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[223] where it is settled with great accuracy, on account of what Montesinos says to Durandarte, in the cave.1

The 16th, early in the morning, I came through Sta. Cruz, the splendid fief of the Marquis, who is son-in-law to the Duchess of Ossuna, and soon afterwards came to the famous passage of the Sierra Morena which divides La Mancha from Andalusia, and which I traversed, at the point where Don Quixote gave their liberty to the galley slaves. It is a long range of dark mountains, which have little striking in their forms;. . . . one of the gorges is, however, fine; and the great number of eagles with which it abounds, and which sail over your head at a height that hardly permits you to hear their cries, strike the imagination like poetry, and announce to you that you are in one of the original, undisturbed solitudes of nature. . . . .

At the foot of the mountains I entered La Carolina, the chief place of a colony of Germans, brought here by Charles III., and distributed through about twenty neat little villages he here built for them. They are in a delicious situation, well built, and in a flourishing condition; full of an industrious population, that furnishes a great quantity of articles in the common arts, such as wooden clocks, coarse earthenware, etc., etc., to all Spain. Carolina is really a beautiful town, with fine buildings, spacious walks, and all the marks of wealth and comfort in the population; and the whole colony, extending from the foot of the Sierra Morena to near Baylen, forms a singular contrast, by its neatness and industry, with the squalid poverty that marks the villages of La Mancha and Castile.

It was in this delightful spot that I first observed the change of climate that might be expected on passing so considerable a chain of mountains. The balmy mildness of the evening air, just such as I had felt it a year ago on descending the Alps; the reappearance of large groves of olives, which are so rare and meagre in Castile; and the hedges of aloes, which I had not seen since I left the coast of Catalonia,—all proved that I had come into what may, without impropriety, be called the Italy of Spain.

In the morning [of the 17th] I rode along, still through the same delicious country, and came at last upon the banks of the Guadalquivir,

1 The passage here mentioned is as follows: ‘Your squire, Guadiana, lamenting his hard fate, was, in like manner, metamorphosed into a river that bears his name; yet still so sensible of your disaster, that when he first arose out of the bowels of the earth, to flow along its surface, and saw the sun in a strange hemisphere, he plunged again under ground, striving to hide his melting sorrows from the world.’—Don Quixote, Part II. Chap. XXIII.

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