Sand hid the Town: It’s situated on the Foot of a Mountain, which serves on one side as a Rampart against the Sea, and the Vessels come to the Foot of this Mountain, to shelter them from the Storms; for here arise extraordinary Tempests, that the Ships at Anchor perish in the Port: it’s deep, and defended by two Moles, which leave only as much room as is requisite for one Vessel passing at a time. They have rais’d here a great four Square Tower, where there is ever a good Garison to defend the Place, in case of Assault: it was a fine Day for the Season: I found the Town very pleasant, being surrounded with a double Wall: there are mounted several Pieces of Cannon on that part towards the Sea, with Bastions and Half Moons: the Town is situated in a Province of Spain, call’d Guipuscoa: the Outparts are exceeding pleasant, by reason that the Sea, as I now said, serves for a Channel to it: the Streets of this Town are long and large, pav’d with great White Stones, which are always clean: the Houses are well enough; and the Churches decent, in which the Altars are of Wood, on which are hung little Pictures, from top to bottom. Mines of Iron and Steel abound in this Country, finer and purer perhaps than in any other Parts of Europe; and this is the greatest part of their Trade. Here the Wool which comes from Castille, is embark’d, which makes a considerable part of their Traffick. Bilbo and St. Sebastian are two of the most considerable Ports which the King of Spain has on the Ocean: The Castle stands very high, and may make an indifferent Defence: here are mounted several fine Pieces of Cannon; and there are a great many along the Ramparts; but the Garison is so weak, that the Women might conquer them with their Distaffs.

Every thing is as dear in this Town as in Paris, yet they fare well here: Fish is excellent, and I was told Fruit was the same. I lay in the best Inn, and when I had been there some time, Don Fernand de Toledo, sent his Gentlemen to enquire, Whether his Visit would not be troublesome to me? My Banker, who knew him, and who was then in my Chamber, told me, he was a Spaniard of great Quality, Nephew to the Duke D’Alva; that he came from Flanders, and was going to Madrid.

I receiv’d him with that Civility which was due to his Birth, and soon thereto adjoyn’d particular Respects to his own Merit: He is a Gentleman of good Presence, has Wit and Politeness, is Complaisant and Agreeable; he speaks as good French as I do; but understanding Spanish, and being desirous to speak it better, we therefore discours’d only in that Language.

I was very well satisfied with his Carriage. He told me he came Post hither from Brussels, and if I pleas’d, he would increase my Train, and be one of my Company. I thought he jested, and answered him accordingly; but he added, The ways were so full of Snow, that indeed they could not ride Post; that he could make more speed on Horses than in Litters, but the Honour of accompanying me, made abundant Recompence for that. In a word, I saw he was a civil Person, and came no way short of the Gallantry natural to the Spanish Cavaliers: I therefore consider’d, how advantageous it might prove to have a Man of this Quality, and Country, who could make himself be heard and obey’d by the Muletteers, who have Iron Souls, and no Consciences.

I told him, I was very glad I met with him, and the Fatigue of the Road would be less’ned by his Company. He immediately thereupon ordered his Gentlemen to find a Litter for him: It being late he took his leave of me, and I betook my self to be after a good Supper; for, my dear Cousin, I am none of those Romantick Ladies that never eat.

Scarcely did I begin to sleep, when I heard some-body speak French so near me, that I thought at first ’twas in my Chamber; but having hearkned with more attention, I found ’twas in a Chamber separated from mine by only some thin Boards, and those ill joynted: I drew my Curtain, and saw Light through the Crevices, and at the same time two young Women, the eldest of which appeared not to be above Seventeen or Eighteen; neither of ’em were of those Beauties without Defect, yet were they so pretty, spake so sweetly, and had such great sweetness on their Countenances, that I was much taken with ’em.

The youngest, who seem’d to continue the Conversation, said to the other, ‘No, my dear Sister, there is no Remedy to our Misfortunes; we must die, or get them out of the Clutches of this vilanous Dotard.’ ‘I am resolute for any thing,’ reply’d the other, in uttering a deep sigh, ‘should it cost me my Life: What remains? Have we not sacrific’d all for them?’ Then considering a while their Misfortunes, they mutually embrac’d, and began to weep in a most piteous manner: And having consulted a while, and spake some other Words, the greatest part of which were interrupted by their Sighs, they concluded on Writing, which they did; and here is most of what I heard them read to one another:

‘Judge not of my Love and Grief by my Words, I have none can express either the one or the other; but remember you Ruine me, unless you betake yourself to the greatest Extremities against him that persecutes us. He has now sent me word, That if we delay our Departure, he will have us seiz’d. Consider what he deserves from this base Usage of us; and remember you owe me all, seeing you owe me my Heart.’

I think the other Billet was in these Terms:

‘Could I secure thee thy Happiness, in losing mine, I love thee sufficiently to offer thee such a Sacrifice: Yes, I would fly from thee, couldst thou be Happy without me; but I know thy Heart too well to believe this. Yet thou remainest as Quiet in thy Prison, as if I were with thee: Break thy Chains without more delay; punish the Enemy of our Loves. My Heart shall be thy Recompense.’

Having made up these Billets, they went out together; and, I profess, I was not a little uneasie for ’em, and no less curious to know these poor Ladies Misfortunes. This hindred me from sleeping, and I was expecting their Return, when immediately there was a great Uproar in the House: I saw an old Man enter the Chamber, attended by a great many Servants: He held one of these young Women by the Hair of the Head, which he had wound about his Arm, and drew her after him, as a wretched Sacrifice. Her Sister was not treated with less Cruelty, by those who led her: ‘Perfidious Wretches,’ said he to them, ‘not content with the irreparable Injury you do my Nephews, you would perswade them to be my Executioners? Had I not surprised you with these seducing Letters, what might have hapned? What dreadful Tragedies might I not have expected? But you shall pay once for all: as soon as ever the Day appears I will have you punisht as you deserve.’ ‘Ah Sir,’ said she whom he held, ‘remember we are Women of Quality, and that our Alliance can be no Dishonour to you; that your Nephews have given us their Faith, and we them ours; that in so tender an Age we have left all for their sakes; that we are Strangers, and have no Friends here: What will become of us? We dare not return to our Relations: if you are for constraining us to this, or for putting us in Prison, let us intreat you rather presently to dispatch us out of the World.’

The Tears which they shed in such abundance, wrought in me the greatest Compassion: And had the old Man been as tender as I, he had soon freed ’em from their Trouble.

My Women, who had heard such a great Disturbance, and so near my Chamber, arose, in the fear of some Mishap towards me: I made Signs to them to draw near softly, and to behold through the Boards this sorrowful Spectacle: We hearkned to what they said, when two Men, with their Swords in their Hands, entred into my Chamber, the Door of which my Women had left open: They had Despair painted on their Faces, and Rage in their Eyes: I was so greatly frighted, that I cannot express it to you. They lookt on one another without speaking a word; and having heard the old Man’s Voice, they ran on that side.

I did not doubt but ’twas the two Lovers; and ’twas them indeed, who entred like two Lions into this Chamber: They struck these Servants with so great Terror, that never a one of ’em dared approach his Master, to defend him, when his Nephews advance towards him, and set their Swords to his Throat: ‘Barbarian,’ said they to him, ‘can you thus use Women of Quality, that are to be our Wives? Because you are our Guardian, must you therefore be our Tyrant? And is not the separating of us from what we love, the taking our Lives from us? It’s now in our Power to take a just Vengeance of you; but we cannot do it to a Man of your Age, who cannot defend himself: give us then your Word, and swear by all that’s Good and Holy, That in Acknowledgment for the Life we give you, you will contribute to our Happiness, and suffer us to perform what we have promis’d.’

The poor old Wret[c]h was so afrighted, that he could hardly make any Answer: However, he swore more than they would have him; he fell on his Knees, and kist an hundred times his Thumb laid a-cross one of his Fingers, after the manner of Spain. Yet he told them, ‘That whatever he had done, was onely in regard to their Interests; however, he would not in any sort, for the future, oppose their Inclinations, in reference to this Marriage.’ Two of the Domesticks took him under the Arm, and rather carried him away than led him. Then the Gentlemen seeing themselves free, threw themselves in their Mistresses Arms; they said to one another, whatever Grief, Love and Joy do usually inspire in such Occasions. But in Troth, one must have a Heart as affected and content as theirs, to repeat all these things: they are only proper to Persons more tender than you are, my dear Cousin. But I hope you will excuse this Relation; I was so tired, in having not yet slept, that I could scarce hear any more, but confusedly: and to hear no more, I got farther into Bed, and threw the Quilt over my Head.

The next Morning Don Fernand de Toledo, sent me some choice Wines, with great quantity of Oranges and Sweetmeats. As soon as he thought it a proper time to Visit me, he came: Having thankt him for his Present, I askt him, Whether he had heard nothing of what had past in the Night? He told me, No; for he had lain in another part of the House. I was about relating to him what I knew, When our Hostess entred into the Chamber: she came from the two Gentlemen who had given me that Disturbance, with the Swords in their Hands, intreating me to receive their Excuses. She likewise told me, That two young Ladies desired they might wait on me, and kiss my Hand. I answered these Civilities as I ought; and they soon entred.

What charming Effects does the Return of Joy produce? I found these Gentlemen very well shaped, and these Ladies very lovely; neither one nor the other had any more on their Countenances the Characters of Despair; an Air of Gaiety display’d itself in all their Words and Gestures. The Eldest of the two Brethren made the most handsome Excuse as is possible for his Mistake in entring my Chamber: he added, ‘He had well observ’d the Fear he had caus’d me; but told me, that in that Moment he was so transported, that he was capable of no other Thought but the Rescuing his Mistress.’ ‘You would have been to blame,’ said I to him, ‘should you have thought of any thing else: However, if it be true, you are willing to make me Satisfaction for the Alarum you have giv’n me, you must not refuse the gratifying my Curiosity: With these fair Ladies leave, inform me what has reduced all of you to these Extremities you were in.’ He lookt on them, as if it were to ask their Approbation, which they willingly granted; and he thus began:

‘We are two Brothers, Madam, Natives of Burgos, and of one of the best Families of this City. We were very young, when we fell into the Hands of an Uncle, who took care of our Education and Estates, which are so considerable, that we need not envy others on that account; Don Diego (is our Uncle’s Name) he had made long since a firm Friendship with a Gentleman living near Blaye, whose Merit is far above his Fortune; he is call’d Monsieur de Messignac: our Uncle resolving to send us for some time into France, he wrote hereupon to his Friend, who offered him his House, which he joyfully accepted. He made us set out; and it is a Year since we were received there with great Civility: Madam de Messignac used us as her own Children; she has several; but of her four Daughters, those you see are the most aimable. It would have been very difficult to have seen them every day, to dwell with them, and yet not to have loved them.

‘My Brother at first conceal’d from me his growing Passion, and I hid mine from him; we were both of us very melancholly; the trouble of loving, without being lov’d again, and the fear of displeasing those who caus’d our Passion, all this cruelly tormented us; but a new Vexation did greatly increase our Disquiet, which was a restless Jealousie we had one of another: My Brother plainly saw I was in Love, and thought ’twas with his Mistress; I lookt on him likewise as my Rival; and we bore such Hatred to one another, as might have transported us to the greatest Extremities; but that I resolutely determin’d one day to discover my Sentiments to Mademoiselle de Messignac; but wanting Courage to speak to her myself, I wrote some Verses in a little Book touching my Passion for her, and dexterously slid it into her Pocket without her perceiving me. My Brother, who had always an Eye on me, observ’d it, and playing with her, he took out the Verses, and found ’em to contain a respectful and passionate Declaration of Love to her; he kept them till Night, when being withdrawn into my Chamber, with the greatest Inquietude, he came to me, and tenderly embracing me, he told me, He was heartily glad at the notice he had of my being in love with Mademoiselle de Messignac.

‘I remain’d as one Thunderstruck; I saw my Papers in his Hands; I imagin’d she had made them a Sacrifice to him, and that he came to insult on my Misfortune. He saw in my Eyes and Countenance part of what I thought: “Undeceive yourself,” continued he, “she gave ’em not to me; I have taken ’em without her seeing them: I’ll be serviceable to you for the obtaining her; be you the same to me in relation to her elder Sister.” I then embraced him, and promis’d him all he desired. Then we mutually rendred good Offices to one another; and our Mistresses, who were not then acquainted with the power of Love, began to accustom themselves to hear talk of it.

‘It would be to abuse your Patience, to tell you, Madam, how we came at length by our Cares and Assiduities to win their Hearts. What happy Moments! what sweet Hours! to see without ceasing what one loves, and to be beloved! to be together in the Fields, where an Innocent and Country Life let’s one taste, without disturbance, the Pleasures of a growing Passion; this is a Felicity which cannot be exprest.

‘Winter being come, Madam de Messignac was at Bourdeaux, where she had a House; we accompanied her thither; but this House was not great enough to lodge us, with all our Family; we took one near hers.

‘Though this Separation was only the Nights, yet we had lively Resentments of it; we were not now every Moment with ’em; our Visits were accompanied with a certain Air of Ceremonies, which disturb’d us. But our Alarums were much increas’d when we saw two rich handsome Sparks address themselves to Mademoiselles de Messignac, and earnestly Court them, and that with the Approbation of their Parents. Good God, how we lookt! Their Proceedings went on at a great rate, and our dear Mistresses, who shared in our Sorrow, mingled every day their Tears with ours. In fine, having thoroughly tormented ourselves, by devising a thousand fruitless Ways, I resolv’d to Address myself to Monsieur de Messignac: I spake to him, and told him what my Passion inspired me, to perswade him to defer these Marriages. He answer’d, “He accepted, with the greatest Acknowledgments, the Offers my Brother and I made him; but being not of Age, what we might do at present might be afterwards Cancell’d: That his Honour was dear to him, though his Estate was small; however, should always esteem himself Happy, in living without Reproach: That my Uncle, who had entrusted us to him, might justly accuse him of Seducing us; and that in short, we must no more think of these matters.”

‘I withdrew in the greatest Affliction, which I shared with my Brother; and this was a dreadful trouble among us. Monsieur de Messignac, to compleat our misfortunes, sent an Account to my uncle, of what had past, and earnestly intreated him to lay his Commands on us to be gone. He did so; and seeing no remedy to our Misfortune, we went, my Brother and I, to Mademoiselles de Messignac, we threw ourselves at their Feet; We told them what might perswade Hearts already pre-possest: We gave them our Faith, and Promises, Sign’d with our Blood: In Short, Love made an end of vanquishing them; they consented to go with us. In fine, we took such Measures, that our Passage was happy enough till our Arrival here; and it is not two days since entring this House, the first Person offering himself to us was Don Diego; He was impatient of our Return; and to satisfie himself, he came in quest of us. How did we look at this sight! He caus’d us to be apprehended as Criminals; and forgetting that Mademoiselles de Messignac were the Daughters of his best Friend and Person of Quality, he loaded them with Injuries, and o’erwhelm’d them with Threatnings, after he had learnt from one of my Servants, that we had resolved to pass Incognito as far as Madrid, to some Relations we had there, to tarry in this place for a full liberty of declaring our Marriage. He lock’t us up in a Chamber next to his; and we were there, when these Ladies came by Moonlight, coughing under our Windows. We heard them, and ran to them——They shew’d us their Letters; and we were devising on our Deliverance, when my Uncle, having notice of what past, silently came upon us with all his Servants, and before our Faces misused these aimable Creatures. In the Excess of our Despair our Strength, without doubt, increas’d; We broke open the Doors, which were fast shut on us, and we ran to Succour them, when imprudently, Madam, we came into your Chamber.’

[Illustration: Gateway of Fuenterrabia]

The Gentleman here stopt, and I found he had related his little History with great Ingenuity. I thank’t him for it, and offer’d these Ladies my Endeavours, and those of my Friends, to appease their Family: Which Offers they accepted, and testifi’d their Acknowledgments.

Some Ladies of the Town, who came to see me, wou’d stop me; they proposed to me to go to the Religioses, whose Convent is so pleasantly situated, that the Prospect has no Bounds: You may see thence, at the same time, the Sea, Ships, Towns, Woods and Fields. They spake much in praise of the Voices, Beauty, and good Humour of these Religioses. Add to this, that the ill Weather was so increast, and the Snow fal’n in so great abundance, that no body advised me to proceed in my Journey. I was in suspence a while, but the Impatience I had to be at Madrid, prevail’d over all these Considerations, and I parted the next Morning. I have receiv’d of my Banker the Money I want.

But I must not forget to tell you, That the Inhabitants of this Town have a particular Priviledge, and of which they are not a little proud; which is, That when they Treat of any Affairs with the King of Spain, and that it is directly with him, he is oblig’d to speak with them bareheaded. I could not get the Reason from ’em for this.

I am told I must furnish myself with good store of Provision, to prevent starving in some places through which we must pass; and Gammons of Bacon, dried Tongues, being much esteem’d in this Country, I have therefore taken up a good quantity; and as to the rest, we have sufficiently provided. Now this being the Post-day, I would not omit this occasion of informing you of what has hapned to me; and testifying, that I am,

Yours.

From St. Sebastian, Feb. 20, 1679.

LETTER II

I Re-assume, Dear Cousin, without any Compliments, the Sequel of my Travels: In leaving St. Sebastian, we entred into a very rough Way, which brings you to such terrible steep Mountains, that you cannot ascend them without climbing; they are call’d Sierra de St. Adrian. They shew only Precipices and Rocks, on which a puling Lover may meet with certain Death, if he has a mind to it. Pine Trees of an extraordinary heighth crown the top of these Mountains. As far as the Sight will reach you see nothing but Desarts, cut with Streams clearer than Chrystal. Near the highest part of Mount St. Adrian, you meet with an elevated Rock, which seems to have been placed in the midst of the way to block up the Passage, and thus separate Biscaye from the Old Castille.

A tedious and painful Labour has pierced this Mass of Stone in manner of a Vault; you may walk forty or fifty Paces under it, without sight of Day, but what comes by the Overtures at each Entry, which are shut by great Doors: You find under this Vault an Inn, which is left in the Winter, by Reason of the Snows: You see here likewise a little Chappel of St. Adrian, and several Caverns, where Thieves commonly retreat; so that it is dangerous passing here without being in a condition of Defence. When we[2] had traverst the Rock, we still a little ascended, to arrive to the top of the Mountain, which is held to be the highest of the Pyranea’s; it is wholly covered with great Ash Trees. There was never a finer place of Solitude; the Springs run here as in the Vallies: the sight is only bounded by the Weakness of the Eyes; Shades and Silence here reign, and the Eccho’s answers on every side. We began afterwards to descend down faster than we climed up: We saw in some parts little barren Plains, many sandy places, and ever and anon Mountains covered with great Rocks. It is not without Reason, that in passing so near, you fear, lest some one of ’em should get loose, which would certainly over-whelm one; for you see some which are fall’n from the top, and hang in their passage on other Clefts; and these finding nothing in the way, would give a sorry Diversion to a Traveller. I made all these Reflections at my ease; for I was alone in my Litter, with my Child, who did not at all disturb my Thoughts. A River call’d Urrola, big enough, but which was increased by the Torrents, and melted Snow, slides along the Way, and breaks forth into particular Streams in some places, which fall with a great impetuosity and noise, and make a very pleasant sound and sight.

We meet not here with those fine Castles to be seen on the Banks of the Loire, which make Travellers call it the Country of Fairies. Here are on these Mountains only some Shepherds Cottages, and some few Hovels, and at that distance, that you must go a great way before you can find them; yet all these Natural Objects, though very melancholly ones, yet have something that is very taking in them. The Snows were so high, that we had always twenty Men, who made way for us with Shovels. You will perhaps imagine this cost me very much; but here are so well establisht Orders, and those so well observ’d, that the Inhabitants of a Village are oblig’d to meet Travellers, and be their Guides to the next; and no one being bound to give them any thing, the least Liberality therefore satisfies them. To this first Care there is added another, which is that of Ringing the Bells without ceasing, to give notice to Travellers, where they may retreat in stormy Weather. They told me, there had not fall’n this forty Years so much Snow as we met with, there having been no Frost for a great while in this Province.

