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‘ [229] have a plate on my table; but if you don't come I shall not complain of it, for I mean you should do exactly as you please.’ It was certainly the most rudely and heartily hospitable reception that could be given to a stranger, and his conduct afterwards showed that it was all to be taken literally and in earnest, for there was nothing he did not do for me during the two days I was in Granada.

One great source of my amusement in his palace was the comic recollections of Gil Blas, his ill-timed fidelity, and its ungrateful reward; and often, when I was talking with the Archbishop, and the thought of the irresistibly droll scenes that Le Sage has placed here came into my mind, I could hardly prevent myself from laughing aloud. The parallel, however, certainly does not hold very strictly in the present incumbent. He is undoubtedly a good man, as everybody says; he gives away nearly all his ecclesiastical incomes to the poor; three hundred are fed at his door every day, as I have seen; he supports two charity schools in every town of his archbishopric; educates all the foundlings, etc., etc., and lives liberally and hospitably on his private fortunes, consecrating to religion all he receives from it. But he is not a man to write homilies; and, indeed, with strong masculine sense, and even a bold, original style of thought and talk, he is one of the most grossly superstitious and ignorant men I ever met; and his chief favorite, instead of being a shrewd, original, practical fellow, like Gil Blas, is a humble, insinuating little priest without talent or culture. I recollect that in giving me an account of an irreligious man, he said, ‘He believes neither in God, Christ, nor even the Virgin’; and in describing a library he has at Xerez, he said, that among the Mss. there were autographs of every one of the apostles and prophets, most of which had wrought and still work miracles1 . . . . .

The Cathedral is not very extraordinary, though still a fine church, and remarked chiefly for an admirable dome supported by twelve arches. It was begun by Ferdinand and Isabella, chiefly built by Charles V., and finished by Philip II., but was interesting to me only for a few good pictures, and for the Chapel of the Kings, where are deposited the bodies of Ferdinand and Isabella. . . . .

The Convent of the Carthusians is also due to the Catholic kings,


1 In conversation, Mr. Ticknor described the Archbishop at his breakfast, chatting freely on all subjects, while the little chaplain knelt by his side on a hassock, fluently reciting the prayers from the breviary, and His Reverence always responding at the proper moment with scarcely an interruption of his talk.

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