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from most men by an exemption from prejudices, he ascribes to himself a quality highly necessary in forming the character of an entertaining and instructive traveller.
Mr. Swinburne had, from the time of his departure from his native country, purposed to publish his travels through Spain. • In my plan of inquiry (he lays) an exact investigation of the foil, cultivation, government, commerce, and manners of that kingdom, was to be the grand primary object; but what I was more confident of my strength in, and what I own, I found more suitable to my own inclinations, was the study of its antiquities, especially the Moorish; in that line, my own eye and labour were fufficient helps, to enable me to collect interesting materials for a publicacion,
The Author formed a very proper judgment of his own abia lities, which seem best adapted to the description of still life. At the commencement of his Tour through Spain, he observes, ! I am afraid we are come here a century too soon, or a century too late, and that the old original cait is worn off the character of the Spaniards, without their having thoroughly acquired the polihh of France or England. This will render chem a much less interesting race of people.'-This observation is both folid and ingenious; but the reader will be disappointed, if he expects to find any thing like the moral or political picture of the Spanish nation in the present performance. .
The principal antiquities here described, are the Moorish palace at Granada, and the mosque at Cordova. As a specimen of Mr. Swinburne's talent for composition, we shall insert some extracts from his account of the former, which is the most distinct and copious that we have any where met with:
This ancient fortress, and residence of the Mahometan monarchs of Granada, derives its name from the red colour of the materials that it was originally built with, Alhambra fignifying a redheule,
It stands between the rivers, on a very high hill, that projects into the plain, and overlooks all the city; the road up to it, is through a narrow street, called Calle de los Gomeles, from a great family among the Moors. This brings you through a massive gate, into the outward inclosure of the Alhambra. You then continue to afçend by a very steep avenue of elms, which soon increases to a wood, intersected in many directions, by wild, neglected walks, where streams of clear water, finding their passage obitructed by the rubbish of their old channels, spread over the whole road. A large fountain adorns the platform near the top of the hill. The water, diverted from its proper conduits, has been suffered to run at random for such a length of time, that it has destroyed most of the icalpiure and embellishments, which were in a very good talle. Here you turn short to the left, and come under the walls of the inner in. . closure. Its appearance is that of an old town, exhibiting a long Taage of high buttlemented walls, interrupted at regular difiunces by large lofty square towers. These have one or two arched windows
near the top, and a precipitate flope from the bottom into a dry ditch. The whole is built with round irregular pebbles, mixed with cement and gravel. Some parts are covered and smoothed over with a thick coat of plaister; in other places, mortar has been laid in between the stones, leaving as much of thein uncovered as came to the level ; then the trowel has been carefully drawo round, forming about them triangles, half moons, &c. Just before you ftands the present principal entrance into the castle, a square tower, built by king Julaf Abuhagiagi, in 1348, as an inscriprion informs us : from its being the place where justice was summarily administered, it was styled The Gate of Judgment. You pass through it under several arches, each of which is more than a full semicircle, resting upon a small impost, the ends of the bow being brought towards each other in the form of a horse-fhoe. On the key-stone of the outward arch, is sculptured the figure of an arm, the symbol of strength and dominion : on that of the next arch,' is a key, enbossed, the armorial ensign of the Andalusian Moors. Above it, the wall of this partition is covered with a beautiful blue and gold Mosaic, in the middle of which, they * have placed an image of the Virgin Mary. On the left is the cattle-wall, supposed to have been built by the Phænicians. I examined the work very narrowly, and found it confited of a layer of cement, one or two inches thick, on which is placed Hatwise, a stone of the same thickness, chiffelled on the face into a kind of a chequered design : this is the regular method employed from top to bottom. This lane ends in the great fquare, or Plaza de los Algibes, so named from the ancient Cilterns, that undermine it from end to end, and are constantly fed by a supply of running water. The prospect from the parapet-wall is wonderfully grand, over the vale of Dauro, the Albaycin, and down the Vega.
