Pascual and Antonio Rose
John Esaias Warren was born in New York in 1827. He was only 22 years old when he was made an attaché to the United States Embassy in Madrid. He was still a young man when the American ambassador - Daniel Moreau Barringer - gave him the rather attractive task of travelling through Spain and Morocco. He was interested in finding out a bit more about Spain under the reign of Isabel II.
As a result Warren published his Vagabundo - or the Attaché in Spain which was published in 1851 and included a visit to Gibraltar where he did the usual tourist round and of which he offers very little that is new.
John Esaias Warren
The interest of this book, in so far as this article is concerned, is the mention of a Pascual Rose, a Gibraltarian tourist guide hired by Warren in Seville. Pascual together with a friend of the author called Ronalds were constant companions of the author throughout. The following are a series of quote on those occasions in which Pascual is part of the story.
Seville - Before commencing our excursions through the city, we engaged an eccentric person of the name of Pascual Rose to act as our guide. This man, though a native of Gibraltar, had resided many years in Seville, and had earned a livelihood principally by waiting upon strangers and showing them the marvels and curiosities of the place. Another source of emolument was the fees and commissions which he was accustomed to exact from every shopkeeper to whom he introduced a customer. This is a practice which prevails extensively among the valets of Spain; the traveller, therefore, cannot be too much on his guard against deception and roguery.
Seville from Cruz del Campo ( 1832 - David Roberts ) (See LINK )
Though our conductor, Pascual, was by no means perfect, but on the contrary was full of faults and imperfections, yet he made himself extremely useful to us as a companion, and afforded us an infinite deal of amusement by his drolleries and laughable eccentricities.
Being a “rock-scorpion,” his knowledge of the English language was extremely imperfect, as well as ungrammatical, though we had no difficulty in understanding him, in spite of the rapidity with which he mangled the innocent words of the noble Anglo-Saxon tongue. . . there was something about the clown that pleased us, so we took him forthwith upon his own recommendation.
La Giralda - At the entrance . . . was a little room where a pretty gipsy girl sat from morning till night upon a low seat near the door, engaged in working beautiful baskets of varicoloured beads which she disposed of to strangers. . . Our guide, Pascual, appeared to be intimately acquainted with the maiden, and made himself so very free with her that she would have served him right had she smartly boxed his ears for his insolence. . .
She told us that she danced regularly at one of the theatres, and, upon the request of the loquacious Pascual showed us several of her gala dresses, which were indeed quite fantastic and gay.
La Giralda - Seville ( 1832 - David Roberts )
The Cathedral - On leaving the cathedral we were conducted by the merry Pascual to the Lonja or Exchange
The Alcazar - “We will now,” said Pascual, “go to the Alcazar. I know that building well, and had the honor of residing in it more than a year, as the head cook of her sweet ladyship, the Duchess de Montpensier. . . .
“Well! Upon my word,” replied Ronalds, with an extraordinary look of disbelief, “I never should have taken you for a cook, and really I believe you lie! How the devil did you ever learn anything about cookery?”
“By the thousand witches,” exclaimed Pascual, in a burst of virtuous indignation, “you will never doubt my cooking capacities, after you have once given me a fair trial. Good heavens! I have the reputation of being the best cook in Seville . . .
The Hall of Ambassadors - Several red spots in the white marble pavement were pointed out to us by the credulous Pascual, who firmly believed them to have been caused by the blood of the unfortunate Don Fabrique. . . . In the midst of these charming grounds is an artificial pond, filled with glittering fish, though whether they are the veritable descendants of those placed here by Philip V, I cannot exactly say. Pascual insisted upon it that they were . . .
Entrance to Hall of the Ambassadors - Seville ( 1832 - David Roberts )
The orange -trees were heavily laden with fruit, the sweetest and spiciest that ever cooled a human tongue. At our desire Pascual climbed one of the trees, and gave us an opportunity of filling our pockets . . .
The Bath of Maria de Padilla -On one side of the long marble basin, were several grated cells, in one of which, we were assured by Pascual, Blanche of Bourbon, the innocent wife of Philip the Cruel, was imprisoned, and compelled to witness the daily ablutions of her husband, with the powerful rival who had supplanted her in his affections.
Quemadero - Pascual pointed out to us . . . a kind of altar, upon which, in former times, the victims of the Holy Inquisition were destroyed by fire. . . Even Pascual shuddered and looked solemn while showing us the impressive spot, upon which so many innocent beings had died in torment and been speedily reduced to ashes by the flaming embers around them.
The Theatre . . . our restless Pascual would not allow us long to remain undisturbed, and in fact persuaded us, as soon as the proper hour had arrived, to sally out, exhausted as we were, and spend the evening at an adjacent theatre.
