תמונות בעמוד

of leading - article writers and reviewers who sarily either Christian or anti-Christian. But it are, naturally enough, on the lookout for exciting is certain that Christian dogmatists of various topics, and fond of exhibiting their parts of types have carried the dislike to poetic naturalism speech. It is from these gentlemen that we get of all kinds to lengths which leave one in no doubt those amazingly indignant criticisms of a certain as to the logic of the dislike. To take a small class of novels, which ring so false. The object instance : About twenty - four years ago Dr. with which the articles are produced is, in too Campbell—a great malleus hæreticorum in his many cases, worse than that with which the day-led a fierce attack upon Mr. Lynch's “Rivstories are written. The latter are often the ulet," a little book of sacred poems, whose one work of inexperienced writers, women in particu- fault, in the eyes of those who disliked it, was its lar, who have got into a fume about they know way of fusing religious faith and the sentiment not what, and who really mean no harm. The of natural beauty with the intermediate simply critics, on the other hand, know very well what human affections. Dr. Campbell was justly conthey are about; their virtuous indignation is ar- demned for his virulence, but he knew what he tificial lather; their object is to produce a “spi- was about when he proclaimed to the like-mindcy” paper, which, under cover of zeal for purity, ed, “ Either this book is all wrong, or some of shall be full of impure suggestion. So much for our dogmatic bases must be revised.” I do not one class of journalists who make capital out of remember whether Dr. Campbell had an organ such novels. But there is another and a still at his Tabernacle—but, of course, the question larger class, made up of half-sincere social crit- goes to music (nay, to singing) in public worship, ics, usually young. These gentlemen (for lady to pictures everywhere, and so on, and on. A reviewers seldom get into an indecorous passion “spiritual" man of a certain school, who hapof decorum) are generally on the right side, so pens to be acutely sensitive to music, will tell far as intention goes, but they make mountains you, and tell you truly, that he finds the special out of molehills. When you go to the poor, emotive agitation caused by music unfavorable abused novel itself you find, probably, that the to“ spirituality.” Similarly with novels, and roharm in it is of a kind or a size which would mances, and poetry. These all arouse more imnever have struck anybody who was not in want pulse than the dogma or received law of the mind of “a cat to tear-this is Ercles' vein." We can control, or is, at least in most cases, likely to have, in fact, but very little fiction which is, in control. So that the observance of certain rules the high and true sense, immoral. There are of conduct is felt to be endangered, and at all numerous hints of social heresy, and some nib- events the whole nature is for a time in a tumult. bling at things which would be better left alone. An outsider may say: " That is your own fault; This seems inevitable in a state of society in why do you not put things in their places, suborwhich clever young women abound, marriage is dinate what should be subordinated, and work difficult, and luxury great. One result of these all the results into your higher life?” Such an facts-taken with the vivacity of the modern appeal, however, comes practically to nothing ; style of living, and the throwing open of nearly for you can not give eyes to the blind or ears to all libraries to all comers—is naturally that men the deaf. and women, but especially women of imperfect But this is not the whole of the case. We experience, should be imaginatively stretching naturally attach something of sacred force and out their hands toward closed doors of mature right divine to all spontaneous emotion of the experience, and should make a sad muddle of kind which is said to “carry us out of ourselves.” their work. But of wicked intention in such The “spiritually-minded " objector would be the novelists there is small evidence.

last to deny that spontaneity is of the essence of The matter, however, goes deeper than what some kinds of sacredness-and, to put it roughwould be generally recognized as immorality, ly, he is jealous of competing spontaneities. He and a widespread but quiet and unsuspected finds they surge upward from the sensations conflict is going on, as we have already said, be- caused by music, novels, romances, plays, etc., tween poetic naturalism in general and the spirit and he attributes them to—the devil. They are or the belief which would cast it out as a thing a sort of demonism. He puts them all from him unholy or unprofitable. The objection to novels with averted head, attributing them to the great and romances, poems and plays (we use only spontaneous source of evil. That phraseology is general phrases), has not been confined strictly to not so common now as it used to be—we can Christian critics of a certain class. It is to be trace it through the middle ages back to the Fatraced in minds of a certain dogmatic order eve-thers, and it belonged to the “ Manicheanism,” rywhere and in various ages. There is something against which Kingsley made such incessant war. like it, for example, in Plato, and it has its last That that way of meeting the case is wholly canroots in a philosophy of life which is not neces- did is not in my brief to affirm. But, as we have


seen, the matter is in course of settlement by the the far-reaching æsthetic revival, and some other usual non-argumentative methods. Novels go topics, which would at the first glance appear uteverywhere, more or less. The recent revivals terly alien. There are great changes in the air, of the old-fashioned "evangelicalism” are against and in these the novel will play a large and even them, but the victory will remain with the novel- increasing part. What will be the probable ist. He is largely aided by the usual accommo- course of events in this respect is a question dated phraseology of the pulpit and the religious which will connect itself with certain typical stopress. All this stands connected with the spread ries of the last decade, and may, perhaps, be of scientific knowledge, the increase of luxury, considered in another article.

