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On travelling northwards from Estremadura, we enter the province of Leon; which, though not so generally abandoned to pasturage, is notwithstanding in a very backward state. It is watered by a great variety of copious and beautiful streams: but the indolence of the inhabitants has hitherto prevented the application of them to the purposes of irrigation. It was in this province that the English army under Sir John Moore entered the Spanish territory; and from such a population as it contains, we need not wonder at that officer's adopting the belief that the Spaniards had neither the will nor the means to maintain their independence.-The town of Ciudad Rodrigo, so often mentioned in late reports of military operations in Spain, stands in this province; as also Sahagun, to which Sir John Moore retreated after he had relinquished his intended attack on Marshal Soult; and Rio Seco, where, early in the contest, the Spaniards under Cuesta committed the imprudence, so often repeated in the sequel, of meeting the French in a general action. Of these places, Ciudad Rodrigo alone is considerable it is well fortified, and contains about 10,000 inhabitThis is about a third part of the present population of Salamanca; of which city, the seat of a formerly celebrated university, M. Laborde thus speaks:
Its situation, in the form of an amphitheatre, on the banks of the Tormes, is picturesque; the river bathes a part of its walls, and waters its beautiful plain; it has a very handsome stone-bridge, which it attributed to the Romans, and which has twenty-seven arches, in a length of about five hundred feet.'
An university was established at Salamanca, in the year 1239, out of the ruins of that at Palencia, and there have been as many as eight thousand scholars in it, who came thither from every part of Spain, and seven thousand from the other countries of Europe.-There are eighty endowed professors, the first eight of whom, doctors in theology, have each 1000 crowns; these are the cathedraticos. The seventy-two other professors in the different sciences have no more than 6000 reals, or 621. 108. sterling.'
There are besides twenty five colleges, which have thirty colle gians each, who live in common with the masters. The scholars of the university and of the colleges, and who now are three thousand in number, are all, without exception, clad in black gowns like priests; their heads are shaved and covered with a cap; they are not permitted to wear a hat in the town unless it rains, and are subjected to a most regular life.'
The ground on which this town stands is uneven, and in passing through it we are obliged to ascend and descend. It would be very easy to render the streets cleaner, by establishing on the most elevated spot, a reservoir from which the waters might be spread from time to time, which would render the town cooler and healthier; the waters would flow the easier, as all the streets are sloping. The air circulates easily, on account of there being a great many squares.
The country about this town is beautiful, fertile, and smiling. In Jeaving Salamanca by the gate of Tormes, we cross that river over a Roman bridge.'
It remains, to complete the topography of Spain, that we take notice of what is remarkable in the two Castiles. The extensive province of Old Castile contains, together with many mountainous tracts, a number of fertile plains and vallies; which, even in the present defective mode of cultivation, produce large quantities of corn; and which, under an improved method of culture and conveyance, might render this quarter the granary of Spain :- but what supplies can be expected from a province which has neither canals nor roads, and where the ordinary mode of carriage is on the backs of mules? The principal cities of Old Castile are Burgos, Valladolid, and Segovia. Burgos was the antient capital of the Castilian monarchy, and shared with Toledo the honour of the royal residence till the 16th century, when the predilection of the Emperor Charles V. for Madrid produced a change, which was confirmed by a similar partiality on the part of his successors. This preference, however, does not, in the opinion of the Spaniards, give Madrid a prior rank to Burgos or Toledo; the question of precedence is at issue between these two cities; and it continues to be discussed till this day, with all that superstitious veneration for antiquity and that attachment to punctilio, which belong to the Spanish character. We extract parts of M. Laborde's account of the principal towns of Old Castile :
Burgos is built on the declivity of a hill, from whence it slopes along the plain to the river Arlanzon, on whose right bank it stands, and whose stream flows close to its walls. It is a large irregular town, presenting the figure of a cross; it is surrounded by high walls, but is ill arranged; the streets are narrow, crooked, and un. even, yet some of them, particularly that which leads to the metropolitan church, are tolerably handsome. In its days of splendor, Burgos contained thirty-five or forty thousand inhabitants, exclusive of foreigners, of whom there was always a considerable number; its population is now reduced to eight or nine thousand souls. It is a most gloomy place, destitute of amusements; it affords little society, and its cold humid climate is ill calculated to render it a salubrious residence.'
