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SURPRISING FLOCK OF EAGLES.

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everything that is sold, paying the corrigidore an acknowledgment in specie, or an equivalent to his liking.

While I was here, news came of the battle of Almanar and Saragosa; and giving the victory to that side which they espoused (that of King Philip), they made very great rejoicings. But soon, alas, for them, was all that joy converted into sorrow: the next courier evincing that the forces of King Charles had been victorious in both engagements. This did not turn to my present disadvantage; for convents and nunneries, as well as some of those dons, whom afore I had not stood so well with, strove now how most to oblige me, not doubting but if the victorious army should march that way, it might be in my power to double the most signal of their services in my friendship.

Soon after, an accident fell out, which had like to have been of an unhappy consequence to me. I was standing in company, upon the parade, when a most surprising flock of eagles flew over our heads, where they hovered for a considerable time. The novelty struck them all with admiration, as well as myself. But I, less accustomed to like spectacles, innocently saying, that, in my opinion, it could not bode any good to King Philip, because the eagle composed the arms of Austria; some busybody, in hearing, went and informed the corrigidore of it. Those most magisterial wretches embrace all occasions of squeezing money, and more especially from strangers. However, finding his expectations disappointed in me, and that I too well knew the length of his foot, to let my money run freely, he sent me next day to Alercon; but the governor of that place having had before intelligence that the English army was advancing that way, refused to receive me, so I returned as I went; only the gentlemen of the place, as they had condoled the first, congratulated the last; for that corrigidore stood but very indifferently in their affections. However, it was a warning to me ever after, how I made use of English freedom in a Spanish territory.

As I had attained the acquaintance of most of the clergy and religious of the place, so particularly I had my aim in obtaining that of the provincial of the Carmelites. His convent, though small, was exceeding neat; but what to me was much more agreeable, there were very large gardens belonging to it, which often furnished me with salading and

fruit, and much oftener with walks of refreshment, the most satisfactory amusement in this warm climate. This acquaintance with the provincial was by a little incident soon advanced into a friendship, which was thus: I was one day walking, as I used to do, in the long gallery of the convent, when, observing the images of the Virgin Mary, of which there was one at each end, I took notice that one had an inscription under it, which was this: Ecce Virgo peperit filium; but the other had no inscription at all; upon which, I took out my pencil, and wrote underneath this line:

Sponsa Dei, patrisque parens, et filia filii.

The friars, who at a little distance had observed me, as soon as I was gone, came up and read what I had writ; reporting which to the provincial, he ordered them to be writ over in letters of gold, and placed just as I had put them; saying, doubtless such a fine line could proceed from nothing less than inspiration. This secured me, ever after, his and their esteem; the least advantage of which was a full liberty of their garden for all manner of fruit, salading, or whatever I pleased; and, as I said before, the gardens were too fine not to render such a freedom acceptable.

They often want rain in this country; to supply the defect of which I observed in this garden, as well as others, an invention not unuseful. There is a well in the middle of the garden, and over that a wheel, with many pitchers, or buckets, one under another, which wheel being turned round by an ass, the pitchers scoop up the water on one side, and throw it out on the other into a trough, that by little channels conveys it, as the gardener directs, into every part of the garden. By this means their flowers and their salading are continually refreshed, and preserved from the otherwise over-parching beams of the sun.

The Inquisition, in almost every town in Spain (and more especially if of any great account), has its spies, or informers, for treacherous intelligence. These make it their business to ensnare the simple and unguarded, and are more to be avoided by the stranger than the rattlesnake, nature having appointed no such happy tokens in the former to foreshow the danger. I had reason to believe that one of those vermin once made his attack upon me in this place; and as

SPIES OF THE INQUISITION.

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they are very rarely, if ever, known to the natives themselves, I, being a stranger, may be allowed to make a guess by circumstances.

I was walking by myself, when a person, wholly unknown to me, giving me the civil salute of the day, endeavoured to draw me into conversation. After questions had passed on general heads, the fellow ensnaringly asked me how it came to pass that I showed so little respect to the image of the crucified Jesus, as I passed by it in such a street, naming it? I made answer, that I had, or ought to have, him always in my heart crucified. To that he made no reply; but, proceeding in his interrogatories, questioned me next whether I believed a purgatory? I evaded the question, as I took it to be ensnaring; and only told him that I should be willing to hear him offer anything that might convince me of the truth, or probability of it. Truth? he replied in a heat; there never yet was man so holy as to enter heaven without first passing through purgatory. In my opinion, said I, there will be no difficulty in convincing a reasonable man to the contrary. What mean you by that? cried the spy. I mean, said I, that I can name one, and a great sinner too, who went into bliss without any visit to purgatory. Name him if you can, replied my querist. What think you of the thief upon the cross, said I, to whom our dying Saviour said, Hodie eris mecum in paradiso? At which being silenced, though not convicted, he turned from me in a violent rage, and left me to myself.

