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intelligence of the age; old mother Earth will no longer be allowed to move quietly on at a monotonous rate, to which she has given a preference for the last six thousand years. Archimedes' lever will be brought into action, to afford the venerable dame a circumvolutory lift. Perhaps some dissatisfaction may then be expressed at our omission of any directions for the accomplishment of this great undertaking. In justification, we beg to insinuate that the revolution of our sphere, at least, is sufficiently rapid, without the interference of any more agitation on the subject.
ANNE-ACREONTIC, ADDRESSED TO ANNE.
I WILL not say: I love thee well-
We are most happy to have it in our power to lay before our readers an extract from a work which will shortly be published, that describes in a manner the most vivid and amusing, the domestic life of the inhabitants of Madrid, as it actually is, not as it has been, so imperfectly, and often so falsely, represented. Just now this admirable work must possess tenfold interest. Without further comment, we proceed to offer the following chapter, on “ The Prado," to the public, as it affords a very lively account of a very lively national picture.
“ Although, to my great regret, I may now be looked upon as one of the elders of the people,' I am not aged enough to recollect the ancient laying out of this famous walk, so celebrated in old Spanish songs and romances. We know, from tradition, of its having been a wild and desert waste, full of hollows, and nooks, and hiding places ; often the scene of blood and courtship, for where there is woman, blood is not far off, says the old refrain. Here used to hie the proud hidalgo, with his trusty “toledo,' prompt to revenge some slight done to himself, or preference shown by a jilting mistress to a bold rival. The dubious hour of dusk was wont to show various forms wrapped in cloak or female mantle, gliding mysteriously towards this other Thebaïde ; the doncella bearing the perfumed billet to the impatient cavalier, or the already vanquished beauty hastening with a beating heart to her lover's arms. The modest moon, I fear me, had to witness strange doings in that wilderness : echo, it is said, was not always busy with amorous accents; the murmurs of tenderness, the clash of rapiers, and the groans of the dagger's victim, were not unfrequently borne together on the same breeze.
“ The extreme vicinity of the court, at that period almost constantly resident in the Retiro, made this extensive waste a convenient theatre for political and amorous intrigue, and well calculated for the indulgence of the revengeful passions usually attendant upon both. Quiet and well-disposed people, whose swords and blood love to repose in vein and scabbard, ought to feel grateful to the great and worthy king, the Señor Don Carlos the Third, for having turned his royal attention to their security. This cut-throat region was cleansed, and cleared, and levelled by his orders, in the time of the good minister Count d'Aranda, who scared away such bad company, and made the Prado what it now is ;--the resort of all sorts of people wanting to see and be seen; young girls, wanton wives, languishing widows, beardless puppies, adulterous youth, and ci-devant young men, who go there merely to think what they would do if they could ; besides a great crowd of exceedingly proper persons of both sexes, who walk about there on purpose to be scandalized and confirmed in the right path,' and good resolutions, by the sight of so much lujuria, or yearning after sinful and perishable enjoyment.
“ This superb promenade begins at the Convent of Atocha, passing before the gate of the same name, turns to the right, runs up to the street of Alcalà, crosses it, and extends as far as the gate of the Recoletos. The whole extent may be calculated at about nine thousand seven hundred feet. An ample carriage-road runs through the middle, flanked on each side by the avenues destined for pedestrians, and bordered with large and shady trees. In the centre of the walk, comprised between the Carrera San Geronimo and the street of Alcalà, its width is considerably increased, forming a fine ·Saloon,' fourteen hundred and fifty feet long by two hundred feet broad. On either side, remarkable buildings, views of the various streets that run into it, flourishing gardens, and eight handsome fountains, contribute to enhance the beauty of this favourite resort.
