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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.
professions of inviolable regard, he set off in my chaise for Barcelona; but I should have told you, not till he had made me promise to visit him at Perpignan, where he had not only a town, but country house, at my service.—­All these professions were made with so much openness, and seeming sincerity, that I could not, nor did doubt it; and as I was determined then to leave that unhospitable country, and return to France, I gave him my passa-porte, to get it refreshed by the Captain-General at Barcelona, that I might return, and pass by the walls only of a town I can never think of but with some degree of pain, and should with horror, but that I now know there is one man lives in it, and did then,[D] who has lamented that he had not an opportunity to shew me those acts of hospitality his nature and his situation often give him occasion to exercise; but the etiquette is, for the stranger to visit first; and I found but little encouragement to visit a German Gentleman, though married to an English Lady, after the hostile manners I had experienced from my friends and countrymen, Messrs. Curtoys, Wombwell, &c.

[D] Mr. THALDITZER.

LETTER XXX.

In the archives of Montserrat they shew you a letter written to the Abbe by King Philip the second, who begins, “venerable and devout Religieux,” and tells him, he approves of his zeal, of his building a new church at Montserrat, charges him to continue his prayers for him, and, to shew his zeal for that holy house, informs him, that the bearer of his letter is Etienne Jordan, the most famous sculptor then in Spain, who is to make the new altar-piece at the King’s expence, and they agreed to pay Jordan ten thousand crowns for the design he laid before them:  the altar was made at Valladolid, and was brought to Montserrat on sixty-six waggons; and as Jordan did much more to the work than he had engaged to perform, the King gave him four thousand crowns over and above his agreement, and afterwards gave nine thousand crowns more, to gild and add further ornaments to it.

At the death of Philip the Second, his son, Philip, the Third, assisted in person to remove the image of the Virgin from the old to the new church; which I shall hereafter mention more fully.  Before this noble altar, in which the figure of the Virgin stands in a nitch about the middle of it, are candlesticks of solid silver, each of which weighs eighty pounds; they are a yard and a half high; and yet these are mere trifles, when compared to the gold and jewels which are shewn occasionally.

The monks observe very religiously their statutes; nor is there a single hour in the day that you find the church evacuated.—­I always heard at least two voices chanting the service, when the monks retire from the church, which is not till seven o’clock at night; the pilgrims continue there in prayer the greater part of the night.

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