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EXTRACT FROM A LETTER.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

FEW places in this little world of ours are more attractive than Granada. The crumbling walls of the Alhambra; the splendid relics of the greatness of the old Moorish kings; the quaint gardens of the Generaliffe; the grand views of the snowy Sierra on the one hand and of the olive-clad plains of Andalusia on the other; the great shapeless cathedral, where the Catholic kings sleep beneath the tattered standards of the Conquest; the quaint, dirty buildings; the quainter, dirtier peasantry; and, quaintest and dirtiest of all, the dark-eyed gypsies of sleepy old Spain; it is the home of day-dreams, the land of romance.

I am dreamy and romantic. I found Granada perfect, but unhappily Granada disagreed with me. I had been there but two days when my Moorish reveries began to be interrupted by - colic. I tried to walk it off. It was no use. The more I walked the worse was the pain, and finally I reluctantly yielded to fate, settled myself in a charming little room in the very shadow of the grand old Moorish palace, and determined to physic myself into a respectable physical state. I was quite alone. The picturesque Spaniards about me did not look like reliable medical authorities, and I concluded to take my case into my own hands. My supply of medicine was small, consisting of a flask of cognac, and a small bottle of laudanum, - the latter to be used in case of toothache. I began with the cognac. The pains were unabated, and before long I was in so uncomfortable a condition that my interest in the Alhambra itself almost vanished. I could think of nothing but number one and number one's stomach. That organ was evidently not susceptible to the influence of cognac, so I turned to my only other resource, the laudanum. For a whole day I took microscopic doses at stated intervals, with no apparent beneficial effect. At length night came, and in a very miserable frame of mind, I went to bed. I was awakened by the most excruciating twinge I had yet felt. In perfect agony, I tossed about for a moment, and then, longing for relief, snatched at the first bottle that came to hand and swallowed half its contents.

An instant after, I saw what I had done. I had taken laudanum enough to kill three men. I rushed to my bell and rang it; but the whole household - consisting of the landlord, the landlady, and a deaf and dumb attendant, - were fast asleep, well out of hearing. How to reach them I did not know; what to do I could not tell; a horrible drowsy feeling began to creep over me; I knew that the poison was beginning to work.

Romantic as I am, I was never particularly anxious to die. A dying condition is occasionally interesting, but death itself is altogether too real. Yet this drowsiness, if I could not conquer it, meant nothing less than that reality, and the horrible drug was taking firmer hold every moment. Of a sudden, an idea came to me. I remembered the peculiar effect of a dose of warm water which a friend had once administered to me by way of a practical joke. My candle was burning, and a little tin drinking-cup, full of water, stood beside it. I snatched up the cup and held it over the flame. If I could warm the water soon enough I should be saved - if not - the laudanum - how cold it was - it was nearly bedtime - I was so sleepy. A drowsy confusion of thought filled my brain. My head nodded. The narcotic was winning the race. I was almost unconscious, when, as fortune would have it, one of my long mustachios - of which I was exceedingly proud - touched the flame of the candle. In an instant the hair blazed up, and the sudden heat aroused me from my stupor. I started wildly. Smarting with the pain of the burn, I staggered to the toilet-table and dipped my head in water. This revived me for the moment. I rushed back to my impromptu teakettle. I felt the water. It was beginning to grow warm. I held it over the candle once more; and once more that dreadful feeling came stealing over me. My hands and feet were numb. My brain was paralyzed. All was over at last. I had just enough consciousness left to raise the cup to my lips and drink its contents. Then the stupor overcame me. With a horrible feeling of deadly faintness, I fell back upon my bed and became totally unconscious.

I knew nothing more for many hours. At length, a loud, monotonous sound forced itself upon my ears. I gradually recovered my senses, but I hardly dared open my eyes. Was I alive or dead?

The noise was evidently a violent knock at a door: if I was on earth, it was my duty to open it; if some one was pounding at the gate of Paradise, it was high time for me to prepare to slip in. No other hypothesis occurred to me at the moment. I started up and looked about. I was in my bed, and the condition of that article of furniture reminded me of scenes that I had witnessed on Transatlantic steamers during storms. Some one was drumming at the door. I opened it. It was the deaf and dumb waiter. I was alive and saved.

As soon as I felt strong enough, I started away. Granada was charming, but it was sleepy, and its sleepiness was too suggestive. I longed for new scenes; so with a shorter mustache - of course I had to cut off the other side to match - and a more serious disposition, I prepared to bid farewell to the Alhambra.

As I was driving away from the hotel, I heard a loud hallooing behind me. The carriage stopped, and the fatherly visage of my good landlord appeared at the window. I remarked that I had paid my bill. As soon as he could recover his breath, the excellent man assured me that he had stopped me for nothing of the sort; that he begged the Senor's pardon, but the Senor was so young that it was a pity to see him falling into habits of intemperance; and that he trusted that, with the aid of the Holy Saints, he would be able to withstand the temptation of indulging his appetite to such an extent as he had done in Granada. Then, bowing, blushing, and puffing, he ordered the coachman to drive on; and I was hurried away before I could tell the amiable old fellow that my illness had not been the result of a solitary and cold-blooded spree.

B. W.

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