Page 195

WOMEN

OF SPAIN AND THEIR TRADITIONS

name

117

Madrid), in fact to the contagious renunciation of the gifts of life, which was half malady, half religion, in Given the gifts which the world was crying out for, those days. bears her

and which the

in

life

of the monastery could no longer find

full

the earlier centuries of conventual power, the renunciation made by the many talented and unusual women of

vent

for, as in

day seems curiously strained and overwrought. If the mysticism of their characters became world- famed from their that

seemed divine

was

So many gifts that the midst of men became too human for a

choice, the intellectual life in

arrested.

community of exalted ascetics ; much, in fact, that was real, was sacrificed for shadows. It was the age of intellectual martyrdom, from a healthier though less exalted standpoint, the exquisite words of Victor Hugo in his analysis of convent life, seem to soothe away all questioning of majestic error, but in contemplating

it

;

" Le

sacrifice

qui porte k faux est encore le sacrifice. une erreur severe, cela a sa grandeur."

pour devoir words which help towards the comprehension of mystic stern

life's

greatness, forcing " Suffer or die."

motto

—

vocations

in

So, gifted in

Prendre

Sublime a

people's

homage of their

no ordinary degree,

wake of their first brilliant Queen, in the very shadow of the Moorish days when female intellect and talent had always shone with a bright if spasmodic light in Moorish Spain, the most renowned of the women of Spanish history hid their lights under mystic veils veils that time has rendered yet more opaque. So, too, in spite of the extraordinary amount of freedom which allowed women to show learning unabashed, in spite of following in the

—

the

seclusion of their social

and of

intellect

terference,

till

life,

their

seemed ever checked

mysticism

itself

as

flights

of imagination

by some mysterious

in-

became the crowning attribute of

their age, and Saint Theresa, swept away at the age of six, '* by the violent movement of love," becomes the ideal of all her

countrywomen

for

all

ages.

Even

as far

on

as

during the reign

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In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

Profile for kamutef
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