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[216] ornaments of both the halls of the libraries, little has been added to either.

Among the manuscripts here should be mentioned those of their church service, which are the largest and most magnificent in their style of execution, illumination, etc., I ever saw, far before the famous ones of Florence. There are 220 of them, each so large that they can be carried only by two men on their shoulders. In the collection of reliques is a Greek manuscript of the Four Gospels, pretended—in an inscription that looks to be about the fourteenth century—to have belonged to St. Chrysostom. It is certainly ancient, written in initial capitals, etc., and deserves attention, if it has not received it.

The pictures which have been accumulated here are numerous, and scattered through the whole building,—in the aisles, the corridors, the galleries, and even the very cells. The chief collections, however, are in the church, the sacristy, and the two halls where the monks hold their chapters. Of the Italian schools the most abundant is the Venetian, but it is of course the Spanish that prevails, among whose masters the most frequent are Mudo, Carvajal, etc. There are a great many prodigiously fine works by Spagnoletto and Bassano, a few by Correggio, Caracci, and Titian, and even the Roman school, with its great head, is not wanting. In statuary, too, they have something, especially a Saint Lorenzo of great beauty, that is evidently of ancient Greek workmanship, transformed by the power of the church to what it now is; and a Christ Crucified, by Benvenuto Cellini, very fine, which he mentions in his Life, and which, if I mistake not, is singular among the works of this original and eccentric genius.

With all these resources, with the society of the monks, who are in number one hundred and twenty-three, and with the delightful music of the church, which, whether heard in its lofty, solemn naves, or echoed through the interminable aisles, that make the whole convent a labyrinth, falls on the ear like magic,—wish these resources I passed two short and very happy days at the Escorial.

It was at sundown, on the evening of the 2d, that I took leave of the prior and the bishop, and mounted my post-horse for St. Ildefonso. We galloped up the side of the mountain, by a fine bright evening, and descending partly down on the other side, came to St. Ildefonso,—or, as it is commonly called here, La Granja,—at ten o'clock, severely chilled, though in the plain the heat of the dog-star still rages; for St. Ildefonso is situated where no other monarch's palace is, in the region of the clouds, since it is higher up than the

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