Our Troop was so great that we might count ourselves no ways inferiour to those Famous Caravans which go to Mecha; for without reckoning my Train, and that of Don Fernand de Toledo, there joyn’d with us near St. Sebastian, three Knights, with their Attendants, who return’d from their Commanderships of St. James; there were two of this Order, and one of that of Alcantara: The first wear Red Crosses, in form of an embroidered Sword, on their Shoulders; and he of Alcantara had a Green one. One of the two first is of Andalousia, the other of Galicia, and the third of Catalonia; they are of good Families; he of Andalousia calls himself, Don Esteve de Carvajal; he of Galicia, Don Sancho Sanniento; and the other of Catalonia, Don Frederic de Cardonne; they are Persons of good Meine, and well acquainted with the World. I receiv’d all possible Civilities from them, having much of the French Humour in them. They have travelled over the greatest Part of Europe; and this has rendred them so Polite. We went to lye at Galareta; this is a Borough a little distant from Mount Adrian, situated in the little Province of Spain, I now mention’d, named Alava, which makes a Part of Biscaye; we had there but bad Entertainment. They reckon it eleven Leagues from thence to St. Sebastian.

We had better Way from Galareta to Victoria, than we had before: The Country here yields much Corn and Grapes; and the Villages lie very thick together: We found here Custom-House-Men, who made us pay both for the Cloaths and Money we carried with us: they were not very exacting with us, because our Company was too large to be imposed on. Don Fernand de Toledo had inform’d me over Night, that we were to travel near the Castle of Quebara, which was said to be haunted with a Spirit, telling me a thousand extravagant Stories, which were readily swallow’d by the Inhabitants of the Country, and which were so effectually believ’d by them, that no body would live there. I had a great desire to see this place; for altho’ I am naturally as fearful as another, yet am not afraid of Ghosts; and if I were, our Company was so numerous, as would animate the greatest Coward: we struck off a little to the left, and came to the Borough of Quebara; the Master of the Inn where we entred, had the Keys of the Castle; he told us, in going along with us, ‘That the Duende,’ which is to say the Spirit, ‘could not endure Company; yet if we were a thousand together, he would, if he were minded, beat us all, in such a manner, as to leave us for dead.’ I began to tremble; Don Fernand de Toledo, and Don Frederic de Cordonne, who gave me their Hands, perceiving my Fear, burst out into Laughter: I grew asham’d, and pretended to gain Courage; and so we entred the Castle, which might have past for a fine one, had it been kept in order: It had no Furniture, except an old Tapistry Hanging in a great Hall, which represented the Amours of Don Pedro the Cruel, and Donna Maria de Padilla: she is represented sitting like a Queen in the midst of other Ladies, and the King placing on her Head a Crown of Flowers: In another part she sate under the shade of a Wood, the King shewing her a Hawk on his Fist: And again, in another, she appears in a Warrier’s Dress, and the King in Armour presents her with a Sword; which makes me believe that she had been in some Warlike Expedition with him. She was very ill represented; and Don Fernand told me, ‘He had seen her Effigies elsewhere, by which she appeared to be the most beautiful and most cruel Woman of her time; and that the Figures in this Tapistry resembled neither her nor the King: his Name, Cypher, and Arms were every-where on it.’ We went up into a Tower, on the top of which was a Dungeon, and ’twas there where the Spirit inhabited; but without doubt he was abroad, for we neither saw nor heard him, or any of his Companions; and having seen sufficiently this great Building, we left it to pursue our Journey. In approaching Victoria, we past over a most delightful Plain, at the end of which stands a Town situated in this Province of Spain, I lately mention’d, call’d Alava; this is the Capital Town of it, as well as the first of Castille: It is inclosed with two Walls, one of which is old, and the other new; besides this, it has no other Fortifications. After I had refresh’d myself a while here, ’twas proposed to me to go to a Play; but in tarrying till it began, I had no small Diversion, in seeing come into the most spacious place of the Town, four Companies of young Men, preceded by Drums and Trumpets: they marched several times round, and in fine, immediately began the Fight with Snow-balls, which they threw at one another with such Fierceness, that they were all very well pelted in the end: they were above two hundred who fought this Battle. To tell you of those who fell, or recovered their Feet again, and the Shouts and Acclamations of the People, will be needless; and I was obliged to leave them thus engaged, to go to the place where the Play was to be represented.

When I entred into the Room, the People set forth an hollowing, Mira, mira! which is to say, Look, look! The Decoration of the Theatre was not over Magnificent; it was rais’d on Barrels, and ill-rang’d Planks; the Windows of the Room were open, for they used no Candles or Flambeaux; whence you can easily imagine this much takes away from the Beauty of the Sight. They acted the Life of St. Anthony; and when the Players said any thing which pleas’d the Company, all the People cried out, Victoria, Victoria; I was informed this was the Custom of the Country. I observ’d the Devil was no other ways clad than the rest, having only a pair of Stockings of a Flame colour, and a pair of Horns to distinguish him. This Comedy consisted only of three Acts, and they are all no more: at the end of each serious Act, another began of Farce and Pleasantry, wherein appear’d him they called El Gracioso, which is to say, the Buffoon, who, among much insipid Stuff, says sometimes something that is less nauseous: The Interludes were mixt with Dances, to the sound of the Harps and Guitars: The Actors had Castagnets, and a little Hat on their Heads, without which they never Dance, and then ’tis a Saraband; they seem not to walk, they slip along so lightly. Their manner is wholly different from ours: they move too much their Arms, and often pass their Hands on their Hats and Face, and that with no ill Grace; they play admirably well on the Castagnets.

As to the rest, (Dear Cousin) I would not have you think these Actors, for being in a little City, do much differ from those of Madrid. I was told that those of the King are a little better; but, in a word, both act what they call Las Comedias Famosas, which is to say, The finest and most famous Comedies; which in truth are very ridiculous: For Example, when St. Anthony said his Confiteor, which he did often enough, all the Spectators fell down on their Knees, and gave themselves such rude Mea Culpa’s as was enough to beat the breath out of their Bodies.

Here would be a proper place to speak of their Habits; but you had better excuse me till I come to Madrid, lest I tire you with Repetitions: Yet I must tell you, that all the Ladies I saw in this Company, had a prodigious quantity of Red, which begins just under the Eye, and passes from the Chin to the Ears, and Shoulders, to their very Hands; so that I never saw any Radishes of a finer Colour.

The Lady Governness of the Town drew near to me; she just toucht my Cloaths, and hastily drew back her Hand as if she had burnt her Fingers. I bid her in Spanish not to be afraid: She at length familiariz’d herself, and told me, ‘’Twas not through fear of any thing else but of displeasing me: that ’twas no new thing to her to see French Ladies: and that if she might, she would gladly dress herself after their Fashion.’ She ordered Chocolate to be brought her, with which she presented me; which is far better here than in France. The Play being ended, I took my Leave of her, having thanked her for her Civilities.

The next Morning, as I entred the Church to hear Mass, I espied an Hermit, who had the Air of a Person of Quality, and yet begg’d an Alms of me, with such great Humility, that I was greatly surpriz’d at it: Don Fernand having notice of it, drew near, and said to me, ‘The Person whom you behold, Madam, is of an Illustrious Family, and of great Merit, but his Fortune very Unhappy.’

‘You raise in me,’ said I to him, ‘a great Curiosity to know more; and therefore I must beg your Favour to satisfie it.’ ‘You may command any thing of me,’ replied he, ‘Madam; but I am not so thoroughly inform’d of his Adventures, to undertake the relating them to you; and I believe ’twere better I engage him into a Recital of them himself.’ He left me, and went immediately to Embrace him, with the greatest Civilities and Tenderness: Don Frederic de Cardonne, and Don Esteve de Carvajal, had already accosted him, as their old Acquaintance; and when Don Fernand had joyn’d them, they all earnestly intreated him to come with them when Mass was over. He as earnestly excused himself; but being told, I was a Stranger, and much importuned, that I might learn from himself, what had oblig’d him to turn Hermit; he at length consented, on condition I would permit him to bring one of his Friends, who was perfectly knowing in what related to him: ‘Do us Justice,’ continued he, ‘and judge whether ’tis fit for me to relate such Particularities in this Habit I wear.’ They found he had Reason, and pray’d him to bring his Friend, which he did a while after I was at my Lodgings: He presented a very fine Cavalier to me; and taking leave of us very civilly, he told him, ‘He should be oblig’d to him, if he would satisfie the Curiosity which Don Fernand de Toledo had giv’n me, of knowing the Spring of his Misfortunes.’ This Gentleman took place by me, and began in these Terms:

‘I think myself very Happy, Madam, that my Friend has chosen me to satisfie the Desire you have of knowing his Adventures; but I fear I shall not acquit myself so well as I would: The Person whose History you wou’d learn, has been one of the finest Gentlemen in the World; it would be hard to make a Judgment of him now; he is buried, as it were in his Hermit’s Habit. He was an exceeding graceful Person, well shaped, of an excellent Meine, and Noble Air: And in fine, had all the Accomplishments, both Natural and Acquired, of a Person of Quality, being liberal, witty and brave. He was born at Cagliari, Capital of the Isle of Sardogne, one of the most illustrious and richest Families of all that Country.

‘He was brought up with one of his Cousin-Germans; and the sympathy which was found in their Humours, and Inclinations, was so great, that they were more strictly united by Friendship than Blood: they had no Secret from each other. And when the Marquess Barbaran was married (which was his Cousin’s Name,) their Friendship continued in the same force.

‘He married one of the finest Women in the World, and the most Accomplisht; she was then not above Fourteen: She was Heiress to a very Noble Estate and Family. The Marquess every day discovered new Charms in the Wit and Person of his Wife, which likewise increased every day his Passion. He speaks without ceasing, of his Happiness, to Don Lewis de Barbaran; which is the Name, Madam, of my Friend; and when any Affairs oblig’d the Marquess to leave her, he conjured him to stay with the Marchioness, thereby to lessen the Trouble of his Absence. But alas! how hard is it when one is at an Age uncapable of serious Reflections, to see continually so fine a Woman, so young and aimable; and to see her with Indifference! Don Lewis was already desperately in Love with the Marchioness, and thought then ’twas only for her Husband’s sake: Whilst he was in this Mistake, she fell dangerously sick; at which he grew so dreadful melancholly, that he then knew, but too late, this was caus’d by a Passion which would prove the greatest Misfortune of his whole Life. Finding himself then in this condition, and having not strength to resist it, he resolv’d to use the utmost Extremity, and to fly and avoid a place where he was in danger of dying with Love, or breaking through the Bonds of Friendship. The most cruel Death wou’d have seem gentler than the Execution of this Design: When the Marchioness beginning to grow better, he went to her to bid her Adieu, and see her no more.

‘He found her busied in choosing among several Stones of great price, those which were the finest, which she intended to have set in a Ring, Don Lewis was scarce entred the Chamber, but she desired him, with that Air of Familiarity usual among Relations, to go and fetch her other Stones which she moreover had in her Cabinet. He ran thither, and by an unexpected good hap, found among what he lookt for, the Picture enamell’d of the Marchioness, in little, set with Diamonds, and incircled with a Lock of her Hair; it was so like, that he had not the power to withstand the desire he had of stealing it: “I am going to leave her,” said he, “I shall see her no more; I sacrifice all my quiet to her Husband: Alas! is not this enough? And may I not without a Crime, search in my Pain a Consolation so innocent as this.” He kist several times this Picture; he put it under his Arm, he carefully hid it, and returning towards her with these Stones, he tremblingly told her the Resolution he had taken of Travelling. She appear’d much amazed at it, and chang’d her colour. He lookt on her at this moment; he had the pleasure of perceiving it; and their Eyes being of Intelligence, spake more than their Words: “Alas! What can oblige you, Don Lewis,” said she to him, “to leave us? Your Cousin loves you so tenderly; I esteem you; we are never pleas’d without you; he cannot live from you: Have you not already travelled? You have without doubt some other Reason for your Departure, but at least do not hide it from me.” Don Lewis, pierc’d through with sorrow, could not forbear uttering a deep Sigh, and taking one of the delicate Hands of the Charming Person, on which he fixt his Mouth, “Ah, Madam, What do you ask me?” said he to her, “What would you have me say to you? And indeed, What can I say to you, in the Condition I am in?” The Violence he used, to conceal his Sentiments, caus’d him such a great Weakness, that he fell half dead at her Feet. She remained troubled and confused at this sight: She oblig’d him to sit down by her; she dared not lift up her Eyes to look on him; but she let him see Tears, which she could not forbear shedding, nor resolve to conceal from him.

‘Scarcely were they come to themselves, when the Marquess entred into the Chamber. He came to embrace Don Lewis with all the Testimonies of a perfect Friendship, and he was in the greatest trouble, when he understood he parted for Naples. He omitted no Arguments to perswade him from it, prest his stay with the greatest Earnestness, but all in vain. He there immediately took his leave of the Marchioness, and saw her no more. The Marquess went out with him, he left him not till the moment of his Departure. This was an Augmentation of Don Lewis’s Sorrow; he would have willingly remained alone to have an intire Liberty of afflicting himself.

‘The Marchioness was sensibly afflicted at this Separation: She had perceived he loved her, before he had known thus much himself; and she had found in him such singular Merit, that for her part too she had loved him without knowing it; but she found this to her Cost after his Departure: Recovering but lately from a dangerous Sickness, of which she was not perfectly cured, this unhappy Accident made her fall into a languishing Indisposition, as soon rendred her quite another body; her Duty, her Reason, her Vertue equally persecuted her: She was greatly sensible of her Husband’s Respects to her, and she could not suffer but with great Sorrow, that another should take up her Thoughts, and have so great a place in her Affections. She dared not any more mention the Name of Don Lewis; she never made any Enquiries after him; she made it an indispensable Duty to forget him: This Violence which she used on herself, was like a continual Martyrdom; she made one of her Women, In whom she most confided, the Repository of this Secret: “Am I not very unhappy?” said she, “I must wish never again to see a Man, towards whom it is impossible for me to be in a state of Indifference; his Person is always before mine Eyes; nay, I think sometimes I see him in the Person of my Husband; the Resemblance which is between them, serves only to nourish my Affection towards him. Alas! Mariana, I must die, to expiate this Crime, although it be an involuntary one; I have only this means to get rid of a Passion of which I cannot hitherto be Mistress: Alas, what have I not done to stifle it, this Passion which yet is dear to me.” She accompany’d these Words with a thousand Sighs: She melted into Tears; and though this Woman had had a great deal of Wit and Affection to her Mistress, yet she could say nothing to her could yield her any Comfort.

‘The Marquess in the mean time, every day reproacht his Wife with her Indifferency to Don Lewis: “I cannot suffer,” said he to her, “that you should think so little on the Man I love above all the World, and who had so much Complaisance and Friendship for you: I must needs say, this is a kind of Hardness, which would make one judge untowardly of the Tenderness of your Heart: At least, you must grant, Madam, that he was scarcely gone, but you forgot him.” “What good would my remembring him do him?” said the Marchioness with a languishing Air, “Do not you see he avoids us? Would he not have been still with us, if he had any real Kindness for us? Believe me, my Lord, he deserves a little that we should forsake him in our turn.” Whatever she could say, repel’d not the Marquess; he still importun’d her to write to Don Lewis to Return. One Day among the rest, she was gotten into his Closet to speak to him about some Affairs; she found him busied in reading a Letter of D. Lewis, which he lately receiv’d.

‘She would have retir’d; but he took this opportunity to oblige her to do what he would have her; he told her very seriously, “That he could no longer bear the Absence of his Cousin; that he was resolv’d to go find him; that ’twas already two Years since he had been gone, without intimating any desire of returning to his Friends and Country; that he was perswaded he would yield a greater Deference to her Requests than his; that he conjured her to write to him: And that in fine, she might chuse either to give him this Satisfaction, or be content to see him part for Naples, where Don Lewis was to make some stay.” She remain’d surpriz’d, and perplext at this Proposal; but knowing he expected with great Impatience her Determination, “What would you have me say to him, my Lord?” said she to him with a sorrowful Countenance, “Dictate this Letter to me, I will write it; I can do no more; and I believe this is more than I ought.” The Marquess, transported with Joy, most affectionately embrac’d her; he thank’d her for her Compliance, and made her write these Words:

“If you have any Kindness for us, defer not your Return; I have very urgent Reasons to desire it. I am not a little concern’d that you shew such Indifference towards us, which is an unquestionable Indication that you take no Delight in our Company. Return, Don Lewis, I earnestly wish it; I intreat you: And if it were fit for me to use more urgent Terms, I would say, perhaps, I Command you to do it.”

‘The Marquess made a single Pacquet of this fatal Letter, to the end Don Lewis might not think ’twas by his Order the Marchioness had wrote it; and having sent it to the Currier, he expected the Success with extraordinary Impatience. What became of this Lover at the sight of so dear and unexpected an Order! Although he had remarkt Dispositions of Tenderness in the Countenance of this fair Person, yet he dared not promise himself she could desire his Return; his Reason revolted against his Joy: “How Unhappy a Wretch am I?” said he, “I Adore the most Aimable of all Women, and yet I dare not offer to please her! She has a Kindness for me, yet Honour and Friendship with-hold me from making the least Advantage of it. What shall I do then, O Heavens! What shall I do! I flatter’d my self, that Absence would Cure me: Alas! this is a Remedy which I have fruitlesly tried; I have never cast mine Eyes on her Picture, but have found myself more in Love, and more Miserable than when I saw her every day. I must obey her, she commands my Return; she desires to see me, and she cannot be ignorant of my Passion: When I took my Leave of her, my Eyes declared to her the Secret of my Heart: And when I call to mind what I saw in hers, all my Reflections then are to no purpose; for I resolve rather to die at her Feet, than to live remote from her.”

‘He parted without any delay, and without taking leave of his Friends. He left a Gentleman to Excuse him towards them, and to order his Affairs. He was in such great haste to see the Marchioness, that he used such Diligence to be with her, that no body but he could have done: In arriving at Cagliary, Capital of Sardagne, he understood that the Marquess and his Wife were at a stately Country-house, where the Vice-Roy was gone to give them a Visit, with all his Court. He learnt moreover, that the Marquess de Barbaran prepared for him a great Feast, where there were to be held Justs or Turnaments, after the Ancient Manner of the Mores: He was the Defendant, and was to maintain, “That a Husband beloved, is Happier than a Lover.”

‘Several Gentlemen that were not of this Opinion, were preparing themselves to go and dispute the Prize, which the Marchioness, at the Vice-Queen’s Intreaty, was to give to the Conquerour; ’Twas a Scarf embroidered with her own Hands, wrought with Cyphers: No one was to appear but maskt and disguised, to the end all might be freer and more gallant.

‘Don Lewis had a secret Despight, in comprehending the Marquess so well satisfied: “He is belov’d,” said he, “I cannot but look on him as my Rival, and as an Happy Rival; but we must endeavour to disturb his Happiness, in triumphing over his vain Glory.” Having formed this Design, he would not appear in Town; he caus’d to be made a Suit of strip’d Green Satin, embroidered with Gold, and all his Liveries were of the same Colour, to denote his new Hopes.

‘When he entred into the Lissts, everybody had their Eyes on him; his Magnificence and his Air gave Emulation to the Cavaliers, and great Curiosity to the Ladies. The Marchioness felt a secret Emotion, of which she could not discover the Cause: He was placed very near the Balcony, where she sate with the Vice-Queen; but there was no Lady there which did not lose all her Lustre near that of the Marchioness; her youthful Air, which exceeded not eighteen Years, her lovely white and red Cheeks, her Eyes so sweet and graceful, her Scarlet and little Mouth, agreeable Smiles, and her Shape, which surpast the Fairest, made her the Admiration of all the World.

‘Don Lewis was so ravish’d in seeing her so charming, and to observe yet in her Countenance a languishing sorrowful Air, that he flattered himself to have therein a part; and this was the first Moment wherein he thought himself Happy. When his turn came, he ran against the Marquess, and smote him so dexterously, that he got the Advantage all along of him: so that in a word, he gain’d the Prize with a general Applause, and with every one’s good-liking. He threw himself at the Marchioness’s Feet, to receive it at her Hands; he altered the Tone of his Voice, and speaking to her with his Mask on, low enough not to be heard but only by her: “Divine Person,” said he to her, “be pleas’d to observe what Fortune decides in favour of Lovers.” He dar’d not say more to her; and without knowing him, she gave him the Prize, with this natural Grace with which all her Actions were accompanied.

