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know why it is, but now and then, on other similar occasions, I have remarked the idea of distance is lost. All that diminution in the size of objects, by the appreciation of which we judge of their proximity or remoteness does not count. Whether by contrast with the grandeur of mountain scenery, or owing to the transparent purity of the atmosphere intercepting so little light, I know not, but the whole landscape of certain spots, viewed from mountain elevation, seems close to the eye. In vain do great trees seem like bushes, and buildings like card-houses, and human beings like ants; these appearances fail to make you appreciate how far you are away. Lanjaron seemed a fairy spot amidst the resort of Titans, and reminded one of the appearance recognised on looking at a beautiful park through the reverse end of a telescope, when every object is diminished. Even the thousand dashing torrents which took their way down the chestnut-wooded hills of Lanjaron-foaming, yet noiseless, from the distance they were removed-failed to create a notion that we were six miles away. We lingered at this point of view so long that Julio began to remind us that we had three leagues of travelling by the road before we could reach Lanjaron. We could willingly have lingered longer still; for before arriving at Lanjaron these beauties had to be lost once more, whilst passing through the beds of dried-up torrents and mountain clefts. At length we arrived, and could gaze at leisure on the loveliness of the scene. The aspect of the mountains all around is such as may be accounted for on the supposition that some violent earthquake has rent the Alpujarras on all sides, and, leaving a deep chasm between, this latter has in course of time become filled up with richest soil, not horizontally placed, but rising, terrace-like, on one side. Along one of these terraces is built the chief portion of the village; but houses are thinly scattered above and below, chiefly little picturesque cornmills, which take advantage of the rushing streams. But what constitutes the peculiarity of Lanjaron is this: owing to the successive elevation of terraces which constitute its site, such a variety of climate is attained, that a range of vegetation from that of the tropics to that of northern climes may be seen at one coup d'œil. Low down is the region of the palm and sugar-cane; a little higher, the orange, the lemon, and the citron bloom; still higher, the apricot and almond-tree; then comes the region of chestnuts; and, still ascending, one views the flowers and fruits of Northern Europe. No wonder the Spaniard, insensible though he be in general to landscape beauty, should have designated by the term Paradise the charming Lanjaron!
The sun, although descending in his course, still fiercely darts his rays upon the spires of Lanjaron. All is at rest save the rustling of leaves and the murmuring of streams. Dark-eyed Andaluzas are still wrapped in their siesta, and grey-bearded patriarchs doze under the shade of some friendly tree. Even the sturdy wolf-dogs are sleeping at the cottagedoors; sleeping as trusty dogs alone know how to sleep, each opening and shutting his two eyes in turn, and faintly barking at long intervals in proof of his vigilance. Even the huge oxen which we meet-broadbrowed, ponderous-looking animals, but so innocent and benevolentlooking withal-scarce open their drowsy eyes to bestow a glance of recognition on the passing strangers. The angel of sleep seemed hovering over Lanjaron, filling the spirits of its inhabitants with dreams of beati
tude, as if conscious that waking souls of mortal stamp could never be attuned amidst the realities of life in full unison with the loveliness around.
On we go, clattering over the rocks; the sound of our mules' tramp reverberates along the valley and up the hill, mingled with the voice of Julio speaking to the mules, or chanting scraps of an old song. This is the signal for Lanjaron to arouse. The wolf-dogs, springing up, rattle their spiked collars, and survey us obliquely. Then they bark a friendly welcome, and wag their tails, while sleepy-looking Andalusian girls put forth their heads through reja bars, and nod, and laugh, and beckon to each other as if no such equipage had ever been seen before.
