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Full text of "The Spanish match : or, Charles Stuart at Madrid"

UNIVERSITY 01- 

ILLINOiS LIBR/^RY 

M URBANA-CHAi^h^AIG' 



C^nA^^ ^^/(^ 



THE 



SPANISH MATCH 



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. 
VOL. II. 



LONDON: 

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY. 

1865. 



[The riyhi of Translation is reserved^} 



LONDON : 

PRINTED BY C. WHITING, BEAUFORT HOUSE, STRAND. 



f23 



CONTENTS OF VOL. IL 



BOOK I. — continued. 

THE JOURNEY OF JACK AND TOM SMITH TO 
MADRID. 

XXI. PAGE 

TuE Duke de Cea .3 

XXII. 

How THE Duke de Cea made a Confidant op Don 

RiCABDO 15 

XXIII. 

IIow Don Carlos and Don Jorge visited the Car- 
dinal-Duke DE Leema . . . . .35 
VOL. II. h 



IV CONTENTS. 

XXiV. PAGE 

El Coktejo 57 

XXV. 

The Alcalde or Caba>'illas 75 



BOOK 11. 

THE INFANTA MARIA. 

I. 
The Easl of BrasxoL 93 

II. 

Of the Meeting between Charles and the Infanta 
Mael\ 1.20 

III. 
The White Dove 150 



BOOK III. 
THE CONDE-DUQUE DE OLIVAREZ. 

I. 
How Buckingham was presented to Olivarez . . 163 



CONTENTS. 



II. 



PAGE 



PniLip IV 176 

III. 

Padke Ambrosio 187 

IV. 

Or THE Visit paid by Olivarez to Charles . . 201 

V. 

How Charles drove in the Prado, axd how he 
SAW the Infanta in the Chapel of the Reco- 
LETOs Agustinos 209 

VI. 

Of THE Meeting between Charles and the King 
IN the Prado . 218 

VII. 
Of the Presents sent to Charles by the King . 223 

VIII. 
How THE Prince went to the Convent of San 
Geronimo 231 

IX. 

Of the Prince's public Entry into Madrid . . 239 



VI CONTENTS. 

BOOK IV. 

FIESTAS REALES. 

I. PAGE 

How Chakles passed his time at the Palace . 259 

II. 

Madrib from the Montana del Principe Pio . . 268 

III. 

La Casa del Campo 277 

TV. 

The Duke del Infantado 286 



Clje ipiitslj Pat4 



BOOK I. 

(continued.) 



THE JOURNEY OF JACK AND TOM SMITH 
TO MADRID. 



VOL. II. 



XXI. 



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 
b2 



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 
to Graham. 



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- 
quished, seiior," 

" 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 
Guino." 

" 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 
gentleman." 

" 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 
de Lerma." 

"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 
hotel." 

" 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 
situated. 

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 
side." 

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 



XXII. 

HOTT THE DUKE DE CEA MADE A CONFIDANT OF DON 
KICAHDO. 

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 
frugal repast. 

" 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 
C2 



20 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

orders, and dark-eyed women draped in man- 
tillas. 

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- 
sonages. 

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- 
peared. 

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 
friend : 

" 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 
inflammable temperament." 

" 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 
be jealous." 

" Apparently not without cause," remarked 
Graham. " Permit me to inquire whether Don 
Pompeo resides in Burgos or the neighbour- 
hood?" 

" 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 
Cea. 

" 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?" 
asked Graham. 

" 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- 
vina.", 

" Diablo ! " exclaimed Graham, in a tone of 
vexation. 

" 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 
the way." 

"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 
my way." 

" 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 
unattended." 

"'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 
society." 

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 
me." 

" 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 
his majesty." 

" 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 
and governesses." 

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- 
lejo. 

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 



XXIII. 

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. 
D 2 



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- 
nished. 

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 
horses. 

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- 
nister. 

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 
his grandson. 

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 
the unfortunate." 

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 
king." 

" 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 
rightly." 

" 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 
decision." 

" 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- 
varez." 

" I would you were still in power, lord cardinal," 
said Charles. 

