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

UN'vERSin OF 

ILLINOIS LiGF^ARY 

AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 

STACKS 



^^/^/^- ■'<:/; 



THE 



SPANISH MATCH 



CHARLES STUART AT MADRID. 



WILLIAM HARRISON AINSWORTH. 



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. III. 



LONDON : 

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY. 

1865. 



[ Tlie right of Translation is reserved.'] 



LONDOK : 
PRINTED BT C. WHITINR, BEAUFOKI HOUSE, STRANI>. 



n5 



CONTENTS OF VOL. III. 



BOOK lY.— continued. 




FIESTAS REALES. 




V. 


PAGE 


The Casa Saldana . . . . 


. 3 


VI. 




A MiD>"iGiiT Meeting .... 


. IS 



VII. 

Ix WHICH Archie reads the Prince a Lecture . 34 

VIII. 

Of the Arguments employed by Olivarez to in- 
duce Charles to become a Convert . . 4S 

IX. 

TilE ilOYAL BULL-riGlIT IN THE PlAZA MaVOR . .56 

VOL. III. h 



IV CONTENTS. 

^' TAGB 

The Second Coukse 80 

XI. 

How AUCHIE WAS TOSSED BY A BULL . . . .97 

XII. 

The Masked Picadoe 102 



BOOK V. 

EL BUEN RETIRO. 

I. 
How THE Nuncio stkove to convert Chaeles . 125 

II. 

In what way Buckingham was humiliated by Oli- 

VAREZ 141 

III. 
An Evil Omen 151 

IV. 
Showing that the Course oe True Love never did 
run smooth 159 

V. 
How THE Earl of Bristol remonstrated with the 
Prince 172 



CONTENTS. V 

Vl. PAGB 

Buckingham's Plan of Vengeance . . . .177 

YII. 

The Masked Tete at the Buen Retibo . .186 

VIII. 

The Meeting by the Lake 195 

IX. 

Ho"vr THE Tables webe tubned upon Buckingham . 200 



BOOK VI. 

EL JUEGO DE CANAS. 



I. 

How Charles announced his depabtuke to the 
King 219 

II. 

The Cloak and the Savobd 232 

III. 

How Gbaham and De Cea went to the Escobial. 213 

IV. 

The Tournament with Canes 202 



VI CONTENTS. 

BOOK YII. 
THE ESCO RIAL. 

T. PAGE 

The Church of the Escorial 277 

II. 
The II1X& 28S 

III. 
EoYAL Presents 296 

lY. 

How Charles took leave of the Ixfaxta' . . 302 

V. 
Wherein is recounted by an exalted Personage 
A long-promised Legend 307 

VI. 

The Farewell at the Fresnada .... 322 



CI]f ^piitslj S^irtt|. 



BOOK IV. 

(continued.) 



FIESTAS REALES. 



VOL. III. 



V. 

THE CASA SAIDANA. 

The Casa Saldana was a lar^e mansion, delifjht- 
fully situated in the Paseo de Recoletos, which 
formed a continuation of the Prado; and though 
in the midst of all the life and gaiety of Madrid, 
it had some of the advantages of a country-house, 
possessing large and delightful gardens, and being 
surrounded by a wood, to which the conde had 
private access. 

When Graham paid his first visit to the casa he 
was received with open arms by the old conde- 
b2 



4 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

who appeared enchanted to see hira, and renewed 
all his former expressions of gratitude for the ser- 
vice rendered by Graham to himself and his 
daughter. He also spoke of his surprise on learn- 
ing that his deliverers were no other than the 
Prince of Wales and his attendants. The conde 
was alone at the time, and when Graham inquired 
after Doiia Casilda, the old hidalgo told him she 
was in the garden, and at once conducted him 
thither. On issuing forth, and crossing a trimly- 
kept grass-plot, bordered by flower beds, they found 
Doiia Casilda seated in an arbour Avith two other 
persons, who proved to be her sister, Doiia Flor, 
and Don Porapeo de Tarsis. 

Casilda greeted her lover with undisguised de- 
light. Graham thought her looking lovelier than 
ever, and certainly she was seen to much greater 
advantage than she had been after the robber 
attack in the gorge of Pancorbo. Her costume 
was the same as that worn by every other Spanish 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 5 

lady — namely, a black silk dress edged with mag- 
nificent lace, and a mantilla. Nothing could have 
better suited her beauty than this attire. Her 
jetty tresses — so intensely black that they looked 
almost blue — were adorned by a blush rose fastened 
at the side of her head, and she shielded herself 
from the sun with her fan. After their first greet- 
ings were over, Doiia Casilda introduced him to 
Dona Flor and Don Pompeo. 

"This is Don Ricardo — my gallant deliverer — 
of whom you have heard me speak so often," said 
Casilda, presenting him to her sister. 

A blush overspread Dona Flor's features as she 
returned Graham's salutation. 

"I am deHghted to make your acquaintance, 
Don Ricardo," she said. " I believe you are a 
friend of the Duke de Cea. I have heard him 
speak of you, and in very flattering terms." 

Evidently the reference to the Duke de Cea did 
not operate as a recommendation to Don Pompeo, 



6 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

for he bowed very stiffly -when Graham was pre- 
sented to him. 

Shortly afterwards the old conde and his son-in- 
law quitted the arbour, leaving Graham to the two 
ladies, with whom he engaged in a very lively con- 
versation. After awhile Doiia Flor made some ex- 
cuse for quitting them, and Graham was then en- 
abled to pour forth his love, which he did in the 
most passionate terms. There was nothing perhaps 
in the words, but the unmistakable fervour with 
which they were uttered gave them the force of 
the most eloquent pleading. Coming direct from 
the heart of the speaker, they made their way at 
once to the heart of her who listened to them. 
Casilda's heightened colour and agitation pro- 
claimed their effect upon her. But she cast down 
her eyes, and did not dare to meet Graham's gaze. 

"You do not answer me, Casilda," he cried, at 
last. " You do not love me." 

" Oh, do not say so, Ricardo ! " she rejoined, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 7 

raising her magnificent black eyes, and fixing tliem 
tenderly upon him. " Yes, yes, I love you. But 
do you not know that my father has promised me 
to another?" 

" I have heard so," replied Graham. " But he 
will not force you to wed against your inclinations," 

" My father is a Custilian, Ricardo, and unless 
Don Christobal de Gavina will release him irom 
his promise, he must fulfil it." 

"But you — you will never consent, Casilda?" 
cried Graham. 

" Alas ! I shall not be consulted," she replied. 

Just as the words were uttered, a young richly- 
dressed cavalier was seen to issue from the open 
window of the casa, and make his way across the 
grass-plot towards the arbour. This personage, 
Avho had a distinguished air, was tall — very tall 
for a Spaniard — well made, and handsome. His 
complexion was swarthy, his eyes dark and full 
of fire. He was attired in a doublet and mantle 



o THE SPANISH MATCH. 

of black velvet laced with silver, and had tall 
white plumes in his black hat. 

A strange feeling crossed Graham as he regarded 
this personage, and seemed to warn him of the 
approach of an enemy. 

The look of inquiry which he addressed to 
Casilda was thus answered, " Yes, it is Don Chris- 
tobal." 

" I felt sure of it," he mentally ejaculated. " By 
Heaven ! he is no contemptible rival." 

Shortly afterwards the two young men were 
brought face to face, and Don Christobal, who 
proved to be extremely courteous, manifested no 
displeasure on finding liis intended bride convers- 
ing with a handsome stranger. On the contrary, 
he seemed pleased to make Graham's acquaint- 
ance. His presence, however, operated as a re- 
straint to Graham and Dona Casilda, and little 
more passed between them. By this time the rest 
of the party had returned to the arbour, and the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 9 

conversation, which had now become general, 
began to turn upon the prince's visit to Madrid, 
and Doiia Flor and her sister both expressed great 
anxiety to know when his highness's nuptials with 
the Infanta would be solemnised. 

"We must apply to you, Don Ricardo," re- 
marked Don Christ6bal, turning to Graham. 
"You must be well informed. Is the day yet 
fixed?" 

" I liave not heard so," returned Graham. 

" In my opinion, the prince's gallantry deserves 
a prompt reward," said Dona Casilda. " The mar- 
riage ought to take place immediately." 

" The Pope's consent has to be obtained, and 
his Holiness seems in no hurry to give it," observed 
Graham. 

" Everybody says the prince is about to become 
a convert," pursued Casilda. " I hope it is true, 
and then perhaps all his suite will follow his ex- 
ample." 



10 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" If the prince "becomes a proselyte, I will, 
senora," replied Graham. 

" You think you can safely make that promise, 
I suppose, seTior," laughed Casilda. 

" The prince only needs to be freed from his 
heretical notions to be perfect," pursued Doiia Flor. 
" A more gallant cavalier I never beheld. He 
eclipsed all who attended him in the procession." 

" Even the king?" said Graham. 

" Yes, even the king," she rejoined. " The 
Infanta is most fortunate in obtaining such a hus- 
band." 

" Y"ou speak as if the affair were quite settled," 
remarked Don Pompeo, gravely. " But I believe 
the marriage to be as far off as ever, and it will 
not surprise me if it should not take place at all." 

" Impossible ! after all the prince has done," 
cried Casilda. " Were I the Infanta, I icoiild have 
him, in spite of his majesty and the Conde- 
Duque." 



THE SP.\NISH MATCH. 11 

Some laughter followed this remark, but Don 
Pompeo did not join in it. 

"You talk foolishly, Casilda," he said. "State 
marriages are not like other marriages. Religious 
differences are at the bottom of the delay. If the 
prince becomes a convert, all will be settled. But 
I don't think that event will occur." 

" You doubt everything," said Dona Flor. " How 
Ions: are the court festivities to continue, Don 
Christobal?" 

" Till the prince is weary of them," he replied. 
" Next week there will be a grand bull-fight in the 
Plaza Mayor, at which the prince and the Infanta, 
■with the king and queen and all the court, will 
assist. If you have never seen a bull-fight, Don 
Ricardo," he added, turning to Graham, "you will 
see one in perfection on this occasion. It will be 
a magnificent affair. There will be splendid bulls 
and splendid horses. 

"Oh! charmincc ! charminir! — that will be de- 



12 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

delightful ! " cried both ladies, clapping their 
hands. 

" I am curious to behold the national spectacle/' 
remarked Graham. " You are a skilful torero, I 
am told, seiior," he added to Don Christobal. 

" Oh ! I have killed some bulls in my time," re- 
plied the other. " It is a very exciting sport — 
nothing like it." 

"I wish you could take part in the exhibition, 
Don Ricardo," observed Casilda. 

" If you desire it, I will," he replied, gallantly. 
" The Duke de Cea has asked me to be his com- 
panion in the ring. I have had no practice in such 
sports, but as I am a tolerably good horseman, and 
have a quick eye and a strong hand, I fancy I 
should be a match for a bull." 

" With De Cea in the ring with you, you will 
be in no danger," said Don Christobal. 

" Yes, yes — the duke is an admirable picador ! " 
exclaimed DoSa Flor, rapturously. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 13 

Don Pompeo looked sternly at his wife, but 
made no remark. 

" I adore a bull-fight," said Doiia Casilda. " A 
cavalier never appears to so great advantage in a 
lady's eyes as when engaged in a contest with tlie 
fierce and active animal." 

" I am glad I shall have an opportunity of so 
displaying myself, senora," said Graham. " I would 
ask permission to wear your colours." 

"May I grant it?" she said, turning to Don 
Christobal. 

" No, that is a license I can grant to no man," he 
replied. "I shall wear your colours myself, Ca- 
silda. You may not be aware, senor," he added, 
turning with constrained courtesy to Graham, "that 
this lady is contracted to me." 

" Yes, I am aware of the engagement," returned 
Graham. " And I feel I ought not to have made 
the request." 

Thinkinir the conversation was taking an awk- 



14 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

ward turn, and might lead to a quarrel, the Conde 
de Saldana proposed an adjournment to the house. 
A significant glance from Doiia Casilda warned 
Graham of the mistake he had committed, and he 
determined to be more cautious in future. 

By his subsequent deportment he endeavoured 
to set matters right, but it was evident that Don 
Christobal's jealousy had been aroused. Neither 
did Dona Casilda's betrothed seem pleased -ftdien 
her father again begged Graham to make the Casa 
Saldana his home. 

With the exception of the misunderstanding 
which had thus arisen between him and Don Chris- 
tobal, Graham had reason to be satisfied with his 
visit. He liad received from Casilda's own lips an 
assurance that she loved him, and though many 
difiiculties were in the way, he felt confident of 
ultimate success. 

A trifling incident, however, occurred prior to 
his departure which caused him some uneasiness. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 15 

While he was crossing a patio, covered with an 
awning to exclude the sun, he noticed in the upper 
gallery of the quadrangle a young woman, who was 
leaning over the railing and regarding him earn- 
estly. Her features, which were strikingly hand- 
some, seemed familiar to Graham, but at first he 
could not tell where, or under what circumstances, 
he had previously seen her. All at once it flashed 
across him that it must be Rose des Bois, the 
damsel he had met in the robbers' cottage in the 
Forest of Orleans; and further scrutiny convinced 
him he was right. Rose's loohs plainly showed that 
she had recognised him, and her large dark eyes 
followed him as he walked through the patio. 
Graham wondered how she came there, and her 
presence was anything but agreeable to him. An 
instinctive feeling told him she would be in the 
way, and prove an enemy to his love-aflair with 
Dona Casilda. 

The only person with him at the moment when 



16 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

he thus beheld her was the Conde de Saldana, who 
with true Spanish politeness insisted upon attend- 
ing his guest to the door. 

" I think I have seen that damsel before," re- 
marked Graham, pointing to Rose. " But, if I am 
not mistaken, it was near Orleans." 

" That is not unlikely," replied the conde. " She 
has but just arrived from France." 

" She must have travelled very quickly," said 
Graham. " I should not have thought it possible 
she could get here in so short a time." 

" She was brought on by a Spanish family who 
were travelling from Paris to Madrid, and by 
whom she was recommended to my daughter," said 
the conde. " Casilda has taken an extraordinary 
fancy to her, and as Doiia Engracia, her dueiia, is 
unwell, I have appointed Rosa — for so the damsel 
is named — to attend upon her." 

Graham made no remark, though the latter piece 
of information was far from satisfactory to him, as 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 17 

he felt sure he should not be able to elude Kose's 
vigilance as easily as he might have done that of 
Doila Engracia. ' 

But he had now arrived at the outer door, and 
as he took leave the conde prayed him to consider 
himself one of the family, and to come whenever he 
felt disposed, promising him a hearty welcome. 



VOL. III. 



18 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



VI. 

A MIDNIGHT MEETING. 

Charles had given up all hopes of another 
interview "vvith the Infanta, and had again lapsed 
into a state of doubt and despondency, -when he 
was revived by the Duke de Cea, who appeared 
before him one morning with a radiant counte- 
nance, and said, 

" At last I have succeeded. Your highness shall 
see the princess to-night. I cannot tell you where, 
at this moment, because the meeting has to be ar- 
ranged by the Countess de Olivarez, who has pro- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 19 

mised her assistance, but I vfiW come to your 
chamber at midnight, and conduct you to the place 
of rendezvous." 

Thanking the young duke warmly, Charles pro- 
mised to be in readiness at the hour appointed. 
On seeking his chamber that night, he dismissed 
his attendants, and sat down to read, but he was 
far too much excited to be able to fix his atten- 
tion on the volume before him, though it recounted 
the adventures of the renowned Don Quixote, and 
he at last laid the marvellous romance aside, and 
began to pace to and fro within the room. Shortly 
before midnight the door was softly opened, and 
De Cea entered the room. 

The young duke's countenance showed that all 
was right, so, without stopping to question him, 
Charles hastily donned his cloak and hat, and bade 
him lead on. 

"Whither are you taking me, duke?" said the 
prince, as they descended a private staircase. 
c2 



20 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

'•' To the patio," replied De Cea. " There your 
highness will find the Lady Infanta." 

Traversing a corridor on the ground floor, they 
soon reached the patio, which was situated, as 
already mentioned, at the rear of the prince's 
quarter of the palace. 

This beautiful Arabian court formed part of the 
ancient Alcazar, and was surrounded by marble 
arcades. The interior was filled with orange-trees, 
and in the centre there was a fountain. At that 
still hour the court was charming. Tlie air was 
loaded with fragrance, and all was so hushed in re- 
pose that the plashing, of the fountain in its marble 
basin could be distinctly heard. One side of the 
patio was lighted up by the moon, the other buried 
in gloom. 

On entering the court, Charles gazed anxiously 
down the moonlit arcade, but, seeing no one, he 
proceeded to the farther side, where two female 
figures, attired in black, and draped in mantillas, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 21 

met his view. Both ladies were masked, but 
Charles entertained no doubt that they were the 
Infanta and the Countess de Olivarez. 

As he hurried towards them, De Cea stood still, 
while one of the masked dames, instead of waiting 
for the prince's approach, withdrew to the farther 
end of the arcade. Charles was thus left alone 
with the other, and on reaching her he imme- 
diately tlirew himself at her feet, and seizing her 
hand, pressed it passionately to his lips, imploring 
her to remove her mask. 

Unable to resist his passionate importunities, the 
Infanta took off her mask, and regarded him for 
some moments witli a tenderness which she did 
not seek to disguise. There was no necessity to 
avow her love by words. Her looks proclaimed 
the state of her feelings. 

The rapture of those moments — the certainty he 
then obtained that his passion was requited — made 
Charles ample amends for all the anxiety he had 



22 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

endured. Arising from his kneeling posture, but 
without quitting the hand which the Infanta did 
not seek to withdraw, he gazed at her long and 
passionately. 

«0h, Maria!" he cried, at length. "The bhss 
of this moment would be cheaply purchased by a 
kingdom. A crown without you to share it with 
me would be valueless in my eyes. So deeply 
— so fervently do I love you, that I would rather 
tarry with you in some lowly dwelling in Spain 
than return to my father's palace without you." 

" Have a care, prince," she rejoined. " You 
assert too much. I shall put your love to the 
test. I do not ask you to make any worldly sacri- 
fice for me. I do not desire you to make further 
concessions to the king my brother — I love you, 
Charles Stuart, I love you — I will be a true and 
loving wife to you — I will make your country my 
country — your people my people. But before I do 
this, I require that you conform to the holy faith 
of Rome." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 23 

" Impossible, Maria. You ask the only sacrifice 
I cannot make," replied Charles, in a sad but re- 
solute tone. 

"You do not love me as deeply as you have 
affirmed," she said, reproachfully. "If you did, 
you could not hesitate. But I can never wed you 
save on this condition." 

" You crush all my hopes by the determination, 
Maria," cried the prince, in a voice of anguish. 
" And if you persist in it, all chance of our union 
is over. But the king your brother has made no 
such condition. He can dispose of your hand as 
he thinks fit." 

" Not so," she replied, firmly. " Philip can pre- 
vent my marriage, but he cannot force mc into 
an alliance to which I am opposed. I will with- 
draw from the world altogether, and immure myself 
in a convent, rather than endanger my soul." 

"You terrify me, Maria," cried Charles; "but 
I can scarcely believe you seriously contemplate so 
fatal a step." 



24 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I trust the step will never be necessary," she 
rejoined. "I still fondly persuade myself that I 
shall be able to convert you. My confessor, Padre 
Ambrosio, is a good man — an excellent man — and 
has your interest at heart. Will you see him? — 
will you listen to him, if I send him to you?" 

*' I will do anything you require," replied 
Charles. " But I announce beforehand that Father 
Ambrosio will throw away his time in attempting 
my conversion." 

"But for my sake listen to him. I have pro- 
mised him that you will do so." 

" You have promised him — ha ? " cried Charles. 
" Now, tell me frankly, ]\Iaria, has not Father Am- 
brosio charged you to attempt my conversion ? " 

" I will not deny it. I could not disguise from 
him what passed between us in the garden of the 
Casa del Campo, and he has warned me of my 
danger in marrying a heretic. But he believes 
that he can convince you of your errors, and feels 
certain you will embrace our faith." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 25 

"One question more, Maria," said Charles. " Is 
Father Ambroslo aware that you intended to meet 
me to-night? Nay, I am sure he is," he pursued, 
after a shght pause. "Did he not prompt you 
what to say to me? Did he not tell you to make 
my conversion the indispensable condition of our 
union ? You cannot deny it. Well, you have 
fulfilled his instructions." 

"Would I could assure him that I have made 
an impression upon you, Charles ! " she said. 

" Tell him so," he rejoined. 

"May I?" she exclaimed, joyfully. 

" Certainly ; and if he questions you closely — as 
no doubt he will — add that you have hopes of my 
assent — for you have hopes, I am sure." 

"May I say so much as that?" she cried.. "I 
fear my arguments will never prevail with you, 
but if you wall listen to Padre Ambrosio, he 
cannot fail to convince you. See him — only see 
him!" 

" Willingly, since you desire it," rejoined Charles. 



26 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Indeed, I desire to be on good terms witli Padre 
Ambrosio." 

"From this moment you may calculate upon 
his zealous co-operation," said the Infanta. " He 
■will now promote our union as much as he has 
hitherto opposed it." 

Their further discourse was here interrupted by 
the Duke de Cea, who, stepping quickly towards 
them, said, in a low, warning voice, " Some one 
approaches ! " 

At this alarm, Maria instantly resumed her mask. 

" Adios, prince," she cried. 

" Do not go till you have promised to meet me 
again, Maria," cried Charles, detaining her. 

" I cannot stay. We shall be discovered. Santa 
Maria! it is too late," she cried, as two cavaliers 
entered the arcade. 

By this time the Countess de Olivarez had joined 
the party. 

"What shall we do, countess?" said the In- 
fanta, in great trepidation. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 27 

" Stay where you are, princess. There is nothing 
to fear. Those intruders will pass on," rejoined the 
countess, in a low voice. 

"By Heaven, it is the king!" said De Cea. 
" We are lost." 

" Madre santissima ! my brother ! " cried the In- 
fanta. "What will he say to me?" 

It was a moment of great perplexity, and even 
Charles felt himself placed in a position of the 
utmost embarrassment. No doubt could now be 
entertained that it was the king, and that the 
person by whom his majesty was attended was 
the Conde-Duque. 

The only hope was that Philip and Olivarez 
would pass on. But they did not do so. Both 
ladies were masked, and Charles had pulled his 
hat over his brow and muflSed his face in his 
cloak, so that his features could not be distin- 
guished. 

"Who have we here?" demanded Philip. 

Finding that nothing else could be done, De 



28 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Cea plucked up his courage, and stepped towards 
the king. 

" 'Tis I, sire," he said. 

"DeCea!" cried Philip. 

'' Hush, sire ! do not betray me," said the duke. 
" Your majesty is too gallant to interrupt a little 
love-affair." 

" Who is the other cavalier? There can be no 
reason for concealment on his part," said the king. 

" I implore your majesty to excuse my answer- 
ing the question," said De Cea. 

" I must be satisfied," said Philip. " I have 
strong suspicions. Who is it?" 

" Since your majesty compels me to speak, I 
must own that it is the Duke of Buckingham," 
replied De Cea. 

" Buckingham ! " exclaimed Olivarez. " And 
who arc the ladies with him?" 

" Ay, who are they ? " demanded the king. 

" You cannot expect me to reveal their names, 
sire." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 29 

" What ! my lord — you refuse to satisfy me ? " 

" I am bound to do so, sire." 

"Then I will have an answer from their own 
lips," said Philip. " Bid them come to me." 

"Nay, I beseech your majesty not to pursue this 
inquiry further," rejoined De Cea, beginning to 
be seriously alarmed. 

" Heed not what he says, sire," remarked Oli- 
varez, in a low voice. " There is somethinfj wrono: 
here." 

"Obey my orders, duke," said Philip, authorita- 
tively. 

Almost at his wits' end, De Cea returned to 
the others and told them what the king required. 
For a moment they appeared confounded, and the 
Infanta declared she would throw herself at her 
brother's feet and implore his pardon. 

"No, no, we may yet get over the difficulty," 
said the countess. " Speak to the Condc-Duquc, 
while I address the king. Courage, princess — 



courage 



I" 



30 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

With this the countess tripped towards Philip, 
and, taking him aside, said: 

"I trust myself to your majesty. You "will not 
betray me to my husband." 

"Cielo! is it you, countess?" cried Phihp, in 
surprise. 

" Not so loud, sire, I entreat of you," she re- 
joined. " The lady with me is Dona Flor." 

" Enough," returned Philip. " Pray excuse the 
stupid act I have committed. I will not detain 
you a moment longer." 

Meanwhile, the Infanta approached the Conde- 
Duque, and drew him aside. 

" Your excellency must help me in this strait," 
she said. " The king will never forgive me if he 
learns the truth." 

"Is it possible it can be the Infanta?" cried 
Olivarez. 

" Do you not recognise my voice ? " she re- 
joined. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 31 

"Yes, yes," lie answered. "But why are you 
here, princess, with the Duke of Buckingham?" 

" That is not Buckingham, my lord — it is the 
prince." 

" The prince ! " exclaimed Olivarez. " Nay, then, 
I cannot hide the matter from his majesty." 

"Hold, my lord!" said the Infanta. "This 
private meeting with the prince has been sanc- 
tioned by Padre Ambrosio. You will be satisfied 
with the result when I tell you that his highness 
is likely to become a proselyte to the faith of 
Rome. He has consented to see Padre Ambrosio 
to-morrow." 

" Ah ! that is good news indeed," cried Oli- 
varez. "Padre Ambrosio has pursued the best 
plan to convert the prince. You shall have no 
interference from me, princess. I will make some 
excuse to the king." Then, turning to Philip, 
he added, "Your majesty need not question this 
lady." 



32 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"No; it is sufScent that you have spoken to 
her," replied the king. " I know who she is." 

" Indeed, sire ! " exclaimed OUvarez, uneasily. 

"Yes, it is Dona Flor," rejoined Philip. 

" Very true," said Olivarez, laughing. " He 
little thinks it is the Infanta. A propos, sire, who 
is the other lady?" 

" Nay, your excellency must excuse me. I am 
bound to secresy. He little thinks it is his wife," 
thought Philip, laughing to himself. 

Then, bowing to the two ladies, who deferenti- 
ally returned his salutation, lie quitted the patio 
with Olivarez. 

As soon as they were gone, Charles, who had 
remained stationary, joined the group. 

" Admirably managed ! " he cried. " You have 
extricated yourselves from this difficulty with won- 
derful skill." 

" I can't tell how I got through it," said the In- 
fanta. " I was never so frightened in my life." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 33 

"I had most cause for alarm," observed De 
Cea, laughing. " Had a discovery been made, 
ray head would not have remained long on my 
shoulders." 

" In getting out of one difficulty I have fallen 
into another," said the countess. " His majesty 
must have a dreadful opinion of me." 

"Don't trouble yourself on that score, dear 
countess," said the Infanta. " All will be satis- 
factorily explained hereafter. But I must regain 
my apartments as soon as possible. Good night, 
prince," she added to Charles. "Remember your 
promise to see Padre Ambrosio." 

So saying, she hurried away with the countess, 
moving off in the opposite direction from that 
taken by the king and his minister. 



VOL. III. 



34 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



VII. 

IN "WHICH ARCHIE READS THE PRINCE A LECTURE. 

Generally, about an hour before noon, all 
the persons composing Charles's suite would as- 
semble in the great gallery adjoining his apart- 
ments, and after amusing themselves there for 
some time, talking over the court gossip, and re- 
tailing such anecdotes as they had picked up, 
they repaired to the ante-chamber, where they 
remained until they were admitted to the prince's 
presence. Most of them were young men, and 
their principal motive in coming to Madrid being 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 35 

amusement, they had no reason to be dissatisfied. 
Ever since the prince's arrival there had been an 
uninterrupted series of royal festivities, in which 
of course they had shared. The most unbounded 
hospitality was displayed towards all Englishmen. 
They were everywhere welcome. Every house 
was open to them. The bewitching Madrileiias 
smiled upon them, and the proudest Castilians 
unbent towards them. How they requited this 
consideration we have shown. 

On tlie morning after the midnight meeting of 
the royal lovers in the patio, described in the pre- 
vious chapter, the greater part of the English 
visitants were collected in the grand gallery. 
Almost all, as we have said, were young, hand- 
some, richly attired, and of distinguished appear- 
ance. Silken doublets of various hues, velvet 
mantles richly embroidered, plumed and jewelled 
hats, constituted their attire. A more joyous 
band could not be found. They talked and 
d2 



36 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

laughed loudly, shouted to each other, sang, 
danced, smoked, and practised fencing. One 
group, which consisted of Lord Andover, Sir 
Richard Carr, and Sir Robert Goring, were seated 
at a table in the embrasure of a window playing 
at cards. Not far from them, surrounded by a 
circle of laughing spectators. Lord Rochford and 
Tom Carey were rattling castanets and practising 
a bolero, which they had seen danced overnight. 
Farther on there was another ring, in the midst 
of which were two gay gallants keeping their 
hands in with a little harmless sword-play. Some- 
what removed from the rest were the Earl of 
Carlisle and Lord IMountjoy conversing with Sir 
Francis Steward, who was about to return to 
England; while flitting from group to group, 
jesting with all, might be seen a grotesque little 
personage in a motley garb, with a coxcomb on 
his head, and a bauble in his hand. This was 
Archie Armstrong. 






THE SPANISH MATCH. 37 

Seeing Sir Richard Graham enter the gallery, 
the jester went to meet him. 

*'Good day, my merry gossip," said Graham. 
" I have scarce had a word with thee since thy 
arrival in Madrid. How dost like the city, the 
court, the king, the queen, and the Infanta?" 

"You ask me too many questions in a breath, 
gossip," replied Archie, "but I will strive to 
answer them. I like the city well, though it be 
not so large nor so well built as I expected. But 
'tis a fine city nevertheless, and has a gayer air 
than London. I like the dresses of the Madri- 
leTios, and, sooth to say, I like their manners. I 
like to hear the tinkling of a guitar, and to listen 
to a serenade at night. And then those adorable, 
dark-eyed senoras — I am enchanted with them, 
and so are they with me, for that matter. As to 
the court, I prefer it to Whitehall." 

" How so, gossip?" said Graham. 

