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SPANISH HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS

San Sebastian

San Sebastian

SPANISH HIGHWAYS
AND BYWAYS

BY
KATHARINE LEE BATES
Author of "American Literature" "The English Religious Drama," etc.

ILLUSTRATED WITH MANY ENGRAVINGS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS

Published by THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

New York Mcm

LONDON: MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

Copyright, 1900,
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

Madre Mia

AQUI TIENES TU LIBRO

Preface

A tourist in Spain can hope to understand but little of that strange, deep-rooted, and complex life shut away beyond the Pyrenees. This book claims to be nothing more than a record of impressions. As such, whatever may be its errors, it should at least bear witness to the picturesque, poetic charm of the Peninsula and to the graciousness of Spanish manners.

Contents

ix

Chapter Page
I. "The Lazy Spaniard" 1
II. A Continuous Carnival 11
III. Within the Alhambra 27
IV. A Function in Granada 39
V. In Sight of the Giralda 48
VI. Passion Week in Seville 58
VII. Traces of the Inquisition 82
VIII. An Andalusian Type 102
IX. A Bull-fight 113
X. Gypsies 132
XI. The Route of the Silver Fleets 147
XII. Murillo's Cherubs 162
XIII. The Yolk of the Spanish Egg 183
XIV. A Study in Contrasts 203
XV. The Patron Saint of Madrid 214
XVI. The Funeral of Castelar 233
XVII. The Immemorial Fashion 246
XVIII. Corpus Christi in Toledo 263
XIX. The Tercentenary of Velázquez 283
XX. Choral Games of Spanish Children 297
XXI. "O la Señorita!" 338 x
XXII. Across the Basque Provinces 362
XXIII. In Old Castile 376
XXIV. Pilgrims of Saint James 394
XXV. The Building of a Shrine 409
XXVI. The Son of Thunder 423
XXVII. Vigo and Away 439

List of Illustrations

xi

San Sebastian Frontispiece
Facing Page
Pasajes 8
An Arab Gateway in Burgos 23
Playing at Bull-fight. From painting by Bayeu 30
The Mosque of Cordova 39
The Columbus Monument in Granada 46
The Alhambra. Hall of Justice 55
Filling the Water-jars 62
Off for the War. From painting by Rubio 71
Looking toward the Darro 78
A Milkman of Granada 101
A Roman Well in Ronda 112
The Giralda 131
The Passing of the Pageants 146
The Pageant of Gethsemane 167
"Jesus of the Passion" 174
"Christ of the Seven Words" 195
Maria Santisima 210
A Spanish Monk. From painting by Zurbarán 215
A Seville Street 222
An Old-fashioned Bull-fight. From painting by Goya 243
The Bull-fight of To-day 258 xii
The King of the Gypsies 275
Gypsy Tenants of an Arab Palace 290
From the Golden Tower down the Guadalquivír 311
Cadiz, from the Sea 318
The Divine Shepherd. From painting by Murillo 339
The Royal Palace in Madrid 354
The Royal Family 359
The Manzanares 366
A Spanish Cemetery 375
Toledo 382
Toledo Cathedral. Puerta de los Leones 391
St. Paul, the first Hermit. From painting by Ribera 398
The Maids of Honor. From painting by Velázquez 407
Dancing the Sevillana 414
Within the Cloister 423
The Trampler of the Moors 430
Santiago Cathedral. Puerta de la Gloria 439
St. James. From painting by Murillo 446

Spanish Highways and Byways

1

I

"THE LAZY SPANIARD"

"There is a difference between Peter and Peter."—Cervantes: Don Quixote.

"Spain is a contradiction," was the parting word of the Rev. William H. Gulick, the honored American missionary whose unwearied kindness looked after us, during the break in official representation, more effectively than a whole diplomatic corps. "Spanish blood is a strange mezcla, whose elements, Gothic, African, Oriental, are at war among themselves. You will find Spaniards tender and cruel, boastful and humble, frank and secretive, and all at once. It will be a journey of surprises."

We were saying good-by, on February 4, 1899, to sunshiny Biarritz, whither Mrs. Gulick's school for Spanish girls had been spirited over the border at the outbreak of the war. Here we had found Spanish and American flags draped together, Spanish and American friendships holding fast, and a gallant little band of American teachers spending youth and strength in their patient campaign for conquering the Peninsula by a purer idea of truth. Rough Riders may be more pictorial, but hardly more heroic. 2

We were barely through the custom house, in itself the simplest and swiftest of operations, before the prophesied train of surprises began. One of our preconceived ideas went to wreck at the very outset on the industry of the Basque provinces. "The lazy Spaniard" has passed into a proverb. The round world knows his portrait—that broad sombrero, romantic cloak, and tilted cigarette. But the laborious Spaniard can no longer be ignored. Even at Biarritz we had to reckon with him, for the working population there is scarcely less Spanish than French. Everybody understands both languages as spoken, and it is a common thing to overhear animated dialogue where the talk is all Spanish on the one side and all French on the other. The war set streams of Spanish laborers flowing over the mountain bar into French territory. Young men fled from conscription, and fathers of families came under pressure of hard times. Skilled artisans, as masons and carpenters, could make in Biarritz a daily wage of five francs, the normal equivalent of five pesetas, or a dollar, while only the half of this was to be earned on their native side of the Pyrenees. Such, too, was the magic of exchange that these five francs, sent home, might transform themselves into ten, eight, or seven and a half pesetas. Even when we entered Spain, after the Paris Commission had risen, the rate of exchange was anything but stable, varying not merely from day to day, but from hour to hour, a difference of two or three per cent often occurring between morning and evening. The conditions that bore so heavily on the crafts were crushing the field laborers almost to starvation. In point of excessive toil, those peasants of northern Spain seemed to us worse off than Mr. Markham's "Man 3 with the Hoe," for the rude mattock, centuries out of date, with which they break up the ground, involves the utmost bodily exertion. And by all that sweat of the brow, they were gaining, on an average, ten or twelve cents a day.

No wonder that discontent clouded the land. We met this first at Pasajes, on one of the excursions arranged for our pleasure by the overflow goodness of that missionary garrison. The busiest of teachers had brought us—a young compatriot from a Paris studio and myself—so far as San Sebastian, where she lingered long enough to make us acquainted with a circle of friends, and, incidentally, with Pasajes. This Basque fishing hamlet is perched between hill and sea, with a single rough-paved street running the length of the village from the Church of St. Peter to the Church of St. John. Nature has not been chary of beauty here. The mountain-folded Bay of Pasajes appears at first view like an Alpine lake, but the presence of stately Dutch and Spanish merchantmen in these sapphire waters makes it evident that there must be an outlet to the ocean. Such a rift, in fact, was disclosed as the strong-armed old ferry woman rowed us across, a deep but narrow passage (hence the name) between sheer walls of rock, whose clefts and crannies thrill the most respectable tourist with longings to turn smuggler. The village clings with difficulty to its stony strip between steep and wave. On one side of that single street, the peering stone houses, some still showing faded coats of arms, are half embedded in the mountain, and on the other the tide beats perilously against the old foundation piles.

Above the uneven roofs, on the precipitous hillside, sleep the dead, watched over by Santa Ana from her neglected hermitage. 4 Only once a year, on her own feast day, is her gorgeous altar cloth brought forth and her tall candles lighted, while the rats, who have been nibbling her gilded shoes and comparing the taste of the blues and crimsons in her painted robes, skurry into their holes at the unaccustomed sound of crowding feet. Pasajes boasts, too, a touch of historical dignity. From here Lafayette, gallant young Frenchman that he was, sailed for America, and probably then, as now, little Basque girls ran at the stranger's side with small hands full of wild flowers, and roguish Basque boys hid behind boulders and tried to frighten him by playing brigand, with a prodigious waving of thorn-branch guns and booming of vocal artillery.

But not the joy of beauty nor the pride of ancient memory takes the place of bread. We approached a factory and asked of the workman at the entrance, "What do you manufacture here?" "What they manufacture in all Spain, nowadays," he answered, "misery." This particular misery, however, had the form of tableware, the long rows of simple cups and plates and pitchers, in various stages of completion, being diversified by jaunty little images of the Basque ball players, whose game is famous throughout the Peninsula. We finally succeeded in purchasing one of these for fifteen cents, although the village was hard put to it to make change for a dollar, and was obliged, with grave apologies, to load us down with forty or so big Spanish coppers.

"The lazy Spaniard!" Look at the very children as they romp about San Sebastian. This is the most aristocratic summer resort in Spain, the Queen Regent having a châlet on that artistic bay called the Concha or Shell. It is a crescent of 5 shimmering color, so dainty and so perfect, with guardian mountains of jasper and a fringe of diamond surf, that it is hard to believe it anything but a bit of magical jewel-work. It might be a city of fairyland, did not the clamor of childish voices continually break all dreamy spells. What energy and tireless activity! Up and down the streets, the cleanest streets in Spain, twinkle hundreds of little alpargatas, brightly embroidered canvas shoes with soles of plaited hemp. Spanish families are large, although from the ignorance of the mothers and the unsanitary condition of the homes, the mortality among the children is extreme. Here is a household, for example, where out of seventeen black-eyed babies but three have fought their way to maturity. Spanish parents are notably affectionate, but, in the poorer classes, at least, impatient in their discipline. It is the morning impulse of the busy mother, working at disadvantage in her small and crowded rooms, to clear them of the juvenile uproar by turning her noisy brood out of doors for the day. Surprisingly neat in their dress but often with nothing save cabbage in their young stomachs, forth they storm into the streets. Here the stranger may stand and watch them by the hour as they bow and circle, toss and tumble, dance and race through an enchanting variety of games. The most violent seem to please them best. Now and then a laughing girl stoops to whisk away the beads of perspiration from a little brother's shining face, but in general they are too rapt with the excitement of their sports to be aware of weariness. Such flashing of eyes and streaming of hair and jubilee of songs!

One of their favorite games, for instance, is this: An especially active child, by preference a boy, takes the name of 6 milano, or kite, and throws himself down in some convenient doorway, as if asleep. The others form in Indian file, the madre, or mother, at the head, and the smallest girl, Mariquilla, last in line. The file proceeds to sing:—

  "We are going to the garden,
  Although its wicked warden,
  Hungry early and late,
  Is crouching before the gate."

Then ensues a musical dialogue between the mother and Mariquilla:—

Mother. Little Mary in the rear!
Little Mary. What's your bidding, mother dear?
Mother. Tell me how the kite may thrive.
Little Mary [after cautiously sidling up to the doorway and inspecting the prone figure there].
  He's half dead and half alive.

Then the file chants again:—

  "We are going to the garden,
  Although its wicked warden,
  Hungry early and late,
  Is crouching before the gate."
   
Mother. Little Mary in the rear!
Little Mary. What's your bidding, mother dear?
Mother. Of the kite I bid you speak.
Little Mary [after a second reconnoissance, which sends her scampering back to her own place].
  He whets his claws and whets his beak.

7 Here the enemy advances, beating a most appalling tattoo:—

Kite. Pum, pum! Tat, tat!
Mother. Who is here and what is that?
Kite. 'Tis the kite.
Mother. What seeks the kite?
Kite. Human flesh! A bite, a bite!
Mother. You must catch before you dine.
  Children, children, keep the line!

And with this the dauntless parent, abandoning song for action, darts with outspread arms in front of the robber, who bends all his energies to reaching and snatching away Little Mary. The entire line, keeping rank, curves and twists behind the leader, all intent on protecting that poor midget at the end. And when the wild frolic has resulted in her capture, and every child is panting with fatigue, they straightway resume their original positions and play it all over again. In Seville this game takes on a religious variation, the kite becoming the Devil, and the madre the angel Michael defending a troop of souls. In Cuba we have a hawk pitted against a hen with her brood of chickens.

We stepped into a Protestant Kindergarten one day to see how such stirring atoms of humanity might demean themselves in school. Talk of little pitchers! Here were some twoscore tiny jugs, bubbling full of mischief, with one bright, sympathetic girl of twenty-two keeping a finger on every dancing lid. Impossible, of course! But all her week's work looked to us impossible. We had known diligent teachers in the United States; this "lazy Spaniard," however, not only keeps her Kindergarten well in hand from nine to 8 twelve, but instructs the same restless mites—so many of them as do not fall into a baby-sleep over their desks—in reading and counting from two to four, gives a Spanish lesson from six to seven, and struggles with the pathetic ignorance of grown men and women in the night school from eight to half-past nine or ten.

The Spanish pastor and his wife, also teachers in day school, night school, Sunday school, are no less marvels of industry. The multiplication table, lustily intoned to the tramp of marching feet, called us into a class-room where the older girls were gathered for lessons in reading and writing, arithmetic and geography, sewing and embroidery. The delicate little lady who presides over this lively kingdom may be seen on Sunday, seated at the melodeon, leading the chapel music—an exquisite picture of a Spanish señora, with the lace mantilla crowning the black hair and gracefully falling to the slender shoulders. We had heard her give an address on foreign soil, before an audience of a hundred strangers, speaking with an irresistible fervor of appeal, and no less charming was she at the head of her own table, the soul of vivacious and winsome hospitality.

As for the pastor himself, he carries the administrative burdens of church and school, teaches the larger boys morning and afternoon, and the men in the evening, preaches once on Thursday and twice on Sunday, and slips in between these stated tasks all the innumerable incidental duties of a missionary pastorate. And yet this man of many labors is not only Spanish, but Philippine. His childhood was passed at Cavite, the home of his father, a Spanish officer, who had chosen his bride from a native family. The boy was put to school with 9 the friars at Manila, where, rather to the disgust of the soldier-father, he formed the desire to enter the brotherhood. He was not blind—what students are?—to the blemishes of his teachers. He had often stood by with the other lads and shouted with laughter to see a group of friars, their cassocks well girded up, drive a pig into their shallow pond and stab the plunging creature there, that it might be counted "fish" and serve them for dinner on Friday. But his faith in the order held firm, and, when his novitiate was well advanced, he was sent to Madrid for the final ceremonies. Here, by chance, he dropped into a Protestant service, and after several years of examination and indecision, chose the thorny road.

Pasajes

Pasajes

All his wearing occupations do not dull that fine sense of courtesy inherent in a Spanish gentleman. The sun itself had hardly risen when we departed from San Sebastian, yet we found Don Angel at the station, muffled in the inevitable Spanish capa, to say good-by once more and assure us that, come what might, we had always "a house and a friend in Spain." We laid down the local journal, hard reading that it was with its denunciations of "the inhuman barbarities of the North Americans toward the Filipinos," and ventured to ask for his own view of the matter.

"The United States," he answered, speaking modestly and very gently, "means well and has, in the main, done well. When I say this in the Casino, men get angry and call me a Yankee filibuster. But in truth the Philippines are very dear to me and I carry a sad heart. It was the protocol that did the mischief. It is not easy for simple islanders to understand that words may say one thing and mean another. Philippine 10 faith in American promises is broken. And red is a hard color to wash out. Yet I still hope that, when the days of slaughter are over, peace and life may finally come to my unhappy birthplace from your great nation. The Tagalos are not so worthless as Americans seem to think, though the climate of the Philippines, like that of Andalusia, tempts to indolence. But strong motives make good workers everywhere."

II

11

A CONTINUOUS CARNIVAL

"This periodical explosion of freedom and folly."—Becquer: El Carnaval.

Having re-formed our concept of a Spaniard to admit the elements of natural vigor and determined diligence, we were surprised again to find this tragic nation, whose fresh grief and shame had almost deterred us from the indelicacy of intrusion, entering with eager zest into the wild fun of Carnival. Sorrow was still fresh for the eighty thousand dead in Cuba, the hapless prisoners in the Philippines, the wretched repatriados landed, cargo after cargo, at ports where some were suffered to perish in the streets. Every household had its tale of loss; yet, notwithstanding all the troubles of the time, Spain must keep her Carnival. "It is one of the saddest and most disheartening features of the situation," said a Spaniard to us. "There is no earnestness here, no realization of the national crisis. The politicians care for nothing but to enrich themselves, and the people, as you see, care for nothing but to divert themselves."

Yet we looked from the madcap crowd to the closed shutters, keeping their secrets of heartbreak, and remembered the words of Zorrilla, "Where there is one who laughs, there is ever another who weeps in the great Carnival of our life." 12

The parks of San Sebastian were gay with maskers and music, tickling brushes and showers of confetti, on our last day there, but the peculiar feature of the festivity in this Basque city is "the baiting of the ox." On that Carnival-Sunday afternoon we found ourselves looking down, from a safe balcony, upon the old Plaza de la Constitución, with its arcaded sides. The genuine bull-fights, which used to take place here, have now a handsome amphitheatre of their own, where, when the summer has brought the court to San Sebastian, the choicest Andalusian bulls crimson the sand of the arena. But the Plaza de la Constitución, mindful of its pristine glory, still furnishes what cheap suggestions it can of the terrible play. The square below was crowded with men and boys, and even some hoydenish girls, many in fantastic masks and gaudy dominos, while the tiers of balconies were thronged with eager spectators. A strange and savage peal of music announced that "the bull" was coming. That music was enough to make the hereditary barbarian beat in any heart, but "the bull"! At the further corner of the plaza, pulled by a long rope and driven by a yelling rabble, came in, at a clumsy gallop, an astonished and scandalized old ox. Never did living creature bear a meeker and less resentful temper.

At first, beaten and pricked by his tormentors, he tore blindly round and round the plaza, the long rope by which he was held dragging behind him, and sometimes, as he wheeled about, tripping up and overturning a bunch of the merrymakers. This was a joy to the balconies, but did not often happen, as the people below showed a marvellous dexterity in skipping over the rope just in time to escape its swinging blow. Sometimes the poor, stupid beast entangled his own legs, 13 and that, too, was a source of noisy glee. But, on the whole, he was a disappointing and inglorious ox. He caused no serious accident. Nothing could ruffle his disposition. The scarlet cloaks waved in his eyes he regarded with courteous interest; he wore only a look of grieved surprise when he was slapped across the face with red and yellow banners; tweaks of the tail he endured like a Socrates, but now and then a cruel prod from a sharp stick would make him lower his horns and rush, for an instant, upon the nearest offender. The balconies would shout with the hope of something vicious and violent at last, but the mobile crowd beneath would close in between the ox and his assailant, a hundred fresh insults would divert his attention, and indeed, his own impulses of wrath were of the shortest. To the end he was hardly an angry ox—only a puzzled, baffled, weary old creature who could not make out, for the life of him, into what sort of red and yellow pasture and among what kind of buzzing hornets his unlucky hoofs had strayed.

Finally he gave the enigma up and stood wrapped in a brown study among his emboldened enemies, who clung to his horns and tail, tossed children upon his back, tickled his nostrils with their hat brims, and showered him with indignities. The balconies joined in hooting him out of the plaza, but he was so pleased to go that I doubt if human scorn of his beastly gentleness really interfered with his appetite for supper. He trotted away to that rude clang of music, the babies who were dancing to it on their nurses' arms not more harmless than he. And although that worrying half hour may have told upon his nerves, and his legs may have ached for the unaccustomed exercise, no blood was to be seen upon him. It 14 was all a rough-and-tumble romp, nothing worse, but the balconies would have liked it better had it been flavored with a broken leg or two. A few sprawlings over the rope really amounted to so little. But the toro de fuego was to come there Tuesday evening, and when this blazing pasteboard bull, with fireworks spluttering all over him from horns to tail, is dragged about among the throng, there is always a fine chance of explosions, burnings, and even of blindings for life.

But Carnival Tuesday found us no longer in sunny San Sebastian. We were shivering over a brasero in storied Burgos, a city chill as if with the very breath of the past. And the Spanish brasero, a great brass pan holding a pudding of ashes, plummed with sparks, under a wire screen, is the coldest comfort, the most hypocritical heater, that has yet come my way.

Our Monday had been spent in a marvellous journey through the Pyrenees, whose rugged sublimities were bathed in the very blue of Velázquez, a cold, clear, glorious blue expanding all the soul. These are haunted mountains, with wild legends of lonely castles, where fierce old chieftains, beaten back by the Franks, shut themselves in with their treasure and died like wounded lions in their lairs. We passed fallen towers from whose summits mediæval heralds had trumpeted the signal for war, ruined convents whence the sound of woman's chanting was wont to startle the wolves of the forest, mysterious lakes deep in whose waters are said to shine golden crowns set with nine precious pearls—those ducal coronets that Rome bestowed upon her vassals—craggy paths once trod by pilgrims, hermits, jugglers, minstrels, and knights-errant, and shadowy pine groves where, 15 when the wind is high, the shepherds still hear the weeping ghost of the cruel princess, whose beauty and disdain slew dozens of men a day until her love was won and scorned, so that she died of longing.

We had reached Burgos at dusk and, without pausing for rest or food, had sallied out for our first awe-stricken gaze up at the far-famed cathedral towers, then had ignominiously lost our way over and over in the narrow, crooked streets and been finally marched back to our hotel by a compassionate, though contemptuous, policeman. My artist comrade was fairly ill by morning with a heavy cold, but she would not hear of missing the cathedral and sneezed three or four enraptured hours away in its chill magnificence. As we came to know Spanish and Spaniards better, they would exclaim "Jesús, Maria y José!" when we sneezed, that the evil spirit given to tickling noses might take flight; but the Burgos sacristan was too keen to waste these amenities on stammering heretics. What we thought of the cathedral is little to the purpose of this chapter. In a word, however, we thought nothing at all; we only felt. It was our first introduction to one of the monster churches of Spain, and its very greatness, the terrible weight of all that antiquity, sanctity, and beauty, crushed our understanding. Like sleepwalkers we followed our guide down the frozen length of nave and aisles and cloisters; we went the round of the fifteen chapels, splendid presence-chambers where the dead keep sculptured state; we looked, as we were bidden, on the worm-eaten treasure-chest of the Cid, on the clock whose life-sized tenant, Papa-Moscas, used to scream the hours to the embarrassment of long-winded pulpiteers, on the cathedral's 16 crown of fretted spires whose marvellous tracery was chiselled by the angels, and on the "Most Holy Christ of Burgos," the crucified image that bleeds every Friday.

Fulfilled with amazement, we searched our way back to the hotel through the sleety rain, ate a shivering luncheon at the "mesa redonda," that "round table" which is never round, and agreed to postpone our anticipated visits to the haunts of the Cid until a less inclement season. For of course we should come back to Burgos. The proud old city seemed to fill all the horizon of thought. How had we lived so long without it? That the stormy afternoon was not favorable to exploration mattered little. We peeped down from our balconies into the ancient streets, half expecting the exiled Cid to come spurring up, seeking the welcome which we, like all the craven folk of Burgos, must refuse him.

"With sixty lances in his train my Cid rode up the town,

The burghers and their dames from all the windows looking down;

And there were tears in every eye, and on each lip one word:

'A worthy vassal—would to God he served a worthy lord!'

Fain would they shelter him, but none durst yield to his desire.

Great was the fear through Burgos town of King Alphonso's ire.

Sealed with his royal seal hath come his letter to forbid

All men to offer harborage or succor to my Cid.

And he that dared to disobey, well did he know the cost—

His goods, his eyes, stood forfeited, his soul and body lost.

A hard and grievous word was that to men of Christian race;

And since they might not greet my Cid, they hid them from his face."

Meanwhile the streets were a living picture-book. Muffled cavaliers, with cloaks drawn up and hats drawn down till 17 only the dance of coal-black eyes, full of fire and fun, was visible between, saluted our balcony with Carnival impertinence. Beggars of both sexes, equally wound about with tattered shawls, reached up expectant hands as if we were made of Spanish pennies. A funeral procession passed, with the pale light of tapers, the chanting of priests, with purple-draped coffin, and mourners trooping on foot—men only, for in Spain women never accompany their dead either to church or grave. A troop of infantry, whose dapper costume outwent itself in the last touch of bright green gloves, dazzled by, and then came a miscellany of maskers. It was rather a rag-tag show, take it all in all—red devils with horns, friars extremely fat, caricatures of English tourists with tall hats and perky blue eye-glasses, giants, dwarfs, tumblers, and even a sorry Cid mounted on a sorrier Bavieca. But the climax of excitement was reached when a novel bull-fight wheeled into view. It was a stuffed calf this time, set on wheels and propelled by a merry fellow of the tribe of Joseph, if one might judge by his multi-colored attire. With white hood, black mask, blue domino, garnet arms, and yellow legs, he was as cheery as a bit of rainbow out of that sombre sky. All the people in sight hastened to flock about him, policemen left their beats, and servant maids their doorways, an itinerant band of gypsy girls ceased clashing their tambourines, the blind beggar opened his eyes, and the small boys were in ecstasies. For over an hour the populace played with that mimic bull in this one spot under our windows, good-humored caballeros lending their scarfs and cloaks to delighted urchins, who would thrust these stimulating objects into the calf's bland face and then run for their lives, while the 18 motley Mask trundled his precious image in hot pursuit behind them. We were reminded of the scene months after by an old painting in the Escorial, depicting an almost identical performance. Spain is not a land of change.

But that teeth-chattering cold, "un frio de todos los demonios," eased our farewells to Burgos, and night found us dividing the privileges of a second-class carriage with two black-bearded Castilians, who slept foot to foot along the leather-cushioned seat on the one side, while we copied their example on the other. I started from my first doze at some hubbub of arrival to ask drowsily, "Is this Madrid?" "Be at peace, señora!" cooed one of these sable-headed neighbors, in that tone of humorous indulgence characteristic of the dons when addressing women and children. "It is twelve hours yet to Madrid. Slumber on with tranquil heart." So we lay like warriors taking our rest, with our travelling rugs, in lieu of martial cloaks, about us, until the east began to glow with rose and fire, revealing a bleak extent of treeless, tawny steppe.

We had only a few days to give to "the crowned city" then, but those sufficed for business, for a first acquaintance with the Puerta del Sol and its radiating avenues, a first joy in the peerless Museo del Prado, and a brilliant glimpse of Carnival. We found the great drive of the Prado, on Ash Wednesday afternoon, reserved for carriages and maskers. Stages were erected along one side of the way, and on the other the park was closely set with chairs. Stages and chairs were filled with a well-clad, joyous multitude, diverted awhile from their pretty labors of shooting roses and showering confetti by the fascinating panorama before their eyes. The privileged 19 landaus that held the middle of the road were laden with the loveliest women of Castile. Carriages, horses, and coachmen were all adorned, but these showy equipages only served as setting to the high-bred beauty of the occupants. The cream of Madrid society was there. The adults were elegantly dressed, but not as masqueraders. The children in the carriages, however, were often costumed in the picturesque habits of the provinces—the scarlet cap and striped shawl of the Catalan peasant, the open velvet waistcoat, puffed trousers, and blue or red sash of the Valencian, the gayly embroidered mantle of the Andalusian mountaineer, the cocked hat and tasselled jacket of the gypsy. Moors, flower girls, fairies, French lords and ladies of the old régime, even court fools with cap and bells, were brightly imaged by these little people, to whom the maskers on foot seemed to have left the monopoly of beauty. The figures darting among the landaus, in and out of which they leaped with confident impudence, were almost invariably grotesques—smirking fishwives, staring chimney-sweeps, pucker-mouthed babies, and scarecrows of every variety. Political satires are sternly forbidden, and among the few national burlesques, we saw nowhere any representation of Uncle Sam. He was hardly a subject of the King of Nonsense then.

Squeaking and gibbering, the maskers, unrebuked, took all manner of saucy liberties. A stately old gentleman rose from his cushion in a crested carriage to observe how gallantly a bevy of ladies were beating off with a hail of confetti and bonbons an imploring cavalier who ran by their wheels, and when he would have resumed his seat he found himself dandled on the knees of a grinning Chinaman. Sometimes a swarm of 20 maskers would beset a favorite carriage, climbing up beside the coachman and snatching his reins, standing on the steps and throwing kisses, lying along the back and twitting the proudest beauty in the ear or making love to the haughtiest. This all-licensed masker, with his monstrous disguise and affected squeal, may be a duke or a doorkeeper. Carnival is democracy.

Meanwhile the inevitable small boy, whose Spanish variety is exceptionally light of heart and heels, gets his own fun out of the occasion by whisking under the ropes into this reserved avenue and dodging hither and thither among the vehicles, to the fury of the mounted police, whose duty it is to keep the public out. One resplendent rider devoted his full energies for nearly an hour to the unavailing chase of a nimble little rogue who risked ten of his nine lives under coaches and in front of horses' hoofs, but always turned up laughing with a finger at the nose.

Yet this jocund day did not set without its tragedy. A hot-tempered Madrileño, abroad with his wife, resented the attentions paid her by one of the maskers and shot him down. The mortally wounded man was found to be a physician of high repute. This was not the only misadventure of the afternoon, a lady losing one eye by the blow of a flying sugar-plum.

Our next night journey was less fortunate than our first, though it should be remembered that our discomforts were partly due to our persistency in travelling second-class. The carriage had its full complement of passengers, and each of our eight companions brought with him an unlawful excess of small luggage. Valises, boxes, bundles, sacks, cans, canes, 21 umbrellas wedged us in on every side, while our own accumulation of grips, shawl-straps, hold-alls, and sketching kit denied us even the relief of indignation. We all sat bolt upright the night through in an atmosphere that sickens memory. Not a chink of window air would those sensitive caballeros endure, while the smoke of their ever puffing cigarettes clouded the compartment with an uncanny haze that grew heavier hour by hour. Conversation, which seldom flagged, became a violent chorus at those intervals when the conductor burst in for another chapter of his serial wrangle with a fiery gentleman who refused to pay full fare. Every don in the carriage, even to the chubby priest nodding in the coziest corner, had an unalterable conviction as to the rights and wrongs of that question, and men we had supposed, from their swaying and snoring, fast asleep, would leap to their feet when the conductor entered, fling out their hands in vehement gestures, and dash into the midst of the vociferous dispute. Lazy Spaniards, indeed! We began to wish that the Peninsula would cultivate repose of manner. Our tempers were sorely shaken, and when, in the pale chill of dawn, we arrived at Cordova, sleepless, nauseated, and out of love with humanity, we had every prospect of passing a wretched forenoon.

Thus it is I am inclined to believe we lay down under an orange tree and dreamed a dream of the "Arabian Nights." Or perhaps it was only another freak of the Carnival. At all events, a cup of coffee, and the world was changed. Cordova! A midsummer heat, a land of vineyards and olive groves, palms and aloes, a white, unearthly city, with narrow, silent, deathlike streets, peopled only by drowsy beggars and by gliding 22 maskers that seemed more real than this Oriental picture in which they moved, high walls with grated, harem-like windows, and an occasional glimpse, through some arched doorway, into a marble-floored, rose-waving, fountain-playing patio, enchanted and mysterious, a dream within a dream. Cordova is more than haunted. It is itself a ghost. The court of the Spanish caliphs, at once the Mecca and the Athens of the West, a holy city which counted its baths and mosques by hundreds, a seat of learning whose universities were renowned for mathematics and philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, and medicine, and within whose libraries were treasured manuscripts by hundreds of thousands, a star of art and poetry, it ever reproaches, by this lovely, empty shadow, the Christian barbarism that spurned away the Moors.

The insulted Mosque of Cordova well-nigh makes Mohammedans of us all. Entering by the studded Door of Pardon into the spacious Court of Oranges, with its ancient trees and sparkling quintette of fountains, one passes onward under the Arch of Blessings into a marble forest of slender, sculptured pillars. The wide world, from Carthage to Damascus, from Jerusalem to Ephesus and Rome, was searched for the choicest shafts of jasper, breccia, alabaster, porphyry, until one thousand four hundred precious columns bore the glory of rose-red arches and wonder-roof of gilded and enamelled cedar. More than seven thousand hanging lamps of bronze, filled with perfumed oil, flashed out the mosaic tints,—golds, greens, violets, vermilions,—of ceiling, walls, and pavement. All this shining sanctity culminated in the Mihrâb, or Prayer-Niche, an octagonal recess whose shell-shaped ceiling is hollowed from a single block of pure white marble. This Holy of Holies 23 held the Koran, bound in gold and pearls, around which the Faithful were wont to make seven turns upon their knees, an act of devotion that has left indisputable grooves in the marble of the pavement.

An Arab Gateway in Burgos

An Arab Gateway in Burgos

The Christian conquerors splashed whitewash over the exquisite ceiling, hewed down the pillars of the outer aisles to give space for a fringe of garish chapels, and even chopped away threescore glistening columns in the centre to make room for an incongruous Renaissance choir, with an altar of silver gilt and a big pink retablo. We could have wandered for endless hours among the strange half-lights and colored shadows of that petrified faith of Islam, marvelling on the processes of time. It is claimed that the Arab mosque rose on the site of a Roman temple, whence Mahomet drove forth Janus, to be in his own turn expelled by Christ. The race of those who bowed themselves in this gleaming labyrinth has fared ill at Spanish hands. Even now a Moor, however courteous and cultured, is refused admission to certain Castilian churches, as the Escorial.

How did we ever part from Cordova, from her resplendent, desecrated mosque, her stone lanes of streets, her hinted patios, the Moorish mills and Roman bridge of her yellow Guadalquivír? It must all have been a morning dream, for the early afternoon saw us tucked away in another second-class carriage speeding toward Granada.

We were in beautiful Andalusia, la tierra de Maria Santisima. The green slopes of the Sierra Morena, planted to the top with olive groves, watched the beginnings of our journey, and banks of strange, sweet flowers, with glimpses of Moorish minarets and groups of dark-faced, bright-sashed 24 peasants, looking as if they had just stepped down from an artist's easel, beguiled us of all physical discomforts save heat and thirst. When the sun was at its sorest, the train drew up at a tumble-down station, and we looked eagerly for the customary water seller, with his cry of "Water! Fresh water! Water cooler than snow!" But it was too warm for this worthy to venture out, and our hopes fastened on a picturesque old merchant seated in a shaft of cypress shade beside a heap of golden oranges. Those juicy globes were a sight to madden all the parched mouths in the train, and imploring voices hailed the proprietor from window after window. But our venerable hidalgo smoked his cigarette in tranquil ease, disdaining the vulgarities of barter. At the very last moment we persuaded a ragged boy in the throng of bystanders to fetch us a hatful of the fruit. Then the peasant languidly arose, followed the lad to our window, named an infinitesimal price, and received his coin with the bow of a grandee. He was no hustler in business, this Andalusian patriarch, but his dignity was epic and his oranges were nectar.

We shall never know whether or not we had an adventure that evening. A wild-eyed tatterdemalion swung himself suddenly into our compartment and demanded our tickets, but as all the Andalusians looked to our unaccustomed view like brigands, we did not discriminate against this abrupt individual, but yielded up our strips of pasteboard without demur. A swarthy young Moor of Tangier, the only other occupant of the carriage, sharply refused to surrender his own until the intruder should produce a conductor's badge, whereupon the stranger swore in gypsy, or "words to that effect," 25 wrenched open the door and fled, like Judas, into the outer dark. The Moor excitedly declared to us that our tickets would be called for at the station in Granada, that we should have to pay their price to the gate-keeper, and that our irregular collector, hiding somewhere along the train, would be admitted by that corrupt official to a share in the spoils. Moved by our dismay, this son of the desert thrust his head through the window at the next stop, and roared so lustily for the conductor and the civil guard that, in a twinkling, the robber, if he was a robber, popped up in the doorway again, like a Jack-in-the-box, and rudely flung us back the tickets. Thereupon our benefactor, if he was a benefactor, solemnly charged us never, on the Granada road, to give up anything to anybody who wore no gilt on his cap.

More and more the purple mountains were folding us about, until at last we arrived at Granada, too tired for a thrill. Mr. Gulick's constant care, which had secured us harborage in Madrid, had provided welcome here. Content in mere well-being, it was not until the following afternoon that tourist enterprise revived within us. Then we somewhat recklessly wandered down from the Alhambra hill into the heart of the People's Carnival, a second Sunday of festival given over to the enjoyment of the lower classes. The grotesque costumes were coarser than ever and the fun was rougher. The maskers cracked whips at the other promenaders, blew horns, shook rattles, and struck about them with painted bladders, but the balconies were bright with the bewitching looks of Andalusian beauties, each vying with the rest in throwing the many-colored serpentinas, curly lengths of paper that crisp themselves in gaudy fetters about their 26 captives. A single business house in Granada claimed to have sold over a million of these, representing a value of some ten thousand dollars, during Carnival week. Southern Spain was grumbling bitterly against the Government and the war taxes, and in Seville, where a tax is put on masks, the Carnival had been given up this year as last; but Granada would not be cheated of her frolic. Our study of this closing phase of the Carnival was cut short by the recollection that it was, above all, the fiesta of pickpockets. Finding ourselves, on the superb Paseo del Salón, in the midst of a hooting, jostling, half-gypsy mob, rained upon with confetti, called upon in broken French and English, pressed upon by boys and beggars, and happening to catch sight of the stately bronze statue of Columbus which the women of Granada had recently stoned because, by discovering America, he brought all the Cuban troubles upon Spain, we took the hint of the wise navigator's eye and decided that we two stray Yankees might be as well off somewhere else. "Feet, why do I love you?" say the Spaniards; and so said we, suiting the action to the word.

III

27

WITHIN THE ALHAMBRA

"The Sierra Nevada, an enormous dove which shelters under its most spotless wings Saracen Granada."—Alarcón: Los Seis Velos.

Our surprises were by no means over. We had come to Granada to bask in the quintessence of earthly sunshine, and we found bleak rains, dark skies, and influenza. The Moorish palace was indeed as wonderful as our lifelong dream of it,—arched and columned halls of exquisite fretwork, walls of arabesque where flushes and glints of color linger yet, ceilings crusted with stalactite figures of tapering caprice, but all too chill, even if the guides would cease from troubling, for tarrying revery. We tarried, nevertheless, were enraptured, and caught cold. We were dwelling in the village on the Alhambra hill, within the circuit of the ruined fortress, in a villa kept by descendants of the Moors, but the insolent grippe microbe respected neither ancient blood nor republican. During the month of our residence, every member of the household was brought low in turn, and there were days when even the stubborn Yankees retreated to their pillows, lulled by the howling of as wild March winds as ever whirled the grasshopper vane on Faneuil Hall. From beyond the partition sounded the groans of our fever-smitten hostess, and from the kitchen below arose the 28 noise of battle between our sturdy host and the rebel spoons and sauce-pans. If we could not always swallow his bold experiments in gruel and porridge, we could always enjoy the roars of laughter with which that merry silversmith plied his unaccustomed labors. It is said that there are only three months of the year when Granada is fit to live in, and certainly February and March are not of these. But our delighted spirits had no thought of surrender to our discomfited bodies. We would not go away. It is better to ache in beautiful Granada than to be at ease elsewhere.

At the first peep of convalescence, we fled out of doors in search of a sunbeam and discovered, again to our surprise, this immemorial Alhambra hill as young as springtime. The famous fragments of towers, with their dim legends of enchantment, all those tumbled masses of time-worn, saffron-lichened masonry, are tragically old, yet the tender petals of peach blossoms, drifting through the fragrant air, lay pink as baby touches against those hoary piles. We rested beside many an ancient ruin overclambered by red rosebuds or by branches laden with the fresh gold of oranges, where thrushes practised songs of welcome for the nightingales. We were too early for these sweetest minstrels of the Alhambra, who, like the Moors of long ago, were yearning on the edge of Africa for the Vega of Granada.

One expects, shut in by the crumbling walls of the Alhambra, in shadow of the ruddy towers, in sound of the Moslem fountains, to live with dreams and visions for one's company, to have no associates less dignified than the moonlight cavalcades of shadowy Arabian warriors, whom the mountain caverns cast forth at stated seasons to troop once more in 29 their remembered ways, or lustrous-eyed, lute-playing sultanas, or, at least, a crook-backed, snow-bearded magician, with a wallet full of talismans, and footsteps that clink like the gold of buried treasure. But here again the eternal fact of youth in the world disconcerts all venerable calculations. The Alhambra dances and laughs with children—ragamuffins, most of them, but none the less radiant with the precious joy of the morning.

They are gentle little people, too. It became well known on the hill that we were Americans, yet not a pebble or rude word followed us from the groups of unkempt boys among whom we daily passed. Once a mimic regiment, with a deafening variety of unmusical instruments and a genuine Spanish flag, charged on me roguishly and drew up in battle square about their prisoner, but it was only to troll the staple song of Spanish adolescence: "I want to be a soldier," and when I had munificently rewarded the captain with a copper, the youngsters doffed their varied headgear, dipped their banner in martial salute, and contentedly re-formed their ranks. It was seldom that we gave money, but we usually carried dulces for the little ones, who, even the dirtiest, have their own pretty standard of manners.

Some half-dozen pequeñitos, not one of whom was clearly out of petticoats, were scampering off one day, for instance, their thanks duly spoken, and their bits of candy just between hand and mouth, when they turned with one accord, as if suddenly aware of an abruptness in their leave-taking, and trotted back to bow them low, their tatters of cap sweeping the ground, and lisp with all Spanish gravity, "Good afternoon, señora." One chubby hidalgo tipped over with the 30 profundity of his obeisance, but the others righted him so solemnly that the dignity of the ceremonial was unimpaired.

The habit of begging, that plague of tourist resorts, is an incessant nuisance on the Alhambra hill. Half-grown girls and young women were the most shameless and persistent of our tormentors. Age can be discouraged, and babyhood diverted, while the Spanish boy, if his importunities are met by smile and jest, will break into a laugh in the midst of his most pathetic appeals and let you off till next time.

"A little money for our Blessed Lady's sake, señora. I am starving."

"Wouldn't you rather have a cigarette?"

"And that I would."

"Then you are not starving, little brother. Run away. I have no cigarettes."

"But you have money for me, señora."

"No, nor enough for myself, not enough to buy one tile of the Alhambra."

"Then may God take care of you!"

"And of you!"

Playing at Bull-Fight

Playing at Bull-Fight

But the wild-haired, jet-eyed gypsy girl from the Albaicín is impervious to mirth and untouched by courtesy. She would not do us the honor of believing our word, even when we were telling the truth.

"Five centimos to buy me a scarlet ribbon! Five centimos!"

"Not to-day, excuse me. I have no change."

"Hoh! You have change enough. Look in your little brown bag and see."

"I have no change."

"Then give me a peseta. Come, now, a whole peseta!" 31

"But why should I give you a peseta?"

The girl stares like an angry hawk.

"But why shouldn't you?" Darting away, she hustles together a group of toddlers, hardly able to lisp, and drives them on to the attack.

"Beg, Isabelita! Beg of the lady, little Conception! Beg, Alfonsito! Beg, beg, beg! Beg five centimos, ten centimos! Beg a peseta for us all!"

And out pop the tiny palms, and the babble of baby voices makes a pleading music in the air. It is for such as these that the little brown bag has learned to carry dulces.

Before the month was over we had, in a slow, grippe-chastened fashion, "done our Baedeker." We had our favorite courts and corridors in the magical maze of the Moorish palace; we knew the gardens and fountains of the Generalife, even to that many-centuried cypress beneath whose shade the Sultana Zoraya was wont to meet her Abencerrage lover; our fortunes had been told in the gypsy caves of the Albaicín; we had visited the stately Renaissance cathedral where, in a dim vault, the "Catholic Kings," Ferdinand and Isabella, take their royal rest; we had made a first acquaintance with the paintings of the fire-tempered Granadine, Alonso Cano, and paid our dubious respects to the convent of Cartuja, with its over-gorgeous ornament and its horrible pictures of Spanish martyrdoms inflicted by that "devil's bride," Elizabeth of England. We had explored the parks and streets of the strange old city, where we possessed, according to the terms of Spanish hospitality, several houses; but better than the clamorous town we liked our own wall-girdled height, with its songful wood of English elms, planted 32 by the Duke of Wellington, its ever murmuring runlets of clear water, its jessamines and myrtles, its Arabian Nights of mosque and tower, and its far outlook over what is perhaps the most entrancing prospect any hill of earth can show. The sunset often found us leaning over the ivied wall beneath the Torre de la Vela, that bell-tower where the first cross was raised after the Christian conquest, gazing forth from our trellised garden-nook on a vast panorama of gray city all quaintly set with arch and cupola, of sweeping plain with wealth of olive groves, vineyards, orange orchards, pomegranates, aloes, and cypresses, bounded by glistening ranks of snow-cloaked mountains. From the other side of the Alhambra plateau, the fall is sheer to the silver line of the Darro. Across the river rises the slope of the Albaicín, once the chosen residence of Moorish aristocracy, but now dotted over, amid the thickets of cactus and prickly pear, with whitewashed entrances to gypsy caves. Beyond all shine the resplendent summits of the great Sierras.

Yet it is strange how homely are many of the memories that spring to life in me at the name of the Alhambra,—decorous donkeys, laden with water-jars, trooping up the narrow footpath to the old Fountain of Tears, herds of goats clinging like flies to the upright precipice, a lurking peasant darting out on his wife as she passes with a day's earnings hidden in her stocking and holding her close, with laughter and coaxing, while he persistently searches her clothing until he finds and appropriates that copper hoard, and our own cheery little house-drudge washing our linen in a wayside rivulet and singing like a bird as she rubs and pounds an unfortunate handkerchief between two haphazard stones:— 33

"I like to live in Granada,

It pleases me so well

When I am falling asleep at night

To hear the Vela bell."

There is the proud young mother, too, whom we came upon by chance over behind the Tower of the Princesses, where her pot of puchero was bubbling above a miniature bonfire, while the velvet-eyed baby boy sucked his thumb in joyous expectation. She often made us welcome, after that, to her home,—a dingy stone kitchen and bedroom, unfurnished save for pallet, a few cooking-utensils, a chest or two, and, fastened to the wall, a gaudy print of La Virgen de las Angustias, the venerated Patrona of Granada. But this wretched abode, the remains of what may once have been a palace, opened on a lordly pleasure-garden with walls inlaid with patterns of rainbow tiles, whose broken edges were hidden by rose bushes. There were pedestals and even fragments of images in this wild Eden, jets of sparkling water and walks of variegated marble. In the course of the month, English and Spanish callers climbed the hill to us and encompassed us with kindness, but we still maintained our incorrigible taste for low society and used to hold informal receptions on sunny benches for all the tatterdemalions within sight. Swarthy boys, wearied with much loafing, would thriftily lay aside their cigarettes to favor us with conversation, asking many questions about America, for whose recent action they gallantly declined to hold us responsible. "It was not the ladies that made the war," said these modern cavaliers of the Alhambra.

Their especial spokesman was a shambling orphan lad of some fifteen summers, with shrewd and merry eyes. Nothing 34 pleased him better than to give an ornamental hitch to the shabby, bright-colored scarf about his thin, brown throat, and proceed to expound the political situation.

"You admire the Alhambra? I suppose you have no palaces in America because your Government is a republic. That is a very good thing. Our Government is the worst possible. All the loss falls on the poor. All the gain goes to the rich. But there are few rich in Spain. America is the richest country of all the world. When America fought us it was as a rich man, fed and clothed, fighting a poor man weak from famine. And the rich man took from the poor man all that he had. Spain has nothing left—nothing."

"Oh, don't say that! Spain has the Alhambra, and beautiful churches, beautiful pictures."

"Can one eat churches and pictures, my lady?"

"And a fertile soil. What country outblooms Andalusia?"

His half-shod foot kicked the battle-trampled earth of the immortal hill contemptuously.

"Soil! Yes. All the world has soil. It serves to be buried in."

This budding politician graced us with his company one Sunday afternoon, when we went down into Granada to see a religious procession. Our Lady of Lourdes, escorted by a distinguished train of ecclesiastical and civic dignitaries, with pomp of many shining lights and sonorous instruments, with peal of church bells and incongruous popping of fireworks, passed through extended ranks of candle-bearing worshippers, along thronged streets, where every balcony was hung with the national red and yellow, to the Church of Mary Magdalene. 35 There the sacred guest was entertained with a concert, and thence conducted, with the same processional state, amid the same reverent salutations of the multitude, back to her own niche. Our youthful guide showed himself so devout on this occasion, kneeling whenever the image, borne aloft in a glory of flowers and tapers, passed us, and gazing on every feature of the pageant with large-eyed adoration, that we asked him, as we climbed the hill again, if he would like to be a priest. But he shrugged his shoulders. "There are better Christians in Spain than the priests," he answered.

The son of the house, Don Pepe, a young man of five and twenty, who usually attended us on any difficult excursion, was also frankly outspoken in his disapproval of the clergy. He could hardly hold his countenance in passing a Franciscan friar. "There walks the ruin of Spain," he muttered once, with bitter accent, turning to scowl after the bareheaded, brown-frocked figure so common in Granada streets. We had, indeed, our own little grudge against the friars, for they were the only men of the city who forced us off the narrow sidewalks out into the rough and dirty road. All other Granadines, from dandies to gypsies, yielded us the strip of pavement with ready courtesy, but the friars, three or four in Indian file, would press on their way like graven images and drive us to take refuge among the donkeys.

This escort of ours, formally a Catholic, was no more a lover of State than of Church. He was eager to get to work in the world and, finding no foothold, charged up his grievance against the Government. He was firmly persuaded that Madrid had sold the Santiago and Manila victories to Washington for sums of money down,—deep down in official 36 pockets. But his talk, however angry, would always end in throwing out the hands with a gesture of despair.

"But what use in revolutions? Spain is tired—tired of tumult, tired of bloodshed, tired of deceit and disappointment. A new government would only mean the old dogs with new collars. We, the people, are always the bone to be gnawed bare. What use in anything? Let it go as God wills."

The Silvela and Polavieja ministry came in during our stay at Granada, and the Liberal and Republican chorus against what was known as the Reactionary Government swelled loud. "It means the yoke of the Jesuits," growled our burly host. Our Alhambra dream suffered frequent jars from these ignoble confusions of to-day. When we were musing comfortably on the melancholy fortunes of Boabdil, a cheap newspaper would be thrust before our eyes with an editorial headed "Boabdil Sagasta." It is always best to do what one must. Since we could not be left in peace to the imagination of plumy cavaliers, stars of Moslem and Christian chivalry, who sowed this mount so thick with glorious memories, we turned our thoughts to the poor soldiers from Cuba, especially during the week throughout which they paraded the cities of Spain in rag-tag companies under rude flags with the ruder motto: "Hungry Repatriados." Their appearance was so woful that it became a by-word. A child, picking up from a gutter one day a mud-stained, dog-eared notebook, cried gleefully, "It's a repatriado." There was no glamour here, but the courage and sacrifice, the love and anguish, held good.

Granada had borne her share in Spain's last war sorrow. So many of her sons were drafted for the Antilles that her anger against America waxed hot. A few months before our 37 arrival every star-spangled banner that could be hunted out in shop or residence was trampled and burned in the public squares. The Washington Irving Hotel hastened to take down its sign, and even the driver of its omnibus was sternly warned by the people to erase those offensive American names from his vehicle on pain of seeing it transformed into a chariot of fire. A shot, possibly accidental, whistled through the office of the English consul, who was given to understand, in more ways than one, that Spain made little difference between "the cloaked enemy" and the foe in the field. Meanwhile, month after month, the recruits were marched to the station, and the City Fathers, who came in all municipal dignity to bid the lads godspeed, were so overwhelmed by the weeping of the women that they forgot the cream of their speeches.

Among the new tales of Spanish valor told us on the Alhambra hill was this:—

When lots were drawn for military service, one blithe young scapegrace found in his hand a fortunate high number, but, walking away in fine feather over his luck, he met the mother of a friend of his, sobbing wildly as she went. Her son had been drafted, and the two hundred dollars of redemption money was as far beyond her reach as those dazzling crests of the Sierra Nevada are above the lame beggar at the Alhambra gate. Then the kindly fellow, troubled by her grief and mindful of the fact that, orphan as he was, his own parting would be at no such cost of tears, offered to serve in her boy's stead. Her passion of gratitude could not let his service go all unrecompensed. Poorest of the poor, she went about among her humble friends, lauding his deed, until she had collected, peseta by peseta, the sum of sixteen dollars, 38 which she thrust into his hands to buy comforts for the campaign. But another sobbing mother sought him out. He had saved her neighbor's son; would he not save hers? Laughing at her logic and moved by her faith in him, he answered: "I am only one man, señora. I cannot go in place of two. But here are sixteen dollars. If you can find a substitute at such a price, the money is yours."

Sixteen dollars is a fortune to hunger and nakedness, and the substitute was found. As the year wore on those two mothers did not let the city forget its light-hearted hero, and a great assembly gathered at the station to honor his return. A remnant of his comrades descended from the train, but as for him, they said, he had died in Cuba of the fever months before.

His was no poetic death like that of the Abencerrages. Happy Abencerrages! They knew the Alhambra in the freshness of her beauty. Their last uplifted glances looked upon the most exquisite ceilings in the world. Their blood left immortal stains on the marble base of the fountain. But this young Spaniard, in his obscure Cuban grave, only one out of the eighty thousand, will promptly be forgotten. No importa. There must be something better than glory for the man who does more than his duty.

The Mosque of Cordova

The Mosque of Cordova

IV

39

A FUNCTION IN GRANADA

"O Love Divine, Celestial Purity,

Pity my cries!

My soul is prone before a clouded throne.

Let thy keen light arise,

Pierce this obscurity

And free my dream-bound eyes!"

Ganivet's Last Poem.

The civilization of Spain, streaked as it is with Oriental barbarisms, belated and discouraged as the end of the nineteenth century finds it, is still in many respects finer than our own. In everything that relates to grace and charm of social intercourse, to the dignified expression of reverence, compassion, and acknowledgment, Spain puts us to the blush. I was especially touched in Granada by the whole-souled sympathy and veneration with which the city rendered public honors to one of its sons, Angel Ganivet, who died in the preceding winter, a poet hardly thirty.

Although I had glanced over obituary notices of this Spanish writer in the Paris papers, I had but a vague idea of his work and life, and sought, before the night of the memorial ceremonies, for further information. I appealed, 40 first of all, to our table waiter, whose keen black eyes instantly turned sad and tender.

"Pobre! Pobre! He threw himself into the river at Riga, in Russia, where he was consul. It was at the close of the war. And he such a genius! So young! So true a Spaniard! But all Granada will be at the theatre. He left his play to Granada, asking that it be seen here first of all. I have never read his books, but I have met him in the streets, and lifted my hat to him for a wise caballero who cared greatly for Spain."

My next appeal was to our kind neighbor, the English consul, who assured me laughingly that he, like myself, was vainly ransacking the few bookstores of Granada for Ganivet's works.

"The first time I ever heard the name," he added, "was some three or four years ago, when I noticed an old gentleman standing often in front of my house, and gazing at the British coat-of-arms above my door. He told me one day when I drew him into talk that he had a nephew, Angel Ganivet, roaming in foreign lands. 'But he does not forget his old uncle,' said he. 'I always receive my little pension prompt to the day, and so I like to look at the foreign shields about the city, and remember my nephew, far away, who remembers me.' That was a trifle, of course, but it gave me a kindly feeling for the young fellow, and I'm sorry he came to such an end. They found him in the river, you know. I dare say it was suicide, and likely enough the defeat of Spain had its share in causing his despondency; but nobody knows. He was a zealous patriot, I understand, and all Granada seems to take his death to heart." 41

My next authority was an aged Granadine, a man of letters; but he had not read Ganivet's books.

"I have heard of him often," he said, "but I never met him. He was not much in Granada, although he seems to have had a romantic affection for the place. Bueno! Its pomegranates are worth remembering. But Ganivet liked to live in foreign countries, with the idea of understanding his own better by comparison. He was young; he still had hopes for Spain. Eighty years are on my head, and I have long done with hoping. I have served in my country's armies, I have served in her Government, I have seen much of Church and State, and since the night when they murdered General Prim I have seen nothing good. But Ganivet had faith in the national future, and the people, without waiting to ask on what that faith was founded, love him for it, and mourn his loss as if he had been their benefactor. They are all going to pour into the theatre to-morrow night to hear his symbolic drama, that not one in a hundred of them will try to understand, and the hundredth will get it all wrong."

The "function" took place in the Gran Teatro de Isabel la Católica, a name to conjure with throughout all Spain, and especially in Granada. The day set for the performance, and widely advertised by newspapers and posters for a month in advance, was a Wednesday. On Tuesday, in a fever lest we be too late, we arrived at the ticket office. We had our hurry all to ourselves. Apparently nobody else had as yet taken a seat. The office was empty, save for us and our attendant train of boys and beggars.

The official in charge, deaf, slow, and courteous, invited 42 us into a private room and gave us rocking-chairs by the brasero, while he, with paper and pencil, laboriously added the price of our entradas to the price of our modest box, and spent five minutes in subtracting the amount from the figure of the small bill we handed him. The counting out of the change was another strain on his arithmetic, and, after all these toils, we were still without tickets. He said he would "write them out at home," and we might send some one for them the next day. But he affably offered to show us the theatre, and led us through black passages to a great dusky space, where, while he struck match after match, we could catch glimpses of pit and balconies, and even a far-off stage, with a group of actors gathered about a lamp, rehearsing the play. In Wednesday morning's paper, however, they announced with entire nonchalance that they were not ready yet, and would postpone the representation until Thursday.

On Thursday evening the theatre, choking full though it was, hardly presented a brilliant appearance. Granada is not Madrid, nor Seville, and the best the Granadines had to offer their dead poet was the tribute of their presence in such guise as they could command. The big, barnlike theatre, with its rows of broken lamp-chimneys, looked shabby, and the rag-tag proportion of the audience was so great that it overflowed the Paraiso into the aisles and doorways and all conceivable corners. People were so jumbled and crumpled together that, with reminiscences of my traveller's hold-all, I found myself wondering if they would ever shake out smooth again.

Whole families were there, from the infant in arms that invariably screamed when the actors were reciting any passage of peculiar delicacy, to the dozing old grandfather, who kept 43 dropping his cigarette out of his mouth in a way that threatened to set us all on fire. The gentlemen, even in the boxes and the stalls, were generally ungloved, and we did not see a dress suit in the house. Cloaks and neckties were ablaze with color as usual, but the masculine toilets eluded our stricter observation; for when the curtain was up, our eyes were all for the stage, and between acts your Spaniard sits with hat on head, enveloped in a cloud of tobacco smoke.

But the Andalusian ladies made amends for everything. By some prehistoric agreement, Spanish women have yielded the rainbow to the men, reserving for their own attire the quiet elegance of black or the festive beauty of pure white. The dress that evening, even in the principal boxes, was conspicuously simple. But the clear brunette complexions, the delicate contours, the rich black hair worn high and crowned with natural flowers, the waving fans and flashing glances, cast a glamour over the whole scene.

The memorial rites themselves made up in quantity whatever they might lack in quality, continuing from eight o'clock till two. An orchestra, organized from Granada musicians for this occasion, opened the programme. The bust of Ganivet, wrought by a young Granada sculptor, was reverently unveiled. The star actor, Fuentes of Granada, who had undertaken with his troupe to present his fellow-townsman's drama purely as a labor of love, read an interpretation written by one of Granada's leading critics. The orchestra was in evidence again, introducing the first act, entitled "Faith." After this the orchestra played Bretón's serenade, "In the Alhambra," and the curtain rose for the second act on so natural a scene-painting of the famous fortress that the 44 audience went wild with enthusiasm, and the blushing artist, also a Granadine, had to be literally shoved from the wings upon the stage to receive his plaudits.

Between the second act, "Love," and the last act, "Death," came an andante elegiaco, "written expressly for this artistic solemnity" by a Granada composer. Here, again, the appreciation of the audience was unbounded, and nothing would do but the reluctant master must leave his box, struggle through the packed multitude to the conductor's stand, and take the baton himself for a second rendering from the first chord to the last. At the close of the third act the orchestra did its part once more, and the celebration ended, somewhat incongruously, with a lively bit of modern comedy.

There was imperfection enough, had one been disposed to look for it. The fifty members of the impromptu orchestra had hardly brought themselves into accord, the acting was not of the best Spanish quality, and the players had not half learned their parts. Every long declamation was a duet, the prompter's rapid undertone charging along beneath the actor's voice like a horse beneath its rider. But the audience understood, forgave, were grateful, and sat with sublime patience through the long pauses between the acts, repeating one to another, "They say Fuentes is studying his speeches." As the caustic old scholar had predicted, most of them, apparently, did not try to understand the allegory. They applauded the obviously poetic touches, the palpably dramatic situations, and when, in the Alhambra act, a gypsy air was sung, the galleries delightedly caught it up and chorused it over again.

But in general that nondescript assembly looked on in passive gravity while El Escultor de su Alma was rendered, 45 as their poet had bidden, in their own theatre and for them. They may have gathered hints and snatches of that mystical message from the dead, whose lofty look, fixed in shining marble, dominated all the house.

The restless Spirit of Man, seeking the perfect Truth, tears himself loose from the bride of his youth, Heavenly Faith, and wanders in beggary through the world. Yet Truth for him can only be the child of his union with Faith, and in parting from one he has parted from both. In old age, almost maddened by his wanderings and woes, he meets his Truth again, full-grown and beautiful, but is so fierce and wild in his desire to possess her that only Death can reconcile them—Death and that Heavenly Faith who could not abandon him, though he had forsaken her.

Ganivet's mother, who, with his brothers, witnessed the play from behind the scenes, is said to have rejoiced in it as a last solemn assurance from her son of his secure repose in the Catholic faith of his fathers. It may not have meant so much to that great audience, many of whom could neither read nor write, but those tiers upon tiers of dark Spanish faces were full of earnestness and of a proud content. However it may have baffled their heads, this legacy of a play, in its Alhambra setting, spoke clearly to their hearts. One ragamuffin said to another, as an all-sufficient criticism, "He was thinking of Granada when he wrote it."

A few days later, I found and eagerly read Angel Ganivet's most significant booklet, Idearium, published in the autumn of 1896, in which he sets forth his dream for the future of his beloved country.

Ganivet claims that the deepest moral element in Spanish 46 character is stoicism, "not the brutal and heroic stoicism of Cato, nor the serene and majestic stoicism of Marcus Aurelius, nor the rigid and extreme stoicism of Epictetus, but the natural and humane stoicism of Seneca." He holds that Seneca, himself a Spaniard, found his philosophy in the inherent genius of the country, and only gave voice to the indwelling soul of Spain. The Spanish church, cherishing this element, became a thing apart from the general Catholicism of Europe. The long warfare and incidental intercourse with the Moors stamped Spanish Christianity with its two other characteristic features of mysticism and fanaticism. "Mysticism was like a sanctification of African sensuality, and fanaticism was a turning against ourselves, when the Reconquest ended, of the fury accumulated during eight centuries of combat."

The author, muy español, is naturally muy católico, yet he protests against violence in the repression of other forms of religion. "Liberty should bring with it no fear." He believes that Spain is, above all, sui generis, independent and individual. The representative Spaniard is a free lance, striving and conquering by his own impulse and under his own direction, like the Cid of old or Cortes in the field of arms, like Loyola in the church, like Cervantes in letters. He lays stress on the achievements of Spanish art—the master paintings of Velázquez and Murillo, the master dramas of Lope de Vega and Calderon, as expressing, better than political history has expressed, that intensification of Spanish life resulting from the struggle against the Arabs "and making of our nation a Christian Greece."

The Columbus Monument in Granada

The Columbus Monument in Granada

He finds it logical and right that Spain, after her successive 47 periods of Roman influence, Visigothic influence, Arab influence, and her modern era of colonial expansion, should now abandon foreign policies and concentrate all her vitality within her own borders. Not by the sword, but by the spirit, would he have Spain henceforth hold sway over mankind, and especially over the Spanish-descended peoples of South America.

He winces under the monopoly of the term "American" by the citizens of the United States—"a formidable nation," he admits, "very populous, very rich, and apparently very well governed." He notes, in contrast, the poverty and comparative anarchy of the South American republics, but he urges still that the Spanish character, shaped through such eventful centuries, is an entity, clear and firm, with qualities well defined, whereas the Yankees are yet in the fusing pot. He would have all the peoples of Hispanian descent recognize and realize in themselves this Spanish individuality, effecting not a political union, but a "confederation, intellectual and spiritual," whose first aim should be the preservation of Spanish ideas and ideals, and the second, the free gift of these to all the nations of the earth.

The ancient glory of Spain, he says, has vanished like a dream; let a new and whiter glory dawn. Her career of material conquest is ended. Those savage struggles have left her faint and spent. Let her now seek to attain, through purification and discipline, such fresh fulness of life as shall insure the triumph of her spiritual forces—her fervent faith and her unworldly wisdom. "Our Ulysses is Don Quixote."

V

48

IN SIGHT OF THE GIRALDA

"We were nearing Seville. I felt the eager throbbing of my heart. Seville had ever been for me the symbol of light, the city of love and joy."—Valdés: La Hermana San Sulpicio.

One of the wise sayings of Andalusia runs, "Do not squeeze the orange till the juice is bitter." And so we said good-by to Granada before we were ready to go, and persuaded ourselves, in defiance of maps and time-tables, that our shortest route to Seville led by Ronda. The weather did its very best to dampen our enthusiasm for this wildest of crag aeries, equally famed for romantic beauty of outlook and salubrity of air. Men live long in Ronda, unless, indeed, they hit against a bullet while practising their hereditary trade of contrabandista. They have a saying that octogenarians there are only chickens, but one should not believe all that they say in Ronda. Did we not clamber, slipping on wet stones, down a precipitous path to peer, from under dripping umbrellas, at what our guide declared was an old Roman bridge? "It doesn't look old and it doesn't look Roman," was the artist's dubious comment, but our highly recommended conductor, a Gib, as the English-Spanish natives of Gibraltar Rock are called, assured us that it was built in the days of Julius Cæsar, but had been wonderfully 49 well preserved. We eyed him thoughtfully, bearing in mind that he had already pointed out the statue of a long-dead poet as a living politician; but we meekly continued through the lashing rain to follow his long footsteps over the breakneck ways of that natural fortress where race after race has left its autograph. The Roman columns of the church make the Arab cupolas look young, and put the Gothic choir altogether out of countenance. A bright-shawled peasant woman, who we fondly hoped might be a smuggler's wife, drew us delicious water from a Roman well in a Moorish patio, where a mediæval king of gentle memory used to drink his wine from cups wrought of the skulls of those enemies whom he had beheaded with his own sword. But not all this, and more, could efface our doubts of that Roman bridge, which, indeed, we found, on a belated perusal of our guide-books, had been erected by a Malaga architect in the last century.

The street rabble of Ronda was the rudest and fiercest we encountered anywhere in Spain. Several times our guide wheeled suddenly to confront some gypsyish lad, creeping up behind us with stone all ready to throw, and when, at a glint of sunset through the stormy clouds, we tried to slip out unattended to the neighboring alameda, with its far-sweeping prospect of folded mountain ranges and its vertical view of gorge and rushing river, the children actually hounded us back to the hotel. Their leader was a scrofulous boy, with one cheek eaten away, who had been taught to press his face so closely upon strangers that, in fear of his open sore, they would hastily give money to keep him back. He was a merry scamp and got a world of sport out of his sickening business, laughing at the top of his voice to see himself "avoided like the sun." 50

Although the tempest had lulled by evening, Ronda, still inhospitable, would not let us sleep. All up and down the window-grated street sounded, from midnight to morning, a tinkling of guitars. It was, forsooth, St. Joseph's Day, and every Don José, every Doña Josefa, every little Pepe, every pretty Pepita, must be saluted by a serenade. All Andalusians are musical, taking much pleasure, moreover, in one of their own bits of philosophy, "The poorest player has his uses, for he can at least drive the rats out of the house." Rats or no, we left Ronda by the morning train.

Our carriage was crowded with several Spaniards and a "Jew-Gib," who, without saying "oxte ni moxte," assumed full charge of us and our belongings for the journey. This unceremonious but really helpful escort put every one of his fellow-travellers through a sharp catechism as to birthplace, business, destination, and the like. Our turn came first of all. "You are English?" "We speak English." "Ha!" He fell into our own vernacular. "Came about three thousand miles to Spain?" "Across the channel." He chuckled with prompt appreciation of the situation and mendaciously translated to the carriage at large, "The ladies are distinguished Londoners, on their way to visit relatives in Seville," whereat the Andalusians smiled sleepily upon us and asked permission to smoke. We consented cheerfully, as our Spanish sisters had taught us that we should. "I like it," one pallid señora had said on an earlier trip. "It makes me sick, yes, but men ought to be men."

We were journeying toward the very palace of the sun, with gray ranks of olive trees standing guard on either hand. 51 "And posted among them, like white doves, could be seen now and again a few mills where the bitter olive is wont to pour its juice." Orange plantations and hedges of the bluish aloe, fig trees, palms, and all manner of strange, tropical flowers gladdened our approach to Seville. And when, at last, we saw from afar the world-praised Giralda, the Moorish bell-tower of the cathedral, soaring pink into a purple sky, we felt as if we were really arrived in fairyland.

Our friendly Gib put his tall figure between us and the howling press of swarthy porters and cab-drivers, scolded, expostulated, threatened, picked out his men, beat down their prices, called up a policeman to witness the bargain and take the number of our cab, raised his hat, and vanished into grateful memory.

Six weeks in Seville! And six weeks in a Seville home, where evening after evening the gay youth of Andalusia laughed and sang, danced and rattled the castanets, and cast about our wondering Western souls strange witcheries from which we shall never more go free. It was all as Oriental as a dream. The Sultana of the South lifted her gleaming coronet of domes and pinnacles above such a kingdom of idle, delicious mirth as has permanently unfitted us for considering it important to do our duty. Our hereditary bits of Plymouth Rock were melted up in that fervent heat. Right or wrong? "Where there is music, there can be no harm." True or false?

"In this world, my masters,

There's neither truth nor lie,

But all things take the color

Of the glass before the eye."

52

Only six weeks, and yet we shall ever go homesick for Seville, for her palm trees and orange gardens, her narrow streets like lanes of shadow, her tiled and statued patios, with caged birds singing answer to the ripple of the fountain, the musical midnight cry of her serenos, "her black and burning eyes like beacons in the dark," her sighing serenaders, "lyrical mosquitoes," outside the grated window or beneath the balcony, her fragrances of rose and jessamine, her poetic sense of values. A homeless Andalusian, dinnerless and in rags, strums on his guitar, a necessity which he would not dream of selling for such a mere luxury as bread, and is happy. There is always sun to sleep in. There are always piquant faces and gliding forms to gaze after. What more does a mortal want? Exquisite Seville! No wonder that her exiled sons still sing, after years of "comfortable living" in foreign cities:—

"When I am missing, hunt me down

In Andalusia's purple light,

Where all the beauties are so brown,

And all the wits so bright."

Yet the old Arabian enchantment casts a glamour which the Anglo-Saxon vision dimly recognizes as such and faintly strives against. To the clear survey all is not charm. Grace, mirth, and music, on the one hand, are offset by ignorance, suffering, and vice on the other. Many evil things were told us, and some ugly things we saw, but to look on Andalusia is to love her, even while realizing that to live with her would put that love to a very stringent test.

The lordly Guadalquivír, for instance, so fair to see from 53 the picture-making summit of the Giralda, as he lingers through his blooming Paradise, forgetful of the ocean, is not altogether goodly.

"Ay, ay, the black and stinging flies he breeds

To plague the decent body of mankind!"

The Andalusian leisure was a perpetual delight to us. A typical Seville shop reaches far along the street front, with many open doors, and a counter running the full length. Here ladies sit in pairs and groups, never singly, to cheapen fans and mantillas, while the smiling salesmen, cigarette in hand, shrug and gesticulate and give back banter for banter as gayly as if it were all a holiday frolic. Scraps of the graceful bargaining would float to our ears.

"Is the quality good?"

"As good as God's blessing."

Among the tempting wares of Seville are Albacete knives, with gorgeous handles of inlaid ebony, tortoise, or ivory. The peasant women of Andalusia so resent the charge of carrying these knives in their garters that the Seville gamin dodges offence by asking them in an unnecessarily loud voice if they carry garters in their knives. The irascible dames do not stand upon fine points of rhetoric, however, and when the small boy has delivered his shot, he does well to take to his heels. We once saw one of these sturdy women, while a line of soldiers, bristling with steel, was holding a street, seize a gallant son of Mars by the shoulder and swing him, amid the laughter of his comrades, out of her path as if he were a cabbage. Nobody knew how to stop her, and she trudged serenely on, her broad back to those helpless bayonets, down the forbidden way. 54

The beggars of Seville are gentler than those of Ronda and Granada, but hardly less numerous. Mendicant figures are thick as Guadalquivír mosquitoes in my memory of Andalusia. Some of those pitiful children will haunt me till I die. There was a forlorn urchin, with filmy, frightful eyes, to be seen in all weathers crouching on one side of the road leading up to the Alhambra, so dull and dreary a little fellow that he hardly grasped the coppers when they were thrust into his weakly groping hands, and hardly stayed his monotonous formula of entreaty for his other monotonous formula of thanks. There was an idiot child in Seville—a mere lump of deformity—that would rush out upon the startled stranger with an inarticulate, fierce little yell, clutching at charity with a tiny, twisted claw. He seemed the very incarnation of childish woe and wrong. Almost every hand dived into pocket for him, and he was probably worth far more to his proprietors than his rival on the street, a crafty little girl, with the most lustrous eyes that painter ever dreamed. They were not blue nor gray, but a living light in which both those colors had been melted.

