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SPAIN AND THE BULL FIGITS.

21

Cadiz; they were brothers. The one perished by accident, the other rushed into the arena to avenge his death, and fell a victim to his imprudence.

A skilful and experienced matador, who retains a full command of himself in the heat of action, knows how to irritate the bull in such a manner, that he runs of himself upon the point of the sword, which forms the last scene of the spectacle. The fatal steel is usually aimed at the spinal marrow, contiguous to the brain, and penetrates at the junction of the first vertebra to the head. A wound in that place is sufficient to bring the animal to the ground, and to dispatch him without drawing a drop of blood. If a favorable opportunity for piercing him there does not occur, the matador aims at his heart. Death, in this case is speedy, but not so sudden as in the former instance. It sometimes happens that the most skilful do not hit the right place. I once saw one of these men miss his stroke, and was tossed upon the horns of the bull, which shook him twice with great violence before any assistance could be given him. His person escaped without any dangerous wound; not so his honor, which was considered to have received a stain, till the moment when the bull was finally vanquished, and the champion was able to measure the horns in his justification. This done, he requested the spectators to take notice that the horn upon which he had been caught, was two inches longer than the other. On proving this fact he was greeted with a general shout of applause. To show a want of address or presence of mind in these conflicts is a disgrace to the matadors, who cannot retrieve their character except by a signal act of courage and intrepidity; for you must know that these people expose themselves to such danger as much from motives of honor as of interest, and the Spanish public censure the faults committed by them in their way, as emphatically as bad actors are condemned by us.

It is wonderful that accidents are not more frequent in these fights, considering the length of the horns of some of these bulls. The tips of their horns are often five feet distant from one another. Whenever the bull has leaped over the barriers of the arena, he stamps on the ground, and throws up the earth furiously with his feet; and when he has killed a horse, if the chulos leave him unmolested, he tramples upon his enemy. The moment the vanquished beast falls at the feet of the matador, the trumpet sounds, and three mules ornamented with bells and streamers come to drag him away.

These bull fights take place once a week, and frequently twice, in summer. Eighteen victims are destined for each fight, six for morning and twelve for the afternoon. The expense occasioned by such a spectacle is prodigious. The matadaors receive a considerable sum, as do also the other attendants. We must likewise include the cost of the eighteen bulls, and of perhaps sixteen or eighteen horses sacrificed at one of these fights. Since they have ceased to select, as formerly, large, strong horses of a good breed, there are many more killed in every combat. Even sixty have fallen in one day.

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The bulls most prized for the Plaza de Toros, or bull fighting circus, are those which are wildest and most fierce. An English traveller thus describes the hunting and capturing of these wild bulls. The Peninsula abounds with extensive forest lands, which, though reaching over a wide extent of country, is sufficiently open to afford pasture and food to herds of wild cattle who roam unmolested amongst their shades. The great forest of the Alemtejo is an apt illustration. In this some hundreds of square miles of

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