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in their hands, paraded the streets on horse-back, and all the theatres were turned into ball-rooms.
To the pleasure-seeker, Barcelona presents few attractions; and, in fact, for all classes of travellers, except the commercial, a sojourn of two or three days will amply suffice.
Barcelona terminates my journeyings in Spain, and I will conclude these brief sketches with a few passing remarks upon the people and the country.
Those who have never travelled in Spain, or who are little acquainted with the manners and customs of the country, have an idea that all Spanjards are grave and formal, like the Castilian. This, however, is far from being the case. The people of each province are almost as distinct as different nations, having manners and customs, dress and dialect peculiar to themselves. This peculiarity is doubtless owing to the isolation of the different provinces by the chains of mountains which intersect the peninsula, and cut off intercommunication, as well as to the fact that for ages these provinces formed separate and distinct kingdoms. The rude, boorish Gallician, the industrious Catalan, the idle, jovial Andalusian, the sly, vindictive Valencian, and the grave, dignified sons of Castile, differ from each other as much as the inhabitants of distinct nations.
In travelling over this beautiful country, upon which PROVIDENCE has lavished His choicest favors, and which, under the rule of the Romans and Moors, was a land flowing with milk and honey, the tourist is struck with the scenes of desolation that every where meet the view. He roams over deshechas y despoblodos, or wild unpeopled wastes, treeless and arid, where the melancholy picture is often heightened by ruined castles and villages, the signs of former prosperity passed away. The towns through which he passes are too often the abodes of poverty and wretchedness, and an air of gloom and sadness pervades their silent streets.. The sea-ports have lost their former commercial importance, and the silent quays, once thronged by a busy crowd, attest the decayed condition. of the land.
And wherefore, it may be asked, is this poverty, desolation, and wretchedness so visible, in a country which possesses advantages unsurpassed by any in Christendom; where a fertile soil and every variety of climate admit of the productions of the tropical and temperate zones; where the bowels of the earth yield precious metals, coal, and quarries of innumerable varieties of marble; in fine, with a position most favorable to commerce, and a line of sea-coast abounding in fine harbors ? Yes, wherefore is this beautiful and once flourishing land so fallen, her people so sunk in ignorance, and so far behind every other civilized nation in arts and agriculture ? Au answer may be found in these words — bad government!
• Goodnity gracious me! the Old Boy's dead and buried !' ejaculated old Thison to me one morning, as he came in the office; de • Old Boy's' dead, Mr. Sheriff; I dreamed it last night; and whenever I dream, continued he, of the old fellow, good-luck follows, and wbatever we've got to do to-day will be successful. We a’n’t a going to be disappointed in any thing to-day; business will go on smoove; no ups, no downs; square work; pleasant and nice. Beside, I got my boy's feet on me once more, and I feel young again. Yes! yes ! the Old Boy's dead and buried ! Nothing but good-luck to-day; bless you! bless you! good-luck day!' and so the music of the old man's voice died away in a lengthened cadenza.
It may be well for me to remark here, that the old man was a remarkable dreamer, and he always had a prognostic of some particular action in which he would figure successfully, or that some event would be successfully achieved by him whenever lie dreamed. He was a firm believer in the prophecy of dreams.
“So, so, Tise, you had a dream, eh? pray tell it to me. And the Old Boy is dead at last, and buried,' said I to him, playfully ; 'dead and buried,' emphasizing where he did ; .and so you think we'll have goodluck to-day?' • Well, Mr. Sheriff,
' answered he, ‘I was cumfably fixed in my room last night 'bout ten o'clock, duin' something for my head — for you know I've been sufferin' de last day or two with a cold in my head — I woun'. a stocking round my throat — nothin' better for a sore throat than that, you know — and Mrs. Biggum, my land-lady, telled me dere was nothing better for me den a gin-punch made hot, and I must n't be very particular 'bout how much gin I took, only do n't let it be too small; so I followed her advice, and I made it good, and hot, and strong, and he emphasized
strong; ') and I got in bed afterward, and I fell asleep soon, like a gentle little baby, I did; and I slept like a top, I did; and I dreamed, I did; and
*Don't stop me, Mr. Sheriff'; you 'll spile it. I can't tell you the dream if you interrupt me. I was on a good string, and would let you have it all just as it come to me. Now do n't do that ag'in ! bless you, do n't do that ag'in.
I knew that he could not bear to be stopped in the recital, yet I was indisposed to hear his nonsense ; nevertheless, as I had given him encour agement to listen to his dream, it would be provoking the very Old Boy to come forth whom he had declared was dead and buried, and thus ignore the morale and the pith of the dream.
'I won't interrupt you any further, Tise ; come, go ahead.'
