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return to Saragosa. Accordingly, with a very few troops, that prince advanced thither; while the main body, under the command of the Generals Stanhope and Staremberg, passing under the very walls of Madrid, held on their march towards Arragon.


After about three days' march, general Stanhope took his quarters at Breuhiga, a small town half walled; General Staremberg marching three leagues farther, to Cifuentes. This choice of situation of the two several armies, not a little puzzled the politicians of those times; who could very indifferently account for the English general's lying exposed in an open town, with his few English forces, of which General Harvey's regiment of fine horse might be deemed the main, and General Staremberg encamping three leagues farther off the enemy. But to see the vicissitudes of fortune, to which the actions of the bravest, by an untoward sort of fatality, are often forced to contribute! none who had been eyewitnesses of the bravery of either of those generals at the battles of Almanar and Saragosa, could find room to call in question either their conduct or their courage; and yet in this march, and this encampment, will appear a visible ill consequence to the affairs of the interest they fought for.

The Duke of Vendosme having increased the forces which he brought from France to upwards of twenty thousand men, marches by Madrid directly for Breuhiga, where his intelligence informed him General Stanhope lay; and that so secretly, as well as swiftly, that that general knew nothing of it, nor could be persuaded to believe it, till the very moment their bullets from the enemy's cannon convinced him of the truth. Breuhiga, I have said, was walled only on one side, and yet on that very side the enemy made their attack. But what could a handful do against a force so much superior, though they had not been in want of both powder and ball; and in want of these, were forced to make use of stones against all sorts of ammunition which the enemy plied them with? The consequence answered the deficiency; they were all made prisoners of war, and Harvey's regiment of horse among the rest; which, to augment their calamity, was immediately remounted by the enemy, and marched along with their army to attack General Staremberg.

That general had heard somewhat of the march of Vendosme, and waited with some impatience to have the confirmation of



it from General Stanhope, who lay between, and whom he lay under an expectation of being joined with; however, he thought it not improper to make some little advance towards him and accordingly, breaking up from his camp at Cifuentes, he came back to Villa Viciosa, a little town between Cifuentes and Breuhiga. There he found Vendosme ready to attack him, before he could well be prepared for him, but no English to join him, as he had expected; nevertheless, the battle was hot, and obstinately fought; although Staremberg had visibly the advantage, having beat the enemy at least a league from their cannon; at which time, hearing of the misfortune of Breuhiga, and finding himself thereby frustrated of those expected succours to support him, he made a handsome retreat to Barcelona, which in common calculation is about a hundred leagues, without any disturbance of an enemy, that seemed glad to be rid of him. Nevertheless, his baggage having fallen into the hands of the enemy, at the beginning of the fight, King Philip and the Duke of Vendosme generously returned it unopened, and untouched, in acknowledgment of his brave behaviour.

I had like to have omitted one material passage, which I was very credibly informed of; that General Carpenter offered to have gone, and have joined General Staremberg with the horse, which was refused him. This was certainly an oversight of the highest nature; since his going would have strengthened Staremberg almost to the assurance of an entire victory; whereas his stay was of no manner of service, but quite the contrary: for, as I said before, the enemy, by remounting the English horse (which perhaps were the completest of any regiment in the world), turned, if I may be allowed the expression, the strength of our artillery upon our allies.



UPON this retreat of Staremberg, and the surprise at Breuhiga, there were great rejoicings at Madrid, and everywhere else, where King Philip's interest prevailed. And indeed it might be said, from that day the interest of King Charles looked with a very lowering aspect. I was still a prisoner at La Mancha, when this news arrived; and very sensibly affected at that strange turn of fortune. I was in bed when the express passed through the town, in order to convey it farther; and in the middle of the night I heard a certain Spanish Don, with whom, a little before, I had had some little variance, thundering at my door, endeavouring to burst it open, with, as I had reason to suppose, no very favourable design upon me. But my landlady, who hitherto had always been kind and careful, calling Don Felix and some others of my friends together, saved me from the fury of his designs, whatever they were.

