A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 eBook

Philip Thicknesse
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777.

I must now lead you up to the highest part of the mountain; it is a long way up, not less than three thousand five hundred paces from St. Madalena, and over a very rugged and disagreeable road for the feet, which leads, however, to the cell of St. Geronimo; from the two turrets of which, an immense scene is opened, too much for the head of a low-lander to bear; for it not only takes in a view of a great part of the mountain beneath, but of the kingdoms of Arragon, Valencia, the Mediterranean Sea, and the islands; but as it were, one half of the earth’s orbit.  The fatigue to clamber up to it is very great; but the recompense is ample.  This hermitage looks down upon a wood above a league in circumference, in which formerly some hermits dwelt; but at present it is stocked with cattle belonging to the convent, who have a fountain of good water therein.  Near this hermitage, in a place they call Poza, the snow is preserved for the use of the Religieux.  The inhabitant either was not within, or would not be disturbed; so that after feasting my eyes on all sides, my conductor led me on eastward to the seventh hermitage, called St. Antonio, the father of the Anchorites; it stands under one of the highest PINES, and the access to it is so difficult and dangerous, that very few strangers visit it;—­a circumstance which whetted my curiosity; so, like the boy after a bird’s-nest, I risqued it, especially as I was pretty sure I should take the old bird sitting.  This hermit had formerly been in the service; and though he had made great intercession to the Holy Virgin and saints in heaven, as well as much interest with men on earth, he was not, I think, quite happy in his exalted station; his turret is so small, that it will not contain above two men; the view from it, to the East and North, is very fine; but it looks down a most horrible and dreadful precipice, above one hundred and eighty toises perpendicular, and upon the river Lobregate.  No man, but he whom custom has made familiar to such a tremendous eye-ball, can behold this place but with horror and amazement; and I was as glad to leave it, as I was pleased to have seen it.  At about a gun-shot distance from it rises the highest pine-head of the mountain, called Caval Hernot, which is eighty toises higher than any other cone, and three thousand three hundred paces from the convent below.  Keeping under the side of the same hill, and along the base of the same pine-head, you are led to the hermitage of St. Salvador, eight hundred paces from St. Antonio, which hermitage has two chapels, one of which is hewn out of the heart of the PINE, and consequently has a natural as well as a beautiful cupola; the access to this cell is very difficult, for the crags project so much, that it is necessary to clamber over them on all-four; the prospects are very fine to the southward and eastward.  The inhabitant

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A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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