" I could serve your highness, my king, and my 
country at the same time, if I were so," replied De 
Lerma. 



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 
own sou." 

^' 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 
my post." 

" I wonder not at your anger, my lord," re- 
marked Charles. 

"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 
more." 

" 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- 
found silence. 

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 
e2 



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 
just quitted. 



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- 
domo. 

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 
his benediction. 

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 



XXIV. 



EL CORTEJO. 



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 
las Vinas. 

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 
the sierra. 

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 
stature. 

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 
shoulder. 

" 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," 
cried Roque. 



62 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Nay, if you swear it, I will believe you," said 
the host. 

" 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- 
tanches ham. 

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- 
ample. 

*' 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 
leaders. 

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 
to Buckingham. 

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 
Mendez. 

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- 
ferated. 

" 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 
f2 



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 
its accomphshment. 

" Ha, villain ! " exclaimed Charles, drawing a 
pistol and levelHng it at Mendez, " thou hast duped 
us. But thou shalt pay for thy treachery with 
life." 

So saying, he pulled the trigger, but no report 
followed. 

Buckingham likewise tried to fire, but both his 
pistols snapped. 

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, 
bowing. 

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, 
sternly. 

"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- 
rowly. 

" 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- 
mise. 

On this. El Cortejo ordered his men to lower 
their trabucos and fall back, and the injunction was 
instantly obeyed. 

" 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 
robbing you." 

" 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 
and Buckingham, 

" 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 
Cortejo." 



THE SPANISH BIATCH. 75 



XXV. 



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- 
tejo. 

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 
the background. 

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 
family." 

" 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 
alcalde. 



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 
Charles. 

" 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 
horses." 

"Very likely the mules were stolen," observed 
the alcalde. 

" 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 
once." 



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- 
tors. 

" 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- 
tero. 

" 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 
horses."' 

" 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 
barbs." 

"Not unless your worship can capture El Cor- 
tejo, and I fear there is little chance of that," re- 
joined Charles. 

" 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- 
nimo. 

" 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- 
ing? 

"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 

g2 



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 
and Madrid. 

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 
city. 

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 
Prado. 

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 
by." 

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 
chimneys. 

" Behold it ! " cried Cottington, pointing to 
the mansion. " Behold the House of Seven Chim- 
neys!" 

" Let us count the chimneys, and make sure," 
cried Buckingham. " His majesty desired precise 
information on the subject. By Heaven ! there are 
only six." 

" Count again, my lord," rejoined Cottington, 
laughing. "Your eyes deceive you. There are 
certainly seven." 

" 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 
Buckingham. 

" It is just as visible as the others," returned 
Cottington. 

" 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- 
quis, incredulously. 

" 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 
the house."' 

" Rightly called, I maintain, — ' La Casa de las 
Siete Chimenea?,' " rejoined Cottington, determined 
to have the last word. 

Jzxia of tliz jpirst ^ooh 



BOOK II. 



THE INFANTA MARIA. 



I. 



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 
to Buckingham. 

" 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- 
sponse." 



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.." 
II 2 



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 
clear." 

" 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, 
curiously. 

" He could assign no cause, but promised to see 
your lordsliip to-morrow; so you may prepare for 
the visit." 

" Heaven grant the despatch may arrive in the 
interim ! " cried Bristol. " 1 am puzzled how to 
act." 

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- 
tary. 

"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- 
don." 

" Ha ! he may bring a letter, or a message from 



102 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the king," cried Bristol. " Who is it, Jer- 
myn?" 

" 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- 
myn. 

" 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 
the room. 

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 
Somoslerra." 

" 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 
gentleman." 

" 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 
lord?" 

" 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- 
domar. 

"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 
them." 

"That I can readily believe," remarked Bris- 
tol. 

" 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 
king." 

" 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 
his son." 

"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- 
ingham, imperiously. 

" 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," 
muttered Buckingham. 

^' 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 
tell." 

" 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- 
light. 

" 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- 
fanta." 



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 
Charles. 

" 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- 
mantic adventure." 