HENRY HOLBEACH (The Contemporary Review).



N an old and now but little-read work on world and the curious and the romantic! But'

Spain, “Spanische's für die Gebildetewelt,” rough indeed; and with a vengeance! Said by Von Alban Stotz, the following remarkable Pepita, my nursemaid, to me to-night, her sweet passage occurs. Speaking of the Spanish De- face rippling over with a naive smile, “ Dios me partment in the first exhibition in 1851, he says: libre de ca sarse con un hombre de campo!" i.e., “I beheld only three things: a sword; a bishop's “God preserve me from ever being wedded to a staff; and a very beautiful guitar.”

campo-man, or field-laborer!”—and an old fishI have never read an observation more pithy, erman, smoking his coarse paper cigarette in my or, when well considered, more descriptive, in a den, looked up and said: few words, of the Spanish national character ; Ya lo creo, Pepita : una gente que tiene there is, save in Cataluña—and the Cataluñans poca civilizacion ;”i. e., “I believe you, Pepita: say they are not Spaniards !-very little solid in- they are a set of men who can boast of very litdustry in Spain, but there is an old-world chiv- tle civilization." alry, well-betokened by the sword above men- It is not of the domestic life of these wild tioned; a mediæval state of religion ; and a sons of toil that I am about to speak in the love of amusement, well-betokened by the tin- present chapter, but of the life of a different kling guitar.

class, namely, the middle class of Spain, among Many writers, notably Ford and Borrow, have which I place the priest, the well-to-do tradeswritten, and written well and truthfully, upon the man, the doctor, the lawyer, the merchant, and, always interesting and picturesque peasant class- in a word, the town or country gentleman. No es of Spain. Those mahogany-faced sons of the English pen has ever yet portrayed the life of wild, gray, spreading campo, or of the blue, ro- these persons—their manners, their mode of life, mantic sierra, semi-gypsy, semi-savage, wholly houses, food, income, religion, ideas, and nuruneducated, nobly chivalrous, children of Nature, series. whom the railway traveler, as he rattles through In this chapter I entirely disclaim speaking of the wastes of Andalucia or the pine-woods near the inhabitants of the frigid northwest of Spain ; Seville, sees fitting, ghost-like, in gaudy dresses I have never visited the so-called Carlist provin the country or province. They shuffle along, inces, and, if, as I am told, the inhabitants are singing their wild, melancholy ditties, at set of very English, and their climate very Scottish, I sun, in sandaled feet through clouds of dust to- certainly shall say with Pepita, " Dios me libre!" ward their lonely pueblo, fitting, with their pa- _“God preserve me!” tient ass trotting in front, through the groves of I write of the three fourths of the Peninsula stunted, glaucous olive-trees, or threading the with which I am familiar, and have for many narrow track that skirts the hedge of aloe or of years been familiar — Andalucia, the Castiles, prickly pear.

Valencia, Murcia, Cataluña, and, but slightly, Rough sons of toil! full of interest are you, Aragon. your quaint herbal remedies, your strange folk- The sword, the pastoral staff, the guitar, are lore, your erotic songs and ditties, your women's specially emblematic of the tastes and character wailing nana (nursery rhyme) as they put baby of the nation, but especially of that part of it to sleep, your outlandish superstitions—full of which is composed of the great middle class : interest for poet, painter, or any lover of the old- the men are most chivalrous, and full of courage; the women are devoted and religious—religious low range of brick shelf, in which are sunk three in the true and natural sense of the word, ten- small holes, the ornillas. These are filled with der-hearted, loving, generous, timid, true as To- charcoal, the blue flame of which seems for ever ledo steel to a true and responding heart; and flickering; the earthen pot, containing the puboth men and women love amusement, music, chero, is ever thereon, sending forth through the social intercourse, bright jest and something be- house its savory odors. Out of the kitchen, which yond that, the theatre, the bull-ring, the lottery- is, generally, a wretched room, opens the closet, stakes, the guitar.

