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PREFACE.

Spain is scarcely surpassed by any country in interest to the artist, archæologist, religionist, and political economist. And it seems strange that her varied resources to this end have not been presented in a comprehensive and associated relation, free from too tedious and special details, for the use of the tourist, and the entertainment of the stay-at-home reader. She is full of pictures, natural and artistic. Sublimity is spread broadcast, skirted by the sea of old renown, and canopied by a sky of wondrous depth and beauty. Ruins dating back to Carthagenian, Roman, Goth, and Moor, clothe themselves in many parts of the Peninsula in tropical garments, to make more pleasing their tales of truth and of tradition. Cathedrals—marvellous creations of New World wealth and Old World genius-paintings, and sculptures, abound, to freshen day by day the delight of the amateur, and fill the measure of the art-student's wants While history, ecclesiastical and political, stands by, giving to everything a voice full of instruction, and far more welcome to the learner of things that were and are, than the fables with which fiction has, in the case of Spain especially, misled sentinientalists and religionists. Nearly three years—from, and including the autumn of 1871, to 1874—were spent in Spain by the author in search of health. The following pages written during that time, tell what he saw and thought. Art-remains and Art-realities, the works of great painters and great builders, the weaknesses and wickedness of priests and princes, and the lamentable consequences coming of the last, are their chief burthen. They have served a use in giving to an invalid employment suited to his wants. And if they should aid others seeking information in the same direction, a more artistic hand may be induced to present Spain, as she was, and as she is, in relative pictures, suggestive of cause and effect, in moral, material, and political condition, more fully finished than those herein sketched.

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