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nion of their own merit too naturally leads such men into a contempt of others : but on the contrary, these good men (for I must call them as I thought them) seemed to me the very emblems of innocence ; so ready to oblige others, that at the same instant they seemed laying obligations upon themselves. This is self-evident, in that affability and complaisance they use in shewing the rarities of their several cells; where, for fear you should slip any thing worthy observation, they endeavour to instil in you as quick a propensity of asking, as you find in them a prompt alacrity in answering, such questions of curiosity as their own have inspired.
In particular, I remember one of those reverend old men, when we were taking leave at the door of his cell, to which, out of his great civility, he accompanied us, finding by the air of our faces, as well as our expressions, that we thought ourselves pleasingly entertained ; to divert us afresh, advanced a few paces from the door, when,
giving a whistle with his mouth, a surprising flock of pretty little birds, variegated, and of different colours, immediately flocked around him. Here you should see some alighting upon his shoulders, some on his awful beard; others took refuge on his snowlike head, and many feeding, and more endeavouring to feed, out of his mouth; each appearing emulous, and under an innocent contention, how best to express their love and respect to their no less pleased master.
Nor did the other cells labour under any deficiency of variety: every one boasting in some particular, that might distinguish it in something equally agreeable and entertaining. Nevertheless, crystal springs spouting from the solid rocks were, from the highest to the lowest, common to them all; and, in most of them, they had little brass cocks, out of which, when turned, issued the most cool and crystalline flows of excellent pure water. And yet what more affected me, and which I found near more cells than one, was the natural cascades of
the same transparent element; these falling from one rock to another, in that warm, or rather hot climate, gave not more delightful astonishment to the eye, than they afforded grateful refreshment to the whole man. The streams falling from these, soften, from a rougher tumultuous noise, into such affecting murmurs, by distance, the intervention of groves, or neighbouring rocks, that it were impossible to see or hear them, and not be charmed. Neither are those
groves grateful only in a beautiful verdure ; nature renders them otherwise delightful, in loading them with clusters of berries of a perfect scarlet colour, which, by a beautiful intermixture, strike the eye with additional delight. In short, it might nonplus a person of the nicest taste, to distinguish or determine, whether the neatness of their cells within, or the beauteous varieties without, most exhaust his admiration. Nor is the whole, in my opinion, a little advantaged by the frequent view of some of those pyramidical
pillars, which seem, as weary of their own weight, to recline and seek support from others in the neighbourhood.
When I mentioned the outside beauties of their cells, I must be thought to have forgot to particularize the glorious prospects presented to your eye from
every one of them; but especially from that nearest the summit. A prospect, by reason of the purity of the air, so extensive, and so very entertaining, that to dilate
properly to one that never saw it, would baffle credit; and naturally to depaint it, would confound invention. I therefore shall only say, that on the Mediterranean side, after an agreeable interval of some fair leagues, it will set at defiance the strongest optics ; and although Barcelona bounds it on the land, the eyes are feasted with the delights of such an intervening champaign, (where beauteous nature does not only smile but riot,) that the sense must be very temperate, or very weak, that can be soon or easily satisfied.
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Having thus taken a view of all their refreshing springs, their grateful groves, and solitary shades under single 'trees, whose clusters proved that even rocks were grown fruitful; and having ran over all the variety of pleasures in their several pretty cells, decently set off with gardens round them, equally fragrant and beautiful, we were brought down again to the convent, which, though on a small ascent, lies foot of this terrestrial paradise, there to take a survey of their sumptuous hall, much more sumptuous chapel, and its adjoining repository, and feast our eyes with wonders of a different nature; and yet as entertaining as any, or all, we had seen before.
Immediately on our descent, a priest presented himself at the door of the convent, ready to shew us the hidden rarities. And though, as I understood, hardly a day passes without the resort of some strangers to gratify their curiosity with the wonders of the place; yet is there, on every such occasion, a superior concourse of natives ready to see