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[217] crater of Vesuvius, and precisely at that elevation where the great clouds are commonly formed in summer.1 I sent my letter of introduction to Count Guaiaqui, a Peruvian nobleman of talent and an immense fortune, who was six years captain-general of his country, and has since refused the viceroyalty of Mexico. He called on me immediately, and brought the governor of the place, who offered me all sorts of civilities, and arranged my visit here, and at Segovia, in the pleasantest manner. The following morning I began my operations, conducted by Count Guaiaqui, and, in the course of a most beautiful day, enjoyed all that is to be seen at this royal sitio. It is entirely the work of Philip V. Before his time there was nothing here but a farm-house, belonging to a convent of Segovia, which he bought, struck by the beauty of the situation and the refreshing coolness of the climate, which afforded a delightful retreat from the oppressive heat of Madrid in summer. Philip was a Frenchman, who knew of nothing and conceived nothing more beautiful than Versailles. La Granja, therefore, is its miniature. There are three gates of entrance which form the front of the establishment,—the little village is within these gates, and before the palace, to which it serves only as offices and an appendage. Farther up is the palace; then come the gardens with the very beautiful fountains; and then the whole is closed up by the mountain covered with fine woods, and filled, until lately, with all sorts of game. . . . . The first thing we went to see was the glass manufactory, a royal plaything established by Philip in 1726; but, what is remarkable, the only royal manufactory in Spain that yet pays its own expenses. The work is ordinary, and in general trifling. . . . . From the manufactory we went with the governor, who came to find us, to the palace. It is a mere repetition of Versailles in its outline and arrangement, and like that, has a fine facade towards the gardens, and a chapel in front where are deposited, in a plain sarcophagus, the bones of its founder. The interior is finer, and better preserved than that of the palace of the Escorial, and has still its furniture and a part of its pictures, though the best are in Madrid. . . . . When we had finished all this we went to walk in the gardens, where my new friends showed me everything,. . . .the fountains, and the great reservoir on the side of the mountain that supplies them, all still reminding me of Versailles in miniature, though the situation and scenery are vastly finer. After this I went to dine with Count Guaiaqui,—the governor

1 See Humboldt, ‘Configuration du sol de l'espagne.’

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