“ Although the fountains just mentioned are all of more or less merit, by their design and execution, those of Neptune, Apollo, and Cybele, are the most worthy of a detailed description. The first, by Juan de Mena, represents the marine deity standing in his car drawn by two sea horses, with dolphins playing before it; the whole is well finished, and has a good effect, notwithstanding the somewhat ludicrous appearance of the sea-shell car, horses and dolphins, galloping and swimming, not through the brine as they ought, but over hard stones. This defect is owing to a mismanagement in the original placing of the centre group; the base should have been at least from four to five feet lower, which would have brought it below the surface of the basin, and placed the group on the water level, as it should be. In the centre of the Saloon' stands the grand fountain of Apollo, of a chaste and tasteful architecture; the water falls from one vase or sculptured basin into another, soothing the ear with its dash and harmonious murmur. Manuel Alvarez, an able sculptor, has the merit of the whole design : the fountain presents two fronts exactly similar; four statues of the seasons, looking towards the four cardinal points, adorn the upper part; the statue of Apollo surmounting and completing this fine monument of better days. The magnificent fountain of Cybele, celebrated for the salubrity of its waters, is situated in the street of Alcalà, fronting the “Saloon.' The goddess is seated in a lofty car, drawn by lions; a colossal mask spouts water from the mouth into a large circular basin. The execution of this group is well worthy of the admiration of the connoisseur. Ventura Rodriguez, the city architect, traced and made the drawings of all these fountains, although they were executed by the artists we have named. He presented, at the same time, a very clever plan of a peristyle or portico, to be erected before the royal stables of the Retiro, (now the artillery barracks,) almost in front of the statue of Apollo, which would have done away with the ungainly appearance of that spot, and afforded shelter to at least three thousand persons in case of a sudden shower, besides containing sufficient space for the establishment of a coffee-house, and large terrace overhead for the orchestra, whenever their Majesties honoured the Prado with their presence. Had this idea been realized, it is certain that no other public walk in Europe could have disputed the palm with the Prado. It still must be a matter of surprise that the authorities have never thought of gratify
ing the public on feast days with a band of music. The abundance of water in the Prado not only adds to the attraction, but maintains the vigour and verdure of its plantations, by means of a narrow gutter, six or eight inches deep, and carried round each trunk. As fast as the water is dried up, a fresh supply is introduced, the effect of which, during the summer droughts, gives an extraordinary degree of life and freshness to the foliage of such favoured trees, while their less fortunate neighbours are scorched and withered by a relentless sun. Water-carts * are also employed by the municipality to lay the dust, so soon as the summer sets in. They are made to pour forth their treasure after an original way. A long leather spout is fixed to the end of each cask, bound with a rope at the muzzle, to prevent the escape of the water. When the cart comes on the ground to be irrigated, an attendant loosens the rope sufficiently to permit a certain flow from the barrel, but still knotted firmly about the spout; he then escapes from the gush, running the whole length of the rope, twists it round his arm, and jerks the tube from side to side, in this ingenious manner producing a wide splashing current, and highly pleased if any lechugino comes within reach of his engine, to have the opportunity of baptizing him in due form.
“The great extent of the Prado allows every body a choice, and a walk according to his humour. The space between the gate of Atocha and its convent is the favourite resort of the delicate or convalescent, being well protected from the ruder winds by the heights and wall of the Retiro. It is also the chosen haunt of canonigos (prebendaries,) -snug men,' and other folks of easy habits and incomes, who like to take their time, walk slow, or stop at every sentence, without being hustled and elbowed by impertinent youngsters.
