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' rather felt as a palpable defect than an excellence, I am inclined to believe that such a rigorous discipline of the feelings, supposing them to have much native strength, is utterly impracticable. They must at times have manifested themselves, in spite of every effort to repress them, Naturam expellus furca licèt, usque recurret. But. when to these presumptions, is added the positive proof arising from erroneous judgmentis matters of taste, which we sometimes find in the Elements of Criticism ; as for example, the unqualified censure bestowed on the Gotbic architecture,as possessing no degree of excel. lence whatever, but as something utterly barbarous and grotesque; and the equally unqualified panegyric of the Mourning Bride of Congreve, as the most perfect specimen of English drama, without any reproof of its unnatural sentiments and bombast; this evidence seems to be decisive of the question,and to leave no room for doubt, that the general correctness of the author's taste was more the result of study and attention,than of any extraordinary sensibility in the structure of his mind to the emotions excited by the productions of the fine arts.
In our next number we shall conclude our analysis of, and our observations on, this able and interesting performance.'
Art. IV.-A Picture of Valencia, taken on the Spot; com
prehending a Descripcion of that Province, its inhabitants, Manners and Customs, Productions, Commerce, Manufactures, &c. with an Appexdix, containing a Geographicai and Statistical Survey of Valencia, and of the Balearic and Pi. thyusian Islands, together with Remarks on the Moors in Spain. Translated froin the German of Christian Augustus Fischer, by Frederick Schobert. 8vo. Colburn.' 1808.
CHRISTIAN Augustus Fischer, whose Picture of Ma· drid we lately noticed, is a very lively and entertaining traveller. He describes what is presented to his view with a vivacity and force, which fix the attention, and render the reader in some measure, a spectator of the scene. His dic. tion is sometimes rather too fiorid, his colouring is too warm, but he seldom fails to interest and amuse.'
The province of Valencia, one of the most delightful in Spain, is said to comprehend 838 square leagues, and to contain 932,150 inbabitants. The surface is in general so mountainous, that the champaign part is not computed at much more than one fourth of the whole. The most level and fertile portion is the narrow tract which runs along the coast, about thirty leagues in length, and one and a half
in breadth. To this enchanting slip of country, M. Fischer has confined his Picture of Valencia.
The following is the glowing description which the au- ' thor gives of the first aspect of the country.
"No sooner have you ascended the last of the mountains, that form the limits of Castile than the road conducts by insensible degrees into a delicious plain. The air becomes mildar, the country more romantic, and a landscape resembling Eden itself, irradiated by an enchanting sun, expands to the eye of the astonished traveller. • How magnificent, how delicious, how ravishing is this valley, intersected by numberless murmuring streams, and covered with thousands of neat habitations! What a luxuriant vegetation! What' charming variety! The flowers of spring, and the fruits of autumn are every where intermingled. All the beauties, all the productions of the south are collected in one spot! 'Tis à prodigious garden, decked with the splendors of ethereal fertility.
* But these superb fields, these rich meadows, surrounded with orange and lemon trees, cedras, pomegranate, fig, and almond-trees; these smiling grovės of olives, algarrobos, and palms; these romantic hills, covered with the ruins of ancient Moorish grandeur; these different movements of industry and rural activity, and the vast Mediterranean crowning with its azure billows, and glistening sails, the immeasurable expanse of the horizon--who but a Claude Lorrain could give a just idea of a scene so grand, and so magnifi
Evening arrives, and the sun with milder rays gently descends . behind the distant mountains. A magic roseate light seems to tremble over the tranquil landscape, and the sea and the mountains glow with gold and crimson. The pure atmosphere is impregnated with the perfumes of orange-flowers; the groves of acacia resound with the notes of the nightingale, and every feeling is absorbed by the sentiment of repose, of love, and of tranquil felicity.'
