Page images

between the garrison and friends without, and leaving no mode of escape. They could not, however, reduce the place by assault; and the Spaniards, equally aware that they could not long support so strict a siege, and without a hope of succor from their friends, after much difficulty, made a treaty with the hostile tribes, by which they were permitted to leave the country without molestation from their enemies; promising on their part never more to return.

It was a day of sadness, almost of despair, on which the commandant of San Luis announced to the garrison the provisions of the treaty. They had left their native land in all the buoyancy of gallant cavaliers, 'seeking adventurous enterprise.' Lured by the glory of conquest, and the hope of sharing in the glittering spoils of the new world, they had sacrificed every thing to the spirit of adventure. Parents waited in trembling anxiety the fate of their children, and many a dark-eyed maiden mourned the absence of her plighted lover ; but all in the cheering hope of a speedy return, laden with inexhaustible wealth and renown. And now were they to be miserably disappointed! They had confidently expected a golden harvest, which the country no where presented to them; but ever on the watch for the marvellous, as one object vanished, another not less alluring presented itself; until fatigue and suffering taught them contentment with the more moderate hope of founding a colony in the new world. They had first seen the land in all the freshness of early summer, when the forests of the country are redolent of perfumes from flowers of every hue; and filled with admiration of a scene whose gorgeous loveliness surpassed even their wild conceptions, they were ready to imagine every nook of this land of flowers a realization of the garden of Eden, and every spring that gurgled forth in the wilderness, a fountain of perpetual youth! But the flowers faded, and many a gallant fellow sickened and died : the crystal waters had no power to

And now was their last hope withered, as the flowers which had faded around them; and destitute and forlorn, they were to be driven from the land which fancy had painted in the glowing colors of an Arabian tale.

On the morrow succeeding the conclusion of the treaty, while the thick morning mists enveloped the fort in obscurity, the morning gun of San Luis was echoed for the last time by the surrounding wilderness, and the cheerful bugle-note which merrily bade farewell to the resting place of the adventurers, seemed like adding the mockery of rejoicing to the desolation of despair. Silence reigned in the ranks of the Spaniards, as mile after mile of their toilsome retreat was accomplished. They had nearly arrived at the coast, when, as they emerged from a thick hammock, they were startled by the well known yell of the Indians, accompanied by a flight of arrows and missiles, which threw them into confusion, and thinned their ranks of several of their stoutest warriors. A few moments, and amid heaps of their enemies, the last of the Spaniards lay stretched upon the soil which they had trod with alternate feelings of ecstacy and despair.

Some hours after the departure of the garrison, the Indians, with yells of exultation, had rushed into the fort, to riot in the last stronghold of their enemies. A mine which had been fired by their own carelessness, or the treachery of the Spaniards, exploded in the midst of their revellings, and many of the vast number within and around

save him.

the fortress, were victims of the explosion. Whether accident or design were the cause, they were little disposed to examine ; but charging all to the hostility of those whom they regarded as the natural enemies of their race, they followed them to near the mouth of the Ochlockonee, and avenged the death of their people by the blood of the last white man who remained in their land.

Thus perished the garrison of San Luis; and as I walked upon its ruined walls, in the midst of a dense wood, and thought of the years that had passed since it was the strong-hold of the conquering Spaniard, the whole scene seemed enveloped in solemn mystery; and the surrounding forest, with its drooping garlands of hanging moss, seemed decked in funereal weeds for the fate alike of victor and vanquished.

Every place which has been the scene of bloodshed, must have, of right, its tutelary ghosts and goblins; and the old Indian, as he rehearses the story of San Luis, as tradition has preserved it among his people, becomes doubly mysterious, as he ventures to speak of the spirits which rise from the old well of the fort, to 'walk post' upon its ruined parapet.

* And at times,' he adds, when the thick mist hangs over the fortress, you may hear the merry winding of the bugle, as the ghosts file through the old postern, on their retreat :' but as I have a friend who sometimes hunts in the vicinity, it is possible that the bugle was intended for the dogs; but the spirits are doubtless real spirits.

P. S.



OPEN the soul to the bliss that illumes : Let us with joy see creation so fair,
Hear! it is heard in the linnet's low song;

God's blessed nature is charming

all o'er ! Breathe! it the thicket of roses perfumes,

But let us silence the needy man's prayer, Feel ! it is rippling the small brook along : Joys of beneficence charm us still more. Taste! in the juice of the soft grape it glows, Love too, for love is the impulse most sweet, Seasons the fruits in the wild rural bowers; If but by innocence blest be its glow;[meet, See! in each herb and leaf greener it grows, But you must love too with love wise and Paints us the view of the Valley of Flowers. All that is good, fair, and noble below.

