Travel Letters: Granada, Under The Walls Of The Alhambra (1883)

DEAR WILLIAM, — I am very glad to hear about the new house. I would rather see it this morning than the Alhambra, which is towering up above my windows ! What number in M Street is it? Are you going to have ampelopsis growing on the front wall ? Which is my room ? Do write me all about it, and tell me how it gets on and how it is going to look.

I have been a week in Spain. I landed at Gibraltar last Sunday morning, and immediately wrote a letter to G. to signal my arrival. I stayed there till Tuesday, and had a first-rate time. It was good to be on shore again, and, besides, on the Verona I had struck up quite a friendship with a certain Major Wing, who was coming home from India on sick-leave. He is a first-rate fellow. He landed at Malta, but he gave me a letter to the colonel who commands all the artillery at Gibraltar, and he was immensely civil. He took me all over the fortifications, introduced me at the Club, and made me almost live at his house, where were a very pleasant wife and children ; so I saw Gibraltar at its best and have the brightest recollections of it.

Tuesday night I took the boat for Malaga. David Whitney and his family were on board, so that I feel myself really in the Boston atmosphere again.

The Alhambra joins on remarkably to the remembrances of India. Here is the farthest west, as there is the farthest east, of the Mohammedan conquests, and Granada and Delhi have very much in common with each other. Granada is the more beautiful, at least in situation, for here is the Sierra Nevada (as pretty a range of snowy mountains as was ever seen) in view all the time, and the best parts of the Alhambra beat anything in the old city of the Moguls. Still I like to stand by India, and the substitution here of the English tourist (one of whom I heard at lunch declare that this is a very much overrated place) for the picturesque Hindoo or Mussulman makes a vast change.

I received some letters here, and among others two of yours, for which I am as always very grateful. They brought you down to March 19, just past Professor Allen’s Sunday. There was another letter from Canon Farrar, fixing it that I am to preach at the Abbey on the 27th of May, and at St. Margaret’s on either the 3d or 10th of June. If the latter, it will be Hospital Sunday, and so I want you to do me one more favor. Will you go to my sermons and get me several Hospital Sunday discourses (they are all in-scribed on top over the text ” Hospital Sunday “) and send them to me. This week I expect to meet the Brimmers, next Sunday I shall probably be in Seville, the Sunday after in Madrid, and in London as soon as possible after the 1st of May. Good-by, love to them all. P.