The economists, who say so firmly that "nothing should ever be given to mendicant children," can hardly have had the experience of seeing Murillo's own cherubs, their wings hidden under the dirt, fluttering about the car windows at Andalusian stations. I have it still on my conscience that I occasionally gave away my comrade's share of our luncheon as well as my own. She was too young and too polite to reproach me, but too hungry to be comforted by the assurance that I reproached myself. Sometimes a foreign traveller, very sure of his Spanish, would attempt remonstrance with these 55 small nuisances. I remember one kindly Teuton in particular. Commerce had claimed him for its own, but the predestined German professor shone out of his mild blue eyes. A ragamuffin had mounted the car steps to beg at the window, and Mein Herr delivered him such a lecture that the youngster clung to his perch, fascinated with astonishment at the novel doctrine, until the train was in alarmingly swift motion.

The Alhambra

The Alhambra. Hall of Justice

"This is a very bad habit of thine. I told thee so a month ago."

"Me, sir?"

"Thee, boy. When I passed over this road last, thou wert begging at the windows, to my shame if not to thine. Tut, tut! Go thy ways. Look for work, work, work."

"Work, sir?"

"Work, boy. And when thou hast found it, love it, and do it with a will. Learn to read and write. Wash thy face and change thy customs, and when thou art richer than I, then will I give thee a peseta."

Mendicancy is bred of ignorance, and in the seventeen and a half millions that make up the population of Spain, more than twelve millions do not read nor write.

Seville sight-seeing is no brief matter. You must climb the Giralda, walk in the parks, view the yellowed fragments of the ancient city wall, visit the tobacco factory, shop in Las Sierpes, buy pottery in Triana, see the gypsy dances in the cafés, attend the Thursday rag-fair, do reverence to the Columbus manuscripts in the Biblioteca Columbina, look up the haunts of Don Juan, Figaro, Pedro the Cruel, and explore the curious "House of Pilate," which, tradition says, was built by a pilgrim noble after the Jerusalem pattern. You must lose 56 your heart to the Alcázar, the Alhambra of Seville, a storied palace embowered in fountain-freshened gardens of palm and magnolia, oranges and cypresses, rose and myrtle, with shadowy arcades leading to marble baths and arabesqued pavilions. You must follow Murillo from gallery to gallery, from church to church, above all, from the Hospital de la Caridad, where hang six of his greatest compositions, to the Museo Provincial, where over a score of the Master's sacred works, lovely Virgins, longing saints, deep-eyed Christ-Childs, rain their sweet influence. And first, last, and always, there is the cathedral. We had been stunned at Burgos, blind to all save the Moorish features of Cordova, almost untouched by the cold splendors of Granada, but to Seville, as later to Toledo, we surrendered utterly. Beauty, mystery, sublimity—these are Seville cathedral. Five centuries have gone to the rearing and enriching of those solemn aisles and awful choir. The colossal structure, second in size only to St. Peter's, is a majesty before which Luther himself might well have trembled. Within a Spanish cathedral one begins to understand the mighty hold of Roman Catholicism on Spain. "I love," says Alarcón, whose jest and earnest are as closely twined as fibres of the same heart, "the clouds of incense which rise to the cupola of the Catholic temple, amid the harmonies of the holy organ. (For this I am not a Protestant.)" And elsewhere, writing of his childhood, he speaks of receiving in the cathedral of Guadix all his first impressions of artistic beauty,—beauty of architecture, music, painting, processional splendors, tissue of gold and silver, cunning embroideries and jewel-work, his first sense, in short, of poetry. And all these impressions were inextricably blent with his 57 first yearnings of holy aspiration, his first passion of mystical devotion. But not even Seville cathedral could win over our full sympathy. Too heavy were the faces of the priests who "sang the gori gori," too selfish that wigged and jointed doll, "Our Lady of Kings," with her sixty gorgeous mantles, a few of which would have clothed all the poor of Andalusia. Who shall draw the line between faith and superstition?

But let not the tourist suppose he can escape his tyrant Baedeker even at the top of the Giralda. There are excursions that must be taken to points of interest outside the city. Most imperative of all is the trip to the ruined Roman amphitheatre of Italica, guarded by the mighty names of Scipio Africanus, Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosius. Off we start, a dozen strong, in a great, open carriage, all the women-folk with fans and veils and with flowers in the hair. We rattle past the cathedral, over the bridge to Triana and out into the sweet-breathed country, passing many a picturesque group on the road,—these two peasants, for example, with their yellow-handled knives thrust into scarlet girdles, tossing dice under a fig tree. Our meditations among the crumbling blocks of that savage play-house would perhaps interest the reader less than our luncheon. Such Andalusian dainties as we swallowed,—cold soups like melted salads, home-made fig marmalade, cinnamon pastes of which the gypsies know the secret, and sugared chestnuts overflowed by a marvellous syrup wherein could be detected flavors of lemon peel, orange peel, and a medley of spices! In that scene of ancient bloodshed, of the lion's wrath and the martyr's anguish, we ate, drank, and were merry, but our banquet tasted of ghosts.

VI

58

PASSION WEEK IN SEVILLE

"All that was gracious was bestowed by the Virgin, and she was the giver of all that human creatures could ask for. God frowned, while she smiled; God chastised, but she forgave; this last notion was by no means a strange one. It is accepted with almost absolute faith among the laboring classes of the rural parts of Spain."—Galdós: Marianela.

Holy week throngs Seville to overflowing. The devout no longer scourge themselves in public, sprinkling the pavements with their blood, but Spaniards flock from all Andalusia, from Madrid, and even from the northern provinces to the sunny city on the storied Guadalquivír. Hotel charges run from twelve dollars a day up to incredible figures; a mere bed in a lodging house costs its three dollars, four dollars, or five dollars a night, and fortunate are those who enjoy the hospitality of a private home.

The ceremonies opened Sunday morning with the procession of palms. We had been told by our cathedral guide the day before that this procession would take place at seven or half-past seven at the latest, and had asked the maid to call us at half-past six. As the chiming bells should have warned us, her knock was an hour tardy, but when, breakfastless and eager, we reached the cathedral a few minutes after eight, 59 there was as yet no sign of a procession. Mass was being said in the Sagrario and in several chapels, and the morning light poured in through the rich-colored windows upon groups of kneeling figures before every shrine. The women wore black mantillas, for, although this most graceful of headdresses is losing credit on the fashionable promenades of Seville, and is almost never seen in open carriages, Holy Week demands it of all the faithful.

We asked a white-robed young chorister when the procession would form. He answered with encouraging precision, "In twenty minutes." We roamed about for a half hour or more through those majestic spaces, beneath those soaring arches, aspiration wrought in stone, until by chance in that shifting multitude we came face to face with our guide of the day before. We asked how soon the procession would form. He said, "In twenty minutes," and we went home for coffee.

When we returned the procession was streaming out of the cathedral into the street of the Gran Capitán. It was simple and all the more attractive for that simplicity. The colors of standards and vestments were mainly purple and gold, and the long, yellow fronds of palm, blown by the fresh breeze from the river, gleamed brighter than the sheen of candle or of mitre. Turning the corner, the procession, now facing the beautiful Giralda, entered by the ample Door of Pardon, still incrusted with its Arabic decorations, into the Court of Oranges, whose ripe fruit gave new touches of gold to the picture.

Venders of palm were stationed in every sheltered corner, selling their wares, more than twice the height of a man, at 60 fifteen cents the frond, while boys, darting about with armfuls of olive, were glad to take a cent the branch, and not have the best of their leafy store filched from them by sly old women, more intent, like the rest of us, on getting a blessing than deserving it.

Through the multitude the glittering palms and purple robes swept on back into the cathedral, where the silent and remote archbishop, an image of gold in his splendid apparel, shed his benediction not only over the proud palms, but over every spray of "little gray leaves," like those of Gethsemane. These blessed palms, sprinkled with holy water and wafting strange fragrances of incense, would be carried home and kept in myriad balconies all the year through, to protect the house from "the all-dreaded thunder-stone."

That Sunday afternoon at five o'clock we were leaning out expectantly from our host's best balcony. With the constant Spanish courtesy, he had betaken himself, with the children of the household, to a less commanding balcony below, and his eldest son had considerately withdrawn, accompanied by his fiancée, to a mere speck of a balcony above. This left a dozen of us, Spanish, English, and American, to enjoy as good a view as the city afforded of the processional tableaux.

The oblong Plaza de la Constitución, the scene in days gone by of many a tournament, auto de fe, and bull-fight, is bounded on one side by the ornate Renaissance façade of the city hall, and on the other, in part, by the plain front of the court-house, before which criminals used to be done to death. Private dwellings, with their tiers of balconies, one of which had fallen to our happy lot, cross the wider end of the plaza, while the other opens into the brilliant street of Las Sierpes, 61 too narrow for carriages, but boasting the gayest shop windows and merriest cafés of all the town.

The plaza, always animated, fairly rippled with excitement this Palm Sunday afternoon. The grand stand, erected in front of the city hall, was filled, although many of the camp-chairs and benches placed in thick-set rows on the farther side of the line of march were not yet rented. Thursday and Friday are the days that draw the multitudes. The crowd was bright with uniforms, most conspicuous being the spruce white-edged, three-cornered hats and dark-blue, red-faced coats of the civil guard. Venders of peanuts, peanut candy, macaroons, caramels, and all manner of dulces swung their baskets from one sweet-toothed Spaniard to another, while wisely the water-seller went in their wake, with the artistic yellow jar over his shoulder. One young pedler was doing a flourishing business in crabs, the customers receiving these delicacies in outstretched pocket handkerchiefs.

Busy as our eyes were kept, we were able to lend ear to the explanations of our Spanish friends, who told us that the church dignitaries, after the procession of palms, took no official part in the shows of Passion Week, although many of the clergy belonged, as individuals, to the religious brotherhoods concerned. The church reserves its street displays for Corpus Christi. These brotherhoods, societies of ancient origin, and connected with some church or chapel, own dramatic properties often of great intrinsic value and considerable antiquity.

For days before Holy Week one may see the members busy in the churches at the task of arranging groups of sacred figures, vested as richly as possible in garments of silk and 62 velvet, with ornaments of jewels and gold, on platforms so heavy that twenty-five men, at the least, are needed to carry each. These litters are escorted through the principal streets and squares of the city by their respective societies, each brotherhood having its distinctive dress. It is customary for every cofradia to present two pageants—the first in honor of Christ; the second, and more important, in honor of Mary, to whom chivalrous Spain has always rendered supreme homage; but sometimes the two tableaux are combined into one.

After long watching and waiting we saw, far down Las Sierpes, the coming of the first procession. A line of police marched in advance to clear the road. Then appeared a loosely ordered company of fantastic figures in blue capes and blue peaked caps, absurdly high and reaching down to the shoulder, with holes cut for the eyes. From beneath the capes flowed white frocks, and the gloves and sandals were white. These "Nazarenes," who looked like a survival of the Carnival, conducted in silence a litter upon which was erected an image of the crucified Christ, with face uplifted as if in prayer.

The pageant halted before the doors of the city hall to greet the Alcalde, who rose from his red velvet chair and bared his head. Men uncovered, and people stood all along the route, but acclamations were reserved for Our Lady of the Star. Her attendant troop was dressed like the preceding, with a star embroidered in white on the shoulder of the blue tunic. Her litter was ablaze with candles and laden with flowers; her outsweeping train was upborne by four little pages, and a brass band followed her with unceasing music.

Filling the Water-Jars

Filling the Water-Jars

Sunset colors were in the sky before the procession of the 63 second brotherhood arrived. At last, far down the Sierpes, the dusk was dotted with the gleam of many tapers, and above these, most impressive in the dim distance, glimmered a white figure high upon the cross. As the pageant drew near, waves of incense rolled out upon the air. The crash of trumpets and deep boom of drums announced that Our Lady of the Angels was advancing upon the same platform with her Son, for music in these Passion Week processions is always a sign of the presence of the Virgin. The brothers of this retinue wore black, save that their peaked caps were purple.

As twilight gathered, a company of strange dark shapes bore past in solemn hush the Most Holy Christ of the Waters. The Saviour hung upon the cross, an angel receiving in a golden cup the blood from his wounded side. Then her great banner of white and blue heralded the approach of Our Lady of the Utter Grief, who passed with her accustomed pomp of lights and music, holding to her eyes a handkerchief said to be of the most exquisite lace.

Night had fallen when, at eight o'clock, a maid left on vigil called us all from the dinner table to see the beautiful procession of white-robed figures conducting Our Father Jesus of the Silence. The figure of Christ, resplendent in gold and purple, stood before Herod, whose mail-clad soldiers guarded the prisoner. The Roman costumes were so well copied, and all the postures and groupings so startlingly natural, that vivas went up all along the crowded square. As the banner of the Virgin saluted the Alcalde, her attendants let fall their long white trains, which swept out quite six yards behind, reaching from one brother to the next and yielding a wonderfully fine effect in the slow march. Our Lady of the Bitterness, 64 toward whom leaned the tender look of St. John, was robed in superb brocade, so precious that her train, which stood stiffly out behind, was guarded by a soldier with drawn sword.

This closed the ceremonies of Palm Sunday, and the throng, catching one from another the blithe, sweet Andalusian melodies, went singing softly through the darkness on their various ways.

After Palm Sunday a secular quiet fell upon Seville, not broken until Wednesday. At five o'clock this March afternoon it was still so hot that few people were rash enough to move about without the shelter of parasols. Sevillian priests, sombre-robed as they were, sauntered cheerily across the plaza under sunshades of the gayest hues, orange, green, azure, red, and usually all at once, but the shamefaced Englishmen flapped up broad umbrellas of an uncompromising black. There was a breezy flutter of fans on the grand stand, the water-sellers had to fill their jars again and again, and the multitude of smokers, puffing at their paper cigarettes to cool themselves, really brought on a premature twilight.

It was nearly seven before a score of gendarmes, marching abreast, cleared the way for the procession. Then appeared, in the usual guise, some twenty feet apart, two files of those strange shapes, with high, peaked caps, whose visors descended to the breast, slowly advancing, with an interval of about six feet from man to man. Their caps and frocks were black, but the long capes glowed a vivid red. They carried the customary lighted tapers, so tall that, when rested on the ground, they reach to the shoulder. Midway between the files walked a cross-bearer, followed by a Nazarene, who 65 uplifted the standard of St. Andrew's Cross in red on a black ground. Bearers of other insignia of the order preceded the great litter, on which, under a golden palm tree, was represented by life-size effigies the arrest of Christ among His Disciples, St. Andrew having the foremost place. The second pageant presented by this brotherhood was accompanied by bevies of white-robed boys swinging censers and chanting anthems. Then came, in effulgence of light, the Most Holy Virgin, escorted, as if she were the earthly Queen of Spain, by a detachment of the Civil Guard, whose white trimmings and gold belts gleamed in the candle rays.

The remaining three cofradias that had part in the Wednesday ceremonies exhibited but one pageant each. A troop in black and gold conducted a Calvary, with Mary Mother and Mary Magdalene both kneeling at the foot of the cross, robed in the richest velvet. Figures in white, with stripes of red, came after, with a yet more costly Calvary. The well-carved crucifix rose from a gilded mound, and Our Mother of Healing wore a gold crown of exceeding price. But the third Calvary, all wrought in black and gold, the colors of the brotherhood, which were repeated in standard and costume, won the plaudits of the evening. Here Longinus, the Roman centurion, mounted on a spirited horse, was in the act of piercing with his lance the Saviour's side. Amid vivas and bravos this Passion picture passed, like its predecessors, in clouds of incense and peals of solemn music.

On Thursday the wearing of black was almost universal. We rummaged our shawl straps for some poor equivalent of the Spanish black silks and black mantillas. The Civil Guard was more superb than ever in full-dress uniform, with 66 red vests and white trousers. No sound of wheels was suffered within the city limits, and late arrivals had to commit their luggage to a porter and follow him on foot.

At three o'clock, in the Sagrario of the cathedral, the archbishop washed the feet of thirteen old paupers, who sat in two confronting rows, looking neat as wax and happy as honey, each dressed in a brand-new suit, with a long-fringed damask towel over his shoulder. Their old blood had been warmed by the archbishop's own wine, for they had just come from luncheon in the ecclesiastical palace, where they had been served by the highest dignitaries of the church and the proudest nobles of the city. The function of foot washing was not taken too seriously. The fat canons smiled good-humoredly on their archbishop, as his group of attendants lowered him to his knees and lifted him again before every old man in turn, and the acolytes nudged one another with boyish mirth over the rheumatic, embarrassed efforts of the beneficiaries to put on their stockings.

A Franciscan friar mounted the pulpit, however, and turned the congregation, thickly sprinkled with English visitors, serious enough by a succinct and fiery sermon, saying, in a nutshell, that love is the glory of the religious life, but is the fruit only of Catholicism, for nowhere, though one searches the world over, can there be found a work of mercy—hospital, asylum, endowed school, charity of any sort or kind—due to Protestantism. And the old paupers, glancing down at their new suits and feeling the glow of their banquet, were glad to the tips of their purified toes that their lots had been cast in Catholic Spain.

By six o'clock the squares and streets along the processional 67 route were thronged again, although our Spanish friends assured us that the numbers were less than usual. The war feeling kept the Americans and, to some extent, the English away, while many of the Spanish of the provinces, who were accustomed to take their annual outing in Seville during the Semana Santa, were held at home this year by poverty or mourning.

The first two pageants of the afternoon, those of the bull-fighters and the cigarette-makers, were awaited with especial eagerness. For these Seville brotherhoods, more than thirty in all, still maintain something of the mediæval structure of the guilds. Just as in England and France, from the eleventh to the fifteenth century, or thereabouts, organized companies of craftsmen used to present in Passion Week successive scenes from the life of Christ, these Spanish cofradias to-day maintain such general lines of division in performing a similar function. Yet any Catholic Sevillian may, if he chooses, secure admission to any of these societies, irrespective of his occupation. The young caballero who chanced to be our prime source of information this Thursday afternoon was himself of a prominent family, a protégé of the archbishop, and a student of law, yet he belonged to the brotherhood of Fruit Venders, although his devotion seemed a little languid, and he had excused himself on this occasion from the long march in the breathless Nazarene garb.

Not all the brothers feel bound to perform this penitential service every Passion Week, and, indeed, not all the brotherhoods. Several of the most elaborate pageants were missing from the ranks this year. Such omissions are not as disastrous to the processional effect as they would have been in 68 England, for example, some six centuries ago. Then the gilded and tapestried platforms, set on wheels, which the processions conducted through the streets, were really stages, and at the halting places the best actors of each guild played upon its particular platform an appointed scene from the sacred drama. The sequence of events was duly observed, and the spectator, standing in market-place or at street corner, while one theatre after another rolled by him, saw acted out with much finery of wardrobe and ingenuity of machinery, with tragic dialogue and declamation, relieved by comic interludes, all the Bible story, from the revolt of Lucifer to the Day of Judgment. But modern Spain, abandoning the acting and recitation and substituting puppets for living men, has let slip the dramatic sequence, so that a few pageants less means only so much abatement in the general splendor of the spectacle.

The bull-fighters of Andalusia are eminently religious and are said, likewise, to be remarkable for their domestic virtues. All their manly fury is launched against the bull, and they have only gentleness left for wives and children. I have heard no better argument for the bull ring. At all events, these toreros, marching soberly in black, with yellow belts, escorted with well-ordered solemnity an image of the crucified Christ, followed by a queenly effigy of Our Lady of Refuge, erect behind terraced ranks of candles on a flower-strewn litter, under a costly canopy of black velvet embroidered with gold. The cigarette-makers came after with their two pageants, Christ fastened to the pillar, and Our Lady of Victory.

It was, as usual, the second upon which the main expense 69 had been lavished. A great company of acolytes, richly clad and swinging censers of pure silver, went in advance of the Virgin, and three bands of music followed her with continuous acclaim, while a regiment of soldiers attended as a guard of honor. Immediately in front of the paso went, surrounded by officers and aides, General Ochando, his head uncovered and his breast glittering with decorations, for the young king of Spain is a member of this cofradia, and had sent the distinguished military governor of the Provinces, who has a palace in Seville, to represent him. Especial enthusiasm was called out by this image of Mary, for the cigarette-makers had just presented her with a new mantle at a cost of nine thousand dollars. The brothers were willingly aided by the seven thousand women who work in the immense tobacco factory, the average contribution of each donor being two centimos (two-fifths of a cent) a week during the preceding year. No wonder that the Virgin seemed to stand proudly upon her silvered pedestal, her gorgeous new mantle streaming out until it almost touched the head of a white-vested girl who walked barefoot close behind the litter, so fulfilling a vow made in extremity of illness.

Black and white were the banners and costumes of the third procession, very effective through the deepening dusk. Their leading pageant was a Gethsemane, famous for the beauty of the carving. Christ is represented in prayer before an angel, who bears in one hand the cross and in the other the cup of bitterness, while Peter, James, and John are sleeping near their Master. These Passion groups are, with a few exceptions of still earlier date, works of the seventeenth century, the glorious period of Spanish art, the day of Murillo and 70 Velázquez. The most and best are from the hand of the Sevillian Montañés, of chief repute in the Spanish school of polychrome sculpture, but this Gethsemane was carved by his imitator, Roldan, whose daughter, La Roldana, is accredited with the figure of the angel and with the reliefs that adorn the pedestal.

Another Virgin, who, like all the rest, seemed a scintillation of gold and jewels, swept by, and a new troop of Nazarenes, this time in purple and white, passed with two august pageants,—the Descent from the Cross and the Fifth Anguish of Mary. Then came two files of ash-colored figures, who marshalled, between their rows of starry tapers, each taper bending toward its opposite, a vivid presentation of the Crowning with Thorns; and, after this, their Mary of the Valley, noted for the gracious sweetness of her countenance. This image is held to be one of Montañés's masterpieces in wood-carving.

Five processions had now passed, with their two pageants each, and the hour was late, but we could not leave the balcony for anything so commonplace as dinner. Far down the street of Las Sierpes waved a river of lights, announcing the advent of the most ancient of all the Sevillian brotherhoods, Jesus of the Passion. The crowded plaza rose in reverence as the Crucifixion paso was borne by, and Our Lady of Mercy, too magnificent for her name, was greeted with rapturous outcries.

Off for the War

Off for the War

Just how and when and where something in the way of food was taken, I hardly know, but as this, the last of the Thursday evening processions, passed in music out of the plaza, a few of us made speed by a deserted side street to the cathedral. We were too late for the Miserere, which was just 71 closing in that surprising hubbub, the stamping of feet and beating of canes and chairs against the floor, by which Spanish piety is wont to "punish Judas." But we took our station near by the entrance to the Royal Chapel, wherein had been erected the grand Holy Week monument, in white and gold, shaped like a temple, and shining with innumerable silver lamps and taper lights. Within this monument the Host, commonly spoken of in Spain as Su Majestad, had been solemnly placed the night before, much as the mediæval church used to lay the crucifix, with requiems, under the High Altar on Good Friday, and joyously bring it forth again Easter morning. But Spanish Catholicism is strangely indifferent to dates, burying the Host on Wednesday and celebrating the Resurrection Saturday.

All day long the Royal Chapel had been filled with relays upon relays of kneeling worshippers, and the hush there had been so profound that the hum of the tourist-haunted nave and the tumult of the streets seemed faint and foreign to the hearing, like sounds a universe away. Before this chapel entrance all the pageants, as they were borne in silence through the cathedral, paused and did homage to the Host. Having outstripped the procession, we had arrived in season to witness three of these salutations. The Nazarenes, in passing, fell upon their knees in the light of the great, gleaming monument, and each of the heavy platforms was slowly swung about so that it faced this symbol of Christ's sepulchre.

Yet there was something besides devotion in the cathedral. As the crowd pressed close, we felt, more than once, a fumbling at our pockets, and the little artist lost her purse. The 72 rest of us comforted her by saying over and over that she ought to have known better than to bring it, and by severally relating how cautious we had been on our own accounts.

It was hard upon eleven when we returned to the house, but the streets were all alive with people. I went to the balcony at midnight, and again at the stroke of one, and both times looked down upon a plaza crossed and recrossed in all directions by talkative, eager groups. Many of these restless promenaders had been able to get no lodgings, and were walking to keep warm. The pressure upon the hotels was so great that one desperate stranger this Thursday night paid twenty dollars for a cot from ten o'clock till two, and private hospitality was taxed to a degree that nothing but Spanish courtesy and good-nature could ever have endured. In the house which harbored us, for instance, we were all fitted in as compactly as the pieces of a puzzle, when the unexpected friends began to arrive.

On Wednesday there appeared from the far north a man and wife, acquaintances of ten years back. Our host and hostess greeted this surprise party with Andalusian sunshine in their faces, and yielded up their own room. Thursday morning there walked gayly in one of the son's university classmates from Madrid. Don Pepe embraced him like a brother, and surrendered the sofa, which was all he had left to give. And this Thursday midnight, as a crowning touch, three more chums of college days came clattering at the bell. Their welcome was as cordial as if the household were pining for society. The tired maids, laughing gleefully over the predicament, contributed their own mattresses and pillows, and made up beds on the study floor, where Don Pepe camped 73 out with his comrades, to rise with a headache that lasted for days after.

By two o'clock I had taken my station on the balcony for an all-night vigil. The most of the family bore me company for the cogent reason that they had nowhere to sleep, but the other guests of the house held out for only an hour or two, and then went blinking to their repose. My memory of the night is strangely divided between the dreamlike, unearthly pomps and splendors streaming through the square below and the kindly, cheery people who came and went about me. The señora, still fresh and charming, although she has wept the deaths of fourteen out of her nineteen children, was merrily relating, with weary head against her husband's shoulder, her almost insuperable difficulties in the way of furnishing her table. The milkman roundly declared that if she wanted a double quantity of the precious fluid (and goat's milk at that), she must make it up with water. There was no meat to be had in the Catholic city during these holy days, and even her baker had forsaken his oven and gone off to see the sights. And the black-bearded señor, who, like his wife, had not been in bed for forty odd hours, laughed at her and comforted her, puffed harder than ever at his cigarette, and roguishly quoted the saying, "He whom God loves has a house in Seville."

By two o'clock the seats on the grand stand were filling fast, the plaza hummed with excitement, the balconies resounded with song and laughter, and the strong electric lights in front of the city hall cast a hard, white brilliance over all the scene. The frying of calientes, an Andalusian version of twisted doughnuts, was in savory progress here and there on the outskirts of the throng, and our ever thoughtful hostess 74 did not fail to keep her balcony well supplied with these crisp dainties.

The twinkling of taper lights, so warm and yellow under those pallid globes of electric glare, appeared while people were still hurrying to their places; but hundreds upon hundreds of black and gold figures had paced by before the first of their pasos came into view. For these processions of the dawn, de madrugada, call out great numbers of the devout, who would thus keep the last watch with their Lord. The clocks struck three as the leading pageant, a very ancient image of Christ, bearing a silver-mounted cross of tortoise-shell, halted before the Alcalde. A white banner wrought with gold heralded the Virgin, who rose, in glistening attire, from a golden lake of lights.

The wealthy cofradia of San Lorenzo followed in their costly habits of black velvet. They, too, conducted a pageant of Christ bearing His cross, one of the most beautiful groups of Montañés, the pedestal adorned with angels in relief. To the Christ, falling on the Via Dolorosa, the brotherhood, with the usual disregard of historic propriety, had given a royal mantle of ermine, embroidered with gold and pearls. A large company of black-clad women, carrying candles, walked behind the paso, on their penitential march of some eight hours. Many of them were ladies delicately bred, whose diamonds sparkled on the breast of the approaching Mary. For the Sevillian señoras are accustomed to lend their most valuable gems to their favorite Virgins for the Semana Santa, and San Lorenzo's Lady of Grief is said to have worn this night the worth of millions. She passed amid a great attendant throng, in such clouds of incense that the 75 eye could barely catch the shimmer of her silver pedestal, the gleam of the golden broideries that almost hid the velvet of her mantle, and the flashes and jets of light that shot from the incredible treasure of jewels that she wore.

The third troop of Nazarenes, robed in white and violet, bore for banner a white cross upon a violet ground. Their Christ-pageant pictured Pilate in his judgment seat in the act of condemning the Son of God to death. Jesus, guarded by armed soldiers, calmly confronts the troubled judge, at whose knee wait two little pages with a basin of water and towels.

And now came one of the most gorgeous features of the Holy Week processions—a legion of Roman soldiers, attired as never Roman soldiers were, in gold greaves and crimson tunics, with towering snow-white plumes. But a splendid show they made as, marching to drum and fife, they filed down Las Sierpes and stretched "in never ending line" across the plaza. Our most Holy Mary of Hope, who followed, wearing a fair white tunic and a gold-embroidered mantle of green, the color of the hopeful season, drowned the memory of that stern military music in a silver concert of flutes.

After this sumptuous display, the fourth band of Nazarenes, gliding through the plaza between night and day in their garb of black and white, could arouse but little enthusiasm, although their Crucifixion was one of the most artistic, and their Lady of the Presentation had her poorest garment of fine satin.

A pearly lustre was stealing through the sky, and the chill in the air was thinning the rows of spectators on the grand stand, when mysterious, dim-white shapes, like ghosts, bore by in utter silence a pageant of Christ fainting beneath the 76 burden of the cross. But soon the clamor of drums and fifes ushered in another long array of Roman soldiers, a rainbow host in red and pink and blue, crimson plumes alternating with white, and golden shields with silver. The electric lights, globed high overhead, took one look at this fantastic cavalcade and went out with a gasp.

It was now clear day. Canaries began to sing in their cages, and parrots to scream for chocolate. Sleepy-eyed servant-maids appeared on the balconies, and market women, leading green-laden donkeys, peered forth from the side streets into the square. The morning light made havoc with the glamour of the pageants. Something frank and practical in the sunshine stripped those candle-lighted litters of their dignity. Busy people dodged through the procession lines, and one Nazarene after another might be seen slipping out of the ranks and hurrying awkwardly, in his cumbersome dress, with the half-burned taper under his arm, to the refuge of his own mosquito-netting and orange tree. The tired crowd grew critical and irreverent, and openly railed upon the Virgin of this ghostly cofradia because her velvet mantle was comparatively plain. "Bah! how poor it is! Are we to sit here all the night for such stingy shows as that?"

But the last brotherhood in the madrugada processions had, with their white frocks and blue caps and capes, suited themselves to the colors of the day. The stumbling children, blind with sleep, whom fathers were already leading off the square, turned back for a drowsy gaze at the resplendent tunic of the Christ in the Via Dolorosa paso, a tunic claimed to be the richest of all the garments worn by the effigies of Jesus. So lovely was this trooping company in their tints of sky and 77 cloud, bearing a great blue banner and a shining ivory cross, that they brought order and decorum with them.

The division that escorted the Virgin marched on with especial steadiness, not a peaked cap drooping, nor a boyish acolyte faltering under the weight of his tall gilded censer. This most Holy Mary of Anguish, whose litter and canopy were all of white and gold, swept by in triumphal peals of music while the clocks were striking six. In some mental confusion, I said good night to the people I left on the balcony, and good morning to the people I met on the stairs, and ate my breakfast before I went to bed.

It seemed as if human nature could bear no more; the eyes ached with seeing, and phantasmal processions went sweeping through our dreams; yet Friday afternoon at five o'clock found our balcony, like all the rest, full to overflowing. Some twenty thousand people were massed in the plaza, and it was estimated that over one hundred thousand waited along the line of march. Our Spanish entertainers, still unrefreshed by any chance for sleep, were as gayly and punctiliously attentive to their guests as ever, from our gallant host, who presented the ladies with fragrant bouquets of roses and orange blossoms, to the little pet of the household, who at the most engrossing moments in the ceremonial would slip away from her privileged stand on a footstool against the railing to summon any member of the party who might be missing the spectacle.

The Spanish colors floated out from city hall and court-house, but the great concourse below was all in hues of mourning, the black mantillas often falling over dresses of plain purple. The señoritas in the balconies had substituted 78 knots of black ribbon for the customary flowers in the hair. Jet trimmings abounded, and the waving fans were black.

The coming procession, we were assured on every hand, would be the most solemn of all and the most sumptuous. The habits of the Nazarenes would be of satin, silk, and velvet. The images of Christ and the Virgin would be attired with all possible magnificence of damask and ermine, gold and jewels. Brotherhood would vie with brotherhood in splendor, and one prodigy of luxury would succeed another.

The leading company, whose far-trailing robes carpeted the street with fine black velvet, stood for the olive industry. This cofradia had been poor and unimportant for generations, but in recent years a devoted brother, a manufacturer of olive packing-barrels, had poured forth his accumulated fortune upon the society, with the result that their pasos are now second in ostentation and expense to none. The donor, long since too feeble to bear his taper in the line, lives in humble obscurity, but his old heart swells with joy this great day of the year when he sees, following the elaborate carving of the Crucifixion, the dazzling chariot of Our Lady of Solitude. Upon her mantle, which enjoys the proud distinction of being the very costliest of all, he has lavished twenty thousand dollars. Longer by a yard than any of the others, it was yet unable to find place for all the gold which the zealous Nazarene had given for it, and the residue was bestowed about the pedestal and canopy. The paso is so heavy with gold that it requires a double force of men to carry it; but each of these hidden bearers, getting air as best he can through a silver breathing-tube, is sure of a dollar for his recompense as well as two glasses of good wine.

Looking toward the Darro

Granada. Looking toward the Darro

79All the adornment of the litter is of pure gold, and such wealth of jewels glinted from the Virgin's glorious raiment that a triple force of Civil Guards was detailed for her protection. Her ardent worshipper has denied her nothing. The very columns that uphold her canopy are exquisite in carving, and it is his yearly pride to see that her clouds of incense are the thickest, and her train of musicians the most extended, in all that glittering line.

The second cofradia exhibited but a single pageant, relying for effect upon the beauty of the sculpture. The Mater Dolorosa was bowed in her desolation at the foot of the Holy Rood, from which hung only the white folds of the winding-sheet.

But the third brotherhood had bethought themselves to introduce, between their austere Crucifixion and their shining image of Mary, another preposterous parade of Roman soldiers—flower-colored, plume-tossing, butterfly creatures far too bright, if not too good, "for human nature's daily food." One whiff from Cæsar's iron breast would have blown them away like soap bubbles.

The silversmiths trooped by in graver, more majestic state, their purple velvet habits girded with gold cords. Upon a gilded pedestal, wrought with high relief, was seen their Christ, bowed beneath a precious cross of tortoise-shell and silver. Our Lady of Expectation gleamed with gold and gems, and this haughty brotherhood received a full meed of applause.

Black from top to toe was the fifth procession. Their Jesus of the Via Dolorosa bent beneath a sombre cross of ebony embossed with gold, but the blithe young voices of the countless choir-boys, singing like birds before the dawn, ushered in a sun-bright image of Mary. 80

But something was amiss with the processional order. Where were the stately ranks of Montserrat? Alas and alas! Scarcely had this aristocratic cofradia gone a hundred paces from their chapel when, in the narrow street of Murillo, a leaning candle touched the lace skirt of the Virgin and instantly all the front of the litter was in flames. It was hardly a matter of minutes. From the balconies above were dashed down pailfuls and pitcherfuls of water. The Nazarenes, wrenching away the blue velvet mantle wondrously embroidered in gold with castles, lions, and fleurs de lis, succeeded in rescuing a ragged half of it, and the Civil Guards, drawing their swords and forming a circle about the smoking litter, saved the jewels from robbery. Perhaps the other paso, too, Christ of the Conversion of the Penitent Thief, had some protecting influence. But in all this ado about her finery, the poor Virgin's face, beloved for its winsome look, was completely burned away. In sorry plight Our Lady of Montserrat was hurried back to her chapel, and the swift rumor of the disaster sent a superstitious trouble through the city.

But more and more solemnly the taper-bearing troops of Nazarenes poured by with the culminating pictures of the Passion. These last three cofradias presented each a single pageant. An escort in dark purple conducted an impressive Descent from the Cross. The Virgin, her crowned head bowed in anguish, clasps the drooping body of Christ to her heart, while John and Mary Magdalene look on in hopeless sorrow. Figures in black and white came after, with their sixteenth-century carving, Christ of the Dying Breath, beneath the cross standing Our Lady of Tears. And last of all, in slow, sad movement, their white trains streaming like a line 81 of light along the stone-paved way, passed the second brotherhood of San Lorenzo, bearing the Most Blessed Virgin in her Solitude. The gold of her mantle seemed one with the gold of the candle rays, and, for many a silent watcher, those gliding, gleaming, spiritlike forms will move forever down a shining path in memory. So closed the Holy Week processions.

"How sorry I am," said our host, with the Andalusian twinkle in his eye. "It is almost eleven o'clock. Ladies and gentlemen, will you please walk out to dinner?"

On Saturday morning we went early to the cathedral for the closing rite. The Sagrario was thronged. Some of the señoras had brought low folding chairs with them, others sat upon the floor, but most of that innumerable congregation knelt or stood. We were all facing the great purple veil which concealed the high altar, with Roldan's retablo of the Descent from the Cross. There was an hour or more of expectation, during which rosaries slipped through the fingers of many a veiled nun, and the soft murmur of prayer came from strong men as well as from pale-faced women. Suddenly, while a shock of thunder crashed from the organ, hidden ministrants sharply drew on hidden cords, the purple curtain parted in the midst, and the two folds rolled asunder, revealing the high altar, with its carving of the accomplished Passion. The organ poured forth jubilees of victory, all the bells of the cathedral pealed together, Gloria in Excelsis soared in choral chant, and amid the awe-stricken multitudes fallen to their knees, Su Majestad was borne in priestly procession from the tomb in the Royal Chapel to the candles and incense which awaited at the high altar that triumphal coming.

Easter Sunday was celebrated by a bull-fight.

VII

82

TRACES OF THE INQUISITION

"I live a life more great than I.

The life I hope is life so high,

I die because I cannot die."

Santa Teresa de Jesús.

All Spaniards venerate the name of Isabel la Católica, nor is the impressionable De Amicis the only foreigner who has trembled and wept at Granada before the enshrined memorials, jewel box, mirror, missal, and crown, of her royal womanhood. She is a precious figure in Spain's sunset revery—a saint beneath a conquering standard, a silken lady in a soldier's tent. Yet this peerless queen, merciful, magnanimous, devout, "the shield of the innocent," caring supremely for the glory of God and the good of her country, gave consent, albeit reluctant, to the establishment of the Inquisition, Christianity's chief scandal and Spain's most fatal blight. So ironic were the stars of Isabel.

The Inquisition, it is true, originated in Italy early in the thirteenth century and followed the flight of some of the Albigenses into Aragon, but its work in Spain had been comparatively slight and merciful until the "Catholic Kings," in the interests of religious reform, for the purification of the national faith, let its horrors loose. Wherever one moves in 83 Spain the sickening breath of the auto de fe lingers in the air. In such a square, we read, was once a mighty bonfire of Jews; beneath our feet, we are told, is a mass of human bones and cinders. This sunshiny Seville, with her parks and patios, her palms and orange groves, a city seemingly fashioned only for love and song, had her army of nearly twoscore thousand martyrs, who, dressed in the hateful San Benitos, yellow coats painted with flames and devils, were burned to death here in our gay Plaza de la Constitución, then known as the Plaza de San Francisco, and in the Quemadero beyond the walls. As one mingles with some outdoor throng, all intent on pageant, dance, or other spectacle, one shudders to remember that just such dark, eager faces were ringed about the agonies of those heroic victims. For there are two sides to the Spanish Inquisition. If Spaniards were the inquisitors, Spaniards, too, were the dauntless sufferers. The sombre gaze of the torturer was met, as steel meets iron, by the unflinching eye of the tortured. But "the unimaginable touch of Time" transforms all tragedy to beauty, and red poppies, blowing on the grassy plain of the Quemadero, translate into poetry to-day that tale of blazing fagots.

Sometimes the victims were of foreign blood. Hakluyt has preserved the simple narratives of two English sailors, who were brought by their Spanish captors from the Indies as a sacrifice to the Holy House of Seville. One, a happy-go-lucky fellow, Miles Phillips, who had been too well acquainted in Mexico with the dungeons of the Inquisition, slipped over the ship's side at San Lúcar, made his way to shore, and boldly went to Seville, where he lived a hidden life as a silk-weaver, until he found his chance to steal away and board a Devon 84 merchantman. The other, Job Hortop, added to his two years of Mexican imprisonment two more years in Seville. Then "they brought us out in procession, every one of us having a candle in his hand, and the coat with S. Andrew's cross on our backs; they brought us up on an high scaffold, that was set up in the place of S. Francis, which is in the chief street of Seville; there they set us down upon benches, every one in his degree, and against us on another scaffold sate all the Judges and the Clergy on their benches. The people wondered, and gazed on us, some pitying our case, others said, burn those heretics. When we had sat there two hours, we had a sermon made to us, after which one called Bresinia, secretary to the Inquisition, went up into the pulpit with the process, and called Robert Barret, ship-master, and John Gilbert, whom two Familiars of the Inquisition brought from the scaffold before the Judges, where the secretary read the sentence, which was that they should be burnt, and so they returned to the scaffold, and were burnt.

"Then I, Job Hortop, and John Bone, were called, and brought to the place, as before, when we heard our sentence, which was, that we should go to the Galleys, and there to row at the oar's end ten years, and then to be brought back to the Inquisition House, to have the coat with S. Andrew's cross put on our backs, and from thence to go to the everlasting prison remediless.

"I with the rest were sent to the Galleys, where we were chained four and four together.... Hunger, thirst, cold, and stripes we lacked none, till our several times expired, and after the time of twelve years, for I served two years above my sentence, I was sent back to the Inquisition House in 85 Seville, and there having put on the coat with S. Andrew's cross, I was sent to the everlasting prison remediless, where I wore the coat four years, and then upon great suit I had it taken off for fifty duckets, which Hernando de Soria, treasurer of the king's mint, lent me, whom I was to serve for it as a drudge seven years."

But this victim, too, escaped in a fly-boat at last, and on a certain Christmas Eve, about the time when people in London were beginning to like the comedies of a certain poor player, one Will Shakespeare, did Job Hortop, Powder-maker and Gunner, walk quietly, after twenty-three years of martyrdom, into the village of Redcliffe, where he had been a ruddy English boy with no dream of the day when he should be "prest forth" by Sir John Hawkins and compelled, sore against his will, to embark for the West Indian adventure.

Religious liberty now exists under the laws of Spain, although the administration of those laws leaves much to be desired. In three old conventual churches of Seville gather her three Protestant congregations. Beneath the pavements of two of these heretic strongholds old inquisitors sleep what uneasy sleep they may, while one of the Protestant pastors, formerly a Catholic priest, has quietly collected and stored in his church-study numerous mementos of the Holy Office. Here may be seen two of those rare copies of the 1602 revision of the Spanish Bible, by Cipriano de Valera, whom the Inquisition could burn only in effigy, since the translator, who had printed his book in Amsterdam, did not return to accompany the Familiars to the Quemadero. Here are old books with horrible woodcuts of the torments, and time-stained manuscripts, several bearing the seal and signatures 86 of the "Catholic Kings," these last so ill written that it is hard to tell the name of Ferdinand from that of Isabella. Among these are royal commissions, or licenses, granted to individual inquisitors, records of autos de fe, and wills of rich inquisitors, the sources of whose wealth would hardly court a strict examination. Here, too, is the standard of the Holy Office, the very banner borne through Seville in those grim processions. Its white silk is saffroned now, but the strange seal of the Inquisition, a bleeding Christ upon the cross, is clearly blazoned in the centre, while the four corners show the seal of San Domingo.

The Inquisition prison, the dreaded Holy House of Seville, is used as a factory at present, and heresy no longer secures admission there; but I looked up at its grated windows, and then, with a secret shiver, down on the ground, where the Spanish pastor of antiquarian tastes was marking out with his cane the directions of the far-branching subterranean cells. We slipped into an outer court of the fabrica, where the two gentlemen, effectively aided by a couple of sturdy lads, pried up and flung back a sullen door in the pavement and invited me to grope my darkling way down some twenty crumbling steps, overgrown with a treacherous green mould. There was no refusing, in face of the cloud of witnesses whose groans these stones had heard, and I took a heart-breaking plunge into the honeycomb of chill, foul-smelling, horror-haunted dungeons, whose roofs let fall a constant drip of water and from whose black recesses I was the unwilling means of liberating a choice variety of insects.

"But even yet one cannot call one's self a Protestant in Spain, you know," said an English diplomat to us in another 87 city of Andalusia. "It's not socially respectable. Spanish Protestants are the very scum of the earth—illiterate, dirty, boorish. You couldn't associate with them for a minute."

"But that Spanish pastor who called on us yesterday was entirely a gentleman," we remonstrated. "He has studied for seven years in Switzerland and Scotland, seems more open-minded and intelligent than most Spaniards we have met, and was so courteous and graceful in his bearing—not to mention the whiteness of his linen—and so entertaining in his talk, that the Spanish ladies in the room chorussed his praises, after he had bowed himself out, and declared him most delightful company."

The diplomat twirled his mustache and smiled, as only diplomats can. "And you owned up that he was a Protestant? And their faces darkened as if a storm-cloud had blown over from the Sierras?"

"Precisely so," we admitted, "and after that the best they could say for him was that they never would have thought it."

The diplomat claimed that he had made his point, while we protested that the incident only went to show how unreasonable was the prejudice of whose existence throughout Spain there can be no manner of doubt.

Perez Galdós, for instance, the most popular novelist of the day, stated to an American friend, who repeated it to us, that he frankly could not afford to introduce the figure of a Protestant into one of his stories. "It would not only kill that book," he said, "but it would hurt the sale of everything I have in the market and embarrass all my future undertakings. I should simply be risking the loss of my reading public." And yet Señor Galdós is the author of "Doña 88 Perfecta," that artistic study of the conflict between new ideas and old in Spain. In this significant novel, a civil engineer, a man of thirty, whose scientific education in the large cities of Seville and Madrid has been supplemented by study in Germany and England, comes to one of those mediæval towns, or corpses of towns, that rise so spectre-like from the ash-colored plains of Old Castile. Crumbling walls and blackened towers jealously guard the life of ages since, that feudal life of high and low, pride of station, pride of animal prowess, pride of holiness, pride of idleness, pride of ignorance; the life of superstition, of family exclusiveness resulting in intermarriage to the point of insanity; of that fierce local bigotry, peculiarly Spanish, which dreads and hates all foreign intrusion. The streets, devoid of business activity, swarm with vigorous mendicants, who have no better shift, when times grow hard, than to deform the children who are born to them like kittens in their mud-walled hovels. The casino, where half the town smokes half its time away, hums with malicious gossip. The university languidly pursues the studies of Latin, scholastic divinity, Church history, and all that savors of the past. Under the gray vault of the cathedral women kneel before the image of the Christ Child, bringing Him a new pair of embroidered pantalets and entreating of His rosy simplicity what they would not dare ask from the "Ecce Homo"; or they kiss the satin-slippered feet of the miracle-working Virgin and vow her, if their prayer is granted, seven bright new swords of the finest Toledo workmanship to pierce her patient heart. The man of scientific training, fresh from the modern world, is brought into sharp collision with this dim old town. High principles and essential, spiritual Christianity 89 count him for nothing; he is speedily denounced as no better than "a murderer, an atheist, or a Protestant," and his strong young life is actually beaten out by that blind, terrible force of Spanish fanaticism. So far the novelist can go; such a hero he dares paint; but not a Protestant.

The notions of Protestantism prevalent among the people, not the peasants only, but the gentry, are little short of ludicrous. A black-eyed lady of Cadiz was amazed at our assertion that Protestants prayed. A Madrid señorita asked us, in friendly confidence, if it were true that Protestants "denied Christ and spat on the Virgin." The popular identification of Protestantism with all that is impious and criminal we encountered as early as our second afternoon in Spain. We were visiting, in the picturesque fishing-hamlet of Pasajes, a gaunt Basque church, where the old dame who served as caretaker showed us a waxen image of a sleeping girl, said, not without probability, to have been brought from Rome. Beneath the figure is a burial stone, whose inscription would locate it in the Catacombs. When friends of ours were at Pasajes some three years before, the grandam's story ran that the image was the likeness of a Christian martyr, slain by her pagan father at Rome in the time of the Imperial persecutions; but the tale glibly recited to us was this: "Ay de mi! The poor young lady! Her father was a Protestant, and, of course, hated religion, and when his daughter, so beautiful, was on her way to her first communion, he hid behind a corner, with an axe, and of a sudden jumped out on her and struck her dead."

It is such prejudice that goes far toward justifying the maintenance by foreign societies of Protestant churches in Spain. 90 They cannot stand alone, in face of all this hostility, and yet the country has need of them. No European nation can nowadays be shut in to any single channel of religious life, and doubtless, apart from all questions of creed, there are Spanish temperaments to which the simpler culto is more natural than the elaborate ritual of Rome; but, waiving discussion as to the relative gifts and graces of these two great divisions of Christ's fellowship, the new seems essential, not for itself alone, but as a stimulus and corrective to the old. Time may make it clear that a purified Roman Catholicism is better suited to the Latin races in general than plainer rites and less symbolic worship, but there are heavy counts against the Roman Catholic Church as it exists in Spain. The private lives of the clergy, as a class, have been so open to reproach that even the finger-games and nonsense songs of the little children, learned with their baby lispings, mock priestly immorality. The Church, steward of untold wealth, has endowed many charities, but the fundamental trust of knowledge it has most sluggishly and inadequately dispensed. Santiago de Compostela, for example, is a very nest of religious foundations. Thirty-six Christian fraternities are gathered there, yet we were told on good authority that not one peasant in a hundred of those within hearing of Santiago's fivescore and fourteen holy bells can read and write. In matters of State, the Church has utterly lost the allegiance of the progressive party and, to a large extent, the political confidence of the nation. As Spaniards study the history of their country, they realize more and more that her colossal mistakes and misfortunes have been due in large measure to Jesuit and Dominical policy—to the father confessor in the 91 royal chamber, the inquisitor in shadow of the throne. With reference to the success of the Church in promoting spiritual life, a beautiful young nun, her eyes glistening like happy stars, assured us that there was more devotion in Catholic Spain than in all the rest of Christendom. A scientist of repute, his voice choking with grief and wrath, declared to us that the fetters of superstition had become hopelessly riveted, during these ages of Church control, on the Spanish mind. But call it what you will, devotion or superstition, and admitting, as the tourist must, that it is a most conspicuous and impressive feature of Spanish life, there are nevertheless thousands of Spaniards, especially the younger men, over whom it has lost sway. These are the indiferentes, many of whom might find, as some have found, in a fresh presentation of Christianity, the Godward impetus which they no longer gain from the Church of Rome.

The most cheerful indiferente I encountered in Spain was a whimsical old philosopher, well on his way to the nineties, yet so brisk and hardy as almost to vie with Borrow's Portuguese dame whose hair "was becoming gray" after a life of one hundred and ten years. His hair, indeed, is white, and extreme age has written its deforming marks on face and figure, yet he runs up the steepest stairs, reads the finest print, fills his days with a close succession of labors and amusements, and scoffs at religion as airily as if Death had passed him on the crowded way and would never turn back to look for him again.

At our first meeting he offered, with characteristic kindness, to come and read Spanish with me. As I had invaded Spain for the express purpose of studying the Spanish drama, 92 I took a volume of Calderon from my trunk and hopefully awaited his visit. But it was a matter of several visits before I could open my Calderon. The jaunty old cavalier arrived, brimming over with chat and anecdote, and when at last I hinted at the reading, produced with pride from his inner coat pocket a little, paper-bound geografia that he had written himself for use in the Spanish schools, and proceeded to regale me with extracts from its pages. I looked severely at the little artist, whose eyes were dancing in a demure face, and endeavored to profit by this unexpected course of instruction. The author chuckled much over his sagacity in having arranged the subject-matter of his book in paragraphs and not by question and answer. In the latter case, he explained, the children would learn the answers without reading the questions, a process bound to result in geographical confusion. The little volume, as is the wont of school books in other lands, tended to give to its students a disproportionate idea of the importance of their own country. Spain and her colonies were treated in seventy pages, Great Britain and her colonies in three, France in four, while America, from Greenland to Patagonia, was handled as a single entity, one figure each, and those absurdly small, being set for "her population, army, and navy." The Confederación de los Estados Unidos was barely mentioned as one of the five "States" of North America.

But the only feature of his book for which the author felt called upon to apologize, was the catering to popular superstition, as in stating, for instance, that in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is adored the veritable body of St. James. He cast a quizzical glance at me in reading this, 93 and then laughed himself purple in the face. "One has to say these things in this country," he gasped, still breathless from his mirth. "Drops of water must run with the stream. If only there were a shrine where people might be cured of being fools!"

Quick-witted as the old gentleman was, he presently detected a lack of geographical enthusiasm in his audience. His literary vanity smarted for a moment and then he fell to laughing, declaring that ladies always had a distaste for useful information. "That old wife of mine" could not abide arithmetic. He digressed into an explanation of the Roman notation, making it quite clear to us wherein IX differs from XI, and with antiquated courtliness of phrase, even for Spain, asked our gracious permission to cause himself the pain of departure.

He often reappeared. His wiry arm, reached through the Moorish bars of the outer door, would give its own peculiarly energetic twitch to the bell chain looped within. A maid, leaning over the railing of an upper story, would call down the challenge inherited from good old fighting times, "Who comes here?" And his thin voice would chirp the Andalusian answer, "Peace."

On his second visit he fairly gurgled with pleasure as he placed another volume with his name on the title-page before me. Since I did not incline to solid reading, behold him equally ready to supply me with the sweets of literature! This, too, was a school book, a somewhat haphazard collection of Castilian poems, with brief biographies of the authors represented. Its novel educational feature was the printing of each poem in a different type. The result was a little startling to the 94 eye, but the editor was doubtless right in claiming that it made the reading harder for the children, and so developed their powers through exercise. Here, again, he was ashamed of the fact that fully two-thirds of the poems were religious.

"But what can one do in this country?" he asked testily. "All the reading books have to be like that. Bah! But we will not read these pious verses. The others are much more entertaining."

Determined not to wound him again by any lack of interest in books of his own shaping, we sat patiently through page after page of that juvenile school reader; but when, with a pamphlet on spelling and punctuation, we had completed the list of his works, I once more called his attention to Calderon.

This struck him as a capital joke. He had never read Calderon himself, he had hardly heard of Calderon, and that a foreigner, a woman at that, should insist on reading Calderon, was funny enough to make his old sides ache. There were modern authors in plenty who must certainly write much better than an out-of-date fellow like that. He had books that he could lend me. He had friends from whom he could borrow. But nothing would please me but Calderon! Why under the fanciful moon should I set my heart on Calderon?

"Bueno!" he cried at last, whisking the mirthful tears from his eyes. "Vamos á ver! Let us go on and see!"

We opened the classic volume at the Catholic Faust-drama, El Mágico Prodigioso, and began to read, soon passing into the great argument between Cipriano and Lucifer as to the nature of God. Our guest, sensitive to all impressions as he was, became immediately amazed and delighted. 95

"But this is lofty!" he exclaimed. "This is sublime! Good, Cipriano, good! Now you have him! What will the devil say to that? Vamos á ver!"

At the close of that tremendous scene he shut the book, fairly panting with excitement. But nevertheless there was a twinkle in his eye. He knew now why I craved this Calderon. He was evidently a religious writer, and women were all religious. It was an amiable feminine weakness, like the aversion to geography and arithmetic. But his indulgent chivalry rose to the occasion. Having learned my taste, such as it was, he would gratify it to the utmost.

"If you would only come and see my library!" he proposed. "I have exactly the book there that will please you. I have not read it myself, but it is very large, with most beautiful pictures, and it tells these old stories about Lucifer and all that. I am sure it is just what you would like. Will you not do your humble servant the honor of coming to-morrow afternoon?"

I ran over in my mind our engagements for the morrow. He mistook the cause of my hesitation.

"Indeed you need not be afraid to come," he urged. "My house is as safe as a convent. That old wife of mine, too, will be sure to be somewhere about. And you can bring the silent señorita with you."

I was aware of a slight convulsion in "the silent señorita." She could speak all the Spanish she chose, but she found the eccentricities of this visitor so disconcerting that she affected ignorance, and he supposed her mute presence at our interviews to be purely in deference to the Spanish proprieties.

My youthful chaperon, much elated by this reversal of our 96 natural positions, duly attended me the next day to our friend's surprisingly elegant home. He was forever crying poverty and telling us, with the tears that came to his old age as easily as the laughter, how the hardships of life had beaten out of him every ambition save hope to "gain the bread" until his death, but we found him luxuriously housed, and I was afterward informed that he was one of the richest men in the city.

He ran with that wonderful sprightliness of his across the marbled court to meet us, and ceremoniously conducted us up the handsome staircase. He led us through all "our house," typically Andalusian, with statues and urns of blossoming trees set in the open patios, with Moorish arches and bright-hued tiles, shaded balconies, tapestried and curtained beds, braseros, and rocking-chairs, and in every room images and paintings of the saints, at which he made irreverent grimaces.

There were family portraits, too, before three of which he broke down into weeping—the son who had died in the prime of manhood, the daughter lost in her fair maidenhood, and, where the stormy sobs shook him from head to foot, the Benjamin of his heart, a clear-eyed young officer who had fallen in the Cuban war. The tears were still streaming down the quivering old face when we turned silently away—for what word of comfort would Americans dare to speak?—and followed him to his study.

He was of extravagant repute in his locality as a scholar and a man of letters, and his study was what a study ought to be,—well furnished with desk, pigeon-holes, all the tools of literary labor, and walled with books. Among these was an encyclopædia in which, to his frank astonishment, he 97 found an article of fifteen pages on Calderon. The great volume we had come to see lay open on a reading stand. It was a Spanish Bible, with the Doré illustrations. I wanted to look at the title-page, but our eager host, proud to exhibit and explain, tossed over the leaves so fast that I had no opportunity.

As he was racing through the Psalms, impatient because of their dearth of pictures, my eye was caught by the familiar passage, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God."

With prompt curiosity, he popped down his white head, in its close-fitting skullcap, to see what I was noting, and instantly went off into an immoderate gust of laughter.

"Muy bien!" he wheezed, as soon as he could recover anything like a voice. "But that is very cleverly put. He was a witty fellow who wrote that. Just so! Just so! The deer goes to the water because he means to get something for himself, and that is why the young men go into the priesthood, and why the women go to mass. It's all selfishness, is religion. But how well he says it!"

"No, no!" I exclaimed, for once startled into protest. "He is saying that religion is the impulse of thirst."

The incorrigible old worldling took this for another jest, and, as in gallantry bound, laughed harder at my sally than at poor King David's.

"Excellent! Perfect! So it is! So it is! Religion is the impulse to fill one's own stomach. Just what I have always said! 'As the hart panteth after the water brooks'—ho, ho! I must try to remember that."

His enthusiasm for Calderon soon kindled to a flame. As 98 the plot thickened he ceased to be of the slightest help in any difficulties that the text might offer. In vain I would beseech him to clear up some troublesome passage.

"Oh, never mind!" he would say, vexed at the interruption. "They didn't write very well in those old days. And I want to know which of her three suitors Justina took. Three at once! What a situation! Vamos á ver! I hope it will be Cipriano."

As the spell of Calderon's imagination passed more and more strongly upon him, this most sympathetic of readers quite accepted, for the time being, the poet's Catholic point of view, trembling for Cipriano and almost choking with agitated joy when Justina, calling in her extremity upon the name of God, put Lucifer to flight. But after we had read the drama to the end, through its final scene of triumphant martyrdom, he sat silent for several minutes, and then shook his head.

"Not true; it is not true. There is no devil but the evil passions of humanity. And as for Cipriano's definition of God—it is good, yes; it is great, yes; but who can shut God into a definition? One might as well try to scoop up the ocean in a cocoanut shell. No! All religions are human fictions. We have come, nobody knows whence or why, into this paltry, foolish, sordid life, for most of us only a fight to gain the bread, and afterward—Bueno! I am on the brink of the jump, and the priests have not frightened me yet. Afterward? Vamos á ver!"

This man had heard of Protestantism simply as an ignorant notion of the lower classes. For the typical Spanish Protestant of to-day presents a striking contrast to the typical Spanish 99 Protestant of the Reformation. When heresy first entered the Peninsula, it gained almost no footing among the common people, who supposed Luther to be another sort of devil and the Protestants a new variety of Jews or Moors; but the rank and learning of Spain, the youthful nobility, illustrious preachers and writers, officers and favorites of the Court, even men and women in whose veins flowed the blood royal, welcomed with ardor the wave that was surging over Europe. The very eminence of these heretics sealed their doom. The Inquisition could not miss such shining marks. The Holy Office did its work with abominable thoroughness. Apart from the countless multitudes whom it did to death in dungeon and torture-chamber, it burned more than thirty thousand of the most valuable citizens of Spain and drove forth from the Peninsula some three millions of Jews and Moors. The autos de fe were festivals. Among the wedding pomps for the French bride of Philip II, a girl thirteen years old, was one of these horrible spectacles at Toledo. The holiday fires of Seville and Valladolid drank the most precious blood of Andalusia and Castile. Though Saragossa had a mind to Huguenot fuel; though Pamplona, on one festal day, heaped up a holocaust of ten thousand Jews; though Granada, Murcia, and Valencia whetted their cruel piety on the Moors who had made the southern provinces a garden of delight; yet in all these cities, as in Toledo, Logroño, and the rest, the Spanish stock itself was drained of its finest and most highly cultivated intelligence, its sincerest conscience, purest valor, its most original and independent thought. Spain has been paying the penalty ever since. Her history from Philip II has been a judgment day.

No root of the Lutheran heresy survived in the Peninsula. 100 The new Protestantism does not spring from the old. The blood of the Spanish martyrs was not the seed of the Spanish church. The Protestant of to-day is far removed, socially and politically, from the courtiers, marquises, knights of Santiago—those gallant cavaliers who were stripped upon the scaffold of their honorable decorations and clad in the yellow robe of infamy. This nineteenth-century Protestant may be a lawyer or a journalist, but by exception. Ordinarily he is a petty farmer, a small shop-keeper, mechanic, miner, day-laborer, of humble calling and of lowly life. In politics he is almost surely a republican. When the monarchy was overthrown, in '68, Protestantism was, for the moment, in favor, and hundreds of the triumphant party hastened to profess the reformed faith. With the return of a Roman Catholic court and perhaps upon the discovery that the new Christianity, too, has its burden and its yoke, many fell away.

Yet Protestantism has now an assured footing in Spain. Protestant churches may be found in most of the important cities. There are some fifty foreign preachers and teachers in the field, aided by nearly eighty Spanish pastors and colporteurs. The number of Spanish communicants is between three and four thousand, the church attendance is reckoned at nine thousand, and there are five thousand Spanish children in the Protestant schools. Several centres have been established for the sale of Bibles and Protestant books, and six or seven Protestant periodicals are published and circulated. In answer to the continual Romish taunt that Protestantism is a war of sects, a house divided against itself, a Protestant Union was organized at Madrid in the spring of 1899. All, save two, of the fifteen missions, supported by various societies 101 of Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, and America, joined hands in this. Only the Plymouth Brethren and the Church of England held aloof.

A Milkman of Granada

A Milkman of Granada

The Inquisition exists no longer. Religious liberty, even in Spain, has the support of law. Yet still the Spanish Protestant, this poor, plain Protestant of to-day, as obscure as those Galilean fishermen whom the Master called, is harassed by petty persecutions. Children sing insulting verses after him in the street, especially that pious ditty:—

"Get away with you, Protestants,

Out of our Catholic Spain,

That the Sacred Heart, the Sacred Heart,

May love our land again."

He is jealously watched on the passing of "His Majesty the Wafer" and pursued with mud and spittings if he fails to do it homage. College boys rub charcoal over the front of his chapel and stone his schoolroom windows; work is refused him; promotion denied him; his rent is higher than his neighbor's, yet not his neighbor's family nor his landlord's cross his threshold. If scorn can burn, he feels the auto de fe.

VIII

102

AN ANDALUSIAN TYPE

"'True,' quoth Sancho: 'but I have heard say there are more friars in heaven than knights-errant.' 'It may be so,' replied Don Quixote, 'because their number is much greater than that of knights-errant.' 'And yet,' quoth Sancho, 'there are abundance of the errant sort.' 'Abundance indeed,' answered Don Quixote, 'but few who deserve the name of knights.'"—Cervantes: Don Quixote.

It might have been in Seville, though it was not, that I met my most simpático example of the Andalusian. He was of old Sierra stock, merry as the sunshine and gracious as the shadows. Huge of build and black as the blackest, he was as gentle as a great Newfoundland dog, until some flying spark of a word set the dark fires blazing in his eyes. This was no infrequent occurrence, for the travelling Englishman, as frank as he is patriotic, cannot comprehend the zest with which well-to-do Spaniards, even in time of war, escape military service by a money payment. Not the height and girth of our young giant, nor his cordial courtesy and winning playfulness, shielded him from the blunt question, "Why didn't you go over to Cuba, a great fellow like you, and fight for your flag?" His usual rejoinder was the eloquent Southern shrug of the shoulder, twist of the eyebrow, and waving lift of the hand, with the not easily answerable words, "And to what good?" But now and then the 103 query came from such a source or was delivered with so keen a thrust that his guarded feeling outleaped reserve. The sarcasms and mockeries that then surged from him in a bitter torrent were directed chiefly against Spain, although the American eagle rarely went scot-free. "Ah, yes, it is a fine fowl, that! He has the far-seeing eye; he has the philanthropic beak and claw!" But it was the golden lion of Spain against which his harshest gibes were hurled—"un animal doméstico, that does not bite."

No one of the party was a tithe as outspoken as our Spaniard himself in condemning the errors of the Spanish campaign or censuring the methods of the Spanish Government. If he turned angrily toward a criticism from a foreigner, it was only, in the second instant, to catch it up like a ball and toss it himself from one hand to the other—like a ball that burns the fingers.

Such wrath can easily be the seamy side of love, and, in a way, the man's national pride was measured by his national shame; but always over these outbursts there brooded that something hopelessly resigned, drearily fatalistic, which seems to vitiate the Spanish indignation for any purposes of practical reform. To suggestions of sympathy he responded with a pathetic weariness of manner, this handsome young Hercules, so radiant with the joy of life, who, in his normal mood, sprinkled mirth and mischief from him as a big dog shakes off water drops.

"What can one do? I am a Spaniard. I say it to myself a hundred times a day. I am a Spaniard, and I wish my country were worth the fighting for, worth the dying for. But is it? Is it worth the toothache? God knows the 104 truth, and let it rest there. Oh, you need not tell me of its past. It was once the most glorious of nations. Spaniards were lords of the West. But—ah, I know, I know—Spain has never learned how to rule her colonies. He who sows brambles reaps thorns. The Church, too, has done much harm in Spain—not more harm than another. I am a Catholic, but as I see it, priests differ from other men only in this—in the café sit some bad men and many good, and in the choir kneel some good priests and many bad. The devil lurks behind the cross. But Spain will never give up her Church. It is burned in. You are a heretic, and like my figure, do you not? It is burned in. There is no hope for Spain but to sink her deep under the earth, and build a new Spain on top. And why do I not work for that new Spain? How may a man work? There is talk enough in Spain as it is. Most Spaniards talk and do no more. They go to the cafés and, when they have emptied their cups, they draw figures on the tables and they talk. That is all. The new Spain will never come. What should it be? Oh, I know better what it should not be. It should have no king. A republic—that is right. Perhaps not a republic precisely like America. It may be," and the melancholy sarcasm of the tone deepened, "there could be found something even better. But Spain will not find it. Spain will find nothing.

"What can one do? I know Spain too well. Now, hear! I am acquainted with a caballero. I have been his friend ten years and more. But he has had the luck, not I. For, first, when we were at the university, he had a fortune left to him. He became betrothed to a señorita whom he loved better than his eyelashes. He travelled for his pleasure 105 to Monte Carlo, and played his fortune all away in one week. He came back to Madrid, and went to one of the Ministers, to whom his father had in former days done a great service. My friend said: 'I am to marry. The lady expects to share the fortune which I have lost. My position is not honorable. I must have an opening, a chance to redeem myself, or I shall stand disgraced before her.' The Minister sent him to one of the Cuban custom-houses, and in two years he returned with great wealth. On his wedding journey he spent a night at Monte Carlo and gambled it away to the last peseta. A stranger had to lend him money to get home with his bride. Was he not ashamed and troubled? Ashamed? I do not know. But troubled? Yes, for he wanted to play longer. Every one is as God has made him, and very often worse. Again he went to the Minister, whose heart was softer than a ripe fig and who found him a post in the Philippines. This time he made a fortune much quicker than before, knowing better how to do unjustly, but a few weeks before the war he came home and lost it all again at Monte Carlo. And now he is horribly vexed, for it is another Minister, and, besides, there are no colonies to enrich him any more.

"What use to care for Spain? No, no, no, no, no! Spain is a good country to leave—that is all. And you do well to travel in Spain. American ladies like change, and Spain is not America. Here you are not only in a different land, but in a different century. You can say, when you come out, that you have been journeying a hundred years ago."

On another occasion one of those pleasant individuals who would, as the Spaniards say, "talk of a rope in the house of 106 one who had been hanged," saw fit to entertain the dinner-table with anecdotes of Spanish cruelty.

"But Spaniards are not cruel," protested our young blackamoor in his softest voice an hour later, stroking with one great hand the head of a child who nestled against his knee. "What did that English fellow mean? Why should any one think that Spaniards are cruel?"

I ran over in mind a few of the frightful stories of Las Casas, that good Dominican friar who would not hold his peace when he saw the braining of Indian babies and roasting of Indian chiefs. I remembered how De Soto tossed his captives to the bloodhounds, and what atrocities were wrought in the tranquil realm of the Incas; I recalled the horrors of the Inquisition, but these things were of the past. So I answered, "Perhaps the bull-fights have done something to give foreigners that impression."

Unlike many educated Spaniards who would rather attend the bull-fights than defend them, he squared his shoulders for an oration.

"The bull-fights? But why? Bull-fights are not cruel—not more cruel than other sports in other countries. I have been told of prize-fights in America. I beg your pardon. I see by your look that you do not like them. And, in truth, I do not altogether like the bull-fights. The horses! They are blindfolded, and it is short, but I have seen—ah, yes! You would not wish to hear what I have seen. I have been often sorry for the horses. Yet some pain is necessary in everything, is it not? In nature, perhaps? In society, perhaps? Even, if you will pardon the illustration, in the deliverance of the Filipinos from Spanish tyranny?" 107

I briefly suggested that there was no element of necessity in bull-fights.

The waving hand apologized gently for dissent.

"But, yes! The bulls are killed for food. That is what foreigners do not seem to understand. It may be ugly, but it is universal. To supply men with meat, to feed great cities with the flesh of beasts—it is not pleasant to think of that too closely. But how to help it? Do you not have slaughter-houses in America? These also we have in Spain. I have visited one. It seemed to me much worse than the bull-ring. Faugh! I did not like it. The cattle stood trembling, one behind another, waiting for the blow. I should not like to die like that. I would rather die in the wrath of battle like a toro bravo. Oh, it is not cruel. Do not think it. For these bulls feel no fear. It is fear that degrades. They may feel pain, but I doubt—I doubt. They feel the wildness of anger, and they charge and charge again until the estocada, the death stab. That is not so bad a way to die, is it? Any man would choose it rather than to stand in terror, bound and helpless, hearing the others fall under the axe and seeing his turn draw near. Yes, yes! The bull-ring rather than the slaughter-house for me!"

This was a novel view of the case to the auditor, who ignominiously shifted her ground.

"But what country uses the slaughter-house as a spectacle and a sport? It is one thing to take life for food, and another to make a holiday of the death struggle."

Again that deprecatory waving of the hands.

