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X. SEVILLIAN ASPECTS AND INCIDENTS

It is always a question how much or little we had better know about the history of a strange country when seeing it. If the great mass of travelers voted according to their ignorance, the majority in favor of knowing next to nothing would be overwhelming, and I do not say they would be altogether unwise. History itself is often of two minds about the facts, or the truth from them, and when you have stored away its diverse conclusions, and you begin to apply them to the actual conditions, you are constantly embarrassed by the misfits. What did it avail me to believe that when the Goths overran the north of Spain the Vandals overran the south, and when they swept on into Africa and melted away in the hot sun there as a distinctive race, they left nothing but the name Vandalusia, a letter less, behind them? If the Vandals were what they are reported to have been, the name does not at all characterize the liveliest province of Spain. Besides, the very next history told me that they took even their name with them, and forbade me the simple and apt etymology which I had pinned my indolent faith to.