such a furious creature as that bull was. This being a matter of fact, which I thus branch forth into divers circumstances; I hope my fate shall not be so bad, as to be called a lyar: nevertheless, in regard that I judge you one of my best friends, I will not conceal the mystery of the matter from you. This person was a man, though in the habit of a woman, of great experience, agility, and resolution, who had been well inured to this hard labour at several other occa. sions, whom they appointed to be disguised so much the rather, that the Prince of Wales might be the more taken with the thing. But, hot insisting further on this, I shall proceed to the remaining part of my relation, with all brevity and perspicuity possible.

Noblemen of singular magnanimity, being mounted on horses, incomparably nimble and pretty, with costly harness beseeming the dignity of their riders, and the splendor of the festival, appear in great state and pomp: whose grooms in a most decent manner carry the lances, with which their masters intend to dispatch the bulls. Their province and charge is to irritate the rage and fury of the fora midable beast. Those heroick minds, managing their lances most dex. terously, accomplish their noble purposes, very often by killing or wounding the foaming animals: which, if they fail to do, then the horses sustain great prejudice, insomuch that their riders are dis. mounted, whom it behoves, in that case, to encounter with the bulls on foot, lashing them with broad swords; which, if any decline to do, he is baffled, and branded with the character of pusillanimity and cowardice. You may easily imagine, that generous spirits will prefer death to such an ignominy and reproach. Thus, three or four persons of quality continue, until it be pretty late, at which time they drive out a bull, covered all over with artificial fire, by which he is rendered most furious and hurtful: for curiosity, and want of further order, induces the rabble to approach so near unto him, that, by his most dreadful pushings, many sustain mutilation, yea, and death itself; insomuch that a tragedy is oftentimes the conclusion of this solemnity.

In the last place of this relation, it may be worth the while to give a brief account of a notable instance of folly in a young lady, and passionate temerity in three gallants, while the king and nobility were present. Three gentlemen, Marcus Antonius, Charles, and Lodovicus, fell over head and ears in love with a certain lady of good extraction and education, being the only child of her parents, and then about the age of twenty years, whose name was Margareta. Those rivals could hardly look upon one another without menaces and blows, of whom, while any one endeavoured, after the Spanish custom, to make a sweet, pleasant melody, in the hearing of the lady, then the other two disturbed him, which did breed many and great quarrellings in the streets each night; insomuch that the lady's parents, and all others, dwelling nigh that place, were highly of. fended which, when Margareta had espied, having, it seems, very little affection for either of them, she directed letters to them seve. rally, for preventing of all such disorders for the future; of which epistles the sum and tenor follows:

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GENTLEMEN, I CANNOT be induced to believe, that musick, accompanied with scandalous disturbances, can be termed a testimony of sincere af. • fection; yea, it seems that you aim more, by such a course, to

disgrace and baffle my name, than to testify any real respect to my person: therefore, I earnestly intreat you may be pleased to de.

sist from such a foolish, unmannerly, and scandalous action. But, • if all this cannot be sufficient to put a stop to the folly of your ex.

orbitant affections, I shall pose you with this experiment: Who. 6

ever resolves to express his dexterity, courage, and agility, to all

beholders sufficiently, and his ardent love towards me, let him 6 buckle with the bull to-morrow, in presence of all the assembly; • and he who shall be so fortunate as to cut off his neck, and pre

sent me with his horns, may be assured, by my subscription, that . I shall not decline to own him for my husband: which, if any, ( all of you refuse to do, get you gone, for effeminate men are none of those I aim at, or desire to be joined unto.