" I like the grandees, with their proud car- 



38 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

riage and stately manners," replied tlie jester. 
" They really look like nobles. As to his Most 
Catholic Majesty, I will tell you what I think 
of him when we get back. I am afraid to speak 
my mind here. But I will just whisper in your 
ear that the real king is Olivarez. Whether Philip 
is fortunate in his choice of a favourite and prime 
minister, I won't pretend to say, but he is certainly 
fortunate in his spouse. And now as to the In- 
fanta. Looking at her with the eyes of Babie 
Charlie, I should discover nothing but what is 
captivating. But looking at her with my own 
eyes, I am not so greatly delighted. Beautiful 
she is, no doubt, but it is not a beauty to my 
taste, and her excessive coldness of manner may 
please the prince, but it wouldn't suit me. I 
have a dark-eyed seiiora in my eye at this mo- 
ment whom I should infinitely prefer to her." 
" Who has thus taken thy fancy, gossip?" 
" Be not jealous when I name her to you. 'Tis 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 39 

Dona Casilda, daughter of the Conde dc Sal- 
dana." 

" Doiia Casilda ! " exclaimed Graham. "Where 
hast thou seen her?" 

" I saw her yesterday, when she came to the 
palace Avith her father," replied the jester. " Think 
you she could escape my observation ? " 

" \yell, I agree with thee in thy estimate of her 
beauty," said Graham. 

" I knew you would, gossip," rejoined Archie, 
knowingly. " Between ourselves, I think you 
have a much better chance of taking back a 
wife than our illustrious prince." 

" I know not that, Archie," said Graham. " In 
my case there is a rival." 

" A rival is easily got rid of by a man of 
your mettle, gossip," rejoined the jester. " But, 
though the prince has no rival — at least, that I 
know of — he has what is far worse, a cunning 
minister to deal with, who will not let him have 



40 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the prize he covets, unless he pays dearly for it. 
Mark my words, gossip. I have not been many 
days in this palace, but I have had my eyes and 
ears open, and I have seen and heard enough to 
convince me that unless Babie Charlie turns Papist 
he won't have the Infanta. What is more, all the 
royal household feel certain he will become a pro- 
selyte." 

" You think so?" cried Graham. 

" I am sure of it," said Archie. '.' What would 
my royal gossip say if he knew of his son's 
danger ? " 

" Danger ! " exclaimed Graham, contemptuously. 
" You do not for an instant imagine that the prince 
is likely to yield." 

"There is no saying what influence may be 
brought to bear upon him," said Archie. "In 
my opinion, it would have been better if he had 
stayed at home." 

" Perhaps it might," returned Graham, thought- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 41 

fully. " Well, I am going to present myself to his 
highness." 

" I am with you," said Archie. " I mean to 
read him a lecture." 

With tliis, they proceeded to the ante-chamber. 
On entering it, the usher informed them that 
Padre Ambrosio Avas with the prince, and that 
his highness could not be disturbed — a piece of 
information that astounded Graham, and elicited 
a shrug from the jester. 

Ere long the confessor came forth, and his ex- 
ulting looks seemed to indicate that his interview 
with Charles had been perfectly satisfactory to him. 

On entering the cabinet, Graham and the jester 
found Charles standing near a table in a pensive 
posture — indeed, he was so preoccupied that he 
did not notice them, and two or three minutes 
elapsed before he became aware of their presence. 
Even when he did perceive them, he did not 
trouble himself to speak. 



42 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I will rouse him from his reverie," said Archie. 
And marching towards the table, he called out in 
a voice so exactly resembling the broad Scottish 
accents of his royal master, James, that the prince 
absolutely started. 

" Babie Charlie ! Babie Charlie ! " said the jester, 
"I didna expect this from you, my sweet bairn. 
When I trusted you to gang to Spain to fetch the 
Infanta, I was sair troubled at heart, as ye ken, but 
I didna think ye wad disobey my injunctions." 

"How?" exclaimed Charles. 

" Hear what I have to say to ye, sir, and dinna 
interrupt me," cried Archie. "In trustin' you to 
the court of Spain, I knew fu' weel the dangers 
awaitin' you, but I didna expect ye wad volun- 
tarily thrust your neck into the noose. I didna 
think ye wad give a private audience to a Romish 
priest, whose sole aim is to bring ye over to his 
idolatrous faith. I little thought ye wad listen to 
him, and send him away gleeful and triumphant. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 43 

But I canna believe he has prevailed wi' ye — I 
canna believe ye hae fallen." 

" Peace, sirrah ! " cried Charles, sharply. 

" Is that the way ye address your auld dad, ye 
graceless and ungrateful bairn ? " said Archie, in a 
reproachful tone — " bid him baud his tongue Avhen 
he gies ye guid counsel. If ye shut your ears, ye 
are lost. Resist the wiles of these priests, I tell 
you, and listen to the discourses of the twa devout 
chaplains I have sent ye, Doctors Man and Wren. 
Ye will also hear the truth frae my gossip, Archie, 
"who, though he wears a fule's cap, is a wise and 
discreet man, and a determined foe to papistry. 
Listen to Archie, my bairn — listen to Archie ! " 

"I have listened to him too long," remarked 
Charles, unable to repress a smile. 

" Not a whit," said the jester, gravely. " You 
should listen to all that Archie has to say. ITe 
kens how loth I was to let ye depart — how mise- 
rable I have been lest any mischance should befa' 



44 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

ye — how I hae dreaded the blandishments of these 
Romish priests. Archie can explain my feelings 
towards you as weel as I could do myself. He will 
warn you, if necessary. Ah ! Babie Charlie, oft 
and oft have I said to Archie, ' My son had better 
come back without his bonnie bride than make 
any bargain wi' the Church of Rome.' " 

" And what leads thee to imagine that I have 
made any such bargain, sirrah?" said Charles. 

" The exulting grin that lighted up the features 
of the crafty carl who has just left the cabinet," 
replied Archie. " He misdoubts not that he has 
produced an impression upon you." 

At this moment the Duke of Buckingham en- 
tered the cabinet, magnificently attired as usual, 
and seated himself without ceremony at the table 
beside the prince. 

" I have just been receiving a lecture, Geordie," 
said Charles, laughing. 

" A lecture ! — from whom?" cried the duke. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 45 

"Frae me — frae yer auld dad and gossip, 
Steenie," said Archie, once more mimicking the 
voice and gestures of James. " I hae spoken to 
Babie Charlie, and now I hae a word to say to 
you. Didna ye promise me to take every care of 
my son? Didna ye engage to guard him frae a' 
dangers? Ye canna deny it. Aweel! He canna 
be in worse danger than he is at this moment." 

"What means the knave?" cried Buckingham, 
glancing at the prince. 

" My meaning will be plain to ye, Steenie, if 
ye will but listen," said Archie. " Efforts are 
being made to lure Babie Charlie frae his faith. 
A Romish priest has just been closeted wi' him, 
and has gone away wi' the smile of triumph on 
liis lip, thinking he has convinced my son. Is this 
the way ye fulfil your promises to me, Steenie? Is 
this the care ye take of my bairn?" 

" By my soul ! " cried Buckingham, " if there 
be any truth in this statement, I deserve the knave's 



46 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

reproaches. Is it possible that your highness has 
had an interview with a Romish priest?" 

"Padre Ambrosio, the Infanta's confessor, has 
just been with me," replied Charles, gravely, "and 
we have been discussing points of faith. He is a 
man of learning and ability, and I listened to him 
with pleasure. I have no doubt he persuaded him- 
self that he had produced a certain impression upon 
me. I allowed him to depart with that convic- 
tion." 

" He must be quickly undeceived," cried Buck- 
ingham, rising. " Be that my business." 

" Calm yourself, Geordie, and sit down," cried 
Charles. " I had a motive for thus throwing dust 
into the confessor's eyes. He can enable me to see 
the Infanta when I please." 

"That is possible," rejoined the duke, " but you 
will purchase the privilege too dearly. Padre Am- 
brosio is an agent of the Nuncio. Intellicjence will 
be immediately despatched to the Pope that your 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 47 

highness's conversion is probable, and the dispensa- 
tion Avill be delayed in anticipation of that event. 
Now that you have held out hopes, nothing less 
will content them. You have undone all we have 
been labouring to accomplish. But I must try to 
set it right." 

"Be not hasty, Geordie, or you will mar my 
project." 

At this moment an usher entered, and announced 
his excellency the Conde-Duque M. Olivarez. 

" The very person I desired to sec," cried Buck- 
ingham. 

" Do not offend him, Geordie, I conjure you — I 
command you," cried Charles. 

As Olivarez entered, Graham and the jester 
retired. 



48 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



VIII. 

OF THE AKGIJMENTS EMPLOYED BY OLIVAEEZ TO INDUCE 
CHARLES TO BECOME A CONYEET. 

" He has seen Padre Ambrosio," muttered Buck- 
ingham, watching the minister as he made a pro- 
found obeisance to the prince. 

As Olivarez bowed to him, he returned the salu- 
tation somewhat haughtily. 

"I am glad to find you here, my lord duke," 
said Olivarez, without noticing the slight, " because 
I wish you to hear what I have to say to his high- 
ness. I have reason to believe," he pursued, turn- 
ing to Charles, " that since your highness has been 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 49 

in this most Catholic country, and has had an op- 
portunity of witnessing the rites of that faith, a 
change has taken place in your sentiments, and 
that at no distant date we may hope to receive you 
into the pale of our Church. If these expectations 
should be realised, and your highness should hap- 
pily be induced to return to the faith of your 
fathers, it will be a source of the highest gratifica- 
tion to the king my master, and will at once re- 
move all obstacles to your union with the Infanta." 
" Were the prince to take such a step, he would 
never be King of England," said Buckingham. 
'"' Plis subjects would rise in rebellion against him." 
" I do not think so," replied Olivarez, " because 
I believe the Catholic party to be still strong in 
England. But if there should be a rebellion, Spain 
will lend him her armies and navies to quell it." 

" If the prince can listen calmly to such a propo- 
sition, my lord, it is more than I can," cried Buck- 
ingham. 

VOL. III. E 



50 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Pardon me, my lord duke," said Olivarez, " I 
addressed myself to the prince. I beg your high- 
ness will not allow any fears of the consequences to 
deter you from taking this step. United as they 
would be under such circumstances, England and 
Spain might defy the world. It is not only to your 
spiritual, but to your temporal advantage, that you 
should embrace the faith of Rome. England is 
divided into sects, which the want of energy on 
the part of your royal father is allowing to grow 
into dangerous importance. You must crush them 
with an iron arm. You must annihilate puritanism, 
or it will overthrow the monarchy. You must have 
but one religion, and that the religion of Rome. 
You must extirpate heresy by the same means that 
it has been extirpated here. Thus you will become 
a far more powerful sovereign than the king your 
father. Your throne will be secure. Blessed with 
the Infanta, strictly allied to Spain, I trust your 
reign will be long and glorious." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 51 

" I will weigh what your excellency has said," 
observed Charles. 

" I beseech your highness to do so," replied Oli- 
varez. " And if you desire to confer with any of 
our churchmen, they shall attend upon you. 
They would be delighted to assist in so good a 
work." 

'' I thank your excellency, but I do not need 
their aid," replied Charles. " When I have arrived 
at a decision, 1 will let you know." 

" Heaven enlighten your heart, and enable you 
to pursue your purpose ! " cried Olivarez. *' I shall 
await your decision with impatience, and so will 
the king." 

"Not a word to his majesty at present, I pray 
your excellency," said Charles. 

" Your highness's request shall be observed," said 
Olivarez, bowing, and preparing to depart. 

" Hold ! my lord," cried Buckingham. " I can- 
not for a moment believe that the prince seriously 
e2 

U. OF lUU LIS, 



52 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

entertains any design of abandoning the Protestant 
faith and adopting that of Rome, but be assured, 
it if it should be so, I will most strenuously op- 
pose it." 

" I count upon your opposition, my lord duke," 
rejoined Olivarez ; " but I persuade myself I have 
convinced his highness of the policy of the step, 
and he will, I trust, adopt it." 

" Indulge no such hope, my lord," said Buck- 
ingham. " I can prevent him from doing so — and 
I will." 

"Aha! what is this I hear?" cried Olivarez. 
" Are you the prince's master, my lord duke ? " 

" I am the representative of his august father," 
replied Buckingham. "He must listen to my re- 
monstrances." 

"That remains to be seen," replied Olivarez. 
And with a profound bow to Charles he quitted 
the cabinet. 

" What means this, prince?" cried Buckingham, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 53 

as soon as he was gone. " If you have formed any 
such fatal resolution — for fatal it would be — I must 
enjoin, in your royal father's name, your immediate 
return to England — with or without the Infanta." 

" Do not alarm yourself, Geordie," rejoined 
Charles, laughing. "There is no danger of my 
turning Papist. This is a mere ruse. I thought 
you would see through it." 

" See through it ! Not I ! " cried the duke. 
" You played the dissembler so well, that you com- 
pletely imposed upon me. But what is your mo- 
tive for thus deluding Padre Ambrosio and Oli- 
varez?" 

"My motive ought to be obvious to you. It 
is to baffle their designs. Hitherto, as you know, 
they have secretly opposed my union with the 
Infanta. Now they will promote it." 

" But they will be more bitterly opposed to it 
than ever, when they find out that they have been 
duped," said the duke. 



54 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"At all events, a temporary advantage will be 
gained, and that is something," observed Charles. 

" Thank Heaven I have had no part in the 
scheme, for I cannot approve of it," remarked 
Buckingham. 

"You will have to play a very important part 
in it, Geordie, before I have done," rejoined 
Charles. " But come with me. I am about to 
drive to the House of Seven Chimneys. I must 
see my chaplains, Doctors Man and Wren, and let 
them know how I have duped Olivarez." 

" If you are going to call on Bristol, I pray 
your highness to excuse me," said Buckingham. 

" Nay, I will take no excuse," said Charles. " I 
must reconcile your differences with Bristol." 

"Reconciliation between us is impossible," said 
Buckingham. " I hate him too deeply to affect to 
be on friendly terms with him. However, I am 
ready to attend your highness." 

Charles then quitted the cabinet, and traversing 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 55 

the grand gallery, where the tumult instantly 
ceased on his appearance, proceeded to the great 
court. Entering one of the royal carriages with 
Buckingham, he desired to be driven to the House 
of Seven Chimneys. * 



56 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



IX. 

IHE KOY.VL BULL-FIGHT IN THE PLjVZA MAYOR. 

At length the long-looked-for day arrived on 
which the grand national spectacle of a bull-fight 
was to be offered by the king to his royal visitor. 
As the exhibition was to be conducted on a mag- 
nificent scale, and as the circus ordinarily devoted 
to such shows was insufficient to contain a tithe 
of the persons who desired to witness it, it was 
resolved to construct an amphitheatre in the Plaza 
Mayor, which should almost rival the Coliseum at 
Rome in its enormous size. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 57 

The Plaza Mayor, by far the largest square in 
Madrid, was of very recent construction at the 
period of our history, having only been completed 
about four years previously — namely, in 1619 — in 
the reign of Philip III., by Juan Gomez de INlora. 
To make way for this immense plaza, the architect 
had to remove many ancient habitations, the site 
having been chosen in the most crowded part of 
the city, though at no great distance from the 
royal palace — but the result was to give to Ma- 
drid one of the largest and most superb squares in 
Europe. The four fagades of the plaza are sur- 
rounded by porticos, the lofty and elegant pillars 
of which support the upper stories of the habita- 
tions. The architecture of these houses is uniform 
and of a noble character, and stately archways open 
upon the streets by which the plaza is approached. 

From the period of its construction to the present 
time, the Plaza Mayor, so well adapted by its size 
and situation for such exhibitions, has been the scene 



58 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

of some of the most striking public ceremonials 
enacted in Madrid. In tliis vast area, in the pre- 
sence of the sovereign and the court and of two- 
thirds of the entire population, which can easily be 
there congregated, tournaments on the grandest 
scale have been held, masques, fetes, and bull- 
fights have been displayed, while spectacles of a 
more lugubrious character have also been there 
performed. In the midst of the Plaza Mayor the 
scaffold has often been erected and dyed with the 
noblest blood of Castile, and the fires of the ter- 
rible auto-da-fe have frequently been lighted. 
Thousands of victims to the merciless Inquisition 
have there perished. 

The extensive preparations for the spectacle to 
be presented to the prince had occupied some 
time. The whole of the plaza was unpaved, and in 
the centre an immense amphitheatre was con- 
structed, with seats rising by gradations to the 
height of the lower balconies of the surrounding 



Tl'lE SPAXISH MATCH. 59 

habitations, and capable of accommodating an in- 
credible number of spectators. Covered with crim- 
son cloth, and otherwise ornamented, these seats 
presented a very splendid appearance, and were 
so arranged that each occupant could command a 
perfect view of the performance. The arena 
destined for the courses was deeply sanded, and was 
surrounded by double barriers, between which ran 
a circular passage. There were two grand en- 
trances to the arena, and a gate, with folding- 
doors painted red, which communicated with the 
toril, or dens where the bulls were shut up. 

The day dawned most auspiciously. The sun 
shone brightly, the bells rang joyously, martial 
music was heard, and bands of mounted archers 
and arquebusiers in their glittering accoutrements 
were seen proceeding from the palace to the Plaza 
Mayor, and though it was certain that the heat 
would be excessive, no one cared for that incon- 
venience, provided they could obtain a sight of 



60 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the grand spectacle. Thousands of manolos and 
manolas in their gayest attire trooped off to the 
scene of the approaching show. Vehicles of all 
kinds thronged the streets, and gaily -dressed majos, 
mounted on Andalusian horses, and having their 
majas seated behind them, forced their way through 
the crowd of foot passengers. Through the dif- 
ferent gates countrymen, bestriding gaily-capa- 
risoned mules, rode into the city, each having a 
carbine or a trabuco at his saddle-bow. From the 
Calle Mayor, from the Calle de Toledo, from the 
Calle de Atocha, living streams poured into the 
Plaza Mayor, so that even at an early hour the 
square was filled to overflowing. 

Towards noon, when every seat in the immense 
amphitheatre was occupied by cavaliers in velvet 
mantles of varied hues, or by lovely dames habited 
on this occasion in honour of the prince in white 
silk, and draped in white mantillas of the richest 
lace; when nothing was seen but the fluttering of 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 61 

plumes and the waving of fans; when every bal- 
cony of every house in each of the four fa9ades 
was occupied by spectators; when roofs and chim- 
neys were invaded, and no point or pinnacle com- 
manding a view was neglected — the coup d'oeil of 
the plaza was magnificent in the extreme. More 
than a hundred thousand spectators were present, 
and as all the male portion of the crowd was 
dressed in lively colours, the effect was very strik- 
ing. All the balconies were decorated — generally 
with velvets of various hues, arras, or carpets, but 
in some cases with cloth of gold and silver — and 
these decorations added prodigiously to the effect. 

The grand ornament of the plaza, however, and 
that on which the universal gaze rested, was a 
magnificent gilt scaffold reared over the arches of 
the Panaderia, and covered with cloth of gold and 
silver. This scaffold was divided into several par- 
titions, separated from each other by hangings of 
crimson damask spotted with silver. The central 



62 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

gallery, reserved for the royal family, was covered 
in front with cloth of gold, embroidered with the 
royal arms of Castile and Aragon. On either 
side were hansrinofs of carnation-coloured cloth of 
Florence woven with gold, and overhead was a 
canopy formed of crimson cloth of gold of Milan, 
very gorgeous to behold. The fauteuils and ta- 
bourets were covered with cloth of gold and 
tissue, and the cushions were of the same rich 
stuff. 

The tribune on the right of the royal gallery 
was assigned to the ambassadors, and the principal 
seat in it was occupied by the Papal Nuncio. 
With him were the Earl of Bristol, Sir Walter 
Aston, and the ambassadors of the Emperor Fer- 
dinand II., of France, Poland, and Venice. In 
the tribune on the left sat Don Juan de Castilla, 
the corregidor of Madrid, and the three regidores. 
On this occasion, besides his usual train of officers, 
the corregidor was attended by eight pages and 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 63 

four lacqueys in doublets of black satin guarded 
with black lace, black velvet cloaks embroidered 
with silver caracols and gandurados, and hats 
adorned with black and white plumes. Next 
was a gallery appointed for the members of the 
different councils — the royal councils of Castile 
and Aragon sitting in front. Farther on, in the 
balconies, were stationed the chief grandees and 
highest dames of the court. 

All the important personages to whom we have 
referred had taken their places in the tribunes, 
every balcony in each of the facades was tlironged, 
and presented a most gorgeous show, every seat in 
the amphitheatre was occupied, tlie whole of the 
vast plaza was encumbered with gentlemen, pages, 
and lacqueys, clad in the sumptuous liveries of 
their lords, and by spectators of inferior degree, 
but in very gay attire, when the first royal car- 
riage arrived at the entrance of the Panadcria. 
It contained the queen, the Infanta, and the In- 



64 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

flintes, Don Carlos and Don Fernando. Her ma- 
jesty was dressed in ash-coloured silk, richly em- 
broidered, and adorned with plates of gold, and 
wore a profusion of jewels. As at all public cere- 
monials, the Infanta appeared in her royal suitor's 
colours, her dress being of white satin ornamented 
with pearls. Don Carlos was attired in black 
velvet, and Don Fernando in purple. 

The royal party were received by the Conde 
de Puebla, attended by a host of pages in liveries 
of orange-coloured velvet embroidered with silver 
lace, and were ceremoniously conducted to the 
gallery appointed for them, at the door of which 
stood Don Alfonse Eurigues and the Conde de 
Benavente, with other grandees. As the two 
royal personages came forward, attended by their 
train, their appearance was greeted by enthusiastic 
acclamations from the beholders. 

The next person to enter the royal gallery was 
the Countess de Olivarez, and^ shortly afterwards a 



THE SPANISH MATCH. ^5 

charming background was formed by the meninos 
and meninas, who looked like a parterre of flowers 
in their white and carnation-coloured satin dresses. 

Scarcely had the queen and the Infanta taken 
their places, when fanfares of trumpets, which 
made the whole plaza resound, announced the 
arrival of the king and his royal guest. 

Philip and Charles had ridden from the palace, 
and were attended by a guard of superbly- 
equipped Burgundian archers. Arrayed in black 
velvet, and wearing black plumes in his hat, the 
king rode a cream-coloured Andalusian courser. 
Charles was attired in white satin, embroidered 
with gold, and his hat was adorned with black 
and white plumes. He rode the barb given him 
by the Duke de Cea. On their arrival at the 
Plaza Mayor they were received by the Conde 
de Olivarez and the Duke of Buckingham, at- 
tended by a large retinue composed of Spanish 
and English nobles, all on horseback, and were 

VOL. III. p 



66 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

conducted to the arena. As grand master of the 
horse, the marshalling of the royal fete devolved 
upon Olivarez, but he had courteously surrendered 
the post to Buckingham, and contented himself 
with acting as the duke's assistant. 

After saluting the queen and the Infanta, who 
had advanced to the front of the royal gallery to 
watch them, the king and the prince then rode 
slowly round the arena, and as they pursued their 
course, Philip explained all the arrangements to 
his guest, pointed out the different gates in the 
barriers, and showed him the entrance to the toril. 

Having made the circuit of the arena, they came 
to a halt, and took up a position exactly opposite 
the royal gallery. Charles then looked around, 
and was astonished at the spectacle that met his 
gaze. Never had he beheld so vast an assemblage 
— never had he witnessed such an extraordinary 
manifestation of enthusiasm. The whole place was 
in a state of excitement. From every row in the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 67 

enormous amphitheatre, from every balcony in 
the plaza, from every window, scarfs, kerchiefs, 
and hats were waved. " Viva el Principe de 
Galles ! " resounded on all sides. 

Long before these demonstrations had subsided, 
the performers in the spectacle began to arrive. 

The first to enter the arena Avas the Duke de 
Cea. He was mounted on a strong iron-grey 
charger, and was habited in black velvet, edged 
with silver of goldsmith's work. The young duke 
was accompanied by Sir Richard Graham and 
Don Antonio Guino, botli of whom were mounted 
on powerful horses, and wore doublets and hose of 
tawny velvet, embroidered witli silver lace, having 
great tawny plumes in their hats. De Cea was 
preceded by fifty lacqueys in white and tawny 
hose, tawny doublets and cloaks, caps of wrought 
silver, and swords with silver scabbards. 

Having made the circuit of the arena, and bent 
before the occupants of the royal gallery, De Cea 
f2 



68 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

and his two friends bowed reverentially to tlie king 
and prince, and then took up a position behind 
them. While the young duke's lacqueys went 
out, a hundred others entered. The new comers 
were attired in white cloth, laced with silver, and 
wore black caps with white plumes. They formed 
part of the retinue of the Marquis de Velada, who 
rode into the ring with Don Pedro de Montezuma 
and the Duke de Maqueda. Having pursued the 
same course as De Cea and his friends, these per- 
sonages stationed themselves behind the king and 
prince. 

Next entered fifty lacqueys in white satin, 
guarded with branches of azure silk and gold. 
They preceded the Conde de Villamor, who was 
mounted on a magnificent chesnut horse — the 
mane and tail of the noble animal being twisted 
with silver. Villamor was accompanied by Don 
Gaspar Bonlfaz and Don Christobal de Gavina. 
These cavaliers having taken up their posi- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 69 

tion, fifty more lacqueys appeared in dark green 
doublets, embroidered with silver caracols, having 
black hats and plumes. This troop belonged to 
Don Geronirao de Medanllla, who was accompa- 
nied by the Conde de Cantillana and Don Diego 
Zurate. 

More lacqueys followed in liveries equally gor- 
geous — more cavaliers made the circuit of the 
arena, and took up their position with the others 
— until at last the number of combatants was 
complete. 

The inspection over, Philip and Charles quitted 
the arena, dismounted at the entrance of the Pana- 
deria, and shortly afterwards appeared in the royal 
gallery, where Charles was assigned a place be- 
tween the queen and the Infanta. 

No sooner had the king and the prince taken 
their seats, than trumpets were sounded, and the 
whole troop of cavaliers, who remained in the 
ring, formed themselves into two lines, and, mar- 



70 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

shalled by Buckingham and Olivarez, rode towards 
the royal tribune, saluted the king, and then 
quitting the arena, drew up in an enclosure re- 
served for them outside the barriers. 

Another procession now entered the arena by an 
opposite gate. At its head rode four alguacils, 
mounted on strong black horses, and accoutred 
in black doublets and cloaks, large funnel-topped 
boots, and broad-leaved sombreros with black 
plumes. They were followed by a large troop of 
toreros, chulos, and banderilleros. 

All the latter were young men, somewhat short 
of stature, but remarkably well formed, and their 
light active figures were displayed to the utmost 
advantage in gaily-embroidered doublets, fashioned 
in blue, rose, or green silk, flesh-coloured silk hose 
worked with silver, and pink satin shoes adorned 
with large roses. Their long black locks, taken 
from the brow, were fastened in a knot at the 
back of the neck and secured by a silken net. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 71 

A small black montera hat, ornamented with 
spangles and tinsel, completed their costume. The 
chulos, whose business it was to irritate and dis- 
tract the bulls, carried under their arms capas or 
mantles of various-coloured stuffs. The procession 
was closed by a sort of hurdle, dragged along 
by four mules, decorated with crimson tufts and 
plumes, and having bells attached to their harness. 
This equipage was destined to remove the carcases 
of the horses and bulls killed in the courses. 

The procession having paid homage to the king 
by kneeling before the royal gallery, passed on, 
and the greater part went out and stationed them- 
selves in the partition between the barriers. A 
dozen chulos, half as many banderilleros, and a 
single torero, were left in the ring. 

Again the trumpets sounded, and three cava- 
liers, each armed with a lance, rode into the 
arena. These were the Duke de Cea, Don An- 
tonio Guino, and Sir Richard Graham. They 



72 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

posted themselves on the right of the toril, which 
faced the royal gallery, at intervals of twenty yards 
from each other, the young duke being nearest the 
toril, and Graham farthest from it. 

While these dispositions were made, the vast as- 
semblage became perfectly silent. Expectation was 
so highly raised that scarcely a breath was drawn. 

Amid the silence, the alguacils rode towards the 
tribune occupied by the corregidor, and, baring 
their heads, besought permission to open the toril. 

In response, a large key, ornamented by ribands, 
was flung to them by Don Juan de Castilla. It 
was caught in a hat, and delivered to a varlet of 
the ring, who ran with it towards the toril, while 
the alguacils galloped out of the arena as fast as 
they could, amid the shouts and jeers of the be- 
holders. 

Trumpets were then blown, the red gates of 
the toril were thrown wide open, and quick as 
lightning a bull rushed forth. At the moment 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 73 

of his entrance a little flag was planted in his 
shoulder, bearing the device of the Duke de Cea. 
He was a splendid animal brought from Andalusia, 
where the best bulls are bred, and soon gave proof 
of courage and activity. His colour was a shining 
black; his horns sharp and crescent-shaped; his 
eyes fierce and wild in expression. For a moment 
he seemed bewildered by the shouts that greeted 
his appearance, and the thousands of faces that 
met his gaze, but after a short hesitation, during 
which he bellowed savagely, and lashed his sides 
with his tail, he precipitated himself on De Cea, 
who, lance in hand, awaited his attack. 

At a bull-fight of the present day, the horse 
of the picador, generally a wretched animal des- 
tined to the knacker if he should survive the con- 
flict, has a thick bandage over the eyes to prevent 
him from perceiving the onset of the bull. More- 
over, the picador's legs are sheathed in iron greaves 
covered with leather. But at the period of which 



74 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

we write, when nobles and cavaliers were picadors, 
no such precautions were taken, and as good horses 
were used in the bull-ring as in the tilt-yard. 

Thus De Cea's noble steed, though conscious of 
his danger, remained motionless until the bull was 
close upon him, when, obedient to the will of his 
rider, he turned slightly aside, and the furious 
brute, missing his mark, rushed on, not, however, 
unscathed, for he received the point of De Cea's 
lance deep in his shoulder. The shaft of the lance 
was broken by the blow, but another weapon was 
instantly handed by a chulo to the duke, who ex- 
pected the bull to renew the attack. 

Instead of wheeling round, however, the beast 
went on, and, again couching his head, made a 
dash at Don Antonio Guino. This time better 
success attended the charge than had done that 
on the young duke. Shivering the lance with 
which Don Antonio struck him, the furious brute 
gored the horse deeply in the chest, rendering the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 75 

animal unmanasreablc, and while lie was strufro-lincr 
with Don Antonio, the bull returned to the attack, 
and this time plunging his horns into the horse's 
body near the girths, lifted him and his rider com- 
pletely from the ground. 

This feat was greatl}' applauded by the specta- 
tors, and cries resounded on all sides of "Bravo 
toro ! buen toro ! gentil toro ! " 

Amid these shouts, Don Antonio disengaged 
himself from his steed, from whom the blood poured 
forth in torrents, and vaulted over the barriers. 
At the same time, the chulos advanced towards 
the bull and fluttered their mantles before him to 
distract his attention from the fallen steed, on 
whom he was still ventins^ his rao^e. His atten- 
tion being thus diverted, the bull turned to his new 
opponents, who, having succeeded in drawing him 
towards the centre of the ring, took to flight, and 
made for the barriers. 

