Infomotions, Inc.The Pocket George Borrow / Borrow, George Henry, 1803-1881



Author: Borrow, George Henry, 1803-1881
Title: The Pocket George Borrow
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): petulengro; lavengro; romany rye; ale; gypsy; rye; spain
Contributor(s): Thomas, Edward, 1878-1917 [Compiler]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 45,703 words (really short) Grade range: 12-14 (college) Readability score: 56 (average)
Identifier: etext13957
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Title: The Pocket George Borrow

Author: George Borrow

Release Date: November 4, 2004  [eBook #13957]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE POCKET GEORGE BORROW***



Transcribed from the 1912 Chatto & Windus edition by David Price, email
ccx074@coventry.ac.uk





THE POCKET GEORGE BORROW
PASSAGES CHOSEN FROM THE WORKS OF BORROW
BY EDWARD THOMAS


To my brother Julian.




NOTE


When a man has read once, or twice, or three times, through Borrow's
books, he will probably dip into them here and there at intervals.  By so
doing he gradually makes his own anthology; but it may be that he will
yet find place for another man's, if it has no pretension to completeness
or authority, and will go into his pocket.  Borrow is not a pithy writer,
nor is he best when sententious; the following passages are, therefore,
somewhat longer than is usual in this series of Anthologies.  Even so,
many of the best things in his books, especially from Wild Wales, have
had to be omitted, because they are longer still.  But this selection
aims only at giving strangers to Borrow an invitation or challenge, and
lovers a few sprigs of his heather for a keepsake.  Those who find
themselves disagreeing with it may at any rate have had their own taste
cleared and braced in the process.

Edward Thomas.




BORROW'S WRITINGS




ROMANTIC BALLADS
TARGUM
ZINCALI: THE GYPSIES OF SPAIN
THE BIBLE IN SPAIN
LAVENGRO
ROMANY RYE
WILD WALES
THE SLEEPING BARD
ROMANO LAVO-LIL
THE TURKISH JESTER
AND OTHER TRANSLATIONS




CONTENTS




It is very possible that the reader . . . Zincali
"Are you of the least use?" . . . Lavengro
"People are becoming vastly sharp" . . . Lavengro
"Will you take a glass of wine?" . . . Lavengro
One day it happened . . . Lavengro
Because they have been known . . . Zincali
One fact has always struck us . . . Zincali
Many of them reside in caves . . . Zincali
It has always struck me . . . Lavengro
A sound was heard . . . Lavengro
After much feasting . . . Zincali
The English Gypsies . . . Zincali
"I say, Jasper!" . . . Romany Rye
"What is your opinion of death, Mr. Petulengro?" . . . Lavengro
Beating of women . . . Romany Rye
Of my wife . . . Wild Wales
In the summer. . . . Wild Wales
Fear God, and take your own part . . . Romany Rye
Soldiers and sailors . . Romany Rye
There they come, the bruisers . . . Lavengro
The writer now wishes . . . Romany Rye
"No," said I . . . Romany Rye
Oh, genial and gladdening!  . . . Lavengro
On the whole . . . Romany Rye
On the following day . . . Romany Rye
The binding . . . Lavengro
I commenced the Bible in Spain . . . Zincali
And, as I wandered . . . Lavengro
At length the moon shone out . . . Bible in Spain
Upon the shoulder of the goatherd . . . Bible in Spain
I have always found . . . Bible in Spain
"C'est moi, mon maitre" . . . Bible in Spain
After travelling four days and nights . . . Bible in Spain
The posada. . . . Bible in Spain
The landlord brought the ale . . . Wild Wales
"Young gentleman" . . . Lavengro
Becoming soon tired . . . Wild Wales
Late in the afternoon . . . Bible in Spain
I had till then . . . Bible in Spain
"What mountains are those?" . . . Bible in Spain
We had scarcely been five minutes . . . Bible in Spain
I have heard talk . . . Lavengro
"Well," said the old man . . . Lavengro
I sat upon the bank . . . Lavengro
Ah, that Irish! . . . Lavengro
I said: "Now, Murtagh!" . . . Romany Rye
Here I interrupted . . . Romany Rye
"And who is Jerry Grant?" . . . Lavengro
"Is it a long time?" . . . Wild Wales
Now, a tinker . . . Lavengro
"Did you speak, Don Jorge" . . . Bible in Spain
Francis Ardry and myself . . . Romany Rye
After a slight breakfast . . . . Romany Rye
I did not like reviewing . . . . Lavengro
A lad, who twenty tongues can talk . . . Romantic Ballads
"He is a great fool" . . . Romany Rye
I informed the landlord . . . Romany Rye
"When you are a gentleman" . . . Romany Rye
I was bidding him farewell . . . Romany Rye
At the dead hour of night . . . Lavengro
I should say . . . Lavengro
To the generality of mankind . . . Lavengro
I cannot help thinking . . . Lavengro
O, Cheapside! . . . Lavengro
Oh, that ride! . . . Lavengro
Of one thing I am certain . . . Lavengro
My curiosity . . . Bible in Spain
The morning of the fifth of November . . . Wild Wales
"Good are the horses of the Moslems" . . . Bible in Spain
"The burra," I replied . . . Bible in Spain
I was standing on the castle hill . . . Lavengro
 In Spain I passed five years . . . Bible in Spain
On the afternoon of the 6th of December . . . Bible in Spain
I know of few things . . . Bible in Spain
It was not without reason . . . Bible in Spain
Apropos of bull-fighters . . . Bible in Spain
The waiter drew the cork . . . Romany Rye
Leaving the bridge . . . Lavengro
I went to Belle's habitation . . . Romany Rye
I found Belle seated by a fire . . . Lavengro
I put some fresh wood on the fire . . . Lavengro
After ordering dinner . . . Wild Wales
The strength of the ox . . . The Targum
I began to think . . . Romany Rye
On I went . . . Romany Rye
As I was gazing . . . Wild Wales
"Pray, gentleman, walk in!" . . . Wild Wales
Now, real Republicanism . . . Romany Rye
"Does your honour remember?" . . . Wild Wales
I was the last of the file . . . Wild Wales
For dinner . . . Wild Wales
Came to Tregeiriog . . . Wild Wales
The name "Pump Saint" . . . Wild Wales
After the days of the great persecution . . . Zincali




GEORGE BORROW
SELECTED PASSAGES


It is very possible that the reader during his country walks or rides has
observed, on coming to four cross-roads, two or three handfuls of grass
lying at a small distance from each other down one of these roads;
perhaps he may have supposed that this grass was recently plucked from
the roadside by frolicsome children, and flung upon the ground in sport,
and this may possibly have been the case; it is ten chances to one,
however, that no children's hands plucked them, but that they were
strewed in this manner by Gypsies, for the purpose of informing any of
their companions, who might be straggling behind, the route which they
had taken; this is one form of the patteran or trail.  It is likely, too,
that the gorgio reader may have seen a cross drawn at the entrance of a
road, the long part or stem of it pointing down that particular road, and
he may have thought nothing of it, or have supposed that some sauntering
individual like himself had made the mark with his stick: not so,
courteous gorgio; ley tiro solloholomus opre lesti, _you may take your
oath upon it_ that it was drawn by a Gypsy finger, for that mark is
another of the Rommany trails; there is no mistake in this.  Once in the
south of France, when I was weary, hungry, and penniless, I observed one
of these last patterans, and following the direction pointed out, arrived
at the resting-place of 'certain Bohemians,' by whom I was received with
kindness and hospitality, on the faith of no other word of recommendation
than patteran.  There is also another kind of patteran, which is more
particularly adapted for the night; it is a cleft stick stuck at the side
of the road, close by the hedge, with a little arm in the cleft pointing
down the road which the band have taken, in the manner of a signpost; any
stragglers who may arrive at night where cross-roads occur search for
this patteran on the left-hand side, and speedily rejoin their
companions.

By following these patterans, or trails, the first Gypsies on their way
to Europe never lost each other, though wandering amidst horrid
wildernesses and dreary denies.  Rommany matters have always had a
peculiar interest for me; nothing, however, connected with Gypsy life
ever more captivated my imagination than this patteran system: many
thanks to the Gypsies for it; it has more than once been of service to
me.

* * * * *

'Are you of the least use?  Are you not spoken ill of by everybody?
What's a gypsy?'

'What's the bird noising yonder, brother?'

'The bird! oh, that's the cuckoo tolling; but what has the cuckoo to do
with the matter?'

'We'll see, brother; what's the cuckoo?'

'What is it? you know as much about it as myself, Jasper.'

'Isn't it a kind of roguish, chaffing bird, brother?'

'I believe it is, Jasper.'

'Nobody knows whence it comes, brother?'

'I believe not, Jasper.'

'Very poor, brother, not a nest of its own?'

'So they say, Jasper.'

'With every person's bad word, brother?'

'Yes, Jasper; every person is mocking it.'

'Tolerably merry, brother?'

'Yes, tolerably merry, Jasper.'

'Of no use at all, brother?'

'None whatever, Jasper.'

'You would be glad to get rid of the cuckoos, brother?'

'Why, not exactly, Jasper; the cuckoo is a pleasant, funny bird, and its
presence and voice give a great charm to the green trees and fields; no,
I can't say I wish exactly to get rid of the cuckoo.'

'Well, brother, what's a Rommany chal?'

'You must answer that question yourself, Jasper.'

'A roguish, chaffing, fellow; ain't he, brother?'

'Ay, ay, Jasper.'

'Of no use at all, brother?'

'Just so, Jasper; I see--'

'Something very much like a cuckoo, brother?'

'I see what you are after, Jasper.'

'You would like to get rid of us, wouldn't you?'

'Why, no; not exactly.'

'We are no ornament to the green lanes in spring and summer time; are we,
brother? and the voices of our chies, with their cukkerin and dukkerin,
don't help to make them pleasant?'

'I see what you are at, Jasper.'

'You would wish to turn the cuckoos into barn-door fowls, wouldn't you?'

'Can't say I should, Jasper, whatever some people might wish.'

'And the chals and chies into radical weavers and factory wenches; hey,
brother?'

'Can't say that I should, Jasper.  You are certainly a picturesque
people, and in many respects an ornament both to town and country;
painting and lil writing too are under great obligations to you.  What
pretty pictures are made out of your campings and groupings, and what
pretty books have been written in which gypsies, or at least creatures
intended to represent gypsies, have been the principal figures.  I think
if we were without you, we should begin to miss you.'

'Just as you would the cuckoos, if they were all converted into barn-door
fowls.  I tell you what, brother; frequently, as I have sat under a hedge
in spring or summer time, and heard the cuckoo, I have thought that we
chals and cuckoos are alike in many respects, but especially in
character.  Everybody speaks ill of us both, and everybody is glad to see
both of us again.'

* * * * *

'People are becoming vastly sharp,' said Mr. Petulengro; 'and I am told
that all the old-fashioned good-tempered constables are going to be set
aside, and a paid body of men to be established, who are not to permit a
tramper or vagabond on the roads of England; and talking of roads, puts
me in mind of a strange story I heard two nights ago, whilst drinking
some beer at a public-house, in company with my cousin Sylvester.  I had
asked Tawno to go, but his wife would not let him.  Just opposite me,
smoking their pipes, were a couple of men, something like engineers, and
they were talking of a wonderful invention which was to make a wonderful
alteration in England; inasmuch as it would set aside all the old roads,
which in a little time would be ploughed up, and sowed with corn, and
cause all England to be laid down with iron roads, on which people would
go thundering along in vehicles, pushed forward by fire and smoke.  Now,
brother, when I heard this, I did not feel very comfortable; for I
thought to myself, what a queer place such a road would be to pitch one's
tent upon, and how impossible it would be for one's cattle to find a bite
of grass upon it; and I thought likewise of the danger to which one's
family would be exposed of being run over and severely scorched by these
same flying fiery vehicles; so I made bold to say, that I hoped such an
invention would never be countenanced, because it was likely to do a
great deal of harm.  Whereupon, one of the men, giving me a glance, said,
without taking the pipe out of his mouth, that for his part, he sincerely
hoped that it would take effect; and if it did no other good than
stopping the rambles of gypsies, and other like scamps, it ought to be
encouraged.  Well, brother, feeling myself insulted, I put my hand into
my pocket, in order to pull out money, intending to challenge him to
fight for a five-shilling stake, but merely found sixpence, having left
all my other money at the tent; which sixpence was just sufficient to pay
for the beer which Sylvester and myself were drinking, of whom I couldn't
hope to borrow anything--"poor as Sylvester" being a by-word amongst us.
So, not being able to back myself, I held my peace, and let the gorgio
have it all his own way, who, after turning up his nose at me, went on
discoursing about the said invention, saying what a fund of profit it
would be to those who knew how to make use of it, and should have the
laying down of the new roads, and the shoeing of England with iron.  And
after he had said this, and much more of the same kind, which I cannot
remember, he and his companion got up and walked away; and presently I
and Sylvester got up and walked to our camp; and there I lay down in my
tent by the side of my wife, where I had an ugly dream of having camped
upon an iron road; my tent being overturned by a flying vehicle; my
wife's leg injured; and all my affairs put into great confusion.'

* * * * *

'Will you take a glass of wine?'

'Yes.'

'That's right; what shall it be?'

'Madeira!'

The magistrate gave a violent slap on his knee; 'I like your taste,' said
he, 'I am fond of a glass of Madeira myself, and can give you such a one
as you will not drink every day; sit down, young gentleman, you shall
have a glass of Madeira, and the best I have.'

Thereupon he got up, and, followed by his two terriers, walked slowly out
of the room.

I looked round the room, and, seeing nothing which promised me much
amusement, I sat down, and fell again into my former train of thought.

'What is truth?' said I.

'Here it is,' said the magistrate, returning at the end of a quarter of
an hour, followed by the servant with a tray; 'here's the true thing, or
I am no judge, far less a justice.  It has been thirty years in my cellar
last Christmas.  There,' said he to the servant, 'put it down, and leave
my young friend and me to ourselves.  Now, what do you think of it?'

'It is very good,' said I.

'Did you ever taste better Madeira?'

'I never before tasted Madeira.'

'Then you ask for a wine without knowing what it is?'

'I ask for it, sir, that I may know what it is.'

'Well, there is logic in that, as Parr would say; you have heard of
Parr?'

'Old Parr?'

'Yes, old Parr, but not that Parr; you mean the English, I the Greek
Parr, as people call him.'

'I don't know him.'

'Perhaps not--rather too young for that, but were you of my age, you
might have cause to know him, coming from where you do.  He kept school
there, I was his first scholar; he flogged Greek into me till I loved
him--and he loved me.  He came to see me last year, and sat in that
chair; I honour Parr--he knows much, and is a sound man.'

'Does he know the truth?'

'Know the truth! he knows what's good, from an oyster to an ostrich--he's
not only sound but round.'

'Suppose we drink his health?'

'Thank you, boy: here's Parr's health, and Whiter's.'

'Who is Whiter?'

'Don't you know Whiter?  I thought everybody knew Reverend Whiter, the
philologist, though I suppose you scarcely know what that means.  A man
fond of tongues and languages, quite out of your way--he understands some
twenty; what do you say to that?'

'Is he a sound man?'

'Why, as to that, I scarcely know what to say; he has got queer notions
in his head--wrote a book to prove that all words came originally from
the earth--who knows?  Words have roots, and roots live in the earth;
but, upon the whole, I should not call him altogether a sound man, though
he can talk Greek nearly as fast as Parr.'

'Is he a round man?'

'Ay, boy, rounder than Parr; I'll sing you a song, if you like, which
will let you into his character:--

   '"Give me the haunch of a buck to eat, and to drink Madeira old,
   And a gentle wife to rest with, and in my arms to fold,
   An Arabic book to study, a Norfolk cob to ride,
   And a house to live in shaded with trees, and near to a river side;
   With such good things around me, and blessed with good health withal,
   Though I should live for a hundred years, for death I would not call."

Here's to Whiter's health--so you know nothing about the fight?'

'No, sir; the truth is, that of late I have been very much occupied with
various matters, otherwise I should, perhaps, have been able to afford
you some information.  Boxing is a noble art.'

'Can you box?'

'A little.'

'I tell you what, my boy; I honour you, and, provided your education had
been a little less limited, I should have been glad to see you here in
company with Parr and Whiter; both can box.  Boxing is, as you say, a
noble art--a truly English art; may I never see the day when Englishmen
shall feel ashamed of it, or blacklegs and blackguards bring it into
disgrace!  I am a magistrate, and, of course, cannot patronize the thing
very openly, yet I sometimes see a prize-fight.  I saw the Game Chicken
beat Gulley.'

* * * * *

One day it happened that, being on my rambles, I entered a green lane
which I had never seen before; at first it was rather narrow, but as I
advanced it became considerably wider; in the middle was a driftway with
deep ruts, but right and left was a space carpeted with a sward of
trefoil and clover; there was no lack of trees, chiefly ancient oaks,
which, flinging out their arms from either side, nearly formed a canopy,
and afforded a pleasing shelter from the rays of the sun, which was
burning fiercely above.  Suddenly a group of objects attracted my
attention.  Beneath one of the largest of the trees, upon the grass, was
a kind of low tent or booth, from the top of which a thin smoke was
curling; beside it stood a couple of light carts, whilst two or three
lean horses or ponies were cropping the herbage which was growing nigh.
Wondering to whom this odd tent could belong, I advanced till I was close
before it, when I found that it consisted of two tilts, like those of
waggons, placed upon the ground and fronting each other, connected behind
by a sail or large piece of canvas, which was but partially drawn across
the top; upon the ground, in the intervening space, was a fire, over
which, supported by a kind of iron crowbar, hung a cauldron.  My advance
had been so noiseless as not to alarm the inmates, who consisted of a man
and woman, who sat apart, one on each side of the fire; they were both
busily employed--the man was carding plaited straw, whilst the woman
seemed to be rubbing something with a white powder, some of which lay on
a plate beside her.  Suddenly the man looked up, and, perceiving me,
uttered a strange kind of cry, and the next moment both the woman and
himself were on their feet and rushing upon me.

I retreated a few steps, yet without turning to flee.  I was not,
however, without apprehension, which, indeed, the appearance of these two
people was well calculated to inspire.  The woman was a stout figure,
seemingly between thirty and forty; she wore no cap, and her long hair
fell on either side of her head, like horse-tails, half-way down her
waist; her skin was dark and swarthy, like that of a toad, and the
expression of her countenance was particularly evil; her arms were bare,
and her bosom was but half-concealed by a slight bodice, below which she
wore a coarse petticoat, her only other article of dress.  The man was
somewhat younger, but of a figure equally wild; his frame was long and
lathy, but his arms were remarkably short, his neck was rather bent, he
squinted slightly, and his mouth was much awry; his complexion was dark,
but, unlike that of the woman, was more ruddy than livid; there was a
deep scar on his cheek, something like the impression of a halfpenny.  The
dress was quite in keeping with the figure: in his hat, which was
slightly peaked, was stuck a peacock's feather; over a waistcoat of hide,
untanned and with the hair upon it, he wore a rough jerkin of russet hue;
small clothes of leather, which had probably once belonged to a soldier,
but with which pipe-clay did not seem to have come in contact for many a
year, protected his lower man as far as the knee; his legs were cased in
long stockings of blue worsted, and on his shoes he wore immense
old-fashioned buckles.

* * * * *

Because they have been known to beg the carcass of a hog which they
themselves have poisoned, it has been asserted that they prefer carrion
which has perished of sickness to the meat of the shambles; and because
they have been seen to make a ragout of boror (snails), and to roast a
hotchiwitchu or hedgehog, it has been supposed that reptiles of every
description form a part of their cuisine.  It is high time to undeceive
the Gentiles on these points.  Know, then, O Gentile, whether thou be
from the land of the Gorgios or the Busne, that the very Gypsies who
consider a ragout of snails a delicious dish will not touch an eel,
because it bears resemblance to a snake; and that those who will feast on
a roasted hedgehog could be induced by no money to taste a squirrel, a
delicious and wholesome species of game, living on the purest and most
nutritious food which the fields and forests can supply.  I myself, while
living among the Roms of England, have been regarded almost in the light
of a cannibal for cooking the latter animal and preferring it to
hotchiwitchu barbecued, or ragout of boror.  'You are but half Rommany,
brother,' they would say, 'and you feed gorgiko-nes (like a Gentile),
even as you talk.  Tchachipen (in truth), if we did not know you to be of
the Mecralliskoe rat (royal blood) of Pharaoh, we should be justified in
driving you forth as a juggel-mush (dog man), one more fitted to keep
company with wild beasts and Gorgios than gentle Rommanys.'

* * * * *

One fact has always struck us with particular force in the history of
these people, namely, that Gitanismo--which means Gypsy villainy of every
description--flourished and knew nothing of decay so long as the laws
recommended and enjoined measures the most harsh and severe for the
suppression of the Gypsy sect; the palmy days of Gitanismo were those in
which the caste was proscribed, and its members, in the event of
renouncing their Gypsy habits, had nothing farther to expect than the
occupation of tilling the earth, a dull hopeless toil; then it was that
the Gitanos paid tribute to the inferior ministers of justice, and were
engaged in illicit connection with those of higher station and by such
means baffled the law, whose vengeance rarely fell upon their heads; and
then it was that they bid it open defiance, retiring to the deserts and
mountains, and living in wild independence by rapine and shedding of
blood; for as the law then stood they would lose all by resigning their
Gitanismo, whereas by clinging to it they lived either in the
independence so dear to them, or beneath the protection of their
confederates.  It would appear that in proportion as the law was harsh
and severe, so was the Gitano bold and secure.

* * * * *

Many of them reside in caves scooped in the sides of the ravines which
lead to the higher regions of the Alpujarras, on a skirt of which stands
Granada.  A common occupation of the Gitanos of Granada is working in
iron, and it is not unfrequent to find these caves tenanted by Gypsy
smiths and their families, who ply the hammer and forge in the bowels of
the earth.  To one standing at the mouth of the cave, especially at
night, they afford a picturesque spectacle.  Gathered round the forge,
their bronzed and naked bodies, illuminated by the flame, appear like
figures of demons, while the cave, with its flinty sides and uneven roof,
blackened by the charcoal vapours which hover about it in festoons, seems
to offer no inadequate representation of fabled purgatory.

* * * * *

It has always struck me that there is something highly poetical about a
forge I am not singular in this opinion: various individuals have assured
me that they can never pass by one, even in the midst of a crowded town,
without experiencing sensations which they can scarcely define, but which
are highly pleasurable.  I have a decided penchant for forges, especially
rural ones, placed in some quaint, quiet spot--a dingle for example,
which is a poetical place, or at a meeting of four roads, which is still
more so, for how many a superstition--and superstition is the soul of
poetry--is connected with these cross roads!  I love to light upon such a
one, especially after nightfall, as everything about a forge tells to
most advantage at night, the hammer sounds more solemnly in the
stillness, the glowing particles scattered by the strokes sparkle with
more effect in the darkness, whilst the sooty visage of the sastramescro,
half in shadow, and half illumined by the red and partial blaze of the
forge, looks more mysterious and strange.  On such occasions I draw in my
horse's rein, and seated in the saddle endeavour to associate with the
picture before me--in itself a picture of romance--whatever of the wild
and wonderful I have read of in books, or have seen with my own eyes in
connection with forges.

* * * * *

A sound was heard like the rapid galloping of a horse, not loud and
distinct as on a road, but dull and heavy as if upon a grass sward,
nearer and nearer it came, and the man, starting up, rushed out of the
tent, and looked around anxiously.  I arose from the stool upon which I
had been seated, and just at that moment, amidst a crashing of boughs and
sticks, a man on horseback bounded over the hedge into the lane at a few
yards' distance from where we were; from the impetus of the leap the
horse was nearly down on his knees; the rider, however, by dint of
vigorous handling of the reins, prevented him from falling, and then rode
up to the tent.  ''Tis Nat,' said the man; 'what brings him here?'  The
new comer was a stout, burly fellow, about the middle age; he had a
savage, determined look, and his face was nearly covered over with
carbuncles; he wore a broad slouching hat, and was dressed in a grey
coat, cut in a fashion which I afterwards learnt to be the genuine
Newmarket cut, the skirts being exceedingly short; his waistcoat was of
red plush, and he wore broad corduroy breeches and white top-boots.  The
steed which carried him was of iron grey, spirited and powerful, but
covered with sweat and foam.  The fellow glanced fiercely and
suspiciously around, and said something to the man of the tent in a harsh
and rapid voice.  A short and hurried conversation ensued in the strange
tongue.  I could not take my eyes off this new comer.  Oh, that
half-jockey half-bruiser countenance, I never forgot it!  More than
fifteen years afterwards I found myself amidst a crowd before Newgate; a
gallows was erected, and beneath it stood a criminal, a notorious
malefactor.  I recognised him at once; the horseman of the lane is now
beneath the fatal tree, but nothing altered; still the same man; jerking
his head to the right and left with the same fierce under-glance, just as
if the affairs of this world had the same kind of interest to the last;
grey coat of Newmarket cut, plush waistcoat, corduroys, and boots,
nothing altered; but the head, alas! is bare and so is the neck.  Oh,
crime and virtue, virtue and crime!--it was old John Newton I think, who,
when he saw a man going to be hanged, said: 'There goes John Newton, but
for the grace of God!'