The valley of Valencia, wbich is surrounded by moun. tains, except on the south east, where it is open to the sea, is sheltered from all inclement winds, and enjoys a climate exquisitely serene and mild. In summer the thermometer stands between 70 and 75, and in winter between 48 and 60 degrees.' Continual sea breezes moderate the heat." The climate is represented as highly favourable to health, and chronic diseases are said to be unknown. . . . .
! Here all, nature,' says the author, ' displays the animating influ-" ence of a southern sun; here every thing breathes mirth and joy ; here all the months, all the days of ihe year, are devoted to an existe ence the most active and replete with enjoyinents.
Happy.climate of Valencia, where all ideas are more poetical, all pleasures more delicious, all the forms of life. more beautiful; where the years of age are more cheerful, the days of suffering more
supportable, and where even the approach of death is divested of the greatest portion of its terrors!
Happy the invalid whom fate permits to seek a refuge in this asylum ! When the last moments of his life arrive, his end will here be more easy and less painful, Weaned from all the vain desi res and passions of this tumultuous scene, he will await the most faithful friend of man with tranquil resignation, and fall asleep amidst flowers and fragrant blossoms, full of the hope of awaking in the celestial region of perpetual spring.''
The city of Valencia, rendered recently so interesta' ing by the gallant resistance which it made against the attack of Moncey, is situated on the banks of the Guadalavia, and is nearly of a circular form. It is surrounded with walls and towers, according to the ancient plan. It is about half a league in circumference, exclusive of the suburbs ; and is said to contain more than 105,000 inhabitants.
“The interior of Valencia still exbibits the exact appearance of an old Moorish city ;- arrow, crooked, unpaved streets ; small, low houses, bụt of great depth, with large courts, and fine terraces :
in a word, the first view of this confused mass forcibly reminds the spectator of the ancient masters of Valencia. .
• The streets which for these thirty years have been lighted by lamps, are, however, kept extremely clean ; and the houses are distinguished by external neatness and internal convenience. .. 'This is particularly the case with respect to the new quarters ., built within the last thirty years, in various parts of the city. You there find many wide streets, with 'handsome, nay even magnificent edifices, which display a profusion of the finest marbles of Callosa, Naquera, Buixcarro, &c, I shall only mention as examples the streets of San Vincente and de los Caballeros, and the squares of San Domingo del Carmen and de las Barcas, but, it must be observed, with the necessary exceptions.
• • With regard to the public buildings, the Collegia del Patriar. i cha, the cathedral, the church de la Orden militar de Temple, the Aduana, the house of the consulate, the academy of St. Charles, and the general hospital are most deserving of the notice of a strana ger. 60
. But what gives Valencia a peculiar and inexpressible charm for the observer is the activity, the comparative opulence and 'gaiety which prevail among all classes of its inhabitants, and in every part of the city. Here you meet with no beggars, no loungers, no artisans in want of employment. Which way soever you look, you perceive nothing but serene smiling countenances, industrious and happy mortals.
• What with the noise of thousands of handicraftsmen, who all work in the open air; the rattling of silk-luoms, accompanied with the songs of the weavers ; the voices of numberless females crying orgeat, fruits and water; intermingled with the sound of the organs,
triangles, and tambourines of a multitude of wandering Murcians you see, you bear'nothing but life, joy, and pleasure expressed in a thousand forms and in a thousand tones. And how perfectly the appearance of all the surrounding objects harmonizes with this expression ! From the tops of the houses, wave long stripes of coloured silks, and every shop is stocked with the richest stuffs.
On the elevated terraces, the laurel, the orange and the lemontree, flourish in tranquil beauty, and the balconies display à variegated mixture of the most charming flowers. Here whole heaps of all the fruits of the south regale the smell with their fragrance, there the Botellarius, adorned with the garlands of palm and ivy in-'. vite the thirsty passenger.