‘He suddenly withdrew himself, for fear of being known; for this might have been an occasion of Quarrel between the Marquess and him; and without doubt he would not have easily pardon’d the Victory he obtain’d over him. This oblig’d him to keep himself still conceal’d for some Days. The Vice-Roy and his Lady return’d to Cagliari, and the Marquess and Marchioness accompanied them thither, with the whole Court.

‘Don Lewis then shew’d himself; he pretended he just then arriv’d, and made as if he knew not what had past in the Field. The Marquess de Barbaran was transported with Joy in seeing him; and Absence had not at all altered the Affection he had for this dear Relation. He had no difficult task to find a favourable moment wherein to entertain his aimable Marchioness; he had as much liberty in their Lodgings as in his own; and you may well judge, Madam, that he forgot not to mention the Prize he had receiv’d from her fair Hands. “How wretched am I,” said he to her, “that you did not know me? Alas, Madam, I flattered myself, that by some secret Pre-sentiments you would learn, that no one but I could sustain with such Passion the Cause of Lovers against Husbands.” “No my Lord,” said she to him, with an Angry and Disdainful Air, to take away all Hope from him, “I could never have imagin’d that you could have been Patron of so foul a Cause; and I could not have believ’d you could have taken such strong Engagements at Naples, that you should come as far as Sardagne to Triumph over a Friend who maintain’d my Interests as well as his own.” “I shall die with Regret, Madam,” said Don Lewis, “if I have displeas’d you in what I have done; and were you more favourably disposed, and I might dare to make you my Confident, it would be no hard matter for me to persuade you, that it is not at Naples I have left the Object of my Vows.”

‘The Marchioness apprehending lest he should speak more than she was willing to hear, and appear livelily toucht with the Reproach she made him, she put on a more pleasing Countenance, and turning the Conversation into a Tone of Raillery, answer’d him, “He took too seriously what she had said to him.” He dared not make use of this occasion to declare his Love to her; for though he lov’d her above all things, yet he respected her no less.

‘When he had left her, he began to blame himself for his Fearfulness: “Shall I,” said he, “always suffer without seeking any Remedy!” It was some time before he could meet with a favourable occasion, because the Marchioness studiously avoided him; but being come one Night where she was, he found her alone in an inward room, lying on a Bed in a most lovely manner, and most becoming Undress, her Hair being fastened with Knots of Diamonds, hung carelesly about her Breasts: The Trouble she felt in seeing Don Lewis, appear’d on her Countenance, and rendred her yet more lovely: He drew near her with an Awful and Respectful Air, fell down on his Knees by her; he lookt on her for some time, not daring to speak, but becoming a little more bold, “If you consider, Madam,” said he to her, “the piteous Condition whereto you have reduced me, you will easily comprehend that it is no longer in my power to keep Silence: I could not avoid such inevitable Stroaks as you have given me; I have adored you as soon as I saw you: I have endeavour’d to Cure myself in flying from you; I have offered the greatest Violence to myself, in endeavouring to master my Passion. You have recall’d me, Madam, from my Voluntary Exile, and I die a thousand times a Day, uncertain of my Destiny: If you be Cruel enough to refuse me your Pity, suffer at least, that having made known to you my Passion, I may die with Grief at your Feet.” The Marchioness was some time without resolving to answer him; but at length, gaining Assurance, “I acknowledge,” said she, “Don Lewis, that I am not wholly ignorant of one part of your Sentiments, but I was willing to perswade myself ’twas the Effects of an Innocent Affection: Make me not a Partner of your Crime; you commit one, when you betray the Friendship due to my Husband: But, alas, you will pay but too dearly for this; for I know that Duty forbids you to Love me; and in my Respect, it does not only forbid me to love you, but to fly from you: I will do it, Don Lewis, I will avoid you; and I do not know, whether I ought not to Hate you: But, alas, it seems impossible to me to do it.” “What do you then, Madam,” answer’d he, interrupting her, being full of Grief and Despair, “when you pronounce the Sentence of my Death? You cannot Hate me, say you; Do you not Hate me, and do you not do me all the Mischief you are able, when you resolve to avoid me? Make an end, Madam, make an end, leave not your Vengeance imperfect; sacrifice me to your Duty, and your Husband; for my Life cannot but be odious, if you take from me the Hopes of pleasing you.” She lookt on him at this instant with Eyes full of Languishment: “Don Lewis,” said she to him, “you reproach me with what I would deserve.” In ending these words, she arose, fearing greatly, lest her Affection should triumph over her Reason; and notwithstanding his endeavours to with-hold her, she past into a Chamber where her Women were.

‘She thought she had gained much on herself in forcing her way out of this Conversation without answering so favourably as her Heart could have wisht; but Love is a Seducer, which must not be in any sort hearkened to, if one will not be totally overcome by him. From that day Don Lewis began to think himself Happy, though he wanted many things to compleat his Felicity. The Marchioness, in effect, had a Principle of Vertue which opposed itself always with Success to the desires of her Lover.

‘He had no longer those Scruples of Friendship for the Marquess de Barbaran which had so greatly disturbed his Mind; Love had perfectly banisht Friendship; nay, he even secretly hated him.

‘In fine, Don Lewis flattering himself, that perhaps he might find a favourable moment to affect the Marchioness’s Heart with some Pity; he carefully sought it; and to find it, one day when ’twas very hot, knowing that the Marchioness was wont to retire to Repose herself after Dinner, as it is customary in that Country, he came to her, doubting not but every body was asleep in the House.

‘She was in a Ground-Room which lookt into the Garden; all was fast and shut close, save a little Window, whereby he saw on her Bed this charming Creature: She was in a profound Sleep, half undrest; he had the time to discover such Beauties as still augmented the force of his Passion. He approacht so softly to her, that she did not awake: It was already some moments that he had lookt on her with all the Transports of a Man amazed, when seeing her naked Breasts, he could not forbear kissing them. She arose on a sudden; she had not her Eyes open; the Chamber was dark, and she could never have believ’d Don Lewis could have been so bold. I have already told you, Madam, that he resembled the Marquess de Barbaran; She did not doubt then but it was he, and calling him several times, “her dear Marquess and Husband,” she tenderly embrac’d him. He well knew his Error; whatever Pleasure it procured him, he could have wished to have ow’d this only to his Mistress’s Favours. But, O Heavens, how unfortunately it hapned! The Marquess came in this dangerous moment; and ’twas not without the greatest fury he saw the Liberty Don Lewis took with his Wife. At the noise he had made in entring, she had turn’d her Eyes towards the Door, and seeing her Husband enter, whom she thought she had already in her arms, it is impossible to represent her Affliction and Astonishment.

‘Don Lewis amaz’d at this Accident, flatter’d himself, that perhaps he was not known: He past immediately into the Gallery, and finding a Window was opened into the Garden, he threw himself out of it, and immediately past through a Back-door. The Marquess pursued him, without being able to overtake him: In returning the same way he came, he unhappily found the Marchioness’s Picture, which Don Lewis had dropt as he ran; he immediately made most cruel Reflections hereupon: This Picture of his Wife, which Don Lewis had let fall, and the sight of her embracing him, all this made him no longer doubt of his Wives Falshood: “I am betray’d,” Cry’d he, “by her whom I loved dearer than my own Life: Was there ever a more Unhappy Man in the World?” In ending these Words, he returned to his Wives Chamber. She immediately threw herself at his Feet, and melting into Tears, would have justify’d herself, and make known to him her Innocency; but the Spirit of Jealousie had so fully possest him, that he violently represt her: He harkned only to the Transports of his Rage and Despair, and turning away his Eyes, that he might not see so lovely an Object, he had the Barbarity to strike his Dagger into the Breast of the most Beautiful and most Vertuous Woman in the World. She offered herself to be slaughtered as an innocent Sacrifice, and her Soul issued out in a stream of Blood.

“O God,” cryed I, “O Imprudent Don Lewis! Why did you leave this Charming Lady to the Fury of an Amorous Husband, transported with Jealousie! You might have snatch’d her out of his cruel Hands.” “Alas, Madam,” replied this Gentleman, “he know not what he did; for what would he have done at another time to have prevented such a Misfortune.”

‘As soon as the unfortunate Marchioness had rendred her last Breath, her cruel Executioner shut her Apartment, took all the Money and Jewels he had, mounted on Horse-back, and fled with all the speed he could. Don Lewis restless, and more Amorous than ever, returned thither in the Evening, notwithstanding whatever might befal him: He was surpriz’d when he was told the Marchioness was still asleep; he immediately went into the Garden, and entred into the Gallery, through the same Window which he had found open, and from thence came into the Chamber: Twas so dark, that he was fain to walk warily; when he felt something which had like to have made him fall, he stooped down, and found it was a dead Body; he uttered a great Shriek, and doubting not but it was that of his dear Mistress, he sunk down with Grief: Some of the Marchioness’s Women walking under the Windows of her Apartment, heard Don Lewis’s Crys; they easily got up through the same Window, and entred the Room. What a sad Spectacle, what a lamentable sight was this? I cannot find Words to denote to you the Horror of this Spectacle. Don Lewis was no sooner come to himself, by the force of Remedies, but his Grief, Rage and Despair, broke out with such Violence, that it was impossible to calm him; and I am perswaded he had not out-lived her whose loss he occasioned, if the desire of Vengeance had not re-animated him.

‘He parted like one furious in search of the Marquess de Barbaran; He sought him every-where without hearing any news of him; He ran over Italy, traverst Germany, came into Flanders, and past into France. He was told that the Marquess was at Valentia in Spain; he came there, and met not with him. In fine, three Years being past, without finding the means of sacrificing his Enemy to his Mistress’s Ghost, Divine Grace, which is irresistible, and particularly on great Souls, toucht his so efficatiously, that he immediately changed his Desire of Revenge into serious Desires of leaving the World, and minding only the fitting himself for another Life.

‘Being fill’d with this Spirit he return’d into Sardagnia: He sold all his Estate, which he distributed among some of his Friends, who with great Merit were yet very poor; and by this means became so poor himself, that he reduced himself to the begging of Alms.

‘He had heretofore seen, in going to Madrid, a place very fit to make an Hermitage, (it is towards Mount Dragon;) this Mountain is almost inaccessible, and you cannot pass to it but through an Overture, which is in the midst of a great Rock; it is stopt up when the Snow falls, and the Hermitage lies buried more than six Months under it. Don Lewis made one be built here, where he was wont to pass whole Years without seeing any one. He made such Provisions as were necessary, having good Books, and thus remain’d in this dismal Solitude; but this Year his Friends forced him hither, by reason of a great Sickness, which had like to have cost him his Life. It is four Years since he has led this Holy Spiritual Life, and so different from that to which he was born, that it is with great trouble he sees any of his Acquaintance.

‘As to the Marquess de Barbaran, he has wholly left the Isle of Sardagnia, where he has not the Liberty to return. I am inform’d he is married again at Anvers, to a Widow of a Spaniard named Fonceca.

‘And it is he himself that has related to one of my Friends the Particularities of his Crime; and he is so furiously tortured with the remembrance of it, that he imagines he continually sees his Wife dying, and reproaching him with his Fury and Jealousie. In a word, he has contracted such a deep Malancholly, that his Death is thought by every one to be near, or at the least, the loss of his Sences.’

The Gentleman here was silent; and I not being able to forbear weeping at so Tragical a Relation, Don Fernand de Toledo, who had observ’d it, and would not take notice of it, for fear of interrupting the Relation, rally’d me about my Tenderness, telling me how well he was pleased to find me so Compassionate, and that I should not be long before I met with Objects fit to exercise it on. I did not so much mind the returning an answer to him, as the Thanking this Gentleman, who was pleas’d to entertain me with the Recital of so extraordinary an Adventure: I intreated him to make my Compliments to Don Lewis, and to give him from me two Pistols, seeing he lived on Alms. Don Fernand, and each of the Cavaliers, gave as much: ‘Here is,’ said the Gentleman to us, ‘wherewith to enrich the Poor of Victoria; for Don Lewis appropriates not such great Charities as these to himself.’ We told him, he was the Master, and might dispose of the Money as he pleased. But to return to my Adventures:

Although I had a Pasport from the King of Spain, the best specified, and most general, as is possible, yet I was oblig’d to take a Billet from the Toll-House; for without this Precaution, all my Cloaths had been confiscated: ‘To what purpose then is my Pasport?’ said I to them. ‘To none at all,’ replied they. The Surveyors and Officers of the Customs would not so much as cast their Eyes on it; they told me, The King must come and assure them, that this Order was from him. It is to no purpose for any one to alledge his being a Stranger, and ignorant of the Usages of the Country: For they drily answer, ‘That the Stranger’s Ignorance makes the Spaniard’s Profit.’ The ill Weather has kept me here two Days, during which I saw the Governness, and the Play. The principal Place of this Town is adorn’d with a very fair Fountain standing in the midst: it is incircled with the Town-House, the Prison, two Convents, and several well-built Houses: Here is a New Town and an Old one; every body forsakes this latter to dwell in the other. Here are very rich Merchants; their chief Trade is at St. Sebastian or Bilbo; they send great store of Iron to Grenada, Estremadour, Galicia, and other Parts of the Kingdom. I observ’d, that the great Streets are set with fine Trees, which are watered with Streams running by them. From Mount St. Adrian hither, it is seven Leagues. In fine, I am just setting out, and must end this long Letter; it is late, and I have spoke to you so much of what I have seen, that I have said nothing of my Affections to you; Believe me, however, Dear Cousin, that I am, and ever shall be

Yours.

From Victoria, Feb. 24, 1673.

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Footnote 2:

_Orig._ he.

LETTER III

MY Letters are so long, that it is hard to believe when I finish them, that I have any thing else more to tell you; yet, my dear Cousin, I never close any, but there remains still sufficient for another: When I were onely to speak to you of my Friendship, this would be an inexhaustible Subject; you may make some Judgment of it from the Pleasure I find in obeying your Commands. You are desirous to know all the Particulars of my Voyage, I will therefore go on to relate them:

[Illustration: Town of Central Spain]

I set out very late from Victoria, by reason of my stay at the Governness’s, whom I before mention’d; and we went to lie at Miranda; the Country is very pleasant as far as Avigny; we came afterwards by a difficult Way to the Banks of the River Urola, whose Noise is the greater, in that ’tis full of Rocks, on which the Water dashes, beats up, and falls down, and forms natural Cascades in several places: We continu’d to ascend the high Mountains of the Pyrenees, where we ran a thousand several Dangers: we saw the ancient Ruines of an old Castle, where Ghosts and Spirits have their Apartments, as well as in that of Quebara, it is near Gargason; and being to stop there to shew my Pasport, because here certain Customs are paid to the King, I learnt from the Alcade of the Borough, who drew near my Litter to talk with me, that it is the common Report of the Country, That there were formerly a King and a Queen here, who had so fine and beautiful a Woman to their Daughter, that she was rather taken for a Goddess than a Mortal Creature: she was call’d Mira; and it is from her Name came the Mira of the Spaniards, which is to say, ‘Look you’; for as soon as ever she appear’d, all the People attentively beheld her, and cried out, ‘Mira, Mira’; and here’s the Etymology of a Word drawn far enough. This Princess was never seen by any Body who became not desperately in love with her; but her Disdainfulness and Indifference made all her Lovers pine away: The famous Basilisk never kill’d so many People as the Beautiful and Dreadful Mira; she thus depopulated her Father’s Kingdom, and all the Countries thereabouts were full of the deceased and dying Lovers. After they had in vain Addrest themselves to her, they lastly applied themselves to Heaven, to demand Vengeance on her Cruelty: The Gods at length grew Angry, and the Goddesses were not much behind them in the Exercise of this Passion: so that to punish her, the Scourges of Heaven finish’d the Destruction of her Father’s Kingdom: In this general Calamity he consulted the Oracle, which told him, ‘That all these Miseries would not have an end, till Maria had expiated the Mischiefs which her Eyes had done; and that she must be gone: That Destiny would conduct her to th’ place where she was to lose her repose and liberty.’ The Princess obey’d, believing it imposible for her to be touch’d with Tenderness: She carried only her Nurse with her; she was clad like a simple Shepherdess, lest she should be taken notice of, whether at Sea or Land. She ran over a great Part of the World, committing every day two or three Dozen of Murthers; for her Beauty was not diminisht by the Fatigue of her Travels: She arriv’d at length near this old Castle, which belong’d to a young Count, call’d Nios, endowed with a thousand Perfections, but extream Proud and Reserv’d: he spent his time in the Woods; as soon as ever he perceiv’d a Woman, he fled from her, and of all Things he saw in the World, she was his greatest Aversion. The beautiful Mira was resting herself one day under the shade of some Trees, when Nios past by, cloathed with a Lion’s Skin, a Bow at his Girdle, and a Mace on his Shoulder; his Hair was all clotted together, and his Face be-smear’d like a Chimney-Sweeper’s, (this Circumstance is observable) yet the Princess thought him the most handsome Man in the World; she ran after him as if she had been mad; and he ran from her as if he had been in the same condition: she lost the sight of him; she knew not where to find him: she is now in the greatest Sorrow, weeping Day and Night with her Nurse. Nios return’d to the Chase; she saw him again, and would have follow’d him: as soon as he perceiv’d her, he did as at first, and Mira betook herself again to her Lamentations; but her Passion giving her new strength, she out-ran him, stopt him, taking hold of his Locks, intreating him to look on her, thinking this was enough to engage him: He cast his Eyes on her with as much Indifference as if she had been an ordinary Person. Never Woman was more surpriz’d; she would not leave him; she came maugre him to his Castle: where, as soon as she had entred, he there left her, and was no more seen. The poor Mira, being not to be comforted, died with Grief: And from that time you hear deep Sighs and Groans which come from the Castle of Nios. The young Wenches of the Country are used to go there, and carry her little Presents of Fruits and Milk, which they set down at the Mouth of a Cave, where no body dare enter: they said, this was to comfort her; but this has been abolisht as superstitious. And though I believed not a word of whatever was told me at Garganson, in relation to Mira and Nios, yet I was pleas’d in the Recital of this Story, of which I omit a thousand Particulars, for fear of tiring you by its length. My Waiting-woman was so affected with this Relation, that she was for having us return back again, to set at the Mouth of the Cave some red Partridges, which my People had bought: she imagin’d the Princess’s Ghost would be mightily comforted in receiving this Testimony of our good Will; but for my part, I thought I should be more content than her, in having those Partridges for my Supper. We past the River of Urola, on a great Stone-Bridge, and having went over another, with difficulty enough, by reason of the melted Snow, we arriv’d at Miranda d’ Ebro; this is a great Village, or a little Town: here is a large place adorn’d with a Fountain; the River Ebro, which is one of the most considerable of Spain, traverses it: You see on the Top of a Mountain the Castle, with several Towers; it appears to be of some strength; and there issues out so great a Stream from a Rock on which it is built, that it turns several Mills: I could not observe any thing else worth writing to you.

The three Knights I spake of to you, were arriv’d before me, and giv’n all requisite Orders for Supper; so we eat together: And tho’ the Night appear’d well advanced, because the Days are short in this Season, yet ’twas not late; so that these Gentlemen, who shew’d me great Respect and Civility, askt me, How I would pass the time? I proposed to them the playing at Ombre, and that I would go Halves with Don Fernand de Toledo. They accepted the Offer: Don Fernand de Cardonne said, He had rather Converse with me than Play: so the three others began, and I for some time gave myself over to the looking on them, with great Pleasure, for their Way is quite different from ours: They never utter a word; I do not say, to complain, (for this would be unworthy the Spanish Gravity) but to demand a gano, or to cut higher, or to shew that one may take some other Advantage: In a word, they seem to be Statues, or Pieces of German Clockwork, never appearing transported with either good or bad Luck. Among other Discourse which I had with D. Fred. de Cardonne, he told me, There were two observable things in Catalonia, one of which is a Mountain of Salt, partly white as Snow, and the other part clearer and more transparent than Chrystal: that there is Blue, Green, Violet, Orange, and a thousand different Colours, which yet loses its tincture when wetted; it continually forms itself, and grows there: and though commonly the places where Salt is to be found, are so barren, that you see not so much as an Herb, yet there are here Pine-Trees of great height, and excellent Vineyards: When the Sun darts its Rays on this Mountain, it looks as if it wholly consisted of the most precious Stones in the World: but the best of it is, that it yields a good Revenue.

