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wife with jocose words or kisses, without any consideration, he will furiously assault such a person with sword and cudgel, whence arise many most lamentable tragedies; for the preventing of which, the law has wisely appointed a considerable number of alquaciles, whom we here call constables, whose proper and sole office it is, to mediate betwixt those persons, rewarding them with bonds and fetters for the commission of such horrid outrages.
The ensuing day, about eight of the clock in the morning, no place can be found empty, whilst none of the members of the court are present, but the mayor and aldermen.
This morning game or recreation (called Encierro, or the bringing forth of the bull) is thus performed: There is agate in Madrid, De la Vega by name, nigh to which a large room is appointed for the reception of the bulls, the day preceding this solemn feast, where they are gently fed, rather to render them the more furious, than in the least to strengthen the miserable creatures. It is certain, that, for the most part, bulls are more furious in Spain, than any other part of the world; and there, more especially, such as feed by the rivers Tago and Jarama, flowing betwixt Toledo and Madrid. But, to return to our purpose, there is a long and streight street, or lane, adjoining to the house in which the bulls are shut up, and terminating in the place of publick resort, where all passages are carefully stopped; only, over against the foresaid street, there is another large room left wide open, whither the mad animals do throng, finding no other place of refuge left them; by which means, a most easy course is contrived for leading them forth to slaughter. I shall not detain you longer, by relating other passages of the Encierro; for it is a matter scarce worth our while, as being destitute of order or ornament, by reason of the court's absence. About two of the clock in the afternoon, twelve gladiators repair to the place, where all are permitted to fight, whom magnanimity, or boldness, shall excite thereto; which liberty would unquestionably produce sad tragedies, if full gaols, and empty purses, were not sufficient means to stop such disorders. Two hours after, there appear the nobility in their stately coaches, all the ground being sprinkled over with water, because of the burning heat of the sun.
Which, while it is a setting, the king and court, with the counsellors and ambassadors, are to be seen, to the great satisfaction of all persons. Upon the back of this, the royal constables, being twelve in number, in good equipage, and mounted on horses, with the richest harness imaginable, drive away all persons and disorders; insomuch that, in a very short time, the constables are to be seen, and none else in the plain square. Afterwards, twenty-four hogsheads of water are carried in waggons, resembling so many green mountains, because of their bigness, and being covered over with most fragrant herbs; those large vessels are the seats of twenty-four men, who, upon demand, open the bung-holes, so that, in an instant, the whole plain is besprinkled with water. In the next place, the king's life-guard, consisting of one hundred Spaniards, and as many Germans, attend his majesty all along, being armed with halberts, Urbom coats of red and yellow silk, and caps of the choicest black »elvet, adorn exceedingly.
By this time, methinks, yon have got a pretty clear idea of what is antecedaneous to the main thing in hand: so that, if the most stately balconies and theatres, if the vast number of people, if the nobility gorgeously, I had said wonderfully, arrayed; if the king's constables maintaining good order, if, in the last place, his majesty's life-guard: I say, if each, and all of those be impartially canvassed by such a considerate person as you are, I doubt not, but you will be constrained, upon the most solid grounds and reasons imaginable, to join with me in the commendation of this festival, beyond any recreation in the world. I confess, France and Italy vaunt very much of their splendid games, as they call them; and the English, upon more just grounds, extol the costliness of their prizes, and the stateliness of their coursing horses. But, in my humble opinion, what I am a describing, may claim right to the preheminence. Yet, if what has been hitherto said, cannot sufficiently evince the truth of this point, I shall endeavour to drive out one foaming bull, that, by seeing the result of such an enterprise, your curiosity may receive the greater satisfaction.