All escaped but one, who slipped and fell, and 



76 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

his fate seemed certain. A thrill of horror per- 
vaded the assemblage as the bull, who had rushed 
past him, turned and lowered his blood-stained 
horns. But deliverance was at hand. Ere the 
vengeful monster could transfix him, his own side 
was pierced by the lance of Graham, who had 
dashed to the assistance of the prostrate chulo. Bel- 
lowing savagely, the bull turned upon his new foe, 
but Graham avoided the attack, and, profiting by 
the opportunity, the chulo sprang to his feet and 
cleared the barrier. 

Meanwhile, the bull wheeled round and again 
assaulted Graham, but he had now met with an 
antagonist whom it seemed impossible to touch. 
Rapid as were the monster's movements, frequently 
and furiously as he charged, he did not once suc- 
ceed in touching Graham, so admirably did the 
young man manoeuvre his steed. 

In this manner the bull was conducted to that 
part of the arena which was nearest to the royal 



THE SPANISH JL4.TCH. 77 

gallery, when tHe animal, fatigued by his ineffectual 
attempts, desisted from further attack, and stood 
still, staring in angry wonderment at his opponent. 

Charmed by the remarkable skill displayed by 
the young man, the spectators applauded loudly, 
and a thousand voices called out, " Viva el Cabal- 
lero Ingles ! viva Don Ricardo ! viva ! " 

Apparently indifferent to the bull, Graham 
bowed in reply to these acclamations. But he had 
scarcely made the movement, when the bull, who 
had been stealthily watching him, again made a 
charge. This time the horns of the brute slightly 
grazed the side of the horse, who snorted with 
pain, but remained perfectly under his rider's con- 
trol. 

Thinking the conflict had endured long enough, 
Graham resolved to put an end to it. With this 
design, he flung away his lance, and drew his 
sword. Allowing the bull to make two more 
charges, he avoided them dexterously, but on the 



78 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

next assault he plunged his rapier up to the hilt 
between the animal's shoulders. 
. Pierced to the heart, -with the sword still stick- 
ing in his body, and blood mingled with foam 
gushing from his mouth and nostrils, the bull 
dropped on his knees before his conqueror. 

The whole amphitheatre rung with plaudits, and 
shouts again resounded on every side of " Viva el 
Caballero Ingles ! " 

At that moment of triumph, Graham glanced 
anxiously round, and at last his eye caught that of 
Dona Casilda. 

The trumpets then sounded the morte, and pre- 
sently afterwards the four gaily-caparisoned mules, 
with the hurdle attached to them, galloped into the 
arena, their bells jingling merrily, and bore off the 
carcase of the bull. 

While this took place, De Cea rode up to his 
friend, and warmly .congratulated him on his bril- 
liant achievement. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 79 

"You have begun well, amigo," cried the young 
duke. 

" Oh, this is nothing. I hope to do better,' 
rejoined Graham. " We must have another bull." 

"You must control your ardour for a while," 
laughed De Cea. "The next course belongs to 
the Conde de Villamor. But perhaps he will let 
us join him. If so, we will have a couple of bulls. 
Here he comes. I will ask him," he added, as 
Villamor, accompanied by Don Gaspar Bonifaz and 
Don Chrigtobal, rode into the arena. 



80 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



X. 

THE SECOND COURSE. 

From the moment of Graham's entrance into 
the arena to that when the bull dropped at his 
feet, he had been anxiously watched by Dona 
Casilda, who was seated in a balcony of the am- 
phitheatre, on the right of the toril. With her 
were the Conde de Saldana, Doiia Flor, and Don 
Pompeo. In the same balcony, immediately be- 
hind her [young mistress, sat Rose, who, being 
attired in black silk, draped in a mantilla, and 
provided with a fan, looked like a Spanish don- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 81 

cella. Throughout the course, Rose's dark eyes 
had been fixed upon Graham, and she followed 
his every movement with an interest quite as keen 
as that felt by Dona Casilda. 

With the exception of Don Pompeo, all the 
party were in raptures at the address displayed 
by Graham, and the conde was loud in his praises. 

" I can scarcely believe this is the first time 
Don Ricardo has encountered a bull," he said. 
"He has all the skill and coolness of an expe- 
rienced picador." 

" The Duke de Cea must have taken great pains 
with him," remarked Doiia Flor. 

" I think he is quite as skilful as the duke," said 
Casilda. 

" That is not saying much in his praise," re- 
joined Don Pompeo. " De Cea did nothing in 
the course we have just witnessed." 

" We shall see what he does in the next," ob- 
served Dona FJor. 

VOL. III. G 



82 THE SP.OISH MATCH. 

" Is Don Ricardo about to take part in the next 
course?" asked Casilda, eagerly. 

" So it appears," replied Don Pompeo. " He 
and De Cea seem loth to leave the ring." And he 
muttered, "May they never quit it with life !" 

While this ill wish was breathed, Dona Casilda 
detached a knot of ribands from her breast, and, 
giving it to Rose, said, in an under tone, 

" Let this be conveyed instantly to Don Ricardo. 
Say it comes from me." 

" The senora shall be obeyed," replied Rose. 

And quickly descending to the barriers, she ad- 
dressed herself to a chulo, who took the breast-knot, 
and, vaulting into the ring, hastened towards Gra- 
ham. 

Meanwhile, the arena liad been prepared for a 
second course. As soon as the bull had been dis- 
posed of, the mules returned with their equipage, 
and carried off Don Antonio Guino's horse, which 
by this time was dead. A torero also brought 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 83 

back the sword with Avhich Graham had despatched 
the bull, and delivered it to its owner. At the 
same time all evidences of the recent conflict were 
carefully obliterated by the varlets of the ring. 

On learning from De Cea that he and Graham 
desired to join in the second course, the Conde de 
Villamor at once courteously assented, but it being 
necessary to ask permission of the corregidor, a 
messenger was despatched to ascertain the pleasure 
of that important personage ; and it was during this 
interval, and while the five cavaliers were drawn up 
opposite the corregidor's tribune, that the chulo 
ran towards Graham, and, holding out the breast- 
knot to him, exclaimed: 

" Hist ! Seuor don Kicardo ! — this favour is from 
Dona Casilda." 

" From Doiia Casilda ! Then it must be for 
me," cried Don Christobal, snatching the breast- 
knot from the chulo. 

" Nay, seuor, I am certain it was meant for the 
g2 



84 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

English caballero," cried the chulo. "The doncella 
told me so." 

" Concern yourself no further, friend," rejoined 
Don Christobal, sternly. "I am Dona Casilda's 
betrothed." 

On this, the chulo retired. 

" The favour was unquestionably intended for 
me, seiior," said Graham to Don Christobal. " You 
will not be uncourteous enough to detain it." 

Don Christobal made no reply, but proceeded 
to fasten the breast-knot on his doublet. 

At this juncture, the corregidor, to whom the 
message had just been delivered, advanced to the 
front of his tribune, and bowed to the group of 
cavaliers, to intimate that he assented to their re- 
quest. The five champions immediately dispersed 
themselves, each taking up a position close to the 
inner barrier. 

Though burning with indignation, Graham was 
obliged to constrain himself for the moment, but he 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 85 

promised himself speedy revenge. As he glanced 
towards the balcony where Casilda was seated, he 
perceived from her looks that she was aware of 
■what had occurred, and his rage was increased by 
the smile of triumph that curled Don Christ obal's 
lips. 

" He shall not wear that breast-knot long," he 
thought. 

Meantime, the trumpets again sounded, the gates 
of the toril were thrown open, and a second bull 
dashed into the arena. 

Like his predecessor, he was for a moment 
blinded by the flood of sunshine that burst upon 
him, and stopped, bewildered by the shouts and by 
the presence of so many spectators. He was a 
powerful-looking beast, dun in colour, with sharp 
white horns, tipped with black, and bent upwards. 
His mouth was covered with foam, and his eyes 
flashed fire. 

After gazing round the ring and bellowing 



86 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

furiously, the bull hurled himself on the Conde de 
Villamor, who stood nearest him on the left. 
Villamor avoided the charge, and pierced him in 
the shoulder with his lance, but the wound only 
served to irritate him, for he returned to the attack 
with such celerity, that the conde found it impos- 
sible to get out of the way, and, before he could 
draw his sword, the bull was upon him. 

Down went horse and man, overthrown by the 
terrible shock, and for a moment the conde seemed 
in great danger, as his steed had fallen upon him, 
and he could not extricate himself. 

An immense cry rose from the assemblage, 
mingled with some shouts of " Bravo toro ! " 

Luckily for Villamor, the bull expended his 
fury upon the horse, plunging his horns repeatedly 
into the prostrate animal, and while the vengeful 
beast was thus engaged, a troop of chulos came up, 
and by fluttering their capas, soon succeeded in 
luring him towards the centre of the ring. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 87 

As soon as the bull was gone, some of the 
assistants leaped over the inner barrier and assisted 
Villamor to rise. On regaining his feet he called 
for another horse, but at that very moment his 
strength deserted him, and but for assistance he 
must have fallen. While he was being carried 
out of the arena, the bull caught sight of him, 
and immediately quitting the chulos, who strove 
in vain to arrest him, dashed at the party. Scared 
by the animal's approach, the men left the conde 
and fled. 

A cry of horror arose from the assemblage, who 
thought that Villamor was lost. Even the king 
manifested the greatest anxiety. But swift as was 
the bull, De Cca Avas swifter. As the animal, with 
lowered horns, and vengeance in his flaming eye, 
was within a yard of Villamor, who was lying 
prostrate on the ground, the lance of the young 
duke smote him deeply on the shoulder. The bull 
then wheeled round and turned his ra^c on his new 



00 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

assailant, and while he was thus engaged, Villamor 
was carried safely out of the arena, to the great 
relief of the beholders. 

All eyes were now fixed upon De Cea, who, by 
executing several rapid voltes and demi-voltes, 
avoided the furious charges of the bull, and in this 
manner led the animal to that part of the arena 
nearest the royal gallery. 

At this moment, in obedience to the corregidor, 
who waved his kerchief from his tribune, the 
trumpets were sounded, the gates of the toril again 
flew open, and a third bull came instantly forth, 
bearing between his shoulders a little flag marked 
with the device of Don Christobal. 

The animal's appearance excited high expecta- 
tions. In colour he was of a reddish brown, 
with well-set horns sharp as poniards, eyes that 
burnt] like flaming coals, a curled foretop, and an 
immense dewlap. Lashing himself with his tail, 
and pawing the ground, he bellowed fiercely. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 89 

The roar made his presence known to the bull 
on the opposite side of the ring, who instantly 
answered by a similar note of defiance, and the 
twain would have rushed at each other if they had 
not been prevented. 

Aided by some of the chulos, De Cea kept his 
bull in check, and held in play as before, while the 
toro roxo, as he was styled by the spectators, found 
his course barred by the three picadors. De- 
spising these obstacles, however, he dashed against 
Don Christobal, who was nearest to him, and, re- 
gardless of the wound he received, went on, and 
assailed Don Gaspar Bonifaz, from whom he got 
a second thrust in the shoulder. Then, abandon- 
ing his original design of seeking out the other 
bull, he wheeled round with inconceivable rapidity, 
and again dashed at Don Gaspar, ripping up the 
side of the horse, and wounding the cavalier him- 
self in the thigh. 

But this was not all. Without a pause in his 



90 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

furious career, lie turned his horns upon Don 
Christobal, and in another moment horse and 
rider were rolling upon the ground. 

Graham saw what had occurred. Had he 
waited for another moment, the horns of the in- 
furiated monster would have delivered him from 
his rival. But a nobler impulse swayed him. 
Without hesitation he charged the bull, whose 
head was lowered to strike Don Christobal, and 
smote the savage brute between the shoulders with 
such force that more than a third of the lance 
disappeared, while the bull, who had received his 
death-wound, fell within a foot of the horse he had 
slain. 

Thunders of applause greeted this gallant action. 
The spectators appeared frenzied with delight. 
" Viva el Caballero Ingles ! Viva Don Ricardo 1 
Viva ! "' again resounded on all sides. As the hero 
of the moment glanced towards the balcony, where 
the mistress of his heart was seated, she waved her 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 91 

kerchief enthusiastically to him, and that was re- 
ward enough for his prowess. 

Meanwhile, a troop of chulos had flown to Don 
Christobal's assistance, but before they came up he 
had extricated himself from his horse. His first 
business was to proffer thanks to his deliverer, but 
he did so with an ill grace, and could not conceal 
his mortification. 

" I owe my life to you, Don Ricardo," he said, 
*' and must try to pay off the debt, if I can." 

" Give me that breast-knot of ribands, and I 
shall be satisfied. You can pay it off at once," re- 
joined Graham. 

" We are quits, then," said Don Christobal, de- 
taching the ornament from his doublet, and pre- 
senting it to his rival. 

Glancing towards the balcony where Casilda was 
seated, Graham saw she was watching him, and 
pressing the favour to his lips, he fastened it on 
his breast. 



92 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Just at this moment a torero came up, bearing 
a small flag which he had just unhooked from the 
neck of the bull. 

" This trophy belongs to you, Seiior Don Ri- 
cardo," he said to Graham. " Is there any lady 
present to whom you desire to send it? If so, I 
will see it conveyed to her." 

" I thank you for your courtesy, friend," replied 
Graham, to whom the torero's features seemed 
familiar. " The lady to whom I would present 
it is seated in yonder balcony, on the left of the 
toril." 

^*I see," replied the torero, glancing in the di- 
rection pointed out. " It is Doiia Casilda, daughter 
of the Conde de Saldana. She is looking towards 
us, and understands your design. The flag shall be 
sent to her at once." 

He then bowed towards the balcony, so as to 
intimate his intention to Dona Casilda, and was 
about to depart, Avhen Graham stopped him. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 93 

" Stay, friend," he said. " Methinks we have 
met before." 

"True, senor," replied the torero, bowing; "we 
have met before — in the Somosierra." 

"Ha! is it possible?" exclaimed Graham, a 
light suddenly flashing upon him. 

The torero, however, did not tarry for further 
questioning, but ran to tlic barriers, where he 
quickly found a page, who at once mounted to 
the balcony. 

"From Don Ricardo, senora," said the page, as 
he delivered the trophy to Doiia Casilda. 

" From Don Christobal you mean," remarked 
Don Pompeo. " The flag bears his device." 

"That may be, senor," replied the page, "but 
it was the English caballero who killed the bull. 
The flag, therefore, belongs to him, and he has sent 
it to the senora." 

" I am much beholden to Don Ricardo, and to 
you for bringing it," said Casilda, smiling with 
pride and pleasure. 



94 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

His errand fulfilled, the page bowed and de- 
parted. 

" You should not have accepted the flag, Ca- 
silda," remarked Don Pompeo. " Don Christobal 
•will be offended, and with good reason. Such a 
mark of attention from Don Ricardo is highly 
improper. All eyes are upon you, and the inci- 
dent is sure to be commented upon, and to Don 
Christobal's disadvantage. I advise you to throw 
the flag away." 

" I shall do nothing of the sort," replied Casilda. 
"Don Christobal deserves to be mortified for his 
want of skill. He has allowed a mere novice to 
eclipse him. But for Don Ricardo, he would have 
been killed." 

" Perhaps you would not have been sorry if he 
had," remarked Don Pompeo, spitefully. 

At this moment a great shout from the spec- 
tators announced that De Cea had just despatched 
the other bull. Doiia Flor was enchanted, and ap- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 95 

plauded enthusiastically, much to her husband's 
annoyance. But his ill humour was increased 
when, shortly afterwards, the page reappeared, 
bringing a bunch of blue and red ribands, taken 
from the neck of the bull which had just been 
slain, and presented it to Doiia Flor. 

" From the Duke de Cea," said the page. 

"I thank him for his attention," she replied, 
with a gracious smile. " I have now got my 
trophy," she added, turning to Casilda. 

" You do not mean to wear it," whispered the 
other. "Don Pompeo looks as black as thun- 
der." 

" If he chooses to make himself ridiculous in 
public I cannot help it," returned Doiia Flor. 
"I shall not be deterred by his cross looks from 
wearing the token." 

The course being ended, the Duke de Cea and 
Graham left the ring to other champions. As 
they rode forth together, they paused for a mo- 



96 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

merit, and bowed gracefully to the balcony, in 
which Dona Flor and her sister were seated. 

The acclamations that attended Graham's de- 
parture showed how highly his skill and gallantry 
were appreciated by the spectators. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 97 



XI. 

HO-Ve ARCHIE WAS TOSSED BY A BULL. 

Meanwhile, preparations were expeditiously 
made for another course. The dead bulls and 
horses were carried off by the mules as before, 
and the marks of the conflict effaced. The only 
one of the champions left in the ring who had 
figured in tlie last encounter, was Don Chris- 
tobal. He had been provided with a fresh horse, 
and seemed eager to efface his late defeat. The 
three picadors who joined him in the arena were 
the ^larquis de Velada, Don Pedro de Montezuma, 
and tlie Duke de Maqueda. 

VOL. in. H 



98 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

As soon as the champions had posted themselves, 
the trumpets sounded, and a bull rushed forth, suc- 
cessively assailing Velada and Montezuma, and re- 
ceiving thrusts from both. In the third assault he 
■was slain by Don Chvistobal, who thus redeemed 
his credit, and gained the applauses he so eagerly 

coveted. 

Quickly was the carcase removed— quickly came 
another bull into the arena. But the new comer 
not evincing an immediate disposition to attack the 
picadors, he was drawn to the centre of the ring by 
the chulos, and there his fury was roused to the 
proper pitch by the banderillero?, who planted their 
rustling darts in his shoulders. 

Among the troop engaged with the bull was one 
personage who had no previous experience of such 
performances, but who trusted, nevertheless, to his 
activity to extricate himself from peril. This was 
Archie, the court fool. He had so earnestly be- 
sought Buckingham to allow him to enter the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 99 

arena, that the duke consentedj though with con- 
siderable reluctance. 

Archie's motley garb, which presented a striking 
contrast to the gay and glittering attire of the 
chulos, drew immediate attention to him, and the 
movements of his grotesque little figure were 
watched Avith lively curiosity by the spectators, 
who were much diverted by his appearance and 
manner. Even the occupants of the royal gallery 
watched him, Charles had first remarked him, 
and called the king's attention to him, and some 
uneasiness was felt for his safety. Archie had 
been provided with a crimson capa, which he 
fluttered in the eyes of the bull, and up to a cer- 
tain time no misadventure befel him. But after 
the fury of the bull had been thoroughly roused by 
the banderilleros, matters began to assume a dilTc- 
rent complexion, and being warned by his compa- 
nions, Arcliic thought it prudent to take to his 
heels. Unluckily, the bull, after dispersing his 
h2 



100 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

other tormentors, who also took to flight, turned, 
and perceiving the flying jester, dashed after him. 

It now became a question whether Archie could 
reach the barrier before his swift and terrible foe 
could come up with him. So headlong was the 
dash of the bull that escape seemed barely pos- 
sible. Charles gave up the jester for lost, and 
thought how deeply King James w^ould regret 
him. 

However, Archie went on. A few more paces 
and he w^ould be safe. The barrier was close at 
hand. The shouts of the spectators, encouraging 
him to go on, rang in his ears. But above these 
shouts he heard the bull, who was now close upon 
him. He made a desperate spring forward, but 
failed to reach the barrier, and fell. 

A universal thrill of horror pervaded the spec- 
tators as the bull lowered his head. Nowhere was 
this feeling experienced in a higher degree than 
in the royal gallery. The next moment the jester 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 101 

was tossed to a great height in the air, and all who 
looked on expected, on his descent, to see him 
transfixed by the sharp-pointed horns waiting to 
receive him. 

But he was not destined to perish thus mise- 
rably. Succour arrived at that supreme moment. 
A capa flung by a dexterous hand over the head 
of the bull caused him to turn his head, and the 
movement saved the jester, who alighted on the 
ground without any material injury, for the bull, 
in tossing him, had luckily not touched him with 
his horns. So little, indeed, was he hurt, that 
before the bull could shake the capa from his head 
Archie had vaulted over the barrier. 

A general shout hailed his escape. 



102 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



XII. 



THE MASKED PICADOK. 



Attention was then fixed upon the torero to 
whom Archie had been indebted for preservation. 
He was a very handsome young man, short of 
stature, but remarkably well made, and liis sym- 
metrical limbs were displayed to the greatest ad- 
vantage in his glittering garb. His complexion 
was dark, and his eyes black and keen," and he 
looked a model of grace and agility. He was, 
in fact, the person in whom Graham had just be- 
fore recognised an acquaintance. It being quite 
evident that he was fully able to cope with the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 103 

bull, the Marquis de Velada and Don Pedro, Avho 
had ridden to the rescue, held aloof. 

As soon as the bull had freed his horns from the 
capa, and could distinguish his adversary, who was 
gazing steadily at him at a short distance, he 
uttered a short angry roar, and prepared for attack. 
The torero was only armed with a slight rapier, 
but he was perfectly undismayed. Indeed, he 
seemed to reo;ard his furious antasronist with con- 
tempt. When the bull dashed at him, he stepped 
nimbly aside, and the enraged animal passed by, 
but returned almost instantly, making charge after 
charge, but without the slightest effect. Charmed 
with the extraordinary grace displayed by the 
torero, the spectators applauded loudly. At last, 
at a sign from the corregidor, the conflict was 
brought to a close. Pierced to the heart by the 
keen rapier, the bull dropped at his conqueror's 
feet. Bowing gracefully to the royal gallery, the 
torero vaulted over the barrier and disappeared. 



104 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"Who is that man?" said Philip to the Conde 
de Puebla, who was standing behind his chair. 

"I know not, sire," replied the conde; "but I 
will inquire, and inform your majesty." 

"I shall be glad to learn his name, that I may 
reward him," remarked Charles. " He has ren- 
dered me a great service in rescuing the unlucky 
jester. Had Archie perished, my royal father 
would have been inconsolable." 

"I will find him out, and let your highness 
know," said the Conde de Puebla. And he left 
the gallery for the purpose. 

When he returned shortly afterwards, he said, 
"I am unable at present to satisfy your majesty's 
curiosity. The torero has disappeared, and no one 
can tell who he is." 

" Strange ! his features seem familiar to me," re- 
marked Charles, thoughtfully. 

" Make further inquiries, my lord," said Philip. 
" We must be satisfied." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 105 

At this moment, the attention of the royal party 
was attracted by a singular occurrence. Two bulls 
had been introduced into the ring, both remarkably 
active animals. They were aware of each other's 
presence, but were kept at different sides of the 
arena by the chulos and banderilleros, who had 
divided themselves into two parties. 

While pursuing the flying bands of their tor- 
mentors, both bulls, as if animated by a kindred 
spirit, leaped the inner barrier almost simulta- 
neously, alighting in the passage which encircled 
the arena. In addition to the chulos, who had just 
gained this place of refuge, there were many other 
persons in the passage at the moment, but all these 
saved themselves by vaulting into the arena, leaving 
the space clear for the bulls, who rushed against 
each other Avith such prodigious force and fury 
that both were killed by the shock. 

This occurrence, strange and unexpected as it 
was, only momentarily interrupted the proceedings. 



10b' THE SPANISH MATCH. 

The carcases were removed from the passage, and 
the arena was cleared for another course. 

The champions now occupying the ground were 
Don Geronimo de Medanilla, the Conde de Can- 
tillana, and Don Diego Zurate. With them was 
a fourth cavalier, who attracted far more curiosity 
than his companions, from the circumstance of his 
features being concealed by a black mask. Every- 
body wondered who he was, but no one could tell. 
But be he who he might, it was evident he was a 
consummate horseman. He was mounted on a 
black Andalusian barb, Avhich, though full of fire 
and spirit, obeyed his slightest movement, and lie 
sat his steed with remarkable grace. His small 
but symmetrical person was attired in white silk, 
lined with azure and embroidered with silver, and 
he wore white and blue plumes in his hat. Never 
had a more graceful cavalier been seen in the bull- 
ring, and from the moment of his appearance he 
enlisted all female sympathies in his behalf 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 107 

"Wlio is he? — why is he masked?" resounded 
on all sides. 

But, as we have said, no satisfactory answer could 
be given to the inquiries. He must be known to 
the marshals of the fete, or he would not have been 
allowed entrance into the bull-ring. Not only 
among the general assemblage, but even in the 
royal gallery, curiosity was excited as to his name 
and title, for everybody believed him to be a 
hidalgo. 

" Who is that masked picador ? " inquired the 
king of the Conde de Puebla. 

"I am unable to satisfy your majesty at this 
moment," replied the conde, " but the marshals 
have just sent word that an explanation will be 
given at the conclusion of the course." 

" Enough. We will wait till then," replied 
Philip. 

The four picadors having posted themselves, the 
trumpets sounded, and a bull rushed forth from 



108 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the toril, singling out Don Geronimo, by whom he 
was killed. Another bull was then let loose, and 
another after him. Both these were slain on oppo- 
site sides of the arena, and nearly at the same mo- 
ment — the first by the Conde de Cantillana, and 
the other by Don Diego Zurate. Don Diego had 
a narrow escape. The horns of the bull with 
whom he was engaged, and whom he had smitten 
on tlie foretop with his lance, struck the troussequin 
at the hinder bow of his high Moorish saddle, 
splitting the wood into shivers, but luckily doing 
him no injury. A better directed stroke, however, 
was fatal to the steed, but Don Diego, though dis- 
mounted, avenged himself upon his foe. 

Hitherto the masked picador had taken little 
part in the conflict. All he had done was to prick 
one of the bulls with his lance, as the animal 
passed him, but he had not stirred from his post. 
His quietude was so marked, that some of the spec- 
tators, who on his appearance had augured great 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 109 

things of him, set him down as a faineant cavalier. 
But others, who judged him more accurately, felt 
sure he was only hiding his time. And so it 
proved. 

While the dead bulls and horses were removed, 
all the picadors, with one exception, quitted the 
arena, and the chulos and banderilleros went out. 
The sole occupant of the ring was now the masked 
cavalier, and it being seen from these arrangements 
that he was determined to liave no assistance, the 
resolve at once restored him to the good opinion of 
the spectators. 

As the trumpets sounded he careered round the 
arena, and tranquilly continued his course even 
when the bull issued from the toril. A more 
savage-looking monster could not have been se- 
lected. Not one of his predecessors had pre- 
sented an appearance so formidable. His eyes 
seemed on flame, and his roar shook the arena. 
As he remained pawing the ground, bellowing 



110 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

and lasliing his sides, he was a terrible picture. 
But the cavaher seemed not to heed him, but 
careered gaily on. 

The bull allowed him to make half the circuit of 
the arena, and then dashed in pursuit. The ca- 
valier had now got the opportunity he desired of 
displaying the marvellous qualities of his steed. 
With the greatest apparent ease he eluded every 
attack of the bull, led him round the ring, sud- 
denly turning when too closely pressed, and in this 
manner drew him to the centre of the arena, where 
he compelled him, by his own active movements, 
to go through an extraordinary series of perform- 
ances, such as no previous bull had exhibited, and 
which elicited plaudits from all parts of the amphi- 
theatre. 

Despite all his efforts, the bull was unable to 
touch either horse or rider, though he himself re- 
ceived repeated thrusts on either shoulder. At last, 
the savac^e nature of the animal seemed subdued. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. Ill 

Declining to continue the contest, lie quitted his 
opponent, and trotted off to the farther part of 
the ring, bedewing the sand with gore. Contrary 
to expectation, the cavalier did not follow him, 
but called for another bull. In response to the 
dem-and the trumpets sounded, and the torll sent 
forth another combatant. The sight of the new 
comer reawakened the fury of the dejected bull, 
and seemed at once to restore his strength and 
activity. 

Answering the roar of defiance, which he sup- 
posed to be addressed to him, he prepared for a 
new conflict. But it was no part of the cavalier's 
design that the bulls should engage each other. 
His aim was to draw their joint attack on himself, 
and in this he completely succeeded, to the infinite 
surprise and admiration of the beholders, who had 
never witnessed such a spectacle before, and who 
rewarded his prowess with thunders of applause. 
It seemed a miracle that he could escape destruc- 



112 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

tlon from two such active and fierce antagonists, 
and more than once the spectators gave him up for 
lost, and thought he was struck. But owing to his 
address, and the marvellous quickness of his steed, 
he was never even touched. So hair-breadth were 
his escapes, that many superstitious persons thought 
he must possess a charm. The bulls might have 
thought so too, if they could have reasoned, for he 
seemed to disappear as they dashed at him. So 
rapid were his movements, that the closest watchers 
could scarcely follow them. At one moment the 
bulls and cavalier seemed heaped together; the 
next, they were apart. It was an extraordinary 
sight, and calculated to excite the spectators to the 
highest pitch. " Bravo ! bravo ! Viva la Mas- 
cara!" resounded on all sides. It was impossible 
such strife could be of long duration, but how the 
conflict was to be terminated without mishap to 
the cavalier, none could conjecture. 

The encounter took place in the very centre of 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 113 

the arena, and was confined to this spot while it 
lasted. A small circle might have been drawn 
round the combatants, and this seemed to grow 
narrower and narrower, until one of the bulls sud- 
denly dropped, pierced to the heart by the lance of 
the horseman. The other bull did not survive his 
comrade many seconds, but fell in his turn with a 
rapier planted between his shoulders. This double 
victory, achieved with such apparent ease, astounded 
the beholders, and a perfect hurricane of applause 
arose. The cavalier, who, as well as his steed, was 
perfectly uninjured, remained motionless between 
the carcases of his prostrate foes. 

" Unmask ! unmask ! " cried a thousand voices. 

The cavalier complied, flung his mask to the 
ground, and disclosed the features of a very hand- 
some young man of swarthy complexion. 

When the curiosity of the spectators was thus 
gratified, there was a strange murmur among the 
crowd, and various exclamations were heard. 

VOL. III. I 



114 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

At last these confused sounds took a distinct 
shape, and several voices called out: 

«'TisElCortejo!" 

It is impossible to describe the effect produced 
upon the assemblage by this announcement. A 
storm of discordant noises arose, but applause soon 
predominated. Amid all this disturbance, the 
object of it remained stationary. But he glanced 
anxiously towards the royal gallery, and as it was 
evident that he expected some decision thence, all 
eyes were turned in the same direction. It could 
then be distinctly perceived that Charles was ad- 
dressing the king, and it was also quite apparent, 
from the looks of his majesty, which were ever and 
anon directed quickly towards El Cortejo, that he 
formed the subject of the prince's address. 