The other Particular he mentioned to me, was of a Fountain, whose Water is very good, and of the same Colour as Claret: ‘I have never heard any thing of this,’ said I to him, ‘but one of my Relations, who has been in Catalonia, has assured me there is a Fountain near Balut, whose Water is as others are for Colour, and yet whatever you put therein, appears like Gold.’ ‘I have seen it, Madam,’ continued Don Frederic; ‘and I remember a Man that was very covetous, and more foolish, went thither every Day to put therein his Silver, hoping in time ’twould be chang’d into Gold; but he was so far from enriching himself that he was ruin’d; for some Peasants, more subtle and crafty than he, having perceived what he did, stood watching a little lower, and the Stream of the Water would now and then bring some Pieces to them. If you return into France by Catalonia,’ added he, ‘you will see this Fountain,’ ‘It is not that which can draw me thither,’ reply’d I, ‘but the desire of passing by Montserat, wou’d make me undertake a longer Journey.’ ‘It is situated,’ said he, ‘near Barcelona, and is a place of great Devotion: It seems as if the Rock were sawed through the middle; the Church stands high, is small and obscure. By the help of the Fourscore and Ten Lamps of Silver, you perceive the Image of the Virgin, which looks very duskish, and is held for miraculous. The Altar cost Philip the Second thirty thousand Crowns; and here is every Day seen Pilgrims from all Parts of the World; this Holy Place abounds with Hermitages, inhabited by Persons of great Devotion: These are commonly Men of good Birth, who have not left the World till they have well tryed it, and who appear much taken with the Sweets of their Retirements, though the Place be dismal; and ’twould been impossible to have had access to it, had not a Passage been cut through the Rocks. Yet you find here several agreeable Objects, a curious Prospect, various Springs, Gardens well drest by these Religioses own hands, and every where a certain Air of Solitude and Devotion, which mightily affects those who come there. We have another famous place of Devotion,’ added he, ‘and that is Nuestra Senora del Pilar: it is at Saragossa, in a Chappel on a Pillar of Marble, where our Lady holds the Babe Jesus in her Arms. It is pretended, that the Virgin appeared on this same Pillar to St. James; and the Image is here worshipt with great Reverence. It cannot be well observ’d, because it stands so high, and in a very dark place; so that without the Flambeaux it could not be seen at all. Here are always Fifty Lamps burning; Gold and precious Stones shine here on all sides; and the Pilgrims come here in great Sholes. But yet,’ says he, ‘I may truly say, in favour of Saragossa that ’tis one of the finest Towns you shall see; it is situated along the Ebre, in a vast Field, is adorn’d with great Buildings, rich Churches, a stately Bridge, fine open Places, and the most charming Women in the World, who love French, and will omit nothing to oblige you to speak well of ’em, if you pass by there.’ I told him, I had already heard several things spoken of them to their commendation: ‘But,’ continu’d I, ‘this Country is very Barren, and the Souldiers can hardly subsist in it.’ ‘In effect,’ replied he, ‘whether the Air be bad, or that they want Necessaries, the Flemmings and Germans cannot live there; and if they do not die there, ’tis because they run away. The Spaniards and Neopolitans are more prone than they to desert; these last pass through France, to return into their Country; the others Coast the Pyrenees along Languedoc, and enter Castille by Navarre, or Biscaye. This is a Course which the old Souldiers fail not to steer; for the new-rais’d ones, they perish in Catalonia, being not accustomed thereto; and ’tis certain there’s no place where War is more troublesome to the King of Spain: He maintains his Forces here with great Charge, and the Advantage which the Enemy gains of him is not small; and I very well know they are more sensible at Madrid for the smallest Loss in Catalonia, than they would be for the greatest in Flanders, or Milan, or else-where. But at present,’ continues he, ‘we are going to be more at our Ease than we have been, being expected at Court, that the Peace will be lasting, because they talk much of a Marriage which will make a new Alliance; and the Marquess de Los Balbares, Plenipotentiary at Nimiguen, has receiv’d Orders to pass speedily to France, to demand of that King, Mademoiselle d’ Orleans; therefore it is not doubted but the Marriage will be concluded: But it is thought very strange, Don John of Austria should consent to this Marriage.’ ‘You will do me a singular Pleasure,’ said I, interrupting him, ‘if you would inform me of some Particularities touching this Prince: It is natural for to have a Curiosity in relation to Persons of this Character; and when a body comes into a Court where one was never before, that I may not appear a Novice, I should have some previous Notices.’ He answered me, It would be a great satisfaction to him, if he could relate any thing might please me; and he began thus:

‘You will not, perhaps, Madam, think it amiss, that I begin at the Original of Things, and tell you, That this Prince was Son of one of the finest Women in Spain, named Maria Calderona; she was a Player, and the Duke de Medina de las Torres became desperately in love with her: This Cavalier had so many Advantages above others, that Calderonna lov’d him no less than she was beloved by him. In the Heat of this Intrigue, Philip the Fourth saw her, and preferr’d her to one of the Queen’s Maids of Honour, and who was so griev’d at this Change of the King, whom she really loved, and had a Son by, that she retired from the World, and betook herself to Las del Calsas Reales, where she put on the Religio’s Habit. As for Calderonne, her inclination lying wholly towards the Duke de Medina, she would not hearken to the King, without the Duke would thereto consent: She spake to him of it, and offered to withdraw secretly where he would; but the Duke fearing to incur the King’s Displeasure, answer’d her, He was resolv’d to yield up to His Majesty a Treasure which he was not in a Capacity to contend for. She made him a thousand Reproaches for this; she call’d him Traytor to his Love, ingrateful towards his Mistress: And moreover, told him, That though he was so Happy as that he could dispose of his Heart as he pleased, yet she could not do the same; and therefore he must continue to visit her, or prepare to see her die with Despair. The Duke affected with so great a Passion, promised to feign a Journey to Andalousia, and to remain with her hid in a Closet: he effectually parted from the Court, and afterwards shut himself up (as it was agreed) whatever Risque he ran by so imprudent Conduct. The King, in the mean time, was very Amorous, and remain’d very well satisfi’d: She had, during this, Don John d’Austria, and the Resemblance he had with the Duke de Medina de Las Torres, had made it be thought that he was his Son; but tho’ the King had other Children, and particularly the Bishop of Malaga, good Fortune decided in his Favour, and he has been only acknowledg’d.

‘Don John’s Friends say, That ’twas by reason of the Exchange which had been made of the Son of Calderonna, for the Son of Queen Elizabeth; and here’s how they set forth this Change, which is a Story made on purpose to impose on the World, and which I believe has no ground of Truth: They pretend, the King being desperately in love with this Player, she became big with Child at the same time as the Queen; and seeing the King’s Passion was so greatly towards her, that she might expect any thing, she so ordered it, that she made him promise her, That if the Queen had a Son, and she likewise, he should put hers in his place: “What will you lose by this, Sir?” said she, “Will it not be your Son that will still Reign, only with this difference, that loving me, as you say you do, you will love him likewise the better.” She had Wit, and the King could deny her nothing; he consented, and in effect the Business was manag’d with that Address, that the Queen being brought to Bed of a Son, and Calderonna of another, the Exchange was made. He that should have Reign’d, and who bore the Name of Baltazar, died at the Age of fourteen Years: The King was told, ’twas with over-heating himself at Tennis; but the truth is, this Prince was suffered to keep bad Company, which procured for him his Misfortunes; it is said likewise, That Don Pedro d’Arragon, his Governour, and Chief Gentleman of his Chamber, more contributed to this than any other, suffering him to bring into his Apartment a Woman he lov’d; after this he was taken with a violent Fever, and conceal’d the Occasion: The Phisicians who were ignorant of it, thought to ease him by frequent Bleedings, which put an end to what strength he had; and by this means they ended his Life. The King knowing, but too late, what had hapn’d, banisht Don Pedro for not hindring this Excess, or for not having timely discover’d it.

‘In the mean time Don John of Austria, who was brought up as the Natural Son, chang’d not his Condition, though this ought to have been, had he been indeed the lawful Son; yet notwithstanding this, his Creatures affirm, He so exactly resembles Q. Elizabeth, that she needs no other Picture of her Likeness. And this Opinion fails not of gaining Belief with the People, who run violently after Novelties, and who so Passionately loved this great Queen, that they bewail her still as if she was but now deceas’d. It is true, that if Don John of Austria would make his Advantage of the favourable Dispositions of the People, he has met with several Opportunities of extending his Fortune very far; but his only Aim is to serve the King, and to keep his Subjects in those Sentiments of Fidelity they ought to have for him.

‘To return to Calderonna: The King surprized one day the Duke de Medina with her, and in the excess of his Rage, he ran to him with his Poynard in his Hand; he was about to kill him, when this Woman placed herself between, telling him, He might strike her if he would. Having the most extream Passion for her, he could not but Pardon him, contenting himself only with banishing him: But understanding she continu’d to love him, and write to him, he studied only how to get a new Passion; when he had one strong enough not to apprehend the Charms of Calderonna, he sent word to her to retire into a Monastery, as is customary when the King forsakes his Mistress. She put it not off, writing a Letter to the Duke, to bid him Adieu: And she receiv’d the Veil of a Religio from the Hand of the Apostolick Nuncio, who became since Innocent X. It is very likely the King believ’d Don John was his real Son, seeing he loved him so dearly: One thing will appear to you very singular, which is, that a King of Spain having Natural Sons owned by him, they never enter Madrid during his Life: So Don John was brought up at Ocanna, which is some Leagues distant from it. The King, his Father, came oft thither, and he made him come even to the Gates of the Town, where he went to meet him. This Custom comes from that the Grandees of Spain dispute the Rank which these Princes would hold. Don John, before he went into Catalonia, remain’d commonly at Buen Retiro, which is a Royal Seat, at one of the farthest parts of Madrid, a little without the Gate: And he shew’d himself so little, that he was never seen at any Publick Feast during the Life of the late King: but since, Times have chang’d, and his Fortunes stand on a different bottom.

‘Whilst the Queen, Maria Ann of Austria, Sister to the Emperour, and the King’s Mother, Govern’d Spain; and her Son was not yet of Age to hold the Reigns of the State. She would have always Don John keep from the Court; and moreover, found herself so capable of Governing, that she had a mind to ease her Son for a long time of the Burden of Ruling. She was not troubled to see him ignorant of whatever might give a desire of Reigning: but though she brought the greatest Precautions, to hinder him from feeling he was under too strict a Tutelage, and suffered no Persons to come near him, but those she was well assured of; yet this hindred not but some of the King’s Faithful Servants hazarded themselves, by giving him to understand what he might do for his Liberty. He follow’d the Advice was given him; and in fine, having taken Measures accordingly, he stole away one Night, and went to Buen Retiro. He as soon sent from thence an Order to the Queen his Mother, not to stir out of the Palace.

‘Don John is of a middle Stature, well-shaped, Black and lively Eyes, and a most Manly Countenance. He is Polite, Generous, and very Brave. He is ignorant of nothing befitting his Birth, being well-verst in all Arts and Sciences. He writes and speaks very well Five Languages, and understands yet more. He has for a long time studied Judicial Astrology. There is no Instrument which he cannot make, and use with the best Masters. He works on all kinds of Mechanicks, makes Arms, and paints finely. He took a great Pleasure in the Mathematicks; but being charg’d with the Government of the State, he has been oblig’d to lay aside all other Employments.

‘He came to Buen-Retiro in the beginning of the Year 1677, and as soon as he was there, he sent the Queen-Mother to Toledo, because she had declared against him, and hindred his return to the King. Don John had an extream Joy in receiving from the King’s own Hand an Order to take Care of Every thing, and to manage the Affairs of the Kingdom: And ’twas not without occasion he discharged himself on him, seeing he then was ignorant of the Art of Reigning. It was alledg’d for a Reason of his slow Education, That the King his Father was dying when he gave him Life: That when he came into the World, they were fain to put him in a Box of Cotten, being so tender and small, that he could not be swadled: That he was brought up in the Arms, and on the Knees of the Ladies of the Palace, till he was Ten Years old, without putting his Foot once all this while on the Ground to walk: That in the Sequel the Queen his Mother, who was engaged by all the Ties of Natural Duty to preserve this only Heir of the Spanish Branch, fearing to lose him, dared not let him study, lest by too great an Application he should lose his Health, which in truth was very unsound: And ’twas observ’d, that the great Number of Women, with whom the King always was, and who too sharply reprehended him for his Faults which he committed, had inspired him with such a great Aversion to them, that as soon as ever he had notice a Lady staid for him in any place he was to pass, he stole another way, or kept himself shut up all day in his Chamber. The Marchioness de Luz Veles, who was his Governess, told me, she waited for an Opportunity full six months to speak with him, and when Chance had brought them unavoidably to him, he took their Requests from their Hands, but turn’d his Head another way, for fear he should see them. His Health is since so increased, that his Marriage with the Arch-Dutchess, the Emperor’s Daughter, having been broke off by Don John, by reason ’twas the Queen-Mothers Project, he has desired to marry Mademoiselle d’ Orleans. The Circumstances of the Peace which are lately concluded at Nimiguen, made him cast his Eyes towards this Princess, with whose excellent Qualities, Madam, you are better acquainted than I.

‘It is hard to believe, that having Dispositions so far from Gallantry, he should become so suddenly and vehemently in love with the Queen, as he became on the only Rehearsal of her good Qualities, and at the sight of her Picture in Minature, which was shew’d him. He never lets it go out of his Hand; he always holds it to his Heart; He Dialogues with it so prettily, as astonishes all the Courtiers; for he speaks a Language he never spoke: His Passion for the Princess furnishes him with a thousand Thoughts, which he dares not entrust any body with. He thinks no body makes haste enough; and therefore sends fresh Curriers every day to carry his Billets doux, and bring back News of her.

‘When you come to Madrid,’ added he, ‘you will hear, Madam, several Particulars which have without doubt hapned since I was there, and which will perhaps more satisfie your Curiosity than what I have related to you.’ ‘I am very much oblig’d to you,’ answer’d I, ‘for your Civilities; but do me the Favour to oblige me farther, in giving me the true Character of the Spaniards: You know them, and I am perswaded nothing has escap’d your Enquiries; You speaking to me without Passion and Interest, I may reckon my self sure of what you tell me.’ ‘Why believe you, Madam,’ replied he smiling, ‘that I shall speak to you more sincerely than another? There are Reasons which may render me suspected: They are my Masters; I must manage them; And if I be not Politick enough to do it, the Vexation of being constrained to obey them, would tempt me to entertain Notions in their Respect contrary to Truth.’ ‘However it be,’ said I, interrupting him, ‘pray tell me what you know of them.’

‘The Spaniards,’ said he, ‘have always past for Fierce and Glorious: This Glory is mixt with Gravity; and they carry it so far, that one may call it an extravagant Pride: They are Brave, without being Rash; yet they are accused for not being daring enough. They are Cholerick, Revengeful, without shewing any Transport, Liberal without Ostentation, sober in their diet, very Presumptuous in Prosperity, too Rampant in Adversity: They Idolize Women; they are so prepossest in their Favour, that they shew no Discretion in the Choice of their Wives: They are Patient to Excess, Obstinate, Idle, Singular, Philosophisers: And as to the rest, Men of Honour, keeping their Words, tho it cost ’em their Lives. They have a great deal of Wit and Vivacity, easily comprehend, explain themselves in the same manner, and in few Words; They are Prudent, Jealous without measure, Disinterested, bad Oeconomists, Close, Superstitious, great Catholicks, at least in appearance: They are good Poets, and write Verses with great Facility. They would be capable of Nobler Sciences, would they vouchsafe to apply themselves thereto.

‘They have a Greatness of Soul, Elevated Wit, Constancy, a Natural Seriousness, and a Respect for Ladies, as is not seen elsewhere: They have a Set-Behaviour, full of Affectation, intoxicated with their own Merit, hardly ever in this Particular doing Right to that of others. Their Bravery consists in standing Valiantly on the Defensive Part, without giving Ground, and without dreading Danger; but they love not to seek it, which proceeds from their great Judgment: They discern Danger, and avoid it. Their greatest Defect, in my Opinion, is the Passion of Revenge, and the Means they use for this: Their Maxims hereupon are absolutely opposite to Christianity and Honour: When they have receiv’d an Affront, they make him be Assassinated who has offered it. They are not contented with this; for they cause them to be Assassinated likewise whom they have offended, in the Apprehension of being prevented, knowing well, that if they do not kill, they shall be kill’d themselves. They pretend to justifie themselves herein, when they say, That their Enemy having took the first Advantage, they ought to secure themselves of the second: That should they fail herein, they would wrong their Reputation: That you must not fight with a Man that has insulted over you, but put your self in a Condition to punish him, without running half the Danger. It is true, that Impunity authorises this Conduct; for the Priviledge of Churches and Convents in Spain, is to give an assured Retreat to Criminals; And as near as they can, they commit these Villanies hard by a Sanctuary, to have the less way to an Altar; Which you see oft embraced by a Villain, with his Poynard reeking in his Hand, and be-smeared with the Blood of the Murther which he has committed.

‘As to their Persons, they are very lean, little, fine shape, comely Head, good Faces, fine Eyes, well-set Teeth, yellow and duskish Complexion; they will have one walk slowly, commend big Legs, and a little Foot, Shooes without Heels, parting the Hair on both sides, being strait cut, and kept behind their Ears with a great Two-handed Hat, an Habit always Black, instead of a Shirt, Taffity Sleeves, or black Tabby, a Sword of a strange length, with a black Freize Cloak over all this, very strait Breeches, hanging Sleeves, and a Poynard. All this must so dis-figure a Man, let him be otherwise never so well-shaped, that they seem to affect a Garb the most disagreeable; And ones Eyes cannot with any Complacency accustom themselves to this sight.’

Don Frederick would have continued on his Discourse, and I had so much pleasure in hearing him, that I would not have interrupted him; but he broke off himself, having observ’d that the Play was at an end, and considering, that we were to set out early next Morning, he thought I might be desirous of retiring; he therefore with the other Gentlemen, bad me good Night. I rose in effect very soon next Morning, because ’twas a great Journey to Birbiesca, where we intended to lie. We follow’d the River to avoid the Mountains, and past at Oron, a great River, which falls into the Ebre. We a while after entred into so strait a Way, that our Litters could scarce pass: We ascended along a very strait Coast to Pancorvo, whose Castle I saw standing on a rais’d Ground, not far distant: We traverst a great Plain; and this was a Novelty to us, to see an even Country: This here is surrounded with several Mountains, which seem linkt together as a Chain, and especially those of Occa: We must again pass over a little River, before we can come to Birbiesca: This is only a Borough, which has nothing remarkable but its Colledge, and some few pleasant Gardens along the Water. But I may say, we came thither in worse Weather than any we had yet: I was so tired, that as soon as I arriv’d I went to Bed: so that I saw not Don Fernand de Toledo, and the other Gentlemen, till the next Day, at Cartel de Peones. But I should tell you how one is serv’d in these Inns, they being all alike: When you come into one of them, wearied and tired, roasted by the heat of the Sun, or frozen by the Snows (for there is seldom any Temperament between these Two Extreams), you see neither Pot on the Fire, nor Plates wash’d: You enter into the Stable, and from thence to your Chamber; this Stable is ordinarily full of Mules and Muletteers, who make use of their Mules Saddles for Pillows in the night, and in the day-time they serve ’em for Tables: They eat very friendly with their Mules, and are very good Company together.

