The Bible in Spain, Or, the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of An Englishman: In An Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

By George Borrow | Go to book overview
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he replied, "Only one.""That One," said the captain, "is of course the Christian;" by which name the Spaniards style their own language in contradistinction to all others. "That fellow," continued the captain, "who is lying on the deck, can speak Christian too, when it serves his purpose, but he speaks others, which are by no means Christian: he can talk English, and I myself have heard him chatter in Gitáno with the gipsies of Triana; he is now going amongst the Moors, and when he arrives in their country, you will hear him, should you be there, converse as fluently in their gibberish as in Christiano, nay, better, for he is no Christian himself. He has been several times on board my vessel already, but I do not like him, as I consider that he carries something about with him which is not good."

This worthy person, on my coming aboard the boat, had shaken me by the hand and expressed his joy at seeing me again.


CHAPTER LI.

Cadiz--The Fortifications--The Consul-General--Characteristic Anecdote-- Catalan Steamer--Trafalgar--Alonzo Guzman--Gibil Muza--Orestes Frigate--The Hostile Lion--Works of the Creator--Lizard of the Rock--The Concourse--Queen of the Waters--Broken Prayer.

CADIZ stands, as is well known, upon a long narrow neck of land stretching out into the ocean, from whose bosom the town appears to rise, the salt waters laving its walls on all sides save the east, where a sandy isthmus connects it with the coast of Spain. The town, as it exists at the present day, is of modern construction, and very unlike any other town which is to be found in the Peninsula, being built with great regularity and symmetry. The streets are numerous, and intersect each other, for the most part, at right angles. They are very narrow in comparison to the height of the houses, so that they are almost impervious to the rays of the sun, except when at its midday altitude. The principal street, however, is an exception, it being of some width. This street, in which stands the Bolsa, or exchange, and which contains the houses of the chief merchants and nobility, is the grand resort of loungers as well as men of business during the early part of the day, and in that respect resembles the Puerta del Sol at Madrid. It is connected with the great square, which, though not of very considerable extent, has many pretensions to magnificence, it being surrounded with large imposing houses, and planted with fine trees, with marble seats below them for the accommodation of the public. There are few public edifices worthy of much attention: the chief church, indeed, might be considered a fine monument of labour in some other countries, but in Spain, the land of noble and gigantic cathedrals, it can be styled nothing more than a decent place of worship; it is still in an unfinished state. There is a public walk or alameda on the northern ramparts, which is generally thronged in

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