The observers augured well from the king's 
manner. Little doubt could be entertained that 
he had assented to the prince's proposition, what- 
ever it might be, and that this related to El Cor- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 115 

tejo was equally clear. The profound interest felt 
in what was flroinrc on had calmed down the excite- 
ment of the spectators, and a universal silence pre- 
vailed. 

I^Ieantime, the corregidor had quitted his tri- 
bune, and was soon afterwards seen to enter the 
royal gallery, when he was called forward by the 
king. 

After a short discussion, during which evident 
reference was made to the solitary occupant of the 
arena, who composedly awaited his sentence, a sheet 
of paper and a pen were handed to his majesty, 
who, without quitting his seat, wrote a few lines 
and signed them. This done, he gave the order 
to Charles, who likewise signed it. The cor- 
regidor received the document from the prince, and 
making a profound obeisance, quitted the royal 
gallery. 

When this matter had been disposed of, the king 
and the prince entered into explanations with the 
l2 



116 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

queen and the Infanta, and the smiling coun- 
tenances of the party left no doubt as to the de- 
cision arrived at. Nevertheless, no one ventured, 
even by an exclamation, to anticipate the royal 
decree. 

The assemblage, however, was not held long in 
suspense. Amid loud fanfares of trumpets the cor- 
regidor rode into the arena, accompanied by the 
Duke of Buckingham and the Conde de Olivarez, 
both of whom were on horseback, and followed by 
an officer in the royal livery, mounted on a mag- 
nificently caparisoned charger. Having advanced 
to within a short distance of El Cortejo, the cor- 
regidor and those with him halted, and the 
trumpets ceasing their clangour at the same mo- 
ment, the officer in a loud voice, distinctly heard 
by the whole assemblage, made the following pro- 
clamation : 

" Be it known to all present, that his Most Serene 
Highness the Prince of Wales, in exercise of the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 117 

power granted to liim by our sovereign lord and 
master the king, has been graciously pleased to 
confer a full and free pardon upon the person 
known as El Cortejo, now before you." 

Here the officer was interrupted by an irre- 
pressible outburst of acclamations, and shouts re- 
sounded of " Dios guarde al Rey ! Viva el nobil 
Principe de Galles. Viva ! viva ! " 

Placing his hand upon his breast, and with a 
look expressive of the deepest gratitude, El Cortejo 
bowed towards the royal gallery, inclining himself 
twice to the saddle-bow. 

While this took place, the torero, whom Graham 
had recognised, entered the arena, and stationed 
himself near El Cortejo, but his presence was 
almost unnoticed, until attention was called to him 
by the officer, who, as soon as silence was restored, 
thus proceeded : 

" His Most Serene Highness the Prince has also 
been graciously pleased to pardon Don Gonzalez 



118 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

de Montalban, lately known as Lieutenant Roque, 
and who is now before you." 

Hereupon the torero, whom we must hence- 
forth recognise as Don Gonzalez, stepped forward, 
and bowed twice profoundly to the royal gallery, 
in token of his gratitude. 

A hundred voices then cried out, "Who is EI 
Cortejo?" 

" Ay, who is he ? " added a hundred others. 
" Be silent, and you shall learn," said the corre- 
gidor, in a voice that dominated all the others, 
and called immediate attention to the speaker. 
" Don riores de Cuenca," he continued, ad- 
dressing El Cortejo, " be pleased to come for- 
ward." 

Thus enjoined. El Cortejo placed his hat on 
his head, to intimate that he was a grandee, and 
pushed his steed towards him. 

" Don Flores," pursued the corregidor, " a full 
pardon having been accorded you by his Highness 
the Prince of Wales, his majesty, out of his in- 



THE SPANISH filATCH. 119 

finite goodness and leniency, and in consideration 
of your youth and of extenuating circumstances 
that have been represented to him, is "willing to 
forget your offences and delinquencies, and in the 
hope and belief of your amendment, he restores 
to you your title of Conde de Valverde, toge- 
ther with your forfeited estates. Here is the 
warrant," he added, delivering to him the paper 
signed by the king. 

" I humbly thank his majesty and the prince," 
replied Valverde, in tones of deep emotion. " My 
future career shall prove me not unworthy of their 
goodness. If I live, I will redeem the errors of 
my youth." 

An immense shout showed the sympathy of the 
spectators. 

'' Accept my congratulations, count," said Buck- 
ingham, offering him his hand, which the other 
gratefully took; " when w'c first met, I had no 
suspicion of your real rank." 

" There I had the advantage of your grace," 



120 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

replied Valverde, " for I ascertained your rank and 
that of the illustrious personage with you. I owe 
my restoration to you. Had it not been for the 
opportunity you have afforded me of appearing 
before his majesty and the prince, I should not 
have received a pardon, or regained my title and 
estates. Be assured of my eternal gratitude." 

" You give me more thanks than are my due, 
marquis," said Buckingham. "You are more 
indebted to the Conde de Gondomar than to 
me. He acquainted the prince and myself with 
your real history, and it was from what he said of 
you that I determined to give you a chance of 
retrieving your tarnished character." 

" You will have no cause to regret what you 
have done, my lord duke," said Valverde. " From 
this moment I am an altered man." 

" You shall not want an opportunity of distinc- 
tion, since you seek it, count," said Olivarez. 

" That is all I desire," cried Valverde. " If 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 121 

your excellency will send me and Don Gonzales de 
Montalban to Mexico, we will not return till Ave 
have won renown." 

" You shall have your wish," replied Olivarez. 
" You shall start to-morrow." 

As Valverde bowed his thanks the trumpets 
sounded, and the party rode out of the arena. 

With the strange occurrence just narrated, 
which excited the assemblage in an extraordinary 
manner, all interest in the bull-fight seemed to 
cease, and it would have been well if the spectacle 
could then have terminated, for only a languid in- 
terest was felt in what followed. There were more 
courses, but they only seemed like a repetition of 
those that had preceded them, and there was no 
achievement in any degree comparable to that of 
the Marquis de Valverde. 

The fete was terminated by a grand procession 
of all the combatants, who marched round the 
arena, and saluted the royal gallery as they passed 



122 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

before it. Graham was much applauded, but the 
loudest and longest cheers were given to the Conde 
de Valverde, who was adjudged the hero of the 
day. 

3Ent( of iljt Jpourtl) 23ooti. 



BOOK T. 



EL BUEN UETIEO. 



I. 



HOW THE NUNCIO STROVE TO CONVERT CHARLES. 

Nearly six months had elapsed since the ar- 
rival of Charles and Buckingham in Madrid, and 
not only was the object of the expedition unat- 
tained, but the prince and his favourite were less 
hopeful of its accomplishment than they had been 
at first. The prince's ardour had not been cooled 
by the delay, but he continued as passionately 
attached to the Infanta as ever. Neither had any- 
thing occurred to make him doubt the sincerity of 
the king's intentions towards him. Philip, as we 



126 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

have already stated, liad conceived a real regard 
for his expected brother-in-law, and was quite as 
anxious for the completion of the match as Charles 
himself; but Olivarez was determined it never 
should take place unless Charles became a prose- 
lyte. And he did not despair of such a result, 
though Charles, when closely pressed, always 
avoided coming to a decision. 

At last, the Papal Nuncio undertook to bring 
the prince to reason. He sought an interview 
with Charles, and told him he came to express 
the lively satisfaction felt by the Pope at the dis- 
position evinced by his highness to enter into the 
bosom of the Roman Catholic Church. 

" I am enjoined to read this letter to you, 
prince," he added, producing a despatch. " It is 
written by his Holiness, with his own hand. '■ We 
have commanded,' he says, ' to make continually 
most humble prayers to the Father of Light, that 
he would be pleased to put the Prince of Wales, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 127 

as a fair flower of Christendom, and the only hope 
of Great Britain, in possession of that most noble 
heritage, which his ancestors have purchased for 
him, to defend the authority of the Sovereign 
High Priest, and to fight against the monsters of 
Heresy.' In these prayers," pursued the Nuncio, 
"I most devoutly join, and I earnestly exhort your 
highness, as well for your temporal prosperity as 
for your spiritual weal, to conform to the wishes of 
the Sovereign Pontiff. If your highness will so- 
lemnly promise to renounce your errors and em- 
brace the Roman Catholic faith, and will also 
engage to use your utmost endeavours to bring 
over the court and kingdom of England to that 
persuasion, as the representative of his Holiness, I 
am able to inform you that the dispensation to the 
match shall no longer be withheld, the hand of 
the Infanta and her immense dowry shall be en- 
sured to you, and the support of Spain, under any 
diflSculties that may arise, shall be guaranteed. In 



128 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

making [this offer, I speak not only for the Sove- 
reign Pontiff, whose envoy and representative I 
am, but for his most Catholic Majesty Philip IV. 
It is now for your highness to decide. Prudence 
and policy alike dictate the course you ought to 
take. You love the Infanta Maria, who is a 
princess in all respects worthy of you. But there 
can be no real union where the creeds of husband 
and wife are opposed. Misery and aversion must 
spring from such a match. What must the In- 
fanta's feelings be if she were wedded to one whom 
she believes doomed to perdition? I pray your 
highness to reflect upon this point. The more 
dearly she loves you — and she does love you 
dearly, I know — the deeper would be her soli- 
citude." 

" I have thought of this," observed Charles, 
gravely, "and I am aware that the consideration 
has been impressed upon the Infanta by Padre 
Ambrosio, but I conclude that this obstacle would 
be removed by the dispensation." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 129 

"The dispensation Avould only apply to the In- 
fanta, and would have no efficacy in regard to 
your highness," replied the Nuncio. " To say that 
your union could possibly be happy if you con- 
tinue in heresy, would be to deceive you. Better 
abandon the match altogether than persist in it, if 
you persist in error. Such is my opinion — such is 
the opinion of his Holiness." 

" But his Holiness has not refused the dispensa- 
tion," remarked Charles. 

"True; but he cannot overcome his reluctance 
to grant it," said the Nuncio, " and the cause of 
his hesitation must be evident. He has the welfare 
of his religion at heart. He desires to regard your 
highness as a friend, but at present he can only 
look upon you as an enemy. You have it in your 
power, by a word, to change his sentiments — to 
obtain all you seek — and secure felicity here and 
hereafter." 

" Even if I were disposed to accede to the pro- 

VOL. III. K 



130 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

position, I could not do so without consulting the 
king my father," replied Charles. 

" The king your father is blinded by heresy, 
and cannot see the truth," said the Nuncio. "It 
is not needful to consult him. His Holiness will 
be a father to you — the best of fathers, because 
he will preserve your soul. Oh ! my son," he 
added, rising, and speaking with almost apostolical 
fervour, "hesitate not to throw yourself into our 
arms! We will receive you as the prodigal was 
received by his father. We will evoke Heaven's 
blessings upon you — blessings that will be denied 
if you continue in heresy and sin. We will make 
ready the bride — who, otherwise, will never be 
yours — and prepare the marriage feast. We will 
establish you firmly in your kingdom, and protect 
you against all enemies. Be ours, and all is 
won!" 

" I must have further time^ for reflection," said 
Charles. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 131 

"Hesitation at such a moment is worse than 
weakness, it is sinful," rejoined the Nuncio. " Be 
not swayed by the advice of evil counsellors. 
Listen to those who have your real welfare at 
heart, and who are clothed with wisdom and 
authority. As Heaven's vicegerent, whom I re- 
present, I promise you happiness, the bride you 
have chosen, and a kingdom here and hereafter. 
Can you hesitate?" 

" I must — I must," said Charles. 

^' Let me implore you not to reject my offer, my 
dear son," said the Nuncio. " Let me go forth and 
say to the king, who loves you as a brother, that 
it is done — that your conversion is completed — and 
I shall fill his heart with gladness. Let me tell 
the Infonta that every obstacle to her union with 
you is removed, and all her anxiety will disap- 
pear. Let me inform his Holiness that his lost 
son has returned, and there will be jubilation at 
Rome. Let me announce to this faithful people 
k2 



132 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

that their hopes have been crowned with success, 
and songs of rejoicing will be heard throughout 
the land. Shall I go forth and do this? " 

" No," replied Charles. " I am not prepared to 
change my faith." 

" Have my arguments failed to convince your 
highness?" demanded the Nuncio, with a look of 
disappointment. 

" I acknowledge the force of all you have said," 
rejoined Charles. "But I cannot now decide." 

"Do not let the propitious moment pass, or it 
may never return," said the Nuncio, somewhat 
sternly. " Your heart is now softened, but it may 
become callous. You now see clearly, but your 
sight may be darkened. You have an evil counsellor, 
prince, who thwarts your good intentions. His 
pride and presumption are adverse to your best 
interests. Shake off his pernicious influence. He 
is utterly unworthy of the favour you bestow upon 
him. I know that the Duke of Buckingham is 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 133 

violently opposed to your meditated faith — bu,t set 
him at nought, and, if need be, dismiss him." 

Just as the words were uttered the door opened, 
and Buckingham stood before them. 

" Methought I heard my name pronounced," he 
said, bowing in a supercilious manner to the 
Nuncio, who coldly returned his salutation. 

" You were not deceived, my lord duke," re- 
joined the Nuncio. "Your name was upon my 
lips at the moment, and I hope you heard what I 
said of you." 

" So you have not numbered me among the 
Pope's adherents, I shall be perfectly content," re- 
torted Buckingliam. 

"His Holiness would rather have you as an 
enemy than an ally, for you injure every cause you 
desire to serve," rejoined the Nuncio, sternly. "I 
have warned his highness the prince against your 
baneful counsels, and I repeat the warning in your 
presence. I have urged him to dismiss you " 



134 THE SPANISH SIATCH. 

"You liave dared to do this?" cried Buckino;- 
ham, transported with sudden fury. 

" I have dared to do it, ray lord," rejoined the 
Nuncio, in a taunting tone, calculated to exasperate 
Buckingham still further, " and I will add, that no 
step that could be taken by his highness would be 
more gratifying to the king and his court." 

" You presume too much on your sacred office ! " 
exclaimed Buckingham, whose rage had become 
uncontrollable. 

" Calm yourself, my lord," interposed Charles. 

"Nay, let him go on," said the Nuncio. "I am 
glad he should display himself in his true colours. 
If the duke will venture to comport himself thus 
towards me, the representative of the Sovereign 
Pontiff, what treatment could the Infanta expect 
from him ! I have warned your highness, it will 
be my duty also to warn his majesty against the 
danger which his sister will incur." 

"You fear me, and seek to get rid of me, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 135 

cried Buckingham, "but you will fliil in your de- 
sign." 

" No, my lordj it is the prince who fears you, not 
I," rejoined the Nuncio, with calm sternness; "but 
I trust he will shake off the yoke to which he has 
too lons; submitted." 

With an obeisance to Charles, but without 
noticing Buckingham, he then quitted the cabinet. 

"What have you done?*' cried Charles, as soon 
as the Nuncio was gone. " You have destroyed all 
my plans by your intemperate conduct." 

" Better it should be thus ! — better the match 
should be broken oll^ — than your highness should 
be subjugated by this Papal envoy. We liave been 
scandalously treated. Let us depart at once." 

"You may go, Steenie, since you are bent upon 
leaving, but I shall stay," said Charles. 

"What! remain witjiout me!" cried Bucking- 
ham, in amazement. 

" Most certainly," rejoined Charles, seating him- 



136 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

self quietly. "I have no intention whatever of 
going without the Infanta. I love her, and mean 
to make her mine, whatever time or trouble it may 
cost to accomplish my purpose." 

" Well, since your highness is resolved to stay, I 
must needs stay too," rejoined Buckingham. 

" But if you do stay, you must be upon your 
good behaviour, Steenie," said Charles. " You 
have contrived to ofTend all the court, and now 
you have made an enemy of the Nuncio." 

" The king your father will approve of what I 
have done," said Buckingham. 

" Not when he hears my version of the story, 
and learns my design, which you have all but 
defeated," said the prince. " Unless you will 
promise to put due constraint upon yourself, I must 
order your departure." 

" Order my departure ! " exclaimed Buckingham, 
in extremity of surprise. " By Heaven ! I begin 
to believe that these wily priests have produced 
some eiFect upon you." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 137 

"They have taught me dissimulation, which it 
seems impossible that you can practise, Steenie." 

" No, thank Heaven ! I cannot," cried Bucking- 
ham. "I must speak out." 

" Therefore you are better away," said Charles ; 
" and I advise you to make preparations for im- 
mediate departure," 

"Nothing will give me more satisfaction, pro- 
vided your highness will accompany me." 

" I remain," said Charles, firmly. 

"Then so do I," cried Buckingham. 

At this moment an usher announced the Earl of 
Bristol and the Conde de Gondomar. 

Buckingham cordially saluted the Spanish mi- 
nister, but scarcely deigned to notice Bristol. 

"I am sent by his majesty," said Gondomar, 
bowing profoundly to Charles, "to entreat your 
highness's attendance at a meeting of the state 
council to-morrow." 

"And mine also, I presume, count?" remarked 
Buckingham. 



138 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Gonclomar was evidently embarrassed by the 
question, and hesitated to reply. 

"What am I to understand by your silence, 
count?" demanded Buckingham. 

" Simply that you are not invited," remarked 
Bristol. 

" Ha ! then the meeting can be of no import- 
ance," cried Buckingham. 

"The Conde de Gondomar will tell your grace 
differently," rejoined Bristol. 

" You will judge of its importance when I state 
that certain articles proposed to be added to the 
marriage-treaty will be discussed," said Gondomar. 

"Indeed !" exclaimed Buckingham. "Are you 
invited, my lord?" he added, turning sharply to 
Bristol. 

" I am invited," replied the other. " And so 
is Sir Walter Aston." 

"Then either I shall be present at the con- 
ference, or the prince will not attend it," said 
Buckingham. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 139 

"What has happened, count?" said Charles to 
Gondomar. 

"Speak out, count," said Buckingham, seeing 
that Gondomar hesitated. "Fear not to offend 
me. 

" To be plain, then, your grace has incurred the 
king's displeasure," returned Gondomar. " Some 
words tliat have passed between you and the 
Nuncio have been repeated to his majesty, and. 
have excited his anger." 

" I am sorry for it," said Charles, with a look 
of annoyance. "But I have but one course to 
take. A slisjht to the Duke of Buckino;ham is a 
slight to me. I cannot attend the meeting with- 
out his grace." 

" I will convey your highness's answer to his 
majesty," said Gondomar. 

" Beseech your highness to consider well before 
you take this step," said Bristol. "It will lead 
to impleasant consequences." 

"It can only lead to a postponement of the 



140 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

meeting," said Buckingham. " Deliver the mes- 
sage, count." 

" No," rejoined Gondomar, after a moment's re- 
flection. "I will rather take upon myself the 
responsibility of inviting your grace. Come with 
the prince to the meeting. If you will adopt a 
conciliatory tone, all may be arranged." 

"You hear, Steenie," said Charles; "it is on 
this understanding that I agree to take you." 

Shortly afterwards Gondomar and Bristol de- 
parted, leaving Charles and his favourite alone 
together. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 141 



n. 



IN WHAT "WAY BUCKINGHAM WAS HUMILIATED BY 
OLIVAHEZ. 

Next day, at the hour appointed, Charles, at- 
tended by Buckingham and the two ambassadors, 
repaired to the council-chamber. 

Philip had not yet arrived, but the members of 
the council — all nobles of the highest rank — with 
the Conde de Olivarez, had assembled. With the 
exception of the Conde de Gondoraar, they all 
manifested great surprise on seeing Buckingham 
enter with the prince, and the Conde-Duque re- 



142 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

ceived him with constrained courtesy. Bucking- 
ham, however, did not manifest the slightest em- 
barrassment at the reception accorded liim, but 
comported himself with his customary arrogance. 

Ere many minutes the king made his appear- 
ance, and after saluting Charles with his wonted 
cordiality, turned to Buckingham, whose obeisance 
he had not deigned to notice, and said, coldly: 

*'I did not expect to find your grace here." 

"My presence appeared indispensable, sire," re- 
joined Buckingham, "as I understood that certain 
new articles connected with the marriage-treaty 
were to be discussed." 

" I could not have attended without the duke, 
sire," said Charles. 

" I should have thought your highness might 
have fully confided in the wisdom and experience 
of the Earl of Bristol," said Philip, scarcely able 
to conceal his displeasure. " Since the Duke of 
Buckingham has taken part in these consultations, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 143 

frequent disputes and interruptions have occurred, 
which I hoped miglit be avoided on the present 
occasion." 

"Sire," said Buckingham, "I trust I shall not 
offend your majesty if I say that I have a right 
to be present at these councils." 

" Ha ! since your grace takes that tone," said 
Philip, sharply, " I must inquire by what title 
you claim to be admitted to the meetings ? " 

" I claim it, sire, as the guardian and adviser 
of his highness the Prince of "Wales," replied Buck- 
ingham, proudly, " who has been entrusted to me 
by his royal father. I claim it also as first minister 
of the English cabinet, without whose full approval 
this marriage-treaty cannot be concluded. And 
let me state at once, in order to save time and 
prevent disputes, which I dislike as much as your 
majesty, that I object to add any new articles to 
the treaty, and, on the prince's part, decHne to 
discuss them. The treaty must be taken as it 



144 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

stands. If additions are constantly to be made to 
it, it can never be completed." 

" Hold, my lord duke ! you proceed too fast," 
interposed Olivarez. " We cannot submit to dicta- 
tion, especially from one wlio has no right to a seat 
in our councils. Had the Earl of Bristol objected 
to these articles, we should have listened to him 
■with respect, but you have no title whatever to a 
hearing. If you have a commission from his Ma- 
jesty King James, produce it. If you have cre- 
dentials from the English council, lay them before 
us. But if you have neither commission nor cre- 
dentials, be silent." 

"Why was not this demand made before, my 
lord?" said Buckingham. " I have attended 
many councils without exception being taken to 
my presence." 

" Consideration for his highness the prince has 
induced us thus far to tolerate your interference, 
my lord duke," rejoined Olivarez; "but our pa- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 145 

tience is now exhausted. In the Earl of Bristol 
and Sir Walter Aston his highness has able and 
judicious counsellors, in whom he may confide. 
He can dispense with your grace." 

" Then my place is no longer here," said Buck- 
ingham, making a movement to depart, and glanc- 
ing at the prince as if he expected him to with- 
draw likewise. 

But Charles took no notice of the signal. 

"A moment, my lord duke," said Philip, in a 
tone that recalled the haughty favourite to his 
senses, and made him sensible of his indiscretion; 
" a word, before you quit our presence — never to 
re-enter it. Your appearance at our councils has 
been irregular and unwarranted, and we have 
brooked language from you to which we are 
wholly unaccustomed, but we have borne it out 
of love to the prince. Now, mark well what I 
say. You yourself are the main hindrance to the 
fulfilment of the proposed alliance between the In- 

VOL. III. L 



146 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

fanta and tlie Prince of Wales. Even if every 
other obstacle were removed, and all we could 
desire agreed to, tlie position you occupy in regard 
to his highness would present an insurmountable 
difficulty." 

"How so, sire?" demanded Buckingham. 

" Your influence over the prince would be pre- 
judicial to my sister," replied Philip. " I cannot 
expose her to the risk." 

" We entirely approve of your majesty's deter- 
mination," said the whole of the council, with the 
exception of Gondomar. 

" Sire," exclaimed Buckingham, " I know not 
why your majesty has conceived this ill opinion of 
me, nor can I do more than conjecture who has 
poisoned your mind, but this I know, that the 
Infanta — should the prince be fortunate enough 
to obtain her hand — will not have a servant more 
faithful and devoted than myself. Thus much I 
dare avouch, and I will maintain it with my life, 



THE SPAOTSH MATCH. 147 

tliat not one of your grandees — not even the 
Conde-Duque — could serve her more faithfully 
than I would. The prince, who knows my sen- 
timents, will confirm what I say. In retiring 
from your councils, in which, it appears, I have 
improperly intruded, I must entreat your majesty's 
forfjiveness, and the foro^iveness of these noble 
lords, for any hasty expressions I have used. I 
should indeed regret it, if I could be supposed 
wanting in due respect to your majesty, or in con- 
sideration to them." 

" Sire," said Charles, rising, and speaking with 
great dignity, "it would be grievous at this junc- 
ture, when there is every prospect of the nego- 
tiation being speedily concluded, that an inter- 
ruption should occur. I am certain that his 
grace of Buckingham, as indeed he has assured 
your majesty, is sensible that he has been far too 
hasty, and that he will not so offend again, if he 
be permitted to occupy a place in the councils. 
l2 



148 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

As to the apprehension which your majesty has 
expressed in regard to the Infanta, I can without 
hesitation declare it to be groundless. The Duke 
of Buckingham would be utterly unworthy of the 
favour he enjoys from the king my father — he 
would be utterly unworthy of my favour, if he 
could be other than a devoted servant of the In- 
fanta. Unhappily, in arranging this treaty, reli- 
gious questions have been chiefly discussed, and 
these discussions have not always been conducted, 
on the duke's part, with befitting temper, but I 
trust all difficulties may now be reconciled, so that 
no further disputes can arise. We will make every 
concession possible, and your majesty will not ask 
more than we can fairly yield." 

"I trust we may come to an entire agreement, 
prince," said the king, with a certain significance. 
" The Duke of Buckingham must now be con- 
viiiced that the violent opposition he has hitherto 
offered is injudicious and injurious; and in the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 149 

persuasion that he will henceforward adopt a diffe- 
rent course, we will overlook what has passed, and 
waive the objections that have been raised to his 
remaining in the council." 

At this intimation of his majesty's pleasure, the 
whole of the council arose and bowed in assent. 
Buckingham threw himself on his knee before the 
king, and Avhile kissing the hand graciously ex- 
tended to him, protested unalterable devotion to 
his majesty and the Infanta. 

As he arose and took the seat he had heretofore 
occupied at the council-table, and which was on 
the right of Charles, Olivarez observed, in a low 
tone to the king, " Your majesty has gained your 
point. He will no longer oppose the prince's con- 
version." 

" I think not," replied Philip, in the same 
tone. 

If they could have seen into Buckingham's 
heart, they would have thought otherwise. At 



150 THE SPAKISH MATCH. 

that very moment he was meditating revenge for 
the humihation he had undergone. 

" I will break in pieces the fabric I have put 
together with so much trouble," he mentally ejacu- 
lated. " The match shall never take place." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 151 



III. 



AN EVIL 05IEX. 



Well knowing that any attempt to induce the 
prince suddenly to break ojQf the match would be 
vain, Buckingham carefully concealed his design, 
and feigned to be as well disposed towards the 
alliance as ever. 

If Charles's mind had been at ease, and if he had 
been allowed a certain intercourse with the Infanta, 
his prolonged stay at Madrid would have been de- 
lightful to him. But the uncertainty in which he 
was kept, the dissimulation he was compelled to 



152 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

practise, and the arts that were used to ensnare 
him, interfered with his enjoyment. The grand 
festivities which had celebrated his arrival had long 
since ceased, but everything that regal hospitality 
could devise Avas done to render his residence at 
the palace agreeable. 

One circumstance, trifling enough in itself, con- 
firmed him in his opinion, that whatever difficulties 
he might encounter, he should eventually succeed 
in the object of his expedition. 

It may be remembered, that on the morning 
after his arrival a snow-white dove alighted at the 
window of his chamber in the House of Seven 
Chimneys. Singular to relate, when he took up 
his abode at the royal palace, the dove followed him 
thither, constantly appearing each morning at the 
same hour, and if the window was open, as was 
generally the case, it entered the room and flew 
towards the prince's couch. So fond did he be- 
come of his little visitor, that if it had failed to 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 153 

appear he would have been miserable. The dove 
fed out of his hand, and allowed him to caress it. 

Charles could not fail to mention the circum- 
stance to the Infanta, who was greatly interested by 
the relation, and expressed a desire to see the dove, 
whereupon Charles caused the bird to be conveyed 
to her. 

Next morning the dove appeared as usual, and 
flying towards the prince's couch, evidently sought 
to attract his attention. Charles then remarked 
that a blue silken thread was tied round its neck, 
and on further investigation discovered that a tress 
of light golden hair was hidden beneath the bird's 
wing. He could not doubt to whom he owed the 
gift, and pressed it rapturously to his lips. Satisfied 
that he had now found a means of secret corre- 
spondence with his mistress, and determined to 
make trial of the dove's fidelity, he sought for a 
little diamond anchor which he had designed to 
present to the Infanta, and securing it in the same 



154 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

manner as the tress, carried the dove to the window, 
and cast it forth. 

Charles watched the bird in its flight, and saw 
that it entered a window in the palace which he 
knew opened upon the Infanta's apartments. 

In less than half an hour the little messenger re- 
turned, having accomplished its mission, and seem- 
ingly proud of the feat. The diamond anchor was 
gone, but in its place was the fragment of a 
kerchief, evidently just torn ofl^ and embroidered 
with the letter " M," proving from whom it came. 

Many a brief but tender missive was subse- 
quently despatched by Charles to his mistress, but 
though the dove failed not to convey them, the 
prince received none in reply. Sometimes the 
Infanta would send her lover a flower, or other 
little token, but she only wrote once. 

Only once ! And it shall now be told how that 
note reached Charles. 

He had been more than six months at the palace, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 155 

and during the whole of that time the dove had 
never failed to greet him as he rose. One morn- 
ing he missed his little visitant, and the circum- 
stance filled him with sad forebodings, for it oc- 
curred at a period when fresh obstacles had arisen 
to the match. For the last few days he had not 
seen the Infanta, who Avas staying at the time at the 
summer palace of El Buen Retiro. 

When Charles awoke on the following morn- 
ing, he glanced anxiously towards the open case- 
ment in the hope of beholding the dove, but it was 
not to be seen in the spot where it had been accus- 
tomed to ahght. The same forebodings of ill which 
he had experienced on the previous day, assailed 
the prince, but with greater force. He sought to 
banish them by slumber, but he could not sleep, 
and as he raised himself in his couch, he per- 
ceived a white object lying on the floor near the 
window. 

Springing from his couch, he flew to the spot, 



156 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

and then saw what had happened. The dove had 
been struck by a hawk, but, though mortally hurt, 
had escaped its pursuer, who had not dared to 
follow it into the room. It had fallen, as we have 
said, just within the casement, and was still beat- 
ing the floor feebly with outspread wings. Its 
snowy plumage was dabbled with blood. 

The wounded bird fluttered slightly in the 
prince's grasp as he took it gently up. But with 
that faint struggle all was over. The little heart 
had ceased to beat — the faithful messenger could 
serve him no more. A sharp pang shot through 
the prince's heart as he gazed at the dead bird, and 
he now more than ever regarded the event as an 
evil omen. 