* * * * *

After much feasting, drinking, and yelling, in the Gypsy house, the
bridal train sallied forth--a frantic spectacle.  First of all marched a
villainous jockey-looking fellow, holding in his hands, uplifted, a long
pole, at the top of which fluttered in the morning air a snow-white
cambric handkerchief, emblem of the bride's purity.  Then came the
betrothed pair, followed by their nearest friends; then a rabble rout of
Gypsies, screaming and shouting, and discharging guns and pistols, till
all around rang with the din, and the village dogs barked.  On arriving
at the church gate, the fellow who bore the pole stuck it into the ground
with a loud huzza, and the train, forming two ranks, defiled into the
church on either side of the pole and its strange ornaments.  On the
conclusion of the ceremony, they returned in the same manner in which
they had come.

Throughout the day there was nothing going on but singing, drinking,
feasting, and dancing; but the most singular part of the festival was
reserved for the dark night.  Nearly a ton weight of sweetmeats had been
prepared, at an enormous expense, not for the gratification of the
palate, but for a purpose purely Gypsy.  These sweetmeats of all kinds,
and of all forms, but principally yemas, or yolks of eggs prepared with a
crust of sugar (a delicious bonne-bouche), were strewn on the floor of a
large room, at least to the depth of three inches.  Into this room, at a
given signal, tripped the bride and bridegroom, dancing romalis, followed
amain by all the Gitanos and Gitanas, dancing romalis.  To convey a
slight idea of the scene is almost beyond the power of words.  In a few
minutes the sweetmeats were reduced to a powder, or rather to a mud, the
dancers were soiled to the knees with sugar, fruits, and yolks of eggs.
Still more terrific became the lunatic merriment.  The men sprang high
into the air, neighed, brayed, and crowed; whilst the Gitanas snapped
their fingers in their own fashion, louder than castanets, distorting
their forms into all kinds of obscene attitudes, and uttering words to
repeat which were an abomination.  In a corner of the apartment capered
the while Sebastianillo, a convict Gypsy from Melilla, strumming the
guitar most furiously, and producing demoniacal sounds which had some
resemblance to Malbrun (Malbrouk), and, as he strummed, repeating at
intervals the Gypsy modification of the song.

* * * * *

The English Gypsies are constant attendants at the racecourse; what
jockey is not?  Perhaps jockeyism originated with them, and even racing,
at least in England.  Jockeyism properly implies _the management of a
whip_, and the word jockey is neither more nor less than the term
slightly modified, by which they designate the formidable whips which
they usually carry, and which are at present in general use amongst horse-
traffickers, under the title of jockey whips.  They are likewise fond of
resorting to the prize-ring, and have occasionally even attained some
eminence, as principals, in those disgraceful and brutalizing exhibitions
called pugilistic combats.  I believe a great deal has been written on
the subject of the English Gypsies, but the writers have dwelt too much
in generalities; they have been afraid to take the Gypsy by the hand,
lead him forth from the crowd, and exhibit him, in the area; he is well
worth observing.  When a boy of fourteen, I was present at a prize-fight;
why should I hide the truth?  It took place on a green meadow, beside a
running stream, close by the old church of E---, and within a league of
the ancient town of N---, the capital of one of the eastern counties.  The
terrible Thurtell was present, lord of the concourse; for wherever he
moved he was master, and whenever he spoke, even when in chains, every
other voice was silent.  He stood on the mead, grim and pale as usual,
with his bruisers around.  He it was, indeed, who _got up_ the fight, as
he had previously done twenty others; it being his frequent boast that he
had first introduced bruising and bloodshed amidst rural scenes, and
transformed a quiet slumbering town into a den of Jews and metropolitan
thieves.  Some time before the commencement of the combat, three men,
mounted on wild-looking horses, came dashing down the road in the
direction of the meadow, in the midst of which they presently showed
themselves, their horses clearing the deep ditches with wonderful
alacrity.  'That's Gypsy Will and his gang,' lisped a Hebrew pickpocket;
'we shall have another fight.'  The word Gypsy was always sufficient to
excite my curiosity, and I looked attentively at the new-comers.

I have seen Gypsies of various lands, Russian, Hungarian, and Turkish;
and I have also seen the legitimate children of most countries of the
world; but I never saw, upon the whole, three more remarkable
individuals, as far as personal appearance was concerned, than the three
English Gypsies who now presented themselves to my eyes on that spot.  Two
of them had dismounted, and were holding their horses by the reins.  The
tallest, and, at the first glance, the most interesting of the two, was
almost a giant, for his height could not have been less than six feet
three.  It is impossible for the imagination to conceive anything more
perfectly beautiful than were the features of this man, and the most
skilful sculptor of Greece might have taken them as his model for a hero
and a god.  The forehead was exceedingly lofty,--a rare thing in a Gypsy;
the nose less Roman than Grecian,--fine yet delicate; the eye large,
overhung with long drooping lashes, giving them almost a melancholy
expression; it was only when the lashes were elevated that the Gypsy
glance was seen, if that can be called a glance which is a strange stare,
like nothing else in this world.  His complexion was a beautiful olive;
and his teeth were of a brilliancy uncommon even amongst these people,
who have all fine teeth.  He was dressed in a coarse waggoner's slop,
which, however, was unable to conceal altogether the proportions of his
noble and Herculean figure.  He might be about twenty-eight.  His
companion and his captain, Gypsy Will, was, I think, fifty when he was
hanged, ten years subsequently (for I never afterwards lost sight of
him), in the front of the jail of Bury St. Edmunds.  I have still present
before me his bushy black hair, his black face, and his big black eyes
fixed and staring.  His dress consisted of a loose blue jockey coat,
jockey boots and breeches; in his hand was a huge jockey whip, and on his
head (it struck me at the time for its singularity) a broad-brimmed high-
peaked Andalusian hat, or at least one very much resembling those
generally worn in that province.  In stature he was shorter than his more
youthful companion, yet he must have measured six feet at least, and was
stronger built, if possible.  What brawn!--what bone!--what legs!--what
thighs!  The third Gypsy, who remained on horseback, looked more like a
phantom than anything human.  His complexion was the colour of pale dust,
and of that same colour was all that pertained to him, hat and clothes.
His boots were dusty of course, for it was midsummer, and his very horse
was of a dusty dun.  His features were whimsically ugly, most of his
teeth were gone, and as to his age, he might be thirty or sixty.  He was
somewhat lame and halt, but an unequalled rider when once upon his steed,
which he was naturally not very solicitous to quit.  I subsequently
discovered that he was considered the wizard of the gang.

I have been already prolix with respect to these Gypsies, but I will not
leave them quite yet.  The intended combatants at length arrived; it was
necessary to clear the ring,--always a troublesome and difficult task.
Thurtell went up to the two Gypsies, with whom he seemed to be
acquainted, and with his surly smile, said two or three words, which I,
who was standing by, did not understand.  The Gypsies smiled in return,
and giving the reins of their animals to their mounted companion,
immediately set about the task which the king of the flash-men had, as I
conjecture, imposed upon them; this they soon accomplished.  Who could
stand against such fellows and such whips?  The fight was soon over--then
there was a pause.  Once more Thurtell came up to the Gypsies and said
something--the Gypsies looked at each other and conversed; but their
words then had no meaning for my ears.  The tall Gypsy shook his
head--'Very well,' said the other, in English, 'I will--that's all.'

Then pushing the people aside, he strode to the ropes, over which he
bounded into the ring, flinging his Spanish hat high into the air.

Gypsy Will.--'The best man in England for twenty pounds!'

Thurtell.--'I am backer!'

Twenty pounds is a tempting sum, and there were men that day upon the
green meadow who would have shed the blood of their own fathers for the
fifth of the price.  But the Gypsy was not an unknown man, his prowess
and strength were notorious, and no one cared to encounter him.  Some of
the Jews looked eager for a moment; but their sharp eyes quailed quickly
before his savage glances, as he towered in the ring his huge form
dilating, and his black features convulsed with excitement.  The
Westminster bravoes eyed the Gypsy askance; but the comparison, if they
made any, seemed by no means favourable to themselves.  'Gypsy! rum
chap.--Ugly customer,--always in training.'  Such were the exclamations
which I heard, some of which at that period of my life I did not
understand.

No man would fight the Gypsy.--Yes! a strong country fellow wished to win
the stakes, and was about to fling up his hat in defiance, but he was
prevented by his friends, with--'Fool! he'll kill you!'

As the Gypsies were mounting their horses, I heard the dusty phantom
exclaim--

'Brother, you are an arrant ring-maker and a horse-breaker; you'll make a
hempen ring to break your own neck of a horse one of these days.'

They pressed their horses' flanks, again leaped over the ditches, and
speedily vanished, amidst the whirlwinds of dust which they raised upon
the road.

The words of the phantom Gypsy were ominous.  Gypsy Will was eventually
executed for a murder committed in his early youth in company with two
English labourers, one of whom confessed the fact on his death-bed.  He
was the head of the clan Young, which, with the clan Smith, still haunts
two of the eastern counties.

* * * * *

'I say, Jasper, what remarkable names your people have!'

'And what pretty names, brother; there's my own for example, Jasper; then
there's Ambrose and Sylvester; then there's Culvato, which signifies
Claude; then there's Piramus--that's a nice name, brother.'

'Then there's your wife's name, Pakomovna; then there's Ursula and
Morella.'

'Then, brother, there's Ercilla.'

'Ercilla! the name of the great poet of Spain, how wonderful; then
Leviathan.'

'The name of a ship, brother; Leviathan was named after a ship, so don't
make a wonder out of her.  But there's Sanpriel and Synfye.'

'Ay, and Clementina and Lavinia, Camillia and Lydia, Curlanda and
Orlanda; wherever did they get those names?'

'Where did my wife get her necklace, brother?'

'She knows best, Jasper.  I hope--'

'Come, no hoping!  She got it from her grandmother, who died at the age
of 103, and sleeps in Coggeshall churchyard.  She got it from her mother,
who also died very old, and who could give no other account of it than
that it had been in the family time out of mind.'

'Whence could they have got it?'

'Why, perhaps where they got their names, brother.  A gentleman, who had
travelled much, once told me that he had seen the sister of it about the
neck of an Indian queen.'

'Some of your names, Jasper, appear to be church names; your own, for
example, and Ambrose, and Sylvester; perhaps you got them from the
Papists, in the times of Popery; but where did you get such a name as
Piramus, a name of Grecian romance?  Then some of them appear to be
Slavonian; for example, Mikailia and Pakomovna.  I don't know much of
Slavonian; but--'

'What is Slavonian, brother?'

'The family name of certain nations, the principal of which is the
Russian, and from which the word slave is originally derived.  You have
heard of the Russians, Jasper?'

'Yes, brother, and seen some.  I saw their crallis at the time of the
peace; he was not a bad-looking man for a Russian.'

'By-the-bye, Jasper, I'm half-inclined to think that crallis is a Slavish
word.  I saw something like it in a lil called Voltaire's Life of
Charles.  How you should have come by such names and words is to me
incomprehensible.'

* * * * *

'What is your opinion of death, Mr. Petulengro?' said I, as I sat down
beside him.

'My opinion of death, brother, is much the same as that in the old song
of Pharaoh, which I have heard my grandam sing:--

   '"Cana marel o manus chivios ande puv,
   Ta rovel pa leste o chavo ta romi."

When a man dies, he is cast into the earth, and his wife and child sorrow
over him.  If he has neither wife nor child, then his father and mother,
I suppose; and if he is quite alone in the world, why, then, he is cast
into the earth, and there is an end of the matter.'

'And do you think that is the end of a man?'

'There's an end of him, brother, more's the pity.'

'Why do you say so?'

'Life is sweet, brother.'

'Do you think so?'

'Think so!  There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon,
and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise the wind on the
heath.  Life is very sweet, brother; who would wish to die?'

'I would wish to die--'

'You talk like a gorgio--which is the same as talking like a fool--were
you a Rommany Chal you would talk wiser.  Wish to die, indeed!  A Rommany
Chal would wish to live for ever!'

'In sickness, Jasper?'

'There's the sun and stars, brother.'

'In blindness, Jasper?'

'There's the wind on the heath, brother; if I could only feel that, I
would gladly live for ever.  Dosta, we'll now go to the tents and put on
the gloves; and I'll try to make you feel what a sweet thing it is to be
alive, brother!'

* * * * *

Beating of women by the lords of the creation has become very prevalent
in England since pugilism has been discountenanced.  Now the writer
strongly advises any woman who is struck by a ruffian to strike him
again; or if she cannot clench her fists, and he advises all women in
these singular times to learn to clench their fists, to go at him with
tooth and nail, and not to be afraid of the result, for any fellow who is
dastard enough to strike a woman, would allow himself to be beaten by a
woman, were she to make at him in self-defence, even if, instead of
possessing the stately height and athletic proportions of the aforesaid
Isopel, she were as diminutive in stature, and had a hand as delicate,
and foot as small, as a certain royal lady, who was some time ago
assaulted by a fellow upwards of six feet high, whom the writer has no
doubt she could have beaten had she thought proper to go at him.  Such is
the deliberate advice of the author to his countrymen and women--advice
in which he believes there is nothing unscriptural or repugnant to common
sense.

* * * * *

Of my wife I will merely say that she is a perfect paragon of wives--can
make puddings and sweets and treacle posset, and is the best woman of
business in Eastern Anglia--of my step-daughter--for such she is, though
I generally call her daughter, and with good reason, seeing that she has
always shown herself a daughter to me--that she has all kinds of good
qualities, and several accomplishments, knowing something of conchology,
more of botany, drawing capitally in the Dutch style, and playing
remarkably well on the guitar--not the trumpery German thing
so-called--but the real Spanish guitar.

* * * * *

In the summer of the year 1854 myself, wife, and daughter determined upon
going into Wales, to pass a few months there.  We are country people of a
corner of East Anglia, and, at the time of which I am speaking, had been
residing so long on our own little estate, that we had become tired of
the objects around us, and conceived that we should be all the better for
changing the scene for a short period.  We were undetermined for some
time with respect to where we should go.  I proposed Wales from the
first, but my wife and daughter, who have always had rather a hankering
after what is fashionable, said they thought it would be more advisable
to go to Harrowgate, or Leamington.  On my observing that those were
terrible places for expense, they replied that, though the price of corn
had of late been shamefully low, we had a spare hundred pounds or two in
our pockets, and could afford to pay for a little insight into
fashionable life.  I told them that there was nothing I so much hated as
fashionable life, but that, as I was anything but a selfish person, I
would endeavour to stifle my abhorrence of it for a time, and attend them
either to Leamington or Harrowgate.  By this speech I obtained my wish,
even as I knew I should, for my wife and daughter instantly observed,
that, after all, they thought we had better go into Wales, which, though
not so fashionable as either Leamington or Harrowgate, was a very nice
picturesque country, where, they had no doubt, they should get on very
well, more especially as I was acquainted with the Welsh language.

* * * * *

'_Fear God_, and take your own part.  There's Bible in that, young man;
see how Moses feared God, and how he took his own part against everybody
who meddled with him.  And see how David feared God, and took his own
part against all the bloody enemies which surrounded him--so fear God,
young man, and never give in!  The world can bully, and is fond, provided
it sees a man in a kind of difficulty, of getting about him, calling him
coarse names, and even going so far as to hustle him: but the world, like
all bullies, carries a white feather in its tail, and no sooner sees the
man taking off his coat, and offering to fight its best, than it scatters
here and there, and is always civil to him afterwards.  So when folks are
disposed to ill-treat you, young man, say, "Lord have mercy upon me!" and
then tip them Long Melford, to which, as the saying goes, there is
nothing comparable for shortness all the world over; and these last
words, young man, are the last you will ever have from her who is
nevertheless,

'Your affectionate female servant,
'Isopel Berners.'

* * * * *

Soldiers and sailors promoted to command are said to be in general
tyrants; in nine cases out of ten, when they are tyrants, they have been
obliged to have recourse to extreme severity in order to protect
themselves from the insolence and mutinous spirit of the men,--'He is no
better than ourselves: shoot him, bayonet him, or fling him overboard!'
they say of some obnoxious individual raised above them by his merit.
Soldiers and sailors in general, will bear any amount of tyranny from a
lordly sot, or the son of a man who has 'plenty of brass'--their own
term--but will mutiny against the just orders of a skilful and brave
officer who 'is no better than themselves.'  There was the affair of the
Bounty, for example: Bligh was one of the best seamen that ever trod
deck, and one of the bravest of men; proofs of his seamanship he gave by
steering, amidst dreadful weather, a deeply laden boat for nearly four
thousand miles over an almost unknown ocean--of his bravery, at the fight
of Copenhagen, one of the most desperate ever fought, of which after
Nelson he was the hero: he was, moreover, not an unkind man; but the crew
of the Bounty mutinied against him, and set him half naked in an open
boat, with certain of his men who remained faithful to him, and ran away
with the ship.  Their principal motive for doing so was an idea, whether
true or groundless the writer cannot say, that Bligh was 'no better than
themselves'; he was certainly neither a lord's illegitimate, nor
possessed of twenty thousand pounds.

* * * * *

There they come, the bruisers, from far London, or from wherever else
they might chance to be at that time, to the great rendezvous in the old
city; some came one way, some another: some of tip-top reputation came
with peers in their chariots, for glory and fame are such fair things
that even peers are proud to have those invested therewith by their
sides; others came in their own gigs, driving their own bits of blood,
and I heard one say: 'I have driven through at a heat the whole one
hundred and eleven miles, and only stopped to bait twice.'  Oh, the blood-
horses of old England! but they too have had their day--for everything
beneath the sun there is a season and a time.  But the greater number
come just as they can contrive; on the tops of coaches, for example; and
amongst these there are fellows with dark sallow faces and sharp shining
eyes; and it is these that have planted rottenness in the core of
pugilism, for they are Jews, and, true to their kind, have only base
lucre in view.

It was fierce old Cobbett, I think, who first said that the Jews first
introduced bad faith amongst pugilists.  He did not always speak the
truth, but at any rate he spoke it when he made that observation.  Strange
people the Jews--endowed with every gift but one, and that the highest,
genius divine,--genius which can alone make of men demigods, and elevate
them above earth and what is earthy and what is grovelling; without which
a clever nation--and who more clever than the Jews?--may have Rambams in
plenty, but never a Fielding nor a Shakespeare; a Rothschild and a
Mendoza, yes--but never a Kean nor a Belcher.

So the bruisers of England are come to be present at the grand fight
speedily coming off; there they are met in the precincts of the old town,
near the Field of the Chapel, planted with tender saplings at the
restoration of sporting Charles, which are now become venerable elms, as
high as many a steeple; there they are met at a fitting rendezvous, where
a retired coachman, with one leg, keeps an hotel and a bowling-green.  I
think I now see them upon the bowling-green, the men of renown, amidst
hundreds of people with no renown at all, who gaze upon them with timid
wonder.  Fame, after all, is a glorious thing, though it lasts only for a
day.  There's Cribb, the champion of England, and perhaps the best man in
England; there he is, with his huge, massive figure, and face wonderfully
like that of a lion.  There is Belcher, the younger, not the mighty one,
who is gone to his place, but the Teucer Belcher, the most scientific
pugilist that ever entered a ring, only wanting strength to be, I won't
say what.  He appears to walk before me now, as he did that evening, with
his white hat, white greatcoat, thin, genteel figure, springy step, and
keen, determined eye.  Crosses him--what a contrast!--grim, savage
Shelton, who has a civil word for nobody, and a hard blow for
anybody--hard! one blow, given with the proper play of his athletic arm,
will unsense a giant.  Yonder individual, who strolls about with his
hands behind him, supporting his brown coat lappets, undersized, and who
looks anything but what he is, is the king of the light weights, so
called,--Randall! the terrible Randall, who has Irish blood in his veins;
not the better for that, nor the worse; and not far from him is his last
antagonist, Ned Turner, who, though beaten by him, still thinks himself
as good a man, in which he is, perhaps, right, for it was a near thing;
and 'a better shentleman,' in which he is quite right, for he is a
Welshman.  But how shall I name them all? they were there by dozens, and
all tremendous in their way.  There was Bulldog Hudson and fearless
Scroggins, who beat the conqueror of Sam the Jew.  There was Black
Richmond--no, he was not there, but I knew him well; he was the most
dangerous of blacks, even with a broken thigh.  There was Purcell, who
could never conquer till all seemed over with him.  There was--what!
shall I name thee last? ay, why not?  I believe that thou art the last of
all that strong family still above the sod, where mayst thou long
continue--true piece of English stuff, Tom of Bedford--sharp as winter,
kind as spring.

Hail to thee, Tom of Bedford, or by whatever name it may please thee to
be called, Spring or Winter.  Hail to thee, six-foot Englishman of the
brown eye, worthy to have carried a six-foot bow at Flodden, where
England's yeomen triumphed over Scotland's king, his clans and chivalry.
Hail to thee, last of England's bruisers, after all the many victories
which them hast achieved--true English victories, unbought by yellow
gold; need I recount them? nay, nay! they are already well known to
fame--sufficient to say that Bristol's Bull and Ireland's Champion were
vanquished by thee, and one mightier still, gold itself, thou didst
overcome; for gold itself strove in vain to deaden the power of thy arm;
and thus thou didst proceed till men left off challenging thee, the
unvanquishable, the incorruptible.

* * * * *

The writer now wishes to say something on the subject of canting
nonsense, of which there is a great deal in England.  There are various
cants in England, amongst which is the religious cant.  He is not going
to discuss the subject of religious cant: lest, however, he should be
misunderstood, he begs leave to repeat that he is a sincere member of the
old-fashioned Church of England, in which he believes there is more
religion, and consequently less cant, than in any other Church in the
world; nor is he going to discuss many other cants; he shall content
himself with saying something about two--the temperance cant and the
unmanly cant.  Temperance canters say that, 'it is unlawful to drink a
glass of ale.'  Unmanly canters say that 'it is unlawful to use one's
fists.'  The writer begs leave to tell both these species of canters that
they do not speak the words of truth.

* * * * *

'No,' said I, 'I do not mean to go to church.'  'May I ask thee
wherefore?' said Peter.  'Because,' said I, 'I prefer remaining beneath
the shade of these trees, listening to the sound of the leaves, and the
tinkling of the waters.'

* * * * *

Oh, genial and gladdening is the power of good ale, the true and proper
drink of Englishmen.  He is not deserving of the name of Englishman who
speaketh against ale, that is good ale, like that which has just made
merry the hearts of this poor family; and yet there are beings, calling
themselves Englishmen, who say that it is a sin to drink a cup of ale,
and who, on coming to this passage will be tempted to fling down the book
and exclaim: 'The man is evidently a bad man, for behold, by his own
confession, he is not only fond of ale himself, but is in the habit of
tempting other people with it.'  Alas! alas! what a number of silly
individuals there are in this world; I wonder what they would have had me
do in this instance--given the afflicted family a cup of cold water? go
to!  They could have found water in the road, for there was a pellucid
spring only a few yards distant from the house, as they were well
aware--but they wanted not water; what should I have given them? meat and
bread? go to!  They were not hungry; there was stifled sobbing in their
bosoms, and the first mouthful of strong meat would have choked them.
What should I have given them?  Money! what right had I to insult them by
offering them money?  Advice! words, words, words; friends, there is a
time for everything; there is a time for a cup of cold water; there is a
time for strong meat and bread; there is a time for advice, and there is
a time for ale; and I have generally found that the time for advice is
after a cup of ale--I do not say many cups; the tongue then speaketh more
smoothly, and the ear listeneth more benignantly; but why do I attempt to
reason with you? do I not know you for conceited creatures, with one
idea--and that a foolish one--a crotchet, for the sake of which ye would
sacrifice anything, religion if required--country?  There, fling down my
book, I do not wish ye to walk any farther in my company, unless you cast
your nonsense away, which ye will never do, for it is the breath of your
nostrils; fling down my book, it was not written to support a crotchet,
for know one thing, my good people, I have invariably been an enemy to
humbug.

* * * * *

On the whole, I journeyed along very pleasantly, certainly quite as
pleasantly as I do at present, now that I am become a gentleman and weigh
sixteen stone, though some people would say that my present manner of
travelling is much the most preferable, riding as I now do, instead of
leading my horse; receiving the homage of ostlers instead of their
familiar nods; sitting down to dinner in the parlour of the best inn I
can find, instead of passing the brightest part of the day in the kitchen
of a village ale-house; carrying on my argument after dinner on the
subject of the corn-laws, with the best commercial gentlemen on the road,
instead of being glad, whilst sipping a pint of beer, to get into
conversation with blind trampers, or maimed Abraham sailors, regaling
themselves on half-pints at the said village hostelries.  Many people
will doubtless say that things have altered wonderfully with me for the
better, and they would say right, provided I possessed now what I then
carried about with me in my journeys--the spirit of youth.  Youth is the
only season for enjoyment, and the first twenty-five years of one's life
are worth all the rest of the longest life of man, even though those five-
and-twenty be spent in penury and contempt, and the rest in the
possession of wealth, honours, respectability, ay, and many of them in
strength and health, such as will enable one to ride forty miles before
dinner, and over one's pint of port--for the best gentleman in the land
should not drink a bottle--carry on one's argument, with gravity and
decorum, with any commercial gentleman who, responsive to one's
challenge, takes the part of humanity and common sense against
'protection' and the lord of the land.

