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It must be the lot of all those who have any intercourse with the publick, to condescend sometimes to notice accusations palpably absurd. The Anthology is conducted by a society of gentlemen, who derive no direct emolument from their labour, and persist in it, though many a shrewd, wise countenance may be covered with a smile at their simplicity, in still continuing to “ scribble, scribble.” This smile, which is really excited more by good-natured wonder, than contempt, they can return with one of the same character. Plutus then not being in the number of our household gods, it could hardly be supposed we should be subject to any other reproaches, than those of sterility. In this case it would be prudent to be silent, as mediocrity can only hope for toleration, while it is submissive and defenceless. But we have been accused of wishing to depreciate our own country, of fostering without discrimination every thing exotick, and de preciating every thing indigenous. Can there be an accusation more opposed to our very existence, more boldly ridiculous ?
In all the more liberal and noble branches of science and literature, it would certainly be difficult, perhaps mischievous, to attempt very accurate limits of our nationality. Formed as we have been on the English school, as far as the English language is concerned, we can hardly establish a separate one, and if our esprit du corps as a nation is as marked, as that of the Scotch in the republick of literature, that will be the extent of its force. We have a sensation of delight, which to very enlarged minds may seem founded on narrow feelings, when we see any countryman of ours justly attracting notice in this republick; and if wishing were a suitable employment, we should wish that we could boast of a greater number, who hold conspicuous stations in it; of more men, who possess the wit and sagacity of Franklin, or the eloquence of Ames. • It is owing mainly to some glaring faults in our scheme of widespread, superficial education, that we are harrassed with a class of authors, we are sorry to degrade the name, who are incomparably more numerous here, in proportion, than in any other country. We allude to those, who have triumphed over an audience in some species of occasional discourse, orations, sermons, &c. who have occupied the poet's corner, or a column of a newspaper, or whose vanity and attainments are shewn in the meanest manner, in eulogies and characters of deceased insignificance. To almost every one of this numerous description, the familiar Latin proverb,
that, on occasions, Socco dignus cothurno incedit, may be fairly applied. These worthless weeds spring up prematurely, and though it is an irksome, fatiguing employment, we are bound to contribute our efforts to eradicate them, lest they stifle and exhaust the nourishment from the valuable plants, that are slower in their growth, but which will be in perfection, long after these have perished. To these may be added all who are stirrers up of sedition, in either church or state, and who of course address themselves to the most ignorant of the community; all those well-meaning men, who have mistaken virtuous, patriotick sentiments in rhyme, for poetick inspiration; the whole class of book-makers, the grand pest in Europe, but who in this country are still covered with their pinfeathers, and are just trying their wings, and whose only plausible plea must be founded on the favour due to domestick manufactures. All these classes would naturally accuse us of being deficient in national feeling, or what, in poor imitation of English arrogance, is called American feeling ; and as we are willing to flatter ourselves, that the accusation will come from no one else, we hope our tranquillity on this account is not unreasonable.
We turn eagerly to a more grateful theme, an expression of thanks to those who have at any time been pleased with our labours. Studied praise is always fatiguing; but when we discard all desires and intentions of gain, and wish only to be thought to have 6 done the state some service,” our satisfaction must arise from the satisfaction of others. A word of encouragement, even an exclamation, or a look that denotes sympathy, a degree of excitement, of fellow-feeling ; all these tend, and we may be indulged in saying, have tended to animate and encouragę us. We have not been in the habit of holding out many promises; we are not going to begin the practice now, but we may be excused for suggesting an obvious remark. It may be reasonably presumed, from the slightest knowledge of human nature, that the care, the animation, the reflection of him, who is writing for the publick, will be inevitably influenced and modified by the idea, that he is to be read by a few, or by many.
We have had the pleasure of recently acquiring as honorary associates, in this, and in other states, individuals, whom if we were to name, we should be accused of inordinate vanity. We expect that some of the fruits of their leisure will enrich our columns.
· Many thanks are due to our correspondents. To the author of the “ Letters from Europe,” we give a friendly warning, that if he deserts us entirely, our sense of duty will oblige us to denounce him. He will agree with us that men of leisure, talents, fancy, observation and experience can indulge no hope, in the present state of our country, of being placed in retirement; all those who are capable of enticing the public taste to the pursuit of science and literature, can never obtain more than a short furlough ; they must hold themselves with their arms burnished, in constant readiness for active service. To the authors of the essay on “ Greek Literature,” and of the “Occasional Ode to Time," we must remark, that they have permitted us to entertain great expectations. We salute our correspondent C. whose lines are always mentioned by our poetical readers with emphasis. The original and characteristick essays of R. entitle him to our acknowledgement for his unwearied services. With good wishes for the publick and increasing hopes for our work, we commence the first number of the eighth volume.
FOR THE ANTHOLOGY.
JOURNAL OF A TOUR FROM CADIZ TO SEVILLE.
BY A BOSTONIAN.