Friends ! why is gliding the womanly tear Work! for through business the wise man Over the cheek of your ripening bloom ?

is seen; Fit then for men do weak longings appear? With it are glory undying, and praise : Crave you as cowards the mould'ring tomb! Mark with your deeds then the giddy routine Nobler things still to achieve must we stay, Of the swist cycle of on-rolling days : Much that is good too not yet has been Bless the great circle that arches us round,

Use its advantages, too, as each may; Duty's fulfilment does cheerfulness pay, All then in silent enchantment is drown'd! Peace shadows ever the goal that is won. Oh! this can brighten the gloomiest day!


Manifold troubles and manifold smart Courage! for woes are, when once at an end, Pain us in truth, and the fault is our own; Balm to the soul, as to meadows the dew! Hope is a balm to the sore-smitten heart, Tombs o'er which cypresses lowly depend, Patience will strengthen the patient alone. Soon are adorn'd byForget-me-nots blue. Gayer when shadow of pensiveness grows, Friends! to rejoice we assuredly ought; Lift, to the stars, then, the low-drooping Joy is the Father's exalted command : mind;

Joy has to Innocence ill never wroughtFoster but manly and lofty repose, Smiles she through roses, when Death Onceat the end, there success you'll find, is at hand.



The twenty-fifth of July, being the festival of St. James of Compostella, we left Cadiz at an early hour, and crossed the bay, to witness the bull-fight, which, in honor of that worthy, was to take place at Santa Maria.

At four P. M. we entered the theatre, an immense edifice, the cir. cumference of which could not have been less than two thousand feet. The arena, or pit, was encircled by a barrier five feet high, in front of which, and at short intervals, were planted small out-posts, as points to which the foot-combatants might, in case of danger, retreat, and as stations for the guards. Behind the barrier, rose, to the height of from twenty-five to thirty feet, tiers of seats, in the manner of steps, and above and beyond them a double gallery. They were together capable of containing from ten to fifteen thousand spectators, and long before the commencement of the performance, were completely filled.

From the groups below, our eyes were soon turned to the more attractive, though less picturesque, spectacle, in the upper seats, where rows of beautiful women, their necks, arms, and hands loaded and sparkling with jewelry, were seen rising one above another, like flowers in a conservatory. Suddenly the hum of voices subsided ; the water-venders ceased their cry; and a flourish of trumpets announced the entrance of the Governor. There was a second Hourish ; the door at the opposite extremity of the list opened ; a detachment of soldiers were marched in, and having seen the arena cleared of its last straggler, stationed in pairs at the out-posts. They were followed by the combatants, consisting of the Picadores, or pikemen, on horseback, and the Chulos, Bandarillieros, or dartmen, and Matadores, on foot. Having advanced and saluted the Governor, they were divided into two companies, and drawn up in a line, one on each side of the door by which the bull was to enter.

The Picadores wore low-crowned, broad-brimmed, drab-colored hats, at the sides of which were fastened knots of white and yellow ribbon. Their jackets were of red cloth, laced with gold; from the waist to the feet they were heavily clad in buck-skin, lined with cork.

They were mounted on bigh-peaked Morisco saddles, with shovel stirrups, and bore each a long lance, or pike, the ends of which were armed with short iron points. Of all the combatants, the Picadore, the Matadore perhaps excepted, incurs the greatest hazard; and it is to his skill, courage, and encounter with the bull, that the spectacle mainly owes its interest. The dress of the Chulos, dartmen, and Matadores, consisted of jackets and knee-breeches, of green or blue cloth, laced with silver, light cloaks or mantles, of different colors, red sashes, white hose, and sandals.