"I beg your pardon. I do not know how it is in America. Perhaps" [circumflex accent] "all is merciful and noble there. 108 But when I was in England I saw something of the chase and of the autumn shooting. I saw a poor little fox hunted to the death. It was not for food. The dogs tore him. I saw wounded birds left in the cover to die. It was too much trouble to gather them all up. And the deer? Does not the stag suffer more in his flight than the bull in his struggle? I believe it. To run and run and run, always growing weaker, while the chase comes nearer—that is an agony. The rage of combat has no terror in it. I would not die like the deer, hunted down by packs of dogs and men—and ladies. I would die like the bull, hearing the cheers of the multitude."

The big fellow bent over the baby that was dropping to sleep against his knee, and slipped the drowsy little body, deftly and tenderly, to a sofa. Such sweetness flooded the soft black eyes, as they were lifted from the child, that it was hard to imagine them sparkling with savage delight over the bloody scenes of the corrida de toros. I asked impulsively how long it was since he had seen a bull-fight. Brows and hands and shoulders were swift to express their appreciation of the bearings of the question, and the voice became very music in courteous acquiescence.

"Ah, it is four years. Of course, I was much younger then. Yes, yes! It might not please me now. Quien sabe? And yet—I beg your pardon—I think I shall go next Sunday in Madrid, on my way to Paris. It is so weary in London on the Sundays. It was always colder Sunday, and there was not even a café. There was nowhere to go. There was nothing to do. Why is that good? At the bull-fight one feels the joy of life. Is it more religious to sit dull and dismal by the fire? I had no use for the churches. Walking 109 is not amusing, unless the sun shines and there is something gay to see. I do not like tea, and I do not care for reading. Spaniards like to laugh and be merry, and when there is nothing to laugh for, life is a heaviness. There is no laughter in a London Sunday. I hope Paris will be better, though I believe there are no bull-fights there as yet. You are not pleased with me, but let me tell you why I love the corrida. It is not for the horses, you remember. I have sometimes looked away. But why should I pity the bulls, when they are mad with battle? They do not pity themselves. They are glad in their fury, and I am glad in seeing it. But I am more glad in the activity and daring of the men. When they run risks, that is what makes me cheer. It is not that I would have them hurt. I am proud to find men brave. And I am excited and eager to see if they escape. Do you not understand? If you would go yourself—just once—no? Is it always no? Then let me tell you what is the best of all. It is to stand near the entrance and watch the people pass in, all dressed in their holiday clothes, and all with holiday faces. It is good and beautiful to see them—especially the ladies."

The most attractive qualities of our young Spaniard were his mirth and courtesy. His merriment was so spontaneous and so buoyant that his grace of manner, always tempered to time and place and person, became the more apparent. His humor dwelt, nevertheless, in the borderlands of irony, and it was conceivable that the rubs of later life might enrich its pungency at the cost of its kindliness. He was excellent at games (not sports), especially the game of courtliness (not helpfulness). The letter was not posted, the message slipped 110 his memory, the errand was done amiss, but his apologies were poetry. He made a pretty play of the slightest social intercourse. We would open our Baedeker at the map which we had already, in crossing Spain, unfolded some hundred times. He would spring as lightly to his feet as if his mighty bulk were made of feathers, and stand, half bowing, arching his eyebrows in appeal, spreading out his hands in offer of assistance, but not venturing to approach them toward the book until it was definitely tendered him. Then he would receive it with elaborate delicacy of touch, unfold the creased sheet with a score of varied little flourishes, and restore the volume with a whole fresh series of gesticulatory airs and graces. The next instant he would peep up from under his black lashes to detect the alloy of amusement in our gratitude, and drop his face flat upon the table in a boyish bubble of laughter, saying:—

"Ah! But you think we Spaniards make much of little things. It is true. We are best at what is least useful."

Light-hearted Andalusian though he was, he had full share of the energy and enterprise of young manhood. Like the dons of long ago, he was equipping himself for the great Western adventure. Despite his Spanish wrath against America, she had for him a persistent fascination. All his ambitions were bent on a business career in New York, the El Dorado of his imagination. But it was no longer, at the end of the nineteenth century, a case of leaping aboard a galleon and waving a Toledo blade in air. The commercial career demands, so he fancied, that its knight go forth armed cap-a-pie in the commercial tongues. Thus he had spent four years of his youth and half of his patrimony in London 111 and Berlin, and now, after this hasty visit home, purposed to go to Paris, for a year or two of French. This unsettled life was little to his liking, but beyond gleamed the vision of a Wall Street fortune.

Yet even now, at the outset of his task, a frequent lethargy would steal over his young vigor. It was curious to see, when the March wind blew chill or the French verbs waxed crabbed, how all his bearing lost its beauty. There was a central dignity that did not lapse, but the brightness and effectiveness were gone. His big body drooped and looked lumpish. His comely face was clouded by an animal sluggishness of expression. Foreign grimaces twisted across it, and something very like a grunt issued from beneath his cherished first mustache. His sarcasm became a little savage. He would sit for hours in a brooding fit, and, when an inexorable call to action came, obey it with a look of dreary patience older than his years. It was as if something inherent in his nature, independent of his will, weighed upon him and dragged him down. The Spain at which he gibed and from which he would have cut himself away was yet a millstone about his neck. He was in the heyday of his youth, progressive and determined, but the torpid blood of an aged people clogged his veins. Spain will never lose her hold on him, despite his strongest efforts. His children may be citizens of the great Republic, but he must be a foreigner to the end. He must wander a stranger in strange cities, puzzling his Spanish wits over alien phrases and fashions and ideals, unless, indeed, his spirit loses edge, and he drifts into chill apathy of disappointment on finding that his golden castles in America are wrought of that same old dream-stuff which used to be the monopoly of castles in Spain. 112

But it is best to leave ill-boding to the gypsies. Good luck may take a liking to him, if only for the music of his laugh. For even if blithe heart and courtly bearing bring no high cash value in the modern business market, they may smooth the road to simple happiness. Moreover, a Spaniard dearly loves a game of chance, and at the worst, our fortune-seeker will have thrown his dice. His may seem to the Yankee onlooker but a losing play, and yet—who knows? "He who sings frightens away his ills." God's blessing sails in summer clouds as lightly as in costly pleasure yachts. Out of a shaft of sunshine, a cup of chocolate, and a cigarette, this Andalusian immigrant, though stranded in an East Side tenement, may get more luxury than can be purchased by a multi-millionaire.

A Roman Well in Ronda

A Roman Well in Ronda

IX

113

A BULL-FIGHT

"I wish no living thing to suffer pain."—Shelley: Prometheus Unbound.

From our first crossing of the Pyrenees we were impressed, even beyond our expectation, with the Spanish passion for the bull-fight. The more cultivated Spaniards, to be sure, are usually unwilling to admit to a foreigner their pleasure in the pastime. "It is brutal," said a young physician of Madrid, as we discussed it. "It is a very painful thing to see, certainly. I go, myself, only two or three times a year, when the proceeds are to be devoted to some religious object—a charity or other holy work."

No sight is more common in streets and parks than that of a group of boys playing al toro—one urchin charging about with sticks fastened to his shoulders for horns, or with a pasteboard bull's head pulled over his ears, and others waving scarlet cloths and brandishing improvised swords and lances. It is said that in fierce Valencia youths have sometimes carried on this sport with knives for horns and swords, the spectators relishing the bloodshed too well to interfere. Not easily do such lads as these forgive the little king for crying, like the sensitive child he is, the first time he was taken to the bull-ring.

The corridas de toros, although denounced by some of the 114 chief voices in Spain, are held almost a national shibboleth. Loyal supporters of the queen regent will add to their praises the sigh, "If only she loved the bull-fight!" Cavaliers and ladies fair reserve their choicest attire to grace these barbarities. It is a common saying that a Spaniard will sell his shirt to buy a ticket to the bull-ring, but whatever the deficiencies of the inner costume, the dress that meets the eye is brave in the extreme. It is recently becoming the fashion for caballeros, especially in the north of Spain, to discard those very fetching cloaks with the vivid linings—cloaks in which Spaniards muffle their faces to the eyebrows as they tread the echoing streets of cities founded some thousand or fifteen hundred years ago. But for a good old Spanish bull-fight, the good old Spanish costumes are out in force, the bright-hued capas and broad sombreros, and for the ladies, who also are beginning to discard the customary black mantilla for Parisian headgear, the exquisite white mantillas of early times and the largest and most richly decorated fans.

It is in such places as the grim Roman amphitheatre of Italica, whose grass-grown arena has flowed so red with martyrdoms of men and beasts, that one despairs most of Spanish ability to give up the bull-fight. It is in the air, in the soil, in the blood; a national institution, an hereditary rage. "But it is the link that holds your country bound to barbarism. The rest of the world is on the forward move. I tell you, the continuance of the bull-fight means the ruin of Spain," urged a gigantic young German, in our hearing, on his Spanish friend. The slight figure of the Madrileño shook with anger. "And I tell you" he choked, "that Spain would rather perish with the bull-fight than survive without it." 115 Isabel la Católica, who earnestly strove to put down these savage contests, wrote at last to her Father Confessor that the task was too hard for her. The "Catholic Kings" could take Granada, unify Spain, establish the Inquisition, expel Moors and Jews, and open the Americas; but they could not abolish bull-fighting. Nor was Pius V, with his denial of Christian burial to all who fell in the arena, and his excommunication for princes who permitted corridas de toros in their dominions, more successful. The papal bull, like the bulls of flesh and blood, was inevitably overthrown.

Spanish legend likes to name the Cid as the first torero.

"Troth it goodly was and pleasant

To behold him at their head,

All in mail on Bavieca,

And to hear the words he said."

In mediæval times the sport was not without chivalric features. Knights fought for honor, where professionals now fight for pesetas. When the great Charles killed a bull with his own lance in honor of the birth of Philip II, the favor of the Austrian dynasty was secured. The Bourbons looked on the sport more coldly, but as royalty and nobility withdrew, the people pressed to the fore. Out of the hardy Spanish multitude rose a series of masters,—Romero the shoemaker, who, in general, gave to the art its modern form; Martincho the shepherd, who, seated in a chair with his feet bound, would await the charging brute; Cándido, who would face the bull in full career and escape by leaping to its forehead and over its back; Costillares, who invented an ingenious way of getting in the death-stroke; the famous Pepe Hillo, who, like 116 Cándido, perished in the ring; a second Romero, said to have killed five thousand six hundred bulls; Montés the brick-layer, and a bloody band of followers. Andalusia is—alas!—the classic soil of the bull-fight, as every peasant knows, and Seville the top of Andalusia.

"I have a handsome lover,

Too bold to fear the Devil,

And he's the best torero

In all the town of Seville."

The extravagance of the popular enthusiasm for these fiestas de toros is often ridiculed on the stage, where dramas dealing with bull-fighting, especially if they bring in the heroes of the arena, Pepe Hillo, Romero, Costillares, are sure to take. One zarzuela represents a rheumatic old aficionado, or devotee of the sport, trying, with ludicrous results, to screw his courage to the point of facing the bull. Another spends its fun on a Madrid barber, who is likewise a brain-turned patron of the ring. Disregarding the shrill protests of his wife, he lavishes all his time, love, and money on the corridas and encourages his daughter's novio, an honest young paper-hanger, to throw over his trade and learn to torear. After two years of the provincial arenas, the aspirant, nicknamed in the ring The Baby, has nothing but torn clothes and bruises to show for his career, and his sweetheart, eager to recall him from the hazardous profession, vows a waxen bull, large as life, to the Virgin, in case he returns to papering, with its humble security and its regularity of wages. Mary hears. On that great occasion, The Baby's début at Madrid, the barber, who has just been lucky in the lottery, 117 rents for him a gorgeous suit of second-hand finery, but in the Plaza de Toros not even a rose-and-silver jacket can shield a quaking heart. The Baby is a coward born, and from the first rush of the first bull comes off with a bloody coxcomb, crying out his shame on the shoulder of his Pilar, who shall henceforth have him all her own.

The little artist and I went into Spain with the firm determination not to patronize the bull-fight. Half our resolution we kept,—her half. Wherever we turned we encountered suggestions of the corrida. Spanish newspapers, even the most serious, devote columns to Los Toros. Bull-fighting has its special publications, as El Toril and El Toreo Cómico, and its special dialect. On the morning after a holy day the newspapers seem actually smeared with the blood of beasts. In the bull-fight season, from Easter to All Saints, corridas are held every Sunday in all the cities of southern and central Spain, while the smaller towns and villages butcher as many bulls as they can possibly afford. The May and June that I passed in the capital gave me a peculiar abhorrence of the Madrid Sunday,—that feverish excitement everywhere; the rattle of all those extra omnibuses and cars with their red-tasselled mules in full gallop for the Plaza de Toros; that sense of furious struggle and mortal agony hanging over the city all through the slow, hot afternoon; those gaping crowds pressing to greet the toreros, a gaudy-suited company, on their triumphal return in open carriages; that eager discussion of the day's tragedy at every street-corner and from seat to seat along the paseos, even at our own dainty dinner table and on our own balconies under the rebuking stars. At this strange Sabbath service the Infanta Isabel, whose mother's birth was 118 celebrated by the slaying of ninety-nine bulls, is a regular attendant, occupying the royal box and wearing the national colors. A French bull-fighter, visiting the Spanish capital, was invited by the Infanta to an audience and presented with a diamond pin. Not even the public mourning for Castelar could induce Madrid to forego the corrida on that Sunday just before his burial. Past the very senate-house where his body lay in state rolled the aristocratic landaus, whose ladies displayed the gala-wear of white mantillas.

But the Sundays were not enough. Every Catholic feast-day called for its sacrifice. Granada could not do fitting honor to Corpus Christi with less than three "magnificas corridas." The royal saint of Aranjuez, Fernando, must have his pious birthday kept by an orgy of blood. At the fiesta of Christ's Ascension all Spain was busy staining his earth with the life-stream of His creatures. Valladolid was, indeed, ashamed to have torn to death only seven horses, but Segovia rejoiced in an expert who sat at his work and killed his bulls with drawing-room ease. Bordeaux improved the occasion, with aid of two celebrated Spanish espadas, by opening a French Plaza de Toros, and Valencia had the excitement of sending to the infirmary one torero with a broken leg and another with a crushed foot. Such accidents are by no means uncommon. A matador was mortally wounded in the Valencia ring that summer, a banderillero was trampled at the Escorial, and those favorite stabbers, Reverte and Bombita, were themselves stabbed by avenging horns.

If there is a temporary dearth of saint days, Spanish ingenuity will nevertheless find excuse for corridas. Bulls must bleed for holy charity,—for hospitals, foundling asylums, the 119 families of workmen out on strike. If the French squadron is at Cadiz, hospitality demands a bull-fight. In the interests of popular education, an historical corrida was arranged, with instructed toreros to display the special styles of bull-killing that have prevailed from the Cid to Guerrita. Again, as a zoölogical by-play, an elephant was pitted against the bulls. This, too, had precedent, for did not Philip IV once keep his birthday by turning in among the horned herd a lion, a tiger, a camel, and a bear, "all Noah's ark and Æsop's fables"? A bull of Xarama vanquished them every one and received the gracious reward of being shot dead by Philip himself.

It was on a Wednesday afternoon, at one of the three grand corridas of the Seville Feria, that I became an accomplice in this Spanish crime. Our friends in Seville, people of cultivation and liberal views, had declared from the first that we could have no conception of Spanish life and character without sharing in the national fiesta. "We ourselves are not enthusiasts," they said. "In fact, we disapprove the bull-fight. We regard it as demoralizing to the community at large. It is, nevertheless, a thing scientific, artistic, heroic, Spanish. Besides, a large portion of the proceeds goes to charity. We do not attend the corridas, except now and then, especially when we have foreign guests who wish to see them. Before going they all regard bull-fighting as you do, as an atrocity, a barbarity, but invariably they return from the Plaza de Toros filled with delight and admiration. They say their previous ideas were all wrong, that it is a noble and splendid spectacle, that they want to see it again and again, that they cannot be too grateful to us for having delivered them from prejudice." 120

I winced at the word. I have a prejudice against being prejudiced, and to the bull-fight I went.

My yielding came too late for securing places in a box or in any part of the house from which one can make exit during the performance. Our gory-looking tickets admitted us to the uppermost row of high, whitewashed, stone seats of the circus proper, where we were soon inextricably wedged in by the human mass that formed around and below us. The hour of waiting passed merrily enough. The open amphitheatre, jammed to its full capacity of fourteen thousand, lay half in brilliant sunlight and half in creeping shadow. Above us arched the glowing blue sky of Seville, pricked by the rosy Giralda, and from time to time a strong-winged bird flew over. The great arena, strewn with yellow sand, was enclosed by a dark red barrier of wood, about the height of a man. This was encircled, at a little distance, by a more secure and higher wall of stone. The concourse was largely composed of men, both roughs and gentles, but there was no lack of ladies, elegantly dressed, nor of children. Two sweet little girls in white-feathered hats were just in front of us, dancing up and down to relieve the thrills of expectancy. White mantillas, pinned with jewels, bent from the boxes, while the daughters of the people dazzled the eye with their festival display of Manila shawls, some pure white, some with colored figures on a white ground or a black, and some a rainbow maze of capricious needle-work. The rich-hued blossoms of Andalusia were worn in the hair and on the breast. The sunny side of the circus was brightly dotted by parasols, orange, green, vermilion, and fans in all the cardinal colors twinkled like a shivered kaleidoscope. The men's black eyes 121 glittered under those broad sombreros, white or drab, while they puffed their cigarettes with unwonted energy, scattering the ashes in soft gray showers over their neighbors on the seats below. The tumult of voices had a keener note of excitement than I had yet heard in Spain, and was so loud and insistent as often to drown the clashing music of the band. The cries of various venders swelled the mighty volume of noise. Water-sellers in vivid blouses and sashes, a red handkerchief twisted around the neck, on the left shoulder a cushion of folded carpeting for the shapely, yellow-brown jar, and a smart tin tray, holding two glasses, corded to the belt, went pushing through the throng. Criers of oranges, newspapers, crabs, and cockles, almond cakes, fans, and photographs of the toreros, strove with all the might of their lungs against the universal uproar.

"Crece el entusiasmo;

Crece la alegría;

Todo es algazara;

Todo es confusión."

A tempest of applause marked the entrance in a box above of a popular prima donna, who draped a resplendent carmine scarf over the railing before her seat. Immediately the complete circuit of the rail was ablaze with color, cloaks and shawls instantly converting themselves into tapestry.

At last two attendants entered the arena, walked up to a hydrant in the centre, fastened on a hose, and watered the great circle. They pulled out the hydrant and raked sand over the hole. Simple as these actions were, a dreadful quiet fell on all the circus. 122

A trumpet blared. Mounted alguaciles, or police, tricked out in ancient Spanish costume, on blue saddles, and with tall blue plumes in their hats, rode in and cleared the arena of all stragglers. A door opened, and forth issued the full circus troupe, making a fine show of filigree, and urging their wretched old nags to a last moment of equine pride and spirit. Amid roars of welcome, they flaunted across the sanded enclosure and saluted the presiding officer. He dropped the key of the toril, that dark series of cells into which the bulls had been driven some hours before. An alguacil caught the key and handed it to the torilero, who ran with it toward a second door, ominously surmounted by a great bull's head. Then there was a twinkling of the pink stockings and black sandals. Most of the gay company leaped the barrier, and even the chulos who remained in the ring placed themselves within convenient distance of the rail. Some of the picadores galloped out, but a few awaited the coming charge, their long pikes in rest. The door on which all eyes were bent flew open, and a bellowing red bull rushed in. The fierce, bloodthirsty, horrible yell that greeted him checked his impetuous onset. For a few seconds the creature stood stock-still, glaring at the scene. Heaven knows what he thought of us. He had had five perfect years of life on the banks of the Guadalquivír,—one baby year by his mother's side, one year of sportive roving with his mates, and then had come the trial of his valor. He had found all the herdsmen gathered at the ranch one morning, and, nevertheless, flattered himself that he had evaded those hateful pikes, garrochas, that were always goading him back when he would sally out to explore the great green world. At all 123 events, here he was scampering alone across the plain. But promptly two horsemen were at his heels, and one of these, planting a blunt garrocha on his flank, rolled the youngster over. Up again, panting with surprise and indignation, he felt a homesick impulse to get back to the herd, but the second horseman was full in his path. So much the worse for the horseman! The mettlesome young bull lowered his horns and charged the obstacle, only to be thrown back with a smarting shoulder. If he had yielded then, his would have been the quiet yoke and the long, dull life of labor, but he justified his breed; he charged anew, and so proved himself worthy of the arena. Three more years of the deep, green river-reeds and the sweet Andalusian sunshine, three years of free, far range and glad companionship, and then the end. His days had been exempt from burden only to save his wild young strength for the final tragedy. One summer morning those traitors known as decoy-oxen, with bells about the neck, came trotting into the herd. The noble bulls, now at their best hour of life, the glory of their kind, welcomed these cunning guests with frank delight and interest, and were easily induced to follow them and their tinkling bells across the rich pastures, along rough country roads, even to the city itself and the fatal Plaza de Toros. The herdsmen with their ready pikes galloped behind the drove, and everywhere along the way peasants and townsfolk would fall in for a mile or two to help in urging the excited animals onward to their cruel doom.

In that strange, maddening sea of faces, that hubbub of hostile voices, the bull, as soon as his blinking eyes had effected the change from the darkness of the toril to the 124 glaring light and gaudy colors of the coliseum, caught sight of a horseman with the familiar pike. Here was something that he recognized and hated. Lowering his head, the fiery brute dashed with a bellow at that tinselled figure. Ah, the pike had never been so sharp before! It went deep into his shoulder, but could not hold him back. He plunged his horns, those mighty spears, into the body of the helpless, blindfolded horse, which the picador, whose jacket was well padded and whose legs were cased in iron, deliberately offered to his wrath. The poor horse shrieked, plunged, reeled, and fell, the chulos deftly dragging away the armored rider, while the bull ripped and trampled that quivering carcass, for whose torment no man cared, until it was a crimson, formless heap.

Such sickness swept over me that I did not know what followed. When I looked again, two bloody masses that had once been horses disfigured the arena, and the bull, stuck all over like a hedge-hog with derisive, many-colored darts, had gone down under Guerrita's steel.

My friends, observing with concern that I was not enjoying myself as much as they had promised, tried to divert my attention to the technical features of their ghastly game. It was really, they explained, a drama in three acts. It is the part of the mounted picador to draw off the first rage and vigor of the bull, weakening him, but not slaying him, by successive wounds. Then the jaunty banderilleros, the streamers of whose darts must correspond in color with their costumes, supply a picturesque and amusing element, a comic interlude. Finally an espada, or matador, advances alone to despatch the tortured creature. The death-blow can be dealt 125 only in one of several fashions, established by rule and precedent, and the espada who is startled into an unprofessional thrust reaps a bitter harvest of scoffs and hisses.

A team of gayly-caparisoned mules with jingling bells had meanwhile trundled away the mangled bodies of the slaughtered animals, fresh sand had been thrown over the places slippery with blood, and the band pealed the entrance of the second bull. This was a demon, black as a coal, with a marvellous pride and spirit that availed him nothing. Horse after horse crashed down before his furious rushes, while the circus, drunk with glee, shouted for more victims and more and more. It was a massacre. At last our hideous greed was glutted, and the banderilleros took their turn in baiting the now enfeebled but undaunted bull. Wildly he shook himself, the fore half of his body already a flood of crimson, to throw off the ignominy of those stinging darts. The chulos fretted and fooled him with their waving cloaks of red and yellow, till at last the creature grew hushed and sullen. A strain of music announced that the matador Fuentes was asking beneath the president's box permission to kill the bull. For my part, I gave the bull permission to kill the man. Fuentes, all pranked out in gray and gold, holding his keen blade behind him and flourishing a scarlet square of cloth, swinging from a rod, the muleta, advanced upon the brute. That bleeding body shook with a new access of rage, and the other espadas drew near and stood at watch. But even before a blow was struck the splendid, murdered creature sank to his knees, staggered up once more, sank again with crimson foam upon his mouth, and the music clashed jubilantly while Fuentes drove the weapon home. And again the team of mules, 126 with foolish tossing of their bright-ribboned heads, jerked and jolted their dead kindred off the scene.

The third bull galloped in with a roar that was heard far beyond the Plaza and gored his first two horses so promptly and so frightfully that, while the hapless beasts still struggled in their agony, the amphitheatre howled with delirious joy. Several capas were caught away on those swift, effective horns, and one picador was hurt. But the rain of darts teased and bewildered the bull to the point of stupidity, although he was dangerous yet.

"Dark is his hide on either side, but the blood within doth boil;

And the dun hide glows, as if on fire, as he paws to the turmoil.

His eyes are jet, and they are set in crystal rings of snow;

But now they stare with one red glare of brass upon the foe."

It was the turn of Bombita, a dandy in dark-green suit with silver trimmings; but his comrades, pale and intent, stood not far off and from time to time, by irritating passes, drew the bull's wrath upon themselves, wearying him ever more and more, until at last Bombita had his chance to plant a telling blow.

Would it never end? Again the fatal door swung open, and the fourth bull bounded in to play his tragic rôle. He was of choicest pedigree, but the utter strangeness of the scene turned his taurine wits. He made distracted and aimless rushes hither and thither, unheeding the provocations of the horsemen, until he came upon the spot drenched with his predecessor's life-blood. He pawed away the hasty covering of sand, sniffed at that ominous stain, and then, throwing up his head with a strange bellow, bolted back to the door by 127 which he had entered, and turned tail to the arena. The fourteen thousand, crazy with rage, sprang to their feet, shook their fists, called him cow. The chulos brandished their cloaks about his horns; men leaned over from the barrier and prodded him with staffs. Finally, in desperation, he turned on the nearest horse, rent it and bore it down. The picador, once set up by the chulos upon his stiff, iron-cased legs, his yellow finery streaked with red from his lacerated horse, tugged savagely at the bridle to force that dying creature to a second stand. One attendant wrenched it by the tail, another beat it viciously over the face; the all-enduring beast, his entrails swinging from a crimson gash, struggled to his feet. The picador mounted, drove in the spurs, and the horse, rocking and pitching, accomplished a few blind paces toward those dripping horns that horribly awaited him. But to the amazement and scandal of the aficionados, the circus raised a cry of protest, and the discomfited rider sprang down in the very moment when his horse fell to rise no more. A chulo, at his leisurely convenience, quieted those kicking hoofs by a stab,—the one drop of mercy in that ocean of human outrage.

Straw-colored darts, wine-colored darts, sky-colored darts, were pricking the bull to frenzy. I wished he had any half-dozen of his enemies in a clear pasture. Those glittering dragon-flies were always just out of reach, but he stumbled on the sodden shape of the unhappy horse and tossed it again and again, making the poor carcass fling up its head and arch its neck in ghastly mockery of life. Cowardice avails a bull as little as courage. This sorry fighter had been deeply pierced by the garrochas, and now, as he galloped clumsily 128 about the arena, in unavailing efforts to escape from his tormentors, his violent, foolish plunges made the dark blood flow the faster. It was Guerrita, Guerrita the adored, Guerrita in gold-laced jacket and violet trousers, who struck the ultimate blow, and so cleverly that sombreros and cigarettes, oranges and pocket-flasks, came raining, amid furies of applause, into the arena. This was such a proud moment as he had dreamed of long ago in the Cordova slaughter-house, when, the little son of the slaughter-house porter, he had stolen from his bed at midnight to play al toro with the calves, and then and there had solemnly dedicated himself to the glorious profession. Now the master of his art and the idol of all Spain, easily making his seventy-five thousand dollars a year, earning, in fact, three thousand on that single afternoon, Guerrita little foresaw that with the coming autumn he should go on pilgrimage to La Virgen del Pilar, and before her beloved shrine at Saragossa cut off his bull-fighter's pigtail and renounce the ring.

The fifth bull was black as ebony. He dashed fearlessly into the arena, charged and wheeled and tossed his horns in the splendor of his strength, sending every red-vested chulo scrambling over the wall. Then he backed to the middle of the sanded circle, snorting and pawing the earth. Another instant, and the nearest horse and rider went crashing against the barrier. The picador, with a bruised face, forced up the gasping horse, mounted and rode it, the beast treading out its entrails as it went, to meet a second charge. But the swaying horse fell dead before it reached those lowered horns again. The next picador, too, went down heavily under his jade and received an awkward sprain. He mounted once more, to show that he could, and the circus cheered him, but 129 his horse, torn to death, could not bear his weight. He gave it an angry push with the foot as he left it writhing in its life-blood. This whirlwind of a bull, who shook off all but one of the banderillas, mortified even the matadores. Disregarding the red rag, he rushed at Fuentes himself. The nimble torero leapt aside, but the bull's horn struck his sword and sent it spinning half across the arena. His comrades immediately ran, with waving capas and bright steel, to his aid, but that too intelligent bull, fighting for his life, kept his foes at bay until the circus hissed with impatience. The toreros, visibly nettled, gathered closer and closer, but had to play that death-game cautiously. This bull was dangerous. The coliseum found him tedious. He took too long in dying. Stabbed again and again and again, he yet agonized to his feet and shook those crimsoned horns at his tormentors, who still hung back. It really was dull. The matadores buzzed about him, worrying his dying sight, but he stood sullen in their midst, refusing the charges to which they tempted him, guarding his last drops of strength, and, cardinal offence in a toro, holding his head too high for the professional stroke. His vital force was ebbing. Red foam dripped from his mouth. That weary hoof no longer pawed the earth. The people shouted insults even to their pet Guerrita, but Guerrita, like the rest, stood baffled. At last that formidable figure, no longer black, but a red glaze of blood and sweat and foam, fell in a sudden convulsion. Then his valiant murderers sprang upon him, the stabs came thick and fast, and the jingling mule-team pranced in to form his funeral cortège.

One more,—the sixth. I was long past indignation, past any acuteness of pain, simply sickened through body and soul 130 and unutterably wearied with this hideous monotony of slaughter. The last bull, a white star shining on his black forehead, tore into the arena, raced all about the circle, and struck with amazing rapidity wherever he saw a foe. Three horses were down, were up again, and were forced, all with trailing intestines, to a second charge. The bull flashed like a thunderbolt from one to another, rending and digging with his savage horns, until three mangled bodies writhed on the reddened sand, and stabbers watched their chances to run forward and quiet with the knife the horrible beating of those hoofs in air. The circus yelled delight. It had all been the work of a moment,—a brave bull, a great sensation! For the performers it was rather too much of a good thing. Those disembowelled carcasses cluttered up the arena. The scattered entrails were slippery under foot. The dart-throwers hastened to the next act of the tragedy. Theirs was a subtlety too much for the fury-fuddled wits of that mighty, blundering brute. He galloped to and fro, spending his strength in useless charges and, a score of times, ignoring the men to hook wildly at their brandished strips of colored cloth. The darts had been planted and he was losing blood. The matador went to his work, but the uncivil bull did not make it easy for him. Bombita could not get in a handsome blow. The house began to hoot and taunt. A stentorian voice called to him to "kill that bull to-morrow." Exasperated by the laughter that greeted this sally, Bombita drove his Toledo blade to its mark. While the final scene of general stabbing was going on, boys, men, even women vaulted into the arena, played over again with one another the more memorable incidents, ran to inspect those shapeless carcasses of what God 131 created horses, and escorted the funeral train of the bull, one small boy riding in gleeful triumph on top of the great black body, harmless and still at last. As we passed out by a hallway where the dead animals had been dragged, we had to pick our way through pools of blood and clots of entrails. Thus by the road of the shambles we came forth from hell.

The Giralda

The Giralda

"I do not understand at all," sincerely protested my Spanish host, disconcerted by the continued nausea and horror of red dreams which, justly enough, pursued me for weeks after. "It was a very favorable corrida for a beginner,—no serious accident, no use of the fire-darts, no houghing of the bull with the demi-lune, nothing objectionable. And, after all, animals are only animals; they are not Christians."

"Who were the Christians in that circus?" I asked. "How could devils have been worse than we?"

He half glanced toward the morning paper but was too kindly to speak his thought. It was not necessary. I had read the paper, which gave half a column to a detailed account of a recent lynching, with torture, in the United States.

X

132

GYPSIES

"'Life is sweet, brother.'

"'Do you think so?'

"'Think so!—There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon, and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath. Life is very sweet, brother; who would wish to die?'

"'I would wish to die.'

"'You talk like a gorgio—which is the same as talking like a fool—were you a Rommany Chal you would talk wiser. Wish to die, indeed!—A Rommany Chal would wish to live forever!'

"'In sickness, Jasper?'

"'There's the sun and stars, brother.'

"'In blindness, Jasper?'

"'There's the wind on the heath, brother; if I could only feel that, I would gladly live forever. Dosta, we'll now go to the tents and put on the gloves; and I'll try to make you feel what a sweet thing it is to be alive, brother!'"

—George Borrow.

No foreigner has known the Zingali better than George Borrow, the linguistic Englishman, who could speak Rommany so well that gypsies all over Europe took him for a brother. In the employ of the English Bible Society, he spent some five adventurous years in Spain, wandering through the wilds and sharing the life of shepherds, muleteers, even the fierce gitanos. As he found the Spanish gypsies half a century ago, so, in essentials, are they still—the men jockeys, tinkers, and blacksmiths, the 133 women fortune tellers and dancers, the children the most shameless little beggars of all the Peninsula. Yet there has been an improvement.

The gitanos are not such ruffians as of old, nor even such arrant thieves, although it would still be unwise to trust them within call of temptation.

"There runs a swine down yonder hill,

As fast as e'er he can,

And as he runs he crieth still,

'Come, steal me, Gypsyman.'"

Still more compromising is the Christmas carol:—

"Into the porch of Bethlehem

Have crept the gypsies wild,

And they have stolen the swaddling clothes

Of the new-born Holy Child.

"Oh, those swarthy gypsies!

What won't the rascals dare?

They have not left the Christ Child

A single shred to wear."

There are wealthy gypsies, whose wives and daughters go arrayed with the utmost elegance of fashion, in several Spanish cities. Seville has her gypsy lawyer, but her gypsy bull-fighter, who died two years ago, was held to reflect even greater credit on the parent stock.

By law the gypsies are now established as Spaniards, with full claim to Spanish rights and privileges—Nuevos Castellanos, as they have been called since the day when Spain bethought her of these Ishmaels as "food for powder" 134 and subjected them to the regular military draft. Even in Granada, where the gypsy community still lives in semi-barbarism, there are hopeful signs. The gitanos drive a sharp trade in donkeys, but their forge fires, gleaming far up the Albaicín in the evening, testify to their industry. The recent opening by the municipality of schools for the gypsy children has already wrought a marked change for the better. Some half-dozen dirty little palms, outstretched for cinco centimos, pester the stranger to-day where scores used to torment him, and the mothers take pride in the literary accomplishments of their tawny broods. On one occasion, when, having, as the Spanish say, "clean pockets," I firmly declined to see a small gypsy girl dance or hear her sing, the mother assured me, as a last greedy expedient, that "the child could pray."

On the Alhambra hill the gypsies, who scent tourists from afar and troop thither, on the track of newly arrived parties, like wolves to their banquet, are picturesque figures enough, the men in peaked hats, spangled jackets, and sashes of red silk, the women with bright handkerchiefs bound over their raven hair, large silver earrings, gay bodices, and short, flounced petticoats.

There is one old gitano, in resplendent attire, who haunts the Alhambra doors and introduces himself to visitors, with bows queerly compounded of condescension and supplication, as the King of the Gypsies, modestly offering his photograph for a peseta. If you turn to your attendant Spaniard and ask, sotto voce, "But is this truly the Gypsy King?" you will receive a prompt affirmative, while the quick-witted old masquerader strikes a royal attitude, rolls his eyes prodigiously, 135 and twirls his three-cornered hat at arm's length above his head, until its tinsel ornaments sparkle like crown jewels. But no sooner is his Majesty well out of hearing than your guide hastens to eat his own words. "No, no, no! He is not the King of the Gypsies, but he is a gypsy, yes, and it is better not to have his ill will."

Whether this hardened pretender could cast the evil eye or not, we never knew, for having bought two of his pictures at the first onset, we suffered ever afterward the sunshine of his favor. In fact we often made a wide detour rather than pass him on the hill, for he would spring to his feet at our remotest approach and stand bowing like an image of perpetual motion, his hat brandished high in air, until our utmost in the way of answering nods and smiles seemed by contrast sheer democratic incivility.

The swarthy faces and glittering eyes of the gypsies meet one everywhere in the Granada streets, but to see them in their own precinct it is necessary to take off your watch, empty your pockets of all but small silver and coppers, and go to the Albaicín. This hill, parted from the Alhambra by the deep ravine of the gold-bearing Darro, was in Moorish times the chosen residence of the aristocracy. Still Arabian arches span the gorge, and many of the toppling old houses that lean over the swift, mountain-born current, shabby as they look to the passer-by, are beautiful within with arabesque and fretwork, carven niches, delicate columns and open patios, where fountains still gush and orange blossoms still shed fragrance. Such degenerate palaces are often occupied by the better class of gypsies, those who traffic in horses, as well as in donkeys, while their women, grouped in the courts 136 and doorways, embroider with rainbow wools, in all fantastic patterns, the stout mantles of the Andalusian mountaineers.

As we climbed the Albaicín, fronting as it does the hill of the Alhambra, the exceeding beauty of the view at first claimed all our power of seeing. Below was the gray sweep of the city and beyond the fruitful plain of Granada, its vivid green shading into a far-off dimness like the sea. Just opposite us rose the fortress of the Alhambra, a proud though broken girdle of walls and towers, while in the background soared the dazzling snow peaks of the Sierra Nevada, glistening with unbearable splendor under the intense blue of the Andalusian sky.

In the midst of our rhapsodies I became aware of a shrill voice at my feet, a persistent tug at my skirts, and reluctantly dropped my eyes on a comely little gypsy lass lying along a sunny ledge and imperiously demanding cinco centimos.

"Now what would you do with cinco centimos if you had them?"

With the universal beggar gesture she pointed to her mouth. "Buy a rusk. I am starving. I am already dead of hunger."

Crossing her hands upon her breast, she closed her eyes in token of her mortal extremity, but instantly flashed them open again to note the effect.

"Your cheeks are not the cheeks of famine."

At a breath the young sorceress sucked them in and succeeded, plump little person though she was, in looking so haggard and so woe-begone that our political economy broke down in laughter, and we gave her the coveted cent in return for her transformation act. 137

Off she darted, with her wild locks flying in the wind, and was back in a twinkling, a circlet of bread suspended from her arm. She tripped along beside us for the rest of the afternoon, using the rusk sometimes as a hoop, sometimes as a crown, sometimes as a peephole. She tossed it, sang through it, dandled it, stroked it, and occasionally, while the bread approximated more and more in hue to her own gypsy complexion, took an artistic nibble, dotting the surface with a symmetrical curve of bites. It was not mere food to her; it was luxury, it was mirth—like a Lord Mayor's feast or a Delmonico breakfast.

Following the Camino del Sacro Monte, marked by many crosses, our attention was more and more withdrawn from the majestic views spread out before us to the gypsies, whose cave dwellings lined the way. Burrowing into the earth, from the midst of thickets of prickly pear, are these strange abodes, whose chimneys rise abruptly out of the green surface of the hillside. Dens as they are, the best of them possess some decencies. Flaps of cloth serve them for doors, their peering fronts are whitewashed, they are furnished with a stool or two, a box of tools or clothing, a few water-jars, a guitar, and, in the farther end of the lair, a family bedstead, or more often a heap of dirty sheepskins. Cooking tins, bottles, saddles, and coils of rope hang on the rough walls; there may be a shelf of amulets and toys for sale, and the indispensable pot of puchero simmers over a handful of fire.

Out from these savage homes swarmed a whining, coaxing, importunate horde of sly-eyed women and an impish rabble of children. Young and old clutched at us with unclean hands, clung to us with sinewy brown arms, begged, flattered, 138 demanded, and dragged us bodily into their hill. We felt as if we had gone back to German fairy tales and had fallen into the evil grip of the gnomes. Hardly could escort, carriage, and a reckless rain of coppers break the spell. We were forced to taste their repulsive messes, to cross witch palms with silver, to buy even the roadside weeds the urchins gathered before our eyes. We were birds for the plucking, sheep for the shearing. Only when we had turned our pockets inside out to show that we had not a "little dog" left, were we suffered to go free, followed, doubtless, by the curses of Egypt, because we had yielded such poor picking.

In Seville, too, the gypsies have their own quarter, but in proportion as Seville is a gentler city than Granada, so are the looks and manners of her gypsy population more attractive. Crossing the yellow Guadalquivír by the bridge of Isabel Segunda, we come immediately on the picturesque, dark-visaged figures, with their uneffaced suggestion of wildness, of freedom, of traditions apart from the common humdrum of humanity. The boy, clad in one fluttering garment, who is perilously balancing his slender brown body on the iron rail; the bright-kerchiefed young mother, thrusting her tiny black bantling into our faces; the silent, swarthy men who lean along the bridge side, lithe even in their lounging;—all have a latent fierceness in their look. Their eyes are keen as knives—strange eyes, whose glitter masks the depth. But as we go on into the potter's suburb of Triana, into the thick of the gypsy life, we are not more seriously molested than by the continual begging, nor is this the rough, imperious begging of Granada; a flavor of Sevillian grace and fun has passed upon it. Offer this bush-headed lad, pleading starvation, the orange he has 139 just tossed away, and he will double up over the joke and take to his little bare heels. Give to the fawning sibyl who insists on telling your fortune a red rose for her hair, and the chances are that she will rest content. But the time to see the gypsies in their glory is during the three days and nights of the Feria.

On the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth of April Seville annually keeps, on the Prado de San Sebastian, where the Inquisition used to light its fires, the blithest of spring festivals. The Feria is a fair, but much more than a fair. There are droves upon droves of horses, donkeys, cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs. There are rows upon rows of booths with toys, booths with nuts and candies, booths with the gay-handled Albacete knives and daggers. There are baskets upon baskets of rainbow fans, mimic fighting cocks, oranges, and other cheap Sevillian specialties. Cooling drinks are on sale at every turn, but there is no drunkenness. There are thousands and tens of thousands of people in motion, but there is no bustling, no elbowing, no rudeness of pressure. Dainty little children wander alone in that tremendous throng. The order and tranquillity that prevail by day and night in this multitude of merrymakers render it possible for the Feria to be what it is. For during these enchanted April hours even the noblest families of Seville come forth from the proud seclusion of their patios and live in casetas, little rustic houses that are scarcely more than open tents, exposed to the gaze of every passer-by.

A lofty bridge, crossed by two broad flights of stairs and tapering to a tower, stands at the intersection of the three chief Feria avenues. The bridge is brilliantly illuminated by 140 night, and close-set globes of gas, looped on running tubes along both sides of these three festal streets, pour floods of light into the casetas. Chinese lanterns in red and yellow abound, and lines of banner-staffs flaunt the Spanish colors. The casetas are usually constructed of white canvas on a framework of light-brown fretwood, though the materials are sometimes more durable.

Clubhouses are large and elaborate, and individual taste varies the aspect of the private tents. The more important families of Seville own their casetas, but in general these airy abodes are rented from year to year, the price for the three days of the Feria ranging from twenty-five dollars on the central avenue to five dollars for the more remote houselets on the two streets that branch off at right angles. The numerous byways are occupied by cafés, booths, penny shows, and the like, the gypsies having one side of a lane to themselves. The other side is given over to circus-rings, merry-go-rounds, cradle-swings marked "For Havana," "For Manila," "For Madrid," dancing dwarfs, braying bands, caged bulls, and tents provided with peepholes through which one may see "The Glorious Victory of the Spanish Troops at Santiago," and other surprising panoramas of the recent war. These are in high favor with soldiers and small boys, whose black heads bump together at every aperture.

Such attractions are especially potent over the country folk, who come jogging into Seville during fair time, mounted two or three together on jaded horses, sorry mules, and even on indignant little donkeys. Their peasant costumes add richly to the charm of the spectacle, and their simplicity makes them an easy spoil for the canny folk of Egypt. You see 141 them especially in the cool of the early morning, when trade in cattle is at its liveliest. Ten to one they have been fleeced already by the gitanos, who, out in the great meadow where the live-stock is exposed for sale, have their own corner for "dead donkeys," as the Sevillians term the decrepit old beasts that have been magically spruced up for the occasion. Cervantes has his jest at "a gypsy's ass, with quicksilver in its ears."

Then comes the turn of the gitanas, looking their prettiest, with roses in hair, and over the shoulders those captivating black silk shawls embroidered in many-colored patterns of birds and flowers. The younger enchantresses keep watch, each in front of her family tent, before whose parted curtains the more ill-favored women of the household are busy frying the crisp brown buñuelos, a species of doughnut dear to the Spanish tooth.

As you loiter down the lane, be you wide-eyed shepherd from the provinces, or elegant grandee from Madrid, or haughty foreigner from London or Vienna, the sturdy sirens rush upon you, seize you by arm or neck, and by main force tug you into their tented prisons, from which you must gnaw your way out through a heap of hot buñuelos. Or you may compromise on a cup of Spanish chocolate, flavored with cinnamon and thick as flannel, or perhaps win your liberty by gulping down a cupful of warm goat's milk. The prices shock the portliest purses, but at your first faint sign of protest a gathering mob of gypsies presses close with jeers and hisses, and even the frying-pan sputters contempt.

The Feria presents its most quiet aspect during the afternoon. Some twenty or thirty thousand of the promenaders 142 have been drawn off by the superior attraction of the bull-fight, and others have retired for their siestas. Yet there are thousands left. This is a grand time for the children, who disport themselves in the avenues with whistles, swords, balls, kites, and other trophies from the toy booths. These little people are exquisitely dressed, often in the old Andalusian costumes, and tiny lad and tiny lass, of aristocratic look and bearing, may be seen tripping together through one of the graceful national dances in the midst of a sidewalk throng. The toddlers, too, are out, under charge of happy nursemaids.

Even the babies have been brought to the fair, and lie, contentedly sucking their rosy thumbs, in the doorways of the casetas. The lords of these doll-houses are enjoying peaceful smokes together in the background of the open parlors, which are furnished with as many chairs as possible, a piano, and a central stand of flowers; while semicircles of silent ladies, languidly waving the most exquisite of fans, sit nearer the front, watching the ceaseless stream of pedestrians, and beyond these the double procession of carriages, which keep close rank as they advance on one side of the avenue and return on the other. It is bad form not to go to the Feria once at least in a carriage. Large families of limited means hire spacious vehicles resembling omnibuses, and, squeezed together in two opposite rows, drive up and down the three chief streets for hours.

There are crested landaus, with handsome horses, gay donkey-carts, decked out with wreaths and tassels, shabby cabs, sporting red and yellow ribbons on their whips, tooting coaches—every sort and kind of contrivance for relieving humanity of its own weight. There are mounted cavaliers in 143 plenty, and occasionally, under due masculine escort, a fair-haired English girl rides by, or a group of Spanish señoras, who have come into Seville on horseback from their country homes. But all this movement is slow and dreamy, the play of the children being as gentle as the waving of the fans.

Even Gypsy Lane shares in the tranquillity of the drowsy afternoon. We were captured there almost without violence, and, while we trifled with the slightest refreshment we could find, a juvenile entertainment beguiled us of our coppers with pleasurable ease. A coquettish midget of four summers innocently danced for us the dances that are not innocent, and a wee goblin of seven, who could not be induced to perform without a cap, that he might pull it down over his bashful eyes, stamped and kicked, made stealthy approaches and fierce starts of attack through the savage hunting jigs inherited from the ancient life of the wilderness. The women swung their arms and shrilled wild tunes to urge the children on, but a second youngster who attempted one of these barbaric dances for us broke down in mid career, and, amid a chorus of screaming laughter, buried his blushes in his mother's lap. The tent had become crowded with stalwart, black gitanos, but they were in a domestic mood, smiled on the children's antics, and eyed us with grim amusement as the women caught up from rough cradles and thrust into our arms those elfish babies of theirs. Even the infant of five days winked at us with trickery in its jet beads of vision. But so inert was gypsy enterprise that we were suffered to depart with a few pesetas yet in our possession.

In the evening, from eight till one, the Feria is perfect Fairyland. Under the light of those clustered gas globes and 144 butterfly-colored lanterns pass and repass the loveliest women of the world. Beautifully clad as the señoritas have been during morning and afternoon, their evening toilets excel and crown the rest. White-robed, white-sandalled, their brown, bewitching faces peeping out from the lace folds of white mantillas, with white shawls, embroidered in glowing hues, folded over the arm, and delicate white fans in hand, they look the very poetry of maidenhood. Months of saving, weeks of stitching, these costumes may have cost, but the Feria is, above all, a marriage mart, and the Andalusian girl, usually so strictly guarded, so jealously secluded, never allowed to walk or shop alone, is now on exhibition. As these radiant forms glide along the avenues, the men who meet them coolly bend and look full into their faces, scanning line and feature with the critical air of connoisseurs. But well these cavaliers illustrate the Andalusian catch:—

"Because I look thee in the face,

Set not for this thy hopes too high,

For many go to the market-place

To see and not to buy."

The girl's opportunity is in her dancing. Every Andalusian woman, high or low, knows the Sevillana. Some have been trained in it by accredited teachers of the art, but the most learn the dance in childhood, as naturally as they learn to speak and sing. They are never weary of dancing it, morning, noon, and night, two girls together, or a girl and a lad, but such dancing is confined to the Moorish privacy of the Spanish home—except in Fair time. Then the whole world may stand before the casetas and see the choicest daughters of 145 Seville dancing the dance that is very coquetry in motion. Rows of girls awaiting their turn, and of matrons who are chaperoning the spectacle, sit about the three sides of the mimic drawing-room. A dense crowd of men, crying "Ole! Ole!" and commenting as freely on the figures and postures of the dancers as if they were ballet artistes in a café chantant, is gathered close in front. For their view these rhythmic maidens dance on, hour after hour, until their great, dusky eyes are dim with sleep. The tassels of curly ribbon, tinted to match the dainty touches of color in their costumes, seem to droop in exhaustion from the tossing castanets. What matter? For a Spanish girl to reach her twenty-fifth birthday without a novio is a tragedy of failure, and these tired dancers are well aware that caballeros are making the rounds from caseta to caseta, on purpose to select a wife.

In Gypsy Lane there is no sugar coating. The Flamenco dances are directly seductive. The life of the forest animal seems reproduced in the fierceness, the fitfulness, the abandon, of each strange series of abrupt gesticulations. Yet these gypsy women, boldly as they play on the passions of the spectators, care only for Gentile money, and fling off with fiery scorn the addresses that their songs and dances court. Many a flouted gallant could tell the tale of one who

"Like a right gypsy, hath, at fast and loose,

Beguiled me to the very heart of loss."

Husbands and lovers look on at the dancers' most extreme poses, even caresses, in nonchalant security. While one gitana after another takes the stage, a crescent of men and women, seated behind, cheer her on with cries and clappings, 146 strummings of the guitar, and frenzied beatings of the floor with staff and stool. Yet their excitement, even at its apparent height, never sweeps them out of their crafty selves. Beyond the dancer they see the audience. Disdain and dislike are in the atmosphere, and never more than when the rain of silver is at its richest. Still they follow the gypsy law, "To cheat and rob the stranger always and ever, and be true only to our own blood."

The Passing of the Pageants

The Passing of the Pageants

XI

147

THE ROUTE OF THE SILVER FLEETS

"Paul, the Physician, to Cristobal Colombo, greeting. I perceive your magnificent and great desire to find a way to where the spices grow."

"And thus leade they their lyves in fullfilling the holy hunger of golde. But the more they fill their handes with finding, the more increaseth their covetous desire."
Decades in the New Worlde.

I wanted to go from Seville to Cadiz by water. I longed to sail by the "Silver Road" in the wake of the silver fleets. The little artist, as befitted her youth, preferred a Manila shawl to that historic pilgrimage. So I proposed to make this trifling trip alone.

Don José was shocked. Merriest and most indulgent of hosts, he was inclined at this point to play the tyrant. If I must see Cadiz, well and good. He would take me to the morning express and put me under charge of the conductor. At Utrera, an hour farther on, his son would come to the train and see that all was well. At Puerto de Santa Maria, another hour distant, I should be met by a trusted friend of the family, who would transfer me to another train and another conductor, and so speed me for my third hour to Cadiz, where I should be greeted by a relative of mine hostess and conveyed in safety to his home.

I appreciated the kindness involved in this very Andalusian 148 programme, but otherwise it did not appeal to me. That was not the way Columbus went, nor Cortés. And much as I delighted in the Alhambra, and the Mosque of Cordova, and the Alcázar of Seville, I did not feel called upon to bow a New England bonnet beneath the Moorish yoke.

Thus Don José and I found ourselves quietly engaged in an Hispano-American contest. He heartily disapproved of my going, even by train. "Una señora sola! It is not the custom in Andalusia." His plan of campaign consisted in deferring the arrangements from day to day. "Mañana!" Whenever I attempted to set a time for departure he blandly assented, and presently projected some irresistibly attractive excursion for that very date. His household were all with him. His wife had not been able to procure the particular dulces indispensable to a traveller's luncheon. Even my faithless comrade, draped in her flower-garden shawl, practised the steps of a seguidilla to the rattle of the castanets and laughed at my defeats.

At last, grown desperate, I suavely announced at the Sunday dinner table that I was going to Cadiz that week. My host said, "Bueno!" and my hostess, "Muy bien!" But there was no surrender in their tones. On Monday, instead of writing the requisite notes to these relays of protectors along the route, Don José took us himself, on a mimic steamboat, for a judicious distance down the Guadalquivír. Tuesday he put me off with Roman ruins, and Wednesday with a private gallery of Murillos. By Thursday I grew insistent, and, with shrug and sigh, he finally consented to my going by train on Friday. I still urged the boat, but he heaped up a thousand difficulties. There wasn't any; it would be overcrowded; 149 I should be seasick; the boat would arrive, wherever it might arrive, too late for my train, whatever my train might be. Compromise is always becoming, and I agreed to take the nine o'clock express in the morning.

After the extended Spanish farewells, for to kiss on both cheeks and be kissed on both cheeks down a long feminine line, mother, daughters, and maid-servants, is no hasty ceremony, I sallied forth at half-past eight with Don José in attendance. He called a cab, but in Spain the cabbies are men and brothers, and this one, on learning our destination, declared that the train did not start until half-past nine and it was much better for a lady to wait en casa than at the depot. This additional guardianship goaded me to active remonstrance. Why not take the cab for the hour and look up a procession on our way to the station? There are always processions in Seville. This appealed to both the pleasure-loving Spaniards, and we drove into the palmy Plaza de San Fernando, where an array of military bands was serenading some civic dignitary.

The music was of the best, and we fell in with the large and varied retinue that escorted the musicians to the palace of the archbishop. As they were rousing him from his reverend slumbers with La Marcha de Cadiz, I caught a twinkle in Don José's eye. Did he hope to keep me chasing after those bands all the forenoon? I awakened the cabman, whom the music had lulled into the easy Andalusian doze, and we clattered off to the station. Of all silent and forsaken places! I looked suspiciously at Don José, whose swarthy countenance wore an overdone expression of innocent surprise. A solitary official sauntered out. 150

"Good morning, señor! Is the express gone?" asked the driver.

"Good morning, señor! There isn't any express to-day," was the reply. "The express runs only Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays."

"What a pity," cooed Don José, contentedly. "You will have to wait till to-morrow."

"Yes, you can go to-morrow," indulgently added the driver, and the official chimed sweetly in, "Mañana por la mañana!"

"But is there no other train to-day?" I asked.

The official admitted that there was one at three o'clock. Don José gave him a reproachful glance.

"But you do not want to go by train," said my ingenious host. "Perhaps to-morrow you can go by steamboat."

"Perhaps I can go by steamboat now," I returned, seizing my opportunity. "When does that boat start?"

Nobody knew. I asked the cabman to drive us to the Golden Tower, off which sea-going vessels usually anchor. Don José fell back in his seat, exhausted.

The cabman drove so fast, for Seville, that we ran into a donkey and made a paralyzed beggar jump, but we reached the river in time to see a small steamer just in the act of swinging loose from the pier. In the excitement of the moment Don José forgot everything save the necessity of properly presenting me to the captain, and I, for my part, was absorbed in the ecstasy of sailing from the foot of the Golden Tower along the Silver Road.

It was not until a rod of water lay between boat and wharf that the captain shouted to Don José, who struck an attitude of utter consternation, that this craft went only to Bonanza, 151 and no connection could be made from there to Cadiz until the following afternoon. And I, mindful of the austere dignity that befitted these critical circumstances, could not even laugh.

It was a dirty little boat, with a malodorous cargo of fish, and for passengers two soldiers, two peasants, and a commercial traveller. But what of that? I was sailing on a treasure ship of the Indies, one of those lofty galleons of Spain, "rowed by thrice one hundred slaves and gay with streamers, banners, music," that had delivered at the Golden Tower her tribute from the hoard of the Incas, and was proudly bearing back to the open roads of Cadiz.

We dropped down past a noble line of deep-sea merchantmen, from Marseilles, Hamburg, and far-away ports of Norway and Sweden. We passed fishing boats casting their nets, and met a stately Spanish bark, the Calderon. On the shores we caught glimpses of orange grove and olive orchard, lines of osiers and white poplars, and we paused at the little town of Coria, famous for its earthen jars, to land one of our peasants, while a jolly priest, whose plain black garb was relieved by a vermilion parasol, tossed down cigars to his friends among the sailors.

Then our galleon pursued her course into the flat and desolate regions of the marismas. These great salt marshes of the Guadalquivír, scarcely more than a bog in winter, serve as pasture for herds of hardy sheep and for those droves of mighty bulls bred in Andalusia to die in the arenas of all Spain. For long stretches the green bank would be lined with the glorious creatures, standing like ebony statues deep amid the reeds, some entirely black, and many black with 152 slight markings of white. The Guadalquivír intersects in triple channel this unpeopled waste, concerning whose profusion of plant life and animal life English hunters tell strange tales. They report flocks of rosy flamingoes, three hundred or five hundred in a column, "glinting in the sunshine like a pink cloud," and muddy islets studded thick with colonies of flamingo nests. Most wonderful of all, the camel, that ancient and serious beast of burden, a figure pertaining in all imaginations to the arid, sandy desert, keeps holiday in these huge swamps. It seems that, in 1829, a herd of camels was brought into the province of Cadiz, from the Canaries, for transport service in road-building and the like, and for trial in agriculture. But the peculiar distaste of horses for these humpy monsters spoiled the scheme, and the camels, increased to some eighty in number, took merrily to the marshes, where, in defiance of all caravan tradition, they thrive in aquatic liberty. The fascination of this wilderness reached even the dingy steamer deck. Gulls, ducks, and all manner of wild fowl flashed in the sunshine, which often made the winding river, as tawny as our James, sparkle like liquid gold.

If only it had been gold indeed, and had kept the traceries of the Roman keels that have traversed it, the Vandal swords whose red it has washed away, the Moorish faces it has mirrored, the Spanish—

"Usted come?"

It might have been Cortes who was offering that bowl of puchero, but no! Cortes would have mixed it in his plumy helmet and stirred it with that thin, keen sword one may see in the Madrid Armería. This was a barefooted cabin boy, in blue 153 linen blouse and patched blue trousers, with a scarlet cloth cap tied over his head by means of an orange-colored handkerchief. The dancing eyes that lit his shy brown face had sea blues in them. He was a winsome little fellow enough, but I did not incline to his cookery. While I was watching river, shores, and herds and chatting with the simpático sailor, who, taking his cue from my look, expressed the deepest abhorrence of the bull-fights, which, I make no doubt, he would sell his dinner, jacket, bed, even his guitar, to see, I had taken secret note of the cuisine. This child, who could not have counted his twelfth birthday, kindled the fire in a flimsy tin pail, lined with broken bricks. He cracked over his knee a few pieces of driftwood, mixed the fragments with bits of coal which he shook out of a sheepskin bottle, doused oil over the whole, and cheerfully applied the match, while the commercial traveller hastily drew up a bucket of water to have on hand for emergencies. Then the boy, with excellent intentions in the way of neatness, whisked his blackened hands across the rough end of a rope and plunged them into the pot of garbanzos, to which he added beans, cabbage, remnants of fried fish, and other sundries at his young discretion. And while the mess was simmering, he squatted down on the deck, with his grimy little feet in his fists, rocking himself back and forth to his own wild Malaga songs, and occasionally disengaging one hand or the other to plunge it into the pot after a tasty morsel.

"Will you eat?" he repeated manfully, reddening under the scrutiny of stranger eyes.

"Many thanks! May it profit yourself!"

I opened my luncheon, and again we exchanged these fixed 154 phrases of Spanish etiquette, although after the refusals enjoined by code of courtesy, the boy was finally induced to relieve me of my more indigestible goodies.

"Did you ever hear of Columbus?" I asked, as we munched chestnut cakes together, leaning on the rail.

"No, señora," he replied, with another blush, "I have heard of nothing. I know little. I am of very small account. I cook and sing. I am good for nothing more."

And is it to this those arrogant Spanish boasts, which rang like trumpets up and down the Guadalquivír, have come at last!

We were in the heart of a perfect sapphire day. The river, often turbulent and unruly, was on this April afternoon, the sailors said, buen muchacho, a good boy. The boat appeared to navigate herself. The captain nodded on his lofty perch, and the engineer was curled up in his own tiny hatchway, trying to read a newspaper, which the fresh breeze blew into horns and balloons. The rough cabin bunks were full of sleeping forms, and the leather wine-bottles, flung down carelessly in the stern, had cuddled each to each in cozy shapes, and seemed to be sleeping, too. The two soldiers, who had been gambling with coppers over innumerable games of dominos, were listening grimly to the oratory of the commercial traveller.

"No fighting for me!" this hero was declaiming. "In strenuous times like these a man ought to cherish his life for the sake of his country. Spain needs her sons right here at home. It is sweet, as the poet says, to die for the patria, but to live for the patria is, in my opinion, just as glorious."

"And more comfortable," grunted one of the soldiers, 155 while the other gave a hitch to those red infantry trousers which look as if they had been wading in blood, and walked forward to view from the bows the little white port of Bonanza.

As the boat went no farther, I had to stain my silver route by a prosaic parenthesis of land. It was some comfort to remember that Magellan waited here for that expedition from Seville which was the first to sail around the globe. I think I travelled the three miles from Bonanza, Good Weather, to San Lúcar de Barrameda in Magellan's own carriage. It was certainly old enough. As I sat on a tipsy chair in the middle of a rude wagon frame mounted on two shrieking wooden wheels, and hooded with broken arches of bamboo, from which flapped shreds of russet oilcloth, I entered into poignant sympathy with Magellan's ups and downs of hope and fear. The jolting was such a torture that, to divert my attention, I questioned the driver as to the uses of this and that appliance in his rickety ark.

"And what are those ropes for, there in the corner?" was my final query.

"Those are to tie the coffins down when I have a fare for the cemetery," he replied, cracking his whip over the incredibly lean mule that was sulkily jerking us along.

"Please let me get out and walk," I entreated. "You may keep the valise and show me the way to the inn, and I can go quite as fast as that mule."

"Now, don't!" he begged, with even intenser pathos. "Strangers always want to walk before they get to the inn, and then the people laugh at me. I know my carriage isn't very handsome, but it's the only one in Bonanza. Just do me the favor to keep your seat a little longer." 156

I had been lurched out of it only a minute before, but I could not refuse to sacrifice mere bodily ease to the pride of Spanish spirit.

Notwithstanding Don José's dark predictions, this was the only trial of the trip. To realize to the full the honesty, kindliness, and dignity of the everyday Spaniard, one needs to turn off from the sight-seer's route. On the beaten tourist track are exorbitant hotels, greedy guides, cheating merchants, troops of beggars—everywhere "the itching palm." But here in San Lúcar, for instance, where I had to spend twenty-four hours at a genuine Spanish fonda, the proprietor took no advantage of the facts that I was a foreigner, a woman, and practically a prisoner in the place until the Saturday afternoon train went out, but gave me excellent accommodations, most respectful and considerate treatment, and the lowest hotel bill that I had seen in Spain.

San Lúcar has, in early Spanish literature, a very ill name for roguery, but, so far as my brief experience went, Boston could not have been safer and would not have been so genial. I strayed, for instance, into a modest little shop to buy a cake of soap, which its owner declined to sell, insisting that I ought to have a choicer variety than his, and sending his son, a lad of sixteen, to point me out more fashionable counters. This youth showed me the sights of the pleasant seashore town, with its tiers of closely grated windows standing out from the white fronts of the houses, and its sturdy packhorses and orange-laden donkeys streaming along the rough stone streets, and when, at the inn door, I hesitatingly offered him a piece of silver, doffed his cap with smiling ease, and said he did not take pay for a pleasure. 157

Once off the regular lines of travel, however, speed is out of the question. I might have gone from Seville to Cadiz in three hours; thanks to historic enthusiasms, it took me nearer three days. After escaping from San Lúcar, I had to pass four hours in Jerez, another whitewashed, palm-planted town, whose famous sherry has made it the third city in Spain for wealth. The thing to do at Jerez is to visit the great bodegas and taste the rich white liquors treasured in those monster casks, which bear all manner of names, from Christ and His twelve disciples to Napoleon the Great; but mindful, in the light of Don José's admonitions, that the weak feminine estate is "as water unto wine," I contented myself with seeing the strange storage basin of the mountain aqueduct—an immense, immaculate cellar, where endless vistas of low stone arches stretch away in the silent dusk above the glimmer of a ghostly lake.

The train for Cadiz must needs be two hours late this particular evening, but my cabman drove me to approved shops for the purchase of bread and fruit, and then, of his own motion, drew up our modest equipage in a shady nook opposite the villa of the English consul, that I might enjoy my Arcadian repast with a secure mind. Jehu accepted, after due protestations, a share of the viands, and reciprocated the attention by buying me a glass of water at the nearest stand, much amused at my continued preference for Jerez water over Jerez wine.

One of the Jerez wine merchants, German by birth, shared the railway carriage with me for a while, and after the social wont of Continental travel fell to discussing the war. "The Spaniards deserved to be beaten," he declared, "but the Yankees 158 didn't deserve to beat. They were conceited enough before, heaven knows, and now they expect all Europe to black their shoddy shoes. Your own country was a bit to blame in blocking every effort to keep them in their place."

I felt it time to explain that I was not English, but American. Much disconcerted, he did his best to make amends.

"I wouldn't have said that for the world if I had known you were an American—but it's every syllable true."

He thought over this remark in silence for a moment, his Teutonic spirit sorely strained between kindliness and honesty, and tried again.

"I would like to say something good about the United States, I would indeed,—if there was anything to say."

It seemed to occur to him, after a little, that even this apology left something to be desired, and he brightened up.

"Wouldn't you like some roses? They sell them here at this station. There comes a boy now with a nice, big bunch. One peseta! I think that's too dear, don't you?"

I hastened to assent.

"The lady says that's too dear. Seventy-five centimos? No. The lady can't pay that. Sixty centimos? No. The lady can't afford sixty centimos. Fifty centimos? No. The lady says fifty centimos is too much. She will take them at forty centimos. Here's a half peseta. And you must give me back a fat dog."

The boy held back the penny and tried to substitute a cent.

"Oh, sir, please, sir, forty-five centimos! There are two dozen roses here, and all fresh as the dawn. Give me the puppy-dog over." 159

But the German, who knew how to put even a sharper edge on the inveterate Spanish bargaining, secured for the value of eight cents, instead of twenty, his great bouquet of really beautiful roses, and presented it with as much of a bow as the carriage limits permitted.

"I meant to pay all the time, you know; but one can always make a better trade, in Spain, if it is done in the name of a lady." And he added, with that sudden tact which innate goodness and delicacy give to the most blundering of us mortals, "If you don't like to take them from a stranger for yourself, you will take them as my peace-offering to your country."

I was reminded again of my native land by another fellow-traveller—a Spaniard of the Spaniards, this time, one of the Conservative and Catholic leaders, greeted at the various stations by priests and monks and friars, whose hands he solemnly kissed. This distinguished personage was absorbed in a voluminous type-written manuscript, from which he occasionally read aloud to the band of political confidants who accompanied him. It was an arraignment of the Liberal Party, and, by way of exposing the errors of the Sagasta government, included a merciless résumé of the Spanish naval and military disasters, with elaborate comparisons of the American and Spanish equipments. He was then on his way to join in a consoling pilgrimage to a certain image of Christ, which had been cudgelled by a grief-maddened priest whose dying mother the image had failed to heal.

These surroundings more or less jostled my sixteenth-century dream, but I held to it so stubbornly that, when pyramids of salt began to glimmer like ghosts along the way, 160 and a sweeping curve of lights warned me of our approach to Cadiz, I made a point of seeing as little as possible. It was midnight, but Spanish hours are luckily so late that Don José's friends were still at the height of evening sociability and regaled me with alternate showers of sweetmeats and questions. Finally, after many exclamations of horror at the audacity of the trip, all the feminine hospitality of the household lighted me to a chamber whose walls were hung with pictures of martyrs and agonizing saints. Among these I counted five colored representations of Christ opening his breast to display the bleeding heart.

The next morning I promptly took boat to Puerto de Santa Maria, embarked on the return steamer, and so at last found myself once more on the Silver Road, entering Cadiz harbor from the sea.

To be sure, the Montserrat was riding proudly in my view, although the warships to which she had been used to curtsy in the open roads of Cadiz would never cut those shining waves again. The waters were as turquoise blue as if they had just come from the brush of an old master, and the towered city rose before us like a crystal castle in the air. Its limited space, built as it is within great sea walls on an outlying rock, which only a rope of sand moors to the mainland, has necessitated narrow streets and high houses, whose miradores, lookouts that everywhere crown the terraced roofs, give this battlemented aspect to the town. One of the most ancient and tragic cities known to time, claiming Hercules for its founder, in turn Phœnician, Carthaginian, Roman, Gothic, Moorish, Spanish, it yet looks fresh as a water-lily. I could have spent another three days in gazing. And this sparkling 161 vision was Spain's Copa de Plata, the Silver Cup which has brimmed with the gold and pearls of America, with blood and flame and glory. Its riches have taken to themselves wings, but its high, free spirit and frank gayety abide. Still the Andalusians sing:—

"Viva Cadiz, Silver Cadiz,

Whose walls defy the sea,

Cadiz of the pretty girls,

Of courtesy and glee!

"Good luck to merry Cadiz,

As white as ocean spray,

And her five and twenty cannon

That point Gibraltar way!"

But I am bound to add that the cannon do not look dangerous.

XII

162

MURILLO'S CHERUBS

"Angels o'er the palm trees flying,

Touch their waving fronds to rest.

Bid them give no wind replying.

Jesus sleeps on Mary's breast.

Blesséd angels, hold the peeping

Branches still as altar-place,

For the Holy Child is sleeping

Close beneath His Mother's face."

—Lope de Vega.

Spanish love for childhood, and the precocity and winsomeness of Spanish children, impressed me from my first hour in the Peninsula. "There is no road so level as to be without rough places," and the initial days of my Madrid residence, after my artist comrade had gone back to Paris and the spring salons, might have been a trifle lonely save for baby society. I was living in a delightful Spanish household, but the very excess of courtesy reminded me continually that I was a Yankee and a heretic. As time passed, friendship ripened, and it is to-day no empty form of words when I am assured that I have "my house in Madrid." But at the outset I felt myself not only an American alien, but an Andalusian exile. The "only Court" is such a prosaic contrast to Seville that my impulse was to betake myself with 163 books to the great park of the Buen Retiro, the magnificent gift of Olivares to his royal master, and let the Madrid world, at least the adult portion of it, go by. For while the larger Madrileños were busy with their own plays of politics, bull-fights, and flirtation, the little ones had happy afternoons in that historic park of many a tragedy, where convents, palaces, and fortifications have all made way for the children's romping ground. Resting on a rustic seat in the leafy shade, with the rich, thrilling notes of the nightingale answering the bell call of the cuckoo from the deeper groves beyond, I could watch these budding Spaniards to heart's content.

It was well to observe them from a distance, however, for their young voices were of the shrillest. Among the boys, an energetic few were developing muscle by tag and leap-frog; more were flying kites, cracking whips, twirling slings, and brandishing the terrors of pewter swords; while at every turn, beside some flashing fountain or beneath some spreading oak, I would come upon a group of urchins playing al toro with the cheap, gaudy capes of red and yellow manufactured for the children's sport. The girls were skipping rope, rolling hoop, teaching one another the steps of endless dances, and whispering momentous secrets in statue-guarded grottos, or thickets of flowering shrubs, or whatsoever safe, mysterious nook their fluttering search could find.