"So, thou art gone, poor bird!" he ejaculated 
— "thou, who wert first to welcome me to this city, 
and hast ever since been my daily solace. In 
thought I have ever connected thee with her I 
love, and with my hopes of winning her, and 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 157 

now thou art stricken down. Poor bird, I shall 
miss thee sorely ! " 

In the pain which he felt at this catastrophe, 
Charles had not remarked that beneath the left 
•wing of the dove there was a letter, secured by a 
silken thread. 

The blood-stained condition of the letter sadly 
diminished the delight with which Charles wel- 
comed it, and it was almost with a shudder that he 
opened it, and read as follows : 

" A masked fete will be given to-morrow night 
at the Buen Retiro, to which you are bidden. If 
you desire to exchange a few words in private 
with one wlio loves you, and must ever love you, 
though you seem not to value her love, you will 
find her beside the lake, near the foot of the 
avenue of lindens, at midnight. 

" Unless you can prove your love sincere, the 
meeting will be our last. 



158 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" This letter will be conveyed to you by your 
little messenger, who has been kept a prisoner for 
a day for the purpose. Do not send an answer, as 
there would be great risk of discovery." 

" I could not send an answer if I would," ex- 
claimed Charles, mournfully, "for my trusty little 
messenger is dead. Alas! the sky, which looked 
so bright a short time ago, is now overcast. 
Why should she doubt my love? Why should 
she say that the meeting may be our last? But 
I must shake off these misgivings, which owe their 
oriijin to this sad accident. Let me look forward 
to a blissful interview to-morrow night. Will it be 
blissful?" he added, with an involuntary shudder 
" Poor bird ! I would thou hadst escaped ! " 



THE SPANISH JIATCH. 159 



IV. 

SHOWING THAT THE COUKSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER DID KTJN 
SMOOTH. 

Charles had just completed his toilette, ■which, 
contrary to royal usage, he performed without as- 
sistance, when Graham entered the chamber. 

^'What do I see?" cried the young man, aghast 
at the sight of the dove. " Your highness's favou- 
rite dove killed. I am right sorry for it." 

" Think you the accident portends misfortune, 
Dick?" said Charles. 

" It may signify a cross in love, especially if 
the poor bird brought a letter," replied Graham. 



160 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" The bird did bring a letter — the first I have 
received from the Infanta, and it may be the last I 
shall ever receive from her." 

" Your highness attaches far too much import- 
ance to the accident," said Graham. " It is not 
strange that the poor dove should be killed, but it 
is marvellous that it should have escaped so long. 
Lovers, as I know from experience, are full of idle 
apprehensions." 

" How does your own love-afiair progress, 
Dick?" 

" But indifferently," replied Graham. " The 
lady returns my passion, but her father has pro- 
mised her to another, and, like a proud Castilian 
as he is, will not break his word, in spite of his 
daughter's tears and entreaties." 

"A promise once made is sacred," remarked 
Charles. " In that respect, I myself am a Cas- 
tihan." 

"Your highness would think differently if you 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 161 

were circumstanced as I am," said Graham. " You 
would regard this rigorous adherence to a promise, 
which, I venture to say, ought never to have been 
made, as abominable obstinacy and cruelty. Dona 
Casilda also rei^ards it in that h";ht. We are both 
of us well-nigh distracted." 

" I am sorry for you, Dick," said the prince. 
" You are in a sad case. But you have only to 
thank yourself for the trouble into which you have 
got. You ought not to have fallen in love with 
Dona Casilda, if you knew she was engaged to 
another." 

" But the mischief was done before I was aware 
of the engagement," replied Graham. " From the 
very moment when I first beheld Doiia Casilda in 
the gorge of Pancorbo — your highness will re- 
member the occasion — I fell desperately in love 
with her." 

"That I can understand, but you ought to have 
conquered the passion." 

VOL. III. M 



162 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Impossible, your highness ! — impossible ! " 
"At all events, you ought not to put yourself 
in tlie way of danger. You have been a daily 
visitant, as I understand, at the casa of the Conde 
de Saldana, and I myself have frequently seen you 
walking with Dona Casilda and Doiia Flor in the 
Prado. At the great bull-tight, it was said that 
you appeared as a picador merely to distinguish 
yourself before Dona Casilda, and sent her a trophy 
taken from the bull you had killed." 

" All this is perfectly true, your highness," re- 
plied Graham. "But the Conde de Saldana de- 
sired me to make his house my home, and I took 
him at his word. ]\Iy chivalrous feelings prompted 
me to pay attention to Doiia Casilda." 

" It is strange that the conde should permit the 
continuance of your visits, now that he has found 
out that you are enamoured of his daughter," ob- 
served Charles. " He is much to blame." 

" If your highness pleases, I will tell you pre- 
cisely what has occurred," said Graham. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 163 

" I shall be glad to hear it," replied Charles, 
seating himself, and assuming an attitude of atten- 
tion. '" I have often intended to question you on 
the subject." 

" I shall use no disguise," said Graham ; " but, to 
make myself quite understood, I must go back to 
the commencement of the afiair. Your highness 
is aware that I was very w^armly received by the 
Conde de Saldana, who in Castilian fashion placed 
his house and all in it at my disposal, and I be- 
came his daily guest. But if my visits were agree- 
able to the conde and his daughter, they were by 
no means so to Don Christobal dc Gavina, to whom 
Doiia Casilda has the misfortune to be engaged, and 
that personage manifested his dislike to me in many 
ways, but at Casilda's request I avoided an open 
quarrel with him. On the other hand, the old 
conde's regard for me increased, and I became con- 
vinced that if he had not promised his daughter to 
Don Christobal, he would have preferred me as a 
m2 



164 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

son-in-law. Casilda thought so too. She began to 
find it difficult to maintain a semblance of love for 
Don Christobal, and this increased his hatred of 
me, to whom he justly attributed the change in her 
feelings. It being impossible that things could go 
on much longer in this way without a rupture, I 
came to the resolution, a few days ago, of un- 
bosoming myself to the conde." 

" I am glad to hear it," remarked Charles. 
" But you should have done so earlier." 

" I sought an interview with him," said Graham, 
"and then told him that I had conceived the 
strongest passion for his daughter, who returned 
it with equal ardour, and that as neither of us 
could be happy apart from the other, I besought 
him to give me her hand. He listened to me 
with kindness, his countenance expressing much 
concern, and when I had done, he said, ' I ought 
to have foreseen this. I was to blame in allow- 
ing you to be so much together. I am very 
sorry for you both. I have a great regard for 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 165 

you, Don Ricardo. I love you as a son; and if I 
had another daughter I would give her to you. 
But I cannot give you Casilda.' 'Wherefore not?' 
I entreated. 'Because, as you know, I have pro- 
mised her to Don Christobal, and my promise must 
be kept.' ' But you will not force her inclinations, 
seiior conde?' I ventured to say. ' When the en- 
gagement took place, Casilda's heart was disen- 
gaged, and she readily entered into it,' he replied. 
' It cannot be broken off without the consent of 
Don Christobal.' ' But if you sacrifice your 
daughter to a man she cannot love, you will 
condemn her to a life of wretchedness,' I said. 
' I will speak to Don Christobal, and will represent 
the matter to him in this light,' he said ; ' and I 
trust I may prevail, but I own I have not much 
hope, for he is passionately attached to Casilda.' 
I thanked him warmly for his kindness, and he 
again promised that no efforts should be wanting 
on his part to accomphsh the object. 

" As chance would have it, Don Christobal did 



16G THE SPANISH MATCH. 

not make Lis appearance that day. So Casllda 
and I were kept in suspense. Next day, when 
I presented myself, as usual, I did not see the 
mistress of my heart, who was generally the first 
to greet me, and this circumstance filled me with 
sad forebodings, which were speedily verified. The 
conde sent for me to his library, and Avhen I en- 
tered it, I found him alone. He looked grave and 
sad, and motioned me to take a chair. Without 
any preliminary observation, he said, ' I have seen 
Don Christobal, and have disguised nothing from 
him, but have told him exactly how matters stand 
— that Casilda has ceased to entertain any affec- 
tion for him, and has given her heart to you. I 
therefore advised him to think of her no more, but 
to seek another bride, who would be more sensible 
of his merits. He was deaf to all my arguments, 
and peremptorily refused to liberate me from my 
promise.' ' But you do not intend to give Casilda 
to him, seiior conde ? ' I cried, in despair. ^ You 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 167 

will kill us both.' 'I cannot help it/ ho replied, 
sadly. ' Since Don Christobal claims fuKllment of 
my promise, I must obey. You must see Casilda 
no more; and, painful as it is to me to do so, I 
must henceforward exclude you from my house.' 

" All this ^Yas said with such kindness as in some 
degree to mitigate the severity of his words, and I 
could not doubt that he himself suffered much. 
' You pass a sentence worse than death upon me, 
sefior conde,' I said ; ' but before it is carried into 
execution, I beseech you to grant me a last inter- 
view with Casilda.' ' It will do no good,' he re- 
joined, ' and will only pain you both.' But I 
refused to leave the house till he complied, and 
at last, fearing from my excited state that I might 
do some violence, he yielded — making it, however, 
an express condition that our parting should be 
brief. 

" I found Casilda dissolved in tears. She flung 
her arms round me, and declared she would not be 



168 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

separated from me. Between love and anxiety I 
was almost distracted, and scarce knew what to 
do. She declared she never would wed Don Chris- 
tobal, and proposed immediate flight; but I re- 
presented to her that such a step was utterly im- 
practicable. It was then arranged that she should 
elope as soon as preparations could be made — that 
a priest should be found to unite us — and that we 
should then hurry off to Santander, and embark for 
England." 

" What ! carry her off to England ! " exclaimed 
Charles. " You must be crazed by passion to think 
of such a wild scheme. But I forbid it — peremp- 
torily forbid it — on pain of my displeasure." 

" Be pleased then to tell me what I am to do," 
rejoined Graham. " Casilda is determined to 
throw herself into my arms. Does your high- 
ness advise me to wed her, and take the chance 
of a reconciliation with lier father afterwards? 
That, perhaps, would be the simplest plan, and 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 169 

the safest. A priest can always be found to per- 
form the marriage ceremony." 

"I advise no such course; and, in fact, I dis- 
approve of the proceeding altogether," said Charles. 
" 1 recommend you to abandon the affair." 

" What ! give up Casilda ! " exclaimed Graham. 
" I -would sooner put on King Philip's livery and 
turn Romanist than do so. I begin to think your 
highness cannot really love the Infanta, or you 
would not recommend such a course to me." 

" Well, then, do what you will, since counsel is 
thrown away," said Charles. " But answer me one 
question — and answer it truly. Since the conde's 
house is closed to you, and DoTia Casilda, no 
doubt, is carefully watched, what means have you 
of communicating with her?" 

" Your highness may remember the fair damsel 
who was instrumental in delivering us from the 
brigands in the Forest of Orleans. It would be 
too long to tell you how Rose des Bois came to 



170 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Madrid, and may suffice to state that she is now 
Doiia Casilda's camerera, and aids me to communi- 
cate with the lady." 

'' I fear you are in bad hands," remarked 
Charles. " Kose may betray you." 

"Your highness does her an injustice. Rose is 
a most faithful and devoted creature. I had some 
suspicions of her once myself, but they have 
wholly disappeared. She brings me a little billet- 
doux daily from her mistress, and takes back one 
in return. The last piece of intelligence I have 
received is, that Doiia Casilda will be at the 
masked fete at the Buen Retiro to-morrow night. 
" She has agreed to meet me at midnight, near the 
lake, at the end of the linden avenue." 

" That must not be ! " exclaimed Charles. " I 
am to meet the Infanta at the same hour and at 
the same place." 

" That is awkward indeed," said Graham. 
" And by a strange chance, Dona Flor has 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 171 

made a similar appointment witli the Duke de 
Cea. But of course we must give "way to your 
highness." 

" Nay, it matters not," observed Charles. " You 
can withdraw when you see the Infanta appear, 
and bid De Cea do so likewise." 

"I will not fail," replied Graham. 

At this moment the door opened, and the Earl 
of Bristol entered the chamber. 

" Good morrow, my lord," said Charles. *' I 
am glad to see you." 

" I have come thus early, because I have some- 
thing to say to your highness in private," rejoined 
Bristol. 

On hearing this, Graham bowed to the prince, 
and retired. 



172 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



V. 

HOW THE EARL OF BRISTOL REMONSTRATED WITH THE 
PRINCE. 

" Now, my lord," said Charles, " we are alone, 
and not likely to be interrupted, even by the Duke 
of Buckingham." 

" It was specially to avoid his grace that I came 
thus early," returned the earl. " I will not preface 
■what I am about to say by any observations, but 
come at once to the point. I hear it on all hands — 
from the chief nobles of the court — from the Conde- 
Duque — from the king himself — that your high- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 173 

ness is about to make a public recantation and em- 
brace the Roman Catholic faith. Now, though I 
have heard this statement made by those I have 
mentioned, I will not believe it unless it be con- 
firmed from your own lips." 

" Suppose the statement true," said Charles. 
" But it cannot be true," cried Bristol. " I have 
denied it to all — and I will continue to deny it. 
I will not believe that your highness can have 
been persuaded to take a step so calamitous to your- 
self and to England — a step that will deeply afflict 
all your followers — and that will assuredly abridge 
your royal father's days, if it does not kill him 
outright. Ifj unhappily, you have yielded to the 
arguments of your enemies — for such they arc — if 
you have formed any such flxtal resolution — I be- 
seech you to abandon it while there is yet time. 
Olivarez and the Papal Nuncio may have held out 
inducements to you to change your faith. But 
they have deluded you by false representations. 



174 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

* 

Hear the truth from me. The Roman Catholic 
party has no power in England, and will never 
regain its power. What think you would be the 
eflfect in England if the news were brought that 
you — the heir to the throne — had become a con- 
vert to Rome? Think you the step would be ap- 
proved? Think you it would be tolerated? Think 
you the Infanta would be welcomed as an Eng- 
lish princess? Prince, there would be a rebel- 
lion." 

" If there should be, Olivarez lias said that Spain 
will help me to crush it," remarked Charles. 

"Not all the navies and armies of Spain could 
crush it," rejoined Bristol. " You will forfeit your 
throne if you take that step. But again I say, that 
I cannot — I will not believe it. Oh ! give me the 
assurance that you will abandon this fatal resolu- 
tion," he added, throwing himself at the prince's 
feet. 

"Rise, my lord," said Charles. "I will not 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 175 

keep you a moment longer in suspense. I ought 
not to have trifled with your feehngs, but I de- 
sired fully to test your zeal in behalf of the Pro- 
testant faith, and I rejoice to find it so earnest. 
Rest certain that my principles arc unshaken, and 
that no consideration should induce rae to em- 
brace the religion of Rome." 

" Your highness's words have taken a heavy load 
from my breast," said Bristol. " Have I your 
authority to contradict the rumour?" 

"Not yet," replied Charles. "I would have 
Olivarez and the Nuncio still entertain the belief 
that they can gain me over." 

"To what end?" asked Bristol, uneasily. 

" Be content, my lord," rejoined Charles. " I 
can satisfy you no further now. If I play the 
hypocrite it is my own affair." 

" I hope your highness may not play the part 
too long,"' said Bristol. " You may be caught in 
a snare, if you do not take heed. You are en- 



176 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

gaged with crafty and unscrupulous antagonists, 
who may prove too much for you. Empower me, 
I pray you, to contradict their assertions." 

"I have said that it cannot be at present, my 
lord," rejoined Charles. 

And seeing that the prince was immovable, 
Bristol bowed and retired. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 177 



VI. 

Buckingham's plan of vengeance. 

Later on in the same day Charles was alone 
in his cabinet, when Buckingham entered, and 
threw himself, as was his wont, carelessly into a 
chair. 

'■ I am heartily sick of Madrid ! " he exclaimed, 
*'and lonn; to sjet back to Eni^jland. I should 
think your highness must be equally weary of 
this dull and monotonous court life." 

"I do not find the court life either dull or 
monotonous," replied Charles. "There is plenty 
VOL. III. N 



178 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

of amusement, and of every variety. The fetes 
are endless." 

"True, but I am tired of tliem," rejoined Buck- 
ingham, " Our dear dad and gossip is most anx- 
ious for our return. I begin to think we have 
stayed away too long from him." 

"I think so too, Steenie," replied Charles. 
" But I do not intend to return till I can take 
my bride with me." 

"Then you will stay till this time next year," 
said Buckingham, "for the marriage is no nearer 
completion than it was when we first arrived. 
Your highness has been shamefully trifled Avith, 
and you owe it to your own dignity to resent the 
treatment you have experienced." 

" You are still smarting under the reprimand 
you received from the king, Steenie," said Charles. 

" It is not likely that I should either forget it or 
forgive it," rejoined Buckingham. "But the in- 
sult to me was a far greater insult to your high- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 179 

ness, and ought to have been resented. Since, 
however, you are not disposed to take offence, 
neither can I. But for your own sake, this nego- 
tiation must be brought to an end. If PhiHp con- 
tinues to make further excuses for delay, say that 
the king your father has recalled you, and produce 
the letter Ave have just received from his majesty. 
There is no other way to bring the matter to an 
issue." 

" I shall have an interview with the Infanta to- 
morrow night at the masked fete at the Buen 
Ketiro," said Charles. "After that I will de- 
cide." 

"Nothing will come of the interview but dis- 
appointment," said Buckingham. " For my own 
part, I regard the affair as completely at an end. 
I have long felt that the marriage is impracticable, 
except upon terms which it is impossible to accept. 
The sooner, therefore, it is broken off the better. 
I will get you another bride. The Princess Hen- 
^'2 



180 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

riette Marie of France will suit you better than the 
Infanta Maria." 

" But my heart is given to IVIaria ! " exclaimed 
Charles, with anguish. 

" She is not worthy of you. She does not, or 
cannot, appreciate the depth of your regard." 

" You mistake," rejoined Charles. " When she 
throws aside the mask which etiquette compels her 
to wear, you will judge her differently. I should 
have thought as you do if I had only seen her in 
public. Her nature is tender and affectionate." 

"Docs she love you sufficiently to change her 
religion for you?" said the duke. 

" I do not require her to make the change," 
replied the prince. 

"But she is not equally considerate. Nothing 
less than your conversion will content her." 

" She is under the governance of her confessor, 
and acts as he dictates," replied Charles. 

"If such be the case — and there can be no 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 181 

doubt that your liigliness is right — what chance 
have you of a favourable settlement of the affair? 
Either you must conform, or the prize will be 
withheld. That is the condition which will now 
be exacted. Put the Infanta to the proof to- 
morrow nightj when you see her at the Buen 
Retiro." 

" I will," said Charles. 

" And if she disappoints you — if she insists upon 
your conversion?" 

" I will return to England," replied the prince. 

" Promise mc that," said Buckingham. 

" I promise it," replied Charles, emphatically. 
" To-morrow night the affair shall be decided." 

" I am content," replied the duke, with secret 
exultation. " Under these circumstances it will be 
a satisfaction to your highness to learn that the 
fleet under the command of the Earl of Rutland 
has arrived off Santander. I have received a de- 
spatch from the noble admiral to that effect this 



182 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

very morning. He hopes he may soon convey tlie 
bride to England. I have but Httle expectation 
that he will be gratified in that respect, but, at all 
events, he will be ready to take back your highness, 
and the presence of the fleet at this juncture is 
fortunate, for, depend upon it, Olivarez will not let 
you slip through his fingers, if he can help it. The 
Duke de Lerma warned us of his perfidy. Ever 
since we have been in Madrid he has been a secret 
enemy. He insulted me, and strove to humiliate 
me in the presence of the king and the state 
council. But I will requite him. I will lower his 
pride. I have it in my power to wound him in the 
tenderest point, and I will not spare him." 

" What are you about to do ? " inquired Charles, 
uneasily. 

" He is very jealous of his wife," replied Buck- 
ingham, "and, sooth to say, the countess is lovely 
enough to make any man jealous. When I first 
beheld her, I was fascinated by her beauty, and 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 183 

perhaps it was the admiration which I could not 
help expressing that gave me some interest in her 
eyes. Certain it is that she did not discourage my 
attentions. Perhaps she did no more than most 
married Spanish women do, but whatever hopes 
her manner towards me may have excited, I 
checked them." 

" I am glad to hear that, at all events," observed 
Charles. " I feared the contrary," 

" I checked them for a time," pursued the duke, 
and should have checked them altogether, if Oli- 
varez had not afironted me. I considered how I 
could requite him, and soon perceived that ven- 
geance was in my power. Your highness will 
guess my meaning." 

Charles made no reply, and Buckingham went 
on: 

" I paid assiduous court to the countess, and soon 
found that she was not likely to offer any desperate 
resistance to the attack. In fact, she did not resist 



184 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

my advances, and it was quite clear that my con- 
quest would be easily achieved." 

" Had any one but yourself told me this, I 
would not have believed it," remarked Charles. 

" To make an end of my relation," pursued 
Buckingham, "I have prevailed upon her to grant 
me an interview to-morrow night in the gardens of 
the Buen Retiro," 

"Why there?" demanded Charles. "You will 
run great risk of discovery." 

" I mean that the meeting shall be disco- 
vered — and by her husband," rejoined Bucking- 
ham. 

" Such revenge is atrocious, Steenie," said 
Charles. " I trust you will forego the plan. If 
not for the Conde-Duque's sake, for that of the 
countess, who confides in you, do not bring dis- 
grace upon a noble house." 

"Well, I will reflect upon it," rejoined Buck- 
ingham. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 185 

Persuaded he had turned the duke from his 
vindictive purpose, Charles said no more on the 
subject, and shortly afterwards they Aveut forth to 
ride in the valley of the Manzanares. 



186 THE SPAIS'ISH MATCH. 



VII. 

THE MASKED f£te AT THE BUEN RETIKO. 

Designed by Olivarez as a retreat for his youth- 
ful sovereign, charmingly situated, and embellished 
with the most refined taste, the summer palace, so 
appropriately denominated El Buen Retire, had 
but recently been completed at the period of our 
history. 

In this delicious retreat Philip cast off the cares 
of sovereignty, and spent hours in the companion- 
ship of Lope de Vega, Calderon de la Barca, and 
Velasquez. And here Olivarez put off the minister, 
and appeared only as a courtier. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 187 

The salons of the Buen Eetiro were exquisitely 
furnished, and adorned with the choicest paintings. 
The gardens were enchanting — full of terraces, 
fountains, bosquets, orange-groves, ilower-beds, 
parterres, pavilions, grassy slopes, and cool retreats. 

On the night of the masked fete, at which we 
are about to assist, the assemblage numbered all 
the grandees and important personages of the 
court, including the Nuncio and the ambassadors, 
together with the EngHsh nobles and gentlemen 
in attendance upon Charles. The dresses were 
gorgeous, and jewels and precious stones were by 
no means confined to the female portion of the 
assemblage. The diamonds glittering on the attire 
of the Duke of Buckingham outshone those of 
any one present. All the company were provided 
with black velvet masks, which they assumed or 
laid aside at pleasure. 

Dancing took place in a superb and brilliantly- 
lighted salon adapted for the purpose, and the ball 



188 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

was opened by the king and the Infanta, who 
danced a bolero, and charmed the beholders with 
their skill and grace. Other couples stood up at 
the same time, and amongst them were the Duke 
of Buckingham and the Countess Olivarez, who 
executed the dance quite as gracefully as the royal 
pair. 

A string of magnificent pearls, worn by Buck- 
ingham, broke during the dance, and this accident 
— if accident it was — afforded his grace an oppor- 
tunity of presenting the gems to the fair by- 
standers, who had picked them up — a piece of 
gallantry that gained him great admiration. It 
was remarked that the duke's manner towards the 
countess was singularly impassioned. 

Charles took no part in the dance, but re- 
mained with the queen, seated beneath a canopy. 
The fandango succeeded the bolero, and the 
cachucha the fandango, and the rattle of the 
castanets was still heard merrily as ever in the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 189 

ball-rooiTij when the royal party, with a select 
portion of the company, proceeded to the theatre 
— for the Buen Retiro had its theatre, and a very 
charming little theatre too — where a comedy, 
written for the occasion by Lope de Vega, was 
admirably performed by the court actors. 

The comedy, which was full of Avit, and point, 
and intricate adventure, contained many allusions 
to the prince's chivalrous expedition to jVIadrid, 
and was loudly applauded; and at its conclusion 
the author received the compliments of the king 
and Charles, and was more substantially gratified 
by a purse of gold from the latter. 

After the performance, the banqueting-chamber 
was thrown open, and a sumptuous repast served, 
of which the principal guests partook; but the 
royal party, including Charles, supped in a small 
oval chamber in private. 

SuppeV over, the company -w^nt forth into tlic 
gardens, which were illuminated, and tlie trees 



190 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

being hung with lamps of various hues, looked as 
if they bore such fruit as was grown in the 
orchards of the Hesperides, The night was mag- 
nificent, the moon being at the full, and the air 
perfectly calm. 

About an hour before midnight there was a 
grand display of fireworks, which could be seen 
by the crowds assembled in the Prado; and after 
this the majority of the company returned to the 
ball-room, or to the banqueting-chamber, while a 
few, who preferred the open air, continued in the 
gardens. 

All the marble seats along the terraces had 
occupants, and couples were moving slowly across 
the soft sward, listening, it may be, to the night- 
ingales. However, we shall not pry into their 
discourse, but follow two graceful-looking senoras, 
who were proceeding down the long avenue of 
linden-trees leading to the lake. They rhoved too 
quickly to notice the magical effect produced by 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 191 

the coloured lamps on the numerous statues lining 
the walk, and though they looked back occa- 
sionally, they did not pause till they reached the 
borders of the lake. 

Here all was tranquil. The trees were gilded 
by the moonbeams, and the surface of the little 
lake glittered like silver. The calmness and sere- 
nity of the scene offered a strong contrast to the 
revel they had just quitted. 

Shortly after the arrival of the two seuoras, the 
dip of oars was heard in the water, and a boat was 
seen to issue from a little creek at the farther end of 
the lake, and make its way towards them. The 
bark was propelled by a couple of rowers, and two 
cavaliers were seated in the stern, one of whom 
touched the chords of a guitar, and chanted a 
serenade in a Ioav sweet voice, as he came along. 

hi another minute the bark reached the spot 
where Dona Casilda and Dona Flor were stationed 
— for it will have been conjectured, we presume. 



192 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

that they were the masked senoras — and De Cea 
and Graham leaped ashore. A few exclamations 
of delight were uttered, and then De Cea besought 
Dona Flor to embark with him, nor did it require 
much persuasion to induce her to assent. Before 
they entered the boat, it was agreed that the others 
should join them at the farther end of the lake. 

Thus freighted, the boat cut its way through the 
moonlit water, but the tinkling of the guitar was 
no more heard. 

Meanwhile, Graham and Casilda moved slowly 
on, keeping near the margin of the pool. 

Lovers' discourse is idle, and scarcely worth re- 
peating. 

"Have you ever such lovely nights as this in 
England, Ricardo?" inquired Casilda. "Do the 
nightingales sing as sweetly in your groves? Is 
the air as balmy? And does the moon shine as 
brightly?" 

^ You Avill judge," replied Graham. " If you do 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 193 

not like my country, you shall come back to 
Spain." 

" Ah ! I shall be happy with you anywhere, 
Ricardo," she replied. " But if I am to be yours, 
my flight must not be long delayed, or it will be 
impossible. I shall be forced into a marriage with 
Don Christobal." 

" Nay, that shall never be," cried Graham. 
" You are mine — mine only, Casilda — and no hated 
rival shall rob me of my treasure. I yesterday ac- 
quainted the prince with my plan, but he dis- 
approves it." 

" But you will not be guided by him — you will 
not abandon me?'' cried Casilda. "If you do, I 
shall die of despair." 

"Fear nothing; I have no such thought. Even 
if I incur the prince's displeasure, and forfeit the 
Duke of Buckingham's favour, I will not swerve 
from my faith to you ! Be prepared to-morrow 
night. I will scale the garden wall at midnight. 

You shall join me, and tli^n " 

VOL. III. 



194 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Hush ! " she exclaimed, with a gesture of cau- 
tion; adding, in a low voice,''" We are watched. 
There is some one among the trees." 

" I can perceive no one," rejoined Graham, 
glancing in the direction indicated. " But it may 
be the prince. He was to meet the Infanta near the 
lake about this hour." 

"You reassure me," she rejoined. "I feared it 
might be Don Christobal, and that he had over- 
heard what we said. And yet that is not likely 
either, for we left him in the ball-room, about to 
join the dance." 

In another moment they were buried in the 
shade of some trees that grew near the water, and 
as Graham cast a look backwards, he perceived 
two figures near the foot of the avenue, and drew 
Casilda's attention to them. 

"Look!" he cried, "I was right. Yonder are 
the prince and the Infanta." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 195 



VIII. 

THE MEETING BY THE LA.KE. 

After the display of fireworks, Charles re- 
mained In the garden with the Earl of Bristol, Lord 
Kensington, and some other English nobles, and 
then, giving them to understand that he desired 
to be alone for a while, he left them, and walked 
down the avenue to the lake. 

So beauteous was the scene, so steeped in calm- 
ness, that an immediate effect was produced upon 
his feelings, and almost forgetting why he had come 
thither, he fell into a delicious and dreamy reverie, 
02 



196 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

from which he was roused by light footsteps near 
him. Turning at the sound, he perceived two 
female figures, both wrapped in dark silk mantles, 
and masked. 

As he advanced towards them, one of the ladies 
retired, and remained standing at a little distance. 

" I have run great risk in keeping my appoint- 
ment with you, prince," said the Infanta, as she re- 
moved her mask, " and I cannot stay more than a 
few minutes." 

" Oh, say not so, Maria ! " cried Charles. " This 
is a spot where hours might be spent in loving 
converse." 

" You talk of hours as if time were at my com- 
mand," she replied. " Were I to remain long, my 
absence from the palace would infallibly be dis- 
covered, and as it is, I am full of apprehension. 
But I must not waste time, for I have much to 
say to you." 

"I am all attention. Say on, sweet princess. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 197 

Your voice is more cliarminEr to me than the sonfj 
of the nio:htinffales." 

" What I have to say may not please you," she 
rejoined; "but all my future happiness depends 
upon your answer to the question I am about to put 
to you. You can guess it. You know the sub- 
ject nearest my heart. You know towards what 
end my prayers are directed. Has Heaven en- 
lightened you and moved your breast? Are you 
prepared to recant your errors, and embrace the 
true faith?" 

A profound sigh was Charles's sole response. 

" I must have an answer," she replied, withdraw- 
ing the hand he had taken. 

" You say our meeting must necessarily be brief, 
Maria," he remarked. " Do not let us mar our 
happiness by this discussion. It is out of character 
with the spot — with the serene beauty of the night. 
Let us devote the few minutes we have together to 
love — to tender thoughts." 