The combatants having taken their stations, all eyes were now turned and fixed on the door by which the bull was to enter. Most of the spectators had, in their eagerness and impatience, started to their feet: a single voice was heard to exclaim, · The bull! the bull!' but was instantly hissed into silence. The moment at length came. The trumpets sounded, the door opened; he bounded into the arena, and was received by a shout which shook the theatre to its foundation. He was a gigantic yet beautiful specimen of his tribe, to which, compared with the animal that commonly bears his name, he indeed seemed hardly to belong. A short iron barb, to which strips of red and white ribbon were attached, bad, just before he entered, been driven into his back. He seemed not to feel it, but having been pent up for weeks like a felon in his cell, and subjected to a preparatory course of torture, to be conscious only of a wild and exulting sense of freedom. It was, however, of but short duration. At the sight of the barrier, and the thousands who filled the seats behind it, he paused, surveyed them with a look of wonder and distrust, and then wheeled and retreated to the door. Finding it closed, he sprang furiously toward the barrier, but, as if in despair of clearing it, stopped short, and facing the Picadores, dropped his head, with the intent, apparently, to provoke or defy their attack. At this instant there was a third flourish, as a signal for the Chulos to advance. Holding his cloak closely folded in his left hand, the one nearest the bull now quickly ran up, and when within a few feet of his horns, grasped and displayed it with his right, and was instantly pursued by him, and driven for shelter to the out-posts. A second then left his station, at the opposite side of the ring, and being hard pressed in his retreat, dropped his cloak, and leaped the barrier. The bull seemed to regard the garment as a part of the man, and gored, trampled, and tossed it in fragments about the arena. The rest, then, one by one, advanced, till at length he was encircled by the whole troop, now one and now another running up and fluttering his cloak, or with it streaming behind him, or let fall as he fled, nimbly escaping, though often but by a well-timed and dexterous leap of the barrier, from the horns of his enraged and headlong pursuer. One of them had the mishap to stumble and fall. The bull rushed on with an intent to gore him, and a shriek was heard from some one probably his chére amie of the women in the galleries. The fellow had the presence of mind, however, to seize his cloak, raise it at arm's length above his breast, and thereby so far divert the aim of the bull, as to escape unhurt. Ashamed of his mishap, and encouraged by the cheers of the spectators, he sprang nimbly to his feet, seized the bull by the horn, leaped over his back, and amid a thunder of applause, escaped to the nearest out-post.

The Picadores had till this moment remained at their stations, and taken neither part, nor as it seemed interest, in the game. The signal was now made for them to advance; and having raised their pikes, and spurred their horses into the ring, they galloped them in a circle about the bull, till roused and exasperated by the irruption of this fresh band of assailants, he at length wheeled and selected the object of his attack. Thus menaced, the rider reined up his horse, and presented his pike. The bull dropped his head, charged and received the point of it in his breast, but despite the resistance of man and weapon, drove his horns into the body of the horse, let out his entrails, and laid him, with his rider, rolling and writhing in the dust.

the instant of the attack, the Chulos ran up and endeavored, by fluttering their cloaks, to divert it. He now turned and drove them one by one to the out-posts. He then rushed on the nearest horse, forced him against the barrier, beat in his ribs, plunged his horns into his vitals, and laid him, with the blood gushing from his mouth and nostrils, dead at his feet. The rider had disappeared, and I expected nothing less than to see him dragged out, crushed and lifeless, from under the carcass of the animal he had but the moment before so gallantly bestrode.

He was at length extricated, and though so badly hurt he could neither well move or stand, a fresh horse having been brought, he was lifted into the saddle, and having grasped his pike, and adjusted his sombrero, seemed, as he sat grim and upright, covered with blood and dust, to defy not only the bull but the devil. A murmur of applause ran through the theatre, and truly if stoicism be a virtue, he deserved it. The next Picadore was more fortunate, having succeeded, though not without a long and desperate struggle, in turning the bull, and thereby saving his horse, a feat for which he was rewarded by the plaudits, loud and long, of the spectators. These, however, I ob, served, were for the most part, as they should have been, reserved for the bull. Of the six horses which he next encountered, two were killed, and the rest repeatedly gored and thrown, and at length so far disabled as to be with difficulty led off alive, or left pawing the earth in agony, and making desperate but unavailing efforts to rise. In several instances, a horse was galloped about, with his entrails trailing in the dust, till they were torn asunder by repeated strokes of his hoofs, and in this state compelled, as he best might, to sustain a fresh attack.

The trumpets again sounded, the Picadores withdrew to their stations, and the Bandarillieros advanced, grasping each a brace of barbed darts, the long, heavy shafts of which were enveloped in a loose net-work. Running quickly up, till they came nearly in contact with the horns of the bull, they let fly their missiles with the intent to fix them deeply and firmly in the fore and upper parts of his shoulders. The first attempt was a failure, and the assailant with. drew, amid the hisses of the spectators. It indeed seemed to be a feat, the right execution of which required no small degree of strength, courage, and skill.

At one time a dart would strike the bone and recoil, with its barb either bent or broken; at another, be so slightly infixed, as to become detached by its own weight, or a single shake of the bull's brawny neck. He was now wrought up to a pitch of rage and torture little short of downright madness, and ran wildly about the arena, goring and tossing aside such of the dead horses as lay in his way, and putting to flight the whole troop of Chulos and dartmen. At length he stopped short before one of the out-posts, and having for an instant fixed his blood-stained eye on the group it sheltered, drove his shaggy head against it, as if determined to prostrate it by a single blow, or dash out his brains in the attempt. Foiled in this effort, he plunged headlong toward the door, near which the Matadore or death-man,

whom he at length confronted, had already taken his stand. He was a short, but thick-set, sinewy, well-made man: a red cloak



« PreviousContinue »