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A few hours, or even one hour, each day, snatched from the exigencies of society, and devoted to the study of any one of the languages of Europe, would prove a profitable investment of time, and yield a sure reward. Madame Campan did not consider the education of a young girl completed because she had left school. In one of her admirable letters of advice to a friend, she writes: "Continue still to devote daily some hours to study, that you may speak fluently in German, sing sweetly in Italian, and write charmingly in French." Although the fashionable world may be very exacting and absorb much of the attention of our young ladies, still, even in its whirl of gayety there are many weary and listless hours, which might be pleasantly occupied in learning a foreign language. The Persian poet exclaims, "Count every hour enjoyed as a treasure gained." May we not paraphrase this by saying, "Count every hour well employed as a treasure gained?" One of those weary hours given each day to German would soon afford you the satisfaction of reading the grandly eloquent works of Goethe, of Schiller, of Jean Paul Richter, of Heine, and of other authors, to which no translation can ever render justice.

Many young ladies study Latin at school; hence the acquisition of any of the languages of Southern Europe would be vastly facilitated. It is a fascinating occupation to follow all these different streams which flow from the great fountain of the Latin.

First, the Spanish, resembling it closely, with many of its noble characteristics, while it is enriched with the sonorous grandeur of the Moorish, vehement, expressive, and forcible, peculiarly powerful

and majestic in oratory and declamation.

Next, the Italian, soft and graceful, the type of its own rosetinted skies and delicious clime. Music, which gives laws to harmony, has chosen that idiom as the most exquisite for the sweet breathings of its melody; while Poetry, the sister spirit of Music, revels in the full and swelling beauty of its tones.



Then, the French, bright as the flight of a shining arrow, phatic and concise, the language of society and of diplomacy. Through all changes of "clime and time," we will trace their allegiance to the Latin. It lingers around them as the remembrance of a mother's love clings to the human heart.

Among the happy visions which float in the mind of nearly every American girl is that of a visit to Europe; therefore, to her, a knowledge of foreign languages would be especially agreeable. Many persons travel through classic lands with no more enjoyment than the deaf and dumb, whose only pleasure is derived from sight. How charmingly might a young lady utilize her accomplishments as a linguist by contributing to the information, the happiness, and the comfort of those of her family who accompany her, and who, perhaps, have been too much occupied with the hard actualities of life to acquire these languages!

It is always a joy to woman's heart to know she increases the happiness of the loved ones. Thus many amusing incidents and sparkling conversations are constantly occurring as we travel through "lands beyond the seas," which might be translated for their enjoyment also. Pleasure and usefulness are combined in the knowledge of foreign languages. It is an admirable training for the memory, and genial exercise for the mind; and the acquisition of every new language is another delight added to existence.


Ar dawn we left Madrid, passing through the deserted Puerto del Sol, by the great palace of the queen, and on to the avenue called La Florida. The trees are planted near the Manzanares, and their vigorous life is in strong contrast with the sterility around them. The plains are parched, and the hills gray, and entirely without verdure. At intervals we saw the peasants working amid the rocks, for there did not seem to be a vestige of soil upon them. The snow-capped peaks of the Guadarama Mountains soon met our eyes, gleaming brightly in the morning sunlight, as we journeyed pleasantly along the camino real -the royal road which leads from the capital to the Escurial, a distance of twenty-five miles. The road is really magnificent, with a parapet rising up on each side, and grand bridges spanning deep chasms, where far below trickle slowly on diminutive streamlets dignified with the name of river.

Many leagues away we caught sight of the Escurial, rising in gloomy yet majestic grandeur near the highest point of the mountain region of the Guadarama. It is built of granite, and absolutely seems a part and portion of the "everlasting hills." It is a glorious old

place, monastery, and mausoleum, erected in 1563 by Philip the Second, son of the famous Charles the Fifth, in compliance with a vow made to St. Lorenzo so says tradition during the battle of St. Quentin. The saint granting the monarch's prayer for victory, this colossal and sacred edifice was dedicated to his honor, and constructed in the form of a parilla, — gridiron, as St. Lorenzo suffered martyrdom by being broiled upon one. Hence it presents a most singular appearance. Four enormous towers indicate the feet of the gridiron, while the interior is divided into cloisters like its bars. The handle contains the palace. In the center of the building is the immense dome, and beneath it the church. We drove through a poor little village near the palace, and stopping at the posada, obtained a guide, and went immediately to the Escurial. Its proportions are gigantic, and it seems intended for eternity, — with its arched corridors, its spacious porticos and wide courts, its lofty galleries and noble saloons. There are eleven thousand windows, in holy remembrance of the "Virgins of Cologne, slain by the Huns," and fourteen thousand doors. Twenty-two years were occupied in its construction, and it cost six millions of crowns.