Here was a school out for its daily airing, a pretty procession of rainbow-clad little damsels, marshalled by the black-veiled figures of graceful nuns, and pacing with all decorum down a crowded avenue; but the moment the troop turned into some sequestered by-path, how it would break into a shimmering 164 confusion of butterflies, darting hither and thither in those jewel-green lights and sea-green shadows, the nuns casting their dignity to the winds and scampering with the swiftest! Wandering after I would come, perhaps, upon an open space where the smaller boys were gathered, delicate little lads riding horse-headed sticks, digging with mimic spades, and tossing big, soft, red and yellow balls, while mothers and nurses sat about in circle on the stone benches, calling out sharp-toned cautions to their respective charges.

And everywhere in the park were toddling babies, clasping dolls, tugging at gay balloons, dragging wooden donkeys on wheels, and tumbling over live puppies. They were pale, engaging, persistent little creatures, with a true Spanish inability to learn from experience. I saw one aristocratic cherub, white as snow from feathered cap to ribboned shoes, take ten successive slappings because he muddied his hands. The angry nurse would make a snatch for the naughty fingers, roughly beat off the dirt, and cuff the culprit soundly. His proud little mouth would tremble; he would wink hard and fast, but there was not a tear to be seen, not a cry to be heard, and no sooner had her peasant clutch released him than back went the baby hands, grubbing deep into the mire. A gorgeous civil guard finally distracted her attention, and the last view I had of the child showed him blissfully squatted in the very middle of a puddle, splashing with arms and legs.

White is almost the universal wear of the prattling age in the Buen Retiro, although now and then some lily fairy would flit by with saffron sash and harmonious saffron stockings, or costume similarly touched by pink or blue. The Scotch plaids, too, were in favor as sashes, and at rare intervals I 165 encountered a tot sensibly attired in stout plaid frock. But the white of this childish multitude was thickly flecked with mourning suits, complete to bits of black gloves and even to jet studs in the collars. Among the sad sights of the Retiro was an epileptic boy, led and half supported between two sweet-faced, youthful ladies, both in widow's crêpe, who screened him with caresses as his fit took him and he foamed and screamed in piteous helplessness. This pathetic trio, ever seeking seclusion, was ever followed by a retinue of idlers, who, for all their intrusive staring, were silent and sympathetic.

The nursemaids formed not the least attractive feature of the kaleidoscopic picture. Most wore white caps, fastened with gilded pins or knots of rose or russet; but the nurses counted the best, from the mountain province of Santander, were distinguished by bright-colored handkerchiefs twisted about the head. Here, as in the Élysées, baby-wagons are seldom seen. The nurses carry in arms the black-eyed infants, who bite away at their coral necklaces quite like little Yankees.

But Spanish traits soon declare themselves. In the centre of the park is an artificial pond, where lads in their first teens, too old for play, lean languidly over the iron railings, and, while they throw crumbs to the flock of forlorn-looking ducks or watch the dip of the red oar-blades that impel the pleasure boats, brag of their amorous adventures and exchange the scandal of the Prado. Sometimes their love chat is of sweeter tenor, for many of these schoolboys have already spoken their betrothal vows, which the Church will not let them lightly break. Spaniards often marry under twenty-one, and even a recent wedding in Madrid, where neither bride 166 nor bridegroom had reached the fifteenth year, was hardly thought amiss, in view of the fact that there was parental money to maintain them.

And why had the stately city of Valladolid been under a reign of terror for half the week just past, with shutters up, doors barred, and women and children kept at home for safety, while bands of young men swayed in bloody struggle through her famous squares and streets, but because a cadet and a student must needs lose heart to the same maid? Cupid, not Santiago, is the patron saint of Spain. And Cupid, for all his mischief, has some very winning ways. Our boyish sentimentalists of the Buen Retiro, for instance, easily fall into song, and the native melodies, always with something wild and Oriental in their beat, ring across the little lake into the woods beyond till the birds take up the challenge and every tree grows vocal.

One afternoon, on my way to the park, I bought from a roadside vender a handful of small, gaudily bound children's books, and had no sooner found what I fondly supposed was a sequestered seat than a tumult of little folks surrounded me, coaxing to hear the stories. These tales, so taken at random, may throw a little light on the literature of Spanish nurseries. There was the life of the Madonna, which we passed over, as the children said they had read it in school and knew it, every word, already. So we turned to the astonishing career of the great soldier, Kill-Bullet, who could easily stop a cannon-ball against his palm, and to an account of that far-off land where it rained gold in such profusion that nobody would work, until finally all the people, weary of a wealth which induced no tailor to stitch and no shoemaker to cobble, no 167 baker to bake and no dairy-maid to churn, rose by common consent and shovelled the gold into the river. We read of hot-tempered little Ambrose, who left the gate of his garden open, so that a hen cackled in and began to scratch under a rose bush, whereupon the angry boy chased her furiously all over the garden-beds until his summer's work was trampled into ruin, and his papa came and explained to him how disastrous a thing is wrath. There was a companion moral tale for little girls, telling how Inez used to make faces until her mamma told her that she would grow up with a twisted mouth and nobody would marry her, whereat did little Inez promptly reform her manners. One favorite volume, with a cover which displayed a wild-whiskered old ogre in a fiery skullcap gloating over a platterful of very pink baby, told how good little Violet saved her bad sisters, Rose and Daisy, from his dreadful gullet, by aid of an ugly monkey, whom her promised kiss transformed into a fairy prince. I was glad to find, in that country where so little is done to train children in the love of animals, the ancient tale of the four musicians, the donkey, the dog, the cat, and the cock, who escaped in their old age from the death that threatened them at the hands of ungrateful masters and, by a free exercise of their musical talents, captured the house of a robber-band, putting its inmates to confusion and flight. Many of the stories, indeed, would have been recognized by young Americans, but the proportion of saint-lore was larger than that of fairy-lore, and, now and then, some familiar property had suffered a Spanish change, as the invisible cap which had become an invisible cape of the sort used for playing bull-fight.

The Pageant of Gethsemane

The Pageant of Gethsemane

The nursery rhymes, too, so far as I chanced upon them, 168 were of the universal type with Spanish variations. A Castilian mother plays Peek-a-boo with her baby quite as an English mother does, except that the syllables are Cú? Trás! The father's foot trots the child to a Catholic market.

"Trot, little donkey! Donkey, trot!

We must buy honey to please the pet.

If San Francisco has it not,

We'll go to San Benet."

Baby's toes are counted as the eternal five little pigs, and also thus, with a preliminary tickling of the rosy sole:—

"Here passed a little dove. This one caught it. This one killed it. This one put it on to roast. This one took it off again. And this teeny-teeny-teeny scamp ate it all up!"

Spanish patty-cakes are followed by a Spanish grace.

"Patty-cakes, oh! Patty-cakes, ah!

The sweetest cakes are for dear mama.

Patty-cakes, oh! Patty-cakes, ah!

The hardest pats are for poor papa,

"Bread, O God! Bread, dear God,

For this little child to-day!

Because he's such a baby

He cannot pay his way."

The Spanish nursery seems richer in rhymes than ours. Nurse bends Baby's left hand into a rose-leaf purse, for example, and gives it little taps with one finger after another of Baby's right hand, singing:— 169

"A penny for Baby's purse

From papa, mama, and nurse.

A penny, a penny to pay!

Let no thief steal it away!"

And then the tiny fist is doubled tight.

When the child, again, is first dressed in short clothes, he is propped up in a corner and coaxed to take his first step with the rhyme:—

"One little step, Baby-boy mine!

Come, Little Man, step up!

And thou shalt have a taste of wine

From Godfather's silver cup."

This rhyming fashion the little ones take with them out of babyhood into their later childhood. The urchin admonishes his whistle:—

"Whistle, whistle, Margarita,

And you'll get a crust of bread,

But if you do not whistle

I'll cut off your little head."

The little girl learns the scales in process of rocking her doll to sleep:—

Don't pin-prick my poor old dolly, Do

Respect my domestic matters. Re

Methinks she grows melancholy, Mi

Fast as her sawdust scatters. Fa

Sole rose of your mama's posy, Sol

Laugh at your mama, so! La

Seal up your eyes all cozy. Si

La Sol Fa Mi Re Do.

170 With Spanish children, as with ours, Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena, is a season of gleeful excitement. They do not hang up stockings for Santa Claus, but they put out their shoes on the balcony for the Kings of the East, riding high on camel-back, to fill with sweets and playthings. Considerate children, too, put out a handful of straw for the tired beasts who have journeyed so far over the Milky Way. On some balconies the morning sun beholds rocking-horses and rocking-donkeys, make-believe theatres and bull-rings, with toy images of soldiers, bulls and Holy Families; but if the child has been naughty and displeased the Magi, his poor little shoes will stand empty and ashamed.

The dramatic instinct, so strong in Spaniards, is strikingly manifested in the children's games. These little people are devoted to the theatre, too, and may be seen in force at the matinées in the Apolo, Lara, and Zarzuela. Afternoon performances are given only on Sundays and the other Catholic fiestas, which last, numerous enough, are well within reach of the Puritan conscience. At these matinées more than half the seats in the house are occupied by juvenile ticket-holders, from rows of vociferous urchins in the galleries, to round-eyed babies cooing over their nurses' shoulders. If the play is an extravaganza, abounding in magic and misadventure, the rapture of the childish audience is at its height.

The close attention with which mere three-year-olds follow the action is astonishing. "Bonito!" lisping voices cry after each fantastic ballet, and wee white hands twinkle up and down in time with the merry music. When the clown divests himself, one by one, of a score of waistcoats, or successively pulls thirty or forty smiling dairy-maids out of a churn, little 171 arithmeticians all over the house call out the count and dispute his numbers with him. When the dragon spits his shower of sparks, when chairs sidle away from beneath the unfortunates who would sit down or suddenly rise with them toward the ceiling, when signboards whirl, and dinners frisk up chimney, cigars puff out into tall hats, and umbrellas fire off bullets, the hubbub of wonder and delight drowns the voices of the actors.

The house is never still for one single instant. Babies cry wearily, nurses murmur soothingly, mystified innocents pipe out questions, papas rebuke and explain, exasperated old bachelors hiss for silence, saucy boys hiss back for fun—all together the Madrid matinée affords a far better opportunity to study child life than to hear the comedy upon the boards.

The boy king of Spain is, of course, a fascinating figure to his child subjects. We were told at San Sebastian, where the Queen Regent has a summer palace, that on those red-letter days when the king takes a sea dip, children come running from far and near to see him step into the surf, with two stalwart soldiers gripping the royal little fists. And no sooner has the Court returned to the sumptuous, anxious palace of Madrid, than the boy bathers of San Sebastian delight themselves in playing king, mincing down the beach under the pompous military escort that they take turns in furnishing one another.

In Madrid, too, the sightseeing crowds that gather before the royal palace or at the doors of the Iglesia del Buen Suceso, where the Queen Regent, with her "august children," sometimes attends the Salve on Saturday afternoons, are thickly 172 peppered with little folks, eager to "see the king." They are often disappointed, for the precious life is jealously guarded, especially while the Carlist cloud still broods above the throne. During my stay in Madrid, a man with a revolver under his coat was arrested on suspicion in the vestibule of the theatre known as La Comédia, where the queen was passing the evening. Sceptical Madrid shrugged its shoulders and said: "Stuff and nonsense! When the Ministers want the queen to sign a paper that isn't to her liking, they make a great show of devotion and pounce down on some poor devil as an anarchist, to frighten her into being meek and grateful." And, in fact, the prisoner was almost immediately released for lack of any incriminating evidence. For weeks after, nevertheless, the royal movements were more difficult to forecast, and on the daily drives the kinglet was often missing from the family group.

But, undiscouraged, every afternoon the children would fringe the palace side of the Plaza de Oriente, hoping to see the royal carriage go or come with their young sovereign, whose portrait, a wistful, boyish face above a broad lace collar, is printed in one of their school reading books over the inscription, "To the Head of the State honor and obedience are due." Expectant youngsters, in the all-enveloping black pinafores that remind the eye of Paris, with book satchels made of gay carpeting over the shoulder, would shake out their smudgy handkerchiefs, often stamped with the likenesses of famous toreros, and help themselves to one another's hats in readiness to salute; but the elegant landau, preceded by an escort of two horsemen, dashes by so swiftly that their long waiting would be rewarded only by the briefest glimpse of 173 bowing bonnets and of a small gloved hand touching the military cap that shades a childish face.

It is a pale and sober little face as I have seen it, but Madrileños resent this impression and insist that his youthful Majesty is "sturdy enough," and as merry as need be. They say that the buoyancy which he inherits from his father is crossed by strange fits of brooding, due to his mother's blood, but that he is, in the main, a merry-hearted child. Although he has masters for his studies now, his affection still clings to his Austrian governess, whom, none the less, he dearly loves to tease. When she is honored by an invitation to drive with the Queen Regent, for example, Alphonsito hastens to hide her hat and then joins most solicitously in her fluttered search, until her suspicion darts upon him, and his prank breaks down in peals of laughter. Madrid was especially sensitive about him last year, for he, Alfonso XIII, godson of Pope Leo XIII, was thirteen years of age—an iteration of the unlucky omen that really ought to be satisfied with the loss of the Spanish colonies. His mother, in honor of his birthday, May seventeenth, distributed five thousand dollars among orphan asylums and other charities, and held a grand reception in the Hall of the Ambassadors, where the slight lad in cadet uniform, enthroned beside the Queen Regent between the two great lions of gilded bronze, received the congratulations of a long procession of bowing ministers, admirals, captain generals, prelates, and those haughty grandees of Spain whose ancient privilege it is to wear their hats in the royal presence; but the shrinkage of his realm since his last birthday must have been uppermost in the mind of even the young lord of the festival. Pobrecito! one wonders 174 what thoughts go on behind those serious brows of his, when, for instance, he looks down from his palace windows at the daily ceremony of guard-mounting in the courtyard. It is such a gallant sight; the martial music is so stirring; the cavalry in blue and silver sit their white steeds so proudly, with the sun glistening on their drawn swords and the wind tossing their long, white, horsehair plumes, that all these tales of defeat and loss must puzzle the sore boy heart and cast confusing shadows down the path before him.

Little as the Spaniards love the Queen Regent, to whom they cannot pardon her two cardinal offences of being a "foreigner" and of disliking the bull-fight, they have a certain affection for Alfonso XIII, "the only child born a king since Christ." Indeed, Spain seems to have been always sympathetic toward childhood in palaces. Enter this wonderful Armería of Madrid, where those plumed and armored kings, on richly caparisoned chargers, whom we have come to know in the paintings of the Museo del Prado, seem to have leapt from the canvases to greet us here in still more lifelike guise, albeit not over graciously, with horse reined back and mighty lance at poise. Any fine morning they may all come clattering out into the Plaza de Armas—and where will the United States be then? Here stands a majestic row of them—Philip II, in a resplendent suit of gold-inlaid plate-armor; Maximilian, whose visor gives him the fierce hooked beak of an eagle; Sebastian of Portugal, with nymphs embossed in cunning work on his rich breastplate; and Charles V, three times over, in varieties of imperial magnificence.

Jesus of the Passion

"Jesus of the Passion"

But opposite these stern warriors is a hollow square of boy princes, and of noble niños whose visors hide their identities 175 in long oblivion. The armor of these childish figures is daintily wrought, with tender touches of ruffs and cuffs, scallops and flutings and rosettes. Often only the upper half of the body is incased in steel, the slender legs playing the dandy in puffed trousers of striped velvet—scarlet, green, and buff—silk hose, and satin slippers. Little Philip III proudly displays a diminutive round shield, with a relief of battle scenes in gold. The plate armor of little Philip IV is stamped with lions and castles, eagles and spears. And his little son, Don Baltasar Carlos, bestrides a spirited pony and wears at the back of his helmet a tuft of garnet feathers.

The Prado galleries abound in royal children. This same infante, Don Baltasar, is seen here in the foreground of a lonely landscape, with desolate blue hills beyond and driving clouds above. But all the more bright and winsome glows the form of the six-year-old horseman, the gold-fringed, pink sash that crosses his breast streaming out far behind with the speed of his fearless gallop. Supreme among the Prado children, of course, is the little daughter of Philip IV, the central figure of the world-renowned Las Meninas. All in vain does her charming maid of honor kneel to her with the golden cup; all in vain does the dwarf tease the drowsy dog. The solemn puss, undiverted, will not stir from her pose nor alter the set of her small features until the artist, standing half disdainfully before his easel, gives the word. She has waited for it now hard upon two hundred and fifty years, but the centuries beat in vain against that inflexible bit of propriety.

Even the royal burial vaults beneath the grim Escorial have in their chill grandeur of marble halls an especial Panteon for babies, princely innocents whose lives are reckoned in months 176 more often than in years. Gold and blue and red brighten their great white sepulchre, and above the altar smiles the Christ Child, with the graven words, "Suffer the children to come unto me." But for Alfonso XIII a sombre sarcophagus waits in the haughtiest and gloomiest of all the Panteons, where only kings, and queens who were mothers of kings, may lie.

It is not royal childhood alone that is dear to this strange, romantic, monstrously inconsistent heart of Spain. The cruelty of Spaniards to horses and donkeys sickens even the roughest Englishman, yet almost every voice softens in speaking to a child, and during my six months in Spanish cities I saw nothing of that street brutality toward the little ones which forces itself upon daily notice in Liverpool and London. Spanish children are too often ill-cared for, but despite the abuses of ignorant motherhood and fatherhood, such vivid, vivacious, bewitching little people as they are! Enter a Spanish schoolroom and see how vehemently the small brown hands are wagged in air, how the black eyes dance and the dimples play, what a stir and bustle, what a young exuberance of energy! They race to the blackboards like colts out at pasture. They laugh at everything, these sons of "the grave Spaniard," and even the teacher will duck his head behind the desk for a half-hidden ecstasy over some dunce's blunder or some rogue's detected trick.

But their high spirits never make them unmindful of those courtesies of life in which they have been so carefully trained. There is an old-fashioned exaggeration about their set phrases of politeness. Just as the casual caller kisses the lady's feet, in words, and she reciprocates by a verbal kissing of his hand, 177 so the school children respond to the roll call with a glib: "Your servant, sir." Ask a well-bred boy his name, and he rattles back, "Jesus Herrera y La-Chica, at the service of God and yourself." They learn these amenities of speech with their first lispings. I was much taken aback one day in Seville by a child of eighteen months. Not in the least expecting this infant, whose rosy face was bashfully snuggled into his young aunt's neck, to understand, I said to her, "What a fine little fellow!" Whereupon Master Roly-poly suddenly sat up straight on her arm, ducked his head in my direction, and gravely enunciated, "Es favor que Usted me hace"—"It is a compliment you pay me." I could hardly recover from the shock in time to make the stereotyped rejoinder, "No es favor, es justicia"—"No compliment, but the truth." To this Don Chubbykins sweetly returned, "Mil gracias"—"A thousand thanks," and I closed this uncanny dialogue with the due response, "No las merece"—"It does not merit them."

Servants, neighbors, passers-by, beggars, all prompt the children in these shibboleths of good manners, adorning the precept with example. "Would you like to go with us to the picture gallery this afternoon?" I once asked a laddie of artistic tastes at a boarding-house table. "Si, señora," he replied, whereupon several of the boarders, greatly scandalized, hastened to remind him, but in the gentlest of tones, of the essential addition, "con mucho gusto" to which we were bound to reply, "The pleasure will be ours." The girls, even more than the boys, are bred in these formal fashions of intercourse. Every morning they ask if you have rested well, and express grief or gratification, according to your response. In Mrs. 178 Gulick's school, mere midgets of six and eight, returning from class, will not close the doors of their rooms if you are in sight, though perhaps seated at a reading table in the farther end of the corridor, lest they should appear inhospitable. On our return from Italica, a thirsty child of seven, heated to exhaustion with the sun and fun of that Andalusian picnic, refused to touch the anise-seed water which some good Samaritan had handed up to the dusty carriage, until the glass had been offered to every one else, driver included, leaving, in the sequel, little enough for her. On our midnight return from the Feria, this same niña of gentle memory, staggering and half crying with sleepiness, would nevertheless not precede any of her elders in entering the home door. "After you," she sobbed, with hardly voice enough to add, "And may you all rest well!" "The same to you," chorussed the adults, trooping by, and her faint murmur followed, "Many thanks."

"Shall I give you this fan when I go away," I asked her once, "or would you rather have it now to take to the party?" She wanted it then and there, but what she answered was, "I shall be best pleased to take it when you like best to give it."

You must beware of saying to a little Spanish maid, "What a beautiful rosebud in your hair!" Instantly the hand is busy with the pins. "It is at your disposal." You hastily protest, "A thousand thanks, but no, no, no! It is very well placed where it is." Off comes the flower, notwithstanding, and is fastened into your belt. For when the elder sister has insisted on giving you (until the next ball) those dancing slippers which you so rashly admired, and the sister's novio went 179 home the night before without his cloak, because you had approved its colors (although he sent his man around for it before breakfast), what can the children do but follow suit? Even their form of "Now I Lay Me" is touched with their quaint politeness:—

"Jesus, Joseph, Mary,

Your little servant keep,

While, with your kind permission,

I lay me down to sleep."

The precocity of Spanish children is a recognized fact. An educational expert, a Frenchman who holds a chair in an English university, assured us that beyond a doubt Spanish children, for the first dozen years of life, develop more rapidly than any other children of Europe. Yet, although these clever little Spaniards are so punctiliously taught to put the pleasure of others before their own, they are treated with universal indulgence. Soldiers lining the curbstones on occasion of a royal progress will let the children press in beside them and cling to their valorous legs, until the military array seems variegated with a Kindergarten. My farewell glimpse of Toledo, on Corpus Christi Day, makes a pretty picture in memory. The red-robed cardinal, who had come to the station to take his train, was fairly stormed by all the children within sight, clamoring for his blessing. In vain the attendant priests tried to scatter the throng, and ladies of high degree, planting their chairs in a circle about the prelate, acted as a laughing body-guard. It was all of no avail. The little people danced up and down with eagerness, dodged under arms, and slipped between elbows. They knelt upon 180 the cardinal's very feet, rapturously kissing his red-gloved hand and clasping to their pinafores and blouses the sacred trinkets he distributed. And he, patting the bobbing black pates, wherever he could get a chance, smiled on the little ones and forbade them not.

The affection lavished on children in the household circle is often poetic and passionate. I observed one day a brusque young fellow of twenty-four, whom we had thought rather a hard, catch-penny sort of person, suddenly gather a four-year-old nephew to his heart and cover the dimpled face with kisses, while the look in his own black eyes was the look of a St. Anthony. I stood once in a crowded cathedral and lost all sense of the service in contemplation of an ugly manikin, with coarse features and receding forehead, who held a frail baby boy tight against his breast. This was a blue-eyed, fair-haired wean, with a serious, far-away expression, and from time to time, attracted by the gilt of the ceiling, he raised a tiny pink fore-finger and pointed upward, while the father's animal face, never turned away from the child, became transfigured with love and worship. He took the baby out, when it had fallen asleep upon his shoulder, and it was good to see that dense throng open and make a lane for him, every man, however brutal or frivolous his aspect, being careful not to jostle the drooping, golden head.

But Spanish children, so caressed and so adored, are nevertheless modest in their bearing, and fall shyly back before a stranger. I remember a beaming grandfather displaying to us two blushing little men, bidding them open their eyes wide that we might contrast colors, turn back to back that we might measure heights, and in various ways put their small 181 selves on show, all which they did in mute obedience, but at the word of release flew together, flung their arms about each other's necks, rolled under the nearest table, and curled up into the least possible bunch of bashful agony.

The pictures, frescos, and carvings of Spanish churches often reflect the looks of Spanish childhood. The Holy Family gives a wide range of opportunity, especially in the ministering cherubs. There is a crucifix in one of the twenty-two aisle chapels of Toledo cathedral, where three broken-hearted mites of angels, just three crying babies, are piteously striving to draw out the nails from the Sufferer's hands and feet. Many of the saint-groups admit of child figures, too, as the St. Christopher, which almost invariably appears as a colossal nave painting, "the Goliath of frescos."

It would be strange, indeed, if children were not beloved in the country of Murillo. Spain has let the most of his beggar-boy pictures go to foreign collections, but she has cherished his Holy Families and cherub-peopled Annunciations. Such ecstatic rogues as those Andalusian cherubs are! Their restless ringlets catch azure shadows from the Virgin's mantle; they perch tiptoe on the edges of her crescent moon; they hold up a mirror to her glory and peep over the frame to see themselves; they pelt St. Francis with roses; they play bo-beep from behind the fleecy folds of cloud; they try all manner of aerial gymnastics. But a charm transcending even theirs dwells in those baby Christs that almost spring from the Madonna's arms to ours, in those boy Christs that touch all boyhood with divinity. The son of the Jewish carpenter, happy in his father's workshop with bird and dog; the shepherd lad whose earnest eyes look toward his waiting flock; 182 the lovely playmates, radiant with innocent beauty, who bend together above the water of life—from these alone might Catholic Spain have learned the sacredness of childhood. But Spain first showed Murillo the vision that he rendered back to her.

XIII

183

THE YOLK OF THE SPANISH EGG

"From Madrid to Heaven, and in Heaven a little window for looking back to Madrid."—Popular Saying.

Few foreigners can understand the sentiment of Spaniards for their capital. Madrid is the crown city of Spain, not by manifest destiny, but by decree of Philip II, who, as his nature was, better loved the harsh Castilian steppe, baked by summer suns and chilled by treacherous winds, than the romantic sierras and gracious river valleys where earlier royal seats had been established. If in Madrid the desert blossoms like the rose, it is a leafless rose, for the city has no suburbs. It lacks both the charm of environment so potent in Granada and Seville and the charm of ancient story, which these share with those other bygone courts—Toledo, Valladolid, Valencia, Saragossa. It is not a vital organ of modern European civilization, like artistic Paris or strenuous London. And yet it is more cosmopolitan, and hence less distinctively Spanish than other cities of the Peninsula. It is devoted to the bull-fight and the lottery, abounds in beggars and prostitutes, does not take naturally to commerce, and is sadly behindhand with popular education. Yet Madrileños cannot be persuaded that the skies behold its equal, and even 184 over the Anglo-Saxon stranger its fascination gradually steals.

In the first place, the mirth of the home life beguiles the serious foreigner. Spanish households have a pleasantness quite their own. All the natural vivacity and kindliness of the people find free play at home, where servants sing and children prattle, ladies chatter and gentlemen jest, all in an atmosphere of ease, leisure, and spontaneous sociability. The father is not preoccupied with business, the mother has never dreamed of belonging to a woman's club, the children have little taste for reading, and few books to read. So talking is the order of the day, and, Sancho Panza! how they talk! Lingering half the morning over the desayuno of thick, cinnamon-flavored chocolate, into which are dipped strips of bread, two-thirds of the afternoon over the almuerzo, a substantial repast of meat and vegetables, fruit and dulces, and all the evening over the comida, where soup and the national dish of puchero are added to the noontide bill of fare, they chatter, chatter, chatter, like the teeth of Harry Gill.

Still, as of old, Spaniards are temperate in food and drink. "It's as rare to see a Spaniard a drunkard as a German sober," wrote Middleton three centuries ago. They use more water than wine, and although they have a grand appetite for sweets, they take them in comparatively simple forms. The national lack of enterprise is conspicuous even here, for dearly as the Spaniard dotes on chocolate and sugar, Madrid does not make her own chocolate creams, but imports them from Paris to sell, when they are too hard to eat, at a price too high to pay.

But smoking and talking are indulgences which Madrileños carry to excess. Lounging on the balcony, a gayly painted 185 case of paper cigarettes at hand, they will pass hours in bantering their wives, whom they worship much as they worship the images of Mary, delighting to dress them in fine clothes and glittering trinkets, and expecting in return, it is said, their pardon for a multitude of sins. And when my lord saunters forth to "rest" in one of the iron chairs that line the promenades, or in a café window, or at an open-air table before one of the frequent stalls of cooling beverages, the women of the house flock together in some airy corner, stitching away on their endless embroideries, and receiving, with "a million kisses" and a chorus of shrill welcomes, the mantilla-veiled ladies who come to call.

If the afternoon is frying hot, it is just possible that the gallivanting don will bethink himself to send home a tray of horchata, a snowy, chilly, puckery refreshment, eaten by aid of wafers in the form of little tubes that look and taste much like wrapping paper. This treat gives fresh animation to the emulous tongues. The slightest neighborhood incident, as recounted in such a group, takes on a poetic vividness and a dramatic intensity, and when it is all told over again at the dinner-table, excitement waxes so high that long after the dishes and cloth have been removed the family may still be found seated around the board, flashing a thousand lights of suggestion and surmise on that dull bit of scandal. The husband cannot cease from discussion long enough to read the evening paper, nor the wife to send the little ones to bed, and midnight may find the three generations, from grandfather to four-year-old, still talking with might and main.

Accustomed guests come at once to the dining room, ready to contribute their share to the lively clash of voices, or to 186 take part in one of the characteristic games of a Spanish family circle, as lottery. In this favorite pastime, victory, including a goodly handful of coppers, falls to him whose checked and numbered square of pasteboard is most quickly filled with beans. These are placed on the squares called by the bag-holder, who draws numbers haphazard from his sibylline sack. When the small hours come in, the company may adjourn to the sala for dancing and music, but conversation under cover of these gushes on more impetuously than ever—the Castilian art of arts.

One of the chief graces of the tertulias consists in their informality—their frank simplicity. Even on a saint day—a day consecrated to the saint whose name some member of the family bears—while all the nearer friends drop in for congratulation, with perhaps a gift of flowers, in case of a lady, or sweetmeats for a child, the tertulia requires no further exercise of hospitality than an open door and a feast of words. There is more blithesomeness, for hay santo en casa (there is a saint in the house), but no more parade, with its preliminary fret and fuss.

The streets of Madrid, too, have a curious fascination. In the morning hours there is the picturesque confusion of the market. The donkeys are unladen here, there, and everywhere, and the sidewalks and squares promptly dotted over with bright little heaps of delicious Toledo cherries, Valencian apricots, Murcian lemons, and all the greens of the season. The peasant women, squatted among their lettuces and cucumbers, seem much more interested in gossiping with their neighbors than in securing customers. Babies tumble about, crushing the pinks and roses, and cabmen good-naturedly pick 187 their way as best they can among these various vegetable and human obstacles. Venders of books, too, like to pave the street with rows of open volumes, whose pages are soon dimmed with dust, and artisans, especially cobblers, set up their benches just outside their doors, and add the click of their hammers to the general din.

In the early afternoon the shady side of the street is lined with the outstretched forms of workingmen, taking the indispensable siesta. Some rest their black pates on arm or folded jacket or bag of tools, but plenty of bronzed laborers slumber peacefully all prone on the hot paving, with not so much as a cabbage leaf for a pillow. Beggars lie along the stone benches of the paseos and parks, cabmen sleep on their cabs, porters over their thresholds, and I once turned away from a church I had come far to visit, not having the hardihood to waken the verger, who, keys in hand, was snoring like an organ, sprawled across half a dozen granite steps.

As the cool of evening approaches, the overcrowded houses of the poor pour forth entire families into the street, where supper is cooked and eaten, and all manner of domestic operations carried on. Before every door is at least one black-eyed baby, in a little wooden cage something like a churn, with rim running under the armpits, so that the child, safe from straying or falling, may be left to his own devices. As darkness deepens, out come the stars and the serenos. These latter, in Madrid, no longer cry fair weather, but they hold the keys of the houses—an arrangement that I never learned to take seriously.

Returning from visit or theatre in the evening, I found it difficult to say with requisite solemnity to the driver, "Would you be so kind as to shout for Celestino?" The driver 188 promptly roars, "Celestino!" and twinkling lights come bobbing toward us from far and near, but no Celestino. "He's in the wineshop," suggests Isidro, whose charge begins three houses above. "He's eating iron," asserts Pedro, in the phrase describing those colloquies which a Spanish suitor carries on with his divinity through the grating. Then we all chorus, "Celestino!" and again, "Celestino!" and again, "Celestino!"

At this a cloaked figure comes running across the square, waving a lantern over his head and vociferating jocund apologies: "I regret it extremely. I am stricken with sorrow. But at the first call I was wetting my lips at the fountain, and at the second I was pausing to exchange four words only with the lady of my soul, and at the third I said Vamos! and at the fourth—look you, I am here." So he unlocks the door and lights the stairway with his lantern until I have ascended the first flight, when he cheerily calls out, "Adios!" and shuts me into darkness which I am expected to illuminate for my further climb by striking matches.

Madrid streets are by no means altogether delectable. Some are broad and well kept, but others are narrow, dirty, and malodorous. Worst of all, to my own thinking, is the Madrid stare, which, hardly less offensive than the Paris stare, is more universal. It is amusing to see how fearlessly a matron of eighteen sallies forth alone, while many Madrid spinsters of fifty would not go a block unattended. Nor are annoyances confined to staring. Even in reputable shops a woman soon learns to be on her guard, when her attention is especially called to book or picture, lest it prove "a silliness."

Madrid is better than the cities of Andalusia, and worse 189 than the cities of northern Spain, in its treatment of women. A young Spanish girl cannot walk alone, however sedately, in Seville, without a running fire of salutations—"Oh, the pretty face!" "What cheeks of rose!" "Blessed be thy mother!" "Give me a little smile!" And even in Madrid, Spanish girls of my acquaintance have broken their fans across the faces of men who tried to catch a kiss in passing.

In Madrid, as almost everywhere in Spain, begging is a leading industry. So many beg from laziness or greed that it is easy to lose patience, the most essential part of a traveller's Spanish outfit. The ear is wearied by the everlasting drone and whine: "Oh, dear lady, for the love of God! All day my children have had no bread. Give me five centimos, only five centimos, and Heaven will pay you back. Lady! lady! lady! lady! Five centimos, in the name of all the saints!" And the eye is offended by the continual obtrusion of ulcers, cripplings, and deformities. No less than Seville and Granada, Madrid abounds with child beggars. There were two jolly little cripples on the Prado, who used to race, each on his one leg, to overtake me before I should reach the Museo steps. Another boy, on whose face I never saw a smile, sat at the corner of a street I daily passed, holding out two shapeless blocks of hands. By the gate of the Buen Retiro was stationed a blind man, with a girl wean on his knee. It was pathetic and amusing to see him feeding her the supper of bread and milk, for the spoon in his groping hand and the pout of her baby mouth often failed to make connection.

The prevalence of eye disease in Spain is probably due to sun, to dust, and to generations of poverty. The pounding 190 of a blind man's stick upon the pavement is one of the most common city sounds. The charitable may often be seen leading the blind across the streets. I tried it myself once with an imperious old woman, who clung to the curbstone some twenty minutes before she could muster courage for the plunge, lecturing me fluently all the time on the dangers of a rash disposition. There are, of course, many cases of fraud—cases where, when the day's work is over, the blind see and the lame walk. One of the popular coplas has its fling at these:—

"The armless man has written a letter;

The blind man finds the writing clear;

The mute is reading it aloud,

And the deaf man runs to hear."

Yet it is certain that among the beggars of Madrid is a heartrending amount of genuine misery. One day I passed an aged ciego, sitting on a doorstep, in the Alcalá, his white head bowed upon his breast in such utter weariness of dejection that I paused to find him a copper. But better charity than mine came to comfort that worn heart. A lame old peanut woman limped up to him, with the pity of the wretched for the wretched. She drew from her apron pocket a coin which I had rarely seen—dos centimos, two-fifths of a cent in value. An Austrian, who had lived in Spain four years, told me he had never once encountered that paltry piece of money. But she could not spare it all. "Hast thou one centimo for change, brother mine?" she asked. And the blind man's sensitive fingers actually found in his lean leather purse that tiny metal bit, which only the poorest of the poor ever see 191 in circulation. He gravely kissed the coin she gave and made with it the sign of the cross on brow and breast, saying, "Blessed be this gift, my sister, which thy mercy has bestowed on a man of many troubles! May our Mother Mary keep for thee a thornless rose!"

"And may God, who sends the cold according to our rags, lighten all thy griefs! Rest thou in peace," she replied.

"Go thou with God," was his answer.

Begging was a recognized and licensed industry in Madrid a year ago, though a bill of reform, whose fate I have failed to learn, was then under consideration. A mother would gather her brood about her and go forth for her day's work. They beg up and down their accustomed beat during the morning, eat as their gains allow, lie down in the dust together for the afternoon siesta, and rise to be diligent in business during the hours of fashionable promenade. They stop pedestrians, chase carriages, press into shops to torment the customers at the counter, and reach beseeching palms through the open windows of cafés. Gentlemen escorting ladies are their peculiar victims, for well they know that many a man who never gives under other circumstances is ashamed to seem ungenerous under survey of starry eyes.

There is only one phrase that will shake off the professional beggar, "May God aid you!" On hearing this he makes it a point of religious honor to fall back. But as I could not use that formula without feeling myself something between a shirk and a hypocrite, I had to get on as best I could with the ineffectual, "Pardon me, my brother," to which should properly be added Por Dios (for God's sake).

The Spanish mendicant knows nothing of the Anglo-Saxon 192 feeling, "To beg I am ashamed." No Rare Ben Jonson has thundered in his ears:—

"Art thou a man? and sham'st thou not to beg?

To practise such a servile kind of life?

Why, were thy education ne'er so mean,

Having thy limbs, a thousand fairer courses

Offer themselves to thy election.

Either the wars might still supply thy wants

Or service of some virtuous gentleman,

Or honest labor: nay, what can I name,

But would become thee better than to beg?"

From the Spanish point of view, on the contrary, it is manual labor, not beggary, that stains the escutcheon. A German lady of my acquaintance said to a strongly built man who was pleading for alms, "If you will carry my bag up these stairs, I will gladly pay you." Deeply insulted, he folded his cloak about him with hidalgo dignity, saying, "Madame, I am a beggar, not a laborer." Certain monasteries send out brothers, with plates and bags, on a daily begging round—brothers who may belong to the first families of Spain. The Church is often cited as indorsing mendicancy. Extolling almsgiving as a prime virtue, and itself maintaining a vast number of charitable institutions, it has not yet assimilated modern methods of relief.

A favorite story for children, used as supplementary reading in the schools, is called "The Medal of the Virgin." This is, in fact, a Roman Catholic version of "Fortunatus's Purse." Its small heroine, Mary of the Angels, is an orphan, defrauded by a miser of her rich inheritance and treated with 193 barbarity by the uncle and aunt for whom she is an uncomplaining drudge. But once, in festive hour, they give her five centimos, which this generous innocent promptly bestows on a beggar woman, who holds a baby in her ragged arms. In return, the beggar gives the child a queer, old-fashioned mite of a coin, which turns out to have the Wall Street quality of heaving up a little mountain of gold above itself every hour or two.

Mary of the Angels sallies forth for a tour of the country, pouring handfuls of gold into the laps of the beggars who sit at the church doors and city gates, until she is escorted wherever she goes by an army of the halt and blind singing her praises. At last, having given away such Pyrenees of gold that not a beggar could be found in all the land for a century to come, the footsore little philanthropist begs the Virgin to relieve her of the coin. The Madonna descends in a beam of light, the Christ Child smiling from her arms, yet in the radiant group Mary of the Angels recognizes the objects of her earliest charity. "For I," explains the Madonna, "am the holy beggar from heaven. The poor of the earth give me their tears and prayers, and for such alms do I hold out my hand to all the sorrowful."

Yet the progressive element in Spain is all the more ashamed of the beggars because they are not ashamed of themselves, and a few years may see Madrid swept as clear of mendicancy as is San Sebastian to-day.

Madrid is such an easy-going city that one hardly realizes at first how well it performs certain of its functions. Its water supply, for instance, is excellent, although when one sees the picturesque groups, with those same clay water-jars 194 over which Rebecca smiled on Jacob, lingering about the gray stone fountains, one expects a patriarchal flavor in the liquid. The tramway service of Madrid, everything radiating from the Puerta del Sol, is most convenient, although electricity is a little slow in coming to the relief of horse-flesh. The shops, fairly well stocked, gild commerce with Spanish graces. You accept a chair, you pass the courtesies of the day, the gentleman who serves you, often with cigar in mouth, is seldom sure as to just what goods he has on hand, and is still more rarely dogmatic as to their price.

The tug of war, however, comes in getting them delivered. Ten days before quitting Madrid I bought at one of the best of the librerias a number of books, including several illustrated catalogues of the Velázquez sala. These last were pretty trifles bound in white parchment, and as I intended them for gifts, I wanted fresh copies. "You wish them clean, all of them?" asked the proprietor, with an accent of surprise. I replied that I did, and would moreover be obliged if he could fit them with envelopes ready for mailing. Envelopes he had none, but he promised to tie them up in separate parcels. "And books and bill will come without fail this afternoon?" He looked pained to the heart. "This very morning, señora. You will find them awaiting you on your return." On the third day I sent a note, and on the fifth a boy arrived with the bulk of my purchase, but no catalogues nor bill. I explained to the lad, who smilingly besought me to give myself no concern, that I was on the point of leaving the city for good, and preferred not to go away in debt; but the days passed, and my inability to extort that reckoning became the jest of the household. At last, driven to desperate measures, 195 I went through noonday heat to the store, and actually found that procrastinating bookseller scattering cigar ashes over a little heap of catalogues, while he contemplated the pictures of each copy in turn. "Behold, señora," he exclaimed, as serenely as if not ten minutes had elapsed since our parting, "here I have for you immaculate booklets, stainless, faultless, such as will rejoice those fortunate friends to whom you have the amiability to send them. And I am this instant about to prepare them for the post with inviolate security."

Christ of the Seven Words

"Christ of the Seven Words"

I expressed my obligations, but entreated him to draw up the account and let me settle it then and there, as I was within twenty-four hours of departure. "And in travelling," I added apologetically, "it is difficult to send back money." At the obnoxious word he flung up hands and eyebrows. "Señora!" I left the shop, feeling vaguely that I had been guilty of a flagrant indelicacy, as well as black ingratitude. The catalogues, very slightly wrapped, arrived on the morrow, just in time to be thrust into my shawl strap, and I paid the bill amid the final agitation, so unfavorable to arithmetic, of porters and farewells.

I had worse fortune in trying to subscribe for a certain popular periodical. I went to the office in the designated business hours, to find that, of the three men who should have been there, one had already gone, one had not arrived, and the third had "stepped out for a little rest." The janitor left in charge, a sympathetic person who could not read nor write, thought if I would return on Sunday at my luncheon hour, there might be somebody there qualified to receive my subscription and address, but, he sagely added, "in this world we are sure of nothing." 196

Madrid possesses the Biblioteca Nacional with valuable manuscripts and something like one million books, handsomely housed, where arrangements are made for over three hundred readers, but here, as in the other Spanish cities, public libraries in the American sense of libraries largely used by the general public are practically non-existent. The bookstores, too, except for the latest Spanish publications, leave much to be desired. As a rule, one can get only the most meagre information concerning texts and editions of the national classics, and the supply of new French novels or new German plays is far less complete than the stock of Paris gloves and German cutlery. This last, so canny have the honest Teutons grown, is usually engraved Toledo.

In variety of weather, however, Madrid surpasses all expectations, furnishing the sultriest heat, the chilliest cold, the dustiest dust, and the most prodigious crashes of thunder and lumps of hail to be found in the meteorological market, and all these within a few hours of one another. But what with fans, braseros, balconies, horchaterias, an army of street waterers, and, most essential of all, an inexhaustible fund of good humor, the Madrileño contrives to live on friendly terms with his climate, although he dares not lay aside his cloak before "the fortieth of May."

Apart from bull-fights and riots, those rages of excitement that seem to indicate a periodical fevering of the southern blood, the Madrileño takes his pleasures with a dignified simplicity. The city is exceedingly rich in open squares, well-shaded parks, and long reaches of green promenade, and here, with several dozen cigarettes and a few coppers for water and agráz, he wiles the hours away, chatting with friends and 197 admiring the ladies who roll past in spruce landaus. Over the gate of the social paradise of Madrid it must be written, "No admittance except in coaches," for a carriage seems essential to high life. Liveried coachman, rather than powdered butler, is the sine qua non. During the hot season this outdoor parade is in gay career at midnight, and whole families, babies and nurses included, may be seen gathered in festive knots around small refreshment tables, within sound of fountain spray and garden music. There are open-air concerts, and concerts in smoke-beclouded halls, greensward dances, and dances stepped on café tables among disordered clusters of bottles and glasses, and there is always the theatre, on which your Spaniard dotes.

In the winter season there is opportunity to enjoy classic drama at the Teatro Español, where the Bernhardt of Spain, "La Guerrero," supported by her grandee husband, Mendoza, holds sway. When I saw them they were using short farces of Cervantes and Lope de Rueda for curtain raisers to a romantic drama by Tirso de Molina and a modern society play by Echegaray. I saw them, too, in Zorrilla's singular dramatic version of "Don Juan," the only play allowed in Spanish theatres on the night of All Saints.

From March to November, however, the Teatro Español is closed, and there is little doing at the Teatro Real, an aristocratic temple of Italian opera. During the summer season the theatrical opportunities of Madrid are mainly limited to the popular zarzuelas, or operettas, four of which are usually given in an evening. Each theatre offers a new programme of these every night, but there is little of literary interest except, now and then, a taking trifle from the pen of Hartzenbusch or Echegaray. 198

The Madrid theatre recks naught of early risers. The opening vaudeville is seldom under way before nine o'clock; the house is cleared after each performance, and often the encores and repetitions prolong a popular zarzuela quite beyond the hour limit. On the other hand, if the audience is small, the opening piece may be cut down to the merest outline. I remember one such occasion when the boxes were so empty and the farce so familiar that the orchestra fairly chaffed the actors off the stage. "Enough, enough! Thou mayst withdraw!" chanted the lyric lover to an intruding servant. "And so mayst thou," called out a voice from among the violins. "I've told my passion to the stars," continued the actor in his most mellifluous tenor, making the distant love of the Spanish stage to a lady who was smiling frankly on the audacious fiddler. "Poor stars!" interpolated this worthy so sympathetically that everybody laughed, the singer wound up his transports in the shortest possible order, and the remaining scenes were hardly more than pantomime. But such was the universal good nature and indifference to business exactitudes, that neither artists nor ticket-holders took this curtailment of their rights in umbrage.

Among the excellences of Madrid must be counted her museos. The Armería, with its plumed and steel-clad warriors, all at tourney, is no mere lumber room of wicked old iron, as might have been expected, but a new canto of the "Faery Queene." The Museo Naval still smells of the boundless brine and Isles of Spicery. The Museo Arqueológico Nacional sweeps one, as on the magic carpet of Alhambra legend, through the entire tragedy of Spain. Here are the successive leaves of her strange picture-book—scratched, prehistoric flints, grass-woven 199 Iberian sandals, rudely sculptured shapes in sandstone grasping wine cups that suggest whole Rubaiyats, Phœnician anchors, bronze tables of Roman laws, Moorish arabesques, mediæval altars, modern wares and fineries, while barbaric spoils of Peruvian idols, Mexican feather-shields, sacrificial stones, and figures of forest lords speak to the imagination of that vast colonial empire which rose out of a dream to melt again like very dreamstuff, leaving "not a rack behind." These I have seen, but there are twice as many more Madrid museums which I had not time to see, and which, I am told, are no less rich in rarities and no less effective in pictorial beauty of arrangement.

Of the art galleries, who can say enough? The supreme Museo del Prado so magnetizes pilgrim feet that it is hard to spare even a few hours for the Académia de Bellas Artes, with its grand Murillos and calm Zurbaráns, or the Museo de Arte Moderno, with its succession of canvases depicting scene upon scene of death, decay, murder, execution, starvation, battle, torture, frenzy. Whatever is most horrible in the story of the Peninsula—Juana the Mad staring at her husband's coffin, the bloody fall of the betrayed Torrijos and his band, the nobles of Portugal doing shuddering homage to the exhumed corpse of Inez de Castro, all that moves disgust, distress, dismay, seems flaunted here. The technique is French, but the subjects are Spanish. Many of the pictures have historical dignity and faithfulness, a few reproduce the modern national types, with a preference for bull-fighters and anarchists over fishermen and peasants, but one misses the spiritual beauty that went hand in hand with the spiritual terror of the older art. Do the Spanish painters of to-day derive only from Goya and Ribera? 200

The old-time popular ceremonies are fast fading out of Europeanized Madrid. Even the Christmas mirth is waning, though still on Noche Buena the Plaza Mayor is close set with booths, and the Infanta Isabel, muy Madrileña that she is, makes a point of driving through and heaping her carriage with fairings. On Twelfth Night, too, there are a few small boys to be seen scampering about the streets, looking for the arrival of the Magi. Every year drops something of the mediæval heritage, and it has fallen to my lot to chronicle the passing of one of Madrid's most ancient and comfortable rites. The principal saint days of June, July, and August are preceded by verbenas, or evening fairs, chief among these being the Verbena de San Juan, on Midsummer Night. Many a baby has a grand frolic this evening, rocked back and forth on his mamma's knees, laughing eyes to laughing eyes, while she dips her head to his and tickles his little neck with kisses in time to the ancient ditty:—

"Recotín, recotón!

The bells of St. John!

There's a festival on.

Recotín, recotín, recotón!"

Far along the Prado gleam the busy fires over which are merrily bubbling the oiliest and brownest of buñuelos. The rows of lighted stalls, which have sprung up like mushrooms on either side of the promenade, present to the revelling, roving, shifting throng an amazing variety of tawdry knickknacks, ingeniously devised to meet no human want. As we drove slowly up and down, enjoying the scene, while beggars ran beside the carriage and hawkers darted out upon 201 us with shrill cries, the "American girl" of our little group strove earnestly to find "something to buy."

The most useful and convenient article for a traveller that could be discovered was a pasteboard bull's head on a long stick, but her chaperon, mindful of trunk dimensions, discouraged this purchase so effectively that Little Boston gracefully made herself amends by presenting us all with images of St. John. These scandalously represented the Baptist as a ballet girl in short cotton-wool skirts and gilt ribbons, waving a banner with one hand and leading a two-legged lamb with the other.

As midnight drew near, carriages and foot-folk all pressed toward the stately Cybele fountain. It seems that there was once, in the Puerta del Sol, a magic spring whose waters, sprinkled at Midsummer Midnight on the most unlikely head, insured a wedding within the year. Trams and cabs, riots and bloodshed, drove the precious charm away to the Prado, even to this same Cybele fountain, which for many generations has continued to work bridal miracles. So recently as 1898, as soon as the clock in the tower of the stately Bank of Spain struck midnight, with wedding cadences lingering in its peal, eager feet went splashing through the broad marble basin, and the enchanted water, thrown by handfuls and cupfuls far out over the crowd, sparkled even on bald pates and wigs.

But alas for Madrid and her Midsummer Night's Dream! Some prosaic person got wet and tattled to the Alcalde. So when in natural agitation, on our only Verbena of St. John, we had persuaded the compassionate coachman to drive as close as close might be to the fountain, we encountered a bristling, unromantic railing, and outside of this a grim circle 202 of police, frowning menace on that disconcerted host. Every moment more carriages, with veiled ladies and rheumatic gentlemen, dashed up, and the indignant crowd surged forward to the very buttons of authority. But midnight chimed in vain. One desperate graybeard vaulted over the railing, only to be hustled back with contumely. In general, however, that great press of people remained as meek as the lions of Cybele's chariot—a lack of spirit only to be accounted for by remembering that this midnight company was made up of the shamefaced and rejected, such an assemblage of blighted beings as, now that the last spell is snapped, earth will never see again. Even the decorous Cybele laughed in her marble sleeve.

So passes the old Madrid; but there is a new Madrid, of which a word still waits to be said.

XIV

203

A STUDY IN CONTRASTS

"Here you have them, the two Spains, unlike, antagonistic, squared for conflict."
Vida Nueva.

The world-old struggle between conservatism and advance is at its most dramatic point in Spain. The united forces of clericalism and militarism work for the continuance of ancient institutions, methods, ideas, and those leaders who do battle in the name of liberalism are too often nothing more than selfish politicians. But with all these odds against progress, it is making way. The mass of the people, kept so long in the darkness of ignorance and superstition, are looking toward the light. During my last week in Madrid I chanced upon two extreme expressions of these warring principles. The first was a royal and religious ceremony, the second a monster mass meeting,—the one intent on cherishing the past, the other clamoring at the gates of the future.

I was looking over the Imparcial as I took my coffee one morning, when my eye fell on an item to the effect that there would be capilla publica en Palacio at ten o'clock. A traveller learns to jump at opportunity. Public service in the royal chapel promised to be of interest, and half-past nine found me 204 waiting, with a miscellaneous company of gentles and tatterdemalions, natives and foreigners, on the palace side of the Plaza de Armas, the expectant throng streaming far down the paved and covered way. We were well marshalled by soldiers, who kept the crowd in form of a long troop, and banded this by military lines, with gleaming bayonets. These bands, but a few feet apart, were effectual in preventing crowding and disorder, and when at last the doors were thrown open, a double rank of soldiers closed in before the portal as often as the entering file showed any tendency to press and hurry, and thus passed us through by small divisions, so that there was no unseemly struggling on the succession of bare, plain stairways that led to the upper galleries.

For "public service in the royal chapel," I was now to discover, does not mean that the public is admitted to the chapel itself. This is small, but very Spanish, with profusion of gilding, imposing altar, and frescoed saints, the characteristic splendor being tempered with a no less characteristic gloom, an effect enhanced by austere columns of gray marble. On days of public service, which are usually high feast days, three long galleries, forming three sides of a great quadrangle, are traversed by the court in passing from the royal rooms to the chapel door, and it is to these galleries only that the public is admitted. On such occasions the gallery walls are hung with richly colored tapestries from the magnificent collection of eight hundred pieces that enriches the royal Tapiceria.

The instant I crossed the threshold these tapestries blazed upon the eye, so dazzling in their beauty that it was difficult to grasp the general situation. Civil Guards, in gala uniform, each armed with a pike taller than himself, were stationed at 205 intervals of about six feet all along these tapestried walls, holding the carpeted way open for the passage of the royal and ecclesiastical party. The public hastened to fill in the spaces left between the guards, so that when the dignitaries paced the length of the three galleries, they walked between continuous human lines of mingled soldiery and spectators. We were of various ages, sizes, colors, and quite as picturesque, take it all in all, as the slowly stepping group on which our eyes were focussed.

A division of the royal escort, marching with drawn swords, preceded the Queen Regent, a slight and elegant figure in white and heliotrope, her mantilla pinned with diamonds. She walked in royal solitude, with a bearing of majesty and grace, but her face had a hard and almost sour look, which of itself might account for her unpopularity. The King and the younger Infanta did not take part in the day's ceremony, but the Princess of Asturias followed her mother, a fresh-faced girl, charmingly dressed in white and blue, with pearls and turquoises. A respectful step or two in the rear of her niece, yet at her side rather than behind, came in rich green silk adorned with emeralds the stout, gray-puffed, easy-going Infanta Isabel, her broad, florid face beaming with affability. The guards had passed stern word down the line for all hats to be off, but there was no sign of greeting, so far as I saw, from the spectators to the royal party, except as now and then some happy Spaniard bowed him to the dust in acknowledgment of a nod, as familiar as a wink, from this popular Infanta.

The occasion of this stately function was the elevation of the Papal Nuncio to the rank of cardinal. He passed in all 206 priestly magnificence of vestments and jewels, his red hat borne before him on a cushion. He was attended by the chief clerics of Court and capital, but even these gorgeous personages were outshone by the military and naval officers, whose breasts were a mosaic of medals, and whose headgear such erections of vainglory as to hush the crested cockatoo with shame. The Gentlemen of the Palace, too, were such peacocks in their glittering coats of many colors, their plumes and sashes, gold lace and silver lace, that the plump Ladies in Waiting, for all their pride of velvet, satin, and brocade, looked like mere hens in the wake of strutting chanticleers.

The American mind is ill prepared to do homage to the dress parades of European courts, and I laid by the memory to laugh over when I should have reached a place and hour where laughter would be inoffensive. As the Diplomatic Corps, in its varied costumes, came trooping on, twice a whisper ran along the gazing lines. "The Turk!" and the traditional enemy of Spain limped smilingly past, a bent, shrewd-faced old Mussulman, whose Oriental finery was topped by the red fez. "The Yankee!" and Spain's latest adversary strode by in the person of the newly arrived United States Minister, decorously arrayed in dress suit and a Catholic expression.

The chapel doors closed on this haughty train, and we, the invited public, cheerily proceeded to pass a social hour or two in chat and promenade and in contemplation of the tapestries. Even the Civil Guards unbent, dancing their babies, lending their pikes to delighted urchins, and raising forbidden curtains to give their womenkind furtive peeps into the royal apartments. Most astonishing was the maltreatment of those 207 priceless tapestries. Small boys, unrebuked, played at hide and seek under the heavy folds, old men traced the patterns with horny fingers, and the roughest fellows from the streets lounged stupidly against them, rubbing dirty-jacketed shoulders over the superb coloring. The most splendid series displayed was from a master-loom of the Netherlands, illustrating the conquest of Tunis by Charles V—marvellously vivid scenes, where one beholds the spread of mighty camps, the battle shock of great armies and navies, and, like shrill chords of pain in some wild harmony, the countless individual tragedies of war. The scimitar of the Turk flashes down on the Spanish neck, while the upturned eyes are still too fierce for terror; the turbaned chief leans from his gold-wrought saddle to scan the severed heads that two blood-stained sons of the prophet are emulously holding up to his survey, hoping to recognize in those ghastly faces enemies of rank; white-robed women on the strand, their little ones clinging to their knees, reach arms of helpless anguish toward the smitten galley of their lords, who are leaping into the waves for refuge from the Christian cannonade.

I wondered how the Turkish Minister liked those tapestries, as his stooped-back Excellency passed in conference with a Chinese mandarin, who must have studied his costume from a teacup. For we had all been hustled into rows again to make that human lane through which the Royalties and the Reverends returned from their devotions. I was facing a quaint old tapestry of Christ enthroned in glory, with the beasts of the Apocalypse climbing over Him like pet kittens, and this so distracted my attention that I omitted to ask the amiable Infanta Isabel, who would, I am sure, have told anybody anything, 208 what had taken place. But I read it all in the Epocha that evening—how her Majesty with her own august hands had fitted the red hat to the Nuncio's tonsured head, and how the new-made cardinal had addressed her in a grateful oration, praising her virtues as manifested in "the double character of queen and mother, an example rich in those peculiar gifts by which your Royal Grace has won the veneration and love of the noble and chivalrous Spanish people, the especial affection of the Father of the Faithful, and the respect and sympathy of all the world." For her and for the youthful monarch of Spain he invoked the favor of Heaven, and uttered a fervent hope that the cup of bitterness which this most Catholic nation had bowed herself to drink might be blessed to her in a renewal of strength and a reconquest of her ancient preëminence among the peoples of the earth.

The most significant expression of "new Spain" that I encountered in Madrid was a mass meeting—a rare and novel feature in Spanish public life. I blundered upon it as foolishly as one well could. The second day of July was the first anniversary of the founding of a daring Madrid weekly, the Vida Nueva, to which, attracted by its literary values, as well as its political courage, I had subscribed. The sheet is usually issued Sunday, but as I was on the point of going out one Saturday afternoon my Vida Nueva arrived, accompanied by two non-committal tickets. They gave entrance to the Frontón Central, "only that and nothing more." I called one of the pretty señoritas of the household into council, and she sagely decided that these were tickets to pelota, the Basque ball game, played in one or another of the various Madrid halls almost every summer afternoon. It seemed a little too considerate 209 in the Vida Nueva to provide for the recreation of its subscribers, but I was growing accustomed to surprises of Spanish courtesy, and tucked the tickets away in a safe corner. The folded newspaper rustled and whispered, and finally fluttered to my feet, but I was eager to be off, and, after the blind fashion of mortals, put it by.

It was my privilege to dine that day with two compatriots, and one of these, who knows and loves Spain better than many Spaniards do, began at once to tell me of that most unusual occurrence, a Madrid mass meeting, to take place this very evening. Of course we resolved to go, although my friend's husband was not in the city, and no other escort would countenance so harebrained an expedition. For the street to which this valiant lady led the way was choked with a flood of men surging toward an open door. The hall for the "meeting," a word which the Spanish language has fully adopted, was the Frontón Central, and admission was by ticket. Light dawned on my dim wits, and, while my two companions, with dignified and tranquil mien, stood themselves up against the outer wall, I besought a leisurely cabman, who insisted on waiting to pick up a little ragamuffin clamoring for a ride, to drive me in hot haste to my domicile. Here I searched out the tickets, put away only too carefully, and took a fleeting glance at the Vida Nueva, which urged all "men of heart" to celebrate the eve of its anniversary by their presence at this mass meeting.

I had not realized that there were so many men of heart in Madrid. The street on my return was worse than before. The cabman objected strenuously to leaving us in these tempestuous surroundings, and, since there were only two tickets, 210 we two elders of the trio agreed that the American girl was all too young for such an escapade, and forthwith despatched her, under his fatherly care, to the hotel. Then came the tug of war. We saw men fighting fiercely about the door, we heard the loud bandying of angry words, we were warned again and again that we could never get through the jam, we were told that, tickets or no tickets, ladies would not, could not, and should not be admitted; it was darkly hinted that, before the evening was over, there would be wild and bloody work within those walls. But we noticed a few other women in the throng, and decided, from moment to moment, to wait a little longer, and see what happened next. Meanwhile, we were almost unjostled in the midst of that excited, struggling crowd, often catching the words: "Stand back there! Don't press on the ladies! Leave room!" And when it came to the final dash we had well-nigh a clear passage. Our tickets gave access only to the floor of a big, oblong hall, closely packed with a standing mass of some ten thousand men; but a debonair personage in authority conducted us, with more chivalry than justice, to the reserved boxes in the gallery, where we occupied perfect seats,—for which other people probably held tickets,—in the front row, overlooking all the house.

Maria Santisima

Maria Santisima

So much for Spanish indulgence to audacious womenfolk. But as to the meeting itself, what was it all about? In Spain one word suffices for an answer. Montjuich has become a Liberal rallying cry, although the movement is not bound in by party lines. It is the Dreyfus affaire in a Spanish edition. The Castello de Montjuich is a strong fortress, with large magazines and quarters for ten thousand soldiers. It is built on a commanding height, the old Mountain of the Jews, just outside 211 Barcelona, and has again and again suffered bombardment and storm. But in this latest assault on Montjuich the weapons are words that burn and pens keener than swords. It was on the seventh of June, 1896, that the famous bomb was exploded in Barcelona. It was taken for an Anarchist outrage, and over two hundred men, including teachers, writers, and labor leaders, were arrested on suspicion. Nearly two months passed, and, despite the offer of tempting rewards, no trace of the culprits had been found. In the Fortress of Montjuich the guards deputed to watch the prisoners, acting more or less under superior authority, which itself may have been influenced by Jesuit suggestion, began on the fourth of August to inflict tortures upon the accused for the purpose of extracting evidence. The trials were by military procedure, power sat in the seat of justice, and innocent men, it is believed, were condemned on the strength of those forced confessions—mere assents, wrung from them by bodily agony, to whatever their guards might dictate. But many persisted in denial, and in course of time a number were released, maimed, in certain cases, for life. Others were shot, and a score still lay in prison. The fortress dungeons are deep and dark, but little by little the cries and groans of the "martyrs of Montjuich" penetrated the dull stone and sounded throughout Spain.

On the fourteenth of May, last year, the Vida Nueva, this bold young periodical in the van of the Liberal cause, brought out an illustrated number devoted to "The Torments of Montjuich." Other periodicals sprang to its support and kept the Government busy with denunciations, while they vehemently called for a revision of the judicial process, with the hope of 212 releasing the men still under sentence and clearing the names of those who had perished. Mass meetings to urge such revision, which could be accorded only by vote of the Cortes, were held in Barcelona, Saragossa, Valencia, Santander, and other principal cities, all demanding revision in the sacred names of patriotism, humanity, and justice.

Our Madrid mass meeting was of chief consequence in impressing the Government with the weight of popular opinion. The swaying multitude was called to order at quarter of ten by Señor Canalejas, who introduced a notable array of speakers. There were representatives of labor, of republicanism, of the press, a Catalan charged with a greeting from Barcelona, the champion of Spanish Socialism, Pablo Iglesias by name, and great men of the nation, Azcárate, Moret, and Salmeron. Spanish eloquence at its best thrills the blood to wine, and the swift succession of orators, fourteen all told, played on the vast audience like master artists on a murmurous organ. Yet there was no disorder. A generous and grateful hearing was accorded the Count of Las Almenas, who frankly declared himself a conservative in politics and an apostolic Roman Catholic in religion, but in the name of both these creeds a lover of justice and humanity. Since for these he ever held himself ready to do battle in the Cortes, he gave the meeting his pledge that he would support Azcárate in the motion for revision.

But the wrath and grief of the audience could hardly be controlled when one of the released prisoners took the platform to recount the horrors of Montjuich. He told of dungeons with earth floor and one grated window, of savage guards determined to gain the crosses and pensions promised 213 to those who should extract evidence. He told how the helpless captives, weakened by confinement, were tortured with cords, whips, sleeplessness, hunger, and thirst. Bound as they were, water was held before their parched mouths, with the sinister words, "Confess what we bid you, and you shall drink." When the famished men begged for food, they were answered with the lash, or, more fiendishly, with shreds of salt codfish, which increased their thirst a hundred fold. One man in his desperation sprang to the lamp and quaffed the dirty oil. They licked the moisture from their dungeon walls. They thrust white tongues through the grating to catch the drops of rain. Soon the guards proceeded to more violent torments, wrenching, burning, and probing the quivering flesh with a devilish ingenuity of torture, making a derisive sport of their atrocious work. One of the victims went mad while undergoing torture by compression of the head. Others, on hearing the coming steps of the guards, strove to escape their cruel hands by suicide. One drank a bowl of disinfectant found in his cell, one beat his forehead against the wall, one strove to drive a rusted nail into his heart.

It was a frightful tale to hear. I looked across the hall to where a Spanish flag was hung. Yellow wax is funeral wax, and Alarcón, who sees in yellow a symbol of death and of decay, laments that it is the color of half the Spanish banner. "Ay de la bandera española!" But surely there is hope for Spain, while she has sons who, in grasp of a military tyranny which has rendered such crimes possible, contend in open field for the overthrow of the "black Spain" of the Inquisition, and still bear heart of hope for a white, regenerated Spain, where religion shall include the love of man.

XV

214

THE PATRON SAINT OF MADRID

"Labré, cultivé, cogí

Con piedad, con fe, con celo,

Tierras, virtudes y cielo."

Spain seems actually skied over with the wings of guardian angels. The traditional tutelar of the nation, Santiago, counts for less, especially in the south and centre of the Peninsula, than might be expected, and was long since officially superseded by the Virgin; but cities, hamlets, families, individuals, all have their protecting saints. Some are martyrs, some bishops, some apostles, while Cordova rests secure beneath the shining plumes of the angel Raphael. Towns and townlets hold festivals for their celestial patrons, honoring them with fairs, horse-races, processions, dances, and whatsoever else may be appropriate to the season and characteristic of the locality, as ball games, bull-fights, or even a miracle play. Only Seville, mirth-loving Seville, who makes holiday on the slightest provocation, can never invite her two beautiful guardians, Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, to a jubilee. These holy maidens used to keep a pottery booth in Triana, now the gypsy quarter of the city, where, refusing to worship the Roman Venus, they won the crown 215 of martyrdom. But their industrious habits cling to them still, and, by night and by day, while the centuries pass, they uphold the Giralda. An anointed vision, like Murillo's, may see their graceful forms hovering in mid-air on either side of the famous tower, which their strong brown arms hold firm even in tempests. If the ladies should let go, the Giralda would fall, and so the Sevillians are driven to the ungallant course of ignoring these really useful patrons and gadding off to adjacent towns whose saints are at leisure to be entertained.

A Spanish Monk

A Spanish Monk

By the eternal contradiction that prevails in all things Spanish, it has come to pass that Madrid, the elegant capital and royal residence, is under the guardianship of a peasant saint. Here, in the eleventh century, Isidro was born, say the priests, of poor but Catholic parents. If not precisely a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, he was next door to that humble estate, being a digger of wells and cellars. He dug with such piety that God aided him by miracles, causing troublesome rocks to melt like wax at the touch of his spade, and springs of healing water to leap in the pits of his fashioning. He was a tiller of the ground, besides, a hireling farm servant, whose agricultural methods, though seemingly irregular, caused his master's granaries to overflow. As he went to the fields in the fresh spring mornings, the young Isidro would scatter handfuls of seed for the birds, saying, "Eat, God's little birds, for when our Lord looks forth in dawn, He looks upon us all." And as he dropped the wheat and barley in the furrows, ever he murmured, "This for God, and this for us; this for the birds, and this for the ants." "For the ants, too?" mockingly asked the rustics who planted beside him, 216 but Isidro steadfastly replied, "For the ants, too, since they are God's ants, and His royal bounty is for all His household." No wonder that the Almighty had Isidro's fields in special charge, sending sun and rain in due season that the harvest might suffice for every claimant. Such divine care was the more necessary, because this dreamy plough-boy spent most of his time in the churches, or on his knees in the shadow of the fruit trees, until his profane companions called him Lazybones.

Isidro was no effective patron of Madrid as yet, but ran away from the Moors, when they invaded the city, finding farm service in a neighboring village. Here he married a maiden whose lovely soul, according to Lope de Vega, shone through her guileless face like a painting through its glass. She was no less devout than her husband, and went every evening to trim the altar in a lonely shrine of the Virgin. There was a stream to be crossed on the way, and in times of freshet Our Lady would appear in person and lead her by the hand over the tops of the waves. Such dainty stepping as it must have been! And once, when Isidro accompanied his wife, they both crossed in a boat suddenly improvised from her mantilla, which was not a thread the worse for the experience.

The miracle-working power that developed in San Isidro was first exercised, as became a farmer, on suffering beasts and bad weather. His early influence over water grew more and more pronounced, rain refreshing the thirsty fields at his bidding, and medicinal fountains gushing from rocks at the stroke of his hoe. And when, one sunshiny morning, his wife let their baby boy slip from her arms into the depths of 217 the well and ran in distress to her husband, the saint, who for once was working on the farm, did not scold her, as the priestly authors seem to think would have been the natural course, but calmly said, "My sister, what is there to cry about?" And when, after a season of prayer, these exemplary parents proceeded to the well, its waters had risen to the brink, lifting the little John, as on a silver-tissue cushion, safe to their embrace. Isidro still retained his youthful peculiarities as a laborer, often praying all day long in the churches, while his yoke of oxen did the ploughing just as well without him. On one occasion, when he arrived too late for mass, the gates of heaven opened to his vision, as he knelt before the closed church door, and he was permitted to witness a celestial mass, where Christ was both priest and wafer, with choirs of angels chanting the holy service. Even his charities cost him little, for when the olla of vegetables and fish, that his wife made every Saturday for the poor, had all been eaten, a word from Isidro was enough to replenish the pot. If he emptied his sack of corn on the snow for a flock of hungry pigeons, the sack was full when he reached the mill; and when he threshed his master's wheat a second and a third time for the beggars, the very chaff turned into golden grain.

His best quality, which almost makes his cult desirable in Spain, continued to be his love for animals, especially for birds. These sang their sweetest songs as he passed by, and often flew down from the poplar branches to brush their little wings against his blouse. And he, who had raised his master's daughter from the dead, did not disdain to work miracles of healing and of life on maltreated horses. Madrid 218 would do well to give her guardian saint a season ticket to the bull-ring. Even the despised and cudgelled ass had a share in his protection. A sacrilegious wolf that thought to make a meal of Isidro's donkey, left to graze outside a church where the saint had gone to pray, was struck dead—perhaps by the donkey's heels. This kindly rustic, who had separated from his wife for greater sanctity, died on St. Andrew's Day and was buried in the cemetery of St. Andrew's Church in Madrid. Such sepulture was not to his liking, and twice his ghost appeared to ask that the body might be removed to the church, as was presently done, all the bells of St. Andrew's ringing of their own accord to give it welcome. The tomb immediately began to work miracles, and Isidro became such a favorite with the people that when, in 1212, a shepherd guided Alfonso VIII, lost with his vanguard in the wild passes of the Sierra Morena, to the great battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, where the armies of the Holy Cross broke forever the dominion of the Moors in Central Spain, nothing would do but the story that this shepherd was Isidro himself. Above the tomb of the saint a chapel was erected, perhaps by Alfonso, perhaps by Isabel la Católica. There seems to be a conflict of authorities here, but all testimonies agree that the angels used to come down and sing in the chapel Saturday afternoons.