• Valladolid, called in Latin, Vallisoletum, the Pincium of the ancients, is the second city in Old Castile. It was the native place of Philip the Second, who sometimes made it the seat of his court. It is built between the rivers Esgueva and Pizuerga, in a large plain, surrounded by hills flattened at their summit.-In this place is established one of the two chancery courts of Spain; it is the residence of an intendant for the province of Valladolid; the streets are ill paved, and very dirty. Many of its edifices are approached by gates of a noble structure, handsome fronts, and courts embellished
with piazzas, but the greater part of them are either unfinished or in ruins. Its population, which was once proportioned to its extent, is reduced to about four thousand families, or twenty thousand individuals.'
⚫ Segovia represents the singular figure of a ship, of which the stern points to the east, the prow to the west; it commands an immense rock, and appears buried between two deep vallies, one of which is to the north, the other to the south. This city is surrounded with walls. A range of towers are planted, at regular distances, on its ramparts. The number of houses has been estimated at five thousand, but the population does not exceed ten thousand souls. The streets are almost all narrow and crooked, and irregularly paved. The four suburbs are on more even ground, and contain several manufactories.'
On the grand road from Bayonne to Madrid there are some tolerable inns; in every other part of the province the traveller only meets here and there with a solitary house, some wretched venta or posada, dirty and disgusting beyond description, where, should he even be fortunate enough to have brought his own provisions, he might perhaps vainly look for a fire by which to dress them.'
It is the remark of an acute writer, that the Old Castilians are gloomy and taciturn, and bear in their swarthy aspect the expression of dejection and poverty. It must be acknowledged they have little. relish for the pleasures of society; they are serious, grave, reserved, and somewhat stately, and in their movements are perhaps more solemn and slow than any other people in Spain; but it must be admitted also, that their morals are incorrupt and ingenuous; that they are upright in conduct, strangers to artifice, and unpractised in cunning or duplicity; probity is their birthright; they are naturally obliging; they are also disinterested, and so perfectly free from affectation that they may justly be called the honest people of Spain.'
In the description of New Castile, our attention is principally occupied by the capital. The extension of the walls of Madrid is a proof of its successive increase, the first limits having been very narrow, and confined to the neighbourhood of the palace. The interior of Spain is in general a very elevated region, and the scite of Madrid is not less than three hundred yards above the level of the sea. This city is built on several adjoining eminences, in the midst of a plain which to the eye appears of boundless extent; and which is neither watered nor planted, but is dry, parched up, and denuded. The Spanish habits of exaggeration have gone so far as to represent even Madrid as having declined in population, while to an unprejudiced observer it is perfectly clear that it never was so populous as at present. A late account states the number of its inhabitants at 160,000. The streets within the antient boundary are narrow and crooked: but in the modern part of the town, which is by much the larger, they are open and handsome.
handsome. Without meeting in this capital with many magni ficent structures, we find in it a great number of commodious houses. Simplicity is the general character of the architecture of Madrid, and the houses of the grandees are conspicuous only for their extent. The principal public walk is the Prado, so often celebrated by the heated imagination of Spanish novelists as the busy scene of amorous plots and political stratagems. It consists of a broad avenue, planted with lofty trees, with two alleys at the sides; the avenue being designed for carriages, and the alleys for walking. It is a very fine promenade, and is greatly frequented: but the interest of the moving part of the scene falls very short of former delineations, the genteel females not being accustomed to step out of their carriages, and the exercise of walking being confined to the lower ranks.-The palace of San Lorenzo, better known by the name of the adjacent village, Escurial, is twenty miles to the north-west of Madrid; that of St. Ildefonso is twice this distance, and is nearly due north; while Aranjuez lies on the banks of the Tagus, about twenty miles south of the capital. The Escurial owed its creation, as is well known, to the gloomy and superstitious Philip II. St. Ildefonso is of much later date, having been built under Philip V., and chosen by that monarch as the place of retreat on his abdication; while Aranjuez, erected by the Emperor Charles V. as a hunting seat, has owed its additions and embellishments to a succession of princes, particularly those of the last century. St. Ildefonso is perhaps the most elevated of royal residences, being 3400 feet above the level of the sea; while the beauty of Aranjuez consists in its walks and gardens, diversified by the meanderings of the Tagus. A considerable town has been formed in the neighbourhood of this palace, and the scenery around is rendered striking by a contrast with distant objects; it is a fertile valley in the midst of a wilderness.