We spent all the day following our guide Cornelio through the windings of the building, almost as intricate as those of the Cretan labyrinth. Cornelio was entirely blind, and had been so for fortyeight years. Still, in his "mind's eye," he sees all the glories of the Escurial. It was so strange to hear the sightless old man exclaim, "Now, Señora, remark the effect of the sunlight upon that picture! " And then he would stop as though looking upon it, and point out all its beauty. See the deep shadows cast by those columns; they have the form of a king upon his throne," again would he say, as we passed along with him up the great granite stairways, and through vaulted cloisters to the royal apartments, where Isabel the Second spends her summers. These are fitted up with luxurious elegance, but not by far so exquisite as that portion of the palace embellished and adorned by Charles the Third. It is quite unique in style. The floors and walls are composed of a mosaic of different colored wood, and the furniture inlaid with ivory and pearl-shell, and glittering with stones and gems.

The view from the balcony of these rooms is admirably picturesque, looking down upon the lonja - terrace planted with box, cut into fanciful shapes. Beyond this terrace are the hanging gardens, and

the little lakes and fountains; then great groves of elm and oak trees, all brought from England. Inclosing the lovely picture, as though in a dark frame, were the gray summits of the Guadarama chain. Gazing over the wide expanse, it appeared to me the realization of the wild dream of an enthusiast. The creation of such a paradise, beneath the shadow of the snow-topped mountains, upon whose highest peak is the grand Escurial, is justly styled by the Castilians la octava maravilla del mundo, the eighth wonder of the world. Philip the Second was a man of most indomitable will and religious zeal. Thus, inspired by a holy purpose, and aided by the great magician of the earth, mighty gold, he accomplished aʼmost a miracle. Possessing infinite taste in the fine arts, and a love of the beautiful, he adorned the vast halls, galleries, and libraries with the works of distinguished artists and authors.

When we came to the door of the great library, blind Cornelio gave me to the charge of an aged monk, who became the cicerone of our wanderings through it. There are thirty-five thousand volumes resting upon the shelves, and multitudes of manuscripts in Arabic; then noble portraits of Philip the Second, in his early youth and in his manhood. There is a superb picture of Charles the Fifth, taken in the glorious days of his life, when he ruled nearly one half of Europe. We also saw the portraits of Herrera, architect of the Escurial, and of Montano, the first librarian. The ceiling, which is extremely lofty, was painted by Carducho, and is now as fresh and bright as when painted, some three hundred years ago.

The old monk was learned, kind, and courteous. He gave us mcst interesting and valuable information concerning the former occupants of this wonderful place. He showed us the small room in which Philip died, in 1598, at the age of seventy-two. His last illness was of frightful duration, and he commanded his people to remove him to a spot whence his eyes could look constantly upon the great altar of the church. We also saw the seat where he was wont to place himself among the monks in the coro, and listen to the music swelling out from the giant organ. In his old age he was rigid in the observance of his religious duties, casting aside all the regal splendor of the monarch. Just in the rear of the coro is the statue of Christ upon the cross, carved by Benvenuto Cellini, and given to Philip by the King of Sardinia. It is of exquisite workmanship, but painful to look upon. So precious was it deemed, that it was

brought all the distance from Barcelona on the shoulders of men, for fear the shaking of a carriage might injure it.

Although many of the paintings have been removed to the Museo of Madrid, multitudes still remain, of rare excellence. There are many of Raphael, of Tintoretto, of Murillo, of Titian and Velasquez. The monk often paused before pictures by Navarrette el Mudo — Navarrette the Dumb and commended them to my special attention. They all portray the sufferings of our Saviour, and were indescribably affecting. This Navarrette was a poor deaf-and-dumb boy, who was permitted to wander unheeded through the long cloisters and amid the picture-galleries of the Escurial. At last his genius and lis talent found utterance through the pencil and brush. The eloquence of the soul seems infused into them. 66 The Temptation of Christ upon the Mount" is a perfect history of the fierce struggle and trial of the passions. "Christ bound to the Column" touched me even to tears. The divine face of our Lord, although bitterness and humiliation are expressed in it, has also a holy calm in the beautiful eyes irresistibly impressive. There were other paintings of Navarrette the Dumb besides these, which were remarkable for the coloring and admirable life-like attitudes. From the saints and martyrs his subjects were all taken.

In the private chapel is the grand painting of Titian, representing San Lorenzo bound to the gridiron, and the fire just kindled beneath it. A most gloomy and sad picture it is, with the stern and fierce faces clustering around to gaze upon the agonies and martyrdom of the saint.

We passed through a long subterranean passage, under a portion of the edifice, and came out just near our inn.

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