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as an unskilful butcher. He endeavours to be soon revenged, and to disarm the judges of their severity. His zeal sometimes degenerates into blind fury, and his partisans tremble for the consequences of his imprudence. He at length directs his blows better. The animal vomits up blood; he staggers and falls, while his conqueror is intoxicated with the applauses of the people. Three mules, ornamented with bells and streamers come to terminate the tragedy. A rope is tied round the bull's horns, which have betrayed his valour, and the animal, which but a little before was furious and proud, is dragged ignominiously from the arena which he has honoured, and leaves only the traces of his blood, and the remembrance of his exploits, which are soon effaced on the appearance of his successors.
On each of the days set apart for these entertainments, six · are thus sacrificed in the morning and twelve in the after
noon, at least in Madrid. The last three are given entirely to the matador, who, without the assistance of the picadores, exerts his ingenuity to vary the pleasure of the spectators. Sometimes he causes them to be combated by some intrepid stranger, who attacks them mounted on the back of another bull, and sometimes he matches them with a bear : this last method is generally destined for the pleasure of the populace. The points of the bull's horns are concealed by something wrapped round them which breaks their force. The animal, which in this state is called embolado, has power neither to pierce nor to tear his antagonist. The amateurs then descend in great numbers to torment him, each after his own manner, and often expiate this cruel pleasure by severe contusions; but the bull always falls at length under the blows of the matador. The few spectators who are not infected with the general madness of this sport, regret that these wretched animals do not, at least, purchase their lives at the expense of so many torments and so many efforts of courage; they would willingly assist them to escape from their persecutors. In the minds of such spectators disgust succeeds to compassion. Such a series of uniform scenes satiates and exhausts that interest which the spectacle on its commencement seemed to promise. But to connoisseurs, who have thoroughly studied all the stratagems of the bull, the resources of his address and fury, and the different methods of irritating,
tormenting, and deceiving him, none of these scenes resembles another, and they pity those frivolous observere who cannot remark all their varieties.
The Spanish government are very sensible of the moral and political inconveniences arising from this species of phrensy. They have long since perceived, that among a people whom they wish to encourage to labour, it is the cause of much disorder and dissipation ; and that it hurts agriculture hy destroying a great number of robust animals which might be usefully employed : but they are obliged to manage with caution a taste which it might be dangerous to attempt to abolish precipitately. They are, however, far from encouraging it. The court itself formerly reckoned bull-fights among the number of its festivals, which were given at certain periods. The Plaza Mayor was the theatre of them, and the king and the royal family honoured them with their presence. His guards presided there in good order. His halberdiers formed the interior circle of the scene; and their long weapons held out in a defensive posture were the only barrier which they opposed against the dangerous caprices of the bull. These entertainments, which by way of excellence were called fiestas reales, are become very rare. Charles III., who endeavoured to polish the nation, and to direct their attention to useful objects, was very desirous of destroying a taste in which he saw nothing but inconveniences; but he was too wise to employ" violent means for that purpose. He however confined the number of bull-fights to those of which the profits were applied to some charitable institutions.
Charles IV., inheriting in this respect the humane and enlightened views of his predecessor, ventured in 1805 to suppress bull-fights altogether by a royal prohibition. But before this interdict, the spirit of the age had begun to exert its influence even in the Peninsula, the last stronghold of bigotry and ignorance, and their invariable concomitant, cruelty. Commercial towns, from their greater communication with foreign nations, generally take precedence of the interior districts in knowledge, civilization, and improvement; in confirmation of which remark we may state that the great theatre for the bull-fights in Cadiz was falling to ruin when the ordinance in question was promulgated. Nevertheless, in the year 1809, when the rest of Spain was
overrun by the French, Cadiz for a short time formed the only place where this national pastime was allowed. The French, always remarkable for their humanity to animals, having interdicted this cruel sport in those provinces of the Peninsula that were subject to their sway, it could only be exhibited at Cadiz, the inhabitants of which place betook themselves to it with renewed enthusiasm, and were almost reconciled to an invasion which had thus procured for them a temporary restoration of their favourite pastime.*
Rull-fights and Baiting of Animals, concluded.