What increased my first suspicion of him was, that a very short time after, my friend the provincial sent to speak with me; and repeating all passages between the holy spy and me, assured me that he had been forced to argue in my favour, and tell him that I had said nothing but well: For, says he, all ought to have the holy Jesus crucified in their hearts. Nevertheless, continued he, it is a commendable and good thing to have him represented in the highways. For suppose, said he, a man was going upon some base or profligate design, the very sight of a crucified Saviour may happen to subvert his resolution, and deter him from committing theft, murder, or any other of the deadly sins. And thus ended that conference.

I remember, upon some other occasional conversation after, the provincial told me, that in the Carmelite nunnery next to

his convent, and under his care, there was a nun that was daughter to Don Juan of Austria; if So, her age must render her venerable as her quality.

Taking notice one day, that all the people of the place fetched their water from a well without the town, although they had many seemingly as good within, I spoke to Don Felix of it, who gave me, under the seal of secrecy, this reason for it: When the seat of the war, said he, lay in these parts, the French train of artillery was commonly quartered in this place; the officers and soldiers of which were so very rampant and rude, in attempting to debauch our women, that there is not a well within the town which has not some Frenchmen's bones at the bottom of it; therefore the natives, who are sensible of it, choose rather to go farther afield.

By this well there runs a little rivulet, which gives head to that famous river called the Guadiana; which running for some leagues under ground, affords a pretence for the natives to boast of a bridge on which they feed many thousands of sheep. When it rises again, it is a fine large river, and, after a currency of many leagues, empties itself into the Atlantic

ocean.

As to military affairs, Almanar and Saragosa were victories so complete, that nobody made the least doubt of their settling the crown of Spain upon the head of Charles III. without a rival. This was not barely the opinion of his friends, but his very enemies resigned all hope or expectation in favour of King Philip. The Castilians, his most faithful friends, entertained no other imagination; for, after they had advised, and prevailed that the queen with the prince of Asturias should be sent to Victoria, under the same despondency, and a full dispiritedness, they gave him so little encouragement to stay in Madrid, that he immediately quitted the place, with a resolution to retire into his grandfather's dominions, the place of his nativity.

In his way to which, even on the last day's journey, it was his great good fortune to meet the Duke of Vendosme, with some few troops, which his grandfather Louis XIV. of France had ordered to his succour, under that duke's command. The duke was grievously affected at such an unexpected catastrophe; nevertheless, he left nothing unsaid or undone, that might induce that prince to turn back; and at length prevailing, after a little rest, and a great deal of patience, by

VISIT TO THE CHAPEL OF THE LADY DE ATOCHA.

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the coming in of his scattered troops, and some few he could raise, together with those the duke brought with him, he once more saw himself at the head of twenty thousand men.

While things were in this manner, under motion in King Philip's favour, Charles III., with his victorious army, advances forward, and enters into Madrid, of which he made General Stanhope governor. And even here the Castilians gave full proof of their fidelity to their prince; even at the time when, in their opinion, his affairs were past all hopes of retrieve, they themselves having, by their advice, contributed to his retreat. Instead of prudential acclamations therefore, such as might have answered the expectations of a victorious prince, now entering into their capital, their streets were all in a profound silence, their balconies unadorned with costly carpets, as was customary on like occasions; and scarce an inhabitant to be seen in either shop or window.

This, doubtless, was no little mortification to a conquering prince; however, his generals were wise enough to keep him from showing any other tokens of resentment, than marching through the city with unconcern, and taking up his quarters at Villaverda, about a league from it.

Nevertheless, King Charles visited, in his march, the chapel of the Lady de Atocha, where finding several English colours and standards, taken in the battle of Almanza, there hung up, he ordered them to be taken down, and restored them to the English general.

It was the current opinion then, and almost universal consent has since confirmed it, that the falsest step in that whole war, was this advancement of King Charles to Madrid. After those two remarkable victories at Almanar and Saragosa, had he directed his march to Pampeluna, and obtained possession of that place, or some other near it, he had not only stopt all succours from coming out of France, but he would, in a great measure, have prevented the gathering together of any of the routed and dispersed forces of King Philip; and it was the general notion of the Spaniards I conversed with while at Madrid, that had King Philip once again set his foot upon French land, Spain would never have been brought to have re-acknowledged him.

King Charles with his army having stayed some time about Madrid, and seeing his expectations of the Castilians joining him not at all answered, at last resolved to decamp, and

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