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SPAIN AND TIE BULL FIGIITS.
and looks fiercely about him, as if seeking an object on which to wreak his rage. At this moment one of the combatants appears at the other end of the arena. These people are called picadores, because they are armed only with pikes or lances. They are on horseback, and are dressed after the ancient Spanish fashion. The picadore advances slowly after the bull, and stops at some distance from him. The two antagonists watch each other's motions with the greatest attention, and appear for some moments irresolute. The bull then bending his head, and mustering all his strength, shuts his eyes and rushes upon his adversary with the utmost impetuosity. The picadore, fixed as it were to the saddle, places his lance in its rest, directs the point of it against the shoulder of the raging animal, and thus turns him another way. This manoeuvre, when executed with dexterity, rarely fails to produce the desired effect. Sometimes, however, it is rendered unavailing by the fury of the animal, as I have myself witnessed. One of the bulls rushed upon the lance that was pointed at him, and raising himself almost upright on his hind legs broke it in pieces. He then attacked the horse with such fury as to overturn him with his rider. , At this moment the chulos, young men of extraordinary agility, approached with small cloaks or flags of glaring colors, which they held to the bull to divert his attention, and give the picadore time to escape. As soon as he effected his retreat, a second picadore, armed like the first, offered battle to the bull. Animated by his victory, the beast immediately darted towards him. The picadore dexterously kept him off with his lance; but the bull returned to the charge, before his antagonist had time to prepare for his reception. With his horns he gored the sides of the horse, which sprang up a considerable height, and in his fall overthrew the picadore. The chulos then ran forward again. The rider escaped and the first picadore took his place. He entered the arena on a horse which had never yet been engaged in a conflict of this kind, and to whom, at the first onset, it proved fatal. The bull suddenly turned aside, avoided the lance, and gored the horse with such fury as to pierce him to the heart. It sometimes happens that the bull rips up the horse's belly; the poor animals may then be seen treading under their feet their own entrails, which hang down from their lacerated sides, and yet obeying for some time after, the hand which conducts them to new tortures.
Custom unfortunately hardens the hearts of the spectators, and even of women, to such a degree, that they beheld this scene with the utmost indifference, or if they manifest any interest, it is in regard to the motions of the enraged bull. I saw thirteen horses killed in a single morning, and sometimes there are many more. Such is the patience, courage, and docility of these animals, that after they are mortally wounded, they will carry their rider to meet the enemy, till they drop down dead on the spot.
When the bull, tired of seeing his adversary the picadore appear after his defeat, safe and sound, upon another horse, at length seems determined to decline the combat, he is then left to the banderillos. These are eight young men, each of whom is provided with a number of small
SPAIN AND THE BULL FIGHTS.
darts, called by the Spaniards banderillas, which are ornamented with small streamers made of colored paper. These they plunge into the bull's neck; but it is an established rule, that they must never attack the animal with these weapons from behind, but only in front. To this end they endeavor to irritate the animal, and when he is just going to dart at them, they take advantage of the moment when he stops and shuts his eyes, to plunge their banderillas into his neck and run away. If they cannot make the bull advance to meet them, they hold out to him the moleta, a piece of scarlet cloth or velvet, which they always carry in the left hand. They excite him to the pursuit by passing close to him. If he turns sharply upon them they rely upon their agility to get out of his way. In this case, to amuse him and divert his attention, they drop the moleta. This artifice commonly succeeds. The bull stops, smells at the piece of stuff and tramples upon it. Sometimes, however, he takes no notice of the moleta, but keeping his eye fixed on his real enemy, he pursues him so swiftly, that the banderillo has scarcely time to leap over the barrier which surrounds the arena. I have seen bulls spring over it almost at the same moment as their adversaries, though it is six feet high.
Beyond this first barrier, at the distance of about five feet, is a second, considerably higher, for the security of the spectators who are seated in front. Persons of veracity have assured me that they have seen bulls spring with such force, as at one leap to clear these two barriers, and fall upon the benches of the amphitheatre. When the bull has fought about twenty minutes he is doomed to die. This is the most interesting moment of the spectacle; accordingly the most profound silence reigns in the assembly. The master of the combatants, called matador, appears, and anxious expectation is depicted in the faces of the spectators. He advances, holding the moleta in his left hand, and a sword in his right. During the whole combat he has attentively studied the disposition of the bull, and watched all his motions. If the animal is claro, that is to say impetuous but not crafty, the metador approaches with confidence, sure of a speedy victory. If, on the contrary, the bull is cautious and cunning, if he appears cool and collected, slow in forming his resolutions, and prompt in executing them, he is called obscuro, and such an animal excites apprehension in the most experienced matador, He goes up, looks steadfastly at him, and endeavors to provoke him; but this attempt often
At the moment when he thinks to avail himself of an advantage, the wily animal eludes the stroke, becomes the assailant, and forces his enemy to fly. The latter, as he runs, is obliged to look behind him, that he may judge how. to act according to circumstances. One of these matadors, whose name was Pepillo, displayed astonishing coolness and dexterity on these occasions. When he was pursued, and had got close to the barrier, he watched the bull just going to make a stroke at him, and the very moment when the animal shut his eyes, he would set his foot between the bull's horns, and thence spring over the barrier; which shows what a degree of address may be acquired by practice.
While I was in Spain, two matadors were killed in