Page:A book of the Pyrenees.djvu/68

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48
THE PYRENEES

much rebuilding and adaptation. The courtyard is picturesque, and the terrace commands a beautiful view.

Fuenterrabia brings no pleasing remembrances to an Englishman. The citizens begrudged a lodging to our sick and wounded during the passage of the Pyrenees by the allied troops under Wellington when in pursuit of Soult in the depth of winter. The town authorities even wanted to take away the boards on which were stretched the disabled soldiers. "These," wrote the Duke, "are the people to whom we have given medicines, etc., whose wounded and sick we have taken into our hospitals, and to whom we have rendered every service in our power, after having recovered their country from the enemy."

Irun signifies in Basque "the good town," but it contains little that is good, nothing that is interesting. Passages, however, will arrest the traveller, owing to its picturesque harbour, land-locked, and the entrance commanded by the castles—reminding a Devonshire man of Dartmouth. The port has been neglected and suffered to be silted up, although the rock-bound coast possesses no better harbour of refuge for storm-tossed boats.

San Sebastian has suffered so severely from sieges that it has lost its medieval character; but nothing can destroy its natural beauty of situation. The Monte Urgull, on which is the castle, was originally a rocky island, but it has been united to the land by the deposits of the River Urumea, and the town now occupies this neck. Beyond is the concha, a semi-lunar bay, with excellent sands, and with the Isle of Sta. Clara breaking the force of the waves that roll in from the Atlantic. San Sebastian is the most fashionable sea-side resort in Spain, and is much frequented by the nobility and by well-to-do citizens of Madrid. The church of S. Vin-