The horses, it is true, are of such a quality that, if they are not killed today, they will be taken to the horse-butcher tomorrow. Good horses would not only be too expensive, but they would also refuse to await the attack of the bull without shying or offering resistance, even if their right eyes were bandaged. The more horses the bull has killed and the more dangerous to the men he has become, the louder is the applause. One bull persistently refused to attack the picadores. He ran up and down the arena, trembling with fear, while the crowd shrieked curses and imprecations. At last they yelled: Los perros! (the dogs!) When the dogs arrived in the arena they could hardly be restrained. Madly they rushed upon the bull, who at once gored one of them and tossed him high in the air. The others, however, fastened on him, one of them seizing his tongue so firmly that he was swung high up in the air and down again. You could have torn him to pieces before he would have let go. Finally four dogs had the bull in a position where he could not free himself, and the matador struck him down.
While this butchery was at its height, the young queen with the Infanta entered, accompanied by Don Francesco, her husband, and the Duke of Montpensier. Aumale had arrived earlier. The queen looked very happy and is by no means so ugly as the papers say. She is blonde, rather stout, and not at all plain. The Infanta is small, extremely dark and thin. The queen was greeted by the matador just as her mother had been, but by the spectators with much enthusiasm. When the eighth bull was killed, it began to grow dark, but all the people yelled “un otro toro,” and the ninth bull was hunted down almost in darkness—which is very dangerous for the matador.
This, then, is the spectacle which the Spaniards love better than anything else, which is watched by the tenderest of women, and which brought a smile to the face of the Infanta, a recent bride. So far as I am concerned, one bullfight was quite enough for me, and its description, I fancy, will be enough for you.
DESCRIPTION OF MOSCOW (1856)
TRANSLATED BY GRACE BIGELOW
Thursday, August 28th
The City of Moscow takes it for granted that the Emperor has not yet arrived. A few assert that he has been since yesterday at the Castle Petrofskoy, an hour’s ride from here, where he is holding court and reviewing a hundred thousand Guards; but that is his incognito; officially, he is not yet here.