“And, gentle friends,
-" Hadst thou full power to kill,
Thy loss continues unrepaid by pain.”—Dryden. From the preceding account our readers will have formed some general notion of the mode of conducting the bull: feasts in Spain; but as we are enabled to lay before them a more particular as well as a much more spirited and interesting description, furnished by the kindness of a literary friend, who witnessed a splendid exhibition of this nature given at Madrid to celebrate the return of King Ferdinand to his capital, we scruple not to enrich our volume with his narrative. So rare have these spectacles now become, that it is not easy to meet with a traveller who has witnessed them; and seldom, indeed, do we encounter one so well able to describe what he has seen.
“Were we to suffer our opinion of the national character of the Spaniard to be guided by the amusement which forms so prominent a feature in his pursuit of pleasure as
* This chapter has been mostly transcribed from the Encyclopædie Britannica.
the bull-fight, we should be guilty of injustice in ascribing to his general nature that barbarous brutality which characterizes an entertainment unparalleled for cruelty, except in the gladiatorial exhibitions of a Nero or a Commodus.
“ This amusement bears a greater affinity to the scenes of the Coliseum than to any of the entertainments of the other principal people who successively invaded and tinctured Spain with the manners and customs of their own nations. The only argument against its Latin origin is, that in the exhibitions of the Roman circles, animals
useful for domestic purposes seem generally to have been excluded from the public combats ; but there are no records whatever which lead us to believe that the Goths were addicted to this species of entertainment; nor do the tournaments and other popular amusements of the Moors produce any proofs that the hull-fight is of Saracenic origin. From whatever source it originated, there never was a pursuit more completely national, or to which a people were more devoted. Neither the Olympic games of Greece, nor the boasted gladiatorial exhibitions of Rome, ever attracted a greater concourse of spectators, or created a greater degree of enthusiasm in the breasts of the Greeks and Romans, than is excited by a bull-fight in that of a Spaniard. The remains of Roman amphitheatres in various parts of Spain also corroborate the probability that this exhibition is derived from that people, and that bulls were substituted for the wild beasts, as being the most powerful and fiercest animal which the country produced.
“No trivial eagerness of anticipation was therefore evinced by the Madridianos, when the placards in the coffee-houses and the streets announced a magnificent Fiesta de Toros,* in celebration of the return of Fernando ; and, from an early period of the morning destined for the enjoyment of the entertainment, every inhabitant of Madrid appeareil to he bending his course towards the Puerta d'Alcala, near to which the Plaza de los Toros, or theatre, is situated. It is only by witnessing the crowds of eager beings of every denomination tlocking in all directions to the same point of attraction, with anxiety depicted in their countenances, and impatience betrayed by their hasty steps, that the intensity
* Literally, bull-feast.
of a Spaniard's attachment to this national amusement can be conceived.
“Business, pleasure, and religion seem for the moment to be entirely abandoned or lost in this one predominant gratification. Neither the decrepitude of age nor the helplessness of infancy prevents its pursuit ; no command of masters can deter servants; no occupation appears paramount with the master to detain him from its indulgence; and though it is impossible to aver, with Burgoing, that the chastity of many a yonng female has fallen a sacrifice to the temptation of witnessing a bull-fight, when all the strength of her own inclinations, and all the ardour of a lover were insufficient for his purpose, yet an attendance at one of these exhibitions is enough to convince the be. holder of its being that in which the Spaniard centres his chief delight. On this morning every street in Madrid which did not form an avenue to the scene of action ap. peared to be as deserted as at the hour of the siesta. Most of the shops were shut; vehicles and mules adorned with gaudy trappings, were all in motion towards the same place, or hurrying back to convey more spectators to the destined scene of entertainment.
“ Those who were not rich enough to obtain admittance into the building, or who had not sufficient interest to pass the barrier by other means, crowded in multitudes round the doors, and covered all the space between the theatre and the Puerta d'Alcala, to join in the tumultuous cries of the spectators within, and to gain the earliest intelligence of the event of the combats.
“ At length, not only every seat was occupied, but the space of floor between them filled with men, women, and children, crouching into all the grotesque attitudes which the convenience and view of the more fortunate spectator required; while anxious listeners crowded the avenues almost to suffocation, where the roar of the bull might delight their ears, but where there was not the slightest hope or possibility of ocular gratification.
“The circular of the Plaza de los Toros is somewhat more than three hundred feet in diameter, five times as large as that of Drury-lane theatre, and surrounded by a strong barrier-paling about six feet in height, in which, at equal distances, are four pair of double gates, used for the first