* * * * *

On the following day at four o'clock I dined with the landlord, in
company with a commercial traveller.  The dinner was good, though plain,
consisting of boiled mackerel--rather a rarity in those parts at that
time--with fennel sauce, a prime baron of roast beef after the mackerel,
then a tart and noble Cheshire cheese; we had prime sherry at dinner, and
whilst eating the cheese prime porter, that of Barclay, the only good
porter in the world.  After the cloth was removed we had a bottle of very
good port; and whilst partaking of the port I had an argument with the
commercial traveller on the subject of the corn-laws.

* * * * *

The binding was of dingy calf-skin.  I opened it, and as I did so another
strange thrill of pleasure shot through my frame.  The first object on
which my eyes rested was a picture; it was exceedingly well executed, at
least the scene which it represented made a vivid impression upon me,
which would hardly have been the case had the artist not been faithful to
nature.  A wild scene it was--a heavy sea and rocky shore, with mountains
in the background, above which the moon was peering.  Not far from the
shore, upon the water, was a boat with two figures in it, one of which
stood at the bow, pointing with what I knew to be a gun at a dreadful
shape in the water: fire was flashing from the muzzle of the gun, and the
monster appeared to be transfixed.  I almost thought I heard its cry.  I
remained motionless, gazing upon the picture, scarcely daring to draw my
breath, lest the new and wondrous world should vanish of which I had now
obtained a glimpse.  'Who are those people, and what could have brought
them into that strange situation?' I asked of myself; and now the seed of
curiosity, which had so long lain dormant, began to expand, and I vowed
to myself to become speedily acquainted with the whole history of the
people in the boat.  After looking on the picture till every mark and
line in it were familiar to me, I turned over various leaves till I came
to another engraving; a new source of wonder--a low sandy beach on which
the furious sea was breaking in mountain-like billows; cloud and rack
deformed the firmament, which wore a dull and leaden-like hue; gulls and
other aquatic fowls were toppling upon the blast, or skimming over the
tops of the maddening waves--'Mercy upon him! he must be drowned!' I
exclaimed, as my eyes fell upon a poor wretch who appeared to be striving
to reach the shore; he was upon his legs but was evidently half-smothered
with the brine; high above his head curled a horrible billow, as if to
engulf him for ever.  'He must be drowned! he must be drowned!' I almost
shrieked, and dropped the book.  I soon snatched it up again, and now my
eye lighted on a third picture: again a shore, but what a sweet and
lovely one, and how I wished to be treading it; there were beautiful
shells lying on the smooth white sand, some were empty like those I had
occasionally seen on marble mantelpieces, but out of others peered the
heads and bodies of wondrous crayfish; a wood of thick green trees
skirted the beach and partly shaded it from the rays of the sun, which
shone hot above, while blue waves slightly crested with foam were gently
curling against it; there was a human figure upon the beach, wild and
uncouth, clad in the skins of animals, with a huge cap on his head, a
hatchet at his girdle, and in his hand a gun; his feet and legs were
bare; he stood in an attitude of horror and surprise; his body was bent
far back, and his eyes, which seemed starting out of his head, were fixed
upon a mark on the sand--a large distinct mark--a human footprint!
Reader, is it necessary to name the book which now stood open in my hand,
and whose very prints, feeble expounders of its wondrous lines, had
produced within me emotions strange and novel?  Scarcely, for it was a
book which has exerted over the minds of Englishmen an influence
certainly greater than any other of modern times, which has been in most
people's hands, and with the contents of which even those who cannot read
are to a certain extent acquainted; a book from which the most luxuriant
and fertile of our modern prose writers have drunk inspiration; a book,
moreover, to which, from the hardy deeds which it narrates, and the
spirit of strange and romantic enterprise which it tends to awaken,
England owes many of her astonishing discoveries both by sea and land,
and no inconsiderable part of her naval glory.

Hail to thee, spirit of De Foe!  What does not my own poor self owe to
thee?  England has better bards than either Greece or Rome, yet I could
spare them easier far than De Foe, 'unabashed De Foe,' as the hunchbacked
rhymer styled him.

* * * * *

I commenced the Bible in Spain.  At first I proceeded slowly--sickness
was in the land, and the face of nature was overcast--heavy rainclouds
swam in the heavens,--the blast howled amid the pines which nearly
surround my lonely dwelling, and the waters of the lake which lies before
it, so quiet in general and tranquil, were fearfully agitated.  'Bring
lights hither, O Hayim Ben Attar, son of the miracle!'  And the Jew of
Fez brought in the lights, for though it was midday I could scarcely see
in the little room where I was writing. . . .

A dreary summer and autumn passed by, and were succeeded by as gloomy a
winter.  I still proceeded with the Bible in Spain.  The winter passed,
and spring came with cold dry winds and occasional sunshine, whereupon I
arose, shouted, and mounting my horse, even Sidi Habismilk, I scoured all
the surrounding district, and thought but little of the Bible in Spain.

So I rode about the country, over the heaths, and through the green lanes
of my native land, occasionally visiting friends at a distance, and
sometimes, for variety's sake, I stayed at home and amused myself by
catching huge pike, which lie perdue in certain deep ponds skirted with
lofty reeds, upon my land, and to which there is a communication from the
lagoon by a deep and narrow watercourse.  I had almost forgotten the
Bible in Spain.

Then came the summer with much heat and sunshine, and then I would lie
for hours in the sun and recall the sunny days I had spent in Andalusia,
and my thoughts were continually reverting to Spain, and at last I
remembered that the Bible in Spain was still unfinished; whereupon I
arose and said: 'This loitering profiteth nothing'--and I hastened to my
summer-house by the side of the lake, and there I thought and wrote, and
every day I repaired to the same place, and thought and wrote until I had
finished the Bible in Spain.

* * * * *

And, as I wandered along the green, I drew near to a place where several
men, with a cask beside them, sat carousing in the neighbourhood of a
small tent.  'Here he comes,' said one of them, as I advanced, and
standing up he raised his voice and sang:--

   'Here the Gypsy gemman see,
   With his Roman jib and his rome and dree--
   Rome and dree, rum and dry
   Rally round the Rommany Rye.'

It was Mr. Petulengro, who was here diverting himself with several of his
comrades; they all received me with considerable frankness.  'Sit down,
brother,' said Mr. Petulengro, 'and take a cup of good ale.'

I sat down.  'Your health, gentlemen,' said I, as I took the cup which
Mr. Petulengro handed to me.

'Aukko tu pios adrey Rommanis.  Here is your health in Rommany, brother,'
said Mr. Petulengro; who, having refilled the cup, now emptied it at a
draught.

'Your health in Rommany, brother,' said Tawno Chikno, to whom the cup
came next.

'The Rommany Rye,' said a third.

'The Gypsy gentlemen,' exclaimed a fourth, drinking.

And then they all sang in chorus:--

   'Here the Gypsy gemman see,
   With his Roman jib and his rome and dree--
   Rome and dree, rum and dry
   Rally round the Rommany Rye.'

'And now, brother,' said Mr. Petulengro, 'seeing that you have drunk and
been drunken, you will perhaps tell us where you have been, and what
about?'

'I have been in the Big City,' said I, 'writing lils' [books].

'How much money have you got in your pocket, brother?' said Mr.
Petulengro.

'Eighteen pence,' said I; 'all I have in the world.'

'I have been in the Big City, too,' said Mr. Petulengro; 'but I have not
written lils--I have fought in the ring--I have fifty pounds in my
pocket--I have much more in the world.  Brother, there is considerable
difference between us.'

'I would rather be the lil-writer, after all,' said the tall, handsome,
black man; 'indeed, I would wish for nothing better.'

'Why so?' said Mr. Petulengro.

'Because they have so much to say for themselves,' said the black man,
'even when dead and gone.  When they are laid in the churchyard, it is
their own fault if people a'n't talking of them.  Who will know, after I
am dead, or bitchadey pawdel, that I was once the beauty of the world, or
that you, Jasper, were--'

'The best man in England of my inches.  That's true, Tawno--however,
here's our brother will perhaps let the world know something about us.'

'Not he,' said the other, with a sigh; 'he'll have quite enough to do in
writing his own lils, and telling the world how handsome and clever he
was; and who can blame him?  Not I.  If I could write lils, every word
should be about myself and my own tacho Rommanis--my own lawful wedded
wife, which is the same thing.  I tell you what, brother, I once heard a
wise man say in Brummagem, that "there is nothing like blowing one's own
horn," which I conceive to be much the same thing as writing one's own
lil.'

* * * * *

At length the moon shone out faintly, when suddenly by its beams I beheld
a figure moving before me at a slight distance.  I quickened the pace of
the burra, and was soon close at its side.  It went on, neither altering
its pace nor looking round for a moment.  It was the figure of a man, the
tallest and bulkiest that I had hitherto seen in Spain, dressed in a
manner strange and singular for the country.  On his head was a hat with
a low crown and broad brim, very much resembling that of an English
waggoner; about his body was a long loose tunic or slop, seemingly of
coarse ticken, open in front, so as to allow the interior garments to be
occasionally seen.  These appeared to consist of a jerkin and short
velveteen pantaloons.

I have said that the brim of the hat was broad, but broad as it was, it
was insufficient to cover an immense bush of coal-black hair, which,
thick and curly, projected on either side.  Over the left shoulder was
flung a kind of satchel, and in the right hand was held a long staff or
pole.

There was something peculiarly strange about the figure; but what struck
me the most was the tranquillity with which it moved along, taking no
heed of me, though of course aware of my proximity, but looking straight
forward along the road, save when it occasionally raised a huge face and
large eyes towards the moon, which was now shining forth in the eastern
quarter. . . .

'A cold night,' said I at last.  'Is this the way to Talavera?'

'It is the way to Talavera, and the night is cold.'

'I am going to Talavera,' said I, 'as I suppose you are yourself.'

'I am going thither, so are you, bueno.'

The tones of the voice which delivered these words were in their way
quite as strange and singular as the figure to which the voice belonged.
They were not exactly the tones of a Spanish voice, and yet there was
something in them that could hardly be foreign; the pronunciation also
was correct, and the language, though singular, faultless.  But I was
most struck with the manner in which the last word, bueno, was spoken.  I
had heard something like it before, but where or when I could by no means
remember.  A pause now ensued, the figure stalking on as before with the
most perfect indifference, and seemingly with no disposition either to
seek or avoid conversation.

'Are you not afraid,' said I at last, 'to travel these roads in the dark?
It is said that there are robbers abroad.'

'Are you not rather afraid,' replied the figure, 'to travel these roads
in the dark?--you who are ignorant of the country, who are a foreigner,
an Englishman?'

'How is it that you know me to be an Englishman?' demanded I, much
surprised.

'That is no difficult matter,' replied the figure; 'the sound of your
voice was enough to tell me that.'

'You speak of voices,' said I; 'suppose the tone of your own voice were
to tell me who you are?'

'That it will not do,' replied my companion; 'you know nothing about
me--you can know nothing about me.'

'Be not sure of that, my friend; I am acquainted with many things of
which you have little idea.'

'Por exemplo,' said the figure.

'For example,' said I, 'you speak two languages.'

The figure moved on, seemed to consider a moment and then said slowly,
'Bueno.'

'You have two names,' I continued; 'one for the house, and the other for
the street; both are good, but the one by which you are called at home is
the one which you like best.'

The man walked on about ten paces, in the same manner as he had
previously done; all of a sudden he turned, and taking the bridle of the
burra gently in his hand, stopped her.  I had now a full view of his face
and figure, and those huge features and Herculean form still occasionally
revisit me in my dreams.  I see him standing in the moonshine, staring me
in the face with his deep calm eyes.  At last he said--

'Are you then _one of us_?'

* * * * *

Upon the shoulder of the goatherd was a beast, which he told me was a
lontra, or otter, which he had lately caught in the neighbouring brook;
it had a string round its neck, which was attached to his arm.  At his
left side was a bag, from the top of which peered the heads of two or
three singular looking animals; and at his right was squatted the sullen
cub of a wolf, which he was endeavouring to tame.  His whole appearance
was to the last degree savage and wild.  After a little conversation,
such as those who meet on the road frequently hold, I asked him if he
could read, but he made me no answer.  I then inquired if he knew
anything of God or Jesus Christ; he looked me fixedly in the face for a
moment, and then turned his countenance towards the sun, which was
beginning to sink in the west, nodded to it, and then again looked
fixedly upon me.  I believe that I understood the mute reply, which
probably was, that it was God who made that glorious light which illumes
and gladdens all creation; and, gratified with that belief, I left him
and hastened after my companions, who were by this time a considerable
way in advance.

* * * * *

I have always found in the disposition of the children of the fields a
more determined tendency to religion and piety than amongst the
inhabitants of towns and cities, and the reason is obvious--they are less
acquainted with the works of man's hands than with those of God; their
occupations, too, which are simple, and requiring less of ingenuity and
skill than those which engage the attention of the other portion of their
fellow-creatures, are less favourable to the engendering of self-conceit
and self-sufficiency, so utterly at variance with that lowliness of
spirit which constitutes the best foundation of piety.

* * * * *

'C'est moi, mon maitre,' cried a well-known voice, and presently in
walked Antonio Buchini, dressed in the same style as when I first
introduced him to the reader, namely, in a handsome but rather faded
French surtout, vest, and pantaloons, with a diminutive hat in one hand,
and holding in the other a long and slender cane.

'Bon jour, mon maitre,' said the Greek; then, glancing around the
apartment, he continued, 'I am glad to find you so well lodged.  If I
remember right, mon maitre, we have slept in worse places during our
wanderings in Galicia and Castile.'

'You are quite right, Antonio,' I replied; 'I am very comfortable.  Well,
this is kind of you to visit your ancient master, more especially now he
is in the toils; I hope, however, that by so doing you will not offend
your present employer.  His dinner hour must be at hand; why are you not
in the kitchen?'

'Of what employer are you speaking, mon maitre?' demanded Antonio.

'Of whom should I speak but Count ---, to serve whom you abandoned me,
being tempted by an offer of a monthly salary less by four dollars than
that which I was giving you?'

'Your worship brings an affair to my remembrance which I had long since
forgotten.  I have at present no other master than yourself, Monsieur
Georges, for I shall always consider you as my master, though I may not
enjoy the felicity of waiting upon you.'

'You have left the Count, then,' said I, 'after remaining three days in
the house, according to your usual practice.'

'Not three hours, mon maitre,' replied Antonio; 'but I will tell you the
circumstances.  Soon after I left you I repaired to the house of Monsieur
le Comte; I entered the kitchen, and looked about me.  I cannot say that
I had much reason to be dissatisfied with what I saw: the kitchen was
large and commodious, and everything appeared neat and in its proper
place, and the domestics civil and courteous; yet, I know not how it was,
the idea at once rushed into my mind that the house was by no means
suited to me, and that I was not destined to stay there long; so, hanging
my haversack upon a nail, and sitting down on the dresser, I commenced
singing a Greek song, as I am in the habit of doing when dissatisfied.
The domestics came about me, asking questions.  I made them no answer,
however, and continued singing till the hour for preparing the dinner
drew nigh, when I suddenly sprang on the floor, and was not long in
thrusting them all out of the kitchen, telling them that they had no
business there at such a season.  I then at once entered upon my
functions.  I exerted myself, mon maitre--I exerted myself, and was
preparing a repast which would have done me honour; there was, indeed,
some company expected that day, and I therefore determined to show my
employer that nothing was beyond the capacity of his Greek cook.  Eh
bien, mon maitre, all was going on remarkably well, and I felt almost
reconciled to my new situation when who should rush into the kitchen but
le fils de la maison, my young master, an ugly urchin of thirteen years,
or thereabouts.  He bore in his hand a manchet of bread, which, after
prying about for a moment, he proceeded to dip in the pan where some
delicate woodcocks were in the course of preparation.  You know, mon
maitre, how sensitive I am on certain points, for I am no Spaniard, but a
Greek, and have principles of honour.  Without a moment's hesitation I
took my young master by the shoulders, and hurrying him to the door,
dismissed him in the manner which he deserved.  Squalling loudly, he
hurried away to the upper part of the house.  I continued my labours, but
ere three minutes had elapsed, I heard a dreadful confusion above stairs,
on faisoit une horrible tintamarre, and I could occasionally distinguish
oaths and execrations.  Presently doors were flung open, and there was an
awful rushing downstairs, a gallopade.  It was my lord the count, his
lady, and my young master, followed by a regular bevy of women and filles
de chambre.  Far in advance of all, however, was my lord with a drawn
sword in his hand, shouting, "Where is the wretch who has dishonoured my
son, where is he?  He shall die forthwith."  I know not how it was, mon
maitre, but I just then chanced to spill a large bowl of garbanzos, which
were intended for the puchera of the following day.  They were un-cooked,
and were as hard as marbles; these I dashed upon the floor, and the
greater part of them fell just about the doorway.  Eh bien, mon maitre,
in another moment in bounded the count, his eyes sparkling like coals,
and, as I have already said, with a rapier in his hand.  "Tenez, gueux
enrage," he screamed, making a desperate lunge at me; but ere the words
were out of his mouth, his foot slipping on the pease, he fell forward
with great violence at his full length, and his weapon flew out of his
hand, comme une fleche.  You should have heard the outcry which
ensued--there was a terrible confusion; the count lay upon the floor to
all appearance stunned.  I took no notice, however, continuing busily
employed.  They at last raised him up, and assisted him till he came to
himself, though very pale and much shaken.  He asked for his sword: all
eyes were now turned upon me, and I saw that a general attack was
meditated.  Suddenly I took a large casserole from the fire in which
various eggs were frying; this I held out at arm's length, peering at it
along my arm as if I were curiously inspecting it, my right foot advanced
and the other thrown back as far as possible.  All stood still,
imagining, doubtless, that I was about to perform some grand operation,
and so I was: for suddenly the sinister leg advancing, with one rapid
coup de pied, I sent the casserole and its contents flying over my head,
so that they struck the wall far behind me.  This was to let them know
that I had broken my staff and had shaken the dust off my feet; so
casting upon the count the peculiar glance of the Sceirote cooks when
they feel themselves insulted, and extending my mouth on either side
nearly as far as the ears, I took down my haversack and departed, singing
as I went the song of the ancient Demos, who, when dying, asked for his
supper, and water wherewith to lave his hands--

   [Greek verse]

And in this manner, mon maitre, I left the house of the Count of ---'

* * * * *

After travelling four days and nights, we arrived at Madrid without
having experienced the slightest accident, though it is but just to
observe, and always with gratitude to the Almighty, that the next mail
was stopped.  A singular incident befell me immediately after my arrival.
On entering the arch of the posada called La Reyna, where I intended to
put up, I found myself encircled in a person's arms, and on turning round
in amazement beheld my Greek servant, Antonio.  He was haggard and ill-
dressed, and his eyes seemed starting from their sockets.

As soon as we were alone he informed me that since my departure he had
undergone great misery and destitution, having, during the whole period,
been unable to find a master in need of his services, so that he was
brought nearly to the verge of desperation; but that on the night
immediately preceding my arrival he had a dream, in which he saw me,
mounted on a black horse, ride up to the gate of the posada, and that on
that account he had been waiting there during the greater part of the
day.  I do not pretend to offer an opinion concerning this narrative,
which is beyond the reach of my philosophy, and shall content myself with
observing, that only two individuals in Madrid were aware of my arrival
in Spain.  I was very glad to receive him again into my service, as,
notwithstanding his faults, he had in many instances proved of no small
assistance to me in my wanderings and Biblical labours.

* * * * *

The posada where I had put up was a good specimen of the old Spanish inn,
being much the same as those described in the time of Philip the Third or
Fourth.  The rooms were many and large, floored with either brick or
stone, generally with an alcove at the end, in which stood a wretched
flock bed.  Behind the house was a court, and in the rear of this a
stable, full of horses, ponies, mules, machos, and donkeys, for there was
no lack of guests, who, however, for the most part slept in the stable
with their caballerias, being either arrieros or small peddling
merchants, who travelled the country with coarse cloth or linen.  Opposite
to my room in the corridor lodged a wounded officer, who had just arrived
from San Sebastian on a galled broken-kneed pony: he was an Estrimenian,
and was returning to his own village to be cured.  He was attended by
three broken soldiers, lame or maimed, and unfit for service: they told
me that they were of the same village as his worship, and on that account
he permitted them to travel with him.  They slept amongst the litter, and
throughout the day lounged about the house smoking paper cigars.  I never
saw them eating, though they frequently went to a dark cool corner, where
stood a bota or kind of water pitcher, which they held about six inches
from their black filmy lips, permitting the liquid to trickle down their
throats.  They said they had no pay and were quite destitute of money,
that su merced the officer occasionally gave them a piece of bread, but
that he himself was poor and had only a few dollars.  Brave guests for an
inn, thought I; yet, to the honour of Spain be it spoken, it is one of
the few countries in Europe where poverty is never insulted nor looked
upon with contempt.  Even at an inn, the poor man is never spurned from
the door, and if not harboured, is at least dismissed with fair words,
and consigned to the mercies of God and his mother.  This is as it should
be.  I laugh at the bigotry and prejudices of Spain, I abhor the cruelty
and ferocity which have cast a stain of eternal infamy on her history,
but I will say for the Spaniards that in their social intercourse no
people in the world exhibit a juster feeling of what is due to the
dignity of human nature, or better understand the behaviour which it
behoves a man to adopt towards his fellow beings.  I have said that it is
one of the few countries in Europe where poverty is not treated with
contempt, and I may add, where the wealthy are not blindly idolized.  In
Spain the very beggar does not feel himself a degraded being, for he
kisses no one's feet, and knows not what it is to be cuffed or spit upon;
and in Spain the duke or the marquis can scarcely entertain a very
overweening opinion of his own consequence, as he finds no one, with
perhaps the exception of his French valet, to fawn upon or flatter him.

* * * * *

The landlord brought the ale, placed it on the table, and then stood as
if waiting for something.

'I suppose you are waiting to be paid,' said I, 'what is your demand?'

'Sixpence for this jug, and sixpence for the other,' said the landlord.

I took out a shilling and said: 'It is but right that I should pay half
of the reckoning, and as the whole affair is merely a shilling matter, I
should feel obliged in being permitted to pay the whole, so, landlord,
take the shilling, and remember you are paid.'  I then delivered the
shilling to the landlord, but had no sooner done so than the man in grey,
starting up in violent agitation, wrested the money from the other, and
flung it down on the table before me saying:--

'No, no, that will never do.  I invited you in here to drink, and now you
would pay for the liquor which I ordered.  You English are free with your
money, but you are sometimes free with it at the expense of people's
feelings.  I am a Welshman, and I know Englishmen consider all Welshmen
hogs.  But we are not hogs, mind you! for we have little feelings which
hogs have not.  Moreover, I would have you know that we have money,
though perhaps not so much as the Saxon.'  Then putting his hand into his
pocket, he pulled out a shilling, and giving it to the landlord, said in
Welsh: 'Now thou art paid and mayst go thy ways till thou art again
called for.  I do not know why thou didst stay after thou hadst put down
the ale.  Thou didst know enough of me to know that thou didst run no
risk of not being paid.'

* * * * *

'Young gentleman,' said the huge, fat landlord, 'you are come at the
right time; dinner will be taken up in a few minutes, and such a dinner,'
he continued, rubbing his hands, 'as you will not see every day in these
times.'

'I am hot and dusty,' said I, 'and should wish to cool my hands and
face.'

'Jenny!' said the huge landlord, with the utmost gravity, 'show the
gentleman into number seven that he may wash his hands and face.'

'By no means,' said I, 'I am a person of primitive habits, and there is
nothing like the pump in weather like this.'

'Jenny!' said the landlord, with the same gravity as before, 'go with the
young gentleman to the pump in the back kitchen, and take a clean towel
along with you.'

Thereupon the rosy-faced clean-looking damsel went to a drawer, and
producing a large, thick, but snowy-white towel, she nodded to me to
follow her; whereupon I followed Jenny through a long passage into the
back kitchen.

And at the end of the back kitchen there stood a pump; and going to it I
placed my hands beneath the spout, and said, 'Pump, Jenny,' and Jenny
incontinently, without laying down the towel, pumped with one hand, and I
washed and cooled my heated hands.

And, when my hands were washed and cooled, I took off my neckcloth, and
unbuttoning my shirt collar, I placed my head beneath the spout of the
pump, and I said unto Jenny: 'Now, Jenny, lay down the towel, and pump
for your life.'

Thereupon Jenny, placing the towel on a linen horse, took the handle of
the pump with both hands and pumped over my head as handmaid had never
pumped before; so that the water poured in torrents from my head, my
face, and my hair down upon the brick floor.

And after the lapse of somewhat more than a minute, I called out with a
half-strangled voice, 'Hold, Jenny!' and Jenny desisted.  I stood for a
few moments to recover my breath, then, taking the towel which Jenny
proffered, I dried composedly my hands and head, my face and hair; then,
returning the towel to Jenny, I gave a deep sigh and said: 'Surely this
is one of the pleasant moments of life.'

* * * * * *

Becoming soon tired of walking about, without any particular aim, in so
great a heat, I determined to return to the inn, call for ale, and
deliberate on what I had best next do.  So I returned and called for ale.
The ale which was brought was not ale which I am particularly fond of.
The ale which I am fond of is ale about nine or ten months old, somewhat
hard, tasting well of malt and little of the hop--ale such as farmers,
and noblemen too, of the good old time, when farmers' daughters did not
play on pianos and noblemen did not sell their game, were in the habit of
offering to both high and low, and drinking themselves.  The ale which
was brought to me was thin washy stuff, which though it did not taste
much of hop, tasted still less of malt, made and sold by one Allsopp, who
I am told calls himself a squire and a gentleman--as he certainly may
with quite as much right as many a lord calls himself a nobleman and a
gentleman; for surely it is not a fraction more trumpery to make and sell
ale than to fatten and sell game.  The ale of the Saxon squire, for
Allsopp is decidedly an old Saxon name, however unakin to the practice of
old Saxon squires the selling of ale may be, was drinkable, for it was
fresh, and the day, as I have said before, exceedingly hot; so I took
frequent draughts out of the shining metal tankard in which it was
brought, deliberating both whilst drinking, and in the intervals of
drinking, on what I had next best do.

