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reflections of a nature to awaken prejudices or wound the feelings of a sensitive, generous, and warm-hearted people. As it also happens with individuals, all nations have their dark and sunny sides, and as with them, we might oftener seek the latter only, and leave the former to bad digestions and sour-hearted satirists. Politics and religion, in this case, are like large sheets of ice, on crossing which we must not stop to measure the thickness, nor the depth of the water beneath, but do as Voltaire advises, 'glisser, glisser, n'appuyer pas !' In one of the many letters which it has been our good fortune to receive from our very dear and much-lamented friend, Mr. Washington Irving, the characteristics of the English and the Spaniards are discussed. 'There is,' he says, ' a great deal to be studied in the English character, and to be admired in English habits of thinking and acting. Frankness, integrity, truthfulness, enterprise, perseverance, love of order and love of home. Even the staunch adherence of the English to old forms, old customs, and other old-world things which appear like impediments on the hurried march of modern 'progress' bespeaks the noble sentiment of veneration, a lofty and poetical attribute of human nature, fast fading before the glare of fancied civilization.' Then, speaking of 'dear old Spain,' he adds:-' -'I see you are aware of the corrupted surface which hides the deepsunk, changeless character of Spain. That character is to be found in her old chronicles, her old poets, her old heroic dramas; it shines throughout her semi-chivalrous history during her long conflicts with the Moors. It is still to be found existing with something of premature force in her provinces, far from her corrupt, civilized, Frenchified capital. In no country have I found nobler qualities existing among the lower classes than among the sun-burnt peasantry of Spain, and the hardy inhabitants of her mountains.'
A LIGHT, easily worked, and most fertile soil, a combination of great heat and moisture, absence of frost, vast extent, contribute to make Spain a preeminently agricultural country; and the Spaniard, a man of few wants, has always preferred agriculture to trade and industry. The reason is obvious: the sol criador, the sun-that great natural farmer of Spain -supplies all wants, clothes, feeds and makes a perpetual summer and harvest; besides which, the Spaniards were obliged to limit themselves to agriculture by the circumstances of their history and character. Constant wars on one side, and on the other want of roads, hindered the steady development of trade; besides, trade requires order, regularity, keeping accounts, intercourse with strangers, and some knowledge of tongues-all things which a 'labrador' knows not, has not, and despises. Trade, moreover, was scorned by proud hidalgos, whilst farming has always been a gentleman's pursuit; for it is land, property, production, vassals, in a word, power, and the Spanish hidalgo, like all soldiers, did not disdain to occupy his leisure hours, between campaigns, with the cares of looking after his estates, thus living as the Romans did, ense et aratro. But that farming, even, was reduced to the production of what gave nerve to war, as corn, that is, bread, and sheep, that is, wool, not meat; they were, therefore, at first especially pastoral, as all the early peoples, who fight roaming and take their live-stock with them, which thus constitutes their ambulatory fortune and estates
Armentarius Afer agit; tectumque, laremque,
Armaque, Amyclæumque canem, Cressamque pharetram.
And even when permanent conquests fixed them anywhere their farmhouses became castles, their meadows fields of battle, and their ploughmen and drovers all fighting men. Thus a nation, not military but warlike, all guerilleros to the bone, living amid perpetual border warfare, exposed to the raids of the Christians, and talas of the Moor, was not likely to possess artificial pasture and forests, and rather adopted extensive than intensive agriculture. The methods and implements employed were preserved and observed as the traditions of the earlier races and ages handed them down, with those differences only which the nature of the soil and climate might suggest; as the different races