198 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" But I cannot continue to love you, unless you 
will give me an assurance that you will conform," 
said the Infanta. "Why this hesitation? You 
have led me to suppose you would become a con- 
vert." 

" Forgive the deception I have practised, Maria. 
It is love tliat has made me play the dissembler." 

" Then you have deluded me with false hopes? 
You never intended to change your faith? Prince, 
such conduct is unworthy of you. But you cannot 
honourably retreat. I must hold you to your pro- 
mise. Either you must become a convert, or our 
engagement is at an end. You must come to an 
immediate decision." 

" But why drive matters to this fearful extremity, 
Maria?" 

"The extremity is as fearful to me as to you, 
Charles," she rejoined. " Listen to what I say. I 
have solemnly promised the Nuncio, in the presence 
of my confessor, never to wed a heretic." 



THE spJlNish match. 199 

" Why did you do this, Maria ? " cried Charles, 
in a voice of anguish. 

"Because I believed you would become a con- 
vert. And you will, Charles — you will ! " she ex- 
claimed. 

" I cannot," he rejoined. 

" Then you are resolved to renounce me. You 
love me not ! " 

" Oh ! say not so, Maria. I love you too well. 
But I cannot change my faith." 

" Will not my entreaties move you ? Can you 
be insensible to my anguish ? Padre Ambrosio and 
the Nuncio will question me to-morrow. What 
shall I say to them? May I hold out any 
hopes?" 

" None ! — none ! " he replied. " I have gone too 
far already." 

" This, then, is your decision?" she cried. 

" It is my final decision," he rejoined, sadly but 
firmly. 



200 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" All, tlien, is over ! " said Maria. " My dream 
of happiness is ended ! " 

"Why should it be so?" cried Charles. "The 
Nuncio, if he pleases, can absolve you from your 
promise, however solemnly made — and perchance 
it was extorted from you. The king your brother 
and his cabinet do not impose any such terms. 
I have agreed to all their conditions." 

" Be not deceived, Charles," she replied, sadly. 
" The marriage-treaty will never be concluded 
unless you concede this point. Such is Philip's 
secret resolution. He and Olivarez fully calculate 
upon your compliance. And you yourself have 
led them into the belief." 

"I see my error now," rejoined Charles. "But 
it may be retrieved." 

" No, that is impossible, if you persist in your 
resolution," she said. 

A sudden interruption to their discourse was 
offered at this juncture by the lady in attendance 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 201 

upon the Infanta, who, stepping quickly towards 
them, warned them that some one was at hand. 

Scarcely had they resumed their masks, when 
two cavaliers emerged from the bosquet, and 
marched quickly up to them. As neither of tliese 
personages was masked, and their features were 
revealed by the bright moonlight, Charles knew 
them to be Don Christobal and Don Pompeo. 

" What means this interruption, seSores ? " he 
said, haughtily. " Retire." 

*' Not without these ladies," rejoined Don Chris- 
tobal. 

" You are mistaken, senor," said Charles. " Do 
you not see that you cause the ladies great 
alarm?" 

" Possibly we may — but that cannot be helped," 
rejoined Don Christobal. "We are sorry to in- 
terrupt your tete-a-tete, but you must be pleased to 
excuse us. Come with me, sefiora ! " he cried, 
seizing the Infanta's hand. 



202 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" And do you come with me, madam," added 
Don Pompeo, taking the hand of the other lady. 

"Let go your hand instantly, senor, or, by 
Heaven, you will repent it ! " cried Charles. 
" This lady desires to stay with me." 

" That is easily to be perceived," rejoined Don 
Christobal. " But I do not intend she shall. Come 
along, madam ! " 

Don Pompeo at tlie same time tried to force 
away the other lady. 

" Unhand me instantly, seiior, I command you," 
cried the Infanta to Don Christobal. 

" Not yet," he replied, with a laugh. 

Finding there was no alternative, Maria took off 
her mask, and her features being thus revealed to 
the astonished Don Christobal, he instantly recog- 
nised the Infanta, and falling on his knee before 
her, he exclaimed, " Pardon, princess, pardon ! I 
took you for Dona Casilda." 

" And I took you for my wife. Dona Flor," cried 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 203 

Don Pompeo to the other lady, who had likewise 
unmasked. 

"You have been guilty of a great indiscretion, 
seiiores," said Charles, taking off his vizard. " But 
you must forget whom you have seen — do you un- 
derstand?" 

" Perfectly," replied both cavaliers addressed; 
" your highness need have no apprehension." 

At this moment voices were heard, and several 
persons were seen coming down the avenue. 

" It is the king, with the Conde-Duque," said 
Don Christobal. 

" The king ! oh, Heavens ! I shall be dis- 
covered," cried the Infanta. 

" Take refuge in yonder pavilion, princess," said 
Don Christobal. " His majesty is not likely to 
visit it." 

" Shall I go there?" said Maria to her attendant. 

" No, no," replied the lady ; " anywhere but 
there. Princess, you must not go." 



204 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"She must, or she will be discovered," cried 
Charles. " Try to detain the king for a moment, 
seuores." 

"We will," replied Don Christobal, hurrying 
off with Don Pompeo towards the avenue. 

Charles then took the Infanta's hand, and would 
have conducted her to the pavilion, but the lady 
stopped them. 

" Prince," she cried, " the Infanta must not 
enter that pavilion." 

"But I will leave her at the door," rejoined 
Charles. " Do not hesitate, Maria." 

" She shall not go, I repeat," said the lady, 
peremptorily. 

"What is to be done?" cried the Infanta. " The 
king will be here in a moment." 

" Have no fear, princess," rejoined the lady. 
" The Conde-Duque is with him." 

" But I dare not meet my brother. I will hide 
somewhere," cried the Infanta. And she flew 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 205 

towards a bosquet, followed by Charles and the 
lady. 

Scarcely had they concealed themselves amongst 
the shrubs, when the boat containing Graham, De 
Cea, and the two ladies, crossed the lake, and 
landed its party. 



206 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



IX. 



HOW THE TABLES WEKE TTJKNED UPON BUCKINGHAM. 

When the king got to the foot of the avenue, 
• he stopped, and said to OHvarez, 

" I must now call upon your excellency to ex- 
plain why you have brought me here?" 

"Accompany me to yonder pavilion, and your 
curiosity shall be satisfied, sire," rejoined OHvarez. 

" On, then, to the pavilion ! " exclaimed Philip. 

But he was stopped by Don Christobal, who, 
placing himself in the way, said, " I pray your 
majesty not to enter that pavilion." 

" Why not?" demanded Philip. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 207 

" Because you will interrupt a tete-a-tete." 

" Between whom ? " demanded the king. 

" Speak out," said Olivarez. 

" Between two important personages," replied 
Don Christobal, scarcely knowing what he said. 
" Your excellency will be sorry if you do not take 
my advice," he added significantly to the Conde- 
Duque. " I have good reasons for offering it." 

"A word with you, Don Christobal," said the 
king, taking him aside. " Answer me frankly, and 
you may prevent an unpleasant discovery." 

" Such is my wish, sire," replied Don Cliristobal. . 
" I am quite sure the discovery will be disagreeable 
to your majesty." 

" But I must know who is in the pavilion." 

" Excuse me, sire, I dare not inform you." 

" I will have an answer," said Philip. " Is the 
countess there?" 

"What countess, sire?" 

" Do not equivocate. I ask you if the Countess 
Olivarez is in yonder pavilion?" 



208 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I have reason to believe she is there, sire," re- 
plied Don Christobal, thinking she was the lady in 
attendance upon the Infanta. 

"And the duke?" 

"The duke, sire!" 

" Ay, the Duke of Buckingham. You see I 
knovi^ it. His grace is there." 

" Since your majesty will have it so, I will not 
presume to contradict you," replied Don Chris- 
tobal, who was now completely mystified. 

" Let us leave the pavilion unvisited, and return 
to the palace," observed the king to Olivarez. " I 
am satisfied with what I have just heard." 

" But I am not," said the Conde-Duque. " And 
I must beg your majesty to go on with me." 

"Nay, if you are determined, be it so," rejoined 
Phihp. 

And he proceeded with his attendants towards 
the pavilion. 

On the way thither he encountered Graham and 
De Cea, and the two ladies with them. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 209 

Philip commanded the party to unmask, and 
the injunction being obeyed, a discovery ensued 
which resulted in Doiia Casilda and Dona Flor 
being transferred to the care of Don Christobal 
and Don Pompeo. 

The king had hoped that the delay caused by 
this incident would give time to those within the 
pavilion to escape, and he was somewhat surprised 
when, as he approached the little structure, the 
door opened, and the Duke of Buckingham and a 
lady issued from it. 

The lady was masked, but not so the duke. 

The lady, whom Philip and several others felt 
certain was the Countess Olivarez, appeared em- 
barrassed and uneasy, and clung to the duke's 
arm; but Buckingham manifested no concern. 
jMaking an obeisance to the king, he moved slowly 
on. 

As he expected, however, he was stopped by 
OUvarez. 

VOL. III. P 



210 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I have a word to say to your grace," remarked 
the Conde-Duque. 

"As many as your excellency pleases on some 
fitting occasionj but not now," replied Bucking- 
ham. 

"All I desire to ask is whether you have been 
long in that pavilion ? " said Olivarez. 

" Your excellency is curious. Perhaps live 
minutes — perhaps ten — perhaps half an hour. I 
came there after the fireworks." 

"And the lady has been with you all the time?" 
pursued Olivarez. 

" That is a question I must really decline to 
answer," said Buckingham. 

" Your grace is perfectly right," replied Philip. 

" Stay ! " cried Olivarez. " I have not yet done. 
I must beg the lady to vmmask." 

" The request is absurd," rejoined Buckingham. 
" Possibly her husband may be present." 

"For that very reason I must insist," said Oli- 
varez. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 211 

"I recommend you not to do so/' remarked 
Philip. " Let them go on." 

Olivarez, however, was not to be gainsaid, but 
called out: 

" Madam, I order you to unmask." 

" Hold, madam ! " cried Buckingham. "Before 
you comply, let me say one word to his excel- 
lency." 

" I will listen to no remarks," rejoined Olivarez. 
" Unmask, madam, unmask ! " 

" Save me ! oh ! save me ! " exclaimed the lady, 
in piteous accents. 

" I would Avillingly save you, but I have not the 
power," rejoined Buckingham. " Since his excel- 
lency commands you to unmask, you must comply. 
But he will regret his folly, when he finds it is his 
own wife." 

" What, my lord duke ! " exclaimed the king. 
"Would you have us believe this is the Countess 
Olivarez?" 

r2 



212 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I would have you believe your own eyes, sire, 
not my assertion," replied Buckingham, with an 
exulting glance at Olivarez. 

But his glance of triumph changed to one of 
confusion as the lady withdrew her mask, dis- 
closing a young and handsome countenance. 

The features, however, were not those of the 
Countess Olivarez. 

A derisive laugh from the Conde-Duque, in 
which all the beholders joined, added to Bucking- 
ham's rage and mortification. 

" Why, this is better than the comedy we have 
just witnessed," said Philip, laughing. 

" I was one of the actresses in that comedy, sire," 
said the lady. 

" Cheated by an actress !" exclaimed Buckingham. 

" Yes, my lord duke, by an actress," rejoined 
Olivarez. " Madam, you may retire. Your part is 
played." 

On this, the actress resumed her mask, and with- 
drew. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 213 

*'Lope de Vega must have given you a hint 
for this plot," said the king, laughing. 

" No, sire, the idea is entirely my own," replied 
Olivarez. " This is all the retaliation I mean to 
take upon the Duke of Buckingham for the injury 
he intended me." 

" You have made me supremely ridiculous, that 
I admit, my lord," cried Buckingham. " But it is 
a pity the countess is not here to join in the laugh 
against me." 

" The countess is here," she replied, stepping 
forward. " Are you satisfied, my lord?" she 
added, removing her mask. 

" Oh, madam ! how you have deceived me ! " 
cried Buckingham. 

" You have deceived yourself, my lord duke," 
rejoined the countess. " I revealed all to my 
husband, and we contrived this scheme to punish 
your presumption. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

Again there was a general laugh, in which 
Buckingham himself thought it best to join. 



214 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Well, I own I have been fairly taken in," he 
said. " The Conde-Duque may congratulate him- 
self upon the treasure he possesses. Henceforward 
he can never be jealous." 

" I never have been jealous, my lord," said 
Olivarez, sharply. " Have I, madam?" 

"You have had no cause for jealousy," she re- 
plied. ♦ 

"Certainly, Lope de Vega must have had a 
hand in this," laughed the king. " But you have 
not explained how you chanced to be here, 
countess," he added. 

" I came here with the Infanta, sire," she replied. 

" What! is the Infanta here?" cried Philip. 

" Yes, sire," she replied, stepping forward and 
unmasking. 

" The comedy will never end," said Phihp. 
*' It would not surprise me to find that the prince 
himself has a part in it." 

"Only that of spectator, sire," replied Charles, 
advancing. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 215 

"So you are here!" exclaimed Philip. "By 
Santiago ! I must have some explanation." 

" All shall be explained anon, and to your 
majesty's satisfaction," replied Olivarez. " Has the 
prince consented?" he added in a whisper to the 
Infanta. 

" Alas ! no ! " she rejoined, in the same tone. 
" He refuses." 

" Refuses ! " exclaimed Olivarez. " He shall not 
quit Madrid till I have wrung consent from him. 
Sire, let us return to the palace. I shall have 
much to say to you to-morrow." 

" Come with me, Maria," said Philip. " I shall 
not lose sight of you again." 

The Infanta took the king's arm, and Charles 
walked on her other side, as they proceeded up the 
avenue to the palace. 

lEnU of tf)c jpiftf) 23ool?. 



BOOK VI. 



EL JUEGO DE CANAS. 



I. 

HOW CHABLES AJ^NOUNCED HIS DEPARTURE TO THE KING-. 

On the morning after the fete at the Buen 
Retiro, Philip, having made an appointment with 
the minister, drove to the palace, and, on entering 
his cabinet, found Olivarez and the Nuncio waiting 
for him. 

" Your majesty will understand why I am here," 
said the Nuncio. "It is to confer with you in 
regard to the proposed marriage between the Prince 
of Wales and the Infanta. Acting by my advice, 
the Infanta obtained last night a decisive answer 
from the prince. He declines to conform." 



220 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"I lament to hear it," replied Philip. "His 
conversion would have been a great triumph to 
the faith, and the failure will be a deep disappoint- 
ment to his Holiness." 

" We have received a temporary check, but are 
not defeated," observed the Nuncio. 

" How ! Do you still indulge a hope of success?" 
cried the king. 

" Most assuredly," replied the Nuncio ; " but we 
must have recourse to more stringent measures. 
The Conde-Duque will inform your highness that 
the prince designs to return to England." 

"Is this so?" asked Philip. 

" Yes, sire," replied Olivarez. " The Duke of 
Buckingham informs me that his highness has just 
received a letter from King James, wherein his 
majesty complains of the delay in regard to the 
marriage, and enjoins his son's immediate return." 

"But this you will not permit, sire," said the 
Nuncio. 



THE SPANISH MATCH.. 221 

" I see not liow I can prevent it," replied Philip. 

" Heaven has placed the prince in your hands," 
rejoined the Nuncio, "and you will be wanting to 
yourself, sire — you will be wanting in duty to our 
Church — if you allow him to depart without first 
accomplishing liis conversion." 

" But you tell me he has absolutely refused," said 
Philip. "I cannot force him into compliance." 

" Time and persuasion may accomplish much," 
remarked the Nuncio, with a significant smile. 

" This sudden change in the prince's sentiments 
has been wrought by Buckingham," observed 
Olivarez, " whose aim is now to break oiF the 
match. His highness showed every disposition to 
recant, and would have done so, but for the baneful 
representations of his favourite." 

" The prince is perfectly tractable, I am con- 
vinced," remarked the Nuncio. " Get rid of 
Buckingham, and there will be no further diffi- 
culty." 



222 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" But how shall we get rid of him ? " exclaimed 
Philip. " He will not leave without the prince." 

" He must, and shall," said Olivarez. 

" But Charles will not remain after his favourite's 
departure," remarked the king. 

"Not voluntarily, perhaps, sire," rejoined Oli- 
varez, significantly; "but he will stay, neverthe- 
less." 

" Detain him, sire," said the Nuncio. " Let 
him not escape from your hands, or you will be 
greatly to blame. His captivity — if captivity it 
can be called — will neither be irksome nor of long 
duration, for if the present adverse influence be 
removed, I will engage that his conversion shall 
be speedily accomplished. Your duty to the 
Church is paramount to every other consideration. 
I call upon you to assist in bringing back Charles 
Stuart to the fold." 

Before Philip could make any reply, an usher 
announced the prince and the Duke of Bucking- 
ham. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 223 

" Be firm, sire," said the Nuncio, rising to 
depart. 

" Stay," cried Philip. " I wish you to be pre- 
sent at this interview." 

After the customary greetings had passed be- 
tween Charles and the king, Philip remarked : 

" Your highness, I understand, has just received 
a letter from the king your father?" 

^' I have, sire," replied Charles ; " and it is in 
reference to that letter that I have come to your 
majesty. My immediate return to England ap- 
pears absolutely necessary. The king my father 
complains sadly of my prolonged absence. His 
health is declining, as your majesty is aware, and 
he needs my attention. If there were any likeli- 
hood of an early completion of tlie marriage- 
treaty, his majesty would consent to my sojourn 
here till the affair could be settled, but as he 
cannot anticipate this, he has recalled me. I need 
not say that the necessity I am under of obeying 
his orders is a great grief to me, but I cannot 



224 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

refuse compliance with them. I have therefore 
come to announce my early departure to your 
majesty, and to thank you for the truly royal 
hospitality you have shown me during my stay." 
After a brief pause, he added, " In regard to the 
marriage, I have this proposition to make. On 
the arrival of the dispensation, the ceremony can 
be performed by proxy, and I will entreat your 
majesty to be my representative on the occasion." 

" I would fain hope that such a course may be 
avoided," said Olivarez. "If your highness de- 
parts while the treaty is still in abeyance, it will be 
thought that the marriage is broken off." 

" Is there any chance that the marriage will take 
place soon?" said Buckingham. 

"When we obtain the dispensation from his 
Holiness there shall be no further delay on our 
part," replied Olivarez. 

" That has ever been the answer," said Buck- 
ingham. " My royal master's patience is exhausted. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 225 

and indeed he entertains the belief that the Pope 
will not grant the dispensation." 

"There he is wrong, my lord duke," remarked 
the Nuncio. " His Holiness earnestly desires the 
fulfilment of the match, and will promote it to 
the utmost of his power. I authorise you to convey 
my assurance to King James, that so far as the 
Sovereign Pontiff is concerned there shall be little 
further delay. The affair, I hope, will be speedily 
settled." 

"But upon what terms?" demanded Bucking- 
ham. 

" Upon terms that will be perfectly satisfactory 
to the prince, I make no doubt," said the Nuncio. 

" His highness must feel grateful for the Pope's 
consideration," said Buckingham. 

" I entreat your highness to continue my guest a 
little longer," said Philip. " Your sudden depar- 
ture will distress the Infanta, and on her account 
I urge you to stay, if only for a few weeks, wlicn 
VOL. III. Q 



226 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

I trust the matter may be completed. The Duke 
of Buckingham can proceed to England at once. 
His presence will be a consolation to your royal 
father, and he can give the king assurance of your 
speedy arrival with your bride." 

" Can I, with safety, give him such assurance, 
sire?" asked the duke. 

" Most certainly," interposed Olivarez. 

" Does this arrangement meet with your high- 
ness's approval?" said Buckingham, addressing 
Charles. "Am I to go alone? I do not think 
the king your father will be satisfied." < 

" I am sure he will not," said Charles. " Despite 
the inducements held out to me by your majesty, I 
must therefore adhere to my plan." 

" Your higlmess will do wrong to depart," said 
the Nuncio. "Let the Duke of Buckingham go 
first, as proposed by his majesty." 

" On all accounts I urge your highness to stay 
for a brief period," added Olivarez. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 227 

" You win not disoblige me by leaving me thus 
suddenly, prince," said Philip. " I really cannot 
part with you." 

^' But I cannot disobey the king my father, sire. 
He has recalled nie." 

" Send word by his grace that I will not let you 
go," said Phihp. 

" Were I to send such a message as that, he 
would think I am detained," replied Charles. 

" AVhat matter if he should think so ? " remarked 
Olivarez. 

" Prince," said Buckingham to Charles, " you 
were entrusted to my charge by your royal father. 
I cannot consent that you should remain here after 
my departure. You have been summoned by the 
king, and must return to England." 

" Must return ! " echoed Olivarez. " Your pre- 
sumption goes too far, my lord. I trust his high- 
ness will convince you that you have no authority 
over him." 

q2 



228 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Your excellency had best speak out," said 
Buckingham, " and tell his highness, in plain terms, 
that he is a prisoner. If such be the case, I am a 
prisoner likewise, for I shall not depart without 
him." 

" You will leave iSIadrid within twenty-four 
hours, my lord duke," said Philip. 

" With the prince, sire?" 

"Alone," rejoined the king. 

" I cannot misunderstand this injunction, sire," 
said Charles. " I now see the position in which I 
have placed myself. I came here because I believed 
— and would have maintained the belief, if called 
upon — that Philip IV. of Spain was the soul of 
loyalty and honour. It seems I was mistaken." 

"His majesty acts by my advice, prince," said 
Olivarez. " He knows that the Duke of Buck- 
ingham is animated by a spirit of determined hos- 
tility to himself and his cabinet — that he is secretly 
opposed to the match — and desiring that you should 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 229 

not be subjected to sucb baneful influence, he re- 
moves him. If his majesty seeks to detain you for 
a short time longer, it is merely in the hope — in 
the belief, indeed — that all will be satisfactorily 
arranged." 

"Are you willing to remain, prince?" said 
Philip. 

" Your majesty has prevented me from answering 
the question," said Charles. 

"Hear me, sire," said Buckingham. "The Eng- 
lish fleet has arrived off" Santander. I scarcely 
think the Earl of Rutland, who commands it, will 
be willing to sail without the prince." 

" His majesty will treat that threat with the 
scorn it deserves," remarked Ollvarez, disdain- 
fully. 

" The prince shall leave Spain in any manner 
he pleases," said Philip. 

"Sire!" exclaimed Olivarez. 

"The prince, I repeat, is free to depart now, or 



230 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

at any time," said Philip. " Far be it from me to 
detain liim against his inclinations." 

"Then I have misunderstood you, sire," cried 
Charles. 

"You have," replied Philip, disregarding the 
looks addressed to him hy Olivarez and the Nuncio. 
" If I have displayed over-anxiety to detain you, 
it has been from the belief that we could arrange 
the matter. But I will say no more on this head. 
I leave the decision entirely to yourself If your 
departure is abrupt, it will be thought that our 
good understanding has been interrupted. Stay 
•with me a week longer, and I shall be content." 

" I will gladly do so," replied Charles, " but I 
cannot send away the Duke of Buckingham." 

" Let him stay, then," said Philip. 

"All chance of accomplishing our object is at 
an end," whispered Olivarez to the Nuncio. 

" Something may be done in a week," rejoined 
the latter. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 231 

" Not since Buckingham is allowed to remain," 
said Olivarez. . 

"I am sorry to lose you so soon, prince," said 
Philip, " but I will do my best to make the re- 
mainder of your stay agreeable to you." 

" Your majesty lias done far too much already," 
returned Charles. " I shall write to the king my 
father announcing my immediate return." 

Making an obeisance to the king, he then with- 
drew with Buckingham. 



232 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



II. 

THE CLOAK AND THE SWORD. 

Midnight. 

A coach drove into the Prado, and set down 
two cavahers, who, bidding the coachman await 
their return, proceeded along the footpath leading 
in the direction of the Puerta de Recoletos. 

They were muffled in their cloaks, and wore 
their hats pulled over the brow, so as effectually to 
conceal their features. That they were bound upon 
some amorous errand was certain. Each carried a 
dark lantern beneath his mantle, and one of them 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 233 

was provided with a rope-ladder. The points of 
their long rapiers appeared below their cloaks. 

They moved along in silence, unconscious that 
they were cautiously followed by two other persons 
muffled in cloaks like themselves, and armed in 
like manner, who had issued from among the trees 
skirting the road. 

At length the foremost gallants came to a large 
casa, in front of which was a garden surrounded by 
high walls like those of a convent. In this wall 
there was a gate, which they tried, hoping it might 
be left unfastened, but it did not yield. They next 
glanced around, but could perceive no one, for 
those who followed had concealed themselves. 

Apprehending no danger, the gallants proceeded 
with their work. Quickly securing the rope-ladder 
to the top of the wall, they mounted, drew the 
ladder after them, and descended on the other 
side. 

As soon as they had disappeared, the two per- 



234 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

sons who were watching them came up, and one of 
them remarked to the other: 

" Rose's information was correct. They are 
about to make the attempt." 

"Shall we give the alarm?" rejoined the 
other. 

" No, let us wait here," returned the first 
speaker. " They are sure to come out by this 
gate." 

Leaving them to keep watch, Ave will now follow 
the two gallants, who had obtained admittance to 
the garden. 

Moving with noiseless footsteps, and keeping 
close to the wall, they proceeded towards tlie casa, 
but on nearing it could discern no sign that they 
Avere expected. All seemed buried in repose. 
They did not dare to give any signal to make 
knoAvn their presence, but Avaited patiently. 

At last the slight creaking of a casement an- 
nounced that some one was coming forth, and in 



THE SPANISH MATCH, 235 

another moment a female figure, wrapped in a 
mantilla, and with her features concealed by a 
black velvet mask, was seen upon the terrace. 

Not doubting for a moment that it was Casilda 
whom he beheld, Graham flew towards her, and 
would have given utterance to a few passionate 
words expressive of his delight, but she checked 
him by a gesture imposing silence, and they then 
hurried towards the garden gate. 

"Have you the key?" asked Graham, as they 
reached it. 

Without a word she gave it to him, and in 
another moment the gate was unlocked. 

" Now you arc mine — mine only, Casilda," cried 
Graham. "You quit your father's house to become 
my bride." 

Even to this address the masked female made no 
reply, and the door being opened, Graham started 
back, on perceiving the two cavaliers stationed 
outside. 



236 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Confusion ! " he exclaimed. " We are dis- 
covered. What is to be done?" 

For a moment he remained irresolute, not know- 
ing whether to advance or retreat, but then de- 
ciding upon the bolder course, he cried : 

"Who are you, seiiores? — and what do you 
want?" 

" Who we are matters little," replied a voice, 
which Graham at once recognised as that of Don 
Christobal. " We are here to protect the Conde 
Saldana from robbers." 

" We are caballeros, as we will quickly convince 
you, not robbers," rejoined Graham, haughtily. 

" The Conde de Saldana will account you the 
worst of robbers, for you are attempting to steal 
from him his chief treasure — his daughter. Luckily, 
we have been informed of your purpose, and are in 
time to prevent it." 

" We have allowed you to proceed thus far with 
your project, in order that you should not be able 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 237 

to deny it," said the other, Avhose voice proclaimed 
him to be Don Pompeo. 

" Rose has betrayed us I Fool that I was to 
trust her ! " cried Graham. " Our scheme is de- 
feated," he added in a low voice to the masked 
female. " Regain the house as quickly as you 
can, and leave us to settle with them." 

But she clung to him as if she could not tear 
herself away. 

" Forgive nie for what I have done, Sir 
Richard," she murmured. "I was impelled to it 
by jealousy." 

" This is not Casilda's voice," cried Graham, 
starting. " Unmask yourself at once, scnora, and 
satisfy my doubts." 

And as the damsel tremblingly obeyed, he held 
his lantern towards her, and discovered the features 
of Rose. 

"Rose!" he exclaimed. "Malediction! have I 
been duped?" 



238 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"How is this, Don Ricardo?" cried Don 
Christobal, laughing derisively. " You have got 
the maid instead of the mistress." 

" A capital jest," laughed Don Pompeo. "You 
have been fairly tricked, Don Ricardo — ha ! ha ! 
ha!" 

"You shall find it no jest, I can promise you, 
senores," cried Graham, fiercely. " Away, minion ! " 
he added to Rose, who fled towards the house. 

No sooner was he freed from her, than Graham 
drew his rapier, and springing through the gate, 
confronted the others. He was followed by De 
Cea, who closed the gate after him. 

On seeing them advance in this hostile fashion, 
Don Christobal and Don Pompeo stepped back 
a few paces, drew their rapiers, and stood on 
guard. 

" If I am not mistaken, the Duke de Cea is 
with you, seilor," cried Don Pompeo. 

"I am here," rejoined the duke. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 230 

" I am glad of it," said Don Pompeo. " I have 
an account to settle with you." 

" You shall find nie prompt to discharge it," said 
De Cea. 

While those few words were exchanged, rapid 
preparations had been made on either side for the 
conflict. 

Graham and De Cea threw their cloaks on the 
ground, but each retained his dark lantern. Their 
adversaries unfastened their mantles, but held them 
on the left arm for use, offensive and defensive, in 
the fight. 

" Do not neglect my instructions, amigo," said 
De Cea in a low tone to Graham. 

" Fear nothing," replied the other, 

" Come on, Don Ricardo, 1 am ready for you," 
cried Don Christobal. 

'•' And I for you, duke," added Don Pompeo to 
De Cea. 

" We v.'ill not keep you waiting, seiiores," re- 
plied thoic addressed. 



240 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

In another moment all four were engaged. 

To any one who could have witnessed the con- 
flict it would have been a curious sight. Graham 
held his lantern before him so as to throw its 
light upon his adversary, who awaited his attack 
with his cloak loosely wrapped round liis left arm. 
It soon became evident that Don Christobal was 
very expert in the use of the cloak, for he con- 
trived to obstruct all Graham's thrusts with it, 
and nearly succeeded in flinging it over his an- 
tagonist's head. 

On his side, Graham, who had been well 
schooled by De Cea, resorted to many dexterous 
manoeuvres to perplex his opponent. Sometimes, 
he presented the lantern above his head — then 
held it in front — anon, after hiding it for a time 
behind his back, he produced it unexpectedly at 
the side, dazzling his antagonist with the light. 

All this time the combatants were interchang- 
ing rapid passes, but as yet neither had sustained 
any injury. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 241 

At length, however, Don Christobal, fatigued 
with the weiglit of his cloak, dropped his left arm 
for a moment to rest it, and his foot becoming 
entangled in the mantle, he fell just as he was 
in the act of making a lounge. 

Of course he was now entirely at Graham's 
mercy, but the latter disdained to take advantage 
of the accident, and allowed him to rise, offering 
to renew the combat, but this Don Christobal de- 
clined. 