Around you a motley crowd of men and women pass with light step, and cheerful countenances through the cool busy streets; and many a significant look, many a secret squeeze of the band, many a merry trick, remind you that you are among the gay, good-natured
people of Valencia.' : The university, since its reformation in 1787, is said to be
the first in Spain. We fear however that the quantum of science and learning will not be found in a direct ratio with the number of professors, who are said to amount to seventy: eight. Of these we are told, that eleven are professors of divinity, twelve of jurisprudence, and no less than eighteen of physic. The arcbiepiscopal palace has a library of fifty thousand volumes which contains every work in the Spanish language that has appeared since 1763.
The Valencians are said to be superior to their southern neighbours in the neatness and cleanliness of their houses. Some of their houses have elegant little gardens on their roofs, where you may sleep in the open air for eight or nine months in the year witbout inconvenience. The price of all the necessaries of life is represented as extremely low. Were it not for the present convulsed state of Spain, perhaps some of our readers might be induced by the following inviting bill of fare to emigrate to Valencia.
"A pound of excellent wheaten bread is sold for three quartos and a half, (about a penny, English money). The best beef is sold for seven quartos (two-pence) a pound, and the otber kinds of meat in proportion. A fowl costs sixteen quartos (about fourpence balfa penny), a pair of pigeons, from three to four quartos; and a dish of fish, for two or three persons, may be had for fourpence.
Vegetables, fruit, and the like, are in general extremely cheap, For a penny you may buy as much garden stuff as will suffice three or four persons for a meal. A water-melon of the largest size costs three-pence, and a couple of pomegranates, not quite a penny. For a penny you may purchase two large bunches of grapes, and a wholu
hatful of figs, for half that price, Oranges, lemons, almonds, strawo berries, and other fruits, are sold equally cheap.
The various articles of food in this country, are extremely easy of digestion; and the vegetables, in particular, have very little substance. Let a person eat ever so hearty, he has no occasion to ap: prehend the slightest inconvenience. The pure elastic air and the wine of Alicante, which is an excellent-stomachic, may however probably contribute to produce this effect.
There is scarcely any commodity but what may be had at a price equally reasonable. For three or four reals a day, you may have a room neatly furnished with an alcove and attendance. A silk cloak, which it is the fashion to wear here, costs from 28s. to 30s. and a fine cotton waistcot, with breeches, and a silk scarf, from 14s. to 18s. A pair of silk stockings may be bought for 5s. 6d. ; and fine linen is the only article of dress that can be called dear..
With respect to other things necessary for housekeeping such as oil, wine, coffee, &c. they are all in general very cheap. For three halfpence, you have as much oil as you can use at a meal; and a bottle of excellent wine, costs less than fourpence. A pound of coffee, may be bought in time of peace for eight-pence, good sugar for nine or ten,ajd a pound of Caraccas chocolate for between fifteen and eighteen pence. The only articles,which are comparatively dear, are wood and coal; nevertheless the annual expence of a small family on that account does not exceed thirty-five or forty shil- lings.
- The delicious temperature of the climate may be well dis. cerned from this little circumstance that the watchmen whose duty it is lo announce the weather, are denominated serenos from sereno (serene) which is the most constant cha. racteristic of the atmosphere. The public hospital is a structure of prodigious extent, ' each patient has a separate alcove, and a particular hall or ward is set apart for each disease. Agreeable to an ancient grant, the archbishop daily supa plies the bospital with a certain quantity of ice for lemonade.' · The cultivated lands are divided into huestas and secanos. The former, which are always situated in the plain, are watered by artificial means. These huestas present the most vigó. rous and luxuriant vegetation.
Where are the meadows,' says the author, ' which may be moun like these every week during eight months of the year ; where the mulberry trees three or four times annually renew their leaves ; where the same soil produces corn, pulse, fruits, and vegetables in uninterrupted succession, and rewards the toil of the husbandman with crops that yield forty, fifty, nay even one hundred fold!! :
· Among the public walks the author celebrates that of the Mameda, which is almost every eveniug the rendezvous of all