We told you that the bull was shut up in a large room; therefore the person, whose undaunted courage or boldness sets him a work to encounter with this raging creature, stands to his posture at the door of the said house, with a long and sharp-pointed lance in his hand, having one of his knees set to the ground: immediately after the sound of a trumpet, a constable runs with all possible speed, and sets the door of the room, where the furious animal is inclosed, wide open. Way being thus made, and all persons attentively looking on, the man is, by and by, assaulted with great violence; which onset, if, by dexterity, or good luck, he can evade, there is a fair occasion presented him, for killing or wounding the bull to purpose] which, if he miss to do, his life or members are in jeopardy. It is a thirsting desire after some imaginary honour, that sets such bold fellows upon the exposing of themselves to those dangerous circumstances, rather than the advantage of getting the beasts which they have killed, or wounded to purpose. That the next bull may be rendered the more furious, they set up a quantity of wool, in figure representing a man, with a consider, able weight at his legs; which, while the beast pusheth in a most formidable manner, the weight keeps it in a straight position, by which means the bull is wonderfully inraged. Sometimes a very despicable peasant is set upon a lean deformed horse, and exposed very often to a violent death, because of his antagonist's strength and rage. For dragging out the bulls once killed, six mules of di. vers colours are appointed, which, by the conduct of four men, accomplish this work with all possible velocity and artifice. Six foot, men are ordained to encounter with the four beasts yet remaining, to whom no other weapon is granted, but a dagger with some few rexone* in a bag, which in length exceed not six or seven inches,having hafts well ordered with bunches of garlands, and points ex. Vol. iz. 1"
ceeding sharp, for the more ready carrying on of the intendment. Such as be thus stated are commonly most dexterous, whom it behoves to fight with the bull face to face; he who doth otherwise will undoubtedly incur the risque of imprisonment, with most abashing reproaohes, and the loss of a considerable prize. Some men are so nimble, that by a gentle motion they can easily evade the bull's fury, and attain their design. Thus matters go on until such time as the trumpet sounds; then butcher's dogs, and men armed with broad swords, quickly dispatch the strength and violence of those form id-able animals.
Some years ago, I remember, upon an occasion of this kind, to have seen a thing admirable indeed, viz.
A young man of twenty years, encountering with a big bull, escaped all his comminations by the nimble and dexterous motion of
.his leg; afterwards he did spring upon his back, and, catching hold of his left horn, wounded him in several places with the rexones: in which posture he continued until the trumpet was about to sound; then, and not till then, he dispatched the foaming bull with his
-dagger, having sustained no prejudice imaginable. All persons pre* sent were possessed with a wonderful opinion of the youth, because of his surpassing agility, courage, dexterity, and boldness. But, seeing this example is remarkable, we shall insist on it at greater length hereafter.
It will not be amiss here to mention what fell out, upon such an
'occasion as this, in the presence of Charles the First, of blessed memory: who, while prince of Wales, repaired to the court of Spain, whether to be married to the Infanta, or upon what other design, I cannot well determine: however all comedies, plays, and
i festivals, this of the bulls at Madrid being included, were appointed to be as decently and magnificently gone about as possible, for the more sumptuous and stately entertainment of such a splendid prince. Therefore, after the three bulls had been killed, and the fourth a coming forth, there appeared four gentlemen in good equipage; not
■ long after a brisk lady, in most gorgeous apparel, attended with persons of quality, and some three or four grooms, walked all along the square a foot. Astonishment seized upon the beholders, that one of the female sex could assume the unheard boldness of exposing
. herself to the violence of the most furious beast yet seen, which had overcome, yea, almost killed, two men of great strength, courage, and dexterity. Incontinently the bull rushed towards the corner where the lady and her attendants stood; she, after all had fled, drew forth her dagger very unconcernedly, and thrust it most dexterously into the bull's neck, having catched hold of his horn; by
• which stroke, without any more trouble, her design was brought to
• perfection; after which turning about towards the king's balcony, she made her obeysance, and withdrew herself in suitable state ami
. gravity. Sir, did you ever see, or hear, any example to parallel this? Wonderful indeed! that a faint-hearted feeble woman, one would think, should stand in the fields undauntedly, after her attendants had quickly made their escape, yea, and Jiave overcome 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 occasions, 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 for-midable beast. Those heroick minds, managing their lances most dexterously, 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 dismounted, 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 con. elusion 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 offended; which, when Margareta had espied, having, it seems, very little affection for either of them, she directed letters to them severally, for preventing of all such disorders for the future; of which epistles the sum and tenor follows:
'1 Cannot be induced to believe, thatmusick, accompanied with
* scandalous disturbances, can be termed a testimony of sincere affection; 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 desist 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
4 ever resolves to express his dexterity, courage, and agility, to all beholders sufficiently, and his ardent love towards me, let him 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 present me with his horns, may be assured, by my subscription, that
* I shall not decline to own him for my husband: which, if any, or
* all of you refuse to do, get you gone, for effeminate men are nona of those I aim at, or desire to be joined unto.
'Farewel, from Margaketa.'
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, not withstanding all opposition and reluctancy, lest they should be branded with the detestable character of pusillanimity, they unanimously consented 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 noblemen, 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 his 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. I.odovicus% espying Charles sticking fast to the horns, and Antonius dismounted, with adexterous and seasonable stroke,cut oil'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 bs thus trepanned by subtle Charles, seeing he it was who cut off the fleck, 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, er constables, interposed, they would have committed a most la,