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There is an originality, an independence, an enthusiasm, in the Spanish character that distinguishes them from every other people. Despotism and the Inquisition, ignorance and superstition, have been unable to level the noble altitude of their souls; and even while the manifestations of genius have been crushed, genius has survived.

Mary Shelley's Literary Lives and Other Writings. Spanish and Portuguese Lives; French Lives (Montaigne to Rochefoucauld). Lives of Eminent Literary and Scientific Men. Introduction


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