And thus we linger on through the vine-garlanded terraces, whilst every step we take is the signal for a general awakening. Now we pass a circular, elevated mound, with flat top. It is the threshing-floor of Lanjaron. There stands a sort of car, to which are quickly attached four sturdy mules. A peasant-girl now mounts the car, and urging the mules into a gallop, she drives them wildly over the golden sheaves, until, in this primitive manner, the grain is separated from the straw. In every direction flies the corn. Now darting high up into the air, now falling in a shower of golden hail upon the fair charioteer. Wilder and wilder still flies the harnessed team in its circular path, urged onwards by the fair nymph of Ceres, whom you might feign to be a charioteer in the Olympian Games in a circus of Ancient Greece. One step more, the angel of sleep retreats from Lanjaron. Aged matrons now come forth in front of their houses, each bearing a caldron, a charcoal fire, and a wheel, whilst peasant-girls come tripping from the mulberry gardens, whither they have gone to collect the silkworms' cocoons. Into the caldrons the latter are now put, and their ends being now unravelled, the silk is spun off upon the wheels, which revolve in ceaseless hum. And now, as on we go, watching the quick revolutions of the silk winding-wheels, another phase of busy activity opens on Lanjaron. All at once the smart cracking of the castanet is heard, mingling its sound with a few stray chords struck upon a guitar. The sound comes from far away; we scarcely know from what direction, and strain our hearing towards the presumed spot. Now, in another part of the valley, similar sounds are heard; then again, and then again. The angel of sleep which guarded the siesta has now fairly taken flight, and the spirit of life, merry, joyous life, is awake in Lanjaron. The whole air is filled with tinklings of the guitar and rattling of castanets, whilst girls and youths come tripping forth to join in the bolero.
Poets have sung the loveliness of morning; have praised its balmy air, with feathered minstrels teeming, warbling their orisons aloft to the great Creator of all; have sung the bright hues of the many-tinted Aurora, as she heralds the great luminary on his daily course-yet beautiful though morning be, and beautiful it is, the waning glories of day in southern climes are more beautiful still. In the morning, with a busy day before us, we cannot resign ourselves to that placid contemplation of cherished unrealities which is suggested and encouraged by the waning sun. In the morning, reverie is brief. As the bright beams of daylight pierce through the mists of the valley, even so does the stern earnestness of day pierce through and scatter the temples of our fancy's creation. Scarce,
gazing on yon mountain, have you conjured up visions of unreal formsscarce have you fashioned knights and giants out of its promontories, castles in its embattled crests-scarce have you invested these creatures of your imagination with attributes of their appropriate age and kindno sooner has a fleeting cloud added plume to the knight, or standard to the battlement-than comes the full-orbed sun, like a destroyer of visions as he is, and scatters your creation to the broad glare of day.
Oh, blessed be that southern race who invented the siesta!-who taught mankind to sleep away those hours of stern reality in which the mid-day sun destroys the spirit of illusion-taught them to arouse only in those waning hours of later day when the spirit of night, still advancing, cherishes and protects each dreamy vision which contemplation begets-invests those visions with real attributes more and more, until finally consecrated by the dark shadows of night! Blessed-ever blessed be the race who invented the siesta! Louder and louder yet wax the sweet sounds of revelry in fair Lanjaron. Guitars tinkle, and castanets beat time. Faster and faster still whirl joyous groups in the maze of the bolero. The big sun, lingering awhile on the peak of yonder sierra, and gilding its rugged outline with flood of mellow light, now sinks to rest. Listen!-what sound is that? It is the vesper chime. Now cease the dancing groups. Pale, black-veiled, Madonnalike forms glide through the narrow streets, and, slowly passing, wend their way to the house of prayer, where for a time we shall leave them at their devotions, whilst, passing on, we explore the mineral springs, and ascend into the forest of chestnuts, ere the short twilight of this southern land sinks into night.
Gushing in many a turbulent flood come forth those healing waters from one side of the rock-and, rippling on, are finally collected in rude basins cut out of stone. Over the principal of these has been built a simple edifice in the usual Moorish style of architecture, a court-yard with galleries around; and here those who are desirous of benefiting by these hot chalybeate waters may bathe. There are none of these abominable refinements in the shape of gambling-houses which desecrate so many of the French and German watering places, neither is there a single individual of the medical profession in all Lanjaron; but, like the true Paradise of our forefathers, the restorative virtues of this Moorish Eden reside in its natural salubrity of gushing streamlets and pure air.
Night casts her dusky mantle over this abode of loveliness; but darkness is half dispelled by the full-orbed moon and humming swarms of brilliant fire-flies. We now ascend high on the hills amidst the chestnut-trees, carefully measuring our steps over silvery brooks which came rolling precipitately down the rocky steep. Now and then some patriarchal goat, standing sentinel over his attendant flock, crosses our path, looking grim enough in the moon's subdued light, waiting until we almost touch him, then stamping his foot and scampering away. Upward still we go, until the path, growing more precipitous, and the twinkling lights of the valley shining dim, admonish us to rest. What a vision of dark, shadowy beauty flits before the brain as the spectator peers from this elevation into the depths below. The moonbeams gleaming on minaret-like forms, or trembling on the agitated leaves of the forest! And what a harmony of sweet sounds comes wafted to the ear-sounds of
guitars and Moorish roundelay mingled with cigarra's voice and warbling nightingale!