Well, as I was saying,' continued he, “I dreamed I was in a beautiful little cottage clus by a running strearn of water — a brook, like, on'y dere was n't much water,' [a slight allusion, I thought, to the gin-punch, strong with gin, and very little water,] 'and the weather was very hot,' [gin-punch hot, too] 'and I thought I heerd beautiful music: it was n't like a band of musicianers' music; it come over me so dat when I heerd it fust, it made me feel all over so happy and delighted, dat I ris right up- at least, I tried to; but I could n't; the music was so delightful it kept me down,' [the gin-punch, good and strong, kept him down ;] 'and I listened ; ob! it was so 'chanting like, for I could n't git up; and the music it come, and then it went, and then it come ag'in; and then I looked, and then the pootiest little creturs, female creturs, come around me, all dressed up so fine; and they danced to the music, and they tripped, and they hopped, and they jumped, and they skipped, and dey patted me on de chin and on my cheeks, and dey played with my gray hair, the little rogues, dey did, and I could n't move a bit; on’y I kept my eyes and my ears open --- my eyes to look at the pooty little people, my ears to hear the sweet music - and I was agger. wated when I found I could n't move; and den dey would go off from me, and dance, and hop, skip, jump, so gracelessly,' [gracefully ;] • never was sich seed by me afore ; and den I seed a old man, a Quaker-looking man, I thought; and I see he had an axe, I thought, under bis coat, on'y de handle was sticking out from under his arm, and I did n't like bis looks: he come to de door of the cottage, and he looked in, and he said something about the little people coming down with him, but dey would n't heed him; and den I think the Quaker-looking man was n't so savagelooking; and den he went away; he did n't like the music they was dancing to, for he was a Quaker, and on'y liked simple music; and den (all de time I was 'parently 'wake) come other kind of music; it was n't sweet at all; and then the little folks who was a dancing, they changed, it 'peared to me, and dey begin for to skimper and jump onto the others' backs; and den the music it changed worser than it was, and did n't soun' like music at all; and den I feel as I could move, and I tried, and I did move; and what should I see then but the little folks had changed into a whole batch of cats; and they skimpered, and they jumped, and they mewed, and their mewing was the horriblest music; and I then turned over, and I ris up, and I jumped up out of the bed, and the whole but three on 'em run away, leaping through the window, up the chimbley, and out of the door: dem three what was staying behind was reg'lar mottled cats ; dey was n't white, nor was dey black, but dey was uglylooking ones, I tell you. So I got up quick, for de gin-punch made me feel so good; and I looked roun' for something to strike with, and I found the junk-bottle what I had my gin in, on the table; I seized it: and would you believe it, two of them who seed it, run away right off, (dey thought it was a gun,) jumping through the window, and not taking it genteel at all, by going out of the door; and then there was on'y one left, and he was the ugliest-looking cat of 'em all; I thought I should have a lot of trouble with him. I guess he was the general of the brigade of cats; so he 'peared to me; but thinks I, Who's afeard? I a'n't! And I moved to the fire-place; the cat he ris his back, and he began for to sputter and spit; I got hold of the poker, and I poked right and left at him; and he warded off once or twice; and he ris hisself ag’in; and he mewed loud, and once ag'in louder; and I lunged bim a sure blow; and I pierced his flesh; and I banged about him nine times, and nine times nine, and he gin up; he mewed, and sich a mewing ! it died off into nothing, and so did he. And then I thought the Quaker-man's judgment of the music must be better than mine ; he thought there was no harmony in it, while I (thinking it was delightful - p'raps it was owing to the gin-punch made strong) was n't much of a judge of concord of sweet sounds, any how. Now, Mr. Sheriff, my conclusion 'bout the dream is this: that the last cat, the stubborn cat, was the Old Boy; and I fixed his claws, pared his nails, stiffened his carcase: he is dead and buried. And we're goin' to have successful business to-day, and I should n't wonder if it was in the musical way. Some folks go by contrarys in dreams; I don't. What do you think of the dream? It's surprisin', a'n't it?'
It is surprising,' said I in answer, determined to humor the old gentleman, 'very surprising, and very mewsical, too, Tiss,' enunciating the word 'mewsical' so as to convey a sort of imitation of the music of the feline gentry; at which he burst into a loud laugh, ringing a ha! ha! and a ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! he! he! he! he!' and winding up with a sudden jerk, 'Get out!'
So you believe, Tise,' continued I, something in the musical way will turn up, and all will go on barmoniously to day.'
* Yes, yes, dat I do. I never felt better and slicker den now; and when it comes, it finds me prepared. Believe it will come? I know it will; a’n’t my dream a warnin' dat it will come?'
Strange that there are people who so firmly believe in the reality of dreams, I thought; and yet the old man might not be disappointed in his expectation. And wbile I was thus cogitating, sure enough, the expected writ, being a writ of replevin in detinet for a piano-forte, rose-wood case, seven octaves, was placed in my hands — the suit being brought by Fritz Von Helfrich, a piano-forte-maker, against Romer Bayton and Barbara Bayton, his wife.
Counsellor Smallwood, who represented Von Helfrich, was, at the present time of communication with me, represented by bis factotum, or man-of-all-work — such as is usually maintained in some lawyers' offices, to do the demanding part of the business, attend and be present at settlements and negotiations of claims, and serve notices in general. This class of very useful adjuncts of the law office is usually composed of young men ; but in the case in question, Mr. Smallwood's factotum was a man of about five-and-forty, a native of the 'jäm of the say;' withal, very intelligent, active, and rather disposed, I must say, to going it blind, and occasionally, by the impulsiveness of his character, getting a knock-down or two for his seeming impertinence. Mr. Smallwood's man's name was James Largo; and about the sheriff's office, as he was Mr. Smallwood's factotu o, he was called 'Largo al factotum.' It was undoubtedly a very appropr ate designation for him.