Sixteen years of an artist's life in Morocco, Spain and the Canary Islands

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Sixteen years of an artist's life in Morocco, Spain and the Canary Islands  (1859) 
by Elizabeth Heaphy Murray






Morocco, Spain and the Canary Islands.










(The right of Translation is reserved.)







Farewell to England―Trip to Gibraltar and Cadiz Proposed―The “Royal Tar” in Deshabille―An Accommodating Stewardess―The Artists at Sea―An Atelier on Shipboard―The Sultan of Morocco Supplies me with a Model―Change of Mind―I Resolve to Make Acquaintance with the Moors―A Peep at Gibraltar―The Silent City―Tangier from the Sea―Professional Rivalry―When Jew Meets Jew―I am Plumped Down in Morocco . . . . . . . 1
What is Good for our Fathers is Good for Us―How the True Believer gets to Heaven―Elegant Figures and Female Curiosity―How the Nazarene Woman Suffers for her Faith―The Sultan's Captain of Tangier―A Motley Crowd, and Life in the Streets―Her Britannic Majesty's Diplomatic Agent―The Call to Prayer―Jew and Christian near the Mosque―The Moorish Merchant and his Wares―Travellers see Strange Things―A Patent for Superseding Soap, Water, and Towel―A Jewish Bride, and Entertainment in Honour of the Betrothed―A Discordant Concert―How they Pay the Piper―A Moorish Dance. . . . . . . 12

Theories of Beauty―Size, the Measure of Female Loveliness―The Servant of Servants―Jews and Jewesses―How Dark Eyes are made Darker―Freedom of Action of the Moorish Women―What sort of Animal is a Nazarene Woman?―I take Tea with a Lady―A Moorish Household―Legitimate Shoots and Superfluous Offshoots―Saracenic Decorations―The Secrets of the Toilet. . . . . . . . . . 29