The task is vain. The wayward pen is powerless to describe the thousand varied beauties of this Paradise-the charming Lanjaron.
But even the contemplation of natural beauty must cease in deference to the sterner calls of eating, drinking, and sleeping. There is no hotel at Lanjaron-not even a venta, or a casa di pupilos, only a posada. Do not fear to enter that posada-you shall come to no harm. There, in an enormous shed, elevated with Arab arches, and fretted with carved arabesques, amidst scores of donkeys, mules, and horses, pedlars, gipsies, gentlemen of the capa parda and long gun-highwaymen perhaps, or professed bull-fighters-slip your saddles, unpack your beds, eat and drink whatever you have got, or whatever you can get, go to sleep and dream of Lanjaron. Don't fear that black-looking gentleman in the corner; he may be a cut-throat-he may be one of the Cuadrilla of bullfighters on their way to Granada. In the mountain, had he met you, possibly you would have been considered fair game, but you are sacred under this roof, so take your rest!
THE DRUID PRIESTESS.
FROM THE DANISH OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.
BY MRS. BUSHBY.
WITHIN yon consecrated grove 'tis night,
And all is ready for the sacred rite.
Red flames are flashing midst the foliage round,
Whilst solemn chaunts through the calm air resound.
Beyond the holy altar's rustic pile,
The silent-fettered victim stands the while.
All now is still
And the mute priestess comes, prepared to kill
The destined offering, and her task fulfil.
Yes! as bright Freia, beautiful is she;
And now it strikes, and forth his red blood streams,
BY SIR NATHANIEL.
No. II.-RICHARD HENRy Dana.
AMERICA is a great fact. Even the dim-eyed, bespectacled Old World can see and acknowledge that-crabbed and purblind as the aged witness is thought over the water. A greater fact, measured by square inches, it might be hard to find. Equally great, perhaps, if considered as the theatre of scenes of struggle and acts of enterprise, present and advent, in the drama of the world's progress, in the working out of interests, and the solution of problems, on a gigantic scale, material, moral, social, political. But one thing American there is, which we cannot yet regard as a great fact; one thing, which at best, is only a fiction founded upon fact and that is, its poetical literature. Hitherto the national genius has sought-or rather has found ready to hand-other modes of expressing its character and asserting its power. It has been occupied with the task of ordering the chaos of elements, colossal and crude, rich with teeming germs of promise, amid which its lot is cast; it has been too busy to sing, though not to talk; it has had too many urgent calls on its physical faculties, its bread-winning arts and money-making appliances, to "go courting" the coy muses, or to build model stables for Pegasus. The young Titan's instinct has been to exercise his muscular frame in turning prairies into parks, and forests into cities, and rivers into mill-streams, rather than haunt the pine-woods in quest of aboriginal dryads, or invoke primæval silence in the depth of sylvan wilds, with hymns inspired by the ecstasy and attuned to the large utterance of the elder gods of song. Compared with her other attainments, America's poetry is backward, stunted, unshapen. It is, comparatively, a lisping speech. Its stars are many in number, but pale in lustre; not much differing from one another in glory, and altogether comprising a sort of milky way, with a soupçon of water in it; whereof the constellated members, though for ever singing as they shine, have not yet caught the rolling music of the spheres. American poetry is not of its mother earth, earthy. It is rather of the Old World, worldly.
Imitation is, in effect, the vice of transatlantic verse; the very head and front of its offending. Not yet has it learned to walk alone on the steeps of Parnassus, bold as is the national mien, and firm as is its step, on the level of this work-day world. Again and again we hear the complaint, that American poets give us back our own coin, thinned and deteriorated by the transit-"as if America had not the ore of song in all her rivers, and a mint of her own in every mountain, she does little more for the service of the muse than melt down our English gold and recast it in British forms." Again and again we hear it charged on the American bard, that he is a dealer rather than a producer, an echo rather than a voice, a shadow rather than a reality; that what he exports he can hardly be said to grow; that he has no faith in his native muses; that Europe is the Mecca of his poetical superstition-England the Jerusalem of his imaginative worship; and that when, at length, the harp is taken down from the trees where for centuries it has hung tuneless, it is