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[194] our constables—during the day, make up its whole muster-roll. Nor is it wanted, for there is little of that sort of crime among the lower classes—little of the petty larceny and small quarrelling and rioting —which a police can prevent. If a crime be committed, it is, like the national character, a serious and bold one. Of a secret political police there is no thought or suspicion. The government is not yet civilized enough to make use of such delicate machinery.

Yet, with all these gross and portentous defects,—without a police and with an Inquisition, without an administration of justice and with legalized, systematic corruption in all its branches,—the Spanish government (if it deserve the name) still seems to fulfil the great object a government should always propose to itself; for a more quiet, orderly people, a people more obedient and loyal, I have not seen in Europe. The reason is that this corruption is still mainly in the higher classes, and in the agents of the government, and that this strange contest between the ministers and king on one side, and the persons they employ on the other, is still unknown to the classes below; so that, though the surface of the ocean be everywhere vexed and agitated, its depths still remain tranquil and undisturbed. But the moment it becomes the interest of those who stand between the highest and the lowest classes to open the flood-gates, and let in the crimes and corruptions of the government upon the people, and thus excite them to disturbances and opposition,—that moment the government must come to an end.

Of the public institutions there is little to say, but something to praise; for, though they are few, some of them are good.

Among the good, however, is not the General Hospital, which is very dirty and ill kept. Especially in its neighborhood all kinds of filth are allowed to accumulate, so that it is the very dirtiest spot in Madrid and its environs. The proportion of deaths in it is horrible, and nobody can go through its damp lower apartments, and the illventilated


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