It was now late at night, and my new friend attended me to the lodging which he had destined for me, and which was at the house of a respectable old female, where I found a clean and comfortable room. On the way I slipped a gratuity into the hand of Antonio, and on my arrival, formally, and in the presence of the alcalde, presented him with the Testament, which I requested he would carry back to Finisterra, and keep in remembrance of the Englishman in whose behalf he had so effectually interposed.
Antonio.--I will do so, your worship; and when the winds blow from the north-west, preventing our launches from putting to sea, I will read your present. Farewell, my captain, and when you next come to Finisterra I hope it will be in a valiant English bark, with plenty of contrabando on board, and not across the country on a pony, in company with nuveiros and men of Padron.
Presently arrived the handmaid of the alcalde with a basket, which she took into the kitchen, where she prepared an excellent supper for her master's friend. On its being served up the alcalde bade me farewell, having first demanded whether he could in any way forward my plans.
"I return to St. James to-morrow," I replied, "and I sincerely hope that some occasion will occur which will enable me to acquaint the world with the hospitality which I have experienced from so accomplished a scholar as the Alcalde of Corcuvion."
Coruña--Crossing the Bay--Ferrol--The Dockyard--Where are we now? Greek Ambassador--Lantern-light--The Ravine--Viveiro--Evening-- Marsh and Quagmire--Fair Words and Fair Money--The Leathern Girth--Eyes of Lynx--The Knavish Guide.
FROM Corcuvion I returned to St. James and Coruña, and now began to make preparation for directing my course to the Asturias. In the first place I parted with my Andalusian horse, which I considered unfit for the long and mountainous journey I was about to undertake, his constitution having become much debilitated from his Gallegan travels. Owing to horses being exceedingly scarce at Coruña, I had no difficulty in disposing of him at a far higher price than he originally cost me. A young and wealthy merchant of Coruña, who was a national guardsman, became enamoured of his glossy skin and long mane and tail. For my own part, I was glad to part with him for more reasons than one; he was both vicious and savage, and was continually getting me into scrapes in the stables of the posadas where we slept or baited. An old Castilian peasant, whose pony he had maltreated, once said to me, "Sir cavalier, if you have any love or respect for yourself, get rid, I beseech you, of that beast, which is capable of proving the ruin of a