9 de noviembre de 1775 - Una representación de Cid Campeador; la situación militar-pirata (349)

Barcelona, November 10, 1775.
YESTERDAY, being the festival of Saint Charles Borromeo, the king’s patron, was kept as a day of Gala. All the officers waited upon the governor in grand uniform; the theatre was illuminated, and crowded with well-drest company, which made a very handsome shew; the price of admittance was raised from half a pistreen to a whole one. The pit is divided into seats, let by the year, each person keeping his own key; the boxes are taken for the season, and the upper gallery is filled with women in white veils, and no men allowed to sit among them; so that a stranger is at a loss for a place.

The play was the Cid Campeador, an historical tragedy, written with a great deal of fire, and force of character. The actors, in the old Spanish habit and Moorish garment, seemed to enter more than usual into the sense of the author. In all tragedies they drop a curtesy, instead of bowing, to kings and heroes. A pretty ballad was sung by a woman, in the smart dress of a Maja or coquette: she wore her hair in a scarlet net, with tassels; a striped gauze handkerchief crossed over her breast; a rich jacket, flowered apron, and brocade petticoat. I observed the pit was crowded with clergymen*.

I passed the morning in the cabinet of natural history belonging to Mr. Salvador. The botanical specimens are the most perfect part of the collection, though, he possesses many rare things in every other branch of that study. This afternoon has been employed in copying out lists of the Spanish forces, with their regulations; a succinct account of which may perhaps be interesting to you at this period, when our politicians in England
seem so much afraid of them, and whilst their late unsuccessful attempt against Algiers still renders them the general topic of conversation.

* Since the fire which in 1778 consumed the theatre at Saragosa, the king has forbidden any playhouses to be opened, except in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Cadiz.

, Travels through Spain in the years 1775 and 1776 (1787).

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