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[227] return to his family, claim a title and fortune; but these things have lost all charms for him. Yet a more benevolent countenance and manners, or more unaffected kindness, I have rarely seen. He inquired of the Duke very minutely about his friends and relations, told him many anecdotes of their youth, and but for the solitude of his cell, his sackcloth, and his flowing beard, it would have been difficult to say he was anything but a well-bred gentleman, a little touched, indeed, in the tones of his voice and in the forms of his expressions, by the softening and humbling hand of adversity and suffering, but still preserving the unpretending and natural dignity of his character and the ease and grace of his manners. He carried us through the whole establishment, and suffered the brothers to talk to us. Some did it willingly and even gayly, others with reluctance and in monosyllables only. . . . . It was altogether one of the most extraordinary and interesting spectacles I have seen in Europe, and. . . . left an impression on my feelings and fancy that can never pass away. . . .

I remained in Cordova in all two days and a half, and was not a little amused with what I saw of the people and society there. It is altogether different from what I had seen in Madrid. The Castilians are gay in their own private circles; the Andalusians are gay always and everywhere, and they have an open-heartedness towards strangers which, if it be not a more efficient hospitality than you meet at the North, is much more fascinating. The nobility is rich, and generally agricultural, fond of a country life and country amusements, great hunters, bull-baiters, and Picadores; and, above all, proud of having fine horses and cattle. It is in these rich plains that I first realized the truth of Roxas' description of Castañar's wealth and the nature of his incomes, for I was often shown estates where were kept from three to five hundred horses, a thousand cattle, etc., etc., for these are the strength and resources of the country.1 Each evening I spent at the Marquis de Villaseca's, the richest man in Cordova, and the pleasantest house there, as I was told in Madrid. Few people go there, but those that do, go familiarly and intimately; and, to me at least, the society was interesting and amusing. The Marquis himself is a young man, with ninety thousand dollars a year, easy, good-natured, kind-hearted, hospitable, and ignorant; with a house full of old domestics, whose ancestors have been in his family—as is the custom here—from untold generations, and who therefore treat him with great respect, to be sure, but still great familiarity. . . . .

The Duke de Rivas is a true Andalusian nobleman, loving hunting


1 Allusion to a play by Francisco de Roxas, called Del Rey abaxo Ninguno.

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