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larity. The effect is, therefore, less striking and picturesque. While the fruit, though well calculated to produce “your excellent Sherris, is of inferior flavour, and very small. On reaching Xeres, which is distant about eight miles from Port San Maria, our coachman, mistaking the orders we had given him, drove to the residence of Mr. Gordon, a gentleman of very extensive mercantile pursuits. Notwithstanding the intrusion, we were received with the utmost politeness and hospitality; and I am happy in this opportunity of repeating the thanks to which himself and his family are so justly entitled.
We were shewn the large vaults in which the house of Gordon and Co. deposit their wines, capable of containing several thousand butts. At present the stock consisted of about fifteen hundred, comprising wines of various qualities and ages. The quantity of wine annually made at Xeres, averages very nearly thirty thousand butts. Of the spoilt wine they make brandy. The casks are fabricated upon the premises. When we entered the cooperage, the men were dining; and we noticed the remarkably, fine bread of which their meal partly consisted. A Spaniard, however poor, will eat nothing but the best of its kind; and supposing him to possess money enough to purchase two articles of an inferior quality, and but one of a higher, he will invariably select the last. An Englishman of the same class regards the abundance more than the excellence of his food ; and, enjoying the one, he is little concerned, or at least he is perfectly content to be deprived of the other. This, however, is one of the smallest distinctions between the two nations.
We also visited the wine-vaults of Mr. Cranstoun, which appeared constructed on a better principle than those of Mr. Gordon.
They are more airy, and the arrangement is more complete. We tasted a Sherry wine here of the colour of Port, said to have been seventy-five years in the cask. It had a pleasant luscious flavour. Attached to the vaults is a garden of a peculiar formation, but laid out with considerable attention to taste. The beds are usually elevated a considerable height above the paved walk, and bounded by a broad stone border. The walls which surround the garden, are covered with inverted
semicircular tiles that catch the rain which falls irregularly and rarely; and thence convey it by narrow tunnels into the beds above mentioned. By this mode, the garden is completely irrigated.
There are several churches in this place. Amongst the rest, the cathedral is a beautiful structure. It is of the Grecian style of architecture, and characterized by more simplicity of ornament than is presented by the religious buildings of Cadiz. There was considerably less glare, and fewer of those ridiculous appendages which disfigure the noble outline of a Catholic building.' A number of votive offerings, such as little leaden' and waxen heads, legs, arms, and breasts *: bunches of rarecoloured ribbons, with much other trumpery, were suspended over an arch. ...
On the following morning we left Xeres. The English consul, Mr. Brackenbury, this evening gave a ball, to which the officers of the Cambrian were invited. The chief beauties of Cadiz had been collected; and, on the
* In Malta these extraordinary offerings are very common.
whole, there was a sprightly and novel assemblage. Abundance of French officers were present: of whom the General had the air and manners of an English gentleman. This was so striking, that it was noticed by most of our party.
The Spanish ladies have not that grace which fancy teaches us to look for. It might be, that my expectations were too highly raised, or that I had not yet lost the remembrance of my own fascinating countrywomen. Be this as it may: any one given rout in London, will bring together far more beauty than it seems all Cadiz could furnish. We were favoured with one or two Spanish songs, by a lady of purely Spanish origin. This last circumstance was announced with no little flourish. She sang to the piano ; but her voice in my ear was harsh and discordant. And here I will candidly confess my apprehension, that something of natural prejudice may have followed me from my “ father-land.” Not that I am aware of it; but experiencing so little satisfaction in that which has received a world of high-flown encomium ; and recollecting at