CHARLES STUART AT MADRID.
WILLIAIkl HAKRISON AENSWOETH.
Carlos Estuardo soy,
Que, siendo amor mi guia,
Al cielo de Espana voy
For ver my estrella Maria.
Lope de Vega.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY.
[The riyhi of Translation is reserved^}
PRINTED BY C. WHITING, BEAUFORT HOUSE, STRAND.
CONTENTS OF VOL. IL
BOOK I. — continued.
THE JOURNEY OF JACK AND TOM SMITH TO
TuE Duke de Cea .3
How THE Duke de Cea made a Confidant op Don
IIow Don Carlos and Don Jorge visited the Car-
dinal-Duke DE Leema . . . . .35
VOL. II. h
El Coktejo 57
The Alcalde or Caba>'illas 75
THE INFANTA MARIA.
The Easl of BrasxoL 93
Of the Meeting between Charles and the Infanta
The White Dove 150
THE CONDE-DUQUE DE OLIVAREZ.
How Buckingham was presented to Olivarez . . 163
PniLip IV 176
Padke Ambrosio 187
Or THE Visit paid by Olivarez to Charles . . 201
How Charles drove in the Prado, axd how he
SAW the Infanta in the Chapel of the Reco-
LETOs Agustinos 209
Of THE Meeting between Charles and the King
IN the Prado . 218
Of the Presents sent to Charles by the King . 223
How THE Prince went to the Convent of San
Of the Prince's public Entry into Madrid . . 239
How Chakles passed his time at the Palace . 259
Madrib from the Montana del Principe Pio . . 268
La Casa del Campo 277
The Duke del Infantado 286
Clje ipiitslj Pat4
THE JOURNEY OF JACK AND TOM SMITH
THE DUKE DE CEA.
Closely followed by Buckingham and Graham,
the two cavaliers marched across the enclosure, and
passing through an open gateway, entered the
cloisters of the cathedral. The ambulatory was
plunged in gloom, so that it was impossible to
discern the arched vaultings of the roof, enriched
with exquisite tracery, or the many beautiful mo-
numents on the walls. At last the cavaliers came
to an opening, where they awaited the arrival of
the others, and tlien the whole party stepped forth
into a large quadrangle, which appeared to be laid
out as a garden, with a fountain in the centre. The
4 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Spaniards led the way along a gravel walk towards
the fountain, which was splashing pleasantly on its
marble basin, and, having reached a convenient
spot, stood still. The cavalier wlio had challenged
Graham then said:
"Here we can settle our quarrel, senor."
" It is too dark," cried Buckingham. " You will
not be able to see each other's swords."
" That objection is easily disposed of," remarked
the second cavalier, producing a dark lantern from
beneath his cloak, and unmasking it.
" You seem prepared for the emergency, seiior,"
observed Buckingham, in a jeering tone; "but
perhaps this lantern was intended to light you to
the fair seSora."
"It may do so when it has served its present
purpose," rejoined the first cavalier. " Hold the
lantern, seiior, I pray you. You shall not say that
any unfair advantage has been taken of " your
friend. Do you use the capa, senor?" he added
THE SPANISH MATCH. 5
And on receiving an answer in tlie negative, he
unfastened his own cloak, and instead of wrapping
it round his left arm — a mode of defence then ordi-
narily practised in Spain — flung it on the ground.
As he did this, Buckino^ham threw the licrht
of the lantern full upon him, and a tall, slightly-
proportioned, and extremely handsome young cava-
lier was revealed to view. The rich attire of this
gallant youth, who could not be more than one-
and-twenty, confirmed the assertion he had made as
to his rank.
" By my troth, Dick, you have to do with a
grandee," said Buckingham. "Harm him not, if
you can help it."
" I never meant to hurt him," replied the other.
Meantime, Graham had followed the example of
his antagonist, and divested himself of his cloak.
Both drew their rapiers at the same moment,
saluted, and beat tlie appeal, carefully watching
each other by the light of the lantern, which Buck-
ingham held aloft with a steady hand.
6 THE SPANISH MATCH.
After a few rapid passes, productive of advan-
tage to neither party, Graham, who was a con-
summate master of fence, feh satisfied that he could
bring the conflict to an immediate close, and ac-
cordingly, parrying a thrust delivered by the fiery
young Castilian noble, he advanced quickly, and
before the other could recover, seized the hilt of
his rapier with his left liand, and by a strong blow
on the blade and a dexterous turn of the wrist,
forced the weapon from his grasp.
With a formal bow, he then presented the ra-
pier to his discomfited antagonist, saying :
" Here is your sword, seiior, if you desire to
renew the fight."
The young Castilian noble took the rapier thus
courteously offered him, and immediately sheathed it.
" I should not be worthy of the name I bear if I
could use my sword against one who has given me
my life," he said. "I own myself fairly van-
" In that case, all hostility between us is at an
THE SPANISH MATCH. 7
end, noble senor," replied Graham. ''Permit me
to return you the billet which has led to this
conflict," he added, taking the letter from his
doublet and presenting it to the young nobleman.
" You will see that it is unopened. I ought to
apologise for having detained it, but "
" No more, seuor — no more, I pray you," inter-
rupted the other. '' All apologies should come
from me. I was to blame for making the de-
mand so haughtily. You have behaved through-
out like a gallant gentleman, and it will delight
me to improve my acquaintance with you. I pray
you to know me as the Duke de Cea, son of the
Duke de Uzeda, and grandson of the Cardinal-
Duke de Lerma. This is my friend, Don Antonio
" I am proud to learn that I have had the
honour of crossing swords with the grandson of
the great Duke de Lerma, and himself, if I mis-
take not, a grandee of Spain," replied Graham,
courteously returning the salutations addressed to
8 THE SPANISH MATCH.
him by the two Spaniards. " Your lordship, I am
persuaded, will excuse me if, for the present, I
must withhold my own name and that of my
friend. I am compelled to do so for reasons the
force of which you would recognise if they were
mentioned to you. But I may state that we are
connected with the English court."
" I am not surprised to hear it," replied De Cea,
bowing; "and were I made acquainted with your
titles, senores, I doubt not they would be familiar
to me. The Conde de Gondomar, late ambassador
to England, is my intimate friend, and has often
spoken to me of the nobles of your court."
" The Conde de Gondomar is also my intimate
friend, duke," said Buckingham ; " and I hope to
see him on my arrival at Madrid."
" Mil Santos ! a sudden light breaks upon me,"
cried the Duke de Cea. " And if I should be
right in my conjecture, I shall esteem this meeting
one of the most extraordinary events of my life.
I am De Gondomar's friend, as I have stated, noble
THE SPANISH MATCH. 9
seiiores, and I believe he has few secrets — even
state secrets — from me. I am aware, therefore,
that he expects an illustrious personage in Madrid."
" I must set you right on one point, duke," re-
joined Buckingham, laughing. " I am not the
illustrious personage you refer to, neither is this
" But there was a third person with you just
now," cried the Duke de Cea, " and he answers so
completely to the description I have received from
De Gondomar of a certain prince, that I could
almost swear 'tis he."
" Without admitting you are right in your
surmise, duke," rejoined Buckingham, " I may say
that the person you imagine to be the prince de-
sires only to be known as Don Carlos Estuardo.
My friend here is Don Eicardo, and I am Don
Jorge, at your lordship's service."
" I presume you do not stay long in Burgos,
senores?" said De Cea.
" Merely for the night," returned Buckingham.
10 THE SPANISH MATCH.
*'I ask, because I have a proposition to make
which I trust will not be disagreeable to you,"
pursued the young duke. " I have been brought
to Burgos by the little love aiFair which you have
discovered, but I depart to-raorrow morning with
my friend, Don Antonio Guino, for Lerma, the
castle of my grandsire, the cardinal-duke. Lerma
is about half a day's journey hence, and being on
the direct road to Madrid, you must needs pass it.
It will gratify me exceedingly if you will permit
me to attend you thither, and furthermore allow
me to present you to the cardinal-duke, who I am
sure will esteem himself highly honoured if you
will pass the remainder of the day at his castle. Do
not refuse my request, I beseech you, senores. It
will be a kindness to an old banished minister,
who, though he has fallen into unmerited disgrace, ^
and has lost the power and influence he once en-
joyed, without a hope of regaining it, still takes
the deepest interest in all that concerns his royal
master. Your visit will be a consolation to him."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 11
"Thus preferred, it is impossible to refuse tlic
invitation, my lord duke," replied Buckingham,
" and I willingly accept it on the part of Don
Carlos, who, I am sure, will be gratified to behold
a minister so illustrious, as Avell by his noble ac-
tions as by his misfortunes, as the Cardinal-Duke
"It becomes me not to praise my grandsire,
noble senor/' replied the young duke, in a tone of
profound emotion. " He has fallen, and there are
few to praise him now. But I can say of him,
with truth, that he served the late king, Philip III.,
faithfully and well. He filled the highest post in
this kingdom, just as the Marquis of Buckingham
fills the highest post in England; and though dis-
graced, he committed no act to forfeit his royal
master's favour. His enemies triumphed over him.
But he bears his reverses with dignity, and Avithout
a murmur, and is greater now than when in the
plenitude of power."
" Your warmth does you honour, my lord," said
12 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Buckingham. "The great Duke of Lerma de-
serves all you liave said of him. His acts as a
minister are remembered in England, though they
seem to be forgotten in the country which has so
largely benefited by them."
"I shall not fail to repeat your words to my
grandsire, noble seiior," returned De Cea. "Your
visit will give him new life, and recal him for a
time to the world from which he has withdrawn.
But I will not keep you longer here," he added,
putting on his cloak. " With your permission,
Don Antonio and myself will attend you to your
" Do not trouble yourself further about us," said
Buckingham. " We can easily find our way to
the parador where we are lodged."
" Nay, I must insist upon escorting you thither,"
said De Cea. " And I trust you will honour me by
a presentation to Don Carlos."
Buckingham readily assenting, the whole party
quitted the cloisters, animated by very different
THE SPANISH MATCH. 13
feelings from those which they had experienced on
entering them, and made their way past the
cathedral to the plaza in which the parador was
Arrived there, Buckingham had a few words in
private with Charles, and briefly explained what
had occurred. The Duke de Cea and Don Antonio
were then presented to the prince, who received
them both very graciously, and professed liimself
delighted at the prospect of beholding the Cardinal-
Dukc de Lerma on the morrow.
"I am infinitely obliged to you, my lord duke,"
he said, " for the opportunity you are good enough
to afford me of beholding so distinguished a per-
sonage as your grandsire."
" You are too good, sefior," returned De Cea,
bowing low. " The obligation is entirely on my
Cliarles then pressed the duke and his friend to
stay and sup with him, but they respectfully
befrfxed to be excused, and Buckinfrham came to
14 THE SPANISH MATCH.
the rescue, significantly observing, " Do not urge
the duke further. I know he is better engaged."
"Nay, then I will say no more," remarked
Charles, smiling. "Will it be agreeable to your
lordship to start so early as eight o'clock to-morrow
morning ? "
" It will suit me perfectly," replied De Cea.
" After matins, which I have promised to attend at
the cathedral, I shall be perfectly free."
" Do not hurry yourself, duke," laughed Buck-
ingham. " We will wait for you."
De Cea and Don Antonio then took their depar-
ture, and shortly afterwards Charles and his at-
tendants sat down to supper.
THE SPANISH IVIATCH. 15
HOTT THE DUKE DE CEA MADE A CONFIDANT OF DON
At a very early hour next morning, Charles,
accompanied by Buckingham and Graham, re-
paired to tlie cathedral.
The full beauties of the superb Gothic fane were
now revealed to them — the tall twin spires cleaving
their way towards heaven, the three exquisitely
carved portals of the grand entrance, the triple-
shafted aisles, the majestic nave, the vaulted roof,
the numerous chapels with their monument?, sta-
tues, and paintings, the magnificent choir Avith its
splendidly gilt gates, beautiful stalls, and glorious
16 THE SPANISH MATCH.
canopy — all these, and a thousand beauties more,
were displayed to their ravished gaze. To com-
plete their satisfaction, the grand notes of the organ
were heard pealing along the roof, while sweet
voices arose from the choir.
As on the previous evening, the pavement of
the mighty nave Avas peopled with female devotees,
all producing a singular and striking effect, from
their black attire, their fans and mantillas; and
many of them — the younger at least — boasting
magnificent eyes, jet-black locks, and charming
features. In the chapels also there were many
worshippers; and though the hour was so early, the
cathedral might be said to be thronged.
As Graham passed the chapel of Santa Ana he
could not help casting a glance into it, and then
perceived the beautiful creature he had seen there
on the previous night. She was kneeling before
the image of the Virgin, and not far from her
stood the young Duke de Cea, so engrossed by
THE SPANISH MATCH. 17
the contemplation of his divinity, that he had
eyes for no other object.
Charles remained within the cathedral for more
than an hour, chiefly employing himself in exa-
mining the many marvellous paintings which he
had been unable to inspect on the previous evening^
and then, deeply deploring the necessity of depar-
ture, he bade adieu to the glorious pile, in which
he would willingly have tarried during the whole
of the day, and returned with his companions to
the parador, where breakfast awaited them.
" I do not think the Duke de Cea will be punc-
tual to his appointment, for I saw him in attend-
ance upon a fair sciiora as we quitted the cathe-
dral," observed Buckingham, helping himself to a
cup of chocolate, which formed the staple of the
" I venture to differ with your lordship," said
Graham. '' It still wants a quarter to eight. In
my opinion, he will be here at the hour agreed on."
VOL. II. C
18 THE SPAlSriSH MATCH.
Graham was right. Before the cathedral bell
tolled eight, the Duke de Cea and Don Antonio,
each mounted on a superb Barbary horse, and
attended by a couple of lacqueys in rich liveries,
likewise well mounted and well armed, rode into
the court of the parador.
As they alighted, Charles and Buckingham came
forth to meet them, and naturally expressed admi-
ration of their beautiful barbs.
" I am glad you like them," said the young
duke. " Though full of fire, they are as easy to
sit as a lady's palfrey, and might be reined by a
silken thread. You will confer a favour upon me
by accepting them."
" Impossible ! " exclaimed Charles.
"Do not mortify me by a refusal, noble Don
Carlos," cried De Cea. " Keep one yourself, and
give the other to Don Jorge."
It was so evident that the generous young noble
would have been deeply hurt by a refusal, that
Charles could not say nay, but, mounting the barb
THE SPANISH MATCH. 19
profTered him, found that the noble animal had all
the qualities ascribed to him. Buckingham re-
quired no further solicitation, but immediately
vaulted into the saddle of the other Barbary
courser, which was resigned to him by Don An-
tonio, and was enchanted with his acquisition.
At this moment a bevy of mules, ready saddled
and bridled, was brought out, and as if to prove
the value of De Cea's present, the vicious brutes
made a most horrible disturbance, kicking, squeal-
ing, shrieking, and biting furiously, like wild beasts.
Some time elapsed before the refractory animals
could be mounted. At last, however, amid a
hurricane of imprecations from the postilions, the
cracking of whips, and the shrill cries of the
mules, whose tough leathern hides resounded Avith
oft-repeated blows, the cavalcade got into motion,
and made its way across the plaza, and along
several narrow streets abounding in churches, con-
vents, and ancient and picturesque habitations, and
swarming with muleteers, priests, friars of various
20 THE SPANISH MATCH.
orders, and dark-eyed women draped in man-
At the head of the company rode Charles, with
the young Duke de Cea by his side, and the latter
called the prince's attention to several remarkable
structures as they passed along.
"'Tis a thousand pities you are obliged to quit
Burffos without visitino; the house of the Cid, and
his tomb at the convent of San Pedro de Cardeua,"
observed the duke.
" Time is wanting," replied Charles. " I re-
verence the memory of the great Gothic hero, but
I must be content with beholding the city wherein
he dwelt, the proudest recollections of which will
ever be associated with his name."
Making an exit from Burgos by the Arco de
Santa Maria, the troop traversed a bridge over the
Arlanzon, and when half way across, the Duke de
Cea called a momentary halt, and directed the
prince's attention to the beautiful gate through
which they had just passed, and which was de-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 21
corated with statues of the Cid, Fernan Gonzales,
the Emperor Charles V., and other renowned per-
From this bridge a magnificent view of the city
was obtained, with its lordly castle and superb
cathedral towering above the other structures. The
twin spires and central tower of the splendid fane,
now displayed in all their beauty, again excited
the enthusiastic admiration of the travellers. It
was with a si<xh that Charles o^ave the word to the
cavalcade to move on, and he more than once
looked back at those marvellous spires, which con-
tinued in sight long after Burgos itself had disap-
The country on which they had now entered
was bare and uninteresting, and consisted of
parched-up plains, with scarcely an object on
which the eye could dwell with pleasure, stony
mountains, and miserable villages.
At the solitary venta of Madrigalejo, where they
halted, they were treated with profound respect by
22 THE SPANISH MATCH.
the host, who, as soon as he beheld the Duke de
Cea, proceeded to clear his house of a band of
muleteers by whom it was invaded, and then be-
sought his more important guests to enter. Pro-
ceeding to the comedor, or dining-hall, they dis-
covered on the table a puchero, a ragout of rabbits,
with a mess of boiled chickens and rice, and their
ride having given them an appetite, they imme-
diately fell to work on these viands, and in a short
time very little was left for the muleteers, for whom
the dishes were originally prepared. Having wound
up their repast with a few flasks of excellent val-
de-penas, they ordered their horses, and a relay of
mules being brought out for those who required
them, the party proceeded on their journey, much
to the satisfaction of the muleteers.
Buckingham having now joined the prince at
the head of the troop, the Duke de Cea fell back,
and rode beside Graham. A friendship had already
been established between these two young men,
whose tastes proved to be perfectly congenial, and
THE SPANISH MATCH. 23
after they had conversed together for some time
on indifferent topics, De Cea said to his new
" I know you to be a man of honour, my dear
Don Ricardo, and I will, therefore, unbosom my-
self to you, and give you some particulars of the
love-alTair in which I am engaged, and with which
you have been so strangely mixed up. I need not
describe the lady, for you have seen her, and know
how lovely she is. Yes, Doiia Tlor is very beau-
tiful," he added, with a passionate sigh. " I have
seen none to compare with her, unless it be her
sister. The first moment I beheld her I fell despe-
rately in love."
"I am not surprised at it, duke," remarked
Graham. " Like myself, I perceive you are of an
" I have often been in love before, Don Ricardo,
but this is a grand passion," said De Cea, with
another sigh, " and threatens to consume me. I
can think only of DoIia Flor. I must tell you
24 THE SPANISH MATCH.
she is married — married to a grandee — Don
Pompeo de Tarsis."
" I hope Don Pompeo is old," observed Graham.
" He is under thirty, and remarkably hand-
some," replied the duke; "but he has a dreadful
temper, and Dona Flor detests him. Though per-
fectly aware of her dislike, he is foolish enough to
" Apparently not without cause," remarked
Graham. " Permit me to inquire whether Don
Pompeo resides in Burgos or the neighbour-
" He has a mansion in Burgos," replied De
Cea. " But he lives chiefly in Madrid, or Valla-
dolid, as he belongs to the court. He is in Ma-
drid at this moment, and you are certain to see
him on your arrival, for he is in great favour with
the minister, the Conde de Olivarez."
" How comes it, if he is as jealous as you re-
present him, that he allows his wife to be alone in
Burgos?" inquired Graham.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 25
" She IS under the care of a duena and an old
servant, who are watchful as dragons," replied De
" But yon have found out a way to put the
dragons to sleep — eh, duke?"
"I have gained over the duena, but not old
Basilio. He is incorruptible," replied De Cea.
" But, nevertheless, I liave ventured to follow
Dona Flor to Burgos, and in spite of Basilio's vigi-
lance, by the aid of a rope-ladder have contrived
to obtain more than one interview with her."
"But why quit Burgos, if she remains there?"
" It would be useless to stay. I could not see
her again. To-day she expects the arrival of her
father, the Conde de Saldana, who is travelling
from Vittoria to Madrid."
" Heavens ! " exclaimed Graham. " Then Dona
Casilda is her sister."
" She is," replied De Cea, in equal surprise.
" Is it possible that you know Dona Casilda?"
26 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" You shall hear," said Graham. And he pro-
ceeded to recount his adventure with the bandits in
the gorge of Pancorbo.
"By the black eyes of her I love, this is most
strange and incredible ! " exclaimed the young
duke. " You are a fortunate man, Don Ricardo.
Doiia Casilda cannot be ungrateful after the im-
portant service you have rendered her. But you
must not lose time. I rather think her father
has promised her hand to Don Christobal de Ga-
" Diablo ! " exclaimed Graham, in a tone of
" Moreover, I cannot disguise from you that
Don Christ6bal is young, handsome, and rich — he
has mines in Mexico — so you see you have a for-
midable rival. But do not despair, amigo. I know
the impulsive nature of my countrywomen, how
quickly they are captivated by gallantry and devo-
tion, and I am certain that the courage you dis-
played in the encounter with the bandits must
THE SPANISH MATCH. 27
have produced a strong impression upon Dona
Casilda's susceptible breast."
" But she may have ah'eady given her heart to
Don Christobal," said Graham, in a despondent tone.
"I don't think so," replied De Cea. "At all
events, you will have the entree of the Casa Sal-
dana, and can see her as much as you please. The
main difficulty will be with the old Conde. If he
► has promised her to Don Christobal, he will not
break his word. But, after all, love would be a
very tame affair without a few difficulties and
dangers. I should not be half as much enamoured
as I am of Dona Flor if there were no obstacles in
"That may be very true, my dear duke," re-
plied Graham, laughing, "and, to confess the truth,
I did not know that Dona Casilda was so important
to my happiness as I now find, since there is every
probability of losing her."
"Courage! trust to me, and you shall not lose
her," cried De Cea.
28 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" Faith ! you are a friend in need, my dear
duke, and I thank my stars for throwing you in
" Without me you might possibly fail, that I
•will allow, my dear Don Ricardo," said De Cea.
" I know the manners of my country, which no
stranger can perfectly comprehend. Nos otros Es-
panoles are a strange people, as you will find,
before you have lived amongst us long. I will i
lay you any wager you please that you will have
less trouble with your suit than Don Carlos Es-
tuardo will have with the Infanta."
" Think you so, duke?" cried Graham.
" I am certain of it," replied De Cea. " To say
nothing of the difficulties of the negotiation which
may possibly be overcome by the presence of Don
Carlos, his patience will be worn out by the rigorous
etiquette practised in our court, and to which he
will be compelled to submit. Unless by stratagem
— and if he has recourse to it he will be in great
personal peril, and will put half a dozen heads in
THE SP-\XISn MATCH. 29
jeopardy — lie will never be able to obtain a private
interview with his mistress. When they are toge-
ther in public, she will be as cold to him as the
ice of the Sierra Nevada. A princess of the royal
blood of Spain is the slave of form. She is brought
up in it, till it becomes part of her nature. She can
only act, move, think, and talk, as etiquette pre-
scribes. As jealously guarded as a Moorish prin-
cess, she cannot even stroll in the palace gardens
"'Sdeath! this will not suit Don Carlos," cried
Graham. " He fondly persuades himself that he
will pass the best part of each day in his mistress's
De Cea indulged in a hearty fit of laughter,
and then said, "Dreams — dreams — mere poetical
fancies, Don Ricardo. The first interview will
dispel the illusion. There is nothing romantic —
nothing tender — nothing exciting in a royal court-
ship in Spain. It is a stiff, formal, insipid — I may
say, stupid affair. I will describe what will take
30 THE SPANISH MATCH.
place. Cold as a statue, and almost as inanimate,
the Infanta will receive her ardent lover — for you
say he is ardent — with a frigidity that will at
once quell his passion. She will give him her
hand to kiss, for that is permitted by etiquette.
Etiquette will also allow her to reply — but only
in studied terms — to his impassioned address.
Then she will become dumb — perfectly dumb —
and will presently retire."
"Zounds! duke," cried Graham, "you do not
draw a very attractive picture."
" It is not in the slightest degree over-coloured,"
said De Cea. "I have seen what I describe."
" But is the Infanta Maria really as cold and
unimpassioned as you paint her?" asked Graham.
"I do not mean to affirm that. For aught I
can tell, there may be a volcano beneath that crust
of snow, but Don Carlos will never find it out
until she becomes his bride. I hope he may get
well throuEfh the ordeal. It is more than I could.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 31
Three days oi' such dull work would annihilate
" From what you say, duke, the Infanta Maria
cannot resemble her sister, Anne of Austria, who
is one of the most captivating creatures I ever
beheld, and apparently ardent as captivating."
" Pardon me, amigo. The Infanta IMaria ex-
actly resembles her sister. Before her union with
Louis XIII., the Infanta Ana was just as formal
and precise as her younger sister. Her lovely
eyes, now beaming with witchery, were then
without lustre. Even after marriage, Louis com-
plained of her coldness, and dismissed her old
duefia, the Duchess de Villaquieras, and her
camarera mayor, Dona Luisa Osorio, both of
whom, from their intolerable formality, disgusted
" From this you lead me to infer that an equal
improvement will take place in the Infanta Maria,"
observed Graham. " A portrait I have seen of her
32 THE SPANISH MATCH.
by Velasquez, which is in the prince's possession,
represents her as exceedingly beautiful. But the
painter may have flattered."
" Velasquez has not flattered. The Infanta has
a charming figure, if it were not too stifi"; fine
eyes, if she would but use them aright ; bright
golden tresses, though I prefer locks of a darker
shade — such as belong to Doiia Flor and Dona
Casilda; a complexion dyed like a blush rose — a
paler skin is more to my taste; full, ruddy lips,
to which I make no objection; and teeth like two
ranges of pearls."
" You raise my hopes, duke, which had been cast
down by your previous description."
" If Don Carlos has patience, all will be well,"
observed De Cea, " but he must not imagine that
he will meet with a tender reception from his mis-
tress. She will scarcely accord him a smile. And
if he should venture to squeeze her hand, she will
effectually check the repetition of such an endear-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 33
ment. You must own that we bring up our prin-
cesses strictly in Spain, Don Ricardo, and take
every care of them before marriage. They ought
to make excellent consorts — and perhaps they do.
At all events, it is to be hoped that the future
Queen of England will do credit to her governors
At this juncture, Don Antonio, who had already
begun to smoke, and had induced Cottington and
Endymion Porter to follow his example, rode up
and offered them cigars, or tobacco for cigarettes.
As King James was not present to denounce the
proceeding by a " counterblast," and as Charles did
not share in his aufrust father's abhorrence of the
fragrant weed, Graliam gladly accepted the offer —
so did De Cea, and so did the prince and Buck-
ingham. Consequently, in a few minutes after-
wards, the whole troop was smoking, since long
before this the lacqueys and postilions had lighted
their pipes; the latter, indeed, had begun to blow
VOL. II. D
34 THE SPANISH MATCH.
a cloud before they left the venta of Madriga-
In this manner, and with discourse such as we
have detailed, the party beguiled many a long
league, until about mid-day they approached the
vast and magnificent castle of Lerma.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 35
HOW DON CARLOS AND DON JOEGE VISIIED THE CAKDINAL-
DUKE DE LERJIA.
