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[198] —often have no glass-ware in their houses, no dinner-knives, and little of earthen manufactory, while a metal fork is a matter of curiosity. In agriculture their instruments are extremely clumsy. The scythes, hoes, shovels, pickaxes, etc., are so awkward, that I do not well see how they work with them; their threshing I have seen done, at the gates of Madrid, on just such a threshing-floor as is described in the Old Testament, and by the identical process of driving horses over the grain; their plough, which is of a construction singularly clumsy and inefficient, is the same the Romans used when they were here, for I have it on a coin of Caesar Augustus; and their mode of drawing water by a horse or mule, and a wheel, is the very one which, for its antiquity, is in Egypt attributed to Joseph. Finally, there are almost no manufactories of articles of luxury on private speculation, and the few the king attempts to sustain bring him in debt at the end of every year, with the single exception of the glass manufactory at St. Ildefonso; and yet, there, an ordinary cut-glass tumbler, which might cost in England, at most, four or five shillings, costs eight dollars.

The means and conveniences of life are, then, few here, and the comforts may, as a general remark, be said to be unknown in all that relates to the mechanical arts. Their amusements, too, are hardly less meagre. The common people, however, it should be observed, are gay and light-hearted in their natural dispositions, and on the festivals, which are above one third of the whole year, are always seen in the Delicias,—a public walk outside the walls,—on the borders of the canal, and in the meadows of the Manzanares, dancing to their guitars and castanets. Every evening, too, as I come home I find little groups of them dancing the bolero, the fandango, and the manchegas in the streets; for, if the Italians are the most musical people in the world, the Spaniards of all classes, and especially the lowest, are the most fond of dancing. Their very movements seem from nature to be graceful, and their resting positions picturesque. Except this, however, and the universal passion for toros, they have little amusement that is social, except in a kind of tavern, where they go during the evenings of the summer, not to drink strong liquors,— for I never saw a Spaniard intoxicated,—but to refresh themselves with iced water, orgeats, and cebada, which, as they are the necessaries of life in this burning climate, seem to be within the reach of everybody's means.

The middling classes are the most reserved and the least gay of all the population of Spain,—the most difficult of access, and the

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