Madrid formally accepted Isidro as patron in the summer of 1232, when the labors of the husbandmen, on the point of perishing from drought, were saved by the body of the Holy Peasant, which, borne in priestly procession, called down floods of rain; but it was not until the times of Philip III, some four centuries later, that the actual canonization of 219 Isidro was granted by Rome. On May 15, 1620, the Plaza Mayor, that handsome square which has been the theatre of so many tournaments, executions, and autos de fe, the scene, two years later, of the beatification of Loyola, was inaugurated by a splendid festival in honor of San Isidro. From that day to this his worship has not waned. The miracle-working bones, which were carried to the bitter death-bed of Philip III, and comforted the passing of the great and generous spirit of Charles III, are still held to be more potent than physicians. Churches, oratories, and chapels have been built to him all over the Peninsula, the Franciscan Friars founded a convent of San Isidro in Rome, and his name is a part of our new geography lesson in the Antilles and the Philippines. Only four years ago his urn was borne in penitential procession through Madrid, with double supplications for rain on the parched country, and for a swift and happy ending of the Cuban war. All priestly, military, civic, and governmental pomp went to make up that stately escort, the ladies of Madrid showering the train as it passed beneath their balconies with flowers, poems, and confetti. The saint did what he could. The procession had been so skilfully timed that the rains began that very night, but the Cuban war was a matter out of his province. His dealings had always been with water, not with blood.

There is significance in this devotion of proud Castile to San Isidro. Spain is essentially as democratic as America. Her proverbs tell the story: "Many a man gets to heaven in tow breeches;" "Do what your master bids you, and sit down with him at table;" "Nobody is born learned, and even bishops are made of men;" "Since I am a man I may 220 come to be Pope;" "The corpse of the Pope takes no more ground than that of the sacristan;" "Every man is the son of his own works."

"Said the leaf to the flower: 'O fie!

You put on airs indeed!

But we sprang, both you and I,

From the selfsame little brown seed.'"

Pedler, porter, beggar treat you as social equals and expect a full return of courtesy. It is told in Madrid how a great diplomatic personage not long ago was eating his picnic luncheon in a hired carriage. The driver, lunching also, leaned back from his seat, clinked glasses, and drank the gentleman's health. The dignitary glared with astonishment and wrath. "Man! I am the Imperial Ambassador of Nation So-and-So." "What of it?" returned the driver, taking another bite of his peppery Spanish sausage; "I am the Head Hostler of Stables Such-and-Such."

Again and again, in recent times as in ancient, have the rank and file of the Spanish nation asserted their dignity of manhood. An edict of Charles III, forbidding the Madrileños to muffle themselves in their beloved long cloaks and hide their faces under their big slouch hats, raised a furious riot in the capital. Should a king dictate the fashion of a man's garments? And when the stupid weakness of Charles IV and the baseness of his son Fernando had delivered Spain over to Napoleon, when French armies held her fortresses, and Murat, with twenty-five thousand troops, ruled Madrid by logic of steel and iron, it was the Spanish people who, from Asturias to Andalusia, sprang to the defence of a country 221 abandoned by princes, councils, and grandees. The Spanish people, not the Spanish nobles, preserved the independence of the nation and actually broke the career of the Corsican conqueror. The Italian king, Amadeo, so much better than his fortunes, was welcomed at Valencia in 1871 with simple verses, spoken by a child, that breathe even from their opening stanza this native spirit of democracy:—

"The High Lord of the Heavens

Created men one day,

All mortal and all equal,

All shapen out of clay;

For God recked not of nations,

Of white and black and brown,

But on His human children

Impartially looked down."

It is not then so strange as it appears at first hearing that a Piers Plowman should be patron of Madrid.

From Alfonso VIII to Alfonso XIII, a matter of some seven centuries, Isidro has been in high repute with royalty. The "Catholic Kings" made him rich gifts; Philip II, bigot of bigots, cherished an especial veneration for the ghostly protector who had brought his delicate childhood safely through smallpox and epileptic seizures; the passion-wasted Philip IV did him public homage; Charles the Bewitched made a solemn progress to his shrine to thank him for recovery from illness; even the bright young Bourbon, Philip V, had scarcely arrived in Madrid before he hastened to worship the efficacious body of San Isidro. The urn has been opened at intervals to give their successive Majesties of 222 Spain the grewsome joy of gazing on the bones, and it has been the peculiar privilege of Spanish queens, on such occasions, to renew the costly cerements. The devotion of the present regent to these relics keeps pace with that of her predecessors.

Where royalty leads, aristocracy is swift to follow, and Isidro has a gorgeous wardrobe of embroidered standards, palls, canopies, burial cloths, and everything that a skeleton could require, but "for a' that and a' that" the laboring people of Castile never forget that the Canonized Farmer especially belongs to them. His fortnight-long fiesta is the May outing of the rustic population all about Madrid.

We will start on this pilgrimage from the Puerta del Sol, because everything in Madrid starts from the Puerta del Sol. From this great open parallelogram in the centre of the city, surrounded by lofty hotels and Government buildings, bordered with shops and cafés, brightened with fountains, thronged with trams, carriages, people, always humming with voices, always surging with movement, run ten of the principal streets of the capital. The Alcalá, most fashionable of promenades, and San Jerónimo, beloved of wealthy shoppers, conduct to the noble reaches of parks and paseos in the east; the handsome Arenal and historic Calle Mayor lead west to the royal palace, with its extensive gardens known as the Campo del Moro; Montera, with two less elegant avenues, points to the north, where one may find the university, the Protestant churches, and the tragic site of the Quemadero; and three corresponding streets open the way to the south, with its factories, hospitals, old churches, and world-famed Rastro, or rag fair.

A Seville Street

A Seville Street

223 But during the early days of the Romeria, which begins on May 15, all the throbbing tide of life pours toward the southwest, for the goal of the pilgrimage, the Hermitage of San Isidro, built over one of his miraculous wells by the empress of Charles I, in gratitude for a cure experienced by her august husband after drinking of the waters, stands on the farther bank of the Manzanares. The trams, literally heaped with clinging humanity, pass out by the Calle Mayor and cross the Plaza Mayor. The innumerable 'buses and cabs make a shorter cut, but all varieties of vehicle are soon wedged together in the broad thoroughfare of Toledo. Here we pass the big granite church of San Isidro el Real, once in possession of the Jesuits, but on their expulsion from Spain, in 1767, consecrated to the Santo Labrador. His body was borne thither, with all solemn ceremonial, from the chapel in St. Andrew's; and his poor wife, who had also been sainted, by a courteous Spanish afterthought, under the attractive title of Maria de la Cabeza, Mary of the Head, was allowed to lay her celebrated skull beneath the same roof,—a greater liberty than he had permitted her during the latter half of their earthly lives. The Madrid Cathedral, hard by the royal palace, is still in slow process of building, the work being hampered and delayed for lack of funds, although her Majesty sets a devout example by contributing $300 a month. Meanwhile, San Isidro el Real serves as the cathedral church of the diocese.

This Calle de Toledo, where Isidro dug several of his medicinal wells, is always gay with arcades and booths and drapers' shops; but now, during the Romeria, it is a veritable curbstone market, where oranges, sashes, brooms, mantles, picture frames, saucepans, fiddles, mantillas, china, jackets, umbrellas, fans, 224 dolls, bird-cages, paintings of saints, and photographs of ballet dancers are all cried and exhibited, hawked and held under nose, in one continuous tumult.

As we approach the bare mass of masonry known as the Gate of Toledo, we cast, for all our festival mood, a clouded glance in the direction of the barbarous slaughter-houses of Madrid. Here the stronger beasts are blinded by the thrust of darts, and also hamstrung, to render them helpless under the deliberate butchery of their tormentors, who often amuse themselves by a little bull-fight practice with the agonized creatures before striking the final blow—a place of such atrocious cruelties that even the seasoned nerves of an Austrian surgeon recently visiting it gave way, and he fainted as he looked. There is work for San Isidro here.

The jam of equipages on the Bridge of Toledo gives us abundant time to observe the statue of the Holy Peasant, in a stone niche, lifting his baby from the well, and the companion statue of Mary of the Skull. And there is the Manzanares to look at, that sandy channel along which dribble a few threads of water—threads that the washerwomen of Madrid seek after like veins of silver. Small boys are wading from one bank to the other, hardly troubling themselves to roll up their trousers. It is said that Philip IV, surveying his pompous bridge across the Manzanares, was wickedly advised by one of his courtiers to sell the bridge or else buy a river. It is a curious bit of irony to hold the festival of the Water Saint beside a river bed almost as dry as his bones.

But the crowd has now become so mad and merry that it distracts attention alike from architecture and physical geography. Will all the dexterity of foot-police and mounted 225 guards ever succeed in disentangling this snarl of equipages? Who cares? Everybody is laughing. Everybody, too, is helping, so far as lungs can help. A daring Aragonese, with a blue and white checked handkerchief knotted about his head and a scarlet blanket over his shoulders, tries to dash across the bridge and rejoin his screaming children. He stumbles before a jovial omnibus, whose four horses, adorned with beribboned straw hats, gaze coyly out from under the torn brims like so many metamorphosed Maud Mullers. A distant guard roars a warning. The crowd bellows in sympathy. A liveried coachman rears his spirited pair of bays. A cock-hatted gypsy, with half his tribe packed into his cart, tries to follow suit, and tugs savagely at the stubborn mouths of mules whose heads are liberally festooned with red and green tassels. In front of these safely passes the Aragonese, only to bring up against the great wheel of a picnic wagon, whose occupants, mostly señoritas in the sunrise Philippine shawls, thrust out their pretty heads, all crowned with flowers instead of hats, and rain down saucy salutations. The crowd chimes in with every variety of voluble impudence. He catches at the long gold fringe of the nearest shawl, saves himself from falling at the price of a shriek of wrath from the señorita, plunges desperately on, is struck by a cab horse, the poor beast being half blinded by the tickling plumes that droop over eyes and nose, and amid volleys of ridicule and encouragement reels to the shelter of the sidewalk. But a very precarious shelter it is, so narrow that the lads are positively obliged to fling their arms about the lasses to hold the fluttering skirts back from peril of wheels and hoofs. Everywhere what audacity, what fun, what color, and what noise! Troops 226 on troops of foot travellers, usually in family groups, and often stained with the dust of an all-day tramp! The wives generally carry the hampers, and the husbands sometimes shoulder the babies. Squads of young fellows frolic along, each with his supply of provisions tied up in a gaudy handkerchief. The closer the nudging the better they like it; a slap from a girlish hand is almost as good as a kiss. Isidro knew all about it in his day. But this clownish jollity grows rougher and rougher, and the crack and sting from a coachman's whip tempt a reply with the pilgrim's staff. The guards, hoarse and purple, wipe their dripping brows. It is early afternoon yet, too, and the larking and license are as nothing to what may be expected before midnight.

It is a little better when, at last, the bridge is left behind. Turning to the northwest, the dusty road runs on beside the river and beneath the bluffs lined with rowdyish folk, who shout down greetings to their acquaintances and compliments to the ladies, toward the ermita. A certain Juan de Vargas, riding over this same route one day, lifted his eyes to the uplands to see how his farm-hand, Isidro, was getting on with the ploughing. Blessed Isidro! Before and after went two stalwart young angels, still in shining white, each driving a celestial yoke of oxen.

Times have changed. The sight that greets our eyes is emphatically human—a great country fair, a pandemonium of rude, good-natured revelry. The beggars who have been chasing the carriage, the cripples outstripping the rest, thrust withered arms, ulcerous legs, and all manner of profitable deformities into our very faces as we alight, even clutching at the coins with which we pay the coachman. We make our way, 227 as best we can in the rough press, between two rows of booths toward the church. There is the usual Spanish variety of penny toys on sale—balls, baskets, whips, kites, jumping-jacks, balloons, and every other conceivable trifle admitting of the colors red and yellow. But the great traffic is in those articles especially consecrate to San Isidro—frosted cakes, probably made after the recipe of Maria de la Cabeza, clay vessels of every shape and size for carrying away the healing waters, and, first and foremost, pitos, or whistles. The priests would have us believe that San Isidro was forever droning psalms, but ploughmen know a ploughman's music, and the sacred whistles lead the sales in the Romeria. It is impiety not to purchase at least one of these, and the more devout you are, the more pitos will you buy. The Infanta Isabel, aunt of his Little Majesty, fills her emblazoned coach every year with these shrill pipes in all their variety of queer disguises—fans, birds, puffing grotesques, and, above all, paper flowers. He is no lover worth the having who does not bring his sweetheart a San Isidro rose with a pito for a stem. The ear-torture of an immense fair-ground delighting in an infinity of whistles may be left to the sympathetic imagination. We cling to the memory of Burns, and bear for his bonny sake what we could hardly endure for any such sham laborer as Isidro.

The hearing is not the only sense to do penance in this pilgrimage. The Water Saint has never thought to work a miracle of cleanliness upon his peasant votaries, and the smell that bursts out upon us from the opening doors of the church might put us to flight, were flight still possible. But, caught in the human current, we are swept on into the gilded, 228 candle-lighted, foul-aired oratory, with its effigies of Santo Labrador and Santa Labradora. All day long the imperious ringing of the bell at the shortest of intervals has been calling one company of the faithful after another up the bare brown hill to that unventilated temple. When there is no squeezing room left for even a dwarf from the pygmy show, the doors are closed, the bell is silenced, and the rustics are marshalled in rapid procession before the altar, where they pay a penny each, receive a cheap print of San Isidro, and kiss the mysterious, glass-cased relic which a businesslike young ecclesiastic touches hastily to their lips. The frank sound of the kissing within is accompanied by the tooting of pitos without. We stand at one side, looking at the priests and wondering how their consciences are put together, but half ashamed to watch with heretic eyes the tears of joy, the fervors of prayer, the ecstasies of faith, that are to be seen in many of these simple, passionate faces filing by. Here comes a little girl treading as if on air and clasping her picture of the saint to her lips, brows, and heart with such abandon of delighted adoration as one must go to Spain to see.

Released from the Hermitage, we fill our lungs with sweeter breath, give skirts a vigorous shake in the vain hope that we may not carry away too many deserters from the insect retinue of our recent associates, and turn down toward the river. Our short cut leads us among heaps and heaps of bales packed with the graceful clay jars. How many an anxious mother will trudge her weary miles across this dry Castilian steppe, bearing with all her other burdens a botija of the healing water to some little sufferer at home! Wonderful water, warranted to make whole the lame, the blind, the deaf, the dumb, and 229 put to rout all ills that flesh is heir to, especially fevers, tumors, erysipelas, paralysis, and consumption! It is as potent to-day as when it first gushed from the earth at the bidding of the young Isidro, for did it not work a notable cure, as late as 1884, on the Infanta Doña Paz de Bourbon, sister of Alphonso XII?

We linger a few minutes at the edge of the bluff, looking down upon the animated scene below, from which rises the hum as of an exaggerated beehive. The long green stretch of valley meadow is one wave of restless color. Thickly dotted with booths for refreshment, for sale of the San Isidro wares, for penny shows, farces, wax figures, and all manner of cheap entertainments, it still has space for dancers, wrestlers, pelota players, for swings, stilts, and merry-go-rounds, and, above all, for the multitude of promenaders, sleepers, and feasters. The bright May sunshine gleams and dazzles on the soldiers' helmets, flashes out all the hues and tints of the varied costumes, and even lends a grace to the brown patches on the browner tents. The tossing of limbs in the wild, free dances, the flutter of the red and yellow flags, the picturesque grouping on the grass of families, complete to dog and donkey, around the platter of homely fare and the skin bottle of wine—all this makes a panorama on which one would gladly gaze for hours.

Going down into the heart of the festivity, the interest still grows. We enter one of the cleanest cantinas and invest a peseta in a bottle of sarsaparilla, not for our own drinking, having seen the water in which the glasses are washed, but as a protection against the horde of beggars and the gypsy fortune tellers. It works like a charm. As we respond to 230 the whining appeals with the civilities of social greeting and an offered glass of our innocent beverage, the ragged petitioners are straightway transformed into ladies and gentlemen. They draw themselves erect, quaff the cup to our long life and happiness, discuss in self-respecting tones the weather and the fête, and then, without another hint of solicitation, bid us courteous farewells. We mean to take out a patent on the sarsaparilla treatment of Spanish mendicancy.

The tent itself is, like the rest, shabby and tumbledown, furnished with rough tables and benches, where cadets are playing dominos as they drink, and two country sweethearts are delectably eating what appears to be a sardine omelette off the same cracked plate. A clumsy lantern hangs overhead, racks of bottles are fastened up along the canvas walls, and all about the trampled earth floor stand water jars, great bowls of greens, and baskets of the crusty Spanish bread. A pale young Madrileño drops in for a glass of wine, but before indulging has the shy little rustic who serves him take a sip, languidly begging her, "Do me the favor to sweeten my drink." The yellow cigarette-stains show on his white fingers as he pats her plump bare arm. The child, for she is scarcely more, and as brown as an acorn, responds to these amenities by giving the smiling exquisite alternate bites of her hunk of goat's-milk cheese, while her mother keeps a sharp eye on them both.

Comedy and tragedy are busy all about us. A newly arrived family plods wearily by in ludicrous procession, headed by a tall father carrying a baby and closed by a short child carrying a cat. A showy man of middle age, playing 231 the gallant to an overdressed brunette, is suddenly confronted by his furious wife in boy's attire, so unluckily well disguised that, before recognizing her, he has replied to her rush of invective with a blow which bids fair to make one of her eyes, at least, blacker than those of her rival. Traditional ballads are trolled, popular songs are echoed from group to group, and, despite bad odors, fleas, and whistles, we are reluctant to leave. But the afternoon grows late, the Arganda and Valdepeñas are beginning to burn in the southern blood, an occasional flourish of cudgels or of fists sends the police scurrying across the field, and, being nothing if not discreet, we pay our parting respects to San Isidro.

Coming home by way of the Prado and passing the proud shaft of yellow-brown granite that towers far above its enclosing cypress trees, as glory above death, we are reminded that this gala month has brought another fiesta to Madrid. Every second of May the capital commemorates with solemn masses, with stately civic processions, and a magnificent military review, the patriots who fell fighting in the streets on that terrible Monday of 1808, El Dos de Mayo, which brought to pass the war of independence. One may read of that fierce carnage in the vivid pages of Galdós or behold it in the lurid paintings of Goya. To see once is to see forever that line of French soldiery, with steady musket at shoulder, but with eyes bent on the ground, while they shoot down squad after squad of their defenceless victims. In pools of blood lie the contorted bodies, with heads and breasts horribly torn by crimson wounds, while of those who wait their turn to fall beside them some cover the eyes, one stupidly gnaws his hands, one kneels and wildly peers from 232 under his shaggy hair into the very muzzle of the gun before him, one flings back his head with a savage grin, half of fright and half of courage, one desperately strips bare his breast and in agony of horror glares upon the guns, but the most are crouching, shuddering, sinking—and all only an item in the awful cost that the Spanish people have paid for Spanish liberties. The celebration of 1899 was no less brilliant than usual, although many of the Madrid papers spoke bitterly of the shadow that the disastrous first of May must henceforth cast on the glorious Second. It is indeed gall and wormwood to all Spain that the Manila defeat so nearly coincides with the proudest day in Spanish annals.

The saint of El Dos de Mayo is Saint Revolution, as democratic in one way as Saint Agriculture in another. When these two patrons of Madrid understand how to work in fellowship, when there comes a Government in Spain that cares chiefly to promote the welfare of the laboring people, the world may discover anew the vitality and noble quality of this long-suffering nation.

We saw the Romeria once more, driving through late in the evening, when the closed booths glimmered white on the silent meadow.

"Yes, it is all a pack of lies," said a thoughtful Catholic, "but what is one to do? A man cannot believe in religion—and yet how to live without it? The more I stay away from mass the more I want and need it. Think of the comfort these peasants take with their San Isidro!"

The moonlight shone serene and beautiful on those patched, shabby tents, transforming them to silver.

XVI

233

THE FUNERAL OF CASTELAR

"The death of the Republic will be, for you, for us, and for all, the death of liberty. The death of liberty will be the death of the Republic, and as liberty is the only thing in the world that rises from the dead, with liberty shall rise again, in good time, the Republic."—Emilio Castelar: Inaugural Address, 1873.

The present state of Spanish politics was amusingly expounded to me by a spirited young philosopher of Cadiz.

"In the north," he said, "the prevailing sentiment is for Don Carlos. Nocedal is doing all he can to fan it in Andalusia, but it finds its natural home in the northern provinces. To be sure, there is San Sebastian, where the Court summers, which consequently upholds the Queen, and there are Republican groups; but the north of Spain, broadly speaking, is Carlist. The centre favors the reigning family. Possession is a strong argument, and the royal forces hold Madrid. Barcelona is Republican. Those Catalans are always thirsty for a fight. But the middle tract of Spain, as a whole, accepts the existing monarchy. Castilians are too gallant to strike against a woman and a child. The south is Republican. For the best part of the century Cadiz and Malaga have stood for revolution. Where was the army of Isabel II defeated? And why has the Queen never seen the Alhambra? 234

"But, let me tell you, these Carlists, these Royalists, these Republicans are all fools. If there is anything hopeless in this world, it's Spanish politics. All the uproar of the Revolution ended in murdering our best man and driving out our best king. For myself, I mean to work hard and marry soon, and have a little Spain in my own house that shall express my own convictions. My children shall be good Catholics, but not superstitious bigots. They shall be well educated, if I have to send them to France or England for it. They shall be disciplined, but under the law of liberty. And with that I propose to be content. All my politics are to be kept under my own roof, where I can work my ideas into permanent form. I am sick of the way in which Spain boils with ideas that only destroy one another."

This Sir Oracle was two-and-twenty, with the prettiest of girlish photographs in his vest pocket, and the smallest of savings in the bank, but I remembered his words in the days of mourning for Emilio Castelar.

The illustrious tribune, heavy-hearted with the troubles of his country, had gone to the home of friends, at a village in sunny Murcia, for the rest and comfort that nature always gave him. His almost boyish optimism, "niño grande y grande niño" that he was, had kept him assured of peace even after the destruction of the Maine, and assured of victory even after the battle of Manila. Hence the pressure of fact told on him all the more cruelly. "I die a victim of Spain's agony," he wrote in a personal letter shortly before the end, and his last article for publication, finished on the day of his death, a gloomy discussion of the outlook for the Peace Conference, contains bitter references to the national disasters and 235 to the ravages of the "criminal troop of pirates in the Philippines."

He died on Thursday, the twenty-fifth of May, within hearing of the Mediterranean waves he loved so well, with tender faces bent over him, and the crucifix at his lips. The news of his death aroused this grief-weary nation to a fresh outburst of sorrow. Some lamented him as one of the chief orators of modern Europe, recalling his eloquence in the tempestuous times of the Revolution, when he "intoned mighty hymns in praise of liberty, democracy, and the sacred Fatherland!" Some mourned the patriot, pointing proudly to the honorable poverty in which this holder of many offices, at one time almost absolute dictator, had lived and died. Some wept for the cordial, generous, noble-hearted man, the joy of his friends and idol of his household. His political sympathizers bewailed the loss of the Spanish apostle of democracy, the lifelong champion of liberty. And many not of his following nor of his faith felt that a towering national figure had disappeared and another glory of Spain vanished away.

The first wreath received was from a Republican club that sent the pansies of memory. Among the five hundred telegrams and cablegrams that arrived within a few hours at the country-seat where he had died was one from over seas, which read: "To Castelar: In thy death it seems as if we had lost the last treasure left to us, the voice of the Spanish race. In thy death Spain has become mute. Yet let me believe that thou respondest, 'She will speak again.'"

The coming of the body to the capital was a triumphal progress. A large escort of friends, who had made speed to Murcia from all parts of the Peninsula, accompanied it, and 236 there were crowds at the stations, even in the mid-hours of the night, with tears, handfuls of roses, wreaths, and poems of farewell. There was often something very touching about these offerings. At one of the smaller towns a young girl hastily gathered flowers from the garden attached to the station, broke off a spray from a blossoming tree, tied these with the bright ribbon from her hair, and, clambering up, hung this simple nosegay among the costly tributes that already nearly covered the outer sides of the funeral car. In another crowded station the village priest came hurrying forward, bared his head with deepest reverence before the garlanded coach, as if before the altar, and chanted the prayers for the dead. Again, a group of workmen, allowed to enter the car, fell on their knees before the bier and prayed.

The train was met on its arrival in Madrid by an immense concourse of people. Señor Silvela and other distinguished representatives of the Government were there, church dignitaries, presidents of political societies and literary academies, but, above all, the people. It was the great, surging multitude that gave the Republican leader his grandest welcome.

This poor shell of Castelar, the man said to bear "the soul of a Don Quixote in the body of a Sancho Panza," lay in state through Sunday and a part of Monday in the Palacio del Congreso. The vestibule had been converted into a capilla ardiente. Masses were chanted ceaselessly at the two candle-laden altars, the perfume from the ever increasing heaps of flowers was so oppressive that the guards had to be relieved at short intervals, and the procession of people that filed rapidly past the bier, often weeping as they went, reached out from the Morocco lions of the doorway to the Prado and the 237 Fountain of Neptune. Many of the humblest clad, waiting half the day in line, held pinks or lilies, fast withering in the sun, to drop at the feet of the people's friend. Early on Monday afternoon the doors were closed, and by half-past three the funeral cortège began to form in the Prado for its four-hour march by way of the Calle de Alcalá, Puerta del Sol, Calle Mayor, and Cuesta de la Vega, to the cemetery of San Isidro.

By the never failing Spanish courtesy, I was invited to see the procession from the balcony of a private house in the Alcalá. I found my hostess, a vivacious little old lady, whose daughter had crowned her with glory and honor by marrying into the nobility, much perturbed over the failure of the Queen Regent to show sympathy with the popular grief.

"There were one hundred and forty-nine wreaths sent in. The very number shows that the royal wreath was lacking. I am a Conservative, of course. Canovas was my friend, and has dined here often and often. You see his portrait there beside that of my daughter, la Marquesa. But Canovas loved Castelar, and would not, like Silvela, have grudged him the military honors of a national funeral. As if the dead were Republicans! The dead are Spaniards, and Castelar is a great Spaniard, as this tremendous throng of people proves. There were not nearly so many for Canovas, though the aristocracy made an elegant display; there were not so many for Alfonso XII, though all that Court and State and army could do was done, and the Queen rode in the splendid ebony coach in which Juana the Mad used to carry about the body of that handsome husband of hers.

"But the people know their losses. Never in my life have 238 I seen the Alcalá so full as this. Silvela has had to give way, and the troops will come—at least a few of them. But not a word, not a flower, from the Queen! She sent a magnificent wreath for Canovas, and a beautiful letter to his widow. But for Castelar, her people's hero, nothing. Ah, she is not simpática. She does not know her opportunities. She does not understand the art of winning love. Only a year ago she sent a wreath to the funeral of Frascuelo, the torero. And everybody knows how she hates the bull-fight. But if she could drop her prejudices then to be at one with the feeling of her capital, why not now? They say she has a neuralgic headache to-day. Ay, Dios mio! I should think she might."

Listening to this frank chatter and watching that mighty multitude, I was reminded of one of the Andalusian coplas:—

"The Republic is dead and gone;

Bury her out of the rain.

But see! There is never a Panteón

Can hold the funeral train."

And this, in turn, suggested another of those popular refrains:—

"The moon is a Republican,

And the sun with open eye;

The earth she is Republican,

And Republican am I."

But who can understand this ever baffling Spain? After all, what was the significance of that assembled host? How far was it drawn by devotion to the man, and how far by devotion to the idea for which he stood? How far by idle curiosity, by the Spanish passion for pomps and shows, and, 239 above all, for a crowd, by that strange Spanish delight in mucha gente? So far as eye could tell, this might have been the merriest of fêtes. The wide street was a sea of restless color. Uniforms, liveries, parasols, hats, frocks, pinafores, kerchiefs, blouses, sashes, fans, flecked the sunshine with a thousand hues. Here loitered a messenger boy in vivid scarlet; there passed a waiter with a silver tray gleaming on his head; here a market woman bent beneath her burden of russet sacks bursting with greens; there stood a priest in shovel hat and cassock, smelling a great red rose; here a gallant in violet cape escorted a lady flaming in saffron; there a beaming old peasant, with an azure scarf tied over his white head, threw an orange to attract the attention of a plodding porter, whose forehead was protected from the cords binding the boxes to his back by several folds of purplish carpeting.

Streets and sidewalks, balconies and windows, all were full, and everywhere such eagerness, such animation, and such stir! The children sitting on the curbstone rocked their little bodies back and forth in excitement. Young mothers danced their crying infants, and young fathers shifted the babies of a size or two larger from one shoulder to the other. A boy in a red cap climbed a small locust tree, from whose foliage his head peeped out like an overgrown cherry. The crowd indignantly called the attention of authority to this violation of the city laws. A glittering member of the Civil Guard sonorously ordered the culprit down. The laughing lad refused to budge, inviting this embarrassed arm of the law to reach up and get him. The Guard darkly surveyed the slender stem already swaying with the boy's slight 240 weight. The fickle crowd, whose every face seemed to be upturned toward that defiant cherry, cheered the rebel and tossed him cigarettes and matches, wherewith he proceeded to enjoy a smoke. The Guard caught a few cigarettes in mid-career, pocketed them, smiled benevolently, and walked away. The lad saucily saluted, and the multitude, suddenly impartial, pelted them both with peanuts.

Thus it was that the Madrid populace awaited the last coming of Castelar. Even when the funeral train was passing, the crowd showed scant respect. Not half the men uncovered for the bier, although I was glad to see the cherry cap whisked off. And one picturesque gentleman stood throughout with his back to the procession, making eyes at his novia in the gallery above our own.

The Government, which had finally assumed the charges and care of the obsequies, had been remiss in not providing lines of soldiers to hold an open way for the cortège. As it was, the procession could hardly struggle through the mass of humanity that choked the street. A solitary rider, mounted, like Death, on a white horse, went in advance, threatening the people with his sword. A division of the Civil Guard followed, erect and magnificent as ever, their gold bands glittering across their breasts, but their utmost efforts could not effectually beat back the crowd. Men scoffed at the drawn blades and pushed against the horses with both hands. The empty "coach of respect," black as night, its sable horses tossing high white plumes, pressed after, and then came some half dozen carriages overflowing with wreaths and palms, and all that wealth of floral gifts. The crowd caught at the floating purple ribbons, and called aloud the names 241 upon the cards; a monster design, with velvet canopy, from the well-known daily, El Liberal, a beautiful crown from the widow of Canovas, and, later in the procession, alone upon the coffin, a nosegay of roses and lilies, brought in the morning by a child of four, a little "daughter of the people," and bearing the roughly written words, "Glory to Castelar!—A workingman."

The train of mourners, impeded as it was by the multitude, seemed endless. After the representatives of certain charities there walked, in gala uniform, white-headed veterans of war. A great company of students followed, their young faces serious and calm in that tempting hurly-burly of the street, and after them an overwhelming throng of delegates from all manner of commercial and craft unions. Even the press wondered that Castelar's death should move so profoundly the trading and laboring classes, almost every store and workshop in Madrid closing for the afternoon. Then came the Republican committees, and behind them the representatives of countless literary, scientific, and artistic associations.

At this point in the procession a place had been made for all or any who might wish, as individuals, to follow Castelar to the tomb. Some fifteen hundred had availed themselves of the opportunity—a motley fellowship. The gentlemen preceding, those who had come as delegates from the industrial and learned bodies of all Spain, wore almost without exception the correct black coat and tall silk hat, and paced, when they could, with a steady dignity, or halted, when they must, with a grave patience, that did more to quiet the unruly host of spectators than all the angry charges of the police. But the 242 fifteen hundred showed the popular variety of costume—capes and blouses, broad white hats and the artisan's colored cap. Some of them were smoking, an indecorum which, by a self-denial that counts for much with Spaniards, nowhere else appeared in the long array.

But whatever might be the deficiencies of dress or bearing, here, one felt, was the genuine sorrow, here were the men who believed in Castelar and longed to do him honor. The impulsive onlookers responded to this impression, and more than one rude fellow, who had been skylarking a minute before, elbowed his way into the troop and fell soberly into such step as there was. Music would have worked wonders with that disorderly scene, but the bugles and cornets were all in the far rear. The representatives of the provinces, as they struggled by, were hailed with jokes and personalities. The chanting group of clergy, uplifting the same ebony cross that they had borne for Canovas, did not entirely hush the crowd, nor did even the black-plumed hearse itself, with its solemn burden. For close after came, bearing tapers, a group of political note, closed by Sagasta and Campos, and then the chiefs of army and navy, including Blanco and Weyler. Behind these walked the city fathers, the senators, the diplomats, ex-ministers,—among them Romero, Robledo,—then the archbishop, and, finally, Silvela, with his colleagues.

The procession was closed by a military display and a line of empty coaches, sent, according to Spanish custom, as a mark of respect. The coach sent by Congress, a patriotic blaze of red and yellow, with coachman and footman in red coats and yellow trousers, and horses decked with red and yellow plumes, looked as if it had started for the circus and had missed its way.

An Old-fashioned Bull-Fight

An Old-fashioned Bull-Fight

243 The sight of the politicians seemed to serve as spark to the Republican fuel. Even while the hearse was passing somebody shouted, "Long live Castelar!" but the crowd corrected the cry to "Long live the glorious memory of Castelar!" Then came a heterogeneous uproar: "Death to the friars!" "Long live the Republican Union!" "Down with Reaction!" "Down with the Jesuits!" "Down with Polavieja!" "Down with the Government!" "Up with the Republic!" "Long live Spain!" "Long live the army!" "Long live Weyler!"

A woman was run over in the confusion and a man was trampled, but the procession, aided as much as possible by the Civil Guards and the police, slowly worked its way through the Alcalá to the Puerta del Sol, where the people poured upon it like an avalanche, with ever louder cries against ministry and clergy, until the scene in front of the Government Building suggested something very like a mob. Silvela bore his silvered head erect and exerted a prudent forbearance. But few arrests were made, and the military force that sallied out from the Government Building merely stood in the gates to awe the rioters. After an hour and a quarter the transit of the square was effected. The disturbances were renewed in the Calle Mayor with such violence that the ministers were advised to withdraw, but they only entered the funeral coaches, and, the Guards exerting themselves to the utmost, a degree of order was at last secured. While the cortège was descending the difficult hill of La Vega, the Queen, standing in one of the palace balconies, opera glass in hand, sent a messenger for a report of the state of affairs in her capital, and was visited and reassured by a member of the Government. 244

After this stormy journey the cemetery of San Isidro was reached at nightfall, and the silent orator laid to rest in the patio of Santa Maria de la Cabeza, beside his beloved sister, Concha Castelar. Even here Republican vivas were raised, and again, later in the evening, before the house of Weyler, who appeared upon the balcony in answer to repeated calls. This general, more popular with Spaniards than with us, discreetly absented himself on Tuesday from the high mass chanted for Castelar in the Church of San Francisco el Grande, where there was an imposing display of uniforms and decorations.

While the people still talked of their lost leader and proposed monuments and medals in his honor, the Government held firmly on its course. The Royal Progress for the opening of the Cortes on the following Friday was a suggestive contrast to the procession of Monday. Soldiers lined the curbstones all the way from the Royal Palace to the Congress Hall, bands were posted at intervals, the royal escort, splendidly mounted and equipped, was in itself a formidable force, while additional troops, in gala dress, paraded all the city. The balconies along the royal route were handsomely draped, but the people looked on at the gorgeous array of coaches, gilded and emblazoned, each drawn by six or eight choice horses, with sumptuous plumes and trappings, and attended by a story-book pomp of quaintly attired postilions, coachmen, and outriders, in a silence that was variously explained to me as indicating respect, hostility, indifference.

I heard no vivas and saw no hats raised even for the affable Infanta Isabel, riding alone in the tortoise-shell carriage, nor for the Princess of Asturias, girlishly attractive in rose color 245 and white, nor for the bright-faced young King, ready with his military salute as he passed the foreign embassies, nor for the stately Regent, robed as richly as if she were on her way to read a gladder message than that which the opposition journals indignantly declared "no message, but a pious prayer of resignation."

And while Madrid jarred and wrangled, the flowers brought by the little daughter of the workingman drooped on the marble slab above Castelar's repose.

XVII

246

THE IMMEMORIAL FASHION

"For as many auchours affirme (and mannes accions declare) that man is but his mynde; so it is to bee daily tride, that the bodie is but a mixture of compoundes, knitte together like a fardell of fleashe, and bondell of bones, and united as a heavie lumpe of Leade (without the mynde) in the sillie substance of a shadowe."—Thomas Churchill, Gentleman.

My Spanish hostess, brightest and prettiest of little ladies despite the weight of sorrow upon sorrow, came tripping into my room one afternoon with her black eyes starry bright under the lace mantilla.

"And where have you been to get so nicely rested?"

"To a duelo."

I turned the word over in my mind. Duelo? Surely that must mean the mourning at a house of death, when the men have gone forth to church and the burial, and the women remain behind to weep together, or one of those tearful At Homes kept, day after day, until the mass, by the ladies of the afflicted household for their condoling friends. But such a smiling little señora! I hardly knew what degree of sympathy befitted the occasion.

"Were you acquainted with the—the person?"

"No, I had never seen him. He had been an officer in the Philippines many years, and came home very ill, fifteen 247 days since. I wept because I knew his mother, but I wept much. Women, at least here in Spain, have always cause enough for tears. I thought of my own matters, and had a long, long cry. That is why I feel better. There is so little time to cry at home. I must see about the dinner now."

And she rustled out again, leaving me to meditate on Spanish originality, even in grief.

In any country the usages of death are no less significant than the usages of life. That grim necropolis of Glasgow, with its few shy gowans under its lowering sky, those tender, turf-folded, church-shadowed graveyards of rural England, those trains of mourners, men by themselves and women by themselves, walking behind the bier in mid-street through the mud and rain of wintry Paris to the bedizened Père Lachaise or Montparnasse—such sights interpret a nation as truly as its art and history; but the burial customs of Spain, especially distinctive, are, like most things Spanish, contradictory and baffling to the tourist view. "La Tierra de Vice Versa" is not a country that he who runs may read.

The popular verses and maxims treat of death with due Castilian solemnity and an always unflinching, if often ironic, recognition of the mortal fact. "When the house is finished," says the proverb, "the hearse is at the door." Yet this Spanish hearse is one of the gayest vehicles since Cinderella's coach. If the groundwork is black, there is abundant relief in mountings of brilliant yellow, but the funeral carriage is often cream-white, flourished over with fantastic designs in the bluest of blue or the pinkest of pink. Coffins, too, may be gaudy as candy-boxes. The first coffin we saw in Spain was bright lilac, a baby's casket, placed on gilt trestles in the 248 centre of a great chill church, with chanting priests sprinkling holy water about it to frighten off the demons, and a crowd of black-bearded men waiting to follow it to the grave. Such a little coffin and not a woman near! The poor mother was decently at home, weeping in the midst of a circle of relatives and neighbors, and counting it among her comforts that the family had so many masculine friends to walk in the funeral procession and show sympathy with the household grief. There would be, on the ninth day after and, for several years to come, on the anniversary of the death, as many masses as could be afforded said in the parish church, when, again, the friends would make it a point of duty to attend.

The daily papers abound in these notices, printed in a variety of types, so as to cover from two to ten square inches, heavily bordered with black, and surmounted, in case of adults, with crosses, and with cherubs' heads for children. I take up a copy of La Epocha and read the following, under a cross: "Third Anniversary. Señorita Doña Francisca Fulana y Tal died the twenty-sixth of June, 1896, at twenty-one years of age. R. I. P. Her disconsolate mother and the rest of the family ask their friends and all pious persons to be so good as to commend her to God. All the masses celebrated to-morrow morning in the Church of San Pascual will be applied to the everlasting rest of the soul of the said señorita. Indulgences are granted in the usual form." It is the third anniversary, too, of a titled lady, whose "husband, brothers, brothers-in-law, nephews, uncles, cousins, and all who inherit under her will" have ordered masses in two churches for the entire day to-morrow, and announce, moreover, that the ecclesiastical authorities grant "one hundred and forty days of indulgence 249 to all the faithful for each mass that they hear, sacred communion that they devote, or portion of a rosary that they pray for the soul of this most noble lady."

In the case of another lady of high degree, who died yesterday, "having received the Blessed Sacraments and the benediction of his Holiness," the Nuncio concedes one hundred days of indulgence, the Archbishop of Burgos eighty, and the Bishops of Madrid, Alcalá, Cartagena, Leon, and Santander forty each; while a marquis who died a year ago, "Knight of the Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece," is to have masses said for his soul in seven churches, not only all through to-morrow, but for the two days following.

May all these rest in peace, and all who mourn for them be comforted! Yet thought drifts away to the poor and lowly, whose grief cannot find solace in procuring this costly intercession of the Church for the souls they love. It seems hard that the inequalities of life should thus reach out into death and purgatory. We used, during our sojourn in Granada, to meet many pathetic little processions on "The Way of the Dead." Over this hollow road, almost a ravine, the fortress walls, with their crumbling towers, keep guard on the one side, and the terraced gardens of the Generalife, with their grand old cypresses, on the other. And here, almost every hour of the day, is climbing a company of four rough men, carrying on their shoulders a cheap coffin, which perhaps a husband follows, or a white-haired father, or, hand in hand, bewildered orphan boys. The road is so steep that often the bearers set their burden down in the shadow of the bank-side, and fling themselves at full length on the ground beside it, thriftily passing from man to man the slow-burning wax match 250 for their paper cigarettes. I remember more than one such smoking group, with a solitary mourner, hat in hand and eyes on the coffin, yet he, too, with cigarette in mouth, standing patiently by. All who pass make the sign of the cross, and even the rudest peasant uncovers his head. Very shortly the bearers may be seen again, coming down the hill at a merry pace, the empty box, with its loose, rattling lid, tilted over the shoulder now of one, now of another; for the children of poverty, who had not chambers of their own nor the dignity of solitude in life, lie huddled in a common pit after death, without coffin-planks to sever dust from dust.

A century ago it was usual to robe the dead in monastic garb, especially in the habit of St. Francis or of the Virgin of Carmen, and within the present generation bodies were borne to the grave on open biers, the bystanders saluting, and bidding them farewell and quiet rest:—

"'Duerme in paz!' dicen los buenos.

'Adios!' dicen los demás."

But now the closed coffin of many colors is in vogue. In the Santiago market we met a cheerful dame with one of these balanced on her head, crying for a purchaser, and up the broad flights of steps to the Bilbao cemetery we saw a stolid-faced young peasant-woman swinging along with a child's white coffin, apparently heavy with the weight of death, poised on the glossy black coils of hair, about which she had twisted a carmine handkerchief.

Very strange is the look of a Spanish cemetery, with its ranges of high, deep walls, wherein the coffins are thrust end-wise, each above each, to the altitude of perhaps a dozen 251 layers. These cells are sometimes purchased outright, sometimes rented for ten years, or five, or one. When the friends of the quiet tenant pay his dues no longer, forth he goes to the general ditch, osario común, and leaves his room for another. Such wall graves are characteristically Spanish, this mode of burial in the Peninsula being of long antiquity. Yet the rich prefer their own pantheons, sculptured like little chapels, or their own vaults, over which rise tall marbles of every device, the shaft, the pyramid, the broken column; while a poor family, or two or three neighboring households, often make shift to pay for one large earth grave, in which their dead may at least find themselves among kith and kin. Spanish cemeteries are truly silent cities, with streets upon streets enclosed between these solemn walls, which open out, at intervals, now for the ornamented patios of the rich, now for the dreary squares peopled by the poor. Here in a most aristocratic quarter, shaded by willows, set with marbles, paved with flower beds, sleeps a duke in stately pantheon, which is carved all over with angels, texts, and sacred symbols, still leaving room for medallions boasting his ancestral dignities. A double row of lamps, with gilded, fantastically moulded stands, and with dangling crystals of all colors, leads to the massive iron door. What enemy has he now to guard against with that array of bolts and bars? Here are a poet's palms petrified to granite, and here a monument all muffled in fresh flowers. Here the magnificent bronze figure of a knight, with sword half drawn, keeps watch beside a tomb, while the grave beyond a rose bush guards as well. And here an imaged Sandalphon holds out open hands, this legend written across his marble scarf, "The tear falleth; the flower fadeth; but God treasureth the prayer." 252

There is a certain high-bred reserve about these costly sepulchres, but turning to the walls one comes so face to face with grief as to experience a sense of intrusion. Each cell shows on its sealed door of slate or other stone the name and age of its occupant, and perhaps a sentiment, lettered in gilt or black, as these: "We bear our loss—God knows how heavily." "Son of my soul." "For thee, that land of larger love; for me, until I find thee there, only the valley of sorrow and the hard hill of hope."

Most of the cells have, too, a glassed or grated recess in front of this inscription wall, holding tributes or memorials—dried flowers, colored images of saints and angels, crucifixes, and the like. Sometimes the resurrection symbol of the butterfly appears. In the little cemetery at Vigo we noticed that the flower-vases were in form of great blue butterflies with scarlet splashes on their wings. Sometimes there are locks of hair, personal trinkets, and often card or cabinet photographs, whose living look startles the beholder. Out from a wreath of yellow immortelles peeps the plump smile of an old gentleman in modern dress coat; a coquettish lady in tiara and earrings laughs from behind her fan; and a grove of paper shrubbery, where tissue fairies dressed in rose petals dance on the blossoms, half hides the eager face of a Spanish midshipman. Where the photographs have faded and dimmed with time, the effect is less incongruous, if not less pathetic.

The niches of children contain the gayest possible little figures. Here are china angels in blue frocks, with pink sleeves and saffron pantalets, pink-tipped plumes, and even pink bows in their goldy hair. Here is a company of tiny Hamlets, quaint dollikins set up in a circle about a small 253 green grave, each with finger on lip, "The rest is silence." Here are two elegant and lazy cherubs, their alabaster chubbiness comfortably bestowed in toy chairs of crimson velvet on each side of an ivory crucifix. And here is a Bethlehem, and here a Calvary, and here the Good Shepherd bearing the lamb in His bosom; and here, in simple, but artistic wood carving, the Christ with open arms, calling to a child on sick-bed to come unto Him, while the mother, prostrate before the holy feet, kisses their shadow. One cannot look for long. It is well to lift the eyes from the niche graves of Granada to the glory of the Sierra Nevada that soars beyond, and turn from the patios of San Isidro to the cheerful picture of Madrid across the Manzanares, even though, prominent in the vista, rises the cupola of San Francisco el Grande. This is the National Pantheon, and within, beneath the frescoed dome, all aglow with blue and gold, masses are chanted for the dead whom Spain decrees to honor, as, so recently, for Castelar.

Near this church a viaduct, seventy-five feet high, crosses the Calle de Segovia; and, despite the tall crooked railings and a constant police patrol, Madrileños bent on suicide often succeed in leaping over and bruising out their breath on the stones of the street below. It is a desperate exit. The Seine and Thames lure their daily victims with murmuring sound and the soft, enfolding look of water, but Spaniards who spring from this fatal viaduct see beneath them only the cruel pavement. That life should be harder than stone! And yet the best vigilance of Madrid cannot prevent fresh bloodstains on the Calle de Segovia.

Near the cemetery of San Isidro, across the Manzanares, 254 are two other large Catholic burial grounds, and the Cementério Inglés.

"But murderers, atheists, and Protestants are buried way off in the east," said the pretty Spanish girl beside me.

"Oh, let's go there!" I responded, with heretic enthusiasm; but I had reckoned without the cabman, who promptly and emphatically protested.

"That's not a pleasant place for ladies to see. You would better drive in the Prado and Recoletos, or in the Buen Retiro."

We told him laughingly that he was speaking against his own interests, for the Civil Cemetery was much farther off than the parks. He consulted his dignity and decided to laugh in return.

"It is not of the pesetas I think first when I am driving ladies. But" (with suave indulgence) "you shall go just where you like."

So in kindness he gathered up his reins and away we clattered sheer across the city. Presently we had left the fountain-cooled squares and animated streets behind, had passed even the ugly, sinister Plaza de Toros, and outstripped the trolley track; but still the road stretched on, enlivened only by herds of goats and an occasional venta, where drivers of mule trains were pausing to wet their dusty throats. We met few vehicles now save the gay-colored hearses, and few people except groups of returning mourners, walking in bewildered wise, with stumbling feet.

"The Cemetery of the Poor is opposite the Civil Cemetery," said our cabman, "and they have from thirty to fifty burials a day. The keeper is a friend of mine. He shall show you all about." 255

A bare Castilian ridge rose before us, where a farmer, leaning on his scythe, was outlined against the sky like a silhouette of Death. And at last our cheery driver, humming bars from a popular light opera, checked his mettlesome old mare,—who plunged down hills and scrambled up as if she were running away from the bull-ring, where she must soon fulfil her martyrdom,—between two dismal graveyards. From the larger, on our right, tiptoed out a furtive man and peered into the cab as if he thought we had a coffin under the seat.

He proved a blood-curdling conductor, always speaking in a hoarse whisper and glancing over his shoulder in a way to make the stoutest nerves feel ghosts, but he showed us, under that sunset sky, memorable sights—ranks upon ranks of gritty mounds marked with black, wooden crosses, a scanty grace for which the living often pay the price of their own bread that the dead they love may pass a year or two out of that hideous general fosse. Then the sexton reluctantly led us to the unblessed, untended hollow across the way, where rows of brick sepulchres await the poor babies who die before the holy water touches them, where recumbent marbles press upon the dead who knew no upward reach of hope, and where defiant monuments, erected by popular subscription and often bearing the blazonry of a giant quill, denote the resting-places of freethinkers and the agitators of new ideas. There were some Christian inscriptions, whether for Protestants or not I do not know, but to my two companions there was no distinction of persons in this unhallowed limbo.

Our dusty guide led us hurriedly from plot to plot.

"They say the mothers cheat the priests, and there are babies over yonder that ought to be here, for the breath was 256 out of them before ever they were baptized. They say the priests had this man done to death one night, because he wrote against religion. He was only twenty-two. The club he belonged to put up that stone. They say there are evil words on it. But I don't know myself. I can't read, thanks to God. They say it was through reading and writing that most of these came here."

"But those are not evil words," I answered. "They are, 'Believe in Jesus and thou shalt be saved.'"

He hastily crossed himself, "Do me the favor not to read such words out loud. Here is another, where they say the words are words of hell."

I held my peace this time, musing on that broad marble with its one deep-cut line, "The Death of God."

"And over there," he croaked, pointing with his clay-colored thumb, "is Whiskers."

The señorita, whose black eyes had been getting larger and larger, gave a little scream and fairly ran for the gate.

Spaniards have usually great sympathy for criminals, newspaper accounts of executions often closing with an entreaty for God's mercy on "this poor man's soul," but Whiskers, the Madrid sensation of a fortnight since, was a threefold murderer. Passion-mad, he had shot dead in the open street a neighbor's youthful wife, held the public at bay with his revolver, and mortally wounded two Civil Guards, before he turned the fatal barrel on himself.

"His family wanted him laid over the way," continued that scared undertone at my ear, "but the bishop said no. A murderer like that was just as bad as infidels and Protestants, and should be buried out of grace." 257

I felt as if Superstition incarnate were walking by my side, and after one more look at that strangely peopled patch of unconsecrated ground, with its few untrimmed cypresses and straggling rose bushes, hillside slopes about and glory-flooded skies above, I gave Superstition a peseta, which he devoutly kissed, and returned to the cab, followed by the carol of a solitary bird.

I remember a similar experience in Cadiz. I had driven out with one of my Spanish hostesses to the large seaside cemetery, a mile beyond the gate. This is arranged in nine successive patios, planted with palms and cypresses. In the niches, seashells play a prominent part. The little angel images, as gay as ever, with their pink girdles and their purple wings, may be seen swinging in shells, sleeping in shells, and balancing on the edge of shells to play their golden flutes. Near by is an English and German cemetery, with green-turfed mounds and a profusion of blossoming shrubs and flower beds. Not sure of the direction, as we were leaving the Catholic enclosure I asked a bandy-legged, leather-visaged old sexton, who might have been the very one that dug Ophelia's grave, if the "Protestant cemetery" was at our right. He laid down his mattock, peered about among the mausolea to see if we were quite alone, winked prodigiously, and, drawing a bunch of keys from the folds of his black sash, started briskly down a by-path and signed to us to follow. He led us through stony passages out beyond the sanctified ground into a dreary, oblong space, a patch of weeds and sand, enclosed by the lofty sepulchral walls, but with a blessed strip of blue sky overhead.

"Here they are!" he chuckled. "They wouldn't confess, 258 they died without the sacraments, and here they are."

Some names lettered on the wall seemed to be those of Dutch and Norwegian sailors, who had perhaps died friendless in this foreign port. There were pebble-strewn graves of Jews, and upright marbles from which the dead still seemed to utter voice: "I refuse the prayers of all the saints, and ask the prayers of honest human souls. I believe in God." And another, "God is knowledge." And another, "God is All that works for Wisdom and for Love."

"Are there burial services for these?" I inquired.

If the Church of England could have seen that crooked old sexton go through his gleeful pantomime!

"There's one that comes with some, and they call him Pastor! And he scrapes up a handful of dirt—so! And he flings it at the coffin—so! And then he stands up straight and says, 'Dust to dust!' I've heard him say it myself."

"God of my soul!" cried the Spanish lady in horror, and to express her detestation of such a heathenish rite, she spat upon the ground.

The monarchs of Spain do not mingle their ashes. Who knows where Roderick sleeps? Or does that deathless culprit still lurk in mountain caverns, as tradition has it, wringing his wasted hands and tearing his white beard in unavailing penitence? The "Catholic kings," Ferdinand and Isabella, lie, not where they had planned, in that beautiful Gothic church of Toledo, San Juan de los Reyes, on whose outer walls yet hang the Moorish chains struck from 259 the limbs of Christian captives, but in Granada, the city of their conquest, where they slumber proudly, although their coffins are of plainest lead and their last royal chamber a small and dusky vault. Pedro the Cruel is thrust away in a narrow wall-grave beneath the Capilla Real of Seville cathedral. His brother, the Master of Santiago, whom he treacherously slew in one of the loveliest halls of the Alcázar, is packed closely in on his left, and Maria de Padilla, for whose sake he cut short the hapless life of Queen Blanche, on his right. Pleasant family discussions they must have at the witching hour of night, when they drag their numb bones out of those pigeon-holes for a brief respite of elbow room! San Fernando, the Castilian conqueror of Castile, canonized "because he carried fagots with his own hands for the burning of heretics," is more commodiously accommodated in a silver sarcophagus in the chapel above, where Alfonso the Learned also has long leisure for thought. Another Alfonso and another Fernando, with another wife of Pedro the Cruel, keep their state in Santiago de Compostela, and still another Alfonso and two Sanchos have their splendid tombs in the Capilla Mayor of Toledo cathedral, while in its Capilla de los Reyes Nuevos, a line descended from that brother whom Pedro murdered, sleeps the first John, with the second and third Henrys.

Bull-Fight of To-Day

Bull-Fight of To-Day

Cordova cathedral, although this lovely mosque recks little of Christian majesties, has the ordinary equipment of an Alfonso and a Fernando, and the Royal Monastery of Las Huelgas in Burgos shelters Alfonso VIII, with his queen, Eleanor of England. In less noted churches, one continually chances on them, rey or reina, infante or infanta, dreaming 260 the centuries away in rich recesses of fretted marble and alabaster, with the shadow of great arches over them and the deep-voiced chant around.

But since Philip II created, in his own sombre likeness, the monastery of the Escorial, rising in angular austerity from a spur of the bleak Guadarrama Mountains, the royal houses of Austria and Bourbon have sought burial there. The first and chief in the dank series of sepulchral vaults, the celebrated Panteón de los Reyes, is an octagon of black marble, placed precisely under the high altar, and gloomily magnificent with jasper, porphyry, and gold. It has an altar of its own, on whose left are three recesses, each with four long shelves placed one above another for the sarcophagi of the kings of Spain, and on whose right are corresponding recesses for the queens. As the guide holds his torch, we read the successive names of the great Charles I, founder of the Austrian line; the three Philips, in whom his genius dwindled more and more; and the half-witted Charles II, in whom it ignobly perished. The coffin lid of Charles I has twice been lifted, once as late as 1871, in compliment to the visiting Emperor of Brazil, and even then that imperial body lay intact, with blackened face and open, staring eyes. The gilded bronze coffin of Philip II was brought to his bedside for his inspection in his last hour of life. After a critical survey he ordered a white satin lining and more gilt nails—a remarkable sense of detail in a man who had sent some ten thousand heretics to the torture.

Looking for the Bourbons, we miss the first of them all, the melancholy Philip V, who would not lay him down among these Austrians, but sleeps with his second queen, the strong-willed 261 Elizabeth Farnese, in his cloudy retreat of San Ildefonso, within hearing of the fountains of La Granja. His eldest son, Luis the Well-Beloved, who died after a reign of seven months, rests here in the Escorial, but Fernando VI, also the son of Philip's first queen—that gallant little Savoyarde who died so young—was buried in Madrid. Charles III, best and greatest of the Spanish Bourbons, is here, the weak Charles IV, Fernando VII, "The Desired" and the Disgraceful, and Alfonso XII, while a stately sarcophagus is already reserved for Alfonso XIII.

To the cold society of these five Austrian and five Bourbon sovereigns are admitted nine royal ladies. Of these, the first three are in good and regular standing—the queen of Charles I and mother of Philip II, the fourth queen of Philip II and mother of Philip III, the queen of Philip III and mother of Philip IV. But here is an intruder. Philip IV, who had an especial liking for this grewsome vault, and used often to clamber into his own niche to hear mass, insisted on having both his French and Austrian queens interred here, although the first, Isabel of Bourbon, is not the mother of a Spanish king, the promising little Baltasar having died in boyhood. The brave girl-queen of Philip V is here, in double right as mother both of Luis and Fernando VI, and here is the wife of Charles III and mother of Charles IV. But of sorry repute are the last two queens, the wife of Charles IV and mother of Fernando VII, she who came hurrying down those slippery marble stairs in feverish delirium to scratch Luisa with scissors on her selected coffin, and this other, Maria Cristina, wife of Fernando VII and mother of the dethroned Isabel, a daughter who did not mend the story. It will not 262 be long before she returns from her French exile to enter into possession of the sarcophagus that expects her here, even as another sumptuous coffin awaits the present regent. Pity it is for Isabel, whose name is still a byword in the Madrid cafés! But she always enjoyed hearing midnight mass in this dim and dreadful crypt, and will doubtless be glad to come back to her ancestors, such as they were, and take up her royal residence with them in "dust of human nullity and ashes of mortality."

XVIII

263

CORPUS CHRISTI IN TOLEDO

"A blackened ruin, lonely and forsaken,

Already wrapt in winding-sheets of sand,

So lies Toledo till the dead awaken,

A royal spoil of Time's resistless hand."

—Zorrilla: Toledo.

In the thirteenth century the doctrine of transubstantiation assumed especial importance. Miracle plays and cathedral glass told thrilling stories of attacks made by Jews on the sacred Wafer, which bled under their poniards or sprang from their caldrons and ovens in complete figure of the Christ. The festival of Corpus Christi, then established by Rome, was devoutly accepted in Spain and used to be celebrated with supreme magnificence in Madrid. Early in the reign of Philip IV, Prince Charles of England, who, with the adventurous Buckingham, had come in romantic fashion to the Spanish capital, hoping to carry by storm the heart of the Infanta, stood for hours in a balcony of the Alcázar, gazing silently on the glittering procession. How they swept by through the herb-strewn, tapestried streets—musicians, standard-bearers, cross-bearers, files of orphans from the asylums, six and thirty religious brotherhoods, monks of all the orders, barefoot friars, ranks of secular clergy and brothers 264 of charity, the proud military orders of Alcántara, Calatrava, and Santiago, the Councils of the Indies, of Aragon, of Portugal, the Supreme Council of Castile, the City Fathers of Madrid, the Governmental Ministers of Spain and Spanish Italy, the Tribunal of the Holy Office, preceded by a long array of cloaked and hooded Familiars, bishops upon bishops in splendid, gold-enwoven vestments, priests of the royal chapel displaying the royal banner, bearers of the crosier and the sacramental vessels, the Archbishop of Santiago, royal chaplains and royal majordomos, royal pages with tall wax tapers, incense burners, the canopied mystery of the Eucharist, the king, the prince, cardinals, nuncio, the inquisitor general, the Catholic ambassadors, the patriarch of the Indies, the all-powerful Count-Duke Olivares, grandees, lesser nobility, gentlemen, and a display of Spanish and German troops, closed by a great company of archers. So overwhelming was that solemn progress, with its brilliant variety of sacerdotal vestments, knightly habits, robes of state and military trappings, its maces, standards, crosses, the flash of steel, gold, jewels, and finally the sheen of candles, the clouds of incense, the tinkling of silver bells before the Santisimo Corpus, that the heretic prince and his reckless companion fell to their knees. One Spanish author pauses to remark that for these, who could even then reject the open arms of the Mother Church, the assassin's blow and the Whitehall block were naturally waiting.

Such a pomp would have been worth the seeing, but we had arrived at Madrid almost three centuries too late. Catholic friends shrugged shoulder at mention of the Corpus procession, "Vale poco." And as for the famous autos sacramentales, 265 which used to be celebrated at various times during the eight days of the Corpus solemnity, they may be read in musty volumes, but can be seen in the city squares no more. Calderon is said to have written the trifling number of seventy-two, and Lope de Vega, whose fingers must have been tipped with pens, some four hundred.

If only our train, which then would not have been a train, had brought us, who then would not have come, to Madrid in season for a Corpus celebration under the Austrian dynasty, we could have attended an open-air theatre of a very curious sort. All the way to the Plaza, we would have seen festivity at its height, pantomimic dances, merry music, struttings of giants and antics of dwarfs, and perhaps groups of boys insulting cheap effigies of snakes, modelled after the monstrous Tarasca, carried in the Corpus parade in token of Christ's victory over the Devil. At intervals along the route, adorned with flowers and draperies, and reserved for the procession and the dramatic cars, would have been altars hung with rich stuffs from the Alcázar and the aristocratic palaces; silks and cloth of gold, brocades, velvets, and shimmering wefts of the Indies. The one-act play itself might be after the general fashion of the mediæval Miracles,—verse dialogue, tuned to piety with chords of fun, for the setting forth of Biblical stories. Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, Moses feeding the Israelites with manna, the patience of Job, the trials of Joseph, David, and Daniel, were thus represented.

More frequently, the auto sacramental belonged to the so-called Morality type of early Christian drama, being an allegorical presentation of human experience or exposition of church doctrine. Such were "The Fountain of Grace," "The 266 Journey of the Soul," "The Dance of Death," "The Pilgrim." Sometimes a Gospel parable, as the "Lost Sheep" or the "Prodigal Son," gave the dramatic suggestion. But these Spanish spectacles sought to associate themselves, as closely as might be, with the Corpus worship, and many of them bear directly, in one way or another, upon this sacrament.

If, for instance, we had chanced on the Madrid festival in 1681, we could have witnessed in the decorated Plaza, with its thronged balconies, the entrance of four scenic platforms or cars. The first, painted over with battles, bears a Gothic castle; the second, with pictures of the sea, a gallant ship; the third, a starry globe; the fourth, a grove and garden, whose central fountain is so shaped as to form, above, the semblance of an altar. In the complicated action of the play, when the Soul, besieged in her fortress by the Devil, whose allies are the World and the Flesh, calls upon Christ for succor, the hollow sphere of the third car opens, revealing the Lord enthroned in glory amid cherubim and seraphim; but the climax of the triumph is not yet. That stout old general, the Devil, rallies fresh forces to the attack, such subtle foes as Atheism, Judaism, and Apostasy, and whereas, before, the Senses bore the brunt of the conflict, it is the Understanding that girds on armor now. Yet in the final outcome not the Understanding, but Faith draws the veil from before the altar of the fourth car, and there, in the consecrated vessel for the holding of the Wafer, appears the "Passion Child," the white bread from Heaven, "very flesh and very blood that are the price of the soul's salvation."

That is the way Spain kept her Corpus fiesta in the good old times of Charles the Bewitched; but not now. After 267 the procession, the bull-fight; and after the bull-fight, the latest vaudeville or ballet. Last year it rained on Corpus Thursday, which fell on the first of June, and Madrid gave up the procession altogether. Some of the Opposition papers started the cry that this was shockingly irreligious in Silvela, but when the Government organs haughtily explained that it was the decision of the archbishop and Señor Silvela was not even consulted, the righteous indignation of the Liberals straightway subsided. The procession, which was to have been a matter of kettledrums and clarionets, soldiery, "coaches of respect" from the palace and the city corporation, and a full showing of the parochial clergy, did not seem to be missed by the people. Corpus has long ceased to be a chief event in the Capital.

There are a few cities in Spain, however, where the Corpus fête is maintained with something of the old gayety and splendor. Bustling Barcelona, never too busy for a frolic, keeps it merrily with an elaborate parade from the cathedral all about the city, and—delightful feature!—the distribution of flowers and sweetmeats among the ladies. The procession in Valencia resembles those of Holy Week in Seville. On litters strewn with flowers and thick-set with candle-lights are borne carved groups of sacred figures and richly attired images of Christ and the Virgin. But it is in lyric Andalusia that these pageantries are most at home. Among her popular coplas is one that runs:—

"Thursdays three in the year there be,

That shine more bright than the sun's own ray—

Holy Thursday, Corpus Christi,

And our Lord's Ascension Day."

268 Cadiz, like Valencia, carries the pasos in the Corpus procession. In Seville, where the street displays of Holy Week are under the charge of the religious brotherhoods, or cofradias, Corpus Christi gives opportunity for the clergy and aristocracy to present a rival exhibition of sanctified luxury and magnificence.

But it is in beautiful belated Granada that the Corpus fête is now at its best. A brilliantly illustrated programme, whose many-hued cover significantly groups a gamboge cathedral very much in the background, and a flower-crowned Andalusian maiden, draped in a Manila shawl, with a prodigious guitar at her feet, very much in the foreground, announces a medley of festivities extending over eleven days. This cheerful booklet promises, together with a constant supply of military music, balcony decorations, and city illuminations, an assortment of pleasures warranted to suit every taste—infantry reviews, cavalry reviews, cadet reviews, masses under roof and masses in the open, claustral processions, parades of giants, dwarfs, and La Tarasca, a charity raffle in the park under the patronage of Granada's most distinguished ladies, the erection of out-of-door altars, the dispensing of six thousand loaves of bread among the poor (from my experience of Granada beggars I should say the supply was insufficient), a solemn Corpus procession passing along white-canopied streets under a rain of flowers, three regular bull-fights with the grand masters Guerrita, Lagartijillo, and Fuentes, followed by a gloriously brutal corrida, with young beasts and inexperienced fighters, cattle fair, booths, puppet shows, climbing of greased poles, exhibition of fine arts and industries, horse racing, polo, pigeon shoot, trapeze, balloon ascensions, gypsy dances, and fireworks galore. 269

But even faithful Granada shared in the strange catalogue of misfortunes which attended Corpus last year. The rains descended on her Chinese lanterns, and the winds beat against her Arabic arches with their thousands of gas-lights. On the sacred Thursday itself, the Andalusian weather made a most unusual demonstration of hurricane and cloudburst, with interludes of thunder and lightning. Great was the damage in field, vineyard, and orchard, and as for processions, they were in many places out of the question. Even Seville and Cordova had to postpone both parades and bull-fights. But this was not the worst. In Ecija, one of the quaintest cities of Andalusia, an image of the Virgin as the Divine Shepherdess, lovingly arrayed and adorned with no little outlay by the nuns of the Conception, caught fire in the procession from a taper, like Seville's Virgin of Montserrat in the last Semana Santa. The Divina Pastora barely escaped with her jewels. Her elaborate garments, the herbage and foliage of her pasture, and one of her woolly sheep were burned to ashes. In Palma de Mallorca, a romantic town of the Balearic Isles, a balcony, whose occupants were leaning out to watch the procession, broke away, and crashed down into the midst of the throng. A young girl fell upon the bayonet of a soldier marching beneath, and was grievously hurt. Others suffered wounds which, in one case at least, proved fatal. The Opposition journals did not fail to make capital out of these untoward events, serving them up in satiric verse with the irreverent suggestion that, if this was all the favor a reactionary and ultra-Catholic government could secure from Heaven, it was time to go back to Sagasta.

The ecclesiastical Toledo, seat of the Primate of all Spain, 270 is one of the Spanish cities which still observe Corpus Christi as a high solemnity, and Toledo is within easy pilgrimage distance of Madrid. I had already passed two days in that ancient capital of the Visigoths, ridding my conscience of the sightseers' burden, and I both longed and dreaded to return. The longing overcame the dread, and I dropped in at the Estacion del Mediodía for preliminary inquiries. I could discover no bureau of information and no official authorized to instruct the public, but in this lotus-eating land what is nobody's business is everybody's business. There could not be a better-humored people. The keeper of the bookstand abandoned his counter, his would-be customers lighting cigarettes and leaning up against trucks and stacks of luggage to wait for his return, and escorted me the length of the station to find a big yellow poster, which gave the special time-table for Corpus Thursday. The poster was so high upon the wall that our combined efforts could not make it out; whereupon a nimble little porter dropped the trunk he was carrying, and climbed on top of it for a better view. In that commanding position he could see clearly enough, but just when my hopes were at the brightest, he regretfully explained that he had never learned to read. As he clambered down the proprietor of the trunk, who had been looking on with as much serenity as if trains never went and starting bells never rang, mounted in turn. This gentleman, all smiles and bows and tobacco smoke, read off the desired items, which the keeper of the bookstand copied for me in a leisurely, conversational manner, with a pencil lent by one bystander on a card donated by another.

There is really something to be said for the Spanish way 271 of doing business. It takes time, but if time is filled with human kindliness and social courtesies, why not? What is time for? Whenever I observed that I was the only person in a hurry on a Madrid street, I revised my opinion as to the importance of my errand.

As I entered the station again on the first of June at the penitential hour of quarter past six in the morning, I was reflecting complacently on my sagacity as a traveller. Had I not bethought me that, even in the ecclesiastical centre of Spain and on this solemn festival, there might be peril for a stranger's purse? What financial acumen I had shown in calculating that, since my round-trip ticket to Toledo before had cost three dollars, second class, I could probably go first class on this excursion for the same sum, while two dollars more would be ample allowance for balcony hire and extras! And yet how prudent in me to have tucked away a reserve fund in a secret pocket inaccessible even to myself! But why was the station so jammed and crammed with broad-hatted Spaniards? And what was the meaning of that long line of roughs, stretching far out from the third-class ticket office? Bull-fight explained it all. Even reverend Toledo must keep the Corpus holy by the public slaughter of six choice bulls and as many hapless horses as their blind rage might rend. Worse than the pagan altars that reeked with the blood of beasts, Spain's Christian festivals demand torture in addition to butchery.

There were no first-class carriages, it appeared, upon the Corpus train, and my round-trip ticket, second class, cost only a dollar, leaving me with an embarrassment of riches. Pursing the slip of pasteboard which, to my disgust, was stamped 272 in vermilion letters Corrida de Toros, I sped me to the train, where every seat appeared to be taken, although it lacked twenty minutes of the advertised time for departure; but a bald-headed philanthropist called out from a carriage window that they still had room for one. Gratefully climbing up, I found myself in the society of a family party, off for Toledo to celebrate the saint-day of their hazel-eyed eight-year-old by that treat of treats, a child's first bull-fight. When they learned that I was tamely proposing to keep Corpus Christi by seeing the procession and not by "assisting at the function of bulls," their faces clouded; but they decided to make allowance for my foreign idiosyncrasies.

The train, besieged by a multitude of ticket-holders for whom there were no places, was nearly an hour late in getting off. The ladies dozed and chattered; the gentlemen smoked and dozed; little Hazel-eyes constantly drew pictures of bulls with a wet finger on the window glass. Reminded again by my handbag literature that Toledo is a nest of thieves, I would gladly have put away my extra money, but there was never a moment when all the gentlemen were asleep at once.