“Here, too, old cronies give and receive the friendly pinch of snuff, and descant upon its flavour and pungency; while some, assuming a firmer tread, and grasping their cane with a forgotten vigour, talk with moistened eyelids of the joys of their dancing days,'-of those blessed times when no young girl could look with impunity on their well-turned leg, and the graceful tie of their pigtail. For then, thank God I all men of spirit wore short breeches and tails, and showed how nature had made them; not, as now, when the friendly trowser affords a refuge to flute or drumstick shanks and shins of many a vapouring coxcomb. Others, again, more taciturn in their enjoyments, lean upon their gold-headed canes, silent admirers of the numerous band
.“ Within the last four or five years the usual form of water-carts has been adopted, with the exception of the spout, managed as described in the text. Spaniards certainly have this advantage over other nations that they never tamely imitate their improvements, but always preserve something original, exclusively their own. In the present instance, an animated appearance is given to an otherwise dull machine, by the stout fellow dangling out from it at a rope's length. A perforated showermuzzle would be infinitely more simple, and save the hire of a man. Since writing the above, the small perforated muzzle bas been adopted, but the same attendance is still given as before the improvement. Even this, the laying of the dust, is an operation entirely depending on the whim and caprice of the corregidor of the town, Any day that this functionary happens to be out of humour with himself, or with the inhabitants, he can countermand the irrigation, and bedust them with impunity."
of ragged little brats amusing themselves rolling over one another from top to bottom of the steep declivity next the walls of the convent, exciting, doubtless, many a sigh that octogenarian members cannot do
“ Country folks prefer the shady avenue bordering on the Botanic Garden, t charmed with the view and fragrance of this enclosure on one side, and the constant string of carriages and horsemen on the other,—novelties only to be seen in Madrid, and described and listened to with envy and delight on their return. Drowsy citizens are to be found here, enjoying a comfortable siesta, rolled up in their cloaks, their persons carefully bestowed in the corners between the pillars and the railing, secure from the wheels of carriages and hoofs of horses; whether preferring the stone bench to their colchones,' or being lulled by the breeze to the objurgations of their spouses, is difficult to be ascertained. Other groups repair to this retreat, intent on other pastimes, of which one may be especially noted as most prevalent, viz. a most assiduous and persevering examination of their own and children's heads, not altogether for the same purpose, or in the same way as recommended by Gall or Spurzheim. Fat amas de leche, (wet nurses,) from the mountains of Santander, I with showy handkerchiefs tied about their heads, tight cloth jackets, and gorgeous laced petticoats, infest this place with their squalling charges; not to mention the juvenile gambols of a crowd of ninos, of little angels of both sexes, overlooked by their bonnes, who generally get some smart young fellow to help them in their charge.
“ But the saloon of the Prado' is the spot where the fame of this renowned field for amorous intrigue and adventure is exclusively kept up. The young, the elegant, and the mass of the population, assemble here at fixed and different hours. Though much frequented at
* “ Besides these young vagabonds, who thus get an appetite without having the least idea where and when they can satisfy it, otherwise than by the dexterity of their fingers and the feetness of their legs, the sunny side of the wall bounding the Retiro, is infested with a motley and loathsome collection of beggars, gipsies, and profligates of both sexes, who come here to bask all day long in the sun, patch their rags, and get rid of their vermin, until night affords them an opportunity of stealing the means of passing another idle morrow. This class is the most independent in the state. They only observe the laws as it suits their convenience, and are in nowise molested by our admirable police." + " See Chapter on the Retiro."
“ The women from the green hills of Santander and its district, the Pasiegas, as they are called, have the enviable monopoly, or nearly so, of child-suckling' throughout the greater part of Spain. Parents are, no doubt, attracted by their stout forms, fine clear skins, and rosy complexions. In these respects, they may call any Englishwoman cousin. The nurses from the mountains of Burgos have the privilege of suckling the princes and princesses of the royal family. Their dress is very picturesque, exhibiting a mixture of the Turkish and Spanish costume; it consists of an embroidered close-fitting cloth jacket, and a very full cloth petticoat, red, yellow, or some other striking colour, bordered with from two to four rows of broad gold lace, according to the means of their employers. When in full dress, they wear their hair plaited in two tails behind, reaching far below the waist, and set off at the end by little knots of rose-coloured ribbon. A piece of vanity in which young mothers are fond of indulging, is to drive or walk out with their infant in the arms of a handsome richly-dressed pasiega ; they are just as proud of it, as an honest Turk is of having a fine young lad to carry his pipe after him."