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the citadel, is the residence of the aristocracy ; while the new, which runs along the water's edge, is mostly composed of shops. There is a very tolerable prado, where the inhabitants walk at dusk, to smoke cigaritas, inquire into the merits of the last report,* discuss the chances of the war, and the certain destruction of the Pretender, as they term Don Carlos, being all violent Christinos;
Spain's dark glancing daughters” issue forth attended by their duennas to court the moonlight, exercise their fans, and return the salutations of the passing cavalleros.
This place was at one time strongly fortified ; it is now but “ mould’ring walls and towers defenceless,” and in many places the guns lie dismounted in the embrasures. At the entrance of the harbour stands the castle of Saint Antonio, on a rock about a musket-shot off shore. It is in tolerably good condition, and serves at present as a state prison for the Carlists. The costume of the females is very pretty, and
orders black seems the prevailing
* Lies are rife here; one evening during our stay we were surprised at the sight of the town illuminated, accompanied with great rejoicing. We found it was for a victory said to have been gained over the Carlists near Madrid, in which the rebel force was totally annihilated. A few days after other accounts arrived, by which it appeared that an engagement had taken place, but with a different result, four Christinos having been killed, the rest running away, “to live to fight another day.”
colour ; but as you descend the scale of society it is of every hue. The women have all good figures, particularly straight, some indeed so much so, as to give the appearance of constraint, the back considerably bent in, and the waist proportionably prominent, making the greater number appear as if they were setting at defiance the orthodox rules of Miss Martineau. If this were observable amongst the lower orders only, one would be inclined to attribute it to the universal habit of carrying burdens on the head, especially the water-pots, which are of the most elegant antique shapes; but it is not so.
The head seems with the women to be the point d'appui, the object of all their care, from the highest to the lowest. No matter how badly they are dressed in other respects, the head is always neat and elegant.
I have seen many going without shoes, whose head-dress might be envied by an English lady of the highest fashion. The hair is of a shining jet black, either madonnaed or drawn tightly off the forehead, made as smooth as possible all over the head, and collected at the back into one tail, or sometimes two, often reaching far below the long slender waist. One small curl, pressed flat on each temple, is kept in its exact position for great occasions, by a black patch the size of a shilling. Ringlets and curls are unknown, and I never saw the hair turned up—that object so longed for by the sex in our own country—so anxiously
looked forward to by all industrious mammas, and forming such an eventful epoch in a young lady's life—the bridge from youth to womanhood, the very next step to “going out.”
They wear no bonnets, but the graceful mantilla of black silk, trimmed with velvet and edged with lace, is drawn half-way over the head, and hangs low down on the figure. It is a very beautiful and becoming piece of female attire. In a few instances I saw white lace ones worn by Carlists : caps are unknown. The petticoat of the lower order is composed of grey or brown cloth, wrapped several times round them, which quite spoils the figure. All the better classes carry fans, which they keep in constant motion, and the dexterous management of which, I should think, forms no small item in the accomplishments of a Spanish lady of fashion. The hands are kept demurely crossed upon the breast. The complexion of all ranks is very dark, more so than one would be inclined to attribute to the influence of a few hundred miles' difference of latitude. I cannot take it upon my conscience to say, that the women of Gallicia are handsome; their features are indeed regular and tolerably well formed, with straight noses, &c.; but the want of colour and animation deadens all interest, unredeemed even by the black and brilliant eye which is universal. The country girls are an exception ; they fully compensate for a somewhat less tasteful toilette, by a complexion bright, animated, and blooming. The
gentlemen citizens are all enveloped in the cloak, above which are just seen a pair of formidable moustaches; but I never could divest myself of the idea of their having the deadly, treacherous stilletto hidden in its dark folds. They seem partial to the brightest colours ; scarlet trowsers being a favourite piece of dress. The dress of the farmers is much more picturesque and national, but gaudy and of all hues; principally red and light brown. Their high-peaked hats are much and tastefully ornamented with feathers, artificial flowers, and ribbons of every brilliant colour. They wear the hair in long ringlets behind, and falling over the shoulders ; the jacket, red or yellow, with parti-coloured sleeves, is profusely decorated with braid and buttons. These, with their Dutch breeches of enormous folds, give them a most grotesque appearance ; but with all this finery, they generally go barefooted; few wear the moustache, that adornment being resigned to the more dandified citizen, who cultivates it to a most luxuriant extent.
The dress of the muleteer is peculiar ; his dark brown leathern jacket, purple velvet breeches, and great leggings, together with the sombrero or large slouched hat, which shadows his handsome dark features, deck a form often of the finest mould, and capable of bearing every hardship. remarkable for the honesty of their dealings, are incessantly traversing the whole extent of the Peninsula, and many of them realize large fortunes.
They form a community of themselves, and for the most part live in a town a few leagues inland. You may meet them in great droves along the roads, each having under his care from six to twelve mules, laden with tobacco and merchandise, and tied in a row, with the drivers sitting sidewise on one, and singing their own wild and beautiful melodies.
The farmers and the inhabitants generally of this country are a small race, but I never any where saw so many deformities, such as diseased spines and hips, club feet, &c. &c.
The children are squalid in the extreme ; but with the exception of one or two blind crones at either gate of the town, there are very few beggars, though there is no asylum for them.
The soldiery are the most miserable, half-starved, and ill-looking set of fellows I ever beheld ; ragged and shoeless. Just fancy a barefooted corps! The national, or city guard, is a disgrace to any party of ragamuffins. The dress, an old blue jacket, dirty yellow cross-belts, sacken trowsers that never saw a wash-tub, and a little grey forage cap, no stockings, and rarely shoes; this is full dress. The artillery are somewhat better, but their long lightgrey bedgowns, and high narrow black
make them look like so many chandlers' boys with tin cans on their heads. The officers are little better, though they twist their moustaches, puff paper cigars, look fierce, and strut about with all the