called vulgarly escusado, but, in mouths more reHow often do they not laugh at the life and fined, jardin or retrete. A small dark room used lot of their English brothers and sisters, these for lumber- or bath-room is called trasalcoba, or middle classes of Spain, and say: "Why, she is a second alcoba : and then there is the recibidor, sufferer and he a toiler ; life has no charms for or anteroom, answering the same purpose as the them !” “God bless me! no sunshine, no Vir- old-fashioned English hall or waiting-room. gin ; - chops, beefsteaks; beefsteaks, chops; If a married couple, without children, or a counting-house and office; husband dozing at bachelor, desire a lodging, they ask for a departanight, his sovereigns in his pocket, to be banked mento, which consists of bedroom, sitting-room, to-morrow; never goes to any place of amuse- bath-room, and gabinete, or writing-room. ment with, and never fondles, his wife—why, life As regards furniture and general appearance at that rate is not worth having !" So they tem- of the interior, much need not be said. The per amusement with toil, and toil with amuse- walls are whitewashed, not papered; the roomment, and, if much money be not amassed, at floors are all of brick, and covered with estera, a least there is this to be said for their mode of thin but tasteful matting made of straw, with life, that it does not sour many, that they all various colors and various patterns; plain paintglide down the stream of life swiftly and bright- ed wooden beams form the ceiling; the chairs ly, and that a more lasting coin than dollar or and sofas are much as in England and France, sovereign passes current with us all—amiability, but there is always the brasero or charcoal-pan or, as Aristotle defines it, easy pleasantry. in each room in winter. This copa, or brasero,

In describing the mode of life of the middle often costs from two to three pounds, and is classes in the Peninsula, our first consideration highly valued ; it is used in family conclave, and must be the casa, or house, and its rent.

in the afternoon tertulia, or ladies' meeting, a The average middle-class house, especially in sort of “ kettle-drum,” but without the kettle. Andalucia, was formerly a long, low stone build- At these ladies' gatherings no refreshment of ing, with large bow-windows caged in iron bars, any sort or kind is ever offered, nor, if offered, raised about eight or ten inches above the level would it be accepted; indeed, to offer a lady reof the street : at this window, in the gloaming, freshment would be considered very bad formall the courting is done : the cloaked Spaniard bad ton, indeed. stands outside, and converses in hushed whispers Oh, Dios eterno de mi vida : Ahi! Ahi!with the dark-eyed, tenderly passionate girl of said a Spanish lady to me a few days since, when his choice within : a Spanish girl, when she two Englishmen entered and asked for a glass of loves, loves to devotion, and her warm blood and sherry or a cup of coffee. Dios de mi alma / natural trustfulness of disposition are restrained que demonios son los Ingleses! Los Españoles and guarded by no moral culture, but by exter- comen cada uno en su casa ; los Ingleses comen nal precautions of bar and bolt.

ron, te, cerveza, á cada casa ; " i. e., “O eternal Generally now, however, the houses are built God! God of my life and of my soul! what dein one or two stories, and within are divided into mon friends are these English! The Spaniards pisos, or flats, on each of which lives a separate eat, each one at his own house; the English family. Within doors, the following is the regu- drink and eat at every house, rum, beer, tea,” etc. lar arrangement of the house :

Such a thing as a dinner-party, that curse of There is the sala, or drawing-room, the prop- English middle-class life, when the doctor's spread erty of the ladies, and at each end, opening into must be honored by the parson and his wife, and it with folding-doors, is an alcoba, or recess-room, the parson must "return the squire's hospitality" very often dark, and windowless, to keep out the within a given time after having received it-ensun; husband and wife each occupy an alcoba, tertainments where not a single person enjoys sleeping separately, with the length of the sala the dinner; where there is no conversation ; between them.

where the poor cook is driven distracted; where There is, next, the comedor, or dining-room, the mistress is on pins and needles lest Sally, with an alcoba opening out of it; or, it may be, fresh caught from the workhouse, should upset with the despacho, or study of the master of the the soup-entertainments where all are equally house. There is, besides, the kitchen, with its uncomfortable-such abominations do not exist