* * * * *

Late in the afternoon we reached Medina del Campo, formerly one of the
principal cities of Spain, though at present an inconsiderable place.
Immense ruins surround it in every direction, attesting the former
grandeur of this 'city of the plain.'  The great square or market place
is a remarkable spot, surrounded by a heavy massive piazza, over which
rise black buildings of great antiquity.  We found the town crowded with
people awaiting the fair, which was to be held in a day or two.  We
experienced some difficulty in obtaining admission into the posada, which
was chiefly occupied by Catalans from Valladolid.  These people not only
brought with them their merchandise, but their wives and children.  Some
of them appeared to be people of the worst description: there was one in
particular, a burly savage-looking fellow, of about forty, whose conduct
was atrocious; he sat with his wife, or perhaps concubine, at the door of
a room which opened upon the court: he was continually venting horrible
and obscene oaths, both in Spanish and Catalan.  The woman was remarkably
handsome, but robust, and seemingly as savage as himself; her
conversation likewise was as frightful as his own.  Both seemed to be
under the influence of an incomprehensible fury.  At last, upon some
observation from the woman, he started up, and drawing a long knife from
his girdle, stabbed at her naked bosom; she, however, interposed the palm
of her hand, which was much cut.  He stood for a moment viewing the blood
trickling upon the ground, whilst she held up her wounded hand; then,
with an astounding oath, he hurried up the court to the Plaza.  I went up
to the woman and said, 'What is the cause of this?  I hope the ruffian
has not seriously injured you.'  She turned her countenance upon me with
the glance of a demon, and at last with a sneer of contempt exclaimed,
'Carals, que es eso?  Cannot a Catalan gentleman be conversing with his
lady upon their own private affairs without being interrupted by you?'
She then bound up her hand with a handkerchief, and going into the room
brought a small table to the door, on which she placed several things, as
if for the evening's repast, and then sat down on a stool.  Presently
returned the Catalan, and without a word took his seat on the threshold;
then, as if nothing had occurred, the extraordinary couple commenced
eating and drinking, interlarding their meal with oaths and jests.

* * * * *

I had till then considered him a plain, uninformed old man, almost
simple, and as incapable of much emotion as a tortoise within its shell;
but he had become at once inspired: his eyes were replete with a bright
fire, and every muscle of his face was quivering.  The little silk skull-
cap which he wore, according to the custom of the Catholic clergy, moved
up and down with his agitation; and I soon saw that I was in the presence
of one of those remarkable men who so frequently spring up in the bosom
of the Romish church, and who to a child-like simplicity unite immense
energy and power of mind--equally adapted to guide a scanty flock of
ignorant rustics in some obscure village in Italy or Spain, as to convert
millions of heathens on the shores of Japan, China, and Paraguay.

He was a thin spare man, of about sixty-five, and was dressed in a black
cloak of very coarse materials; nor were his other garments of superior
quality.  This plainness, however, in the appearance of his outward man
was by no means the result of poverty; quite the contrary.  The benefice
was a very plentiful one, and placed at his disposal annually a sum of at
least eight hundred dollars, of which the eighth part was more than
sufficient to defray the expenses of his house and himself; the rest was
devoted entirely to the purest acts of charity.  He fed the hungry
wanderer, and despatched him singing on his way, with meat in his wallet
and a peseta in his purse; and his parishioners, when in need of money,
had only to repair to his study, and were sure of an immediate supply.  He
was, indeed, the banker of the village, and what he lent he neither
expected nor wished to be returned.  Though under the necessity of making
frequent journeys to Salamanca, he kept no mule, but contented himself
with an ass, borrowed from the neighbouring miller.  'I once kept a
mule,' said he; 'but some years since it was removed without my
permission by a traveller whom I had housed for the night: for in that
alcove I keep two clean beds for the use of the wayfaring, and I shall be
very much pleased if yourself and friend will occupy them, and tarry with
me till the morning.'

* * * * *

'What mountains are those?' I inquired of a barber-surgeon who, mounted
like myself on a grey burra, joined me about noon, and proceeded in my
company for several leagues.  'They have many names, Caballero,' replied
the barber; 'according to the names of the neighbouring places, so they
are called.  Yon portion of them is styled the Serrania of Plasencia; and
opposite to Madrid they are termed the Mountains of Guadarrama, from a
river of that name, which descends from them.  They run a vast way,
Caballero, and separate the two kingdoms, for on the other side is Old
Castile.  They are mighty mountains, and, though they generate much cold,
I take pleasure in looking at them, which is not to be wondered at,
seeing that I was born amongst them, though at present, for my sins, I
live in a village of the plain.  Caballero, there is not another such
range in Spain; they have their secrets, too--their mysteries.  Strange
tales are told of those hills, and of what they contain in their deep
recesses, for they are a broad chain, and you may wander days and days
amongst them without coming to any termino.  Many have lost themselves on
those hills, and have never again been heard of.  Strange things are told
of them: it is said that in certain places there are deep pools and
lakes, in which dwell monsters, huge serpents as long as a pine tree, and
horses of the flood, which sometimes come out and commit mighty damage.
One thing is certain, that yonder, far away to the west, in the heart of
those hills, there is a wonderful valley, so narrow that only at mid-day
is the face of the sun to be descried from it.  That valley lay
undiscovered and unknown for thousands of years; no person dreamed of its
existence.  But at last, a long time ago, certain hunters entered it by
chance, and then what do you think they found, Caballero?  They found a
small nation or tribe of unknown people, speaking an unknown language,
who, perhaps, had lived there since the creation of the world, without
intercourse with the rest of their fellow-creatures, and without knowing
that other beings besides themselves existed!  Caballero, did you never
hear of the valley of the Batuecas?  Many books have been written about
that valley and those people.  Caballero, I am proud of yonder hills; and
were I independent, and without wife or children, I would purchase a
burra like that of your own--which I see is an excellent one, and far
superior to mine--and travel amongst them till I knew all their
mysteries, and had seen all the wondrous things which they contain.'

* * * * *

We had scarcely been five minutes at the window, when we suddenly heard
the clattering of horses' feet hastening down the street called the Calle
de Carretas.  The house in which we had stationed ourselves was, as I
have already observed, just opposite to the post-office, at the left of
which this street debouches from the north into the Puerta del Sol: as
the sounds became louder and louder, the cries of the crowd below
diminished, and a species of panic seemed to have fallen upon all: once
or twice, however, I could distinguish the words, 'Quesada!  Quesada!'
The foot soldiers stood calm and motionless, but I observed that the
cavalry, with the young officer who commanded them, displayed both
confusion and fear, exchanging with each other some hurried words.  All
of a sudden that part of the crowd which stood near the mouth of the
Calle de Carretas fell back in great disorder, leaving a considerable
space unoccupied, and the next moment Quesada, in complete general's
uniform, and mounted on a bright bay thoroughbred English horse, with a
drawn sword in his hand, dashed at full gallop into the area, in much the
same manner as I have seen a Manchegan bull rush into the amphitheatre
when the gates of his pen are suddenly flung open.

He was closely followed by two mounted officers, and at a short distance
by as many dragoons.  In almost less time than is sufficient to relate
it, several individuals in the crowd were knocked down and lay sprawling
upon the ground, beneath the horses of Quesada and his two friends, for
as to the dragoons, they halted as soon as they had entered the Puerta
del Sol.  It was a fine sight to see three men, by dint of valour and
good horsemanship, strike terror into at least as many thousands: I saw
Quesada spur his horse repeatedly into the dense masses of the crowd, and
then extricate himself in the most masterly manner.  The rabble were
completely awed, and gave way, retiring by the Calle del Comercio and the
Calle del Alcala.  All at once, Quesada singled out two nationals, who
were attempting to escape, and setting spurs to his horse, turned them in
a moment, and drove them in another direction, striking them in a
contemptuous manner with the flat of his sabre.  He was crying out, 'Long
live the absolute queen!' when, just beneath me, amidst a portion of the
crowd which had still maintained its ground, perhaps from not having the
means of escaping, I saw a small gun glitter for a moment; then there was
a sharp report, and a bullet had nearly sent Quesada to his long account,
passing so near to the countenance of the general as to graze his hat.  I
had an indistinct view for a moment of a well-known foraging cap just
about the spot from whence the gun had been discharged, then there was a
rush of the crowd, and the shooter, whoever he was, escaped discovery
amidst the confusion which arose.

As for Quesada, he seemed to treat the danger from which he had escaped
with the utmost contempt.  He glared about him fiercely for a moment,
then leaving the two nationals, who sneaked away like whipped hounds, he
went up to the young officer who commanded the cavalry, and who had been
active in raising the cry of the constitution, and to him he addressed a
few words with an air of stern menace; the youth evidently quailed before
him, and, probably in obedience to his orders, resigned the command of
the party, and rode away with a discomfited air; whereupon Quesada
dismounted and walked slowly backwards and forwards before the Casa de
Postas with a mien which seemed to bid defiance to mankind.

This was the glorious day of Quesada's existence, his glorious and last
day.  I call it the day of his glory, for he certainly never before
appeared under such brilliant circumstances, and he never lived to see
another sun set.  No action of any conqueror or hero on record is to be
compared with this closing scene of the life of Quesada, for who, by his
single desperate courage and impetuosity, ever stopped a revolution in
full course?  Quesada did: he stopped the revolution at Madrid for one
entire day, and brought back the uproarious and hostile mob of a huge
city to perfect order and quiet.  His burst into the Puerta del Sol was
the most tremendous and successful piece of daring ever witnessed.  I
admired so much the spirit of the 'brute bull' that I frequently, during
his wild onset, shouted, 'Viva Quesada!' for I wished him well.

* * * * *

I have heard talk of the pleasures of idleness, yet it is my own firm
belief that no one ever yet took pleasure in it.  Mere idleness is the
most disagreeable state of existence, and both mind and body are
continually making efforts to escape from it.  It has been said that
idleness is the parent of mischief, which is very true; but mischief
itself is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness.
There are many tasks and occupations which a man is unwilling to perform,
but let no one think that he is therefore in love with idleness; he turns
to something which is more agreeable to his inclination, and doubtless
more suited to his nature; but he is not in love with idleness.  A boy
may play the truant from school because he dislikes books and study; but,
depend upon it, he intends doing something the while--to go fishing, or
perhaps to take a walk; and who knows but that from such excursions both
his mind and body may derive more benefit than from books and school?
Many people go to sleep to escape from idleness; the Spaniards do; and,
according to the French account, John Bull, the 'squire, hangs himself in
the month of November; but the French, who are a very sensible people,
attribute the action, 'a une grande envie de se desennuyer;' he wishes to
be doing something say they, and having nothing better to do, he has
recourse to the cord.

* * * * *

'Well,' said the old man, 'I once saw the king of the vipers, and since
then--'  'The king of the vipers!' said I, interrupting him; 'have the
vipers a king?'  'As sure as we have,' said the old man, 'as sure as we
have King George to rule over us, have these reptiles a king to rule over
them.'  'And where did you see him?' said I.  'I will tell you,' said the
old man, 'though I don't like talking about the matter.  It may be about
seven years ago that I happened to be far down yonder to the west, on the
other side of England, nearly two hundred miles from here, following my
business.  It was a very sultry day, I remember, and I had been out
several hours catching creatures.  It might be about three o'clock in the
afternoon, when I found myself on some heathy land near the sea, on the
ridge of a hill, the side of which, nearly as far down as the sea, was
heath; but on the top there was arable ground, which had been planted,
and from which the harvest had been gathered--oats or barley, I know not
which--but I remember that the ground was covered with stubble.  Well,
about three o'clock, as I told you before, what with the heat of the day
and from having walked about for hours in a lazy way, I felt very tired;
so I determined to have a sleep, and I laid myself down, my head just on
the ridge of the hill, towards the field, and my body over the side down
amongst the heath; my bag, which was nearly filled with creatures, lay at
a little distance from my face; the creatures were struggling in it, I
remember, and I thought to myself, how much more comfortably off I was
than they; I was taking my ease on the nice open hill, cooled with the
breezes, whilst they were in the nasty close bag, coiling about one
another, and breaking their very hearts, all to no purpose; and I felt
quite comfortable and happy in the thought, and little by little closed
my eyes, and fell into the sweetest snooze that ever I was in in all my
life; and there I lay over the hill's side, with my head half in the
field, I don't know how long, all dead asleep.  At last it seemed to me
that I heard a noise in my sleep, something like a thing moving, very
faint, however, far away; then it died, and then it came again upon my
ear as I slept, and now it appeared almost as if I heard crackle,
crackle; then it died again, or I became yet more dead asleep than
before, I know not which, but I certainly lay some time without hearing
it.  All of a sudden I became awake, and there was I, on the ridge of the
hill, with my cheek on the ground towards the stubble, with a noise in my
ear like that of something moving towards me, amongst the stubble of the
field; well, I lay a moment or two listening to the noise, and then I
became frightened, for I did not like the noise at all, it sounded so
odd; so I rolled myself on my belly, and looked towards the stubble.
Mercy upon us! there was a huge snake, or rather a dreadful viper, for it
was all yellow and gold, moving towards me, bearing its head about a foot
and a half above the ground, the dry stubble crackling beneath its
outrageous belly.  It might be about five yards off when I first saw it,
making straight towards me, child, as if it would devour me.  I lay quite
still, for I was stupefied with horror, whilst the creature came still
nearer; and now it was nearly upon me, when it suddenly drew back a
little, and then--what do you think?--it lifted its head and chest high
in the air, and high over my face as I looked up, flickering at me with
its tongue as if it would fly at my face.  Child, what I felt at that
moment I can scarcely say, but it was a sufficient punishment for all the
sins I ever committed; and there we two were, I looking up at the viper,
and the viper looking down upon me, flickering at me with its tongue.  It
was only the kindness of God that saved me: all at once there was a loud
noise, the report of a gun, for a fowler was shooting at a covey of
birds, a little way off in the stubble.  Whereupon the viper sunk its
head, and immediately made off over the ridge of the hill, down in the
direction of the sea.  As it passed by me, however--and it passed close
by me--it hesitated a moment, as if it was doubtful whether it should not
seize me; it did not, however, but made off down the hill.  It has often
struck me that he was angry with me, and came upon me unawares for
presuming to meddle with his people, as I have always been in the habit
of doing.'

'But,' said I, 'how do you know that it was the king of the vipers?'

'How do I know?' said the old man, 'who else should it be?  There was as
much difference between it and other reptiles as between King George and
other people.'

'Is King George, then, different from other people?' I demanded.

'Of course,' said the old man; 'I have never seen him myself, but I have
heard people say that he is a ten times greater man than other folks;
indeed, it stands to reason that he must be different from the rest, else
people would not be so eager to see him.  Do you think, child, that
people would be fools enough to run a matter of twenty or thirty miles to
see the king, provided King George--'

* * * * *

I sat upon the bank, at the bottom of the hill which slopes down from
'the Earl's Home'; my float was on the waters, and my back was towards
the old hall.  I drew up many fish, small and great, which I took from
off the hook mechanically and flung upon the bank, for I was almost
unconscious of what I was about, for my mind was not with my fish.  I was
thinking of my earlier years--of the Scottish crags and the heaths of
Ireland--and sometimes my mind would dwell on my studies--on the sonorous
stanzas of Dante, rising and falling like the waves of the sea--or would
strive to remember a couplet or two of poor Monsieur Boileau.

'Canst thou answer to thy conscience for pulling all those fish out of
the water, and leaving them to gasp in the sun?' said a voice, clear and
sonorous as a bell.  I started, and looked round.  Close behind me stood
the tall figure of a man, dressed in raiment of quaint and singular
fashion, but of goodly materials.  He was in the prime and vigour of
manhood; his features handsome and noble, but full of calmness and
benevolence; at least, I thought so, though they were somewhat shaded by
a hat of finest beaver, with broad drooping eaves.

'Surely that is a very cruel diversion in which thou indulgest, my young
friend,' he continued.

'I am sorry for it, if it be, sir,' said I, rising; 'but I do not think
it cruel to fish.'

'What are thy reasons for not thinking so?'

'Fishing is mentioned frequently in Scripture.  Simon Peter was a
fisherman.'

'True; and Andrew and his brother.  But thou forgettest: they did not
follow fishing as a diversion, as I fear thou doest.  Thou readest the
Scriptures?'

'Sometimes.'

'Sometimes? not daily? that is to be regretted.  What profession dost
thou make?  I mean to what religious denomination dost thou belong, my
young friend?'

'Church.'

'It is a very good profession--there is much of Scripture contained in
its liturgy.  Dost thou read aught besides the Scriptures?'

'Sometimes.'

'What dost thou read besides?'

'Greek, and Dante.'

'Indeed! then thou hast the advantage over myself; I can only read the
former.  Well, I am rejoiced to find that thou hast other pursuits
besides thy fishing.  Dost thou know Hebrew?'

'No.'

'Thou shouldst study it.  Why dost thou not undertake the study?'

'I have no books.'

'I will lend thee books, if thou wish to undertake the study.  I live
yonder at the hall, as perhaps thou knowest.  I have a library there, in
which are many curious books, both in Greek and Hebrew, which I will show
to thee, whenever them mayest find it convenient to come and see me.
Farewell!  I am glad to find that thou hast pursuits more satisfactory
than thy cruel fishing.'

And the man of peace departed, and left me on the bank of the stream.
Whether from the effect of his words, or from want of inclination to the
sport, I know not, but from that day I became less and less a
practitioner of that 'cruel fishing.'

* * * * *

Ah, that Irish!  How frequently do circumstances, at first sight the most
trivial and unimportant, exercise a mighty and permanent influence on our
habits and pursuits!--how frequently is a stream turned aside from its
natural course by some little rock or knoll, causing it to make an abrupt
turn!  On a wild road in Ireland I had heard Irish spoken for the first
time; and I was seized with a desire to learn Irish, the acquisition of
which, in my case, became the stepping-stone to other languages.  I had
previously learnt Latin, or rather Lilly; but neither Latin nor Lilly
made me a philologist.  I had frequently heard French and other
languages, but had felt little desire to become acquainted with them; and
what, it may be asked, was there connected with the Irish calculated to
recommend it to my attention?

First of all, and principally, I believe, the strangeness and singularity
of its tones; then there was something mysterious and uncommon associated
with its use.  It was not a school language, to acquire which was
considered an imperative duty; no, no; nor was it a drawing-room
language, drawled out occasionally, in shreds and patches by the ladies
of generals and other great dignitaries, to the ineffable dismay of poor
officers' wives.  Nothing of the kind; but a speech spoken in out-of-the-
way desolate places, and in cut-throat kens, where thirty ruffians, at
the sight of the king's minions, would spring up with brandished sticks
and an 'ubbubboo, like the blowing up of a powder-magazine.'  Such were
the points connected with the Irish, which first awakened in my mind the
desire of acquiring it; and by acquiring it I became, as I have already
said, enamoured of languages.  Having learnt one by choice, I speedily,
as the reader will perceive, learnt others, some of which were widely
different from Irish.

* * * * *

I said: 'Now, Murtagh, tit for tat; ye will be telling me one of the old
stories of Finn-ma-Coul.'  'Och, Shorsha!  I haven't heart enough,' said
Murtagh.  'Thank you for your tale, but it makes me weep; it brings to my
mind Dungarvon times of old--I mean the times we were at school
together.'  'Cheer up, man,' said I, 'and let's have the story, and let
it be about Ma-Coul and the salmon and his thumb.'  'Well, you know Ma-
Coul was an exposed child, and came floating over the salt sea in a chest
which was cast ashore at Veintry Bay.  In the corner of that bay was a
castle, where dwelt a giant and his wife, very respectable and dacent
people, and this giant, taking his morning walk along the bay, came to
the place where the child had been cast ashore in his box.  Well, the
giant looked at the child, and being filled with compassion for his
exposed state, took the child up in his box, and carried him home to his
castle, where he and his wife, being dacent respectable people, as I
telled ye before, fostered the child and took care of him, till he became
old enough to go out to service and gain his livelihood, when they bound
him out apprentice to another giant, who lived in a castle up the
country, at some distance from the bay.

'This giant, whose name was Darmod David Odeen, was not a respectable
person at all, but a big ould wagabone.  He was twice the size of the
other giant, who, though bigger than any man, was not a big giant; for,
as there are great and small men, so there are great and small giants--I
mean some are small when compared with the others.  Well, Finn served
this giant a considerable time, doing all kinds of hard and unreasonable
service for him, and receiving all kinds of hard words, and many a hard
knock and kick to boot--sorrow befall the ould wagabone who could thus
ill treat a helpless foundling.  It chanced that one day the giant caught
a salmon, near a salmon-leap upon his estate--for, though a big ould
blackguard, he was a person of considerable landed property, and high
sheriff for the county Cork.  Well, the giant brings home the salmon by
the gills, and delivers it to Finn, telling him to roast it for the
giant's dinner; "but take care, ye young blackguard," he added, "that in
roasting it--and I expect ye to roast it well--you do not let a blister
come upon its nice satin skin, for if ye do, I will cut the head off your
shoulders."  "Well," thinks Finn, "this is a hard task; however, as I
have done many hard tasks for him, I will try and do this too, though I
was never set to do anything yet half so difficult."  So he prepared his
fire, and put his gridiron upon it, and lays the salmon fairly and softly
upon the gridiron, and then he roasts it, turning it from one side to the
other just in the nick of time, before the soft satin skin could be
blistered.  However, on turning it over the eleventh time--and twelve
would have settled the business--he found he had delayed a little bit of
time too long in turning it over, and there was a small, tiny blister on
the soft outer skin.  Well, Finn was in a mighty panic, remembering the
threats of the ould giant; however, he did not lose heart, but clapped
his thumb upon the blister in order to smooth it down.  Now the salmon,
Shorsha, was nearly done, and the flesh thoroughly hot, so Finn's thumb
was scalt, and he, clapping it to his mouth, sucked it, in order to draw
out the pain, and in a moment--hubbuboo!--became imbued with all the
wisdom of the world.'

* * * * *

Here I interrupted the jockey.

'How singular,' said I, 'is the fall and debasement of words; you talk of
a gang, or set, of shorters; you are, perhaps, not aware that gang and
set were, a thousand years ago, only connected with the great and Divine;
they are ancient Norse words, which may be found in the heroic poems of
the north, and in the Edda, a collection of mythologic and heroic songs.
In these poems we read that such and such a king invaded Norway with a
gang of heroes; or so and so, for example, Erik Bloodaxe, was admitted to
the set of gods; but at present gang and set are merely applied to the
vilest of the vile, and the lowest of the low,--we say a gang of thieves
and shorters, or a set of authors.  How touching is this debasement of
words in the course of time; it puts me in mind of the decay of old
houses and names.  I have known a Mortimer who was a hedger and ditcher,
a Berners who was born in a workhouse, and a descendant of the De Burghs,
who bore the falcon, mending old kettles, and making horse and pony shoes
in a dingle.'

* * * * *

'And who is Jerry Grant?'

Did you never hear of him? that's strange; the whole country is talking
about him; he is a kind of outlaw, rebel, or robber, all three, I dare
say; there's a hundred pounds offered for his head.'

'And where does he live?'

'His proper home, they say, is in the Queen's County, where he has a
band; but he is a strange fellow, fond of wandering about by himself
amidst the bogs and mountains, and living in the old castles;
occasionally he quarters himself in the peasants' houses, who let him do
just as he pleases; he is free of his money, and often does them good
turns, and can be good-humoured enough, so they don't dislike him.  Then
he is what they call a fairy man, a person in league with fairies and
spirits, and able to work much harm by supernatural means, on which
account they hold him in great awe; he is, moreover, a mighty strong and
tall fellow.  Bagg has seen him.'

'Has he?'

