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The Spanish Jade   By: (1861-1923)

Book cover

First Page:

[Transcriber's note: superscripted characters in this file are indicated by surrounding them with the vertical bar character, e.g. "d".]

[Illustration: Inside front cover art (left side)]

[Illustration: Inside front cover art (right side)]

[Frontispiece: Castilian table lands.]

THE SPANISH JADE

BY

MAURICE HEWLETT

WITH FULL PAGE COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS

BY WILLIAM HYDE

CASSELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED

LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK, TORONTO AND MELBOURNE

MCMVIII

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

INTRODUCTION I. THE PLEASANT ERRAND II. THE TRAVELLER AT LARGE III. DIVERSIONS OF TRAVEL IV. TWO ON HORSEBACK V. THE AMBIGUOUS THIRD VI. A SPANISH CHAPTER VII. THE SLEEPER AWAKENED VIII. REFLECTIONS OF AN ENGLISHMAN IX. A VISIT TO THE JEWELLER'S X. FURTHER EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF DON LUIS RAMONEZ XI. GIL PEREZ DE SEGOVIA XII. A GLIMPSE OF MANUELA XIII. CHIVALRY OF GIL PEREZ XIV. TRIAL BY QUESTION XV. NEMESIS DON LUIS XVI. THE HERALD XVII. LA RACOGIDA XVIII. THE NOVIO XIX. THE WAR OPENS XX. MEETING BY MOONLIGHT

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

CASTILIAN TABLE LANDS . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

UPON A BLUE FIELD LAY VALLADOLID

THE TOWERS OF SEGOVIA

MADRID BY NIGHT

INTRODUCTION

Cada puta hile (Let every jade go spin). SANCHO PANZA.

Almost alone in Europe stands Spain, the country of things as they are. The Spaniard weaves no glamour about facts, apologises for nothing, extenuates nothing. Lo que ha de ser no puede faltar ! If you must have an explanation, here it is. Chew it, Englishman, and be content; you will get no other. One result of this is that Circumstance, left naked, is to be seen more often a strong than a pretty thing; and another that the Englishman, inveterately a draper, is often horrified and occasionally heart broken. The Spaniard may regret, but cannot mend the organ. His own will never suffer the same fate. Chercher le midi à quatorze heures is no foible of his.

The state of things cannot last; for the sentimental pour into the country now, and insist that the natives shall become as self conscious as themselves. The Sud Express brings them from England and Germany, vast ships convey them from New York. Then there are the newspapers, eager as ever to make bricks without straw. Against Teutonic travellers, and journalists, no idiosyncrasy can stand out. The country will run to pulp, as a pear, bitten without by wasps and within by a maggot, will get sleepy and drop. But that end is not yet, the Lord be praised, and will not be in your time or mine. The tale I have to tell an old one, as we reckon news now might have happened yesterday; for that was when I was last in Spain, and satisfied myself that all the concomitants were still in being. I can assure you that many a Don Luis yet, bitterly poor and bitterly proud, starves and shivers, and hugs up his bones in his capa between the Bidassoa and the Manzanares; many a wild hearted, unlettered Manuela applies the inexorable law of the land to her own detriment, and, with a sob in the breath, sits down to her spinning again, her mouldy crust and cup of cold water, or worse fare than that. Joy is not for the poor, she says and then, with a shrug, Lo que ha de ser ...!

But, as a matter of fact, it belongs to George Borrow's day, this tale, when gentlemen rode a horseback between town and town, and followed the river bed rather than the road. A stranger then, in the plains of Castile, was either a fool who knew not when he was well off, or an unfortunate, whose misery at home forced him afield. There was no genus Tourist; the traveller was conspicuous and could be traced from Spain to Spain. When you get on you'll see; that is how Tormillo weaselled out Mr. Manvers, by the smell of his blood... Continue reading book >>




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