Adelaide S. (Adelaide Susan) Hall.

Two women abroad : what they saw and how they lived while travelling among the semi-civilized people of Morocco, the peasants of Italy and France, as well as the educated classes of Spain, Greece, and online

. (page 5 of 26)
Online LibraryAdelaide S. (Adelaide Susan) HallTwo women abroad : what they saw and how they lived while travelling among the semi-civilized people of Morocco, the peasants of Italy and France, as well as the educated classes of Spain, Greece, and → online text (page 5 of 26)
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the hill of the Alhambra. As he had spent so much time with us,
we were beginning to feel anxious about the price of his services,
for we had had several experiences with guides; so, at table last



72 GRANADA

night I asked him his charges per day. He straightened himself
up in a grandiose way and said that he was not a professional
guide, but a Spanish gentleman, and always took care of his guests.
I, therefore, begged his pardon, and thanked him for his kind atten-
tions as warmly as my poor Spanish would permit.

After dinner he asked us if we did not want to go into the
kitchen, and we very gladly accepted the invitation to see that
part of tills quaint old house. The walls were whitewashed —
everything is, here, Init the people. An old-fashioned stove, some-
thing like a range, was placed upon a block of stone. A heap of
charcoal indicated the kind of fuel. Upon the walls hung brass
kettles and copper wai'e, each piece polished till it shone like a
mirror. A great earthen jar, shaped like the Greek wine jars we
saw at the World's Fair, stood in one corner, and the tables and
stone floor were as white as sand and soap could make them.

The wife of our host, the withered old woman who met us on
our arrival, seems years the senior of her portl}' husl)and and quite
his inferior intellectually. The women of Spain mature early and
their beauty fades with great rapidity after they reach the age of
thirty. They are domestic and know nothing about advanced ideas,
and yet they seem to be content. I do not believe Senora Car-
mona knows the meaning t)f "woman's rights," in the common
acceptance of the term. She seems as fond of her husband as he
of her, and, so far as I can observe, has pretty much her own way,
without apparent friction. While we were her guests she certainly
held the purse-strings.

There is a slio]) on the Alhambra hill where small models of
the exciuisitely carved doors of the palace are made. Mrs. M.
could not resist their attractiveness and purchased one, but, as it
was too large and fragile to carry about with her, she was obliged
to send it 1)\- ireiglit to Chicago. We both tried to make the shop-
keeper understand that she wanted a bill of lading, but to no avail.
So she must simply have faith in the Spanish way of doing busi-
ness, as she has nothing to show for the article except the ordinary
receipted bill.

This afternoon we took a carriage and with our guide drove
all about the city, going hrst to the Chapel of the Kings, which



GR.t.y.lDA



73



adjoins the cathedral. Upon marble tombs arc the recHning effi-
gies of Ferdinand and Isabella and those of Joanna and her husband,
Philip of Burgundy. The Sacristan was persuaded to 1< t us go
down into the vault benealli, where tlu' roval eollins are. There
they were! Those of the sovereigns in the center, the others to




THE ROYAL TOMBS



the right. The outer coverings were of lead, the inner ones, which
contain the caskets, of iron. It seemed like desecration when the
Sacristan rapped on the covers to show how solid and strong they
were. Ever burning candles are placed around them. Joanna
carried her husband's coffin about with her for forty-seven }'ears,
watching it constantly.

A row of bas-reliefs in the chapel tells the stor}- of the Con-
quest. In one of them, Isabella is portrayed riding ujion a white
palfrey, accompanied by Ferdinand, Cardinal Mendoza and courtiers.



74



GRANADA



Boabdil advances to meet them, the keys of Granada in his hand,
whik' numbers of unhappy-looking Moors follow him.

In the sacristy is a large cabinet, which, for a consideration,
the Sacristan opened. There was the crown which Isabella wore,
a simple gold one, without setting of any kind; the very golden
casket from which she took her jewels to give to Columbus; her
scepter; Ferdinand's sword, and Cardinal Mendoza's crimson robe.

Before we left, a party of tourists tried to bribe the Sacristan
to take them down into the vault, Ijut he refused. Seiior Carmona
informed us that, since he was well known, we were admitted as
a special favor, and he added proudlv, "Yo soy EspaTio/."* He
afterward said that the cathedral authorities would not admit ordi-
nary tourists into the vault for fear of their molesting the remains.
We are told that European countries have suffered much from
the vandalism of relic-hunters, and therefore we do not wonder at
such vigilance.

The cathedral and manv of the buildings here are enriched
with native marbles from the Sierra Nevadas. One kind, of a flame
color, shading to a delicate pink, is especially beautiful.

At the Carthusian conventf our carriage was so beset by beg-
gars that it seemed at first as if we would be unable to alight;
however, by loosening our purse-strings, we managed to struggle
through the crowd of watery-eyed old men and wliining women and
gain the entrance.

A priest led us into a corridor hung with very badly painted
pictures of saints undergoing martyrdom, the sight of which is
enough to curdle one's blood. There are saints stretched on grid-
irons, wasting over slow fires, and saints being carefully dismembered,
while their persecutors look on with apparent enjoyment. To my
mind, the only excuse for tolerating such pictures is their antiquity.

On the wall of the refectory a cross is painted so cleverly that
it deceives the observer into thinking that it is of wood. The
priest affirmed that birds had been seen to fly through the open
windows and try to light upon it.

The doors and clothes-presses of the sacristy are gorgeously

* " I am a Spaniard."
t Suppressed in 1836.



GRANADA



75





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Online LibraryAdelaide S. (Adelaide Susan) HallTwo women abroad : what they saw and how they lived while travelling among the semi-civilized people of Morocco, the peasants of Italy and France, as well as the educated classes of Spain, Greece, and → online text (page 5 of 26)