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your countenance which promised me a kind reception, I put on my most enticing hues to induce you to become my purchaser, and you bought me. The rest of my history is known to you. I am ready now to give you all my sweetness, only asking in return that you will promise to give me that for which I have wished so long — an opportunity to perpetuate my race.
She ceased as I gave the desired promise. The clock struck twelve, and I awoke. The peach was still in the same place: I looked at it a moment, and then-ate it. And as I placed the stone in my desk, I promised myself that when the proper season should arrive, it should be returned to the dust from which it came.
O SWEET-VOICED Evening! o'er whose starry eyes,
Half closed in sleep,
They cannot keep:
What time the sun-set paints with molten gold
Night's cloudy bars,
The thoughtful stars :
Whether thou diest in the arms of Night,
When, like a crone
With horrid moan:
Or whether, in as wild a guise as this
Thou wearest now,
Of thy fair brow:
Oh! peacefully, like thee, when all is o'er
in death's cold sleep,
And none shall weep!
So, haply, they who mourn with tearful eyes
Beside my tomb,
Though death's thick gloom !
Toe wreaths that deck the banquet-hall are flinging
Their incense o'er the revellers below;
And ere the blossoms shall have fallen low,
Learn each bright radiance, count the gems of night, And pierce my way up where the stars are singing,
Past the sweet influence of our worlds of light,
Give air! I pine here where the roof-tree waveth;
Give me the lands beyond the orient seas;
Oh! for a life to spend in toils like these!
The mutual trust, the fond and kind caress,
But given their lives for blessing and to bless; And when the light of childhood's smile appeareth, That ome, half heaven within its bosom beareth!
Vain! vain again! My God not here is dwelling,
Though sweet to live caressing and caressed;
‘Arise!' depart! for this is not your rest.
Day-light no longer greeting sightless eyes,
Can even star-light o'er such gloom arise !
Thou givest light and glory to the blind:
The bars once broken which the soul confined,
Give me the fruit of that immortal tree;
And let me find my fulness all in Thee.
JO U R N EY IN GS
SEVILLE is the most beautiful and interesting city of the Peninsula. Here the artist and the antiquary will find occupation for months; while for the mere pleasure-seeking traveller it is a most agreeable place of sojourn, as it affords more amusements and more comforts than are to be met with in any other part of Spain.
The public promenades are delightful. Las Delicias, which extends along the banks of the Guadalquivir, is a charming spot, shaded with fine trees, and skirted on the left by the magnificent gardens of the Palace of San Telmo. On fête days and on Sunday evenings, this beautiful resort is crowded with promenaders and elegant equipages. Here the stranger may wander for hours, indulging in the pleasing study of Spanish beauty; for the Andaluza is what we would call the type of the Spanish woman. Large, dark, and sparkling eyes, a profusion of glossy raven hair, arranged in the most becoming style, harmonize well with the warm tints of her clear brunette complexion. Her form is slender and graceful, and in her walk and movements there is an indescribable grace, which enchants every beholder. What wonder if, in this enchanted spot, love's glances should shoot from beneath many a mantilla! The scene is in unison with the softer passions of the heart : the air is filled with perfume; the heavens are cloudless, and the silvery Guadalquivir glides noiselessly by.
The Government Tobacco Factory is an immense edifice, situated near one of the gates of the city, which the stranger will not fail to visit. Here, five or six thousand hands are engaged in the manufacture of cigars and snuff, which are a government monopoly. In the lower story, the snuff-making is carried on by machinery worked by horsepower. Here the atmosphere is loaded with fine particles of tobacco from the grinding-mortars, which immediately set the visitor to sneezing most furiously, although the operatives appear to be entirely insensible to it. I could barely remain long enough to take a hasty survey of the various processes the tobacco is put through, before it is made into snuff, when I was obliged to make a hasty retreat to the open air. The second story of the building is devoted to cigar-making; where about four thousand women are daily engaged in rolling up the weed. Among this immense tribe, whose tongues moved a good deal faster than their fingers, I noticed many pretty, roguish-looking faces; but the greater part of them had a sallow, unhealthy appearance, owing, doubtless, to long confinement in a close, vitiated atmosphere. Much of the tobacco used in the manufactory is brought from the United States, which is mixed with the Cuba leaf, and the cigars are of very inferior quality. In fact, there are very few good cigars to be had in Spain, except those which are smuggled at the different sea-ports.
Seville is the birth-place of Murillo; and here are to be found some of the finest efforts of bis pencil. One room in the Museum is devoted to his paintings, where the lover of the fine arts may give himself up for hours to the study of his magical canvas. Here is a most lovely Conception, a favorite subject with Murillo, which he portrayed so often, and so exquisitely, that he obtained the name of El Pintor de las Corcepciones. Here are likewise the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Shepherds, beside numerous other subjects, in his best style. Here also, is the celebrated picture of the Virgin and Child, called La Serrileta, from its having been painted upon a napkin which Murillo earried away from the dinner-table of one of his friends, by mistake.
