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IN SEARCH OF DON QUIXOTE.

I NEVER really got tired of that hot
Spanish City of Raisins, where the people
were all of a mild liquorice-brown colour.
My objection to it was, that I found the
proverb of the Arabs too true,—that Malaga
was a perfect Paradise, "only that the fleas
are always dancing there to the tune played
by the mosquitos."  It was the fleas I
feel sure, that finally pulled me out of bed
and made me send, impromptu, for a calesa
and rush violently down a steep place to the
quay and embark in the Alhambra, Peninsular
and Oriental steamer.  Indeed, I am
convinced that the Turkish saying, that the
King of Fleas lives in Galilee, was really
first said of Malaga.

What I went through at Malaga; the
hardship of being always driven to drink
Manzanilla because the water was lukewarm;
the constantly being peppered with the dust
from scuffling strings of donkeys laden with
boxes of dried raisins, I dare not attempt to tell.
Still, though sore of foot, my face covered
with the red itching bumps of mosquito bites
so that my own creditors would not have
known me; turned to a brown amber-colour
by the furnace sun; drained by perpetual
perspirations and want of the chief nourisher
in life's feast (I allude to balmy sleep), I
still carried out with that peculiar tenacity
of purpose, which my friends call obstinacy,
the object of my Spanish toursearching for
Don Quixote.

For, if the lean, lanthorn-jawed, warm-
hearted Don ever was a type of the best
Spanish character, he must still exist
somewhere; and, therefore, is, I say, to be wormed
out, in church, market-place, shop, steam-
boat, posada or correo (diligence); his
chivalry, spiritualism, unworldliness, generosity,
unselfishness: in a word, his gentlehood.

Sour, cynical menmen of the Croaker class
told me that Spaniards now were all a set
of idle, cowardly, bragging, cigar-smoking,
bull-fighting, stabbing guitar-players, who
spent their time in gossip or worse things.
Other menthe quiet, shy epicure, diletante,
Tory-prejudiced class, told me that
I had quite mistaken the thing (quoting
something from Calderon de la Barca);
that Don Quixote was no abstract Spaniard,
but only a La Manchan; that every
allusion to his travels was a local,
parochial allusion; and that going to Moorish
Spain to look for the gaunt, nankeen-faced
knight was simply a blunder.  I took out
my Don Quixote and proved, smilingly to
myself, that all this was wrong and that
I was right.  National types cannot die.
Robin Hood still poaches down in Yorkshire;
Richard Coeur de Lion only the other
day knocked down three Russian generals
with the butt-end of his musket at foggy
Inkermann.

Yes, I said, every ugly inn-drudge with
rough, red arms, I see, will be Maritornes.
Every landlord will be like the knavish
Asturian, who invented the ingenious reed
by which the illustrious man, born after
his time, contrived to drink the red wine
through his barrel-helmet.  There shall I see
his Dulcinea, round of face and large of limb,
at every barn-door where they are sifting
maize.  There shall I meet Sancho and the
barber, the curate, the housekeeper, the
black-eyed, tight-waisted niece, and indeed
all the pleasant Smollet company.  I shall
see them, through whirls of fiery dust, on
vine-clad mountain sides, from diligence
windows, in fire-coloured boats, on broad blue
bags in steamer-cabins, on horseback, with
wide jacketed guides, beside droves of red-
tasselled tinkling mules, such as fill with
itinerant clangour the kuubbly streets of
Spanish cities; in factas writers say after
a long sentence which has taken away their
breatheverywhere.  But the Don, the loose-
limbed, aquiline-nosed Don, with the faded,
yet kindling eye, the intermittent teeth and
the raw-boned impracticable horse, I shall
have more trouble with him.  He will be,
perhaps, hidden in some old book-shop at
Toledo, devouring, with immense dark-
lanthorn spectacles, some worm-eaten book of
chivalryTirarte the White or Palmerin the
Cruel, and writing by help of spoonful-pinches
of the black, fragrant rappee of Seville, a
short treatise to show that the great Spanish
General, Blake, who, it is not generally known,
kicked the French over the Pyrenees, derived
all the finer points of his character from the
study of Amadis of Gaul.  Or he may now be
some pot-bellied canon living in a little

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