[ocr errors]

in Spain. The ladies meet, chat, and talk for an lings per diem, for which he gets one small room, hour in the afternoon; in the evening, the gentle- the use of a public sitting-room, and two meals men come in, and merely smoke their paper ciga- per diem, with weak wine ad libitum. rettes, and, perhaps, drink a glass of cold water In old Spanish houses there is generally a (but rarely): and so, with bright conversation, very cleverly contrived secret receptacle for and no expense or trouble to either master or money, akin to the “ secret drawer" of the oldservants, a great deal of simple pleasure is af- fashioned English desk; and even now this seforded, and all come satisfied, and drop off cret cupboard is much used, the Spanish idea of pleased and contented. Even to go so high in security being (an idea founded on the bitter exmiddle-class life as the regular weekly reunion perience of many years) to cage the windows in at Señor Castelar's modest house in Madrid, no iron bars, lock up the house at night, in winter viands are ever offered; the guests simply sit draw round one the family, look at the money, round the room of the great orator, smoke their and then: “Why, I am very safe ; all I love and paper cigarettes, and listen to his sparkling wit all I need is contained within the four walls of and brilliant conversation ; and thus the privilege my casa." There is, I grieve to say, a vast deal of entertaining your friends is put within the of distrust of banks and government securities, reach of all.

and a great holding to the proverb, “No hay Poverty in middle-class people is never a bar mas amigo que Dios, y un duro en el bolsillo to seeing society; and poverty owes a debt to (i. e., “ No friend save God, and a dollar in your Spanish customs. Here there is none of the pocket"). cruel mortification carried on against decent pov- And now with the middle class there is no erty as in England; the poor charity-school girl's banking of money; the bankers, to begin with, beautiful rich hair is not cropped and shorn. In give no interest, as a rule; and just as in ScotEngland, poverty, I grant, has less physical suf- land, in the troubled year of 1650, the goldfering, and is better relieved, than in Spain, but smiths were the only bankers, so now in Spain it is far more insulted. In Spain, poverty has the gentry constantly hoard their money in their great suffering, but it has no insults to wound its own houses; some put their jewelry and plate in feelings : all may be poor, one day; poverty is the montes de piedad, of which more anon. sympathized with; poverty maintains its decent We have now fairly finished our sketch of the self-respect.

Spanish gentleman's or tradesman's house ; we And every one who has a chair and a brasero must rise at early morning to pass an ordinary can give a winter evening's party, and meet their day with a family of the class which I am atfriends in social intercourse.

tempting to describe. I come to speak of one more, and that an The Spaniards are, as a rule, exceedingly important, use of the copa, or brasero : a wire early risers, the chief business of shopping being cage is put over the brass pan of glowing char- necessarily, owing to the scorching heats by day, coal, and it is listed into the bed, after the fash- performed in the early morning : at 4 A. M. the ion of the English warming-pan : shifted about dawn--the lovely, cool, even chilly madrugada from side to side, the sheets are soon thoroughly of Spain-breaks out dimly, the last sound of the warmed. The comfort of this to an invalid in sereno's, or night-watchman's, cry has died away the icy cold of Madrid or Valladolid can hardly along the voiceless street—then the family arise, be told. Every good housewife buys, each week, the ladies to dress, the men to smoke the mornat the door, a packet, costing two and a half ing cigarette, and all to drink a cup of chocolate pence, of dried lavender-flowers, and each day and eat a fragment of toast or sponge-cake. sprinkles a certain portion upon the glowing Ere five o'clock has struck, the streets are charcoal ; thus the whole room is perfumed, and thronged; the servants are all en route, basket smells much like a church where the incense has on arm, to buy the day's provisions at the fruitlately been swung.

market, the ladies of the party are all fussing It is in this way, too, that the close room of about, putting on the "customary suit of solemn the invalid is fumigated, the pan being put on black,” for is not the misa, or early service-bell

, his bed, and the fumes of the aromatic laven- already clanging out from the old, gray, timeder playing round him like a cloud, and giving honored church-tower ? warmth, sweetness of perfume, and relief to the A more beautiful sight, or one more suggesbronchial tubes.

tive, than a Spanish street-corner at 6 A. M. I As regards house-rent, for thirty-six pounds have never yet beheld. Two streams are meetper annum a good one-story house (unfurnished) ing in the crowded, sunlit, joyous streets—the may be had, in Andalucian towns, and a piso, or poor toilers and the stately, dark-robed dames flat, for two pounds per month. For living at a and their daughters, and the husband or son of lodging-house the guest pays about eight shil- the family. They each are going on a different errand, each to a different scene and place—the at 6 A. M. a copa of aguardiente, at 12 their breakgentry to church, the servants to the plaza de fast, at 4 P. M. just a “snack" and a cigar, and fruta ; and the two sides of the religious life, at 6, on their return home, their supper. working and praying, are finely contrasted.