'Yes! and felt him; he too is a strange one.  A few days ago he was told
that Grant had been seen hovering about an old castle some two miles off
in the bog; so one afternoon what does he do but, without saying a word
to me--for which, by-the-bye, I ought to put him under arrest, though
what I should do without Bagg I have no idea whatever--what does he do
but walk off to the castle, intending, as I suppose, to pay a visit to
Jerry.  He had some difficulty in getting there on account of the turf-
holes in the bog, which he was not accustomed to; however, thither at
last he got and went in.  It was a strange lonesome place, he says, and
he did not much like the look of it; however, in he went, and searched
about from the bottom to the top and down again, but could find no one;
he shouted and hallooed, but nobody answered, save the rooks and choughs,
which started up in great numbers.  "I have lost my trouble," said Bagg,
and left the castle.  It was now late in the afternoon, near sunset, when
about half way over the bog he met a man--'

'And that man was--'

'Jerry Grant! there's no doubt of it.  Bagg says it was the most sudden
thing in the world.  He was moving along, making the best of his way,
thinking of nothing at all save a public-house at Swanton Morley, which
he intends to take when he gets home and the regiment is disbanded--though
I hope that will not be for some time yet: he had just leaped a
turf-hole, and was moving on, when, at the distance of about six yards
before him, he saw a fellow coming straight towards him.  Bagg says that
he stopped short, as suddenly as if he had heard the word halt, when
marching at double-quick time.  It was quite a surprise, he says, and he
can't imagine how the fellow was so close upon him before he was aware.
He was an immense tall fellow--Bagg thinks at least two inches taller
than himself--very well dressed in a blue coat and buff breeches, for all
the world like a squire when going out hunting.  Bagg, however, saw at
once that he had a roguish air, and he was on his guard in a moment.
"Good evening to ye, sodger," says the fellow, stepping close up to Bagg,
and staring him in the face.  "Good evening to you, sir!  I hope you are
well," says Bagg.  "You are looking after some one?" says the fellow.
"Just so, sir," says Bagg, and forthwith seized him by the collar; the
man laughed, Bagg says it was such a strange awkward laugh.  "Do you know
whom you have got hold of, sodger?" said he.  "I believe I do, sir," said
Bagg, "and in that belief will hold you fast in the name of King George,
and the quarter sessions;" the next moment he was sprawling with his
heels in the air.  Bagg says there was nothing remarkable in that; he was
only flung by a kind of wrestling trick, which he could easily have
baffled, had he been aware of it.  "You will not do that again, sir,"
said he, as he got up and put himself on his guard.  The fellow laughed
again more strangely and awkwardly than before; then, bending his body
and moving his head from one side to the other, as a cat does before she
springs, and crying out, "Here's for ye, sodger!" he made a dart at Bagg,
rushing in with his head foremost.  "That will do, sir," says Bagg, and
drawing himself back he put in a left-handed blow with all the force of
his body and arm, just over the fellow's right eye--Bagg is a left-handed
hitter, you must know--and it was a blow of that kind which won him his
famous battle at Edinburgh with the big Highland sergeant.  Bagg says
that he was quite satisfied with the blow, more especially when he saw
the fellow reel, fling out his arms, and fall to the ground.  "And now,
sir," said he, "I'll make bold to hand you over to the quarter sessions,
and, if there is a hundred pounds for taking you, who has more right to
it than myself?"  So he went forward, but ere he could lay hold of his
man the other was again on his legs, and was prepared to renew the
combat.  They grappled each other--Bagg says he had not much fear of the
result, as he now felt himself the best man, the other seeming half
stunned with the blow--but just then there came on a blast, a horrible
roaring wind bearing night upon its wings, snow, and sleet, and hail.
Bagg says he had the fellow by the throat quite fast, as he thought, but
suddenly he became bewildered, and knew not where he was; and the man
seemed to melt away from his grasp, and the wind howled more and more,
and the night poured down darker and darker, the snow and the sleet
thicker and more blinding.  "Lord have mercy upon us!" said Bagg.

Myself.  A strange adventure that; it is well that Bagg got home alive.

John.  He says that the fight was a fair fight, and that the fling he got
was a fair fling, the result of a common enough wrestling trick.  But
with respect to the storm which rose up just in time to save the fellow,
he is of opinion that it was not fair, but something Irish and
supernatural.

Myself.  I dare say he's right.  I have read of witchcraft in the Bible.

John.  He wishes much to have one more encounter with the fellow; he says
that on fair ground, and in fine weather, he has no doubt that he could
master him, and hand him over to the quarter sessions.  He says that a
hundred pounds would be no bad thing to be disbanded upon; for he wishes
to take an inn at Swanton Morley, keep a cock-pit, and live respectably.

Myself.  He is quite right; and now kiss me, my darling brother, for I
must go back through the bog to Templemore.

* * * * *

'Is it a long time since you have seen any of these Gwyddeliaid [Irish]?'

'About two months, sir, and then a terrible fright they caused me.'

'How was that?'

'I will tell you, sir; I had been across the Berwyn to carry home a piece
of weaving work to a person who employs me.  It was night as I returned,
and when I was about halfway down the hill, at a place which is called
Allt Paddy, because the Gwyddelod are in the habit of taking up their
quarters there, I came upon a gang of them, who had come there and camped
and lighted their fire whilst I was on the other side of the hill.  There
were nearly twenty of them, men and women, and amongst the rest was a man
standing naked in a tub of water with two women stroking him down with
clouts.  He was a large fierce-looking fellow and his body, on which the
flame of the fire glittered, was nearly covered with red hair.  I never
saw such a sight.  As I passed they glared at me and talked violently in
their Paddy Gwyddel, but did not offer to molest me.  I hastened down the
hill, and right glad I was when I found myself safe and sound at my house
in Llangollen, with my money in my pocket, for I had several shillings
there, which the man across the hill had paid me for the work which I had
done.'

* * * * *

Now, a tinker is his own master, a scholar is not.  Let us suppose the
best of scholars, a schoolmaster, for example, for I suppose you will
admit that no one can be higher in scholarship than a schoolmaster; do
you call his a pleasant life?  I don't; we should call him a
school-slave, rather than a schoolmaster.  Only conceive him in blessed
weather like this, in his close school, teaching children to write in
copy-books, 'Evil communication corrupts good manners.' . . . Only
conceive him, I say, drudging in such guise from morning till night,
without any rational enjoyment but to beat the children.  Would you
compare such a dog's life as that with your own--the happiest under
heaven--true Eden life, as the Germans would say,--pitching your tent
under the pleasant hedgerow, listening to the song of the feathered
tribes, collecting all the leaky kettles in the neighbourhood, soldering
and joining, earning your honest bread by the wholesome sweat of your
brow--making ten holes--hey, what's this? what's the man crying for?

* * * * *

'Did you speak, Don Jorge?' demanded the archbishop.

'That is a fine brilliant on your lordship's hand,' said I.

'You are fond of brilliants, Don Jorge,' said the archbishop, his
features brightening up; 'vaya! so am I; they are pretty things.  Do you
understand them?'

'I do,' said I, 'and I never saw a finer brilliant than your own, one
excepted; it belonged to an acquaintance of mine, a Tartar Khan.  He did
not bear it on his finger, however; it stood in the frontlet of his
horse, where it shone like a star.  He called it Daoud Scharr, which,
being interpreted, meaneth light of war.'

'Vaya!' said the archbishop, 'how very extraordinary!  I am glad you are
fond of brilliants, Don Jorge.  Speaking of horses, reminds me that I
have frequently seen you on horseback.  Vaya! how you ride!  It is
dangerous to be in your way.'

'Is your lordship fond of equestrian exercise?'

'By no means, Don Jorge; I do not like horses.  It is not the practice of
the Church to ride on horseback.  We prefer mules; they are the quieter
animals.  I fear horses, they kick so violently.'

'The kick of a horse is death,' said I, 'if it touches a vital part.  I
am not, however, of your lordship's opinion with respect to mules: a good
ginete may retain his seat on a horse however vicious, but a mule--vaya!
when a false mule tira par detras, I do not believe that the Father of
the Church himself could keep the saddle a moment, however sharp his
bit.'

* * * * *

Francis Ardry and myself dined together, and after dinner partook of a
bottle of the best port which the inn afforded.  After a few glasses, we
had a great deal of conversation; I again brought the subject of marriage
and love, divine love, upon the carpet, but Francis almost immediately
begged me to drop it; and on my having the delicacy to comply, he
reverted to dog-fighting, on which he talked well and learnedly; amongst
other things, he said that it was a princely sport of great antiquity,
and quoted from Quintus Curtius to prove that the princes of India must
have been of the fancy, they having, according to that author, treated
Alexander to a fight between certain dogs and a lion.  Becoming,
notwithstanding my friend's eloquence and learning, somewhat tired of the
subject, I began to talk about Alexander.  Francis Ardry said he was one
of the two great men whom the world has produced, the other being
Napoleon; I replied that I believed Tamerlane was a greater man than
either; but Francis Ardry knew nothing of Tamerlane, save what he had
gathered from the play of Timour the Tartar.  'No,' said he, 'Alexander
and Napoleon are the great men of the world, their names are known
everywhere.  Alexander has been dead upwards of two too thousand years,
but the very English bumpkins sometimes christen their boys by the name
of Alexander--can there be a greater evidence of his greatness?  As for
Napoleon, there are some parts of India in which his bust is worshipped.'
Wishing to make up a triumvirate, I mentioned the name of Wellington, to
which Francis Ardry merely said, 'bah!' and resumed the subject of dog-
fighting.

* * * * *

After a slight breakfast I mounted the horse, which, decked out in his
borrowed finery, really looked better by a large sum of money than on any
former occasion.  Making my way out of the yard of the inn, I was
instantly in the principal street of the town, up and down which an
immense number of horses were being exhibited, some led, and others with
riders.  'A wonderful small quantity of good horses in the fair this
time!' I heard a stout, jockey-looking individual say, who was staring up
the street with his side towards me.  'Halloo, young fellow!' said he, a
few moments after I had passed, 'whose horse is that?  Stop!  I want to
look at him!'  Though confident that he was addressing himself to me, I
took no notice, remembering the advice of the ostler, and proceeded up
the street.  My horse possessed a good walking step; but walking, as the
reader knows, was not his best pace, which was the long trot, at which I
could not well exercise him in the street, on account of the crowd of men
and animals; however, as he walked along, I could easily perceive that he
attracted no slight attention amongst those who, by their jockey dress
and general appearance, I imagined to be connoisseurs; I heard various
calls to stop, to none of which I paid the slightest attention.  In a few
minutes I found myself out of the town, when, turning round for the
purpose of returning, I found I had been followed by several of the
connoisseur-looking individuals, whom I had observed in the fair.  'Now
would be the time for a display,' thought I; and looking around me I
observed two five-barred gates, one on each side of the road, and
fronting each other.  Turning my horse's head to one, I pressed my heels
to his sides, loosened the reins, and gave an encouraging cry, whereupon
the animal cleared the gate in a twinkling.  Before he had advanced ten
yards in the field to which the gate opened, I had turned him round, and
again giving him cry and rein, I caused him to leap back again into the
road, and still allowing him head, I made him leap the other gate; and
forthwith turning him round, I caused him to leap once more into the
road, where he stood proudly tossing his head, as much as to say, 'What
more?'  'A fine horse! a capital horse!' said several of the
connoisseurs.  'What do you ask for him?'  'Too much for any of you to
pay,' said I.  'A horse like this is intended for other kind of customers
than any of you.'  'How do you know that?' said one; the very same person
whom I had heard complaining in the street of the paucity of good horses
in the fair.  'Come, let us know what you ask for him?'  'A hundred and
fifty pounds,' said I; 'neither more nor less.'  'Do you call that a
great price?' said the man.  'Why, I thought you would have asked double
that amount!  You do yourself injustice, young man.'  'Perhaps I do,'
said I, 'but that's my affair; I do not choose to take more.'  'I wish
you would let me get into the saddle,' said the man; 'the horse knows
you, and therefore shows to more advantage; but I should like to see how
he would move under me, who am a stranger.  Will you let me get into the
saddle, young man?'  'No,' said I; 'I will not let you get into the
saddle.'  'Why not?' said the man.  'Lest you should be a Yorkshireman,'
said I, 'and should run away with the horse.'  'Yorkshire?' said the man;
'I am from Suffolk, silly Suffolk, so you need not be afraid of my
running away with the horse.'  'Oh! if that's the case,' said I, 'I
should be afraid that the horse would run away with you; so I will by no
means let you mount.'  'Will you let me look in his mouth?' said the man.
'If you please,' said I; 'but I tell you, he's apt to bite.'  'He can
scarcely be a worse bite than his master,' said the man, looking into the
horse's mouth; 'he's four off.  I say, young man, will you warrant this
horse?'  'No,' said I; 'I never warrant horses; the horses that I ride
can always warrant themselves.'  'I wish you would let me speak a word to
you,' said he.  'Just come aside.  It's a nice horse,' said he in a half-
whisper, after I had ridden a few paces aside with him.  'It's a nice
horse,' said he, placing his hand upon the pommel of the saddle, and
looking up in my face, 'and I think I can find you a customer.  If you
would take a hundred, I think my lord would purchase it, for he has sent
me about the fair to look him up a horse, by which he could hope to make
an honest penny.'  'Well,' said I, 'and could he not make an honest
penny, and yet give me the price I ask?'  'Why,' said the go-between, 'a
hundred and fifty pounds is as much as the animal is worth, or nearly so;
and my lord, do you see--'  'I see no reason at all,' said I, 'why I
should sell the animal for less than he is worth, in order that his
lordship may be benefited by him; so that if his lordship wants to make
an honest penny, he must find some person who would consider the
disadvantage of selling him a horse for less than it is worth as
counterbalanced by the honour of dealing with a lord, which I should
never do; but I can't be wasting my time here.  I am going back to the ---
, where, if you, or any person, are desirous of purchasing the horse, you
must come within the next half-hour, or I shall probably not feel
disposed to sell him at all.'  'Another word, young man,' said the
jockey, but without staying to hear what he had to say, I put the horse
to his best trot, and re-entering the town, and threading my way as well
as I could through the press, I returned to the yard of the inn, where,
dismounting, I stood still, holding the horse by the bridle.

* * * * *

I did not like reviewing at all--it was not to my taste; it was not in my
way; I liked it far less than translating the publisher's philosophy, for
that was something in the line of one whom a competent judge had surnamed
'Lavengro.'  I never could understand why reviews were instituted; works
of merit do not require to be reviewed, they can speak for themselves,
and require no praising; works of no merit at all will die of themselves,
they require no killing.

* * * * *

A lad, who twenty tongues can talk,
And sixty miles a day can walk;
Drink at a draught a pint of rum,
And then be neither sick nor dumb;
Can tune a song, and make a verse,
And deeds of northern kings rehearse;
Who never will forsake his friend,
While he his bony fist can bend;
And, though averse to brawl and strife,
Will fight a Dutchman with a knife,
O that is just the lad for me,
And such is honest six-foot three.

A braver being ne'er had birth
Since God first kneaded man from earth;
O, I have come to know him well,
As Ferroe's blacken'd rocks can tell.
Who was it did, at Suderoe,
The deed no other dared to do?
Who was it, when the Boff had burst,
And whelm'd me in its womb accurst,
Who was it dashed amid the wave,
With frantic zeal, my life to save?
Who was it flung the rope to me?
O, who, but honest six-foot three!

Who was it taught my willing tongue,
The songs that Braga fram'd and sung?
Who was it op'd to me the store
Of dark unearthly Runic lore,
And taught me to beguile my time
With Denmark's aged and witching rhyme;
To rest in thought in Elvir shades,
And hear the song of fairy maids;
Or climb the top of Dovrefeld,
Where magic knights their muster held:
Who was it did all this for me?
O, who, but honest six-foot three!

Wherever fate shall bid me roam,
Far, far from social joy and home;
'Mid burning Afric's desert sands;
Or wild Kamschatka's frozen lands;
Bit by the poison-loaded breeze
Or blasts which clog with ice the seas;
In lowly cot or lordly hall,
In beggar's rags or robes of pall,
'Mong robber-bands or honest men,
In crowded town or forest den,
I never will unmindful be
Of what I owe to six-foot three.

That form which moves with giant grace--
That wild, tho' not unhandsome face;
That voice which sometimes in its tone
Is softer than the wood-dove's moan,
At others, louder than the storm
Which beats the side of old Cairn Gorm;
That hand, as white as falling snow,
Which yet can fell the stoutest foe;
And, last of all, that noble heart,
Which ne'er from honour's path would start
Shall never be forgot by me--
So farewell, honest six-foot three.

* * * * *

'He is a great fool who is ever dishonest in England.  Any person who has
any natural gift, and everybody has some natural gift, is sure of finding
encouragement in this noble country of ours, provided he will but exhibit
it.  I had not walked more than three miles before I came to a
wonderfully high church steeple, which stood close by the road; I looked
at the steeple, and going to a heap of smooth pebbles which lay by the
roadside, I took up some, and then went into the churchyard, and placing
myself just below the tower, my right foot resting on a ledge, about two
feet from the ground, I, with my left hand--being a left-handed person,
do you see--flung or chucked up a stone, which lighting on the top of the
steeple, which was at least a hundred and fifty feet high, did there
remain.  After repeating this feat two or three times, I "hulled" up a
stone, which went clean over the tower, and then one, my right foot still
on the ledge, which rising at least five yards above the steeple, did
fall down just at my feet.  Without knowing it, I was showing off my gift
to others besides myself, doing what, perhaps, not five men in England
could do.  Two men, who were passing by, stopped and looked at my
proceedings, and when I had done flinging came into the churchyard, and,
after paying me a compliment on what they had seen me do, proposed that I
should join company with them; I asked them who they were, and they told
me.  The one was Hopping Ned, and the other Biting Giles.  Both had their
gifts, by which they got their livelihood; Ned could hop a hundred yards
with any man in England, and Giles could lift up with his teeth any
dresser or kitchen table in the country, and, standing erect, hold it
dangling in his jaws.  There's many a big oak table and dresser in
certain districts of England, which bear the marks of Giles's teeth; and
I make no doubt that, a hundred or two years hence, there'll be strange
stories about those marks, and that people will point them out as a proof
that there were giants in bygone times, and that many a dentist will
moralise on the decays which human teeth have undergone.

'They wanted me to go about with them, and exhibit my gift occasionally
as they did theirs, promising that the money that was got by the
exhibitions should be honestly divided.  I consented, and we set off
together, and that evening coming to a village, and putting up at the
alehouse, all the grand folks of the village being there smoking their
pipes, we contrived to introduce the subject of hopping--the upshot being
that Ned hopped against the schoolmaster for a pound, and beat him
hollow; shortly after, Giles, for a wager, took up the kitchen table in
his jaws, though he had to pay a shilling to the landlady for the marks
he left, whose grandchildren will perhaps get money by exhibiting them.
As for myself, I did nothing that day, but the next, on which my
companions did nothing, I showed off at hulling stones against a cripple,
the crack man for stone throwing, of a small town, a few miles farther
on.  Bets were made to the tune of some pounds, I contrived to beat the
cripple, and just contrived; for to do him justice, I must acknowledge he
was a first-rate hand at stones, though he had a game hip, and went
sideways; his head, when he walked--if his movements could be called
walking--not being above three feet above the ground.  So we travelled, I
and my companions, showing off our gifts, Giles and I occasionally for a
gathering, but Ned never hopping unless against somebody for a wager.  We
lived honestly and comfortably, making no little money by our natural
endowments, and were known over a great part of England as 'Hopping Ned,'
'Biting Giles,' and 'Hull over the Head Jack,' which was my name, it
being the blackguard fashion of the English, do you see, to--'

Here I interrupted the jockey.  'You may call it a blackguard fashion,'
said I, 'and I dare say it is, or it would scarcely be English; but it is
an immensely ancient one, and is handed down to us from our northern
ancestry, especially the Danes, who were in the habit of giving people
surnames, or rather nicknames, from some quality of body or mind, but
generally from some disadvantageous peculiarity of feature; for there is
no denying that the English, Norse, or whatever we may please to call
them, are an envious, depreciatory set of people, who not only give their
poor comrades contemptuous surnames, but their great people also.  They
didn't call you the matchless Hurler, because, by doing so, they would
have paid you a compliment, but Hull over the Head Jack, as much as to
say that after all you were a scrub: so, in ancient time, instead of
calling Regner the great conqueror, the Nation Tamer, they surnamed him
Lodbrog, which signifies Rough or Hairy Breeks--lod or loddin signifying
rough or hairy; and instead of complimenting Halgerdr, the wife of Gunnar
of Hlitharend, the great champion of Iceland, upon her majestic presence,
by calling her Halgerdr, the stately or tall, what must they do but term
her Ha-brokr, or High-breeks, it being the fashion in old times for
Northern ladies to wear breeks, or breeches, which English ladies of the
present day never think of doing; and just, as of old, they called
Halgerdr Longbreeks, so this very day a fellow of Horncastle called, in
my hearing, our noble-looking Hungarian friend here, Long-stockings.  Oh,
I could give you a hundred instances, both ancient and modern, of this
unseemly propensity of our illustrious race, though I will only trouble
you with a few more ancient ones; they not only nicknamed Regner, but his
sons also, who were all kings, and distinguished men; one, whose name was
Biorn, they nicknamed Ironsides; another, Sigurd, Snake in the Eye;
another, White Sark, or White Shirt--I wonder they did not tall him Dirty
Shirt; and Ivarr, another, who was king of Northumberland, they called
Beinlausi, or the Legless, because he was spindle-shanked, had no sap in
his bones, and consequently no children.  He was a great king, it is
true, and very wise, nevertheless his blackguard countrymen, always
averse, as their descendants are, to give credit to anybody, for any
valuable quality or possession, must needs lay hold, do you see--'

But before I could say any more, the jockey, having laid down his pipe,
rose, and having taken off his coat, advanced towards me.

* * * * *

I informed the landlord that he was right in supposing that I came for
the horse, but that, before I paid for him, I should wish to prove his
capabilities.  'With all my heart,' said the landlord.  'You shall mount
him this moment.'  Then going into the stable, he saddled and bridled the
horse, and presently brought him out before the door.  I mounted him, Mr.
Petulengro putting a heavy whip into my hand, and saying a few words to
me in his own mysterious language.  'The horse wants no whip,' said the
landlord.  'Hold your tongue, daddy,' said Mr. Petulengro, 'my pal knows
quite well what to do with the whip, he's not going to beat the horse
with it.'  About four hundred yards from the house there was a hill, to
the foot of which the road ran almost on a perfect level; towards the
foot of this hill, I trotted the horse, who set off at a long, swift
pace, seemingly at the rate of about sixteen miles an hour.  On reaching
the foot of the hill, I wheeled the animal found, and trotted him towards
the house--the horse sped faster than before.  Ere he had advanced a
hundred yards, I took off my hat, in obedience to the advice which Mr.
Petulengro had given me, in his own language, and holding it over the
horse's head, commenced drumming on the crown with the knob of the whip;
the horse gave a slight start, but instantly recovering himself,
continued his trot till he arrived at the door of the public-house,
amidst the acclamations of the company, who had all rushed out of the
house to be spectators of what was going on.  'I see now what you wanted
the whip for,' said the landlord, 'and sure enough, that drumming on your
hat was no bad way of learning whether the horse was quiet or not.  Well,
did you ever see a more quiet horse, or a better trotter?'  'My cob shall
trot against him,' said a fellow, dressed in velveteen, mounted on a low
powerful-looking animal.  'My cob shall trot against him to the hill and
back again--come on!'  We both started; the cob kept up gallantly against
the horse for about half the way to the hill, when he began to lose
ground; at the foot of the hill he was about fifteen yards behind.
Whereupon I turned slowly and waited for him.  We then set off towards
the house, but now the cob had no chance, being at least twenty yards
behind when I reached the door.  This running of horses, the wild uncouth
forms around me, and the ale and beer which were being guzzled from pots
and flagons, put me wonderfully in mind of the ancient horse-races of the
heathen north.  I almost imagined myself Gunnar of Hlitharend at the race
of ---.

'Are you satisfied?' said the landlord.  'Didn't you tell me that he
could leap?' I demanded.  'I am told he can,' said the landlord; 'but I
can't consent that he should be tried in that way, as he might be
damaged.'  'That's right!' said Mr. Petulengro, 'don't trust my pal to
leap that horse, he'll merely fling him down, and break his neck and his
own.  There's a better man than he close by; let him get on his back and
leap him.'  'You mean yourself, I suppose,' said the landlord.  'Well, I
call that talking modestly, and nothing becomes a young man more than
modesty.'  'It a'n't I, daddy,' said Mr. Petulengro.  'Here's the man,'
said he, pointing to Tawno.  'Here's the horse-leaper of the world!'  'You
mean the horse-back breaker,' said the landlord.  'That big fellow would
break down my cousin's horse.'  'Why, he weighs only sixteen stone,' said
Mr. Petulengro.  'And his sixteen stone, with his way of handling a
horse, does not press so much as any other one's thirteen.  Only let him
get on the horse's back, and you'll see what he can do!'  'No,' said the
landlord, 'it won't do.'  Whereupon Mr. Petulengro became very much
excited, and pulling out a handful of money, said: 'I'll tell you what,
I'll forfeit these guineas, if my black pal there does the horse any kind
of damage; duck me in the horse-pond if I don't.'  'Well,' said the
landlord, 'for the sport of the thing I consent, so let your white pal
get down, and your black pal mount as soon as he pleases.'  I felt rather
mortified at Mr. Petulengro's interference, and showed no disposition to
quit my seat; whereupon he came up to me and said: 'Now, brother, do get
out of the saddle--you are no bad hand at trotting, I am willing to
acknowledge that; but at leaping a horse there is no one like Tawno.  Let
every dog be praised for his own gift.  You have been showing off in your
line for the last half-hour; now do give Tawno a chance of exhibiting a
little; poor fellow, he hasn't often a chance of exhibiting, as his wife
keeps him so much in sight.'  Not wishing to appear desirous of
engrossing the public attention, and feeling rather desirous to see how
Tawno, of whose exploits in leaping horses I had frequently heard, would
acquit himself in the affair, I at length dismounted, and Tawno, at a
bound, leaped into the saddle, where he really looked like Gunnar of
Hlitharend, save and except the complexion of Gunnar was florid, whereas
that of Tawno was of nearly Mulatto darkness; and that all Tawno's
features were cast in the Grecian model, whereas Gunnar had a snub nose.
'There's a leaping-bar behind the house,' said the landlord.  'Leaping-
bar!' said Mr. Petulengro scornfully.  'Do you think my black pal ever
rides at a leaping-bar?  No more than at a windle-straw.  Leap over that
meadow wall, Tawno.'  Just past the house, in the direction in which I
had been trotting, was a wall about four feet high, beyond which was a
small meadow.  Tawno rode the horse gently up to the wall, permitted him
to look over, then backed him for about ten yards, and pressing his
calves against the horse's sides, he loosed the rein, and the horse
launching forward, took the leap in gallant style.  'Well done, man and
horse!' said Mr. Petulengro; 'now come back, Tawno.'  The leap from the
side of the meadow was, however, somewhat higher; and the horse, when
pushed at it, at first turned away; whereupon Tawno backed him to a
greater distance, pushed the horse to a full gallop, giving a wild cry;
whereupon the horse again took the wall, slightly grazing one of his legs
against it.  'A near thing,' said the landlord, 'but a good leap.  Now,
no more leaping, so long as I have control over the animal.'  The horse
was then led back to the stable; and the landlord, myself and companions
going into the bar, I paid down the money for the horse.

