Puslapio vaizdai

horsemen who pranced under them. In the be entertained. The same people who in the large squares they extended in a checker- evening filled the Plaza Nueva, there to listen board arrangement, with intricate ropes and to the music, sauntered in and out of the pulleys which I never tried to understand, shops, where you could buy the latest French content to enjoy the result of black shadows novel or the photograph of the favorite alternating with great splotches of sun- matador. But of this multitude of loungers light. Even the town hall spread out an none seemed to have anything to do except awning all across the wide sidewalk in front to become violently interested the minute of it, and not a hotel or bank or palace or big J. tried to sketch. house did we enter that had not its court as well protected.

BULL-FIGHTERS OLD AND YOUNG. The people were as gay as the town: too gay, too commercial, too modern, M. Maurice CONSPICUOUS among them were the bullBarrés thought Seville. But, fortunately, I fighters, who, alone in southern Spain, prewas quite prosaic enough to delight at the serve a distinct type; they were to the poputime in its constant movement and noise and lation of Seville what the awnings were to life. The Sierpes during the day was the the town-its most characteristic element. center of their gaiety-Seville's Corso or The clean-shaven face and the hair cut square Broadway or Piccadilly. It was here the hot- about the brow may have much to do with test hours were spent. Under its awnings it this distinction; but in any case there it was like a pleasant court; for, though peas- is, and the type is handsome. With age it ants might pass with their donkeys, no cart may tend to brutality, but the young, slim or carriage could ever drive through. In the espada or chulo has a beautiful and a really clubs on each side, their façade nothing but refined face. The costume, even out of the one open window, rows of chairs were always arena, is as distinctive—the low, stiff, broadturned toward the street, and always held an brimmed sombrero, the short jacket, the audience as entertaining as it was willing to ruffled shirt fastened at neck and wrists with

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

links of gold. But in Seville so many men modeled themselves upon the bull-fighter that I had to look for the pig-tail under the broad hat to tell the real from the sham.

Its school of bull-fighting accounts for the prominence the town gives to the national pastime. The ring may be closed, but there is no forgetting the sport. The merest children, almost babes in arms, play at it in the streets, though, judging from one swagger performance we saw, their game is in defiance of the law. For this fight a retired square off a busy street was the arena. When we took our places in a convenient doorway the bull, a small boy about ten years old perhaps, came dashing in. He held on his head a broad board armed with horns. Into this the banderillos had to be stuck, and there was a ring be

ar tween the horns through which the espada's wooden sword had to pass before the bull could be considered duly killed. Everything was done in proper style. There were even chulos waving ragged red cloaks. It was to us the chubbyfaced, flaxen-haired little espada came to ask the of

THE GIRALDA TOWER, SEVILLE. ficial permission. He flung down his hat at our feet with an air that to the Moorish walls of its court the height might have given points to Guerrita. But and dignity which we had missed in Corwhen he turned for action the arena was dova's mosque; and the court itself, the Court empty, nothing to be seen but the heels of of Oranges, has all the picturesqueness that bull, chulos, and banderilleros disappearing little tumbled-down houses actually built into around a corner, a policeman in full chase. the cathedral, and chance balconies, where

women lounge among the flowers, and chance A NATIONAL FÊTE IN THE CATHEDRAL.

windows behind grilles, and a central foun

tain, and a few low, fruit-bearing trees, and SEVILLE, which seems to have a feast, or at posing beggars in admirably composed rags, any rate a holiday, every other day in the can produce. Within, scaffolding and workmen year, held a special one for our benefit, the in the completely blocked-up nave, which will feast of San Fernando. We knew already take years in the repairing, could not altohow impressive the cathedral could be at gether destroy, in our eyes, the grandeur and ordinary times. Without, in rose-color beauty, solemnity of the vast proportions, great golden the Giralda soars above it; wide steps give grilles looming up before us unexpectedly in

VOL. LII.-82.



[ocr errors]

itself for its festivals, and with what fervor it could keep them. Already, on the eve of the great day, the RoyalChapelwas hung with silken draperies; cloth-ofgold covered the royal tombs, the altar was a mass of golden plate, and people were crowding to kiss the hands of the Virgen de los Reyes, the large, matronly Virgin who wears a cap like that of the ladies of the Sacred Heart, and who holds the Child in her arms. When we came to the cathedral its court was, held by red-legged soldiers, grouped about the fountain, at the base of pillars, on every step. Two sentinels paced up and down at the door of the Royal Chapel, which was filled with well-dressed men and women in mantillas, crouched on the floor, sitting on low campstools, lying face downward with hands outstretched to form a cross, or else pressing close about the altar; for the curtain was raised above the coffin where San Fernando has lain these thousand years,

