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[230] and is, after the Escorial, the finest I ever saw for its architecture, extent, and magnificence. Yet no monks except the order of La Trappe live so severely. They never eat meat, and only once in a week speak together. They live shut up in their cells the rest of the time, and if, from any accident, they meet, they stop an instant, cross themselves, and one says, instead of all other salutation, ‘Brother, we must die’; to which the only answer is, ‘Brother, I know it’; after which they cross themselves again and pass on. By order of the Archbishop, I was permitted to see their manner of life, their cells, etc.; and their austerities made me shudder. I would rather have been with the hermits of Cordova, where at least I should have had a beautiful and smiling nature always before me, than in the dreary, dark, cheerless solitude of this magnificent convent. . . .

Granada was originally divided into four quarters, which still exist and are easily to be traced. Three were given to the people, but the fourth, the famous Alhambra, was reserved for the Court, and is still everywhere covered with bold, striking ruins of the peculiar style of Moorish luxury. It is a considerable hill, at whose base flow the waters of the Douro and Xenil, and beyond which lie the city, the delicious plain of Granada, dotted everywhere with convents and villages, and the dark mountains of the Sierra Nevada. On this hill—which was once strongly walled and fortified as a kind of citadel—stood the palaces and gardens of the Moorish kings, and around it were scattered the establishments of the Court and nobility, so that the whole Alhambra, with its guards, consisted of a population of forty thousand souls. The ruins that remain are worthy monuments of the glory and splendor that once inhabited them. You go up by a fine elm walk and enter the Gate of Judgment, where the Moorish kings sat in the patriarchal manner of the East to administer justice to all who came to ask it. You pass through the immense halls of their palaces, through their bathing-apartments, through the queen's toilet-room and the room where she perfumed herself, through the magnificent saloon of the ambassadors, through the beautiful recesses of the women's apartment, and amidst the exquisite beauties and refreshing shades and fountains of the hanging gardens of the Generalife. All this is in the light, gay, luxurious style of the Arabian architecture, which so singularly marks the peculiar characters of their genius and imagination, and is so different from the severe purity of the Greek and Roman taste and the gloomy grandeur of the spirit of the North. The different degrees, too, in which all this is preserved or ruined, add much to the general effect of the whole.

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