A Moorish Entertainment―Professional Musicians―A New School for Scandal―The Santa―Curiosity Excited by my Appearance―Sensation Produced by the Toy Devil―I Become Acquainted with Several Moorish Families―The Sultana of England―Strange Examination―Ignorance of Everything Pertaining to England. . . . . . . . 49
The Streets of Tangier―Show and Glitter Within Contrasted with the Plainness and Squalor Without―The Generation of Pestilence―How the Young Idea is Taught to Shoot―Early Manifestations of Intolerance―Entomological Investigations―A Moorish Market Place―A Picturesque Scene―The Evening Gun―Strange Bedfellows―The Closing of the Gates―How the Jew Puts Money in his Purse―Fatima Selling Butter, and Leila Eggs―Some People Sharp Enough with One Eye―The Cemetery of Tangier―Small Talk and Serious Talk with the Departed―The Funeral of a Moor. . 59
The Three Sabbaths―Forms of Piety Dependent on Latitude―Unseasonable Devotion―The Mueddin at Dinner-time―The Jews are Prophets out of their own Country―A Successful Rival to the Gipsies―English Consuls in Morocco―How I Located in Tangier―My Moorish Home―Ottomans and Packing Cases―The Castle of Tangier―A Horticultural Sinecurist―The Minarets―Story of a Clock. . . 73
Differences between France and Morocco―Marshal Bugeaud and Mulai Mohammed―The Battle of Isly―Defeat the Moors―The Sultan's Umbrella―Threatened Bombardment of Tangier―The Sultan's would do it Himself for a Consideration―The Moorish Authorities Refuse to let the Christians go―Riffian Disturbances and the Town Plundered―My House Converted into a Store-house―Zebry's Honesty and Jewish Gratitude―I Place Myself under the Protection of the British Flag―The Bombardment―How Moorish Artillerymen serve their Guns―Gallic Parade of Valour―Arrival of Mr. Drummond Hay―Failure of his Mission to Obtain a Peaceful Settlement―More Fright that Bloodshed―The Moors Defend Mogador with Spirit―Mercantile Vice-Consuls―Change in the Consular System. . . . . . . 85
Departure from Tangier―Ordered to the Canary islands―A Touch of Sentiment on Leaving Familiar Scenes―Set Sail at Tangier for Cadiz―La Taza di Plata―The Bay of Cadiz―Marketing at Sea―Appearance of the Town from the Ship―The Fortifications―Gay and Busy Aspect of the Streets―The Balconies and their Occupants―One Advantage of Narrow Streets―Shopkeepers of all Nations―Smith and Jones in Cadiz―Calesas and Mules―The Attraction of the Cigar―The Naval Arsenal―The Cathedral―The Deserted Bull-ring―The Old Capuchin Convent―Murillo's Last Work―The Melancholy Death of the Great Painter―The Society of Cadiz―Its Devotion to Business―Termination of Our Short Visit―The Crowded Steamer for Seville―Spanish Ladies Travel with all their Finery―Bonnets on the Back of the Head―The Ladies' Cigarette―Coarse Appearance of Old Spanish Women―Showy Dress and Dark Complexions of the Men―Theatrical Appearance of the Children―The Scenery on its Banks―Its Many Windings―Pictures of Bull-fights―Strange Preparations for Breakfast―The Captain's Opinion of English Sailors. . . . 104
Conversation with the Scotch Engineer―Scotch and Spanish Engineers―Mrs. Dolores McFarlane―Springs of the Thistle and Olive―An Obliging Offer―Distant View of Seville―The Giralda―Land at the Public Promenade―Las Delicias―Our Luggage Examined by Custom-House Officers, Priests Beggars and Boys―The Annoyance of Landing in a Strange Town―Services offered to "Milor" Smith―Marshalled through the Streets by a Cicerone―The Many-Coloured Awnings―The Calle del Sol―The "Refresco" Booths―Their Gaudy Appearance―The Numerous Customers―Estimation in which the English are held―English Money highly valued―Seville by Night―Brilliant Appearance of the Illuminated Patio―Family Reunions―The Guitar, Castanet, and Seguidilla―The Architecture of Seville―Strange Union of Different Styles―Irregularity of the Streets and Houses―The Hotel Full―Put ourselves under the Direction of the Steward―Taken to a Sorry Boarding House―Good Accommodation according to Spanish Ideas―The Miseries of a Night. . . . . . . 125
A Spanish Family Scene―Music hath Charms―A Spanish Woman en Déshabille―A Novel Breakfast Scene―Doña Dolores―Spanish Names―Lady Oracle―A Simple Toilet―The Marine Officer at Ease in his Inn―His Politeness to his Fellow-Guests―The Favoured Boarder―Don Fernando, the Government Employé―Promotion to Brevet Rank―La Consula Inglesa―Ignorance regarding England―Ludicrous Questions―The Padre forms a Good Opinion of Me―The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbi―Marriage of the Clergy―The Numerous Nephews and Nieces of Spanish Churchmen―Englishmen after Dinner―Sweetmeats and Scratching―Another Salle-à-Manger Proposed―Heat of the Weather―Dinner Interrupted by a Storm―The Patio Deluged―The Company Retire to my Bedroom―Garlic and Tobacco Smoke―A Happy Deliverance―Spanish Gipsies―Departure of my Fellow-Lodgers―Doña Dolores and Aña Bolena―The Boarding-Houses of Seville―John Bull Abroad. . . 143
The Sights of Seville―The Cathedral―The Paintings of Murillo―“The Guardian Angel”―Painted Figures of Wood―The Madonna of Montañes―Careless Deportment of the Spaniards in the Cathedral―Country People Telling their Beads―Beggars―Mendicant Priests―The Coro―The Retablo―High Mass―The Devotion of the Senses―Englishmen in the Cathedral―San Cristofar with the Infant Saviour―Tomb of Saint Ferdinand―Monument to the Son of Columbus―Relics―Cross Made of the First Gold Brought from America―The Custodia―Picture of the Descent from the Cross―The Admiration with which it inspired Murillo―The Two Keys―The Priestly Vestments―Extraordinary Religious Ceremony―Rev. Mr. Dubarry's Account of it―Origin of the Custom―An Archbishop Appeals to the Pope against Dancing in the Church―The Pope Witnesses and Approves of the Ceremony. . . . . . . . . . 163

Life Abroad―No Place Like Home―The Penny Post―The Times―The Ship from England―Removal to the Canaries―Distant View of the Peak of Teneriffe―Approach to the Island―Names of the Canary Islands―Santa Cruz―The Rocks of Paso Alto―Volcanic Origin of the Island―The Euphorbia Canariensis―The Young Woman of Santa Cruz―Her Apartment―How she Passes the Evening―The Canary and its Cage―The Novio―The Patio in the Canaries―The Climate of Teneriffe―Itinerant Merchants―The Goods of France and England―French Cutlery from Sheffield―Boxes of “Real Dollars”―The Sale of Old Letters―The Fowl-woman's Ring―A Vile Hag―Native Scenes. . 203