and through the glass we could see the mummy-like head and the ermine robes; and all the people prayed as


dered back in the late

afternoon, in the hour just what Delacroix calls the cathedral's « mag- before sunset. Under the oranges and about nificent obscurity,» chapels opening on every the fountain the red-legged soldiers still linside, but only the glitter of a jewel in a Vir- gered and loafed; but even as we came a gin's crown, or the glow of the gold in a bugle sounded, they fell into line, and marched Christ's drapery, to show where the altar across the court through the cloister, under stood in the comforting gloom. One is apt the door with the crocodile above, and then to credit the Moor with everything that is into the Royal Chapel, where they formed on good in southern Spain. But if it was he who each side. The altar with its hundreds of canplanned the court without, and raised its high dles made an almost blinding glory in the wall, it was the Christian Spaniard who built midst of the falling shadows, and wherever this most solemn and beautiful of all earthly the silken hangings caught the light they temples.

shone with jewel-like splendor. But the serIt was not until the feast of San Fernando vice was very simple, the more solemn bethat we learned with what sumptuousness and cause of its simplicity. A monk in a black stateliness the beautiful interior could array robe mounted into a pulpit half hid in a dusky




corner. He recited a litany, and the people answered, and, without organ or accompaniment, a hymn was sung, Then he prayed aloud, not in Latin, but in Spanish, a prayer of thanksgiving that the country had been freed from the terrible Moors, a petition that they might never come again, that glorious St. Ferdinand should prevail, and that Spain should flourish forever. With these words, which he fairly shrieked forth, he waved a

GARDENS OF THE ALCAZAR, SEVILLE. frantic sign of the cross with his crucifix as their swords, the soldiers grounded their arms he gave a blessing. The mass of officers drew with a crash and fell on their knees, the band

burst into the national hymn, the colorguard marched to the altar and seized their flags, which had been left before the tomb all day. They saluted the hero of their country;the curtain dropped, shrouding him from sight; and then, the band at their head, they marched out with a dignity which Rome in its best days never surpassed.





GARDEN. It was on the other side of the Guadalquivir that the Christian besiegers were camped that hot summer so long ago. But when our wanderings brought us to the river, by the Golden Tower, or the shady drive called



[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Las Delicias, where now no one but ourselves of my pleasure depended on the glimpse to be walked, and we looked across to the Triana,with had at every moment of low-lying, white town, all the memories Cervantes' priest thought so or wide plain stretching away to the shadowy many snares of the devil, it seemed farther mountains. And yet here it was the way the away, because of the bridge of sunlight, than world beyond was softly, but inexorably, shut if the Atlantic had rolled between. How did out from this garden of Eden that struck me they manage to fight, those old Moors and with greatest joy. It was, for all purposes, Christians, with the thermometer away up as cloistered as a monastery. We could see somewhere in the hundreds ? I could under- nothing but the hot, blue sky above, at one stand better the indolent or lustful stories end the high, white walls and overhanging the chroniclers tell of Dom Pedro and Maria balconies of the palace, and in the distance, de Padilla, and the gay company who loved the rose-flushed Giralda, as we wandered from and hated in the blood-stained Alcazar. one little walled court, all blue and white with

This palace of the Moorish kings is near jasmine, into another; or to the bath where the cathedral, and is much larger, much king and court were wont to gather to pay bolder and finer in its ornament, much love- homage to Maria de Padilla and the white lier than Granada's Red Palace. It has more beauty of her perfect body; or between palms of the majesty that one looks for in Moorish and orange-trees, down the narrow paths all architecture, and more of the voluptuousness undermined with the hidden fountains which and color, though its halls and courts are monarchs, in moods of ponderous humor, once as bare and silent, a background also for the set playing upon the unsuspecting knights tourist, who, unless he is as mad as ourselves, and ladies of their court. Late roses were never comes in summer. But the enchantment still in bloom all about us as we walked. of the Alcazar is felt, above all, in its gar- Dahlias and strange tropical blossoms flamed den, which has not, it may be, the stateliness in scarlet splendor above the myrtle hedges. of the Boboli in Florence or of the Borghese Everywhere was the sound of running or fallin Rome in the old days, but instead a rich ing water, the most familiar and soothing of tropical luxuriance, an almost barbarous ex- Andalusia's many musical sounds. Everycess of bloom and perfume, seldom found in the where were the sweet, strong scents of the more classical Italian garden. At the Alham- South, penetrating, irresistible, intoxicating. bra and the Generalife I had thought much And the youth in broad-brimmed hat who

« AnkstesnisTęsti »