witches had been pursuing him and hovering over his head for the last two leagues. He came from the Spanish frontier with meal and other articles; he said that his wife was following him and would soon arrive, and in about a quarter of an hour she made her appearance, dripping with rain, and also mounted on a donkey.
I asked my friends, the contrabandistas, why he wore the rosemary in his hat; whereupon they told me it was good against witches and the mischances on the road. I had no time to argue against this superstition, for, as the chaise was to be ready at five the next morning, I wished to make the most of the short time which I could devote to sleep.
Vexatious Delays--Drunken Driver--The Murdered Mule--The Lamentation --Adventure on the Heath--Fear of Darkness--Portuguese Fidalgo-- The Escort--Return to Lisbon.
I ROSE at four, and after having taken some refreshment, I descended and found the strange man and his wife sleeping in the chimney corner by the fire, which was still burning; they soon awoke and began preparing their breakfast, which consisted of salt sardinhas, broiled upon the embers. In the meantime the woman sang snatches of the beautiful hymn, very common in Spain, which commences thus,--
"Once of old upon a mountain, shepherds overcome with sleep,
Near to Bethlem's holy tower, kept at dead of night their sheep;
Round about the trunk they nodded of a huge ignited oak,
Whence the crackling flame ascending bright and clear the darkness broke."
On hearing that I was about to depart, she said, "You shall have some of my husband's rosemary, which will keep you from danger, and prevent any misfortune occurring." I was foolish enough to permit her to put some of it in my hat; and the man having by this time arrived with his mules, I bade farewell to my friendly hostesses, and entered the chaise with my servant.
I remarked, at the time, that the mules which drew us were the finest I had ever seen; the largest could be little short of sixteen hands high; and the fellow told me in his bad French that he loved them better than his wife and children. We turned round the corner of the convent, and proceeded down the street which leads to the south- western gate. The driver now stopped before the door of a large house, and having alighted, said that it was yet very early, and that he was afraid to venture forth, as it was very probable we should be robbed, and himself murdered, as the robbers who resided in the town would be apprehensive of his discovering them, but that the family who lived in this house were going to Lisbon, and would depart in