Built about twenty years before the period of
our story, when its illustrious founder was the
most important personage in Spain, and could never
have contemplated the reverses that subsequently
befel him, the proud Castle of Lerma, from its
magnitude, commanding position, and splendour,
had an almost regal aspect, well suited to the re-
sidence of an omnipotent minister, but little in
accord with the retreat of a disgraced favourite.
The grandeur and haughty air of the pile looked
like a mockery of its owner's fallen fortunes.
36 THE SPANISH MATCH.
The stately structure occupied the brow of a hill
rising from out a town belonging to the cardinal-
duke, and from which he derived his title, and
commanded extensive views over plains watered
by the Arlanza. The whole country within view
of the castle, and much beyond it, had once be-
longed to the Duke de Lerma, but the greater part
of his vast possessions had been confiscated, and
little more than a tithe of his princely revenues was
left him. Still the castle was kept up with a splen-
dour befitting the dignity of the cardinal-duke, and
the number of his retinue Avas but little dimi-
Thus, when the cavalcade was conducted by the
Duke de Cea through a lofty gateway, sculptured
with the armorial bearings of the house of Roxas y
Sandoval, into a spacious court, there issued forth
a host of lacqueys in sumptuous liveries, headed
by a very important-looking mayor-domo. These
lacqueys assisted the travellers to dismount, and by
the time they had done so a number of grooms
THE SPANISH MATCH. 37
of the stable appeared, who took charge of the
After a few words had passed between the Duke
de Cea and the pompous mayor-domo, the latter
made a profound bow to Charles and Buckingham,
and then ushered the party into the castle, march-
ing before them through a grand entrance-hall full
of statues, up a splendid marble staircase, and along
a corridor Avhich led to another wing of the edi-
fice, where the state bedrooms were situated.
On reaching this wing, the mayor-domo as-
signed splendid chambers, each having a couch
placed in a deep alcove, to Charles and Bucking-
ham, and other rooms scarcely less spacious to Gra-
ham and the others. The windows of these rooms
looked out into a charming patio filled with orange-
trees, and having a fountain in the centre.
Meanwhile, the Duke de Cea had disappeared,
having gone to inform the cardinal-duke of the
arrival of the visitors. As De Cea had anticipated,
his grandsire was overjoyed by the announcement.
38 THE SPANISH MATCH.
and, almost with tears in his eyes, thanked him
for the gratification he had procured him.
About an hour later, when the guests had re-
freshed themselves after their journey, and par-
taken of a collation, the mayor-domo entered, and,
addressing Charles and Buckingham, said that his
Eminence was impatient to behold them, and
prayed them to come to him, as he was unable to
leave his room.
On this they both arose, and, attended by the
Duke de Cea, followed the mayor-domo, who led
them to a suite of apartments on tlie ground floor.
When they had traversed a large audience-chamber,
ornamented by portraits of the Emperor Charles V.,
PhiHp II., and his son, the late King of Spain,
and where several persons were waiting for admis-
sion to his Eminence, all of whom bowed de-
ferentially as they passed by, the door of afi
inner room was opened for them by an usher
bearing a white wand, and they were introduced
THE SPANISH MATCH. 39
by this official into tlie presence of the fallen mi-
They found the cardinal-duke in a large library,
the shelves of which were filled with magnificently-
bound volumes. He Avas seated in an arm-chair
near a table covered with books and papers, and
his legs, enveloped in a mantle lined Avith miniver,
were supported by a velvet footstool. Behind the
chair in which he sat was placed a large screen.
Two chaplains were Avith him at the time, but as
the prince and the others entered, they boAved re-
spectfully and withdrew. The usher also retired
as soon as he had performed his office, and the
cardinal-duke was left alone Avith his visitors and
Though but the Avrcck of Avhat he had been,
the once superb Francisco de Roxas y Sandoval
Avas still a very striking-looking person. As
Marquis de Denia, and equerry to the Infante
Don Philip, in the days of Philip II. he Avas
40 THE SPANISH MATCH.
accounted the handsomest man of the court. His
stately form was now bent, and he was ahnost de-
prived of the use of his lower limbs by gout, but he
still possessed remarkable dignity of manner, and
his features, though stamped by age, and bearing
traces of care and suffering, were noble in expres-
sion. The outline of his face was as regular as it
had been in youth. His pointed beard and mous-
taches were white as snow, but his brows were black
and bushy, and gave great effect to the glances of
his keen, penetrating eyes. He wore a scarlet cas-
sock with a cape of miniver, and had a red silk
calotte on his head. From his neck was sus-
pended by a blue riband the cross of Santiago.
Such was the personal appearance of this distin-
guished man. His manner combined dignity and
affability in an uncommon degree, and may be
described as at once courtly and captivating. He
could not rise to receive his visitors, who were
presented to him by the Duke de Cea, but apolo-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 41
gised for the inattention, and besought them to
be seated near him.
"Pardon me if I gaze on you too earnestly,
prince," he said to Charles, " but I cannot take my
eyes from your countenance. One of the chief
wishes of my life is now gratified — gratified when
least expected. I desired to behold you, and
Heaven has granted my prayer. From the bottom
of my heart I thank you for the visit. It is a
proof of a generous nature that you do not neglect
Charles having made a suitable reply to this
address, the old man turned to Buckingham, and
said, "To you, also, my lord marquis, I must ex-
press the great satisfaction I feel at seeing you
beneath my roof. I cannot receive you as an equal,
for you are in power, and I am not. But I am
deeply sensible of the honour you confer upon me.
I am the more touched by this visit, because I
have reason to fear that it will <]five umbraoje to
42 THE SPANISH JIATCH.
the Conde de Olivarez, and througli liiiii to the
" The prince would not be deterred by any such
consideration from visiting your Eminence — neither
would I," rejoined Buckingham.
"I am infinitely beholden both to the prince and
to yourself, my lord," said De Lerma. "But it
will pain me if my apprehensions should prove
correct. And now, prince," he continued, " suffer
me to offer my tribute of admiration to the extra-
ordinary gallantry you have displayed in this en-
terprise — a gallantry worthy of the best days of
chivalry, and which, if there be any of the spirit
left that used to animate our nation, must obtain
its reward. The Infanta must appreciate a devotion
without parallel since the age of knight-errantry.
Our young king cannot be insensible to the con-
fidence placed in him, and must turn a deaf ear
to the counsels of his minister, who alone has
delayed the, match. That you have adopted such
a step bespeaks a courageous and noble heart. But
THE SPANISH MATCH.. 43
you have done well. We Spaniards adore gal-
lantry, and when the news of your arrival amongst
us becomes known, it will excite universal enthu-
siasm. The whole people will hail you as the lover
of their princess, and will demand with one voice
that she be given to you."
" I sincerely trust your prediction may be ful-
filled, lord cardinal," said Charles.
" Doubt it not, most noble prince," cried De
Lerma, his pale and furrowed cheek flushing, and
his eye kindling as he spoke. " I should blush for
my country, and would forswear allegiance to my
king, if it were not so. But Philip, though he has
ill counsellors, has a noble heart, and will act
" lie will, if the Conde de Olivarez will only
let him," remarked De Cea.
" Throughout the negotiations we have distrusted
Olivarez, my lord," said Buckingham.
"And with reason," rejoined De Lerma. "He
is the sole obstacle I now discern, for the prince's
44 THE SPANISH MATCH.
gallant conduct will have removed all others. Oh !
for one hour of my former greatness ! The match
should then be speedily brought about. Were I,
as I once was, the king's chief counsellor, I would
say to him, ' Sire, the step taken by the Prince
of Wales in coming to us in person, almost without
escort, to claim his bride, must be met in a kindred
spirit. Delays must be at an end. With or with-
out a dispensation from the Pope, we must give
him the Infanta.' And all Spain would ratify my
" In the name of all Spain, I beg to express my
entire concurrence in your Eminence's opinion,"
said his grandson. " The prince ought to have
the Infanta, and shall have her, in spite of Oli-
" I would you were still in power, lord cardinal,"
" I could serve your highness, my king, and my
country at the same time, if I were so," replied De
THE SPANISH MATCH. 45
"Few ministers have maintained their position
so long as you, my lord," observed Buckingham.
" True, and at the moment when I deemed my-
self most secure I was stricken down," rejoined De
Lerma. " I am as notable an instance of the in-
stability of greatness as your own Cardinal Wol-
sey. The highest post of this realm was conferred
upon me by Philip III,, Avho reposed entire con-
fidence in me, and committed the reins of govern-
ment to my control. I was then absolute master of
the destinies of the kingdom, and laboured zea-
lously — and I trust well — for the glory of my
sovereign and the welfare of my country. I cannot
reproach myself with any act of oppression or in-
justice. I distributed favours with a lavish hand,
and sought to conciliate my numerous enemies by
moderation and kindness. I could readily have
freed myself of them by other means. Like your
august and sagacious sire, prince, I sought to main-
tain peace, and succeeded in doing so during my
lengthened term of power. Though the royal
46 THE SPANISH MATCH.
coffers needed replenisliment, I exacted no heavy
tributes, and enforced no intolei^able imposts.
Hence the people loved me — and some few, per-
chance, love me still."
" Many — very many ! " cried his grandson.
"I hope so," rejoined the old man, "for I have
striven to earn their love. I encouraged agricul-
ture, too much neglected with us since the disco-
very of the New \V'orld, and gave rewards for suc-
cessful industry. I reconciled the internal troubles
of the kingdom, and my crowning triumph was the
pacification of Aragon. I was then at the acme of
my greatness. The wealth of Spain was at my
disposal. No request of mine would have been
refused by the king, and if it be a fault to enrich
and aggrandise my family, I committed it. Lands
and titles were pressed upon me by the king. I
made my son a duke and a grandee of Spain. I
also made his son, who stands before you, a duke
and a grandee. I bestowed large possessions upon
the Duke de Uzeda. I did more, I earnestly re-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 47
commended him to the king, who gave him a por-
tion of the favour which he had hitherto bestowed
exclusively on me. Alas ! I found a traitor in my
^' Proceed no further with your story, I pray
you, my lord," implored De Cea.
" Nay, I must speak out, Guzman, or my heart
will burst," said the old man, with much emotion.
"Be content. You have never forfeited my love.
I have forgiven your father for the grievous wrongs
he has done me, but I cannot forget them. Let
me make an end. Like the great Emperor
Charles V., I had ever contemplated passing the
latter part of my days in religious seclusion, and
being then in a position to ask a cardinalate from
the See of Rome, I obtained the dignity. But this
acquisition was made the means of causing a breach
between me and the king, and finding my inllucnce
decline, my enemies rose up against me. At their
head was the Duke de Uzeda — my treacherous son.
He had undermined me with the king. My ene-
48 THE SPANISH MATCH.
mies prevailed. I was dismissed, and the Duke de
Uzeda — I will call him son no more — succeeded to
" I wonder not at your anger, my lord," re-
"Thus much I could have borne, for I was tired
of the world, but what followed was harder to
bear," pursued the old man. " Dismissal was not
enough. I might be recalled, and therefore my
reputation must be blasted."
"But not by your son, my lord — not by your
son?" cried Charles, indignantly.
The Duke de Cea would have interposed, but
the cardinal-duke checked him.
"I will not be interrupted," he said, sternly
and authoritatively. " I will finish my recital.
Terrible accusations were brought against me, and
I was even charged with poisoning the Queen
Margarita. My secretary, Don Rodrigo de Cal-
deron, was seized, imprisoned, tortured, and finally
THE SPANISH MATCH. 49
beheaded, and if my enemies had dared to strike
the blow, I should have shared his fate."
" It was my father saved you," cried De Cea,
throwing himself at his grandsire's feet. " Wrong
him not by the thought that he desired your death.
He averted the blow."
*' Heaven alone knows the secrets of his heart.
I cannot read them," said the cardinal-duke. " Be
his offences towards me what they may, I have
long since forgiven them, but I will never see him
" Oh ! say not so, my lord," implored De Cea.
" He longs to ask your forgiveness."
" I will never see him again — not even at the
last," rejoined De Lerma. "Kise, Guzman. I
have no fault to find with you."
Both Charles and Buckingham were too deeply
impressed with what they had heard to make any
remark, and for some minutes there was a pro-
VOL. II. E
50 THE SPANISH MATCH.
It was broken by the cardlnal-duke, avIio^ by a
strong effort, recovered his cahnness.
" I must entreat your highness to pardon me,"
he said, turning to the prince. " I have talked too
much about myself and my misfortunes. But I
thought it might interest you to hear the story
of a fallen minister of Spain from his own lips.
I do not attempt to defend myself, save from the
foul and false accusations that have been brought
against me. The acts of my administration speak
for themselves. I have been justly punislied for
my pride and presumption, and humbly bow to
the decrees of Heaven."
It was perfectly clear, from the tone in which
the latter part of this speech was uttered, as well
as from the old man's looks, that his professions of
resignation were heartfelt, and consequently they
produced a profound impression on his auditors.
" I did not expect such a lesson as I have re-
ceived from you, my lord," said Charles. " I shall
lay to heart the words that have fallen from you,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 51
and try to profit by tliera. You have taught me
how to behave under adversity."
" Heaven shield you from it, prince ! " exclaimed
the old man, fervently. " Heaven shield you !
"When you ascend the throne of England, may
your reign be long, prosperous, and happy ! "
" Your history is worth all the homilies I have
heard preached against ambition, my lord," said
Buckingham. " Be sure I shall not forget it."
" jMay it never be necessary for your lordship
to recal it ! " said De Lerma. " I have found com-
fort and consolation in religion, from which source
alone they are to be derived. Your eyes are yet
dazzled by power. But I know its nothingness."
Again there was a pause, for the solemnity of
the old man's words impressed silence upon his
hearers, and as they raised their eyes towards him,
they perceived that his hands were clasped to-
gether, and from the movement of his lips they
knew that he was silently praying.
"When he had done, thinking he had intruded
52 THE SPANISH MATCH.
sufficiently long upon liim, Charles rose to with-
draw. De Lerma did not oppose the prince's de-
parture, but said to him :
" My age and infirmities will not allow me to
attend upon your highness as I desire. But I
commit you to the care of my grandson, who will
exercise the rites of hospitality towards you in my
behalf. Attend upon the prince, Guzman, and see
that his highness lacks nothing."
Bowing reverently to the old man, Charles
quitted the room with De Cea. Buckingham
would have withdrawn at the same time, but De
Lerma begged him to remain.
From the interview that ensued between them,
Buckingham derived much valuable information
respecting the court he was about to visit. In de-
picting the characters of the young king Philip lY.
and of the Conde de Olivarez, De Lerma displayed
an acuteness and power of observation that asto-
nished his auditor, who rose with a very high
estimate of the ex-minister's abilities.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 53
" Beware of Olivarez," said the cardinal-duke.
" He is my enemy, and because lie is so, you may
think I judge him harshly wlien I say he is
treacherous and perfidious, but you will find I am
right. He will feign to be your friend — distrust
him. He will pretend to promote the match — but
be sure that he is secretly opposed to it, and will
prevent it if he can. If you can baffle him, you
will carry your point; if not, the prince will have
taken this journey in vain, and will go back with-
out his bride."
" I shall not fail to profit by your Eminence's
counsel," said Buckingham, rising. " I have tres-
passed too long on your time."
" Not so, my good lord," said the old man. "I
never meddle now with state affairs, and indeed I
had resolved never to do so again, but as I am sure
this match will be advantageous to my country,
and as Heaven has brought you and the prince
before me, I should not be a true Spaniard if I did
not aid you. Once more, be on your guard against
54 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Olivarez. He is as subtle and as deceitful as the
enemy of mankind. I know him. "With this
caution I have done."
So saying, he rang a small silver bell, and the
summons being immediately answered by the
usher, Buckingham kissed the thin hand extended
to him, and retired.
On inquiring for the Duke de Cea, Buckingham
was conducted by the mayor-domo to a noble
picture-gallery, where he found him with the
prince and the rest of the party, who were examin-
ing the paintings by Ribera, Zurbaran, Antonio
Moro, Juan de las Ruelas, and other masters of the
Spanish school, that decorated the walls. A mag-
nificent portrait, by Sanchez Coello, of De Lerma,
taken when the duke was minister to Philip II.,
greatly interested the beholders. They could not
help contrasting the tall and stately figure there
represented, proud as Buckingham's own, with that
of the bent and infirm old man whom they had
THE SPANISH MATCH. 55
When the party had sufficiently examined the
treasures of the picture-gallery, they proceeded to
the tennis-court, the stables, and the orange-garden,
and lastly walked forth upon a noble terrace, com-
manding an extensive view of the plains Avatered
by tlic river Arlanza. Here they strolled to
and fro till summoned to dinner by the mayor-
In the evening the whole party attended vespers
in the beautiful and richly- decorated chapel of the
castle. The cardinal-duke was present, having
been carried thither in his chair. As he was
brought out, at the conclusion of the service, Charles
and Buckingham took leave of him, and received
That night the prince and the marquis were
lodged in a manner more suitable to their rank
than they had been since they quitted New-Hall.
The couches provided for them were so luxurious,
so different from the hard beds to which they had
been accustomed of late, that they were both un-
56 THE SPANISH MATCH.
willing to arise when called, according to arrange-
ment, at an early hour.
Having partaken of a sumptuous breakfast, the
wliole party repaired to the court, where their
horses and mules awaited them. The Duke de
Cea and Don Antonio Guino insisted upon accom-
panying them as far as Aranda del Duero, and
all the party having mounted, Charles and his at-
tendants quitted, with regret, the castle, where
they had been so hospitably entertained.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 57
The morning was splendid, and gave an almost
smiling aspect to the sterile plains they had to
traverse. Having obtained fresh mules at Gumiel
de Izan, they pursued their course, and at last
reached Aranda, a picturesque-looking town, built
on the banks of the renowned river Duero, and
surrounded by vine-clad hills, one of which was
crowned by a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgen de
jMaking their way through a narrow street run-
ning between overhanging houses, with large
58 THE SPANISH MATCH.
balconies, many of which were graced by dark-
eyed donzellas, they entered the market-place,
which presented a curious spectacle, being crowded
by country folk in quaint dresses.
Here they alighted at a posada, and after an
hour's rest the prince and his attendants took leave
of De Cea and Don Antonio.
" Adlos, amigo," said De Cea to Graham, as the
latter bade him farewell. '' We shall meet again
shortly in Madrid. If I should see Dona Casilda
and the old Condc, you may rely on my zeal in
your cause. Vaya ustcd con Dios ! "
Quitting Aranda by a bridge over the Duero,
the banks of which were fringed Avith trees, and
tracking a long and pleasant avenue of Lombardy
poplars, the travellers entered upon a tract of
country wh?ch was little better than a desert. Very
wearisome was the journey through this barren
district, and Graham sadly missed the lively com-
panionship of De Cea.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 59
As evening came on they approached the Somo-
sierra — a lofty and rugged cordillera separating
the two Castilcs. As these mountainous passes
had an ill reputation, and the travellers had been
warned by the Duke de Cea against crossing them
at night, the party put up at Cerezo de Abajo, a
village situated on an acclivity of the lower part of
In the comedor of the venta at which they ob-
tained accommodation, the travellers found a cap-
tain of arquebuzeros and his lieutenant, both hand-
some, active-looking young men, though small of
The host took care to intimate that Captain
Mendez and Lieutenant Roque, as he styled them,
were engaged in clearing the mountain passes from
robbers, and he recommended the travellers to ob-
tain their escort on the morrow.
" Tlie captain has a dozen mounted arque-
buzeros with him," he said, "and can see you
60 THE SPANISH MATCH.
safely across the mountains, if he is so incHned.
How say you, captain?" he added to Mendez.
*'Will you escort the caballeros?"
" Readily, if they desire it," replied the captain,
courteously. " Command me, gentil caballero," he
added, bowing to Charles. " Myself and my men
are at your service."
" A thousand thanks, captain," replied Charles,
" but we will not trouble you. We are well
armed, and do not fear attack."
" Take my advice, and don't refuse a good offer,
senor !" cried the host. "You may be well armed,
but the salteadores won't give you a chance of
fighting. They lie in ambush behind the rocks,
and the first intimation you will receive of their
presence will be a shower of bullets. Besides," he
added, with a signi6cant gesture, " El Coitejo is
now in the mountains."
"El Cortejo ! — who is he?" inquired the prince.
"If you meet him, you won't need to ask the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 61
question, seuor," said the host. "Captain Mendez
will tell you who he is."
" El Cortejo, seiior. Is a noted salteador," said
Mendez. " He was once a caballero — some say a
noble — and piques himself upon robbing like a
gentleman. He has hitherto escaped me, but he
won't do so long, for I have certain Information
that he Is In the Somoslerra."
"Ay, there Is no doubt he Is hereabouts," ob-
served the host, with a sly look. " But don't make
too sure of catching him, captain. El Cortejo Is
far too cunning to allow himself to be trapped."
" What will you say if I bring him here to-
morrow night, patron?" remarked Lieutenant
Roque, laughing, and slapping the host on the
" I shall say you are a brave man, lieutenant,"
replied the host. " But you won't do It."
" For las brazas de San Anton ! but I will,"
62 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" Nay, if you swear it, I will believe you," said
" I have changed my mind, captain, and will
avail myself of your escort," said Charles.
" I do not press my services, seiior," replied
Mendez, "but I think you will be safer with me.
You may chance to meet El Cortejo. He has spies
in the village — perhaps in this very posada — and
may be on the look-out for you. You start be-
times to-morrow, I suppose? "
" Soon after six," returned Charles.
" Buen ! my men shall be ready."
Meanwhile, supper had been set upon the table
by a mozo, consisting of an olla podrida, flanked by
a dish of garbanzos and bacon, an estofado of veal,
fried sausages, chickens and rice, and a Mon-
To these viands the travellers did ample justice,
and before they rose from table they contrived,
with the aid of Mendez and Roquc, both of whom
proved boon companions, to demolish a considerable
THE SPANISH MATCH. 63
number of flasks of delicious val-de-peuas — a wine
which, the host stoutly asserted, never harmed any
man, drink as much of it as he might.
" I shall not put thy assertion to the test, worthy
host," said Charles, as he prepared to seek his
chamber, while his companions followed his ex-
*' Buenas noches, senores ! " cried Captain Men-
dez, with a laugh. " Lieutenant Roque and I are
going to have another bottle. Don't let any
thoughts of El Cortejo disturb your slumbers."
Next morning, as Charles looked forth from his
chamber window, he perceived a dozen men drawn
up in the court-yard.
The prince thought they did not look much like
archers, but then he was not familiar with the ac-
coutrements of the Spanish soldiery. The troopers
he looked upon were wrapped in long russet cloaks,
and wore sombreros, and each man had a trabuco
slung to his saddle-bow. IMoreovcr, as one of them
dismounted, Charles perceived that he had pistols
64 THE SPANISH MATCH.
in his belt. They were mounted on mules, but
had in charge a couple of horses, ready saddled
and bridled, which evidently belonged to their
On descending to the comedor, the prince found
Captain Mendez and Roque, and their frank and
well-bred manner dissipated any suspicions which
the appearance of the arquebuzeros had inspired.
*' You will find my men badly equipped, seiior,"
said Mendez. " But they are all brave fellows, and
have seen good service."
By this time the rest of the party had assembled.
Chocolate was then served by the mozo, and while
Charles and the others were partaking of it. Captain
Mendez said to his lieutenant,
" Let six of the men ride on slowly in advance.
The others can follow us."
Roque went out at once to issue the order, and
presently a trampling in the court announced that
the troopers were setting out.
Shortly after the departure of the advanced
THE SPANISH MATCH. 65
guard, Charles and his companions proceeded to
the court-yard, where they found their horses and
mules in readiness for them. Captain Mendez was
in raptures at the sight of the two barbs.
" I am a judge of horses, seiior,"' he said to
Charles, " and I vow to Heaven I never saw any-
thing like these barbs. They are perfect beauties.
I am not rich enough to offer to buy one of them,
as I know it to be worth three hundred doubloons,
but I envy you the possession of such a treasure."
" Were you to offer me a thousand doubloons I
could not sell you this barb, captain," cried Charles,
as he vaulted into the saddle. " It was given me
by the Duke de Cea."
"The duke must have a high regard for you,
seuor," remarked Mendez. " Your barb came from
the same nobleman, I presume, seSor?" he added
Buckingham replied in the affirmative, and
patted the arching neck of the fiery fittle animal.
VOL. II. F
66 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" Cielo ! what it is to be a duke ! " exclaimed
Shortly afterwards, tlie whole party having
mounted, the cavalcade quitted the venta, and
began to ascend the cordillera.
About a quarter of a league ahead, the advanced
guard might be seen climbing the rugged moun-
tain-side. Captain Mendez rode beside Charles and
Buckingham. Then came Graham, with Cottington
and Porter. These were followed by the pos-
tilions, while Lieutenant Roque, with the rest of
the archers, brought up the rear.
In this way the troop, which, from its increased
numbers, presented a very formidable appearance,
proceeded for more than an hour. By this time
they had mounted to a considerable height, though
they still seemed far from the summit of the sierra.
The road was now hemmed in by rocks, and in
many places seemed well fitted for a robber am-
buscade. All at once, Charles, who a few moments
THE SPANISH MATCH. 67
before had been watching their progress, lost sight
of the advanced guard, and asked Mendez what
had become of them. The captain could not tell,
but proposed to ride on quickly and ascertain, and
invited Charles and Buckingham to accompany
him. TJiey complied, and the trio soon left the
rest of the cavalcade at a considerable distance
behind. Still nothing could be seen of the archers,
nor v.as any answer returned to the repeated shouts
of Captain Mendez.
"What the plague can have happened to them?"
he cried. " They cannot have been captured by
El Cbrtejo. Where the devil are you ?" he voci-
" Here, captain," responded a voice from behind
a rock close beside them.
" Soh ! I have found you at last. 'Tis well !
Show yourselves instantly ! " cried Mendez.
At this injunction, and as if they liad been
waiting for a signal, the six arquebuzeros suddenly
68 THE SPANISH MATCH.
dashed from behind the rock, and with fierce im-
precations and threats surrounded the prince and
Buckingham, and presenting their trabucos at their
heads, threatened to shoot them if they offered
resistance. So far from attempting to check this
movement, Captain Mendez drew aside to faclHtate
" Ha, villain ! " exclaimed Charles, drawing a
pistol and levelHng it at Mendez, " thou hast duped
us. But thou shalt pay for thy treachery with
So saying, he pulled the trigger, but no report
Buckingham likewise tried to fire, but both his
IMendez laughed loudly and derisively.
"Your pistols have been unloaded, senores," he
said. " They will neither harm me nor my men.
You are completely in my power. Possibly you
guess who I am."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 69
" I know you to be a robber," rejoined Charles.
" I am El Cortejo, sefiores," replied the captain,
After a moment's pause, to allow the announce-
ment to produce due effect, he added, " No harm
shall be done you — unless you resist; and in that
case you will only have yourselves to blame. I
have fallen in love with these charming barbs.
You shall give them to me. Do so, and I pro-
mise you — palabra de honor, senores — that none of
your effects shall be touched, and that neither you
nor your companions shall be molested."