However, modern middle-class Spain breakWith lustrous, dreamy eyes, with stately step, fasts at II A. M., and dines at about 5 or 6 P. M. with gilt-leaved prayer-book in hand, with rich Dinesbreakfasts-lunches! did I say? If silk dress of deepest black, and black mantilla, these words convey to my reader's ears the idea the lithe but stately Spanish ladies glide over the of strictly fixed hours, of papa standing sharpenrugged stones on their way to the misa at the ing his scythe at the end of the table to mow early morn in the perfumed, incense-scented down beef in sheaves, mamma pegging into some church, in the crumbling, hoary square, in the unhappy child who comes in with a tumbled lowly street.

pinafore, a “grace" before meat that absolutely Not like the ostentatious religion of the Eng- means nothing (Spaniards say, “God only listens lish is this Spanish phase of Christian worship. to one grace, that is, the sending a slice of the The English worshiper, donning his or her reli- dinner to the poor”; and I think they say truly), gion, just as he dons his Sunday attire, presses and a “grace after meat" that means less than toward his pew, at glare of eleven-o'clock sun, nothing, but before the saying of which no one sits out a two hours' service, observes that “ Mr. may dare to move from table—if my words conSo-and-so wasn't there,” and criticises the ser- jure up any such picture before my reader's eyes, monthus breaking at once the first rule of let them be immediately dismissed. Christianity," Fudge not."

The perfect ease of the family life, even if, as The Spaniard, in plain mourning-suit or dress, I believe, it is too often carried to excess, binds just pushes humbly aside the curtain of the the members of one family together with, literchurch-door, and kneels to pray upon the lowly ally, “cords of a man.” Nowhere, as in Spain, estera, or the stone-flagged floor, and, having do the big sons so love and seek their seat at prayed, slips out, wholly unseen and unobserved their father's simple table, and love to be with in the somber gloom and darkness of the church. their mother and sisters.

The Spaniard listens to, but forbears to True, too often they are men who ought to criticise, the preacher and his words.

be up and doing; winning honor in the army or The Spaniard makes religious worship a part navy, toiling in the counting-house, felling trees of his daily life.

in the colonies, or delving for gold in far 'Frisco. The Spaniard has no “pew” or “sitting"; But I am bound, in writing, to put the lights as he kneels beside his shoemaker, his shoeblack, well as the shadows before my readers, and, deephis field-laborer, his costermonger, his milliner, ly as I lament to see Young Spain " so often and in God's house, at least to all appearance, all content to live upon his aged father's savings, yet are equal.

I must not disguise the fact of the great affection The Spaniard is not locked into a building and amiability that exist. for two hours, as is the fashion in English It is breakfast-time; the aguador, or waterchurches : he goes in, kneels down, and slips out carrier, has filled the barrels, and the table is unobserved when his heart is satisfied and his “laid "—with a snowy cloth, with porous Andujar feelings have expended themselves in his act of pitchers of classic shape; with a melon rolling worship.

here and there; knives, forks, plates, put on The stream of toilers has met the stream of without any regard to order or arrangement; prayers, and Mary and Martha separate, until bunches of white and purple grapes, and a few breakfast-time, when servant and master meet bottles of red astringent wine; the red wine, like again.

Burgundy, of Val de Peñas; the amber-colored The hours of meals with the Spanish families wine of Almera (grown in the slopes around differ slightly; but, with all, there are two chief Albuñol); the red wine of Cataluña; or, permeals (to say nothing of the cup of early choco- haps, the white wine of Seville. Bread lies, in late) in the day. At II A. M, or 12 is the al- spiral roscas, or in French rolls, or in teleras muerzo, or breakfast, and at 4 or 6 P. M. the co- (long, thick staves of coarse bread), all about the mida, or dinner. A few years since the custom table; a few aromatic flowers, bought in the was (and it prevails now, in old pueblos and with plaza, stand in the midst. old families) to breakfast at 9.30 A. M. and dine An old man comes in—a servant-girl, with at 3, and have a trifle of supper at 9 P. M. bare arms, and in undress uniform, comes in.

In Cataluña the manufacturing poor have Well, they look round—the family have not come almuerzo at 8.30 A. M., merienda, or luncheon, to table. Bueno; paciencia !”—“Well; paat 12, and comida, or cena, at 6 or 6.30 P. M.; tience!” they say, and the man lights his paper while the peasantry in most parts of Spain have cigarette, and leans against the door.

« הקודםהמשך »