" 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, 
«Go!" 

^' 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 
neglect it?" 

"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 ! " 
i2 



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 
kept secret." 

"There your lordship is perfectly right," said 
Gondomar. "Every precaution should be taken 
to ensure secresy. The visit must not even be 
suspected." 

" 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 
them." 

" 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. 



II. 

OP THE MIETING BETWEEN CHARLES AND THE INFANTA 
MAHIA. 

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 
gardens. 

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 
Gondomar. 

" 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 you." 

"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 
commit." 

" 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 
me, senor." 

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 
detected." 

" Never ^^fear," rejoined Gondomar. " Await 
our return." 

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 
etiquette. 

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 
k2 



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 
side-door. 



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- 
sence." 

"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, 
princesa?" 

" I know not what to say. Tell him — say I bid 
him welcome." 

"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 
Gondomar. 

" 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- 
tunity. 

"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 
Charles. 

" Often. They are constantly talking about you. 
They describe you as a charming young prince, 
but " 

"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- 
retic." 

" 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 
entire affection." 

"And can you not give i[ me as it is?" de- 
manded Charles. 

" 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 
enough?" 

"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 
cried. 

She made no response, but tripped off to her 
dueiia. 

"All has gone well, I trust, prince?" inquired 
Gondomar. 



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- 
tempt." 

•'■' 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 
Velasquez. 

" 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 
great painter. 

"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- 
domar. 

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 
l2 



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 
the Infanta?" 

" Seen her and spoken with her," replied 
Charles. 

" 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. 



III. 

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 
me hope." 

" A propos of letters, I have one for your high- 
ness," remarked Graham. 

"From the king my father?" cried Charles, 
eagerly. 



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 
surprise. 

" 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 
them." 

" Prithee, read it to me," said Charles. 

Graham then opened the letter, and read aloud 
as follows: 



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 
by surprise." 

"Nor have visited the palace last night," said 
Charles, smiling. 

"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- 
vacy." 

"Without making yourself known?" 

" Without making myself known — save to the 
Infanta." 



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, 
lausjhino;. 

"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 
favourite. 

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 
separate them. 

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. 



BOOK III. 



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 
m2 



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 
glory. 



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 
favourite. 

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 
jealousy. 

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 
stranger." 

" I will come to them instantly," said the Conde- 
Duque. 

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 
Buckingham. 

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 
Anthony himself." 

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- 
ment. 

" What ! my lord of Buckingham here ! " he 
exclaimed. 

" 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 
happy issue." 

" 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 
majesty." 

" 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 
Infanta." 

" 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 
Buckingham. 

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. 



II. 



PHILIP IV. 



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 
Wales?" 



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- 
binet. 

" 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- 
varez. 

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 
care." 

" I cannot think you are trifling with me, my 
lord," said Philip. " Yet what you say sounds like 
a jest." 

" 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 
Paris." 

" By Santiago ! a gallant exploit ! " cried Philip. 
<' Charles Stuart seems to have the spirit of a 
knight errant." 

" Whatever spirit he may possess, he has com- 
mitted a great imprudence," said Olivarez. " It is 
n2 



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- 
mar. 

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 
highness." 

"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- 
man." 

" It will delight me to obey your majesty," said 
Gondomar, bowing. 

" 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 
convey." 

"The prince shall have an exact report of all 
your gracious expressions, sire," returned Bucking- 
ham. 

And bowing profoundly, he quitted the cabinet 
with Olivarez and Gondomar. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 187 



m. 

PADRE AMBR06I0. 

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 
attendants. 

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 
Infanta. 

"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 
morning." 

"What has made you so dull, princess?" in- 
quired the countess, as the duefia quitted the 
room. 

"I know not," rephed the Infanta, blushing. 
" I have a sHght headache. I did not sleep well 
last night." 



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 
me." 

"Can she have heard?" mentally exclaimed the 
countess, surprised. " But no ! no ! that Is impos- 
sible. "Was that all your dream, princess?" she 
added, playfully. 

" 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- 
pected?" 

" 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, 
eh?" 

" 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 
night." 