* * * * *

'When you are a gentleman,' said he, after a pause, 'the first thing you
must think about is to provide yourself with a good horse for your own
particular riding; you will perhaps keep a coach and pair, but they will
be less your own than your lady's, should you have one, and your young
gentry, should you have any; or, if you have neither, for madam, your
housekeeper, and the upper female servants, so you need trouble your head
less about them, though, of course, you would not like to pay away your
money for screws; but be sure you get a good horse for your own riding;
and that you may have a good chance of having a good one, buy one that's
young and has plenty of belly--a little more than the one has which you
now have, though you are not yet a gentleman; you will, of course, look
to his head, his withers, legs and other points, but never buy a horse at
any price that has not plenty of belly; no horse that has not belly is
ever a good feeder, and a horse that a'n't a good feeder, can't be a good
horse; never buy a horse that is drawn up in the belly behind; a horse of
that description can't feed, and can never carry sixteen stone.

'When you have got such a horse be proud of it--as I dare say you are of
the one you have now--and wherever you go swear there a'n't another to
match it in the country, and if anybody gives you the lie, take him by
the nose and tweak it off, just as you would do if anybody were to speak
ill of your lady, or, for want of her, of your housekeeper.  Take care of
your horse, as you would of the apple of your eye--I am sure I would if I
were a gentleman, which I don't ever expect to be, and hardly wish,
seeing as how I am sixty-nine, and am rather too old to ride--yes,
cherish and take care of your horse as perhaps the best friend you have
in the world; for, after all, who will carry you through thick and thin
as your horse will? not your gentlemen friends, I warrant, nor your
housekeeper, nor your upper servants, male or female; perhaps your lady
would, that is, if she is a whopper, and one of the right sort; the
others would be more likely to take up mud and pelt you with it, provided
they saw you in trouble, than to help you.  So take care of your horse,
and feed him every day with your own hands; give him three-quarters of a
peck of corn each day, mixed up with a little hay-chaff, and allow him
besides one hundredweight of hay in the course of a week; some say that
the hay should be hardland hay, because it is wholesomest, but I say, let
it be clover hay, because the horse likes it best; give him through
summer and winter, once a week, a pailful of bran mash, cold in summer
and in winter hot; ride him gently about the neighbourhood every day, by
which means you will give exercise to yourself and horse, and, moreover,
have the satisfaction of exhibiting yourself and your horse to advantage,
and hearing, perhaps, the men say what a fine horse, and the ladies
saying what a fine man: never let your groom mount your horse, as it is
ten to one, if you do, your groom will be wishing to show off before
company, and will fling your horse down.  I was groom to a gemman before
I went to the inn at Hounslow, and flung him a horse down worth ninety
guineas, by endeavouring to show off before some ladies that I met on the
road.  Turn your horse out to grass throughout May and the first part of
June, for then the grass is sweetest, and the flies don't sting so bad as
they do later in summer; afterwards merely turn him out occasionally in
the swale of the morn and the evening; after September the grass is good
for little, lash and sour at best; every horse should go out to grass, if
not his blood becomes full of greasy humours, and his wind is apt to
become affected, but he ought to be kept as much as possible from the
heat and flies, always got up at night, and never turned out late in the
year--Lord! if I had always such a nice attentive person to listen to me
as you are, I could go on talking about 'orses to the end of time.'

* * * * *

I was bidding him farewell, when he hemmed once or twice, and said, that
as he did not live far off, he hoped that I would go with him and taste
some of his mead.  As I had never tasted mead, of which I had frequently
read in the compositions of the Welsh bards, and, moreover, felt rather
thirsty from the heat of the day, I told him that I should have great
pleasure in attending him.  Whereupon, turning off together, we proceeded
about half a mile, sometimes between stone walls, and at other times
hedges, till we reached a small hamlet, through which we passed, and
presently came to a very pretty cottage, delightfully situated within a
garden, surrounded by a hedge of woodbines.  Opening a gate at one corner
of the garden he led the way to a large shed, which stood partly behind
the cottage, which he said was his stable; thereupon he dismounted and
led his donkey into the shed, which was without stalls, but had a long
rack and manger.  On one side he tied his donkey, after taking off her
caparisons, and I followed his example, tying my horse at the other side
with a rope halter which he gave me; he then asked me to come in and
taste his mead, but I told him that I must attend to the comfort of my
horse first, and forthwith, taking a wisp of straw, rubbed him carefully
down.  Then taking a pailful of clear water which stood in the shed, I
allowed the horse to drink about half a pint; and then turning to the old
man, who all the time had stood by looking at my proceedings, I asked him
whether he had any oats?  'I have all kinds of grain,' he replied; and,
going out, he presently returned with two measures, one a large and the
other a small one, both filled with oats, mixed with a few beans, and
handing the large one to me for the horse, he emptied the other before
the donkey, who, before she began to despatch it turned her nose to her
master's face, and fairly kissed him.  Having given my horse his portion,
I told the old man that I was ready to taste his mead as soon as he
pleased, whereupon he ushered me into his cottage, where, making me sit
down by a deal table in a neatly sanded kitchen, he produced from an old-
fashioned closet a bottle, holding about a quart, and a couple of cups,
which might each contain about half a pint, then opening the bottle and
filling the cups with a brown-coloured liquor, he handed one to me, and
taking a seat opposite to me he lifted the other, nodded, and saying to
me: 'Health and welcome,' placed it to his lips and drank.

* * * * *

At the dead hour of night, it might be about two, I was awakened from
sleep by a cry which sounded from the room immediately below that in
which I slept.  I knew the cry, it was the cry of my mother, and I also
knew its import; yet I made no effort to rise, for I was for the moment
paralysed.  Again the cry sounded, yet still I lay motionless--the
stupidity of horror was upon me.  A third time, and it was then that, by
a violent effort bursting the spell which appeared to bind me, I sprang
from the bed and rushed downstairs.  My mother was running wildly about
the room; she had awoke and found my father senseless in the bed by her
side.  I essayed to raise him, and after a few efforts supported him in
the bed in a sitting posture.  My brother now rushed in, and snatching up
a light that was burning, he held it to my father's face.  'The surgeon,
the surgeon!' he cried; then dropping the light, he ran out of the room
followed by my mother; I remained alone, supporting the senseless form of
my father; the light had been extinguished by the fall, and an almost
total darkness reigned in the room.  The form pressed heavily against my
bosom--at last methought it moved.  Yes, I was light, there was a heaving
of the breast, and then a gasping.  Were those words which I heard?  Yes,
they were words, low and indistinct at first, and then audible.  The mind
of the dying man was reverting to former scenes.  I heard him mention
names which I had often heard him mention before.  It was an awful
moment; I felt stupefied, but I still contrived to support my dying
father.  There was a pause, again my father spoke: I heard him speak of
Minden, and of Meredith, the old Minden sergeant, and then he uttered
another name, which at one period of his life was much on his lips, the
name of --- but this is a solemn moment!  There was a deep gasp: I shook,
and thought all was over; but I was mistaken--my father moved and revived
for a moment; he supported himself in bed without my assistance.  I make
no doubt that for a moment he was perfectly sensible, and it was then
that, clasping his hands, he uttered another name clearly, distinctly--it
was the name of Christ.  With that name upon his lips, the brave old
soldier sank back upon my bosom, and, with his hands still clasped
yielded up his soul.

* * * * *

I should say that I scarcely walked less than thirty miles about the big
city on the day of my first arrival.  Night came on, but still I was
walking about, my eyes wide open, and admiring everything that presented
itself to them.  Everything was new to me, for everything is different in
London from what it is elsewhere--the people, their language, the horses,
the tout ensemble--even the stones of London are different from others--at
least it appeared to me that I had never walked with the same ease and
facility on the flag stones of a country town as on those of London; so I
continued roving about till night came on, and then the splendour of some
of the shops particularly struck me.  'A regular Arabian nights'
entertainment!' said I, as I looked into one on Cornhill, gorgeous with
precious merchandise, and lighted up with lustres, the rays of which were
reflected from a hundred mirrors.

But, notwithstanding the excellence of the London pavement, I began about
nine o'clock to feel myself thoroughly tired; painfully and slowly did I
drag my feet along.  I also felt very much in want of some refreshment,
and I remembered that since breakfast I had taken nothing.  I was now in
the Strand, and, glancing about, I perceived that I was close by an
hotel, which bore over the door the somewhat remarkable name of Holy
Lands.  Without a moment's hesitation I entered a well-lighted passage,
and turning to the left, I found myself in a well-lighted coffee-room,
with a well-dressed and frizzled waiter before me.  'Bring me some
claret,' said I, for I was rather faint than hungry, and I felt ashamed
to give a humbler order to so well-dressed an individual.  The waiter
looked at me for a moment; then, making a low bow, he bustled off, and I
sat myself down in the box nearest to the window.  Presently the waiter
returned, bearing beneath his left arm a long bottle, and between the
fingers of his right hand two large purple glasses; placing the latter on
the table, he produced a cork-screw, drew the cork in a twinkling, set
the bottle down before me with a bang, and then, standing still, appeared
to watch my movements.  You think I don't know how to drink a glass of
claret, thought I to myself.  I'll soon show you how we drink claret
where I come from; and filling one of the glasses to the brim, I
flickered it for a moment between my eyes and the lustre, and then held
it to my nose; having given that organ full time to test the bouquet of
the wine, I applied the glass to my lips, taking a large mouthful of the
wine, which I swallowed slowly and by degrees, that the palate might
likewise have an opportunity of performing its functions.  A second
mouthful I disposed of more summarily; then, placing the empty glass upon
the table, I fixed my eyes upon the bottle, and said--nothing; whereupon
the waiter, who had been observing the whole process with considerable
attention, made me a bow yet more low than before, and turning on his
heel, retired with a smart chuck of his head, as much as to say, It is
all right; the young man is used to claret.

* * * * *

To the generality of mankind there is no period like youth.  The
generality are far from fortunate; but the period of youth, even to the
least so, offers moments of considerable happiness, for they are not only
disposed, but able to enjoy most things within their reach.  With what
trifles at that period are we content; the things from which in after-
life we should turn away in disdain please us then, for we are in the
midst of a golden cloud, and everything seems decked with a golden hue.
Never during any portion of my life did time flow on more speedily than
during the two or three years immediately succeeding the period to which
we arrived in the preceding chapter.  Since then it has flagged often
enough; sometimes it has seemed to stand entirely still; and the reader
may easily judge how it fares at the present, from the circumstance of my
taking pen in hand, and endeavouring to write down the passages of my
life--a last resource with most people.  But at the period to which I
allude I was just, as I may say, entering upon life; I had adopted a
profession, and--to keep up my character, simultaneously with that
profession--the study of a new language; I speedily became a proficient
in the one, but ever remained a novice in the other: a novice in the law,
but a perfect master in the Welsh tongue.

Yes! very pleasant times were those, when within the womb of a lofty deal
desk, behind which I sat for some eight hours every day, transcribing
(when I imagined eyes were upon me) documents of every description in
every possible hand, Blackstone kept company with Ab Gwilym--the polished
English lawyer of the last century, who wrote long and prosy chapters on
the rights of things--with a certain wild Welshman, who some four hundred
years before that time indited immortal cowydds and odes to the wives of
Cambrian chieftains--more particularly to one Morfydd, the wife of a
certain hunchbacked dignitary called by the poet facetiously Bwa
Bach--generally terminating with the modest request of a little private
parlance beneath the green wood bough, with no other witness than the
eos, or nightingale, a request which, if the poet himself may be
believed--rather a doubtful point--was seldom, very seldom, denied.

* * * * *

I cannot help thinking that it was fortunate for myself, who am, to a
certain extent, a philologist, that with me the pursuit of languages has
been always modified by the love of horses; for scarcely had I turned my
mind to the former, when I also mounted the wild cob, and hurried forth
in the direction of the Devil's Hill, scattering dust and flint-stones on
every side; that ride, amongst other things, taught me that a lad with
thews and sinews was intended by nature for something better than mere
word-culling; and if I have accomplished anything in after life worthy of
mentioning, I believe it may partly be attributed to the ideas which that
ride, by setting my blood in a glow, infused into my brain.  I might,
otherwise, have become a mere philologist; one of those beings who toil
night and day in culling useless words for some opus magnum which Murray
will never publish, and nobody ever read--beings without enthusiasm, who,
having never mounted a generous steed, cannot detect a good point in
Pegasus himself; like a certain philologist, who, though acquainted with
the exact value of every word in the Greek and Latin languages, could
observe no particular beauty in one of the most glorious of Homer's
rhapsodies.  What knew he of Pegasus? he had never mounted a generous
steed; the merest jockey, had the strain been interpreted to him, would
have called it a brave song!--I return to the brave cob.

* * * * *

'O Cheapside!  Cheapside!' said I, as I advanced up that mighty
thoroughfare, 'truly thou art a wonderful place for hurry, noise and
riches!  Men talk of the bazaars of the East--I have never seen them, but
I dare say that, compared with thee, they are poor places, silent places,
abounding with empty boxes.  O thou pride of London's east!--mighty mart
of old renown!--for thou art not a place of yesterday: long before the
Roses red and white battled in fair England, thou didst exist--a place of
throng and bustle--a place of gold and silver, perfumes and fine linen.
Centuries ago thou couldst extort the praises even of the fiercest foes
of England.  Fierce bards of Wales, sworn foes of England, sang thy
praises centuries ago; and even the fiercest of them all, Red Julius
himself, wild Glendower's bard, had a word of praise for London's
"Cheape," for so the bards of Wales styled thee in their flowing odes.
Then, if those who were not English, and hated England, and all connected
therewith, had yet much to say in thy praise, when thou wast far inferior
to what thou art now, why should true-born Englishmen, or those who call
themselves so, turn up their noses at thee, and scoff thee at the present
day, as I believe they do?  But, let others do as they will, I, at least,
who am not only an Englishman, but an East Englishman, will not turn up
my nose at thee, but will praise and extol thee, calling thee mart of the
world--a place of wonder and astonishment!--and, were it right and
fitting to wish that anything should endure for ever, I would say
prosperity to Cheapside, throughout all ages--may it be the world's
resort for merchandise, world without end.

* * * * *

Oh, that ride! that first ride!--most truly it was an epoch in my
existence; and I still look back to it with feelings of longing and
regret.  People may talk of first love--it is a very agreeable event, I
dare say--but give me the flush, and triumph, and glorious sweat of a
first ride, like mine on the mighty cob!  My whole frame was shaken, it
is true; and during one long week I could hardly move foot or hand; but
what of that?  By that one trial I had become free, as I may say, of the
whole equine species.  No more fatigue, no more stiffness of joints,
after that first ride round the Devil's Hill on the cob.

Oh, that cob! that Irish cob!--may the sod lie lightly over the bones of
the strongest, speediest, and most gallant of its kind!  Oh! the days
when, issuing from the barrack-gate of Templemore, we commenced our hurry-
skurry just as inclination led--now across the fields--direct over stone
walls and running brooks--mere pastime for the cob!--sometimes along the
road to Thurles and Holy Cross, even to distant Cahir!--what was distance
to the cob?

It was thus that the passion for the equine race was first awakened
within me--a passion which, up to the present time, has been rather on
the increase than diminishing.  It is no blind passion; the horse being a
noble and generous creature, intended by the All-Wise to be the helper
and friend of man, to whom he stands next in the order of creation.  On
many occasions of my life I have been much indebted to the horse, and
have found in him a friend and coadjutor, when human help and sympathy
were not to be obtained.  It is therefore natural enough that I should
love the horse; but the love which I entertain for him has always been
blended with respect; for I soon perceived that, though disposed to be
the friend and helper of man, he is by no means inclined to be his slave;
in which respect he differs from the dog, who will crouch when beaten;
whereas the horse spurns, for he is aware of his own worth, and that he
carries death within the horn of his heel.  If, therefore, I found it
easy to love the horse, I found it equally natural to respect him.

* * * * *

Of one thing I am certain, that the reader must be much delighted with
the wholesome smell of the stable, with which many of these pages are
redolent; what a contrast to the sickly odours exhaled from those of some
of my contemporaries, especially of those who pretend to be of the highly
fashionable class, and who treat of reception-rooms, well may they be
styled so, in which dukes, duchesses, earls, countesses, archbishops,
bishops, mayors, mayoresses--not forgetting the writers themselves, both
male and female--congregate and press upon one another; how cheering, how
refreshing, after having been nearly knocked down with such an
atmosphere, to come in contact with genuine stable hartshorn.

* * * * *

My curiosity had led me to a most extraordinary place, which quite
beggars the scanty powers of description with which I am gifted.  I
stumbled on amongst ruined walls, and at one time found I was treading
over vaults, as I suddenly started back from a yawning orifice, into
which my next step as I strolled musing along, would have precipitated
me.  I proceeded for a considerable way by the eastern wall, till I heard
a tremendous bark, and presently an immense dog, such as those which
guard the flocks in the neighbourhood against the wolves, came bounding
to attack me 'with eyes that glowed, and fangs that grinned.'  Had I
retreated, or had recourse to any other mode of defence than that which I
invariably practise under such circumstances, he would probably have
worried me; but I stooped till my chin nearly touched my knee, and looked
him full in the eyes, and, as John Leyden says, in the noblest ballad
which the Land of Heather has produced:

   'The hound lie yowled, and back he fled,
   As struck with fairy charm.'

It is a fact known to many people, and I believe it has been frequently
stated, that no large and fierce dog or animal of any kind, with the
exception of the bull, which shuts its eyes and rushes blindly forward,
will venture to attack an individual who confronts it with a firm and
motionless countenance.  I say large and fierce, for it is much easier to
repel a bloodhound or bear of Finland in this manner than a dung-hill cur
or a terrier, against which a stick or a stone is a much more certain
defence.  This will astonish no one who considers that the calm reproving
glance of reason, which allays the excesses of the mighty and courageous
in our own species, has seldom any other effect than to add to the
insolence of the feeble and foolish, who become placid as doves upon the
infliction of chastisements which, if attempted to be applied to the
former, would only serve to render them more terrible, and, like
gunpowder cast on a flame, cause them, in mad desperation, to scatter
destruction around them.

* * * * *

The morning of the fifth of November looked rather threatening.  As,
however, it did not rain, I determined to set off for Plynlimmon, and,
returning at night to the inn, resume my journey to the south on the
following day.  On looking into a pocket almanac I found it was Sunday.
This very much disconcerted me, and I thought at first of giving up my
expedition.  Eventually, however, I determined to go, for I reflected
that I should be doing no harm, and that I might acknowledge the
sacredness of the day by attending morning service at the little Church
of England chapel which lay in my way.

The mountain of Plynlimmon to which I was bound is the third in Wales for
altitude, being only inferior to Snowdon and Cadair Idris.  Its proper
name is Pum, or Pump, Lumon, signifying the five points, because towards
the upper part it is divided into five hills or points.  Plynlimmon is a
celebrated hill on many accounts.  It has been the scene of many
remarkable events.  In the tenth century a dreadful battle was fought on
one of its spurs between the Danes and the Welsh, in which the former
sustained a bloody overthrow; and in 1401 a conflict took place in one of
its valleys between the Welsh, under Glendower, and the Flemings, of
Pembrokeshire, who, exasperated at having their homesteads plundered and
burned by the chieftain who was the mortal enemy of their race, assembled
in considerable numbers and drove Glendower and his forces before them to
Plynlimmon, where, the Welshmen standing at bay, a contest ensued, in
which, though eventually worsted, the Flemings were at one time all but
victorious.  What, however, has more than anything else contributed to
the celebrity of the hill is the circumstance of its giving birth to
three rivers, the first of which, the Severn, is the principal stream in
Britain; the second, the Wye, the most lovely river, probably, which the
world can boast of; and the third, the Rheidol, entitled to high honour
from its boldness and impetuosity, and the remarkable banks between which
it flows in its very short course, for there are scarcely twenty miles
between the ffynnon or source of the Rheidol and the aber or place where
it disembogues itself into the sea.

* * * * *

'Good are the horses of the Moslems,' said my old friend; 'where will you
find such?  They will descend rocky mountains at full speed and neither
trip nor fall; but you must be cautious with the horses of the Moslems,
and treat them with kindness, for the horses of the Moslems are proud,
and they like not being slaves.  When they are young, and first mounted,
jerk not their mouths with your bit, for be sure if you do they will kill
you; sooner or later, you will perish beneath their feet.  Good are our
horses, and good our riders, yea, very good are the Moslems at mounting
the horse; who are like them?  I once saw a Frank rider compete with a
Moslem on this beach, and at first the Frank rider had it all his own
way, and he passed the Moslem, but the course was long, very long, and
the horse of the Frank rider, which was a Frank also, panted; but the
horse of the Moslem panted not, for he was a Moslem also, and the Moslem
rider at last gave a cry and the horse sprang forward and he overtook the
Frank horse, and then the Moslem rider stood up in his saddle.  How did
he stand?  Truly he stood on his head, and these eyes saw him; he stood
on his head in the saddle as he passed the Frank rider; and he cried ha!
ha! as he passed the Frank rider; and the Moslem horse cried ha! ha! as
he passed the Frank breed, and the Frank lost by a far distance.  Good
are the Franks; good their horses; but better are the Moslems, and better
are the horses of the Moslems.'

* * * * *

'The burra,' [donkey], I replied, 'appears both savage and vicious.'

'She is both, brother, and on that account I bought her; a savage and
vicious beast has generally four excellent legs.'

* * * * *

I was standing on the castle hill in the midst of a fair of horses.

I have already had occasion to mention this castle.  It is the remains of
what was once a Norman stronghold, and is perched upon a round mound or
monticle, in the midst of the old city.  Steep is this mound and scarped,
evidently by the hand of man; a deep gorge, over which is flung a bridge,
separates it, on the south, from a broad swell of open ground called 'the
hill;' of old the scene of many a tournament and feat of Norman chivalry,
but now much used as a show-place for cattle, where those who buy and
sell beeves and other beasts resort at stated periods.

So it came to pass that I stood upon this hill, observing a fair of
horses.

The reader is already aware that I had long since conceived a passion for
the equine race, a passion in which circumstances had of late not
permitted me to indulge.  I had no horses to ride, but I took pleasure in
looking at them; and I had already attended more than one of these fairs:
the present was lively enough, indeed, horse fairs are seldom dull.  There
was shouting and whooping, neighing and braying; there was galloping and
trotting; fellows with highlows and white stockings, and with many a
string dangling from the knees of their tight breeches, were running
desperately, holding horses by the halter, and in some cases dragging
them along; there were long-tailed steeds, and dock-tailed steeds of
every degree and breed; there were droves of wild ponies, and long rows
of sober cart horses; there were donkeys and even mules: the last rare
things to be seen in damp, misty England, for the mule pines in mud and
rain, and thrives best with a hot sun above and a burning sand below.
There were--oh, the gallant creatures!  I hear their neigh upon the wind;
there were--goodliest sight of all--certain enormous quadrupeds only seen
to perfection in our native isle, led about by dapper grooms, their manes
ribanded and their tails curiously clubbed and balled.  Ha! ha!--how
distinctly do they say, ha! ha!

An old man draws nigh, he is mounted on a lean pony, and he leads by the
bridle one of these animals; nothing very remarkable about that creature,
unless in being smaller than the rest and gentle, which they are not; he
is not of the sightliest look; he is almost dun, and over one eye a thick
film has gathered.  But stay! there is something remarkable about that
horse, there is something in his action in which he differs from the
rest.  As he advances, the clamour is hushed! all eyes are turned upon
him--what looks of interest--of respect--and, what is this? people are
taking off their hats--surely not to that steed!  Yes, verily! men,
especially old men, are taking off their hats to that one-eyed steed, and
I hear more than one deep-drawn ah!

'What horse is that?' said I to a very old fellow, the counterpart of the
old man on the pony, save that the last wore a faded suit of velveteen,
and this one was dressed in a white frock.

'The best in mother England,' said the very old man, taking a knobbed
stick from his mouth, and looking me in the face, at first carelessly,
but presently with something like interest; 'he is old, like myself, but
can still trot his twenty miles an hour.  You won't live long, my swain;
tall and overgrown ones like thee never does; yet, if you should chance
to reach my years, you may boast to thy great grand boys, thou hast seen
Marshland Shales.'

Amain I did for the horse what I would neither do for earl or baron,
doffed my hat; yes!  I doffed my hat to the wondrous horse, the fast
trotter, the best in mother England; and I, too, drew a deep ah! and
repeated the words of the old fellows around.  'Such a horse as this we
shall never see again; a pity that he is so old!'