"What if we refuse?" demanded Charles,
"In that case," rejoined El Cortejo, changing
his tone to one of menace, " I shall still have the
barbs, and shall leave my men to deal with you as
they think fit, and help themselves to the contents
of your alforjas."
" We had best accept the rascal's proposition.
70 THE SPANISH MATCH.
and give him the barbs," observed Buckingham to
the prince. " We are caught in a trap."
" I must beg you to decide speedily, seSores,"
said El Cortejo. "If you allow the rest of your
party to come up, I shall not be able to prevent a
conflict, and the result will be disastrous to you,
for all your fire-arms have been cared for. Will
you give me the barbs, or must I take them?"
" Nay, thou shalt have them," cried Bucking-
ham. " And may the devil give thee joy of thy
bargain ! It cannot be helped. Resistance would
be idle," he added, in an under tone, to Charles,
who seemed unwilling to comply.
"You are right," murmured the prince; "but
it is vexatious to be thus outwitted."
" Better part with the barbs than with our
saddle-bags, and, mayhap, with our lives," returned
Buckingham. " The knave has got us in his
clutches. There is no escape."
"Is the bargain concluded, seuores?" demanded
THE SPANISH MATCH. 71
El Cortejo, who had been watching them nar-
" I have already said so," rejoined Buckingham.
" A word more, and I have done," returned El
Cortejo. "In half an hour we shall reach the
summit of the mountain. Just before entering the
village of Somosierra, there is a Httle chapel, de-
dicated to Nuestra Seiiora de las Nieves. Arrived
there, you shall both dismount, and deliver me the
barbs. Pledge me your word to do this, and no
harm shall befal you."
Charles and Buckingham gave the required pro-
On this. El Cortejo ordered his men to lower
their trabucos and fall back, and the injunction was
" Now, senores, I must beg you to ride on
with me," he said.
As there was no help for it, the prince and
Buckingliam obeyed. The brigands followed, so
72 THE SPANISH MATCH.
as to cut oflf all communication between those in
front and their friends. At last, after a toilsome
ride of half an hour's duration, the summit of the
mountain was attained, and ere long the miserable
and bleak-looking village of Somosierra came in
sight. At the outskirts of the village stood the
little chapel mentioned by the robber chief.
On reaching this structure, El Cortejo came to a
halt. Whereupon, without a word being said to
them, the prince and Buckingham dismounted, and
gave him their bridles.
" You are men of honour, senores," he remarked,
courteously. " I really am sorry to deprive you of
these charming animals. I should be sorry, also,
that you should think I had treated you unhand-
somely. Such conduct is inconsistent with the
character I try to sustain. I therefore offer you,
in return for the barbs, my own horse and that of
my lieutenant. They are not bad hackneys, and at
all events are preferable to mules."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 73
Though sorely anuoyed, the prince and Buck-
ingham could not help laughing at the proposition,
and accepted it.
Just as El Cortejo had dismounted, and was in
the act of delivering his horse to Charles, Graham
rode up, and as he stared in astonishment at what
was taking place, Buckingham said to him,
" Don Carlos and myself have just made an ex-
change with Captain Mendez, and have given him
our barbs for his horses."
" The deuce you have ! " exclaimed Graham, in
dismay. " What on earth can have induced you
to make such an arrangement? The captain is
" I'm sure your friends won't say so, senor,"
remarked El Cortejo, with a laugh.
" No, no, we are perfectly content. Indeed, we
esteem ourselves gainers by the transaction," said
Charles, as he sprang on the back of the horse
ceded to him by tlie robber chief.
74 THE SPANISH MATCH.
The next moment, Lieutenant Roque joined the
group, and at a word from El Cortejo surrendered
his horse to Buckingham, and took possession of
the barb. Cottington and Endymion Porter looked
completely puzzled, but made no remark.
As soon as El Cortejo had mounted the beau-
tiful barb consigned to him, he said to the prince
" You will not need my escort farther, senores.
There are no robbers on the other side of the Somo-
sierra. Vayan ustedes con Dios."
So saying, he put himself at the head of his
band, and, attended by Koque, rode back the way
he had come.
" Deuce take me if I can understand it ! " men-
tally ejaculated Graham, as he followed the prince
and Buckingham towards the venta. " But I half
suspect that the rascal who has just left us is El
THE SPANISH BIATCH. 75
THE ALCALDE OE CABANILLAS.
During the halt of the troop at the venta of
Somosierra an examination was made, by order of
Charles, of all the pistols and carbines, when it
turned out that the whole of them had been un-
loaded. The cartridges in the bandoliers were
likewise empty. No explanation of this alarming
discovery was offered by the prince and Bucking-
ham, who likewise maintained a profound silence
as to what had passed between them and El Cor-
On quitting the village, the travellers skirted the
76 THE SPANISH MATCH.
snow-covered peaks, which formed the summit of
the mountain; and here the cold was intense, but
the temperature soon became milder as they de-
scended the southern side of the cordillera. While
pursuing their course they came upon a savage-
looking pass, where many a murder had been per-
petrated, as was shown by the numerous memorial
crosses lining the road. However, they passed
this " malo sitio" without being attacked. At
Buitrago they obtained a fresh relay of mules, and
then pushed on to Cabanillas, a small village at the
foot of the lesser mountain chain. Riding up to
a venta, Charles inquired of the host, who was
standing at the door talking to a couple of travel-
lers, whether he could give them aught for dinner.
"Ay, that I can, your worship," replied the
ventero, a fat, merry-looking little fellow. " I can
give you as good a dinner as you will get between
this and Madrid — an olla podrida, fried trout from
the river, poached eggs, and a quisado of rabbit."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 77
"That will do," said Charles. "Let us have the
repast with all possible despatch, for we are in haste
to proceed on our journey;'
"I will order it at once, your worship," replied
the ventero, rushing into the house.
As Charles and Buckingham dismounted and
gave their horses to a groom, the two travellers,
who had been examining the animals with great
curiosity, followed the man to the stable.
Meanwhile, Charles and Buckingham, with their
attendants, entered the venta and proceeded to the
comedor, where they sat down, in anxious expecta-
tion of tlie repast. But more than half an hour
elapsed and no dinner appeared, when a consi-
derable bustle was heard outside, and the door was
thrown open by the host, who, instead of bringing
in the anxiously-expected olla podrida and fried
trout, introduced a stout, consequential-looking
personage, whom he announced as Don Timoteo
del ]Mohno, Alcalde de Cabanillas. The alcalde
78 THE SPANISH MATCH.
was attended by a couple of grim-looking alguacils,
wearing long black cloaks, and provided 'with
staves. Behind these officers came the two inqui-
sitive travellers previously mentioned, while a
number of muleteers, together with the whole
household of the venta, male and female, filled up
When the alcalde had got within a short distance
of Charles and his companions, who arose to salute
him, he called out, " Don Melchior, and Don
Geronimo, be pleased to step forward, and prefer
your charge against these persons."
" We accuse them of having in their possession
two horses, of which we have been robbed by the
noted El Cortejo," replied Melchior. " We knew
the animals the moment we clapped eyes upon
tliem, but we did not venture to claim them till
we had obtained your worship's aid."
"You did perfectly right," repHed the alcalde.
" Where and when were you robbed of the horses,
senores ? "
THE SPANISH MATCH. 79
"Two days ago, your worship, between Robre-
gordo and Somosierra," replied Geronimo. " Our
belief is that all these persons are bandits. It is
true they have the air of caballeros, but then your
worship will bear in mind that El Cortejo affects
the manners of a hidalgo, and that several of his
band are reported to be ruined spendthrifts of good
" I have heard as much," said the alcalde.
" Now, picaros, what account do you give of your-
selves?" he added to Charles.
*' We have no account whatever to give," re-
turned the prince. " We readily admit that we
had the horses in question from El Cortejo" — (this
admission produced a great sensation, and after it
had subsided the prince went on) — " but if these
gentlemen can prove their title to them, to your
worship's satisfaction, they shall have them."
" Would you have me understand that your
captain gave you the horses?" demanded the
80 THE SPANISH MATCH.
"El Cortejo was obliging enough to give them
to us in exchange for a couple of barbs, each of
which was worth a dozen such horses," replied
" Ha ! then you mean to assert that you have
been robbed by him ? " said the alcalde.
" Not being in a condition to reject his terms,
senor alcalde, we thought it best to comply with
them," rejoined Charles.
" By San Lorenzo, such appears to be the ordi-
nary practice of El Cortejo/' cried Melchior. " He
gave us a couple of mules in exchange for our
"Very likely the mules were stolen," observed
" Your worship has hit the mark," cried an
arriero, pressing forward. " They were stolen from
me. I have just discovered Capitana and Paquita
in the stable, and the poor beasts knew me at
THE SPANISH MATCH. 81
"Did you receive anything in exchange?" in-
quired the alcalde.
" Yes, your worship — a miserable donkey," re-
plied the muleteer.
This reply caused much hilarity among the audi-
" Holy mother ! El Cortejo seems to be at the
bottom of it all ! " exclaimed the alcalde.
" He is the perpetrator of all the robberies in
the Somosierra, your worship," observed the ven-
" All ' these worthy and honourable persons ap-
pear to have been robbed by him," continued the
alcalde. " I am at a loss how to settle the matter."
" I will show your worship how to settle it," said
Charles. " Let the two gentlemen restore the
mules to the arriero, and they shall have their
" Por nuestra Senora del Carmen ! you have cut
the knot of the difficulty, senor," cried the alcalde.
VOL. II. G
82 THE SPANISH MATCH.
"But I am afraid you won't get back your
"Not unless your worship can capture El Cor-
tejo, and I fear there is little chance of that," re-
" Sooner or later I shall catch him, seiior,"
rejoined the alcalde. " But it appears to me that
this matter is at an end. I presume you are con-
tent, seuores?" he added to Melchior and Gero-
" We have good reason to be so," they replied.
*' We are greatly beholden to these caballeros, and
are sorry to have doubted them for a moment."
And, bowing to Charles and the others, they
quitted the room.
" I will go and take possession of Capitana and
Paquita," said the muleteer, following them.
The alcalde was likewise about to depart, but
Charles begged hiiii to stay and partake of their
repast, and the worthy man readily complied. Ac-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 83
corcliugly, the grim-looking alguacils were dis-
missed, and the room being cleared of all intruders,
an excellent dinner was soon afterwards placed upon
the table, to which all the party did justice.
Just as they concluded, the ventero rushed into
the room in a state of great excitement, exclaim-
"You have been tricked, seiiores — shamefully
tricked ! — and so have I. What do you think ? —
nay, you will never guess, so I must e'en tell you
— those two travellers, who styled themselves Don
Melchior and Don Gcronimo, are rogues and rob-
bers, and so is the arriero, Pablo."
" What is this you tell us, Tito ? " cried the
alcalde, starting up. " Why, you assured me they
were honourable men."
" On my conscience, I believed them to be so,
your worship," replied the ventero ; " but I have
found out my mistake, and it drives me mad to
think I could have been so easily duped. They
84 THE SPANISH MATCH.
owe me three dueros for meat, wine, and lodging,
and have gone off without paying a single cuarto."
" Have they carried off the horses and mules?"
demanded Charles, laughing.
" Ay, plague take 'em ! they have, seiior," re-
plied the host. " They have galloped off towards
the Somosierra, and I hope to San Nicolas they
may break their necks on the way. Their parting
words to me were, ' Tell the caballeros we are gone
to join our noble captain, El Cortejo.' "
"Let us after them, senores! — let us after them !"
cried the alcalde. " Bring out your best mules,
Tito ! — bring out your best mules ! "
" It is impossible we can accompany you, seiior
alcalde," replied Charles. " We must be in Ma-
drid this evening. Obey his worship's order, good
host, and bring out your best mules without delay
— but they must be for us."
" Well, if you are obliged to depart, seilores, no
more need be said," observed the alcalde ; " and I
can only wish you a pleasant journey."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 85
Shortly afterwards, the travellers had mounted
their mules, and -were making their way rapidly
across the vast arid plain which lay between them
Their next halt was at Fuencarral, and some
two hours later, just as evening was coming on, the
walls and towers of Madrid could be distinguished.
Charles uttered an exclamation of joy at the
sight, and his enthusiasm and satisfaction were
shared by the Avhole of the cavalcade. For some
time no one had spoken, but now every tongue
was let loose, and the flagging spirits and energies
of the party seemed instantaneously to revive. The
mules, too, appeared to participate in the general
exhilaration, and, aware that their journey was
nearly at an end, voluntarily quickened their pace,
and soon brought their riders to the gates of the
A certain feeling of disappointment crossed
Charles as he gazed at the reddish-coloured mud
walls, garnished with Moorish-looking towers and
8& THE SPANISH MATCH.
minarets, that rose before him, and he almost in-
voluntarily exclaimed, "Can this be Madrid?"
" Yes, this is Madrid, your highness," replied
Cottlngton, who chanced to be near him; "but
you must not judge of the city by its walls, any
more than you would fruit by the husk."
" Were the walls ten times uglier than they
are, they would be welcome to me as Mecca to the
devout Mussulman ! " cried Charles. " But let us
not linger outside. The gate stands invitingly
open. Follow me, gentlemen."
Having passed through the archway, the travel-
lers found themselves in a park. A wide road run-
ning through it soon brought them to a woody
valley, which lay between them and the city. At
the bottom of the hollow, extending to some dis-
tance on either hand, was a broad open space,
wherein was collected a great concourse of well-
dressed persons of both sexes, who were prome-
nading to and fro as if in a mall. Cottington in-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 87
formed Charles that this pleasant spot was the
Though tempted to linger within the Prado,
the travellers passed through the gay groups, and
mounting the acclivity on the farther side of the
woody valley, reached the opening of the splendid
Calle de Alcala, which, at this part, might be justly
styled a street of palaces.
" At last you are in the ' very noble and very
loyal' city of Madrid, as Enrique IV. styled it,"
remarked Cottington to the prince. " The Madri-
lefios say it is tlie only capital — solo Madrid es
corte. Whether it deserves the distinction, your
highness will determine hereafter. Shall we go
on? The House of Seven Chimneys is hard
Proceeding for a short distance along the Calle
de Alcala, the cavalcade, under the guidance of
Cottington, diverged into a narrow street on the
right, hemmed in by tall habitations, and even-
00 THE SPANISH MATCH.
tually reached a small plaza, at the farther end of
which was a large sombre-looking mansion, flanked
on either side by high walls, evidently enclosing a
garden. A feature in this house, which instantly
attracted the attention of Charles, as well as of
such of his attendants as had not previously seen
the structure, was its massive and singularly-shaped
" Behold it ! " cried Cottington, pointing to
the mansion. " Behold the House of Seven Chim-
" Let us count the chimneys, and make sure,"
cried Buckingham. " His majesty desired precise
information on the subject. By Heaven ! there are
" Count again, my lord," rejoined Cottington,
laughing. "Your eyes deceive you. There are
" No such thing !" exclaimed Buckingham, con-
fidently. " I appeal to his highness and to all pre-
sent whether I am not right. There are two stacks
THE SPANISH MATCH. 89
— and three cliimneys in each stack. The house
is improperly named."
" We are all of your lordship's opinion," cried
those appealed to.
" The designation is perfectly correct," remarked
Cottington. " I will back my assertion by any
wager your lordship pleases."
"Where, then, is the seventh chimney?" cried
" It is just as visible as the others," returned
" To you it may be, but plague take me if I can
discern it!" cried Buckingham. "There must be
witchcraft in the matter."
" I hope not," observed Charles, gravely. " Give
us an explanation of the mystery, Sir Francis."
" That is easily done, your highness," replied
Cottington. " It is there," he added, pointing to
a cupok in the centre of the building.
A loud laugh, in which all but Buckingham
joined, followed this explanation.
90 THE SPANISH MATCH.
"Bah! that is not a chimney," cried the mar-
" Excuse me, my lord, it is the main chimney
— la chimenea principal, as the Spaniards say," re-
joined Cottington. " There is a curious story con-
nected witli that chimney."
"You must find another occasion to tell it, Sir
Francis," observed Charles. " We will now enter
" Rightly called, I maintain, — ' La Casa de las
Siete Chimenea?,' " rejoined Cottington, determined
to have the last word.
Jzxia of tliz jpirst ^ooh
THE INFANTA MARIA.
THE EARL OF BRISTOL.
While Charles and his attendants were exa-
mining the outside of the House of Seven Chim-
neys, and questioning the propriety of its designa-
tion, two persons were seated in a large lofty room
on the ground floor at the rear of the mansion.
They had not long returned from the Prado,
and their talk was of no very serious or impor-
tant matters, and chiefly referred to the persons
they had met during their promenade. Both of
them were very handsome-looking men of middle
94 THE SPANISH MATCH.
age, but so different in appearance that it was easy
to tell at a glance that one was an Englishman and
the other a Spaniard.
In age the Englishman might be about forty-
three, and in addition to possessing a tall and
graceful figure, and a noble and prepossessing
countenance, lighted by keen grey eyes, he had
an air of great distinction. His manners were
polished and refined, and from his long residence
in Madrid and constant intercourse with the court,
he had contracted a gravity of look and deportment
befitting a high-born and high-bred Castilian. His
dark locks, which were cut short, so as to display a
well-shaped head and lofty brow, replete with in-
tellect, were streaked with grey, but his pointed
beard and moustaches were still black. His doublet
and large trunk hose were of brown velvet, and
his mantle of the same material. His throat was
encircled by a stiffly-starclied ruff, and by his side
he wore a long rapier. We need scarcely say that
THE SrANISII MATCH. 95
this distinguished personage was the Earl of Bris-
tol, then English ambassador extraordinary to the
court of Madrid.
Endowed, as we have shown, with remarkable
qualifications both of mind and body, John Digby,
who was of an ancient Warwickshire family, and
nearly connected with the unfortunate Sir Everard
Digby, an actor in the Gunpowder Treason, was
well qualified to shine at a court like that of
James, where personal graces went for so much.
Accordingly, when, after spending some years in
foreign travel, young Digby was presented to the
king, he was very graciously received, and bade
fair to become chief favourite. Quickly appointed
a gentleman of the privy chamber, knighted, and
made a member of the council. Sir John Digby
was sent as ambassador to Spain on two occasions
— both of which missions he discharged in a very
satisfactory manner. Subsequently he proceeded
to Germany to negotiate terms of peace for the
96 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Elector Palatine, but though the embassy resulted
in failure, its ill success is to be attributed to James
rather than his ambassador.
Some years prior to our story, the able and active
diplomatist we are describing had been raised to the
peerage as Lord Digby, and rewarded for his ser-
vices by the castle and domains of Sherborne, of
which Sir Walter Raleigh had been unjustly de-
prived; but to give eclat to his fourth and last mis-
sion to Madrid, the purpose of which was to treat
with Philip IV., then newly come to the throne, for
the hand of his sister, the Infanta Maria, he was
created Earl of Bristol. On his arrival at the
Spanish capital, Bristol, in conjunction with the
resident ambassador. Sir Walter Aston, zealously
addressed himself to the object of his mission, and,
though he encountered numerous obstacles, suffi-
cient progress was made to warrant him in believ-
ing that the match would be accomplished. Buck-
ingham, as we have previously shown, hated Bristol,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 97
and it was with the design of robbing the ambas-
sador of his anticipated triumph, that the favourite
proposed the romantic journey to Madrid, described
in the foregoing chapters.
We now come to the Spaniard, who was a much
smaller man than Bristol, but well made and very
handsome. His complexion was dark, his eyes of
the same hue, and his brows and hair jet black. A
pointed beard completed the fine oval of his face.
His manner was fascinating, but an indefinable
expression of cunning pervaded his features. His
habiliments, cloak, pourpoint, and hose were of
black velvet, and well became his graceful figure.
Around his neck he wore the cross of Calatrava.
This crafty personage was no other than Doa
Diego Sarmiento de Acuna, Conde dc Gondomar^
who had been for several years ambassador at the
English court, and by his adroit flattery of the
monarch, his bribes to the venal courtiers, and his *
great diplomatic skill, had been eminently success-
VOL. II. H
98 THE SPANISH MATCH.
ful in carrying out the purposes of his mission.
Admitted to great familiarity by James, and able
to approach him at his festive moments, when he
was not entirely master of himself, Gondomar had
frequently obtained important secrets from the un-
guarded king. Believing Gondomar to be devoted
to his interests, Buckingham kept up a correspond-
ence with him on his return to his own court. It
will be remembered that a private despatch from
Gondomar, urging Buckingham to bring the prince
to Madrid, decided the favourite upon that course
of action. Ostensibly, Gondomar was on excellent
terms with Bristol, but he consorted with him
chiefly for the purpose of reporting his proceedings
" It is strange there are no despatches from Eng-
land," remarked Bristol. " For three days I have
looked impatiently for them, but none arrive. I
have had no answer to my letter of the 4th Fe-
bruary, and yet it required an immediate re-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 99
"No doubt Kin<^ James cannot make up his
royal mind, my lord," rejoined Gondomar. "We
know he is vacillating in his policy."
"But lie leaves me in a state of indecision,
which is very perplexing, and may be prejudicial
to our interests/' said Bristol. "I speak frankly
to you, count, because I know you to be a staunch
supporter of the match."
"I desire it as much as any EngHshman can do
-more so, perhaps," remarked Gondomar. "But
there is no reason for uneasiness. The next intelli-
gence you get from England will be satisfactory,
depend upon it. Perhaps the courier may have
been stopped in the mountains. El Cortejo and
his band are in the Somosierra. The last courier
from Paris, who arrived two days ago, was robbed
of his letters. Your despatches may possibly be in
El Cortejo's possession."
"This is a deplorable state of things, count,"
said Bristol-" really disgraeoful to the county.."
100 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" It is bad enough, I admit," rejoined Gondomar,
" but the evil cannot be remedied. We shall
always, I fear, have salteadores in our sierras. No
sooner is one band exterminated than another
springs up. There have always been the Seven
Boys of Ecija. If your despatches should not ar-
rive to-night, I will cause a detachment of arque-
buzeros to be sent to the Somosierra."
" You are very good, count. His Most Catholic
Majesty owes it to his subjects, and to such as
enter his dominions, that the highways be kept
" You forget, ray lord, that I myself have been
robbed on Shooter's Hill, within half an hour of
London," rephed Gondomar. "I see little differ-
ence between your highwaymen and our saltea-
dores, except that the latter are the bolder villains.
But let us change the subject. You were not at
court to-day. The king noticed your absence, and
spoke of it to the Conde-Duque."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 101
"And what said Ollvarez?" inquired Bristol,
" He could assign no cause, but promised to see
your lordsliip to-morrow; so you may prepare for
" Heaven grant the despatch may arrive in the
interim ! " cried Bristol. " 1 am puzzled how to
At this moment the door opened, and a young
man came in. This was Harry Jermyn, son of Sir
Thomas Jermyn, and the ambassador's chief secre-
"What news, Jermyn?" cried Bristol, eagerly.
" Has the courier arrived ? Have you got the
despatch ? "
" No, my lord," replied Jermyn, whose counte-
nance wore a very singular expression, " but a gen-
tleman is without who has ridden post from Lon-
" Ha ! he may bring a letter, or a message from
102 THE SPANISH MATCH.
the king," cried Bristol. " Who is it, Jer-
" He gave a very unpretending name, my lord,"
replied the young secretary, unable to repress a
smile. "He calls himself Tom Smith."
" Tom Smith ! 'Sdeath ! how should I know
him, when there are ten thousand Englishmen so
called ? Is he a gentleman ? "
" He has the air of one, my lord," replied Jer-
" Well, admit him."
On this the Conde de Gondomar arose to depart.
But Bristol stopped him.
" Stay, count, I pray you," he said. " Tarry
at least till I ascertain whether this Tom Smith has
any private message for me."
Meanwhile, Jermyn went to the door, and called
to the person outside, who instantly marched into
Totally unprepared for such an apparition,
THE SrAKISH MATCH. 103
Bristol did not at first recognise tlie tall figure in
travel-soiled habiliments, and funnel-topped boots
covered with dust, as that of the magnificent Mar-
quis of Buckingham, but as the so-called Tom
Smith advanced, and came more within the light,
the truth flashed upon the earl. Better prepared,
Gondomar knew the marquis at once.
" My lord of Buckingham ! " exclaimed Bristol,
greatly astonished. "Do I indeed behold you?"
" Yes, I am here in person in Madrid, my lord,
and only just arrived," replied Buckingham.
"You are heartily welcome," said Bristol.
" This is a most unlooked-for pleasure. But
Jermyn told me you had ridden post from Lon-
don. Surely he must be wrong?"
" I have ridden every mile of the way, my
lord, and I promise you I found it a devilish long
journey," rejoined Buckingham.
" I dare say you did," said Gondomar, cordially
saluting him. "I am glad you have got here safe
104 THE SPANISH MATCH.
and sound, and have escaped the bandits of the
" I can give the last news of them," replied
Buckingham. "I have been robbed by El Cor-
•tejo. I did not lose much by him, though, and I
must say he conducts his nefarious business like a
" I have so many questions to ask your lordship,
that I scarcely know where to begin," said Bristol;
" but my first dutiful inquiries must be in regard to
my liege lord the king, and our gracious prince.
How fare they both?"
"Both well," replied Buckingham. " The king
was in his wonted health when I took leave of him
in Whitehall. And as to the prince — why he can
speak for himself."
" What ! is his highness here ? " cried Bristol, in
extremity of surprise.
" My brother Jack, who represents him, is in the
ante-chamber," replied Buckingham.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 105
"Heaven and eartli ! can it be? I am lost in
wonder !" cried Bristol. " Why did you not tell
me this before, my lord? I fly to his highness."
"Stay where you are," rejoined Buckingham.
" I will summon him. Prithee come in, brother
Jaclc," he added, calling at the door.
Charles forthwith entered the room. His habi-
liments and boots, like those of Buckingham, gave
evidence of the long journey he had undergone;
but his looks did not manifest much fatigue, and
liis deportment was as dignified as usual.
As he came in, Bristol and Gondomar instantly
threw themselves at his feet, and expressed the live-
liest satisfaction at beholding him. Thanking
them for their welcome in the most gracious terms,
Charles raised them, and said to Bristol, with a
smile, "You did not expect to see me here, my
" In truth I did not, your highness," replied the
carl. " I never dreamed of such an event. But
1,0 G THE SPANISH MATCH.
tlie unexpectedness of your arrival heightens my
joy at beholding you."
"You can guess what brings me to Madrid —
eh, my lord ? " said Charles, with a glance at Gon-
"Your highness can have but one errand," re-
plied Bristol, bowing low.
"Yes, the motive of your highness's journey is
easily divined," remarked Gondomar. "The most
chivalrous prince in Europe is come in person to
claim his bride. Such an act of gallantry and
courage, performed by a private gentleman, would
excite our admiration — how much, then, must we
be moved, when the caballero andante is heir to a
throne ! "
"Without taking too much credit to myself,
count," said Charles, "I may say that the journey
has been attended with some little peril, and with
some obstructions, as I will hereafter recount to
you. I have travelled from London incognito,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 107
under the simple name of Jack Smith, and my
lord marquis here has played the part of my bro-
ther Tom. We have only been known by those
names throughout the journey. Our escort has
been slight, consisting merely of Cottington, En-
dymion Porter, and Dick Graham — all of whom
are here. As you will naturally suppose, we have
had some strange adventures by the way, and, in-
deed, have courted them rather than shunned
"That I can readily believe," remarked Bris-
" Twice or thrice we have fallen among robbers,
and have even been taken for robbers ourselves,"
pursued Charles; " and to give you an idea of the
horses and mules, good, bad, and detestable, that
we have ridden, would be impossible. But, on
the whole, we have had a merry time of it. Have
we not, brother Tom?"