" 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 
countess. 

"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 
truth." 

VOL. II. 



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 
Infanta, joyfully. 

" 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- 
nance. 



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- 
tess. 

"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- 
swered. 

" 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- 
vert." 

•"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. 
o2 



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 
concealment here." 

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- 
fessor. 

"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?" 
he asked. 

"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 
very handsome." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 199 

" Yes, he is very handsome," echoed the Inlanta, 
abstractedly. 

" You speak as if you had seen him," remarked 
the king. 

"I have his portrait, as you know, sire," she 
rejoined. 

" 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 
her highness." 

" 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- 
rence." 

With this, he again affectionately embraced his 
sister, and bowing to the countess, quitted the 
room. 

" 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 
countess. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 201 



IV. 

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 
Porter. 

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 
attired. 

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," 
said Charles. 

" 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 
him.'' 

" 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 
Charles. 

" 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 
Charles. 

"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 
Buckingham. 

" 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 
much ceremony. 



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 
r2 



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- 
coming mantilla. 

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. 



vr. 

OF THE MEETING BET'^VTIEK CHAKLES AND THE KING IN THE 
PRADO. 

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 ! " 
cried Philip. 

" Sire, I am equally dehghted to meet you," 
cried Charles. 

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 



VII 

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 
to rest. 

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 
will." 

"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 
serve you." 

With another profound salutation, he then with- 
drew. 

Charles's next visitor was the Duke de Cea, who 
had just anived, and flew to pay his respects to the 
prince. 

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 
alone together. 

"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 
Flor?" 

" 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 

Q2 



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 
palace. 

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 
conversation together. 



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 



VIII. 

HOW THE PRINCE WENT TO THE CONVENT OF SAN 
GEKONIMO. 

At length the day arrived which had been ap- 
pointed for the prince's pubhc entrance into the 
city. 

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 
cortege. 

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 
attendants. 

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- 
monstrations. 

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 
was performed. 

Breakfast was then served for Charles and his 
attendants, and the prince was waited upon by the 
grandees precisely as Philip himself would have 
been served. 



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 
hands. 

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- 
braced him. 

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 



IX. 

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 
buckler. 

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 
plumes. 

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 
k2 



244 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

bandrols. They were followed by the king's 
equeny, his majesty's riders, the royal pages and 
officers. 

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 
were redoubled. 

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- 
Duque. 

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 
de Alcala. 

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 
spectators. 

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 
quarter. 

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 
hira. 

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 
lively. 



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 
deem meet." 

Returning suitable thanks, Charles immediately 
gave one key to Buckingham, and the other to 
Bristol. 

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 
Heal. 

l^nti Of tije tZDIjirtJ i3oolj. 



BOOK ly. 



FIESTAS KEALES. 



VOL. II. 



I. 

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- 
S2 



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 
places. 

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 
George's Day. 

"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 
them." 

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- 
domar. 

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 
greater freedom." 

"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- 
marked Charles. 

"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. 



II. 

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 

their observation. 

/ 

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 
shallow Manzanares. 

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 
and extent. 

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 
Seven Chimneys. 

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- 
lightful gardens. 

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- 
t2 



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 
see her." 

" Nay then, let us not tarry a moment longer," 
cried Charles. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 277 



III. 



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 
pass. 

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, 
approvingly. 

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 
duke. 

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 
preconcerted." 

"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, 
rapturously. 



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- 
quited." 

"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- 
proaching." 

" A minute longer ! " he implored. 

" Not a second," she rejoined, " or we shall be 
discovered." 

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 
aghast. 



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. 



IV. 

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 
governess." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 287 

She made no reply, but consulted Charles by a 
look. 

" 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, 
proudly. 

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 
come up. 

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- 
ture." 

" 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 
consequences." 

"What are the consequences, my lord duke?" 
said Charles, still maintaining a haughty and in- 
liexible deportment. 

"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 
is all." 

"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 
step irretrievable." 

" 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 
my husband." 

"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. 
Adios!" 

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 
wall again." 

"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 
him. 

END OF VOL. II. 



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