It was after ten when we reached our destination, the boy wild with rapture because we had actually seen a pasture of grazing bulls. A swarm of noisy, scrambling, savage-looking humanity hailed the arrival of the train, and I had hardly made my way even to the platform before I felt an ominous twitch at my pocket. The light-fingered art must have degenerated in Toledo since the day of that clever cutpurse of the "Exemplary Tales." Turning sharply, I confronted a group of my fellow-worshippers, who, shawled and sashed 273 and daggered, looked as if they had been expressly gotten up for stage bandits. From the shaggy pates, topped by gaudy, twisted handkerchiefs—a headdress not so strange in a city whose stone walls looked for centuries on Moorish turbans—to the bright-edged, stealthy hemp sandals, these were pickpockets to rejoice a kodak. Their black eyes twinkled at me with wicked triumph, while it flashed across my mind that my old hero, the Cid, was probably much of their aspect, and certainly gained his living in very similar ways. There were a full score of these picturesque plunderers, and not a person of the nineteenth century in sight. Since there was nothing to do, I did it, and giving them a parting glance of moral disapproval, to which several of the sauciest responded by blithely touching their forelocks, I pursued my pilgrim course, purged of vainglory. At all events, I was delivered from temptation as to a questionable peseta in my purse—my pretty Paris purse!—and I should not be obliged to travel again on that odious bull-fight ticket.

We were having "fool weather," blowing now hot, now cold, but as at this moment the air was cool, and every possible vehicle seemed packed, thatched, fringed with clinging passengers, I decided, not seeking further reasons, to walk up to the town. And what a town it is! Who could remember dollars? So far from being decently depressed, I was almost glad to have lost something in this colossal monument of losses. It seemed to make connection.

Between deep, rocky, precipitous banks, strongly flows the golden "king of rivers, the venerable Tajo," almost encircling the granite pedestal of the city and spanned by ancient bridges of massy stone, with battlemented, Virgin-niched, fierce old 274 gates. And above, upon its rugged height, crumbling hourly into the gritty dust that stings the eye and scrapes beneath the foot, lies in swirls on floor and pavement, blows on every breeze and sifts through hair and clothing, is the proud, sullen, forsaken fortress of "imperial Toledo." Still it is a vision of turrets, domes, and spires, fretwork, buttresses, façades, but all so desolate, so dreary, isolated in that parched landscape as it is isolated in the living world, that one approaches with strangely blended feelings of awe, repugnance, and delight.

On we go over the Bridge of Alcántara, wrought æons since by a gang of angry Titans—the guidebooks erroneously attribute it to the Moors and Alfonso the Learned—with a shuddering glance out toward the ruins of feudal castles, here a battlemented keep set with mighty towers, there a great, squat, frowning mass of stone, the very sight of which might have crushed a prisoner's heart. Up, straight up, into the grim, gray, labyrinthine city, whose zigzag streets, often narrowing until two laden donkeys, meeting, cannot pass, so twist and turn that it is impossible on entering one to guess at what point of the compass we will come out. These crooked ways, paved with "agony stones," are lined with tall, dark, inhospitable house fronts, whose few windows are heavily grated, and whose huge doors, bristling with iron bosses, are furnished with fantastic knockers and a whole arsenal of bolts and chains.

The King of the Gypsies

The King of the Gypsies

Gloomy as these ponderous structures are, every step discloses a novelty of beauty,—a chiselled angel, poised for flight, chased escutcheons, bas-reliefs, toothed arches, medallions, weather-eaten groups of saints and apostles gossiping 275 in their scalloped niches about the degeneracy of the times. The Moors, whose architecture, says Becquer, seems the dream of a Moslem warrior sleeping after battle in the shadow of a palm, have left their mark throughout Toledo in the airy elegance of the traceries magically copied from cobwebs and the Milky Way. That tragic race, the Jews, have stamped on the walls of long-desecrated synagogues their own mysterious emblems. And Goths and Christian knights have wrought their very likenesses into the stern, helmeted heads that peer out from the capitals of marvellous columns amid the stone grapes and pomegranates most fit for their heroic nourishment. But all is in decay. Here stands a broken-sceptred statue turning its royal back on a ragged vender of toasted garbanzos. Even the image of Wamba has lost its royal nose.

You may traverse whispering cloisters heaped with fallen crosses, with truant tombstones, and severed heads and limbs of august prophets. Cast aside in dusky vaults lie broken shafts of rose-tinted marbles and fragments of rare carving in whose hollows the birds of the air once built their nests. Through the tangle of flowers and shrubbery that chokes the patios gleam the rims of alabaster urns and basins of jasper fountains. Such radiant wings and faces as still flash out from frieze and arch and column, such laughing looks, fresh with a dewy brightness, as if youth and springtime were enchanted in the stone! And what supreme grace and truth of artistry in all this bewildering detail! On some far-off day of the golden age, when ivory and agate were as wax, when cedar and larch wood yielded like their own soft leaves, the magician must have pressed upon them the olive leaf, the acacia spray, the baby's foot, that have left these perfect traces. 276 And how did mortal hand ever achieve the intricate, curling, unfolding, blossoming marvel of those capitals? And who save kings, Wambas and Rodericks, Sanchos, Alfonsos, and Fernandos, should mount these magnificent stairways? And what have those staring stone faces above that antique doorway looked upon to turn them haggard with horror? City of ghosts! The flesh begins to creep. But here, happily, we are arrived in the Plaza de Zocodovér, where Lazarillo de Tormes used to display his talents as town crier, and in this long-memoried market-place, with its arcaded sides and trampled green, may pause to take our bearings.

Evidently the procession is to pass here, for the balconies, still displaying the yellow fronds of Palm Sunday, are hung with all manner of draperies—clear blue, orange with silver fringes, red with violet bars, white with saffron scallops. Freed from sordid cares about my pocket, I give myself for a little to the spell of that strange scene. Beyond rise the rich-hued towers of the Alcázar, on the site where Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, the Cid, and an illustrious line of Spanish monarchs have fortified themselves in turn; but Time at last is conqueror, and one visits the dismantled castle only to forget all about it in the grandeur of the view. From the east side of the Zocodovér soars the arch on whose summit used to stand the Santisimo Cristo del Sangre, before whom the Corpus train did reverence. And here in the centre blazed that momentous bonfire which was to settle the strife between the old Toledan liturgy and the new ritual of Rome; but the impartial elements honored both the Prayer Books placed upon the fagots, the wind wafting to a place of safety the Roman breviary, while the flames drew back from the other, 277 with the result that the primitive rite is still preserved in an especial chapel of the cathedral.

A glorious plaza, famed by Cervantes, loved by Lope de Vega, but now how dim and shabby! On the house-fronts once so gayly colored, the greens have faded to yellows, the reds to pinks, and the pinks to browns. The awning spread along the route of the procession is fairly checkered with a miscellany of patches. I pass the compliments of the day with a smiling peasant woman, whose husband, a striking color-scheme in maroon blanket, azure trousers, russet stockings, and soiled gray sandals, offers me his seat on the stone bench beside her. But I am bound on my errand, and they bid me "Go with God." I select a trusty face in a shop doorway and ask if I can rent standing room in the balcony above. Mine honest friend puts his price a trifle high to give him a margin for the expected bargaining, but I scorn to haggle on a day when I am short of money, and merely stipulate, with true Spanish propriety, that no gentlemen shall be admitted. This makes an excellent impression on the proprietor, who shows me up a winding stair with almost oppressive politeness. A little company of ladies, with lace mantillas drooping from their graceful heads, welcome me with that courteous cordiality which imparts to the slightest intercourse with the Spanish people (barring pickpockets) a flavor of fine pleasure. Because I am the last arrival and have the least claim, they insist on giving me the best place on the best balcony and are untiring in their explanations of all there is to be seen.

The procession is already passing—civil guards, buglers, drummers, flower wreaths borne aloft, crosses of silver and 278 crosses of gold, silken standards wrought with cunning embroideries. But now there come a sudden darkness, a gust of wind, and dash of rain. The ranks of cofradias try in vain to keep their candles burning, the pupils from the colleges of the friars, with shining medals hung by green cords about their necks, peep roguishly back at the purple-stoled dignitary in a white wig, over whom an anxious friend from the street is trying to hold an umbrella. The Jesuit seminaristas bear themselves more decorously, the tonsures gleaming like silver coins on their young heads. The canons lift their red robes from the wet, and even bishops make some furtive efforts to protect their gold-threaded chasubles. Meanwhile the people, that spectral throng of witches, serfs, feudal retainers, and left-overs from the Arabian Nights, press closer and closer, audaciously wrapping themselves from the rain in the rich old tapestries of France and Flanders, which have been hung along both sides of the route from a queer framework of emerald-bright poles and bars. The dark, wild, superstitious faces, massed and huddled together, peer out more uncannywise than ever from under these precious stuffs which brisk soldiers, with green feather brushes in their caps, as if to enable them to dust themselves off at short notice, are already taking down.

All the church bells of the city are chiming solemnly, and the splendid custodia, "the most beautiful piece of plate in the world," a treasure of filigree gold and jewels, enshrining the Host, draws near. It is preceded by a bevy of lovely children, not dressed, as at Granada, to represent angels, but as knights of chivalry. Their dainty suits of red and blue, slashed and puffed and trimmed with lace, flash through the silvery mist 279 of rain. Motherly voices from the balconies call to them to carry their creamy caps upside down to shield the clustered plumes. Their little white sandals and gaiters splash merrily through the mud.

A flamingo gleam across the slanting rain announces Cardinal Sancha, behind whom acolytes uplift a thronelike chair of crimson velvet and gold. Then follow ranks of taper-bearing soldiers, and my friends in the balcony call proudly down to different officers, a son, a husband, a blushing novio, whom they present to me then and there. The officers bow up and I bow down, while at this very moment comes that tinkling of silver bells which would, I had supposed, strike all Catholic Spaniards to their knees. It is perhaps too much to expect the people below to kneel in the puddles, but the vivacious chatter in the balconies never ceases, and the ladies beside me do not even cross themselves.

The parade proceeds, a gorgeous group in wine-colored costume carrying great silver maces before the civic representation. The governor of the province is pointed out to me as a count of high degree, but in the instant when my awed glance falls upon him he gives a monstrous gape unbecoming even to nobility. The last of the spruce cadets, who close the line, have hardly passed when the thrifty housewife beseeches our aid in taking in out of the rain her scarlet balcony hanging, which proves to be the canopy of her best bed. But the sun is shining forth again when I return to the street to follow the procession into the cathedral.

Already this gleam of fair weather has filled the Calle de Comercio with festive señoritas, arrayed in white mantillas and Manila shawls in honor of the bull-fight. Shops have been 280 promptly opened for a holiday sale of the Toledo specialties—arabesqued swords and daggers, every variety of Damascened wares, and marchpane in form of mimic hams, fish, and serpents. The Toledo steel was famous in Shakespeare's day, even in the mouths of rustic dandies, whose geographical education had been neglected. When the clever rogue, Brainworm, in one of Jonson's comedies, would sell Stephen, the "country gull," a cheap rapier, he urges, "'Tis a most pure Toledo," and Stephen replies according to his folly, "I had rather it were a Spaniard." But onward is the glorious church, with its symmetric tower, whose spire wears a threefold crown of thorns. The exterior walls are hung, on this one day of the year, with wondrous tapestries that Queen Isabella knew. An army of beggars obstructs the crowd, which presses in, wave upon wave, through the deep, rich portals in whose ornamentation whole lifetimes have carved themselves away.

Within this sublime temple, unsurpassed in Gothic art, where every pavement slab is worn by knees more than by footsteps, where every starry window has thrown its jewel lights on generations of believers, one would almost choose to dwell forever. One looks half enviously at recumbent alabaster bishops and kneeling marble knights, even at dim grotesques, who have rested in the heart of that grave beauty, in that atmosphere of prayer and chant, so long. Let these stone figures troop out into the troubled streets and toil awhile, and give the rest of us a chance to dream. But the multitude, which has knelt devoutly while Su Majestad was being borne into the Capilla Mayor, comes pouring down the nave to salute the stone on which—ah me!—on which the Virgin 281 set her blessed foot December 18, 666, when she alighted in Toledo cathedral to present the champion of the Immaculate Conception, St. Ildefonso, with a chasuble of celestial tissue. The gilded, turreted shrine containing that consecrated block towers almost to the height of the nave. A grating guards it from the devout, who can only touch it with their finger tips, which then they kiss. Hundreds, with reverend looks, stand waiting their turn—children, peasants, bull-fighters, decorated officers, refined ladies, men of cultured faces. The sound of kissing comes thick and fast. Heresy begins to beat in my blood.

Not all that heavenward reach of columns and arches, not that multitudinous charm of art, can rid the imagination of a granite weight. I escape for a while to the purer church without, with its window-gold of sunshine and lapis-lazuli roof. When the mighty magnet draws me back again, those majestic aisles are empty, save for a tired sacristan or two, and the silence is broken only by a monotone of alternate chanting, from where, in the Capilla Mayor, two priests keep watch with El Señor.

"He will be here all the afternoon," says the sacristan, "and nothing can be shown; but if you will come back to-morrow I will arrange for you to see even Our Lady's robes and gems."

Come back! I felt myself graying to a shadow already. Of course I longed to see again that marvellous woodwork of the choir stalls, with all the conquest of Granada carved amid columns of jasper and under alabaster canopies, but I was smothered in a multitude of ghosts. They crowded from every side,—nuns, monks, soldiers, tyrants, magnificent archbishops, 282 the martyred Leocadia, passionate Roderick, weeping Florinda, grim Count Julian, "my Cid," Pedro the Cruel, those five thousand Christian nobles and burghers of Toledo, slain, one by one, at the treacherous feast of Abderrahman, those hordes of flaming Jews writhing amid the Inquisition fagots. I had kept my Corpus. I had seen the greatest of all autos sacramentales, Calderon's masterpiece, "Life is a Dream."

"On a single one of the Virgin's gold-wrought mantles," coaxed the sacristan, "are eighty-five thousand large pearls and as many sapphires, amethysts, and diamonds. I will arrange for you to see everything, when Our Lord is gone away."

But no. I am a little particular about treasures. Since Toledo has lost the emerald table of King Solomon and that wondrous copy of the Psalms written upon gold leaf in a fluid made of melted rubies, I will not trouble the seven canons to unlock the seven doors of the cathedral sacristy. Let the Madonna enjoy her wealth alone. I have pesetas enough for my ticket to Madrid.

XIX

283

THE TERCENTENARY OF VELÁZQUEZ

"It is a sombre and a weeping sky

That lowers above thee now, unhappy Spain;

Thy 'scutcheon proud is dashed with dimming rain;

Uncertain is thy path and deep thy sigh.

All that is mortal passes; glories die;

This hour thy destiny allots thee pain;

But for the worker of thy woes remain

Those retributions slowly forged on high.

"Put thou thy hope in God; what once thou wert

Thou yet shalt be by labor of thy sons

Patient and true, with purpose to atone;

And though the laurels of the loud-voiced guns

Are not with us to-day, this balms our hurt—

Cervantes and Velázquez are our own."

—Duke of Rivas: For the Tercentenary.

The celebration, as planned, was comparatively simple, but enthusiasm grew with what it fed upon. The Knights of Santiago held the first place upon the programme, for into that high and exclusive order the artist had won entry by special grace of Philip IV. Even Spain has been affected by the modern movement for the destruction of traditions, and certain erudite meddlers, who have been delving in the State archives, declare that there is no truth 284 in the following story, which, nevertheless, everybody has to tell.

The legend runs that Velázquez became a knight of St. James by a royal compliment to the painter of Las Meninas. This picture, which seems no picture, but life itself, eternizes a single instant of time in the palace of Philip IV, that one instant before the fingers of the little Infanta have curved about the cup presented by her kneeling maid, before the great, tawny, half-awakened hound has decided to growl remonstrance under the teasing foot of the dwarf, before the reflected faces of king and queen have glided from the mirror, that fleeting instant while yet the courtier, passing down the gallery into the garden, turns on the threshold for a farewell smile, while yet the green velvet sleeve of the second dwarf, ugliest of all pet monsters, brushes the fair silken skirts of the daintiest of ladies-in-waiting, while yet the artist, so much more royal than royalty, flashes his dark-eyed glance upon the charming group.

But if Velázquez looks prouder than a king, Philip proved himself here no uninspired painter. Asked if he found the work complete, the monarch shook his head, and, catching up the brush, marked the red cross of St. James on the pictured breast of the artist. So says the old wives' tale. At all events, in this way or another, the honor was conferred, with the result that on the three hundredth birthday of Velázquez, June 6, 1899, dukes and counts and marquises flocked to the Church of Las Señoras Comendadoras, where the antique Gregorian mass was chanted for the repose of their comrade's soul.

By the latest theology, the "Master of all Good Workmen" would not have waited for this illustrious requiem 285 before admitting the painter to "an æon or two" of rest, but the Knights of Santiago have not yet accepted Kipling as their Pope.

On the afternoon of the same day the Sala de Velázquez was inaugurated in the Museo del Prado, taking, with additions, the room formerly known as the Sala de la Reina Isabel, long the Salon Carré of Madrid, where Raphaels, Titians, Del Sartos, Dürers, Van Dycks, Correggios, and Rembrandts kept the Spanish Masters company. Portico and halls were adorned in honor of the occasion; the bust of Velázquez, embowered in laurels, myrtles, and roses, was placed midway in the Long Gallery, fronting the door of his own demesne; but the crown of the fiesta consisted in the new and far superior arrangement of his pictures. The royal family and chief nobility, the Ministers of Government, the Diplomatic Corps, and delegations of foreign artists made a brilliant gathering. The address, pronounced by an eminent critic, reviewed what are known as the three styles of Velázquez. Never was art lecture more fortunate, for this Museo, holding as it does more than half the extant works of the great realist, with nearly all his masterpieces, enabled the speaker to illustrate every point from the original paintings. A rain of aristocratic poems followed, for a Spaniard is a lyrist born, and turns from prose to verse as easily as he changes his cuffs. As Monipodio says, in one of Cervantes' "Exemplary Tales": "A man has but to roll up his shirt-sleeves, set well to work, and he may turn off a couple of thousand verses in the snapping of a pair of scissors." These Dukes of Parnassus and Counts of Helicon did homage to the painter in graceful stanzas, not without many an allusion to Spain's troubled present. If only, as one sonneteer 286 suggested, the soldiers of Las Lanzas had marched out from their great gilt frame and gone against the foe! A programme of old-time music was rendered, and therewith the Sala de Velázquez was declared open.

To this, as to all galleries and monuments under State control, the public was invited free of charge for the week to come. The response was appreciative, gentility, soldiery, ragamuffins, bevies of schoolgirls with notebooks, and families of foreigners with opera glasses grouping themselves in picturesque variety, day after day, before the art treasures of Madrid, while beggars sat in joyful squads on the steps of the museums, collecting the fees which the doorkeepers refused.

During these seven days, artistic and social festivals in honor of Velázquez abounded, not only in Madrid, but throughout Spain. Palma must needs get up, with photographs and the like, a Velázquez exposition, and Seville, insisting on her mother rights, must arrange a belated funeral, with mass and sermon and a tomb of laurels and flowers, surmounted by brushes, palette, and the cloak and helmet of the Order of Santiago. In the capital the Circulo de Bellas Artes sumptuously breakfasted the artists from abroad. The dainties were spiced with speeches, guitars, ballet, gypsy songs and dances, congratulatory telegrams, and a letter posted from Parnassus by Don Diego himself. Two valuable new books on Velázquez suddenly appeared in the shop windows, and such periodicals as La Ilustración, Blanco y Negro, La Vida Literaria, and El Nuevo Mundo vied with one another in illustrated numbers, while even the one-cent dailies came out with specials devoted to Velázquez biography and criticism. The Academy of San Fernando rendered a musical 287 programme of Velázquez date, the Queen Regent issued five hundred invitations to an orchestral concert in the Royal Palace, and there was talk, which failed to fructify, of a grand masquerade ball, where the costumes should be copied from the Velázquez paintings and the dances should be those stepped by the court of Philip IV.

The closing ceremony of the week was the unveiling of the new statue of Velázquez. Paris owes to Fremiot an equestrian statue of the painter, who, like Shakespeare in his Paris statue, is made to look very like a Frenchman, but the horse is of the most spirited Spanish type. A younger Velázquez may be seen in Seville, at home among the orange trees, and the Palacio de la Biblioteca y Museos Nacionales in Madrid shows a statue from the hand of Garcia. Still another, an arrogant, striding figure, was standing in the studio of Benlliure, ready for its journey to the Paris exposition. The tercentenary statue, by Marinas, is also true to that haughty look of Velázquez. It represents him seated, brush and palette in hand, the winds lifting from his ears those long, clustering falls of hair, as if to let him hear the praises of posterity. Little he cares for praises! That artist's look sees nothing but his task.

The unveiling took place late on Wednesday afternoon, in front of the Museo del Prado, where the statue stands. A turquoise sky and a light breeze put all the world in happy humor. The long façade of the Museo was hung with beautiful tapestries. Handsome medallions bore the names of painters associated in one way or another with Velázquez—Herrera el Viejo, his first master in Seville; Pacheco, his second Sevillian teacher and his father-in-law; Luis Tristan of 288 Toledo, for whom he had an enthusiastic admiration; El Greco, that startling mannerist, whose penetrating portraiture of faces, even whose extraordinary effects in coloring were not without influence on the younger man; Zurbarán, his almost exact contemporary, enamored no less than Velázquez himself of the new realism emanating from the great and terrible Ribera; Murillo, whose developing genius the favored Court painter, too high-hearted for envy, protected and encouraged, and Alonzo Cano, the impetuous artist of Granada, to whom, too, Velázquez was friend and benefactor.

Spanish colors and escutcheons were everywhere. In decorated tribunes sat the royal family and the choicest of Madrid society, with the members of the Circulo de Bellas Artes, who were the hosts of the day, and with distinguished guests from the provinces and abroad. Romero Robledo, as President of the Society of Fine Arts, welcomed the Queen, closing his brief address with the following words: "Never, señora, will your exalted sentiments be able to blend with those of the Spanish people in nobler hour than this, commemorating him who is forever a living national glory and who receives enthusiastic testimony of admiration from all the civilized world." Their Majesties drew upon the cords, the two silken banners parted, and the statue was revealed to the applauding multitude. While the royal group congratulated the sculptor, the ambassadors of Austria and Germany laid magnificent wreaths, fashioned with a due regard to the colors of their respective nations, at the feet of Velázquez. The eminent French artists, Carolus Duran and Jean Paul Laurens, bore a crown from France and delighted the audience by declaring that "the painter of the Spanish king 289 was himself the king of painters." Nothing since the war had gladdened Spain more than the presence and praises of these two famous Parisians; the reverence of Madrid for Paris is profound. The tributes of Rome and London excited far less enthusiasm. Still more wreaths, and more and more, were deposited by a procession of delegates from the art societies of all Spain, headed by Seville, the bands playing merrily meanwhile, until that stately form of bronze seemed to rise from out a hill of laurels, ribbons, and flowers.

This is the first Velázquez celebration which has had universal recognition. The painter was hardly known to Europe at large until the day of Fernando VII, who was induced by his art-loving wife, Isabel of Braganza, to send the pictures from the royal palaces, all those accumulated treasures of the Austrian monarchs, to the empty building, designed for a natural history museum, in the Prado. This long, low edifice is now one of the most glorious shrines of art in the world. It is a collection of masterpieces, showing the splendors that are rather than the processes by which they came to be. There is only one Fra Angelico, but there are ten Raphaels and four times as many Titians. In the Netherlands, no less than in Italy, the Spanish sway gathered rich spoils. There are a score of Van Dycks, threescore of those precious little canvases by Teniers, while as for Rubens, he blazes in some sixty-four Christian saints, heathen goddesses, and human sinners, all with a strong family resemblance. But although the Italian and Flemish schools are so magnificently represented, the wealth of Spanish painting is what overwhelms the visitor. Here are four rooms filled with the works of Goya—whose bones, by the way, arrived in Madrid from France for final 290 sepulture a few days before the celebration. Little more heed was paid to this advent than to that of the United States ambassador, who, it may be noted, was not presented to the Queen until the Velázquez jubilee was well over. But as for Goya, this unnoised entry was appropriate enough, for he, whom De Amicis has called "the last flame-colored flash of Spanish genius," used, during his later life, to make the long journey from Bordeaux to Madrid every week for no other purpose than to gloat upon the Sunday bull-fight, coming and going without speech or handshake, only a pair of fierce, bloodthirsty eyes. This fiery Aragonese painted bull-fights, battles, executions, and Inquisition tortures with blacks that make one shudder and reds that make one sick. He painted the brutal side of pleasure as well as of pain, filling broad canvases with dancing, feasting peasants—canvases that smell of wine and garlic, and all but send out a roar of drunken song and laughter.

Gypsy Tenants of an Arab Palace

Gypsy Tenants of an Arab Palace

Goya lived in the day of Charles IV, whose court painter he was, and against whom this natural caricaturist must have borne a special grudge, so sarcastic are his portraits of the royal family; but his genius is allied to that of Velázquez's powerful contemporary, Ribera. The Museo del Prado has abundant material for a Ribera sala, since it possesses no less than fifty-eight of his works, but the official put in charge of it would probably go mad. The paintings are mercifully scattered and, well for such of us as may be disposed to flight, can be recognized from afar by their dusks and pallors—ascetic faces gleaming out from sable backgrounds, wasted limbs of naked saints tracing livid lines in the gloom of caverns, and, against an atmosphere dark as the frown of 291 God, the ghastly flesh of tortured martyrs, and dead Christs drooping stiffly to the linen winding-sheet. One is appalled at the entrance of the Long Gallery by the two vast, confronting canvases of Prometheus, less a Titan than a convulsion of Titanic agony, and of Ixion, crushed not only beneath the wheel, but under that cold, tremendous blackness of hell made actual. Far down one side of the hall they stretch, those paintings upon paintings of torment, emaciation, the half-crazed visionary, and the revolting corpse. But there is no escape from Ribera, he who

"tainted

His brush with all the blood of all the sainted."

Turning back to the Spanish cabinets that open from the vestibule we come upon a piteous San Sebastian, the blanched young form bound fast and already nailed by arrows to the ebon-hued trunk of a leafless tree. Descending the staircase to the Sala de Alfonso XII, we must pass an attenuated old anchoress, whose sunken face and praying hands have the very tint of the skulls that form the only ornaments, almost the only furniture, of her dreary cave. We may as well brave the terrors of this first half of the Long Gallery, where El Greco's livid greens will at least divert attention, and where, opposite the collection of Riberas, wait the gracious Murillos to comfort and uplift.

Yet Ribera, ruffian though he was, is not solely and exclusively a nightmare artist. He could give sweetest and most tranquil color when he chose, as his "Jacob's Dream" here testifies, with the dim gold of its angel-peopled ladder; and for all the spirit of bigotry that clouds his work, there is 292 Catholic fervor in these pictures and masterly truthfulness up to the point where the senses need the interpretation of the soul. There is more than anatomy, too, in these starved old saints; there is the dread of judgment. Ribera depicts supernatural terror, where Goya shows the animal shock of death.

Another Spanish phase appears in Zurbarán. In his most effective work we have not Goya's blood color, nor Ribera's blacks, nor the celestial violets of Juan de Joanes, but the grays of the monastic renunciation, the twilight that is as far from rapture as from anguish. His gowned, cowled, corded figures pass before the eye in the pale tints of the cloister. The shadow of cathedral walls is over them. The Prado has been strangely indifferent to Zurbarán, who is far more fully represented in the galleries of Andalusia; but it has in its baker's dozen two important and characteristic works, both visions of San Pedro Nolasco. In one the entranced saint, whose figure might be carved in stone,—stone on which ray from stained-glass window never fell,—gazes upon an angel, whose vesture, crossed by a dark green scarf, is flushed with the faintest rose. In the second the sombre cell is illuminated for an instant by the apparition of St. Peter the Apostle, head downward, as in his crucifixion, his naked form dazzling against a vague redness of light like a memory of pain.

One glance at a wall aglow with Madonna blues reminds us that Spanish sacred art does not culminate in Ribera nor in Zurbarán. The Christian faith has had almost as pure, poetic, and spiritual an utterance in the land of the Inquisition as in Italy itself. This is not Murillo's hour; it is the triumph of Velázquez and the realists that Spain is celebrating 293 to-day; but none the less it is a joy of joys to walk by the Murillos on the way to the laurelled bust and the crowded sala. These are the pictures that are rather in heaven than earth. Where Mary, divine in her virginal loveliness, is not upborne among the golden clouds, the radiant-plumed angel kneels on her cottage floor and the wings of the descending dove beat whiteness through the air. Here is realism and more. The Mater Dolorosa has those luminous sea-blue eyes of Andalusia, but they tell of holy tears. The Crucified is no mere sufferer, but the suffering Son of God, and the crown of thorns, while dripping blood, haloes his brows with the redemption of the world.

The genius of Velázquez dwelt not above the earth, but upon it, in the heart of its most brilliant life. He was no dreamer of dreams; he "painted the thing as he saw it," and with what sure eyes he saw, and with what a firm and glowing brush he painted! His sala surrounds us at once with an atmosphere of brightness, beauty, elegance, variety, delight. His work is so superb, so supreme, that, like perfect manners, it puts even the humblest of us at our ease. We are not artists, but we seem to understand Velázquez.

Of course we don't. No knight of the palette would admit it for an instant. What can the rabble know of the mysterious compoundings and touchings from which sprang these splendors of color that outshine the centuries? Young men with streaming hair are continually escorting awed-looking señoras about the room, discoursing with dramatic vehemence on the "periods" of the Master's work. As a youth at Seville, they explain, Velázquez had of necessity taken religious subjects, for the Church was the chief patron 294 of art in Andalusia; but his natural bent even then displayed itself in tavern studies and sketches of popular types, as the "Water-seller of Seville" and the "Old Woman Frying Eggs." Of his early religious pieces the archbishop's palace of Seville keeps "San Ildefonso Receiving the Chasuble from the Hands of the Virgin," and the National Gallery of London secured "Christ in the House of Martha," but "The Adoration of the Kings" hangs here at our right as we enter the Velázquez sala. A little stiff, say these accomplished critics, with a suggestion of the dry manner of his master, Pacheco, but bear you in mind that this is the production of a youth of twenty. It is obvious, too, that Andalusians, not celestial visions, served him as models.

A longing to see the Tintorets and Titians, those starry treasures of the dark Escorial, drew him to Madrid at twenty-three. Here he was fortunate in finding friends, who brought his portraits to the notice of Philip IV, a dissolute boy ruled by the Count-Duke Olivares. Youth inclines to youth. Velázquez was appointed painter to the king at the same salary as that paid to the royal barber, and henceforth he had no care in life but to paint. And how he painted! His first portraits of Philip show a blond young face, with high brow, curled mustache, the long Hapsburg chin, and eyes that hint strange secrets. Again and again and again Velázquez traced those Austrian features, while the years stamped them ever more deeply with lines of pride and sin—a tragic face in the end as it was ill-omened in the beginning. But the masterpiece of Velázquez's twenties is "The Drunkards," a scene of peasant revelry where the young are gloriously tipsy and the old are on the point of maudlin tears. Here it is, Los 295 Borrachos, farther to the right. In looking on it one remembers that a contemporary realist, in the Protestant island which has often been so sharp a thorn in Spain's side, likewise crowned the achievement of his springtime by a group of topers, Prince Hal and Falstaff and their immortal crew.

Not the influence of Rubens, who spent nine months in Spain in 1628-29, painting like the wind, nor a visit to the Holy Land of Raphael and Michael Angelo could make Velázquez other than he was. This "Vulcan's Forge," which we see here, painted in Italy, is mythological only in the title. Back he came at the royal summons, to paint more portraits—Philip over and over, on foot, on horseback, half length, full length, all lengths; the winsome Infante Baltasar, as a toddling baby with his dwarf, as a gallant little soldier, hunter, horseman, and in the princely dignity of fourteen, when he had but three more years to live; the sad French queen, the king's brother, the magnificent Olivares, the sculptor Montañes, counts, dukes, buffoons. Within these twenty years Velázquez produced his two most famous works of religious tenor—"Christ Bound to the Column," a "captain jewel" of the London National Gallery, and that majestic "Crucifixion" before which Spaniards in the Prado bare their heads. But the crown of this period is Las Lanzas, or "The Surrender of Breda," which holds the place of honor on the wall fronting the door. It is vivid past all praise, and nobler than any battle scene in its beauty of generosity. The influence of Italy had told especially on Velázquez's backgrounds. The bright, far landscapes opening out beyond his portrayed figures, especially those on horseback,—and his 296 horses are as lifelike as his dogs,—give to the sala an exhilarating effect of free space and wide horizons.

In 1650 he made his second visit to Rome, where he portrayed Pope Innocent X. Nine years of glorious work in Spain remained to him. Still he painted the king, even at his royal prayers, for which there was full need, and the young Austrian queen, who had succeeded the dead mother of the dead Baltasar. On that happy left-hand wall of the sala shines, in all its vigorous grace, the "Mercury and Argos," but if the hundred eyes of Argos are ready to close, their place is supplied by the terrible scrutiny of a row of portraits, embarrassing the boldest of us out of note-taking. How those pairs of pursuing black eyes, sage and keen and mocking, stare the starers out of countenance! The series of pet dwarfs is here, old Æsop, and Menippus, and the sly buffoon, "Don Juan of Austria." Of these two wonder-works, Las Meninas, "The Maids of Honor," has a room to itself, and thus Las Hilanderas, "The Weavers," becomes the central magnet of this returning wall. A saint picture and even a coronation of the Virgin cannot draw the crowds from before this ultimate triumph of the actual—this factory interior, where a group of peasant women fashion tapestries, while a broad shaft of sunshine works miracles in color.

And this, too, is Spanish. Cervantes is as true a facet of many-sided Spain as Calderon, and Velázquez as Murillo. With all the national propensity to emotion and exaggeration, Spaniards are a truth-seeing people. The popular coplas are more often satiric than sentimental. They like to bite through to the kernel of fact, even when it is bitter. Velázquez, with his rich and noble realism, is of legitimate descent.

XX

297

CHORAL GAMES OF SPANISH CHILDREN

"Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,

She turns to favor and to prettiness."

—Shakespeare: Hamlet.

On one of my last afternoons in Madrid, I visited again my early haunts in the Buen Retiro, for a farewell sight of the children there at play. After all, it is one of the prettiest things to be seen in Spain, these graceful, passionate, dramatic little creatures dancing in tireless circles, and piping those songs that every niña knows, without being able to tell when or where or from whom she learned them. Only very small boys, as a rule, join the girls in these fairy rings, though occasionally I found a troop of urchins marching to a lusty chorus of their own. One, which I heard in Madrid, but whose parrots are more suggestive of Seville, runs something like this:—

"In the street they call Toledo

Is a famous school for boys,

Chundarata, chundarata,

Chundarata, chún-chún;

Where all we lads are going

With a most heroic noise,

Chundarata, chundarata,

Chundarata, chún-chún.

298

"And the parrots on their perches,

They mock us as we go,

Chundarata, chundarata,

Chundarata, chún-chún.

'I hate my school,' whines Polly,

'For my master beats me so,'

Chundarata, chundarata,

Chundarata, chún-chún."

Another, which came to me in fragments, is sung in playing soldier.

"The Catalans are coming,

Marching two by two.

All who hear the drumming

Tiptoe for a view.

Ay, ay!

Tiptoe for a view.

Red and yellow banners,

Pennies very few.

Ay, ay!

Pennies very few.

"Red and yellow banners!

The Moon comes out to see.

If moons had better manners,

She'd take me on her knee.

Ay, ay!

Take me on her knee.

She peeps through purple shutters,

Would I were tall as she!

Ay, ay!

Would I were tall as she!

299

"Soldiers need not learn letters,

Nor any schooly thing,

But unless they mind their betters,

In golden chains they'll swing.

Ay, ay!

In golden chains they'll swing.

Or sit in silver fetters,

Presents from the King.

Ay, ay!

Presents from the King."

This ironic touch, so characteristically Spanish, reappears in many of the games, as in A La Limón, known throughout the Peninsula and the Antilles. I should expect to find it, too, in corners of Mexico, South America, the Philippines, wherever the Spanish oppressor has trod and the oppressor's children have sported in the sun. The little players, ranged in two rows, each row hand in hand, dance the one toward the other and retreat, singing responsively. With their last couplet, the children of the first line raise their arms, forming arches, and the children of the second line, letting go hands, dance under these arches as they respond.

1.        "A la limón, á la limón!

All broken is our bright fountain.

2.        "A la limón, á la limón!

Give orders to have it mended.

1.        "A la limón, á la limón!

We haven't a bit of money.

2.        "A la limón, á la limón!

But we have money in plenty.

300

1.        "A la limón, á la limón!

What kind of money may yours be?

2.        "A la limón, á la limón!

Oh, ours is money of eggshells.

1.        "A la limón, á la limón!

An arch for the lords and ladies.

2.        "A la limón, á la limón!

Right merrily we pass under."

Another lyric dialogue, whose fun is spent on the lean purses of students and the happy-go-lucky life of Andalusia, must have originated since the overthrow, in 1892, of the leaning tower of Saragossa. The stanzas are sung alternately by two rows of children, advancing toward each other and retreating with a dancing step.

1. "In Saragossa

—Oh, what a pity!—

Has fallen the tower,

Pride of the city.

2. "Fell it by tempest,

Fairies or witches,

The students will raise it,

For students have riches.

1. "Call on the students,

Call louder and louder!

They've only two coppers

To buy them a chowder.

2. "Chowder of students

Is sweeter than honey, 301

But the gay Andalusians

Have plenty of money.

1. "The gay Andalusians

Have fiddle and ballad,

But only two coppers

To buy them a salad.

2. "In Saragossa

—Oh, what a pity!—

Has fallen the tower,

Pride of the city."

Unchildlike innuendoes pervade that curious game of many variants in which the priest and abbess play a leading part. Two children are chosen for these dignitaries, while the others call out the names of such flowers, fruits, or vegetables as each may decide to personate. "I'm a cabbage." "I'm a jasmine." "I'm a cherry." Then the little sinners kneel in a circle, crying:—

"Through the door, up the stairs,

On the floor, say your prayers!"

and chant some childish gibberish, during which no one must laugh on pain of a forfeit. After this, all sing:—

"The house of the priest it cracked like a cup.

Half fell down and half stood up.

Sir Priest, Sir Priest, now tell us aright,

In whose house did you sleep last night?

Priest.With the rose slept I.

Rose.Fie, O fie!

I never saw your tonsured head.

Priest. Then with whom did you make your bed?

302

Rose. With the Pink.

Pink. I should think!

I never saw your petals red.

Rose. Then with whom did you make your bed?

Pink. With the lily.

Lily. Don't be silly!

I never heard your fragrant tread.

Pink. Then with whom did you make your bed?

Lily. With the priest.

Priest. Little beast!

If I went near you, may I fall dead!

Lily. Then with whom did you make your bed?

Priest. With the abbess, I.

Abbess. Oh, you lie!"

But this seems to be the conclusion of the game.

The most of these choral songs, however, are sweet and innocent, concerned with the natural interests of childhood, as this:—

"The shepherdess rose lightly

Larán—larán—larito,

The shepherdess rose lightly

From off her heather seat—O.

"Her goats went leaping homeward,

Larán—larán—larito,

Her goats went leaping homeward

On nimble little feet—O.

"With strong young hands she milked them,

Larán—larán—larito,

With strong young hands she milked them

And made a cheese for treat—O. 303

"The kitty watched and wondered,

Larán—larán—larito,

The kitty crept and pondered

If it were good to eat—O.

"The kitty sprang upon it,

Larán—larán—larito,

The kitty sprang upon it

And made a wreck complete—O.

"Scat, scat, you naughty kitty!

Larán—larán—larito,

Scat, scat, you naughty kitty!

Are stolen cheeses sweet—O?"

The baby girls have a song of their own, which, as a blending of doll-play, gymnastics, music, mathematics, and religion, leaves little to be desired.

"Oh, I have a dolly, and she is dressed in blue,

With a fluff of satin on her white silk shoe,

And a lace mantilla to make my dolly gay,

When I take her dancing this way, this way, this way.

[Dances Dolly in time to the music.

"2 and 2 are 4, 4 and 2 are 6,

6 and 2 are 8, and 8 is 16,

And 8 is 24, and 8 is 32!

Thirty-two! Thirty-two!

Blesséd souls, I kneel to you.       [Kneels.

"When she goes out walking in her Manila shawl,

My Andalusian dolly is quite the queen of all.

Gypsies, dukes, and candy-men bow down in a row,

While my dolly fans herself so and so and so.

[Fans Dolly in time to the music. 304

"2 and 2 are 4, 4 and 2 are 6,

6 and 2 are 8, and 8 is 16,

And 8 is 24, and 8 is 24!

Twenty-four! Twenty-four!

Blesséd souls, I rise once more."

They have a number of bird-games, through which they flit and flutter with an airy grace that wings could hardly better. In one, the children form a circle, with "the little bird Pinta" in the centre. The chorus, dancing lightly around her, sings the first stanza, and Pinta, while passing about the circle to make her choice, sings the rest, with the suggested action. The child chosen becomes Pinta in turn.

Chorus.    "The little bird Pinta was poising

On a scented green lemon-tree spray.

She picked the leaf and the blossom,

And chanted a roundelay.

Pinta.      "Song in the land!

While April is yet a newcomer,

O mate of my summer,

Give to me a hand now,

Both hands I seek, O!

Take a Spanish kiss, now,

On the rosy cheek, O!"

Equally pretty and simple is the Andalusian play of "Little White Pigeons." The children form in two rows, which face each other some ten or twelve yards apart. One row sings the first stanza, dancing forward and slipping under the "golden arches" made by the lifted arms of the second row. 305 The second row sings and dances in turn, passing under the "silver arches" to Granada.

1. "Little white pigeons

Are dreaming of Seville,

Sun in the palm tree,

Roses and revel.

Lift up the arches,

Gold as the weather.

Little white pigeons

Come flying together.

2. "Little white pigeons

Dream of Granada,

Glistening snows on

Sierra Nevada.

Lift up the arches,

Silver as fountains.

Little white pigeons

Fly to the mountains."

The Spanish form of "Blindman's Buff" begins with "giving the pebble" to determine who shall be the Blind Hen. A child shuts in one hand the pebble and then presents both little fists to the other children passing in file. Each, while all sing the first stanza given below, softly touches first one of the hands, then the other, and finally slaps the one chosen. If this is empty, she passes on. If it holds the pebble, she must take it and be the one to offer the hands. The child who finally remains with the pebble in her possession, after all have passed, is the Blind Hen. As the game goes on, the children tease the Blind Hen, who, of course, is trying to catch them, by singing the second stanza given below. 306

1

"Pebble, O pebble!

Where may it be?

Pebble, O pebble!

Come not to me!

Tell me, my mother,

Which hand to choose.

This or the other?

That I refuse,

This hand I choose."

2

"She's lost her thimble,

Little Blind Hen.

Better be nimble!

Try it again!

Who'll bring a taper

For the Blind Hen?

Scamper and caper!

Try it again!

Try it again!"

Other games as well known to American children as "Blindman's Buff" are played by little Spaniards. They understand how to make the "hand-chair" and "drop the button," only their button is usually a ring. "Hide the Handkerchief" carries with it the familiar cries of hot and cold, but our "Puss in the Corner" becomes "A Cottage to Rent."

"'Cottage to rent?'

'Try the other side,

You see that this

Is occupied.'"

307 In religious Seville the dialogue runs:—

"'A candle here?'

'Over there.'

'A candle here?'

'Otherwhere.'

"'Candle, a candle!'

'Loss on loss.'

'Where is light?'

'In the Holy Cross.'"

For all these games, common to childhood the world over, have a rhyming element in the Peninsula, where, indeed, the ordinary intercourse of children often carries verses with it. For instance, our youngsters are content with cries of "Tell-tale!" and "Indian-giver!" but under similar provocation the fierce little nurslings of Catholic Spain will sing:—

"Tell-tale! Tell-tale!

In hell you'll be served right,

All day fed on mouldy bread,

And pounded all the night!"

The other baby-curse is to the same effect:—

"He who gives and takes again,

Long in hell may he remain!

He who gives and takes once more,

May we hear him beat on the Devil's door!"

The Spanish form of tag has a touch of mythological grace. One child, chosen by lot, is the Moon, and must keep within the shadow. The others, Morning-stars, are safe only in the lighted spaces. The game is for the Morning-stars to run 308 into the shadow, daring the Moon, who, if successful in catching one, becomes a Morning-star in turn, and passes out into the light, leaving the one caught to act the part of Moon. As the Morning-stars run in and out of the Moon's domain, they sing over and over the following stanza:—

"O the Moon and the Morning-stars!

O the Moon and the Morning-stars!

Who dares to tread—O

Within the shadow?"

Even in swinging, the little girls who push carry on a musical dialogue with the happy holder of the seat.

"'Say good-day, say good-day

To Miss Fannie Fly-away!

At the door the guests are met,

But the table is not set.

Put the stew upon the fire.

Higher, higher, higher, higher!

Now come down, down, down, down,

Or the dinner will all burn brown.

Soup and bread! soup and bread!

I know a plot of roses red,

Red as any hero's sword,

Or the blood of our Holy Lord.

Where art thou, on the wing?'

'No, I'm sitting in the swing.'

'Who're thy playmates way up there?'

'Swallows skimming through the air.'

'Down, come down! The stew will burn.

Let the rest of us have a turn.'"

309 In playing "Hide and Seek," the seeker must first sit in a drooping attitude with covered eyes, while the others stand about and threaten to strike him if he peeps:—

"Oil-cruet! Don't do it! Ras con ras!

Pepper-pot? Peep not! Ras con ras!"

The menacing little fists are then suddenly withdrawn.

"No, no! Not a blow!

But a pinch on the arm will do no harm.

Now let the birdies take alarm!"

And off scamper the hiders to their chosen nooks. When they are safely tucked away, the indispensable Mother, standing by, sings to the seeker that stanza which is his signal for the start:—

"My little birds of the mountain

Forth from the cage are flown.

My little birds of the mountain

Have left me all alone."

Spanish forfeit games are numerous and ingenious. In one of these, called "The Toilet," the players take the names of Mirror, Brush, Comb, Towel, Soap, and other essentials, including Jesus, Devil, and Man Alive, these last for exclamatory purposes. As each is mentioned by the leader of the game, he must rise instantly, on pain of forfeit, no matter how fast the speaker may be rattling on: "Jesus! When will that devil of a maid bring me my powder and perfumes?" Characteristic titles of other forfeit games are, "The Key of Rome," "The Fan," "The Fountain," "I Saw my Love Last Night." The sentences vary from such gentle penalties as "The Caress 310 of Cadiz" to the predicament of putting three feet on the wall at once.

The choral verses are often mere nonsense.

"Pipe away! pipe away!

Let us play a little play!

What will we play?

We'll cut our hands away.

Who cut them, who?

Rain from out the blue.

Where is the rain?

Hens drank it up again.

Hens? And where are they?

Gone their eggs to lay.

Who will eat them up?

Friars when they sup.

What do friars do?

Sing 'gori-gori-goo.'"

Watching Spanish children, one may see two little girls, say White Rose and Sweetness, fly out into an open space, where White Rose carefully places the tips of her small shoes in touch with those of Sweetness. Then they clasp hands, fling their little bodies as far back as these conditions permit, and whirl round and round, singing lustily—until they are overcome by giddiness—the following rigmarole, or one of its variants:—

"Titirinela, if you please!

Titirinela, bread and cheese:

'What is your father's worshipful name?'

'Sir Red-pepper, who kisses your hands.'

'And how does he call his beautiful dame?'

311 'Lady Cinnamon, at your commands.'

Titirinela, toe to toe!

Titirinela, round we go!"

From the Tower of Gold Down the Guadalquivír

From the Tower of Gold Down the Guadalquivír

Even in some of their prettiest games the verses have a childish incoherence. Some dozen little girls form a circle, for instance, with the Butterfly in the centre. They lift her dress-skirt by the border, and hold it outspread about her. Another child, on the outside, runs around and around the ring, singing:—

"Who are these chatterers?

Oh, such a number!

Not by day nor by night

Do they let me slumber.

They're daughters of the Moorish king,

Who search the garden-close

For lovely Lady Ana,

The sweetest thing that grows.

She's opening the jasmine

And shutting up the rose."

Then the children suddenly lift their hands, which are holding Butterfly's frock, so as to envelop her head in the folds. The little singer outside continues:—

"Butterfly, butterfly,

Dressed in rose-petals!

Is it on candle-flame

Butterfly settles?

How many shirts

Have you woven of rain?

Weave me another

Ere I call you again."

312 These songs are repeated seven times. Then comes another stanza:—

"Now that Lady Ana

Walks in garden sweet,

Gathering the roses

Whose dew is on her feet,

Butterfly, butterfly,

Can you catch us? Try it, try!"

With this the circle breaks and scatters, while Butterfly, blinded as she is by the folds of her own skirt wrapped about her head, does her best to overtake some one, who shall then become her successor.

Many of the games are simplicity itself. Often the play is merely a circle dance, sometimes ending in a sudden kneeling or sitting on the ground, One of the songs accompanying this dance runs:—

"Potatoes and salt must little folks eat,

While the grown-up people dine

Off lemons and chestnuts and oranges sweet,

With cocoanut milk for wine.

On the ground do we take our seat,

We're at your feet, we're at your feet."

Sometimes a line of children will form across the street and run, hand in hand, down its length, singing:—

"We have closed the street

And no one may pass,

Only my grandpa

Leading his ass

Laden with oranges

313

Fresh from the trees.

Tilín! Tilín!

Down on our knees!

Tilín!  Tilín!  Tilín!  Tilín!

The holy bell of San Agustín!"

A play for four weans, training them early to the "eternal Spanish contradiction," consists in holding a handkerchief by its four corners, while one of them sings:—

"Pull and slacken!

I've lost my treasure store.

Pull and slacken!

I'm going to earn some more.

Slacken!"

And at this, the other three children must pull, on pain of forfeit, whereas if the word is pull, their business is to slacken.

They have a grasshopper game, where they jump about with their hands clasped under their knees, singing:—

"Grasshopper sent me an invitation

To come and share his occupation.

Grasshopper dear, how could I say no?

Grasshopper, grasshopper, here I go!"

In much the same fashion they play "Turkey," gobbling as they hop.

I never found them "playing house" precisely after the manner of our own little girls, but there are many variants for the dialogue and songs in their game of "Washerwoman." The Mother says: "Mariquilla, I'm going out to the river to wash. While I am gone, you must sweep and tidy up the house." 314

"Bueno, madre."

But no sooner is the Mother out of sight than naughty Mariquilla begins to frisk for joy, singing:—

"Mother has gone to wash.

Mother'll be gone all day.

Now can Mariquilla

Laugh and dance and play."

But the Mother returns so suddenly that Mariquilla sees her barely in time to begin a vigorous sweeping.

"'What hast been doing, Mary?'

'Sweeping with broom of brier.'

'A friar saw thee playing.'

'He was a lying friar.'

'A holy friar tell a lie!'

'He lied and so do you.'

'Come hither, Mary of my heart,

'And I'll beat thee black and blue.'"

After this lively exercise, the washerwoman goes away again, charging Mariquilla to churn the butter, then to knead the bread, then to set the table, but always with the same disastrous results. The Mother finally condemns her to a dinner of bread and bitters, but Mariquilla makes a point of understanding her to say bread and honey, and shares this sweetness with her sympathetic mates who form the circle. This time the beating is so severe that the children of the ring raise their arms and let Mariquilla dodge freely in and out, while they do all they can to trip and hinder the irate washerwoman in her pursuit. 315

There is another washing game of more romantic sort, the chorus being:—

"'Bright is the fountain,

When skies are blue.

Who washed my handkerchief?

Tell me true!'

'Three mountain maidens

Of laughing look.

White went their feet

In the running brook.

One threw in roses,

And jasmine one.

One spread thy handkerchief

In the sun.'"

Spanish children "play store," of course, but they are such dramatic little creatures that they need no broken ware for their merchandise. A row of them will squat down in the middle of the street, clasp their hands under the hollow of their knees, and crook out their arms for "handles." Then a customer wanders by, asking, "Who sells honey-jars?" The merchant disrespectfully replies, "That do I, Uncle of the Torn Trousers." The shabby customer answers with Castilian dignity, "If my trousers are torn, my wife will mend them." The merchant then opens negotiations. "Will you buy a little jar of honey?" "What's your price?" The merchant is not exorbitant. "A flea and a louse." The probabilities are, unhappily, that the customer has these commodities about him, and he inclines, though cautiously, toward the bargain.

"Your little honey-jars are good?" 316

"Very good."

"Do they weigh much?"

"Let's see."

So they pick up an hilarious little honey-jar by its handles and tug it away between them, not letting it touch the ground, to the sidewalk. Here the merchant and customer have designated four spaces as Heaven, Limbo, Purgatory, and Hell, but on a preliminary paving-stone—let truth need no apology!—they have done some artistic spitting, with the result that four different figures in saliva are presented to the little honey-jar. These four figures bear a secret relation to the four spaces on the sidewalk, and the prisoner must make his choice. "This!" he ventures. "Hell!" scream the merchant and customer, and drag him, shrieking and struggling, to his doom. The next, perhaps, will have the luck to hit on Heaven, for every little honey-jar must take his chance in this theological lottery.

Sometimes the market becomes a transformation scene. The children hold up their forefingers for candles, but embarrass the merchant by doubling these up whenever the customer is on the point of buying. Just as the bargain is about to be concluded, the little candles vanish and the children roll themselves into bunches of grapes, some proving sweet and others sour. Again, they make themselves over into pitchers, cushions, and all variety of domestic articles, becoming at last a pack of barking dogs which rush out on the customer, snap at his legs, and drive him off the premises.

Again, it is a chicken-market on which the Uncle of the Torn Trousers chances, where one by one he buys all the hens and chickens, but forgets to buy the rooster, and when, 317 by and by, this lordly fowl, waxing lonely, cock-a-doodle-doos, the hens and chickens come scurrying back to him, more to the profit of the merchant than to the satisfaction of the customer.

In another of the chicken games, the Mother leaves Mariquilla in charge of the brood, with directions, if the wolf comes, to fling him the smallest. But he comes so often that, when the Mother returns, there are no chickens left. Then she and Little Mary go hunting them, hop-hop-hop through Flea Street, bow-wow-wow through Dog Street, and so on without success, until it occurs to them to scatter corn. Thereupon with peep-peep-peep and flip-flap-flutter all the chickens appear, but only to fly at the negligent Mother, who left them to the jaws of the wolf, and assail her with such furious pecks that she must run for her life, the indignant chicks racing in wild pursuit.

There is a market-garden game, where one acts as gardener, others as vegetables, and others as customers. Others, still, come creeping up as thieves, but are opposed by a barking dog, which they kill. The gardener summons them before the judge. A trial is held, with much fluent Spanish argument pro and con, and the prisoners are condemned to execution for the murder of the dog. But at the last thrilling moment, when they have confessed their sins to the priests, and been torn from the embraces of their weeping friends, the dog trots cheerfully in, so very much alive that all the criminals are pardoned in a general dance of joy.

The little girls have a favorite shopping game. In this the children are seated, shoulder to shoulder, in two rows that face each other. Every child takes the name of some cloth, silks 318 and satins being preferred. The leader of the game runs around the two rows, singing:—

"Up the counter, down the counter!

How can I buy enough?

Down the counter, up the counter!

I choose this velvet stuff."

Little Velvet immediately jumps to her feet and follows the leader, who continues choosing and calling, choosing and calling, until the stock is exhausted and she can go home with all her purchases most conveniently trooping at her heels.

But the plays dearest to the black-eyed niñas are love plays, of which they have a countless number. Most of these consist of the dancing, singing circle, with a child in the centre who chooses a mate. Some are as simple as this:—

"Milk and rice!

I want to marry

A maiden nice.

I may not tarry.

It is not this,

Nor this, nor this.

'Tis only this

Whom I want to marry."

Cadiz from the Sea

Cadiz from the Sea

Ambó, ató is hardly more elaborate. When in the exchange of question and answer, the child would choose her page and touches one of the circle, the mercenary mites dance on faster than ever, until she offers whatever gift she has, a flower, apple, or any trifle at hand. Then the page runs in and kneels before her. The circle dances about the two, singing the refrain, until the first child slips out and joins them, 319 leaving the second in the centre to begin the game over again.

"Ambó, ató, matarile, rile, rile?

Ambó, ató, matarile, rile, ron?

1."What do you want, matarile, rile, rile?

What do you want, matarile, rile, ron?

2."I want a page, matarile, rile, rile.

I want a page, matarile, rile, ron.

1."Choose whom you will, matarile, rile, rile.

Choose whom you will, matarile, rile, ron.

2."I choose Pedro, matarile, rile, rile.

I choose Pedro, matarile, rile, ron.

1."What will you give him, matarile, rile, rile?

What will you give him, matarile, rile, ron?

2."I'll give him an orange, matarile, rile, rile.

I'll give him an orange, matarile, rile, ron.

1."He answers yes, matarile, rile, rile.

He answers yes, matarile, rile, ron."

"The Charcoal Woman" requires an odd number of players. The circle dances about a little girl who stands all forlorn in the centre. The chorus sings the first stanza, the child sings the second, which has reference to the fact that Spanish charcoal is often made from laurel wood, and the chorus, in a comforting tone, the third. Then, while the child runs about and about the circle as if seeking, the chorus angrily sings the fourth stanza, accusing her of ambition, and the little charcoal woman retorts with the fifth, making her choice as she sings the last four words. At this the circle 320 breaks, the children quickly choosing mates and dancing by pairs. The one who is left without a partner takes her place in the centre as the next Charcoal Woman.

1.

Chorus."Who would say that the charcoal woman,

Sooty, sooty charcoal woman,

In all the city and all the land

Could find a lover to kiss her hand?

2.

Charcoal Woman.

"The little widow of good Count Laurel

Has no one left her for kiss or quarrel.

I want a sweetheart and find me none.

Charcoal women must bide alone.

3.

Chorus."Poor little widow, so sweet thou art,

If there's no other to claim thy heart,

Take thy pick of us who stand

Ready to kiss thy sooty hand.

4.

Chorus. "The charcoal woman, the charcoal woman,

Proud little black little charcoal woman,

Goes seeking up and seeking down

To find the Count of Cabratown.

5.

Charcoal Woman.

"I would not marry the Count of Cabra.

Never will marry the Count of Cabra.

Count of Cabra! Oh, deary me!

I'll not have him,—if you're not he!"

321 Just such coquettish touches of Spanish spirit and maiden pride appear in many of the songs, as, for instance, in one of their counting-out carols, "The Garden."

"The garden of our house it is

The funniest garden yet,

For when it rains and rains and rains,

The garden it is wet.

And now we bow,

Skip back and then advance,

For who know how to make a bow

Know how to dance.

AB—C—AB—C

DE—FG—HI—J.

If your worship does not love me,

Then a better body may.

AB—C—AB—C,

KL—MN—OP—Q.

If you think you do not love me,

I am sure I don't love you."

Sometimes these dancing midgets lisp a song of worldly wisdom:—

"If any cadet

With thee would go,

Daughter, instantly

Answer no.

For how can cadet,

This side of Heaven,

Keep a wife

On his dollars seven? 322

"If any lieutenant

Asks a caress,

Daughter, instantly

Answer yes.

For the lieutenant

Who kisses thy hand

May come to be

A general grand."

And, again, these babies may be heard giving warning that men betray.

"The daughters of Ceferino

Went to walk—alas!

A street above, a street below,

Street of San Tomás.

The least of all, they lost her.

Her father searched—alas!

A street above, a street below,

Street of San Tomás.

And there he found her talking

With a cavalier, who said,

'Come home with me, my darling,

'Tis you that I would wed.'

"Oh, have you seen the pear tree

Upon my grandpa's lawn?

Its pears are sweet as honey,

But when the pears are gone,

A turtle-dove sits moaning,

With blood upon her wings,

Amid the highest branches,

And this is what she sings: 323

'Ill fares the foolish maiden

Who trusts a stranger's fibs.

She'd better take a cudgel

And break his ugly ribs.'"

The dance for "Elisa of Mambrú" begins merrily, and soon saddens to a funereal pace.

"In Madrid was born a maiden—carabí!

Daughter of a general—carabí, hurí, hurá!"

The song goes on to tell of Elisa's beautiful hair, which her aunt dressed so gently for her with a golden comb and crystal curling-pins, and how Elisa died and was carried to church in an elegant coffin, and how a little bird used to perch upon her grave and chirp, pio, pio.

Mambrú himself is the pathetic hero of Spanish childhood. This Mambrú for whom the little ones from Aragon to Andalusia pipe so many simple elegies, the Mambrú sung by Trilby, is not the English Marlborough to them, but, be he lord or peasant, one of their very own.

"Mambrú is gone to serve the king,

And comes no more by fall or spring.

"We've looked until our eyes are dim.

Will no one give us word of him?

"You'd know him for his mother's son

By peasant dress of Aragon.

"You'd know him for my husband dear

By broidered kerchief on his spear.

"The one I broider now is wet.

Oh, may I see him wear it yet!" 324

At the end of this song, as of the following, the little dancers throw themselves on the ground, as if in despair.

"Mambrú went forth to battle.

Long live Love!

I listen still for his coming feet.

The rose on the rose bush blossoms sweet.

"He will come back by Easter.

Long live Love!

He will come back by Christmas-tide.

The rose on the bush has drooped and died.

"Down the road a page is riding.

Long live Love!

'Oh, what are the tidings that you bear?'

The rose on the bush is budding fair.

"'Woe is me for my tidings!'

Long live Love!

'Mambrú lies cold this many a morn.'

Ay, for a rose bush sharp with thorn!

"A little bird is chirping.

Long live Love!

In the withered bush where no more buds blow,

The bird is chirping a note of woe."

A game that I often watched blithe young Granadines playing under the gray shadow of Alhambra walls, seems to be a Spanish version of "London Bridge is Falling Down." Two children are chosen to be Rose and Pink. These form an arch with their uplifted arms, through which run the other children in a line, headed by the Mother. A musical dialogue is maintained throughout. 325

"Rose and Pink.

To the viper of love, that hides in flowers,

The only way lies here.

Mother.

Then here I pass and leave behind

One little daughter dear.

Rose and Pink.

Shall the first one or the last

Be captive of our chain?

Mother.

Oh, the first one runs too lightly.

'Tis the last that shall remain.

Chorus.

Pass on, oho! Pass on, aha!

By the gate of Alcalá!"

The last child is caught by the falling arms and is asked whether she will go with Rose or Pink. She shyly whispers her choice, taking her stand behind her elected leader, whom she clasps about the waist. When all the children of the line have been successively caught in the falling arch, and have taken their places behind either Rose or Pink, the game ends in a grand tugging match. Rose and Pink hold hands as long as they can, while the two lines try to drag them apart. All the while, until the very last, the music ripples on:—

"Rose and Pink.

Let the young mind make its choice,

As young minds chance to think.

Now is the Rose your leader,

Or go you with the Pink?

Let the young heart make its choice

326

By laws the young heart knows.

Now is the Pink your leader,

Or go you with the Rose?

Chorus.

Pass on, oho! Pass on, aha!

By the gate of Alcalá!"

Another favorite is "Golden Ear-rings." Here the Mother, this time a Queen, sits in a chair, supposedly a throne, and close before her, on the floor, sits the youngest daughter; before this one, the next youngest, and so on, in order of age. Two other children, holding a handkerchief by the corners, walk up and down the line, one on one side and one on the other, so passing the handkerchief above the heads of the seated princesses. Then ensues the musical dialogue between these two suitors and the Queen.

"'We've come from France, my lady,

And Portugal afar.

We've heard of your fair daughters,

And very fair they are.'

'Be they fair or no, señores,

It's none of your concern,

For God has given me bread for all,

And given me hands to earn.'

'Then we depart, proud lady,

To find us brides elsewhere.

The daughters of the Moorish king

Our wedding rings shall wear.'

'Come back, my sweet señores!

Bear not so high a crest.

You may take my eldest daughter,

But leave me all the rest.'"

327 The dialogue is transferred to one of the suitors and to the princess at the farther end of the line, on whose head the handkerchief now rests.

"'Will you come with me, my Onion?'

'Fie! that's a kitchen smell.'

'Will you come with me, my Rosebud?'

'Ay, gardens please me well.'"

In similar fashion all the daughters are coaxed away until only the youngest remains, but she proves obdurate. They may call her Parsley or Pink; it makes no difference. So the suitors resort to bribes, the last proving irresistible.

"'We'll buy you a French missal.'

'I have a book in Latin.'

'In taffeta we'll dress you.'

'My clothes are all of satin.'

'You shall ride upon a donkey.'

'I ride in coaches here.'

'We'll give you golden ear-rings.'

'Farewell, my mother dear.'"

In some of the many variants of this game, the Queen herself, adequate as she may be to earning her own living, is wooed and won at last.

I have not met with fairy-lore among these children's carols. The only fairy known to Spain appears to be a sort of spiritualistic brownie, who tips over tables and rattles chairs in empty rooms by night. The grown-up men who write of him say he frightens women and children. He can haunt a house as effectually as an old-time ghost, and a Casa del Duende may go begging for other tenants. One poor lady, who went 328 to all the trouble of moving to escape from him, was leaning over the balcony of her new home,—so the story goes,—to see the last cartful of furniture drive up, when a tiny man in scarlet waved a feathered cap to her from the very top of the load and called, "Yes, señora, we are all here. We have moved."

So the childish imagination of Spain, shut out from fairyland, makes friends with the saints in such innocent, familiar way as well might please even Ribera's anchorites. The adventurous small boy about to take a high jump pauses to pray:—

"Saint Magdalene,

Don't let me break my thigh!

Oh, Saint Thomas,

Help this birdie fly!"

The little girls express decided preferences for one saint over another.

"Old San Antón,

What has he done?

Put us in the corner every one.

"San Sebastián

Is a nice young man.

He takes us to walk and gives us a fan."

Santa Rita is best at finding lost needles, and San Pantaleón is a humorist.

"San Pantaleón,

Are twenty and one

Children enough for an hour of fun

Slippers of iron

Donkey must try on. 329

Moors with their pages

Ride in gold stages.

But if you want a

Girdle, Infanta,

Cucurucú,

'Bout-face with you!"

At this one of the children dancing in circle whirls around, remaining in her place, but with back turned to the centre and arms crossed over her breast, although her hands still hold those of her nearest neighbors. The rhyme is sung over and over, until all the little figures have thus turned about and the circle is dancing under laughable difficulties.

But the dearest saint of all is San Serení. Two of the best-known games are under his peculiar blessing. One of these is of the genuine Kindergarten type, the children dancing in a circle through the first two lines of each stanza, but then loosing hands to imitate, in time to the music, the suggested action.

"San Serení,

The holy—holy-hearted!

Thus for thee

The shoemakers are cobbling.

Thus, thus, thus!

Thus it pleases us."

Even so it pleases seamstresses to stitch, laundresses to wash, carpenters to saw, silversmiths to tap, ironsmiths to pound, and little folks to dance, all for "San Serení de la buena, buena vida." In the second game, a gymnastic exercise, whose four movements are indicated in the four stanzas, he is apostrophized as "San Serení del Monte, San Serení cortés." 330

"San Serení of the Mountain,

Our saint of courtesy,

I, as a good Christian,

Will fall upon my knee.

"San Serení of the Mountain,

Where the strong winds pass,

I, as a good Christian,

Will seat me on the grass.

"San Serení of the Mountain,

Where the white clouds fly,

I, as a good Christian,

Upon the ground will lie.

"San Serení of the Mountain,

Where earth and heaven meet,

I, as a good Christian,

Will spring upon my feet."

With the legend of St. Katharine and her martyrdom childish fancy has played queer caprices.

"In Cadiz was a wean—ah!

The gentlest ever seen—ah!

Her name was Catalina.

Ay, so!

Her name was Catalina.

"Her father, Moslem cruel,

He made her bring in fuel.

Her mother fed her gruel.

Ay, so!

Her mother fed her gruel. 331

"They beat her Tuesday, Wednesday,

They beat her Thursday, Friday,

They beat her Saturday, Monday.

Ay, so!

They beat her hardest Sunday.

"Once bade her wicked sire

She make a wheel most dire,

Of scissors, knives, and fire.

Ay, so!

Of scissors, knives, and fire.

"The noble Christian neighbors,

In pity of her labors,

Brought silver swords and sabres.

Ay, so!

Brought silver swords and sabres.

"By noon her task was ended,

And on that wheel all splendid

Her little knee she bended.

Ay, so!

Her little knee she bended.

"Then down a stair of amber

She saw the cherubs clamber:

'Come rest in our blue chamber.'

Ay, so!

She rests in their blue chamber."

Little Spaniards are not too intolerant to make a play-fellow of the Devil. In one of their pet games, the children 332 form in line, with the invaluable Mother in charge. To each child she secretly gives the name of a color. Then an Angel comes in with a flying motion and calls, for instance, "Purple!" But there is no Purple in the company. It is then the Devil's turn, who rushes in, usually armed with a table-fork, and roars for "Green." There is a Green in the line, and she has to follow the Demon, while the Angel tries again. All right-minded spectators hope that the Angel will have the longer array at the last.

The Virgin's well-beloved name comes often into the children's songs.

"For studying my lessons,

So as not to be a dunce,

Papa gave me eight dollars,

That I mean to spend at once.

Four for my dolly's necklace,

Two for a collar fine,

And one to buy a candle

For Our Lady's shrine."

Even the supreme solemnity of the Wafer borne through the kneeling streets cannot abash the trustful gaze of childhood.

"'Where are you going, dear Jesus,

So gallant and so gay?'

'I am going to a dying man

To wash his sins away.

And if I find him sorry

For the evil he has done,

Though his sins are more than the sands of the sea,

I'll pardon every one.' 333

"'Where are you going, dear Jesus,

So gallant and so gay?'

'I'm coming back from a dying man

Whose sins are washed away.

Because I found him sorry

For the evil he had done,

Though his sins were more than the sands of the sea,

I've pardoned every one.'"

The affairs of State as well as of Church have left their traces on the children's play. As the little ones dance in circle, their piping music tells a confused tale of Spanish history within these latter days.

"In Madrid there is a palace,

As bright as polished shell,

And in it lives a lady

They call Queen Isabel.

Not for count nor duke nor marquis

Her father would she sell,

For not all the gold in Spain could buy

The crown of Isabel.

"One day when she was feasting

Within this palace grand,

A lad of Aragon walked in

And seized her by the hand.

Through street and square he dragged her

To a dreary prison cell,

And all that weary way she wept,

The lady Isabel.

"'For whom art weeping, lady?

What gives thy spirit pain? 334

If thou weepest for thy brothers,

They will not come again.

If thou weepest for thy father,

He lies 'neath sheet of stone.'

'For these I am not weeping,

But for sorrows of mine own.

"'I want a golden dagger.'

'A golden dagger! Why?'

'To cut this juicy pear in two.

Of thirst I almost die.'

We gave the golden dagger.

She did not use it well.

Ah, no, it was not pears you cut,

My lady Isabel."

These dancing circles keep in memory the assassination of Marshal Prim.

"As he came from the Cortes,

Men whispered to Prim,

'Be wary, be wary,

For life and for limb.'

Then answered the General,

'Come blessing, come bane,

I live or I die

In the service of Spain.'

"In the Calle del Turco,

Where the starlight was dim,

Nine cowardly bullets

Gave greeting to Prim.

The best of the Spaniards

Lay smitten and slain,

And the new King he died for

Came weeping to Spain." 335

This new king, Amadeo, is funnily commemorated in another dancing ditty, "Four Sweethearts."

"Maiden, if they ask thee,

Maiden, if they ask thee,

If thou hast a sweetheart—ha, ha!

If thou hast a sweetheart,

Answer without blushing,

Answer without blushing,

'Four sweethearts are mine—ha, ha!

Four sweethearts are mine.

"'The first he is the son of—

The first he is the son of

A confectioner—ha, ha!

A confectioner.

Sugar-plums he gives me,

Sugar-plums he gives me,

Caramels and creams—ha, ha!

Caramels and creams.

"'The second is the son of—

The second is the son of

An apothecary—ha, ha!

An apothecary.

Syrups sweet he gives me,

Syrups sweet he gives me,

For my little cough—hack, hack!

For my little cough.

"'The third he is the son of—

The third he is the son of

The barber to the court—ha, ha!

The barber to the court. 336

Powders rare he gives me,

Powders rare he gives me,

And a yellow wig—ha, ha!

And a yellow wig.

"'The fourth? Oh, 'tis a secret,

The fourth? Oh, 'tis a secret.

Our new Italian king—ha, ha!

Our new Italian king.

