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then follow the Titulados, formerly called
"Eicos ombres," to which class belong the
Counts, Barons, and Marquisses, who are not
grandees: and lastly, the numerous Hidalgos,
or infanzones, many of whom are in the
utmost misery of poverty, answering, in some
respects, to the one-spurred nobles, created
by Maria Theresa in Hungary, or the Provincial
Barons of France, in the beginning of
the eighteenth century.

The grandees of Spain are altogether an
anomaly in our own railroad century. Mentally
and physically degenerated, crippled in
mind and body, they saunter, now-a-days, so
listlessly about the streets of Madrid, that it
is scarcely possible to believe them the
descendants of those men who fought so long
and bravely in old time against the Moors,
who scorned privation, and became the theme
of song and story; men who, through good
and evil fortune, struggled on and knew no
rest till the banners of the Cross were floating
upon the battlements and minarets of Granada,
and reflected themselves in the waves of the
Xenil and the Darro.

The grandees of to-day appear to be below
the weakness of ambition. Unlike their
hardy forefathers, they are so bred into the
ways of wealth, that dressing is a labour to
them, and even eating and drinking seem, in
the vulgar forms at any rate, to be a bore.
They pass the night in revelry, and doze away
the day. They go out at four, five, or six
o'clock in the afternoon, according to the time
of year, usually in close carriages, with the
windows carefully closed, even in summer:
they show themselves for a short time in the
Prado, or the "Fuente Castellaua," pleasure-grounds,
without the town, and so kill time
till dinner. While the Spanish grandee
wastes his life, the " Intendant " (agent) of
his immense estates usually mismanages them
in a prudent way, certain that he shall never
fall into disgrace while he provides money
daily for the follies of his lord. The result of
this is naturally that the grandees are miserably
indebted, and according to all appearance
will soon be utterly beggared, their properties
passing into the hands of the prudent "Intendants,"
who are usually their chief creditors.

Among so large a body there are, of course,
exceptions. The Duke de Rivas, for instance,
stands honourably out from many of his equals.
Poet and scholar, wise and brave, he is an example
of manliness, of feeling of honesty of
purpose, and active beneficence, which the
nobles of any land might be proud to imitate.

A few years ago, when the strife of parties
ran so high that it would seem impossible for
any Spaniard to have been uninterested in the
struggle, what was the part played by the
grandees? During the whole of that wretched
period they held aloof. They passed their
time in strange tranquillity in Paris or in
London, and sent their homage to Don Carlos
or to Queen Christina, even as the case might
be, as fortune gave a master or a mistress to
these dignified incapables. Only two, the
Count of Via Manuel, and the Count of
Campo Alanza, displayed any valour, and of
these the first was taken prisoner of war, and
shot by the express order of Don Carlos; the
other fell, sword in hand, at the storming of
Luchana. Scarcely, however, was the treaty
of Bergara concluded by the treason of Maroto,
when the grandees hurried back to Madrid,
and flocked to the feet of the young Queen,
mutually outbidding each other in protestations
of attachment and allegiance.

The whole of the ancient nobility of Spain
consists of about fifty families; some of these,
such as the Dukes of Osuna and Medina-Celi,
possess six or eight dukedoms, and as many
titles of count and marquis. Thus, for
example, the present Duke of Osuna, of the
house of Giron, is also Duke of Arcos, of
Bejar, of Gandia, of Infantado, of Lerma, of
Pastrana, of Placentia, and of Benavente.
His estates, which, like Berkeley Castle, for
the most part belong to the titles, are immense;
and one which he inherited in 1845,
with the dukedom of Infantado, is said to be
alone worth nearly a million sterling. The
present possessor of the title of Alva is the
Duke of Berwick, an illegitimate descendant
of our James the Second. The family name
of the Duke of Medina-Celi (said to be the
richest of all the Spanish grandees) is the
famous one of Fernandez de Cordova, descending,
in a direct line, from the great hero, who
stands among the worthies of the nation next
in esteem to the Cid Campeador.

All grandees are born knights grand cross
of the order of Charles the Third, of the
Immaculate Conception. They are also either
knights of Alcantara or Calatrava, or of St
Jago de Compostella, and Montesa; but these
four military orders of knighthood, once so
celebrated among the chivalry of Christendom,
have lost all significance of merit, and are now
merely badges of distinction for the old nobility.
The only order which still claims
respect among military men in Spain, is that
of the Holy Ferdinand, which is not hereditary,
and, according to statutes, can be bestowed
only for personal bravery in battle.

The grandees are divided into two classes.
The grandees of the first class appear before
the monarch without uncovering their heads;
they take off their hats only while kissing
hands, or when personally addressed by
Majesty. The grandees of the second class
must appear uncovered, and may only put on
their hats after they have kissed hands; of
course they also must stand uncovered while
they are speaking with the sovereign.

There are no other privileges that have not
been run away with by the constitution. It
abolished even the law of entail,- a great boon
to the country, but a death blow to the
nobles. By-arid-bye, perhaps, agriculture
may be benefited, as the possessors of small
estates will be likely to look after their land
more. There are, altogether, sixty-seven