THE AUTHOR'S FAREWELL TO GRANADA
 MY serene and happy reign in the Alhambra was suddenly brought to a close by letters which reached me, while
indulging in Oriental luxury in the cool hall of the baths, summoning me away from my Moslem elysium, to
mingle once more in the bustle and business of the dusty world. How was I to encounter its toils and turmoils,
after such a life of repose and reverie! How was I to endure its commonplace, after the poetry of the
But little preparation was necessary for my departure. A two-wheeled vehicle, called a tartana, very much
resembling a covered cart, was to be the traveling equipage of a young Englishman and myself through Murcia,
to Alicant and Valencia, on our way to France; and a long-limbed varlet, who had been a smuggler, and, for
aught I knew, a robber, was to be our guide and guard. The preparations were soon made, but the departure was
the difficulty. Day after day it was postponed; day after day was spent lingering about my favorite haunts,
and day after day they appeared more delightful in my eyes.
The social and domestic little world also, in which I had been moving, had become singularly endeared to me;
and the concern evinced by them at my intended departure, convinced me that my kind feelings were
recip-  rocated. Indeed, when at length the day arrived, I did not dare venture upon a leave-taking at the good dame
Antonia's; I saw the soft heart of little Dolores, at least, was brim full and ready for an overflow. So I
bade a silent adieu to the palace and its inmates, and descended into the city as if intending to return.
There, however, the tartana and the guide were ready; so, after taking a noon-day's repast with my
fellow-traveler at the inn, I set out with him on our journey.
Manuel, the nephew of Tia Antonia, Mateo, my officious but now disconsolate squire, and two or three old
invalids of the Alhambra with whom I had grown into gossiping companionship, had come down to see me off; for
it is one of the good old customs of Spain, to sally forth several miles to meet a coming friend, and to
accompany him as far on his departure. Thus then we set out, our long-legged guard striding ahead, with his
gun on his shoulder; Manuel and Mateo on each side of the tartana, and the old invalids behind.
At some little distance to the north of Granada, the road gradually ascends the hills; here I alighted and
walked up slowly with Manuel, who took this occasion to confide to me the secret of his heart and of all those
tender concerns between himself and Dolores, with which I had been already informed by the all-knowing and
all-revealing Mateo Ximenes. His doctor's diploma had prepared the way for their union, and if he could get
the post of physician of the fortress, his happiness would be complete! I congratulated him on the judgment
and good taste he had shown in his choice of a helpmate and invoked all possible felicity on their union.
It was indeed a sorrowful parting when I took leave
 of these good people and saw them slowly descend the hills; now and then turning round to wave me a last
adieu. Manuel, it is true, had cheerful prospects to console him, but poor Mateo seemed perfectly cast down.
It was to him a grievous fall from the station of prime minister and historiographer, to his old brown cloak
and his starveling mystery of ribbon-weaving; and the poor devil, notwithstanding his occasional
officiousness, had, somehow or other, acquired a stronger hold on my sympathies than I was aware of. It would
have really been a consolation in parting, could I have anticipated the good fortune in store for him, and to
which I had contributed; for the importance I had appeared to give to his tales and gossip and local
knowledge, and the frequent companionship in which I had indulged him in the course of my strolls, had
elevated his idea of his own qualifications and opened a new career to him; and the son of the Alhambra has
since become its regular and well-paid cicerone; insomuch that I am told he has never been obliged to resume
the ragged old brown cloak in which I first found him.
Towards sunset I came to where the road wound into the mountains, and here I paused to take a last look at
Granada. The hill on which I stood commanded a glorious view of the city, the Vega, and the surrounding
mountains. I now could realize something of the feelings of poor Boabdil when he bade adieu to the paradise he
was leaving behind, and beheld before him a rugged and sterile road conducting him to exile.
The setting sun as usual shed a melancholy effulgence on the ruddy towers of the Alhambra. I could faintly
discern the balconied window of the tower of Comares, where I had indulged in so many delightful reveries.
 The bosky groves and gardens about the city were richly gilded with the sunshine, the purple haze of a summer
evening was gathering over the Vega; everything was lovely, but tenderly and sadly so, to my parting gaze.
"I will hasten from this prospect," thought I, "before the sun is set. I will carry away a recollection of it
clothed in all its beauty."
With these thoughts I pursued my way among the mountains. A little further and Granada, the Vega, and the
Alhambra, were shut from my view; and thus ended one of the pleasantest dreams of a life, which the reader
perhaps may think has been but too much made up of dreams.
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