The city of Talavera de la Reyna has acquired additional interest with an English reader by our glorious but dearly-bought victory. Like most other Spanish towns, it traces its origin to the Romans, and it had the honour of giving birth to the Tacitus of Spain, the celebrated historian, Mariana. We make selections from M. Laborde's account of it, and of Toledo, with his observations on the Castilian character :
Talavera is delightfully situated in a beautiful open, plain, at once wide, cultivated, and fertile; it commands the right bank of the Tagus, which bathes its walls, and is blest with a delicious climate. It is invested with nine gates. It is very irregularly built. The streets are narrow and frequently crooked, and are often interrupted by little courts, & ill paved, that in rainy seasons the water
fills the chasms and apertures, and presents the disgusting object of muddy stagnant pools. The houses are all extremely low, they are raised but one story, and have few windows. At first sight Talavera appears an agreeable place; it is happily situated, and enjoys a delightful climate it has fine promenades, and it includes a sufficient number of respectable families to secure the advantages of polished society; yet, by a strange and inconceivable fatality, every domestic circle is isolated; every family remains alone; there is either no intercourse, or such as, from the restrictions of etiquette, is inevitably rendered insipid, gloomy, and monotonous.'
Toledo is situated in a narrow valley, of great length, surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains. It is built on the sides and top of a granite mountain, almost completely insulated, rough, steep, and surrounded on three sides by the Tagus, inclosed on all parts by mountains likewise of granite. We perceive on all sides vestiges of its past grandeur and destruction. It is almost impossible to pass through the southern part of the town without lamenting the vicissitudes of human life; the heaps of earth, bricks, and tiles, present the mournful remains of houses, the situation of which they now occupy, and it is impossible to walk in the other quarters of the city without finding similar vestiges. It is now reduced to about twenty thousand inhabitants. The streets are narrow, crooked, ill-paved, and uneven; there is not one that is straight, or where two carriages can pass at once, nor is there a single one where you are not obliged to ascend and descend.--The town boasts not of squares or spectacles, and has no place of public resort; there are few gentry among its residents; its commerce is circumscribed to a few shops; its grandees are lawyers; priests, friars, and students, constitute its principal population. Destitute of all pretensions to beauty or majesty, without society, or the amusements which supply its place, it is impossible that it should be otherwise than sad, dreary, tiresome, and disagreeable.'
Madrid has no distinct character, no manners, no customs particularly appropriate; it presents an assemblage of people from the provinces, each of whom brings to it his own hereditary peculiarities of sentiment or deportment, which are soon blended with those of his associates; from the whole there results an indefinable mixture of manners and opinions, a mass of generalities rarely marked by an individual shade. The inhabitant of New Castile, though marked by a lofty aspect, is not proud, and, with the expression of extreme gravity, is, in reality, prone to excessive mirth. With acute and vivid feelings he is more reflective than the native of Catalonia or Aragon; he is never precipitate; he weighs, he deliberates, and is slow in forming his decision; and, consequently, is not easily in. duced to leave his own sphere. The Castilian was formerly devoted to the art of war, and taught to despise the occupations of agricul ture and science, as inferior and ignoble objects. This prejudice has been transmitted from his ancestors, and is perpetuated by indigence and ignorance. He is honourable and hunane, sober and temperate, and revolts from every species of falsehood or duplicity. In his temper he is more docile than the native of Old Castile, who perti