He gives me silk and satin,

He gives me silk and satin,

Velvet, gold, and gems—ha, ha!

Velvet, gold, and gems.'"

Strangest of all is the dramatic little dialogue, which one with an ear for children's voices may hear any day in Madrid, telling of the death of Queen Mercedes.

"'Whither away, young King Alfonso?

(Oh, for pity!) Whither away?'

'I go seeking my queen Mercedes,

For I have not seen her since yesterday.'

"'But we have seen your queen Mercedes,

Seen the queen, though her eyes were hid,

While four dukes all gently bore her

Through the streets of sad Madrid.

"'Oh, how her face was calm as heaven!

Oh, how her hands were ivory white!

Oh, how she wore the satin slippers

That you kissed on the bridal night!

"'Dark are the lamps of the lonely palace.

Black are the suits the nobles don. 337

In letters of gold on the wall 'tis written:

Her Majesty is dead and gone.'

"He fainted to hear us, young Alfonso,

Drooped like an eagle with broken wing,

But the cannon thundered: 'Valor, valor!'

And the people shouted: 'Long live the king!'"

Spanish wiseheads say that the children's choral games are already perishing, that the blight of schools and books is passing upon the child-life of the Peninsula, and soon there will be no more time for play. The complaint of the niñas is much to the same effect, yet they wear their rue with a difference:—

"Not even in the Prado

Can little maidens play,

Because those staring, teasing boys

Are always in the way.

"They might be romping with us,

For they're only children yet,

But they won't play at anything

Except a cigarette.

"Now let me tell you truly:

If things go on like this,

And midgets care for nothing

But to walk and talk and kiss,

"No plays will cheer the Prado

In future times, for then

The little boys of seven

Will all be married men."

XXI

338

"O LA SEÑORITA!"

"Since the English education came into fashion, there is not a maiden left who can feel true love."—Alarcón.

During my stifling night journey from Madrid to the north I had much chat with Castilian and German ladies in the carriage about Spanish girls. Our talk turned especially on their reading, so reminding me of an incident of the past spring. On an Andalusian balcony I once found a little girl curled up in the coolest corner and poring over a shabby, paper-bound book. On my expressing interest in the volume, she presented it at once, according to the code of Spanish manners. "The book is at the disposal of your worship." But as the bundle of tattered leaves was not only so precious to her own small worship, but also greatly in demand among her worshipful young mates, whose constant borrowing seemed a strain even on Andalusian courtesy, I retained it merely long enough to note the title and general character. The next time I entered a book-shop I expended ten cents for this specimen of juvenile literature—"the best-selling book in Seville," if the clerk's word may be taken—and have it before me as I write. On the cover is stamped a picture of two graceful señoritas, perusing, 339 apparently, this very work, "The Book of the Enamored and the Secretary of Lovers," and throughout the two hundred pages are scattered cheap cuts, never indecent, but suggesting violent ardors of passion—embracings, kissings, gazings, pleadings, with hearts, arrows, torches, and other ancient and honorable heraldry of Cupid. The title-page announces that this is a fifth edition of ten thousand copies.

The Divine Shepherd

The Divine Shepherd

The opening section is on "Love and Beauty," enumerating, by the way, the "thirty points" essential to a perfect woman. "Three things white—skin, teeth, and hands. Three black—eyes, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Three rosy—lips, cheeks, and nails." But warning is duly given that even the thirty points of beauty do not make up a sum total of perfection without the mystic, all-harmonizing quality of charm.

Next in order are the several sets of directions for winning the affections of maid, wife, and widow, with a collection of edifying sentiments from various saints and wits concerning widows. Descriptions of wedding festivities follow, with a glowing dissertation on kisses, "the banquet-cups of love." After this stands a Castilian translation of an impassioned Arab love-song with the burden, Todo es amor. Maxims on love, culled chiefly from French authorities, are succeeded by an eighteenth-century love-catechism:—

"Question.    Art thou a lover?

Answer.    Yes, by the grace of Cupid.

Question.    What is a lover?

Answer.    A lover is one who, having made true and faithful declaration of his passion, seeks the means of gaining the love of her whom he adores."

340 This is the first lesson. The second treats of the five signs of love, the third of love's duties, the fourth gives the orison of lovers—a startling adaptation of the Lord's Prayer—and their creed: "I believe in Cupid, absolute Lord of Love, who gives to lovers all their joys, and in her whom I love most, for most lovable is she, on whom I think without ceasing, and for whom I would sacrifice gladly my honor and my life."

There is nothing here, it will be noticed, of the Englishman's proud exception:—

"I could not love thee, Dear, so much,

Loved I not honor more."

Love has its own beatitudes, too. "Blessed are they who love sincerely. Blessed are they of merry mood. Blessed are lovers who have patience. Blessed are the rich, for love delights to spend."

A "Divination of Dreams," "copied from an ancient manuscript found in the ruins of the convent of San Prudencio, in Clavijo," that famous battle-ground where St. James first trampled the Moors, next engages attention. To dream of a fan is sign of a coming flirtation; of a banner, success in war; of a woman's singing, sorrow and loss; of stars, fair fortune in love; of fire, good luck at cards; of a black cat, trouble from the mother-in-law; of closed eyes, your child in mortal peril; of birds, joy and sweet content; of a ghost, ill health; of scissors, a lover's quarrel; of wine, a cheating Frenchman; of shoes, long journeys; of angels, good tidings from far away. Some of these omens are a surprise to the uninitiated reader. It is bad luck to behold 341 in a dream images of Christ and the Virgin. A church, seen from within, denotes alms; from without, death. To dream of the altar arrayed for high mass betokens grave misfortune. Other omens are significant of Spanish discontents. To dream of a Jesuit brings miseries and betrayals; of a military officer, tyranny and brutality; of a king, danger; of a republic, "abundance, happiness, honors, and work well recompensed." Often these divinations run into rhyme, as:—

"Dream of God at midnight dim,

And by day you'll follow Him."

The next section of this Complete Guide is given over to snatches of love-song, which Andalusian children know by heart. These five are fairly representative:—

"Mine is a lover well worth the loving.

Under my balcony he cries:

'You have maddened me with your grace of moving,

And the beaming of your soft black eyes.'"

"Though thou go to the highest heaven,

And God's hand draw thee near,

The saints will not love thee half so well

As I have loved thee here."

"If I had a blossom rare,

I would twine it in thy hair,

Though God should stoop and ask for it

To make His heaven more exquisite."

"Such love for thee, sent forth from me,

Bears on such iron gate

That I, used so, no longer know

Whether I love or hate." 342

"The learnéd are not wise,

The saints are not in bliss;

They have not looked into your eyes,

Nor felt your burning kiss."

Then comes a "New Dictionary of Love," defining some two hundred doubtful terms in Cupid's lexicon, as forever, no, unselfish. After this we are treated to the language of fan flirtation, of handkerchief flirtation, of flower flirtation, and "the clock of Flora," by which lovers easily make appointments,—one, two, three, being numbered in rose, pink, tulip, and so on. A cut of a youth toiling at a manuscript-laden desk introduces some fifty pages of model love-letters, which seem, to the casual eye, to cover all contingencies. A selection of verses used for adding a grace to birthday and saint-day gifts comes after, and this all-sufficient compendium concludes with a "Lovers' Horoscope."

A single illustration of the sort of reading that Spanish girls find in their way should not, of course, be pressed too far, and yet any one who had seen the pretty group of heads clustered for hours over these very pages on that shaded balcony would not deny the book significance. A taste for the best reading is not cultivated in Spanish girls, even where the treasures of that great Castilian literature are accessible to them. Convent education knows nothing of Calderon. As for books especially adapted to girlhood, we have just examined a sample.

Love and religion are the only subjects with which a señorita is expected to concern herself, and the life of the convent is often a second choice. Even when a Spanish girl 343 wins her crown of wifehood and motherhood, her ignorance and poverty of thought tell heavily against the most essential interests of family life. The Spanish bride is often a child in years. Pacheco's direction for painting the Immaculate Conception ran, "Our Lady is to be pictured in the flower of her age, from twelve to thirteen." This was three centuries ago, but Spain changes slowly. The girl of to-day, nevertheless, marries later than her mother married. I remember one weary woman of forty with eighteen children in their graves and the three who were living physical and mental weaklings. She told us of a friend who married at fourteen and used to leave her household affairs in confusion while she stole away to a corner to play with her dolls. Her husband, a grave lawyer in middle life, would come home to dinner and find his helpmeet romping with the other children in the plaza.

The Spanish girl is every whit as fascinating as her musical, cloaked gallant confides to her iron-grated lattice. Indeed, these amorous serenades hardly do her justice, blending as she does French animation with Italian fervor. In Andalusia she dances with a grace that makes every other use of life seem vain. And when she bargains, there is nothing sordid about it. Her haggling is a social condescension that at once puts the black-eyed young salesman at her mercy.

"But the fan seems to me the least bit dear, señor."

He shrugs his shoulders and flings out his arm in protest.

"Ah, señorita! You see not how beautiful the work is. I am giving it away at six pesetas."

She lifts her eyebrows half incredulously, all bewitchingly. 344

"At five pesetas, señor."

He runs his hand through his black hair in chivalrous distress.

"But the peerless work, señorita! And this other, too! I sacrifice it at four pesetas."

She touches both fans lightly.

"You will let us have the two at seven pesetas, señor?"

Her eyes dance over his confusion. He catches the gleam, laughs back, throws up his hands.

"Bueno, señorita. At what you please."

It takes a Spaniard to depict a throng of Spanish ladies,—"fiery carnations or starry jasmine in their hair, cheeks like blush roses, eyes black or blue, with lashes quivering like butterflies; cherry lips, a glance as fickle as the light nod of a flower in the wind, and smiles that reveal teeth like pearls; the all-pervading fan with its wordless telegraphy in a thousand colors." In such a throng one sees not only the typical "eyes of midnight," but those "emerald eyes" which Cervantes knew, and veritable pansy-colored eyes dancing with more than pansy mischief. But the voices! In curious contrast to the tones of Spanish men, soft, coaxing, caressing, the voices of the women are too often high and harsh, suggesting, in moments of excitement, the scream of the Andalusian parrot. "O Jesus, what a fetching hat! The feather, the feather, see, see, see, see the feather! Mary Most Pure, but it must have cost four or five pesetas! Ah, my God, don't I wish it were mine!" The speaker who gets the lead in a chattering knot of Spanish women is a prodigy not only of volubility, but of general muscular action. She keeps time to her shrill music with hands, fan, elbows, shoulders, eyebrows, 345 knees. She dashes her sentences with inarticulate whirs and whistles, and countless pious interjections: Gracias á Dios! Santa Maria! O Dios mio! The others, out-screamed and out-gesticulated, clutch at her, shriek at her, fly at her, and still, by some mysterious genius, maintain courtesy, grace, and dignity through it all. Yet it is true that the vulgar-rich variety is especially obnoxious among Spaniards. An overdressed Spanish woman is frightfully overdressed, her voice is maddening, her gusts of mirth and anger are painfully uncontrolled. This, however, is the exception, and refinement the rule.

The legendary Spanish lady is forever sitting at a barred window, or leaning from a balcony, coquetting with a fan and dropping arch responses to the "caramel phrases" of her guitar-tinkling cavalier.

"You're always saying you'd die for me.

I doubt it nevertheless;

But prove it true by dying,

And then I'll answer yes."

For, loving as they are, Spanish sweethearts take naturally to teasing. "When he calls me his Butterfly, I call him my Elephant. Then his eyes are like black fire, for he is ashamed to be so big, but in a twinkling I can make him smile again." The scorn of these dainty creatures for the graces of the ruling sex is not altogether affected. I shall not forget the expression with which a Sevillian belle, an exquisite dancer, watched her novio as, red and perspiring, he flung his stout legs valiantly through the mazes of the jota. "Men are uglier than ever when they are dancing, aren't they?" she remarked 346 to me with all the serenity in the world. And a bewitching maiden in Madrid, as I passed some favorable comment upon the photographs of her two brothers, gave a deprecatory shrug. "Handsome? Ca!" (Which is no many times intensified.) "But they are not so ugly, either,—for men."

The style of compliment addressed by caballeros to señoritas is not like "the quality of mercy," but very much strained indeed. "Your eyes are two runaway stars, that would rather shine in your face than in heaven, but your heart is harder than the columns of Solomon's temple. Your father was a confectioner and rubbed your lips with honey-cakes." Little Consuelo, or Lagrimas, or Milagros, or Dolores, or Peligros laughs it off, "Ah, now you are throwing flowers."

The coplas of the wooer below the balcony are usually sentimental.

"By night I go to the patio,

And my tears in the fountain fall,

To think that I love you so much,

And you love me not at all."

"Sweetheart, little Sweetheart!

Love, my Love!

I can't see thy eyes

For the lashes above.

Eyes black as midnight,

Lashes black as grief!

O, my heart is thirsty

As a summer leaf."

"If I could but be buried

In the dimple of your chin, 347

I would wish, Dear, that dying

Might at once begin."

"If thou wilt be a white dove,

I will be a blue.

We'll put our bills together

And coo, coo, coo."

Sometimes the sentiment is relieved by a realistic touch.

"Very anxious is the flea,

Caught between finger and thumb.

More anxious I, on watch for thee,

Lest thou shouldst not come."

And occasionally the lover, flouted overmuch, retorts in kind.

"Don't blame me that eyes are wet,

For I only pay my debt.

I've taught you to cry and fret,

But first you taught me to forget."

"I'll not have you, Little Torment,

I don't want you, Little Witch.

Let your mother light four candles

And stand you in a niche."

The average Spaniard is well satisfied with his señora as she is. He did her extravagant homage as a suitor, he treats her with kindly indulgence as a husband, but he expects of her a life utterly bounded by the casa. "What is a woman?" we heard one say. "A bottle of wine." And those few words tell the story why, with all their charm, home-love, and piety, the Spanish women have not availed to keep the social life of the Peninsula sound and sweet. 348

"But to admire them as our gallants do,

'Oh, what an eye she hath! Oh, dainty hand!

Rare foot and leg!' and leave the mind respectless,

This is a plague that in both men and women

Makes such pollution of our earthly being."

The life of the convent is attractive to girls of mystic temperament, like the Maria of Valdés, but many of these lively daughters of the sun regard it with frank disfavor. One of the songs found in the mouths of little girls all over the Peninsula is amusingly expressive of the childish aversion to so dull a destiny.

"I wanted to be married

To a sprightly barber-lad,

But my parents wished to put me

In the convent dim and sad.

"One afternoon of summer

They walked me out in state,

And as we turned a corner,

I saw the convent gate.

"Out poured all the solemn nuns

In black from toe to chin,

Each with a lighted candle,

And made me enter in.

"The file was like a funeral;

The door shut out the day;

They sat me on a marble stool

And cut my hair away.

"The pendants from my ears they took,

And the ring I loved to wear,

349

But the hardest loss of all to brook

Was my mat of raven hair.

"If I run out to the garden

And pluck the roses red,

I have to kneel in church until

Twice twenty prayers are said.

"If I steal up to the tower

And clang the convent bell,

The holy Abbess utters words

I do not choose to tell.

"My parents, O my parents,

Unkindly have you done,

For I was never meant to be

A dismal little nun."

I came but slightly in contact with Spanish nuns. Among the figures that stand out clear in memory are a kindly old sister, at Seville, in the Hospital de la Caridad, who paused midway in her exhibition of the famous Murillos there to wipe her eyes and grieve that we were Protestants, and an austere, beautiful woman in La Cuna, or Foundling Asylum of Seville, who caressed a crying baby with the passionate tenderness of motherhood denied. The merriest Spanish hermana of our acquaintance we encountered on the French side of the Pyrenees. At Anglet, halfway between Biarritz and Bayonne, is the Convent of the Bernardines, Silent Sisters. The visitor sees them only from a distance, robed in white flannel, with large white crosses gleaming on the back of their hooded capes. These, too, were originally white, and the hoods so deep that not even the profile of the features could be seen; 350 but the French Government, disturbed by the excessive death-rate in this order, recently had the audacity to interfere and give summary orders that the hoods be cut away, so that the healthful sunshine might visit those pale faces. The mandate was obeyed, but, perhaps in sign of mournful protest, the new hoods and capes are black as night. These women Trappists may recite their prayers aloud, as they work in field or garden, or over their embroidery frames, but they speak for human hearing only once a year, when their closest family friends may visit them and listen through a grating to what their disused voices may yet be able to utter. From all other contact with the world they are shielded by an outpost guard of a few of the Servants of Mary, an industrious, self-supporting sisterhood, whose own convent, half a mile away, is a refuge for unwedded mothers and a home for unfathered children. Hither the pitying sisters brought, a few days before our visit, a wild-eyed girl whom they had found lying on one of the sea rocks, waiting for the rising tide to cover her and her shame together. The chief treasure of this nunnery, one regrets to add, is the polished skull of Mary Magdalene.

That one of the Servants of Mary who showed us over the Trappist convent was a bright-eyed Spanish dame of many winters, as natural a chatterbox as ever gossiped with the neighbors in the sun. Her glee in this little opportunity for conversation was enough to wring the heart of any lover of old ladies. She walked as slowly as possible and detained us on every conceivable pretext, reaching up on her rheumatic tiptoes to pluck us red and white camellias, and pointing out, with a lingering garrulity, the hardness of the cots in the bare, cold little cells, the narrowness of the benches in the austere 351 chapel, and, in the cheerless dining room, the floor of deep sand, in which the Bernardines kneel throughout their Friday dinner of bread and water. Longest of all, she kept us in the cemetery, all spick and span, with close-set rows of nameless graves, each with a cross shaped upon it in white seashells. The dear old soul, in her coarse blue gown, with tidy white kerchief and neatly darned black hood and veil, showed us the grave of her own sister, adding, proudly, that her four remaining sisters were all cloistered in various convents of Spain.

"All six of us nuns," she said, "but my brother—no! He has the dowries of us all and lives the life of the world. Just think! I have two nephews in Toledo. I have never seen them. My sister's grave is pretty, is it not? They let me put flowers there. Oh, there are many families in Spain like ours, where all the daughters are put into convents. Spain is a very religious country. The sons? Not so often. Sometimes, when there is a conscription, many young men become priests to escape military service but it is the women who are most devout in Spain."

And after the rustic gate was shut on the sleeping-place of the Bernardines, scarcely more silent and more dead beneath the sod than above it, she still detained us with whispered hints of distinguished Spanish ladies among those ghostly, far-off figures that, pitchfork or pruning knife in hand, would fall instantly upon their knees at the ringing of the frequent bell for prayers. Spanish ladies, too, had given this French convent many of its most costly treasures. We said good-by to our guide near an elaborate shrine of the Madonna, which a bereaved Spanish mother had erected with the graven request that the nuns pray for the soul of her beloved dead. 352

"Even we Servants of Mary are not allowed to talk much here," said in parting this most sociable of saints, clinging to us with a toil-roughened, brown old hand. "It is a holy life, but quiet—very quiet. I have been here forty-four years this winter. My name is Sister Solitude."

The nun whom I knew best was an exquisite little sister just back from Manila. During several months I went to her, in a Paris convent, twice or three times a week, for Spanish lessons. The reception room in which I used to await her coming shone not as with soap and water, but as with the very essence of purity. The whiteness of the long, fine curtains had something celestial about it. The only book in sight, a bundle of well-worn leaves bound in crimson plush and placed with precision in the centre of the gleaming mahogany table, was a volume of classic French sermons,—the first two being on Demons, and the next on Penance. Further than this I never read; for very punctually the slight figure, in violet skirt and bodice, with a white cross embroidered upon the breast, swept softly down the hall. A heavy purple cord and a large-beaded rosary depended from the waist. In conversation she often raised her hand to press her ring, sign of her sacred espousals, to her lips. Her type of face I often afterward saw in Spain, but never again so perfect. Her complexion was the richest southern brown, the eyes brightening in excitement to vivid, flashing black. The eyebrows, luxuriant even to heaviness, were nevertheless delicately outlined, and the straight line of the white band emphasized their graceful arch. The nose was massive for a woman's face, and there was a slight shading of hair upon the upper lip. The mouth and chin, though so daintily moulded, were strong. 353 Not the meek, religious droop of the eyelids could mask the fire, vigor, vitality, intensity, that lay stored like so much electricity behind the tranquil convent look.

We would go for the lesson to a severe little chamber, whose only ornament was a crucifix of olive wood fastened against the wall. Then how those velvet eyes would glow and sparkle in the eagerness of rushing speech! The little sister loved to tell of her Manila experience, almost a welcome break, I fancied, in the monotonous peace of cloister life. All that Sunday morning, when the battle was on, the nuns maintained their customary services, hearing above their prayers and chants and the solemn diapason of the organ, the boom, boom, boom of our wicked American cannon. For, according to this naive historian, Catholic Spain, best beloved of Our Lady among the nations of the earth, had labored long in the Philippines to Christianize the heathen, when suddenly, in the midst of those pious labors with which she was too preoccupied to think of fitting out men-of-war and drilling gunners, a pirate fleet bore down upon her and overthrew at once the Spanish banner and the Holy Cross. Tears sparkled through flame as the hermanita told of her beautiful convent home, now half demolished. The sisters did not abandon it until six weeks after the battle, but as the nunnery stood outside the city walls, their superior judged it no safe abode for Spanish ladies, and ordered them away. The French consul arranged for their transport to Hongkong on a dirty little vessel, where they had to stay on deck, the twenty-seven of them, during their week's voyage, suffering from lack of proper shelter and especially from thirst, the water supply running short the second day out. But all this was joy of martyrdom. 354

"Is not Hongkong a very strange city?" I asked. "Did it seem to you more like Manila than like Paris and Madrid?"

The little sister's voice was touched with prompt rebuke.

"You speak after the fashion of the world. All cities look alike to us. Ours is the life of the convent. It matters nothing where the convent stands."

Stimulated by reproof, I waxed impertinent. "Not even if it stands within range of the guns? Now, truly, truly, were you not the least bit frightened that morning of the battle?"

The sunny southern smile was a fleeting one, and left a reminiscent shadow in the eyes.

"Frightened? Oh, no! There were no guns between us and Paradise. From early dawn we heard the firing, and hour after hour we knelt before the altar and prayed to the Mother of God to comfort the souls of the brave men who were dying for la patria; but we were not frightened."

There were strange jostlings of ideas in that cloistered cell, especially when the dusk had stolen in between our bending faces and the Spanish page.

Once we talked of suicide. That morning it had been a wealthy young Parisian who had paid its daily tribute to the Seine.

"What a horror!" gasped the little sister, clasping her slender hands against her breast. "It is a mortal sin. And how foolish! For if life is hard to bear, surely perdition is harder."

"It does not seem to me so strange in case of the poor," I responded, waiving theology. "But a rich man, though his 355 own happiness fails, has still the power of making others happy."

"Ah, but I understand!" cried Little Manila, her eyes like stars in the dimness. "The devil does not see truth as the blessed spirits do, but sees falsehoods even as the world. And so in his blindness he believes the soul of a rich man more precious than the souls of the poor, and tempts the rich man more than others. Yet when the devil has that soul, will he find it made of gold?"

Madrid Royal Palace

Madrid Royal Palace

One chilly November afternoon, gray with a fog that had utterly swallowed the Eiffel Tower above its first huge uprights, which straddled disconsolately like legs forsaken of their giant, she explained in a sudden rush of words why Spain had been worsted in the war with America.

"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth. As with persons, so with nations. Those that are not of His fold He gives over to their fill of vainglory and greed and power, but the Catholic nations He cleanses again and again in the bitter waters of defeat—ah, in fire and blood! Yet the end is not yet. The rod of His correction is upon Spain at this hour, and the Faithful are glad in the very heart of sorrow, for even so shall her sins be purged away, even so shall her coldness be quickened, even so shall she be made ready for her everlasting recompense."

"And the poor Protestant nations?" I asked, between a smile and a sigh.

The little sister smiled back, but the Catholic eyes, for all their courtly graciousness, were implacable.

She was of a titled family and had passed a petted childhood in Madrid. There she had been taken, on her seventh 356 birthday, to a corrida de toros, but remembered it unpleasantly, not because of the torture inflicted on the horses and bulls, but because she had been frightened by the great beasts, with their tossing horns and furious bellowing. Horns always made her think of the devil, she said. From her babyhood she had been afraid of horns.

One day a mischievous impulse led me to inquire, in connection with a chat about the Escorial, "And how do you like Philip II?"

The black eyes shot one ray of sympathetic merriment, but the Spaniard and the nun were on their guard.

"He was a very good Catholic," she replied demurely.

"So was Isabel la Católica," I responded. "But don't you think she may have been a trifle more agreeable?"

"Perhaps she was a little more simpática," admitted the hermanita, but that was her utmost concession. She would not even allow that Philip had a sorry end.

"If his body groaned, his soul was communing with the Blessed Saints and paid no heed."

At the corner of the street which led under the great garden wall to the heavily barred gate of the convent was a flower-stand. The shrewd, swift-tongued Madame in charge well knew the look of the unwary, and usually succeeded in selling me a cluster of drooping blossoms at twice the value of the fresh, throwing in an extra leaf or stem at the close of the bargain with an air of prodigal benevolence. The handful of flowers would be smilingly accepted by the little sister, but instantly laid aside nor favored with glance or touch until the close of the visit, when they would be lifted again with a winsome word of acknowledgment and carried away, 357 probably to spend their sweetness at the marble feet of the Virgin. In vain I tried to coax from this scorner of God's earth some sign of pleasure in the flowers themselves.

"Don't you care for tea-roses?" "Ah, el mundo pasa. But their color is exquisite."

Yet her eyes did not turn to the poor posy for the two hours following.

"This mignonette has only the grace of sweetness."

"It is a delicate scent, but it will not last. El mundo pasa."

She held the sprays at arm's length for a moment, and then laid them down on a mantel at the farther end of the room.

"I am sorry these violets are not fresher."

"But no! The touch of Time has not yet found them. Still, it is only a question of to-morrow. El mundo pasa."

"Yes, the world passes. But is it not good while it lasts?"

"The world good! No, no, and a thousand times no. Behold it now at the end of the nineteenth century,—wars and sorrows and bitter discontents, evil deeds and evil passions everywhere. Do you see the peace of Christ in the faces on the Paris streets? The blossoms of this earth, the pleasures of this world, the affections of this life, all have the taste of death. But here in God's own garden we live even now His everlasting life."

"You are always glad of your choice? You never miss the friends of your childhood?"

"Glad, glad, glad. Glad of my choice. Glad to see no more the faces of father and mother. And for them, too, it is great joy. For Catholic parents it is supreme delight to 358 give up their children to the Holy Church. The ways of the world are full of slippery places, but when they leave us here, they know that our feet are set on the very threshold of heaven."

Sometimes the slight form shivered in the violet habit, and the dark foreign face looked out with touching weariness from its frame of soft white folds.

"You are cold? You are tired? Will you take my cloak? Were the children troublesome to-day?"

It was always the same answer: "No importa. No importa. It matters not. Our life is not the life of flesh and blood."

And indeed, as I saw her in the Christmas service among the other Spanish sisters, those lovely figures in white and violet making obeisance before the altar until their veiled foreheads almost touched the pavement, bowing and rising again with the music like a field of lilies swaying in the breeze, I felt that she was already a being of another world, before she had known this. Over her had been chanted the prayers for the dead. The strange ceremony of taking the veil had been her burial rite. The convent seemed a ghost land between earth and heaven.

My hermanita belonged to one of the teaching orders, and despite the strange blanks in her knowledge, for secular lore had been, so far as possible, excluded from her education, she was representative of the finer and more intelligent class of Spanish nuns. In Granada I heard of the nuns chiefly as the makers of those delicious dulces, sugared fruits, which were indispensable to a child's saint-day, and there I was taught the scoffing epitaph:—

The Royal Family

The Royal Family

359

"Here lies Sister Claribel,

Who made sweetmeats very well,

And passed her life in pious follies,

Such as dressing waxen dollies."

To the spinster outside the nunnery Spain has little to offer. Small heed is paid to her except by St. Elias, who, on one day of Holy Week, walks about all Seville with a pen in his hand, peering up at the balconies and making note of the old maids. Since Andalusia expresses the theory of counterparts by saying, "Every one has somewhere in the world his half orange," the spinster can hardly hope for a well-rounded life. Careers are not open to her. There are "advanced women" in Spain, the most eminent being Emelia Pardo Bazan, novelist, lecturer, editor, who advocates for women equal educational and political privileges with men, but who has not yet succeeded in opening the doors. The voice of Spanish women, nevertheless, is sometimes heard by Spanish statesmen, as when delegation after delegation of señoras who had relatives held as prisoners by the Filipinos invaded the senate-house with petitions until they could no longer be ignored.

A more thorough and liberal education for Spanish women is the pressing need to-day. There is, of course, great lack of primary schooling. A girl in her late teens, wearing the prettiest of embroidered aprons and with the reddest of roses in her hair, once appealed to me in Toledo for help. She had been sent from a confectioner's to deliver a tray of wheaten rolls at a given address, and she could read neither the names of streets nor the numbers of houses. But the higher education will carry the lower with it. Spain is degenerate 360 in this regard. The Moors used to have at Cordova an academy for girls, where science, mathematics, and history were taught. Schools for Spanish girls at present impart little more than reading and writing, needle-work, the catechism, the four rules of arithmetic, and some slight notion of geography. French and music, recognized accomplishments, are learned by daughters of the privileged class from their governesses or in the convents. Missionary work in Spain has largely concerned itself with the educational question, and Mrs. Gulick's project for the establishment of a woman's college in Madrid, a college without distinction of creed, is the fruit of long experience. Little by little she has proven the intellectual ability of Spanish girls. She established the International Institute at San Sebastian, secured State examination for her niñas and State recognition of their eminent success, and even won for a few of them admission to the University of Madrid, where they maintained the highest rank throughout the course. All that Spanish girls need is opportunity.

But if the señoritas are so charming now, with their roses and their graces and their fans, why not leave them as they are, a page of mediæval poetry in this strenuous modern world? If only they were dolls outright and did not suffer so! When life goes hard with these high-spirited, incapable creatures, it goes terribly hard. I can see yet the tears scorch in the proud eyes of three undowered sisters, slaving at their one art of embroidery from early till late for the miserable pittance that it brought them. "We shall rest when we are dead," said the youngest. The absolute lack of future for these brave, sensitive girls, well-born, well-bred, naturally 361 as keen as the keenest, but more ignorant, in matters of common education, than the children of our lowest grammar grade, is heart-breaking. If such girls were stupid, shallow, coarse, it would be easier; but the Spanish type is finely strung. Once I saw an impulsive beauty fly into that gust of angry passion which Spaniards term the rabia española. A clumsy, well-intentioned young Austrian had said a teasing word, and in the fraction of a second the girl, overwrought with secret toils and anxieties, was in a tempest of tears; but the wrath that blazed across them burned the offender crimson. The poor fellow sent for his case of choice Asturian cider, cooling in the balcony, read the evening news aloud and discoursed on the value of self-control, but not even these tactful attentions could undo, for that evening at least, the work of his blundering jest. The girl flashed away to her chamber, her handkerchief bitten through and through, and the quick fierce sound of her sobs came to me across the hall deep into the night.

Wandering over Spain I found everywhere these winning, vivid, helpless girls, versed in needlework and social graces, but knowing next to nothing of history, literature, science, all that pertains to intellectual culture. Some were hungry to learn. More did not dream of the world of thought as a possible world for them. Among these it was delightful to meet, scattered like precious seed throughout the Peninsula, the graduates of the International Institute. So far as a stranger could see, education had enhanced in them the Spanish radiance and charm, while arming these with wisdom, power, and resource.

XXII

362

ACROSS THE BASQUE PROVINCES

"The Oak Tree of Guernica

Within its foliage green

Embraces the bright honor

Of all the Basque demesne.

For this we count thee holy,

Our ancient seal and sign;

The fibres of our freedom

Are interlaced with thine.

"Castile's most haughty tyrants

Beneath thy solemn shade

Have sworn to keep the charter

Our fearless fathers made;

For noble on our mountains

Is he who yokes the ox,

And equal to a monarch

The shepherd of the flocks."

National Song of the Basques.

It did not seem to me historically respectful to take leave of Spain without having made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago. A dauntless friend crossed the sea to bear me company. Hygienic pilgrim that she is, she came equipped not with cockle shells and sandal shoon, but with sleeping bags, coffee, and cereals. Many a morning, in traversing those northern provinces, where the scenery was better than the breakfast, we blessed her boxes of "grape nuts," and many a night, doomed to penitential beds, we were thankful to intrench 363 ourselves against the stings and arrows of outrageous insects in those spacious linen bags, that gather close about the neck, or, when dangers thicken, above the head, leaving only a loophole for the breath.

Our point of departure was that city of nature's fancy-work, San Sebastian. Then, in the early half of July, it was all alive with expectancy, looking every day for the coming of the Court. It is reputed to be the cleanest town of the Peninsula, and is, in truth, as bright as a wave-washed pebble. Nevertheless, it is a favorite waltz hall of the fleas, which shamelessly obtrude themselves even into conversation.

The chief summer industry of San Sebastian is sea-bathing. The soldiers begin it at six o'clock in the morning, marching by regiments down to the Concha, clearing for action, and striking out into the gentle surf, all in simultaneous obedience to successive words of command. Some two hours later teams of oxen draw scores of jaunty bathing cars down near the white lip of this opalescent shell of water, and there the long day through all ages, sizes, and ranks of humanity sport in the curling foam or swim far out into the sparkling bay.

San Sebastian is the capital of Guipúzcoa, one of the three Basque provinces. These lie among the Cantabrian mountains, and are delightfully picturesque with wheat-growing valleys and well-wooded heights. As the train wandered on, in its pensive Spanish fashion, we found ourselves now in Scotland, in a beautiful waste of heather and gorse, now amid the English ivy and hawthorn, hearing the song of the English robin, and now in our own New England, with the hilly reaches of apple orchards and the fields upon fields of tasselled Indian maize. 364

The Basques are a thrifty folk, and have cultivated their scant acres to the utmost. The valleys are planted with corn, the lower hills are ridged and terraced for a variety of crops. Above are walnuts and chestnuts, and the flintiest summits serve for pasturage. It was curious to see men at work on those steep slopes that had been scooped out into a succession of narrow shelves, and more strange yet to catch glimpses of peasants ploughing the very mountain top, picturesque figures against the sky.

The reaping is of the cleanest. The harvest fields have a neat, scoured look, as if the women had been over them with scrubbing brushes. Yet this utilitarian soil admits of oaks and beeches, ferns and clover, morning glories, dandelions, pimpernel, and daisies.

All that sunny morning the train swung us blithely on from one charm of the eyes to another—from a ruined watch-tower, where red-handed Carlists had crouched, to a bright-kerchiefed maiden singing amid her beehives; from a range of abrupt peaks, cleft by deep gorges, to sycamore-shaded byways and poplar-bordered streams; from a village graveyard, the pathetic little parallelogram enclosed in high gray walls and dim with cypress shadows, to a tumbling, madcap torrent spanned by a time-gnawed Roman arch. Shooting the heart of some black hill, the train would run out on a mere ledge above a valley hamlet, and from pure inquisitiveness, apparently, ramble all around the circle, peering down from every point of view on the cluster of great, patriarchal houses, sometimes of timber and plaster, more often of stone, where whole clans dwell together under the same red-tiled roof. Queer old houses these, occasionally topped with blue chimneys, 365 and now and then with a fantastic coat of arms sculptured over the door, or a fresco of saints and devils blazoned all across the front. Sometimes freshly whitewashed, these Basque houses have more often a weather-worn, dingy look, but, however black the timbers, lines of clean linen flutter airily from roofs and balconies.

They are a decent, self-respecting, prosperous people, these Basque mountaineers, of whose history my companion told me stirring tales. They are supposed, though not without dispute, to be the oldest race in Europe, descendants of those original Iberians whom the westward-trooping Aryans drove into the fastnesses of the Pyrenees. They have their own language, of Asiatic type. They themselves believe that it was spoken in the Garden of Eden. There are some twenty-five dialects of the Vascuense, and it is so difficult for foreigners that even George Borrow spoke it "with considerable hesitation," and one exhausted student, abandoning the struggle, declared that the words were all "written Solomon and pronounced Nebuchadnezzar." The Basques attribute their hardy virtues to the crabbedness of their speech, telling how the devil, after slaving over their vocabulary for seven years, had succeeded in learning only three words, and threw up his lesson in a pet, so that to this day he remains unable to meddle with their peasant piety. What little literature there is in the Basque language is naturally of the popular cast—hero songs, dancing songs, dirges, hymns, and folk-lore.

The Basques are noted for their passionate love of liberty. The sturdy peasant is lord of his own rugged farm, and insists on tilling it in his own primitive way, breaking the soil with 366 rude mattock more often than with plough. An English engineer, laying a railroad through Alava, tried his best to make his men abandon their slow, laborious method of carrying the earth in baskets on their heads. He finally had all the baskets removed by night, and wheelbarrows left in their places. But the unalterable Basques set the loaded wheelbarrows on their heads, and staggered about beneath these awkward burdens until, for very shame, he had to give them back their baskets.

The peasant drives over the mountain roads in a ponderous ox-cart, with two clumsy disks of wood for wheels. The platform is wrought of rough-hewn beams, five or seven, the middle one running forward to serve as pole. All the structure, except the iron tires and nails, is of wood, and the solid wooden wheels, as the massive axle to which they are riveted turns over and over, make a most horrible squeaking. It is a sound dear to the peasantry, for they believe the oxen like it, and, moreover, that it frightens away the devil; but once upon a time a town of advanced views voted a fine of five dollars for any man who should bring this musical abomination within its limits. Thereupon a freeborn Basque rose with the dawn, selected his best carved oaken yoke, draped the red-stained sheepskin a trifle more carefully than usual above the patient eyes of his great smooth oxen, and took his way, "squeakity-squeak, squeakity-squeak," straight to the door of the Ayuntamiento, city hall, where he paid his twenty-five pesetas, and then devoted the rest of the day to driving all about the streets, squeaking out his money's worth. This is no servile temper, and it was not until our own generation that the dearly cherished liberties of the Basques were wrested away. 367

The Manzanares

The Manzanares

These warders of the Pyrenees, for the Basques of Navarre and those now known as French Basques must not be forgotten, did good service in helping the Visigoths beat back the northward-pressing Moors and the southward-pressing Franks; but when the Basque provinces of Spain were incorporated with Leon and Navarre, and later with Castile, the mountaineers stood stubbornly for their fuéros, or peculiar rights.

My comrade's lecture had reached this point, when, finding ourselves at Amorebieta, in the Province of Vizcaya, or Biscay, we suddenly descended from the train, and handed our bags to an honest Basque porter, who deposited them on the floor of an open waiting room, in full reach of an honest Basque population. For ourselves, we turned our faces toward the centre of Vizcayan glory, the famous Tree of Guernica. We entered a rustic train, that seemed entirely undecided which way to go. The station agent blew a little tin horn, green meadows and wattled fences began to glide past the car windows, and the interrupted discourse was resumed.

The lawmakers of Vizcaya were duly chosen by their fellow-nobles, for every Basque held the rank of hidalgo, or "son of somebody." The deputies met every two years in the village of Guernica, sitting on stone benches in the open air beneath the sacred oak, and there elected the Señores de Vizcaya. Even the kings of Spain were allowed no grander title, but had to come to the Tree of Guernica, at first in person, later by deputy, and there swear to observe the fuéros. To this green shadow came the peasant from his lonely farm-house, high on the mountainside, to answer before his 368 peers to such charges as might be brought against him; for within the sanctuary of his home the law could lay no hand on him or his.

It was the Carlist wars that changed all this. The fuéros, of which a list dating from 1342 is still extant, granted the Basque provinces a Republican Constitution that almost realized an ideal democracy, with immunity from taxes save for their own needs, and from military service beyond their own boundaries. But when the dynastic strife broke out, the Basques put on the white cap of Don Carlos and bore the brunt of the conflict. We had already passed through Vergara, where, in 1839, Espartero ended the first Carlist war by a treaty which compelled the Basques to lay down their arms. But the cost of this rebellion was paid in blood. Their political status was practically unaffected. At the close of the second Carlist war, in 1876, Alfonso XII signalized his victory by meting out to them a terrible punishment, abrogating the precious fuéros that the Tree of Guernica had guarded for so many centuries. The Government imposed, moreover, its salt and tobacco monopolies, and made the Basques subject to military conscription. At every station we saw Spain's Vizcayan soldiers, red-capped and red-trousered, with blue-belted frock coats, under which beat hearts of doubtful loyalty. The son of Alfonso XII will have to reckon with the Basques, when the third Carlist war shall be declared, but it may be doubted whether the fuéros, which Don Carlos, of course, promises to restore, will ever come home to nest again in the Guernica Oak.

My erudite fellow-vagabond was just pointing out the typical 369 shape of the Basque head, with its broad forehead, long, narrowing face, curved nose, and pointed chin, when we reached Guernica. Such a sweet and tranquil village as it is, set in the beauty of the hills, with the dignity and pathos of its history pervading every hushed, old-fashioned street! The guide, whom two affable ladies, sharers of our carriage in the little picnic train, had taken pains to look up for us at the station, was not, we judged, a favorable specimen of the haughty Basque hidalgo. He was a dull, mumbling, slouchy lad, who sunk his voice to an awed whisper as we passed the escutcheon-carved palace of a count. But he led us by pleasant ways to the modern Casa de Juntas, or Senate House, where we were shown the assembly room, with its altar for mass, the library and other apartments, together with the portraits of the twenty-six first Señores de Vizcaya, from Lope the Pirate, who forced back the invading Galicians in 840, to the Infante Don Juan, under whom the Basque provinces were finally incorporated with Castile.

Close by the Casa de Juntas, which stands in a dreamy bit of park as fresh and trim as an English cathedral close, rises a pillared portico. There, where brown-eyed little Basque girls, their brown braids blowing in the breeze, were dangling green figs above their laughing mouths, used to sit, on those seven stone seats, the grave Basque fathers, making laws, meting out judgment, and regulating all the affairs of this simple mountain republic. The portico, bearing as joint devices the lion and castle of Spain and the three wolves of Vizcaya, was formerly enveloped in the leafy shadow of the Sacred Tree; but what rises behind it now is only the gaunt stem of a patriarchal oak, a very Abraham of plants, 370 all enclosed in glass, as if embalmed in its casket. Before the portico, however, grows a lusty scion, for the Tree of Guernica is of unbroken lineage, shoots being always cherished to succeed in case the centuried predecessor fail.

In presence of this despoiled old trunk, majestic with memories, we felt an honest awe and longed to give it adequate salute. My comrade levelled her kodak and took front views, back views, and side views with such spendthrift enthusiasm that the custodian, deeply impressed, presented her with a dried leaf from the junior, cunningly pricked out so as to suggest the figure of the tree. The national song of the Basques, a matter of some dozen stanzas, written principally in "j's," "rr's," and "tz's," takes its theme, if one may trust the Castilian translation, from this symbolic oak.

The historian wished to do nothing more in Guernica but sit and gaze forever on that spectral trunk, but the reminder that piety was a hardly less marked Basque characteristic than political independence, finally induced her to follow our guide to the church. A Basque church has its distinctive features, including a belfry, a lofty, plain interior, with galleries, and often a votive ship, gayly painted and fully rigged, suspended from the ceiling. The lad bore himself with simple-minded devotion, offering us on stubby finger tips the holy water and making due obeisance before each gilded shrine.

But my attention was soon fascinated by a foot-square relief on a blue ground of Santiago—

"Good Saint James upon the milkwhite steed,

Who leaves his bliss to fight for chosen Spain."

371 I had hardly anticipated such a stalwart, vigorous, not to say violent saint, with his white horse galloping, his gold-sandalled feet gripping the great stirrups, his gold-fringed, crimson robe and azure mantle streaming on the wind, his terrible sword glittering high in air. This was clearly not a person to be trifled with, and I looked about for the historian to tell her that we must be pressing forward on our pilgrimage. But she had stolen out, every sympathetic Basque image of the sculptured doorway conspiring to keep a stony silence and conceal her flight, and had sped back to the Tree of Guernica, from whose contemplation she was torn away only by a fairy-tale of supper.

Of the several Basque churches which we visited, including the bridal church of Louis XIV, far-famed San Juan de Luz, whose sides and west end are portioned off by three tiers of galleries, fairest in memory is the sixteenth-century church of Begoña in Bilbao. It abounds, as coast churches should, in suggestions of that mighty, mysterious neighbor, at once so cruel and so beneficent, the sea. Instead of votive ships, the walls are hung with paintings of vessels in scenes of appalling peril. One is scudding madly before a tropical gale; one has her rigging ragged by hurricane and her decks lashed with tempest; one, careened upon her side, lies at the mercy of the billows, which are sweeping over her and tumbling her crew like ninepins into the deep. But the presence of the pictures, bold dashes of the modern brush amid dim old paintings of saints and martyrs, tells that Our Lady of Begoña succored her sailors in distress, who, on their safe return, came hither to offer thanks for their preservation and to leave these mementos of their danger and her efficient aid. 372

"Is your Virgin so very powerful?" we asked of a chorister boy while he drew the cords to part the curtains that screened the jewelled image throned in a recess above the high altar.

"I should rather think she was," answered the little fellow in a glow. "Why, let me tell you! Robbers, the accursed ones, came here on a dark midnight to steal her precious stones. They entered by a window, those sons of wretched mothers, and put up a long ladder against the altar wall. The wickedest of them all, señoras, he climbed the ladder and raised his hand to take Our Lady's crown. And in that instant the great bells overhead began to ring, and all the bells of all Bilbao pealed with them, and the people waked and came running to the rescue of Our Lady, and the robbers were put to death."

Our expression did not quite satisfy his boyish ardor, and he pointed convincingly toward a handsome silver plaque. "And this, too, witnesses Our Lady's power. It was given in memory of the cholera time, when people were dying like flies in all the towns about. But after Our Lady was carried in procession through the streets of Bilbao, not one died here, except a sinful man who would not turn his head to look upon her."

"That is a painting of the procession, the large picture over there on the wall?"

"No, no, señoras. That picture commemorates another of Our Lady's wonderful deeds. The floods were threatening the city, but Our Lady, with many censers and candles, was borne down to the river bank, and she ordered the water to go back, and it obeyed her, and all the town was saved." 373

We retreated to the cloisters, from which one has a superb view of the valley of the Nervion, for Our Lady of Begoña dwells high upon a hilltop. Only the afternoon before we had been in serene Guernica, a strange contrast to this mining capital of Vizcaya, this bustling, noisy, iron-grimed Bilbao, in which the Basques take such delight. It is not a city to gratify the mere tourist, who expects the people of the lands through which he is pleased to pass to devote themselves to looking picturesque. But even Spain is something more than food for the kodak, and this sooty atmosphere of smelting works and factories, traffic and commerce, means life to Spanish lungs. It is little to my credit that I took more interest in the fact that Bilbao used to supply Shakespeare's cronies with rapiers, under the name of "bilboes," than in statistics regarding those millions of tons of ore which its iron mines are now annually exporting to Great Britain. The many English in Bilbao, miners and artisans, with the influence they shed around them, make the streets rougher and uglier than in purely Spanish towns. On the other hand, they bring a spirit of religious independence, so that it is not strange to find the Spanish Protestants of Bilbao a numerous and vigorous body, counting as a pronounced element in the community.

From the idle peace of the Begoña cloisters, as from the old-time world, we looked long on this Spanish city of to-day, seething with manifold activities. We seemed to understand how, to the middle-class Spaniard, hemmed in by all this mediæval encumbrance of barracks, cathedrals, castles, and thrones, such cities as Bilbao and Barcelona, pulsing with industrial energy and enterprise, are "more beautiful than 374 Beauty's self." The Basques, like the Catalans, take readily to business. They set their mountain cascades to turning mill-wheels, they canal their little Nervion till it can give passage to ships of four thousand tons burden, they paint the night with the flare of mighty furnaces. Every year they are building more wharves, more railroads, more electric tramways, and they are so prodigiously proud of their new iron bridge, with its flying ferry, which whisks passengers over from Portugalete to Las Arenas at the rate of two hundred a minute, that they stamp it on their characteristic jewelry. That cunning Eibar work of the Basque provinces displays again and again, on locket, bracelet, brooch, this incongruous design of the Puente Vizcaya beaten on chased steel in gold.

We looked regretfully out over those significant reaches of land which we would have liked to explore to the last hearthstone. The Basque provinces! We had not even set foot in Vitoria, the capital of Alava, where is preserved the grim old machete by which Basque governors were sworn into office. "May my head be cut off with this knife," ran the oath, "if I do not defend the fuéros of my fatherland."

And we longed to attend one of the peasant festivals, to see the lads play pelota and the lasses step Basque dances to the music of the village pipers, to hear the wild old marches and battle tunes that have roused the Roman and the Moor to arms. The mystery plays of the Basques were famous once, and although these naive dramas are now mainly confined to Christmas and Easter, who could say that we might not chance on some saint-day fragment? There was soon to 375 take place, too, in one of the Vizcayan hamlets a "blessing of the fields," a processional harvest rite of pagan antiquity, formerly universal in Spain, but now confined to a few rural districts. We had a hundred reasons for lingering—but what are reasons? Pilgrims of St. James must put fresh peas in their shoes and be off for Compostela.

Spanish Cemetery

Spanish Cemetery

XXIII

376

IN OLD CASTILE

"With three thousand men of Leon from the city Bernard goes,

To protect the soil Hispanian from the spear of Frankish foes;

From the city which is planted in the midst between the seas,

To preserve the name and glory of old Pelayo's victories.

"The peasant hears upon his field the trumpet of the knight,—

He quits his team for spear and shield and garniture of might;

The shepherd hears it 'mid the mist,—he flingeth down his crook,

And rushes from the mountain like a tempest-troubled brook."

—Lockhart: Spanish Ballads.

The journey from Bilbao to Santander is a continuous glory of mountain views. The train runs saucily along under beetling crags, whence the gods of the hills may well look down in wonder and displeasure on this noisy invasion of their solitude. We almost saw those ancient majesties folding themselves grandly in mantles of purple shadow, but hardly less royal in bearing were the muffled figures of the lonely shepherds tending their flocks on the very summits.

The modern Province of Santander is the renowned Montaña, the mountain lair which nourished the chivalry of Old Castile, and from which they made wild sallies to the south, troop after troop, generation after generation, until the Moorish standards were beaten back from the plains about Toledo to 377 the Sierras of Andalusia. Its capital city, Santander, named from St. Andrew, was one of the four coast towns which rendered signal service to Fernando in the conquest of Seville. These towns, lying as they did over against the Cinque Ports of England, came into so frequent conflict with British mariners as to be made in the days of Edward III the subject of a special treaty.

A summer resort, however, is a summer resort the world over, and we found the historic city, which has gracefully fitted itself to the curve of its beautiful bay, crowded with idle people, elaborately dressed, who sat long at the noonday breakfast, and longer yet at the evening dinner, and then longest of all on the benches in the park, where bands clashed and fireworks flared, until the very stars began to blink for sleepiness.

Spaniards have a veritable passion for pyrotechnics, and our dreams until the dawn would be punctuated by the airy report of rockets, as if, so Galdós suggests, "the angels were cracking nuts in the sky." Every now and then in those soft warm nights there rose a shout of song from the street, and peeping down from the balcony, we would see half a dozen lads and lasses leaping along through the middle of the road, all abreast and hand in hand, in one of their boisterous peasant dances.

There are no fewer dangers and sorrows for girls in Spain than in the other Latin lands. In the low-vaulted, mighty-pillared, deep-shadowed crypt under the old cathedral, a crypt that is the very haunt of religious mystery and dread, we came upon a penitent kneeling before the altar, a bit of written paper pinned to her back. In a stir of the chill air this 378 fluttered to the ground, and as she, unconscious of its loss, bowed herself before another shrine, we picked up the paper with a half thought of restoring it; but seeing in the first glance that it was a rudely written prayer, entreating the Virgin's pity and pardon for her lover and herself, we let it fall again at Mary's feet. All manner of thank-offerings, waxen limbs, eyes, and ears, were hung in these candle-lit recesses, little spaces of gold amid the gloom. We had grown accustomed to such fragments of anatomy in the shop-windows, where even votive stomachs are displayed for sale.

Although Santander is a dawdler's paradise, the residents of the city to whom we had letters were no holiday makers, but Spaniards of the earnest, thoughtful, liberal type, busy with large tasks of their own, but never too busy, being Spaniards, to show unstinted kindness to the strangers within their gates. Our brief stay did not admit of a tithe of the excursions they had in mind for us, but my comrade achieved a trip to Santillana del Mar, birthplace of the doughty Gil Blas.

In the latest version of her adventures, she set forth from Santander under the bluest of skies, in company with the most bewitching of señoritas. They left the train at Torrelavega, where the shade of Garci Laso, one of King Pedro's victims, would doubtless have welcomed them, had not their attention been taken up with a picturesque coachman, who was standing dreamily on the station platform. This Adonis proved a complete paragon, who, as they took their romantic course over the hills, delightedly pointed out ivied tower, broken portcullis, and the like, as tidbits for the kodak.

Santillana is the shrine of Santa Juliana, a Roman martyr, 379 whose body is said to have been carried thither in the ninth century. Her devotees among the mountain wilds built her in this green valley, overhung by a rude old fortress, a precious church, a jewel of the early Romanesque, about whose walls a thriving community soon gathered. Santillana was throughout the Middle Ages the most important place between Burgos and Oviedo, and gave name to all that part of the Montaña. The successive Marquises of Santillana were then great personages in Spain, playing a leading part at Court. One of the proudest families of Old Castile, they claimed descent from the Cid, and cherished the memory of another heroic ancestor, who, in 1385, sacrificed his life to save his king.

"'Your horse is faint, my King, my Lord! your gallant horse is sick,—

His limbs are torn, his breast is gored, on his eye the film is thick;

Mount, mount on mine, O mount apace, I pray thee mount and fly!

Or in my arms I'll lift your Grace,—their trampling hoofs are nigh!


"'Nay, never speak; my sires, Lord King, received their land from yours,

And joyfully their blood shall spring, so be it thine secures;

If I should fly, and thou, my King, be found among the dead,

How could I stand 'mong gentlemen, such scorn on my gray head?'


"So spake the brave Montañez, Butrago's lord was he;

And turned him to the coming host in steadfastness and glee;

He flung himself among them, as they came down the hill,—

He died, God wot! but not before his sword had drunk its fill."

380 The city of Santillana, whose lords once laid claim to the sovereignty of Santander, has shrunk to a forgotten village, and the neglected church is dropping into ruins; but the inhabitants have abated not a jot of that fierce local patriotism which blinds the provincial Spaniard to all defects of his birthplace and to all excellences of rival towns. A graybeard told the stranger ladies that Santillana was the oldest city in Spain and its cathedral the most beautiful. This latter statement they were almost ready to accept, so richly carven was the yellow stone and so harmonious the proportions of nave and aisle. When they arrived at this miniature Durham they found it closed and silent, with three little boys sleeping on the steps. Through the benevolence of the ever present Spanish loafers, the sacristan was sought out and a ragged escort formed for their progress from chapel to chapel, where rare old pictures and frescos glowed across the dusk. Best of all were the venerable cloisters, weed-grown and tumble-down, but lovely as a mediæval dream with mellow-tinted arch and column, and with capitals of marvellous device. This crumbling church still keeps a dazzling hoard of treasures. All the front of the high altar is wrought of solid silver, the reredos is a miracle of art, and the paintings of old masters that moulder here unseen would long since in any other land than Catholic Spain have been the spoils of gallery and museum.

The cathedral stands just outside the town, whose narrow, crooked streets daunted the carriage; but these enthusiastic sightseers were all the better pleased to foot the flagging that many a clinking tread had worn and to touch on either side, with their extended hands, the fortresslike houses built of heavy stone and dimly emblazoned with fierce armorial bearings. 381 These grim dwellings were gladdened by the grace of vine-clad balconies, where children frolicked and women crooned quaint melodies over their needlework.

"Will no one tell me what she sings?

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

For old, unhappy, far-off things

And battles long ago."

The inn was merely the customary Spanish venta, rough and poor, the darkness of whose long, low room clouds of tobacco smoke from clumps of gambling muleteers were making blacker yet; but lemonade was served to the ladies in the open porch with a charm of cordial courtesy far beyond Delmonico's.

As they quaffed this modest refreshment and watched the shifting groups about the venta, which seemed the centre of the social life, there suddenly appeared upon the scene a ghost from the modern world, an everyday gentleman in a straw hat, as citified and up to date as if he had that moment stepped out of a Madrid café. All the loungers within and without the venta sprang to their feet, bared their heads, and bowed low to this anachronism with so profound a deference that the tourists began to wonder if the irrepressible Gil Blas had come alive again. Not he! This was the Marquis of Santillana, bearing under his arm instead of a sword a bundle of newspapers. The first Marquis of Santillana had been a famous warrior and troubadour. This latest "inheritor of old renown," seating himself in the midst of his thronging vassals, graciously proceeded, much like a University Extension lecturer, to read aloud, with simple 382 explanations, the news of the day. Such is the final form of noblesse oblige in the feudal valley of Santillana.

We were tempted to hunt out other nooks and eyries in the mountains of Santander, to see something of the famous sardine fisheries, to drive along the many-storied coast all the way to Gijon, paying our respects in passing to a noble oak of Asturias, one of the three largest trees of Europe; but always the uplifted sword of St. James drove us on. If we would reach Compostela in season for the annual fiesta de Santiago, there was no time to lose. So, in default of a nearer railway connection, we started due south for Palencia. Our route ran at first through a land of hills, maize, and stone walls that might have been New England, except for the women scratching away in the hay-fields, and politely saluting the train with a flourish of their pitchforks.

Then more and more the landscape became Spanish. Little stone hamlets dozed in ever shallower valleys, mule trains and solitary horsemen moved slowly down poplar-bordered highways, white as chalk; there was a slumbering peasant for every speck of shade. But while the men took their siestas, often sleeping where the drowsiness had befallen them, with arm thrown about the wooden plough or with head pillowed on the thrashing roller, there were always women at work—figures clad in the very colors of the harvest, red and gold and purple, binding sheaves, sweeping the fields with stout brush brooms, tending flocks and herds by the rivers, following stray sheep over the hills, with only a handkerchief at the most to protect their heads from the terrible noonday sun. As the afternoon wore on, we found ourselves in the melancholy reaches of brown Castilian plain, with the adobe towns, the 383 miserable mud villages, open-air threshing floors, and arid, silent, Oriental look.

Toledo

Toledo

The only cloud in sight was that which rested for a moment on my comrade's face. She had so newly come from our clean and wholesome fatherland that certain features of the Spanish inns still shook her high serenity of soul, and she had suddenly discovered that Baedeker significantly characterized the Palencia hotel as "an indifferent Spanish house." In the discreet language of our excellent guidebook this was no less than a note of warning, a signal of alarm. But even Baedeker is fallible, and on arriving at the Gran Hotel Continental, we were met by all the Castilian dignity and grave kindliness of greeting, and led to rooms whose floors shone with oil and scrubbing, whose curtains, towels, and sheeting were white as mountain snow, and whose furnishings were resplendent with two dozen chairs upholstered in orange satin. We seated ourselves in rapture on one saffron throne after another, drank fresh milk from polished glasses, and slept, for this only night of all our Santiago pilgrimage, the sleep of the unbitten. A sweet-voiced sereno intoning the hours set our dreams to music.

The following morning we spent in the cathedral, which, though of plain exterior, except for the many-imaged "Door of the Bishop," is all lightness, grace, and symmetry within. The organ was pealing and women were kneeling for the mass as we went softly down the high-vaulted nave, our spirits played upon now by the dignity of pointed arches and of clustered columns and now by delicate beauties in tracery and carving. Only here and there were we aware of a jarring note, as in chancing upon a great crucifix whose Christ was 384 decked out in two elegant lace petticoats and a white silk crinoline embroidered over with silver thread.

When the chant had died away, an affectionate old sacristan, in a curious red and black coat, delivered us with sundry farewell pats and pinches over to the charge of a subordinate, who proceeded to display the hidden treasures. These are far from overwhelming, after the glittering hoards of Burgos, Seville, and Toledo, but they are as odd an assortment as sacristy ever sheltered. There was an absurd portrait of Charles I, a freak of foreshortening. At first sight it seemed to be the skeleton of a fish, but on viewing it through a peephole the creature had become a human face. Even so, it was hardly a flattering likeness of the founder of the Austrian line; but as it was Charles I who stripped Palencia of her original powers and dignities, one would not expect to find him complimented here.

We turned our attention to the vestments, which, though few, are peculiarly artistic, with devices, stitched in gold thread and in jewel reds and greens, of pomegranates, roses, ecclesiastical coats of arms, angels, Maries, Nativities, and Adorations. These were appropriate enough, but even our reserved conductor, a monastic youth who wore a white, openwork tunic over his black suit, smiled disdainfully as he put before us a time-yellowed ivory box arabesqued with men and lions, the jewel casket of some pet sultana. "But why should it be here?" He shrugged his shoulders. "In truth, it is not holy—a woman's thing! Nor do I know how it came to us, but what we have we keep."

The sacristy certainly seems to have kept more than its share of custodias. Our guide first brought out a dainty 385 structure, where grieving angels uplift the cross, and the Sufferer's halo is wrought of pearls and gems. This was replaced by another, a marvel of goldsmith's craft, turreted and crocketed with fine gold, while all about the base are figured Annunciations, Visitations, and other mysteries. Rich as they were, neither of these could compare with that famous pyx of the Escorial, inlaid with ten thousand precious stones. Then our conductor took us with a mighty turning of monster keys, pulling of rusty bolts, and fall of clanging chains, to see the supreme custodia of all, one great dazzle of silver from fretted base to dome and pinnacle, save as among the Corinthian columns of the first stage glisten golden forms of the Apostles, and of the second, winged shapes of cherubim and seraphim. This shining tower, some three or four centuries old, is beheld by Palencia only on Corpus Christi Day, when, holding at its heart the golden monstrance which holds the Host, it passes as a triumphal car throughout the city. Priests walking on either side make a feint of drawing it by tasselled cords, but "little would it budge for that," said our guide, in high disdain, opening a door in the frame beneath to reveal the benches where strong men sit concealed and toil at a motor crank. He had much more to show us, including precious old tapestries of the Netherlands, and a St. Katharine by Zurbarán, with a light on the kneeling figure as pure and bright as a moonbeam; but we had to press the fee on his Castilian pride, when at last the vulgarity of luncheon summoned us away.

For the historian, basking in this last smile of civilization, the afternoon passed blissfully among the orange chairs, but I sallied forth once more, attended by our benignant landlady. 386 The rays of the sun flashed down like deadly arrows and I had pleaded for a carriage, but longed to beg its pardon when it came, so faded, rheumatic, and yet august was that fat old chariot, groaning and tottering as it rolled, but lowering the pomp of a velvet-carpeted staircase whenever we desired to alight.

Our progress made a grand sensation in those drowsy streets and squares, a retinue soon gathered, and nobody seemed surprised when, after a round of Jesuit and Dominican churches, we drew up before the madhouse. I had wished to look upon this building, because it is reputed to have been a dwelling of the Cid; but the hero of Castile was as unknown to my gentle escort as to the medical priest whom she must needs call forth to meet me, or to the hapless lunatics whom he, in turn, insisted on my seeing. A town which had forgotten its chief citizen naturally fails to keep on sale photographs of its cathedral, so we packed our memories in default of anything more substantial and took the evening train to the northwest.

Four hours of hushed, moonlit plain, and then Leon! This is a name of thrilling memories, and we stepped out into the midnight silence of that once royal capital whose kingdom "stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rhone," so awed that even a rickety 'bus, and a smuggler who tried to hide his trunk behind our honest luggage, hardly broke the spell. My comrade, still new to Spanish ways, had fears that the illustrated card which I had forgotten to stamp would not have reached the hotel. She asked me why I did not telegraph; but some days later, when we sent a telegram at noon, took a way-train at five, and reached our destination at ten, simultaneously with the telegram which I might as 387 well have brought in my pocket, she was set free from New World prejudices. The unstamped card went through without question, a picture of a pretty mountain maid being quite as acceptable to the postal clerks as the portrait of their young king.

We were expected at the hotel, the best in town, but so dirty and malodorous that we would better have camped under the stars. There had been some attempt to sweep the floor of our dingy chamber, as we could see by comparing it with stairs and corridors. Sour milk and sour bread were served with a compensating sweetness of manner, but the experiences of that night belong to oblivion.

The joy of the morning! Guided by a shy little scullery lad, smooched of face and ragged of raiment, but with all the instincts of a cavalier, we stepped out into those stately streets, with their haughty old houses, balconies, coats of arms, arches, and battlements, as into an animated picture book. It was Saturday, and the town was all astir with peasants come to market, every peasant as good as a romance. Such brightness of figured kerchiefs, homespun petticoats, trunk hose, jackets, sashes! The little girls were quaintest of all, dressed precisely like their mammas, even to those brilliant skirts edged with one color and slashed with another. Many of the women were carrying loads of greens, others plucked fowls, and some had indignant chickens, in full possession of chicken faculties, snuggled under the arm.

As the chief city in a far reach of luxuriant plain, Leon becomes the focus, every Saturday, of flocks of sheep, droves of pigs, and herds of cattle, together with innumerable mules and donkeys bringing in grain, fruit, and all manner of garden 388 produce. We chanced upon the market itself in the arcaded Plaza Mayor, under shadow of the towered court-house, with the tapering spire of the cathedral overlooking all. The great square hummed like a beehive and sparkled with shifting color like a field of butterflies. We found ourselves first in the bread market. Under wide umbrellas of canvas set on poles women were perched high on wooden benches, with their gayly shod feet supported on stools. Beside each woman, on her rude seat, was a brightly woven basket heaped with the horny Spanish loaves. Close by was the fruit market, with its piles of red and purple plums, pears, grapes, green peppers, lemons, and, beyond, patches of melons, cucumbers, cabbages, potatoes, beans, and that staff of Spanish life, chick pease, or garbanzos.

The meat market appeared to be itinerant. A man in blue blouse, short brown breeches, and dove-colored hose adorned with green tassels, was leading a cow by its crumpled horn; an old woman, with giant silver hoops in her ears, a lavender shawl knotted about her body, her scarlet skirt well slashed so as to show the gamboge petticoat beneath, and so short for all its purple frill as to display the clockwork of her variegated stockings, was carrying a black lamb, nestled like a baby in her arms; another walking rainbow bore a live turkey; and a lad, whose rosy-hued kerchief, shawl, and sash floated like sunrise clouds about him, balanced on his erect young head an immense basket of eggs. There was a pottery section, too,—square rods of cups, plates, and jars in all manner of russet tints and graceful shapes.

The various divisions were intermingled and blent into one great open-air market, the cheeriest sort of neighborhood 389 picnic, where gossip, jest, and laughter were accompanied by the cackling of fowls, braying of donkeys, and cooing of babies. Here fluttered a colony of bantams cast, their legs well tied, down on the cobble-stones; there stood carts laden with bunches of the yellowish dried heather; here two patient oxen had laid themselves out for a snooze; there a wicked little ass was blinking at the greens; here squatted a damsel in gold kerchief, garnet bodice, and beryl skirt, weighing out fresh figs; there sat a cobbler pegging away at his stall, his patrons waiting with bare feet while he mended their shoes; stands of cheeses, coops of chickens, children sleeping among the sacks of grain, a boy waving a rod on which was strung a gorgeous assortment of garters; loitering soldiers, limping beggars, bargaining ladies attended by their maids, all gave notes to the harmony. Yet with all that trampling, small weeds were growing green amid the slippery stones that pave the square.

The Leon peasantry is said to be the finest in all Spain, and surely no concourse of people could have been more honest, courteous, and dignified than this. The women wore ornamented wallets beneath the skirt, and warned us gravely against carrying money in exposed pockets; but we moved freely among the press with notebook and kodak, always the centre of curious groups, and our purses were not touched. Indeed we found it difficult to spend even a peseta, so modest were the prices. For as large a jar as our little squire could well carry we paid the value of three cents. The men often rebuked the children for staring and questioning, but stood themselves at gaze, and asked us frankly what we were about. When we replied that we had never 390 seen so beautiful a market, and were taking notes and photographs that we might not forget, the peasants smilingly passed the word from one side of the plaza to the other, and all, even to the chief of police, who was strutting about waving an unnecessary staff, were eager to offer information and to point out picturesque subjects.

But the morning was slipping away, and we had almost forgotten the oracle of a Spanish gentleman in Palencia: "Leon has three sights for the visitor, and only three—the Cathedral, San Isidoro, and San Marcos." We proceeded to take these illustrious churches in order. The Leon Cathedral, closely analogous to the Gothic masterpieces of northern France, is far beyond all poor praises of mine. Now in process of repair and stripped of the garish shrines of modern worship, it may be enjoyed purely as architecture—a temple of high beauty. Let artists tell of its towers and finials, flying buttresses, gables, cornices, galleries, piers, façades. Yet one need not be an artist to delight in the glow of its great rose windows, or to spend fascinated hours poring over the chiselled story book of portals, stalls, and cloisters. Such inimitable glass, burning still with the fervors of the mediæval faith! And such a world of divinity and humanity, even down to childish mischief, in those multitudinous carvings! The Passion scenes are repeated over and over, creation and judgment are there, the life, death, and ascension of the Virgin, hero legends, animal fables, and folk-lore. Gothic energy is abundantly manifest. St. George smites the dragon, St. Michael tramples the devil, Samson splits the lion's jaws, and Santiago, carved in ebony on a door in the mellow-hued old cloisters, is riding down the Moors with 391 such contagious fury that the very tail of his horse is twisted into a ferocious quirk. On angel-guarded tombs pictures of ancient battle, murder, vengeance, are graven in the long-remembering stone. But marble birds peck at the marble fruit, the ivory peasant drives his pigs, the alabaster shepherd watches his flock, the lad leads his donkey, the monk feeds the poor at the abbey gates, and plump stone priests, stowed away in shadowy niches, make merry over the wine.

Toledo Cathedral

Toledo Cathedral. Door of Lions

If we had revelled overmuch in the art values of the cathedral, San Isidoro administered a prompt corrective. This Romanesque church, dating from the beginning of the eleventh century and a forerunner of the Escorial in that it was founded by the first Fernando of Castile as a royal mausoleum, is excessively holy. Not merely are the bones of the patron saint kept on the high altar, but the Host is on constant exhibition there. Unaware of these especial sanctities, we were quietly walking toward the choir, when an angry clamor from behind caused us to turn, and there, stretching their heads out over the railing of an upper gallery, was a line of furious priests. In vain the sacristan strove to excuse us, "foreigners and ladies," who did not know that we were expected to fall upon our knees on first entering the door. We had been guilty of no irreverence beyond this omission, and even under the hail of priestly wrath did our best to withdraw correctly without turning our backs to the altar. But nothing would appease that scandalized row of gargoyles, whose violent rudeness seemed to us the greater desecration. Thus it was that we did not enter the frescoed chambers of the actual Panteon, said to be imposing yet, although the royal tombs were broken up by the French in 392 1808. Very wrong in the French, but unless the manners of San Isidoro's bodyguard have degenerated, the soldiers of Napoleon may have had their provocation.

It was now high noon, and the market-place had poured all its peasants out upon the streets. Groups of them were lying at luncheon under the trees, passing the pigskin bottle of wine from mouth to mouth. Beggars were standing by and blessing them in return for scraps of the coarse and scanty fare. "May God repay! May the saints prosper thy harvest!"

A woman riding home, sitting erect on the red-striped donkey-bag, handed a plum to her husband, who trudged beside her in gray linen trunks and green velveteen waistcoat, with a white square of cloth set, for ornament, into the middle of the back. He divided the fruit with a pleading cripple, who called after them as devoutly as a man with half a plum in his cheek well could, "May the Blessed Virgin ride forth with you and gladden all your way!"

We had, because of the increasing heat, conjured up a carriage, a species of invalid stage-coach, and were therefore the envy of little schoolboys in blue pinafores. Their straw satchels bobbed on their backs as they gave chase to our clattering ark and clung to steps and door. This mode of locomotion did not save us time, for our coachman had domestic cares on his mind and drew up to bargain for a chicken, which finally mounted with a squall to the box seat; but in due Spanish season we stopped before the plateresque façade of San Marcos.

This is a still unfinished convent, rich in artistic beauties and historic memories. Here, for instance, is a marvellously 393 human head of St. Francis, a triumph of the polychrome sculpture, and here is the little cell where the poet Quevedo, "colossal genius of satire," was imprisoned for over three years by Philip IV, the patron of Velázquez. It is not so easy to cage a mocking-bird, though the satire-pencilled walls have been well whitewashed.

