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A Manual of Gold and Silver Coins of all
Coins of all Nations
Henry of Ofterdingen
Tennyson's Poems .
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 sitio, 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 liuile river Man
water,- so that it wears to the eye, espeThis 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 | heightens 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 incoiomoded by the
the two rivers, the 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 consiant object of attention with water, the greatest of luxuries in a hot the faniily, who regularly pass several climate, is distributed in fountains, and at weeks ibere every spring. The palace was times collected in reservoirs. The scene is planized 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 commodious 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 anbition 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 tion. In this state the viilage 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 mber of coinmencement of the present century, this court festivals than usual, in consequence of sequestered spot has suffered great damage, 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 not 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 forin, 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 10 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 gen. ill-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 kingpoint 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 strictly 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 two arm chairs for the king and the side of the gardens, the Calle de la Re. queen, who were the only persons seated. yua, 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 il all in gala dresses, as were also the royal