A Visit in Teneriffe―A Dilemma―Substitute for Bell and Knocker―Quien es?―A Rickety Staircase―A Lost Key―The Wrong one Found―Studies in Art―A Lesson of Patience―The Dark Apartment―A Drawing-Room in the Canaries―My Polite Reception―The Etiquette of Visits―Subject of Conversation―Extravagant Professions of Friendship―The Garden on the Roof―View of the Bay of Santa Cruz―Leaky Housetops―Effects of Sudden and Heavy Shower―The Public Promenade―The Plaza at Dusk―Talking and Flirting―The Marble Cross―Monument of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin―The Plaza Suddenly Deserted―Service at Church―The Sermon―Description of the Church when Lighted up―Influence of the Roman Catholic Ritual―The Statue of the Virgin Arrayed in the Marchesa's Cast-off Garments―The Sermon Criticised. . . . 225
Santa Cruz―British Colours in the Church―The Foundering of the “Fox”―The Loss of Nelson's Arm―The Attack on Santa Cruz―General Gutienez―Death of Captain Bowen―The Spanish General Determines to Surrender―Brave Conduct of the Spanish Sergeant―Unfortunate Position of the English Sailors―Captain Troubridge Takes Possession of the Dominican Monastery―Surrounded by a Superior Force of Spaniards―Protects his Soldiers by placing the Prisoners in Front―His Proposal to Surrender the Monastery on certain Conditions accepted by the Spaniards―Kidness of the Spanish Soldiers to the English Sailors―Supply them with Bread and Wine―Their Attention to the Wounded―Nelson's Appreaciation of the Conduct of the Spaniards―He offers to carry their General's Despatch to Cadiz―Cowardly Conduct of Three Militia Officers―Subsequent Conscientious Conduct of one of them―The Drunken Irishman conveying the Orders of the General. . . . . . 245
Santa Cruz―The Government Employé―His Appearance on Sunday―Mendicancy in Teneriffe―Jocular Beggars―The Population of Santa Cruz―Hospitals―The Theatre―The Philharmonic Society―Reading and Billiard Rooms―Santa Cruz from the Sea―The Roadstead―Variety of the Scene―A Visit to the Country―Preparations for the Journey―Stay at Matanza―My Host and Hostess―The Blue Blood of a Teneriffe Lady―Strange Household Ornament―A Dangerous Staircase―A Tormenting Boy―Antonio's Amusement―The Oppression of Extreme Friendship―The Martyrdom of an Artist―A Favourable Diversion of the Enemy―Useless Hints―The Fate of my Paint-box―Antonio Poisoned―A False Alarm. . . . . . . 263
Impression produced by the Peak―The Grandeur of Nature contrasted with the Degradation of Man―Great number of Beggars―The Cry for Cuartos―Rhyming Mendicants―The Decline of Teneriffe―Destruction of the Vines―Public Burdens―Miserable Condition of the Poorer Inhabitants―Immense Number of Government Employés―Expensive Military Staff―The Governor―Extent of the Civil Department of Government―Dependence in Spain on Government Employment―The Pretendientes―Aversion to Commercial Situations―Caste in Modern Society―The Islands Drained of their Means by the Extravagance of the Spanish Home Government―Demoralizing Influence of the Spanish Authorities―Extortion from the Poor―Uncertain Situation of the Employés―Intrigue for Office―Leave Matanza―Our Retinue―Amusement on the Road―Improvisation―Arrive at Santa Ursula―Difficulties about Breakfast―The Everlasting No―A Sudden Resolution and Unexpected Eruption―We Forage for Ourselves―The Young Lady without a Novio―Our Journey Resumed. . . . . . . 281

Valley of Orotava―Its Beautiful Appearance―Roman Catholic Festivals―The Amusements of our Guides―Peasant Girls―Their Conversation with the Camel-Driver―Bencomo, the Guanche King―Our Journey Resumed―A Second Meeting and Conversation with the Peasant Girls―The Mysterious Songster―The Ventriloquist―Our Destination Reached―The Alameda―Preparations for the Festival of San Isidro―The Beggars again―Assailed by Twenty-four―Accosted by Two Gentlemen―Our kind Reception by an Unknown Lady―An Early Stroll through the Village―Its Antique and Romantic Appearance―The Dragon Tree of Orotava―Oracular Powers Attributed to it―How it Indicates the Productiveness of the Following Harvest―Its Measurement. . . . 305

The Agriculturists of Orotava―San Isidro, the Patron Saint―The Chapel of San Isidro Labrador―San Isidro's Wife, Santa Maria di la Cabeza―Procession and Festival in Honour of the Saint―History of San Isidro's Canonization―Angels Assist him in his Agricultural Labours―His Wonderful Miracle―The Medicinal Properties of the Stream he had made to Flow―The Chldren of Philip II. cured by it―The Saint's Influence after Death―Isabella Catolica cured of an Illness―Strange Taste of a Pious Maid of Honour—An Unruly Member Silenced—San Isidro's Honours in Madrid―His Unjust Jealousy of his Saintly Wife―The Pious Occupation of the Lady―She crosses the Manzanares on her Mantilla―The Celebration of the Festival―The Peasantry Represented by Twelve Children―The Lottery for Young Oxen―The Showy Costumes of the People―The Jesuits' College―Destruction of a Neighbouring Nunnery by Fire―The Holy Sisterhood take Forcible Possession of the College―Indifferent Character of the Brotherhood―Tragical Incidents. 328