The Alhambra, by Washington Irving

The Jesuits’ Library.

SINCE indulging in the foregoing reverie, my curiosity has been aroused to know something of the princes, who left behind them this monument of Oriental taste and magnificence; and whose names still appear among the inscriptions on its walls. To gratify this curiosity, I have descended from this region of fancy and fable, where every thing is liable to take an imaginary tint, and have carried my researches among the dusty tomes of the old Jesuits’ Library, in the University. This once boasted repository of erudition is now a mere shadow of its former self, having been stripped of its manuscripts and rarest works by the French, when masters of Granada; still it contains among many ponderous tomes of the Jesuit fathers, which the French were careful to leave behind, several curious tracts of Spanish literature; and above all, a number of those antiquated parchment-bound chronicles for which I have a particular veneration.

In this old library, I have passed many delightful hours of quiet, undisturbed, literary foraging; for the keys of the doors and bookcases were kindly intrusted to me, and I was left alone, to rummage at my pleasure — a rare indulgence in these sanctuaries of learning, which too often tantalize the thirsty student with the sight of sealed fountains of knowledge.

In the course of these visits I gleaned a variety of facts concerning historical characters connected with the Alhambra, some of which I here subjoin, trusting they may prove acceptable to the reader.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/i/irving/washington/i72a/part8.html

Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38