The Stair-Case by which you go up is very strait, and does rather resemble a sorry Ladder: La Sennoro de la Casa receives you with her Gown tuckt up, and her dangling Sleeves; she takes time to put on her Sunday-Cloathes, whilst you get out of your Litter: and she never omits this; for they are all very Poor and Vain Glorious. You are shewed a Chamber, whose Walls are white enough, hung with a thousand little scurvy Pictures of Saints; the Beds are without Curtains, the Covertures of Cotton, the Sheets as large as Napkins, and the Napkins like Pocket-handkerchiefs; and you must be in some considerable Town to find four or five of them; for in other places there are none, no more than there are Forks: They have only a Cup in the House; and if the Mule-Drivers get first hold of it, which commonly happens, if they please, (for they are serv’d with more Respect than those whom they bring) you must stay patiently till they have done with it, or drink out of an Earthen Pitcher. It is impossible to warm one at the Kitchin-fire, without being choaked, for they have no Chimneys; and ’tis the same in all the Houses on the Road; there is an Hole made in the top of the Ceiling, and the Smoak goes out thence; the Fire is in the midst of the Kitchin: They put what you would have roasted on Tiles, and when ’tis well gril’d on one side, they turn the other: when ’tis gross Meat, they fasten it to a String, and so let it hang on the Fire, and turn it with their Hands; so that the Smoak makes it so black, that it would turn ones Stomach to look on it.

I think there cannot be a better Representation of Hell than these sort of Kitchins, and the Persons in them; for not to speak of this horrible Smoak, which blinds and choaks one, they are a Dozen of Men, and as many Women, blacker than Devils, nasty and stinking like Swine, and clad like Beggars. There are always some of ’em impudently grating on a sorry Guitar, and singing like a Cat a roasting. The Women have all of ’em their Hair about their Ears, and you would take ’em for Bedlamites; they have Glass Necklaces, which hang twisted about their Necks like Ropes of Onions, but however serve to cover the Nastiness of their Skin. They are as great Thieves as any are in Jayls, and they are urgent to serve you only to have an opportunity to steal something of you, though it be but a Pin.

Before all things, the Mistress of the House brings you her little Children, who are bareheaded in the midst of Winter, though but of a Day old: she makes ’em touch your Cloaths, she rubs their Eyes with them, their Cheeks, Throat, and Hands. This seems as if one was become a Relick, and could heal all Diseases. These Ceremonies over, you are askt, If you will eat any thing; and though at Mid-night, you must send to the Butchery, the Market, the Tavern, the Bakers; in fine, to all parts of the Town, to gather wherewith to make a sorry Meal. For though the Mutton here be very tender, their way of frying it with Oyl, is not to every Bodies Relish. Here are great store of Partridges, and those very large; they are not very fat, but dry; and to make ’em drier, they roast ’em to a Coal. The Pidgeons here are excellent; and in several places here is good Fish, especially Bessugosses, which have the taste of a Trout, and of which they make Pasties, which would be good, were they not stuff’d with Garlick, Saffron, and Pepper. Their Bread is white enough, and sweet, that one would think it made up with Sugar; but it is ill wrought, and so little baked, that it is as heavy as Lead in the Stomach: it has the shape of a flat Cake, and is not much thicker than one’s finger. The Wine is good, and Fruits in their season, especially Grapes, which are very large, and of delicate taste. You may reckon yourself certain of a good Desart. You have Sallads here of such good Lettice as the World cannot afford better.

Do not think (Dear Cousin) ’tis sufficient to say, Go fetch such things, to have them; for not very seldom you can meet with nothing: But supposing you find what you would have, you must give out your Money beforehand: so that your Meat is paid for before you have begun to eat it; for the Master of the Inn is only allowed to Lodge you: they alledge for a Reason, That it is not just one only Person should go away with all the Profit from Travellers, it being better the Money should be dispersed.

You enter not any Inn to Dine, but carry your Provision with you, and stop at the Bank of some River, where the Mule-Drivers bate their Mules; and this is with Oats or Barley, with chopt Straw, which they carry with them in great Sacks; for as to Hay they give ’em none. It is not allow’d a Woman to tarry above two Days in an Inn on the Road, unless she can offer good Reasons. And here’s enough in relation to Inns, and the Manner of your Treatment therein.

After Supper these Gentlemen play’d at Ombre, and I not being strong enough to play against them, I went shares with Don Frederic de Cardonne; and Don Fernand drew near the Fireside to me; he told me, He could have wisht my time would permit me to pass by Vailladolid; that it is the most pleasant Town of Old Castille, it having been for a great while the Mansion of the Kings of Spain; and that they have a Palace there fit for them. That as to him, he had Relations there would be infinitely pleased to Entertain me; and would shew me the Dominicans Church, which the Dukes of Lerma have founded; that it was very Stately, and the Portal of singular Beauty, by means of the Figures and Embossed Work, which enrich it: That in the Colledge of the same Convent the French see there with great satisfaction, all the Walls full of Flower de Luces; it being said, a Bishop who depended on the King of France, had been at the Charge of Painting them. He added, They would have carried me to the Religioses of St. Claire, to shew me in the Choir of their Church, the Tomb of a Castillan Knight, whence ’tis said, issues out Accents and Groans every time any of his Family are near their Deaths. I smiled at this, as being doubtful of the Truth of such kind of Relations: ‘You give not Credit to what I say,’ continued he, ‘neither would I engage for the Truth of it, though all the Country thereabouts are so fully perswaded of it, that you would be suspected for an Heretick should you question it. But it is certain there is a Bell in Arragon, in a small Town call’d Villilla, on the Ebre, which is about fifty Foot compass, and it happens sometimes to sound of itself, it being not perceiveable to be agitated by any Winds or Earthquakes: In a word, by no visible thing. It first Tolls, and afterwards, by intervals, Rings out, as well in the Day as the Night: When it is heard, it is not doubted but it denounces some sad Accident; which is what happened in 1601, on Thursday the 13th of June, till Saturday the 15th of the same Month; it ceased then to Ring, but it began again on Corpus Christi, when they were on the point of making the Procession. It was heard likewise when Alphonsus the Fifth, K. of Arragon, went into Italy to take Possession of the Kingdom of Naples. It was heard at the Death of Charles the Fifth. It denoted the Departure of Don Sebastion, King of Portugal, for Africk. The Extremity of King Philip the Second: and the Decease of his last Wife Q. Ann.’ ‘You would have me to believe you, Don Fernand,’ said I; ‘Perhaps I shall seem too obstinate in standing out all this while, but you will agree these are Matters one may lawfully doubt of.’ ‘Nay, Madam,’ replied he, with a pleasant Air, ‘I tell you nothing but what I can have a thousand Witnesses to justifie; but perhaps you will sooner believe Don Esteve de Carvajal in a thing as extraordinary in his Country.’ He at the same time call’d to him, demanding of him, ‘Whether ’twere not true, that there is in the Convent of Cordoüa a Clock which fails not to Ring every time a Religious is to die; so that the time is known to a Day?’ Don Esteve confirm’d what Don Fernand said: and though I remain’d not absolutely convinc’d, yet I made a shew as if I was.

‘You pass so quickly through Old Castille,’ continued Don Fernand, ‘that you will not have time to see what’s most remarkable: The Picture of the Blessed Virgin is talkt of far and near, which was found miraculously stampt on a Rock; it belongs to the Religio’s Augustines d’ Avila, and several Persons go there out of Devotion; but one has no less Curiosity to see certain Mines of Salt, which are near there, in a village call’d Mengraville; you descend above two hundred Steps under Ground, and then enter into a vast Cavern form’d by Nature, whose Top, or Roof, is upheld by one only Pillar of Chrystalin Salt, of astonishing Largeness and Colour. Near this place, in the Town of Soria, you see a great Bridge without a River, and a great River without a Bridge, the River being forc’d out of its place by an Earthquake.

[Illustration: Medina del Campo]

‘But if you go as far as Medina del Campo,’ added he, ‘I am sure the Inhabitants will give you a welcome Entrance, only because you are of the French Nation, whom they much affect, to distinguish themselves hereby from the Sentiments of the other Castillians: Their Town is so priviledg’d that the K. of Spain has not the Power to create any Officers, nor the Pope to confer Benefices: this Right belongs to the Townsmen, and they often fall together by the Ears, in the chusing of their Magistrates and Ecclesiasticks.

‘One of the Rarities of this Country is the Aquaduct of Segovia, which is five Leagues in length; it has above two hundred Arches of extraordinary heighth, tho’ in several places there are two standing on one another; and ’tis all built on Free Stone, there having been no Mortar, or any Cement to joyn them: This is lookt on as one of the Romans Works, or at least as worthy to be so. The River which is at the end of the Town surrounds the Castle, and serves it for a Ditch; it is built on a Rock. Among several things remarkable, you see the Effigies of the Kings of Spain, who have Reign’d for several Years: And there is no Town but Segovia and Seville where Money is Coyned, and the Pieces of Eight which are made at the former Places are held to be the best; and this is by means of the River which turns certain Mills that stamp the Money. Here are likewise most curious Walks along a Meadow planted with Elm Trees, whose Leaves are so thick and large, that the greatest Heats of the Sun cannot pierce them.’ ‘I want not Curiosity,’ said I to him, ‘for all things which deserve it; but I at present want Time to see them: However, I should be very glad to arrive timely at Burgos, to view the Town.’ ‘Which is to say, Madam,’ replied Don Fernand, ‘we must lose your Company, and let you retire.’

He gave notice thereof to the other Gentlemen, who gave over their Play, and we thus separated.

I rose this Morning before Day; and I end this Letter at Burgos, where I now arrived: Thus, Dear Cousin, I shall send you nothing of this Day, but shall take the first occasion to acquaint you with what befals me.

Yours.

From Burgos, Feb. 27, 1673.

LETTER IV

WE could sensibly perceive in arriving at Burgos, that this Town is colder than any of those we past; and ’tis likewise said, you have none of those excessive Heats which are intolerable in other Parts of Spain: The Town stands where you descend the Mountain, and reaches to the Plain as far as the River, which washes the foot of the Wall: the Streets are very strait and even: the Castle is not great, but very strong, and is seen on the top of the Mountain: A little lower is the Triumphant Arch of Fernando Gonsales, which the Curious do much admire. This Town was the first that was conquer’d from the Mores; and the Kings of Spain have long resided here; ’tis the Capital of Old Castille; it holds the first Rank in the two States of the two Castilles, although Toledo disputes it with her: You see her fine Buildings; and Velasco’s Palace is very stately. Here are in all the broad Streets and spacious Places, Fountains, with Statues, some of which are good Pieces; but the finest sight is the Cathedral, which is so large, that Mass is said in five several places of it, without any disturbance to each other: the Architecture is so exquisitely wrought, that it may pass among the Gothick Buildings for a Master-Piece of Art: and this is so much the more remarkable, in that they build very sorrily in Spain; in some places this is through Poverty, and in others want of Stone and Lime: I am told that even at Madrid you see Houses of Earth, and the finest are made with Brick, cemented with the same, for want of Lime. To pass from the Town to the Suburbs of Bega, you go over three Stone Bridges: the Gate which answers that of Santa Maria, stands high, with the Image of the Virgin upon it: this Suburb contains the greatest part of the Convents and Hospitals; there is a great one founded by Philip the Second, to receive the Pilgrims which go to St. James, and which entertains them for a Day. The Abbey of Mille Flores, whose Building is very stately, is not far distant. You see here in this Suburb several Gardens which are watered with Fountains and pleasant Springs; the River serves for a Channel: And you find in a great Park inclosed with Walls, pleasant Walks at all times of the Year.

I would have seen the Crucifix in the Augustines Convent; it is placed in a Chappel of the Cloyster, large and dark enough, so that you could hardly discern it, were it not for the Lamps, which are continually burning, they’r above an hundred; some are of Gold, and others of Silver, of so extraordinary a size, that they cover all the Vault of this Chappel: there are sixty Silver candlesticks of a length exceeding the tallest Man, and so heavy that two Men cannot lift ’em: they stand on the ground on both sides of the Altar; those which are upon it are of Massy Gold: You see between ’em two Crosses of the same, set out with Precious Stones, and Crowns hanging over the Altar, adorn’d with Pearls and Diamonds of great Lustre: The Chappel is hung with Tapistry, wrought with Gold; it is so laden with rich Gifts, that there’s hardly room to put ’em in; so that part of ’em are kept in the Treasury.

The Holy Crucifix stands on the Altar, near the natural bigness, it is covered with three Curtains one on another, all embroidered with Pearls and Diamonds: When they open them, which is not done without great Ceremony, and for Persons of Quality, several Bells are rung, every one falls on his Knees: and it must be granted, that this place and sight strikes one with an Awful Regard: The Crucifix is of Carv’d Work, and cannot be better made; its Carnation is very natural; it is covered from the Breasts to the Feet with a fine Linnen, in several Foulds or Pleats, which makes it look like a loose Jerkin, which in my Opinion, is not over-agreeable.

It is commonly held, that Nicodemus made it; but those who are for making every thing Miraculous, will have it brought down from Heaven, they know not how nor when. I was told, certain Monks of this Town had once stole it, and convey’d it away; but it took a convenient time to give ’em the slip, and was found the next Morning in the Chappel in its usual place: These honest People being enraged, that it should serve ’em such a Trick, mustered up their Forces, and violently laid Hands on’t the second time, but to as little purpose; for ’twould by no means stay with ’em: However, it works Miracles, and is one of the chief Objects of Devotion in Spain: The Religious tell you, it sweats every Friday.

I was going into my Inn, when we saw the Sieur de Cardonne’s Valet de Chambre, running as fast as he could after us; he was booted, and three Friers scowring after him: I was over-rash in my Judgment; for I could not but think he had stole something in this rich Chappel, and was taken in the Fact; but his Master, who was with me, having demanded of him, What put him on such full speed? He answer’d, He went into the Chappel of the Holy Crucifix with his Spurs on, and the Fryers had kept him in custody, to get Money of him, but that he was gotten out of their Clutches, but they were now upon the Hunt for him. They make it a Forfeit, as well as others, for a Man to go with Spurs into these Holy Places.

The Town is not very great; it is adorned with a spacious Place; here are high Pillars which bear up very fine Lodgings. The Bull-Feasts are kept here; for the People are much delighted with this sort of Divertisement. There is also a very well-built Bridge, long and large: the River which passes under it, bathes a Meadow, on the Bank of which you see Allies of Trees, which form a most delicious Walk. Trade was heretofore considerable, but it is of late much diminisht. The best Castillan is here spoken; and the Men are naturally Souldiers, so that when the King has need of them, he finds here great Numbers, and better Men than elsewhere.

After Supper our Company set to Play, as heretofore: Don Sancho Sanniento was for yielding his place to any one, pretending ’twas his Right to Entertain me this Evening. I knew he had lately return’d from Sicily; I askt him, Whether he had been one of those who had help’d to Chastize those Rebellious People? ‘Alas, Madam,’ said he, ‘the Marquess de Las Navas was sufficient to punish them beyond what their Crime deserv’d: I was at Naples, in the design to pass into Flanders, where I have Relations of the same Name. The Marquess de Los Veles, Vice-Roy of Naples, engaged me to leave my first Project, and embark myself with the Marquess de Las Navas, whom the King sent into Sicily: We set Sail in two Vessels of Majorca, and arrived at Messina the sixth of January. Having sent no notice of his coming, and no body expecting it, he was not receiv’d with the Honours paid commonly to the Vice-Roys: But in truth, his Intentions were so cruel against these poor People, that his Entrance should have been made in Tears.

‘Scarcely was he arriv’d, but he clapt up the two Sheriffs in Prison, named Vicenzo Zuffo, and Don Diego: He put Spaniards in their Places; he rigorously abolisht the Colledge of Knights of the Star; and began to execute the Orders which Gonzaga had long receiv’d, and which he had eluded through Favour or Weakness. He immediately publisht an Order, by which the King chang’d all the Form of Government of Messina, depriv’d the Town of its Revenues, forbad its bearing for the future the Glorious Title of Exemplary, dissolved the Senate, and put into the place of six Sheriffs, six Officers, two of which should be Spaniards; that these Officers should not for the future appear in Publick with their Formalities; that they should no more be preceded by Drums and Trumpets, ride no more together in a Coach with four Horses, as they were wont; that they should sit henceforward on a plain Bench; should have no more Incense offered ’em in the Churches; go cloath’d after the Spanish Fashion; should Assemble on Publick Affairs in a Chamber of the Vice-Roy’s Palace; and have no longer any Jurisdiction on the Champian Country.

‘Every one was seized with such Consternation, as if he had been Thunder-struck; but their Sorrow was much increased on the fifth of the same Month, when the Camp Master-General went to the Town-house, and seized all their Charters, and Original Copies of their Priviledges, and made ’em be burnt publickly by the Hands of the common Hang-man. The Prince de Condro was afterwards apprehended, to the great grief of his Family, but particularly the Princess Eleonora, his Sister, whose Tears were not shed alone: This Princess is not above Eighteen; her Beauty and Wit are miraculous, which astonish those about her.’ Don Sancho’s Eyes grew red at the remembrance of this Princess, and I plainly perceiv’d Pity had not all the share in what he said; yet he continued on his Discourse to me of Messina.

‘The Vice-Roy,’ added he, ‘publisht an Order, by which all the Citizens were enjoyn’d, under penalty of ten Years Imprisonment, and five thousand Crowns Fine, to bring their Arms into his Palace. He at the same time caus’d the great Bell in the Town-house to be taken down, and beaten to pieces in his fight: He ordered all the Bells in the Cathedral to be melted, to make a Statue of the King of Spain. And the Prince of Condro’s Children were taken into Custody: But their Fear increased, when the Vice-Roy ordered D. V. Zuffo’s Head to be cut off. This Example of Severity Alarum’d all the People; and what appear’d most terrible, was, That in the late Troubles, some Families of Messinois having withdrawn themselves into several Parts, the Marquess de Liche, the Spanish Embassador at Rome, advised them, as a Friend, to return into their own Country, assuring them all was Quiet, and that a General Pardon was already publisht; and for their greater assurance, gave them Passports. These poor People (who had not taken up Arms, and being not of the number of the Revolters, knowing their Innocency, could never have imagin’d they should have been treated as Criminals) return’d to Messina; where they had scarcely landed, but the Joy they had of seeing themselves in their Native Country, and in the midst of their Friends, was sadly disturb’d, when they were seised on, and the next Morning, without any Quarter, or regard to Sex or Age, by the Vice-Roy’s Order, all hang’d. He afterwards sent to demolish the great Tower of Palermo; and the principal Citizens of it, remonstrating against the excessive Impositions on Corn, Silks, and other Commodities, the Marquess de las Navas sent them all to the Gallies, without being moved by the Tears of their Wives, and the need so many poor Children might have of their Fathers.