Among other expressions of the general joy upon this occasion, there was a bull-feast at La Mancha; which being much beyond what I saw at Valencia, I shall here give a description of. These bull-feasts are not so common now in Spain as formerly, King Philip not taking much delight in them. Nevertheless, as soon as it was published here, that there was to be one, no other discourse was heard; and in the talk of the bulls, and the great preparations for the feast, men seemed to have lost, or to have laid aside, all thoughts of the very occasion. A week's time was allowed for the building of stalls for the beasts, and scaffolds for the spectators, and other necessary preparations for the setting off their joy with the most suitable splendour.

On the day appointed for the bringing the bulls into town,

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the cavalieroes mounted their horses, and with spears in their hands, rode out of town about a league, or somewhat more, to meet them if any of the bulls break from the drove, and make an excursion (as they frequently do), the cavaliero that can make him return again to his station among his companions, is held in honour, suitable to the dexterity and address he performs it with. On their entrance into the town, all the windows are filled with spectators; a pope passing in grand procession could not have more; for what can be more than all? And he, or she, who should neglect so rare a show, would give occasion to have his or her legitamacy called in question.

When they came to the Plaza, where the stalls and scaffolds are built, and upon which the feats of chivalry are to be performed, it is often with a great deal of difficulty that the brutes are got in; for there are twelve stalls, one for every bull, and as their number grows less by the installing of some, the remainder often prove more untractable and unruly; in these stalls they are kept very dark, to render them fiercer for the day of battle.

On the first of the days appointed (for a bull-feast commonly lasts three), all the gentry of the place, or near adjacent, resort to the Plaza in their most gaudy apparel, every one vying in making the most glorious appearance. Those in the lower ranks provide themselves with spears, or a great many small darts in their hands, which they fail not to cast or dart, whenever the bull, by his nearness, gives them an opportunity. So that the poor creature may be said to fight, . not only with the tauriro (or bull-hunter, a person always hired for that purpose), but with the whole multitude, in the lower class at least.

All being seated, the uppermost door is opened first; and as soon as ever the bull perceives the light, out he comes, snuffing up the air, and staring about him, as if in admiration of his attendants; and with his tail cocked up, he spurns the ground with his fore feet, as if he intended a challenge to his yet unappearing antagonist. Then, at a door appointed for that purpose, enters the tauriro all in white, holding a cloak in one hand, and a sharp two-edged sword in the other. The bull no sooner sets eyes upon him, but, wildly staring, he moves gently towards him; then gradually mends his pace, till he is come within about the space of twenty yards



of the tauriro; when, with a sort of spring, he makes at him with all his might. The tauriro, knowing by frequent experience, that it behoves him to be watchful, slips aside just when the bull is at him; when casting his cloak over his horns, at the same moment he gives him a slash or two, always aiming at the neck, where there is one particular place, which if he hit, he knows he shall easily bring him to the ground. I myself observed the truth of this experiment made upon one of the bulls, who received no more than one cut, which happening upon the fatal spot, so stunned him, that he remained perfectly stupid, the blood flowing out from the wound, till, after a violent trembling, he dropt down stone dead.

But this rarely happens, and the poor creature oftener receives many wounds, and numberless darts, before he dies. Yet whenever he feels a fresh wound, either from dart, spear, or sword, his rage receives addition from the wound, and he pursues his tauriro with an increase of fury and violence. And as often as he makes at his adversary, the tauriro takes care, with the utmost of his agility, to avoid him, and reward his kind intention with a new wound.

Some of their bulls will play their parts much better than others; but the best must die. For when they have behaved themselves with all the commendable fury possible, if the tauriro is spent, and fail of doing execution upon him, they set dogs upon him; hough him, and stick him all over with darts, till, with very loss of blood, he puts an end to their present cruelty.

When dead, a man brings in two mules dressed out with belts and feathers, and, fastening a rope about his horns, draws off the bull with shouts and acclamations of the spectators, as if the infidels had been drove from before Ceuta.

I had almost forgot another very common piece of barbarous pleasure at these diversions. The tauriro will sometimes stick one of their bull-spears fast in the ground, aslant, but levelled as near as he can at his chest; then presenting himself to the bull, just before the point of the spear, on his taking his run at the tauriro, which, as they assured me, he always does with his eyes closed, the tauriro slips on one side, and the poor creature runs with a violence often to stick himself, and sometimes to break the spear in his chest, running away with part of it till he drop.

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