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BOSTON MISCELLANY.

ARANJUEZ.

BY

ALEXANDER H.

EVERETT.

zanares.

Of the various ornamented grounds and of those who are not familiar with the apgardens which I had opportunity of visiting pearance of this tree, it may be remarked while in Europe, the one which approaches that it resembles the peach tree in size, and most nearly to the description of the Happy in the shape of its leaves, although their Valley in Kasselas, is the country residence color is a little less vivid. The celebrated or silio, as it is called,- of the kings of old Gothic city of Toledo is situated in the Spain, at the village of Aranjuez, about same direction from Madrid with Aranjuez, twenty miles south of Madrid." It is situ- though a little off' from the direct road, and ated in a valley surrounded by low hills, is generally taken by the traveller on his on a point of land formed by the confluence way either out or home. Although the soil of the Tagus with one of its smaller branch- of this part of Spain is productive, it is, like es called the Jarama. On leaving Madrid the rest of the vast central plateau, formed to visit this place, you pass over the bridge of the two Castilles, almost wholly destitute of Toledo, a massy, stone structure, elevated of wood, and but scantily supplied with to a great height over the little river Man- water,- so that it wears to the eye, espe

This is, at all times, a meagre cially in the hot season, a monotonous and stream, and during the hot season it dwin- dusty, not to say dreary appearance, which dles into a few threads of water, winding | heighiens by contrast the effect of the luxutheir way painfully through a bed of dry | riant vegetation of Aranjuez. On descendsand. An English traveller affirms, that | ing into the valley you find yourself at once on a public occasion, when a queen of Spain || transported, as it were, into a sort of Elysian was to make her entry into the capital over garden. The ground is covered with the the Toledo bridge, the bed of the river be- richest verdure, and under the influence of low it was watered, in order to prevent her the ample supply of moisture afforded by majesty from being incomoded by the the two rivers, ihe flowers put on their dust. But this is, of course, a traveller's brightest colors, and the trees rise to a height story, and is found, in fact, in the work of which I have hardly seen equalled in any one of a class of persons who, as Sir Henry other part of Spain. Wotton said, are “honest men sent abroad Aranjuez was originally a country resito tell lies for the good of their country." dence of the Grand Master of the military The road to Aranjuez is a very fine one, order of Santiago, and came into possession and passes through a fertile country, laid of the king when that dignity was united out for the most part in wheat fields, which to the crown by Ferdinand the Catholic. It are interspersed here and there with a few was first occupied as a royal residence by scattered olive trees. For the information the Emperor Charles V., and has been ever

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since a constant object of attention with water, - the greatest of luxuries in a hot the family, who regularly pass several climate, is distributed in fountains, and at weeks there every spring. The palace was times collected in reservoirs. The scene is planned by the celebrated architect Herrera, enlivened by the presence of innumerable the same who built the Escurial,- and singing birds, who are “pouring their though an edifice of no great pretension, is thoughts," as Gray has it, all day long, and cominodious and in good taste. The village especially in the morning and evening, in is said to have been originally a very con- torrents of joyous melody. I have never fused mass of ordinary and irregular little heard the nightingale in greater perfection dwellings, but about the middle of the last than here. century, during the reign of Charles III, it It has been the usage of the Spanish court was laid out anew under the direction of

for many years past to visit this beautiful the minister Grimaldi, who had been am- retreat every spring, and remain there for bassador at the Hague, and felt an ambition several weeks. They generally leave Madto give to Aranjuez the neat and regular rid about the middle of April, and reside at appearance of that stately village. He Aranjuez till about the first of June, when accordingly, in the exercise of a discretion the heat becomes so intense, that the exhawhich, even in Spain, would have seemed lations from a moist soil are thought to be almost indiscreet, ordered the old village to dangerous. The executive departments and be removed, and having swept the ground foreign delegations generally accompany entirely clear, built up a new one, laid out the court on these excursions, and find a in regular streets and squares, bordered by very agreeable relief from the somewhat pretty houses of uniform size and construc- monotonous life of the capital in rambling iion. In this state the village remained for about among the flowery parterres and some years; but in one of the various revo- green alleys of this terrestrial paradise. lutions which have swept the surface of The spring of 1927, which I passed at AranSpain like successive hurricanes, since the juez, was enlivened by a greater number of commencement of the present century, this court festivals ihan usual, in consequence of sequestered spot has suffered great dainage, the birth of a princess. A brief notice of these and when I visited it, the village was in may perhaps be amusing to some readers. a great measure in ruins. Whether it has The first in order was one of the usual since been repaired I am dot informed. public receptions, commonly called a Besa