Meantime, the conflict continued between De 
Cea and Don Pompeo, and threatened a serious 
termination, both adversaries being evident!}'' in- 
furiated, when shouts were heard, and a patrol 
could be seen hurrying to the spot. 

"Fly! fly!" cried Don Christobal. "The 
watch are upon us. We shall all be arrested." 

But the combatants were too much excited to 
heed the warning, and were still furiously en- 
gaged, when the patrol, consisting of a dozen men 

VOL. III. R 



242 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

and an officer, all well armed, came up, and rush- 
ing between them, beat down their blades. 

As not unfrequently happened on such occa- 
sions, those who had just been engaged in deadly 
strife now united together in an attack upon the 
watch. 

In the struggle tliat ensued, Don Christobal's 
sword was broken, and being thus rendered de- 
fenceless, he was seized by the watch, who at- 
tempted to carry him off. 

Just at the same moment Don Pompeo was 
overpowered and disarmed. Both cavaliers called 
out to their late opponents to rescue, them, and 
they did not call in vain, for Graham and De Cea 
threw themselves with such liiry on the patrol, 
that the latter were compelled to let go their 
captives. 

All four then took to flight, speeding off in 
different directions, and, though the patrol at- 
tempted pursuit, they did not succeed in making 
a capture. 



THE SPA5IISH MATCH. '2Ai 



III. 

HOW GHAHAM AUD DE CEA WENT TO THE ESCOKIAL. 

Almost in a state of distraction at the misad- 
venture of the preceding night, Graham repaired, 
next day, to the Casa Saldana, determined, if pos- 
sible, to obtain an interview with Casilda. But 
on his arrival at the casa, he ascertained, to his 
infinite vexation, that the conde had quitted Ma- 
drid at an early hour that morning, taking with 
him his daughter and her attendant. Rose. 

Thus baffled, he sought De Cea. The young 
duke was as much perplexed as himself, having 
k2 



244 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

just discovered by means of his confidential valet, 
who was accustomed to convey billets to her, that 
Dona Flor had likewise quitted Madrid early that 
morning with her liusband. The utmost mystery 
Avas observed in regard to their movements, no 
one appearing to know whither they were gone. 
Little doubt, however, was felt by Do Cea that 
they had accompanied the conde and Casilda. All 
communication, therefore, was completely cut off 
between the lovers. 

"Your chance is over, I fear, amigo," observed 
De Cea. "Like your prince, you will be obliged 
to quit Spain without a wife. By this time, you 
may depend upon it, the old conde has put it out 
of your power to trouble him further, by wedding 
his daughter to Don Christobal." 

"But Casilda would never consent to such a 
step!" cried Graham. "She detests Don Chris- 
tobal." 

" Dona Flor detests Don Pompeo," rejoined De 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 245 

Cea ; " but still he is her husband. You must 
bear the misfortune Avith philosophy." 

" I came to you for aid and comfort in my 
distress," cried Graham. " But you drive me to 
despair." 

"What would you have me say or do? I 
cannot give you false hopes. You have lost your 
mistress. But you have yourself to blame. You 
ought not to have trusted Rose." 

"I see my error now it is too late," rejoined 
Graham, with a groan. 

"Well, it will teach you caution, should you 
ever again be similarly circumstanced," remarked 
De Cea. 

" That is impossible," cried Graham. " I can 
never love again." 

"You think so now, but the wound will soon 
heal," rejoined De Cea. "I feel very disconsolate 
myself, but I have not come to the conclusion that 
Doiia Flor is my last love. A ride in the Prado 



246 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

will turn your thoughts into a new channel, and 
help to cheer you." 

Graham assented to the proposition, though he 
had little hope of relief from it. As they were 
riding along the Calle de Alcala, they encountered 
Don Christobal, who was likewise on horseback. 
He eyed them sternly as they passed him. 

"Are you still of the same opinion now?" re- 
marked Graham to the young duke. " Do you 
believe he is married to Casilda? ". 

" I know not what to think," replied De Cea. 
" But I will have him watched." 

The surveillance under which Don Christobal 
was placed by De Cea produced no satisfactory 
result. The object of it went about just as usual, 
appeared daily at court, rode in the Prado in the 
evening, and attended all the entertainments given 
by the king. But he declined to answer any 
inquiries as to the Conde de Saldana and his 
daughter. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 247 

Five days thus passed by — five anxious days to 
Graham — and still he had obtained no tidings 
whatever of Casilda, and as the period of the 
prince's departure was close at hand, he began 
to fear he should quit Spain without beholding 
her ai^^ain. 

On the afternoon of the sixth day he was alone 
in his chamber at the palace, brooding upon his 
griefs, when a damsel, draped in a mantilla, sud- 
denly entered. 

Supposing it to be Casilda, he uttered a joyful 
cry, and started to his feet, but he was quickly 
undeceived, as the damsel disclosed her features. 

" Rose ! " he exclaimed, in anger and disappoint- 
ment. "What brings you here? Are you come 
to rejoice over the misery you have caused? Be 
satisfied — your vengeance is complete." 

"Think better of me,"' she rejoined. "I was 
goaded to what I did by jealousy. Listen to me 
for a few moments, and then pour all your rage 



248 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

upon me, if you please. Words cannot tell the 
force of the passion I liave felt for you. My love 
has been utterly unrequited, but the flame, though 
it had nothing to feed upon but my own heart, did 
not become extinguished, but burnt fiercely as 
ever. I tried to smother it, but in vain. You 
should have pity for me, Sir Richard, for the pangs 
of jealousy are hard to bear, and mine were in- 
tolerable." 

" I cannot pity you — I cannot forgive you," said 
Graham, sternly. " You have wronged me too 
deeply." 

"Hear me out, and then judge me," she re- 
joined. "To understand my conduct, you must 
place yourself in my position. You must know 
how fierce and ardent is my nature. Loving 
you as I did, I could not bear that another should 
possess you. Regardless of all consequences to 
myself, to you, and to Dona Casilda, I betrayed 
your plan, and the elopement was prevented." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 249 

" You avow your perfidy, and yet hope for for- 
giveness!" cried Graham. " Expect it not." 

" What made me perfidious? What made me 
seek revenge? Love — love for you, Sir Richard — 
jealousy of Doiia Casilda." 

" Well, be content. You have wreaked your 
vengeance upon us both. Trouble me no more, 
but depart." 

" A few words more, and I have done. I shall 
never see you again. Sir Richard, and I therefore 
desire to set myself right with you. I am not the 
base, vindictive creature you imagine, but a hap- 
less, loving girl, who has been tortured well-nigh 
to madness by jealousy. Doiia Casilda has for- 
given me. Why should not you forgive me?" 
* 

"Can you undo the mischief you have done?" 

cried Graham. 

" I can," she replied. " I have come to tell you so." 
"Is Casilda not wedded to Don Christobal?" 

demanded Graham. 



250 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" She is not — she may still be yours." 

" Heaven be thanked for the intelligence ! " cried 
Graham. " But can I believe you? You have de- 
ceived me once." 

"You may trust me now," she rejoined. "I 
have repented of my conduct, and am anxious to 
repair the wrong I have done. I must render jus- 
tice to Dona Casilda. I thought her incapable of 
devoted affection to you, but I was mistaken. She 
has convinced me that she loves you truly. When 
you learn what has occurred since that unlucky 
night, you will think so." 

" Speak ! I am all attention," cried Graham. 

" Hear me, then, with patience," said Rose, " and 
reserve your reproaches till I have done. I own 
that I told the Conde de Saldana that you were 
about to carry off his daughter, and I also ac- 
quainted Don Christobal and Don Pompeo with 
the intended elopement. To prevent all possibility 
of escape, Dona Casilda was locked in her chamber, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 251 

and I was permitted by the conde to personate her. 
Within an liour alter the fray at the garden gate, 
the Conde de Saldana, Dona Casilda, and myself, 
had quitted the casa, and were posting along — none 
but the conde knew whither. 

"Arrived at a small venta, we came to a halt, 
but did not alight from the carriage in which we 
travelled, and the cause of our stoppage was pre- 
sently explained by the arrival of another coach, 
containing Don Pompeo and Doiia Flor. Then 
we set forward again, but had not proceeded more 
than half a league, when we were overtaken by 
a horseman. It was Don Christobal. But he did 
not accompany us far. Doiia Casilda refused to 
speak to him, and after a brief discourse with the 
conde, he returned to Madrid. We then pursued 
our way without further interruption, and early in 
the morning reached our destination, which proved 
to be the Escorial." 

" The Escorial ! " exclaimed Graham. " Is Ca- 



252 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

silda there? 1 have sought in vain to discover 
her retreat." 

"She has been at the Escorial ever since that 
night," rejoined Rose; "but precautions were taken 
by the conde to baffle your search, and that of the 
Duke de Cea. As Dona Flor was brought away 
at the same time by her husband, no communica- 
tions could be made by her to the young duke. 
The marriage you dread so much would have taken 
place ere this, but for Doila Casilda's illness. The 
excitement she had gone through brought on fever. 
For two days her life was despaired of — and, in- 
deed, she declared she would prefer death to a 
union with Don Chrlstobal. Fortunately, no such 
sad fate awaited her, and I trust she is reserved 
for happier days. By careful nursing, Doiia Flor 
and myself succeeded in bringing her through the 
crisis of the fever, and she is now perfectly re- 
covered." 

" Thank Heaven for that ! " exclaimed Graham, 
who had listened with deep interest to Rose's nar- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 253 

ration. " But surely the conde's heart must now 
be touched, and he will no longer insist upon wed- 
ding her to one whom she hates." 

"The conde is a slave to his word," replied 
Rose, "and though bitterly deploring the necessity 
of the step, he holds himself bound to give his 
daughter to Don Christobal, unless he shall be re- 
leased from his promise. If nothing happens to 
prevent it, the marriage will take place to-night." 

"To-night!" exclaimed Graham. "To-night!" 

"Ay, to-night," she repeated. "It was to tell 
you this that I came here. Had I been able to 
communicate with you before, I would have done 
so. But it was impossible. By the conde's order 
I have never been allowed to quit the palace since 
we arrived there. This morning, by the aid of 
Dona Flor, wlio induced a monk to let me out, I 
was able to effect my escape, and as I had money 
enough for the purpose I hired a coach, and drove 
off at once to Madrid." 

" To-night ! " exclaimed Graham, bewildered by 



254 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the intelligence he had received. " You say the 
marriage is to take place to-night. Where is Don 
Christobal? He was here — in Madrid — yester- 
day." 

" He may be here still, for aught I know," she 
replied. " But he will be at the Escorial to- 
night." 

" Unless prevented — unless prevented," cried 
Graham. 

"The marriage will be strictly private," con- 
tinued Rose. "None will be present at it save 
Don Pompeo and Dona Flor." 

" One not expected may be present," rejoined 
Graham. 

" If you appear I do not think the marriage 
can' take place," said Rose. "But now I have 
fulfilled my errand. I have told you all I Jaad 
, to say. Do you forgive me?" 

" From my heart," he rejoined. 

" Enough ! that is all I ask. May you be sue- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 255 

cessful, Sir Richard ! May you overcome all diffi- 
culties, and ^vin your bride ! And when you have 
won her, may you be happy with her ! " 

"Will you go with me to the Escorial, Rose? 
You may be of use?" 

"No, my task is over. We must never meet 
again, Sir Richard — never ! I have mastered my 
feelings, but I could not trust myself near you." 

" Perhaps it is better so," sighed Graham. 
" Farewell, Rose. Take this purse, I entreat you." 

" I take it, because I need money to return to 
France. Farewell for ever, Sir Richard ! Think 
sometimes upon one whose fault has been that she 
loved you too well ! Think of her, and pity her ! " 

Without waiting for a reply, she quitted the 
room. 

Graham's first business was to seek the Duke de 
Cea, to whom he imparted what Rose had told 
him. 

After some minutes' reflection, De Cea said : 



2 56 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"Well, you may as well make up your mind to 
it. Doiia Casilda will be married to-night." 

" But I cannot make up my mind to it," cried 
Graham. " I will stay the marriage." 

" You cannot stay it. It is written in the book 
of fate." 

"A truce to this jesting! It is ill timed," cried 
Graham, angrily. "Will you assist me? — will you 
accompany me to the Escorial?" 

" I will," replied De Cea. " But I am not jest- 
ing when I assert that Casilda will be wedded to- 
night; but I do not say she will be wedded to Don 
Christobal." 

"Ha! I see — but do you think that possible?" 

" I think it certain, or I would not hold out the 
hope. Casilda shall be yours to-night." 

"Oh, my dear friend!" exclaimed Graham, joy- 
fully, " you raise me from despair. You make me 
the happiest of men." 

" Calm yourself, amigo. A good deal has to 
be done before the object can be accomplished, and 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 257 

you are not in a fit state to undertake it. Indeed, 
if you meddle in the matter it will fail — as certainly 
as the late attempt at elopement failed. Leave the 
affair to me, and I will answer for tlie result." 

" I put myself in your hands. You shall have 
the entire management of the business," said Gra- 
ham. " But let us start for the Escorial at once." 

" I shall not be ready for an hour," said De 
Cea, with provoking calmness. 

" Not for an hour ! " cried Graham, impatiently. 
" I cannot wait so long." 

" You had better wait than lose Casilda." 
" Well, well — I will do anything you enjoin," 
said Graham. 

"My injunctions then are, that you amuse your- 
self in the best way you can for an hour, and then 
return to me. It is now four o'clock. At five I 
shall expect you." 

" At five to a moment I will be here,"' said Gra- 
ham. 

VOL. III. S 



258 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Do not trouble yourself further about Don 
Christobal. You will mar my project if you at all 
interfere." 

" I resign myself entirely to your guidance. I 
will not even question you further." 

" Good ! then we shall succeed. Au revoir ! " 

Graham returned at the appointed time, and 
found De Cea ready for departure. 

Shortly afterwards, the two young men, mounted 
on fleet Andalusian horses, and followed by half a 
dozen lacqueys in De Cea's superb livery, had 
passed through the Puerta de Segovia, and were 
galloping along the valley of Manzanares. 

Ere long they entered upon an arid waste, which 
seemed to grow more dreary and desolate as they 
advanced. Burnt to a dark red crust by the scorch- 
ing sun, the ground was strewn with enormous 
granite boulders. With the exception of an oc- 
casional solitary venta, not a single habitation was 
to be seen on the road. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 259 

The savage region was bounded on the right by 
the lofty range of the Guadarrama, and it was 
towards the foot of this mountainous barrier that 
the horsemen were riding. 

Nearer and nearer they approached the moun- 
tains, and after half an hour's gradual ascent 
reached a higher elevation, whence the whole of 
the stony region they had tracked could be dis- 
cerned. 

But the country here was just as stern and savage 
as they had just quitted. Nothing showed that they 
were near one of the grandest palaces in Spain; 
there were no nol)le domains, no woods, no park, 
no circling wall. All was waste as before — parched, 
tawny ground, covered with rocks, and rugged 
picturesque mountains towering in front, and seem- 
ing to check farther progress in that direction. 

But the cavaliers had now nearly accomplished 
their rapid journey. A lofty crucifix, planted on 
the summit of a huge rounded grey boulder, and 
S2 



260 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

from the singularity of its position producing a 
most striking effect, told them they had reached 
the precincts of the wondrous convent-palace reared 
by Philip II. 

Not far from the crucifix, which was regarded 
with becoming reverence by De Cea and the 
lacqueys, there was a large elaborately-wrought 
iron gateway, adorned with the arms of Castile 
and Aragon. Passing through it, and entering a 
sort of park, the horsemen rode on, and presently 
reached an eminence, whence a stupendous granite 
pile burst upon their gaze. The numerous gilded 
vanes, the lofty quadrangular towers, the steep 
sloping roofs, and grand central cupola of the 
mighty edifice — then, and indeed now, the largest 
structure in Spain — were lighted up by the beams 
of the setting sun. But the lower parts of the 
structure looked stern and sombre as the rugged 
mountains by which it was surrounded; and ere 
Graham had gazed at it for a few minutes, the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 201 

radiance had disappeared, and left the whole mass 
gloomy and grey. 

Shortly afterwards they dismounted, and con- 
signing the horses to the lacqueys, who proceeded 
with them to the royal stables, the two young men 
Avalked towards the principal entrance of the 
palace. Above the noble gateway were carved 
the royal arms of Spain, and above this vast stone 
escutcheon, in a niche, was set a statue of San 
Lorenzo, holding the instrument of his martyrdom 
in one hand, and a book in the other. Two grid- 
irons were also sculptured in bold relief over the 
doorway. 

The monastic character of the edifice was pro- 
claimed to Graham by the numerous friars who 
were seen crossing it, or pacing to and fro along 
the cloisters. 

But De Cea did not loiter in the court, but 
proceeded at once to the church. 



262 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



IV. 

THE TOURNAMENT WITH CANES. 

Desirous to show his royal guest as much 
honour on his departure as he had done on his 
arrival, Philip commanded a fresh series of festi- 
vities, which lasted without interruption for five 
days. 

The concluding pageant, designed to eclipse all 
the previous shows in splendour, was a tourna- 
ment with canes — an exhibition, borrowed from 
the Moors, in which the Spanish chivalry de- 
lighted. Accordingly, lists were prepared in the 
principal court of the palace. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 263 

All the windows and balconies overlooking the 
court were decorated with tapestry and costly 
stuffs, and gorgeous canopies, embroidered with 
the royal arras, and adorned with curtains of 
cloth of gold and silver, were prepared for the 
queen and the Infanta, and all the principal ladies 
of the court. 

Wlien these windows and balconies were occu- 
pied by cavaliers and dames in their richest ap- 
parel, when the queen and the Infanta, or as she 
was now styled, the Princess of England, took 
their seats beneath the canopy designed for them, 
nothing could be more brilliant than the scene. 
The whole of the space outside the lists was filled 
with cavaliers in magnificent liveries, and the eye 
ranged over a forest of nodding plumes of various 
hues. 

As usual, the Infanta was attired in white satin, 
and her sole ornaments were pearls ; but she 
looked pale, and traces of anxiety were visible in 
her countenance. It was noticed also by the 



264 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

meninas who stood behind her, and by others 
who had an opportunity of closely watching her, 
that she took little interest in the spectacle. 

The queen, however, appeared very lively, and 
seemed delighted with the show. She was mag- 
nificently dressed in silver brocade, and glittered 
with diamonds. Charles, who occupied a chair 
between her majesty and the Infanta, was attired 
in white satin, with black and white plumes in 
his hat. He wore the Order of the Garter, sus- 
pended by a broad blue riband from his neck, and 
the enamelled Garter round his knee. Like the 
Infanta, he looked grave and sad. 

When all the company had assembled, as we 
have related, a band of trumpets, drums, kettle- 
drums, and clarions, rode into the arena, making 
the court ring with their stirring strains. The 
men wore cassocks, embroidered with the royal 
arms, and were mounted on splendidly caparisoned 
horses. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 265 

After them followed the king's chief equerry, 
all his majesty's riders and pages in carnation- 
coloured satin, walking uncovered before a su- 
perbly equipped charger, intended for the king's 
use in the tournament. On either side of the 
steed, ■which looked proud of its magnificent 
trappings, walked two grooms of the stable, and 
behind followed as many farriers, carrying pouches 
of crimson velvet. Then came a troop of fifty 
cavaliers resplendent in the royal livery, mounted 
on bright bay horses, trapped in black and white 
velvet, witli white bridles and silver musrols. 
The horses were covered with crimson velvet 
horse-cloths, embroidered with the king's name 
and the royal arms. The troop was followed by 
forty youths attached to the royal stables, gallantly 
attired in doublets of carnation taffeta, and carry- 
ing the king's mounting-steps, which were made 
of ebony, covered with carnation taffeta fringed 
with srold. 



266 THE SPAiSriSH MATCH. 

Then came twelve mules of tlie largest size, 
each led by a couple of grooms, and sumptuously 
caparisoned in crimson velvet, embroidered with 
the royal arms, having silver bridles, silver bits, 
and silver poltrels, while their heads were adorned 
Avith lofty carnation and black plumes, striped with 
silver. These mules made a most gallant show, 
and formed the most curious part of the pro- 
cession, as they were laden with bundles of canes, 
tipped with blunt iron points, intended to be used 
in the approaching skirmish. 

Then followed four more trumpeters, doing 
their devoir, and after them came riders, grooms, 
and pages, in the livery of the Conde de Olivarez, 
conducting the steed belonging to his excellency, 
which was superbly trapped for the occasion. 
Then came a troop of fifty horsemen, all clad in 
the Conde-Duque's livery, and carrying wliite 
targets with white bandels. 

Next came another squadron, headed by the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 2G7 

Admiral of Castile, and apparelled in his livery 
of black satin guarded with gold lace. These 
cavaliers carried black targets with devices of gold. 

A fourth squadron followed arrayed in white 
satin laced and flowered with silver, and carrying 
silver bucklers. These were headed by the Conde 
de ^lonterey. 

Two other troops succeeded, clad in the liveries 
of their leaders, and provided with bucklers having 
various devices. These were respectively com- 
manded by Don Pedro de Toledo and the Duke 
de Sessa. 

All these squadrons drew up in the first instance 
in the centre of the arena, and remained there until 
the king came forth from a pavihon placed at the 
extremity of the lists. 

His majesty Avas attired in a riding suit of black 
taileta, which became him well, and wore black and 
white plumes in his hat. He was accompanied by 
the Infante Don Carlos, who wore habiliments 



268 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

similar to those of his majesty, and by the Conde 
de Olivarez, who was attired in orange-tawny 
velvet. 

As soon as Philip came forth, the grooms led 
his charger towards him, the steps were placed, and 
his majesty, who needed little help, was ceremo- 
niously assisted to mount by the Conde de Oli- 
varez. 

On gaining the saddle, the king bowed gra- 
ciously in reply to the acclamations of the assem- 
blage, and then rode towards the centre of the 
arena, whither he was followed by Don Carlos and 
Olivarez, as soon as they had mounted their steeds. 

Meanwhile, canes had been distributed among 
the horsemen, and one of these slender javelins, 
light as a reed, together with a buckler, were de- 
livered to his majesty by his equerry. On coming 
up, Don Carlos and Olivarez were similarly armed. 

All being then in readiness, the trumpets 
sounded, and three squadrons wheeling round with 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 269 

great qulcknes?, the king put himself at their head, 
and galloped with them to the upper extremity of 
the arena, where they faced about and stood still. 

Simultaneously, a corresponding movement was 
executed with equal skill and rapidity by the three 
other squadrons, under the command of Olivarez. 
These posted themselves at the opposite end of the 
arena, facing the king's troops. 

Again the trumpets sounded, and upon the 
instant the king and Olivarez rode against each 
other with extraordinary swiftness. Bending over 
, their horses' necks like Moslems, they met in mid- 
career, shivering their javelins against each other's 
bucklers. 

Ere turning, fresh lances were furnished them, 
and as they met again, Philip rose suddenly in his 
saddle, and delivered a downward thrust, which 
Olivarez caught upon his target. 

In the third encounter they hurled their canes 
against each other, and the king's aim being the 



270 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

best, he was adjudged the victor. Great applause 
followed this chivalrous feat, which was admirably 
performed. 

Other courses were then run between Don Carlos 
and the Marquis de Carpio, the Admiral of Castile 
and Don Pedro de Toledo, and the Duke de Sessa 
and the Conde de Monterey. No disaster occurred, 
and the prowess of the champions elicited loud ap- 
plause. 

These encounters between the leaders having 
come to an end, the opposing troops prepared for 
the grand melee. The squadrons on either side 
extended so as to form two lines, and this was no 
sooner done than the trumpets sounded a charge. 

Holding aloft their slender javelins, striking 
spurs in their steeds, and shouting furiously, the 
opposing hosts, respectively led by the kiqg and 
Olivarez, dashed against each other, producing all 
the effect of a battle-charge. The ground quaked 
beneath the horses' feet. The shock when they 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 271 

met was terrible, and the splintering of the canes 
sounded like the crackling of trees. Several cava- 
liers were unhorsed, but none were much hurt, and 
all were quickly in the saddle again. 

Fresh lances being speedily furnished to the 
horsemen, another charge took place, and amid a 
tremendous crackling of canes a dozen or more 
warriors rolled in the dust. As almost all of these 
owned Olivarez for leader, shouts were raised for 
the king. 

As soon as the horsemen were in a condition 
to rene^v the conflict, they were arrayed against 
each other by their leaders, and a third charge 
was made. But this time a skilful manoeuvre 
was executed by Olivarez. As the opposing 
force rushed against him, he opened his lines 
and let them pass through, and then, turning 
quickly, attacked them in the rear, and put them 
to flight, pursuing them round the arena. 

This flight and pursuit constituted the most 



272 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

exciting part of the spectacle, inasmuch as it not 
only gave the cavaliers an opportunity of dis- 
playing their horsemanship, but occasioned a great 
number of single combats, which were conducted 
with wonderful spirit. 

In the end, Philip succeeded in rallying his scat- 
tered troops, and made a final charge against his 
opponent. The advantage he thus gained was so 
decisive, that by the general voice he was pro- 
claimed the victor, and shouts resounded on all 
sides of " Viva el Rey ! Dies guarde ai Rey ! " 

The trumpets again sounded, the squadrons re- 
formed with wonderful quickness, and then quitted 
the arena, under the command of their respective 
leaders, in as perfect order as if no engagement 
had taken place. 

Philip and Olivarez remained to the last, and 
as his majesty rode out of the arena, the accla- 
mations of the beholders were renewed. Having 
dismounted, the king repaired to the royal canopy, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 273 

where he received the congratulations of Charles, 
who had been greatly delighted with the spectacle. 
The royal party then adjourned to the palace. 
An hour later a sumptuous banquet was served, 
at which all the principal lords and ladies of the 
court sat down. After the banquet, the grand 
suite of apartments were thrown open, and a ball 
concluded the festivities of the day. 

lEnU of t\)t ^ix\f) 33ooi{. 



VOL. III. 



BOOK YIL 



THE ESCORIAL. 



t2 



I. 



THE CHUECH OF THE ESCOBIAL. 



The royal edifice of San Lorenzo of the Esco- 
rial, to whicli we must now return, cost its " holy 
founder," as Philip II. was termed by the grateful 
monks whom he lodged there, upwards of six mil- 
lions of ducats in construction and embellishment. 
Its design originated in a vow made by Philip 
after the battle of Saint Quentin to erect a monas- 
tery and dedicate it to San Lorenzo, in place of 
one which his majesty had destroyed while bom- 
barding the city. 



278 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

The conventual palace was laid out in the form 
of a gridiron — the implement of torture used for 
the martyrdom of San Lorenzo, who, as is well 
known, was grilled alive. 

Commenced in 1563 by Juan Bautista de To- 
ledo, the gigantic pile, which was built of granite 
obtained from the neighbouring sierra, was not 
completed until twenty-one years later, by the cele- 
brated Juan de Herrera. Indeed, it was not till 
nearly the close of the century that the work was 
absolutely ended. 

From a seat hewn in the rock, amid a chesnut 
grove on the side of the mountain overlookinof the 
spot, Philip watched the progress of his vast de- 
sign. The rocky bench occupied by the moody 
monarch still exists, and is known as La Silla de 
Rey. 

The Escorial comprehended a palace, a convent, 
a church, and a royal mausoleum. In the Podri- 
dero, or royal vault, at the period of our history 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 279 

reposed three kings. In this splendid sepulchre 
the Emperor Charles V., Philip II., Philip III., 
and their wives and their descendants, have subse- 
quently been laid. 

The convent, which formed a considerable part 
of the vast structure, and which was endowed by 
its founder with a revenue of forty thousand crowns, 
was occupied by Hieronomite friars. An austere 
character pervaded the entire structure. There 
were an extraordinary number of apartments, many 
of them adorned with rare paintings and sculptures, 
but they were all gloomy. The magnificent library 
formed at the Escorial by Philip was removed to 
Madrid by his successor. 

In planning the convent-palace it was the desire 
of its founder to build it of unsurpassable size and 
grandeur, and of such solid material that it should 
endure for ages. So far he succeeded, for the edi- 
fice still exists in all its primitive majesty. But he 
has stamped his own character upon the pile, and 



280 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the gloom wlilch it wore in his days hangs over 
it still. The monks are gone — their revenues have 
been confiscated — but the Escorial is sadder and 
more sombre without them. 

All the choicest paintings that adorned its cham- 
bers are gone too, and those that are left only 
speak of the glories of the past. Such was Philip's 
attachment to the structure, that, with his dying 
breath, he charged his son, as he would prosper, 
to take care of the Escorial. 

By the Spaniards the mighty edifice is deno- 
minated the Eighth Wonder of the World. 

And now let us rejoin the Duke de Cea and 
Graham, whom we left approaching the church. 

On setting foot on the black and white marble 
pavement of the nave, Graham was awe-stricken by 
the grandeur and solemnity of the fane. 

But though he admired the severe simplicity of 
its design — thougli he was charmed by the vaulted 
roof, in the midst of which rose the dome — though 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 281 

he noted the numerous shrineSj at all of which 
tapers were burning, lighting up the magnificent 
pictures and exquisite statues with which the walls 
were adorned — his attention soon became riveted 
by the high altar, the wonders of which were fully 
revealed by an immense silver chandelier, sus- 
pended from the superbly-painted roof. By the 
light of this splendid lamp, which was kept ever 
burning, he could discern the superb altar-screen, 
approached by nineteen marble steps, the exquisite 
columns of agate and jasper, the marvellous paint- 
ings, the gilt statues, and, above all, the magnifi- 
cent tabernacle of gilt bronze, which it took seven 
years to fabricate. 

But the objects that struck him most, and, in- 
deed, startled him by their life-like effect, were the 
kneeling figures of gilt bronze ranged in the ar- 
cades on either side of the altar. The statues on 
the right were those of Philip II. with three of 
his wives — Queen Mary of England being omitted 



282 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

— and his unhappy son, Don Carlos. Those on 
the left Avere the Emperor Charles V., his wife 
Elisabeth, his daughter the Empress Maria, and his, 
sisters Eleanora and Maria. 

" Nothing can be finer than those bronze statues," 
he remarked, in a low tone to De Cea. 

" They are magnificent," replied the other. 
" One might easily cheat oneself into the belief 
that they are living persons engaged in prayer." 

'•' For a moment I thought so," said Graham. 

" Examine them more closely, and you will see 
with what accuracy the minutest detail of the cos- 
tume is given," said De Cea. " The blazonry on 
the mantles of the two monarchs is admirable, as 
you can perceive even from this distance. In the 
Podridero, which lies beneath the high altar, rest 
all the personages you see there represented. Note, 
I pray you, the oratory on the right of the altar. 
In that small chamber Philip II. passed his latest 
hours. Through yon little window, without quit- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 283 

tiiif^ his couch, he could see the high altar, hear 
mass performed, and assist at the holy rites. There 
he breathed his last." 

