A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. I)
THIS simple recital of personal haps and mishaps in perturbed Spain from the abdication of Amadeus to the entry of Don Carlos, puts forward no claim to the didactic or dogmatic. Its chief aim is to amuse. Of course, if I succeed in conveying knowledge and dispelling illusions—in Tasso's words, if I administer a pill under a coating of jam—I shall be cock-a-hoop with delight. But I warn the reader I am not an unprejudiced witness. I am passionately fond of Spain and her people.
k his walks, and mused on the vanity of human wishes. We have breweries still, and we have groves, even groves of Academus, where one may laugh; for are they not sacred to the shades of the two Hoods and Jeff Prowse, the "Nicholas" of Fun, as to Nick Woods, the Napier-recorder of Inkermann, and to associations with William Black, Henry Bessemer, and John Ruskin, master of art, which is something more, and more significant, than that Magister Artium which persons doubtful of their gifts or station ostentatiously affix to their names? And in our groves we have such variety of arborescent prizes as no other district of London can boast, extending to the arbutus or strawberry-tree, and the liriodendron or tulip-tree. The liriodendron has been planted in Palace Yard, in the hope that the breath of wholesomeness, genial to its native America, shall permeate the badly-ventilated atmosphere of the adjacent House of Commons. I love trees as if I were suckled by a hamadryad. May he who cuts them down