The beauty of Aranjuez does not lie, how- manos, or Hand-Kissing. There were at ever, in the palace or the village, but in the that time eight of these in the course of the gardens and grounds, which stretch for two year: -four for the birth days and saint's or three miles along the Tagus, and form, days of the king and queen, and four for as I remarked at the beginning, one of the the happy return of the king to his kingdom most agreeable creations of the kind to be and his capital, from his two captivities in found in Europe. "Formerly," says Ponz, France and at Cadiz. On these occasions, in his description of Spain, “Aranjuez was all persons of either sex who have been renowned for the extraordinary richness and presented at court, are expected to attend, beauty of its vegetation, but, with the ex- and are permitted to kneel and kiss the ception of the palace, and public offices, hand of the king, queen, and other members was no better than a disorderly collection of of the royal family. The ladies and genill-constructed houses and mud cottages, in tlemen are received at different hours. It which the court were compelled to find may be as well, however, to employ the lodgings of the most inconvenient kind. past time, for during the fifteen years that All this is now changed: -- the gardens have have since elapsed there have been at least been greatly extended, and the whole valley half a dozen complete revolutions in the embellished in a truly royal style. From a administration and government of the king. point in the centre, broad streets planted dom, which has no doubt changed as often with lofty and beautiful elm trees, stretch the aspect and usages of the court. At that forth toward the east, west, north and south, time, however, to be stricily correct, the - some of them to the distance of a league. reception took place in a large and magniParallel to the river, at a distance of half a ficent saloon, at one end of which were mile from it, extends in a straight line along placed tivo arm chairs for the king and the side of the gardens, the Calle de la Re- queen, who were the only persons seated. yra, or Queen Street, perhaps the most At twelve o'clock, after receiving some other agreeable drive in Europe. The interven- visits in a more private manner, their maing space between the river and the Calle jesties entered the hall, and placed themde la Reyua, is entirely filled up with trees, selves in front of the chairs, with the princes shrubs and flowering plants, regularly dis- and princesses of their family in a line on posed in groves, parterres and alleys, inter- their left. Behind them stood the chamspersed with ornamental buildings and berlains and other great household officers, groups of statuary. An ample supply of all in gala dresses, as were also the royal

in the

family. The king and princes wore on that had been formed, and made their exit these occasions blue coats nearly covered through another door. Each person, as he with gold or silver lace, broad ribbons and passed before the royal family, kneels and stars, with red underclothes. The queen kisses their hands. The act of koeeling is and princesses commonly appeared in robes regarded in the feudal countries as an acof cloth of gold or silver, or very richly knowledgment of allegiance, and is, of embroidered velvet or silk, and displayed course, not performed by foreigners of any a profusion of pearls, diamonds, birds of rank, – leasi of all, by those who represent paradise, and other plumes, with toques and the governments of their respective counturbans of various descriptions. Their long | tries. It is easy to conceive, therefore, what trains were held up by attendant pages. astonishment must have been created by This cortège occupied one end of the hall. the conduct of one of our ministers at St. The side on the king's right hand was Petersburgh, who insisted, notwithstanding appropriated to the diplomatic agents of the objections of the emperor, upon kneelforeign powers, headed by the pope's nun- ing at his audience of reception. cio in his cardinal's dress, consisting of a flowing scarlet robe, and broad-brimmed arrangement of the persons who make up hat of the same color, with a surplice of the procession on these occasions. It conbroad white lace, reaching to the knees. sists of the various officers in the different The nuncio at that time was Prince Gius- | departments of the public service, political, tiniani, archbishop in partibus of Tyre.- i military and ecclesiastical, and these are all After him followed the Austrian, Russian, mingled together pell-mell

, excepting that Dutch, English, American, Prussian, Sar- those of the highest rank, who are placed dinian and Saxon ministers, and below in the hall, come last. The confusion of them the chargés d'affairs, secretaries and costumes produced in this way, gives to the attachès — making in the whole about thirty affair somewhat the eflect of a masquerade. persons, arranged in their respective classes, Monks of the several orders are liberally according to the time of their arrival. As interspersed, and their dresses contrast sinMadrid is not, in general, a very favorite gularly with the ordinary apparel of the residence, the succession of incumbents in rest of the company. After a file of chamthese places is somewhat rapid, and a man berlains, in their blue coats, stiffly embroirises in his class almost as rapidly as a dered with gold, you will see, perhaps, a clever boy at a country school. There was couple of capuchins with long beards, heads at this time no French ambassador at Mad- entirely shaved excepting a narrow ecliptic rid, but the vacancy was shortly after filled of hair running round them, and their by the appointment of the Marquis De flowing pepper-and-salt, woollen robes with Moustiers, a son of one of the earliest French hoods thrown back upon the shoulders. ministers in the United States. The most Then will follow some religious knights or prominent members of the diplomatic body 1 military monks, like Bois Guilbert in the were the English minister, Sir Frederick romance of Ivanhoe,- belonging to some Lamb, a brother of Lord Melbourne, since one of the four military orders of this created a peer himself, I forget by what title, description, established in the kingdom, - and the Russian minister M. d'Oubril, habited in full blue silk mantles, with large whose name is pretty well known in the crosses fantastically wrought upon them in diplomacy of Europe. The file of diplo- green, red, white or blue silk, according to matic agents occupied one side of the hall: the rule of each particular foundation. Next the bottom opposite to the royal family will follow, perhaps, three or four boys of and the other side was taken up by the eight or ten years old, sons of grandees, principal military and civil functionaries of who are brought out in this way to give an The kingdom. The secretary of state, or early promise of their future loyaliy. The prime minister at this time was Don Manuel little rogues appear to feel very consequenGonzalez Salmon, who held the place ad tial on the occasion, and go through the interim for some time after the resignation ceremony quite as well as the grown chilof the Duke del Infantado. Calomarde, the dren around them. I remarked one of them, minister of grace and justice, was, however, whose father, the Conde de Puebla, was regarded as the real head of the govern- standing near the king, and when he caught ment. In the mean time the adjoining the eye of his son made a sign of recogni

were filled by a crowd of other tion to him. The boy lifted up his hand persons of inferior dignity. When the and returned his father's salute in the arrangement of the reception room was Spanish manner, by moving his fingers completed, the king and queen took their backward and forward, but without departseats,- the door at the bottom of the hall ing, in the least, from the gravity that had was opened, and the loyal subjects entered doubtless been enjoined upon him, before in procession in single file, passed round he left home. When he reached the door the hall immediately in front of the line where the procession passed out, his father

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