(Continued from vol. vii. page 366.) The first object of attention which arrests the eye of a stranger on his arrival at Seville, and the principal ornament of the city, is the celebrated cathedral. This is a structure of extraordinary magnificence. It stands in a spacious square near the entrance of the city, and is the chief and most conspicuous of the public edifices. The architecture is Gothick, and both the external and internal appearance is very noble. It is four hundred and twenty feet in length, two hundred and sixtythree in breadth, and in height one hundred and twenty-six. The body of the church was erected in the year 1401. It is chiefly however admired for its remarkable tower, the work of Guera, the Moor, which was built about the ninth century, and is reckoned one of the greatest curiosities in Spain. On the top of the tower stands the famous Giralda, (the moveable figure of a woman, bearing a palm branch in her hand) which is alluded to in Don Quixote. This is a brazen statue of gigantick dimensions, which weighs nearly a ton and a half, yet turns with the slightest variation of the wind. The height of the tower is three hundred and fifty feet without including the cupola and image ; which is ten feet higher than the cross of St. Paul's in London. It has no steps. You ascend by a winding path, or inclined plane, which is of such gentle ascent that a horse may trot up to the top and down again with perfect ease; and it is so wide that two horsemen may without difficulty ride abreast. One of the Queens of Spain did actually ascend it on horseback.
The prospect from the summit is very extensive and picturesque. The waters of the Guadalquivir can be traced for many leagues winding slowly through the immense plains which stretch beyond the circle of vision. At a distance, on the skirts of the horizon, the mountains which divide the kingdoms of Andalusia and Granada are faintly discerned arnong the clouds. There is a clock in the tower, which was made by a inonk of Seville. It is an exquisite piece of mechanism. The cathedral is not so large as Westminster abbey, nor is it externally perhaps so fine a building; yet I think that its internal effect is much more striking. In one the beauty of the Gothick architecture is sullied and its general effect greatly diminished by the croud of monuments which distract the eye, and which, however interesting individually, destroy the unity of the whole. In the other, the grandeur of the edifice is rendered more impressive by the magnificence and splendour of the Romish religion. The inestimable treasures of the church, its countless decorations of silver and gold and jewels, its altars that blaze with a thousand tapers, contribute to increase the lustre of its architectural beauty.
The riches of this church are almost beyond calculation. The chief altar with all its ornaments ; two statues of St. Isidore and St. Leander as large as life; a tabernacle for the host thirteen feet high, adorned with eight and forty Corinthian columns, are of solid silver. These however, compared with the gold and precious stones deposited by the piety of the catholicks, which have been accumulating for ages past, are of trifling value. Since the discovery of America its riches have been greatly, augmented. Seville was for many years the emporium of the American commerce. It was the only channel through which the treasures of the new world flowed into Spain. During those ages the adventurers who returned home with their ill gotten wealth, generally deposited on their arrival some por
tion of their plunder in the cathedral as a peace-offering to their saint, and as an expiation of the crimes committed in the other hemisphere.
The cathedral contains eighty-two altars, at which five hundred masses are said daily. The archbishop has a revenue of 150,000 dollars per annum. There are eleven dignitaries belonging to the church, who wear the mitre on high festivals. There are forty canons at a salary of 1800 dollars each ; twenty prebendaries at 1400 dollars ; twenty-one minor canons at 900 dollars. There are also twenty chaunters with their assistants; two beadles; two masters of ceremonies ; thirty-six singing boys for the service of the altar, with a rector, vice rector and teachers of music ; nineteen chaplains ; four curates ; four confessors; twenty-three musicians and four supernumeraries. The whole number is two hundred and thirty five.
The organ is said to be the largest in Europe. Its tones are uncommonly fine. It contains five thousand three hundred pipes, with one hundred and ten stops. The bellows are of such capacity that when stretched they will supply the organ for a quarter of an hour. The evening service commences im. mediately after the tolling of the bell for vespers. At this. I used to be a constant attendant during my residence at Seville. The musick, both vocal and instrumental, surpasses any thing of the kind I ever heard before. It is difficult at any time to enter this magnificent cathedral without being impressed with certain indescribable feelings of solemnity. I more particularly experienced this on first visiting it the evening of our arri. val. The day was not entirely expired, though the sun had been sometime below the horizon. An imperfect twilight still glimmered through the painted glass of its fourscore Gothick windows. As we paced silently along under the lofty arches, the solemn strains of musick echoed through the long ailes, and as the melancholy peals of the organ rose on the car, it was impossible to listen unmoved. Before the great altar which flamed with numberless lights, a great concourse of people had already assembled who were on their knees attending to the sacred service. They were chaunting a hymn to the virgin ; the voices of the chorister's we alone heard, their persons were concealed from view. We mingled with the croud, and knelt down at a distance from the altar. The edifice is so immense that notwithstanding the brilliancy of such a number of lights as blaze on the great altar, which seem designed to rival the