‘I must acknowledge,’ continued Don Sancho, ‘that my Nature is so averse to the Rigors every day exercis’d on these poor People, that I could not for all the World remain any longer at Messina. The Marquess de las Navas was for sending to Madrid, to inform the King of what he had done. I intreated him to charge me with this Commission; and in effect he consented, and gave me his Letters, which I have delivered to the King at Madrid; and at the same time my Intercessions for the Prince de Condro: And I presume my good Offices will not be wholly useless to him.’ ‘I am perswaded,’ said I to him, ‘this was the principal Motive of your Journey: I am no prying body, but methinks you are greatly concern’d for the Interests of this Family.’ ‘It’s true, Madam,’ continued he, ‘the Injustice done this Unfortunate Prince does sensibly affect me’: ‘Were he not Brother to the Princess Eleonora,’ said I to him, ‘perhaps you would not so much lay it to heart. But no more of this; I perceive this Remembrance afflicts you. Pray let me rather hear from you what is most remarkable in your Country.’ ‘Ah! Madam,’ cried he, ‘you insult over me; for you must needs know, that Galicia is so poor and mean a Countrey, that there’s no place for bragging; not but that the Town of St. James de Compostella is considerable enough; it is the Capital of the Province, and scarce one in Spain that’s superiour to it in Riches and Greatness: Its Archbishoprick is worth Seventy Thousand Crowns a Year, and the Chapter has as much; It stands in an agreeable Plain, surrounded with little Hills of moderate heighth; and it seems as if Nature had placed them there to defend the Town from those deadly Blasts which arise from other Mountains. Here is a University, fine Palaces, stately Churches, publick Places, and an Hospital, one of the most considerable, and best serv’d in Europe: It consists of two Courts of extraordinary greatness, with Fountains in the midst. Several Knights of St. James live in this Town; and the Metropolis, which is dedicated to this Saint, keeps his Body: It is extream stately, and prodigiously rich: It is pretended you hear a kind of Clattering at his Tomb, as if Arms were struck one against another; and this noise is only heard when the Spaniards are to undergo any great Loss. His Figure is represented on the Altar, and the Pilgrims thrice kiss it, and put their Hats on his Head; for this is the chief part of the Ceremony: They have also another very singular one; they ascend the top of the Church, which is covered with great flat Stones; In this place stands a Cross of Iron, whereon the Pilgrims ever fasten some Rag, or Scrap of what they wear: They pass under this Cross by so strait a Passage that they are forced to crawl on their Bellies through it; and those who are not slender, are in danger of being bursten. And there have been some so ridiculous and superstitious, that having omitted to do this, they have expresly return’d back again three or four hundred Leagues; for you see here Pilgrims of all Nations. Here is a French Chappel, of which great Care is taken; It is said, the Kings of France have been always great Benefactors to it. The Church which is under ground is a better than that above; there are stately Tombs, and Epitaphs of great Antiquity, which exercise the Wits of Travellers. The Archiepiscopal Palace is a vast Pile, and its Antiquity adds to its Beauty, instead of diminishing it. A Man of my Acquaintance, a great Searcher into Etymologies, assured me the Town of Compostella was so called, because St. James was to suffer Martyrdom in the place where he should see a Star appear at Compostella. It is true,’ continued he, ‘that some People pretend it to be thus; but the Peoples Credulity and Superstition carries ’em further; for you are shew’d at Padron, near Compostella, an hollow Stone; and it is pretended this was the little Boat in which St. James arriv’d, after he had past so many Seas in it, which being of Stone, must have, without a signal Miracle, sunk to the bottom.’ ‘I suppose,’ said I to him, ‘you believe this to be most true.’ He smiled, and continued his Discourse: ‘I cannot but give you the Description of our Militia: They are called together every Year in the Month of October, and all the Young Men from the Age of Fifteen, are oblig’d to march; for should it happen that a Father, or any other Relation should conceal his Son or Kinsman, and those who are Officers should come to know it, they would condemn him who has so offended, to perpetual Imprisonment. There have been some Examples of this, but they are rare; for the Peasants are so infinitely pleas’d to see themselves Arm’d and treated as Cavalieros & de Nobles Soldados del Rey, that they would not for any Consideration be wanting to shew themselves on this occasion. You shall seldom see in an whole Regiment any Souldier that has more Shirts than that on his Back; and the Stuff they wear, seems for its Coarseness to be made of Pack-thread: their Shooes are made of Cord; they wear no Stockings, yet every Man has his Peacock, or Dunghil-Cock’s Feather in his Cap, which is tied up behind, with a Rag about his Neck in form of a Ruff; their Sword oftentimes hangs by their side tied with a bit of Cord, and ordinary without a Scabbard; the rest of their Arms is seldom in better Order: And in this Equipage they march gravely to Tuy, where is the General Rendezvouz, it being a Frontier place to Portugal. There are three which lie thus, the above-mention’d, Cindud-Rodrigo, and Badajoz, but Tuy is the best guarded, because it is over-against Valentia, a considerable Town belonging to the King of Portugal, and which has been carefully fortifi’d: These two Towns are so near, that their Cannon will reach each other; and if the Portugaises have omitted nothing to put Valentia out of danger of being insulted over, the Spaniards pretend Tuy is in as good a Condition to defend it self; It stands on an Hill, whose lower part is wash’d by the River Minhio; it has good Ramparts, strong Walls, and good store of Artillery. It is here, I say, where these our Champions bid Defiance to the King’s Enemies, and in a strutting Bravery, declare, they do not fear ’em. Perhaps something of this may happen in time, for here are form’d as good Troops as in any other part of Spain. However, this is a great loss to the Kingdom, the whole Youth being thus taken up; for the Lands, for the most part lye untill’d, and on the side of St. James de Compostella, you wou’d think you saw a Wilderness; on that of the Ocean, the Country being better and more peopled, yields greater Profit, and all things necessary and convenient, as Oranges, Lemmons, and Pomgranates, several sorts of Fruits, and excellent Fish, especially Pilchards, more delicate than those which came from Royan to Bordeaux.

‘One of the most remarkable things, in my mind, in this Kingdom, is the Town of Doiense, one part of which always enjoys the Sweetness of the Spring, and the Fruits of Autumn, by reason of several Springs of boiling Water, which warm the Air by their Exhalations; whil’st the other part of this same Town suffers the Rigors of the longest Winters, standing as it does at the Foot of a very cold Mountain; so that you find in the space of one only Season, all those which compose the course of the Year.’

‘You say nothing,’ replied I to him, ‘of the marvellous Fountain, call’d Louzano.’ ‘Who have told you of it, Madam?’ answer’d he. ‘Persons that have seen it,’ added I. ‘You have been then told,’ continu’d he, ‘that on the top of the Mountain of Cerbret, you find this Fountain at the Source of the River Lours; which has Flux and Reflux as the Sea, tho’ it be at twenty Leagues distance from it; that the greater the Heats are, the more Water it casts, that this Water is sometimes cold as Ice, and sometimes as hot as if it boil’d, there being no Natural Cause to be giv’n for it.’ ‘You learn me Particulars I was ignorant of,’ said I to him, ‘and this is doing me a great Pleasure, for I want not for Curiosity in relation to things uncommon.’ ‘I wish,’ replied he, ‘’twas not so late, I would give you an account of several Rarities in Spain, and which perhaps you would gladly learn.’ ‘I leave you for to Night,’ said I to him, ‘but I hope before we come to Madrid, we shall have an opportunity of discoursing of them.’ He very civilly made me a Promise; and the Play being ended, we bad one another good night.

When I would go to rest, I was led into a Gallery full of Beds, as you see in Hospitals: I said, this was ridiculous; and that needing only four, what occasion was there for shewing me forty, and to put me into such an open place to starve me? I was answer’d, This was the best place in the House, and I must take up with it. I caus’d my Bed to be made, when scarce was I laid down, but some body knockt softly at my Door; my Women opened it, and remained much surpriz’d to see the Master and Mistress followed by a dozen of sorry creatures, and so cloath’d that they were half naked. I drew my Curtain at the Noise they made, and opened more mine Eyes at the sight of this Noble Company. The Mistress drew near to me, and told me, These were honest Travellers, who were coming into the Beds which remained empty. ‘How, lie here?’ said I, ‘I believe you have lost your Senses.’ ‘I should have lost ’em indeed,’ replied she, ‘should I let so many Beds stand Empty. Either, Madam, you must pay for them, or these honest Gentlemen must lye in them.’ I cannot express my Rage to you; I was in the mind to send for Don Fernand and my Knights, who would have sooner made ’em pass through the Windows than through the Doors: But I considered this could not be done without some Disturbance, and therefore I came to Terms, and agreed to pay 20 _d._ for each Bed; they are hardly dearer at Fontainbleau when the Court is there. These Illustrious Dons, or, to speak better, Tatterdemalions, who had the Insolence to come into my Room, immediately withdrew, having made me several profound Reverences.

The next Morning I thought to have burst with laughter, tho’ twas at my Cost, when I discovered mine Hostess’s Trick to ruin me: For you must know in the first place, that these pretended Travellers were their Neighbours, and that they are accustomed to this Stratagem, when they see Strangers: But when I would have reckoned the Beds to pay for ’em, they were rowled all of ’em into the midst of the Gallery; there were divers wretched Troughs of Straw pull’d out, which were hardly good enough to entertain Dogs, yet I must pay for each 20 _d._ Four Pistoles ended our Dispute. I was not able to put my self in a Passion, such singularity did I find in this Management. I would not recount this little Accident to you, did it not serve to give you some insight into the Humour of this Nation.

We set out from Burgos very late, the Weather was so bad, and there had fall’n in the Night such great quantity of Rain, that I tarry’d there as long as I could, in expectation of its ceasing. In fine, I came to a Resolution, and ascended my Litter. I had not gotten far from the Town, but I repented of my leaving it; no Track cou’d be seen, especially on a very high steep Mountain, over which we must necessarily pass. One of our Mule-drivers, who went before, struck too far on the Edge of this Mountain, so that he fell with his Mule into a kind of Precipice, where he broke his Head, and put his Arm out of joynt; this being the famous Philip de St. Sebastian, the most intelligent of all his Profession, and who commonly carries Persons of Quality to Madrid; he was therefore much bemoaned; and we remain’d a great while before we could hale him out from the scurvy place where he had fall’n; Don Fernand was so compassionate as to let him have his Litter. The Night came speedily on us, and we could have comforted our selves, could we have return’d to Burgos, but it was impossible, the Ways were no less covered with Snow on that side, than all the rest; so that we put in at Madrigalesco, which has not above a dozen Houses, and I may say we were besieg’d without having any Enemies. This Adventure gave us some disturbance, tho’ we had brought Provisions with us for several Days. The best House of the Town was half uncovered; and I was scarce lodged there, when a venerable Old Man askt for me on the part of a Lady who was just arriv’d: He made me a Compliment, and told me, He was inform’d this was the only place where there was any tolerable Entertainment; and therefore intreated me to spare her some room. He added, She was a Person of Quality of Andalousia, was lately a Widow, and that he had the Honour to belong to her.

One of our Knights, named Don Esteve de Carjaval, who is of the same Country, fail’d not to demand her Name of the old Gentleman: He told him, she was the Marchioness de Los Rios. At this Name he turn’d towards me, and spake to me of her as of a Person whose Merit and Fortune were very considerable: I readily accepted of this good Company; She immediately came in her Litter, out of which she had not descended, having found no House where she could abide.

Her Dress seem’d to me very singular; had she not been so handsome as she was, she could never have appear’d in any sort tolerable: Her Gown and Petticoat was of black Serge, and over them a kind of Linnen Surplice, which reacht down lower than her Knees; the Sleeves were long, and strait in the Arm, which hung over her Hands: This Surplice was fastened to her gown, and being not pleated behind, it seem’d like a Bib: She wore on her Head a piece of Muslin, which covered her Face, and one would have taken it for a Religiose’s Hood; this covered her Neck, and reach’d down very low: There appear’d no Hair on her Head, they were all hid under this Muslin: She wore a great Mantle of black Taffaty, which covered her Heels; and over this Mantle she had an Hat, whose Brims were very large, fastened under her Chin with silken Twist. I was told they wear this but only when they travel.

This is the Habit of the Widows and Duenna’s, a Dress which is insupportable to my sight; and should one meet with a Woman in the Night thus cloath’d, one might be startled without Reproach; yet the Lady was very beautiful in this Unseemly Dress. They never leave it, unless they marry; and they are oblig’d to bewail the Death of an Husband, whom they could not endure when living.

I was inform’d they pass the first Year of their Mourning in a Chamber hung with Black, wherein there is not the least glimmering of Day-light to be seen; they sit cross-legg’d on a little Holland-Quilt. When this Year is ended, they retire into a Chamber hung with Gray: they must have no Pictures, nor Looking-Glasses, nor Cabinets, nor fine Tables, nor Plate, neither must they have any Diamonds, or wear any Colours: However modest they are, they must live so retired, that it must seem their Soul is already in the other World. This Constrant is the cause that several Ladies who are wealthy, and especially in rich Houshold-Goods, marry again to have the satisfaction of making use of them.

After the first Compliments, I inform’d my self from this mournful Widow where she was going; she told me, She had not for a long time seen a Friend of her Mother’s who was a Religious at Lashuelgas de Burgos, which is a famous Nunnery, wherein there is an hundred and fifty Nuns, most of ’em the Daughters of Princes, Dukes, and Titulado’s. She added, That the Abbess is Lady of fourteen large Towns, and above fifty other Places wherein she chuses Governors and Magistrates; that she is Superior of seventeen Convents; Collates to several Benefices, and disposes of twelve Commanderships in favour of whom she pleases. She told me she design’d to pass some time in this Monastery: ‘Can you, Madam,’ said I to her, ‘accustom yourself to so retired a Life as is that of a Convent?’ ‘It will be no hard matter,’ said she, ‘for I believe I see fewer People at my own House than I shall see there; and in effect these Religious have Liberty enough: They are commonly the handsomest young Women of the Family who are there; these enter therein so young, that they know not what they are made to leave, nor what they undertake at the Age of six or seven, and it may be sooner. They are caused to make Vows, when ’tis often the Father or Mother, or some near Relation, who pronounce them for ’em, whilst the little Sacrifice disports herself with Sugar-plums, and lets ’em dress her how they will: Yet the Bargain holds, there’s no unsaying it; however, they have every thing which can be expected in their Condition. There are at Madrid some whom they call the Ladies of St. James: they are properly Canonnesses, who make their Tryals like the Knights of this Order; they bear, like them, a Sword, made in form of a Cross, embroidered with Crimson Silk; they have ’em on their Scapularies and great Cloaks, which are white: These Ladies House is very stately; all who come to visit ’em enter without any difficulty; their Apartments are very fine, and every whit as well furnisht as if they were at large in the World; they enjoy great Pensions, and each of ’em has three or four Women to wait on them: It’s true, they never stir out, nor see their nearest Relations, but through several Grates. This perhaps would look horrid in another Country, but in Spain they are accustom’d to Confinement.

‘There are Convents where the Religious see more Cavaliers than the Women who live at large, neither are they less gallant: It is impossible for any to have more Gayety than they; and, as I have already told you, Madam, here are more Beauties than abroad; but it must be granted, there are several among them who are deeply sensible at their having been so soon sacrific’d; they think of the Pleasures which they have never tasted, as the only ones which can make this Life Happy. They pass theirs in a Condition worthy of Compassion, always telling you, they are there by Force; and that the Vows they are made to repeat at the Age of five or six Years, are to be regarded like Childrens Plays.’

‘Madam,’ said I to her, ‘it wou’d have been great pity, had your Relations design’d you for such a Life; and one may judge, in beholding you, that all the beautiful Spanish Ladies are not Religioses.’ ‘Alas, Madam,’ said she, in fetching a deep Sigh, ‘I know not what I wou’d be; it seems I am of a very odd Humor, not to be contented with my Fortune: but one has sometimes Uneasinesses which are unaccountable to Reason.’ In ending these words, she fastened her Eyes to the ground, and fell into such a deep fit of Musing, that I cou’d easily perceive something disturb’d her.

Whatever Curiosity I had to know the Subject, we had been so little together, that I dared not desire to be her Confident; but to draw her from the melancholy Posture she was in, I entreated her to tell me some News of the Court of Spain, seeing she came from Madrid. She did what she cou’d to recover herself: she then told me, There were great shews of Joy at Court on the Queen’s Birth-day: that the King had sent one of the Gentlemen of his Chamber to Toledo, to Compliment her from him: Yet these fine Appearances hindred not the Marquess de Mansera, the Queen’s Major Domo, from receiving Orders to retire twenty Leagues from the Court, which had greatly mortifi’d this Princess. She inform’d us, That the Fleet which carried Troops to Galicia, was unhappily cast away on the Coasts of Portugal. That the little Dutchess de Terra Nova, was to Espouse Don Nicolo Pignatelli, Prince de Monteleon, her Uncle. That the Marquess de Leganez had refused the Vice-royalty of Sardagnia, being in love with a fine Lady, whom he cou’d not find in his heart to leave. That Don Carlos de Omodei, Marquess d’ Almonazid, was dangerously ill, at his Disappointment of being admitted a Grandee of Spain, to which he pretended, having marry’d the Heiress of the House and Grandeurship of Castel Rodrigue; and that which most sensibly afflicted him, was, that Don Ariel de Gusman, this Lady’s first Husband, had enjoyed this Honour; so that he cou’d not but look on the Difficulties thrown in his way as a slighting of his Person: ‘In truth, Madam,’ said I to her, ‘I can hardly comprehend how a Man of sence, can with such eagerness pursue, and be so greatly dejected at a Disappointment of this Nature.’ ‘We are otherwise affected in Spain,’ replied the beautiful Widow, ‘and this Instance is a proof of it.’

Don Frederic de Cardonne, who greatly interested himself for the Duke de Medina Celi, askt her News of him: ‘The King,’ said she, ‘has lately made him President of the Indies. The Queen-Mother has wrote to the King, on the Report which runs, that he is about Marrying; that she is surpriz’d things are already gone so far, and he has not acquainted her with them. She adds in her Letter, She advised him in the mean time, whilst all things were ready for this Ceremony, to make a Journey to Catalonia and Arragon. Don John of Austria sufficiently understands the Necessity of this, and he presses the King to depart, to content these People, in promising by Oath, according as is customary to new Kings, to maintain all their ancient Priviledges.’ ‘Have then, Madam,’ said I to her, interrupting her, ‘the Arrogonois any other Priviledges than the Castillans?’ ‘Very particular ones,’ replied she, ‘and you being a Stranger, I believe you will be willing to let me inform you of them.’ Here’s what I learnt:

The Daughter of Count Julien, named Cava, was one of the most beautiful Ladies in the World: King Rodrigue became so passionately in love with her, that his Affection knowing no Bounds, transported him beyond all measure. The Father, who was then in Affrica, inform’d of the Outrage done his Daughter, who breath’d nothing but Revenge, treated with the Moors, and supplied ’em with the means to enter into Spain,[3] and to make there, for sundry Ages, all those Ravages set forth at large in History.

The Arragonois were the first who shook off the Yoak of these Barbarians; and finding no more among them any Princes of the Race of Gothish Kings, they agreed to Elect one, and cast their eyes on a Lord of the Country, call’d Garci Ximinex; but they being Masters, to impose Laws on him, and finding himself sufficiently Happy that he might Rule over them under any Condition, these People therefore confined him within narrow Bounds.

They agreed, That as soon as their Monarch shou’d break through any of their Laws, he shou’d immediately forfeit his Power, and they be at full liberty to chuse another, though he were a Pagan: and to hinder him from violating their Priviledges, and to defend themselves against him, they establisht a Soveraign Magistrate, whom they call’d the Justicia, whose Office was to observe the Conduct of the King, the Judges, and the People: but the Power of a Soveraign being likely to Awe a meer Particular, to Assure the Justicia in the Execution of his Office, they ordered, That he might not suffer either in his Person or Goods, but by a compleat Assembly of the States, which they call Las Cortes.

They moreover provided, That if the King shou’d Oppress any one of his Subjects, the great and considerable Men of the Kingdom might assemble themselves, and hinder his receiving any of his Revenues, till the Innocent was acquitted, and re-establisht in his former Rights. And to make Garci Ximinez timely sensible of the Power this Man had over him, they set him on a kind of a Throne, and made the King to kneel down bare headed before him, to receive from him his Oath of keeping their Priviledges. This Ceremony ended, they acknowledge him their Soveraign, but in as odd as disrespectful a Manner, for instead of promising him Fidelity and Obedience, they say to him, ‘We who are as good Men as yourself, we make you our King and Governour, on Condition you keep to us our Rights and Properties, otherwise we Disacknowledge you.’

The King, Don Pedro, in process of time coming to the Crown, rellisht this Custom, as unworthy of the Regal State; and it so greatly disgusted him, that by his Authority and Intreaties, and the Offers he made of bestowing several notable Priviledges on the Kingdom, he procured the Abolishment of this, in an Assembly of the States: he got this general Consent in Writing, which was presented to him. As soon as he had the Parchment, he drew out his Dagger, and pierced his Hand with it, saying, ‘’Twas fit a Law which gave Subjects the Liberty of chusing their Soveraign, should be Efaced with their Sovereign’s Bloud.’ His Statue is still seen in the Deputation-hall of Saragossa: he holds a Dagger in one Hand, and the Charter in the other. The late Kings have not been such Religious Observers of their Priviledges as the first.