With noiseless footsteps Graham then moved 
towards the altar, and became so enthralled, that 
for some minutes he was not aware that De Cea 
had left him. Though somewhat surprised at his 
friend's disappearance, he continued his investiga- 
tion of the marvels of the church, visiting the 
choir, the sacristy, the Pantheon, the Podridero, 
and the little chamber in which Philip died. And 
it was well there was so much to occupy his atten- 
tion, for more than an hour elapsed before De Cea 
reappeared. 

He was accompanied by Don Antonio Guino, 
and his looks gave augury of success. 

"All goes well," he said. "I have seen Dona 
Flor. She will assist us." 

" But what of Don Christobal ? " said Graham. 

" Neither he nor Don Pompeo can interfere 



284 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

with us. They are both detained in Madrid," 
replied De Cea. 

" Amazement ! " exclaimed Graham. " How has 
this been effected?" 

" Come this way, and you shall learn," replied 
De Cea, leading him into an aisle on the right, 
whither they were followed by Don Antonio. 

" Now you shall hear what I have done to serve 
you," said De Cea. " During the interval between 
your visit to me and our departure, I caused in- 
quiries to be made at Don Christobal's house, and 
ascertained that both he and Don Pompeo were 
in Madrid, but that their horses were ordered for 
six o'clock, at which hour they intended to set 
out for the Escorlal. On learning this, I imme- 
diately flew to Olivarez, and obtained an order 
from him enjoining their attendance upon the king 
at the palace this evening, at nine o'clock. The 
order could not be disobeyed. I gave it to Don 
Antonio, who undertook to deliver it, and then to 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 285 

follow me to the Escorlal. This done, I set out 
tranquilly with you. Don Antonio will now tell 
you how the order was executed." 

"It was a laughable scene," replied Don An- 
tonio. "I waited to the last moment, and just as 
the two caballeros had mounted their horses and 
were about to depart, I rode up and delivered the 
order. You may imagine their rage and conster- 
nation. Don Pompeo swore terribly, but Don 
Christobal said little. However, there was nothing 
for it but obedience. They both dismounted, and 
Don Christobal called to one of his lacqueys, and 
bade him prepare to start instantly for the Escorial. 
' I am going to the Escorial, senor,' I said, ' and 
will convey any message you may desire to send.' 
' You will do me a great favour, senor, if you 
will deliver this ring to the Conde de Saldana,' 
he replied. 'He is at the palace — you will easily 
find him.' ' Ere two hours he shall have the ring, 
senor,' I replied. 'What are you about to do?' 



286 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

cried Don Pompeo. ' If you send that token, all 
■will be at an end.' ' It is useless to pursue the 
matter further,' rejoined Don Christobal. ' Zate is 
against me. I had come to the fixed determination 
that the marriage should take place to-night, or 
not at all. There is now an end of the affair. 
'But the marriage may take place to-morrow,' 
urged Don Pompeo. ' No, let her wed Don 
Ricardo, if she will. I have done with her,' re- 
joined Don Christobal. 'Deliver the ring to the 
conde, seiior,' he added to me. ' It shall be done 
without fail,' I returned. ' Have you any other 
message, seiior?' 'None,' he replied. 'The conde 
will understand its import.' On this I left them, 
and galloped ofi" to the Escorial. And here I 

"Have you got the ring?" cried Graham. 

" Here it is," replied Don Antonio. " But I 
cannot give it you. I have promised to deliver 
it to the Conde de Saldana." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 287 

" You shall deliver it to him," said De Cea. 
" Now come with me." 

And they all three quitted the church, and 
entered the palace. 



288 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



II. 



On that same evening, in a large apartment in 
the palace were assembled the Conde de Saldana, 
Dona Casilda, and Dona Flor. The chamber, 
though well lighted and richly furnished, looked 
sombre, as did all the rooms in the Escorial. 

For some time previously the conde had been 
in a state of great irritation and anxiety, but as 
he did not expect much sympathy from his daugh- 
ters, he strove to control his feelings, and contented 
himself with expressing his extreme surprise at 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 289 

the non-appearance of Don Christobal and Don 
Pompeo. 

Though his daughters could have easily set his 
mind at rest on that score, they did not care to 
give him any information — and, indeed, took no 
notice of his impatience. 

Just at nine o'clock the door opened, and an 
aged monk, clad in the dark robes of the order of 
San Geronimo, and whose venerable appearance 
was heightened by a long grey beard, entered the 
room. 

He saluted the party, and after looking round 
with surprise, remarked: 

" All is prepared for the marriage. But where 
is the bridegroom?" 

'*' I fear the marriage cannot take place to-night, 
as arranged, good father," replied the conde. " I 
do not know what has happened to Don Christobal. 
He and Don Pompeo ought to have been here an 
hour ago." 

VOL. III. U 



290 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I only waited Padre Benito's arrival to acquaint 
you with the truth, father," said Dona Flor. 
" They are detained in Madrid by an order from 
the minister." 

"What do I hear?" exclaimed the conde. 
" Don Christobal and Don Pompeo detained by 
Olivarez! ^Vhy did you not tell me this before?" 

" Because I begged her to remain silent, father," 
interposed Casilda. "Because I hoped and believed 
that Padre Benito, whose heart I know to be filled 
with kindness and compassion, would aid me in my 
efforts to induce you to forego this hateful marriage. 
A few words from your lips," she added to the friar, 
" will move my fnther, and make him change his 
purpose, even at the latest moment. Do not let 
me be sacrificed." 

" Sacrificed ! daughter," exclaimed the friar. 

" If I am wedded to Don Christobal, I shall be 
made miserable for life," cried Casilda. " Oh ! save 
me, holy father ! save me ! " 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 291 

" My heart is indeed touched by your entreaties, 
daughter," said Padre Benito, " and I would gladly 
preserve you from the misery you anticipate. Oh, 
noble conde, let me add my supplications to those 
of your child. Reflect, while there is yet time. 
Do not let this irretrievable step be taken." 

" Cease these entreaties, good lather," replied the 
conde. "I cannot listen to them. I have given my 
promise to Don Christobal, and unless he releases 
me, the marriage must take place." 

" I grieve to hear it," said the friar. " But Don 
Christobal may be moved." 

"He is inflexible," rejoined the conde. 

" Hear me, good father," said Casilda to the friar. 
" My heart is given to another. The conde knows 
it, and yet he will force me into this hateful match." 

" I cannot help it," cried Saldana, in a voice 

of anguish. " Heaven knows I do not desire to 

make you miserable, my child ! Heaven knows I 

would willingly give you to Don Ricardo, whom I 

u 2 



292 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

love as a son ! But I am bound by chains that 
cannot be sundered." 

" Can nothing be done to avert this dire cala- 
mity?" said Padre Benito. 

" Nothing ! — nothing ! " groaned the conde. 

" Yes, yes, all can be set right," cried Dona Flor. 
" Come in ! come in ! " she added, opening a side- 
door, and giving admittance to Graham and the 
two others. 

An irrepressible cry of delight burst from Ca- 
silda, and, regardless of her father's presence, she 
flew towards her lover, who caught her in his 
arms. 

For a few moments surprise kept the old conde 
silent, and Padre Benito made no remark, though 
he was too shrewd not to comprehend how matters 
stood. 

" You will not mar their happiness, noble 
conde?" he said, at length. 

" What am I to do? " groaned Saldana. " Don 
Christobal will not release me from my promise. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 293 

I besought him to do so when we last met, but he 
refused." 

"His absence bespeaks that he has abandoned 
the marriage," remarked Padre Benito. 

"I should think so, if he had sent me any 
token," said the conde. " But I have received 
none." 

" I have a token from Don Christobal," said 
Don Antonio. " Three hours ago I left him in 
Madrid, and he desired me to give you this ring, 
saying you would understand its import." 

"I do! I do!" exclaimed Saldana, joyfully 
" This ring releases me from my promise." 

" Then you are free to bestow your daughter on 
Don Ricardo, seiior conde," said De Cea. " Come 
forward," he added to Graham and Casilda, " and 
let him join your hands and give you his bene- 
diction." 

"Their hands shall be joined at the altar, and 
that without delay," said the conde, embracing 
them. " Luckily all is prepared." 



294 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"And the bridegroom lias been found," said 
Padre Benito. 

" And Don Christobal himself has sent the 
wedding-ring," added De Cea. 

" Stay ! I have something to say before we 
proceed to tlie chapel," cried the conde. " Sir 
Richard Graham, I know you love my daughter. 
I give her to you. But we have not yet spoken 
of her wedding portion." 

" Oh ! seiior conde, heed not that ! " cried Gra- 
ham. 

" Pardon me, amigo, the matter is really im- 
portant, and ought to be arranged," interposed De 
Cea. 

" It shall be arranged," rejoined the conde. 
" You know I never break my word. Sir Richard." 

" I have good reason to know it, seiior conde," he 
replied. 

" Well, then, Casilda will bring you the same 
dower she would have brought Don Christobal." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 295 

"Nobly done!" cried De Cea; while Casilda 
threw her arms about her father's neck. 
^ "I thank you from my heart, seiior conde," 
said Graham; "but I should have been well con- 
tent with Casilda without a wedding portion." 

" That's all very well," whispered De Cea. 
" But it is much better as it is. And now that 
all is settled, seuor conde," he added aloud, "let 
us proceed to the chapel." 

" With all my heart," replied Saldana. 

Attendants were then summoned, and the door 
being thrown open, the conde gave his hand to 
Casilda, and the whole party proceeded to the 
chapel. 

" I congratulate you heartily, amigo," said De 
Cea to Graham, as they took their way along the 
corridor. "You have got a charming bride and 
a splendid wedding portion. Though the prince 
may fail, you at least have succeeded in making a 
capital Spanish Match." 



296 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



III. 



EOYAL PRESENTS. 



The last day that Charles had to spend in 
Madrid had now arrived, and he was conferring 
about his departure with Buckingham and Lord 
Kensington, when he received a visit from the 
Marquis de Avila, the king's principal rider. 

The marquis, who was a very important-look- 
ing personage, came attended by four officers of the 
household, bearing presents for the prince. 

"I am sent by the king to offer these gifts to 
your highness, as a mark of his majesty's brotherly 
love," said Avila. "This pistol with the sword 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 297 

and dagger, set with diamonds, belonged to his 
majesty's illustrious grandsire, Philip II. With 
these cross-bows the Duke de Medina-Sidonia 
served his majesty. This pistol belonged to the 
Duke de Ossuna. These rapiers, of the finest 
workmanship of Toledo, were forged for the king 
himself, and liave been used by his majesty. It 
is not on account of their value that his majesty 
begs your highness's acceptance of these weapons, 
but he conceives they may have some interest in 
your eyes." 

" Gifts more acceptable could not possibly have 
been bestowed upon me," replied Charles. " I pray 
you tell his majesty so." 

" I have more to offer on the part of his ma- 
jesty," pursued Avila. " The king has sent your 
highness eighteen Spanish jennets, six Barbary 
horses of the purest race, as many mares, and 
twenty foals." 

"And let me add, for I have seen them," said 



298 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Archie, who had entered at the same time as the 
marquis, " that all these jennets, Barbary horses, 
mares, and foals, are covered Avith mantles of 
crimson velvet, guarded with gold lace, and em- 
broidered with the royal arms." 

"I cannot thank his majesty sufficiently," said 
Charles, "Wear this, I pray you, marquis, as a 
token of my regard," he added, presenting him 
with a splendid diamond ring. 

Avila bowed profoundly, placed the glittering 
gem upon his finger, and then, turning to Bucking- 
ham, said: 

" His majesty sends your grace this diamond 
girdle." 

" 'Tis superb ! " exclaimed Buckingham, en- 
raptured. 

"It is estimated at fifty thousand crowns, your 
grace," said Avila. 

Buckingham detached a magnificent diamond 
clasp from his hat, and presented it to the marquis. 



THE SPA^ilSH MATCH. 299 

"Nay, my lord, this is too rich a gift," said 
Avila. " 'Tis as valuable as the girdle." 

" Keep it, I pray you," rejoined Buckingham. 

Avila bowed profoundly. 

" To you, my lord of Kensington," he said, " his 
majesty sends four Spanish horses and two hundred 
diamond buttons, as a mark of his regard." 

" I fear I am forgotten," remarked Archie. 
*' Tell his majesty I am beholden for what he has 
not sent." 

" Thou art mistaken, gossip," rejoined Avila. 
" Thou wilt not go away empty handed. The king 
sends thee the largest donkey to be found in his 
dominions ! " 

" I humbly thank his majesty," replied Archie. 
" The animal will remind me of — I won't say 
whom. I have no diamond rings or brooches to 
bestow upon your lordship, and you won't deign, I 
suppose, to accept this bauble." 

In the course of the morning other presents 



oOO THE SPANISH MATCH. 

were received by the prince. The queen sent him 
fifty skins of amber, and other costly perfumes. A 
casket filled with jewels was sent by the Infanta; 
and several paintings by the first masters, which 
had excited his admiration, were presented to him 
by Olivarez. 

Charles made presents in return of equal mag- 
nificence, which were delivered by Lord Ken- 
sington. 

To the king he sent a superb sword, the handle 
and scabbard of which were garnished with price- 
less gems. To the Infante Don Carlos he gave 
a ring containing a diamond of inestimable value 
set in a cup. To the Cardinal Infante Don Fer- 
nando he gave a pectoral of topazes and diamonds, 
having a large pendent pearl of the purest water. 
And to the Conde de Olivarez he gave a great 
diamond of eight carats, with a splendid pear- 
shaped pearl attached to it. 

Other jewels were also presented by him to 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 301 

the Duke del Infantado, die Admiral of" Castile 
and Leon, and the Conde de Puebla. 

As faithful chroniclers, we are also bound to 
record that before leaving IMadrid tlie prince be- 
stowed rich gifts upon all the gentlemen of the 
chamber and the king's pages. Moreover, he gra- 
tified the royal archers witli four thousand crowns. 



302 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



IV. 

HOW CHAHLES TOOK LEAVE OE THE INEAKTA. 

An hour before noon Charles, accompanied by 
Buckingham, and attended by Bristol, Sir Walter 
Aston, Lord Kensington, and other English nobles, 
proceeded to the king's chapel in the palace, where 
he found Philip, the Infantes Don Carlos and Don 
Fernando, Olivarez, and the state council. 

At the altar stood the Patriarch of the Indies. 

Kneeling before this high ecclesiastical digni- 
tary, Philip and Charles solemnly swore to observe 
the terras of the matrimonial treaty entered into 
between them. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 303 

The oath taken, they arose. 

Turning towards the assemblage, Charles then 
delivered a sealed packet to Bristol, saying, as he 
gave it, 

" This packet contains the procuration empower- 
ing his majesty the king,, or his Highness the 
Infante Don Carlos, to marry the Lady Infanta 
Maria in my name. On the arrival of the Pope's 
dispensation, your lordship will deliver the proxy 
to the king." 

" It shall be done as your highness directs," re- 
joined Bristol. 

" On my part," said Philip, addressing the 
assemblage, " I undertake to act as proxy for his 
highness the prince. And I further engage that 
the marriage shall take place before Christmas, 
at the latest." 

This ceremony over, Charles returned to his own 
apartments in the palace, and for the next two 
hours his time was fully occupied in receiving the 



30-4 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

various important personages who came to take 
formal leave of him. 

Chief among these were the Papal Nuncio, the 
ambassadors of Germany and Venice, the corregidor 
of Madrid, the Conde de Gondomar, the members 
of the different councils, and the principal grandees 
of the court. 

In bidding them adieu, Charles thanked them 
in cordial and gracious terms for their attention to 
him during his prolonged stay in Madrid. To 
each member of the state council, and to the cor- 
regidor, he presented a superb diamond ring. 

Attended by several of his suite, Charles then 
repaired to the queen's apartments, for the purpose 
of taking formal leave of her majesty and the 
Infanta. He found them in a magnificent salon, 
surrounded by the principal ladies of the court, and 
attended by a host of gaily-attired pages and 
meninas. 

The leave-takins was conducted with all the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 305 

rigid formality of" Spanish etiquette. The conver- 
sation chiefly turned upon the presents made to the 
two illustrious ladies by the prince. To the queen 
he gave a magnificent diamond of twenty carats, a 
triangle of brilliants, and earrings, each liaving a 
diamond as large as a bean. Her majesty, who was 
passionately fond of jewels, was enraptured with 
tlie gifts. 

To the Countess Olivarez he gave a cross of 
large diamonds, and to the Duchess de Gandia and 
the Countess de Lemos, the queen's principal ladies, 
he gave similar ornaments. 

To the Infanta he gave a necklace of two 
hundred and fifty large pear-shaped pearls, a collar 
of great balass rubies, with knots of pearls, and 
two sets of peai'l earrings of incalculable value. 

"Do you Hke those pearls, Maria?" he said to 
her, in a low voice. " They are the choicest of the 
king my father's gems." 

" They are beautiful — most beautiful," she re- 
VOL. III. X 



306 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

plied, in the same tone. " But I fear I shall never 
wear them." 

The presentiment proved correct. The gems 
were subsequently returned to the prince. 

As Charles took leave of the Infanta, in the 
cold and stately fashion prescribed by etiquette, he 
had much ado to maintain his firmness, and she had 
equal difficulty in repressing her emotion. Her 
hand trembled, and her lips and cheeks were 
bloodless. 

"Farewell, Maria!" he said. 

"Adios, prince!" she murmured. 

Fixing upon her a look she never forgot, and 
which quite as eloquently as words proclaimed the 
anguish of his heart, Charles quitted the salon 
with his attendants. 

When he was gone, the Infanta's strengtli quite 
forsook her, and she swooned away. 



THE SPA171SH MATCH. 307 



V. 

WHEBEIN IS EECOUKTED BY A^^ EXALTED PEKSOXAGE A LONG- 
PROMISED LEGEND. 

In the evening, a farewell fete was given to the 
prince by the Earl of Bristol. 

The entertainment was of the most splendid de- 
scription, and all the royal family, with the excep- 
tion of the Infanta, who was slightly indisposed, 
honoured it with their presence. The principal 
salon Avas converted into a ball-room for the oc- 
casion, and here those devoted to the dance re- 
mained; but the evening being magnificent, many 
X 2 



308 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

of the guests preferred wandering about the illumi- 
nated gardens. 

Among those were the king and the royal party. 
After a few turns on the terrace, they seated them- 
selves at the farther end of the lawn, where they 
were sufficiently removed from the sounds of 
revelry. Charles was with them, of course. Indeed, 
he and the king had been inseparable during the 
evening. 

"This garden is very charming," remarked the 
queen. 

"I thought it so when I first arrived at Madrid," 
replied Charles. " But since I have seen the 
gardens of the Buen Retiro, it appears insignifi- 
cant." 

"How comes the house to be so strangely de- 
signated?" she inquired. 

"I am unable to inform your majesty," he re- 
plied. " Lord Bristol told me there was a legend 
attached to it, but he has never related it to me." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 309 

" I have heard the story, and will tell it you," 
said Philip. " It is a sort of family legend, for my 
grandsire is connected with it." 



^i)c HcgcnU of \\)e l^ouse of ^tbcn ©ibimncgs. 

" You must know, then," began the king, " that 
this house, which has obtained a designation so 
singular, was built about fifty years ago by the 
Marquis de Xavalquinto, in the time of Philip II. 
Now the marquis was a very mysterious personage, 
and had even the reputation of being a magician, 
being addicted, it was said, to unlawful studies. 

"In consequence of these rumours he was cited 
to appear before the Holy Inquisition, but nothing 
could be proved against him, and he was liberated. 
At the same time, certain papers found in his 
possession, and covered with cabalistic figures, 
which no one could understand, were ordered to 
be burnt. An odd circumstance then occurred. 



310 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

A small piece of parchment escaped the flames 
— indeed, it was the opinion of the official em- 
ployed to destroy these writings that it would not 
burn. Be this as it may, it was quite certain that 
while the rest of the papers were consumed, this 
parchment remained untouched. Upon it were 
written several sentences, but in a character which 
the official could not decipher. 

"Instead of delivering the parchment to the 
chief inquisitor, as was his duty, the knave kept 
it in his own possession, but he was speedily 
punished, for he fell grievously sick, and, when 
dying, told the priest who attended him what he 
had done, and gave him the paper. The priest 
did not entirely believe in the banefu^ influence 
of the parchment, but deeming it right to obey 
the injunctions of the dying man, he delivered 
the mysterious scroll to the grand inquisitor. It 
chanced that on that very day the inquisitor had 
an audience with the king, so, taking the parch- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 311 

ment "with him, he showed it to his majesty, telling 
him what had occurred. 

"Philip regarded it with religious horror, but 
he at once perceived that the characters were 
Arabian, and sent for a person learned in that 
language to interpret them. When the scroll was 
shown to this man, he turned pale and trembled, 
but refused to communicate what he had found out 
to any other ear than that of his majesty. Upon 
this, Philip dismissed his attendants, and heard 
what the man had to say in private. 

" Next day, without mentioning his design, 
Philip, accompanied by two attendants, went to 
Xavalquinto's mansion, and was very ceremoniously 
received by the old marquis, who humbly desired 
to know what had procured him the honour of a 
visit from his majesty. 

" * You shall know that presently, my lord,' re- 
plied Philip, sternly. ^ Meantime, I wish to see 
the garden.' 



312 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" ' Your majesty has only to command,' replied 
Xavalquinto. 

" And he then conducted the king to the garden. 
Without bestowing a regard at any object, Philip 
selected a spot whence he could obtain a good view 
of the house. Very possibly he stationed himself 
where we are now seated. After examining the 
structure for a few minutes, he said to Xavalquinto, 
fixing a searching glance upon him as he spoke, 

" ' How many chimneys has your house, my 
lord?' 

" ' Six, sire,' replied the marquis, surprised at 
the question. 

" ' There ought to be seven,' said the king. 
* Let another be built without delay.' 

" ' But, sire, another chimney will spoil the sym- 
metry of the building,' remonstrated Xavalquinto. 

"'No matter. I will have it done,' rejoined 
Philip, peremptorily. 

" ' I would rather your majesty would order me 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 313 

to pull down the mansion than so to disfigure it,' 
said Xavalquinto. 

" * It will not be disfigured/ said Philip. ' Pull 
down that belvidere, and build the seventh chim- 
ney in its place.' 

" ' Sire, that belvidere is my place of study — 
where I pursue my scientific labours — whence I 
consult the stars. Do not, I conjure you, compel 
me to destroy it. My fate is linked with that 
belvidere. If it falls, I shall fall.' 

" 'How know you that?' asked the king, sternly. 

" * The stars have told me so, sire.' 

" * Tut ! this is idle,' rejoined Philip. ' You 
have some other reason for refusing to obey me. 
But since you hesitate, I myself will do the work. 
I will build the seventh chimney.' 

" ' Will nothing turn you from your purpose, 
sire?' 

" ' Nothing,' replied the king. * I am as in- 
exorable as Satan would be to his bond slave.' 



314 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"Xavalquinto shook from head to foot at this 
observation, but partially recovering himself, he 
said: 

" '■ You have sealed my doom, sire. But leave 
the task to me. I ask no further favour. If your 
majesty will come again to-morrow, you will find 
the work done.' 

"'If you can complete it in so short a time, 
you must have quicker workmen than mine,' said 
the king. ' But let it be so. I will return at 
this hour to-morrow, and see what progress you 
have made. Till the work is done, you must 
remain a prisoner in your own house.' 

*' Xavalquinto bowed, and the king departed, 

" When his majesty came again on the following 
day, he found the household of the marquis in 
great consternation. During the night strange 
noises had been heard, but no one got up to see 
what was the matter. In the morning the cause 
of these nocturnal disturbances was apparent. In 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 315 

the principal salon on the ground floor, in that 
very room, in fact, where dancing is now going 
on, a panel had been removed, disclosing a fire- 
place, the existence of which no one had suspected. 

" Philip immediately went to look at it, and 
after satisfying himself of tlie correctness of the 
information, he turned to the intendant, who 
accompanied him, and asked for the marquis. 

" The marquis was gone. 

" ' Gone ! ' exclaimed the king, angrily. ^ He 
has broken his word. I ought to have placed a 
guard over him.' 

*' He then mounted to the belvidere, and on 
reaching it found a trap-door yawning wide open 
in the floor of the little turret. 

" On looking into this aperture the funnel of a 
chimney could be perceived, which evidently com- 
municated with the fireplace in the great salon. 

" Here, then, was the Seventh Chimney. The 
work was done, but where was the marquis? 



316 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" ' The devil must have flown away with him, 
sire,' remarked the intendant. 

"Philip was of the same opinion, for he had 
learnt from the mysterious scroll that the marquis 
had bartered his soul to the Evil One. When the 
seventh chimney was completed, Satan could claim 
fulfilment of the compact. 

" Possibly this was so, for the marquis was never 
heard of more, though some of his household 
affirmed that he had again fallen into the hands 
of the Holy Inquisition, and was burnt at an Auto 
da Fe. Let us hope the latter supposition was 
correct, since in tliat case his soul may have been 
saved. 

"From the day of his disappearance, till now, 
Xavalquinto's mansion has been known as the 
House of Seven Chimneys." 



The story was listened to with great apparent 
interest, especially by Charles, but the royal nar- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 317 

rator did not give time for any remarks upon it, 
for at its conclusion he arose and returned to the 
house. 

Passing through an open window looking upon 
the terrace, his majesty entered an ante-chamber 
communicating with the ball-room. Here were 
assembled the Earl of Bristol and several of his 
most distinguished guests. 

After the king had taken his seat upon a fauteuil, 
he glanced at the group around him, and, per- 
ceiving De Cea, signed to him to approach. 

"Where have you been, my lord?" he in- 
quired. " You were not at the palace last night." 

*' No, sire, I was at the Escorial, assisting at a 
marriage." 

" Indeed ! Who has been married?" demanded 
Philip. 

" The happy pair are in tliis room, sire," replied 
Dc Cea. " If you will cast your eyes round, you 
will at once detect them." 



318 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"The only persons I behold, answering to such 
a description, are Sir Richard Graham and Doiia 
Casilda," said the king. " But surely they cannot 
be married?" 

" The ceremony was performed last night, sire." 

" But, I trust, with the consent of the Conde de 
Saldana?" said Philip. 

" With his full consent and approval, sire. Don 
Christobal liberated the conde from his promise, 
so that the only obstacle to the union was re- 
moved." 

" Since that is so, all is well," replied Philip. 
" Let them approach." 

And as Sir Richard Graham and his blushing 
bride came forward and made their obeisances, his, 
majesty graciously offered them his congratula- 
tions. 

" I hope you are not going to deprive us of one 
of the brightest ornaments of our court, Sir 
Richard?" said PhiHp, smiling. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 319 

"I must return to England with the prince, 
sire," returned Graham. " And I cannot leave my 
wife behind me." 

" I wish I could induce Don Ricardo to remain 
in Madrid, sire," remarked Casilda; "but, as he 
will go, I must accompany him." 

" Nay, you are bound to do that," said the king. 
" But I hope you will bring him back soon. Has 
your highness been in the secret of this match?" 
he added, turning to Charles. 

" I knew that Sir Richard was enamoured of the 
lady, sire," replied the prince. " But I scarcely 
expected the affair would terminate so happily. 
You are a fortunate man, Dick," he added to 
Graham. 

" Your highness will say so when you learn what 
a prodigious dowry his bride has brought him," 
said De Cea. 

"Well, Sir Richard," said the king, "I must 
again congratulate you upon the prize you have 



320 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

won. Others of your countrymen would do well 
to follow your example. And now, my lord, we 
must bid you good night," he added to the Earl of 
Bristol. " We thank you heartily for your enter- 
tainment." 

Philip and the royal party then took their de- 
parture, and Charles soon afterwards quitted the 
fete. While crossing the entrance-hall, accompanied 
by Buckingham, he encountered Olivarez, who 
attended him to his coach. 

Before entering the carriage, Buckingham turned 
to Olivarez, and said haughtily : 

" I bid your excellency farewell. I shall ever 
remain the faithful servant of the King of Spain, of 
her majesty the queen, and of the Lady Infanta, 
and will render them all the good offices in my 
power. But to your excellency I make no pro- 
fessions of friendship. You have so systematically 
opposed me, and have striven so anxiously to 
thwart my purposes, that I cannot but regard you 
as an enemy." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 321 

" You legarcl mc rightly, my lord," rejoined 
Olivarez. " I am your enemy, my lord — your 
implacable enemy." 

And he turned upon his heel. 



VOL. III. 



]22 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



VI. 

THE FAREWELL AT THE PKESNADA. 

Next morning, Charles quitted Madrid, never 
to return thither. * 

He ^Yas attended by all the English nobles and 
gentlemen forming his suite, and was accompanied 
as far as the Escorial by the king, the whole of 
the royal family, and the principal grandees of the 
court. 

The cortege was preceded by a guard of archers, 
under the command of Don Melchior del Alcazar, 
and comprised a long train of carriages and horse- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 323 

litters, with a troop of seven hundred well- 
mounted and superbly arrayed horsemen. 

At the Escorial Charles remained for two days, 
where he was entertained with regal hospitality by 
Philip, and shown all the wonders of the mighty 
convent-palace. 

On the third day, the wliole party proceeded, at 
an early hour, to the Fresnada, a royal hunting- 
seat, situated in a wood on the side of the Guadar- 
rama, about a league from the Escorial. In this 
wood a stag was chased and killed, after which a 
banquet was spread beneath the trees. 

The parting hour had now arrived. Charles ten- 
derly embraced the king; took leave of the queen 
and the two princes; and bade a last adieu to the 
Infanta. 

A last adieu, we say, for he never beheld her 
more. 

A little marble column reared in the wood marks 
the spot where this parting occurred. 



324 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Shortly after the farewell at the Fresnada, two 
troops might be seen moving in opposite directions; 
one descending towards the Escorial, the other 
climbing the rugged sides of the Guadarrama. 

Charles found the fleet awaiting him at San- 
tander. On embarking on the Prince Royal, he 
observed to the Earl of Rutland, who received 
liim, and congratulated him on his safe arrival, 
" It was great weakness and folly in Olivarez to let 
me go so easily, after treating me so badly." 

Buckingham took care that the Spanish Match 
should be broken off, but he quickly made up 
another, and fulGUed his promise by finding 
Charles a consort in Henriette Marie. 

Would the prince have been happier if he had 
wedded the Infanta? 

THE END. 



lokdon: 
rrinted by c. whiting, beaufort horfe, strand.