Women - A droll controversy between Pascual and Ronalds upon the comparative merits of women, and the rank to which they were entitled in the scale of creation, afforded me much entertainment as we strolled through the streets together after having made our exit from the interesting factory of Barabbas.
Pascual, who was a married man, and in all probability a hen-peeked husband, declared that women had been very much overrated, and that he did not consider them such great blessings as thay were generally supposed to be.
The Dance - Being desirous to see the Andalusian dances as performed at Seville, Pascual undertook that very evening to ensure the gratification of our curiosity. . . . We had not been long in the room before the guitars began to sound, and an electric species of animation immediately infused itself into every one present. . . . Even Ronalds and Pascual shared the universal enthusiasm, and the latter actually clapped his hands, in token of his uncontrollable impatience and delight. . . . It was after four o’clock in the morning when we took our departure from the ball room. Pascual was in ecstasies . . .
Italica - As soon as Pascual had made arrangements for horses, and brought them fully equipped to the door, we mounted the animals, and set out in buoyant spirits towards the site of ancient Italics.
The ruins of Italica ( 1832 - David Roberts )
The Evils of Drink - We re-mounted our horses and proceeded on our way. And it came to pass that as we moved onward, Pascual soliloquised thus.“I say, Master Ronalds, what a con-fo-f-founded humbug is fame! You needn’t think I’m in-t-t-t-oxicated. That apothecary’s wine has somehow got into my head: but I’m a sober man. I ne-ne-vever was drunk fifty times in the whole course of my Christian life."
Off to Gibraltar - Pascual accompanied us, and seemed to be in such high spirits on the occasion, that Ronalds could not restrain himself from intimating in emphatic terms, that such unbounded merriment was altogether unbecoming in a man who was leaving an affectionate wife and child behind him. Our garrulous valet pleaded in extenuation, that his joy did not spring so much from the circumstance of his departure, as from the precious prospect of again beholding Gibraltar . . .
. . . we tossed, and rolled, and pitched in so violent a manner, after getting into the agitated waters of the Bay, that Pascual soon lost his spirits and self-possession, having become home-sick and sea-sick simultaneously.
Xerez - Pascual being well acquainted with this vinous city, took us at once to see the greatest Bodegas, or wine storehouses, within the compass of its walls. The proprietors of these establishments are accustomed to treat visitors, particularly Englishmen, with the utmost politeness and hospitality. The most successful wine merchants are foreigners, being chiefly from France and Scotland.
Xerez from the ramparts ( 1832 - David Roberts )
Leaving Cadiz - We took our ﬁnal departure from Cadiz with the sincerest and most heartfelt reluctance. Pascual on the contrary, left with undisguised pleasure, and was absolutely frantic with joy at the delicious prospect of so soon setting foot upon that tremendous citadel of British power, where the friends of his youth still lived, and where he himself had been born.
Alameda and the Convent of La Virgen del Carmen - Cadiz ( 1832 - David Roberts )
Arriving in Gibraltar - Poor Pascual was so excited and so full of plans of future enjoyment, that his tongue hardly discontinued its loquacious vibrations for a single instant, until the night had passed away and the rosy dawn appeared. Taking the first steamer, after having despatched an early breakfast, we crossed the noble bay in about half an hour, and set foot, with a feeling of inward satisfaction, upon that mighty rock . . .
We found excellent accommodations at the Club-House, an establishment with which in all respects we were exceedingly pleased. . .
The Club House Hotel in Commercial Square
The mental elation of our valet was beyond description . . . Leaving us abruptly; he started off at once in quest of the humble cottage of his aged parents. Returning in the evening, he brought his brother with him.
“This brother of mine, (Antonio) ” said he, “has more knowledge in the tip of his little finger, than I have in my whole body. He speaks five languages, and is considered the best professor of the guitar and teacher of singing in Gibraltar . . .
Then follows the usual descriptions of the standard tourist sites of Gibraltar, - the fortifications, the Galleries, the view from the top, St Michael's cave - if unnamed - a long section on the apes, the Alameda Gardens, the Moorish Castle . . . .
The Moorish Castle (1833 - David Roberts ) (See LINK)
. . . and then . . .
The Martial Music of Gibraltar . . . . such perfection of drum playing I never listened to before, and at times strange longings came over me, to hear it once again; and at evening, how did our hearts beat with emotion, as the sweet and glorious strains of that divine air of England, “God save the Queen,” floated to our ears upon the feathery pinions of the wind.