But there is a Law still in force, and which is very singular, and this they call, ‘The Law of Manifestation’; which is, That if an Arragonois had Wrong done him in Judgment, in consigning 500 Crowns, he may bring his Cause before the Justicia, who is obliged, after an exact Perquisition, to punish him who has giv’n a wrong Sentence: And if he fails therein, the opprest Person may have Recourse to the States of the Kingdom, who Assemble and Nominate five Persons of their Body, which is to say, of the Prime Nobility, the Ecclesiasticks, the Gentry and Commonalty: they appoint three out of the first Rank, and two from each of the others. But it is observable, they choose the most Ignorant to Judge the most able Men in the Gown, whether to Disgrace ’em the more for their Fault, or, as they alledge, ‘That Justice should be so clear, that the very Plow-men, and those who understand the least, should discern it without the help of Oratory.’ It is likewise affirm’d, That the Judges tremble when they pronounce a Sentence, fearing lest it turn against themselves, to the loss of their Lives or Estates, should they commit the least Fault therein, either wilfully, or through Inadvertency. It were well if this Custom were observed in all Kingdoms: but this is rather to be wish’d than expected.

Yet what is no less singular, is, That Justice remains always Soveraign; and though the Unjust Judge be punish’d severely for his wrong Decree, yet it subsists in its full force, and is fully executed: If then any Unhappy Wretch be sentenced to Death, he is not spared, tho’ his Innocency be discovered, and made as clear as Noon-day; but his Judges are executed too before his Face; which, in my mind, is a poor Consolation. If the Judge accused, has justly perform’d his Office, the Plaintiff leaves the 500 Crowns which he had consign’d: But were he to lose an 100000 Crowns of Annual Revenue, by the Sentence he complains of, the Sentence or Decree remains good, and the Judge is only condemn’d to pay him likewise 500 Crowns; the rest of this Judge’s Estate is forfeited to the King: which is, in my Opinion, another Point of Injustice; for in fine, he ought, above all others, to have Recompense made him who suffers by a wrong Sentence.

These same People have another Custom, to distinguish by the Punishment the Crime committed: for Example, A Cavalier, who has kill’d another in Duel (for they are here strictly forbid), he has his Head cut off before; and he that has Assassinated, his is cut off behind. This is to distinguish him who has behaved himself like a brave Man, from him that kills you Treacherously.

She added, That to speak in general of the Arragonois, They have a Natural Pride, which is hard to be suppress’d: but likewise to do them Justice, there are people of brave Minds to be found among them; insomuch, that they are easily discern’d from all the rest of the King of Spain’s Subjects: That they have never wanted Great Men, from their first King to Ferdinand: That they counted such a great number of them, as would scarce be believ’d: However, they have greatly recommended themselves by their Valour and Conduct. That as to the rest, their Country was so little fruitful, that excepting some Valleys which were watered by Channels, whose Water came from the Ebre, the rest was so dry and sandy, that you meet with scarce any thing else but stony and parched up places: That Sarragossa is a great City, the Houses finer than at Madrid; the Publick Places adorn’d with Arches; that the Holy Street, where the Courses are run, is so long and large, as may make it pass for a great and vast place, having several great Mens Palaces on it; that of Castel-morato being one of the pleasantest: That the Vault of St. Francis’s Church was very curious, for being of extraordinary Largeness, yet ’tis upheld by no Pillars: That the City is not strong, but the Inhabitants so stout, that it needed no Walls; that it has never a Fountain, this being one of its greatest Defects: That the Ebre carried no Boats, the River being full of dangerous Rocks. As to the rest, the Archbishoprick was worth 60000 Crowns a year: That the Vice-Royalty brought in no Revenue, being a Place of Honour, fit only for great Lords to bear the Expence of it, to maintain their Rank, and keep the People under, who are Naturally Fierce and Imperious, not Affable to Strangers; and so little desirous of making Acquaintance, that they chuse rather to stay at Home alone all their Life-time, than stir out to procure Friendships: That here is a severe Inquisition, who have a stately Palace, and a most Rigid Court of Justice; Yet this does not hinder great Troops of Robbers, call’d Bandoleros, from Ravaging, and dispersing themselves over all Spain; who give no Quarter to Travellers, snatching up sometimes Women of Quality, whom they afterwards set at Ransom, for their Parents to Redeem; but when they are Handsome they keep them: And this is the greatest Misfortune can happen to ’em, being forced to spend their Days with the Worst of Men, who keep them in dreadful Caves, or carry them along with them on Horse-back, being so furiously jealous of ’em, that one of their Captains (having been lately set upon by Souldiers sent into the Mountains to seize on him) being mortally wounded, and having his Mistress with him, who was of the Marquess de Camaraza, a Grandee of Spain’s Family; When she saw him in this Condition, she thought only of making Use of this favourable Opportunity of saving her self; which he perceiving, dying, as he was, he catch’d hold of her Hair, and struck his Dagger into her Breast, Being not willing, said he, that another should possess a Treasure which had been so dear to him. And this is what himself acknowledg’d to the Souldiers who found him, and saw this sad Spectacle.

The Beautiful Marchioness here held her peace; and I return’d her all due Thanks for the Favour she did me, in informing me of these Curiosities; and of which, perhaps without her, I might have been Ignorant all my Life. ‘I do not think, Madam,’ said she to me, ‘you owe me such Thanks; I rather fear the having deserved Reproaches for so long and tiresome a Conversation.’

I would not let her leave me to eat elsewhere; and I obliged her to lye with me, she having no Bed. So Civil and Courteous a Proceeding made her much my Friend: She assured me of this in such Affectionate Terms, that I could not doubt of it; for I must tell you, the Spanish Women are more Caressing than we, and are far more Kind and Tender to those they profess Friendship. In fine, I could not forbear telling her, ‘That if she had all the Kindness for me she made profession, she must be so complaisant, to inform me, What made her seem so melancholly? That I had heard her fetch deep Sighs in the Night, and appear’d very Restless and Disconsolate; That if she could find any Comfort in sharing her Grief with me, I offered my Service to her, as a most faithful Friend.’ She embraced me with great Affection, and told me without delay, she would immediately satisfie my Curiosity; which she did in these Terms:

‘Seeing you are desirous to know me, I must without disguising to you any thing, acknowledge my Weaknesses to you; and by my Sincerity and Open-heartedness, deserve a Curiosity as obliging as yours:

‘I come not of such a Family as may claim Nobility; my Father’s Name was Davila; he was only a Banker, but he was in good Credit, and was moderately Wealthy: We are of Seville, Capital of Andalousia, and we have ever dwelt there. My Mother knew the World, she saw many People of Quality, and having no Children but me, she took great care of my Education: It did not appear ill-bestowed on me; for I had the good Fortune to get the good Will of most that saw me.

‘We had two Neighbours who came often to our House, who were very welcome both to my Father and Mother: Their Condition and Age were in no sort alike; One was the Marquess de Los Rios, a Person Wealthy and Noble; he was a Widower, and well advanced in years: the other was the Son of a great Merchant, who traded to the Indies; he was Young and Handsome, he had Wit, and a very graceful Behaviour; his Name was Mendez: He was not long before he fell passionately in Love with me; so that he omitted nothing which might please me, and gain my Affections.

‘He was in all places where he knew I was to pass; he spent whole Nights under my Windows, to sing Verses which he had composed and set to my Praise, which he had very well accompany’d with his Harp.

‘But seeing his Attendancies had not all the Effect he expected, and having past some time in this manner, without daring to mention his Affection to me, he at length resolv’d to make use of the first occasion to acquaint me with it. I avoided him ever since I had a Conversation with one of my Friends, who had more Experience and Knowledge of the World than I: I had felt, that Mendez’s Company gave me Joy, and that my Heart had an Emotion for him, which it had not for others: That when his Affairs, or our Visits hindred him from seeing me, I grew restless; and loving this young Woman, above others, and being as dear to her, she observ’d I was not so free and gay as I was wont, and that my Eyes were sometimes attentively fixed on Mendez. One Day when she rally’d with me about it, I said to her very innocently, “My dear Henrietta, define to me the Sentiments I have for Mendez: I know not whether I ought to be afraid of them, and whether I ought not to defend my self from them. I feel I know not what sort of Trouble and Pleasure arising in my Breast.” She began to laugh, she embraced me, and said to me, “My dear Heart, you are in Love.” “Who, I in Love?” reply’d I, in amaze: “You joke with me; I neither am, nor will be in Love.” “This depends not always on us,” continued she, with a more serious Air, “our Stars decide this before our Hearts. But in earnest, what is it so much startles you? Mendez is in a Condition equal to yours; he deserves well, a good comely Man; and if his Affairs go on with the same Success as they have done hitherto, you may live very happily with him.” “And whence should I learn,” reply’d I, interrupting her, “that he will be happy with me, and that he so much as thinks this?” “O, take my Word for it,” answer’d she, “whatever he has done has its Designs; for Men are not wont to pass Nights under Windows, and the Days in following a Person for whom they have nothing but Indifferency.”

‘After some other Discourse of this Nature, she left me, and I resolv’d, maugre the Repugnance I felt in me, to give Mendez no opportunity of speaking to me in particular.

‘But one Night as I was walking in the Garden, he came towards me: I was perplext to see my self alone with him; and he had the opportunity of observing it on my Countenance, and in the manner after which I receiv’d him. This could not divert him from the design he had of entertaining me: “How Happy am I Madam,” said he, “to find you alone? But do I call my self Happy! Perhaps I know not what I say: for it may be you will not receive a Secret with which I would entrust you.” “I am as yet so young,” said I to him, blushing, “that I would advise you to say nothing to me, unless you would have me impart it to my Companions.” “Alas,” continued he, “should I tell you, I Adore you; that all my Happiness depends on the Inclinations you have towards me: That I cannot live without some Certainty, that I may one day please you; will you tell this to your Companions?” “No,” said I to him, in great perplexity, “I would look on this Confidence as a Railery; and not believing it my self, I would not hazard its being left to be believ’d by others.”

‘We were interrupted as I ended these words; and he appear’d to me not over-content with the Answer I made him; and a while after he found an opportunity to reproach me with it.

‘I could not but give a favourable Ear to the Inclinations I had towards him; every thing he told me seem’d to me to have its particular Gracefulness: And it was no hard matter for him to perswade me, that he lov’d me above all things in the World.

‘In the mean time, the Marquess de Los Rios took such a liking to me, and my Person and Behaviour ran so deeply in his Thoughts, that he wholly applied himself to please me. He was very nice and cautious; he could not resolve with himself to owe me wholly to my Parents authority: He well knew they would receive as an Honour the Intentions he had for me; but he was for gaining my Consent before he demanded theirs.

‘In this Design he said all to me he thought was like to take with me. I answer’d him I should always think it an indispensable Duty to obey my Father: yet our Ages were so different, that I told him, I thought ’twere better he left off thinking of me; that I should have an everlasting Acknowledgment for the advantageous Intentions he had for me; and therefore I would esteem him, tho I could not love him. Having heard what I said, he was some time without speaking, and immediately taking up a very generous Resolution: “Lovely Mariana,” says he, “you might have made me the happiest Man in the World; and if you were ambitious, I had wherewith to satisfie you: But you refuse me, and I desire to be anothers: I consent to it; I love you too well to be in suspence, whether you are to be satisfied or I; I therefore wholly sacrifice my Happiness to you, and leave you for ever.” In ending these Words he left me, and appear’d so afflicted, that I could not forbear being concern’d.

‘Mendez arriv’d a while after, and found me melancholly: He was so earnest with me to know the Cause, that I could not deny him this Proof of my Complaisance. Any one but he would have had a sensible Obligation at the Exclusion I came from giving his Rival: But far from seeming to value it, he told me, He saw in mine Eyes the Regret I had for a Lover, who could place me in another sort of a Rank than he was able; and that my Proceeding was very Cruel. In vain [I] endeavoured to make him sensible of the Injustice of this; but all I could say, could not hinder him from charging me with Inconstancy. I remain’d vext, and surpriz’d at this his Way of Dealing, and was several days without speaking to him.

‘He, in fine, at last understood he had no Reason to Complain; he came to me, and begg’d my Pardon, and testified to me a great Displeasure at his own jealousie: He excused himself, as all Lovers do, on the strength of his Passion. I had so much Weakness as to be willing to forget the Trouble he had given me: we made up the Matter between us, and he continued on his Courtship.

‘His Father having understood the Passion he had for me, thought he could not procure him a more advantageous Marriage: he took notice of it to him, and came afterwards to my Father, to open to him the Proposal: they had been long Friends; he was favourably heard, and they easily agreed on the Matter.

‘Mendez came to inform me of the News, with such Transports as would have seem’d ridiculous to any other than a Mistress. My Mother order’d me to look kindly on him, telling me, this Affair would be advantageous to me: and as soon as the India-Fleet should arrive, wherein he was greatly concern’d, the Marriage should be concluded.

‘Whilst matters thus past, the Marquess de Los Rios had retired to one of his Country-Houses, where he scarcely saw any one: He led a languishing Life; he still lov’d me, but hindred himself from telling me so, and from comforting himself by this innocent Remedy.

‘In fine, his Body could not resist the Heaviness of his Mind; he fell dangerously ill, and being told by the Physicians, there was no hope of his Recovery, he pluckt up his Spirits to write me the most affectionate Letter imaginable, and sent at the same time to me a Deed of Gift of all his Estate, in case he dyed. My Mother was in my Chamber, when a Gentleman presented this Packet from him; she would know what it contain’d.

‘I could not forbear at the same time, telling her what had past; and we were both of us in the greatest surprize at the Marquess’s extream Generosity. She sent him word, that I should go with my Family to thank him for a Liberality which I had no ways deserv’d: And in particular, she sharply reprehended me for having made a Mystery of a thing to her with which I ought to have immediately acquainted her. I threw myself at her Feet; I excused myself the best I could, and testifi’d such great Sorrow for having displeas’d her, that she easily pardon’d me. Leaving my Chamber, she went to my Father, and having learnt him all which had past, they resolv’d to go the next Morning to see the Marquess, and to carry me with them.

‘I acquainted Mendez with this in the Evening; and the Fear I had, lest my Parents should, in fine, make me marry this old Man, if he chanced to escape out of his Sickness. However sensible I appear’d to him of this, he was so far transported, and reproacht me so greatly with it, that I must have lov’d him as much as I did, not to have broke off with him: But he had such an Ascendant over me, that though he was the Injustest of all Men, yet I thought him the most Reasonable.

‘We were at the Marquess de Los Rios’s; his Country-house was not above two Leagues from Seville: Dying, as he was, he receiv’d us with such Joy as was easily observable. My Father testifi’d to him his Grief, to see him in so low a Condition, thankt him for the Donation he made me, and assured him, If he could find a fair and just Pretence, he would break off with Mendez, to whom he had engaged his Word: That should this happen, he promist him solemnly I should be no Body’s but his. He receiv’d this Assurance in the same manner as if he had receiv’d his perfect Felicity; but he knew well the Dolor I conceiv’d thereat: I became Pale, my Eyes were covered with Tears; and when we were about leaving him, he desired me to draw near to him; he told me with a languishing Tone: “Fear nothing, Mariana; I love you too well to displease you; you shall have Mendez, seeing your Affections are engaged to him.” I answer’d him: “I had no particular Inclination for him; but being commanded to respect him, as a Man who was to be my Husband, I could do no otherwise; however, I intreated him to be well.”

‘This seem’d to me the least step I could take towards a Person to whom I had so great Obligations. He appear’d thereat sufficiently satisfy’d, attempting to take my Hand and kiss it: “Remember,” said he to me, “you enjoyn me to live; and that my Life being your Work, you will be oblig’d to conserve it.” We return’d at Night, and the Impatient Mendez waited for us, to make me new Reproaches: I took ’em as I was wont, as Proofs of his Passion: and having justified my self, I askt him, What News there was of the Fleet? “Alas!” said he to me, “my Father has receiv’d such as drives me to Despair: I dare not inform you.” “Have you any thing separate from me?” said I to him, looking tenderly on him: “Would you have me to be as reserv’d to you?” “I am too Happy,” replied he, “in that you have such favourable Dispositions; and being not able to keep any Secret from you, I must plainly tell you, That the Galion in which is our whole Estate, is split and lost, running against a Rock. But I should be less sensible, how greatly soever I am Interest, did I not look on the Unhappy Consequences of this Loss: Your Presence will restore the Marquess de Los Rios to his Health; his Sentiments for you are known in your Family; he is Rich, and a great Lord: I become Miserable; and if you forsake me, my dear Mariana, I shall have no more Hope but in a speedy Death.” I was pierced with Sorrow at this sad News: I took one of his Hands, and closing it with mine, I said to him, “My dear Mendez, do not think me capable of loving you, and yet leaving you, by the Effects of your good or bad Fortune: if you be able to bear up against it, believe me so too. I call Heaven to witness,” continued I, “provided you love me, and be faithful to me, that I will never forsake you; and let it punish me if ever I prove Inconstant.”

‘He testified all the Acknowledgements he ought me for such affectionate Assurances, and we resolved not to divulge this Accident.

‘I withdrew very melancholly, and shut my self up in my Closet, ruminating on the Consequences of this sad Disaster. I was still there, when I heard some Body knocking softly at the Shutters of my Window: I drew near, and saw Mendez by the Light of the Moon: “What do you here,” said I to him, “at this time of the Night?” “Alas,” answer’d he to me, “I was trying whether I could speak with you before I departed: My Father has again lately received News of the Galion, and will have me immediately go where she is run aground, to endeavour to save something: It is a great way thither, and I shall be a great while without seeing you. Ah, dear Mariana, during all this time will you be as good as your Word to me? May I hope my dear Mistress will be faithful to me?” “What Reason have I given you, Mendez,” said I, interrupting him, “to doubt it? Yes,” continued I, “I will love you were you the most Unfortunate Man in the World.”

‘It would be to abuse your Patience, Madam, to relate to you whatever we said in this doleful Separation; and though there appear’d no Danger, yet our Hearts had a foreboding of what was afterwards to happen to us. The Day began to appear, and we must bid Adieu: I saw him shed Tears, which were accompanied with mine.

‘I threw myself on my Bed, rowling a thousand sad Thoughts in my Mind; and I appear’d the next Morning so out of Order, that my Father and Mother were afraid I was falling into some dangerous fit of Sickness.

‘Mendez his Father came to make them a Visit, to excuse his Son’s parting without taking his Leave of them. He added, “He had a Business which required such haste, as would not suffer him a Minute’s time at his disposal.” As to myself, Madam, I was comfortless, being insensible to every thing: And if any thing could ease me, ’twas some hours Conversation with my dear Henrietta, with whom I freely vented my thoughts touching the long Absence of Mendez.

‘In the mean time the Marquess de Los Rios was out of Danger, and my Father went often to see him: I observ’d one day great Alteration on my Mother’s Countenance, she and my Father having been long shut up with Religioses, who came to give ’em a Visit; and after a Conference of some time, they call’d me, without my being able to divine the Cause.

‘I entred into their Apartment in such Disorder, that I knew not what I did. One of these good Fathers, Venerable by his Age and Habit, spake much to me about the Resignation we owe to the Divine Will, on his Providence, in every thing which relates to us: and the Close of his Discourse was, that Mendez was taken by the Algerines; that he was a Slave; and by his Misfortune these Pyrates had learnt he was a rich Merchant’s Son; which had occasion’d the setting him at an extraordinary Ransom: That they were at Algiers in the time he arriv’d; would have willingly brought him along with ’em, but the money which they had for all, was not sufficient for him alone. That at their Return they had been at his Father’s to inform him of this vexatious Disaster; but found he had absented himself; and that the loss of a Galion, on which was embarkt all his Effects without being able to save any thing, had induced him to avoid his Creditors, who sought him every-where, to throw him in Prison: That things being in Condition, they saw no Remedy to poor Mendez his Misfortunes, being in the hands of Meluza the most famous and covetous of all the Corsaries; and that if I would follow their Advice, and that of my Parents, I would think of taking another Party. I had so far heard this dreadful News in so ecstatic a Condition, that I could only interrupt them by sad Sighs; but when he told me, I must think of another Party; I burst out with Tears and Shrieks, as made both my Father and Mother, and these Religioses compassionate me.