But San Marcos was originally a hospital for pilgrims on the road to Compostela, and conch shells are the central ornamentation of arch and vault and frieze. We accepted the rebuke; we would loiter no more. Early that afternoon we took train for Coruña, after which some agency other than steam must transport us to the mediæval city of St. James.

XXIV

394

PILGRIMS OF SAINT JAMES

"In Galice at Seint Jame, and at Coloigne,

She koude muchel of wandrynge by the weye."

—Chaucer: Canterbury Tales.

"Pilgrimes and palmers plihten hem to-gederes

For to seche Seint Jame."

—Langland: Piers Plowman.

"I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone."

—Shakespeare: All's Well that Ends Well.

From Leon to Coruña is a journey of some eighteen hours by rail. Degenerate pilgrims that we were, we had taken a first-class carriage reserved for ladies, not so comfortable as the average third-class carriage on an English road. We hoped for space, at least, and solitude, but people who choose to pry into out-of-the-way corners of Spain need not expect to find any slavish deference to rights of place and property. The conductor had planned to dine and sleep in this particular compartment, which was a shade cleaner than the rest, and removed his kit from the rack with natural disappointment. Why should ladies be going to Galicia? But the general first-class compartment, next to ours, was unoccupied, and he resignedly transferred his belongings thither. The numerous third-class carriages were crowded with raw recruits, who had 395 all jumped down, boy fashion, on the Leon platforms, and came scrambling back at the starting bell in noisiest confusion. Just as the train was puffing out, a station official threw open our door with a smiling, "Only to the next stop, ladies!" and precipitated upon us three belated warriors. We groaned inly with dark foreboding, for third-class occupancy of a first-class carriage is apt to leave lively souvenirs behind. Our three young soldiers, each with his personal effects bundled up in an enormous red and yellow handkerchief, were of the rudest peasant type, hardly lifted above animal and clod. Only one was able to spell out anything of the newspaper we offered. He labored over a large-lettered advertisement with grimy thumb, twisting brows, and muttering lips, but soon gave it up in sheer exhaustion. The hulking fellow beyond him was continually on the point of spitting,—a regular Spanish pastime in travel; but, determined that the carriage should not suffer that offence, I kept strict watch on this chrysalis hero, and embarrassed him into stark paralysis with questions on the landscape whenever he was quite prepared to fire. The third conscript was a ruddy, fair-haired boy of seventeen, who had in rudimentary form the social instincts of a Spaniard, and in his intervals of blue-eyed staring at the tawdry splendors about him hammered our ears with some harsh dialect, his one theme being the indignities and hardships of a Spanish soldier's lot. Yet dull as they were, and ignorant of railway customs, they knew enough to prefer broad cushions, whose variety of stains did not trouble their enviable simplicity, to the rough and narrow benches of the overcrowded third-class carriages, and at the "first stop" they unanimously forgot to change. But they were not unkindly lads, and after I had explained 396 to them a dozen times or so that my friend was suffering from a headache and needed to lie down, and had, furthermore, lawlessly suggested that they could make themselves equally comfortable in the other first-class carriage, which was not "reserved for ladies," they promised to leave us at the second station; but their slow peasant hands fumbled at the door so clumsily that the train was under way again before the latch had yielded. It was not until we had been fellow-travellers for two or three hours that they finally stumbled into the neighboring compartment. From this the conductor, who had been blind and deaf to past proceedings, promptly ejected them, having no mind to let them make acquaintance with his wine bottle, and our poor exiles cast reproachful glances at us as they were hustled off to their own place.

We have sometimes talked enthusiastically of democracy, but we did not discuss such exalted subjects then. Indeed, we had enough to do in guarding our doors, often by frank exercise of muscle, from further intrusion, and in trying to provide ourselves with food and water. A struggling mob of soldier boys besieged the refreshment stalls at every station, and drained the jars of the water-venders long before these could arrive at the car windows. At last, by a union of silver and violence, we succeeded in gaining from an astounded little girl, who was racing after the departing carriages, all her stock in trade, even the great russet jar itself, with its treasure of cold spring water. The historian possesses a special genius for cooking over an alcohol lamp on a rocking mountain train, and having augmented our knapsack stores with scalded milk and knobby bread from a tavern 397 near one of the depots, we lived like feudal barons "of our own" for the rest of that memorable journey.

Reminders of the pilgrims were all along our route. Overflowing as Santiago's young knights were with martial and romantic spirit, when the brigands did not give their steel sufficient sport they would break lances for the love of ladies or on any other conceivable pretext. We passed the bridge of twenty arches, where ten companions in arms once posted themselves for ten successive days, and challenged to the tilt every cavalier who came that way in journey to the Compostela jubilee.

All the afternoon we were climbing into the hill-country. The waste slopes were starred with purple clumps of heather, and crossed by light-footed maids, who balanced great bunches of bracken on their heads. The patches of green valley, walled in by those barren steeps, held each a few tumble-down old houses, while elsewhere we noticed human dwellings that seemed scarcely more than nests of mud plastered to the stone. Yet the soil appeared to be cultivated with the most patient thrift,—wheat and potatoes growing wherever wheat and potatoes might. The view became a bewildering medley of Scottish hills, Italian skies, and Gothic castles, with occasionally a tawny and fantastic rock from the Garden of the Gods. The city of Astorga, whose cathedral was founded, so the pilgrims used to say, by St. James in his missionary tour, greeted us from the midst of the flinty hills. These are the home of a singular clan known as the Maragatos. They wear a distinctive dress, marry only among themselves, and turn a sullen look upon their neighbors.

As night came on, the road grew so rough that we had to cork our precious water-jar with a plump lemon. The historian 398 was sleeping off her headache, except as I woke her at the stations to aid in the defence of our ignoble luxury. We remembered that queen of Portugal who made the pilgrimage to Compostela on foot, begging her way. In the close-packed third-class carriages it must have been a cramped and weary night, and we did not wonder that young socialists occasionally tried to raid our fortress. But we clung stoutly to the door-handles, lustily sounding our war cry of "Ladies only" in lieu of "Santiago," and early in the small hours had the shamefaced pleasure of seeing the herd of drowsy conscripts, with their red and yellow bundles, driven into another train, where they were tumbled two or three deep, the under layer struggling and protesting. One little fellow, nearly smothered in the hurly-burly about the steps, cried out pitifully; but the conductor silenced him with angry sarcasm: "Dost mean to be a soldier, thou? Or shall we put thee in a sugar-bowl and send thee back to mamma?"

There was less need of sentry duty after this, but the night was too beautiful for sleep. We were crossing the wild Asturian mountains, the Alps of Spain, and a full moon was pouring down white lustre on crag, cascade, and gorge. By these perilous ways had streamed the many-bannered pilgrim hosts,—men and women of all countries and all tongues seeking the Jerusalem of the West. Each nation had its own hymn to Santiago, and these, sung to the mingled music of bagpipes, timbrels, bugles, flutes, and harps, must have pealed out strangely on many a silver night. The poor went begging of the rich, and often a mounted crusader cast his purse of broad gold pieces on the heather, trusting Santiago and his own good sword to see him through. Up and down these sheer ravines 399 stumbled the blind and lame, sure of healing if only they could reach the shrine. Deaf and dumb went in the pilgrim ranks, the mad, the broken-hearted, the sin-oppressed; only the troop of lepers held apart. Some of those foot-sore wayfarers, most likely the raggedest of all, carried a secret treasure for the saint. Some staggered under penitential weights of lead and stone, and others bore loads of bars and fetters in token of captivity from which St. James had set them free.

St. Paul, the First Hermit

St. Paul, the First Hermit

But these pathetic shapes no longer peopled the moonlight. Since it was the nineteenth century, a first-class passenger might as well lie down and watch the gracious progress of the moon across the heavens,—

"Oft, as if her head she bowed,

Stooping through a fleecy cloud."

But the clouds perversely made of themselves wayside crosses, urns, cathedral towers; and just as one sky-creature, "backed like a weasel" but with the face of Santiago, began to puff a monstrous cigarette, I roused my dozing senses and discovered that we were entering Lugo, the capital of Galicia, and once, under Roman rule, of all Spain.

This city of tumultuous history, stormed by one wild race after another, and twice sacked in our own century, first by the French and then by the Carlists, lay very peacefully under the white dawn. While the chivalrous Spanish sun rose unobtrusively, so as not to divert attention from the fading graces of the moon, the historian made sustaining coffee, and we tried to look as if we liked Galicia. This far northwestern province is the Bœotia of Spain; its stupid, patient peasantry are the butt of all the Peninsula, and to be called a 400 Gallego is to be called a fool. The country, as we saw it from the train, was broken and hilly, but the Alpine majesty of Asturias was gone. In the misty drizzle of rain, which soon hushed the pipings of the birds, all the region looked wretchedly poor. It was a wooded, watered, well-tilled land, with tufts of heather brightly fringing every bank; but the houses were mere cabins, where great, gaunt, dark-colored pigs pushed in and out among bedraggled hens and half-clad children. Women were working in the fields by five o'clock in the morning, their saffron and carmine kerchiefs twisted into horns above the forehead. Women were serving as porters at the stations, carrying heavy trunks and loads of valises on their heads. Women were driving the plough, swinging the pickaxe in the quarries, mending the railway tracks. Short, stout, vigorous brownies they were, and most of them looked old.

It was mid-forenoon when we reached Coruña, the seaport whence sailed the Invincible Armada. We had meant to rest there for the afternoon and night before undertaking the forty-mile drive to Santiago, but the hotel was so filthy that, tired as we were, there was nothing for it but to go on. Tarrying only for bath and breakfast, we took our places in a carriage which, setting out at one, promised to bring us into Santiago in time for the eight o'clock dinner.

This conveyance was a species of narrow omnibus, which an Andalusian, an Englishman, a son of Compostela returning home after a long sojourn in foreign parts, his young wife of Jewish features, and our weary selves filled to overflowing. Our Jehu had agreed to transport the six of us, with our effects, for the sum of sixteen dollars; but deep was 401 our disgust when he piled our handbags, shawl straps, and all our lesser properties in upon our wedged and helpless forms, and crammed six rough Gallegos, with a reeling load of trunks and boxes, on the roof. Remonstrance would be futile. The places in the regular diligence were not only taken for the afternoon but engaged for several days ahead, and carriages are rare birds in Galicia. The Spanish gentlemen merely shrugged their shoulders, the Englishman had but that morning landed in Spain and could not speak a word of the vernacular, and feminine protest was clearly out of order. The four puny horses took the top-heavy vehicle at a rattling pace down the granite-paved streets of Coruña, but hardly were we under way when our griefs began.

On our arrival that forenoon, a fluent porter had over-persuaded us to leave our trunk at the station, letting him retain the check in order to have the baggage ready for us when we should pass the depot en route for Santiago. We had been absent scarcely three hours, but meanwhile the trunk had disappeared. A dozen tatterdemalions ran hither and thither, making as much noise as possible, all the top fares shouted contradictory suggestions, and our porter, heaping Ossa-Pelions of execration upon the (absent) railroad officials, declared that they in their most reprobate stupidity had started the trunk on that eighteen-hour journey back to Leon. They were dolts and asses, the sons of imbecile mothers; but we had only to leave the check with him, and in the course of an indefinite number of "to-morrows" he would recover our property. We had grown sadder and wiser during the last five minutes, however, and insisted on taking that soiled inch of paper into our own keeping. At 402 this the porter flew into a Spanish rage, flung back his fee into my lap, and so eloquently expressed himself that we left Coruña with stinging ears.

It was the historian's trunk, stored with supplies for the camera, as well as with sundry alleviations of our pilgrim lot, but she put it in the category of spilled milk, and turned with heroic cheerfulness to enjoy the scenery. The horses had now drooped into the snail's pace which they consistently maintained through the rest of their long, uphill way, for the city of the Apostle stands on a high plateau. As we mounted more and more, Coruña, lying between bay and sea, still shone clear across the widening reach of smiling landscape. Maize and vines were everywhere. So were peasants, who trudged along in family troops toward Compostela. But whether afoot or astride donkeys of antique countenance, they could always outstrip our lumbering coach, and we were an easy prey for the hordes of childish bandits who chase vehicles for miles along the pilgrim road, shrieking for pennies in the name of Santiago.

About two leagues out of Coruña we did pass something,—a group composed of a young Gallego and the most diminutive of donkeys. The peasant, walking beside his beast, was trying to balance across its back an object unwonted to those wilds.

"Strange to see a steamer trunk here!" I remarked, turning to the historian; but she was already leaning out from the window, inspecting that label-speckled box with an eagle gaze.

"It's mine!" she exclaimed, and in a twinkling had startled the driver into pulling up his horses, had leapt from the coach, and was running after the peasant, who, for his part, 403 swerving abruptly from the main road, urged his panting donkey up a steep lane. Nobody believed her. Even I, her fellow-pilgrim, thought her wits were addling with our penitential fasts and vigils, and did not attempt to join in so mad a chase. As for the scandalized Spaniards, inside and out, they shouted angrily that the thing was impossible and the señora was to come back. The coachman roared loudest of all. But on she dashed, ran down her man, and bade him, in inspired Galician, bring that trunk to the omnibus at once. He scratched his head, smiled a child's innocent and trustful smile, and, like a true Gallego, did as he was told. By this time masculine curiosity had been too much for the driver and most of the fares, and they had scrambled after, so that the few of us who kept guard by the carriage presently beheld an imposing procession advancing along the road, consisting of a Galician peasant with a steamer trunk upon his head, a group of crestfallen Spaniards, and a Yankee lady, slightly flushed, attended by an applauding Englishman.

Beyond a doubt it was her trunk. Her name was there, a New York hotel mark, which she had tried to obliterate with a blot of Leon ink, and the number corresponding to the number of our check. "By Jove!" said the Englishman. As for the peasant, he said even less, but in some way gave us to understand that he was taking the trunk to a gentleman from Madrid. Thinking that there might have been a confusion of checks in the station, we gave this childlike native a peseta and a card with our Santiago address in case "the Madrid gentleman" should suspect us of highway robbery. Our fellow-passengers took the tale to Santiago, however; it made a graphic column in the local paper, and none of the 404 several Spaniards who spoke to us of the matter there doubted that the trunk was stolen by collusion between the porter and the peasant.

Our next adventure was more startling yet. The coachman had been heard, at intervals, vehemently expostulating with a roof passenger who wanted to get down. "Man alive! By the staff of Santiago! By your mother's head! By the Virgin of the Pillar!" Whether the malcontent had taken too much wine, whether he was under legal arrest, whether it was merely a crossing of whims, we could not learn from any of the impassioned actors in the drama; but, apparently, he found his opportunity to slip unnoticed off the coach. For suddenly the driver screamed to his horses, and, like a bolt from the blue, a handsome, athletic fellow leapt to the ground and rushed back along the dusty road, brandishing clenched fists and stamping his feet in frenzy. In mid-career he paused, struck a stage attitude, tore open his pink shirt, gasped, and shook with rage. "Irving isn't in it," quoth the Englishman. Then appeared, lurking by the roadside, a slouchy youth, on whom our tragic hero sprang like a tiger, threw him down, and stood panting over him with a gesture as if to stab. An instant later he had seized his victim by the collar, dragged him up, and was running him back to the coach. "You hurt me," wailed the truant, "and I don't want to go." But go he must, being bundled back in short order on the roof, where harmony seemed to be immediately restored. While the men were struggling, a lordly old peasant, stalking by, surveyed them with a peasant's high disdain. We had already noted the Irish look of the Galicians, but this magnificent patriarch, with dark green waistcoat over a light green shirt, old gold knickerbockers 405 and crushed strawberry hose, had as Welsh a face, dark and clean-cut, as Snowdon ever saw.

Long sunset shadows lay across the hills; we had shared with our companions our slight stores of sweet chocolate, bread, and wine, and still we were not halfway to Santiago. It was nine o'clock before our groaning equipage drew up at a wretched little inn, incredibly foul, where it was necessary to bait the exhausted horses. Mine host welcomed the party with pensive dignity, and served us, in the midst of all that squalor, with the manners of a melancholy count. Shutting eyes and noses as far as we could, and blessing eggs for shells and fruit for rind, we ate and gathered strength to bear what St. James might yet have in store for us.

The diligence had resumed its weary jog; we were all more or less asleep, unconsciously using, in our crowded estate, one another as pillows, when an uproar from the box and a wild lurch of the coach brought us promptly to our waking senses. One of the wheel horses was down, and the others, frightened by the dragging harness, were rearing and plunging. Out we tumbled into the misty night, wondering if we were destined, after all, to foot it to Compostela in proper pilgrim fashion. The poor beast was mad with terror, and his struggles soon brought his mate to the ground beside him. The coachman, so pompous and dictatorial at the outset, stood helplessly in the road, at a safe distance, wringing his hands and crying like a baby: "Alas, poor me! Poor little me! O holy Virgin! Santiago!" The top fares, who had made good speed to terra firma, were wailing in unison and shrieking senseless counsels. "Kill thou the horse! Kill thou the horse!" one of them chanted like a Keltic dirge. The coachman supplied the 406 antiphon: "Kill not my horse! Kill not my horse! Ave Maria! Poor little me!" "Fools! Sit on his head," vociferated the Englishman in his vain vernacular. The horses seemed to have as many legs as centipedes, kicking all at once. The coach was toppling, the luggage pitching, and catastrophe appeared inevitable, when Santiago, such an excellent horseman himself, inspired one of the roof passengers to unbuckle a few straps. The effect was magical. First one nag, and then the other, struggled to its feet; the coachman sobbed anew, this time for joy; the Spanish gentlemen, who had been watching the scene with imperturbable passivity, crawled back into the diligence, the silent wife followed with the heavy bag which her husband had let her carry all the way, and the Anglo-Saxon contingent walked on ahead for half an hour to give the spent horses what little relief we might.

The clocks were striking two when we reached the gates of the sacred city, where fresh hindrance met us. The customs officials were on the alert. Who were we that would creep into Compostela de Santiago under cover of night, in an irregular conveyance piled high with trunks and boxes? Smugglers, beyond a doubt! But they would teach us a thing or two. We might wait outside till morning.


Maids of Honor

Delighted boys from a peasant camp beyond the walls ran up to jeer at our predicament. Our coachman, reverting to his dolorous chant, appealed to all the saints. The top fares shrilled in on the chorus; the Spanish gentlemen lighted cigarettes, and after some twenty minutes of dramatic altercation, a soldier sprang on our top step and mounted guard, while the coach rattled through the gates and on to the 407 aduana. Here we were deposited, bag and baggage, on the pavement, and a drowsy, half-clad old dignitary was brought forth to look at us. The coachman, all his social graces restored, imaginatively presented the three Anglo-Saxons as a French party travelling for pleasure. "But what am I to do with them?" groaned the dignitary, and went back to bed. An appalling group of serenos, in slouch hats and long black capes, with lanterns and with staffs topped by steel axes, escorted us into a sort of luggage room, and told us to sit down on benches. We sat on them for half an hour, which seemed to satisfy the ends of justice, for then the serenos gave place to porters, who said they would bring us our property, which nobody had examined or noticed in the slightest, after daybreak, and would now show us the way to our hotel. Our farewell to the coachman, who came beaming up to shake hands and receive thanks, was cold.

We had engaged rooms by letter a week in advance, but they had been surrendered to earlier arrivals, and we were conducted to a private house next door to the hotel. After the delays incident to waking an entire family, we were taken into a large, untidy room, furnished with dining table, sewing machine, and a half dozen decrepit chairs. There was no water and no sign of toilet apparatus, but in an adjoining dark closet were two narrow cots, from which the four daughters of the house had just been routed. Of those beds which these sleepy children were then, with unruffled sweetness and cheeriness, making ready for us, the less said the better. Our indoor hours in Compostela, an incessant battle against dirt, bad smells, and a most instructive variety of vermin, were a penance that must have met all pilgrim 408 requirements. And yet these people spared no pains to make us comfortable, so far as they understood comfort. At our slightest call, were it only for a match, in would troop the mother, four daughters, maid, dog, and cat, with any of the neighbors who might be visiting, all eager to be of service. The girls were little models of sunny courtesy, and would have been as pretty of face as they were charming in manner, had not skin diseases and eye diseases told the tale of the hideously unsanitary conditions in which their young lives had been passed.

But we had come to the festival of Santiago, and it was worth its price.

XXV

409

THE BUILDING OF A SHRINE

(A historical chapter, which should be skipped.)

That most Spanish of Spaniards, Alarcón, is pleased in one of his roguish sketches to depict the waywardness of a certain poetaster. "Alonso Alonso was happy because he was thinking of many sad things,—of the past centuries, vanished like smoke, ... of the little span of life and of the absurdities with which it is filled, of the folly of wisdom, of the nothingness of ambition, of all this comedy, in short, which is played upon the earth."

Alonso Alonso would be in his very element in Santiago de Compostela. The "unsubstantial pageant faded" of the mediæval world is more than memory there. It is a ghost that walks at certain seasons, notably from the twentieth to the twenty-eighth of July. The story of the birth, growth, and passing of that once so potent shrine, the Jerusalem of the West, is too significant for oblivion.

The corner-stone of the strange history is priestly legend. The Apostle James the Greater, so runs the tale, after preaching in Damascus and along the Mediterranean coast, came in a Greek ship to Galicia, then under Roman rule, and proclaimed the gospel in its capital city, Iria-Flavia. Here the 410 Virgin appeared to him, veiled, like the mother of Æneas, in a cloud, and bade him build a church. This he did, putting a bishop in charge, and then pursued his mission, not only in the remote parts of Galicia, but in Aragon, Castile, and Andalusia. At Saragossa the Virgin again flashed upon his sight. She was poised, this time, on a marble pillar, which she left behind her to become, what it is to-day, the most sacred object in all Spain. A chip of this columna immobilis is one of the treasures of Toledo. The cathedral of the Virgen del Pilar,—affectionately known as Pilarica,—which James then founded at Saragossa, is still a popular goal of pilgrimage, the marble of the holy column being hollowed, at one unshielded spot, by countless millions of kisses. The Apostle, on his return to Jerusalem after seven years in Spain, was beheaded by Herod. Loyal disciples recovered the body and set sail with it for the Spanish coast. Off Portugal occurred the pointless "miracle of the shells." A gentleman was riding on the shore, when all at once his horse, refusing to obey the bit, leapt into the sea, walking on the crests of the waves toward the boat. Steed and rider suddenly sank, but promptly rose again, all crusted over with shells, which have been ever since regarded as the emblem of St. James in particular, and of pilgrim folk in general.

"How should I your true love know

From another one?

By his cockle hat and staff

And his sandal shoon."

The Santiago "cockle," which thus, as a general pilgrim symbol, outstripped the keys of Rome and the cross of Jerusalem, 411 is otherwise accounted for by a story that the body of St. James was borne overseas to Galicia in a shell of miraculous size, but this is not the version that was told us at the shrine.

The two disciples, Theodore and Athanasius, temporarily interred their master in Padron, two leagues from Iria, until they should have obtained permission from the Roman dame who governed that region to allow St. James the choice of a resting-place. Her pagan heart was moved to graciousness, and she lent the disciples an ox-cart, in which they placed the body, leaving the beasts free to take the Apostle's course. It is hardly miraculous that, under the circumstances, Lady Lupa's oxen plodded straight back to Iria and came to a stop before her summer villa. Since this was so clearly indicated as the choice of the saint, she could do no less than put her house at his disposal. In the villa was a chapel to the war-god Janus, but when the body of Santiago was brought within the doors, this heathen image fell with a crash into a hundred fragments. Here the saint abode, guarded by his faithful disciples, until, in process of time, they slept beside him. The villa had been transformed into a little church, so little that, when the Imperial persecutions stormed over the Spanish provinces, the worshippers hid it under heaps of turf and tangles of brier bushes. Those early Christians of Iria were slain or scattered, and the burial place of St. James was forgotten of all the world.

In the seventh century, a rumor went abroad that the Apostle James had preached the gospel in Spain. The legend grew until, in the year 813, a Galician anchorite beheld from the mouth of his cavern a brilliant star, which shone persistently above a certain bramble-wood in the outskirts of Iria. 412 Moving lights, as of processional tapers, twinkled through the matted screen of shrubbery, and solemn chants arose from the very heart of the boscage. Word of this mystery came to the bishop, who saw with his own eyes "the glow of many candles through the shadows of the night." After three days of fasting, he led all the villagers in procession to the thicket which had grown up, a protecting hedge, about the ruins of the holy house. The three graves were found intact, and on opening the chief of these the bishop looked upon the body of St. James, as was proven not only by severed head and pilgrim staff, but by a Latin scroll. The swiftest horsemen of Galicia bore the glorious tidings to the court of the king, that most Christian monarch, Alfonso II, "very Catholic, a great almsgiver, defender of the Faith." So loved of heaven was this pious king, that once, when he had collected a treasure of gold and precious stones for the making of a cross, two angels, disguised as pilgrims, undertook the work. When, after a few hours, Alfonso came softly to the forge to make sure of their honesty and skill, no artisans were there, but from an exquisitely fashioned cross streamed a celestial glory. So devout a king, on hearing the great tidings from Galicia, lost no time in despatching couriers to his bishops and grandees, and all the pomp and pride of Spain, headed by majesty itself, flocked to the far-off hamlet beyond the Asturian mountains to adore the relics of Santiago.

Now began grand doings in Iria, known henceforth as the Field of the Star, Campus Stellæ, or Compostela. Alfonso had a church of stone and clay built above the sepulchre, and endowed it with an estate of three square miles. The Pope announced the discovery to Christendom. A community of 413 twelve monks, with a presiding abbot, was installed at Compostela to say masses before the shrine. For these beginnings of homage the Apostle made a munificent return. A wild people, living in a wild land at a wild time, these Spaniards of the Middle Ages were shaped and swayed by two sovereign impulses, piety and patriotism. These two were practically one, for patriotism meant the expulsion of the Moor, and piety, Cross above Koran. It was a life-and-death struggle. The dispossessed Christians, beaten back from Andalusia and Castile to the fastnesses of the northern mountains, were fighting against fearful odds. They felt sore need of a leader, for although, when their ranks were wavering, the Virgin had sometimes appeared to cheer them on, hers, after all, was but a woman's arm. It was in the battle of Clavijo, 846, that Santiago first flashed into view, an invincible champion of the cross.

Rameiro, successor to Alfonso II, had taken the field against the terrible Abderrahman of Cordova, who had already overrun Valencia and Barcelona and was demanding from Galicia a yearly tribute of one hundred maidens. This exceedingly Moorish tax, which now amuses Madrid as a rattling farce in the summer theatre of the Buen Retiro, was no jesting matter then. Not only the most famous warriors of the realm, Bernardo del Carpio in their van, but shepherds and ploughmen, priests, monks, even bishops, flocked to the royal standard.

"A cry went through the mountains when the proud Moor drew near,

And trooping to Rameiro came every Christian spear;

The blesséd Saint Iago, they called upon his name:—

That day began our freedom, and wiped away our shame."

414 The hosts of Cross and Crescent met in battle-shock near Logroño. Only nightfall saved the Christians from utter rout, but in those dark hours of their respite the apparition of Santiago bent above their sleeping king. "Fear not, Rameiro," said the august lips. "The enemy, master of the field, hems you in on every side, but God fights in your ranks." At sunrise, in the very moment when the Moslem host was bowed in prayer, the Christians, scandalized at the spectacle, charged in orthodox fury. Their onset was led by an unknown knight, gleaming in splendid panoply of war. Far in advance, his left hand waving a snowy banner stamped with a crimson cross, he spurred his fierce white horse full on the infidel army. His brandished sword "hurled lightning against the half-moon." At his every sweeping stroke, turbaned heads rolled off by scores to be trampled, as turbaned heads deserve, under the hoofs of that snorting steed. The Son of Thunder had found his function, which was nothing less than to inspirit the Reconquest. Henceforth he could always be counted on to lead a desperate assault, and "Santiago y Cierra España!" was the battle-cry of every hard-fought field. So late as 1212, at the crucial contest of Las Navas de Tolosa, the "Captain of the Spaniards" saved the day.

Whatever may be thought of such bloody prowess on the part of Christ's disciple, the fisherman of Galilee, he could not have taken, in that stormy age, a surer course to make himself respected. All Europe sprang to do honor to a saint who could fight like that. Charlemagne, guided by the Milky Way, visited the shrine, if the famous old Codex Calixtinus may be believed, with its convincing print of the 415 Apostle sitting upright in his coffin and pointing the great Karl to the starry trail. In process of time the Gran Capitan came bustling from Granada. The king of Jerusalem did not find the road too long, nor did the Pope of Rome count it too arduous. England sent her first royal Edward, and France more than one royal Louis. Counts and dukes, lords and barons, rode hundreds of miles to Compostela, at the head of feudal bands which sometimes clashed by the way. Saints of every clime and temper made the glorious pilgrimage,—Gregory, Bridget, Bernard, Francis of Assisi. To the shrine of St. James came the Cid in radiant youth to keep the vigil of arms and receive the honors of knighthood, and again, mounted on his peerless Bavieca, to give thanks for victory over the five Moorish kings. It was on this second journey that he succored the leper, inviting him, with heroic disdain of hygiene, to be his bedfellow "in a great couch with linen very clean and costly."

Dancing the Sevillana

Dancing the Sevillana

Even in the ninth century such multitudes visited the sepulchre that a society of hidalgos was formed to guard the pilgrims from bandits along that savage route, serve them as money-changers in Compostela, and in all possible ways protect them from robbery and ill-usage. This brotherhood gave birth to the famous Order of Santiago, whose two vows were to defend the pilgrims and fight the Mussulmans. These red-cross knights were as devout as they were valiant, "lambs at the sound of the church-bells and lions at the call of the trumpet." Kings and popes gave liberally to aid their work. Roads were cut through Spain and France, even Italy and Germany, "to Santiago." Forests were cleared, morasses drained, bridges built, and rest-houses instituted, as 416 San Marcos at Leon and the celebrated hostelry of Roncesvalles. Compostela had become a populous city, but a city of inns, hospitals, and all variety of conventual and religious establishments. Even to-day it can count nearly three hundred altars. In the ninth century the modest church of Alfonso II was replaced by an ornate edifice rich in treasures, but in the gloomy tenth century, when Christian energies were arrested by the dread expectation of the end of the world, the Moors overran Galicia and laid the holy city waste. The Moslem general, Almanzor, had meant to shatter the urn of Santiago, but when he entered Compostela with his triumphant troops, he found only one defender there, an aged monk sitting silent on the Apostle's tomb. The magnanimous Moor did not molest him, nor the ashes his feebleness guarded better than strength, but took abundant booty. When Almanzor marched to the south again, four thousand Galician captives bore on their shoulders the treasures of the Apostle, even the church-bells and sculptured doors, to adorn the mosque of Cordova. The fresh courage of the eleventh century began the great Romanesque cathedral of Santiago. Donations poured in from all over Europe. Pilgrims came bowed under the weight of marble and granite blocks for the fabric. Young and old, men and women, beggars and peasants, princes and prelates, had a hand in the building, cutting short their prayers to mix mortar and hew stone. Artists from far-off lands, who had come on pilgrimage, lingered for years, often for lifetimes, in Compostela, making beautiful the dwelling of the saint.

The great epoch of Santiago was the twelfth century, when there succeeded to the bishopric the able and ambitious Diego 417 Gelmirez, who resolved that Compostela should be recognized as the religious centre of Spain, and be joined with Jerusalem and Rome in a trinity of the supreme shrines of Christendom. He was a man of masterly resource, persistence, pluck. Not too scrupulous for success, he found all means good that made toward the accomplishment of his one splendid dream. The clergy of Santiago, who had hitherto borne but dubious repute, he subjected to instruction and to discipline, calling learned priests from France to tutor them, and sending his own, as they developed promise, to sojourn in foreign monasteries. He zealously promoted the work on the cathedral, rearing arches proud as his aspiration, and watch-towers strong as his will. He invested the sacred ceremonies, especially the ecclesiastical processions, with extraordinary pomp, so that the figure of Alfonso VI, conqueror of Toledo, advancing through the basilica in such a solemn progress, appeared less imposing than the bishop himself, crowned with white mitre, sceptred with ivory staff, and treading in his gold-embroidered sandals upon the broad stones that pave the church as if on an imperial palace floor. Gelmirez was indefatigable, too, in building up the city. Eager to swell the flood of pilgrimage, he founded in Compostela, already a cluster of shrines and hostelries, still more churches, inns, asylums, hospitals, together with convents, libraries, schools, and all other recognized citadels of culture. He fought pestilence and dirt, introducing an excellent water supply, and promoting, so far as he knew how, decent and sanitary living. He was even a patron of agriculture, bringing home from his foreign journeys, which took him as far as Rome, packets of new seed slipped in among parcels of jewels and no less precious budgets 418 of saintly molars and knuckle-bones. But these missions abroad, having always for chief object the pressing of his petition upon the Holy See, involved costly presents to influential prelates, especially the red-capped cardinals. The revenue for such bribes he wrung from the Galician peasantry, who gave him a measure of hate with every measure of grain. Gelmirez had so many uses for money that no wonder his taxes cut down to the quick. The lavish offerings sent by sea to the shrine of Santiago, ruby-crusted crucifixes of pure gold, silver reliquaries sparkling with emeralds and jacinths, pontifical vestments of richest tissue and of rarest artistry, well-chased vessels of onyx, pearl, and jasper, all that constant influx of glistening tribute from the length and breadth of Christendom, had drawn Moorish pirates to the Galician waters. To guard the treasure-ships, repel the infidels, and, incidentally, return tit for tat by plundering their galleys, the warrior bishop equipped a formidable fleet, and kept it on patrol off the coast,—a strange development from the little fishing-boat whence James and John trailed nets in the lake of Galilee.

The audacity of Gelmirez reached its height in his struggle with the Queen Regent, Urraca of unlovely memory, for the control of the child king, Alfonso VII. This boy was the grandson of Alfonso VI, "Emperor of Spain," who survived all his legitimate children except Urraca. The father of the little Alfonso, Count Raymond of Burgundy, was dead, and Urraca had taken a second husband, Alfonso the Battle-maker. The situation was complicated. The Battle-maker wore the crowns of Aragon and Navarre, Urraca was queen of Leon and Castile, while the child, by his grandfather's will, inherited the lordship of Galicia. The Bishop of Santiago, who 419 baptized the baby, had strenuously opposed Urraca's second marriage. As that lady had, nevertheless, gone her own wilful way, setting at naught the bishop's remonstrance and inciting Galicia to revolt against his tyranny, Gelmirez had kidnapped the royal child, a puzzled little majesty of four summers, and solemnly crowned and anointed him before the High Altar of St. James, declaring himself the protector of the young sovereign. Urraca soon wearied of her Aragonese bridegroom, and, casting him off, took up arms to defend her territories against his invasion. The powerful bishop came to her aid with men and money, but exacted in exchange an oath of faithful friendship, which Urraca gave and broke and gave again. Meanwhile the popular hatred swelled so high against Gelmirez that an open insurrection, in which many of his own clergy took part, drove him and the Queen to seek refuge in one of the cathedral towers, while the rebels burned and pillaged in the church below. The bishop barely escaped with his life, fleeing in disguise from Compostela; but soon the baffled conspirators saw him at his post again, punishing, pardoning, rebuilding—as indomitable as St. James himself. The election of Diego's friend, Calixtus II, to the papacy, gave him his supreme opportunity. Money was the prime requisite, and Gelmirez, not for the first nor second time, borrowed of the Apostle, selling treasures from the sacristy. The sums so raised were carried to the Pope, across the bandit-peopled mountains, by a canon of Santiago masquerading as a beggar, and by a trusty group of particularly ragged pilgrims. This proof of ecclesiastical ripeness overcame all papal scruples, and Calixtus, despite the clamor of enemies and rivals, raised Santiago to the coveted archbishopric. 420

The first half of his great purpose effected, Gelmirez strove with renewed energy to wrest from Toledo the primacy of Spain. He fortified Galicia, hurled his fleet against Moorish and English pirates, built himself an archiepiscopal palace worthy of his hard-won dignities, stole from Portugal the skeletons of four saints to enhance the potency of Santiago, and made much of the skull of the Apostle James the Less, which Urraca had presented in one of her fits of amity. But this time the reverend robber was not destined to success. The Archbishop of Toledo formed a powerful party against him, Calixtus died, even the king, whom Gelmirez had armed knight in the cathedral of Santiago and had crowned a second time at Leon, grew restive under the dictation of his old tutor. The smouldering hatred of Galicia again flamed out. The aged archbishop once more had to see his church polluted, its treasures plundered, its marvels of carved work, stained glass, and gold-threaded vestments spoiled and wasted by that senseless rabble which had twisted out from under his heavy foot. Faint and bleeding from a wound in his head, too white a head, for all its pride, to be battered with stones, Gelmirez had almost fallen a victim to the mob, when two of his canons snatched him back to the refuge of the High Altar, barring the iron-latticed doors of the Capilla Major against those savage sheep of his pasture. The outrage was so flagrant that, for very shame, pope and king, though both had accepted the bribes of his enemies, responded to his appeal, and assisted him to resume that rigorous sway which lasted, all told, for something like forty years.

Such was the man and such the process that made the shrine of Santiago the third in rank of mediæval Christendom. 421 Under the rule of Gelmirez Compostela had become one of the principal cities of the Peninsula, a seat of arts and sciences where Spanish nobles were proud to build them palaces and to educate their sons. The mighty influx of pilgrims, which went on without abatement century after century, nearly twenty-five hundred licenses being granted, in the single year 1434, to cockle-hatted visitors from England alone, filled the place with business. Inn-keepers, physicians, money-changers, merchants were in flourishing estate, and a number of special industries developed. One street was taken up by booths for the sale of polished shells. Another bears still the name of the jet-workers, whose rosaries, crucifixes, stars, gourds, staffs, and amulets were in high demand. Souvenirs of Santiago, little crosses delicately cut and chased, mimic churches, towers, shrines gave employ to scores of artists in silver and mother-of-pearl. The enormous revenue from the sale of phials of healing oil and from the consecrated candles must needs go to the Apostle, but the cunning craftsmen who loaded their stalls with love-charms had a well-nigh equal patronage.

The finished cathedral was consecrated in 1211, and in 1236 the royal saint, Fernando III, sent to Compostela a train of Mohammedan captives, bringing back on their shoulders the bells Almanzor had taken. These had been hung, inverted, in the beautiful mosque of Cordova to serve as lamps for the infidel worship, but at last St. James had his own again. Thus Santiago trampled on the Moors, and his ashes, or what had passed for his ashes, slept in peace, with nothing to do but work miracles on blind and crippled pilgrims, until, in 1589, an army of English heretics, led by 422 the horrible Drake, landed in Galicia. These Lutheran dogs were not worthy of a miracle. The archbishop and his canons, with the enemy hammering on the gates of Compostela, hastily took up and reburied the three coffins of the original shrine, so secretly that they could not be found again. In 1879, however, a miscellany of brittle bits of bone was brought to light by a party of determined seekers, and these repulsive fragments, after scientific analysis conducted in an ecclesiastical spirit, were declared to be portions of three skeletons which might be ages old. Leo XIII clenched the matter by "authenticating" one of them, apparently chosen at random, as the body of Santiago. But although for us of the perverse sects, the contents of that magnificent silver casket, the centre of the Santiago faith, could arouse no thrill of worship, the Pilgrim City itself and its storied, strange cathedral were the most impressive sights of Spain.

Within the Cloister

Within the Cloister

XXVI

423

THE SON OF THUNDER

"Thou shield of that faith which in Spain we revere,

Thou scourge of each foeman who dares to draw near,

Whom the Son of that God who the elements tames

Called child of the thunder, immortal Saint James."

Hymn to Santiago, in George Borrow's translation.

Fatigues of the journey and discomforts of our lodging melted from memory like shadows of the night when we found ourselves, on the morning of July twenty-fourth, before that rich, dark mass of fretted granite, a majestic church standing solitary in the midst of spreading plazas. These are surrounded by stately buildings, the archiepiscopal palace with its memories of Gelmirez, the royal hospital founded by Ferdinand and Isabella for the succor of weary pilgrims, ancient colleges with sculptured façades, marvellous old convents whose holy fathers were long since driven out by royal decree into hungry, homesick exile, and the columned city hall with its frontal relief of the battle of Clavijo and its crowning statue of St. James. The great, paved squares, the magnificent stairways and deeply recessed portals were aglow with all Galicia. Peasants in gala dress, bright as tropic birds, stood in deferential groups about the pilgrims, for there were actual pilgrims on the 424 scene, men and women whose broad hats and round capes were sewn over with scallop-shells, and whose long staffs showed little gourds fastened to the upper end. They wore rosaries and crucifixes in profusion, and their habit was spangled with all manner of charms and amulets, especially the tinsel medals with their favorite device of St. James riding down the Moors. We bought at one of the stalls set up before the doors for sale of holy wares a memento of the famous old jet-work, a tiny black hand, warranted, if hung about the neck, to cure disorders of the eyes. We fell to chatting with a pilgrim who was shod in genuine sandal shoon. A large gourd was tied to his belt, the rim of his hat was turned up at one side and caught there with a rosy-tinted shell, and his long, black ringlets fell loose upon his shoulders, framing a romantic Dürer face. He talked with us in German, saying that he was of Wittemberg, and once a Lutheran, but had been converted to the true faith on a previous visit to Spain. Since then he had footed his penitential way to Jerusalem and other distant shrines. As his simple speech ran on, we seemed to see the mountains round about Santiago crossed by those converging streams of mediæval pilgrims, all dropping on their knees at the first glimpse of the cathedral towers. With that sight the fainting were refreshed, the lame ran, and jubilant songs of praise to Santiago rolled out in many languages upon the air.

"Primus ex apostolis,

Martir Jerusolinus,

Jacobus egregio,

Sacer est martirio."

In those Ages of Faith all the gates of the city were choked 425 with the incoming tide, the hostels and cure-houses overflowed, and the broad plazas about the cathedral were filled with dense throngs of pilgrims, massed nation by nation, flying their national colors, singing their national hymns to the strangely blended music of their national instruments, and watching for the acolyte who summoned them, company by company, into the august presence-chamber of St. James. His shrine they approached only in posture of lowliest reverence. Even now, at the end of the nineteenth century, our first glance, as we entered the lofty, dim, and incense-perfumed nave, fell on a woman-pilgrim dragging herself painfully on her knees up the aisle toward the High Altar, and often falling prostrate to kiss the pavement with groans and tears.

Mediæval pilgrims, when they had thus won their way to the entrance of the Capilla Mayor, and there received three light blows from a priestly rod in token of chastisement, were granted the due indulgences and, in turn, laid their offerings before the great white altar. Still there sits, in a niche above, the thirteenth-century image of St. James, a colossal figure wrought of red granite, with stiffly flowing vestments of elaborately figured gilt. His left hand grasps a silver staff, with gilded gourd atop, and his right, whose index finger points downward to the burial vault, holds a scroll inscribed, "Hic est corpus divi Jacobi Apostoli ac Hispaniarum Patroni." Once he wore a broad-brimmed hat all of pure gold, but this was melted down by Marshal Ney in the French invasion. At that time the sacred vessels were heaped like market produce into great ox-carts, until the cathedral had been plundered of ten hundredweight of treasure. It was "the end of the pilgrimage" to climb the steps behind this statue and kiss its 426 resplendent silver cape, studded with cockle-shells and besprinkled with gems. But the pilgrims of the past had much more to see and worship,—the jewelled crown of the Apostle set upon the altar, his very hat and staff, the very axe that beheaded him, and other relics to which the attention of the modern tourist, at least, is not invited. Yet even we were conducted to the Romanesque crypt beneath the High Altar, where stands another altar of red marble, decorated by a relief of two peacocks drinking from a cup. This altar is surmounted by a bronze pedestal, which bears the sumptuous ark-shaped casket with its enshrined handfuls of dubious dust.

Our latter-day pilgrims seemed well content with the measure of wealth and sanctity which Moorish sack and English piracy, French invasion and Carlist wars, had spared to the cathedral. In the matter of general relics, nevertheless, Santiago suffers by comparison with the neighbor cathedral of Oviedo, which proudly shows a silver-plated old reliquary, believed by the devout to have been brought in the earliest Christian times from Rome. This chest contains, in addition to the usual pieces of the true cross and thorns from the crown, such remarkable mementos as St. Peter's leathern wallet, crumbs left over from the Feeding of the Five Thousand, bits of roast fish and honeycomb from Emmaus, bread from the Last Supper, manna from the wilderness, a portion of Moses' rod and the mantle of Elijah. Oviedo possesses, too, that famous cross which the angels made for Alfonso II, and one of the six water-jars of Cana. But the relic chapel of Santiago makes up in quantity whatever it may lack in quality, holding bones, garments, hair-tresses, and like memorials of a veritable army of martyrs, even to what Ford disrespectfully 427 calls "sundry parcels of the eleven thousand Virgins." Special stress is laid on a Calvary thorn which turns blood-red every Good Friday, and a drop, forever fresh, of the Madonna's milk. If pilgrims are not satisfied with these, they can walk out to Los Angeles, an adjacent village, whose church was built by the angels. Eccentric architects they were in choosing to connect their edifice with the cathedral of Santiago by an underground beam of pure gold, formerly one of the rafters in God's own house.

We had speech of several pilgrims that first morning. One was a middle-aged, sun-browned, stubby little man, whom during the ensuing week we saw again and again in the cathedral, but never begging, with the most of the pilgrims, at the portals, nor taking his ease in the cloisters,—a social promenade where the laity came to gossip and the clergy to puff their cigarettes. This humble worshipper seemed to pass all the days of the festival in enraptured adoration, on his knees now before one shrine, now before another. We found him first facing the supreme architectural feature of the cathedral, that sublime and yet most lovely Portico de la Gloria. He was gazing up at its paradise of sculptured saints and angels, whose plumes and flowing robes still show traces of azure, rose, and gold, with an expression of naive ecstasy. He told us that he came from Astorga, and had been nine days on the way. He spent most of his time upon the road, he added, visiting especially the shrines of the Virgin. "Greatly it pleases me to worship God," he said, with sparkling eyes, and ran on eagerly, as long as we would listen, about the riches and splendors of different cathedrals, and especially the robes and jewels of the Virgen del Pilar. He seemed in his devout 428 affection to make her wealth his own. One of the most touching effects of the scene was the childlike simplicity with which the poor of Galicia, coming from such vile hovels, felt themselves at home in the dwelling of their saint. Not even their sins marred their sense of welcome. In the cloisters we encountered an old woman in the pilgrim dress, her staff wound with gay ribbons, limping from her long jaunt. She told us frankly that she was "only a beggar" in her own village, and had come for the outing as well as to please the priest, who, objecting to certain misdemeanors which she had the discretion not to specify, had prescribed this excursion as penance. She was a lively old soul, and was amusing herself mightily with the Goya tapestries, and others, that adorned the cloisters in honor of the time. "You have a book and can read," she said, "and you will understand it all, but what can I understand? I can see that this is a queen, and she is very fine, and that those are butchers who are killing a fat pig. But we who are poor may understand little in this world except the love of God." Others of the pilgrims were village folk of Portugal, and, taken all together, these modern wearers of the shell were but a sorry handful as representing those noble multitudes who came, in ages past, to bow before the shrine. The fourteen doors of the cathedral then stood open night and day, and the grotesque lions leaning out over the lintels could boast that there was no tongue of Europe which their stone ears had not heard. Three open doors suffice in the feast days now, but with the new flood of faith that has set toward Lourdes, pilgrimages to Santiago, as to other Latin shrines, are beginning to revive.

Mass was over at the late hour of our arrival, but nave and 429 aisles, transepts and cloisters, hummed with greetings of friends, laughter of children, who sported unrebuked about those stately columns, and the admiring exclamations of strangers. We were often accosted in Spanish and in French and asked from what country we came, and if we "loved the beautiful church of the Apostle." When we were occasionally cornered, and driven in truthfulness to say that we were Yankees, our more intelligent interlocutors looked us over with roguish scrutiny, but increased rather than abated their courtesies. As for the peasants, their geography is safely limited. Noticing that our Spanish differed from theirs, they said we must be from Castile, or, at the most, from Portugal. At all events we were strangers to Santiago, and they merrily vied with one another in showing us about and giving us much graphic information not to be found in guide-books.

Much of their lore appears to be of their own invention. The superb Puerta de la Gloria, wrought by a then famous architect sent from the king of Leon, but known to us to-day only as Master Mateo, was the fruit of twenty years' labor. This triple porch, which runs across the west end of the nave, being finally completed, Master Mateo seems to have symbolized the dedication of his service to the Apostle in a kneeling statue of himself, facing the east, with back to the richly sculptured pillar of the chief portal. The head of this figure is worn almost as round and expressionless as a stone ball by the caresses of generations of childish hands. The little girls whom we watched that morning as they patted and smoothed the much-enduring pate told us, kissing the marble eyes, that this was a statue of St. Lucia, which it certainly is not. In another moment these restless midgets 430 were assaulting, with fluent phrases of insult, the carven faces of certain fantastic images which form the bases of the clustered columns. The children derisively thrust their feet down the yawning throats, kicked the grotesque ears and noses, and in general so maltreated their Gothic victims that we were moved to remonstrate.

"But why should you abuse them? What are these creatures, to be punished so?"

"They are Jews," hissed our little Christians with an emphasis that threw new light on the Dreyfus affaire. But an instant more, and these vivacious, capricious bits of Spanish womanhood were all absorbed in aiding a blind old peasant who had groped her way to the sacred Portico for its especial privilege of prayer. The central shaft, dividing into two the chief of the three doorways, represents the Tree of Jesse, the patriarchal figures half-enveloped in exquisitely sculptured foliage. The chiselled capital shows the Trinity, Dove and Son and Father, with adoring angels. Above sits a benignant St. James, whose throne is guarded by lions, and over all, in the central tympanum of the sublime doorway, is a colossal figure of our Lord, uplifting His wounded hands. About Him are grouped the four Evangelists, radiant with eternal youth, and eight angels bearing the instruments of the Passion, the pillar of the scourging, whips, the crown of thorns, the nails, the scroll, the sponge, the spear, the cross. Other angels burn incense before Him, and the archivolt above is wrought with an ecstatic multitude of elders, martyrs, and saints, so vivid after all these centuries that one can almost hear the blithe music of their harps. It is the Christ of Paradise, enthroned amid the blest, to whom His presence gives 431 fulness of joy forevermore. Above the lesser doors on either side are figured Purgatory and Hell. The fresh and glowing beauty, so piquant and yet so spiritual, the truly celestial charm of this marvellous Portico which Street did not fear to call "one of the greatest glories of Christian art," was never, during this festal week, without its throng of reverent beholders, the most waiting their turn, like our old blind peasant, to fit thumb and finger into certain curious little hollows on the central shaft, and thus offer prayer which was sure of answer. Minute after minute for unbroken hours, the hands succeeded one another there,—old, knotted, toilworn hands, the small, brown hands of children, jewelled hands of delicate ladies, and often, as now, the groping hand of blindness, with childish fingers helping it to find those mystical depressions in the agate. Some of the bystanders told us that St. James had descended from his seat above the capital, and laid his hand against the column, leaving these traces, but more would have it that the Christ Himself had come down by night from the great tympanum to place His wounded hand upon the shaft. Street records that he observed several such petitioners, after removing the hand, spit into the mouths of the winged dragons that serve as base to the pillar; but that literally dare-devil form of amen must now have gone out of fashion, for we did not see it once.

The Trampler of the Moors

The Trampler of the Moors

Toward noon we strolled out into the grand plaza before the west façade and found it a multitudinous jam of expectant merrymakers. Even nuns were peeping down from a leaf-veiled balcony. We seemed to have been precipitated out of the Middle Ages into an exaggerated Fourth of July. All the city bells were pealing, rockets and Roman candles were sputtering, 432 and grotesque fire-balloons, let off from a parapet of the cathedral, flourished bandy legs and "Sagasta noses" in the resigned old faces of the carven images. And then, amid the acclamations of all the small boys in the square, sallied forth the Santiago giants. These wickerwork monsters, eight all told, are supposed to represent worshippers from foreign lands. They go by couples, two being conventional pilgrims with "cockle-shell and sandal shoon"; two apparently Moors, with black complexions, feather crowns, and much barbaric finery; two nondescripts, possibly the French of feudal date; and two, the leaders and prime favorites, regular Punch caricatures of modern English tourists. John Bull is a stout old gentleman with gray side-whiskers, a vast expanse of broadcloth back, and a single eye-glass secured by a lavender ribbon. The British Matron, in a smart Dolly Varden frock, glares with a shocked expression from under flaxen puffs and an ostrich-feathered hat. The popular attitude of mind toward these absurdities is past all finding out. Not the children alone, but the entire assemblage greeted them with affectionate hilarity. The giants, propelled by men who walked inside them and grinned out on the world from a slit in the enormous waistbands, trundled about the square, followed by the antics of a rival group of dwarfs from the city hall, and then made the round of the principal streets, executing clumsy gambols before the public buildings.

On the morning after, July twenty-fifth, the great day of the feast, anniversary of the Apostle's martyrdom, these same overgrown dolls played a prominent part in the solemn cathedral service. The Chapter passed in stately progress to the archbishop's palace to fetch his Eminence, and later to 433 the ancient portals where the silver-workers once displayed their wares, to greet the Royal Delegate. At their head strutted this absurd array of giants. The High Mass was superb with orchestral music and the most sumptuous robes of the vestiary. The "King of Censers," the splendid botafumeiro of fourteenth-century date, made so large, six feet high, with the view of purifying the cathedral air vitiated by the hordes of pilgrims who were wont to pass the night sleeping and praying on the holy pavements, flashed its majestic curves, a mighty fire bird, from roof to floor and from transept to transept. It is swung from the ceiling by an ingenious iron mechanism, and the leaping, roaring flames, as the huge censer sweeps with ever augmenting speed from vault to vault, tracing its path by a chain of perfumed wreaths, make the spectacle uniquely beautiful. Knights of Santiago, their white raiment marked by crimson sword and dagger, received from the Royal Delegate "a thousand crowns of gold," the annual state donation, instituted by Rameiro, to the patron saint. The Delegate, kneeling before the image of Santiago, prayed fervently that the Apostle would accept this offering of the regent, a queen no less devout than the famous mother of San Fernando, and would raise up Alfonso XIII to be another Fernando, winning back for Spain her ocean isles which the heretics had wrested away, even as Fernando restored to Compostela the cathedral doors and bell which the infidel Moors had stolen. His Eminence, who is said to have accumulated a fortune during his previous archbishopric in Cuba, in turn besought St. James to protect Catholic Spain against "those who invoke no right save brute force, and adore no deity except the golden calf." In most magnificent 434 procession the silver casket was borne around the nave among the kneeling multitudes. And then, to crown these august ceremonies, forth trotted our friends, the giants, into the open space before the Capilla Mayor. Here the six subordinate boobies paused, grouping themselves in a ludicrous semicircle, while pompous John Bull and his ever scandalized British Matron went up into the Holy of Holies and danced, to the music of guitars and tambourines, in front of the High Altar.

Every day of that festal week the cathedral services were attended by devout throngs, yet there was something blithe and social, well-nigh domestic, in the atmosphere of the scene even at the most impressive moments. Kneeling groups of peasant women caught the sunshine on their orange kerchiefs and scarlet-broidered shawls. Here a praying father would gather his little boy, sobbing with weariness, up against his breast; there a tired pilgrim woman slumbered in a corner, her broad hat with its cockle-shells lying on her knees. Rows of kneeling figures waited at the wooden confessionals which were thick set along both aisles and ambulatory. Several times we saw a priest asleep in the confessional, those who would pour out their hearts to him kneeling on in humble patience, not venturing to arouse the holy father. Young officers, leaning against the pillars, smiled upon a school of Spanish girls, who, guarded by veiled nuns, knelt far along the transept. Pilgrims, standing outside the door to gather alms, vied with one another in stories of their travels and the marvels they had seen.

But at night, walking in the illuminated alameda, where thousands of Japanese lanterns and colored cups of flame 435 made a fantastic fairyland, or dancing their country dances, singing their country songs, practising their country sports, and gazing with tireless delight at the fireworks in the spacious Plaza de Alfonso Doce, the worshippers gave themselves up to frankest merriment. Through the days, indeed, there was never any lack of noisy jollity. From dawn to dawn again cannon were booming, drums beating, bagpipes skirling, tambourines clattering, songs and cries resounding through the streets. Four patients in the hospital died the year before, we were told, from the direct effects of this continuous uproar. But the thunder height of the fiesta is attained toward midnight on the twenty-fourth, the "Eve of Santiago," when rockets and fire-balloons are supplemented by such elaborate devices as the burning of "capricious trees" and the destruction of a Moorish façade built for the occasion out from the west front of the cathedral. At the first ignition of the powder there come such terrific crashes and reverberating detonations, such leaps and bursts of flame, that the peasant host sways back and the children scream. An Arabic doorway with ornate columns, flanked on either side by a wall of many arches and surmounted by a blood-red cross, dazzles out into overwhelming brilliancy, all in greens and purples, a glowing, scintillating, ever changing vision. Soon it is lustrous white and then, in perishing, sends up a swift succession of giant rockets. The façade itself is a very Alhambra of fret and arabesque. This, too, with thunder bursts reveals itself as a flame-colored, sky-colored, sea-colored miracle, which pales to gleaming silver and, while we read above it the resplendent words "The Patron of Spain," is blown to atoms as a symbol of Santiago's victory over the 436 Moors. This makes an ideal Spanish holiday, but the cost, borne by the city, is heavy, there is distinct and increasing injury to the cathedral fabric, and all this jubilee for archaic victories over the Moslem seems to be mocked by the hard facts of to-day.

The Santiago festivities, of which the half has not been told, closed on Thursday afternoon, July twenty-seventh, with a procession through the streets. We waited a weary while for it before the doors where the old jet-workers used to set their booths, amusing ourselves meantime by watching the house maids drawing water from the fountain in the square below. These sturdy Galicians were armed with long tin tubes which they dextrously applied to the spouting mouths of the fountain griffins, so directing the stream into the straight, iron-bound pails. Not far away the market women covered the flags with red and golden fruit. A saucy beggar-wench, with the blackest eyes in Spain, demanded alms, and when we had yielded up the usual toll of coppers, loudly prayed to Santiago to pardon us for not having given her more on this his holy festival. At last out sallied the band, followed by those inevitable giants, and amid mad ringing of bells and fizzing of invisible rockets, forth from the venerable portals issued standards, crosses, tapers, priests in white and gold, and platformed effigies of pilgrims, saints, and deities. Then came bishops, cardinals, and archbishop, ranks of military bearing tapers, the alcalde and his associates in the city government with antique escort of bedizened mace-bearers, a sparkling statue of St. James on horseback busily beheading his legions of Moors, a bodyguard of all the pilgrims in attendance on his saintship, and finally the Virgen del Pilar, 437 at whose passing all the concourse fell upon their knees. Churches in the line of march had their own images decked and ready, waiting in the colonnaded porches to fall into the procession. The market women and the maids at the fountain threw kisses to the Christ Child, leaning in blue silk frock and white lace tucker against a cross of roses, but the boys waved their caps for St. Michael, debonair that he was with blowing crimson robe, real feather wings fluttering in the breeze, and his gold foot set on the greenest of dragons.

The procession came home by way of the great west doors, opened only this once in the round year. The setting sun, bringing out all the carven beauty of that dark gray façade, glittered on the golden balls and crosses that tip the noble towers, and on the golden staff of St. James and the golden quill of St. John, where the two sons of thunder stand colossal in their lofty niches. A baby, in yellow kerchief and cherry skirt, toddling alone across the centre of the square, pointed with adoring little hand at the mounted image of Santiago, which halted at the foot of the grand stairway, his lifted sword a line of golden light, while the deep-voiced choir chanted his old triumphal hymn. John Bull and the British Matron, stationing themselves on either side as a guard of honor, stared at him with insular contempt. As the chant ceased, St. James chivalrously made way for the Virgen del Pilar, a slender figure of pure gold poised on an azure tabernacle, to mount the steps before him. The bells pealed out to welcome her as she neared the portals, and an ear-splitting explosion of a monster rocket, with a tempest-rain of sparks, announced the instant of her entrance beneath the chiselled arch. Behind her went 438 the penitents, arduously climbing the long stone flights of that quadruple stairway upon their knees. These, too, were but shadows of those mediæval penitents who of old staggered after this procession, bowed under the weight of crosses, or scourging themselves until they fainted in their own trail of blood. Yet it is still strange and touching to see, long after the inner spaces of the cathedral are dim with evening, those kneeling figures making their painful progress about aisles and ambulatory, sobbing as they go, and falling forward on their faces to kiss the pavement that is bruising them.

Santiago Cathedral

Santiago Cathedral

XXVII

439

VIGO AND AWAY

Hasta la Vista!

Our plan for the summer included a return trip across Spain, via Valladolid, Salamanca, and Saragossa to Barcelona and the Balearic Isles; but the bad food and worse lodging of Galicia, the blazing heat and the incessant, exhausting warfare against vermin, had begun to tell. That Spanish fever with which so many foreigners make too intimate acquaintance was at our doors, and we found ourselves forced at last to sacrifice enthusiasm to hygiene. The most eccentric train which it was ever my fortune to encounter shunted and switched us across country to Vigo in about the time it would have taken to make the journey donkeyback. Here we tarried for a week or so, gathering strength from the Atlantic breezes, and when, one sunny August day, a stately steamboat called for an hour at Vigo harbor on her way from Buenos Ayres to Southampton, we went up over the side. Our shock of astonishment at the cleanliness around us could not, however, divert our attention long from the receding shores of Spain, toward which one of us, at least, still felt a stubborn longing.

They lay bright in the midday sunshine, those green uplands of Galicia, mysterious with that patient peasant life of which we had caught fleeting, baffling glimpses. Still we 440 seemed to see the brown-legged women washing in the brook and spreading their coarse-spun, gay-bordered garments on the heather; children, with the faces of little Pats and little Biddies, tugging a bleating sheep across the stepping-stones, or boosting an indignant goat over the wall; lean pigs poking their noses out of the low, stone doorways, where babies slept on wisps of hay; girls in cream-colored kerchiefs, starred with gold, bearing loads of fragrant brush or corded fagots on their heads. As the evening should come on, and the sea-breeze stir the tassels of the maize, we knew how the fields would be dotted with impromptu groups of dancers, leaping higher and higher and waving their arms in ever wilder merriment,—a scene pastoral down to the pigs, and poetic up to those gushes of song that delight the listener.

"I went to the meadow

Day after day,

To gather the blossoms

Of April and May,

And there was Mercedes,

Always there,

Sweetest white lily

That breathes the air."

"North-wind, North-wind,

Strong as wine!

Blow thou, North-wind,

Comrade mine!"

"The Virgin is spreading handkerchiefs

On the rosemary to dry.

The little birds are singing,

And the brook is running by. 441

"The Virgin washes handkerchiefs,

And spreads them in the sun,

But St. Joseph, out of mischief,

Has stolen every one."

It was only now and then that we had realized a touch of genuine fellowship with these Galician peasants. I remember a little thirteenth-century church, gray crosses topping its low gray towers, one of which was broken off as if a giant hand had snapped it. In the porch a white-headed woman, in a gold-edged blue kerchief and poppy-red skirt, was holding a dame-school. It took her all the morning session, she told us, to get the fifty faces washed, but in the afternoon the children learned to read and knit and play the choral games. She had ten cents a month for every child, when the parents were able to pay. From a convenient hollow in a pillar of Arabic tradition she proudly drew her library,—a shabby primer and a few loose leaves of a book of devotion. As we talked, the midgets grew so restless and inquisitive that she shook her long rod at them with a mighty show of fierceness, and shooed them out of the porch like so many chickens. Then she went on eagerly with the story of her life, telling how she was married at fifteen, how her husband went "to serve the king" in the second Carlist war, and never came back, and how her only daughter had borne nine children, of whom eight died in babyhood, "angelitos al cielo," having known on earth "only the day and the night." The last and youngest had been very ill with the fever, and the afflicted grandmother had promised that noble Roman maiden, the martyr saint of the little gray church, to go around the edifice seven times upon her knees, if only the child might live. The 442 vow had been heard, as the presence of a thin-faced, wistful tot by the old woman's side attested, but so far only three of the seven circuits had been made. "It tires the knees much." But even with the words she knelt again, kissing the sacred threshold, and began the painful, heavy, shuffling journey around the church, while the baby, with wondering gray eyes, trotted beside her, clinging to the wrinkled hand. When at last, with puffs and groanings, the old dame had reached the carven doorway again, she rose wearily, rubbing her knees.

"A sweet saint!" she said, "but ay de mi! such gravel!"

We ought, of course, to have been impressed in Galicia with its debasing ignorance and superstition, and so, to a certain extent, we were. We went to see a romeria, a pilgrimage to a hilltop shrine, on one of our last afternoons in Vigo, and found a double line of dirty, impudent beggars, stripped half naked, and displaying every sort of hideous deformity,—a line that reached all the way from the carriage-road up the rugged ascent to the crest. We had to run the gantlet, and it was like traversing a demoniac sculpture-gallery made up of human mockeries. We had to push our way, moreover, through scene after scene of vulgar barter in things divine, and when at last the summit was achieved, the shrine of the Virgin seemed robbed of its glory by the ugliness, vice, and misery it overlooked. Spain is mediæval, and the modern age can teach her much. But with all her physical foulness and mental folly, there still dwells in her that mediæval grace for which happier countries may be searched in vain.

Yet Spain is far from unhappy. It is beautiful to see out of what scant allowance of that which we call well-being, may be evolved wisdom and joy, poetry and religion. Wearied as 443 we two bookish travellers were with lectures and libraries, we rejoiced in this wild Galician lore that lives on the lips of the people. The written Spanish literature, like other Spanish arts, is of the richest, nor are its laurels limited to the dates of Cervantes and Calderon. The modern Spanish novel, for instance, as Mr. Howells so generously insists, all but leads the line. But Spain herself is poetry. What does one want of books in presence of her storied, haunted vistas,—warrior-trod Asturian crags, opalescent reaches of Castilian plain, orange-scented gardens of Andalusia? A circle of cultivated Spaniards is one of the most charming groups on earth, but Spaniards altogether innocent of formal education may be walking anthologies of old ballads, spicy quatrains, riddles, proverbs, fables, epigrams. The peasant quotes "Don Quixote" without knowing it; the donkey-boy is as lyric as Romeo; the devout shepherd tells a legend of the Madonna that is half the dream of his own lonely days among the hills. Where Spanish life is most stripped of material prosperity, it seems most to abound in suggestions of romance. This despised Galicia, the province of simpletons, is literary in its own way. The hovel has no bookshelf, but the children's ears drink in the grandmother's croon:—

"On a morning of St. John

Fell a sailor into the sea.

'What wilt thou give me, sailor, sailor,

If I rescue thee?'

"'I will give thee all my ships,

All my silver, every gem,

All my gold,—yea, wife and daughters,

I will give thee them.' 444

"'What care I for masted ships,

What care I for gold or gem?

Keep thy wife and keep thy daughters,

What care I for them?

"'On the morning of St. John

Thou art drowning in the sea.

Promise me thy soul at dying,

And I'll rescue thee.'

"'I commend the sea to God,

And my body to the sea,

And my soul, Sweet Mother Mary,

I commit to thee.'"

And well it was for this bold mariner that he did not take up the Devil's offer, for everybody knows that those who have signed away their souls to the Devil turn black in the moment of dying, and are borne, black and horrible, to the sepulchre.

In this northwestern corner of Spain are many mountain-songs as well as sea-songs. One of the sweetest tells how the blue-robed Virgin met a young shepherdess upon the hills and was so pleased with the maiden's courtesy that she straightway bore her thence to Paradise, not forgetting, this tender Mary of Bethlehem, to lead the flock safely back to the sheepfold. The love of the Galician peasantry for "Our Lady" blends childlike familiarity with impassioned devotion.

"As I was telling my beads,

While the dawn was red,

The Virgin came to greet me

With her arms outspread."

Her rank in their affections is well suggested by another of the popular coplas. 445

"In the porch of Bethlehem,

Sun, Moon, and Star,

The Virgin, St. Joseph,

And the Christ Child are."

With their saints these Spanish peasants seem almost on a household footing, not afraid of a jest because so sure of the love that underlies it.

"St. John and Mary Magdalen

Played hide and seek, the pair,

Till St. John threw a shoe at her,

Because she didn't play fair."

Yet there is no lack of fear in this rustic religion. There is many a "shalt not" in the Galician decalogue. One must not try to count the stars, lest he come to have as many wrinkles as the number of stars he has counted. Never rock an empty cradle, for the next baby who sleeps in it will die. So often as you name the Devil in life, so often will he appear to you in the hour of death. If you hear another name him, call quickly, before the Devil has time to arrive, "Jesus is here." It is ill to dance alone, casting your shadow on the wall, because that is dancing with the Devil. But the Prince of Darkness is not the only supernatural being whom Galicians dread. There is a bleating demon who makes fun of them, cloudy giants who stir up thunderstorms, and are afraid only of St. Barbara, witches who cast the evil eye, but most of all the "souls in pain." For oftentimes the dead come back to earth for their purgatorial penance. You must never slam a door, nor close a window roughly, nor kick the smallest pebble from your path, because in door or stone or 446 window may be a suffering soul. To see one is to die within the year. If you would not be haunted by your dead, kiss the shoes which the body wears to the burial.

It is well to go early to bed, for at midnight all manner of evil beings prowl up and down the streets. Who has not heard of that unlucky woman, who, after spinning late and long, stepped to the window for a breath of air exactly at twelve o'clock? Far off across the open country she saw a strange procession of shining candles drawing nearer and nearer, although there were no hands to hold them and no sound of holy song. Straight toward her house came those uncanny lights, moving silently through the meadow mists, and halted beneath her window. Then the foremost one of all begged her to take it in and keep it carefully until the midnight following. Scarcely knowing what she did, she closed her fingers on the cold wax and, blowing out the flame, laid away the taper in a trunk, but when, at daybreak, after a sleepless night, she raised the lid, before her lay a corpse. Aghast, she fled to the priest, who lent her all the relics of the sacristy; but their united power only just availed to save her from the fury of the spirits when they returned at midnight to claim the taper, expecting, moreover, to seize upon the woman and "turn her to fire and ashes."

Sometimes a poor soul is permitted to condense the slow ages of Purgatory into one hour of uttermost torment. Galicians tell how a young priest brought his serving-maid to sorrow and how, to escape the latter burning, she shut herself, one day when the priest was engaged in the ceremonial of High Mass, into the red-hot oven. On his return, he called her name and sought her high and low, and when, at last, he 447 opened the oven door, out flew a white dove that soared, a purified and pardoned soul, into the blue of heaven. The science of this simple folk is not divorced from poetry and religion. The rainbow drinks, they say, in the sea and in the rivers. The Milky Way, the Road to Santiago, is trodden every night by pale, dim multitudes who failed to make that blessed pilgrimage, from which no one of us will be excused, in time of life. When the dust stirs in an empty house, good St. Ana is sweeping there. When babies look upward and laugh, they see the cherubs at play. Tuesday is the unlucky day in Spain, whereas children born on Friday receive the gift of second-sight, and those who enter the world on Good Friday are marked by a cross in the roof of the mouth and have the holy touch that cures diseases. It is a fortunate house beneath whose eaves the swallow builds,

"For swallows on Mount Calvary

Plucked tenderly away

From the brows of Christ two thousand thorns,

Such gracious birds are they."

St. James

St. James

The Galicians, butt of all Spain for their dulness, are shrewd enough in fact. It is said that those arrant knaves, the gypsies, dare not pass through Galicia for fear of being cheated. Like other unlettered peasants, Gallegos whet their wits on rhyming riddles.

"Who is the little pigeon,

Black and white together,

That speaks so well without a tongue

And flies without a feather?"

"A tree with twelve boughs and four nests on a bough,

In each nest seven birdlings,—unriddle me now."

448In many of their proverbial sayings one gets the Spanish tang at its best. "A well-filled stomach praises God."

"Why to Castile

For your fortune go?

A man's Castile

Is under his hoe."

And I fear if my comrade were to speak, in Spanish phrase, of our return to Galicia, she would bid St. James expect us "on Judgment Day in the afternoon."

Works by Alice Morse Earle


CHILD LIFE IN COLONIAL DAYS

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HOME LIFE IN COLONIAL DAYS

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