After some days, the napkin was returned in the form of a picture, very much to the delight of the owner.
Seville is one of the most lively and animated towns I have yet visited in Spain. The people are gay and jovial, fond of the dance and song, friends of pleasure, and enemies of toil.
It is here that we find the bull-ght in all its perfection. The Torrero and Matador are obliged to go through a severe course of training, at a school of Toromachia, and to show much address, before they are allowed to appear before the public; for the people are too good judges to allow any bungling in a performance to which they have been accustomed from their infancy. The bulls used for the purpose are allowed to run perfectly wild until they are old enough for the arena. They are then captured by tame animals
, which are trained for the purpose ; yet the operation is not performed without great difficulty, and much danger to the lives of the captors.
The day of a bull-fight is a grand gala-day; the whole town is in a state of uproar, contrasting strangely with the usual quiet which prevails in all Spanish towns. The stranger will not fail to be out early, to see the motley crowd of foot-passengers and vehicles, moving onward through dust and din to the amphitheatre. Pretty majas, in picturesque costumes, shoot their dark eyes at you as they pass; dashing-looking majos rush by on their gaily-caparisoned horses ; ladies of rank move on in their splendid equipages; while calesas, donkeys, and dogs, and footpassengers of high and low degree, are all hurrying forward in one continued stream toward the centre of attraction. These are indeed cosas de España; and the stranger who is in their midst is apt to believe himself sure enough in Spain.
The amphitheatre of Seville is situated near the walls of the city, and is capable of containing from fifteen to twenty thousand spectators. Let the reader imagine himself one of them. At the appointed hour, the building reëchoes with a sweet strain of music from the orchestra. Presently, a large, massive door flies open, and a gay cortège enters the arena. At the head marches an alguazil
, who advances toward the seat occupied by the alcalde, to receive from him the key of the stable which contains the bulls intended for combat. This alguazil wears the ancient uniform of his order, which consists in a cap of black velvet, ornamented with feathers, a closely-fitting black silk coat, and black silk net small-clothes, small cloak of black velvet, hanging from one shoulder, and large top-boots. He is followed by a dozen torreros, dressed in the majo style, heretofore described, although much more dazzling in colors
and gold-embroidery. After these come several picadores, mounted on horse-back, and armed with lances. The torreros and picadores now disperse over the arena; a flourish of trumpets is given, a large gate suddenly opens, and an enormous bull rushes forth, amid the shouts of the audience.
The animal gazes around upon the vast crowd, as if paralyzed with fear. A murmur of disapprobation is spreading through the crowd, and the word cobarde passes from mouth to mouth. But the attention of the beast is soon attracted to those immediately around him. The torreros approach, and shake their red mantles in his face; his anger is aroused, he paws the ground with rage, shakes his huge head, and darts with fury at his foes. The excitement now commences in earnest. The agility of these torreros, in avoiding the bull, is really astonishing. They dodge from one side to the other, throwing out their red mantles, upon which the animal wastes his strength, at the very moment you would imagine the individual to be lost. When all their artifice fails
, and they find they can no longer stand before the furious animal, they run with the speed of a race-horse, and if too closely pursued, often leap the high barrier which separates the arena from the audience. When the animal is sufficiently excited, the picadores approach, lance in hand, to offer combat. This is the commencement of a cruel butchery. The poor animal receives numerous thrusts with the lance, which he revenges by goring the horse in the most shocking manner.
It is now that the horseman shows all his address, by wheeling and jumping, and, when he cannot avoid the onslaught of the bull, by raising his leg, and inclining his body to the opposite side of the horse, so as to avoid the blow himself.
It appeared to me that it would pain the most unfeeling heart to see these poor horses bleeding to death, with their entrails trailing on the ground, still obedient to the will of their rider, still courageous enough to face the infuriated animal. Sometimes the bull throws both horse and rider upon the ground, and rushes with fury upon his prostrate foes. When these deadly struggles take place, and the life of man and horse appear to hang by a hair, the audience become excited to the highest pitch. The picador generally manages to fall on the opposite side, and thus leaves the horse as a barrier between him and the bull, and makes his escape unharmed, amid the cheers of the spectators. Should be be wounded, however, or gored to death, which is not an uncommon event, he is immediately carried out, and replaced by a new combatant.
When the bull manifests no disposition to fight, a signal being given, he is attacked with small arrows, armed with barbed iron points, which are thrust into his flesh. These cause exquisite pain, and the animal soon becomes furious. At this moment, a matador, armed with a long sword, approaches the infuriated beast. The bull prepares himself for a rush upon his enemy, but the latter dauntlessly draws near, anı', as the bull leaps at him, dexterously steps to one side, and endeavors, with one masterly thrust, to dispatch him. This unequal combat of one man on foot against so powerful an animal, excites the audience to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, especially if the matador is dexterous, and is enabled to give the death-blow at the first pass.