As I loitered in the Alameda, between thick hedges of ever-blooming geraniums, clumps of heliotrope three feet high, and luxuriant masses of ivy, around whose warm flowers the bees clustered and hummed, I could only think of the voyage as a hideous dream. The fog and gloom had been in my own eyes and in my own brain, and now the blessed sun, shining full in my face, awoke me. I am a worshipper of the Sun. I took off my hat to him, as I stood there, in a wilderness of white, crimson, and purple flowers, and let him blaze away in my face for a quarter of an hour. And as I walked home with my back to him, I often turned my face from side to side that I might feel his touch on my cheek. How a man can live, who is sentenced to a year’s imprisonment, is more than I can understand.
But all this (you will say) gives you no picture of Gibraltar. The Rock is so familiar to all the world, in prints and descriptions, that I find nothing new to say of it, except that it is by no means so barren a rock as the island of Malta, being clothed, in many places, with beautiful groves and the greenest turf; besides, I have not yet seen the rock-galleries, having taken passage for Cadiz this afternoon. When I return—as I hope to do in twenty days, after visiting Seville and Granada—I shall procure permission to view all the fortifications, and likewise to ascend to the summit.
Cadiz And Seville.
Voyage to Cadiz—Landing—The
City—Its Streets—The Women of
Cadiz—Embarkation for Seville—Scenery of the Guadalquivir—Custom
House Examination—The Guide—The Streets of Seville—The Giralda—The
Cathedral of Seville—The Alcazar-Moorish Architecture—Pilate’s
House—Morning View from the Giralda—Old Wine—Murillos—My Last
Evening in Seville.
“The walls of Cadiz front the shore,
And shimmer o’er the sea.”
R. H. Stoddard.
Of which I’ve dreamed, until I saw its towers
In every cloud that hid the setting sun.”
George H. Boker.
Seville, November 10, 1852.
I left Gibraltar on the evening of the 6th, in the steamer Iberia. The passage to Cadiz was made in nine hours, and we came to anchor in the harbor before day-break. It was a cheerful picture that the rising sun presented to us. The long white front of the city, facing the East, glowed with a bright rosy lustre, on a ground of the clearest blue. The tongue of land on which Cadiz stands is low, but the houses are lifted by the heavy sea-wall which encompasses them. The main-land consists of a range of low but graceful hills, while in the south-east the mountains of Ronda rise at some distance. I went immediately on shore, where my carpet-bag was seized upon by a boy, with the rich brown complexion of one Murillo’s beggars, who trudged off with it to the gate. After some little detention there, I was conducted to a long, deserted, barn-like building, where I waited half an hour before the proper officer came. When the latter had taken his private toll of my contraband cigars, the brown imp conducted me to Blanco’s English Hotel, a neat and comfortable house on the Alameda.