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The Royal Cannon Foundery of Seville, which is without the walls of the city, is one of the first establishments of the kind, of Europe, whether we regard the perfection of the machinery employed in boring, turning, and polishing the guns, or the accuracy, and the beauty of finish and of ornament, which are produced. A large number of cannon and bombs are ranged in rows about the yard, each bearing the name and the coat of arms of the sovereign in whose reign it was cast. Some of these were quite old, and had seen hard service in the distant Spanish provinces, both of the Old and the New World. Lying as they did, useless and corroded with rust, they formed no unapt emblem of Spain herself, wasted and consumed by civil strife and warfare, and lying voiceless and desolate amid the ruins of her former greatness. This foundery is capable of producing between six and seven hundred cannon, of various calibres each. I noticed, among other things, a new kind of gun, short and light, intended for mountain warfare. Twenty-four pounders of this model weighed less than five hundred weight, and were so made that they could easily be carried on the back of a horse or a mule. At this place the French cast the immense mortars used in bombarding Cadiz.
The Manufactory of Tobacco, at Seville, was erected by a German architect, named Wamdebor, and was completed in the year 1757, at an expense of near $2,000,000. It is 1,125 feet long, 624 broad, and more than 100 feet in height. The roof, which is flat, is said to be bomb-proof, and as the whole building is of a strong and most massive construction, and entirely surrounded by a deep ditch or canal, it would make no mean fortress in time of war. It has twenty-eight courts, a large number of offices for business, and magazines and machines of various classes. In the time of Charles the Fourth 12,000 persons of both sexes were employed in this establishment, but owing to the vast amount of tobacco now smuggled into Spain, principally by way of Gibraltar, the number has been greatly reduced. In 1832 there were less than 2,000, and at present about 3,000 operatives there, most of whom are employed in rolling cigars. I saw in a single immense apartment 2,500 females at work, and, to judge from the rudeness of their conduct, and the grossness of their language, many of them must have been the lowest and most abandoned of the sex. Such I was informed was their real character, and it would be almost singular if it were otherwise ; for every night, when they leave for their own dwellings, the person of each one is searched by certain officers of the establishment, for fear that tobacco may be concealed and carried off in their garments. To this ordeal virtuous females would hardly submit, and though, by paying $ 10 a year, the privilege of taking the tobacco to a private dwelling, and there making the cigars, may be purchased, yet the profits of the labor are so small that this cannot well be afforded. Thus the vicious only can prosper here, à sad omen truly of the morals of the city. There are about one hundred and fifty millstones, and other machines for manufacturing snuff, each of which requires one or more horses or mules to work it, only a small number of which, however, are now in operation. As an evidence of the degree to which this royal monopoly is affected by smuggling, there is the fact, that when in 1827 an epidemic disease prevailed in Gibraltar, which led to non-intercourse with Spain, the number of operatives in the tobacco manufactory of Seville was suddenly increased to 7,000, in order to meet the demand. The amount of goods of all classes smuggled into Spain from Gibraltar is estimated at about $ 20,000 a day, or more than half a million a year, and yet no small proportion of them are carried on the cks of mules and horses, through the midst of Spanish soldiers.
But the great boast and glory of Seville is her vast and lofty Cathedral. Parts of it, or rather a portion of the wall which now encloses the spacious court of the orange-trees, belonged to the splendid mosque which was built there by the Moorish king Abu, in the year 1171. The Tower of Giralda was erected about the year 1000, by Algeber, a Moorish architect and mathematician, from whom it is supposed that the science of Algebra derived its name. This tower is square, and its original height was 250 feet, and in the year 1568, 100 feet more were added for the purpose of constructing a belfry and for other objects. Above all rises the famous Giralda, or image of Faith, a gigantic female ; statue of bronze, with a large globe of the same metal beneath its feet, while in the hand is a vast palm-leaf, which causes the statue, resting as it does on an iron bolt or pivot, to turn about with the wind. Such is the giantess Giralda, to whom allusion is made in Don Quixote, and in many a Spanish play and romance. The ascent of the tower is by a spiral staircase within, which was formerly an inclined plane
of so gradual an elevation, that mules could easily climb up to the belfry. Low steps have recently been raised on this inclined plane, which give one a surer foothold than before. Two families live in this singular place; one at the base, who act as the porters, and the other near the belfry, whose business it is to take care of the singular and ingenious clock of the cathedral, which was invented and every part of it made by a monk of Seville, some centuries since. Several years were occupied in making it, and the vulgar tradition is that when it was completed, the eyes of the poor monk were put out, that such another might never be made, and thus Seville might retain the sole honor of possessing such a treasure. For the correctness of this tradition I do not vouch.