" The merriest three weeks I have ever known.
108 THE SPANISH MATCH.
brother Jack," replied Buckingham. " I am only-
sorry the journey is at an end."
" I cannot go quite so far as that," said Charles,
^' but I shall always look back to it with pleasure."
"There is only one thought that mars my de-
light at beholding your highness," remarked Bristol,
somewhat gravely. "Forgive me if I venture to
inquire whether this journey has been undertaken
with your royal father's sanction?"
" That question, which should never have been
asked, my lord," interposed Buckingham, haughtily,
" is sufficiently answered by his highness's presence
here — and by my presence."
" ]\Iake yourself quite easy, my good lord," said
Charles, kindly, to Bristol. "I had his majesty's
entire sanction for the journey. I have letters from
him to yourself, to Sir Walter Aston, and to the
" I am glad to receive that assurance from your
highness's lips," rejoined Bristol. " Knowing your
THE SPANISH MATCH. 10 i)
august father's tender love for you, I could scarcely
conceive that he would allow you to incur such
risks. I am sure he never consulted the council."
" His majesty felt it to be necessary for the suc-
cess of his plans that the prince should repair to
^Madrid," observed Buckingham, with cold signifi-
cance; "and, being certain that the journey would
be opposed by the council, he kept it secret. To
me, my lord, he entrusted the precious charge of
"Am I to understand that his majesty is dis-
satisfied with my conduct?" said Bristol, in a tone
that showed how much he was hurt.
" You will understand that henceforward the
treaty is under my management," rejoined Buck-
" Then I am superseded?" cried Bristol.
" You have a master," said Buckingham.
"A master in you, my lord — not so," rejoined
Bristol, with equal haughtiness.
110 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" In the prince," said Buckingham.
" I acknowledge his hiohness," said Bristol; " but
you, my lord — never ! "
"That remains to be seen," muttered Buckingham.
" A truce to this, my lords," said Charles. " Let
not my arrival at Madrid be marked by a misun-
derstanding between you. You have been over-
hasty, Geordie. My royal father and myself fully
appreciate your services, my good lord," he added
to Bristol; " and it is from no distrust of your zeal,
either on the king's part or my own, that I have
come here. His majesty felt that my presence must
bring the matter to a speedy issue. But I shall be
guided by your advice."
Bristol bowed deeply, but was too much moved
to make any other reply.
" Your highness may command me in every
way," said Gondomar to Charles. " I am an Eng-
lishman at heart, and will serve you as faithfully
as one of your own subjects."
THE SPANISH MATCH. Ill
" I shall not hesitate to put your zeal to the test,
count," rejoined Cliarles. " To-morrow you shall
make known my arrival to Olivarez."
" It will surprise him as much as it has surprised
me," observed Bristol.
"And perhaps be equally displeasing to him,"
^' It will gratify me to obey your highness's com-
mands," said Gondomar. "I will not venture to
predict what will follow the announcement, but I
am sure to-morrow will be a day of rejoicing, such
as has rarely been witnessed, at our court. And to
one person whom I forbear to mention, the news of
your arrival will be more welcome than words can
" She ought to be the first to know it," cried
Charles, eagerly. " Can it be so managed?"
" The task is difficult and dangerous; but I must
prove my devotion to your highness, and I will,"
said Gondomar. " The Infanta shall know of your
112 THE SPANISH MATCH.
arrival to-night. Nay, more, you shall see her, if
you are so minded."
" The grand object of my journey will then be
accomplished," cried Charles, transported with de-
" Ah ! but you may not be able to exchange a
word with her," said Gondomar. " Your highness
must consent to be entirely under my control. The
slightest imprudence on your part would destroy
me. Ask my Lord Bristol, and he will tell you
how rigorous are our notions of etiquette, and how
great will be the hazard I shall incur."
" Most assuredly you will risk disgrace, count,"
rejoined Bristol. " Let me dissuade your highness
from the step."
" The adventure is too much in accordance with
my wishes to be resisted," said Charles. "I will
consent to anything, count,"^ he added to Gondo-
mar, " provided I can obtain sight of the In-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 113
In that case you must accompany me to the
palace," said Gondomar. " You need make no
change in your attire. When there, I will find
you a disguise. I engage that you shall see the
Infanta, but I rely on your discretion."
" You may entirely rely upon it," rejoined
" We will go at once," cried Gondomar.
" Hold, prince ! " cried Bristol, throwing himself
upon his knees, and catching hold of Charles's
cloak, " I entreat you not to take this rash step.
The chances are a hundred to one that you are
discovered, and if so, the treaty will be efiectually
broken. Besides causing a great scandal which
can never be forgiven, you will inevitably bring
disgrace and ruin on the Conde de Gondomar."
" Do not think of me, your highness," said Gon-
domar. " I am ready to go with you at all hazards.
You have set us all such an example of courage
and gallantry, that we arc bound to imitate it. I
VOL. II. I
114 THE SPANISH MATCH.
shall be proud to play a small part in this ro-
" You will play a very important part in it, if
you bring me to her I love," said Charles.
'" Listen to me, prince, I implore you ! " cried
Bristol, earnestly. " Do not despise my counsels,
or you will repent it."
At this moment Buckingham approached the
prince on the other side, and whispered in his ear,
^' I mean to do so," replied Charles, in the same
tone. " Rise, my good lord," he added to Bristol.
"I know that your advice is well meant, but I
cannot follow it. You make no allowance for a
lover's impatience. An opportunity presents itself
to me of seeing the Infanta — think you I will
"My lord of Buckingham, I must appeal to
you for aid," said Bristol, earnestly. " The prince
has been entrusted to your charge by your sovereign
THE SP^VNISII MATCH. 115
master. You have the greatest influence witli his
highness. Exert it now, and prevent this rash step."
" I am not disposed to regard the matter in the
same serious light as yourselfj my lord," replied
Buckingham, indifferently. " Besides, the prince
is a knight-errant."
" You will be answerable for any ill consequences
that may ensue," said Bristol, sternly.
" I ain content to bear the responsibihty," re-
turned Buckingham, tlirowing himself with an air
of great nonchalance into a chair.
"Good night, my lords," cried Charles. "We
shall meet early in the morning."
" Long ere that, I trust," said Bristol. " Think
not I shall retire to rest till I know that your liigh-
ness has safely returned."
" I am perfectly easy," laughed Buckingham.
" I know that Gondomar will take good care of
your highness, and I shall, therefore, go to bed
as soon as I have supped. Buena fortuua ! "
116 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Charles and Gondomar then prepared to quit
the room, but Bristol stopped them.
" Hold a moment ! " he cried. " Since your high-
ness is resolved to go in spite of my remonstrances,
I pray you to leave the house privately, so that
none may know of your departure. I will make
some excuse to your attendants, and give them to
understand you have retired to rest. It is of the
last consequence that your visit to the palace be
"There your lordship is perfectly right," said
Gondomar. "Every precaution should be taken
to ensure secresy. The visit must not even be
" To guard against that risk," said Bristol, " do
you, count, pass forth as is your wont, and when
you are out of the house repair to the garden gate,
where I will bring his highness presently. You
know the place? "
"Perfectly," replied Gondomar.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 117
And with a significant glance at Buckingham
he quitted the room.
As soon as he was gone, the Earl of Bristol
opened a window which communicated by a short
flight of steps with the garden. Descending by
this outlet, the prince gained a broad gravel walk,
bordered by a parterre, adorned with oleander's,
myrtles, and other flowering and fragrant shrubs.
The garden was of considerable extent, and ap-
peared to be charmingly laid out in the formal
taste of the period, with clipped alleys and beds
of flowers, and boasted some tall cypresses, and two
extraordinarily large mulberry -trees, which are
even now in existence. The night was calm, the
stars shone brightly in the deep blue heavens, the
moon was in her first quarter, and hung like a cres-
cent on high. All was hushed in repose, and the
silence was only broken by the nightingales amid
the trees. Viewed from the garden, whence its full
size could be discerned, the mansion presented a
very imposing appearance.
118 THE SPANISH MATCH.
"You are well lodged here, my lord," said
Charles, looking back at the house.
" I have no cause for complaint," said Bristol.
" There is a good garden, as you see ; and though
the House of Seven Chimneys is not so large as
York House," he added to Buckingham, who had
come out with them, " it is large enough for me."
"Are there seven chimneys, my lord?" cried
Buckingham. ^' I doubt it, for I have counted
" Most certainly there are," replied Bristol. " It
is no misnomer. I will convince you of the fact
to-morrow. Your lordship is not the only person
puzzled by it. Originally there were only six
chimneys, but a seventh was built in jest."
" Under what circumstances? " demanded Charles.
" Your highness shall hear when you have leisure
to listen to the story," replied Bristol. " We are
now at the gate."
With this, he unlocked the door. Posted on the
other side of it they found Gondomar.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 119
" Your highness can come forth," said the latter.
" The coast is quite clear."
" Take the key with you," said Bristol, deliver-
ing- it to the prince. "Return this way. I will
be on the watch for you. I shall not know a me-
mentos peace till I behold you again. Heaven
guard your highness ! "
Charles then passed out, and having secured the
door, accompanied Gondomar along a narrow lane
running between high walls, the outer of which
skirted the convent of San Geronimo.
On reaching the plazuela, in front of the House
of Seven Chimneys, they found Gondomar's coach,
and, immediately entering it, were driven along
the Callc de Alcala and the Calle Mayor, to the
grand plaza in which stood the royal palace.
120 THE SPANISH MATCH.
OP THE MIETING BETWEEN CHARLES AND THE INFANTA
The old Palacio Real of Madrid, to which our
story refers, must not be confounded with the exist-
ing palace, which, comparatively speaking, is a
modern building, being only completed about a
hundred years ago. The ancient structure was, in
fact, the Moorish Alcazar, and had been the abode
of the Caliphs till they were driven from New
Castile to Granada. It was first occupied as a
palace by Enrique IV., towards the close of the
fifteenth century, but few changes were made in
it till the time of Charles V., when the pile was
THE SPANISH MATCH. 121
partially rebuilt and enlarged, and its original cha-
racter materially destroyed. Philip II. may be said
to be the first Christian monarcli who dwelt within
the Alcazar of Madrid, for until the completion of
the Escorial, in 1584, he made it his chief resi-
dence. Not till the reign of this gloomy monarch
did Madrid itself become the capital of Spain, and
from the same epoch must be dated the importance
of the city. Few changes were made in the Alcazar
by Philip III., who was perfectly content with the
palace bequeathed to him by his illustrious sire;
and Philip IV. had as yet been too short a time on
the throne to attempt any improvements. Though
heterogeneous in its architecture, and certainly not
so beautiful as it had been in the days of its Mos-
lem rulers, the royal palace of Madrid Avas a vast
and magnificent pile, occupying a most command-
ing position on the heights overlooking the valley
of the Manzanares. Immediately beneath the royal
edifice, extending from the foot of the eminence
122 THE SPANISH MATCH.
on wliicli it stood to the banks of the river, was the
Campo del Moro, part of which was laid out as
Viewed either from the grand plaza, from the
valley, or from afar, the palace presented a most
striking and picturesque appearance. It was en_
tered by two Moorish gates, the beautiful architec-
ture of which was happily undisfigured, and the
buildings surrounding the spacious court were
studded with cupolas and minarets. Above these
towered the ancient keep, with its zig-zag battle-
ments and turrets at each angle. Besides a number
of small courts, the palace comprehended a superb
patio, surrounded by apartments, laid out in the
Arabian style. Such were the principal features of
the Alcazar, as it was still generally called. Op-
portunities of examining it more in detail will
occur as we proceed.
The coach of the Conde Gondomar was instantly
admitted into the outer court of the palace by the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 123
warders stationed at the gate. In tliis court several
carriages were drawn up, and the place was crowded
with lacqueys in magnificent liveries, grooms of the
stable, arquebusiers, alabarderos, and footmen hold-
ing torches that cast a ruddy glare on tlie walls.
On alighting, Gondomar and the prince entered the
palace by the grand portal, in front of which a
guard was stationed; but instead of mounting the
grand staircase, they passed through a door at the
rear of the spacious vestibule. Charles now found
himself in a long passage, dimly lighted by lamps
hung at distant intervals. Evidently communi-
cating with the apartments of the various subor-
dinate officers of the royal household, this passage
brought them to a back staircase, mounting which,
they came to an upper corridor, containing the
lodgings of the meninos, or pages, appointed to
attend upon the queen and the Infanta. This cor-
ridor was lighted in the same manner as tliat on
the ground floor, and as Gondomar traversed it, he
124 THE SPANISH MATCH.
counted the doors on the right hand, and stopping
at the ninth, opened it. The room was vacant,
but a lamp was burning on the table, and the noise
caused by their entrance brought out from the
inner room a tall, handsome young man, attired in
a doublet and mantle of orange-coloured satin, em-
broidered with gold. The menino — for such he
was — expressed his surprise by his looks, but he
made no remark.
"I want you to do me a service, Pepe," said
" Your lordship has only to command me," re-
plied the menino, bowing.
"It is a very simple matter, and will give you
no trouble," said Gondomar. " All I wish you to
do is to lend this caballero a dress."
"With the greatest pleasure," returned Pepe.
" Pray step this way, senor, and you shall choose
one for yourself."
" Hold a moment, Pepe," said Gondomar. " You
THE SPANISH MATCH. 125
ought to understand that the caballero means to
"Personate me!" exclaimed Pepe, in alarm.
"That is quite another affair. Your lordship must
excuse me. I don't like it. I shall have to bear
the blame of any indiscretion the caballero may
" Give yourself no uneasiness, Pepe," said Gon-
domar. "The caballero has the strongest motives
for caution. Equip him in your newest suit. You
shall have it back in an hour."
" In spite of these assurances, my mind misgives
me," said Pepe. " But I am under too many
obligations to your lordship to refuse. Come with
And he took Charles into the inner room, from
which, in a short space of time, the prince emerged,
attired in garments of orange-coloured satin, like
the menino. The habiliments might have been
made for him, so well did they fit.
126 THE Sf-AXISH MATCH.
" Bravo ! This will do admirably ! " cried Gon-
domar, on beholding him.
" Yes, the caballero makes a very handsome
page," said Pepe; "but let him keep clear of the
other meninos and ushers, or he will assuredly be
" Never ^^fear," rejoined Gondomar. " Await
So saying, he quitted the room with Charles.
From the corridor the count and the newly-made
page proceeded through a variety of passages, up
and down staircases, until they came to a superb
suite of rooms, the windows of" which, Gondomar
informed his companion, overlooked the valley of
the Manzanares. All these were lighted up, but
there was no company within them, only a few
attendants standing near the open doors, who
bowed respectfully as Gondomar passed on.
At length the count and his companion came
to a grand saloon, at the door of which two gen-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 127
tlemen ushers, bearing wands, were stationed. Only
the central chandelier was lighted, so tliat the two
extremities of the vast hall were, comparatively
speaking, buried in gloom. A concert Avas going
forward in this part of the saloon, and Charles
learnt from his conductor that the chief per-
formers at it were members of the royal family.
Surrounded by meninos and meninas, intermingled
with a few courtiers and ladies of rank, all stand-
ing, sat, near a table on which some musical in-
struments were placed, tlie young King of Spain,
with liis youthful and lovely queen, his two bro-
thers, the Infantes Don Carlos and the Cardinal
Don Fernando, both of whom were mere boys,
and the peerless damsel, whom Charles had tra-
velled so far to behold — the Infanta Maria. There
she sat in the midst of the group, the object
towards which all eyes were turned, for she had
just taken up a mandoline, and was about to sing.
Gondomar and Charles, who had noiselessly ad-
128 THE SPANISH MATCH.
vanced to a short distance within the saloon, stood
still, and the prince, who was enraptured at the
sight of the Infanta, held his breath to listen.
After a brief prelude she began. Her song was
one of those romantic ballads which breathe of
love and chivalry, and told how a Spanish maiden
was carried off by a Moor, and after long cap-
tivity was delivered by her knightly lover. The
utmost effect possible was given to the words,
and Charles was alternately melted by tenderness,
moved to pity, and roused to martial enthusiasm.
The singer's voice was exquisite, and the prince
felt a void in his breast when the sweet notes
ceased. Perhaps if she had known whose ears
were drinking in those melodious sounds, she could
not have produced them.
This ballad closed the concert, and when it was
over the royal party fell into conversation. Coun-
selling the prince to remain where he Avas, Gon-
domar stepped forward, and, after making a re-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 129
verence to tlie king and queen, entered into con-
versation with the Infanta.
Charles was now able to study the features of
his mistress, and as he looked at her his admira-
tion increased. The Infanta Maria Avas just seven-
teen, and her charms were well calculated to in-
flame the prince. She possessed the same sHght
symmetrical figure as her sister, Anne of Austria,
and if they had been together it would have been
difficult to decide which of the two was the most
beautiful. Maria had tender blue eyes, soft and
deep as summer skies, beautifully pencilled eye-
brows, a ravishingly fair complexion, full lips that
blushed like coral, and teeth like pearls. Her face
was oval in form, and her features charming,
though not classically moulded. Her tresses were
of a light golden hue. Their sole ornament on the
present occasion was an oleander flower, placed at
the side of the head. Her attire was of black
velvet, embroidered with gold, which set off" the
VOL. II. K
130 THE SPANISH MATCH.
dazzling fairness of her skin. Lovely as slae was,
it was evident that in another year she would be
lovelier still. Her manner was graceful and cap-
tivating, and had none of the coldness and re-
serve that Charles expected. He forgot that he
saw her when she was entirely unrestrained by
When Charles could remove his gaze from the
Infanta, he turned to the young King of Spain,
whose features strongly resembled those of his
sister. Phihp had a very youthfid appearance —
indeed, he was under twenty — and this juvenile
look was heightened by a slight graceful figure,
blonde locks, large blue eyes, a complexion of
almost feminine delicacy, and small hands and feet
that even an Andalusian dame might have envied.
His features were well formed, but his visage was
somewhat long, and he had the protruding under
lip which marked his line, and proclaimed him a
descendant of Charles V. A fair silken moustache
THE SPANISH MATCH. 131
shaded his upper hp, uud with a sHght pointed
beard in some degree counteracted the elleminacy
of his expression. In stature he was tall, and his
person well proportioned, though slender. His
manner was high bred and haughty. His vest-
ments were of carnation satin embroidered with
black silk and gold, and displayed his elegant
lii^ure to eieat advantao-e. Around his neck he
wore the Toison d'Or, and the cross of Santiago
was embroidered on his mantle. Naturally in-
dolent and feeble in character, the young king was
entirely governed by his favourite and minister,
the Conde-Duque de Olivarez, but he possessed
highly cultivated tastes, and was a great patron of
art and letters.
Philip's two brothers, as we have said, were
merely boys — the elder, Don Carlos, not being
more than fifteen — but they were well-grown,
well-favoured stripHngs, and promised to become
fme-looking men. In aspect and manner, the
132 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Infante Don Carlos differed totally from liis bro-
thers. His expression was thoughtful, and his
countenance was stamped with a gravity far be-
yond his years. His features were regular, his
complexion dark, his eyes large and black, and
his hair, which he wore short, of the same hue.
His gravity and dark complexion delighted the
people, Avho remarked, when he showed himself
among them, " At last we have got a prince of
our own colour." Don Carlos had no particular
title or post, but, as heir to the throne, ranked
as second person in the kingdom. He had a large
revenue, and was allowed precisely the same ward-
robe as the king. His costume on the present
occasion was of carnation satin, embroidered like
that of his royal brother.
The Infante Don Fernando was fair, with blonde
locks, tender blue eyes, and a skin soft and smooth
as that of a girl. Indeed, with his slim figure and
regular features, he looked like a damsel habited
THE SPANISH MATCH. 133
as a page. His habiliments were of black velvet.
Young as lie was, the Infante Don Fernando was
a prince of the Church, having already acquired
the dignity of cardinal. He was also Archbishop
of Toledo, accounted the highest spiritual dignity
in Christendom after the Papacy, inasmuch as the
Chancellorship of Castile was annexed to it, and
he possessed the large annual revenue of three
hundred thousand crowns. At the moment when
Charles's eye fell upon him, the boy-cardinal, arch-
bishop, and chancellor, who had infinitely more
the air of a page than of a grave ecclesiastical
dignitary, was conversing with the Papal Nuncio,
who formed one of the party, and occupied a seat
between him and the king.
One person alone remains to be described —
perhaps the most attractive of the party. This
was the young queen, Elizabeth of France. She
was only just nineteen, and consequently still in
the spring of her beauty. But she was very lovely,
134 THE SPANISH MATCH.
and had a noble figure. Her transparently white
skin set off to perfection her splendid black eyes,
arched brows, and rich black tresses. The young
queen had great vivacity of manner, laughed fre-
quently so as to display her pearly teeth, and her
looks and gestures were so eloquent and expressive
tliat Charles almost fancied he could understand
what she said.
Not much time, however, was allowed him for
further observation, for it soon became evident that
tlie party was about to break up. The Nuncio
was the first to rise. Respectfully saluting their
majesties, he retired, being conducted to the side-
door by the mayor-domo mayor, the Conde de
Puebla. Shortly afterwards the king and queen
prepared to depart, and, while taking leave of the
Infanta, her majesty embraced her tenderly. The
royal pair, followed by the two young princes,
and a crowd of courtiers and attendants, and pre-
ceded by the Conde de Puebla, passed out at the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 135
The only person now left of tlie royal party
was tlie Infanta, and she lingered because Gon-
domar had made her understand that he had some
intelligence to communicate to her.
" AVhat have you to say to me, count?" she
whispered, as the attention of the meninos and
damsels of honour was diverted by the departure
of their majesties.
" Prepare yourself for a great surprise, prin-
cesa," rephed Gondomar, in the same tone. " He
is here." '
"He! — who?" exclaimed the Infanta, fixing
her large eyes inquiringly upon him.
" Who else could it be but your lover, Don
Carlos Estuardo?" replied Gondomar.
" You amaze me ! " she cried, blushing deeply.
" I did not know the prince was in Madrid."
" He has only just arrived, and no one will be
made aware of the circumstance till to-morrow,"
replied Gondomar. " But he could not control his
impatience to behold you, so I consented to bring
136 THE SPANISH MATCH.
him here, and malce you acquainted witli his pre-
"Where — where is he?" demanded the Infanta,
in a voice tremulous with emotion, and scarcely
daring to look round.
^' Yonder — on the right — disguised as a page."
^' Heavens ! if he should be discovered ! " cried
the Infanta, with increasing emotion.
"Calm yourself, princesa, or you will attract
attention. He is dying to say a word to you."
"It must not he," she replied. "He is im-
prudent to venture here at all. You should not
have brought him, count."
" I could not resist his passionate prayers," said
Gondomar. " Neither would you blame me, if you
had heard him. Have you not a word for him,
" I know not what to say. Tell him — say I bid
"Is that all? It is but little, methinks, for a
lover who has come so far to behold his mistress."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 137
" No more, my lord. We shall be observed."
On this, Gondomar bowed and fell back, but he
kept his eye fixed upon the Infanta.
For a moment she looked irresolute. She then
called to her duena, Doiia Elvira de Medanilla, a
stately, middle-aged dame with a severe aspect,
who had luckily been engaged with Padre Am-
brosio, the Infanta's confessor, during the foregoing
discourse, and signified her intention of retiring.
This was the signal for the meninos and meninas to
withdraw, and they accordingly made their re-
verences to the Infanta, and departed — the pages
trooping oif in one direction, and the maids of
honour in another.
As soon as they were gone, the Infanta made a
gracious movement to Gondomar, and moved slowly
down the grand saloon, attended by Doiia Elvira.
They passed close by Charles, who bowed reveren-
tially as they drew near.
Then for the first time the eyes of the lovers
met, and it was only by a great effort that Charles
138 THE SPANISH MATCH.
repressed tlie impulse that prompted him to spring
forward and throw himself at the Infanta's feet.
He was still watching her departing figure, as she
glided down the saloon, when he was joined by
" What think you of your mistress, prince?" in-
quired the count.
" She is an adorable creature," replied Charles.
" Oh ! that I could have said one word to her !
To be so near and yet be debarred from speech —
'tis enough to drive one mad! But look!" he
added, with an irrepressible exclamation of delight.
" She returns — and alone."
" Nothing like a woman's wit," said Gondomar.
" She has contrived to give her dueua the slip, and
will afford your highness the opportunity you so
eagerly desire of exchanging a word with her."
As they spoke, the Infanta, who had left Dona
Elvira at the lower end of the salon, came on
quickly. Gondomar, followed by Charles, advanced
to meet her.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 139
" I have forgotten my fan, count/' said the In-
fanta, as she approached. " I must have left it on
the table with the music."
"I will bring it to you in an instant, princesa,"
cried Gondomar, flying towards the table.
The eagerly-desired moment had come. Charles
Avas alone with the Infanta. But his agitation was
so great that he could scarcely profit by the oppor-
"Forgive me for thus presenting myself before
you, princess," he cried, at length. "Love has
brought me to INIadrid — love for you, princess.
Love, therefore, must plead my excuse. Your
imaije cheered me on durinj:^ mv long and toilsome
journey, and when I arrived here this evening, I
was determined, at all hazards, to behold you. I
have, therefore, presented myself to you in this
guise. Forgive me, princess ! forgive me ! "
" You plead so earnestly, prince, that I must
forgive you," she replied. " I ought not to have
granted this interview — so contrary to etiquette and
140 THE SPANISH MATCH.
propriety. But I could not allow you to go away
without telling you how sensible I am of your
gallantry and devotion."
"Oh, princess!" exclaimed Charles, passion-
ately. " I dare not throw myself at your feet and
tell you how much I adore you. But I implore
you to satisfy me that my love is not unrequited."
" I think I can love you, prince," she rejoined.
" But I must consult others before I dare answer
the question explicitly."
"What others?" cried Charles. "In such a
case you have only to consult your own heart."
" But I have been taught that in trusting to such
guidance I may be misled," replied the Infanta.
" My feelings may deceive me."
" Say not so, princess ! " cried Charles. " The
heart never deceives. It will not be tutored.
Speak, then, according to its dictates, and answer^
me frankly — can you love me ? "
" I am forbidden — strictly forbidden — to answer
THE SPANISH MATCH. 141
such a question, prince, 'without the king, my bro-
ther's, consent," she replied.
" Who has forbidden you ? " demanded Charles.
" My confessor, Padre Ambrosio — my dueiia,
Dona Elvira — all who have charge of me," re-
turned the Infanta.
" Have they ever spoken to you of me ? "' asked
" Often. They are constantly talking about you.