Farewel, from MARGARETA.' This pertinent and smart letter non-plussed all the rivals, seeing, thereby, a province was prescribed them, which they never dreamed of, nor judged any ways honourable; because noblemen, such as those were, how dexterous soever they be, are never desired to grasp with the bull on foot, and very seldom on horseback; yet, notwith. standing all opposition and reluctancy, lest they should be branded with the detestable character of pusillanimity, they unanimously con. sented to the proposition, each of them signifying a-part, by a most passionate letter, that he was absolutely determined to satisfy her demand, or die. Wherefore, till the time appointed, they remained with the rabble, that more easy and speedy access might be attained, to appear in the performance of a thing in which their credit was so nearly concerned, where they composed themselves until the noble, men, well mounted, were about to encounter with the fifth bull; at which time Marcus Antonius, stepping down, got most nimbly on the bull's back, intending, by that means, to dispatch him quickly with bis broad sword. Next to him appeared Charles, whose business and work it was to catch hold of the beast's horns, which fell out so fortunately, according to his desire and design, that the bull stumbled by the first assault; so that Antonius fell to the ground. Lodovicus, espying Charles sticking fast to the horns, and Antonius dismounted, with a dexterous and seasonable stroke,cut off the bull's neck. Charles immediately got to the lady with the head, signifying, that the condition of the compact was fulfilled, and therefore he claimed an interest in her for his wife. Lodovicus did take it very ill to be thus trepanned by subtle Charles, seeing he it was who cut off the deck, and therefore concluded the prize to be his, in all justice. Antonius, moreover, being the person who first gave proof of his magnanimity, making way for the other two, concluded it highly reasonable, that he should be preferred before either of them; which, did breed such a wrangling among them, that, had not the Alquaciles, or constables, interposed, they would have committed a most la.

mentable tragedy. Being now led to the king, they gave an account of the matter, which, when his majesty heard, he commended, in some respect, their valour, but could not approve of their incon. siderateness; seeing, therefore, he understood it to be vanity, if not cruelty, in the foolish lady, rather than any sincere love, to demand such a dangerous attempt, strict orders were given, that none of the rivals should persist or proceed in a course so very foolish. Thus the debate ended.

We have now impartially described what is considerable in the yearly festival at Madrid. I grant, indeed, as before, that it is a recreation scarcely beseeming Christians, whose meekness and gentle. ness should not admit of such barbarous diversions: nevertheless, to speak no more of that, it is generally concluded, that persons, appointed for such an exercise, ought to be furnished, not only with suitable courage, but also with agility and dexterity, to evade the assaults of a violent brute, by which means many become fa. mous.

Here we may observe, how much the Roman plays come short of this game: for criminals were there compelled to grapple with boars and lions, most truculent creatures, of which few can promise themselves the victory; and thus poor convicted pannals suffered a most cruel death: to which it may be added, that those games were chiefly designed to satisfy the bloody and vindictive humours of the people, who rejoiced in such lamentable experiments. It is otherwise here, in regard that no man is constrained to undergo this hard labour; neither are criminals punished with such a death; but masculine and noble minds desire an occasion of this kind, whereby proof may be given of their agility, and undaunted courage. How. ever, as I told in the beginning, it is not my work to praise or con. demn this most ancient and uncontroulled custom. All I aimed at was, to satisfy your commendable curiosity, by describing this fes. tival, which is judged in Spain a most noble recreation. Our next business shall be to enlarge a little on the history of Placidus, of whom mention was made elsewhere.

THE HISTORY OF PLACIDUS. THIS Placidus, a youth very much admired and praised, because of his valiant exploits, was the son of Fadrick who played the merchant with one Antonius in Seville, a city in Spain, well known, and much commended by travellers of all nations and languages who resort thither,

Undaunted courage set our Placidus a work to grapple with a most violent brute, after he had remained some time in Madrid, whither he repaired without the knowledge and consent of his in, dulgent parents for this very end, that, in the flower of his age, all persons, from the king to the peasant, might receive a sufficient, I may say wonderful, specimen of his surpassing fortitude and mag.

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Here it is observable, that Fadrick and his hopeful son seemed rather to be one person, than two; for, in nature, demeanour, stature, speech, and countenance, they resembled one another so much, that a quick-sighted man could hardly distinguish betwixt them: yea, although the father was a man of fifty, and the son but of twenty years, yet any who looked upon their pictures, affirmed stiffly that the one was an exact pattern to the other: and, had not the eyes of men been a demonstration to the contrary, I am apt to believe that the possibility of such an universal similitude, so to call it, would be thought a chimæra. Yet, if we consult authors of good note and great worth, many instances of this kind may be found.

