To Jane Lampton Clemens and Family
24 October 1867 • Cádiz, Spain
.Cadiz, Oct. 24.
We g w left Gibraltar at noon & rode to Algeciras, (4 hours) thus dodging the [quarantine,)]—took dinner, & then rode [horseback ]all night in a swinging trot, & at dayling took a caleche (2-wheeled vehicle) & rode 5 hours—then took cars & traveled till ten ‸twelve‸ at night. That landed us at Seville & we were over the hard part of our trip & somewhat [tired. Since ]then we have taken things comparatively easy, drifting around from one town to another & attracting a good deal of attention—for I guess strangers do not wander through Andalusia & the other Southern provinces of Spain often. The country is precisely as it was when Don Quixotte & Sancho Panza were possible characters.
But I see now that the glory of Spain must have been when it was under Moorish domination. No, I will not say that—but then when one becomes is carri‸ed‸ age away, [infatuated], entranced, with the wonders of the Alhambra & the supernatural beauty of the Alcazar, he is apt to overflow with admiration for the splendid intellects that created them.
I cannot write now. I am only dropping a line to let you know I am well. The ship will call f here for us tomorrow. We may stop at Lisbon, & shall at the Bermudas, & will arrive in New York ten days after this letter gets there.
On 18 October Clemens, Denny, Jackson, Moulton, and Newell (and possibly an additional few of their fellow passengers) hired a Spanish guide, Michael Beñunes, and rode around Gibraltar Bay to Algeciras, intending to take a steamer from there to Málaga, and to reach Granada from Málaga by an eleven-hour carriage and railway trip. Discovering that the next steamer for Málaga would not leave for three days, Denny (and any unidentified companions) returned to the ship that night, but the other four passengers and their guide undertook the trip described here. They rode all night, more than thirty miles, to Vejer (or Bekkeh), where on the morning of 19 October they hired calèches, which conveyed them to San Fernando. At 4:00 p.m., having abandoned the plan to visit Granada, they boarded a train for Seville, arriving about midnight. After a day and a second night in Seville they took the train to Córdoba on 22 October, returning to Seville the next day and, with a stop at Jerez, finally reaching Cádiz on 24 October (Ford 1869, 1:390; Denny, entry for 18 Oct; Newell 1867; SLC 1903—4, entry for 3 Nov 1903; Ford 1845, 1:223>; SLC 1868 [MT00743]). In a chapter written for The Innocents Abroad in June 1868, but ultimately omitted from that book, Clemens recapitulated the itinerary of his “flying trip” through Spain:
[We] hired a guide, took a carriage, crossed the neutral ground & drove around the seashore to Algeciras, where we arrived about three in the afternoon....
At five, the guide brought some immense, high-trotting horses, with furnished with unimaginable & indescribable saddles, & we mounted & left.... [We went] flying, un through Spain, unencumbered, over a faultless road....
We seldom galloped. We went in a swinging trot all night....
Just as it came ‸turned‸ broad daylight we came ‸ went ‸ ‸came‸ clattering up to a diligence station called Bekjes, or some such barbarous name. We lay down till We took breakfast, hired a couple of ‸covered‸ one-horse go-carts called caleches, and s drove off through An sunny Andalusia, among picturesque villages, scenes of rural beauty & mild mountainous grandeur, stopping now & then to look & admire, or halting a moment at a peasant’s house to eat pomegranates & gra luscious grapes. Away again, meeting quaintly-costumed Sancho Panzas riding sedate, contented little asses, & wondering where in why in the mischief the redoubtable Don Quixotte, did solemn & extravagant, did not emerge from the wayside trees or from some grim stone dungeon of a Spanish inn....
We reached the fine city of San Leandro, or San Lorenzo, or some such name, after a while, rather jaded & sleepy. The diligence was crowd ready to start, it was cr full, we were tired & jaded & sleepy, the weather was hot, it was sixteen awful hours to Granada & the Alhambra—we sighed, said it was too much, & gave sorrowfully gave it up.... The Alcazar was said to be a Moorish palace a thousand years old—it was the Alhambra in miniature—its rich architecture had been perfectly restored, its gardens l & fountains likewise;—enough—let argument cease—we would fly to Seville.
We took the cars at once.... At midnight we started from a doze & ... ‸in another moment‸ we were in charming Seville....
We took the cars & went to ancient Cordova.... We were lions in Cordova.—especially our lady with her short traveling dress. Those curious interior people seldom see foreigners I think. ‸no doubt.‸ Dressed in the quaint costumes of five hundred years ago, they flocked after us & gazed upon us as though somewhat as if we had dropped out of heaven, but more as if we had come up from the other place.... We staid all night at the funniest, ‸strangest‸ old-fashioned Spanish hotel....
At 9 A.M. we hurried to the depot.... We got in the car—we moved—flew— ‸toward Cadiz.‸ (SLC 1868 [MT00743], 1289–90, 1299, 1301–3, 1306–8, 1314–15, 1317, 1321)
2 The Alhambra was “the Acropolis, the Windsor Castle, of Granada,” according to one guidebook—but as Clemens’s 1868 chapter shows, he never visited Granada, having decided to settle for the Alcazar, palace of the Moorish kings, which he saw on his first morning in Seville: “I cannot describe it. In my memory its courts & gardens will always be a hasheesh delusion, its Hall of Ambassadors a marvelous dream” (Ford 1869, 1:347; SLC 1868 [MT00743], 1309).
Sat, 14 Mar 2020 14:08:56 -0500 (03/14/2020 12:08:56 PM)
Mark Twain Forum
The chapter on Spain that was deleted from INNOCENTS ABROAD is in the
Vassar College Special Collections, Folder 27-A, pp. 1289-1331.