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of El Moro, as I am at his mercy for nearly
two days ;  so I pocket the insult, and go
hiccupping on. If I hint at Hiccup's
infirmity, stolid El Moro asserts he is muy
fuerte (very strong), a horse of fortitude
that never tires; quotes the proverb,
"He who goes on, gets there," and, tying his
saddle-bags pinchingly tighter, remarks that
"fast bind is fast find," or, as he rhymes it,
Quien bien ata, bien desata. there is
something Quixotic in El Moro as he clinks
over the trottoir erect and lean in his grey
jacket, his neat shoes with rusty spurs in
them, a good apple-twig for a switch, and
my red and green umbrella, fastened at his
pummel above his own cloth jacket, which he
keeps for the cold mountains, when we shall
get near the all but perpetual snow patches of
the sierra. There is a determined gravity
and caution, as of a Hadji or Bedouin guide,
in the air. His black turban cap is tied on
by a string fastening under his beardless chin.
If I stop a moment behind, he turns to look
after me. He is as faithful, dull a Sancho as
English traveller ever had.

It is very quiet in the streets; the lamps
burn dim like yellow flowers with glow-worms
inside them; the trot and clatter, and dust
of our horses' hoofs, sound quite startling
in the hush of the night. The drowsy
sentinels, in the brown coats, try to look
vigilant and suspicious when they see us.
We clink along the dusty Alameda with the
faded acacias and deserted seatspass
hundreds of grated windows and closed shops
chink and scuffle alternately past merchants'
houses and over public walks, and come out
at last by the broad quay, to the sea-shore;
where the be-plumed waves, a little white
and angry about the lips, seem complaining,
and asking where the men are gone who, all
day, sift maize into heaps, crush raisins into
tubs, and roll melons in and out of ships;
where the little terra-cotta images of boys
that, all day, dive and splash off these brown
rock-slabswhere the striped awninged boats
and the bare-footed fishermen?

Our pace is not fast, because the horses
have got fourteen hours of it before them.
We amble under the castle whose low
lines of wall look much as when Blake
threatened it. We look down from the
dusty hill that commands the town. The white
column of the light-house by the Quarantine
harbour, where the deadly yellow flag flies,
is to the right; reminding me, though I can
hardly believe, that it is the same place that I
spent an hour at this morning, down at the
jetty-head, watching the blue waves race up
to kiss and teaze the land; when the distant
hills looked like brown velvet and solid
amethyst, as they were either far or near.
Then there was that great American steamer
there, with one great red port-hole open, as
if it had received a gory stab which would
not heal,—now all mystery and dimness that
clears, however, every moment. One mule,
laden with grass-net panniers of charcoal, is
all that passes us till we get past the first
poor suburb cottages and out into the broad
sea-shore road, which is a foot deep, in thick
lava dust.

Then rises a great whirl of dust in the
distance, answering to that which clouds from
our eight hoofs, and suddenly a string of
donkeys bear down upon us by twos and
threes, and in clumps of eight and ten. Now
our trouble begins; for they raise a dust so
thick that the distant ones become quite
invisible, and it is difficult to avoid them,
but for the monotonous clip-clap, ding-dong-bell,
that the leader-donkey wears consequentially
round his neck. These are donkeys
from the vineyards round Velez Malaga,
bringing the Christmas raisins of England
for shipment at Malaga, where the holds of
dozens of vessels gape and cry for them, that
the ships may depart and be early at the
Mincing Lane market. Every donkey carries
twelve small, square deal boxes; six on each
side of his panniers, which rest on a padded
pack-saddle. Every donkey has a head-stall
or fillet, or shaving-brush of red, with plaited
ornaments or cruppers of red and rhubarb
yellow, that give them an oriental and novel
look. Let the donkey be of a silvery-grey or
brown, and scrubby as an old hair
portmanteau that has been rubbed into sore
patches, still there was always the pink
shaving-brush on the forehead, the smart
neck-trapping, or the black and yellow
crupper.

As for the driversfor there were
generally two and a boy to each half-dozen
donkeysthey were not all Andalucians, with
linen jackets and black round caps; but many
of them were Valencians and Asturians, wearing
the loose white linen drawers and plaids of
their province,—wild, elf-haired, hard brown
men, generally, doubled up and riding on
side-saddles, their bandaged and sandalled-feet
jogging recklessly to the caterpillar propulsive
jog of the favoured donkey. You always
saw their approach indicated by the red
sparks of their cigarettes, breaking through
the white dust-clouds that wrapped them. As
to the raisin-boxes, which were all stamped
and branded, they were banded together with
grass ropes. The boys ran by the sides of
the donkeys, shouting out their namesPepe,
or Juan, or Maraquitafor endearment, and
occasionally thwacking a truant beast that
stayed to nibble gluttonously at road-side
patches of Indian corn, or some thorny-looking
bush that stuck itself spitefully out of the
black way-side sand. It was a sorry meal;
but then the epicure, you must remember, was
only an ass. Poor creature, he had never
read a cookery-book. Every now and then,
as the endless troop after troop, with more or
less speed, scuffled and jostled past, I heard a
lusty ballad about a certain Don Antonio or
El Campeador, break out and quicken into a
chorus, nasal but stirring.

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