The Rock from the north (1836 David Roberts )
The Straits - In the morning we chartered a small boat with a single mast and lateen sails, to transport us to the opposite side of the Straits. The wind blew so strongly as to agitate considerably the surface of the water, and thus render our passage, though a quick one, exceedingly precarious and uncomfortable. Pascual was dreadfully alarmed . . .
Arrival in Tangier - As a boat passed near us laden with oranges from some neighbouring garden, we hailed the turbaned gentry by whom it was manned, and succeeded, by means of Pascual’s straggling words of Arabic, accompanied with illustrative pantomime, which not even a brute could have misunderstood, in carrying out a negotiation for a small quantity of fruit . . .
Tangier - We were now surrounded by a group of greedy Jews and wild barbarians, each of whom volunteered to conduct us wheresoever we wished to go, expecting of course to bleed our pockets to the utmost extent of their ability. But as Pascual was well acquainted with the geography of the town, he pompously told the crowd to be off, and forthwith escorted us without any further interruption, to the admirable mansion kept by Miss Duncan, where we were made far more comfortable than we had anticipated.
There was likewise a Moor connected with the house, bearing the name of Hamet . . . He was a noble fellow, well acquainted with Morocco, as well as with everything relating to its customs and people that was either instructive or entertaining. Pascual and he became immense cronies; and it was amusing enough to hear the strange dialogues that ensued between these two eccentric creatures—part English, part Spanish, and part Arabic, which never failed to set us in a roar of irresistible laughter.
Tangier (1836 David Roberts )
The Mosque - An Arab with a stern countenance then approached us, when, by dint of violent gesticulation on his part, and the occasional comprehension of a single word by Pascual, he gave us to understand that it was not allowed for Christians to enter the mosque, and we must, therefore, leave the premises immediately. . . As we were about doing so, a venerable individual, with a capacious turban and long silvery beard, came towards us, and after pushing the impertinent fellow aside who had first addressed us, and seeming to rebuke him for his infringement of the laws of hospitality, politely informed us that we were perfectly at liberty to look at the mosque . . .
We thanked the aged dervish, and then very coolly and dispassionately proceeded to examine the edifice. Pascual, however, who had not yet recovered from the affront that had offered us, delicately insinuated that, had we given him permission, he would have knocked the vile heathen who had first accosted us into the middle of the next century.
The Mosque - Tangier
The Coffee House - we arrived at a certain Moorish coffee-house, into which Pascual conducted us with as much sang-froid as if he were the actual proprietor of the establishment.
The Road to Tetuan - A curious gun of immense length, a curved sword, and a pair of formidable pistols, completed the uniform of our belligerent guide. Next in train followed our comical valet, now appearing infinitely more droll than ever, being astride a malicious mule, who, at every touch of the spur, kicked up her legs so violently into the air, as to threaten seriously the eventual overthrow of her rider. But Pascual was not so easily to be ousted from his position, maintaining his seat firmly, in spite of the furious efforts of the unruly beast.
. . . It was a wild and desolate scene, and if at any moment a party of armed Bedouins had darted suddenly from the concealment of the foliage, we should not have been at all surprised, but on the contrary, as Pascual courageously remarked, should probably have given them a warmer reception than they had anticipated.
The House of Solomon - There was a sinister and selfish look about the features of our landlord, which, from the first, induced us to regard him with a species of aversion . . . In front of our apartment . . . were assembled the various members of the family of our host.
As it was a festival day, the females were all attired in their gala robes . . .and . . .Pascual was soon in earnest converse with the prettiest of the group, with whom he shortly became so familiar, that our suspicious landlord began to manifest decided symptoms of jealousy and alarm, which, however, did not in the least affect the freedom or comical self-possession of our imperturbable valet.
Tetuan ( 1838 - David Roberts )
Granada - Gypsy Dances - We were transported with the magic of these rare and delicious sounds, falling upon our ears like the unknown melody of another sphere. Ronalds was in ecstasies, and longed for Pascual upon whom to pour out his sympathies.
And that is the last we hear about Pascual.
However banal and trivial these quotes might appear to the casual reader, they are of considerable historical interest. Warren's commentary is perhaps unique in the literature on the Rock right up to the beginning of the 20th century in that one of the protagonists is a named individual from Gibraltar.
No doubt some of Warren's descriptions of Pascual leave much to be desired - in particular the opening salvo concerning his dreadful English and his many 'faults imperfections'. But the rest only serve to suggest that that neither he nor his friend Ronalds could really do without him - be it as a guide in both Spain and Morocco - where his knowledge of Arabic, however limited proved indispensible - his organisational expertise, his story telling and conversational skills, and his generally optimistic and courageous nature.