They describe you as a charming young prince,
"But what?" cried Charles. " Do not hesitate
to tell me."
" They say you have one great fault, which
counterbalances all your merits. You are a he-
" Why, so I am in religion, but not in love,
sweetest Maria," returned Charles, smiling, " But
I mean to allow you the free exercise of your faith.
Will not that sullice? It ouglit, methinks."
142 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" It wouU be far better if you could conform
to my laith/' said the Infauta. '• There would
then be no obstacle to our union, and I should feel
that it would be approved by Heaven. You would
then be without a fault, and I could give you my
"And can you not give i[ me as it is?" de-
" I cannot promise," she rejoined. '* I must lirst
try to convert you."
" The effort will be vain, princess," said Charles.
'' ^ly rchgious tenets are unchangeable But I pro-
mise you — and indeed the king my father has
solemnly engaged for me — that you shall have the
full and free exercise of your own faith — you and
your children. That is all I can do. Is it not
"I must consider," replied the Infanta. '"'I must
consult Padre Ambrosio."
"I feel I have an enemy in your confessor,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 143
princess," said Charles. " But I did not anticipate
a discussion like this on our first meeting."
" It is best we should understand each other,
prince," she returned. " I am a devout Catholic."
" You are a bigot, but a very charming one,
Ma^-ia," said Charles.
At this moment Gondomar returned.
"Your fan, princesa," he said, bowing and de-
livering it to her.
" You have been long, count," she remarked,
with a smile.
" Nay, madam, I feared to interrupt."
"Adios, prince," cried the Infanta to Charles.
" Think of what I have said to you."
" One word more before we part, JMaria ? " he
She made no response, but tripped off to her
"All has gone well, I trust, prince?" inquired
144 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" The Infanta is charming, but somewhat bi-
goted," returned Charles. " She has told me
plainly that she will convert me, and I have told
her equally plainly that she will fail in the at-
•'■' This is the work of her confessor, Padre Aj^i-
brosio, who has enjoined her to make your high-
ness's adoption of the faith of Rome the price of
her hand," said Gondomar. " But rest easy. The
king will give her to you without any conditions.
But now that our object has been attained, the
sooner we depart the better."
They then quitted the saloon. In the ante-
chamber through which they had to pass several
courtiers were collected, and Gondomar was obhged
to stop for a moment to speak to them. Charles
moved on to a short distance, and waited for him.
As soon as Gondomar could disengage himself,
he was hurrying towards the prince, when a tall,
handsome young man, attired in murrey-coloured
THE SPANISH MATCH. 145
velvet, and possessing a very striking physiog-
nomy, stopped him.
" A moment, count," said the young man.
" Oblige me with the name of yonder page. It is
the first time I have seen him in the palace. He
has a very remarkable countenance, and a very
stately figure. I should like to paint him."
*^I will tell him so," replied Gondomar. "He
will be proud to hear that he has attracted the
attention of so great a painter as Don Diego Velas-
quez de Silva."
" But you do not tell me his name, count," said
" You shall know it to-morrow, Don Diego,"
returned Gondomar, hastily.
" Meantime, I will tell it you," rejoined Velas-
quez. " I noticed him in the grand salon just now,
and I then suspected who he was, though, as he
kept aloof, I could not be quite sure. But now I
have no doubt whatever on the point. There can-
VOL. II. L
14G THE SPANISH MATCH.
not be two such heads. That page, my lord, is
Prince Charles of England."
" Hush ! " exclaimed Gondomar. " Let your lips
be fast sealed, Don Diego."
" Fear not, my lord," said Velasquez. " The
prince's secret is safe with me. I dare not make
the request, but if his highness will deign to sit to
me for his portrait, he will confer the greatest
obligation upon me."
" I will not fail to mention the matter to him,
Don Diego," replied Gondomar. " Meantime, I
rely on your secresy."
With this he bowed to Velasquez, and re-
joining Charles, told him what had just occurred,
mentioning, at the same time, the request of the
"It will gratify him deeply if your highness
thinks fit to comply with it," he said.
" He shall paint my portrait for the Infanta, as
a companion picture to the one painted by him of
THE SPANISH MATCH. 147
her highness, Avhich is in my possession,'' rejoined
Charles. " Tell him so."
" I will make him happy at once," replied Gon-
And he flew back to Velasquez, whose dark
cheek flushed, and whose eyes brightened, as the
message was communicated to him. Placinf]^ his
hand upon his heart with a look of inefiable grati-
tude, he bowed to the prince, who graciously re-
turned the salute.
All this passed with great rapidity, and fortu-
nately did not attract attention.
In another minute Charles and Gondomar were
traversing corridors and passages, making their way
towards Pepe's lodging, which they reached with-
out further interruption. Here the prince resumed
his own attire with as much expedition as possible,
and having warmly thanked the menino for the
service he had rendered him, he proceeded with
148 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Gondomar to the great court, where tliey found
the coach waiting for them.
Ere long they had reached the House of Seven
Chimneys, and alighting in the plazuela, at once
repaired to the garden gate. On unlocking it, they
found the Earl of Bristol, who was keeping watch,
wrapped in his cloak.
Gondomar then took his leave, promising to
make his appearance at an early hour on the mor-
row, to receive the prince's commands.
" Heaven be praised your higliness has got back
in safety!" exclaimed Bristol. "Have you seen
" Seen her and spoken with her," replied
" Amazement ! " cried the earl. " This is indeed
a romantic incident."
"You will say so, my lord, when you learn all
particulars," replied the prince.
Having secured the gate, the earl conducted the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 149
prince to the house. All the inmates had retired
to rest, but a collation was laid out in one of the
lower rooms. Charles, however, declined to partake
of it, and was at once taken to the spacious cham-
ber prepared for him. A magnificent couch invited
him to repose, and shortly afterwards, throwing
himself upon it, he sunk into slumber.
150 THE SPANISH MATCH.
THE WHITE DOVE.
The windows of the chamber in which Charles
slept looked towards the garden, and as he arose,
perfectly refreshed by a night of sound repose, he
attired himself without waiting for his attendants,
and threw open the casement. The morning was
bright and beautiful, the sky cloudless and of the
deepest blue, and a gentle breeze came laden with
the scent of oranofe-blossoms and frajjrant flowers.
Beyond the garden walls, on the left, arose the
roof of the convent of San Francisco, with a
church adjoining it, the bells of which Avere now
THE SPANISH MATCH. 151
jingling musically. On the right, through an
opening amid the houses, could be seen in the dis-
tance the lofty range of the Guadarrama mountains,
with their jagged peaks covered Avith snow. The
garden itself, with its orange-groves, its tall cy-
presses, its two large mulberry-trees, each with a
seat beneath it, its parterres and pleasant walks,
adorned with statues and marble urns filled with
flowers, seemed to invite him to stroll forth.
A charming concert arose from the trees, and
Charles was listening to the melodious strains
poured forth by the little warblers, when a snow-
white dove, which had been gently cooing in one
of the mulberry-trees, flew towards the casement
at which he stood, and, without manifesting the
slightest alarm, alighted on the sill close beside
him. Charles did not move, for fear of disturbing
the bird, and there it remained pluming itself and
regarding him with its lovely eyes, until the open-
ing of the chamber door scared it away. Greatly
152 THE SPANISH MATCH.
to Charles's satisfaction, however, the dove ahuost
instantly returned, and settled on the same spot.
The person who had just entered the chamber was
Sir Richard Graham, and the prince pointed out
his pretty visitor to him.
" The appearance of this beautiful bird, the em-
blem of all that is pure and holy, at a juncture like
the present, may be accepted] as a fortunate omen,"
said Charles. " Do you not think so, Sir Richard?"
" Assuredly, your highness," replied Graham.
" But to my mind the dove looks like a love-
messenger, and may have a letter from the Infanta
under its wing."
" Poh ! that is an idle thought," replied Charles.
" The poor bird brings me no letter, but it gives
" A propos of letters, I have one for your high-
ness," remarked Graham.
"From the king my father?" cried Charles,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 153
" No," replied Graham. " You will be surprised
■when you learn from whom it comes. I pray your
highness to observe the superscription — ' Al muy
noble, y muy ilustre Seiior, Don Carlos Estuardo.' ''
"Who can have written it?" cried Charles, in
" You can satisfy your curiosity by breaking the
seal," said Graham. " But, before doing so, let
me offer you an agreeable piece of information.
The two barbs given you by the Duke de Cea
have been sent back."
" Indeed ! " exclaimed the prince.
" They were brought here by two muleteers
before daylight this morning," said Graham, "and
are now safe in the stables of the House of Seven
Chimneys. Perhaps that letter may relate to
" Prithee, read it to me," said Charles.
Graham then opened the letter, and read aloud
154 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" Serenisimo Senok !
" Though a robber, I am a man of honour.
" Your highness will, therefore, conceive how
deep must have been my displeasure on finding that
two of my band, Melcliior and Geronimo, had
dared to carry off the horses which your highness
and the noble marquis accompanying you had con-
descended to take in exchange for your barbs.
" In order to meet the justice of the case, and as
an example to their comrades, I immediately caused
both rascals to be shot. I trust their punishment
will be satisfactory to your highness.
"But, after an occurrence so opposed to my
notions of honourable conduct, I cannot think of
retaining the barbs, and I tlierefore send them back
to your highness and the noble marquis, with a
profound expression of regret for the annoyance
you have experienced.
" Your liighness will not be surprised that I am
acquainted with your exalted rank, as well as with
THE SPANISH MATCH. 155
tlie rank of your noble companion, when I inform
you tliat a courier from London, bearing de-
spatches from your royal father, and two couriers
from Paris, with despatches mentioning your visit
to that capital, are now in my hands. These
couriers shall remain for twelve hours in the Somo-
sierra, as I have reason to believe their detention
for that time Avill be agreeable to your highness.
They shall then come on with the despatches.
" Your highness, I trust, will credit me when I
state that, had I been aware at the time whom I
had the honour of escorting, you should never have
known me as other than Capitan Mendez.
" Viva le Principe de Inglaterra !
" El Cortejo."
" A strange epistle ! " exclaimed Charles, laugh-
ing. " This fellow piques himself upon his nice
sense of honour. He richly deserves it, no doubt,
but I should be sorry to see him hanged."
156 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" He deserves to be rewarded rather than
hanged," rejoined Graham. " He has made all
the amends in his power by shooting those two
rascals and sending back the barbs. In fact, he
has rendered your highness an important service.
Had he not detained the couriers, your arrival in
Madrid must have been known last night, and then
you could not have taken the king and Olivarez
"Nor have visited the palace last night," said
"Is it possible you did so?" cried Graham, in
amazement. " I thought your highness had retired
to rest early."
"I spent more than an hour at the palace, and
saw the whole of the royal family in their pri-
"Without making yourself known?"
" Without making myself known — save to the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 157
" By Heaven ! you have done wonders ! " ex-
claimed Graham. "The Duke de Cea spoke of
the strictness of Spanish court etiquette, and de-
clared it would be impossible for your highness to
obtain a private interview with the Infanta."
"De Cea was wrong, Dick. The impossibility
has already been accomplished," replied Charles,
"In truth, your highness is a veritable preux
chevalier, and has come to conquer," said Graham.
" The affair is already settled."
"Not quite," rejoined Charles, gravely. "I
should have felt rather despondent this morning,
had not that dove cheered me."
Just at this moment the door was opened by
Buckingham, who unceremoniously entered, ac-
companied by Gondomar. The marquis was arrayed
in the splendid habiliments which he had procured
from Marolles in Paris.
" I have to congratulate your highness on your
158 THE SPANISH MATCH.
success last niglit," he said. " You have begun the
game admirably, and have won the first stake.
Gondomar tells me you have not only seen the
Infanta, but conversed with her."
" I owe my success entirely to the count's ma-
nagement," said Charles. " But on calm reflection
I feel it was a very rash proceeding, and ought not
to have been undertaken."
" Repentance comes too late," said Buckingham.
" But I see nothing to regret."
" Having just come from the palace," said Gon-
domar, " I am able to give your highness positive
assurance that your secret visit is wholly unsus-
pected. In fact, no rumour whatever of your arrival
at Madrid has as yet got abroad. I have come here
to learn your pleasure, but as certain formalities
must be observed, I will venture to suggest that
my lord of Buckingham shall accompany me to
acquaint his majesty with your arrival."
"Precisely the course I meant to enjoin," said
THE SPANISH MATCH. 159
Charles. " Go at once. I will not stir forth till
you return. Yet stay!" he added, arresting their
departure. " It may be proper to consult my lord
of Bristol before you take this step."
" I cannot consult Bristol on any point,"' said
Buckingham, haughtily. "If your highness thinks
fit, let him go -with Gondomar. But in that case
they must go without me."
" Nay, in Heaven's name, go ! *' said Charles,
"who was well aw^are of the jealous nature of his
Buckingham and Gondomar then bowed and
■withdrew, and as the door closed upon them,
Charles ijnuttered to himself, " Henceforward I
shall be a mere puppet in the hands of others —
to be played with as they think proper."
Shortly afterwards, the prince took a solitary
stroll in the garden to enjoy the beauty of the
morning, and think over his interview Avith the
Infanta. With mixed emotions, he recalled each
100 THE SPANISH MATCH.
word she had uttered, and, in spite of all his efforts
to shake it off, a fear came over him that his hopes
would be blighted. To lose the Infanta would be
worse than death. Yet it was possible, from what
she had said, that religious differences might
While indulging in these meditations, he had
seated himself beneath one of the mulberry-trees.
A slight noise attracted his attention, and looking
up, he perceived that the milk-white dove had
settled over his head.
" That gentle bird gives me new hope," he ejacu-
lated. " I will cast off all doubt and despondency.
The Infanta will be mine."
lEntr of tj^e ^econtr 23oo]k.
THE CONDE-DUQUE DE OLIVAREZ.
VOL. II. M
nO^V BUCKIXGUAM WAS PRESENTED TO OLIVAKEZ.
BuCKiXGHAM and Gondomar, entering the coacli
of the latter, drove to the palace of the Conde-
Duque de Olivarez, a noble edifice, charmingly
situated at the northern extremity of the Calle de
Alcala, on the brow of the eminence overlooking
the woody valley of the Prado.
The internal arrangements of the mansion corre-
sponded with its superb exterior. Excepting tlie
royal palace, no other princely residence in IMadiid
possessed such a splendid suite of apartments as the
palace of the Conde-Duque. On the side of the
164 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Prado was a broad terrace forming a delightful pro-
menade, and communicatinof with the vast o'avden
at the rear of the noble pile. The grand facjade
of the palace looked towards the Calle de Alcala,
from which it was separated by a broad and well-
paved court, defended by a gilt railing. In the
centre of the railing was a lofty iron gateway, very
elaborately and beautifully wrought, and embel-
lished with the armorial bearings of the ancient
and illustrious house of Guzman.
As Buckingham drove through this gateway,
and contemplated the imposing fagade, he could
not help acknowledging that it was an abode
worthy of a great minister — but the splendour of
the palace increased his desire to lower the pride
of its owner. Buckin2;ham hated Olivarez be-
cause he possessed the same sort of influence over
Philip IV. that he himself had over James I. He
looked upon the Spanish minister as a rival and an
enemy, whose humiliation would heighten his own
THE SPANISH MATCH. 1G5
At tlie period of wliich we write, tlie three
most important kingdoms in Europe were governed
by favourites, supreme and almost irresponsible
power being confided to them by their respective
sovereigns. Thus the destinies of France were
committed to Richelieu — those of Spain to Oli-
varez — those of England to Buckingham. By far
the ablest and most sa2:acious of the three was
Richelieu, and not without reason he despised his
rivals. Still they were formidable from the power
they possessed, and, united, might have crushed
him. But the mutual distrust entertained of each
other by Buckingham and Olivarez prevented any
such alliance. There was no league possible be-
tween two ministers, each of whom believed that
the other was playing false. With this insight
into Buckingham's breast, it will easily be under-
stood with what feelings he regarded his approach-
inoj meetinn; with his rival.
But before describing that meeting, let us say
a word as to the powerful Spanish minister.
166 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Don Gaspar Guzman, Conde-Duque de OH-
varez, had risen to his present eminent position,
when Phihp IV., at that time too young to un-
dertake the charge of government, ascended the
throne. Before that period, by attaching himself
zealously to the youthful prince, Olivarez had suc-
ceeded in obtaining unbounded influence over him.
Consequently, on Philip's accession to power his
own elevation was certain. His ascendancy over
the feeble monarch was absolute, and Philip, with-
out an effort, resigned himself to the sway of his
Olivarez had many qualities that well fitted him
for the important post he occupied — great capacity
for business, unwearied application, shrewdness, and
caution. But ho was arrogant, vindictive, and
unrelenting, and his harshness made him numerous
enemies. Perfidious himself, he was distrustful of
others. His leading idea was to give a prepon-
derating influence in Europe to the House of
THE Sr^VNISH MATCH. 167
Austria, and he thought that the marriage of the
Infanta with the heir to the throne of England
would further his designs, but suspicious of James
and Buckingham, he was resolved not to permit
the completion of the match till he had secured
solid advantages for Spain, and with this view he
protracted the negotiation on one pretext or
another, constantly making a fresh demand Avhen
any point had Leen conceded. Disgusted by his
perpetual subterfuges, Bristol was more than once
on the point of breaking off the treaty ; but this
was not what Olivarez desired, and by promises
and professions, never meant to be fulfilled, he
succeeded in cajoling the English ambassador.
Olivarez was now in the very prime of life,
being between thirty and forty. He possessed a
countenance of great shrewdness and intelligence
lighted up by large penetrating black eyes, whicli
seemed to emit flashes of fire when he was ani-
mated or^ angry. His complexion was exceedingly
168 THE SPANISH MATCH.
dark; his features regular and handsome. He was
of middle height, and well formed. In manner
he was a thorough Castilian, cold, reserved, and
exceedingly haughty, but his arrogance could be
laid aside if needful.
Such was Don Gaspar de Guzman, Conde-
Duque de Olivarez, chief Cupbearer to the king.
Grand Master of the Horse, chief of the Council
of State, and prime minister.
The aim of Olivarez was to surpass the Duke
of Lerma in splendour, so he kept up a princely
retinue, and gave magnificent entertainments. Like
his royal master, he was a great patron of the arts,
and had a splendid gallery of pictures, to which
he was constantly making large additions.
The Countess de Olivarez, who was some ten
years younger than her lord, and sprung from an
illustrious Andalusian family, possessed all the
beauty and witchery of a daughter of that sunny
region, and was esteemed one of the loveliest and
THE SrANISII MATCH. 1G9
spriglitliest dames of tlic court. The gallants
averred that the Condc-Duque was foolish enough
to be jealous of his charming spouse, but they
did not venture to add that she gave him cause for
Though Ollvarez had spies at the court of
AVhitehall, who gave him early information of
every matter of moment, yet, owing to the pre-
cautions taken by James in closing the ports, no
intelligence of the prince's journey had reached
him, and being totally ignorant of the arrival of
the travellers in Madrid, he was quite unprepared
for Buckingham's visit.
He Avas staudino- at the time with the countess
on a broad marble balcony overlooking the valley
of the Prado, his gaze wandering over the woody
valley from the ancient monasterlo de Atocha to
the Puerta de Eecoletos, midway between which
his palace was situated, when an usher announced
the Conde de Gondomar.
170 THE SrANISH MATCH.
" His lordship is not alone/' continued tlic usher.
" There is a caballero with him, whom he did not
name, but who looks like a person of distinction."
" Did the count request a private audience,
Juan?" asked Olivarez.
"No, ray lord," returned the usher. "1 think
he merely desires to present to your excellency the
caballero I have mentioned, who appears to be a
" I will come to them instantly," said the Conde-
The usher bowed and retired.
" Come with me, madam," said Olivarez to
the countess. " Gondomar may desire to present
this stranger to 3^ou."
They then passed through the open casement
into a large and splendidly-furnished apartment,
at the farther end of which stood Gondomar and
The tall and stately figure of Buckingham at
THE SPANISH MATCH.. 171
once caught the eye of Olivarez, and though he
"was far from suspecting the truth, he felt certain
that the stranger was no ordinary individuah
" What a noble-looking person ! " exclaimed the
duchess, -who was equally struck by Buckingham's
appearance. " Who can he be?"
^' We shall learn that soon enough," rejoined
the Conde-Duque, somewhat sharply. " Some-
thing Avarns me he is an enemy."'
" Poll ! your excellency is always suspicious,"
said the duchess.
On his part, Buckingham regarded his rival
with equal curiosity.
The Conde-Duque, we may mention, was attired
in a doublet and cloak of tawny taffeta, tliickly
laced with silver. His hat, which he had put on,
was fastened at the side by a superb diamond
brooch, and adorned with tawny plumes.
The countess, who moved with the incomparable
grace of an Andalusian dame, and who had the
172 THE SPANISH MATCH.
smallest feet imaginable, and the largest eyes, was
dressed in black satin, deeply fringed with black
lace; and though the attire was simple, none could
have better suited her exquisite figure. Her ebon
tresses were draped in a magnificent black lace
mantilla, and harmonised well with her rich South-
ern complexion and splendid black eyes, soft as
velvet, and shaded by long silken lashes. In her
liand she carried a fan.
"Is that the duchess?" inquired Buckingham,
Avho was greatly struck by her beauty.
Gondomar replied in the afl[irmative, adding,
" She is a charming creature ; but do not fall in
love with her. Olivarez is as jealous as a Moor."
" I make no promises," replied Buckingham,
smiling. " Those eyes are enough to tempt Saint
Gondomar then moved on, followed by Buck-
ingham, and approaching Olivarez, said, "Permit
me to present to your excellency the Lord Marquis
of Buckingham, who is newly arrived in Madrid."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 1 73
Master as he usually was of Iiirnself, Olivarez
absolutely started with surprise at the announce-
" What ! my lord of Buckingham here ! " he
" So this is the Marquis of Buckingham ! I
felt sure it must be some very important person-
age!" mentally ejaculated the countess.
" Ay, your excellency," replied Buckingham,
bowing. " I have been sent by my royal master,
the Kin^ of England, to see whether we cannot
bring this long protracted marriage-treaty to a
" You may account it concluded, since such is
your errand, my dear lord," said Olivarez. " This
indeed is a joyful surprise. I am delighted to
see your lordship, and so, I am sure, will be his
" Your excellency is most obhging," replied
Buckingham, bowing. " But let me entreat you
to present me to the countess."
174 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Olivarez instantly complied, and profound salu-
tations were exchanged between them. After a
few compliments had passed, Buckingham said,
" I think there is a better chance that the match
may be speedil}' concluded, as the Prince of "Wales
has come in person to claim his bride."
At this unexpected announcement the minister's
dark cheek flushed, but he quickly recovered him-
self, and gave vent to the most extravagant pro-
testations of delight.
" His majesty must be made instantly acquainted
with the welcome news of the prince's arrival,"
he said. " It will gladden him as much as it does
me. Your lordship, I trust, will accompany me
to the palace, when I will present you to my
royal master, and you can make the gladsome
tidings known to him with your own lips. Every-
thing shall be done to manifest our sense of the
signal honour conferred upon us. After you have
seen the king, I will go with you to pay my
reverence to the prince."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 175
" The prince must be a model of gallantry to
undertake this journey for his mistress," said the
countess. " I long to announce his arrival to the
" Then come with us to the palace," said the
Conde-Duque. " You shall be the first to give her
the joyous intelligence."
"Not quite the first," said Gondomar, aside, to
Shortly afterwards a splendid carriage, drawn
by four horses, and attended by a mounted escort,
was dashing along the Calle de Alcala, in the
direction of the royal palace. The large windows
of this roomy carriage showed that there were four
persons inside it, three of whom were immediately
recognised by those who gazed at the gorgeous
equipage, but the fourth was a stranger.
176 THE SPAXISH MATCH.
On that morning, Philip had given a private
audience to the Nuncio, and the Papal envoy was
still witli the king, when Olivarez, unannounced,
entered the royal cabinet. It being quite evident,
from the minister's looks, that he had matter of
Importance to communicate to his majesty, the
Nuncio immediately arose and prepared to retire.
"A moment, monsenor," said Olivarez, stopping
liim ; " let me ask whether you have heard further
from his Holiness? Will he send the dispensation
for the marriage of the Infanta with the Prince ot
THE SPANISH MATCH. 177
" Not till he receives positive assurance that
better terms will be made with England," replied
the Nuncio. " The matter rests entirely with your
excellency. His Holiness knows your desire to
promote the interests of the Church of Rome, and
when you deem it expedient, the dispensation will
be sent — but not till then."
" Enough, monsenor," replied Olivarez, bowing.
" In all probability it will be soon required."
"I rejoice to hear it, my lord," said the Nuncio,
" for I infer that you expect to gain your point."
And bowing to the minister, he quitted the ca-
" I am not so sanguine as your excellency ap-
pears to be," remarked Philip, as soon as they were
alone. "I do not think we shall extort any fur-
ther concessions from the Kinij of England."
" It is in your mnjesty's power to impose upon
him any conditions you think proper," said Oli-
VOL. ir. N-
178 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" How ? '■ exclaimed Philip. " What has
changed the aspect of affairs ? "
"An act of folly — inconceivable folly — on the
part of the British Solomon," returned Olivarez.
" What will your majesty say if I tell you that this
crafty and suspicious monarch has exhibited a blind
confidence scarcely to be looked for in a rash and
inexperienced youth ? "
" What has he done ? Explain yourself, my
lord!" cried Phihp.
" He has parted with his son — with the heir to
the tlirone — and consigned him to your majesty's
" I cannot think you are trifling with me, my
lord," said Philip. " Yet what you say sounds like
" It is scarcely credible, I own, sire ; but, never-
theless, it is true that the Prince of Wales is now
in Madrid. He arrived liere last night, having
ridden the whole distance by post, like a courier,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 179
attended only by the Marquis of Buckingham and
three other gentlemen, and is now lodged with the
Earl of Bristol."
" Amazement ! " exclaimed the king. " And you
had no intelligence of this journey, my lord? —
you, who are usually so well informed."
" The journey appears to have been so suddenly
resolved upon, and such precautions were taken to
keep it secret, that information could not possibly
be sent me," replied Olivarez. " For three days
the ports were kept rigorously closed by James, so
that no couriers could overtake the prince, and he
and the marquis travelled under feigned names,
and speeded on without halt, save for a day at
" By Santiago ! a gallant exploit ! " cried Philip.
<' Charles Stuart seems to have the spirit of a
" Whatever spirit he may possess, he has com-
mitted a great imprudence," said Olivarez. " It is
180 THE SPANISH MATCH.
now for your majesty to consider what course you
will pursue in regard to him.'*
" No consideration is required, my lord. There
is but one course to pursue — receive him with open
arms," cried Philip. " He has trusted to my
loyalty, and shall find he has not misjudged me."
'' I do not desire to check your majesty's noble
impulses," rejoined Olivarez, " but you must not
throw away the extraordinary advantage you have
gained. Receive the prince, as you propose, with
all cordiality and honour. But his marriage with
the Infanta must not take place till his conversion
has been effected."
"That, indeed, would be a masterstroke," said
Philip, after a moment's reflection. " But do you
really think it can be achieved ? "
" Nothing so easy, sire, now we have him here.
