Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/567

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547
THE REVIVAL OF BULL-FIGHTING.

ring and lure him away with them. I have said nothing yet of the accidents to the human performers, but they are plenty and serious. "El Artillero" breaks his left thigh-bone, and the picador Perez is grievously hurt internally; the banderillero Ramon Lopez is caught at the barrier and pinned through the thick part of his thigh; another is blinded of an eye, and another permanently unfitted for his profession by the disabling of an arm. The public look on at this display of courage—which is the one redeeming feature of the show—with much the same impartiality as the Western wife in the story who, finding her spouse engaged in fight with a grisly, cried, "Go in, b'ar! go in, old man!" They would not, of course, wish the toreador to come to any fatal harm; but if it is to happen they are very glad to be there and see it. Sometimes it is a jealous rivalry between two of the performers themselves, under the eye of the public, that leads them on to all sorts of over-reckless feats.

Philanthropic bull-fights are sometimes given for the benefit of such wounded; and in the course of these, very likely, as many more are made. They are given for the benefit of cigar-girls thrown out of employment by a strike, and on Independence Day—September 16th—free bull-fights were given in all the rings as a measure of patriotic rejoicing.

As the diversion became common, the standard of criticism was naturally raised. Not less than three journals, and I don't know but more, are now devoted to it in the city of Mexico. La Muleta, La Banderilla, and El Arte de la Lidia (the Art of Bull-fighting) appear weekly, containing profound disquisitions and vigorous diatribes concerning their specialty, together with news, summaries, and correspondence from all quarters, accompanied by large colored cartoons. Their tone of comment runs to