Valerius Maximus, with great confidence, affirms that Pompey the Great, Urelius, and Publius Libertinus differed in nothing, but their vestments; so that, if two of them were arrayed aster the same fashion, a quick-sighted person could not assign a difference betwixt them. It is also written by Pliny, that two boys, the one being a Syrian, and the other a French, were so very like to one another in every point, that a certain person sold them to Marcus Antonius, under the notion of brethren. Antonius, perceiving their language to differ, threatened the person who had thus imposed on him ; to whom the other replied, “If they had been brethren, I would not

require so great a sum of money, because in that case, nature could not be said to bring forth so great a wonder, as now you see.'

If it be true in any respect, that, according to the philosopher, similitude begets affection, how much more in this instance of Fadrick and Placidus, whose mutual love was wonderful beyond that of most persons in such a relation. Yet, by the interposition of Agnes, a young lady of singular endowments and education, the brightness of this splendid passion suffered in some measure an eclipse. This beautiful object became the center of their desires and incontaminate love, which could not be smothered long: wherefore, they disa covered their maladies to one another in a most friendly manner, and determined, after a serious and mature consultation, to submit the event of the matter in hand to the young lady's and her mother's arbitrement; insomuch that the person excluded should remore from his native country, lest by his presence way might be made for jealousy, whose effects are more dangerous no where, than in Spain. After this both of them met with bad entertainment, and small encouragement, at the hands of Agnes and her mother: Yet, in process of time, Fadrick's riches and constancy had great influence on the matron. It is true the youth of Placidus was no small motive to obtain the respect of the pretty lady: nevertheless, bags of money were an argument a fortiore. After both parties had pondered sedately the circumstances most remarkable, the mother speaks to her daughter after this manner :

My dear child, you see there is no solid objection, which can • be brought against those worthy persons, who have set their af. 'fections on you; and therefore I judge it most reasonable, that 6 you freely declare your own sentiments in this affair. I know the


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neatness and youth of Placidus will have great weight with you ; and, on the other hand, Fadrick's declining age will in some meas' sure alienate your affections from him: but hearken diligently, my daughter, to the dictates of right reason, rather than fond fancy, which misleads many in your circumstances; and you shall find riches and experience more eligible, than undaunted youth, or any other imaginary foundation, on which the superstructure of your desires and designs is fixed. That this may yet have the greater weight in your estimation, consider how much riches contribute to beget esteem and honour in this city where we live; so that persons of noble extraction lose their dignity free quently with their wealth. What is beauty but a fading flower, which nature, in a short time, or some unexpected accident will prey upon, and reduce to pothing ? let a brisk gallant discharge,

to admiration, all the punctilio's of court education and activity ; 6 will that purchase food and raiment? whereas money answers all

things; without which trading and commerce should die. I judge it superfluous to make an enumeration of the qualities of gold which we eat, and with which we are cloathed: hence arose the proverb, that is gold which is purchased by gold; which saying renders it most universal, seeing all things are valued at some rate or other. It is true, I confess, Placidus is inferior to few gentle. men in probity and reputation, but it is as true his father, though, rich, has many children, and may, in all probability, beget many more;

what then will the riches amount to, which must be di. vided among so many ? you know, if it were possible to divide the ocean into

many rivulets, this vast collection of waters would appear very inconsiderable, in respect of what it now is. But I pass by this topick, lest that you may suspect interest prevails with me. In the next place therefore, let us consider whether or no you can promise yourself as great satisfaction in the one as the other : not at all; for whoever is married to Placidus, must ne. cessarily be in a slavish subjection to his father, his brethren, sisters, and relations; whereas the wife of Fadrick will enjoy im

munity from such a bitter lot, as being above and beyond the 6 reach of all those censurers.

• Alas! Alas! woeful experience, the school-mistress of fools, has furnished me with this observation; as witness those grey hairs, brought forth untimeously by excessive grief and sorrow. Shall you deck yourself with the finest needle.work, and most gorgeous raiment possible; then black-mouthed backbiters will readily misconstrue your neatness. If, on the other hand, such a decorum be neglected, why, say they, she is not content with her lot and condition. You cannot frequent divine worship without the character of levity or hypocrisy; nor forbear such a religious observance, but immediately occasion will be taken of branding

you with the stigma of an irreligious wretch. In fine, the eyes of • all relations will be fixed upon you, that you cannot promise

yourself satisfaction and tranquillity in the most minute circum. stance. And it may be added further, that such an uncharitable

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