We omit, for the sake of brevity, our Author's description of the superb palace erected here by the Emperor Charles V. This edifice was never finished; which Mr. Swinburne feelingly laments, and with reason ;- for, according to his account, the architect discovered, in this work, a most transcendent genius, grandeur of style, and elegance and chastity of design, very different from all that has been done, for a century palt, in this kingdom.- We return, therefore, to his survey of the splendid ruins of the palace of the Moorish kings-in which are apartments, indisputably the most curious, lays our Author, of any that exist in Spain,- perhaps in Europe.
• Palling round the corner of the Emperor's palace, you are ad. mitted at a plain anornamented door in a corner. On my first visit, I confess, I was struck with amazement, as I slepped over the threfhold, to find myself, on a sudden, transported into a species of fairyland. The first place you come into, is the court called the Com. muna, or common baths: an oblong square, with a deep bason of
• We suppose the Author means the tasteless, bigotted Spaniards; who have, herein, acted as wisely as the Parisian ftatuary, who wanted to dress out an Alexander the Great in a bag wig and Solitaire.
clear water in the middle; two flights of marble steps leading down to the bottom; on each fide, a parterre of flowers, and a row of orange trees. Round the court runs a peryítile paved with marble; the arches bear upon very light pillars, in proportions and style, different from all the regular orders of architecture. The cielings and walls are incrustaced with fret-work in stucco, fo minute and intricate, that the moit patient draughtsman would find it difficult to follow it, unless he made himself master of the general plan. This would facilitate the operacion exceedingly, for all this work is fre. quently and regularly repeated, at certain distances, and has been executed by means of square moulds, applied succeslively, and the parts joined together wich the utmost nicety. In every division are Arabic sentences, most of them expressive of the following meanings, “ There is no conqueror but God.” Or, “ Obedience and honour to our Lord Abouabdalla.” The ceilings are gilt or painted, and time has caused no diminution in the freshness of their colours, though constantly exposed to the air. The lower part of the walls is Mosaic, disposed in fantatic knots and feltoons : a work so new to me, so exquisitely finished, and so different from all I had ever seen, afforded me the most agreeable sensations, which, I assure you, redoabled, every step I took in this magic ground. The porches at the ends are more like grotto work, than any thing else I can compare them to. That on the right hand opens into an octagon vault, uoder the Emperor's palace, and forms a perfect whispering-gallery, meant to be a communication between the ofices of both houles.'
The Author next describes the Court of the Lions ; so called, from twelve figures of those animals *, which support on their backs an enormous bason, out of which a lefser arises; from whence (wbile the pipes were kept in order) a great volume of water was thrown up; and which, falling down into the basons, pafled through the mouths of the beasts into a large reservoir, whence it communicated by channels with the jet d'eaus in the apartments. This fountain is of white marble, embellished with many festoon's and Arabic distichs, of which Mr. Swinburne has given translations. He has also given an elegant drawing of this great and magnificent apartment, from which the reader will conceive a much more adequate idea of the form and beauty of the place, than could possibly be conveyed by words.
We are next conducted to a circular room, in which the men used to drink coffee, &c. A fountain in the middle refreshed the apartment in summer. " The form of this hall,' says Mr. Swinburne, the elegance of its cupola, the cheerful
• In another place, our Author takes notice of the anathema denounced by the Koran, against all representations of living creatores ; and observes, that these lions Thew, that the Granadine princes, as well as some of the oriental Caliphs, who put their own effigy on their coin, ventured, sometimes, to place themselves above the letter of the law.
distribution of light from above, and the exquisite manner in which the ftucco is designed, painted, and finished, exceed all my powers of description. Every thing in it inspires the most pleasing, voluptuous ideas.
Two other rooms, which are supposed to have been audience chambers, are next opened to our view; and then we are led to the Tower of the two Sisters, so named from two very beautiful pieces of marble, laid as flags in the pavement. Of this tower, &c. the following description is given ; but alas ! we cannot transcribe the very fine copper-plate representation of the
deligh:ful view of the entrance : • • This gate exceeds all the rest in profusion of ornaments, and in
beauty of prospect, through a range of apartments, where a multi*tude of arches terminate in a large window, open to the country. I * employed much time in making an exact drawing of it from the fountain, and hope it will help you to comprehend what I am labouring to explain by my parrative.
