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ly presents, the superstitious tribute of most of the Roman Catholic princes in Europe. Among a multitude of others, they showed me a sword set with diamonds, the offering of Charles the Third, then King of Spain, but now Emperor of Germany. Though I must confess, being a heretic, I could much easier find a reason for a fair lady's presenting such a sword to a king of Spain, than for a king of Spain's presenting such a sword to a fair lady: and by the motto upon it, Pulchra tamen nigra, it was plain such was his opinion. That prince was so delighted with the pleasures of this sweet place, that he, as well as I, staid as long as ever he could; though neither of us so long as either could have wished.
But there was another offering from a king of Portugal, equally glorious and costly, but much better adapted ; and therefore in its propriety easier to be accounted for. That was a glory for the head of her ladyship, every ray of which was set with diamonds, large at the bottom, and gradually
lessening to the very extremity of every ray. Each ray might be about half a yard long; and I imagined in the whole, there might be about one hundred of them. In short, if ever her ladyship did the offerer the honour to put it on, I will, though a heretic, venture to aver, she did not at that present time look like a human creature.
To enumerate the rest, if my memory would suffice, would exceed belief. As the upper part was a plain miracle of nature, the lower was a complete treasury of miraculous art.
If you ascend from the lowest cell to the very summit, the last of all the thirteen, you will perceive a continual contention between pleasure and devotion ; and at last, perhaps, find yourself at a loss to decide which deserves the pre-eminence : for you are not here to take cells in the vulgar acceptation, as the little dormitories of solitary monks: No! Neatness, use, and contrivance, appear in every one of them ; and though in an almost perfect equality,
yet in such perfection, that you will find it difficult to discover in any one of them
any thing wanting to the pleasure of life.
If you descend to the convent near the foot of that venerable hill, you may see more, much more of the riches of the world; but less, far less appearance of a celestial treasure. Perhaps, it might be only the sentiment of a heretic; but that awe and devotion, which I found in my attendant from cell to cell, grew languid, and lost, in mere empty bigotry and foggy superstition, when I came below. In short, there was not a greater difference in their heights, than in the sentiments they inspired me with.
Before I leave this emblem of the beatific vision, I must correct some thing like a mistake, as to the poor borigo. I said at the beginning, that his labour was daily ; but the Sunday is to him a day of rest, as it is to the hermits, his masters, a day of refection. For, to save the poor faithful brute the hard drudgery of that day, the
thirteen hermits, if health permit, descend to their Cænobium, as they call it; that is, to the hall of the convent, where they dine in common with the monks of the order, who are Benedictines.
After seven days variety of such innocent delight, (the space allowed for the entertainment of strangers,) I took my
leave of this pacific hermitage, to pursue the more boisterous duties of my calling. The life of a soldier is in every respect the full antithesis to that of a hermit; and I know not, whether it might not be a sense of that, which inspired me with very great reluctancy at parting. I confess, while on the spot, I over and over bandied in my mind the reasons which might prevail upon Charles the Fifth to relinquish his crown; and the arguments on his side never failed of
energy, when I could persuade myself that this, or some like happy retreat, was the reward of abdicated empire.
Full of these contemplations, (for they lasted there,) I arrived at Barcelona ; where
I found a vessel ready to sail, on which I embarked for Denia, in pursuance of my orders. Sailing to the mouth of the Mediterranean, no place along the Christian shore affords a prospect equally delightful with the castle of Denia. It was never designed for a place of great strength, being built, and first designed, as a seat of pleasure to the great Duke of Lerma. In that family it many years remained ; though, within less than a century, that with two other dukedoms have devolved
the family of the Duke de Medina Celi, the richest subject at this time in all Spain.
Denia was the first town, that, in our way to Barcelona, declared for King Charles ; and was then by his order made a garrison. The town is but small, and surrounded with a thin wall; so thin, that I have known a cannon ball pierce through it at once.
When I arrived at Denia, I found a Spaniard governor of the town, whose name has slipt my memory; though his behaviour merited everlasting annals. Major Perci