* * * * *

In Spain I passed five years, which, if not the most eventful, were, I
have no hesitation in saying, the most happy years of my existence.  Of
Spain at the present time, now that the day-dream has vanished never,
alas! to return, I entertain the warmest admiration: she is the most
magnificent country in the world, probably the most fertile, and
certainly with the finest climate.  Whether her children are worthy of
their mother, is another question, which I shall not attempt to answer;
but content myself with observing that, amongst much that is lamentable
and reprehensible, I have found much that is noble and to be admired:
much stern heroic virtue; much savage and horrible crime; of low vulgar
vice very little, at least amongst the great body of the Spanish nation,
with which my mission lay; for it will be as well here to observe that I
advance no claim to an intimate acquaintance with the Spanish nobility,
from whom I kept as remote as circumstances would permit me; en revanche,
however, I have had the honour to live on familiar terms with the
peasants, shepherds, and muleteers of Spain, whose bread and bacallao I
have eaten; who always treated me with kindness and courtesy, and to whom
I have not unfrequently been indebted for shelter and protection.

   'The generous bearing of Francisco Gonzales, and the high deeds of Ruy
   Diaz the Cid, are still sung amongst the fastnesses of the Sierra
   Morena.'

I believe that no stronger argument can be brought forward in proof of
the natural vigour and resources of Spain, and the sterling character of
her population, than the fact that, at the present day, she is still a
powerful and unexhausted country, and her children still, to a certain
extent, a high-minded and great people.  Yes, notwithstanding the misrule
of the brutal and sensual Austrian, the doting Bourbon, and, above all,
the spiritual tyranny of the court of Rome, Spain can still maintain her
own, fight her own combat, and Spaniards are not yet fanatic slaves and
crouching beggars.  This is saying much, very much: she has undergone far
more than Naples had ever to bear, and yet the fate of Naples has not
been hers.  There is still valour in Asturia, generosity in Aragon,
probity in Old Castile, and the peasant women of La Mancha can still
afford to place a silver fork and a showy napkin beside the plate of
their guest.  Yes, in spite of Austrian, Bourbon, and Rome, there is
still a wide gulf between Spain and Naples.

Strange as it may sound, Spain is not a fanatic country.  I know
something about her, and declare that she is not, nor has ever been:
Spain never changes.  It is true that, for nearly two centuries, she was
the she-butcher, La Verduga, of malignant Rome; the chosen instrument for
carrying into effect the atrocious projects of that power; yet fanaticism
was not the spring which impelled her to the work of butchery: another
feeling, in her the predominant one, was worked upon--her fatal pride.  It
was by humouring her pride that she was induced to waste her precious
blood and treasure in the Low Country wars, to launch the Armada, and to
many other equally insane actions.  Love of Rome had ever slight
influence over her policy; but, flattered by the title of Gonfaloniera of
the Vicar of Jesus, and eager to prove herself not unworthy of the same,
she shut her eyes, and rushed upon her own destruction with the cry of
'Charge, Spain!'

* * * * *

On the afternoon of the 6th of December I set out for Evora, accompanied
by my servant.  I had been informed that the tide would serve for the
regular passage-boats, or felouks, as they are called, at about four
o'clock; but on reaching the side of the Tagus opposite to Aldea Gallega,
between which place and Lisbon the boats ply, I found that the tide would
not permit them to start before eight o'clock.  Had I waited for them I
should have probably landed at Aldea Gallega about midnight, and I felt
little inclination to make my entree in the Alemtejo at that hour;
therefore, as I saw small boats which can push off at any time lying near
in abundance, I determined upon hiring one of them for the passage,
though the expense would be thus considerably increased.  I soon agreed
with a wild-looking lad, who told me that he was in part owner of one of
the boats, to take me over.  I was not aware of the danger in crossing
the Tagus at its broadest part, which is opposite Aldea Gallega, at any
time, but especially at close of day in the winter season, or I should
certainly not have ventured.  The lad and his comrade, a
miserable-looking object, whose only clothing, notwithstanding the
season, was a tattered jerkin and trousers, rowed until we had advanced
about half a mile from the land; they then set up a large sail, and the
lad, who seemed to direct everything, and to be the principal, took the
helm and steered.  The evening was now setting in; the sun was not far
from its bourne in the horizon; the air was very cold, the wind was
rising, and the waves of the noble Tagus began to be crested with foam.  I
told the boy that it was scarcely possible for the boat to carry so much
sail without upsetting, upon which he laughed, and began to gabble in a
most incoherent manner.  He had the most harsh and rapid articulation
that has ever come under my observation in any human being; it was the
scream of the hyena blended with the bark of the terrier, though it was
by no means an index of his disposition, which I soon found to be light,
merry, and anything but malevolent; for when I, in order to show him that
I cared little about him, began to hum 'Eu que sou contrabandista,'
{147a} he laughed heartily, and said, clapping me on the shoulder, that
he would not drown us if he could help it.  The other poor fellow seemed
by no means averse to go to the bottom: he sat at the fore part of the
boat, looking the image of famine, and only smiled when the waters broke
over the weather side and soaked his scanty habiliments.  In a little
time I had made up my mind that our last hour was come; the wind was
getting higher, the short dangerous waves were more foamy, the boat was
frequently on its beam, and the water came over the lee side in torrents.
But still the wild lad at the helm held on, laughing and chattering, and
occasionally yelling out part of the Miguelite air, 'Quando el Rey
chegou,' {147b} the singing of which in Lisbon is imprisonment.

The stream was against us, but the wind was in our favour, and we sprang
along at a wonderful rate, and I saw that our only chance of escape was
in speedily passing the farther bank of the Tagus, where the bight or bay
at the extremity of which stands Aldea Gallega commences, for we should
not then have to battle with the waves of the stream, which the adverse
wind lashed into fury.  It was the will of the Almighty to permit us
speedily to gain this shelter, but not before the boat was nearly filled
with water, and we were all wet to the skin.  At about seven o'clock in
the evening we reached Aldea Gallega, shivering with cold and in a most
deplorable plight.

* * * * *

I know of few things in this life more delicious than a ride in the
spring or summer season in the neighbourhood of Seville.  My favourite
one was in the direction of Xeres, over the wide Dehesa, as it is called,
which extends from Seville to the gates of the former town, a distance of
nearly fifty miles, with scarcely a town or village intervening.  The
ground is irregular and broken, and is for the most part covered with
that species of brushwood called carrasco, amongst which winds a bridle-
path, by no means well defined, chiefly trodden by the arrieros, with
their long trains of mules and borricos.  It is here that the balmy air
of beautiful Andalusia is to be inhaled in full perfection.  Aromatic
herbs and flowers are growing in abundance, diffusing their perfume
around.  Here dark and gloomy cares are dispelled as if by magic from the
bosom, as the eyes wander over the prospect, lighted by unequalled
sunshine, in which gaily painted butterflies wanton, and green and golden
salamanquesas lie extended, enjoying the luxurious warmth, and
occasionally startling the traveller, by springing up and making off with
portentous speed to the nearest coverts, whence they stare upon him with
their sharp and lustrous eyes.  I repeat, that it is impossible to
continue melancholy in regions like these, and the ancient Greeks and
Romans were right in making them the site of their Elysian fields.  Most
beautiful they are, even in their present desolation, for the hand of man
has not cultivated them since the fatal era of the expulsion of the
Moors, which drained Andalusia of at least two-thirds of its population.

Every evening it was my custom to ride along the Dehesa, until the
topmost towers of Seville were no longer in sight.  I then turned about,
and pressing my knees against the sides of Sidi Habismilk, my Arabian,
the fleet creature, to whom spur or lash had never been applied, would
set off in the direction of the town with the speed of a whirlwind,
seeming in his headlong course to devour the ground of the waste, until
he had left it behind, then dashing through the elm-covered road of the
Delicias, his thundering hoofs were soon heard beneath the vaulted
archway of the Puerta de Xeres and in another moment he would stand stone-
still before the door of my solitary house in the little silent square of
the Pila Seca.

* * * * *

It was not without reason that the Latins gave the name of Finis terrae
to this district.  We had arrived exactly at such a place as in my
boyhood I had pictured to myself as the termination of the world, beyond
which there was a wild sea, or abyss, or chaos.  I now saw far before me
an immense ocean, and below me a long and irregular line of lofty and
precipitous coast.  Certainly in the whole world there is no bolder coast
than the Gallegan shore, from the debouchment of the Minho to Cape
Finisterre.  It consists of a granite wall of savage mountains for the
most part serrated at the top, and occasionally broken, where bays and
firths like those of Vigo and Pontevedra intervene, running deep into the
land.  These bays and firths are invariably of an immense depth, and
sufficiently capacious to shelter the navies of the proudest maritime
nations.

There is an air of stern and savage grandeur in everything around, which
strongly captivates the imagination.  This savage coast is the first
glimpse of Spain which the voyager from the north catches, or he who has
ploughed his way across the wide Atlantic: and well does it seem to
realize all his visions of this strange land.  'Yes,' he exclaims, 'this
is indeed Spain--stern, flinty Spain--land emblematic of those spirits to
which she has given birth.  From what land but that before me could have
proceeded those portentous beings who astounded the Old World and filled
the New with horror and blood?  Alva and Philip, Cortez and Pizzaro--stern
colossal spectres looming through the gloom of bygone years, like yonder
granite mountains through the haze, upon the eye of the mariner.  Yes,
yonder is indeed Spain, flinty, indomitable Spain, land emblematic of its
sons!'

As for myself, when I viewed that wide ocean and its savage shore, I
cried, 'Such is the grave, and such are its terrific sides, those moors
and wilds, over which I have passed, are the rough and dreary journey of
life.  Cheered with hope, we struggle along through all the difficulties
of moor, bog, and mountain, to arrive at--what?  The grave and its dreary
sides.  Oh, may hope not desert us in the last hour--hope in the Redeemer
and in God!'

* * * * *

A propos of bull-fighters:--Shortly after my arrival, I one day entered a
low tavern in a neighbourhood notorious for robbery and murder, and in
which for the last two hours I had been wandering on a voyage of
discovery.  I was fatigued, and required refreshment.  I found the place
thronged with people, who had all the appearance of ruffians.  I saluted
them, upon which they made way for me to the bar, taking off their
sombreros with great ceremony.  I emptied a glass of val de penas, and
was about to pay for it and depart, when a horrible-looking fellow,
dressed in a buff jerkin, leather breeches, and jackboots, which came
halfway up his thighs, and having on his head a white hat, the rims of
which were at least a yard and a half in circumference, pushed through
the crowd, and confronting me, roared:--

'Otra copita! vamos Inglesito: Otra copita!'

'Thank you, my good sir, you are very kind.  You appear to know me, but I
have not the honour of knowing you.'

'Not know me!' replied the being.  'I am Sevilla, the torero.  I know you
well; you are the friend of Baltasarito, the national, who is a friend of
mine, and a very good subject.'

Then turning to the company, he said in a sonorous tone, laying a strong
emphasis on the last syllable of every word, according to the custom of
the gente rufianesca throughout Spain--

'Cavaliers, and strong men, this cavalier is the friend of a friend of
mine.  Es mucho hombre.  There is none like him in Spain.  He speaks the
crabbed Gitano, though he is an Inglesito.'

'We do not believe it,' replied several grave voices.  'It is not
possible.'

'It is not possible, say you?  I tell you it is.  Come forward, Balseiro,
you who have been in prison all your life, and are always boasting that
you can speak the crabbed Gitano, though I say you know nothing of
it--come forward and speak to his worship in the crabbed Gitano.'

A low, slight, but active figure stepped forward.  He was in his shirt-
sleeves, and wore a montero cap; his features were handsome but they were
those of a demon.

He spoke a few words in the broken gypsy slang of the prison, inquiring
of me whether I had ever been in the condemned cell, and whether I knew
what a Gitana was.

'Vamos Inglesito,' shouted Sevilla, in a voice of thunder; 'answer the
monro in the crabbed Gitano.'

I answered the robber, for such he was, and one too whose name will live
for many a year in the ruffian histories of Madrid; I answered him in a
speech of some length, in the dialect of the Estremenian gypsies.

'I believe it is the crabbed Gitano,' muttered Balseiro.  'It is either
that or English, for I understand not a word of it.'

'Did I not say to you,' cried the bullfighter, 'that you knew nothing of
the crabbed Gitano?  But this Ingleisto does.  I understood all he said.
Vaya, there is none like him for the crabbed Gitano.  He is a good
ginete, too; next to myself, there is none like him, only he rides with
stirrup leathers too short.  Inglesito, if you have need of money, I will
lend you my purse.  All I have is at your service, and that is not a
little; I have just gained four thousand chules by the lottery.  Courage,
Englishman!  Another cup.  I will pay all--I, Sevilla!'

And he clapped his hand repeatedly on his breast, reiterating, 'I,
Sevilla!  I--

* * * * *

'The waiter drew the cork, and filled the glasses with a pinky liquor,
which bubbled, hissed and foamed.  'How do you like it?' said the jockey,
after I had imitated the example of my companions, by despatching my
portion at a draught.

'It is wonderful wine,' said I; 'I have never tasted champagne before,
though I have frequently heard it praised; it more than answers my
expectations; but, I confess, I should not wish to be obliged to drink it
every day.'

'Nor I,' said the jockey, 'for everyday drinking give me a glass of old
port, or--'

'Of hard old ale,' I interposed, 'which, according to my mind, is better
than all the wine in the world.'

'Well said, Romany Rye,' said the jockey, 'just my own opinion; now,
William, make yourself scarce.'

* * * * *

Leaving the bridge, I ascended a gentle acclivity, and presently reached
what appeared to be a tract of moory undulating ground.  It was now
tolerably light, but there was a mist or haze abroad which prevented my
seeing objects with much precision.  I felt chill in the damp air of the
early morn, and walked rapidly forward.  In about half an hour I arrived
where the road divided into two at an angle or tongue of dark green
sward.  'To the right or the left?' said I, and forthwith took, without
knowing why, the left-hand road, along which I proceeded about a hundred
yards, when, in the midst of the tongue of sward formed by the two roads,
collaterally with myself, I perceived what I at first conceived to be a
small grove of blighted trunks of oaks, barked and grey.  I stood still
for a moment, and then, turning off the road, advanced slowly towards it
over the sward; as I drew nearer, I perceived that the objects which had
attracted my curiosity, and which formed a kind of circle, were not
trees, but immense upright stones.  A thrill pervaded my system; just
before me were two, the mightiest of the whole, tall as the stems of
proud oaks, supporting on their tops a huge transverse stone, and forming
a wonderful doorway.  I knew now where I was, and, laying down my stick
and bundle, and taking off my hat, I advanced slowly, and cast myself--it
was folly, perhaps, but I could not help what I did--cast myself, with my
face on the dewy earth, in the middle of the portal of giants, beneath
the transverse stone.  The spirit of Stonehenge was strong upon me!

* * * * *

I went to Belle's habitation, and informed her that Mr. and Mrs.
Petulengro had paid us a visit of ceremony, and were awaiting her at the
fire-place.  'Pray go and tell them that I am busy,' said Belle, who was
engaged with her needle.  'I do not feel disposed to take part in any
such nonsense.'  'I shall do no such thing,' said I; 'and I insist upon
your coming forthwith, and showing proper courtesy to your visitors.  If
you do not, their feelings will be hurt, and you are aware that I cannot
bear that people's feelings should be outraged.  Come this moment, or--'
'Or what?' said Belle, half smiling.  'I was about to say something in
Armenian,' said I.  'Well,' said Belle, laying down her work, 'I will
come.'  'Stay,' said I, 'your hair is hanging about your ears, and your
dress is in disorder; you had better stay a minute or two to prepare
yourself to appear before your visitors, who have come in their very best
attire.'  'No,' said Belle, 'I will make no alteration in my appearance;
you told me to come this moment, and you shall be obeyed.'  So Belle and
I advanced towards our guests.  As we drew nigh, Mr. Petulengro took off
his hat and made a profound obeisance to Belle, whilst Mrs. Petulengro
rose from the stool and made a profound courtesy.  Belle, who had flung
her hair back over her shoulders, returned their salutations by bending
her head, and after slightly glancing at Mr. Petulengro, fixed her large
blue eyes full upon his wife.  Both these females were very handsome--but
how unlike!  Belle fair, with blue eyes and flaxen hair; Mrs. Petulengro
with olive complexion, eyes black, and hair dark--as dark as could be.
Belle, in demeanour calm and proud; the gypsy graceful, but full of
movement and agitation.  And then how different were those two in
stature!  The head of the Romany rawnie scarcely ascended to the breast
of Isopel Berners.  I could see that Mrs. Petulengro gazed on Belle with
unmixed admiration; so did her husband.  'Well,' said the latter, 'one
thing I will say, which is, that there is only one on earth worthy to
stand up in front of this she and that is the beauty of the world, as far
as man flesh is concerned, Tawno Chikno; what a pity he did not come
down!'

'Tawno Chikno,' said Mrs. Petulengro, flaring up; 'a pretty fellow he to
stand up in front of this gentlewoman, a pity he didn't come, quotha? not
at all, the fellow is a sneak, afraid of his wife.  He stand up against
this rawnie! why, the look she has given me would knock the fellow down.'

'It is easier to knock him down with a look than with a fist,' said Mr.
Petulengro; 'that is, if the look comes from a woman: not that I am
disposed to doubt that this female gentlewoman is able to knock him down
either one way or the other.  I have heard of her often enough, and have
seen her once or twice, though not so near as now.  Well, ma'am, my wife
and I are come to pay our respects to you; we are both glad to find that
you have left off keeping company with Flaming Bosville, and have taken
up with my pal; he is not very handsome, but a better--'

'I take up with your pal, as you call him! you had better mind what you
say,' said Isopel Berners; 'I take up with nobody.'

'I merely mean taking up your quarters with him,' said Mr. Petulengro;
'and I was only about to say a better fellow-lodger you cannot have, or a
more instructive, especially if you have a desire to be inoculated with
tongues, as he calls them.  I wonder whether you and he have had any
tongue-work already.'

'Have you and your wife anything particular to say?  If you have nothing
but this kind of conversation I must leave you, as I am going to make a
journey this afternoon, and should be getting ready.'

'You must excuse my husband, madam,' said Mrs. Petulengro; 'he is not
overburdened with understanding, and has said but one word of sense since
he has been here, which was that we came to pay our respects to you.  We
have dressed ourselves in our best Roman way, in order to do honour to
you; perhaps you do not like it; if so, I am sorry.  I have no French
clothes, madam; if I had any, madam, I would have come in them, in order
to do you more honour.'

'I like to see you much better as you are,' said Belle; 'people should
keep to their own fashions, and yours is very pretty.'

'I am glad you are pleased to think it so, madam; it has been admired in
the great city; it created what they call a sensation, and some of the
great ladies, the court ladies, imitated it, else I should not appear in
it so often as I am accustomed; for I am not very fond of what is Roman,
having an imagination that what is Roman is ungenteel; in fact, I once
heard the wife of a rich citizen say that gypsies were vulgar creatures.
I should have taken her saying very much to heart, but for her improper
pronunciation; she could not pronounce her words, madam, which we
gypsies, as they call us, usually can, so I thought she was no very high
purchase.  You are very beautiful, madam, though you are not dressed as I
could wish to see you, and your hair is hanging down in sad confusion;
allow me to assist you in arranging your hair, madam; I will dress it for
you in our fashion; I would fain see how your hair would look in our poor
gypsy fashion; pray allow me, madam?' and she took Belle by the hand.

'I really can do no such thing,' said Belle, withdrawing her hand; 'I
thank you for coming to see me, but--'

'Do allow me to officiate upon your hair, madam,' said Mrs. Petulengro.
'I should esteem your allowing me a great mark of condescension.  You are
very beautiful, madam, and I think you doubly so, because you are so
fair; I have a great esteem for persons with fair complexions and hair; I
have a less regard for people with dark hair and complexions, madam.'

'Then why did you turn off the lord, and take up with me?' said Mr.
Petulengro; 'that same lord was fair enough all about him.'

'People do when they are young and silly what they sometimes repent of
when they are of riper years and understandings.  I sometimes think that
had I not been something of a simpleton, I might at this time be a great
court lady.  Now, madam,' said she, again taking Belle by the hand, 'do
oblige me by allowing me to plait your hair a little?'

'I have really a good mind to be angry with you,' said Belle, giving Mrs.
Petulengro a peculiar glance.

'Do allow her to arrange your hair,' said I; 'she means no harm, and
wishes to do you honour; do oblige her and me too, for I should like to
see how your hair would look dressed in her fashion.'

'You hear what the young rye says?' said Mrs. Petulengro.  'I am sure you
will oblige the young rye, if not myself.  Many people would be willing
to oblige the young rye, if he would but ask them; but he is not in the
habit of asking favours.  He has a nose of his own, which he keeps
tolerably exalted; he does not think small beer of himself, madam; and
all the time I have been with him, I never heard him ask a favour before;
therefore, madam, I am sure you will oblige him.  My sister Ursula would
be very willing to oblige him in many things, but he will not ask her for
anything, except for such a favour as a word, which is a poor favour
after all.  I don't mean for her word; perhaps he will some day ask you
for your word.  If so--'

'Why, here you are, after railing at me for catching at words, catching
at a word yourself,' said Mr. Petulengro.

'Hold your tongue, sir,' said Mrs. Petulengro.  'Don't interrupt me in my
discourse; if I caught at a word now, I am not in the habit of doing so.
I am no conceited body; no newspaper Neddy; no pothouse witty person.  I
was about to say, madam, that if the young rye asks you at any time for
your word, you will do as you deem convenient; but I am sure you will
oblige him by allowing me to braid your hair.'

'I shall not do it to oblige him,' said Belle; 'the young rye, as you
call him, is nothing to me.'

'Well, then, to oblige me,' said Mrs. Petulengro; 'do allow me to become
your poor tire-woman.'

'It is great nonsense,' said Belle, reddening; 'however, as you came to
see me, and ask the matter as a particular favour to yourself--'

'Thank you, madam,' said Mrs. Petulengro, leading Belle to the stool;
'please to sit down here.  Thank you; your hair is very beautiful,
madam,' she continued, as she proceeded to braid Belle's hair; 'so is
your countenance.  Should you ever go to the great city, among the grand
folks, you would make a sensation, madam.  I have made one myself, who am
dark; the chi she is kauley, which last word signifies black, which I am
not, though rather dark.  There's no colour like white, madam; it's so
lasting, so genteel.  Gentility will carry the day, madam, even with the
young rye.  He will ask words of the black lass, but beg the word of the
fair.'

* * * * *

I found Belle seated by a fire, over which her kettle was suspended.
During my absence she had prepared herself a kind of tent, consisting of
large hoops covered over with tarpaulin, quite impenetrable to rain,
however violent.  'I am glad you are returned,' said she, as soon as she
perceived me; 'I began to be anxious about you.  Did you take my advice?'

'Yes,' said I; 'I went to the public-house and drank ale as you advised
me; it cheered, strengthened, and drove away the horror from my mind--I
am much beholden to you.'

'I knew it would do you good,' said Belle; 'I remembered that when the
poor women in the great house were afflicted with hysterics and fearful
imaginings, the surgeon, who was a good, kind man, used to say: "Ale,
give them ale, and let it be strong."'

'He was no advocate for tea, then?' said I.

'He had no objection to tea; but he used to say, "Everything in its
season."  Shall we take ours now--I have waited for you.'

'I have no objection,' said I; 'I feel rather heated, and at present
should prefer tea to ale--"Everything in its season," as the surgeon
said.'

* * * * *

I put some fresh wood on the fire, which was nearly out, and hung the
kettle over it.  I then issued forth from the dingle, and strolled round
the wood that surrounded it; for a long time I was busied in meditation,
looking at the ground, striking with my foot, half unconsciously, the
tufts of grass and thistles that I met in my way.  After some time, I
lifted up my eyes to the sky, at first vacantly, and then with more
attention, turning my head in all directions for a minute or two; after
which I returned to the dingle.  Isopel was seated near the fire, over
which the kettle was now hung; she had changed her dress--no signs of the
dust and fatigue of her late excursion remained; she had just added to
the fire a small billet of wood, two or three of which I had left beside
it; the fire cracked, and a sweet odour filled the dingle.

'I am fond of sitting by a wood fire,' said Belle, 'when abroad, whether
it be hot or cold; I love to see the flames dart out of the wood; but
what kind is this, and where did you get it?'

'It is ash,' said I, 'green ash.  Somewhat less than a week ago, whilst I
was wandering along the road by the side of a wood, I came to a place
where some peasants were engaged in cutting up and clearing away a
confused mass of fallen timber: a mighty-aged oak had given way the night
before, and in its fall had shivered some smaller trees; the upper part
of the oak, and the fragments of the rest, lay across the road.  I
purchased, for a trifle, a bundle or two, and the wood on the fire is
part of it--ash, green ash.'

'That makes good the old rhyme,' said Belle, 'which I have heard sung by
the old woman in the great house:--

   '"Ash, when green,
   Is fire for a queen."'

'And on fairer form of queen, ash fire never shone,' said I, 'than on
thine, O beauteous queen of the dingle.'

'I am half disposed to be angry with you, young man,' said Belle.

* * * * *

After ordering dinner I said that as I was thirsty I should like to have
some ale forthwith.

'Ale you shall have, your honour,' said Tom, 'and some of the best ale
that can be drunk.  This house is famous for ale.'