• The first hall is the concert-room, where the women fat; the musicians played above, in four balconies. In the middle is a jet d'eau. The marble pavement, I take to be equal to the fineft exifting, for the size of the flags, and evenness of the colour. The two Glers are slabs that measure fifteen feet by seven and one half, without flaw or stain. The walls, up to a certain height, are Mosaic, and above are divided into very neat compartments of stucco, all of one design, which is also followed in many of the adjacent halls and galleries. The cieling is a fretted cove.'
From this hall, you pass round the little myrtle garden of Lindaraxa, and through an additional building made to the east end by Charles V. to a little tower called the dressing-room of the Sultana. " It is a small square cabinet, in the middle of an open gallery, from which it receives Jight by a door and three windows; the look-out charming. In one corner is a large marble Aag, drilled full of holes, through which the smoke of perfumes ascended from furnaces below : and here, it is preSumed, the Moorish queen used to fit, to.fumigate and sweeten her person.'
From hence, you go to the hall of Ambassadors, which is magnificently decorated with innumerable varieties of Mosaics, and the mottos of all the kings of Granada. This antichamber opens into the Communa on the left hand, and on the right into the great audience-hall, in the tower of Comares, a noble apartment, thirty-six feet square, thirty-six high up to the cornice; and eighteen from thence to the centre of the cupola. The whole ball is inlaid with Mosaic, of many colours, disposed in intricate knots, stars, and other figures. In every part are repeated certain Arabic fentences: the principal of which are translated by our attentive traveller, and accurate observer,
Having completed the tour of the upper apartments, we descend, with our Author, to the bed-chambers, and summerrooms, on the lower floor:
· The moit remarkable room below, is the king's bed-chamber, which communicated, by means of a gallery, with the upper atory. The beds were placed in two alcoves, on a raised pavement of blue and white tiles. - A fountain played in the middle, to refresh the apartment in hot weather. Behiod the alcoves are doors that conduct you to the royal baths : chere consist of one small clorer, with marble cilterns, for washing children, two rooms for grown up perfons, and vaults for boilers and furnaces, that supplied the baths with water, and the stoves with vapours.
• Hard by is a whispering-gallery, and a kind of labyrinth, said to have been made for the diversion of the women and children.'
Our Traveller describes some other apartments, which brevity obliges us to pass over ; from the same consideration also, we have omitted many circumstances in his accounts of the rooms, &c. which we have introduced into this abstract. : :
Mr. Swinburne concludes his description of the Alhambra, by observing: How admirably every thing was planned and calculated for rendering this palace the most voluptuous of all retirements; what plentiful supplies of water were brought to refresh it in the hot months of summer; what a free circulation : of air was contrived, by the judicious disposition of doors and windows; what shady gardens of aromatic trees; what noble views over the beautiful hills and fertile plains ! No wonder the Moors regretted Granada! No wonder they still offer up prayers to God every Friday for the recovery of this city, which they esteem a terrestrial paradise.'
The above specimens show, that the Author's style is easy and unaffected, though neither remarkably elegant, nor perfectly accurate. Much commendation, however, is due to him, for the pains he has taken to give the English reader an idea of the Moorish antiquities in Spain, which are not described in any other book in our language. Indeed, every attempt to explain the state of that country is particularly meri. torious, on account of the sacrifice of money, ease, and health, which a man must make, in order to obtain the necessary information. Mr. Swinburne has given a table of Spanish coins and measures, with their relative proportions; but without comparing them with the English, or any other standard with which he supposes the Reader acquainted. In the itinerary prefixed to his work, he mentions the names of the places, and the inns at which he stopped, as well as the time employed in travelling from one place to another. He forgets, however, to tell us his rate of travelling, or whether he travelled uniformly..