He has been foolish in coming to us, but we should
be doubly foolish if we let him go back without
gaining our point."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 181
" Such conduct appears to me disloyal and un-
worthy," said Philip.
"It is perfectly justifiable,"' rejoined Olivarez.
" The prince has not been lured hither by any
false promises from your majesty or from me, but
has come of his own free will, and must take the
consequences of his rashness. I should be unworthy
of the post I hold if I did not prescribe a course
from which, I trust, your majesty will not swerve.
As I have said, let the prince be received with all
honour. But he must be virtually a prisoner.''
A cloud came over Philip's brow.
"A prisoner! Charles Stuart a prisoner!" he
exclaimed. " I disapprove of the plan, my lord."
'' Your majesty misapprehends me," said Oli-
varez. " I do not mean that the prince shall be
subjected to any personal restraint. His prison
shall be a chamber in this palace, his gaolers shall
be your majesty and myself, nor shall he be aware
that he is a captive unless he attempts to depart.
182 THE SPANISH MATCH.
He must be detained, on one pretext or another,
till such time as we have accomplished our pur-
pose. You must give him all sorts of grand enter-
tainments — fetes, masques, banquets, tournaments,
and bull-fights. But, above all, 3'our majesty must
assign him and the marquis apartments in the
palace, so that, without appearing to restrain them,
you may have them in safe keeping. Our plans
can then be put into operation for effecting the
prince's conversion, and to this most desirable end
the Infanta herself will be an important instru-
ment. And now, having hastily explained my
views, I must inform your majesty that the lord
marquis is in the ante-chamber, anxiously waiting
to be presented to you."
Phihp, desiring that Buckingham should be at
once admitted, Olivarez left the cabinet, returning
the next moment with the marquis and Gondo-
Buckingham threw himself on his knees before
the king, but Philip instantly raised him.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 183
" My first duty is to deliver this letter to your
majesty," said the marquis, producini^- a despatch.
" It is from the king my master. In it he re-
commends the prince his sou to your majesty, and
explains the motive of his highness's journey."
So saying, with a profound reverence he pre-
sented the letter to the king.
" I thank you, my good lord,"' said Philip.
" I will read the letter anon. Had I known of his
highness's coming, he should have had a reception
worthy of him, and should have been escorted from
the frontiers of the kingdom to this city. I myself
would have met him at Burgos, attended by all the
grandees of my court. Believe me, I am sensibly
touched by the gallantry and courage he has dis-
played. I long to behold him and embrace him,
and thank him for the lionour he has done me and
my sister, the Infanta Maria."
" His highness is equally anxious to behold your
majesty," returned Buckingham, " and only awaits
your gracious permission to present himself."
184 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" No, no, that must not be," said Philip. " His
highness has no suitable equipage-rno retinue. He
is lodged at the Earl of Bristol's casa, as I under-
stand. I will visit him there."
" Pardon me, sire, if I venture, in his highness's
name, to decline the proffered honour," rejoined
Buckingham. "The prince would never permit
so great a condescension on your part. He feels
that he ought first to wait on your majesty."
" But I must insist," cried Philip.
" Nay, sire, if you are resolved, the prince must
of course give way," replied Buckingham.
" I will arrange the matter, so that there shall be
no violation of etiquette," interposed Olivarez.
" Your majesty and the prince shall meet on equal
terms. With your permission, sire, I will attend
my lord of Buckingham to pay my respects to his
"Go, my lord," replied Philip; "and tell his
highness that I am enchanted to hear of his arrival
THE SPANISH MATCH. 185
in Madrid, and but for certain forms, would fly to
welcome and embrace him. Say all tliis for me,
my lord, and add that I place my palace at his
disposal, and that there is nothing he can ask that
I will not frrant — nothin<!j I will leave undone to
gratify and content him. You have heard what I
say, my good lord," he added to Buckingham,
" and Avill not fail, I trust, to repeat my words
to the prince your master."
Buckingham bowed profoundly.
"Conde de Gondomar," pursued Philip, "it
may be agreeable to the Prince of Wales to have
your attendance. It is my pleasure, therefore, that
you attach yourself to the person of his highness
during his stay in Madrid. Assist him with your
counsel in all things, as if you were an English-
" It will delight me to obey your majesty," said
" And now, my lords," said Philip, " I pray you
186 THE SPANISH MATCH.
hasten to the prince, and bid him welcome in my
name. Be not niggard in your speech. Aught
you may say will fall short of what I desire to
"The prince shall have an exact report of all
your gracious expressions, sire," returned Bucking-
And bowing profoundly, he quitted the cabinet
with Olivarez and Gondomar.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 187
At tlie same hour, in another apartment of the
palace, sat the Infanta, with Doiia Elvira de Me-
danilla and her meninas. The princess was engaged
in embroidering a cushion, but did not proceed
very sedulously with her task, and her silence and
preoccupied manner attracted the notice of her
It was a relief when the Countess de Olivarez
entered the chamber. Tlie countess was a ajreat
favourite with the Infanta, and on seeing her,
188 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Maria immediately laid down her embroidery and
flew to embrace her.
" What happy chance brings you to the palace
so early this morning, countess?" inquired the
"1 accompanied the Conde-Duque, who has
some afiairs to transact with his majesty," replied
the countess. " But I want to have a word with
you in private, princess."
On hearing this, Doiia Elvira and the meninas
prepared to withdraw.
" I hope your ladyship will be able to extract
some conversation from the princess," said Dona
Elvira. " She has scarcely opened her lips this
"What has made you so dull, princess?" in-
quired the countess, as the duefia quitted the
"I know not," rephed the Infanta, blushing.
" I have a sHght headache. I did not sleep well
THE SPANISH MATCH. 189
" You did not dream of the prince, your suitor,
I suppose?" said the countess.
" How strange you should ask me the question,"
returned Maria. "Yes, I did dream of him. I
thought he had come to Madrid on purpose to see
"Can she have heard?" mentally exclaimed the
countess, surprised. " But no ! no ! that Is impos-
sible. "Was that all your dream, princess?" she
" No," replied Maria, " there was a great deal
more. I thouglit the prince obtained admittance to
the palace in the disguise of a page."
" Oh ! indeed ! " exclaimed the countess. " He
was disguised as a page, eh? Pray go on, prin-
cess. I am deeply interested by your recital. Did
the disguised prince speak to you?"
" Of course. I could not let liim go without a
word, since he had come so fur to sec me."
" I hope you liave not mentioned your dream to
any one else, princess?" remarked the countess.
190 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" You must not attempt to deceive me. You have
seen your lover. You have spoken with him. 1
came to inform you of his arrival in I\IadriJ, but
I find he has been beforehand with me. Well, I
am not surprised at it. Such gallantry was to be
expected from a lover so enterprising. But I trust
to Heaven the adventure may not be discovered."
"No fear of that," cried the Infanta. "But
have you seen the prince, countess?"
" No, but I have seen his favourite, the Mar-
quis of Buckingham, who has accompanied him
on the journey, and who is a splendid-looking per-
sonage. Is the prince as handsome as you ex-
" Much handsomer. He has noble features — the
finest eyes I ever beheld — and a charming expres-
sion of countenance."
" Then you feel that you really caii love him,
" I fear that I love him already, and that is what
troubles me," returned the Infanta.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 191
" The conviction need give you no uneasiness,"
remarked the countess, smiling. " The prince has
a right to your heart."
" He will have, when we arc affianced," replied
Maria. "But that ceremonial cannot take place
until after his conversion. I told him so last
" You were too hasty. Suppose the prince
should refuse to change his creed?"
" Then he must go back without me."
*' Ah ! you will think differently when you have
seen more of him," said the countess. "If he is
really as charming as you describe him, you will
never be able to refuse him, even though he should
continue obstinate in his heresy. Were I in your
place, I should not allow a question of faith to
interfere with my happiness."
" Listen to me, countess," said the Infanta, " and
I will open my heart to you. A struggle has long
been going on in my breast between my sense of
duty and my affections. So much has been said to
192 THE SPANISH MATCH.
me of Prince Charles, and the possibility of my
marriage with him has been so much discussecl, tliat
I could not fail to dwell upon his image, and
though I had never seen him, I began to love him.
My heart was wholly unoccupied, and his image
fixed itself there. I could think of no one else.
I gazed upon his picture till I fancied it endowed
with life. He haunted my dreams at night.
Questioned by my confessor, I explained the state
of my feelings to him, and was reproved sharply
for my indulgence in such idle fancies, and en-
joined to turn away my thoughts from the prince.
' You must never wed him, princess,' said Padre
Ambrosio, ' unless he will consent to abjure his
heresies and enter into the bosom of our Church.
If you do, you will endanger your soul.' "
"But if Pope Gregory XV. sends the dispen-
sation, you may wed the prince without any appre-
hension," rejoined the countess. " Besides, many
marriages aj'C made between Romanists and Pro-
testants without the consent of his Holiness."
THE SPANISH MATCH. 193
" So I remarked to Padre Ambrosio," observed
the Infanta, " but he contends that no princess
can so -wed without a dispensation; and he aflirms
that the Pope is averse to the match, and will
never consent to it unless the prince is converted."
" How comes Padre Ambrosio to be so well in-
formed as to his Holiness's intentions?" asked the
"The Nuncio hos sliown him a letter from the
Pope," replied the Infanta. " Thus, you see, coun-
tess, that I am bound to check all my impulses of
affection towards the prince. This was an easy-
task formerly — but now that I have seen him —
now that I have encountered his ardent gaze — now
that I have listened to his protestations of love —
my feelings are no longer under my control. I love
Charles Stuart, countess — I love him. I dare not
confess so much to Padre Ambrosio; but to you,
who can sympathise with me, I will avow the
194 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" I do sincerely sympathise with you, sweet prin-
cess," said the countess, " but I see no reason for
anxiety. Had not the prince come to claim you,
I believe the match would never have taken place,
but now that he is here all difficulties will vanish."
"You really think so, countess?" cried the
" I do, indeed," she replied, with an earnestness
that left no doubt of her sincerity.
" Will you let me talk to you about the prince
sometimes?" said the Infanta. "I have no friend
— no confidante. I dare not speak to the king my
brother — I cannot speak to the queen."
" You shall have a friend and adviser in me,
princess, and if you will follow my counsels all will
go well, in spite of Padre Ambrosio."
At this moment a side-door opened, and the
person alluded to entered the room. Padre Am-
brosio was tall, dark, spare in figure, and had a
searching look and a stern expression of counte-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 195
"I see my news has been anticipated, princess"
he said, glancing at the countess. "I came to tell
you that the Prince of Wales has most unexpectedly
arrived in Madrid."
" Yes, father, the princess has already received
the joyful intelligence from me/' rejoined the coun-
"What interpretation does your ladyship put
upon his journey?" demanded Padre Ambrosio.
"What other interpretation can I put, except
that he has come to fetch his bride?"' she an-
" That is one motive, doubtless, but not the
principal motive. He would not have come hither
in this manner unless he designed to become a con-
•"Oh no, you are mistaken, father," cried the
Infanta. " Tlie prince has no such design "
"How know you that, princess? You have not
seen him-]^?" cried Padre Ambrosio, quickly.
196 THE SPANISH MATCH.
"What a question to ask, father?" interposed
the countess. " How can she have seen him ? "
"She appears confused," muttered Padre Am-
brosio, as he watched the Infanta. " There is some
At this moment Dona Elvira entered the room.
"All the palace is in excitement," she cried.
" They say the Prince of Wales has arrived."
"It is perfectly true," replied the countess.
" He arrived last night, but no announcement of
the event was made till this morning."
"A singular circumstance occurred last night,
which I cannot help connecting with the prince's
arrival," said Dona Elvira. " There was a page in
the palace who was unknown to all the other
meninos, and no one can tell how he obtained ad-
mittance. We passed him as we left the great
salon after the concert. Now I recollect, your
highness spoke to him."
"Did I?" said the Infanta, quite unable to
THE SPANISH MATCH. 197
hide her confusion from the keen eye of the con-
"Did your highness remark that he was a
stranger?" asked Padre Ambrosio.
"I took but little notice of him," she replied.
" The Conde de Gondomar was with him."
" It was the prince in disguise — I am sure of it,"
muttered Padre Ambrosio. " Would your high-
ness know that page again if you beheld him?"
"I should," interposed Dona Elvira.
Just then the door was thrown open, and the
king entered the room.
''You have heard the news, Maria?" he cried
embracing his sister, as she flew towards him.
" I have, sire," she replied.
" I make no doubt you are impatient to behold
your lover," he said. " You shall soon be gratified
with a sight of him. I will engage him to drive
in the Prado this eveninsf. You shall drive there
198 THE SPANISH MATCH.
too, with the queen and myself, and then you can
obtain a view of liim as we pass his coach."
"I thank your majesty for your gracious consi-
deration," replied the Infanta.
" I, myself, am most anxious to behold him,"'
pursued Philip, " and would gladly have visited
him at the casa of the Earl of Bristol, where he
is lodged, but he stands punctiliously upon eti-
quette. With the romantic cliaracter he has dis-
played in this expedition, I almost wonder he did
not present himself at the palace this morning, and
solicit an interview with you, Maria."
"Your majesty is pleased to jest," replied the
Infanta, blushing. " The prince must be too well
aware of the rigorous etiquette practised at our
court to transgress it."
"Humph!" muttered Padre Ambrosio.
" I long to behold the prince," remarked the
Countess de Olivarez. " If he at all resembles his
favourite, the Marquis of Buckingham, he must be
THE SPANISH MATCH. 199
" Yes, he is very handsome," echoed the Inlanta,
" You speak as if you had seen him," remarked
"I have his portrait, as you know, sire," she
" Well, we shall all be able to judge of his ap-
pearance anon," said Philip. " He is reported to
be the most chivalrous and accomplished prince
in Europe, and I dare say he will not belie the
description given of him. During the drive you
must tie a white riband round your arm, Maria,
so that the prince may know you."
" That precaution is scarcely necessary, raethinks
sire," observed Padre Arabrosio, with a certain
significance. " The prince cannot fail to recognise
" Possibly not," rejoined the king, smiling.
"But it is best to make sure. And now adieu,
sweet sister. Prepare yourself for a sight of your
future consort. I shall give orders that all the
200 THE SPANISH MATCH.
nobles of the court repair to the Prado this evcn-
infif. You will be there, countess. I now <io to
acquaint her majesty with the unlooked-for occur-
With this, he again affectionately embraced his
sister, and bowing to the countess, quitted the
" Stay with me awhile," whispered the Infanta
to the countess. " I have more to say to you,
and do not desire to be left alone w4th Doiia
Elvira and Padre Ambrosio."
" I will stay as long as you please," replied the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 201
OV THE VISIT PAID BY OLIVAREZ TO CHAKLES.
Accompanied by Buckingliam and Gondomar,
and escorted by a mounted guard, as before, Oli-
varez drove to the House of Seven Chimneys, for
the purpose of paying his homage to the prince.
On his arrival, the minister was ushered into
the prince's presence witli much ceremony by
Buckingham. Charles Avas seated in a large ta-
pestried hall, which served as a reception-chamber,
and was surrounded at the moment by the Earl
of Bristol, Sir Walter Aston, the ordinary ambas-
202 THE SPANISH MATCH.
sador to Madrid, and a man of considerable ability,
young Harry Jermyn, Bristol's chief secretary, and
Sir Richard Graham, Cottington, and Endymion
The prince had now abandoned his travelling
attire, and wore the splendid court suit of white
satin which he had procured in Paris. His head
was covered with a broad-leaved Spanish hat,
adorned with a diamond brooch and a white
drooping plume. All his attendants were richly
As the Conde-Duque, conducted by Buckingham
and followed by Gondomar, drew near, Charles
arose, and made a step towards him, with the evi-
dent design of preventing him from kneeling; but
the minister would not be stayed, but threw him-
self at the prince's feet and kissed his hand, with
every manifestation of reverence. "When Charles
at last raised him, and prayed him to be covered,
he refused, though, as a grandee, he was entitled to
THE SPANISH MATCH. 203
wear his hat in the presence of his own sovereign.
Gondomar paid a similar mark of respect to the
prince, and remained uncovered.
"I am come," said Olivarez, in accents of the
most profound respect, and Avith. the most deferential
demeanour, "in his majesty's name, to welcome
your highness to INIadrid. The visit was totally
unexpected, but it is not the less gratifying on that
account, and his majesty conceives himself placed
under such deep obligation by the step taken by
your highness tliat he can refuse you nothing."
"I hope I shall not ask more than he will be
readily disposed to grant, my lord," replied Charles.
" And yet it is in his majesty's power to confer
the greatest possible favour upon me."
" Again I say, there is nothing 3^our highness
can ask that will be refused,"' replied Olivarez,
bowing. " I should very imperfectly express his
majesty's sentiments if I did not say so."
" I trust I shall soon have an opportunity of
204 THE SPANISH MATCH.
thanking his majesty in person foi* his goodness,"
" His majesty desires to postpone the gratifica-
tion of receiving your highness at the palace until
arrangements can be made for your public entry
into Madrid in a manner befitting your dignity.
He would fain have visited you this morning, but
my lord of Buckingham being opposed to that
plan, the king relinquished the idea."
" Buckingham Avas right," said Charles. " I
could not allow his majesty to visit me first."
" In this dilemma," said Ollvarez, " his majesty
proposes, if it meets with your highness's approval,
that you shall drive in the Prado this evening,
when he can have the opportunity he so eagerly
desires of beholding you. He will come thither
attended by the queen, the Infantes his brothers,
and the Infanta."
" I entirely approve of the arrangement," re-
marked Charles. "But I trust his majesty will
THE SPANISH MATCH. 205
not allow the day to pass without affording me an
opportunity of conversing with him and embracing
" Such, I am sure, is his majesty's intent,
prince," replied Olivarez. " He is all impatience
to greet you. He means to demonstrate his satis-
faction at your highness's arrival by a series of
triumphs and entertainments such as have never
been exhibited in tliis capital since liis majesty
came to the throne. In order that the nobility of
the court may appear in greater splendour, an edict
recently passed against excess in attire shall be
suspended. A quarter in the palace, in all respects
like that occupied by the king, shall be assigned
to your highness and your suite. You shall be
attended by as many officers as the king, and be
served in the same manner as his majesty. None
beneath the rank and quality of a noble shall wait
upon you. My brother-in-law, the Condc de
Monterey, governor of Italy, a member of the
206 THE SPANISH MATCH.
council of state, and a grandee, shall be your
mayor-domo-mayor. The Conde de Gondomar and
the Duke de Cea shall also serve you as mayor-
domos. Members of the council of state shall daily
attend upon you to ascertain your pleasure; and
four grandees — namely, Don Juan Alfonso Euri-
guez. Admiral of Castile, the Conde de Puebla,
the Marquis de Velada, and the Duke de Yjar —
shall be ever ready to accompany you when you
desire to go abroad. A royal guard of archers
shall likewise serve as your escort."
"His majesty is far too gracious to me," said
" In regard to your highness's entry into the
palace," pursued Olivarez, " his majesty desires
that the solemnity shall be performed with as
much pomp and splendour as would be observed at
the coronation of a king of Castile. In accordance
with this plan, your highness will be brought from
the convent of San Geronimo, whence our kings
THE SPAKISn MATCH. 207
are wont to make their solemn entry into the city,
and conducted by all the principal officers of state,
all the chief nobles of the court, and all the public
officer?, to the palace."
" I lack words to express my gratitude," said
"Furthermore," pursued Olivarez, "in order
that all classes of the community may participate
in the joy felt by his majesty at your arrival, he
will proclaim a general pardon to all offenders.
All prisoners shall be set free."
"El Cortejo will have reason to thank your
highness, if he is included in the pardon," remarked
" The royal signature will be given in blank to
his highness," said Olivarez, "so that he can ex-
tend his grace to whomsoever he may please."
"I will not abuse the privilege," said Charles.
"I pray your excellency to tliank the king most
heartily for his great goodness towards me."
208 THE SPANISH MATCH.
" I have but imperfectly described iiis majesty's
intentions towards your highness," said Olivarez,
" but I trust I have said enough to convince you
of his earnest desire to please you. And now,
having discharged my mission, I will take my
leave of your highness."
So saying, the Conde-Duque withdrew Avith
THE SPANISH MATCH. 209
now CUARLES DKOVE IX TIIK PRADO, AND HOW HE SAW THE
INFANTA IN THE CHAPEL OF THE EECOLETOS AGUSTINOS.
Though naturally curious to behold the city,
Charles did not stir forth during the day, but
occupied himself in writing a long letter to his
royal father, in which he acquainted him with his
safe arrival in ^Madrid, and described his secret
interview with the Infanta, as he felt sure the oc-
currence would amuse the king. This done, and
despatched with another letter from Buckingham
by a courier to England, the prince again strolled
VOL. II. 1*
210 THE SPANISH MATCH.
forth alone into the garden to indulge his medita-
tions without interruption.
Later on, he dined in company with Bucking-
ham and Gondomar. The Earl of Bristol waited
upon him during the repast. Dinner over, he
entered Gondoraar's coach, and, attended by the
conde, Buckingham, and Graham, drove to the
Prado. The Earl of Bristol followed in his own
coach, in which were seated Sir Walter Aston,
Cottington, and Endymion Porter.
As the carriage containing the prince traversed
the Calle de Alcala, on its way to the Prado, it
passed tlie palace of the Conde-Duque de Olivarez,
and Gondomar called Charles's attention to the
magnificent edifice. In the court-yard, close to
the grand entrance, stood the minister's superb
coach, and near it was drawn up a mounted escort.
When the prince entered the Prado the drive
•was full of equipages, and the walks among the
trees were crowded with richly-dressed caballeros
THE SPANISH MATCH. 211
and seDioras. Nothing could be gayer than the
scene. The evening was lovely, and seemed to
have tempted forth the whole of the population
of ]\Iadrid to this charming promenade.
But, besides the beauty of the evening, there
was another motive which had brought out all
this concourse to the Prado. Promulgated at the
palace, the rumour had gone abroad, and was cir-
culated with extraordinary rapidity throughout the
city, that the Infanta's suitor, the Prince of Wales,
had arrived, and would be seen in the Prado that
evening. In consequence of this report, the Madri-
leilos of all ranks flocked thither, in the hope of
catching a glimpse of the illustrious stranger.
Nor were they disappointed. It soon became
known that the prince Avas in the Conde de Gon-
domar's coach, and, as the equipage passed slowly
along, all eyes were directed towards it, and Charles
was readily distinguished. But the crowd were
respectful and unobtrusive, and it being understood
212 THE SPANISH MATCH.
that the prince desired to remain incognito, they
did not even attempt to cheer him. The noble
physiognomy of the prince, his grave looks and
dark complexion, delighted all beholders, and it
was universally said that he looked like a Castillan.
Buckingham likewise attracted great attention, but
was not so much admired as the prince.
In the central part of the drive, occupying the
space between the Calle de Alcala and the Calle
de San Geronimo, there was a broad open space,
surrounded by benches, and terminated at either
end by a fountain. This spot, being resorted to
by the best company, was known as the " Salon
del Prado," a designation which it still retains.
In the throng of caballeros careering round the
ring, mounted on fiery jennets or beautiful Bar-
bary horses, displaying their graces of horseman-
ship to the dark-eyed seiioras seated on the benches
or pacing to and fro on the walks, Charles beheld
the chief gallants of the city. All that Madrid
THE SPANISH MATCH. 213
could produce in the way of splendour of equi-
page, of fashion and beauty, was to be seen at that
moment in the Salon del Prado. There were
stately hidalgos, richly-dressed cavaliers, and lovely
dames, the latter, it may be mentioned, being uni-
versally attired in black, and wearing no other
covering to the head except the graceful and be-
But, though the bulk of the crowd was composed
of the higher classes, the populace was not ex-
cluded from the " Salon," and mingling with the
gayest groups might be seen priests, monks, ma-
nolos, gitanos, and gallegos. INIounted archers were
stationed at various points, but, as we have said, the
demeanour of the crowd was so orderly, that their
presence was scarcely required.
Charles had driven as far as Nuestra Seuora de
Atocha, a convent founded by Charles V., and
situated at the eastern extremity of the Prado, and
had just returned to the " Salon," when a grand
214 THE SPANISH MATCH.
procession of carriages, preceded by a mounted
escort, was observed to be descending the slope
from the Calle de Alcala. A hundred voices in-
stantl}'' called out, "The king! — the king!" And,
on hearing these shouts, Gondomar at once ordered
his coachman to halt.
Shortly afterwards the escort, which was pro-
ceeding at a foot's pace, rode by, and was followed
by the king's carriage, the large windows of which
being open, gave Charles a full view of the illus-
trious party inside it.
It was evident that Philip was anxiously look-
ing out for the prince, and the moment he caught
sight of him he courteously raised his hat, while
Charles returned the salutation with equal respect.
Not a word, of course, passed between the royal
personages, but Philip's speaking glances conveyed
the welcome he designed to accord to the prince.
Not less eloquent were the looks of all the rest
of the party in the carriage. The Infanta thought
THE SPANISH MATCH. 215
the prince could read her heart as he gazed at her,
and blushed deeply. The young queen, Elizabeth
of France, was enraptured, and as soon as the car-
riage passed by, she exclaimed, -with a glance at the
Infanta, " Oh ! how handsome he is ! "
" By Santiago ! he has a noble countenance,"
cried Philip. " And, strange to say, he looks more
like a Spaniard than an Englishman."
The meeting had been watched with great in-
terest by those suflSciently near to observe it, and
loud shouts were now raised for the king, but with
the good taste which had hitherto marked their
proceedings, the crowd still abstained from any
direct allusion to the prince.
After the royal carriage came that of the Conde-
Duque, and the countess was in ecstasies at the
sight of the prince. Then followed a dozen superb
carriages belonging to the highest nobility of the
court. All these equipages were splendidly gilt and
painted, and made a magnificent show.
216 THE SPANISH MATCH.
The grand cortege took its way slowly towards
the Recoletos Agustinos, a monastery situated at
the western extremity of the Prado, where the
royal party designed to alight and pay their de-
votions, and Gondomar ordered his coachman to
follow in the same direction.
Long before the prince's arrival, the royal family
had entered the monastery. Charles nevertheless
alighted, and was conducted to the chapel, where
vespers were being solemnised. To this chapel
only the royal family, and the nobles in immediate
attendance upon the king, were admitted, but a
word from Gondomar obtained instant entrance to
Charles and his companions.
The scene that offered itself to Charles's gaze
was striking. Within the chapel were congregated
the first nobility of Spain, disposed in various
groups. Before the altar knelt the young king,
with the queen on his right, and the Infanta on
the other side.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 217
AVhen Maria arose from prayer and looked round,
the first object she beheld was her lover. A thrill
of joy passed through her frame, for she construed
his presence in the chapel as a step towards Ro-
manism, and felt sure he would soon worship at
the same altar as herself. With more zeal than
before, she resumed her devotions, but when she
looked round again, Charles was gone.
Before the royal party issued from the monastery
night had come on. But innumerable torches were
lighted, and being borne by the side of the car-
riages on their return through the Prado, added
greatly to the effect of the procession.