'I suppose you get your ale from Llangollen,' said I, 'which is
celebrated for its ale over Wales.'

'Get our ale from Llangollen?' said Tom, with a sneer of contempt, 'no,
nor anything else.  As for the ale it was brewed in this house by your
honour's humble servant.'

'Oh,' said I, 'if you brewed it, it must of course be good.  Pray bring
me some immediately, for I am anxious to drink ale of your brewing.'

'Your honour shall be obeyed,' said Tom, and disappearing returned in a
twinkling with a tray on which stood a jug filled with liquor and a
glass.  He forthwith filled the glass, and pointing to its contents said:

'There, your honour, did you ever see such ale?  Observe its colour!  Does
it not look for all the world as pale and delicate as cowslip wine?'

'I wish it may not taste like cowslip wine,' said I; 'to tell you the
truth, I am no particular admirer of ale that looks pale and delicate;
for I always think there is no strength in it.'

'Taste it, your honour,' said Tom, 'and tell me if you ever tasted such
ale.'

I tasted it, and then took a copious draught.  The ale was indeed
admirable, equal to the best that I had ever before drunk--rich and
mellow, with scarcely any smack of the hop in it, and though so pale and
delicate to the eye nearly as strong as brandy.  I commended it highly to
the worthy Jenkins.

'That Llangollen ale indeed! no, no! ale like that, your honour, was
never brewed in that trumpery hole Llangollen,'

'You seem to have a very low opinion of Llangollen?' said I.

'How can I have anything but a low opinion of it, your honour?  A
trumpery hole it is, and ever will remain so.'

'Many people of the first quality go to visit it,' said I.

'That is because it lies so handy for England, your honour.  If it did
not, nobody would go to see it.  What is there to see in Llangollen?'

'There is not much to see in the town, I admit,' said I, 'but the scenery
about it is beautiful: what mountains!'

'Mountains, your honour, mountains! well, we have mountains too, and as
beautiful as those of Llangollen.  Then we have our lake, our Llyn Tegid,
the lake of beauty.  Show me anything like that near Llangollen?'

'Then,' said I, 'there is your mound, your Tomen Bala.  The Llangollen
people can show nothing like that.'

Tom Jenkins looked at me for a moment with some surprise, and then said:
'I see you have been here before, sir.'

'No,' said I, 'never, but I have read about the Tomen Bala in books, both
Welsh and English.'

'You have, sir,' said Tom. 'Well, I am rejoiced to see so book-learned a
gentleman in our house.  The Tomen Bala has puzzled many a head.  What do
the books which mention it say about it, your honour?'

'Very little,' said I, 'beyond mentioning it; what do the people here say
of it?'

'All kinds of strange things, your honour.'

'Do they say who built it?'

'Some say the Tylwyth Teg built it, others that it was cast up over a
dead king by his people.  The truth is, nobody here knows who built it,
or anything about it, save that it is a wonder.  Ah, those people of
Llangollen can show nothing like it.'

* * * * *

The strength of the ox,
The wit of the fox,
And the leveret's speed
Full oft to oppose
To their numerous foes,
The Rommany need.

Our horses they take,
Our waggons they break,
And ourselves they seize,
In their prisons to coop,
Where we pine and droop,
For want of breeze.

When the dead swallow
The fly shall follow
O'er Burra-panee,
Then we will forget
The wrongs we have met
And forgiving be.

* * * * *

I began to think: 'What was likely to be the profit of my present way of
life; the living in dingles, making pony and donkey shoes, conversing
with gypsy-women under hedges, and extracting from them their odd
secrets?'  What was likely to be the profit of such a kind of life, even
should it continue for a length of time?--a supposition not very
probable, for I was earning nothing to support me, and the funds with
which I had entered upon this life were gradually disappearing.  I was
living, it is true, not unpleasantly, enjoying the healthy air of heaven;
but, upon the whole, was I not sadly misspending my time?  Surely I was;
and, as I looked back, it appeared to me that I had always been doing so.
What had been the profit of the tongues which I had learnt? had they ever
assisted me in the day of hunger?  No, no! it appeared to me that I had
always misspent my time, save in one instance, when by a desperate effort
I had collected all the powers of my imagination, and written the Life of
Joseph Sell; but even when I wrote the Life of Sell, was I not in a false
position?  Provided I had not misspent my time, would it have been
necessary to make that effort, which, after all, had only enabled me to
leave London, and wander about the country for a time?  But could I,
taking all circumstances into consideration, have done better than I had?
With my peculiar temperament and ideas, could I have pursued with
advantage the profession to which my respectable parents had endeavoured
to bring me up?  It appeared to me that I could not, and that the hand of
necessity had guided me from my earliest years, until the present night,
in which I found myself seated in the dingle, staring on the brands of
the fire.  But ceasing to think of the past which, as irrecoverably gone,
it was useless to regret, even were there cause to regret it, what should
I do in future?  Should I write another book like the Life of Joseph
Sell; take it to London, and offer it to a publisher?  But when I
reflected on the grisly sufferings which I had undergone whilst engaged
in writing the Life of Sell, I shrank from the idea of a similar attempt;
moreover, I doubted whether I possessed the power to write a similar
work--whether the materials for the life of another Sell lurked within
the recesses of my brain?  Had I not better become in reality what I had
hitherto been merely playing at--a tinker or a gypsy?  But I soon saw
that I was not fitted to become either in reality.  It was much more
agreeable to play the gypsy or the tinker than to become either in
reality.  I had seen enough of gypsying and tinkering to be convinced of
that.  All of a sudden the idea of tilling the soil came into my head;
tilling the soil was a healthful and noble pursuit! but my idea of
tilling the soil had no connection with Britain; for I could only expect
to till the soil in Britain as a serf.  I thought of tilling it in
America, in which it was said there was plenty of wild, unclaimed land,
of which any one, who chose to clear it of its trees, might take
possession.  I figured myself in America, in an immense forest, clearing
the land destined, by my exertions, to become a fruitful and smiling
plain.  Methought I heard the crash of the huge trees as they fell
beneath my axe; and then I bethought me that a man was intended to
marry--I ought to marry; and if I married, where was I likely to be more
happy as a husband and a father than in America, engaged in tilling the
ground?  I fancied myself in America, engaged in tilling the ground,
assisted by an enormous progeny.  Well, why not marry, and go and till
the ground in America?  I was young, and youth was the time to marry in,
and to labour in.  I had the use of all my faculties; my eyes, it is
true, were rather dull from early study, and from writing the Life of
Joseph Sell; but I could see tolerably well with them, and they were not
bleared.  I felt my arms, and thighs, and teeth--they were strong and
sound enough; so now was the time to labour, to marry, eat strong flesh,
and beget strong children--the power of doing all this would pass away
with youth, which was terribly transitory.  I bethought me that a time
would come when my eyes would be bleared, and, perhaps, sightless; my
arms and thighs strengthless and sapless; when my teeth would shake in my
jaws, even supposing they did not drop out.  No going a wooing then, no
labouring, no eating strong flesh, and begetting lusty children then; and
I bethought me how, when all this should be, I should bewail the days of
my youth as misspent, provided I had not in them founded for myself a
home, and begotten strong children to take care of me in the days when I
could not take care of myself; and thinking of these things, I became
sadder and sadder, and stared vacantly upon the fire till my eyes closed
in a doze.

* * * * *

On I went in my journey, traversing England from west to east, ascending
and descending hills, crossing rivers by bridge and ferry, and passing
over extensive plains.  What a beautiful country is England!  People run
abroad to see beautiful countries, and leave their own behind unknown,
unnoticed--their own the most beautiful!  And then, again, what a country
for adventures! especially to those who travel it on foot, or on
horseback.  People run abroad in quest of adventures, and traverse Spain
or Portugal on mule or on horseback; whereas there are ten times more
adventures to be met with in England than in Spain, Portugal, or stupid
Germany to boot.  Witness the number of adventures narrated in the
present book--a book entirely devoted to England.  Why, there is not a
chapter in the present book which is not full of adventures, with the
exception of the present one, and this is not yet terminated.

After traversing two or three counties, I reached the confines of
Lincolnshire.  During one particularly hot day I put up at a
public-house, to which, in the evening, came a party of harvesters to
make merry, who, finding me wandering about the house a stranger, invited
me to partake of their ale; so I drank with the harvesters, who sang me
songs about rural life, such as:--

   Sitting in the swale; and listening to the swindle of the flail, as it
   sounds dub-a-dub on the corn, from the neighbouring barn.

In requital for which I treated them with a song, not of Romanvile, but
the song of 'Sivord and the horse Grayman.'  I remained with them till it
was dark, having, after sunset, entered into deep discourse with a
celebrated ratcatcher, who communicated to me the secrets of his trade,
saying, amongst other things: 'When you see the rats pouring out of their
holes, and running up my hands and arms, it's not after me they comes,
but after the oils I carries about me they comes'; and who subsequently
spoke in the most enthusiastic manner of his trade, saying that it was
the best trade in the world, and most diverting, and that it was likely
to last for ever; for whereas all other kinds of vermin were fast
disappearing from England, rats were every day becoming more abundant.  I
had quitted this good company, and having mounted my horse, was making my
way towards a town at about six miles distance, at a swinging trot, my
thoughts deeply engaged on what I had gathered from the ratcatcher, when
all on a sudden a light glared upon the horse's face, who purled round in
great terror, and flung me out of the saddle, as from a sling, or with as
much violence as the horse Grayman, in the ballad, flings Sivord the
Snareswayne.  I fell upon the ground--felt a kind of crashing about my
neck--and forthwith became senseless.

* * * * *

As I was gazing on the prospect an old man driving a peat cart came from
the direction in which I was going.  I asked him the name of the ravine
and he told me it was Ceunant Coomb or hollow-dingle coomb.  I asked the
name of the brook, and he told me that it was called the brook of the
hollow-dingle coomb, adding that it ran under Pont Newydd, though where
that was I knew not.  Whilst he was talking with me he stood uncovered.
Yes, the old peat driver stood with his hat in his hand whilst answering
the questions of the poor, dusty foot-traveller.  What a fine thing to be
an Englishman in Wales!

In about an hour I came to a wild moor; the moor extended for miles and
miles.  It was bounded on the east and south by immense hills and moels.
On I walked at a round pace, the sun scorching me sore, along a dusty,
hilly road, now up, now down.  Nothing could be conceived more cheerless
than the scenery around.  The ground on each side of the road was mossy
and rushy--no houses--instead of them were peat stacks, here and there,
standing in their blackness.  Nothing living to be seen except a few
miserable sheep picking the wretched herbage, or lying panting on the
shady side of the peat clumps.  At length I saw something which appeared
to be a sheet of water at the bottom of a low ground on my right.  It
looked far off--'Shall I go and see what it is?' thought I to myself.
'No,' thought I.  'It is too far off'--so on I walked till I lost sight
of it, when I repented and thought I would go and see what it was.  So I
dashed down the moory slope on my right, and presently saw the object
again--and now I saw that it was water.  I sped towards it through gorse
and heather, occasionally leaping a deep drain.  At last I reached it.  It
was a small lake.  Wearied and panting I flung myself on its bank and
gazed upon it.

There lay the lake in the low bottom, surrounded by the heathery
hillocks; there it lay quite still, the hot sun reflected upon its
surface, which shone like a polished blue shield.  Near the shore it was
shallow, at least near that shore upon which I lay.  But farther on, my
eye, practised in deciding upon the depths of waters, saw reason to
suppose that its depth was very great.  As I gazed upon it my mind
indulged in strange musings.  I thought of the afanc, a creature which
some have supposed to be the harmless and industrious beaver, others the
frightful and destructive crocodile.  I wondered whether the afanc was
the crocodile or the beaver, and speedily had no doubt that the name was
originally applied to the crocodile.

'Oh, who can doubt,' thought I, 'that the word was originally intended
for something monstrous and horrible?  Is there not something horrible in
the look and sound of the word afanc, something connected with the
opening and shutting of immense jaws, and the swallowing of writhing
prey?  Is not the word a fitting brother of the Arabic timsah, denoting
the dread horny lizard of the waters?  Moreover, have we not the voice of
tradition that the afanc was something monstrous?  Does it not say that
Hu the Mighty, the inventor of husbandry, who brought the Cumry from the
summer-country, drew the old afanc out of the lake of lakes with his four
gigantic oxen?  Would he have had recourse to them to draw out the little
harmless beaver?  Oh, surely not.  Yet have I no doubt that when the
crocodile had disappeared from the lands, where the Cumric language was
spoken, the name afanc was applied to the beaver, probably his successor
in the pool, the beaver now called in Cumric Llostlydan, or the broad-
tailed, for tradition's voice is strong that the beaver has at one time
been called the afanc.'  Then I wondered whether the pool before me had
been the haunt of the afanc, considered both as crocodile and beaver.  I
saw no reason to suppose that it had not.  'If crocodiles,' thought I,
'ever existed in Britain, and who shall say that they have not, seeing
that their remains have been discovered, why should they not have haunted
this pool?  If beavers ever existed in Britain, and do not tradition and
Giraldus say that they have, why should they not have existed in this
pool?

'At a time almost inconceivably remote, when the hills around were
covered with woods, through which the elk and the bison and the wild cow
strolled, when men were rare throughout the lands and unlike in most
things to the present race--at such a period--and such a period there has
been--I can easily conceive that the afanc-crocodile haunted this pool,
and that when the elk or bison or wild cow came to drink of its waters
the grim beast would occasionally rush forth, and seizing his bellowing
victim, would return with it to the deeps before me to luxuriate at his
ease upon its flesh.  And at a time less remote, when the crocodile was
no more, and though the woods still covered the hills, and wild cattle
strolled about, men were more numerous than before, and less unlike the
present race, I can easily conceive this lake to have been the haunt of
the afanc-beaver, that he here built cunningly his house of trees and
clay, and that to this lake the native would come with his net and his
spear to hunt the animal for his precious fur.  Probably if the depths of
that pool were searched relics of the crocodile and the beaver might be
found, along with other strange things connected with the periods in
which they respectively lived.  Happy were I if for a brief space I could
become a Cingalese that I might swim out far into that pool, dive down
into its deepest part and endeavour to discover any strange things which
beneath its surface may lie.'  Much in this guise rolled my thoughts as I
lay stretched on the margin of the lake.

* * * * *

'Pray, gentleman, walk in!' said the miller; 'we are going to have our
afternoon's meal, and shall be rejoiced if you will join us.'

'Yes, do, gentleman,' said the miller's wife, for such the good woman
was; 'and many a welcome shall you have.'

I hesitated, and was about to excuse myself.

'Don't refuse, gentleman!' said both, 'surely you are not too proud to
sit down with us?'

'I am afraid I shall only cause you trouble,' said I.

'Dim blinder, no trouble,' exclaimed both at once; 'pray do walk in!'

I entered the house, and the kitchen, parlour, or whatever it was, a nice
little room with a slate floor.  They made me sit down at a table by the
window, which was already laid for a meal.  There was a clean cloth upon
it, a tea-pot, cups and saucers, a large plate of bread-and-butter, and a
plate, on which were a few very thin slices of brown, watery cheese.

My good friends took their seats, the wife poured out tea for the
stranger and her husband, helped us both to bread-and-butter and the
watery cheese, then took care of herself.  Before, however, I could taste
the tea, the wife, seeming to recollect herself, started up, and hurrying
to a cupboard, produced a basin full of snow-white lump sugar, and taking
the spoon out of my hand, placed two of the largest lumps in my cup,
though she helped neither her husband nor herself; the sugar-basin being
probably only kept for grand occasions.

My eyes filled with tears; for in the whole course of my life I had never
experienced so much genuine hospitality.  Honour to the miller of Mona
and his wife; and honour to the kind hospitable Celts in general!  How
different is the reception of this despised race of the wandering
stranger from that of ---.  However, I am a Saxon myself, and the Saxons
have no doubt their virtues; a pity that they should be all uncouth and
ungracious ones!

* * * * *

Now real Republicanism is certainly a very fine thing, a much finer thing
than Toryism, a system of common robbery, which is nevertheless far
better than Whiggism--a compound of petty larceny, popular instruction,
and receiving of stolen goods.  Yes, real Republicanism is certainly a
very fine thing, and your real Radicals and Republicans are certainly
very fine fellows, or rather were fine fellows, for the Lord only knows
where to find them at the present day--the writer does not.  If he did,
he would at any time go five miles to invite one of them to dinner, even
supposing that he had to go to a workhouse in order to find the person he
wished to invite.  Amongst the real Radicals of England, those who
flourished from the year '16 to '20, there were certainly extraordinary
characters, men partially insane, perhaps, but honest and brave--they did
not make a market of the principles which they professed, and never
intended to do so; they believed in them, and were willing to risk their
lives in endeavouring to carry them out.  The writer wishes to speak in
particular of two of these men, both of whom perished on the
scaffold--their names were Thistlewood and Ings.  Thistlewood, the best
known of them, was a brave soldier and had served with distinction as an
officer in the French service; he was one of the excellent swordsmen of
Europe; had fought several duels in France, where it is no child's play
to fight a duel; but had never unsheathed his sword for single combat,
but in defence of the feeble and insulted--he was kind and open-hearted
but of too great simplicity; he had once ten thousand pounds left him,
all of which he lent to a friend, who disappeared and never returned him
a penny.  Ings was an uneducated man, of very low stature, but amazing
strength and resolution; he was a kind husband and father, and though a
humble butcher, the name he bore was one of the royal names of the
heathen Anglo-Saxons.  These two men, along with five others, were
executed, and their heads hacked off, for levying war against George the
Fourth; the whole seven dying in a manner which extorted cheers from the
populace, the most of them uttering philosophical or patriotic sayings.
Thistlewood, who was, perhaps, the most calm and collected of all, just
before he was turned off, said, 'We are now going to discover the great
secret.'  Ings, the moment before he was choked, was singing 'Scots wha
hae wi' Wallace bled.'  Now there was no humbug about those men, nor
about many more of the same time and of the same principles.  They might
be deluded about Republicanism, as Algernon Sidney was, and as Brutus
was, but they were as honest and brave as either Brutus or Sidney, and as
willing to die for their principles.  But the Radicals who succeeded them
were beings of a very different description; they jobbed and traded in
Republicanism, and either parted with it, or at the present day are eager
to part with it, for a consideration.

* * * * *

'Does your honour remember anything about Durham city?'

'Oh yes!  I remember a good deal about it.'

'Then, your honour, pray tell us what you remember about it--pray do!
perhaps it will do me good.'

'Well then, I remember that it was a fine old city standing on a hill
with a river running under it, and that it had a fine old church, one of
the finest in the whole of Britain; likewise a fine old castle; and last,
not least, a capital old inn, where I got a capital dinner off roast
Durham beef, and a capital glass of ale, which I believe was the cause of
my being ever after fond of ale.'

* * * * *

I was the last of the file, but I now rushed past John Jones, who was
before me, and next to the old lady, and sure enough there was the chair,
in the wall, of him who was called in his day, and still is called by the
mountaineers of Wales, though his body has been below the earth in the
quiet churchyard one hundred and forty years, Eos Ceiriog, the
Nightingale of Ceiriog, the sweet caroller Huw Morus, the enthusiastic
partizan of Charles and the Church of England, and the never-tiring
lampooner of Oliver and the Independents.  There it was, a kind of hollow
in the stone wall, in the hen ffordd, fronting to the west, just above
the gorge at the bottom of which murmurs the brook Ceiriog, there it was,
something like a half barrel chair in a garden, a mouldering stone slab
forming the seat, and a large slate stone, the back, on which were cut
these letters--

   H. M. B.

signifying Huw Morus Bard.

'Sit down in the chair, Gwr Boneddig,' said John Jones, 'you have taken
trouble enough to get to it.'

'Do, gentleman,' said the old lady; 'but first let me wipe it with my
apron, for it is very wet and dirty.'

'Let it be,' said I; then taking off my hat I stood uncovered before the
chair, and said in the best Welsh I could command, 'Shade of Huw Morus,
supposing your shade haunts the place which you loved so well when
alive--a Saxon, one of the seed of the Coiling Serpent, has come to this
place to pay that respect to true genius, the Dawn Duw, which he is ever
ready to pay.  He read the songs of the Nightingale of Ceiriog in the
most distant part of Lloegr, when he was a brown-haired boy, and now that
he is a grey-haired man he is come to say in this place that they
frequently made his eyes overflow with tears of rapture.'

I then sat down in the chair, and commenced repeating verses of Huw
Morus.  All which I did in the presence of the stout old lady, the short,
buxom and bare-armed damsel, and of John Jones the Calvinistic weaver of
Llangollen, all of whom listened patiently and approvingly, though the
rain was pouring down upon them, and the branches of the trees and the
tops of the tall nettles, agitated by the gusts from the mountain
hollows, were beating in their faces, for enthusiasm is never scoffed at
by the noble simple-minded, genuine Welsh, whatever treatment it may
receive from the coarse-hearted, sensual, selfish Saxon.

* * * * *

For dinner we had salmon and leg of mutton; the salmon from the Dee, the
leg from the neighbouring Berwyn.  The salmon was good enough, but I had
eaten better; and here it will not be amiss to say, that the best salmon
in the world is caught in the Suir, a river that flows past the beautiful
town of Clonmel in Ireland.  As for the leg of mutton it was truly
wonderful; nothing so good had I ever tasted in the shape of a leg of
mutton.  The leg of mutton of Wales beats the leg of mutton of any other
country, and I had never tasted a Welsh leg of mutton before.  Certainly
I shall never forget that first Welsh leg of mutton which I tasted, rich
but delicate, replete with juices derived from the aromatic herbs of the
noble Berwyn, cooked to a turn, and weighing just four pounds.

* * * * *

Came to Tregeiriog, a small village, which takes its name from the brook;
Tregeiriog signifying the hamlet or village on the Ceiriog.  Seeing a
bridge which crossed the rivulet at a slight distance from the road, a
little beyond the village, I turned aside to look at it.  The proper
course of the Ceiriog is from south to north; where it is crossed by the
bridge, however, it runs from west to east, returning to its usual
course, a little way below the bridge.  The bridge was small and
presented nothing remarkable in itself: I obtained, however, as I looked
over its parapet towards the west a view of a scene, not of wild
grandeur, but of something which I like better, which richly compensated
me for the slight trouble I had taken in stepping aside to visit the
little bridge.  About a hundred yards distant was a small water mill,
built over the rivulet, the wheel going slowly, slowly round; large
quantities of pigs, the generality of them brindled, were either browsing
on the banks or lying close to the sides half immersed in the water; one
immense white hog, the monarch seemingly of the herd, was standing in the
middle of the current.  Such was the scene which I saw from the bridge, a
scene of quiet rural life well suited to the brushes of two or three of
the old Dutch painters, or to those of men scarcely inferior to them in
their own style, Gainsborough, Morland, and Crome.

* * * * *

The name 'Pump Saint' signifies 'Five Saints.'  Why the place is called
so I know not.  Perhaps the name originally belonged to some chapel which
stood either where the village now stands or in the neighbourhood.  The
inn is a good specimen of an ancient Welsh hostelry.  Its gable is to the
road and its front to a little space on one side of the way.  At a little
distance up the road is a blacksmith's shop.  The country around is
interesting: on the north-west is a fine wooded hill--to the south a
valley through which flows the Cothi, a fair river, the one whose murmur
had come so pleasingly upon my ear in the depth of night.

After breakfast I departed for Llandovery.  Presently I came to a lodge
on the left-hand beside an ornamental gate at the bottom of an avenue
leading seemingly to a gentleman's seat.  On inquiring of a woman, who
sat at the door of the lodge, to whom the grounds belonged, she said to
Mr. Johnes, and that if I pleased I was welcome to see them.  I went in
and advanced along the avenue, which consisted of very noble oaks; on the
right was a vale in which a beautiful brook was running north and south.
Beyond the vale to the east were fine wooded hills.  I thought I had
never seen a more pleasing locality, though I saw it to great
disadvantage, the day being dull, and the season the latter fall.
Presently, on the avenue making a slight turn, I saw the house, a plain
but comfortable gentleman's seat with wings.  It looked to the south down
the dale.  'With what satisfaction I could live in that house,' said I to
myself, 'if backed by a couple of thousands a year.  With what gravity
could I sign a warrant in its library, and with what dreamy comfort
translate an ode of Lewis Glyn Cothi, my tankard of rich ale beside me.  I
wonder whether the proprietor is fond of the old bard and keeps good ale.
Were I an Irishman instead of a Norfolk man I would go in and ask him.'

* * * * *

After the days of the great persecution in England against the Gypsies,
there can be little doubt that they lived a right merry and tranquil
life, wandering about and pitching their tents wherever inclination led
them: indeed, I can scarcely conceive any human condition more enviable
than Gypsy life must have been in England during the latter part of the
seventeenth, and the whole of the eighteenth century, which were likewise
the happy days for Englishmen in general; there was peace and plenty in
the land, a contented population, and everything went well.  Yes, those
were brave times for the Rommany chals, to which the old people often
revert with a sigh: the poor Gypsies, say they, were then allowed to sove
abri (sleep abroad) where they listed, to heat their kettles at the foot
of the oaks, and no people grudged the poor persons one night's use of a
meadow to feed their cattle in.




Footnotes:


{147a}  'I, who am a smuggler.'  The Spanish version, 'Yo que soy,' etc.,
is more familiar, and more harmonious.

{147b}  'When the king arrived.'





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