‘I was carried into my Chamber as one nearer death than life; and Donna Henrietta was sent for, and it was not without great Affliction she beheld me in this sad Condition. I fell into a most deep Melancholly; I tormented myself day and night, and nothing was able to remove my dear Mendez out of my Mind.

‘The Marquess de Los Rios, having learnt what had past, conceiv’d such strong Hopes, that he soon found himself in a Condition to come and Claim of my Father and me the Effect of the Words we had given him. I shewed him that mine were not disengaged in respect of Mendez; that he was Unfortunate, which no ways lessen’d my Engagements to him. He heard me without being perswaded by me, and told me, I had the same desire of destroying myself, as others had of saving themselves; that ’twas more my Interest than his, which made him act as he did. And being ravisht with having a Pretence which seemed to him plausible, he prest my Father with such Earnestness, that he at length consented to what he desired.

‘It is impossible for me to represent to you, Madam, in what an Abyss of Sorrow I was in: “What is become, my Lord,” said I to the Marquess, “of that scrupulous Tenderness which hinder’d you from taking my Heart from any other hand than my own? Let me at least have some time to forget Mendez; Perhaps his Absence and Misfortunes may prevail on me to some Indifferency towards him. To this cruel Accident, which has snatch’d him so lately from me, you add new Troubles when you expect I should so speedily pass over from him to you.”

‘“I know not what I expect or may hope for,” said he to me, “but this I am sure of, that my Complaisance had like to have cost me my Life; that if you be not design’d for me, you will be anothers; and as to Mendez, his Fortune has been such, that he can no longer pretend to you; and seeing you must be disposed of, I think you are very hard hearted to refuse me. You cannot be ignorant of what I have done hitherto to please you, my former Proceeding should serve as a sufficient Testimony of my future Respects.”

‘The Marquess made a greater progress in my Father’s Mind than mine. In a Word, my Mother having one day sent for me, told me, ’Twas to no purpose to use any longer Delays, my Father being resolv’d I should obey his Orders. Whatever I could say to excuse my self, my Tears, my Remonstrances, Entreaties were all to no purpose, and serv’d only to exasperate my Mother.

‘All things necessary were prepared for my Marriage, the Marquess would have every thing suitable to his Quality; He sent me a Cabinet of Jewels and Precious Stones, to the value of several thousand Crowns. The fatal Day for our Wedding was set. Seeing my self reduced to this Extremity. I took a resolution which will surprize you, Madam, and demonstrate a great Passion.

‘I went to Donna Henrietta; this Friend had been ever faithful to me, and threw my self at her feet, surprising her by so extraordinary a Carriage: “My dear Henrietta,” said I to her, melting in Tears, “there is no Remedy to my Misfortunes, unless you have pity on me; do not abandon me, let me conjure you in the sad Condition I am in; to morrow I must marry the Marquess de Los Rios, I can no longer avoid it. If the Offers of Friendship you have made me be Proof against all Tryal, and can make you capable of a generous Resolution, you will not refuse to follow my Fortune, and to accompany me to Algiers to pay Mendez his Ransom, to redeem him from the cruel Slavery he is in. You see me at your Feet,” continued I, “I will never rise till you have given me your Word, to do what I desire you.” She seem’d so concern’d at my Posture, that I arose to make her answer me. She immediately embraced me with great Testimonies of Tenderness: “I will refuse you nothing, my dear Mariana,” said she to me, “were it my very Life; but you are going to ruine your self and me with you. How can two Girls execute what you project. Our Age, our Sex, and your Beauty, will expose us to Accidents, the bare imagination of which makes me to tremble: this is certain, we are going to overwhelm our Families with Shame and Confusion; and if you had made serious Reflections hereon, it is not possible you could have come to this Resolution.” “Ah, barbarous!” cried I, “and more barbarous than he that detains my Lover; you forsake me, but tho I am alone, yet that shall not hinder me from pursuing my Point, neither can the assistance you should give me stand me in much stead: Remain, remain, I consent, it is fit I should depart without any Comfort to affront all Dangers; I confess such an undertaking is fit only for a desperate Creature.”

‘My Reproaches and Tears moved Henrietta; she told me my Interest had obliged her as much as her own to speak to me as she had done; but in short, seeing I persisted in my first Resolution, and nothing could divert me from it, she resolved I should not go alone; That if I would be ruled by her, we should disguise ourselves; that she would undertake to get two Suits of Mens Apparel; and as for the rest, it belong’d to me to take care of it. I embraced her with a thousand Testimonies of Thankfulness.

‘I afterwards askt her, Whether she had seen the Jewels which the Marquess had sent me; “I will bring them,” said I to her, “to purchase Mendez’s Ransom with them.” We resolved to lose no time, and we neither of us fail’d in what we had projected.

‘Never were two Maidens better disguised under the Habit of two Cavaliers. We parted that Night, and embarkt our selves without the least Obstacle, but after some days Sail we were overtaken by so violent a Storm, as made us despair of our Safety. In all this Disorder and Peril, I was less concerned for my self, than for not having compassed my dear Mendez’s Liberty, and for having engaged Henrietta to follow my ill Fortune: “It is I,” said I to her, in embracing her, “it is I, my dear Companion, that has rais’d this Storm, were I not on the Sea it would be Calm; my Misfortune follows me wherever I go.” In fine, we having been a Day and two Nights in continual Alarums, the Weather chang’d, and we arriv’d at Algiers.

‘I was so glad to see my self in a Condition to deliver Mendez, that I reckon’d all the Dangers we underwent as nothing: But alas, what became of me in disembarking, when after all the search which could be made, I perceiv’d there was no hope of finding the little Cabinet wherein I had put all I had was most precious: I found my self seiz’d with such violent Grief, that I thought I should have expired before I got out of the Vessel. Without doubt this Cabinet, which was little, and of which I took but small Care during the Tempest, fell into the Sea, or was stole, which ever of these two it was, I made a considerable Loss, and I had only remaining Jewels to the value of a thousand Pounds, which I had kept for all Events about me.

‘I resolv’d with this, to make a Tryal with Mendez’s Patron: As soon as we were in the Town, we enquired out his House, (for Meluza was well known) and went thither clad as Gentlemen.

‘I cannot express to you, Madam, the trouble I was in drawing near this House, where I knew my dear Lover languisht in Chains; what sad Reflections did I not make; how did I look when I enter’d the Corsary’s House, and saw Mendez Chain’d, with several others, who were leading out to work in the Field. I should have fallen at his Feet, had not Henrietta born me up: I no longer knew where I was, nor what I did; I would have spoken to him, but Grief had so seiz’d on my Spirits, that my Tongue could not utter a Word. As to him, he beheld me not; he was so sad and deprest, that he could look on no body; and one must love him as much as I did, to know him, so greatly was he changed.

‘After having been some time coming to my self, I went into a low Room, where I was told Meluza was; I saluted him, and told him the occasion of my Voyage; that Mendez was my near Relation; that he was undone by the Loss of a Galion, and his Captivity together; and that ’twas out of my own Money I would pay his Ransom. The Moor appear’d to me little concern’d at what I said; and looking scornfully on me, he answer’d, It was not his business to enquire whence I had my Money; but this he certainly knew, that Mendez was Rich; and to shew that he would not take all Advantages, he would therefore set him at twenty thousand Crowns.

‘Alas, what would this have been, had I not lost my Jewels? but this was too much in the Condition I was in. In fine, after several long fruitless Disputes, I took on me immediately a resolution which could only be inspired by an extream Love.

‘“Here’s all I have,” said I to the Pyrate, in giving him my Diamonds, “they are not worth what thou demandest: take me for thy Slave, and be perswaded thou wilt not keep me long. I am the only Daughter of a Rich Banker of Seville; keep me for an Hostage, and let Mendez go; he will soon return to Redeem me.” The Barbarian was surpriz’d to find me capable of so generous and affectionate a Resolution. “Thou art worthy,” said he to me, “of a better Fortune. Be it so; I accept the Condition you offer me: I will take care of thee, and be a good Patron to thee. Thou must leave the Habit thou wearest, to put on one agreeable to thy Sex: thou shalt keep thy Jewels if thou wilt, I can as well stay for the whole as for a part.”

‘Donna Henrietta was so confused and dismayed at the Bargain I came from concluding, that she could not sufficiently express her Displeasure to me; but in fine, maugre all her Remonstrances and Entreaties, I held firm, and Meluza caus’d a Slave’s Habit to be brought me, which I put on.

‘He conducted me to his Wives Chamber, to whom he deliver’d me, having recounted to her what I had done for my Lover’s Liberty.

‘She seem’d to be much affected by it, and promis’d she would shorten the time of my Servitude by all the good Treatments she could make me.

‘At Night, when Mendez return’d, Meluza caus’d him to be call’d, telling him, That being of Seville, he would therefore shew him a Slave he had bought, because perhaps he might know her.

‘Immediately I was brought before him; Mendez at this sight, losing all Countenance, came and cast himself at my Feet, and taking my Hands, which he bathed with his Tears, he said every thing which was most tender and affectionate to me. Meluza and his Wife diverted themselves, in seeing the different Motions of Joy and Grief with which we were agitated: in fine, they inform’d Mendez of the Obligations he had to me; that he was free, and that I would remain in his place. He did whatever could be done to disswade me from taking this Task on me: “Alas,” said he to me, “you would have me load you with my Chains, my dear Mistress; Shall I be free, when you are not? I go then to do for you what you come from doing for me; I will sell my self, and Redeem you with this Money: for in fine, consider, that should I as soon as I arrive at Seville, find Assistance, and return again to bring you back, yet how is it possible for me in the mean time to leave you; judge how I can do this in a time wherein my Fortune promises me nothing, and am the most Unhappy of all Men.” I offered against all his Reasons, the Tenderness of my Father, who would soon Redeem me when he knew where I was. In fine, I made use of all the Power I had over his Mind, to make his Advantage of what I had done in his Favour.

‘What shall I say to you, Madam, of our Separation? It was so dolorous, that Words cannot express what we felt. I obliged Henrietta to part with him, to sollicite and press my Parents to do their part in my behalf.

‘In the mean time my Father and Mother were in an unconceivable Affliction; and when they perceiv’d my flight they thought to die with Grief.

‘They blamed themselves infinitely for forcing me to marry the Marquess de Los Rios. He was for his part in no less Despair; they caused me to be searcht for in vain, in all places where they thought I might have hid my self.

‘Two whole Years were past without my receiving any News or Succors from Mendez; which made me believe with great likelihood, that both he and Henrietta were cast away on the Sea: I had given them all the Jewels which Meluza had left me; but it was not their Loss, nor that of my Liberty, which I regretted: It was of my dear Lover and faithful Friend, whose Remembrance continually possest me, and caus’d me an unparallel’d Affliction; I could get no Rest nor Health; I wept Day and Night; I refused to come out of my Slavery in neglecting to signifie to my Father my present Condition. I wisht only for a speedy Death, which I would have willingly met with, to put an end to my Troubles and Misfortunes.

‘Meluza and his Wife began to pity me: they did not doubt but Mendez was cast away: they treated me less cruelly than these sort of People are wont to use those Unhappy Wretches who fall into their Hands.

‘One Day, as Meluza came from Pyrating, he brought with him several Persons of both Sexes which he had taken, and among the rest a Young Woman of some Quality of Seville, and whom I knew. This sight renewed my Grief: she was much surpriz’d to find me in this sad place. We affectionately embraced one another, and observing a deep silence; “How now, Beautiful Mariana,” said she to me, “are you so indifferent towards your Relations and Country, that you have no Curiosity to make any Enquiries about them?” I lifted up mine Eyes to Heaven in uttering a deep Sigh; I entreated her to tell me, If ’twere known where Mendez and Henrietta were lost? “Who has told you they are lost?” replied she. “They are at Seville, where they lead a very happy Life. Mendez has re-establisht his Affairs, and makes it his great Delight and Honour to publish in all places the Extream Obligations he has to Henrietta. Perhaps you are ignorant,” continued she, “that Mendez was taken and made a Slave by the Algerines; this generous young Woman disguised her self, and came hither to redeem him, but he has not been ungrateful, for he has married her. There is a most charming Union between them. Hymen has not banisht Love in their particular.”

‘As she was yet speaking, she perceiv’d my Countenance to alter on a sudden, and that I was ready to faint; my Strength fail’d me, mine Eyes closed, and I sunk down between her Arms; she was greatly troubled at this; she called my Companions, who put me to Bed, and endeavour’d to recover me from this pitious Condition.

‘This young Woman greatly concern’d her self for me; and when I came to my self, I began to complain; I uttered Sighs and Groans able to move a Rock.

‘Meluza was affected at the Recital of such a worse than barbarous Instance of Treachery, and without any notice to me, he inform’d himself, by his new Slave of my Father’s Name, and immediately wrote to him what he knew of my Misfortunes.

‘These Letters were like to have been the Death of my Mother; she could not imagine I could be in Chains at eighteen Years of Age, without shedding a torrent of Tears: But that which augmented her Grief, was, the Disorder of my Father’s Affairs; several considerable Bankrupts had ruined him; his Credit was gone, and it was impossible for him to procure the 20000 Crowns which Meluza demanded for my Ransom.

‘The Generous Marquess de Los Rios heard this News, came to my Father, and offered him what lay in his Power: “I do not do this,” said he, “in design to force your Daughter’s Inclinations when she shall be here; I shall love her always, but I will never displease her.” My Father having no other way of Relief, thankfully accepted of what was offered him; and in a word, embarkt himself, and happily arriv’d at Algiers, in the time when I thought only of dying.

‘He forbore all those Reproaches I deserv’d; he redeem’d me, and at my Intreaty, this young Woman of Seville, for a moderate Ransom. We return’d together, and my Mother receiv’d me with such joy as is impossible to be exprest. I answer’d hereto as much as was possible; but I carried always in my Heart, Madam, the fatal Stroke which had wounded me: Whatever my Reason could represent to me, was not sufficient to Eface out of my Remembrance the Image of the Traitor Mendez.

‘I saw the Marquess de Los Rios: he dared not mention the Inclinations he still had towards me; but I had such pressing Obligations to him, that Gratitude made me do for him, what my Inclinations would have made me do for another.

‘I gave him my Hand, and he his to me, with such Affection, as if he had had no solid Matter of Complaint against me.

‘In fine, I married him, and apprehending lest I should see Mendez, that Ungrateful Wretch, to whom I owe such Horrour, and for whom I had so little, I pray’d the Marquess we might dwell in the Country-house he had near Seville.

‘He ever approv’d of what I liked; he would have my Father and Mother retire; he less’ned the sad Condition of their Fortune, by considerable Liberalities: and I may truly say, there never was a greater Soul. Judge, Madam, of all the Reproaches I made my Heart for its not being so tender to him as it ought to have been: It was not in my power to forget Mendez, and I always felt new Regrets, when I learnt his Felicity with the Unfaithful Henrietta.

‘Having past two Years in a continual watching over myself, that I might do nothing but what was agreeable to my Husband, Heaven depriv’d me of him, of this Generous Husband; and he did for me in these last Moments, what he had already heretofore done, giving me all he had, with such Testimonies of Esteem and Affection, as much enhanced the Price of the Gift: He made me the richest Widow of Andalousia, but he could not make me the Happiest.

‘I would not return to Seville, where my Parents would have had me been; and to avoid it, I pretended a Journey farther into the Country, to look after some part of my Estate. I set out; but there being a particular Fatality in whatever relates to me, in arriving at an Inn, the first Object which struck my sight, was the Unfaithful Mendez: he was in deep Mourning, and had lost nothing of whatever made me heretofore fancy him too Lovely. It is impossible to express the Condition I was in, for endeavouring to get speedily from him, I found myself so weak and trembling, that I fell at his Feet. Although he knew me not that instant, yet he earnestly endeavour’d to raise me up; but the great Veil under which I was conceal’d, flying open, what became of him in seeing me? He remain’d no less confused than I was: he would have drawn near to me, but casting a furious Look on him: “Darest thou, Perjured Wretch!” said I to him, “darest thou approach me! Art thou not afraid of the just Punishment of thy Perfidiousness?” He was some time without answering me, and I was about leaving him when he stopt me: “Confound and overwhelm me with Reproaches, Madam,” said he to me: “Give me the worst and most perfidious Names as is possible; they cannot be more than I deserve: but my Death shall soon revenge your Quarrel: I ought to die with Sorrow for having betray’d you; and if I regret any thing in dying, it is only the having one Life to lose, to expiate all the Crimes you can justly accuse me of.” He appear’d to me much affected in ending these words; and would to Heavens his Repentance were really sufficient and true! I would not hazard a longer Conversation with him: I left him, disdaining to return him an Answer. And this Mark of Contempt and Slighting, was, without doubt, more sensible to him, than all the Reproaches I might have made him.

‘He had some time since lost his Wife, that Unfaithful Creature, who had helpt him to Revolt against all the Offices of Love, Honour, and Gratitude. And from that time he follow’d me every-where: he was like a Complaining Shadow, ever fastened to my Feet; for he became so lean, pale, and chang’d, that he was no longer discernable. Heavens! Madam, what Violence did I not offer myself, in continuing to ill Treat him: I found at last I wanted Strength to resist the Weakness of my Heart, and the Ascendant this Wretch had over me. Rather than to commit so shameful an offence, and to Forgive him, I parted for Madrid, where I have Relations, and sought among them a Shelter against the Violence of mine own Inclinations.

‘I was not there long but Mendez found me out: I must confess to you, I was not heartily displeas’d at his Attendance on me; but maugre my Inclinations towards him, I put on a firm Resolution to avoid him, seeing I could not sincerely hate him; and unknown to every Body, I took the Road to Burgos, where I am going to Cloyster myself with a Religious there, my Friend. I flatter myself, Madam, with the Hopes of finding more Rest there, than I have hitherto met with.’

The Beautiful Marchioness here held her peace; and I testified to her my particular Acknowledgments for the Favour she had done me: I assured her of the part I took in her Adventures: I conjured her to write to me, and let me hear from her at Madrid; and she promised it me in the most obliging Manner as is possible.

We found the next Morning we could not set out, it having snow’d all the Night, and no Path appearing on the Ground; but we wanted not Company to pass the time in Play and Discourse. Having been three days with the Marchioness de Los Rios, without any Weariness at the length of the Time, through the pleasure I had of seeing and hearing her talk (for she is one of the most lovely Women in the World.) We parted with a mutual Regret, and it was not without doubling our Promises of writing to, and seeing one another hereafter.

The Weather mended, and I continued on my Journey to Lerma: We had traverst dreadful Mountains, which bear the Name of Sierra de Cogollos, and it was not without great trouble we got thither: This Town is small; she has given her name to the famous Cardinal de Lerma, Chief Minister to Philip III: it is from him that Philip IV. took the great Revenues he had receiv’d from the King his Master. Here is a Castle which I will see to Morrow, and of which I shall give you an Account in my next. I am told an Extraordinary Express is arriv’d, and will set out to Night: I will lay hold of this Opportunity of sending to you, and ending this long Letter; for in truth I am tired both with the Way, and with Writing, but I shall never be weary of Loving you.

From Lerma, Mar. 5, 1679.

_FINIS._

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Footnote 3:

This happened in 714, after the Battle of St. Martin, wherein D. Rodrigue lost his Life; others say, he fled into Portugal, and died in a Town there call’d Viscii.

Reprinted for Archer M. Huntington At the Knickerbocker Press G. P. Putnam’s Sons 1899

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TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE

Punctuation has been normalized. Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been retained as they were in the original book. The following changes have been made:

Castlenau —>Castleneau {page 3} a bundant —> abundant {page 29} Mesignac —> Messignac {page 40} Quebare —> Quebara {page 56} Marquiss —> Marquess {page 66} Accomphisht —> Accomplisht {page 66} psent —> spent {page 103} Coulour —> Colour {page 109} scaace —> scarce {page 133} Acknowedgements —> Acknowledgements { page 211} Los Reos —> Los Rios {page 229} removed duplicate “a” {page 232} Argiers —> Algiers {page 233}

Footnotes have been moved to the back of the chapter in which they occurred.

Italicized phrases are presented by surrounding the text with _underscores_.