218 THE SPANISH MATCH.
OF THE MEETING BET'^VTIEK CHAKLES AND THE KING IN THE
On the prince's return to the House of Seven
Chimneys, he found Olivarez awaiting his arrival.
" The gHmpse which his majesty has obtained of
your highness," said the minister, "so far from
satisfying him, has awakened in his breast such an
eager desire for an interview, that he cannot wait
till to-morrow, and he hopes, therefore, that you
will agree to meet him at midnight in the Prado."
'■' I am equally impatient to meet his majesty,"
THE SPANISH MATCH. 219
returned Charles. "In what part of the Prado
shall I find him?"
"Near the fountain at the east end," said Oli-
varez. " I shall be in attendance. I have a fur-
ther request to prefer to your highness. It is, that
you will graciously allow me to take the Marquis
of Buckingham with me, so that on this occasion
he may attend upon his majesty."
"Take him by all means," said Charles. "In
return, the Conde de Gondomar shall attend upon
me. To-night, my lord," he added to Buckingham,
"you will consider yourself a Spaniard, and serve
the king as faithfully as if you were his subject."
Thereupon, Olivarez and Buckingham quitted
the room together.
A little before midnight, attended by Gondomar
and the Earl of Bristol, Charles drove to the place
of rendezvous appointed by the king. At that
hour the Prado was almost deserted. An occasional
coach^ however, might be seen moving along slowly.
220 THE SPANISH MATCH.
while here and there a couple might be observed
engaged in amorous converse.
The niffht was clear and starlight, and as Charles
approached the fountain he perceived a coach
drawn up near it. At a short distance from the
carriage, pacing to and fro beneath the trees, could
be seen a tall caballero, with his face muffled in
his cloak, and a long rapier by his side. As soon
as Gondomar caught sight of this personage, he
said to Charles, " It is the king."
As the prince's coach stopped, the caballero be-
came motionless, and waited till the prince drew
near him. He then threw aside his cloak, and
springing towards Charles, embraced him.
" My brother ! I am delighted to meet you ! "
" Sire, I am equally dehghted to meet you,"
For more than half an hour the two royal per-
sonages walked together among the trees, each with
THE SPANISH MATCH. 221
his arm round the other's neck, and both seemingly
dehghted at the meeting. Philip questioned Charles
minutely as to his journey, and appeared greatly
interested by all he heard. They also spoke of the
Infanta, and Charles had every reason to believe
that the king was quite as eager as himself for the
speedy completion of the match.
So charmed were they with each other, that
they were loth to separate. But when of necessity
the interview came to an end, Philip begged per-
mission to conduct the prince home. Charles with
difficulty yielded, and it required some persuasion,
and even a little gentle force on Philip's part, to
induce the prince to get first Into the carriage.
"In doing this/' he said, "I feel I am disobey-
ing the king my father."
During the drive home Charles sat on the king's
right, and although Ollvarez and Buckingham were
now present, their discourse was as friendly and as
free from restraint as it had previously been. The
222 THE SPANISH MATCH.
king was very earnest with Olivarez to expedite as
much as possible the preparations for the prince's
public entry into the city and reception at the
palace, and the Oonde-Duque promised compliance.
By this time the carriage having arrived at the
House of Seven Chimneys, the royal pair separated
with every expression of regard.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 223
OF THE PRESENTS SENT TO CHARLES BY THE KING.
Thus far everything had gone well. Any mis-
givings that Charles entertained were banished
from his breast, and gave place to joyful confi-
dence. Unless some wholly unforeseen difficulty
arose, it seemed impossible there could now be any
serious impediment to the speedy completion of
the treaty. Buckingham was ([uitc as sanguine as
the prince, and even Bristol, though he had so
much experience of Spanish dissimulation, began
to think that Olivarez meant to act fairly. Full
224 THE SPANISH MATCH.
of joyful anticipations of the future, Charles retired
Next mornino:, when Graham entered his cham-
ber, and at the prince's request threw open the
casement, the white dove, which had been perched
on the window-sill since dawn, flew into the room,
and alighted near the couch — so near, that Charles
could have touched the beautiful bird if he had
extended his hand. There it remained so long as
the prince continued in the room.
On descending to the lower room Charles was
informed that two large chests had just arrived
from the palace, containing sumptuous apparel,
and 6ne linen for himself and his attendants.
Other presents were also sent by the king in the
course of the day.
Among the few nobles who were presented that
day to Charles by the Earl of Bristol was the
Conde de Monterey, who, after kneeling and kiss-
ing the prince's hand, said,
" I have to inform your highness that it has just
THE SPANISH MATCH. 225
been decided by the king and the council of state
that your public entrance into the city shall take
place at the earliest moment possible, his majesty
being naturally anxious to have you as his guest
in the palace. The ceremonial has, therefore, been
fixed for the day after to-morrow, and will be con-
ducted with the utmost splendour. On these oc-
casions it is customary for the kings and princes of
Spain to make their entrance into the city on
horseback. Trusting, therefore, that your highness
will deign to conform to the arrangement, his
majesty has sent by me two white Arabs of the
purest race, one of which he prays you to select for
your own use on the occasion — the other he him-
self will ride."
" I will try them both, my lord," replied Charles,
courteously, " and that which I deem the least ex-
cellent I will retain, leaving the otlicr to the king.
I pray you to convey my heartfelt thanks to his
majesty for the truly royal gifts he has lavished
VOL. II. o
226 THE SPANISH MATCH.
upon me. I accept them as an evidence of liis good
"I -mil deliver your liighness's message," said
Monterey, bowing profoundly. " Before I depart,
let me entreat your highness to command my ser-
vices in whatsoever way you may think proper.
And, in making this offer, let me add that I speak
not for myself, but for the whole court. All are
equally devoted to your highness — all eager to
With another profound salutation, he then with-
Charles's next visitor was the Duke de Cea, who
had just anived, and flew to pay his respects to the
Charles received the young duke with great cor-
diality, and diverted him by relating what had hap-
pened to the two barbs. De Cea remarked that he
had heard of El Cortejo as he crossed the Somo-
sierra, but had not been molested by the robber-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 227
chief. After some further discourse, Charles with-
drew Avith Bristol, leaving De Cea and Graham
"I have news that will delight you, my dear
friend," said the young duke. " I left Dona
Casilda and her father at Fuencarrel. They will
come on to Madrid this evening, and to-morrow
you can present yourself at the casa of the conde.
But I cannot conceal from you that he has pro-
mised his daughter to Don Christobal. Do not,
however, he discouraged. Dona Casilda prefers
you to your rival. She owned as much to her
sister, Dona Flor."
"You transport mc with delight by what you
tell me," cried Graham. ''•' But where is Doiia
" She is with her father and sister, and will
arrive with them this evening. Don Pompeo
joined them at Fuencarrel, and it was to avoid
meeting him that I came on to Madrid. It seems
228 THE SPANISH MATCH.
that his suspicions have been aroused in regard to
me, and I shall have to be doubly on my guard in
future, for were he to make any discovery, his
vengeance would know no bounds."
" For Doiia Flor's sake, I think you ought to
give up the affair," observed Graham.
" Impossible ! I love her too well," said the
young duke. " No, I must go on, be the risk
what it may. But enough of this. I am curious
to hear all that has happened to the prince since his
arrival in Madrid."
Graham then entered into details, and described
the prince's secret interview with the Infanta, with
which De Cea was vastly amused.
" The stratagem does great credit to Gondomar,"
he said, with a laugh, " and was admirably carried
out. I hope this will not be the only secret in-
terview the prince will have with his mistress.
When he takes up his abode in the palace other
opportunities will occur. And as it appears that I
THE SPANISH MATCH. 229
am fortunate enough to be appointed one of his
highness's lords in waiting, I shall be able to serve
him in this respect."
Their conversation was here Interrupted by the
return of Charles and Bristol, and shortly after-
wards Buckingham entered with Olivarez. The
Conde-Duque came charged with the most cordial
greetings of his royal master, who declared that
he could not pass the day without beholding the
prince, and therefore entreated his highness to
pay him a private visit that evening in the
To this Charles assented, all the more readily
because he hoped to see the Infanta. But in that
expectation he was disappointed.
Conveyed to the palace by Olivarez, he was met
at the foot of a private staircase by his majesty,
who was impatiently awaiting his arrival, and who
led him to the garden, where they had an hour's
230 THE SPANISH MATCH.
At the close of the interview, the king attended
Charles to his carriage, and when the prince had
entered it his majesty leaped in, and insisted on
accompanying him home.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 231
HOW THE PRINCE WENT TO THE CONVENT OF SAN
At length the day arrived which had been ap-
pointed for the prince's pubhc entrance into the
A little before noon, Charles and his attendants
were assembled in the reception-chamber. The
prince was attired in white satin, embroidered with
gold. From his neck, sustained by a broad blue
riband, hung the George, and beneath ]\is knee
he Avore the enamelled Garter. All his attendants
232 THE SPANISH MATCH.
were attired in the sumptuous apparel sent by the
King of Spain, and Buckingham's magnificent
person was displayed to the greatest advantage
in a doublet of oran<]ce-coloured satin, embroidered
with leaves of silver, with a mantle to niijtch. His
cap was of black silk, enriched with pearls, and
adorned with orange-coloured plumes.
Shortly afterwards four grandees were ushered
in, all of whom were splendidly attired in cloths
of gold and silver for the ceremonial. These were
the Marquis de Montes Claros, Don Fernando
Giron, the Conde de Gondomar, and the Duke
de Cea. After making profound reverences to the
prince, they informed him that, in pursuance of
the king's orders, they were come to conduct his
highness to the convent of San Geronimo.
Thanking them for their courtesy, Charles said
he was ready to attend them. Whereupon, with
as much ceremony as they could have sliown to
their own sovereign, they conducted him to a royal
carriage which awaited him at the door of the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 233
mansion. Beside this superb equipage, which had
half a dozen magnificently-caparisoned horses at-
tached to it, there were two other coaches, and a
detachment of mounted archers, in their full equip-
ments, were drawn up, to act as an escort to the
Charles having entered the coach, Buckingham
took a seat on his left, while Gondomar and De
Cea sat oj)posite to them, with their backs to the
horses. The next carriage was occupied by the
Earl of Bristol, Sir Walter Aston, and the two
grandees, and the third by the rest of Charles's
The cavalcade then got into motion, and made
its way to the Calle de Alcala, which was crowded
with people in their holiday attire. On beholding
the carriage containing Charles, the throng called
out lustily, " Viva el Principe de Galles ! " Charles
bowed repeatedly in acknowledgment of these de-
The royal convent of San Geronimo, whither
234 THE SPANISH MATCH.
the prince was now proceeding, was a large
monastic establishment, picturesquely situated ou
the rising ground on the north side of the Prado,
in the midst of the wood. From this convent it
was customary for the kings of Castile to make a
public entry into the city on the occasion of their
coronation, and no greater honour could have been
shown to Charles by the Spanish nation than to
treat him as one of their own kings.
At the gate of the convent stood the lord prior,
ready to receive the prince as he alighted, and all
the brethren who were assembled in the hull bowed
reverently as Charles passed through it. Having
ceremoniously conducted his illustrious guest to the
royal apartments, the lord prior left him, and pro-
ceeded with the brethren to the chapel, where mass
Breakfast was then served for Charles and his
attendants, and the prince was waited upon by the
grandees precisely as Philip himself would have
THE SPANISH MATCH. 235
When tlie repast was concluded, Charles re-
paired to the audience -chamber, where a chair of
state had been prepared for him, on which he took
his seat — the Spanish grandees standing on his
right hand, and Buckingham and Bristol on the
left. The prince had now to give audience to
various important personages, in the same manner
as the king. The first to be introduced was the
Inquisidor General — a tall, dark man, who seemed
well fitted by his looks for the office he held.
Nevertheless, he bent reverently before the here-
tical prince, and respectfully kissed his highness's
As the Inquisidor General moved on and took
his place near the grandees, he was succeeded by
the members of the Council-Royal of Castile, all
of whom knelt before the prince, those nearest him
kissing his hand. Then came the Council-Royal
of Aragon; then the Council of Portugal; and
after them the Council of Italy, the Council of
Mihtary Orders, the Council of the Indies, the
236 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Council of the Treasury, and the Council of the
Exchequer. Lastly, came Don Juan de Castilla,
the Corregidor of Madrid, and Don Lorenzo Oli-
varez, Don Pedro de Torres, and Don Christobal
de Medina, the three principal Regidores. All
these important officers knelt before the prince, and
after kissing his hand, drew up on either side of
the chair of state.
Just as the ceremonial was completed, loud fan-
fares of trumpets were heard without, and the usher
announced that the king and his two royal brothers
had arrived at the convent.
On this intelligence Charles immediately arose,
and followed by the grandees, together with Buck-
ingham and Bristol, proceeded to the gate of the
convent, where he found Philip, who had just
alighted with the two Infantes. On seeing Charles,
the king flew towards him, and aflfectionately em-
The two young princes next embraced Charles,
THE SPA^'ISH MATCH. 237
after which the royal party returned to the
audience-chamber. Here the king and his brothers
stood on one side, while all the grandees, nobles,
and gentlemen who had attended his majesty,
passed before Charles, and kissed his hand.
This done, trumpets were sounded, and a herald
came forward, proclaiming that, in honour of the
visit of the Prince of Wales, a general pardon
would be granted by his majesty to all offenders.
With a profound obeisance to the prince, the
herald then went forth to make the proclamation
in different parts of the city.
On his departure, the heads of each of the coun-
cils advanced towards the prince, and, when they
had stationed themselves before him, Philip, who
was standing beside Charles, spoke thus:
"Desiring to show all honour to the illustrious
Prince of Wales, who is now our guest, we enjoin
you, our faithful councillors, and all magistrates
and public officers, to do no favour and bestow no
238 THE SPANISH MATCH.
office, without his highness's direction, during his
abode with us."
" Your majesty's commands shall be obeyed,"
replied the chief of the Council of Castile, speak-
ing for the rest.
The whole assemblage then shouted, as with one
voice, " Viva el Principe de Galles ! "
Bowing graciously around, in token of his satis-
faction, Philip next took the hand of Charles, and
led him to the room in which he had breakfasted.
They were followed by the two young princes.
While tlie royal party tarried in this inner room,
cates and conserves, with sweet wines of Malaga
and Alicante, were served to them by the monks.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 239
OF THE PNIXCE's PUBLIC ENTRY INTO MADRID.
Meantime, the procession luid set forth from
the convent. At its head rode a band of trumpets
and clarions, drums, kettle-drums, cymbals, and
fifes, making the air resound -with martial strains.
The musicians wore cassocks of carnation satin
guarded Avith silver lace, and having black bor-
ders cut upon silver tinsel. Their caps were of
black velvet adorned with black and carnation
plumes. They were all well mounted, and had
the royal arms embroidered on the housings of their
horsc.=, banners, and pennons.
240 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Next came four trumpeters belonging to the
city of Madrid, clad in cassocks of orange-coloured
taffata laid with silver lace, and wearing black hats
adorned with plumes of the same hue as their cas-
socks. They were followed by a great host of
lacqueys habited in similar liveries, each armed
with sword and dagger, and carrying a white
Next came the three Regidores riding together,
and the Corregldor riding by himself.
After them came four trumpeters belonging to
Don Juan Alfonso Euriguez, Admiral of Castile,
in long coats of black satin guarded with gold
lace, with the admiral's arms on their breasts, and
wearing black hats with yellow and white plumes.
The admiral, who was mounted on a richly-
trapped charger, and bore a silver staff, was pre-
ceded by fifty lacqueys, wearing doublets of black
satin, cloaks fringed with gold, white shoes, and
black hats with orange and white plumes.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 241
Then came four trumpeters belonging to Don
Pedro de Toledo-Osorio, Marquis of Villa Franca,
wearing gaberdines of yellow satin laid with gold
lace, with the arms of tlie liouse of Toledo woven
on their breasts and shoulders. Their hats were
of black taffeta, with bands of gold and white
Don Pedro was preceded by thirty mounted
lacqueys in doublets laid with gold lace, with
sleeves of tinsel, and hats embroidered with little
windmills of gold, and adorned with white plumes
and tucks of silver.
Next came four trumpeters belonging to the
Conde de jMonterey, with cassocks of white satin,
laced and (lowered with gold, hats of white satin
with black plumes, and having the conde's arms
embroidered on their bandrols.
De IMonterey was preceded by a hundred
lacqueys, mounted on horses trapped with white
and gold, being the colours of the Prince of
VOL. n. R
242 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Wales, and habited in white satin, adorned with
leaves of gold, and wearing black hats with black
and white plumes.
Next came the trumpeters of the Duke de Cea,
in cassocks of blue satin laid with silver, black
hats with blue plumes, and having the duke's arms
on their trumpets. Before the duke rode fifty
lacqueys, mounted on noble chargers, with trap-
pings of velvet adorned with pearls, and having
pouncings of gold, silver, and pomegranates. These
lacqueys bore white targets with white bandels,
and were attired in blue satin covered with silver
lace. Their hats were of black satin, with bands
of silver and blue plumes.
Next came the trumpeters of Don Juan Hurtado
de Mendoza, Duke de Infantado, one of the
proudest of the Castilian nobles. These men
wore white frizado mantles, with gaberdines of
black damask edged with silver lace, with the
arms of Mendoza on their shoulders and breasts,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 243
as well as on the bandrols of their clarions. Before
the old duke rode fifty lacqueys in doublets and
hose of black satin, guarded with broad silver lace,
and black velvet hats Avitli bands and wreaths of
silver, and black and white plumes. Behind him
rode fifty grooms in crimson taffeta. The horses
were trapped in black and white.
After these followed tlie trumpeters and lacqueys
of Don Diego Lopez de Zuniga, General of the
Coast of Granada. Next those of Don Fernando
Giron. Then those of the Marquis of Castel Ro-
drigo; those of the Castellan of the Cordovas; of
the Marquis del Carpio; of the Conde de Saldana,
Don Christobal de Gavina, the Conde de Gondo-
mar, and a multitude of others.
The grandees vied with each other in splendour
of habiliments and number of attendants.
After the nobles and their attendants had ridden
on, there came a dozen trumpeters in carnation
satin, with the royal arms woven in gold on their
244 THE SPANISH MATCH.
bandrols. They were followed by the king's
equeny, his majesty's riders, the royal pages and
Then followed a hundred gentlemen of the royal
household, each mounted on a goodly charger,
trapped in black and white, with silver musrols,
and coverinfjs of crimson velvet, frinijed with gold
thread. On these cloths were embroidered the
king's name, Felipe IV., with the royal blazon.
Holdino; the bridle of each horse was a foot-
man in a doublet of carnation satin, laid with
silver and black lace, with mantles of cloth of
silver. Their hats were black, with silver bands
and carnation and black plumes. Then followed
the mayor-domos, and after them came the king
and the Prince of Wales riding side by side,
Charles being placed on his majesty's right hand.
Both presented a most majestic appearance — both
Avere perfect horsemen, so that it Avas impossible
to say to whom the palm of superior grace ought
THE SPANISH MATCH. 245
to be assigned. Philip was attired in black taffeta
richly guarded. His girdle glittered with dia-
mond?, and his black velvet hat, which was sur-
mounted by tall white plumes, was ornamented
with priceless jewels. Kound his neck was a
massive chain of gold, ornamented with green
and black emeralds, and representing four crowns
linked together. He also wore the orders of the
Toison d'Or and Calatrava, and on his mantle was
embroidered t]»e red cross of Santiago. The trap-
pings and furniture of the two noble steeds were
exactly alike. The manes and tails of the animals
Avere plaited with gold, the bridles and saddles
were of red morocco leather embroidered with
magnificent pearls, covered with the finest lamb-
skins, and the housings were of crimson velvet,
garnished and guarded with gold lace.
Behind the two royal personages, mounted on
chargers trapped in crimson velvet, embroidered
with gold, and adorned with their arms, rode Oli-
246 THE SPANISH MATCH.
varez and Buckingham, side by side like Philip
and Charles — and apparently, from their looks and
gestures, the best friends in the world. On this
occasion the two favourites acted as masters of the
horse to their respective rulers, and each was ac-
companied by a richly-caparisoned charger, led by
a couple of grooms, as a symbol of his office.
Buckingham's habiliments have been already de-
scribed. Those of Ollvarez were of black satin
embroidered witli gold, and cut upon silver tinsel,
and the hauglity minister wore a black hat glit-
tering with diamonds, and adorned with black
plumes striped with gold.
A crowd of richly-attired pages followed. Then
came the Earl of Bristol and Sir Walter Aston,
followed by Charles's three attendants, Graham,
Cottington, and Endymion Porter, all of whom
made a gallant show. The rear of the long and
magnificent cortege was brought up by a detach-
ment of the Almayn guard, under the command
of the Conde de Barrajas.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 247
The setting forth of Philip and Charles from the
Convent of San Geronimo was announced by a peal
of ordnance, and thereupon all the bells of the city-
began to ring joyously. Thousands of persons -u'cre
collected in the Prado to witness the procession,
and their continuous shouts rent the air. When
Philip and Charles came in sight, these acclamations
After travci'sing the Salon del Prado, the cortege
proceeded to the Calle de Alcala, and as the king
and the prince approached the street, four-and-
twenty regidores" of the city, gorgeously arrayed
in cloth of tissue, met them, bearing a superb
canopy, which they held over the king and his
guest during their progress through the city. We
may mention that this superb canopy was after-
wards presented by the regidores to Buckingham.
From the court-yard of the palace of the Conde-
Duque three hundred gentlemen in the minister's
livery, and bearing his arms, and all well mounted,
came forth to join the procession. They were
248 THE SPANISH MATCH.
under the command of Don Luis de Haro, son of
the Marquis del Carpio, and nephew of the Conde-
As may be supposed, the Calle de Alcala Avas
densely crowded, but a road was preserved for the
cavalcade by mounted arcliers and arquebusiers.
In the widest part of the street, beyond the palace
of the Conde-Duque, large scaffolds were erected,
covered with rich cloths and tapestry, and these
were now occupied by the various councils and
important functionaries who had just been to pay
homage to the prince.
All the liabitations Avere decorated with costly
stuffs, cloths of gold and silver, carpets and hang-
ings, and, in some cases, pictures were hung out.
The balconies and windows were filled with fair
spectators, who waved their kerchiefs as the king
and prince passed by. Not even at Philip's coro-
nation had so much enthusiasm been displayed.
Poems were improvised in the prince's honour, and
the following refrain to a song, composed for the
THE SPANISH MATCH. 249
occasion by the ilimous Lope de Vega, was evcry-
Avhere chanted :
Carlos Estuardo soy.
Que, siendo amor mi guia,
Al cielo de Espafia voy
Por ver my estrella Maria.
Charles Stuart was indeed the hero of the hour.
The story of his romantic expedition had been
everywhere recounted, and had roused the strongest
sympathies of a generous and impulsive people.
The prince's distinguished appearance and majestic
deportment more than realised the notions that had
been formed of him, and all tongues were loud in
his praise. Moreover, it had been artfully insinuated
by the priesthood, at the instigation of Olivarez,
that not only had Charles come to claim the In-
fanta, but that he intended to recant his heresies
and embrace the faith of Rome, and this fiction
being firmly believed by the populace, there was
no drawback to the general rejoicing.
At the Pucrta del Sol a stage was erected, on
250 THE SPANISH MATCH.
■which was performed a ballet, introducing the best
national dances. The fountain in the midst of the
plaza ran with wine, and all the houses in the Calle
Mayor were as richly adorned as those in the Calle
As he entered the grand plaza in front of the
Palacio Real, a magnificent spectacle was offered to
the prince. The whole of the cavalcade was here
drawn up, and was surrounded by the royal guard
in their full accoutrements. The clangour of the
trumpet, the clash of the cymbal, the thunder of
the kettle-drum, and the shrill notes of the fife,
were heard from the band which was stationed near
the principal gate of the palace. Towards this gate,
which we have already mentioned retained its ori-
ginal Moorish character, Philip and Charles now
proceeded amid the deafening acclamations of the
At the gate they were met by Don Luis de
ParedeSj alcayde of the palace, with a number of
THE SPAXISH MATCH. 251
gentlemen of the household, and were ceremoniously
conducted to the grand portal, where the king and
his royal guest alighted. Fain would Charles have
taken the hindmost place, but this Philip would not
permit, and the point of etiquette was at last ad-
justed, as it had been before, by their walking side
by side, each with an arm on the other's shoulder.
In this fraternal fashion, which excited the admira-
tion of all who beheld them, and preceded by
the Conde de Pucbla and the Conde de Bena-
vente, mayor-domos, thev repaired to her majesty's
They found the queen in a large and splendidly
furnislied apartment, at the upper end of wliich was
a canopy of gold tissue adorned with the arms of
Castile and Aragon. On either side of the canopy
were ranged the queen's meninos and meninas,
habited in rose-coloured satin, and beneath it were
placed gilt chairs, covered with crimson velvet, on
wliich the queen and the Infanta were seated, but
252 THE SPANISH MATCH.
on the entrance of Charles with the king, the two
royal ladies at once arose and advanced to meet
Her majesty was splendidly arrayed in a robe
of cloth of silver, and literally blazed with dia-
monds. The Infanta was fixr more simply attired
in white satin, and her sole ornaments were pearls.
She blushed deeply as she returned Charles's pro-
found salutation, and when addressed by him she
trembled and manifested considerable agitation.
The prince avigurcd well from this display of feel-
ing. The royal party next proceeded to the canopy,
where Charles was placed between tlie queen and
the Infanta, and where they all remained for some
time in conversation. But in spite of his efforts,
Charles failed to draw the Infanta into discourse.
She listened with evident interest to what he said,
and sometimes smiled, but silence seemed imposed
upon her by the frigid rules of Spanish etiquette.
On the other hand, the queen was extremely
THE SPANISH MATCH. 25o
Half an hour was spent in this way, and at the
expiration of that time his majesty proposed to
conduet the prince to liis quarter of tlie palace.
As Charles withdrew, the queen and the Infanta
accompanied him to the door.
A magnificent suite of apartments, equal in ex-
tent to those occupied by his majesty, had been
assigned to the prince. They were situated in that
part of tlie palace which enjoyed the finest view,
and overlooked the gardens and the valley of the
Manzanares. At the back was a patio surrounded
by marble arcades, and filled with orange-trees.
When the king and the prince entered the noble
gallery belonging to the apartments in question,
they were met by the Conde de Monterey, who
had been appointed the prince's mayor-domo-mayor,
and the Conde de Gondomar and the Duke de Cea,
his highness's mayor-domos, and were ceremoniously
ushered into a grand reception-chamber, where they
found tlie Conde-Duque de Olivarez, the Duque de
Infantado, the Admiral of Castile, the Marquis del
254 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Castel Rodrigo, and all the first grandees of Spain.
With them weve the Marquis of Buckingham, the
Earl of Bristol, Sir Walter Aston, Graham, and
the rest of Charles's attendants.
The grandees raised their hats to Charles, but
immediately replaced them.
