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Let it be a record of the value I set upon all you have taught me, and upon your true friendship. Before quitting England for a first visit to Spain in the Autumn of , I made up my mind both to see and draw as much of the Architectural remains of that country as the time and means at my disposal would permit; and further determined so to draw as to admit of the publication of my sketches and portions of my notes on the objects represented, in the precise form in which they might be made.

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I was influenced in that determination by the consciousness that almost from day to day the glorious past was being trampled out in Spain; and that whatever issue, prosperous or otherwise, the fortunes of that much distracted country might take in the future, the minor monuments of Art at least which adorned its soil, would rapidly disappear.

Their disappearance would result naturally from what is called "progress" if Spain should revive; while their perishing through neglect and wilful damage, or peculation, would inevitably follow, if the ever smouldering embers of domestic revolution should burst afresh into flame.

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Such has been the invariable action of those fires which in all history have melted away the most refined evidences of man's intelligence, leaving behind only scanty, and often all but shapeless, relics of the richest and ripest genius. Their disappearance would result naturally from what is called "progress" if Spain should revive; while their perishing through neglect and wilful damage, or peculation, would inevitably follow, if the ever smouldering embers of domestic revolution should burst afresh into flame.

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Such has been the invariable action of those fires which in all history have melted away the most refined evidences of man's intelligence, leaving behind only scanty, and often all but shapeless, relics of the richest and ripest genius. It is difficult to realise the rapidity with which, almost under one's eyes, the Spain of history and romance "is casting its skin.


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In exactly the same way the fine Byzantine churches of San Juan at Lerida, and of San Miguel at Barcelona, have been "improved off the face of the earth. The finest old mansion in Barcelona, the Casa de Gralla, probably the masterpiece of Damian Forment, and dating from the commencement of the fourteenth century, has been pulled down by the Duke of Medina Celi to form a new street.

An Architect's Note-Book in Spain by Sir M. Digby Wyatt

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