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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

And procured its abolition in 1805


_seguidillas_ or _boleros_,

the _fandango_, _guaracha_, _zorongo_, _arlequ?n_, _chacona_, _zarabanda_, the Aragonese _jota_, the Valencian _dansetes_, and the Catalonian _sardana_, all of which gave great play to the individual and represented harmonious action of the entire body. Many of these dances, or their derivatives, survive in Spain today. Professional dancing girls were popular favorites--and not infrequently the mistresses of the great gentlemen of the court. Charles III detested dancing, but neither he nor his successor could check it, though they did regulate it to some extent. In like manner the theatre continued to be a national passion, despite the disapproval of certain great churchmen as well as of Charles III. Three great theatres were built in Madrid in the reign of Philip V. Governmental regulations were as unavailing in this as in the case of dancing. The popularity of bull-fighting got to be greater than ever, though Philip V and Charles III disliked the sport. Ferdinand VI was a devotee, and Charles IV was not unfriendly. The repugnance felt by Philip V had the effect of causing the withdrawal of the nobles from taking part in the contests, with the result that a professional class of bull-fighters developed. Charles III went so far as to prohibit the sport in 1785, but Charles IV, in 1789, consented to its return. Godoy, however, was opposed to bull-fighting, and procured its abolition in 1805. The period from 1789 to 1805 is a famous one in the history of this game. Just as happens
today, so then, the names of the favorite bull-fighters were on everybody's lips. This was a period when many of the feats of the bull-fighters which still form a part of the contest were invented. Possibly the most widely known name was that of Pepe Illo, or Hillo (great bull-fighter and writer of a treatise on the so-called art of bull-fighting), who was killed in the bull-ring at Madrid in 1801, an event which Goya reduced to canvas in one of his most famous paintings. Madrid, Aranjuez, Granada, and Seville were the only cities which had bull-rings (_plazas de toros_), but fights were held in all parts of Spain by utilizing the principal square of the city. Certain athletic exercises were very popular, among which the Basque game of ball, still played in Spain, is especially worthy of mention.[62] Performances of professional acrobats, jugglers, and magicians were frequent, as well as the playing of pantomimes.

[Sidenote: Marked advance in the care of cities.]

The policing of cities for the first time became worthy of commendation. At the opening of the eighteenth century Madrid was ugly, extremely dirty, without architectural monuments, driveways, or promenades, and lacked a good water system. The great reforms of Aranda under Charles III and of Godoy in the next reign transformed the city, resulting in the opening of new streets, the organization of an efficient street-cleaning system (despite opposition on the ancient ground that the filthiness of the streets was a preventive of epidemics), the completion of the work of paving begun in the previous era, the development of a good water supply, the inauguration of a lighting system, the building of noteworthy edifices, the bettering of old promenades (_paseos_) and the opening of new ones, and the issue of numerous ordinances intended to preserve the good order and public health of the city. It was at this time, too, that the institution of the _sereno_ (night-watchman in Spanish streets) was introduced from abroad; contrary to the usual opinion the _sereno_ is not Spanish in origin, but of foreign importation. The walk, or drive, along the great _paseos_, just at evening before nightfall, became more popular among all classes than ever, and has remained a Spanish custom to the present day. Barcelona, Seville, and C?diz were also much improved.


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