While the royal pair were still standing together,
the Conde de Monterey delivered two gold keys to
his majesty, who took them, and, presenting them
to Charles, said:
" These keys will open all the doors of the palace
to you. Your highness will bestow them as you
Returning suitable thanks, Charles immediately
gave one key to Buckingham, and the other to
Shortly afterwards, the large doors at the upper
end of the chamber were thrown open, and an usher
announced that the banquet was served.
Amid flourishes of trumpets, and marshalled by
the Conde de Monterey and the two other mayor-
THE SPAJNISH MATCH. 255
domot-, Philip and Charles, walking side by side,
'passed into the Lanqueting-chamber, where a grand
repast awaited them.
At the upper end of the long table, on which
Avas a gorgeous display of gold plate, was a dais,
with a canopy above it emblazoned with the arms
of England. Here seats Avere placed for PhiHp
and Charles, who were waited upon by Gondomar
and De Cea.
At the close of the banquet, the king and prince,
with all the court, drove forth to Avitncss the re-
joicings that were taking place in tlie city. When
night came on, all the houses were illuminated, and
immense bondres were lighted in the public places.
At midnight, a grand display of fireworks took
place in the Salon del Prado.
With shouts of welcome ringing in his ears,
Charles returned to his apartments in the Palacio
l^nti Of tije tZDIjirtJ i3oolj.
HOW CHARLES PASSED HIS TIME AT THE PALACE.
For more than a fortnight Charles had now
occupied the magnificent suite of apartments as-
signed him by the king in the royal palace. He
was treated with as much state and ceremony as
Philip liimself, served by grandees, consulted by
the heads of tlie different councils and other offi-
cials, attended by a princely retinue of servants,
and escorted by a guard of mounted archers when-
ever he stirred abroad. Durino- all this time the
royal festivities had continued, and splendid enter-
260 THE SPANISH MATCH.
tainments were given^ at wliicli tlie whole court
assisted. Rejoicings were also held throughout the
city, and bonfires blazed nightly in all the pubHc
Nothing was talked about but the approaching
royal marriage, and it was universally believed
that the ceremonial was only delayed until the
prince had publicly abjured his heresies, and con-
formed to the faith of Rome. The latter opinion
Avas somewhat shaken by the arrival of two Eng-
lish chaplains, Doctors Man and Wren. These Pro-
testant divines were regarded with so much dis-
like at the palace, that they were compelled to
take up their abode with the Earl of Bristol at the
House of Seven Chimneys.
By this time so many English nobles and persons
of distinction had arrived in Madrid, that Charles
was able to keep up a court of his own at the
palace, and his ante-chamber was daily crowded.
Among the first to join the prince were the Earl
THE SPANISH MATCH. 2G1
of Carlisle, with the Lords Mountjoy and Ken-
sington, each of whom brought with him a retinue
of servants and a supply of horses. The next
to arrive were Lord Andover and Sir Robert Carr,
gentlemen of the bed-chamber to the prince. Next
came Lord Vaughan, the prince's comptroller, and
with him Archie, the court fool, who had claimed
fulfilment of James's promise to allow him to visit
Madrid. Then came Lords Hay, E-ochford, and
Montague, with Sir George Goring, Sir Thomas
Jermyn, Sir John Wentworth, and many others,
brin^infr with them rich habiliments, tiltino- furni-
ture, horses, jewels, and other ornaments for the
prince and Buckingham, who were thus enabled to
make a display befitting their dignity.
Buckingham also was gratified in an especial
manner. A patent, by which he was created Earl
of Coventry and Duke of Buckingham, was sent
him by his royal master. Sir Francis Steward, the
bearer of the patent, also brought with him the
262 THE SPANISH MATCH.
insignia of the Garter for the newlj-made duke,
together with the gorgeous robes of the Order, to
be worn by the prince and Buckingham on Saint
"I send you also," wrote James to his two
bairns, " the robes of the Order, which you must
not forget to wear on Saint George's Day, and
dine together in them, if they come in time, which
I pray God they may, for it will be a goodly sight
for the Spaniards to see my two boys dine in
The accession of rank which he had thus ac-
quired was especially gratifying to Buckingham, as
it placed him on a level with Ollvarez. But his
arrogance was greatly increased, and became almost
insufferable. Though Ollvarez unquestionably exer-
cised as much influence over Philip as Bucking-
ham did over Charles, the haughty minister treated
his royal master with every outward show of re-
spect. Not so Buckingham, who even ventured to
THE SPANISH MATCH. 263
seat himself in the prince's presence — an unpardon-
able breach of etiquette in the opinion of the
grandees, who could not understand how the prince
tolerated such familiarity. Nothing but considera-
tion for Charles prevented many of them, provoked
almost beyond endurance by the favourite's inso-
lence, from coming to an open rupture with him.
Buckingham, however, seemed utterly indifferent
to their opinion, regarding the Spaniards with ill-
disguised scorn, and treating them with unbecoming
levity. In the midst of a grave discussion he
would break off suddenly with the snatch of a
song, as if to manifest the little impression pro-
duced upon him by the conference, or, snapping his
fingers like castanets, would amuse himself by prac-
tising a bolero or a seguidilla. After a time, the
only influential person in the Spanish cabinet who
remained constant to him was the Conde de Gon-
Digby's grave and courteous manners were
264 THE SPANISH MATCH.
favourably contrasted with those of Buckingham,
and general regret was expressed that the prince
did not prefer him to the capricious, frivolous,
and overbearing favourite. In the hope of lower-
ing Bristol in the esteem of the Spanish cabinet
and court, Buckingham lost no opportunity of
slighting him; but he did not succeed in his de-
sign, and had the mortification of discovering that
the discreet ambassador was preferred to himself by
the king and his minister.
This dissension between Buckingham and his
colleague was singularly unfortunate for Charles,
as it rendered unanimity in his councils impos-
sible; any proposition made by Bristol, however
judicious, being opposed by Buckingham. Hence
constant difficulties were created.
But while Buckingham was raising up against
himself a host of enemies, and the English nobles,
aping his manner, were rendering themselves ob-
noxious to the Spaniards by their insolence, Charles
THE SPANISH MATCH. 265
lost none of his popularity. His gracious manner
and dignified deportment delighted all who ap-
proached him ; and so friendly was the intercourse
between him and the king, that Philip began to
feel a real affection for his expected brotlier-in-
law. The two exalted personages rode forth fre-
quently together, and amused themselves with
hawking on the plains in the valley of the Man-
zanares, or in chasing the wild-boar, the wolf, and
the fox, in the woods of a royal domain called El
Pardo, about three or four leagues from Madrid.
But though Charles had every reason to be
satisfied witli the attention shown him by the
king, he was wofully disappointed in the main
object of his visit. His suit with the Infanta
made little or no progress. He saw her daily,
it is true, either at some grand entertainment in
the palace, or in the royal carriage wlien she drove
in the Prado; but lie found it impossible to ob-
tain any private discourse with her. Her manner
266 THE SPANISH MATCH.
towards him was so constrained and formal that he
was almost driven to despair. De Cea had under-
taken to obtain him a private interview with her,
but since the prince's arrival at the palace she had
been so closely watched, that hitherto the young
duke had failed in the attempt.
So annoyed was Charles by the treatment he ex-
perienced, that one day he remonstrated on the sub-
ject with the king.
" I fear my visit will be in vain, sire," he said.
" I cannot flatter myself that I make the slightest
progress in your sister's good graces. I know not
how to express myself otherwise than by saying
that she surrounds herself with an icy atmosphere
that chills me as I approach. As her accepted
suitor, me thinks I ought to be allowed somewhat
"I admit the justice of your complaint, prince,"'
said Philip, " but it is not in my power to relax
in the slightest degree the forms prescribed by
THE SPANISH MATCH. 267
etiquette in regard to my sister. But rest assured,
tliough her manner is necessarily cold and formal,
in reality she is strongly attached to you."
" I should feel perfectly easy if I could have
such an assurance from her own lips, sire," re-
"It is impossible she can so satisfy you until after
the espousals, when her position will be altered,"
said Philip. " Meantime, I am aware of her senti-
ments, and can speak for her."'
Charles made no reply, but said to himself, "I
will see her at all hazards."
268 THE SPANISH MATCH.
MADRID FKOM THE MONTANA DEL PRINCIPE PIO.
On the morning after the conversation just re-
corded took place between the king and the prince,
at an early hour three persons of noble mien as-
cended the path leading to the summit of the
Montana del Principe Pio, a hill situated at the
north-west side of Madrid.
Apparently their object was to obtain a view of
the city, which the eminence in question afforded,
for as soon as they had selected an advantageous
position, they stood still and gazed around, care-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 269
fully noting the various objects that came under
On the brow of the hillj immediately in their
rear, and completely commanding the city with its
ordnance, was a strong square fort surrounded by
ramparts. From a standard planted on the highest
point of this redoubt the royal banner floated in the
morning breeze, while armed men paced to and fro
on the walls.
We have already mentioned that it was not until
Philip 11. fixed his residence in Madrid that it be-
came the capital of Spain, and it was chiefly during
his reign and that of his son, Philip III., that the
city had been extended and embelhshed. Hence,
if at the period of our history Madrid could boast
of little antiquity, it had other merits in the eyes
of the persons who now regarded it. Well built,
laid out with a certain regularity, it had several
broad and handsome streets, many noble plazas
adorned with fountains and statues, a large park,
270 THE SPANISH MATCH.
and royal gardens, to wliicli the public had access.
The architecture of its habitations, if not pic-
turesque, had an imposing character, and many of
the palaces of the nobility were of vast size and
very stately appearance.
From the Montana del Principe Pio, Avhich was
only separated by a valley from the palace, an ad-
mirable view of that truly regal structure was ob-
tained. Indeed, from no other spot could it be seen
to so much advantage. From the same heights,
also, the royal gardens were discernible, as well as
the Casa del Campo, a delightful country residence
belonging to the king on the farther side of the
The attention, however, of the three persons was
chiefly engrossed by the city. After counting the
gates, commencing with the Puerta de Segovia,
which Avas a little to the south of the palace, pass-
ing on to the Puerta de Toledo, and thence to the
Puerta de Atocha, they followed the Prado till
THE SPANISH MATCH. 271
they came to the Puerta de Alcala, and completed
their survey with the Puerta de Bilboa. All the
more prominent features of the city were thus
brought before them, and they were enabled to
form an accurate notion of its general appearance
One of the party, who acted as cicerone to the
others, next pointed out the principal streets — the
Calle de Alcala and the Calle Mayor, which tra-
versed the city from east to west, running from the
Prado to the royal palace — the Calle de Atocha,
the Calle de Geronimo, and the Calle de Toledo.
Having traced the streets, they turned to the
plazas, and readily distinguished tliose of San Joa-
chim, La Cevado, and San Domingo, the Puerta
del Sol, and the Plaza Mayor. The churches and
convents next claimed attention, and the guide
pointed out San Domingo cl Real, founded in the
thirteenth century; Nuestra Sefiora de la Concep-
cion, built at the close of the fifteenth century; the
272 THE SPANISH MATCH.
monastery of the Descalzes Reales, founded by
Juana, daughter of Charles V. ; La Encarnacion,
built some years previously by Margaret of Aus-
tria, mother of Phihp IV. ; and several others —
none of them, however, with much pretension to
architectural beauty. From streets, plazas, churches,
and public buildings, the guide came to private
mansions, and while pointing out the residences of
tlie chief nobilit}^, indicated the abode of Don
Pompeo de Tarsis in the Calle Ancha de San Ber-
nardo, the Casa Saldana, and, lastly, the House of
Their survey of the city completed, the party
suffered their gaze to stray over its environs. In
the bare and tawny plain in which Madrid is situated
there is little on which the eye can rest with plea-
sure — no green pastures, no woods, nothing but a
vast tract of stony country, dreary and desolate
almost as a wilderness. There was scarcely any
water in the channel of the Manzanares — the only
THE SPANISH MATCPI. 273
river to be seen in the neighbourhood. An impres-
sive aspect, liowever, was given to the vast stony
plains by the ranges of lofty snow-clad mountains
by which they were bounded; and though these
mountainous chains — the Somosierra and the Gua-
darrama — were many leagues off, the atmosphere
was £0 clear that the rifts on their sides and their
jagged peaks could be clearly distinguished. More-
over, amid this stony waste there were a few
green spots. A forest coi-.ld here and there be seen,
with a hunting-seat attached to it. These forests
formed part of the royal domains, and abounded
with wild-boar and deer. El Pardo Zarsuela, to
which the king often resorted to recreate himself
with the chase, was pointed out by the cicerone,
who also showed his companions another beautiful
country-seat belonging to Philip, called La Florida.
Lastly, he directed their attention to the king's
favourite retreat, El Buen Retiro, situated at the
VOL. II. T
274 THE SPANISH 3LVTCH.
east side of the Prado, and renowned for its de-
Upwards of an hour having been spent in this
survey of the city and its environs, the person who
had acted as cicerone on the occasion, and who was
no other than the Conde de Gondomar, said to the
chief of his companions :
" Is there anything further I can. show your
highness ? "
" No, I am quite satisfied," replied Charles. " I
have now got as perfect a notion of Madrid as if I
had dwelt all my life in the city."
"What think you of the city, my lord duke?"
inquired Gondomar, turning to the other.
" I like it better than I did at first," returned
Buckingham. "But I liope I shall not offend you,
count, if I confess that I am a little disappointed."
" OflTend me ! not in the least," replied Gondo-
mar, smiling. " I can bear to hear Madrid abused
without feeling my self-love hurt. Nay, I am so
THE SPANISH MATCH 275
much of an Englishman, that 1 prefer London.
Still, I think it a fine city."
" So it is," cried Charles, " a very fine city.
Those lofty mountains, with their snowy peaks —
even the bare plains by which it is surrounded —
add greatly to its effect. If it has no monuments
of antiquity — no picturesque structures replete with
historical associations — it has at least broad streets,
spacious plazas, and noble habitations. Above all,
it has a magnificent palace."
*' To say nothing of a river without water," re-
marked Buckingham. " I see the bed. of the
Manzanares, but can discern no stream."
" The channel is dry now," said Gondomar.
" But at times it contains a torrent. If your high-
ness is satisfied, we will proceed to the Casa del
Campo. It is about the hour when the Infanta
will go there."
" Is it not too early as yet? " remarked Charles.
"The princess rises betimes," returned Gondo-
276 THE SPANISH MATCH.
mar, "and the morning is so fine that it is cer-
tain to tempt her forth. I will engage you shall
" Nay then, let us not tarry a moment longer,"
THE SPANISH MATCH. 277
LA CASA DEL CAMPO.
The party then liastily descended the hill, and
proceeded along a road skirting the walls of the
royal gardens, laid out on the ancient Campo del
Moro. This road brought them to a handsome
stone brido-e across the Manzanares, or rather across
the almost dry bed of that generally insignificant
stream. Opposite them, on the farther bank of the
river, was the Casa del Campo, a small palace be-
longing to the king, the chief attraction of which
was its charminfi; garden.
278 THE SPANISH MATCH.
To this delightful retreat the Infanta frequently
repaired in the early morning, when she was likely
to be unobserved. Just as Charles and his attend-
ants had crossed the bridge, two royal carriages
were seen approaching, and the prince, whose beat-
ing heart informed him that his mistress was at
hand, stepped out of the road to allow them to
As he had anticipated, the first carriage con-
tained the princess. She was attended by Doiia
Elvira and the old Duke del Infantado. As
Charles caught her eye, she at once recognised
him, and uttered a cry of delight and surprise,
but her vivacity was quickly checked by the severe
looks of Doiia Elvira.
" It is the prince ! " exclaimed Maria.
" The prince ! " echoed the old duke, in sur-
prise, and with a look of displeasure. " What is
he doing abroad at this hour? You did not ex-
pect to behold him, princess?"
THE SPANISH MATCH. 279
" Certainly not," she replied.
" He cannot be admitted to the casa while you
are there, princess," said Doiia Elvira. " I will
not allow any meeting between you."
^' The prince has no such design, I am quite
sure," said the Infanta.
"I hope not," rejoined Dona Elvira, severely.
" But 1 shall take measures to prevent it."
*' Quite right, seuora," remarked the old duke,
By this time the carriage had reached the casa,
and was driven into the court-yard, where the
princess and tlie two persons Avith her alighted.
The second coach contained four meniuas, who
likewise alighted and followed the princess into
the palace. Dona Elvira's first order was that the
outer gates should be immediately closed, and no
one, of whatever rank, or under any pretext, ad-
mitted during tlie stay of the Lady Infanta.
*' Tliese precautions are quite unnecessary," said
2.80 THE SPANISH MATCH.
the Infanta, scarcely able to conceal her vexation;
" but 1 suppose you feel bound to take them."
"His majesty would blame me if anything oc-
curred," replied Dona Elvira.
" You cannot be too particular, seuora," said the
The Infanta made no remark, but passing
through the open windows of a saloon, entered
the garden. Evidently anxious to be alone, she
walked quickly on, and as Dona Elvira was now
quite free from apprehension, she did not attempt
to hasten after her, but followed at a leisurely pace
with the old duke. The meninas, enchanted i,o
be freed from restraint, scattered themselves in
different directions, and began to gather flowers.
Meantime, the Infanta continued to liurry on
until she reached a more retired part of the garden.
She was pursuing a shady path, when a noise at-
tracted her attention, and she perceived a man on
the summit of the garden wall. It was the prince.
THE SPANISH MATCH. 281
A cry escaped her at the sight, and she hardly
knew whether to remain or fly. While she was in
this state of indecision, Charles leaped lightly to
the ground, and hastened towards her.
" Fortune indeed has favoured me, princess," he
cried, flinging himself on his knee before her and
taking her hand. "I have entered this retreat,
scarcely hoping to find you, but chance has brought
me to you at once.*'
" You have done wrong to come here at all,
prince," she rejoined. " But you must not stay.
I would not have you discovered for the world.
Strict orders have been given by Dona Elvira that
you are not to be admitted to the casa, and if she
finds you here she will think the meeting has been
"Let her think what she pleases, Maria," cried
Charles. " I will not go. I cannot tear myself
from you. I am never able to obtain a moment's
private converse with you — never allowed to
282 THE SPANISH MATCH.
breathe my passion to you. Why should I be
treated with all this form and coldness? Am I
not your suitor? Why, then, should 1 be de-
barred from approaching you?"
" Because such is the custom in this court,
prince," she replied. "A princess of the royal
blood of Spain is not allowed any interchange of
affection with her suitor until after their espousals.
It is against her honour, and would be accounted a
reproach to her to see him alone. I must, there-
fore, beseech you to leave me instantly."
"Thus enjoined, I must needs obey you, Maria,"
cried Charles, rising.
*' Stay, prince," she exclaimed, checking him.
*^I would not have you think me indifferent to
you. Etiquette compels me to hide my feelings —
to treat you as a stranger, with coldness and re-
serve. But I find it a hard part to play. Pity
me, Charles — pity me — but do not blame me."
"Then you do love me, Maria?" he cried,
THE SPANISH MATCH. 283
''' Can 3'ou doubt it, Charles, after what I have
just said?" she rephed, with a tenderness in her
accents which they had never before betrayed.
"But since nothing less will content you, I will
own tliat I love you — love you dearly."
" My doubts are dispelled. My happiness is
complete," cried the prince. " Oh ! Maria, all I
have undergone for your sake is more than re-
"Oh, Charles!" she rejoined. "Henceforth you
will vmderstand me better. If I am compelled to
act coldly towards you — to remain mute when you
address me — you will know what is passing within.
You will forgive me."
" Yoii are an angel," he exclaimed.
And, carried away by his passion, he clasped her
in his arms.
In an instant all the chains that etiquette had
bound around the Infanta were broken. She did
not attempt to disengage herself from her lover's
embrace, but looked up tenderly in his face. Thus
284 THE SPANISH MATCH.
did they gaze at each other for a moment, and
then their lips met.
" Maria, my beloved, I thus vow eternal fidelity
to you," he cried.
" Charles, I am yours for ever. I swear it ! " she
rejoined, with equal fervour.
Thinking only of themselves, forgetting all the
world beside, utterly unconscious of danger, they
Avere still gazing fondly at each other, when the
Infanta suddenly started.
" Fly, prince ! '' she cried. " Footsteps are ap-
" A minute longer ! " he implored.
" Not a second," she rejoined, " or we shall be
Scarcely were the words uttered than Dofla
Elvira and tlie Duke del Infantado issued from a
side-path. If some dreadful spectacle had met her
sight the dueiia could not have looked more
THE SPANISH MATCH. 285
" Holy Mother ! " she exclaimed, with a scream.
" Look, duke ! look ! There they are together.
Oh ! I shall expire."
" Compose yourself, seiiora. You will have need
of all your faculties," cried the old duke.
286 THE SPANISH MATCH.
THE DUKE DEL IXEANTADO.
For a few moments no movement Avas made
on either side. Doua Elvira did not advance,
expecting the Infanta to come to her, but the
princess did not stir, neither did Cliarles relin-
quish her hand. The Duke del Infantado, whom
we have already described as one of the proudest
of the Castilian nobles, then stepped forward, and,
making a profound obeisance to the Infanta, said,
"Permit me, princess, to conduct you to your
THE SPANISH MATCH. 287
She made no reply, but consulted Charles by a
" Do not forget that you are a daughter of the
blood royal of Spain/' said the old duke. " Do not
forget Avhat is due to the king your brother."
" I am not likely to forget what is due cither to
myself or to the king,'' rejoined the Infanta,
And she gave her hand to the old duke, who
took it with the most profound respect, and deli-
vered her to Doiia Elvira, who by this time had
He then turned to Charles, and, making as deep
a reverezrce as that he had just addressed to the
Infanta, said, in accents of grave respect,
" Your highness will be pleased to excuse me.
In the discharge of my office as governor of the
Lady Infanta, I must entreat your highness to re-
tire. I shall have the honour of attending you to
the Grarden irate."
288 THE SPANISH MATCH.
Charles did not return the old duke's salutation,
but, regarding him with a lofty look, said,
" I shall use my own pleasure as to leaving the
garden, my lord duke."
"Be not offended with me, nohle prince," re-
monstrated the old duke. "Under any other cir-
cumstances, I would entreat your highness to re-
main here as long as might be agreeable to you
— indeed, as his majesty's representative, I would
place this garden and palace at your disposal — but
I beseech you now to depart."
"No more, my lord duke," rejoined Charles,
coldly. " I have said that I shall consult my own
pleasure as to the time and mode of my depar-
" Prince," cried the duke, casting himself at
Charles's feet, " I am an old man — old enough to
be your grandsire — and my long life has been free
from reproach. I am also head of the oldest and
proudest family of Castile, whose scutcheon is with-
THE SPANISH MATCH. '2Sd
out Stain. Do not bring disgrace and dishonour
upon me. Do not let it be said that I neglected
my trust. The Infanta is confided to my care,
and I am answerable for her with my head. I do
not blame your highness for the rash step you have
just taken, because you have been incited to it by
overpowering passion, which has blinded you to the
"What are the consequences, my lord duke?"
said Charles, still maintaining a haughty and in-
"Death and dishonour to me, prince/' replied
the duke — " punishment little less severe to Doiia
Elvira — immurement in a convent to the Lady
Infanta — and a certain rupture between his majesty
and your highness."
"Tut! tut! you magnify the matter, my lord,"
said Charles, incredulously.
" Highness," rejoined the old duke, in a sad
and reproachful voice, "the word of Juan Ilurtado
VOL. ir. u
290 THE SPANISH MATCH.
de Mendoza has never 3^et been doubted. By my
father's soul, I speak the truth ! Were my own
Hfe merely in jeopardy, I would urge you no fur-
ther. But wrong will be done to others far greater
than myself. The Infanta will suffer — the king
himself suffer — all the grandees of Spain will suffer
by this violation of Spanish etiquette. Were he so
minded, his majesty could not pass over the injury
to his honour."
"No injury has been done to the king's honour,
duke," said Charles. " I am the Infanta's suitor.
Her hand has been promised me by his majesty.
She herself has accepted me. I seek a momentary
interview with her in private. I obtain it — that
"Heaven keep all knowledge of the interview
from ray royal master ! " cried the duke. " From
me he shall never hear of it. As I have affirmed,
he must resent it. Our nice sense of honour requires
that no Castilian princess of the blood shall ex-
THE SPANISH MATCH. 291
cliange a word in private with tlie suitor for her
hand until after tlieir espousals. This rule your
highness has infringed. But I beseech you to re-
flect — for your own sake — for the sake of the In-
fanta — before you make the consequences of the
" Rise, I pray you, my lord duke," said Charles,
raising him. " You have convinced me. I see the
error I have committed. I thank you for the de-
votion you have displayed to the Infanta — to my
future consort. I will do as you desire."
" Nobly decided, prince," said the old duke.
While the Duke del Infantado had been thus
pleading with the prince, the Infanta remained
standing at a little distance with Doiia Elvira,
resisting all the attempts of the latter to induce
her to withdraw. She now stepped towards them,
and with great dignity of manner said to the duke,
" My lord, after what has passed between you
and the prince relative to my brief interview with
292 THE SPANISH MATCH.
his highness, I think it right to tell you that we
have plighted our faith, and that I regard him as
"You have not the power so to phght your-
self, princess," rejoined the duke, " and therefore
the promise is not binding."
" You are mistaken, my lord," said the Infanta,
haughtily; "my promise is inviolable. I will wed
no other than Charles Stuart, unless he himself
shall discharge me from my pledge."
" Do not deceive yourself, princess," said the old
duke, " and do not mislead the prince. Unless such
promises are solemnly ratified, and by the consent
of the king your brother, they are of no account."
" I hold imj promise sacred, my lord duke," cried
Charles, " and I call upon you to attest it."
" Mine is equally sacred. Bear witness to my
words, my lord," added the Infanta.
"I hear — I hear," exclaimed the duke, with
some impatience, " but I tell you the king would
THE SPANISH MATCH. 293
hold such promises as nought, were they reported
to him, which they never will be by me, for my
lips will remain always sealed in regard to this
meeting. That you may be speedily united is my
heartfelt wish, and that no impediment may arise
to that consummation of all our hopes, I would
urge his highness's immediate departure.'
"Yes, you must go, prince — indeed you must,"
cried the Infanta. " So far the duke is right. If
you arc discovered, my brother will be so offended
that I tremble for the consequences to us all.
She then tripped towards Dona Elvira, and,
having joined her, hurried along the path leading
to the casa. After proceeding to some distance,
jNIaria turned and perceived the prince still stand-
ing wlicre she had left him, watching her. It
being evident that he would not stir as long as
she continued in sight, she waved an adieu to
him, and turned into a side-path.
VOL. II. X
294 THE SPANISH MATCH.
"I am ready now, my lord," said Charles, as
the Infanta disappeared.
Not a word passed between them as they pur-
sued their way, following the course of the wall
that bounded the garden, but when at last they
reached the gate, the old duke said,
*' I shall take no precautions, feeling assured
your highness will not attempt to scale this garden
"Have no fear, my lord duke," replied Charles.
" I shall not repeat the visit."
The gate was then unlocked, and Charles passed
through it. Shortly afterwards he was joined by
Buckingham and Gondomar, who were waiting for
END OF VOL. II.
PRINTED BT C. WaiTING, BEAUFORT HOUSE, STRAND.