The main body of the cathedral is 398 feet long by 291 broad, and though mostly of the Gothic style of architecture, yet to this there are, in portions of the interior, marked and striking exceptions. It has five naves, four of which are twenty-four feet broad each, while the central one, which rises to an immense height, is forty-two feet in breadth. The lofty arches are supported by thirty-two pillars with a diameter of fifteen feet each, and, if to these we add the pillars in the various chapels, the whole number is sixty-seven. There are ninety-three large and lofty windows of stained glass, which so modify the light that passes through them, as to cast over the whole of the vast interior an air of solemn and inpressive religious majesty and awe. The paintings on these windows represent the different saints, as also passages from the Holy Scriptures, and are the works of distinguished artists from Germany and Holland. The cathedral is extremely rich in treasures, having, in addition to its splendid custodia of sculptured silver, which is more than twelve feet high, an altar, and images as large as life, all of solid silver, to say nothing of numerous other objects of almost untold value. During the French invasion these treasures were transported to Cadiz, and thus preserved from being plundered. The cathedral has a rich collection of paintings by Velasquez and other distinguished artists, besides thirteen by Murillo, the prince of Spanish painters, and one, too, who devoted his life to adorning the edifices of his native city with the splendid works of his pencil. Connected with the cathedral is also the Columbian Library, so called from Ferdinand Columbus, the son of the discoverer of America, who presented to it 10,000 volumes, and a collection of valuable manuscripts. At the present time it contains 20,000 volumes, and is adorned with numerous portraits of Archbishops of Seville, and of natives of the city, who have been distinguished for their eminence in the arts and sciences.
The annual income of the Archbishop of Seville in former times was $ 150,000, though at present it is doubtless much less than that sum. In addition to Seville his spiritual rule embraces the churches of Cadiz, Malaga, the Canary Islands, Ceuta in Africa, and Teneriffe, with their respective bishops. His territorial limits extend from Portugal on the west, to Badajoz, Cordova, and Malaga, on the north and east, and Cadiz on the south. To assist him in ruling the churches under his care he has forty-six vicars. The cathedral has eighty-two altars, at which five hundred masses for the benefit of souls in purgatory are said daily. A great waste of time, voice, and money truly must this seem to us poor benighted Protestants, who fully believe that the eternal destiny of each soul is unalterably fixed from the moment that it leaves the body. Connected with the cathedral of Seville are 235 individuals, among whom are 40 canons, who receive a yearly salary of $ 2,000 each ; 20 prebendaries, who have $ 1,500 each ; 21 minor canons, whose pay is $1,000 each; and so on, in proportion for all the inferior grades. If to this we add the current expenses for the splendid robes of the priesthood, the numerous lights required 'for illuminations and festive processions, the costly hangings for sad and for joyous occasions, and what is required for the necessary repairs of so vast a building, the whole annual expenditure must be truly immense. Of the amount of the last item some idea may be formed from the fact, that a pavement for the Cathedral of black and white marble, which has been recently laid, cost more than $ 155,000. And here, if it be asked what good is effected by all this vast expenditure of time, money, and talents, I must give it as my honest and candid opinion, that less is thus done for the mental, moral, and religious improvement of mankind than often results from the labors of a single pious, active, and devoted preacher of the gospel in our own land.
The glimpse which I had of society and manners in Seville interested me much, and I hardly need mention the fact, that the fair ones of this favored city are known to fame, not in Spain alone, but also in foreign lands, as finished models of female
grace and elegance. Where such refinement casts its influence over the surface of society, there result from it a desire to please, and a thousand little polite attentions to the wants and the wishes of others, which impart a peculiar charm to social intercourse, and lead the passing stranger, who is the object or the witness of them, to forget for the time the deeply cherished pleasures of his distant home.
But the friend from whom I parted with most regret, was the good old Carlist, who had been my companion in misfortune. Though of a rude exterior, he had still a warm and generous heart, full of sympathy and kindness, and was ever ready to share his last mite with a friend who might need it, or freely to give his all to relieve the woe of another. It was with difficulty that I could prevail upon him to accept the payment of a sum of money, which he had drawn for me at Cordova, from a friend of his there; and he almost quarrelled with a merchant who was with us, for the privilege of paying the expenses of a poor sick woman in the diligence, who had been detained on her journey by ill health, until her money was expended, so that she had not the means of support by the way. Besides this, he had a native strength of mind, a fearlessness of danger, and a wise practical philosophy, which laughed at misfortunes that could not be avoided, and led him in the darkest hour to put forth fresh energy, and ever to hope for the best ; traits of character which had inspired me with a peculiar esteem and affection for him. May God bless thee, my worthy old friend, and abundantly reward thee for thy sympathy with suffering, and thy genuine kindness of heart.
My passage from Seville to Cadiz was made in a steamboat, which was small indeed, when compared with those gigantic floating palaces, which are met with in such numbers on the large rivers and bays of the United States. The forward cabin, instead of berths, had between thirty and forty fixed arm-chairs of mahogany on each side, while the cabin aft was a filthy hole, where such as were poor, and had no fear of fleas, had accommodations at a reduced price. The Guadalquivir was swollen by recent rains, which gave it a bold and rapid sweep, as with a thousand graceful curves, it wound its way along, amid the wide-spread and fertile plains of Anda. lusia, all clothed in the deepest and richest verdure, while the distant mountains, with their rude and rugged heights, imparted an air of wildness and variety to the milder beauties of the lovely landscape beneath them.