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[239] the best artists, that were brought here for the purpose from different parts of Europe, entitle it to the rank claimed for it in Spain, that of one of the very finest specimens of Gothic architecture in Europe. Annexed to the Cathedral, and belonging to it, is a library that must interest an American at least, since it was founded by Hernando Colon, a natural son of the discoverer of our country. . . . .

Seville, however, should also be considered as the capital seat of the genuine Spanish school in painting. It is to the Italian school what the Sylvanus and the Borghese Gladiator are to the Apollo and the Niobe; the perfection of human beauty, but nothing ideal, nothing taken from that hidden source of more than mortal grace and harmony, where Raphael stole the ideas for his Galatea, his Psyche, and his Madonnas, as Prometheus stole the fire of heaven. This is certainly wanting; yet, perhaps, no man ever stood before the works of Murillo here,—his Feeding the Five Thousand, and his Moses opening the Rock, in the Caridad, or his Assumption, in the Capuchinos,— and yet could be guilty of breathing a single regret at the recollections of Italy. . . . . The wonderful genius of Murillo can be studied and felt nowhere but at Seville, where he lived and died, and whose Cathedral, convents, and houses are full of his works. Velasquez, too, was a Sevilian; but he lived and labored at Madrid, and must be sought there in the Palace, and in the Academy of San Fernando; but except him, I believe there is no Spanish painter of high merit, that cannot be better understood at Seville than anywhere else, especially Herrera and Caño, who, with Velasquez and Murillo, are the great masters of the school.

Of the people of Seville I saw a good deal and under different aspects, during the week I was there; that is, a good deal for so short a period. The lower classes are gay almost to folly, or, at least, were so at that moment, for it was the season of the great annual fair at Santiponce. To this fair all Seville goes out, during a week, every day. There are nothing but playthings, showy ornaments, and other trifles sold there; and as they come back into the city, a crowd is stationed at the bridge and for half a mile farther up, that abuses them with Andalusian volubility for their finery, which they gayly hold out and as gayly defend. In short, it is a kind of carnival, and I used to walk out that way for half an hour in the evening, to witness and enjoy this singular and striking exhibition of the light-hearted gayety of the popular character here, which, like the Roman, never passes to excess from this kind of excitement, as the character of the North does; for in London or Berlin you could not have such a crowd and such abuse as I heard without quarrels.

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